Wednesday, October 05, 2005

by Venerable John Henry Newman

"But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish, from the
presence of the Lord."

Deep in his meditative bower,
The tranquil seer reclined;
Numbering the creepers of an hour,
The gourds which o'er him twined.

To note each plant, to rear each fruit
Which soothes the languid sense,
He deem'd a safe, refined pursuit,—
His Lord, an indolence.

The sudden voice was heard at length,
"Lift thou the prophet's rod!"
But sloth had sapp'd the prophet's strength,
He fear'd, and fled from God.

Next, by a fearful judgment tamed,
He threats the offending race;
God spares;—he murmurs, pride-inflamed,
His threat made void by grace.

What?—pride and sloth! man's worst of foes!
And can such guests invade
Our choicest bliss, the green repose
Of the sweet garden-shade?


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