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Title: The Santa Fe Trail and Other Poems
Author: Wilson, Joseph R.
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 Santa Fe Trail and Other Poems" ***

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

    [Illustration: “CREEPING CLOSER TO THE TRAIL.” (P. 15)]

    “The Santa Fe Trail”

    And Other Poems







    Brief History of the Famous Santa Fe Trail       7
    The Santa Fe Trail                              12
    The Blind Beggar of Albuquerque                 16
    Sunrise From “The Alvarado”                     18
    The Lilacs of Shawmont                          20
    A Jolly Fellow is the Western Tumbleweed        21
    The Grand Canyon of Arizona                     21
    The Melodies of Memories                        22
    The Harvey House Chimes                         23
    Rest                                            24
    She Gave Me Two                                 24
    The Face in the Moon                            25
    In Spirit Land                                  25
    Life’s Treasures                                25
    Juror No. 3                                     26
    He Who Sits in the Gloom                        28
    Mi-Lady’s Shoe                                  28
    Beside the Sea                                  29
    Winter’s Sorrows                                29
    Kisses                                          30
    Mystery                                         30
    Alma Mater “Pennsylvania”                       31
    Napoleon’s Tomb                                 31
    The Sorrows Grim Want Imposes                   32
    I Would I Were Still a Boy                      33
    The Same Voice                                  34
    Memories                                        34
    Old Days (a Ballad)                             35
    On the Engagement of Miss Constance “More”      36
    Oh, Gondolier                                   36
    A Proposal                                      36
    Lake Geneva (a Memory)                          37
    My Boyhood’s Home                               37
    The Death of the Host of the Jolly Swan         38
    Oh! Tamaca                                      41
    One Sweet Moment                                41
    Mine Tonight                                    42
    The Melody of Love                              43
    Wives                                           44
    A Country Romance                               45
    Word Wounds                                     47
    The Gondolier’s Song                            48
    Avaunt! Ye Tears                                48
    The Last of the Tasmanians                      49
    An English Lane                                 51
    Words to Mendelssohn’s “Consolation”            51
    A Maiden of the South Pacific                   52
    An Actor’s Epitaph                              53
    The Loved Ones Left Behind                      53
    Life’s Voyage in Vain                           54
    The Song of the Stream                          55
    Dry Thine Eyes                                  56
    Honor                                           57
    Song to the Moon                                58
    To My Mother                                    59
    The Unexpected Summons                          60
    Oh! ’Tis Sweet to Live                          60
    Too Late!                                       61
    Song of Atilla                                  62
    Dreams                                          63
    Who Looks Beyond                                67
    Ready to Die                                    68
    The Soul                                        69
    Where Life Began                                70
    The Grandeur of Death                           70
    The Day is Done                                 71
    Death’s Courtship                               71
    An Appeal to Him                                71
    A Christmas Carol                               72
    Wilt Thou Lord Stand for Me?                    73
    My Saviour Understands                          74
    Help Us Great Friend                            74
    Into the Valley of My Soul                      75


The early history of the Santa Fe Trail, which runs parallel with the
Santa Fe Railroad for hundreds of miles, is somewhat obscured by
mystery and tradition, but from historical data in possession of the
Museum of New Mexico, at Santa Fe, it can be stated with a large
degree of accuracy that the trail was started by Spanish explorers
three hundred years ago.

The first known expedition by Americans over the trail was made by the
Mallet brothers, who arrived in Santa Fe, July 22, 1739. The first
trader to follow the trail reached Santa Fe in 1763. It was not until
1804 that LaLande, a trapper and hunter, crossed the trail and made
Santa Fe that year. Kit Carson was one of those who struck the trail
in 1826, when he was but sixteen years of age.

The camping stations along the trail at that time were Diamond Spring,
Lost Spring, Cottonwood Creek, Turkey Creek, Cow Creek (now
Hutchinson, Kansas), and further on was Pawnee Rock, a famous landmark
of sandstone, twenty feet high.

From the year 1820 many caravans made their way over the trail to
Santa Fe, then, as it is to-day, the seat of government. It was here
in the old palace that some of the early governors had lived in a
semi-royal state, maintaining a little court and body-guards whose
lives were by no means a sinecure, since they were called upon to
fight the Indians on many occasions.

These Indians developed great hostility to the white man, and caravans
on the trail were so frequently attacked, and so many tragedies
stained the trail with the blood of women and children, that in 1823,
Colonel Viscarra, Jefè Politicio, of New Mexico, commanded a battalion
of Mexican troops in protecting the caravans on the Santa Fe trail.
His hand-full of men, and the predatory and blood-thirsty character of
the Indians, made it impossible for him to protect any large part of
the trail, and soldiers, traders and their families were massacred by
overwhelming numbers, the victims including many women and children.
The members of one caravan met their fate in sight of Santa Fe,
forty-six days out from St. Louis.

Colonel Viscarra had not only to deal with one tribe, but many. There
were the Navajos, Pawnees, Arapahos, Kiowas, Comanche, Apache and
Cheyenee. There was only one tribe friendly to the traders, and that
was the Pueblo Indians.

In August, 1829, a particularly vicious attack on a caravan on the
Santa Fe trail, bound for Santa Fe, caused the traders to petition the
government for military protection, and as a result this year, under
agreement with the Government of the United States and the Republic of
Mexico, four companies of United States troops guarded the great
caravans moving from Western Missouri to Santa Fe, as far as the
Arkansas River. In spite of this protection, however, attacks by
Indians were a common occurrence, and every caravan had to carry arms
and ammunition, and vigilance was never relaxed from the time they
left the Arkansas River until they struck the plaza at Santa Fe.

Colonel Viscarra, a handsome, picturesque Spaniard, always mounted on
a mettlesome thoroughbred, was probably the most dashing figure in the
history of the Santa Fe trail. Tales of his gallantry and daring
became folklore among the traders, pioneers and their descendants.

In 1843, the American traders commenced to establish regular
communication between Missouri and Santa Fe and in 1849, started to
run a stage from Independence, Mo., to Santa Fe. The fare was $250.
Each passenger was allowed forty pounds of baggage. The capacity of
the coach was ten passengers in addition to the driver and messenger.
Relays of horses were stationed along the trail every fifteen to
twenty miles.

The vehicles used by the traders and pioneers were for the greater
part Conestoga wagons drawn by horses or mules. As they proceeded
westward it was a common sight to see on the trail, “creoles, polished
gentlemen magnificently clothed in Spanish costume, exiled Spaniards
escaping from Mexico, and richly caparisoned horses, mules and asses,
and a courtesy of the road grew out of a common danger”.

The most terrible part of the trail was the great plain between the
Arkansas River and Cimarron Spring. It was over three thousand feet
above sea level and sixty-three miles without a water course or pool.
The soil was dry and hard and short buffalo grass and some cacti were
the only evidence of the parched vegetation. There was not a shrub or
tree of any kind. It was a sandy desert plain and it was here the
traveler saw the mirage, a beautiful lake which disappeared as he
approached it.

