Thinking again today of John Davidson’s Imagination, I remembered a hymn I loved in my childhood – probably brought to mind because the word “mart” appears in both: in the former, “The mart of power, the fount of will”, and in the latter, “Thine is the loom, the forge, the mart …” (How the mind likes to make connections!)
I realise that my love for poetry dates back to early appreciation of psalms and hymnal. “… met within thy holy place / To rest awhile …” spoke to me long ago of the grace and gift of imagination, my own, that of humanity generally, and that of the immortal, invisible Creator of all.
John Ellerton reminds me to enter inwards – through “little space” – to the Eternal in Whom everything that is, in the heavens and upon the earth, are forever united – now.
Behold us, Lord, a little space
From daily tasks set free,
And met within thy holy place
To rest awhile with thee.
Around us rolls the ceaseless tide
Of business, toil, and care;
And scarcely can we turn aside
For one brief hour of prayer.
Yet these are not the only walls
Wherein thou mayst be sought:
On homeliest work thy blessing falls,
In truth and patience wrought.
Thine is the loom, the forge, the mart,
The wealth of land and sea;
The worlds of science and of art,
Revealed and ruled by thee.
Then let us prove our heavenly birth
In all we do and know;
And claim the kingdom of the earth
For thee, and not thy foe.
Work shall be prayer, if all be wrought
As thou wouldst have it done;
And prayer, by thee inspired and taught,
Itself with work be one.
John Ellerton, 1826-93