One of the most prominent poets of Victorian England, Elizabeth Barrett Browning was well known for her incredible literary output and the influence she had on later writers like Edgar Allen Poe and Emily Dickinson. Keenly interested in biblical studies (apparently she could read Hebrew) and theology, Barrett Browning’s writings were notable for their overt religious and theological themes. And she was also an active member of several Bible and missionary societies.
After 55 influential years, Elizabeth Barrett Browning died on June 29, 1861. In honor of her amazing life, this Sunday’s prayer comes from her.
NOW, by the verdure on thy thousand hills,
Beloved England, doth the earth appear
Quite good enough for men to overbear
The will of God in, with rebellious wills !
We cannot say the morning-sun fulfils
Ingloriously its course, nor that the clear
Strong stars without significance insphere
Our habitation: we, meantime, our ills
Heap up against this good and lift a cry
Against this work-day world, this ill-spread feast,
As if ourselves were better certainly
Than what we come to. Maker and High Priest,
I ask thee not my joys to multiply,–
Only to make me worthier of the least.