Bessie Rayner-Parkes ( 1829 – 1925 ) famous poem is about the peace we experience in nature but so often is absent in our human lives. We call on our God to give us that peace which often eludes us. Bessie was better known for her being a female rights activist, grand-daughter of the famous scientist Joseph Priestley and mother of the famous writer Hilaire Belloc than she was as a poet. However, her poems are very powerful as she connects the world we see with the spiritual forces that act behind it. Her own spiritual journey began in the unitarian church but finished as a devout Catholic.
I have set the poem to music with four male voices. In the video I use Van Gogh paintings. Van Gogh had a troubled life but clearly found solace in nature with the many outdoor paintings he produced. He was a committed Christian and this was expressed in his paintings and service to others. I can only imagine him calling on God as this poem does as he struggled with depression. May he have found that peace in the end.