Poems with Power to Strengthen the Soul

Poems with Power to Strengthen the Soul

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The Project Gutenberg eBook, Poems with Power to Strengthen the Soul, by Various, Edited by James Mudge This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: Poems with Power to Strengthen the Soul Author: Various Editor: James Mudge Release Date: April 22, 2009 [eBook #28591] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 ***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK POEMS WITH POWER TO STRENGTHEN THE SOUL*** E-text prepared by Suzanne Lybarger, Brian Janes, Pilar Somoza Fernandez, and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team (http://www.pgdp.net) Transcriber's note: Spelling mistakes have been left in the text to match the original, except for obvious typographical errors, marked like this.

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The Project Gutenberg eBook, Poems
with Power to Strengthen the Soul, by
Various, Edited by James Mudge
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: Poems with Power to Strengthen the Soul
Author: Various
Editor: James Mudge
Release Date: April 22, 2009 [eBook #28591]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK POEMS WITH
POWER TO STRENGTHEN THE SOUL***

E-text prepared by
Suzanne Lybarger, Brian Janes, Pilar Somoza Fernandez,
and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team
(http://www.pgdp.net)

Transcriber's note:
Spelling mistakes have been left in the text to match the
original, except for obvious typographical errors, marked like
this.




POEMS WITH POWER
TOSTRENGTHEN THE SOUL
COMPILED AND EDITED BY
JAMES MUDGE
REVISED AND ENLARGED EDITION
THE ABINGDON PRESS
NEW YORK CINCINNATI CHICAGO
Copyright, 1907, 1909, by
EATON & MAINS
Printed in the United States of America
First Edition Printed November, 1907
Second Printing, March, 1909
Third Printing, October, 1911
Fourth Printing, July, 1915
Fifth Printing, May, 1919
Sixth Printing, January, 1922
Seventh Printing, April, 1925
Eighth Printing, March, 1928Ninth Printing, October, 1930
Tenth Printing, September, 1934
TO ALL
WHO ARE AT THE SAME TIME
LOVERS OF GOOD POETRY AND LOVERS OF GOOD CHARACTER,
DEVOTED TO GOD AND THEIR FELLOW-MEN, AS WELL AS TO
LITERATURE, THE COMPILER, WHO CLAIMS A LITTLE
PLACE IN THIS LARGE COMPANY,
DEDICATES THE RESULT OF HIS PLEASANT LABORS
CONTENTS
PAGE
PREFACE vii
SUBJECTS:
HEROISM—CHIVALRY, NOBILITY, HONOR, TRUTH 1
COURAGE—CONSTANCY, CONFIDENCE, STRENGTH, VALOR 14
INDEPENDENCE—MANHOOD, FIRMNESS, EARNESTNESS, RESOLUTION 22
GREATNESS—FAME, SUCCESS, PROGRESS, VICTORY 28
DUTY—LOYALTY, FAITHFULNESS, CONSCIENCE, ZEAL 41
SERVICE—USEFULNESS, BENEVOLENCE, LABOR 50
BROTHERHOOD—CHARITY, SYMPATHY, EXAMPLE, INFLUENCE 66
CONSECRATION—SUBMISSION, DEVOTION, PURITY 79
PEACE—REST, CALM, STILLNESS 88
HUMILITY—MEEKNESS, WEAKNESS, SELFLESSNESS 95
CONTENTMENT—RESIGNATION, PATIENCE, COMPENSATION 103
ASPIRATION—DESIRE, SUPPLICATION, GROWTH 115
PRAYER—WORSHIP, COMMUNION, DEVOTION 123
JOY—PRAISE, CHEERFULNESS, HAPPINESS 138
AFFLICTION—CONSOLATION, TRIAL, ENDURANCE 149
LOVE—DIVINE GOODNESS, UNSELFISHNESS 163
HOPE—PROGRESS, OPTIMISM, ENTHUSIASM 170
FAITH—ASSURANCE, DOUBT, UNBELIEF 177
TRUST—GUIDANCE, SAFETY, GLADNESS 187
GOD'S CARE—PROVIDENCE, GOD'S KNOWLEDGE AND BENEFICENCE 199
GOD'S WILL—OBEDIENCE, DIVINE UNION 209
GOD'S PRESENCE—POSSESSION, SATISFACTION, REFLECTION 221JESUS—HIS PRECIOUSNESS, AND BEAUTY, AND LOVE 233
LIFE—TIME, OPPORTUNITY, EXPERIENCE, CHARACTER 250
AGE AND DEATH—MATURITY, VICTORY, HEAVEN 267
APPENDIX—MISCELLANEOUS SELECTIONS 278
INDEX TO AUTHORS 288
INDEX TO TITLES 292
INDEX TO FIRST LINES 298
{vii}
PREFACE
This is not like other collections of religious verse; still less is it a hymnal.
