"I am not one who was born in the custody of wisdom. I am one who is fond of olden times and intense in quest of the sacred knowing of the ancients." Gustave Courbet

26 November 2020


Brownscome, The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth, 1914

William Bradford, from Of Plymouth Plantation
From my years young in days of youth, 
God did make known to me his truth, 
And call'd me from my native place, 
For to enjoy the means of grace. 
In wilderness he did me guide, 
And in strange lands for me provide. 
In fears and wants, through weal and woe, 
A pilgrim passed I, to and fro ...

For summer being done, all things stand on them with a weather beaten face; the whole country, full of woods and thickets, represented a wild and savage view. If they looked behind them, there was the mighty ocean which they had passed, and was now as a main bar and gulf to separate them from all the civil parts of the world.... Let it also be considered what weak hopes of supply and succour they left behind them.... What could now sustain them but the spirit of God and his grace? May not and ought not the children of these fathers rightly say: "Our fathers were Englishmen which come over this great ocean, and were ready to perish in this wilderness; but they cried unto the Lord, and he heard their voice, and looked on their adversity, etcetera." Let them therefore praise the Lord, because he is good, and his mercies endure for ever ...

But them a place did God provide
In wilderness, and did them guide 
Unto the American shore, 
Where they made way for many more. 
They broke the ice -- themselves alone -- 
And so became a stepping-stone
For all others, who in like case
Were glad to find a resting-place

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