An Old Poem

I came across this poem in an old, old book I have. The book contains daily thoughts and devotions, and I was hoping it would give me some inspiration for this week’s muse. Interestingly, I could find very very little about the poem’s author, a Ms. Patricia McGavock. I understand that the poet is blind, yet obviously a woman of great faith. In this day and age of fast paced film and Instagram photos, I trust this simple story encourages you this week. We are so quick to flit in and out of our daily tasks, and the flashes of photos across our screens do little to satisfy us. We’ve become “blinded” by it all.

I’ve seen a lot of recent posts about gardens, vacation spots and pretty flowers in my feeds, and the poem seemed to strike a chord… what would my senses tell me if I could no longer see the images? Would I still trust the One who leads me? Hopefully this week’s (albeit short) muse will speak to you in a way that my words would not. Enjoy. Be blessed. See you next week!

"Would I could see the beauty of the flowers
whose sweet perfume pervades the Summer air,
The grass so soft beneath my faltering footsteps,
That thing called light I'm told is everywhere.

Then I could see the trees in Autumn glory,
The little birds that flutter to and fro;
The colours of the rainbow, sunset glowing;
The changing seasons as they come and go.

But I am blind and cannot see such beauty,
No moon or stars illumine my long night,
No dawn of day or sunrise in the morning
can share with me the wonder of their light.

Yet I am glad, when each new dawn comes breaking,
To feel the morning air, the sun's caress,
To touch the gentle softness of a rosebud,
and breathe the fragrance of its loveliness.

The scent of rain upon a country footpath,
Soft music and a voice that sweetly sings,
God's hand in mine as He so gently leads me --
I need not eyes for all these wondrous things."
Photo by Ella de Kross on Unsplash

This is My Father’s World

Ahhh… today is the first of October. And in Canada, fall is beginning to show itself in full colour. With it, comes the sigh of satisfaction at a bountiful harvest, and the joys of quieter days. (We are going to ignore the fact that the weather can’t make up its mind and both snow and 30 degree celsius temperatures happen all in the same time frame — just work with me and my idealized vision of autumn, okay?!). I wasn’t sure what to muse about this week, and was going through the things that have been recently on my mind: Greta Thunberg and her fight for global change, aboriginal celebrations of strength, fall fairs, baked warm apples and pumpkin spice lattes, and for some reason, this old hymn popped into my head:

This Is My Father’s World (Lyrics)

This is my Father’s world,

And to my listening ears

All nature sings, and round me rings

The music of the spheres.

This is my Father’s world:

I rest me in the thought

Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;

His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world,

The birds their carols raise,

The morning light, the lily white,

Declare their maker’s praise.

This is my Father’s world,

He shines in all that’s fair;

In the rustling grass I hear him pass;

He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world.

O let me ne’er forget

That though the wrong seems oft so strong,

God is the ruler yet.

This is my Father’s world:

Why should my heart be sad?

The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!

God reigns; let the earth be glad!

“This is My Father’s World”, was originally published, posthumously, by the author’s wife in 1901, in a book of his poems. Maltbie Davenport Babcock, was a New York minister who frequented the Niagara Escarpment and Lake Ontario, simply to marvel at “His Father’s World”. I think he was close enough to Canada to appreciate the true beauty displayed, especially during autumn. The popular hymn was adapted from Babcock’s poem by his friend and musician, Franklin Shepherd, in 1915. (The original poem contained 16 verses of 4 lines each).

I was reminded of the hymn back on my travels to Wolfville, Nova Scotia this summer, (you can read about that adventure here) and discovered it is also themed in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. As the camera pans the rolling hills of the Shire and all the familiar simplicity of a hobbit’s homelife, we are reminded that despite this era of evil, this is My Father’s World.

So, as our sunflowers begin to droop from faces ladened with seeds, as the leaves change colour and eventually die, as fall mums and ripe apples display their ruby redness against a backdrop of golden hues, I hope you relish the thought that this is my Father’s world. Perhaps you’re off to drown your troubles in a quiet coffee shop with a “grande PSL”. I’m here to remind you: That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the Ruler yet. Happy first of October, my beloveds!