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Title: Later Poems
Author: Carman, Bliss, 1861-1929
Language: English
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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.

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[Illustration: cover art]



[Illustration: front end papers]



  Oh, well the world is dreaming
  Under the April moon,
  Her soul in love with beauty,
  Her senses all a-swoon!

  Pure hangs the silver crescent
  Above the twilight wood,
  And pure the silver music
  Wakes from the marshy flood.

  O Earth, with all thy transport,
  How comes it life should seem
  A shadow in the moonlight,
  A murmur in a dream?



[Frontispiece: Bliss Carman]



LATER POEMS


BY BLISS CARMAN


WITH AN APPRECIATION

BY R. H. HATHAWAY



_And decorations by J. E. H. MacDonald A.R.C.A_



MCCLELLAND & STEWART

PUBLISHERS -- TORONTO



Copyright, Canada, 1921

By MCCLELLAND & STEWART, Limited, TORONTO



  First Printing   1921
  Second   "       1922
  Third    "       1922
  Fourth   "       1923


Printed in Canada



Publisher's Note

The present volume is made up of poems from Mr. Carman's three latest
books, _The Rough Rider_, _Echoes from Vagabondia_, and _April Airs_,
together with a number of more recent poems which have not before been
issued in book form.



Bliss Carman: An Appreciation

How many Canadians--how many even among the few who seek to keep
themselves informed of the best in contemporary literature, who are
ever on the alert for the new voices--realise, or even suspect, that
this Northern land of theirs has produced a poet of whom it may be
affirmed with confidence and assurance that he is of the great
succession of English poets?  Yet such--strange and unbelievable though
it may seem--is in very truth the case, that poet being (to give him
his full name) William Bliss Carman.  Canada has full right to be proud
of her poets, a small body though they are; but not only does Mr.
Carman stand high and clear above them all--his place (and time cannot
but confirm and justify the assertion) is among those men whose poetry
is the shining glory of that great English literature which is our
common heritage.

If any should ask why, if what has been just said is so, there has
been--as must be admitted--no general recognition of the fact in the
poet's home land, I would answer that there are various and plausible,
if not good, reasons for it.

First of all, the poet, as thousands more of our young men of ambition
and confidence have done, went early to the United States, and until
recently, except for rare and brief visits to his old home down by the
sea, has never returned to Canada--though for all that, I am able to
state, on his own authority, he is still a Canadian citizen.  Then all
his books have had their original publication in the United States, and
while a few of them have subsequently carried the imprints of Canadian
publishers, none of these can be said ever to have made any special
effort to push their sale.  Another reason for the fact above mentioned
is that Mr. Carman has always scorned to advertise himself, while his
work has never been the subject of the log-rolling and booming which
the work of many another poet has had--to his ultimate loss.  A further
reason is that he follows a rule of his own in preparing his books for
publication.  Most poets publish a volume of their work as soon as,
through their industry and perseverance, they have material enough on
hand to make publication desirable in their eyes.  Not so with Mr.
Carman, however, his rule being not to publish until he has done
sufficient work of a certain general character or key to make a volume.
As a result, you cannot fully know or estimate his work by one book, or
two books, or even half a dozen; you must possess or be familiar with
every one of the score and more volumes which contain his output of
poetry before you can realise how great and how many-sided is his
genius.

It is a common remark on the part of those who respond readily to the
vigorous work of Kipling, or Masefield, even our own Service, that
Bliss Carman's poetry has no relation to or concern with ordinary,
everyday life.  One would suppose that most persons who cared for
poetry at all turned to it as a relief from or counter to the burdens
and vexations of the daily round; but in any event, the remark referred
to seems to me to indicate either the most casual acquaintance with Mr.
Carman's work, or a complete misunderstanding and misapprehension of
the meaning of it.  I grant that you will find little or nothing in it
all to remind you of the grim realities and vexing social problems of
this modern existence of ours; but to say or to suggest that these
things do not exist for Mr. Carman is to say or to suggest something
which is the reverse of true.  The truth is, he is aware of them as
only one with the sensitive organism of a poet can be; but he does not
feel that he has a call or mission to remedy them, and still less to
sing of them.  He therefore leaves the immediate problems of the day to
those who choose, or are led, to occupy themselves therewith, and turns
resolutely away to dwell upon those things which for him possess
infinitely greater importance.

"What are they?" one who knows Mr. Carman only as, say, a lyrist of
spring or as a singer of the delights of vagabondia probably will ask
in some wonder.  Well, the things which concern him above all, I would
answer, are first, and naturally, the beauty and wonder of this world
of ours, and next the mystery of the earthly pilgrimage of the human
soul out of eternity and back into it again.

The poems in the present volume--which, by the way, can boast the high
honor of being the very first regular Canadian edition of his
work--will be evidence ample and conclusive to every reader, I am sure,
of the place which

  The perennial enchanted
  Lovely world and all its lore

occupy in the heart and soul of Bliss Carman, as well as of the magical
power with which he is able to convey the deep and unfailing
satisfaction and delight which they possess for him.  They, however,
represent his latest period (he has had three well-defined periods),
comprising selections from three of his last published volumes: _The
Rough Rider_, _Echoes from Vagabondia_, and _April Airs_, together with
a number of new poems, and do not show, except here and there and by
hints and flashes, how great is his preoccupation with the problem of
man's existence--

      the hidden import
  Of man's eternal plight.


This is manifest most in certain of his earlier books, for in these he
turns and returns to the greatest of all the problems of man almost
constantly, probing, with consummate and almost unrivalled use of the
art of expression, for the secret which surely, he clearly feels, lies
hidden somewhere, to be discovered if one could but pierce deeply
enough.  Pick up _Behind the Arras_, and as you turn over page after
page you cannot but observe how incessantly the poet's mind--like the
minds of his two great masters, Browning and Whitman--works at this
problem.  In "Behind the Arras," the title poem; "In the Wings," "The
Crimson House," "The Lodger," "Beyond the Gamut," "The Juggler"--yes,
in every poem in the book--he takes up and handles the strange thing we
know as, or call, life, turning it now this way, now that, in an effort
to find out its meaning and purpose.  He comes but little nearer
success in this than do most of the rest of men, of course; but the
magical and ever-fresh beauty of his expression, the haunting melody of
his lines, the variety of his images and figures and the depth and
range of his thought, put his searchings and ponderings in a class by
themselves.

Lengthy quotation from Mr. Carman's books is not permitted here, and I
must guide myself accordingly, though with reluctance, because I
believe that in a study such as this the subject should be allowed to
speak for himself as much as possible.  In "Behind the Arras" the poet
describes the passage from life to death as

  A cadence dying down unto its source
  In music's course,

and goes on to speak of death as

        the broken rhythm of thought and man,
  The sweep and span
  Of memory and hope
  About the orbit where they still must grope
  For wider scope,

  To be through thousand springs restored, renewed,
  With love imbrued,
  With increments of will
  Made strong, perceiving unattainment still
  From each new skill.


Now follow some verses from "Behind the Gamut," to my mind the poet's
greatest single achievement;

  As fine sand spread on a disc of silver,
  At some chord which bids the motes combine,
  Heeding the hidden and reverberant impulse,
  Shifts and dances into curve and line,

  The round earth, too, haply, like a dust-mote,
  Was set whirling her assigned sure way,
  Round this little orb of her ecliptic
  To some harmony she must obey.

And what of man?

  Linked to all his half-accomplished fellows,
  Through unfrontiered provinces to range--
  Man is but the morning dream of nature,
  Roused to some wild cadence weird and strange.


Here, now, are some verses from "Pulvis et Umbra," which is to be found
in Mr. Carman's first book, _Low Tide on Grand Pré_, and in which the
poet addresses a moth which a storm has blown into his window:

  For man walks the world with mourning
  Down to death and leaves no trace,
  With the dust upon his forehead,
  And the shadow on his face.

  Pillared dust and fleeing shadow
  As the roadside wind goes by,
  And the fourscore years that vanish
  In the twinkling of an eye.


"Pillared dust and fleeing shadow."  Where in all our English
literature will one find the life history of man summed up more briefly
and, at the same time, more beautifully, than in that wonderful line?
Now follows a companion verse to those just quoted, taken from "Lord of
My Heart's Elation," which stands in the forefront of _From the Green
Book of the Bards_.  It may be remarked here that while the poet recurs
again and again to some favorite thought or idea, it is never in the
same words.  His expression is always new and fresh, showing how deep
and true is his inspiration.  Again it is man who is pictured:

  A fleet and shadowy column
  Of dust and mountain rain,
  To walk the earth a moment
  And be dissolved again.


But while Mr. Carman's speculations upon life's meaning and the mystery
of the future cannot but appeal to the thoughtful-minded, it is as an
interpreter of nature that he makes his widest appeal.  Bliss Carman, I
must say here, and emphatically, is no mere landscape-painter; he
never, or scarcely ever, paints a picture of nature for its own sake.
He goes beyond the outward aspect of things and interprets or
translates for us with less keen senses as only a poet whose feeling
for nature is of the deepest and profoundest, who has gone to her
whole-heartedly and been taken close to her warm bosom, can do.  Is
this not evident from these verses from "The Great Return"--originally
called "The Pagan's Prayer," and for some inscrutable reason to be
found only in the limited _Collected Poems_, issued in two stately
volumes in 1905 (1904)?

  When I have lifted up my heart to thee,
  Thou hast ever hearkened and drawn near,
  And bowed thy shining face close over me,
  Till I could hear thee as the hill-flowers hear.

  When I have cried to thee in lonely need,
  Being but a child of thine bereft and wrung,
  Then all the rivers in the hills gave heed;
  And the great hill-winds in thy holy tongue--

  That ancient incommunicable speech--
  The April stars and autumn sunsets know--
  Soothed me and calmed with solace beyond reach
  Of human ken, mysterious and low.


Who can read or listen to those moving lines without feeling that Mr.
Carman is in very truth a poet of nature--nay, Nature's own poet?  But
how could he be other when, in "The Breath of the Reed" (_From the
Green Book of the Bards_), he makes the appeal?

  Make me thy priest, O Mother,
  And prophet of thy mood,
  With all the forest wonder
  Enraptured and imbued.


As becomes such a poet, and particularly a poet whose birth-month is
April, Mr. Carman sings much of the early spring.  Again and again he
takes up his woodland pipe, and lo! Pan himself and all his train troop
joyously before us.  Yet the singer's notes for all his singing never
become wearied or strident; his airs are ever new and fresh; his latest
songs are no less spontaneous and winning than were his first, written
how many years ago, while at the same time they have gained in beauty
and melody.  What heart will not stir to the vibrant music of his
immortal "Spring Song," which was originally published in the first
_Songs from Vagabondia_, and the opening verses of which follow?

  Make me over, mother April,
  When the sap begins to stir!
  When thy flowery hand delivers
  All the mountain-prisoned rivers,
  And thy great heart beats and quivers
  To revive the days that were,
  Make me over, mother April,
  When the sap begins to stir!

  Take my dust and all my dreaming,
  Count my heart-beats one by one,
  Send them where the winters perish;
  Then some golden noon recherish
  And restore them in the sun,
  Flower and scent and dust and dreaming,
  With their heart-beats every one!


That poem is sufficient in itself to prove that Bliss Carman has full
right and title to be called Spring's own lyrist, though it may be
remarked here that not all his spring poems are so unfeignedly joyous.
Many of them indeed, have a touch, or more than a touch, of
wistfulness, for the poet knows well that sorrow lurks under all joy,
deep and well hidden though it may be.

Mr. Carman sings equally finely, though perhaps not so frequently, of
summer and the other seasons; but as he has other claims upon our
attention, I shall forbear to labor the fact, particularly as the
following collection demonstrates it sufficiently.  One of those other
claims is as a writer of sea poetry.  Few poets, it may be said, have
pictured the majesty and the mystery, the beauty and the terror of the
sea, better than he.  His _Ballads of Lost Haven_ is a veritable
treasure-house for those whose spirits find kinship in wide expanses of
moving waters.  One of the best known poems in this volume is "The
Gravedigger," which opens thus:

  Oh, the shambling sea is a sexton old,
  And well his work is done.
  With an equal grave for lord and knave,
  He buries them every one.

  Then hoy and rip, with a rolling hip,
  He makes for the nearest shore;
  And God, who sent him a thousand ship,
  Will send him a thousand more;
  But some he'll save for a bleaching grave,
  And shoulder them in to shore--
  Shoulder them in, shoulder them in,
  Shoulder them in to shore.


In "The City of the Sea" (_Last Songs from Vagabondia_) Mr. Carman
speaks of the seabells sounding

  The eternal cadence of sea sorrow
  For Man's lot and immemorial wrong--
  The lost strains that haunt the human dwelling
  With the ghost of song.


Elsewhere he speaks of

  The great sea, mystic and musical.

And here from another poem is a striking picture:

      ... the old sea
  Seems to whimper and deplore
  Mourning like a childless crone
  With her sorrow left alone--
  The eternal human cry
  To the heedless passer-by.


I have said above that Mr. Carman has had three distinct periods, and
intimated that the poems in the following collection are of his third
period.  The first period may be said to be represented by the _Low
Tide_ and _Behind the Arras_ volumes, while the second is displayed in
the three volumes of _Songs from Vagabondia_, which he published in
association with his friend Richard Hovey.  Bliss Carman was from the
first too original and individual a poet to be directly influenced by
anyone else; but there can be no doubt that his friendship with Hovey
helped to turn him from over-preoccupation with mysteries which, for
all their greatness, are not for man to solve, to an intenser
realisation of the beauty and loveliness of the world about him and of
the joys of human fellowship.  The result is seen in such poems as
"Spring Song," quoted in part above, and his perhaps equally well-known
"The Joys of the Road," which appeared in the same volume with that
poem, and a few verses from which follow:

  Now the joys of the road are chiefly these:
  A crimson touch on the hardwood trees;

  A vagrant's morning wide and blue,
  In early fall, when the wind walks, too;

  A shadowy highway cool and brown,
  Alluring up and enticing down

  From rippled waters and dappled swamp,
  From purple glory to scarlet pomp;

  The outward eye, the quiet will,
  And the striding heart from hill to hill.


Some of the finest of Mr. Carman's work is contained in his elegiac or
memorial poems, in which he commemorates Keats, Shelley, William Blake,
Lincoln, Stevenson, and other men for whom he has a kindred feeling,
and also friends whom he has loved and lost.  Listen to these moving
lines from "Non Omnis Moriar," written in memory of Gleeson White, and
to be found in _Last Songs from Vagabondia_:

  There is a part of me that knows,
    Beneath incertitude and fear,
  I shall not perish when I pass
    Beyond mortality's frontier;

  But greatly having joyed and grieved,
    Greatly content, shall hear the sigh
  Of the strange wind across the lone
    Bright lands of taciturnity.

  In patience therefore I await
    My friend's unchanged benign regard,--
  Some April when I too shall be
    Spilt water from a broken shard.


In "The White Gull," written for the centenary of the birth of Shelley
in 1892, and included in _By the Aurelian Wall_, he thus apostrophizes
that clear and shining spirit:

  O captain of the rebel host,
    Lead forth and far!
        Thy toiling troopers of the night
        Press on the unavailing fight;
  The sombre field is not yet lost,
    With thee for star.

  Thy lips have set the hail and haste
    Of clarions free
        To bugle down the wintry verge
        Of time forever, where the surge
  Thunders and trembles on a waste
    And open sea.


In "A Seamark," a threnody for Robert Louis Stevenson, which appears in
the same volume, the poet hails "R.L.S." (of whose tribe he may be said
to be truly one) as

  The master of the roving kind,

and goes on:

  O all you hearts about the world
  In whom the truant gypsy blood,
  Under the frost of this pale time,
  Sleeps like the daring sap and flood
  That dreams of April and reprieve!
  You whom the haunted vision drives,
  Incredulous of home and ease.
  Perfection's lovers all your lives!

  You whom the wander-spirit loves
  To lead by some forgotten clue
  Forever vanishing beyond
  Horizon brinks forever new;
  Our restless loved adventurer,
  On secret orders come to him,
  Has slipped his cable, cleared the reef,
  And melted on the white sea-rim.


"Perfection's lovers all your lives."  Of these, it may be said without
qualification, is Bliss Carman himself.

No summary of Mr. Carman's work, however cursory, would be worthy of
the name if it omitted mention of his ventures in the realm of Greek
myth.  _From the Book of Myths_ is made up of work of that sort, every
poem in it being full of the beauty of phrase and melody of which Mr.
Carman alone has the secret.  The finest poems in the book, barring the
opening one, "Overlord," are "Daphne," "The Dead Faun," "Hylas," and
"At Phædra's Tomb," but I can do no more here than name them, for
extracts would fail to reveal their full beauty.  And beauty, after all
is said, is the first and last thing with Mr. Carman.  As he says
himself somewhere:

  The joy of the hand that hews for beauty
  Is the dearest solace under the sun.

And again

  The eternal slaves of beauty
  Are the masters of the world.

A slave--a happy, willing slave--to beauty is the poet himself, and the
world can never repay him for the message of beauty which he has
brought it.

Kindred to _From the Book of Myths_, but much more important, is
_Sappho: One Hundred Lyrics_, one of the most successful of the
numerous attempts which have been made to recapture the poems by that
high priestess of song which remain to us only in fragments.  Mr.
Carman, as Charles G. D. Roberts points out in an introduction to the
volume, has made no attempt here at translation or paraphrasing; his
venture has been "the most perilous and most alluring in the whole
field of poetry"--that of imaginative and, at the same time,
interpretive construction.  Brief quotation again would fail to convey
an adequate idea of the exquisiteness of the work, and all I can do,
therefore, is to urge all lovers of real poetry to possess themselves
of _Sappho: One Hundred Lyrics_, for it is literally a storehouse of
lyric beauty.

I must not fail here to speak of _From the Book of Valentines_, which
contains some lovely things, notably "At the Great Release."  This is
not only one of the finest of all Mr. Carman's poems, but it is also
one of the finest poems of our time.  It is a love poem, and no one
possessing any real feeling for poetry can read it without experiencing
that strange thrill of the spirit which only the highest form of poetry
can communicate.  "Morning and Evening," "In an Iris Meadow," and "A
letter from Lesbos" must be also mentioned.  In the last named poem,
Sappho is represented as writing to Gorgo, and expresses herself in
these moving words:

  If the high gods in that triumphant time
  Have calendared no day for thee to come
  Light-hearted to this doorway as of old,
  Unmoved I shall behold their pomps go by--
  The painted seasons in their pageantry,
  The silvery progressions of the moon,
  And all their infinite ardors unsubdued,
  Pass with the wind replenishing the earth

  Incredulous forever I must live
  And, once thy lover, without joy behold,
  The gradual uncounted years go by,
  Sharing the bitterness of all things made.


Mention must be now made of _Songs of the Sea Children_, which can be
described only as a collection of the sweetest and tenderest love
lyrics written in our time--

      the lyric songs
  The earthborn children sing,
  When wild-wood laughter throngs
  The shy bird-throats of spring;
  When there's not a joy of the heart
  But flies like a flag unfurled,
  And the swelling buds bring back
  The April of the world.


So perfect and complete are these lyrics that it would be almost
sacrilege to quote any of them unless entire.  Listen however, to these
verses:

  The day is lost without thee,
  The night has not a star.
  Thy going is an empty room
  Whose door is left ajar.

  Depart: it is the footfall
  Of twilight on the hills.
  Return: and every rood of ground
  Breaks into daffodils.


There are those who will have it that Bliss Carman has been away from
Canada so long that he has ceased to be, in a real sense, a Canadian.
Such assume rather than know, for a very little study of his work would
show them that it is shot through and through with the poet's feeling
for the land of his birth.  Memories of his childhood and youthful
years down by the sea are still fresh in Mr. Carman's mind, and inspire
him again and again in his writing.  "A Remembrance," at the beginning
of the present collection, may be pointed to as a striking instance of
this, but proof positive is the volume, _Songs from a Northern Garden_,
for it could have been written only by a Canadian, born and bred, one
whose heart and soul thrill to the thought of Canada.  I would single
out from this volume for special mention as being "Canadian" in the
fullest sense "In a Grand Pré Garden," "The Keeper's Silence," "At Home
and Abroad," "Killoleet," and "Above the Gaspereau," but have no space
to quote from them.

But Mr. Carman is not only a Canadian, he is also a Briton; and
evidence of this is his _Ode on the Coronation_, written on the
occasion of the crowning of King Edward VII in 1902.  This poem--the
very existence of which is hardly known among us--ought to be put in
the hands of every child and youth who speaks the English tongue, for
no other, I dare maintain--nothing by Kipling, or Newbolt, or any other
of our so-called "Imperial singers"--expresses more truly and more
movingly the deep feeling of love and reverence which the very thought
of England evokes in every son of hers, even though it may never have
been his to see her white cliffs rise or to tread her storied ground:

  O England, little mother by the sleepless Northern tide,
  Having bred so many nations to devotion, trust, and pride,
    Very tenderly we turn
    With welling hearts that yearn
  Still to love you and defend you,--let the sons of men discern
  Wherein your right and title, might and majesty, reside.


