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Title: Ban and Arriere Ban: A Rally of Fugitive Rhymes
Author: Lang, Andrew
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Transcribed from the 1894 Longmans, Green and Co. edition by David Price,
email ccx074@pglaf.org

                          [Picture: Book cover]

               [Picture: Ban and Arrière ban frontispiece]



                           Ban and Arrière Ban


                        A RALLY OF FUGITIVE RHYMES

                              BY ANDREW LANG

                                * * * * *

                                  LONDON
                          LONGMANS, GREEN & CO.
                    AND NEW YORK: 15 EAST 16TH STREET
                                   1894

                                * * * * *

                         [_All rights reserved_]

                                * * * * *

         Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable, Printers to Her Majesty

                                * * * * *



TO
ELEANOR CHARLOTTE SELLAR


   ‘_Ban and Arrière Ban_!’ _a host_
      _Broken_, _beaten_, _all unled_,
   _They return as doth a ghost_
      _From the dead_.

   _Sad or glad my rallied rhymes_,
      _Sought our dusty papers through_,
   _For the sake of other times_
      _Come to you_.

   _Times and places new we know_,
      _Faces fresh and seasons strange_
   _But the friends of long ago_
      _Do not change_.

MANY of the verses in this collection have appeared in Magazines: ‘How
they held the Bass’ was in ‘Blackwood’s Magazine’; the ‘Ballad of the
Philanthropist’ in ‘Punch’; ‘Calais Sands’ in ‘The Magazine of Art’
(Messrs. Cassell and Co.); and others are recaptured from ‘Longman’s
Magazine,’ ‘Scribner’s,’ ‘The Illustrated London News,’ ‘The English
Illustrated Magazine,’ ‘Wit and Wisdom’ (lines from Omar Khayyam), ‘The
St. James’s Gazette,’ and possibly other serials.  Some pieces are from
commendatory verses for books, as for Mr. Jacobs’s ‘Æsop’; some are from
Mr. Rider Haggard’s ‘World’s Desire,’ and ‘Cleopatra,’ two are from
Kirk’s ‘Secret Commonwealth’ (Nutt, 1893), and ‘Neiges d’Antan,’ are from
the author’s ‘Ballads and Lyrics of Old France,’ now long out of print.



CONTENTS

                                                      PAGE
A Scot to Jeanne d’Arc                                   1
How they held the Bass for King James—1691–1693          4
Three portraits of Prince Charles                       11
From Omar Khayyam                                       14
Æsop                                                    16
Les Roses de Sâdi                                       18
The Haunted Tower                                       19
Boat-song                                               22
Lost Love                                               24
The Promise of Helen                                    26
The Restoration of Romance                              27
Central American Antiquities                            30
On Calais Sands                                         32
Ballade of Yule                                         34
Poscimur                                                36
On his Dead Sea-Mew                                     38
From Meleager                                           39
On the Garland Sent to Rhodocleia                       40
A Galloway Garland                                      41
Celia’s Eyes                                            43
Britannia                                               44
Gallia                                                  45
The Fairy Minister                                      46
To Robert Louis Stevenson                               48
For Mark Twain’s Jubilee                                50
     POEMS WRITTEN UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF WORDSWORTH
Mist                                                    55
Lines                                                   56
Lines                                                   58
Ode to Golf                                             60
Freshman’s Term                                         62
A Toast                                                 64
Death in June                                           66
To Correspondents                                       68
Ballade of Difficult Rhymes                             70
Ballant o’ Ballantrae                                   72
Song by the Sub-Conscious Self                          74
The Haunted Homes of England                            75
The Disappointment                                      77
To the Gentle Reader                                    80
The Sonnet                                              84
The Tournay of the Heroes                               85
Ballad of the Philanthropist                            91
                      NEIGES D’ANTAN
In Ercildoune                                           97
For a Rose’s Sake                                      100
The Brigand’s Grave                                    102
The New-Liveried Year                                  104
More Strong than Death                                 105
Silentia Lunae                                         107
His Lady’s Tomb                                        108
The Poet’s Apology                                     109
Notes                                                  115



ERRATUM


READER, a blot hath escaped the watchfulness of the setter forth: if thou
wilt thou mayst amend it.  The sonnet on the forty-fourth page, against
all right Italianate laws, hath but thirteen lines withal: add another to
thy liking, if thou art a Maker; or, if thou art none, even be content
with what is set before thee.  If it be scant measure, be sure it is
choicely good.



A SCOT TO JEANNE D’ARC


         DARK Lily without blame,
         Not upon us the shame,
   Whose sires were to the Auld Alliance true,
         They, by the Maiden’s side,
         Victorious fought and died,
   One stood by thee that fiery torment through,
      Till the White Dove from thy pure lips had passed,
   And thou wert with thine own St. Catherine at the last.

         Once only didst thou see
         In artist’s imagery,
   Thine own face painted, and that precious thing
         Was in an Archer’s hand
         From the leal Northern land.
   Alas, what price would not thy people bring
      To win that portrait of the ruinous
   Gulf of devouring years that hide the Maid from us!

         Born of a lowly line,
         Noteless as once was thine,
   One of that name I would were kin to me,
         Who, in the Scottish Guard
         Won this for his reward,
   To fight for France, and memory of thee:
      Not upon us, dark Lily without blame,
   Not on the North may fall the shadow of that shame.

         On France and England both
         The shame of broken troth,
   Of coward hate and treason black must be;
         If England slew thee, France
         Sent not one word, one lance,
   One coin to rescue or to ransom thee.
      And still thy Church unto the Maid denies
   The halo and the palms, the Beatific prize.

         But yet thy people calls
         Within the rescued walls
   Of Orleans; and makes its prayer to thee;
         What though the Church have chidden
         These orisons forbidden,
   Yet art thou with this earth’s immortal Three,
      With him in Athens that of hemlock died,
   And with thy Master dear whom the world crucified.



HOW THEY HELD THE BASS FOR KING JAMES—1691–1693


                          Time of Narrating—1743

   YE hae heard Whigs crack o’ the Saints in the Bass, my faith, a
   gruesome tale;
   How the Remnant paid at a tippeny rate, for a quart o’ ha’penny ale!
   But I’ll tell ye anither tale o’ the Bass, that’ll hearten ye up to
   hear,
   Sae I pledge ye to Middleton first in a glass, and a health to the
   Young Chevalier!

   The Bass stands frae North Berwick Law a league or less to sea,
   About its feet the breakers beat, abune the sea-maws flee,
   There’s castle stark and dungeon dark, wherein the godly lay,
   That made their rant for the Covenant through mony a weary day.
   For twal’ years lang the caverns rang wi’ preaching, prayer, and
   psalm,
   Ye’d think the winds were soughing wild, when a’ the winds were calm,
   There wad they preach, each Saint to each, and glower as the soldiers
   pass,
   And Peden wared his malison on a bonny leaguer lass,
   As she stood and daffed, while the warders laughed, and wha sae blithe
   as she,
   But a wind o’ ill worked his warlock will, and flang her out to sea.
   Then wha sae bright as the Saints that night, and an angel came, say
   they,
   And sang in the cell where the Righteous dwell, but he took na a Saint
   away.
   There yet might they be, for nane could flee, and nane daur’d break
   the jail,
   And still the sobbing o’ the sea might mix wi’ their warlock wail,
   But then came in black echty-echt, and bluidy echty-nine,
   Wi’ Cess, and Press, and Presbytery, and a’ the dule sin’ syne,
   The Saints won free wi’ the power o’ the key, and cavaliers maun pine!
   It was Halyburton, Middleton, and Roy and young Dunbar,
   That Livingstone took on Cromdale haughs, in the last fight of the
   war:
   And they were warded in the Bass, till the time they should be slain,
   Where bluidy Mitchell, and Blackader, and Earlston lang had lain;
   Four lads alone, ’gainst a garrison, but Glory crowns their names,
   For they brought it to pass that they took the Bass, and they held it
   for King James!

   It isna by preaching half the night, ye’ll burst a dungeon door,
   It wasna by dint o’ psalmody they broke the hold, they four,
   For lang years three that rock in the sea bade Wullie Wanbeard gae
   swing,
   And England and Scotland fause may be, but the Bass Rock stands for
   the King!

