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.
Heart wrenching, totally agree, makes me cry easily. From Jennifer x
Thanks Jennifer x
So very sad and still comforting with those candles and remembering… truly wonderful how you weaved it together.
this is even more heart-wrenching after following the link to the loss of your mother who did not abide long enough for her daughter. No wonder you find comfort in the hymnal and the scriptures.
“Tis you, tis you must go/and I must bide
Lament of the bereaved:”
I think we were thinking on similar lines, Ingrid, and your quadrille certainly brought me to tears. My mother was taken into hospital with pneumonia at Christmas and we lost her on 9th January 2017. Like you, when I see or hear the word ‘abide’ I think of songs, hymns and the Bible.
This prompt is making me quite emotional, which just illustrates the true power of words. I think it’s especially hard to lose a loved one close to Christmas. At least you have the memory of that cherished pink smile.
Thank you, Ingrid. She always loved pink lipstick. It was a shock when she stopped because she couldn’t hold it in her fingers.
I am so deeply sorry for your loss. This is a heartwrenchingly beautiful poem.
Thank you Sanaa 🙏
This is sad and beautiful. I am not a religious person, but I love the lighting of candles in memory. The photo is gorgeous. Yes, heartbreaking lines–but somehow, all this is comforting. The rituals of grief and the reminders.
Thank you, Merril – I love the symbolism of candles 🕯
Yes, I do, too. ❤️
Both Danny Boy and the hymn Abide with me make me weep. You picked out the references well. Time changes nothing, they still bide with you.
True – they bide in our hearts
I like how you were able to weave the lines of the hymns into your very personal quadrille. The one from Danny Boy tears me up every time I read and hear it. My condolences for the losses of your loved ones. Glad you find comfort in the hymns, Ingrid.
There’s something special about songs which can do this, I think.
p.s. I love that photo. What a magnificent place and seeing the candles burning bright has got to help comfort.
It certainly did 😊
P.S. this was such a great word to choose – so much heartfelt and emotionally charged poetry came out of it!
Fascinating message and scholarship; sorry for your loss, but it did whelp this fabulous quadrille.
The abide of hymns is close to me as well, and takes me back to the little church of my childhood. It speaks of reassurance.
It certainly does 🙏
Very effective, affecting work, Ingrid. Several other poems dealing with absent / dead parents. Hmmm.
Yours, ending in “Love” is outstanding. Thanks.
Thank you, Ron 😊
I too am thinking of a lost connection today. After I read your poem I said to myself “and the greatest of these is love”–that’s the way I remember the verse, and remains part of my psyche. (K)
I hope you got my comment, Kerfe – my comments seem to be disappearing into the ether today! I was deeply moved by your quadrille also.
Thanks Ingrid. Wirdpress is playing lots of tricks these days.
with me-bideth these 3
Faith, hope, and never-ending
Very good close Ingrid! That’s it. It is all encompassing covering most emotional instincts!
Thank you Hank!
I think you did a great job with this prompt and the blending of words together. Nicely done.
Thanks so much!
What an emotional read! I’m so sorry for the losses you’ve sustained. This is fabulous work. <3
Thank you for your kind and heartfelt words 🙏
You’re so welcome. I hope things get easier for you soon. <3
Lovely and moving piece of writing Ingrid – ‘abide’ is such a wonderful word for this – both the yearning to be with and the inevitable separation from our loved ones. I hope you find comfort at this difficult time.
Thank you, Peter. Those two senses of the word are important to me. And I do find comfort in words.
Our loved ones live on in our memories of them. Beautiful poem, Ingrid. You have skillfully blended familiar words from three sources into a comforting whole. As you remember those you have lost, may your most joyous and precious memories come to mind. <3
Thank you, Cheryl. Those memories do come to mind, the reason for that love in the first place ❤️
sorry for your losses, you interwove those three references well … not an easy feat with the word limit!
Oh I always find it challenging: I’m quite a wordy person 😂
and maybe that’s why you succeed so well, you put in more effort!
I hope you got my comment? I left you a 🖖 but it disappeared 😅
This use of “abide” is my favorite, especially with “abide with me.” It was this week, nearly thirty years ago, that I lost my father. It was not the most cheerful Christmas, but I was certainly thankful for the presence of family.
I am sorry for your loss, Ken. Especially difficult this time of year.
Thank you, Ingrid. There are enough pleasant memories – time’s gift – to take the edge off of what was a hard time for a couple of years. I think I’d find it particularly difficult to have lost three in this season.
“Faith, hope, and never-ending / Love”
…shows a lot of strength
Yes it’s just coming up on the anniversary of my sister’s death and I haven’t really come to terms with that yet. Writing helps.
I was grieving this week for a close friend who has died, and this spoke deeply into that grief, a timely piece for me and beautifully written. As a user of Greek I loved your comments too Ingrid.
I am sorry for the loss of your friend. If my words helped at all then I am glad. I’m sure you know Greek better than me as I haven’t really used it for 15 years!
What a beautiful and touching post, Ingrid. You brought me to tears.
Sending you love and peace.
Thank you so much Gabriela ❤️🙏
My pleasure ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Very nice take on the prompt! You developed the song beautifully!
Just a side note: Today I went back into my spam comments and found three or four of your comments there! I am not sure why. Just wanted you to know I appreciate all of your comments even if I am not able to reply!
Don’t worry, this happens to me all the time! Pleased you liked the poem 😊
A powerful word, indeed. And used so well here, Ingrid.
Simple words, yet beautifully moving, Ingrid, as the emotion wells through the seams caused by grief.
Thank you Dora, it was quite an emotional experience reading everyone’s ‘abide’ poems.
Ingrid, you and me both find ourselves in a season of mournin/remembering – my grandmother and my husband on December 21, five years apart.
This was a beautiful poem, Ingrid.
I am sorry to hear this, a difficult time but filled with beautiful memories 🙏
So many good ones. I didn’t add my son on January 17. Can’t believe that will be 25 years.
That must be the toughest. It will be 5 years since we lost my sister tomorrow. I’m still in denial about that one I think.
It was not easy. Now, I’m good. My husband, however. Bloody hell. I missed him more than ever this year (thank you, Corona) – it will be six years on the 21st. Sending you hugs, Ingrid.
Sending them back to you 🤗 may you be surrounded by love this festive season ❤️
Thank you. And you as well. Going to be a tad more difficult this year!! ❤️
This must be a difficult time of the year for you. I wish you peace during the holidays. I have lit candles for the souls that gone before me. It brings a sense of comfort. The photo brings hope in the form of light.
Thank you so much for your words of comfort!