THE LAWS OF GOD, THE LAWS OF MAN
~ by A. E. Housman
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 much 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 neighbors to their will,
And make me dance as they desire
With jail and gallows and hell fire,
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 masters, right or wrong.
Though both are foolish, both are strong.
And since, my soul, we cannot fly
To Saturn nor to Mercury,
Keep we must, if keep we can,
These foreign laws of God and men.
XII from Last Poems. (Fortunately, these last poems were followed by More Poems and then Additional Poems.)