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Title: Hesperus - and Other Poems and Lyrics
Author: Sangster, Charles, 1822-1893
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 "Hesperus - and Other Poems and Lyrics" ***

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HESPERUS,

AND

Other Poems and Lyrics


BY CHARLES SANGSTER,



AUTHOR OF "THE ST. LAWRENCE AND THE SAGUENAY, AND OTHER POEMS"



Montreal:

JOHN LOVELL, ST. NICHOLAS STREET.

Kingston:

JOHN CREIGHTON, KING STREET.


1860.



Entered, according to the Act of the Provincial Parliament,
  in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty, by
  CHARLES SANGSTER, in the office ef the Registrar of the
  Province of Canada.



THESE

Poems and Lyrics

ARE

DEDICATED

TO

My Niece,

CARRIE MILLER,

OF

SANDWICH, C. W.



{v}

CONTENTS.


                                                           PAGE.

Dedicatory Poem  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    9

Hesperus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   11

Crowned  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   29

Mariline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   30

The Happy Harvesters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   40

Falls of the Chaudière, Ottawa . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   53

A Royal Welcome  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   59

Malcolm  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   61

The Comet, October 1858  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   63

Autumn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   65

Colin  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   68

Margery  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   70

Eva  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   76

The Poet's Recompense  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   77

The Wine of Song . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   78

The Plains of Abraham  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   80

Death of Wolfe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   83

Brock  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   84

Song for Canada  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   86

Song.--I'd be a Fairy King . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   89

Song.--Love while you may  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   91

{vi}

The Snows, Upper Ottawa  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   92

The Rapid. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   94

Lost and Found . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   96

Again  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   99

Glimpses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  100

My Prayer  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  102

Her Star . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  104

The Mystery  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  107

Love and Truth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  109

The Wren . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  111

Grandpere  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  113

England's Hope and England's Heir  . . . . . . . . . . . .  114

Rose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  116

The Dreamer  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  118

Night and Morning  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  119

Within thine eyes  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  120

Gertrude . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  121

Flowers  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  122

The Unattainable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  123

Yearnings  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  124

Ingratitude  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  125

True Love  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  126

An Evening Thought . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  127

A Thought for Spring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  128

The Swallows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  129

Song.--Clara and I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  130

The April Snow Storm, 1858 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  132

Good Night . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  134

Hopeless . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  135

Into the Silent Land . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  139

{vii}

SONNETS:--

Proem  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  159

Sonnet   I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  162

        II . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  163

       III . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  164

        IV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  165

         V . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  166

        VI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  167

       VII . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  168

      VIII . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  169

        IX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  170

         X . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  171

        XI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  172

       XII . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  173

      XIII . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  174

       XIV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  175

        XV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  176

       XVI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  177

      XVII . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  178

     XVIII . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  179

       XIX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  180

        XX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  181

       XXI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  182

      XXII . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  183

Au Revoir  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  184



{9}

  POEMS.



  DEDICATORY POEM.

  Dear Carrie, were we truly wise,
  And could discern with finer eyes,
    And half-inspired sense,
    The ways of Providence:

  Could we but know the hidden things
  That brood beneath the Future's wings,
    Hermetically sealed,
    But soon to be revealed:

  Would we, more blest than we are now,
  In due submission learn to bow,--
    Receiving on our knees
    The Omnipotent decrees?

  That which is just, we have.  And we
  Who lead this round of mystery,
    This dance of strange unrest,
    What are we at the best?--

  Unless we learn to mount and climb;
  Writing upon the page of time,
    In words of joy or pain,
    That we've not lived in vain.

{10}

  We all are Ministers of Good;
  And where our mission's understood,
    How many hearts we must
    Raise, trembling, from the dust.

  Oh, strong young soul, and thinking brain!
  Walk wisely through the fair domain
    Where burn the sacred fires
    Of Music's sweet desires!

  Cherish thy Gift; and let it be
  A Jacob's ladder unto thee,
    Down which the Angels come,
    To bring thee dreams of Home.

  What were we if the pulse of Song
  Had never beat, nor found a tongue
    To make the Poet known
    In lands beyond his own?

  Take what is said for what is meant.
  We sometimes touch the firmament
    Of starry Thought--no more;
    Beyond, we may not soar.

  I speak not of myself, but stand
  In silence till the Master Hand
    Each fluttering thought sets free.
    God holds the golden key.


Kingston, C. W., May 1st, 1860.



{11}

  HESPERUS:

  A LEGEND OF THE STARS.


  PRELUDE.

  The Stars are heaven's ministers;
    Right royally they teach
  God's glory and omnipotence,
    In wondrous lowly speech.
  All eloquent with music as
    The tremblings of a lyre,
  To him that hath an ear to hear
    They speak in words of fire.

  Not to learned sagas only
    Their whisperings come down;
  The monarch is not glorified
    Because he wears a crown.
  The humblest soldier in the camp
    Can win the smile of Mars,
  And 'tis the lowliest spirits hold
    Communion with the stars.

  Thoughts too refined for utterance,
    Ethereal as the air,
  Crowd through the brain's dim labyrinths,
    And leave their impress there;
{12}

  As far along the gleaming void
    Man's tender glances roll,
  Wonder usurps the throne of speech,
    But vivifies the soul.

  Oh, heaven-cradled mysteries,
    What sacred paths ye've trod--
  Bright, jewelled scintillations from
    The chariot-wheels of God!
  When in the spirit He rode forth,
    With vast creative aim,
  These were His footprints left behind,
    To magnify His name!

          ------

  We gazed on the Evening Star,
    Mary and I,
    As it shone
    On its throne
      Afar,
    In the blue sky;
  Shone like a ransomed soul
  In the depths of that quiet heaven;
    Like a pearly tear,
    Trembling with fear
  On the pallid cheek of Even.

  And I thought of the myriad souls
  Gazing with human eyes
    On the light of that star,
    Shining afar,
  In the quiet evening skies;

{13}

    Some with winged hope,
    Clearing the cope
  Of heaven as swift as light,
    Others, with souls
    Blind as the moles,
  Sinking in rayless night.

  Dreams such as dreamers dream
    Flitted before our eyes;
      Beautiful visions!--
      Angelo's, Titian's,
    Had never more gorgeous dyes:
  We soared with the angels
    Through vistas of glory,
  We heard the evangels
    Relate the glad story
    Of the beautiful star,
    Shining afar
    In the quiet evening skies.

  And we gazed and dreamed,
  Till our spirits seemed
    Absorbed in the stellar world;
  Sorrow was swallowed up,
  Drained was the bitter cup
  Of earth to the very lees;
  And we sailed over seas
    Of white vapour that whirled
    Through the skies afar,
  Angels our charioteers,
  Threading the endless spheres,

{14}

  And to the chorus of angels
  Rehearsed the evangels
    The Birth of the Evening Star.

          ------

  I.

        Far back in the infant ages,
  Before the eras stamped their autographs
  Upon the stony records of the earth;
  Before the burning incense of the sun
        Rolled up the interlucent space,
        Brightening the blank abyss;
        Ere the Recording Angel's tears
        Were shed for man's transgressions:
        A Seraph, with a face of light,
  And hair like heaven's golden atmosphere,
  Blue eyes serene in their beatitude,
        Godlike in their tranquillity,
  Features as perfect as God's dearest work,
        And stature worthy of her race,
  Lived high exalted in the sacred sphere
  That floated in a sea of harmony
  Translucent as pure crystal, or the light
  That flowed, unceasing, from this higher world
  Unto the spheres beneath it.  Far below
  The extremest regions underneath the Earth
  The first spheres rose, of vari-coloured light,
  In calm rotation through aërial deep,
  Like seas of jasper, blue, and coralline,
  Crystal and violet; layers of worlds--
  The robes of ages that had passed away,

{15}

  Left as memorials of their sojournings.
  For nothing passes wholly.  All is changed.
  The Years but slumber in their sepulchres,
  And speak prophetic meanings in their sleep.


  FIRST ANGEL.

  Oh, how our souls are gladdened,
    When we think of that brave old age,
      When God's light came down
      From heaven, to crown
    Each act of the virgin page!

  Oh, how our souls are saddened,
    At the deeds which were done since then,
      By the angel race
      In the holy place,
    And on earth by the sons of men!

  Lo, as the years are fleeting,
    With their burden of toil and pain,
      We know that the page
      Of that primal age
    Will be opened up once again.


  II.

  Progressing still, the bright-faced Seraph rose
  From Goodness to Perfection, till she stood
  The fairest and the best of all that waked
  The tuneful echoes of that lofty world,
  Where Lucifer, then the stateliest of the throng
  Of Angels, walked majestical, arrayed

{16}

  In robes of brightness worthy of his place.
  And all the intermediate spheres were homes
        Of the existences
        Of spiritual life.
  Love, the divine arcanum, was the bond
  That linked them to each other--heart to heart,
  And angel world to world, and soul to soul.
        Thus the first ages passed,
        Cycles of perfect bliss,
  God the acknowledged sovereign of all.
  Sphere spake with sphere, and love conversed with love,
  From the far centre to sublimest height,
  And down the deep, unfathomable space,
  To the remotest homes of angel-life,
  A viewless chain of being circling all,
  And linking every spirit to its God.


  ANGEL CHORUS.

    Spirits that never falter,
    Before God's altar
  Rehearse their paeans of unceasing praise;
    Their theme the boundless love
    By which God rules above,
    Mysteriously engrafted
    On grace divine, and wafted
  Into every soul of man that disobeys.

    Not till the wondrous being
    Of the All-Seeing
  Is manifested to finite man,
    Can ye understand the love

{17}

    By which God rules above,
    Evermore extending,
    In circles never-ending,
  To every atom in the universal plan.


  SECOND ANGEL.

  Oh, the love beyond computing
    Of the high and holy place!
    The unseen bond
    Circling beyond
  The limits of time and space.

  Through earth and her world of beauty
    The heavenly links extend,
      Man feels its presence,
      Imbibes its essence,
    But cannot yet comprehend.


  THIRD ANGEL.

  But the days are fast approaching,
    When the Father of Love will send
      His interpreter
      From the highest sphere,
    That man fully may comprehend.


  III.

  Oh, truest Love, because the truest life!
  Oh, blest existence, to exist with Love!
  Oh, Love, without which all things else must die
  The death that knows no waking unto life!
  Oh, Jealousy that saps the heart of Love,

{18}

  And robs it of its tenderness divine;
  And Pride, that tramples with its iron hoof
  Upon the flower of love, whose fragrant soul
  Exhales itself in sweetness as it dies!
  A lofty spirit surfeited with Bliss!
  A Prince of Angels cancelling all love,
  All due allegiance to his rightful Lord;
  Doing dishonour to his high estate;
  Turning the truth and wisdom which were his
  For ages of supreme felicity,
  To thirst for power, and hatred of his God,
  Who raised him to such vast preëminence!


  SECOND ANGEL CHORUS.

  Woe, woe to the ransomed spirit,
    Once freed from the stain of sin,
      Whose pride increases
      Till all love ceases
    To nourish it from within!
  Its doom is the darkened regions
  Where the rebel angel legions
  Live their long night of sorrow;
  Where no expectant morrow,
    No mercy-tempered ray
    From the altar of to-day,
  Comes down through the gloom to borrow
  One drop from their cup of sorrow,
    Or lighten their cheerless way.

{19}

  FIRST ANGEL.

  But blest be the gentle spirit
    Whose love is ever increased
      From its own pure soul,
      The illumined goal
    Where Love holds perpetual feast!


  IV.

  Ingrate Angel, he,
  To purchase Hell, and at so vast a price!
  'Tis the old story of celestial strife--
  Rebellion in the palace-halls of God--
  False angels joining the insurgent ranks,
  Who suffered dire defeats, and fell at last
  From bliss supreme to darkness and despair.
  But they, the faithful dwellers in the spheres,
  Who kept their souls inviolate, to whom
  Heaven's love and truth were truly great rewards:
  For these the stars were sown throughout all space,
  As fit memorials of their faithfulness.
  The wretched lost were banished to the depths
  Beneath the lowest spheres.  Earth barred the space
  Between them and the Faithful.  Then the hills
  Rose bald and rugged o'er the wild abyss;
  The waters found their places; and the sun,
  The bright-haired warder of the golden morn,
  Parting the curtains of reposing night,
  Rung his first challenge to the dismal shades,
  That shrunk back, awed, into Cimmerean gloom;
  And the young moon glode through the startled void
  With quiet beauty and majestic mien.

{20}

  SECOND ANGEL.

  Slowly rose the daedal Earth,
    Through the purple-hued abysm
    Glowing like a gorgeous prism,
  Heaven exulting o'er its birth,

  Still the mighty wonder came,
    Through the jasper-coloured sphere,
    Ether-winged, and crystal-clear,
  Trembling to the loud acclaim,

  In a haze of golden rain,
    Up the heavens rolled the sun,
    Danae-like the earth was won,
  Else his love and light were vain.

  So the heart and soul of man
    Own the light and love of heaven,
    Nothing yet in vain was given,
  Nature's is a perfect plan.


  V.

  The glowing Seraph with the brow of light
  Was first among the Faithful.  When the war
  Between heaven's rival armies fiercely waged,
  She bore the Will Divine from rank to rank,
  The chosen courier of Deity.
  Her presence cheered the combatants for Truth,
  And Victory stood up where'er she moved.
  And now, in gleaming robe of woven pearl,
  Emblazoned with devices of the stars,
  And legends of their glory yet to come,

{21}

  The type of Beauty Intellectual,
  The representative of Love and Truth,
  She moves first in the innumerable throng
  Of angels congregating to behold
  The crowning wonder of creative power.


  THIRD ANGEL CHORUS,

  Oh, joy, that no mortal can fathom,
    To rejoice in the smile of God!
      To be first in the light
      Of His Holy sight,
    And freed from His chastening rod.
  Faithful, indeed, that soul, to be
  The messenger of Deity!


  FIRST ANGEL.

  This, this is the chosen spirit,
    Whose love is ever increased
      From its own pare soul,
      The illumined goal
    Where Love holds perpetual feast.


  VI.

  With noiseless speed the angel charioteers
  In dazzling splendour all triumphant rode;
  Through seas of ether painfully serene,
  That flashed a golden, phosphorescent spray,
  As luminous as the sun's intensest beams,
  Athwart the wide, interminable space.
  Legion on legion of the sons of God;
  Vast phalanxes of graceful cherubim;

{22}

  Innumerable multitudes and ranks
  Of all the hosts and hierarchs of heaven,
  Moved by one universal impulse, urged
  Their steeds of swiftness up the arch of light,
  From sphere to sphere increasing as they came,
  Till world on world was emptied of its race.
  Upward, with unimaginable speed,
  The myriads, congregating zenith-ward,
  Reached the far confines of the utmost sphere,
  The home of Truth, the dwelling-place of Love,
  Striking celestial symphonies divine
  From the resounding sea of melody,
  That heaved in swells of soft, mellifluous sound,
  To the blest crowds at whose triumphal tread
  Its soul of sweetness waked in thrills sublime,
  The sun stood poised upon the western verge;
  The moon paused, waiting for the march of earth,
  That stayed to watch the advent of the stars;
  And ocean hushed its very deepest deeps
        In grateful expectation.


  SECOND ANGEL.

  Still through the viewless regions
    Of the habitable air,
      Through the ether ocean,
      In unceasing motion,
  Pass the multitudinous legions
    Of angels everywhere.

  Bearing each new-born spirit
    Through the interlucent void

{23}

      To its starry dwelling,
      Angel anthems telling
  Every earthly deed of merit
    To each flashing asteroid.


  THIRD ANGEL.

  Through the realms sidereal,
  Clothed with the immaterial,
  Far as the fields elysian
    In starry bloom extend,
  The stretch of angel vision
    Can see and comprehend.


  VII.

  Innumerable as the ocean sands
  The angel concourse in due order stood,
  In meek anticipation waiting for
      The new-created orbs,
      Still hidden in the deep
    And unseen laboratory, where
  Not even angel eyes could penetrate:
  A star for each of that angelic host,
  Memorials of their faithfulness and love.
  The Evening Star, God's bright eternal gift
  To the pure Seraph with the brow of light,
    And named for her, mild Hesperus,
  Came twinkling down the unencumbered blue,
  On viewless wings of sweet melodious sound,
  Beauty and grace presiding at its birth.
  Celestial plaudits sweeping through the skies
  Waked resonant paeans, till the concave thrilled

{24}

    Through its illimitable bounds.
      With a sudden burst
  Of light, that lit the universal space
    As with a flame of crystal,
      Rousing the Soul of Joy
    That slumbered in the patient sea,
  From every point of heaven the hurrying cars
  Conveyed the constellations to their thrones--
  The throbbing planets, and the burning suns,
  Erratic comets, and the various grades
  And magnitudes of palpitating stars.
  From the far arctic and antarctic zones,
  Through all the vast, surrounding infinite,
  A wilderness of intermingling orbs,
  The gleaming wonders, pulsing earthward, came;
      Each to its destined place,
      Each in itself a world,
    With all its coining myriad life,
  Drawing us nearer the Omnipotent,
  With hearts of wonder, and with souls of praise:
  Astrea, Pallas, strange Aldebaran,
  The Pleiads, Arcturus, the ruddy Mars,
  Pale Saturn, Ceres and Orion--
    All as they circle still
    Through the enraptured void.
  For each young angel born to us from earth,
  A new-made star is launched among its peers.


  FULL ANGEL CHORUS.

