Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, REFLECTIONS ON THE FOREGOING ACCOUNT, by JOHN BYROM



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REFLECTIONS ON THE FOREGOING ACCOUNT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: How full a proof of heav'n's all-present aid
Last Line: It is all meanness, if the love be mean.
Subject(s): Love; Meditation


HOW full a proof of heav'n's all-present aid
Was good Armelle, a simple servant maid!
A poor French girl, by parentage and birth
Of low and mean condition upon earth;
By education ignorant indeed,
She, all her life, could neither write nor read.

But she had that which all the force of art
Could neither give nor take away—a heart;
An honest, humble, well disposed will,
The true capacity for higher skill
Than what the world, with all its learned din,
Could teach—she learn'd her lesson from within;
Plain, single lesson of essential kind,
The love of God's pure presence in her mind.
Her artless, innocent, attentive thought
Was at the Source of all true knowledge taught:
There she could read the characters impress'd
Upon the mind of ev'ry human breast;
The native laws prescrib'd to ev'ry soul;
And love, the one fulfiller of the whole.

This holy love to know and practise well,
Became the sole endeavour of Armelle:
Of outward things the management and rule
She wisely took from this internal school:
In ev'ry work well done by such a hand,
The work was servile, but the thing was grand.
There was a dignity in all she did,
Tho' from the world by meaner labours hid;
If mean below, not so esteem'd above,
Where all the grand of labour is the love:
In vain to boast magnificence of scene;
It is all meanness, if the love be mean.





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