The Dying Words of Goethe
“Light! more light! the shadows deepen,
And my life is ebbing low,
Throw the windows widely open:
Light! more light! before I go.
“Softly let the balmy sunshine
Play around my dying bed,
E’er the dimly lighted valley
I with lonely feet must tread.
“Light! more light! for Death is weaving
Shadows ‘round my waning sight,
And I fain would gaze upon him
Through a stream of earthly light.”
Not for greater gifts of genius;
Not for thoughts more grandly bright,
All the dying poet whispers
Is a prayer for light, more light.
Heeds he not the gathered laurels,
Fading slowly from his sight;
All the poet’s aspirations
Centre in that prayer for light.
Gracious Saviour, when life’s day-dreams
Melt and vanish from the sight,
May our dim and longing vision
Then be blessed with light, more light.
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911) was active in both African Methodist Episcopalian and Unitarian Universalist churches. She was a prolific writer and poet, as well as a leader in the abolitionist movement. She helped slaves escape through the Underground Railroad and wrote frequently for anti-slavery newspapers, earning her a reputation as the mother of African American journalism.
As we enter into reflection about our Nation’s independence, may we ever be mindful of the blessings and responsibilities of freedom. May we seek to embrace the light, and be blessed by the light.
Happy Independence Day,
~ “Twinkle” Marie Manning
Photo Credit: the window and chalice at First Universalist Church of Sangerville and Dover-Foxcroft, Maine