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´╗┐Title: Our Profession and Other Poems
Author: Barhite, Jared
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Our Profession and Other Poems" ***

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[Illustration: Jared Barhite]



OUR PROFESSION

AND

OTHER POEMS.

BY

JARED BARHITE,

Principal of Third Ward Grammar School,
Long Island City, N. Y.


PUBLISHED BY

WILLIAM E. BARHITE,

270 Freeman Avenue, Long Island City, N. Y.

1895.



COPYRIGHT, 1895.

PRESS OF
WEISEL, MEIER & WITTE,
109 NASSAU ST., N. Y.



PREFACE.


During the past quarter of a century, it has been a pleasant pastime for
me to obey the dictates of my feelings and inscribe them upon paper.

The present volume is a collection of these vagrant pastimes, some of
which have wandered far, while others have never before appeared to any
eye save the writer's.

To call them home, introduce them to each other, and properly house
them, seems a parental duty.

If in them there is a thought that shall inspire others of my profession
to feel the dignity and responsibility of the calling, their publication
will not have been in vain.

The intent being good, the fruit cannot be evil.

                                                The Author.



DEDICATION.


TO THE MEMORY OF MY MOTHER, WHOSE DEVOTION, ENERGY, AND
    PERSEVERANCE LED ME TO DRINK AT THE FOUNTAIN OF
    KNOWLEDGE AND TRUTH, UNTIL I SAW BEAUTY THEREIN,
        THIS VOLUME IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED.



    The true end of life is to elevate man
     In body, in mind, and in spirit,
    That here he may serve some beneficent plan,
     Then a mansion in heaven inherit.



INDEX.


                                                                   PAGE.

A Beacon Light                                                       129

A Boy                                                                 81

A Lesson from Nature                                                 189

All Things are Second-handed                                         212

Alone                                                                140

Amityville                                                           215

An Open Book                                                         175

A Picture                                                            200

Arbor Day Tribute                                                     84

Artist Nature                                                        119

Boding Snow                                                          174

Buttercups and Daisies                                                87

Communion with Nature                                                 96

Courage and Faith                                                     26

Discontent                                                           132

Drifting Away                                                        158

Duty Done                                                             42

Ere and at my Call                                                   173

Evil Habits                                                           56

Faces I Read                                                         214

Fact versus Form                                                      29

Fidelity                                                             219

Finis                                                                231

Fragments                                                            127

Good Habits                                                           53

Heartstrings                                                         147

Important Moments                                                    166

Incompetence                                                          27

Indulgence                                                            61

Interest                                                              31

Invocation to the Muse                                                 9

Kindred Spirits                                                      160

Lake George, N. Y.                                                   106

Liberty                                                              154

Lies                                                                 145

Life's Emergencies                                                    58

"Lo," The Departed                                                   157

Love                                                                 142

Many                                                                  40

Maple at my Father's Door                                            115

Memory                                                               130

Memory and Reason                                                     32

Mind Awakened                                                         71

Mirrors                                                               39

Morning Flowers                                                      118

Mountain Brook                                                        99

Music                                                                120

My Brother's Birthday                                                196

My Choice                                                             76

My Mother's Love                                                     192

My Room in Boyhood's Days                                            202

Nature's Child                                                       105

Nature's Voice                                                       204

Needs and Powers                                                      19

Oceanus' Mirrors                                                     116

On Brooklyn Bridge                                                   183

Our Battlefield                                                       49

Our Politics                                                         134

Our Profession                                                        11

Perhaps                                                              165

Pious Pie Poem Puns                                                  218

Poundridge, N. Y.                                                    205

Rest                                                                 123

Retrospection                                                        138

Robin Redbreast                                                      110

Rye                                                                   95

School Days                                                          162

Selfishness                                                          137

Some Characters I Can't Admire                                       180

Some Characters I Much Adore                                         177

Soul Speaks to Soul                                                   48

Strand Despair                                                        60

Success                                                              125

Sunset                                                               135

Survival of the Fittest                                               66

The Dandelion                                                         90

The Desirable Undefined                                               34

The Difference                                                        67

The Evening before my Brother's Fifty-third Birthday                 194

The Farmer                                                           112

The Flowers I Love                                                    91

The Fringed Gentian                                                   89

The Future                                                           170

The Goldenrod                                                         86

The Hair                                                             152

Their Life is what they Make It                                      185

The Lone Bird                                                        187

The Morning Glory                                                     94

The Ogre                                                              72

The Old Farm                                                         114

The Requirements of the Hour                                          80

The Rose                                                              85

The Second Sunday in May                                             104

The Senses                                                            44

The Stream's Story                                                   102

The Teacher's Soliloquy                                               63

The Thrush                                                           108

The Tree of State                                                     82

The Unwritten Letter                                                 210

The Voice                                                            198

Tim                                                                  208

To a Mountain Brook                                                  101

To My Daughter Blanche in Heaven                                     197

Trailing Arbutus                                                      93

True Wealth                                                          217

Twilight Hour                                                        150

Who Knows?                                                           149

Who Shall Judge?                                                     169



INVOCATION TO THE MUSE.


    Didactic muse Calliope,
    Expand thy soothing silent wings,
    Touch chords of measured harmony
    Wherein the soul ecstatic sings,
    Let language fraught with living truth
    Find such expression by thy art,
    As shall assist the guides of youth
    To fire the soul and win the heart.

    Remove the barriers which so long
    Have held in thraldom many a mind,
    Sing to the deaf a ransom-song,
    Be eyes to those whose souls are blind;
    Teach those who mould the plastic mind
    To know that God hath never given
    A mission weightier, more refined,
    To angels round the courts of heaven,
    Than that of training human minds
    Committed unto human hands,
    In which the spirit e'er survives
    And through eternity expands.

    Paint truthfully the living dead
    Whose sensibilities were slain
    By tyros, oft unskilled, unread,
    In all the workings of the brain;
    Whose concepts of the avenues
    That reach the mind of tender youth,
    Are labyrinths of tangled views
    Devoid of art, science, and truth;
    Touch but that chord of magic power
    Which gives the soul augmented bliss,
    And lifts it for the present hour
    Above the world's base selfishness;
    Then let the search-light of the soul
    Illumine every page that's read,
    Until an animated whole
    Shall supersede the living dead.

    Then, then shall dawn the golden day
    When Ignorance shall shamed-faced fly
    Before the potent living ray
    Of mind, touched by effulgency
    That pours its light in vital force,
    Upon the mind of plastic youth,
    And leads it gently to the source
    Of light and scientific truth.



OUR PROFESSION.


    There's an art in our profession,
    Which cannot be wholly learned
    From all books in our possession,
    Though their leaves be deftly turned
    Till the mind shall grasp the meaning
    Of each truth they may contain,
    Yet there remains a gleaning
    Not a product of the brain.

    One may know the truths of science
    Till his mind may have full store,
    Or may place some great reliance
    On ancient and modern lore;
    He may count the stars in heaven,
    He may trace them in their course,
    And from data that is given
    He may prove creation's source;
    He may use the best of diction
    To portray his studied thought;
    He may draw from truth and fiction
    All the charm with which they're fraught;
    He may be a friend of Nature
    And may understand her laws;
    He may prove embryo creature
    Has within itself a "cause";
    He may fathom all creation
    And dwell among the stars,
    Visit every land and nation
    And return with honor's scars;
    Yet he may lack a power,--
    Occult to scientific truth--
    Which is Heaven's richest dower
    To the guides of ardent youth.

    Though all these may give a polish
    To the gem that lights the soul,
    They are weak, useless, and foolish,
    When they're taken for the whole
    Of all the powers required
    To entrance the youthful mind,
    With a spirit so inspired
    As to touch the eyes of blind
    With a bright illumination
    That shall prove itself to be
    More than a corruscation
    Of a short-lived ecstasy.

    By intuition, children know
    A heart that cares for them;
    They recognize a friend or foe,
    At instantaneous ken.
    No mask can shield a fraud or fool,
    E'en from a puerile mind;
    It knows by rules not learned at school
    The way true hearts to find.
    An earnest love, unbounded, firm,--
    A God-gift from our birth--
    By far outweighs the noblest charm
    Can be acquired on earth.

    Who has not drunk deep at the well
    Of childhood's innocence,
    Or thinks that he should ever dwell
    At such an eminence,
    That he can never bend to raise
    And cheer a longing heart,
    Will waste his precious hours and days,
    And finally depart
    Without such fruitage or reward
    As ever should be given
    To him, who serves master or Lord,
    And hopes for bliss in heaven.

    Who sees no soul-buds here expand
    To blossom by and by,
    Hath fathomed not the great command
    For which we live and die.
    The State demands that every son
    And daughter shall be free
    From ignorance and vice which run
    Toward crime and misery.
    The future of our noble State
    Dwells now in plastic form;
    If she her past would emulate
    And meet the coming storm
    Of chaos, whose portentous wing
    Seems hovering not afar,
    In every school-room we should sing
    Of banner and of star
    That gave the land to Liberty,
    And with a bold huzza
    Proclaim that he who would be free
    Must honor right and law.

    Who serves his State and fellow-man
    And plies his skill at best,
    Assists to carry out the plan
    To make all truly blest;
    He may not sit in marble hall
    Where legislators meet,
    Nor may he rear fine towers tall,
    Or dwell in a retreat
    Where monks and nuns with solemn prayer
    Pour out their orison;
    The test of faith is filial care,
    And duty nobly done.
    Minds let us mould, men may we rear,
    For God, for State, for man,
    Using the right without a fear
    To mar the heaven-born plan.

    The test of great didactic skill
    Is not to train the few
    Whose active genius, tact, and will
    Are always plain to view;
    But he who takes an inert mind,
    Housed in a sluggish frame,
    And forms such man as God designed,
    Deserves an honored name.

    Like Sisyphus some ever roll
    The same old round of things
    Which dwarf the mind and starve the soul,
    Until they long for wings
    To fly from dull monotony,
    Which carries in its train
    That wreck of thought--Despondency--
    Which preys on heart and brain.

    The artist knows the colors best
    That blend in harmony
    With richest cloud-scenes, in the west,
    That gild the sunset sky;
    The minstrel knows what song to sing
    To please the multitude;
    His fingers deftly touch the strings
    That yield response subdued
    When weary soul would find relief
    From sorrow's withering sigh,
    Or when the heart is bowed with grief,
    And tear-drops dew the eye;
    But when the soul is full of joy,
    How jubilant the strain
    The tactful artist will employ
    To please the heart and brain.

    If those who toil in lowly spheres
    Employ such artful ways
    To charm the dull and listless ears
    That such may sound their praise,
    Why should the artist of the mind
    Shrink from that noble aim
    That seeks to elevate mankind,
    And light a deathless flame!
    Or why should he who shapes the lives
    And destiny of man,
    Be less exact than he who strives
    From mercenary plan.

    No instrument man ever made--
    None ever can be found--
    No matter when or where 'tis played,
    Will yield so rich a sound
    As that which falls from human tongue
    When heart speaks unto heart,
    Nor are its mysteries among
    The hidden things of art;
    A tyro on life's winding road
    Reads understandingly
    Each tone and word, each varied mode
    The tongue and form portray.

    Our heart's intents are from our looks
    More plainly to be read,
    Than thoughts expressed in printed books
    Whose language oft seems dead,
    Because it lacks a living form--
    A voiceless, dull decree
    That of itself has little charm
    For youth's activity.

    A potent charm of living light
    Flows with resistless force,
    Dispelling clouds of mental night
    That meet its onward course,
    When all the soul is centred in
    The great and primal thought
    That services which hearts would win,
    With price can ne'er be bought.
    Such service heaven alone repays
    E'en though on earth 'tis done,
    Its echoes last through endless days,
    And dies but with the sun.
    A mercenary soul must find
    A more congenial field
    Than that of training human mind
    Wherein a soul's concealed,
    If it would live out all the days
    Allotted unto man,
    And bask in all the genial rays
    Revealed in God's great plan.

    No lubrication of the nerves
    Has ever yet been found,
    For him who like a menial serves
    Dull lesson's daily round;
    But gnawing friction, stern and gaunt,
    Tears flesh and brain away,
    While ghosts nocturnal ever haunt
    A soul with fell dismay,
    Whose mercenary greed has led
    Itself into a snare
    That counts by scores its strangled dead,
    Its hundreds, in despair.

    He doubly lives who can forget
    Himself and his own ease,
    While toiling patiently to set
    New gems in crowns he sees,
    That may adorn some other head
    Than that he calls his own,
    And animate the germs wide spread
    In seeds already sown.

       *       *       *       *       *

    To skim the surface of knowledge,
    And seldom its root to reach,
    Is a recipe one may offer
    To direct "How Not To Teach."



NEEDS AND POWERS.


    I know of no profession
    'Mong profane or divine,
    Excelling in its mission
    The power embraced in mine.

    It reaches earth and heaven
    Through heart and soul of man,
    It lives beyond the present--
    Eternity doth span.

    Mind in its first formation,
    While in its plastic state,
    Receives primal impressions
    Which make it vile or great.

    When soil of thought is fertile
    And ready for the seeds,
    It may bring precious fruitage,
    Or vile and noxious weeds.

    No sower should be careless,
    For harvest much depends
    Upon the well-selected seeds,
    With mental soil he blends.

    If field be rich and mellow
    And no good seed be sown,
    With tangled mass of vileness
    It will be overgrown,

    And shield the deadly serpent,
    The basilisk of sin,
    That far exhales its pois'nous breath,
    Then crawls its den within.

    No atoms of pollution
    In matter e'er was known,
    So vile or so destructive
    As soul by sin o'erthrown.

    The vilest spot upon the earth,
    Through sunshine, air, and rain,
    May be transformed in ev'ry part
    And purified again.

    The fields where chaos reigned supreme
    And Nature frowned aghast,
    By patient-toil have fruitage borne
    And blossomed fragrance cast.

    The wreck of spheres by traction's laws
    Hurled wildly into space,
    May gather atoms round itself
    And find some resting place

    Where it may serve creation's end,
    And 'mong the planets roll,
    True to the laws of gravity
    That marks its outer pole.

    The mind and soul can never
    Within themselves find rest,
    When all the sin's pollutions
    Are harbored in the breast.

    Then sow good seed, brave teacher,
    And deeply plant with care,
    That both here and hereafter
    Rich harvest it may bear.

    The sowing may be silent--
    It may be but a tear,
    Its strength is in its purpose,
    Its aim must be sincere.

    It should not be a rite or creed,
    But wider far than these,
    It should encompass God and man,
    Home and antipodes.

    To learn the truths of science,
    Know tables, books and charts,
    To analyze the potent thrill
    That fires all earnest hearts,

    To revel in the mysteries
    That lie deep in the earth,
    To give the proper data
    When planets had their birth,

    To know the exact elements
    That constitute the sun,
    The causes why swift currents
    Within the ocean run,

    The ratio of the vapors
    That color sunset skies,
    Time's infinitesimal fraction
    When planets set and rise,

    To solve the problems of the air,
    The secrets of the deep,
    Are all intrinsic subjects
    And worthy of our keep.

    But these alone are worthless,
    They need augmented force
    To lead mind toward the fountain
    From which it had its source.

    They leave one vital question--
    Development of man--
    Without e'en crude solution,
    Without a working plan.

    They leave the mighty problem
    Of Maker and the Made,
    Devoid of any sequence,
    Or any plan portrayed.

    These are of greatest moment
    To persons and to State,
    Upon their wise adjustment
    Must hang progression's fate.

    Cold are the truths of science,
    Lifeless their every plan,
    Until in living presence,
    They're crystalized in man.

    As hidden truths are useless
    And aid not human skill,
    So slumber mighty forces
    Through lack of human will.

    To know the right is not enough,
    It must be given power
    Through culture of the heart and soul,
    If it shall blessings shower.

    To State, to manhood and to God
    Must mind be wholly given,
    Ere truth will shine a beacon light,
    To illumine earth and heaven.

    All things were made but to subserve
    Man's powers to improve,
    And beautify his being here
    Through charity and love.

    Power, gold, and wealth are agencies
    Placed in a creature's hand
    To serve an end, but not to rule,--
    Obey, but not command.

    As mind and soul matter surpass
    And error flies from truth,
    So should we train the nobler parts
    Of plastic, trusting youth.

    The sacred man by God ordained,
    Links sinful earth with heaven,
    But his success oft must depend
    On how instruction's given.

    The holy task of training mind
    Is not a trivial thing,
    Its influence lives, grows and expands
    Till harvest it shall bring.

    No task, to human hands assigned,
    Excels in force and weight
    The grave responsibilities
    Of those who educate.

    Let knowledge of the sciences,
    Skill in didactic art,
    Power in the impulse of the soul
    A knowledge to impart,

    A love for God and human kind,
    Forgetfulness of self,
    A heart devoted to the cause
    More than to worldly pelf,

    Be given as a heritage
    To those who fain would teach,
    Then living truth shall flourish,
    And all mankind shall reach.

       *       *       *       *       *

    There's an ebb and flow of sentiment
    In educational tides,
    Which oft discards some solid old facts,
    And on wild new hobbies rides.
    The educator of modern times
    Must prove the false and the true,
    Hold fast the worthy of the old,
    Unprejudiced, test the new.



COURAGE AND FAITH.


    Courage and Faith are of heavenly birth,
    Though sent down to our lowly earth
      To cheer the heart of man;
    They are only strong when the human soul
    Yields perfect trust and full control
      To heaven's benignant plan.

    Nature expands when this God-sent pair
    Finds a fertile heart that needs the care
      Of a messenger divine,
    And permits their strength to succor give
    That truth may grow and honor live
      To yield their fruit benign.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Who gives no sunshine from his soul
    Must live in darkness ever,
    For Nature scorns to such degree,
    She blinds a sordid giver.

    But he who scatters noble deeds,
    And lives to bless mankind,
    Shall see the beauties God reveals
    To men with hearts refined.



INCOMPETENCE.


    Sometimes our soul within us burns
    To see dark Ignorance aspire
    To move toward light a mind that yearns
    For knowledge that may lift it higher
      Upon the royal road of truth,
    While every word and act and thought
    Betrays an atmosphere so fraught
    With lack of common sense and lore,
    We plead for some almighty power
      To save from such our precious youth.

    No ray of truth can ever shine
    To beautify and make divine
    The heart and mind of anxious soul,
      When doubts and fears have full control
    Of him who knows he blindly leads.
    If human minds and souls and hearts
    May not command those who have arts
    And power to waken, lead, inspire,
    Then knowledge fails of her desire,
      And Ignorance on Wisdom feeds.

    Let science, art, didactic skill,
    Be guided by unyielding will
    Born in some earnest, patient one
    Whose heart glows like the summer sun
      And warms all by its ardent fire;
    Whose interest is so intense
    It readily itself imprints
    Upon the tender minds of youths,
    Precepts and scientific truths
      Such as their yearning hearts desire.

    Then there shall come a brighter day,
    When darkness shall to light give way,
    And Wisdom on her throne rejoice,
    And speak with accent in her voice
      That charms and cheers a hungry mind.
    Then, students, beauty shall receive
    Instead of ashes that deceive,
    Their days and nights of earnest toil,
    Their struggles by the midnight oil
      Give recompense complete, refined.



FACT VERSUS FORM.


    As shadows are to material forms,
    As mists to the copious shower
    As dead calms are to tornado storms
    That in tropical region lower
    So are educational fallacies
    That ignore and decry as naught
    The value and power that ever lie
    In the scope of original thought.

    No smooth device with a soulless form
    Should obscure the living thought;
    It smothers the mind, destroys the charm
    That comes to him who has wrought
    To discover new truth, by a truth well known,
    On which he may safely build,
    Till his mental strength by use has grown
    To a giant strong and skilled.

    When thought is secure, the reason clear,
    And the language to tell is pure,
    Abridgement comes like a friend sincere,
    For it cannot the mind obscure.
    The wasted time on a form-clad task
    Steals gems from youth's precious years,
    Leaves a wreck on life's shore, we cannot mask
    With our sorrows and sighs and tears.

    If what we have learned has given no power
    To acquire what yet we must learn,
    If all our past struggles leave not a dower
    To which we may joyously turn
    And feel that a strength within us is given
    Through efforts already bestowed,
    In vain have we lived, in vain have we striven,
    Each task is the same weary load.

    If task of to-day shall not lighten th' one
    May come upon us to-morrow,
    It is but a proof our work was ill done,
    And bodes to us grief and sorrow.
    Ev'ry effort of mind applied aright
    Augments the mental perception,
    For God aids the brave, and giveth a light
    To shine away imperfection.

    There's a magic power in a task well done,
    There's a charm in solid reason,
    There's a mighty force in a victory won,
    Which an alert mind will seize on,
    And with giant strength that is thus acquired
    March on till the fields of science
    And the zones of thought wherein man aspired
    Shall be won by self-reliance.



INTEREST.


    Who has not seen the inert mind,
    Bowed down and sore oppressed,
    Start into life, and vigor find
    At touch of interest
    Some sympathetic soul has shown,
    By look in kindness given,
    Or word whose accent, cadence, tone,
    Gave joy akin to heaven?

    No emanation from the heart
    Has greater power to win,
    Than that which lays aside all art
    And quietly steps in
    To soothe through sympathy, the cares
    And sorrows, one by one,
    Of timorous soul who scarcely dares
    Go forward all alone,

    But needs some word of magic power
    To give him life and zest,
    Some animating heart-given dower
    Whose wealth is interest.
    Few, few there are who know the force
    That dormant lies in many a brain,
    Who trace inertia to its source
    Or see how mind o'er mind may reign.