Breakdowns on this plain were frequent, and the Indians most
dangerous. Dry, hot weather prevailed with the blue sky overhead, and
over these parched wastes of the desert, exposed to attacks by Indians
both night and day, the caravans finally reached Cimarron Spring,
which was in a small ravine.

After leaving Cimarron Spring (445 miles from Independence, Missouri),
the caravans struck the following camps:

    Willow Bar;
    Cold Spring;
    Rabbit Ear Creek;
    Round Mound;
    Rock Creek;
    Point of Rocks;
    Rio Colorado;
    Ocaté Creek;
    Santa Clara Spring (Wagon Mound);
    Rio Mora;
    Rio Gallinas (Las Vegas);
    Ojo De Bernal Spring;
    San Miguel;
    Pecos Village;

and finally Santa Fe, a distance of 750 miles from Independence,
Missouri, the starting point.

The old Santa Fe Trail led from Franklin, Missouri, through Kansas,
Colorado, Oklahoma and New Mexico. It followed the Arkansas River to
Cimarron Crossing (Fort Dodge) to La Junta, Colorado; then south,
crossing the Raton Pass, joining the main trail at Santa Clara Spring.

The passenger looking out of the window of the train on the Santa Fe
Railroad will see this trail running for miles parallel with the
track, and will be able to people it with the historic traditions
which have made the Santa Fe Trail one of the most romantic and,
withal, one of the most tragic national highways in the United States.

    NOTE.--The greater part of the information given in this brief
    history is taken from _Twitchell on Leading Facts of New Mexico


    There are moanings on the trail,
    From west and eastward bounders,
    The host that’s passed forever,
    That shall never know it more;
    From men and fragile women,
    From pioneers and traders,
    Whose dying word was “Never,”
    Whose pale souls went on before.
    And its ruts flow deep with tears
    For the countless lowly biers,
    Of those who died upon it,
    In the agony of fears.

    Oh! the rumbling caravan--
    The women under cover,
    While the men before them scan,
    For Indians or water,
    For the’re mounds along the trail,
    It’s thousand miles of stretches,
    Of man, and child and mother,
    Fair flowers and hardened wretches;
    Where the sandstorms blow and blow,
    And obliterate all traces.

    Moving twenty miles a day,
    With mules and horses straining
    Through the deep and parching sand,
    The wagon wheels a-squeaking,
    With the hot sun beating down
    On whitened bones a bleaching.
    Stretching all along the trail,
    From Fort Dodge to San Miguel,
    From caravans forgotten,
    Where none lived to tell the tale.

    Oh! the tide of misery,
    And tears forever flowing,
    From the women folk inside,
    Through the long, dark hours of night,
    Or moonlight’s eerie bleaches,
    Praying God to send the light.
    The grey of early morning,
    While a rifle shot rings out,
    The Indians are coming,
    And the men go driving on,
    The tired horses running,
    For the goal they never reach.

    Oh! that never ending trail,
    Through canyon and arroya,
    And that cursed, cruel plain,
    The parched wastes of the desert,
    A mile above sea-level,
    Not a tree or shrub upon it,
    Without a drop of water,
    ’Tween the Arkansas river
    And the spring at Cimarron,
    Where they’ll never drink again.

    Pushing on to Willow Bar,
    Round Mound and Rio Moro,
    Through buff’lo grass and cacti,
    To ruins of the Pecos,
    With the blue skies overhead,
    And the horses breathing hard,
    Rolls the caravan along.
    A country in the making,
    And the women try to sing,
    God bless them, they are helping,
    Those tender friends of man,
    To keep his heart from breaking,
    With the wagon broken down,
    And not a blade for grazing.

    There are ghosts upon the trail,
    The myriads that trod it,
    And they pass without salute
    In a never ending line,
    In wagon and on horseback;
    Some going West, some Eastward.
    Strange spectres in the moonlight,
    Brave men and noble women,
    Young girls and little children,
    All long ago forgotten.

    And the past rolls back again,
    With Indians approaching,
    The Navajos and Pawnees,
    Kiowas and Comanche,
    Creeping closer to the trail.
    The children and the women,
    Oh! ’tis hard that they should die.
    Then the musket shots ring out
    From cool men bent on killing,
    Fighting for the ones they love,
    Though ten to one outnumbered,
    Until morning tints the sky
    And with it ends the combat.

    Then the town of Santa Fe,
    Oh! Father, in Thy mercy--
    And the women laugh and sing,
    The tired men are weeping,
    A thousand times repeated,
    As men entered Santa Fe.
    The cursed trip was over,
    Save to those left on the way,
    The pioneer martyrs
    Of the trail to Santa Fe.


    There are faces that pass in a moment,
    But his face will live till I die.
    He’d a beard and blue eyes like the Saviour,
    At least like the face we all know,
    And we met in the cool of the morning,
    We met about two years ago.
    And my heart bade me call out “Good morning,”
    “Good morning,” he answered to me.
    But I saw his blue eyes looking elsewhere,
    Like one who was trying to see.
    He had come from a hut without windows,
    A mud hut with only a door,
    Yet his face was the face of the Saviour,
    And I fain would speak to him more.
    So I stopped, for his smile had a sweetness
    That entered the gates of my soul;
    I was hungry to know where it came from,
    That I might its wonders extol.
    And we talked of the beautiful morning,
    The scent of the grass and the flowers,
    And he spoke like a man of refinement,
    Like one to whom knowledge was power,
    Of the glory of God and His wonders,
    And we talked for more than an hour.
    I forgot that the speaker was sightless,
    Or a mud hut his dwelling here.
    Could it be he was just a blind beggar?
    Was a greater One standing near?
    And he talked of the hills in their grandeur,
    As sentinels watching mankind,
    Of the plains and vales, of sunshine and flowers,
    Which he only saw in his mind.
    And he spoke of the poor and the lowly,
    Of God’s mercy to such as he,
    Of his gratitude to his Creator,
    Gratitude, though he could not see.
    And I stretched out my arms to that beggar,
    From Syria, over the sea,
    With the beard and the eyes of our Saviour--
    At least they looked like that to me.
    He had taught me a wonderful lesson,
    The burden a Christian could bear,
    Who from out the dark caverns of blindness
    Saw only the things that were fair.
    And I asked my dear Father forgiveness,
    My fetters of sin to unbind,
    That he’d make me to see like that beggar,
    For I was the one who was blind.


    “The Alvarado,” on the Santa Fe,
    Here oft my eyes have met the break of day;
    The red sun rising through the morning mist,
    Over the mountains, and the mesa kissed,
    Down to the valley, where the shadows deep
    Dissolved, and woke the city from its sleep.

    Facing the East, the first faint streak of dawn
    Sought my closed eyes and ope’d them to the morn.
    Then like the passing shadow of a cloud
    Revealed the world beneath the lifted shroud,
    The glories of the proud Sandia Range,
    Whose rugged grandeur God alone can change.

    Sweet was the air that in my casement swept,
    And in the court below a fountain leap’t,
    Which on the harp of life sweet music made,
    And soothed me in my slumbers as it played.
    The songs of gentle rain, of woodland stream,
    Entranced me nightly in a murmuring dream.

