Happy Feast Day of King Alfred the Great

uffington-white-horse-sat

“I know that weeds shall grow in it
Faster than men can burn;
And though they scatter now and go,
In some far century, sad and slow,
I have a vision, and I know
The heathen shall return.

“They shall not come with warships,
They shall not waste with brands,
But books be all their eating,
And ink be on their hands.

“Not with the humour of hunters
Or savage skill in war,
But ordering all things with dead words,
Strings shall they make of beasts and birds,
And wheels of wind and star.

“They shall come mild as monkish clerks,
With many a scroll and pen;
And backward shall ye turn and gaze,
Desiring one of Alfred’s days,
When pagans still were men.”

— G. K. Chesterton, The Ballad of the White Horse

Ancient Wisdom for Current Politics

This morning’s BCP Daily Office readings:

Sirach 10:1-18
Psalm 37:1-18

They are both timely and comforting the morning after the third Presidential “debate.”

The government of the earth is in the hands of the Lord,
    and over it he will raise up the right man for the time.

— Sirach 10:4

The Lord has plucked up the roots of the nations,
    and has planted the humble in their place.
The Lord has overthrown the lands of the nations,
    and has destroyed them to the foundations of the earth.
He has removed some of them and destroyed them,
    and has extinguished the memory of them from the earth.

— Sirach 10:15-17

 

Do not fret yourself because of evildoers;*
do not be jealous of those who do wrong.
For they shall soon wither like the grass,*
and like the green grass fade away.
Put your trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and feed on its riches.

— Psalm 37:1-3

Do not fret yourself over the one who prospers,*
the one who succeeds in evil schemes.
Refrain from anger, leave rage alone; *
do not fret yourself; it leads only to evil.
For evildoers shall be cut off,*
but those who wait upon the Lord shall possess the land.

— Psalm 37:8-10

Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest.