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Title: By the Sea and Other Verses
Author: Baily, Hannah Lavinia
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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BY THE SEA
AND OTHER VERSES

_By_
_H. Lavinia Baily_

[Illustration]

BOSTON
RICHARD G. BADGER
The Gorham Press
1907


_Copyright 1907 by H. Lavinia Baily_

_All Rights Reserved_

_The Gorham Press, Boston_



CONTENTS


Myself and You                             7

By the Sea                                 8

At the Close of the Year                  14

Risen                                     16

Elizabeth Crowned                         18

Who is Sufficient                         19

Peace                                     21

Boys and Girls                            22

A Smile                                   23

A Sparrow Alone on the Housetop           24

To Mother                                 24

Psalm CXXI                                25

To R. T. B.                               26

On New Year, 1897                         27

To Anna                                   27

A Song of Tens                            28

Jessica                                   29

Transition                                29

To A. H. B.                               30

To Winnie                                 31

A Life Work                               32

Visions                                   32

Be Ye also Ready                          39

Mimosa                                    40

At the Crisis                             41

On the Death of Dr. James E. Rhoads       42

Eternal Youth                             43

Building Time                             44

Sunrise                                   45

Neal Dow                                  47

"Paradise will Pay for All"               48

Forgiveness                               49

A Lost Song?                              51

A New Earth                               52

Recall                                    53

Philistia's Triumph                       54

The White Ribbon Army                     55

Christmas                                 57

"A Day in June"                           57

To-day                                    59

Losing Victories                          59

Not Mine                                  61

In the Desert                             61

A Phantom in the "Circle"                 62

A Valentine                               66

A Convention Hymn                         66

A Collection Song                         67

The Ballad of the Boundary Line           68

Margaret Lee                              71

Soaring Upward                            74

The End of the Road                       75



BY THE SEA

_AND OTHER VERSES_



MYSELF AND YOU


There are only myself and you in the world,
  There are only myself and you;
'Tis clear, then, that I unto you should be kind,
  And that you unto me should be true.

And if I unto you could be always kind,
  And you unto me could be true,
Then the criminal courts might all be adjourned,
  And the sword would have nothing to do.

A few fertile acres are all that I need,--
  Not more than a hundred or two,--
And the great, wide earth holds enough, I am sure,
  Enough for myself and for you.

The sweet air of heaven is free to us all;
  Upon all fall the rain and the dew;
And the glorious sun in his cycle of light
  Shines alike on myself and on you.

The infinite love is as broad as the sky,
  And as deep as the ocean's blue,
We may breathe it, bathe in it, live in it, aye,
  It is _life_ for myself and for you.

And the Christ who came when the angels sang
  Will come, if the song we renew,
And reign in his kingdom,--the Prince of Peace,--
  Reigning over myself and you.

O, then, may I be unto you always kind,
  And be you unto me always true;
So the land may rest from its turmoil and strife,
  And the sword may have nothing to do.



BY THE SEA

AN ARGUMENT FOR PEACE


"You do but dream; the world will never see
  Such time as this you picture, when the sword
Shall lie inglorious in its sheath, and be
  No more of valorous deeds incentive or reward."

The ocean breezes fanned them where they sat,
  At leisure from life's conflict, toil and care,
Yet not unthoughtful, nor unmindful that
  In all its weal and woe they held their share.

The rose-light charm and pride of earliest youth
  A chastening touch had toned to lovelier hue,
And the white soul of purity and truth
  Looked out alike from eyes of brown and blue.

"I covet your fair hope," he spake again,
  "I cannot share it; all the hoary past
Denies that mightier prowess of the pen
  The poet claims, and proves it still surpassed

"By sword and musket and the arts of war.
  And 'twere not so,--the query will return,
Albeit such conflict we must all abhor--
  How should the fires of patriotism burn?

"Their flames are kindled by the flash of arms,
  And fed by recount of heroic deed;
The sanguinary story has its charms
  Tho the heart sicken o'er it as we read.

"And what were Greece without her Marathon?
Or Rome, had not her Caesars fought and won?
How reigns Britannia, Empress near and far,
But for her Waterloo and Trafalgar?

"And we, know not our souls a quickening thrill
At thought of Lexington and Bunker Hill?
And with a pride no rival passion mars
Greet we not now our glorious Stripes and Stars?

"Yes, friend, I own your theory is fine;
I grant your outlook far exceedeth mine
  In excellence and beauty, in its scope
Embracing that millennial age of bliss
The spirit pants for while it chafes in this;
  I covet, tho I cannot share, your hope."

"My hope," she answered, smiling, "is a faith;
  The kingdoms of this world are yet to be
The kingdoms of our blessed Lord, the Christ;--
Lord of all life thro' dire and vengeful death--
  Wrought thro' such sacrifice, unspared, unpriced,
  His word and purpose must fulfilment see,
And realms by mountains bounded or by seas
Must own allegiance to the Prince of Peace.

"I yield to none"--and as she spoke there sped
  Across the opal beauty of the sea
A light-winged vessel, bearing at its head
  The starry emblem of the brave and free--

"I yield to none in loyalty and love
  For yon bright banner, but I hold it still
As token to the world, all else above,
  Of peace on earth and unto man good will.

"God gave His land to be the home of man;
  And all that brightens and upbuilds the home
Uplifts humanity; tramp, tribe and clan,
  Knowing no hearthstone, are content to roam,

"But drawing nearer God the man returns
  And rears his household altar. In some quest
The feet may wander, but the heart still yearns
  For the soft home-light and the quiet rest.

"Think yet again, good brother, is it not
  From off such altar, whether it may glow
In princely palace or in lowliest cot,
  That the true flame of country-love must flow?
While that enkindled by the flash of arms
Is a 'strange fire,' consuming while it charms.

"Lives Greece less nobly in her Parthenon,
  In what her Solons wrote, her poets sang,
Than in the gastly pride of Marathon,
  And kindred fields where victors' praises rang?

"And we, enriched thro' Commerce, Letters, Art,
  Forgot our earlier grievances and scars,
Are we not ready for a better part?
  Have we not now outgrown our need of wars?

"Surely it should be so," he made reply;
  "The sated earth cries out against the flow
Of human blood: 'How long? how long?' The cry
  Must pierce the heavens from writhing hearts below.

"But men heed not; the glamor and the gain
Of warfare blind them to its sin and pain;
They know not pity and they count not cost
Till armies meet and life and cause are lost.

"Would they but listen 'twere an errand blest
To plead against oppressor for oppressed;
Would they but follow it were joy indeed
Up the white hills of truth and peace to lead.

"But, ah! the multitudes are gone astray,
The powerful of the earth will have their way;
What profit, sister, in our prayers and tears?
Why mar the spring-time gladness of our years

"In vain pursuit of universal good?
In fruitless care for earth's vast brotherhood?
Glad would I grasp such work could I but see.
Or near, or far, your hoped-for victory."

"Whether they hear," she answered, "or forbear,
  'Tis ours with signal truths to light the skies;
God's promises and warnings to declare;--
  How can men follow if no leader rise?

"The Christ shall be the victor; O my friend,
  Why do we limit His almighty power
Who sees from far beginning to the end?
  Whose day may be an æon or an hour?

"The sea is His; He made it; and His word
  Can speak its wildest tumult into calm;
As He may will its deepest founts are stirred,
  Or surface-ripples breathe a praiseful psalm.

"As well His power the rise and fall doth sway
  Of human passion, tho He suffer long;
The puny pride of man shall yet obey
  The mandate of the Only Wise and Strong.

"But God would have the children of His grace
  In this great reclamation have a share;
And each in his appointed hour and place
  Must stand, or other brow his crown will wear."

She paused, and o'er them, as with magic spell,
For a brief space a holy silence fell;
Then while the sunset crimson of the sky
Set ocean all a-blush, he made reply:

"Reason and candor justify your claim;
  The Infinite is infinite in all;
The Power that touches into life that flame
  Holds earth and heaven subject to His call,
  And at His fiat peoples rise and fall.

"Your dauntless zeal doth shame my coward heart;
  Your word of faith my courage doth inspire;
I see 'tis only noble to have part
  In moral contest; not to fan the fire
Of a false glory, which must ever feed
On souls that perish, and on hearts that bleed.

"And this I gather from your earnest plea;--
  That souls which walk in light and see the way
To heights of truth yet unattained, must be
  Fore-runners for their Lord, must work and pray
For the incoming of the perfect day.

"Join we in this sweet service; cherish still
  The trust that gives you courage for the fight;
Your 'peaceful war' on all that's base and ill,
  Your patient battle for the pure, the right.
  Let us press on and mount the hills of light."

The ocean murmur fell upon their ears
  Sweeter than bird-song or the voice of mirth,
As beamed her answering smile, thro' grateful tears,
  While her lips whispered only "Peace on earth."

"Peace! peace!"--the evening zephyrs caught the strain,
  The wavelets sent the word across the sea;
Exultant Nature trilled the glad refrain;--
  "Peace! peace! The Christ is come, and peace shall be!"



AT THE CLOSE OF THE YEAR


Neighbor, neighbor, prithee stay;
Wherefore hasten on thy way?
Give a moment's heed to me,
I would ask a thing of thee.

Neighbor, days and months have fled,
Seasons one by one have sped,
And to-night I greet thee here
At the passing of the year.

'Tis the time of reckoning now,
Of new resolves and annual vow;
Time of straightening ugly crooks,
And careful balancing of books.

Pardon if I now demand
How accounts of thine may stand;
Hast thou rendered, fair and true,
Unto every man his due?

Hast thou given timely heed
To thy poorer brother's need?
Hath thy strong arm been a stay
To the weaker on the way?

When didst thou a joy impart
To thy sister, sad at heart!
When didst thou her grief beguile
With the sunshine of thy smile?

When the heavy-laden came
Didst thou breathe a Saviour's name?
When temptations fierce did prove
Didst thou whisper of His love?

When hosts of evil have assailed,
And against the right prevailed,
Hast thou still undaunted stood
Pleading for the pure and good?

When--but neighbor, this is strange!
While I question comes a change:
All that I have asked of thee
Comes for answer back to me.

Comes, against my wish and will,
Comes and sets my heart a-thrill;
Comes with terrors of the law,
Filling me with fear and awe.

Strange transition! Can it mean?--
The marvel of this shifting scene--
Yes, I read the mystery now.
Neighbor, mine own soul art thou.

Now, my soul, 'tis thine to say
How the record stands to-day
Give account of loss or gain,
Talent used or spent in vain.

All unwitting how they sped
I my listed queries read;
Raised the duty-standard high,
Challenged measurement thereby.

While I queried came a change,
Silent, solemn, passing strange;--
Neighbor glided into mist,
Soul and self were keeping tryst.

And the queries come anew:
Soul of mine, be brave and true;
Lo! _our_ books we balance now;
I have questioned; answer thou.



RISEN


"He is risen; He is risen,
  Here His empty tomb you see;
And He goeth as He told you
  To the hills of Galilee."
Thus to loving, loyal women,
  In the centuries agone,
Angel voices told the story
  Of the resurrection morn.

He is risen! He is risen!
Years hand down the glad refrain;
Let the ages on to ages
  Waft the tidings yet again.
He who near the Bethlehem manger
  Lowly child of earth was born,
King of kings reigns all triumphant
  Since the resurrection morn.

Christ is risen! Calvary's anguish
  All a lost world's ransom paid;
Then, with tears, "the hope of Israel"
  In the new-made tomb was laid.

Deep and dark the desolation
  Falling with that night forlorn;
Radiant the dawn awakening
  With the resurrection morn.

He has risen! By this token
  We with Him shall rise again;
Faith shall vanquish doubt and terror,
  Joy shall banish grief and pain.
No more fear of sin's temptation,
  No more dread of hatred's scorn,
O the glory purchased for us
  On the resurrection morn!

Christ is risen! Bow before Him,
  To His courts an offering bring;
Suffering Lord and Lamb victorious,
  Crown Him Conquerer, Priest and King.
Robe of light for robe of mocking,
  Diadem for crown of thorn,
Wears He now, and in His likeness
Rise we, satisfied, immortal,
  In the resurrection morn.



ELIZABETH CROWNED


Elizabeth of Hungary, a widow at the age of twenty, was sought
in marriage by Frederick II., Emperor of Germany. She, having taken
a vow never to marry again, declined his offer, and devoted her life
to deeds of kindness and charity. She died at the age of twenty-four,
and was canonized as a saint by Gregory IX. At this ceremony Frederick
placed upon her head a golden crown, saying, "Since thou wouldst
not be crowned as my Empress, I crown thee to-day as an immortal
Queen in the kingdom of God."

When once I saw thee, fair, yet sad and lone,--
  Tho wealth and beauty waited at thy hand--
I would have crowned thee, saintly one, mine own;
Glad would have had thee share with me my throne,
  Bride of my heart, and Empress of my land!

But thou wert wedded to thy valiant dead,
  And to the service of a Christ-like love;
So by thy hand the suffering poor were led,
And from thy bounty were the hungry fed,
  Till came thy summons to the Court Above.

Now hast thou passed from tears and pain away,
  Thine ear hath caught the heavenly melodies;--
So be it mine, with reverent touch, to-day,
On thy fair head this diadem to lay,
  And crown thee Queen immortal for the skies!



WHO IS SUFFICIENT?


Six-and-thirty little mortals
  Coming to be taught;
And mine that most "delightful task
  To rear the tender thought."
Merry, mischief-loving children,
  Thoughtless, glad and gay,
Loving lessons--"just a little,"
  Dearly loving play.

Six-and-thirty souls immortal,
  Coming to be fed;
Needing "food convenient for them,"
  As their daily bread.
Bright and happy little children,
  Innocent and free,
Coming here their life-long lessons
  Now to learn of me.

Listen to the toilsome routine,
  List, and answer them,
For these things who is sufficient
  'Mong the sons of men?
Now they, at the well-known summons,
  Cease their busy hum;
And, some with pleasure, some reluctant,
  To the school-room come.

Comes a cunning little urchin
  With defiant eye,
"Making music" with his marbles
  As he passes by.
But, alas! the pretty toys are
  Taken from him soon,
And the music-loving Willie
  Strikes another tune!

Comes a lisping little beauty,
  Scarce five summers old;
Baby voice and blue eyes pleading,
  "Please, misth, I'm stho cold!"
Little one, the world is chilly,
  All too cold for thee;
From its storms "Our Father" shield thee,
  And thy refuge be.

While I turn to caution Johnny
  Not to make such noise;
Mary parses: "Earth's an adverb,
  In the passive voice."
Well, indeed, it must be passive,
  Else it is not clear
How such open language-murder,
  Goes unpunished here.

"Second Reader Class" reciting--
  "Lesson verse or prose?"
None in all the class is certain;
  Each one thinks he knows.
"Well," is queried then, "the difference
  Who can now define?"
Answers Rob: "In verse they never
  Finish out the line!"

Boy, thy thought doth strangely thrill me,
  And as hours roll on,
Hears my heart a solemn query:
  Is my day's work done?
Do I make of this my life-task
  Prose or idle rhyme?
Do I in the sight of Heaven
  Finish out the line?

Oh, it is "too fine a knowledge"
  For our mortal sight,
All these restless little creatures
  How to lead aright.
He who prayeth while he worketh,
  Taking lessons still
Of the Friend of little children,
  Learning all His will;

He alone can walk before them
  Worthily and well;
He alone of life's strange language
  Can the meaning tell.
May I then with heart as tender
  As a little child
Lead my flock; and Father, keep them
  Pure and undefiled.



PEACE


O blessed peace, that floweth like a river,
  Unstayed, unwearied, ever on and on;
That hath its fount and spring in Christ the giver,
  And finds its ocean round the great white Throne.

O peace of God, that passeth understanding,
  Thou art the answer to my soul's long quest;
Doubts, fears and sins, their serried hosts disbanding,
  I leave, launch on thy wave, and anchored, rest.



BOYS AND GIRLS


We were "seven in all," as the dear rustic maid
  To the poet so sweetly protested;
And together we rambled and studied and played,
Each imbibing a share of the sunshine and shade
  Wherewith our young life was invested.

And black eyes and blue eyes and brown eyes and gray
  Looked up to the face of our mother,
As she led us in study in labor or play,
Or told of "Our Father," and taught us to pray,
  And to cherish and love one another.

O, the rapture of being when life is a-tune
  With the song-life and beauty of morning;
When the roseate dawn brightens into the noon,
And the year hastens on to the splendor of June,
  In her fragrance and matchless adorning.

So our years flitted by and the youngest of all--
  Our dark-eyed and fun-loving brother--
Was grown to be manly and lithesome and tall,
And to couteous titles we answered the call,
  But were still "boys" and "girls" to each other.

