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Title: Oklahoma and Other Poems
Author: Miller, Freeman E. (Freeman Edwin), 1864-1951
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 "Oklahoma and Other Poems" ***

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[Illustration: (Freeman E. Miller.)]












       *       *       *       *       *






       *       *       *       *       *





  _Our dearest joys forever flow_
  _From fountains of the Long Ago,_
  _That from the heights of pleasures past_
  _Flood all the present valleys vast,_
  _And with eternal glees provide_
  _The future's endless ocean tide._

       *       *       *       *       *

  _To ope each cage where a heartless age_
    _Hath chained the birds of singing,_
  _Till Love's own glee that is fond and free_
    _Shall laugh where they are winging,--_
  _Such is my wish. 'Tis true, hold I,_
  _That songs, like birds, in bondage die._

       *       *       *       *       *


  OKLAHOMA                                 9
  THE RACE FOR HOMES                      15
  AT PERRY, SEPTEMBER 16, 1893            19
  "SING ME A SONG, O WIND."               21
  A CHRISTMAS CAROL                       24
  YEARS THAT ARE TO BE                    26
  IF WE DON'T OR IF WE DO                 28
  DEAR SONGS OF MY COUNTRY                30
  JULY FOURTH                             33
  LOVE                                    37
  WINTERS ON THE FARM                     39
  "O, WEAK AND WEARY WORLD."              41
  EX ANIMA                                43
  THE FARMER                              49
  THE WORKINGMAN                          53
  GIVING AND FORGIVING                    55
  CHRISTMAS TIME                          59
  TRUEST HEROES ARE UNKNOWN               61
  IF WE BUT KNEW                          62
  HOPE                                    64
  DESPONDENCY                             66
  IF LOVE WERE KING                       68
  TWO LIVES                               71
  SPINSTERHOOD                            74
  STANZAS                                 77
  "MAKE THE MOST OF THIS LIFE."           78
  GOOD-NIGHT                              83
  LIVE LIFE WITH LOVE                     84
  DISCONTENT                              86
  STANZAS                                 87
  THE WAY OF THE WORLD                    89
  MY SHADOW AND I                         90
  IN THE VALES                            91
  THE WILLOW                              92
  AT THE MILL                             94
  SHADOW AND SHINE                        95
  THE GROWTH OF SONG                      96
  SPRING AND MUSIC                        97
  COMPENSATION                            98
  MY MOLLIE, O                           100
  SING NOT OF BEAUTY                     101
  AT EVENTIDE                            102
  WHEN CHRISTMAS COMES                   103
  WHEN THOU ART NEAR                     104
  HE SLEEPS AT LAST                      105
  WHEN FORTUNES FROWN                    106
  WHEN WE SHALL MEET                     107
  SWEET EYES OF BLUE                     108
  HAD WE NOT MET                         109
  A SONNET                               110
  OKLAHOMA.--A SONNET                    111
  ESTRANGED                              112
  RECONCILED                             113
  THE DYING HERO                         114
  SONNET                                 115
  GREATNESS LIVES APART                  116
  POEMS                                  117
  SINGER AND SONG                        118
  THE BANKS O' TURKEY RUN                119


    Oklahoma! Oklahoma!
  Land, O, land of the Fair God,
    Land where ancient, savage races
  Through barbarian ages trod!
    Through thy story fancy traces
  Facts above what fictions say,
    Where the world with haste advances,--
  Born are nations in a day!
    Where the wigwam stood so lonely,
  Lordly cities rise in might;
    Where spread desert wildness only,
  Fertile farms and homes delight.
    Thou hast summoned to thy bosom
  From the ends of all the earth,
    All the youngest, strongest, bravest,
  Full of will and wondrous worth.
    O'er thy valleys grow the blossoms
  Culled from earth's remotest sod;
    Oklahoma! Oklahoma!
  Land, O, Land of the Fair God!

    Oklahoma! Oklahoma!
  There is music in thy name.
    There is gladness in thy glory,
  There is fondness in thy fame!
    In the wonders of thy story
  Shines the sheen of noble deed,
    Brighter than the glare of battle
  Where the warriors toil and bleed;
    Ruling with immortal forces,
  There is found the king of might,
    Over all thy great resources
  By the strength of truth and right.
    With thy happy sons and daughters,
  Live the virtues fair and pure,
    And the better angels guiding
  Keep their hearts and souls secure.
    There are treasures in thy valleys,
  There are treasures in thy hills;
    Oklahoma! Oklahoma!
  How thy name my bosom thrills!

    Oklahoma! Oklahoma!
  Child of law and liberty,
    Thou art always true and tender,
  Thou art ever dear to me!
    I will always praises render
  To the grandeur of thy worth,
    For the fortunes all presided
  At the moment of thy birth.
    Pleasures in their pure completeness
  O'er thy pleasant prairies shine,
    And the raptures run with fleetness
  Through the happy vales of thine.
    Thou art empress of the angels,
  Thou art queen of all the gods,
    And the happiness of heaven
  O'er thy laughing valleys nods.
    I will always crown with praises
  All thy glories, O, my state;
    Oklahoma! Oklahoma!
  Thou art greatest of the great!

    Oklahoma! Oklahoma!
  Bravest are thy noble sons,
    In the thunders of the battle,
  And the roaring of the guns!
    Flash of sword and musket's rattle
  Never fearful terror gave
    To the staunch and valiant bosoms
  Of thy happy hosts and brave.
    When the roars of hell grow louder,
  And the mountains shake in fright,
    In the lurid clouds of powder,
  They are foremost in the fight;
    And when bayonet and musket,
  Sword and saber, slaughter cease,
    They are tenderest and truest
  In the silent ways of peace.
    O, my state! A stream of greatness
  From thy mighty people runs;
    Oklahoma! Oklahoma!
  Bravest are thy noble sons!

    Oklahoma! Oklahoma!
  Fairest are thy daughters fair,
    In the thousand deeds of duty
  Thou hast given them to bear;
    Peerless is their wondrous beauty,
  Bright with blushes as the rose,
    Pure as petals of the lily,
  White as newly-fallen snows;
    And their voices bright with blessing
  Banish misery and woe,
    While their fingers' soft caressing
  Soothes the fevers from the brow.
    Souls are always blessed with brightness
  Bosoms filled with goodly pearls,
    Hearts forever harvest gladness,
  In the glances of thy girls.
    They are robed in golden garments,
  Nature's vestments, rich and rare;
    Oklahoma! Oklahoma!
  Fairest are thy daughters fair!

    Oklahoma! Oklahoma!
  Sweetest are thy happy homes,
    Smiling in the holy gladness
  Which above thee always roams;
    They are never linked with sadness,
  They are never bound with pains,
    For the sunshine of enjoyment
  Rules the people of thy plains.
    Songs are singing with thy maidens,
  Music echoes with thy wives,
    Rapture slays the grief that ladens
  All the gladness of their lives.
    Happiness is with thy husbands,
  And thy swains are blest with joy,
    While the fondest rapture rises
  In the hearts of girl and boy.
    Pleasures linger in thy woodlands,
  Gladness on thy prairies roams;
    Oklahoma! Oklahoma!
  Sweetest are thy happy homes!

    Oklahoma! Oklahoma!
  Thou shall ever live in song;
    Freedom, near to nature, raises
  Temples that to thee belong;
    Minstrels shall in merry praises
  Wind their music o'er thy name
    Till the voices of the ages
  Shout for thee in wild acclaim;
    They shall sing with tender pleasure
  Beauty of thy daughters true;
    Sing, in high, exultant measure,
  Deeds thy sons in battle do.
    Sages shall in wisdom offer
  Full rewards of love to thee,
    And shall crown thy land and people
  Favorites of liberty.
    All thy glory shall be shining
  Through the cycles clear and strong;
    Oklahoma! Oklahoma!
  Though shall ever live in song!

    Oklahoma! Oklahoma!
  Romance of the ages, thou!
    Now, unknown; a moment later.
  Kingly crowns upon thy brow!
    Child of all the nations, greater
  Shall thy splendors year by year
    Grow unfading, bringing bounties
  Full of happiness and cheer!
    Morning saw a desert sleeping,
  Worn and wasted with distress;
    Night beheld an empire keeping
  Watch above the wilderness.
    Progress with her wand of magic
  Touched the sleeping valleys bright,
    And they leaped with instant vigor,
  Shaking out their locks of might;
    Earth shall send her fairest blossoms
  As a garland for thy brow;
    Oklahoma! Oklahoma!
  Romance of the ages thou!


APRIL 22, 1889.

  Behold! As from the shades of night,
  An army gathers full of might,
  And strong with constant courage stands
  'Tween civilized and savage lands,
  Where, vast in power, the legion waits
  The turning of the desert gates,
  That men of might may enter in
  And progress all her glories win!
  Lo, where these thousands make assail,
  The barren ages all shall fail,
  And swift advancement far be hurled,
  O'er sleeping empires and the world!

  The morning hours haste hurried by;
  Behold! The noon is drawing nigh!
  The anxious host with careful eyes
  Marks well each rapid hour that flies,
  While hope, exulting, wildly rolls
  The highest, such as filled the souls
  Of Jason and his comrades bold,
  Who sought the famous fleece of gold.
  Upon the trampled grasses beat
  Impatient steeds with restless feet;
  The dins of harsh, discordant cries
  Above the thrilling thousands rise;
  Shrilly the scattered children call,
  And soft the words of women fall,
  While men with voices hushed and weak
  Their low commands expectant speak;
  Till suddenly a mighty cry,
  A shout of warning, smites the sky:

        "Attention! Ho,
          Attention here!
        Attention! Lo,
          The noon is near!"
        O'er hill and brake
      Resounds the warning cry;
      The moment great is nigh;
        The hosts awake;
  Awake, to strive with mad delight,
  Awake to win the friendly fight;
  And from the camps anear and far,
  Where nervous haste and hurry are,
  Vast legions gather on the plain,
  While chaos and confusion reign;
  The neighing steed with quickened pace
  Impatient seeks the vantage place;
  The slower ox with lightened load
  Stands waiting in the crowded road.
  And wagon, buggy, carriage, cart,
  Vehicles formed with rudest art,
  All forward, forward, forward dart,
  Swift-forming on the level ground
  Where most advantage may be found.

