Poetry, VOLUME 11

John Greenleaf Whittier – Five Poems

Tomorrow (Sept. 7) marks the anniversary of the death of Quaker poet John Greenleaf Whittier (d. 1892).

We celebrate the occasion with five of our favorite poems by him…

 

Requirement
John Greenleaf Whittier

 

We live by Faith; but Faith is not the slave
Of text and legend. Reason’s voice and God’s,
Nature’s and Duty’s, never are at odds.
What asks our Father of His children, save
Justice and mercy and humility,
A reasonable service of good deeds,
Pure living, tenderness to human needs,
Reverence and trust, and prayer for light to see
The Master’s footprints in our daily ways?
No knotted scourge nor sacrificial knife,
But the calm beauty of an ordered life
Whose very breathing is unworded praise!–
A life that stands as all true lives have stood,
Firm-rooted in the faith that God is Good.
 

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