MEMORY AND REASON.


    Who stores the mind with richest truth
    Gathered from sages of all lands,
    May toil through days of sunny youth,
    And on till Death gives his commands,
    But fails to call to him the aid
    Of Reason, Judgment, and Good Sense,
    Will find himself at last dismayed
    At smallness of his consequence.

    The choicest gems must polish bear,
    And metals must be purged from earth,
    Before a lustre they can wear
    That tells of their intrinsic worth.
    The brain requires friction of thought,
    Obtained through contact with the world,
    With which may skillfully be wrought
    The mental gems research unfurled.

    Who builds alone on Memory
    Will find he lacks a needed force
    To fire and set the spirit free,
    And move him onward in the course
    That tends to lead him by a way
    Whose goal is sure, complete success,
    But wanting such, can but display
    Chaotic mass of nothingness.

    Let Memory and Reason wed,
    Their product then may fully know
    The food on which great minds are fed,
    The founts from which great actions flow;
    Each holds its share of honored meed,
    But each requires the other's aid
    To stimulate the urgent need
    By which great genius is displayed.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Many a brave resolution
    Is formed on New Year's Day
    To annihilate some vices
    That on our morals prey;
    But before the year is ended
    They go so far astray
    We find our lives are pursuing
    The old, accustomed way.



THE DESIRABLE UNDEFINED.


    I have often thought there's a power
    Unknown to science or art,
    That opens and closes the portals
    That lead to the human heart.

    I have learned there's a secret something
    That remains yet undefined,
    That touches the springs and pulleys
    That open the human mind.

    I have watched the glow of faces,
    As a light from this occult source
    Has touched some inert nature
    With an energizing force.

    The effect was so magnetic,
    It seemed like creative skill
    From the hand of the Great Master,
    To give passive being _will_.

    Sometimes its power seemed but presence,
    Sometimes, a soft, mild tone,
    Sometimes, a look of decision,
    Ofttimes, from a source unknown.

    There's a something wrapped in th' nature
    Of those most adapted to teach
    That charms and holds the attention
    Of those whom its powers reach.

    There's a sound from some vibration
    Within the human voice
    That arouses the latent spirit
    And makes the soul rejoice.

    Its tone has a magic power
    Whereby the heart is impressed
    With the weight of its noble mission
    And unselfish interest.

    There's a mystic charm most winsome
    In th' glance of a speaking eye
    Whose light shines in dark recesses
    And explores them in passing by.

    It illumines the page of the student
    As his soul warms by its fire,
    And stirs him to greater action,
    And lifts aspirations higher.

    Every word and look and action
    Has weight on trustful youth,
    That needs no sage to interpret
    Or explain its vital truth.

    They are fully comprehended
    Through the instinct, every one,
    And need no labored searching
    In a massive lexicon.

    Some call this power attraction,
    Some term it affinity,
    But all recognize its existence
    And wonderful potency.

    There's also a power of repulsion
    That breathes with abated breath,
    Whose presence is best betokened
    By ominous signs of death.

    No word has an inspiration,
    No look has a sign of cheer,
    Each act reveals that a burden
    Must be borne in sorrow and fear.

    The wrecks that are made by its presence
    Have filled almshouses and jails
    With the deepest of lamentations,
    The saddest of human wails.

    A selfish, terrible monster
    That drives away honor and truth
    Is the cold-blooded fiend Repulsion,
    The destroyer of tender youth.

    The sea in its frenzy and fury,
    When lashed by the wintry gales
    Casts on the rocks its vessels
    Bereft of their spars and sails;

    The path of the fierce tornado,
    Overstrewn with wild debris
    Of fallen habitations
    And uprooted forest tree;

    The wreck of a world of matter
    That transforms revolving spheres,
    Which have gathered all their greatness
    Through the lapse of a million years;

    The snow-clad mountain terror--
    The fearful avalanche--
    Whose thunders are heard in valleys
    Where imploring faces blanch;

    The mouth of a raging Etna
    With its stifling breath of fire,
    Wherein the pride of a city
    In a moment may expire;

    The trembling of the mountains
    When an earthquake passes by,
    And the terror of the people
    Struck dumb in their agony;

    The rage of a foaming torrent,
    After the bursting cloud
    Has poured its liquid fury
    In destruction wild and loud;

    Are but the potent protests
    Of Nature's elements
    Against some ill arrangement
    That brings them discontents.

    But these in separate actions,
    Or in forces all combined,
    Leave not so sad a ruin
    As the wreck of one human mind.

    The voice, the eye, and the manner
    Are all unlocked by a key
    That has for its great attraction
    A confiding sympathy.

    The knowledge of books is essential
    To those who youth would guide,
    But the grace of earnest endeavor
    Excels all else beside.

    Truth in its plainness is beauty,
    Science itself is a charm,
    But the frown of a tyrant tutor
    Puts both in constant alarm.

    To receive a healthful impression,
    Mind must be free from fear,
    Will must be held by attraction,
    Soul, by a soul sincere.



MIRRORS.


    Some persons in mind are but mirrors
    Reflecting what others have thought,
    That make no original errors,
    They are only able to quote.
    You may ask their opinion on matters
    That pertain to affairs of the day,
    Their minds are but shreds and tatters
    Of what all their neighbors say.

    We respect the man who is careful
    With others his mind to compare,
    But who of himself is not fearful
    His honest opinion to share
    With men, when some public measure
    Upon the State has been thrown,--
    Who proves his mind a rich treasure
    He uses and calls his own.



MANY.


    Many a grand ambition
    Had birth and died in a day,
    From lack of vigorous nursing
    To keep it from decay.

    Many a hope has faded
    And sunk in deepest despair,
    Through lack of careful pruning
    That fruitage it might bear.

    Many a mind is ruined
    And becomes chaotic mass,
    Through want of systematic
    Training in the class.

    Many a song of sweetness
    Has lost its harmony,
    Because at its beginning
    It had not the proper key.

    Many a field most fertile
    Bears vile and noxious weeds,
    Through failure of the tiller
    To sow some worthy seeds.

    Many a flower of beauty
    And sweetness blooms unseen,
    And dies in its seclusion
    On a bed of mossy green.

    Better to have no talent,
    No excellence to give,
    Than permit vice to destroy
    The talent we may have.

       *       *       *       *       *

    No dam can restrain the water
    When leaks receive no care,
    When the tempest in wild fury
    Doth chafe and gnaw and tear,
    And no hand is raised to succor,
    No effort to repair,
    Till the torrent bursts in fury
    And fills us with despair.
    'Tis too late then for repining,
    Too late, for work or prayer.



DUTY DONE.


    A duty done is victory won,
      E'en though in the doing,
    Efforts may fail to bring avail
      In lines we are pursuing.

    Nothing is lost whate'er the cost,
      When efforts made are noble,
    Beyond the sky acts never die,
      And honor's crown is double.

    Right cannot fail, but must prevail,
      If noble be the motive;
    Heaven is nigher if we aspire
      With hearts sincere and votive.

    Much strength we gain when we maintain
      A truth for truth's sake solely;
    A mighty power guides effort's hour
      And stamps its cause as holy.

    If honest heart act well its part,
      And ask the aid of heaven
    Its feeblest word will be so heard
      That succor will be given.

    It matters not how low our lot
      We rise by honest trial;
    No effort made for needed aid
      E'er met complete denial.

    The soul expands when it demands
      A right for self and others,
    And darkest night has ray of light
      For honest helpful brothers.

    A noble soul spurns the control
      Would bind in servile fetters;
    No chains can bind God-given mind
      Inspired by love and letters.

    An earnest will can ne'er be still
      Though oft its hopes be baffled,
    It will succeed though victims bleed
      And die upon the scaffold.

    Loud shout and sing, "Crown Effort King,"
      And let the watchword be
    This earnest prayer heard everywhere,
      "God and Humanity."

    A duty done is victory won,
      For strength comes by the doing;
    There's no retreat, there's no defeat,
      If right we are pursuing.



THE SENSES.

THE EYE.


    Some eyes are trained to scan large field
    Till instantaneous glance may yield
      A knowledge full and plenty;
    While others keep a narrow ken
    And view the ways of active men
      With satisfaction scanty.

    The optic nerve has power so keen,
    That ev'ry object by it seen
      Is stamped upon the brain;
    But they of sluggish mental mold
    No vivid photograph will hold,
      And scarce a scene retain.


THE EAR

    The tympanum with perfect drum
    Hears not the sound when armies come
      With clarion notes and song,
    Unless its stimulated nerve
    Has fully learned to humbly serve
      In stations which belong

    To those which God designed should live
    For special duties, He might give
      To move mankind along
    Upon the road toward perfect man,
    That He might thus reveal His plan,
      And happiness prolong.


THE TONGUE.

    The power that lies in perfect speech
    Dwells with the few who only reach
      That art through toil and care;
    A faulty tongue perverts the ear,
    Destroys the sense, augments the fear,
      And feeds on empty air.

    A nation's destinies have hung
    Upon the influence of a tongue
      Whose magic eloquence
    Has swayed the thoughts of men, whose word
    Was mightier than the glittering sword
      Of armies most immense.


THE HAND.

    The manual touch when guided by
    The magic power of sympathy
      That animates the soul,
    May lead to fields of cultured art
    And cast an influence on the heart
      May through all ages roll.

    The canvass and the stone may speak
    To more than Roman and to Greek
      Though in a foreign land;
    They show the might of cultured skill
    Directed by an iron will
      That guides a master's hand.


THE NOSE.

    The perfumed fields of blooming May,
    The evening scent of new-mown hay
      Touch nerve olfactory,
    And carry to the thoughtful brain
    Loved memories of a long-past train
      That once was full of glee.

    Though flowers to-day are choice and rare,
    In colors they may well compare
      With richest hues we meet;
    They lack the charm that gave them power
    Since past is youth's entrancing hour
      Their fragrance seems less sweet.


COMBINED INFLUENCE.

    Five roads lead to the human brain
    And through these roads all must obtain
      The commerce of all lore;
    No thought can enter mental port
    Of any kind or any sort,
      Of modern days or yore,

    Except such as a tariff pays
    To pass these honored, great highways
      Which lead to eminence,
    And follow closely every nerve
    Which God designed should truly serve
      Each mind of consequence.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Perhaps that star in yonder sky,
    May be my dwelling place on high,
    When life on earth is done;
    At eventide I love to gaze
    Upon its soft reflected rays,
    When silent and alone.

    Its brightness charms and draws my soul,
    By some mysterious, strong control
    I cannot well explain,
    Unless it be within it dwell
    The friends of earth I loved so well,
    Who could not here remain.



SOUL SPEAKS TO SOUL.


    Soul speaks to soul, eye speaks to eye,
    And mind by mind is read;
    The heart bounds in sweet ecstasy
    Whene'er a light is shed,
    That shines to illume a cherished thought
    That seemed to dwell alone,
    But on through years has nobly sought
    To solve some truth unknown.

    The living truth that seemeth dead,
    Needs but a kindred touch
    To resurrect thought's vital thread,
    And give it influence, such
    As breaks the bands of fettered mind,
    And sunders thraldom's chains,
    Spreads benefactions, pure, refined,
    Where ignorance now reigns.

    Magnetic touch of spark divine,
    Speak to the inert soul,
    Let light from out the darkness shine,
    And truth her page unroll;
    Speak to the minds that waiting, starve,
    And give them power to see,
    That he who patiently will serve
    Shall win the victory.



OUR BATTLEFIELD.

[Written for an entertainment given by the Fife and Drum Corps (36
uniformed members) of the Third Ward Grammar School of Long Island City,
of which the writer is Principal.]


    There are fields of martial glory
       Where the slain are ne'er bemoaned;
    There are victories though silent,
      Where grim monarchs are dethroned;
    There are scenes of strife and foray
      Where gigantic forces strive
    For the mastery and triumph
       Of the ends for which they live.

    There are forces more puissant
       Than ten million armed men,
    There are banners that are emblems
       Of the mighty tongue and pen,
    That reflect upon their blazon
       Honest purpose grand and true,
    Such as never graced the victors
       Of Sedan and Waterloo.

    There are weapons in these contests
       Keener than the Damask blade,
    There are metals of such temper
       As no crucible e'er made;
    For the dross must be extracted
       In the furnace of the soul
    Till no refuse or pollution
       Shall defile the perfect whole.

    Though this army counts its millions,
       Each must face alone the foe,
    Each must bring a special weapon,
       Each must strike himself the blow
    That shall free him from the shackles
       Of that despot and his train,
    Who with ignorance and vices
       Would destroy the heart and brain.

    Our true sword is Education
       And grim Ignorance our foe;
    We are battling with our passions,
       And our spirits are aglow
    With a full determination
       To accept the proven truth
    That the days of precious seed-time,
       Are the sunny days of youth.

    Day by day the contest rages
       And each task that's daily done,
    Brings a soothing satisfaction
       That another victory's won.
    Thus the strength we gain in action
       Aids in each succeeding strife,
    To make the struggles lighter
       In the battles of our life.

    There are avenues and byways
       Which lead into the heart,
    Whose intricate environments
       Require the highest art
    To tell what inspiration
       Shall touch a dormant mind,
    And fire it with a living zeal
       For a station more refined.

    It is only voice of music
       That speaks universal tongue;
    It matters not in what accent
       A sweet melody is sung,
    It will find responsive feelings
       Which will aptly understand
    Though it be of unknown measure
       And sung in a foreign land.

    We come with our martial music,
       With our noisy fife and drum
    To inspire the weak and weary,
       To open the mouths of the dumb,
    To train our every emotion
       For a better sphere in life,
    To enjoy for the passing moment
       The sound of the drum and fife.

    We hope our notes may be peaceful
       And free from carnage of war;
    We would bind up the broken hearted
       And cover the wound and scar,
    But should foe our country menace
       And refuse to be just and calm,
    We would sound aloud the tocsin
       And march to defend Uncle Sam.

       *       *       *       *       *

    To plant an intellectual seed
    And guard its growth from noxious weed,
    That it may fruitage bear,
    Is solace more, a thousand fold,
    Than hoarding bonds and stocks and gold,
    Or sporting jewels rare.



GOOD HABITS.


    A silent force marks out the course
    Of every man and woman,
    No matter what may be the lot
    Of creatures that are human,

    The end attained is ever gained
    By means so strange and hidden,
    We call it luck, instead of pluck,
    Or fate by fairies bidden.

    The human eye cannot descry
    All workings of the brain;
    At silent night, it gains a might
    Which bears a mental train

    Whose lucid glow may thrones o'erthrow,
    Or bid new nations rise,
    May prove some plan whereby proud man
    May ransack earth and skies.

    Think not such power a fairy's dower,
    Or influence from some star,
    It did not spring from anything
    Beyond what mortals are.

    To man is given the keys of heaven
    If they be rightly used;
    No being born but must be shorn
    If blessings are abused.

    Keep well the trust! Guard it we must,
    From in and outward foes,
    Strength will be gained, might be attained
    By efforts to oppose

    The secret vice that doth entice
    To ruin and despair;
    But he who will hath power to kill
    Such vice within its lair.

    Let habits grand the life command
    And Eden is regained;
    No future bliss need surpass this
    If habits are unstained.

    Let smiling face your presence grace
    And earth will smile on you,
    Let from the tongue a song be sung,
    Its echo will be true,

    And sing again the same refrain
    Upon the selfsame key,
    Till airs elate, reverberate,
    Heaven's sweetest minstrelsy.

    If we extend a hand to friend
    Who needs a brother's care,
    Though it may hold no purse of gold
    The act he will revere.

    Scarce do we know whence comes the glow
    That duty done e'er gives,
    Its altar-fire cannot expire--
    Here and hereafter lives.

    Such habits then, for gods and men,
    Are but the means whereby
    They may prepare to gain their share
    To mansions in the sky.

    Sing then a song, its notes prolong,
    In praise of Habit's power;
    Let custom be from evil free
    And it will blessings shower.



EVIL HABITS.


    How habit grows no one e'er knows,
    And yet he is a giant
    That has a will and subtle skill
    That never yet was pliant.

    'Tis very plain that he has slain
    More than the sword and spear,
    With wily art he charms the heart
    And quells the greatest fear.

    His artful eye is wondrous sly
    And has bewitching glance,
    Where'er he moves his victim loves
    To see his powers advance.

    He makes no noise 'mong girls and boys
    Whom he would call his own,
    His spell is cast, he holds them fast
    Till they are overthrown.

    When this is done the field is won,
    And they are all his own,
    He heeds no cry, no choking sigh,
    No plea, no prayer, no groan.

    If you would be forever free
    From tyrant so severe,
    Watch every thought before you're caught,
    For he is hovering near.

    Your every word guard with the sword
    Of truth, which never fails,
    Its honor's sung in every tongue,
    Its power e'er prevails.

    Act well your part, and keep your heart
    Free from the tares he sows,
    For at the end like traitor friend
    He leaves you with your woes.

    Thus Habit mars with wounds and scars
    The favored of our race,
    Transforms the mind that God designed
    Should be the dwelling place

    Of noble thought with heaven fraught
    Into a sterile plain,
    Whose atmosphere is dank and drear--
    A wild chaotic brain.

    Man scarce may be entirely free
    From wiles and tricks and snares,
    Whose stealthy forms and subtle charms
    Approach us unawares.

    Our eyes are blind or not inclined
    To see that powerful hand,
    That silently, yet forcibly
    Gives us its strong command.



LIFE'S EMERGENCIES.


    How strangely dark are the vapors
      That sometimes obscure the way,
    Ere the light of truth advances
      To the noon of a perfect day.

    As the unforeseen approaches
      In stealth from ambushed retreat,
    The mettle of soul is summoned
      Its emergencies to meet.

    To shrink by its sudden coming,
      To surrender our control
    Without a struggle for vantage,
      Betrays a weakness of soul.

    The conflicts with emergencies
      We meet in our daily call,
    Give strength or death to moral worth
      As we conquer them or fall.

    To meet at once with valor true
      The attack from an ambuscade,
    In moral strife, or bloody war,
      Hath many a hero made.

    Who has not trained himself to meet
      The vicissitudes that arise
    Upon the course of life's stern race,
      Must fail to secure its prize.

       *       *       *       *       *

    To hold a pessimistic view,
    And see the world as darkly "blue,"
    And feel mankind is false, untrue,
      Is not a just conclusion;
    But Truth demands that Hope shall wear
    No false rose in her silken hair,
    To hide Deceit, Fraud, and Despair,
      That feed on wild Delusion.



STRAND DESPAIR.


    The wrecks that lie on Strand Despair,
    Should serve as buoys on life's stern seas
    To guide the voyager safely, where
    He may escape the tides and breeze
    That drive to whirlpools, bars, and rocks,
    Where human vessels oft impinge
    And leave a ruin that but mocks
    The pleadings of persuasion's hinge.

    An idle mind, companions base,
    A shrinking from a duty known,
    A sly deceit, a brazen face,
    A lying tongue, a sullen tone,
    Lead toward a wreck on Strand Despair,
    And none but self can move the helm
    To change the course for scenes more fair,
    To save from storms that overwhelm.



INDULGENCE.


    An alarm is sounding through the land
    That tells of a stronger foe
    Than that which marched on Lexington,
    To strike a fatal blow
    At the liberties our sires did claim
    For themselves and all mankind,
    For this foe is a product of deceit
    And sophistry combined.

    Its victims fall by the smiling ways
    Of a charmed environment
    That lures him on to neglect and sin,
    And to final banishment
    Of the vital spark of an earnest man,
    And all that is noble and true,
    To the effete round of nothingness
    Which honor and strength will subdue.

    No Spartan Helen of beauty and fame,
    No mermaid with winsome face,
    No Siren that sings an alluring song,
    No Pandora in her grace,
    Can soothe and charm to destruction's retreat,
    Like the foe that robs of power
    To meet the needs of life's true aim,
    The requirements of each hour.

    It has filled our courts, our prisons, our jails,
    And filled our almshouses, too,
    Itself and distress walk hand in hand,
    No crimes but its victims will do;
    Though it seems like a true and trusty friend
    'Tis a tyrant in disguise,
    It leads to distrust and uncertainty,
    It wins no enduring prize.

    In homes it leads to disorder wild,
    In school, to defiance of laws,
    In nations, to strife on bloody fields,
    In man, to destruction's jaws;
    In business its office is but to destroy,
    In friendship, brings lack of respect,
    In love, oft a maddened, frenzied heart
    That can never endure neglect.

    Parents, true kindness holds steady hand,
    Judges, know justice is kind,
    Teachers, remember the work for you
    Is to strengthen heart and mind.
    Kindness, dethroned by lack of control,
    Ruins our girls and our boys,
    Firmness is noble, honest, and true,
    Indulgence only destroys.



THE TEACHER'S SOLILOQUY.


    And so another week has gone,
    And I once more am left alone
      Within my silent room;
    My mind is worn by fervent care,
    And, languishing, it needs repair
      For duties yet to come.

    From all the cares which come on me
    I cannot be entirely free
      Thro' all this mortal life;
    But cares imported from abroad
    Make much more ponderous the load,
      And cause more bitter strife.

    With patient labor, day by day,
    I work along this toilsome way
      Intent on doing good;
    My pupils' hearts I would inspire
    With noble thoughts and strong desire
      For intellectual food.

