Monday, April 13, 2020

Charles Kingsley*

Charles Kingsley (1819—1875) is an Anglican clergyman, poet, and novelist, who was a founding member of the Christian Socialist movement. His novels include Alton Locke (1850), Hypatia (1853), Hereward the Wake (1866) and his children’s fantasy The Water Babies (1863).

Much of his creative output had social or ecclesiastical reform in mind, such as taking on issues of the urban poor, the rural poor, sanitation, public health, and the slave trade in the United States. His poetry collection Andromeda and Other Poems appeared in 1858. He was clearly anti-Catholic, which led to confrontations with John Henry Newman.

In 1859 Kingsley was appointed chaplain to Queen Victoria, and regius professor of modern history at Cambridge in 1860. He also tutored the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) in history.

Easter Week

See the land, her Easter keeping,
Rises as her Maker rose.
Seeds, so long in darkness sleeping,
Burst at last from winter snows.
Earth with heaven above rejoices;
Fields and gardens hail the spring;
Shaughs and woodlands ring with voices,
While the wild birds build and sing.

You, to whom your Maker granted
Powers to those sweet birds unknown,
Use the craft by God implanted;
Use the reason not your own.
Here, while heaven and earth rejoices,
Each his Easter tribute bring-
Work of fingers, chant of voices,
Like the birds who build and sing.

*This is the second Kingdom Poets post about Charles Kingsley: first post.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection is Ampersand (2018, Cascade). His books are available through Amazon, and Wipf & Stock, including the anthologies The Turning Aside, and Adam, Eve, & the Riders of the Apocalypse.