   There’s but ae pass gangs up the Bass, it’s guarded wi’ strong gates
   four,
   And still as the soldiers went to the sea, they steikit them, door by
   door,
   And this did they do when they helped a crew that brought their coals
   on shore.
   Thither all had gone, save three men alone: then Middleton gripped his
   man,
   Halyburton felled the sergeant lad, Dunbar seized the gunner, Swan;
   Roy bound their hands, in hempen bands, and the Cavaliers were free.
   And they trained the guns on the soldier loons that were down wi’ the
   boat by the sea!
   Then Middleton cried frae the high cliff-side, and his voice garr’d
   the auld rocks ring,
   ‘Will ye stand or flee by the land or sea, for I hold the Bass for the
   King?’

   They had nae desire to face the fire; it was mair than men might do,
   So they e’en sailed back in the auld coal-smack, a sorry and
   shame-faced crew,
   And they hirpled doun to Edinburgh toun, wi’ the story of their
   shames,
   How the prisoners bold had broken hold, and kept the Bass for King
   James.

   King James he has sent them guns and men, and the Whigs they guard the
   Bass,
   But they never could catch the Cavaliers, who took toll of ships that
   pass,
   They fared wild and free as the birds o’ the sea, and at night they
   went on the wing,
   And they lifted the kye o’ Whigs far and nigh, and they revelled and
   drank to the King.

   Then Wullie Wanbeard sends his ships to siege the Bass in form,
   And first shall they break the fortress down, and syne the Rock
   they’ll storm.
   After twa days’ fight they fled in the night, and glad eneuch to go,
   With their rigging rent, and their powder spent, and many a man laid
   low.

   So for lang years three did they sweep the sea, but a closer watch was
   set,
   Till nae food had they, but twa ounce a day o’ meal was the maist
   they’d get.
   And men fight but tame on an empty wame, so they sent a flag o’ truce,
   And blithe were the Privy Council then, when the Whigs had heard that
   news.
   Twa Lords they sent wi’ a strang intent to be dour on each Cavalier,
   But wi’ French cakes fine, and his last drap o’ wine, did Middleton
   make them cheer,
   On the muzzles o’ guns he put coats and caps, and he set them aboot
   the wa’s,
   And the Whigs thocht then he had food and men to stand for the
   Rightfu’ Cause.
   So he got a’ he craved, and his men were saved, and nane might say
   them nay,
   Wi’ sword by side, and flag o’ pride, free men might they gang their
   way,
   They might fare to France, they might bide at hame, and the better
   their grace to buy,
   Wullie Wanbeard’s purse maun pay the keep o’ the men that did him
   defy!

   Men never hae gotten sic terms o’ peace since first men went to war,
   As got Halyburton, and Middleton, and Roy, and the young Dunbar.
   Sae I drink to ye here, _To the Young Chevalier_!  I hae said ye an
   auld man’s say,
   And there may hae been mightier deeds of arms, but there never was
   nane sae gay!



THREE PORTRAITS OF PRINCE CHARLES


1731


   BEAUTIFUL face of a child,
      Lighted with laughter and glee,
   Mirthful, and tender, and wild,
      My heart is heavy for thee!



1744


   Beautiful face of a youth,
      As an eagle poised to fly forth,
   To the old land loyal of truth,
      To the hills and the sounds of the North:
   Fair face, daring and proud,
      Lo! the shadow of doom, even now,
   The fate of thy line, like a cloud,
      Rests on the grace of thy brow!



1773


   Cruel and angry face,
      Hateful and heavy with wine,
   Where are the gladness, the grace,
      The beauty, the mirth that were thine?

   Ah, my Prince, it were well,—
      Hadst thou to the gods been dear,—
   To have fallen where Keppoch fell,
      With the war-pipe loud in thine ear!
   To have died with never a stain
      On the fair White Rose of Renown,
   To have fallen, fighting in vain,
      For thy father, thy faith, and thy crown!
   More than thy marble pile,
      With its women weeping for thee,
   Were to dream in thine ancient isle,
      To the endless dirge of the sea!
   But the Fates deemed otherwise,
      Far thou sleepest from home,
   From the tears of the Northern skies,
      In the secular dust of Rome.

                                    * * *

   A city of death and the dead,
      But thither a pilgrim came,
   Wearing on weary head
      The crowns of years and fame:
   Little the Lucrine lake
      Or Tivoli said to him,
   Scarce did the memories wake
      Of the far-off years and dim.
   For he stood by Avernus’ shore,
      But he dreamed of a Northern glen
   And he murmured, over and o’er,
      ‘_For Charlie and his men_:’
   And his feet, to death that went,
      Crept forth to St. Peter’s shrine,
   And the latest Minstrel bent
      O’er the last of the Stuart line.



FROM OMAR KHAYYAM


                     RHYMED FROM THE PROSE VERSION OF
                        MR. JUSTIN HUNTLY M‘CARTHY

   THE Paradise they bid us fast to win
   Hath Wine and Women; is it then a sin
      To live as we shall live in Paradise,
   And make a Heaven of Earth, ere Heaven begin?

   The wise may search the world from end to end,
   From dusty nook to dusty nook, my friend,
      And nothing better find than girls and wine,
   Of all the things they neither make nor mend.

   Nay, listen thou who, walking on Life’s way,
   Hast seen no lovelock of thy love’s grow grey
      Listen, and love thy life, and let the Wheel
   Of Heaven go spinning its own wilful way.

   Man is a flagon, and his soul the wine,
   Man is a lamp, wherein the Soul doth shine,
      Man is a shaken reed, wherein that wind,
   The Soul, doth ever rustle and repine.

   Each morn I say, to-night I will repent,
   Repent! and each night go the way I went—
      The way of Wine; but now that reigns the rose,
   Lord of Repentance, rage not, but relent.

   I wish to drink of wine—so deep, so deep—
   The scent of wine my sepulchre shall steep,
      And they, the revellers by Omar’s tomb,
   Shall breathe it, and in Wine shall fall asleep.

   Before the rent walls of a ruined town
   Lay the King’s skull, whereby a bird flew down
      ‘And where,’ he sang, ‘is all thy clash of arms?
   Where the sonorous trumps of thy renown?’



ÆSOP


   HE sat among the woods, he heard
      The sylvan merriment: he saw
   The pranks of butterfly and bird,
      The humours of the ape, the daw.

   And in the lion or the frog—
      In all the life of moor and fen,
   In ass and peacock, stork and dog,
      He read similitudes of men.

   ‘Of these, from those,’ he cried, ‘we come,
      Our hearts, our brains descend from these.’
   And lo! the Beasts no more were dumb,
      But answered out of brakes and trees:

   ‘Not ours,’ they cried; ‘Degenerate,
      If ours at all,’ they cried again,
   ‘Ye fools, who war with God and Fate,
      Who strive and toil: strange race of men.

   ‘For _we_ are neither bond nor free,
      For _we_ have neither slaves nor kings,
   But near to Nature’s heart are we,
      And conscious of her secret things.

   ‘Content are we to fall asleep,
      And well content to wake no more,
   We do not laugh, we do not weep,
      Nor look behind us and before;

   ‘But were there cause for moan or mirth,
      ’Tis _we_, not you, should sigh or scorn,
   Oh, latest children of the Earth,
      Most childish children Earth has borne.’

                                    * * *

   They spoke, but that misshapen slave
      Told never of the thing he heard,
   And unto men their portraits gave,
      In likenesses of beast and bird!



LES ROSES DE SÂDI


   THIS morning I vowed I would bring thee my Roses,
   They were thrust in the band that my bodice encloses,
   But the breast-knots were broken, the Roses went free.
   The breast-knots were broken; the Roses together
   Floated forth on the wings of the wind and the weather,
   And they drifted afar down the streams of the sea.

   And the sea was as red as when sunset uncloses,
   But my raiment is sweet from the scent of the Roses,
   Thou shalt know, Love, how fragrant a memory can be.



