Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: The Comet and Other Verses
Author: Dix, Irving Sidney
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 "The Comet and Other Verses" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



(This file was produced from images generously made


[Transcriber's Note:

  Variations in spelling, punctuation and hyphenation have been retained
  except in obvious cases of typographical error:

    Page 012, Line  292: "sprits"    --> "spirits"
              Line  295: "evermore"  --> "evermore."
    Page 028, Line  981: "decendeth" --> "descendeth"
              Line 1001: "Autnmn"    --> "Autumn"
    Page 033, Line 1224: "thé"       --> "the"

  Tags of decorative illustrations have been removed.

  Italic printed text has been formatted as _text_.]



                              _The_ Comet
                                  and
                              Other Verses


                          By Irving Sidney Dix

                   COPYRIGHT 1910      PRICE 15 CENTS



                               THE COMET
                                  and
                              OTHER VERSES

                          By IRVING SIDNEY DIX


                               DEDICATION

                    To the Memory of my school mate
                  William Morgan who was drowned in
                  the Delaware.

    _Press of Munn's Review_                    _Carbondale, Penna._



                            With the Reader


It should be stated that some of these verses, in a slightly different
form, have previously appeared in various periodicals in Binghamton,
Scranton, Philadelphia and New York City, but most of them appear here
for the first time, and also, perhaps it should be mentioned that some
of these stanzas were written during my school days. However, the
majority of the following verses have been composed since the former
booklet was published.

And if in any way you have been helped to see, that even here in this
rugged country "the poetry of earth is never ceasing," however rude my
interpretation of it may seem to the critical, the labor and expense of
publishing this little volume will be fully justified.

                                                         IRVING DIX.



                             Contents


                                                            _Page_
    The Comet                                                   7
    Washington                                                  8
    The Storm                                                  10
    Jim, the Newsboy                                           11
    March Wind Blow                                            12
    The Rime of the Raftmen                                    13
    A Child's Elegy                                            16
    Dreaming of the Delaware                                   17
    Norma                                                      18
    Plant a Tree                                               21
    Maid of Shehawken                                          21
    To the Delaware                                            22
    Starlight Lake                                             24
    An Inquiry                                                 25
    Twin Lake                                                  26
    The Man Who Swears                                         27
    The Glen                                                   28
    Hope                                                       30
    Lines to Liars                                             31
    Fooling                                                    32



                             ADVERTISEMENT

                       The Comet--15 cents
                       The Silent Life--15 cents
                       Both Booklets--25 cents

These booklets are not published as a financial venture--they are likely
to be a failure in this direction, for the cost of printing alone equals
the selling price, on account of the small number issued, only 250
copies, and fifty copies are not for sale. Five hundred copies of the
Silent Life were printed in 1907, and I have left only 160 copies for
sale. I desire to dispose of these and the small edition of "The Comet"
during the present year, so that another booklet (containing, I hope
still better material) may be issued during the year of 1911.

To those who may wish to send copies of either of these booklets to
their friends, thereby assisting in the disposal of this edition, the
following offer will be of interest.

Ten copies, assorted to suit--$1.00.

Address:
                                                    IRVING DIX,
                                                        Shehawken,
                                                            Wayne Co.,
                                                                  Penna.



                                Foreword


A few years ago, while recovering from an illness, I conceived the
idea of writing some reminiscent lines on country life in the Wayne
Highlands. And during the interval of a few days I produced some five
hundred couplets,--a few good, some bad and many indifferent--and such
speed would of necessity invite the indifferent. A portion of these
lines were published in 1907. However, I had hoped to revise and
republish them, with additions of the same type, at a later date as a
souvenir volume of verses for those who spend the summer months among
these hills--as well as for the home-fast inhabitants. But in
substituting the following collection of verses I hope my judgment will
be confirmed by those who chance to read these simple stanzas of one,
who--

  "Loves not man the less, but Nature more
    From those our interviews, in which I steal
  From all I may be or have been before,
    To mingle with the Universe and feel
    What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal."

                                                            I. S. D.



                             Copyright 1910

                                   BY

                               Irving Dix



                         Verses in this booklet may be
                 copied in the public prints by giving
                 credit as above.