  Dreamer in the realms aërial,
  Searcher for the true and good,

{25}

  Hoper for the high, ethereal
  Limit of Beatitude,
  Lift thy heart to heaven, for there
  Is embalmed thy spirit prayer:
  Not in words is shrined thy prayer,
  But thy Thought awaits thee there.
  God loves the silent worshipper.
  The grandest hymn
  That nature chants--the litany
  Of the rejoicing stars--is silent praise.
  Their nightly anthems stir
  The souls of lofty seraphim
  In the remotest heaven.  The melody
  Descends in throbbings of celestial light
  Into the heart of man, whose upward gaze,
  And meditative aspect, tell
  Of the heart's incense passing up the night.
  Above the crystalline height
  The theme of thoughtful praise ascends.
  Not from the wildest swell
  Of the vexed ocean soars the fullest psalm;
  But in the evening calm,
  And in the solemn midnight, silence blends
  With silence, and to the ear
  Attuned to harmony divine
  Begets a strain
  Whose trance-like stillness wakes delicious pain.
  The silent tear
  Holds keener anguish in its orb of brine,
  Deeper and truer grief
  Than the loud wail that brings relief,

{26}

  As thunder clears the atmosphere.
  But the deep, tearless Sorrow,--how profound!
  Unspoken to the ear
  Of sense, 'tis yet as eloquent a sound
  As that which wakes the lyre
  Of the rejoicing Day, when
  Morn on the mountains lights his urn of fire.
  The flowers of the glen
  Rejoice in silence; huge pines stand apart
  Upon the lofty hills, and sigh
  Their woes to every breeze that passeth by;
  The willow tells its mournful tale
  So tenderly, that e'en the passing gale
  Bears not a murmur on its wings
  Of what the spirit sings
  That breathes its trembling thoughts through all the
        drooping strings.
  He loves God most who worships most
  In the obedient heart.
  The thunder's noisome boast,
  What is it to the violet lightning thought?
  So with the burning passion of the stars--
  Creation's diamond sands,
  Strewn along the pearly strands,
  And far-extending corridors
  Of heaven's blooming shores;
  No scintil of their jewelled flame
  But wafts the exquisite essence
  Of prayer to the Eternal Presence,
  Of praise to the Eternal Name.
  The silent prayer unbars

{27}

  The gates of Paradise, while the too-intimate,
  Self-righteous' boast, strikes rudely at the gate
  Of heaven, unknowing why it does not open to
  Their summons, as they see pale Silence passing through.


  VIII.

  In grateful admiration, till the Dawn
  Withdrew the gleaming curtains of the night,
  We watched the whirling systems, until each
  Could recognize their own peculiar star;
      When, with the swift celerity
      Of Fancy-footed Thought,
  The light-caparisoned, aërial steeds,
      Shod with rare fleetness,
  Revisited the farthest of the spheres
  Ere the earth's sun had kissed the mountain tops,
  Or shook the sea-pearls from his locks of gold.

          ------

      Still on the Evening Star
      Gazed we with steadfast eyes,
          As it shone
          On its throne
            Afar,
      In the blue skies.
      No longer the charioteers
      Dashed through the gleaming spheres;
      No more the evangels
        Rehearsed the glad story;
      But, in passing, the angels
        Left footprints of glory:

{28}

      For up the starry void
      Bright-flashing asteroid,
      Pale moon and starry choir,
      Aided by Fancy's fire,
      Rung from the glittering lyre
      Changes of song and hymn,
      Worthy of Seraphim.
  Night's shepherdess sat, queenlike, on her throne,
  Watching her starry flocks from zone to zone,
  While we, like mortals turned to breathing stone,
  Intently pondered on the Known Unknown.



{29}

  CROWNED.

  Her thoughts are sweet glimpses of heaven,
    Her life is that heaven brought down;
  Oh, never to mortal was given
    So rare and bejewelled a crown!
  I'll wear it as saints wear the glory
    That radiantly clasps them above--
      Oh, dower most fair!
      Oh, diadem rare!
    Bright crown of her maidenly love.

  My heart is a fane of devotion,
    My feelings are converts at prayer,
  And every thrill of emotion
    Makes dearer the crown I would wear.
  My soul in its fulness of rapture
    Begins its millennial reign,
      Life glows like a sun,
      Love's zenith is won,
    And Joy is sole monarch again.

  My noonday of life is as morning,
    God's light streams approvingly down;
  Uncovered, I wait her adorning,
    She comes with the beautiful crown!
  I'll wear it as saints wear the glory
    That radiantly clasps them above--
      Oh, dower most fair!
      Oh, diadem rare!
    Bright crown of her maidenly love.



{30}

  MARILINE.

  At the wheel plied Mariline,
  Beauteous and self-serene,
  Never dreaming of that mien
  Fit for lady or for queen.

  Never sang she, but her words,
  Music-laden, swept the chords

  Of the heart, that eagerly
  Stored the subtle melody,
  Like the honey in the bee;
  Never spake, but showed that she

  Held the golden master-key
  That unlocked all sympathy

  Pent in souls where Feeling glows,
  Like the perfume in the rose,
  Like her own innate repose,
  Like the whiteness in the snows.

  Richly thoughted Mariline!
  Nature's heiress!--nature's queen!


  II.

  By her side, with liberal look,
  Paused a student o'er a book,
  Wielder of a shepherd's crook,
  Reveller by grove and brook:

{31}

  Hunter-up of musty tomes,
  Worshipper of deathless poems:

  Lover of the true and good,
  Hater of sin's evil brood,
  Votary of solitude,
  Man, of mind-like amplitude.

  With exalted eye serene
  Gazed he on fair Mariline.

  Swifter whirled the busy wheel,
  Piled the thread upon the reel--
  Saw she not his spirit kneel,
  Praying for her after-weal?

  Like the wife of Collatine,
  Busily spun Mariline.


  III.

  Hour by hour, and day by day,
  Sang the maid her roundelay;
  Hour by hour, and day by day,
  Spun her threads of white and gray.

  While the shepherd-student held
  Commune with the great of eld:

  Pondered on their wondrous words,
  While he watched his scattered herds,
  While he stemmed the surging fords.
  And he knew the lore of birds,

{32}

  Learned the secrets of the rills,
  Conversed with the answering hills.

  Like her threads of white and gray,
  Passed their mingled Eves away,
  One unceasing roundelay--
  Winter came, it still was May!


  IV.

  When the spring smiled, opening up
  Pink-lipped flower and acorn cup;

  When the summer waked the rose
  In the scented briar boughs;
  When the earth, with painless throes,
  Bore her golden autumn rows--

  Field on field of grain, that pressed,
  Childlike, to her fruitful breast--

  When hale winter wrapped his form
  In the mantle of the storm,
  Tamed the bird, and chilled the worm,
  Stopped the pulse that thrilled the germ;

  As the seasons went and came,
  One in heart, and hope, and aim,

  Cheered they each the other on,
  Where was labor to be done,
  At day-break or set of sun,
  Like two thoughts that merge in one.

{33}

  Dignified, and soul-serene,
  Busily spun Mariline.


  V.

  Brightly broke the summer morn,
  Like a lark from out the corn,--
  Broke like joy just newly born
  From the depths of woe forlorn,--

  Broke with grateful songs of birds,
  Lowings of well-pastured herds;

  Hailed by childhood's happy looks,
  Cheered by anthems of the brooks--
  Chants beyond the lore of books--
  Cawing crows, instead of rooks.

  Glowed the heavens--rose the sun,
  Mariline was up, for one.


  VI.

  Like a chatterer tongue-tied,
  Lo, the wheel is placed aside!--
  Not from indolence or pride--
  Mariline must be a Bride!

  Fairest maid of maids terrene!
  Bride of Brides, dear Mariline!


  VII.

  Up the meditative air
  Passed the smoke-wreaths, white and fair,
  Like the spirit of the prayer
  Mariline now offered there:

{34}

  Passed behind the cottage eaves,
  Curling through the maple leaves:

  Through the pines and old elm trees,
  Belies of past centuries,
  Hardy oaks, that never breeze
  Humbled to their gnarly knees:

  Forest lords, beneath whose sheen
  Flowers bloomed for Mariline.

  Round the cottage, fresh and green,
  Climbed the vine, the scarlet bean,
  Morning-glories peeped between,
  Looking out for Mariline.

  Odours never felt before
  Tranced the locust at the door,

  Vieing with the mignonette
  Bound the garden parapet,
  Whose rare fragrances were met
  By rich perfumes, rarer yet,

  Stealing from the garden walks,
  Sentineled with hollyhocks.


  VIII.

  What a heaven the cottage seemed!
  Love's own temple, where Faith dreamed
  Of the coming years that beamed
  On them, as pale stars have gleamed

{35}

  Through unnavigated seas,
  To which the prophetic breeze

  Whispered of a future day,
  When swift fleets would urge their way,
  Through the waters cold and gray,
  Like the dolphins at their play.

  There the future Bride, and he,
  Prince of love's knight-errantry,

  Whose good shepherd arms must hold
  This pet yeanling of the fold,
  Gift of God so long foretold,
  Gift beyond the price of gold.

  There the parents, aged and hale,
  Passing down life's autumn vale,

  With a joy as rare and true
  As their daughter's eye of blue,
  With such hopes as reach up to
  Heaven's gate, when, passing through,

  Peris, bound for higher skies,
  Win the Celestial Paradise.


  IX.

  Thoughtfully stood Mariline,
  Whitely veiled, and soul-serene;
  Love's fair world for her demesne,
  Never looked she more a queen--

{36}

  With her maidens by her side,
  Smiling on the coming bride.

  Her pet lamb, with comic mirth,
  Licked her hand and scampered forth;
  The fine sheep-dog, on the hearth,
  Kindly eyed her for her worth.


  X.

  Up the air, across the moor,
  As they left the cottage door,

  Chimed the merry village-hells,
  Music-wrapt the neighbouring fells,
  Stirred the heart's awakened cells,
  Like fine strains from fairy dells.

  Past the orchard, down the lane,
  By fresh wavy fields of grain,

  By the brook, that told its love
  To the pasture, glen, and grove--
  Sacred haunts, that well could prove
  Vows enregistered above.

  By the restless mill, where stood,
  Bowing in his amplest mood,

  The old miller, hat in hand,
  Rich in goodness, rich in land,
  On whose features, grave and bland,
  Glowed a blessing for the band.

{37}

  Through the village, where, behind
  Many a half-uplifted blind,

  Eyes, that might have lit the skies
  Of Mahomet's Paradise,
  Flashed behind the curtains' dyes,
  With a cheerful, half-surprise.

  Through the village, underneath,
  Many a blooming flower-wreath,

  Garlanding the arches green
  Beared in honour of the queen
  Of this day of days serene,
  Day of days to Mariline.

  To the church, whose cheering bells
  Told the tale in music-swells--

  Told it to the country wide,
  With an earnest kind of pride--
  Something not to be denied--
  "Mariline must be a Bride!"


  XI.

  Up the aisle with solemn pace,
  Meeting God there, face to face.

  Never Bride more chaste or fair
  Stood before His altar there,
  Her ripe heart aflame with prayer,
  Blessing Him for all His care:

{38}

  Every earthly promise given,
  Registered with joy in heaven.

  From the galleries looked down,
  Village belle and country clown,
  Men with honest labour brown,
  Far removed from mart or town:

  Smiling with a zealous pride
  On the shepherd and his bride--

  Playmates of their early days;
  For their walks in wisdom's ways,
  Ever crowned with honoured bays
  Of esteem and ardent praise.


  XII.

  Well done, servant of the Lord!
  Grave expounder of His Word,

  Who in distant Galilee
  Graced the marriage feast, that He,
  With all due solemnity,
  Might commission such as thee

  To do likewise, and unite
  Souls like these in marriage plight.

  With what manly, gentle pride,
  The glad Shepherd clasps his Bride!
  Love like theirs, so true and tried,
  Ever true love must abide!

{39}

  XIII.

  Ye whose souls are strong and firm,
  In whom love's electric germ

  Has been fanned into a flame
  At the mention of a name;
  Ye whose souls are still the same
  As when first the Victor came,

  Stinging every nerve to life,
  In the beatific strife,

  Till the man's divinest part
  Ruled triumphant in the heart,
  And, with shrinking, sudden start,
  The bleak old world stood apart,

  Periling the wild Ideal
  By the presence of the Real:

  Ye, and ye alone, can know
  How these twain souls burn and glow,
  Can interpret every throe
  Of the full heart's overflow,

  That imparts that light serene
  To the brow of Mariline.



{40}

  THE HAPPY HARVESTERS.

  A CANTATA.

  I.

  Autumn, like an old poet in a haze
  Of golden visions, dreams away his days,
  So Hafiz-like that one may almost hear
  The singer's thoughts imbue the atmosphere;
  Sweet as the dreamings of the nightingales
  Ere yet their songs have waked the eastern vales,
  Or stirred the airy echoes of the wood
  That haunt the forest's social solitude.
  His thoughts are pastorals; his days are rife
  With the calm wisdom of that inner life
  That makes the poet heir to worlds unknown,
  All space his empire, and the sun his throne.
  As the bee stores the sweetness of the flowers,
  So into autumn's variegated hours
  Is hived the Hybla richness of the year;
  Choice souls imbibing the ambrosial cheer,
  As autumn, seated on the highest hills,
  Gleans honied secrets from the passing rills;
  While from below, the harvest canzonas
  Link vale to mountain with a chain of praise.
  Foremost among the honoured sons of toil
  Are they who overcome the stubborn soil;
  Brave Cincinnatus in his country home
  Was even greater than when lord of Rome.
  Down sinks the sun behind the lofty pines
  That skirt the mountain, like the straggling lines

{41}

  Of Ceres' army looking from the height
  On the dim lowlands deepening into night;
  Soft-featured twilight, peering through the maze,
  Sees the first starbeam pierce the purple haze;
  Through all the vales the vespers of the birds
  Cheer the young shepherds homeward with their herds;
  And the stout axles of the heavy wain
  Creak 'neath the fulness of the ripened grain,
  As the swarth builders of the precious load,
  Returning homewards, sing their Autumn Ode.


  AUTUMN ODE.

  God of the Harvest!  Thou, whose sun
    Has ripened all the golden grain,
  We bless Thee for Thy bounteous store,
  The cup of Plenty running o'er,
    The sunshine and the rain.

  The year laughs out for very joy,
    Its silver treble echoing
  Like a sweet anthem through the woods,
  Till mellowed by the solitudes
    It folds its glossy wing.

  But our united voices blend
    From day to day unweariedly;
  Sure as the sun rolls up the morn,
  Or twilight from the eve is born,
    Our song ascends to Thee.

{42}

  Where'er the various-tinted woods,
    In all their autumn splendour dressed,
  Impart their gold and purple dyes
  To distant hills and farthest skies
    Along the crimson west:

  Across the smooth, extended plain,
    By rushing stream and broad lagoon,
  On shady height and sunny dale,
  Wherever scuds the balmy gale,
    Or gleams the autumn moon:

  From inland seas of yellow grain,
    Where cheerful Labour, heaven-blest,
  With willing hands and keen-edged scythe,
  And accents musically blythe,
    Reveals its lordly crest:

  From clover-fields and meadows wide,
    Where moves the richly-laden wain
  To barns well-stored with new-made hay,
  Or where the flail at early day
    Rolls out the ripened grain:

  From meads and pastures on the hills,
    And in the mountain valleys deep,
  Alive with beeves and sweet-breathed kine
  Of famous Ayr or Devon's line,
    And shepherd-guarded sheep:

{43}

  The spirits of the golden year,
    From crystal caves and grottoes dim,
  From forest depths and mossy sward,
  Myriad-tongued, with one accord
    Peal forth their harvest hymn.


  II.

  Their daily labour in the happy fields
  A two-fold crop of grain and pleasure yields,
  While round their hearths, before their evening fires,
  Whore comfort reigns, whence weariness retires,
  The level tracts, denuded of their grain,
  In calm dispute are bravely shorn again,
  Till some rough reaper, on a tide of song,
  Like a bold pirate, captivates the throng:


  A SONG FOR THE FLAIL.

  A song, a song for the good old Flail,
    And the brawny arms that wield it,
  Hearty and hale, in our yeoman mail,
    Like intrepid knights we'll shield it.
      We are old nature's peers,
      Right royal cavaliers!
  Knights of the Plough! for no Golden Fleece we sail,
  We're Princes in our own right--our sceptre is the Flail.

  A song, a song for the golden grain,
    As it wooes the flail's embraces,
  In wavy sheaves like a golden main,
    With its bright spray in our faces.

{44}

      Mirth hastens at our call,
      Jovial hearts have we all!
  Knights of the Plough! for no Golden Fleece we sail,
  We're Princes in our own right--our sceptre is the Flail.

  A song, a song for the good old Flail,
    That our fathers used before us;
  A song for the Flail, and the faces hale
    Of the queenly dames that bore us!
      We are old nature's peers,
      Right royal cavaliers!
  Knights of the Plough! for no Golden Fleece we sail,
  We're Princes in our own right--our sceptre is the Flail.


  III.

  Fair was the maid, and lovely as the morn
  From starry Night and rosy Twilight born,
  Within whose mind a rivulet of song
  Rehearsed the strains that from her lips ere long
  Welled free and sparkling, as the vocal woods
  Repeat the day-spring's sweetest interludes.
  Her gentle eyes' serenest depths of blue
  Shrined love and truth, and all their retinue;
  The health and beauty of her youthful face
  Made it the Harem of each maiden grace;
  And such perfection blended with her air,
  She seemed some stately Goddess moving there:
  Beholding her, you thought she might have been
  The long-lost, flower-loving Proserpine:

{45}

  AN AUTUMN CHANGE.

