Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Thursday, February 15, 2007

F W Boreham's Scallop Shell of Quietness

My wife and I walked the beach this morning and watched the sun coming up over the Arabian Sea. It was magnific-ent. We had the beach all to our-selves. The air was pure. The view was majestic. Our ears rejoiced in the sound of the waves lapping and the sea birds waking. We breathed in the pure sea air. It was a total experience.

We were the first to see the shells that the waves had hurled onto the beach. As we picked up some shells that had such exquisite patterns, my mind turned to that favorite prayer of F W Boreham’s from which he drew the title of his autobiography:

Give me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My scrip of joy, immortal diet,
My bottle of salvation,
My gown of glory, hope's true gage,
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.

The words are those of Sir Walter Raleigh, written on the night before his execution.

F W Boreham comments on this prayer:

"The staff, the scrip, the bottle, the gown—these are the commonplaces of pilgrimage: alike in prose and in poetry we have met them repeatedly. But the scallop-shell of quiet! It strikes a distinctive note. It represents the final up-flaring of the spiritual genius of Sir Walter Raleigh."

Source: F W Boreham, The Passing of John Broadbanks (London: The Epworth Press, 1936), 11-12.

Image: Sun rising this morning over the Arabian Sea.