    I note the various schemes and arts,
    As prompted by the different hearts,
      They lead to different deeds.
    As deeds and hearts will correspond,
    By observation it is found
      There should be different meeds.

    The wish made known for some will do,
    And some a gentle frown would rue
      And feel extremely sad;
    While others need a sterner look,
    A reprimand, or sharp rebuke,
      And sometimes e'en the rod.

    Most gladly would I hail the day
    When children cheerfully obey,
      (If e'er that day shall come,)
    But ere that happy day I see,
    A reformation there must be
      In government at home.

    And what is my reward for all
    This watchful care and earnest toil
      To train the youthful mind?
    From Ignorance it draws a curse--
    Though pocket hold a puny purse--
      Yet one reward I find--

    To see the young prepared for life
    And launched upon the outward strife
      Of its tempestuous sea,
    And know that I have trained that mind,
    With noble thought that heart refined,
      Is rich reward for me.

    When all life's lessons have been taught,
    And my own soul with love is fraught
      For earnest, striving man,
    Perhaps an understanding Lord
    Will proffer as a great reward,
      Redemption through His plan.

       *       *       *       *       *

    A beautiful vision I sometimes see,
    That stands in the distance and smiles upon me;
    It points with a finger of radiance bright,
    To the fleeting shades of departing night.
    I would gladly know if this scene designed
    To be a true type of the human mind,
    When the mists and clouds of dark ignorance,
    Shall into the realms of the unknown advance.



SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST.


    The survival of the fittest,
      The advancement of the best,
    The enthronement of the truest
      In the world's great crucial test,
    Is emblazoned on each banner
      Wherever man is found,
    And e'en 'mong plants and animals
      This holds, the world around.

    Then prepare for the survival,
      Allow no base retreat,
    (Dethronement means delinquency,)
      Endure the cold and heat;
    The elements that meet us
      May all be overcome,
    With God and right ever in sight,
      The victory may be won.



THE DIFFERENCE.


    I have scanned the roll of teachers,
    Have noted the Aarons and Hurs
    Who have stayed education's Moses,
    And removed the cumbrous bars
    That environed its anxious spirit,
    And bowed down its life with cares.

    I have counted them all over,
    Have analyzed heart and brain,
    Have watched them in daily labor
    That I might some key obtain
    To unlock the magical power,
    By which some supremely reign.

    I have listened with ear enraptured,
    Have caught the gleam of the eye,
    Have felt the glow of emotion
    When bright corruscations fly
    From mental touch and fervor,
    That prompted others to try.

    The soul knows no fire so warming,
    No light so fervent and true,
    As the glow of the living presence
    Of one of the noble few
    Who counts her pain but pleasure,
    If good she may only do.

    A teacher who knows her subjects
    And has much of didactic art,
    Will present the truths of science
    To the youthful mind and heart,
    In ways so apt and skillful
    They will never more depart,

    But will gather strength and beauty
    With every day and hour,
    Until they become a fortress--
    An irresistible power
    To dispel the gloom of doubting
    That oft o'er the mind may lower.

    No truth is learned by mere telling,
    The mind must conceive and apply;
    There is inspiration, knowledge,
    In one's own discovery
    That lead to efforts and struggles
    For a greater mastery.

    Herein lies the power of teaching:
    A systemized method to do
    That reaches the understanding,
    And leads on to fields anew,
    Where _Thought_ shall be the head master,
    And Truth shall Error subdue;

    A heart that is wholly given
    To leading the youthful mind,
    To discover the powers and virtues
    They within themselves shall find,
    And mould them into actions
    Progressive, strong, refined;

    A spirit that sees in the being
    A gift from God unto man,
    That must live on thro' all ages,
    Though influenced by some plan
    That here has been determined,
    But God shall hereafter scan;

    A tongue that is but the voicing
    Of a heart aflame with its cause,
    That speaks of science and morals
    From a knowledge of their laws;
    That speeds the true and worthy,
    But bids all deception pause;

    A judgment so wisely balanced
    As to know what must be done
    To avoid the indiscretions
    Into which so many run,
    Of telling, instead of leading,
    Till the victory has been won.

       *       *       *       *       *

    In reckoning the moral stock
      Of any man or woman,
    It is but right to recollect
      That all of us are human;
    If heart be true, the body frail,
      And honestly he's striven,
    Tho' oft a brother's plans may fail,
      He ought to be forgiven.



MIND AWAKENED.


    The battle is not to the mighty,
    Nor the race to the fleet of foot,
    The peak is not reached by bounding,
    Nor the goal by a devious route;
    The problems of science and culture
    Have been ages upon the way;
    The greatest vict'ries 'mong nations
    Have not been won in a day.
    'Tis the steady tramping onward
    Of feet that will not turn aside
    From the path they are pursuing,
    That wins at the eventide.
    'Tis the firm determination
    Of a strong and unyielding will,
    Moved on by gigantic action
    Of forces that cannot be still,
    That has won the greatest honors
    'Mong nations whose moral power
    Have lighted liberty's beacon
    In despondency's darkest hour.
    The mind that is sometimes darkest
    When it struggles for light and power,
    Breaks off the bands of thraldom
    And itself like some strong tower,
    Becomes the bulwark of nations
    In defense of some sacred cause
    That looks toward the world's advancement,
    Through reign of beneficent laws.



THE OGRE.


    There's an ogre abroad, boys,
      There's an ogre abroad,
    A three-handed monster
      That makes his abode
    In hamlet and city,
      In country and town,
    And revels in death
      As he drags people down.
    He's a sly old destroyer,
      Very loth to admit
    That the snares he is using
      Are fraud and deceit.
    He has slain and devoured
      More than the sword;
    By all earnest people
      He is greatly abhorred,
    For he leads to disease,
      To sorrow and death,
    As poison exhales
      From his presence and breath.
    He fastens himself
      On bright, innocent youth,
    And slyly allures him
      From virtue and truth.
    He holds by the throat
      The servants who wait
    To hear his excuses;
      And sad is their fate,
    For insidious smile
      Is his only excuse
    To victims who suffer
      Defeat and abuse.
    So sly are his movements,
      So stealthy his tread,
    Like a vampire, on blood
      He is frequently fed,
    While his victim, unconscious,
      Makes no defence;
    He steals mind and honor
      And good common sense.
    If you meet him, my boy,
      Beware of his grasp,
    For his smiles are so sweet;
      But on you he will clasp
    The shackles he carries
      Forever concealed,
    And when he secures you
      He seldom will yield.
    He will keep you away
      From duty and right,
    Destroy all your honor,
      Your hopes sadly blight,
    With promises made
      Which he cannot fulfill
    He robs of contentment
      And shackles the will.
    This monster has always
      A right hand and left hand
    That have powers of their own
      That ought to command.
    If he had only these
      And used them aright,
    His presence would ever
      Afford us delight;
    But the third hand he has
      Is a very unkind hand,
    For this ogre's real name
      Is Little Behind Hand.
    Little Behind Hand
      Is tyrant indeed,
    From which we would have
      Mankind ever freed.
    Little Behind Hand
      Can seldom find work,
    For he stumbles in blindness
      And gropes in the dark,
    He is sullen and mean,
      Near-sighted and sour,
    Ruin and trouble
      'Bout him constantly lower.
    Drive him off! Drive him off!
      Ere he fasten on you
    His fangs of destruction,
      The pestilent dew
    That he breathes on his victim
      To deaden the sense
    Of his presence and power,
      And their sad consequence.
    Strike him down! Strike him down!
      With strong, sturdy blow,
    If you yield to him now
      He will soon lay you low,
    And when hand and foot
      Are at his command,
    You will feel he has grown
      To a Big Behind Hand.

       *       *       *       *       *

    The public tide is polluted
    With offal, fraud, and deceit;
    In ev'ry line of industry
    Its venomous forms we meet
    In men who sneer at truth and right,
    Who, Honor's path have decried,
    That they might gain the golden calf
    Whose power they have deified.



MY CHOICE.


    I would rather dwell a hermit
      In some silent peaceful wood,
    Where no voice of human being
      Ever breaks the solitude;
    Where babbling brook, and minstrelsy
      Of winged friends are heard
    To join the sylvan choruses
      Of leaves when gently stirred,
    Than live in costly splendor
      With a heartless, greedy throng,
    Whose only thought is sordid pelf
      Obtained by fraud and wrong.

    I would far prefer a cavern
      On some rocky sea-girt isle,
    Where the constant intonations
      Of the waves as they recoil
    With their soughing and deep moaning
      For a momentary rest,
    Tell of liquid matter only
      That bespeaks itself distressed,
    Than to live where human bodies
      Bend and writhe for freedom's air,
    Till the heart breaks in deep sorrow,
      And the soul sinks in despair.

    I would choose a lone oasis
      With one tree, one flower, one spring,
    One bird of sprightly plumage
      With throat attuned to sing;
    One whisper of approval
      From a voiceless power within;
    One perfect intuition
      Of freedom from all sin,
    Than dwell 'mid throngs and plenty
      And grovel in the filth
    That oft adheres to those who claim
      The boundless stores of wealth.

    Some quiet nook in a valley
      With a canopy of leaves,
    Such as a forest Titan
      In fantastic beauty weaves;
    Or some vine-embowered tangle
      O'ershadowing murmuring stream
    Where scarce a ray of sunlight
      May on its waters gleam,
    Is a dwelling-place more restful
      To a man by right controlled
    Than the courts of kings and princes
      Ablaze with filched gold.

    I would not shun the haunts of men
      Or bustle of the world,
    Nor would I see progression's flag
      Lie dormant or unfurled;
    If man for manhood would aspire,
      And less for gold and power,
    If noble thoughts and noble deeds
      Employ each passing hour,
    Then should the bustle be supreme,
      For manhood thus would rise
    Above the baser things of earth
      To honors in the skies.

    I am not a misanthropist,
      Nor hater of just wealth,
    I love the presence of mankind,
      I love good-natured health,
    I love a true and noble soul
      In woman or in man,
    I love a being who would not
      Invert God's primal plan
    And keep in bondage soul and mind,
      Through base and false desire
    To trample fellow beings down,
      That he may rise still higher.

    I know that hate deep in my soul
      Burns with an intense flame
    Toward him who scourges the oppressed,
      And unjust power doth claim,
    That he may gain some subtle coign
      By which to overthrow
    The balance Justice ever holds
      Alike for friend or foe;
    For such can never bless mankind
      By thought or word or deed;
    They laugh in glee whene'er they see
      Their victim writhe and bleed.

    When all we teach in man is mind,
      And heart has no domain,
    Then fraud, deceit, and treachery
      Will form a tyrant train,
    For beacon light can never come
      Through those who legislate
    Unless good seed has been well sown
      By those who educate;
    But lift the soul by Sinai's laws
      And by the Golden Rule,
    Then legislation will have power
      Through truths taught in the school.

       *       *       *       *       *

    The world is wanting honest men
      Who know and dare to do aright,
    Whose honor brightens in the ken
      Of Justice's ever-searching light.



THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE HOUR.


    It is hard to tell at the dawn of day
      What the sunset shades may bring,
    The plans we make may be astray,
      And our treasured hopes take wing.

    We know not what strange environment
      May dwarf our most cherished plan,
    Or what obstructions may be sent
      To defeat our ends and aim.

    Though we scorn the thought that fickle Fate
      Has Destiny in her hand,
    We all pay tribute at her gate
      And bow low at her command.

    In spite of all the powers we boast
      Of independent action,
    An intervening hand may cost
      Our progress great detraction.

    Few, few there be who lack the power
      To shape their own destiny,
    If each will improve th' passing hour
      To its full capacity.



A BOY.


    A boy is a wonderfully curious thing,
    Of all creation he deems himself King,
    Yet give him for pastime a top and a string
      And he is instantly spinning;
    When fishes are ripe he tries them with hook,
    He thinks more of them than of a new book,
    And steals enough time to after them look,
      Not conscious that he is sinning.

    The great possibilities within his scope
    Prompts to exertion, inspires him with hope,
    Till with the world he is ready to cope
      For the greatest laurels of honor;
    Glory and fame are attractive stars
    He may seek in strife, under bloody Mars,
    Till Wisdom revolts at the ugly scars
      Ambition has placed upon her.

    Oh, active, mercurial, wonderful boy,
    The world is a top and you spin it with joy,
    Regardless of all the wiles you employ
      To gain the pleasure of seeing;
    No tree is so tall, but you reach its top limb,
    No water so deep, but in it you swim,
    No ice is so smooth, but o'er it you skim
      Like a phantom, a wonderful being.



ARBOR DAY POEMS.



THE TREE OF STATE.


[The Maple was chosen by vote of the children in the schools of N. Y.
State as the State Tree, and the Rose as the State Flower. Nature's
Tribute, The Rose, and The Golden Rod were written at the request of the
State Department of Public Instruction of N. Y. and sent to the schools
of the State for Arbor Day use. Nature's Tribute was set to music.]

    Tree of our state and emblem of neatness,
      Beauty and grace abide in thy form;
    Not in thy blood alone courses a sweetness,
      Thy ev'ry unfolding is suavity born.

    Down in the vale where cowslips are growing,
      Where violets breathe thro' sweet scented lips,
    Where brook o'er the bright pebbly bottom is flowing,
      And bee of the nectar of columbine sips.

    A monarch it stands of regnative power,
      In a graceful symmetrical pose;
    Whose arms weave a fairy, majestical bower
      Where wood-nymphs their beauty disclose.

    Its beautiful leaf of silvery sheen,
      And the grandeur it gives to the grove,
    Proclaim to th' world it of forest is queen,
      And most worthy our heart's purest love.

    Honor we maple as type of all neatness,
      Yielding protection, beauty, and grace;
    None of its rivals boast of such sweetness,
      None can in typical form fill its place.

    May th' state be as pure in motive and plan,
      As the maple from evil is free.
    May every son of the state, as a man
      Take his type from the pure maple tree.

    Then hale be the state, and hail to the tree!
      And each halo of glory shall last
    Till from all tumult our state will be free,
      And no stain on her honor be cast.

    This tree be our care, our state's honored prize.
      May virtue and glory assemble,
    And bid every man in dignity rise
      Till the tree of our state he resemble.



ARBOR DAY TRIBUTE.


    With lavish hand our God hath spread
      Beauty and fragrance o'er the land;
    His smile revives the seeming dead;
      Nature awakes at His command.

    He breathes upon the leafless tree;
      He whispers to the tiny flower.
    His touch awakes the slumbering bee,
      And each obeys th' Almighty power.

    The perfumed breeze of smiling May,
      The dancing stream on mountain side,
    The wild bird's trill of joyous lay
      Proclaim Thy goodness far and wide.

    Attune our hearts to sing Thy praise,
      Expand our souls to comprehend
    Thy attributes and all Thy ways,
      And ever be our Guide and Friend.

    We plant to-day within the mould,
      The stock that needs Thy tender care;
    Send deep its roots, its buds unfold
      In answer to our faith and prayer.



THE ROSE.


    When dewy morn of balmy June
      Awakes and blushes in the East,
    When song birds pipe their sweetest tune
      And Nature spreads her grandest feast,
    Among the rare and fragrant plants
      Whose petals most of heaven disclose,
    In foremost rank--far in advance--
      There stands the sprightly, smiling rose.

    Its home is on the wide, wide plains,
      In valleys where wild torrents foam,
    In solitudes where silence reigns,
      And by the cotter's humble home.
    It cheers alike the rich and poor
      On Alpine heights, or by the sea,
    By castle wall or peasant's door--
      It justly claims ubiquity.

    Could blushing beauty born of heaven,
      Or world-wide worship win the prize,
    Could fragrance, fancy, fame, or even
      The rich rays of reflected skies
    Soothe sorrows sharp and scorching sting
      And give the world complete repose,
    Then men should shout and children sing--
      "The flower of State must be the Rose!"



THE GOLDENROD.


    When August sunset's yellow blaze
      Streams out o'er meadow, field and lawn,
    It seeks some shrine wherein its rays
      May linger till returning dawn,
    And touching gently with its sheen
      That graceful plumage of the sod,
    Its constellated gems of green
      Are changed to glorious _Goldenrod_.

    Its home is in the sterile soil
      Deserted by the rustic swain
    Because it yields not for his toil
      The recompense he would obtain.
    By wall and ledge, and rock, and mound,
      Where'er neglect and ruin reign
    In greatest beauty there 'tis found,
      To cheer and clothe the earth again.

    Down in the soul there dwells a thought
      That finds expression not in word,
    That counts display and promise naught
      Unless a voice divine is heard,
    That speaks to cheer the desolate,
      That yields a balm distilled from God;
    Whose type should be the flower of State--
      The sun-lit, heaven-born _Goldenrod_.



BUTTERCUPS AND DAISIES.


    Buttercups and daisies,--
      Bright children of the lawn--
    To the fields are nodding
      In the winds of June.
    Such beauty of the meadows
      Gives a charm so sweet, so strong,
    The robin's spirit bursts aloud
      In animated song.

    Buttercups and daisies
      Bloom adown the narrow lane,
    Beside the brook in pasture,
      And over the wide plain;
    Tangles in the meadow
      Where ten million flowers bloom,
    Draw bee and bird and squirrel,
      With their beauty and perfume.

    Buttercups and daisies
      Aglow in morning light,
    And pendant dew-drops sparkling--
      Bright diamonds of night--
    Send a matin greeting
      To the rising god of day,
    As he warms them gently
      With his golden ray.

    Buttercups and daisies
      Are jewels to be worn
    By all sons and daughters
      Of Nature, truly born;
    They speak a perfect language,
      They lead to the divine,
    They cheer the weak and weary
      They strengthen and refine.

    Buttercups and daisies
      May softly o'er me bloom,
    When I am sweetly sleeping
      Within my restful tomb,
    And when by mortal beings
      I may forgotten be,
    The buttercups and daisies
    Shall be dear friends to me.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Modest, meek anemone,
    Loved wind-flower of the spring,
    You fill our hearts with gladness,
    For with your smile you bring
    The vitalizing sunshine,
    The fruitful April shower,
    The pipe of feathered songster,
    And bud of sylvan bower.



THE FRINGED GENTIAN.


    I remember well, in my boyhood's romp,
    The beautiful flower that grew near the swamp,
        With its spiral screw
        Of cerulean hue,
    While on the marge of its petals grew
    A fringe, such as art never weaves.

    I plucked it with zeal, for my heart was aglow,
    Its color and form, my mother to show,
        And gladden her eyes
        With the exquisite prize
    I had found when autumnal zephyr sighs
    'Mong the faded flowers and leaves.

    Fair emblem of maiden adorned as a bride,
    The tintings of heaven within you abide;
        You smilingly stand
        In bridal robe grand,
    For a lover who offers an ardent hand,
    And a heart that never deceives.

    When others have left us, we cherish the one
    Who remains firm and faithful till vict'ry's won;
        Though cold be the storm,
        The heart is e'er warm
    For the tried and true, who weave such a charm
    Round the heart of him who receives.



THE DANDELION.


    Meadows are dotted, far and wide,
      With velvet stars that bring
    A golden off'ring of delight,--
      Flower-goslings of the spring.

    Then gray-haired pappus, downy, soft,
      Follows with pistils loose,
    And the gosling of the early spring
      Becomes a white-fledged goose.

    Its feathers float on ev'ry breeze
      That fans the verdant mead,
    And children count the hours of day
      By breaths that waft the seed.

    Soft, silent Time that comes apace
      O'er human flowers that bloom,
    You quickly change youth to old age,
      And lead life toward the tomb.

    Bright turf-born gosling of the field,
      Teach us to smile, and give
    A perfume from a fragrant soul,
      That on and on shall live.



THE FLOWERS I LOVE.


    I sometimes think I love the rose
      More than all other flowers,
    Because its fragrance falls on me
      In copious, dainty showers;
    And blushing in its modesty,
      I press it to my heart,
    As the idol of my dalliance
      That should no more depart.

    But when I see the lily fair--
      The meadow's beauteous queen--
    Surrounded by her myriad friends
      All dressed in Nature's green,
    My heart goes out in ecstasy,
      And naught on earth to me
    Seems fairer type of loveliness,
      Than this daughter of th' lea.

    When bright snow-flake-petaled daisy,
      Whose heart of yellow gold,
    Is richer vein of pure delight
      Than miner-kings may hold,
    Sends out her invitation warm,
      To search in her domain
    For berries like a bleeding heart,
      I cannot well decline.

    And then the graceful goldenrod
      With flaunting, sun-lit plume,
    Whose lateness lends a special joy
      And sweetness to its bloom,
    Invites me with its wind-blown nod,
      To be its devotee,
    With honesty I must confess
      It has a charm for me.

    There's a heaven-born flower--the aster,
      That drinks nocturnal dews
    From late autumn's chilly fountains,
      And steals the sunset hues;
    It smiles from wayside tangles
      And coyly casts its eyes,
    Yet holds me by its modesty
      A voluntary prize.

    I know not which I love the most,--
      I know I love them all,--
    For God hath given each its grace,
      And each its special call;
    Each has a mission to perform,
      A purpose and an end,
    And sweet is the companionship
      Of each bright flower-friend.



TRAILING ARBUTUS.


    Under the brown leaves meekly abiding,
      The gem of the spring-flowers nestles away,
    In copse near th' wood, where covertly hiding,
      It catches the glow of Aurora's first ray.

    Where moss and leaf are strewn in profusion--
      A bed whereon gods might gladly repose--
    Apart from the world, in rural seclusion
      The pride of the moorland--arbutus grows.

