Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Someone had a birthday a few days ago

...and she does not mind at all my telling you that she is now 85:

























(Editor's note. Ai this point in the post I originally included photographs of both of our sons and their families and of our daughter and her family, and I thanked them all for making this particular birthday of Mrs. RWP's so memorable. Because of the terrible things that can happen in today's crazy world, I have decided to remove the photographs in the interest of their privacy and safety. --RWP)

Moving right along...

In comments on the previous post, several people commented how green our neighborhood looks, but Graham Edwards who lives near the town of Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides Islands of Scotland didn't. He said it looked verdant. (For readers in Alabama, verdant means green.) Graham went on to say that he was going to say green but then he remembered that this is a highbrow blog so adjusted accordingly.

This being a highbrow blog and all, my mind went immediately to the second stanza of "The King Of Love My Shepherd Is", a hymn written by Sir Henry William Baker in 1877 that uses an earlier English translation of a Welsh poem based on the 23rd Psalm:

Where streams of living water flow,
my ransomed soul he leadeth;
and where the verdant pastures grow,
with food celestial feedeth.

The hymn has had several musical settings, including the well known Irish folk melody St. Columba, and the one by Dykes that was sung at Princess Diana's funeral in 1997, but my personal favourite is the one by Harry Rowe Shelley (1858-1947), performed here by the First Baptist Church choir of Portland, Maine in 2004:

"The King Of Love My Shepherd Is"

Here are the lyrics in case you couldn't understand them all from the video clip. They are actually a combination of the 23rd Psalm from the Old Testament and the parable of the lost sheep from the New Testament.

The King of love my shepherd is,
whose goodness faileth never.
I nothing lack if I am his,
and he is mine for ever.

Where streams of living water flow,
my ransomed soul he leadeth;
and where the verdant pastures grow,
with food celestial feedeth.

Perverse and foolish, oft I strayed,
but yet in love he sought me;
and on his shoulder gently laid,
and home, rejoicing, brought me.

In death’s dark vale I fear no ill,
with thee, dear Lord, beside me;
thy rod and staff my comfort still,
thy cross before to guide me.

Thou spreadst a table in my sight;
thy unction grace bestoweth;
and oh, what transport of delight
from thy pure chalice floweth!

And so through all the length of days,
thy goodness faileth never;
Good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise
within thy house forever.

(end of song)

The Welsh really know how to write a poem and the English really know how to translate one.

Just think, if this were a lowbrow blog and Graham Edwards had not used the word verdant, we might all be singing "Lavender Blue, Dilly Dilly, Lavender Green" or "The Green, Green Grass Of Home" by now.

13 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday to the Mrs.! She must have had a wonderful one if she got to see the whole family. I always consider getting to see any members of my family the best possible gift of all. I must say your sweet bride is looking beautiful and much younger than her age! She must be a Leo if she just had her birthday. I only know that because my birthday is coming up in a little over a week. How wonderful that we can meet your entire family here too! You have a beautiful family dear sir.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Bonnie. You have probably noticed that I decided to take down the pictures of our family.

      Delete
  2. Happy birthday to your beautiful bride. She doesn't look like she is 85. Great looking family too, and I'm glad you were able to celebrate. I think you have been richly blessed.
    Thank you for sharing the hymn. I don't think I have heard it before, but I have heard the green green grass of home. Guess that makes me more lowbrow. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kathy. I decided to take down the pictures of our family.

      I think you are least a middlebrow.

      Delete
    2. These are surely strange times, and I understand the need for privacy. You do have a great family, and I know you are proud of all of them.

      Delete
  3. Belated Happy Birthday Kathy. You look fantastic and youthful.

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    Replies
    1. Emma, thank you, I think. Mrs. RWP's name is Ellie. Kathy is a commenter who lives in Virginia. Nevertheless, your heart was in the right place!

      Delete
  4. I live in Alabama and I learned what "verdant" meant when i was in elementary school.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda, my little dig was intended as a bit of Georgia-type humor, a good-natured poke at our neighboring state. It was not meant as an insult or a putdown to the good people of Alabama. Two of my children attended college in Alabama. My daughter has stayed there for more than 30 years, married an Alabama boy, raised a family, sent her two children to Alabama colleges, and the whole family are big Auburn fans. I hope you were not offended. I got the idea from Rush Limbaugh's radio program; he always explains things for listeners in Rio Linda, California. I will stop doing it if you think I should.

      Delete
  5. That's a lovely picture of Mrs Brague. I send her my very belated birthday greetings.

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    Replies
    1. Neil, my lovely wife thanks you, I thank you, and our little dog Abby thanks you too.

      Delete
  6. I'm late as ever, but none-the-less send heartfelt birthday wishes to Mrs Brague, she looks radiant and her hair is lovely!

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    Replies
    1. Michelle, thank you! Belated wishes are just as appreciated as on-time ones in our household, and I have passed them along.

      Delete

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