ANTHOLOGY OF MASSACHUSETTS POETS WILLIAM STANLEY BRAITHWAITE, Editor
HOME BOUND JOSEPH AUSLANDER
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL KATHERINE LEE BATES
YELLOW CLOVER KATHERINE LEE BATES
THE RETURNING SYLVESTER BAXTER
TWO MOODS FROM THE HILL ERNEST BENSHIMOL
A BANQUET ERNEST BENSHIMOL
SONG GEORGE CABOT LODGE
THE WORLDS MARTHA GILBERT DICKINSON BIANCHI
THE RIOT GAMALIEL BRADFORD
HUNGER GAMALIEL BRADFORD
EXIT GOD GAMALIEL BRADFORD
ROUSSEAU GAMALIEL BRADFORD
JOHN MASEFIELD AMY BRIDGMAN
1620-1920 LE BARON RUSSEL BRIGGS
THE CROSS-CURRENT ABBIE FARWELL BROWN
CANDLEMAS ALICE BROWN
SUNRISE ON MANSFIELD MOUNTAIN ALICE BROWN
BURNT ARE THE PETALS OF LIFE ELSIE PUMPELLY CABOT
FOUR FOUNTAINS. AFTER RESPIGHI JESSICA CARR
IN THE TROLLEY CAR RUTH BALDWIN CHENERY
IN IRISH RAIN MARTHA HASKELL CLARK
CRETONNE TROPICS GRACE HAZARD CONKLING
TO HILDA OF HER ROSES GRACE HAZARD CONKLING
DANDELION HILDA CONKLING
RED ROOSTER HILDA CONKLING
VElVETS HILDA CONKLING
THE MOODS FANNY STEARNS DAVIS
HILL-FANTASY FANNY STEARNS DAVIS
THE MIRAGE NATHAN HASKELL DOLE
THE ROAD BEYOND THE TOWN MICHAEL EARLS, S.J.
THE LILAC WALTER PRICHARD EATON
GOD, THROUGH HIS OFFSPRING NATURE, GAVE ME LOVE CHARLES GIBSON
TO MUSIC MAUDE GORDON-ROBY
THE VOICE IN THE SONG MARY GERTRUDE HAMILTON
HYMNS AND ANTHEMS SUNG AT WELLESLEY COLLEGE CAROLINE HAZARD
REUBEN ROY HAROLD CRAWFORD STEARNS
COUNTRY ROAD MARIE LOUISE HERSEY
WREATHS CAROLYN HILLMAN
MEMPHIS GORDON MALHERBE HILLMAN
SAINT COLUMBKILLE E.J.V. HUIGINN
MISS DOANE WINIFRED VIRGINIA JACKSON
FALLEN FENCES WINIFRED VIRGINIA JACKSON
CROSS-CURRENTS WINIFRED VIRGINIA JACKSON
THE FAREWELL WINIFRED VIRGINIA JACKSON
SONG OLIVER JENKINS
LOVE AUTUMNAL OLIVER JENKINS
ECHOES RUTH LAMBERT JONES
WAR PICTURES RUTH LAMBERT JONES
AN OLD SONG ARTHUR KETCHUM
ROADSIDE REST ARTHUR KETCHUM
OLD LIZETTE ON SLEEP AGNES LEE
MOTHERHOOD AGNES LEE
ESSEX GEORGE CABOT LODGE
THE SONG OF THE WAVE GEORGE CABOT LODGE
FRIMAIRE AMY LOWELL
PATTERNS AMY LOWELL
A BATHER AMY LOWELL
LEPRECHAUNS AND CLURICAUNS DENNIS A. MCCARTHY
L'ENVOI DOROTHEA LAWRENCE MANN
TO IMAGINATION DOROTHEA LAWRENCE MANN
DRAGON JEANETTE MARKS
GREEN GOLDEN DOOR JEANETTE MARKS
SLEEPY HOLLOW, CONCORD JOHN CLAIR MINOT
THE SWORD OF ARTHUR JOHN CLAIR MINOT
THE DIVINE FOREST CHARLES R. MURPHY
MAGIC EDWARD J. O'BRIEN
MICHAEL PAT EDWARD J. O'BRIAN
SONG EDWARD J. O'BRIAN
IN MEMORIAM: FRANCIS LEDWIDGE NORREYS JEPHSON O'CONNOR
EVENSONG NORREYS JEPHSON O'CONNOR
THE PROPHET JOSEPHINE PRESTON PEABODY
HARVEST-MOON: 1914 JOSEPHINE PRESTON PEABODY
HORSEMAN SPRINGING FROM THE DARK: A DREAM LILLA CABOT PERRY
THREE QUATRAINS LILLA CABOT PERRY
A VALENTINE UNSENT MARGARET PERRY
SHIPBUILDERS ARTHUR STANWOOD PIER
UNFADING PICTURES LOUELLA C. POOLE
WITH WAVES AND WINGS CHARLOTTE PORTER
BLUEBERRIES FRANK PRENTICE RAND
NOCTURNE WILLIAM ROSCOIE THAYER
ENVOI WILLIAM 'ROSCOE THAYER
THERE WHERE THE SEA MARIE TUDOR
MARRIAGE MARIE TUDOR
PITY HAROLD VINAL
A ROSE TO THE LIVING NIXON WATERMAN
THE STORM G.O. WARREN
WHERE THEY SLEEP G.O. WARREN
BEAUTY G.O. WARREN
COMRADES GEORGE EDWARD WOODBERRY
THE FLIGHT GEORGE EDWARD WOODBERRY
HOME-BOUND THE moon is a wavering rim where one fish slips,
The water makes a quietness of sound; Night is an anchoring of many ships Home-bound.
There are strange tunnelers in the dark, and whirs Of wings that die, and hairy spiders spin The silence into nets, and tenanters Move softly in.
I step on shadows riding through the grass, And feel the night lean cool against my face; And challenged by the sentinel of space, I pass.
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL
O BEAUTIFUL for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties Above the fruited plain! America! America! God shed His grace on thee And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for pilgrim feet, Those stern, impassioned stress A thoroughfare for freedom beat Across the wilderness! America! America! God mend thine every flaw, Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law!
O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife Who more than self their country loved, And mercy more than life! America! America! May God thy gold refine, Till all success be nobleness, And every gain divine.
O beautiful for patriot dream That sees beyond the years Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears! America! America! God shed His grace on thee And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea!
KATHERINE LEE BATES
MUST I, who walk alone, come on it still, This Puck of plants The wise would do away with, The sunshine slants To play with, Our wee, gold-dusty flower, the yellow clover, Which once in Parting for a time That then seemed long, Ere time for you was over, We sealed our own? Do you remember yet, O Soul beyond the stars, Beyond the uttermost dim bars Of space, Dear Soul, who found earth sweet, Remember by love's grace, In dreamy hushes of the heavenly song, How suddenly we halted in our climb, Lingering, reluctant, up that farthest hill, Stooped for the blossoms closest to our feet, And gave them as a token Each to Each, In lieu of speech, In lieu of words too grievous to be spoken, Those little, gypsy, wondering blossoms wet With a strange dew of tears?
So it began, This vagabond, unvalued yellow clover, To be our tenderest language. All the years It lent a new zest to the summer hours, As each of us went scheming to surprise The other with our homely, laureate flowers. Sonnets and odes Fringing our daily roads. Can amaranth and asphodel Bring merrier laughter to your eyes? Oh, if the Blest, in their serene abodes, Keep any wistful consciousness of earth, Not grandeurs, but the childish ways of love, Simplicities of mirth, Must follow them above With touches of vague homesickness that pass Like shadows of swift birds across the grass. Beneath some foreign arch of sky, How many a time the rover You or I, For life oft sundered look from look, And voice from voice, the transient dearth Schooling my soul to brook This distance that no messages may span, Would chance Upon our wilding by a lonely well, Or drowsy watermill, Or swaying to the chime of convent bell, Or where the nightingales of old romance With tragical contraltos fill Dim solitudes of infinite desire; And once I joyed to meet Our peasant gadabout A trespasser on trim, seigniorial seat, Twinkling a saucy eye As potentates paced by.
Our golden cord! our soft, pursuing flame From friendship's altar fire! How proudly we would pluck and tame
The dimpling clusters, mutinously gay! How swiftly they were sent Far, far away On journeys wide, By sea and continent, Green miles and blue leagues over, From each of us to each, That so our hearts might reach, And touch within the yellow clover,
Love's letter to be glad about Like sunshine when it came!
My sorrow asks no healing; it is love; Let love then make me brave To bear the keen hurts of This careless summertide, Ay, of our own poor flower, Changed with our fatal hour, For all its sunshine vanished when you died; Only white clover blossoms on your grave.
KATHERINE LEE BATES
We long for her, we yearn for her— Yes, ardently we yearn For her return. Recalling those beloved days (Days intimate with ways Of friends so near to us And life so dear to us), We yearn unspeakably for her return.
And come she must. . .Yet while we trust We soon may see the passing of this agony Which makes intrusive years still seem A fearsome dream, We know that when she comes She really comes not back again.
She'll come in other guise And under fairer skies— And yet to bitter pain! That day she went away Our homes with laughing youth were filled. Where then was happiness Is now distress, The laughter stilled; For when she left Youth followed her- We stay bereft.
So all our golden joy For what she brings Must carry gray alloy: The sorrow that she can not lay, The mysery that she can not stay- While all the gladsome songs she sings Must bear for undertones Old sighs and echoed moans.
As they who go away In flush of youth May come quite worn and gray And bringing naught but ruth- So, when the strife shall cease, And when she comes at last, When all the armies vast Shall at her feet Kneel down to greet Thrice welcome Peace, This world will be so changed (So many dear ones dead, So many friends estranged, So many blessings fled, So many wonted ways forever barred, So many coming days forever marred) That then She truly comes not back again— She, the Peace we knew.
Yet how we long for her! How ardently we yearn For her return!
TWO MOODS FROM THE HILL
I LOVE to watch the world from here, for all The numberless living portraits that are drawn Upon the mind. Far over is the sea, Fronting the sand, a few great yellow dunes, A salt marsh stumbling after, rank and green, With brackish gullies wandering in between, All this from the hill. And more: a clump of dwarfed and twisted cedars, Sentinels over the marsh, and bright with the sun A field of daises wandering in the wind As though a hidden serpent glided through, A broken wall, a new-plowed field, and then The dusty road and the abodes of men Surrounding the hill. How small the enclosure is wherein there lives Each phase and passion of life, the distant sail Dips in the limpid bosom of the sea, From that far place to where in state the turf Raises a throne for me upon the hill, Each little love and lust of a living thing Can thus be compassed in a rainbow ring And seen from the hill.
