Above me, the heavens with moon and sun, Below me, the earth firm and strong, Behind me, an angel to guard me and guide, Before me, the goal to which I stride, Beside me, my loved ones, and all around Fire and water and air abound.
Above, below; near and wide; Behind, before, and either side : The encompassing world lies far and nigh, And in the centre, here stand I.
Crystal, jewel, rock or stone, In me is sinew, flesh and bone. The plant unfolding stem and leaf, In me is growth and pulsing life. The sentient beast that roves the plain In me is shades of joy and pain. The sun that gives its loving light, In me is thinking’s radiance bright
Beast and plant, earth and sun - All the world in me is One.
Rain, fall! Water, flow! Bring new life That the plant may grow. Soften the earth That the root grow deep; Moisten the air That stem and leaf Unfurl and unfold In the shimmering light And bring forth the flower For our delight.
In the waters of a pool, Deep and green, dim and cool, Unperturbed by swirl or swish, Hangs a dreaming silver fish. Thrice a-dream in waters deep, Wrapped in fast aquatic sleep.
Then with a flip and a flash and a flay Swift as the lightning it flickers away.
Earth beneath my feet, Thee my step doth greet. Through the light of days I walk upon thy ways, Straight or curved or steep In places high or deep.
Wisdom guide my soul, Lead me to life’s goal; Firmness bear me on Till my path be done.
Earth beneath my feet, Thee I gently greet.
The word of a king can slay or spare, The word of a clown can gladden. The word of a friend can comfort and share, The word of a foe can sadden. The word of God creates a world Of firmament, land and sea; The word of my mouth Shapes my life, And so creates me.
The master paints a picture And its greatness shineth forth; The journeyman travels to broaden his skill By many a winding path; The apprentice must practise and practise And practise undaunted still more - But first he takes a simple broom And sweeps the master’s floor.
The tool unused lies lost in dust, The sword unused turns dull with rust, The path unused grows clogged with weed, The crop untended goes to seed. Skills unused will soon decay, Talents wasted, fade away.
I will work with a wish and I’ll work with a will, And the task that life brings me I’ll gladly fulfil, And unfolding new skills, many joys shall be mine. Away dull rust! Let me shine!
The sails are full, the anchor hauled, The rolling keel o’erleaps the swell, The wheeling gulls above me call, And wind and wave betoken well.
Storm or calm Near or far, Undeterred I’ll follow my star.
I waken to the morning light, I waken to the hills and seas, I waken to the birds and beasts, I waken to the plants and trees; And the world of people round me moves, Family, teachers, friends and more - The world awaits me every morn To know, to cherish and explore.
In the world I will seek For the good and the true By the thought that I think And the deeds that I do.
Deep asleep, deep asleep, Deep asleep it lies, The still lake of Semmerwater Under the still skies. And many a fathom, many a fathom, Many a fathom below, In a king's tower and a queen's bower The fishes come and go. Once there stood by Semmerwater A mickle town and tall; King's tower and queen's bower And the wakeman on the wall. Came a beggar halt and sore: "I faint for lack of bread!" King's tower and queen's bower Cast him forth unfed. He knock'd at the door of the eller's cot, The eller's cot in the dale. They gave him of their oatcake, They gave him of their ale.
He has cursed aloud that city proud, He has cursed it in its pride; He has cursed it into Semmerwater Down the brant hillside; He has cursed it into Semmerwater There to bide. King's tower and queen's bower, And a mickle town and tall; By glimmer of scale and gleam of fin, Folk have seen them all. King's tower and queen's bower, And weed and reed in the gloom; And a lost city in Semmerweater, Deep asleep till Doom.
Sir William Watson
The Water Cycle
Water hard as iron, Water flowing free, Water floating light as air, Water one in three.
Vapour rising skyward, Falls to earth as rain, Flows in river, stream and sea To rise as cloud again.
Lifting skyward, falling earthward, Ever on the move, Thus the cycle of all life Comes and goes on earth.
The rocks are hard And we stumble. The rocks are sharp And we bleed. The rocks are heavy, jagged and dense, Crushing and dark indeed.
But the rocks bear the weight of the world, They bear up our steps with might; And deep within, like stars on earth, Their jewels glisten bright.
Gliding swiftly across the frozen Lake she skates with grace, Circling, twirling, curving in arcs, The figures in ice to trace.
A hundred falls have come before, A hundred bumps and shocks, But up she got and tried again, Disdainful of the knocks.
Now she glides across the ice, Master of grace and skill. The prize is hers, A just reward For the heart that says, I will!
Kingdoms of nature below me, Kingdoms of angels above. Between the two, here stand I, Uniting these worlds with love.
Deep in the night is darkness, With my soul in slumber deep. Moonlight dreams on the waters, Moonlit dreams in my sleep.
High in the star-filled firmament The song of the spheres is heard, Giving me strength for the morrow, In thought and deed and word.
Now light of the sun is dawning, And light of my mind as I wake: Alive in the world, At home on the earth, My path through life to take.
A pebble dropped in a lake Sends ripples gliding to shore. The world is changed for ever; Does the ripple glide ever more?
A word of kindness spoken Sends warmth where was pain before. The world is changed for ever: The warmth lives on ever more.
Stone rough and jagged Tumbles down the hill, Falls into a river, Lies there calm and still.
River’s ever flowing, Water sparkling bright, Curving, twirling, slip and slide In the summer light.
Years flow by like water - Water on the move - At last the stone, once jagged, Is polished, round and smooth.
A goal illumined and planned by my head, Weighed and warmed by the love of my heart, Becomes a deed I set in the world, Directed, warm and good.