Curtis Dahlgren
January 5, 2013
Happy[?] New Year Ruminations; part 2
By Curtis Dahlgren

I'M RESOLVING TO WRITE SHORTER COLUMNS, SO HERE GOES: A FEW FAVORITE QUOTATIONS.

'Tis well an Old Age is out,
And time to begin a New.

-
John Dreyden (1700)

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the feud of rich and poor.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife
Ring in the nobler modes of life . .

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right.
Ring in the common love of good . . .


- Alfred, Lord Tennyson ((1809-1892)

"SHALLOW MEN BELIEVE IN LUCK, BELIEVE IN CIRCUMSTANCES . . . STRONG MEN BELIEVE IN CAUSE AND EFFECT," wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882).

You'll notice that men of olden times often agreed. In "modern" times — the cool age — it's hip to be "shallow"!

Emerson said that "souls are not saved in bundles . . . Simple and terrible laws . . pervade and govern every atom in Nature . . . This is he men miscall Fate, threading dark ways, arriving late. But ever coming in time to crown The Truth and hurl wrongdoers down." [published in 1860]

As Abraham Lincoln believed, Right makes Might — for nations as well as individuals — which is why our Founders talked about the Laws of Nature and Nature's God. They just didn't want an official denomination of Christianity (thank God), but if there were one, "Nature's God" would have been thought of as the Judeo-Christian God. Even Thomas Jefferson compared America to Israel coming out of Egypt. He appealed to "the Supreme Judge of the Universe" for the rectitude of their intentions in the Declaration of Independence. Washington spoke of the blessed Founder of "our religion," but they avoided over-using His name in "vain" of course.

The bottom line is you sow, you reap! If you ask me if I expect 2013 to be a happy year, I would say: "That depends." Someone once said, "Don't expect roses if you sow nothing but thorns." And the Founders warned us about that one.

P.S. Tennyson's poem goes on like this:


Ring out the thousand years of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land;
Ring in the Christ that is to be.


[I'm a believer in the Second Coming. If He weren't coming back, we'd be so screwed!]

PPS: One more for good measure:

Judge o' the nations, spare us yet.
Lest we forget — lest we forget.

- Rudyard Kipling (1897)


© Curtis Dahlgren

 

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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)

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