Why did I build my cottage on a hill Facing the sea?
Why did I plan each terraced lawn to slope Down to the deep blue billowy breast of hope, Surging and sweeping, laughing and leaping, Tumbling its garments of foam upon the shore, Rustling the sands that know my step no more, I should have found a valley, deep and still, To shelter me.
There flows the river, and it seems asleep So far away, Yet I remember whip of wave and roar Of wind that rose and smote against the oar, Smote and retreated, Proud but defeated, While I rejoiced and rowed into the brine, Drawing on wet and heavy -straining line The great cod quivering from the deep As counterplay.
What is the solace of these hills and vales That rise and fall? What is there glorious in the greenwood glen, Or twittering thrush or wing of darting wren? Give me the gusty, Raucous and rusty Call of the sea gull in the echoing sky, The wild shriek of the winds that cannot die, Give me the life that follows the bending sails, Or none at all!
A BANQUET ONE MEMORY FROM SOCRATES
AFTER the song the love, and after the love the play, Flute girl and pretty boy blowing Bubbles of sparkling Wine into darkling Beards of a former austerity, stern even now, but Fast growing Foolish, with less of a stately Reserve that held them sedately. Oh Zeus, what a sight! With the wine dripping off it, The grin of an ass on a bald-pated prophet.
After the feast the night, and after the night the day, Fool and philosopher stirring With the day dawning, Stretching and yawning, While in each wine-throbbing, desolated brain is the Wheeling and whirring Of thousands of bats, that the slaking Of throats will not hinder from aching, No wine for the brow that is beating to bursting, But water at morning is quench for the thirsting!
OUT of one heart the birds and I together, Earth hushed in twilight, Low through the live-oaks hung heavy with silver, Gemmed with the sky-light, Under the great wet star Shaking with light, we jar Lute-voiced the silence with intervaled music.
While under the margined world the slow sun lingers, Flaming earth's portal, Over the lilac dusk spreads his great fingers- Earth is immortal! While the frail beauty dies. Dream in the dreamer's eyes, All the good gladness turns praise for the singers.
Hark, 'tis the breath of life! Hush! and I need it; Northern, gigantic,- Questing the silences, herding the sudden foam Down the Atlantic; Leaves from the autumn's store Shrill at my desert door, They and I out of one heart that is grieving.
GEORGE CABOT LODGE
I SAW an idler on a summer day Piping with Iris by a dancing brook; And all his world was rife with Pleasures gay, And languid Follies smiled from every nook.
I saw an artist in a world of dreams, His rainbow rising from his radiant task, To throw its magic prism beams O'er Fancy's changeful masque and counter- masque.
I saw Toil—stooping underneath a world Whereon his foster-brothers lighter tread, His skyward pinions ever closer furled Before the grim necessity of bread!
I saw a sinner working hard to be Worthy his death-wage from the mint of time; I saw a sailor, unto whom the sea Was hearth and hope and love and wedding- chime.
I saw a mother living in her child— I saw a saint among his fellow men— Brave soldiery before my eyes defiled And solemn-hearted scholars—Sudden then
I cried: "The stars are no less neighborly In their ethereal remoteness swung, Than these near human orbits wherein we Live out our lives and speak our chosen tongue!
"Love seek through all—less there be one Least soul unlit within the night— And over all, the selfsame sun Give each creation light!"
MARTHA GILBERT DICKINSON BIANCHI
YOU may think my life is quiet. I find it full of change, An ever-varied diet, As piquant as 'tis strange.
Wild thoughts are always flying, Like sparks across my brain, Now flashing out, now dying, To kindle soon again.
Fine fancies set me thrilling, And subtle monsters creep Before my sight unwilling: They even haunt my sleep.
One broad, perpetual riot Enfolds me night and day. You think my life is quiet? You don't know what you say.
I'VE been a hopeless sinner, but I understand a saint, Their bend of weary knees and their con- tortions long and faint, And the endless pricks of conscience, like a hundred thousand pins, A real perpetual penance for imaginary sins.
I love to wander widely, but I understand a cell, Where you tell and tell your beads because you've nothing else to tell, Where the crimson joy of flesh, with all its wild fantastic tricks, Is forgotten in the blinding glory of the crucifix.
I cannot speak for others, but my inmost soul is torn With a battle of desires making all my life forlorn. There are moments when I would untread the paths that I have trod. I'm a haunter of the devil, but I hunger after God.
Of old our father's God was real, Something they almost saw, Which kept them to a stern ideal And scourged them into awe.
They walked the narrow path of right Most vigilantly well, Because they feared eternal night And boiling depths of Hell.
Now Hell has wholly boiled away And God become a shade. There is no place for him to stay In all the world He made.
The followers of William James Still let the Lord exist, And call Him by imposing names, A venerable list. But nerve and muscle only count, Gray matter of the brain, And an astonishing amount Of inconvenient pain.
I sometimes wish that God were back In this dark world and wide; For though sonic virtues He might lack, He had his pleasant side.
THAT odd, fantastic ass, Rousseau, Declared himself unique. How men persist in doing so, Puzzles me more than Greek.
The sins that tarnish whore and thief Beset me every day. My most ethereal belief Inhabits common clay.
GOD said, and frowned, as He looked on Shropshire clay: "Alone, 'twont do; composite, would I make This man-child rare; 'twere well, methinks, to take A handful from the Stratford tomb, and weigh A few of Shelley's ashes; Bunyan may Contribute, too, and, for my sweet Son's sake, I'll visit Avalon; then, let me slake The whole with Wyclif-water from the Bay.
A sailor, he! Too godly, though, I fear; Offset it with tobacco! Next, I'll find Hedge-roses, star-dust, and a vagrant's mind; His mother's heart now let me breathe upon; When west winds blow, I'll whisper in her ear: "Apocalypse awaits him; call him John!"
A Man of Sorrows! with such haunted eyes, I trow, the Master looked across the lake,— Looked from the Judas-heart, so soon to make Of Him the world's historic sacrifice; Moreover, as I gaze, do more arise; Great souls, great pallid ghosts of pain, who wake And wander yet; all, weary men who brake Their hearts; all hemlock-drunk, with growing wise: Hudson adrift; Defoe; the Wandering Jew; Tannhauser; Faust; Andrea; phantoms, all, In Masefield's eyes you lodge; and to the wall I turn you,—hand a-tremble,—lest you make Of mine own stricken eyes a mirror, too. Wherein the sad world's sadder for your sake.
O Masefield's "Dauber!" You, who being dead, Yet speak: heroic, dauntless, flaming soul, Too suddenly snuffed out! Here take fresh toll Of cognizance, and, in your ocean bed, Serenely rest, assured that who has read What you would fain have pictured of the Pole Would gladly match your part against the whole Of many a modern artist, Paris-bred.
And more than this: if you, indeed, are his, Then, by a dual truth, he, too, is yours; For, marked and credited by what endures, Were it the only thing, which bears his name, (O deathless Soul, I speak you true in this!) "The Dauber" has brought Masefield to his fame.
"Small wonder," speaks my pensive self, "that he Whose passion 'tis to sing of men who fail,— (Belabored, broken by The Unseen Flail) Small wonder that be makes Gallipoli
His fervent text, for could there be A costlier failure in Earth's shuddering tale? Think of heroic Sulva's bloody swale; Of Anzac's tortured thirst and agony!" But as I read, protesting voices cry: "Not we, Not we, who fell among the daffodils, Who conquered Death among those blistered hills, And found our glory after mortal pain; Not we, who failed and lost Gallipoli; The sad, strange failure theirs who mourn in vain!"
So, Masefield, have your royal words once more Called forth the praise of men, where praise is due; Your great elegiac, tragically true, Must leave all Britain prouder than before; And, in spite of all that breaking hearts deplore, And all that anguished consciences must rue, One arrowed gladness surely pierces through From London's centre to Canadian shore:
When England, sobbing, mourns Gallipoli, When warm tears flow for Rupert Brooke And all the splendid Youth her error took As hostage from the fields of daffodils, Let this a present, living solace be: You are not sleeping in those cruel hills!
BEFORE him rolls the dark, relentless ocean; Behind him stretch the cold and barren sands; Wrapt in the mantle of his deep devotion The Pilgrim kneels, and clasps his lifted hands;
"God of our fathers, who hast safely brought us Through seas and sorrows, famine, fire, and sword; Who, in Thy mercies manifold hast taught us To trust in Thee, our leader and our Lord;
"God, who hast send Thy truth to shine before us, A fiery pillar, beaconing on the sea; God, who hast spread thy wings of mercy o'er us; God, who hast set our children's children free,
"Freedom Thy new-born nation here shall cherish; Grant us Thy covenant, changing, sure: Earth shall decay; the firmament shall perish; Freedom and Truth, immortal shall endure."
Face to the Indian arrows. Face to the Prussian guns, From then till now the Pilgrim's vow Has held the Pilgrim's sons.
He braved the red man's ambush, He loosed the black man's chain; His spirit broke King George's yoke And the battleships of Spain.
He crossed the seething ocean; He dared the death-strewn track; He charged in the hell of Saint Mihiel And hurled the tyrant back.
For the voice of the lonely Pilgram Who knelt upon the strand A people hears three hundred years In the conscience of the land.
Daughter of Truth and mother of Courage, Conscience, all hail! Heart of New England, strength of the Pilgrims, Thou shalt prevail. Look how the empires rise and fall! Athens robed in her learning and beauty, Rome in her royal lust for power- Each has flourished for her little hour, Risen and fallen and ceased to be. What of her by the Western Sea, Born and bred as the child of Duty, Sternest of them all? She it is and she alone Who built on faith as her corner stone; Of all the nations none but she Knew that the truth shall make us free. Daughter of Courage, mother of heros, Freedom divine. Light of New England, Star of the Pilgrim, Still shalt thou shine. Yet even as we in our pride rejoice, Hark to the prophet's warning voice: "The Pilgrim's thrift is vanished And the Pilgrim's faith is dead, And the Pilgrim's God is banished, And Mammon reigns in his stead; And work is damned as an evil, And men and women cry, In their restless haste, 'Let us spend and waste, And live; for to-morrow we die.'
