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A Mary T. Hoffman Commentary from


"Joyful Curmudgeon" An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.


Alice Brown – 16 January 2009
By Mary T. Hoffman

I found the poem “Hora Christi” by Alice Brown in a book of poetry published in 1926. An American novelist, poet and playwright, Alice Brown was born in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire December 5, 1857. In 1876 she graduated from Robinson Seminary in Exeter and then worked as a schoolteacher. After moving to Boston in 1884, she wrote full time for many years. Alice Brown died June 21, 1948.

By Alice Brown (1857–1948)

Sweet is the time for joyous folk
Of gifts and minstrelsy;
Yet, I, O lowly-hearted One
Crave but Thy company.
O lonesome road, beset with dread,
My questing lies afar,
I have no light save in the east,
The gleaming of Thy star.

In cloistered aisles they keep today
Thy feast, O living Lord!
With pomp of banner, pride of song,
And stately sounding word.
Mute stand the kings of power and place,
While priests of holy mind
Dispense Thy blessed heritage
Of peace to all mankind.

I know a spot where budless twigs
Are bare above the snow,
And where sweet winter-loving birds
Flit softly to and fro;
There with the sun for altar-fire,
The earth for kneeling-place,
The gentle air for chorister,
Will I adore Thy face.

Lord, underneath the great blue sky,
My heart shall pean sing,
The gold and myrrh of meekest love
Mine only offering.
Bliss of Thy birth shall quicken me,
And for Thy pain and dole
Tears are but vain, so I will keep
The silence of the soul.

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