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Short poem

Henrietta Anne Huxley (1825-1914)

An Agnostic Hymn

              1Oh! not the unreasoning God for me,
              2Foreseeing, knowing all
              3That in the wondrous world he made
              4His creatures should befall.

              5Created them with keen desire,
              6Then called fulfilment sin,
              7And drove them forth with flaming fire,
              8Their toil-earned bread to win.

              9And then repenting of his deed,
            10A man God did create,
            11Who by his death upon the cross
            12That sin should expiate.

            13The God whom man eats in the bread,
            14Whose blood he drinks in wine,
            15Such pagan faith be far from me --
            16I own a more divine.

            17I see in every tree that grows,
            18In seed that all contains,
            19In every wind, and cloud that flows
            20In fertilising rains,

            21In every stone whose atoms whirl,
            22Yet seems so coldly still,
            23Or in the wood with living sap,
            24Thy unresistless will.

            25In sands that at a vibrant sound
            26Of music straightway leap,
            27And range themselves in beauteous forms
            28From out the inert heap.

            29In far off stars, in blazing suns
            30That never, never rest,
            31What tho' I cannot understand,
            32My God is manifest.

            33No knowledge mine that when I die
            34I e'er shall live again,
            35I am thy creature, and content
            36With what thou dost ordain.

            37To thee I blow, I lift my soul,
            38I, thy all-teeming clod,
            39Seen Spirit -- yet invisible --
            40The Great, the Unknown God!

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Poems of Henrietta A. Huxley with Three of Thomas Henry Huxley (London: Duckworth, 1913): 74-76. 9700.d.1043 Cambridge University Library; dar Fisher Rare Book Library (autograph)
First publication date: 1913
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2002
Recent editing: 1:2002/12/21

Form: quatrains
Rhyme: abcb

Other poems by Henrietta Anne Huxley