"And law is trampled under; And the nations stand aghast, As they hear the distant thunder Of the storm that marches fast; And we,—whose ocean borders Shut off the sound and the sight, We will wait for marching orders; The world has seen us fight; We have earned our days of revel; 'On with the dance'! we cry. It is pain to think; we will eat and drink! And live; for to-morrow we die."
"We have laughed in the eyes of danger; We have given our bravest and best; We have succored the starving stranger; Others shall heed the rest.' And the revel never ceases; And the nations hold their breath; And our laughter peals, and the mad world reels, To a carnival of death.
"Slaves of sloth and the senses, Clippers of Freedom's wings, Come back to the Pilgrim's Army And fight for the King of Kings; Come back to the Pilgrim's conscience; Be born in the nation's birth; And strive again as simple men For the freedom of the earth. Freedom a free-born nation still shall cherish, Be this our covenant, unchanging, sure: Earth shall decay; the firmament shall perish; Freedom and Truth immortal shall endure."
Land of our fathers, when the tempest rages, When the wide earth is racked with war and crime, Founded forever on the Rock of Ages, Beaten in vain by surging seas of time,
Even as the shallop on the breakers riding, Even as the Pilgrim kneeling on the shore, Firm in thy faith and fortitude abiding, Hold thou thy children free forever more.
And when we sail as Pilgrims' sons and daughters The spirit's Mayflower into seas unknown, Driving across the waste of wintry waters The voyage every soul shall make alone,
The Pilgrim's faith, the Pilgrim's courage grant us; Still shines the truth that for the Pilgrim shone. We are his seed; nor life nor death shall daunt us. The port is Freedom! Pilgrim heart, sail on!
LE BARON RUSSELL BRIGGS
THROUGH twelve stout generations New England blood I boast; The stubborn pastures bred them, The grim, uncordial coast,
Sedate and proud old cities,— Loved well enough by me, Then how should I be yearning To scour the earth and sea.
Each of my Yankee forbears Wed a New England mate: They dwelt and did and died here, Nor glimpsed a rosier fate.
My clan endured their kindred; But foreigners they loathed, And wandering folk, and minstrels, And gypsies motley-clothed.
Then why do patches please me, Fantastic, wild array? Why have I vagrant fancies For lads from far away.
My folk were godly Churchmen,— Or paced in Elders' weeds; But all were grave and pious And hated heathen creeds.
Then why are Thor and Wotan To dread forces still? Why does my heart go questing For Pan beyond the hill?
My people clutched at freedom.— Though others' wills they chained,— But made the Law and kept it,— And Beauty, they restrained.
Then why am I a rebel To laws of rule and square? Why would I dream and dally, Or, reckless, do and dare?
O righteous, solemn Grandsires, O dames, correct and mild, Who bred me of your virtues! Whence comes this changing child?—
The thirteenth generation,— Unlucky number this!— My grandma loved a Pirate, And all my faults are his!
A gallant, ruffled rover, With beauty-loving eye, He swept Colonial waters Of coarser, bloodier fry.
He waved his hat to danger, At Law he shook his fist. Ah, merrily he plundered, He sang and fought and kissed!
Though none have found his treasure, And none his part would take,— I bless that thirteenth lady Who chose him for my sake!
ABBIE FARWELL BROWN
O HEARKEN, all ye little weeds That lie beneath the snow, (So low, dear hearts, in poverty so low!) The sun hath risen for royal deeds, A valiant wind the vanguard leads; Now quicken ye, lest unborn seeds Before ye rise and blow.
O furry living things, adream On winter's drowsy breast, (How rest ye there, how softly, safely rest!) Arise and follow where a gleam Of wizard gold unbinds the stream, And all the woodland windings seem With sweet expectance blest.
My birds, come back! the hollow sky Is weary for your note. (Sweet-throat, come back! O liquid, mellow throat!) Ere May's soft minions hereward fly, Shame on ye, Laggards, to deny The brooding breast, the sun-bright eye, The tawny, shining coat!
SUNRISE ON MANSFIELD MOUNTAIN
O SWIFT forerunners, rosy with the race! Spirits of dawn, divinely manifest Behind your blushing banners in the sky, Daring invaders of Night's tenting-ground, How do ye strain on forward-bending foot, Each to be first in heralding of joy!
With silence sandalled, so they weave their way, And so they stand, with silence panoplied, Chanting, through mystic symbollings of flame, Their solemn invocation to the light.
O changeless guardians! 0 ye wizard first! What strenuous philter feeds your potency. That thus ye rest, in sweet wood-hardiness, Ready to learn of all and utter naught? What breath may move ye, or what breeze invite To odorous hot lendings of the heart? What wind-but all the winds are yet afar, And e'en the little tricksy zephyr sprites, That fleet before them, like their elfin locks, Have lagged in sleep, nor stir nor waken yet To pluck the robe of patient majesty.
Too still for dreaming, too divine for sleep, So range the firs, the constant, fearless ones. Warders of mountain secrets, there they wait, Each with his cloak about him, breathless, calm. And yet expectant, as who knows the dawn,
And all night thrills with memory and desire, Searching in what has been for what shall be:
The marvel of the ne'er familiar day, Sacred investiture of life renewed, The chrism of dew, the coronal of flame. Low in the valley lies the conquered rout Of man's poor, trivial turmoil, lost and drowned Under the mist, in gleaming rivers rolled, Where oozy marsh contends with frothing main. And rounding all, springs one full, ambient arch, One great good limpid world—so still, so still! For no sound echoes from its crystal curve Save four clear notes, the song of that lone bird Who, brave but trembling, tries his morning hymn, And has no heart to finish, for the awe And wonder of this pearling globe of dawn.
Light, light eternal! veiling-place of stars! Light, the revealer of dread beauty's face! Weaving whereof the hills are lambent clad! Mighty libation to the Unknown God! Cup whereat pine-trees slake their giant thirst And little leaves drink sweet delirium! Being and breath and potion! living soul And all-informing heart of all that lives! How can we magnify thine awful name Save by its chanting: Light! and Light! and Light! An exhalation from far sky retreats, It grows in silence, as 'twere self-create, Suffusing all the dusky web of night. But one lone corner it invades not yet, Where low above a black and rimy crag Hangs the old moon, thin as a battered shield, The holy, useless shield of long-past wars, Dinted and frosty, on the crystal dark. But lo! the east,—let none forget the east, Pathway ordained of old where He should tread. Through some sweet magic common in the skies, The rosy banners are with saffron tinct; The saffron grows to gold, the gold is fire, And led by silence more majestical Than clash of conquering arms, He comes! He comes! He holds His spear benignant, sceptrewise, And strikes out flame from the adoring hills.
BURNT ARE THE PETALS OF LIFE
BURNT are the petals of life as a rose fallen and crumbled to dust.
Blackened the heart of the past is, ashes that must Forever be sifted, more precious than sunbeams that open the budding to-morrow. Once was a passion completed,-too perfect, the Gods have not broken to borrow- Blackened the heart of the past is, ashes that must Forever be sifted. O, loving to-morrow The rose of the past is, Life-Eternity's dust.
ELSIE PUMPELLY CABOT
FOUR FOUNTAINS AFTER RESPIGHI
FRESH mists of Roman dawn; For water search the cattle; Faintly on damp air sounds the shepherd's horn Above fountain Giulia's prattle.
Triton, joyous and loud Of Naiads summons troops; A frenziedly leaping and mingling crowd, Dancing, pursuing groups.
At high noon the trumpets peal, Neptune's chariot passes by; Trains of sirens, tritons, Trevi's jets heal Then trumpets' echoes sigh.
Tolling bell and sunset, Twittering birds and calm; Medici's fountain, shimmering net, Into the night brings balm.
IN THE TROLLEY CAR
THE swart Italian in the trolley car, Hoarded his children in his arms and breast; The mother, all unheeding, sat afar, Her splendid eyes were vague, her lips compressed.
One Raphael-boy slipped from his father's knee, Climbed to her side, and gently stroked her cheek, She turned away, and would not hear his plea, She turned away, and would not even speak.
With trembling lips the child crept back again To the warm shelter of his father's breast; We looked indignant pity, for till then We thought that mother-love bore every test.
We rose to go, the father-mother said, In deep, low tones, "Don't t'inka hard you bet The younges' was too-seeck, and he is dead, She will be alla right, when she forget."
When she forgets! "Great-Heart," hold closer yet Thy precious brood and let it feel no lack! Until her soul shall wake, but not forget, When the warm tides of love come surging back.
RUTH BALDWIN CHENERY
IN IRISH RAIN
THE great world stretched its arms to me and held me to its breast, They say I've song-birds in my throat, and give me of their best; But sure, not all their gold can buy, can take me back again To little Mag o' Monagan's a-singing in the rain.
The silver-slanting Irish rain, all warm and sweet that fills The little brackened lowland pools, and drifts across the hills; That turns the hill-grass cool and wet to dusty childish feet, And hangs above the valley-roofs, filmed blue with burning peat.
And oh the kindly neighbor-folk that called the young ones in, Down fragrant yellow-tapered paths that thread the prickly whin; The hot, sweet smell of oaten-cake, the kettle purring soft, The dear-remembered Irish speech— they call to me how oft!
They mind me just a slip o' girl in tattered kirtle blue, But oh they loved me for myself, and not for what I do! And never one but had a joy to pass the time of day With little Mag o' Monagan's a-laughing down the way.
There's fifty roofs to shelter me where one was set before, But make me free to that again— I'll not be wanting more, But sure I know not tears nor gold can turn the years again To little Mag o' Monagan's a-singing in the rain.
MARTHA HASKELL CLARK
THE cretonne in your willow chair Shows through a zone of rosy air, A tree of parrots, agate-eyed, With blue-green crests and plumes of pride And beaks most formidably curved. I hear the river, silver-nerved, To their shrill protests make reply, And the palm forest stir and sigh.
Curious, the spell that colors cast, Binding the fancy coweb-fast, And you would smile if you could know I like your cretonne parrots so! But I have seen them sail toward night Superbly homeward, the last light Lifting them like a purple sea Scorned and made use of arrogantly; And I have heard them cry aloud From out a tall palm's emerald cloud; And I brought home a brilliant feather, Lost like a flake of sunset weather.
