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Title: Songs from the Smoke
Author: Miller, Madeleine Sweeny
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Songs from the Smoke" ***

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[Illustration: THE CITY BEYOND

FROM THE PRIZE PICTURE OF MR. NORMAN S.
WOOLDRIDGE, WITH HIS PERMISSION

Copyright by N. S. Wooldridge]



              Songs
         FROM THE SMOKE

               BY
     MADELEINE SWEENY MILLER
     (VASSAR COLLEGE, A.B.)

         INTRODUCTION BY
  SIMON N. PATTEN, Ph.D., LL.D.

           ILLUSTRATED


   THE METHODIST BOOK CONCERN
    NEW YORK      CINCINNATI



       Copyright, 1914, by
     MADELEINE SWEENY MILLER



     TO THOSE WHO HAVE MADE
    IT POSSIBLE THIS BOOK IS
       LOVINGLY DEDICATED.
            E. B. S.
            G. B. S.
            J. L. M.



CONTENTS


  PART I

  SONGS FOR THE BROTHERS WHO TOIL
                                      PAGE

A Pittsburgh River                      17

Wayside and Highway in Autumn           18

Snuffed Out                             19

An Interrupted Worker's Revelation      21

Rain at the Mill                        22

Your To-Morrow                          24

Hymn of Cooperation                     25

Immigrant Motherhood                    26

The Man of the Air                      27

Out from the Smoke                      28

God of My Brother                       30

The Delivery Boy                        31

Hymn for Humanity                       32

April in Fourth Avenue                  34


  PART II

  SONGS FOR THE EVENING HOUR

The Spirit of Evening                   37

A Beacon Face                           38

The Voice from the Field                39

The Burning of Chambersburg             40

The Wedding at Panama                   42

A Ballad of Eugenics                    43

Immortality                             44

Sonnet to Nemesis, Goddess of Remorse   45

Thoughts of God                         46

Two Monologues                          47

Inland Waves                            49

Soul of the World                       50


  PART III

  SONGS FOR THE SEASONS

Creation Morn                           53

Thanksgiving                            54

On Easter Day                           55

A Christmas Carol                       56

The Message of the Chimes               57

A Winter Lullaby                        58

Rainy Day Fun                           60

Apples in Winter                        61

The Birth of Spring                     62



AUTHOR'S FOREWORD


A Pittsburgh musician whose fame as a composer is widely established
confessed to me recently that he had been for years trying to catch the
spirit of the Steel City with a view of representing it in music, but
up to the present time had failed to grasp anything tangible enough for
expression. This failure on his part, however, and on the part of all
musicians, by no means proves the absence of a very real _genius loci_.
Pittsburgh has a very vivid personality. Mr. John Alexander succeeded in
holding the elusive spirit captive long enough to put her image on canvas
in his remarkable friezes in the Carnegie Library, portraying the ranks
of labor, and now in this volume of verse I offer to the people at large
the songs I have found in the various moods of the smoke. “Songs for the
Brothers Who Toil” have come in moments spent watching the giant stacks
along the river fronts breathe forth their mighty energy; “Songs for the
Evening Hour” were born when the breeze from the hills lifted and shifted
the smoke, bringing lyric reveries of voices from the silent battlefield,
and embers from the burning town; and following the changing tides of
years, “Songs for the Seasons” have come.

The background and inspiration of most of these songs is industrial
Pittsburgh; industrial Pittsburgh, however, is essentially American in the
broadest sense. Some of the lyrics are addressed to the laborer, others
to the dreamer and scholar; some to the mother and child, but all of them
to that noble army made up of those who are everywhere striving to bring
a measure of idealism into what is of necessity sordid and unlovely.

                                                   MADELEINE SWEENY MILLER.



INTRODUCTION

THE TREND OF CURRENT POETRY


Among earnest social workers poetry is gaining a recognition that few
anticipated. The reformer of the past was an orator who preferred the
longer sentences of the pulpit to the concise expression of the poet.
Oratory is in the mouth of the speaker; rimes in the heart of the singer.
The one must be constantly repeated to be effective; the other, living in
its own right, soon gets beyond the control of its maker, and creates a
perpetual harvest wherever it is blown. This revival of poetry has been
encouraged by The Survey, which recently printed a collection of social
hymns. The same tendency is everywhere visible, and means a return to
older modes of emotional expression combined with intense modern feelings.

If this movement in poetic expression did not have a double trend, it
might be left to work out its own salvation; but the contrast between
the two tendencies is too marked not to arrest attention. What is poetry,
after all? Merely a survival, a relic of older modes of thought, something
seeking expression only when deep-seated passions are occasionally
revived; or is it a living, present force, an effective weapon of social
reform? Few people can resist the impulse to write verse. Does this
tendency and the interest it reflects indicate the presence of a concealed
giant who could pull loads, or is it a mere survival of an old habit, like
looking at a new moon over the shoulder to see what the luck is to be?

