Jane Taylor

(23 September 1783 – 13 April 1824 / Colchester, England)

Soliloquy - Poem by Jane Taylor

Here's a beautiful earth and a wonderful sky,
And to see them, God gives us a heart and an eye;
Nor leaves us untouch'd by the pleasure they yield,
Like the fowls of the heaven, or the beasts of the field.
The soul, though encumber'd with sense and with sin,
Can range through her own mystic chambers within;
Then soar like the eagle to regions of light,
And dart wondrous thoughts on the stars of the night.
Yea, more, it is gifted with vision so keen,
As to know the unknown and to see the unseen;
To glance at eternity's numberless days,
Till dazzled, confounded, and lost in the maze.
Nor will this suffice it, oh wonderful germ,
Of infinite blessings vouchsafed to a worm!
It quickens, it rises, with boundless desires,
And heaven is the lowest to which it aspires.
Such, such is the soul, though bewilder'd and dark -
A vital, ethereal, unquenchable spark;
Thus onward and upward by nature it tends.
Then wherefore descends it? ah! whither descends?
Soon droops its light pinion, borne down by a gust,
It flutters, it flutters,-it cleaves to the dust;
Then feeds upon ashes - deceived and astray;
And fastens and clings to this perishing clay.
For robes that too proud were the lilies to wear -
For food we divide with the fowls of the air -
For joy that just sparkles, and then disappears,
We drop from heaven's gate to this valley of tears.
How tranquil and blameless the pleasures it sought,
While it rested within the calm region of thought!
How fraught with disgust, and how sullied with woe,
Is all that detains and beguiles it below!
Oh Thou, who when silent and senseless it lay,
Didst breathe into life the inanimate clay,
Now nourish and quicken the languishing fire;
And fan to a flame that shall never expire!

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 8, 2010

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