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Title: A Little Window
Author: Snyder, Jean M.
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 "A Little Window" ***

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    A LITTLE WINDOW

    JEAN M. SNYDER



_A LITTLE WINDOW_

VERSES BY

JEAN M. SNYDER


    "_In good sooth, my masters this is no door, yet it is a
    little window that looketh upon a great world._"


FOSTER & STEWART
PUBLISHING CORPORATION
BUFFALO, NEW YORK



All but two of the verses in this volume originally appeared in The
Christian Science Monitor, and are reprinted by permission.

The two exceptions are "Joy" (page 46) and "Triumph" (page 49), which
are also copyrighted and reprinted by permission.



TABLE OF CONTENTS


    Stars                                        7

    The Brook                                    8

    In Eden Valley                               9

    Benediction                                 10

    A Moment                                    11

    The Month of Moonlight                      12

    Wings                                       13

    Heart's Ease                                14

    The Sign Reads--"To Troutbeck"              15

    I, Too                                      16

    In Early Evening                            17

    Fearless Winging                            18

    Whimsey                                     19

    Remembering                                 20

    Aloofness                                   21

    Listening                                   22

    September's End                             23

    Content                                     24

    Rhythm                                      25

    Contrast                                    26

    Surety                                      27

    Guests                                      28

    Storm                                       30

    A Reminder                                  31

    Buffalo Harbor                              32

    From a Train Window                         34

    Scotland                                    35

    Friends                                     36

    A Poem of Color                             37

    Dream                                       38

    Escape                                      39

    Question                                    40

    When You Were a Little Girl                 42

    Flight                                      44

    Petit Trianon                               45

    Joy                                         46

    Twilight Song Service                       48

    Triumph                                     49



_A Little Window_



_Stars_

(_At Locheven_)


    Have you walked in the woods
    When twilight wraps a veil of mist
    Around the gray-green trees
    In early spring?
    It is then the snow-white trillium
    Gleam like stars from the carpet
    Of last year's leaves:
    And tall white violets glow
    Like clouds of nebulæ along the path.
    And flecked, like points of light
    In the quiet pools of water
    Among the gray-green boles,
    Are the stars of heaven.



_The Brook_

(_Westfield, N. Y._)


    Curling and humming its cadences,
    It slips past me under the rim of the gorge,
    As I peer down through the scarlet sumacs.
    Sparkling in the sunlight,
    Shimmering in the moonlight,
    On and on it goes,
    A silvery sheet of song.



_In Eden Valley_


    I saw

    A spray of orange berries etched against the silver of a stone wall:

    A scarlet vine encircling a golden sapling;

    On the ground, a carmine robe that had slipped from the shoulders of
        a maple.

    A sweep of meadow,
    A curve of bronzy hill,
    A glow of ruby and amethyst
    And the evergreens making deep quiet spots in it.



_Benediction_


    Silent, I stood in the forest--
    Lured by the liquid song
    Of a thrush.
    Clear, it was, then fading
    And softly echoed,
    As he slipped into the embrace
    Of the night.
    So pure, so holy, was his song
    That my heart was calmed
    And I was filled
    With serenity.



_A Moment_


    The beaten silver waters cut
    By the prow of our ship,
    Send off stars of phosphorous
    To vie with the stars overhead.
    Nothing but sky and the starlight,
    And a stretch of limitless sea,
    Nothing but peace and dominion,--
    Silence, immensity.



_The Month of Moonlight_


    Moonlight is not cold!
    It is tender and benignant,
    Softening all it touches,
    Hiding the roughness,
    Covering the coarseness,
    With a glow of silver splendor
    And a lucent flood
    Of beauty.



_Wings_


    There come to the flowers
    In my garden
    Butterflies, golden-spotted tawny,
    Blue-spangled and sulphur;
    Glistening dragon-flies, zooming bumble bees,
    Droning honey-bees.

