Wednesday, 5 August 2015

I walked a mile with Pleasure...

I walked a mile with Pleasure; 
She chatted all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow, 
And ne'er a word said she;
But, oh! The things I learned from her, 
When Sorrow walked with me.

                                ~ Robert Browning Hamilton

Monday, 18 May 2015

Hope' Is The Thing With Feathers

'Hope' is the thing with feathers -- 
That perches in the soul -- 
And sings the tune without the words---
And never stops--at all-- 

And sweetest--in the Gale-- is heard-- 
And sore must be the storm-- 
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm--

I've heard it in the chillest land-- 
And on the strangest Sea-- 
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb--of Me. 

~ Emily Dickinson

Tuesday, 2 December 2014


"Patience is better than wisdom. An ounce of patience is better than a pound of brains. All men praise patience but few enough can practice it; it is a medicine which is good for all diseases, and therefore every old woman recommends it: but it is not every garden that grows the herbs to make it with. When one's flesh and bones are full of aches and pains, it is as natural for us to murmur as it for a horse to shake his head when the flies tease him, or a wheel to rattle when a spoke is loose; but nature should not be the rule with Christians. Or what is their religion worth?

~ Charles Spurgeon
(John Ploughman's Talk)

Sunday, 6 October 2013


       To live courageously demands wholehearted commitment. Some Christians profess to have the courage to die for Christ, but they lack the courage to live daily for him...... Courage is not just the force behind spectacular public acts. It is also the motivation to carry out private deeds hardly noticeable to others.

--BJU Press - Explorations in Literature

Friday, 23 November 2012

I'm Not Alone

I'm not alone, though others go,
A different way from what I chose;
I'm not alone, though I say "No!"
I know that I will never lose.
I'm not alone though others tease
And urge that I should go their way;
I'm not alone though I displease
My friends by what I'll never say.
I'm not alone, for I now choose-
Though other folks may call me odd,
Tho' now it seems that I might lose-
To go the way that Jesus trod.

                                                 L. E. Dunkin

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

The Ant and the Cricket

"Go to the ant, O sluggard,
Observe its ways and be wise,
Which, having no chief,
Officer or ruler,
Prepares her food in the summer
And gathers her provision in the harvest.
How long will you lie down, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?
'A little sleep, a little slumber, 
A little folding of the hands to rest'-
Your poverty will come in like a vagabond
And your need ilk an armed man."
Proverbs 6:6-11

A silly young cricket, accustomed to sing
Through the warm, sunny months of gay summer and spring, 
Began to complain, when he found that at home 
His cupboard was empty and winter was come.
Not a crumb to be found 
On the snow-covered ground;
Not a flower could he see,
Not a leaf on a tree.
"Oh, what will become,"says the cricket, "of
At last by starvation and famine made bold,
All dripping with wet and all trembling with
Away he set off to a miserly ant
To see if, to keep him alive, he would grant 
Him shelter from rain.
A mouthful of grain 
He wished only to borrow,
He'd repay it to-morrow;
If not helped he must die of starvation and sorrow.

Says the ant to the cricket: "I'm your servant and friend,
But we ants never borrow, we ants never lend.
Pray tell me, dear sir, did you lay nothing by
When the weather was warm?" Said the cricket,
"Not I.
My heart was so light
That I sang day ad night,
For all nature looked gay,"

"You sang, sir, you say? 
Go then," said the ant, "and sing winter away."

Thus ending, he hastily lifted the wicket
and out of the door turned the poor little cricket.
Though this is a fable, the moral is good-
If you live without work, you must live without food.


Saturday, 17 March 2012

The Spider and the Fly

Flattery means praising insincerely, not meaning it, so that the other person will like you. 

A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.
Proverbs 26:28

A man that flattereth his neighbor, spreadeth a net for his feet.
Proverbs 29:5

"Will you walk into my parlour?" said the spider to the fly.
Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy.
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to show you when you're there."

"Oh, no, no," said the little Fly, "To ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair, can ne'er come down again."

"I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with souring up so high.
Will you rest upon my little bed?" said the spider to the fly.
"There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest a while, I'll snugly tuck you in!"

"Oh, no, no,"said the little fly, "For I've often heard it said, 
They never, never wake again who sleep upon your bed!"

Said the cunning spider to the fly; "Dear friend, what can I do 
To prove the warm affection I've always felt for you?
I have within my pantry good store of all that's nice;
I'm sure you're very welcome - will you please to take a slice?"

"Oh, no, no,"said the little fly; "Kind sir that cannot be:
I've heard what's in you pantry, and I do not wish to see!"

"Sweet creature!"said the spider, "You're witty and you're wise; 
How handsome are your gauzy wings; how brilliant are your eyes!
I have a little looking glass upon my parlour shelf;
If you'd step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself."

I thank you, gentle sir,"she said, "For what you're pleased to say, 
And, bidding you good morning now, I'll call another day."

The spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly fly would soon come back again:
So he wove a subtle wed in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready to dine apron the fly;
Then came out to his door again and merrily did sing:

"Come hither, hither, pretty fly, with pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple; there's a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead!"

Alas, alas! How very soon this silly little fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, than near and nearer grew,
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes and green and purple hue,
Thinking only of her crested head. Poor, foolish thing! At last
Up jumped the cunning spider, and fiercely held her fast;
He dragged her up his winding stair, into the dismal den - 
Within his little parlor - but she ne'er came out again!

And now, dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly, flattering words I pray you ne'er give heed;
Unto an evil counselor close heart and ear and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale of the spider and the fly.

                                                                                  - Mary Howitt

Saturday, 3 March 2012

The Butterfly and The Caterpillar

A butterfly, one summer morn,
Sat on a spray of a blossoming thorn
And, as he sipped and drank his share
Of honey from the flowered air,
Below, upon the garden wall,
A caterpillar chanced to crawl.
"Horrors!" The butterfly exclaimed,
"This must be stopped! I am ashamed
That each as I should have to be
In the same world with such as he.
Preserve me from such hideous things!
Disgusting shape! Were are his wings!
Fuzzy and gray! Eater of clay!
Won't someone take the worm away!"

The caterpillar hunched ahead,
But as he munched a leaf, he said,
"Eight days ago, young butterfly,
you wormed about, the same as I.
Within a fortnight from today
Two wings will bear me far away
To brighter blooms and lovelier lures,
With colors that out rival yours.
So, flutter-flit, be not so proud;
Each caterpillar is endowed
With power to make him, by and by,
A blithe and brilliant butterfly.
While you, who scorn the common clay,
You, in your livery so gay,
And all the gaudy moths, and millers,
Are only dressed up caterpillars"

                                                Joseph Lauren

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessing in his hand.
Christ our God to earth descended, 
Our full homage to demand.

King of kings yet born of Mary,
As of old on earth he stood,
Lord of lords in human vesture,
In the body and the blood;
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for Heav'nly food.

Rank on rank the Host of Heaven,
Spreads its vanguard on the way.
As the Light of lights descended
From the realms of endless day,
That the powers of hell may vanish
As the darkness clears away.

At his feet the six-winged seraph,
Cherubim with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the presence,
As with ceaseless voice they cry:
Alleluia, Alleluia,
Alleluia, Lord most High.

Liturgy of St. James
5th Century
Art by Rembrandt

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Life's Clock

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools
but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:15-16 

The clock of life is wound but once,
And no man has the power
To tell just were the hands will stop - 
At late or early hour.

To lose one's wealth is sad indeed,
To lose one's health is more,
To lose one's soul is such a loss 
As no man can restore.

The present only is our own,
Live for Christ with a will;
Place no faith in tomorrow,
For the clock may then be still.