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Title: Contrasted Songs
Author: Longfellow, Marian, 1849-1924
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Contrasted Songs" ***

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Transcriber's note:
    Minor spelling and punctuation inconsistencies been harmonized.
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    text has been marked with _underscores_.



[Illustration]



    CONTRASTED SONGS

    BY

    MARIAN LONGFELLOW

    [Illustration]

    BOSTON
    RICHARD G. BADGER

    The Gorham Press
    1905



    Copyright 1904 by MARIAN LONGFELLOW

    All Rights Reserved

    Printed at
    THE GORHAM PRESS
    Boston, U. S. A.



    In Perpetual and Loving Remembrance of

    M. P. F.

    Who Has Gone Before,

    and of

    E. T. L.

    Who Still Walks with Me,

    These Songs are dedicated by

    The Author



PREFACE


In presenting to the public the within collection, some of which were
published originally under the _nom-de-plume_ of "Miriam Lester," I
have had to go into the highways and byways to gather the children who
had strayed into various paths.

Some have been easily found in books of which they were a part, and I
desire to thank the editors of "The Library of Religious Poetry," the
family of the late Charles Henshaw Dana, of Worcester, Mass., the
Boston "Herald," and others for permission to use such.

The task of gathering the children who made their debut within the
columns of the Boston "Transcript," the Eastport "Sentinel," the
Washington "Post," the "Saturday Gazette" (Boston), and other
journals, has been no light task, and some are still straying beyond
my ken.

Among these "Contrasted Songs" I trust that the reader will find
something to which the heart may respond.

            Faithfully yours,

                MARIAN LONGFELLOW.

    Washington, D. C.



CONTENTS


                                          Page.

    A Song of the Sea                        11

    The Spirit of the Water                  12

    With the Tide                            13

    Grand Manan                              14

    Leeward                                  15

    A Song in the Evening                    19

    Meadow Bloom                             21

    The Iris                                 23

    Liebeslied                               27

    Longing                                  27

    On the Sea                               29

    The Red Rose                             30

    The Maiden and the Boat                  30

    My Ship                                  32

    An Old Song                              33

    To Miss H., Wearing a Rose               34

    The Cloud                                35

    Sehnsucht                                36

    Selection                                38

    The Mansion that Endured                 41

    The Chimes                               44

    Francis Coster's Story                   48

    The Old Cemetery                         53

    Lines on Immortality                     54

    A Dream                                  54

    On Empyrean Heights                      56

    A Little While                           61

    Reverie                                  62

    Heimweh                                  64

    Grand Manan                              65

    Madeleine                                66

    Where the Shadows Play                   67

    A Valentine                              68

    The Martins                              69

    Never Again                              70

    Hadst Thou Denied                        72

    Why Should I Remember if you Forget      73

    To H. N. T.                              74

    And They Shall Rise Again                77

    Mine Onward Path                         78

    After Many Days                          79

    Some Day                                 80

    Lake Winnepesogee                        81

    Jesus of Nazareth Passeth By             82

    Nearer My Rest                           83

    So Many Years                            83

    Sorrow                                   84

    Unknown                                  85

    Our Birthright                           89

    Lexington                                89

    O Land of our Birth                      91

    Our Flag                                 92

    The National Flower                      94

    Roll Muffled Drums                       97

    The Dead Musician                        98

    The Nation Weeps                        100

    In Memoriam                             101

    In Memoriam                             102

    Consolation                             103



SONGS OF THE SEA



A SONG OF THE SEA


    The mystic sea is singing its golden song to me;
    I bend to catch its murmur in silent ecstasy;
    Till, as the music ringeth in sweet and solemn tone,
    An answering echo waketh a music all mine own!

    The sea sings softly, softly upon my listening ear,
    And still its notes fall ever in cadence full and clear.
    The song that waxeth stronger within my beating heart
    Seems but a second measure--seems of the sea a part!

    And far from all the burdens that day brings in its train,
    My soul hath found Elysium--renews its youth again!
    I hear the golden billows beat on the rock-bound shore,
    And still my heart is singing that sweet song o'er and o'er!

    O happy Youth, how quickly the sands of life have run!
    The shades of eve are falling ere yet the day is done!
    The golden sea eternal beats loud and strong and free,
    And bears upon its bosom a joy eternally!



THE SPIRIT OF THE WATER


    'Tis the Spirit of the Water! it breathes upon the sea;
    As phantom in its motions it glides mysteriously!
    I see the snow-clad islands that deck the opal bay,
    And the Spirit of the Water now robed in mist and spray.
    The charm that clings eternal to ocean fills my soul,
    As mist-wreathed waves in grandeur pass on unto their goal!
    Ye phantoms on Life's ocean! how like the mist ye seem,
    As backward turneth memory across Life's glow and gleam!
    For ye figure forth Life's pleasures, its cares, its tears and pain,
    And recall with all their glamour Youth's joyous dreams again!
    While still the fateful presence glides on across the wave,
    Nor lifts its veil of mystery until we reach the grave!
    O speak! is it endeavor, or is it blighted faith?
    Or is it but the passing of pain--this silent wraith?
    We know not, oh, we know not here, for o'er Life's restless sea
    We too glide on, as phantoms all, this side Eternity!



WITH THE TIDE


    Calm seas that lie 'neath summer skies
      And mirror back those skies to me,
    Upon whose breast white sails arise
      And glide like spirits grand and free.

    Calm seas beneath whose hidden deep
      Are wonders far beyond my ken,
    There, rocked in murmuring currents, sleep
      The secrets not revealed to men!

    Peace, like a white-winged dove descends
      And hovers o'er the waters bright,
    While glory of the sunset blends
      With tones of the approaching night.

    My glad soul bids thee welcome, and
      Goes forth upon the ocean's tide!
    Far from the care that fills the land,
      To where my spirit would abide!

    Till, as the cares of day depart
      And the glad sea its greeting calls,
    I rise unshackled, strong of heart,
      And from my life the burden falls!

    Thus in this quiet nook I find
      All that I longed and sought in vain
    In the world's haunts, my soul to bind,
      And, seeking, found but grief and pain.

    Now, like a blessing falls thy grace,
      O grand, beloved, glorious sea!
    Drawn by thy message, face to face,
      My longing greets thy mystery!



GRAND MANAN

(1881)


    O solemn cliffs of Grand Manan!
      In silent might ye rise,
    As bounded by th' eternal sea
      And by the azure skies!

    Like a proud soul that stands apart,
      Unknown, unloved, unsought,
    Ye guard your stronghold silently
      Through many battles fought.

    The sea-gull sweeps across your wall,
      And seaward shapes his course!
    While at your feet the waves beat loud
      In measure wild and hoarse.

    O solemn heights! O grand and calm!
      Ye hold my heart in thrall!
    And not a sound is heard beyond
      The ocean's rise and fall.

    But as the waves beat strong and loud
      Upon your rugged shore,
    Through it the sea's sad monotone
      I hear forevermore!

    The sunset glow hath kissed your heights,
      As loth to leave you yet;
    And, bathed in glories red and gold,
      The eve and you have met.

    The boat speeds on--we may not stay,
      But from my brooding heart
    Your image, while this life remains,
      Can nevermore depart!



LEEWARD


    O for the bounding wave, and the salt, salt spray on my face!
    For the sweep of the filling sail, and its free, untrammeled pace!
    For the life that hath no bound to its path but the open sea;
    For the soul as free as air, that by right belongs to me!
    For power to cast aside these fetters dark and strong,
    To bound over heaving deep--and no more to feel the thong
    That cuts through the quivering heart and the restless soul, as well!
    I yearn for a fuller life, with a might I cannot quell!
    O for the bounding wave, and the salt, salt spray on my face!
    For the strength to grasp and hold the plan of a waning race.
    For might to compel the tide in its turn to serve my will,
    That my heart of the fountain deep, may drink to the brim its fill!



SONGS OF THE FIELDS AND WOODS



A SONG IN THE EVENING


    O sweetest bird that ever sang
      In notes of wild rejoicing;
    Thine even-song as first it rang,
      Was thrilling in its voicing!

    I felt thy rapture as I heard
      Thy song in all its beauty;
    To me it scarce seemed but a bird;
      'Twas life, and love, and duty!

    I could not see thy tiny form,
      As softly closed the gloaming;
    And like a wanderer in the storm
      My heart was blindly roaming.

    While, as thy song rang pure and clear
      O'er sweet smell of the haying,
    Mem'ry sped back through many a year,
      Both light and shade displaying.

    And still thy notes of reed-like tone
      Came clear o'er mead and river,
    With tender meaning all its own,
      And trilled and trilled forever!

    "O heart," it sang, "let thine own life
      Become a song to others,
    That thou mayst count them in the strife
      Not alien, but as brothers!

    Sing on, sing on, thy notes repeat,
      Sing life, and love, and duty,
    That mystic three whose names replete
      Are e'er with heavenly beauty.

    Sing life, the gift of ray divine
      That pierced the gloom of even;
    The first upon our path to shine,
      A heritage of Heaven!

    And love--oh, what were life without
      This second gift eternal,
    That bids the glad earth blossom out
      In summer's garb supernal!

    Yet love and life were both in vain
      Were duty not a flower
    That springs beneath the blesséd rain
      To crown Life's darkest hour!"

    Not unto me a bird, that eve,
      In notes of earth was singing,
    But a pure voice its way did cleave
      From Heaven its message bringing!



