Monday, November 8, 2010

"The Eclipse" by William Lambie

William Lambie was a Ypsilanti farmer of Scottish extraction. His introduction to his 1883 book of prose and poetry "Life on the Farm" reads thus:

"On stormy days and while resting at noon I have been in the habit of writing the thoughts that passed through my mind while working on the farm. No one complains that farmers write too many books, or make too many speeches, or are in any way burdensome on humanity. They are known by their fruits rather than by their books, and if they fall behind In harmony and eloquence they often more than make it up in common sense and useful industry. The pulpit, the bar, and the press are well represented, but we hear very little from a farmer's standpoint--those who produce the most seem to have the least to say..."

Today's poetry selection deals with the November 15, 1891 lunar eclipse, an event Lambie observed. It was published in the November 20, 1891 Ypsilanti Commercial.

The Eclipse

November fifteenth brought a storm,
The ground was white on Sabbath morn:
The church was full, the sermon good,
The singers in melodious mood:
The through the rain, the mud and storm,
We had to drive like Jehu home,
And still the rain came down in showers,
In dark and lowering evening hours.
After the sermon, papers read,
And some were going off to bed,
One peeped into the News by Scripps,
And said, 'Hallo! A grand eclipse,'
But on that dark and stormy night
No moon or stars could cheer our sight:
But fast the clouds cleared from the sky,
And raised our thoughts to worlds on high:
The moon unveiled her peerless light,
With our earth's shadow clear in sight.
Nature all her orbs controlling,
To "eyes in a fine frenzy rolling,"
Well done, astronomers of the sky,
Who lift our thoughts to worlds on high,
Who bring this world and Heaven nearer,
Hope and joy and visions clearer.

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