Lenten Poetry Challenge
Tuesday Lent Poem 35
A Song of the Road
Robert Louis Stevenson 1878
The gauger walked with willing foot,
And aye the gauger played the flute;
And what should Master Gauger play
But OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY?
Whene’er I buckle on my pack
And foot it gaily in the track,
O pleasant gauger, long since dead,
I hear you fluting on ahead.
You go with me the self-same way –
The self-same air for me you play;
For I do think and so do you
It is the tune to travel to.
For who would gravely set his face
To go to this or t’other place?
There’s nothing under Heav’n so blue
That’s fairly worth the travelling to.
On every hand the roads begin,
And people walk with zeal therein;
But wheresoe’er the highways tend,
Be sure there’s nothing at the end.
Then follow you, wherever hie
The travelling mountains of the sky.
Or let the streams in civil mode
Direct your choice upon a road;
For one and all, or high or low,
Will lead you where you wish to go;
And one and all go night and day
OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY!
Monday Lent Poem 34
A Hunting Song
Edith Wharton 1909
HUNTERS, where does Hope nest?
Not in the half-oped breast,
Nor the young rose,
Nor April sunrise–those
With a quick wing she brushes,
The wide world through,
Greets with the throat of thrushes,
Fades from as fast as dew.
But, would you spy her sleeping,
Look in the breast of weeping,
The tree stript by storm;
But, would you bind her fast,
Yours at last,
Bed-mate and lover,
Gain the last headland bare
That the cold tides cover,
There may you capture her, there,
Where the sea gives to the ground
Only the drift of the drowned.
Yet, if she slips you, once found,
Push to her uttermost lair
In the low house of despair.
There will she watch by your head,
Sing to you till you be dead,
Then, with your child in her breast,
In another heart build a new nest.
Sunday Lent Poem 33
O Lord, Our Father
O Lord, our father,
Our young patriots, idols of our hearts,
Go forth to battle – be Thou near them!
With them, in spirit, we also go forth
From the sweet peace of our beloved firesides To smite the foe.
O Lord, our God,
Help us to tear their soldiers
To bloody shreds with our shells;
Help us to cover their smiling fields
With the pale forms of their patriot dead; Help us to drown the thunder of
the guns With the shrieks of their wounded,
Writhing in pain.
Help us to lay waste their humble homes
With a hurricane of fire;
Help us to wring the hearts of their
Unoffending widows with unavailing grief; Help us to turn them out roofless
With their little children to wander unfriended The wastes of their
In rags and hunger and thirst,
Sports of the sun flames of summer
And the icy winds of winter,
Burdened in spirit, worn with travail,
Imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it –
For our sakes who adore Thee, Lord,
Blast their hopes,
Blight their lives,
Protract their bitter pilgrimage,
Make heavy their steps,
Water their way with their tears,
Stain the white snow with the blood
Of their wounded feet!
We ask it in the spirit of love –
Of Him who is the source of love,
And Who is the ever-faithful
Refuge and Friend of all that are sore beset And seek His aid with humble
and contrite hearts.
Saturday Lent Poem 32
The Passionate Shepherd To His Love
Christopher ‘Kit’ Marlowe 1588?
COME live with me, and be my love;
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dales and fields,
Woods or steepy mountain yields.
And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.
And I will make thee beds of roses,
And a thousand fragrant posies;
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroider’d all with leaves of myrtle
A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair-lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;
A belt of straw and ivy-buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs:
An if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.
The shepherd-swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me, and be my love.
Friday Lent Poem 31
How do I love thee
Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1850
Sonnet XLIII from Sonnets of the Portuguese
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,–I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!–and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.