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Archive for the ‘ReligiousInspirational’ Category

St. Peter stood guard at the golden gate
With a solemn mien and air sedate.
When up to the top of the golden stair
A man and a woman ascending there.
Applied for admission, they came and stood
Before St. Peter, so great and good.
In hopes the City of Peace to win —
And asked St. Peter to let them in.

The woman was tall, and lank and thin,
With a scraggy beardlet upon her chin.
The man was short and thick and stout,
His stomach was built so it rounded out.
His face was pleasant and all the while
He wore a kindly and genial smile.
The choirs in the distance the echoes woke,
And the man kept still while the woman spoke:

“O, thou who guardest the gate,” said she,
“We two come hither beseeching thee
To let us enter the heavenly land
And play our harps with the angel band.
Of me, St. Peter, there is no doubt,
There is nothing from heaven to bar me out.
I’ve been to meeting three times a week,
And almost always I’d rise to speak.

“I’ve told the sinners about the day
When they’d repent of their evil way.
I’ve told my neighbors — I’ve told them all —
‘Bout Adam and Eve and the primal fall.
I’ve shown them what they’d have to do
If they’d pass in with the chosen few.
I’ve marked their path of duty clear —
Laid out the plan for their whole career.

“I’ve talked and talked to ’em loud and long,
For my lungs are good and my voice is strong.
So, good St. Peter, you will clearly see
The gate of heaven is open for me.
But my old man, I regret to say,
Hasn’t walked in exactly the narrow way;
He smokes and he swears, and grave faults he’s got,
And I don’t know whether he’ll pass or not.

“He never would pray with an earnest vim,
Or go to revival, or join in a hymn.
So I had to leave him in sorrow there
While I, with the chosen, united in prayer.
He ate what the pantry chanced to afford,
While I, in my purity, sang to the lord.
And if cucumbers were all he got,
It’s a chance if he merited them or not.

“But oh, St. Peter, I love him so,
To the pleasures of heaven please let him go.
I’ve done enough — a saint I’ve been,
Won’t that atone? Can’t you let him in —
By my grim gospel, I know ’tis so
That the unrepentant must fry below;
But isn’t there some way you can see
That he may enter whose dear to me?

“It’s a narrow gospel by which I pray,
But the chosen expect to find some way
Of coaxing, or fooling, or bribing you,
So that their relations can amble through.
And say, St. Peter, it seems to me
This gate isn’t kept as it ought to be.
You ought to stand right by the opening there,
And never sit down in that easy chair.

“And say, St. Peter, my sight is dimmed,
But I don’t like the way your whiskers are trimmed;
They’re cut too wide, and outward toss,
They’d look better narrow, cut straight across.
Well, we must be going our crown to win.
So open, St. Peter, and we’ll pass in!”

St. Peter sat quiet, and stroked his staff,
But in spite of his office he had to laugh,
Then said, with a fiery gleam in his eye,
“Who’s tending this gateway? you or I? —
Then he arose in his stature tall,
And pressed a button upon the wall.
And said to an imp, who answered the bell,
“Escort this lady around to hell.”

The man stood still as a piece of stone —
Stood sadly, gloomily there alone.
A life-long settled idea he had
That his wife was good and he was bad.
He thought, if the woman went down below,
That he would certainly have to go —
That if she went to the regions dim,
There wasn’t a ghost of a show for him.

Slowly he turned, by habit bent,
To follow wherever the woman went.
St. Peter, standing in duty there,
Observed that the top of his head was bare.
He called the gentleman back, and said,
“Friend, how long have you been wed? —
“Thirty years” (with a weary sigh),
And then he thoughtfully added, “Why?”

St. Peter was silent. With head bent down,
He raised his hand and scratched his crown.
Then seeming a different thought to take,
Slowly, half to himself, he spake:
“Thirty years with that woman there —
No wonder the man hasn’t any hair!
Swearing is wicked, smoke’s not good,
He smoked and swore — I should think he would,
Thirty years with that tongue so sharp!
Ho! Angel Gabriel! Give him a harp.
A jeweled harp with a golden string!
Good sir, pass in where the angels sing!

“Gabriel, give him a seat alone —
One with a cushion — up near the throne.
Call up some angels to play their best,
Let him enjoy the music and rest!
See that on finest ambrosia he feeds,
He’s had about all the hell he needs.
It isn’t just hardly the thing to do,
To roast him on earth and the future too.”

They gave him a harp with golden strings,
A glittering robe and a pair of wings,
And he said, as he entered the Realm of Day,
“Well, this beats cucumbers, any way.”
And so, the scripture had come to pass,
That “the last shall be first and the first shall be last.”

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A simple Child, dear brother Jim,
That lightly draws its breath,
And feels its life in every limb,
What should it know of death?  

I met a little cottage Girl:
She was eight years old, she said;
Her hair was thick with many a curl
That clustered round her head.  

She had a rustic, woodland air,
And she was wildly clad:
Her eyes were fair, and very fair;
—Her beauty made me glad.  

“Sisters and brothers, little Maid,
How many may you be?”
“How many? Seven in all,” she said,
And wondering looked at me.  

“And where are they? I pray you tell.”
She answered, “Seven are we;
And two of us at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea.  

“Two of us in the church-yard lie,
My sister and my brother;
And, in the church-yard cottage, I
Dwell near them with my mother.”  

“You say that two at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea,
Yet ye are seven! I pray you tell,
Sweet Maid, how this may be.”  

Then did the little Maid reply,
“Seven boys and girls are we;
Two of us in the church-yard lie,
Beneath the church-yard tree.”  

“You run about, my little Maid,
Your limbs they are alive;
If two are in the church-yard laid,
Then ye are only five.”  