MEADOW BLOOM


    My one wee bud that grows in the meadow,
    Far apart from the flaunting garden blooms,
    Afar, where the brook and birds are singing,
    And the soft noon haze o'er the distance looms.

    My one wee bud, but to grow so bravely
    Where the rushes rise from the moorland green,
    Where birds skim close o'er the grassy billows
    And the low breeze murmurs its plaint between.

           *       *       *       *       *

    My one wee song I sing in the even,
    When the home doth gather its loved ones close,
    And the world's afar and hearts grow nearer,
    And the jar of life sinks into repose.

    My one wee song, like a flower growing
    In this life of mine that were else so bare!
    Ah! shalt thou go forth to do my bidding--
    My love, shall he cull it as blossom fair?

    Ah! flower and song, be this thy meaning,
    Thy mission of love in the world is clear;
    The grace once born of seed sown in shadow
    Shall bloom in the hearts that now hold thee dear!



A SONG OF THE AUTUMN


    Scarlet and gold and crimson,
      Their banners flung to the breeze,
    Like monarchs' brilliant vesture
      The ranks of the maple trees.

    Golden and brown and russet
      The oaks in their Autumn dress;
    Soldiers in ranks deploying,
      To the front they onward press.

    Pale in their coats of yellow,
      Tinged and with orange flecked,
    The chestnuts on the hillside,
      As with royalty bedecked.

    Scarlet and gold and crimson,
      And golden and russet brown;
    Pale with a sun-kissed yellow
      Are the leaves now fluttering down.

    Garb of the season's bringing,
      Majestic it decks the hills,
    And Autumn's lavish splendor
      The soul with its beauty fills.



THE IRIS


    Adown the grassy hill they come,
    To greet me, every morn;
    Those little maids (in Norman caps)
    Of joy and spring-time born.

    They march demurely, side by side,
    How many pair there be!
    Far as mine eye can reach, their forms
    In green and white I see.

    Each sister wears with youthful grace
    Her snowy Norman cap,
    And in the long procession there
    I see no pause or gap.

    And so, I watch to see them come
    As morn by morn I pass,
    The green of shimmering robe and glint
    Of snow within the grass.

    They never speak and yet they nod
    A friendly greeting there,
    And all their beauty round me seems
    A fragrance in the air.

    I speak to them? Oh, yes, I speak
    And lovingly I bid
    Them welcome every summer morn,
    Those maids with downcast lid!

    They are so modest, pure and fair;
    They are so very sweet,
    I fain would linger there and call
    Them clustering round my feet.

    Far backward in the view my eyes
    The slow procession see,
    And yet they never leave the path
    Nor can they speak to me.

    'Tis the flag-lily growing tall
    Amid the meadow grass;
    The Iris, as we often call
    Each snowy-snooded lass.

    In couples stately, there they stand
    As far as eye can scan,
    And round them waves the nodding grass
    As homage due from man.

    They stand a line of vestals pure,
    Or each a sweet-faced nun;
    While on each snowy cap there falls
    The radiance of the sun.

    Although the power of speech may not
    Be theirs in worldly phrase,
    They teach a lesson just as true,
    And just as full of praise.

    In their allotted path they walk,
    And fill their destined end,
    Their beauty gladdens every eye,
    As down the hill they wend.

    O flower-sisters, if ye make
    One heart in rapture rise;
    If ye but waken one pure thought
    To bloom in Paradise.

    Then have your lives, though brief, as boon
    To mortal man been given,
    To draw from earth his sordid thoughts
    And bid them rest on Heaven!



LIEBESLIEDER



LIEBESLIED


    Like a frail shell on the breast of the ocean
    Sways now my heart to the rhythm of thine!
    Cradled, is borne on the crest of emotion,
    Sinks in the deep of a languor divine!

    And as the shell the wild waves onward carry,
    So doth thy love bear my heart to its shore!
    Here on its golden sands blissful to tarry
    Held in thy fond clasp to wander no more!

    Lay thy dear lips to my lips, oh my lover,--
    Read in mine eyes all my tongue may not tell!
    Love, as a bee, gaily sips (gallant rover!),
    Rove thou no more--nay, I yield to thy spell!



I

LONGING


    Oh, to be out on the Ocean! where the waves beat wild and free,
    Where there's naught 'twixt the sky and billows but the boat,
       and you, and me!
    Where the winds with their touch caress us, and the sea-gulls sweep
       on high,
    And the bell, from its rocky outpost, sends forth its warning cry!

    Oh, to be out on the Ocean! with the cold, salt spray to dash
    Athwart the bows of the vessel, and foaming, to merrily lash
    The boat to freer effort, as she plunges a-thrill with life
    O'er the crest of the bounding billows and above their surging strife!

    Oh, to be out on the Ocean! with no heart 'twixt you and me!
    With no bond that must bind forever here, but strong and brave
       and free!
    With the song of grand old Ocean, as it lulls us on its breast,--
    With the thought of a perfect union, and of perfect love and rest!

    Oh, to be out on the Ocean! although storms rise dark and strong,
    Though by wind and by wave through the tempest we sweep our way along;
    Till the stars come out in the Heavens, and the wind has sunk to rest,
    And I list to words of comfort as I lean on your faithful breast!

    Oh, to be out on the Ocean! and to leave the din and strife,
    To taste but once more of freedom and to drink of the wine of life!
    Oh, to be out on the Ocean! where the waves beat wild and free,
    With naught 'twixt the sky and the billows but the boat,
       and you and me!


II

ON THE SEA

(The Answer)


    We are sailing over the crest of the billow,
    Afar from the world and its sorrow and pain;
    While I on thy soft breast my head now may pillow
    And lull me to rest and to peace once again!

    Nay, Love, how thy heart in its prison is beating!
    It throbs 'neath mine ear as a fluttering bird;
    While swift to my lips comes thy low song, repeating
    The lilt of the waves, in a measure half-heard!

    "For oh! to be out on the Ocean, the Ocean,--
    And oh! to be far from the world, Love, with thee!"
    It rises and falls with the waves' rhythmic motion,
    Is filled with night's balm as with starbeams the sea!

    "With naught 'twixt the sky and the billows"--now singing
    The words keep repeating the tender refrain--
    "But the boat,"--comes once more in cadence clear ringing,--
    "'Twixt the sky and billows"--I hear it again!

    Now, "save thee and me"--falls the song in its measure
    Across the wide Ocean of thought, love, from thee,
    And I know to my heart's deep, mysterious treasure,
    Thy love, like a bird, flies to harbor with me!

    Nay, how could we dream that o'er Time's trackless ocean
    Thy soul, thus responsive, should answer to mine?
    Or, that out of the chalice of silent emotion
    My heart drink in equal communion with thine!



THE RED ROSE


    I pinned a red rose o'er my heart,
    The rose my lover gave to me,
    With many vows and tender words,
    My love, my own, I love but thee.

    I wore the red rose o'er my heart,
    That summer day with gladness,
    And knew not doubt nor haunting care,
    Nor slightest touch of sadness.

    But ah! a thorn's within my heart,
    A thorn of false love's planting,
    Deceit had pressed its bitter sting,
    My life forever haunting.

    I took the red rose from my heart,
    No more, oh love, 'tis blowing,
    The thorn lies deep within my breast,
    Where never sign is showing.



THE MAIDEN AND THE BOAT


    A fair little boat went sailing the sea,
      Far over the bright blue wave;
    And she dipped and curt'sied, gay and free,
      As became a craft so brave.

    A blithe young maiden a song of love
      Sang out on the summer air;
    The birds took the notes, on their boughs above
      And answered her, cheerily, there!

    As the boat went out and over the bar
      The white sails set to the breeze,
    Her clear song followed on pinions afar;
      The birds sang forth from the trees.

           *       *       *       *       *

    O boat in your path to the rising sun,
      To that land beyond the sea,
    Pray, what is the cargo,--your journey done--
      You will bear her, if Fate decree?

    For you take her heart (on your snowy deck)
      Where Love is now High Priest,
    And you take her troth--may there be no wreck,
      No tempest out of the East!

    Will you bring her the perfect love she gave,
      And keep it unsoiled and true?
    Will you bring her a heart as strong and brave
      As the one she gives to you?

    Else what does it matter if wreck betide;
      Or the sun go down in cloud?
    It were better for her, this day, you died
      Than that Love should wear a shroud.

    It were better far that her song were mute,
      To swell forth a later day;
    For Love that hath never a constant root
      Must fade and wither away.

    So boat sail on, if you be not true;
      And maiden, oh hush that song!
    For the years that are coming swift to you
      Bear a dearer love along!



MY SHIP


    One day I cast my lot upon the troublous tides of life,
    And ventured all my hoarded love upon its fitful strife.
    On one frail mortal like myself I set the store of years,
    And freighted well the ship that day with all my hopes and fears.
    With all my hopes (for fears were not, upon that happy day),
    And never sign of cloud uprose above my sunlit way!

    Ah, me! can life e'er bring again such perfect trust as this,
    Such eager hopes, such joyous dreams of ever present bliss?
    My ship sailed forth--to many a storm she bared her gallant breast
    And still she sails the wide, wide seas, but never finding rest.
    One day! Ah, me! 'tis years ago since first I saw her sail,
    And sent my prayers and tears for her above the gathering gale!

