Two Went up into the Temple to Pray

By Richard Crashaw 1612–1649 Richard Crashaw
   Two went to pray? O rather say
One went to brag, th’ other to pray:

   One stands up close and treads on high,
Where th’ other dares not send his eye.

   One nearer to God’s altar trod,
The other to the altar’s God.

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Richard Crashaw 1612–1649


SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Subjects Faith & Doubt, Religion, God & the Divine

Poetic Terms Couplet


The intense and intimate depiction of Richard Crashaw that prefaces his English volumes of poetry (Steps to the Temple, 1646, enlarged 1648) is also a candlelit window that opens on his soul. To look through this window is to discover Crashaw in the state of unruffled devotion which is presented as the hub of his poetic genius.

Reader, we stile his Sacred Poems, Stepps to the Temple, and aptly, for in the Temple of God, under . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Faith & Doubt, Religion, God & the Divine


SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Poetic Terms Couplet

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.