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Poem by Thomas Edward Brown


The Man that hath great griefs I pity not;  
 Tis something to be great  
 In any wise, and hint the larger state,  
Though but in shadow of a shade, God wot!  
Moreover, while we wait the possible,        
 This man has touched the fact,  
 And probed till he has felt the core, where, packed  
In pulpy folds, resides the ironic ill.  
And while we others sip the obvious sweet  
 Lip-licking after-taste        
 Of glutinous rind, lo! this man hath made haste,  
And pressed the sting that holds the central seat.  
For thus it is God stings us into life,  
 Provoking actual souls  
 From bodily systems, giving us the poles        
That are His own, not merely balanced strife.  
Nay, the great passions are His veriest thought,  
 Which whoso can absorb,  
 Nor, querulous halting, violate their orb,  
In him the mind of God is fullest wrought.        
Thrice happy such an one! Far other he  
 Who dallies on the edge  
 Of the great vortex, clinging to a sedge  
Of patent good, a timorous Manichee;  
Who takes the impact of a long-breathed force,        
 And fritters it away  
 In eddies of disgust, that else might stay  
His nerveless heart, and fix it to the course.  
For there is threefold oneness with the One;  
 And he is one, who keeps        
 The homely laws of life; who, if he sleeps,  
Or wakes, in his true flesh Gods will is done.  
And he is one, who takes the deathless forms,  
 Who schools himself to think  
 With the All-thinking, holding fast the link,        
God-riveted, that bridges casual storms.  
But tenfold one is he, who feels all pains  
 Not partial, knowing them  
 As ripples parted from the gold-beaked stem,  
Wherewith Gods galley onward ever strains.        
To him the sorrows are the tension-thrills  
 Of that serene endeavour,  
 Which yields to God for ever and for ever  
The joy that is more ancient than the hills.

Thomas Edward Brown

Thomas Edward Brown's other poems:
  1. Ibant Obscuræ
  2. Braddan Vicarage
  3. Specula
  4. Disguises
  5. Lynton Verses

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Emily Dickinson Pain ("PAIN--has an Element of Blank")

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