    Will she come back, my noble ship, and captain brave and crew
    Of joys and hopes and high resolves, of love both deep and true?
    Or, solemn thought! shall she ne'er find the haven here below,
    But anchor in the "silent land," beyond Life's ebb and flow,
    Beyond vain fret and fond regard, and strivings e'er to see
    The reason why so oft denied our dearest hopes should be!



AN OLD SONG


    "Drink to me only with thine eyes, and I will pledge with mine,"
    I read in this old song, anew, this living love of thine!
    The old, old song that in the days now swift and sure are fled,
    Recalls its sparkle and its mirth, oblivious of its dead!

    It served to bear as lover's gift all tender thought and true,
    It wove among the garlands sweet red roses, never rue!
    "Drink to me only with thine eyes," ay with thy tender eyes--
    And read in mine, half-veiled from thee, my own heart's sweet surprise!

    "And I will pledge with mine," dear love, yea, pledge a thousand-fold
    The hours of life that thou alone in mem'ry shalt enfold.
    Only within thy dark, grave eyes would I be mirrored now,
    And only from thy folded lips learn love's own cherished vow.

    "Drink to me only with thine eyes, and I will pledge with mine!"
    While overhead, above life's stream, shines out love's star divine.
    And life no more is dark and drear, and storms no more may break
    Where love's own glorious light shines forth and bids the heart awake!



TO MISS H., WEARING A ROSE

(May 13, 1890)


    O happy rose that bloometh upon her gentle breast!
    Of all thy joyous hours, this is, in truth, the best!
    Not sweeter is thy fragrance upon the balmy air
    Than her pure spirit sheddeth, so blithe and debonnaire!
    O happy rose that lieth upon that bosom white,
    To thee kind Fate hath granted a goal of pure delight!
    In vain I sigh and murmur, thy lot all envious view,
    And seek in vain to stifle this moment's pungent rue!
    O happy rose, as lying beneath her light caress,
    Now whisper to her softly, what I may not confess,
    And tell her she is fairer than bloom of earth, to-night,
    In that her soul exhaleth all virtues pure and bright!



THE CLOUD


    A Cloud scarce larger than a feather
      Uprose in Love's bright sky one day,
    But, ah, it grew to stormy weather
      And shrouded all the sun's bright ray!

    A little cloud! but ah, the sorrow
      That springs from bitter words that jar;
    How deep the pain from which we borrow,--
      How strong the wall that forms the bar!

    We may in after-hours grow tender
      And strive to read our lives aright,
    But if to Love its due we render,
      We know Life's thread, at best, is slight!

    What if the look, the word, but spoken,
      Had been "the last" we ever met?
    Ah! Life had been too short, too broken,
      Its pang forever to forget!



SEHNSUCHT!


    My heart grows faint with longing and with love
    As in the twilight comes thy well-loved face;
    And closer, closer drawn by threads that bind
    Thee to me, all our tender joys I trace.

    In lines keen-cut, and lasting as the stone
    When sculptor's art transforms it into life--
    That erst were soulless marble, still and poor
    To mirror forth our hope or joy or strife!

    In lines keen-cut! Yea, on my living heart,
    (That slumbered 'neath its veil of seeming death),
    Thou tracest characters full bold and deep,
    And breathest now with life-inspiring breath!

    Thus was Love born! To me, who deemed it cast
    Behind me!--with the shadows and the blight
    That fell on trusting heart and life and home,
    And wrapped my soul in darkest tones of night!

    Nay, but thy Love has waked me, and I live!
    For love and life, twin-born, are guests of mine,
    Thine eyes have told me lover's sweetest tale,
    And tender lips have sealed me wholly thine!

    So, if within the hours apart we walk
    Ofttimes in paths that take us from our nest--
    The nest we built with loving heart and hands--
    It takes not from us love nor trust nor rest!

    It takes them not--no hand but ours can rob
    Each other of this gift surpassing all!
    No hand but ours can bind or break this bond,
    And from no other hand but ours can fall

    Blight or distrust, or grief or bitter pain;
    And so, my own, in this we builded well
    If through life's storm or sunshine there shall fall
    No grief or loss our lips may ever tell!

    My heart grows faint with longing and with love,--
    And yet I know I must not keep thee e'er
    A tender bond-slave to my amorous will;--
    Such chain as that 'twere ill that thou shouldst wear!

    I would not have thee swayed, dear love, by aught
    Thy manhood would disclaim; nor would I hold
    Thee prisoner to my clinging heart, howe'er
    Its pleading touch would seek to thee enfold!

    Love cannot live where faith and trust are not,--
    Love will not brook a gilded chain to wear;--
    And where the fetters bind, the bird's sweet song
    Is hushed--the skies above, no more, are fair!

    But I would hold thee in my heart of hearts
    So little prisoner, that thou ne'er shouldst stray
    From Love's dear shrine,--but, through the waning years
    Our love-life should grow dearer day by day!



SELECTION


    Yes, hold me closer, closer in thy arms,
    And closer to thy beating heart, that I,
    Secure in all that crowns a woman's lot,
    May now, with thee, the bitter past defy!

    Yet would I not call down an envious doom
    On any of the future's sunny days;
    'Twere ill in me to tempt the Fates, I trow;
    But, rather, as one pleading, kneels and prays:--

    "Stay but thy hand, O Time! and pitying grant
    Us of thy sunny sheaves of Harvest Day;
    Hours brimmed with sweetness and all glad with love,--
    That, passing on, we scarce may heed the way

    "That erst was strewn with sharpest stones and weeds;
    So lead us gently, Time, we may not miss
    Aught of Life's joy or of its brilliant light,
    Or, missing, crave a fuller cup than this!"

    Yes, hold me closer, closer; let me rest
    My head, content, above thy throbbing heart.
    Struggle and bay of laurel are the world's;
    But this, my own dear Love, the better part!

    Fame and Ambition--lo! do not they burn
    With all the lurid light and gleam of earth?
    Love, silent and benign, an influence sheds,
    And heralds forth in life a higher birth!

    Vain is ambition, yea, or conquered goal,
    To bind my heart or satisfy me here.
    Then hold me closer, closer to thee, Love;
    For this I give it all--hold thou me near!



LEGENDARY SONGS



THE MANSION THAT ENDURED

(This legend, in prose, I found in a French collection, and have
believed it would be acceptable rendered into verse. M. L.)


    Back, in olden time when emperors
      Ruled the land where Tiber flows,
    Proud and stern dwelt Gondoforus,
      As the ancient legend shows.

    As he mused in hours of leisure,
      Came into his brain this thought:
    "Straight I'll build, for mine own glory
      Here, a palace deftly wrought

    "Of the richest gold and silver;
      With the choicest gems bedecked;
    That shall on my house and lineage
      Still a greater light reflect.

    "Shall outshine the Roman Emperor's
      In its beauty and its worth;
    Place fore'er his lordly structure
      'Mid the lesser of the earth."

    So he sent his message speeding
      To the regions far and near,
    That some great and cunning builder
      Might at his command appear.

    When, one day, with mien all lowly,
      Wrapped about in garments gray,
    Stood the architect before him,
      His behest to now essay.

    Spoke his will--and Gondoforus
      Went forth proudly unto war;
    Days and months sped on unheeded,
      Still no word came from afar.

    Yet the architect wrought, silent,
      Though he touched nor plan nor pen;
    For the palace he was building
      Was not seen by eyes of men.

    While unto the poor and wretched
      Freely of the gold gave he;
    Precious stones were turned to healing
      Needs of poor humanity!

    Back, returning flushed with victory,
      Gondoforus came apace;
    Sought, in vain, to view his palace--
      Bare and empty was its place!

    Then he sent, with sternest message,
      For the architect, and said--
    "Caitiff, what is now thy showing?
      Answer, by thy hoary head!"

    Thomas (he who, doubting, lingered
      When his fellows pressed to claim
    As their risen Lord, the Saviour)
      Spake: "Oh, thou of kingly name,

    "Lo! thy house is even builded!"
      But the warrior bade them cast
    In deep dungeon him who trifled
      With his will--there bind him fast,

    While he planned the subtlest torment
      For the traitor's aged frame,
    While he doomed, with keenest vengeance,
      Him to torture, death and shame!

    But, as in his rage he pondered,
      Sleep o'ertook him, held him chained,
    And a vision hovered near him--
      Earthly sense grew dim and waned.

    Then the spirit of his brother
      Swiftly to his side drew nigh;
    Said, in words that thrilled his being,
      "He whom thou hast doomed to die

    "Is the servant of the Mighty;
      Is an instrument of grace,
    For the angels now have shown me
      (Where no narrow walls have place

    "And where dwell the hosts eternal)
      Reared in all its beauty there,
    Lo! a House of precious jewels
      And of ornament most fair.

    "Fashioned of the precious metals
      Thou wouldst fain have builded here;
    Fashioned with a grace and glory
      That on Earth doth not appear.

    Thus, in Paradise there standeth
      Waiting thee, a House divine,
    Which the Architect hath fashioned
      All on Earth to now outshine!"

    Then the vision paled and vanished;
      Gondoforus straightway sped
    To the captive, who awaiting,
      Bowed in prayer his aged head.

    Gondoforus knelt before him;
      Then the holy Thomas spoke,
    As he raised the humble warrior
      Crushed beneath the vision's stroke--

    "Knowest not, O King, the mansions
      That endure, are reared on high?
    Builded there, for us, in Heaven
      By our faith and charity."



