Saturday 31 March 2012

Poetry Saturday . . . This Is My Father's World

(A picture I took in our garden in Brenchley)

This is my Father's world,
And to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings
The music of the spheres.
This is my Father's world;
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
His hand the wonders wrought.

(Another one from Brenchley)

This is my Father's world,
The birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white,
Declare their Maker's praise.
This is my Father's world;
He shines in all that's fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass,
He speaks to me everywhere.
~Maltbie D Babcock

Maltbie Davenport Babcock (1858 - 1901) was a noted American clergyman and writer of the 19th century. He penned many hymns, but I think this is one of his best known ones. As a young man, Babcock was described as "tall and broad-shouldered" and a muscular swimmer and baseball player.

Maltbie Babcock was educated in the public schools of Syracuse and graduated in 1879 from Syracuse University with highest honors. He played Baseball on the Universities ball team and was a member of the Psi Upslion Fraternity. He was selected to give the Alumni Address in 1895. He studied theology at the Auburn Theological Seminary, receiving his degree there in 1882. He married Katherine Eliot Tallman youngest daughter of John Peck Higgins Tallman a prominent lawyer of Poughkeepsie, New York, on October 4, 1882. They had two children, both of whom died in infancy.

A 1910 biography said of him,

"Babcock was preeminently a preacher. He was a clear thinker and a fluent speaker, with a marvelous personal magnetism which appealed to all classes of people, and the influence of which became in a sense national. His theology was broad and deep, yet without a touch of present-day uncertainty. Added to the genius of spirituality he had the genius of work, and it was owing to his unselfish devotion to the great work of uplifting mankind that he literally wore himself out and died at the early age of forty-two. Noted for his impartial charity, he reached people in countless ways and exerted everywhere a remarkable personal magnetism. While he published no books he may be said to have 'lived, or sung his thoughts'.

(Turn the music down below off before listening to this. It's beautifully sung by Amy Grant.)

"Nothing better gauges the tenor and spirit of the man than a sentence found on the fly-leaf of his pocket Bible after his death: 'Committed myself again with Christian brothers to unreserved docility and devotion before my Master'. He wrote a number of fugitive poems, said to resemble those of Emerson, which were published in connection with a memorial volume of extracts from sermons, addresses, letters and newspaper articles, entitled 'Thoughts for Every-Day Living' (1902). Dr. Babcock was a musician of rare talent and wrote some hymns of unusual beauty."

Babcock died at age 42 in Naples, Italy, on May 18, 1901, of sudden illness. At his funeral in New York City, the presiding clergyman eulogized him, "We do not need a candle to show a sunbeam...The work our brother has done — the life he lived speaks for him."

When Babcock lived in Lockport, he took frequent walks along the Niagara Escarpment to enjoy the overlook's panoramic vista of upstate New York scenery and Lake Ontario, telling his wife he was "going out to see the Father's world". She published a poem by Babcock shortly after his death, entitled This is My Father's World, which became the well known hymn.

(Another view, same teasel.)

This has always been one of my favourite hymns and poems. I don't think one can help but feel close to our Heavenly Father when you are out in the garden surrounded by all the beauty, and it doesn't seem to matter which time of year it is. There is beauty in all of the seasons. From the largest of His creations, right on down to the smallest . . . His presence is unmistakable, or at least it is to me . . .

I'm really looking forward to watching conference later today. Our church holds these special meetings bi-annually. It's a wonderful opportunity for us to hear what our leaders want us to hear . . . and we are spiritually fed to overflowing by the end of the weekend. If you are interested in hearing what they have to say, you can view them in their entirety live, Here. The first one is today at 10:00 am (MDT) or 5:00 pm (GMT). There is always beautiful music by the Tabernacle Choir, and the talks are always so very inspiring and uplifting. I always really enjoy them. There are also more talks tomorrow. What have you got to lose?

Come listen to living prophets

Over in The English Kitchen today . . .

A delicious Carrot and Poppyseed Cake!

“May I share with you a formula that in my judgment will help you and help me to journey well through mortality... First, fill your mind with truth; second, fill your life with service; and third, fill your heart with love.”
― President Thomas S. Monson, a prophet on the earth today

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