Saturday, May 28, 2011
A Song Of Joy
when death approached, unlocked her silent throat.
Leaning her breast against the reedy shore,
thus sang her first and last, then sang no more;
"Farewell, all joys! O death, come close mine eyes!
More geese than swans now live, more fools than wise."
About a month ago, I heard that the swans at the local park had babies! So I wasted no time in getting there. Aren't they cute? One thing that surprised me was that the babies didn't have long necks like the grown swans. These are Mute Swans, said not to make hardly any noise, but I discovered different at the park. The parents would honk loudly at the babies whenever they got too far away. My poem is a reference to the ancient belief that this swan is completely silent until the moment just before death, when it sings one beautiful song. A strangely haunting myth, but untrue.
"But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield."