Jones Very

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Jones Very (August 28, 1813 – May 8, 1880) was an American essayist, poet, clergymen, and mystic associated with the American Transcendentalism movement. He was known as a scholar of William Shakespeare and many of his poems were Shakespearean sonnets. He was well-known and respected amongst the Transcendentalists, though he had a mental breakdown early in his career.


  • Come! for I need Thy love,
    More than the flower the dew, or grass the rain;
    Come like Thy Holy Dove,
    And let me in Thy sight rejoice to live again.
    • Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 390.


  • Enoch
    • I looked to find a man who walked with God,
      Like the translated patriarch of old;--
      Though gladdened millions on His footstool trod,
      Yet none with him did such sweet converse hold;
      I heard the wind in low complaint go by
      That none his melodies like him could hear;
      Day unto day spoke wisdom from on high,
      Yet none like David turned a willing ear;
      God walked alone unhonored through the earth;
      For Him no heart-built temple open stood,
      The soul forgetful of her nobler birth
      Had hewn him lofty shrines of stone and wood,
      And left unfinished and in ruins still
      The only temple he delights to fill.
  • The Ark
    • There is no change of time and place with Thee;
      Where'er I go, with me 'tis still the same;
      Within thy presence I rejoice to be,
      And always hallow thy most holy name;
      The world doth ever change; there is no peace
      Among the shallows of its storm-vexed breast;
      With every breath the frothy waves increase,
      They toss up mire and dirt, they cannot rest;
      I thank Thee that within thy strong-built ark
      My soul across the uncertain sea can sail,
      And though the night of death be long and dark,
      My hopes in Christ shall reach within the veil;
      And to the promised haven steady steer,
      Whose rest to those who love is ever near.

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