Home  »  library  »  poem  »  The Church

C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

The Church

By Sir Aubrey de Vere (1788–1846)

AY, wisely do we call her Mother—she

Who from her liberal breath breathes sustenance

To nations; a majestic charity!

No marble symbol cold, in suppliant glance

Deceitful smiling; strenuous her advance,

Yet calm; while holy ardors, fancy-free,

Direct her measured steps: in every chance

Sedate—as Una ’neath the forest tree

Encompassed by the lions. Why, alas!

Must her perverse and thoughtless children turn

From her example? Why must the sulky breath

Of Bigotry stain Charity’s pure glass?

Poison the springs of Art and Science—burn

The brain through life, and sear the heart in death?