Epitaph On A Nephew, In Catworth Church, Huntingdonshire

Stay, stranger, stay, and drop one tear.
She always weeps, who laid him here;
And will do till her race is run;
His father's fifth, her only son.

by John Dryden.

I do not believe in death

I do not believe in death: I die by the hour, each day
And I have found a better life this way

English version by Gabriel Rosenstock
Original Language German

by Angelus Silesius.

God is my final end

God is my final end;
Does he from me evolve,
Then he grows out of me,
While I in Him dissolve.

English version by Paul Carus
Original Language German

by Angelus Silesius.

God, whose love and joy are present everywhere

God, whose love and joy are present everywhere,
Can't come to visit you unless you aren't there.

English version by Gabriel Rosenstock
Original Language German

by Angelus Silesius.

One Cannot Grasp God

God is the purest naught, untouched by time and space;
The more you reach for Him, the more He will escape.

English version by Maria Shrady
Original Language German

by Angelus Silesius.

In God nought e'er is known

In God nought e'er is known,
Forever one is He.
What we in Him e'er know,
Ourselves must grow and be.

English version by Paul Carus
Original Language German

by Angelus Silesius.

Upon The Swallow

This pretty bird, O! how she flies and sings,
But could she do so if she had not wings?
Her wings bespeak my faith, her songs my peace;
When I believe and sing my doubtings cease.

by John Bunyan.

Thou needst not cry to God

Thou needst not cry to God,
The spring wells up in thee.
Don't stop its fountain head:
It flows eternally.

English version by Paul Carus
Original Language German

by Angelus Silesius.

God does everything himself

God is only all indeed;
He tunes the strings,
He sings and plays in us:
how have then you it done?

by Angelus Silesius.

God is a pure no-thing

God is a pure no-thing,
concealed in now and here:
the less you reach for him,
the more he will appear.

English version by Stephen Mitchell
Original Language German

by Angelus Silesius.

HA, I am the lord of earth! The noble,

Who're in my service, love me.
Ha, I am the lord of earth! The noble,

O'er whom my sway extendeth, love I.
Oh, grant me, God in Heaven, that I may ne'er

Dispense with loftiness and love!

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Extemporary Counsel Given To A Young Gallant In A Frolick.

As you are Young, if you'l be also Wise,
Danger with Honour court, Quarrels despise;
Believe you then are truly Brave and Bold,
To Beauty when no Slave, and less to Gold;
When Vertue you dare own, not think it odd,
Or ungenteel to say, I fear a God.

by Anne Killigrew.

One Must Go Beyond God

Where is my dewelling place? Where I can never stand.
Where is my final goal, toward which I should ascend?
It is beyond all place. What should my quest then be?
I must, transcending God, into the desert flee.


English version by Maria Shrady
Original Language German

by Angelus Silesius.

The Universal Epitaph

No flattering praises daub my stone,
My frailties and my faults to hide;
My faults and failings all are known—
I liv'd in sin—in sin I died.
And oh! condemn me not, I pray,
You who my sad confession view;
But ask your soul, if it can say,
That I'm a viler man than you.

by John Clare.

Epitaph In Berkeley Church-Yard, Gloucestershire

Here lies the Earl of Suffolk's fool,
Men call'd him Dicky Pearce;
His folly served to make folks laugh,
When wit and mirth were scarce.


Poor Dick, alas! is dead and gone,
What signifies to cry?
Dickies enough are still behind,
To laugh at by and by.


Buried, June 18, 1728, aged 63.

by Jonathan Swift.

Upon The Sacraments

Two sacraments I do believe there be,
Baptism and the Supper of the Lord;
Both mysteries divine, which do to me,
By God's appointment, benefit afford.
But shall they be my God, or shall I have
Of them so foul and impious a thought,
To think that from the curse they can me save?
Bread, wine, nor water, me no ransom bought.

by John Bunyan.

All Men To Me Are God-Like Gods!

All men to me are god-like Gods!
My eyes no longer see
vice or fault.

Life on this suffering earth
is now endless delight;
the heart at rest, full,
overflowing.

In the mirror, the face and its reflection --
they watch each other;
different, but one.

