“Our Thanksgiving Hymn” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Writings and Letters of Darius Mitteer Ratcliff

OUR THANKSGIVING HYMN

For thy wondrous gift of life,

Crowned with blessings rare;

For the sunshine and the rain,

Tokens of thy care;

Father of love, we thank Thee.

For our homes where those we love

Teach us from thy word,

For the privilege to go

To thy temples, Lord;

Father above, we thank Thee;

Father of love, we thank Thee.

For our land where freedom reigns,

Sacred to our trust;

For our youth who give their all,

But not for greed or lust;

Father above, we thank Thee;

Father of love, we thank Thee.

For the Christ of Calvary,

Through whose cross we gain

Fellowship with Thee, our God,

Thus with Thee to reign;

Father above, we thank Thee;

Father of love, we thank Thee.

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“Thanksgiving” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Writings and Letters of Darius Mitteer Ratcliff

“Landing of the Pilgrims” – Stained Glass Windows  in Pilgrims Hall

THANKSGIVING

For our supply of daily bread,

By which we’ve been so duly fed;

For clothing meet the year round,

And homes where shelter we have found:

Our Father God we thank Thee.

For magazines and books to read,

And other things the mind may need;

For music’s gifts for our delight,

And all the beauties for our sight;

Our Father God we thank Thee.

For loved ones dear to human kind,

And blessings we in friendships find;

For nature’s children large and small,

For outdoor treasures enriching all;

Our Father God we thank Thee.

For blessings ours when we receive,

For blessings greater when we give;

For service sent when we had need,

For chance to serve by word and deed;

Our Father God we thank Thee.

For institutions of our land,

For public schools on every hand;

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“Halloween” by Darius M. Ratcliff, November 3, 1944

Writings and Letters of Darius Mitteer Ratcliff

“Hallowe’en”

HALLOWEEN

Its Halloween

And shapes scarce seen

Are darting through the air.

The ghosts are out,

They’re all about,

They’re flitting here and there.

Along the street

With nimble feet,

A crowd of spooks I see

With laughter gay,

They’re off, away,

With whispers fraught with glee.

At twelve o’clock

A frightful knock

Comes crashing through the night,

But when I go

The cause to know

There’s not a soul in sight.

The window next

With no protest

Gives out an awesome shriek,

But when I race

And search the place,

In vain for ghosts I seek.

Sometimes they bring

Near everything

And leave it at my door:

But when I wake

I find they take

As much, and often more.

And when at last

The night is past

I gaze upon strange sights;

A rope is strung

Tree tops among,

And graced with scarlet tights.

A neighbor’s cart

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“Mother’s Day” by Darius M. Ratcliff, 1943

Writings and Letters of Darius Mitteer Ratcliff


MOTHERS DAY

 

I.

Mother with the golden hair,

Mother still young and fair;

Gazing at your baby dear,

Heaven seems to you most near.

God who made the glowing flowers,

God who made the woodland bowers,

God who is so wise and good,

Gave the gift called motherhood.

Lovely are the birds of flight,

Glorious are the stars of night:

Far more beautiful than they,

Is this gift for mortals’ day.

Mother, count your blessings, try;

Blessings money could not buy:

Children romping with their toys,

Mothers’ love, and mothers’ joys.

Motherhood has brought to you

Blessings for your whole life through;

Motherhood has made you mother, –

You’d not change for any other.

II.

Mother, slow sweet years will pass,

Baby will become a lass;

You must meet the mother’s test;

Motherhood should have your best.

You can take the selfish road,

Shun the mother’s heavy load:

Motherhood…

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“The Mother’s Meditations” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Writings and Letters of Darius Mitteer Ratcliff

Madonna with the Bouquet of Lilies”

 

THE MOTHER”S MEDITATIONS

“Father we thank thee for this food:”

In childish voices low and sweet,

With heads low bowed and folded hands,

Together Allen and Sis repeat.

And now another tiny one

Has come our little home to share:

I thank God for these children dear

Now place within my earthly care.

Allen and Sis repeat their thanks

For our supply of daily food;

Shall I not lift my voice with theirs

And thank Thee for these children good?

And must I guide these little feet?

And must I show to them the way?

I’ll need, O Christ, thy help in this:

Teach me, O Lord, teach me to pray.

