Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PENN CALVIN, by BAYARD TAYLOR



Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

PENN CALVIN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Search high and low, search up and down
Last Line: And glad the world is fair!
Alternate Author Name(s): Taylor, James Bayard
Subject(s): Beauty; Calvinists; Life


I.

SEARCH high and low, search up and down,
By light of stars or sun,
And of all the good folks of our town
There's like Penn Calvin none.
He lightly laughs when all condemn,
He smiles when others pray;
And what is sorest truth to them
To him is idle play.

II.

"Penn Calvin, lift, as duty bids,
The load we all must bear!"
He only lifts his languid lids,
And says: "The morn is fair!"
"Learn while you may! for Life is stern
And Art, alas! is long."
He hums and answers: "Yes, I learn
The cadence of a song."

III.

"The world is dark with human woe;
Man eats of bitter food."
"The world," he says, "is all aglow
With beauty, bliss, and good!'
"To crush the senses you must strive,
The beast of flesh destroy!"
"God gave this body, all alive,
And every sense is joy!"

IV.

"Nay, these be heathen words we hear;
The faith they teach is flown, --
A mist that clings to temples drear
And altars overthrown."
"I reck not how nor whence it came,"
He answers; "I possess:
If heathens felt and owned the same,
How bright was heathenesse!"

V.

"Though you be stubborn to believe,
Yet learn to grasp and hold:
There's power and honor to achieve,
And royal rule of gold!"
Penn Calvin plucked an open rose
And carolled to the sky:
"Shine, sun of Day, until its close, --
They live, and so do I!"

VI.

His eyes are clear as they were kissed
By some unrisen dawn;
Our grave and stern philanthropist
Looks sad, and passes on,
Our pastor scowls, the pious flock
Avert their heads, and flee;
For pestilence or earthquake shock
Less dreadful seems than he.

VII.

But all the children round him cling,
Depraved as they were born;
And vicious men his praises sing,
Whom he forgets to scorn.
Penn Calvin's strange indifference gives
Our folks a grievous care:
He's simply glad because he lives,
And glad the world is fair!





Other Poems of Interest...



Home: PoetryExplorer.net