A Winter Eden

22 01 2014

A winter garden in an alder swamp,
Where conies now come out to sun and romp,
As near a paradise as it can be
And not melt snow or start a dormant tree.

It lifts existence on a plane of snow
One level higher than the earth below,
One level nearer heaven overhead,
And last year’s berries shining scarlet red.

It lifts a gaunt luxuriating beast
Where he can stretch and hold his highest feat
On some wild apple tree’s young tender bark,
What well may prove the year’s high girdle mark.

So near to paradise all pairing ends:
Here loveless birds now flock as winter friends,
Content with bud-inspecting. They presume
To say which buds are leaf and which are bloom.

A feather-hammer gives a double knock.
This Eden day is done at two o’clock.
An hour of winter day might seem too short
To make it worth life’s while to wake and sport.

Robert Frost

BigEarth18





The Lord Our Maker

19 01 2014

1. All that I am I owe to Thee,
Thy wisdom, Lord, hath fashioned me;
I give my Maker thankful praise,
Whose wondrous works my soul amaze.

2. Ere into being I was brought,
Thy eye did see, and in Thy thought
My life in all its perfect plan
Was ordered ere my days began.

3. Thy thoughts, O God, how manifold,
More precious unto me than gold!
I muse on their infinity,
Awaking I am still with Thee.

4. The wicked Thou wilt surely slay,
From me let sinners turn away;
They speak against the Name divine,
I count God’s enemies as mine.

5. Search me, O God, my heart discern,
Try me, my inmost thought to learn;
And lead me, if in sin I stray,
To choose the everlasting way.

Psalm 139: 13-24 (as rendered in the 1912 Psalter of the Presbyterian and Reformed Churches of America)

 

 

IMG_0839





Like A Tree

14 01 2014

1. That man is blest who, fearing God,
From sin restrains his feet,
Who will not stand with wicked men,
Who shuns the scorners’ seat.

2. Yea, blest is he who makes God’s law
His portion and delight,
And meditates upon that law
With gladness day and night.

3. That man is nourished like a tree
Set by the river’s side;
Its leaf is green, its fruit is sure,
And thus his works abide.

4. The wicked like the driven chaff
Are swept from off the land;
They shall not gather with the just,
Nor in the judgment stand.

5. The Lord will guard the righteous well,
Their way to Him is known;
The way of sinners, far from God,
Shall surely be o’er-thrown.

Psalm 1 (as rendered in the 1912 Psalter of the Presbyterian and Reformed Churches of America)

spring green





In Snow Commemorative

11 01 2014

    The flute, whence Summer’s dreamy fingertips
Drew music, ripening the pinched kernels in
The burly chestnut and the chinquapin,
Red-rounding-out the oval haws and hips,
Now Winter crushes to his stormy lips,
And surly songs whistle around his chin;
Now the wild days and wilder nights begin
When, at the eaves, the crooked icicle drips.
Thy songs, O Summer, are not lost so soon!
Still dwells a memory in thy hollow flute,
Which unto Winter’s masculine airs doth give
Thy own creative qualities of tune,
Through which we see each bough bend white with fruit,
Each bush with bloom, in snow commemorative.

Madison Julius Cawein

Silver Maple in Blue and White





A Season for the Quiet Thought

1 01 2014

Winter is come again. The sweet south west
Is a forgotten wind, and the strong earth
Has laid aside its mantle to be bound
By the frost fetter. There is not a sound
Save of the skaiter’s heel, and there is laid
An icy finger on the lip of streams,
And the clear icicle hangs cold and still,
And the snow-fall is noiseless as a thought.
Spring has a rushing sound, and Summer sends
Many sweet voices with its odors out,
And Autumn rustleth its decaying robe
With a complaining whisper. Winter’s dumb!
God made his ministry a silent one,
And he has given him a foot of steel
And an unlovely aspect, and a breath
Sharp to the senses – and we know that He
Tempereth well, and hath a meaning hid
Under the shadow of his hand. Look up!
And it shall be interpreted – Your home
Hath a temptation now. There is no voice
Of waters with beguiling for your ear,
And the cool forest and the meadows green
Witch not your feet away; and in the dells
There are no violets, and upon the hills
There are no sunny places to lie down.
You must go in, and by your cheerful fire
Wait for the offices of love, and hear
Accents of human tenderness, and feast
Your eye upon the beauty of the young.
It is a season for the quiet thought,
And the still reckoning with thyself. The year
Gives back the spirits of its dead, and time
Whispers the history of its vanished hours;
And the heart, calling its affections up,
Counteth its wasted ingots. Life stands still
And settles like a fountain, and the eye
Sees clearly through its depths, and noteth all
That stirred its troubled waters. It is well
That Winter with the dying year should come!

Nathaniel Parker Willis

hoarfrost