Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Summer in Scripture

You set all the earth's bounds;
Summer and Winter---You made them. (Psalm 74:17)

[David confessed to God],
"For day and night was Your hand heavy upon me;
My juice* left in the droughts of summer.
I acknowledged my sin unto You,
And my iniquity I did not cover up.
I said, 'I will confess my transgressions unto Yahweh',
And You forgave the iniquities of my sin." (Ps. 32:4-5)

[God said to Noah after the Flood],
"Through all the days of the earth,
Neither Seedtime or Harvest,
Neither Cold or Heat,
Neither Summer or Winter,
Neither Day or Night
Shall take a 'sabbath-rest.'" (Genesis 8:22)

And the earth shall end,
And the seasons, too.
Heaven shall boast the best of each season
At every time, all the time.
And the blossoms of our confession and forgiveness
Will unfold fully and perfectly,
Where our perfect bodies will live in a perfected nature,
And the perfection of our love
At last reflects that of the Creator
And Savior who have always loved us.

*A metaphor, as the juices of a fruit dry up under constantly baking heat


I awoke in the Midsummer not-to-call night,
in the white and the walk of the morning*:
The moon, dwindled and thinned to the fringe
of a fingernail** held to the candle,
Or paring of paradisaical fruit,***
lovely in waning but lustreless. . .
This was the prized, the desirable sight,
unsought, presented so easily,
Parted me leaf and leaf****, divided me,
eyelid and eyelid of slumber.
---Gerard Manley Hopkins; June, 1876

*A moon just before the new moon will come up just before sun up
**Slim crescent moon, seeming as translucent as a fingernail held up in front of a candle in a dark room (a waning moon)
***Fruit parings also seem translucent; reminds one of the "waning" of the fruit of paradise after sin
****The "magic" of this night cut right through the poet, as if leaves of a book or of a tree parting from each other, then his eyelids were parted from his eyes as he could no longer sleep with such a "spell" on his room

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Nature's Changes

The springtime's pallid* landscape
Will glow like bright bouquet,
Though drifted deep in parian**
The village lies today.

The lilacs, bending many a year,
With purple load will hang;
The bees will not forget the tune
Their old forefathers sang.

The rose will redden in the bog,
The aster on the hill
Her everlasting fashion set,
And covenant gentians frill,

Till summer unfolds her miracle
As women do their gown,
Or priests adjust the symbols***
When sacrament is done.
---Emily Dickinson

*Pallid: pale, dull; lacking in liveliness
**Parian: like marble from the island of Paros (late spring snow blanket)
***No, I don't believe in a merely symbolic Lord's Supper