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Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

“Poetry,” observed Samuel Johnson, “is the art of uniting pleasure with beauty by calling imagination to the help of reason.” The world is well acquainted with great poets of yore – Shakespeare, Milton, Byron, Keats. No true student of poetry can be ignorant of the marvelous verses those renowned men produced. In an age where post-modern philosophies encourage man to view beauty, order, and absolutes as hindrances to “equality” and “progress” which must be thrown off, the sublime versification of times past shines all the more when compared with the formless, senseless gibberish of modernity. Those deluded souls who prize modern “poetry” as the apotheosis of poetic achievement need only one read of “Paradise Lost” or “Ode on a Grecian Urn” to see the folly of such an opinion.

But the melodies poetry grants to human expression need not be reserved for romantic sonnets and worldly themes. I wager the finest poetry man has penned is the poetry which extols the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and stuffs its verses with His doctrines and commandments. Observe the works of George Herbert, of Charles Wesley, of Isaac Watts, and you will find poetry as agreeable to the ear as it is with the Word. There is no better Poet than the Holy Ghost – as especially demonstrated in Psalm 23, Isaiah 53, and 1 Corinthians 13 – but Christians of ages past have put their literary talents to the praise of their Savior and created exquisite volumes of poetry as a result. I am no Shakespeare, Shelley, or Tennyson; I do not strive to be. Rather, I labor, by my poems contained in these pages, to express biblical truths in stanza form. Whatever in them is faulty, I credit to the shortcomings of this author, but a mortal sinner saved by a precious Savior; whatever in them is praiseworthy and profound, I credit to Almighty God, Who gifted me with my writing abilities, and to Whom alone be honor and glory throughout all ages, world without end.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
"A Christian's Epitaph" 
June 10, 2021

Though I be from this earth forever gone,
Sing no sad songs for me.
For I see not life's sunset, but its dawn -
A harbinger of glorious eternity.
Bells may toll, and tears may be shed,
But rejoice in the Lord, and keep high your head!
My life has not ended, but just begun;
For I had two births, and not only one.
This sordid world was never my home;
Its corrupted pastures I not once sought to roam.
I was a tourist to earth, but passing through,
Looking always to my mansion beyond the blue.
But now have I arrived at my eternal abode,
And my service to the King can continue apace;
For I have shed sin’s burdens, hassles, and loads
By God’s unfailing and everlasting grace.

"Semper Idem"
March 17, 2022

Ever the same art Thou, O Lord,
Through the ages ever loving and just.
Though ancient of days, neither Thy Word
Nor Thee shall ever turn to dust.
Thou sayest Thyself, "I change not."
Over Thee time hath no power.
Neither shalt pass a single thought
Of Thine; nay, Thy sweetness shalt never sour.
For Thou art Alpha and Omega, without beginning or end,
The rock on which I must pitch my earthly tent.
Oh, that ever on Thy foundation I would my hours spend,
And cleave to the Sword which shalt never be bent.
Though this sordid sphere may be wrought with change,
I from Thy presence no sorrow can estrange.

"Uncertain Riches"
March 19, 2022

Woe unto ye who in riches trust,
Who covet an idol which shall turn to dust.
What for eternity have ye amassed?
No treasure will shine when ye have passed.
Worship your money, your riches and pelf;
Misery finds those who prioritize self.
But see when before God Almighty ye stand,
What good will do your fortunes grand?

"When the Bell Rings"
December 22, 2021

Spare me, O Lord, from that abominable noise
Which pulls me so subtly from Thy gracious throne.
That dogmatic imbecility which ever cloys
And inveigles the simple into viewing Thine gifts as of their own.
Ceaseless drivel of banality, dissatisfaction, and sundry lies
From all directions prompts rancor and fruitless wonder.
A distracted mind never profound glory espies,
But rather leaves contentment to be torn asunder.
From whence come wars and fighting? Out of these selfsame fools,
Where only quarrel and acrimony can be derived.
When with commodified carping malice the spirit rules,
And that former meek gratitude is seldom revived.
No edification shall come out of contumely so bitter;
Only tumults and divisions rise from that insidious brew.
And while to the carnal, an acerbic riposte may glitter,
How grieved is our Savior when we serve sin anew.
Much wiser to ponder that which lasts beyond a season,
To consider matters that shall outlive this mortal coil.
For when the earth passes away, so too will man’s reason;
Unavailing for eternity will be rendered that malicious toil.
Therefore, be gone, infernal racket, which reachest but to dust,
And thou, my mind, aspire to heavenly things.
For those who grow rich in that which taketh rust
Will be much rue and sorrow when the bell rings.

NOTE: I patterned the final four lines of this poem after Sir Philip Sidney's "Leave Me O Love".

"A Covenant with Mine Eyes"
December 22, 2021

Leave me, foul visions, which morality and gratitude eschew,
To God I pray a proper covenant be made.
For lusts and licentiousness in the soup of imagination will brew,
And lurid sights the strongest convictions can dissuade.
Verily do we live surrounded by Satan’s lecherous fleets,
Armed with libertinage, and poised at a moment’s notice to strike.
And each second passed apart from the Scriptures, and their meat,
Become I ever susceptible to temptation’s alluring spike.
Only in an eye’s twinkling can sin’s fruits seem ripe,
For time reveals the putridity of their core.
Yet this same wicked nature dwells in men of all stripes,
And inveigles those who think fellowship with Christ a chore.
O Lord, send Heaven’s mightiest battalions to guard my eyes,
Lest I should see that which blinds me from Heaven’s prize.