  "Oh, dreamy autumn days!
  I seek your faded ways,
  As one who calmly strays
    Through visions of the past;
  I walk the golden hours,
  And where I gathered flowers
  The stricken leaves in showers
    Are hurled upon the blast."

  Thus mused the lonely maid,
  As through the autumn glade,
  With pensive heart, she strayed,
    Regretting Love's delay;
  In vain the traitor flies!
  To pleading lips and eyes,
  Sweet looks, and tender sighs,
    He falls an easy prey.

  "Oh, dreamy autumn days!
  I tread your bridal ways,
  As one who homeward strays,
    Through realms divinely fair;
  I walk Love's radiant hours,
  Fragrant with passion flowers,
  And blessings fall like dowers
    Down the elysian air."

  Thus mused the maiden now,
  With sunny heart and brow,
  For Love had turned his prow

{46}

    Towards the Golden Isles,
  Where from Pierean springs
  The soul of Music sings
  Its sweet imaginings,
    Through all the Land of Smiles.


  IV.

  Up the wide chimney rolls the social fire,
  Warming the hearts of matron, youth, and sire;
  Painting such grotesque shadows on the wall,
  The stripling looms a giant stout and tall,
  While they whose statures reach the common height
  Seem spectres mocking the hilarious night.
  From hand to hand the ripened fruit went round,
  And rural sports a pleased acceptance found;
  The youthful fiddler on his three-legged stool,
  Fancied himself at least an Ole Bull;
  Some easy bumpkin, seated on the floor,
  Hunted the slipper till his ribs were sore;
  Some chose the graceful waltz or lively reel,
  While deeper heads the chess battalions wheel
  Till some old veteran, compelled to yield,
  More brave than skilful, vanquished, quits the field.
  As a flushed harper, when the doubtful fight
  Favors the prowess of some stately knight,
  In stirring numbers of triumphal song
  Upholds the spirits of the victor throng,
  A sturdy ploughboy, wedded to the soil,
  Thus sung the praises of the partner of his toil:

{47}

  THE SOLDIERS OF THE PLOUGH.

  No maiden dream, nor fancy theme,
    Brown Labour's muse would sing;
  Her stately mien and russet sheen
    Demand a stronger wing,
  Long ages since, the sage, the prince,
    The man of lordly brow,
  All honour gave that army brave,
    The Soldiers of the Plough.
      Kind heaven speed the Plough!
      And bless the hands that guide it;
        God gives the seed--
        The bread we need,
      Man's labour must provide it.

  In every land, the toiling hand
    Is blest as it deserves;
  Not so the race who, in disgrace,
    From honest labour swerves.
  From fairest bowers bring rarest flowers,
    To deck the swarthy brow
  Of those whose toil improves the soil,
    The Soldiers of the Plough.
      Kind heaven speed the Plough!
      And bless the hands that guide it;
        God gives the seed--
        The bread we need,
      Man's labour must provide it.

{48}

  Blest is his lot, in hall or cot,
    Who lives as nature wills,
  Who pours his corn from Ceres' horn,
    And quaffs his native rills!
  No breeze that sweeps trade's stormy deeps,
    Can touch his golden prow;
  Their foes are few, their lives are true,
    The Soldiers of the Plough.
      Kind heaven speed the Plough!
      And bless the hands that guide it;
        God gives the seed--
        The bread we need,
      Man's labour must provide it.


  V.

  Fast sped the rushing chariot of the Hours.
  Without, the Harvest Moon, through fleecy bowers
  Of hazy cloudlets, swept her graceful way,
  Proud as an empress on her marriage-day;
  The admiring planets lit her stately march
  With smiles that gleamed along the silent arch,
  And all the starry midnight blazed with light,
  As if 'twere earth and heaven's nuptial-night;
  The cock crowed, certain that the day had broke,
  The aged house-dog suddenly awoke,
  And bayed so loud a challenge to the moon,
  From the old orchard fled the thievish 'coon;
  Within, the lightest hearts that ever beat
  Still found their harmless pleasures pure and sweet;
  The fire still burned on the capacious hearth,
  In sympathy with the redundant mirth;

{49}

  Old graybeards felt the glow of youth revive,
  Old matrons smiled upon the human hive,
  Where life's rare nectar, fit for gods to sip,
  In forfeit kisses passed from lip to lip.
  Be hushed rude Mirth! as merry as the May
  Is she who comes to sing her roundelay:


  CLAIRE.

  Whither now, blushing Claire?
  Maid of the sylph-like air,
  Blooming and debonair,
    Whither so early?
  Chasing the merry morn,
  Down through the golden corn?
  List'ning the hunter's horn
    Ring through the barley?

  "Flowerets fresh and fair,"
  Answered the blushing Claire,
  "Fit for my bridal hair,
    Bloom 'mongst the barley;
  Hark! 'tis the hunter's horn,
  Waking the sylvan morn,
  And through the yellow corn
    Comes my brave Charlie."

  Through the dew-dripping grain
  Pressed the heart-stricken swain,
  Crushed with a weight of pain,

{50}

    Drooped like the barley;
  Ah! timid shepherd boy!
  Man's love should ne'er be coy,
  Sweet is Claire's maiden joy,
    Kissing her Charlie!


  VI.

  A pleasant soul as ever trilled a song
  Was hers who warbled "Claire."  All the day long
  Her voice was ringing like a bridal bell;
  Gladness and joy leaped up at every swell;
  And love was deeper, warmer, for the tone
  That clasped the heart like an enchanted zone.
  A youth was there more comely than the rest,
  One who could turn a furrow with the best,
  Compete for manly strength and portly air,
  Or wield a scythe with any reaper there.
  The spirit of her voice had moved above
  The waters of his soul, and waked his song to Love:


  BALLAD.

  "Come tell me, merry Brooklet, of a gentle Maid I seek,
  Thou'lt know her by the freshness of the rose upon her cheek;
  Her eyes are chaste and tender, and so serenely bright,
  You can read her heart's pure secrets by their warm religious light."

{51}

  "The Maid has not come hither," said the Brooklet in reply;
  "I've listened for her footfall ere the stars were in the sky;
  The Fountain has been singing of a Maid, with eyes so bright
  You may read the cherished secrets of her bosom by their light."

  "Pray tell me, merry Brooklet, what saith her thoughts of one
  Who wronged her loving nature ere the setting of the sun?
  What say they of yon autumn moon that smiles so mournfully
  On the slowly-dying season, and the blasted moorland tree?"

  "She sitteth by the Fountain," the Brook replied again,
  "Her heart as pure as heaven, and her thoughts without a stain;
  'Oh, fickle moon, and changeful man!' she saith, 'a year ago
  All the paths were true-love-lighted where I'm groping now in woe.'

  "She sitteth by the Fountain, the gentle mists arise,
  And kiss away the tear-pearls that tremble in her eyes,
  The Fountain singeth to me that the Maiden in her dream
  Shrinks as the vapours claim her as the Oread of the stream."

{52}

  Off sped the merry Streamlet adown the sloping vale;
  The Shepherd seeks the Fountain, where sits the Maiden pale;
  And to the wandering Brooklet, through many a lonely wild,
  The burden of the Fountain was, that Love was reconciled.


  VII.

  But soon the Morn, on many a distant height,
  Fingers the raven locks of lingering Night;
  The last dark shadows that precede the day
  Have stripped the splendour from the Milky Way;
  And Nature seems disturbed by fitful dreams,
  As one who shudders when the owlet screams;
  The painful burden of the Whippoorwill,
  Like a vague Sorrow, floats from hill to hill;
  Along the vales the doleful accents run,
  Where the white vapours dread the burning sun;
  While human voices stir the haunted air,
  One sings "the Plough," another warbles "Claire:"
  The Happy Harvesters, a lightsome throng,
  Dispersing homewards, prove the excellence of Song.



{53}

  THE FALLS OF THE CHAUDIÈRE, OTTAWA.

  I have laid my cheek to Nature's, placed my puny hand in hers,
   Felt a kindred spirit warming all the life-blood of my face,
  Moved amid the very foremost of her truest worshippers,
   Studying each curve of beauty, marking every minute grace;
  Loved not less the mountain cedar than the flowers at its feet,
   Looking skyward from the valley, open-lipped as if in prayer,
  Felt a pleasure in the brooklet singing of its wild retreat,
    But I knelt before the splendour of the thunderous Chaudière.

  All my manhood waked within me, every nerve had tenfold force,
    And my soul stood up rejoicing, looking on with cheerful eyes,
  Watching the resistless waters speeding on their downward course,
    Titan strength and queenly beauty diademed with rainbow dyes.
  Eye and ear, with spirit quickened, mingled with the lovely strife,
    Saw the living Genius shrined within her sanctuary fair,

{54}

  Heard her voice of sweetness singing, peered into her hidden life,
    And discerned the tuneful secret of the jubilant Chaudière:

    "Within my pearl-roofed shell,
  Whose floor is woven with the iris bright,
  Genius and Queen of the Chaudière I dwell,
  As in a world of immaterial light.

    My throne, an ancient rock,
  Marked by the foot of ages long-departed,
  My joy, the cataract's stupendous shock,
  Whose roll is music to the grateful-hearted.

    I've seen the eras glide
  With muffled tread to their eternal dreams,
  While I have lived in vale and mountain side,
  With leaping torrents and sweet purling streams.

    The Red-Man's active life;
  His love, pride, passions, courage, and great deeds;
  His perfect freedom, and his thirst for strife;
  His swift revenge, at which the memory bleeds:

    The sanguinary years,
  When sullen Terror, like a raging Fate,
  Swept down the stately tribes like slaughtered deers,
  And war and hatred joined to decimate

    The remnants of the race,
  And spread decay through centuries of pain--
  No more I mark their sure, avenging pace,
  And forests wave where war-whoops shook the plain.

{55}

    Their deeds I envied not.
  The royal tyrant on his purple throne,
  I, in secluded grove or shady grot,
  Had purer joys than he had ever known,

    God made the ancient hills,
  The valleys and the solemn wildernesses,
  The merry-hearted and melodious rills,
  And strung with diamond dews the pine-trees' tresses;

    But man's hand built the palace,
  And he that reigns therein is simply man;
  Man turns God's gifts to poison in the chalice
  That brimmed with nectar in the primal plan.

    Here I abide alone--
  The wild Chaudière's eternal jubilee
  Has such sweet divination in its tone,
  And utters nature's truest prophecy

    In thunderings of zeal!
  I've seen the Atheist in terror start,
  Awed to contrition by the strong appeal
  That waked conviction in his doubting heart:

    'Teachers speak throughout all nature,
      From the womb of Silence born,
    Heed ye not their words, O Scoffer?
      Flinging back thy scorn with scorn!
    To the desert spring that leapeth,
      Pulsing, from the parched sod,
    Points the famished trav'ler, saying--
      'Brothers, here, indeed, is God!'

{56}

    From the patriarchal fountains,
      Sending forth their tribes of rills,
    From the cedar-shadowed lakelets
      In the hearts of distant hills,
    Whispers softer than the moonbeams
      Wisdom's gentle heart have awed,
    Till its lips approved the cadence--
      'Surely here, indeed, is God!'

    Lo! o'er all, the Torrent Prophet,
      An inspired Demosthenes,
    To the Doubter's soul appealing,
      Louder than the preacher-seas:
    Dreamer! wouldst have nature spurn thee
      For a dumb, insensate clod?
    Dare to doubt! and these shall teach thee
      Of a truth there lives a God!'

    By day and night, for hours,
  I watch the cataract's impulsive leap,
  Refreshed and gladdened by the cheering showers
  Wrung from the passion of the seething deep.

    Pleased when the buried waves
  Emerge again, like incorporeal hosts
  Rising, white-sheeted, from their gloomy graves,
  As if the depths had yielded up their ghosts.

    And when the midnight storm
  Enfolds the welkin in its robe of clouds,
  Through the dim vapours of the cauldron swarm
  The sheeted spectres in their whitest shrouds,

{57}

    By the lightning's flash betrayed.
  These gather from the insubstantial vapour
  The lunar rainbows, which by them are made--
  Woven with moonbeams by some starry taper,

    To decorate the halls
  Of my fair palace, whence I'm pained to see
  Thy human brethren watch the waterfalls--
  Not with such rev'rence as I've found in thee:

    Too many with an eye
  To speculation and the worldling's dreams;
  Others, who seek from nature no reply,
  Nor read the oral language of the streams.

    But of the few who loved
  The beautiful with grateful heart and soul,
  Who looked on nature fondly, and were moved
  By one sweet glance, as by the mighty whole:

    Of these, the thoughtful few,
  Thou wert the first to seek the inner temple,
  And stand before the Priestess.  Thou wert true
  To nature and thyself.  Be thy example

    The harbinger of times
  When the Chaudière's imposing majesty
  Will awe the spirits of the heartless mimes
  To worship God in truth, with nature's constancy."

{58}

  Still I heard the mellow sweetness of her voice at intervals,
    Mingling with the fall of waters, rising with the snowy spray,
  Ringing through the sportive current like the joy of waterfalls,
    Sending up their hearty vespers at the calmy close of day.
  Loath to leave the scene of beauty, lover-like I stayed, and stayed,
    Folding to my eager bosom memories beyond compare;
  Deeper, stronger, more enduring than my dreams of wood and glade,
    Were the eloquent appeals of the magnificent Chaudière.

  E'en the solid bridge is trembling, whence I look my last farewell,
    Dizzy with the roar and trampling of the mighty herd of waves,
  Speeding past the rocky Island, steadfast as a sentinel,
    Towards the loveliest bay that ever mirrored the Algonquin Braves.
  Soul of Beauty!  Genius!  Spirit!  Priestess of the lovely strife!
    In my heart thy words are shrined, as in a sanctuary fair;
  Echoes of thy voice of sweetness, rousing all my better life,
    Ever haunt my wildest visions of the jubilant Chaudière.



{59}

  A ROYAL WELCOME.

    By England's side we stand,
    We grasp her royal hand,
  And pay her rightful homage through her Son;
    Thank God for England's care!
    Thank God for Britain's heir!
  Our hearts go forth to meet him--we are one.

    A loyal Province pours
    Her thousands to her shores,
  From iron-girt Superior to the sea;
    We feel our youthful blood
    Surge through us like a flood,
  There's not a slave amongst us--we are free.

    For none but Freemen know
    The truly loyal throe
  That gives heroic impulse to the Man--
    The passion and the fire,
    The chivalrous desire:
  Our Fathers all were heroes--in the van.

    And we, their ardent sons,
    Through whom, triumphant, runs
  The old intrepid attribute serene,
    Would leave our chosen land,
    Our homes, our forests grand,
  To strike for England's honour and her Queen.

{60}

    No soulless welcome we
    Dare give to such as thee:
  Be thou a bright example to the world;
    Great in thy well-earned fame,
    Beloved in heart and name,
  Wherever Britain's banner is unfurled.

    Through all our leafy glades,
    Through all our green arcades,
  The living torrents, sweeping in, evince
    That from their manly hearts
    The Yeoman chorus starts:
  'Honour to England's Heir!--long live the Prince!'

    Oh, England! in this hour
    We own thy sov'reign pow'r;
  To thee and thine our best affections cling,
    And when thy crown is laid
    On Royal Albert's head,
  With heart and soul we'll shout--GOD SAVE THE KING!



{61}

  MALCOLM.

  Boy! this world has ever been
    A bright, glad world to me;
  Through each dark and checkered scene
    God's sun shone lovingly.
  But Content I've never known;
    Hoping, trusting that the years,
    With their April smiles and tears,
    Would yet bring me one like thee
      That I could call my own.

  With thy soft and heavenly eyes
    In deep and pensive calm,
  I seem looking at the skies,
    And wonder where I am!
  Something more than princely blood
    Courses in thy tranquil face:
    When she lent thee such a grace,
    Nature lit life's earnest flame
      In her most queenly mood.

  Such a sweet intelligence
    Is stamped on every line,
  Banqueting our craving sense
    With minist'rings divine.
  If thy Boyhood be so great,
    What will be the coming Man,
    Could we overleap the span?
    Are there treasures in the mine,
      To pay us, if we wait?

{62}

  Doth the voice of Music live
    In that majestic brain,
  Waiting for the Hand to give
    Expression to the strain?
  Are there wells of Truth--pure, deep,
    Where the patient diver, Thought,
    Finds the pearl that has been sought
    Many a weary age in vain,
      Entrusted to thy keep.

  Doth the fire of Genius burn
    Within that ample brow?
  Or some patient spirit yearn
    For things that are not now?
  Hidden in the over-soul
    Of the Future, to be born
    When the world has ceased its scorn,
    When the sceptic's heart will bow
      To the divine control.

  Patiently we'll watch and hope,
    And wait, alternately;
  Trusting that, when time shall ope
    The casket's mystery,
  We will be made rich indeed
    With the wonders it contains;
    Rich beyond all previous gains;
    Richer for thy thought and thee,
      Beyond our greatest meed.



{63}

  THE COMET--OCTOBER, 1858.

    Erratic Soul of some great Purpose, doomed
  To track the wild illimitable space,
  Till sure propitiation has been made
  For the divine commission unperformed!
  What was thy crime?  Ahasuerus' curse
  Were not more stern on earth than thine in Heaven!

    Art thou the Spirit of some Angel World,
  For grave rebellion banished from thy peers,
  Compelled to watch the calm, immortal stars,
  Circling in rapture the celestial void,
  While the avenger follows in thy train
  To spur thee on to wretchedness eterne?

