Born: 1805, South­bo­rough, Ton­bridge, Kent, Eng­land.

Died: No­vem­ber 28, 1877, Wo­burn Sands, Bed­ford­shire, Eng­land.

Buried: Wo­burn Sands, Bed­ford­shire, Eng­land.


A bu­si­ness­man and Me­thod­ist lay preach­er, Gough lived in Lon­don for some years.



To An Atheist

Insolent atom! basking in the blaze
Of sunshine, to be blasted by its light!
Peering with bold and misbelieving gaze,
To probe the secrets of the Infinite.
Bow to thy God, or else the endless night
Of unillumined darkness will be thine.
Canst thou o’ermatch Omnipotence? or fight
With war of words against the arm divine?
Drop thy vain weapons! Kneel, a suppliant at His shrine!

O canst thou doubt, and look upon the sun,
And pensive moon, and starry walk on high;
Hear the loud tempest—see the ocean run—
And mountains bending upward to the sky,
And every season’s sweet variety;
The grass blade, and the monarch oak—the birds
Of joyous minstrelsy and rainbow dye;
The lion of the forest, and the herds
That bow in worship mute, and praise in all but words.

Dallier with thunderbolts! amid the shafts
Of thickening vengeance, daring to outgrin
The fallen angels with their many crafts
Of long corroded and remorseless sin!
They tremble! but thou hast no dread within
The dark recesses of thy spirit’s cell
That harbors the wild phantom hope to win
The conflict—ringing thy own death-knell—
God tries on earth, rewards in heaven, but punishes in hell.

Thou—of all beings on the peopled earth
Art the most wretched and deserted thing;
Soul without God! it is a deathless birth
Of misery and woe. Destruction’s wing
Already flutters o’er thee, and the spring
Of mutual life shall wither without bloom,
Summer without her fruits, and autumn bring
The barren winter of eternal gloom,
If, hapless wretch, thou wilt thus rush upon thy doom!

Benjamin Gough, in The Album Wreath of
Music and Literature
, Volume II
(London: R. Willoughby, 1840), page 85



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