Human Life

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What mortal, when he saw,
Life’s voyage done, his heavenly Friend,
Could ever yet dare tell him fearlessly:
‘I have kept uninfringed my nature’s law ;
The inly-written chart thou gavest me,
To guide me, I have steer’d by to the end’?

Ah! let us make no claim,
On life’s incognisable sea,
To too exact a steering of our way;
Let us not fret and fear to miss our aim,
If some fair coast have lured us to make stay,
Or some friend hail’d us to keep company.

Ay! we would each fain drive
At random, and not steer by rule.
Weakness! and worse, weakness bestow’d in vain
Winds from our side the unsuiting consort rive,
We rush by coasts where we had lief remain;
Man cannot, though he would, live chance’s fool.

No! as the foaming swath
Of torn-up water, on the main,
Falls heavily away with long-drawn roar
On either side the black deep-furrow’d path
Cut by an onward-labouring vessel’s prore,
And never touches the ship-side again;

Even so we leave behind,
As, charter’d by some unknown Powers
We stem across the sea of life by night
The joys which were not for our use design’d;–
The friends to whom we had no natural right,
The homes that were not destined to be ours.


– Matthew Arnold

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Mount Everest

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Thousands have lost their lives, even more lost loved ones, homes and possessions. A country devastated by earthquake.

As Nepal is probably best known, by the people of the Western world anyway, for the majestic Mount Everest, I found a poem celebrating this icon – and to remind us all that as members of the human race, we should all find a way to help, even if it means dropping a few coins into a jar somewhere…

Mount Everest

Sir Edmund Hillary first achieved
(For centuries unattained)
The summit of earth’s highest peak,
And what did he there gain?

So many corpses linger there,
Of those arrived or no,
To strike a pose atop the world,
Then turn and back down go.

All climbers lose, if not their lives-
Their minds at least are numbed.
Most simply fail to reach the top,
By tragedies overcome.

Yet on and on the climbers come;
The challenge must be taken.
For God has placed Mount Everest there-
So low, so far below His throne
That never will be shaken.

– Hm. Nes