    The Comet


    Swift circuit-rider of the endless skies,
      Thou wanderer of the outer, unknown air,
      Amid those dim, uncharted regions there,
    Imagination droops--in deep surprise
    Man doth behold thee, and the fearful speed
    At which thou spurrest on thy flaming steed.

    Born of the dark and ever-deepening Past,
      Who nurs'd thee there in yonder viewless space
      Afar from earth--thy all-beholding face
    Hath gazed unspeakable, with clear eye cast
    Worldward on each magnificent return
    As if of human progress thou wouldst learn.

    And thou hast seen each triumph and each plan
      By which the human race since human time
      Hath learned at last Earth's secrets all-sublime
    While rising from the elements to man--
    Hast seen it triumph over sea and air
    And universal knowledge hope to share.

    Thy circuit measures well the age of man,
      The epoch of a life--and few there be
      Who seeing thee, thy face again may see,
    For human life is but a little span,
    With varying cycles of a different day,
    And in diffusion wears itself away.

    Child of the Sun, when first the human eye
      Beheld thee coursing in the night afar
      Like an illumined spectre of a star--
    Beheld thy awful form against the sky
    Strong men fell earthward with a coward-cry
    On their pale lips, as if afraid to die--

    And that brute King--Nero, the cruel King,
      When looking on thy fiery face unknown,
      Sate trembling on his little human throne,
    And thought that thou didst evil tidings bring--
    That thou wert writing on the distant skies
    A doom from which no human king could rise.

    Thy age is all unknown--man can but guess
      The time when first the Sun thy circle set--
      He can but guess thy secret birth--and yet
    Observing thee his knowledge is not less;
    He knows each cycle, each return to be
    A moment in that vast eternity.

    Recording-comet of th' immortal space,
      What history thy eye hath look'd upon
      Since first thy airy, circling course was run!
    What fallen pride! What scatterings of race!
    Jerusalem and Nineveh and Rome
    Didst thou behold from thy almighty dome--

    Didst thou behold--their birth, their rise, their fall--
      Low humbled by the under hordes at last,
      With glory and fair triumphs in the past,
    And footprints of destruction over all.
    While thou, fleet comet, with a light divine
    Continueth upon the earth to shine.

    Speed on! swift comet--turn, wanderer, turn!
      And with thy flaming, god-like pen of light
      On heaven's scroll with burning letters write:
    Live but to love, O earth!--to love and learn,
    For while a comet's mighty cycles fail,
    Love,--love and truth forever shall prevail.



    Washington


    It is forever so--when there is need
    Of some clear, clarion voice to forward lead
    God raiseth up a man from his own seed;
    Not from the soft, luxurious lap of earth,
    But from a nobler soil, so that from birth
    The frame is moulded with a chosen food
    That has one only end--to make it good,
    Full generous, far-sighted, firm and keen,
    With strength to rise above the gross and mean--
    The sordid selfishness that like a curse
    Drives from the heart the virtues it would nurse--
    That love of country, freedom's holy cause,
    Justice, mercy, that eye for equal laws,
    Faith in the future and our fellow-men,
    Faith in the sword when shielded by the pen--
    And so it was with us--when there was need
    Of one commanding voice to forward lead,
    God rais'd up here a man from His own seed;
    And so came forth the gentle Washington,
    Fair child of Fate, the nation's noblest son,
    Whom Virtue fostered and whom Virtue won.

    Some few there be whose feet knew rougher ground,
    But few indeed a loftier summit found--
    Nurtured in tender soil, he held a path
    Where others faltered, heeding not the wrath
    Of any king or potentate or power--
    His was the hero-heart--he saw the hour,--
    He knew the mighty odds, yet would not cower.
    And when the tyrant's heel touch'd on our shore
    And thrust itself unbidden to our door,--
    But Washington alone with eagle-eye
    Withstood the foe and taught him how to die;
    Repulsed, disheartened, driven to despair,
    He lifted up his voice in humble prayer,
    For in that awful night at Valley Forge
    He drank the bitter cup--he knew Fate's scourge,
    He felt her lash,--this tender-hearted George.

