To stand upon the river-bank

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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

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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
away?

from The Leaden Echo by Gerard Manley Hopkins

24me, 24u

cross

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.

 

O cloud in the West

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    Over the humped and fishy sea,
Over the Caliban sea
O cloud in the West, like a thought in the heart
Of pardon, loose thy wing, and start,
And do a grace for me.

Over the huge and huddling sea,
Over the Caliban sea,
Bring hither my brother Antonio, – Man, –
My injurer: night breaks the ban;
Brother, I pardon thee.

from Marsh Song – At Sunset, by Sidney Lanier

Baltimore, 1879-80.

Hallelujah!

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Now, now that the sun hath veil’d his light
And bid the world goodnight;
To the soft bed my body I dispose,
But where shall my soul repose?
Dear, dear God, even in Thy arms,
And can there be any so sweet security!
Then to thy rest, O my soul!
And singing, praise the mercy
That prolongs thy days.

Hallelujah!

henry purcell, an evening hymn