March 15 1813: Keble Poem

On March 15 1813, John Keble writes a poem entitled “Nay, ask not for a lay of mine”. Keble is 20 years old. He will become one of the most influential religious figure of his time as one of the leaders of the Oxford Movement.

Nay, ask not for a lay of mine.

These, and the self-possessing mind
That views unmoved, though not in scorn,
All earth-born aims of lowlier kind,
With the true bard should all be born.

But I,—if e’er from dewy eye
Or summer sun my soul catch fire,—
Too soon the lights of minstrelsy
Quench’d in some gale of care expire.
Nor upward to its native heaven
Ascends the altar-flame; but wild

By some capricious passion driven
Leaves all forlorn Hope’s dreaming child.
March 15, 1813

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