    Father of Liberty--thou Child of Light,
    Columbia's first-born, who in thy might
    Restored to Freedom her enfeebled sight--
    If spirits of the nobler dead can hear,
    This day--thy natal day--press close thine ear
    And learn what we thy nation need to fear,
    And if the immortal dead can truly speak,
    Show us, O Child of Light, where we are weak,--
    Grant us thy counsel (for thou art with God)
    And bear us wisdom where thy footsteps trod,
    And if thou seest aught of envious strife
    From virtue sapping all her sweeter life,
    Teach us, O Child of Light, a purer love,
    For thou hast learn'd of God--thou art above
    Thy weak and erring mortals here below
    Who see the light, yet forward fear to go--
    Guide us, if spirits of the dead may guide,
    So that in peace we ever may abide,
    So that from land to sea, from shore to shore,
    We shall be brothers now and evermore.



    The Storm


    All day long the sky was cloudless,
      Life was waiting for a breath,
    And the heat was more oppressive
      Than the fear of sudden death;
    All day long the sun was shining
      In a hot and windless sky,
    And the trees were weak for water--
      Earth and air were dead and dry.

    But e'er Night her wings had folded
      Came a welcome western breeze,
    Moving idly through the forest,
      Prophesying to the trees,
    Till above that dim horizon
      Giant clouds like warring foes
    Marshalled far in battle numbers
      As the wild winds wilder rose.

    Hark! O hear the double rumble
      As the thunder shakes the air,
    Like a thousand hoofs advancing
      In yon cloudy corral there!--
    Look!--how red the lightning flashes!
      How the echoes roll and roll--
    Dirges from some demon goddess--
      How the bells of heaven toll!

    Like a lance, a flash of lightning
      Cuts the foremost cloud in twain
    And the thunder's mighty echo
      Rolls athwart the drenching rain
    Till the landscape fades like shadows
      In the driving sheets of spray,
    And the wind wails through the forest,
      And the great trees rock and sway.

    Soon the air is strangely solemn
      And the winds no longer blow
    To the thunder's distant drumming
      In the valley far below;
    And along the low horizon
      All the clouds are growing dim,
    While upon the western hilltops
      Rolls again the sun's red rim.

    And away across the valley
      In the heavens arching high,
    Like a bed for fairy flowers
      Swings the rainbow in the sky--
    Swings until the shadows gather
      And the sun sinks out of sight,
    Seemingly to whisper softly
      To the world a fond good night.



    Jim, the Newsboy


    Jim, the newsboy, died today,
    So the evening papers say--
    And the funeral will be
    In the afternoon at three--
    "Please" (the papers say) "a flow'r
    Bring for Jim before the hour--
    Any color that you deem
    A true token of esteem,
    If you would remember him--
          The newsboy, Jim.

    At his corner near Broad street,
    Jim, tho' lame, would smiling greet
    With a merry, winning call
    All his patrons, great and small,
    And his fellow newsboys say
    That they miss him much today,
    And they have a tablet bought,
    And upon it this is wrought:
    "In memory of Newsboy Jim,
          We all liked him."

    Little toilers on Life's road
    To yon visionless abode,
    There was much of good in Jim
    Or the boys had disliked him;
    There was something in his heart
    That drew patrons to his mart,
    Something noble, something true--
    Strive that it be said of you
    As in eulogy of Jim,
          "We all liked him."



    March Wind Blow


    Bitter March-wind, blow and blow;
    Drive away the drifting snow;
    Toss the tree-tops to and fro;
      Kiss the ice-bound lakes and streams
      And arouse them from their dreams.

    Happy March-wind, blithely blow,
    Winter's heart is full of woe,
    Winter's head is lying low;
      Bring, O bring the melting rain
      Back unto the earth again.

    Weeping March-wind, blow and blow
    Till thy tears of sorrow flow
    Down thy dying cheeks of snow--
      Weep away! for man must wait
      Till those tearful winds abate.

    Merry March-wind, softer blow,
    Let the little children know
    Where the sweetest flowers grow;
      Let thy tender accents ring
      From the joyous harp of Spring.