    The doves upon the roof made music too,
    And sweet it was to hear them bill and coo.
    Into my open window Nature smiled,
    And all the world seemed pure and undefiled.
    Naught can describe those joys of early morn,
    When from the night another day was born.

    When cares that come oppress and burden me,
    I’ll pray to God to send me memory,
    Where precious moments came at break of day,
    “The Alvarado” on the Santa Fe.
    Thither my soul shall fly where’er I be,
    And bring that joy of morning back to me.


    In our home in the West, on the edge of the mesa,
        When our day’s work is done, and the voices are still,
    Comes faintly the scent of the lilacs of Shawmont
        We knew in our youth, at the house on the hill.

    Back to those halls, now so silent and empty,
        Where voices of children once merrily rang;
    To those dear dead windows still facing the garden,
        Where the woodthrush, the robin and oriole sang.

    Back to the solemn old bell in the tree forks,
        Which summoned us home to the noonday repast;
    Whose music had rung in the morning of centuries,
        And yet was as sweet as the day it was cast.

    From our home on the mesa we still hear it calling,
        Long, long is the journey, o’er mountain and plain;
    But it’s only in memory--past to the present--
        And only in fancy we hear it again.

    The scent of the lilacs, the voices of children;
        The chirp of the tree-toad, the song of the stream;
    The path through the woods, where as lovers we wandered,
        Confusingly call like a voice in a dream.

    Call to us here in our home on the mesa,
        From out the dear past in the house on the hill,
    And in fancy we dwell in the home by the Schuylkill,
        When our day’s work is done and the voices are still.


    Oh! what a jolly fellow is the western tumbleweed,
    As he rolls across the mesa with the breeze;
    He’ll even try to race a train, no matter what it’s speed,
    You can see him from the window jump the trees.

    Just where the fellow’s bound for it’s a little hard to say,
    For his heart seems full of joyousness and life,
    As he capers like a schoolboy out for a holiday--
    Some say the beggar’s looking for a wife.


    Methought ’twas God, Himself,
    For as I reached the “El Tovar”
    And passed toward the Canyon’s brink,
    I seemed to stand upon the bar
    Of Heaven--too dazed to think.


    The melodies of every clime
    Ring out so true and sweet,
    They make the world akin in song,
    Bring joy with every beat.
    They breathe the incense of the morn,
    The fragrance of the night,
    They weave the mystery of love,
    In garlands of delight.

    Oh! sweet uplifting melodies,
    That soothe the human soul;
    The young and old, the rich, the poor,
    Are one ’neath their control.
    The melodies of younger days,
    The sweetest ever sung,
    The melodies of memories
    That make the ages young.

    Oh! crowd us, blessed melodies,
    Come to us one by one;
    Bring back the tender thoughts of life,
    When it had scarce begun.
    And in one long, delicious dream
    We live the past again,
    In melodies of memories,
    In happiness and pain.


    “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight!”
    Better hurry--do not be late.
    Best of food is on the table,
    Eat as much as you are able--
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

    “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight!”
    A welcome waits at every plate.
    Shining silver, spotless linen,
    Waitresses, all pretty women--
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

    “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight!”
    Ascending sweet from one to eight,
    Descending just as sweet to one--
    The chimes have stopp’d, the meal’s begun.


    The golden sun is setting in the quiet, silent West,
    The feathered songster’s voice is hushed within its cozy nest,
    And the evening breeze comes stealing o’er the fields of new-mown
    As Phœbus folds his wings and bids farewell the dying day.

    The gloaming shadows thicken ’round the house beneath the hill,
    The water ripples softly ’neath the wheel that works the mill;
    Then over all comes darkness, and the landscape fades from sight,
    And tired Nature sinks to rest within the silent night.


    In childhood days I met a little Miss,
    Whose pouting lips were luscious as the dew.
    I begged that she would give me just one kiss--
    She gave me two.


    One night I gazed with rapture on the moon,
    And there I found surcease from all my cares.
    The face I saw within, it was not his--
    ’Twas hers.


    In spirit land, I know not where,
    I only know she comes to me
    In memory--
    When I was young and she was fair.


    It matters not
    How great our treasures,
    The cares of life
    Outweigh its pleasures.

    JUROR NO. 3.

    Two boys were up for burglary, and crowded was the Court,
    With half the town of Elkington, who came to see the sport.
    For well they knew the Judge, whose heart was harder than a stone,
    Who only dealt in justice--to whom mercy was unknown.
    Oh! what a wondrous judge he was, no guilty e’er got free,
    His instinct read between the lines what no one else could see,
    And these two boys on whom he gazed with comprehensive stare,
    Raised not their eyes to his stern face, for mercy was not there.

    “No counsel, Judge,” the prosecutor said in careless way;
    A case was just a case to him, who tried them every day.
    “We’ll see to it,” the Judge replied, as often times before.
    He had imposed the maximum--the law allowed no more.
    The case was called, the jury boxed, when Juror No. 3
    Said, “Judge, they have no counsel, and it seems unfair to me.
    The Commonwealth has two shrewd men.” The Judge replied, “What
    And Juror No. 3 came back, “Why, Mr. Todd and you.”
    “Let me correct you,” said the Judge, amid the courtroom din;
    “The Court administers the law when all the facts are in.”

    Then turning to the crier he said, “Keep order in the Court;
    Now Mr. Todd, begin the case, the time is getting short.”
    Just then a woman’s helpless cry fell on the Judge’s ear,
    And both the lads within the dock were seen to shed a tear.
    And Juror No. 3 stood up and said, “Where is the friend?
    I call on Thee, Lord Jesus, the prisoners to defend.”

    The Judge sat upright on the bench, a greater One than he
    Was in the court to help the lads, summoned by Juror 3.
    The case was tried and verdict found, “Guilty” the foreman said,
    And not a juror disagreed--the Judge bowed low his head.

    Then to the bar there came the man, whose house the lads had
    Gazing on Juror No. 3, “Forgive them, Judge,” he sobbed.
    “I forgive them as Our Master would, as I hope He’ll pardon me.”
    And the light on the face of Juror 3 was wonderful to see.

    And all eyes turned upon the bench; what would that stern Judge do?
    His face was soft as baby’s smile; he had been born anew.
    “You have sinned, my lads; go, sin no more!” Then he set them free,
    And who shall say that Jesus was not Juror No. 3?


    Not a day goes by, but I read somewhere
        In this wonderful world of ours,
    That some lowly being has raised his soul
        And become as the Norman towers.
    From out of the sweat and the slavish grind,
        From the depths where but hope is known,
    There has risen a star, serene and pure,
        That reacheth the Heavenly throne.

    And no one knoweth his neighbor’s lot,
        Or divineth the Father’s will,
    For he who sits in the gloom tonight
        May tomorrow walk on the hill;
    For swift as the flash of a falcon’s wing,
        In the gloaming homeward flight,
    Comes the change that lifteth the downcast up,
        And the darkness turns to light.


    I only know you by the crease
    And dents across your dainty shoe.
    And yet there’s something in that crease--

    A fairy phantom of the mind,
    Above thy shoe a form I see,
    Another worships at thy shrine--


    Beside the sea, beside the sea,
    I seemed to hear my mother’s voice.
    She had been sleeping twenty years,
    And yet her voice came back to me,
    Beside the sea, beside the sea.


