A Song to Nobody ~ Thomas Merton

Song for Nobody 

Thomas Merton

A yellow flower
(Light and spirit)
Sings by itself
For nobody.
A golden spirit
(Light and emptiness)
Sings without a word
By itself.
Let no one touch this gentle sun
In whose dark eye
Someone is awake.
(No light, no gold, no name, no color
And no thought:
O, wide awake!)
A golden heaven
Sings by itself
A song to nobody.



Summer Dreams ~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Summer Dreams

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

When the Summer sun is shining,
   And the green things push and grow,
Oft my heart runs over measure,
With its flowing fount of pleasure,
   As I feel the sea winds blow;
   Ah, then life is good, I know.

And I think of sweet birds building,
   And of children fair and free;
And of glowing sun-kissed meadows,
And of tender twilight shadows,
   And of boats upon the sea.
   Oh, then life seems good to me!

Then unbidden and unwanted,
   Come the darker, sadder sights;
City shop and stifling alley,
Where misfortune’s children rally;
   And the hot crime-breeding nights,
   And the dearth of God’s delights.

And I think of narrow prisons
   Where unhappy songbirds dwell,
And of cruel pens and cages
Where some captured wild thing rages
   Like a madman in his cell,
   In the Zoo, the wild beasts’ hell.

And I long to lift the burden
   Of man’s selfishness and sin;
And to open wide earth’s treasures
Of God’s storehouse, full of pleasures,
   For my dumb and human kin,
   And to ask the whole world in.



Sunshine & Shadow ~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Sunshine and Shadow


Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Life has its shadows, as well as its sun; 
Its lights and its shades, all twined together.
I tried to single them out, one by one, 
Single and count them, determining whether
There was less blue than there was grey, 
And more of the deep night than of the day.
But dear me, dear me, my task’s but begun, 
And I am not half way into the sun.


For the longer I look on the bright side of earth, 
The more of the beautiful do I discover; 
And really, I never knew what life was worth
Till I searched the wide storehouse of happiness over.
It is filled from the cellar well up to the skies, 
With things meant to gladden the heart and the eyes.
The doors are unlocked, you can enter each room, 
That lies like a beautiful garden in bloom.


Yet life has its shadow, as well as its sun; 
Earth has its storehouse of joy and sorrow.
But the first is so wide – and my task’s but begun –
That the last must be left for a far-distant morrow.
I will count up the blessings God gave in a row, 
But dear me! When I get through them, I know
I shall have little tine left for the rest, 
For life is a swift-flowing river at best. 


Miracles ~ Walt Whitman

Miracles

Walt Whitman

Why, who makes much of a miracle?
As to me I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the water,
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love, or sleep in the bed at night
with any one I love,
Or sit at table at dinner with the rest,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive of a summer forenoon,
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining so quiet and bright,
Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring;
These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place.
To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same.
To me the sea is a continual miracle,
The fishes that swim- the rocks- the motion of the waves- the
ships with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?

My Kingdom ~ Louisa May Alcott

My Kingdom


Louisa May Alcott


Sitting to-day in the sunshine, 
That touched me with fingers of love, 
I thought of the manifold blessings
God scatters on earth, from above; 
And they seemed, as I numbered them over, 
Far more than we merit, or need, 
And all that we lack is the angels
To make earth a heaven indeed.
The winter brings long, pleasant evenings, 
The spring brings a promise of flowers
That summer breathes to fruition, 
And autumn brings glad, golden hours.
The woodlands re-echo with music, 
The moonbeams ensilver the sea; 
There is sunlight and beauty about us, 
And the world is as fair as can be.
But mortals are always complaining, 
Each one thinks his own a sad lot; 
And forgetting the good things about him, 
Goes mourning for those he has not.
Instead of the star-spangled heavens, 
We look on the dust at our feet; 
We drain out the cup that is bitter, 
Forgetting the one that is sweet.
We mourn o’er the thorn in the flower, 
Forgetting its odour and bloom; 
We pass by a garden of blossoms, 
To weep o’er the dust of the tomb.
There are blessings unnumbered about us, –
Like the leaves of the forest they grow; 
And the fault is our own – not the Giver’s –


A Prayer ~ Max Ehrmann



A Prayer 
Max Ehrmann


Let me do my work each day; and if the darkened hours of despair
overcome me, may I not forget the strength that comforted me
in the desolation of other times.
May I still remember the bright hours that found me walking over
the silent hills of my childhood, or dreaming on the margin of a quiet
river, when a light glowed within me, and I promised my early God
to have courage amid the tempests of the changing years.
Spare me from bitterness and from the sharp passions of unguarded
moments. May I not forget that poverty and riches are of the spirit.
Though the world knows me not, may my thoughts and actions be
such as shall keep me friendly with myself.
Lift up my eyes from the earth, and let me not forget the uses of the
stars.  Forbid that I should judge others lest I condemn myself.
Let me not follow the clamor of the world, but walk calmly in my
path.
Give me a few friends who will love me for what I am; and keep ever
burning before my vagrant steps the kindly light of hope.
And though age and infirmity overtake me, and I come not within
sight of the castle of my dreams, teach me still to be thankful for
life, and for time’s olden memories that are good and sweet; and
may the evening’s twilight find me gentle still.