I love this poem by Elizabeth Craven. I read “I thank thee, God, that I have lived” at my grandfather’s funeral.
In this great world and known its many joys;
The song of birds, the strong, sweet scent of hay
And cooling breezes in the secret dusk;
The flaming sunsets at the close of day,
Hills, and the lonely, heather-covered moors;
Music at night and moonlight on the sea,
The beat of waves upon the rocky shore,
And wild, white spray, flung high in ecstasy:
The faithful eyes of dogs, and treasured books;
The love of kin and fellowship of friends,
And all that makes life beautiful.
I thank thee, too, that there has come to me
A little sorrow and sometimes defeat,
A little heart-ache and loneliness
That comes with parting, and the word ‘Good-bye’;
Dawn breaking after dreary hours of pain,
When I discovered that night’s gloom must yield
And morning light break through to me again.
Because of these and other blessings poured
Unasked upon my wondering head,
Because I know that there is yet to come
An even richer and more glorious life,
And most of all, because thine only son
Once sacrificed life’s loveliness for me –
I thank thee, God, that I have lived.