Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE 'HIGHER CRITICISM', by CHARLES TENNYSON TURNER

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THE 'HIGHER CRITICISM', by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O sophistry! How many lips have kissed
Last Line: By all, disprove, perforce, each lying test.
Subject(s): Christianity; Faith; Belief; Creed

O Sophistry! how many lips have kissed
And fondled thy puft hand, bedaub'd with ink
Of the 'higher criticism', which does not shrink
To substitute, for our sound faith in Christ,
A dreamy, hollow, unsubstantial creed:
Strikes its small penknife through the covenants
Both old and new, and, in a trice, supplants
Without replacing, all we love and need;
How blank will be thy scholarly regret
To see these blurred and shredded Gospels mount
Beyond the knives and ink-horns! - buoyant yet
With native strength, of which thou madest no count,
And, as heaven's lively oracles, confest
By all, disprove, perforce, each lying test.

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