A question will help to make the issue clear. Is the function of poetry
to create the emotion by which the day's work is done, as well as to
serve as a relaxation for tired reformers when work is ended? Should we
read poetry upon rising to get heart, or only at eventide to relax the
tired mind? Is poetry to be put in the class with golf and solitaire, or
with dynamos and rapid-firing guns? Ornamental art belongs in one class,
functional art in the other. Poets who continue to describe Amazons and
mermaids and bring us “news from nowhere” should write at night to relieve
the monotony of the day, and what they write will have effect only by the
relaxation it makes possible. But truly functional poetry shoots farther
than any gun and cuts deeper than the sharpest knife. It goes ahead of
the reformer and wakes the world to an appreciation of what he is doing.
It works while he sleeps and enters a thousand minds into which his dry
details and monotonous lament could find no entrance. And in this sense is
not effectiveness of thought a beauty as well as its form? As we decide
this question we take sides not only in poetry but in every field where
thought and life are striving for expression.

The dominance of the older view is plain. Millions of dollars are given
to preserve old relics and meaningless pictures, but scarcely a cent for
the artist whose soul throbs with American life. When new buildings are
erected the old conventions are used; no attempt is made to picture the
new. The decorations of the public library of Boston, for example, are
a mass of symbols to be deciphered only by the initiated. The one object
that can be recognized without the aid of a guidebook is a telegraph pole.
In the Congressional Library at Washington the principal figures of the
mural decorations are short-skirted damsels, who flit along the wall, such
as War, Peace, and other creatures of artistic fancy.

When will this epoch end, and art become related to the day's work,
furnishing a motive for further output of energy? Not for a long time,
possibly, in decoration; but there is no reason why its passing should
be delayed in song-making. Here the motive for new expression is strong,
and the avenues for reaching a public so many, that no force can prevent
good poetry from reaching its audience. All virile thought, whether poetic
or not, is at first functional with a meaning and an end. Only when this
thought is expressed and other advances are being made, does its treatment
become a mere avocation for those left behind in the march of events.

Conventional art is too often merely a medley of distorted, unusable
concepts, whose only harmony is that they make a good color scheme.
Poetry formed in the same manner becomes a collection of mere platitudes,
whose main virtue is that they roll in the mouth. In the drama the same
spirit shows all sorts of paths toward degeneration, but few by which
men can rise. Are color schemes, word pictures, frontal architecture,
and pathological plays all there is to art? If so, art is a paradise for
the lame and the lazy. But to find a beauty in what one is doing makes it
a virile function in social movements. True art comes when we are doing
our best; when we are in earnest; when we throw aside hindrances and make
every word, color, view, or line count. Today cathedrals are ugly because
they have no use, and art galleries are dreary because artists think only
of color, legs, and weak-faced Madonnas. The day of metaphor and word
pictures is gone; but the day of song has not passed. The new poet must be
more concise in expression and more social in thought than his long-winded
predecessors. Song is the only means of appealing to the love of musical
harmony that is deep in every breast.

There is no door to the soul so good as poetry. This approach may be used
by the reformer if he will write poetry because he loves and needs it,
and not because his leisure hours are hard to fill. His sentences must not
merely roll along, but must hit some object or arouse some deep emotion.
The end must dominate the form. It is with these feelings that I have
been looking through the smoke, hoping that some one would come in view to
express what I feel. I think of myself as a wordless poet—one who sees as
a poet should, but whose linguistic power is too limited to express what
I feel. I have said to myself many times, “The coming generation will do
naturally, and do well, what we do with bungling hands.” There are signs
that this prayer will be realized, and that the young are taking their
places on the firing-line with quickening zeal and definite goals. Out of
the rising generation must come not only workers, but also singers; for
who can really work if he does not sing? This thought is the basis of the
hope that the verses of this volume will help us feel, as well as help us
work. The smoke has its charm, as well as the clear sky, and if its song
is less articulate, it is more real. The first poem of Mrs. Miller that I
saw made me feel that we had much in common. The present volume more than
convinces me that she has opened up a new path for our emotions, through
which will come new life for all. May she not only find readers, but may
she be the forerunner of poets who see through the smoke into the future
where all our treasures lie.

                                                           SIMON N. PATTEN.

  University of Pennsylvania,
  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
         March, 1914.



[Illustration: THE READING BLACKSMITH

FROM THE STATUE BY DANIEL CHESTER FRENCH,
NORTH SIDE, PITTSBURGH]



PART I

SONGS FOR THE BROTHERS WHO TOIL


A PITTSBURGH RIVER

  Oily and black is my face, I know,
    Fire-bleared and sullen am I;
  Blood-streaks of ore-dust scar me and show
    Where a long barge has gone by.

  Yet I reflect many houses of toil
    Where the world's work is forged through;
  Where flames and muscle bring metal to boil
    While Trade is waiting the brew.

  No sunset sends its long shadows of gold
    Over my dingy old face;
  Only a smoke-streaked glow makes bold,
    Lighting the driftwood space.

