Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
 
VII. Death: Immortality: Heaven
The Ministry of Angels
Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)
 
From “The Faërie Queene,” Book II. Canto 8.

AND is there care in heaven? And is there love
  In heavenly spirits to these creatures base,
  That may compassion of their evils move?
  There is:—else much more wretched were the case
  Of men than beasts: but O the exceeding grace        5
  Of Highest God! that loves his creatures so,
  And all his workes with mercy doth embrace,
  That blessèd angels he sends to and fro,
To serve to wicked man, to serve his wicked foe!
 
How oft do they their silver bowers leave,        10
  To come to succour us that succour want!
  How oft do they with golden pinions cleave
  The flitting skyes, like flying pursuivant,
  Against fowle feendes to ayd us militant!
  They for us fight, they watch, and dewly ward,        15
  And their bright squadrons round about us plant;
  And all for love, and nothing for reward;
O, why should heavenly God to men have such regard!
 
 
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