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 –
That we have not an Eden below.

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Do Not Stand on my Grave and Weep ~ Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do Not Stand on my Grave and Weep

Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep 
I am not there. I do not sleep. 
I am a thousand winds that blow. 
I am the diamond glints on snow. 
I am the sunlight on ripened grain. 
I am the gentle autumn rain. 
When you awaken in the morning's hush 
I am the swift uplifting rush 
Of quiet birds in circled flight. 
I am the soft stars that shine at night. 
Do not stand at my grave and cry; 
I am not there. I did not die. 


Essence of Love ~ Kahlil Gibran

Essence of Love

Kahlil Gibran

Let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. 
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. 
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

Not To Hurt ~ St. Francis of Assisi

“Ask the beasts and they will teach you the beauty of this earth.” St. Francis of Assisi
Not To Hurt (animals)

St. Francis of Assisi

Not to hurt our humble brethren (the animals) 
Is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. 
We have a higher mission:
To be of service to them whenever they require it.

Veni Creator ~ Czeslaw Milosz

Veni Creator 

Czeslaw Milosz

Come, Holy Spirit,
bending or not bending the grasses,
appearing or not above our heads in a tongue of flame, 
at hay harvest or when they plough in the orchards,
or when snow covers crippled firs in the Sierra Nevada.
I am only a human being: I need visible signs.
I tire easily, building the stairway of abstraction.
Many a time I asked, you know it well,
that the statue in church lift its hand, only once, just once, for me.
But I understand that signs must be human,
therefore, call one person, anywhere on earth,
not me-after all I have some decency-
and allow me, when I look at that person, 
to marvel at you.


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.

The Hope of Loving ~ Meister Eckhart

The Hope of Loving 

Meister Eckhart

What keeps us alive, what allows us to endure?
I think it is the hope of loving,
or being loved.
I heard a fable once about the sun going on a journey
to find its source, and how the moon wept
without her lover’s
warm gaze.

We weep when light does not reach our hearts. We wither
like fields if someone close
does not rain their
kindness
upon
us.
 

Tie Your Heart at Night to Mine ~ Pablo Neruda

Tie Your Heart at Night to Mine 

Pablo Neruda

Tie your heart at night to mine, love,
and both will defeat the darkness
like twin drums beating in the forest
against the heavy wall of wet leaves.
Night crossing: black coal of dream
that cuts the thread of earthly orbs
with the punctuality of a headlong train
that pulls cold stone and shadow endlessly.
Love, because of it, tie me to a purer movement,
to the grip on life that beats in your breast,
with the wings of a submerged swan,
So that our dream might reply
to the sky’s questioning stars
with one key, one door closed to shadow.