  White-coated craft keep aloof from my rush,
    Pleasure craft, modish and trim
  As dainty women who shrink when they brush
    Workmen's coats, rusty and dim.

  Yes, I am homely, oily am I,
    Hideous, sullen, and bleared,
  Yet I have answered my laborer's cry—
    Not yet is _my_ conscience seared.


WAYSIDE AND HIGHWAY IN AUTUMN

  There they stand, the flowering rods,
  Rods of sunshine that are God's,
  Captive sunshine held at bay
  While the autumn wears away,
  Promise of a coming day
  When new flowers shall blow that way.

  There they stand, the blackening stacks,
  Stacks all charred with browns and blacks
  Like a nest of black-scaled snakes,
  From whose jaws which nothing slakes
  Jaggèd tongues of hungry flame
  Leap through darkness none dare name;
  Burning night, devouring dark,
  Hissing, reeling, spewing spark,
  Breathing smokes that writhe and twist,
  Taunting all that dares exist.

  Yet this nest of fiendish flame—
  Brood all-worthy Satan's name—
  Rises up from God's own mills,
  His as much as all the hills,
  Where they stand, the flowering rods,
  Rods of sunshine, held at bay
  While the autumn wears away.


SNUFFED OUT

  One day a Toiler walking home among a crowd of men
  At sunset viewed a wondrous sight, and called the Other Ten:
  “An artist has been here to-day since we went in the mill;
  He's made the housetops all aflame, and every window sill
  Is shining round the burning glass that glows with brands of fire;
  His brush has left a crimson sky and colored every spire;
  The grass is painted brighter green, and every dusty leaf
  That silent hangs upon the tree is sketched in bold relief.”

  “Just hear poor Dan; he's raving mad,” called out the Other Ten.
  “We'll see him home, he's gone, all right, he'll not be back again.”
  And then they laughed full hideously, and mocking, jeered at him,
  Till pale he grew, and scarlet turned, then, as before, was grim:
  The Other Ten, whose dusty coats encased ten dusty souls,
  Had snuffed the kindling flame of light with jeers and coarse cajoles.


  O busy men of mart and mill, O men of shop and street,
  May never you their sin commit when you some brother meet
  Who, having seen a spark from God, tells forth the wondrous sight,
  But finds the soul snatched from his words, and from his spark, the
            light.


AN INTERRUPTED WORKER'S REVELATION

  O God, I thank Thee for the drenching rain
  That beats against my office windowpane
      And breaks my self-content.
  The lightning's virile slash and crackling spark,
  That glorify the clouds though earth be dark,
  Remind me there is something still
  Which can't be ordered by my master will.
      O lightnings uncontrollable
      And waters uncommandable,
  I thank thee that thou badst me leave my task
  And taught me how to tear away my mask,
  To see that God, the Master, still presides
  And keeps some secrets yet, whose home He hides.


RAIN AT THE MILL

        Fog filled with dust,
  Rain full of smoke,
  Air bearing vapors that stifle and choke;
        Odors of must
  Drenched with wet steam,
  Puffed from the stacks shooting flames of red gleam;
        Tricklings of rust,
  Leaked through the roof,
  Rotting men's garments the warp from the woof.
  Then a young face freshly touched by the rain,
  Molded in sorrow and sweetened by pain,
  Looks shyly in through the wide-open door,
  Waiting for father, at work down the floor.
  And when he sees her and notes how the boys
  Gaze in delight till their staring annoys,
  Quickly he goes to the child of his heart,
  Hungrily kisses her, bids her depart.
  Then walking back with the basket she's brought,
  Works with the joy that her coming has wrought;
  All is more bright in the mill than before,
  When he remembers that smile at the door.
        What if the dust,
        Odors of must,
  Rise from the flames that shoot out their red gleam?
        What if the smoke,
        Fire-fumes that choke
  All afternoon bring their stifling steam?
  For he is thinking of home through the rain,
  Where a young face at the clear window pane
  Watches at evening, as one long before
  Watched for the father and smiled at the door.


YOUR TO-MORROW

  Who is it walking yonder
    With the lunch pail on his arm?
  It's the future of your country
    And you dare not do him harm.

  There are some who call him brother
    In a philanthropic mood,
  But he looks to many another
    Just a wretch from labor's brood.

  Will you grant consideration
    To this man of dusky brow,
  Who is toiling on probation
    For the rights that you have now?

  Will you grant him honest hire,
    With a day to rest and live?
  He has reaped you your desire,
    Must he cry to you to give?

  You can guide him while he's waiting
    And establishing his heart,
  Teach him courage unabating,
    Teach him God will do his part.

  Yes, just now he's plain Croatian,
    But if you will help him through,
  He will some day guide the nation
    Which depended once on you.


HYMN OF COOPERATION[1]

(TUNE: “BEATITUDO”)

  O God of gifts exceeding rare
    To brothers here below,
  Accept our grateful, anxious prayer
    And make our talents grow;
  O take away the unused gift,
  The power allowed to drift;
  Show us that weak things from above
  Gain strength to heal through love.

