I Yield Thee Praise

Poem for a Tuesday — “I Yield Thee Praise” by Philip Jerome Cleveland

For thoughts that curve like winging birds

Out of the summer dusk each time

I drink the splendor of the sky

And touch the wood-winds swinging by —

I yield Thee praise.

For waves that lift from autumn seas

To spill strange music on the land,

The broken nocturne of a lark

Flung out upon the lonely dark —

I give Thee praise.

For rain that piles gray torrents down

Black mountain-gullies to the plain,

For singing fields and crimson flare

At daybreak, and the sea-sweet air —

I yield Thee praise.

For gentle mists that wander in

To hide the tired world outside

That in our hearts old lips may smile

Their blessing through life’s afterwhile —

I give Thee praise.

For hopes that fight like stubborn grass

Up through the clinging snow of fear

To find the rich earth richer still

With kindliness and honest will —

I yield Thee praise.

from A Sacrifice of Praise, ed. James H. Trott. Nashville: Cumberland House, 1999.

Philip Jerome Cleveland (1903-1995) was a Congregational minister. His diverse ministry included service as a prison chaplain, a newspaper editor, a radio pianist, and a Sears and Roebuck Santa Claus. He pastored churches in Nova Scotia, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. He had several bestselling novels about church life, including It’s Bright in My Valley, Three Churches and a Model-T, and End of Dreams. After his death, a portion of his manuscripts, articles, and papers were acquired by The University of Southern Mississippi — de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection

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