In concluding this, I greatly fear, lamentably inadequate study, I come
to the collection which follows, and which, as intimated above,
represents the work of Mr. Carman's latest period.  I must say at once
that, while I yield to no one in admiration for _Low Tide_ and the
other books of that period, or for the work of the second period, as
represented by the _Songs from Vagabondia_ volumes, I have no
hesitation in declaring that I regard the poet's work of the past few
years with even higher admiration.  It may not possess the force and
vigor of the work which preceded it; but anything seemingly missing in
that respect is more than made up for me by increased beauty and
clarity of expression.  The mysticism--verging, or more than verging,
at times on symbolism--which marked his earlier poems, and which hung,
as it were, as a veil between them and the reader, has gone, and the
poet's thought or theme now lies clearly before us as in a mirror.
What--to take a verse from the following pages at random--could be more
pellucid, more crystal clear in expression--what indeed, could come
closer to that achieving of the impossible at which every real poet
must aim--than this from "In Gold Lacquer" (page 12)?

  Gold are the great trees overhead,
  And gold the leaf-strewn grass,
  As though a cloth of gold were spread
  To let a seraph pass.
  And where the pageant should go by,
  Meadow and wood and stream,
  The world is all of lacquered gold,
  Expectant as a dream.


The poet, happily, has fully recovered from the serious illness which
laid him low some two years ago, and which for a time caused his
friends and admirers the gravest concern, and so we may look forward
hopefully to seeing further volumes of verse come from the press to
make certain his name and fame.  But if, for any reason, this should
not be--which the gods forfend!--_Later Poems_, I dare affirm, must and
will be regarded as the fine flower and crowning achievement of the
genius and art of Bliss Carman.

R. H. HATHAWAY.

Toronto, 1921.



THE BOOKS OF BLISS CARMAN: POETRY AND PROSE


LOW TIDE ON GRAND PRÉ: A BOOK OF LYRICS  . . . . . . . . . . . . 1893

SONGS FROM VAGABONDIA (WITH RICHARD HOVEY) . . . . . . . . . . . 1894

BEHIND THE ARRAS: A BOOK OF THE UNSEEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1895

A SEAMARK: A THRENODY FOR ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON . . . . . . . . 1895

MORE SONGS FROM VAGABONDIA (WITH HOVEY)  . . . . . . . . . . . . 1896

BALLADS OF LOST HAVEN: A BOOK OF THE SEA . . . . . . . . . . . . 1897

BY THE AURELIAN WALL, AND OTHER ELEGIES  . . . . . . . . . . . . 1898

A WINTER HOLIDAY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1899

LAST SONGS FROM VAGABONDIA (WITH HOVEY)  . . . . . . . . . . . . 1901

BALLADS AND LYRICS (A SELECTION) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1902

ODE ON THE CORONATION OF KING EDWARD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1902

FROM THE BOOK OF MYTHS ("PIPES OF PAN," No. I.)  . . . . . . . . 1902

FROM THE GREEN BOOK OF THE BARDS ("PIPES OF PAN," No. II.) . . . 1903

THE KINSHIP OF NATURE (ESSAYS) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1904

SONGS OF THE SEA CHILDREN ("PIPES OF PAN," No. III.) . . . . . . 1904

SONGS FROM A NORTHERN GARDEN ("PIPES OF PAN," No. IV.) . . . . . 1904

THE FRIENDSHIP OF ART (ESSAYS) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1904

SAPPHO: ONE HUNDRED LYRICS (500 COPIES)  . . . . . . . . . . . . 1905

FROM THE BOOK OF VALENTINES ("PIPES OF PAN," No. V.) . . . . . . 1905

THE POETRY OF LIFE (ESSAYS)  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1905

COLLECTED POEMS, 2 VOLS. (500 COPIES)  . . . . . . . . .  1905 (1904)

THE PIPES OF PAN (DEFINITIVE EDITION)  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1906

THE MAKING OF PERSONALITY (ESSAYS) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1908

THE ROUGH RIDER, AND OTHER POEMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1909

ECHOES FROM VAGABONDIA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1912

DAUGHTERS OF DAWN: A LYRICAL PAGEANT (WITH MARY PERRY KING)  . . 1913

EARTH DEITIES, AND OTHER RYTHMIC MASQUES (WITH MARY PERRY KING)  1914

APRIL AIRS: A BOOK OF NEW ENGLAND LYRICS . . . . . . . . . . . . 1916



Contents


  BLISS CARMAN: AN APPRECIATION
  VESTIGIA
  A REMEMBRANCE
  THE SHIPS OF YULE
  THE SHIPS OF SAINT JOHN
  THE GARDEN OF DREAMS
  GARDEN MAGIC
  IN GOLD LACQUER
  APRILIAN
  GARDEN SHADOWS
  IN THE DAY OF BATTLE
  TREES
  THE GIVERS OF LIFE
  A FIRESIDE VISION
  A WATER COLOR
  THRENODY FOR A POET
  DUST OF THE STREET
  TO A YOUNG LADY ON HER BIRTHDAY
  THE GIFT
  THE CRY OF THE HILLBORN
  A MOUNTAIN GATEWAY
  MORNING IN THE HILLS
  A WOODPATH
  WEATHER OF THE SOUL
  HERE AND NOW
  THE ANGEL OF JOY
  THE HOMESTEAD
  "THE STARRY MIDNIGHT WHISPERS"
  A LYRIC
  "APRIL NOW IN MORNING CLAD"
  NIKE
  THE ENCHANTED TRAVELLER
  SPRING'S SARABAND
  TRIUMPHALIS
  "NOW THE LENGTHENING TWILIGHTS HOLD"
  THE SOUL OF APRIL
  AN APRIL MORNING
  EARTH VOICES
  RESURGAM
  EASTER EVE
  NOW IS THE TIME OF YEAR
  THE REDWING
  THE RAINBIRD
  LAMENT
  UNDER THE APRIL MOON
  THE FLUTE OF SPRING
  SPRING NIGHT
  BLOODROOT
  DAFFODIL'S RETURN
  NOW THE LILAC TREE'S IN BUD
  WHITE IRIS
  THE TREE OF HEAVEN
  PEONY
  THE URBAN PAN
  THE SAILING OF THE FLEETS
  "'TIS MAY NOW IN NEW ENGLAND"
  IN EARLY MAY
  FIREFLIES
  THE PATH TO SANKOTY
  OFF MONOMOY
  IN ST GERMAIN STREET
  PAN IN THE CATSKILLS
  A NEW ENGLAND JUNE
  THE TENT OF NOON
  CHILDREN OF DREAM
  ROADSIDE FLOWERS
  THE GARDEN OF SAINT ROSE
  THE WORLD VOICE
  SONGS OF THE GRASS
  THE CHORISTERS
  THE WEED'S COUNSEL
  THE BLUE HERON
  WOODLAND RAIN
  SUMMER STORM
  DANCE OF THE SUNBEAMS
  THE CAMPFIRE OF THE SUN
  SUMMER STREAMS
  THE GOD OF THE WOODS
  AT SUNRISE
  AT TWILIGHT
  MOONRISE
  THE QUEEN OF NIGHT
  NIGHT LYRIC
  THE HEART OF NIGHT
  PEACE
  THE OLD GRAY WALL
  TE DEUM
  IN OCTOBER
  BY STILL WATERS
  LINES FOR A PICTURE
  THE DESERTED PASTURE
  AUTUMN
  NOVEMBER TWILIGHT
  THE GHOSTYARD OF THE GOLDENROD
  BEFORE THE SNOW
  WINTER
  A WINTER PIECE
  WINTER STREAMS
  WINTER TWILIGHT
  THE TWELFTH NIGHT STAR
  A CHRISTMAS EVE CHORAL
  CHRISTMAS SONG
  THE WISE MEN FROM THE EAST
  THE SENDING OF THE MAGI
  THE ANGELS OF MAN
  AT THE MAKING OF MAN
  ST. MICHAEL'S STAR
  THE DREAMERS
  EL DORADO
  ON THE PLAZA
  A PAINTER'S HOLIDAY
  MIRAGE
  THE WINGED VICTORY
  THE GATE OF PEACE



Later Poems



  Vestigia.

  _I took a day to search for God,
  And found Him not.  But as I trod
  By rocky ledge, through woods untamed,
  Just where one scarlet lily flamed,
  I saw His footprint in the sod._

  _Then suddenly, all unaware,
  Far off in the deep shadows, where
  A solitary hermit thrush
  Sang through the holy twilight hush--
  I heard His voice upon the air._

  _And even as I marvelled how
  God gives us Heaven here and now,
  In a stir of wind that hardly shook
  The poplar leaves beside the brook--
  His hand was light upon my brow._

  _At last with evening as I turned
  Homeward, and thought what I had learned
  And all that there was still to probe--
  I caught the glory of His robe
  Where the last fires of sunset burned._

  _Back to the world with quickening start
  I looked and longed for any part
  In making saving Beauty be....
  And from that kindling ecstasy
  I knew God dwelt within my heart._



  A Remembrance.

  Here in lovely New England
  When summer is come, a sea-turn
  Flutters a page of remembrance
  In the volume of long ago.

  Soft is the wind over Grand Pré,
  Stirring the heads of the grasses,
  Sweet is the breath of the orchards
  White with their apple-blow.

  There at their infinite business
  Of measuring time forever,
  Murmuring songs of the sea,
  The great tides come and go.

  Over the dikes and the uplands
  Wander the great cloud shadows,
  Strange as the passing of sorrow,
  Beautiful, solemn, and slow.

  For, spreading her old enchantment
  Of tender ineffable wonder,
  Summer is there in the Northland!
  How should my heart not know?



  The Ships of Yule

  When I was just a little boy,
  Before I went to school,
  I had a fleet of forty sail
  I called the Ships of Yule;

  Of every rig, from rakish brig
  And gallant barkentine,
  To little Fundy fishing boats
  With gunwales painted green.

  They used to go on trading trips
  Around the world for me,
  For though I had to stay on shore
  My heart was on the sea.

  They stopped at every port to call
  From Babylon to Rome,
  To load with all the lovely things
  We never had at home;

  With elephants and ivory
  Bought from the King of Tyre,
  And shells and silk and sandal-wood
  That sailor men admire;

  With figs and dates from Samarcand,
  And squatty ginger-jars,
  And scented silver amulets
  From Indian bazaars;

  With sugar-cane from Port of Spain,
  And monkeys from Ceylon,
  And paper lanterns from Pekin
  With painted dragons on;

  With cocoanuts from Zanzibar,
  And pines from Singapore;
  And when they had unloaded these
  They could go back for more.

  And even after I was big
  And had to go to school,
  My mind was often far away
  Aboard the Ships of Yule.



  The Ships of Saint John

  Where are the ships I used to know,
    That came to port on the Fundy tide
  Half a century ago,
    In beauty and stately pride?

  In they would come past the beacon light,
    With the sun on gleaming sail and spar,
  Folding their wings like birds in flight
    From countries strange and far.

  Schooner and brig and barkentine,
    I watched them slow as the sails were furled,
  And wondered what cities they must have seen
    On the other side of the world.

  Frenchman and Britisher and Dane,
    Yankee, Spaniard and Portugee,
  And many a home ship back again
    With her stories of the sea.

  Calm and victorious, at rest
    From the relentless, rough sea-play,
  The wild duck on the river's breast
    Was not more sure than they.

  The creatures of a passing race,
    The dark spruce forests made them strong,
  The sea's lore gave them magic grace,
    The great winds taught them song.

  And God endowed them each with life--
    His blessing on the craftsman's skill--
  To meet the blind unreasoned strife
    And dare the risk of ill.

  Not mere insensate wood and paint
    Obedient to the helm's command,
  But often restive as a saint
    Beneath the Heavenly hand.

  All the beauty and mystery
    Of life were there, adventure bold,
  Youth, and the glamour of the sea
    And all its sorrows old.

  And many a time I saw them go
    Out on the flood at morning brave,
  As the little tugs had them in tow,
    And the sunlight danced on the wave.

  There all day long you could hear the sound
    Of the caulking iron, the ship's bronze bell,
  And the clank of the capstan going round
    As the great tides rose and fell.

  The sailors' songs, the Captain's shout,
    The boatswain's whistle piping shrill,
  And the roar as the anchor chain runs out,--
    I often hear them still.

  I can see them still, the sun on their gear,
    The shining streak as the hulls careen,
  And the flag at the peak unfurling,--clear
    As a picture on a screen.

  The fog still hangs on the long tide-rips,
    The gulls go wavering to and fro,
  But where are all the beautiful ships
    I knew so long ago?



  The Garden of Dreams

  My heart is a garden of dreams
  Where you walk when day is done,
  Fair as the royal flowers,
  Calm as the lingering sun.

  Never a drouth comes there,
  Nor any frost that mars,
  Only the wind of love
  Under the early stars,--

  The living breath that moves
  Whispering to and fro,
  Like the voice of God in the dusk
  Of the garden long ago.



  Garden Magic

  Within my stone-walled garden
  (I see her standing now,
  Uplifted in the twilight,
  With glory on her brow!)

  I love to walk at evening
  And watch, when winds are low,
  The new moon in the tree-tops,
  Because she loved it so!

  And there entranced I listen,
  While flowers and winds confer,
  And all their conversation
  Is redolent of her.

  I love the trees that guard it,
  Upstanding and serene,
  So noble, so undaunted,
  Because that was her mien.

  I love the brook that bounds it,
  Because its silver voice
  Is like her bubbling laughter
  That made the world rejoice.

  I love the golden jonquils,
  Because she used to say,
  If soul could choose a color
  It would be clothed as they.

  I love the blue-gray iris,
  Because her eyes were blue,
  Sea-deep and heaven-tender
  In meaning and in hue.

  I love the small wild roses,
  Because she used to stand
  Adoringly above them
  And bless them with her hand.

  These were her boon companions.
  But more than all the rest
  I love the April lilac,
  Because she loved it best.

  Soul of undying rapture!
  How love's enchantment clings,
  With sorcery and fragrance,
  About familiar things!



  In Gold Lacquer

  Gold are the great trees overhead,
  And gold the leaf-strewn grass,
  As though a cloth of gold were spread
  To let a seraph pass.
  And where the pageant should go by,
  Meadow and wood and stream,
  The world is all of lacquered gold,
  Expectant as a dream.

  Against the sunset's burning gold,
  Etched in dark monotone
  Behind its alley of grey trees
  And gateposts of grey stone,
  Stands the Old Manse, about whose eaves
  An air of mystery clings,
  Abandoned to the lonely peace
  Of bygone ghostly things.

  In molten gold the river winds
  With languid sweep and turn,
  Beside the red-gold wooded hill
  Yellowed with ash and fern.
  The streets are tiled with gold-green shade
  And arched with fretted gold,
  Ecstatic aisles that richly thread
  This minster grim and old.

  The air is flecked with filtered gold,--
  The shimmer of romance
  Whose ageless glamour still must hold
  The world as in a trance,
  Pouring o'er every time and place
  Light of an amber sea,
  The spell of all the gladsome things
  That have been or shall be.



  Aprilian

  When April came with sunshine
  And showers and lilac bloom,
  My heart with sudden gladness
  Was like a fragrant room.

  Her eyes were heaven's own azure,
  As deep as God's own truth.
  Her soul was made of rapture
  And mystery and youth.

  She knew the sorry burden
  Of all the ancient years,
  Yet could not dwell with sadness
  And memory and tears.

  With her there was no shadow
  Of failure nor despair,
  But only loving joyance.
  O Heart, how glad we were!



  Garden Shadows

  When the dawn winds whisper
  To the standing corn,
  And the rose of morning
  From the dark is born,
  All my shadowy garden
  Seems to grow aware
  Of a fragrant presence,
  Half expected there.

  In the golden shimmer
  Of the burning noon,
  When the birds are silent
  And the poppies swoon,
  Once more I behold her
  Smile and turn her face,
  With its infinite regard,
  Its immortal grace.

  When the twilight silvers
  Every nodding flower,
  And the new moon hallows
  The first evening hour,
  Is it not her footfall
  Down the garden walks,
  Where the drowsy blossoms
  Slumber on their stalks?

  In the starry quiet,
  When the soul is free,
  And a vernal message
  Stirs the lilac tree,
  Surely I have felt her
  Pass and brush my cheek,
  With the eloquence of love
  That does not need to speak!



  In The Day of Battle

  In the day of battle,
  In the night of dread,
  Let one hymn be lifted,
  Let one prayer be said.

  Not for pride of conquest,
  Not for vengeance wrought,
  Nor for peace and safety
  With dishonour bought!

  Praise for faith in freedom,
  Our fighting fathers' stay,
  Born of dreams and daring,
  Bred above dismay.

  Prayer for cloudless vision,
  And the valiant hand,
  That the right may triumph
  To the last demand.



  Trees

  In the Garden of Eden, planted by God,
  There were goodly trees in the springing sod,--

  Trees of beauty and height and grace,
  To stand in splendor before His face.

  Apple and hickory, ash and pear,
  Oak and beech and the tulip rare,

  The trembling aspen, the noble pine,
  The sweeping elm by the river line;

  Trees for the birds to build and sing,
  And the lilac tree for a joy in spring;

  Trees to turn at the frosty call
  And carpet the ground for their Lord's footfall;

  Trees for fruitage and fire and shade,
  Trees for the cunning builder's trade;

  Wood for the bow, the spear, and the flail,
  The keel and the mast of the daring sail;

  He made them of every grain and girth
  For the use of man in the Garden of Earth.

  Then lest the soul should not lift her eyes
  From the gift to the Giver of Paradise,

  On the crown of a hill, for all to see,
  God planted a scarlet maple tree.



  The Givers of Life

  I

  Who called us forth out of darkness and gave us the gift of life,
  Who set our hands to the toiling, our feet in the field of strife?

  Darkly they mused, predestined to knowledge of viewless things,
  Sowing the seed of wisdom, guarding the living springs.

  Little they reckoned privation, hunger or hardship or cold,
  If only the life might prosper, and the joy that grows not old.

  With sorceries subtler than music, with knowledge older than speech,
  Gentle as wind in the wheat-field, strong as the tide on the beach,

  Out of their beauty and longing, out of their raptures and tears,
  In patience and pride they bore us, to war with the warring years.


  II

  Who looked on the world before them, and summoned and chose
      our sires,
  Subduing the wayward impulse to the will of their deep desires?

  Sovereigns of ultimate issues under the greater laws,
  Theirs was the mystic mission of the eternal cause;

  Confident, tender, courageous, leaving the low for the higher,
  Lifting the feet of the nations out of the dust and the mire;
  Luring civilization on to the fair and new,
  Given God's bidding to follow, having God's business to do.


  III

  Who strengthened our souls with courage, and taught us the ways
      of Earth?
  Who gave us our patterns of beauty, our standards of flawless worth?

  Mothers, unmilitant, lovely, moulding our manhood then,
  Walked in their woman's glory, swaying the might of men.

  They schooled us to service and honor, modest and clean and fair,--
  The code of their worth of living, taught with the sanction
      of prayer.
  They were our sharers of sorrow, they were our makers of joy,
  Lighting the lamp of manhood in the heart of the lonely boy.

  Haloed with love and with wonder, in sheltered ways they trod,
  Seers of sublime divination, keeping the truce of God.


  IV

  Who called us from youth and dreaming, and set ambition alight,
  And made us fit for the contest,--men, by their tender rite?

  Sweethearts above our merit, charming our strength and skill
  To be the pride of their loving, to be the means of their will.

  If we be the builders of beauty, if we be the masters of art,
  Theirs were the gleaming ideals, theirs the uplift of the heart.

  Truly they measure the lightness of trappings and ease and fame,
  For the teeming desire of their yearning is ever and ever the same:

  To crown their lovers with gladness, to clothe their sons
      with delight,
  And see the men of their making lords in the best man's right.

  Lavish of joy and labor, broken only by wrong,
  These are the guardians of being, spirited, sentient and strong.

  Theirs is the starry vision, theirs the inspiriting hope,
  Since Night, the brooding enchantress, promised that day
      should ope.


  V

  Lo, we have built and invented, reasoned, discovered and planned,
  To rear us a palace of splendor, and make us a heaven by hand.

  We are shaken with dark misgiving, as kingdoms rise and fall;
  But the women who went to found them are never counted at all.

  Versed in the soul's traditions, skilled in humanity's lore,
  They wait for their crown of rapture, and weep for the sins of war.

  And behold they turn from our triumphs, as it was in the first
      of days,
  For a little heaven of ardor and a little heartening of praise.