O, the joy of endeavor, endurance and toil
  On thro' summer-time vigor and sweetness,
Of triumph o'er that which would hinder or foil,
Of the patience of hope after tears and turmoil,
  In the glory of autumn's completeness.

And the toil and the turmoil and tears have been ours--
  From our ranks we have missed a loved brother
We've encountered the thorns, but we've cherished the flowers;
We've passed under the clouds on to sunnier hours,
  And we're still "boys" and "girls" to each other.



A SMILE


The gliding of a fairy form
  And rosy lips that knew no guile,
With wonder parted, came to ask,
  "Papa, what is a smile?"

A smile, whate'er it is, then stole
  That gentle parent's features o'er;
For ne'er to him had been proposed
  Query so strange before.

But while he pondered in his heart
  How he should to his child reply,
A new, triumphant joy lit up
  Her loving, lustrous eye;--

And with this gladsome, new-found thought,
  She answered in her own behalf:
"Oh, now, I know; a smile must be
  _The whisper to a laugh!_"



"A SPARROW ALONE ON THE HOUSETOP"


Sing, little sparrow, sing thy song.
    No peril neareth thee;
Tho night be dark or day be long,
Or clouds hang low, sing on, sing on,
    The dear God heareth thee.

Sing, little bird, whate'er befall--
    Trill out thine utmost need;
Thou canst not soar, thou canst not fall
But He will note who knoweth all,
    And He thy plaint will heed.

O little sparrow, far and high
    Thy soft notes God-ward go,
And I with thee send up my cry,
And both shall somewhere find reply,
    _God careth for us so._



TO MOTHER


O mother, from thy home beyond the stars
  Hast thou not known the yearning of thy child
  For thy sweet love? Hast thou not heard her wild
And piteous moaning for thy soft caress?
Felt her heart's aching for the tenderness
  And the low patience of thy loving voice?
Hast thou not seen her 'mid life's toils and jars,
Pant as a bird behind its prison bars,
  For freedom to fly forth and be with thee?
And canst thou not, sweet mother, send reply?
Oh, thro' the depths of glory, thro' the sky,
  Look for one moment down and say to me
  That all of loss on earth thou findest to be
    Great gain in heaven; that thou dost rejoice
In all that was, and is, and shall betide
At last to all; and that, in Him who died,
  Yet liveth evermore, I, too, shall see
  All discord blended into harmony;
And that I, too, shall be, as thou art, satisfied.



PSALM CXXI

INSCRIBED TO MY SISTER, R. S. B.


Lift up thine eyes unto the hills;
  A pure and fragrant breath
Is wafted from their purple tops,--
  The Heaven-sent breath of _Faith_.

Lift up thine eyes unto the hills;
Beyond their shadowy slope
The Sun of Righteousness doth rise
In roseate dawn of _Hope_.

Lift up thine eyes unto the hills;
  Around, below, above,
The holy sky is all aglow
  With the warm light of _Love_.

Lift up thine eyes unto the hills;--
  Faith, Hope and Love are given
To point from fading joys of earth,
  To endless joy of Heaven.



TO R. T. B.

ON HER MARRIAGE DAY


                            Sister, we know
That God is good, and He hath led us on
By pleasant ways or painful to this day.
Our lives went on together until now.
In childhood and in youth the same fond home
Hath been our earthly refuge; the same Rock
Our shelter when earth had no rest or shade.
At the same fancy we have often smiled,
For the same sorrow wept; and oft our souls,
In mingling aspirations, have sent up
The same thanksgiving, the same burning prayer.
Yes, we have lived _together_; we have known
The visible blending of the outward life
Made real by the holier unison
Of loving spirit and aspiring mind.
The spells of joy have bound us--and of hope,
And tears--which are the diamond links of love--
Have made the chain of our affection strong.
It may be thus no more; yet--God is good--
I hush the moaning of my riven heart,
And smile that thou art happy; and give thanks
That thy sweet life, rejoicing, hath put on
Its richest diadem, its crown of love.
May the kind Father grant that crown to be
All worthy of the wearer; may His smile
Lend brightness to it ever; and at last,
When it is laid with earthly robes away,
O may the infinite and eternal Love
Rest like a glory on thy radiant brow.



ON NEW YEAR, 1897

TO G. D. AND S. F. B.


God bless you thro' this bright new year,
  The first you spend together;
Give peace and trust thro' cloudy days,
  Joy in its sunny weather.

And may the days as days go by,
  Still richer seem and sweeter,
And passing seasons make your lives
  In every good completer.

There are not words to tell the love
  In which I could caress you;
Your dear united names I breathe,
  And once more pray, God bless you.



TO ANNA

ON HER SIXTEENTH BIRTHDAY


Sixteen! and life to thee looks bright and fair;--
  A book unread, rose-tinted, golden edged,
Encased in binding curious, costly, rare;--
  And all the years to be thou holdest pledged
To give thee from its pages, day by day,
Readings to cheer and bless the blithesome way.

And life is such a volume, only thou,
  From garnered storage of the heart and mind,
Must fill unwritten pages, and allow
  Fair pictures--of pure thought, of self resigned,
Of kindly deeds--each new-made page to grace;--
How blest if none thou, later, woulds't efface!

Sixteen! A May-day in the path of life,
  A marvelous puzzle on the finger twirled;
Sixteen again; a stir of earnest strife
  And toil and tumult in a restless world;
Repeated still,--a patient, steadfast hold
On good attained,--ripe fruit, and grain of gold.

Sixteen once more! Serene in shade or sun,
  A brighter outlook now; existence grand!
Content in hopes fulfilled, in victories won,
  Mingling with holier yearnings for that land,
Whose o'er-flown radiance and whose surplus bliss
Have been the glory and the joy of this.



A SONG OF TENS

TO MARY


At the tenth birthday all the world looks fair;
The twentieth scarcely shades it with a care;
At the third decade life soars grand and high;
But with the fourth its heyday passes by.

The fifth comes on,--a century's half is told;
The sixth,--our little girl is growing old.
Another half-score milestone passed, and then
We've reached the allotted three-score years and ten.

Years may be added; should they come to thee
May Faith and Wisdom their companion be;
Hope thy sure anchor; Peace with thee abide,
And Love still be thy light at eventide.



JESSICA


A gentleman once wrote of Elizabeth Fry: "Her name has long
been a word of beauty in our household."

Make thy name a word of beauty,
  Like the lily pure and fair,
From its perfumed cup exhaling
  Sweetest fragrance on the air.

Make thy name a word of beauty
  Lustrous as the ocean pearl;
Constant in life's loving service,
  Guileless through youth's mazy whirl.

Make thy name a word of beauty,
  Radiant, steadfast, like a star;
Shedding from a glowing center
  Love's effulgence near and far.

Aye, we greet thee, rare-sweet maiden,
  (Make it evermore thy right),
Jessica--our word of beauty,
  Lily, pearl, and star of light.



TRANSITION


Out of the blindness and the night
Into clear and constant light.

Out of the weariness and pain
Into everlasting gain.

Out of the toil and durance hard
Into rest and rich reward.

Out of the doubting and distress
Into certain blessedness.

Out of the dusty lanes of care
Into pastures green and fair.

Out of the glaring desert sun
To shades where cooling waters run.

Out of the din of woe and wrong
Into choral waves of song

Out of the dwelling, worn and old,
Into the city of pearl and gold.

Where now, O Death, where is thy sting?
Thou art the summons to the King.

O Grave, where is thy victory?
Thou art the gateway to the free!



TO A. H. B.

A "COMMENCEMENT" GREETING


With Portraits of Eminent Authors

Dear Hallam, with this trifling gift
  Best wishes now I send thee;
Through all thy future life may joy
  And grace and peace attend thee.

May this the bright beginning be
  Of days love-crowned and royal;
May griefs and faults and foes be few,
  Friends manifold and loyal.

May gems from authors such as these
  Store well thy mental coffer,
But for thy heart's enrichment please
  Accept the love I offer.

1882



TO WINNIE

ON HER WEDDING DAY


Stars will shine on, tho thou art gone,
  But we shall miss the gleaming
Of one bright eye's responsive smile,
  And love-light softly beaming.

And flowers will bloom,--but we shall miss
  A fragrance and a beauty
That brightened for us here and there
  The sombre path of duty.

And friends will greet us on our way,
  But we shall miss the sweetness
Of a fair presence that hath made
  So much of life's completeness.

And yet 'tis well; we give thee joy,
  And pray with this caressing;
That love and peace without alloy
  May be thy bridal blessing.



