Seek True Religion!
Donne, John (1573-1631)

                             Though Truth and Falsehood be
Near twins, yet Truth a little elder is.
Be busy to seek her; believe me this:
He's not of none, nor worst, that seeks the best.
To adore, or scorn an image, or protest,
May all be bad. Doubt wisely; in strange way
To stand inquiring right is not to stray;
To sleep or run wrong is.  On a huge hill,
Cragg¸d and steep, Truth stands, and he that will
Reach her, about must and about must go,
And what the hill's suddenness resists, win so.
Yet strive so, that before age, death's twilight,
Thy soul rest, for none can work in that night.
To will implies delay; therefore now do.
Hard deeds that body's pains; hard knowledge too,
The mind's eneavours reach; and mysteries
Are like the sun, dazzling, yet plain to all eyes.
Keep the truth which thou hast found; men do not stand
In so ill case here that God hath with his hand
Signed kings blank charters to kill whom they hate,
Nor are they vicars, but hangmen to Fate.
Fool and wretch, wilt thou let thy soul be tied
To man's laws, by which she shall not be tried
At the last day? Will it then boot thee
To say a Philip or a Gregory,
A Harry, or a Martin taught thee this?
Is not this excuse for mere contraries
Equally strong?  Cannot both sides say so?
That thou mayst rightly obey Power, her bounds know;
Those passed, her nature and name's changed; to be
Then humble to her is idolatry.
As streams are Power is; those blest flowers that dwell
At the rough stream's calm head thrive and prove well,
But having left their roots and themselves given
To the stream's tyrannous rage, alas, are driven
Through mills and rocks and woods, and at last almost
Consumed in going, in the sea are lost.
So perish souls which more choose men's unjust
Power from God claimed than God himself to trust.


The New Oxford Book of English Verse (Gardner)