THE HAUNTED TOWER


                 SUGGESTED BY A POEM OF THÉOPHILE GAUTIER

   IN front he saw the donjon tall
      Deep in the woods, and stayed to scan
   The guards that slept along the wall,
      Or dozed upon the bartizan.
   He marked the drowsy flag that hung
      Unwaved by wind, unfrayed by shower,
   He listened to the birds that sung
      _Go forth and win the haunted tower_!
   The tangled brake made way for him,
      The twisted brambles bent aside;
   And lo, he pierced the forest dim,
      And lo, he won the fairy bride!
   For _he_ was young, but ah! we find,
      All we, whose beards are flecked with grey,
   Our fairy castle’s far behind,
      We watch it from the darkling way:
   ’Twas ours, that palace, in our youth,
      We revelled there in happy cheer:
   Who scarce dare visit now in sooth,
      Le Vieux Château de Souvenir!
   For not the boughs of forest green
      Begird that castle far away,
   There is a mist where we have been
      That weeps about it, cold and grey.
   And if we seek to travel back
      ’Tis through a thicket dim and sere,
   With many a grave beside the track,
      And many a haunting form of fear.
   Dead leaves are wet among the moss,
      With weed and thistle overgrown—
   A ruined barge within the fosse,
      A castle built of crumbling stone!
   The drawbridge drops from rusty chains,
      There comes no challenge from the hold;
   No squire, nor dame, nor knight remains,
      Of all who dwelt with us of old.
   And there is silence in the hall
      No sound of songs, no ray of fire;
   But gloom where all was glad, and all
      Is darkened with a vain desire.
   And every picture’s fading fast,
      Of fair Jehanne, or Cydalise.
   Lo, the white shadows hurrying past,
      Below the boughs of dripping trees!

                                    * * *

   Ah rise, and march, and look not back,
      Now the long way has brought us here;
   We may not turn and seek the track
      To the old Château de Souvenir!



BOAT-SONG


   ADRIFT, with starlit skies above,
      With starlit seas below,
   We move with all the suns that move,
      With all the seas that flow:
   For, bond or free, earth, sky, and sea,
      Wheel with one central will,
   And thy heart drifteth on to me,
      And only Time stands still.

   Between two shores of death we drift,
      Behind are things forgot,
   Before, the tide is racing swift
      To shores man knoweth not.
   Above, the sky is far and cold,
      Below, the moaning sea
   Sweeps o’er the loves that were of old,
      But thou, Love, love thou me.

   Ah, lonely are the ocean ways,
      And dangerous the deep,
   And frail the fairy barque that strays
      Above the seas asleep.
   Ah, toil no more with helm or oar,
      We drift, or bond or free,
   On yon far shore the breakers roar,
      But thou, Love, love thou me!



LOST LOVE


   WHO wins his Love shall lose her,
      Who loses her shall gain,
   For still the spirit woos her,
      A soul without a stain;
   And Memory still pursues her
      With longings not in vain!

   He loses her who gains her,
      Who watches day by day
   The dust of time that stains her,
      The griefs that leave her grey,
   The flesh that yet enchains her
      Whose grace hath passed away!

   Oh, happier he who gains not
      The Love some seem to gain:
   The joy that custom stains not
      Shall still with him remain,
   The loveliness that wanes not,
      The Love that ne’er can wane.

   In dreams she grows not older
      The lands of Dream among,
   Though all the world wax colder,
      Though all the songs be sung,
   In dreams doth he behold her
      Still fair and kind and young.



THE PROMISE OF HELEN


   WHOM hast thou longed for most,
      True love of mine?
   Whom hast thou loved and lost?
      Lo, she is thine!

   She that another wed
      Breaks from her vow;
   She that hath long been dead
      Wakes for thee now.

   Dreams haunt the hapless bed,
      Ghosts haunt the night,
   Life crowns her living head,
      Love and Delight.

   Nay, not a dream nor ghost,
      Nay, but Divine,
   She that was loved and lost
      Waits to be thine!



THE RESTORATION OF ROMANCE.


                TO H. R. H., R. L. S., A. C. D., AND S. W.

   KING Romance was wounded deep,
      All his knights were dead and gone,
   All his court was fallen on sleep,
      In a vale of Avalon!
   _Nay_, men said, _he will not come_,
      _Any night or any morn_.
   _Nay_, _his puissant voice is dumb_,
      _Silent his enchanted horn_!

   King Romance was forfeited,
      Banished from his Royal home,
   With a price upon his head,
      Driven with sylvan folk to roam.
   _King Romance is fallen_, _banned_,
      Cried his foemen overbold,
   _Broken is the wizard wand_,
      _All the stories have been told_!

   Then you came from South and North,
      From Tugela, from the Tweed,
   Blazoned his achievements forth,
      King Romance is come indeed!
   All his foes are overthrown,
      All their wares cast out in scorn,
   King Romance hath won his own,
      And the lands where he was born!

   Marsac at adventure rides,
      Felon men meet felon scathe,
   Micah Clarke is taking sides
      For King Monmouth and the Faith;
   For a Cause or for a lass
      Men are willing to be slain,
   And the dungeons of the Bass
      Hold a prisoner again.

   King Romance with wand of gold
      Sways the realms he ruled of yore.
   Hills Dalgetty roamed of old,
      Valleys of enchanted Kôr:
   Waves his sceptre o’er the isles,
      Claims the pirates’ treasuries,
   Through innumerable miles
      Of the siren-haunted seas!

   Elfin folk of coast and cave,
      Laud him in the woven dance,
   All the tribes of wold and wave
      Bow the knee to King Romance!
   Wand’ring voices Chaucer knew
      On the mountain and the main,
   Cry the haunted forest through,
      _King Romance has come again_!



CENTRAL AMERICAN ANTIQUITIES


                        IN SOUTH KENSINGTON MUSEUM

   ‘YOUTH and crabbed age
         Cannot live together;’
                  So they say.

   On this little page
         See you when and whether
                  That they may.

   Age was very old—
         Stones from Chichimec
                  Hardly wrung;

   Youth had hair of gold
         Knotted on her neck—
                  Fair and young!

   Age was carved with odd
         Slaves, and priests that slew them—
                  God and Beast;

   Man and Beast and God—
         There she sat and drew them,
                  King and Priest!

   There she sat and drew
         Many a monstrous head
                  And antique;

   Horrors from Peru,
         _Huacas_ doubly dead,
                  Dead cacique!

   Ere Pizarro came
         These were lords of men
                  Long ago;

   Gods without a name,
         Born or how or when,
                  None may know!

   Now from Yucatan
         These doth Science bear
                  Over seas;

   And methinks a man
         Finds youth doubly fair,
                  Sketching these!



ON CALAIS SANDS


   ON Calais Sands the grey began,
      Then rosy red above the grey,
   The morn with many a scarlet van
      Leap’d, and the world was glad with May!
   The little waves along the bay
      Broke white upon the shelving strands;
   The sea-mews flitted white as they
               On Calais Sands!

   On Calais Sands must man with man
      Wash honour clean in blood to-day;
   On spaces wet from waters wan
      How white the flashing rapiers play,
   Parry, riposte! and lunge!  The fray
      Shifts for a while, then mournful stands
   The Victor: life ebbs fast away
               On Calais Sands!

   On Calais Sands a little space
      Of silence, then the plash and spray,
   The sound of eager waves that ran
      To kiss the perfumed locks astray,
   To touch these lips that ne’er said ‘Nay,’
      To dally with the helpless hands;
   Till the deep sea in silence lay
               On Calais Sands!

   Between the lilac and the may
      She waits her love from alien lands;
   Her love is colder than the clay
               On Calais Sands!



BALLADE OF YULE


   _This life’s most jolly_, Amiens said,
      Heigh-ho, the Holly!  So sang he.
   As the good Duke was comforted
      In forest exile, so may we!
   The years may darken as they flee,
      And Christmas bring his melancholy:
   But round the old mahogany tree
      We drink, we sing _Heigh-ho_, _the Holly_!

   Though some are dead and some are fled
      To lands of summer over sea,
   The holly berry keeps his red,
      The merry children keep their glee;
   They hoard with artless secresy
      This gift for Maude, and that for Molly,
   And Santa Claus he turns the key
      On Christmas Eve, _Heigh-ho_, _the Holly_!

   Amid the snow the birds are fed,
      The snow lies deep on lawn and lea,
   The skies are shining overhead,
      The robin’s tame that was so free.
   Far North, at home, the ‘barley bree’
      They brew; they give the hour to folly,
   How ‘Rab and Allan cam to pree,’
      They sing, we sing _Heigh-ho_, _the Holly_!



ENVOI


   Friend, let us pay the wonted fee,
      The yearly tithe of mirth: be jolly!
   It is a duty so to be,
      Though half we sigh, _Heigh-ho_, _the Holly_!



POSCIMUR


                               FROM HORACE

   HUSH, for they call!  If in the shade,
   My lute, we twain have idly strayed,
   And song for many a season made,
            Once more reply;
   Once more we’ll play as we have played,
            My lute and I!

