Beautiful Poems

Of all the creatures both in the sea and land,

Only to man thou hast made known thy ways,

And put the pen alone into his hand,

And made him secretary of thy praise.

— from "Providence" by George Herbert (1593-1633)

Close to my heart I fold each lovely thing

The sweet day yields; and, not disconsolate,

With the calm patience of the woods I wait

For leaf and blossom when God gives us Spring!

— from "A Day" by John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)

The dear Lord's best interpreters are humble human souls;

The gospel of a life like His is more than books or scrolls.

From scheme and creed the light goes out,

The saintly fact survives;

The blessed Master none can doubt, revealed in holy lives.

— John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)

Drop Thy still dews of quietness

Till all our strivings cease;

Take from our souls the strain and stress,

And let our ordered lives confess

The beauty of Thy peace.

— John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)

Dear Lord! Kind Lord! Gracious Lord!

I pray Thou wilt look on all I love tenderly today.

Weed their hearts of weariness;

scatter every care down a wake of angel wings winnowing the air.

And with all the needy, oh divide, I pray,

this vast treasure of content that is mine today.

— James Whitcomb Riley, American poet (1849-1916)

The fretting friction of our daily life,

Heart-weariness with loving patience borne,

The meek endurance of the inward strife,

The painful crown of thorn,

Prepare the heart for God's own dwelling place,

Adorn with sacred loveliness His shrine,

And brighten every inconspicuous grace,

For God alone to shine.

— Mary E. Atkinson

The heights by great men reached and kept,

Were not attained by sudden flight,

But they, while their companions slept,

Were toiling upward in the night.

— from The Ladder of St. Augustine

by H.W. Longfellow (1807-1882)

Measure thy life by loss and not by gain;

Not by the wine drunk but by the wine poured forth,

For love's strength standeth in love's sacrifice,

And he that suffereth most hath most to give.

— Ugo Bassi, Italian preacher (1800s)

Thanks be to thee, O Lord Christ,

for all the benefits which thou hast given us;

for all the pains and insults which thou hast borne for us.


O most merciful Redeemer, friend and brother,

may we know thee more clearly,

love thee more dearly,

and follow thee more nearly; for thine own sake.

— Richard of Chichester (1197-1253)

Some hae meat, and canna eat,

And some wad eat that want it;

But we hae meat and we can eat,

And sae the Lord be thankit.

— The Selkirk Grace by Robert Burns

Every morning lean thine arms awhile

Upon the windowsill of heaven

And gaze upon thy Lord.

Then, with the vision in thy heart,

Turn strong to meet thy day.

— Lines to Live By

Lord, give me eyes

That I may see,

Lest I, as people will,

pass by someone's Calvary

and think it just a hill.

— Author unknown

May the strength of God pilot us,

may the power of God preserve us.

May the wisdom of God instruct us,

may the hand of God protect us.

May the way of God direct us,

may the shield of God defend us.

May the host of God guard us

against the snares of the evil one,

against the temptations of the world.

— St. Patrick, missionary (385?-461?)

Deep peace of the running waves to you,

Deep peace of the flowing air to you,

Deep peace of the quiet earth to you,

Deep peace of the shining stars to you,

Deep peace of the shades of night to you,

Moon and stars always giving light to you.

— Gaelic blessing

Though Christ a thousand times in Bethlehem be born,

If He's not born in thee, thy soul is still forlorn.

The cross on Golgotha will never save thy soul,

The cross in thine own heart alone can make thee whole.

— Angelus Silesius, Polish priest and poet (1624-1677)

The soft light from a stable door lies on the midnight lands;

The wise men's star burns evermore, over all desert sands.

Unto all peoples of the earth a little Child brought light;

And never in the darkest place, can it be utter night.

No flickering torch, no wavering fire, but Light the Life of men;

Whatever clouds may veil the sky, never is night again.

— Lilian Cox

To me it seems as if when God

conceived the world, that was poetry;

formed it, sculpture;

varied and colored, painting;

peopled it with living beings, eternal drama.

— Charlotte Cushman, actress (1816-1876)