A Garland Of Original Verse -- By: James Lindsay

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 062:248 (Oct 1905)
Article: A Garland Of Original Verse
Author: James Lindsay

A Garland Of Original Verse

Rev. James Lindsay

The poems that follow will be found to revolve mainly around the problems of the soul’s life: Nature, so far as appealed to, is chiefly invoked in illustration of the spiritual life. If they wear a reflective cast, that is because poetry is likely to depend always more, for its power and appreciation, on its reflective character.



O Virtue! white-winged god! erect of Deity
Thy shrine within the temple of man’s soul!
Ancients, as men of latest sun, aseity
To thee ascribed, as did thy glories roll.
From Heaven thou cam’st,
Man’s life thou tam’st,
And ever dost with moral splendors fill:
No ill attends,
High Heaven forefends,
For thou art sovran care of Heaven’s great Will.


O Virtue! thou the Ideal hast brought down to men,
But thine Ideal is the God Most High!
On meanest virtue rests the seal of Godhead then,
No virtue but to life of God draws nigh.
Virtue is height
In humblest wight
That to his soul thy vision doth apply:
Nothing he needs
Whose only deeds
Are done in strength thy goodness doth supply.


No power hath touched me, Virtue, like thy sceptered sway—
Sway as of autumn wind on waving grain—
Life’s sole nobility art thou—sun of its day,
Turning the dark to light, all loss to gain.
Radiance thou art—
Piercing thy dart
That gives to Reason far its farthest fling:
Greatness art thou,
My soul endow
With powers enabling it new flights to wing.


No self-bound graces, Virtue, do I seek from thee,
This self a sterile, wayward, empty thing,
But, since Incarnate Virtue stooped men’s sons to free,
Would my poor graces find in thee their spring:
For one with thee
They fain would be,
Of mine own self I nothing can perform:
Sole good thou art;
Nor any smart
Knows he who to thy precepts doth conform.


Thy willing slave, O Virtue, would my spirit be,
So human seem’st thou, and art so divine,
Through fire and flood, unscathed, thy form doth carry me;
Nor needs thy viewless might one stroke of mine.
Nature may fall,
May crush my all,
I triumph o’er her hidden forces still;
For thou art more
Than Nature’s store:
O’er ev’ry ruin sits thy regnant Will.



‘Twas asked, What means thy faith?
This answ...

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