A LIFE WORK

IN MEMORY OF DANIEL HILL


He heard the cry of man enslaved
  In bonds and servile toil;
And gave his voice for freedom till
  The "Freedman" tilled "free-soil."

He saw his weaker brother reel,
  Pierced by Drink's poisoned dart,
And wrought and wrote with fervent zeal
  To stay the Tempter's art.

He heard the clash of sword and gun
  In deadly battle-strife;
And pleaded till his day was done
  For Love's sweet rule in life.

He rests in peace. Who now shall wear
  The mantle he let fall?
Who teach as he the Father-love,
  The brotherhood of all?



VISIONS


I saw when Israel toiled and groaned beneath the Pharoah's rod,
And in his hopeless bondage moaned his helpless prayer to God.

I saw when from the river's brink the infant leader rose,
Who, reared in Egypt's royal court, still felt his brothers' woes.

I heard him at the burning bush his swift excuses bring:
"Who, who am I, that I should stand before the Egyptian king?

"And who am I that I should lead the people of thy choice?
My warning word they will not heed, nor hearken to my voice.

"And who am I that I should move a monarch to relent?
I, but a man, and slow of speech, nor wise, nor eloquent."

I marked the answer: "Plead no more thy vain excuse to me;
I am the Lord; my servant thou; my glory thou shalt see.

"I am the Lord; the power is mine; 'tis thine to hear and do;
The Lord almighty is to save, by many or by few."

The man of doubt exchanged his fears for faith in God and right,
While meek obedience on his brow sat like a crown of light.

The slow of speech grew eloquent, till Israel gladly heard;
And bolder waxed the Leader, till the king's hard heart was stirred,

And he in fierce displeasure drove the captives from his land;
Not knowing their deliverance was all divinely planned.

Down the long line of two-score years I looked and saw at last,
The blissful view from Pisgah's height; the Jordan safely passed;

And heard--as Memnon's harp had caught the sweet enchanting strain,
And sent adown the waves of time brave Miriam's glad refrain--

"Sing, for the Lord hath triumphed; sing, great wonders can he do;
The Lord is mighty and can save by many or by few."

I saw again, when sin-enslaved, by Jabin's hand oppressed,
A people's cry went up to God for rescue and for rest.

Then up rose Deborah, judge and seer, with all her valiant band,
And drove the oppressor from her gates, his chariots from her land.

And Jael, wife of Heber, slew his captain with the sword;
So woman's hand achieved that day the victory for the Lord.

And woman's voice extolled in song the great Deliverer's name:--
"Praise God! He hath avenged His own, for willingly they came.

"The mountains melt before His face, the tribes their strength renew;
The Lord is mighty and doth save by many or by few."

I saw when Gideon led his band down to the water's bank
To prove and set them in array, as man by man they drank,

And with the handful chosen thus went forth against the foe,
And vanquished all the Midian host, and laid their princes low.

Not with the thousands called from far, who pitched by Harod's well;
Nor yet the undismayed who stood when the faint-hearted fell;

But "Now, with these three hundred men, go forward," said the Lord;
"Do thou thy part, let them do theirs, trust, and obey my word."

Their torches flashed like dancing flames, their trumpets loudly blew;
Strange warfare! but the Lord can save by many or by few.

Once more I saw when Israel quailed before Philistia's pride;
While great Goliath, day by day, Jehovah's power defied.

The weak and timid fled away, the valiant shrank with fear;--
'Twas threatened death or dire defeat, and life and fame are dear.

Even Saul, their chosen king, forgot (admiring Israel's boast!)
That he stood head and shoulders high above his martial host.

"And are there none," he cried, "who dare to meet this vaunting foe?
And must the banner of our God trail in dishonor low?"

Then forth there came a ruddy youth: "That banner I'll defend;
Be it not said our God hath none on whom He may depend.

"Let no heart fail to-day because of this Philistine's boast;
The battle is the Lord's and He will vanquish this proud host."

Then spake he to the giant foe: "A loyal servant I
Of Israel's God, whose holy name thou darest to defy.

"In that dread name I charge thee stand, and shield thee as thou may;
The fowls of air, the beasts of earth shall feast on thee to-day."

'Twas but a pebble from the brook, sent by a loyal will;
But sword and spear not mightier were God's purpose to fulfil.

For one may chase a thousand, and ten thousand flee from two;
The God of right is strong to save by many or by few.

       *       *       *       *       *

Years, ages pass and now I see a land beloved and fair;
And lo! a cruel enemy hath gained possession there.

The riches of this goodly land into his coffers pour;
Insatiate and unscrupulous, his constant cry is "More!"

"More money clinking in my till, more men--my licensed prey;
More _boys_ to feed my traffic when these men have passed away."

Thus man is robbed of purse and soul, home of its peace and joy;
The wife of husband is bereft, the mother of her boy.

The land doth mourn. On every side the spoiler hath his way;
No past oppression hath surpassed this vision of to-day.

And who, like Moses, will exchange his self-distrust and fear
For faith to meet the encroaching foe and check his bold career?

And who, like Deborah, will arise and lead a valiant band
To drive the Tyrant from her gates, the Traffic from her land?

Who will, like Gideon and his men, the light of truth dare throw
On darkest evil, and the trump of coming victory blow?

Or who, like David, will come forth in God's great name, alone,
And lay the boastful giant low, as once with sling and stone?

When Avarice and unholy Pride against the good contend,
The battle is the Lord's and He His people will defend.

The great Red Sea of wrong, while He doth pass, shall stand aside;
Mountains shall bow before Him, and proud Jordan's waves divide.

Each epoch hath its burning bush, and each its palm-tree shade;
And each its oak of Ophrah, where the pledge of peace is made.

And each its fold, where kingly soul in shepherd guise is found;
And when the Master calleth there the place is "holy ground."

Holy the place; but whose the hour? perchance He calleth _thee_,
Or _thee_; who, who will answer now, "Lord, here am I; send me?"

O, for the love of land and home, make answer brave and true;
Our God is mighty still to save, by many or by few.



BE YE ALSO READY


Let us be still before Him. Yet once more
That voice hath spoken to our startled souls
Which fell in solemn cadence on the ear
Of the hushed listeners on Mt. Olive's hill:
"At eventide, at midnight, or at morn,
The Son of Man shall come, shall surely come;
Be ready, for ye may not know the hour."
And if at eventide, when Nature folds
Her toil-spent hands and sinks into repose;
Or if at midnight hour of gloom Thou come,
Or when the morning spreads her wings of light,
Oh make us ready for the solemn call.
Supply our need, of knowledge, wisdom, grace,
Dear Lord, that with confiding joy our souls,
Made pure of sin and strong in faith, may go
To meet Thee at Thy coming. If the sound
Of sweet home-voices follow to the brink
Of death's dark river, as they fainter grow,
Then let us hear Thy still small voice of love;
Say to us, "It is I--be not afraid."
Or if the angel of the icy hand
Should find us when no human friend is near
And summon us away, then as we lose
Our hold of earth and fall away from life,
O wilt Thou grant our parting spirits may
Go out in silence and be found with Thee.



MIMOSA


A modest plant; soft shades of green
  In leaflets poised on slender stem;
And all outspread to catch the glow
  Of morning sun or dew-drop gem.

But, lo, what change! When finger-tips
  But touch the leaflets' fringe, the charm
Of life is gone--Mimosa shrinks,
  As conscious of some present harm.

So would I have my soul recoil
  From touch of wrong or thought of sin;
So throw its portals wide again,
  To let the dew and sunshine in.



AT THE CRISIS


I.--THE STEAMBOAT BELLS

When steamboats approach Mt. Vernon their bells begin to toll,
and continue the mournful service until the sacred spot is again left
in the distance.

Mt. Vernon's shade sweet vigil keeps
Where on her breast her hero sleeps;
O passing bells, soft be your tone,
Toll gently for our Washington.

Toll, the great Warrior's strife is o'er;
Toll, for the Statesman pleads no more;
Toll--for a Man is fallen--on,
Peal out your dirge for Washington.

Toll for a people's wounded heart,
Toll for a bleeding Nation's smart,
Toll for a World!--toll sadly on--
The world hath lost a Washington.

Ring out your wailing on the air,
And let it be a voice of prayer;
He whom we greatly need is gone;--
God give another Washington.

1863

Thus while she listened to the mournful knell
  That woke sad echoes on Potomac's shore;
Saw how from Sumter's height her banner fell,
  And heard, not distant far, loud battle's roar;--

Thus, while she heard the impatient bondman's moan,
  Knew her own power defied, her trust betrayed;
While Treason rose to hurl her from her throne--
  The Spirit of the Union mused and prayed.


