Tuesday, October 11, 2005

one of my favorite poems

Mandy and I went to the cabin tonight after the granddaughters were gone.  The weather was perfect for the nice little campfire I started.  I listened to the sounds of the woods for awhile and was blessed to hear two Barred Owls calling to one another.  Then I listened to Floyd Westerman sing his Indian protest songs while I perused volumes three and four of "The Book Of Knowledge".

Something jogged my memory and made me remember a poem I loved as a child, and still treasure.  Here it is:


 Theodore Tilton. (1835–1907)

Once in Persia reigned a King
Who upon his signet ring
Graved a maxim true and wise,
Which, if held before the eyes,
Gave him counsel at a glance,
Fit for every change and chance.
Solemn words, and these are they:
"Even this shall pass away."

Trains of camels through the sand
Brought his gems from Samarcand;
Fleets of galleys through the seas
Brought him pearls to match with these.
But he counted not his gain
Treasures of the mine or main;
"What is wealth?" the king would say;
"Even this shall pass away."

In the revels of his court
At the zenith of the sport,
When the palms of all his guests
Burned with clapping at his jests;
He amid his figs and wine,
Cried: "Oh loving friends of mine!
Pleasure comes but not to stay;
Even this shall pass away."

Fighting on a furious field,
Once a javelin pierced his shield;
Soldiers with a loud lament
Bore him bleeding to his tent;
Groaning from his tortured side,
"Pain is hard to bear," he cried,
"But with patience, day by day,
Even this shall pass away."

Towering in the public square,
Twenty cubits in the air,
Rose his statue, carved in stone,
Then, the king, disguised, unknown,
Stood before his sculptured name
Musing meekly, "What is fame?
Fame is but a slow decay
Even this shall pass away."

Struck with palsy, sere and old,
Waiting at the gates of gold,
Said he with his dying breath;
"Life is done, but what is death?"
Then, in answer to the King,
Fell a sunbeam on his ring,
Showing by a heavenly ray,
"Even this shall pass away."


siennastarr said...

You are always teaching me something new, Mosie.  I had often heard the saying, "All things shall pass", or ,"Even this shall pass away," but I never knew where it came from.  Now I do.
Thank you, for yet again, teaching me something new!  :)


toonguykc said...

My ma said "This too shall pass" -- which I prefer to the original quote you posted.  No offense.

bnanajm said...

Wonderful poem, Mosie.  Thanks

pudge450 said...

That poem seems VERY relevant to me at the moment.  My family and I are attempting to recover from hurricane Katrina flooding.  Living in alternate housing is very trying for all of us.  I keep telling them, this will just be a memory some day...... or as your poem says "Even this shall pass away".  I just wish it could become a memory a little faster.  Ha!

cyandfayedavis said...

Wonderful poem...How many times in the Bible does it say "It came to pass".  This is a promise I have held on to.  All things have come to pass so enjoy the good, endure the bad and smile.