    In mossy fields, 'mong refuse of bushes,
      With rose-tinted lips, like herald of morn,
    With but a leaf to conceal secret blushes,
      Earth's first vernal offspring is sweetly born.

    Modest, retiring, and beautiful sprite,
      Emblem of graces a maiden should wear,
    Great is the pleasure, supreme the delight
      Of searching for joys such coyness doth bear.

    Child of the woodland in beauty abiding,
      Whose breath scents the air of early spring morns,
    Fairies of magical powers are residing
      In nooks and valleys your presence adorns.

    Oft in the springtime I wander away
      To dwell for a time in your blest retreat,
    Counting such pleasure far sweeter to me
      Than bustle of city or throng of the street.



THE MORNING GLORY.

[On being requested to give some Morning Glory seeds.]


    The sunshine seems much brighter,
    And the heart is ever lighter,
    When the rays of sweet Aurora
    Gild the radiant morning glory
    With a splendor, such as heaven
    To few favorites has given
    Among the beautiful rare flowers.
    So plant these seeds with care,
    In a place well-chosen, where
    The first rays of the morning
    May kiss their bright adorning,
    And teach your heart to see
    The beauties there may be
    In the early morning hours.



RYE.


    When pollen-dust from fields of rye
      Floats out on the dews of even,
    And stars of June bedeck the sky
      Of mild and cloudless heaven,
    'Tis ecstasy to linger near
      The odor-laden quivers,
    Whose lance-like arrows then appear
      To be our pleasure-givers.

    When Luna bright is wreathed in smiles,
      And breathes upon the flowers,
    A billowy greenness oft beguiles
      Our minds by magic powers;
    For like the waves of ocean grand
      When tempest winds are high,
    With speed sweep by the waves on land,
      In the fields of liquid rye.

    Fragrant fields of beautiful June,
      Whose billowy, graceful green
    Is a mem'ry-gem that fades too soon
      From childhood's romantic scene,
    Sweet were my hours of ecstasy
      When by your side I was nigh;
    Joys I covet, long lost to me
      That came from sweet fields of rye.



COMMUNION WITH NATURE.


    'Tis sweet to hold communion
      With Nature true and wild,
    And feel the thrill of gladness
      She breathes upon her child,
    When close upon her bosom
      We press the listening ear,
    And fancy that the minstrelsy
      Our raptured senses hear,
    Is sweeter than the chorus
      By angel choirs sung,
    Or richer than vibrations
      Of chords so deftly strung,
    That all their intonations
      Seem blended in one strain,
    By touch of fairy fingers
      Which enchant the sweet refrain.

    The beauties of the sunset
      Upon the evening sky,
    When flecked with fleeting vapors,
      Detached and awry,
    Give colors that no artist
      Save God alone can show
    To eyes that seek such blendings,
      And hearts that long to know
    The hidden things in Nature
      Which ne'er can be revealed
    To those who find not heaven
      In mountain, sky, and field;
    For they who live the nearest
      To Nature's self shall find
    Joy boundless as the ocean,
      As pure and unconfined.

    Deep in the leafy forest
      A thousand tones are heard,--
    The laughing, dancing brooklet,
      The song of bright-winged bird,
    The buzz of bee on flower,
      The leaf by breezes fanned,
    The hum of tiny insect
      Whose feeble notes command
    The modulated heart-beat
      To know the great decree,
    That frees the mind from slavery
      And sets the spirit free,
    Through knowledge of those hidden things
      Which God only reveals
    To him who loves all nature,
      And for a brother feels.

    The dearest and the sweetest
      Of all the charms on earth,
    Are those that link our natures
      To feelings that have birth
    When leaf and flower and fruitage
      Steal our being for an hour,
    And we are half unconscious
      Of some mysterious power,
    That leads us close to heaven,
      And points to joys supreme,
    Where fields and flowers and happiness
      Are not an idle dream,
    But a true and soothing heritage
      Whose limit has no end,
    Where ev'ry rock and tree and shrub
      Shall prove a trusted friend.

    If heaven is not shadowed
      Upon our spirit mind,
    Through all its gorgeous tintings
      And colorings combined;
    If Nature has no language
      To charm the ear and eye,
    And brooks and birds and forests
      Afford no minstrelsy;
    If waving grain and orchards,
      Freighted with fragrance rare,
    Draw not the spirit heavenward
      And lift the soul in prayer;
    Then orisons are soulless
      Though voiced on bended knee,
    And small must be our knowledge
      Of the Great Deity.



MOUNTAIN BROOK.


    Beneath the shade deep in a dell,
    Where fairy spirits ever dwell,--
      Away from haunts of men,
    A living thing of godlike birth,
    By Nature's law springs from the earth
      To gladden vale and glen.

    Ten thousand fairies clad in green
    Enliven the sequestered scene,
      With noiseless dance and mirth,
    And minstrelsy of heaven conspires
    With liquid laughs and wind-played lyres
      To charm the scenes of earth.

    The rocks and trees bedecked with moss,
    The million leaves with shimmering gloss
      Drink from the dancing spray,
    Which rising from the dashing foam,
    Seeks its bright aerial home
      And greets the orb of day.

    No discord here my spirit jars,
    No artful smile my comfort mars,
      For Nature's self is true;
    Here beauty, grace, and peace conspire
    To make my inmost soul desire
      Some heart with kindred view.

    Who dwells in such companionship,
    Builds fountains whence the soul may sip
      Heaven's sweetest gift to man,
    Sees beauty reign as God designed,
    Has purer love for all mankind,
      And lives near Nature's plan.

    Loved mountain brook, so pure, so true,
    I'd rather spend an hour with you,
      And harmonize my soul
    With the sweet melodies you sing,
    With all the joy your concerts bring,
      That sit where flowing bowl

    And jocund laugh of merry crowd
    In accents wild, profane, and loud,
      Break on the midnight air;
    For you bring peace and joy and rest,
    Refreshment for a mind distressed,
      And banish grief and care.

    When I shall sleep my final sleep,
    Fain would I rest where you will keep
      A tuneful voice for me;
    Then to my spirit will be given
    The foretaste of a promised heaven--
      Nature's sweet harmony.



TO A MOUNTAIN BROOK.


    Shy sylvan spirit singing so sweetly,
      Dancing to measures that flow with your song
    Frolic your fairy feet faultlessly, fleetly,
      As down the mountain vale haste you along.

    Babbling buoyantly by banks and bushes,
      Laughingly onward you speed to the sea,
    While from your mossy sides, joyously gushes
      Fountains from Nature's bowl, healthful and free.

    Naiads and Nymphs hold revels at midnight,
      Dancing to music that swells from your flow;
    Dryad and Faun peep out at the moonlight,
      Thro' rents in green curtains that over you grow.

    Here would I pour my soul out in wooing
      The spirit that dwells in your charmed home;
    Here would I linger gladly, if knowing
      My waiting might lead it at last to come.

    Let me while here with you catch the spirit
      Of peace and comfort abiding in you,
    Then will my Nature truly inherit
      A love for the beautiful, noble, and true.



THE STREAM'S STORY.


    I sat me down in a forest old,
      Beside a low murmuring stream;
    I lent my ear to the tale it told,
      For 'twas more than fancy's dream;

    It spoke of days when the earth was young,
      When it flowed more cheerfully,
    When its water sang the rocks among,
      As they danced down toward the sea.

    "In the ancient days my banks were filled,
      Nor shrank I from heat or frost,
    For the shaded, moss-crowned earth then held
      The drops, so that none were lost.

    "The old forest then stretched far away,
      And its sheltering arms embraced
    Sweet perfumed plants and flowerets gay,
      Whose lives long ago have ceased.

    "For the sturdy woodman plied the blade
      And the forest soon lay low;
    Then the burning sun and the want of shade
      Soon shrank my full crystal flow.

    "Now when the rain comes, my waters roar,
      And my spoils are sad to see,
    For the earth-vaults where I kept my store,
      Hold no surplus now for me.

    "Man's greed for wealth has my beauty marred
      And robbed me of early joys,
    But I sing again, with hope restored,
      When I see the girls and boys

    "Who come with their songs in merry May,
      O'er valley, hill, and plain,
    To plant young trees on this Arbor Day,
      So in joy I smile again."

       *       *       *       *       *

    To wander all day, by a purling stream
      That flows through some mossy dell,
    And watch its silvery waters gleam,
      And list to its music's swell
    As it dashes down some wild cascade,
      On its race to the wide, wide sea,
    With sweeter strains than old Orpheus played,
      Is supreme delight to me.



THE SECOND SUNDAY IN MAY.


    Softly the breezes dance o'er the meadows,
      Wafting the perfume of sweet-scented May;
    Flecked are the green fields with sunshine and shadows,
      Telling so gently of earth's perfect day.

    From moss-covered rocks whereon we are seated,
      Nature spreads scenes such as art cannot yield;
    With flowers of rare beauty our vision is greeted,
      Our ears, with the bird-notes of forest and field.

    Dogwood with tints from pink to pure whiteness,
      Columbine crimson with pinnacled sheen,
    Pinks of carnation, and orchards in brightness,
      Vie with the meadows of velvety green.

    The bobolink chatters in notes of perfection,
      The oriole sings a love-song to his mate,
    The whippoorwill clings to his perch for protection,
      The crow laughs ha! ha! when the evening grows late.

    Squirrel and humming-bird flit by like spirits,
      Jack-in-the-pulpit stands ready to preach,
    The roll of the anthem the wood-choir inherits,
      Surpasses the harmony mortals can reach.

    The song of the bird-note, the hum of the bee,
      The tinkling of waters, the bursting of leaves,
    The perfume of flowers, the blossoming tree,
      Are sermons from Nature the pulpit ne'er gives.

    My soul sings with these, with these has communion,
      They lift me in thought to realms pure and bright;
    They speak of a Nature with which to have union
      Dispels all my sorrows and gives me delight.

    Every sigh of the breeze, every note of wild bird,
      Every plant that springs up from earth's fertile sod,
    Are sermons of eloquence when rightly heard,
      That soothe me and bring me nearer to God.



NATURE'S CHILD.


    I would rather dwell with Nature
    And be her favored child,
    To love plant, tree, and creature
    That live in forest wild;
    And feel the satisfaction
    That I can understand
    The beauty and attraction
    Of motives, noble, grand,
    That fashioned for man's pleasure
    This brilliant world of ours,
    Than possess the jeweled treasure
    Of all earth's kingly powers.



LAKE GEORGE, N. Y.


    Beautiful, beautiful Horicon!
      Over thy waters so blue,
    Sunshine and shadow in silence flit on,
      Painting fresh scenes on the ecstatic view.

    Blue are the skies that kiss the green tops
      Of sentinel mountains grand,
    Pure are the waters descending in drops,
      Or rushing in torrents from mountain to strand.

    Like emerald crowns thy islands rise,
      And mirrored back are doubly seen
    Gray rocks of the mountains, the cloud-flecked skies,
      Gorgeous adornments, and fringes of green.

    Silent and wild are the fairy shores
      Save song of the warbling bird,
    Or the glen wherein the cataract roars,
      Or the pine tree's branch by strong breezes stirred.

    When sunset purples the dark ravine
      And throws crimson on thy breast,
    Soft-tinged are the hues that e'er lie between
      Thy shores and the peaks that rise in the west.

    I see in my fancy days long past,
      I hear the brave soldier's song,
    The bugle that summoned hosts at its blast,
      Whose notes died in echoes the green shores along.

    I see in the past ten-thousand oars,
      And a thousand boats so grand,
    As they leave the marge of thy southern shores
      To meet the French foes of Montcalm's command.

    I see Abercrombie grandly brave
      With his fifteen thousand men,
    Glide swiftly, silently over the wave
      To contest from which many came not again.

    Beautiful, beautiful Horicon!
      How changed is the scene to-day,
    The pageant of war and carnage is gone
      Thy waters now bear the light-hearted and gay.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Who loves devoutly Nature wild,
      And sees in her a Master's hand,
    Will seldom be a wayward child
      Though foul temptations round him stand.
    Magnetic forces draw him back
      From following low and slavish ways,
    His soul revolts at the attack
      That foe of Nature--Vice, displays.



THE THRUSH.


    When on mountain road I travel,
    Stained with dust and dirt and gravel,
      In cool shade I sit me down;
    Oft I see among the bushes
    Feathered friends--shy brown thrushes,
      Sweetest singers of renown.

    Smooth his coat though brown and dusty,
    His mellow voice is ever trusty
      And clear and soft and sweet;
    On the tree-top oft he's singing,
    In the woods his voice is ringing
      While hills his notes repeat.

    I have heard him in the morning
    When the sun was just adorning
      Tops of tallest forest trees,
    Pour his soul of song so tender,
    That to God he seemed to render
      Thanksgiving harmonies.

    Every feather he did quiver,
    As his song he would deliver
      In bursts so wild and grand,
    That creation's face would gladden
    As the air with music laden
      Seemed fraught with choral band.

    Some notes that swelled his speckled breast
    Were like soft zephyrs from the west
      That fall on June-blown flowers;
    So full, so sweet, they lull the soul,
    And like a spirit voice control
      My reveries for hours.

    Soulful song, enwrapped in feather,
    Harbinger of pleasant weather,
      Sing softly unto me.
    Your tuneful notes at morn and even
    Are antepasts of joys in heaven
      That bring felicity.

    Attune your joyous song for me,
    And lift my soul that it may see
      The world in beauty bright;
    Sing on, sing on, until the wood
    Shall laugh aloud in merry mood,
      And sadness take her flight!

    Sweet warbling bird in brown attire,
    Your notes of praise do me inspire
      With love for Nature wild;
    Your songs of joy so sweetly sung,
    By heart and throat divinely strung,
      Proclaim you Nature's child.



ROBIN REDBREAST.


    Low and soft and plaintive,
      Now distant and now near,
    Is the voice of Robin Redbreast,
      That in the tree I hear.

    Sometimes 'tis but a murmur,
      So gentle and so sweet,
    It sounds like a dying zephyr
      That echo doth repeat.

    And then in bursts of music
      That make the forests ring,
    Comes the swelling, happy ditty
      His birdship loves to sing.

    And the voice is so enchanting,
      So perfect and so clear,
    All earth stands still to listen,
      And the clouds bend low to hear.

    Again he tunes his liquid note
      To winds in tree-tops sighing,
    Or to the sound of waters
      That o'er the rocks are playing.

    The sprightly, sweet ventriloquist
      Deceives you as to distance,
    You sometimes think him far away
      Beyond alarm's resistance,

    And then again, you think him near
      The place you are abiding;
    He's in the same place all the time,
      In covert he is hiding,

    And telling you in measured notes
      His mate is yonder nesting,
    While in the shade of leafy tree
      Near by in song he's resting.

    Had I so sweet a voice as his
      I'd carol all day long,
    Charm with my presence all mankind,
      And cheer them with my song.

    The woods and fields should echo far
      My choicest minstrelsy,
    While earth and sky would both unite
      To join the revelry.



THE FARMER.


    Of war and love some poets sing,
      And some of fame and glory,
    But few there are a tribute bring
      To him whose only story
    Is written on the sterile soil
      With hand of honest labor,
    Whose plow and hoe bespeak a toil
      More grand than gory sabre.

    My muse will sing of such as these,
      And claim a wreath of laurel,
    To crown each sturdy Hercules
      Whose only wish to quarrel,
    Is with the forest and the field
      To make them rich and fairer,
    To make old mother earth to yield
      Her fruits and flowers e'en rarer.

    Let merchants in the busy marts
      Think farmers are mere cattle,
    But they who know the farmers' hearts
      And of his earnest battle
    With thorns and thistles scattered wide,
      Like earth's destructive Neros,
    Well know they are our country's pride--
      Our Nation's greatest heroes.

    The lily-fingered, pale-faced men
      Who live by "A Profession,"
    Need not despise the farmer, when
      He makes some slight digression
    Upon what they call etiquette;
      For in his heart he's civil;
    Though rough his hand, his brow asweat,
      His heart is free from evil.

    He toils from early morn till night,
      Yet he is "Independent;"
    For Nature's God defends the right,
      And holds a crown resplendent
    To place upon His honored child
      Whose life is heavy laden,
    But keeps a spirit undefiled
      To enter into Eden.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Though brown and dusty be his garb
      From wrestling with the soil,
    The farmer is God's nobleman,
      Made so, by honest toil.



THE OLD FARM.


    The dear old farm has a sacred charm
      That extends to farthest bound,
    Every rock and tree is dear to me,
      And hallowed seems the ground.

    Its beautiful stream whose waters gleam
      As they dance on to the sea,
    Sings sweeter song, as it moves along,
      Than other waters to me.

    No leaves are so green, as those that screen
      The revered old farm-house doors,
    From the burning sun of torrid June
      When his fiercest rays he pours.

    Each grove and field doth a mem'ry yield
      Of dear childhood's blissful hours,
    And in accents clear, voices I hear
      That have now augmented powers.

    My father's care and my mother's prayer
      Are now ended here on earth,
    But as time rolls on, since they have gone,
      I shall understand their worth.

    There's a sacred charm in the dear old farm,
      For loved ones have trod its soil,
    And much I now see, appears to me
      As fruit of their faithful toil.



MAPLE AT MY FATHER'S DOOR.


    On velvet green of grassy floor,
      'Neath maple at my father's door
    My couch at eve has been;
      There gazing on the tranquil sky,
    With all its astral brilliancy,
      My spirit sang within.

    Then far away beyond the blue,
      On Fancy's wings my vision flew
    And scanned the realms of space;
      Then like a dove far from her nest,
    Returned to find a perfect rest
      Within its dwelling place.



OCEANUS' MIRROR, TRINITY LAKE, N. Y.

[See Note on "Fidelity."]


    I've been charmed by many a picture,
      That has brought its master renown;
    I have looked on beautiful valleys
      From the mountain's lofty crown;
    I have gazed on the sky at evening,
      When the heavens were all aglow,
    But they fail to charm me so fully
      As this scene in the waters below.

    Fair Trinity lay in her beauty,
      Not a ripple was on her breast,
    Her borders of hemlocks and mosses
      With beautiful flowers were dressed;
    Clear as the air on her bosom
      Were her waters so pure and deep,
    They seemed like the magical mirror
      That Flora and Nereus keep.

    Where the rocks and trees bend over
      The marge of her western shore,
    The boat glided slowly onward
      Without the aid of the oar;
    When glancing the eye at the shadows
      Reflected from shore near at hand,
    There appeared a bright panorama,
      Most charming--exquisitely grand.

    Down, down, far down in the waters,
      And touching the brink of the lake,
    Was a picture no master painter
      With pencil or brush could make;
    Gray rocks, green trees, and bright flowers,
      Inverted and magnified, too,
    Seemed perfect in all but proportion
      And their upturned chimerical view.

    It seemed like a fairy enchantment
      Inviting to feasts down below,
    Where grottoes and caverns of beauty
      Illumine the flowers that grow
    To charm the nymphs of the water,
      And beguile all the sylvan elves
    To the table of old Oceanus,
      Where guests ever help themselves.

    Some spirit seemed calling me sweetly,
      Inviting me then to partake
    Of the fanciful pleasures reflected
      Far down in the clear, placid lake.
    O, beautiful scene of reflection!
      So perfect, so grand, and so pure,
    In my mind that mirror enchantment
      To the end of my days must endure.



MORNING FLOWERS.


    The flowers all wash their faces fair
      With the dews of the smiling morn,
    Then turn to greet the god of the air
      As his light in the east is born.

    They call th' breeze from th' slumb'ring west
      And a censer place in his hand,
    Then mingle perfumes, choicest, best,
      To waft o'er the festive land.

    The flower of th' heart may lave in deeds
      That refresh the worthy poor,
    And th' soul's perfume is that which feeds
      The hungry, weak, and sore.

       *       *       *       *       *

      That spring unfolds to pleasure's eye;
    There's wisdom in the falling drop
      That had its birth in yonder sky.
    The breeze that fans the fevered brow,
      Or gives new vigor to frail man,
    Is but the breath of the Divine
      Sent to fulfill benignant plan.



ARTIST NATURE.


    When Aurora springs from her couch of clouds
      And opens the gate of a perfect day,
    And her brother Sol in his daily rounds
      Advances his steeds toward Polaris' ray,
    Then the vernal bloom and the warbling bird
      That follow his track as he speeds along,
    Send their fragrance pure on the morning air,
      And fill leafy groves with ecstatic song.

    Oceanus lends invisible bowls,
      Well filled with vapors that rise from his breast,
    Eurus is summoned to waft them afar
      And scatter abroad in the distant west,
    Where Sol with his brush and an artist's touch,
      Paints on the sky all the glories of heaven,
    In colors more bright and blendings more true,
      Than ever on canvas by mortal was given.

    One sunset scene in Hesperian sky,
      When the courts of heaven are all ablaze
    With the glorious tints and pageantry
      That to mortal mind so clearly portrays
    The mighty power of omnipotent hand,
      And the tender touch of a boundless love,
    Is an omen true--infallible proof
      Of a Deity who presides above.



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS.



MUSIC.


    When musical chords are tensioned
      To sentiments they should express,
    And touched by a master artist
      Whose deft hand gives the proper stress,
    The effect is so ecstatic
      When vibrations fall on the ear,
    The soul stands in silent rapture,
      And our being expands to hear.

