The Laws Of God,
The Laws Of Man
(A. E. Housman)
Aaron Ellenbarger

The Laws of God, The Laws of Man

The laws of God, the laws of man
    He may keep that will and can
Not I: Let God and man decree
    Laws for themselves and not for me;
 
And if my ways are not as theirs
    Let them mind their own affairs.
Their deeds I judge and most condemn
    Yet when did I make laws for them?
 
Please yourselves, Say I, and they
    Need only look the other way.
But no, they will not; they must still
    Wrest their neighbor to their will,
 
And make me dance as they desire
    With jail and gallows and hellfire
And how am I to face the odds
    Of man's bedevilment and God's?
 
I, a stranger and afraid
    In a world I never made
They will be master, right or wrong;
    Though, both are foolish, both are strong
 
And since, my soul, we cannot flee
    To Saturn or to Mercury
Keep we must, If we can
    These foreign laws of God and man.

               A.E. Housman

Graphic Rule

Material by Cliff Walker (including unsigned editorial commentary) is copyright ©1995-2006 by Cliff Walker. Each submission is copyrighted by its writer, who retains control of the work except that by submitting it to Positive Atheism, permission has been granted to use the material or an edited version: (1) on the Positive Atheism web site; (2) in Positive Atheism Magazine; (3) in subsequent works controlled by Cliff Walker or Positive Atheism Magazine (including published or posted compilations). Excerpts not exceeding 500 words are allowed provided the proper copyright notice is affixed. Other use requires permission; Positive Atheism will work to protect the rights of all who submit their writings to us.