All the world and all the universe are still,
____All that moves, moves but as God wills;
____All that might be is by God’s grace,
Slowing moving through forever at God’s pace.
Whatever is, has been as God ordained
____As human will is free enchained,
____As in the flesh will sleep the soul
To die to wake again to join the whole.
Only for God to know the Word, the why,
____Only for we who born will die;
____Will come in joy to our salvation,
In good or ill, by God, to reprobation:
God alone withal shall choose the hour
As all is will in God by God’s power.




What is the final end, test, and source of Art:
In this and all, Nature is the start.
The pattern patterned is the source of good,
The touch, the fingerprint, the Work of God.
The bark, the branch, the seed, the shoot
Are all in one the whole, the tree in root.
Look to the God of Nature, there to see
The source, the model, the act of poetry.
Then harken not to fashions of the day,
Slop not from modes, as mules slop from hay:
Advice from critics is like farts from swine;
If you should seek the truth, ask the Divine.
Then write with skill, poet, to do your best:
Remember well, God’s Nature is the test.




The kindest and most liberal of men
Offered a fair and equal punishment
To all offenders without preference
To status, rank or class, or to offense.
Yes I was there to hear the good physician
Describe the workings of the mechanism,
The way it gathers up to fall away—swish-swish.
I later at the Gibbet witnessed it.
It truly is a wonderful machine.
Efficient, I can tell you, I have seen
Forty and fifty workings in a day.
Some eyes will look right at you, some away;
The blade falls in a twink’ling of an eye;
The head drops in the bucket and you die.



Michael Curtis is an architect, sculptor, painter, historian, and poet, has for more than 40 years contributed to the revival of the classical arts. He has taught and lectured at universities, colleges, and museums, including The Institute of Classical Architecture, The National Gallery of Art, et cetera; his pictures and statues are housed in over four hundred private and public collections, including The Library of Congress, The Supreme Court, et alibi; his verse has been published in over twenty journals; his work in the visual arts can be found at, and his literary work can be found at

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3 Responses

  1. Corey Browning

    Absolutely lovely and refreshing. Beautifully tight meter and rhyme.

  2. Joseph S. Salemi

    The poem “Liberality” is an excellent reminder that many modern horrors were invented or promoted by persons with proclaimed their allegiance to “liberal humanitarian” motives. Dr. Guillotin didn’t personally invent the decapitation machine, but he championed its development and use as a “humane measure.” He himself claimed to be a foe of capital punishment.

    Similarly, the philosopher Jeremy Bentham invented the monstrously totalitarian “Panopticon” prison, as a method to force criminals to be good at all times; and the engineer Richard Gatling developed the rapid-fire Gatling gun as a way to decrease the size of armies, and thereby minimize casualties (talk about cluelessness!)

    And of course there was Fritz Haber, the Nobel Prize winner in chemistry, who single-handedly created the the massive (and internationally illegal) chemical warfare efforts of Germany in the First World War. He did so in the naive hope that this would make artillery, rifles and huge casualties unnecessary. Haber and his associates later made possible the development of the infamous Zyklon B gas.

    Liberals seem naturally prone to come up with great ways of killing masses of people.


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