That ocean you have late survey’d,
Those rocks I too have seen;
But I, afflicted and dismay’d,
You, tranquil and serene.
You from the flood-controlling steep
Saw stretch’d before your view,
With conscious joy, the threatening deep,
No longer such to you.
To me the waves, that ceaseless broke
Upon the dangerous coast,
Hoarsely and ominously spoke
Of all my treasure lost.
Your sea of troubles you have past,
And found the peaceful shore;
I, tempest-toss’d, and wreck’d at last,
Come home to port no more.
William Cowper – October 1780
Whilst some to range the breezy hill are gone,
I lingered on the river’s marge alone,
Mingled with groups of ancient sailors gray,
And watched the last bright sunshine steal away.
from The Greenwich Pensioners by William Lisle Bowles
At the edge of darkness
He sets up His camp;
Until you know Jesus there
You don´t know Him at all.
There He fights the battle
For our souls
And all the hidden
Rise up to meet Him
Certain they will win.
But they are ignorant
Lying in the dark
For years, decades
And have no idea
Who their opponent
He is Jesus and He will be
Be gracious, Heaven, for now laborious man
Has done his part. Ye fostering breezes, blow;
Ye softening dews, ye tender showers, descend;
And temper all, thou world-reviving sun,
Into the perfect year.
from The Seasons: “Spring” by James Thomson (1700-1748)
To stand upon the river-bank
And snare the purple fish,
My net well cast across the stream,
Was all that I could wish.
Or lie concealed and shoot the geese
That scream and pass apace,
And pay my rent and taxes with
The profits of the chase.
Then home to peace and happiness,
With wife and children gay,
Though clothes be coarse and fare be hard,
And earned from day to day.
But now I read and read, scarce knowing
What ’tis all about,
And eager to improve my mind,
I wear my body out.
from “Discontent” by Han Yu A.D. 768-824
How to keep—is there ány any, is there none such, nowhere
known some, bow or brooch or braid or brace, láce, latch
or catch or key to keep
Back beauty, keep it, beauty, beauty, beauty, . . . from vanishing
from The Leaden Echo by Gerard Manley Hopkins
amazing jet stream this morning. we were sitting on the balcony, my husband and i, when the stripe going up the left was in the making. my husband said, “a cross.” i said, “two for you, and two for me.” i then told him what i meant. his cross is my cross. my cross is his. he is dealing with the aftermath of stomach cancer, and me my endlessly dry eyes. so, we each have two. and that is love´s greatness and love´s great difficulty. and it puts me in mind of Jesus, who bears all our crosses, even when we can´t see it.