There’s Something in Religion [poem by Menie Parkes]

[Editor: This poem by Menie Parkes was published in Poems (1867).]

There’s Something in Religion.

There’s something in religion;
Scoff at it as you will,
Yet when your sneers are over,
There’s something in it still:
Else what can raise the widow’s eye?
What still the orphan’s tear?
Or bring, through sorrow’s darkest sky,
A gleam of happy cheer?

There’s something in religion,
Neglect it as you will,
That in most careless moments
Your soul with awe can fill:
Else, in the solemn sunset,
And through the thunder’s roar,
What voice of earnest mystery
Speak “There is something more.”

There’s something in religion;
Debase it as you will,
Beneath your mean hypocrisy,
There’s something in it still:
Else why that thrilling shudder
To witness secret sin?
And the quailing, heavy sadness
At the wickedness within?

Ah, yes: there’s something in it; —
A just and loving God,
Who does not leave the weeping
To die beneath the rod;
Who does not leave the scorner
To perish in his scorn;
Nor the careless uninvited,
Nor the hypocrite forlorn.
The soul of all religion —
Seed in the signless sod,
The planter of its being,
And its endless life — is God.

Menie Parkes, Poems, F. Cunninghame, Sydney, [1867], pages 121-122

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