    At skillful touch of the master
      A creation of joy is given,
    That lends to the spirit pinions
      To waft it away toward heaven,
    While it sings to the same measure
      And becomes a part of the song,
    Enraptured by the magic power
      Which carries it gently along.

    O the magic power of tension
      When a master hand has control!
    It wins the heart's approbation
      And augments the receptive soul;
    'Tis a rapture born in heaven
      To entrance our expectant ears,
    'Tis angelic diapason
      Such as harmonized once the spheres.

    We each have an organ, tensioned
      With a thousand strings and their keys,
    All made by a Master builder
      Who permits us ourselves to please;
    Its wonderful combinations
      Far surpass all the works of art,
    'Tis the master-piece of creation--
      The versatile, strange, human heart.

    We have sole choice of the music
      That shall sound on the tensioned strings;
    We may choose if sad or joyous
      Shall be the final note it sings;
    Though fate may fling fiercest chaos,
      Its Maker reserved to us powers
    That we need not ever surrender,
      For the strength to possess is ours.

    Let my tongue sing songs of rapture
      And my heart-strings sweetly respond,
    Till the notes shall pass earth's border
      And reach the bright portals beyond;
    And when in the great hereafter
      The tension shall be much increased,
    My joys will be there augmented
      To know that earth's songs have not ceased.


       *       *       *       *       *


    I often long for some quiet nook
      Away from the noise and strife
    Which come from the steady daily round
      That absorbs my busy life;
    Away in some shadowy forest
      Whose silence is supreme,
    Save the song of feathered minstrel
      And the murmur of a stream;
    Far away among the dark shadows
      That form Fauna's trysting-bowers,--
    But the time of this total seclusion
      Should ne'er exceed six hours.



REST.


    When wearisome task is finished
      And flesh with fatigue is oppressed,
    When muscles are tired and languid
      And sinews are sorely distressed,
    No balm can renew their vigor
      Like that boon from heaven called rest.

    We know not its composition,
      Nor can we expound all its laws,
    We grant the effect is pleasant
      Tho' we cannot explain the cause;
    We therefore accept the blessing
      And bid curiosity pause.

    Foremost in its rank of agents
      Is a heavenly maid called Sleep,
    Who stands in unbroken silence,
      And ever her watch will keep
    O'er mortals whose labors and trials
      Seem heavy, oppressive, and deep.

    Sometimes when sorrows are deepest
      This maiden refuses relief;
    She's no balm for the broken-hearted,
      No cure for a head bowed with grief,
    No soothing touch for the anguish
      That robs like a heartless thief.

    She flies from deep woe and sorrow
      And recedes from the blinding tear;
    Yet hastes to fatigue and trials
      And offers to them smiles of cheer
    Such as turn to joy and gladness,
      Murky doubt and foreboding fear.

    When death shall release the spirit
      From its prison-house of vile clay,
    It will speed to an elysian
      Of a cloudless, unending day,
    Where with others of its kindred,
      It will find a rest for aye.

       *       *       *       *       *

      Well filled with murky ink,
    When in my solitary den
      I sit for hours to think,
    And trace my thoughts in liquid flow
      Upon some virgin page,
    That in the future it may show
      What thoughts my mind engage.



SUCCESS.


    Success knows no diminution,
      For failure hovers so near,
    That with trace of slight dilution,
      Success must cease to appear.

    We look in vain for a substitute
      To take the place of success;
    A proxy saps its vital cords,
      It dies of paralysis.

    Nothing can take the place of success,
      Its measure must be complete,
    If slightest imperfection is found
      It suffers a deadly defeat.

    The marge that divides sturdy success
      From failure grim and gaunt,
    Is invisible space, but separates
      Abundance from woe and want.

    Like pack of wolves on army's trail,
      Fell failure lives on distress,
    Devouring with greed th' foul refuse
      That falls from th' hands of success.

    Success and failure closely abide--
      Success has a palace fine,
    While failure dwells in a dreary hut,
      Like a herding place for swine.

    Success may not always achieve
      The object it has in view,
    But lives while its motives and acts
      Are earnest, noble, and true.

    True failure can only be found
      In a being devoid of heart,
    Whose efforts and deeds are all dead,
      Or act but a sluggard's part.

    Success has a heart that can sing,
      A hand and a spirit to try,
    A word that is fraught with good cheer,
      A soul that illumines the eye.

    Failure is cheerless, sullen, and glum,
      His hand hanging idly by,
    His voice is an echo of woe,
      His face distorted, awry.



FRAGMENTS.


    This world was made of fragments
      Each separate from the other,
    Yet in such close relation
      As to indicate a brother.

    Each atom of the universe
      Has in itself attraction,
    That finds response so much allied
      To voluntary action,

    That one might quickly recognize
      A power, supreme, benign,
    That emanates from master hand
      With forces so divine,

    That every touch which nature gives
      To matter or to mind,
    Must indicate creative power
      Superior to mankind.

    What scientist can ever tell
      The mainspring of all action,
    If all his reasons fail so prove
      Molecular attraction?

    It has its source from out the space,
      Beyond the astral heaven;
    It had a purpose to perform,
      Or it had not been given.

    We may not know its secret laws
      Or understand its source,
    But faith has taught us to be wise
      And recognize its force.

    Of all the teeming millions now
      Upon this mundane sphere,
    Not one can give a reason
      For his living presence here.

    'Tis strange, and yet we know 'tis true,
      We constantly are dying,
    All things are old, nothing is new,
      And life with death is vying.

    We know not when this all will cease,
      We cannot understand
    Why matter never may increase,
      Or seas become dry land.

    Enough we know to serve the end
      For which we were designed,
    God never yet was known to send
      The blind to lead the blind.

    If we but act an honest part,
      And use the powers given,
    When from this earth we shall depart,
      We may be wise in heaven.



A BEACON LIGHT.


    Adown the vistas of the past
      I cast my memory's eye,
    And see bright scenes receding fast,--
      Some hopes in ruins lie;
    Yet still there shines a beacon light
      Whose ray on me descends,
    And shows in its effulgency
      A circle of true friends.

    The magic charm this circle yields
      Is richer far to me,
    Than cattle in a thousand fields
      Or gems from the deep sea;
    It whispers softly in my ears
      And cheers me on my way,
    Gives faith for doubt and murky fears,
      And comfort for dismay.



MEMORY.


    Earthly scenes are worth preserving,
      Bitter though they sometimes be;
    Who would wish to sink in Lethe
      All the fruits of Memory?
    None could dare offend his Maker
      By a wish so rash and vain;
    For by this kind boon from Heaven
      Life is all lived o'er again.

    In the silent hour of twilight,
      Thoughts of by-gone days will come,
    Stealing o'er our better feelings,
      Bringing back our early home;
    All the soothing words of friendship
      Spoken by a tongue now still,
    Touch the fountains near our heart-strings,
      And our eyes with moisture fill.

    Tender, oh, how sweetly tender,
      Are the musings of an hour,
    When the mellowing scenes around us
      Give to Memory magic power;
    Thought recalls those scenes long parted,
      Life epitomized appears,
    Moments then reflect a lifetime
      Reaching back through many years.

    Oh, how blessed are those moments!
      Present scenes can never fire
    Such a rapture in our bosom
      As fond Memory can inspire;
    Naught on earth can e'er be spoken
      To attract the living ear,
    Like the words of the departed
      Uttered when among us here.

    Time and Death have made them sacred,
      Memory calls them oft to mind,
    And her choicest, dearest treasures,
      She for them has oft entwined;
    This is but a simple homage,
      Richly paying him who kneels;
    He who's prompted by such feelings,
      For his fellow being feels.

    Dark must be that soul enshrouded,
      Which Oblivion would prefer
    To the soothing power of Memory
      And the influence shed by her:
    Life itself is not worth having
      If deprived of such a bliss,
    Earth has not another treasure
      That we may compare with this.



DISCONTENT.


    Let quiet people talk of peace--
      Contentment of the mind,
    But he who lives at perfect ease
      Can never bless mankind.

    If each no higher end should seek
      Than that which now he fills,
    But be content, subdued, and meek,
      'Twould bring a thousand ills.

    Advancement then would have an end.
      Progression then would cease,
    Invention have no earnest friend,
      And science no increase.

    But Discontent, though called a fiend,
      Is progress in disguise,
    'Tis _this_ by which our end's attained,
      'Tis _this_ by which we rise.

    The pupil may surpass the sage
      If such his aim shall be,
    May fathom truths for many an age
      Were wrapped mystery.

    The genius may invent some plan
      To ease the laborer's toil,
    Or add facility for man
      To cultivate the soil.

    Contentment never did aspire
      To elevate mankind,
    It never raised the standard higher
      Of science or of mind.

    'Tis Discontent that gains the prize
      In every useful art;
    Although it brings us tearful eyes
      And restlessness of heart;

    But then it has a sweet reward--
      Progression is the fruit,
    But some this sweetness have abhorred
      For others have the boot.

    For he who blesses most mankind,
      Himself is seldom blessed,
    And he whose deeds should be enshrined
      Will seldom be caressed.

    Yet, let our banner ne'er be furled,
      Our lives in quiet spent;
    For 'tis a truth that all the world
      Still thrives on Discontent.



OUR POLITICS.

"The purification of politics is an iridescent dream."
U. S. Senator, John J. Ingalls, Kansas.


    "Purification of politics
      Is an iridescent dream,"
    Is the Ingalls way of saying that
      Corruption's power's supreme.

    Have the people lost their honesty,
      Has the Nation sunk so low,
    That partisan strife can blind our eyes
      Till we know not friend from foe?

    If such be true, this fair land of ours
      Must fail to mature the Hope
    That blossomed fair on Liberty's tree,
      But in impotence must grope.

    Beautiful land! God's own favored land!
      Thy sons must united be,
    Statesmen should now hold the public helm,
      Throw factions into the sea,

    Teach politicians with all their schemes,
      The people yet are supreme;
    That Augean stables--politics--
      May be cleansed by ballot's streams.



SUNSET.


    Softly the tints of expiring day
      Tinge th' vaults of Hesperian heaven,
    Leaving a trace of the sun's mellow ray
      To escort the shadows of even.

    All of the gates of Phoebus are drawn,
      Yet his splendor has left to sight
    A trail of enchantment to linger till dawn,
      To charm the still hours of the night.

    Scenes of such cloud-land often reveal
      A grandeur that augments the soul;
    Heaven has no beauties it seeks to conceal,
      No secrets inscribed on its scroll.

    Through the earth for an age we may roam,
      And through space our vision may fly,
    Yet no pleasure is like that at home
      When we gaze on a God-painted sky.

    When we think of the forces displayed
      To prepare for a cloud-scene at even,
    Of the elements deftly arrayed
      That a gorgeous effect may be given,

    Of the mists and the winds and the light,
      Of the blendings that art cannot teach,
    Of the mysteries hidden from sight
      That our knowledge would gladly reach,

    Of the order, the purpose, design,
      In the pictures that hang in the sky,
    We know that the hand is divine
      That arranged all their brilliancy,

    Then our faith lifts the curtain that hides
      The Spirit that ordered the plan,
    And assures us He ever abides
      To encourage and elevate man.

    At sunset my spirit shall sing
      Of the beauties the elements yield,
    Let my heart then its off'ring bring
      To the Artist of sky and of field.

    When my soul from its dwelling of clay,
      Shall escape to that unknown sphere,
    May it be at the close of the day,
      When the glories of sunset appear.

    Soothingly, sweetly comes unto me
      The thought that my soul may rest,
    In a land whose glory shall be
      Like cloud-scenes that glow in the west.



SELFISHNESS.


    Who lives for self alone should be
    Placed in some lonely, hollow tree,
    And left to toad and bat and owl--
    To creatures man considers foul--
    Where he shall be perpetual prey
    For frightful ogres night and day.

    A narrow soul that lives for self,
    Should stand on some old musty shelf,
    Where spiders, rats, and vermin throng,
    And listen only to the song
    Of filing saw and creaky mill,
    And owlet's hoot and whip-poor-will.

    Who lives for self is not afraid
    Of meanest thing God ever made,
    For he himself is that same thing;
    Though peasant, plebian, or king,
    He thwarts the purpose of God's plan,
    He lacks the impulse of a man.

    No soul enwrapped within itself,
    Or dwarfed by pride, or love of pelf,
    Can serve its Maker or mankind
    As nobly as was erst designed
    By the Great Architect above,
    Whose being is Unselfish Love.



RETROSPECTION.


    I sit when the shadows are stealing
      The light of departing day,
    And think of the scenes and pleasures
      I enjoyed in my childhood's play.

    I can picture them all so plainly,
      They seemed not a day gone by,
    I recall the fields and garden,
      The lake and the clear blue sky.

    I can see the bright water flowing
      At the foot of the sloping hill,
    The dam that impeded its progress,
      The toy-wheel of water-mill.

    I can trace every line and feature
      Of trees and the shadows they cast,
    The lanes, the rocks, and orchards,
      That on journey to school were past.

    I can close my eyes for an instant
      And draw a scene to my mind,
    That seems like a photo-engraving,
      As true, as complete, as defined.

    Time's flight has not dim'd or shaded
      One outline the scenes gave then,
    Though the years that have intervened,
      Are nearly two score and ten.

    There's a central, attractive figure,
      With heart unselfish and warm,
    That always appears in the picture--
      'Tis my mother's benignant form.

    I can see her in all the beauty
      And glow of a mother's pride,
    As she patiently watched and labored
      For her children at her side.

    How sweet to my soul is the power
      To so clearly these scenes portray;
    I pray that to life's latest hour
      This bliss be not taken away.



ALONE.

"And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I
will make him a help meet for him."--Gen. 2, 18.


    Alone! God saw His creature man,
      Deprived of great felicity,
    And changed the order of His plan
      That earth in harmony might be
    With all the products of the spheres,
      Which move in such perfect accord,
    That through aeons of passing years
      They but proclaim a perfect Lord.

    The earth was fair and fresh and young,
      The stars hung in a cloudless sky,
    Sweet perfumes on the air were flung
      From every breeze went laughing by;
    The brook and bird in wanton glee,
      Attuned their notes in such refrain
    That earth was full of minstrelsy,
      And heaven re-echoed it again.

    God's image, man, heard not the strain,
      No beauty charmed his listless eye,
    Earth spread her treasures but in vain,
      In vain shone the bejeweled sky;
    Earth gave no food for hungry _heart_,
      No solace-cup from which to sip,
    Defective seemed Nature and Art,
      To _soul_ robbed of _companionship_.

    A "help meet" then to man was given,
      To _soothe_ and _cheer_ his lonely way;
    Eve was an afterthought of Heaven
      That crowned the last creation-day.
    Create anew, Almighty Power,
      A "help meet" for the desolate,
    Let no wild sophistry devour
      The solace Thou didst last create.



LOVE.

[Written after reading Shakespeare's sonnet commencing, "Love is not
Love which alters when it alterations finds."]


    Love is a sort of cannibal
      And lives upon its kind,
    It dares all dangers, fears no foes
      And to the world is blind,
    While faithful heart unswerving beats,
     Or pines in forced retreat;
    It deems all tortures fate may send
      Are perfumed with the sweet
    Aroma of implicit faith,
      Born of a kindred soul
    That to the outer things of life
      Spurns puny hate's control.

    Love, undeceived, is perfect bliss
      When trust reciprocates
    The purest, sweetest touch that Heaven
      Within the soul creates;
    But fierce Vesuvius cannot burn
      With such destructive flame,
    As fires Love's victim of deceit
      Stung by the taunts that claim
    No truthful fountain as their source,
      No mild-voiced Justice to allay
    The cauldron of defenseless fraud
      Distilled through treachery.

    Love that dissembles is not love,
      But a subtle treachery,--
    A siren with a charming voice
      That sounds o'er a mirror sea,--
    A beacon light set to allure
      From a harbor safe and calm,--
    A soothing drug whose deadly power
      Yields to no proffered balm,--
    A smiling face with winsome glow
      But poisonous, blasting breath,
    That breathes upon its victim, draughts
      Of sorrow, tears, and death.

    Love that would gain a mastery
      To wield for pelf or power,
    Is not a love born clean and pure
      O'er which no evils lower,
    But like a miasmatic clime
      That yields delicious fruit,
    It hides the venom it distills,
      And seeks its sole repute
    In outward show and pageantry,
      Wherein are deep concealed
    The poisoned arrows plumed for death,
      It would not have revealed.

    Unselfish love is but a spark
      Of God's own spirit dropped from Heaven,
    The richest boon, the sweetest joy,
      That unto mortals God hath given;
    Within itself it hath a power
      To lift the soul on joyous wings,
    Attune the heart to harmonies,
      And softly touch the tensioned strings
    That vibrate in such unison
      With other strings so like its own,
    That not a discord may be heard
      In cadence, blend, or tone.

       *       *       *       *       *

    As a cricket sang his song to me
      On a late September eve,
    The tone had a sadness in it,
      That over my spirit did weave
    A spell of gloom, at the requiem
      He sang in his solitude,
    For the dying year, th' fading leaf,
      And flowers by frost subdued.



LIES.


    If aught on earth my soul can fire,
    'Tis the deception of a liar
    Who with soft smoothness of the tongue,
    Has promises and pledges strung
    To suit all needs that come to hand,
    To serve the purpose Satan planned.

    Satan himself, I think, would shun
    The presence of that artful one,
    Who violates truth's sacred laws,
    Regardless of the end or cause,
    But deems it strategy to live
    For the sole purpose to deceive.

    If hell has any corner where
    Vile culprits may be doomed to share
    The merits they richly deserve,
    It should be held in strict reserve
    For them whose flattery and art
    Are used to kill a trusting heart.

    Let me abhor, loathe, and despise
    The author of those fiendish lies,
    Who would for pleasure, greed, or power,
    The confidence of youth devour,
    And blight the soul with foul distrust,
    Or trample honor in the dust.

    No sting of pain can e'er atone,
    No purging fire was ever known
    For cleansing of a heart defiled
    By falsehood; though it may be styled
    In diction, affability,
    It poisons like the upas tree.

    Beware the tongue that will deceive,
    At last 'twill cause your soul to grieve
    Though smooth its accents now may be,
    Its motive power is treachery,
    Its fruits are laden with disease,
    Although its tones may often please.

    Dissimulation's oily tongue
    Will grace Simplicity, among
    Her unsuspecting, trustful throng,
    That he may do her greater wrong,
    And covertly defile the pure,
    Some envied purpose to secure.



HEARTSTRINGS.


    The tiny trembling tendons
      That twine about the heart,
    Are chords that yield a music
      Unknown to vocal art.

    Though soft the notes are sounded,
      Each vibration tells a tale
    Of the mellow, winsome sunshine,
      Or of fierce, destructive gale.

    Though the strings be few in number,
      They have compass far beyond
    The myriad chords around them,
      That are less delicately tuned.

    List we softly to the music
      As its volumes gently roll,
    Varied in their intonation
      By the tension of the soul.

    Ecstatic measures fill us
      With a rapture so profound,
    That we fancy heaven's portals
      With such harmonies abound.

    Each note is rich in meaning,
      Each tone is full and clear
    To the charming sweet delusion
      Of imagination's ear.

    If you would hear this music
      And be charmed by its tone,
    Attune your heart to harmony,
      For the music is its own.

    No lessons conned in schooldays,
      No studied forms of art,
    Can profit us so greatly
      As communion with our heart.

    It will sing us songs of rapture,
      Though silent each may be;
    It will help to solve the questions
      Of life's great mystery.

    If one would hear sweet harmony
      He carefully must live;
    For these songs will be an echo
      Of the keynote he shall give.

    If heartstrings be but tuned aright
      Sweet melodies we hear;
    If strung with envy and deceit,
      The tone is doleful, drear.

    Then let us tune our hearts with joy,
      And touch the strings with glee,
    For honor, truth, and purity,
      Will bring soul-ecstasy.



WHO KNOWS?


    It matters not what be our lot
      Upon this mundane sphere,
    In spite of fears and burning tears
      While we shall linger here,
    We must depend on foe or friend
      For many things we need
    To give the soul that full control
      Which makes it strong indeed.

    For noble end, make him a friend
      Who can reciprocate,
    A kindly act, not to it tacked
      The proof of reprobate.
    God only knows whom we may choose
      And safely trust as brother,
    The seeming saint may have a taint
      That proves him quite another.

    In human dust we scarcely trust
      The egotistic pious,
    Who thinks that he from sin is free--
      Not subject to its bias;
    A holy man does all he can
      For God and human kind;
    He meekly lives, but counsel gives
      In language pure, refined.



TWILIGHT HOUR.

[Set to Music by Com. T. C. Adams.]


    I love to spend the twilight hour
        When stars their radiance o'er me cast,
    With that benign mysterious power
      Which calls up mem'ries of the past,
    And brings anew the scenes of yore,
      Like sacred perfume from some shrine
    Whose hallowed influence ever more
      Proves life and love of birth divine.
        Sweet twilight hour! sweet twilight hour!
        How blissful is thy magic power,
        At thy return new strength is given
        To lead me to the gates of heaven.

    I love at such an hour as this
      To hold sweet converse with my soul,
    Anticipate a promised bliss,
      Or memory's charmed page unroll;
    To feel life's not alone for me,
      But has some aim, some end, some plan,
    Which to the soul gives dignity,
      And leads toward heaven a fellow man.

    I love at twilight hour to see
      The lamps of heaven in glory shine
    With beacon-light effulgency,
      To guide me to that land divine,
    Where dwell the loved of former years,
      And where no sorrow e'er may come,
    Where God shall wipe away all tears,
      And I shall find abiding home.