    There’s a bitterness and sorrow in the Winter’s leaden air,
    A chilling sort of something that’s akin to human care,
    A tender gray of sadness, like a voice of bygone gladness,
    In the ashen sombre atmosphere that lingers everywhere.

    There are tear-drops on the eyelid, in the Winter’s leaden air,
    A sympathetic chord is touched that finds expression there;
    Reality seems clearer, and the end of all seems nearer,
    In the sober, flinty ether, supernaturally bare.


    Kisses sweet behind the door--
    She was three and I was four;
    Kisses still are sweet to me,
    Though she now is fifty-three.

    Kisses sweet behind the door--
    I was three and he was four;
    Kisses still are sweet to me,
    Though he is more than fifty-three.


    From out the caverns of mysterious thought
        Appeared a form who said, “I’m Memory.”
    “Go back!” cried I, “I care not for the past,
        Send me the form who knows what’s yet to be.”

    A shadow rose and said, “You call, I’m here;
        Thy future leads thee to the Stygian shore,
    And none shall weep for thee a single tear.”
        “Avaunt!” I cried, “I will not hear thee more.”


    I see thee, dear “Old Penn,” in silhouette,
    Far back along the road on which I came;
    And memories, fragrant as the violet,
    Are interwoven with thine honored name.

    I’ve thrilled at “Harvard” and at good old “Yale,”
    Proud have I been to meet their doughty men,
    But in the world there’s just one nightingale--
    My Alma Mater, my own honored “Penn.”


    Here pause and gaze, ye travelers young and old,
    On this dull marble hewn in sacred mould,
    Mark that inscription on the graven stone,
    Within sleeps he, who stood ’mongst men alone.

    Within sleeps he who at Marengo fought,
    Whose skill and courage set his foes at naught;
    Who led his men beneath th’ Egyptian Sun,
    Scarce fought a battle, but the day he won.

    Who, living, loved the cannon’s deadly roar,
    And made his trumpets heard on every shore;
    Who, with his eagle banner, never furled,
    His conquering legions over-ran the world.

    Proud Austria humbled lay beneath his feet,
    And Russia’s legions fled in swift retreat;
    He saw the world, ambition swelled his heart,
    He longed for all, nor cared to have a part.

    So lost he all, insatiate from the first,
    When his proud deeds like fire on Europe burst.
    A soldier, statesman, Emperor, _toute chose_ King,
    Before nor since has lived so grand a thing.

    He died in exile from his glorious France,
    On lonely isle, his life a leaden trance;
    The sea around, walled in on every side,
    His proud heart broke, and so the hero died.

    Within this marble rest the mummied bones
    Of him who held in life a dozen thrones;
    Approach with awe and reverential tread,
    Here sleeps the mightiest of the living--dead.


    ’Neath the sorrows that grim want imposes,
    Imperious stalks decay;
    Hunger’s terrors have withered the roses
    That bloomed and then faded away.

    The hearts which with young life once budded,
    The fond hopes which happiness kissed,
    Are dissolved in the tears which have flooded
    The homes of the poor in our midst.


    Oh! joy, for a fancied rest
    Instead of this grind, a toy.
    God seems to know what is best,
    But would I were still a boy.

    Oh! man, and a heartsick smile,
    Has something gone wrong ahead?
    Why! life is scarcely worth while,
    If man can wish himself dead.

    Oh! well, poor fellow, I know
    Some have it better than you.
    But, man! wherever you go,
    The satisfied are the few.

    Go seek ye, and ye shall find
    The light of eternal joy.
    When Faith once enters the mind,
    Again you will be a boy.


    The same voice speaks as the days of eld,
    Since the human race began,
    Enmeshed in the woof and weave of life,
    Designed in the form of man.

    It spoke the dawn of his natal day,
    It is speaking today as then,
    The voice that speaks is the voice of God,
    From out of the mouths of men.


    The fragrance of a cigarette,
    The incense of a morning fair;
    The odor of the mignonette,
    The perfume of a woman’s hair,
    The sunset dancing on the sea,
    White bolles of cirrus in the sky,
    Bring back fond memories to me.
    Ask not! I cannot tell you why.



    She stood by the stile in the twilight dim,
        With a soft look in her eye;
    ’Twas a tryst, she waited alone for him,
    Her lover, a warrior bold and grim,
        ’Neath that beauteous evening sky.

    “Why tarries my lord?” quoth the maiden fair,
        “My love, my love, come to me!”
    In her eyes came a look so sweet and rare,
    As she gazed to the wood, through the scented air,
        Till her eyes could no longer see.

    Still she waited there for her warrior bold,
        “He will come to-night!” said she.
    Then up rode a knight in armor of gold:
    “Your warrior died like a knight of old,
        On the battlefield,” said he.


    Thou hast the wit and charming grace
    To match with speech thy lovely face--
    A maid whom men adore.
    Yet I do prophesy this night,
    Before the dawn of next year’s light
    That thou wilt be no “More.”


    Oh, Gondolier, turn thy boat again,
    That I may see the sunlight on its prow,
    The light that I have tried to paint in vain,
    The light of Heaven--there! ’tis shimmering now.


    Let us go a-maying, love;
    All the world is playing, love,
    This God-sent happy day.
    Let us be together, love,
    Ever and forever, love,
    Forever and for aye.


    I sat beside her in the gloaming light,
    And neither spoke--’twas by Geneva’s lake.
    We sat, and neither spoke, and then came Night.


    Oh, many a time in the silent night
    I sigh for the days gone by,
    When a happy boy with gay delight
    I hailed the cuckoo’s cry.

    And the dear old woods that I loved so well,
    Where the stock-dove built its nest;
    The rippling stream and the hermit’s cell,
    Its green and shady crest.

    The stately home ’neath the elms so tall,
    The lawn with its cool bright turf;
    The old peach tree by the garden wall,
    Each has its own sweet worth.

    For my head is bent with the weight of years,
    As white as the falling snow;
    My stream of life through this vale of tears
    Will soon have ceased to flow.


    The pewter pots were shining on the shelves behind the bar,
    Like the gold and silver lining of a sunset cloud afar,
    And the pine log fire burned brightly with its blaze of light and
    Athwart the untrodden sawdust floor that looked so clean and neat.

    A cheerful, ruddy glamor lighted up the tavern walls,
    And, shooting through the open door, lit up the silent halls,
    To where the old clock’s pendulum swung slowly to and fro,
    With measured beat, that seemed to speak of the days of long ago.

    Sick unto death--in the room above--lay the host of the Jolly Swan.
    And far and near, his kinsmen had, to seek the doctors, gone,
    For the jovial face and the merry laugh of the host of yesterday
    Had all departed, leaving naught but the mould of the living clay.

    Alone in his chamber he watched the sun slope down to his Western
    And a gentle smile stole o’er his face, as the old clock chimed the
    His thoughts were of the days gone by--as the host of the Jolly
    He had raised his tankard high and drank to the health of the old
      friends gone.