    Softly whirring comes
    The vivid humming-bird,
      Sipping, sipping all day long.
    At nightfall I hear the flutter of the
    Luna's wings, as
    She caresses the velvet cheek
    Of the lily.



_Heart's Ease_

(_Locheven_)


    I love to tread a winding path
    Through the woods,
    And, world weary, pause upon it.
    The trees bend and enclose me
    In brooding calm;
    I feel the presence of Deity.

    I hear the cadence of the stillness--
    A stillness so alive.
    The whisper of the leaves,
    The song of the brook over golden stone
    The whir of a bird's wings;
    And I know the presence of Deity.



_The Sign Reads--"To Troutbeck"_

(_English Lakes_)


    An upcurving lane, hedged high,
    An ancient stile,
    A rambling path,
    A brook,
    And musk,--
    Golden bells of fragrance,
    Fusing all the odors
      Of English earth.



_I, Too_


    Robin, robin,
    Shouting your song,
    Your throat swelling
    With joy!
    Yes, I hear, I know
    What you say.
    For I, too,
    Would sing
    My praise and
    Gratitude
    To God!



_In Early Evening_


    When I drive through
    The villages and the countryside
    In early evening,
    And see people sitting in gardens
    Or at their doors
    In peace and contentment,
    I long to stop and speak to them.
    They might tell me of a loved one
    Doing some great work
    In a big city,
    Or of a deep sorrow,
    And I might say a word
    To help lighten it.
    They might show me treasured china
    Or a bit of lace, handmade;
    Once some one did.
    And I could talk with the children.
    I long to do this,
    But it always seems
    That there is a hurry
    To get to the next place.



_Fearless Winging_


    Into Niagara's abyss of blackness,
    Into its cavernous chaos,
    I saw birds wing.
    Sweeping down
    Through the mist
    Of its mighty waters,
    Undaunted by the roar,
    Unmindful of the churning,
    Of the terror of its power,
    On sure pinions
    And happy in flight
    They dipped and soared and
    Mounted, upward and upward.
    Into the light
    And the rainbow
    Above them.



_Whimsey_


    In spring my hemlock
    Dances gayly in flounces
    Of jade green lace.

    In summer moonlight
    When a soft wind stirs
    She dances with a delicate sapling.
    They sway and bend in the wind,
    And bow to the trees encircling.
    I hear the laughter of their leaves.

    In autumn she dances
    With beech leaves in her hair,

    But in winter I have found her still,
    Crouching under a blanket of snow.



_Remembering_

(_Locheven_)


    There is a spot in the woods
    That is "forever England" to me.
    A clump of beech trees
    Steeped in silence,
    Whose shade and solitude
    Shuts me in with my dreams.
    The sunshine slants through
    Their limpid leaves
    And turns them to translucent jade,
    Just as it does in an English spring.
    Violets are there, and I pluck them,
    Remembering the bluebells
    In the beech wood
    At Sevenoaks.



_Aloofness_


    Down among the docks and elevators and railroad tracks
    On the way out of the city,
    I pass a tiny cottage so rickety
    That its neighbors crowd close
    To hold it up. But there it is,
    Its one window shining clean, and glowing
    With a plant in a tin can and pure white curtains.
    Hanging over the fence and filling the whole place
    With its beauty and almost hiding the cottage
    Is a peach tree in full bloom.
    In the doorway I glimpse a girl
    In a purple dress.
    But what matters the smoke and the noise and the fog
    To the peach tree?



_Listening_

(_Eden, N. Y._)


    Atop Aries hill am I,
    The lone flyer, throbbing
    Against the sunset
    Is higher.
    He sees more than I,
    But he cannot hear
    What I hear.

    I hear the wood-thrush
    And the veery,
    Answer each other.
    I hear the voices
    Of happy children
    And the baying of hounds
    Float up from the valley;
    The chirp of the cricket
    At my feet, and, then,
    The silence of nightfall.

    He sees more than I,
    But he cannot hear
    What I hear.