   Roman the song: the strain you know,
   The Lesbian wrought it long ago.
   Now singing as he charged the foe,
            Now in the bay,
   Where safe in the shore-water’s flow
            His galleys lay.

   So sang he Bacchus and the Nine,
   And Venus and her boy divine,
   And Lycus of the dusky eyne,
            The dusky hair;
   So shalt thou sing, ah, Lute of mine,
            Of all things fair;

   Apollo’s glory!  Sounding shell,
   Thou lute, to Jove desirable,
   When soft thine accents sigh and swell
            At festival—
   Delight more dear than words can tell,
            Attend my call!



ON HIS DEAD SEA-MEW


                              FROM THE GREEK



I


   BIRD of the graces, dear sea-mew, whose note
         Was like the halcyon’s song,
   In death thy wings and thy sweet spirit float
         Still paths of the night along!



II
THE SAILOR’S GRAVE


   Tomb of a shipwrecked seafarer am I,
         But thou, sail on!
   For homeward safe did other vessels fly,
         Though we were gone.



FROM MELEAGER


   I LOVE not the wine-cup, but if thou art fain
      I should drink, do thou taste it, and bring it to me;
   If it touch but thy lips it were hard to refrain,
      It were hard from the sweet maid who bears it to flee;
   For the cup ferries over the kisses, and plain
      Does it speak of the grace that was given it by thee.



ON THE GARLAND SENT TO RHODOCLEIA


                                 RUFINUS



GOLDEN EYES


   ‘AH, Golden Eyes, to win you yet,
   I bring mine April coronet,
   The lovely blossoms of the spring,
   For you I weave, to you I bring
   These roses with the lilies set,
   The dewy dark-eyed violet,
   Narcissus, and the wind-flower wet:
   Wilt thou disdain mine offering?
               Ah, Golden Eyes!

   Crowned with thy lover’s flowers, forget
   The pride wherein thy heart is set,
   For thou, like these or anything,
   Has but a moment of thy spring,
   Thy spring, and then—the long regret!
               Ah, Golden Eyes!’



A GALLOWAY GARLAND


   WE know not, on these hills of ours,
      The fabled asphodel of Greece,
   That filleth with immortal flowers
      Fields where the heroes are at peace!
      Not ours are myrtle buds like these
   That breathe o’er isles where memories dwell
      Of Sappho, in enchanted seas!

   We meet not, on our upland moor,
      The singing Maid of Helicon,
   You may not hear her music pure
      Float on the mountain meres withdrawn;
      The Muse of Greece, the Muse is gone!
   But we have songs that please us well
      And flowers we love to look upon.

   More sweet than Southern myrtles far
      The bruised Marsh-myrtle breatheth keen;
   Parnassus names the flower, the star,
      That shines among the well-heads green
      The bright Marsh-asphodels between—
   Marsh-myrtle and Marsh-asphodel
      May crown the Northern Muse a queen



CELIA’S EYES


                                 PASTICHE

   TELL me not that babies dwell
      In the deeps of Celia’s eyes;
   Cupid in each hazel well
      Scans his beauties with surprise,
         And would, like Narcissus, drown
         In my Celia’s eyes of brown.

   Tell me not that any goes
      Safe by that enchanted place;
   Eros dwells with Anteros
      In the garden of her Face,
         Where like friends who late were foes
         Meet the white and crimson Rose.



BRITANNIA


                           FROM JULES LEMAÎTRE

   THY mouth is fresh as cherries on the bough,
      Red cherries in the dawning, and more white
   Than milk or white camellias is thy brow;
      And as the golden corn thy hair is bright,
   The corn that drinks the Sun’s less fair than thou;
   While through thine eyes the child-soul gazeth now—
      Eyes like the flower that was Rousseau’s delight.

   Sister of sad Ophelia, say, shall these
   Thy pearly teeth grow like piano keys
      Yellow and long; while thou, all skin and bone,
   Angles and morals, in a sky-blue veil,
   Shalt hosts of children to the sermon hale,
      Blare hymns, read chapters, backbite, and intone?



GALLIA


   LADY, lady neat
      Of the roguish eye,
      Wherefore dost thou hie,
   Stealthy, down the street,
   On well-booted feet?
      From French novels I
      Gather that you fly,
   Guy or Jules to meet.

   Furtive dost thou range,
   Oft thy cab dost change;
      So, at least, ’tis said:
   Oh, the sad old tale
   Passionately stale,
      We’ve so often read!



THE FAIRY MINISTER


 The Rev. Mr. Kirk of Aberfoyle was carried away by the Fairies in 1692.

   PEOPLE of Peace! a peaceful man,
      Well worthy of your love was he,
   Who, while the roaring Garry ran
      Red with the life-blood of Dundee,
   While coats were turning, crowns were falling,
      Wandered along his valley still,
   And heard your mystic voices calling
      From fairy knowe and haunted hill.
   He heard, he saw, he knew too well
      The secrets of your fairy clan;
   You stole him from the haunted dell,
      Who never more was seen of man.
   Now far from heaven, and safe from hell,
      Unknown of earth, he wanders free.
   Would that he might return and tell
      Of his mysterious Company!
   For we have tired the Folk of Peace;
      No more they tax our corn and oil;
   Their dances on the moorland cease,
      The Brownie stints his wonted toil.
   No more shall any shepherd meet
      The ladies of the fairy clan,
   Nor are their deathly kisses sweet
      On lips of any earthly man.
   And half I envy him who now,
      Clothed in her Court’s enchanted green,
   By moonlit loch or mountain’s brow
      Is Chaplain to the Fairy Queen.



TO ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON


                    WITH KIRK’S ‘SECRET COMMONWEALTH’

   O LOUIS! you that like them maist,
   Ye’re far frae kelpie, wraith, and ghaist,
   And fairy dames, no unco chaste,
            And haunted cell.
   Among a heathen clan ye’re placed,
            That kensna hell!

   Ye hae nae heather, peat, nor birks,
   Nae trout in a’ yer burnies lurks,
   There are nae bonny U.P. kirks,
            An awfu’ place!
   Nane kens the Covenant o’ Works
            Frae that o’ Grace!

   But whiles, maybe, to them ye’ll read
   Blads o’ the Covenanting creed,
   And whiles their pagan wames ye’ll feed
            On halesome parritch;
   And syne ye’ll gar them learn a screed
            O’ the Shorter Carritch.

   Yet thae uncovenanted shavers
   Hae rowth, ye say, o’ clash and clavers
   O’ gods and etins—auld wives’ havers,
            But their delight;
   The voice o’ him that tells them quavers
            Just wi’ fair fright.

   And ye might tell, ayont the faem,
   Thae Hieland clashes o’ our hame
   To speak the truth, I takna shame
            To half believe them;
   And, stamped wi’ _Tusitala’s_ name,
            They’ll a’ receive them.

   And folk to come ayont the sea
   May hear the yowl o’ the Banshie,
   And frae the water-kelpie flee,
            Ere a’ things cease,
   And island bairns may stolen be
            By the Folk o’ Peace.



FOR MARK TWAIN’S JUBILEE


   TO brave Mark Twain, across the sea,
   The years have brought his jubilee;
      One hears it half with pain,
   That fifty years have passed and gone
   Since danced the merry star that shone
      Above the babe, Mark Twain!

   How many and many a weary day,
   When sad enough were we, ‘Mark’s way’
      (Unlike the Laureate’s Mark’s)
   Has made us laugh until we cried,
   And, sinking back exhausted, sighed,
      Like Gargery, _Wot larx_!

   We turn his pages, and we see
   The Mississippi flowing free;
      We turn again, and grin
   O’er all _Tom Sawyer_ did and planned,
   With him of the Ensanguined Hand,
      With _Huckleberry Finn_!

   Spirit of mirth, whose chime of bells
   Shakes on his cap, and sweetly swells
      Across the Atlantic main,
   Grant that Mark’s laughter never die,
   That men, through many a century,
      May chuckle o’er Mark Twain!



III
POEMS
WRITTEN UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF WORDSWORTH


MIST


   MIST, though I love thee not, who puttest down
      Trout in the Lochs, (they feed not, as a rule,
      At least on fly, in mere or river-pool
   When fogs have fallen, and the air is lown,
   And on each Ben, a pillow not a crown,
      The fat folds rest,) thou, Mist, hast power to cool
      The blatant declamations of the fool
   Who raves reciting through the heather brown.