        "Line up! Ho, there,
          Line up, line up!"
  The hurried order smites the air;
  Above the silent prairies fair
    Unseen progression holds her cup,
  Filled to the brim with magic seeds
  That harvests hold for human needs.
  Excitement grows on beasts and men;
    The saddle girths are tightened o'er,
    The stirrups lengthened out once more,
  And silence softly falls again;
  Each bit and buckle, strap and band,
  Is tested o'er with careful hand,
  And man and beast in chosen place
  Stand ready for the coming race;

          The circling sun
  His morning race has fully run;
          A waving hand
  Signals above the brief command
  That sight and sense will understand,--
  And open swings the desert land!
  A shot! A hundred, thousand more
  The grassy meadows echo o'er;
  A shout! From countless throats a shout,
  On rolling wings leaps madly out;
  A yell, a raging roar, that flies
  On bounding winds o'er hill and glen,
  And 'round the land electrifies
  A thousand living miles of men!
        A mammoth stir,
          A sudden dash,
        Swift whip and spur
          Together clash,
  And wheels on wheels that totter crash!
        They're off! They're off!
        Away, away,
        In mad array!
        No stop nor stay!
  The hurried charge they ride to-day
        Would shame and scoff
  The Tartar, Turk and Romanoff!
        The race is on;
        The host is gone;
  The thronging legions madly ride
        O'er hill and dale,
  With hurried pace unsatisfied.
        In fierce assail
        Where none may fail;
  And only phantoms dimly blent
  Tell where the mounted armies went,
  Like shifting shadows, faint and dim,
  Or ghostly spectors, gaunt and grim,
  Beyond the far horizon's rim!
  Behold! Adown the valleys bright,
  The last, lone straggler fades from sight,
  And only hasty hoof-beats say
  What thousands rode the race to-day;
  What hosts, with hearts that build and bless,
  Found homes amid the wilderness!


  Crowds! Crowds! Crowds!
    Suddenly here as if come from the clouds
  That faded away as they came;
    Mad acres of people aflame
  With thirst for a morsel of land;
    Wild hunters of fortune, whose game
  Is ever escaping the hand;
    Vast, countless, uncountable throngs
  With restless, unrestable feet,
    That hurry the ways, full of agonized wrongs,
  For the conquest of happiness sweet;
    Wild seas of ambition whose waves of desire
  On their obstacles mighty continually beat,
    Where neither the shore nor the ocean is fixed;
    Like thunderous songs of a choir,
  Whose murmurs in music repeat;
    And confusion and chaos are terribly mingled and mixed.

    Dust! Dust! Dust!
    Borne in the arms of the gathering gust,
    And whirled on the wings of the wind,
    The eyes feel the blight of the blind,
  And horror comes into the heart;
    For nature is far more unkind
  Than the thousands that struggle apart.
    Dark, wild, inescapable dust,
  In fiercest, untamable clouds,
    That men into misery helplessly thrust,
  And bury in agony-shrouds;
    A simoom of sorrow whose pestilent breath
  To the strong and the weak, to the young and the old,
    Brings despair that is reckless of possible gain,
  And the awfullest anguish of death;
    Till the soul in its rage uncontrolled,
  Droops low in the horrible sickness and sorrow of pain.

    But out from the clouds,
    Out from the agonized dust that enshrouds;
    True kings shall arise who shall reign
    In homes on the populous plain!
  Great cities shall gather and grow
    In glories that never shall wane,
  Far over the valleys below.
    With merry yet measureless might
  They conquer the waste with the gladness that brings
    To the desert the newest delight.
  The barren shall bloom as the rose, and the land
    That is sleeping, a wilderness wasted and wild,
  And dreaming to welcome its master's command,
  Shall leap at the touch of his hand,
    His voice shall obey as a child!


  Sing me a song, O, Wind,
    Of musical cadence sweet,
  Which in the wood around
    Shall often and oft repeat;
  Soft as an angel's song
    That never can give annoy,
  Which in the balmy notes
    Shall tell me its tales of joy.

  Sing me a song, O, Wind,
    Of countries beyond the sea,
  Which in thy wand'rings oft
    Thou pass with a footstep free;
  Lands that are ever green
    'Neath blaze of the tropic spells,
  Bright with their blessed suns,
    Where summer forever dwells.

  Sing me a song, O, Wind,
    Of groves with a verdure fair,
  Waving their boughs of green
    O'er solitudes grand and rare;
  Groves with a stillness sweet,
    With cheering and cooling shades,
  Where from its cares the race
    May rest in the leafy glades.

  Sing me a song, O, Wind,
    Of birds with a plumage gay,
  That with their carols sweet
    Give praise to the God of day;
  Music of sad refrain,
    Though fond in its tender chime,
  Thou in thy travels wide
    Hast heard in a fairy clime.

  Sing me a song, O, Wind,
    Of crystalline brooks at play,
  Which with the murmurs low
    Make sweetest of sounds all day;
  Winding through meadows wide,
    And blossoming fields between,
  Fringed with the willows tall
    On emerald banks of green.

  Sing me a song, O, Wind,
    Of flowers that are fond and fair,
  Filling the fields of earth
    With beauty and fragrance rare;
  Wafting an incense pure
    On every breeze that blows,
  Drawn from the lily's heart
    And soul of the royal rose.

  Sing me a song, O, Wind,
    Of man in his brightest homes;
  Tell if he there meet joy,
    Wherever his longing roams;
  Tell if there's e'er a place
    Where, all his ambition spent,
  He toils throughout all his days
    And knoweth no discontent.

  Sing me a song, O, Wind,
    For I am a-weary now;
  Life, with its woes and cares,
    Hangs heavily on my brow;
  Sing me a song of cheer,
    My heart that is sad to ease;
  Sing in thy brightness and joy
    With heavenly harmonies!


      The brazen bells of laughing lands
        In swelling echoes wildly ring,
      And over seas and hoary strands
        This Christmas carol sing.

  "Awaken, O, heart of the race,
    To bountiful riches from Eden above,
  Till roses of beauty and lilies of grace
    Shall sweeten the languishing bosom with love;
  Till virulent sorrow and venomous hate
    Their poisonous curses of misery cease,
  And rapturous fortune, felicitous fate,
    Have rule in the musical meadows of peace.

  "The voices of morning to men,
    In passionate whispers of bounteous glee,
  Are pulsing the gladness of Christmas again
    O'er plains of the prairie and sounds of the sea;
  Rejoice and be happy, O, languishing soul,
    In limitless treasures of marvelous cheer,
  Till ravishing murmurs of lullabies roll
    Through all of the sorrows that sadden the year!

  "Though summer has gone from the earth,
    And silken embraces of velvety snow
  Are folding the blossoms of beauty and worth
    In wretched surroundings of wearisome woe;
  Let innocent joys in their sweetness abound
    And silvery cadence in melody start,
  Till rapturous fortunes with pleasure surround
    The aims of the soul and the hopes of the heart.

  "Let youth with its yearning engage
    All vigorous passion that lives in the breast,
  While tearful remembrance of tottering age
    Finds halcyon harbors of comforting rest;
  Let silver of years with the ardor of youth
    Be going again through the temple of joy,
  While palms of amusement and laurels of truth
    Encircle the hearts of the maiden and boy.

  "Let happiness reign with the race;
    There's never a reason for sorrowful tears,
  Kriss Kringle has come with his fatherly face
    To comfort complaining humanity's fears;
  Let music go 'round and the beautiful smile
    Bring gladsome delight to the bosom of bliss,
  Till gentle enjoyments unbroken beguile
    The souls of the sad with their coveted kiss.

  "Though crystalline frost on the trees,
    Though ice on the river and snow on the plain
  Are freezing the breath of the shivering breeze.
    The heart has Nepenthe for all of its pain;
  For Christmas is king, and his bountiful hand
    Is giving its treasures to mountain and lea,
  And gentleness rules on the billowy strand,
    And reigns in the far-away isles of the sea."

      This is the carol that swells
        Over the meadows and brakes,
      From brazen throats of the pealing bells
        When Christmas morning wakes.


      Wild years that are to be
  The sad completion of my weary life,
  In ghostly mantles of despairing strife
  Your phanton dimness darkly shadows me!
  Gaunt demons dancing from your horrid halls
  Entwine my soul in gloomy arms of woe,
  While mystic fancies to my madness show
      The monsters on your walls.

      Your forms are skeletons,
  Whose bony hands with mortal fingers play,
  Where grinning skulls are heaping on the way,
  And airy specters meet the timid ones;
  Death drops his arrows from your sullen skies,
  Destruction dances in your noisome shades,
  And in the dreadful darkness of your glades
      The horrid shriekings rise.

      There in your cycles are
  Dark valleys where my weary feet must go,
  Though devils of disaster hurl and throw
  Their awful sorrows from the fortunes far;
  No hands of pleasure can presume to part
  The clouded curtains of impending care,
  And hissing serpents of insane despair
      Pour poison in my heart.

      O, years that are to be,
  Among your solitudes I, dreaming, grope;
  My life's the shade of unaccomplished hope,
  My heart's a ghoul that feeds on agony!
  No strains of music call my tears away,
  No smiling star illumes the awful night;
  Ambition weeps; my soul draws without light
      My shameless feet astray!

      No soothing welcome floats
  Between your marble lips, nor sweetly rise
  The tender songs of gentle melodies
  From croaking caverns of your iron throats;
  But from your dirges of destructive pain,
  Wild clash of wretched sound is borne to me,
  Where death and failure, tears and misery,
      In robes or anguish reign.

      But my heart hopes to find
  Some infant joy for woes that sorrow did,
  Some faded garland on some coffin lid,
  To cheer the wildness of my broken mind;
  Some angel pleasures in your realms must roll,
  Some laughing life, some music, in your glooms,
  Shall gladness give, amid your ghostly tombs,
      Mad Future, to my soul!


  If we don't or if we do.
  What's the odds to me and you?
  Fame is e'er a heartless jade,
  And her slaves are poorly paid;
  Weary hearts and soul's distress
  Are the prices of success;
  All our stations sadness view,--
  If we don't or if we do.

  If we don't or if we do,
  Our deservings will accrue;
  We must pay the fullest price,
  For each virtue and each vice,
  And each life for every thing
  Must an equal portion bring;
  Justice shall our deeds review,
  If we don't or if we do.

  If we don't or if we do,
  Fortune to our worth is true;
  Trophies that enshroud our clay,
  Scarce are worth the price we pay;
  Shame doth small endeavors share,
  Fame and glory, toil and care;
  Earth floats but an equal crew,
  If we don't or if we do.

  If we don't or if we do,
  What's the diff'rence 'tween the two,
  When our souls have gone to God
  And we sleep beneath the sod?
  Kindred grasses wave and creep
  Where the prince and pauper sleep;
  We shall have our six-feet-two,
  If we don't or if we do.

  If we don't or if we do,
  We but dust and ashes brew;
  Labor, trouble, toil and strife
  Weave within each human life;
  Sorrows cloud the younger years;
  Age is bowed with cares and tears;
  Accidents in fame are few,--
  If we don't or if we do.

  If we don't or if we do.
  Fate to our deserts is true;
  If we fail, or falter not,
  Every life deserves his lot;
  Every human, small or great,
  Buys with current coin his fate;
  What's the odds to me and you,
  If we don't or if we do?


  Dear songs of my country! How sweetly thy measures
    Come stealthily stealing o'er mountain and wave,
  To sweeten the riches of liberty's treasures
    And thrill with their numbers the hearts of the brave!
  To move in wild glory the souls of a nation,
    Till men are together so happily hurled,
  That millions are bound in fraternal relation
    And brotherhoods rule in the ranks of the world.

