Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE PURITAN, by ANNA HEMPSTEAD BRANCH



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THE PURITAN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The preacher in his seat
Last Line: "for I have need of thee! "
Subject(s): Clergy; Priests; Rabbis; Ministers; Bishops


THE Preacher in his seat
Spoke a new word to-day.
He shook the rock beneath my feet
And left uncertain clay.
His tale was all of ease,
Of tenderness alone.
He was not there when Moses struck
A water from a stone.
Could I but speak the word,
The skies should not let fall
Celestial honey on my lips
When they had need of gall.
He preached a silken word
To fearful men and vain.
They want the sweet dews of our Lord
But not the hurricane.
I'll have Him all in all --
Beneath His feet be cast
I have a heart that can endure
The glory of the blast!
Upon His breast like John
They would escape His rod.
But I would sweat as Jacob did
And wrestle with my God.
They are confused, perplexed!
They say there is no sin.
That Hand that fashioned Paradise
Did slip the serpent in.
They are afraid of Death,
I scorn their fluttering brood.
Why I could die with a great laugh,
Declaring that 't was good!
They say these things are dreams!
Truly, they say not well.
For that Pale Horse John tells about
Was driven by Death and Hell!
Let others love the Lamb,
And seek a gentle Lord.
I better like that honest God
That came to bring a sword.
I have no love of ease!
My feet are shod with might!
If there's no Devil in God's world
Then what have I to fight?
I am a man of war!
Such things I understand:
When Devils against Cherubim
Are leagued throughout the land.
The fragile and the small
In happy gardens wait.
But with the Angels of God's wrath
I will ride out in state.
The frail shall sit and feast;
Behind safe walls are they.
Outside I 'II face the hounds of dread
And hold its dogs at bay.
When scarlet Hell heaves up
I have no fear at all.
Scarred, I beat back the advancing flames
That threaten their good wall.
They tell me that in Heaven
Our Lord will turn to love,
Calling the lambs about His knees
And to His breast the dove.
Unto each man his lust!
These words He speaks to me --
"I have set thee on a neighing horse,
For I have need of thee! "






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