Here in the north the sea is white And mother-of-pearl in morning light, Quite lovely, but there is a glare That daunts me. Now the willow chair Suggests a more perplexing sea, Till my heart aches with memory And parrots dye the air around, And I forget the pallid Sound. GRACE HAZARD
TO HILDA OF HER ROSES
ENOUGH has been said about roses To fill thirty thick volumes; There are as many songs about roses As there are roses in the world That includes Mexico . . . the Azores ... Oregon ...
It is a pity your roses Are too late for Omar . . . It is a pity Keats has gone . . .
Yet there must be something left to say Of flowers like these! Adventurers, They pushed their way Through dewy tunnels of the June night Now they confer..... A little tremulous..... Dazzled by the yellow sea-beach of morning
If Herrick would tiptoe back . . . If Blake were to look this way Ledwidge, even!
GRACE HAZARD CONKLING
LITTLE soldier with the golden helmet, O What are you guarding on my lawn? You with your green gun And your yellow beard, Why do you stand so stiff? There is only the grass to fight!
RED ROOSTER in your gray coop, O stately creature with tail-feathers red and blue, Yellow and black, You have a comb gay as a parade On your head: You have pearl trinkets On your feet: The short feathers smooth along your back Are the dark color of wet rocks, Or the rippled green of ships When I look at their sides through water. I don't know how you happened to be made So proud, so foolish, Wearing your coat of many colors, Shouting all day long your crooked words, Loud . . . sharp . . . not beautiful!
VELVETS (BY A BED OF PANSIES)
THIS pansy has a thinking face Like the yellow moon. This one has a face with white blots; I call him the clown. Here goes one down the grass With a pretty look of plumpness; She is a little girl going to school With her hands in the pockets of her pinafore. Her name is Sue. I like this one, in a bonnet, Waiting, Her eyes are so deep! But these on the other side, These that wear purple and blue, They are the Velvets, The king with his cloak, The queen with her gown, The prince with his feather. These are dark and quiet And stay alone. I know you, Velvets, Color of Dark, Like the pine-tree on the hill When stars shine!
THE Moods have laid their hands across my hair: The Moods have drawn their fingers through my heart; My hair shall never more lie smooth and bright, But stir like tide-worn sea-weed, and my heart Shall never more be glad of small sweet things,- A wild rose, or a crescent moon,-a book Of little verses, or a dancing child. My heart turns crying from the rose and book, My heart turns crying from the thin bright moon, And weeps with useless sorrow for the child. The Moods have loosed a wind to vex my hair, And made my heart too wise, that was a child.
Now I shall blow like smitten candle-flame: I shall desire all things that may not be: The years, the stars, the souls of ancient men, All tears that must, and smiles that may not be,— Yes, glimmering lights across a windy ford, And vagrant voices on a darkened plain, And holy things, and outcast things, and things, Far too remote, frail-bodied to be plain.
My pity and my joy are grown alike. I cannot sweep the strangeness from my heart. The Moods have laid swift hands across my hair: The Moods have drawn swift fingers through my heart. FANNIE STEARNS DAVIS
SITTETH by the red cairn a brown One, a hoofed One, High upon the mountain, where the grasses fail. Where the ash-trees flourish far their blazing Bunches to the sun, A brown One, a hoofed One, pipes against the gale. Up scrambled I then, furry fingers helping me.
I was on the mountain, wandering, wandering; No one but the pine trees and the white birch knew. Over rocks I scrambled, looked up and saw that Strange Thing, Peaked ears and sharp horns, pricked against the blue.
Oh, and, how he piped there! piped upon the high reeds Till the blue air crackled like a frost-film on a pool! Oh, and how he spread himself, like a child whom no one heeds, Tumbled chuckling in the brook, all sleek and kind and cool!
He had berries 'twixt his horns, crimson-red as cochineal., Bobbing, wagging wantonly they tickled him, and oh, How his deft lips puckered round the reed, seemed to chase and steal Sky-music, earth-music, tree-music low! I said "Good-day, Thou!" He said, "Good-day, Thou!" Wiped his reed against the spotted doe-skin on his back, He said, "Come up here, and I will teach thee piping now. While the earth is singing so, for tunes we shall not Lack."
Up scrambled I then, furry fingers helping me. Up scrambled I. So we sat beside the cairn. Broad into my face laughed that horned Thing so Naughtily. Oh, it was a rascal of a woodland Satyr's bairn!
'So blow, and so, Thou! Move thy fingers faster, look! Move them like the little leaves and whirling midges. So! Soon 'twill twist like tendrils and out-twinkle like the lost brook. Move thy fingers merrily, and blow! Blow! Blow!"
Brown One! Hoofed One! Beat time to keep me Straight. Kick it on the red stone, whistle in my ear. Brush thy crimson berries in my face, then hold Thy breath, for-wait! Joy comes bubbling to me lips. I pipe, oh, hear!
Blue sky, art glad of us? Green wood, art glad of us? Old hard-heart mountain, dost thou hear me, how I blow? Far away the sea-isles swim in sun-haze luminous. Each one has a color like the seven-splendor bow.
Wind, wind, wind, dost thou mind me how I pipe, Now? Chipmunk chatt'ring in the beech, rabbit in the brake? Furry arm around my neck: "Oh, Thou art a brave one, Thou!" Satyr, little satyr-friend, my heart with joy doth ache !
Sky-music, earth-music, tree-music tremulous, Water over steaming rocks, water in the shade, Storm-tune and sun-tune, how they flock up unto us, Sitting by the red cairn, gay and unafraid!
Brown One, Hoofed One, give me nimble hoofs, Thou! Give me furry fingers and a secret furry tail! Pleasant are thy smooth horns: if their like were on my brow Might I not abide here, till the strong sun fail?
Oh, the sorry brown eyes! Oh, the soft kind hand- touch, Sudden brush of velvet ears across my wind-cool cheek! "Play-mate, Pipe-mate, thou askest one good boon too much. I could never find thee horns, though day-long I seek.
"Yet, keep the pipe, Thou: I will cut another one. Keep the pipe and play on it for all the world to hear. Ah, but it was good once to sit together in the sun! Though I have but half a soul, it finds thee very dear!
"Wise Thing, Mortal Thing, yet my half-soul fears thee! Take the pipe and go thy ways,—quick now, for the sun Reels across the hot west and stumbles dazzled to the sea. Take the pipe, and oh-one kiss! then run, run, run! run!"
Silence on the mountain. Lonely stands the high cairn, All the leaves a-shivering, all the stones dead-gray. O thou cold small pipe, which way is fled that Satyr's bairn? I am lost and all alone, and down drops the day.
I was on the mountain, wandering, wandering There I got this Pipe o' dreams. Strange, when I blow, Something deep as human love starts a-crying, troubling. Is it only sky-music, earth-music low?
FANNIE STEARNS DAVIS
ACROSS the Bay are low-lying cliffs, Where stand fishermen's cottages: I can barely distinguish them with the naked eye. But to-day the cliffs are lifted, escarpt, Perpendicular, mysterious, inaccessible, And those sordid dwellings have become The magnificent fortified castles of Sea-kings.
NATHAN HASKELL DOLE
THE ROAD BEYOND THE TOWN
A ROAD goes up a pleasant hill, And a little house looks down: Ah! but I see the roadway still And the day I left the town.
The day I left my father's home, It's many a year ago, And a heart and hope were brave to roam the long, long road I know.
The long, long road by hill and plain, It's tired the heart might be:
But hope stayed bright in sun or rain, And a Voice that called to me.
A Voice that called me over the hill And out of the little town: Ah! but I see the roadway still. And the good house looking down.
The house that spake me never a No! As I started brave away, But said with a blessing, Go! And followed me every day.
It followed me down the road of years, For a father's heart is true, And joy is sweet in a mother's tears For the deeds her child may do.
The poor little deeds, all powerless For the Kingdom of God would be,
Save in His mercy will He bless The road that goes with me:
The road that left a pleasant hill, Where a little house looks down: Ah! but I bless the roadway still, And the land beyond the town.
MICHAEL EARLS, S.J.
THE scent of lilac in the air Hath made him drag his steps and pause Whence comes this scent within the Square, Where endless dusty traffic roars? A push-cart stands beside the curb, With fragrant blossoms laden high; Speak low, nor stare, lest we disturb His sudden reverie!
He sees us not, nor heeds the din Of clanging car and scuffling throng; His eyes see fairer sights within, And memory hears the robin's song As once it trilled against the day, And shook his slumber in a room Where drifted with the breath of May The lilac's sweet perfume.
The heart of boyhood in him stirs; The wonder of the morning skies, Of sunset gold behind the firs, Is kindled in his dreaming eyes: How far off is this sordid place, As turning from our sight away He crushes to his hungry face A purple lilac spray.
WALTER PRICHARD EATON
GOD, THROUGH HIS OFFSPRING NATURE, GAVE ME LOVE
GOD, through his offspring Nature, gave me love, Though man in opposition saith me nay, And taketh from my heart its life to-day, As through the valley of the world I rove. Still unaccompanied, within the grove That doth enamored beings hold at play, My spirit must pursue its lonely way, And strive to pluck some flowers that bloom above. Oh, wherefore then doth Nature give desire To have that which mankind may not possess, And force him to endure on earth hell's fire, And live in one perpetual distress? Some evil power must such love inspire, And with it masquerade in Cupid's dress!
"Music, the language, the atmosphere of the Soul."
FLY back where Melodies like lilies grow, My weary heart is bending low;
Fly higher yet to joyful realms above, Where holy Angels dwell in love.
Fly higher still and hear the Angel throng And bring to me their Glory-song:
Ah Music, thou and I above the World May dwell where heaven with shining song is pearled!
While Sun and Moon and all the planets roll I'll love thee, Music, language of my soul!
Music-lark from on high, song that doth fly, Spark of the sky!
THE VOICE IN THE SONG
HIGH in the apple bough jauntily swinging, Hid by the branches in bridal array, Straight from his heart, all his life in his singing, Chants a wee bird, lures his mate with his lay. "Sweet, sweet, my sweet, Hear I entreat! Say, love, together, this bright sunny weather, Gold of the west we shall weave in a nest! Have no fear! Trust me, dear! Sunshine of May that will gild every day Pledge I to thee if thou'lt harken to me."