THE CHIMES


    On fair Lake Como's sunny brink,
    An ancient monastery stood
    Close to the mountain's steep ascent,
    As nestling 'neath its snowy hood.
    And there a pale young artisan
    His cunning plied; a wondrous chime
    He sought to frame, that those who loved
    The beauty of that molten rhyme
    Within the valley's breadth should hear
    Pealing at morn and even clear.

    For years he toiled, content if he
    At last might frame a chime so sweet
    That pilgrims oft would silent pause
    To hear the music glad repeat.
    Borne o'er the tranquil waters' reach
    And bringing swift unto the heart

    Its tones of warning, praise, and love,
    That nevermore should then depart.
    Such was the thought he wove, and prayed
    That his life's work be holy made.

    The day came when that perfect chime
    Was placed aloft, its song to wing
    Forth o'er the waters' silent reach
    And to the convent's roof to bring
    The lost and wayworn traveller from
    The busy haunts of world and strife,
    Back, where the calm of prayer might prove
    The guide-post to Eternal life!
    Then was the artisan as one
    Whose dearest life-work, here, was done.

    Not so, howe'er! 'Twas yet to be
    A lifelong task--a path to lead
    Through many a land, in futile search
    O'er stony ways where feet should bleed.
    Not yet his soul's high guerdon find--
    The prize his hands had placed aloft.
    How rarely here on earth we see
    Life's morning fill its promise soft.
    Not yet was he to find his rest
    Beside Lake Como's lovely breast.

    A savage horde o'erran the land
    And bore away the prizéd chime;
    Afar from peaceful Como's side,
    To some unknown and distant clime.
    In vain the artisan complained
    Beneath a fate unkind; he drew
    No comfort from lament or prayer,
    For peace no more his hearthstone knew.
    Then, as one day he brooding mused
    And consolation sweet refused,

    He seemed to see before his eyes
    A land outspread, wherein his feet
    Should wander, seeking ever there
    His loved and lost--his chime so sweet,
    He rose at once; he sought no aid;
    But bowed his head in silent prayer;
    Then from his home he straightway passed
    That no one might his purpose share.
    And leaving home and rest that day
    With breaking heart went on his way.

    Whene'er he heard, in foreign land,
    Some wondrous story of a chime
    Whose tones were liquid notes of song,
    Whose bells rang out a gladsome rhyme,
    He journeyed to that storied place,
    Nor paused till he should reach the spot,--
    Only to find his quest in vain,
    While yet those bells were ne'er forgot.
    Each day his soul went up in prayer
    That those clear chimes might pierce the air!

    Thus journeyed he for many a year
    While locks of gold had turned to grey
    Till in a distant land he strayed
    And heard at close of summer day
    The old sweet song rung by his chime
    He long had listened for in vain!
    Quickly rose tears in lifted eyes,
    Quickly his heart renounced its pain!
    "O loved and lost! for many a day
    You've called me from my youth away!"

    For now on foreign strand he waits
    Alone in age--alone in kin,
    Listening as listens one who bides
    Outside of Heaven, to praise within.
    Not vain his search! not lost his love!
    He feels once more the old-time throb
    Ere cruel foes his prize had ta'en;
    No more may they his treasure rob!
    His life went forth in one glad cry
    Beneath that far-off, alien sky!

    'Twas ended--all the tender search;
    The hours of pain and sleepless toil;
    There, where no loved his hand might clasp;
    There, on that wild and foreign soil.
    But deep within his heart was writ
    His purpose pure; his steadfast search.
    And lo! his chime still calls to prayer,
    And still peals forth from ivied church.
    The bells once blessed by saintly hands
    Now call, in Limerick, God's commands!

    My story's done--what need to say
    He sleeps as well and sweetly there
    Beneath that arch of foreign sky
    As in his native land so fair.
    He found, ere death had met his feet
    The prize he sought with spirit brave,
    And finding was content to lie
    Afar from Como in his grave.
    Love was the goal that led his feet
    To peace and deathless calm replete.

    The chimes? Ah, well, perhaps they peal
    No less the sweetly that their note
    In alien lands the tidings bring;
    They still to God their praise devote,
    And though their maker no more hears
    The liquid music of each tone,
    They speak to those whose living needs
    Make of the chimes their very own.
    Though hand that made is turned to clay,
    His work--the chimes--lives on alway!



FRANCIS COSTER'S STORY

(I came across this legend, in prose, some time ago, to which was
prefixed this note: "The following exquisite story was written by
Anthony of Sienna, and translated from the Dominican records by
Francis Coster, a famous preacher of the sixteenth century. Mr. Gould,
author of _Mysteries of the Middle Ages,_ has succeeded in rendering
it into current English."

In rendering the story into verse, I have kept to the text as closely
as possible. M. L.)


    Once--I've read in olden story--
      Lived a holy man of God,
    And two children, 'neath his guidance,
      Through life's pitfalls safely trod.

    Every day's returning duties
      Found them docile at his side,
    There to draw from Wisdom's fountain
      All his tender care supplied.

    But the day's first, freshest hour
      At the altar found them prone,
    Gladly giving to their Savior
      All He claimeth as His own.

    There they served with purest offering
      At the sacrifice sublime,
    Knelt, responded, and with reverence
      Sounded oft the bell's clear chime.

    And this duty then completed,
      To the little chapel door
    Turned their feet, and, entering, vanished
      There to eat their humble store.

    But one day their teacher seeking,
      Spake the elder one full clear,
    "Tell us, Father, what fair infant
      Doth so oft to us appear?"

    Then the priest replied in accents
      Full of tender, loving care--
    "Son, I know not him you speak of
      Who with thee thy task doth share."

    But they came again unto him
      Day by day, with urgent word,
    And it was with deepest wonder
      That their simple tale he heard.

    And he asked--"Of what sort is he?"
      And they answered him again--
    "Father, he is clad in raiment
      Seamless and without a stain!"

    "But whence cometh he?" replying
      Spoke the priest in accents mild;
    And they answered, "From the altar,
      As it were, descends the child.

    "And we asked him then to share
      With us of our milk and bread;
    And he doth, right willingly;"
      This is what the children said.

    And the priest was full of wonder;
      To the children then spake he--
    "Are there marks whereby to know him
      If mine eyes the child should see?"

    "Yes, my father, yes, he beareth
      In his hands and in his feet
    Wounds that pierce his tender body."
      These the words that they repeat.

    "From his hands the crimson liquid,
      On the bread he taketh, flows
    Till beneath his touch it blusheth
      Like the deep heart of the rose!"

    Then with awe replied their master--
      "O my sons, list unto me!
    Know it is the sweet Child Jesus
      The Holy One, that you did see!

    "When again he cometh to you,
      With these words your greeting be:
    'Thou hast breakfasted with us,
      Grant we three may sup with Thee!'"

    Then the children did his bidding;
      Sweetly then the Child did say,
    "Be it so, on Thursday next;
      Be it on Ascension Day!"

    On that day they came rejoicing,
      But they brought nor milk nor bread;
    Served they at the Mass right gladly;
      "Pax Vobiscum," then was said--

    But they still knelt on, unheeding,
      Thus they fell in Christ asleep;
    Master, children, with their Savior
      Then his marriage-feast did keep!



SONGS ON THE HEIGHTS



THE OLD CEMETERY


    Lo! half way up the hill I pause
    To turn within the ancient gate
    And enter ground now hallowéd!
    The silent city where they wait
    In perfect rest till He shall bid
    Them rise who now in sleep are laid;
    Whose life, and death, and waiting e'en,
    On Him in childlike faith is stayed!
    No sound is heard within the spot
    Save the soft wind among the trees,
    Or song of insect's busy hum,
    Or low of herd upon the breeze.
    I walk 'mid graves of those long dead,
    Who lived and suffered, strove and won,
    And now have entered into life
    E'en while we say their life is done!
    I fain would take when I return
    Into the world's wild rush and roar,
    The peace of this fair autumn day,
    That it bide with me evermore!
    That I may learn from this blest spot
    Where sleep the dead--who in the Lord
    Now take their rest--that life is more
    Than idle jest, than passing word,
    Than anxious effort for the bread
    That perisheth! Yea, more!
    That life is as a vessel given
    Of precious ointment, that we bear
    And fear that we its freight may waste
    Ere we may yield it to His care!



LINES ON IMMORTALITY


    Poor trembling soul within this frame of clay,
    That vainly questioneth, wouldst fain essay
    The problem that nor time nor man may solve,
    Around which cycles evermore revolve!

    Not till the light upon thy quest is born,
    That only beams in an immortal morn,
    Shalt thou be satisfied, thy fears allayed,
    And, freed from earth, a new creation made!