And, when the stream pours into the ocean...
no more stream!

by Sant Tukaram.

Ich Glaub Nicht An Den Himmel

I don’t believe in Heaven,
Whose peace the preacher cites:
I only trust your eyes now,
They’re my heavenly lights.
I don’t believe in God above,
Who gets the preacher’s nod:
I only trust your heart now,
And have no other god.
I don’t believe in Devils,
In hell or hell’s black art:
I only trust your eyes now,
And your devil’s heart.

by Heinrich Heine.

Translation Of A Prayer Of Brutus

Goddess of woods, tremendous in the chase,
To mountain wolves and all the savage race,
Wide o'er the aerial vault extend thy sway,
And o'er the infernal regions void of day.
On thy third reign look down; disclose our fate,
In what new station shall we fix our seat?
When shall we next thy hallow'd altars raise,
And choirs of virgins celebrate thy praise?

by Alexander Pope.

He That Is Down Needs Fear No Fall,

He that is down needs fear no fall,
He that is low no pride;
He that is humble ever shall
Have God to be his guide.

I am content with what I have,
Little be it or much;
And, Lord, contentment still I crave
Because Thou savest such.

Fulness to such a burden is
That go in pilgrimage;
Here little and hereafter bliss
Is best from all to age.

by John Bunyan.

Innocent heart, what has happened to you?
Alas, what is the cure to this pain?

We are interested, and they are displeased,
Oh Lord, what is this affair?

I too possess a tongue-
just ask me what I want to say.

Though there is none present without you,
then oh God, what is this noise about?

I expected faith from those
who do not even know what faith is.

by Mirza Ghalib.

Impromptu Lines Addressed To His Cousin, Mrs. Creed, In A Conversation After Dinner On The Origin Of Names

So much religion in your name doth dwell,
Your soul must needs with piety excel.
Thus names, like well-wrought pictures drawn of old,
Their owners' nature and their story told.
Your name but half expresses, for in you
Belief and practice do together go.
My prayers shall be, while this short life endures,
These may go hand in hand, with you and yours;
Till faith hereafter is in vision drowned,
And practice is with endless glory crowned.

by John Dryden.

The Operation Of Faith

The word of faith unto me pardon brings,
Shows me the ground and reason whence it springs:

To wit, free grace, which moved God to give
His Son to die and bleed, that I might live

This word doth also loudly preach to me,
Though I a miserable sinner be,

Yet in this Son of God I stand complete,
Whose righteousness is without all deceit;

'Tis that which God himself delighteth in,
And that by which all his have saved been.

by John Bunyan.

Mother-God,
Set me within the safe defences of Thy pity:

In ignorance and folly I have wasted all my days,
My soul is base:

Thy gift of life is squandered,
My latest days go fleeting by,
And fear grips hard upon me:

Far have I travelled,
Yet little fruit have I of all my wandering:

I have forgotten Thee,
Forgive me, save me
Show me Thy love,
And set me close by Thee, sure fenced from fear and doubt.

by Sant Tukaram.

Epitaph On The Lady Whitmore

Fair, kind, and true, a treasure each alone,
A wife, a mistress, and a friend, in one;
Rest in this tomb, raised at thy husband's cost,
Here sadly summing, what he had, and lost.
Come, virgins, ere in equal bands ye join,
Come first and offer at her sacred shrine;
Pray but for half the virtues of this wife,
Compound for all the rest, with longer life;
And wish your vows, like hers, may be returned,
So loved when living, and, when dead, so mourned.

by John Dryden.

If you treat the opposite sex with reverence
will you pay a price?
If you stop your fault-finding and covetous ways
will your earnings not suffice?

If you sit in prayer and meditation
will it cost a living wage?
If you trust the words of realized souls
will your boss forget your pay?

Is it a burden to pursue wisdom?
Do you fear the price it brings?
Tuka says,
Fools worry about the little stuff.
Don't they know? God brings everything!

by Sant Tukaram.

Upon The Lord's Prayer

Our Father which in heaven art,
Thy name be always hallowed;
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done;
Thy heavenly path be followed
By us on earth as 'tis with thee,
We humbly pray;
And let our bread us given be,
From day to day.
Forgive our debts as we forgive
Those that to us indebted are:
Into temptation lead us not,
But save us from the wicked snare.
The kingdom's thine, the power too,
We thee adore;
The glory also shall be thine
For evermore.

by John Bunyan.