  These are the rulers of kingdoms beyond the domains of state,
  Martyrs of all men's folly, over-rulers of fate.
  These we will love and honor, these we will serve and defend,
  Fulfilling the pride of nature, till nature shall have an end.


  VI

  This is the code unwritten, this is the creed we hold,
  Guarding the little and lonely, gladdening the helpless and old,--

  Apart from the brunt of the battle our wondrous women shall bide,
  For the sake of a tranquil wisdom and the need of a spirit's guide.

  Come they into assembly, or keep they another door,
  Our makers of life shall lighten the days as the years of yore.

  The lure of their laughter shall lead us, the lilt of their words
      shall sway.
  Though life and death should defeat us, their solace shall be
      our stay.

  Veiled in mysterious beauty, vested in magical grace,
  They have walked with angels at twilight and looked upon glory's face.

  Life we will give for their safety, care for their fruitful ease,
  Though we break at the toiling benches or go down in the smoky seas.

  This is the gospel appointed to govern a world of men.
  Till love has died, and the echoes have whispered the last Amen.



  A Fireside Vision

  Once I walked the world enchanted
  Through the scented woods of spring,
  Hand in hand with Love, in rapture
  Just to hear a bluebird sing.

  Now the lonely winds of autumn
  Moan about my gusty eaves,
  As I sit beside the fire
  Listening to the flying leaves.

  As the dying embers settle
  And the twilight falls apace,
  Through the gloom I see a vision
  Full of ardor, full of grace.

  When the Architect of Beauty
  Breathed the lyric soul in man,
  Lo, the being that he fashioned
  Was of such a mould and plan!

  Bravely through the deepening shadows
  Moves that figure half divine,
  With its tenderness of bearing,
  With its dignity of line.

  Eyes more wonderful than evening
  With the new moon on the hill,
  Mouth with traces of God's humor
  In its corners lurking still.

  Ah, she smiles, in recollection;
  Lays a hand upon my brow;
  Rests this head upon Love's bosom!
  Surely it is April now!



  A Water Color

  There's a picture in my room
  Lightens many an hour of gloom,--

  Cheers me under fortune's frown
  And the drudgery of town.

  Many and many a winter day
  When my soul sees all things gray,

  Here is veritable June,
  Heart's content and spirit's boon.

  It is scarce a hand-breadth wide,
  Not a span from side to side,

  Yet it is an open door
  Looking back to joy once more,

  Where the level marshes lie,
  A quiet journey of the eye,

  And the unsubstantial blue
  Makes the fine illusion true.

  So I forth and travel there
  In the blessed light and air,

  Miles of green tranquillity
  Down the river to the sea.

  Here the sea-birds roam at will,
  And the sea-wind on the hill

  Brings the hollow pebbly roar
  From the dim and rosy shore,

  With the very scent and draft
  Of the old sea's mighty craft.

  I am standing on the dunes,
  By some charm that must be June's,

  When the magic of her hand
  Lays a sea-spell on the land.

  And the old enchantment falls
  On the blue-gray orchard walls

  And the purple high-top boles,
  While the orange orioles

  Flame and whistle through the green
  Of that paradisal scene.

  Strolling idly for an hour
  Where the elder is in flower,

  I can hear the bob-white call
  Down beyond the pasture wall.

  Musing in the scented heat,
  Where the bayberry is sweet,

  I can see the shadows run
  Up the cliff-side in the sun.

  Or I cross the bridge and reach
  The mossers' houses on the beach,

  Where the bathers on the sand
  Lie sea-freshened and sun-tanned.

  Thus I pass the gates of time
  And the boundaries of clime,

  Change the ugly man-made street
  For God's country green and sweet.

  Fag of body, irk of mind,
  In a moment left behind,

  Once more I possess my soul
  With the poise and self-control

  Beauty gives the free of heart
  Through the sorcery of art.



  Threnody for a Poet

  Not in the ancient abbey,
  Nor in the city ground,
  Not in the lonely mountains,
  Nor in the blue profound,
  Lay him to rest when his time is come
  And the smiling mortal lips are dumb;

  But here in the decent quiet
  Under the whispering pines,
  Where the dogwood breaks in blossom
  And the peaceful sunlight shines,
  Where wild birds sing and ferns unfold,
  When spring comes back in her green and gold.

  And when that mortal likeness
  Has been dissolved by fire,
  Say not above the ashes,
  "Here ends a man's desire."
  For every year when the bluebirds sing,
  He shall be part of the lyric spring.

  Then dreamful-hearted lovers
  Shall hear in wind and rain
  The cadence of his music,
  The rhythm of his refrain,
  For he was a blade of the April sod
  That bowed and blew with the whisper of God.



  Dust of the Street

  This cosmic dust beneath our feet
  Rising to hurry down the street,

  Borne by the wind and blown astray
  In its erratic, senseless way,

  Is the same stuff as you and I--
  With knowledge and desire put by.

  Thousands of times since time began
  It has been used for making man,

  Freighted like us with every sense
  Of spirit and intelligence,

  To walk the world and know the fine
  Large consciousness of things divine.

  These wandering atoms in their day
  Perhaps have passed this very way,

  With eager step and flowerlike face,
  With lovely ardor, poise, and grace,

  On what delightful errands bent,
  Passionate, generous, and intent,--

  An angel still, though veiled and gloved,
  Made to love us and to be loved.

  Friends, when the summons comes for me
  To turn my back (reluctantly)

  On this delightful play, I claim
  Only one thing in friendship's name;

  And you will not decline a task
  So slight, when it is all I ask:

  Scatter my ashes in the street
  Where avenue and crossway meet.

  I beg you of your charity,
  No granite and cement for me,

  To needlessly perpetuate
  An unimportant name and date.

  Others may wish to lay them down
  On some fair hillside far from town,

  Where slim white birches wave and gleam
  Beside a shadowy woodland stream,

  Or in luxurious beds of fern,
  But I would have my dust return

  To the one place it loved the best
  In days when it was happiest.



  To a Young Lady on Her Birthday

  The marching years go by
  And brush your garment's hem.
  The bandits by and by
  Will bid you go with them.

  Trust not that caravan!
  Old vagabonds are they;
  They'll rob you if they can,
  And make believe it's play.

  Make the old robbers give
  Of all the spoils they bear,--
  Their truth, to help you live,--
  Their joy, to keep you fair.

  Ask not for gauds nor gold,
  Nor fame that falsely rings;
  The foolish world grows old
  Caring for all these things.

  Make all your sweet demands
  For happiness alone,
  And the years will fill your hands
  With treasures rarely known.



  The Gift

  I said to Life, "How comes it,
  With all this wealth in store,
  Of beauty, joy, and knowledge,
  Thy cry is still for more?

  "Count all the years of striving
  To make thy burden less,--
  The things designed and fashioned
  To gladden thy success!

  "The treasures sought and gathered
  Thy lightest whim to please,--
  The loot of all the ages,
  The spoil of all the seas!

  "Is there no end of labor,
  No limit to thy need?
  Must man go bowed forever
  In bondage to thy greed?"

  With tears of pride and passion
  She answered, "God above!
  I only wait the asking,
  To spend it all for love!"



  The Cry of the Hillborn

  I am homesick for the mountains--
  My heroic mother hills--
  And the longing that is on me
  No solace ever stills.

  I would climb to brooding summits
  With their old untarnished dreams,
  Cool my heart in forest shadows
  To the lull of falling streams;

  Hear the innocence of aspens
  That babble in the breeze,
  And the fragrant sudden showers
  That patter on the trees.

  I am lonely for my thrushes
  In their hermitage withdrawn,
  Toning the quiet transports
  Of twilight and of dawn.

  I need the pure, strong mornings,
  When the soul of day is still,
  With the touch of frost that kindles
  The scarlet on the hill;

  Lone trails and winding woodroads
  To outlooks wild and high,
  And the pale moon waiting sundown
  Where ledges cut the sky.

  I dream of upland clearings
  Where cones of sumac burn,
  And gaunt and gray-mossed boulders
  Lie deep in beds of fern;

  The gray and mottled beeches,
  The birches' satin sheen,
  The majesty of hemlocks
  Crowning the blue ravine.

  My eyes dim for the skyline
  Where purple peaks aspire,
  And the forges of the sunset
  Flare up in golden fire.

  There crests look down unheeding
  And see the great winds blow,
  Tossing the huddled tree-tops
  In gorges far below;

  Where cloud-mists from the warm earth
  Roll up about their knees,
  And hang their filmy tatters
  Like prayers upon the trees.

  I cry for night-blue shadows
  On plain and hill and dome,--
  The spell of old enchantments,
  The sorcery of home.



  A Mountain Gateway

  I know a vale where I would go one day,
  When June comes back and all the world once more
  Is glad with summer.  Deep in shade it lies
  A mighty cleft between the bosoming hills,
  A cool dim gateway to the mountains' heart.

  On either side the wooded slopes come down,
  Hemlock and beech and chestnut.  Here and there
  Through the deep forest laurel spreads and gleams,
  Pink-white as Daphne in her loveliness.
  Among the sunlit shadows I can see
  That still perfection from the world withdrawn,
  As if the wood-gods had arrested there
  Immortal beauty in her breathless flight.

  The road winds in from the broad river-lands,
  Luring the happy traveller turn by turn
  Up to the lofty mountains of the sky.
  And as he marches with uplifted face,
  Far overhead against the arching blue
  Gray ledges overhang from dizzy heights,
  Scarred by a thousand winters and untamed.

  And where the road runs in the valley's foot,
  Through the dark woods a mountain stream comes down,
  Singing and dancing all its youth away
  Among the boulders and the shallow runs,
  Where sunbeams pierce and mossy tree trunks hang
  Drenched all day long with murmuring sound and spray.

  There light of heart and footfree, I would go
  Up to my home among the lasting hills.
  Nearing the day's end, I would leave the road,
  Turn to the left and take the steeper trail
  That climbs among the hemlocks, and at last
  In my own cabin doorway sit me down,
  Companioned in that leafy solitude
  By the wood ghosts of twilight and of peace,
  While evening passes to absolve the day
  And leave the tranquil mountains to the stars.

  And in that sweet seclusion I should hear,
  Among the cool-leafed beeches in the dusk,
  The calm-voiced thrushes at their twilight hymn.
  So undistraught, so rapturous, so pure,
  They well might be, in wisdom and in joy,
  The seraphs singing at the birth of time
  The unworn ritual of eternal things.



  Morning in the Hills

  How quiet is the morning in the hills!
  The stealthy shadows of the summer clouds
  Trail through the cañon, and the mountain stream
  Sounds his sonorous music far below
  In the deep-wooded wind-enchanted cove.

  Hemlock and aspen, chestnut, beech, and fir
  Go tiering down from storm-worn crest and ledge,
  While in the hollows of the dark ravine
  See the red road emerge, then disappear
  Towards the wide plain and fertile valley lands.

  My forest cabin half-way up the glen
  Is solitary, save for one wise thrush,
  The sound of falling water, and the wind
  Mysteriously conversing with the leaves.

  Here I abide unvisited by doubt,
  Dreaming of far-off turmoil and despair,
  The race of men and love and fleeting time,
  What life may be, or beauty, caught and held
  For a brief moment at eternal poise.

  What impulse now shall quicken and make live
  This outward semblance and this inward self?
  One breath of being fills the bubble world,
  Colored and frail, with fleeting change on change.

  Surely some God contrived so fair a thing
  In a vast leisure of uncounted days,
  And touched it with the breath of living joy,
  Wondrous and fair and wise!  It must be so.



  A Wood-path

  At evening and at morning
  By an enchanted way
  I walk the world in wonder,
  And have no word to say.

  It is the path we traversed
  One twilight, thou and I;
  Thy beauty all a rapture,
  My spirit all a cry.

  The red leaves fall upon it,
  The moon and mist and rain,
  But not the magic footfall
  That made its meaning plain.



  Weather of the Soul

  There is a world of being
  We range from pole to pole,
  Through seasons of the spirit
  And weather of the soul.

  It has its new-born Aprils,
  With gladness in the air,
  Its golden Junes of rapture,
  Its winters of despair.

  And in its tranquil autumns
  We halt to re-enforce
  Our tattered scarlet pennons
  With valor and resource.

  From undiscovered regions
  Only the angels know,
  Great winds of aspiration
  Perpetually blow,

  To free the sap of impulse
  From torpor of distrust,
  And into flowers of joyance
  Quicken the sentient dust.

  From nowhere of a sudden
  Loom sudden clouds of fault,
  With thunders of oppression
  And lightnings of revolt.

  With hush of apprehension
  And quaking of the heart,
  There breed the storms of anger,
  And floods of sorrow start.

  And there shall fall,--how gently!--
  To make them fertile yet,
  The rain of absolution
  On acres of regret.

  Till snows of mercy cover
  The dream that shall come true,
  When time makes all things wondrous,
  And life makes all things new.



  Here and Now

  Where is Heaven?  Is it not
  Just a friendly garden plot,
  Walled with stone and roofed with sun,
  Where the days pass one by one,
  Not too fast and not too slow,
  Looking backward as they go
  At the beauties left behind
  To transport the pensive mind!

  Is it not a greening ground
  With a river for its bound,
  And a wood-thrush to prolong
  Fragrant twilights with his song,
  When the peonies in June
  Wait the rising of the moon,
  And the music of the stream
  Voices its immortal dream!

  There each morning will renew
  The miracle of light and dew,
  And the soul may joy to praise
  The Lord of roses and of days;
  There the caravan of noon
  Halts to hear the cricket's tune,
  Fifing there for all who pass
  The anthem of the summer grass!

  Does not Heaven begin that day
  When the eager heart can say,
  Surely God is in this place,
  I have seen Him face to face
  In the loveliness of flowers,
  In the service of the showers,
  And His voice has talked to me
  In the sunlit apple tree.

  I can feel Him in my heart,
  When the tears of knowledge start
  For another's joy or woe,
  Where the lonely soul must go.
  Yea, I learned His very look,
  When we walked beside the brook,
  And you smiled and touched my hand.
  God is love...  I understand.



  The Angel of Joy

  There is no grief for me
  Nor sadness any more;
  For since I first knew thee
  Great Joy has kept my door.

  That angel of the calm
  All-comprehending smile,
  No menace can dismay,
  No falsity beguile.

  Out of the house of life
  Before him fled away
  Languor, regret, and strife
  And sorrow on that day.

  Grim fear, unmanly doubt,
  And impotent despair
  Went at his bidding forth
  Among the things that were,--

  Leaving a place all clean,
  Resounding of the sea
  And decked with forest green,
  To be a home for thee.



  The Homestead.

  Here we came when love was young.
  Now that love is old,
  Shall we leave the floor unswept
  And the hearth acold?

  Here the hill-wind in the dusk.
  Wandering to and fro,
  Moves the moonflowers, like a ghost
  Of the long ago.

  Here from every doorway looks
  A remembered face,
  Every sill and panel wears
  A familiar grace.

  Let the windows smile again
  To the morning light,
  And the door stand open wide
  When the moon is bright.

  Let the breeze of twilight blow
  Through the silent hall,
  And the dreaming rafters hear
  How the thrushes call.

  Oh, be merciful and fond
  To the house that gave
  All its best to shelter love,
  Built when love was brave!

  Here we came when love was young,
  Now that love is old,
  Never let its day be lone,
  Nor its heart acold!



  "The Starry Midnight Whispers"

  The starry midnight whispers,
  As I muse before the fire
  On the ashes of ambition
  And the embers of desire,

  "Life has no other logic,
  And time no other creed,
  Than: 'I for joy will follow.
  Where thou for love dost lead!'"



  A Lyric

  Oh, once I could not understand
  The sob within the throat of spring,--
  The shrilling of the frogs, nor why
  The birds so passionately sing.

  That was before your beauty came
  And stooped to teach my soul desire,
  When on these mortal lips you laid
  The magic and immortal fire.

  I wondered why the sea should seem
  So gray, so lonely, and so old;
  The sigh of level-driving snows
  In winter so forlornly cold.

  I wondered what it was could give
  The scarlet autumn pomps their pride.
  And paint with colors not of earth
  The glory of the mountainside.

  I could not tell why youth should dream
  And worship at the evening star,
  And yet must go with eager feet
  Where danger and where splendor are.

  I could not guess why men at times,
  Beholding beauty, should go mad
  With joy or sorrow or despair
  Or some unknown delight they had.

  I wondered what they had received
  From Time's inexorable hand
  So full of loveliness and doom.
  But now, ah, now I understand!



  "April now in Morning Clad"

  April now in morning clad
  Like a gleaming oread,
  With the south wind in her voice,
  Comes to bid the world rejoice.

  With the sunlight on her brow,
  Through her veil of silver showers,
  April o'er New England now
  Trails her robe of woodland flowers,--

  Violet and anemone;
  While along the misty sea,
  Pipe at lip, she seems to blow
  Haunting airs of long ago.



  Nike

  What do men give thanks for?
  I give thanks for one,
  Lovelier than morning,
  Dearer than the sun.

  Such a head the victors
  Must have praised and known,
  With that breast and bearing,
  Nike's very own--

  As superb, untrammeled,
  Rhythmed and poised and free
  As the strong pure sea-wind
  Walking on the sea;

  Such a hand as Beauty
  Uses with full heart,
  Seeking for her freedom
  In new shapes of art;

  Soft as rain in April,
  Quiet as the days
  Of the purple asters
  And the autumn haze;

  With a soul more subtle
  Than the light of stars,
  Frailer than a moth's wing
  To the touch that mars;

  Wise with all the silence
  Of the waiting hills,
  When the gracious twilight
  Wakes in them and thrills;

  With a voice more tender
  Than the early moon
  Hears among the thrushes
  In the woods of June;

  Delicate as grasses
  When they lift and stir--
  One sweet lyric woman--
  I give thanks for her.



  The Enchanted Traveller

  We travelled empty-handed
  With hearts all fear above,
  For we ate the bread of friendship,
  We drank the wine of love.

  Through many a wondrous autumn,
  Through many a magic spring,
  We hailed the scarlet banners,
  We heard the blue-bird sing.

  We looked on life and nature
  With the eager eyes of youth,
  And all we asked or cared for
  Was beauty, joy, and truth.

  We found no other wisdom,
  We learned no other way,
  Than the gladness of the morning,
  The glory of the day.

  So all our earthly treasure
  Shall go with us, my dears,
  Aboard the Shadow Liner,
  Across the sea of years.



  Spring's Saraband

  Over the hills of April
  With soft winds hand in hand,
  Impassionate and dreamy-eyed,
  Spring leads her saraband.
  Her garments float and gather
  And swirl along the plain,
  Her headgear is the golden sun,
  Her cloak the silver rain.

  With color and with music,
  With perfumes and with pomp,
  By meadowland and upland,
  Through pasture, wood, and swamp,
  With promise and enchantment
  Leading her mystic mime,
  She comes to lure the world anew
  With joy as old as time.

  Quick lifts the marshy chorus
  To transport, trill on trill;
  There's not a rod of stony ground
  Unanswering on the hill.
  The brooks and little rivers
  Dance down their wild ravines,
  And children in the city squares
  Keep time, to tambourines.

  The bluebird in the orchard
  Is lyrical for her,
  The blackbird with his meadow pipe
  Sets all the wood astir,
  The hooded white spring-beauties
  Are curtsying in the breeze,
  The blue hepaticas are out
  Under the chestnut trees.

  The maple buds make glamor,
  Viburnum waves its bloom,
  The daffodils and tulips
  Are risen from the tomb.
  The lances of Narcissus
  Have pierced the wintry mold;
  The commonplace seems paradise
  Through veils of greening gold.

  O heart, hear thou the summons,
  Put every grief away,
  When all the motley masques of earth
  Are glad upon a day.
  Alack, that any mortal
  Should less than gladness bring
  Into the choral joy that sounds
  The saraband of spring!



  Triumphalis

  Soul, art thou sad again
  With the old sadness?
  Thou shalt be glad again
  With a new gladness,
  When April sun and rain
  Mount to the teeming brain
  With the earth madness.

  When from the mould again,
  Spurning disaster,
  Spring shoots unfold again,
  Follow thou faster
  Out of the drear domain
  Of dark, defeat, and pain,
  Praising the Master.

  Hope for thy guide again,
  Ample and splendid;
  Love at thy side again,
  All doubting ended;
  (Ah, by the dragon slain,
  For nothing small or vain
  Michael contended!)

  Thou shalt take heart again,
  No more despairing;
  Play thy great part again,
  Loving and caring.
  Hark, how the gold refrain
  Runs through the iron strain,
  Splendidly daring!

  Thou shalt grow strong again,
  Confident, tender,--
  Battle with wrong again,
  Be truth's defender,--
  Of the immortal train,
  Born to attempt, attain,
  Never surrender!



  "Now the Lengthening Twilights Hold"

  Now the lengthening twilights hold
  Tints of lavender and gold,
  And the marshy places ring
  With the pipers of the spring.