    Or one of nature's wildest fantasies,
  From which she flies in terror so profound,
  And with such whirl of torment in her breast,
  That mighty earthquakes yearn where'er she treads;
  While War makes red its terrible right hand,
  And Famine stalks abroad all lean and wan?

    To us thou art as exquisitely fair
  As the ideal visions of the seer,
  Or gentlest fancy that e'er floated down
  Imagination's bright, unruffled stream,
  Wedding the thought that was too deep for words
  To the low breathings of inspirèd song.

{64}

    When the stars sang together o'er the birth
  Of the poor Babe at Bethlehem, that lay
  In the coarse manger at the crowded Inn,
  Didst thou, perhaps a bright exalted star,
  Refuse to swell the grand, harmonious lay,
  Jealous as Herod of the birth divine?

    Or when the crown of thorns on Calvary
  Pierced the Redeemer's brow, didst thou disdain
  To weep, when all the planetary worlds
  Were blinded by the fulness of their tears?
  E'en to the flaming sun, that hid his face
  At the loud cry, "Lama Sabachthani!"

    No rest!  No rest! the very damned have that
  In the dark councils of remotest Hell,
  Where the dread scheme was perfected that sealed
  Thy disobedience and accruing doom.
  Like Adam's sons, hast thou, too, forfeited
  The blest repose that never pillowed Sin?

    No! none can tell thy fate, thou wandering Sphinx!
  Pale Science, searching by the midnight lamp
  Through the vexed mazes of the human brain,
  Still fails to read the secret of its soul
  As the superb enigma flashes by,
  A loosed Prometheus burning with disdain.



{65}

  AUTUMN.

  If seasons, like the human race, had souls,
  Then two artistic spirits live within
  The Chameleon mind of Autumn--these,
  The Poet's mentor and the Painter's guide.
  The myriad-thoughted phases of the mind
  Are truly represented by the hues
  That thrill the forests with prophetic fire.
  And what could painter's skill compared to these?
  What palette ever held the flaming tints
  That on these leafy hieroglyphs foretell
  How set the ebbing currents of the year?
  What poet's page was ever like to this,
  Or told the lesson of life's waning days
  More forcibly, with more of natural truth,
  Than yon red maples, or these poplars, white
  As the pale shroud that wraps some human corse?
  And then, again, the spirit of a King,
  Clothed with that majesty most monarchs lack,
  Might fit old Autumn for his royal rule:
  For here is kingly ermine, cloth of gold,
  And purple robes well worthy to be worn
  By the best monarch that e'er donned a crown.

  Proclaim him Royal Autumn!  Poet King!
  The Laureate of the Seasons, whose rare songs
  Are such as lyrist never hoped to fling
  On the fine ear of an admiring world.
  Autumn, the Poet, Painter, and true King!
  His gorgeous Ideality speaks forth

{66}

  From the rare colors of the changing leaves;
  And the ripe blood that swells his purple veins
  Is as the glowing of a sacred fire.
  He walks with Shelley's spirit on the cliffs
  Of the Ethereal Caucasus, and o'er
  The summits of the Euganean hills;
  And meets the soul of Wordsworth, in profound
  And philosophic meditation, rapt
  In some great dream of love towards
  The human race.  The cheery Spring may come,
  And touch the dreaming flowers into life,
  Summer expand her leafy sea of green,
  And wake the joyful wilderness to song,
  As a fair hand strikes music from a lyre:
  But Autumn, from its daybreak to its close,
  Setting in florid beauty, like the sun,
  Robed with rare brightness and ethereal flame,
  Holds all the year's ripe fruitage in its hands,
  And dies with songs of praise upon its lips.

  And then, the Indian Summer, bland as June:
  Some Tuscarora King, Algonquin Seer,
  Or Huron Chief, returned to smoke the Pipe
  Of Peace upon the ancient hunting grounds;
  The mighty shade in spirit walking forth
  To feel the beauty of his native woods,
  Flashing in Autumn vestures, or to mark
  The scanty remnants of the scattered tribes
  Wending towards their graves.  Few Braves are left;
  Few mighty Hunters; fewer stately Chiefs,
  Like great Tecumseth fit to take the field,
  And lead the tribes to certain victory,

{67}

  Choosing annihilation to defeat:
  But having run thy gauntlet of their days,
  This Autumn remnant of some unknown race,
  Nearing the Winter of their sad decay,
  Fall like dry leaves into the lap of Time;
  Their old trunks sapless, their tough branches bare,
  And Fate's shrill war-whoop thund'ring at their heels.



{68}

  COLIN.

  Who'll dive for the dead men now,
    Since Colin is gone?
  Who'll feel for the anguished brow,
    Since Colin is gone?
  True Feeling is not confined
  To the learned or lordly mind;
  Nor can it be bought and sold
  In exchange for an Alp of gold;
  For Nature, that never lies,
  Flings back with indignant scorn
  The counterfeit deed, still-born,
  In the face of the seeming wise,
  In the Janus face of the huckster race
  Who barter her truths for lies.

  Who'll wrestle with dangers dire,
    Since Colin is gone?
  Who'll fearlessly brave the maniac wave,
  Thoughtless of self, human life to save,
  Unmoved by the storm-fiend's ire?
  Who, Shadrach-like, will walk through fire,
    Since Colin is gone?
  Or hang his life on so frail a breath
  That there's but a step 'twixt life and death?
  For Courage is not the heritage
  Of the nobly born; and many a sage
  Has climbed to the temple of fame,
  And written his deathless name
  In letters of golden flame,
  Who, on glancing down

{69}

  From his high renown,
  Saw his unlettered sire
  Still by the old log fire,
  Saw the unpolished dame--
  And the dunghill from which he came.

  Ah, ye who judge the dead
  By the outward lives they led,
  And not by the hidden worth
  Which none but God can see;
  Ye who would spurn the earth
  That covers such as he;
  Would ye but bare your hearts,
  Cease to play borrowed parts,
  And come down from your self-built throne:
  How few from their house of glass,
  As the gibbering secrets pass,
  Would dare to fling, whether serf or king,
  The first accusing stone!

  Peace, peace to his harmless dust!
    Since Colin is gone;
  We can but hope and trust;
  Man judgeth, but God is just;
    Poor Colin is gone!
  Had he faults?  His heart was true,
  And warm as the summer's sun.
  Had he failings?  Ay, but few;
  'Twas an honest race he run.
  Let him rest in the poor man's grave,
  Ye who grant him no higher goal;
  There may be a curse on the hands that gave,
  But not on his simple soul!



{70}

  MARGERY.

  "Truth lights our minds as sunrise lights the world.
  The heart that shuts out truth, excludes the light
  That wakes the love of beauty in the soul;
  And being foe to these, despises God,
  The sole Dispenser of the gracious bliss
  That brings us nearer the celestial gate.
  They who might feed on rose-leaves of the True,
  And grow in loveliness of heart and soul,
  Catch at Deception's airy gossamers,
  As children clutch at stars.  To some, the world
  Is a bleak desert, parched with blinding sand,
  With here and there a mirage, fair to view,
  But insubstantial as the visions born
  Of Folly and Despair.  Could we but know
  How nigh we are to the true light of heaven;
  In what a world of love we live and breathe;
  On what a tide of truth our souls are borne!
  Yet we're but bubbles in the whirl of life,
  Mere flecks upon its ever-restless sea,
  Meteors in its ever-changing sky.
  Eternity alone is worth the thought
  That we expend upon the passing hour,
  Chasing the gaudy butterflies that lure
  Our footsteps from the path that leads us home.
  We will not see the beacon on the rock;
  The prompter is unheeded; and the spark
  Of the true spirit quenched in utter night,
  As we rush headlong, wrecked on Error's shoals.
  Some hearts will never open; all their wards

{71}

  Have grown so rusty, that the golden key
  Of Love Divine must fail to move the bolt
  That Self has drawn to keep God's angels out."

  So spake the merry Margery, the while
  Her fingers lengthened out a filigree,
  That seemed to me so many golden threads
  Of thought between her fingers and her brain,
  Bestrung with priceless pearls; her lightsome mood,
  Worn as occasion might necessitate,
  Replaced to-night by sober-sided Sense,
  That made her beauty like an eve in June,
  Just as the moon is risen.  I, to mark
  My approbation of her present mood,
  Rehearsed a rambling lyric of my own,
  That seemed prophetic of her thoughts to-night:

  Within my mind there ever lives
    A yearning for the True,
  The Beautiful and Good.  God gives
    These, as He gives the dew

  That falls upon the flowers at night,
    The grass, the thirsty trees,
  Because 'tis needful; and the light
    That suns my mind from these--

  Truth--Beauty--Goodness, doth but fill
    A void within my soul;
  And I fall prone before the Will
    Of Him who gave the whole--

{72}

  The wondrous life--the power to think,
    And love, and act, and speak.
  Standing, half-poised, upon the brink
    Of being--strong, yet weak--

  Strong in vast hopes, but weak in deeds,
    I lift my heart and pray,
  That where the tangled skein of creeds
    Excludes the light of day

  From human minds, God's purposes
    May be made plain, that all
  May walk in truth's and wisdom's ways,
    And lay aside the thrall

  Of enmity, whose clouds have kept
    Their souls as dark as night;
  That they whose love and hope have slept,
    May come into the light,

  And live as men, with minds to grasp
    Within the sphere of thought
  The boundless universe, and clasp
    The good the wise have sought,

  As if it were a long-lost dove,
    Or a stray soul returned
  To worship in the fane of love,
    That it so long had spurned.

  Where'er I gaze, my eyes behold
    Nought but the beautiful.
  The world is grand as it is old;
    The only fitting school

{73}

  For man, where he may learn to live,
    And live to learn that what
  He needs heaven will in mercy give.
    Whatever be his lot,

  He shapes it for himself; his mind
    Is his own heaven or hell:
  Just as he peoples it, he'll find
    Himself compelled to dwell

  With good or evil.  Good abounds
    In this delightful sphere;
  But man will walk his daily rounds,
    And evermore give ear

  To the false promptings that waylay
    His steps at every turn;
  Flinging the true and good away
    For joys that he should spurn,

  As being all unworthy of
    His greatness as a man.
  Why, man!--why tremble at the scoff
    Of fools and bigots?  Scan

  The mental firmament, and see
    How men in every age,
  Who strove for immortality--
    Whose errand was to wage

  Not War, but Peace--men of pure minds,
    Who sought and found the truth,
  And treasured it, as one who finds
    The secret of lost Youth

{74}

  Restored and made immortal--see
    How they were scorned, because
  Their Sphinx-lives spake of mystery
    To those to whom the laws

  Of nature are as claspèd books!--
    Poets, who ruled the world
  Of Thought; in whose prophetic looks
    And minds there lay impearled,

  But hidden from the vulgar sight,
    Such universal truths,
  That many, blinded by the light--
    Gray-haired, green-gosling youths,

  With whips of satire, looks of scorn,
    And finger of disdain,
  Have crushed these harbingers of morn,
    But could not kill the strain

  That was a part of nature's mind,
    And therefore can not die.
  That which men spurned, angels have shrined
    Among God's truths on high.

  And so 't will ever be, till man
    Knows more of Goodness, Truth,
  And Beauty--more of nature's plan,
    And Love that brings back youth

  To hearts that have grown frail and old
    By groping in the dark
  With blinded eyes; their idol, Gold,
    And Gain, their Pleasure-bark!

{75}

  "'Tis well that nature hath her ministers,"
  She said, her voice and looks so passing sweet;
  "Great-hearts that let in love, and keep it there,
  Like the true flame within the diamond's heart,
  Informing, blessing, chastening their lives.
  Man has but one great love--his love for God;
  All other loves are lesser and more less
  As they recede from Him, as are the streams
  The farthest from the fountain.  God is Love.
  Who loves God most, loves most his fellow-men;
  Sees the Creator in the creature's form
  Where others see but man--and he, so frail
  The very devils are akin to him!
  There is no light that is not born of love;
  No truth where love is not its guiding star;
  Faith without love is noonday without sun,
  For love begetteth works both good and true,
  And these give faith its immortality."

  We parted at the outer door.  The stars
  Seemed never half so bright or numberless
  As they appeared to-night.  Margery's laugh
  Tripped after me in merry cadences,
  Like the quick steps of fairies in the air
  United to the chorus of their hearts
  Breathed into silvery music.  Happy soul!
  Nature's epitome in all her moods.



{76}

    EVA.

    "God bless the darling Eva!" was my prayer.
    A pure, unconscious depth of earnestness
    Was in her eyes, so indescribable
    You might as well the color of the air
    Seek to daguerreotype, or to impress
    A stain upon the river, whose first swell
    Would swirl it to the deep.  A calm, sweet soul,
    Where Love's celestial saints and ministers
    Did hold the earthly under such control
    Virtue sprung up like daisies from the sod.
    Oh, for one hour's sweet excellence like hers!
    One hour of sinlessness, that never more
    Can visit me this side the Silent Shore,
  To stand, like her, serene, unblushing before God!



{77}

    THE POET'S RECOMPENSE.

    His heart's a burning censer, filled with spice
    From fairer vales than those of Araby,
    Breathing such prayers to heaven, that the nice
    Discriminating ear of Deity
    Can cull sweet praises from the rare perfume.
    Man cannot know what starry lights illume
    The soaring spirit of his brother man!
    He judges harshly with his mind's eyes closed;
    His loftiest understanding cannot scan
    The heights where Poet-souls have oft reposed;
    He cannot feel the chastened influence
    Divine, that lights the Ideal atmosphere,
    And never to his uninspirèd sense
  Rolls the majestic hymn that inspirates the Seer.



{78}

  THE WINE OF SONG.

  Within Fancy's Halls I sit, and quaff
    Rich draughts of the Wine of Song,
      And I drink, and drink,
      To the very brink
    Of delirium wild and strong,
  Till I lose all sense of the outer world,
    And see not the human throng.

  The lyral chords of each rising thought
    Are swept by a hand unseen;
      And I glide, and glide,
      With my music bride,
    Where few spiritless souls have been;
  And I soar afar on wings of sound,
    With my fair AEolian Queen.

  Deep, deeper still, from the springs of Thought
    I quaff, till the fount is dry;
      And I climb, and climb,
      To a height sublime,
    Up the stars of some lyric sky,
  Where I seem to rise upon airs that melt
    Into song as they pass by.

  Millennial rounds of bliss I live,
    Withdrawn from my cumbrous clay,
      As I sweep, and sweep,
      Through infinite deep
    On deep of that starry spray;
  Myself a sound on its world-wide round,
    A tone on its spheral way.

{79}

  And wheresoe'er through the wondrous space
    My soul wings its noiseless flight,
      On their astral rounds
      Float divinest sounds,
    Unseen, save by spirit-sight,
  Obeying some wise, eternal law,
    As fixed as the law of light.

  But, oh, when my cup of dainty bliss
    Is drained of the Wine of Song,
      How I fall, and fall,
      At the sober call
    Of the body, that waiteth long
  To hurry me back to its cares terrene,
    And earth's spiritless human throng.



{80}

  THE PLAINS OF ABRAHAM.

      I stood upon the Plain,
      That had trembled when the slain,
  Hurled their proud, defiant curses at the battle-heated foe,
      When the steed dashed right and left,
      Through the bloody gaps he cleft,
  When the bridle-rein was broken, and the rider was laid low.

      What busy feet had trod
      Upon the very sod
  Where I marshalled the battalions of my fancy to my aid!
      And I saw the combat dire,
      Heard the quick, incessant fire,
  And the cannons' echoes startling the reverberating glade.

      I saw them, one and all,
      The banners of the Gaul
  In the thickest of the contest, round the resolute Montcalm;
      The well-attended Wolfe,
      Emerging from the gulf
  Of the battle's fiery furnace, like the swelling of a psalm.

{81}

      I heard the chorus dire,
      That jarred along the lyre
  On which the hymn of battle rung, like surgings of the wave
      When the storm, at blackest night,
      Wakes the ocean in affright,
  As it shouts its mighty pibroch o'er some shipwrecked vessel's grave.

      I saw the broad claymore
      Flash from its scabbard, o'er
  The ranks that quailed and shuddered at the close and fierce attack;
      When Victory gave the word,
      Then Scotland drew the sword,
  And with arm that never faltered drove the brave defenders back.

      I saw two great chiefs die,
      Their last breaths like the sigh
  Of the zephyr-sprite that wantons on the rosy lips of morn;
      No envy-poisoned darts,
      No rancour, in their hearts,
  To unfit them for their triumph over death's impending scorn.

      And as I thought and gazed,
      My soul, exultant, praised
  The Power to whom each mighty act and victory are due,

{82}

      For the saint-like Peace that smiled
      Like a heaven-gifted child,
  And for the air of quietude that steeped the distant view.

      The sun looked down with pride,
      And scattered far and wide
  His beams of whitest glory till they flooded all the Plain;
      The hills their veils withdrew,
      Of white, and purplish blue,
  And reposed all green and smiling 'neath the shower of golden rain.

      Oh, rare, divinest life
      Of Peace, compared with Strife!
  Yours is the truest splendour, and the most enduring fame;
      All the glory ever reaped
      Where the fiends of battle leaped,
  Is harsh discord to the music of your undertoned acclaim.



{83}

  DEATH OF WOLFE.

  "They run! they run!"--"Who run?"  Not they
    Who faced that decimating fire
    As coolly as if human ire
      Were rooted from their hearts;
  _They_ run, while he who led the way
  So bravely on that glorious day,
    Burns for one word with keen desire
      Ere waning life departs!

  "They run! they run!"--"_Who_ run?" he cried,
    As swiftly to his pallid brow,
    Like crimson sunlight upon snow,
      The anxious blood returned;
  "The French! the French!" a voice replied,
  When quickly paled life's ebbing tide,
    And though his words were weak and low
      His eye with valour burned.

