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Lay for the Day
29th May


On this day in 1919 a solar eclipse was observed and photographed from the west African island of Principe, just north of the equator, by the British astrophysicist Thomas Eddington. The results showed that the stars in the sky around the sun – which are only visible in a total eclipse – appeared to have shifted
their positions, as a result of their light being bent by the sun’s gravitational field. This was the first confirmation of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.
Today is also the anniversary of other turning points. On 29th May 1483, Constantinople fell to the Turks under Mahmet II, bringing the Byzantine Empire – itself the last remaining portion of the Roman Empire – to an end. On 29th May 1660, Charles II was restored to the throne of England, bringing to an end the period of the Commonwealth. On 29th May 1913, the first performance of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring resulted in a riot, or what passed for one in the refined atmosphere of the concert hall – a symbolic moment in Modernism. And on 29th May 1953, men stood for the first time on the summit of Mount Everest.

 

Turn


Time
takes a turn
from the dark
to the sunshine
in the night,
in a space
full of bright stars.

Never no end to the day,
Never no end to the light,
Never no end to the way
Leading us on out of sight

To a place
far away
from our birth land,
where our souls
long ago
had their first home.

Never no end to the love,
Never no end to the peace,
Never no rest for the dove
Until her enemies cease

Making war
with their tongues
that are fiery
and their eyes
fill with tears
of forgiveness.

Never no end to the song
Once it begins in your heart,
Once we are where we belong,
Once we are where we can start

To undo
all the wrong
and rebuild earth,
beauteous earth.
Come along
while there’s still time.

Never no end to the day,
Never no end to the light,
Never no end to the way
Leading us on out of sight.

 

Words and music by The Children,
from In Memory of Grace
 

The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar

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