II.--THE EMANCIPATOR

God gave another; while we stood
Aghast before the coming flood
Of war, and its attending woes,
The one for whom she prayed arose.

Blinded and deaf, we knew him not;
Yet saw him wipe out slavery's blot;
Heard him proclaim his people free,
From lake to gulf, from sea to sea.

Saw this and heard, but deaf and blind,
We failed to recognize the Mind,
Which, going on from strength to strength,
From grace to grace, had grown at length,

Thro the stern lessons of the hour,
Of danger, censure, praise and power,
To be the Man among us, one,
Whom now we hail, since he is gone,
Lincoln, our more than Washington.

1866



ON THE DEATH OF DR. JAMES E. RHOADS


Fallen? No; his part was finished
  In the earthly toil and strife;
He hath but lain his armor by,
  And entered into life.

Silent? No; tho' hushed forever
  Tones that did like music thrill,
Through example, helpful, holy,
  Lo, he speaketh still.

Vanished? Lost to those that loved him?
  No; his spirit lingering near
Still doth woo them, onward, upward,
  Whispering, "Be of cheer."

Crowned? Aye, crowned in earth and heaven;
  Here with laurels fairly won;
There with star-lit diadem,
  Inscribed "Well done! well done!"



ETERNAL YOUTH


Looking in thine eyes of azure,
  Looking on thy hair of gold,
Once I wished, Evangelina,
  That there were no growing old.

For I thought of how thy sweet eyes
  Would grow dim with tears and care;
How the years would turn to silver
  All thy wealth of golden hair.

How the lines of life would gather
  O'er the face so placid now;
Traces of its toil and struggle
  Touching lip and cheek and brow.

This I thought, and wished the shadows
  Might not lengthen o'er thy way;
Wished there were no time but spring-time,
  Were no evening of the day.

Now I fear, Evangelina,
  That my wish was half a prayer,
That the listening Father heard me,
  That thou liest, an answer, there.

For thou liest in thy beauty,--
  Eyes of blue and hair of gold,
Lip and cheek and brow of marble,
  Folded fingers, still and cold;--
O my angel, God hath called thee
  Where there is no growing old.



BUILDING TIME


The time of the singing of birds is come;
  'Tis the happiest time of the year:
They are saying, "Let's build us our summer home,
  For the frost-king no longer we fear."

The time of the singing of birds is come,
  And the time of their building, too;
With a feather, a straw and a stray bit of gum
  They will shew what bird-builders can do.

The time of the singing of birds is come:
  I was eaves-dropping under the trees;
And as I translated the twitter and hum,
  I thought the words sounded like these:

    "Twirr-a-whirr, twirr-a-whirr,
    The young leaves are astir;
We will make us a nest snug and warm
    On this apple-tree bough--
    We are at it e'en now--
All secure from intruders and storm.

    "'Tis for home, 'tis for love,
    'Tis for heaven above,
And our roof is the clear azure sky;
    The foundations we lay
    In this rough straw and clay,
But we'll line it with moss by and by."

The time of the singing of birds is here,
  And if under the apple-tree bough
Orlando and May would a domicile rear,
    Let them hear what the birds tell them now:

    "Build for home, build for love,
    Build for heaven above,
Build with music and cheer like the birds;
    And if palace or cot,
    Built of marble or what,
Line your nest with the moss of kind words,"



SUNRISE


The incident here narrated occurred some years ago at the Media
Training School for Feeble-Minded Children, then in care of Dr. I.
N. Kerlin.

A feeble, idiot boy, he stood
  Where Nature in her beauty grew,
And over field and flowering wood
  Her summer mantle lightly threw.

The scene had met his eye before;
  The pleasant path he oft had trod;
And one who sought in simple lore
  To teach him things of heaven and God

Had often wandered with him there,
  And pointed out each lovely spot,--
The sunlit cloud--the floweret fair--
  But still he comprehended not.

For all his soul was void and still,
  And darkness held his mind in thrall;
He recognized no Sovereign Will,
  Nor saw the hand of God in all.

In Nature's presence now alone
  He stood, and filled with silent awe,
Beheld, before the coming sun,
  The curtained Night in haste withdraw.

And gazing there with vacant eye,
  All motionless and mute he waits,
When lo! the chariot of the sky
  Rolls through the morning's crimson gates.

The orient beams with beauteous light--
  Hath not his soul its radiance caught?
His being grasps a new delight;
  A deep, mysterious change is wrought.

A light is kindled in his breast;
  A temple-veil at length is riven;
And in that hour of strange unrest
  A thought is born--of God in heaven.

In haste he seeks his tutor's side,
  For he who "bore in grief a part"
Will, in this happy hour of pride,
  Responsive hail his joy of heart.

The glowing cheek, the flashing eye,
  The parted lips--_not voiceless now_--
And, caught from that resplendent sky,
  The marvelous light upon his brow,--

While these, ere yet he speaks, attest
  The rapture which that thought has given;
He lifts his finger toward the east
  And softly whispers, "_God, in Heaven!_"

O blessed hour! and happy he
  To whom, thro patient love 'twas given
To set a fettered spirit free,
  And wake a hope of God in Heaven



NEAL DOW

WRITTEN FOR A MEMORIAL DAY SERVICE


A Soul was stirred as one thro' blinding tears
  Rehearsed a tale of want and cruel wrong;
Keen indignation banished doubts and fears;
  The purpose of imperial youth grew strong.

A Voice was heard: "Alas! that on the side
  Of sin and mad oppression there is power,
But we will change all this, if God so aid":--
  And Maine's new freedom dated from that hour.

A Life was given; fraught with noble deeds;--
  Aflame with words of truth, and tireless zeal,
And boldness for the right that gave no heed
  To threatening hate, or sycophant's appeal.

But men decried the fervor of that Soul,
  And would have hushed the Voice that pleaded still
Against the oppressors' power, and such control
  As brought _them_ gain, all others loss and ill.

And men denounced that Life; and where it came
  Ofttimes their scoffings tainted the sweet air,
As with malicious scorn they hailed a name
  That calumny itself left clean and fair.

And now that Soul hath entered into rest;
  That Voice is silent, and that peerless Life
Hath crossed the threshold where the good and blest
  Enter, and cease from sorrow, toil and strife.

O Life and Voice and Soul! O princely one!
  Our loyal hearts send greeting to thee now;
Thy name has lighted near a century gone,--
  'Twill brighten ages yet to come, Neal Dow.



"PARADISE WILL PAY FOR ALL"

LAST WORDS OF SAMUEL A. PURDIE


From the charm of idle pleasure,
  From Ambition's siren song,
From the rush for earthly treasure
  Of the busy, careless throng;
In the dawn of life's fair morning
  He had heard the Master's call;
"Yea, I come," his heart made answer,
  "Paradise will pay for all."

On through years of toil and struggle
  Walked he, faithful to his word;
Blameless life and kind entreaty
  Leading many to the Lord.
Meeting dangers, bearing burdens
  Well might stoutest heart appal;
But to every doubt replying,
  "Paradise will pay for all."

Now at eve, toil-spent and weary,
  Pierced with pain the pilgrim lay;
Watching still with faith triumphant
  For the dawn of brighter day.
Then upon his ear there falleth
  Once again the Master's call:
"Come up higher." "Yea," he answers,
  "Paradise will pay for all."



FORGIVENESS


Father in Heaven, I thank Thee for this hour,
This blessed hour wherein my contrite soul
Humbled and happy bows itself to Thee,
Pleading that all its error and its sin
May be forgiven--even as I forgive.

The cruel wrong swept o'er me like a flood;
And my hurt soul in fierce defiance rose,
And all forgetful that itself could sin
Heaped heavy hatred on the offender's head.
There came a calmer hour in which I saw
The strong temptation that had moved him thus
To barter all his better life away--
Love, honor, principle--to gain the world.
And seeing this I learned to pity him.
For well I knew the bauble he had won
Would only mock him with its faithless glare;
And well I knew the golden fruit he grasped
Would be but dust and ashes in his hand;
And knowing this I learned to pity him.
And as my pity grew it turned to prayer--
That when the glitter of the gold was gone,
And the sweet fruit was bitter to his taste;
When the sad memory of the slighted past
Came, and made deeper still the present gloom,
The darkness might be lifted, and the Soul,
Self-robbed and famishing, might find its way
To the green pastures and the springs of life,
That in the heart whence love and joy had fled,
Whence hope was exiled, there might yet be peace.
But suddenly I queried in my heart
What power had moved me that I should have prayed
For him I counted as my life-long foe.
Greatly I marveled what it meant that thus
I had called down such blessing upon him--
The kindliest boon of heaven, the peace of God.
Deep in my soul there came an answering voice:
"O Child, _it is but this--thou hast forgiven_!"