  "Thank God!  I die in peace," he said;
    And calmly yielding up his breath,
    There trod the shadowy realms of death
      A good man and a brave;
  Through all the regions of the dead,
  Behold his spirit, spectre-led,
    Crowned with the amaranthine wreath
      That blooms not for the slave.



{84}

  BROCK.

  OCTOBER 13TH, 1859.*

  One voice, one people, one in heart
    And soul, and feeling, and desire!
    Re-light the smouldering martial fire,
    Sound the mute trumpet, strike the lyre,
    The hero deed can not expire,
      The dead still play their part.

  Raise high the monumental stone!
    A nation's fealty is theirs,
    And we are the rejoicing heirs,
    The honored sons of sires whose cares
    We take upon us unawares,
      As freely as our own.

  We boast not of the victory,
    But render homage, deep and just,
    To his--to their--immortal dust,
    Who proved so worthy of their trust
    No lofty pile nor sculptured bust
      Can herald their degree.

  No tongue need blazon forth their fame--
    The cheers that stir the sacred hill
    Are but mere promptings of the will
    That conquered then, that conquers still;
    And generations yet shall thrill
  At Brock's remembered name.

{85}

  Some souls are the Hesperides
    Heaven sends to guard the golden age,
    Illuming the historic page
    With records of their pilgrimage;
    True Martyr, Hero, Poet, Sage;
      And he was one of these.

  Each in his lofty sphere sublime
    Sits crowned above the common throng,
    Wrestling with some Pythonic wrong,
    In prayer, in thunder, thought, or song;
    Briarcus-limbed, they sweep along,
      The Typhons of the time.



* The day of the inauguration of the new Monument on Queenston Heights.



{86}

  SONG FOR CANADA.

  Sons of the race whose sires
  Aroused the martial flame
      That filled with smiles
      The triune Isles,
  Through all their heights of fame!
  With hearts as brave as theirs,
  With hopes as strong and high,
      We'll ne'er disgrace
      The honoured race
  Whose deeds can never die.,
    Let but the rash intruder dare
      To touch our darling strand,
        The martial fires
        That thrilled our sires
      Would flame throughout the land.

  Our lakes are deep and wide,
  Our fields and forests broad;
      With cheerful air
      We'll speed the share,
  And break the fruitful sod;
  Till blest with rural peace,
  Proud of our rustic toil,
      On hill and plain
      True kings we'll reign,
  The victors of the soil.
    But let the rash intruder dare

{87}

      To touch our darling strand,
        The martial fires
        That thrilled our sires
      Would light him from the land.

  Health smiles with rosy face
  Amid our sunny dales,
      And torrents strong
      Fling hymn and song
  Through all the mossy vales;
  Our sons are living men,
  Our daughters fond and fair;
      A thousand isles
      Where Plenty smiles,
  Make glad the brow of Care.
    But let the rash intruder dare
      To touch our darling strand,
        The martial fires
        That thrilled our sires
      Would flame throughout the land.

  And if in future years
  One wretch should turn and fly,
      Let weeping Fame
      Blot out his name
  From Freedom's hallowed sky;
  Or should our sons e'er prove
  A coward, traitor race,--
      Just heaven! frown
      In thunder down,
  T' avenge the foul disgrace!

{88}

    But let the rash intruder dare
      To touch our darling strand,
        The martial fires
        That thrilled our sires
      Would light him from the land.


{89}

  SONG--I'D BE A FAIRY KING.

  Oh, I'd be a Fairy King,
    With my vassals brave and bold;
        We'd hunt all day,
        Through the wildwood gay,
    In our guise of green and gold;
  And we'd lead such a merry, merry life,
    That the silly, toiling bee,
        Would have no sweet
        In its dull retreat,
    So rich as our frolic glee.
        I'd be a Fairy King,
          With my vassals brave and bold;
              We'd hunt all day,
              Through the wildwood gay,
          In our guise of green and gold.

  At night, when the moon spake down,
    With her bland and pensive tone,
        The fairest Queen
        That ever was seen
    Would sit on my pearly throne;
  And we'd lead such a merry, merry life,
    That the stars would laugh in show'rs
        Of silver light,
        All the summer night,
  To the airs of the passing Hours.
        I'd be a Fairy King,
          With my vassals brave and bold;
              We'd hunt all day
              Through the wildwood gay,
          In our guise of green and gold.

{90}

  We'd talk with the dainty flow'rs,
    And we'd chase the laughing brooks;
        My merry men,
        Through grove and glen,
    Would search for the mossy nooks;
  And we'd be such a merry, merry band,
    Such a lively-hearted throng,
        That life would seem
        But a silvery dream
  In the flowery Land of Song.
        I'd be a Fairy King,
          With my vassals brave and bold;
            We'd hunt all day,
            Through the wildwood gay,
          In our guise of green and gold.



{91}

  SONG--LOVE WHILE YOU MAY.

  Day by day, with startling fleetness,
      Life speeds away;
  Love, alone, can glean its sweetness,
      Love while you may.
  While the soul is strong and fearless,
  While the eye is bright and tearless,
  Ere the heart is chilled and cheerless--
      Love while you may.

  Life may pass, but love, undying,
      Dreads no decay;
  Even from the grave replying,
      "Love while you may."
  Love's the fruit, as life's the flower;
  Love is heaven's rarest dower;
  Love gives love its quick'ning power--
      Love while you may.



{92}

  THE SNOWS.

  UPPER OTTAWA.

    Over the snows,
    Buoyantly goes
  The lumberers' bark canoe;
    Lightly they sweep,
    Wilder each leap,
  Bending the white caps through.
    Away! away!
  With the speed of a startled deer,
    While the steersman true,
    And his laughing crew,
  Sing of their wild career:

    "Mariners glide
    Far o'er the tide,
  In ships that are staunch and strong;
    Safely as they,
    Speed we away,
  Waking the woods with song."
    Away! away!
  With the flight of a startled deer,
    While the laughing crew
    Of the swift canoe
  Sing of the raftsmen's cheer:

    "Through forest and brake,
    O'er rapid and lake,
  We're sport for the sun and rain;
    Free as the child
    Of the Arab wild,
  Hardened to toil and pain.

{93}

    Away! away!
  With the speed of a startled deer,
    While our buoyant flight,
    And the rapid's might,
  Heighten our swift career."

    Over the snows
    Buoyantly goes
  The lumberers' bark canoe;
    Lightly they sweep,
    Wilder each leap,
  Tearing the white caps through.
    Away! away!
  With the speed of a startled deer;
    There's a fearless crew
    In each light canoe,
  To sing of the raftsmen's cheer.



{94}

  THE RAPID.

  ST. LAWRENCE.

        All peacefully gliding,
        The waters dividing,
  The indolent bátteau moved slowly along,
        The rowers, light-hearted,
        From sorrow long parted,
  Beguiled the dull moments with laughter and song:
      "Hurrah for the Rapid! that merrily, merrily
      Gambols and leaps on its tortuous way;
      Soon we will enter it, cheerily, cheerily,
      Pleased with its freshness, and wet with its spray."

        More swiftly careering,
        The wild Rapid nearing,
  They dash down the stream like a terrified steed;
        The surges delight them,
        No terrors affright them,
  Their voices keep pace with their quickening speed:
      "Hurrah for the Rapid! that merrily, merrily
      Shivers its arrows against us in play;
      Now we have entered it, cheerily, cheerily,
      Our spirits as light as its feathery spray."

        Fast downward they're dashing,
        Each fearless eye flashing,
  Though danger awaits them on every side;
        Yon rock--see it frowning!
        They strike--they are drowning!
  But downward they speed with the merciless tide;

  {95}

      No voice cheers the Rapid, that angrily, angrily
      Shivers their bark in its maddening play;
      Gaily they entered it--heedlessly recklessly,
      Mingling their lives with its treacherous spray!



{96}

  LOST AND FOUND.

  In the mildest, greenest grove
    Blest by sprite or fairy,
  Where the melting echoes rove,
    Voices sweet and airy;
      Where the streams
      Drink the beams
      Of the Sun,
      As they run
      Riverward
      Through the sward,
    A shepherd went astray--
    E'en gods have lost their way.

  Every bird had sought its nest,
    And each flower-spirit
  Dreamed of that delicious rest
    Mortals ne'er inherit;
      Through the trees
      Swept the breeze,
      Bringing airs
      Unawares
      Through the grove,
      Until love
    Came down upon his heart,
    Refusing to depart.

  Hungrily he quaffed the strain,
    Sweeter still, and clearer,
  Drenched with music's mellow rain,
    Nearer--nearer--dearer!

{97}

      Chains of sound
      Gently bound
      The lost Youth,
      Till, in sooth,
      He stood there
      A prisoner,
    Raised between earth and heaven
    By love's divinest leaven.

  Was there ever such a face?
    Was it not a vision?
  Had he climbed the starry space,
    To the fields Elysian?
      Through the glade
      The milk-maid
      With her pail,
      To the vale
      Passed along,
      Breathing song
    Through all his ravished sense,
    To gladden his suspense.

  "Love is swift as hawk or hind,
    Chamois-like in fleetness,
  None are lost that love can find,"
    Sang the maid, with sweetness.
      "True, in sooth,"
      Thought the Youth,
      "Strong, as swift,
      Love can lift

{98}

      Mountain weights
      To the gates
    Of the celestial skies,
    Where all else fades and dies."

  Lightly flew the sunny days,
    Joy and gladness sending;
  Life becomes a song of praise
    When true hearts are blending.
      Guileless truth
      Won the Youth,
      Kept him there,
      A prisoner;
      While dear Love
      From above
    Poured down enduring dreams,
    In calm supernal gleams.



{99}

  YOUNG AGAIN.

  Young again!  Young again!
    Beating heart!  I deemed that sorrow,
  With its torture-rack of pain,
    Had eclipsed each bright to-morrow;
    And that Love could never rise
    Into life's cerulean skies,
    Singing the divine refrain--
      "Young again!  Young again!"

  Young again!  Young again!
    Passion dies as we grow older;
  Love that in repose has lain,
    Takes a higher flight, and bolder:
    Fresh from rest and dewy sleep,
    Like the skylark's matin sweep,
    Singing the divine refrain--
      "Young again!  Young again!"

  Young again!  Young again!
    Book of Youth, thy sunny pages
  Here and there a tear may stain,
    But 'tis Love that makes us sages.
    Love, Hope, Youth--blest trinity!
    Wanting these, and what were we?
    Who would chant the sweet refrain--
    "Young again!  Young again!"



{100}

  GLIMPSES.

  Sounds of rural life and labour!
  Not the notes of pipe and tabour,
  Not the clash of helm and sabre
      Bright'ning up the field of glory,
  Can compare with thy ovations,
  That make glad the hearts of nations;
  E'en the poet's fond creations
      Pale before thy simple story.

  In the years beyond our present,
  King was little more than peasant,
  Labour was the shining crescent,
      Toil, the poor man's crown of glory;
  Have we passed from worse to better
  Since we wove the silken fetter,
  Changed the plough for book and letter.
      Truest life for tinsel story?

  Up the ladder of the ages
  Clomb the patriarchal sages,
  Solving nature's secret pages,
      Kings of thought's supremest glory;
  Eagle-winged, and sight far reaching--
  Are we wiser for their teaching?--
  Wrangling creeds for gentle preaching!
      Falsest life for truest story!

  Man is overfraught with culture,
  Virtue early finds sepulture,
  While our vices sate the vulture

{101}

      We misname a bird of glory;
  Life is blindly artificial,
  Rarely pass we its initial,
  All our aims are prejudicial
      To its earnest, simple story.

  Hail, primeval life and labour!
  Martial notes of pipe and tabour,
  Gleam of spears and clash of sabre,
      Hero march from fields of glory,
  All the thundering ovations
  Surging from the hearts of nations,
  Poet dreams and speculations,
      Pale before thy simple story!



{102}

  MY PRAYER.

  O God! forgive the erring thought,
    The erring word and deed,
  And in thy mercy hear the Christ
    Who comes to intercede.

  My sins, like mountain-weights of lead,
    Weigh heavy on my soul;
  I'm bruised and broken in this strife,
    But Thou canst make me whole.

  Allay this fever of unrest,
    That fights against the Will;
  And in Thy still small voice do Thou
    But whisper, "Peace, be still!"

  Until within this heart of mine
    Thy lasting peace come down,
  Will all the waves of Passion roll,
    Each good resolve to drown.

  We walk in blindness and dark night
    Through half our earthly way;
  Our clouds of weaknesses obscure
    The glory of the day.

  We cannot lead the lives we would,
    But grope in dumb amaze,
  Leaving the straight and flowery paths
    To tread the crooked ways.

{103}

  We are as pilgrims toiling on
    Through all the weary hours;
  And our poor hands are torn with thorns,
    Plucking life's tempting flowers.

  We worship at a thousand shrines,
    And build upon the sands,
  Passing the one great Temple, and
    The Rock on which it stands.

  O, fading dream of human life!
    What can this change portend?
  I long for higher walks, and true
    Progression without end.

  Here I know nothing, and my search
    Can find no secret out;
  I cannot think a single thought
    That is not mixed with doubt.

  Relying on the higher source,
    The influence divine,
  I can but hope that light may dawn
    Within this soul of mine.

  I ask not wisdom, such as that
    To which the world is prone,
  Nor knowledge ask, unless it come
    Direct from God alone.

  Send down then, God! in mercy send
    Thy Love and Truth to me,
  That I may henceforth walk in light
    That comes direct from Thee.



{104}

  HER STAR.

  When the heavens throb and vibrate
    All along their silver veins,
  To the mellow storm of music
    Sweeping o'er the starry trains,
  Heard by few, as erst by shepherds
    On the far Chaldean plains:

  Not the blazing, torch-like planets,
    Not the Pleiads wild and free,
  Not Arcturus, Mars, Uranus,
    Bring the brightest dreams to me;
  But I gaze in rapt devotion
    On the central star of three.

  Central star of three that tingle
    In the balmy southern sky;
  One above, and one below it,
    Dreamily they pale and die,
  As two lesser minds might dwindle,
    When some great soul, passing by,

  Stops, and reads their cherished secrets,
    With a calm and godlike air,
  Luring all their radiance from them
    Leaving a dim twilight there,
  Something vague, and half unreal,
    Like the Alpha of despair.

{105}

  Gazing thus, and holding converse
    With the silence of my heart,
  I would speak with famed Orion,
    I would question it apart,
  Wrest her love's strange secret from it,
    If there's strength in human art.

  And there come to me sweet whispers,
    Half in answer, half in thought:--
  "Be but strong, impassioned mortal!
    Love will come to thee unsought;
  Love is the divine Irene,--
    It is given, and not bought.

  [Transcriber's note: In the original book,
  the e's in the "Irene" in the above verse
  were e-macrons, Unicode U+0113.]

  Strong of heart.  Be wise, be steadfast,
    Learn, endeavour, and endure;
  Blest with strength and light, in wisdom
    Make the higher purpose sure;
  Never can her heart receive thee
    Till thine own is rendered pure.

  I but shone in truth above her;
    Psyche-like, she yearned to me,
  And her soul, an Aphrodite,
    Rose above the ether sea.
  Love.  Love should and will inherit
    The divine Euphrosyne."

  When at night, the gleaming heavens
    Throb through all their starry veins,
  Oft I ponder on Orion,
    And I hear celestial strains
  Passing through my soul, and flooding
    All its green immortal plains.

{106}

  Then I pray for strength Promethean,
    Pray for power to endure;
  Then I say, O soul, be steadfast!
    Make the lofty purpose sure;
  And that love may be all-worthy,
    God of heaven, make me pure!



{107}

  THE MYSTERY.

  My mind is like a troubled sea
    O'er which the winds forever sweep;
  Within its depths, eternally,
    My being's pulses throb and leap;
  There germs of contemplation sleep,
    Like stars beyond the Milky Way,--
  Like pearls within the gloomy deep,
    That never saw the light of day.

  Oh, wondrous mind, how little known!
    Whence comes the thought that through my brain
  Floats weirdlike as the pleasing tone
    That quickens a belovèd strain?
  It may have graced some sweet refrain
    A thousand years ago, or more;
  Some Norman Prince, some valiant Dane,
    May have imbibed it with their lore.

  It may have strengthened Plato's soul,
    Its clarion echoes ringing through
  His brain, the heaven-reaching goal
    Whence wisdom had its starry view;
  It may have cheered the gifted few
    Whose minds were mints of royal song,
  Who toiled where Shakespeare soared, and drew
    Down blessings from the grateful throng.

  And on for ages yet to come,
    Through minds by heavenly impulse fired,
  That thought may strike some scorner dumb,
    In all its regal guise attired;

{108}

  Divinely blest, though uninspired,
    Some soul may change its swift career,
  Bearing the great truth, long-desired,
    In triumph to the highest sphere.

  Unbounded universe of Thought!
    Illimitable realms of mind!
  Regions of Fancy, wonder-fraught!
    Imagination unconfined!
  Temples of mystery! behind
    Whose veils the God-appointed plan
  In perfect wisdom is enshrined,
    Beyond the pigmy reach of man:

  I cannot--dare not--seek to know
    What finite vision, to the end,
  Through years of strictest search below,
    Must ever fail to comprehend!
  God! whose intents so far transcend
    Our poor discernment, let me see
  Some portion of the truths that tend
    By slow gradations up to Thee:

  That in the less imperfect years,
    When human frailty shall have died,
  When the vexed riddle of the spheres,
    Interpreted and glorified,
  Shall be as nothing to the tide
    Of light in which Thy hidden ways
  Will be revealed: I may abide
    Thy meanest instrument of praise,
  And from the broad calm ocean of Thy truth
  And wisdom drinking, find eternal youth.