   Much do I bar the matron, man, or lass
      Who cries ‘How lovely!’ and who does not spare
   When light and shadow on the mountain pass,—
      Shadow and light, and gleams exceeding fair,
   O’er rock, and glade, and glen,—to shout, the Ass,
      To me, to me the Poet, ‘Oh, look there!’



LINES


Written under the influence of Wordsworth, with a slate-pencil on a
window of the dining-room at the Lowood Hotel, Windermere, while waiting
for tea, after being present at the Grasmere Sports on a very wet day,
and in consequence of a recent perusal of _Belinda_, a Novel, by Miss
Broughton, whose absence is regretted.

   HOW solemn is the front of this Hotel,
      When now the hills are swathed in modest mist,
   And none can speak of scenery, nor tell
      Of ‘tints of amber,’ or of ‘amethyst.’
   Here once thy daughters, young Romance, did dwell,
      Here _Sara_ flirted with whoever list,
   _Belinda_ loved not wisely but too well,
      And _Mr. Ford_ played the Philologist!
   Haunted the house is, and the balcony
      Where that fond Matron knew her Lover near,
   And here we sit, and wait for tea, and sigh,
      While the sad rain sobs in the sullen mere,
   And all our hearts go forth into the cry,
      Would that the teller of the tale were here!



LINES


Written on the window pane of a railway carriage after reading an
advertisement of sunlight soap, and _Poems_, by William Wordsworth.

   I PASSED upon the wings of Steam
      Along Tay’s valley fair,
   The book I read had such a theme
      As bids the Soul despair.

   A tale of miserable men
      Of hearts with doubt distraught,
   Wherein a melancholy pen
      With helpless problems fought.

   Where many a life was brought to dust,
      And many a heart laid low,
   And many a love was smirched with lust—
      I raised mine eyes, and, oh!—

   I marked upon a common wall,
      These simple words of hope,
   That mute appeal to one and all,
      _Cheer up_!  _Use Sunlight Soap_!

   Our moral energies have range
      Beyond their seeming scope,
   How tonic were the words, how strange,
      _Cheer up_!  _Use Sunlight Soap_!

   ‘Behold,’ I cried, ‘the inner touch
      That lifts the Soul through cares!’
   I loved that Soap-boiler so much
      I blessed him unawares!

   Perchance he is some vulgar man,
      Engrossed in £ s. d.
   But, ah! through Nature’s holy plan
      He whispered hope to me!



ODE TO GOLF


   ‘DELUSIVE Nymph, farewell!’
      How oft we’ve said or sung,
   When balls evasive fell,
   Or in the jaws of ‘Hell,’
      Or salt sea-weeds among,
   ’Mid shingle and sea-shell!

   How oft beside the Burn,
      We play the sad ‘two more’;
   How often at the turn,
   The heather must we spurn;
      How oft we’ve ‘topped and swore,’
   In bent and whin and fern!

   Yes, when the broken head
      Bounds further than the ball,
   The heart has inly bled.
   Ah! and the lips have said
      Words we would fain recall—
   Wild words, of passion bred!

   In bunkers all unknown,
      Far beyond ‘Walkinshaw,
   Where never ball had flown—
   Reached by ourselves alone—
      Caddies have heard with awe
   The music of our moan!

   Yet, Nymph, if once alone,
      The ball hath featly fled—
   Not smitten from the bone—
   That drive doth still atone;
      And one long shot laid dead
   Our grief to the winds hath blown!

   So, still beside the tee,
      We meet in storm or calm,
   Lady, and worship thee;
   While the loud lark sings free,
      Piping his matin psalm
   Above the grey sad sea!



FRESHMAN’S TERM


   RETURN again, thou Freshman’s year,
         When bloom was on the rye,
   When breakfast came with bottled beer,
         When Pleasure walked the High;
   When Torpid Bumps were more by far
         To every opening mind
   Than Trade, or Shares, or Peace, or War,
         To senior humankind;
   When ribbons of outrageous hues
         Were worn with honest pride,
   When much was talked of boats and crews,
         When Proctors were defied:
   When Tick was in its early bloom,
         When Schools were far away,
   As vaguely distant as the tomb,
         Nor more regarded—they!
   When arm was freely linked with arm
         Beneath the College limes,
   When Sunday grinds possessed a charm
         Denied to _College Rhymes_:
   When ices were in much request
         Beside the April fire,
   When men were very strangely dressed
         By Standen or by Prior.
   Return, ye Freshman’s Terms!  They _do_
         Return, and much the same,
   To boys, who, just like me and you,
         Play the absurd old game!



A TOAST


Kate Kennedy is the Patron Saint of St. Leonard’s and St. Salvator.  Her
history is quite unknown.

   THE learned are all ‘in a swither,’
         (They don’t very often agree,)
   They know not her ‘whence’ nor her ‘whither,’
   The Maiden we drink to together,
         The College’s Kate Kennedie!

   Did she shine in days early or later?
         Did she ever achieve a degree?
   Was she pretty or plain?  Did she mate, or
   Live lonely?  And who was the _pater_
         Of mystical Kate Kennedie?

   The learned may scorn her and scout her,
         But true to her colours are _we_,
   The learned may mock her and flout her,
   But surely we’ll rally about her,
         In the College that stands by the Sea!

   So here’s to her memory! here to
         The mystical Maiden drink we,
   We pledge her, and we’ll persevere too,
   Though the reason is not very clear to
         The critical mind, nor to _me_.
   Here’s to Kate! she’s our own, and she’s dear to
         The College that stands by the Sea.



DEATH IN JUNE


                           FOR CRICKETERS ONLY

                     _June is the month of Suicides_

   WHY do we slay ourselves in June,
      When life, if ever, seems so sweet?
   When “Moon,” and “tune,” and “afternoon,”
      And other happy rhymes we meet,
   When strawberries are coming soon?
      Why do we do it?’ you repeat!

   Ah, careless butterfly, to thee
      The strawberry seems passing good;
   And sweet, on Music’s wings, to flee
      Amid the waltzing multitude,
   And revel late—perchance till three—
      For Love is monarch of thy mood!

   Alas! to _us_ no solace shows
      For sorrows we endure—at Lord’s,
   When Oxford’s bowling _always_ goes
      For ‘fours,’ for ever to the cords—
   Or more, perhaps, with ‘overthrows’;—
      These things can pierce the heart like swords!

   And thus it is though woods are green,
      Though mayflies down the Test are rolling,
   Though sweet, the silver showers between,
      The finches sing in strains consoling,
   We cut our throats for very spleen,
      And very shame of Oxford’s bowling!



TO CORRESPONDENTS


   MY Postman, though I fear thy tread,
      And tremble as thy foot draws nearer,
   ’Tis not the Christmas Dun I dread,
      _My_ mortal foe is much severer,—
   The Unknown Correspondent, who,
      With undefatigable pen,
   And nothing in the world to do,
      Perplexes literary men.

   From Pentecost and Ponder’s End
      They write: from Deal, and from Dacotah,
   The people of the Shetlands send
      No inconsiderable quota;
   They write for _autographs_; in vain,
      In vain does Phyllis write, and Flora,
   They write that Allan Quatermain
      Is not at all the book for Brora.

   They write to say that they have met
      This writer ‘at a garden party,
   And though’ this writer ‘_may_ forget,’
      _Their_ recollection’s keen and hearty.
   ‘And will you praise in your reviews
      A novel by our distant cousin?’
   These letters from Provincial Blues
      Assail us daily by the dozen!

   O friends with time upon your hands,
      O friends with postage-stamps in plenty,
   O poets out of many lands,
      O youths and maidens under twenty,
   Seek out some other wretch to bore,
      Or wreak yourselves upon your neighbours,
   And leave me to my dusty lore
      And my unprofitable labours!



BALLADE OF DIFFICULT RHYMES


   WITH certain rhymes ’tis hard to deal;
      For ‘silver’ we have ne’er a rhyme.
   On ‘orange’ (as on orange peel)
      The bard has slipped full many a time.
   With ‘babe’ there’s scarce a sound will chime,
      Though ‘astrolabe’ fits like a glove;
   But, ye that on Parnassus climb,
      Why, why are rhymes so rare to _Love_?