The present volume is directed to a very specific and wholly practical end, the
production of high personal character; and only those poems which have an
immediate bearing in this direction have been admitted. We know of no other
book published which has followed this special line. There are fine hymnals,
deservedly dear to the Church, but they are necessarily devoted in large
measure to institutional and theological subjects, are adapted to the wants of
the general congregation and to purposes of song; while many poetical
productions that touch the heart the closest are for that very reason unsuited to
the hymnal. There are many anthologies and plentiful volumes of religious
poetry, but not one coming within our ken has been made up as this has been.
We have sought far and wide, through many libraries, carefully conning
hundreds of books and glancing through hundreds more, to find just those lines
which would have the most tonic and stimulating effect in the direction of holier,
nobler living. We have coveted verses whose influence would be directly on
daily life and would help to form the very best habits of thought and conduct,
which would have intrinsic spiritual value and elevating power; those whose
immediate tendency would be to make people better, toughening their moral
fibre and helping them heavenward; those which they could hardly read
attentively without feeling an impulse toward the things which are pure and true
and honorable and lovely and of good report, things virtuous and praiseworthy.
It is surprising to one who has not made the search how very many poets
there are whose voluminous and popular works yield nothing, or scarcely
anything, of this sort. We have looked carefully through many scores of
volumes of poetry without finding a line that could be of the slightest use in this
collection. They were taken up altogether with other topics. They contained
many pretty conceits, pleasant descriptions, lovely or lively narrations—these in
abundance, but words that would send the spirit heavenward, or even
earthward with any added love for humanity, not one. On the other hand, in
papers and periodicals, even in books, are great multitudes of verses,
unexceptionable in sentiment and helpful in influence, which bear so little of the
true poetic afflatus, are so careless in construction or so faulty in diction, so
imperfect in rhyme or rhythm, so much mingled with colloquialisms or so
hopelessly commonplace in thought, as to be unworthy of a permanent place in
a book like this. They would not bear reading many times. They would offend a
properly educated taste. They would not so capture the ear as to linger on thememory with compelling persistence, nor strike the intellect as an exceptional
presentation of important truth. The combination of fine form and deep or
inspiring thought is by no means common, but, when found, very precious. We
will not claim that this has been secured in all the poems here presented. Not
{viii}all will approve our choice in all respects. There is nothing in which tastes more
differ than in matters of this kind. And we will admit that in some cases we have
let in—because of the important truth which they so well voiced—stanzas not
fully up to the mark in point of poetic merit. Where it has not been possible to
get the two desirable things together, as it has not always, we have been more
solicitous for the sentiment that would benefit than for mere prettiness or
perfection of form. Helpfulness has been the test oftener than a high literary
standard. The labored workmanship of the vessel has not weighed so much
with us as its perfect fitness to convey the water of life wherewith the thirsty soul
of man has been or may be refreshed. If poets are properly judged, as has been
alleged, by the frame of mind they induce, then some who have not gained
great literary fame may still hold up their heads and claim a worthy crown.
Some poems fully within the scope of the book—like Longfellow's "Psalm of
Life"—have been omitted because of their exceeding commonness and their
accessibility. Many hymns of very high value—like "Jesus, Lover of my soul,"
"My faith looks up to thee," "Nearer, my God, to thee," "When all thy mercies, O
my God," "How firm a foundation"—have also been omitted because they are
found in all the hymnals, and to include them would unduly swell the size of the
book. A few others, although similarly familiar, like "Jesus, I my cross have
taken," and "God moves in a mysterious way," have been inserted from a
feeling that even yet their depth and richness are not properly appreciated and
that they can never be sufficiently pondered. A few poems we have been
unable to procure permission to use; but in nearly all cases we have met with
most generous treatment from both authors and publishers owning copyrights,
and we take this occasion to express our hearty thanks for the kindness
afforded in the following instances:
Houghton, Mifflin & Company, for the use of the poems and stanzas here
found from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, James Russell Lowell, John
Greenleaf Whittier, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes,
Edward Rowland Sill, Celia Thaxter, Caroline Atherton Mason, Edna
Dean Proctor, Edmund Clarence Stedman, John Burroughs, John Hay,
William Dean Howells, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Lucy Larcom, Margaret
E. Sangster, Francis Bret Harte, James Freeman Clarke, Samuel
Longfellow, Samuel Johnson, Christopher Pearse Cranch, Thomas
Wentworth Higginson, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps and John Vance
Cheney.
