Monday, October 8, 2007

In Fourteen Hundred and Ninety-Two...

For those of you who are crazy good mommies and do tea time poems this might be a good one for today:

The Things That Haven't Been Done Before
by Edgar A. Guest
It is said that if you hold a stick in front of the foremost sheep in a flock that files down a trail in the mountains, he will jump it - and that every sheep thereafter will jump when he reaches the spot, even if the stick be removed. So are many people mere unthinking imitators, blind to facts and opportunities about them. The air was not part of the domain of humanity till the Wright brothers made themselves birdmen.

The things that haven't been done before,
Those are the things to try;
Columbus dreamed of an unknown shore
At the rim of the far-flung sky,
And his heart was bold and his faith was strong
As he ventured in dangers new,
And he paid no heed to the jeering throng
Or the fears of the doubting crew.

The many will follow the beaten track
With guideposts on the way,
They live and have lived for ages back
With a chart for every day.
Someone has told them it's safe to go
On the road he has traveled o'er,
And all that they ever strive to know
Are the things that were known before.

A few strike out, without map or chart,
Where never a man has been,
From the beaten paths they draw apart
To see what no man has seen.
There are deeds they hunger alone to do;
Though battered and bruised and sore,
They blaze the path for the many, who
Do nothing not done before.

The things that haven't been done before
Are the tasks worth while to-day;
Are you one of the flock that follows, or
Are you one that shall lead the way?
Are you one of the timid souls that quail
At the jeers of a doubting crew,
Or dare you, whether you win or fail,
Strike out for a goal that's new?

Or, perhaps one pertaining to Catholicism?:
Columbus at the Convent
by J.T. Trowbridge

Dreary and brown the night comes down,
Gloomy, without a star.
On Palos town the night comes down;
The day departs with stormy frown;
The sad sea moans afar.

A convent gate is near; 'tis late;
Tin-gling! the bell they ring.
They ring the bell, they ask for bread--
"Just for my child," the father said.
Kind hands the bread will bring.

White was his hair, his mien was fair,
His look was calm and great.
The porter ran and called a friar;
The friar made haste and told the prior;
The prior came to the gate.

He took them in, he gave them food;
The traveler's dreams he heard;
And fast the midnight moments flew.
And fast the good man's wonder grew,
And all his heart was stirred.

The child the while, with soft, sweet smile,
Forgetful of all sorrow,
Lay soundly sleeping in his bed.
The good man kissed him there, and said:
"You leave us not to-morrow!

"I pray you, rest the convent's guest;
This child shall be our own--
A precious care, while you prepare
Your business with the court, and bear
Your message to the throne."

And so his guest he comforted.
O wise, good prior! to you,
Who cheered the stranger's darkest days,
And helped him on his way, what praise
And gratitude are due!

Follow up questions:
1. Where is Palos? What is it noted for?
2. Who was the "good man" spoken of in the poem?
3. In the line "The traveler's dreams he heard," who was the traveler? Relate the story of his dreams. Why are they called dreams? Did the dreams become facts? In what way?
4. How did the monks of this convent assist Columbus?
5. How did the Queen of Spain assist him?
6. Why is it that in the geography of our country we meet with so many Catholic names?

5 people are laughing with me:

Jessica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Wades said...

Who are you???!!!!

The Wades said...

at what do you think that saint is looking? :)

Jessica said...

Thanks!! We did read them with our Cookies & Cider :) And you're a good mommy, even though you wish you were a tree hugger.... WHO is the HIPPY NOW! LOL

Amy Caroline said...

Crazy, huh? Humpf.... lol
And now tree huggers? I am so lost, but what is new?