“Browning soon worked out of unbelief to an undogmatic, respectable form of theism.” — confidently stated in a textbook introduction to his poems
The world at last has gained its senses,
Unearthing two truths we’d least expect:
That Deity has lost his dogma
And Mr. Browning has found respect.
History shows that respectable men
Rarely intend heresy or schism.
For only a man ahead of his time
Postulates Victorian Modernism.
By mixing water with God and Creed
(Mix with one and lose them both)
No crucifix need ever bleed
And poets need not take an oath.
We bend a knee to men of esteem,
Their proffered chalice of respectable blend.
Of bloodless trinity. Embraced in faith
It will bring them to no neglectable end.
We sing our praise of respectable men,
That highly regarded, selectable group.
Whose thoughts spill out like martyrs’ blood
To warm the cold theistic soup,
Whose labors pour forth by the brow’s fevered sweat
Whereon the trembling firmament leans,
Lifting the burdensome yoke of dogma
And the burden of knowing what anything means.
The world at least beholds in light
Two truths our scholars could never detect:
That Mr. Browning has found his dogma.
And Deity has lost respect.
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