_September's End_


    In the ash tree
    There is a soft rustling,
    Lingering, like
    A silken whisper,
    Quite different
    Than sound the other trees;
    As if the bronzy leaves
    Had much to say
    Before they part,
    And were loath
    To bid farewell.



_Content_

(_Westfield, N. Y._)


    When I linger in my garden
    And see black swallowtails hovering
    Over white phlox and orange zinnias,
    And morning glories, in a heavenly blue mass
    Surge upward on their trellis;
    When I watch the scintillating humming-bird
    Sip from the trumpet blossoms across my doorway,
    I feel no urge of travel to behold
    More of earth's beauty.
    Here in my little garden I have it all--
    And here I am content.



_Rhythm_


    Firelight, and strains of a symphony
      Wafting in.
    Outside, bare trees
      Against leaden skies
      Weave their own music
      That throbs with the rhythm
      Of the orchestra.
    The wind moans, and
      Strong, black branches
      Sway slowly,
      Mark the beat,
      Then stop.
    The wind hums,
      Delicate, lacelike tops
      Quiver and ripple
      With the quick response
      Of the violins.
    With the shriek of the wind
    They writhe and toss,
      Measuring the crescendo
      Of the brasses.



_Contrast_


    In an old world palace,
    Room after room
    Is filled with treasures--
    Old masters, jewels, glass.
    Yet all I remember
    Is the stark whiteness of a gardenia
    Blowing against a wall,
    And the fairy music of a fountain
    In the patio.



_Surety_


    I needed the dawn, but
    My eyes beheld only clouds
    And a valley filled with mists
    And a mountain shutting out the east.
    I needed the dawn, so
    I could but wait.
    Surely,
    Slowly
    Through the clouds
    The light came,
    Like a presence
    Dispelling mist and cloud:
    Even the mountain
    Could not hide it.
    My eyes beheld all clear,
    And in the roseate glow,
    Like a diamond,
    Hung the morning star.



_Guests_


    There was emptiness
    When the birds left in the fall.
    But to fill it came late butterflies,
    Dawdling flocks of brilliant things
    In clouds of scintillating beauty,
    Covering every bush and flower.
    As silently as they came did they disappear
    And in their place came the music
    Of the katydid and the cricket.
    Day and night the cheerful songs
    Of these tiny insects were our company.

    An early blizzard
    Buried every green blade and bent to earth
    Great trees and slender saplings
    Under a thick weight of snow.
    To our door came the thrushes
    That we thought were gone,--
    Shy thrushes, that had turned their backs
    Upon us in summer and slipped
    Into the depth of the woods,--
    And whitethroats and tree sparrows,
    Unafraid, waiting for food.
    Even now the stillness is alive
    With the memory of these friendly folk.



_Storm_


    When the storm rushes upon the deep woods,
    It lets down curtains of mist
    And sheets of rain, that drip
    Crystal beads among the trees.
    Way above, the branches lash and moan
    And weave. Below, it is still,
    Still as the undersea.
    Soft fern and feathery bracken
    Loom through the mist
    Like branching coral,
    And drifting leaves float down
    Like snowy fishes,
    Lazily moving.



_A Reminder_


    Down beneath the office windows
    In a chestnut clump,
    A robin sings all day long,
    "Joyously, joyously!"

    Above the whir of traffic,
    The bands and the sirens,
    Floats his song all day,
    "Joyously, joyously!"

    The lilting song brings to me,
    The peace of field and merry brook,
    And I myself, sing all day, too,
    "Joyously, joyously!"



