'A Word in Season'

Description

Published in The Keepsake (1844).

Creator

Dickens, Charles

Date

Type

Bibliographic Citation

Dickens, Charles. 'A Word in Season.' The Keepsake (1844). Dickens Search. Eds. Emily Bell and Lydia Craig. Accessed [date]. https://dickenssearch.com/verse/1844_The_Keepsake_A_Word_In_Season.

Transcription

They have a superstition in the East,

That ALLAH, written on a piece of paper,

Is better unction than can come of priest,

Of rolling incense, and of lighted taper;

Holding, that any scrap which bears that name,

In any characters, its front imprest on,

Shall help the finder through the purging flame,

And give his toasted feet a place to rest on.

 

Accordingly, they make a mighty fuss,

With ev’ry wretched tract and fierce oration,

And hoard the leaves – for they are not, like us,

A highly civilized and thinking nation:

And, always stooping in the miry ways,

To look for matter of this earthy leaven,

They seldom, in their dust-exploring days,

Have any leisure to look up to Heaven.

 

So have I known a country on the earth,

Where darkness sat upon the living waters,

And brutal ignorance, and toil, and dearth

Were the hard portion of its sons and daughters:

And yet, where they who should have ope’d the door

Of charity and light, for all men’s finding,

Squabbled for words upon the altar-floor,

And rent the Book, in struggles for the binding.

 

The gentlest man among these pious Turks,

God’s living image ruthlessly defaces;

Their best high-churchman, with no faith in works,

Bowstrings the Virtues in the market-places:

The Christian Pariah, whom both sects curse

(They curse all other men, and curse each other),

Walks thro’ the world, not very much the worse –

Does all the good he can, and loves his brother.

Files

1844 A_Word_in_Season.pdf

Collection

Citation

Dickens, Charles, “'A Word in Season',” Dickens Search, accessed May 22, 2022, https://dickenssearch.com/verse/1844_The_Keepsake_A_Word_In_Season.

Document Viewer

Transcribe This Item

  1. 1844 A_Word_in_Season.pdf

Social Bookmarking