Forgive me if I forget
with the birdsong and the day’s
last glow folding into the hands
of the trees, forgive me the few
syllables of the autumn crickets,
the year’s last firefly winking
like a penny in the shoulder’s weeds,
if I forget the hour, if I forget
the day as the evening star
pours out its whiskey over the gravel
and asphalt I’ve walked
for years alone, if I startle
when you put your hand in mine,
if I wonder how long your light
has taken to reach me here.
~Jake Adam York “Abide”
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
~Henry Lyte, from the hymn “Abide with Me”
A Peaceful Day on a Shaded Porch
As a couple dozen Holstein cows
Swaying their great udders march
To the barn behind this house.
We rock in the chairs, drinking tea,
Thinking of the ones who died,
Working this farm before you and me,
Singing, “Fast falls the eventide,”
Thinking of all they must do
Before the end and the deep abyss,
They took great comfort from this view
On just such a peaceful day as this.
Which says: our time is short, no time to waste.
Let us improve today before we are replaced.
~Rozel Hunt, “A Peaceful Day on a Shaded Porch.”
On my grayest days,
as transient as life can feel,
I am no more
than a raindrop
on the fingertip of a glass blade.
We walk hand in hand, alongside
in Him whose Light reaches out
even in the depths of our night.
Abide with me, fast falls the eventide,
The darkness deepens Lord, with me abide
When other helpers fail and comforts flee
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away
Change and decay in all around I see
O Thou who changest not, abide with me
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness
Where is death’s sting?
Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me
I need thy presence every passing hour.
What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who like thyself my guide and strength can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee
In life, in death, o Lord, abide with me
Abide with me, abide with me
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2 thoughts on “Fast Falls the Eventide”
Sometimes, when I need to fully understand the meaning of a word that we use infrequently in today’s culture, I consult the dictionary for the etymology of that word. Here is a partial listing for what I found for Henry Lyle’s use of the lovely title for his lyrics for the Christian hymn, ‘Abide With me’ (1847):
Fixed in a state of love
Keep a promise….
Can any one Word, then, be more appropriate, more dear and loving to our souls, than the Word,
‘Abide’ when referring to our hopes and beliefs in Jesus’ Promise that He would be (abide) with us forever?
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Wow, Emily, what a life-changing experience for a young person….
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