Let There Be Peace

Let There Be Peace

Let there be peace on earth, good will to all,
The love of God in hearts around the world,
Let there be light in every waterfall
And rainbows for adults and boys and girls.

Around the globe may love increase, intense
As young men’s passion for their wives, as high
As angels’ praise, as deep as confidence
Through death in Him who made the earth and sky.

For God is light and love, and He has sent
His Son to die for us, who took the sin
Of all upon his shoulders, as the Lamb
Whose death redeemed us from the punishment

That we deserved. Now, go, Love’s light, and spin
Through earth, to glorify the great “I AM.”

~Day Williams

“Let America Be America Again” – Poem by Langston Hughes

Let America Be America Again – Poem by Langston Hughes

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed–
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek–
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean–
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today–O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home–
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay–
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again–
The land that never has been yet–
And yet must be–the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine–the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME–
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose–
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath–
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain–
All, all the stretch of these great green states–
And make America again!

“The River Merchant’s Wife” by Li Bai, trans. Ezra Pound

While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead
I played about the front gate, pulling flowers.
You came by on bamboo stilts, playing horse;
You walked about my seat, playing with blue plums.
And we went on living in the village of Chokan:
Two small people, without dislike or suspicion.

At fourteen I married My Lord you.
I never laughed, being bashful.
Lowering my head, I looked at the wall.
Called to, a thousand times, I never looked back.

At fifteen I stopped scowling,
I desired my dust to be mingled with yours
Forever and forever and forever.
Why should I climb the lookout?

At sixteen you departed,
You went into far Ku-to-en, by the river of swirling eddies,
And you have been gone five months.
The monkeys make sorrowful noise overhead.
You dragged your feet when you went out.
By the gate now, the moss is grown, the different mosses,
Too deep to clear them away!
The leaves fall early this autumn, in wind.
The paired butterflies are already yellow with August
Over the grass in the West garden—
They hurt me.
I grow older.
If you are coming down through the narrows of the river,
Please let me know beforehand,
And I will come out to meet you
As far as Cho-fo-Sa.

***

Li Bai (701–762), also known as Li Bo, courtesy name Taibai, was a Chinese poet acclaimed from his own day to the present as a genius and a romantic figure. Wikipedia.

Still a great love poem. D.W.

SECOND KINGS CHAPTER TWELVE

SECOND KINGS CHAPTER TWELVE

1 The seventh year of Jehu, Joash was

Made king, and he reigned in Jerusalem

For forty years. His mother, Zibiah,

Came out of Beersheba; 2 Joash did

What was correct in the LORD’s eyes all years

Jehoiada the priest instructed him,

3 But the high places weren’t removed; the people

Continued offering their sacrifices

And burning incense there, 4 and Joash told

The priests, “Collect the money that is brought

As sacred offerings to the LORD’s temple—

Money collected in the census, money

Received from people’s vows and money brought

Willingly to the temple; 5 let each priest

Receive the money from a treasurer,

Then use it to repair the damage found

Within the temple.” 6 By the twenty-third

Year of King Joash priests still had not fixed

The temple, 7 so King Joash summoned Priest

 Jehoiada and other priests and asked

Them, “Why aren’t you repairing damage to

The temple? And take no more money from

Your treasurers, but hand it over to

Repair the temple,” 8 so the priests agreed

That they would not collect more money from

The people and that they themselves would not

Repair the temple. 9 Priest Jehoiada

Took out a chest and bored a hole inside

Its lid and placed it by the altar, on

The right side of the entrance to God’s temple.

The priests who watched the entrance put inside

The chest all money brought to God’s temple;

All money that was brought inside God’s temple.

10 Whenever they observed there was a large

Amount of money in the chest, the royal

Attendant and the high priest came and counted

The money that had been brought to God’s temple

And put it into bags; 11 when the amount

Had been determined, they gave money to

The men assigned to supervise the work

Upon the temple. With it, they paid those

Who worked on the LORD’s temple—carpenters

And builders, 12 stonecutters and masons. They  

Bought wood and blocks of dressed stone to repair

God’s temple, and met all the other costs

To renovate the temple. 13 Now the money

Brought in the temple was not spent to make

Silver basins, wick trimmers, sprinkling bowls,

Trumpets or any other articles

Of gold or silver for the temple of

The LORD, 14 for it was paid the workers, who

Used it to fix the temple. 15 They did not

Insist on an accounting from the ones

To whom they gave the funds to pay the workers,

Because they acted with full honesty.

16 The funds from the guilt offerings and sin

Offerings were not brought into God’s temple;

It was the priests’. 17 About this time Hazael

The king of Aram went up, attacked Gath,

And captured it. Then he turned to attack

Jerusalem, 18 but Joash, Judah’s king,

Took all the sacred objects dedicated

By kings who came before—Jehoshaphat,

Jehoram, Ahaziah, Judah’s kings—

And gifts that he himself had dedicated

And all the gold found in the treasuries

Of the LORD’s temple and the royal palace,

And sent them to Hazael, Aram’s king,

Who then withdrew out of Jerusalem.

19 As for the other incidents within

The reign of Joash, and all that he did,

Are they not written in the annals book

Of Judah’s kings? 20 Now his officials did

Conspire against him and assassinated

Him at Beth Millo, on the road to Silla,

21 And the officials who did murder him

Were Jozabad the son of Shimeath

And Shomer’s son, Jehozabad. He died

And he was buried with his ancestors

In David’s City. His son Amaziah

Succeeded him as king, to serve on high.