A DREAM


    I dreamed, and lo! upon the silent earth
    (That ever swings, as from its misty birth),
    I kinless stood! and all the streams that erst
    In joyous measure sang me forth their tale
    Sank to a murmur; even while there burst
    Upon mine eyes that straightway turned me pale!
    I looked and wondered, and I grew as chill
    As though their fated touch had froze my blood;
    As far beyond that living, green-clad hill,
    In breathless awe, mine eyes were turned, I stood
    Appalled! Forth from the bosom of the deep
    There rose a wondrous chain of towering cliffs,
    Clear as the lake upon whose mirror sleep
    Light-poised, all tenderly the skiffs;
    While rays of light played o'er their polished sides,
    As slowly rose and sank they on the tides.
    Kissed by the sun they grew; their colors' sheen
    Of rose and emerald-touched tips; between
    The amethyst deepened to a royal tone
    Of purple, and I stood and gazed, alone!
    I knew that naught of earth was left save me
    To look upon that strange and glorious sea!
    And, as I gazed, wild flames leapt up to seize
    The iceberg's glow and melt it to their will:
    Naught could their hungry rage of greed appease,
    While luridly and sullen burned they still,
    What, then, does it portray--this onslaught fierce
    Of flames upon these sunlit cliffs of ice,
    If it be not that Evil seeks to pierce
    The armor thrown about the soul's device;
    The powers that wage unceasing war,
    And ever seek to gain what lies afar
    Above them! "Souls of just men perfect made,"
    "Yield not," I cried, "for here a mortal stands
    "Alone and helpless in these alien lands;
    "And yet on mortal lips, I know, is laid
    "The burden of a knowledge far above
    "All thought of human gain or human love!"
    And crying thus, I woke, nor ever knew
    If to fruition my bright vision grew.



ON EMPYREAN HEIGHTS

(Read at Hardman Hall, New York City, before the International League
of Press Clubs, June 3, 1897.)


    I stood on empyrean heights and saw,
    Outlined in figures bold, a vision there;
    Loud were the shouts of strife and deadly war,
    While Peace, remote, shone in her beauty fair.
    I heard the clash of arms; the martial tread;
    While nation warred with nation in their lust
    Of pride and power, until there lay the dead--
    The heroes of a decade--in the dust!

    I saw, in ranks that spread to either pole,
    Heroic deeds of great men and of true;
    The highest aspirations of the soul;
    The work wrought, through the many, by the few!
    I sped from rising sun unto the west;
    I read the stars that mirrored in the sky;
    And some in a resplendent light were dressed,
    And some through shadow I could scarce descry.

    I saw a Nation's rise and saw its fall;
    I learned a people's passing glory there;
    I heard the strident voice of Justice call,
    And answering cheer and joy were in the air.
    I passed through touching scenes of humble life,
    Where hearts were beating in their full content;
    Where far from peaceful hearth and home lay strife,
    And days of joy and gaiety were spent.

    I passed 'mid scenes of dark and dull despair,
    On, on, where bitter want and hunger raged;
    Where naught of holiness was pictured there,
    But man 'gainst man his cruel warfare waged!
    I heard the wail of childhood in its need,
    And saw the fearful shadow of Death's wing
    Pass swiftly on and through the darkness speed,
    And heard the joyous song the angels sing!

    I heard the deeds of woe--saw sins of ill;
    I knew Life's tragedy was played the while;
    That greed of gain--that selfish, restless will
    Was crushing out the tender youth's sweet smile.
    I also read of good and saw its scope
    Of radiance on a troubled world's dark web;
    And saw that trust and love and buoyant hope
    Outrode the spring-time tide ere it could ebb.

    Nay, tell me, then, whence came each passing scene,
    And why such widespread power vouchsafed to me,
    That time nor space held aught of bar between
    The shifting lights of land and distant sea?
    How could I realize the utmost span
    Of life and love, nay more, of silent death
    As meted out within the time of man,
    And passing o'er the wide world's pulsing breath?

    O puissant Press! what need have I to tell
    The power of thy great sceptre wielded here?
    When those, beneath whose brilliant, magic spell
    We've sat entranced, now in our midst appear!
    Each face familiar warms the brother's heart;
    Each hand extended meets an earnest clasp;
    Each friend is here, a living sentient part
    Of Brotherhood and seeks an honest grasp!

    O mighty power for good or yet for ill;
    For saving grace; mayhap for withering blight!
    Thy brimming cup of service should be still
    The draught to lift a weary world to light.
    Thy arm should raiséd be in noble strife;
    Thy steady hand still wield the trenchant pen;
    Thus all of light and grace and noble life
    Shall call thee forth from hearts of fellowmen!



SONGS OF REMEMBRANCE



A LITTLE WHILE

(March 14, 1889.)


    A little while, my friends, and I am lying
      Beneath the sod that tells us Spring is nigh;
    And I, who've found this life no rest supplying,
      Shall lay my task aside without a sigh.

    A little while, and friends who kindly greet me
      Shall seek my place--in tears shall seek in vain;
    And those whose love and tender thought now meet me,
      Shall say--"She comes, our friend, no more again!"

    A little while--and oh, how great the yearning
      To lay the burden down, to be as free
    As bird that hails its nest, on wing returning;
      So do I think, beloved, of rest and thee!

    The rest my weary heart and soul have waited
      Through all these years of sorrow and of doubt;
    As traveller on his homeward way, belated,
      Impatient seeks and can not bide without.

    And thee! Oh loved one gone, this year, before me,
      Unto a world of light and rapture pure;
    The thought of thee doth, smiling, now allure me
      To draw more close and yet to more endure!



REVERIE


    O'er the long reach of water comes
      The plash of dipping oar,
    And faintly, borne upon the wind,
      Far voices gain the shore.

    I hear their low, faint murmur as
      The boat glides on its way,
    And with the glance of flashing oar
      Fall silver drops of spray!

    I lie with half-closed eyes and dream
      Of days that long are fled;
    While fancy brings unto my side
      The forms of those now dead.

    When life and love were as a song
      From vibrant chords of youth!
    When every heart that greeted me
      Spoke but of trust and truth!

    Thus half-adream I hold commune
      With mine own heart, and ask
    Were youth and joy the greater gain,
      Or life's more finished task?

    Quick comes the answer to my lips--
      Quick to the question craved--
    "The noblest deeds of life are those
      In later years engraved

    "On tablets of the living mind,
      In characters full bold;
    Not happiness, nor yet content,
      Can here life's measure hold!

    "Not to glide on in summer dreams,
      Nor yet to love, is best;
    But in thy noble strength to grow
      And earn the longed-for rest!"

    So not with envious eyes I watch
      The boat whose living freight
    Is youth and all youth's sunny dreams--
      I, who have learned to wait!



HEIMWEH


    O heart of mine, why sighest
    For joys thou may'st not taste?
    O eyes, why turn in longing
    Across the weary waste?
    And lips that falter sadly
    Of home and love and peace,
    Now all thy vain repining
    And doubt and grief, oh, cease!
    Home! Nay, thy home is distant;
    Will longing bring it near,
    And heart, will thy complaining
    Point out the way more clear?
    O heart of mine, thou sighest
    In vain, thy home's afar;
    It shineth as a beacon
    To exile--as a star
    Unto the lonely sailor
    Who dreams of land and love,
    But as he dreams looks ever
    Unto his star above!
    Then, heart, bind to thy longing
    The gaze that turns aloft
    Beyond the raging tempest
    To seek love's guidance oft.
    Heimweh! O homesick sailor,
    Across life's stormy main
    Return unto thy haven,
    No more to roam again!



GRAND MANAN

(1886)


    O'er the wild reach of wave afar
    Thy cliffs arise; once more
    I turn mine eyes upon thy hills
    And purple-tinted shore.

    All silent in majestic state,
    Monarch of mighty realm,
    Thy front is raised to meet the storm,
    When fierce gales overwhelm.

    Yet on this lovely autumn day,
    In soft enchantment's chain,
    Outlined fore'er on distant sky
    Thy memory shall remain.

    My feet must tread in other paths
    Than this belovéd land,
    And other footprints in their turn
    Shall press this shining sand.

    Sea, air and sky are filled alike
    With beauty and delight;
    The sea is shimmering at my feet
    With all of life and light.

    So let me bear to other scenes
    This picture; it shall stay
    As memory and as joy to me
    Through many a weary day.

    And oft shall rise before my sight
    When distance, time and care
    Have touched my life with graver thought,
    This vision passing fair!



MADELEINE

(1891)


    I see her passing through the fields
      All fresh with daisies and with rye,
    And something purer, brighter, breathes
      Than the mere tints of earth and sky.

    Her dainty head with grace is poised,
      And 'neath her hat-brim's shade I see
    The soft, dark eyes, the pure child-face
      That hold so much of joy for me!

    Her feet, as loath to tread the bloom
      Of flowers and of field-grass bright,
    Fall lightly as she maketh way
      To pass, nor leave behind her blight.

    Fearless the eyes, and full of thought,
      As though Life's secret fain she'd know;
    Grace, of a wildness all untrained,
      Wraps her within its subtile glow.

    And, as she treads her way a-field
      I know she seeks me, me alone!
    O child! my heart grows weak, to-night,
      To stifle now its secret moan!

    What will ye bring her, Love and Life?
      Or what withhold? I may not see;
    But, oh, I pray, whate'er ye take,
      Leave her her grace and purity.



WHERE THE SHADOWS PLAY


    Where the long reach of shadows play,
    And placid waters murmur by
    I dream throughout the summer day
    Nor note the hours that wingéd fly.
    Hushed is the voice of sordid trade,
    And e'en the birds' sweet song is stilled;
    While all the cares that Life hath made
    Slip from my heart, which now is filled
    With peace alone. O Nature pure!
    To thee, I turn, no more to stray
    In spirit, with thee ever sure
    To find sweet solace for the day!
    O leafy homes where song-birds rest;
    O gentle breeze that rocks and sways!
    My heart all silent stays to rest
    And bide apart these heaven-born days!
    For other worlds are pictured there;
    Reflected in the waters lie;
    And each is clear and passing fair,
    And fleecy clouds o'er each glide by!