{109}

  LOVE AND TRUTH.

  Young Love sat in a rosy bower,
    Towards the close of a summer day;
  At the evening's dusky hour,
    Truth bent her blessed steps that way;
        Over her face
        Beaming a grace
    Never bestowed on child of clay.

  Truth looked on with an ardent joy,
    Wondering Love could grow so tired;
  Hovering o'er him she kissed the boy,
    When, with a sudden impulse fired,
        Exquisite pains
        Burning his veins,
    Wildly he woke, as one inspired.

  Eagerly Truth embraced the god,
    Filling his soul with a sense divine;
  Rightly he knew the paths she trod,
    Springing from heaven's royal line;
        Far had he strayed
        From his guardian maid,
    Perilling all for his rash design.

  Still as they went, the tricksy youth
    Wandered afar from the maiden fair;
  Many a plot he laid, in sooth,
    Wherein the maid could have no share
        Sowing his seeds,
        Bringing forth weeds,
    Seldom a rose, and many a tare.

{110}

  Save when the maiden was by his side,
    Love was erratic, and rarely true;
  When she smiled on the graceful bride,
    Over the old world rose the new,
        Into life's skies
        Blending her dyes,
    Fairer than those of the rainbow's hue.

  Sunny-eyed maidens, whom Love decoys,
    Mark well the arts of the wayward youth!
  Sorrows he bringeth, disguised as joys,
    Rose-hued delights with cores of ruth;
        Learn to believe
        Love will deceive,
    Save when he comes with his guardian, Truth.



{111}

  THE WREN.

    Early each spring the little wren
      Came scolding to his nest of moss;
    We knew him by his peevish cry,
      He always sung so very cross.
  His quiet little mate would lay
  Her eggs in peace, and think all day.

    He was a sturdy little wren;
      And when he came in spring, we knew,
    Or seemed to know, the flowers would grow
      To please him, where they always grew,
  Among the rushes, cheerfully;
  But not a rush so straight as he!

    All summer long that little wren
      Would chatter like a saucy thing;
    And in the bush attack the thrush
      That on the hawthorn perched to sing.
  Like many noisy little men,
  Lived, bragged, and fought that little wren.

    There was a thoughtful maid, and I,
      We used to play along the shore,
    Searching for shells, and culling flowers,
      As at the threshold of life's door,
  Through which we had to pass, we stood,
  Twin types of childish hardihood.

{112}

    Year after year we gathered flowers,
      And grew apace, as children do;
    And each returning spring we marked
      The little wrens, they never grew;
  One over-quiet and sedate,
  The other, a bird-reprobate.

    But now the marsh is overflowed,
      The rushes rot beneath the sand;
    No spring brings back the little wrens,
      No children loiter hand in hand;
  The maiden rose-bud, pure and good,
  Grown to the flower of womanhood.



{113}

  GRANDPERE.

  Old Grandpere gat in the corner,
    With his grandchild on his knee,
  Looking up at his wrinkled visage,
    For his winters were ninety-three.

  Fair Eleanor's locks were flaxen,
    The old man's once were gray,
  But now, they were white as the snow-drift
    That lay on the bleak highway.

  Her summers rolled on as golden
    As waves over sunny seas;
  But Grandpere could perceive no summers,
    The winters alone were his.

  He folded his arms around her,
    Like Winter embracing Spring;
  And the angels looked down from heaven,
    And smiled on their slumbering.

  But soon the angelic faces
    Were filled with seraphic light,
  As they gazed on a beauteous spirit
    Passing up through the frosty night:

  Till it stood serene before them,
    A youth most divinely fair;
  And they saw that the new-born angel
    Was the spirit of old Grandpere.



{114}

  ENGLAND'S HOPE AND ENGLAND'S HEIR.

  England's Hope and England's Heir!
    Head and crown of Britain's glory,
  Be thy future half so fair
    As her past is famed in story,
  Then wilt thou be great, indeed,
    Daring, where there's cause to dare;
  Greatest in the hour of need,
    England's Hope and England's Heir.

  By her past, in acts supreme,
    By her present grand endeavour,
  By her future, which the gleam
    Of our fond hopes brings us ever:
  We can trust that thou wilt be
    Worthy of a fame so rare,
  Worthy of thy destiny,
    England's Hope and England's Heir.

  Be thy spirit fraught with hers,
    Queen, whom we revere and honour;
  Be thine acts love's messengers,
    Brightly flashing back upon her;
  Be what most her trust would deem,
    Help the answer to her prayer,
  Realize her holiest dream,
    England's Hope and England's Heir.

  Welcome, Prince! the land is wide,
    Wider still the love we cherish;
  Love that thou shalt find, when tried,
    Is not born to droop and perish;

{115}

  Welcome to our heart of hearts;
    You will find no falsehood there,
  But the zeal that truth imparts,
    England's Hope and England's Heir.

  Welcome to our woodland deeps,
    To our inland lakes, and rivers,
  Where the rapid roars and sweeps,
    Where the brightest sunlight quivers.
  Loyal souls can never fail;
    Serfdom crouches in its lair;
  But our British hearts are hale,
    England's Hope and England's Heir.



{116}

  ROSE.

  When the evening broods quiescent
    Over mountain, vale and lea,
  And the moon uplifts her crescent
    Far above the peaceful sea,
  Little Rose, the fisher's daughter,
    Passes in her cedar skiff
  O'er the dreamy waste of water,
    To the signal on the cliff.

  Have a care, my merry maiden!
    Young Adonis though he be,
  Many hearts are secret-laden
    That have trusted such as he.
  Has he worth, and is he truthful?
    Thoughtless maiden rarely knows;
  But, "He's handsome, brave and youthful,"
    Says the heart of little Rose.

  Hark! the horn--its shrill vibrations
    Tremble through the maiden's breast,
  As the sweet reverberations
    Dwindle to their whispered rest;
  Sweeter far the honied sentence
    Sealing up her mind's repose;
  Love as yet needs no repentance
    In the heart of little Rose.

  Heaven shield thee, trusting mortal!
    Love has heaved its firstborn sigh;
  But from the pellucid portal
    Of her calm, indignant eye,

{117}

  Darts that make the strong man tremble
    Pierce his bosom ere he goes;
  Rank and station may dissemble,
    There is truth in little Rose.

  Take my hand, my fisher maiden,
    There's a grasp for thee and thine;
  Constancy is love's bright Aiden,
    Self-denial is divine.
  Take my hand upon this pláteau,
    Let me share thy mortal throes;
  Come, dear Love! we'll build our cháteau
    In the heart of little Rose.



{118}

  THE DREAMER.

  Spirit of Song! whose whispers
    Delight my pensive brain,
  When will the perfect harmony
    Ring through my feeble strain?

  When will the rills of melody
    Be widened to a stream!
  When will the bright and gladsome Day
    Succeed this morning dream?

  "Mortal," the spirit whispered,
    "If thou wouldst truly win
  The race thou art pursuing,
    Heed well the voice within:

  And it shall gently teach thee
    To read thy heart, and know
  No human strain is perfect,
    However sweet it flow.

  And if thou readest truly,
    As surely shalt thou find
  That truths, like rills, though diverse,
    Are choicest in their kind.

  The souls of Poet-Dreamers
    Touch heaven on their way;
  With the light of Song to guide them
    It should be always Day."



{119}

  NIGHT AND MORNING.

  The winds are piping loud to-night,
    And the waves roll strong and high;
  God pity the watchful mariner
    Who toils 'neath yonder sky!

  I saw the vessel speed away,
    With a free, majestic sweep,
  At evening as the sun went down
    To his palace in the deep.

  An aged crone sat on the beach,
    And, pointing to the ship,
  "She'll never return again," she said,
    With a scorn upon her lip.

          ------

  The morning rose tempestuous,
    The winds blew to the shore,
  There were corpses on the sands that morn,
    But the ship came nevermore!



{120}

  WITHIN THINE EYES.

  Within thine eyes two spirits dwell,
    The sweetest and the purest
  That ever wove Love's mystic spell,
    Or plied his arts the surest:
        No smile of morn,
        Though heaven-born,
    Nor sunshine earthward straying,
        E'er charmed the sight
        With half the light
    That round thy lips is playing.

  The stars may shine, the moon may smile,
    The earth in beauty languish,
  Life's sorrows these can but beguile,
    But thou canst heal its anguish.
        Thy voice, like rills
        Of silver, trills
    Such sounds of liquid sweetness,
        Each accent rolls
        Along our souls,
    In lyrical completeness.

  If Friendship lend thee such a grace,
    That men nor gods may slight it,
  How blest the one who views thy face
    When Love comes down to light it!
        And, oh, if he
        Who holds in fee
    Thy beauty, truth, and reason,
        A traitor prove
        To thee and Love,
    We'll spurn him for his treason.



  {121}

  GERTRUDE.

  Underneath the maple-tree
  Gertrude worked her filigree,
      All the summer long;
  To sweet airs her voice was wed,
  As she plied her golden thread;
  Echo stealing through the grove
  Filched away the words of love,
  And the birds, from tree to tree,
  Bore the witching melody
      Through avenues of Song.

  Underneath the maple-trees
  Zephyrs chant her melodies,
      All the summer long;
  Words and airs no longer wed,
  Death has snapped the vocal thread
  Echo sleeping in the grove
  Dreams of liquid airs of love,
  And the birds among the trees
  Fill with sweetest symphonies
      Whole avenues of Song.



{122}

  FLOWERS.

  Thank God I love the Flowers!
    Mute voices of the Spring,
  That gladden all her bowers
    With their varied blossoming;
  They weave a charm around them
    On each summer dale and bough,
  For a Fairy train has bound them
    In wreaths upon her brow.

  Far up along the mountain,
    And in the valleys green,
  In the field, and by the fountain,
    The smiling ones are seen;
  Some looking up to heaven,
    With eyes of deepest blue;
  Some stooping down at even
    To quaff the sparkling dew.

  And from them all there speaketh
    A language sweet and pure,
  Fitted for him who seeketh
    A God's nomenclature.
  As tidal pulses thrill the seas,
    And moments build the hours,
  Heaven breathes her unvoiced mysteries
    In sermons from the Flowers.



{123}

  THE UNATTAINABLE.

  I yearn for the Unattainable;
    For a glimpse of a brighter day,
      When hatred and strife,
      With their legions rife,
    Shall forever have passed away;
      When pain shall cease,
      And the dawn of peace
    Come down from heaven above,
    And man can meet his fellow-man
    In the spirit of Christian Love.

  I yearn for the Unattainable;
    For a Voice that may long be still,
      To compel the mind,
      As heaven designed,
    To work the Eternal Will;
      When the brute that sleeps
      In the heart's still deeps
    Will be changed to Pity's dove,
    And man can meet his fellow-man
    In the spirit of Perfect Love.



{124}

  YEARNINGS.

  I long for diviner regions,--
    The spirit would reach its goal;
  Though, this world hath surpassing beauty,
    It warreth against the soul.

  There's a cloud in the eastern heaven;
    Beyond it, a cold gray sky;
  But I know that the sun's rare radiance
    Will brighten it by and by.

  In the fane of my soul is glowing
    The joy of a hope to come,
  That will touch with its Memnon finger
    The lips that are cold and dumb:

  Till illumed by the smile of heaven,
    And blest with a purer life,
  Will the gloom that o'ershades my spirit
    Depart like a vanquished strife.



{125}

  INGRATITUDE.

  Full on the wave the moonlight weeps,
    To quiet its weary breast;
  Cruelly cold the mad wave leaps,
    With the moonshine on its crest;
  Or with scowl, or growl, to the shore it creeps,
    And sinks to its selfish rest.

  Full on yon man-brute smiles the wife,
    To gladden his turbid breast;
  Savagely stern he seeks the life
    Where he erewhile sought for zest;
  With a curse, or worse, he ends the strife,
    And sinks to his drunken rest.

  Sea! has the moon no charms for thee
    That can touch thy cruel breast?
  Man! cannot woman's charity
    Give ease to thy soul oppressed?
  Thou shalt flee, O sea! the moon's witchery,
    Till man has his final rest!



{126}

  TRUE LOVE.

  Her love is like the hardy flower
    That blooms amid the Alpine snows;
  Deep-rooted in an icy bower,
    No blast can chill its sweet repose;
    But fresh as is the tropic rose,
  Drenched in mellowest sunny beams,
  It has as sweet delicious dreams
    As any flower that grows.

  And though an avalanche came down
    And robbed it of the light of day,
  That which withstood the tempest's frown
    In grief would never pine away.
    Hope might withhold her feeblest ray,
  Within her bosom's snowy tomb
  Love still would wear its everbloom,
    The gayest of the gay.



{127}

  AN EVENING THOUGHT.

  Bird of the fanciful plumage,
    That foldest thy wings in the west,
  Imbuing the shimmering ocean
    With the hues of thy delicate breast,
  Passing away into Dreamland,
    To visions of heavenly rest!

  Spirit! when thou art permitted
    To bask in the sunset of life;
  Serene in thine eventide splendour,
    Thy countenance victory rife;
  Leaving the world where thou'st triumphed
    Alike o'er its greatness and strife:

  Thine be the destiny, spirit,
    To set like the sun in the west;
  Folding thy wings of rare plumage,
    Conscious of infinite rest,
  Heralded on to thy haven,
    The Fortunate Isles of the Blest.



{128}

  A THOUGHT FOR SPRING.

  I am happier for the Spring;
    For my heart is like a bird
  That has many songs to sing,
    But whose voice is never heard
  Till the happy year is caroling
    To the daisies on the sward.

  I'd be happier for the Spring,
    Though my heart had grown so old
  Like a crone 'twould sit and sing
    Its shrill runes of wintry cold;
  For I'd know the year was caroling
    To the daisies on the wold.



{129}

  THE SWALLOWS.

  I asked the first stray swallow of the spring,
  "Where hast thou been through all the winter drear?
  Beneath what distant skies did'st fold thy wing,
      Since thou wast with us here,
  When Autumn's withered leaves foretold the passing year?"

  And it replied, "Whither has Fancy led
  The plumy thoughts that circle through thy brain?
  Like birds about some mountain's lofty head,
      Singing a sweet refrain:
  There, without bound, I've been, and must return again."



{130}

  SONG.--CLARA AND I.

  We have a joke whenever we meet,
        Clara and I;
  Prattle and laughter, and kisses sweet,
        Clara and I.
  Were I but twenty, and not two score,
  Clara and I would laugh still more,
  With plenty of hopeful years in store
    For Clara and I, Clara and I;
  With plenty of hopeful years in store
        For Clara and I.

  We will be true as Damascus steel,
        Clara and I;
  Sealing our truth with a honied seal,
        Clara and I.
  Eyes so loving, and lips of rose,
  Cheeks where the dainty ripe peach grows,
  And mouth where the sly god smiles jocose
    At Clara and I, Clara and I;
  And mouth where the sly god smiles jocose
        At Clara and I.

  We have a kiss whenever we part,
        Clara and I;
  Grasping of hand, and flutter of heart,
        Clara and I.
  Were she but twenty, and not sixteen,
  Over my love she'd reign the queen,

{131}

  And no fair rival should come between
    My Clara and I, Clara and I;
  And no fair rival should come between
        My Clara and I.



{132}

  THE APRIL SNOW-STORM--1858.

  Spread lightly, virgin shower,
    Your winding-sheet of snow;
  Winter has lost his power,
    But mock not at his woe.

  Fall not so cold and bleak,
    Nor blow the breath of scorn;
  Gently.  Thy sire is weak;
    And thou, his latest-born.

  Frail type of life thou art:
    At first, pure as the snow
  We come--abide--depart;
    What more, th' Immortals know.

  Fall gently, virgin shower,
    Though wild the west wind raves;
  Watch through this midnight hour
    Above the new-made graves!

          ------

  Spread gently, virgin shower,
    Your winding sheet of snow;
  My heart has lost its power,
    But mock not at its woe.

  Fall not so cold and bleak,
    Treat not her corse with scorn;
  Gently.  My heart is weak;
    She, too, was April-born.

{133}

  Fall gently, virgin shower;
    The heart once strong and brave
  Hath lost its wonted power;
    'Tis buried in her grave.



{134}

  GOOD NIGHT.

      We never say, "Good Night;"
  For our eager lips are fleeter
  Than the tongue, and a kiss is sweeter
      Than parting words,
      That out like swords;
  So we always kiss Good Night.

      We never say "Good Night."
  Words are precious, love, why lose 'em?
  Fold them up in your maiden bosom;
      There let them rest,
      Like love unconfessed,
  While we kiss a sweet Good Night.

      There comes a last Good Night.
  Human life--not love--is fleeting;
  Heaven send many a birth-day greeting;
      Dim years roll on
      To life's gray-haired dawn,
  Ere we kiss our last Good Night.

          ------

      We've kissed our last Good Night!
  Love's warm tendrils torn and bleeding,
  Vain all human interceding!
      Oh, life! how dark!
      Its one vital spark
  Was quenched with our last GOOD NIGHT!



{135}

  HOPELESS.

  I think through the long, long evenings,
    Such thoughts of intensest pain,
  And I hope and watch for her coming,
    But I hope and watch in vain,
  My life is a long, long journey
    Over a barren moor,
  With nought but my own dark shadow
    Hastening on before.

