By Cyril Robert
In pensive mood I trod
My garden plot one day;
October’s smile was weary so!
It’s green was gloomy gray.
Where are the strains of summer gone?
Its sun the livelong day?
With sudden sadness I then thought
On how all human things decay.
Two months ago I’d seen
The thrilling joys of earth,
The roses blushing in their glee,
And swallows’ mellow mirth.
Then something briny from eye
Fell with the faded leaves;
I wept at beauty gone to shreds,
At naked boughs of wailing trees.
I understood how we,
As mortals here below,
Will flourish for a moment, then
To tryst with death must go.
But when on summer’s fruits I mused,
On ripened harvests fair,
On all the wealth from Heaven’s store,
On blossomed beauties precious rare.
I knew that for a cause,
A purpose grandly good,
The Lord had minted summer days;
And thus I understood
That we must lead a noble life
With inspiration filled,
To give the living, when we die,
The aims with which our spirit thrilled!
That I, a mortal man
With life divine in me,
Must purify that priceless soul
With God’s sweet sanctity;
Must leave to men the heritage
Of virtue and of love,
And help to make a better world,
A bit like Heaven above.
The fight for sanctity,
For virtue’s steep-set path,
And ways of love and gentleness
In place of vice and wrath,
Dear Lord, all these You will from me.
I know You give the grace;
I trust You faithfully,
But tell me how my steps to trace.
The breeze was whistling loud,
In havoc with the trees;
And God, who gave the breeze its breath,
And God, who made the leaves,
Was telling of the Masterpiece
Arisen from His hand,
“To Mary, Mother Mine and yours,
Explain, she sure will understand!”
With Mary for my Love,
My Model and my Queen,
Since that October day, she knows
How happy I have been!
I trust in her, and make her loved,
And thus my life’s short day,
Will, as a fruitful manna, help
The souls that come, to keep the Way!
Our Lady’s Praise in Poetry.
Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1944.
I’m just back from singing at an EF Mass on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, and have been looking up other poems by Cyril Robert, whom I haven’t encountered before. Very reminiscent of Hilaire Belloc’s ‘Ballade to Our Lady of Czestochowa’. Thank you, Father, for posting this.
Thanks for the good poetry, Father. There’s more to verse than Bob Dylan.
Beautiful! Any poetry or song that sings of nature is hard to resist.
Thanks for that, Father. It is beautiful and inspiring, especially in the light of the passing of my father, just 8 days ago. I have just recently begun to reflect on the seasons and how they are in so many ways similar to our own lives here on earth. This poem reflects my thoughts and feelings so well – both accurately and beautifully.