Lo! in the light thro' the gay branches streaming, Quivering in answer to all the bird sings, Warm on a breath, leaps a soul with love gleaming, Speeds to its mate on its glittering wings. "Dear, on thy breast Earth yields its best! Loud in the singing I heard thy call ringing, Pleading and strong in the voice of the song, Whisper low,-Yes, just so!- Softly revealing the depth of thy feeling, Words in whose fire glow thy love and desire."
MARY GERTRUDE HAMILTON
HYMNS AND ANTHEMS SUNG AT WELLESLEY COLLEGE
WHERE art Thou, O my Lord? Mount Carmel saw the throng Of priests and heard the song; To Baal was their call- From morn till night did fall.
Where art Thou, O my Lord? Again Mount Carmel heard Not in the spoken word, Not in the earthquake's shock, Not in the thunder roll, But in the inmost soul.
Send peaceful sleep, O Lord, this night, To keep us till the morning light; And let no vision of alarm Come near to do Thy children harm
Within Thy circling arms we lie, O God, in Thine infinity;
Our souls in quiet shall abide Beset with love on every side.
THIS IS THAT BREAD
This is that Bread that came down from Heaven, he that eateth of this Bread shall live forever.
Bread on which angels feed, Bread for the spirit's need By faith receiving, New life do Thou impart, New strength to every heart, Pure love of God Thou art To us believing.
O SLOW OF HEART
O slow of heart to believe! Ought Christ not to have suffered these things and to enter into His Glory?
Quicken, Lord, my fainting heart, Touch my eyes that they may see, Let me know Thee as Thou art. Life and Immortality.
ALL HAIL TO THEE, CHILD JESUS
All hail to Thee, child Jesus! As the brooding darkness flies At the swift approach of day, Sun of righteousness, arise, Chase the gloom of night away. Great Prince of Peace, come to thine own, And build in every heart Thy throne.
Come to shed Thy healing balm On all nations of the earth, Child Jesus, come with holy calm, How we hail thy wondrous birth. Great Prince of Peace, come to Thine own, And build in every heart Thy throne. All hail to Thee, Child Jesus!
Who is this that comes from Edom In such glorious array, With his festal garments gleaming, Travelling on his royal way With a face majestic, calm and grave? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.
Why is thy apparel crimson, Why is all thy garments' pride Stained as in the time of vintage And with blood-red-color dyed?
Because of helpers I had none- I have trodden the wine-press alone.
(Angels) Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna! (Shepherds) Waken, Shepherds, waken; Whence this glowing light? Ere the dawn of morning, Solemn signs of warning Portent of affright!
(Angels) Courage, Shepherds, courage! Banish your dismay, or ye all are saved. In the town of David Christ is born to-day.
(Shepherds) Harken, Shepherds, harken, Hear the angels sing! Jehovah sends a token, He himself hath spoken To proclaim our King.
(Angels) Hasten, Shepherds, hasten, This shall be your sign; Where the kine are stabled, In a manger cradled Lies the Child Divine.
(Shepherds) Angels, Shepherds, People, and Shout the glad refrain! Angels) Joy to every nation Bringing full salvation, Christ has come to reign. Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna!
LITTLE fellow, brown with wind- I saw him in the street Peering at numbers on the posts, But most discreet:
For when a woman came outdoors, Or slyly peeped instead, He turned away, took off his hat, And scratched his head.
I watched him from my garden-wall Perhaps an hour or more, For something in his attitude, The clothes he wore,
Awoke the dimmest memories Of when I was a boy And knew the story of a man Named Reuben Roy.
It seems that Reuben went to sea The night his wife decried The fence he built before their house And up the side.
He wanted it but she did not, Because it hid from view The spot in which her mignonette And tulips grew.
Nobody saw his face again, But each year, unawares, He sent a sum for taxes due- And fence repairs.
My curiosity aroused,
I sauntered forth to see Whether this individual Were really he.
"Who are you looking for?" I asked His eyes, like two bright pence, Sparkled at mine; and then he said: "A fence."
"Somebody burned it Hallowe'en, When people were in bed; Before the judge could prosecute, The culprit fled."
Well, Reuben only touched his hat And mumbled, "Thank you, Sir," And asked me whereabouts to find A carpenter.
HAROLD CRAWFORD STEARNS
I CAN'T forget a gaunt grey barn Like a face without an eye That kept recurring by field and tarn Under a Cape Cod sky.
I can't forget a woman's hand, Roughened and scarred by toil That beckoned clear-eyed children tanned By sun and wind and soil.
Beauty and hardship, bent and bound Under the selfsame yoke: Babies with bare knees plump and round And stooping women folk.
MARIE LOUISE HERSEY
RED wreaths Hang in my neighbor's window, Green wreaths in my own. On this day I lost my husband. On this day you lost your boy. On this day Christ was born. Red wreaths, Green wreaths Hang in Our Windows Red for a bleeding heart, Green for grave grass. Mary, mother of Jesus, Look down and comfort us. You too knew passion; You too knew pain. Comfort us, Who are not brides of God, Nor bore God. On Christmas day Hang wreaths, Red for new pain. Green for spent passion.
WHY should I sing of my present? It is noth- ing to me or you,
Rather I'd dream of Dixie and tie ships on the old bayou! Rather I'd dream of my packets and the lazy river days, Rather I'd dream of my levee and the crimson sunset haze,
Rather I'd dream of my triumphs, of the days that are long gone by, Rather I'd dream of flame-tipped stacks against a saffron sky, Of level lawns of topaz, of level fields of jade, Of the rambling pillared mansions that my fathers' fathers made!
Why should I sing of my present? It is nothing to you or me, But the river road, the great road, the high road to the sea! Aye, that is worth the dreaming, aye, that was worth the pain. Send me back my river, and I shall wake again!
GORDON MALHERBE HILLMAN
COLUMBKILLE! Saint Columbkille! You naughty man, Saint Columbkille! Why did you Finnian's Psalter take And secretly a copy make? You know 'twas such a naughty thing For one descended from a king To lock himself into a cell, 'Twas far from right,-you knew it well,- And copy Finnian's Psalter through, Against his will as well you knew. And then to think a common bird Should feel such shame, that when he heard The breathing spy outside your door, And felt your sainthood was no more, Should through the crack attack the spy, And in a rage pluck out his eye, As if that saintly Irish crane Would hide from all your Saintship's stain. I grieve to think that you did add Sin unto sin; it is too bad. For Finnian could not you persuade To yield the copy that you made, Until the King in his behalf Ruled-"To each cow belongs her calf": And then you grew so mad you swore On Erin's face you'd look no more. And crossed the sea the Picts to save, Because you so did misbehave To dear Saint Finnian: faith, 'twas ill For you to act so, Columbkille! A saint you were no doubt, no doubt! What pity 'twas you were found out! We know an angel (snob or fool?)
To Kiaran showed a common rule, An axe, an auger, and a saw, And told that saint it was the law Of Heaven that Columbkille should be Far, far above such saints as he; For Columbkille contemned a crown, While he these homely tools laid down, To serve the Lord, and that the Lord To each would give his due reward. I wonder if that angel knew That Christ these tools had laid down too. O Columbkille! O Columbkille! A saint like you must have his will, But for myself I'd rather be The common sinner that you see Than make a crane ashamed of me, And angels talk such idiocy.
E. J. V. HUIGINN
MISS Doane was sixty, probably; She rented third floor room That opened on an airshaft full Of cooking smells and gloom.
She worked in philanthropic man's Well-known department store; Cashiered in basement, hot and close, For forty years or more.
Each night when she came home she'd stand A moment in the hall, Before she went into her room With low and tender call.
And often I would hear her voice Repeat a childish prayer; Or read some old, old fairy tale Of Princess, grand and fair.
One night I went to visit her And spied, in little chair A great wax doll, in dainty dress, And curls of flaxen hair.
I praised the doll; its prettiness; Miss Doane said, "I'm alone. She comforts me. I wanted so A child to call my own."
Each night I heard her softly sing A childish lullaby; But once, and just before she died, I heard her cry and cry!
WINIFRED VIRGINIA JACKSON
THE woods grew dark; black shadows rocked And I could scarcely see My way along the old tote road, That long had seemed to me
To wind on aimlessly; but now Came full to life; the rain Would soon strike down; ahead I saw A clearing, and a lane
Between gray, fallen fences and Wide, grayer, grim stone walls; So grim and gray I shrank from thought Of weary, aching spalles.
On stony knoll great aspens swayed And swung in browsing teeth Of wind; slim, silvered yearlings shook And shivered underneath. Beyond, some ancient oak trees bent And wrangled over roof Of weatherbeaten house, and barn Whose sag bespoke no hoof.
And ivy crawled up either end Of house, to chimney, where It lashed in futile anger at The wind wolves of the air.
I thought the house abandoned, and I ran to get inside, When suddenly the old front door was opened and flung wide
And she stood there, with hand on knob, As I went swiftly in, Then closed the door most softly on The storm and shrieking din.
A space I stood and looked at her, So young; 'twas passing strange That fifty years or more had gone And brought no new style's change.
The sweetness, daintiness of her In starched and dotted gown Of creamy whiteness, over hoops, With ruffles winding down!
We had not much to say, and yet Of words I felt no lack; Her smiles slipped into dimples, stopped A moment, then dropped back.
I felt her pride of race; her taste In silken rug and chair, And quaintly fashioned furniture Of patterns old and rare.
On window sill a rose bush stood; 'Twas bringing rose to bud; One full bloomed there but yesterday, Dropped petals, red as blood.
Quite soon, she asked to be excused For just a moment, and Went out, returning with a tray In either slender hand.
My glance could not but linger on Each thin and lovely cup; "This came, dear thing, from home!" she sighed The while she raised it up.
And when the storm was done and I Arose, reluctantly To go, she too was loath to have Me go, it seemed to me.
When I reached old Joe Webber's place, Upon the Corner Road, I went into the Upper Field Where Joe, round-shouldered, hoed
Potatoes, culling them with hoe And practised, calloused hand, In rounded piles that brownly glowed Upon the fresh-turned land.
"Say, Joe," I said, "who is that girl With beauty's smiling charm, That lives beyond that hemlock growth, On that old grown-up farm?"
