With the dawn of a new church year, we have launched a new feature on our website, a weekly post of poetry that resonates with the lectionary readings for that week (Revised Common Lectionary).
*** Revised Common Lectionary ***
Cedars of Lebanon
Letitia Elizabeth Landon
Ye ancients of the earth, beneath whose shade
Swept the fierce banners of earth’s mightiest kings,
When millions for a battle were array’d,
And the sky darken’d with the vulture’s wings.
Long silence follow’d on the battle-cries;
First the bones whiten’d, then were seen no more;
The summer grasses sprang for summer skies,
And dim tradition told no tales of yore.
The works of peace succeeded those first ware,
Men left the desert tents for marble walls;
Then rose the towers from whence they watch’d the stars,
And the vast wonders of their kingly halls.
And they are perish’d—those imperial towers
Read not amid the midnight stars their doom;
The pomp and art of all their glorious hours
Lie hidden in the sands that are their tomb.
And ye, ancestral trees! are somewhat shorn
Of the first strength that mark’d earth’s earlier clime;
But still ye stand, stately and tempest-worn,
To show how nature triumphs over time.
Much have ye witness’d—but yet more remains;
The mind’s great empire is but just begun;
The desert beauty of your distant plains
Proclaim how much has yet been left undone.
Will not your giant columns yet behold
The world’s old age, enlighten’d, calm, and free;
More glorious than the glories known of old—
The spirit’s placid rule o’er land and sea.
All that the past has taught is not in vain—
Wisdom is garner’d up from centuries gone;
Love, Hope, and Mind prepare a nobler reign
Than ye have known—Cedars of Lebanon!
*** This poem is in the public domain,
and may be read in a live-streamed worship service.
The Cedar Tree
We know that a cedar tree
can tell us by its rings
when salmon runs were big,
when bears and eagles
and wolves feasted on salmon,
and left the carcasses
near the trees,