    There was good old Squire Thornleigh, with his great big raw-boned
    And the biggest hearted fellow that e’er waved the “Hark! Away!”
    There was Jones, the hunting parson, with his jovial, ringing
    Who could preach a right good sermon and an honest bumper quaff.

    Then there was Billy Foster, who was only twenty-two,
    When he broke his neck in the hunting field through the casting of
      a shoe.
    And portly old Judge Horner, who in the room below,
    Had smoked and drank full many a night in the days of long ago.

    And as he thought, the window ope’d, and in slipped Huntsman Death,
    Arrayed in scarlet, white-topped boots, with a fine rich malty
    “Ah! good old friend,” the huntsman cried, “since you have called
      me here,
    Get down the pewter pots that we may drink a funeral bier--

    For I have ridden hard today to reach the Swan this night,
    And what I ask is nothing more than what is only right.”
    With that, the host got out of bed and brought two pewters brimmed,
    And while below he saw that all the tavern lights were trimmed.

    His kinsman, riding up the road, with doctors from afar,
    Reined up to watch the lights that burned so brightly in the bar;
    While the jolly host with Death alone sat in the room above,
    And drank the foaming liquor down, his first and only love.

    Just then the sound of horses’ hoofs the sick man heard without,
    And he and Death, in one glad breath, sent up a hunting shout--
    “It’s bold Squire Thornleigh’s raw-boned gray, or Parson Jones’s
    I’m coming, Squire, Yoick’s tally-ho!” Death shouted, “Hark! Away!”

    Yoick’s tally-ho fills loud the room as he springs up from bed,
    And the bugle horn sounds merrily in the chamber of the dead;
    Gay prancing steeds and huntsmen bold ride blithely by his side,
    “Yoicks! tally-ho!” rang from his lips, and back he fell and died.

    His kinsmen heard that hunting shout, that old familiar cry,
    And in they rushed--too late--too late--to see the good man die.
    Two empty tankards on the floor was all that they could see,
    And how the host of the Jolly Swan died--is still a mystery.


    Oh! Tamaca, oh! Tamaca,
    I see thy face,
    I see thy face.
    The sea is rolling on the bar,
    Low hang the clouds, afar, afar,
    Thy skiff bounds swiftly in the race,
    Tis death that leads thee, Tamaca.


    Under the lindens we wandered,
    Gaily my love and I;
    Light through the shimmering leaflets
    Fell like a kiss from the sky.
    On to her soft, golden tresses,
    Into her eyes divine,
    Smothered her form with caresses,
    Blended her shadow with mine.

    Under the lindens we wandered;
    Fifty years had gone by;
    Light through the cold, naked branches
    Fell like a pall from the sky.
    Old and forsaken, our children
    Had left us to starve and to die;
    But we lived in the past one sweet moment
    ’Neath the lindens, my love and I.


    Mine to-night,
    For tomorrow’s light
    Our dream will end, and waking bring dull pain.
    Oh! the happy past,
    Far too sweet to last,
    For ’tis decreed we shall not meet again.

    In thy dear eyes
    My heaven lies,
    And yet forever I must say good-bye;
    With your lips to mine,
    And my heart to thine,
    With this last embrace would God I could die.


    Oh! breathe again thine answer to the stars.
    The woodbine turns to listen to thy voice;
    The subtle beauty of such love as ours
    Makes every living thing rejoice.
    Blending sweet heaven with our earthly love,
    Locked in each other’s arms, our prayers to God
    Rise from our souls unto his throne above
    In gratitude, sweet gratitude to Him.

    Oh! breathe again thine answer to the stars.
    The nightingale doth listen in the grove
    To music sweeter than the breath of flowers,
    Unto the melody of love.
    Holy as triumphs of an angel hand,
    Strained heart to heart, for love is God’s command,
    Mute in the fulness of our joy, we stand
    In gratitude, sweet gratitude to Him.


    We were alone--my wife and I--
    God from above looked down on us,
    Never a word did either speak,
    Dry lay the salt from the tears on her cheek,
        Joy was afar from us.

    Silence held sway, the sin was mine,
    Pride was my sin--alas! for me,
    Pride that strangled the man within,
    That silenced the truth and increased my sin,
        She had done naught to me.

    Someone’s speaking. Who dares intrude?
    Reckless being, away from here.
    “Reckless”--that little form in white?
    Clinging to her, crying “Mother, good night!”
        Low hung my head in shame.

    “Mother,” I cried, “can you forgive?”
    With faltering step I went to her,
    And never a word did mother speak,
    But the salt grew wet on her glowing cheek,
        And joy came back to us.


    May I take your hand in mine,
        Little Miss?
    For this fairy-like retreat
    In the country fresh and sweet,
    Is what I’ve longed to meet,
        Little Miss.

    Yes, I came here from the town,
        Little Miss;
    Without an aim in view,
    I have roved the country through,
    And by chance I’ve met with you,
        Little Miss.

    You were born upon the farm,
        Little Miss?
    Why, how happy you must be
    In the country pure and free!
    I am filled with ecstasy,
        Little Miss.

    Do I like the city belles,
        Little Miss?
    Well! some I do, and yet,
    Why you needn’t pout and fret,
    For I am still to let,
        Little Miss.

    I am longing for a kiss,
        Little Miss.
    Yes, I’m asking with my eyes
    In a tongue that never lies,
    And in words I can’t disguise,
        Little Miss.

    Oh! is what I say quite true,
        Little Miss?
    Ah! Why should Phyllis doubt
    With that pretty little pout?
    I know what I’m about,
        Little Miss.

    Now what age am I, you ask,
        Little Miss?
    Well, I’ve just turned twenty-two,
    And I’d like to marry you.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Now, I’m married. Ah! Who to?
        That little Miss.


    Though strong emotion sweeps the heart,
        Though anguish wings the brow,
    Hold back the words whose cruel smart
        Hurts no one worse than thou

    Pause, pause until the morrow brings
        Reflection, thoughts more kind,
    Then from calm reason’s crystal springs
        Distill from out thy mind.

    A wound received from warrior’s sword
        May heal within a day,
    But the wound of some light, thoughtless word
        May be a wound for aye.


    (From “Lionardo, the Gondolier.”)

    Goodnight, my love, a fond goodnight,
    The moon shines down on thee.
    But soon that cloud shall hide its light,
    And thy dear face from me,
    And thy dear face from me.

    Goodnight again, my beauteous flower,
    Farewell, my gentle dove;
    The night speeds on, ’tis now the hour
    When we must part, my love--
    When we must part, my love.

    Sleep, softly sleep, luxurious rest,
    Sweet dreams, dear love, be thine.
    May each unconscious thought be blest
    With love, sweet love of mine--
    Goodnight, sweet love of mine.


    Avaunt! ye tears, ’tis not the soul
    That crumbles ’neath the grassy sod.
    Now dost thou learn how vain to weep,
    When death means, “God”?


    Tasmania, a large, beautiful island to the southeast of
    Australia, when discovered by Van Dieman, was peopled with a
    magnificent race of savages, resembling somewhat the American
    Indian. Civilization, with its attendant advantages and evils,
    proved too much for the primitive child of the forest. The last
    Tasmanian, a woman, died in 1885, and the once splendid race is
    now extinct.