Then thanks, O Father, for this plessed hour,
Wherein my soul, by Thine own Spirit taught,
Prays with no mockery of words Thy prayer:
"Forgive my trespasses, _as I forgive_."



A LOST SONG?


Horror of combat, and tumult and dread;
  Thunder of cannon and bursting of bomb;
Moans of the wounded (who envy the dead)
  Lost in the clamor of trumpet and drum.
    O where is the song of the angels?
      O when shall we hear it again?
    "Peace on earth," rang the chorus seraphic,
      "And good will evermore among men."

Here is fierce anger and hatred and death,
  Pitiless slaughter of pitiless foe;
Blessings and curses poured forth in a breath;
  Brave self-forgetting, and measureless woe.
    But where is the song of the angels?
      O when shall we hear it again?
    "Peace on earth," rang the chorus seraphic,
      "And good will evermore among men."

Blue waves of ocean are reddened with gore,
  Victor and victim earth holds to her breast;
Hearts that will thrill with ambition no more;
  Heads that so lately fond mothers caressed.
    O where is the song of the angels?
      O when shall we hear it again?
    "Peace on earth," rang the chorus seraphic,
      "And good will evermore among men."

Victory, purchased at infinite cost,
  Honors and titles so fearfully won,
Fame, at the price of lives blighted and lost,
  Graves, all unnoted, unnumbered, unknown.
    O where is the song of the angels?
      Dear Christ, let us hear it again;
    "Peace on earth," send the chorus seraphic,
      "Peace on earth, and good will among men."



A NEW EARTH


I have dreamed a sweet dream; I have seen a fair vision;
  I have looked the wide universe o'er;
And earth's nations arise in a glory elysian--
  They do not learn war any more.

There are music and mirth; there are childhood's sweet voices,
  Winsome age lends its placid charm there;
There are laughter and glee as when home-life rejoices
  Unshadowed by sorrow or care.

In all noble achievement, all worthy endeavor,
  Men in kindly ambition contend;
But the valiant of heart may yet know he hath ever
  In his sturdiest foeman a friend.

Nevermore the proud boast or the haughty defiance;--
  Without end shall His kingdom increase;
'Tis the day of _all nations in Holy Alliance_,
  'Tis the reign of truth, justice, and peace.

Nevermore shall a nation lift sword against nation,
  The dominion of Hatred is o'er;
'Tis the triumph of Love, 'tis the dawn of Christ's kingdom,
  They shall not learn war any more.



RECALL


Put up thy sword, O Nation, grand and strong!
  Call in thy fleet-winged missiles from the sea;
Art thou not great enough to suffer wrong,
  Land of the brave, the freest of the free?

Put up thy sword. 'Tis nobler to endure
  Than to avenge thee at another's cost;
And while thy claim and purpose are made sure,
  Behold that other's life and honor lost.

Put up thy sword. It hath not hushed the cry
  That called it all too rashly from its sheath;
Still o'er the fated isle her children lie
  And find surcease from anguish but in death.

Put up thy sword, O Country, strong and free,
  Let strife and avarice and oppression cease;
So shall the world thy Star of Empire see
  Resplendent o'er the heaven-touched hills of Peace.



PHILISTIA'S TRIUMPH


1 Samuel 4: 10, 11; 7: 3.

(WRITTEN ON THE DEFEAT OF THE PROHIBITION AMENDMENT
IN PENNSYLVANIA.)

They fought with lances in that ancient day,
  With sword and spear and arrow deftly sped.
At eventide the hosts of Israel lay
  Vanquished and spoiled, the dying with the dead;
      And the Ark of God was taken.

They fought with ballots in our nearer day;
  From morn to eve the light-winged missiles flew;
Again Philistia's triumph brought dismay,
  And Wrong, victorious, struggling Virtue slew,
      And the Ark of God was taken.

O ye to whom the sacred trust was given
  To guard the altar and the ark of God,
Have ye been recreant to the charge of heaven,
  That thus we fall before the avenging rod,
      And the Ark of God is taken?

Rouse from your shameful slumbers. Put away
  Your strange gods from among you. Turn again;
That in the drawing of some nobler day
  The hosts of sin may be rebuked of men,
      And the Ark of God re-taken.



THE WHITE RIBBON ARMY

(Air: King Bibbler's Army.)

FOR M. B. T.


In the years, years ago, when the true-hearted women,
  Started forth on their errand of prayer,
Many said, "'Tis the cry of the Home for protection";
  Many said, "'Tis delusion and snare."
Some said, softly, "God bless you"; some murmured, "Mistaken";
  Some the swift shafts of calumny hurled;
But they went bravely forward, a praying procession,
  Marching out, out, out in the world.

                  _Chorus_

      Hark! hark! a trembling chorus:
          No, no, no, no;
      We cannot have Rum ruling o'er us;
          No, no, no, no;
And now to save our young men the White-Ribbon Army
      Marches on, on, on round the world.

At the head of the host came the silver-haired mothers,
  Arm in arm with the daughters so fair;
While the wives for their husbands, the girls for their brothers,
  Raise their voices to heaven in prayer.
As their pleadings prevail, and "the worst foe" surrenders,
  The white banner of peace is unfurled;
And we now may behold them, a joyful procession,
  Marching on, on, on round the world.

                  _Chorus_

      Hark! hark! a swelling chorus:
          No, no, no, no;
      We cannot have Rum ruling o'er us;
          No, no, no, no;
And oh to save our country the White-Ribbon Army
      Marches on, on, on round the world.

They have entered the gates of the Empire Celestial,
  They have compassed the Isles of the Sea,
And they carry glad tidings of good to all people,
  From the land of the brave and the free.
On the peeress of England, on Afric's dark daughter,
  Is the white-ribbon emblem now twirled;
And the army moves onward, a dauntless procession,
  Marching on, on, on round the world.

                  _Chorus_

      Hark! hark! a ringing chorus:
          No, no, no, no;
      We cannot have Rum ruling o'er us;
          No, no, no, no;
And lo! to save all nations the White-Ribbon Army
      Marches on, on, on round the world.



CHRISTMAS


Dawn of glory! radiant morn!
To-day the Christ, our King, is born.
Our King, our Saviour, Son of Man,
And Son of God--all-wondrous plan!
A Virgin's joy; a world's salvation;
Humblest type of exaltation!
Highest form of life despised;
Visage marred, and beauty prized.
By angels heralded on high;
By men abhorred and doomed to die.
Entombed secure 'neath seal and stone;
Uprisen to the Eternal Throne!
Hail, blessed light! Hail glorious morn!
The Wonderful, the Christ is born!



"A DAY IN JUNE"


The Early Dawn looked out upon the world
  And cried, "How beautiful a world to be!"
  The Dawn herself was beautiful to see;
Her hair of glowing golden light uncurled
  About a face of clear serenity,
  Whereon rose-tinted smiles played daintily and free.
"Aye, fair the earth," she said, "most fair--and yet
How can I for one briefest space forget
How dark a stain its loveliness doth mar;
A stain, a scourge, the cruel curse of war!
Even now I dimly see and faintly hear
The clang of drum, the clash of sword and spear."
And pale with pity, swift she shrank away,
Leaving the world and war to broader day.

The Sun at noon looked down upon the world;
  From depths of vast ethereal blue looked down,
  And mused, "You far, fair Earth, sure we must crown
Queen of the Universe. Great flags unfurled
  O'er her bright waters witness high renown
  Won by her creature, Man; aye, bring for Earth a crown!

Yet stay--there riseth over Afric plains
A cloud of battle-smoke; with crimson stains
Her rivers run; her hills and meadows fair,
Trampled by hostile hordes, lie waste and bare.
And yonder, in the islands of the sea,
A people struggle vainly to be free;
And everywhere the banners of fair fame
Trail in the dust of hatred, greed and shame.
No crown for Earth; I mourn so bright a star
Lost in the chaos of consuming war."
And veiled in robe of woe, he went his way,
Borne by the passing hours to close of day.