   A rhyme to ‘cusp,’ to beg or steal,
      I’ve sought, from evensong to prime,
   But vain is my poetic zeal,
      There’s not one sound is worth a ‘dime’:
   ‘Bilge,’ ‘coif,’ ‘scarf,’ ‘window’—deeds of crime
      I’d do to gain the rhymes thereof;
   Nor shrink from acts of moral grime—
      Why, why are rhymes so rare to _Love_?

   To ‘dove’ my fancies flit, and wheel
      Like butterflies on banks of thyme.
   ‘Above’?—or ‘shove’—alas! I feel,
      They’re too much used to be sublime.
   I scorn with angry pantomime,
      The thought of ‘move’ (pronounced as _muv_).
   Ah, in Apollo’s golden clime
      Why, why are rhymes so rare to _Love_?


ENVOI


   Prince of the lute and lyre, reveal
      New rhymes, fresh minted, from above,
   Nor still be deaf to our appeal.
      Why, _why_ are rhymes so rare to _Love_?



BALLANT O’ BALLANTRAE


                        TO ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Written in wet weather, this conveyed to the Master of Ballantrae a wrong
idea of a very beautiful and charming place, with links, a river
celebrated by Burns, good sea-fishing, and, on the river, a ruined castle
at every turn of the stream.  ‘Try Ballantrae’ is a word of wisdom.

   WHAN suthern wunds gar spindrift flee
   Abune the clachan, faddums hie,
   Whan for the cluds I canna see
            The bonny lift,
   I’d fain indite an Ode to _thee_
            Had I the gift!

   Ken ye the coast o’ wastland Ayr?
   Oh mon, it’s unco bleak and bare!
   Ye daunder here, ye daunder there,
            And mak’ your moan,
   They’ve rain and wund eneuch to tear
            The suthern cone!

   Ye’re seekin’ sport!  There’s nane ava’,
   Ye’ll sit and glower ahint the wa’
   At bleesin’ breakers till ye staw,
            If that’s yer wush;
   ‘There’s aye the Stinchar.’  Hoot awa’,
            She wunna fush!

   She wunna fush at ony gait,
   She’s roarin’ reid in wrathfu’ spate;
   Maist like yer kimmer when ye’re late
            Frae Girvan Fair!
   Forbye to speer for leave I’m blate
            For fushin’ there!

   O Louis, you that writes in Scots,
   Ye’re far awa’ frae stirks and stots,
   Wi’ drookit hurdies, tails in knots,
            An unco way!
   _My_ mirth’s like thorns aneth the pots
            In Ballantrae!



SONG BY THE SUB-CONSCIOUS SELF


                          RHYMES MADE IN A DREAM

   I KNOW not what my secret is,
      I know but it is mine;
   I know to dwell with it were bliss,
      To die for it divine.
   I cannot yield it in a kiss,
      Nor breathe it in a sigh.
   I know that I have lived for this;
      For this, my love, I die.



THE HAUNTED HOMES OF ENGLAND


   THE Haunted Homes of England,
      How eerily they stand,
   While through them flit their ghosts—to wit,
      The Monk with the Red Hand,
   The Eyeless Girl—an awful spook—
      To stop the boldest breath,
   The boy that inked his copybook,
      And so got ‘wopped’ to death!

   Call them not shams—from haunted Glamis
      To haunted Woodhouselea,
   I mark in hosts the grisly ghosts
      I hear the fell Banshie!
   I know the spectral dog that howls
      Before the death of Squires;
   In my ‘Ghosts’-guide’ addresses hide
      For Podmore and for Myers!

   I see the Vampire climb the stairs
      From vaults below the church;
   And hark! the Pirate’s spectre swears!
      O Psychical Research,
   Canst _thou_ not hear what meets my ear,
      The viewless wheels that come?
   The wild Banshie that wails to thee?
      The Drummer with his drum?

   O Haunted Homes of England,
      Though tenantless ye stand,
   With none content to pay the rent,
      Through all the shadowy land,
   Now, Science true will find in you
      A sympathetic perch,
   And take you all, both Grange and Hall,
      For Psychical Research!



THE DISAPPOINTMENT


   A HOUSE I took, and many a spook
      Was deemed to haunt that House,
   I bade the glum Researchers come
      With Bogles to carouse.
   That House I’d sought with anxious thought,
      ’Twas old, ’twas dark as sin,
   And _deeds of bale_, so ran the tale,
      Had oft been done therein.

   Full many a child its mother wild,
      Men said, had strangled there,
   Full many a sire, in heedless ire,
      Had slain his daughter fair!
   ’Twas rarely let: I can’t forget
      A recent tenant’s dread,
   This widow lone had heard a moan
      Proceeding from her bed.

   The tenants next were chiefly vexed
      By spectres grim and grey.
   A Headless Ghost annoyed them most,
      And so they did not stay.
   The next in turn saw corpse lights burn,
      And also a Banshie,
   A spectral Hand they could not stand,
      And left the House to me.

   Then came my friends for divers ends,
      Some curious, some afraid;
   No direr pest disturbed their rest
      Than a neat chambermaid.
   The grisly halls were gay with balls,
      One melancholy nook
   Where ghosts _galore_ were seen before
      Now yielded ne’er a spook.

   When man and maid, all unafraid,
      ‘Sat out’ upon the stairs,
   No spectre dread, with feet of lead,
      Came past them unawares.
   I know not why, but alway I
      Have found that it is so,
   That when the glum Researchers come
      The brutes of bogeys—go!



TO THE GENTLE READER


    ‘A French writer (whom I love well) speaks of three kinds of
    companions,—men, women, and books.’

                                                           SIR JOHN DAVYS.

   THREE kinds of companions, men, women, and books,
   Were enough, said the elderly Sage, for his ends.
   And the women we deem that he chose for their looks,
   And the men for their cellars: the books were his friends:
   ‘Man delights me not,’ often, ‘nor woman,’ but books
   Are the best of good comrades in loneliest nooks.

   For man will be wrangling—for woman will fret
   About anything infinitesimal small:
   Like the Sage in our Plato, I’m ‘anxious to get
   On the side’—on the sunnier side—‘of a wall.’
   Let the wind of the world toss the nations like rooks,
   If only you’ll leave me at peace with my Books.

   And which are my books? why, ’tis much as you please,
   For, given ’tis a book, it can hardly be wrong,
   And Bradshaw himself I can study with ease,
   Though for choice I might call for a Sermon or Song;
   And Locker on London, and Sala on Cooks,
   ‘Tom Brown,’ and Plotinus, they’re all of them Books.

   There’s Fielding to lap one in currents of mirth;
   There’s Herrick to sing of a flower or a fay;
   Or good Maître Françoys to bring one to earth,
   If Shelley or Coleridge have snatched one away:
   There’s Müller on Speech, there is Gurney on Spooks,
   There is Tylor on Totems, there’s all sorts of Books.

   There’s roaming in regions where every one’s been,
   Encounters where no one was ever before,
   There’s ‘Leaves’ from the Highlands we owe to the Queen,
   There’s Holly’s and Leo’s adventures in Kôr:
   There’s Tanner who dwelt with Pawnees and Chinooks,
   You can cover a great deal of country in Books.

   There are books, highly thought of, that nobody reads,
   There is Geusius’ dearly delectable tome
   Of the Cannibal—he on his neighbour who feeds—
   And in blood-red morocco ’tis bound, by Derome;
   There’s Montaigne here (a Foppens), there’s Roberts (on Flukes),
   There’s Elzevirs, Aldines, and Gryphius’ Books.

   There’s Bunyan, there’s Walton, in early editions,
   There’s many a quarto uncommonly rare;
   There’s quaint old Quevedo adream with his visions,
   There’s Johnson the portly, and Burton the spare;
   There’s Boston of Ettrick, who preached of the ‘Crooks
   In the Lots’ of us mortals, who bargain for Books.

   There’s Ruskin to keep one exclaiming ‘What next?’
   There’s Browning to puzzle, and Gilbert to chaff,
   And Marcus Aurelius to soothe one if vexed,
   And good MARCUS TVAINUS to lend you a laugh;
   There be capital tomes that are filled with fly-hooks,
   And I’ve frequently found them the best kind of Books.



THE SONNET


   POET, beware!  The sonnet’s primrose path
      Is all too tempting for thy feet to tread.
      Not on this journey shalt thou earn thy bread,
   Because the sated reader roars in wrath:
   ‘Little indeed to say the singer hath,
      And little sense in all that he hath said;
      Such rhymes are lightly writ but hardly read,
   And naught but stubble is his aftermath!’

