In the world the forces of good and evil are locked in mortal combat. There is no doubt that powerful and evil forces worldwide, in the service of Satan, are destroying and disfiguring so much that is good, and replacing it with so much that is evil. We know from Christ's own words, that good will ultimately prevail over evil, and that our strength, solace and hope is in knowing Him, loving Him, and serving Him in this world, so that we may be eternally happy with Him in the next. To enable us to attain this, Christ founded His Church, appointed St Peter as its head, and promised to be with His Church all days even unto the end of the world. Occasionally I feel the need to escape, metaphorically speaking, from our confused, and often sad, real world, and I immerse myself in a book of poetry. After an hour or so reading my favourite poems, I feel mentally and spiritually refreshed, in rather the same way that beautiful, classical music, uplifts the soul.
I am not a fan of poetry 'per se', I think appreciation demands an empathy between the reader and the poet, based on subject matter, the 'ethos' or psychology of the poem, and the manner in which the poetry is written. Again the same principles apply to the appreciation of certain types of classical music, substituting musical form and pattern for the written word.
I am posting a few short poems by a little known writer working in the late 1920s early 1930s, under the name of Betty L Robertson. I have endeavoured, so far unsuccessfully, to trace this lady, and if any reader can throw any light on her life, it would be much appreciated. These poems are taken from a slim paper-backed book entitled 'Poems' by Betty L Robertson, and published/printed by Whitby, Light & Lane Ltd, Bridgwater, probably in the 1930s.
The stars, dear Lord, are gleaming on the sea, The moon is there, and Thou art watching me. Yet as beneath the sky I kneel to pray, No words will come, no prayers have I to say.
Cold is the darkness, and the night is still, But there has come a wind across the hill Fragrantly blowing to me, as though Thy breath Whispered of life, dear Lord, and not of death.
Yet can I ask Thee for my happiness, When Thou hast all this mighty world to bless? Ah God, Thy love is great, Thy ways are just, But I am smaller than one grain of dust,
More insignificant, yet Thou hast said Each hair is numbered on Thy children’s head. The stars, dear Lord, are gleaming on the sea, The moon is there, and Thou art watching me. c. Betty L Robertson (April 1930)
What should they know of life, these little ones? Who weep, and then forget why they were sad, Who crown their lives with golden dreams, ambitions, And never doubt that they will come to pass. What should they know of life? Its sordidness To children is a thing of nothingness. The earth to them was made for work and play, With new found joys in every endless day. What should they fear from life, these little ones? What should they know of love, these little ones? Who worship from the depths of heart and soul More faithfully than older ones can tell, A simple toy, battered or torn, or broken. And from the angels comes the love for mother, Kept sacredly aloof from any other, A love, deep rooted in the little heart, That nought, not even death, could wrench apart. What should they fear from love, these little ones? What should they know of death, these little ones? Death, fearful in its great uncertainty, A promised peaceful sleep, yet how we tremble To leave this world of ours, and walk with God. But children do not doubt, Heaven must lie Beyond the twinkling stars, the tranquil sky, For mother said that dark was safe as light, And Jesus watches thro’ the longest night. What should they fear from death, these little ones? c. Betty L Robertson (1930)
The Little Things
Because I could not face the world today, But wept alone where there were none to see, The pleasant smell of new-mown clover hay, Caused me to pause a while, and calm to be.
Because I sobbed as tho’ my heart would break, And felt that only death could heal this pain, The stolid firmness of a stable rake Begged me to wait, to reason, to be sane.
Because in spite of bitter tears, and strife, The world goes on, and duties still are there, We find it is the little things of life Which keep us sane, in moments of despair. c. Betty L Robertson
We must not ask of life not to be sad, Never to know of grief, or suffer pain. For as the sunshine followeth the rain, So thro’ our tears, do we learn to be glad.
We must not ask to reach ambition’s height Without the struggle of uncertainty, Without the climb where would the beauty be Of groping thro’ the darkness, to the light?
We must not ask, when strength is at an end That earthly help will still be waiting there. It is when left alone to fight despair, We turn to Him, Who is indeed our Friend. c. Betty L Robertson.
" Little children are loved at once; to see them and to love them is the same thing. For this reason the Eternal Word chose first to be seen among men as an infant, to conciliate to Himself the love of all mankind." (Thoughts from St Alphonsus) ++++++ 'God bless our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI'
Prayer for the beatification of Bishop Richard Challoner, Bishop of Debra, Vicar Apostolic of the London District 1758-1781. O God, who didst make thy servant Richard a true and faithful pastor of thy little flock in England, deign to place him among the Blessed in Thy Church, so that we who profit by his word and example, may beg his help in heaven for the return of this land to the ancient faith, and to the fold of the one true Shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Slightly frayed around the edges and still trying to pretend that I'm not really as old as that! I thank God for all my blessings, particularly my Catholic faith; my wife a 'pearl of great price'; my children and grandchildren; my friends; our dog Dartmoor; and our good neighbours and spiritual mentors, the F.SS.R community from Papa Stronsay.