His Greatest Seal: Poems by the Rev. Francis Quintin-Arthur
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Nature (The Scenic Seen)
O you vast stretch of blue waters
Above whom the feathery birds glide
You can reach so far and wide
Casting about your mighty power
By the employment of your tempestuous waves
But at times you look so peaceable
So very tranquil you do seem
To bespeak desirous peace
Then you flow so calm, so cool
Quite unlike you were before
Mighty ocean, oratorical linguist
Of earthly life's unpredictability
I see you out there, Weeping Willow,
I see why you got your name
But when I look at you again
You seem to be only bowing your head
Which is it, O Weeping Willow?
Are you in a sorrowful mood
Or have you just bowed your humble head
To the One who made you here to stand?
When I last saw you, grateful willow
And questioned your posture
You were very live and green
A uniquely mellow green
Oh, but now I see you're blonde
A gorgeous, gentle blonde
On that all should agree
So one of these snowy days
If the good Lord will permit
I'll plan to see you again
Bowed ever so gracefully
To the ever-gentle God
Who made you here to be
To rise and bow in praise
The trees line up to sing
Serenading outside the house
Twisting and whispering in the blowing wind
They all singthey sing their hopeful message
Not languid, some leaves
But weak and falling others are
Still the winds blow
I can hear their chords
Their message is clear to me
How rich their disposition
How sweet their melody
at a time when the cause of their songs
marshals some to fall to the ground
on that deflective journey
Their fallnay, their falling
is still gentle
The survivors sing the requiem over the fallen
Who, though on the ground,
Are rich yet in hope
And how graceful they lie
To spring up again on some branches
And the wind blowing through these leaves
Brings glad expectations to my mind
Full of joy, that time when leaves spring forth
from the once-barren branches
Firm are their stems and full of hope
Aided by the rain
O you soft and condensed vapor
What color shall we ascribe to you
Springing from the very goodness of God
Sustainer of the weak
Yes, even the poor
Spring, a time of birth,
growth and progress
And so is the time of human birth
an occasion of joy, hope and gratitude
Witness, in summer
That dazzling furnace of strength
Emitting such great heat from that distance
Mans rising bell and Christs image
Indispensable help to man
To the prowling beasts of the forest
That plant their feet firmly on the earth
On which the tiny creatures slide
And to the green leaves too!
Full of beauty is fall
A time of ripeness
A period of maturity
O you green leaves, how tantalizing
Are your reddish-yellow color
of singular beauty
We look at you and stare
with wondrous amazement
How more mature can you be?
How more beautiful?
And so is man
in the autumn of his life
O you current of air
falling from your Majesty
How important you are to my very being
Blowing faster to disable
Those once pretty leaves
How can I stop you from such apparent harm
Being in nature invisible
Pale are the leaves; they languish
But death pursues them
with the alacrity of youth
Falling reluctantly in zig-zag motion
To be trampled upon by man and beast
The once decorative leaves
Soon to be buried in winter by the snow
Of what use are you to me?
Where is your splendor?
And mortal man when the bell tolls
Where are your riches?
How humble your pride!
Those leaves that were,
Now are not
but again will be.
So are we,
But not always to be,
And shall cease to be,
So as to always be.
You leaves forsaking your branches,
and you gone before,
May you lie down still;
And rest in peace,
All you souls gone before us.
O you vicarious manifestations of love in the winds
that fan across my face
and make it so refreshingly cool,
where do you come from?
Do you always have to come with such gentility?
Were you a man,
I would call you a gentleman.
But you are more than man, breath of the Creator
Who made man be and sustains him.
I call you life, for you refresh my soul.
You slide from the heights
to find your way down to me.
You must have flown over the mountains
and brushed against them as you came.
Oh, you make your presence so felt
even as you shake the green leaves.
Don't even tell me you are welcome everywhere,
for I am well aware of that.
Who would reject you
but he who has no will to live.
Oh, flow over me, therefore, surrounding winds,
and bathe me in your comfort,
for there I lay me down.
Very gorgeous are you in the heavens
So brightly hued your circular arc is
Composing these handsome bands concentric
Mark the hues of beauty artistic
You daintily gird the skies with your splendor
Manifesting thus creation's grandeur
Oh, were I not to trust You
Whom could I trust?
For does whomever I trust
Not have his trust in You?
Even the winds that encase us
And keep us fresh and fit
Don't they themselves trust in You
Who made them be, blow and fan?
The mountains stand mighty and high
Upon the earth below
Dont they have their trust in You? Yes!
For You can level them unto the ground
Lovely the birds up in the trees
They trapeze from branch to branch
They just open up their delicate beaks
And praises flow from within them
And you trees who stand straight there
With all your greens over your heads
Are not all these waving moments
Your means of speaking your trust in Him?
Cant He dismantle you, O trees
If you stand proudly on your feet
And think you stand there on your own
Without the praises due His name?
Did He not show you what He could do
When He sent down His own fierce winds
To sweep you down unto the ground
With all your shoots and leaves and branches?
Golden ball in the skies
Ushering in the day
Lay on me your rays
With all their bright hopes
Shine on all I do
Creeping into my day
O you sunrise in the clouds
Make me bright like you
So I shall shine for all I meet
Gift me with your rays
For no matter how deep the dark
I'll never miss my way
With your light surrounding me
And you same attestation of loveliness in the universe
That fan about me
Come into me that I may breathe and live
Where do you come from?
Why do you pay me no heed?
Oh, I know why
You flow from a fountain of love
And your mere presence
Speaks of His love
I praise you, my God, King and all
For the secret wonders of your works;
They open wide mouths to sing your praise,
Resounding throughout your earth below.
Should my voice be melodious, Lord,
I employ it to sing your praise;
Be it even not that great a sound,
I still make joyful noise to you, my Lord.
So much have I talked of your wonders,
I feel like singing them aloud
For those who may not have heard my speech
To respond to your praise with voices clear.
You create all I see around
Just for the beauty of the earth.
May all the earth sing your praises;
You made it be for mortal man.
Fascinated by nature
(amused by itself)
All nature teams up
To raise joyful noise to their Source,
scattered all over the earth
in songs of thanksgiving and praise
My eyes opened to see
This day the Lord has made
And it put joy in my heart
Higher raised up my eyes lids
My hands opened in praise
With movements to the skies
My mouth began to sing
In chants and praises loud
My knees bent down to kneel
To Him who made this day
On which I should rejoice
And be glad to praise His name
Through the joys I'd bring to all
I'll meet this joyful day
I lifted up my eyes today
I saw the bright sun above
In all its golden garb
It brought joy to my heart
And hope to all Ill do
I kept looking at it
And I felt it was all mine
For the gleam did seem to me
To be made for me alone
The lines of its rays
Were as straight as they could be
They directly came to me
And rested in my eyes
They belonged to me alone
It did seem to bring
A message from up high
That the light is truly mine
And that there's nil to fear
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