I who am dead a thousand years,
And wrote this sweet archaic song,
Send you my words for messengers
The way I shall not pass along.
I care not if you bridge the seas,
Or ride secure the cruel sky,
Or build consummate palaces
Of metal or of masonry.
But have you wine and music still,
And statues and a bright-eyed love,
And foolish thoughts of good and ill,
And prayers to them who sit above?
O friend unseen, unborn, unknown,
Student of our English tongue,
Read out my words at night, alone:
I was a poet, I was young.
Since I can never see your face,
And never shake you by the hand,
I send my soul through time and space
To greet you. You will understand.
I found this poem at the exact moment I needed comfort, and I did indeed feel as though Mr. Flecker had reached across time and space to communicate with me. Have you ever considered that your words might carry into the future and help someone after your life is over? Do you have a favorite story or poem that you read aloud to yourself in moments of need?
The Day Is Done by Longfellow is another of my favorite poems. Tell me if you see yourself in the writer he describes.
Read from some humbler poet,
Whose songs gushed from his heart,
As showers from the clouds of summer,
Or tears from the eyelids start;
Who, through long days of labor,
And nights devoid of ease,
Still heard in his soul the music
Of wonderful melodies.
Such songs have power to quiet
The restless pulse of care,
And come like the benediction
That follows after prayer.
Beautiful, isn't it? It's encouraging to know that other writers have had their struggles, too. They worked hard and sometimes doubted themselves. Just like we do at times. My last little snippet comes from Ulysses by Tennyson.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
We all hope for heroic hearts as writers. As we return to our manuscripts and works-in-progress each day, I think we're getting there. Two years ago, I almost died, and a gifted surgeon saved my life. Today, I walked in the foothills of the mountains above my home and watched as the sun broke through the clouds to settle it's fiery light in a circle on the lake below. I could see the nearly blinding rays outline the ripples in the water, making them appear like liquid pleats spreading out into the grayness beyond. I'm so happy to be alive. I'm so happy to read beautiful words and to have the time to write them.
Have a wonderful weekend, dear readers.