“My Easter Message” by Darius M. Ratcliff

HAPPYEASTER

“Buona Pasqua”

(Italian – Happy Easter)

MY EASTER MESSAGE

Do you seek eternal laughter,

And no tears to follow after;

You can find by Christ receiving,

Once for all on Him believing.

If the Christ you are refusing,

If His word you’re not perusing:

Am I right, or merely guessing,

You’ll be missing heaven’s blessing.

Why then wait till comes disaster?

Years are passing fast and faster:

Now’s the day for you to hearken,

Lest the night forever darken.

If the world your heart is filling,

And to change you’re all unwilling:

Do you know what you’ll be reaping?

Must your journey end in weeping?

Perhaps you dread a life of giving,

Ever for some others living:

Surely it is worth the trying;

On the Lord’s own word relying.

There is joy in Christian giving,

And for others always living:

You’ll be glad when you surrender,

And to Christ your service render.

Others are the world reminding,

What they want in Christ they’re finding:

In this life of thrill and action,

They are finding satisfaction.

When the shades of night are fallen,

And our lives are past recalling,

Are you sure that you’ll be voicing

Songs of heaven’s glad rejoicing?

You today may this be knowing

And like Jesus, too be growing

If you come to Jesus merely,

And accept Him now sincerely.

Image above retrieved from:

http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?trg=1&strucID=1065603&imageID=1587578&total=18&num=0&word=jesus%20christ%20resurrection&s=1&notword=&d=&c=&f=&k=1&lWord=&lField=&sScope=&sLevel=&sLabel=&sort=&imgs=20&pos=14&e=w

Image Details

Image Title:  Buona Pasqua. Item Physical Description: 1 postcard : col., embossed ; 14 x 9 cm.

 Notes: Gold metallic accents. Source: Holiday postcards / Easter — Foreign. Source Description: 16 postcards : col. ; 9 x 14 cm. Location: Mid-Manhattan Library / Picture Collection. Catalog Call Number: PC POC Easter – Foreign. Digital ID: 1587578. Record ID: 1065603. Digital Item Published: 9-10-2007; updated 5-15-2012.

“Marjory Dear”, “To Rosemary”, and “Shirley” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Girl on Her Way to Church by George Hitchcock (1850 – 1913)


MARJORY DEAR

Here’s a word for Marjory dear:

Summer days will soon be here;

School ‘ll be left to memories dread

Joyous times’ll then appear.

When you’re through with Sunday’s preaching

And your teacher  has done with teaching,

Let the care come out a screetching,

Make it hum till here you’re reaching.

First we’ll start right in to talk,

Then we’ll take a pleasant walk,

Keep it up till ladies balk,

Act as mad as any hawk.

You must plan to stay till night:

That’s the time that skeeters bite,

Cat’s come out and start to fight,

Give the girls an awful fright.

Cats will come a catawauling,

Start the babies all a squalling:

Bugs and worms will come a crawling;

Girls and boys will then be bawling.

Then the night air you’ll be feeling,

Hear the pigies all a squeling:

You’ll be someraults a keeling

Till little head and heels are reeling.

Won’t we have alot of fun.

Get all blackened in the sun,

Scare the cows and make them run.

All get sick, every one.

Won’t we have a lot of funning,

For the day with us is doneing?

Eyes pop out and start to running,

Heads jump off and start to spunning.

Girls like you to Christ are dear,

He would have you ever near.

You should Sunday school attend,

And from church too, never wend.

You should give to Christ your heart,

Of His church become a part.

You should ask Him to take you,

Keep you His your journey through.

You should come to Him in prayer

Let Him meet you often there.

You His word should daily read,

And to what it says give heed.

You should do for Him some work

Never let yourself this shirk.

You should love Him more and more

Till your earthly life is o’ver.

TO ROSEMARY

I’ve not forgotten Rosemary,

Nor lost her pleasant smile

She was a little fairy,

And did my heart beguile.

I send my love to Rosemary,

The little southern maid:

Sweet words take wings and carry,

Nor let your message fade.

Tell her the love of Jesus

Can human hearts adorn;

From ugliness it frees us,

When in our bosoms worn.

Tell her the love of Jesus

Is free from all alloy:

That it from sorrow frees us;

Is freighted rich with joy.

