Have you thought about your own Swan Song for Today? Or, to put it another way, how do you want to be remembered? Perhaps you have written an essay or come up with a favorite phrase that sums up your life. Obituaries in a wide variety of formats seek to provide highlights and to provoke memories of the lives of the deceased. Inscriptions on tombstones range from, "Here Lies ....." to "I told you I was sick."
The beautiful and elegant swan, silent until singing one "song of its life" just before dying, inspires poets and artists. Indeed, this legend provides the origin of the term, Swan Song.
Hymns are Swan Songs
Christian hymns are in a real sense, swan songs. Consider, "Blessed Assurance," by Fannie Crosby. "This is my story, this is my song, praising my savior all the day long." Or, consider how many Edward Perronet has inspired with "All Hail the Power of Jesus Name." These great hymns continue to connect and Christians through the years, powerfully expressing the faith we share.
Lyte's Ere the Night Fall
Henry Francis Lyte’s poem, “Ere the Night Fall,” gives insight into his life and ministry and states his dying wish.
“Why do I sigh to find life’s evening shadows gathering round my way, the keen eye dimming and the buoyant mind unhinging day by day? I want not vulgar fame—I seek not to survive in brass and stone! Hearts may not kindle when they hear my name, nor tear my value own: but might I leave behind some blessing for my fellows, some fair trust to guide, to cheer, to elevate my kind when I am in the dust; might verse of mine inspire one virtuous aim, one high resolve impart, light in one drooping soul a hallowed fire, or bind one broken heart; death would be sweeter then, more calm my slumber ‘neath the silent sod—might I thus live to bless my fellow-men, or glorify my God!
Dying Wish Fulfilled
O thou whose touch can lend life to the dead, thy quickening grace supply, and grant me, swanlike, my last breath to spend in song that may not die!" This dying wish is indeed fulfilled in Praise my Soul, the King of Heaven, which so moved future Queen Elizabeth II in 1947. And, over one-hundred seventy years after his death, this majestic hymn continues to bless us. May this, his song, never die!
Swan Song for Today
In closing, I will share what may ultimately be my own swan song for today.
Goodbye.........And Keep Singing!