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

John Stuart Blackie (1809–1895)

The Hope of the Heterodox

IN thee, O blessèd God, I hope,

In thee, in thee, in thee!

Though banned by Presbyter and Pope,

My trust is still in thee.

Thou wilt not cast thy servant out

Because he chanced to see

With his own eyes, and dared to doubt

What praters preach of thee.

Oh no! no! no!

For ever and ever and aye

(Though Pope and Presbyter bray)

Thou wilt not cast away

An honest soul from thee.

I look around on earth and sky,

And thee, and ever thee,

With open heart and open eye

How can I fail to see?

My ear drinks in from field and fell

Life’s rival floods of glee:

Where finds the priest his private hell

When all is full of thee?

Oh no! no! no!

Though flocks of geese

Give Heaven’s high ear no peace,

I still enjoy a lease

Of happy thoughts from thee.

My faith is strong; out of itself

It grows erect and free;

No Talmud on the Rabbi’s shelf

Gives amulets to me.

Small Greek I know, nor Hebrew much,

But this I plainly see:

Two legs without a Bishop’s crutch

God gave to thee and me.

Oh no! no! no!

The Church may loose and bind,

But mind, immortal mind,

As free as wave or wind,

Came forth, O God, from thee!

O pious quack! thy pills are good;

But mine as good may be,

And healthy men on healthy food

Live without you or me.

Good lady! let the doer do!

Thought is a busy bee,

Nor honey less what it doth brew,

Though very gall to thee.

Oh no! no! no!

Though Councils decree and declare,

Like a tree in open air

The soul its foliage fair

Spreads forth, O God, to thee!