The Ballestero Blog

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“The Kite, or the Fall of Pride”

with 3 comments

(Last night I heard Pastor Tony Spell quote this very rare old poem. I wanted to share it with my readers. It is written by the same man who wrote ‘Amazing Grace.’)

“The Kite, or the Fall of Pride”

John Newton

Aug. 4, 1770

My waking dreams are best concealed,

Much folly, little good they yield.

But now and then I gain when sleeping

A friendly hint that’s worth the keeping.

Lately I dreamt of one who cried

“Beware of self, beware of pride;

When you are prone to build a Babel

Recall to mind this little fable.”

Once upon a time a paper kite

Was mounted to a wondrous height,

Where, giddy with its elevation,

It thus expressed self-admiration:

”See how yon crowds of gazing people

Admire my flight above the steeple;

How they would wonder if they knew

All that a kite like me can do?

Were I but free, I’d take a flight,

And pierce the clouds beyond their sight.

“But, ah! like a poor pris’ner bound,

My string confines me near the ground:

I’d brave the eagle’s tow’ring wing,

Might I but fly without a string.”

It tugged and pulled, while thus it spoke

To break the string; at last it broke.

Deprived at once of all its stay,

In vain it tried to soar away;

Unable its own weight to bear,

It fluttered downward through the air;

Unable its own course to guide,

The winds soon plunged it in the tide.

Ah! foolish kite; thou hadst no wing;

How couldt thou fly without a string?

My heart replied, “O Lord, I see

How much this kite resembles me!

Forgetful that by thee I stand,

Impatient of thy ruling hand;

“How oft I’ve wished to break the lines

Thy wisdom for my lot assigns?

How oft indulged a vain desire

For something more or something higher.

And but for grace or love divine,

A fall thus dreadful had been mine.”

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 28, 2010 at 8:00 am

Posted in Christian Living, Pride

3 Responses

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  1. Beautiful. I remember dad reading me this poem. I didn’t know that John Newton wrote it. He wrote Amazing Grace, too. What an incredible poet.

    Nila Marxer

    July 28, 2010 at 8:57 am

  2. That which holds us back also holds us up.

    Caleb Adams

    July 28, 2010 at 10:01 am

  3. THANK GOD FOR THE LOVE THAT BINDS US WITH BOUNDARIES OF LOVE!!! THE INVISIBLE REMINDER OF THE SPIRIT AS IT GENTLY GUIDES US AND ALLOWS US TO KNOW WHEN WE ARE NOT PLEASING TO HIM!!!

    CARLA THOMAS

    July 28, 2010 at 11:08 am


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