(Friends: Well, it's that time again. It's been nearly two years since I sent to you my favorite poem, "The Darkling Thrush," by Thomas Hardy. This time, you'll find something extra, something you might call a poetic response. This one is for Jay and Randy, and for all who "fling their souls upon the growing gloom." Glen)
"The Darkling Thrush"
I leant upon a coppice gate
when Frost was specter-grey,
and Winter's dregs made desolate
the weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
like strings of broken lyres,
and all mankind that haunted nigh
had sought their household fires.
The land's sharp features seemed to be
the Century's corpse outleant,
his crypt the cloudy canopy,
the wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
was shrunken hard and dry,
and every spirit upon earth
seemed fervorless as I.
At once, a voice arose among
the bleak twigs overhead,
in a full-hearted evensong
of joy illimited.
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
in blast-beruffled plume,
had chosen thus to fling his soul
upon the growing gloom.
So little cause for carolings
of such ecstatic sound,
was written on terrestrial things
afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
his happy good-night air
some blessed Hope, whereof he knew,
and I was unaware.
(December 31, 1900)
"To Fling Our Souls"
Like the thrush of long ago,
who seemed to have no cause
for raising battered heart and soul
to sound a joyful voice,
The song of the redeemed
rings through a darkened realm.
Its bells of worship sing,
It's truth sublimely tells
The glory of a Savior
worthy of all praise,
the story of redemption,
the wonder of His grace.
How can we sing? How can we not
in the light of His dear face?
For like the thrush of long ago,
a blessed Hope conveys
The Light that shines in darkness,
the splendor of His ways.
We join the thrush to fling our souls
in joy and grateful praise.
"An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small…"
(November 27, 2017)
"And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them."
Weekly Memory Verse
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
(I Timothy 1:17)