Little, Brown & Company, for poems by Helen Hunt Jackson, Louise
Chandler Moulton, William Rounseville Alger, "Susan Coolidge"
[Sarah Chauncey Woolsey], and John White Chadwick.
Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Company, for poems by Sam Walter Foss.
D. Appleton & Company, for poems by William Cullen Bryant.
T. Y. Crowell & Company, for poems by Sarah Knowles Bolton.Charles Scribner's Sons, for poems by Josiah Gilbert Holland.
The Century Company, for poems by Richard Watson Gilder.
The Bobbs-Merrill Company, for poems by James Whitcomb Riley.
Harper & Brothers, for poems by Edward Sandford Martin.
Small, Maynard & Co., for poems by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
{ix}The Rev. D. C. Knowles, for poems by Frederic Lawrence Knowles,
especially from "Love Triumphant," published by Dana, Estes &
Company.
The Rev. Frederic Rowland Marvin, for poems from his "Flowers of Song
from Many Lands."
Professor Amos R. Wells, for poems from his "Just to Help."
Mr. Nixon Waterman, for poems from "In Merry Mood," published by
Forbes & Co., of Chicago.
The selections from the above American authors are used by special
arrangements with the firms mentioned, who are the only authorized publishers
of their works. Many other poems used have been found in papers or other
places which gave no indication of the original source. In spite of much effort to
trace these things it is quite likely we have failed in some cases to give due
credit or obtain the usual permission; and we hope that if such omissions, due
to ignorance or inadvertence, are noticed they will be pardoned. Many
unknown writers have left behind them some things of value, but their names
have become detached from them or perhaps never were appended. Many
volumes consulted have been long out of print.
We are glad to record our large indebtedness to the custodians of the Boston,
Cambridge, Malden, Natick, Brookline, Jamaica Plain, Somerville, and Newton
Public Libraries, the Boston Athenæum, the Congregational Library, the
General Theological Library, and the Library of Harvard College, for free
access to their treasures.
By far the greater part of the contents are from British and other foreign
authors, such as William Wordsworth, Alfred Tennyson, Robert Browning,
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Dinah Maria Mulock Craik, Mrs. S. F. Adams, Anna
Letitia Barbauld, Mrs. Charles, Frances Ridley Havergal, Anna Letitia Waring,
Jean Ingelow, Adelaide Anne Procter, Mme. Guyon, Theodore Monod, Matthew
Arnold, Edwin Arnold, William Shakespeare, John Milton, George Gordon
Byron, Robert Burns, William Cowper, George Herbert, Robert Herrick, Francis
Quarles, Frederick W. Faber, John Keble, Charles Kingsley, Alexander Pope,
Joseph Addison, John Gay, Edward Young, Thomas Moore, John Newton,
John Bunyan, H. Kirke White, Horatius Bonar, James Montgomery, Charles
Wesley, Richard Baxter, Norman Macleod, George Heber, Richard Chenevix
Trench, Henry Alford, Charles Mackay, Gerald Massey, Alfred Austin, Robert
Louis Stevenson, Arthur Hugh Clough, Henry Burton, Samuel Taylor
Coleridge, Hartley Coleridge, Joseph Anstice, George Macdonald, Robert
Leighton, John Henry Newman, John Sterling, Edward H. Bickersteth, Dante
Gabriel Rossetti, and many others. Of German authors there are not a few,including Johann W. von Goethe, Johann C. F. Schiller, George A. Neumarck,
Paul Gerhardt, Benjamin Schmolke, S. C. Schoener, Scheffler, Karl Rudolf
Hagenbach, S. Rodigast, Novalis, Wolfgang C. Dessler, L. Gedicke, Martin
Luther, and Johann G. von Herder.
