Variations on Masefield and Lamentations

We had to go down to the sea again

to inhale the tide and sky.

And all we asked was for a bit of rest

And to watch our dreams sail by.

Dawn breaks in as routines fade,

Gray thoughts sharpen and shine.

We had to go down to the sea again

Where God whispers audible:

You.

Are.

Mine.

I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,

the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.

I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—

the feeling of hitting the bottom.

But there’s one other thing I remember,

and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:

God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,

his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.

They’re created new every morning.

How great your faithfulness!

I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).

He’s all I’ve got left.

God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,

to the woman who diligently seeks.

It’s a good thing to quietly hope,

quietly hope for help from God.

It’s a good thing when you’re young

to stick it out through the hard times.

Lamentations 3:19-26 (MSG)

Fall Poem and Art

The Autumn, by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (emphasis within stanzas is mine)

Go, sit upon the lofty hill,
And turn your eyes around,
Where waving woods and waters wild
Do hymn an autumn sound.
The summer sun is faint on them —
The summer flowers depart —
Sit still
as all transform’d to stone,
Except your musing heart.

How there you sat in summer-time,
May yet be in your mind;
And how you heard the green woods sing
Beneath the freshening wind.
Though the same wind now blows around,
You would its blast recall;
For every breath that stirs the trees,
Doth cause a leaf to fall.

Oh! like that wind, is all the mirth
That flesh and dust impart:
We cannot bear its visitings,
When change is on the heart.
Gay words and jests may make us smile,
When Sorrow is asleep;
But other things must make us smile,
When Sorrow bids us weep!

The dearest hands that clasp our hands, —
Their presence may be o’er;
The dearest voice that meets our ear,
That tone may come no more!
Youth fades; and then, the joys of youth,
Which once refresh’d our mind,
Shall come — as, on those sighing woods,
The chilling autumn wind.

Hear not the wind — view not the woods;
Look out o’er vale and hill —
In spring, the sky encircled them —
The sky is round them still.
Come autumn’s scathe — come winter’s cold —
Come change — and human fate!
Whatever prospect Heaven doth bound,
Can ne’er be desolate.

Painting by Leo de Freyne

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“It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late,
      and work your worried fingers to the bone.
   Don’t you know he enjoys
      giving rest to those he loves?”

Psalm 127:2 (TMV)