Monday, 30 September 2013

Lead Kindly Light....feeling a little ‘October’

The lyrics of this are beautiful, and very ‘October’ to me. For the record I should say what little I know of it. It was written by Blessed John Henry Newman in 1833, or thereabouts, during a journey home from Italy. John Henry had been unwell and homesick, but rough seas added to his plight by making him sea sick. He wrote this poem, entitled 'The Pillar of Cloud', a reference to Moses' path from Egypt, during a becalmed period of travel between Marseille and the Straits of Bonifacio. Some say the last two lines are a loving reflection upon his relationship with his sister, Mary, who had passed away in 1828, aged 19. Newman had loved her very much.

"Lead, Kindly Light, amidst th’encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and 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!

via Tumblr

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