Spirit of devotion, come!
Make and consecrate a home
In the hearts that now
Reverent and grateful meet
At the Almighty's altar-feet,
And adoring bow.

Purify those hearts within-
Shades of doubt and taints of sin
Purify and chase;
Let them 'neath Thine influence be,
O our God! for truth and Thee
Fit abiding place.

Thou-devotion's soul! inspire,
Hallowed thought and pure desire!
Of this mortal clod
Build an altar-rear a dome-
And a temple, and a home,
For the living God!

by John Bowring

Comments (17)

A ghastly tale told so very elegantly.... The boys reasoning quite astute, I think, but to be met with such barbarity for falling outside the norm... I often forget the treacherous and inhumane way people treated one another back then. Drawing and quartering - a ghastly execution style by which four horses are tied to the limbs and driven in four different directions - was still very popular method during Blake's lifetime. Trial by fire, or trial by water consisted of subjecting a person to either burning or drowning for a set period of time - if he survived then it was deemed that God found him innocent. Blake was 36 years old when Marie Antoinette had her head so grisly cut off. It's amazing to me how much beauty and depth of feeling we can find in the words of those who lived then.... having lived in such an inhospitable time.... that marks the greatest civility I can imagine.
great poem of emotions
..................so true we must love ourselves before we can love others....
I feel that this poem describes how people often put religion before basic morals, and in doing so they are actually defying the religion. Isn't the base of most religions, especially Christianity, be good to one another? Yet through out history, people have been tortured and killed, all in the name of their peace loving religion.
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