  I'm weary of all this watching,
    Aweary of life and thought;
  For there's little hope in the distance,
    And for peace--I know it not!
  Oh, why must we think and shudder,
    And shudder and think again?
  When life's but a dance of shadows
    Haunting a barren plain!



{139}

  INTO THE SILENT LAND.

  I.

  "Oh for a pen of light, a tongue of fire,
  That every word might burn in living flame
  Upon the age's brow, and leave one name
  Engraven on the future!  One desire
  Fills every nook and cranny of my heart;
  One hope--one sorrow--one belovèd aim!
  She whose pure life was of my life a part,
  As light is of the day, could she inspire
  My unmelodious muse, or tune the lyre
  To diapasons worthy of the theme,
  How would her joy put on its robes of light,
  And nestle in my bosom once again,
  As when life, like an Oriental dream,
  Fanned by Arabian airs, glode down the stream
  To music whose remembrance is a pain.
  The foot of time might trample on my strain,
  But could not quench its essence.  There was might,
  And majesty, and greatness in the love
  She blest me with--a blessing without stain,
  And that was earthly; since her spirit-sight
  Looked through the veil, and learned love's true delight,
  Which sainted ministrants alone can prove
  Who taste the waters of eternal love:
  I pause to think how wonderful has grown
  The love that was to me so wondrous here!
  Chained as I am to this terrestrial sphere,
  Groping my way through darkness, and alone,

{140}

  Like a blind eaglet soaring towards the sun,
  How would her full experience lift and cheer
  The heart that never feels its duty done,
  And with a girdle of pure light enzone
  My flowery world of thought, and make it all her own."

    Thus mused the Minstrel, for his heart was sad.
  Death had bereaved him of his bride, while youth,
  And looming years of future trust and truth,
  Knit them together, till their souls were clad
  With joy ineffable.  Love's great High Priest
  Sacrificed in their hearts to Him that doeth
  All things well; and such rare, perpetual feast
  Of love and truth no mortals ever had,
  To keep their memories green, their lives serene and glad,

    He sat again within the quiet room,
  Where Death had snapped one golden thread of life,
  And the pale hand of Sickness, sorrow-rife,
  Robbed the plump cheek of childhood of its bloom;
  Where she, another Philomena, moved
  Like a fond Charity--the coming wife
  Ordained to crown his being: And he loved.
  The future rose before him, joy and gloom;
  For where the sunlight shone, there waved the sable plume.

    And yet he failed not, for the coming pain;
  The coming bliss would counterbalance all.
  The sight prophetic that perceived the pall,
  Looked far beyond for the celestial gain.

{141}

  They do not truly love who cannot yield
  The mortal up at the Immortal's call,
  Or fail to triumph for the soul that's sealed.
  His mind was strung to one harmonious strain:
  To give when God should ask, and not resign in vain.

    Love was to him life's chiefest victory;
  He knew no greater, and he sought no less.
  Like a green isle surrounded by the sea
  That gives it health and vigour, so was he
  The centre of love's sphere of perfectness;
  He breathed its heavenly atmosphere; the key
  That opened every chamber in love's court
  Was in his hand; love's mystery was his sport,
  He knelt within love's fane and worshipped there--
  But not alone, for one was by his side
  Whose love refined his being, filled the air
  Of life's irradiated sky with light,
  As the sun floods the heavens with a tide
  Of renovating freshness, as the night
  Is mellowed by the ample moon.
  And hoping for the recompense
  That would be theirs in life's approaching noon,
  They built on hope's high eminence
  Their airy palaces, whose magnificence
  Surpassed the dreams that fancy drew,
  So fair the promised land that lay within their view.

    And here they lived; just within reach of heaven.
  They could put forth their hands and touch the skies
  That brooded o'er the walls of chrysolite,
  The airy minarets, and golden domes

{142}

  Of their new home, by Love, the Maker, given,
  Steeped in his brightest dyes.
  All nature opened up her ponderous tomes,
  Whereby they had new knowledge and new sight,
  Learned greater truths, and saw the paths of light,
  Mosaic-paven, which to Duty led.
  And there were secrets written overhead,
  In burning hieroglyphs of thought,
  From which they gleaned such lessons as are taught
  Only to those whom heaven, in graciousness,
  Lifts in her arms with a divine caress.
  Earth, like a joyous maiden whose pure soul
  Is filled with sudden ecstacy, became
  A fruitful Eden; and the golden bowl
  That held their elixir of life was filled
  To overflowing with the rarest draught
  Ever by gods or men in rapture quaffed;
  Till from the altar of their hearts love's flame
  Passed through the veins of the world, and thrilled
  The soul of the rejoicing universe,
  Which became theirs, and like true neophytes
  They drained the sweet nepenthe, and love's rites
  Wiped from their hearts all trace of the primeval curse.

    The happy months rolled on; each wedded day
  A bridal; and each calm and holy eve
  Strewed with rare blessings all the sunny way
  Through which they passed, with so divine a joy
  That in his brain would meditation weave
  Love's roses into garlands of sweet song,
  To deck the brow of his devoted wife.

{143}

  In this their El Dorado, no alloy
  Mixed with the coinage of their wedded life;
  The workmen in the mint an honest throng.
  No wonder, then, that with go fine a bliss
  Informing every fibre of his brain,
  His thoughts begat impressions such as this;
  Linking their lives together with a chain
  Of melody as rare as some divine refrain:

      Like dew to the thirsty flower,
        Like sweets to the hungry bee,
      Is love's divinest dower,
      Its tenderness and power,
        To thee, dear Wife! to thee.

      Like light to the darkened spirit,
        Like oil to the turbid sea,
      Like truthful words to merit,
      Are the blessings I inherit
        With thee, dear Wife! with thee.

      Afar in the distant ages,
        Soul-ransomed, and spirit-free,
      I'll read all being's pages,
      Unread by mortal sages,
        With thee, dear Wife! with thee.

    None but the happy heart could carol thus;
  A feather stolen from Devotion's wing,
  To keep as a memento of the time
  When earth met heaven, in life's duteous
  And prayerful journey towards the shadowy clime;

{144}

  Ere they descended from their height sublime,
  Where at Love's well-filled table, banqueting,
  They sat, and watched the first glad year,
  Earthlike, revolving round the sun
  Of their true life.  Within that sphere
  Was the new Eden.  One by one
  The precious moments dropped like golden sands,
  And formed the solid hours.  No perilous strands
  Delayed life's blissful current, as it sped
  Through flowery realms with blue skies overhead,
  To songs and laughter musically sweet,
  As if all sorrow had forever fled;
  And idylls, sung with cheerful tone,
  Haunted the calm, enchanted zone
  That hemmed them in,
  Where, like a stately queen,
  Sate Peace, beatified, serene,
  The guardian, heaven-sent, of this their fair demesne:

            ------

  LOVE'S ANNIVERSARY.

  Like a bold, adventurous swain,
    Just a year ago to-day,
  I launched my bark on a radiant main,
    And Hymen led the way:
  "Breakers ahead!" he cried,
    As he sought to overwhelm
  My daring craft in the shrieking tide,
  But Love, like a pilot bold and tried,
    Sat, watchful, at the helm.

{145}

  And we passed the treacherous shoals,
    Where many a hope lay dead,
  And splendid wrecks were piled, like the ghouls
    Of joys forever fled.
  Once safely over these,
    We sped by a fairy realm,
  Across the bluest and calmest seas
  That were ever kissed by a truant breeze,
    With Love still at the helm.

  We sailed by sweet, odorous isles,
    Where the flowers and trees were one;
  Through lakes that vied with the golden smiles
    Of heaven's unclouded sun:
  Still speeds our merry bark,
    Threading life's peaceful realm,
  And 'tis ever morn with our marriage-lark,
  For the Pilot-Love of our safety-ark
    Stands, watchful, at the helm.


  II.

  A beautiful land is the Land of Dreams,
    Green hills and valleys, and deep lagoons,
  Swift-rushing torrents and gentle streams,
    Glassing a myriad silver moons;
  Mirror-like lakelets with lovely isles,
    And verdurous headlands looking down
  On the Neread shapes, whose smiles
    Were worth the price of a peaceful crown.

{146}

    We clutch at the silvery bars
    Flung from the motionless stars,
        And climb far into space,
        Defying the race
    Who ride in aërial cars.

  We take up the harp of the mind,
    And finger its delicate strings;
        The notes, soft and light
        As a moonbeam's flight,
    Departing on viewless wings.
  Afar in some fanciful bower,
    Some region of exquisite calm,
  Where the starlight falls in a gleaming shower,
        We sink to repose
        On our couch of rose,
    Inhaling no mortal balm.
  The worlds are no longer unknown,
    We pass through the uttermost sky,
        Our eyelids are kissed
        By a gentle mist,
        And we feel the tone
        Of a calmer zone,
    As if heaven were wondrous nigh.

  A fanciful land is the Land of Dreams,
    Where earth and heaven are clasping hands;
        No heaven--no earth,
        But one wide, new birth,
    Where Beauty and Goodness, and human worth,
    Make earth of heaven and heaven of earth;
    And angels are walking on golden strands.

{147}

    And the pearly gates of the universe
    Of mind and fancy, opening
    To the touch of the dainty finger-tips
    Of elegant Peris with rose-bud lips,
    Delicate, weird-like sounds are born
    From the amber depths of odorous morn,
    And spirits of beauty and light rehearse
      Such strains as the young immortals sing,
          When the souls of the blest
          Are borne to their rest,
    On luminous pinions of light serene
    To the fragrant bowers of evergreen;
    O'er the rosy plains, where the dying hours
    Are changed by a spell to celestial flowers,
    Where the skies have a hue no name can express,
    For the tone of their passionate loveliness
      Surpasseth all human imagining.

    Such was their beautiful Dream of Life;
        Each stern reality softened down;
    Earth seemed to have ended her age of Strife,
        And Harmony reigned, her olive crown
    Besting on the Parian brow
        Of the fair victor, like the gleam
    Of the silvery moon on waves that flow
        Thoughtfully down the summer stream.
    Such was their earnest Dream of Life!
    Was it some angel, with jealous eye,
    Seeing such love beneath the sky
    As never yet in world or star,
    Or spheral height, that reached so far
    'Twas never beheld by mortal sight,

{148}

    Or elsewhere, save in highest heaven,
    Was duly earned, or truly given,
    That leagued with the usurper, Death,
    To quench the light that shone so bright
    That in all the earth there was not a breath
    So foul as to change their day to night?

    Alone! alone!  Oh, word of fearful tone!
    Well might the moon withhold her light,
    The stars withdraw from human sight,
    When Love was overthrown.
    The Minstrel's heart how changed!
    Love's principalities,
    O'er which he reigned supreme,
    Usurped by earth's realities;
    The realm through which he ranged
    Become a vanished dream!
    And yet he sung, as sings
    The dying swan that droops its wings
    And drifts along the stream:

            ------

  THE LIGHT IN THE WINDOW PANE.

  A joy from my soul's departed,
    A bliss from my heart is flown,
  As weary, weary-hearted,
    I wander alone--alone!
  The night wind sadly sigheth
    A withering, wild refrain,
  And my heart within me dieth
    For the light in the window pane.

{149}

  The stars overhead are shining,
    As brightly as e'er they shone,
  As heartless--sad--repining,
    I wander alone--alone!
  A sudden flash comes streaming,
    And flickers adown the lane,
  But no more for me is gleaming
    The light in the window pane.

  The voices that pass are cheerful,
    Men laugh as the night winds moan;
  They cannot tell how fearful
    'Tis to wander alone--alone!
  For them, with each night's returning,
    Life singeth its tenderest strain,
  Where the beacon of love is burning--
    The light in the window pane.

  Oh, sorrow beyond all sorrows
    To which human life is prone:
  Without thee, through all the morrows,
    To wander alone--alone!
  Oh, dark, deserted dwelling!
    Where Hope like a lamb was slain,
  No voice from thy lone walls welling,
    No light in thy window pane.

  But memory, sainted angel!
    Rolls back the sepulchral stone,
  And sings like a sweet evangel:
    "No--never, never alone!

{150}

  True grief has its royal palace,
    Each loss is a greater gain;
  And Sorrow ne'er filled a chalice
    That Joy did not wait to drain!

              ------

      "Man must be perfected
      By suffering," he said;
  "And Death is but the stepping-stone, whereby
      We mount towards the gate
      Of heaven, soon or late.
  Death is the penalty of life; we die,

      Because we live; and life
      Is but a constant strife
  With the immortal Impulse that within
      Our bodies seeks control--
      The time-abiding Soul,
  That wrestles with us--yet we fain would win.

      And what? the victory
      Would make us slaves; and we,
  Who in our blindness struggle for the prize
      Of this illusive state
      Called Life, do but frustrate
  The higher law--refusing to be wise."

      Rightly he knew, indeed,
      Earth's brightest paths but lead
  To the true wisdom of that perfect state,
      Where Knowledge, heaven-born,
      And Love's eternal morn,
  Awaiteth those who would be truly great.

{151}

      With what abiding trust
      He rose from out the dust,
  As Death's swift chariot passed him by the way;
      No visionary dream
      Was his--no trifling theme--
  The Soul's great Mystery before him lay:

              ------

  THE SOUL.

  All my mind has sat in state,
    Pond'ring on the deathless Soul:
   What must be the Perfect Whole,
  When the atom is so great!

  God!  I fall in spirit down,
    Low as Persian to the sun;
    All my senses, one by one,
  In the stream of Thought must drown.

  On the tide of mystery,
    Like a waif, I'm seaward borne,
    Ever looking for the morn
  That will yet interpret Thee,

  Opening my blinded eyes,
    That have strove to look within,
    'Whelmed in clouds of doubt and sin,
  Sinking where I dared to rise:

  Could I trace one Spirit's flight,
    Track it to its final goal,
    Know that 'Spirit' meant 'the Soul,'
  I must perish in the light.

{152}

  All in vain I search, and cry:
    "What, O Soul, and whence art thou?"
    Lower than the earth I bow,
  Stricken with the grave reply:

  "Wouldst thou ope what God has sealed--
    Sealed in mercy here below?
    What is best for man to know,
  Shall most surely be revealed!"

  Deep on deep of mystery!
    Ask the sage, he knows no more
    Of the soul's unspoken lore
  Than the child upon his knee!

  Cannot tell me whence the thought
    That is passing through my mind!
    Where the mystic soul is shrined,
  Wherewith all my life is fraught?

  Knows not how the brain conceives
    Images almost divine;
    Cannot work my mental mine,
  Cannot bind my golden sheaves.

  Is he wiser, then, than I,
    Seeing he can read the stars?
    I have rode in fancy's oars
  Leagues beyond his farthest sky!

  Some old Rabbi, dreaming o'er
    The sweet legends of his race,
    Ask him for some certain trace
  Of the far, eternal shore.

{153}

  No.  The Talmud page is dark,
    Though it burn with quenchless fire,
    And the insight must pierce higher,
  That would find the vital spark.

  O, my Soul! be firm and wait,
    Hoping with the zealous few,
    Till the Shekinah of the True
  Lead thee through the Golden Gate.



SONNETS,

WRITTEN IN THE ORILLIA WOODS.

August, 1859.



DEDICATED

TO

My friends

AT

"ROCKRIDGE," ORILLIA, C. W.



{159}

  SONNETS.

  PROEM.

    Alice, I need not tell you that the Art
  That copies Nature, even at its best,
  Is but the echo of a splendid tone,
  Or like the answer of a little child
  To the deep question of some frosted sage.
  For Nature in her grand magnificence,
  Compared to Art, must ever raise her head
  Beyond the cognizance of human minds:
  This is the spirit merely; that, the soul.
  We watch her passing, like some gentle dream,
  And catch sweet glimpses of her perfect face;
  We see the flashing of her gorgeous robes,
  And, if her mantle ever falls at all,
  How few Elishas wear it sacredly,
  As if it were a valued gift from heaven.
  God has created; we but re-create,
  According to the temper of our minds;
  According to the grace He has bequeathed;
  According to the uses we have made
  Of His good-pleasure given unto us.
  And so I love my art; chiefly, because
  Through it I rev'rence Nature, and improve
  The tone and tenor of the mind He gave.
  God sends a Gift; we crown it with high Art,

{160}

  And make it worthy the bestower, when
  The talent is not hidden in the dust
  Of pampered negligence and venial sin,
  But put to studious use, that it may work
  The end and aim for which it was bestowed.
  All Good is God's; all Love and Truth are His;
  We are His workers; and we dare not plead
  But that He gave us largely of all these,
  Demanding a discreet return, that when
  The page of life is written to its close
  It may receive the seal and autograph
  Of His good pleasure--the right royal sign
  And signet of approval, to the end
  That we were worthy of the gift divine,
  And through it praised the Great Artificer.

