Be Still, My Soul, Be Still Poem by Alfred Edward Housman

Be Still, My Soul, Be Still

Rating: 3.0


Be still, my soul, be still; the arms you bear are brittle,
Earth and high heaven are fixt of old and founded strong.
Think rather,-- call to thought, if now you grieve a little,
The days when we had rest, O soul, for they were long.

Men loved unkindness then, but lightless in the quarry
I slept and saw not; tears fell down, I did not mourn;
Sweat ran and blood sprang out and I was never sorry:
Then it was well with me, in days ere I was born.

Now, and I muse for why and never find the reason,
I pace the earth, and drink the air, and feel the sun.
Be still, be still, my soul; it is but for a season:
Let us endure an hour and see injustice done.

Ay, look: high heaven and earth ail from the prime foundation;
All thoughts to rive the heart are here, and all are vain:
Horror and scorn and hate and fear and indignation--
Oh why did I awake? when shall I sleep again?

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Kevin Straw 17 June 2010

This is a horrible poem - its horror is in its foul premise that this earth is a foul place which we have to grin and bear before 'passing away into the arms of Jesus'. Why do these indubitably talented poets waste their substance on what is, after all, propaganda for a faith? If I do not believe that what Housman is saying is true, how can I have any interest in (apart from a technical one) in his poetry? The highest poetry describes the human condition, it gathers everyone, of whatever race, gender or creed into its bosom.

5 5 Reply
Manonton Dalan 17 June 2010

i read this poem with a grin on my face i keep still my heart when about to race there's no guarranty i would be please my acquired and nature decide it all oh! i wish to god i won't be acting fool

6 4 Reply
Pranab K Chakraborty 17 June 2012

1] Let us endure an hour and see injustice done. 2] Oh why did I awake? when shall I sleep again? 3] Be still, my soul, be still; the arms you bear are brittle, Earth and high heaven are fixt of old and founded strong. Much perhaps to bag the coins for our journey. Nice put.

5 4 Reply
Ramesh T A 17 June 2010

The poet believes perhaps patience pays rich dividend at the end! Let his hope help all!

4 4 Reply
Michael Pruchnicki 17 June 2010

Some read with a grin and others with a grudge against all of the writers and poets down through the centuries of western literature and philosophy and yes, even science, by God! After the last century's display of horrors visited on innocents the world over by those who believed that 'the human condition gathers everyone regardless of race, gender, or creed (?) into its expansive bosom'! ! Seems to me that every tyrant who trod the stage in the 20th century expressed a creed that embraced all their victims in a last fatal embrace that left out Jesus or God but mentioned daily the secular creed we must live and die by! If I do not believe in the kind of secular humanism championed by some who post here, where is my right to say what I think and believe to be the essence of freedom?

4 4 Reply
Chinedu Dike 28 January 2022

An insightful rendition elegantly crafted in verse with rhythmic splendour.

0 0 Reply
Rose Marie Juan-austin 01 October 2021

A well crafted poem with great flow and imagery. Powerful and poignant.

0 0 Reply

Human feeling in such beautiful way here created into a poem and nice.

4 1 Reply
* Sunprincess * 17 June 2014

......if only we could have peace for everyone...then life would truly be a dream....

6 0 Reply
Victor Septer 17 June 2014

its a good flawless poem

5 1 Reply
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