I want to be a child myself,

A child of God while here on earth:

I come to thee just as I am;

Grant me, O Lord, the second…

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“My Easter Message” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Writings and Letters of Darius Mitteer Ratcliff

HAPPYEASTER

“Buona Pasqua”

(Italian – Happy Easter)

MY EASTER MESSAGE

Do you seek eternal laughter,

And no tears to follow after;

You can find by Christ receiving,

Once for all on Him believing.

If the Christ you are refusing,

If His word you’re not perusing:

Am I right, or merely guessing,

You’ll be missing heaven’s blessing.

Why then wait till comes disaster?

Years are passing fast and faster:

Now’s the day for you to hearken,

Lest the night forever darken.

If the world your heart is filling,

And to change you’re all unwilling:

Do you know what you’ll be reaping?

Must your journey end in weeping?

Perhaps you dread a life of giving,

Ever for some others living:

Surely it is worth the trying;

On the Lord’s own word relying.

There is joy in Christian giving,

And for others always living:

You’ll be glad when you surrender,

And to Christ your…

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“My Easter Prayer” by Darius M. Ratcliff, 194

Writings and Letters of Darius Mitteer Ratcliff

EASTERBLESSING

Easter Blessings Be Thine”, ca. 1912

MY EASTER PRAYER – 1943

Jesus help me know thy love,

Love that brought thee to our earth.

Leaving realms of brightest glory,

For a lowly manger birth.

Love that chose the hasty Peter,

Cleansed the striken Magdalen.

Patiently endured the traitor,

Made the vilest sinner clean.

Love that led thee to the cross,

Round thee there with fetters strong.

Though a word from thee had scattered,

Those who thought they did thee wrong.

Love that suffered for my sins,

Took their sorrow in my stead.

That I might rejoice in heaven,

Ransomed ever from the dead.

Love that’s mine in this today,

Guiding me while earth I roam.

Shaping me into thy image,

Bringing me to thy own home.

Jesus help me feel thy love,

At this joyous Easter season.

When I view again thy passion,

And thy sacrifice envision.

When I…

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“Christmas Message – II” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Writings and Letters of Darius Mitteer Ratcliff

Wise Men presenting gifts to the Madonna and Child
by R. Anbell, 1895

CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

 The inn was old,

And dark and gray;

A sign was up,

“No Room Today.”

A merchant prince

Was guest within,

A Levite old,

The keeper’s kin.

Unnoticed by

The guests inside,

Two strangers came,

And turned aside.

The inn must bear

The ages’ doom;

Because for Christ

It had no room.

(The angels sing

The Savior’s birth,

The dawn of joy

To men on earth.

The shepherds hear

The angels’ lay,

And haste to give

To Christ their praise.

But what of us

Who have more light?

We cannot plead

The dark of night.

In Christmas tale

Each plays a part: –

Immanuel knocks

At every heart.

Too oft he finds

The sign “No Room,”

And leaves that one

To face his doom.

When days with work

And play are filled;

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“Christmas Message – I” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Writings and Letters of Darius Mitteer Ratcliff

Christmas Greetings”, Vintage Postcard, Whitney Valentine Company

A CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

A Christmas message true

I wish to send to you:

Not “Jingle Bells” nor toys,

Not Christmas feasts and joys,

Not Santa’s reindeer sled

When wee tots are abed:

But one of love alone: –

God wants us for His own.

Our Father God above

Created us for love.

No mortal tongue can name,

Nor can the angels frame,

The grandeur of the plan

That God has made for man.

The form of God to bear:

A child of God, and heir.

Our hearts to God to give,

As His on earth to live:

In righteousness sublime,

In hope transcending time,

In joy that overflows,

In faith that heaven knows:

Our God to love and praise,

To walk in heaven’s ways.

But Satan entered in,

Our hearts were lured to sin:

Our Father we forgot,

And chose a…

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“Christmas Meditations” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Writings and Letters of Darius Mitteer Ratcliff

Christmas“, Vintage Postcard

CHRISTMAS MEDITATIONS

1.  Christmas belongs to the world. Millions observe Christmas. Everyone likes a “good time”

2. Many miss the real Christmas. Christmas was meant to change the world. No one has the real Christmas unless he experiences the change that Christ came to bring and Christmas means a “good time.”

3. “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.” On the first Christmas God gave us a Christmas present. To us this present remains forever “unspeakable.” Our gifts have their value, but they are trifles compared with God’s Christmas present for us. This gift is marked “From God to You, whoever  You may be.” I’ll accept the gift.

4. The Christmas angel said, “I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people, for unto you is born this day in the city of David a savior, which…

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