  Now the solitary star
  Lays a path on meadow streams,
  And I know it is not far
  To the open door of dreams.

  Lord of April, in my hour
  May the dogwood be in flower,
  And my angel through the dome
  Of spring twilight lead me home.



  The Soul of April

  Over the wintry threshold
  Who comes with joy to-day,
  So frail, yet so enduring,
  To triumph o'er dismay?

  Ah, quick her tears are springing,
  And quickly they are dried,
  For sorrow walks before her,
  But gladness walks beside.

  She comes with gusts of laughter,--
  The music as of rills;
  With tenderness and sweetness,--
  The wisdom of the hills.

  Her hands are strong to comfort,
  Her heart is quick to heed.
  She knows the signs of sadness,
  She knows the voice of need.

  There is no living creature,
  However poor or small,
  But she will know its trouble,
  And hasten to its call.

  Oh, well they fare forever,
  By mighty dreams possessed,
  Whose hearts have lain a moment
  On that eternal breast.



  An April Morning

  Once more in misted April
  The world is growing green.
  Along the winding river
  The plumey willows lean.

  Beyond the sweeping meadows
  The looming mountains rise,
  Like battlements of dreamland
  Against the brooding skies.

  In every wooded valley
  The buds are breaking through,
  As though the heart of all things
  No languor ever knew.

  The golden-wings and bluebirds
  Call to their heavenly choirs.
  The pines are blued and drifted
  With smoke of brushwood fires.

  And in my sister's garden
  Where little breezes run,
  The golden daffodillies
  Are blowing in the sun.



  Earth Voices

  I

  I heard the spring wind whisper
  Above the brushwood fire,
  "The world is made forever
  Of transport and desire.

  I am the breath of being,
  The primal urge of things;
  I am the whirl of star dust,
  I am the lift of wings.

  "I am the splendid impulse
  That comes before the thought,
  The joy and exaltation
  Wherein the life is caught.

  "Across the sleeping furrows
  I call the buried seed,
  And blade and bud and blossom
  Awaken at my need.

  "Within the dying ashes
  I blow the sacred spark,
  And make the hearts of lovers
  To leap against the dark."


  II

  I heard the spring light whisper
  Above the dancing stream,
  "The world is made forever
  In likeness of a dream.

  "I am the law of planets,
  I am the guide of man;
  The evening and the morning
  Are fashioned to my plan.

  "I tint the dawn with crimson,
  I tinge the sea with blue;
  My track is in the desert,
  My trail is in the dew.

  "I paint the hills with color,
  And in my magic dome
  I light the star of evening
  To steer the traveller home.

  "Within the house of being,
  I feed the lamp of truth
  With tales of ancient wisdom
  And prophecies of youth."


  III

  I heard the spring rain murmur
  Above the roadside flower,
  "The world is made forever
  In melody and power.

  "I keep the rhythmic measure
  That marks the steps of time,
  And all my toil is fashioned
  To symmetry and rhyme.

  "I plow the untilled upland,
  I ripe the seeding grass,
  And fill the leafy forest
  With music as I pass.

  "I hew the raw, rough granite
  To loveliness of line,
  And when my work is finished,
  Behold, it is divine!

  "I am the master-builder
  In whom the ages trust.
  I lift the lost perfection
  To blossom from the dust."


  IV

  Then Earth to them made answer,
  As with a slow refrain
  Born of the blended voices
  Of wind and sun and rain,

  "This is the law of being
  That links the threefold chain:
  The life we give to beauty
  Returns to us again."



  Resurgam

  Lo, now comes the April pageant
  And the Easter of the year.
  Now the tulip lifts her chalice,
  And the hyacinth his spear;
  All the daffodils and jonquils
  With their hearts of gold are here.
  Child of the immortal vision,
  What hast thou to do with fear?

  When the summons wakes the impulse,
  And the blood beats in the vein,
  Let no grief thy dream encumber,
  No regret thy thought detain.
  Through the scented bloom-hung valleys,
  Over tillage, wood and plain,
  Comes the soothing south wind laden
  With the sweet impartial rain.

  All along the roofs and pavements
  Pass the volleying silver showers,
  To unfold the hearts of humans
  And the frail unanxious flowers.
  Breeding fast in sunlit places,
  Teeming life puts forth her powers,
  And the migrant wings come northward
  On the trail of golden hours.

  Over intervale and upland
  Sounds the robin's interlude
  From his tree-top spire at evening
  Where no unbeliefs intrude.
  Every follower of beauty
  Finds in the spring solitude
  Sanctuary and persuasion
  Where the mysteries still brood.

  Now the bluebird in the orchard,
  A warm sighing at the door,
  And the soft haze on the hillside,
  Lure the houseling to explore
  The perennial enchanted
  Lovely world and all its lore;
  While the early tender twilight
  Breathes of those who come no more.

  By full brimming river margins
  Where the scents of brush fires blow,
  Through the faint green mist of springtime,
  Dreaming glad-eyed lovers go,
  Touched with such immortal madness
  Not a thing they care to know
  More than those who caught life's secret
  Countless centuries ago.

  In old Egypt for Osiris,
  Putting on the green attire,
  With soft hymns and choric dancing
  They went forth to greet the fire
  Of the vernal sun, whose ardor
  His earth children could inspire;
  And the ivory flutes would lead them
  To the slake of their desire.

  In remembrance of Adonis
  Did the Dorian maidens sing
  Linus songs of joy and sorrow
  For the coming back of spring,--
  Sorrow for the wintry death
  Of each irrevocable thing,
  Joy for all the pangs of beauty
  The returning year could bring.

  Now the priests and holy women
  With sweet incense, chant and prayer,
  Keep His death and resurrection
  Whose new love bade all men share
  Immortality of kindness,
  Living to make life more fair.
  Wakened to such wealth of being,
  Who would not arise and dare?

  Seeing how each new fulfilment
  Issues at the call of need
  From infinitudes of purpose
  In the core of soul and seed,
  Who shall set the bounds of puissance
  Or the formulas of creed?
  Truth awaits the test of beauty,
  Good is proven in the deed.

  Therefore, give thy spring renascence,--
  Freshened ardor, dreams and mirth,--
  To make perfect and replenish
  All the sorry fault and dearth
  Of the life from whose enrichment
  Thine aspiring will had birth;
  Take thy part in the redemption
  Of thy kind from bonds of earth.

  So shalt thou, absorbed in beauty,
  Even in this mortal clime
  Share the life that is eternal,
  Brother to the lords of time,--
  Virgil, Raphael, Gautama,--
  Builders of the world sublime.
  Yesterday was not earth's evening
  Every morning is our prime.

  All that can be worth the rescue
  From oblivion and decay,--
  Joy and loveliness and wisdom,--
  In thyself, without dismay
  Thou shalt save and make enduring
  Through each word and act, to sway
  The hereafter to a likeness
  Of thyself in other clay.

  Still remains the peradventure,
  Soul pursues an orbit here
  Like those unreturning comets,
  Sweeping on a vast career,
  By an infinite directrix,
  Focussed to a finite sphere,--
  Nurtured in an earthly April,
  In what realm to reappear?



  Easter Eve

  If I should tell you I saw Pan lately down by the shallows
      of Silvermine,
  Blowing an air on his pipe of willow, just as the moon began
      to shine;
  Or say that, coming from town on Wednesday, I met Christ walking
      in Ponus Street;
  You might remark, "Our friend is flighty!  Visions, for want of
      enough red meat!"

  Then let me ask you.  Last December, when there was skating
      on Wampanaw,
  Among the weeds and sticks and grasses under the hard black
      ice I saw
  An old mud-turtle poking about, as if he were putting his house
      to rights,
  Stiff with the cold perhaps, yet knowing enough to prepare
      for the winter nights.

  And here he is on a log this morning, sunning himself as calm
      as you please.
  But I want to know, when the lock of winter was sprung of a sudden,
      who kept the keys?
  Who told old nibbler to go to sleep safe and sound with the
      lily roots,
  And then in the first warm days of April--out to the sun
      with the greening shoots?

  By night a flock of geese went over, honking north on the trails
      of air,
  The spring express--but who despatched it, equipped with speed
      and cunning care?
  Hark to our bluebird down in the orchard trolling his chant
      of the happy heart,
  As full of light as a theme of Mozart's--but where did he learn
      that more than art?

  Where the river winds through grassy meadows, as sure as the
      south wind brings the rain,
  Sounding his reedy note in the alders, the redwing comes back
      to his nest again.
  Are these not miracles?  Prompt you answer: "Merely the prose
      of natural fact;
  Nothing but instinct plain and patent, born in the creatures,
      that bids them act."

  Well, I have an instinct as fine and valid, surely, as that
      of the beasts and birds,
  Concerning death and the life immortal, too deep for logic,
      too vague for words.
  No trace of beauty can pass or perish, but other beauty
      is somewhere born;
  No seed of truth or good be planted, but the yield must grow
      as the growing corn.

  Therefore this ardent mind and spirit I give to the glowing days
      of earth.
  To be wrought by the Lord of life to something of lasting import
      and lovely worth.
  If the toil I give be without self-seeking, bestowed to the limit
      of will and power,
  To fashion after some form ideal the instant task and the
      waiting hour,

  It matters not though defeat undo me, though faults betray me
      and sorrows scar,
  Already I share the life eternal with the April buds and the
      evening star.
  The slim new moon is my sister now; the rain, my brother; the
      wind, my friend.
  Is it not well with these forever?  Can the soul of man fare
      ill in the end?



  Now is the Time of Year

  Now is the time of year
  When all the flutes begin,--
  The redwing bold and clear,
  The rainbird far and thin.

  In all the waking lands
  There's not a wilding thing
  But knows and understands
  The burden of the spring.

  Now every voice alive
  By rocky wood and stream
  Is lifted to revive
  The ecstasy, the dream.

  For Nature, never old,
  But busy as of yore,
  From sun and rain and mould
  Is making spring once more.

  She sounds her magic note
  By river-marge and hill,
  And every woodland throat
  Re-echoes with a thrill.

  O mother of our days,
  Hearing thy music call.
  Teach us to know thy ways
  And fear no more at all!



  The Redwing

  I hear you, Brother, I hear you,
  Down in the alder swamp,
  Springing your woodland whistle
  To herald the April pomp!

  First of the moving vanguard,
  In front of the spring you come,
  Where flooded waters sparkle
  And streams in the twilight hum.

  You sound the note of the chorus
  By meadow and woodland pond,
  Till, one after one up-piping,
  A myriad throats respond.

  I see you, Brother, I see you,
  With scarlet under your wing,
  Flash through the ruddy maples,
  Leading the pageant of spring.

  Earth has put off her raiment
  Wintry and worn and old,
  For the robe of a fair young sibyl.
  Dancing in green and gold.

  I heed you, Brother.  To-morrow
  I, too, in the great employ,
  Will shed my old coat of sorrow
  For a brand-new garment of joy.



  The Rainbird

  I hear a rainbird singing
  Far off.  How fine and clear
  His plaintive voice comes ringing
  With rapture to the ear!

  Over the misty wood-lots,
  Across the first spring heat,
  Comes the enchanted cadence,
  So clear, so solemn-sweet.

  How often I have hearkened
  To that high pealing strain
  Across wild cedar barrens,
  Under the soft gray rain!

  How often I have wondered,
  And longed in vain to know
  The source of that enchantment,
  That touch of human woe!

  O brother, who first taught thee
  To haunt the teeming spring
  With that sad mortal wisdom
  Which only age can bring?



  Lament

  When you hear the white-throat pealing
  From a tree-top far away,
  And the hills are touched with purple
  At the borders of the day;

  When the redwing sounds his whistle
  At the coming on of spring,
  And the joyous April pipers
  Make the alder marshes ring;

  When the wild new breath of being
  Whispers to the world once more,
  And before the shrine of beauty
  Every spirit must adore;

  When long thoughts come back with twilight,
  And a tender deepened mood
  Shows the eyes of the beloved
  Like the hepaticas in the wood;

  Ah, remember, when to nothing
  Save to love your heart gives heed,
  And spring takes you to her bosom,--
  So it was with Golden Weed!



  Under the April Moon

  Oh, well the world is dreaming
  Under the April moon,
  Her soul in love with beauty,
  Her senses all a-swoon!

  Pure hangs the silver crescent
  Above the twilight wood,
  And pure the silver music
  Wakes from the marshy flood.

  O Earth, with all thy transport,
  How comes it life should seem
  A shadow in the moonlight,
  A murmur in a dream?



  The Flute of Spring

  I know a shining meadow stream
  That winds beneath an Eastern hill,
  And all year long in sun or gloom
  Its murmuring voice is never still.

  The summer dies more gently there,
  The April flowers are earlier,--
  The first warm rain-wind from the Sound
  Sets all their eager hearts astir.

  And there when lengthening twilights fall
  As softly as a wild bird's wing,
  Across the valley in the dusk
  I hear the silver flute of spring.



  Spring Night

  In the wondrous star-sown night,
  In the first sweet warmth of spring,
  I lie awake and listen
  To hear the glad earth sing.

  I hear the brook in the wood
  Murmuring, as it goes,
  The song of the happy journey
  Only the wise heart knows.

  I hear the trilling note
  Of the tree-frog under the hill,
  And the clear and watery treble
  Of his brother, silvery shrill.

  And then I wander away
  Through the mighty forest of Sleep,
  To follow the fairy music
  To the shore of an endless deep.



  Bloodroot

  When April winds arrive
  And the soft rains are here,
  Some morning by the roadside
  These Fairy folk appear.

  We never see their coming,
  However sharp our eyes;
  Each year as if by magic
  They take us by surprise.

  Along the ragged woodside
  And by the green spring-run,
  Their small white heads are nodding
  And twinkling in the sun.

  They crowd across the meadow
  In innocence and mirth,
  As if there were no sorrow
  In all this wondrous earth.

  So frail, so unregarded,
  And yet about them clings
  A sorcery of welcome,--
  The joy of common things.

  Perhaps their trail of beauty
  Across the pasture sod
  In jubilant procession
  Is where an angel trod.



  Daffodil's Return

  What matter if the sun be lost?
  What matter though the sky be gray?
  There's joy enough about the house,
  For Daffodil comes home to-day.

  There's news of swallows on the air,
  There's word of April on the way,
  They're calling flowers within the street,
  And Daffodil comes home to-day.

  O who would care what fate may bring,
  Or what the years may take away!
  There's life enough within the hour,
  For Daffodil comes home to-day.



  Now the Lilac Tree's in Bud

  Now the lilac tree's in bud,
  And the morning birds are loud.
  Now a stirring in the blood
  Moves the heart of every crowd.

  Word has gone abroad somewhere
  Of a great impending change.
  There's a message in the air
  Of an import glad and strange.

  Not an idler in the street,
  But is better off to-day.
  Not a traveller you meet,
  But has something wise to say.

  Now there's not a road too long,
  Not a day that is not good,
  Not a mile but hears a song
  Lifted from the misty wood.

  Down along the Silvermine
  That's the blackbird's cheerful note!
  You can see him flash and shine
  With the scarlet on his coat.

  Now the winds are soft with rain,
  And the twilight has a spell,
  Who from gladness could refrain
  Or with olden sorrows dwell?



  White Iris

  White Iris was a princess
  In a kingdom long ago,
  Mysterious as moonlight
  And silent as the snow.

  She drew the world in wonder
  And swayed it with desire,
  Ere Babylon was builded
  Or a stone laid in Tyre.

  Yet here within my garden
  Her loveliness appears,
  Undimmed by any sorrow
  Of all the tragic years.

  How kind that earth should treasure
  So beautiful a thing--
  All mystical enchantment,
  To stir our hearts in spring!



  The Tree of Heaven

  Young foreign-born Ailanthus,
  Because he grew so fast,
  We scorned his easy daring
  And doubted it would last.

  But lo, when autumn gathers
  And all the woods are old,
  He stands in green and salmon,
  A glory to behold!

  Among the ancient monarchs
  His airy tent is spread.
  His robe of coronation
  Is tasseled rosy red.

  With something strange and Eastern,
  His height and grace proclaim
  His lineage and title
  Is that celestial name.

  This is the Tree of Heaven,
  Which seems to say to us,
  "Behold how rife is beauty,
  And how victorious!"



  Peony

  "_Pionia virtutem habet occultam._"
      Arnoldus Villanova--1235-1313.

  _Arnoldus Villanova
  Six hundred years ago
  Said Peonies have magic,
  And I believe it so.
  There stands his learned dictum
  Which any boy may read,
  But he who learns the secret
  Will be made wise indeed._

  _Astrologer and doctor
  In the science of his day,
  Have we so far outstripped him?
  What more is there to say?
  His medieval Latin
  Records the truth for us,
  Which I translate--virtutem
  Habet occultam--thus:_

  She hath a deep-hid virtue
  No other flower hath.
  When summer comes rejoicing
  A-down my garden path,
  In opulence of color,
  In robe of satin sheen,
  She casts o'er all the hours
  Her sorcery serene.

  A subtile, heartening fragrance
  Comes piercing the warm hush,
  And from the greening woodland
  I hear the first wild thrush.
  They move my heart to pity
  For all the vanished years,
  With ecstasy of longing
  And tenderness of tears.

  By many names we call her,--
  Pale exquisite Aurore,
  Luxuriant Gismonda
  Or sunny Couronne D'Or.
  What matter,--Grandiflora,
  A queen in some proud book,
  Or sweet familiar Piny
  With her old-fashioned look?

  The crowding Apple blossoms
  Above the orchard wall;
  The Moonflower in August
  When eerie nights befall;
  Chrysanthemum in autumn,
  Whose pageantries appear
  With mystery and silence
  To deck the dying year;

  And many a mystic flower
  Of the wildwood I have known,
  But Pionia Arnoldi
  Hath a transport all her own.
  For Peony, my Peony,
  Hath strength to make me whole,--
  She gives her heart of beauty
  For the healing of my soul.

  _Arnoldus Villanova,
  Though earth is growing old,
  As long as life has longing
  Your guess at truth will hold.
  Still works the hidden power
  After a thousand springs,--
  The medicine for heartache
  That lurks in lovely things._



  The Urban Pan

  Once more the magic days are come
  With stronger sun and milder air;
  The shops are full of daffodils;
  There's golden leisure everywhere.
  I heard my Lou this morning shout:
  "Here comes the hurdy-gurdy man!"
  And through the open window caught
  The piping of the urban Pan.

  I laid my wintry task aside,
  And took a day to follow joy:
  The trail of beauty and the call
  That lured me when I was a boy.
  I looked, and there looked up at me
  A smiling, swarthy, hairy man
  With kindling eye--and well I knew
  The piping of the urban Pan.

  He caught my mood; his hat was off;
  I tossed the ungrudged silver down.
  The cunning vagrant, every year
  He casts his spell upon the town!
  And we must fling him, old and young,
  Our dimes or coppers, as we can;
  And every heart must leap to hear
  The piping of the urban Pan.

  The music swells and fades again,
  And I in dreams am far away,
  Where a bright river sparkles down
  To meet a blue Aegean bay.
  There, in the springtime of the world,
  Are dancing fauns, and in their van,
  Is one who pipes a deathless tune--
  The earth-born and the urban Pan.

  And so he follows down the block,
  A troop of children in his train,
  The light-foot dancers of the street
  Enamored of the reedy strain.
  I hear their laughter rise and ring
  Above the noise of truck and van,
  As down the mellow wind fades out
  The piping of the urban Pan.



  The Sailing of the Fleets

  Now the spring is in the town,
  Now the wind is in the tree,
  And the wintered keels go down
  To the calling of the sea.

  Out from mooring, dock, and slip,
  Through the harbor buoys they glide,
  Drawing seaward till they dip
  To the swirling of the tide.

  One by one and two by two,
  Down the channel turns they go,
  Steering for the open blue
  Where the salty great airs blow;

  Craft of many a build and trim,
  Every stitch of sail unfurled,
  Till they hang upon the rim
  Of the azure ocean world.

  Who has ever, man or boy,
  Seen the sea all flecked with gold,
  And not longed to go with joy
  Forth upon adventures bold?

  Who could bear to stay indoor,
  Now the wind is in the street,
  For the creaking of the oar
  And the tugging of the sheet!

  Now the spring is in the town,
  Who would not a rover be,
  When the wintered keels go down
  To the calling of the sea?



  'Tis May now in New England

  'Tis May now in New England
  And through the open door
  I see the creamy breakers,
  I hear the hollow roar.

  Back to the golden marshes
  Comes summer at full tide,
  But not the golden comrade
  Who was the summer's pride.



  In Early May

  O my dear, the world to-day
  Is more lovely than a dream!
  Magic hints from far away
  Haunt the woodland, and the stream
  Murmurs in his rocky bed
  Things that never can be said.

