December 2011 Archives

~In Memoriam ~ Ring out, wild bells ~

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From Lord Alfred Tennyson

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
   The flying cloud, the frosty light:
   The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
   Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
   The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
   For those that here we see no more;
   Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
   And ancient forms of party strife;
   Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
   The faithless coldness of the times;
   Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
   The civic slander and the spite;
   Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
   Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
   Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
   The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
   Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

The Old Year

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The Old Year's gone away
     To nothingness and night:
We cannot find him all the day
     Nor hear him in the night:
He left no footstep, mark or place
     In either shade or sun:
The last year he'd a neighbour's face,
     In this he's known by none.

All nothing everywhere:
     Mists we on mornings see
Have more of substance when they're here
     And more of form than he.
He was a friend by every fire,
     In every cot and hall--
A guest to every heart's desire,
     And now he's nought at all.

Old papers thrown away,
     Old garments cast aside,
The talk of yesterday,
     Are things identified;
But time once torn away
     No voices can recall:
The eve of New Year's Day
     Left the Old Year lost to all.


John Clare, 1793-1864

Robert Louis Stevenson

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Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.

Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise;
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.

Close by the jolly fire I sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door.

When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me in my comforter and cap;
The cold wind burns my face, and blows
Its frosty pepper up my nose.

Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding-cake.

Birthday Greeting

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Happy Birthday to Marshall, turning 88 today!  Wishing you a grand December 26th, and many more returns of the day!

Noel: Christmas Eve 1913

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Noël: Christmas Eve 1913
by Robert Bridges

Pax hominibus bonae voluntatis

A frosty Christmas Eve
   when the stars were shining
Fared I forth alone
   where westward falls the hill,
And from many a village
   in the water'd valley
Distant music reach'd me
   peals of bells aringing:
The constellated sounds
   ran sprinkling on earth's floor
As the dark vault above
   with stars was spangled o'er.
Then sped my thoughts to keep
   that first Christmas of all
When the shepherds watching
   by their folds ere the dawn
Heard music in the fields
   and marveling could not tell
Whether it were angels
   or the bright stars singing.

Now blessed be the tow'rs
   that crown England so fair
That stand up strong in prayer
   unto God for our souls
Blessed be their founders
   (said I) an' our country folk
Who are ringing for Christ
   in the belfries to-night
With arms lifted to clutch
   the rattling ropes that race
Into the dark above
   and the mad romping din.

But to me heard afar
   it was starry music
Angels' song, comforting
   as the comfort of Christ
When he spake tenderly
   to his sorrowful flock:
The old words came to me
   by the riches of time
Mellow'd and transfigured
   as I stood on the hill
Heark'ning in the aspect
   of th' eternal silence.


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The girls are counting down the days till Christmas and it is too close for comfort!  Ella is at her final rehearsal for the Sunday School program at church tomorrow afternoon.  She has a solo to sing and is very excited about that.  Delaney, Matthew and I did a little last minute shopping after supper tonight.  Davie is wrapping some gifts.  Steve is watching a DVD of "Les Mis"  and soon Taylor will be here after collecting Ella at church, and will pick up Delaney and head back to Fishers.   Melissa put in a full day's work at her job.  I have been busy with a million and one things, and look forward to some time tonight to just sit in the living room and relax.

Tis the season...

A lovely thought

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From William Henry Harrison Murray, Scotsman, 1834-1923


Ah, friends, dear friends, as years go on
and heads get gray,
how fast the guests do go!
Touch hands, touch hands,
with those that stay.
Strong hands to weak,
old hands to young,
around the Christmas board, touch hands.
The false forget, the foe forgive,
for every guest will go
and every fire burn low
and cabin empty stand.
Forget, forgive, for who may say
that Christmas day may ever come
to host or guest again.
Touch hands!

More on the subject of Time

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Time has gotten away from me again, this is a day late...

Happy Birthday to my sister Judith Lynne, thinking back to all the years we were able to be together on our special days, and hoping that we will do that again in the future!

When time was of a more reasonable length

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Whew!  I am scratching my head at how fast this month has gone.  It seems like it has been just days since Thanksgiving instead of weeks. When I was a young girl we always put up our Christmas tree just before my sister's birthday on December 15.  Those next ten days until Christmas morning finally arrived could just as well have been twenty for how slow the time seemed to pass.

Nowadays, I feel like I am hanging onto one end of a rope while Father Time is pulling the other end for all he is worth.  Too much to do and too little time to do it in!!  I must remind myself to breathe more slowly, savor every hour, and try to whittle my to-do list down to what really matters the most...which upon closer examination is not much of it!!

How we spend our days, is of course, how we spend our lives.

                                                            ~Annie Dillard~


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This page is an archive of entries from December 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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