Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"The Little Hurts" by Edgar A. Guest

Every night she runs to me
With a bandaged arm or a bandaged knee,
A stone-bruised heel or a swollen brow,
And in sorrowful tones she tells me how
She fell and "hurted hers'f to-day"
While she was having the "bestest play."

And I take her up in my arms and kiss
The new little wounds and whisper this:
"Oh, you must be careful, my little one,
You mustn't get hurt while your daddy's gone,
For every cut with its ache and smart
Leaves another bruise on your daddy's heart."

Every night I must stoop to see
The fresh little cuts on her arm or knee;
The little hurts that have marred her play,
And brought the tears on a happy day;
For the path of childhoord is oft beset
With care and trouble and things that fret.

Oh, little girl, when you older grow,
Far greater hurts than these you'll know;
Greater bruises will bring your tears,
Around the bend of the lane of years,
But come to your daddy with them at night
And he'll do his best to make all things right.

"Heavenly Father, thank you for my four precious children. As their earthly father, please use me to lovingly console their tender little hearts whenever they are hurting. Thank you for protecting them by preventing them from getting hurt even worse than they do sometimes. Please take up the slack where I lack and transfer their allegiance from me, their earthly father, to You, our heavenly Father. Amen."

It has been given back.

Never say about anything, "I have lost it," but only "I have given it back." Is your child dead? "It has been given back." Is your wife dead? "She has been given back." "I have had my farm taken away." Very well, this too has been given back. "Yet is was a rascal who took it away." But what concern is it of yours by whose instrumentality the Giver called for its return? So long as He gives it you, take care of it as of a thing that is not your own, as travellers treat their inn.

Epictetus, from The Manual.

"And he [Job] said, 'Naked I came from my mother's womb,
And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.'" (Job 1:21)

Heavenly Father, may I be a good steward of all that You temporarily entrust to me. May I never cling covetously to Your creations but view them as momentary gifts that constantly remind me to worship You alone, the Creator. May I always bless Your name--when You give and even when You take away--regardless of the means by which You choose to do so. Amen.

Ovid on Birth and Death

"To be born, is to begin to be
Some other thing we were not formerly:
And what we call to die, is not t' appear,
Or be the thing that formerly we were."

Ovid, from Metamorphoses, Vol. 4, Book XV.

"Crossing the Bar" by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea.

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.

"Remember" by Christina Rossetti

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that I once had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

"More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of."

"If thou shouldst never see my face again,
Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer
Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy voice
Rise like a fountain for me night and day.
For what are men better than sheep or goats
That nourish a blind life within the brain,
If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer
Both for themselves and those who call them friend?"

From "Idylls of the King" by Alfred Lord Tennyson

"On Another's Sorrow" by William Blake

Can I see a falling tear
And not feel my sorrow's share?
Can a father see his child
Weep, nor be with sorrow fill'd?

Can a mother sit and hear
An infant groan an infant fear?
No, no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!

And can he who smiles on all
Hear the wren with sorrows small,
Hear the small bird's grief & care,
Hear the woes that infants bear,

And not sit beside the nest
Pouring pity in their breast;
And not sit the cradle near
Weeping tear on infant's tear;

And not sit both night & day
Wiping all our tears away?
O! no never can it be!
Never, never can it be!

He doth give his joy to all;
He becomes an infant small;
He becomes a man of woe;
He doth feel the sorrow too.

Think not thou canst sigh a sigh
And thy maker is not by;
Think not thou canst weep a tear
And thy maker is not near.

O! he gives to us his joy
That our grief he may destroy;
Till our grief is fled & gone
He doth sit by us and moan.

Friday, December 4, 2009

"The Old Time Family" by Edgar A. Guest

It makes me smile to hear 'em tell each other nowadays
The burdens they are bearing, with a child or two to raise.
Of course the cost of living has gone soaring to the sky
And our kids are wearing garments that my parents couldn't buy.
Now my father wasn't wealthy, but I never heard him squeal
Because eight of us were sitting at the table every meal.

People fancy they are martyrs if their children number three,
And four or five they reckon makes a large-sized family.
A dozen hungry youngsters at a table I have seen
And their daddy didn't grumble when they licked their platter clean.
Oh, I wonder how these mothers and these fathers up-to-date
Would like a job of buying little shoes for seven or eight.

We were eight around the table in those happy days back then,
Eight that cleaned our plates of pot-pie and then passed them up again;
Eight that needed shoes and stockings, eight to wash and put to bed,
And with mighty little money in the purse, as I have said,
But with all the care we brought them, and through all the days of stress,
I never heard my father or my mother wish for less.

"Hard Luck" by Edgar A. Guest

Ain't no use as I can see
In sittin' underneath a tree
An' growlin that your luck is bad,
An' that your life is extry sad;
Your life ain't sadder than your neighbor's
Nor any harder are your labors;
It rains on him the same as you,
An' he has work he hates to do;
An' he gets tired an' he gits cross,
An' he has trouble with the boss;
You take his whole life, through an' through,
Why, he's not better off than you.

If whinin' brushed the clouds away
I wouldn't have a word to say;
If it made good friends out o' foes
I'd whine a bit, too, I suppose;
But when I look around an' see
A lot o' men resemblin' me,
An' see 'em sad, an' see 'em gay
With work t' do most every day,
Some full o' fun, some bent with care,
Some havin' troubles hard to bear,
I reckon, as I count my woes,
They're 'bout what everybody knows.

The day I find a man who'll say
He's never known a rainy day,
Who'll raise his right hand up an' swear
In forty years he's had no care,
Has never had a single blow,
An' never known one touch o' woe,
Has never seen a loved one die,
Has never wept or heaved a sigh,
Has never had a plan go wrong,
But allus laughed his way along;
Then I'll sit down an' start to whine
That all the hard luck is mine.