SHIRLEY

(Written for a family who had just lost their baby.)

And have you come and gone so soon?

And have you left us desolate?

We dreamed your life you’d share with us,

But such was not to be your fate.

We will not say that all was vain,

That we have hoped and loved for nought:

Perhaps we do not understand,

Perhaps God’s hand through you has wrought.

Some live for years and some for days,

But all at last will pass away.

Who knows what mansions are above?

And whom God needs in heaven’s day?

Our little one we bid adieu:

Our hearts with heaven now have a tie:

We’ll think of you close to our God,

We’ll plan to meet you by and by.

Public Domain Image above retrieved from:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brooklyn_Museum_-_Girl_on_Her_Way_to_Church_-_George_Hitchcock_-_overall.jpg

“My Heart is Turning” by Darius M. Ratcliff

The Kingdom of Heaven by Violet Oakley (1903)

MY HEART IS TURNING

 

My heart is turning back to May;

The world was then so young and gay:

The birds seemed laughing in the trees,

And flowers scented every breeze.

The peach tree blossoms all are gone,

And it is now September morn;

The days grow short, the nights are cold,

And nature seems so dead and old.

But autumn has its treasures too,

For autumn brings the harvest new,

The luscious fruit, the ripened grains:

In autumn man his food attains.

If earth were always May,

If blossoms never passed away;

We would not have the apples red,

Nor would we have our daily bread.

I will not mourn the time that’s past,

Nor wish that May could ever last;

For May itself was not complete,

Could not my needs entirely meet.

This is the day the Lord has made:

It matters not if flowers fade;

God gives rich blessings in their stead,

New joys are here, though some have fled.

Nor will I dread tomorrow’s dawn,

Nor think that good will then be gone;

For God will me tomorrow love,

And I’ll have blessings from above.

Eternal is God’s love for me,

And I shall never winter see;

My path is like the morning ray,

That brightens on till perfect day.

And I can smile at childhood’s days,

They had the charm of earthly Mays.

But I have treasures richer still

In place of childhood’s morning thrill.

My heart is set beyond the grave,

Beyond the Jordan’s mystic wave:

My life then be all complete,

For there the Prince of Life I’ll meet.

In place of blessings that have flown,

In place of fragments I have known;

I’ll then possess the perfect whole

That lasts while times eternal roll.

Should you who’ve had a later birth

Outlast my days upon this earth;

And should you think you’re called to mourn,

When I in silence hence am borne:

Think then of blessings I have gained,

And of the joys I have attained;

And think how long my race I’ve run;

That I have now the victory won.

This earthly life I must resign,

Or heaven never will be mine:

God’s best for man is never given,

Till death this earthly frame has riven.

You do not mourn the blossoms cast,

When you enjoy the fruit at last;

So why lament what’s left behind,

When you the consummation find?
Image above retrieved from:
http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/id?833496

Image Title:  “The kingdom of heaven.”
Creator: Oakley, Violet, 1874- — Artist

Published Date: 1903

Original Source: From Century magazine.(New York : The Century Co., 1870-)

Source: Mid-Manhattan Picture Collection / Heaven and hell

“My Pathway” by Darius Mitteer Ratcliff

View of a rustic bridge and stone house. From Central Park Album, 1862

MY PATHWAY

My pathway led through a field of stones,
I staggered on the bitter groans:
The cruel stones I needs must meet
Left mangled limbs and bleeding feet.

And I’d had many a bruising fall,
And life was turning to wormwood all: –
Oh why does God such field allow?
And hadn’t I suffered enough ere now?

And then by chance I looked one day,
To where a neighbor made her way:
She too was caught in the field of stones
Yet I heard laughter, instead of groans.
When she in the stony field had come
She’s used the stones to build her home:
The field to her was smooth and sweet,
And she tripped along with joyful feet.

‘Twas God who gave the field of stones,
Which I had used for mournful groans:
If I had built of stones a shrine,
A joyous heart would now be mine.

