Dolce far niente – The Narrow Door (Fannie Stearns Davis)

Dolce far niente –  Bij de 21e zondag door het jaar


The Narrow Door door Anthony Falbo, 2014

The Narrow Doors

The Wide Door into Sorrow
Stands open night and day.
With head held high and dancing feet
I pass it on my way.

I never tread within it,
I never turn to see
The Wide Door into Sorrow.
It cannot frighten me.

The Narrow Doors to Sorrow
Are secret, still, and low:
Swift tongues of dusk that spoil the sun
Before I even know.

My dancing feet are frozen.
I stare. I can but see.
The Narrow Doors to Sorrow
They stop the heart in me.

Oh, stranger than my midnights
Of loneliness and strife
The Doors that let the dark leap in
Across my sunny life!

Fannie Stearns Davis (30 april 1877 – 15 februari 1930)


Zie voor de schrijvers van de 25e augustus ook mijn blog van 25 augustus 2018.

Kleines Beispiel (Erich Fried)

Bij de 19e zondag door het jaar


De ontrouwe knecht, tekening door Rembrandt van Rijn

Kleines Beispiel

Auch ungelebtes Leben
geht zu Ende
zwar vielleicht langsamer
wie eine Batterie
in einer Taschenlampe
die keiner benutzt

Aber das nutzt nicht viel:
Wenn man
(sagen wir einmal)
diese Taschenlampe
nach so- und so vielen Jahren
anknipsen will
kommt kein Atemzug Licht mehr heraus
und wenn du sie aufmachst
findest du nur noch Knochen
und falls du Pech hast
auch diese
schon ganz zerfressen

Da hättest du
genauso gut
leuchten können

Erich Fried (6 mei 1921 – 22 november 1988)
Pfarrkirche hl. Franz von Assisi in Wenen, de geboorteplaats van Erich Fried


Zie voor de schrijvers van de 11e augustus ook mijn volgende blog van vandaag.

De rijke dwaas (Willem de Mérode)

Bij de 18e zondag door het jaar


Gelijkenis van de rijke man door Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn, 1627


De rijke dwaas

Van vreugden is mijn ziel verzaad,
Door kommer werd mijn hart verzeerd.
Die rijke schat van goed en kwaad
Hoe wordt hij opgeteerd?

Het leven vraagt slechts luttel deel
Van mijn bezit tot zijn behoef.
Wat doe ik met het oov’rig veel?
Het maakt niet blij, maar droef.

Toch, teken jare, vangt dit hart
Onrustig weer zijn arbeid aan,
Doet weel’ge oogst van vreugde en smart
Me opnieuw verlegen staan.

’t Vermogen wast – ik berg ’t niet meer.
Het goed wordt waardloos opgetast.
Viere ik van werk, en wrocht ik weer
Als alles is verbrast.

Dan oogst ‘k opnieuw en bouw zoo groot
Een schathuis, dat ’t ál bergen kan.
Nu walg ‘k van werken en zijn nood;
De last en lust daarvan.

Slechts vreeze ik, dat mijn loome ziel,
Die lusteloos ter ruste ging,
Zóó, ijdel, in Gods handen viel,
En breekt als waardloos ding.

Willem de Mérode (2 september 1887 – 22 mei 1939)
Spijk (Groningen), de geboorteplaats van Willem de Mérode


Zie voor schrijvers van de 4e augustus ook mijn volgende blog van vandaag.

Our Father (Malcolm Guite)

Bij de 17e zondag door het jaar


Onze Vader door Jen Norton, z.j.

Our Father

I heard him call you his beloved son
And saw his Spirit lighten like a dove,
I thought his words must be for you alone,
Knowing myself unworthy of his love.
You pray in close communion with your Father,
So close you say the two of you are one,
I feel myself to be receding further,
Fallen away and outcast and alone.

And so I come and ask you how to pray,
Seeking a distant supplicant’s petition,
Only to find you give your words away,
As though I stood with you in your position,
As though your Father were my Father too,
As though I found his ‘welcome home’ in you.

Malcolm Guite (Ibanda, 12 november 1957)
Oke Are Minor seminary compound, Ibanda

Zie voor de schrijvers van de 28e juli ook mijn volgende blog van vandaag.

Martha And Mary (John Newton)

Bij de 16e zondag door het jaar


Christus in het huis van Marta en Maria door Diego Velázquez, 1618


Martha And Mary

Martha her love and joy expressed
By care to entertain her guest;
While Mary sat to hear her Lord,
And could not bear to lose a word.

The principle in both the same,
Produced in each a different aim;
The one to feast the Lord was led,
The other waited to be fed.

But Mary chose the better part,
Her Saviour’s words refreshed her heart;
While busy Martha angry grew,
And lost her time and temper too.

With warmth she to her sister spoke,
But brought upon herself rebuke;
One thing is needful, and but one,
Why do thy thoughts on many run?

How oft are we like Martha vexed,
Encumbered, hurried, and perplexed!
While trifles so engross our thought,
The one thing needful is forgot.

Lord teach us this one thing to choose,
Which they who gain can never lose;
Sufficient in itself alone,
And needful, were the world our own.

Let groveling hearts the world admire,
Thy love is all that I require!
Gladly I may the rest resign,
If the one needful thing be mine!


