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All the Good
My e-friend, Elaine, wrote to ask if I was familiar with the poem, "The Fool's Prayer" and
wondered if I would include it on a Friday's Journal page.  I told her that I was not only
familiar with it, but I could recite it from memory.  How it happens that I can remember
almost all of the poems I learned in an 11th grade literature class many years ago, but
can't remember where I put my car keys only minutes ago, is a question that is beyond
me.  The only thing I know with certainty is that the mind is capable of doing very
interesting (and sometimes peculiar) things.  I suspect that mine is becoming less
of one of those and more of the other with every passing year.
Elaine's requested poem is further down on the page.  However, the title, "All the
Good," comes from a quote by the founder of the Methodist Church, John Wesley.
Of all of John Wesley's writings, this quote was my mother's favorite.  You'll find
it below, as well.  -- Nancy
The photos on this page were taken in Canada, the second largest country in the world
and the country with the world's largest proportion of fresh water lakes.  The search for
pictures reminded me that Canada's landscapes are absolutely awe-inspiring.
The Fool's Prayer
(An excerpt)

The royal feast was done; the King sought some new sport to banish care,
And to his jester cried: "Sir Fool, kneel now and make for us a prayer!"

The jester doffed his cap and bells, and stood the mocking court before;
They coulld not see the bitter smile behind the painted grin he wore.

He bowed his head and bent his knee upon the monarch's silken stool;
His pleading voice arose: "O Lord, be merciful to me, a fool!

"These clumsy feet, still in the mire, go crushing blossoms without end;
These hard, well-meaning hands I thrust among the heart-strings of a friend.

"The ill-timed truth I might have kept, who knows how sharp it pierced and stung?
The word I had not sense to say, who knows how grandly it had rung?

"Earth bears no balsam for mistakes; men crown the knave, and scourge the tool
That did his will; but Thou, O Lord, be merciful to me, a fool!"

The room was hushed; in silence rose the King, and sought his gardens cool,
And walked apart, and murmured low, "Be merciful to me, a fool!"

--  Edward R. Sill
Do all the good you can.  By all the means you can.  In all the ways
you can.  In all the places you can.  At all the times you can.  To all
the people you can.  As long as ever you can.  
-- John Wesley