Catholic Poetry


By Rev. Alfred Young, C.S.P.

Thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as a way to them that passed over.”

Isaias li. 23

What haste, good pilgrim? Whither art thou bound?

 “Jerusalem, good sir, is where I long to stay.”

Methinks thy way is over rough, thorny ground

To seek so blest an end. Art not astray?

“If there be thorns I know not. To my feet

This one true way is from all hindrance free.

All ways to him whose loves are sweet.

Farewell! But, hist! Wilt thou not walk with me?”


“The watchmen who keep the city found me; Have you seen him whom my soul loveth?”

Cant. iii.3

Time was I set me out lost truth to find.

Heart-sick, foot-sore, a-weary grew my mind;

When haply– oh, to pride what bitter cost!

Truth found me wandering. I, not truth, was lost.


“He shall drink of the torrent by the way; therefore he shall lift up the head.”

Ps. cix.7

“The water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into life everlasting.”

St. John iv.14

The Disciple.

For life I  am athirst; yet drink to die.

Of living water, Lord, thy servant give.

The Master.

If thou wouldst gain true immortality,

Stoop low and drink with Me of death, and live!

The Catholic World (May 1900): 264.

NOTE: Born in England in 1831, Alfred Young came to America and studied at Princeton, earning a medical degree. He converted to Catholicism as a young man and entered the Paulist Fathers, a community founded in America to work for the evangelization of non-Catholics. An early pioneer of liturgical music and proponent of Gregorian chant, Father Young was also a poet and author. He died in 1900.

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