Saturday, March 10, 2012

From "The Everlasting Gospel" by William Blake

Was Jesus chaste? or did He
Give any lessons of chastity?
The Morning blushèd fiery red:
Mary was found in adulterous bed;
Earth groan’d beneath,
and Heaven above Trembled at discovery of Love.
Jesus was sitting in Moses’ chair.
They brought the trembling woman there.
Moses commands she be ston’d to death.
What was the sound of Jesus’ breath?
He laid His hand on Moses’ law;
The ancient Heavens, in silent awe,
Writ with curses from pole to pole,
All away began to roll.
The Earth trembling and naked lay In secret bed of mortal clay;
On Sinai felt the Hand Divine
Pulling back the bloody shrine;
And she heard the breath of God,
As she heard by Eden’s flood:
‘Good and Evil are no more!
Sinai’s trumpets cease to roar!
Cease, finger of God, to write!
The Heavens are not clean in Thy sight.
Thou art good, and Thou alone;
Nor may the sinner cast one stone.
To be good only, is to be
A God or else a Pharisee.

3 comments:

Grandmère Mimi said...

Counterlight, thank you. I love this poem.

And does the sun and moon blot out,
Rooting over with thorns and stems
The buried soul and all its gems.
This life’s five windows of the soul
Distorts the Heavens from pole to pole,
And leads you to believe a lie
When you see with, not thro’, the eye
That was born in a night, to perish in a night,
When the soul slept in the beams of light.


A few of my favorite lines from the poem.

Counterlight said...

I love this poem too, very much. Loved the lines you sent.

Murdoch Matthew said...

One of my mantas is "You can't do only good." Every action has results you want, and results you don't want, or didn't foresee. The human tendency is to deny the bad things that follow from one's actions -- one's heart was pure, was it not? Lovely to find that Blake put it in verse:

"To be good only, is to be
A God or else a Pharisee."