  Such praises ye offer our heroes and sages,
    So grand is the greatness that lives in thy strains,
  That small is the fame of the far away ages,
    So sunken in tyranny, fettered in chains.
  For freedom ye strive and ye struggle for glory,
    And Liberty--Liberty still is your theme--
  And glad are your lips with the national story,
    Which warriors have written on forest and stream.

  Dear songs of my country! The soul patriotic
    Ye fill with the wishes of mighty emprise,
  Till conquers he tyranny harsh and despotic,
    Or first in the front of the battle he dies.
  Ye offer him laurels, ye crown him with praises,
    Who falls in the fight with his face to the foe,
  And gratitude over his sepulcher raises
    The marbles eternal of national woe.

  Your strains are as high as the cloud-covered mountains,
    As deep as the ocean, as wide as the land,
  As pure as the murmurs of silvery fountains,
    But loud as the roar on the billowy strand.
  Our deep-furrowed prairies, our ship-laden rivers,
    Our ax-ringing forests, our steam-shrieking bays,
  Swell high in your music, for all are free givers
    To freedom's true grandeur and liberty's praise.

  How fondly, dear songs of my country, ye cherish
    The struggle heroic, the God-shapen deed,
  That nothing of worthiness ever may perish
    But live to the time of humanity's need!
  Afar from the realms of the centuries olden,
    Ye summon with gladness the glories of years,
  To greet every hero with cadences golden,
    And sing every sage that in greatness appears.

  The ages may falter thee, Land of my Birth,
    The years may thy grandeur and glory betray;
  But long as thy songs murmur over the earth,
    No forces can carry thy splendors away!
  Then live, ye dear songs of my country, forever,
    With voices eternal to utter her name,
  That cycles may never her liberty sever,
    Nor trample her greatness nor crumble her fame!


  Hail, glorious morning of Columbia's birth,
    Celestial dawn of freedom! There shall be
  In recognition of thy wondrous worth
    By mighty millions this side of the sea,
    Triumphant crowns of laurel wreathed for thee!
  Welcome thy mammoth pageants, welcome all
    The choral songs and melodies of glee,
  The swelling shouts of praise that gladly fall
  From mighty multitudes in anthems national!

  High hangs the sacred banner, and the stars
    Dance in the sunshine, while the breezes play
  Around the glory of the hallowed bars
    Gleaming in white and crimson; music gay
    Floats from the patriot host and cheers array
  Great shouts around its foldings. Long in state,
    Flag of the brave and free, wave o'er this day
  To bring the world rejoicings which await
  The natal hours of might, the day we celebrate!

  How fears the tyrant in his capital,
    As myriad wires throb with the nation's tale!
  How despot trembles in his castled hall,
    When liberty's wild shouts of power prevail,
    And give their gladness unto every gale!
  Fetters and chains dissolve in holy trust,
    Scepters and swords in puny weakness fail,
  While crowns and thrones make monumental dust,
  And kingly Might is dead, Oppression downward thrust.

  Wide float thy wondrous pæans; loudly range
    Thy songs of holy rapture; and the roars
  Of deep-mouthed cannons echo wild and strange
    Through shouting cities; Patriotism pours
    Her full libations on the trembling shores,
  Till earth reels with her triumph; and the voice
    Of millions mad with merriment far soars
  From sea to ocean with entrancing noise,
  Till nations hear the cry and continents rejoice.

  Wave on, thou flag of freedom, and this day
    Still live in hearts of nations! O, thou Land,
  Where Man was first the monarch, where the sway
    Of birth exalted first was broken, stand
    To guard the helpless with a mighty hand,
  And give the weak protection; scout the ban
    Which tyrants utter, and with growing band
  Of noble freemen serve thy primal plan,
  And bind all nations in the Brotherhood of Man!


  O, gentle shade of quiet woods,
    Where nature dwells in leafy halls,
    I love the sacred voice that falls
  In music o'er thy solitudes!
  Within thine arms the weary heart
    Is hidden from the toils of men,
  And pleasure makes ambition start
    Into a nobler life again.

  Among the fragrant shadows throng
    With all the riches of their truth,
    Glad echoes from the days of youth
  And mingle into laughing song;
  While angel fingers touch the keys
    That slumber in the silent breast,
  Till mem'ry wakes her lullabies
    And childhood fancies rock to rest.

  Again the hours of early joy
    Upon the aged years intrude,
    And dance amid the summer wood
  The golden dreamings of the boy;
  Again the songs of wonder thrill
    The days of life with gladness wild,
  And lofty visions fondly fill
    The longing fancies of the child.

  Enchanted choirs of baby years,
    Sweet dirges from the cradle's keys,
    The glories of your harmonies
  Impel my secret soul to tears!
  The roses of my fancies fade
    Into the dust of wicked strife,
  And all the promise boyhood made
    Has proved the desert of my life.

  O, fragrant woods of happy times,
    Fair children of the glowing days,
    How sweet the music of your lays
  Is mingled into fairy chimes!
  Ye lisp again the songs of yore,
    The stories of my infant years,
  And throw a sweeter cadence o'er
    My hoary sorrows and my tears!


  Angelic theme of ancient lays!
    By Doric hills, Athenian vales,
  The nations bound thy brows with bays
    And fanned thy cheeks with scented gales;
  While golden lamps illumed thy shrines
    Beside the Tiber and the Po,
    Till anthems thine were taught to flow
  Along the Alps and Appenines.

  The souls of sages and of slaves
    Were faithful servants unto thee,
  Whose rapture soothed the Grecian waves,
    And kissed the islands of the sea;
  And bounding on from strand to strand
    It crossed the coasts and climbed the slopes,
    To place a crown of tender hopes
  Upon the vine-clad Roman land.

  Great empress of that early time,
    Glad ruler of the gentle souls,
  Each year is changed to raptured rhyme
    That o'er thy laughing bosom rolls;
  For cycles as they sink to rest
    So closely guard thy joy and truth,
    That fondness and immortal youth
  Give sweet embraces to thy breast.

  Thou goddess of the Paphian shrine,
    Cytheran queen of Ion's isle,
  Fair Venus from the land of wine,
    The races love thy dewy smile;
  While silent hills and dewy glades
    Bear praises on each breeze that blows,
    Sweet as the breath of morning rose
  That blossoms in the woodland shades!

  Then crown, O, Love, these later days
    With mystic charms of wondrous bliss,
  That lived when thou wert wreathed with bays,
    And nations hungered for thy kiss!
  No more thy temples tower above,
    But lives and bosoms hold thee dear;
    Then come with all thy worth of cheer
    And gentleness, O, mighty Love!


  Glad winters on the olden farm!
    How raptures from those early times
    Commingle into fairy chimes
  Which gently banish cries of harm!
    My fainting soul finds rest the whiles
  Within the arms of memory,
  And tender scenes of boyish glee
    Transform my sorrows into smiles.

  How brightly beamed the pleasures then,
    When frigid fingers came to throw
    A wintry winding sheet of snow
  Around the silent homes of men!
  But happiness found no alarm,
    For safe with cheer, secure with love,
    She gladly grew and sweetly throve
  Through winters on the olden farm.

  With merry bells and busy sleighs,
    That sung and flew o'er icy vales
    And climbed the hills as fleet as gales,
  Like singing phantoms died the days;
  Or then with coat and muffler warm
    Sweet children glided on the lake,
    Or chased the rabbit through the brake,
  In winters on the olden farm.

  How glad the joys at eventide
    When 'round the hearth-stone's pleasant heat
    The simple song in music sweet
  From loving voices floated wide!
  The mellowed apples gave a charm,
    While pop-corn white and cider bright
    With worlds of laughter lent delight
  To winters on the olden farm.

  Thrice happy nights and happy days,
    Sweet isles of pleasure in the past,
    May long your hallowed moments cast
  A sacred sunshine o'er my ways!
  And where life leads me, gladly arm
    My soul with angel songs of bliss,
    With true embrace and holy kiss,
  O, winters on the olden farm!


    O weak and weary world
      Forever struggling on,
  When will thy toils in comfort be impearled,
    When will thy sorrows and thy cares be gone?
  When shall the races, all ambition dead,
    Forsake the stony slope and rocky steep,
  And in contentment sweetly wed
    The joys that never sleep?

    O, weak and weary world,
      Long hast thou toiled in vain;
  The smoky fumes of woe are darkly curled
    With endless troubles and enduring pain;
  When will thy bosom, faint and helpless grown,
    Rest sweetly in the balmy bowers of ease?
  Avoid the woes that constant groan
    And follow shapes that please?

    O, weak and weary world,
      Why search the hills and seas?
  All Nature is in secrecy enfurled
    And thou canst never solve her mysteries;
  Thou canst not understand nor comprehend
    Her varied movements nor the intricate,
  The systems that so far extend,
    Creation wide and great.

    O, weak and weary world,
      Why more attempt advance?
  Long have thy forces in confusion whirled
    In circles through the misty maze of chance;
  The nations rise and sink in sepulchres,
    Thy peoples perish in a common grave;
  Progression dies, perfection errs,
    Wrong rules the wood and wave.

    O, weak and weary world,
      Let thy ambition rest!
  Long have defeat and gloomy ruin twirled
    In dark embrace the purest and the best;
  Destruction is thy portion, death thy part,
    Ashes thy glory, and thy splendor dust;
  Then ease the longings of thy breast;
    Serve pleasures well; and trust!


  The gloomy hours of silence wake
    Remembrance and her train,
  And phantoms through the fancies chase
    The mem'ries that remain;
  And hidden in the dark embrace
    Of days that now are gone,
  I see a form, a fairy form,
    And fancy hurries on!

  I see the old familiar smile,
    I hear the tender tone,
  I greet the softness of the glance
    That cheered me when alone;
  The ruby chains of rich romance
    That bound our bosoms o'er,
  I still can know, I still can feel,
    As they were felt before.

  I name the vows, the fresh young vows,
    That we together said;
  What matters it? She can not know;
    She slumbers with the dead!
  Again the fields of fate I sow,
    As she and I have sown;
  I dream again the same old dreams,
    But I am left alone!

  The twining grasses verdant wreathe
    Above her silent grave;
  The rose and violet over all
    Their purest blossoms wave;
  Unbidden from their fountains fall
    The tender tides of tears;
  A sorrow winds among the days,
    And chains the passing years.

  My life commingles shine with shade,
    The lily with the rose,
  And in my heart a loathsome weed
    Beside each lily grows;
  Through every thought, through every deed,
    The somber shadows play;
  And I am sad, alone and sad,
    And life is never gay.


  Lo, all the age is rank with wrong!
    The nations kneel to monstrous might,
    And horrid cries that haunt the night,
  Have hushed the notes of happy song;
  Mankind the deepest truth has missed,
    The best emotions have grown dim;
  We praise the God that dwelt in Christ,
    But crucify the man in him.

  Laws, noble, good, and great at first,
    With plan perverted, bind again
    The regal rights of mind and men
  And prove of tyrants far the worst;
  With blinded eyes is Nature made,
    And knows her constant purpose crossed,
  While crafty Jacob plies his trade
    And Esau finds his blessing lost.