    Alone she sits, nor marks the dying day.
    Alone on earth, she bows her weary head,
    And dusky spirits bear her soul away;
    A race extinct. The last Tasmanian dead.


    Where are thy dark sons, Tasmania, Tasmania?
    Where are the lords who once swayed o’er thy shore?
    Gone to their fathers; Oh! weep ye, Tasmania,
    Weep for the race thou shalt see never more.

    Weep for the race on thy fair bosom nourished,
    Tutored by nature, untrammeled, so free;
    Kings of thy green hills and valleys they flourished,
    Kings who now sleep in their graves by the sea.

    Proud were the race who knew not their beginning,
    To whom the long past was as sealed as their fate,
    Who counted their seasons when insects were winging,
    The time by the shadows, the suns for their date.

    Skilled were thy dark sons, Tasmania! Tasmania!
    Virtuous, gentle and peaceful their ways;
    Till civilization o’ertook thee, Tasmania,
    And civilized habits renumbered their days.

    Set is the sun of thy people, Oh, country!
    Strangers now trample unawed o’er they race;
    Forgotten, the dusky-hued sons that a century
    Past were the monarchs of all thy sweet place.

    Soft may they sleep by thy shores, Oh! Tasmania,
    Where sea-dirges swell for the child of the past;
    Sleep as thy guardian spirits, Tasmania,
    Hovering round thy dear land to the last.


    Tall elms on either side with stately heads,
    With here and there an oak of ancient days,
    Sweet briar hedges flanked with clover beds,
    In which the feathered songster trills his lays.


    Lord, my poor heart, with sadness now is breaking,
    Longing for light, that I may find belief,
    Aching for rest from these tumultuous doubtings,
    Seeking to find the path that leads to peace.
    But Oh! dear Lord, my soul refuses comfort;
    Vainly I strive for the goal beyond this sad, sweet world.
    Rest for eternity.
    Grant then, Oh! Lord, the enlightenment of sorrow,
    That gentle faith which comes through grief alone;
    Ripened in hours of darkest tribulation,
    When my poor soul stood face to face with Thee.


    On her beautiful puoka (head)
    Hung her raven-black rauoko (hair)
    While love filled her mokoikoi (heart)
    Her alabaster kiri (skin)
    Gleamed on her kapu hivi (shoulder).
    And her petticoats came down to her kuri (knee).

    Sweet was her aerero (tongue);
    White were her even niho (teeth),
    And graceful her kakari munava (waist);
    Voluptuous her ngutu (lips)
    And shapely were her heru (legs).
    Well developed were her kiko ua-ua (muscles).

    Oh, this maid of Rapa Nin (island)
    Bore a rima tuhi hana (ring).
    Beloved was she by a tangala (man),
    Who in his little vaka (boat)
    Caught a wedding gift of ika (fish)
    And breathed his tale of love in her ringa (ear).


    Here lies a body whose majestic grace
        Drew from his fellow-man unstinted praise;
    Who lured emotion from her hiding place,
        And thrilled the world with deeds of other days.
    He that possessed, which unto Art is dear,
        A grand conception of unvarnished truth;
    He oft provoked a smile, more oft a tear,
        Sublime and beauteous in his manly youth.

    Full in the zenith of his great renown,
        God gave to him his final part to play;
    While Death untimely rung the curtain down
        On that great scene where man doth pass away.
    The rustling leaves soft whisper o’er his head,
        And robins fill the air with sweetest sound;
    Within the theatre of the mighty dead
        The actor sleeps beneath the sacred ground.


    There are sounds of martial music,
    But the laugh is hushed within,
    As the soldier boys march bravely down the street;
    A little child is weeping,
    As she listens to the din,
    Of kettle-drum and tramp of many feet.

    “Oh! my papa! Oh! my papa!”
    Wailed the tiny little mite.
    “You have gone and left poor mamma all alone;
    Come back, my darling papa,
    Oh! do come home tonight,
    And see how good your little girl has grown.

    “I won’t be naughty, papa,
    And I won’t make any noise,
    When papa’s head is aching him so bad;
    I will walk about so quietly
    And put away my toys,
    Your little girl won’t make her father sad.”

    But the tiny voice fell empty,
    On the shadows in the room,
    And the music in the distance fainter grew;
    This is but a single instance
    Of the scenes within the gloom,
    Which the loved ones left behind are passing through.


    With eyes upcast to the glistening stars,
    Full of a strange mysterious awe,
    I watch the lights on the heavenly bar,
    And think of the ships that are sailing in,
    Cargoless, empty, their voyage in vain.


    Born on some distant mountain top,
        A happy wanderer from its birth,
    From stone to stone with merry laugh
        It dances o’er its mother earth.

    Then with some gathering streamlet meets,
        With bubbling laughter on they fling
    Their glittering sprays through sweet retreats,
        And cool abodes of sylvan king.

    The mighty river next appears,
        And to its arms the youngsters race,
    Then separate with baby tears,
        While current marshalls each in place.

    And last the ocean heaves in view,
        Then dies for aye the streamlet’s span;
    Death is the ocean, all life through,
        Whose outstretched arms wait every man.


    Dry thine eyes, love; cease thy weeping,
    For thy boy will soon be sleeping
    Safe within the angels’ keeping--
    Dry thine eyes.

    Hold my hand; the tide is flowing,
    Down the stream my boat is going,
    On the banks the kine are lowing,
    In the skies.

    See, my love, the shadows creeping,
    Round my bed while I am sleeping,
    List! I hear a sound of weeping!
    Now it dies.

    Raise me up, the day is breaking;
    Streaks of gray proclaim its waking;
    Sleep my weary eyes forsaking,
    In the light.

    Raise me up that I may, nearer,
    Watch the shades becoming clearer;
    Ebbing life seems growing dearer.
    But my sight

    Fails again; the sombre fretting
    Changes now to golden netting.
    See! the blood-red sun is setting!
    Love, good-night.

    Unto God my soul is winging;
    I can hear the angels singing;
    Joy bells overhead are ringing!
    Dry thine eyes.


    When aloft two young hearts are soaring
        To those realms of pleasure and pain,
    The law and the prophets ignoring,
        There’s a something recalls them again.

    And the truths that we see in reflection,
        Sad but sweetly encircle the soul,
    For honor’s more kind than affection
        That creates, then destroys the loved goal.


    (From “Lionardo, the Gondolier.”)

    Orb of some mighty potent power
    In thine exalted sphere,
    Thy soft light maketh sweet the hour
    Within the fairy woodland bower,
    To maidenhood, so dear.

    Empress of Night, thy beauteous spell
    Superb and matchless given,
    Thy light the lover loves so well,
    The gentle tale of old to tell
    While earth becomes, his Heaven.

    Luna, thou goddess of the night,
    Chaste harbinger of love,
    I feel in thy sweet fairy light
    My heart again grow glad and bright,
    When thou dost ride above.


    Awake, fond heart, to life again,
        For why should sorrow ever
    Enshroud the past with endless pain,
    Cause bitter tears to flow in vain
        For those passed o’er the river?

