Most heartbreaking lines of a song ever written?
Tis you, tis you must go/and I must bide
Lament of the bereaved:
We long to cross over,
Instead we cry:
Help of the helpless, oh, abide
with me-bideth these 3
Faith, hope, and never-ending
© Experimentsinfiction 2020, All Rights Reserved
Written for dVerse Quadrille, hosted by Lisa tonight, who asks us to write a 44-word poem featuring the word ‘abide.’
‘Abide’ is a very powerful word to me, immediately conjuring up lines from songs, hymns and the Bible. So I wove 3 of these references as best I could (and it wasn’t easy) into a 44-word poem through which I tried to touch upon my own experience of bereavement.
Tis you, tis you must go/and I must bide is from the song ‘Danny Boy.’ Here’s the recording of Frank Patterson singing it, as heard in the movie ‘Miller’s Crossing:’
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me is from the well-known Christian hymn ‘Abide with me,’ which is often sung at funerals.
The closing lines allude to the famous Bible quote from 1 Corinthians, 13:
‘And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.’ – King James Version
‘And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.’ – New International Version
Overall I prefer the King James Version (and the use of ‘abideth’), but I had to bring in the New International Version where Ancient Greek ἀγάπη has been translated as ‘love.’ The Ancient Greeks had more than one term for love, and ἀγάπη referred to the ‘highest’ unconditional, charitable kind.
This time of year is a time of remembrance for me, as in this season I lost my mother (1990), my grandmother (2014) and sister (2015). I like to light candles in remembrance and the featured image is a photo I took on a visit to Montserrat on New Year’s Eve 2017.