_Buffalo Harbor_


    Some say that it is ugly and hurry on through,
    But I love these impressive symbols
    Of man's ingenuity.
    Here are the great grain elevators, looming
    In tones and shades of grey, veiled
    In the clouds of black smoke from the
    Tugs at their feet;
    Puffing engines shifting strings of cars,
    And huge ships nosed in against each other
    Or riding at anchor, and canal boats
    In straight lines at the docks.
    Farther on, across a slip, there are
    Mountains of ore in reds and brown,
    And pile upon pile of gravel and slag,
    And sand in soft saffron hues,
    Heaped up for the steel mills to devour;
    Those gigantic mills whose tall stacks
    Belch varicolored gases, against
    The deep blue of the inner harbor,
    Where the waves pound in
    Over the sea wall.
    All this cupped by the towering
    City skyscrapers, and outlined against
    The peaceful Eden hills,
    Miles to the south.
    And when I wait for the big bridge to lift
    For a freighter with its important tugs,
    I pull out of line, off to the side,
    And let the other cars go by,
    And look, and look.
    I never seem to get enough.



_From a Train Window_


    Once, before dawn,
    In the Mohawk valley,
    Dots of light flashed
    And floated off
    Into the blackness,
    Like sparks of flame
    Blasted from the engine.
    Then more and more,
    Mile after mile,
    Almost never ending--
    Millions of fire-flies,
    Like tiny torches,
    Dancing over swamp lands
    In the night air.



_Scotland_

(_The Highlands_)


    Mountains,
      Veiled in shifting vapors,
    Mountains,
      Bleak, foreboding,
    Mountains,
      Stark and overpowering.
    Torrents,
      Tumbling, crashing,
      Dragging boulders
      In their rushing,
    Lakes,
      Forlorn and lonesome
    Heather
      In magenta patches,
    Sheep, and cattle
      Black and somber,
    Winding roads
      Through massive passes.
    Rain,
    Sun,
    Flowers,
    Mist,
    Rain,--
      Loved Scotland!



_Friends_

(_At Lake Windermere, England_)


    Across the lake
    Lying calm and black
    Under the night,
    Floats the wail
    Of the pipes:
    And beyond, loom
    Langdale Pikes, dim,
    Shadowy sentinels.
    Over all, the stars,
    Like friends, faithful
    And changeless.



_A Poem of Color_


    Stretched on the ground beneath the Hawthorn,
    The perfume of its blossoms mingled with falling petals, floats
        down to me.
    Winged things alight there on the blanket of fragrance above,--a
        bunting, blue as the sky, a warbler, all gold, an Admiral, wings
        banded with crimson,
    Make a poem of color of the Hawthorn tree.



_Dream_

(_Stratford-on-Avon_)


    One warm June evening
    I sat in the churchyard
    Of old Trinity. I sat there for hours
    On an ancient stone, forgetting time.
    The Avon, as silent as the centuries it had known,
    Glided past, carrying me on with its memories.
    From the lush meadow across the river came the bleating of lambs,
    And from the limes floated the song of blackbirds.
    All about the scent of roses hung heavy.
    Then, over the roof of Trinity, the moon arose.
    Shakespeare saw the Avon, thus, and loved it,--
    Winding on in the moonlight.



_Escape_


    How simple life can be!
    A cabin,
    Mountains, afar and near,
    A brook,
    Deer, blowing at night.
    Perchance,
    Rain on the roof,
    Then,
    The loved books,
    A fire on the hearth,
    And endless time
    To think.
    How simple life is!



_Question_

(_Locheven_)


    Would you choose
    The formal garden
    With lilac hedges
    And vistas of velvet lawn
    And marble fountain
    Shining pool and
    Marble bench o'er-topped
    By drooping willow;
    Massed color in trim beds,
    And stately garden house
    Festooned with wisteria
    And guarded by strutting peacock?

              Or,

    The wood's garden,
    The wild garden,
    Tumbling over itself
    With pale Jacks, and violets--
    Blue and gold, and
    Baby ferns, tucked
    Within sheltering gnarled roots!
    And mossy mounds, starred
    With Trillium and Crane's bill;
    And patches of lavender sunlight,
    (No, it's wild Phlox,
    In the flickering light)--
    And fire-flies and flapping owls,
    At twilight, and furry rabbits,
    Bobbing ahead up the path.

    Which would you choose?