  Starry dogwood is in flower,
  Gleaming through the mystic woods.
  It is beauty's perfect hour
  In the wild spring solitudes.
  Now the orchards in full blow
  Shed their petals white as snow.

  All the air is honey-sweet
  With the lilacs white and red,
  Where the blossoming branches meet
  In an arbor overhead.
  And the laden cherry trees
  Murmur with the hum of bees.

  All the earth is fairy green,
  And the sunlight filmy gold,
  Full of ecstasies unseen,
  Full of mysteries untold.
  Who would not be out-of-door,
  Now the spring is here once more!



  Fireflies

  The fireflies across the dusk
  Are flashing signals through the gloom--
  Courageous messengers of light
  That dare immensities of doom.

  About the seeding meadow-grass,
  Like busy watchmen in the street,
  They come and go, they turn and pass,
  Lighting the way for Beauty's feet.

  Or up they float on viewless wings
  To twinkle high among the trees,
  And rival with soft glimmerings
  The shining of the Pleiades.

  The stars that wheel above the hill
  Are not more wonderful to see,
  Nor the great tasks that they fulfill
  More needed in eternity.



  The Path to Sankoty

  It winds along the headlands
  Above the open sea--
  The lonely moorland footpath
  That leads to Sankoty.

  The crooning sea spreads sailless
  And gray to the world's rim,
  Where hang the reeking fog-banks
  Primordial and dim.

  There fret the ceaseless currents,
  And the eternal tide
  Chafes over hidden shallows
  Where the white horses ride.

  The wistful fragrant moorlands
  Whose smile bids panic cease,
  Lie treeless and cloud-shadowed
  In grave and lonely peace.

  Across their flowering bosom,
  From the far end of day
  Blow clean the great soft moor-winds
  All sweet with rose and bay.

  A world as large and simple
  As first emerged for man,
  Cleared for the human drama,
  Before the play began.

  O well the soul must treasure
  The calm that sets it free--
  The vast and tender skyline,
  The sea-turn's wizardry,

  Solace of swaying grasses,
  The friendship of sweet-fern--
  And in the world's confusion
  Remembering, must yearn

  To tread the moorland footpath
  That leads to Sankoty,
  Hearing the field-larks shrilling
  Beside the sailless sea.



  Off Monomoy

  Have you sailed Nantucket Sound
  By lightship, buoy, and bell,
  And lain becalmed at noon
  On an oily summer swell?

  Lazily drooped the sail,
  Moveless the pennant hung,
  Sagging over the rail
  Idle the main boom swung;

  The sea, one mirror of shine
  A single breath would destroy,
  Save for the far low line
  Of treacherous Monomoy.

  Yet eastward there toward Spain,
  What castled cities rise
  From the Atlantic plain,
  To our enchanted eyes!

  Turret and spire and roof
  Looming out of the sea,
  Where the prosy chart gives proof
  No cape nor isle can be!

  Can a vision shine so clear
  Wherein no substance dwells?
  One almost harks to hear
  The sound of the city's bells.

  And yet no pealing notes
  Within those belfries be,
  Save echoes from the throats
  Of ship-bells lost at sea.

  For none shall anchor there
  Save those who long of yore,
  When tide and wind were fair,
  Sailed and came back no more.

  And none shall climb the stairs
  Within those ghostly towers,
  Save those for whom sad prayers
  Went up through fateful hours.

  O image of the world,
  O mirage of the sea,
  Cloud-built and foam-impearled.
  What sorcery fashioned thee?

  What architect of dream,
  What painter of desire,
  Conceived that fairy scheme
  Touched with fantastic fire?

  Even so our city of hope
  We mortal dreamers rear
  Upon the perilous slope
  Above the deep of fear;

  Leaving half-known the good
  Our kindly earth bestows,
  For the feigned beatitude
  Of a future no man knows.

  Lord of the summer sea,
  Whose tides are in thy hand,
  Into immensity
  The vision at thy command

  Fades now, and leaves no sign,--
  No light nor bell nor buoy,--
  Only the faint low line
  Of dangerous Monomoy.



  In St. Germain Street

  Through the street of St. Germain
  March the tattered hosts of rain,

  While the wind with vagrant fife
  Whips their chilly ranks to life.

  From the window I can see
  Their ghostly banners blowing free,

  As they pass to where the ships
  Crowd about the wharves and slips.

  There at day's end they embark
  To invade the realms of dark,

  And the sun comes out again
  In the street of St. Germain.



  Pan in the Catskills

  They say that he is dead, and now no more
  The reedy syrinx sounds among the hills,
  When the long summer heat is on the land.
  But I have heard the Catskill thrushes sing,
  And therefore am incredulous of death,
  Of pain and sorrow and mortality.

  In these blue cañons, deep with hemlock shade,
  In solitudes of twilight or of dawn,
  I have been rapt away from time and care
  By the enchantment of a golden strain
  As pure as ever pierced the Thracian wild,
  Filling the listener with a mute surmise.

  At evening and at morning I have gone
  Down the cool trail between the beech-tree boles,
  And heard the haunting music of the wood
  Ring through the silence of the dark ravine,
  Flooding the earth with beauty and with joy
  And all the ardors of creation old.

  And then within my pagan heart awoke
  Remembrance of far-off and fabled years
  In the untarnished sunrise of the world,
  When clear-eyed Hellas in her rapture heard
  A slow mysterious piping wild and keen
  Thrill through her vales, and whispered, "It is Pan!"



  A New England June

  _These things I remember
  Of New England June,
  Like a vivid day-dream
  In the azure noon,
  While one haunting figure
  Strays through every scene,
  Like the soul of beauty
  Through her lost demesne._

  Gardens full of roses
  And peonies a-blow
  In the dewy morning,
  Row on stately row,
  Spreading their gay patterns,
  Crimson, pied and cream,
  Like some gorgeous fresco
  Or an Eastern dream.

  Nets of waving sunlight
  Falling through the trees;
  Fields of gold-white daisies
  Rippling in the breeze;
  Lazy lifting groundswells,
  Breaking green as jade
  On the lilac beaches,
  Where the shore-birds wade.

  Orchards full of blossom,
  Where the bob-white calls
  And the honeysuckle
  Climbs the old gray walls;
  Groves of silver birches,
  Beds of roadside fern,
  In the stone-fenced pasture
  At the river's turn.

  _Out of every picture
  Still she comes to me
  With the morning freshness
  Of the summer sea,--
  A glory in her bearing,
  A sea-light in her eyes,
  As if she could not forget
  The spell of Paradise._

  Thrushes in the deep woods,
  With their golden themes,
  Fluting like the choirs
  At the birth of dreams.
  Fireflies in the meadows
  At the gate of Night,
  With their fairy lanterns
  Twinkling soft and bright.

  Ah, not in the roses,
  Nor the azure noon,
  Nor the thrushes' music,
  Lies the soul of June.
  It is something finer,
  More unfading far,
  Than the primrose evening
  And the silver star;

  Something of the rapture
  My beloved had,
  When she made the morning
  Radiant and glad,--
  Something of her gracious
  Ecstasy of mien,
  That still haunts the twilight,
  Loving though unseen.

  _When the ghostly moonlight
  Walks my garden ground,
  Like a leisurely patrol
  On his nightly round,
  These things I remember
  Of the long ago,
  While the slumbrous roses
  Neither care nor know._



  The Tent of Noon

  Behold, now, where the pageant of high June
  Halts in the glowing noon!
  The trailing shadows rest on plain and hill;
  The bannered hosts are still,
  While over forest crown and mountain head
  The azure tent is spread.

  The song is hushed in every woodland throat;
  Moveless the lilies float;
  Even the ancient ever-murmuring sea
  Sighs only fitfully;
  The cattle drowse in the field-corner's shade;
  Peace on the world is laid.

  It is the hour when Nature's caravan,
  That bears the pilgrim Man
  Across the desert of uncharted time
  To his far hope sublime,
  Rests in the green oasis of the year,
  As if the end drew near.

  Ah, traveller, hast thou naught of thanks or praise
  For these fleet halcyon days?--
  No courage to uplift thee from despair
  Born with the breath of prayer?
  Then turn thee to the lilied field once more!
  God stands in his tent door.



  Children of Dream

  The black ash grows in the swampy ground,
  The white ash in the dry;
  The thrush he holds to the woodland bound,
  The hawk to the open sky.

  The trout he runs to the mountain brook,
  The swordfish keeps the sea;
  The brown bear knows where the blueberry grows.
  The clover calls the bee.

  The locust sings in the August noon,
  The frog in the April night;
  The iris loves the meadow-land,
  The laurel loves the height.

  And each will hold his tenure old
  Of earth and sun and stream,
  For all are creatures of desire
  And children of a dream.



  Roadside Flowers

  We are the roadside flowers,
  Straying from garden grounds,--
  Lovers of idle hours,
  Breakers of ordered bounds.

  If only the earth will feed us,
  If only the wind be kind,
  We blossom for those who need us,
  The stragglers left behind.

  And lo, the Lord of the Garden,
  He makes his sun to rise,
  And his rain to fall with pardon
  On our dusty paradise.

  On us he has laid the duty,--
  The task of the wandering breed,--
  To better the world with beauty,
  Wherever the way may lead.

  Who shall inquire of the season,
  Or question the wind where it blows?
  We blossom and ask no reason.
  The Lord of the Garden knows.



  The Garden of Saint Rose

  This is a holy refuge,
  The garden of Saint Rose,
  A fragrant altar to that peace
  The world no longer knows.

  Below a solemn hillside,
  Within the folding shade
  Of overhanging beech and pine
  Its walls and walks are laid.

  Cool through the heat of summer,
  Still as a sacred grove,
  It has the rapt unworldly air
  Of mystery and love.

  All day before its outlook
  The mist-blue mountains loom,
  And in its trees at tranquil dusk
  The early stars will bloom.

  Down its enchanted borders
  Glad ranks of color stand,
  Like hosts of silent seraphim
  Awaiting love's command.

  Lovely in adoration
  They wait in patient line,
  Snow-white and purple and deep gold
  About the rose-gold shrine.

  And there they guard the silence,
  While still from her recess
  Through sun and shade Saint Rose looks down
  In mellow loveliness.

  She seems to say, "O stranger,
  Behold how loving care
  That gives its life for beauty's sake,
  Makes everything more fair!

  "Then praise the Lord of gardens
  For tree and flower and vine,
  And bless all gardeners who have wrought
  A resting place like mine!"



  The World Voice

  I heard the summer sea
  Murmuring to the shore
  Some endless story of a wrong
  The whole world must deplore.

  I heard the mountain wind
  Conversing with the trees
  Of an old sorrow of the hills,
  Mysterious as the sea's.

  And all that haunted day
  It seemed that I could hear
  The echo of an ancient speech
  Ring in my listening ear.

  And then it came to me,
  That all that I had heard
  Was my own heart in the sea's voice
  And the wind's lonely word.



  Songs of the Grass

  I

  ON THE DUNES.

  Here all night on the dunes
  In the rocking wind we sleep,
  Watched by sentry stars,
  Lulled by the drone of the deep.

  Till hark, in the chill of the dawn
  A field lark wakes and cries,
  And over the floor of the sea
  We watch the round sun rise.

  The world is washed once more
  In a tide of purple and gold,
  And the heart of the land is filled
  With desires and dreams untold.


  II

  LORD OF MORNING.

  Lord of morning, light of day,
  Sacred color-kindling sun,
  We salute thee in the way,--
  Pilgrims robed in rose and dun.

  For thou art a pilgrim too,
  Overlord of all our band.
  In thy fervor we renew
  Quests we do not understand.

  At thy summons we arise,
  At thy touch put glory on.
  And with glad unanxious eyes
  Take the journey thou hast gone.


  III

  THE TRAVELLER.

  Before the night-blue fades
  And the stars are quite gone,
  I lift my head
  At the noiseless tread
  Of the angel of dawn.

  I hear no word, yet my heart
  Is beating apace;
  Then in glory all still
  On the eastern hill
  I behold his face.

  All day through the world he goes,
  Making glad, setting free;
  Then his day's work done,
  On the galleon sun
  He sinks in the sea.



  The Choristers

  When earth was finished and fashioned well,
  There was never a musical note to tell
  How glad God was, save the voice of the rain
  And the sea and the wind on the lonely plain
  And the rivers among the hills.
  And so God made the marvellous birds
  For a choir of joy transcending words,
  That the world might hear and comprehend
  How rhythm and harmony can mend
  The spirits' hurts and ills.

  He filled their tiny bodies with fire,
  He taught them love for their chief desire,
  And gave them the magic of wings to be
  His celebrants over land and sea,
  Wherever man might dwell.
  And to each he apportioned a fragment of song--
  Those broken melodies that belong
  To the seraphs' chorus, that we might learn
  The healing of gladness and discern
  In beauty how all is well.

  So music dwells in the glorious throats
  Forever, and the enchanted notes
  Fall with rapture upon our ears,
  Moving our hearts to joy and tears
  For things we cannot say.
  In the wilds the whitethroat sings in the rain
  His pure, serene, half-wistful strain;
  And when twilight falls the sleeping hills
  Ring with the cry of the whippoorwills
  In the blue dusk far away.

  In the great white heart of the winter storm
  The chickadee sings, for his heart is warm,
  And his note is brave to rally the soul
  From doubt and panic to self-control
  And elation that knows no fear.
  The bluebird comes with the winds of March,
  Like a shred of sky on the naked larch;
  The redwing follows the April rain
  To whistle contentment back again
  With his sturdy call of cheer.

  The orioles revel through orchard boughs
  In their coats of gold for spring's carouse;
  In shadowy pastures the bobwhites call,
  And the flute of the thrush has a melting fall
  Under the evening star.
  On the verge of June when peonies blow
  And joy comes back to the world we know,
  The bobolinks fill the fields of light
  With a tangle of music silver-bright
  To tell how glad they are.

  The tiny warblers fill summer trees
  With their exquisite lesser litanies;
  The tanager in his scarlet coat
  In the hemlock pours from a vibrant throat
  His canticle of the sun.
  The loon on the lake, the hawk in the sky,
  And the sea-gull--each has a piercing cry,
  Like outposts set in the lonely vast
  To cry "all's well" as Time goes past
  And another hour is gone.

  But of all the music in God's plan
  Of a mystical symphony for man,
  I shall remember best of all--
  Whatever hereafter may befall
  Or pass and cease to be--
  The hermit's hymn in the solitudes
  Of twilight through the mountain woods,
  And the field-larks crying about our doors
  On the soft sweet wind across the moors
  At morning by the sea.



  The Weed's Counsel

  _Said a traveller by the way
  Pausing, "What hast thou to say,
  Flower by the dusty road,
  That would ease a mortal's load?"_

  Traveller, hearken unto me!
  I will tell thee how to see
  Beauties in the earth and sky
  Hidden from the careless eye.
  I will tell thee how to hear
  Nature's music wild and clear,--
  Songs of midday and of dark
  Such as many never mark,
  Lyrics of creation sung
  Ever since the world was young.

  And thereafter thou shalt know
  Neither weariness nor woe.

  Thou shalt see the dawn unfold
  Artistries of rose and gold,
  And the sunbeams on the sea
  Dancing with the wind for glee.
  The red lilies of the moors
  Shall be torches on the floors,
  Where the field-lark lifts his cry
  To rejoice the passer-by,
  In a wide world rimmed with blue
  Lovely as when time was new.

  And thereafter thou shalt fare
  Light of foot and free from care.

  I will teach thee how to find
  Lost enchantments of the mind
  All about thee, never guessed
  By indifferent unrest.
  Thy distracted thought shall learn
  Patience from the roadside fern,
  And a sweet philosophy
  From the flowering locust tree,--
  While thy heart shall not disdain
  The consolation of the rain.

  Not an acre but shall give
  Of its strength to help thee live.

  With the many-wintered sun
  Shall thy hardy course be run.
  And the bright new moon shall be
  A lamp to thy felicity.
  When green-mantled spring shall come
  Past thy door with flute and drum,
  And when over wood and swamp
  Autumn trails her scarlet pomp,
  No misgiving shalt thou know,
  Passing glad to rise and go.

  So thy days shall be unrolled
  Like a wondrous cloth of gold.

  When gray twilight with her star
  Makes a heaven that is not far,
  Touched with shadows and with dreams,
  Thou shalt hear the woodland streams
  Singing through the starry night
  Holy anthems of delight.
  So the ecstasy of earth
  Shall refresh thee as at birth,
  And thou shalt arise each morn
  Radiant with a soul reborn.

  And this wisdom of a day
  None shall ever take away.

  What the secret, what the clew
  The wayfarer must pursue?
  Only one thing he must have
  Who would share these transports brave.
  Love within his heart must dwell
  Like a bubbling roadside well,
  For a spring to quicken thought,
  Else my counsel comes to naught.
  For without that quickening trust
  We are less than roadside dust.

  This, O traveller, is my creed,--
  All the wisdom of the weed!

  _Then the traveller set his pack
  Once more on his dusty back,
  And trudged on for many a mile
  Fronting fortune with a smile._



  The Blue Heron

  I see the great blue heron
  Rising among the reeds
  And floating down the wind,
  Like a gliding sail
  With the set of the stream.

  I hear the two-horse mower
  Clacking among the hay,
  In the heat of a July noon,
  And the driver's voice
  As he turns his team.

  I see the meadow lilies
  Flecked with their darker tan,
  The elms, and the great white clouds;
  And all the world
  Is a passing dream.



  Woodland Rain

  Shining, shining children
  Of the summer rain,
  Racing down the valley,
  Sweeping o'er the plain!

  Rushing through the forest,
  Pelting on the leaves,
  Drenching down the meadow
  With its standing sheaves;

  Robed in royal silver,
  Girt with jewels gay,
  With a gust of gladness
  You pass upon your way.

  Fresh, ah, fresh behind you,
  Sunlit and impearled,
  As it was in Eden,
  Lies the lovely world!



  Summer Storm

  The hilltop trees are bowing
  Under the coming of storm.
  The low, gray clouds are trailing
  Like squadrons that sweep and form,
  With their ammunition of rain.

  Then the trumpeter wind gives signal
  To unlimber the viewless guns;
  The cattle huddle together;
  Indoors the farmer runs;
  And the first shot lashes the pane.

  They charge through the quiet orchard;
  One pear tree is snapped like a wand;
  As they sweep from the shattered hillside,
  Ruffling the blackened pond,
  Ere the sun takes the field again.



  Dance of the Sunbeams

  When morning is high o'er the hilltops,
  On river and stream and lake,
  Wherever a young breeze whispers,
  The sun-clad dancers wake.

  One after one up-springing,
  They flash from their dim retreat.
  Merry as running laughter
  Is the news of their twinkling feet.

  Over the floors of azure
  Wherever the wind-flaws run,
  Sparkling, leaping, and racing,
  Their antics scatter the sun.

  As long as water ripples
  And weather is clear and glad,
  Day after day they are dancing,
  Never a moment sad.

  But when through the field of heaven
  The wings of storm take flight,
  At a touch of the flying shadows
  They falter and slip from sight.

  Until at the gray day's ending,
  As the squadrons of cloud retire,
  They pass in the triumph of sunset
  With banners of crimson fire.



  The Campfire of the Sun

  Lo, now, the journeying sun,
  Another day's march done,
  Kindles his campfire at the edge of night!
  And in the twilight pale
  Above his crimson trail,
  The stars move out their cordons still and bright.

  Now in the darkening hush
  A solitary thrush
  Sings on in silvery rapture to the deep;
  While brooding on her best,
  The wandering soul has rest,
  And earth receives her sacred gift of sleep.



  Summer Streams

  All day long beneath the sun
  Shining through the fields they run,

  Singing in a cadence known
  To the seraphs round the throne.

  And the traveller drawing near
  Through the meadow, halts to hear

  Anthems of a natural joy
  No disaster can destroy.

  All night long from set of sun
  Through the starry woods they run,

  Singing through the purple dark
  Songs to make a traveller hark.

  All night long, when winds are low,
  Underneath my window go

  The immortal happy streams,
  Making music through my dreams.



  The God of the Wood

  Here all the forces of the wood
  As one converge,
  To make the soul of solitude
  Where all things merge.

  The sun, the rain-wind, and the rain,
  The visiting moon,
  The hurrying cloud by peak and plain,
  Each with its boon.

  Here power attains perfection still
  In mighty ease,
  That the great earth may have her will
  Of joy and peace.

  And so through me, the mortal born
  Of plasmic clay,
  Immortal powers, kind, fierce, forlorn,
  And glad, have sway.

  Eternal passions, ardors fine,
  And monstrous fears,
  Rule and rebel, serene, malign,
  Or loosed in tears;

  Until at last they shall evolve
  From griefs and joys
  Some steady light, some firm resolve,
  Some Godlike poise.



  At Sunrise

  Now the stars have faded
  In the purple chill,
  Lo, the sun is kindling
  On the eastern hill.

