Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, by GEORGE SANTAYANA



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THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Serve god - by the eternal heaven's chart
Last Line: Since peace is thine for ever.
Subject(s): Ten Commandments; Worship


Serve God -- by the eternal heaven's chart
Steer thine observant course:
Watch nature's workings, and with willing heart
Obey the mighty force.

Insult not faith -- if thou dost not believe
Scorn not the saints and sages.
A people knows its god: do thou receive
The gifts of all the ages.

Obey the church -- for men have need to pray
And much the prophets saw.
If thou hast visions, break thou not away,
But add them to the law.

Honour thy fathers -- make thy spirit strong
With wisdom of the past,
Then speak thy doctrine, that its days be long
And that thy kingdom last.

Condemn not life -- by one sole law all things
Are hurried on their way:
The ocean rages and the serpent stings
As thou dost sin and pray.

Love not -- all sorrow comes from loving life
And from desire all pains.
Sell not for love thy freedom to a wife;
Love goes, the bond remains.

Think not to die -- for when thy body lies
Beneath a graven stone,
Thy soul shall read there, through a stranger's eyes,
The deeds it once had done.

Seek truth -- but lightly hold its counterfeit
In mortal thought or word.
The brain is full of sound: the infinite
Remains unseen, unheard.

Envy not men -- rejoice if something fair
To thy dim eyes is shown,
But know that all the beauty that is there
Some god hath called his own.

Strive not -- but free thy bosom and resign
Thy wish and thy endeavour,
And the sweet kernel of the good is thine,
Since peace is thine for ever.





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