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JEAN INGELOW
English poet and novelist
(1820 - 1897)
  Displaying page 1 of 3    Next Page >> 

For hearts where wakened love doth lurk,
  How fine, how blest a thing is work!
    For work does good when reasons fail.
      - [Work]

I am athirst for God, the living God.
      - [God]

I am glad to think I am not bound to make the world go right, but only to discover and to do, with cheerful heart, the work that God appoints.
      - [World]

I opened the doors of my heart.
  And behold,
    There was music within and a song,
      And echoes did feed on the sweetness, repeating it long.
        I opened the doors of my heart. And behold,
          There was music that played itself out in aeolian notes:
            Then was heard, as a far-away bell at long intervals tolled.
      - [Happiness]

O sleep! O sleep!
  Do not forget me. Sometimes come and sweep,
    Now I have nothing left, thy healing hand
      Over the lids that crave thy visits bland,
        Thou kind, thou comforting one.
          For I have seen his face, as I desired,
            And all my story is done.
              O, I am tired.
      - [Sleep]

People newly emerged from obscurity generally launch out into indiscriminate display.
      - [Display]

Sorrows humanize our race;
  Tears are the showers that fertilize this world.
      - [Sorrow]

The moon is bleached as white as wool,
  And just dropping under;
    Every star is gone but three,
      And they hang far asunder,--
        There's a sea-ghost all in gray,
          A tall shape of wonder!
      - [Twilight]

There's no dew left on the daisies and clover; there's no rain left in heaven.
      - [Despair]

We are much bound to them that do succeed;
  But, in a more pathetic sense, are bound
    To such as fail. They all our loss expound:
      They comfort us for work that will not speed,
        And life--itself a failure.
      - [Sympathy]

We know they music made
  In heaven, ere man's creation;
    But when God threw it down to us that strayed,
      It dropt with lamentation,
        And ever since doth its sweetness shade
          With sighs for its first station.
      - [Music]

What change has made the pastures sweet
  And reached the daisies at my feet,
    And cloud that wears a golden hem?
      This lovely world, the hills, the sward--
        They all look fresh, as if our Lord
          But yesterday had finished them.
      - [Spring]

What is thy thought? There is no miracle?
  There is a great one, which thou hast not read,
    And never shalt escape. Thyself, O man,
      Thou art the miracle. Ay, thou thyself,
        Being in the world and of the world, thyself,
          Hast breathed in breath from Him that made the world.
            Thou art thy Father's copy of Himself,--
              Thou art thy Father's miracle.
      - [Miracles]

When I remember something which I had,
  But which is gone, and I must do without,
    I sometimes wonder how I can be glad,
      Even in cowslip time when hedges sprout;
        It makes me sigh to think on it,--but yet
          My days will not be better days, should I forget.
      - [Regret]

When our thoughts are born,
  Though they be good and humble, one should mind
    How they are reared, or some will go astray
      And shame their mother.
      - [Thought]

Work is its own best earthly meed,
  Else have we none more than the sea-born throng
    Who wrought those marvellous isles that bloom afar.
      - [Work]

A birthday:--and now a day that rose
  With much of hope, with meaning rife--
    A thoughtful day from dawn to close:
      The middle day of human life.
      - A Birthday Walk [Birthday]

From henceforth thou shalt learn that there is love
  To long for, pureness to desire, a mount
    Of consecration it were good to scale.
      - A Parson's Letter to a Young Poet
         (pt. II, l. 55) [Love]

There is but halting for the wearied foot;
  The better way is hidden. Faith hath failed;
    One stronger far than reason mastered her.
      It is not reason makes faith hard, but life.
      - A Pastor's Letter to a Young Poet
         (pt. II, l. 231) [Life]

The prayer of Noah,
  He cried out in the darkness, Hear, O God,
    Hear Him: hear this one; through the gates of death,
      If life be all past praying for, O give
        To Thy great multitude a way to peace;
          Give them to Him.
      - A Story of Doom (bk. IX, st. 6) [Prayer]

Man dwells apart, though not alone,
  He walks among his peers unread;
    The best of thoughts which he hath known
      For lack of listeners are not said.
      - Afternoon at a Parsonage--Afterthought
        [Man]

Stone lotus cups, with petals dipped in sand.
      - Gladys and her Island (l. 460) [Lotuses]

Play uppe, play uppe, O Boston bells!
  Ply all your changes, all your swells,
    Play uppe "The Brides of Enderby."
      - High Tide on the Coast of Lincolnshire
        [Music]

The old mayor climbed the belfry tower,
  The ringers ran by two, by three;
    "Pull, if ye never pulled before;
      Good ringers, pull your best," quoth he.
        "Play uppe, play uppe, O Boston bells!
          Ply all your changes, all your swells,
            Play uppe The Brides of Enderby."
      - High Tide on the Coast of Lincolnshire
        [Bells]

And the guelder rose
  In a great stillness dropped, and ever dropped,
    Her wealth about her feet.
      - Laurance (pt. III) [Roses]


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