“Their graves are green, they may be seen,”
The little Maid replied,
“Twelve steps or more from my mother’s door,
And they are side by side.  

“My stockings there I often knit,
My kerchief there I hem;
And there upon the ground I sit,
And sing a song to them.  

“And often after sunset, Sir,
When it is light and fair,
I take my little porringer,
And eat my supper there.  

“The first that died was sister Jane;
In bed she moaning lay,
Till God released her of her pain;
And then she went away.  

“So in the church-yard she was laid;
And, when the grass was dry,
Together round her grave we played,
My brother John and I.  

“And when the ground was white with snow,
And I could run and slide,
My brother John was forced to go,
And he lies by her side.”  

“How many are you, then,” said I,
“If they two are in heaven?”
Quick was the little Maid’s reply,
“O Master! we are seven.” 

“But they are dead; those two are dead!
Their spirits are in heaven!”
’Twas throwing words away; for still
The little Maid would have her will,
And said, “Nay, we are seven!”

 

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They followed Him by thousands when he took some fish and bread
And a banquet in the desert by His miracle was spread.
They sang aloud, “Hosanna!” and they shouted, “Praise His name!”
When in an hour of glory to Jerusalem He came.
They followed when He told them of a kingdom and a throne,
But when He went to Calvary, He went there all alone.

It seems that many people still would follow Him today
If He only went to places where everything was gay.
For the kingdom that they’re seeking isn’t one the world scorns.
And the crown of which they’re singing isn’t one that’s made of thorns.
Oh, they’ll follow for the fishes over land and over sea,
And they’ll join the church at Zion, but not at Calvary.

It’s so easy, friends, to follow when the nets are full of fish,
When the loaves are spread before you and you’re eating all you wish.
When no lands, nor lots, nor houses and no friendships are at stake,
When there’s no mob to mock you and you have no cross to take.
But you’ll need some faith to follow down through Gethsemane,
And you’ll need some love to follow up to Calvary!

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From naked stones of agony
I will build a house for me;
As a mason all alone
I will raise it, stone by stone,
And every stone where I have bled
Will show a sign of dusky red.
I have not gone the way in vain,
For I have good of all my pain;
My spirit’s quiet house will be
Built of naked stones I trod
On roads where I lost sight of God.

 

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Though fickle Fortune has deceived me
(She promis’d fair and perform’d but ill),
Of mistress, friends, and wealth bereav’d me,
Yet I bear a heart shall support me still. 

I’ll act with prudence as far’s I’m able,
But if success I must never find,
Then come misfortune, I bid thee welcome,
I’ll meet thee with an undaunted mind.

 

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O Love Divine, that stooped to share
Our sharpest pang, our bitterest tear,
On Thee we cast each earth-born care,
We smile at pain while Thou art near!

Though long the weary way we tread,
And sorrow crown each lingering year,
No path we shun, no darkness dread,
Our hearts still whispering, Thou art near! 

When drooping pleasure turns to grief,
And trembling faith is changed to fear,
The murmuring wind, the quivering leaf,
Shall softly tell us, Thou art near! 

On Thee we fling our burdening woe,
O Love Divine, forever dear,
Content to suffer while we know,
Living and dying, Thou art near!

 

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“Rain and rain! and rain and rain!”
Yesterday we muttered
Grimly as the grim refrain
That the thunders uttered;
All the heavens under cloud –
All the sunshine sleeping;
All the grasses limply bowed
With their weight of weeping. 

Sigh and sigh! and sigh and sigh!
Never end of sighing;
Rain and rain for our reply –
Hopes half drowned and dying;
Peering through the window-pane,
Naught but endless raining –
Endless sighing, and, as vain,
Endlessly complaining. 

Shine and shine! and shine and shine!
Ah! to-day the splendor! –
All this glory yours and mine –
God! but God is tender!
We to sigh instead of sing,
Yesterday in sorrow,
While the Lord was fashioning
This for our Tomorrow!

 

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Death stands above me, whispering low
I know not what into my ear:
Of his strange language all I know
Is, there is not a word of fear.

 

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pt8Syxa

___

 

The light in the forest is rare
Like diamonds unseen on a trail.
So when it shines through the green air,
It seems like a spotlight in scale. 

The moment is magic with haze,
Like fairies have sprinkled their dust
And one should stop walking and gaze
At shadows the shaft has now mussed. 

The forests of life, path obscure,
May suddenly fill with a light,
Revealing the path clear and pure
Like full moon illuming the night. 

Then, quickly, if wise, one must choose
The path that has opened to view,
Or else he may evermore lose
The way that is found by the few.

——————————————–

photo by Kevin Tuck at
http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/pt8Syxa/Forest+sunlight

——————————————–

© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2017.

 

 

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The Great Jehovah speaks to us,
In Genesis and Exodus,
Leviticus and Numbers see,
Followed by Deuteronomy,
Joshua and Judges sway the land,
Ruth gleans a sheaf with trembling hand,
Samuel and numerous Kings appear,
Whose Chronicles we wondering hear;
Ezra and Nehemiah now
Esther the beauteous mourner show;
Job speaks in sighs, David in Psalms,
The Proverbs teach to scatter alms.
Ecclesiastes then comes on,
And the sweet song of Solomon.
Isaiah, Jeremiah then
With Lamentations takes his pen.
Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea’s lyres
Swell Joel, Amos, Obadiah’s.
Next Jonah, Micah, Nahum come,
And lofty Habakkuk finds room,
Rapt Zephaniah, Haggai calls,
While Zechariah builds the walls;
And Malachi, with garments rent,
Concludes the ancient Testament.

 

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