Joe listened, while I told him where I'd been that afternoon, Then straightened from his hoe, and hummed, Before he spoke, a tune "They cum ter thet old place ter live Some sixty years ago; Jest where they cum from, who they ware, Wy, no one got to know.
"An' then, one day, he hired Hen's Red racker an' the gig; We never heard from him nor could We track the hoss or rig.
"Hen waited 'bout a week, an' then He went ter see the Wife; He found her in thet settin' room: She'd taken of her life.
"An' no one's lived in thet house sence; Some say 'tis haunted,-but I ain't no use fer foolishness, So all I say's tut! tut!"
WINIFRED VIRGINIA JACKSON
THEY wrapped my soul in eiderdown; They placed me warm and snug In carved chair; set me with care Upon an old prayer rug.
They cased my feet in golden shoes That hurt at toe and heel; My restless feet, with youth all fleet, Nor asked how they might feel.
And now they wonder where I am, And search with shrill, cold cry; But I crouch low where tall reeds grow, And smile as they pass by!
WINIFRED VIRGINIA JACKSON
WHAT is more beautiful Than thought, soul-fed, That I may be the crimson of a rose When dead?
My soul, so light a joy And grief will be, That it will gently press the brown earth down On me.
WINIFRED VIRGINIA JACKSON
LET me be great, as stars are great, Singing of love, not of hate.
Love for sweet and simple things, Like clouds and sea-shell whisperings,
Cool autumn winds, pale dew-kissed flowers, Thin coils of smoke and granite towers,
Snow-capped mountain peaks that flash High above a river's crash,
Shrill songs of birds and children's laughter, Soft grey shadows trailing after
Sunbeam sprites that seek the woods And lose themselves in solitudes.
All these I'll love, never hate, And loving them, I will be great.
MY love will come in autumn-time When leaves go spinning to the ground And wistful stars in heaven chime With the leaves' sound.
Then, we shall walk through dusty lanes And pause beneath low-hanging boughs, And there, while soft-hued beauty reigns We'll make our vows.
Let others seek in spring for sighs When love flames forth from every seed; But love that blooms when nature dies Is love indeed!
TRAVELING at dusk the noisy city street, I listened to the newsboys' strident cries Of "Extra," as with flying feet, They strove to gain this man or that-their prize. But one there was with neither shout nor stride, And, having bought from him, I stood nearby, Pondering the cruel crutches at his side, Blaming the crowd's neglect, and wondering why-
When suddenly I heard a gruff voice greet The cripple with "On time to-night?" Then, as he handed out the sheet, The Youngster's answer-"You're all right. My other reg'lars are a little late. They'll find I'm short one paper when they come; You see, a strange guy bought one in the wait, I tho't 'twould cheer him up-he looked so glum!"
So, sheepishly I laughed, and went my way For I had found a city's heart that day.
RUTH LAMBERT JONES
"GERMAN Retreat From Arras" "Official Films"-they came After "Corinne and Her Minstrels" Had ministered to fame.
After "Corinne and Her Minstrels" Had pigeon-toed away, We saw where bits of churches And bits of horses lay.
We saw bleak desolation; We saw no unscathed tree. We shivered in our comfort And murmured: "Can it be!"
But later, walking homeward, Repeating: "Is it true?" We brushed a khaki shoulder And asked no more. We knew!
RUTH LAMBERT JONES
AN OLD SONG
WHEN I was but a young lad, And that is long ago, I thought that luck loved every man, And time his only foe, And love was like a hawthorn bush That blossomed every May, And had but to choose his flower, For that's the young lad's way.
Oh, youth's a thriftless squanderer, It's easy come and spent, And heavy is the going now Where once the light foot went. The hawthorn bush puts on its white, The throstle whistles clear, But Spring comes once for every man Just once in all the year.
SUCH quiet sleep has come to them! The Springs and Autumns pass, Nor do they know if it be snow Or daisies in the grass.
All day the birches bend to hear The river's undertone; Across the hush a fluting thrush Sings even-song alone.
But down their dream there drifts no sound, The winds may sob and stir: On the still breast of Peace they rest And they are glad of her.
They ask not any gift—they mind Nor any foot that fares, Unheededly life passes by- Such quiet sleep is theirs.
OLD LIZETTE ON SLEEP
BED is the boon for me! It's well to bake and sweep, But hear the word of old Lizette: It's better than all to sleep.
Summer and flowers are gay, And morning light and dew; But aged eyelids love the dark Where never a light peeps through.
What!—open-eyed, my dears? Thinking your hearts will break. There's nothing, nothing, nothing, I say, That's worth the lying awake!
I learned it in my youth- Love I was dreaming of! I learned it from the needle-work That took the place of love. I learned it from the years And what they brought about; From song, and from the hills of joy Where sorrow sought me out.
It's good to dream and turn, And turn and dream, or fall To comfort with my pack of bones, And know of nothing at all!
Yes, never know at all! If prowlers mew or bark, Nor wonder if it's three o'clock Or four o'clock of the dark.
When the longer shades have fallen And the last weariness Has brought the sweetest gift of life, The last forgetfulness.
If a sound as of old leaves Stir the last bed I keep, Then say, my dears: "It's old Lizette- She's turning in her sleep!"
MARY, the Christ long slain, passed silently. Following the children joyously astir Under the cedrus and the olive tree, Pausing to let their laughter float to her. Each voice an echo of a voice more dear, She saw a little Christ in every face; When lo, another woman, gliding near, Yearned o'er the tender life that filled the place. And Mary sought the woman's hand, and spoke: "I know thee not, yet know thy memory tossed With all a thousand dreams their eyes evoke Who bring to thee a child beloved and lost.
"I, too, have rocked my little one, O, He was fair! Yea, fairer than the fairest sun, And like its rays through amber spun His sun-bright hair. Still I can see it shine and shine." "Even so," the woman said,"was mine."
"His ways were ever darling ways,"- And Mary smiled,— "So soft, so clinging! Glad relays Of love were all His precious days. My little child! My infinite star! My music fled!" "Even so was mine," the woman said.
Then whispered Mary: "Tell me, thou, Of thine." And she: "O, mine was rosy as a boug
Blooming with roses, sent, somehow, To bloom for me! His balmy fingers left a thrill Within my breast that warms me still."
Then gazed she down some wilder, darker hour, And said, when Mary questioned, knowing not, "Who art thou, mother of so sweet a flower?" "I am the mother of Iscariot."
THY hills are kneeling in the tardy spring, And wait, in supplication's gentleness, The certain resurrection that shall bring A robe of verdure for their nakedness. Thy perfumed valleys where the twilights dwell, Thy fields within the sunlight's living coil
Now promise, while the veins of nature swell, Eternal recompense to human toil. And when the sunset's final shades depart The aspiration to completed birth Is sweet and silent; as the soft tears start, We know how wanton and how little worth Are all the passions of our bleeding heart That vex the awful patience of the earth.
Thine are the large winds and the splendid sun Glutting the spread of heaven to the floor Of waters rhythmic from far shore to shore, And thine the stars, revealing one by one, Thine the grave, lucent night's oblivion, The tawny moon that waits below the skies,— Strange as the dawn that smote their blistered eyes Who watched from Calvary when the Deed was done. And thine the good brown earth that bares its breast To thy benign October, thine the trees Lusty with fruitage in the late year's rest;
And thine the men whos@ blood has glorified Thy name with Liberty Is divine decrees- The men who loved thy soil and fought and died. III
Toward thine Eastern window when the morn Steals through the silver mesh of silent stars, I come unlaurelled from the strenuous wars Where men have fought and wept and died Forlorn.
But here, across the early fields of corn, The living silence dwelleth, and the gray Sweet earth-mist, while afar the lisp of spray Breathes from the ocean like a Triton's horn. Open thy lattice, for the gage is won For which this earth has journeyed though the dust Of shattered systems, cold about the sun; And proved by sin, by mighty lives impearled, A voice cries through the sunrise: "Time is Just!"— And falls like dew God's pity on the world
GEORGE CABOT LODGE
THE SONG OF THE WAVE This is the song of the wave! The mighty one! Child of the soul of silence, beating the air to sound: White as a live terror, as a drawn sword, This is the wave.
This is the song of the wave, the white-maned steed of the Tempest Whose veins are swollen with life, In whose flanks abide the four winds. This is the wave.
This is the song of the wave! The dawn leaped out of the sea And the waters lay smooth as a silver shield, And the sun-rays smote on the waters like a golden sword. Then a wind blew out of the morning And the waters rustled And the wave was born!
IV This is the song of the wave! The wind blew out of the noon
And the white sea-birds like driven foam Winged in from the ocean that lay beyond the sky And the face of the waters was barred with white, For the wave had many brothers, And the wave was strong!
This is the song of the wave! The wind blew out of the sunset And the west was lurid as Hell. The black clouds closed like a tomb, for the sun was dead. Then the wind smote full as the breath of God, And the wave called to its brothers, "This is the crest of life!"
This is the song of the wave, that rises to fall, Rises a sheer green wall like a barrier of glass That has caught the soul of the moonlight. Caught and prisoned the moon-beams; Its edge is frittered to foam. This is the wave!
This is the song of the wave, of the wave that falls- Wild as a burst of day-gold blown through the colours of morning It shivers to infinite atoms up the rumbling steep of sand. This is the wave.
This is the song of the wave that died in the fullness of life. The prodigal this, that lavished its largess of strength In the lust of attainment. Aiming at things for Heaven too high, Sure in the pride of life, in the richness of strength. So tried it the impossible height, till the end was found: Where ends the soul that yearns for the fillet of morning stars, The soul in the toils of the journeying worlds, Whose eye is filled with the Image of God, And the end is Death!
GEORGE CABOT LODGE
DEAREST, we are like two flowers Blooming in the garden, A purple aster flower and a red one Standing alone in a withered desolation.
The garden plants are shattered and seeded, One brittle leaf scrapes against another, Fiddling echoes of a rush of petals. Now only you and I nodding together.
Many were with us; they have all faded. Only we are purple and crimson, Only we in the dew-clear mornings, Smarten into color as the sun rises.
When I scarcely see you in the flat moonlight, And later when my cold roots tighten, I am anxious for morning, I cannot rest in fear of what may happen.
