Hesitant Spring: Lead Kindly Light, Lead Thou Me On !

 A Spring Poem
Harshness vanished. A sudden softness
has replaced the meadows' wintry grey.
Little rivulets of water changed
their singing accents. Tendernesses,
hesitantly, reach toward the earth

from space, and country lanes are showing
these unexpected subtle risings
that find expression in the empty trees.

by Rainer Maria Rilke

As Rilke's poem suggests, we are not quite there yet.Spring is entering hesitantly and with subtlety. The weather forecast for the next few days is one of widespread frosty nights, but today, although bitterly cold has seen a bright sun and cloudless blue sky, which is one of the season's glorious paradoxes...

This is a lovely version of Lead Kindly Light which takes us into tomorrow's feast of Candlemas.

Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom, lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home; lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose and see my path; but now lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years!

So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still will lead me on.
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till the night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile, which I
Have loved long since, and lost awhile!

Meantime, along the narrow rugged path, Thyself hast trod,
Lead, Savior, lead me home in childlike faith, home to my God.
To rest forever after earthly strife
In the calm light of everlasting life.

Lead, Kindly Light is a hymn with words written in 1833 by John Henry Newman as a poem titled "the Pillar of Cloud". 

In some hymnals, one may find a fourth verse added by Edward H. Bickersteth, Jr.

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