  Earth yields her fruits in ample store;
    Her children all are heirs that trace
    Their lineage through the royal race,
  And all her wealth is theirs--and more;
  But one with cunning hand controls
    The portions that his brothers fed,
  While thousands--just and worthy souls--
    In aimless anguish cry for bread!

  No royal blood by caste or creed,
    No pride of place, no gild of gold
    Can warm the weak, accursed with cold,
  Or light the awful nights of need;
  Labor alone can blessings bring
    To crown the brows of freedom's brave;
  The toiler is the truest king,
    The idler is the only slave!

  But laugh, O, Labor, dry thy tears!
    A better day is drawing nigh;
    Hope brightens all the somber sky;
  The golden age of Love is near!
  Behold! But yonder stands a Star!
    The ancient lies are downward hurled;
  A man--a child--is greater far
    Than all the wealth of all the world!


  Love, thou gayest fancy-weaver,
  Heart-betrayer, soul-deceiver,
  Come with all thy clinging kisses;
  Bringing all thy beaming blisses;
  It may serve the cynic's parts,
    If he curse and if he scout thee,
  But, O, where were gentle hearts,
    If they had to live without thee!

  Weave the spells of thy beguiling
  'Round and 'round me with thy smiling,
  Till the ashen cheek is beaming,
  And the faded eye is gleaming;
  Millions may endure the fight
    In the battle vain to end thee,
  But when taste they thy delight
    They will serve thee and defend thee.

  Bring thy little winsome graces
  And the sweets of glad embraces,
  Till the pleasures all are dancing
  Into mazy whirls entrancing;
  It may please the icy breast
    To despise thee and distress thee,
  But the burning hearts find rest
    When they bless thee and caress thee.

  Send thy gladness, laughing rover,
  All my sorrows o'er and over,
  Till the strains of happy pleasure
  Mingle in melodious measure;
  It may give a transient glee
    To condemn thy ways and sever,
  But the sweets of melody
    Thou wilt murmur on forever.

  Bind my heart in silken chaining,
  Till from thee is none remaining;
  Clothe my soul in glad completeness
  Of thy happiness and sweetness;
  When the times are true, the soul
    May not hunger for thy gladness,
  But when surging sorrows roll
    Thou alone shall banish sadness.


  Let nations encircle the brows of the brave
    With glory the greatest that glitters below,
  Who make in the blood of the battle a grave
    For all that are found in the ranks of the foe;
  But I from the greatness, the grandeur, and gleam,
    Would turn to the light of clear-glowing hearth,
  And choose from his joy for the soul of my theme
    The farmer, the lord and the king of the earth.

  Let millions give worship to riches and wealth,
    That gay in their brilliancy sparkle and gleam,
  And serve with the hands of their happiest health
    The haughty who idle and revel and dream;
  In hall or in hamlet, in cottage or cave,
    Or sickened with sorrow or maddened with mirth,
  There's none I shall serve with the will of a slave
    But the farmer, the lord and the king of the earth.

  Let poets in praises heart-swelling and sweet
    With rapture that rises in beautiful song,
  Make sages immortal and ages replete
    With hundreds of heroes who wrestled the wrong;
  All honest men well from the Muses may claim
    The numbers that murmur to merit and worth,
  And so I would fold in the mantles of fame
    The farmer, the lord and the king of the earth.

  Let orators over the deeds of the great
    Re-echo the tributes of tenderest praise,
  And over the ashes that slumber in state
    Let peoples their marbles and monuments raise;
  But I, from the frenzied applauses uncouth,
    To those who are chained in the bondage of birth,
  Would flee to surround with the lilies of truth
    The farmer, the lord and the king of the earth.

  Let hearts that are grateful in gratitude crown
    The friend of the many and foe of the few;
  Let souls in their secret admiring enthrone
    Whatever a martyr or minion may do;
  But down in my bosom while reasonings reign,
    Of friendship and love there is never a dearth
  For him who is toiling in pleasure or pain,
    The farmer, the lord and the king of the earth.


  Nature has a thousand choirs
    Singing in the sylvan shadows,
  And the music of her lyres
    Echoes in the merry meadows;
  Always glad with golden glee
  Sounds her happy melody,
  Swelling wild in fairy measure
  With the songs of purest pleasure.

  Where the dancing fountains play
    Winding warbles shake and shiver,
  And soft carols rise alway
    From the ripples of the river;
  Sweetest voices fondly call
  From the fleecy waterfall,
  And the joyful chimes are creeping
  Where the lovely lake is sleeping.

  Raptures echo in the wood,
    Where the pimpernel reposes;
  Gladness fills the solitude
    Where the blushes kiss the roses;
  Sunny beam and somber gloom
  Utter hymns from bowers of bloom,
  Where the vernal winds are crying
  And the vocal birds are flying.

  O'er the smiling scenes of earth
    Nature throws no sullen weather;
  All her soul is full of mirth,
    Song and springtime walk together;
  For the harps of happy days
  Wake the woodlands with their lays,
  And where lilies white are springing
  Gentle melodies are ringing.

  O, wild Nature, from thy soul
    Fill the human hearts with gladness,
  Till their lives shall gladly troll
    Songs that banish all their sadness!
  Bathe their breasts with songs of love
  From the Edens found above,
  Till their lips shall sing the story
  Of their happiness and glory!


  God bless the brawny arms of toil,
    The noble hearts and royal hands,
  That plow the plain and seed the soil,
    And grow the grains of laughing lands!
  King in the blessed vales of life
    Where perfect pleasures first began,
  May blessings come with raptures rife
    To crown the humble workingman!

  His kingdoms wave with bannered corn
    And meadows bright with fairy bloom,
  While duties of his heart are born
    Where sylvan shadows hide the gloom;
  Sweet Nature fills his heart with health,
    While rustic warbles lead his soul
  Where rill and fountain sing by stealth
    And breezes soft with music roll.

  He lives where simple wishes throng,
    And give contentment to his breast,
  While tender lullabies of song
    Bring angel gladness to his rest;
  No praises linger o'er his name
    Where he in silence works apart,
  And honor never links with fame
    The modest glories of his heart.

  He needs no kiss of royal crown
    To wield the axe or guide the plow,
  Or woo the smiles of heaven down
    To cling in clusters on his brow;
  But in the sacred shine of love,
    With humble deeds he lives his days,
  And, drinking from the founts above,
    He scatters gladness o'er his ways.

  Proud monarch of the tattered vest,
    Thy toil is fraught with greater gains
  Than his that bleeds where warrior crest
    Slays thousands on the battled plains!
  Thy duty prompts to build, to grow,
    The forest fell, the city plan
  And scatter seeds of love below,
    Where'er thou art, O, workingman!


  'Tis not by selfish miser's greed
    The great rewards of love are given;
  'Tis not the cynic's haughty creed
    Which gladly makes this world a heaven;
  But tender word and loving deed
    Increase the angel joys of living,
  And mortals gain life's grandest meed
    By acts of giving and forgiving.

  Let warriors bold with armies fight
    Their awful battles brave and gory,
  To reap the harvest of their might
    And fill a gaping world with glory!
  The humble heroes, out of sight,
    Where hidden tears and woes are striving,
  Win victories for truth and right
    By deeds of giving and forgiving.

  Let mighty kings of loyal lands
    Despise the faithful sons of duty,
  And with the swords of vandal hands
    Destroy the homes of joy and beauty;
  The honest lords of low commands
    Will find a nobler way of thriving,
  In lonely vales where sorrow stands,
    By sweets of giving and forgiving.

  Let rich men with their heaps of gold
    Be servants of the shining splendor,
  And crush the bosom, poor and old,
    That lives by mercies pure and tender;
  But still the soul with saints enrolled
    Will keep its charity surviving,
  And have its humble glory told
    In tales of giving and forgiving.

  O, helping hands and Christian hearts,
    Twin parents of the race's gladness,
  God speed the time when your sweet arts
    Shall banish every sign of sadness!
  When mournful cries, when pain's wild darts,
    Shall cease to curse the days of living,
  And Heaven's love to man imparts
    The joys of giving and forgiving.


  O sacred souls that grandly sing
    The secret songs of human hearts,
    Where your wild music madly starts,
  The sorrows into raptures spring!
  Within the warbles of your chimes
    Man reads the longings of his days,
    And finds, amid your lofty lays,
  Glad music for his gloomy times.

  How sweet the mute, melodious cries
    Which only lives like yours may hear,
    Where pleasures thrill the singer's ear
  With laughing strains of lullabies!
  You know soft voices, rich with love,
    That mingle in the fields and woods,
    To bless the silent solitudes
  With carols coming from above.

  Your golden harps resound alway,
    Where valley bound with blossom lies,
    And rugged mountains highest rise,
  And silver fountains softly play;
  While in the gladness of your songs
    The fainting bosoms hope again,
    And toil among their fellow men,
  Forgetful of their ancient wrongs.

  You sport with singing meadows bright,
    With fragrant winds and scented gales,
    Where shine and shadow kiss the vales
  In fairy fondness of delight;
  For where the meads and forests blend,
    The sweetest songs of life are found,
    And where the lonely hills abound
  The soul of music meets a friend.

  Glad hearts that warble songs divine,
    Sweet singers of a mourning race,
    The ages long your brows shall grace
  With crowns where bays and laurels twine!
  For man the grandest garland brings,
    To bless the tender lives that tell,
    And with their mystic music swell,
  The lays that Nature fondly sings!


  How sweet the brazen belfries chime
    Across the hills and through the dales,
    And o'er the breasts of meadowed vales,
  Beneath the smiles of Christmas time!
  Rough sorrow's thorny fingers grow
    As soft and waxen as a child's,
    And balmy pleasures o'er the wilds
  Chant music to the drifting snow.

  Ah, scattered locks that fringe my face,
    With wintry wisps of white and gray!
    Ah, sad, dimmed eyes that look away
  To artless childhood's tender grace!
  To-night those years with joys sublime
    Steal over me and fill my soul
    With lullabies of bliss that roll
  The golden glees of Christmas time.

  Again I live in wondrous days,
    When baby hands with chubby glee
    Plucked gladness from the loaded tree
  Where loving burdens bent the sprays;
  The sunny songs of that sweet clime
    Sing softly in my soul again,
    Till I forget the ways of men
  And laugh and shout at Christmas time.

  Angelic joys that died in pain,
    Sweet raptures from the days of bliss,
    Your loving lips with clinging kiss
  Thrill all my heart and soul and brain;
  And turning from my weary rhyme
    To count my sorrows o'er and o'er,
    I'd give my life to know once more
  Those wondrous days of Christmas time.

  Ring, laughing bells, ring out to-night!
    From happy years that now are fled,
    You bring the faces of the dead,
  And bless me with a deep delight!
  Away, away, these thoughts of men,
    These toils of mine, that sadness give;
    My heart grows young and I would live
  My Christmas pleasures o'er again!


  All worthies are not sung in song.
    That live their lives and do their deeds
    Where wounded nature writhes and bleeds
  Beneath the savage blows of wrong;
  From humble duties tender grown,
  The truest heroes are unknown.