    All ye wild-winds, blow and blow,
    Drive away the drifting snow,
    Bend the bushes, bend them low;
      Breathe upon the trembling sod
      Springtime's messages from God.



    The Rime of the Raftmen


    I

      The Delaware above the Rift
        Each bank is fast o'erflowing,
      And sweeping onward dark and swift,
        Wild and still wilder growing
      It hurls a heavy raft along
        Upon its rocking way,
      While the Captain's call the hills prolong
        At dawning of the day:
      Pull, lads, pull!--to Jersey side,
              The Rift is near!
         Pull, lads, pull!--for the high floods hide
      The ragged rocks like an ocean tide,
              And the river's rush I hear.


    II

      Safely the Rift is left behind,
        A careful stearsman stearing;
      Swiftly we speed, only to find
        A dizzy eddy nearing,
      Where rolling in the river-lake,
        And whirling round and round
      A dozen rafts the circle make,
        And warning cries resound:
      Pull, lads, pull!--Sylvania's shore!
              The Eddy's near!
      Pull, lads, pull!--till the sweeping oar
      Bends like a bow and you hear the roar
              Of the river in the rear.


    III

      The luring eddy lies behind
        Where the dizzy rafts are whirling,
      And we speed along with the cutting wind,
        The foam like suds up-curling,
      When ahead a sharp curve comes in sight
        And we hear the Captain call
      As the raft swerves sudden to the right
        And the ridges tower tall:
      Pull, lads, pull!--to Jersey side!
              The Bend I fear!
      Pull, lads, pull!--and soon we'll ride
      On the rolling wave to Trenton's tide
              With river calm and clear.


    IV

      The Bend is past, but the Water-gap
        Of the Delaware up-rearing,
      Looms far ahead like a narrow trap
        As fast our raft is nearing,
      And calm and deep the waters grow,
        And scarcely comes a sound
      Till the Captain's calling, to and fro
        Re-echoes far around:
      Rest, lads, rest!--a little while!
              Be of good cheer!
      Rest, lads, rest! till yonder isle
      We safely pass--a few more mile
              And all our course is clear.


    V

      Along the wave we smoothly glide
        Until the island clearing,
      When down we speed as with the tide,
        Now here, now there a veering,
      Until a great bridge lifts its form
        Against the evening sky,
      When like the rolling of a storm
        The crew repeats the cry:
      Pull, lads, pull!--Sylvania's shore!
              The Bridge is near!
      Pull, lads, pull!--the for'ard oar,
      And soon our dangerous task is o'er,
              And little need we fear.


    VI

      So on we speed; now fast, now slow;
        By isle and rift and eddy
      Until at length along we flow
        With movement firm and steady;
      And low and lower lie the hills,
        And wider spreads the vale,
      And soft the Captain's calling trills
        Upon the evening gale:
    Rest, lads, rest!--our work is done--
              The danger's o'er!
      Rest, lads, rest!--another sun
      Will see a haven safely won
              By Trenton's friendly shore.



    A Child's Elegy


    We know her not whom once we knew,
    Who died it seems e'er death was due--
    We know her not; she is asleep;
    Our hearts are dumb--we can but weep
    That one so young must bid adieu,
    Must part so soon from earthly view.

    Those tender feet we knew so late
    We hear no more; we can but wait
    To hear them in the House of God
    When dust to dust we tread the sod,
    For in that home of homes they wait
    For us beside the city's gate.

    Those little hands out-held in love,
    That in such innocence did move
    To fondle each familiar face
    Are still--they cannot now embrace
    As once they did so like a dove
    That weary parents would approve.

    Those little lips that met our own
    So sweetly when we were alone
    No more shall meet the lips of earth,
    Sealed up unto another birth;
    But when these larger lives have flown
    Our lips will meet; she will be known.

    Springtime was here--the birds would soon
    Have re-appeared--the birds would soon
    Have warbled from a new-built nest,
    Would soon have felt beneath their breast
    The little ones--and such a boon
    Had taught them still a sweeter tune.