  The truths, O Lord, Thou late hast taught
    Have made us clearly see
  That when we serve Thee as we ought,
    Then only are we free.
  Grant that Thy plan of majesty
  May let us work with Thee
  To change the water into wine,
  And grosser things refine.

  O God of gifts exceeding rare,
  Help us for life prepare,
  Till by our striving here below
  We feel our manhood grow;
  Preserve us gentle in our strength,
    And patient with the slow,
  Till we deserve such praise at length
    As only Thou shalt know.

    [1] Copyrighted: “Survey Associates,” 1914.


IMMIGRANT MOTHERHOOD

  Down yonder she sits in the half-open door,
  'Tis plain she has never had time to before;
  Her first little child sleeping there on her breast,
  Poor soul, how she feasts on this banquet of rest!
  But all is so strange to her, people don't care,
  They just pass her by with a questioning stare.

  How youthful and brave is the round-molded face,
  Still fresh with the blood of her farm-dwelling race.
  But O, the keen pain as she sees in her child
  A trait of some kinsman at home in the wild,
  For here all is strange, and these people don't care
  How nearly she's starving for those over there.

  Too soon she must leave the wee son of her youth,
  To toil in the shops with the bold and uncouth;
  To roll fat cigars or to tie willow plumes,
  Or stand the day long by the thundering looms,
  Where no one is strange, and the bosses don't care,
  But all pass her by with a growl or a glare.

  Yet, courage to you, little mother of men,
  Some day the whole land will protect you, and then
  Your pure young blood will freshen our race,
  Renewing our life, setting hope in our face,
  And you'll find it so strange, how all of us care
  Who once passed you by with contempt in our stare.


THE MAN OF THE AIR

  O ruddy-faced worker astride the high crane
  That rides you aloft over city and plain,
  What thoughts are you welding, O Man of the Air?
  Is God in your heart, for His love do you care?
      His name are you singing
      While lithefully swinging
  Astride the steel crane, O brave Man of the Air?

  It matters so little what language you claim,
  For God comprehends every tongue you can name;
  It matters so little what land gave you birth,
  For God's holy presence inhabits the earth.

  O handsome-framed worker, so much of the town
  Sweeps under your gaze as you glance boldly down,
  Yet all you can see from your perilous height
  Shall yield to the claim of your virtuous might
      If God's name you're singing
      While hammer-blows' ringing
  Announce you triumphant, O Man of the Air.

  The magnates of earth waddle under your feet
  With all who must walk in the close city street,
  While you sit enthroned in your laborer's chair,
  Gold-crowned by the sunlight, O King of the Air!


OUT FROM THE SMOKE

    [Written in appreciation of the work of the Fresh Air Homes
    throughout our land.]

  Out from the smoke we have sent them,
    Into the sunshine to play,
  Out of the darkest of alleys
    Into the brightness of day.

  Friends they shall find in the orchard,
    Butterflies, bird-nests, and cows;
  Feasts they shall pluck from the fruit trees,
    Palaces build in their boughs.

  Voices that whined in a cellar,
    Laughing, shall send a clear shout
  When they have caught on the brook-bank
    Splishety splash! their first trout.

  Out of the smoke to protect them,
    Mother has gone with her brood,
  Glad to forget for the moment
    Struggles for stockings and food.

  Back to the smoke they'll be coming,
    Out from the sunshine and play,
  Back to the darkest of alleys,
    Out of the brightness of day.

  But if the winter bring hunger
    And the cold rooms, discontent,
  Courage will come as they vision
    Summer days heavenly spent.

  So from the smoke we must send them,
    Into the sunshine to play,
  Out of the darkest of alleys
    Into the brightness of day.


GOD OF MY BROTHER

  Father of Workmen and Giver of Rest,
    Smile on Thy sons as they build
  Cities and nations who long to be blest,
    Craftsmen enrolled in God's Guild.

  And to my brother who toils with the rest
    Where the shops roar with power,
  Grant hardy courage as strong as his breast,
    Bared to the task of the hour.

  Send him each morning with ardor renewed
    Back to his task begun;
  Show him Thy face in his goals pursued
    And in all work nobly done.


THE DELIVERY BOY

  I've noticed that no one has bothered to write
  The praise of a poor little shivering mite
  Like me in a story or leather-bound book
  To read in the glow of a warm ingle nook;
  No painter sees art in my wind-blistered cheeks,
  Or picturesque poses in me ever seeks;
  I'm nothing unusual, nothing sublime,
  My gentlest endearment is, “Get here on time.”

  I'm never too tired to be sent out at night
  At some one's request for fresh thrills of delight;
  It may be a dress, or it may be a flower—
  Whatever it be, it must come on the hour.

  How seldom the voice at the door tells me “Thanks”!
  How rarely one heart from the great human ranks
  Inquires of my soul, if it be weak or well,
  When maybe I'm verging the borders of hell.
  For no one has thought me a subject for song,
  Or singled me out from the hustling throng;
  I'm nothing pathetic, nothing sublime,
  I'm only worth while when I “get there” on time.


