Under a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.
His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat,
He earns whate’er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face,
For he owes not any man.
Week in, week out, from morn till night,
You can hear his bellows blow;
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,
With measured beat and slow,
Like a sexton ringing the village bell,
When the evening sun is low.
And children coming home from school
Look in at the open door;
They love to see the flaming forge,
And hear the bellows roar,
And catch the burning sparks that fly
Like chaff from a threshing-floor.
He goes on Sunday to the church,
And sits among his boys;
He hears the parson pray and preach,
He hears his daughter’s voice,
Singing in the village choir,
And it makes his heart rejoice.
It sounds to him like her mother’s voice,
Singing in Paradise!
He needs must think of her once more,
How in the grave she lies;
And with his hard, rough hand he wipes
A tear out of his eyes.
Onward through life he goes;
Each morning sees some task begin,
Each evening sees it close
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night’s repose.
Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
For the lesson thou hast taught!
Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought;
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
Each burning deed and thought.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow~
With reference to Earth Day yesterday…
The energies of our system will decay, the glory of the sun will be dimmed, and the earth, tideless and inert, will no longer tolerate the race which has for a moment disturbed its solitude – men will go down into the pit, and all his thoughts will perish. A.J. Balfour
Conservation does not mean the locking up of our resources, nor a hindrance to real progress in any direction. It means only wise, careful use. Mary Huston Gregory
Deep rivers flow with silent majesty. Shallow brooks are noisy.
In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins … not through strength but through persistence.
You can cut all the flowers but you cannot stop spring from coming. Pablo Neruda
He began whistling and said no more, while Heidi looked around her and began to tremble with excitement, for she knew every tree along the way, and there overhead were the high jagged peaks of the mountain looking down on her like old friends. And Heidi nodded back to them, and grew every moment more wild with her joy and longing, feeling as if she must jump down from the cart and run with all her might till she reached the top. From the novel Heidi, Johanna Spyri
Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow…
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn rain…
When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift’s uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight
I am the soft stars that shine at night
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
~Mary Elizabeth Frye~
When the swallows come back to Capistrano,
That’s the day you promised to come back to me,
When you whispered farewell in Capistrano,
‘Twas the day the swallows flew out to sea.
All the mission bells will ring, the chapel choir will sing,
The happiness you’ll bring will live in my memory.
When the swallows come back to Capistrano,
I pray that you’ll come back to me.
The ache becomes a part of me, a fear that I know will never leave me.
I’ll carry it with me through the rest of this life, however long that may be.
It never ceases to cause pain,
It is ever present and distracting,
A torturous throbbing, in the empty space that has been created,
And has remained,
Empty and unhealed, a raw wound since you left me here,
Without you I am abandoned, and craving your presence,
Your smell, your touch which I must accept I can’t ever, ever again know,
Because you’re not here,
Nor will you be again,
I am simply here,
Let me die a youngman’s death
not a clean and inbetween
the sheets holywater death
not a famous-last-words
peaceful out of breath death
When I’m 73
and in constant good tumour
may I be mown down at dawn
by a bright red sports car
on my way home
from an allnight party
Or when I’m 91
with silver hair
and sitting in a barber’s chair
may rival gangsters
with hamfisted tommyguns burst in
and give me a short back and insides
Or when I’m 104
and banned from the Cavern
may my mistress
catching me in bed with her daughter
and fearing for her son
cut me up into little pieces
and throw away every piece but one
Let me die a youngman’s death
not a free from sin tiptoe in
candle wax and waning death
not a curtains drawn by angels borne
‘what a nice way to go’ death
March 25th is the Feast of the Annunciation celebrated by Christians to honour Mary, Mother of God…
God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers. Jewish Proverb
A mother is only as happy as her child.
Who is it that love me and will love me forever with an affection which no chance, no misery, no crime of mine can do away? – It is you, my mother. Thomas Carlyle
Prayer is so powerful
That a good prayer had better be sure
He wants what he prays for –
He’s most likely to get it. Rodello Hunter
…and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him. Matthew 2:9-11
A moment of happiness,
you and I sitting on the verandah,
apparently two, but one in soul, you and I.
We feel the flowing water of life here,
you and I, with the garden’s beauty
and the birds singing.
The stars will be watching us,
and we will show them
what it is to be a thin crescent moon.
You and I unselfed, will be together,
indifferent to idle speculation, you and I.
The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar
as we laugh together, you and I.
In one form upon this earth,
and in another form in a timeless sweet land.
~Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi~
The cock is crowing,
The stream is flowing,
The small birds twitter,
The lake doth glitter,
The green field sleeps in the sun;
The oldest and youngest
Are at work with the strongest;
The cattle are grazing,
Their heads never raising;
There are forty feeding like one!
Like an army defeated
The snow hath retreated,
And now doth fare ill
On the top of the bare hill;
The Plowboy is whooping-anon-anon:
There’s joy in the mountains;
There’s life in the fountains;
Small clouds are sailing,
The rain is over and gone!
Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination…
An excerpt from a speech by Barack Obama Illinois State Senator addressing the 2004 Democratic National Convention…values
I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that in no other country on earth is my story even possible.
Tonight we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation, not because of the height of our skyscrapers or the power of our military or the size of our economy. Our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over 200 years ago: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’
Children can’t achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white.
Further quotes from Obama:
I had to reconcile that I could be proud of my African-American heritage and yet not be limited by it.
People may look different, talk different, and live in different places, but they’ve got some core values that they all care about. If you can speak to those values, people will respond – even if you have a funny name.
We’ve got a budge deficit that’s important, we’ve got a trade deficit that’s critical, but what I worry about most is our empathy deficit.