Save Me O Lord From All This Change
Look abroad thro Nature’s range,
Nature’s mighty law is change1;
Change everything is— commoner or king,
And is progress from autumn’s fall to spring.
Open up and sooner shall thine life change,
Advised Buddha, and there’s a rainbow’s range
Of wisdom; so taught I thought me to change,
Soon to change mind— it’s no mean a challenge.
‘If ye like not things, go ahead, change it,
‘And if ye can’t, change, change the way ye think’2,
If not, there’s still a way: to wait to wit,
Till what’s liked not changes bare in a wink.
And I’m convinced, ‘nought in this world endure’3,
The world may either change the way I want—
A Buddhist way when things on their own cure!
If not, to a changed me they no more haunt.
And I agree, ‘weep not the world changes’4,
For reason there’s to weep, were it to keep
A stable changeless state in stony ease,
E’en a stone changes, if not in a leap.
And every birth of a brazen new truth
Has brought mischief if not a mighty heaval;
Harbinger of change nor a hefty youth,
Let me no more an axe on my feet deal.
Things, as we, do change— we more than things,
‘The old order changeth, yielding to new’5,
While change of habit irks the lay and kings,
Hope mints new order to strut with tired view!
And all progress, a twain-edge’d old sword,
‘Preserving order amid all the change,
‘Amid the preserved order preserve change’6;
Yet, save me Lord from this balancing board!
1. Robert Burns: Let not women e’er complain.
2. Mary Engelbreit.
3. Ludwig Boerne: ‘Nought endures but change’.
4. William Cullen Bryant: ‘Weep not that the world changes—
did it keep a stable changeless state, it were cause indeed to weep’.
5. Alfred Lord Tennyson: ‘The passing of Arthur’.
6. Alfred North Whitehead:
‘The art of progress is to preserve order amid change, and to
preserve change amid order’.
-Tongue-in-cheek | 05.12.11 |
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