Thursday, February 12, 2009

:::27 today:::




Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in his hand
Who saith, "A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!''

...

Rejoice we are allied
To that which doth provide
And not partake, effect and not receive!
A spark disturbs our clod;
Nearer we hold of God
Who gives, then of his tribes that take, I must believe.

Then, welcome each rebuff
That turns earth's smoothness rough,
Each sting that bids nor sit nor stand but go!
Be our joys three-parts pain!
Strive,and hold cheap the strain;
Learn, nor account the pang; dare, never grudge the throe!
...

Not once beat "Praise be thine!
I see the whole design,
I, who saw power, see now Love perfect too:
Perfect I call thy plan:
Thanks that I was a man!
Maker, remake, complete,--I trust what thou shalt do!''
...

Therefore I summon age
To grant youth's heritage,
Life's struggle having so far reached its term:
Thence shall I pass, approved
A man, for aye removed
From the developed brute; a God though in the germ.

And I shall thereupon
Take rest, ere I be gone
Once more on my adventure brave and new:
Fearless and unperplexed,
When I wage battle next,
What weapons to select, what armor to indue.

Youth ended, I shall try
My gain or loss thereby;
Leave the fire ashes, what survives is gold:
And I shall weigh the same,
Give life its praise or blame:
Young, all lay in dispute; I shall know, being old.
...

Thoughts hardly to be packed
Into a narrow act,
Fancies that broke through language and escaped;
All I could never be,
All, men ignored in me,
This, I was worth to God, whose wheel the pitcher shaped.

Ay, note that Potter's wheel,
That metaphor! and feel
Why time spins fast, why passive lies our clay,--
Thou, to whom fools propound,
When the wine makes its round,
"Since life fleets, all is change; the Past gone, seize to-day.''

Fool! All that is, at all,
Lasts ever, past recall;
Earth changes, but thy soul and God stand sure:
What entered into thee,
That was, is, and shall be:
Time's wheel runs back or stops: Potter and clay endure.

He fixed thee 'mid this dance
Of plastic circumstance,
This Present, thou, forsooth, would fain arrest:
Machinery just meant
To give thy soul its bent,
Try thee and turn thee forth, sufficiently impressed.
...

But I need, now as then,
Thee, God, who mouldest men;
And since, not even while the whirl was worst,
Did I--to the wheel of life
With shapes and colors rife,
Bound dizzily--mistake my end, to slake thy thirst:

So, take, and use thy work:
Amend what flaws may lurk,
What strain o' the stuff, what warpings past the aim!
My times be in thy hand!
Perfect the cup as planned!
Let age approve of youth, and death complete the same!
-- "Rabbi Ben Ezra", Robert Browning

7 comments:

MBC said...

Happy, Happy Birthday!

I hope you still have a little bit of sausage to celebrate today.

Aunti said...

Looking Good!

Sarah C. said...

I love your hair! It's so long and pretty. Oh, and happy birthday, too!

scrambled brains said...

Happy Birthday! I posted a comment yesterday, but it didn't show up. I promise I did!
Beautiful picture of you:)

Rachel and Jeremy said...

Happy Day! Late, I know, but perhaps if you read my blog you'll see why... That Clara. Tomorrow I'll post a picture of her new cast...

Anyway, I hope you had a wonderful day full of beef sticks and other happy treasures.

Sarah said...

Love that photo!
Your hair looks great. I posted a tribute to you on my blog with my fave photo of you....without your permission. Thanks so much! =)

lucky mom said...

Beautiful picture! Thank you for sharing the poem. I'm feeling a bit literary.

Happy Birthday!