John Newton (24 juli 1725 – 21 december 1807)
Southwark Cathedral in Londen, de geboorteplaats van John Newton

Zie voor de schrijvers van de 21e juli ook mijn volgende blog van vandaag.

The Good Samaritan (Henry Lawson)

Bij de vijfde zondag na Pinksteren


De barmhartige Samaritaan door Giovanni Battista Langetti, 1670


The Good Samaritan

HE comes from out the ages dim—
The good Samaritan;
I somehow never pictured him
A fat and jolly man;
But one who’d little joy to glean,
And little coin to give—
A sad-faced man, and lank and lean,
Who found it hard to live.

His eyes were haggard in the drought,
His hair was iron-grey—
His dusty gown was patched, no doubt,
Where we patch pants to-day.
His faded turban, too, was torn—
But darned and folded neat,
And leagues of desert sand had worn
The sandals on his feet.

He’s been a fool, perhaps, and would
Have prospered had he tried,
But he was one who never could
Pass by the other side.
An honest man whom men called soft,
While laughing in their sleeves—
No doubt in business ways he oft
Had fallen amongst thieves.

And, I suppose, by track and tent,
And other ancient ways,
He drank, and fought, and loved, and went
The pace in his young days.
And he had known the bitter year
When love and friendship fail—
I wouldn’t be surprised to hear
That he had been in jail.

A silent man, whose passions slept,
Who had no friends or foes—
A quiet man, who always kept
His hopes and sorrows close.
A man who very seldom smiled,
And one who could not weep
Be it for death of wife or child
Or sorrow still more deep.

But sometimes when a man would rave
Of wrong, as sinners do,
He’d say to cheer and make him brave
‘I’ve had my troubles too.’
(They might be twittered by the birds,
And breathed high Heaven through,
There’s beauty in those world-old words:
‘I’ve had my sorrows too.’)

And if he was a married man,
As many are that roam,
I guess that good Samaritan
Was rather glum at home,
Impatient when a child would fret,
And strict at times and grim—
A man whose kinsmen never yet
Appreciated him.

Howbeit—in a study brown—
He had for all we know,
His own thoughts as he journeyed down
The road to Jericho,
And pondered, as we puzzle yet,
On tragedies of life—
And maybe he was deep in debt
And parted from his wife.

(And so ‘by chance there came that way,’
It reads not like romance—
The truest friends on earth to-day,
They mostly come by chance.)
He saw a stranger left by thieves
Sore hurt and like to die—
He also saw (my heart believes)
The others pass him by.

(Perhaps that good Samaritan
Knew Levite well, and priest)
He lifted up the wounded man
And sat him on his beast,
And took him on towards the inn—
All Christ-like unawares—
Still pondering, perhaps, on sin
And virtue—and his cares.

He bore him in and fixed him right
(Helped by the local drunk),
And wined and oiled him well all night,
And thought beside his bunk.
And on the morrow ere he went
He left a quid and spoke
Unto the host in terms which meant—
‘Look after that poor bloke.’

He must have known them at the inn,
They must have known him too—
Perhaps on that same track he’d seen
Some other sick mate through;
For ‘Whatsoe’er thou spendest more’
(The parable is plain)
‘I will repay,’ he told the host,
‘When I return again.’

He seemed to be a good sort, too,
The boss of that old pub—
(As even now there are a few
At shanties in the scrub).
The good Samaritan jogged on
Through Canaan’s dust and heat,
And pondered over various schemes
And ways to make ends meet.


He was no Christian, understand,
For Christ had not been born—
He journeyed later through the land
To hold the priests to scorn;
And tell the world of ‘certain men’
Like that Samaritan,
And preach the simple creed again—
Man’s duty! Man to man!


‘Once on a time there lived a man,’
But he has lived alway,
And that gaunt, good Samaritan
Is with us here to-day;
He passes through the city streets
Unnoticed and unknown,
He helps the sinner that he meets—
His sorrows are his own.

He shares his tucker on the track
When things are at their worst
(And often shouts in bars outback
For souls that are athirst).
To-day I see him staggering down
The blazing water-course,
And making for the distant town
With a sick man on his horse.

He’ll live while nations find their graves
And mortals suffer pain—
When colour rules and whites are slaves
And savages again.
And, after all is past and done,
He’ll rise up, the Last Man,
From tending to the last but one—
The good Samaritan.


Henry Lawson (17 juni 1867 – 2 september 1922)
De Anglicaanse Holy Trinity Church in Grenfell, New South Wales, de geboorteplaats van Henry Lawson


Zie voor de schrijvers van de 14e juli ook mijn volgende twee blogs van vandaag.

Nothing To Do (James Ephraim McGirt)

Bij de vierde zondag na Pinksteren


Jezus zendt de tweeënzeventig uit door James Tissot, ca. 1896

Nothing To Do

The fields are white,
The laborers are few;
Yet say the idle,
There’s nothing to do.

Jails are crowded,
In Sunday Schools few;
We still complain
There’s nothing to do.

Drunkards are dying,
Your sons, it is true;
Mothers’ arms folded,
With nothing to do.

Heathens are dying,
Their blood falls on you;
How can you people
Find nothing to do?


James Ephraim McGirt (1874 – 3 juni 1930)
De Asbury Methodist Church in Robeson County, de geboorteplaats van James Ephraim McGirt

Zie voor de schrijvers van de 7e juli ook mijn twee volgende blogs van vandaag.