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Poetry Pleases: To My Dear Friend Prys

John Ayling says thanks in verse for a poem sent to him on his 97th birthday by his friend Prys.

It was your friendship that did first inspire
My halting tongue to try to speak in verse,
And with encouragement you tuned my lyre,
That I in words of music might converse.

My guide you were, and are, to realms unknown,
And when we meet you still to me reveal
New visions fields by me as yet unknown.
And my devotion yet more deeply seal.

True poet I can never hope to be,
Nor do I yearn to wear the laurel crown,
But joy it is to preach in poetry
Those sermons that to pulpits are unknown

And so, dear Prys, to your thanks I bring
That in old age you taught my words to sing.


And this is Prys's poem.

To say that you are old counts but the years
Only the record on a printed page
But who could venture, as your century nears,
To scorn the spirit of a virile sage?

You challenge dogma with reforming zeal
Cut through false logic with a sabre thrust
Yet reverent still, in steadfast faith you kneel
To the same God whom lifetime long you trust.

Then say from where this youthful vigour comes.
What sparks each morn some brilliant project new?
What drives this engine as it throbs and hums?
Is yours a grace shown to the very few?

If so dear friend, let me the secret share
And carry light the many years you bare.


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