God, my God! Today you receive me, having thrown open your gates.
And I meet you with both plea and prayer.
With joy, both fierce and violent as I hope
to live for yet another year.
Joy and fear, they both are mingled.
Look then, shall I tell You of what I am reminded?
Here it is.
Our tunes, our songs, our soul-stirring liturgy-
My Soul is Dark
My soul is dark - Oh! quickly string
The harp I yet can brook to hear;
And let thy gentle fingers fling
Its melting murmurs o'er mine ear.
If in this heart a hope be dear,
That sound shall charm it forth again:
If in these eyes there lurk a tear,
'Twill flow, and cease to burn my brain.
But bid the strain be wild and deep,
Nor let thy notes of joy be first:
I tell thee, minstrel, I must weep,
Or else this heavy heart will burst;
For it hath been by sorrow nursed,
And ached in sleepless silence, long;
And now 'tis doomed to know the worst,
And break at once - or yield to song.
~ Lord Byron
And so out of our stormy tears
and loyalty, our allegiance pledged
not ten days ago- comes a deep joy, God, a song,
a song in Your honor.
And this song is wholly heartfelt.
We praise you, God, and all your world.
We have appointed you as king
and today we come to you with supplications.
And even as we do- but look-
and see what this reminds me of:
130. God's World
O WORLD, I cannot hold thee close enough!
Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
Thy mists that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with colour! That gaunt crag 5
To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!
Long have I known a glory in it all,
But never knew I this;
Here such a passion is 10
As stretcheth me apart. Lord, I do fear
Thou'st made the world too beautiful this year.
My soul is all but out of me,—let fall
No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.
~Edna St. Vincent Millay
For all our passion, all our prayers,
spoken fervently with our last breaths
as we stand before you, our nerves taut,
sensitivity heightened to all that is Yours.
One more beauty- and could we not faint?
One more echo, one more word- God even in kindness
you can thrill us so that we fall.
A strange creature, man! Dialectical, they say,
both strong and frail, weak and mighty-
yesterday we came in weakness
to beg for our lives,
today we come to rejoice,
for you have granted them to us.
Come then, God! Adorn your world
with all its flowing, fruity flowers,
and gaze down upon us with loving smile
as if to say, "How sweet their songs!
How kind their praise! How golden their words!"
Find favor in all that we offer to you
and look in our hearts if you cannot clearly see
our actions or voices.
Be merciful, we cry, and yet
not mercy tempered with shame.
For we stand before you as angels today,
angels and the dead, powerful or
shrouded. We are dressed in white
to behold your glory, your kindness, your wrath.
God is King!
And also our Father.
You, too, have many names.
As we are dialectical
so are you whole,
but still filled with qualities.
Choose then, the quality that best suits us,
justice or mercy- and seal favorably!
So that we all live, remain alive
in your world of glory, your world
so beautiful, that it might,
perhaps, blaze its splendor
to take our breath.