May 1 is the traditional date on the Western Church Calendar for the celebration of the feast of St. Philip and St. James (which was moved to May 3 on the Catholic Calendar many years ago).  For today’s writing, a poem from John Keble’s The Christian Year:


S. Phlip and S. James’s Day.

Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: but the rich in that he is made low. — St. James i. 9, 10.

Dear is the morning gale of spring,
***And dear th’ autumnal eve;
But few delights can summer bring
***A Poet’s crown to weave.

Her bowers are mute, her fountains dry,
***And ever Fancy’s wing
Speed’s from beneath her cloudless sky
***To autumn or to spring.

Sweet is the infant’s waking smile,
***And sweet the old man’s rest —
But middle age by no fond wile,
***No soothing calm is blest.

Still in the world’s hot restless gleam
***She plies her weary task,
While vainly for some pleasant dream
***Her wandering glances ask. —

O shame upon thee, listless heart,
***So sad a sigh to heave,
As if thy Saviour had no part
***In thoughts, that make thee grieve.

As if along His lonesome way
***He had not borne for thee
Sad languors through the summer day,
***Storms on the wintry sea.

Youth’s lightning flash of joy secure
***Pass’d seldom o’er His spright, —
A well of serious thought and pure.
***Too deep for earthly light.

No spring was His — no fairy gleam —
***For He by trial knew
How cold and bare what mortals dream,
***To worlds where all is true.


Then grudge not thou the anguish keen
***Which makes thee like thy Lord,
And learn to quit with eye serene
***Thy youth’s ideal hoard.

Thy treasur’d hopes and raptures high —
***Unmurmuring let them go,
Nor grieve the bliss should quickly fly
***Which Christ disdain’d to know.

Thou shalt have joy in sadness soon;
***The pure, calm hope be thine,
Which brightens, like the eastern moon,
***As day’s wild lights decline.

Thus souls, by nature pitch’d too high,
***By sufferings plung’d too low,
Meet in the Church’s middle sky,
***Half way ’twixt joy and woe,

To practise there the soothing lay
***That sorrow best relieves;
Thankful for all God takes away,
***Humbled by all He gives.