_When You Were a Little Girl_


    When you were a little girl
    And you went driving with Grandfather,
    If it rained, didn't he braid up the horse's tail
    Binding it round with a bright silver band,
    And fasten on the side curtains of the carriage
    And pull the rubber "boot" over the dashboard?
    And do you remember how the horse's feet
    Went "Plop, plop," in and out of the mud,
    And you felt the mist blow in on your face
    When you managed to peer out over the curtain?
    And didn't you snuggle up close to Grandfather
    And hug the Fairy Tale book
    Which he was going to listen to
    When the rain stopped and you lunched
    Beside the road?

    Didn't your Grandfather always drive over
    To the cheese factory, and bring out
    The fresh cheese curd to you?
    Can't you remember the taste, even now?
    And sometimes, when it stormed hard, and thundered
    And lightened, and the crashing made the horse
    Want to run, wouldn't your Grandfather always say:
    "Steady there, now, boy! Steady, boy!" so gently,
    That neither you nor the horse were afraid after that
    Because Grandfather said everything was all right,
    And he knew. And wasn't your Grandmother
    Waiting in the doorway, watching a bit anxiously,
    Until you turned into the yard?
            Mine was.



_Flight_


    So still lay the city,
    So very quietly it slept,
    That from high in the west
    I heard the honking of geese
    Winging southward.
    Yearningly I listened
    As they swept over,
    Yearningly I cried--
    O wild things, that I
    Could fly as do you!
    Then out of the silent darkness,
    Like a flying star,
    Flashed a plane
    With its skyborne humans.
    And all of a sudden
    I remembered that I, too,
    Could take to wings.



_Petit Trianon_

(_Versailles, France_)


    When the long drawn notes of a bird's song
    Echoes through the trees,
    It brings to remembrance the songs
    Of the blackbirds at Petit Trianon:
    Chiming, reverberating, floating down
    From the tops of the tall cedars
    As from an invisible, celestial choir.

    Nor can I forget the ages-old wisteria
    Clambering over gray palace walls,
    Nor the gamut of color in the azaleas there--
    Pink, orange, cerise, yellow--
    In pale green foliage.



_Joy_


    When your heavens are as brass
    And joy has fled, and
    Every door is shut,
    Do not forget the one
    That opens inward--
    The door of your heart,
    Whose handle is on the inside
    And which only you can open.
    Go out through that door
    And find one whose skies
    Are darker than yours,
    Whose burden is heavier;
    Bring him back with you
    Into your heart.

    There can you cleanse him with love,
    And clothe him with garments of truth,
    And put the ring of his unity
    With God upon his hand;
    There feed him with the word,
    And let him go.
    Then will your heavens be
    As radiant light,
    And your happiness and joy
    Such as never were
    On land or sea.



_Twilight Song Service_

(_"B.A." Chestnut Hill, Mass._)


    In the deepening twilight there floats
    From the chapel above, the loved hymns of healing--
    Hymns of comfort, of courage, welling up from grateful hearts
    And bringing reassurance of God's power
    To one who listens below in silent prayer and praise.
    Great peace of God, be with us all!
    Great peace of God encompass us!
    Speak to the waves tonight, Father, that they stand.
    Stretch forth Thy hand and stay their power,
    Calm them, that they overwhelm not.
    For Thy voice is "mightier than the noise of many waters,
    Yea, than the mighty waves of the sea."
    This Thou canst do, O my God.



_Triumph_


    These are they, O God,
    Who came out of great tribulation
    And have washed their robes white.
    Oh, holy triumph of those
    Who have endured the fire
    And the tempest's rage and, delivered,
    Stand exalted in this very hour,
    Purged, sanctified, and satisfied.
    These are they who have surrendered
    All the vanities of mortal selfhood,
    And serve Thee
    Day and night in Thy temple,
    Lifting others to behold
    The tearless, ageless, deathless reality
    Of Thy glory.



Transcriber's Note

Minor typographic errors have been corrected without note.





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