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Mankind as a whole had a like dream once; everybody and nobody built up the dream bit by bit, and the ancient story-tellers are there to make us remember what mankind would have been like, had not fear and the failing will and the laws of nature tripped up its heels. ~Lady Gregory, from Gods and Fighting Men
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May the blessing of light be on you - light without and light within. May the blessed sunlight shine on you like a great peat fire, so that stranger and friend may come and warm himself at it. And may light shine out of the two eyes of you, like a candle set in the window of a house, bidding the wanderer come in out of the storm. And may the blessing of the rain be on you, may it beat upon your Spirit and wash it fair and clean, and leave there a shining pool where the blue of Heaven shines, and sometimes a star. And may the blessing of the earth be on you, soft under your feet as you pass along the roads, soft under you as you lie out on it, tired at the end of day; and may it rest easy over you when, at last, you lie out under it. May it rest so lightly over you that your soul may be out from under it quickly; up and off and on its way to God. And now may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly. Amen.
My experience is that those who pray most in their closets generally make short prayers in public. Long prayers are too often not prayers at all, and they weary the people.
- How short the publican's prayer was: “God be merciful to me a sinner!”
- The Syrophoenician woman's was shorter still: “Lord help me!” She went right to the mark, and she got what she wanted.
- The prayer of the thief on the cross was a short one: “Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy Kingdom!”
- Peter's prayer was, “Lord, save me, or I perish!”
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- Dance there upon the shore;
- What need have you to care
- For wind or water's roar?
- And tumble out your hair
- That the salt drops have wet;
- Being young you have not known
- The fool's triumph, nor yet
- Love lost as soon as won,
- Nor the best labourer dead
- And all the sheaves to bind.
- What need have you to dread
- The monstrous crying of wind?
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I'm not an avid lover of poetry and certainly don't write it. But there are a few poets I enjoy. The word pictures they paint are vivid in my mind. Yeats is one of those poets.The Lake Isle of Innisfree
by W.B. Yeats
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.
To go to Rome
Is much of trouble, little of profit:
The King whom thou seekest here,
Unless thou bring Him with thee, thou wilt not find.
I wish, O Son of the living God, O ancient, eternal King,
For a hidden little hut in the wilderness that it may be my dwelling,
An all-grey lithe little lark to be by its side,
A clear pool to wash away sins through the grace of the Holy Spirit.
Quite near, a beautiful wood around it on every side,
To nurse many-voiced birds, hiding it with its shelter.
--From THE HERMITS' SONG
From Celtic Benediction, "Saturday Morning Prayer of Thanksgiving" by J. Philip Newell
For the night followed by the day
for the idle winter ground
followed by the energy of spring
for the infolding of the earth
followed by bursts of unfolding
thanks be to you, O God.
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