    Oh, twilight hour, how sweet thou art!
      Thy coming oft relieves my pain,
    Thy soft communings with my heart
      Prepare me for life's toils again;
    Drive thou away my sordid thought,
      And give my soul augmented power;
    Teach me to use thee as I ought,
      Thou holy, blessed twilight hour.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Let us not lose the heritage
      Our fathers did bequeath
    To sons whose grasp should hold secure
      The prize, till hour of death
    Shall still the heart, and loose the nerve
      Whose tension holds secure
    The magic love of Liberty
      And Justice, strong and pure.



THE HAIR.


    Since the days of primal story
      Of Eden's happy pair,
    A woman's greatest glory
      Is her glossy flowing hair;
    It is a safe criterion
      By which to judge her life,
    To ascertain, if duly won,
      She'd prove a worthy wife.

    Its color and arrangement,
      Its sunshine and its storm
    Prefigure an estrangement,
      Or friendship true and warm.
    We dearly love the sunshine
      Of locks with golden hue,
    That bear this blessed combine--
      Kind, tender, warm, and true.

    We read volumes of character
      In every lock of hair;
    The life, the mind, the heart's prefer
      Are plainly written there;
    No printed index could portray
      The soul's environment,
    So plainly and so perfectly
      As capillary bent.

    Beware the frouzy, unkempt lock
      That speaks of negligence;
    Regard cosmetic's fancy stock
      Of little consequence;
    Trust only such as speak of taste
      Born of a cultured mind,
    Whose purposes are pure and chaste
      Whose structure, soft, refined.

       *       *       *       *       *

    A thoughtful mind may lessons draw
    From faded leaf or broken straw;
    May beauty see in some lone star
    That cheers the storm-tossed mariner;
    May note in solitude some sound
    Wherein soft harmonies abound;
    May hear no voice from human lip;
    Yet dwell in blest companionship.



LIBERTY.


    Into the port where Liberty stands
      Inviting the nations to woo her,
    Malefactors swarm from foreign lands,
      Whose tenets would surely undo her.

    Criminals, paupers, the ostracised
      From all countries beyond the great sea,
    Flock into the land our fathers prized,
      And baptized "The Sweet Land of the Free."

    They come not to build a hearth and home,
      Or to clear and improve our rich soil,
    But prowl like wolves that in forest roam,
      And prey on fruits of our honest toil.

    Long were our shores a refuge secure,
      For the honest, the brave, and the true;
    With valor and pride, men would endure
      The trials that for State might accrue.

    Men there are yet, who come to our shore,
      In honor high, of great moral powers,
    Whose hands give strength to homes we adore,
      And whose hearts are as loyal as ours.

    For these there is room and welcome, too,
      For there's land quite enough and to spare,
    But we pray that all the vicious crew
      To their homes o'er the sea may repair.

    Shall we quarantine disease and death,
      Whose subtle infections float in the air,
    And grant free power to the pois'nous breath
      That would strangle our Liberty fair?

    Sons of the Nation, arise in might!
      And then swear by the God we adore,
    This vicious crowd shall be put to flight,
      And forever debarred from our shore.

    Freedom and Liberty need our care,
      If from wounds we would e'er keep them free,
    For a frenzied brain would even dare
      To destroy through base treachery.

    Long live the land unto freedom given,
      And forever may Liberty stand,
    With beacon flame from the throne of heaven,
      And a symbol of Light in her hand.

    When stars shall fade from the dome of heaven,
      And sun shall refuse his golden light;
    When noon of Time shall be changed to even,
      And earth shall be lost to human sight;

    When crash of worlds and revolving spheres
      Shall lose in chaos, identity;
    And Time shall be measured not by years,
      But on shall roll through eternity;

    Then Liberty's form may sink in dust;
      But loyal sons shall transported be
    From the mundane scenes of moth and rust,
      To the perfect home of Liberty.

    I ween that when such an hour as this,
      Shall marshal friends who have fought and died
    For the sacred cause of earthly bliss,
      And Freedom's cause have so magnified,

    There shall be a special crown for him
      Who has stood undaunted in the fight;
    But the brightest star in the diadem
      Is steadfast love for the Truth and Right.



"LO," THE DEPARTED.


    The Bison strong and the Indian wild
      Have departed from our plains;
    The land where they lived has been defiled
      By man's greed for worldly gains.

    The human tide that on them has rolled
      In merciless energy,
    In search of that dazzling monarch Gold,
      Swept on like a mighty sea,

    Till their prostrate forms, mingled with clay,
      Enrich the soil once their own;
    And naught but waters shrink in dismay,
      And winds in wild sorrow moan.

    O, beautiful lakes and silver streams,
      May your names their mem'ry keep;
    Dear mountains, wake from your silent dreams,
      When your sides so wild and steep,

    Shall hear your names in the Indian tongue;
      And echoes, reverberate
    The mellow tones of the songs once sung,
      At the hunter's evening fete.



DRIFTING AWAY.


    How softly, how still, are we drifting away,
    On the wide Sea of Life as it beckons us on,
    Though the sunshine allure us 'tis but for a day,
    Then darkness comes o'er us and hopes are all gone.

    We are drifting away in a bark that is frail,
    On a sea sometimes rough and whose waves often moan,
    Yet when all is peaceful we think not of gale,
    But are drifting away in our bark all alone.

    So softly we float on a smooth flowing sea,
    That our helm and our anchors are cast to the shore,
    We think them a burden and wish to be free,
    From every encumbrance that can serve us no more.

    We are drifting away with our hopes and our fears,
    To an ocean of life unknown to us now;
    We see a bright vision--though veiled by our tears,
    It appears like refulgence to lighten the brow.

    Too slowly our bark seems to drift toward the prize,
    We in ecstasy wish it to speed faster on;
    But while we are wishing, a mist dims our eyes,
    And lo! that bright vision has vanished and gone.

    A gloom of thick darkness now spreads like a pall,
    The winds of the tempest arise in their force,
    And amid their wild shriekings for succor we call
    On Him who reigns o'er us, to mark out our course.

    We plead for protection from ruin and pain,
    Repiningly think of our anchor and helm,
    And could we secure those lost prizes again,
    No tempest could shake us, no wave could o'erwhelm.

    But swiftly we're drifting, we cannot tell where,
    The current moves onward regardless of gloom,
    We raise our weak voices and utter a prayer
    That God in His mercy is drifting us home.

       *       *       *       *       *

    The silver stream by the farmhouse door
      Flows on and on forever,
    But the feet that trod its oaken floor
      Have crossed the mystic river,
    And no wind kissed by a vernal sun
      Can return them e'er again;
    Their earthly pilgrimage is done,
      They dwell in a new domain.



KINDRED SPIRITS.


    Oh, give me some heart of a kindred spirit
    That smiles when I smile, or that weeps when I weep,
    Whose solace is greater by far to inherit
    Than the wealth of the mines or the gems of the deep.

    Some heart that will echo response to my feeling,
    That thrills with delight when I speak of my joy;
    That sorrows with sorrow too deep for concealing,
    When cankering griefs make my own heart's alloy.

    Some heart that appreciates each little kindness,
    That knows all my feelings, tho' oft unexpressed,
    That sees not my faults with a passionate blindness,
    But clings to my soul when 'tis sorely distressed.

    Some heart whose affection can never be blighted,
    That beats all in concert with that of my own,
    That revels in pleasures with which I'm delighted,
    And grieves at the sorrows which cause me to moan.

    Some heart that can never be swerved from its mooring,
    Though tempests may thunder and billows may roar,
    That espouses my fate in spite of such roaring,
    And when trials are sorest will trust even more.

    My heart would exult to find such a treasure,
    And return ev'ry throb in fidelity's pride,
    Would suffer if need be, and call it but pleasure
    To live or to die for a heart so allied.

    No frown of the world could e'er cause me to tremble
    While trusting my all in a heart such as this,
    Too fond to deceive me; too true to dissemble--
    'Twere a foretaste of Heaven, the acme of bliss.

    Can it be, can it be, the world is so varied,
    Human hearts never beat on chords that are even!
    Is versatile man so odd, or so seared
    That perfect accord is known but in Heaven!

    My heart shall rejoice that some kindred vibrations
    Soothe the devious marge of the pathway of fate,
    And gathering strength through many privations
    Shall learn in contentment to patiently wait.

       *       *       *       *       *

    To sit an hour on lichened stone,
    Or mould'ring log by moss o'ergrown,
      And use our ears and eyes,
    Will teach us the effect and cause
    Of many of great Nature's laws
      That now are mysteries.



SCHOOL DAYS.


    Can we e'er forget our boyhood,
      And the days we spent at school,
    With the jolly youths and maidens
      Who with pencil for a tool,
    Squared the area of a circle,
      And minutely did compute
    The interest and discount
      On a promissory note?

    As we worked those "grazing" questions,
      We could see the cattle eat;
    See the grass grow up by inches
      Beneath their cloven feet;
    We could surely hear a lowing
      That distinctly called our names,
    Inviting us to pastures
      To enjoy our childish games.

    If the day were warm and pleasant,
      The calling seemed more clear
    Than when chilly winds were sighing,
      And the clouds were dark and drear;
    It was no imagination,
      For a schoolboy's mind is real,
    Though we heard that calling often
      We answered it with zeal.

    Then we worked like real bankers
      And claimed "three days of grace;"
    Then we figured "hare and greyhound"
      In their leaping, jaunty race;
    We desired an illustration
      Of the problems to be solved,
    As no concrete computation
      From the abstract e'er evolved.

    We solved the size of fishes,
      When some fraction and a part
    Were all the given bases
      To test our "number" art,
    But we never were contented
      With the fishes in the book,
    So we strolled off to the lakeside,
      Or down the purling brook.

    Then we had some given acres
      In the form of perfect square,
    And a fence around its border
      With a circle must compare,
    Which would cost the greater money
      To fence it in with rails,
    Or build with posts and stringers,
      Sawed lumber, and cut nails.

    Then we worked upon that problem
      Which has never yet been solved,
    How to live and be contented
      In the scenes life has evolved,
    Though in every operation
      Much must be inferred,
    We will find this root's extraction
      Will often prove a surd.

    As life's day of sunshine lingers,
      Ere the darkness draws apace,
    'Tis a blessed satisfaction
      To look backward o'er the race,
    And feel that in the running,
      Our best was ever done,
    And know that at the ending,
      Some trophy must be won.

    Though the eye may lose its clearness
      And the touch may lose its thrill,
    Though the senses fail to gather
      All the promptings of the will,
    May the mind retain its power
      To recall the days of yore,
    Till the spirit casts its anchor
      On that far-off unseen shore.

    When on that shore safe landed,
      It seems to be quite plain
    That the greatest satisfaction
      Will be to think of youth again;
    There must be a great transition
      From this mundane sphere below,
    If the thoughts of early boyhood
      May not set all heaven aglow.



PERHAPS.


    Perhaps had I chosen some other profession
    Than that of moulding the human mind,
    I might have secured a greater possession
    Of lucre and treasures and powers combined,
      Than all I may now of these truly own;
    But I have in my casket some jewels I treasure
    Far more than all stocks and houses and lands,
    In gold and silver their worth has no measure,
    For none may compute warm hearts and true hands,
      When the shadows of years are over us thrown.

       *       *       *       *       *

    There are two kinds of discontent--
      Malignant, and progressive,--
    The latter is the proper sort,
      Of it, be quite possessive.
    The former, born of parentage
      Whose motive powers are evil,
    Serves but one purpose here below--
      To aid its father--Devil.



IMPORTANT MOMENTS.


    There are times when the fate of nations
      May hang on a moment's call;
    When spheres in their mute rotations
      May swing on a hinge so small,
    That the breath of a spirit's pinion
      Might unpoise a balanced world,
    And lost to law's dominion
      Through endless space be hurled.

    There are times when the herdsman's calling
      May vibrate thro' alpine ranch
    Till the pendent drop, by its falling,
      Sweeps down in an avalanche,
    Till the mountain trembles and totters
      'Neath the mighty force of snow,
    And the lives and homes of the cotters
      Are lost in the vale below.

    There are times when the mind's inaction
      Has robbed the soul of power,
    When moments of deep reflection
      Arrive at so late an hour
    That they lose the force of their mission
      In the laggard way they come,
    And like withered buds of fruition,
      Are lifeless, powerless, dumb.

    There are words that have been spoken
      That have echoed on thro' years;
    Though the vessel has been broken
      That voiced them to our ears,
    Yet they come with increased ardor
      As the years are passing by,
    Since the soul stood on the border
      Of vast eternity.

    There are scenes that ever mirror
      Their forms in thought divine,
    That with lapse of time grow dearer
      Till we hold them as some shrine,
    Wherein are kept the treasures
      Of Faith and Trust and Love--
    A trio fraught with pleasures
      Drawn from the realms above.

    There are hours upon whose decision
      The fate of a soul may be;
    Though clouds may obscure the vision
      And we pray for a light to see
    The way that shall lead to heaven,
      And keep our pathway bright,
    We can use but the knowledge given
      And walk in our purest light.

    Let us scan each hour's requisition
      And answer every demand,
    Knowing that want of decision
      Is a foe we cannot withstand;
    If we shrink from performing our duty,
      Or tardily fashion our thought,
    Life loses its charm and its beauty
      And existence profits us naught.

       *       *       *       *       *

    We know that like all human
      Our work is imperfect at best,
    And will bristle with imperfections
      Till our hands shall be at rest;
    But to justify our blunders
      Or pass them lightly o'er,
    Is the fatal way of inviting
      A thousand errors more.



WHO SHALL JUDGE?


    We know not all that we have done,
      Nor may we ever know;
    No field was ever lost or won,
      Until the final blow
    Has registered itself in Heaven,
      And every impulse known,
    That tells a reason why 'twas given,
      To Him upon the Throne.

    Then let us boast not of our deeds,
      Nor let our true hearts fail,
    Because we think some plan succeeds
      While others ne'er prevail;
    For he who works as best he can
      With lofty, pure intent,
    Will not be judged by puny man,
      But God Omnipotent.

       *       *       *       *       *

    This earth is a place of probation,
      A school wherein man may secure
    A knowledge of his true relation,
      To the noble, the true, and the pure.



THE FUTURE.


    I know not what the future
      May have in store for me,
    I only know that God is God
      And He may trusted be.

    The past with all its pleasure
      And all its sorrow too,
    Has been but a probation
      To prove me false or true.

    If in my earthly mission
      No progress has been made
    Toward a higher spirit--
      No growth of soul displayed--

    Then dark, sad, and foreboding
      The future must appear,
    The soul must shrink in terror
      When death's hour draweth near.

    If in the past no brother
      Has felt my outstretched hand,
    To aid him on his pilgrimage
      Toward a better land,

    No word of mine brought solace
      To a weary careworn soul;
    No hand of mine has pointed
      To the Christian's heavenly goal;

    No thought, or word, or action
      To lead to better life;
    No balm to heal deep anguish;
      No anodyne for strife;

    Then shall I hear the sentence,
      "You did it not to me,"
    Come from the sacred Teacher
      Who taught in Gallilee.

    If I have wronged my brother,
      In action or in thought;
    Have forced him into sorrow,
      Or counted him as naught,

    Have borne false witness of him
      Or robbed him of his peace;
    Unjustly taken from him
      Or hindered his increase,

    The words of condemnation,
      "You did it unto me,"
    Will fill my soul with terror,
      Distress, and misery.

    My soul has wronged no being
      Of just and honest part;
    But on this sole reliance
      It would not dare depart.

    Not in its own weak merit,
      Not in itself alone,
    But in the great redemption
      Of Him who did atone

    For man, and bid him enter,
      The gates of joy and rest,
    Through faith, and prayer, and penitence,
      Upon a Savior's breast.

    I shrink not at the future
      Whatever it may be,
    But joy in full assurance
      Of faith's expectancy.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Let me pass away when my work is done,
    Like a cloudless day whose setting sun
      Leaves a smile on the evening sky;
    Let this transient clay when deprived of breath,
    With the earth yet stay, it alone knows death,
      Myself must live on and cannot die.



ERE AND AT MY CALL.


    Ere I lay me down the burden
      That my soul on earth hath worn,
    Let me feel before departing,
      That my tree of life hath borne
    Fruitage that shall ever onward
      Move mankind along the road,
    Toward the haven of the blessed
      Toward the city of my God.

    Let some word that I have spoken
      Or some act performed by me,
    Sound aloud thro' coming ages
      Making captive souls more free;
    Not to bring me earthly glory
      Nor to win me empty fame,
    But to prove the mighty power
      In a risen Savior's name.

    Let my work be all completed
      When the summons comes to go;
    Let there be no cause for weeping,
      Let there be no sound of woe,
    When the spirit from my Father
      Beckons me from duty done,
    To appear at His tribunal,
      And receive the crown that's won.

    Let there be a joyous sunset,
      Lighting all the realm above
    With the radiance and the glory
      Of a Savior's dying love;
    Let my faith be firm, unshaken,
      Let His hand be clasped in mine,
    Let me cross the mystic river,
      Leaning on His breast divine.



BODING SNOW.


    The sky that was blue and sunny,
      Has changed to a granite gray,
    The sun that was soft and cheery,
      Refuses it mellow ray;
    On the distant tree-top, cawing,
      Sits a solitary crow;
    These and the shivering children
      Betoken the coming snow.

    Soon the flakes will be falling,
      Like down from an angel's wing,
    That is sent from the starry regions
      For Nature's covering;
    The trees, the plants, the grasses,
      With rev'rence bow their heads,
    For the pure and fleecy mantle
      That God above them spreads.



AN OPEN BOOK.


    How strange are the stories we sometimes read
      In faces we meet by the way,
    They unconsciously tell of motive or deed
      That the tongue would refuse to betray.

    Each lineament is a page set apart
      To be studied and understood
    By the shade that reflects the mind and heart,
      In their varied forms and mood.

    The eye oft reflects the secrets of soul
      That are occult to all beside,
    And form of the mouth defying control
      Betrays what the heart fain would hide.

    The quivering chin and tear-bedewed eye
      That respond to a kindred word
    That unconsciously fell from a tongue passing by,
      Oft betrays how th' heart has been stirred.

    There are fountains so deep in some human lives
      That from them no draught can be drawn,
    Save the perfect mirage the face ever gives
      Of the soul when reflections dawn.

    How varied the pages we daily read--
      Some are joyous and full of glee,
    While others may tell of brave hearts that bleed,
      And then break in deep misery.

    The facial page to me hath a charm
      That no printed book can impart,
    'Tis no fancied tale, 'tis no false alarm,
      But stern truths from the human heart.

    Pencils write plainly each act, on the face,
      Each motive indulged is seen there,
    No after decision can fully erase
      The masks faces ever must wear.

    If the face would be fair and bright and young,
      Wear a charming, a joyous hue,
    To truth and to right heart-strings must be strung,
      Every thought, every act must be true.

    Let the pencil of truth inscribe on the face,
      Let honor illumine the eye,
    Let generous thoughts and acts ever grace
      The face-page the world shall descry.



SOME CHARACTERS I MUCH ADORE.


    An honest man with noble mind,
    With heart sincere, true, and refined,
    Who lives for God and all mankind,
      Who cares for rich and poor,
    And opens wide his soul to see
    The sweet designs of Deity,
    Yet from all prejudice is free,
      Is character I much adore.

    The man who all his rights will claim,
    But gives another just the same,
    And shares with equity the blame
      Of faults done long before,
    Who will not shrink when sorely tried.
    But firmly by the truth abide,
    E'en when his own faults are allied,
      Is character I much adore.

    A man who will not plead a cause
    That violates the nation's laws,
    Or seek to give Justice a pause,
      For gold or worldly store,
    But Pallas-like will e'er defend,
    Alike for foe, or trusted friend,
    The rights on which morals depend,
      Is character I much adore.

    A man who rises by his worth
    And not through fortune-favored birth,
    Who owns himself, though all the earth
      May bribes around him pour,
    Who wears distinction's jeweled crown,
    But not from trampling others down,
    Or acts that cause Justice to frown,
      Is character I much adore.

    The teacher who sees soul and mind
    In pleasing harmony combined
    Within the clay to be refined,
      And scans it o'er and o'er,
    That through instruction, skill, and love,
    It may expand and so improve,
    To honor earth and heaven above,
      Is character I much adore.

    The man of God who feels no loss
    To bear the burden of the cross
    Though waves of fury round him toss,
      That sometimes hide the shore;
    Who guides alike the rich and poor
    Toward Him who said, "I am the Door,"
    And bids them come though sick and sore,
      Is character I much adore.

    The man who fills a humble lot
    As best he can, and murmurs not
    At what he has, or has not got,
      But uses all his power
    To elevate his work and life,
    And knows no mean ignoble strife,
    With which the world is too much rife,
      Is character I much adore.

    A faithful wife bent low in prayer
    O'er suffering one in wild despair,
    While tender hands relief prepare
      Upon th' uncovered floor
    Of him who cursed her life by drink
    And caused her trusting heart to sink
    Upon Despair's cold, cheerless brink,
      Is character I much adore.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Nature has printed the largest book
      That eye has ever seen,
    And filled it with colored pictures fair,
      In white and gray and green.
    She offers it free to all mankind--
      Noble, generous deed--
    But few there are in its pages rare,
      Have ever learned to read.



SOME CHARACTERS I CAN'T ADMIRE.


