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(is it alright if I put this here?)

This is a line from a lullaby I wrote tonight. My sister thought it read differently than it was supposed to. How do you read it?
 

Quote

God o'erhead is watching,

and he will you keep.

 

Does the second line read as "God will keep you" or "you will keep God"?

 

Post your answers below. 🙂

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I'll agree with everyone else here. I might add that this may be a case where you'll want to consider your audience in your wording choices.

 

People of my generation will have been exposed to this kind of grammar usage enough to be able to parse it without much thought. (No, nobody actually spoke that way, but we did see it, from time to time...) We really don't see this kind of unconventional usage much today in the modern culture, and I'm guessing that the younger the audience, the more difficulty with it.

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If I were to read just the second line, I would think that it is me who will keep God. 

But following the first line, where God is doing the watching, I would assume that God is the subject of the second line, so it is God keeping me.

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4 hours ago, Zee said:

Same, but is the unconventional phrasing necessary? 

 

“God o’erhead is watching

And He will keep you safe,” 

 

flows just as well in my opinion.

The reason I did that order was because keep rhymed with a word in the very first line which I did not post. 

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Guest SelinasBonfire
17 hours ago, Sarah Daffy said:

and he will you keep.

I've read enough older poetry to understand your meaning here, but, to be honest, inverted word order in poetry always looks amateurish to me. Keep it if you like it, of course. (or replace the rhymed word in the first line?)

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On 2/22/2021 at 10:36 PM, Sarah Daffy said:

God o'erhead is watching,

and he will you keep.

 

He is the subject and the rest of poetic, so I can follow it, but I know some will misread your intent. With that said, the misreading is fine and doesn't explicitly contradict what you're actually saying, and I love the poetry of how you wrote it. 

So I'm saying I'd keep it. 😉

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I read it both ways. I see your dilemma. That's the trouble with trying to force words in rhyming or meter. 

 

I'm sure there is an alternative but without knowing the rest of your lullaby, we can't really help. 

 

Then again, I'm a rule follower, which you may not be. Be yourself.

 

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