Taste Not Religion by John Newton Brown (1821)

Versified from Chalmers’ Astronomical Discourses

What! must a man true piety possess,
And all its soul-subduing influence know;
Ere from some lofty Alpine wilderness,
He feels the majesty of scenes below,
Which nature’s hand before his eye may throw;
The sounding waterfall—the rugged steep—
And pinnacles of everlasting snow—
And the horizon’s proudly circling sweep.
Folding in its embrace the undulating deep!
Ah, no ! an infidel himself might feel
His bosom glow at that stupendous sight;
And even the atheist, with heart of steel,
Who sees not God, though manifested bright,
Might catch the thrill of rapturous delight,
Ere that rich vision from his eye be chased.—-
Doubtful criterions that the heart is right;
Poor touchstones. Sensibility and Taste;
And woe to him whose hopes on this bright sand
are based!

by John Newton Brown, 1821

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