The number of American poets drawn upon is small compared with this list. It
is the case in all such collections. According to an analysis of the hymns
contained in the most widely used American hymnals down to 1880 the
average number of hymns of purely American origin was not quite one in
seven; the proportion would be a little larger now. And the number of Methodist
{x}poets is almost nil, in spite of the fact that the compiler is a Methodist and the
volume is issued from the official Methodist Publishing House. But if we thought
that this would be any barrier to its wide circulation in Methodist homes we
should be deeply ashamed for our church. We are confident it will not be. For
mere denominational tenets do not at all enter into these great matters of the
soul's life. A book like this speaks loudly for the real oneness, not only of all
branches of the Christian Church, but of all religions, in some respects. Not
only do we find the various Protestant denominations amply represented here;
not only have we most inspiring words from Roman Catholic writers like
Francis Xavier, Madame Guyon, Alexander Pope, John Henry Newman,
Frederick W. Faber, and Adelaide Anne Procter; but from Mohammedan
sources, from Sufi saints of Persia, and the Moslem devotees of Arabia, and
even from Hinduism, there are utterances of noblest truth which we cannot read
without a kindling heart. These are all brought together from the ends of the
earth into a delightful "upper chamber," where the warring discords of opinion
cease and an exceedingly precious peace prevails.
It should be said, though it is perhaps hardly necessary, that this is by no
means a book to be read at a sitting. It furnishes very concentrated
nourishment. It can be taken with largest profit only a little at a time, according
as the mood demands and circumstances appoint. There should be very much
meditation mingled with the perusal, an attempt to penetrate the deep meaning
of the lines and have them enter into the soul for practical benefit. Some of
these hymns have great histories: they are the war cries of combatants on
hardfought battle fields; they are living words of deep experience pressed out of the
heart by strong feeling; they are the embodiment of visions caught on some
Pisgah's glowing top. Here will be found and furnished hope for the
fainthearted, rest for the weary, courage for the trembling, cheer for the despondent,
power for the weak, comfort for the afflicted, guidance in times of difficulty, wise
counsel for moments of perplexity, a stimulant to faithfulness, a cure for the
blues, exhilaration, jubilation. Everything of a depressing nature has been
scrupulously ruled out. The keynote, persistently followed through all the
pages, is optimistic, bright, buoyant. Trumpet calls and bugle notes are
furnished in abundance, but no dirges or elegies. Large space, it will be seen,
is given to such topics as Heroism, True Greatness, the Care and Presence of
God, the blessings of Brotherliness, the privilege of Service, the path of Peace,
the secret of Contentment, the mission of Prayer, the joy of Jesus, the meaning
of Life, the glory of Love, the promise of Faith, the happy aspect of old Age and
Death; for these subjects come very close home to the heart, and are illustrated
in daily experience. Anyone who feels a special need in any of these directions
is confidently recommended to turn to the proper sections and read theselections.
Very much that is here may easily and suitably be committed to memory, that
thus it may the more permanently penetrate into the inmost depth of being. It
may be used with most telling effect in sermons to give point and pungency to
the thought of the preacher. Alike in popular discourse and public testimony or
in private meditation these gems of sentiment and thought will come into play
with great advantage. The benefit which may be derived from them can
scarcely be overestimated. President Eliot, of Harvard University, has said:
{xi}"There are bits of poetry in my mind learned in infancy that have stood by me in
keeping me true to my ideas of duty and life. Rather than lose these I would
have missed all the sermons I have ever heard." Many another can say
substantially the same, can trace his best deeds very largely to the influence of
some little stanza or couplet early stored away in his memory and coming ever
freshly to mind in after years as the embodiment of truest wisdom.
We cannot guarantee in all cases the absolute correctness of the forms of the
poems given, though much pains have been taken to ensure accuracy; but
authors themselves make changes in their productions at different times in
different editions. Nor have we always been able to trace the poem to its
source. Slips and errors of various kinds can hardly be avoided in such matters.
Even so competent an editor as John G. Whittier, in his "Songs of Three
Centuries," ascribes "Love divine, all love excelling" to that bitter Calvinist,
Augustus M. Toplady, giving it as the sole specimen of his verse; when it was
really written by the ardent Arminian, Charles Wesley, with whom Toplady was
on anything but friendly terms. If Whittier could make a blunder of this
magnitude we may be pardoned if possibly a keen-eyed critic spies something
in our book almost as grossly incorrect. In some cases we have been obliged to
change the titles of poems so as to avoid reduplication in our index, or to adapt
them the better to the small extract taken from the much longer form in the
original. In a few cases we have made (indicated) alterations in poems to fit
them more fully to the purpose of the book.