The Shepherd Boy Sings In The Valley Of Humiliation

HE that is down needs fear no fall,
   He that is low, no pride;
He that is humble ever shall
   Have God to be his guide.

I am content with what I have,
   Little be it or much:
And, Lord, contentment still I crave,
   Because Thou savest such.

Fullness to such a burden is
   That go on pilgrimage:
Here little, and hereafter bliss,
   Is best from age to age.

by John Bunyan.

Whether Or Not You Know This

Whether or not you know this,
Enter my courtyard.
I adore you (I would sacrifice my life for you),
Enter my courtyard.

For me, there is nobody else but you.
Though I search every forest, plain and desert.
Though I search the entire world.
Enter my courtyard.

People believe you are a lowly cowherd,
Named Raanjha.
But you are my faith, my religion.
Enter my courtyard.

I left my parents for love of you,
My Lord, Shah Inaayat.
Honor this love I bear for you.
Enter my courtyard.

by Bulleh Shah.

On Jordan's Banks

On Jordan's banks the Arab's camels stray,
On Sion's hill the False One's votaries pray,
The Baal-adorer bows on Sinai's steep -
Yet there - even there - Oh God! thy thunders sleep:

There - where thy finger scorch'd the tablet stone!
There - where thy shadow to thy people shone!
Thy glory shrouded in its garb of fire:
Thyself - none living see and not expire!

Oh! in the lightning let thy glance appear;
Sweep from his shiver'd hand the oppressor's spear!
How long by tyrants shall thy land be trod?
How long thy temple worshipless, Oh God?

by George Gordon Byron.

PALM Sunday at the Vatican

They celebrate with palms;
With reverence bows each holy man,

And chaunts the ancient psalms.
Those very psalms are also sung

With olive boughs in hand,
While holly, mountain wilds among,

In place of palms must stand:
In fine, one seeks some twig that's green,

And takes a willow rod,
So that the pious man may e'en

In small things praise his God.

And if ye have observed it well,

To gain what's fit ye're able,
If ye in faith can but excel;

Such are the myths of fable.

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Johannes Ewald’s Last Poetic Sentiments Some Hours Prior To His Death

To arms, hero of Calvary!
Lift high your bright-red shield;
For sin and dread – as you can see –
By force would have me yield.

In righteous ire your sword outstretch
’Gainst those who you defy!
Hurl from the light – and me, poor wretch –
Such foes before I die.

Safe in your hand I then will view
My death without dismay;
And my saved spirit offer you
On its now unmade clay.
-------------------
Oh Lord! rest and relief vouchsafe;
Though if you would chastise me,
Teach me endurance – prayer – and faith,
Let my heart CHRIST suffice me.

by Johannes Ewald.

Were My Bosom As False As Thou Deem'st It To Be

Were my bosom as false as thou deem'st it to be,
I need not have wander'd from far Galilee;
It was but abjuring my creed to efface
The curse which, thou say'st, is the crime of my race.

If the bad never triumph, then God is with thee!
If the slave only sin, thou art spotless and free!
If the Exile on earth is an Outcast on high,
Live on in thy faith, but in mine I will die.

I have lost for that faith more than thou canst bestow,
As the God who permits thee to prosper doth know;
In his hand is my heart and my hope - and in thine
The land and the life which for him I resign.

by George Gordon Byron.

Farewell! If Ever Fondest Prayer

Farewell! if ever fondest prayer
For other's weal avail'd on high,
Mine will not all be lost in air,
But waft thy name beyond the sky.
Twere vain to speak, to weep, to sigh:
Oh! more than tears of blood can tell,
When wrung from guilt's expiring eye,
Are in that word--Farewell!--Farewell!

These lips are mute, these eyes are dry;
But in my breast and in my brain,
Awake the pangs that pass not by,
The thought that ne'er shall sleep again.
My soul nor deigns nor dares complain
Though grief and passion there rebel;
I only know we loved in vain--
I only feel--Farewell!--Farewell!

by George Gordon Byron.