    But of the little ones not all
    Will answer to the parent-call,
    Not all will learn to rise and fly--
    Many are born, but some must die;
    Many will rise, but some must fall,
    And God knows best for each and all.

    This is the hope--we know not how--
    This is the hope that lures us now,
    That makes the parting less of pain--
    The hope that we shall meet again,
    And so while unto grief we bow
    The road beyond seems brighter now.



    Dreaming of the Delaware


    I

    I have been far away from the Delaware's shore,
      From the river where once I did play,
    But I'm dreaming tonight by the old cottage door
      Where the moonlight is gleaming bright as day.


    REFRAIN:

    Dreaming, dreaming, dreaming of that dear old stream,
      Dreaming of the days that are no more--
        The days so bright and fair,
    Dreaming in the moonlight gleaming on the shore
        Of the dear old Delaware.


    II

    And the river is still, and so peaceful tonight
      That its murmur I scarcely can hear,
    And across it the moonlight is beaming so bright
      That the scenes of my childhood appear.


    III

    And I think of my mother who bade me farewell
      And the sister who kist me good-bye--
    They are sleeping below in that beautiful dell
      But methinks that again they are nigh.


    IV

    Long deserted has been the old river home,
      My old home by the dear Delaware,
    But never, O never again will I roam
      From the scenes of my childhood so fair.


    V

    I will cherish the dreams I am dreaming tonight,
      Will upbuild the old homestead once more,
    And perhaps when I'm dead, for another's delight
      It will bloom by the Delaware's shore.


    REFRAIN.



    Norma

    A Legend of the Wayne Highlands


    Along the lake's wild northern shore
      An island dark with trees
    Lies shadow-like, and o'er and o'er
    At midnight thru a leafy door
      Comes music on the breeze,
      Sweet music on the breeze,
    Where sad-eyed Norma dreams,
      And o'er the wave, in thru the trees
    The mellow moonlight streams.

    And Norma's voice is sweet to hear
      As the breathing of a bell;
    But while so welcome to the ear
    Of any one afar or near,
      The notes, O few can tell!
      The notes, O few can tell!
    Falling so wildly sweet,
      Like the mournful ringing of a bell
    With the tones still incomplete.

    How came this maid upon the isle
      Within the Hills of Wayne?
    Why sings she sweetly all the while
    As if to ease her self-denial?
      Why sings she a refrain
      At the lonely midnight hour
    On an island dark with trees,
      Enchanting souls unto her bower
    By such sweet melodies?

    The legend runs:--That long ago
      A lover came to woo,
    But left her--why?--(no man doth know)
    For while her love like wine did flow
      Away from her he drew--
      He drew from her away,
    While she was left forlorn
      And ever (so the legends say)
    Did daily for him mourn.

    But Norma left her home one night
      When all were fast asleep
    And angel-like she trod the light
    Moonpath across the waters bright
      Until she ceased to weep,
      Until she ceased to weep,
    Singing a sweet, sweet song
      That on the lake that lay asleep
    The night-wind did prolong.

    And after Norma's death, one day
      A knock at her father's door
    Announced the lad who went away
    When both were lovers young and gay,
      Who now would love her more
      Than any other maid,
      Yes, any other maid,
    Saying, O where is Norma now,
    Where is my sweetheart now?

    O Youth, my daughter is not here--
      She waited, waited long
    To hear the voice she held more dear
    Than all the rest--nor could we cheer
      Her with another song;
      But many hear her sing
    By the island,--sing so sweet
      That never, never can they bring
    The song to me complete.

    The lover sadly turned away
      And vowed that he would know
    The song complete e'er dawn of day
    And followed where the moonpath lay
      Upon the lake below,
      Where Norma sang of love
    On the island dark with trees
      That cast deep shadows on the cove,
    And his heart was ill at ease.

    At midnight o'er the moonlit wave
      He bent his little boat,
    Till he heard the song the soft winds gave,
    But if his life that song might save,
      He could not tell a note!
      He could not learn a note!
    Tho' many, and many, and many a night
      In the lovely moonpath gleaming bright
    He listened from his boat.

