Sonnet 19: When I consider how my light is spent
BY JOHN MILTON
When I consider how my light is spent,
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my Soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide;
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er Land and Ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”
"Instead of calling on some scholar, I paid many a visit to particular trees, of kinds which are rare in this neighborhood, standing far away in the middle of some pasture, or in the depths of a wood or swamp, or on a hilltop; such as ... the beech, which has so neat a bole and beautifully lichen-painted, perfect in all its details, of which, excepting scattered specimens, I know but one small grove of sizable trees left in the township, supposed by some to have been planted by the pigeons that were once baited with beechnuts near by; it is worth the while to see the silver grain sparkle when you split this wood..."
(There are four of these great trunks in a row I must pass on every walk into town. They are like great Elephant legs, like Ganesh on a tightrope and I would know this tree anywhere now.
I hope these are never split for fire wood. LB)
"The power that created the universe and spun the dragonfly's wing and is beyond all other powers holds back, in love, from overpowering us...the passionate restraint and hush of God."
This wondrous lettering was done by artist Lisa Congdon who committed 365 days to hand lettering. Click on the image to see more of her copy work.
Students were painting oak leaves yesterday and I am trying to get them straight in my mind. I copied this chart into my nature notebook but so far it isn't helping me when I stand under a tree--or when I need to sort out the acorns....John Ruskin said, “If you can paint one leaf, you can paint the whole world.” Some of the oaks are still sporting leaves here but they are the very last to fall (except maybe the service berries.)
A wee explanation: this website was created as a way to amplify the daily surprise of seeing glory in one small life. The notebook entries represented here are all selected from things actually lived and noted on paper in an effort to live the full life British educator Charlotte Mason so ably championed.