  Tree by tree the forest
  Takes the golden tinge,
  As the shafts of glory
  Pierce the summit's fringe.

  Rock by rock the ledges
  Take the rosy sheen,
  As the tide of splendor
  Floods the dark ravine.

  Like a shining angel
  At my cabin door,
  Shod with hope and silence,
  Day is come once more.

  Then, as if in sorrow
  That you are not here,
  All his magic beauties
  Gray and disappear.



  At Twilight

  Now the fire is lighted
  On the chimney stone,
  Day goes down the valley,
  I am left alone.

  Now the misty purple
  Floods the darkened vale,
  And the stars come out
  On the twilight trail.

  The mountain river murmurs
  In his rocky bed,
  And the stealthy shadows
  Fill the house with dread.

  Then I hear your laughter
  At the open door,--
  Brightly burns the fire,
  I need fear no more.



  Moonrise

  At the end of the road through the wood
  I see the great moon rise.
  The fields are flooded with shine,
  And my soul with surmise.

  What if that mystic orb
  With her shadowy beams,
  Should be the revealer at last
  Of my darkest dreams!

  What if this tender fire
  In my heart's deep hold
  Should be wiser than all the lore
  Of the sages of old!



  The Queen of Night

  Mortal, mortal, have you seen
  In the scented summer night,
  Great Astarte, clad in green
  With a veil of mystic light,
  Passing on her silent way,
  Pale and lovelier than day?

  Mortal, mortal, have you heard,
  On an odorous summer eve,
  Rumors of an unknown word
  Bidding sorrow not to grieve,--
  Echoes of a silver voice
  Bidding every heart rejoice?

  Mortal, when the slim new moon
  Hangs above the western hill,
  When the year comes round to June
  And the leafy world is still,
  Then, enraptured, you shall hear
  Secrets for a poet's ear.

  Mortal, mortal, come with me,
  When the moon is rising large,
  Through the wood or from the sea,
  Or by some lone river marge.
  There, entranced, you shall behold
  Beauty's self, that grows not old.



  Night Lyric

  In the world's far edges
  Faint and blue,
  Where the rocky ledges
  Stand in view,

  Fades the rosy, tender
  Evening light;
  Then in starry splendor
  Comes the night.

  So a stormy lifetime
  Comes to close,
  Spirit's mortal strifetime
  Finds repose.

  Faith and toil and vision
  Crowned at last,
  Failure and derision
  Overpast,--

  All the daylight splendor
  Far above,
  Calm and sure and tender
  Comes thy love.



  The Heart of Night

  When all the stars are sown
  Across the night-blue space,
  With the immense unknown,
  In silence face to face.

  We stand in speechless awe
  While Beauty marches by,
  And wonder at the Law
  Which wears such majesty.

  How small a thing is man
  In all that world-sown vast,
  That he should hope or plan
  Or dream his dream could last!

  O doubter of the light,
  Confused by fear and wrong,
  Lean on the heart of night
  And let love make thee strong!

  The Good that is the True
  Is clothed with Beauty still.
  Lo, in their tent of blue,
  The stars above the hill!



  Peace

  The sleeping tarn is dark
  Below the wooded hill.
  Save for its homing sounds,
  The twilit world grows still.

  And I am left to muse
  In grave-eyed mystery,
  And watch the stars come out
  As sandalled dusk goes by.

  And now the light is gone,
  The drowsy murmurs cease,
  And through the still unknown
  I wonder whence comes peace.

  Then softly falls the word
  Of one beyond a name,
  "Peace only comes to him
  Who guards his life from shame,--

  "Who gives his heart to love,
  And holding truth for guide,
  Girds him with fearless strength,
  That freedom may abide."



  The Old Gray Wall

  Time out of mind I have stood
  Fronting the frost and the sun,
  That the dream of the world might endure,
  And the goodly will be done.

  Did the hand of the builder guess,
  As he laid me stone by stone,
  A heart in the granite lurked,
  Patient and fond as his own?

  Lovers have leaned on me
  Under the summer moon,
  And mowers laughed in my shade
  In the harvest heat at noon.

  Children roving the fields
  With early flowers in spring,
  Old men turning to look,
  When they heard a bluebird sing,

  Have seen me a thousand times
  Standing here in the sun,
  Yet never a moment dreamed
  Whose likeness they gazed upon.

  Ah, when will ye understand,
  Mortals who strive and plod,--
  Who rests on this old gray wall
  Lays a hand on the shoulder of God!



  Te Deum

  If I could paint you the autumn color, the melting glow upon all
        things laid,
  The violet haze of Indian summer, before its splendor begins to fade,
  When scarlet has reached its breathless moment, and gold the hush
        of its glory now,
  That were a mightier craft than Titian's, the heart to lift and
        the head to bow.

  I should be lord of a world of rapture, master of magic and gladness,
        too,--
  The touch of wonder transcending science, the solace escaping from
        line and hue;
  I would reveal through tint and texture the very soul of this earth
        of ours,
  Forever yearning through boundless beauty to exalt the spirit with
        all her powers.

  See where it lies by the lake this morning, our autumn hillside
        of hardwood trees,
  A masterpiece of the mighty painter who works in the primal mysteries.
  A living tapestry, rich and glowing with blended marvels, vermilion
        and dun,
  Hung out for the pageant of time that passes along an avenue
        of the sun!

  The crown of the ash is tinged with purple, the hickory leaves
        are Etruscan gold,
  And the tulip-tree lifts yellow banners against the blue for
        a signal bold;
  The oaks in crimson cohorts stand, a myriad sumach torches mass
  In festal pomp and victorious pride, when the vision of spring
        is brought to pass.

  Down from the line of the shore's deep shadows another and
        softer picture lies,
  As if the soul of the lake in slumber should harbor a dream
        of paradise,--
  Passive and blurred and unsubstantial, lulling the sense and
        luring the mind
  With the spell of an empty fairy world, where sinew and sap
        are left behind.

  So men dream of a far-off heaven of power and knowledge and
        endless joy,
  Asleep to the moment's fine elation, dull to the day's divine
        employ,
  Musing over a phantom image, born of fantastic hope and fear,
  Of the very happiness life engenders and earth provides--our
        privilege here.

  Dare we dispel a single transport, neglect the worth that is
        here and now,
  Yet dream of enjoying its shadowy semblance in the by-and-by
        somewhere, somehow?
  I heard the wind on the hillside whisper, "They ill prepare for
        a journey hence
  Who waste the senses and starve the spirit in a world all made
        for spirit and sense.

  "Is the full stream fed from a stifled source, or the ripe fruit
        filled from a blighted flower?
  Are not the brook and the blossom greatened through many a busy
        beatified hour?
  Not in the shadow but in the substance, plastic and potent at our
        command,
  Are all the wisdom and gladness of heart; this is the kingdom of
        heaven at hand."

  So I will pass through the lovely world, and partake of beauty to
        feed my soul.
  With earth my domain and growth my portion, how should I sue for
        a further dole?
  In the lift I feel of immortal rapture, in the flying glimpse I gain
        of truth,
  Released is the passion that sought perfection, assuaged the ardor
        of dreamful youth.

  The patience of time shall teach me courage, the strength of the sun
        shall lend me poise.
  I would give thanks for the autumn glory, for the teaching of earth
        and all her joys.
  Her fine fruition shall well suffice me; the air shall stir in my
        veins like wine;
  While the moment waits and the wonder deepens, my life shall merge
        with the life divine.



  In October

  Now come the rosy dogwoods,
  The golden tulip-tree,
  And the scarlet yellow maple,
  To make a day for me.

  The ash-trees on the ridges,
  The alders in the swamp,
  Put on their red and purple
  To join the autumn pomp.

  The woodbine hangs her crimson
  Along the pasture wall,
  And all the bannered sumacs
  Have heard the frosty call.

  Who then so dead to valor
  As not to raise a cheer,
  When all the woods are marching
  In triumph of the year?



  By Still Waters

  "_He leadeth me beside the still waters; He restoreth
  my soul._"

  "My tent stands in a garden
  Of aster and goldenrod,
  Tilled by the rain and the sunshine,
  And sown by the hand of God,--
  An old New England pasture
  Abandoned to peace and time,
  And by the magic of beauty
  Reclaimed to the sublime.

  About it are golden woodlands
  Of tulip and hickory;
  On the open ridge behind it
  You may mount to a glimpse of sea,--
  The far-off, blue, Homeric
  Rim of the world's great shield,
  A border of boundless glamor
  For the soul's familiar field.

  In purple and gray-wrought lichen
  The boulders lie in the sun;
  Along its grassy footpath
  The white-tailed rabbits run.
  The crickets work and chirrup
  Through the still afternoon;
  And the owl calls from the hillside
  Under the frosty moon.

  The odorous wild grape clambers
  Over the tumbling wall,
  And through the autumnal quiet
  The chestnuts open and fall.
  Sharing time's freshness and fragrance,
  Part of the earth's great soul,
  Here man's spirit may ripen
  To wisdom serene and whole.

  Shall we not grow with the asters--
  Never reluctant nor sad,
  Not counting the cost of being,
  Living to dare and be glad?
  Shall we not lift with the crickets
  A chorus of ready cheer,
  Braving the frost of oblivion,
  Quick to be happy here?

  Is my will as sweet as the wild grape,
  Spreading delight on the air
  For the passer-by's enchantment,
  Subtle and unaware?
  Have I as brave a spirit,
  Sprung from the self-same mould,
  As this weed from its own contentment
  Lifting its shaft of gold?

  The deep red cones of the sumach
  And the woodbine's crimson's sprays
  Have bannered the common roadside
  For the pageant of passing days.
  These are the oracles Nature
  Fills with her holy breath,
  Giving them glory of color,
  Transcending the shadow of death.

  Here in the sifted sunlight
  A spirit seems to brood
  On the beauty and worth of being,
  In tranquil, instinctive mood;
  And the heart, filled full of gladness
  Such as the wise earth knows,
  Wells with a full thanksgiving
  For the gifts that life bestows:

  For the ancient and virile nurture
  Of the teeming primordial ground,
  For the splendid gospel of color,
  The rapt revelations of sound;
  For the morning-blue above us
  And the rusted gold of the fern,
  For the chickadee's call of valor
  Bidding the faint-heart turn;

  For fire and running water,
  Snowfall and summer rain;
  For sunsets and quiet meadows,
  The fruit and the standing grain;
  For the solemn hour of moonrise
  Over the crest of trees,
  When the mellow lights are kindled
  In the lamps of the centuries;

  For those who wrought aforetime,
  Led by the mystic strain
  To strive for the larger freedom,
  And live for the greater gain;
  For plenty of peace and playtime,
  The homely goods of earth,
  And for rare immaterial treasures
  Accounted of little worth;

  For art and learning and friendship,
  Where beneficent truth is supreme,--
  Those everlasting cities
  Built on the hills of dream;
  For all things growing and goodly
  That foster this life, and breed
  The immortal flower of wisdom
  Out of the mortal seed.

  But most of all for the spirit
  That cannot rest nor bide
  In stale and sterile convenience,
  Nor safety proven and tried,
  But still inspired and driven,
  Must seek what better may be,
  And up from the loveliest garden
  Must climb for a glimpse of sea.



  Lines for a Picture

  When the leaves are flying
  Across the azure sky,
  Autumn on the hill top
  Turns to say good-by;

  In her gold-red tunic,
  Like an Eastern queen,
  With untarnished courage
  In her wilding mien.

  All the earth below her
  Answers to her gaze,
  And her eyes are pensive
  With remembered days.

  Yet, with cheek ensanguined,
  Gay at heart she goes
  On the great adventure
  Where the north wind blows.



  The Deserted Pasture

  I love the stony pasture
  That no one else will have.
  The old gray rocks so friendly seem,
  So durable and brave.

  In tranquil contemplation
  It watches through the year.
  Seeing the frosty stars arise,
  The slender moons appear.

  Its music is the rain-wind,
  Its choristers the birds,
  And there are secrets in its heart
  Too wonderful for words.

  It keeps the bright-eyed creatures
  That play about its walls,
  Though long ago its milking herds
  Were banished from their stalls.

  Only the children come there,
  For buttercups in May,
  Or nuts in autumn, where it lies
  Dreaming the hours away.

  Long since its strength was given
  To making good increase,
  And now its soul is turned again
  To beauty and to peace.

  There in the early springtime
  The violets are blue,
  And adder-tongues in coats of gold
  Are garmented anew.

  There bayberry and aster
  Are crowded on its floors,
  When marching summer halts to praise
  The Lord of Out-of-doors.

  And there October passes
  In gorgeous livery,--
  In purple ash, and crimson oak,
  And golden tulip tree.

  And when the winds of winter
  Their bugle blasts begin,
  The snowy hosts of heaven arrive
  And pitch their tents therein.



  Autumn

  Now when the time of fruit and grain is come,
  When apples hang above the orchard wall,
  And from the tangle by the roadside stream
  A scent of wild grapes fills the racy air,
  Comes Autumn with her sunburnt caravan,
  Like a long gypsy train with trappings gay
  And tattered colors of the Orient,
  Moving slow-footed through the dreamy hills.
  The woods of Wilton at her coming wear
  Tints of Bokhara and of Samarcand:
  The maples glow with their Pompeian red,
  The hickories with burnt Etruscan gold;
  And while the crickets fife along her march,
  Behind her banners burns the crimson sun.



  November Twilight

  Now Winter at the end of day
  Along the ridges takes her way,

  Upon her twilight round to light
  The faithful candles of the night.

  As quiet as the nun she goes
  With silver lamp in hand, to close

  The silent doors of dusk that keep
  The hours of memory and sleep.

  She pauses to tread out the fires
  Where Autumn's festal train retires.

  The last red embers smoulder down
  Behind the steeples of the town.

  Austere and fine the trees stand bare
  And moveless in the frosty air,

  Against the pure and paling light
  Before the threshold of the night.

  On purple valley and dim wood
  The timeless hush of solitude

  Is laid, as if the time for some
  Transcending mystery were come,

  That shall illumine and console
  The penitent and eager soul,

  Setting her free to stand before
  Supernal beauty and adore.

  Dear Heart, in heaven's high portico
  It is the hour of prayer.  And lo,

  Above the earth, serene and still,
  One star--our star--o'er Lonetree Hill!



  The Ghost-yard of the Goldenrod

  When the first silent frost has trod
  The ghost-yard of the goldenrod,

  And laid the blight of his cold hand
  Upon the warm autumnal land,

  And all things wait the subtle change
  That men call death, is it not strange

  That I--without a care or need,
  Who only am an idle weed--

  Should wait unmoved, so frail, so bold,
  The coming of the final cold!



  Before the Snow

  Now soon, ah, very soon, I know
  The trumpets of the north will blow,
  And the great winds will come to bring
  The pale, wild riders of the snow.

  Darkening the sun with level flight,
  At arrowy speed, they will alight,
  Unnumbered as the desert sands,
  To bivouac on the edge of night.

  Then I, within their somber ring,
  Shall hear a voice that seems to sing,
  Deep, deep within my tranquil heart,
  The valiant prophecy of spring.



  Winter

  When winter comes along the river line
  And Earth has put away her green attire,
  With all the pomp of her autumnal pride,
  The world is made a sanctuary old,
  Where Gothic trees uphold the arch of gray,
  And gaunt stone fences on the ridge's crest
  Stand like carved screens before a crimson shrine,
  Showing the sunset glory through the chinks.
  There, like a nun with frosty breath, the soul,
  Uplift in adoration, sees the world
  Transfigured to a temple of her Lord;
  While down the soft blue-shadowed aisles of snow
  Night, like a sacristan with silent step,
  Passes to light the tapers of the stars.



  A Winter Piece

  Over the rim of a lacquered bowl,
  Where a cold blue water-color stands,
  I see the wintry breakers roll
  And heave their froth up the freezing sands.

  Here in immunity safe and dull,
  Soul treads her circuit of trivial things.
  There soul's brother, a shining gull,
  Dares the rough weather on dauntless wings.



  Winter Streams

  Now the little rivers go
  Muffled safely under snow,

  And the winding meadow streams
  Murmur in their wintry dreams,

  While a tinkling music wells
  Faintly from there icy bells,

  Telling how their hearts are bold
  Though the very sun be cold.

  Ah, but wait until the rain
  Comes a-sighing once again,

  Sweeping softly from the Sound
  Over ridge and meadow ground!

  Then the little streams will hear
  April calling far and near,--

  Slip their snowy bands and run
  Sparkling in the welcome sun.



  Winter Twilight

  Along the wintry skyline,
  Crowning the rocky crest,
  Stands the bare screen of hardwood trees
  Against the saffron west,--
  Its gray and purple network
  Of branching tracery
  Outspread upon the lucent air,
  Like weed within the sea.

  The scarlet robe of autumn
  Renounced and put away,
  The mystic Earth is fairer still,--
  A Puritan in gray.
  The spirit of the winter,
  How tender, how austere!
  Yet all the ardor of the spring
  And summer's dream are here.

  Fear not, O timid lover,
  The touch of frost and rime!
  This is the virtue that sustained
  The roses in their prime.
  The anthem of the northwind
  Shall hallow thy despair,
  The benediction of the snow
  Be answer to thy prayer.

  And now the star of evening
  That is the pilgrim's sign,
  Is lighted in the primrose dusk,--
  A lamp before a shrine.
  Peace fills the mighty minster,
  Tranquil and gray and old,
  And all the chancel of the west
  Is bright with paling gold.

  A little wind goes sifting
  Along the meadow floor,--
  Like steps of lovely penitents
  Who sighingly adore.
  Then falls the twilight curtain,
  And fades the eerie light,
  And frost and silence turn the keys
  In the great doors of night.



  The Twelfth Night Star

  It is the bitter time of year
  When iron is the ground,
  With hasp and sheathing of black ice
  The forest lakes are bound,
  The world lies snugly under snow,
  Asleep without a sound.

  All the night long in trooping squares
  The sentry stars go by,
  The silent and unwearying hosts
  That bear man company,
  And with their pure enkindling fires
  Keep vigils lone and high.

  Through the dead hours before the dawn,
  When the frost snaps the sill,
  From chestnut-wooded ridge to sea
  The earth lies dark and still,
  Till one great silver planet shines
  Above the eastern hill.

  It is the star of Gabriel,
  The herald of the Word
  In days when messengers of God
  With sons of men conferred,
  Who brought the tidings of great joy
  The watching shepherds heard;

  The mystic light that moved to lead
  The wise of long ago,
  Out of the great East where they dreamed
  Of truths they could not know,
  To seek some good that should assuage
  The world's most ancient woe.

  O well, believe, they loved their dream,
  Those children of the star,
  Who saw the light and followed it,
  Prophetical, afar,--
  Brave Caspar, clear-eyed Melchior,
  And eager Balthasar.

  Another year slips to the void,
  And still with omen bright
  Above the sleeping doubting world
  The day-star is alight,--
  The waking signal flashed of old
  In the blue Syrian night.

  But who are now as wise as they
  Whose faith could read the sign
  Of the three gifts that shall suffice
  To honor the divine,
  And show the tread of common life
  Ineffably benign?

  Whoever wakens on a day
  Happy to know and be,
  To enjoy the air, to love his kind,
  To labor, to be free,--
  Already his enraptured soul
  Lives in eternity.

  For him with every rising sun
  The year begins anew;
  The fertile earth receives her lord,
  And prophecy comes true,
  Wondrously as a fall of snow,
  Dear as a drench of dew.

  Who gives his life for beauty's need,
  King Caspar could no more;
  Who serves the truth with single mind
  Shall stand with Melchior;
  And love is all that Balthasar
  In crested censer bore.



  A Christmas Eve Choral

  _Halleluja!
  What sound is this across the dark
  While all the earth is sleeping?  Hark!
  Halleluja!  Halleluja!  Halleluja!_

  Why are thy tender eyes so bright,
  Mary, Mary?
  On the prophetic deep of night
  Joseph, Joseph,
  I see the borders of the light,
  And in the day that is to be
  An aureoled man-child I see,
  Great love's son, Joseph.

  _Halleluja!
  He hears not, but she hears afar,
  The Minstrel Angel of the star.
  Halleluja!  Halleluja!  Halleluja!_

  Why is thy gentle smile so deep,
  Mary, Mary?
  It is the secret I must keep,
  Joseph, Joseph,--
  The joy that will not let me sleep,
  The glory of the coming days,
  When all the world shall turn to praise
  God's goodness, Joseph.

  _Halleluja!
  Clear as the bird that brings the morn
  She hears the heavenly music borne.
  Halleluja!  Halleluja!  Halleluja!_

  Why is thy radiant face so calm,
  Mary, Mary?
  His strength is like a royal palm,
  Joseph, Joseph;
  His beauty like the victor's psalm.
  He moves like morning o'er the lands
  And there is healing in his hands
  For sorrow, Joseph.

