Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Fellowship of Books

I care not who the man may be,
Nor how his tasks may fret him,
Nor where he fares, nor how his cares
And troubles may beset him,
If books have won the love of him,
Whatever fortune hands him,
He'll always own, when he's alone,
A friend who understands him.

Though other friends may come and go,
And some may stoop to treason,
His books remain, through loss or gain,
And season after season
The faithful friends for every mood,
His joy and sorrow sharing,
For old time's sake, they'll lighter make
The burdens he is bearing.

Oh, he has counsel at his side,
And wisdom for his duty,
And laughter gay for hours of play,
And tenderness and beauty,
And fellowship divinely rare,
True friends who never doubt him,
Unchanging love, and God above,
Who keeps good books about him.

by Edgar Guest

This poem is along the same thoughts of the poem My Books and I. The summer months have not left me with as much time for the counsel or laughter of my books friends. It would be too difficult to pick a best friend from amongst books or authors. The past couple of winters have found me several good friends in T. S. Arthur’s books. Numerous ones can be read online at Project Gutenberg and Internet Archive.

I do not agree with everything T. S. Arthur writes and would not recommend all his books or stories. Even in some of his books which I like, there may be questionable portions in some of them. Overall though, there is a wealth of treasure in his books if the principles were applied. T. S. Arthur has a deep and rare insight into the human heart and nature. To write as he did, he must have seen and experience much in life. In his stories of love, treachery, bitterness, and forgiveness, he endeavors to teach from others mistakes between parents and children, husbands and wives, and friends and neighbors that we not suffer the same misery others have found in error.

It has been so long since I’ve visited these friends. I had some extra time of peace and quite this afternoon (so welcomed!), so while gathering the links for this post, I couldn’t resist a short visit to another friend - The Wedding Guest. I had time for only one story in it so I can’t really say if it is a good book, but there was some excellent advice to young ladies (or old ones, if it is not too late) in the one story. A few of his books that I have enjoyed are:

Words of Cheer for the Tempted, the Toiling, and the Sorrowing
PREFACE. AS we pass on our way through the world, we find our paths now smooth and flowery, and now rugged and difficult to travel. The sky, bathed in golden sunshine to-day, is black with storms to-morrow! This is the history of every one. And it is also the life-experience of all, that when the way is rough and the sky dark, the poor heart sinks and trembles, and the eye of faith cannot see the bright sun smiling in the heavens beyond the veil of clouds. But, for all this fear and doubt, the rugged path winds steadily upwards, and the broad sky is glittering in light. Let the toiling, the tempted, and the sorrowing ever keep this in mind. Let them have faith in Him who feedeth the young lions, and clothes the fields with verdure--who bindeth up the broken heart, and giveth joy to the mourners. There are Words of Cheer in the air! Listen! and their melody will bring peace to the spirit, and their truths strength to the heart.

All's for the Best
(no preface)

Orange Blossoms Fresh and Faded
PREFACE: Ah, if they would never fade these sweet and fragrant blossoms ! If the little foxes would never spoil the vines ! They do not always fade, nor are the tender grapes always spoiled. There are many brows on which the orange blossoms are as fresh to-day as when placed there by loving hands in years long past. They will always be fresh and fragrant. Time has no power over them. But they fade alas ! how quickly ! on so many brows. To keep them fresh to bring back their sweetness when faded is the loving mission of our book. It is a book of life- pictures. It takes you into other homes, makes you familiar with other experiences than your own. It shows you where others have erred, what pain and loss have followed, and how love, self-denial and reason have turned sorrow into joy and threatened disaster into permanent safety.

Link-up with A Wise Woman Build Her Home.

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