John Keble

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John Keble ca.1860

John Keble (25 April 179229 March 1866) was an English churchman, one of the leaders of the Oxford Movement, and gave his name to Keble College, Oxford.


  • As fire is kindled by fire, so is a poet's mind kindled by contact with a brother poet.
    • Lectures on Poetry 1832–1841 (1844), translated from the Latin by Edward Kershaw Francis (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1912), Vol. I, Lecture XVI, p. 317.
  • The deeds we do, the words we say,—
    Into still air they seem to fleet,
    We count them ever past;
    But they shall last,
    In the dread judgment they
    And we shall meet!
    • "IV. Early Warnings, § 1: Effect of Example", in Lyra Innocentium (Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1846), p. 103.
  • The voice that breathed o'er Eden,
    That earliest wedding day,
    The primal marriage blessing,
    It hath not passed away.
    • "Holy Matrimony", in The Salisbury Hymn-Book, ed. Horatio Bolton, Earl Nelson (Salisbury: Brown and Co., 1857), p. 174; reprinted in Miscellaneous Poems, ed. George Moberly (Oxford: James Parker and Co., 1870), p. 119.
  • When you find yourself, as I daresay you sometimes do, overpowered as it were by melancholy, the best way is to go out, and do something kind to somebody or other.
    • Letters of Spiritual Counsel and Guidance, ed. R. F. Wilson (Oxford: James Parker and Co., 1870), Letter III, p. 6.

The Christian Year (1827)

The Christian Year (London: Humphrey Milford, 1827)
  • The trivial round, the common task,
    Would furnish all we ought to ask.
    • "Morning", p. 3.
  • And help us, this and every day,
    To live more nearly as we pray.
    • "Morning", p. 3.
  • Sun of my soul! thou Saviour dear,
    It is not night if Thou be near:
    Oh, may no earth-born cloud arise
    To hide Thee from Thy servant's eyes!
    • "Evening", p. 4.
  • Abide with me from morn till eve,
    For without Thee I cannot live:
    Abide with me when night is nigh,
    For without Thee I dare not die.
    • "Evening", p. 4.
  • Sprinkled along the waste of years
    Full many a soft green isle appears:
    Pause where we may along the desert road,
    Some shelter is in sight, some sacred safe abode.
    • "The First Sunday in Advent", p. 7.
  • When the shore is won at last,
    Who will count the billows past?
    • "S. John the Evangelist's Day", p. 21.
  • Time's waters will not ebb, nor stay.
    • "The First Sunday after Christmas Day", p. 25.
  • Soft as Memnon's harp at morning,
    To the inward ear devout,
    Touched by light, with heavenly warning
    Your transporting chords ring out.
    Every leaf in every nook,
    Every wave in every brook,
    Chanting with a solemn voice,
    Minds us of our better choice.
    • "The First Sunday after the Epiphany", p. 34.
  • Sweet is the smile of home; the mutual look
    When hearts are of each other sure;
    Sweet all the joys that crowd the household nook,
    The haunt of all affections pure.
    • "The First Sunday in Lent", p. 60.
  • Give us grace to listen well.
    • "The Sunday Next before Easter, or Palm Sunday", p. 72.
  • Love masters agony; the soul that seemed
    Forsaken, feels her present God again,
    And in her Father's arms
    Contented dies away.
    • "Tuesday before Easter", p. 77.
  • The watchful mother tarries nigh
    Though sleep have closed her infant's eye,
    For should he wake, and find her gone,
    She knows she could not bear his moan.
    • "The Fourth Sunday after Easter", p. 102.
  • Why should we faint and fear to live alone,
    Since all alone, so Heaven has willed, we die,
    Nor even the tenderest heart, and next our own,
    Knows half the reasons why we smile and sigh?
    • "The Twenty-fourth Sunday after Trinity", p. 176.
  • 'Tis sweet, as year by year we lose
    Friends out of sight, in faith to muse
    How grows in Paradise our store.
    • "The Burial of the Dead", p. 242.
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