Loveliest of trees
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
A. E. Housman (1859–1936)
This world is not conclusion
THIS world is not conclusion;
A sequel stands beyond,
Invisible, as music,
But positive, as sound.
It beckons and it baffles;
Philosophies don’t know,
And through a riddle, at the last,
Sagacity must go.
To guess it puzzles scholars;
To gain it, men have shown
Contempt of generations,
And crucifixion known.
Emily Dickinson (1830–1886)
Earlier today I sang at a memorial service for a longtime member of my church, Annetta Hamilton Rosser. She was a remarkable woman, as her obituary attests. In addition to the pieces performed by the choir, a soloist sang two of Annetta's own compositions, settings of the two poems above. (Just the first four lines of the latter, actually, and no, it wasn't just an arrangement of "The Yellow Rose of Texas.")
It was a lovely service, even though I started crying during the last hymn, "For All the Saints," which was also the last hymn at my mom's memorial service twelve years ago. Kind of took me by surprise; I was fine singing it in the choir room, but when we got upstairs with the organ and the congregation, it really got to me. Thankfully, I was able to keep it under control enough to sing the two verses that were being sung by the choir.