A VALENTINE


    Years have sped by with rapid wing
      Since those bright days of long ago,
    When, hand in hand, in Life's sweet spring,
      We told our love in accents low.

    For you were young, and fair, and free,
      And I a youth with ardor bold;
    You were, of all earth's maids, to me
      The fairest--ah, the story's old!

    Our youthful fancy in the years
      That now lie far behind, anew
    Springs forth from memories Time endears,
      When smiles were frequent, tears were few!

    Ah well! we parted! Still doth shine
      Your form on fancy's pictured wall,
    As when you were my "Valentine,"
      And I to you was all in all!

    I see you on the busy street,
      A comely matron, fair of face;
    The maiden, tall, and pale and sweet,
      Keeps by your side with even pace.

    You see her not? Nay, she is mine,
      This gracious presence from the Past!
    She is my one fair Valentine
      Through summer's glow, through winter's blast!



THE MARTINS


    Slowly sinks the sun. The evening takes from night a deeper tone;
    Birds on restless wing are wheeling with a grace and strength
       their own.
    Martins! How your note reminds me of the days so long ago,
    In the time when care or sorrow ne'er had touched me with their woe!

    Back your song, this evening, takes me, back within that golden past,
    And I seem to see the village--and the spell of yore is cast
    Once again about my spirit! Memory brings before my view
    Friends and faces long since vanished--sounds and scenes that
       once I knew.

    Till the sea-girt town uprises from the mist, in verdure drest,
    Borne as jewel in its setting on the grand old ocean's breast;
    O'er the waves the bell sounds clearly with its call to evening prayer,
    And the martins wheel and circle, now, with swift wing through the air.

    So I muse while twilight summons once again the long ago,
    And its clustered memories fill my brooding heart, and overflow.
    Youth and love, and hope, aweary in these years have grown and I
    Walk afaint in life's rough pathway where erstwhile my feet did fly.

    But I think when Azrael greets me I would fain the hour were mine
    'Twixt the sunset and the even--at the summer day's decline.
    So the martins through the ether in their graceful flight should be
    Like the harbingers of freedom to the soul from earth set free!



NEVER AGAIN


    Leave me alone to my sorrow, my sorrow,
    Leave me alone, I would "mourn my dead!"
    Never again on the morrow'll he greet me,
    Never again, it is said, it is said!

    Never again shall I see him approaching,
    Hear his clear voice ring over the lea;
    Never again shall his strong arm enfold me,
    Never again, ah, woe is me!

    Never again! oh the weight of this anguish!
    Never to see him, to hear him again!
    Only my heart to my heart can disclose it--
    Never, ah! never--this quivering pain!

    Never again will he wait 'neath my window,
    Bidding me join him, as loving he stands;
    Never to watch for his coming to meet me
    Over the sea from those distant lands!

    Dark are his eyes as is the veiled splendor
    Of tropical skies in storm overcast!
    Glorious his smile as the sunlight descending,
    Full on the earth when that tempest is past!

    Now in the land of his birth though he wander,
    'Neath Southern palms tho' his footsteps rove,
    Ever, I know, in its pain and its longing,
    Turns his heart's trust unto mine's deathless love!

    Leave me alone to my sorrow, my sorrow,
    Leave me alone with life's dreary refrain!
    Never again shall I hear his fond pleading,
    Listening I hear only--"Never again!"

    We are severed by more than the ocean's vast billows!
    We must walk in our paths each alone and in pain!
    But our hearts grow but closer, and fonder, and nearer,
    Though here upon earth, it be "never again!"



HADST THOU DENIED


    So many things, dear Lord, I asked;
    So many things that were untried;
    So many things I sought, but oh
    Hadst Thou denied! Hadst Thou denied!

    I did not know their gold was dross;
    I did not see the chasm wide
    But downward plunged, and now I cry--
    Hadst Thou denied! Hadst Thou denied!

    So many things, with outstretched hands,
    I begged might not be turned aside.
    I know the best had oft been mine
    Hadst Thou denied! Hadst Thou denied!

    I wearied Thee with my wild prayers
    To taste of joys that ne'er abide.
    While many blessings had been mine
    Hadst Thou denied! Hadst Thou denied!

    Hadst Thou denied my foolish wish;
    Hadst Thou my spirit longer tried!
    All these vain years, in grief, I own,
    Had reaped rich gain hadst Thou denied!



WHY SHOULD I REMEMBER IF YOU FORGET?


    Why should I remember the days of long ago?
    Days we spent together, beside the river's flow;
    Why should I remember the dreams that haunt me yet?
    Ah, why should I remember--if you forget!

    Why should I remember the nights I sat and dreamed
    As stars came out in Heaven--when they and I it seemed,
    Alone kept watch and vigil--ah, I recall them yet!
    But why should I remember--if you forget!

    Why should I remember those days of Summer time
    When Love immortal bound me, and sang his witching rhyme.
    Why should I remember your vows as there we met?
    Ah, why should I remember--if you forget!

    Why should I remember the grave I fashioned wide
    Within my heart and laid you, and all that with you died.
    Why should I bewail you, and why should it be yet
    That I must still remember--and you forget!

    Why has my heart grown empty and why this empty throne
    Where you who made life dear have left me now alone?
    Why can I not a watch against your mem'ry set?
    Ah, why should I remember--when you forget!



TO H. N. T.

(Jan. 28, 1885.)


    Dear heart, sweet heart that through these years
    Hast walked with me, in sun, in shade!
    Though thy dear presence bides with me
    In thought alone, that ne'er shall fade!
    We may not wander hand in hand,
    We seldom greet us face to face,
    Yet in my life thy love, thy words
    Have ever yet a hallowed place!
    Together in the past we roamed
    When girlhood's fancies bound our will,--
    To-day, no less, we deem it sweet
    The tie that holds us captive still!
    To thee, beloved, my storm-tost heart
    Turns now, as then, for word of cheer.
    In those far days my arm was strong,
    My love did hold thee from all fear;
    But now my strength is well nigh spent,
    Though mem'ry crowns each happy hour,
    And fain would forms now vanished seek,
    And fain recall that witching power!
    Some sleep in death whom we called dear;
    Some roam afar in distant lands,
    While you and I have ever grown
    The nearer, knit by Friendship's bands!
    And as the years roll on I cling,
    Dear heart, more closely to thy love;
    God grant for all life's bitterness
    A lasting peace to come, above!



SONGS OF CONSOLATION



AND THEY SHALL RISE AGAIN


    "And they shall rise again!" Oh, words of comfort given
    To many hearts by sorrow borne unto the earth!
    "And they shall rise again!" The gates of death are riven,
    And forth, immortal, steps the Soul unto her birth!

    Long had they lain in vast Nepenthe's hidden coffers,
    The germs of life that silent waited but the call
    Of Love Divine to seize upon the gift it proffers,
    And to throw back and off, forever, the dark pall.

    "And they shall rise again!" Arise to glories bounding
    No earth-born vision, and no span of fleeting days,
    But, born of depths which life thus far had been but sounding,
    The heirs of Heaven's crown and its immortal praise!

    "And they shall rise again!" Oh joys of hope eternal!
    That though we, weeping, lay them 'neath the heavy sod,
    God's angels, guarding now, behold their spring supernal,
    And hold them trusting, waiting but the call of God!

    So shall this Easter morn, to-day, bring to us waiting,
    His Word fulfilled,--His gift of gifts above all price!
    For Earth and Light and Air are all to us relating
    The glories borne at dawn from shores of Paradise!



MINE ONWARD PATH


    And so I take mine onward path, alone,
      And yet not quite alone if God decree;
    The way my Lord hath trod shall be mine own,
      And so my strength shall be!

    What though it lead through tangled brake and brier,
      And sharpest stones shall pierce my wounded feet?
    Unto that height if my faint soul aspire
      These words mine ear might greet:--

    "If thou but follow Me through toil and pain,
      If thou but take thy cross and follow Me,
    I will reward thee, when I come again,
      For all Eternity.

    "But if thou wilt not bear thy cross with Me
      Thou canst not hope to win the victor's prize;
    No martyr's crown, no saint's green palm shall be
      Thy share in Paradise!"

    And so I fain would take mine onward way
      In humble imitation of my Lord.
    This hope to be bear me in it day by day,--
      His never-failing word!



AFTER MANY DAYS


    Calm seas upon whose placid breast
    My barque one day shall anchored lie,
    Beyond this season's keen unrest,
    Beneath a softened evening sky!

    I shall not in those hours of peace
    Recount the storms that strike me now;
    For me the struggle sore shall cease,
    And Trust stand at my vessel's prow!

    The shipwreck and the storm no more
    May toss me 'neath its stern decree;
    But anchored within sight of shore
    A perfect rest shall welcome me!

    I shall not count the tears that flow
    These weary hours, these restless days;
    For then my keener sight shall know
    The hidden meaning of His ways!

    And thus I look beyond the storm,
    Beyond the clouds that now appear;
    Knowing the ills that take such form
    Shall flee before the evening clear!

    Calm seas upon whose placid breast
    My barque one day shall anchored lie,
    My soul may not possess thy rest
    Until the evening draweth nigh!



SOME DAY


    Some day when all this weary time
      No more hath power to stay my flight;
    When far from earth's unhappy clime
      My soul shall speed her way to light,
    I shall no more this garb of clay
      (Beneath whose weight I sink opprest)
    Bear with me; but, oh blesséd day,
      Find all denied in life of rest!