    The seeming saint with long drawn face,
    Who thinks that he has so much grace
    He should be throned on highest place
      To which saints may aspire,
    And yet, when dealing with a man,
    Will use some vicious, subtle plan
    By which a vantage he may gain,
      Is character I can't admire.

    The zealot who thinks God has given
    A delegated power from heaven
    To him, to see that men are driven
      To escape a burning fire,
    Yet draws no souls by filial love,
    But deems the world can never move
    By holy influence from above,
      Is character I can't admire.

    The man whose prayer is long and loud,
    Whose knee is bent, whose head is bowed--
    With worldly goods richly endowed
      With all man can desire,
    Yet sees a _worthy_ brother fall,
    Without responding to his call
    For aid to soothe starvation's gall,
      Is character I can't admire.

    The teacher who devoid of heart,
    Unskilled in pedagogic art,
    With looks and acts severely tart
      Would loathesome tasks require,
    Of pupils dulled by daily grind,
    Or stirred by words unjust, unkind,
    Which leave a canker in the mind,
      Is character I can't admire.

    The mother who aspires to be
    A beacon light of charity,
    Regardless of the nursery
      Whereof she seems to tire,
    Who thinks her husband needs no care,
    But drives him wildly toward despair
    By meagre love, and frigid fare,
      Is character I can't admire.

    The husband who spends days and nights
    In low resorts, mid brawls and fights,
    In which his heart greatly delights,
      But stops not to inquire,
    If wife and child have needed care,
    Or from his draughts he may not spare
    The pittance they should justly share,
      Is character I can't admire,

    The millionaire who doth obtain
    His wealth by brawn and muscle strain
    Of those he poorly doth maintain
      Through scanty meed and hire,
    Who will not justly, freely give
    A recompense whereby may live
    In health, the man who makes him thrive
      Is character I can't admire.

    The man who feels no poignant ruth
    At the dethronement of a truth,
    That to old age from tender youth
      Has felt no fervid ire
    When hate and envy swayed the tongue,
    And took no pride in checking wrong,
    No matter where it may belong,
      Is character I can't admire.

    The man who lives for self alone,
    The man whose truth and honor 've flown,
    The man who hears a fellow groan
      Or sees a soul expire,
    And lifts no friendly hand to aid,
    No sympathy of soul betrayed,
    No fevered brow with balm allayed,
      Are characters I can't admire.



ON BROOKLYN BRIDGE.


    I stood upon the slender link
      That joins two cities into one,
    And saw from thence the storm-clouds drink
      Their moisture from the sun.

    I watched their lowering, frowning edge,
      Girt round with silver band,
    Saw castles tall and towering ledge
      Assume their forms so grand.

    I saw the marshalled hosts of heaven
      Join for the mighty fray,
    Their ranks by tempest-winds were driven
      Along their dark highway.

    High in the heavens the giant forms
      Of chariots, horsemen, towers stand,
    Whose home is ever 'mid the storms--
      When chaos reigns, most grand.

    I saw the fragments of the cloud
      Join with the nucleus form,
    Cirrus to Nimbus quickly bowed--
      Sure harbinger of storm.

    These were but outward signs I saw,
      Portending danger, strife, and fear,
    Yet still I knew by Nature's law,
      Beyond the clouds, 'twas clear.

    In spite of cloud and storm and strife,
      Of tempests wild, severe,
    There's sunshine in our daily life,
      If one true heart is near.

    No battle vanquishes the _true_,
      E'en thought of death is sweet
    To him whose soul would e'er subdue
      The scorpion-sting--deceit.

    One trusting, true, and tender heart
      Can cure a thousand ills,
    Extract the poison from the dart
      Of malice e'er it kills.

    Oh, marshalled hosts of warring clouds!
      Teach me this truth to know,
    There's light beyond, though trouble shrouds
      The valley here below.



THEIR LIFE IS WHAT THEY MAKE IT.


    Let melancholy mortals grieve
      And tell their tale of sorrow,
    Their gloomy spirits to relieve,
      But all returns to-morrow;
    For all the while they court their grief,
      Unwilling to forsake it,
    And in the way they seek relief,
      Their life is what they make it.

    They brood o'er sorrow day by day,
      With dreams they are affrighted,
    But never strive to cast away
      What most their spirits blighted;
    And if fair fortune chance to smile
      And give no cause for sorrow,
    They're not content to rest awhile,
      But off they go and borrow.

    Avoiding all life's pleasant ways
      Their life is always clouded,
    They see no happy sunny days,
      For all in gloom is shrouded;
    They never see the flowers that bloom
      As on Life's road they ramble,
    But in the darkest paths of gloom
      Are seeking for a bramble.

    The pleasures of this life do not
      Depend on its surrounding,
    But if the heart's trained as it ought,
      Content will be abounding;
    The silent heart's the seat of joy,
      And by continual training
    Life's trials scarcely will annoy
      The soul where peace is reigning.

    Then tell me not Fate made them so,
      And they cannot avoid it,
    That all their life is doomed to woe,
      And they have not alloyed it;
    For all the while they court their grief,
      Unwilling to forsake it,
    And in the way they seek relief,
      Their life is what they make it.

       *       *       *       *       *

    The atmosphere may be redolent
      With fragrance from some happy soul
    Whose unconscious influence has sent
      Attractive power, like magnetic pole,
    Till laugh of bright eyes is contagious,
      Infectious, the mirth of a smile,
    And the ominous brow umbrageous,
      Casts aside its lowerings vile.



THE LONE BIRD.

A solitary bird was seen by the writer, making its toilsome flight
against a strong storm-wind. The peculiar undulating flight, the
gathering darkness of the night, and the portentous indications of storm
suggested this:


    Whither away on such winged undulations,
      Breasting the winds and the tempests wild glee,
    Lifting your form in graceful vibrations
      As onward you move like a billowy sea?

    Alone, all alone, on wing wide extended,
      Nerved for the tempest that sounds not afar,
    Night her dark mantle o'er earth has suspended,
      Thro' which may not shine e'en the light of one star.

    Stop, lonely wanderer, and tell me why mateless,
      Tell me the story of your solitude;
    God, e'en a bird has not left so fateless
      But somewhere there lives a companion for you.

    Tell me if death has robbed you of treasures
      That sweetened the tone of your vesper song;
    Tell me if fears have destroyed all the pleasures
      Which justice and right say to you should belong.

    Tell me, yes, tell me, and tell me most truly,
      Is there just cause why your flight is alone?
    Is there some stain whereby you are duly
      Debarred from the pleasures that should be your own?

    Still but your wing and confide me the story,
      Chant it to me in a short plaintive song;
    Perhaps it may speak of a sweet transient glory
      That faded and died 'mid disaster and wrong.

    Perhaps I may speak some word that has healing
      For solitude's wounds, e'en sweet tho' they be,
    For sorrows augment by sacred concealing,
      And steal from the heart ev'ry wish to be free.

    Dear blessed bird! you have stopped at my pleading,
      My soul aids my ears to catch your sweet tone:
    "If life is not sweetened by presence and breeding,
      'Tis better by far to travel alone.

    "I have learned as my wings have borne me thro' groves
      Where gods their ambrosial nectar sip,
    That the heart's best experience ever proves,
      Joy comes not from _presence_, but _companionship_."



A LESSON FROM NATURE.


    O who has not felt his gay heart beat with gladness,
      As forth he has wandered some morning in May?
    It drives away care and relieves us from sadness,
      It cheers the lone heart and makes us feel gay.

    We see how all Nature rejoices around us,
      The plants as they spring from the earth seem to smile,
    The fresh growing leaves of the groves now surround us,
      And soft sounds of Spring-time unite to beguile.

    The earth is now teeming with bright vegetation,
      The early spring flowers are now in their bloom,
    And where'er we look there appears animation
      Just bursting the cells of the last winter's tomb.

    The soft breeze of May-day, we welcome it near us,
      As filled with rich fragrance it comes thro' the trees,
    And the bright feathered songsters apparently fear us
      No more than the odors that float on the breeze.

    They tune their sweet voices and sing their devotion,
      Their hearts seem so light, so merry and free,
    That ideal beauty graces each motion,
      While they playfully dart from bush and from tree.

    Our hearts beat with rapture too great for expression
      While viewing sweet Nature, so lovely, so gay,
    And hearing those sweet lulling sounds in succession,
      We wished in our joy it always were May.

    Thus tempted to linger and spend one short hour,
      In looking around us in bliss most supreme,
    We found a choice spot in a fine shady bower,
      Where near it there murmured a bright silver stream.

    From this lovely spot we intently were watching
      The scenes that surround us on this merry May,
    Every strain of grove-music our ears were now catching,
      And we saw every movement that came in our way.

    A sweet, tiny bird on a twig near the river,
      Was warbling softly his choice matin lay,
    While near on a branch we soon did discover
      A serpent preparing to make him his prey.

    Then glancing the eye to a branch that was near them,
      We saw there a nest that contained a young brood;
    While this parent bird was singing to cheer them,
      The other returned to the nest with their food.

    The worm which she held in her beak she soon gave them,
      Then off in the thicket she darted again,
    To seek for their food, and from hunger relieve them;
      But on her return how great was her pain!

    For while she had wandered, this serpent intruder
      Had charmed her loved mate, as he sat on the spray,
    His sweet song had ceased, and his notes became ruder,
      But his fluttering wings could not bear him away.

    We flew to the rescue--struck down the invader
      Before the sweet songster had yielded his life,
    Put an end to this cunning and mischievous raider,
      And quieted all of the songster's great strife.

    We learned from the scenes of this morning's ramble
      That moments of happiness soon may decay;
    While plucking the flowers to beware of the bramble,
      Which hid among blossoms may sadly betray.

    We learned that the joys of this world are not lasting;
      That what we call pleasure may be a vain show;
    While joys seem the sweetest they only are blasting,
      And happiness frequently ends in great woe.

    We learned that when Nature seems most to invite us,
      To build some fond hope on some loved scheme of ours,
    That there may be sadness preparing to blight us,
      Which evades all our watchings, defies all our powers.



MY MOTHER'S LOVE.

Nine months after writing this poem, my mother died, Dec. 21st, 1894.


    My vision eye beholds a form,
    Bent low by years of life's fierce storm,
      That moves with feeble tread;
    Though time has worn that weary frame
    The heart still keeps its sacred flame
      True, undiminished.

    No power but Death can ever quell--
    No mortal tongue can ever tell
      A mother's boundless love;
    'Tis shadowed in the secret sigh,
    Or in the moisture of the eye--
      E'en silence, it may prove.

    Itself and I had but one birth,
    It came from heaven to gladden earth--
      And brighten man's abode;
    To feel the magic of its power
    Is richer boon than any dower
      The earth has yet bestowed.

    Favored in this has been my lot;
    Relentless Death has robbed me not--
      Though fifty years have flown,
    Of all the ecstasy and joy
    That came to me when but a boy,
      Or since to manhood grown,

    Of that benign maternal smile,
    Whose magic influence can beguile
      My heart from worldly care,
    And lead me toward that beacon-light
    Of motive pure and act aright,
      No matter when or where.

    O blessed influence of the past!
    May all my mother's counsels last
      Until my heart shall cease
    To send its crimson current round
    The tenement wherein 'tis bound,
      And Death shall bring release.

    Still let these visions come to me
    Of her I would so gladly see
      Though far from her I roam;
    They bring sweet memory of the past,
    Which but a few more years may last,
      Of happiness and home.



THE EVENING BEFORE MY BROTHER'S FIFTY-THIRD BIRTHDAY.


    Dear Brother, how the time speeds on
      And leaves its trace upon our forms;
    The days of sunny youth are gone
      And age unfits us for the storms
    That gather oft for you and me--
      To-morrow you'll be fifty-three.

    It seems but yesterday since youth
      Was all aglow within our hearts,
    But still we recognized the truth,
      Old age has pierced us with his darts
    Until from pains we are not free--
      To-morrow you'll be fifty-three.

    Long years of toil and anxious care
      Have left their records all too plain;
    The failing eye, the snowy hair,
      The limbs and body racked with pain,
    Tell tales that all the world can see--
      To-morrow you'll be fifty-three.

    Still on life's battlefield we'll fight
      And win such victories as we may,
    Believing still that right is might
      And faithful hearts shall win the day;
    Then let us shout and sing with glee--
      To-morrow you'll be fifty-three.

    And when a few more days are past
      And we are bowed with years and care,
    The cheerful sunshine still may last
      To make declining years more fair;
    Ah! much I hope that this may be--
      To-morrow you'll be fifty-three.

    'Tis sweet to think of boyhood's days
      And all the happiness they gave,
    To summon back life's earliest plays
      And call lost childhood from its grave;
    Thus memory gives us victory--
      To-morrow you'll be fifty-three.

    Since manhood's form was given me
      Until this hour, our ways have been
    In different lines of industry,
      And scarce have we each other seen;
    Your birthday's held in memory--
      To-morrow you'll be fifty-three.



MY BROTHER'S BIRTHDAY.


    Fifty-eight to-day, fifty-eight to-day!
    How years of your life have sped away,
      And left in the brown of the dying year
      A quiet content, devoid of fear
    At the onward march of Time's noiseless feet,
    Which ever advance, but ne'er retreat,
      As they bear you on to that silent shore,
      From which earth's mortals return no more.

    With the night of time come the sunset cares,
    The faltering step, the snowy hairs,
      The tottering frame, and the stifled breath,
      Sure harbingers of approaching death,
    That bring with their train a tranquil repose
    Unknown to the tears and sighs and woes
      That belong to scenes of an active life,
      Whose atmosphere breathes of toil and strife.

    As glorious day dies out in the west
    And sinks in crimson splendor to rest,
      While the stars of heaven come one by one
      With reflected light from th' sinking sun,
    So may life with you in its late decline,
    Leave a trail of light that yet may shine
      To illumine the path that others tread,
      And cheer the way of the vanquished.



TO MY DAUGHTER BLANCHE IN HEAVEN.

Died Jan. 4th, 1893, aged 11 years.


    Darling of my bosom,
      Pride of my loving heart,
    Hopes were sorely shattered
      When I saw your life depart;
    In you I saw my future,
      Cheered by your smile and voice,
    Sorrow ceased its frowning,
      My spirit would rejoice.

    Life was made much brighter
      By your presence sweet;
    At your cheery coming
      Heart-shadows would retreat;
    Soulful songs with meanings
      Beyond your years were sung;
    To chords of sweetest rapture
      Your heart-strings e'er were strung.

    From out the realms of heav'n
      Still you speak to me,
    And fancy draws the curtain
      That I your face may see;
    Perhaps in the hereafter
      I yet may fully know
    The purpose of your going,
      Your mission here below.



THE VOICE.


    To me comes a voice that none other
      Hath power to hear or to know,
    Its cadence so sweet and consoling
      Is a whisper so gentle and low,
    That the flight of an angel might covet
      The silence it bears in its tone;
    It speaks to me often, to comfort
      My heart when I sit all alone.

    I oft close my eyes at the twilight
      And that voice comes floating to me
    Like the song of some fairy creature
      That dwells in a pearl-lighted sea;
    When the shades of midnight infold me
      That voice lulls me gently to rest,
    And tells me the time is not distant
      When my spirit shall dwell as its guest.

    When shadows of night are departing
      And smiling Aurora appears,
    That voice of sweet invitation
      Falls soothingly into my ears;
    A form that I fondly cherish
      Like a vision of beauty I see,
    That comes on an angelic mission
      With counsel and solace for me.

    How sweet is the voice that is calling--
      Is calling in rapture to me
    And leading me close to the border
      Where into its home I can see!
    It tells me the land is not distant,
      That soon when my boat I must launch,
    I shall know the voice that is calling,
    Is the voice my lost darling Blanche.

       *       *       *       *       *

    When Liberty lies wounded,
      And shrieks in wild despair,
    Then patriots will cast aside
      The party garb they wear,
    And honest hands and hearts unite,
      To wash away the stain
    That narrow-minded partisans
      Would selfishly maintain.

    Dear Goddess of our fathers!
      Our hands shall e'er maintain
    The sacred trust of keeping free
      The realm where thou dost reign;
    And counting not our lives too dear
      To offer unto thee,
    We dedicate all that we are
      To our sweet Liberty.



A PICTURE.


    I sat by the farm-house window
      When the winter's sun was low,
    And looked on the clear horizon
      O'er fields white-crested with snow.

    A tree with its arms outstretching,
      Was limned on the distant sky,
    And my fancy saw a picture
      Such as gold can never buy.

    Perhaps to no other vision
      Could the scene be just the same,
    For blendings in the picture
      Had on me a special claim.

    My mother oft had looked upon
      That fair picture in the west,
    While sitting in that self-same chair,
      Ere she laid her down to rest.

    This gave a charm to the picture
      Of especial power to me,
    And my vision saw a painting
      That none else on earth could see.

    I can close my eyes at twilight
      Though now many miles away,
    And see that lovely horizon
      At close of expiring day.

    I can see the true formation
      Of each rock and tree and field,
    In a perfect panorama
      That time has not yet concealed.

    It is not an idle fancy
      For me now to paint the scene,
    Since my mother's form has faded
      From the place where she has been.

    I know it affords me comfort
      To recall from day to day,
    That scene from the farm-house window,
      Since my mother passed away.



MY ROOM IN BOYHOOD'S DAYS.

After forty years.


    Sacred these walls wherein I find
      Myself inclosed once more;
    Here in youth's pride my ardent mind
      On nightly tasks would pore.

    Sweet were these tasks, for mental power
      Comes with each duty done;
    And ray of light charmed midnight's hour
      When thought its victory won.

    Oft did the battle seem severe,
      Sometimes defeat seemed nigh,
    But pride and love must persevere
      When all our powers we try.

    Struggles bring a development
      That will not brook defeat;
    Within us dwells an element
      That makes just contest sweet.

    If barriers in our mental path
      Stand like a sullen foe,
    Summon the soul, in righteous wrath
      Strike a decisive blow,

    And spare not till the victory
      Puts ignorance to flight;
    And let the battle-cry e'er be
      Science and Truth and Right!

    Such victories, when fairly won,
      Put slaughter's field to shame,
    And Honor's self shall place upon
      Such victors, wreaths of fame.

    O happy hours within these walls,
      But happier far to me
    Is the expanded mind which calls
      Deep thought, best liberty.

    That mental power which sees the world
      As beauty, grace, and art,
    Wherein God's loveliness unfurled,
      Speaks to a living heart,

    And leads it tenderly to see
      The harmony of laws
    Which unifies immensity,
      And tells of the First Cause,

    Yields greater solace, richer lore,
      Than books alone can give;
    For mind and soul form the great power
      By which we act and live.

    The wealth that dignifies mankind
      Is not in bonds and stocks,
    But in rich thoughts, noble, refined,
      Needing no bars nor locks.

    When man for manhood more shall strive,
      And less for greed and gain,
    The humble poor may nobly live,
      And feel not hunger's pain.

    These walls are sacred unto me,
      For thought here learned to soar
    And build the ark of liberty
      I love, exalt, adore.



NATURE'S VOICE.


    Every tree and plant, every tiny flower
    That grows in wood or field,
    Hath a voice that calls aloud to me,
    And a beauty half concealed,
    That draw my ears to hear a strain
    Of music sweet and low,
    And paint for me far richer hues
    Than the sunset's evening glow;
    They speak to me as no tongue can speak;
    Their voices are sweeter far
    Than the tones that fall from human lips,
    Or strains of sweet music are.



POUNDRIDGE, N. Y.


    Perhaps no spot upon this sphere,
    Has charms for me more sacred, dear,
      Than those of old Poundridge;
    I love her hills, her lakes, her streams,
    Her rural haunts, where Nature teems
      With joys naught can abridge.

    Her dew-bespangled meadows shine
    With gems of radiance so divine,
      When touched by matin sun,
    That myriad pendant drops of dew,
    Lend to the mead a brilliant hue
      Like earth with diamonds strown.

    The woods that sleep on distant hills,
    Or watch o'er gently murmuring rills,
      Seem restful to the soul;
    Their silence brings sweetest repose,
    A panacea for the woes
      That spurn M. D.'s control.

    The healthful, healing, peaceful rest,
    To frame fatigued, to mind distressed,
      Seems but a foretaste here,
    Of that serene and blest abode,
    Which to the faithful child of God
      Hereafter shall appear.

    I love the rustic's rough demesne,
    Which yields to toil a wealth unseen
      To those of civic life;
    For here I drank, in youth's bright dawn,
    The draughts of vigor which were drawn
      From labor's busy strife.

    I love the house wherein I played,
    The yard o'erspread by maple's shade,
      The nearby babbling brook;
    The fields o'er which my youthful feet
    Sped onward toward the trout's retreat,
      With dangling line and hook.

    I love the path across the wood
    Which once I trod in search of food
      For hungering, thirsting mind,
    The room where pupils used to meet
    And strive to make their work complete
      And manners more refined.

    All these I love for what is past,
    And still must love while life shall last;
      But I do love still more
    The souls who fired my mental lamp,
    And on my character did stamp
      Truths fraught with richest lore.

    I see my aged mother there,
    My father in his old arm-chair,
      And fancy hears their voice;
    My brother yet so full of joy,
    Has passed the limits of a boy,
      But still can much rejoice.

    Upon the hill, the lakes between,
    Are sacred mounds of living green,
      Where sleep my precious dead;
    A vacant spot reserved for me,
    To which my heart looks longingly,
      Invites my weary head.