You or I-and I am a coward. Surely frost should take the crimson. Purple is a finer color,
Very splendid in isolation.
So we nod above the broken Stems of flowers almost rotted. Many mornings there cannot be now For us both. Ah, Dear, I love you!
I WALK down the garden paths, And all the daffodils Are blowing, and the bright blue squills. I walk down the patterned garden paths In my stiff, brocaded gown. With my powdered hair and jewelled fan, I too am a rare Pattern. As I wander down The garden paths.
My dress is richly figured, And the train Makes a pink and silver stain On the gravel, and the thrift Of the borders. Just a plate of current fashion, Tripping by in high-heeled, ribboned shoes. Not a softness anywhere about me, Only a whale-bone and brocade.
And I sink on a seat in the shade Of a lime tree. For my passion Wars against the stiff brocade. The daffodils and squills Flutter in the breeze As they please. And I weep; For the lime tree is in blossom And one small flower has dropped upon my bosom.
And the splashing of waterdrops In the marble fountain Comes down the garden paths. The dripping never stops. Underneath my stiffened gown Is the softness of a woman bathing in a marble basin, A basin in the midst of hedges grown So thick, she cannot see her lover hiding, But she guesses he is near, And the sliding of the water Seems the stroking of a dear Hand upon her. What is Summer in a fine brocaded gown! I should like to see it lying in a heap upon the ground. All the pink and silver crumpled up upon the ground.
I would be the pink and silver as I ran along the paths, And he would stumble after, Bewildered by my laughter. I should see the sun flashing from his sword hilt and the buckles on his shoes. I would choose To lead him in a maze along the patterned paths, A bright and laughing maze for my heavy-booted lover, Till he caught me in the shade, And the buttons of his waistcoat bruised my body as he clasped me, Aching, melting, unafraid. With the shadows of the leaves and the sundrops, And the plopping of the waterdrops, All about us in the open afternoon- I am very like to swoon With the weight of this brocade, For the sun sifts through the shade.
Underneath the fallen blossom In my bosom, Is a letter I have hid. It was brought to me this morning by a rider from the Duke. "Madam, we regret to inform you that Lord Hart- well Died in action Thursday sen'night." As I read it in the white morning sunlight. The letters squirmed like snakes. "Any answer, Madam," said my footman. "No," I told him. "See that the messenger takes some refreshment. No, no answer." And I walked into the garden, Up and down the patterned paths, In my stiff, correct brocade. The blue and yellow flowers stood up proudly in the sun, Each one. I stood upright too, Held rigid to the pattern By the stiffness of my gown. Up and down I walked, Up and down.
In a month be would have been my husband, In a month, here, underneath this lime, We would have broke the pattern; He for me, and I for him, He as Colonel, I as lady, On this shady seat. He had a whim That sunlight carried blessing. And I answered, "It shall be as you have said."
Now he is dead.
In Summer and in Winter I shall walk Up and down The patterned garden paths In my stiff, brocaded gown. The squills and the daffodils Will give place to pillared roses, and to asters, and to snow.
I shall go Up and down, In my gown. Gorgeously arrayed, Boned and stayed. And the softness of my body will be guarded from embrace By each button, hook and lace. For the man who should loose me is dead, Fighting with the Duke in Flanders, In a pattern called a war. Christ! What are patterns for?
THICK dappled by circles of sunshine and fluttering shade. Your bright, naked body advances, blown over by leaves, Half-quenched in their various green, just a point Of you showing, A knee or a thigh, sudden glimpsed, then at once Blotted into The filmy and flickering forest, to start out again Triumphant in smooth, supple roundness, edged Sharp as white ivory, Cool, perfect, with rose rarely tinting your lips and Your breasts, Swelling out from the green in the opulent curves Of ripe fruit, And hidden, like fruit, by the swift intermittence Of leaves. So, clinging to branches and moss, you advance on the ledges Of rock which hang over the stream, with the wood-smells about you, The pungence of strawberry plants and of gum- oozing spruces, While below runs the water impatient, impatient- to take you, To splash you, to run down your sides, to sing you of deepness, Of pools brown and golden, with brown-and-gold flags on their borders, Of blue, lingering skies floating solemnly over your beauty, Of undulant waters a-sway in the effort to hold you
To keep you submerged and quiescent while over you glories The summer. Oread, Dryad, or Naiad, or just Woman, clad only in youth and in gallant perfection, Standing up in a great burst of sunshine, you dazzle my eyes Like a snow-star, a moon, your effulgence burns up in a halo, For you are the chalice which holds all the races of men. You slip into the pool and the water folds over your shoulder, And over the tree-tops the clouds slowly follow your swimming, To behold the way they act. And the scent of the woods is sweet on this hot summer morning.
LEPRECHAUNS AND CLURICAUNS OVER where the Irish hedges Are with blossoms white as snow, Over where the limestone ledges Through the soft green grasses show- There the fairies may be seen In their jackets of red and green, Leprechauns and cluricauns, And the other ones, I ween.
And, bedad, it is a wonder To behold the way they act. They're the lads that seldom blunder, Wise and wary, that's the fact. You may hold them with your eye; Look away and off they fly; Leprechauns and cluricauns, Bedad, but they are sly!
They have heaps of golden treasure Hid away within the ground, Where they spend their days in leisure, And where fairy joys abound; But to mortals not a guinea Will they give-no, not a penny. Leprechauns and cluricauns, Their gold is seldom found.
Maybe of a morning early As you pass a lonely rath, You may see a little curly- Headed fairy in your path. He'll be working at a shoe,
But he'll have his eye on you- Leprechauns and cluricauns, They know just what to do.
Visions of a life of riches Surely will before you flash; (You'll no longer dig the ditches, You'll be well supplied with cash.) And you'll seize the little man, And you'll hold him—if you can; Leprechauns and cluricauns, 'Tis they're the slipp'ry clan!
DENIS A. MCCARTHY
WHEN the time for parting comes, and the day is on the wane, And the silent evening darkens over hill and over plain, And earth holds no more sorrow, no more grief, and no more pain, Shall we weary for the battle and the strife?
When at last the trail is ending, and the stars are growing near, And we breathe the breath of conquest, and the voices that we hear Are the great companions' voices that have hallowed year on year, Shall we know an instant's grieving as we pass?
Shall we pause a fleeting moment ere we grasp the eager hands, Take one last long look of wonder at the dimming of the lands, Love the earth one glowing moment ere we pass from its demands, Cull all beauty in its essence as we gaze?
Or with not one backward longing shall we leap the last abyss, Scale the highest crags glad-hearted, fearful only lest the bliss Of an earth-remembering instant should delay the great sun's kiss- Consuming us within the flame?
DOROTHEA LAWRENCE MANN
TO IMAGINATION SUGGESTED BY MAXFIELD PARRISH'S "AIR CASTLES"
O BEAUTEOUS boy a-dream, what visions sought Of pictures magical thy eyes unfold, What triumphs of celestial wonders wrought, What marvels from a breath of beauty rolled! Skyward and seaward on the clouds are scrolled, A mystic imagery of castled thought, A thousand worlds to lose,—or win and mould— A radiant iridescence swiftly caught Of ever-changing glory, fancy-fraught.
Blue wonder of the sea and luminous sky, A thousand wonders in thy dreamlit face,— Eyes that behold afar the turrets high Of Ilium, and the transient mortal grace Of Deirdre's sadness, all the conquering race Of Athens, —eyes that saw Eden's beauty lie In passionate adoration—visions trace Across the tender brooding of the sigh That wrecked a city and made chieftains die.
Forward not backward turns the mystic shine Of those far-seeing orbs that track the gleam- The fleecy marvel of the cloud is line On line the wizard tracery of a dream. O lad, who buildest not of things that seem, Beyond what bounds of visioning divine Came that far smile, from what long-strayed sun- beam Caught thou the radiance, from what fostering vine The power to build and mould the deep design?
Knowest thou the secret that thy brush would tell, Is all the dream a bubbled splendor white, Beyond those castles cloud-bound, does there dwell The eternal silence of the dark—or light? Will thy hand hold the pen which shall indict The symboled mystery-write the final knell Of rainbow fancy-is the distant sight A nothingless encircled by a spell Of gleaming bubbles wrought of beauty's shell?
In vain to question, where the mystery Of Youth's short golden dream is lord and king. The eyes that farthest gaze in ecstasy, Were never meant to paint the immortal thing They see, nor understand the joy they bring. The misty baubles of the sky and sea Sail on. Dream still, bright-visioned boy, and fling The glittering mantle of thy thoughts that flee, Weaving us evermore thy shining pageantry.
DORTHEA LAWRENCE MANN
SOME saw a dragon eating up the light, Oho! Oho! Oho, ho, ho! Some heard a lost bird riding out the night, Oho! Oho! Oho, ho, ho!
But I saw: A low dark hill with its twisted back Two wings of flame from the green cloud rack, A sprawling flank overlaid with leaf Glitter and gleam and shine like steel, Crackle and lash like a serpent's tail!
And I heard: The wind draw out of the west and wail, Dance and stagger and jig and reel! With the long low sound of a life in grief!
I saw a life in grief Oho! 0ho! Oho, ho, ho Dance and stagger and jig and reel! Oho! Oho! Oho, ho, ho!
JEANNETTE MARKS "THE BOOKMAN."
GREEN GOLDEN DOOR
GREEN golden door, swing in, swing in! Fanning the life a man must live, Echoes and airs and minstrelsies, Love and hope that he called his, Fear and hurt and a man's own sin Casting them forth and sucking them in, Green golden door, swing out, swing out!
Green golden door, swing in, swing in! Show me the youth that will not die, Tell me the dream that has not waked, Seek me the heart that never ached, Green golden door, swing out, swing out!
Green golden door, swing in, swing out! Long is the wailing of man's breath, Short is the wail of death.
SLEEPY HOLLOW, CONCORD
FOUR graves there are upon the wooded crest, Each one a shrine to pilgrims ever dear. Uncovered, mute, are those who tarry here. Romance's dreaming master lies at rest Beneath the cedars. Near is one whose breast Held Mother Nature's lore. Beyond, the seer And sage. There, one who saw her duty clear, Her name by little men and women blessed.
Four friends who walked in Concord's pleasant ways Long years ago. They dwelt and worked apart, But now the world has crowned them with its bays, And holds them close forever to its heart. O, sacred hill! There Genius, guarding stays, And from its slopes shall never Love depart!
