“Hodie decennis”

Ten years, ten years today, since first we met,
God’s gracious gift I scarcely saw at first
But since have learned to treasure more than gold.
And though the swiftly rushing stream of Time
Would wash those cherished memories away
And so, pretending royalty, dissolve
That golden thread, I will not have it so
And, while God lends me strength, resist that tide
And fondly hold your memory in mind.
Still, better far than holding fast alone
Would be to spin new strands into that cord
(As first changed cloth to silver, then to gold)
Again and yet again, as time flies by,
That friendship may yet thrive for decades more
Until its final flowering at last
upon the heavenly and eternal shore.

On the day after Labor Day, 2006, I had my first Latin class at Calvin, in which I met some of my dearest friends. (By numeric date, ten years ago yesterday; by day of the week, ten years ago today.) When I realized the milestone last week, I wrote this poem. I had hoped to translate it to Latin as well, as would be most fitting to honor my Latin classmates, but while I had little trouble (given helpful software) creating a prose rendering, fitting it into the traditional meter of Latin verse proved beyond me, particularly in the time before today. The title I gave the poem for this post is the first two words of its Latin prose translation.

The New Scholar by Ralph Hedley

As always, I earnestly welcome your comments, questions, critique, or other feedback about this or any other part of my work. If you’d like to read more of my poetry, you can read my archive (also organized in more manageable installments), follow this blog for (now only occasional) new poetry (among other things), or get my book, which contains over sixty of my best poems, each paired with a public-domain illustration or drawing. You may also share this poem with others, subject to my sharing policy.


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