Coventry Patmore

The Root, the Rod and the Flower

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In similar fashion, as Bernard of Clairvaux, and many others after, Patmore’s mantra: “I only report the cry which certain ‘babes in Christ’ have uttered : ‘Taste and see that the Lord is sweet’.” Has been fulfilled, albeit in part, within this text. More importantly, he adds, far be it from me to pose as other than a mere reporter, using the poetic intellect and imagination so as in part to conceive those happy realities of life which in many have been and are an actual and abiding possession ; and to express them
in such manner that thousands who lead beautiful and substantially Christian lives, whether outside or within the visible Church, may be assisted in the only true learning, which is to know better that which they already know.
This I am content with implicitly accepting; my work being mainly that of the Poet,bent only upon discovering and reporting how the “loving hint” of doctrine has “met the longing guess” of the souls of those who have so believed in the Unseen that it has become visible.
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