Saturday, December 17, 2005

Newman's Kindly (& Much Needed) Light

It gets dark so early here in the Northeast, as we approach the solstice - dark in the skies, dark thoughts in the mind. I came across Andrew's recent post and clipped these lines for consideration:

"Last night lying in bed I said to P, “Sometimes it seems like there’s so much darkness in the world that there’s no point even to try. I know for a fact that there’s plenty of darkness in me.” But saying the words aloud it occurred to me that acknowledging the darkness is something, is the first step in choosing light."

In a dark ice-storm on Thursday night and Friday morning, I took some medicine for my soul, and read John Henry Newman's poem, "Lead Kindly Light," or as it sometimes appears "(Guidance").

Lead, kindly light, amid the encircling gloom,
Lead thou me on;
The night is dark, I am far from home;
Lead thou me on.
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene: one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that thou
Shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose and see my path; but now
Lead thou me on.
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will: remember not past years.

So long thy power hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.


Blogger Andrew said...

What a beautiful poem, Scott, and one I'd not read before. Thanks for posting it.


8:17 PM  
Blogger Miss Eagle said...

In Australia (I suspect taken from a British tradition), when there are military remembrance services such as Anzac Day (25 April) or Armistice Day - also called Remembrance Day - on 11 November there are two hymns: Abide with me and Lead kindly light.

3:38 PM  

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