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Pandora Song: William Vaughn Moody


I stood within the heart of God;
It seemed a place that I had known:
(I was blood-sister to the clod,
Blood-brother to the stone).

I found my love and labor there,
My house, my raiment, meat and wine,
My ancient rage, my old despair,-
Yea, all things that were mine.

I saw the spring and summer pass,
The trees grow bare, and winter come;
All was the same as once it was
Upon my hills at home.

Then suddenly in my own heart
I felt God walk and gaze about;
He spoke: his words seemed held apart
With gladness and with doubt.

‘Here is my meat and wine’, He said,
‘My love, my toil, my ancient care;
Here is my cloak, my book, my bed,
And here my old despair.

‘Here are my seasons: winter, spring,
Summer the same, and autumn spills
The fruits I look for: everything
As on my heavenly hills.’

William Vaughn Moody poetWilliam Vaughn Moody was born July 8, 1869, in Spenser, Indiana. His parents died when he was young, and he worked his way through prep school and Harvard University, where he recieved both his B.A. (1893) and M.A. (1894), and became co-editor of Harvard Monthly. From 1894-95 he held the position of assistant in the English Department to Louis E. Gates. In 1895, Moody relocated to The University of Chicago as an instructor, a position that he held until 1903, when he was promoted to an assistant professorship. He left the University in 1907 to concentrate on his poetry.

During this time at the University, Moody published an untitled volume of poetry, as well as two poetic dramas, The Masque of Judgment in 1900, and The Fire Bringer in 1904. However, he is mostly noted for his 1906 play The Great Divide, hailed at the time as the “Great American Drama.”

In 1908, Moody was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He married Harriet C. Brainerd on May 7, 1909. Also in that year, he saw his play The Faith Healer produced, an event that while it attracted some attention, was not considered a dramatic success. William Vaughn Moody was working on another poetic drama, The Death of Eve, when he died in Colorado Springs, CO, on October 17, 1910. (source: Poetry Foundation)

I found this poem, which is not widely anthologised (ie I had to type it out, rather than relying on Google to allow me to cut and paste) in ‘Worldwide Worship’, edited by John Marks Templeton.

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