JOHN CLAIR MINOT
THE SWORD OF ARTHUR
A CASTLE stands in Yorkshire (Oh, the hill is fair and green!) And far beneath it lies a cave No living man has seen.
It is the cave enchanted (Oh, seek it ere ye die!) And there King Arthur and his knights In dreamless slumber lie.
One time a peasant found it (Oh, the years have hurried well!) It was the day of fate for him, And this is what befell:
Upon a couch of crystal (Oh, heart be pure and strong!) He saw the King, and, close beside, The armored knights athrong.
And all of them were sleeping (Praise God, who sendeth rest!) The sleep that comes when strife is done And ended every quest.
Beside the good King Arthur (How high is your desire?) His sword within its scabbard lay, The sword with blade of fire.
Now had the peasant known it (Oh, if we all could know!)
He should have drawn that wondrous blade Before he turned to go.
If but his hand had touched it (The sword still lieth there!) He would have felt in every vein A lofty purpose thrill. If but his hand had drawn it (The sword still lieth there!) A kingly way he would have walked, Wherever he might fare. But no; he fled affrighted (Oh, pitiful the cost!) And then he knew; but lo! the way Into the cave was lost.
He searched forever after (All this was long ago!) But nevermore that crystal cave His eager eyes could know.
Pray God ye have the vision (Oh, search in every land!) To seize the sword that Arthur bore When it lies at your hand.
JOHN CLAIR MINOT
THE DIVINE FOREST
IF there be leaves on the forest floor, Dead leaves there are and nothing more, If trunks of trees seem sentinels, For what their vigil no man tells. And if you clasp these guardian trees Nothing there is to hurt or please; Only the dead roof of the forest drops Gently down and never stops And roofs you in and roofs you under, Mute and away from life's dim thunder; And if there come eternal spring It is but more disheartening, For Autumn takes the Spring and Summer- Autumn that is the latest comer- With the Springtime's misty wonder And the Summer's yield of gold, Weighs you down and weighs you under To where the blackened leaves are mold. . . The lone gift of the forest is ever new: Eternity where dwell not you. The forest, accepting, heeds you not; Accepting all-you are forgot. If there be leaves on the forest floor, Dead leaves there are and nothing more.
Once the forest spoke but now is silent, Save in the skyward branches whence no sound Seems to touch ear of any man below— Or else no longer the man knows how to hear. Such men build roofs to keep the forest out, Yet all their roofs are built of the forest's self;
Only they make the dead tree a shield against the living. Such lapsing of the forest then they use And turn it into countless lowly dwellings; Sometimes they even cut the living down To leaven the dead roofs they would erect. Though some of these low roofs are lovely there Beneath the guardianship of forest trees, And some yearn upward as with thought of wings, Yet the eyes of the dwellers therein are dark To the upper forest and they Fearful of the windy freedom of its top. They have forgotten That the greatest roof is but a banner And that it was a tree that made a Cross.
CHARLES R. MURPHY
I RAN into the sunset light As hard as I could run: The treetops bowed in sheer delight As if they loved the sun: And all the songs of little birds Who laughed and cried in silver words Were joined as they were one.
And down the streaming golden sky A lark came circling with a cry Of wonder-weaving joy: And all the arch of heaven rang Where meadowlands of dreaming hang As when I was a boy.
And through the ringing solitude In pulsing lovely amplitude A mist hung in a shroud, As though the light of loneliness Turned pure delight to holiness, And bathed it in a cloud.
I stripped my laughing body bare And plunged into that holy air That washed me like a sea, And raced against its silver tide That stroked my eager glancing side And made my spirit free.
Across the limits of the land The wind and I swept hand and hand Beyond the golden glow. We danced across the ocean plain Like thrushes singing in the rain A song of long ago.
And on into the silver night We strove to win the race with light And bring the vision home, And bring the wonder home again Unto the sleeping eyes of men Across the singing foam.
And down the river of the world Our glowing, limbs in glory swirled As spring within a flower, And stars in music of delight Streamed gayly down our shoulders white Like petals in a shower.
And tears of awful wonder ran Adown my cheeks to hear the clan Of beauty chaunting white The prayer too deep for living word, Or sight of man or winging bird, Or music over forest heard At falling of the night.
And dropping slowly as the dew On grasses that the winds renew In urge of flooding fire, And softly as the hushing boughs The gentle airs of dawn arouse To cradle morning's quire.
The murmur of the singing leaves Around the secret Flame, Like mating swallows 'neath the eaves In rustling silence came, And flowing through the silent air Creation fluttered in a prayer Descending on a spiral stair, And calling me by name.
It nestled in my dreaming eyes Like heaven in a lake, And softened hope into surprise For very beauty's sake, And silence blossomed into morn, Whose fragrant rosy-breasted dawn Could scarcely bear to break.
I sang into the morning light As loud as I could sing, The treetops bowed in sheer delight Before the slanting wing. And all the songs of little birds Who laughed and cried in silver words Adored the Risen Spring. EDWARD J. O'BRIEN
TO ANNA HEMPSTEAD BRANCH
OLD Michael Pat he said to me He saw an angel in a tree. He knew I'd never, never doubt him, For what would heaven be without them. The angel laughed for very glee And sang out loud: "Heigh! come with me!" Old Michael felt a creeping kind Of wonder in his humble mind, And, hardly knowing what to say, Ran where the angel showed the way. The lambs were running on the hills, Glad laughter echoed from the rills, And many hidden little birds Talked pleasant things in singing words. He followed up a mountain then And saw a crowd of singing men Approaching to a Crown of Light Wherein they took a fresh delight. He danced and sang and whooped and crew To see the Lord of all he knew Surrounded by the living songs Of stars and men in countless throngs, And then he died to life again, And shovelled with the strength of ten. He taught me how to say my letters, And take my hat off to my betters, And when I asked for fairy stories, He told me of angelic glories. He was a lovely farmer, he Had seen an angel in a tree.
EDWARD J. O'BRIEN
FROM "FLESH: A GEOGORIAN ODE"
EBB on with me across the sunset tide And float beyond the waters of the world, The light of evening slipping from my side, Thy softened voice in waves of silence furled.
Flow on into the flaming morning wine, Drowning the land in color. Then on high Rise in thy candid innocence and shine Like to a poplar straight against the sky.
EDWARD J. O'BRIEN
IN MEMORIAM: FRANCIS LEDWIDGE (Killed in action, July 31, 1917)
SOLDIER and singer of Erin, What may I fashion for thee? What garland of words or of flowers? Singer of sunlight and showers, The wind on the lea;
Of clouds, and the houses of Erin, Wee cabins, white on the plain, And bright with the colours of even, Beauty of earth and of heaven falls Outspread beyond Slane! night through let my mind be still,
Slane, where the Easter of Patrick Flamed on the night of the Gael, Guard both the honor and story Of him who has died for the glory That crowns Innisfail.
Soldier of right and of freedom, I offer thee song and hot tears. With Brian, and Red Hugh O'Donnell, The chiefs of Tyrone and Tryconnell, Live on through the years!
NORREYS JEPHSON O'CONOR
A SHEPHERD piping, herald of the Night Who comes with Silence up the coloured vale, Treading low gently, clad in greyish white, Poignantly piping, sound your reedy wail! For Day departed moves in funeral train Tended by Twilight and, in deepest rose, The splendid Sunset melts beneath the main While sweet the Sea-wind with cool softness blows. As when a mother gathers to her breast The child who frets for Dad's remembered smart, Now Light fades quickly in the ashen west, And Night-Peace falls across my troubled heart. Flutes, for the night through let my mind be still, And God keep safe with Him my stubborn will!
NORREYS JEPHSON O'CONOR
ALL day long he kept the sheep:— Far and early, from the crowd, On the hills from steep to steep, Where the silence cried aloud; And the shadow of the cloud Wrapt him in a noonday sleep.
Where he dipped the water's cool, Filling boyish hands from thence, Something breathed across the pool Stir of sweet enlightenments; And he drank, with thirsty sense, Till his heart was brimmed and full.
Still, the hovering Voice unshed, And the Vision unbeheld, And the mute sky overhead, And his longing, still withheld! —Even when the two tears welled, Salt, upon that lonely bread.
Vaguely blessed in the leaves, Dim-companioned in the sun, Eager mornings, wistful eyes, Very hunger drew him on; And To-morrow ever shone With the glow the sunset weaves.
Even so, to that young heart, Words and hands and Men were dear; And the stir of lane and mart After daylong vigil here. Sunset called, and he drew near, Still to find his path apart.
When the Bell, with gentle tongue, Called the herd-bells home again, Through the purple shades he swung, Down the mountain, through the glen; Towards the sound of fellow-men,- Even from the light that clung.
Dimly too, as cloud on cloud, Came that silent flock of his: Thronging whiteness, in a crowd, After homing twos and threes; With the longing memories Of all white things dreamed and vowed.
Through the fragrances, alone, By the sudden-silent brook, From the open world unknown, To the close of speech and book; There to find the foreign look In the faces of his own.
Sharing was beyond his skill; Shyly yet, he made essay: Sought to dip, and share, and fill Heart's-desire, from day to day. But their eyes, some foreign way, Looked at him; and he was still.
Last, he reached his arms to sleep, Where the Vision waited, dim, Still beyond some deep-on-deep.
And the darkness folded him, Eager heart and weary limb.— All day long, he kept the sheep.
JOSEPHINE PRESTON PEABODY
OVER the twilight field, The overflowing field,— Over the glimmering field, And bleeding furrows with their sodden yield Of sheaves that still did writhe, After the scythe; The teeming field and darkly overstrewn With all the garnered fulness of that noon— Two looked upon each other. One was a Woman men called their mother; And one, the Harvest-Moon.
And one, the Harvest-Moon, Who stood, who gazed On those unquiet gleanings where they bled; Till the lone Woman said: "But we were crazed . . . We should laugh now together, I and you, We two. You, for your dreaming it was worth A star's while to look on and light the Earth; And I, forever telling to my mind, Glory it was, and gladness, to give birth To humankind! Yes, I, that ever thought it not amiss To give the breath to men, For men to slay again: Lording it over anguish but to give My life that men might live For this. You will be laughing now, remembering I called you once Dead World, and barren thing,