Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Two Poems for the Beginning of the Year

A Prayer for the Twenty-first Century

John Marsden
May the road be free for the journey
May it lead where it promised it would
May the stars that gave ancient bearing
Be seen, still be understood.

May every aircraft fly safely,
May every traveler be found,
May sailors in crossing the ocean
Not hear the cries of the drowned.

May gardens be wild, like jungles,
May nature never be tamed,
May dangers create of us heroes,
May fears always have names.

May the mountains stand to remind us
Of what it means to be young,
May we be outlived by our daughters
May we be outlived by our sons.

May the bombs rust away in the bunkers,
And the doomsday clock not be rewound,
May the solitary scientists working,
Remember the holes in the ground.

May the knife remain in the holder,
May the bullet stay in the gun,
May those who live in the shadows 
Be seen by those in the sun.

And this one, by Minnie Louise Haskins (1908)

God Knows
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.
So heart be still:What need our little lifeOur human life to know,If God hath comprehension?In all the dizzy strifeOf things both high and low,God hideth His intention.
God knows. His willIs best. The stretch of yearsWhich wind ahead, so dimTo our imperfect vision,Are clear to God. Our fearsAre premature; In Him,All time hath full provision.
Then rest: untilGod moves to lift the veilFrom our impatient eyes,When, as the sweeter featuresOf Life’s stern face we hail,Fair beyond all surmiseGod’s thought around His creaturesOur mind shall fill

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