James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

July 24

Thomas à Kempis

By Richard Rogers Bowker (1848–1933)

  • Very little is known of the personality of Thomas à Kempis, the reputed author of “The Imitation of Christ.” He was a German monk and died on July 24th, 1471.

  • TURN with me from the city’s clamorous street,

    Where throng and push passions and lusts and hate,

    And enter, through this age-browned, ivied gate,

    For many summers’ birds a sure retreat,

    The place of perfect peace. And here, most meet

    For meditation, where no idle prate

    Of the world’s ways may come, rest thee and wait.

    ’Tis very quiet. Thus doth still Heaven entreat.

    With rev’rent feet, his face so worn, so fair,

    Walks one who bears the cross, who waits the crown.

    Tumult is past. In those calm eyes I see

    The image of the Master, Christ, alone,

    And from those patient lips I hear one prayer:

    “Dear Lord, dear Lord, that I may be like thee!”