   Then shall he cast that bonny book of thine
      Where the extreme waste-paper basket gapes,
   There shall thy futile fancies peak and pine,
      With other minor poets, pallid shapes,
   Who come a long way short of the divine,
      Tormented souls of imitative apes.



THE TOURNAY OF THE HEROES


   HO, warders, cry a tournay! ho, heralds, call the knights!
   What gallant lance for old Romance ’gainst modern fiction fights?
   The lists are set, the Knights are met, I ween, a dread array,
   St. Chad to shield, a stricken field shall we behold to-day!
   First to the Northern barriers pricks Roland of Roncesvaux,
   And by his side, in knightly pride, Wilfred of Ivanhoe,
   The Templar rideth by his rein, two gallant foes were they;
   And proud to see, _le brave Bussy_ his colours doth display.

   Ready at need he comes with speed, William of Deloraine,
   And Hereward the Wake himself is pricking o’er the plain.
   The good knight of La Mancha’s here, here is Sir Amyas Leigh,
   And Eric of the gold hair, pride of Northern chivalry.
   There shines the steel of Alan Breck, the sword of Athos shines,
   Dalgetty on Gustavus rides along the marshalled lines,
   With many a knight of sunny France the Cid has marched from Spain,
   And Götz the Iron-handed leads the lances of Almain.

   But who upon the Modern side are champions?  With the sleeve
   Adorned of his false lady-love, rides glorious David Grieve,
   A bookseller sometime was he, in a provincial town,
   But now before his iron mace go horse and rider down.
   Ho, Robert Elsmere! count thy beads; lo, champion of the fray,
   With brandished colt, comes Felix Holt, all of the Modern day.
   And Silas Lapham’s six-shooter is cocked: the Colonel’s spry!
   There spurs the wary Egoist, defiance in his eye;
   There Zola’s ragged regiment comes, with dynamite in hand,
   And Flaubert’s crew of country doctors devastate the land.
   On Robert Elsmere Friar Tuck falls with his quarter-staff,
   _Nom Dé_! to see the clerics fight might make the sourest laugh!
   They meet, they shock, full many a knight is smitten on the crown,
   So keep us good St. Geneviève, Umslopogaas is down!
   About the mace of David Grieve his blood is flowing red,
   Alas for ancient chivalry, _le brave Bussy_ is sped!
   Yet where the sombre Templar rides the Modern caitiffs fly,
   The Mummer (of _The Mummer’s Wife_) has got it in the eye,
   From Felix Holt his patent Colt hath not averted fate,
   And Silas Lapham’s smitten fair, right through his gallant pate.
   There Dan Deronda reels and falls, a hero sore surprised;
   _Ha_, _Beauséant_! still may such fate befall the Circumcised!
   The Egoist is flying fast from him of Ivanhoe:
   Beneath the axe of Skalagrim fall prigs at every blow:
   The ragged Zolaists have fled, screaming ‘_We are betrayed_,’
   But loyal Alan Breck is shent, stabbed through the Stuart plaid;
   In sooth it is a grimly sight, so fast the heroes fall,
   Three volumes fell could scarcely tell the fortunes of them all.
   At length but two are left on ground, and David Grieve is one.
   _Ma foy_, what deeds of derring-do that bookseller hath done!
   The other, mark the giant frame, the great portentous fist!
   ’Tis Porthos!  David Grieve may call on Kuenen an he list.
   The swords are crossed; _Doublez_, _dégagez_, _vite_! great Porthos
   calls,
   And David drops, that secret _botte_ hath pierced his overalls!
   And goodly Porthos, as of old the famed Orthryades,
   Raises the trophy of the fight, then falling on his knees,
   He writes in gore upon his shield, ‘Romance, Romance, has won!’
   And blood-red on that stricken field goes down the angry sun.
   Night falls upon the field of death, night on the darkling lea:
   Oh send us such a tournay soon, and send me there to see!



BALLAD OF THE PHILANTHROPIST


   POMONA Road and Gardens, N.,
   Were pure as they were fair—
   In other districts much I fear,
   That vulgar language shocks the ear,
   But brawling wives or noisy men
   Were never heard of _there_.

   No burglar fixed his dread abode
   In that secure retreat,
   There were no public-houses nigh,
   But chapels low and churches high,
   You might have thought Pomona Road
   A quite ideal beat!

   Yet that was not at all the view
   Taken by B. 13.
   That active and intelligent
   Policeman deemed that he was meant
   Profound detective deeds to do,
   And that repose was mean.

   Now there was nothing to detect
   Pomona Road along—
   None faked a cly, nor cracked a crib,
   Nor prigged a wipe, nor told a fib,—
   Minds cultivated and select
   Slip rarely into wrong!

   Thus bored to desolation went
   The Peeler on his beat;
   He know not Love, he did not care,
   If Love be born on mountains bare;
   Nay, crime to punish, or prevent,
   Was more than dalliance sweet!

   The weary wanderer, day by day,
   Was marked by Howard Fry—
   A neighbouring philanthropist,
   Who saw what that Policeman missed—
   A sympathetic ‘Well-a-day’
   He’d moan, and pipe his eye.

   ‘What _can_ I do,’ asked Howard Fry,
   ‘To soothe that brother’s pain?
   His glance when first we met was keen,
   Most martial and erect his mien’
   (What mien may mean, I know not I)
   ‘But _he_ must joy again.’

   ‘I’ll start on a career of crime,
   I will,’ said Howard Fry—
   He spake and acted!  Deeds of bale
   (With which I do not stain my tale)
   He wrought like mad time after time,
   Yet wrought them blushfully.

   And now when ’buses night by night
   Were stopped, conductors slain,
   When youths and men, and maids unwed,
   Were stabbed or knocked upon the head,
   Then B. 13 grew sternly bright,
   And was himself again!

   Pomona Road and Gardens, N.,
   Are now a name of fear.
   Commercial travellers flee in haste,
   Revolvers girt about the waist
   Are worn by city gentlemen
   Who have their mansions near.

   But B. 13 elated goes,
   Detection in his eye;
   While Howard Fry does deeds of bale
   (With which I do not stain my tale)
   To lighten that Policeman’s woes,
   But does them blushfully.


MORAL


   Such is Philanthropy, my friends,
   Too often such her plan,
   She shoots, and stabs, and robs, and flings
   Bombs, and all sorts of horrid things.
   Ah, not to serve her private ends,
   But for the good of Man!



NEIGES D’ANTAN


IN ERCILDOUNE


   IN light of sunrise and sunsetting,
   The long days lingered, in forgetting
   That ever passion, keen to hold
   What may not tarry, was of old
   Beyond the doubtful stream whose flood
   Runs red waist-high with slain men’s blood.

   Was beauty once a thing that died?
   Was pleasure never satisfied?
   Was rest still broken by the vain
   Desire of action, bringing pain,
   To die in vapid rest again?
   All this was quite forgotten, there
   No winter brought us cold and care,
   Nor spring gave promise unfulfilled,
   Nor, with the heavy summer killed,
   The languid days droop autumnwards.
   So magical a season guards
   The constant prime of a green June.
   So slumbrous is the river’s tune,
   That knows no thunder of rushing rains,
   Nor ever in the summer wanes,
   Like waters of the summer-time
   In lands far from the fairy clime.

   Alas! no words can bring the bloom
   Of Fairyland, the lost perfume.
   The sweet low light, the magic air,
   To minds of who have not been there:
   Alas! no words, nor any spell
   Can lull the heart that knows too well
   The towers that by the river stand,
   The lost fair world of Fairyland.

   Ah, would that I had never been
   The lover of the Fairy Queen.
   Or would that I again might be
   Asleep below the Eildon Tree,
   And see her ride the forest way
   As on that morning of the May!

   Or would that through the little town,
   The grey old place of Ercildoune,
   And all along the sleepy street
   The soft fall of the white deer’s feet
   Came, with the mystical command,
   That I must back to Fairy Land!



FOR A ROSE’S SAKE


                             FRENCH FOLK-SONG

   I LAVED my hands
      By the water-side,
   With willow leaves
      My hands I dried.

   The nightingale sang
      On the bough of a tree,
   Sing, sweet nightingale,
      It is well with thee.

   Thou hast heart’s delight,
      I have sad heart’s sorrow,
   For a false false maid
      That will wed to-morrow.

   It is all for a rose
      That I gave her not,
   And I would that it grew
      In the garden plot,

   And I would the rose-tree
      Were still to set,
   That my love Marie
      Might love me yet!