The twilight lingered, and the Evening Star
  Looked back upon the world and whispered low:
  "These who have spoken surely could not know:--
Earth is a great, pure pearl, and seems from far
  Set with fair homes, like gems; in amber glow,
  Or emerald green, or gold or roseate snow.
But hush! In palace hall a bitter cry;
A mangled hero is borne in to die;
And in yon lowly cot, a widow's moan;--
A mother's heart-break o'er her only son.
Alas! 'tis true. Earth's battle-fields destroy
Her noblest manhood; rob her homes of joy."
And sad the Star of Evening sank from sight,
While Earth lay shrouded in the gloom of night.

But from afar--beyond the Morning's birth,
Beyond the depths whence Sun looked down on earth,
Beyond the dreamy distance of the Star,--
A voice proclaimed: "They shall no more learn war."



TO-DAY


Light on my pathway, blessed Lord,
  The light of life, I pray;
O, let the glory of Thy word
  Shine o'er my life to-day.

I cry to Thee for present help,
  Turn not my prayer away;
O Strength and Refuge of Thine own,
  Keep Thou my soul to-day.

My willing but uncertain feet
  Guide in Thy chosen way;
And let Thy grace sufficient be
  For all my need to-day.



LOSING VICTORIES


My 'Infant Class' one summer morn,
  Was gathered in the maple shade
Near the church door, and there we talked
  Of the fair world our Lord had made--

The swaying trees upon the hill,
  The waving grain, the shadowy grove--
Till every little heart seemed filled
  With the sweet sense of Jesus' love.

A query came: Dear little ones,
  As days go by what shall we do--
Since Jesus has so loved us all--
  To show him that we love him too?

"I'll mind mama," said wilful Tim;
  And Ben, "I'll carry in the wood;"
Said Mary, "I will lessons learn;"
  While Dimple lisped, "I will be dood."

And how will Helen show her love?
  She, with a wistful glance at Rose--
A sweet, but pale and timid child--
  Replied, "By giving up, I 'spose."

Dear girl! To fragile sister Rose
  She oft must yield her will and way;
But now this duty shall disclose
  Her love for Jesus, day by day.

Oh oft, were we but wise, we'd find
  Our triumph in another's gain;
On glowing altar--coals of love--
  Would joy to see self-idols slain.

In simplest ways the soul may drink
  With Christ the sacrificial cup,
And many a victory is won,
  And nobly won, by 'giving up.'



NOT MINE


Thy will, Thy way, not mine, O blessed Lord;
  My will would choose the smooth and pleasant way,
  And that might lead from duty's path astray;
Nay, I would walk "according to Thy word,"
      Choosing Thy way, not mine.

Thy peace, my gracious Saviour, would I choose,
  My peace might lead me man, not God, to please,
  Might lure my soul to take its selfish ease,
And, gaining all the world, itself to lose,
      Give me Thy peace, not mine.

Thy will, Thy way, Thy peace, Thou knowest best;
  Let me but see the guiding of Thine eye,
  Let me but know Thy voice, and swift reply
My soul shall make to every know behest,
      Doing Thy will, not mine.



IN THE DESERT


Ah me! what life since hers in age agone
  Hath not known Hagar's hour in desert wild;
Outcast from sheltering home, adrift, alone,
  Bereft of love's sweet ministry, her child--
Her heart's one treasure--late so fond and fair,
Become a burden more than she could bear;
  All earth and sky a strange enfolding scroll
Writ o'er with nameless pain and sense of need
To which nor pitying eye nor ear gave heed
  _Till came the thought of God._ Even so the soul,
Consumed with vain regret and doubt and dread--
  As she upon the barren sand her boy--
  Lays all it once had counted hope and joy
Upon the desolate waste itself had spread;
  Self-abnegating, tho with bitter cry--
  "I yield thee, but I cannot see thee die."
But, passing thence, the agonizing plea
Faith transforms into tuneful harmony,
Glad to remember "Thou, God, seest me."



A PHANTOM IN THE "CIRCLE"


Written for a literary club, to which the author had formerly belonged,
in Waterford, Va.

Start not, good friends; there was a time
  When I, whom fate, in kindly mood,
Made brief sojourner in your clime,
  Was glad partaker of the good
That from your "Circle" emanated;
  And as the seven days went 'round
  The appointed "Fourth-day evening" found
Me with its members congregated.
And also now I recognize
The smiling lips and beaming eyes
Of some, who, cordial, kind and free,
Had smiles and loving words for me.
Who, when I entered rose to greet,
And welcome gave, sincere and sweet.
But that was years ago, and now
There may be wrinkles on my brow;
There may have fled from form and face
The transient charms of youth and grace,
And time and sadness may have thrown
A shadow o'er the "chestnut brown"
Of locks that once--well, let that pass;--
  These are but sorrowful reflections,
And, like those of my looking-glass,
  Do but discover imperfections;
So let us leave this train of thought
  And start in happier directions.
But first I think it may be due
Alike unto myself and you,
Lest some should think I may have brought
My ghostly presence here unsought,
  To make this note of explanation:--
That not for pride, or praise, or gloom,
Or curious motive am I come;
  Nor yet for want of occupation;
Far from intruding thus, I would
Have it distinctly understood
  I'm here by "special invitation."

Here! and my phantom pulses quicken!
  Pale memories gather round me fast,
And now they grow, and gleam, and thicken,
And fan me with their wings of light,
And bear me to a realm more bright
Than fairy land or elfin home,
Or that sweet world whence dreams do come
  The heaven of a happy Past!

       *       *       *       *       *

Familiar faces on me smile,
  Remembered voices greet my ear,
And social converse gives the while,
  The old-time wisdom and good cheer.
But while we're all engaged in chat,
Of work, of weather, and all that,
  And voices rise and smiles grow broader,
Presiding dignity comes forth
With modest but "amazing" worth
  And calls the whole concern to order.
Then "minutes" penned by snow-white hand,
Approved without dissension stand;
And hushed is all the talk and noise
The while some soft or manly voice
From gifted author doth unfold
Before us treasures new and old.
We grant them rare, yet lay them by
Our intellectual strength to try
  In essay, speech, or declamation;
We reverence the might of mind,
But here our home-spun thoughts still find
  A kindlier appreciation.
With hushed breath and eyes that glisten,
To some fine argument we listen,
From one with head so full of lore
That to prevent its brimming o'er
  He must impart his information.
The which he does "by book and rule,"
Achieving in the village school
  A never-ceasing reformation.
With rapt attention now we hear
A discourse upon Sound and Ear,
  Wherein is beautifully blended,
The Science and the History,
The Knowledge and the Mystery
  So fair, when fairly comprehended.
Then some poetic brain is fired,
  Some secret spring unlocked, for
A brother brings, with love inspired,
Kind thoughts in glowing words attired,
And prays at once with heart and pen--
And all the people say Amen--
  "God bless the Country Doctor."

And "lesser lights" send out a gleam
  Of intellectual glory;
And many a grave or playful theme,
Or fact profound, or doubtful dream,
  Or song, or allegory
Beguiles the gloom of winter night,
And makes the slow hours swift and light;
To social pleasure adds a charm,
Makes young hearts wise and old hearts warm,
  And Life a pleasant story.

       *       *       *       *       *

O friends, I live it o'er again!
I cross the gulf 'twixt Now and Then,
And live that happy time again;
Its varied joy and brightness, all--
The crowded room, the lighted hall,
  The merry laugh, the friendly nod--
And bless the Fate that brought--but no,
Let us not read these chances so--
  _Fate is the Sovereign will of God_;
  He marks the paths by mortals trod;
And He appoints our joy and woe.
Then bless we God, whose gracious hand
  Hath led us gently on our way;
By whose good will to-day we stand
  Rejoicing that we live to-day.
By whose sweet mercy yet we trust
That all of us which is not dust,
From time and toils of earth shall rise
To nobler life beyond the skies.



A VALENTINE


Up in the same sweet heaven,
  Though parted far,
We two may see at even
  The same bright star.

So the same blessed guide-star
  Of Love divine
Illumines with its glory
  Thy path and mine.

When thoughts of these, of heaven
  And love are thine,
Be one kind memory given
  Thy Valentine.



A CONVENTION HYMN


Bless us now, our Heavenly Father,
  As we gather once again
And unite our hearts and voices
  In a grateful, glad refrain;
Praises for a Father's bounty,
  Praises for a Saviour's reign.

Guide us by thy Holy Spirit,
  Lead us in thy perfect way;
Show us as we strive to serve Thee,
  What to do and what to say;
Teach us how to work and suffer,
  How to watch and how to pray.

Gracious Lord, we come with pleading
  For our tempted brother's sin;
At the open door of mercy
  Praying Thou wilt take him in.
Sin-sick, heart-sore and repentant,
  Let him now new life begin.

