An Apple Gathering

27 08 2013

I plucked pink blossoms from mine apple-tree
And wore them all that evening in my hair:
Then in due season when I went to see
I found no apples there.

With dangling basket all along the grass
As I had come I went the selfsame track:
My neighbours mocked me while they saw me pass
So empty-handed back.

Lilian and Lilias smiled in trudging by,
Their heaped-up basket teased me like a jeer;
Sweet-voiced they sang beneath the sunset sky,
Their mother’s home was near.

Plump Gertrude passed me with her basket full,
A stronger hand than hers helped it along;
A voice talked with her through the shadows cool
More sweet to me than song.

Ah Willie, Willie, was my love less worth
Than apples with their green leaves piled above?
I counted rosiest apples on the earth
Of far less worth than love.

So once it was with me you stooped to talk
Laughing and listening in this very lane:
To think that by this way we used to walk
We shall not walk again!

I let my neighbours pass me, ones and twos
And groups; the latest said the night grew chill,
And hastened: but I loitered, while the dews
Fell fast I loitered still.

Christina G. Rossetti

Apple in Pink and Green

Advice Old and Older

26 08 2013

And these few precepts in thy memory see thou character.

Give thy thoughts no tongue, nor any unproportioned thought his act.

A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh  with a froward mouth. (Proverbs 6:12)

The heart of the righteous studieth to answer, but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things. (Proverbs 15:28)

He that hath knowledge spareth his words, and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise, and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding. (Proverbs 17:27-28)

The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead…. He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honor. (Proverbs 21:16, 21)

Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.

It is as sport to a fool to do mischief, but a man of understanding hath wisdom. (Proverbs 10:23)

A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips, and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue. (Proverbs 17:4)

As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, so is the man that deceiveth his neighbor and saith, “Am I not in sport?” (Proverbs 26:18-19)

The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel.

A friend loeth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. (Proverbs 17:17)

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly, and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (Provers 18:24)

Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful…. Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart; so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel…. Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. (Proverbs 27: 6, 9, 17)

But do not dull thy palm with entertainment of each new-hatched, unfledged comrade.

He that walketh with wise men shall be wise, but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. (Proverbs 13:20)

Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man thou shalt not go, lest thou learn his ways and get a snare to thy soul. (Proverbs 22:24-25)

Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth and a foot out of joint. (Proverbs 25:19)

Beware of entrance to a quarrel…

Only by pride cometh contention, but with the well-advised is wisdom. (Proverbs 13:10)

He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. (Proverbs 16:32)

It is an honour for a man to cease from strife, but every fool will be meddling. (Proverbs 20:3)

But, being in, bear it that the opposed beware of thee.

If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death and those that are ready to be slain, if thou sayest, “Behold, we knew it not,” doth not He that pondereth the heart consider it? And He that keepeth thy soul, doth He not know it? And shall not He render to every man according to his works? (Proverbs 24:10-12)

A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain and a corrupt spring. (Proverbs 25:26)

The wicked flee when no man pursueth, but the righteous are bold as a lion. (Proverbs 28:1)

Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice;

In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin, but he that refraineth his lips is wise. (Proverbs 10:19)

Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge, but a fool layeth open his folly. (Proverbs 13:16)

He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame to him. (Proverbs 18:3)

Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment.

Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge, but he that hateth reproof is brutish… The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. (Proverbs 12:1, 15)

Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction, but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured. (Proverbs 13:18)

Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way, and he that hateth reproof shall die. (Proverbs15:10)

Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, but not expressed in fancy; rich, not gaudy: for the apparel oft proclaims the man…

Wisdom is the principal thing. Therefore get Wisdom, and with all thy getting, get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee; she shall bring thee honour when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace; a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee. (Proverbs 4:7-9)

Neither a borrower nor a lender be: for loan oft loses both itself and friend; and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.

The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. (Proverbs 22:7)

This above all – to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not be false to any man.

Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity than he that is perverse in his lips and is a fool. (Proverbs 19:1)

Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness, but a faithful man, who can find? (Proverbs 20:6)

Hear counsel and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand. (Proverbs 19:20-21)

William Shakespeare (Hamlet:  Act 1, scene 3)

Sweet Fields Beyond

22 08 2013

There is a land of pure delight,
where saints immortal reign,
infinite day excludes the night,
and pleasures banish pain.

There everlasting spring abides,
and never-withering flowers:
death, like a narrow sea, divides
this heavenly land from ours.

Sweet fields beyond the swelling flood
stand dressed in living green:
so to the Jews old Canaan stood,
while Jordan rolled between.

But timorous mortals start and shrink
to cross this narrow sea;
and linger, shivering on the brink,
and fear to launch away.

O could we make our doubts remove,
those gloomy thoughts that rise,
and see the Canaan that we love
with unbeclouded eyes!

Could we but climb where Moses stood,
and view the landscape o’er,
not Jordan’s stream, nor death’s cold flood,
should fright us from the shore.

Isaac Watts

Rose of Sharon

On The Sea

21 08 2013

 It keeps eternal whisperings around
    Desolate shores, and with its mighty swell
    Gluts twice ten thousand caverns, till the spell
    Of Hecate leaves them their old shadowy sound.
    Often ’tis in such gentle temper found
    That scarcely will the very smallest shell
    Be mov’d for days from whence it sometime fell,
    When last the winds of heaven were unbound.
    Oh ye! who have your eye-balls vex’d and tir’d,
    Feast them upon the wideness of the Sea;
    Oh ye! whose ears are dinn’d with uproar rude,
    Or fed too much with cloying melody,
    Sit ye near some old cavern’s mouth, and brood
    Until ye start, as if the sea-nymphs quir’d!

John Keats

Prospecting for Wisdom

20 08 2013

Indeed, there is a mine for silver
and a place for gold to be refined.
 Iron is taken from dust,
and (a miner) pours out copper from ore.
 He puts an end to darkness,
and he searches out the farthest limits
for the ore in gloom and deep shadow.
 He breaks open a mine shaft away from where people dwell;
those who are forgotten by travelers,
they dangle, they sway far away from human beings.
 As for the earth, from it comes food,
but underneath it, it is turned up as by fire.
 Its stones are the place of sapphire,
and the earthen dirt has gold.
It is a path a bird of prey does not know
and the black kite’s eye has not seen.
 Proud wild animals have not trodden it;
the lion in its prime has not prowled over it.
 He puts his hand on the hard rock;
he overturns mountains by the roots.
 He cuts out tunnels in the rocks,
and his eye sees every treasure.
 He dams up rivers from their sources,
and he brings secret things to the light.

But from where will wisdom be found?
And where in the world is the place of understanding?
 A human being does not know its proper value,
and it is not found in the land of the living.
 The deep says, “It is not in me,”
and the sea says, “It is not with me.”

Refined gold cannot be gotten in its place,
and silver cannot be weighed out as its price.
 It cannot be bought for the gold of Ophir,
for precious onyx or sapphire.
 Gold and glass cannot be compared with it,
and its substitution cannot be an ornament of refined gold.
 Black corals and crystal will not be mentioned,
and wisdom’s price is more than red corals.
 The topaz of Cush cannot be compared with it;
it cannot be bought for pure gold.
 Indeed, from where does wisdom come?
And where in the world is the place of understanding?
 It is hidden from the eyes of all living,
and it is concealed from the birds of the heaven.
 Abaddon and Death say,
“We heard its rumor with our ears.”
God understands its way,
and he knows its place,
 for he himself looks to the end of the earth;
he sees under all the heaven.
 When he gave weight to the wind
and he apportioned the waters by measure,
 when he made a rule for the rain
and a way for the thunder’s lightning bolt,
 then he saw it and talked about it;
he established it, and moreover, he explored it.
 And to the human beings he said,
“Look, the fear of the Lord is wisdom,
and to depart from evil is understanding.”