    The dead are gone--they ne’er return,
        Life’s troubles here are ended;
    And though to see them back we yearn,
    Christ’s teachings lead us to discern
        ’Tis not what God intended.

    Who can the curtain thrust aside,
        Or gaze through Death’s dark portals?
    Short space on earth doth each abide,
    Then comes his call to swell the tide,
        Whose waves are dying mortals.

    We all must die, mayhap this night
        Our souls are drifting thither,
    Where those dear loved ones lost to sight
    Await us there in glory bright,
        Across the shining river.


    Dead in his chair. The sun’s expiring rays
    With crimson glow lights up the rigid face,
    And in the unclosed eyes that look afar
    A blood-red sunbeam finds a resting place.

    Dead! with the pen still clutched in pulseless hand,
    “Dear wife,” sole words before his sightless gaze.
    One nerveless arm hangs strangely by the chair,
    While at his frozen feet a kitten plays.

    Dead! Can it be, with children’s shouts without?
    So still he sits. How painful is the light,
    And deeper glows the crimson on his face,
    The sun has set, Goodnight.


    The funeral march, it suiteth not my mood,
    Its Stygian tones are those on which men brood.
    Beyond its solemn measure lies the tomb,
    And shades dissolving in eternal gloom.

    Nay! rather let me hear some lively air,
    Whose Springtime notes suggest a morning fair,
    Filled with the pulsing joys that life can give,
    On this old earth, for oh! ’tis sweet to live.


    The corn may spring, the corn may spring,
    And thou beside the river walk;
    Yet sad must be the song you sing,
    A withered flower on the stalk.
        The elms overhead are sighing,
        The solemn rooks around are flying,
            Caw, Caw! Caw, Caw!

    And once ’twas here we walked alone,
    In that sweet hush of eventide,
    Before thy heart had turned to stone,
    Before thy love for me had died.
        The elms overhead are sighing,
        The solemn rooks around are flying,
            Caw, Caw! Caw, Caw!

    Beyond the fence in peace I sleep,
    And soughing breezes kiss my grave.
    I hear my name, and thou dost weep,
    For I was fair and thou wert brave.
        The elms overhead are sighing,
        The solemn rooks around are flying,
            Caw, Caw! Caw, Caw!

    I hear thee coming through the gate,
    I feel thee kneeling at my head.
    I hear thy cry, “Too late! Too late!”
    I love her now and she is dead.
        The elms overhead are sighing,
        The solemn rooks around are flying,
            Caw, Caw! Caw, Caw!


    (From “Lionardo, the Gondolier.”)

    I’ll sing you a song about great Attila,
    A mighty man was he.
    He was King of the Huns, had seventy sons,
    And daughters one hundred and three, three, three,
    And daughters 1, 0, 3.

    All nations vowed him a very fine fellow,
    With them he couldn’t agree;
    One Autumn so mellow, he conquered Torcello
    A. D. four hundred and forty-three,
    Anno Domini 4, 4, 3.

    So he left a son to watch over the place,
    Though round it flowed the sea,
    And all over the place sprang the Kingly race
    Of Torcellani--that’s me, me, me,
    Anno Domini 4, 4, 3.


    Midst pastoral lands and purling recluse streams
    There dwells the maiden queen of recreant dreams,
    Gentian by name, a maid most wondrous fair,
    With eyes like astral and her glorious hair,
    Tangled with moonbeams, disputes the right
    Of other garb to veil the beauteous sight.
    Her skin, as white as Ida’s Cretean snow,
    Outlines a form of soft voluptuous flow
    Of grace majestic, contours fair to see,
    Exquisite in their matchless symmetry;
    While, crowning all, a sweet and noble grace
    Marks every movement and o’erspreads her face.
    And having this described this noctal flower,
    The Muse will now define sweet Gentian’s power.
    From out her bower of amaranthine hue
    She peers with eyes of soft, exquisite blue,
    And breathing gently, like a zephyr’s kiss,
    Enjoys alone the core of perfect bliss.
    Queen of a land, to every mortal given
    A glimpse, at least, of what perchance is heaven;
    Queen of a land of terror, shame and crime,
    From life to death, and all that marketh time.
    Queen of a land more wondrous than our own
    Sweet Gentian reigns, and sways the realm alone.
    Mistress of nations, every soul on earth
    Becomes her vassal at the hour of birth.
    Kings are her subjects, as the peasant boy,
    And brilliant minds with her a fancy toy.
    Once steeped in sleep, all minds become as one,
    For Gentian’s spell o’er man has then begun.
    No longer cares of base terrestrial clay
    Torment the soul with visions of the day.
    Earth is no more, the river crossed is deep,
    Man dies each time his head is bowed in sleep,
    And Gentian paints the sphere to suit her mind
    Capricious as the sex of womankind.
    Now steeped in bliss she leads the love-sick swain
    And gives the kiss for which he sighed in vain.
    The maid who but that morn his glances fled
    Caresses lovingly his restless head.
    The hapless poet who is lost to fame
    Hears in his sleep his own illustrious name,
    And, laurel crowned, looks back with scornful eye
    Into a past of mean obscurity.
    The ship-wrecked boy on some far distant shore
    In happy dreamland sees his home once more,
    His mother’s face aglow with pride and joy
    As to her breast she clasps her sailor boy,
    And summer seas beat on the golden sand
    That forms the shore of Gentian’s wonderland.
    The ruined merchant’s heart again grows light,
    As fortune smiles on him at dead of night,
    And sheriff’s sales and judgment notes confessed
    No longer break the weary toiler’s rest.
    Proudly he says, “My word is now my bond,”
    And coins the yellow dross with Gentian’s wand.
    The holy man, by church ordained a priest,
    In dreams partaketh of the merry feast,
    And sparkling glances when the hour is late
    Make roguish havoc with the celibate.
    “Avaunt!” he cries, “such joys are not for me.”
    And wakes in prayer upon his bended knee.
    The scientist retires with addled brain
    To dream his fretful genius o’er again,
    When from Cimmerian darkness breaks a light
    The Atlantic bridged bursts on his ’stonished sight.
    And then his mind is turned to stranger things,
    As up he soars on his invented wings.
    Begrimed with coal, the miner goes to rest
    And sharp-drawn breaths inflate his manly chest.
    Sudden, the clothes are rudely thrust aside,
    His eyes with terror now stand open wide;
    The roof is falling, God! the whole mine shakes!
    A loud explosion, ’tis a dream, he wakes.
    A little elf, a girl, a tiny tot,
    With waxen face, indents the baby cot,
    And visions fair regale her infant sight
    Of cakes and candy through the silent night.
    Sleep, little angel, Gentian marks thy worth,
    A sleeping child, the sweetest thing on earth.
    ’Midst dirt and filth, at night the city gloom
    Steals weird and sickly to a garret room,
    Where, breathing hard upon a mattress bare,
    A girlish form is outlined sleeping there.
    One of the lost, polluted, base, defiled,
    Yet once she slept, a little angel child.
    And now she moves, sweet Gentian enters in,
    And she is pure again and free from sin.
    The dry, parched lips with innocence now speak,
    And balmy breezes fan the fevered cheek.
    The little white-washed cottage standeth near
    And mother’s voice sounds sweetly on her ear,
    While from the fields the scent of new mown hay
    Comes strong and lusty at the close of day.
    Her little sisters and her brothers wait
    For her to join them at the garden gate,
    And in her sleep her laugh is undefiled,
    For she is once again a little child.
    The anxious farmer sees his fallow land
    Yield heavy crops beneath the reaper’s hand,
    And barren orchards bend beneath the weight
    Of golden fruit, ’twas joy to cultivate.
    No landlord’s agent doth his peace invade.
    He dreams of ownership, and taxes paid.
    The country parson turns and twists in bed,
    As mighty thoughts run rampant through his head.
    He mounts the village pulpit wreathed in smiles,
    And proudly gazes down the crowded aisles.
    Forgot is life, with its unvarnished views
    And vault-like echoes from the empty pews,
    The church is filled, his lips now move in prayer,
    And touched is every heart that’s gathered there.
    Not satisfied, his sermon follows next,
    And from a flower he takes his simple text.
    Now thrills his audience with his eloquence,
    And marvels greatly at his common sense;
    And as he speaks with love of our dear Lord,
    He sees ahead his well-earned, just reward.
    A scholar, preacher, helper of the sick,
    He gets at last a lawn-sleeved bishopric,
    But soon as he the pastoral crosier takes,
    The country parson to himself awakes.
    The hapless monarch on his bed of down
    No longer sinks beneath the jeweled crown;
    His mind expands with liberty of thought,
    And heart proclaims his king-ship dearly bought.
    In sleep alone, his deep-drawn sighs confess
    His heart’s desire, domestic happiness.
    “Domestic happiness,” sweet Gentian sings,
    “Belongs to laborers, and not to kings.”
    And so she bids us with a graceful ease
    Assume a virtue of some dread disease,
    Which pleases best the tricky fairy’s mind,
    Who hurts so much and yet can be so kind.
    Well do we know how perfect is her will
    Who makes us love the rival we would kill,
    Or vice versa, which more awful seems
    She makes us kill our rival in our dreams.
    Ah! gentle Gentian, what a power is thine,
    To be so cruel and yet so divine.


