Today my sister, Ruth, handed me this book, with a post-it sticker that said “Annita”. She knows I enjoy old books. I’m not sure if she recognized the author from our hymnbook in Ashaway. But I did. From our old brown hymnbook, The Service Hymnal : “Take My Life, and Let It Be”; “Lord, Speak to Me”; “Who Is on the Lord’s Side?”; “True-Hearted, Whole-Hearted”; and “I Gave My Life for Thee.” There are only two more, which I do not remember singing. My Dad, obviously liked the ones I remember.
The book is well organized and I know I will enjoy it. The index in the forward is also interesting. It is divided into topics such as “Ministry of Song” and “Early Poems”. I love that it includes dates and often where it was written.
Down near the bottom, “Hidden in Light” was written in Harlech. (thinking about those Men of Harlech).
I suppose that is akin to mixing metaphors.
Jan Brueghel the Elder, Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, 1615
The Seventh Day
You left the final day for re-creation,
For art and song and festive feasts for all.
You knew we’d work and toil to our damnation,
So you left us space where we could wholly call
Upon your name. Our feasts and songs are sourced
In celebration of you, our only Lord.
You gave us life and yet we were not forced
To listen to your voice, your holy Word.
And when we fell, you did not take the space
You set aside to give us rest and play.
Instead you came and took from death our place,
So from the night we could find the final day.
The week is done, but soon that day is coming,
When we at last will have eternal Sonning.
David Russell Mosley
This morning, on my usual walk I was struck by how different familiar vistas look on each viewing. After the heavy rain last night everything looked so fresh and alive and I noticed the contrast between various clumps of grasses. And I thought about the uniqueness of each created thing. Awesome.
A Short Ode
All things then stood before us
as they were,
Not in comparison,
But each most rare;
The ‘tree, of many, one,’
The lock of hair,
The weir in the morning sun,
The hill in the darkening air,
Each in its soleness, then and there,
Created one; that one, creation’s care.
Edmund Blunden, A Hong Kong House: Poems 1951-1961 (Collins 1962).
Thanks to Stephen Pentz.
O Light Everlasting, O Love never failing.
Illumine our darkness and draw us to thee.
May we from thy spirit receive inspiration
As children together thy wisdom may see.
Make known to all nations thy peace and salvation,
And help us O Father, thy temple to be.
Christine Norvell recently wrote an essay about one of George MacDonald’s novels that I’ve not read, Sir Gibbie:
Sometimes you read a book that causes you to marvel at the possibility of goodness in our human frame. As I reread George MacDonald’s Sir Gibbie (1879), I was filled with questions, the same questions I’m sure that prompted C.S. Lewis to call the novel a fantasy. In his Preface to George MacDonald: An Anthology, Lewis termed MacDonald’s novels “a rich crop,” yet at the same time writes that “none is very good.” He felt “they are best when they depart most from the canons of novel writing… to come nearer to fantasy, as in the whole character of the hero in Sir Gibbie.”
I think this book would make a nice gift for young readers, especially the recent translation from the Scots by David Jack. I love that the original dialogue is given in double column format with the English translation to the side. (You can read about it here)
And you may enjoy hearing David Jack’s “Scottish burr” as he reads one of MacDonald’s poems, “Godly Ballant IV”.
Found this in Alistair Begg’s book Pray Big:
[When praying] [t]he posture of our hearts and not our bodies is the issue. Are we coming to God in dependence? Are we asking him to bless our work, to empower our service, to change our flaws, to forgive our sins? What matters is a dependent heart, not a particular posture, as one of my favorite poems makes hilariously clear:
This morning, feeling thankful for family and friends, and birthday anniversaries and consequently a little sentimental, I pulled this off the shelves and read through it. It was fun experiencing just a little of the joy, mystery, adventure, seriousness and hope of being a child again.
I remember my mother reciting “My Shadow.” Other poems reminded me of days sick in bed (“The Land of Counterpane”), reading treasured books, and being read to by my parents (“Picture Books in Winter”), and one childhood activity that I have continued to enjoy, now for over 70 years:
My copy, an unused library book I purchased (it had never been checked out,) says that this is the original title page, done by Jessie Wilcox Smith.
It is a wonderful little book and the illustrations are typical Smith.
One of the nice things about having farmers in your family, and living in the country, is haylofts! So this brought back memories too, especially of Salemville, Pennsylvania and the Kagarise farm.