The Spirit Of Prayer

Wouldst thou have that good, that blessed mind,
That is so much to heavenly things inclin'd

That it aloft will soar, and always be
Contemplating on blest eternity.

That mind that never thinks itself at rest,
But when it knows it is for ever blest;

That mind that can be here no more content,
Than he that in the prison doth lament;

That blessed mind that counts itself then free
When it can at the throne with Jesus be,

There to behold the mansions he prepares
For such as be with him and his co-heirs.

This mind is in the covenant of grace,
And shall be theirs that truly seek his face.

by John Bunyan.

Methought I Saw My Late Espoused Saint

Methought I saw my late espoused Saint
Brought to me like Alcestis from the grave,
Who Jove's great Son to her glad Husband gave,
Rescu'd from death by force though pale and faint.
Mine as whom washt from spot of child-bed taint
Purification in the old Law did save,
And such as yet once more I trust to have
Full sight of her in Heav'n without restraint,
Came vested all in white, pure as her mind:
Her face was veil'd, yet to my fancied sight
Love, sweetness, goodness in her person shin'd
So clear, as in no face with more delight.
But O as to embrace me she enclin'd
I wak'd, she fled, and day brought back my night.

by John Milton.

Where are you? Drunk, my mind becomes
Twilight after all your ecstasy. For I just saw
How the enrapturing young god,
Tired from his journey,

Bathed his youthful hair in the golden clouds.
And now my eyes follow after him,
But he is gone away to reverent
Nations which still honor him.

I love the earth, which mourns with me.
Like children when they are upset, our grief
Changes to sleep. And as rustling winds
Whisper over harp strings

Until the fingers of a master entice
A prettier music, thus mist and dreams
Play around us, until the beloved returns,
And charges us with life and spirit.

by Friedrich Holderlin.

Before A Court Of Justice

THE father's name ye ne'er shall be told

Of my darling unborn life;
"Shame, shame," ye cry, "on the strumpet bold!"

Yet I'm an honest wife.

To whom I'm wedded, ye ne'er shall be told,

Yet he's both loving and fair;
He wears on his neck a chain of gold,

And a hat of straw doth he wear.

If scorn 'tis vain to seek to repel,

On me let the scorn be thrown.
I know him well, and he knows me well,

And to God, too, all is known.

Sir Parson and Sir Bailiff, again,

I pray you, leave me in peace!
My child it is, my child 'twill remain,

So let your questionings cease!

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

On The Religious Memory Of Mrs. Catherine Thomson, My Christian Friend, Deceased Dec. 16, 1646

When Faith and Love, which parted from thee never,
Had ripened thy just soul to dwell with God,
Meekly thou didst resign this earthly load
Of death, called life, which us from life doth sever.
Thy works, and alms, and all thy good endeavour,
Stayed not behind, nor in the grave were trod;
But, as Faith pointed with her golden rod,
Followed thee up to joy and bliss for ever.
Love led them on; and Faith, who knew them best
Thy handmaids, clad them o’er with purple beams
And azure wings, that up they flew so drest,
And speak the truth of thee on glorious themes
Before the Judge; who henceforth bid thee rest,
And drink thy fill of pure immortal streams.

by John Milton.

En God Samvittighed

En god Samvittighed
I Christo nyder Fred med GUd,
Og er et dagligt Gieste-Bud,
Som giør os Verden leed.
Den boer paa Frieheds Grund,
Og taaler ingen Trældoms Riis.
Den veed af Sandheds Mund
Sin Ret til Paradiis.
Men her maae Troe og Kierlighed
Staae altid frisk paa Vagt;
Thi ellers er Samvittighed
Forraad i Fiendens Magt.

Du blevst med Baand belagt,
Livsaligste Immanuel,
At løse mig, en ævig Træl,
Af Helved-Fyrstes Magt.
Nu kan jeg frank og frie
I Troen trodse Helveds Port;
Thi al dens Tyrannie
Har du til intet giort.
Men lad mig alle Tider see
Hen op til Golgatha,
Og ind udi Gethsemane.
Der kom min Friehed fra.

by Hans Adolph Brorson.