Job 28:1-28

Scripture quotation is from the Lexham English Bible.  Copyright 2012.

Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software.

Links are and

The Waterfall

17 08 2013
With what deep murmurs through time’s silent stealth
Doth thy transparent, cool, and wat’ry wealth
       Here flowing fall,
       And chide, and call,
As if his liquid, loose retinue stay’d
Ling’ring, and were of this steep place afraid;
       The common pass
       Where, clear as glass,
       All must descend
       Not to an end,
But quicken’d by this deep and rocky grave,
Rise to a longer course more bright and brave.


       Dear stream! dear bank, where often I
       Have sate and pleas’d my pensive eye,
       Why, since each drop of thy quick store
       Runs thither whence it flow’d before,
       Should poor souls fear a shade or night,
       Who came, sure, from a sea of light?
       Or since those drops are all sent back
       So sure to thee, that none doth lack,
       Why should frail flesh doubt any more
       That what God takes, he’ll not restore?


       O useful element and clear!
       My sacred wash and cleanser here,
       My first consigner unto those
       Fountains of life where the Lamb goes!
       What sublime truths and wholesome themes
       Lodge in thy mystical deep streams!
       Such as dull man can never find
       Unless that Spirit lead his mind
       Which first upon thy face did move,
       And hatch’d all with his quick’ning love.
       As this loud brook’s incessant fall
       In streaming rings restagnates all,
       Which reach by course the bank, and then
       Are no more seen, just so pass men.
       O my invisible estate,
       My glorious liberty, still late!
       Thou art the channel my soul seeks,
       Not this with cataracts and creeks.
Henry Vaughan
wet and wild 2

A Hermit’s Exordium

14 08 2013

Here look, my son, for no vainglorious shows
Of royal apparition for the eye,
Humble and meek befitteth men of years;
Behold my cell built in a silent shade,
Holding content for poverty and peace,
And in my lodge is fealty and faith,
Labour and love, united in one league;
I want not, for my mind affordeth wealth,
I know not envy, for I climb not high,
Thus do I live, and thus I mean to die.

If that the world presents illusions,
Or Satan seeks to puff me up with pomp,
As man is frail and apt to follow pride,
Then see, my son, where I have in my cell
A dead man’s skull, which calls this straight to mind,
That as this is, so must my ending be;
When then I see that earth to earth must pass,
I sigh and say all flesh is like to grass.

If care to live, or sweet delight in life,
As man desires to see out many days,
Draws me to listen to the flattering world,
Then see my glass which swiftly out doth run,
Compared to man, who dies ere he begins;
This tells me time slacks not his posting course,
But as the glass runs out with every hour,
Some in their youth, some in their weakest age,
All sure to die, but no man knows his time;
By this I think how vain a thing is man,
Whose longest life is likened to a span.

When Satan seeks to sift me with his wiles,
Or proudly dares to give a fierce assault
To make a shipwreck of my faith with fears,
Then armed at all points to withstand the foe
With holy armour, here’s the martial sword,
This book, this Bible, this two-edged blade,
Whose sweet content pierceth the gates of hell,
Deciphering laws and discipline of war
To overthrow the strength of Satan’s jar.

Robert Greene

 Therefore, when you have prepared your minds for action by being self-controlled, put your hope completely in the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former desires you used to conform to in your ignorance  but as the one who called you is holy, you yourselves be holy in all your conduct, for it is written, “You will be holy, because I am holy.”  And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves with fear during the time of your temporary residence, because you know that you were redeemed from your futile way of life inherited from your ancestors not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb who was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has been revealed in these last times for you who through him are believing in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for sincere brotherly love, love one another fervently from the heart, because you have been born again, not from perishable seed but imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For

“all flesh is like grass,
    and all its glory like the flower of the grass.
The grass withers and the flower falls off,”

And this is the word that has been proclaimed to you.

1 Peter 1:13-25 (LEB)