    No greater boon could I e'er ask
    When I have finished earthly task,
      Than quietly to rest,
    Surrounded by her vales and hills,
    Her laughing lakes and singing rills,
      And friends that I love best.

    Tho' many years now intervene,
    My mind recalls each boyhood scene
      Of field and wood and bridge;
    These cherished memories only prove
    Abiding faith and filial love
      Toward restful, old Poundridge.



TIM.


    We remember well when a schoolboy,
      When pliant in mind and limb,
    We had for a boon companion,
      A bright youth whose name was Tim.

    He was sturdy, strong, and honest,
      In body and mind he had vim,
    So we learned by intuition,
      To place much reliance on Tim.

    We fished and hunted together,
      In summer, the lakes we would swim,
    Skated their surface in winter,
      With mercurial, wonderful Tim.

    Our tasks at school were a union,
      And when thoughts were distant or dim,
    A light illumined the pages,
      That seemed a reflection from Tim.

    Reciprocal visits were often,
      He slept with me, I slept with him,
    Talked till near dawn of daylight,
      With fluent and scholarly Tim.

    Decades have passed since that season,
      My hair is reduced to a rim,
    But my heart beats as warm as ever,
      For that friend of my youth, named Tim.

    As years fleet away, we treasure
      The power of our mind to skim
    O'er the scenes of early doings,
      With valiant and trustworthy Tim.

    A third of a century over,
      Still a friend have we now like him,
    Exact in his every bearing,
      And his name is--unchanged--Tim.

    We wonder if in the hereafter,
      When we range with the Seraphim,
    Happiness will be augmented
      By the kindly presence of Tim.

    We trust an expanded mission
      Will fill us with joy to the brim,
    As we ramble the fields of glory,
      With genial and faithful friend Tim.



THE UNWRITTEN LETTER.

On receiving sprigs of Forget-me-not and Lilly-of-the-Valley in
envelope, through mail, with no note or name inclosed.


    In form it was a letter,
      Unique in its every part,
    The expression could not be better,
      For it touched my inmost heart.

    No pen had marred its beauty,
      No ink had traced a line,
    It did its silent duty
      Like a messenger divine.

    Upon its page was written
      No English, French, nor Greek;
    But a universal language
      That only flowers can speak.

    The colors were pure whiteness
      And heavenly tints of blue,
    Excelling all the brightness
      That art can bring to view.

    The Lily-of-the-Valley
      And sweet Forget-me-not,
    That grow where perfumes dally
      In sweet secluded spot,

    When sent to tell some story
      That words cannot express,
    Are fraught with special glory
      And richest tenderness.

    Their perfumes speak of gladness,
      Their colors of delight,
    They neutralize dull sadness,
      Turn darkness into light.

    They link the heart of sender
      To heart to which they're sent,
    And unto both will render
      The sweetness of content.

    I love them for their clearness,
      Their whiteness and their blue;
    But added to such dearness
      Is the thought they came from you.



ALL THINGS ARE SECOND-HANDED.

On being asked to write an original poem.


    "There's no new thing under the sun,"
      Said the ancient priest and preacher;
    What seems now new is only done
      To quicken some old feature
    That lies effete, or badly worn,
      And lacks its pristine rigor,
    That needs an energizing touch
      To give it life and vigor.

    The sun that shines on us to-day,
      Shone on our ancient parents
    Who walked upon the primal clay;
      And science fully warrants
    That not one atom has been lost,
      And not one atom added
    To all the atom matter host,
      Although some forms have faded.

    The gorgeous colors that are cast
      On cloud-land morn and even,
    Are but reflections of the past
      That erst had spangled heaven
    With glories from that mystic throne
      Whose blendings none can rival,
    But whose expiring tints, alone,
      Admit of a revival.

    The rain that drops has dropped before;
      Our flowers were another's;
    The songs we sing were sung of yore
      By long departed brothers;
    The sounds we hear are but the tones
      Or echoes of the past;
    We live among the mouldering bones
      Of forms too frail to last.

    Then ask me not for something new,
      All things are second-handed,
    The old may sometimes be more true
      Than that more lately branded;
    But taking things as best we can,
      We know 'tis only human
    To shun a second-handed man,
      Or a second-handed woman.

    But let us not be too severe
      On second-handed matter,
    For nothing seems to be more clear
      Than that we should not flatter
    Our souls into a fatal state,
      Of scoffing at the common,
    For who can tell what cruel fate
      May make of man or woman?



FACES WE READ.


    One may read from the face at leisure,
      From the leaf that reflects the soul,
    The thought, the desire, and the measure
      That imprint on the facial scroll
    The innermost mind and its actions,
      The heart with its strongest desires,
    The passions, impulses, and factions
      Which animate clay oft inspires.

    Ev'ry line of th' face has a father
      Whose hand has engraven it there,
    But shades of the spirit are rather
      Betrayed in the hue of the hair;
    The pencils of thought, true to nature,
      Have written their records so plain,
    That a skillful eye reads each feature
      That dwells in the heart and the brain.

    One may peep into occult recesses
      Which only the face will reveal,
    May read what the tongue quite represses
      But the eye cannot fully conceal,
    May fathom the deepest depressions
      Where the soul has buried its woe,
    Where the heart would hold secret sessions
      With scenes and events long ago.



     The writer applying for a room at Newpoint Inn,
     Amityville, Long Island, was informed that the house
     was full. Some friends, stopping near, kindly invited
     him to go with them. He accepted. After his departure
     he sent the following:


AMITYVILLE.


    "I was a stranger and ye took me in,
      Hungry and ye fed me,"
    No place for me at Newpoint Inn,
      So home you kindly led me.

    Some say the world is cold and sour,
      Devoid of fellow-feeling,
    But day by day and hour by hour,
      To me comes a revealing

    That warm hearts beat where'er we go,
      Kind hands are gladly serving
    The kindred hearts which ever show
      They truly are deserving.

    The world, indeed, may frigid be
      When icebergs float around it,
    But warm, true hearts of constancy,
      Have uniformly found it

    To be a place where fragrant flowers
      Deprive the thorns of stings,
    Where sunny souls spend happy hours,
      And Nature laughs and sings.

    We make our paths, we dwell the lives
      Selected by ourselves;
    We shape the destiny that gives
      Our fate to gods or elves.

    Then let us know this truth full well
      Wherever we may be,
    We have a power to help us dwell
      In the _ville of amity_.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Robin is a singer; sweet and pure and clear
    Are the notes he warbles from his covert near;
    Softly, oh! how softly, at the sunset's glow
    Does he chant his vespers, plaintive, sweet, and low.

    Robin is an artist; he beautifies the stream,
    The vale, the hill, the meadow, until they truly seem
    To glow, because his presence gives to each a tongue
    To echo back the music his minstrel throat has sung.



TRUE WEALTH.


    The smallest type of manhood that lives,
      (If manhood it may be called,)
    Is that which knows no power but wealth
      That is measured in stocks and gold;
    It looks in disdain on a working man
      Who declines to bend his knee,
    Though in honor's scales he may outweigh
      The scorner, in great degree.

    There's a wealth that far surpasses all
      The houses and stocks and gold,
    That ever was on the market placed,
      To be by a hireling sold;
    'Tis the wealth of manhood, noble, free,
      And an independent mind
    That scorns to swerve from justice and truth,
      But faithfully serves mankind.



PIOUS PIE POEM PUNS.

Dedicated to my Ex-Pier.


    One pious afternoon in June
      When pyronomics held full sway,
    My pilot, fancy, led me on
      To seek new fields, piebald and gay.

    The pianet rested in shade,
      The lark, piano-voiced, sang not,
    But pining for some genial maid
      To pioneer me to a spot,

    Where pine or oak might shield from heat,
      My thoughts turned piously to where
    Pierian pleasures one might meet,
      And pious converse jointly share.

    Pyrometers were all at home--
      No doubt the figures mounted high--
    She sighed and said she could not roam,
      Then pitt (i) ed me with cherry pie.

    Piacular may she not be,
      And thus escape the eternal pyre,
    No pirate's heart would dance with glee
      Like mine, to see that maid--Ex-Pier.



FIDELITY.

A Legend of Trinity Lake, Poundridge, N. Y.

Read at a Farmers' Picnic, Trinity Lake, Sept. 1, 1891.


The Rippowams were a tribe of Indians living along the Sound near
Stamford and Norwalk, Ct., and extended their territory for some miles
northward. The Kitchewonks were a tribe living on the Hudson, near Sing
Sing and Peekskill, N. Y., and found their way eastward. In the early
days of the Indian occupation of these lands the Rippowams followed up
the stream running from the three lakes--Round Pond, Middle Pond, and
Lower Pond--while the Kitchewonks followed that branch of the Croton
which finds its source in Cross Pond, now Lake Kitchewan. For the
possession of these grounds there were frequent battles between these
tribes, as the lake-land abounded in fish and game. The intercourse
between these tribes, both belonging to the Mohegans, was very limited,
at first, but in course of time became more frequent and friendly. A
lime and marble ridge separates Lake Kitchewan from the three lower
lakes and forms a watershed between the Hudson and the sound.

In recent years a dam was constructed by the Stamford Water Co., and the
three lakes were made into one, and very appropriately called
thereafter, Trinity. The lakes are supplied almost entirely by springs,
as no streams of any size empty into them.

For several years, in the spring time, a floating island appeared in
Trinity, upon which vegetation grew abundantly. This island sank upon
the approach of cold weather and remained in a state of hibernation
until the spring came. Some person or persons who had no love for the
romantic, curious, and beautiful, loaded it so heavily with stones that
it sank to rise no more.

In its departure the lake sustained the loss of an attraction which is
known in but few lakes in the world.

A large rock, estimated to weigh eight or ten tons, is so nicely poised
upon another rook, upon a high point about fifty rods west of the lake,
that a gentle pressure of the hand will cause it to rock perceptibly.

Directly opposite the picnic grounds are precipitous rocks, below which
the waters are extremely deep.--THE AUTHOR.


    When the infant world in its swaddling band
      Of mist and cloud and storm,
    Assumed its forms of sea and land,
      And the lakes and streams were born,
    In this western world, on the eastern shore,
      Four leagues from the inland sea,
    Came a liquid crown set with jewels four,
      But in union only three;
    For the northern gem was a solitaire
      And barred from the lesser three,
    By a marble wall wrought strong and fair
      By the hand of Divinity.

    A silver thread from the Trinity
      Ran southward through the wood,
    Till it lost its flow in the land-locked sea,
      And was merged in old Neptune's flood;
    But the northern gem in a mystic race
      Sent a message toward the west,
    And linked itself in the kind embrace
      Of the Hudson grandly dressed.

    Ten thousand moons had waxed and waned
      And flung on the mirror sheet
    A train of beauty, with no discord stained
      Since creation stood complete.
    Here antlered deer had slaked their thirst
      And fought their imaged form;
    Here rolling tones of thunder burst,
      As a harbinger of storm;
    Here song of bird and sigh of breeze
      Had ne'er met human ear;
    The beast on land, the fowl on trees
      Dwelt here in peace and knew no fear.

    Brave Kitchewonks had traced their way
      Along the stream that westward ran,
    While Rippowams pursued their prey
      Until this lake-land was their van.
    'Twas here Mohegan met again
      The blood that in Mohegan flowed,
    But each regarded not the vein,
      Though kinsmen, foes they firmly stood.
    This lake-land, rich in fish and game,
      Was ground for strife and war and blood;
    From west and south the warriors came
      In battle paint and surly mood.
    The Kitchewonks near northern lake
      Upon the Rippowams looked down,
    And hoped their power and pride to break
      E'er harvest-moon had fully grown.

    ALMETA on the western stream
      Now mourned her absent PONOMO,
    For harvest-moon had sent its gleam
      Across the Hudson's tidal flow,
    And at its full he was to come,
      And her to lake-land safely guide,
    Where they should make their future home,
      And she should there become his bride.
    But he had with Rippowams' band,
      Marched forth to meet her kinsmen dear,
    And face to face they sternly stand
      Prepared for battle-storm severe.

    Her heart bid her to dare the shock
      And seek him near the hostile camp;
    Her mind her heart would basely mock,
      And boding fears her ardor damp;
    The bondage of her heart so great
      Her coward mind could never free;
    She heeds no danger, dares all fate,
      And this her brief soliloquy:

    "I know that tribal laws demand
      My life if I should thither flee,
    I must obey that great command--
      God's higher law--fidelity.
    No other lips my lips have pressed,
      No other arms encircled me,
    Since he my maiden form caressed
      And each breathed vows of constancy.
    For me at each returning moon
      He journeyed through the forest wild,
    Braved dangers that my heart hath won,
      And now I must not be defiled
    By any doubt or any fear
      That death or suffering may bring.
    I'd count such sacrifice not dear
      If I must be an offering.

    "What though my blood may stain the soil,
      Devotion mark me for a slave
    Through weary years to strive and toil,
      Or fate should sink me 'neath the wave!
    'Twere better far that such should be
      Than I should violate my heart
    And all that's sacred unto me
      By acting a base traitor's part.
    I must away, I must away
      To meet him by the silvery lake!
    'Tis crime for me to longer stay
      I will not, cannot now forsake."

    She speeds along the forest trail
      Where warriors late in painted form,
    Had marched through Kitchewan's fair vale
      To meet their foes in battle-storm.
    Her eyes are watchful to survey,
      Her ears detect the lightest sound,
    Her heart and mind to her betray
      Where barriers to her flight are found.
    She shuns them all by tact and skill;
      Most gladly she to him will prove
    The power that's in a woman's will,
      The faith that's in a woman's love.

    From hill and ledge she scans the ground
      While dangers seem her faith to mock;
    But highest point by her is found,
      She stands upon the swaying rock,
    Which seems unsteady 'neath her feet,
      And makes her doubt if she can stand
    To make inspection so complete,
      She may discern PONOMO'S band.
    The trembling rock and trembling heart
      Are firmly fixed, no power can move;
    But from its crest she must depart
      In search of him her heart doth love.
    She stands beside the central lake
      Along whose shores the war-whoop rang,
    And softly for her own heart's sake,
      This song of harvest-moon she sang:

    "The hunter's moon now floods the night
      Turns darkness into day,
    The wood and lake in mellow light,
      Charm grief and care away.

    "The sparkling water's silvery gleam
      My sorrow soothes for me,
    And lifts my soul in fancy's dream
      To thoughts so pure and free.

    "So bright the light that fills the night,
      The song-birds sweetly sing;
    From tree to tree they take their flight
      On swift yet noiseless wing.

    "Now come, PONOMO, come to me,
      I wait your coming here;
    You promised 'neath this hemlock tree,
      At midnight to appear.

    "My heart, my life, my all is yours,
      And you are all to me;
    Faith trusts your promise and assures
      Unchanged fidelity.

    "I know your heart is warm and true,
      Your love not cold or dumb,
    No earthly power can it subdue;
      I know that you will come."

    She hears a footstep drawing near;
      Her voice is mute, her song is done,
    She waits, PONOMO to appear,
      In shadowed silence all alone.
    Beneath lugubrious hemlock shade
      Her heart beats with expectancy,
    And Kitchewonk's own dusky maid
      Trusts Rippowam's fidelity.
    He comes! She sees him near the lake;
      She knows his form, his step, his voice;
    No other charm for her could make
      Her heart and soul so much rejoice.

    They meet beside the water's edge
      Where hemlock boughs in silence nod,
    And there with mutual vow and pledge,
      In presence of their living God,
    They join the hand, the heart, the life,
      While harvest-moon a witness stood,
    That he the husband, she the wife,
      Should share in life's vicissitude.
    That sacred pledge was heard on high
      And written by an angel hand,
    Nor priest, nor king, nor majesty,
      Could marriage rites perform more grand.

    No tribal laws or priestly hand
      Can rivet adverse hearts in one;
    Compulsion has no iron band
      So strong it may not be undone;
    But ties of mutual interest
      That spring spontaneous from the soul,
    Are never by themselves oppressed,
      Their silken cords have full control.
    To know, to feel, to fully share
      The joys and sorrows of this life,
    Unites the souls of mated pair,
      And make the husband and the wife.

    PONOMO and ALMETA there,
      Where juts of rocks 'neath hemlock boughs,
    Had breathed a mutual, fervent prayer,
      And each to each pledged sacred vows,
    When o'er the lake the war-whoop rang,
      And Kitchewonks, on every side,
    Swept down with shout and yell and clang,
      Upon PONOMO and his bride.
    On north and south, and on the west,
      No way of flight then could they take,
    So from the rough rocks' rugged side
      They plunged into the central lake.

    A hundred arrows cleft the air,
      But one alone had reached its mark.
    PONOMO felt it roughly tear
      Its way into his faithful heart.
    He shrieked and sank beneath the wave,
      ALMETA followed after him;
    Their bridal couch was watery grave,
      The war-whoop was their requiem.

    The savage yell of victory
      Re-echoed then from shore to shore,
    While every rock and every tree
      Seemed deeply tinged with human gore,
    For when the moon from heavenly throne
      Looked down and saw the ghastly deed,
    It veiled itself and feebly shone,
      As if in agony to plead
    That human souls might ever know
      That God himself cannot approve
    The hand that strikes avenging blow,
      The soul devoid fraternal love.

    'Neath crystal waters of the lake,
      In silent, undisturbed repose,
    Where sounds of strife no slumbers break,
      Heedless alike of friends and foes,
    They slept the long, long sleep of death,
      Through centuries of rolling years,
    While o'er their forms the zephyrs' breath
      In playful eddyings oft appears.
    Their race has faded from the shore
      And left few traces that they were;
    The war-whoop now resounds no more,
      They bowed before White Conqueror.
    Full many a fathom 'neath the wave,
      Their forms have mouldered side by side,
    While shadowy hemlocks fringe the grave
      Of dark PONOMO and his bride.

    The waters then were deeper made
      Which gave their spirits much unrest,
    The lake their agony betrayed
      And seemed on every side distressed.
    One spring when Nature gaily dressed
      With charms that could the mind beguile,
    There rose upon the lake's fair breast
      A hibernating, floating isle.
    Devoid of life it seemed at first,
      Chaotic, dull, with beauty none,
    But rays of sunshine on it burst
      And changed it to a paragon.

    Two alders sprang from near its edge
      And twined in close embrace,
    While ferns and grass gave certain pledge
      That Time should give it smiling face.
    But when the frosts of autumn fell
      It sank from sight, perchance to rest;
    No searching mind could ever tell
      The secret of its rising crest.
    For years, at each returning spring,
      The isle would rise from 'neath the wave,
    As if to memory to bring
      PONOMO and ALMETA'S grave.
    But when the harvest-moon shone bright,
      It meekly sank; as years before
    When on that dread, but fatal night,
      The faithful sank by rock-bound shore.

    Its verdure grew, its alders spread,
      Its fame extended many a mile,
    'Twas type of resurrected dead--
    This hibernating, floating isle.

    But vandal hands destroyed the prize
      And sank it 'neath a weight of stones,
    While ALMETA sends forth her sighs,
      And PONOMO emits his groans.
    Here let them rest, if rest they may,
      Amid the beauteous scenes around,
    And wait in peace the final day,
      When at the angel's trumpet sound,
    The water shall give up its prey,
      The earth shall full surrender make,
    For heaven has not a type to-day,
      More perfect than this sky-blue lake.



FINIS.


    After our labor is finished,
      After the struggle is done,
    A restful surcease awaits us
      At the setting of life's sun.
    If when our toil seemed the sorest
      The heart refused to retreat
    From a grand and noble purpose,
      Till the vic'try was complete,
    Then shall joyous crown await us,
      Resplendent with jewels rare,
    And a radiance of honor
      The face shall benignly wear;
    Not that our works were all faultless
      And free from error and wrong,
    But because our sincere purpose
      Made us brave and true and strong.

    Results of labor thus rendered,
      Are safely trusted to Heaven,
    For He who knows ev'ry motive,
      Understands _why_ we have striven.
    If to man were given the balance
      To adjust with equity,
    His weakness and imperfection,
      His greed and his jealousy,
    Might sway the poise from adjustment,
      And his judgment go astray,
    Through the frailties of his nature--
      Imperfect humanity

    The Infallible in knowledge,
      Whose true balance never swerves,
    Knows every man's Gethsemane,
      And the merit he deserves.
    He will not ask figs of the thorns;
      Of talents will not demand
    A greater increase than is just
      From a faithful steward's hand.
    Feeling the weight of the mission
      Incumbent upon our care;
    Searching the heart's deep recesses
      That vice may not shelter there;
    Working courageously onward
      The truth and right to defend;
    And asking a perfect guidance,
      We calmly welcome the end.


[Transcriber's Note: The following errors in the original have been
corrected in this version:

WHO KNOWS?

While we shall linger hear,
While we shall linger here,

OUR PROFESSION.

Is a receipe one may offer
Is a recipe one may offer

FACT VERSUS FORM.

So are educational falacies
So are educational fallacies

INDULGENCE.

In love, oft a maddened, frienzied heart
In love, oft a maddened, frenzied heart

THE THRUSH.

That bring filicity.
That bring felicity.

SUNSET.

No secrets incribed on its scroll.
No secrets inscribed on its scroll.

RETROSPECTION.

That seemes like a photo-engraving,
That seems like a photo-engraving,

THE HAIR.

Regard causmetic's fancy stock
Regard cosmetic's fancy stock

POUNDRIDGE, N. Y.

That spurn M. D's. control.
That spurn M. D.'s control.

]





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