    Some day! ah, how my heart doth cry
      With longing and with pain, aloud,
    For some faint sign lest hope should die;
      For some small token through the cloud!
    Lest joy no more my guest should be,
      And peace, that calms with tender touch,
    No more should come to visit me,
      Who need their presence here so much.

    Some day! Nay, do I not know well
      This life bears little in its hand
    That we should lie as in a spell
      Beneath its strong and cruel band.
    At best, 'tis but a span dealt out
      To each; as grains of sand may seem
    That, as the tempest whirls about,
      Are gone, and ended as a dream!



LAKE WINNEPESEOGEE

(TWILIGHT)


    O fair, broad Lake, upon whose breast
    The shifting shadows rise and fall,
    Thy surging waters' vague unrest
    Sinks beneath twilight's gathering pall.

    Thy changing beauties quickly glide
    Successive past th' entrancéd eye,
    While hills around, in regal pride,
    Reflected in thy waters lie.

    I hear the plash of dipping oar,
    I see the boats swing on their way;
    The waves flow on from shore to shore,
    While softly, slowly dies the day.

    And sweetly with the evening's calm
    Upon my heart there falls a peace,
    That comes as comes the evening psalm,
    That bids the world's vain tumult cease.

    And as fall swift the shades of night
    Along the path my feet must tread,
    Lo! through the clouds a golden light
    Upon Life's passing scene is shed.

    And so, bathed in its softened glow,
    And tuned to sweetest harmonies
    Far, far beyond Life's ebb and flow--
    The soul, immortal, seeks the skies!



JESUS OF NAZARETH PASSETH BY


    O storm-tost soul in thine hour of need
      Turn to the light ere the moments fly,
    Turn unto One who will ever heed--
      Jesus of Nazareth passeth by!

    Hark, what mean these songs of praise
      And clouds of incense that float on high?
    See! borne on wings on this day of days,
      Jesus of Nazareth passeth by!

    If thou but touch His garment's hem
      As they did of old (if thou wouldst not die),
    Lo, from His person, as unto them,
      Healing and love flow silently!

    Into each heart He entereth now,
      Listeneth unto each sinner's cry!
    Then--leaving His blessing upon each brow--
      Jesus of Nazareth passeth by!

    Joy that we sat at His blesséd feet!
      Joy that He hears e'en the faintest sigh!
    Loudly our lips exultant repeat--
      "Jesus of Nazareth passeth by!"



NEARER MY REST


    Nearer my rest with each succeeding day
      That bears me still mine own allotted task.
    Nearer my rest! the clouds roll swift away,
      And nought remains, O Lord, for me to ask,

    If I but bear unflinchingly life's pain,
      And humbly lay it at Thy feet divine,
    Then shall I see each loss a hidden gain,
      And Thy sweet mercy through the darkness shine.

    Nearer my rest! and as I journey on
      Grant me, dear Lord, (my angel-guides to be,
    To keep and help me ere that rest be won),
      Patience, and Faith, and blesséd Purity.

    These guides, I pray Thee, each Thine attribute,
      And thou, O Lord, my shield and armor bright;
    For without Thee no tree shall bear good fruit;
      These three, O Lord, to lead me through the night!



SO MANY YEARS


    These hands have labored, Lord, so many years;
    So many years these feet have trod this road;
    So many years these shoulders, bent and weak,
    Have borne their own and others' heavy load!

    This heart has broken in these many years,
    And tears have dimmed these eyes, till life
    Has seemed but one sad wilderness, and few
    The hours of peace amidst the bitter strife!

    Must I, then, Lord, toil on unceasing here?
    Hast thou no words of comfort for my soul?
    Are all the cheerless, fainting hours to win
    No progress toward my weary spirit's goal?

    Nay! as I speak, I know the day will dawn
    From out the dark and tempest-driven night,
    When I, released, shall stand erect and free
    Within the glory of that radiant light!

    No more, then, heart, bewail these hours of earth,
    No more shed tears of blood, for surely there,
    Beyond the darkness and the pain and gloom
    Shines forth the sun in lands that are most fair!



SORROW


    I wore a jewel on my breast,
      Nor knew, till late, that it was such;
    Oft hath it robbed me of my rest;
      Oft have I shivered at its touch!

    I wore it, trembling, and I knew
      Nor why it was, in fact, nor how
    Its presence fell like evening dew
      On shrinking heart, and lip and brow!

    It was a thing of pain, and yet
      A subtile blessing seemed to flow
    From 'neath its touch, though eyes were wet
      As from the stab of ruthless foe!

    Not until years had fled did I
      Behold the inner presence there;
    Not until Time had passed all by,
      Did I perceive its beauty rare.

    But now I know thee as thou art,
      O Face divine that lookest down
    Upon my life and bruiséd heart;
      And fear of thee fore'er hath flown!

    Thou shalt walk with me, as I know,
      For the brief space of years to be;
    A newer, higher path to show
      Where sorrow wins me purity!



UNKNOWN


    A day whose wondrous dawn is writ
      In letters firm and free and bold,
    Through years whose prophecies shall fit
      This stone from Life's mosaic old!

    A day wherein my hands shall rest
      From labor ill-requited here;
    The hands whose clasp on peace hath prest
      Too light to hold it very near.

    That day whose number ofttimes now
      Rolls past each year, but all unseen
    By eyes now holden, shades the brow
      Where other shades have frequent been!

    Some token in each joyous year
      That most I loved, abides unseen,
    And bears aloft an index clear
      Upon its leaves now clasped between.

    The month, the day, the hour is there,
      Unconscious to my searching eye
    When, be the skies or dark or fair,
      Shall added be the Year I die!

    And as I note each feast of song
      On earth; each joy, each loss or birth,
    Shall I not give--nor thus be wrong--
      A thought to that, when clogging earth

    Shall hold me bond-slave here no more!
      No more shall dim with tears mine eyes;
    When I shall simply pass the door
      No living hand impatient tries!

    Not mine to know that day as yet;
      But in the watches of the night,
    The watch my soul herself hath set,
      I wait the coming of that light.

    Not then as messenger of dread
      I wait to read it on the scroll;
    Not as impatient, nor as wed
      To life, abides my waiting soul!

    Though now inscribed "unknown" it takes
      Its place on calendar of earth,
    An anniversary that wakes
      To greet us from the hour of birth!



SONGS OF PATRIOTISM



OUR BIRTHRIGHT


    God of the Nations! Thou whose might
    Hath led us from the dark to light,
    Since first a puny people we
    Sought and obtained our Liberty!
    Grant, we beseech Thee, for the Earth
    A Peace that shall have noble birth!
    A Peace that shall beneath its wings
    Enfold the brightest, best of things!
    Keep Thou the people of that land,
    Who for their homes and firesides stand;
    Teach Thou another land to rest
    Her arms, and bend her haughty crest!
    Bring Thou within the fold of right
    All who are plagued with war and blight!
    And bring, O God, in this New Year,
    A reign of Love and not of Fear!
    So shall we keep Thy word divine;
    So shall the land no more repine;
    And this wide world, oppressed with fear,
    Look onward to a brighter year.
    God of the Nations! Thou whose might
    Hath led us from the dark to light,
    Grant us to live that we may be
    Worthy our birthright--Liberty!



LEXINGTON

(April 19, 1775.)


    We name our heroes in the hush
      That follows battle's awful roar,
    And count the cost of that great rush
      To victory! They deemed no more
    Than just the simple right to shed
      Their blood in such a holy cause.
    Where the unconquered died or bled
      We turn, from our safe ground, and pause
    To wonder how, in days long gone,
    Such power was given to right the wrong!

    We deem them worthy of all praise,
      The heroes of that battlefield;
    And looking backward to those days,
      That meed of praise most gladly yield.
    Were they more true to dictates bold
      Of honor in that olden time?
    Or, when the weight of proof is told,
      Rang out the truth in purer chime?
    Gave they more freely of life's stream
    Than we would do? than we dare dream?

    They did not flinch when in the wage
      Of war stern duty's standard waved,
    But heart and hand did both engage,
      And on each soul was deep engraved
    "Country and Home;" fit words to urge
      To action more heroic still,
    As o'er that mighty ocean's surge
      Rang out the watchward of their will!
    As onward pressed to liberty
    The men through whom we now are free!

    In conflict rang their cry of might,
      "Ours is the cause that must be won;
    God is the helper of the right!"
      So sped the word at Lexington,
    While hurrying from peaceful plow
      To war's red-stainéd field they came.
    Not theirs 'neath tyranny to bow;
      Not theirs a country's death and shame;
    But to go on to greater height
    With wings outspread for purer flight.

    Hail heroes in our country's need!
      We bring ye wreathes of laurel leaves;
    We gather of the scattered seed
      In full and ripened harvest sheaves.
    Yours be it e'er to lift our minds
      To realms of higher deed and thought;
    Be ours to loose what here but binds
      And holds us from the object sought.
    Then may we hope, in time, to stand
    As staunch and true as that brave band.

    To-day, as meet, we hold this page
      Of History before the world;
    While overhead, undimmed by age
      Our country's flag is all unfurled!
    O emblem of sweet Freedom's gift,
      Not vainly are thy stars displayed!
    To thee our eyes with pride we lift;
      Thy Stars and Stripes our strength have made.
    Hail! heroes of brave deeds well done;
    Hail! day that gave us Lexington!