And we bring our sister, moaning
  Over blighted hope and home;
Robbed of all life's best possessions
  By the ruthless spoiler--Rum,
To her rest in Thy compassion,
  Bid the heavy-laden "Come."

And we pray, O God of Nations,
  That thine outstretched arm of might,
May rebuke this prowling evil,
  May drive back the powers of night,
And preserve us Home and Country
  Overruled by Love and Right.



A COLLECTION SONG

FOR THE LOYAL TEMPERANCE LEGION


Kind friends, we thank you, one and all,
  For giving such attention,
While we've arraigned Old Alcohol,
  And of his faults made mention.
And if you'd like to see him now
  Put "in a pretty pickle,"
Just lend a hand and help us on
  By giving us a nickel.

He stalks the earth from east to west,
  A deal of mischief doing;
But we are "on the war-path" now,
  Old Alcohol pursuing.
So if you'd like to see him caught
  And punished for his crime, sir,
Just lend a hand and help us on
  By tossing us a dime, sir.

He robs our homes of peace and joy;
  He fills the land with sighing;
Sets snares and pitfalls for our feet,
  (He'd better be a-dying.)
So if you think he should be slain,
  As we believe he'd or'ter,
Just lend a hand and help us on
  By handing out a quarter.

He boasts himself a King--by law
  And license well protected;
But now "the children are a-field"
  We'll have him soon ejected.
So if you'd see us tackle him,
  And take him by the collar,
Just lend a hand and help us on
  By dropping in a dollar.



THE BALLAD OF THE BOUNDARY LINE


"Here shall the Boundary Line be laid."
"Not so, but here," the other said.
Clamor of contest ran fierce and high,--
Defiant challenge and proud reply.

For heights of the Andes rose between
The Chilean States and the Argentine;
And the mooted question, day by day,
Was "What doth limit my neighbor's sway?"

The sunlight rose and the shadows fell
On either slope, but none could tell
Just where the morning's magic wand
Touched the Argentine or Chile land.

Fair in their verdure, pure in their snow,
So near to heaven their summits go--
Why should they ever by man be trod?
'Twould seem they should only belong to God.

But the strife went on with passing years,
Fed by resentment and pride and fears;
Nor priest nor people could yet define
The rightful range of the Boundary Line.

The strife went on with its loss and shame,
As generations went and came,
And each in its turn the task essayed
To solve the problem so long delayed.

       *       *       *       *       *

Then kinder, kinglier thought prevailed,
Where threat of sword and gun had failed;
And love-illumined reason wrought
The adjustment long so vainly sought.

"For how can a trifle of earth and air
With the worth of human lives compare?
And what can it matter if thine or mine
Be the narrow side on the Boundary Line?

"And why should greed and grim distrust
Despoil us of our faith and trust?
Enough, enough, let us pledge our word
To settle by judgment, not by sword.

"Let us heed the counsel our good priests bring,
And raise the standard of Christ our King,
And the here or there of the Boundary Line
Let God and the British king define."

Then the mother-heart of the nation stirred,
As the fair De Costa's plea was heard:
"Fathers and brothers! warriors, men!
Shall we give our bravest to death and pain?

"Shall we hush our hearts as we see them go--
God pity!--to strive with a brother foe?
Long we have waited, have suffered and prayed
For a joy still denied us, a hope still delayed.

"Enough; let the sun in highest heaven
Pencil the line for which you have striven;
Let a princely people on either side
In friendship and fair accord abide;

"Be the strife of the past to the wild winds swept;
The faith of the future unswervingly kept;
And let 'The Christ of the Andes' rest
In token of peace on the mountain's crest."

Grandly the people made reply;
The pledge was taken, the arms laid by,
And glad thanksgiving and festal song
Witnessed the joy of the gathered throng.

Joy! for the strife of the past was o'er;
Joy! for the promise of war no more;
Joy in the gladness of land and home,
Joy for the world-wide peace to come.

On snow-tipped height of the Andean range
They planted the statue fair and strange;
And there, to the query of the sky,
Its bronze and granite make reply:

"I witness the failure of the sword,
The victory of the Love-sent word;
To dust may crumble rock and hill,
This pledge of nations abideth still."

       *       *       *       *       *

So now the Boundary Line is laid;
Christ in the heart hath the conflict stayed;
And now doth "the Christ of the Andes" rest
In token of peace on the mountain's crest.



MARGARET LEE


Margaret Lee--you do not know her?
  Rightly named--a pearl is she;
Half a score of years I've loved her--
  Precious Margaret Lee.

"Dimples?" No; nor "golden tresses,"
  Nor yet "voice of silvery tone";--
If such phrases must express her,
  Beauty she has none.

Soft brown hair and grey eyes dreaming
  Visions that none others see;
Plain her features; _you_ might call her
  Homely Margaret Lee.

Margaret owns no stately mansion,
  Carries not a heavy purse;
Heiress to no "lordly acres,"
  Humble station hers.

Quietly she treads life's highway;
  Quiet, yet with noble mien;
'Mid the lowly, 'mid the lofty
  Journeying like a queen.

Some have called her cold and haughty,
  From her bearing, high and free;
Some have said a lofty spirit
  Dwells with Margaret Lee.

Why then do the "heavy-laden"
  Hail with joy her coming nigh?
Why the childern love her shadow
  As she passeth by?

Some have deemed her weak, erratic.
  Some, too self-reliant, strong;
One avers, her mood too gloomy;
  One, too light her song.

All may be; the clouds of error
  Ofttimes overshade her way,
Hiding where the rough and changeful
  Paths of duty lay.

But unseen by mortal vision
  Daily bends a suppliant knee;
Humbly bows a contrite spirit--
  Praying Margaret Lee--

Asking of the All-forgiving
  Pardon for her erring life;
Seeking wisdom, faith and patience
  For its coming strife.

So with footstep sometimes faltering,
  But with steadfast hope in God,
Keeps she still a blithesome journey
  O'er the earthly road.

And at last all loss and failure
  Lost in mercy, it may be
Heaven's gate of pearl will open
  For sweet Margaret Lee.

There redeemed from sin and sorrow,
  There from care and conflict free;
She will walk the angel city,
  Angel Margaret Lee.



SOARING UPWARD


A. G. M., lingering on the threshold of eternity, looked lovingly
back to tell of the glory revealed to her purified vision. "Angels are
waiting," she whispered, "and all is beautiful, beautiful." Then, as
her spirit winged its happy way, a sweet murmur again was heard,
and the words were: "Soaring upward, upward into Heaven."

They call thee dead. They say that thou art gone,
  Forevermore from earth. It is not so;
I know thy gentle spirit will return
  And linger fondly round the loved below.

They call thee dead. And now thou art not ours;
  "God touched thee," for thy work on earth was done.
Thy presence was to us like summer flowers;
  And they are faded now; and thou art gone.

I had not thought, fair girl, that thou couldst die;
  I knew thee gentle, innocent and gay;
And dreamed not that the brightness of thine eye,
  Was destined thus so soon to fade away.

'Tis well: "He giveth His beloved sleep,"--
  O Sleeper, thou so early loved and blest!
Say, were it wrong, if we who linger weep,
  And long to sleep, like thee, and be at rest?

Ay, we who linger should not idlers be;
  Day hath appointed work from morn till even;
And while we wait 'tis sweet to think of thee
  As "soaring upward, upward into heaven!"



THE END OF THE ROAD


        Do you wonder at my smiling?
Do you wonder that I faint not 'neath the burden of my load?
        O, the gloom and toil and duty
        Change to light and praise and beauty
While I'm looking toward the end of the road.

        Though the way is long and dreary,
And I languish for a happier, a more serene abode,
        As the light of earth grows dimmer,
        Looking up, I see the glimmer
Of its glory at the end of the road.

        Though the talent seemeth meager,
And my Sovereign Lord doth gather, ever, where He hath not strowed,
        Yet I would not therefore spurn it,
        But "with usury" return it,
At His coming at the end of the road.

        Though I now go forth with weeping,
If I bear the precious seed which the Master would have sowed,
        I shall come again with singing,
        Sheaves of plenty with me bringing
To His harvest at the end of the road.

        Peace shall follow tribulation:
This the boon Divine Compassion upon mortal hath bestowed;
        Heavy now the cross I'm bearing;
        Bright the crown I'll soon be wearing
In the Temple at the end of the road.

       *       *       *       *       *


Transcriber's Note

Spelling oddities have been retained from the original book.





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