HYMN FOR HUMANITY

  O God, divinely discontent
    With men's unmended ways,
  How great the love Thou gladly spent
    And spendest still, always,
  In calling men until they see
    Thy perfect world-design
  Of Corporate Humanity
    With Christ its Head divine!

  With Christ its Head divine, supreme,
    Connecting every limb
  With tender nerves that tangled seem,
    Yet all return to Him;
  In love directing every part
    And sensing every shock
  That palpitates the common heart
    Till all its chambers rock.

  How can the eye offend the hand,
    Or tongue revile the arm,
  Or foot prefer alone to stand,
    Without some mutual harm?
  God made us partners, man to man,
    And gave us Christ for kin;
  Shall we destroy His perfect plan
    By selfishness and sin?

  O God, make us as discontent
    As Thou art with our ways;
  Help us to spend the love Thou sent
    With Christ, who stays always
  To speak with us until we see
    Thy perfect world-design,
  Of Corporate Humanity
    With Christ, its Head divine.


APRIL IN FOURTH AVENUE

  The shadowing walls of stone-and-granite gloom
  Are damp as with the vapors of a tomb;
    They press me in, my very life to crush
    And trample under men's convulsive rush.
  While out beyond, the laughing gardens bloom
  With flowers woven on the magic loom
    Of velvet lawns, where leafy lilacs brush
    The flirting wings of every dallying thrush.

  And there, O God, not here between these walls,
  May earth receive me when Thy Spirit calls
    My soul to dwell in Spring's eternal Room
    Far out beyond, where laughing gardens bloom
    With flowers woven on the widening loom
    Of endless time that spins no death nor doom.



PART II

SONGS FOR THE EVENING HOUR


THE SPIRIT OF EVENING

  O, the day hurries by
  With a flush in the sky
    Like the blush on a young girl's cheek,
  While her feet touch the tips
  Of the hill, and her lips
    Are moist with a dew that is sweet.

  On the slopes she has kissed
  There cling veils of white mist
    She has loosed from her shoulders in flight.
  And I reach through the haze
  Till my soul reels and sways,
    Asking Evening the secret of Night.

  Then I see the veils shift,
  Setting shadows adrift;
    The Sibyl has cycled her flight.
  And my soul in its gaze
  Through the challenging haze
    Stands baffled and blind in the night.


A BEACON FACE

  To-day a passing throng with anxious pace
  Brought me a glimpse of one sweet, noble face
  Transfigured by the tenderness and grace
  Of seasoned sorrow and a hard-lost race.

  It shamed me that I looked so sullen, sad,
  When I, full richly blessed and amply clad
  Should live in smiles and making others glad,
  And keep within whatever spite I had.
  This face, whose smile was built on grief lived through,
  Both lifted up my own, yet warned me too,
  For as the shining beacon, born of barren rocks
  And reared on reefs that hide their rending shocks
  Would not be there dispensing its warm light
  Were there not dangers lodged in wily night;

  Just so, this passing, patient face
  Could ne'er have touched me at my hurried pace
  But for the courage of its tender grace
  That came with sorrow and a hard-lost race.


THE VOICE FROM THE FIELD

    [Dedicated to the National burying ground at Gettysburg on the
    occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of that Battle.]

  Across the field in silent files they sleep,
  With none to rout their ranks while Death doth keep
  His watch relentless o'er the nameless heap
    Of unknown men beneath the numbered stones.
  More orderly are they than when they marched
  In broken regiments the sun had parched
  And powder torn, across the fields, fire-arched.
    And from their silence now rise up loud tones
  Which speak to all that breathe, a new command,
  Whose voice shall ring through all the peaceful land:
  “Be strong! Keep brave thy heart and clean, thy hand,
    To right with promptness all the wrongs that rise
    To hide the God-head's face from brothers' eyes.
  Rear up in love the Nation's life we bore!
  Be strong, be strong, till wrong shall be no more!”


THE BURNING OF CHAMBERSBURG

[JULY 30, 1864]

      They come, they come,
      The town with fear is dumb!
  Their guns have fired from Federal Hill,
  It seems we hear their voices still
  Demanding gold in tones more bold
  Than all the warnings ever told
  Since Chambersburg these hundred years
  Has triumphed over frontier fears.

      They come, they come,
      With ruin planned for some
  Whose homes, the seat of hearts' desire,
  They pitilessly loot and fire
  Till only desolate ashes mark
  The sight of hearths forever dark,
  And only memories live unmarred
  To haunt the walls the flames have charred.

      They're here, they're here,
      They're snatching all that's dear!
  The glare of flames, the noonday night
  Of smokes that choke our shrieks of fright;
  The screams of birds, the horses' neighs,
  The pets that mourn in countless ways;
  The splash of silver thrown in wells—
  All this of hideous plunder tells.

      They've gone, they've gone,
      Their ranks are speeding on;
  Their vandal work accomplished now,
  They southward flee and care not how
  Our sick, unhoused, have joined our dead,
  And well men vainly seek a bed
  Whereon to lay the frenzied head
  Of some dear one, by fever fed.