  _Halleluja!
  Tender as dew-fall on the earth
  She hears the choral of love's birth.
  Halleluja!  Halleluja!  Halleluja!_

  What is the message come to thee,
  Mary, Mary?
  I hear like wind within the tree,
  Joseph, Joseph,
  Or like a far-off melody
  His deathless voice proclaiming peace,
  And bidding ruthless wrong to cease,
  For love's sake, Joseph.

  _Halleluja!
  Moving as rain-wind in the spring
  She hears the angel chorus ring.
  Halleluja!  Halleluja!  Halleluja!_

  Why are thy patient hands so still,
  Mary, Mary?
  I see the shadow on the hill,
  Joseph, Joseph,
  And wonder if it is God's will
  That courage, service, and glad youth
  Shall perish in the cause of truth
  Forever, Joseph.

  _Halleluja!
  Her heart in that celestial chime
  Has heard the harmony of time.
  Halleluja!  Halleluja!  Halleluja!_

  Why is thy voice so strange and far,
  Mary, Mary?
  I see the glory of the star,
  Joseph, Joseph;
  And in its light all things that are,
  Made glad and wise beyond the sway
  Of death and darkness and dismay,
  In God's time Joseph.

  _Halleluja!
  To every heart in love 'tis given
  To hear the ecstasy of heaven.
  Halleluja!  Halleluja!  Halleluja._



  Christmas Song

  Above the weary waiting world,
  Asleep in chill despair,
  There breaks a sound of joyous bells
  Upon the frosted air.
  And o'er the humblest rooftree, lo,
  A star is dancing on the snow.

  What makes the yellow star to dance
  Upon the brink of night?
  What makes the breaking dawn to glow
  So magically bright,--
  And all the earth to be renewed
  With infinite beatitude?

  The singing bells, the throbbing star,
  The sunbeams on the snow,
  And the awakening heart that leaps
  New ecstasy to know,--
  They all are dancing in the morn
  Because a little child is born.



  The Wise Men from the East

  (A LITTLE BOY'S CHRISTMAS LESSON)

  _Why were the Wise Men three,
  Instead of five or seven?"_
  They had to match, you see,
  The archangels in Heaven.

  God sent them, sure and swift,
  By his mysterious presage,
  To bear the threefold gift
  And take the threefold message.

  Thus in their hands were seen
  The gold of purest Beauty,
  The myrrh of Truth all-clean,
  The frankincense of Duty.

  And thus they bore away
  The loving heart's great treasure,
  And knowledge clear as day,
  To be our life's new measure.

  They went back to the East
  To spread the news of gladness.
  There one became a priest
  To the new word of sadness;

  And one a workman, skilled
  Beyond the old earth's fashion;
  And one a scholar, filled
  With learning's endless passion.

  God sent them for a sign
  He would not change nor alter
  His good and fair design,
  However man may falter.

  He meant that, as He chose
  His perfect plan and willed it,
  They stood in place of those
  Who elsewhere had fulfilled it;

  Whoso would mark and reach
  The height of man's election,
  Must still achieve and teach
  The triplicate perfection.

  For since the world was made,
  One thing was needed ever,
  To keep man undismayed
  Through failure and endeavor--

  A faultless trinity
  Of body, mind, and spirit,
  And each with its own three
  Strong angels to be near it;

  Strength to arise and go
  Wherever dawn is breaking,
  Poise like the tides that flow,
  Instinct for beauty-making;

  Imagination bold
  To cross the mystic border,
  Reason to seek and hold,
  Judgment for law and order;

  Joy that makes all things well,
  Faith that is all-availing
  Each terror to dispel,
  And Love, ah, Love unfailing.

  These are the flaming Nine
  Who walk the world unsleeping,
  Sent forth by the Divine
  With manhood in their keeping.

  These are the seraphs strong
  His mighty soul had need of,
  When He would right the wrong
  And sorrow He took heed of.

  And that, I think, is why
  The Wise Men knelt before Him,
  And put their kingdoms by
  To serve Him and adore Him;

  So that our Lord, unknown,
  Should not be unattended,
  When He was here alone
  And poor and unbefriended;

  That still He might have three
  (Rather than five or seven)
  To stand in their degree,
  Like archangels in Heaven.



  The Sending of the Magi

  In a far Eastern country
  It happened long of yore,
  Where a lone and level sunrise
  Flushes the desert floor,
  That three kings sat together
  And a spearman kept the door.

  Caspar, whose wealth was counted
  By city and caravan;
  With Melchior, the seer
  Who read the starry plan;
  And Balthasar, the blameless,
  Who loved his fellow man.

  There while they talked, a sudden
  Strange rushing sound arose,
  And as with startled faces
  They thought upon their foes,
  Three figures stood before them
  In imperial repose.

  One in flame-gold and one in blue
  And one in scarlet clear,
  With the almighty portent
  Of sunrise they drew near!
  And the kings made obeisance
  With hand on breast, in fear.

  "Arise," said they, "we bring you
  Good tidings of great peace!
  To-day a power is wakened
  Whose working must increase,
  Till fear and greed and malice
  And violence shall cease."

  The messengers were Michael,
  By whom all things are wrought
  To shape and hue; and Gabriel
  Who is the lord of thought;
  And Rafael without whose love
  All toil must come to nought.

  Then Rafael said to Balthasar,
  "In a country west from here
  A lord is born in lowliness,
  In love without a peer.
  Take grievances and gifts to him
  And prove his kingship clear!

  "By this sign ye shall know him;
  Within his mother's arm
  Among the sweet-breathed cattle
  He slumbers without harm,
  While wicked hearts are troubled
  And tyrants take alarm."

  And Gabriel said to Melchior,
  "My comrade, I will send
  My star to go before you,
  That ye may comprehend
  Where leads your mystic learning
  In a humaner trend."

  And Michael said to Gaspar,
  "Thou royal builder, go
  With tribute of thy riches!
  Though time shall overthrow
  Thy kingdom, no undoing
  His gentle might shall know."

  Then while the kings' hearts greatened
  And all the chamber shone,
  As when the hills at sundown
  Take a new glory on
  And the air thrills with purple,
  Their visitors were gone.

  Then straightway up rose Gaspar,
  Melchior and Balthasar,
  And passed out through the murmur
  Of palace and bazar,
  To make without misgiving
  The journey of the Star.



  The Angels of Man

  The word of the Lord of the outer worlds
  Went forth on the deeps of space,
  That Michael, Gabriel, Rafael,
  Should stand before his face,
  The seraphs of his threefold will,
  Each in his ordered place.

  Brave Michael, the right hand of God,
  Strong Gabriel, his voice,
  Fair Rafael, his holy breath
  That makes the world rejoice,--
  Archangels of omnipotence,
  Of knowledge, and of choice;

  Michael, angel of loveliness
  In all things that survive,
  And Gabriel, whose part it is
  To ponder and contrive,
  And Rafael, who puts the heart
  In every thing alive.

  Came Rafael, the enraptured soul,
  Stainless as wind or fire,
  The urge within the flux of things,
  The life that must aspire,
  With whom is the beginning,
  The worth, and the desire;

  And Gabriel, the all-seeing mind,
  Bringer of truth and light,
  Who lays the courses of the stars
  In their stupendous flight,
  And calls the migrant flocks of spring
  Across the purple night;

  And Michael, the artificer
  Of beauty, shape, and hue,
  Lord of the forges of the sun,
  The crucible of the dew,
  And driver of the plowing rain
  When the flowers are born anew.

  Then said the Lord: "Ye shall account
  For the ministry ye hold,
  Since ye have been my sons to keep
  My purpose from of old.
  How fare the realms within your sway
  To perfections still untold?"

  Answered each as he had the word.
  And a great silence fell
  On all the listening hosts of heaven
  To hear their captains tell,--
  With the breath of the wind, the call of a bird.
  And the cry of a mighty bell.

  Then the Lord said: "The time is ripe
  For finishing my plan,
  And the accomplishment of that
  For which all time began.
  Therefore on you is laid the task
  Of the fashioning of man;

  "In your own likeness shall he be,
  To triumph in the end.
  I only give him Michael's strength
  To guard him and defend,
  With Gabriel to be his guide,
  And Rafael his friend.

  "Ye shall go forth upon the earth,
  And make there Paradise,
  And be the angels of that place
  To make men glad and wise,
  With loving-kindness in their hearts,
  And knowledge in their eyes.

  "And ye shall be man's counsellors
  That neither rest nor sleep,
  To cheer the lonely, lift the frail,
  And solace them that weep.
  And ever on his wandering trail
  Your watch-fires ye shall keep;

  "Till in the far years he shall find
  The country of his quest,
  The empire of the open truth,
  The vision of the best,
  Foreseen by every mother saint
  With her new-born on her breast."



  At the Making of Man

  _First all the host of Raphael
  In liveries of gold,
  Lifted the chorus on whose rhythm
  The spinning spheres are rolled,--
  The Seraphs of the morning calm
  Whose hearts are never cold._

  He shall be born a spirit,
  Part of the soul that yearns,
  The core of vital gladness
  That suffers and discerns,
  The stir that breaks the budding sheath
  When the green spring returns,--

  The gist of power and patience
  Hid in the plasmic clay,
  The calm behind the senses,
  The passionate essay
  To make his wise and lovely dream
  Immortal on a day.

  The soft, Aprilian ardors
  That warm the waiting loam
  Shall whisper in his pulses
  To bid him overcome,
  And he shall learn the wonder-cry
  Beneath the azure dome.

  And though all-dying nature
  Should teach him to deplore,
  The ruddy fires of autumn
  Shall lure him but the more
  To pass from joy to stronger joy,
  As through an open door.

  He shall have hope and honor,
  Proud trust and courage stark,
  To hold him to his purpose
  Through the unlighted dark,
  And love that sees the moon's full orb
  In the first silver arc.

  And he shall live by kindness
  And the heart's certitude,
  Which moves without misgiving
  In ways not understood,
  Sure only of the vast event,--
  The large and simple good.

  _Then Gabriel's host in silver gear
  And vesture twilight blue,
  The spirits of immortal mind,
  The warders of the true,
  Took up the theme that gives the world
  Significance anew._

  He shall be born to reason,
  And have the primal need
  To understand and follow
  Wherever truth may lead,--
  To grow in wisdom like a tree
  Unfolding from a seed.

  A watcher by the sheepfolds,
  With wonder in his eyes,
  He shall behold the seasons,
  And mark the planets rise,
  Till all the marching firmament
  Shall rouse his vast surmise.

  Beyond the sweep of vision,
  Or utmost reach of sound,
  This cunning fire-maker,
  This tiller of the ground,
  Shall learn the secrets of the suns
  And fathom the profound.

  For he must prove all being
  Sane, beauteous, benign,
  And at the heart of nature
  Discover the divine,--
  Himself the type and symbol
  Of the eternal trine.

  He shall perceive the kindling
  Of knowledge, far and dim,
  As of the fire that brightens
  Below the dark sea-rim,
  When ray by ray the splendid sun
  Floats to the world's wide brim.

  And out of primal instinct,
  The lore of lair and den,
  He shall emerge to question
  How, wherefore, whence, and when,
  Till the last frontier of the truth
  Shall lie within his ken.

  _Then Michael's scarlet-suited host
  Took up the word and sang;
  As though a trumpet had been loosed
  In heaven, the arches rang;
  For these were they who feel the thrill
  Of beauty like a pang._

  He shall be framed and balanced
  For loveliness and power,
  Lithe as the supple creatures,
  And colored as a flower,
  Sustained by the all-feeding earth,
  Nurtured by wind and shower,

  To stand within the vortex
  Where surging forces play,
  A poised and pliant figure
  Immutable as they,
  Till time and space and energy
  Surrenders to his sway.

  He shall be free to journey
  Over the teeming earth,
  An insatiable seeker,
  A wanderer from his birth,
  Clothed in the fragile veil of sense,
  With fortitude for girth.

  His hands shall have dominion
  Of all created things,
  To fashion in the likeness
  Of his imaginings,
  To make his will and thought survive
  Unto a thousand springs.

  The world shall be his province,
  The princedom of his skill;
  The tides shall wear his harness,
  The winds obey his will;
  Till neither flood, nor fire, nor frost,
  Shall work to do him ill.

  A creature fit to carry
  The pure creative fire,
  Whatever truth inform him,
  Whatever good inspire,
  He shall make lovely in all things
  To the end of his desire.



  St. Michael's Star

  In the pure solitude of dusk
  One star is set to shine
  Above the sundown's dying rose,
  A lamp before a shrine.
  It is the star of Michael lit
  In the minster of the sun,
  That every toiling hand may give
  Thanks for the day's work done.

  For when the almighty word went forth
  To bid creation be,--
  The glimmering star-tracks on the blue,
  The tide-belts on the sea,--
  Perfect as planned, from Michael's hand
  The lasting hills arose,
  Their bases on the poppied plain,
  Their peaks in bannered snows.

  Cedar and thorn and oak were born;
  Green fiddleheads uncurled
  In the spring woods; gold adder-tongues
  Came forth to glad the world;--
  The magic of the punctual seeds,
  Each with its pregnant powers,
  As the lord Michael fashioned them
  To keep their days and hours.

  Frail fins to ride the monstrous tide,
  Soft wings to poise and gleam,
  He formed the pageant tribe by tribe
  As vivid as a dream.
  And still must his beneficence
  Renew, create, sustain,
  Sorcery of the wind and sun,
  Alchemy of the rain.

  Teeming with God, the kindly sod
  Yearns through the summer days
  With the mute eloquence of flowers,
  Its only means of praise.
  At dusk and dawn the tranquil hills
  Throb to the song of birds,
  And all the dim blue silence thrills
  To transport not of words.

  For earth must breed to spirit's need,
  Clay to the finer clay,
  That soul through sense find recompense
  And rapture on her way.
  And man, from dust and dreaming wrought,
  To all things must impart
  The trend and likeness of his thought,
  The passion of his heart.

  The love and lore he shall acquire
  To word and deed must dare;
  Resemblances of God his sire
  His voice and mien must bear.
  His children's children shall portray
  The skill which he bestows
  On living; and what life must mean
  His craftsman's instinct knows.

  Line upon line and tone by tone,
  The visioned form he gives
  To sound and color, wood and stone,
  Takes loveliness and lives.
  He sees his project's soaring hope
  Grow substance, and expand
  To measure a diviner scope
  Beneath his patient hand.

  To pencil, brush, and burnisher
  His wizardry he lends,
  And to the care of lathe and loom
  His secret he commends.
  In hues and forms and cadences
  New beauty he instills,
  A brother by the right of craft
  To Michael of the hills.



  The Dreamers

  Charlemagne with knight and lord,
  In the hill at Ingelheim,
  Slumbers at the council board,
  Seated waiting for the time.

  With their swords across their knees
  In that chamber dimly lit,
  Chin on breast life effigies
  Of the dreaming gods, they sit.

  Long ago they went to sleep,
  While great wars above them hurled.
  Taking counsel how to keep
  Giant evil from the world.

  Golden-armored, iron-crowned,
  There in silence they await
  The last war,--in war renowned,
  Done with doubting and debate.

  What is all our clamor for?
  Petty virtue, puny crime,
  Beat in vain against the door
  Of the hill at Ingelheim.

  When at last shall dawn the day
  For the saving of the world,
  They will forth in war array,
  Iron-armored, golden-curled.

  In the hill at Ingelheim,
  Still, they say, the Emperor,
  Like a warrior in his prime,
  Waits the message at the door.

  Shall the long enduring fight
  Break above our heads in vain,
  Plunged in lethargy and night,
  Like the men of Charlemagne?

  Comrades, through the Council Hall
  Of the heart, inert and dumb,
  Hear ye not the summoning call,
  "Up, my lords, the hour is come!"



  El Dorado

  This is the story
  Of Santo Domingo,
  The first established
  Permanent city
  Built in the New World.

  Miguel Dias,
  A Spanish sailor
  In the fleet of Columbus,
  Fought with a captain,
  Wounded him, then in fear
  Fled from his punishment.

  Ranging the wilds, he came
  On a secluded
  Indian village
  Of the peace-loving
  Comely Caguisas.
  There he found shelter,
  Food, fire, and hiding,--
  Welcome unstinted.

  Over this tribe ruled--
  No cunning chieftain
  Grown gray in world-craft,
  But a young soft-eyed
  Girl, tender-hearted,
  Loving, and regal
  Only in beauty,
  With no suspicion
  Of the perfidious
  Merciless gold-lust
  Of the white sea-wolves,--
  Roving, rapacious,
  Conquerors, destroyers.
  Strongly the stranger
  Wooed with his foreign
  Manners, his Latin
  Fervor and graces;
  Beat down her gentle,
  Unreserved strangeness;

  Made himself consort
  Of a young queen, all
  Loveliness, ardor,
  And generous devotion.
  Her world she gave him,
  Nothing denied him,
  All, all for love's sake
  Poured out before him,--
  Lived but to pleasure
  And worship her lover.

  Such is the way
  Of free-hearted women,
  Radiant beings
  Who carry God's secret;
  All their seraphic
  Unworldly wisdom
  Spent without fearing
  Or calculation
  For the enrichment
  Of--whom, what, and wherefore?

  Ask why the sun shines
  And is not measured,
  Ask why the rain falls
  Aeon by aeon,
  Ask why the wind comes
  Making the strong trees
  Blossom in springtime,
  Forever unwearied!
  Whoever earned these gifts,
  Air, sun, and water?
  Whoever earned his share
  In that unfathomed
  Full benediction,

  Passing the old earth's
  Cunningest knowledge,
  Greater than all
  The ambition of ages,
  Light as a thistle-seed,
  Strong as a tide-run,
  Vast and mysterious
  As the night sky,--
  The love of woman?
  Not long did Miguel
  Dias abide content
  With his good fortune.
  Back to his voyaging
  Turned his desire,
  Restless once more to rove
  With boon companions,
  Filled with the covetous
  Thirst for adventure,--
  The white man's folly.

  Then poor Zamcaca,
  In consternation
  Lest she lack merit
  Worthy to tether
  His wayward fancy,
  Knowing no way but love,
  Guileless, and sedulous
  Only to gladden,
  Quick and sweet-souled
  As another madonna,
  Gave him the secret
  Of her realm's treasure,--
  Raw gold unweighed,
  Stored wealth unimagined;
  Decked him with trappings
  Of that yellow peril;
  And bade him go
  Bring his comrades to settle
  In her dominion.

  Not long the Spaniards
  Stood on that bidding.
  Gold was their madness,
  Their Siren and Pandar.
  Trooping they followed
  Their friend the explorer,
  Greed-fevered ravagers
  Of all things goodly,
  Hot-foot to plunder
  The land of his love-dream.
  They swooped on that country,
  Founded their city,
  Made Miguel Dias
  Its first Alcalde,--
  Flattered and fooled him,
  Loud in false praises
  For the great wealth he had
  By his love's bounty.

  Then the old story,
  Older than Adam,--
  Treachery, rapine,
  Ingratitude, bloodshed,
  Wrought by the strong man
  On unsuspecting
  And gentler brothers.
  The rabid Spaniard,
  Christian and ruthless
  (Like any modern
  Magnate of Mammon),
  Harried that fearless,
  Light-hearted, trustful folk
  Under his booted heel.
  Tears (ah, a woman's tears,--
  The grief of angels,--)
  Fell from Zamcaca,
  Sorrowing, hopeless,
  Alone, for her people.

  Sick from injustice,
  Distraught, and disheartened,
  Tortured by sight and sound
  Of wrong and ruin,
  When the kind, silent,
  Tropical moonlight,
  Lay on the city,
  In the dead hour
  When the soul trembles
  Within the portals
  Of its own province,
  While far away seem

  All deeds of daytime,
  She rose and wondered;
  Gazed on the sleeping
  Face of her loved one,
  Alien and cruel;
  Kissed her strange children,
  Longingly laying a hand
  In farewell on each,
  Crept to the door, and fled
  Back to the forest.

  Only the deep heart
  Of the World-mother,
  Brooding below the storms
  Of human madness,
  Can know what desolate
  Anguish possessed her.

  Only the far mind
  Of the World-father,
  Seeing the mystic
  End and beginning,
  Knows why the pageant
  Is so betattered
  With mortal sorrow.



  On the Plaza

  One August day I sat beside
  A café window open wide
  To let the shower-freshened air
  Blow in across the Plaza, where
  In golden pomp against the dark
  Green leafy background of the Park,
  St. Gaudens' hero, gaunt and grim,
  Rides on with Victory leading him.

  The wet, black asphalt seemed to hold
  In every hollow pools of gold,
  And clouds of gold and pink and gray
  Were piled up at the end of day,
  Far down the cross street, where one tower
  Still glistened from the drenching shower.

  A weary, white-haired man went by,
  Cooling his forehead gratefully
  After the day's great heat.  A girl,
  Her thin white garments in a swirl
  Blown back against her breasts and knees,
  Like a Winged Victory in the breeze,
  Alive and modern and superb,
  Crossed from the circle of the curb.

