Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PARAPHRASE ON THOMAS A KEMPIS, by ALEXANDER POPE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

PARAPHRASE ON THOMAS A KEMPIS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Speak, gracious lord, oh, speak: thy servant hears
Last Line: Thy greater glory, and my greater good!
Subject(s): Thomas A Kempis (1379-1471)


Speak, Gracious Lord, oh speak; thy Servant hears:
For I'm thy Servant, and I'l still be so:
Speak words of Comfort in my willing Ears;
And since my Tongue is in thy praises slow,
And since that thine all Rhetorick exceeds;
Speak thou in words, but let me speak in deeds!

Nor speak alone, but give me grace to hear
What thy caelestial Sweetness does impart;
Let it not stop when entred at the Ear
But sink, and take deep rooting in my heart.
As the parch'd Earth drinks Rain (but grace afford)
With such a Gust will I receive thy word.

Nor with the Israelites shall I desire
Thy heav'nly word by Moses to receive,
Lest I should die: but Thou who didst inspire
Moses himself, speak thou, that I may live.
Rather with Samuel I beseech with tears
Speak, gracious Lord, oh speak; thy Servant hears.

Moses indeed may say the words but Thou
Must give the Spirit, and the Life inspire;
Our Love to thee his fervent Breath may blow,
But 'tis thy self alone can give the fire:
Thou without them may'st speak and profit too;
But without thee, what could the Prophets do?

They preach the Doctrine, but thou mak'st us do't;
They teach the Misteries thou dost open lay;
The Trees they water, but thou giv'st the fruit;
They to Salvation shew the arduous way,
But none but you can give us Strength to walk;
You give the Practise, they but give the Talk.

Let them be silent then; and thou alone
(My God) speak comfort to my ravish'd Ears;
Light of my eyes, my Consolation,
Speak when thou wilt, for still thy Servant hears.
What-ere thou speak'st, let this be understood;
Thy greater Glory, and my greater Good!

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