Tuesday, September 12, 2006

"Even This Shall Pass Away"

While in the midst of our Sunday Bible Study of Daniel, we of course covered the important decree made by the Persian king Cyrus, creatively named, "The Decree of Cyrus". This is the proclamation that effectively ended the Babylonian Captivity of the ancient Israelites, and allowed them to return to the promised land and rebuild the temple.

Sidenote: What a pleasure to read the Sunday School story of Daniel in the Lion's Den with the eyes of Typology. What a total foreshadowing of our Lord's brief sojourn in the tomb, complete with large stone rolled away and all!

Alert reader of poetry and avid parishioner Diana brought forth the following poem by Theodore Tilton, which "rang some bells" with her regarding our study. It's also a really groovy poem, too.

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EVEN THIS SHALL PASS AWAY

Once in Persia reigned a king,
Who upon his signet ring
Graved a maxim true and wise,
Which, if held before his eyes,
Gave him counsel at a glance
Fit for every change and chance.
Solemn words, and these are they;
"Even this shall pass away."

Trains of camels through the sand
Brought him gems from
Samarkand;
Fleets of galleys through the seas
Brought him pearls to match with these;
But he counted not his gain
Treasures of the mine or main;
"What is wealth?" the king would say;
"Even this shall pass away."

'Mid the revels of his court,
At the zenith of his sport,
When the palms of all his guest
Burned with clapping at his jest,
He, amid his figs and wine,
Cried, "O loving friends of mine;
Pleasures come, but not to stay;
'Even this shall pass away."

Lady, fairest ever seen,
Was the bride he crowned his queen.
Pillowed on his marriage bed,
Softly to his soul he said:
"Though no bridegroom ever pressed
Fairer bosom to his breast,
Mortal flesh must come to clay-
Even this shall pass away."

Fighting on a furious field,
Once a javelin pierced his shield;
Soldiers, with a loud lament,
Bore him bleeding to his tent.
Groaning from his tortured side,
"Pain is hard to bear, " he cried;
"But with patience, day by day,
Even this shall pass away."

Towering in the public square,
Twenty cubits in the air,
Rose his statue, carved in stone.
Then the king, disguised, unknown,
Stood before his sculptured name,
Musing meekly: "What is fame?
Fame is but a slow decay;
Even this shall pass away."

Struck with palsy, sore and old,
Waiting at the Gates of Gold,
Said he with his dying breath,
"Life is done, but what is Death?"
Then, in answer to the king,
Fell a sunbeam on his ring,
Showing by a heavenly ray,
"Even this shall pass away."

-Theodore Tilton

2 comments:

Jim Roemke said...

Another year of school and books,
How my brain boils and cooks!
"Hey Vicar" a memory,
"Dear Pastor" a future dream.
I for one year more must cooperate,
until that glorious day I graduate!
"What is 9 more months?" I say.
"Even this shall pass away!"

Preachrboy said...

You obviously need more homework.