"The Symphony of Sadness"
May 26, 2022

Too familiar be those melancholy notes
Which play so tenderly amidst sorrow’s storms.
Too frequent be those doleful quotes
Which render my ambitions as worms.
Yet ‘tis a beauty in those mournful cries,
A handsome wisdom, sweet and strong.
Such a distracted mind seldom espies,
Neither to the carnal does it belong.
And from grinding grief, richly mirth may spring -
Bounteous blessings, through tears, may flow.
Though, in rue the death bell rings,
That it tolls with reason, we may know.
Thus, thanks be to God, for His goodness so pure,
And His comfort and mercy, misery’s only cure.

"Trial By Fire"
July 21, 2022

Luxuriant valleys did I search,
And splendid mounts my eyes did perceive;
Across luscious shores, in vain, did I lurch,
Through exquisite forests I sought righteousness to retrieve.
But as through beauty I panted and pined,
Through jungles and meadows my sojourn did weave,
Despair mounted as my path did fruitlessly wind,
And o’er this failure I did bitterly grieve.
But then did I realize no righteousness may be found
Except in Christ Jesus. And then did I cease
From my futile labors. For so did abound
That grace which requires no merit or lease.
And so in Christ alone did I trust,
And obtain an inheritance which shall never rust.

"The Record"
August 13, 2022

This is the record; not opinion or thought
That the Son of God, with His precious blood bought
For us eternal life. And in Him alone
Shall this be found – never can another atone.
And so life dwells in he who hath the Son,
But for who hath not, damnation on every one.

"Give Me Thine Heart"
August 15, 2022

My heart, to Him, in fealty I pledge
To ne’er permit iniquity to wedge
Its sordid figure betwixt we two.
And yet, still I have desire ado
For His heart, that to me He grant
His, and that it mine supplant.
And so if I be given His heart,
Our thoughts ne’er shall be far apart.

"Psalm 1"
August 25, 2022

Blessed is the man who doth not abide
By ungodly counsel, nor standeth beside
Scoffing sinners in their scorning seat.
For Jehovah’s law be his dearest retreat.
And always on it doth he meditate;
Indeed, he can readily relate
To that faithful tree which shall produce
Fruit in due season. Neither shall reduce
His leaf; nay, he prospereth wher’er he goes.
But the ungodly are chaff which wind blows.
Therefore in judgement shall ne’er they stand,
Neither sinners among righteous hands.
For the righteous way be known to the Lord,
But the wicked shall perish by His Sword.

NOTE: This poem is an attempt at putting Psalm 1 to rhyme, and was inspired by John Milton's exquisite poem of the same name.

"Wherewith He Loved Us"
September 1, 2022

God is love; no tongue can speak
Entirely on how to the weak
He giveth strength. Neither may the pen
Tell fully of His goodness to men.
Yet His love, to us, may oft seem far –
Though in his care we always are –
As many as He loves, He doth chasten;
Wise then we would be not to hasten
His bruising. Nay, but meekly endure
His rebuke, for by it we be made pure.

"The Lord Is Gracious"
September 25, 2022

How vile I am! Yet Thou didst love
Me nonetheless. And gave your Son
For my sins. O wretched man! Ne’er with Thee above
Do I deserve for eternity to dwell;
My lot ought be amongst flames and hell.
Yet Thou dost love the foolish one
Which wanders from the ninety-nine.
For me, Thou sealed the great transaction done,
And made a sordid wretch as Thine.
Oh, what mercy! If justice be sought,
Ne’er would a Prince a wicked creature have bought
With His precious blood, a drop worth more than all gold –
Indeed, redemption be the greatest story ever told.

"Looking Unto Jesus"
April 6, 2023

They looked unto him, and were lightened:
And their faces were not ashamed.
No reason had they to be frightened,
For their every fear had been tamed.
They looked unto him, and were given
A peace which understanding exceeds.
They remembered their sins were forgiven,
That beside still waters, their Shepherd leads.
They looked unto him, and perceived
All things work together for good.
Much comfort they had while they grieved,
For in the power of God, their faith stood.
We may look unto him, and discover,
The Father of lights will never change.
Under his wings we may trust and take cover,
And our fears, for his peace, exchange.

"For I Am Persuaded"
April 7, 2023

For I am persuaded, that neither death,
With a sting which steals our breath;
Nor life, where our sorrows abound;
Nor angels, with their clarion sound;
Nor thrones and sceptres, with puissant sway;
Nor things present, which must pass away;
Nor things ahead, and their dark unknown;
Nor height and depth, over which we groan;
Nor any other creature, below or above,
Shall separate us from our Savior’s love.

"Give Me No Riches"
May 18, 2023

Give me no riches, which make themselves wings,
And soar to heaven as an eagle in flight.
Give me not treasures of earthen things,
Those moth-eaten vessels in which fools delight.
As the flower of grass, the rich man passeth away;
His pelf, his honor – they leave him at the grave.
No child of God could ever truly say,
That rusted riches would his soul save.
Yet wealth brings esteem, and vanity, and pride,
For heavy delusions spring from money’s fount.
A prince of avarice, according to those who have lied,
As a “good man”, him the world must count.
Yet he that loveth silver, shall not with silver be pleased;
Neither will lovers of abundance by their increase be appeased.

"1 Corinthians 13:1-3"
January 19, 2024

Though with the tongues of men I speak,
And song of angels charms my tongue,
If I have not charity, I am weak;
I count my words but dross and dung.
Though the best gifts I covet and boast –
Prophecy, understanding, faith strong –
If I lack that which matters most,
No glory does to me belong.
And though my goods shall feed the poor,
And I give my body to burn,
If I have no charity out of a heart pure,
What do I profit in return?

"When Kings Go Forth to Battle"
February 29, 2024

When kings go forth to battle,
Or peace the land enjoys;
When swords their sabers rattle,
And calm the senses cloys;
When bugles pierce the air,
And arrows impale the heart,
Our Father for us does care –
Nothing shall keep us apart.