Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | December 26, 2009

POEM OF THE DAY: Snow-flakes

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 – 1872).


Out of the bosom of the Air,
      Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
      Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
            Silent, and soft, and slow
            Descends the snow.

Even as our cloudy fancies take
      Suddenly shape in some divine expression,
Even as the troubled heart doth make
      In the white countenance confession,
            The troubled sky reveals
            The grief it feels.

This is the poem of the air,
      Slowly in silent syllables recorded;
This is the secret of despair,
      Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,
            Now whispered and revealed
            To wood and field.


Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | December 25, 2009

POEM OF THE DAY: For Christmas Day

by Charles Wesley (1707 – 1788).

For Christmas Day

Hark, how all the welkin rings,
“Glory to the King of kings;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconcil’d!”

Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
Universal nature say,
“Christ the Lord is born to-day!”

Christ, by highest Heaven ador’d,
Christ, the everlasting Lord:
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb!

Veil’d in flesh, the Godhead see,
Hail th’ incarnate Deity!
Pleas’d as man with men to appear,
Jesus, our Immanuel here!

Hail, the heavenly Prince of Peace,
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings.

Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth;
Born to give them second birth.

Come, desire of nations, come,
Fix in us thy humble home;
Rise, the woman’s conquering seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.

Now display thy saving power,
Ruin’d nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to thine.

Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp thy image in its place.
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in thy love.

Let us thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the life, the inner man:
O, to all thyself impart,
Form’d in each believing heart.


Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | December 25, 2009

POEM OF THE DAY: Christ’s Nativity

by Henry Vaughan (1621 – 1695).
Christ’s Nativity

Awake, glad heart! get up and sing!
It is the birth-day of thy King.
         Awake! awake!
         The Sun doth shake
Light from his locks, and all the way
Breathing perfumes, doth spice the day.

Awake, awake! hark how th’ wood rings;
Winds whisper, and the busy springs
         A concert make;
         Awake! awake!
Man is their high-priest, and should rise
To offer up the sacrifice.

I would I were some bird, or star,
Flutt’ring in woods, or lifted far
         Above this inn
         And road of sin!
Then either star or bird should be
Shining or singing still to thee.

I would I had in my best part
Fit rooms for thee! or that my heart
         Were so clean as
         Thy manger was!
But I am all filth, and obscene;
Yet, if thou wilt, thou canst make clean.

Sweet Jesu! will then. Let no more
This leper haunt and soil thy door!
         Cure him, ease him,
         O release him!
And let once more, by mystic birth,
The Lord of life be born in earth.

Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | December 24, 2009

Weekly Read-Along—December 25, 2009: On the Feast of the Nativity

Material for the Stout-Hearted Reader to Ruminate
♦ Essays, Lectures & Speeches ♦
—   —   —

Pope Leo the Great (5th century A.D.) is a Doctor of the Church.  His papacy is recognized for asserting the Petrine Supremacy doctrine and he is popularly known for persuading Attila the Hun to turn back from his conquest of Western Europe.

This week’s text is Pope Leo’s Sermon XXVI: On the Feast of the Nativity VI. He makes five main points in this sermon—

1. Christmas Morning is the Most Appropriate Time for Thoughts on the  Nativity,
2. Christians are Essentially Participators in the Nativity of Christ,
3. Peace with God Is His Best Gift to Man,
4. We Must Be Worthy of Our Calling as Sons and Friends of God, and
5. The Birth of Christ is the Birth of Peace to the Church

Join others from around the world in this weekly reading event! You can find Pope Leo’s text at these websites:

Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | December 24, 2009

POEM OF THE DAY: The Sleigh-Bells

by Susanna Moodie (1803 – 1885).

The Sleigh-Bells

’Tis merry to hear, at evening time,
By the blazing hearth the sleigh-bells chime;
To know the bounding steeds bring near
The loved one to our bosoms dear.
Ah, lightly we spring the fire to raise,
Till the rafters glow with the ruddy blaze;
Those merry sleigh-bells, our hearts keep time
Responsive to their fairy chime.
Ding-dong, ding-dong, o’er vale and hill,
Their welcome notes are trembling still.

