Philip James Bailey

Philip James Bailey Poems

WE live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths;
In feelings, not in figures on a dial.
We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives
Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.

Behold us spiritwise in heaven; unite
In angel worship of the infinite God
World destinative. Evil, all tempting, man

Once in days of yore a little Princess, who had summers seen
Scarcely seven, and was christened by the holy name Christine,

Hark! 'tis the passing bell;
While the soul is on its way,
While it waves its upward wings,

Thence earthward tending, first we make the sun;
Where, as at rest in light, a mediate point,
A bright effect original of God,

I LOVED her for that she was beautiful;
And that to me she seem'd to be all Nature,
And all varieties of things in one:

THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD is the wisdom of man—
This is the end of Being, wisdom; this
Of wisdom, action; and of action, rest;

Soul solemnized by dear one's death, belief
In heavenly life confirmed of reason finds.
Here round her bier they meet who several rule,

The eternal all--sire from his throne, our isle
Regarding; these Imperial shores, the while
Earth's orb rolls round, shewn, eminent in his eye,

All man's acts,
Serious or trivial, all man's thoughts perchance
Pass not unmarked of angel eye, or God's.

In one of earth's
Head cities, awaiting this, the effect unknown,
Of evil, not, truly, all--wise, we towerlike rise;

Even while a star
Might twinkle twice, or calm, retiring sea,
Irresolute yet to leave, his moonlit kiss

Law moral one and same all being imbounds,
Compresses, animates, even as natural law
The orb, of light and gravity. Where is soul,

The skies, the skies reclaim us. Earth dissolved,
God's will prevails now sole. As when o'er vast
And shoreward flats at murkiest noon of night,

Millennial earth, transfigured to a star,
The rebegotten world, see, born again;
Good, universal order, peace and joy.

The soul--state, intermediate 'twixt earth's life
And the world future, unconceived till seen,
We search with curious awe; mark dormant death;

Ill, now released,
Reckless of late discomfiture, as head
Of human strife 'gainst heaven, God's ends world--wide,

Man's final doom conceive: the award to all
Earth's tribes of souls by spirits elect, their chiefs
Saintly, themselves through purifying rule

'Twas held of old by some heresiarch sage,
Whose nobler name time bruits not overmuch,
That evil and good, twin powers, as light and dark,

Charged by the spirit e'er upwards ripening, man
And evil, his mightier minister, invade
Peaceful, that sacred sphere, the queen of heaven,

Philip James Bailey Biography

Philip James Bailey (22 April 1816 – 6 September 1902), English poet, author of Festus, was born at Nottingham. Its author is known almost exclusively by his one voluminous poem, for though Bailey published other verses he is essentially a man of one book. Festus underwent many changes and incorporations, but it remains a singular example of a piece of work virtually completed in youth, and never supplanted or reinforced by later achievements of its author. It is a vast pageant of theology and philosophy, comprising in some twelve divisions an attempt to represent the relation of God to man and of man to God, to emphasize the benignity of Providence, to preach the immortality of the soul, and to postulate "a gospel of faith and reason combined." It contains fine lines and dignified thought, and for the daring of its theme and the imaginative power and moral altitude which it displays, it is one of the most notable of the century; as the work of one little past boyhood it is a prodigy of intellectual precocity. Along with its great qualities it has many faults in execution, a certain incoherency in the manner in which it is worked out preventing it from being easily readable by any but the most sympathetic student, and its final place in literature remains to be determined. Among its greatest admirers was Tennyson. The subsequent poems of Bailey, The Angel World (1850), The Mystic (1855), The Age (1858), and The Universal Hymn (1867), were failures, and the author adopted the unfortunate expedient of endeavouring to buoy them up by incorporating large extracts in the later editions of Festus, with the effect only of sinking the latter, which ultimately extended to over 40,000 lines.)

The Best Poem Of Philip James Bailey

We Live In Deeds . . .

WE live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths;
In feelings, not in figures on a dial.
We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives
Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.
And he whose heart beats quickest lives the longest:
Lives in one hour more than in years do some
Whose fat blood sleeps as it slips along their veins.
Life's but a means unto an end; that end,
Beginning, mean, and end to all things - God.
The dead have all the glory of the world.

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