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Anna Laetitia Barbauld (Анна-Летиция Барбо)


The Unknown God


To learned Athens, led by fame,
As once the man of Tarsus came,
With pity and surprise
Midst idol altars as he stood,
O'er sculptured marble, brass and wood,
He rolled his awful eyes.
But one, apart, his notice caught,
That seemed with higher meaning fraught,
Graved on the wounded stone;
Nor form nor name was there expressed;
Deep reverence filled the musing breast,
Perusing, “To the God unknown.”

Age after age has rolled away,
Altars and thrones have felt decay,
Sages and saints have risen;
And, like a giant roused from sleep,
Man has explored the pathless deep,
And lightnings snatched from heaven.
And many a shrine in dust is laid,
Where kneeling nations homage paid,
By rock, or fount, or grove:
Ephesian Dian sees no more
Her workmen fuse the silver ore,
Nor Capitolian Jove.
E'en Salem's hallowed courts have ceased
With solemn pomps her tribes to feast,
No more the victim bleeds;
To censers filled with rare perfumes,
And vestments from Egyptian looms,
A purer rite succeeds.
Yet still, where'er presumptuous man
His Maker's essence strives to scan,
And lifts his feeble hands,
Though saint and sage their powers unite,
To fathom that abyss of light,
Ah! still that altar stands. 



Anna Laetitia Barbauld's other poems:
  1. An Address To The Deity
  2. Octogenery Reflections
  3. West End Fair
  4. Hymn To Content
  5. Verses Written In An Alcove


Poems of other poets with the same name (Стихотворения других поэтов с таким же названием):

  • George Russell (Джордж Расселл) The Unknown God ("Far up the dim twilight fluttered")

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