’Tis he, and blithely the gay bells sound,
As his sleigh glides over the frozen ground;
Hark! He has pass’d the dark pine wood,
He crosses now the ice-bound flood,
And hails the light at the open door
That tells his toilsome journey’s o’er.
The merry sleigh-bells! My fond heart swells
And trobs to hear the welcome bells;
Ding-dong, ding-dong, o’er ice and snow,
A voice of gladness, on they go.

Our hut is small, and rude our cheer,
But love has spread the banquet here;
And childhood springs to be caress’d
By our beloved and welcome guest.
With a smiling brow his tale he tells,
The urchins ring the merry sleigh-bells;
The merry sleigh-bells, with shout and song
They drag the noisy string along;
Ding-dong, ding-dong, the father’s come
The gay bells ring his welcome home.

From the cedar swamp the gaunt wolves howl,
From the oak loud whoops the felon owl;
The snow-storm sweeps in thunder past,
The forest creaks beneath the blast;
No more I list, with boding fear,
The sleigh-bells distant chime to hear.
The merry sleigh-bells with soothing power
Shed gladness on the evening hour.
Ding-dong, ding-dong, what rapture swells
The music of those joyous bells!


Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | December 23, 2009


by Carl Sandburg (1878 – 1967).

The Junk Man (1916)

I am glad God saw Death
And gave Death a job taking care of all who are tired
of living:

When all the wheels in a clock are worn and slow and
the connections loose
And the clock goes on ticking and telling the wrong time
from hour to hour
And people around the house joke about what a bum
clock it is,
How glad the clock is when the big Junk Man drives
his wagon
Up to the house and puts his arms around the clock and
“You don’t belong here,
You gotta come
Along with me,”
How glad the clock is then, when it feels the arms of the
Junk Man close around it and carry it away.


Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | December 22, 2009

POEM OF THE DAY: The Vernal Age

by Philip Freneau (1752 – 1832).

The Vernal Age

Where the pheasant roosts at night,
Lonely, drowsy, out of sight,
Where the evening breezes sigh
Solitary, there stray I.

Close along the shaded stream,
Source of many a youthful dream,
Where branchy cedars dim the day
There I muse, and there I stray.

Yet, what can please amid this bower,
That charmed the eye for many an hour!
The budding leaf is lost to me,
And dead the bloom on every tree.

The winding stream, that glides along,
The lark, that tunes her early song,
The mountain’s brow, the sloping vale,
The murmuring of the western gale,

Have lost their charms!–the blooms are gone!
Trees put a darker aspect on,
The stream disgusts that wanders by,
And every zephyr brings a sigh.

Great guardian of our feeble kind!–
Restoring Nature, lend thine aid!
And o’er the features of the mind
Renew those colors, that must fade,
 When vernal suns forbear to roll,
 And endless winter chills the soul.


Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | December 21, 2009


by Edgar Lee Masters (1868 – 1950)

The Wood (1898)

The wood that echoed to our shout
Is still with winter’s loneliness,
Save when the Storm King is about
With cries of strange distress;
The brook is frozen, the hill is bare,
And gray clouds fill the biting air—
‘Tis melancholy weather.
Yet dreary time shall we not say
Dark as thou art, that thou shalt stay?
For when the springtime comes again,
We shall not be as we were when
We roamed the wood together


Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | December 20, 2009

POEM OF THE DAY: There Is Pleasure in the Pathless Woods

by George Gordon Byron (1788 -1824).

There Is Pleasure in the Pathless Woods

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal. 


Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | December 19, 2009

POEM OF THE DAY: Where the Mind is Without Fear

by Rabindranath Tagore (1861 – 1941).

Where the Mind Is Without Fear (1916)

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.


« Newer Posts - Older Posts »