      They've gone, they've gone,
      Their years are speeding on.
  Yet, should they come again to-day
  We'd greet them in a fervent way:
  The Chambersburg they left in tears
  Is born anew these fifty years,
  And crowned with triumphs toil has won,
  Stands royal host, with silenced gun.


THE WEDDING AT PANAMA

        Severed forever,
        Yet closer than ever
  Two neighboring continents lie.
        The day when these lands
        Could reach out and touch hands
  Forever is gone and passed by.

        Severed forever,
        Yet closer than ever,
  For what a new union is this!
        They are neighbors made kin
        Since the wedding has been
  Of seas that were wed with a kiss.

  Now both mighty oceans were born of these lands
    That fed them with streams from their breast,
  And wedded, will bring to the old parent-sands
    New wealth from the East and the West.

        So, kindred forever,
        And closer than ever
  Two neighboring continents lie:
        Their children are one,
        A new era begun,
  That's watched with a world-sweeping eye.


A BALLAD OF EUGENICS

    “Our modern monogamous family represents the survival of
    religious, ethical, economic, and legal elements from all the
    intermingling streams which unite to form civilization.”—_Edward
    Devins._

  A mighty stream runs past my house,
    Right through my grounds it flows;
  From unseen springs it comes, and then
    To unseen springs it goes.

  And rich deposits in my fields
    It brings from distant lands,
  The welcome wealth of mingled streams
    That rose from blended sands.

  But oftentimes a drifting wreck
    It carries to my door,
  And I must hold it, I who see,
    To check it evermore;

  Lest some one farther down the stream
    Whose face I cannot see
  Might snag his craft and perish there,
    And dying, censure me.

  Not lightly can I turn its way
    Aside from channels old,
  Yet I can change the shores I own,
    Thus much can be controlled.

  And all that marks my lifetime's goal
    Is that its onward flow
  Down past my house and through my lands
    May ever purer grow.


IMMORTALITY

    [Suggested by the death of a young girl.]

  The white, soft robes that cling
  About her tender form and young
  Have caught earth's last faint breeze
  And flutter in the earliest breath
  Of God's new-dawning day,
  Revealing on the topmost step
  The slender foot that rests
  Upon the threshold she shall cross,
  And baring the young arm
  That mothered infant Hope.
  And in her dreaming eyes so mild,
  That glance a moment down
  To where her loved ones longing dwell,
  There lives no hungering regret;
  For on the doorway latch there rests
  The fragile hand so pale;
  It moves, the door swings softly now,
  The sweet soul enters in,
  While one long ray of light falls through
  And filters down to earth.


SONNET TO NEMESIS, GODDESS OF REMORSE

  O Nemesis, thou goddess born of Night,
    Thou younger sister of stern Death and Sleep,
    Close-couched art thou with those grim Three who keep
  The spun and measured threads of life aright;
  O Nemesis, that shuns each form of light,
    By night o'er all the world thy glance doth sweep
    To seek out crime, its penalty to reap
  When rosy dawn has put the stars to flight.

  Thy fateful voice rings dread from age to age,
    Oft times as baying dog or hooting owl;
  And clear upon thy all-recording page
    Is writ each deed e'er done with purpose foul.
  Not even can thy brother Death assuage
  Thy pangs, Remorse, more dread than Cerberus' growl.


THOUGHTS OF GOD

  Whoever the God that has called me to light,
  Has willed that my soul should have faith in His might:
  God is our fountain-head, God is our source,
  From Him and to Him we follow our course;
  Wavering, some of us, some ever bold,
  All of us coming at last to His fold.


TWO MONOLOGUES

    [Suggested by an article in the Philosophic Review.]

THE NIETZSCHE MAN

  I'm despot here, imperious tyrant too,
  And glory in my master-loneliness.
  What matters it if kindred I have none,
  If none I deign to call my kindly friend?
  My greatest friend is my most virile foe,
  Who gives me widest room my strength to prove.
  All-conquering, master-man,
  Through will to power, through power to life I press.
  I love my neighbor, shield the poor, the weak,
  I tarry on my way to cheer the brute
  Who claims compassion for a wounded paw?
  I want no pity, and no pity give.
  Shall I who thirst for life, and must achieve,
  Have ought to do with death, disease,
  Or racking pain, unless it be
  To mount aloft by trampling on men's graves,
  By trampling over graves to mount aloft,
  Aloft, till I have shaped a world myself,
  Of men who live, but only live to serve?
  I want no pity and no pity give.
  The strong shall help the weak to die—
  True charity is this, to keep the virile stock
  Of master-morals whence I late have sprung
  Free from the softening manner of the weak
  And so, forbearance, love, and sympathy,
  Your unsubstantial spirit and the God
  You name the friend of sinners and the poor,
  I banish with contempt. What peace can they,
  What fullness, strength, purvey to me, a lord
  Of Truth surmounting womanish pity, love?
  For I'm the Last of Men.

