Monday, April 23, 2012

A Poem (composed during Ancient and Medieval Philosophy class, Spring 2010)

May I not spy the sun these days
When rain is falling down?
May I not spy a glint of hope 
In this despairing town?

Lord Mayor, Lord Mayor, I bid you stay
From this your hopeless ride.
Stay with us, lest in future days
Some evil thing betide.

He turns him not; he sees me not
Or feigns he does not see.
He's ridden off; he's lost, he's gone
Beyond the farthest tree.

The farthest is an apple-tree;
Its fruit is green and sour.
Oh, woe betide me that I see
The Mayor's departing-hour.

The river runs beside our town;
It has no self-control.
When it is given cause to rise
It starts to rage and roll.

The rain has fallen seven days;
Tomorrow will be eight.
The river is in haste to flood
And can no longer wait.

A lady runs to me in haste;
Ah me! it is my wife.
Without a shred of sense or will
She begs me for her life.

Why do you run to beg of me
To spare your life this day?
I have to power to stop the shower
Or make it go away.

Her cries grow shrill, and as she cries
I feel my head grow light.
A quiet sound attacks my ears,
And all around is night.

I wake and see the light of day.
Oh joy! it is the sun.
I lie in comfort on a bed;
The stream has ceased to run.

But wait! Where am I? For this place
Is not the town I know.
What has been done while I have slept?
How long was that ago?

A man approaches dressed in green;
He seems a courteous soul.
He stops and says, "Thanks be to God
"That you are well and whole.

"Thanks be to God that he preserves 
"His sons from evil days,
"For he has freed you from the dark;
"To God alone be praise!"

"Good sir," I say, "now tell me true:
"Where am I, and wherefore?
"How long have I been sleeping here
"A night and day, or more?"

"The King," he says, "knew your distress
"And hastened to bring aid.
"He freed your townsmen from the flood
"Which knew no barricade."

"How did the King know of our plight
"When he is far away?"
"The Mayor brought news of your distress;
"He rode the livelong day.

"The King set out without delay
"To save your town from woe.
"He brought you to his castle high;
"This only do I know."

"The Mayor!" say I, "I took him for
"A coward, not a man!
"But now I see I have misjudged
"The way his counsels ran.

"For had the Mayor not gone," said I,
"Our townsmen would be dead;
"The rocks would all be wet with blood,
"The river stained with red.

"But tell me, if perhaps you know,
"What did befall my wife.
"Oh, do not say she met the flood!
"Did God preserve her life?"

"God did preserve her life," said he,
"And yours did she preserve.
"She bore you with her feeble strength;
"She did not faint or swerve."

"Oh joy!" said I. "Thanks be to God!
"For through our Mayor and King
"He has sustained us by his might
"From this most evil thing."

Mine eyes have spied the sun this day
When rain has ceased to fall.
And I have seen a glint of hope
From God who made us all.

So even when the raindrops fall,
And floods are drawing near,
Remember that the sun still shines
And do not yield to fear.

And when the storm Temptation comes,
with Darkness and Despair,
Remember that our God still iives!
Betake yourself to prayer.

All glory be to God above,
Who saves us from the flood;
When evil threatens in our lives,
He turns it to our good.

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