A broken A L T A R, Lord, thy servant reares, Made of a heart, and cemented with teares: Whose parts are as thy hand did frame; No workmans tool hath touchd the same. A H E A R T alone Is such a stone, As nothing but Thy powr doth cut. Wherefore each part Of my hard heart Meets in this frame, To praise thy Name; That, if I chance to hold my peace, These stones to praise thee may not cease. O let thy blessed S A C R I F I C E be mine, And sanctifie this A L T A R to be thine.
Joseph Addison, in The Spectator, No. 58, Monday, May 7, 1711, argued against ancient Greek poems in the shape of eggs, &c. as false wit. He continued:
Mr. Dryden hints at this obsolete kind of Wit [shaped poems] in one of the following Verses in his Mac Fleckno; which an English Reader cannot understand, who does not know that there are those little Poems abovementioned in the Shape of Wings and Altars.
Alex Trebeck showed this page on Jeopardy asking what was the verse depicting, but no contestant asked "What is an altar?"
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