HIS RIVAL SPEAKS

  I'm maker and mover of men,
  I've power as much as I will,
  But not through compression
  Nor bold violation
  Of every man's birthright to live.
  Aye, talk all you will of your natural man,
  Of Titans discharging their strength,
  Say even, we're softened, degenerate men,
  Our God and philanthropy, weak.
  And raising the fallen, supporting the frail
  Is folly, and hindrance to progress, you say?
  But stay, Overman, and look deeper, I pray.
  You'll find it's no unworthy task
  To utilize forces now running astray,
  Restore to full strength the degenerate crowd.
  Aye, this is a task not unworthy of you.
  I too aim at power, but not for myself:
  The more men I love, the more I can serve,
  'Tis thus I would measure my strength.
  You move in your separate realm where you're king,
  But I rule a world that is larger than yours,
  A world of God's vigorous sons.
  I'm maker and mover of men if you will,
  And more, I've the love of them all.


INLAND WAVES

  A heaving sea life seems to me,
    Its passions, surging waves.
  Each soul embarks upon that sea
    And each the billows braves.

  Ambition's wave o'ertops the rest,
    But when the storm-clouds form,
  Is first to feel upon its breast
    The fury of the storm.

  Hope's waves at first in ripples flow,
    But as they onward glide,
  To billows swell, then larger grow,
    Advancing side by side.

  Each bark is frail, its strength is small
    To cope with waves so vast,
  Yet one great Guide can pilot all
    And harbor them at last.


SOUL OF THE WORLD

  O Thou great Father and Progenitor,
  Dispensing form to mists ethereal,
  Thou universal Builder and great One,
  Transcending heaven, plain and sea;
  The world-soul animating all,
  And calling latent life to glories new,
  Supreme, yet dwelling in the merest stone,
  Directing all things to the perfect state!
  Teach me to nurture then, within my breast,
  Traces of the world-Creator's self
  Infused to mortal members at my birth.
  Thus shall I rest a part of the great One:
  I cannot die, the world-soul is within
  Which wakes, to sleep in Thee, and wake again.



PART III

SONGS FOR THE SEASONS


CREATION MORN

  An oily tide on a shining beach,
  Then, out as far as the eye can reach,
  The spaceless plain of waiting sea
  And hush of glad expectancy,
  Breathed from the gray, cool, sunless light
  That weds the day with darkest night.
  While out where ocean greets the sky,
  A range of purple cloud-peaks lie,
  That circle round the silent sea
  And hide the glorious mystery
  Of God's great secrets which the day
  May bring to us, or bear away.
  Then palest rose tints up the crest
  Of some peaks more than all the rest,
  And soon a single line of gold
  Comes tracing them in etchings bold,
  Till, lo; the ramparts disappear,
  God's sun of righteousness is here.
  Men's little ships sail out to sea
  And from the depths, call back to me,
  Who find in this day newly born
  A glimpse of earth's creation morn.


THANKSGIVING

  Many mansions, Lord, are Thine
    In the universe, Thy home;
  Glowing planets bear Thy sign,
    Seething yet with primal foam.
  Star-clouds, still a shapeless horde,
    Nascent cells
    And burned-out shells,
  Unborn worlds that wait Thy word
  Hold Thee as their tenant, Lord.

  Yet no fairer home is Thine
    Than the fields of Autumn Earth,
  Where the fruit of tree and vine
    Spread a feast of matchless worth;
  Every field her gift hath sent,
  All the year her labor spent;
  Every man hath shared his gain
  From the wealth of mine and plain.

  Yes, the stars of newer birth
    By their beauty praise Thy name,
  All the heavens joining Earth
    Thy wide bounty to proclaim;
  All Thy mansions, Lord are fair,
  Yet can none with Earth compare,
  For Thy Holy Son dwelt there,
  When He came, man's life to share.


ON EASTER DAY

  My waking eyes
  Behold new skies
    With Easter's dawning glory bright.
  Since Thou didst rise
  New meaning lies
    In morning's young, transforming light.

  For Thou art the dawn of the world, dear Lord,
  Our Christ of the breaking day.
    Death was the night
    And Thou, the first light
  That showed where God's pathway lay;
    Sin was the dark
    And Thou, the first spark
  That rolled the late shadows away.
  Thou art the dawn of the world, dear Lord,
  Our Christ of the coming day.


A CHRISTMAS CAROL

  Come, weary ones, with care oppressed,
    Cease earth-born care and strife.
    Come children, too, rejoice in life,
    The Holy Child is born.

  Disease and sorrow, yea, e'en death,
    Have reigned on earth too long;
    Her rightful monarch praise in song,
    The Child of Bethlehem.

  Behold the night in silence wrapped,
    With perfect peace bespread,
    The star above Christ's infant head
    Which guides the Wise Men there.

  Glad angels guard yon manger-bed;
    Now hearken how they sing
    The praises of their new-born King,
    The Child of Bethlehem.


