Forgive me then while I expatiate
With this new composition didactic verse
Using a style I've borrowed from Old French.
It's no new wisdom which I have to dispense
But you may find it's helpful none the less.
Your life is an adventure and you'll explore
Though you may not wander from pole to pole.
Never, my daughter, repose in what you know
But always be a person who pries and probes -
Through wind and rain, like a keen Viking, row
Until you land on you own Vinland shore.
Plough your own furrow and always plough it straight;
Do not divert to someone else's way;
Broadcast good seed and then, with patience, wait -
Anything good will grow in months, not days;
When it is ripe harvest before the rain
And for the future be generous with you grain.
Allow the time occasionally to wander
Across the hills or by the babbling waters;
Perceive the boredom; the glory and the horror
Within all nature - slow slugs or leaping horses,
Ravenous shrew or deft fish-killing otters.
Let each one halt you and give you cause to ponder.
Fish just to meet your own and other's wants
But not for pleasure - a sport which God abhors.
Both good and evil will come within your trawl:
Discriminate - don't keep and swallow all.
Although winds blow and bucking billows toss
Persist until you can relish what's caught.
To be a poet would do you little good
And whether I would like it I am not sure.
There's poetry in life as you will prove -
In every movement a subtle rhythm moves,
In every word a fertile tension broods;
And every object is image for a mood.
I know that you will never be a queen
- But you must rule within yourself at least;
Only by self-control can you be free.
Be careful not to watch all that you see;
Be careful not to heed all that you hear;
Your heart is the most precious thing that you keep.
Philip had four daughters who prophesied -
If he was fortunate can't decide!
So, little one, prophesy if you like
But you must pray from your depths to God's height,
Must find the answer to darkness in God's light,
Must find in Jesus the purpose of your life.
My little Rosalie, I'll soon have ended:
I'm sure you think I've been too long already.
To tell the truth you don't seem interested
In being wrapped in archetypal vestments.
I guess it's nearly time that you were bedded,
A so good night and may God add His blessing.
Written 15 October 1984; so I must remind her off it!