  The heart that toils where none may know
    And uncomplaining conquers care,
    To save his loved ones or to spare
  His fellows from the pangs of woe,
  Is more the hero than who shields
  His country on the bleeding fields.

  He claims no praises for his love,
    He seeks no tribute for his worth,
    But sows the desert hearts of earth
  With blossoms from the vales above;
  And in their sunshine warm and bright
  He holds these duties as his right.

  Where lives are dark with dismal groans
    Great men are often chained by fate,
    And oft are slaves more truly great
  Than princes on their purple thrones;
  But servant brows are bound with shame,
  While monarchs flutter into fame.

  Deeds pure and noble, gladly done,
    Unselfish work for sickly souls
    When sorrow in black surges rolls
  And gloomy darkness hides the sun,--
  These in their truth make more the man
  Than royal aim or princely plan.

  But sometime man shall rule by thought,
    And worth shall gain her just return,
    Till all shall every singer spurn
  Who in the ancient cycles taught
  That heroes rest in royal graves,
  But never in the tombs of slaves.


  If we but knew the weary way,
    The poisoned paths of hostile hate,
    The roughened roads of fiercest fate,
  Through which our brother's journey lay,
  Would we condemn, as now we do,
  His faults and failures,--if we knew?

  Would we forget the shadows grim,
    The lonely hours of grief and pain,
    The follies dead, the pleasures slain,
  The tears and toils that hindered him,
  And only prize the deeds that grew
  To mighty conquest, if we knew?

  Would careless hand sow tares of strife,
    Amid the blooms of happy care,
    And plant, in spite of sigh and prayer,
  Wild thorns amid the blameless life,
  Till sorrows rule the nations through,
  With scarce a rival, if we knew?

  Would we be quicker with our praise,
    And gladly give the greatest meeds
    As recompense for noble deeds,
  And heroes crown with brightest bays,
  And slay all foes that hearts imbue
  With doubt and weakness, if we knew?

  From lofty kings would constant worth
    On peasant brows their crowns bestow,
    And rising from her overthrow
  Eternal justice rule the earth,
  While right would strip the favored few
  To bless the many, if we knew?

  If we but knew! Ah, well-a-day!
    From lives that murmur, full of ills,
    Behind the shadows of the hills,
  God hides our brother's heart away;
  And we shall know in vales of rest
  That His eternal ways are best!


  When man from pure perfection fell,
    And bathed his life in grief and woe,
    His angel heart had overthrow
  From all the joys he loved so well,
  And only Hope of all the host
  Remained to comfort him when lost.

  And when the other passions throw
    Their phantoms in the arms of death,
    And pour their last remaining breath
  Within the dismal haunts of woe,
  Then Hope alone of all remains
  To soothe our sorrows and our pains.

  Hope makes the fearful millions brave,
    The helpless and the weary strong,
    Gives courage to the fainting throng
  And whispers freedom to the slave,
  And unto each, where'er he lives,
  Unceasing cause to struggle gives.

  In heavy hours of ghostly gloom
    When raging billows dash and beat
    Around the weak and weary feet
  Which tremble on the yawning tomb,
  The harp of Hope divinely sings
  Exalted songs of better things.

  It lifts the gaze of mortal eyes
    Above the desert and the dearth,
    Above the barren fields of earth,
  Unto the promise of the skies,
  And to the last expiring breath
  Gives comfort in the hour of death.

  O, sacred light of human life,
    Eternal star of Heaven's love,
    Thy brightness ever shines above
  The darkest hours of woe and strife,
  To raise our souls above the sod
  Into the holy home of God!


  O, gloomy world that rolls in weary space,
    And moans wild music to the broken spheres,
    Whose rivers wander into seas of tears,
  Despair has bound thee in a close embrace;
      A birth, a life, a death; man is no more!

  Death grows beside existence, and with time
    Is comrade of its changes; cycles roll
    Their heavy circles through the human soul,
  And pour their dirges into mournful rhyme;
      A birth, a life, a death; man is no more!

  He gropes in shadows for a happy beam
    That shall delight his bosom; into mist
    Dissolves the substance that ambition kissed,
  While greatness grows the garland of a dream;
      A birth, a life, a death; man is no more!

  Endeavor struggles to an open grave;
    The past is lost in monumental dust,
    Where age on age in angry ire has thrust
  The wise, the strong, the mighty, and the brave;
      A birth, a life, a death; man is no more!

  The years are shades that totter from their tombs,
    The ages, ghosts that live in catacombs
    And lure the Present to their awful homes,
  Where ancient races wander in the glooms;
    A birth, a life, a death; man is no more!

  Oblivion welcomes men with gentle arms,
    And presses them like infants to her breast,
    Repeats to them her lullabies of rest,
  And guards them from all sorrows and alarms;
    A birth, a life, a death; man is no more!

  Then hasten, world, and let my battle cease;
    I care not where I stay nor when I go;
    For action gives unhappiness and woe,
  But Lethe brings forgetfulness and peace;
    A birth, a life, a death; man is no more!


            If Love were king,
  That sacred Love which knows not selfish pleasure,
  But for its children spends its fondest treasure,
            Sad hearts would sing,
  And all the hosts of misery and wrong
  Forget their anguish in the happy song
            That joy would bring.

            If Love were king,
  Gaunt wickedness would hide his loathsome features,
  And virtue would to all the world's sad creatures
            Her treasures fling;
  Till drooping souls would rise above their fate,
  And find sweet flowers for all the desolate
            And sorrowing.

            If Love were king,
  Before the scepter of his might should vanish
  Toil's curse and care, and happiness should banish
            Want's awful sting;
  While laughing plenty from sweet hands would throw
  Delightful raptures over all below,
            And gladness bring.

            If Love were king,
  The nations would eternal sunshine borrow,
  And conquer all the heavy clouds of sorrow
            And every thing
  That binds the race in groans and agony;
  Life's changing seasons would forever be
            Unvaried spring.

            If Love were king!
  O, broken feet that wander worn and weary
  Beneath the crags and awful mountains dreary,
            With rapture cling
  Your anguished arms about him; drink delight
  Upon his perfect bosom soft and white
            And comforting!


  Our souls are the deserts of sorrow,
    Our hearts are the ashes of hope,
  And madly from gladness we borrow
    The brightness where sadness may grope;
  My raptures in wretchedness vanish,
    My bosom is weeping with wrongs;
  Then sing me the old songs, mother,
    Then sing me the dear old songs.

  My joys are in memory lying,
    Still ardently happy with youth,
  When smiles in ambition were dying,
    And life was the vision of youth;
  My brow for your gentle caresses
    And kisses of tenderness longs;
  Then sing me the old songs, mother,
    Then sing me the dear old songs.

  Sweet murmurs in mystical measures
    Come soothingly over my soul,
  Where voices of babyish pleasures
    And echoes of lullabies roll;
  The struggles of all my endeavor
    Are bound in the darkest of thongs;
  Then sing me the old songs, mother,
    Then sing me the dear old songs.

  I fain would return in my dreaming
    To years that proclaimed me a boy,
  When gladness was happily beaming
    And life was a musical toy;
  My sorrow has never Nepenthe,
    My woe in its bitterness throngs;
  Then sing me the old songs, mother,
    Then sing me the dear old songs.


  Two infants in their cradles lie,
    Where lullabies of peace
  In gentle strains of tender music die.
    And carols never cease.

  Two urchins o'er the meadow lands
    Are bounding in their plays,
  Where sweet enjoyment with angelic hands
    Winds gladness o'er the days.

  Two boys, where golden fancies bless,
    Repose in sunny beams,
  And muse away the hours of happiness
    On couches made of dreams.

  Two men upon a summer sea
    Are toiling, brave and strong,
  Where pleasures roll their elfin harmony
    And labor ends in song.

  Two gray-haired sages, silvered o'er,
    In life meet once again,
  To name the wondrous happiness they bore
    Among their fellow-men.

  Two graves forever hide the twain
    Who found, in all their years,
  No secret shadows, where unbroken pain
    Held fountains full of tears.

  Two lives have passed from human reach,
    And few have heard of them,
  But joy had not been better served if each
    Had worn a diadem.

  Ah, bosoms here are strangely blest
    With perfect bliss that glows,
  And he above all others lives the best,
    Who has the fewest woes!


  Away, away, from the sultry ways
    Where the pleasures fall and fade,
  To the bannered corn and the meadowed bloom
    And the forest's cooling shade!

  Afar, afar, from the rooms of care
    With the toils of life distressed,
  To the grassy hills and the fragrant slopes
    And the quiet vales of rest!

  Away from the weary, dusty town,
    Where the sorrows dim the days,
  To the sleeping lake and the silent stream
    And the wildwood's tangled ways!

  To margins wide of the woodland pools,
    Where the wild birds troll their songs,
  Where the lilies laugh and the willows wave,
    And the pleasures dance in throngs!

  The dark-eyed nymphs and the fairy elves
    In their robes of laughing smiles,
  In the forests romp 'neath the leafy trees,
    Through the narrow long-drawn aisles.

  The bannered corn and the golden wheat
    In the ties of bliss are bound;
  The sweetest joys and highest hopes
    On the shady farms are found.

  The raptures reign in the holy scenes,
    And the old grow young once more,
  To roam the meadows and live again
    In the happy years of yore.

  Then haste, O, haste, to the country downs,
    Where the valleys are sweet with joys,
  And the soul grows young, and the heart is light,
    And the bosom is like a boy's!


  Alone, alone, in the twilight gray,
    In the shadows so dark and dim,
  I watch through all of the weary hours,
    And I wait with my heart for him;
  For him who'll come, when he comes at all,
    As my king and warrior bold;
  Whose form so tall is my fortress wall
    And whose heart is a chunk of gold.

  Again, again, do I dream the dreams,
    All the dreams that my young heart knew,
  And through my soul do the yearnings thrill
    As of old they were wont to do;
  I know in truth when his face I see,
    I shall fall at his shining feet,
  Where'er it be and whoever is he,
    In the light of his glances sweet.

  I wait in vain for the sounds that rise
    From the tread of his horse's hoof,
  And still the mists hide his form away
    And forever he stays aloof;
  His shining face and his eyes so bright
    In the shades of the distance hide,
  And out of the night with the stars bedight
    He hath never approached my side!

  O, years, O, wonderful tide of years,
    From the shadows of time set free
  My king, my lover, my life, and bring
    To my heart what is most of me!
  Somewhere in pain do his yearnings grope
    For the joys that my love would bring;
  O, up the slope of his life-long hope,
    Guide the feet of my royal king!


  Sweet fairies from the isles of song,
    Bewitching choirs from music land,
    The pleasures of your wondrous band
  Once wooed me from the ways of wrong;
  Once won my heart with fond caress
    To sacred vales of summer glees,
    Till carols fraught with lullabies
  Filled all my soul with blessedness!

  My yearnings miss those gentle sprites,
    Whose laughing lips and angel eyes
    And voices ever winsome-wise,
  Bedewed my dreams with new delights;
  For in the sad hours of my pain
    I hold them as I hold the dead,
    And trust that in the vales they tread,
  My hands shall clasp their hands again.

