Monday, May 25, 2009

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Born 25th May 1803 in Boston, Massachusetts
Died 27th April 1882 in Concord Massachusetts

The love that is in me, the justice, the truth can never die & that is all of me that will not die. All the rest of me is so much death— my ignorance, my vice, my corporeal pleasure. But I am nothing else than a capacity for justice, truth, love, freedom, power. I can inhale, imbibe them forevermore. They shall be so much to me that I am nothing, they all. Then shall God be all in all. Herein is my Immortality. (October 24, 1836)

I said when I awoke, After some more sleepings & wakings I shall lie on this mattress sick; then dead; and through my glad entry they will carry these bones. Where shall I be then? I lift my head and beheld the spotless orange light of the morning beaming up from the dark hills into the wide Universe. (October 21, 1837)

The event of death is always astounding; our philosophy never reaches, never possesses it; we are always at the beginning of our catechism; alwasys the definition is yet to be made, What is Death? I see nothing to help beyond observing what the mind's habit is in regard to that crisis. Simply, I have nothing to do with it. It is nothing to me. After I have made my will & set my house in order, I shall do in the immediate expectation of death the same things I should do without it. (October 28, 1837)

Life & Death are apparitions. Last night the Teachers' Sunday School met here & the theme was Judgment. I affirmed that we were Spirits now incarnated & should always be Spirits incarnated. Our thought is the income of God. I taste therefore of eternity & pronounce of eternal law Now & not hereafter. Space & time are but forms of thought. I proceed from God now & ever shall so proceed. Death is but an appearance. Yes & life's circumstances are but an appearance through which the firm virtue of this God-law penetrates & which it moulds. The inertia of matter & of fortune & of our employment is the feebleness of our spirit. (May 14, 1838)

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), Journals

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Mother's Heart

A mother's heart is a saving bank,
Where the love you deposit lies,
Gathering interest day by day,
From the sunshine of the skies.
There isn't a safer place my lad,
To bury the treasure you'd keep
Than down in its beautiful vaults of dreams
Where the tenderest blossoms sleep.
A mother's heart is the place to hide
Whatever you'd treasure best
For she'll give it back as the years go by
In a love that's more than rest.

A mother's heart is a storage vault,
Where nothing breaks in to steal
Except the honor you fail to pay
And the love you forget to feel.
A love you have placed there once remains,
And you may forget, but she
Will give it back, if you want it so,
And smile as she hands the key.
Smile, but never forget, my lad,
That a smile is the saddest thing
When it's over the ashes of something dead
And the heart is a broken wing!

A mother's heart is a fortress strong,
Where your foes may never come,
With prancing steeds and gleaming sword,
And the rat-tat of the drum.
For that which you treasure she will defend,
And loud as the guns may roll,
She'll stand in the breech to the very end --
And then she will fight with her soul.
A mother's heart -- I would rather trust
My all unto that, I know
For love in the keeping of such a place
Will grow as the blossoms grow.

-- author unknown --

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Carved in Stone
Lay the green sod o'er me
carve my name in stone
lay the green sod o'er me
the soldier has come home.

Barry Sadler (1940-1989)
American Singer, Soldier and Songwriter

Human memory

is a marvelous
but fallacious instrument.
The memories

which lie within us
are not carved in stone;
not only

do they tend to become erased
as the years go by,
but often they change,
or even increase

by incorporating extraneous features.

Primo Levi (1919-1987)
Italian Author, Writer and Chemist

Carve not upon a stone

when I am dead,
The praises which

remorseful mourners give;
To women's graves -

a tardy recompense,
But speak them while I live.

Elizabeth Akers Allen

Just because it's carved in stone

does NOT mean it's true!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

In Flanders Fields


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae (1872-1918) on this date . . . the 3rd day of May . . . in the year 1915 . . . after he witnessed the death of his friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, only 22 years old, the day before.

Friday, May 1, 2009

May Day

May 1925. Elizabeth Marilla Henry nee Smith (1912-1932)

Happy May Day

The fair maid who, the first of May
Goes to the fields at break of day
And washes in dew from the hawthorn tree
Will ever after handsome be.

Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme

A delicate fabric of bird song
Floats in the air,
The smell of wet wild earth
Is everywhere.
Oh I must pass nothing by
Without loving it much,
The raindrop try with my lips,
The grass with my touch;
For how can I be sure
I shall see again
The world on the first of May
Shining after the rain?

Sara Teasdale, May Day

Sweet May hath come to love us,
Flowers, trees, their blossoms don;
And through the blue heavens above us
The very clouds move on.

Heinrich Heine, Book of Songs

I sing of brooks, of blossoms, birds, and bowers:
Of April, May, or June, and July flowers.
I sing of Maypoles, Hock-carts, wassails, wakes,
Of bridegrooms, brides, and of the bridal cakes.
Robert Herrick, Hesperides, 1648

Now the bright morning-star, Day’s harbinger,
Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose.
Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire
Mirth, and youth, and warm desire!
Woods and groves are of thy dressing;
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.

John Milton, Song on a May Morning, 1660

The year's at the spring,
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hill-side's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in his Heaven --
All's right with the world!

Robert Browning, The Year's at the Spring

Oh! that we two were Maying
Down the stream of the soft spring breeze;
Like children with violets playing,
In the shade of the whispering trees.

Charles Kingsley

Ye may trace my step o'er the wakening earth,
By the winds which tell of the violet's birth,
By the primrose-stars in the shadowy grass,
By the green leaves opening as I pass.

Felicia Hemans

The May-pole is up,
Now give me the cup;
I'll drink to the garlands around it;
But first unto those
Whose hands did compose
The glory of flowers that crown'd it.
Robert Herrick, The Maypole, 1660

I cannot tell you how it was,
But this I know: it came to pass
Upon a bright and sunny day
When May was young; ah, pleasant May!
As yet the poppies were not born
Between the blades of tender corn;
The last egg had not hatched as yet,
Nor any bird foregone its mate.

I cannot tell you what it was,
But this I know: it did but pass.
It passed away with sunny May,
Like all sweet things it passed away,
And left me old, and cold, and gray.

Christina Georgina Rossetti, May, 1880