  We sat there watching people pass,
  Clinking the ice against the glass
  And talking idly--books or art,
  Or something equally apart
  From the essential stress and strife
  That rudely form and further life,
  Glad of a respite from the heat,
  When down the middle of the street,
  Trundling a hurdy-gurdy, gay
  In spite of the dull-stifling day,
  Three street-musicians came.  The man,
  With hair and beard as black as Pan,
  Strolled on one side with lordly grace,
  While a young girl tugged at a trace
  Upon the other.  And between
  The shafts there walked a laughing queen,
  Bright as a poppy, strong and free.
  What likelier land than Italy
  Breeds such abandon?  Confident
  And rapturous in mere living spent
  Each moment to the utmost, there
  With broad, deep chest and kerchiefed hair,
  With head thrown back, bare throat, and waist
  Supple, heroic and free-laced,
  Between her two companions walked
  This splendid woman, chaffed and talked,
  Did half the work, made all the cheer
  Of that small company.

                    No fear
  Of failure in a soul like hers
  That every moment throbs and stirs
  With merry ardor, virile hope,
  Brave effort, nor in all its scope
  Has room for thought or discontent,
  Each day its own sufficient vent
  And source of happiness.

                    Without
  A trace of bitterness or doubt
  Of life's true worth, she strode at ease
  Before those empty palaces,
  A simple heiress of the earth
  And all its joys by happy birth,
  Beneficent as breeze or dew,
  And fresh as though the world were new
  And toil and grief were not.  How rare
  A personality was there!



  A Painter's Holiday

  We painters sometimes strangely keep
  These holidays.  When life runs deep
  And broad and strong, it comes to make
  Its own bright-colored almanack.
  Impulse and incident divine
  Must find their way through tone and line;
  The throb of color and the dream
  Of beauty, giving art its theme
  From dear life's daily miracle,
  Illume the artist's life as well.
  A bird-note, or a turning leaf,
  The first white fall of snow, a brief
  Wild song from the Anthology,
  A smile, or a girl's kindling eye,--
  And there is worth enough for him
  To make the page of history dim.
  Who knows upon what day may come
  The touch of that delirium
  Which lifts plain life to the divine,
  And teaches hand the magic line
  No cunning rule could ever reach,
  Where Soul's necessities find speech?
  None knows how rapture may arrive
  To be our helper, and survive
  Through our essay to help in turn
  All starving eager souls who yearn
  Lightward discouraged and distraught.
  Ah, once art's gleam of glory caught
  And treasured in the heart, how then
  We walk enchanted among men,
  And with the elder gods confer!
  So art is hope's interpreter,
  And with devotion must conspire
  To fan the eternal altar fire.
  Wherefore you find me here to-day,
  Not idling the good hours away,
  But picturing a magic hour
  With its replenishment of power.

  Conceive a bleak December day,
  The streets all mire, the sky all gray,
  And a poor painter trudging home
  Disconsolate, when what should come
  Across his vision, but a line
  On a bold-lettered play-house sign,
  _A Persian Sun Dance_.

                    In he turns.
  A step, and there the desert burns
  Purple and splendid; molten gold
  The streamers of the dawn unfold,
  Amber and amethyst uphurled
  Above the far rim of the world;
  The long-held sound of temple bells
  Over the hot sand steals and swells;
  A lazy tom-tom throbs and dones
  In barbarous maddening monotones;
  While sandal incense blue and keen
  Hangs in the air.  And then the scene
  Wakes, and out steps, by rhythm released,
  The sorcery of all the East,
  In rose and saffron gossamer,--
  A young light-hearted worshipper
  Who dances up the sun.  She moves
  Like waking woodland flower that loves
  To greet the day.  Her lithe, brown curve
  Is like a sapling's sway and swerve
  Before the spring wind.  Her dark hair
  Framing a face vivid and rare,
  Curled to her throat and then flew wild,
  Like shadows round a radiant child.
  The sunlight from her cymbals played
  About her dancing knees, and made
  A world of rose-lit ecstasy,
  Prophetic of the day to be.

  Such mystic beauty might have shone
  In Sardis or in Babylon,
  To bring a Satrap to his doom
  Or touch some lad with glory's bloom.
  And now it wrought for me, with sheer
  Enchantment of the dying year,
  Its irresistible reprieve
  From joylessness on New Year's Eve.



  Mirage

  Here hangs at last, you see, my row
  Of sketches,--all I have to show
  Of one enchanted summer spent
  In sweet laborious content,
  At little 'Sconset by the moors,
  With the sea thundering by its doors,
  Its grassy streets, and gardens gay
  With hollyhocks and salvia.

  And here upon the easel yet,
  With the last brush of paint still wet,
  (Showing how inspiration toils),
  Is one where the white surf-line boils
  Along the sand, and the whole sea
  Lifts to the skyline, just to be
  The wondrous background from whose verge
  Of blue on blue there should emerge
  This miracle.

                    One day of days
  I strolled the silent path that strays
  Between the moorlands and the beach
  From Siasconset, till you reach
  Tom Nevers Head, the lone last land
  That fronts the ocean, lone and grand
  As when the Lord first bade it be
  For a surprise and mystery.
  A sailless sea, a cloudless sky,
  The level lonely moors, and I
  The only soul in all that vast
  Of color made intense to last!
  The small white sea-birds piping near;
  The great soft moor-winds; and the dear
  Bright sun that pales each crest to jade,
  Where gulls glint fishing unafraid.

  Here man, the godlike, might have gone
  With his deep thought, on that wild dawn
  When the first sun came from the sea,
  Glowing and kindling the world to be,
  While time began and joy had birth,--
  No wilder sweeter spot on earth!

  As I sat there and mused (the way
  We painters waste our time, you say!)
  On the sheer loneliness and strength
  Whence life must spring, there came at length
  Conviction of the helplessness
  Of earth alone to ban or bless.
  I saw the huge unhuman sea;
  I heard the drear monotony
  Of the waves beating on the shore
  With heedless, futile strife and roar,
  Without a meaning or an aim.

  And then a revelation came,
  In subtle, sudden, lovely guise,
  Like one of those soft mysteries
  Of Indian jugglers, who evoke
  A flower for you out of smoke.
  I knew sheer beauty without soul
  Could never be perfection's goal,
  Nor satisfy the seeking mind
  With all it longs for and must find
  One day.  The lovely things that haunt
  Our senses with an aching want,
  And move our souls, are like the fair
  Lost garments of a soul somewhere.
  Nature is naught, if not the veil
  Of some great good that must prevail
  And break in joy, as woods of spring
  Break into song and blossoming.

  But what makes that great goodness start
  Within ourselves?  When leaps the heart
  With gladness, only then we know
  Why lovely Nature travails so,--
  Why art must persevere and pray
  In her incomparable way.
  In all the world the only worth
  Is human happiness; its dearth
  The darkest ill.  Let joyance be,
  And there is God's sufficiency,--
  Such joy as only can abound
  Where the heart's comrade has been found.

  That was my thought.  And then the sea
  Broke in upon my revery
  With clamorous beauty,--the superb
  Eternal noun that takes no verb
  But love.  The heaven of dove-like blue
  Bent o'er the azure, round and true
  As magic sphere of crystal glass,
  Where faith sees plain the pageant pass
  Of things unseen.  So I beheld
  The sheer sky-arches domed and belled,
  As if the sea were the very floor
  Of heaven where walked the gods of yore
  In Plato's imagery, and I
  Uplifted saw their pomps go by.

  The House of space and time grew tense
  As if with rapture's imminence,
  When truth should be at last made clear,
  And the great worth of life appear;
  While I, a worshipper at the shrine,
  For very longing grew divine,
  Borne upward on earth's ecstasy,
  And welcomed by the boundless sky.

  A mighty prescience seemed to brood
  Over that tenuous solitude
  Yearning for form, till it became
  Vivid as dream and live as flame,
  Through magic art could never match,
  The vision I have tried to catch,--
  All earth's delight and meaning grown
  A lyric presence loved and known.

  How otherwise could time evolve
  Young courage, or the high resolve,
  Or gladness to assuage and bless
  The soul's austere great loneliness,
  Than by providing her somehow
  With sympathy of hand and brow,
  And bidding her at last go free,
  Companioned through eternity?

  So there appeared before my eyes,
  In a beloved, familiar guise,
  A vivid, questing human face
  In profile, scanning heaven for grace,
  Up-gazing there against the blue
  With eyes that heaven itself shone through;
  The lips soft-parted, half in prayer,
  Half confident of kindness there;
  A brow like Plato's made for dream
  In some immortal Academe,
  And tender as a happy girl's;
  A full dark head of clustered curls
  Round as an emperor's, where meet
  Repose and ardor, strong and sweet,
  Distilling from a mind unmarred
  The glory of her rapt regard.

  So eager Mary might have stood,
  In love's adoring attitude,
  And looked into the angel's eyes
  With faith and fearlessness, all wise
  In soul's unfaltering innocence,
  Sure in her woman's supersense
  Of things only the humble know.
  My vision looks forever so.

  In other years when men shall say,
  "What was the painter's meaning, pray?
  Why all this vast of sea and space,
  Just to enframe a woman's face?"
  Here is the pertinent reply,
  "What better use for earth and sky?"

  The great archangel passed that way
  Illuming life with mystic ray.
  Not Lippo's self nor Raphael
  Had lovelier, realer things to tell
  Than I, beholding far away
  How all the melting rose and gray
  Upon the purple sea-line leaned
  About that head that intervened.

  How real was she?  Ah, my friend,
  In art the fact and fancy blend
  Past telling.  All the painter's task
  Is with the glory.  Need we ask
  The tulips breaking through the mould
  To their untarnished age of gold,
  Whence their ideals were derived
  That have so gloriously survived?
  Flowers and painters both must give
  The hint they have received, to live,--
  Spend without stint the joy and power
  That lurk in each propitious hour,--
  Yet leave the why untold--God's way.

  My sketch is all I have to say.



  The Winged Victory

  Thou dear and most high Victory,
  Whose home is the unvanquished sea,
  Whose fluttering wind-blown garments keep
  The very freshness, fold, and sweep
  They wore upon the galley's prow,
  By what unwonted favor now
  Hast thou alighted in this place,
  Thou Victory of Samothrace?

  O thou to whom in countless lands
  With eager hearts and striving hands
  Strong men in their last need have prayed,
  Greatly desiring, undismayed,
  And thou hast been across the fight
  Their consolation and their might,
  Withhold not now one dearer grace,
  Thou Victory of Samothrace!

  Behold, we, too, must cry to thee,
  Who wage our strife with Destiny,
  And give for Beauty and for Truth
  Our love, our valor and our youth.
  Are there no honors for these things
  To match the pageantries of kings?
  Are we more laggard in the race
  Than those who fell at Samothrace?

  Not only for the bow and sword,
  O Victory, be thy reward!
  The hands that work with paint and clay
  In Beauty's service, shall not they
  Also with mighty faith prevail?
  Let hope not die, nor courage fail,
  But joy come with thee pace for pace,
  As once long since in Samothrace.

  Grant us the skill to shape the form
  And spread the color living-warm,
  (As they who wrought aforetime did),
  Where love and wisdom shall lie hid,
  In fair impassioned types, to sway
  The cohorts of the world to-day,
  In Truth's eternal cause, and trace
  Thy glory down from Samothrace.

  With all the ease and splendid poise
  Of one who triumphs without noise,
  Wilt thou not teach us to attain
  Thy sense of power without strain,
  That we a little may possess
  Our souls with thy sure loveliness,--
  That calm the years cannot deface,
  Thou Victory of Samothrace?

  Then in the ancient, ceaseless war
  With infamy, go thou before!
  Amid the shoutings and the drums
  Let it be learned that Beauty comes,
  Man's matchless Paladin to be,
  Whose rule shall make his spirit free
  As thine from all things mean or base,
  Thou Victory of Samothrace.



  The Gate of Peace

  Ah, who will build the city of our dream,
  Where beauty shall abound and truth avail,
  With patient love that is too wise for strife,
  Blending in power as gentle as the rain
  With the reviving earth on full spring days?
  Who now will speed us to its gate of peace,
  And reassure us on our doubtful road?

  Three centuries ago a fearless man,
  Yearning to set his people in the way,
  Threw all his royal might into a plan
  To found an ideal city that should give
  Freedom to every instinct for the best,
  From humblest impulse in his own domain
  To rumored wisdom from the world's far ends.
  Strengthened with ardor from a high resolve,
  Beneath the patient smile of Indian skies
  This fair dream flourished for a score of years,
  Until the blight of evil touched its bloom
  With fading, and transformed its vivid life
  Into a ghost-flower of its fair design.

  Now ruined nursery tower and gay boudoir,
  A sad custodian of sacred tombs,
  And scattered feathers from the purple wings
  Of doves who reign in undisputed calm
  Over this Eden of hope and fair essay,
  Recall the valor of this ancient quest.

  Great Akbar,--grandfather of Shah Jehan,
  The artist Emperor of India
  Who built the Taj for love of one held dear
  Beyond all other women in the world,
  And left that loveliest memorial,
  The most supreme of wonders wrought by man,
  To move for very joy all hearts to tears
  Beholding how great beauty springs from love,--
  Akbar the wisest ruler over Ind,
  Grandson of Babar in whose veins were mixed
  The blood of Tamerlane and Chinghiz Khan,
  Who beat the Afghans and the Rajputs down
  At Paniput and Buxar in Bengal,
  Making himself the lord of Hindustan,
  And with his restless Tartars founded there
  The Mogul empire with its Moslem faith,
  Its joyousness, enlightenment, and art,--
  Akbar of all the sovereigns of the East
  Is still most deeply loved and gladly praised.

  For he who conquered with so strong a hand
  Cabul, Kashmir, and Kandahar, and Sind,
  Oudh and Orissa, Chitor and Ajmir,
  With all their wealth to weld them into one,
  Upholding justice with his sovereignty
  Throughout his borders and imposing peace,
  Was first and last a seeker after truth.

  No craven unlaborious truce he sought,
  But that great peace which only comes with light,
  Emerging after chaos has been quelled
  In some long struggle of enduring will,
  To be a proof of order and of law,
  Which cannot rest on falsehood nor on wrong,
  But spreads like generous sunshine on the earth
  When goodness has been gained and truth made clear,
  At whatsoe'er incalculable cost.
  Returning once with his victorious arms
  And war-worn companies on the homeward march
  To Agra and his court's magnificence,
  From a campaign against some turbulent folk,
  He came at evening to a quiet place
  Near Sikri by the roadside through the woods,
  Where there were many doves among the trees.

  There Salim Chisti a holy man had made
  His lonely dwelling in the wilderness,
  Seeking perfection.  And the solitude
  Was sweet to Akbar, and he halted there
  And went to Salim in his lodge and said,
  "O man and brother, thy long days are spent
  In meditation, seeking for the path
  Through this great world's impediments to peace,
  Here in the twilight with the holy stars
  Or when the rose of morning breaks in gold;
  Tell me, I pray, whence comes the gift of peace
  With all its blessings for a people's need,
  And how may true tranquillity be found
  On which man's restless spirit longs to rest?"

  And Salim answered, "Lord, most readily
  In Allah's out-of-doors, for there men live
  More truly, being free from false constraint,
  For learning wisdom with a calmer mind.
  For they who would find peace must conquer fear
  And ignorance and greed,--the ravagers
  Of spirit, mind, and sense,--and learn to live
  Content beneath the shade of Allah's hand.
  Who worships not his own will shall find peace."

  Then Akbar answered, "I have set my heart
  On making beauty, truth, and justice shine
  As the ordered stars above the darkened earth.
  Are not these also things to be desired,
  And striven for with no uncertain toil?
  And save through them whence comes the gift of peace?"

  Then Salim smiled, and with his finger drew
  In the soft dust before his door, and said,
  "O king, thy words are true, thy heart most wise.
  Thou also shalt find peace, as Allah wills,
  Through following bravely what to thee seems best.
  When any question, 'What is peace?' reply,
  'The shelter of the Gate of Paradise,
  The shadow of the archway, not the arch,
  Within whose shade at need the poor may rest,
  The weary be refreshed, the weak secure,
  And all men pause to gladden as they go.'"

  And Akbar pondered Salim Chisti's words.
  Then turning to his ministers, he said,
  "Here will I build my capital, and here
  The world shall come unto a council hall,
  And in a place of peace pursue the quest
  Of wisdom and the finding out of truth,
  That there be no more discord upon earth,
  But only knowledge, beauty, and good will."

  And it was done according to Akbar's word.
  There in the wilderness as by magic rose
  Futtehpur Sikri, the victorious city,
  Of marble and red sandstone among the trees,
  A rose unfolding in the kindling dawn.
  Palace and mosque and garden and serai,
  Bazaars and baths and spacious pleasure grounds,
  By favor of Allah to perfection sprang.

  Thus Akbar wrought to make his dream come true.
  From the four corners of the world he brought
  His master workmen, from Iran and Ind,
  From wild Mongolia and the Arabian wastes;
  Masons from Bagdad, Delhi, and Multan;
  Dome builders from the North, from Samarkand;
  Cunning mosaic workers from Kanauj;
  And carvers of inscriptions from Shiraz;
  And they all labored with endearing skill,
  Each at his handicraft, to make beauty be.

  When the first ax-blade on the timber rang,
  The timid doves, as if foreboding ill,
  Had fled from Sikri and its quiet groves.

  But as he promised, Akbar sent and bade
  The wise men of all nations to his court,
  Brahman and Christian, Buddhist and Parsee,
  Jain and stiff Mohammedan and Jew,
  All followers of the One with many names,
  Bringing the ghostly wisdom of the earth.

  And so they came of every hue and creed.
  From the twelve winds of heaven their caravans
  Drew into Sikri as Akbar summoned them,
  To spend long afternoons in council grave,
  Sifting tradition for the seed of truth,
  In the great mosque in Futtehpur at peace.
  And Salim Chisti lived his holy life,
  Beloved and honored there as Akbar's friend.

  But light and changeable are the hearts of men.
  Soon in that city dedicate to peace
  Dissensions spread and rivalries grew rife,
  Envy and bitterness and strife returned
  Once more, and truth before them fled away.
  Then Salim Chisti, coming to Akbar spoke,
  "Lord, give thy servant leave now to depart
  And follow where the fluttered wings have gone,
  For here there is no longer any peace,
  And truth cannot prevail where discord dwells."

  "Nay then," said Akbar, "'tis not thou but I
  Who am the servant here and must go hence.
  I found thee master of this solitude,
  Lord of the princedom of a quiet mind,
  A sovereign vested in tranquillity,
  And I have done thee wrong and stayed thy feet
  From following perfection, with my horde
  Of turbulent malcontents; and my loved dream
  To build a city of abiding peace
  Was but a vain illusion.  Therefore now
  This foolish people shall be driven forth
  From this fair place, to live as they may choose
  In disputance and wrangling longer still,
  Until they learn, if Allah wills it so,
  To lay aside their folly for the truth."

  And as the king commanded, so it was.
  More quickly than he came, with all his court
  And hosts of followers he went away,
  Leaving the place to solitude once more,--
  A rose to wither where it once had blown.

  To-day the all-kind unpolluted sun
  Shines through the marble fret-work with no sound;
  The winds play hide and seek through corridors
  Where stately women with dark glowing eyes
  Have laughed and frolicked in their fluttering robes;
  The rose leaves drop with none to gather them,
  In gardens where no footfall comes with eve,
  Nor any lovers watch the rising moon;
  And ancient silence, truer than all speech,
  Still holds the secrets of the Council Hall,
  Upon whose walls frescoes of many faiths
  Attest the courtesy of open minds.

  Before the last camp-follower was gone,
  The doves returned and took up their abode
  In the main gate of those deserted walls.
  And in their custody this "Gate of Peace"
  Bears still the grandeur of its origin,
  Firing anew the wistful hearts of men
  To brave endeavor with replenished hope,
  Though since that time three hundred years ago,
  The magic hush of those forsaken streets
  And empty courtyards has been undisturbed
  Save by the gentle whirring of grey wings,
  With cooing murmurs uttered all day long,
  And reverent tread of those from near and far,
  Who still pursue the immemorial quest.



_Warwick Bros. & Rutter, Limited_

_Printers and Bookbinders_

_Toronto_



  When all my writing has been done
  Except the final colophon,

  And I must bid beloved verse
  Farewell for better or for worse,

  Let me not linger o'er the page
  In doubting and regretful age;

  But as an unknown scribe in some
  Monastic dim scriptorium,

  When twilight on his labour fell
  At the glad-heard refection bell,

  Might add poor Body's thanks to be
  From spiritual toils set free,

  Let me conclude with hearty zest
  _Laus Deo! Nunc bibendum est!_



[Illustration: back end papers]





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