    There is a grandeur in the man,
        Who views with calm that endless sleep;
    Who looks beyond the taking off,
        Conceives the goal beyond the deep.


    Life is a sarcasm rare,
        It stands in a class of its own,
    While love thrills the heart of the fair
        Decay is at work on the bone.

    That instant the clasp is undone
        The mantle of life slips away,
    And beauty men worshipped of yore
        Becomes but inanimate clay.

    There’s reason in all things save death,
        And no one knows why that should be;
    What is there mysterious in breath,
        That it should so suddenly flee?

    Nay, ask not the bent, aged form,
        The cripple, the starving, the weak,
    But he whose life-blood courses warm,
        With health in his eye, on his cheek.

    Go ask him what thinks he of death,
        He will laugh in his heart for reply,
    With sarcasm bating his breath,
        He will tell you he’s ready to die.


    “Your soul! your soul!” the preachers cry.
    “What is a soul?” is man’s reply.
    “To know his soul, must man not die?”

    “What is a soul?” I’m glad you ask.
    The soul is life, the form, the mask.
    The answer was not such a task.

    The soul is in the ambient air,
    Down in the earth, in landscape fair.
    ’Tis in the sea, ’tis everywhere.

    To know his soul man must not die,
    For ’tis the life he liveth by,
    Connecting him with God on high.


    Theme by uncounted thousands written,
    In Sanscrit, Greek, Teutonic, Latin;
    Theme that bewildered all their senses,
    Theme on which vapory thought condenses;
    Stupendous, contradictory, thrilling,
    A most mysterious part fulfilling;
    An endless night that has no morning,
    Though millions tear-dimmed wait its dawning;
    A theme divine, in doubt distressing,
    A curse to some, to more a blessing;
    Where life began--and where it ceases?
    The more we think the light decreases.
    Conflicting doubts half smother reason,
    Which complicates with age and season,
    Until, with aching brain confessing,
    The greatest sage returns to guessing.
    Happy that simple-hearted creature
    Who in the Bible finds a teacher.


    Oh! Death sublime, the end of our tempestuous struggle here,
    Enfolding arms, and breast on which to lay our troubled head,
    Eternal Gates! through which we turn our face from earthly cares,
    And then our God, whose outstretched arms await the ransomed Dead.


    And when the curfew of our life
    Proclaims that even-tide has come,
    And peaceful shadows end the strife,
    The day is done,
    The goal is won.


    Life has been thy courtship, sad thy smile,
        Persistent wooer, always by my side;
    Pray leave me with the things of earth awhile,
        Said I that I e’er loved thee? Then I lied.


    So weak, dear Lord, so tired,
        And Thou so great and strong.
    Wilt Thou not stretch Thine hand to earth,
        To help a soul along?


    “Christ was born today!”
    Hear the joy bells ringing,
    “Christ was born today!”
    Hear the children singing.
    “Christ was born today,
    Christ was born today!”

    “Christ was born today!”
    Hear the love-bells ringing;
    “Christ was born today!”
    Hear the old folks singing.
    “Christ was born today,
    Christ was born today!”

    “Christ was born today!”
    Joy and gladness bringing,
    “Christ was born today!”
    All the world is singing.
    “Christ was born today!”
    Forever and for aye,
    “Christ was born today!”


    I’ve girded on my armor,
        To battle for the Lord;
    Though all the world oppose me,
        I will uphold His Word.
    Though tired, wounded, bleeding,
        My sword still flashes free.
    I stand for Thee, Lord Jesus,
        Wilt Thou, Lord, stand for me?

    His name is on my banner
        In letters writ in gold;
    The glorious name of JESUS
        Let all the world behold,
    And in the mighty combat
        My leader’s face I see.
    I stand for Thee, Lord Jesus,
        Wilt Thou, Lord, stand for me?


    It is the Lord of Heaven tonight
        Who’s speaking unto me,
    And I can see His radiant light
        With great intensity.
    He’s here beside me now,
        He takes my trembling hands.
    Shout out--let all the world shout out,
        My Saviour understands.


    Many there are who would love to see
    Things as they are,
    Things as they are.
    Life is not what we want it to be.
    Not what we want it to be:
    God, give us light,
    God, give us sight,
    God, send us peace ere the coming of night.

    Many there are who desire to do
    That which is right,
    That which is right.
    Vainly we strive with this end in view,
    Strive with this end in view:
    Help us, Great Friend,
    Strength to us send,
    Be our Protector, dear Lord, to the end.


    Through all the bitter cares of life,
        One sadder sight I see;
    My own dear Saviour, on the Cross,
        Who died on Calvary.
    What are my aches to His?
        Then why should I despair?
    The One who gave His life for all
        Will help our Cross to bear.

    Into the valley of my soul,
        Where deep the shadows lie,
    There comes a shout from Calvary:
        “Look upward to the sky!
    Look up, Oh! fainting heart,
        His outstretched arms receive;
    For Christ is coming down to earth,
        Look up, faint heart! Believe!”

    Albuquerque, New Mexico,
    May 14, 1921.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Santa Fe Trail and Other Poems" ***

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