The volume will be found not only a readable one, we think, but also an
uncommonly useful one for presentation by those who would do good and give
gratification to their serious-minded friends with a taste for religious poetry and
a love for wandering in the "holy land of song." He who would put before
another the essential elements of religion would do better to give him such a
book as this than a treatise on theology. He who would himself get a clear idea
of what the religious life really is will do better to pore over these pages than to
dip into some philosophical discussion. Here the best life is expressed rather
than analyzed, exhibited rather than explained. Mrs. Browning has well said,
"Plant a poet's word deep enough in any man's breast, looking presently for
offshoots, and you have done more for the man than if you dressed him in a
broadcloth coat and warmed his Sunday pottage at your fire." We who, by
preparing or circulating such volumes, aid the poets in finding a larger circle to
whom to give their message, may claim a part of the blessing which comes to
those who in any way aid humanity. George Herbert has said,
"A verse may find him who a sermon flies,
And turn delight into a sacrifice."He himself most excellently illustrated the sentiment by bequeathing to the
world many beautiful verses that are sermons of the most picturesque sort.
One definition of poetry is "a record of the best thoughts and best moments of
the best and happiest minds." This in itself would almost be sufficient to
establish the connection between poetry and religion. It is certain that the two
have very close and vital relations. Dr. Washington Gladden has admirably
{xii}remarked, "Poetry is indebted to religion for its largest and loftiest inspirations,
and religion is indebted to poetry for its subtlest and most luminous
interpretations." No doubt a man may be truly, deeply religious who has little or
no development on the æsthetic side, to whom poetry makes no special
appeal. But it is certain that he whose soul is deaf to the "concord of sweet
sounds" misses a mighty aid in the spiritual life. For a hymn is a wing by which
the spirit soars above earthly cares and trials into a purer air and a clearer
sunshine. Nothing can better scatter the devils of melancholy and gloom or
doubt and fear. When praise and prayer, trust and love, faith and hope, and
similar sentiments, have passed into and through some poet's passionate soul,
until he has become so charged with them that he has been able to fix them in
a form of expression where beauty is united to strength, where concentration
and ornamentation are alike secured, then the deepest needs of great numbers
are fully met. What was vague and dim is brought into light. What was only half
conceived, and so but half felt, is made to grip the soul with power. Poetry is of
the very highest value for the inspiration and guidance of life, for calling out the
emotions and opening up spiritual visions. It carries truths not only into the
understanding, but into the heart, where they are likely to have the most direct
effect on conduct.
In the language of Robert Southey, I commit these pages to the Christian
public, with a sincere belief that much benefit will result to all who shall read
them:
"Go forth, little book, from this my solitude;
I cast thee on the waters,—go thy ways;
And if, as I believe, thy vein be good,
The world will find thee after many days.
Be it with thee according to thy worth;
Go, little book! in faith I send thee forth."
JAMES MUDGE.
Malden, Mass.
{1}
HEROISM
CHIVALRY, NOBILITY, HONOR, TRUTH
THE INEVITABLEI like the man who faces what he must,
With step triumphant and a heart of cheer;
Who fights the daily battle without fear;
Sees his hopes fail, yet keeps unfaltering trust
That God is God; that somehow, true and just,
His plans work out for mortals; not a tear
Is shed when fortune, which the world holds
dear,
Falls from his grasp: better, with love, a crust
Than living in dishonor: envies not,
Nor loses faith in man; but does his best,
Nor ever murmurs at his humbler lot,
But, with a smile and words of hope, gives zest
To every toiler: he alone is great
Who by a life heroic conquers fate.
—Sarah Knowles Bolton.
———
DEFEATED YET TRIUMPHANT
They never fail who die
In a great cause. The block may soak their gore;
Their heads may sodden in the sun; their limbs
Be strung to city gates and castle walls;
But still their spirit walks abroad.
Though years
Elapse and others share as dark a doom,
They but augment the deep and sweeping
thoughts
Which overpower all others and conduct
The world, at last, to freedom.
—George Gordon Byron.
———
A HERO GONE
He has done the work of a true man—
Crown him, honor him, love him;
Weep over him, tears of woman,
Stoop, manliest brows, above him!
For the warmest of hearts is frozen;
The freest of hands is still;
And the gap in our picked and chosen
The long years may not fill.