    But the song he never, never knew
      Altho' he listened long,
    And so it is--is ever true
    When hearts withhold a love long due;
      For Love sings one sweet song,
      One sweet familiar song,
    At thy heart's door today,
      And knocking, waits, but waiting long
    Forever turns away.



    Plant a Tree


    The Past unto the Present cries--
    Arise, ye more than blind, arise!
    For I who fell the forest low
    Would now another forest grow,
    But what is done I cannot mend,
    So unto you a message send--
    Much did I do for you, for me
        Plant a tree,
        Plant a tree.

    The Present, waking from its sleep,
    Across the hills began to creep,
    And saw where Past had fallen far
    A noble forest, with a scar
    On many a wounded mountain side
    That from the elements would hide--
    And answered:--Past, I will for thee
        Plant a tree,
        A forest tree.

    The feeling Future, yet unborn,
    Heard Present echoing her horn,
    And stirring somewhat in Life's cell
    Did try her dearest wish to tell,
    Whispering in an undertone:
    I--I shall reap as ye have sown,
    O heed the Past! and--thanks to thee--
        Plant a tree,
        Plant a tree.



    Maid of Shehawken


    Maid of Shehawken, kind and true,
      I sing a fond farewell,
    But, maiden, though I sing adieu,
      My love I cannot tell--
    My love I cannot tell to thee
      For parting gives me pain,
    Oh may I in the days to be
      Meet with thee once again.

    Maid of Shehawken, sweet and fair,
      Accept my humble praise,
    And may thy path be free from care,
      Full happy be thy days,
    And ever mid the lure of life
      Where e'er thy lot may be,
    In pleasant paths or weary strife--
      Remember, I love thee.

    Maid of Shehawken, kind and true,
      Tho' far away we roam,
    Few places will we find, O few
      As sweet as our highland home,
    And tho' Life's pathway lead along
      The shining streets of gold,
    Our lips will never know a song
      As sweet as the songs of old.

    Maid of Shehawken, dearer far
      Than any that I know,
    Lighting my pathway like a star,
      Afar from thee I go,
    But tho' I leave the Hills of Wayne
      My heart is still with thee,
    O maiden, may we meet again
      In the days that are to be.



    To the Delaware


    Cease thy murmuring, Delaware,
    For thy many braves so fair
    Who are sleeping by thy stream--
    Rouse them not--there let them dream.
    For upon that silent shore
    Indian's cry shall sound no more.
    There, where still the owlets cry
    And the solemn night-winds sigh,
    Let the victor's head remain
    With the spirits of the slain,
    Leave the warriors fast asleep
    Where the willows o'er them weep,
    For thy murmuring, Delaware,
    Cannot wake those sleeping there,
    For thy voice deep in the foam
    Cannot ever call them home.

    There, where low and high degree
    Sleep beneath the self-same tree,
    And where warriors small and great,
    Share in death a common fate,
    Leave the pale-face and the braves
    Side by side within their graves.

    There, where ridges lifting high
    Try to bridge the endless sky,
    And where willows bend like lead
    O'er the footprints of the dead--
    To each brother slumbering there,
    Sing sweet songs, my Delaware.


    REQUIEM:

    Brave!--thy happy days have fled
    Into silence with the dead;
    Thy canoe, thy well-worn way,
    And thy bow are in decay.
    And no more thy camp-fires gleam
    By thy sweet, complaining stream;
    And I mourn thy ruthless fate;
    Weeping am I--but too late--
    For upon that silent shore
    Indian's cry shall sound no more.



    Starlight Lake


    Well named thou art, O little lake
      Set in among the hills;
    Well named art thou,--each star doth make
    Reflected forms that fancies wake
      And memory fondly fills.

    And nightly on the rugged shore
      Each cot with ruddy beam
    Lights up thy face from pane and door
    And throws a stream of silver o'er
      Thy bosom like a dream.

    Thy hemlock hills, now dimly grown,
      Fling shadows on thy face,
    And to their branch the birds have flown,
    Except the owl, whose monotone
      The listening ear can trace.

    There, where the starlight thickly trails
      A path across thy wave,
    A passing boat a boatman hails
    Whose maiden crew still softly sails
      As with a pilot brave.