  From those glad meadows where they play
    'Neath lovely sun and gentle star,
    My longing soul has wandered far
  On rocky path and thorny way;
  I croon again the notes of song
    In strains they taught me years ago,
    And weep because my sorrows know
  They have been absent for so long.

  Return, O, laughing sprites of rest,
    From gentle isles and peaceful seas,
    And pour the balsamed wine of ease
  Upon the anguish of my breast!
  Till gladness in her raptures roll
    Sweet strains of music, and I gain
    Eternal joy for all the pain
  That darkens o'er my weary soul!


  God bless the man who gave us rest
    And him who taught us play,
  For kindness reigned within his breast
    To all our sorrow slay;
  The weary heart, the fainting limb,
    The soul that droops in woe,
  Should most unceasing praise on him
    In gratitude bestow.

  He is the hero of the race,
    The toiling nation's friend,
  For pity smiles upon his face
    With joys that never end;
  He tears away the iron gyves
    That chain our best repose,
  And makes the deserts of our lives
    To blossom as the rose.

  He pours his balms into the wound
    Of bosom weak and sad,
  Till holy pleasures flit around
    And all the heart is glad;
  Till all is sweet that here before
    Was wrapped in bitter woe,
  And only gladness hurries o'er
    The millions here below.

  Great man he is, and him I give
    That gratitude of mine,
  Which must in brilliance while I live
    With brightest glory shine,
  To wreathe a radiance always gay
    Around the worthy breast
  Of him who first discovered play
    And gave the nations rest.


  Make the most of this life; where the shadow reposes
    The beams of the summer shall gather in glee,
  And the snow on the graves of the lilies and roses
    But cradles the blooms that shall whiten the lea;
  Though the hopes of the heart be encircled with sorrow
    And billows of wretchedness mutter and roll,
  There shall come with the morn of the bountiful morrow
    The pleasures that gladden the desolate soul.

  Make the most of this life; where the carols are sleeping
    That rose in their rapture from lips of the spring,
  That awakened the world from its winter of weeping,
    Sweet songs shall be sung by the birds on the wing.
  Though the bosom be dark with the dirges of sadness
    And solitudes gather so heavy and lone,
  There shall float from the musical meadows of gladness
    The ravishing measures that banish each groan.

  Make the most of this life; 'tis a garden of beauty,
    Where, blushing, the blossoms grow tenderly-sweet,
  While they brighten the years of man's labor and duty
    And scatter the kisses of love at his feet;
  'Tis a world that is wild with the laughter of living
    When hands do the brotherly kindness they can,
  And its hearts are the treasures of tenderness giving
    To soften and sweeten the nature of man.

  Make the most of this life; there is happiness in it,
    When souls find a theme for their jubilant song;
  There is music, when angels are taught to begin it,
    Which never was marred with a murmur of wrong;
  There are voices that sing in their sweetness forever,
    And mutter no strains of contention or strife,
  Neither burden the hours with the pangs of endeavor,
    When we, with our deeds, make the most of this life.


  The songs that mother used to sing!
    How tenderly those ditties roll,
    And to the dirges in my soul
  The happy notes of gladness bring!
  Where'er my vagrant feet may roam
  From pleasures of my childhood's home,
  This life of mine with rapture throngs,
  When thinking of my mother's songs.

  They were not made of magic lays;
    No perfect melodies were found,
    That with the strains of fairy sound
  Would charm the stranger's ear to praise;
  But I can never hope to meet
  Another music half so sweet,
  And all my longing love will cling
  To songs that mother used to sing.

  With gentleness of crooning cries,
    She freed the aching limbs from pain,
    And lulled the eyes to sleep again
  With sweetness of her lullabies.
  Love mingled with her tender voice
  In tones that made the heart rejoice,
  And Heaven's music seemed to ring
  In songs that mother used to sing.

  Though years have passed, they still impart
    Glad warbles to the hours of woe,
    And their mute carols fondly throw
  The sacred raptures o'er my heart;
  Until my locks are thin and gray
  Deep in my soul will sound alway,
  And full of joy will ever spring
  The songs that mother used to sing.


  Quaff the glass, the wine is red,
    And the rose of youth is glowing,
  While the toils of life are fled
    And the snows of age are going;
  Quaff it with a hearty will,
    Quaff it deep and quaff forever;
  Wine will every sorrow kill,
    And destroy the pleasures never.

  When the heart beats sad and low,
    Drink its gladness like a river;
  When the soul is weak with woe,
    Quaff and be a cheerful liver;
  Never, never, life, despair,
    While a cup of hope is nigh thee;
  Bend not under loads of care
    While the fount of joy is by thee!

  If the fickle friendships end
    And thy fortune be a sad one,
  Claim, O, claim, as truest friend,
    Ruby wine, the sweet and glad one!
  If thy love hath proven cold,
    Leave her, leave her, for the new one;
  Wine is never false for gold;
    Friend to friend, a tried and true one!

  Let the cynics curse and rave;
    This must be a life of pleasure;
  Fill a bumper! He's the knave
    Who would scorn joy's fullest measure;
  Quaff the glass, the wine is red;
    Hour by hour the days are going;
  Wine is yet the fountain head
    From which pleasure's tide is flowing


  Good night, my little love, good-night!
          May angels keep
  With fondest watch thy slumbers, till the light
          Shall break thy sleep,
  And morning with its wonders bright
  Shall banish all thy cares with might.

  Within this quickened life of mine,
          I bear away
  The loving looks and tender words of thine,
          Which from this day
  Within my soul shall ever shine
  And make me better, more divine.

  With love and trust and truth, my heart
          Beats all for thee;
  And though our lives may wander far apart,
          Till death's decree
  Shall pierce my hopes with deadly dart,
  Thou still my star of guidance art.

  Good-night, dear one! As gladdest songs,
          The sweetest dreams
  Fill all my happy soul in joyous throngs,
          And tender themes
  Bring bliss for which my nature longs,
  And slay the curse of ancient wrongs.

  Good-night, my little love! In care
          Of Heaven rest,
  And may thy life no deeper sorrow share
          Than love's behest,
  Beneath the smiles of raptures rare!
  Good-night! God keep thee everywhere!


  There is no soul of anguish or repining,
    That doubts and trembles in the shades of gloom,
  But love can lead where softest suns are shining
    And fill his days with beauty and its bloom.
            Live life with love!

  There is no bosom dark with lonely caring,
    That sadly sorrows in the nights of woe,
  But love can soothe his torture and despairing,
    And scatter gladness where his feet may go.
            Live life with love!

  There is no scene of misery or sorrow
    That droops and withers in the dark of night,
  But love can bring fond yearnings for the morrow
    And heap the heart with hope's unfading light.
            Live life with love!

  There is in all the world no sinful creature
    That gropes and falters on his troubled way,
  But love can overcome his erring nature,
    And change his darkness to eternal day.
            Live life with love!

  Sweet love, with bounties that her hands are giving,
    Can blossom roses on the desert heath,
  Can brighten all the longings of the living
    And with found kisses warm the lips of death.
            Live life with love!

  As love is thine, so shall thy days be sweeter
    With all the deeds that shall thy fellows bless;
  Thy small achievements nobler and completer
    With truth and hope and highest happiness!
            Live life with love!


  The sun comes up in the east
    And the sun goes down in the west,
  And man to me is a heartless beast
    And the world has only a savage breast.

  How thoughts rush over my soul
    As the waves walk over the sea!
  Their forms flee soon and the sorrows roll
    In the deep distress that is over me.

  How hopes arise in my heart,
    As the roses bloom over the plain!
  But time is tearing their sweets apart
    And they die in darkness and awful pain.

  Ambitions burn in my breast,
    As the fires in a city rage;
  But damp creeps over their fervid zest
    And they sink away into ashen age.

  If there was pleasure for pain
    I could well be happy awhile,
  And, O, my bosom would ne'er complain,
    If my fortune gave me a single smile.

  But here I am, and the curse is on,
    And my life is a waste of woe,
  And ere one river of tears is gone,
    O, another torrent begins to flow.

  Ah, the sun comes up in the east
    And the sun goes down in the west.
  And man to me is a heartless beast
    And the world has only a savage breast!


  Put not trust nor tenderness to sleep,
        In sorrow sad;
  The heart, in which a little love may creep,
        Is not all bad.

  The darkest hours that wear a wondrous gloom,
        Are somewhat light,
  If but one ray of brilliancy illume
        The brooding night.

  The field in which the weed and bramble thrive
        Has some of good,
  If but a single blossom struggling live
        Amid the rude.

  The ocean vast is not all desolate,
        The worlds between,
  If on its waters bearing human freight
        One sail is seen.

  All is not harsh and cold amid the wood,
        If warbled song
  Resound, how feebly, through the solitude
        Of tangled wrong.

  The desert, barren, bleak, a waste of sand
        Does never spread,
  If spear of grass in verdure green expand
        Above the dead.

  Then put not trust nor tenderness to sleep
        In sorrow sad;
  The heart in which a little love may creep
        Is not all bad.


  Since Adam's first sin in the garden of song,
    Where the hopes of the race were empearled,
  Whenever a mortal does anything wrong,
    It is only the way of the world!

  If statesmen forget all the pledges they made,
    And the people to evils are hurled,--
  Excuse their misdeeds! 'Tis a trick of the trade,
    And is only the way of the world!

  If bankers, confusing distinctions of wealth,
    Have your gold to their own pockets whirled,
  And then gone to Europe for pleasure and health--
    It is only the way of the world.

  If preachers, forgetting the Master of old
    And the banner of light He unfurled,
  Elope with the fairest ewe-lambs of the fold,--
    It is only the way of the world.

  If merchants, unscrupulous, cheat with a will
    While their lips are at honesty curled,--
  Harsh blame, hie away! And your censure, be still!
    It is only the way of the world!

  The way of the world! What a happy excuse
    For the faults and the follies unfurled!
  Bind virtue securely! The vices turn loose!
    'Tis the way--'tis the way--of the world!


  A something, not of earth or sky,
    Beside me walks the ways I go,
    And I--I never truly know,
  If I am it or it is I.

  It soothes me with its tender speech,
    It guides me with its gentle hand,
    But I--I can not understand
  The links that bind us each to each.

  I hear the songs of golden days
    Fall softly on the saddened years,
    But know not whose the hungry ears
  First feasted on the roundelays.

  I feel the hopes, the yearnings brave,
    Within my bosom surge and roll,
    But know not whose the Master Soul
  That called their glories from the grave.

  I see the great world's greater curse,
    Dark struggles on through darker days,
    But know not whose the eyes that gaze
  Through all the sobbing universe.

  O, Shadow mine! Beneath my brow
    I feel thy thoughts, and in my heart
    Thy fondest longings madly start!
  Thou art myself and I am thou!


  When from these vales I go,
    That slumber on in dreams,
  O, will the summer winds dance to and fro,
    And kiss the streams
  That play where roses scatter fond perfume
  And lilies burst with bloom?

