When I reached the age when grandchildren began to come, I was inspired in many ways by them. Older, somewhat wiser, I was drawn into the life of the child in a fresh new way. Life is kind of a blur when you begin rearing your own children but by the time grandchildren come along you have had time to season some and your nervous system allows you to enjoy what once only sped by.
I was inspired to write a few poems and the following is one I find some merit in, and it leads to the next piece.
Led By A Child
The purity of children, God’s most precious gift;
When I behold its beauty, I’m aware of the drift
I’ve taken from virtue, in its grandest form,
It’s God’s reminder of what will be the norm
In the Kingdom Eternal, where the saints will be filed
Before the throne, and lead by a child.
It’s been said that infancy is a Messiah that pleads
Fallen man to aspire, more than all of the creeds,
And God with His spirit, each son would adorn
The innocence of children, holiness reborn.
Words fail to express, like the beauty of a rose,
The impression of innocence on someone who knows,
His life has been stained, and darkened inside,
When from the bosom of God, he ceased to abide.
So God has planned each birth to begin,
His display of purity, to draw us back again.
Having written that, when I came across the following poem with a similar theme it struck home….
“This sweet child which hath climbed upon my knee,
This amber-haired, four summered little maid,
With her unconscious beauty, troubleth,
With her low prattle maketh me afraid.
Ah, darling! When you cling and nestle so
You hurt me tho’ you do not see me cry,
Nor hear the bitterness with which I sigh
For the dead babe I killed so long ago.
I tremble at the touch of your caress;
I am not worthy of your innocent faith;
I who, with whetted knives of worldliness,
Did put my own child-heartedness to death;
Beside whose grave I pace forever more.
Like desolation on a shipwrecked shore.
There is no little child within me now,
To sing back to the thrushes, to leap up
When June winds kiss me, when an apple-bough
Laughs into blossoms, or a butter-cup
Plays with the sunshine, or violet
Dances in the glad dew. Alas, alas!
The meaning of the daisies in the grass
I have forgotten; and if my cheeks are wet,
It is not with the blitheness of a child,
But with the bitter sorrow of sad-years.
O, moaning life, with life irreconciled!
O, backward-looking thought, O, pain,
For me there is not any silver sound
Of rhythmic wonders springing from the ground.
Woe worth the knowledge and the bookish lore
Which makes men mummies, weighs out every grain
Of that which was miraculous before,
And sneers the heart down with the scoffing brain.
Woe worth the peering analytic days
That dry the tender juices in the breast
And put the thunders of the Lord to test,
So that no marvel must be, and no praise,
Nor any God except necessity.
What can ye give my poor starved life, in lieu
Of this dead cherub which I slew for you?
Take back your doubtful wisdom and renew
My early foolish freshness of the dunce,
Whose simple instincts guessed the Heavens at once.” Richard Realf