    While from thy shore a lithe canoe
      Shoots o'er thy bosom fair,
    Leaving behind a milk-white view
    As when the beaver paddled thru
      Thy waters unaware.

    Up rides the moon with rosy rim
      All silently and still,
    Chasing away the shadows dim
    That on thy surface seem to swim
      Like wood nymphs from the hill.

    Now midnight comes, and on thy shore
      No boatman plies his way,
    The cottage lights shine forth no more
    From window-pane or open door
      Where yet thy shadows play.

    Silent and strangely still is all;
      The stars like candles are,
    No echoes on the forest fall,--
    Each lonely owl hath ceas'd to call
      His wood-mate from afar.

    Silent and calmly still is all;
      Dim Night is monarch now,
    His kingdom is the midnight air,
    The forests his attendants fair,
      Who, at his bidding, bow--

    And stand like sentinels asleep
      Beneath the moon's wan beam,
    Until Aurora fair doth creep
    Above the hill where she doth keep
      Bright morn with welcome gleam.



    An Inquiry


    Speak, O speak, my angel fair,
    Is there sadness everywhere--
      Folly where the flower feedeth
      Rapids where the river leadeth
                To delight?

    Is there, is there anything
    An eternal joy can bring--
      What is real and what but seemeth
      Like a dream a dreamer dreameth
                Thru the night?

    Can there be, Angel of Love
    Can there be bright homes above--
      What is Life--and when it endeth
      What is Death--why it descendeth
                I implore?

    Tell me, Angel, can it be
    That thy hand is leading me--
      Tell me, are these seraphs singing
      Up in heaven, gladness bringing
                Evermore?



    Twin Lake

    In the Wayne Highlands


    The shadows fall on Twin Lake fair
      As crimson sets the Autumn sun;
    A holy hush is on the air
      Of eventide and day is done.

    No zephyrs kiss the little lake;
      So still and calm is either shore,
    That on her face dim shadows wake
      And deepen ever more and more.

    And where the long-leaf laurels grow
      A cuckoo sounds the hour of rest,
    And fondly answering far below
      Its mate is calling from her nest.

    Now comes the twilight, calm and still,
      And, with a cloak of sable hue,
    Half hides the lake and upland hill
      That faint and fainter fades from view.

    And through the broken web of night
      Each stalwart star with even ray
    Reflects upon the lake a light
      To guide a boatman on his way.

    And soon the massive moon doth ride
      Athwart the pine trees' heavy shade,
    That doth her fiery chariot hide,
      As an apparent halt is made.

    And sweetly from a maiden fair
      In yon canoe that skirts the shore
    A laugh rings out upon the air
      And echoes softly o'er and o'er

    Till dying on the distant hill,
      An evening silence settles far,--
    A quietness, so calm, so still,
      With rising moon and silent star--

    That peace, sweet peace subdues the soul,
      While on the clear and pensive air
    The bells of Como softly toll
      The ever-sacred hour of prayer.



    The Man Who Swears


    It is often, yes, often that the man who swears
    Is a man who dares and a man who cares;
    For the gentle voice and the eye of blue
    Will sometimes tell of a heart less true
    Than the rough, cold voice and manner stern--
    And you some day this truth will learn:--
    That often, yes, often that the man who swears
    Is a man who dares and a man who cares.

    When you are sick with fever and pain,
    Who comes to ease your weary brain?
    Is it the friend with the eyes of blue
    And gentle voice that comes to you,
    Or, is it the one with manner cold
    And voice so stern and ways so bold,
    That presses a hand on your fevered brow
    And soothes your troubled spirits now.

    When you are down and your friends are few,
    Who is it comes to comfort you?
    Is it the one with eyes so mild
    And voice as sweet as a little child--
    Is it the one with gentle way
    That comes to you and dares to say:--
    So sorry, friend; say, here's my hand,
    I'll do your bidding; now just command?

    When in misfortune you need a friend
    Who will fight for you to the bitter end--
    Is it always the one who speaks quite low
    And fears to say what he knows, is so,
    Or is it the man who speaks his mind
    And shows some mettle--and hardly kind
    Whose heart is cold until your woe
    Melts an entrance as the sun melts snow?

