Poetry, VOLUME 5

John Greenleaf Whittier – Forgiveness [Poem]

FORGIVENESS
John Greenleaf Whittier

[ *** Read ERB editor Chris Smith’s recent essay: In Defense of Poetry *** ]

John Greenleaf WhittierMy heart was heavy, for its trust had been
Abused, its kindness answered with foul wrong;
So, turning gloomily from my fellow-men,
One summer Sabbath day I strolled among
The green mounds of the village burial-place;

Where, pondering how all human love and hate
Find one sad level; and how, soon or late,
Wronged and wrongdoer, each with meekened face,
And cold hands folded over a still heart,
Pass the green threshold of our common grave,
Whither all footsteps tend, whence none depart,
Awed for myself, and pitying my race,
Our common sorrow, like a nighty wave,
Swept all my pride away, and trembling I forgave!

——

Many of John Greenleaf Whittier’s books are available
for free download through Project Gutenberg



C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com

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