THE MESSAGE OF THE CHIMES

  “Joy to all, this Christmas morn,
  Christ our Saviour has been born.”
  Peal the chimes in yonder steeple
  Ringing forth to all the people.

  “Joy to all, this Christmas morn!
  None are friendless, none forlorn.
  Those whose hearts by grief were saddened
  By the Saviour's birth are gladdened.

  “Joy to all this Christmas morn!
  Barrier gold and selfish scorn
  Vanish, while in hymns of praise
  Rich and poor their voices raise.

  “Joy to all this Christmas morn!
  Overflowing plenty's horn,
  Wondrous treasures round us fall,
  Gifts from God to great and small.

  “Nature's gift's a cloak of snow,
  Under which to live and grow;
  But to man is given love,
  Love of Christ, from God above.”


A WINTER LULLABY[2]

  Hushaby, lullaby, rockaby, dear,
  Sleep, little one, thou hast nothing to fear;
  Safe in thy crib by the blazing log fire,
  Rocked by a hand that never can tire;
  Under thy coverlets dainty and warm,
  Thou knowest naught of the keen winter's storm.
  Hushaby, lullaby, rockaby, dear,
  Sleep, little one, thou hast nothing to fear.

  Under the skies of night, crystal and cold,
  Studded with all the bright stars it can hold,
  Sleep the wild flowers that fell with the frost,
  Sleep the wild flowers the autumn breeze tossed.
  Leaves and new snow keep them dainty and warm,
  What can they know of the keen winter's storm?

  Some day will Spring with her torch and her rain
  Come to the place where the flowers have lain,
  Melting their covers of glistening snow,
  Bidding her zephyrs through treetops to blow,
  Thus she will wake them and kiss them with dew,
  Calling them forth to life that is new.

  So, baby dear, when to-morrow's fresh light
  Dawns on the world that is shrouded in night,
  Then will the angels who guarded thy sleep,
  Give me their watch o'er my baby to keep.
  Thou with thine eyes of the heaven's own blue,
  Waking, will call me to life that is new.
  Hushaby, lullaby, rockaby, dear,
  Sleep, little one, thou hast nothing to fear.

    [2] Set to music by Professor Silas Pratt, Pittsburgh,
    Pennsylvania.


RAINY DAY FUN

[For Children]

      One day it rained, and we all cried
      Because we couldn't play outside.

      But mother said, “Dears, don't complain,
      We'll still have fun in spite of rain.”

      And so we fixed a big parade
      With really guns, and weren't afraid,

      Because we knew they wouldn't shoot.
      Our Dotty wore her bathing suit,

      While overalls we found for Jack,
      With Daddy's old blue fishing sack.

      Leroy was oldest, so he wore
      A scout suit from the boy next door.

  _Then_—

    “Left, right.” Up and down we marched.
    “Hurray, Hurrah,” till all our throats were parched.
    Storming round our mother's chair,
    Giving her an awful scare,
    “Hurray, hurrah,” up and down we marched.

      And when we captured her at last,
     We kept her there and held her fast

      Until she bought us off with lunch,
      Then how we ran, her hungry bunch!


APPLES IN WINTER

  A heartsome thing it is to look
     At evening in your study
  And find beside your favorite book
     Some apples cool and ruddy,
  Whose russet, yellow, brown, and red
  Are memories of the richness shed
  When lovely Autumn tossed her head
  And from the hilltops lightly fled.

  Their spicy skin, so crisp and tart,
     Recalls a nook where winds have been
  To flavor them with highest art
     By driving dew and sunshine in,
  While foaming juice and luscious meat
     Suggest the fragrance of the rain
  That flavored them with essence sweet
     And ripened them to match the grain.

  A heartsome thing it is to look
     At evening in your study
  And find beside your favorite book
     Some apples cool and ruddy,
  Whose russet, yellow, brown, and red
  Are memories of the richness shed
  When lovely Autumn tossed her head
  And from the hilltops lightly fled.


THE BIRTH OF SPRING

1

  Quick streams of little waters flow
  Beneath the winter's crusty snow,
  And everywhere that you may go
  'Tis Spring, 'tis Spring you know!
  For bubbling till they break the snow
  The little waters singing go:

Chorus

  “Come join the Company of Spring,
  Come robins, wrens, come all and sing.
  We'll make our ice-caves laugh and ring,
  We'll blend our torrent-song of Spring.”

2

  The gardener trims the anxious trees
  And little twigs fly in the breeze;
  “Come float, come float, play you're a boat,”
  The waters call, “Come float.
  The noisy robins' earliest note
  Is bursting from his tiny throat, come float.”

Chorus

  “O, join the Company of Spring,
  All you whose hearts are on the wing.
  Our winter-cares away we'll fling,
  And rhapsodize the living Spring.”


       *       *       *       *       *



Transcriber's note:


Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

Small capital text has been replaced with all capitals.

The captions for both illustrations on this book were found middle page in
the page following the image. Because this couldn't be clearly reproduced
in a TXT file, the captions were move back inside the “[Illustration]”
tag.





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