Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.
Critical and Biographical Essay by Alfred H. Miles
John Stuart Blackie (18091895)
JOHN STUART BLACKIE is represented in another volume of the present Anthology by a selection of verse which was largely his own choice; but his Songs of Religion and Life (1876) give him claims to a place in any volume devoted to the sacred poetry of his time, hence two poems from that work are quoted here. Perhaps no better representation could be given of his fine manly religious spirit within the space than that afforded by the following lines entitled The Laws of Nature and the Benedicite, given here.
The fool hath in his heart declared,by laws
Since time began,
Blind, and without intelligential cause,
Or reasoned plan,
All things are ruled. I from this lore dissent,
With sorrowful shame
That reasoning men such witless wit should vent
In reasons name.
O Thou that oer this lovely world hast spread
Thy jocund light,
Weaving with flowers beneath, and stars oerhead
This tissue bright
Of living powers, clear Thou my sense, that I
May ever find
In all the marshalled pomp of earth and sky
The marshalling mind!
Laws are not powers; nor can the well-timed courses
Since the publication of the volume already referred to, the poet has passed away from amongst us, and the place that knew his characteristic face and figure knows them now no more. He died at Edinburgh on the 2nd of March, 1895.