“Brevity”

It’s said the “soul of wit” is brevity,
But light inspires the poet to expand
At greater length upon his worthy theme.
And holy Scripture’s proverb teaches us
That “he who holds his tongue is wise.” Alas!
That I, who often hold my tongue too long
When there are words I truly ought to say,
Am such a fool I cast off all restraint
When I ought to in silence pay close heed:
When I should even still my whirling thoughts,
I fail; they overflow into my speech
And into hasty unconsidered acts.

Lord, you give wisdom to all those who ask;
In mercy grant me courage to obey
That wisdom’s call, and all your Word commands.
Teach me, I pray, to speak your words alone:
To neither add my own, nor wait in fear
Until a time too late has come and gone.
And, Holy Spirit, of your grace, restrain
My hands and tongue from needless words and acts,
The soul’s impatient boiling overflow.

I wrote these lines last fall. At the time I considered them a fragment, and intended to write more to round them out, but after these months I’ve decided to leave them be for now.

As always, I earnestly welcome your (further) comments, suggestions, questions, critique, or other feedback about this or any other part of my work. If you liked this, you can follow this blog, which includes one of my poems nearly every Friday, or read other poems I’ve written (perhaps starting with those linked from one of the “archive” installments, since the full archive is by now, at over two hundred poems, somewhat daunting). You may also share this poem with others, subject to my sharing policy.

This poem is also mirrored on my wiki.

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