  Glad children of the spring,
    They moan their music sweet
  Where tangled grasses wave, and softly sing
    Where meadows meet,
  And wildwood shadows drooping bless
  The groves with happiness.

  Their soothing songs I hear
    Among the granite hills,
  Above the elfin warbles rich and clear
    From rippling rills,
  As if they called my soul in future days
  To wander all their ways.

  Ah, moaning winds, you seem
    To fill my musing breast
  With lullabies that linger as I dream
    And bring me rest;
  For melodies from your low voices creep
  That soothe my heart with sleep!


  A song for the willow, the wild weeping willow,
    That murmurs a dirge to the rapturous days,
  And moans when the kiss of the breeze laden billow
    Entangles and dangles among the sad sprays!
  A musical ditty to scatter the sadness,
    A warble of wildness to banish its tears,
  Till tremulous measures of bountiful gladness
    Be sounding and bounding through all of the years.

  The beautiful brooks, as they waken from slumbers,
    Pause under the shadows that fall from the boughs,
  And weave their caresses in passionate numbers,
    While soothing and smoothing the frowns from its brows;
  But chained in the desolate sorrows of weeping
    Its heart never warms to the raptures of mirth,
  And over its bosom no pleasures are creeping
    While wending and blending their joys with the earth.

  Then sing for the willow, the wild weeping willow,
    That droops in the smiles of the summer-born times,
  And mourns in the kiss of the sweet-scented billow,
    When beaming and gleaming are dripping with chimes!
  While melodies move where their happiness lingers,
    They surely will gladden the tear-laden sprays,
  And music that flutters from fairy-like fingers
    Will lighten and brighten the burdensome days.


  The water-wheel goes 'round and 'round
  With heavy sighs of mournful sound,
  While dismal cries and weary moans
  Unite with sad and tearful groans,
  And weeping waves of water throw
    Afar the echoes of their sadness,
  And cadences of plaintive woe
    Dispel each little note of gladness.

  My daily life goes 'round and 'round,
  And rest for me is never found;
  The sobbing dirges of distress
  Are more than songs of happiness;
  The shadows of despairing doom
    Condemn to-day and curse to-morrow,
  And muffled terrors fill the gloom
    Which offers anguish to my sorrow.

  But hope, O, heart, for future weal!
  The waters rest beyond the wheel;
  So life may sing when toil is done
  And all its battles lost or won.
  There lives a sweeter music there,
    Of gentle and melodious measure,
  Where weeping never comes and where
    The ages perish into pleasure.


  They will find in this life who are grieved with its gladness
    No songs for the heart and no hopes for the soul,
  But will faint in the glooms where the dirges of sadness
    In tremulous murmurs of wretchedness roll;
  For the sweets of this earth never lavish their kisses
    Where lives in the valleys of rapture repine;
  In the tortures they mourn who denounce all the blisses,--
    They weep in the shadow that rail at the shine.

  In the fields that are fair with the blooms of the clover,
    No garlands are grown for the arbors of shade
  Where the woes of the wood in their darkness hang over
    The grasses that wave with the winds of the glade;
  From the chimes of the breezes there echo no measures
    That gladden the gale with a music divine;
  In the troubles they languish who shrink from the pleasures,
    They weep in the shadow that rail at the shine.

  Ah, the world is abounding with wonderful glories
    And wild are the warbles that sweeten its ways
  While the songs of the land sing their beautiful stories,
    And scatter their melodies over the days!
  There are smiles, there are joys, never mingled with sorrow,
    O, man, in return for the tears that are thine,
  And the soul never sobs that has hopes for the morrow,
    Nor weeps in the shadow nor rails at the shine!


  A tender song in shadows grew,
  And humble hearts were homes it knew.

  But through its wondrous music stole
  The longings of the human soul;

  The hopes of hosts unsatisfied
  Within its numbers wandered wide;

  And strangely wet with toilsome tears
  It held the yearnings of the years;

  Till millions with their woes oppressed,
  Proclaimed the song of peace and rest;

  Till nations in their troubled ways
  Found comfort in the joyous lays,

  And all the halting race of wrong
  Exalts the loving might of song!

  Ah, song that soothes our many cries
  With fondness of thy lullabies,

  We love, we bless, we scepter thee
  Proud empress of the hearts that be!


  Spring, among her sylvan shades,
  And the gladness of her glades,
    Once in dreamy hours was straying,
  Where sweet Music with her throngs
  Of glad melodies and songs
    In the happy vales was playing.

  Pan beheld the fairy maids
  As they gamboled in the shades,
    And he swore they should not sever.
  But that o'er the blooming land,
  Heart to heart and hand in hand,
    They should wander on forever.

  Thus when come the gentle days
  O'er the wildwood's tangled ways,
    There is found no gloomy weather;
  For among the leafy bowers
  And the valleys bright with flowers
    Spring and Music walk together!


  The softest beams of the stars are born in the farthest skies,
  And fairest rays of the sun where evening shadows rise;
  The sweetest songs of the bird are sung in the darkest days,
  And rarest blooms of the spring are found in the wildest ways.

  The brightest blush of the rose is blown as the petals fade.
  The greenest grass of the earth is grown in the hidden glade;
  The fondest rhyme of the rill is heard in the secret vale,
  And lightest lays of the breeze are borne from the dying gale.

  The highest hopes of the heart in saddest of sorrows grow,
  The purest pleasures of joy arise in the wane of woe;
  The gladdest smiles of the lips are seen in the hours of pain,
  And proudest days of the free are spent by the broken chain.

  The grandest deeds of the race are writ on the faded scroll,
  The truest rivers of good from villainous fountains roll;
  The perfect raptures of life are reared in the arms of care,
  And Hope with her joys dispels the darkness of our despair.


  'Twas in the summer's sweet perfume,
    When roses bloomed and holly, O,
  That in the brightness of her bloom,
    I first did meet my Mollie, O.

  Although she said for lives to love
    Was nothing but pure folly, O,
  My heart was lit with light above,
    And I true loved my Mollie, O.

  O, swift and fast the days did flee
    And seemed most bright and jolly, O,
  For evermore was near to me
    My fair and lovely Mollie, O.

  Now I doth sit through all the day
    And nurse my melancholy, O,
  For from me she has turned away,
    O, false and fickle Mollie, O!


  Sing not of beauty's grace to me;
    Its very name a story tells
  Of doubly dark inconstancy,
    Love falser than a hundred hells.

  Its face is often but a screen
    To hide a devil's heart of guile,
  Of thoughts and deeds of shameful mien,
    By winning looks of heartless wile.

  Its laughing smile is but the gleam
    That springs from dross of foulest make;
  It stirs a sweet but idle dream,
    Then leaves the trusting heart to break.

  Sing not of beauty's grace to me;
    I can not bear to hear the name;
  For, oh! Too oft in it I see
    A soul of falsehood and of shame!


  At eventide, when glories lie
  In crimson curtains hung on high,
    And all the breast of heaven glows
    With mingled wreaths of flowers and snows,
  The dearest dreams of life draw nigh.

  The pleasures in their soft robes fly
  With angel wings adown the sky,
    And rapture lulls to sweet repose,
      At eventide.

  Ah, well-a-day! Life's weary cry,
  And all its curse and care shall die,
    When Age on downy couches throws
    His weary limbs and only knows
  The tender dreams of bye-and-bye,
      At eventide!


  When Christmas comes, what pleasures spring
  From drooping hearts on happy wing,
    Like joyous birds that soaring rise
    From hidden coverts to the skies.
  And echo in the chimes that ring!

  Glad millions in wild rapture sing
  Hosannaed hopes of welcoming,
    While praises blend in harmonies,
      When Christmas comes.

  Ah, happy hours! Around them cling
  The dearest joys that life may bring,
    And all the world's despairing cries
    Are soothed to sleep with lullabies
  That banish every bitter thing,
      When Christmas comes!


  When thou art near, with gladdest grace
  My heart is held in fond embrace,
    For laughing lips with raptures bless
    The toils and tears of my distress,
  And woes within me have no place.

  The halting hours with hurried pace
  Whirl wildly on through happy space,
    And life is light with happiness,
      When thou art near.

  Like mortals whom an angel race
  Renews with gladness face to face,
    I thrill with Love's unseen caress
    That holy hands upon me press,
  And Heaven's pleasures all I trace,
      When thou art near.


  He sleeps at last! The vales of rest
  Are waiting for the war-worn breast,
    And glorious angels fondly spread
    The sweetest roses for his bed.
  While countless millions call him blest.

  Fame welcomes him with glad behest,
  While garlands on his brow are pressed,
    And laurels cluster o'er his head;
      He sleeps at last.

  O, deep the sorrows here confessed,
  Where Freedom makes eternal quest!
    The wondrous chief that proudly led
    The long, blue lines that fought and bled,
  In peace is now no more distressed;
      He sleeps at last!


  When fortunes frown, the woes, bedight
  With brooding shadows, bring the night,
    While dismal sorrows darkness dole,
    And disappointments rise and roll
  Above the longings for the light.

  Despair, with hands that curse and blight,
  Sows weakness in the hearts of might
    Until they falter near the goal,
      When fortunes frown.

  But onward still! The valleys white
  With Heaven's blossoms are in sight;
    The Holy Mountains, knoll on knoll,
    Are waiting for the Master Soul,
  And he shall conquer for the right,
      When fortunes frown!


  When we shall meet, I strangely know
  The mad emotions that shall flow
    Across my heart all quivering,
    Beneath the raptures he shall bring
  From angel years that gladdened so.

  And I all shy and silent grow
  Beneath his glance of gladness, though
    Wild yearnings through my bosom spring,
      When we shall meet.

  Till joyful tears of passion show,
  And to his kind embrace I throw
    My heart unworthy, and I cling
    With deathless fondness to the king
  I worshipped in the Long Ago,
      When we shall meet!


  Sweet eyes of blue! The stars by night,
  That swoon the world with laughing light,
    And touch the hills with tender glow
    While all the vales are kissed below,
  Beside you would no more be bright.

  My worlds ye are, and while I throw
  My heart to catch the beams that flow
    From your fair shrine, my woes take flight,
      Sweet eyes of blue!

  Glad orbs of beauty! In your sight
  My soul mounts up with secret might,
    Till Eden's lovely bowers I know;
    And as through Heaven's gates I go,
  The pleasures all my sorrow smite,
      Sweet eyes of blue!


  Had we not met, the brooding woe
  And all the griefs that greater grow,
    Might not have been, and happy-wise
    Our lives have laughed with lullabies
  And quaffed such joys as few may know.

  Our days beneath embittered skies
  Where anguish moans and sorrow cries,
    Might not have wept and wandered so,
      Had we not met!

  But ah, my darling! All we prize,--
  Love and sweet trust that never dies,
    Wild yearnings that with constant flow
    From kindred heart to bosom go,--
  Would never in our souls had rise,
      Had we not met!


  We gentler grow by sorrow; not the breast
    That never crouches in the nights of tears,
    That never bends beneath the loads of years,
  Has sympathies that are the kindliest.
  There is a strength in agony that best
    Can link the careless heart with human fears,
    And teach it that fond kindness which endears
  The millions that with sadness are oppressed.

