I recently read the below poem by Housman, which Archibald Rutledge used to illustrate his point that, “except sacred love and sacred art, nothing in all this world is good for long”. Yet the most important thing endures forever, a thought that returns to me with each autumn gust and every vibrant leaf. Even when all else dies, metaphorically and practically, still God’s love outlasts forever and ever. It never wanes; His love does not die.
I have seen glory fade, and I have heard
A silence after trumpets. Fortune wanes,
And triumph falters. The resplendent sword
Of valor rusts. Of grandeur, what remains?
Fame’s music sounds, and then the music ends.
Even sweet hope herself declines and dies.
Despite all courage, strength to weakness tends.
There’s but one thing that every change defies.
From year to year its beauty and its power
Ascend amid defeats and fading prides.
With all else dying, it will come to flower.
With all else fading, nobly it abides.
Its virtue ‘gainst all enemies avails.
If love be truly love, it never fails.
– A. E. Housman