    In my long rambles through Orillian woods;
  Out on the ever-changing Couchiching;
  By the rough margin of the Lake St. John;
  Down the steep Severn, where the artist sun,
  In dainty dalliance with the blushing stream,
  Transcribes each tree, branch, leaf, and rock and flower,
  Perfect in shape and colour, clear, distinct,
  With all the panoramic change of sky--
  Even as Youth's bright river, toying with
  The fairy craft where Inexperience dreams,
  And subtle Fancy builds its airy halls,
  In blest imagination pictures most
  Of bright or lovely that adorn life's banks,
  With the blue vault of heaven over all;
  On that serene and wizard afternoon,
  As hunters chase the wild and timid deer

{161}

  We chased the quiet of Medonte's shades
  Through the green windings of the forest road,
  Past Nature's venerable rank and file
  Of primal woods--her Old Guard, sylvan-plumed--
  The far-off Huron, like a silver thread,
  The clue to some enchanted labyrinth,
  Dimly perceived beyond the stretch of woods,
  Th' approaches tinted by a purple haze,
  And softened into beauty like the dream
  Of some rapt seer's Apocalyptic mood;
  And when at Rockridge we sat looking out
  Upon the softened shadows of the night,
  And the wild glory of the throbbing stars;
  Where'er we bent our Eden-tinted way:
  My brain was a weird wilderness of Thought:
  My heart, love's sea of passion tossed and torn,
  Calmed by the presence of the loving souls
  By whom I was surrounded.  All the while
  They deemed me passing tame, and wondered when
  My dreamy castle would come toppling down.
  I was but driving back the aching past,
  And mirroring the future.  And these leaves
  Of meditation are but perfumes from
  The censer of my feelings; honied drops
  Wrung from the busy hives of heart and brain;
  Mere etchings of the artist; grains of sand
  From the calm shores of that unsounded deep
  Of speculation, where all thought is lost
  Amid the realms of Nature and of God.



{162}

  I.

    My soul goes out to meet her, and my heart
    Flings wide the portals of its love, and yearns
    To have her enter its serene retreat.
    A poor stray lamb, not wand'ring from the fold,
    But all unstudied in the worldling's art,
    Turning life's mintage into seeming gold,
    Wherewith to purchase love and love's returns;
    Unknowing that love's waters, though so sweet,
    Lead to some bitter Marah.  So my soul
    Goes out to meet her, and it clasps her home,
    And seeks to bear her upward to the goal
    At which the righteous enter.  From the dome
    Of starriest Night two blest Immortals come,
  To bear us spheral-ward to God's own mercy-seat.



{163}

  II.

    'Tis summer still, yet now and then a leaf
    Falls from some stately tree.  True type of life!
    How emblamatic of the pangs that grief
    Wrings from our blighted hopes, that one by one
    Drop from us in our wrestle with the strife
    And natural passions of our stately youth.
    And thus we fall beneath life's summer sun.
    Each step conducts us through an opening door
    Into new halls of being, hand in hand
    With grave Experience, until we command
    The open, wide-spread autumn fields, and store
    The full ripe grain of Wisdom and of Truth.
    As on life's tott'ring precipice we stand,
  Our sins like withered leaves are blown about the land.



{164}

  III.

    Oh, holy sabbath morn! thrice blessed day
    Of solemn rest, true peace, and earnest prayer.
    How many hearts that never knelt to pray
    Are glad to breathe thy soul-sustaining air.
    I sit within the quiet woods, and hear
    The village church-bell's soft inviting sound,
    And to the confines of the loftiest sphere
    Imagination wings its airy round;
    A myriad spirits have assembled there,
    Whose prayers on earth a sweet acceptance found.
    I go to worship in Thy House, O God!
    With her, thy young creation bright and fair;
    Help us to do Thy will, and not despair,
  Though both our hearts should bend beneath Thy chastening rod.



{165}

  IV.

    The birds are singing merrily, and here
    A squirrel claims the lordship of the woods,
    And scolds me for intruding.  At my feet
    The tireless ants all silently proclaim
    The dignity of labour.  In my ear
    The bee hums drowsily; from sweet to sweet
    Careering, like a lover weak in aim.
    I hear faint music in the solitudes;
    A dreamlike melody that whispers peace
    Imbues the calmy forest, and sweet rills
    Of pensive feeling murmur through my brain,
    Like ripplings of pure water down the hills
    That slumber in the moonlight.  Cease, oh, cease!
  Some day my weary heart will coin these into pain.



{166}

  V.

    Blest Spirit of Calm that dwellest in these woods!
    Thou art a part of that serene repose
    That ofttimes lingers in the solitudes
    Of my lone heart, when the tumultuous throes
    Of some vast Grief have borne me to the earth.
    For I have fought with Sorrow face to face;
    Have tasted of the cup that brings to some
    A frantic madness and delirious mirth,
    But prayed and trusted for the light to come,
    To break the gloom and darkness of the place.
    Through the dim aisles the sunlight penetrates,
    And nature's self rejoices; heaven's light
    Comes down into my heart, and in its might
  My soul stands up and knocks at God's own temple-gates.



{167}

  VI.

    Through every sense a sweet balm permeates,
    As music strikes new tones from every nerve.
    The soul of Feeling enters at the gates
    Of Intellect, and Fancy comes to serve
    With fitting homage the propitious guest.
    Nature, erewhile so lonely and oppressed,
    Stands like a stately Presence, and looks down
    As from a throne of power.  I have grown
    Full twenty summers backwards, and my youth
    Is surging in upon me till my hopes
    Are as fresh-tinted as the checkered leaves
    That the sun shines through.  All the future opes
    Its endless corridors, where time unweaves
  The threads of Error from the golden warp of Truth.



{168}

  VIII.

    Our life is like a forest, where the sun
    Glints down upon us through the throbbing leaves;
    The full light rarely finds us.  One by one,
    Deep rooted in our souls, there springeth up
    Dark groves of human passion, rich in gloom,
    At first no bigger than an acorn-cup.
    Hope threads the tangled labyrinth, but grieves
    Till all our sins have rotted in their tomb,
    And made the rich loam of each yearning heart
    To bring forth fruits and flowers to new life.
    We feel the dew from heaven, and there start
    From some deep fountain little rills whose strife
    Is drowned in music.  Thus in light and shade
  We live, and move, and die, through all this earthly glade.



{169}

  VIII.

    Above where I am sitting, o'er these stones,
    The ocean waves once heaved their mighty forms;
    And vengeful tempests and appalling storms
    Wrung from the stricken sea portentous moans,
    That rent stupendous icebergs, whose huge heights
    Crashed down in fragments through the startled nights.
    Change, change, eternal change in all but God!
    Mysterious nature! thrice mysterious state
    Of body, soul, and spirit!  Man is awed,
    But triumphs in his littleness.  A mote,
    He specks the eye of the age and turns to dust,
    And is the sport of centuries.  We note
    More surely nature's ever-changing fate;
  Her fossil records tell how she performs her trust.



{170}

  IX.

    Another day of rest, and I sit here
    Among the trees, green mounds, and leaves as sere
    As my own blasted hopes.  There was a time
    When Love and perfect Happiness did chime
    Like two sweet sounds upon this blessed day;
    But one has flown forever, far away
    From this poor Earth's unsatisfied desires
    To love eternal, and the sacred fires
    With which the other lighted up my mind
    Have faded out and left no trace behind,
    But dust and bitter ashes.  Like a bark
    Becalmed, I anchor through the midnight dark,
    Still hoping for another dawn of Love.
  Bring back my olive branch of Happiness, O dove!



{171}

  X.

    Poor snail, that toilest at my weary feet,
    Thou, too, must have thy burden!  Life is sweet
    If we would make it so.  How vast a load
    To carry all its days along the road
    Of its serene existence!  Christian-like,
    It toils with patience, seeking sweet repose
    Within itself when wearied with the throes
    Of its life-struggle.  The low sounds that strike
    Upon the ear in wafts of melody,
    Are cruel mockeries, O snail, of thee.
    The cricket's chirp, the grasshopper's shrill tone,
    The locust's jarring cry, all mock thy lone
    And dumb-like presence.  May this heart of mine,
  When tried, put on a resignation such as thine.



{172}

  XI.

    Oh, that I were the spirit of these wilds!
    I'd make the zephyrs dance for my delight,
    And lead a life as happy as a child's.
    Echo should tremble with unfeigned affright,
    And mock its own weird answers.  I would kiss
    Eliza's cheek, and touch her lips with dew
    Stol'n from the scented rose.  And Carrie's laugh
    Should be a portion of the silver rills'
    Sweet music, breathed mellifluously through
    The hearts of generations.  She should quaff
    The nectar of inspired song, and thrills
    Of sweet remembrances of her should strew
    The woodland air, as sand-grains strew the shore;
  And these two hearts should be my joy for evermore.



{173}

  XII.

    The moon shone down on fair Eliza's face,
    And made it beautiful.  No fitter place
    Could she have chosen for her gracious smile;
    For as she sat there in the languid light,
    Methought I'd found a soul as free from guile
    As ever came from God.  Oh, favored Night!
    Oh, mild, impassioned moon and starry spheres!
    To gaze upon her through the silent years
    Without rebuke.  But I have looked within,
    And found the truest beauty; have laid bare
    A spiritual excellence as rare
    As ever mortal being hoped to win.
    Heart, mind, and soul, I analysed them all,
  And saw where heaven kept divinest carnival.



{174}

  XIII.

    I've almost grown a portion of this place,
    I seem familiar with each mossy stone;
    Even the nimble chipmunk passes on,
    And looks, but never scolds me.  Birds have flown
    And almost touched my hand; and I can trace
    The wild bees to their hives.  I've never known
    So sweet a pause from labour.  But the tone
    Of a past sorrow, like a mournful rill
    Threading the heart of some melodious hill,
    Or the complainings of the whippoorwill,
    Passes through every thought, and hope, and aim.
    It has its uses; for it cools the flame
    Of ardent love that burns my being up--
  Love, life's celestial pearl, diffused through all its cup.



{175}

  XIV.

    There is no sadness here.  Oh, that my heart
    Were calm and peaceful as these dreamy groves!
    That all my hopes and passions, and deep loves,
    Could sit in such an atmosphere of peace,
    Where no unholy impulses would start
    Responsive to the throes that never cease
    To keep my spirit in such wild unrest.
    'Tis only in the struggling human breast
    That the true sorrow lives.  Our fruitful joys
    Have stony kernels hidden in their core.
    Life in a myriad phases passeth here,
    And death as various--an equal poise;
    Yet all is but a solemn change--no more;
  And not a sound save joy pervades the atmosphere.



{176}

  XV.

    Last night I heard the plaintive whippoorwill,
    And straightway Sorrow shot his swiftest dart.
    I know not why, but it has chilled my heart
    Like some dread thing of evil.  All night long
    My nerves were shaken, and my pulse stood still,
    And waited for a terror yet to come
    To strike harsh discords through my life's sweet song.
    Sleep came--an incubus that filled the sum
    Of wretchedness with dreams so wild and chill
    The sweat oozed from me like great drops of gall;
    An evil spirit kept my mind in thrall,
    And rolled my body up like a poor scroll
    On which is written curses that the soul
  Shrinks back from when it sees some hellish carnival.



{177}

  XVI.

    My footsteps press where, centuries ago,
    The Red Men fought and conquered; lost and won.
    Whole tribes and races, gone like last year's snow,
    Have found the Eternal Hunting-Grounds, and run
    The fiery gauntlet of their active days,
    Till few are left to tell the mournful tale:
    And these inspire us with such wild amaze
    They seem like spectres passing down a vale
    Steeped in uncertain moonlight, on their way
    Towards some bourn where darkness blinds the day,
    And night is wrapped in mystery profound.
    We cannot lift the mantle of the past:
    We seem to wander over hallowed ground:
  We scan the trail of Thought, but all is overcast.



{178}

  XVII.

    THERE WAS A TIME--and that is all we know!
    No record lives of their ensanguined deeds:
    The past seems palsied with some giant blow,
    And grows the more obscure on what it feeds.
    A rotted fragment of a human leaf;
    A few stray skulls; a heap of human bones!
    These are the records--the traditions brief--
    'Twere easier far to read the speechless stones.
    The fierce Ojibwas, with tornado force,
    Striking white terror to the hearts of braves!
    The mighty Hurons, rolling on their course,
    Compact and steady as the ocean waves!
    The stately Chippewas, a warrior host!
  Who were they?--Whence?--And why? no human tongue can boast!



{179}

  XVIII.

    I do not wonder that the Druids built
    Their sacred altars in the sacred groves.
    Fit place to worship God.  The native guilt
    Of our poor weak humanity behoves
    That we should set aside no little part
    Of the devotion of the yearning heart
    To rest and peace, as typical of that
    Sweet tranquil rest to which the good aspire.
    Calm thoughts are as the purifying fire
    That burns the useless dross from life's mixed gold,
    And lights the torch of mind.  While grasping at
    The shadow for the substance, youth grows old,
    And groves of palm spring up in every heart--
  Temples to God, wherein we pray and sit apart.



{180}

  XIX.

    How my heart yearns towards my friends at home!
    Poor suffering souls, whose lives are like the trees,
    Bent, crushed, and broken in the storm of life!
    A whirlwind of existence seems to roam
    Through some poor hearts continually.  These
    Have neither rest nor pause; one day is rife
    With tempest, and another dashed with gloom;
    And the few rays of light that might illume
    Their thorny path are drenched with tearful rain.
    Yet these pure souls live not their lives in vain;
    For they become as spiritual guides
    And lights to others; rising with the tides
    Of their full being into higher spheres,
  Brighter and brighter still through all the coming years.



{181}

  XX.

    I sat within the temple of her heart,
    And watched the living Soul as it passed through,
    Arrayed in pearly vestments, white and pure.
    The calm, immortal Presence made me start.
    It searched through all the chambers of her mind
    With one mild glance of love, and smiled to view
    The fastnesses of feeling, strong--secure,
    And safe from all surprise.  It sits enshrined
    And offers incense in her heart, as on
    An altar sacred unto God.  The dawn
    Of an imperishable love passed through
    The lattice of my senses, and I, too,
    Did offer incense in that solemn place--
  A woman's heart made pure and sanctified by Grace.



{182}

  XXI.

    Intense young soul, that takest hearts by storm,
    And chills them into sorrow with a look!
    Some minds are open as a well-read book;
    But here the leaves are still uncut--unscanned,
    The volume clasped and sealed, and all the warm
    And passionate exuberance of love
    Held in submission to these threadbare flaws
    And creeds of weaknesses, poor human laws.
    Stand up erect--nay kneel--for from above
    God's light is streaming on thee.  Fashion's daws
    May fawn and natter like a cringing pack
    Of servile hounds beneath the keeper's hand,
    But these are not thy peers; they drive thee back:
  Urge on the car of Thought, and take a higher stand!



{183}

  XXII.

    Dark, dismal day--the first of many such!
    The wind is sighing through the plaintive trees,
    In fitful gusts of a half-frenzied woe;
    Affrighted clouds the hand might almost touch,
    Their black wings bend so mournfully and low,
    Sweep through the skies like night-winds o'er the seas.
    There is no chirp of bird through all the grove,
    Save that of the young fledgeling rudely flung
    From its warm nest; and like the clouds above
    My soul is dark, and restless as the breeze
    That leaps and dances over Couchiching.
    Soon will the last duett be sweetly sung;
    But through the years to come our hearts will ring
  With memories, as dear as time and love can bring.



{184}

  AU REVOIR.

  That morn our hearts were like artesian wells,
  Both deep and calm, and brimming with pure love.
  And in each one, like to an April day,
  Truth smiled and wept, while Courage wound his horn,
  Dispatching echoes that are whispering still
  Through all the vacant chambers of our souls;
  While Sorrow sat with drooped and aimless wing,
  Within the solitary fane of thought.
  We wished some warlike Joshua were there
  To make the sun stand still, or to put back
  The dial to the brighter side of time.
  A cloud hung over Couchiching; a cloud
  Eclipsed the merry sunshine of our hearts.
  We needed no philosopher to teach
  That laughter is not always born of joy.
  "All's for the best," the fair Eliza said;
  And we derived new courage from her lips,
  That spake the maxim of her trusting heart.
  We even smiled, at some portentous sign
  That signified--well, if it turn out true,
  Then, I'll believe it.  Heaven works in signs
  More parting words, more lingering farewells,
  Pressure of hands, and thrilling touch of lips,
  A waving of white handkerchiefs, and Love
  Grew prayerful, and knelt down, and wept
  His scattered rosary of human hearts.

{185}

  Soon looking back, we saw where Ramah lay;
  Cold, wan, and cheerless as the race it holds.
  And as we neared the Lake the sun came forth,
  As tardily as if the sluggard day
  Had slept more soundly for the piping storm,
  That, veering round, had flung its challenge out
  In sullen menace to the western sky,
  Now black with clouds.  A flash, a muffled roll
  Of elemental passion, broke the spell,
  And down on Simcoe fell the sudden rain,
  Veiling the gloomy landscape from our sight.
  Throughout the changeful day, alternate cloud
  And sunshine left their traces on our hearts,
  Until the evening reared its dreamy piles
  Of cloud-built cháteaux steeped in gorgeous tints,
  That from celestial censers are outpoured
  When the grand miracle of sunset draws
  Our souls, all yearning with a joy divine,
  To share the fleeting glory, ere it goes
  To glean new splendors for the ruby morn.
  'Tis ever thus with true impassioned love;
  Love's sun, like that of day, may set, and set,
  It hath as bright a rising in the morn.
  True love has no gray hairs; his golden looks
  Can never whiten with the snows of time.
  Sorrow lies drear on many a youthful heart,
  Like snow upon the evergreens; but love
  Can gather sweetest honey by the way,
  E'en from the carcass of some prostrate grief.
  We have been spoiled with blessings.  Though the world

{186}

  Holds nothing dearer than the hope that's fled,
  God ever opens up new founts of bliss--
  Spiritual Bethsaidas where the soul
  Can wash the earth-stains from its fevered loins.
  We carve our sorrows on the face of joy,
  Reversing the true image; we are weak
  Where strength is needed most, and most is given.

  Thus musing, as they chatted in the train,
  The whistle broke my reverie, as one
  Might be awakened from a truthful dream.
  The city gas-lights flashed into our eyes;
  And we, half-shrinking from the glare and din,
  Thought but of two more partings on the morn,
  When Love should be enfettered, hand and foot,
  For the long aeon of a human year.



THE END.





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About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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