  Grief softens while it saddens; pleasure smites
    The timid soul with harshness, till it knows
    Small earnest of the great world's grievous woes
  And little of its struggles; sorrow plights
  Her troth with sorrow, and in tears unites
    Man unto man and hatred overthrows.


  Here, through the ages old, the desert slept
    In solitudes unbroken, save when passed
  The bison herds, and savage hunters swept
    In thund'ring chaos down the valleys vast;
  But, lo! Across the barren margins stepped
    Advancement with her legions, and one blast
    From her imperial trumpet filled the last
  Lone covert where affrighted wildness crept.

  Full armed, full armored, at her wondrous birth,
    Her shining temples wreathed with gorgeous dower,
  She sits among the empires of the earth;
    Her proud achievements o'er the nations tower,
  Won by her people with their royal worth,
    With lofty culture, wisdom, wealth and power.


  Though far apart, my darling, side by side
    We wander still and our fond yearnings meet,
    As when our hearts with highest raptures beat
  Before our footsteps trod the paths of pride;
  Our close companionship hath never died;
    True love and trust are always fair and sweet,
  And time from life's best hopes can never hide
    A kindred soul that made its own complete!
  So thou, dear one, shall come once more to me,
    The sweeter grown for all thy years of pain;
  My longing arms shall open wide for thee,
    And thou shalt nestle on my breast again;
  Then perfect love shall richly crown the years,
  And both be better for our griefs and tears.


  We meet again beyond the barren past,
    Beyond the pride, the sorrows and the tears;
    And yearnings leave the strife and hate of years
  To flood our souls with perfect peace at last!
  Our hearts forget the wrong so deep and vast,
    The wounding words and all the cruel woe,
    Till joy is all our bounding bosoms know,
  And life is glad with happiness at last.

  Love, deathless and forgiving, crowns with bays
    The future and our hopes, as full of grace,
  As youth had fondly dreamed in other days,
    When first we knew how sweet was her embrace.
  God's endless purpose guides the feet of men;
  Beyond our pride we meet in love again!


  His greatness hath not left him; till the years
    Have won the nation from her children dead,
  And robbed her of remembrance where she rears
    Her monuments above the blood they shed,
  Will his name want for homage; with sad fears
    The Union winds her garlands o'er his head,
  And fondly wreathes her love, bedewed with tears,
    To bless the hero on his dying bed.

  His luster lives untarnished; as he lies
    Where Malady has bound him in wild pain,
  And only Death can loose the heavy chain
    That galls her captive while his nature dies,
  He seems far greater in his country's eyes,
    Than if an Appomattox spake again.


  Somehow, someway, I can not see the light;
    The giant hills of doubting reach the skies,
  Abiding shadows bring eternal night,
    And on my ways no suns of morning rise;
  Dark mysteries across the years of might
    Crush down my hopes, until each yearning dies,
  Until my soul is weary, dim my sight,
    And ghostly echoes mock my fainting cries.

  Ah, I shall know beyond these narrow years,
    The glorious mornings of eternal day,
    Where perfect love and tender trust shall play,
  And smiles and laughter banish all the tears,
  And all the heavy mists of doubts and fears
    Shall leave my longing soul somehow, someway!


  Great natures live apart; the mountain gray
    May call no comrade to his lonely side;
  The giant ocean, wrapped in storm and spray,
    Has no companion for her endless tide;
    The forest monarch, where his parents died,
  Can find no brother in his lofty sway,
    And mighty rivers chafe their margins wide
  Where infant rills and childish fountains play.

  So heroes live; no raptured blossoms start
    Where rugged heights of human glory end;
    No tender songs of loving beauty blend
  Their chorus in the great man's peerless heart;
  Fate fills their souls with magnitude, and art
    Supplies their lives with no congenial friend.


  Poems are holy things. Eternal Truth,
  Borrowing the robes of song and lovely grown,
  In them her glory unto man proclaims
  And fills his longing soul. They softly speak
  Of Nature's beauty and the secrets old
  Concealed behind the shadows of the hills,
  And love on angel fingers borne to men,
  Naming them over in so sweet a voice
  That music leads their footsteps in the ways
  Where God has walked; and with a lofty Harp,
  As wondrous as the gentle harps of heaven,
  Uplifts, ennobles, soothes and leads the race
  Unto its last great ultimate of power,
  To words of tenderness and goodly deeds.


  A singer sang in sorrow long
  And breathed his life into his song.

  Unknown, unheard, the song went wide,
  Until the singer, starving, died.

  Now in their hearts the nations write
  And wear the singer's song of might.

  Ah, singers fail and fall from view,
  But songs are always, always new!

  If garlands none to singers cling,
  Bays wreathe above the songs they sing.


  Within this false world we may count ourselves blest,
    If we have but one friend who is faithful and true;
  And so in your friendship contented I'll rest,
    And believe I have found that one blessing in you.


  Like a thousan' birds o' brightness from the isles o' summer seas,
  Rickollections, full o' gladness, come with songs and lullabies,
  An' I listen to the carols that with gentle voices roll,
  Full o' tenderness an' beauty, down upon my weary soul,
  Fer thar's one thet keeps a-singin' with a song thet's never done,
  An' I see the bendin' willers on the banks o' Turkey Run.

  An' agin' I be a youngster with a youngster's foolin' dreams,
  With his high-falutin' notions an' his fiddle-faddle schemes;
  With the laughin' an' the cryin', with the sorrow an' the joy,
  Thet is jumbled up together in the bosom o' the boy;
  An' agin my arly fancies in a fairy loom are spun
  Underneath the dancin' shadders on the banks o' Turkey Run.

  An' agin I be a school-boy with the other merry lads,
  When Joe an' Jerry, Bill an' I, wus only little tads,
  When a half a dozen marvels an' a kivered ball was worth--
  With a knife o' Barlow pattern--all the treasures o' the earth;
  An' the soundin' sort o' thunder from a poppin' kind o' gun
  Set our faces all a-giggle on the banks o' Turkey Run.

  It 'ud tickle any feller but ter see the solemn look,
  When the master was a-watchin', thet we fastened on the book,
  But the mischief stickin' in us, like pertaters in a sack,
  It wus never hard ter empty when the teacher turned his back;
  O, the paper wads we tumbled thet 'ud weigh about a ton,
  In thet crazy-cornered school-house on the banks o' Turkey Run!

  How we used ter chase the robins an' the rabbits in the wood,
  How we gethered bloomin' posies in the sighin' solitude!
  How we wundered all the medders in our roamin's o'er an' o'er,
  How we teetered in the branches o' the beech an' sycamore!
  Or we watched the rompin' minners as they rasseled in their fun,
  While we nearly bust a-laughin', on the banks o' Turkey Run!

  How we used ter go a-fishin' when the day wus gittin' late,
  With a little line o' cotton an' a fish-worm fer a bait!
  With a bent pin for a fish-hook an' a hazel fer a pole,
  How we sought the softest places by the widest, deepest hole!
  How we teehee-eed at the nibbles, caught the fishes one by one,
  With the biggest kind o' prowess, on the banks o' Turkey Run!

  When the sun was burnin' shavin's in the heatin' stove o' June,
  An' the clock upon the mantle wus a-knockin' off the noon
  When the beams in bunches blistered as they never did afore,
  An' the sweat was drippin', droppin', from the mouth o' every pore,
  How we skipped across the medder, how our swimmin' wus begun,
  In the cool an' crystal waters 'tween the banks o' Turkey Run!

  O, the smilin' days o' childhood! O, the loudly laughin' years!
  When contentment brings the moments neither heaviness ner tears!
  When the pleasures jine the longin's an' the fairy fingers roll
  All the heaps o' angel music in upon the blazin' soul!
  O, my Joe an' Bill an' Jerry! Trustin' comrades, you wus won
  Whar my bare feet brushed the grasses on the banks o' Turkey Run!

  But, alas! Thar wus another; she was fairer than the rest,
  An' she allus had a hearin' fer the wishes o' my breast;
  Allus wus a chunk o' sunshine an' a piece o' quiet glee,
  Allus had a smile o' welcome an' a tender word fer me;
  An' without her wus no shinin' an' o' happiness wus none
  Ter bring gladness ter my bosom on the banks o' Turkey Run.

  O, her home wus in a cottage whar the mornin'-glories hung,
  An' the arly birds o' April with their sweetest music sung;
  Thar wus roses 'round her winder, thar wus roses 'round her door,
  Thet wus stickin' full o' blushes, but they allus blushed the more,
  When her eyes wus seen a-peepin' an' her cheeks beamed like the sun,
  From thet cosy little cottage on the banks o' Turkey Run!

  Many an' many a time we wandered in the grassy medder-land
  With our wishes right together an' our longin's hand in hand;
  How we dreamed about the future when the world should give me fame,
  An' when she would be thrice noble to be worthy o' my name!
  Thus we talked an' thus we fancied; others might my boyhood shun,
  But I found her kind, my sweetheart, on the banks o' Turkey Run.

  But the times have been a-changin' sence them arly years o' joy,
  When she wus but a little girl an' I a little boy;
  When Joe an' Jerry, Bill an' I, together wus at play,
  With our hearts as light as feathers, every minute of the day,
  An' at twilight sunk ter slumber tell the mornin' wus begun,
  In the gloomy silent forests on the banks o' Turkey Run.

  Bill an' Joe have gone a-rovin' on a fortune-huntin' quest
  Through the silver mines an' Injuns in the mountains o' the west;
  But the janders came ter Jerry with a solemn sort o' call
  Tell they painted him as yaller as a punkin in the fall;
  An' to-day I saw his tombstone as it glittered in the sun,
  Over in the little churchyard, on the banks o' Turkey Run!

  An' alas, my precious sweetheart! Like a lily virgin white,
  Did she slowly fade an' wither tell her spirit took its flight!
  Like an angel into heaven did she sweetly, calmly creep,
  An' her lovely life wus over an' her bosom went ter sleep;
  An' the tollin', tollin' church-bells dropt the dirges one by one,
  As we laid her 'neath the wilier on the banks o' Turkey Run.

  Thar a little cross o' marble marks the sacred, silent shade,
  Whar the fair an' laughin' beauty o' my ole sweetheart wus laid;
  An' the summer has a sadness thet is cryin' through the years,
  An' my heart is full o' sorrow, an' mine eyes is full o' tears,
  Fer I've allus had a failin', sence her friendship first I won,
  Fer thet little lovin' maiden on the banks o' Turkey Run!

  But them days have past forever in the years o' long ago,
  An' a wishin' ter be wealthy has enraptured Bill an' Joe;
  Death has taken Jerry; only I, o' all the boys,
  Am' remainin' ter remember all them arly angel joys;
  But to-night I see their faces as they peep in full o' fun,
  An' agin we're boys together, on the banks o' Turkey Run!


  _Oh, to be able to capture and bring_
    _And bind in the bonds of control,_
  _Some of the carols that warble and sing_
    _Down in the depths of my soul._

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Oklahoma and Other Poems" ***

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