Robert Burns desk a strong right from 54 poems written at 23 lancelot schaubert

A Strong Right [song] • from 54 poems at 27

lyrics by Robert Burns
arrangement by Lancelot Schaubert

Note: To be sung with each verse given to a different man and all in unison at the chorus. In the spirit of an Irish drinking song.

C
The man, in life wherever plac’d,
             F                   C
Hath happiness in store,
C
Who walks not in the wicked’s way,
     F                    C
Nor learns their guilty lore! 

     C
Nor from the seat of scornful pride
     F                    C
Casts forth his eyes abroad,
     F         C
But with humility and awe
     Gsus
Still walks before his God.

C
O Thou, the first, the greatest friend
Em
Of all the human race!
     F                         C
Whose strong right hand will ever mend
     Gsus           C
Us in your dwelling place! 

That man shall flourish like the trees,
Which by the streamlets grow;
The fruitful top is spread on high,
And firm the root below.

But he whose blossom buds in guilt
Shall to the ground be cast,
And, like the rootless stubble, tost
Before the sweeping blast. 

O Thou, the first, the greatest friend
Of all the human race!
Whose strong right hand will ever mend
Us in your dwelling place!

For why? that God the good adore,
Hath giv’n them peace and rest,
But hath decreed that wicked men
Shall ne’er be truly blest.

Before the mountains heav’d their heads
Beneath Thy forming hand,
Before this ponderous globe itself
Arose at Thy command;

O Thou, the first, the greatest friend
Of all the human race!
Whose strong right hand will ever mend
Us in your dwelling place! 

That Pow’r which rais’d and still upholds
This universal frame,
From countless, unbeginning time
Was ever still the same. 

Those mighty periods of years
Which seem to us so vast,
Appear no more before Thy sight
Than yesterday that’s past.

O Thou, the first, the greatest friend
Of all the human race!
Whose strong right hand will ever mend
Us in your dwelling place! 

Thou giv’st the word: Thy creature, man,
Is to existence brought;
Again Thou say’st, “Ye sons of men,
Return ye into nought!” 

Thou layest them, with all their cares,
In everlasting sleep;
As with a flood Thou tak’st them off
With overwhelming sweep. 

They flourish like the morning flow’r,
In beauty’s pride array’d;
But long ere night cut down it lies
All wither’d and decay’d. 

O Thou, the first, the greatest friend
Of all the human race!
Whose strong right hand will ever mend
Us in your dwelling place!


about 54 poems at 27 ::

After much deliberation, I decided to keep the whole tradition of doubling my age and writing that many poems in a year. You’ll notice that April Thirtyish has already passed, so I’m late in posting. I’ve gotten about half of them written and will begin posting this week.

I started this whole mess with 46 poems written at 23, most of which are still up on the site and many of which are awful. Those poems I wrote because I read somewhere that the best age for poetry is 23. I was turning 24 and had an existential crisis.

READ NEXT:  To Jack Across the Sea

Then I got over it.

Suddenly I was 25 and thought, “Why not do it again?” So I doubled my age and wrote 50 poems at 25. Again, most of these are still on the site and I’m proud of one or two of them.

Now I’m twenty-eight and it’s almost a principle, almost an undeniable fact of life. When the wild Lancelot is in his native habitat and his age is in an odd year, he will be secreting poetry. I do this because poetry is important, because we must take an active role in the creation of new language or else our language dies.

That means I must write, I must learn how to create better poems even if I’m awful at it — everyone must because the fate of our culture’s at stake. For me, this year, that’s 54 poems at 27.

So I’ll schedule these suckers out and give it a go. Follow along with the category 54 @ 27.


image by Vinoth Chandar

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