    I would not say that swearing is right
    But I say some men are willing to fight--
    It is wrong indeed for a man to swear,
    And I envy no one's weakness there--
    Still I believe, with me you would say
    While one will swear and another pray
    You would follow the man who is willing to dare
    Tho one might pray and the other swear.



    The Glen


    Here Nature's nice adjusted tool
    Hath cut a chasm; and each pool
    Reflects a narrow, rocky room
    Where sun-born flowers seldom bloom,
    But where the ledging, level shelves
    Betray the dance hall of the elves.

    And overhead the tasseled trees
    Frown from the wall, and with each breeze
    Awake the solemn avenue,
    But hide from sight the upward view,
    When with a hundred harps they sing
    To Boreas their mighty king.

    Here Echo dwells in lonely mood,
    And answers to the dying wood;
    Unsuited to a varying rhyme
    She hath no voice for tuneful Time
    Content to speak as she hath heard
    The lyric wind, the singing bird.

    Here these same falls awoke the glen
    Long, long before the march of men;
    Long, long before yon broken soil
    Brought forth the fruit of human toil
    And here these falls will dance and play
    When feeling man has passed away.

    Sing little Falls; and echo Glen,
    Till silent are the songs of men
    And they that dwell upon the earth
    Have disappeared as at thy birth
    And senseless Rock--if think ye can,
    Think ye--how short the life of man!



    Hope


    Kind guardian of the Lonely Shore,
      And Sorrow's true and only friend,
    Comforting angel of the poor--
      What heavenly spirit did descend
    With passive voice, with ways unknown,
      Within thy very self complete?
    O Hope, when left at last alone
      We fall a suppliant at thy feet
    And worship there, with heart forlorn
      From childhood's land of make-believe,
    Through early youth, the brightening morn,
      Till tottering age, the fading eve.

    And who could walk without thee, friend?
      Who walk dim paths without thy hand?
    From out the world shouldst thou ascend
      Blind Poverty would stalk the land;
    Despair would seize some simple knave
      And Hatred every evil one,--
    O Hope, for more would seek the grave
      Without thy timely vision shown:--
    The sick upon the lowly bed;
      The blind a-begging as of yore;
    The weeping child who works unfed;
      The prisoner by the fatal door,
    All, led along, still cling below
      To feel thy subtle charms so free,
    As wearily, drearily on they go,
      Following, following after thee.

    And when upon Life's field they fall,
      When Disappointment reigns supreme,
    Thy voice, omnipotent, would call
      E'en from the dust their fondest dream;
    Would call and wake the slumbering thought,
      And point it to some great ideal
    While adding all, but taking naught
      From out the present, living real.
    Then, Hope, thou sentinel of light
      By Disappointment's lonely shore,
    Speak out amid the depth of night
      And guide us safely evermore.



    Lines to Liars


    Let lawyers harp about the law,
      And all its majesty and might;
    They find in every case a flaw
          And think they're right.

    Let politicians praise the truth
      And laud its virtue to the sky--
    They practice from their very youth
          To give the lie.

    Let prophets send the saints to heaven
      And damn poor sinners e'en to hell--
    How such authority is given
          They cannot tell.

    Let doctors prate of human pain
      Alleviated by their skill,
    When Death's dull sickness comes, in vain
          Is every pill.

    Let poets pipe of bloody war
      And claim its carnal method right;
    They're only piping cowards, for
          Not one will fight.

    And so it seems we mortals boast
      Of knowledge where we know the least
    And show our ignorance the most
          Like any beast.



    Fooling


    He was a lad--a tender boy,
    And she--she held him as her toy,
    And when she wearied of his way
    And would with other playthings play,
    I heard him say beneath his breath:--
    A fool am I; it is my death--
    She jilted me--the little lass,--
    I will not let such fooling pass
    But shift at once some bitter dart
    Back--back again into her heart,
    But then thought he--All those who play
    With fools are fools as well as they,
    And so he made a living rule:--
    It takes a fool to fool a fool.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Comet and Other Verses" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

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



Home