THE BRIGAND’S GRAVE


                               MODERN GREEK

   THE moon came up above the hill,
      The sun went down the sea,
   ‘Go, maids, and draw the well-water,
      But, lad, come here to me.

   Gird on my jack, and my old sword,
      For I have never a son,
   And you must be the chief of all
      When I am dead and gone.

   But you must take my old broadsword,
      And cut the green boughs of the tree,
   And strew the green boughs on the ground,
      To make a soft death-bed for me.

   And you must bring the holy priest,
      That I may sainèd be,
   For I have lived a roving life
      Fifty years under the greenwood tree.

   And you shall make a grave for me,
      And dig it deep and wide,
   That I may turn about and dream
      With my old gun by my side.

   And leave a window to the east
      And the swallows will bring the spring,
   And all the merry month of May
      The nightingales will sing.’



THE NEW-LIVERIED YEAR


                          FROM CHARLES D’ORLÉANS

   THE year has changed his mantle cold
      Of wind, of rain, of bitter air,
   And he goes clad in cloth of gold
      Of laughing suns and season fair;
   No bird or beast of wood or wold
      But doth in cry or song declare
   ‘The year has changed his mantle cold!’
   All founts, all rivers seaward rolled
         Their pleasant summer livery wear
         With silver studs on broidered vair,
   The world puts off its raiment old,
   The year has changed his mantle cold.



MORE STRONG THAN DEATH


                             FROM VICTOR HUGO

   SINCE I have set my lips to your full cup, my sweet,
   Since I my pallid face between your hands have laid,
   Since I have known your soul and all the bloom of it,
   And all the perfume rare, now buried in the shade,

   Since it was given to me to hear one happy while
   The words wherein your heart spoke all its mysteries,
   Since I have seen you weep, and since I have seen you smile,
   Your lips upon my lips, and your eyes upon my eyes;

   Since I have known above my forehead glance and gleam,
   A ray, a single ray of your star veiled always,
   Since I have felt the fall upon my lifetime’s stream
   Of one rose-petal plucked from the roses of your days;

   I now am bold to say to the swift-changing hours,
   Pass, pass upon your way, for I grow never old.
   Fleet to the dark abyss with all your fading flowers,
   One rose that none may pluck within my heart I hold.

   Your flying wings may smite, but they can never spill
   The cup fulfilled of love from which my lips are wet,
   My heart has far more fire than you have frost to chill.
   My soul more love than you can make my soul forget.



SILENTIA LUNAE


                               FROM RONSARD

   HIDE this one night thy crescent, kindly Moon,
         So shall Endymion faithful prove, and rest
         Loving and unawakened on thy breast;
   So shall no foul enchanter importune
   Thy quiet course, for now the night is boon,
         And through the friendly night unseen I fare
         Who dread the face of foemen unaware,
   And watch of hostile spies in the bright noon.

   Thou know’st, O Moon, the bitter power of Love.
   ’Tis told how shepherd Pan found ways to move
         With a small gift thy heart; and of your grace,
   Sweet stars, be kind to this not alien fire,
   Because on earth ye did not scorn desire,
         Bethink ye, now ye hold your heavenly place.



HIS LADY’S TOMB


                               FROM RONSARD

   AS in the gardens, all through May, the Rose,
         Lovely, and young, and rich apparelled,
         Makes sunrise jealous of her rosy red,
   When dawn upon the dew of dawning glows;
      Graces and Loves within her breast repose,
         The woods are faint with the sweet odour shed,
         Till rains and heavy suns have smitten dead
   The languid flower and the loose leaves unclose,—

   So this, the perfect beauty of our days,
   When heaven and earth were vocal of her praise,
         The fates have slain, and her sweet soul reposes:
   And tears I bring, and sighs, and on her tomb
   Pour milk, and scatter buds of many a bloom,
         That, dead as living, Rose may be with roses.



THE POET’S APOLOGY


   NO, the Muse has gone away,
   Does not haunt me much to-day.
   Everything she had to say
               Has been said!
   ’Twas not much at any time
   She could hitch into a rhyme,
   Never was the Muse sublime,
               Who has fled!

   Any one who takes her in
   May observe she’s rather thin;
   Little more than bone and skin
               Is the Muse;
   Scanty sacrifice she won
   When her very best she’d done,
   And at her they poked their fun,
               In Reviews.

   ‘Rhymes,’ in truth, ‘are stubborn things.’
   And to Rhyme she clung, and clings,
   But whatever song she sings
               Scarcely sells.
   If her tone be grave, they say
   ‘Give us something rather gay.’
   If she’s skittish, then they pray
               ‘Something else!’

   Much she loved, for wading shod,
   To go forth with line and rod,
   Loved the heather, and the sod,
               Loved to rest
   On the crystal river’s brim
   Where she saw the fishes swim,
   And she heard the thrushes’ hymn,
               By the Test!

   She, whatever way she went,
   Friendly was and innocent,
   Little need the Bard repent
               Of her lay.
   Of the babble and the rhyme,
   And the imitative chime
   That amused him on a time,—
               Now he’s grey.



NOTES


Page 1.


Jeanne d’Arc is said to have led a Scottish force at Lagny, when she
defeated the Burgundian, Franquet d’Arras.  A Scottish artist painted her
banner; he was a James Polwarth, or a Hume of Polwarth, according to a
conjecture of Mr. Hill Burton’s.  A monk of Dunfermline, who continued
Fordun’s Chronicle, avers that he was with the Maiden in her campaigns,
and at her martyrdom.  He calls her _Puella a spiritu sancto excitata_.
Unluckily his manuscript breaks off in the middle of a sentence.  At her
trial, Jeanne said that she had only once seen her own portrait: it was
in the hands of a Scottish archer.  The story of the white dove which
passed from her lips as they opened to her last cry of _Jesus_! was
reported at the trial for her Rehabilitation (1450–56).



Page 2.
_One of that Name_.


Two archers of the name of Lang, Lain, or Laing were in the French
service about 1507.  See the book on the Scottish Guard, by Father Forbes
Leith, S. J.



_Thy Church unto the Maid Denies_.


These verses were written, curiously enough, the day before the Maiden
was raised to the rank of ‘Venerable,’ a step towards her canonisation,
which, we trust, will not be long delayed.  It is not easy for any one to
understand the whole miracle of the life and death of Jeanne d’Arc, and
the absolutely unparalleled grandeur and charm of her character, without
studying the full records of both her trials, as collected and published
by M. Quicherat, for the Société de l’Histoire de France.



Page 4.
_How they held the Bass_.


This story is versified from the account in _Memoirs of the Rev. John
Blackader_, by Andrew Crichton, Minister of the Gospel.  Second Edition.
Edinburgh, 1826.  Dunbar was retained as a prisoner, when negotiations
for surrender, in 1691, were broken off by Middleton’s return with
supplies.  Halyburton was, it seems, captured later, and only escaped
hanging by virtue of the terms extorted by Middleton.  Patrick Walker
tells the tale of Peden and the girl.  Wodrow, in his _Analecta_, has the
story of the Angel, or other shining spiritual presence, which is removed
from its context in the ballad.  The sufferings from weak beer are quoted
in Mr. Blackader’s Memoirs.  Mitchell was the undeniably brave Covenanter
who shot at Sharp, and hit the Bishop of the Orkneys.  He was tortured,
and, by an act of perjury (probably unconscious) on the part of
Lauderdale, was hanged.  The sentiments of the poem are such as an old
cavalier, surviving to 1743, might perhaps have entertained.  ‘Wullie
Wanbeard’ is a Jacobite name for the Prince of Orange, perhaps invented
only by the post-Jacobite sentiment of the early nineteenth century.



Page 44.
_Rousseau’s delight_.


The _pervenche_, or periwinkle.



Page 64.


One of the college bells of St. Salvator, mentioned by Ferguson, is
called ‘Kate Kennedy’; the heroine is unknown, but Bishop Kennedy founded
the College.  ‘Kate Kennedy’s Day’ was a kind of carnival, probably a
survival from that festivity.



Page 77.
_The Disappointment_.


As a matter of fact the Haunted House Committee of the Society for
Psychical Research have never succeeded in seeing a ghost.

                                * * * * *

                                * * * * *

         Printed by T. and A. CONSTABLE, Printers to Her Majesty,
                    at the Edinburgh University Press





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