The presence of the past: KIS Archives

Margaret Eddy, one month before her death (1935)

Poem from the Pamphlet “The Margaret Eddy Memorial Chapel, 1937”

“Trees”  by Siviter

My Lord, I do not understand

Thou givest me threescore years and ten

To make and mold my life, and then,

Dear Lord, to grow one perfect tree

A thousand years are not to Thee

Too many years for Thy wise hand

To make this redwood tree!

And threescore years and ten for me!

Behold, this pebble at my feet,

Round, smooth, and white, a perfect stone.

Ten thousand years upon ten thousand years have flown

Since this one was begun.

And I

Have only threescore years and ten.

And heart on fire with keen desire,

A brain alive to work and strive;

Ten million years too soon would fly,

And I

Have only threescore years and ten.

Where is Thy justice, dear Lord, when

To make a tree a thousand years,

A million years to make a stone,

And then despite our prayers and tears

A span of threescore years and ten

Is given to men?

Let be! My body is the seed : for me

Is made Eternity.

This was a favorite poem with Mrs. Margaret Eddy, and one which she frequently copied and sent in letters to friends. It expresses extremely well the vitality of her own life and her throbbing eagerness to be of service. Providence loaned this vibrant personality more than threescore years and ten, and she well justified the loan by an almost ceaseless activity. Part of it was invested in the establishment of Kodaikanal School for Missionaries’ Children.

Suvidha Sadasivan, Archivist