Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sing to the Lord of Harvest

Sing to the Lord of harvest,
Sing songs of love and praise;
With joyful hearts and voices
Your alleluias raise.
By Him the rolling seasons
In fruitful order move;
Sing to the Lord of harvest,
A joyous song of love.

By Him the clouds drop fatness,
The deserts bloom and spring,
The hills leap up in gladness,
The valleys laugh and sing.
He fills them with His fullness
And all things will increase,
He crowns the year with goodness,
With plenty and with peace.

Bring to His sacred altar
The gifts His goodness gave,
The golden sheaves of harvest,
The souls He died to save.
Your hearts lay down before Him
When at His feet you fall,
And with your lives adore Him,
Who gave His life for all.

To God the gracious Father,
Who made us “very good,”
To Christ, who, when we wandered,
Restored us with His blood,
And to the Holy Spirit,
Who doth upon us pour
His bless├Ęd dews and sunshine,
Be praise forevermore!

---John S.B. Monsell, 1866; adapted c.m.b., 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Indian Summer

These are the days when birds come back,
A very few, a bird or two,
To take a backward look.

These are the days when skies put on
The old, old sophistries* of June ---
A blue and gold mistake.

Oh, fraud that cannot cheat the bee,
Almost thy plausibility
Induces my belief,

Till ranks of seeds their witness bear,
And softly through the altered air
Hurries a timid leaf!

Oh, sacrament** of summer days,
Oh, last communion** in the haze,
Permit a child to join,

Thy sacred emblems to partake,
Thy consecrated bread to break,
Taste thine immortal wine!
---Emily Dickinson
*Sophistries: subtly deceiving reasoning or artifacts
**Emily was so taken with the natural experience that she equates it with the Lord's Supper (Communion). No, I don't put nature on that par (it doesn't give forgiveness of sins), but the fact that nature is less tinged by the effects of sin makes it sometimes seem almost "sacred."