Peevish Obloquy Rebuked

O David, highest in the list
Of worthies, on God’s ways insist,
The genuine word repeat!
Vain are the documents of men,
And vain the flourish of the pen
That keeps the fool’s conceit.

Praise above all—for praise prevails;
Heap up the measure, load the scales,
And good to goodness add:
The generous soul her Saviour aids,
But peevish obloquy degrades;
The Lord is great and glad.

For Adoration all the ranks
Of Angels yield eternal thanks,
And David in the midst:
With God’s good poor, which, last and least
In man’s esteem, Thou to Thy feast,
O Blessed Bridegroom, bidst.

For Adoration seasons change,
And order, truth, and beauty range,
Adjust, attract, and fill:
The grass the polyanthus checks;
And polished porphyry reflects,
By the descending rill.

Rich almonds colour to the prime
For Adoration; tendrils climb,
And fruit-trees pledge their gems;
And Ivis, with her gorgeous vest,
Builds for her eggs her cunning nest,
And bell-flowers bow their stems.

(extract: A Song To David)

by Christopher Smart (c. 1760)

3 comments on “Peevish Obloquy Rebuked

  1. colonialist says:

    What sort of petty god is this
    Needs to be told how great he is,
    Creating those to speak and sing
    In order to achieve this thing?

    You may think such is purpose true,
    But I have better things to do,
    And if that costs eternity,
    At least from boredom I’ll be free!


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