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Saturday, December 23, 2023

'Your eyes know tomorrow'

“All things by immortal power. near or far, to each other linked are, that thou canst not stir a flower, without the troubling of a star.” – Francis Thompson

Born in England in December of 1859, Thompson wrote three books of poetry, and a number of short stories and essays, including an award-winning one on the poet Percy Bysche Shelley.   Perhaps best known for writing phrases that became the theme for other writings or actions, his term “With all deliberate speed,” was used in the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Brown vs. Board of Education.  His phrase “Love is a many-splendored thing” became the title of a novel by Han Suyin, a popular 1955 movie, and hit song by The Four Aces.  Authors J.R.R. Tolkien and Madeline L’Engle both cited him as a key influence on their writing.  For Saturday’s Poem, here is Thompson’s,


Go, songs

               Go, songs, for ended is our brief, sweet play; 

               Go, children of swift joy and tardy sorrow: 

               And some are sung, and that was yesterday, 

               And some are unsung, and that may be tomorrow.

Go forth; and if it be o'er stony way, 

               Old joy can lend what newer grief must borrow: 

               And it was sweet, and that was yesterday, 

               And sweet is sweet, though purchased with sorrow.


               Go, songs, and come not back from your far way: 

               And if men ask you why ye smile and sorrow, 

               Tell them ye grieve, for your hearts know Today, 

               Tell them ye smile, for your eyes know Tomorrow.

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