Nothing so rare…

"The lovingkindness of the Lord fills the whole earth..." ~Psalm 33:15

‘T is heaven alone that is given away,
‘T is only God may be had for the asking;
There is no price set on the lavish summer,
And June may be had by the poorest comer.

"Light dawns for the righteous and joy for the upright in heart." ~ Psalm 97:11

And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,
And over it softly her warm ear lays:
Whether we look, or whether we listen,
We hear life murmur, or see it glisten;

Magdalen ("Maudie") at her morning post

Every clod feels a stir of might,
An instinct within it that reaches and towers,
And, grasping blindly above it for light,
Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers;
The flush of life may well be seen
Thrilling back over hills and valleys;

the bounty of the henhouse

The cowslip startles in meadows green,
The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice,
And there ‘s never a leaf or a blade too mean
To be some happy creature’s palace;

"Then man goes out to his work, to his labor until evening." ~Psalm 104:23

The little bird sits at his door in the sun,
Atilt like a blossom among the leaves,
And lets his illumined being o’errun
With the deluge of summer it receives;
His mate feels the eggs beneath her wings,
And the heart in her dumb breast flutters and sings;
He sings to the wide world, and she to her nest,–
In the nice ear of Nature which song is the best?

"How many are Your works, O Lord! in wisdom You made them all; the earth is full of Your creatures." ~Psalm 104:24

Now is the high-tide of the year,
And whatever of life hath ebbed away
Comes flooding back, with a ripply cheer,
Into every bare inlet and creek and bay;
Now the heart is so full that a drop overfills it,
We are happy now because God so wills it;
No matter how barren the past may have been,
‘T is enough for us now that the leaves are green;

"Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love..." ~Psalm 143: 8

We sit in the warm shade and feel right well
How the sap creeps up and the blossoms swell;
We may shut our eyes, but we cannot help knowing
That skies are clear and grass is growing;
The breeze comes whispering in our ear,
That dandelions are blossoming near,
That maize has sprouted, that streams are flowing,
That the river is bluer than the sky,
That the robin is plastering his house hard by;

"He makes grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate--bringing forth food from the earth." ~Psalm 104: 14

For other couriers we should not lack;
We could guess it all by yon heifer’s lowing,–
And hark! how clear bold chanticleer,
Warmed with the new wine of the year,
Tells all in his lusty crowing!

mesclun frame

Joy comes, grief goes, we know not how;
Every thing is happy now,
Every thing is upward striving;
‘T is as easy now for the heart to be true
As for grass to be green or skies to be blue,–

zucchini, gaura and pole beans

‘T is the natural way of living:
Who knows whither the clouds have fled?
In the unscarred heaven they leave no wake;
And the eyes forget the tears they have shed,
The heart forgets its sorrow and ache;

the morning's harvest

The soul partakes the season’s youth,
And the sulphurous rifts of passion and woe
Lie deep ‘neath a silence pure and smooth,
Like burnt-out craters healed with snow.

from The Vision of Sir Launfal by James Russell Lowell

17 Responses to “Nothing so rare…”

  1. Stacy says:

    How lovely! I must admit to not being familiar with the works of James Russell Lowell, but soon hope to remedy that :) How fortunate you are in the bounty of your garden. With our move and trying to settle in, we failed to put one out this year. How I miss vegetables fresh from the vine.

  2. Jodi Lenz says:

    Hey Lanier, it’s me, Bron. Just wanted to say your pictures and prose are beautiful, and the harvest looks yummy! Have a wonderful summer! We leave for NZ this Saturday; please pray that we’ll have a safe trip there and back again. 😉 This is my first overseas flight.

    Love from your friend,
    ~Bronwyn

    • Lanier Ivester says:

      Bron, I certainly will pray for you! I am so excited about your international wedding–I know that you are all off on a Grand Adventure!! ‘There and back again’, indeed. 😉
      My first overseas flight was to Moscow when I was 17…but I think yours will be a bit longer than mine. Know that you will all be in my heart and prayers…
      Love,
      Lanier

  3. Jodi Lenz says:

    Thanks, Lanier! <3

    ~Bron

  4. Judy Tinsley says:

    Oh so peaceful to read, I have a harvest and bounty, too but you have such a special way of sharing it with the world…that is a gift for us all! Love, Judy

  5. You are, indeed, a blessing.

    This is lovely. :)

  6. Sheena Walsh says:

    Dear Lanier, what a blessing you always are! I work in an office in a shabby part of Brisbane and travel for over an hour to get here each day, and your posts always transport me away to a place of refreshment. I have not spent nearly enough time with God this year, and it seems you coax me back in the most gentle way. Thank you for your generosity, and your clean heart.

  7. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful poem, and pictures. I’ve read your blog off and on for man years, and have always found it to be wonderful place for encouragement. Blessings to you for being a tool in His hand to encourage others, even those you do not know in real life. :)

  8. Terra says:

    The poetry and photos of God’s critters and gardens are lovely, and I can see why Brenda linked to you from her blog. Glad to meet you.

  9. Anil says:

    What a inspiring post to read as morning dawns outside my window, and the pictures complemented so beautifully James Lowell’s work, the first time I’ve read anything by him.

  10. Elisabeth says:

    Looking at the pictures, I find myself hoping that there will be “summer and winter, springtime and harvest” in heaven as well as on earth. The seasons of this little world of ours (or, rather, God’s) are so beautiful – and such a REAL expression of God’s creativity and faithfulness! *Hug!* Thank you for sharing so much beauty.

  11. Elaine says:

    What a beautiful post for the soul and the eye and the heart! I was reminded of one of my favorite poems:

    i thank You God for most this amazing
    day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
    and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
    which is natural which is infinite which is yes

    (i who have died am alive again today,
    and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth
    day of life and love and wings: and of the gay
    great happening illimitably earth)

    how should tasting touching hearing seeing
    breathing any-lifted from the no
    of all nothing-human merely being
    doubt unimaginable You?

    (now the ears of my ears awake and
    now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

    e e cummings

    God’s peace, Elaine

  12. Martina says:

    I came back to enjoy the beautiful poem once more. Thank you so much! And thank you for sharing with us those lovely photos of your beautiful world! As always, a visit here is inspiring and uplifting.

  13. Lanier,
    What a wonderfully lovely post.Husband and I would LOVE to live the rural life but it is not to be at present.So I visit your blog and simply soak in it’s beauty and dream a little.:o)Much Love and Blessing from Oregon~Sharon

  14. Sharon says:

    The words of the Psalms inspire, comfort and bless in all of life’s circumstances. You have paired them beautifully with your photos.
    I wasn’t familiar with the poem–a treasure of mind-pictures.
    I’m almost reluctant to tell you that I posted an award for you on my blog. I’m not at all “tech-y” and was a bit dismayed at taking time to figure out the award and how to pass it on. It seemed churlish not to try. Since your writing is always interesting and inspirational I chose to include you in my “honors” list. Do with it as you see fit.

  15. Jan says:

    I just stumbled across your blog. You do a beautiful job of writing and wedding the text with pictures and poems. I hope you don’t mind if I put a link on my blogspot to yours. I want to return often. Thanks for inspiration and helping me “smell the roses.”

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