O LAND OF OUR BIRTH


    O Land of our Birth! whose bright colors are waving
      From mountain and valley; o'er sea and o'er land;
    A pathway of light, Lo! its glory is paving,
      To wane not, nor darken, at despot's command!

    We stand 'neath the Flag that embodies the union,
      While History passes in stirring review;
    Our hearts, in remembrance, now hold proud communion
      With the record of deeds both gallant and true!

    O Land of our Birth! 'tis a glory undying
      That sheds its soft light over each scene outspread;
    And Tyranny's hand, all in vain, is defying
      The Heaven-born Peace that to Freedom is wed!

    We feel the glad throb of the patriot's devotion,
      That e'er to the Stars and the Stripes must be due,
    All else is engulfed in o'erwhelming emotion
      That finds its fulfillment the Red, White and Blue!



OUR FLAG

(DEDICATED TO THE CHILDREN OF AMERICA)


    Fling to the breeze our noble Flag,
      And let it ride the gale!
    In time of War 'twill never lag;
      Its stars and stripes ne'er pale!

    Give it to Heaven's breeze, once more,
      And let it proudly float!
    The emblem bear from shore to shore,
      To herald Freedom's note!

    Look to it, Children! 'Tis a gift
      Most precious in its worth;
    No slave his streaming eyes need lift
      To curse his wretched birth!

    No deed to bring the blush of shame
      Should flaunt beneath its folds;
    But ever brighter grow the fame
      Of work its plan unfolds.

    Look to it, Children! Let it be
      As fair, to-day, as when
    The founders of our liberty
      Stood forth, God's noblemen!

    When by the price of blood and tears
      They sealed that sacred deed,
    And cast aside all doubts and fears,
      To meet a Country's need.

    Then let it float to Heaven's breeze,
      Beneath the sapphire dome;
    Far o'er the tops of waving trees;
      "For Country and for Home!"

    Fling to the breeze our noble Flag,
      And let it ride the gale!
    In time of War 'twill never lag;
      Its stars and stripes ne'er pale!

    In time of Peace how fair to see--
      Sent forth by patriot hand--
    This symbol of sweet Liberty
      Throughout our native land!



THE NATIONAL FLOWER

(THE GOLDEN ROD)


    It grows 'mid tangled underwood,
    All brilliant in the fields,
    And o'er our hearts a subtile spell
    Its golden beauty wields.

    Perchance some exile's foot hath pressed
    The road with weary tread,
    When lo! from out the wayside growth
    It rears its bonny head.

    Not with the first faint tints of Spring
    Are its bright blossoms seen;
    But, radiant in its garb, and decked
    With Autumn's fruitful sheen.

    Then hail! bright floweret of our choice--
    With multiform design;
    Though many in thy blossom's wealth,
    Still one on parent vine!



IN MEMORIAM



ROLL MUFFLED DRUMS

(ARLINGTON, MAY 30, 1902.)


    Roll, muffled drums, upon the air, and flags furl colors bright;
    For this is hallowed ground we tread, and here we learn Death's might.
    Our heroes, whose last rest is now within this silent spot,
    In lowly tents their bivouac find, though not by us forgot.

    Wail forth, oh music, in soft strains, and learn, oh soul of man,
    As down the leafy aisles it throbs, how brief on earth the span
    Of Life, and turn from its rude clash and all its weary pain,
    To muse awhile on heroes gone and hear their praise again.

    As words of orator now fall upon the listening ear,
    Life grows less close and Death is robbed of much of doubt and fear;
    For, as the burning words go forth upon the balmy wind,
    Men's thoughts are swayed by tones that sing the glory of mankind.

    Then, muffled drums, roll on, and flags your brilliant colors furl;
    For here the Dead sleep on, and here no more may warfare hurl
    Its blighting torch, its screaming shell, its horror and its dread.
    Hark! on the summer wind is born a Requiem for the Dead!



THE DEAD MUSICIAN

(JULIUS EICHBERG)


    Hushed is the magic of his touch
      That waked the soul to joyous praise!
    The vibrant strain we loved so much
      Still echoes on throughout the days;
    Days that had sped in steady round
    Thrilled by the songs his bow had bound.

    Stilled is the music to our ears.
      In higher cycles, we believe,
    Brighter than earthly crown appears
      His genius, and shall meed receive:
    While in a rarer, fuller light,
    His touch still wakens to delight.

    Then is he not as one who dies
      And whose brief day is ended here;
    For, in those worlds which Time defies,
      His melody grows still more clear;
    Then is he not as one whose light
    Is darkened by Death's envious night!

    Thus while we wear within our thought
      The beauty of his god-like art
    That here in eager longing sought
      To voice the music in his heart,
    O bear in mind no truth divine
    Of art is lost--it needs must shine

    Across the waste of shipwrecked lives
      As o'er the brightest path below;
    Where'er its meaning steadfast strives
      To sing its measure's stately flow,
    For Life is art--as art is Life--
    And soars above unequal strife!

    He gave to man the measure free
      The gods had given to his soul;
    And, touched to deeper ecstasy,
      Bound Music to his sweet control.
    O Artist true! we deem thy death
    But entrance into fuller breath.

    But fuller grasp of thy great work;
      But deeper draughts from wells divine,
    Where disappointment ne'er may lurk,
      Where round thy head the glories shine
    Which crowns endeavor firm and true,
    And gives thee roses--never rue!

    Here do we leave thee with thy brow
      Encircled with the roses sweet;
    Victory's token, crowning now
      Thine art with all our praises meet;
    Here do we leave thee, victor still,
    For Art bends not to Death's stern will!



THE NATION WEEPS

IN MEMORIAM

(_Wm. McKinley, Sept. 14, 1901._)


    The nation weeps, while through the stricken land
    Stalks the grim specter raised by traitor hand;
    And on the air there rises dire lament
    For vigil, suffering and life now spent.
    Lo! through the tumult comes that voice of trust
    From soul of mortal triumphing o'er dust:
    "God's will, not ours;" O hero strong
    To rise above the thought of burning wrong
    Dealt by a dastard's hand! O spirit bright
    Seeing, while here, the heavy cross grow light,
    "His will be done; His guiding hand my way!"
    That heart, yet bound by racking pain, could say.
    The nation weeps. Anger and grief uplift
    On high their hands; O from this pain to sift
    Some grain of comfort and some thought of rest!
    Again those tender words, "God knoweth best."
    As man, not free from earthly fault was he,
    For mortal man may not perfection see;
    But yet, as man, he bore full well his part
    And freely spent his wealth of brain and heart.
    E'en as we think of him the silent land
    Draws near, and dimly by his bed there stand
    Lincoln and Garfield, now henceforth to be
    With him a martyr-trio grand and free.
    The nation weeps; O hearts be comforted!
    He needs no more your words, so feebly said;
    He heeds no more your thoughts of praise or blame,
    For he hath won for'er a higher fame.
    Soldier of cross and battlefield, his death
    Hath taught humanity that fleeting breath
    Of mortal glory here is but a slender span,
    And brief, indeed, on earth the life of man!
    Dear earth enfold him in your restful arms
    And guard him well, though past are all alarms;
    E'en though, while now at rest he calmly sleeps,
    The nation weeps! The stricken nation weeps!



IN MEMORIAM

(CHARLES HENSHAW DANA.)

    _The lilies clustered fair and tall;
    I stood outside the garden wall._

    --_Celia Thaxter._


    Life's lilies grew along his way,
    In beauty clad, from day to day;

    While music, with her lovely strains,
    Led him a captive in her chains.

    And friends with generous hand and thought
    Unto his fireside greetings brought.

    "I would have given my life to be
    The rose she touched so tenderly."

    So sang the poet, and the tone
    Awoke for him sweet strains alone.

    Ah! earthly love, how vain thou art
    To still the longings of the heart!

    The Angel Azrael touched his hand,
    And life on earth yields the demand;

    No more he stands "outside the gate,"
    No more hath need to watch or wait!



IN MEMORIAM

(M. J. E., OBITT, JUNE 19, 1874.)


    Who shall separate that spirit from the blessed love of Christ?
    He hath called her to Himself for whom the world hath not sufficed.
    Pure her spirit upward winging now its swift, untrameled way,
    Far beyond our aching vision, enters that serener day.

    Patient, pure, she took the burden of this life unto His feet,
    Who hath called His loved and bid them come unto His presence sweet;
    All she leaveth, gladly answering her beloved Master's call,
    And for her the shadowy valley had no terror to appal.

    Passed unto a life all glorious now a ransomed soul she bides,--
    Ended all the weary watching,--crossed for aye life's troubled tides;
    So we leave her now possessing, to the full, Christ's own sweet love,
    And one more of life's best treasures lives and waits for us above!



CONSOLATION

(INTO LIGHT. DEC. 4, 1903, 4:50 A. M.)


    "It is all right!" Yes, friend, it is all right,
    Although about thee close the shades of night
    To human eyes. To eyes that wake to light
    It is all right--it is all right!

    "It is all right." E'en though we miss thee here.
    For thee are past the clouds, and all the fear
    Bred of this life which shall no more appear
    To thee as good; because thy sky is clear.

    "It is all right." Kind soul, so bright and true,
    We miss thee now, we miss the happy view
    Of all that through the days of life here grew.
    The old hath passed--for thee hath dawned the new.

    "It is all right!" Thy words, as fell the night,
    Before thine eyes had pierced the coming light,
    Fall on our ears a benison all bright;
    We can but say with thee "it is all right!"





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