Friday, March 23, 2007
The white whale
The great white whale beholds the sail
That means to work him woe,
And plumes the breeze of southern seas
Where Bedford whalers go.
The lookouts shout, the crew turns out,
The longboats pull away;
With rope and lance and half a chance
They'll kill the beast this day.
The captain's eye regards the sky:
The gulls now tell the tale–
Their raucous cries the calm belies
Where sounds the great white whale.
He rises now and at the bow
Harpoons gleam sharp and long;
Then there's the throw! and off they go–
The rope sings out its song.
The salt spray flies and stings the eyes;
In headlong buck and leap
The whaleboats dance and dip and prance
Like sprites across the deep.
Then all is still and with a thrill
The crews gasp at his rise:
Leviathan now turns on man
His black and baleful eyes.
They watch in awe his toothy maw
Gape terrible and wide;
As if in dreams the sailors' screams
The only sound provide.
He sounds again and flukes descend
To crush the men and boats
Upon the swell the splinters tell
Where one lone seaman floats.
And down below the bilge planks show
The whale has come to call:
A crash! The din! The water in!
He means to kill them all.
The ship sinks fast until at last
The masts slip out of sight,
And on the waves but one man raves
Upon his float that night.
The story's old and often told,
But mark this hoary tale–
And learn the rule: that man's a fool
Who seeks his own white whale.
The wise man learns, where hatred burns
But naught of good can come;
Obsession's cost is ever lost
When God totes up the sum.
© 2007 Jeffrey Hull
Friday, March 02, 2007
© 2009 Rick Lee
How tiny then those feet that she caressed
When Mary put the Christ child to her breast,
And cradled in her loving mother's arms
The form of God on earth made manifest.
And surely Joseph took a father's pride
As toddling steps became a surer stride
And boy about the temple grew to man,
Whose feet would take Him whither, what betide?
Along the winding roads of Galilee
His sandals bore a dusty ministry
Down trail and track to bring the blessed news:
Fulfillment of the ancient prophecy.
When Jesus sat with Pharisees at meat
A quiet weeping sinner washed those feet
With tears of shame, and dried them with her hair;
Her faith had earned forgiveness made complete.
At last His feet received the brutal spike,
The sinners' and the Saviour's fate alike;
The taunting soldiers gambled for His clothes
And pierced His broken body with a pike.
And now at home in glory sits the Lamb
Upon His throne beside the great I Am;
There falling at those feet all Heaven's host
And all the prophets back to Abraham.
© 2007 Jeffrey Hull
Dedicated to Dr. Uwe Siemon-Netto