One day when England’s June was at its best,
I saw a stately and imperious swan
Floating on Avon’s fair untroubled breast.
Sudden, it seemed as if all strife had gone
Out of the world; all discord, all unrest.

The sorrows and the sinnings of the race
Faded away like nightmares in the dawn.
All heaven was one blue background for the grace
Of Avon’s beautiful, slow-moving swan;
And earth held nothing mean or commonplace.

Life seemed no longer to be hurrying on
With unbecoming haste; but softly trod,
As one who reads in emerald leaf, or lawn,
Or crimson rose a message straight from God.
. . . . .
On Avon’s breast I saw a stately swan.

On Avon’s Breast I Saw a Stately Swan by Ella Wheeler Wilcox


It wasn’t in June, but May, on the day of celebrating my twenty-third year of marriage, that I stood next to my husband on the shores of the River Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare, captivated by the beauty of the slow moving swan pushed on the surface of the water by the gentle finger of God.  I stood statue among the English celebrating the sun, thinking about the ticking clock, the next place to visit, and I heard Him whisper, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.


May you enjoy sitting in a holy trance, captivated by the beauty whirring past your passenger window, dripping from the surface of your oar, hovering overhead through the shade of your sunglasses, growing a green carpet beneath your toes. May the Voice of rest overshadow your protests in favor of  productivity; quiet the work of your senseless sonnet.

Happy Sabbath Friends!