 

Image above retrieved from:
http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?trg=1&strucID=1804112&imageID=1659460&word=stone%20house%20%20new%20york&s=1&notword=&d=&c=&f=&k=0&lWord=&lField=&sScope=&sLevel=&sLabel=&sort=&total=47&num=20&imgs=20&pNum=&pos=33
Image Title:  View of a rustic bridge and stone house. From Central Park Album, 1862 / J. Rau, 381 Pearl St., N.Y. ; from nature by G. W. Fasel ; lith. by G. W. Fasel & E. Valois.
Source: The Eno collection of New York City views.

Location: Stephen A. Schwarzman Building / Print Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs

“I Weep” by Darius M. Ratcliff

“Christ Weeping Over Jerusalem”
Ary Scheffer, (1795 – 1858)
Luke 19:41

I WEEP

I weep, but there has been no church bell’s knell;

Nor is my sadness the sadness of farewell:

Oh, if my loved were only absent, just away!

Of, if my loved had entered heaven’s day!

Then I could bear it, and once more rejoice,

Though I might often miss a long loved voice.

There is a fate than that of death more sad,

A fate that can new sorrow ever add;

There is an absence that is absence from the heart

When those we love from ways of life depart.

I have great sorrow and unceasing pain,

But may my prayer at last, not be in vain.

Image above retrieved from:

Ary Scheffer [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“The Mother’s Meditations” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Madonna with the Bouquet of Lilies”

 

THE MOTHER”S MEDITATIONS

“Father we thank thee for this food:”

In childish voices low and sweet,

With heads low bowed and folded hands,

Together Allen and Sis repeat.

And now another tiny one

Has come our little home to share:

I thank God for these children dear

Now place within my earthly care.

Allen and Sis repeat their thanks

For our supply of daily food;

Shall I not lift my voice with theirs

And thank Thee for these children good?

And must I guide these little feet?

And must I show to them the way?

I’ll need, O Christ, thy help in this:

Teach me, O Lord, teach me to pray.

I want to be a child myself,

A child of God while here on earth:

I come to thee just as I am;

Grant me, O Lord, the second birth.

Work with me, Lord, in these blessed days:

I know their number ‘ll be too few:

Help me to mold these little lives

So that they’ll be forever true.

I thank thee for thy holy church,

Redeemed by Christ to be His bride:

Now left on earth to do His work,

To teach, to love, to help, to guide.

This church is now thy gift to me,

To help to make these children thine:

May they through life the Savior know,

May they through Him have life divine.

I pray thee for my children Lord:

Too soon from me their feet will roam;

I pray thee Lord to keep those feet

And guide them to thy heavenly home.

Image above retrieved from:

http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/id?1577655

Image Title:  Madonna mit dem Lilienstrauss.

Alternate Title: The madonna with the bouquet of lilies.

Creator: Woelfle, Johann — Engraver

Additional Name(s): Dolci, Carlo, 1616-1686 — Artist

Medium: Lithographs

Source: Königl. Bayer. Pinakothek zu München und Gemälde-Gallerie zu Schleissheim. Mit seiner Majestät des Königs von Bayern allerhöchster Genehmigung in lithographierten Abbildungen, herausgegeben in der Kunst-Anstalt von Piloty & Loehle in München.

 

 

“I’ll Win the Crown, Beyond the Cross” by Darius M. Ratcliff


I’ll Win the Crown, Beyond the Cross

 

Now if the man who owns and tills the fields

Must work, or else his land no harvest yields;

And if the man who seeks to win a race,

Must train if he would even hope to place;

Can we e’er hope to win the greatest prize

If for that prize we do no exercise?

If for fool’s gold men toil and sweat,

Should we do less true wealth to get?

If for a car men pay the price,

Think you that less will here suffice?

No, I must strive if I would win,

I’ll do my part, right now begin.

It is my right to have my pay,

It is my right my hand to stay:

On rights of mine I’ll not insist,

If doing this, will aught assist.

I’ll keep my eye on real rewards;

For what care I for earthly hoards?

I’ll be as Jew, I’ll be as weak,

I’ll be all things, the lost to seek:

I’ll run the race, the prize attain,

I’ll fight this fight, the crown I’ll gain;

I’ll spare not self, I’ll fear no loss,

I’ll win the crown, beyond the cross.

Image above retrieved from:
http://www.theworkofgodschildren.org/collaboration/index.php?title=File:Cross_and_Crown_001.jpg