Saturday, June 26, 2010

"Accept My Full Heart's Thanks" and "The Arrow and the Song": Two Poems about Encouragement

Accept My Full Heart's Thanks
By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Your words came just when needed. Like a breeze,
Blowing and bringing from the wide salt sea
Some cooling spray, to meadow scorched with heat
And choked with dust and clouds of sifted sand,
That hateful whirlwinds, envious of its bloom,
Had tossed upon it. But the cool sea breeze
Came laden with the odors of the sea
And damp with spray, that laid the dust and sand
And brought new life and strength to blade and bloom.
So words of thine came over miles to me,
Fresh from the mighty sea, a true friend's heart,
And brought me hope, and strength, and swept away
The dusty webs that human spiders spun
Across my path. Friend-and the word means much-
So few there are who reach like thee, a hand
Up over all the barking curs of spite,
And give the clasp, when most its need is felt,
Friend, newly found, accept my full heart's thanks.

I discovered this poem yesterday in the book Treasured Poems that Touch the Heart which was compiled by Mary Sanford Laurence.  Read it over again and reflect on it to get the full effect!  This poem particularly stuck out to me because I had just received an e-mail from a friend, which in a mere two sentences and less than 50 words sent from a cell phone, encouraged me beyond measure just when I needed it. It also reminded me of a favorite Longfellow poem, "The Arrow and the Song," which I was happy to see included in this poetry anthology. When I mentioned this to my 19 year old daughter Rachel, she quoted it word for word from memory.  I guess you could say it must have made an impression on her a while back!

The Arrow and the Song
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

I share these two poems as a simple reminder for each of us to take the time to encourage and uplift a husband, child, relative, or friend. If you think of a kind word, offer it right away when the time is ripe. You may never get that golden opportunity again, and even a few words can make a huge difference. It may not be a literal song as in Longfellow's poem, but kind words are always music to the ears!

"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver." Proverbs 25:11

Virginia Knowles

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