And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied: “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”Minnie Haskins, 1875-1957
The above words were written by a grocer’s daughter in Bristol, England, as she stood on an upstairs balcony one evening, looking down the lighted path to the end of the drive.
Her poem was made famous by King George VI in his Christmas Day broadcast in 1939, as the Second World War was beginning. The world around him was in crisis and longing for hope. The poem had been brought to his attention by his wife, Queen Elizabeth (mother of the current Queen Elizabeth), and it was recited at her funeral some 63 years later.
The words are now carved above the chapel at Windsor Castle, and strewn across an assortment of papers and books around the world. Minnie’s poem has the rare honor of residing among the most often-quoted works of the entire twentieth century. It has been recited in many languages and has been set to music.
Four lines of a poem—that resonated with a world of people.
Minnie ended her famous poem with these words:
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.
So heart be still!
May we indeed see daybreak this year. Blessings to you at the Gate of the Year.
Mary Ann Simkins
Founder & Director
FaithPrayers National Prayer Line