CELEBRATING JOHN HENRY NEWMAN
Lead kindly light...
Poetry is the refuge of those who have not the Catholic Church ... for the Church herself is the most sacred and august of poets. Poetry, as Mr Keble lays it down in his University Lectures on the subject, is a method of relieving the overburdened mind; it is a channel through which emotion finds expression, and that a safe, regulated expression.
Now what is the Catholic Church, viewed in her human aspect, but a discipline of the affections and passions? ... She is the poet of her children; full of music to soothe the sad and control the wayward – wonderful in story for the imagination of the romantic; rich in symbol and imagery, so that gentle and delicate feelings, which will not bear words, may in silence intimate their presence or commune with themselves. Her very being is poetry...
Essays Critical and Historical, vol. ii, p. 449 (occasioned by the publication of Keble’s Lyra Innocentium)
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