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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Poet Priest of the South

 The Rosary of My Tears

Some reckon their age by years,
     Some measure their life by art;
But some tell their days by the flow of their tears,
     And their lives by the moans of their heart.

The dials of earth may show
     The length, not the depth of years.
Few or many they come, few or many they go,
     But time is best measured by tears.

For the young are oft-times old,
     Though their brows be bright and fair;
While their blood beats warm, their hearts are cold,
     O'er them the spring--but winter is there.

And the old are oft-times young,
    When their hair is thin and white;
And they sing in age, as in youth they sung,
     And they laugh for their cross was light.

But, bead by bead, I tell
     The rosary of my years,
From a cross to a cross they lead; 'tis well
     And they're blest with a blessing of tears.

Better a day of strife
     Than a century of sleep:
Give me instead of a long stream of life
     The tempest and tears of the deep.

A thousand joys may foam
     On the billow of all the years:
But never the foam brings the lone back home;
     It reaches the haven through tears.

Father Abram J. Ryan, C.M.

Father Ryan was born in the Virginia in 1838.  His father was the overseerer of a plantation. With a background and environment of a Southern plantation, at that time, one can see why Father Ryan sympathized with the Confederate States of America.  

He wrote quite a lot of poems and was a celebrity.  The poem above about "The Rosary of My Tears," is an example of his poetry.

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