Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Quality of Mercy

Sometimes blessings come in unusual ways and at unusual times. I received one of those today while grading my daughter's poem she'd learned. I was touched by the beauty of the poem "Silver" by Walter de la Mare which I was grading (she got a 100 on it), but even more so when I read the poem she's currently working on. It's another Shakespeare writing--you may remember I had one posted before. I've always struggled to understand the words of this great poet, but often it's worth the exercise of the mind that we have to put into it. I was somewhat excited today, though, because I understood what was being said in this excerpt from The Merchant of Venice. What beauty are in these words! I'm sure you'll see it too:

The Quality of Mercy
from The Merchant of Venice
William Shakespeare

The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless'd;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes;
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptered sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute of God himself,
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice.

Wow. Do you get what's being said here about kings? And about God?


Anonymous said...

What an excellent poem!!! It sort of goes in line with my post for today at:


Mimi said...

beautiful poem,
thanks for sharing it...

Susan Kelly Skitt said...

Dearest Maxine, I think the reason you so grasped this is that you have experienced the mercy of God. His mercy endures forever!

Your sister in Christ,

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful poem about God's mercy. Thanks for posting.


Carol said...

When I was a school, a very long time ago, it was compulsory to read Shakespeare, whilst most hated it and were bored..I loved it, could never really understand why,I would sit and cry as I read.. The Merchant of Venice had to be my favourite..

Of course kings and queens presidents like ruling our countries our lands, taking control of people never loving most only for fame and power. Only God reigns over our awesome world, only one God loves us unconditionally.Most claim if they cannot see they don't believe ..The thing is they are not opening their eyes; If they looked around and listened they would feel the force and power of God, be awed at His mighty creation and see and feel all these words which Shakespeare has written...

Cathy said...

That is an amazing poem by Shakespeare about God and His mercy, Maxine. Thanks for sharing it.

sparrow's song said...

Mercy, a gift to both the receiver and the giver.

reminds me of...

Hosea 6:6

For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

Vicki said...

Oh my...I think I *do* get it. I always dreaded Shakespeare in school, but this is good!


Tracy Berta-daughter to the King, wife, mother, speaker, writer said...


I am so excited about my new blog! Amy from did an amazing job!!! I love it. Come on over and check it out when you get a minute, Maxine.
Many blessings!

Cami said...

Do you know that I never once studied Shakespeare in school? I've marveled about that in the years since. I went to several different schools in both southern and central California, including two different high schools, and you would think I would have read Shakespeare in one of them! But no!

I've meant to read him for myself, but I haven't done it. I've read quotes posted such as yours, and I just love it. What a deep-thinking man!

I believe that classic literature is classic because God has saved it--for Good reason!