31 December 2018

An Old Year's Audience with Our Lord

Post-war verse for a year's end by Ida Randolph Spragge, wife of Maclean's editor Thomas B. Costain, from the magazine's January 1919 issue.

            The hour had struck and through the hall
            Echoed the summoning angels call:
            "Enter, your race is run. O year,
            The Lord awaits your presence here." 
            Hastening then to his command,
            Before the Throne to take his stand,
            The old year, tattered, thorn and grim,
            But yet triumphant, knelt to Him. 
            "I laboured long, O God to find,
            The door to Peace for all mankind,
            That hideous war on earth should cease
            And freedom, bound, find swift release. 
            "My task is done Thou bidd'st me do,
            A world from chaos springs anew,
            A world where people worship Thee
            I love and deep humanity. 
            "For when the thundering guns were hushed
            And evil beast were beaten, crushed,
            With bursting heart and brimming eye
            The earth game thanks to Thee on high.
            "So take this gift I bring to-day,
            Nor from it turn Thy face away—
            The hearts of men who worship Thee
            In love and deep humanity."

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  1. I first read Costain when I was in grade 9 (oh, my – over 50 years ago). I had no idea all this time that he was Canadian!

    1. Growing up, I knew Costain only through his novel The High Towers, which my father owned. Because of its settings - Quebec, Montreal and New Orleans - I assumed he was Canadian. I also assumed that his other books were set in Canada. Boy, was I wrong!