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Title: Lays from the West
Author: Nicholl, M. A.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Lays from the West" ***

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  LAYS FROM THE WEST

  BY

  "STELLA"--M.A. NICHOLL


  Then the spirit reached her fingers,
    Taper things of rosy snow,
  Took my songs, and as she took them,
    "Tiny germs," she whispered "go!
  Root among the coming hours,
    Seeds are ye of many flowers,
  Which from out the winds will grow!"

       *     *     *     *     *


  Dedicated

  WITH MUCH GRATITUDE AND AFFECTION

  TO

  _MRS. T. SPOTISWOOD ASH,_

  THE MANOR HOUSE,

  BELLAGHY, IRELAND.

       *     *     *     *     *

  IN THE NORTHWEST.


  "I'll not forget Old Ireland, were it fifty times as fair."

  In myriads o'er the prairie
    Bright flowers bloom strangely fair,
  There's beauty in the clear blue sky,
    There's sweetness in the air;
  And loveliness, with lavish hand,
    Decks dell and dingle gay;
  Yet still I love my native land--
    The Green Isle, far away.

  The poplar quivers in the breeze,
    And by the blue lake's side.
  The regal iris, tall and fair,
    Blooms in her native pride;
  But I dream of the broad beeches' shade
    In glens beside Lough Neagh
  And my longing thoughts go back to thee,
    O, Green Isle, far away!

  Strange birds, in painted plumage gay,
    In hundreds haunt the grove;
  O'er marsh and moor, the loon and heron,
    The coot and plover rove;
  But I miss the lark's glad matin song,
    And the thrush and blackbird's lay,
  The summer songsters, sweet and wild,
    In the Green Isle, far away.
  Along the blue horizon line
    The "bluffs" rise 'gainst the sky,
  But in dreams I see Old Erin's coast--
    Her mountains wild and high
  Slieve Gallon, with his hoary head
    Gold-crowned at close of day,
  When sunset lights the grand old hills
    In the Green Isle, far away.

  There's beauty in the woodland wilds
    With their varied foliage fair,
  But, cowering from the light of day,
    The grim wolf shelters there.
  Ah! dear old woods, where I have roamed
    At eve of summer day,
  No hidden dangers haunt your glades,
    In the Green Isle, far away.

  The clear Assiniboine winds free
    Through many a fertile vale;
  The antlered deer and graceful hind
    Bound o'er the wooded dale;
  But I miss the quiet rural scenes--
    The farm-house, thatched and grey,
  That memory fondly pictures now
    Of the Green Isle, far away.

  The Sabbath morn its holy calm
    Breathes o'er the prairie lands,
  And the answering heart hears Nature's psalm
    And the wild woods clap their hands.
  But I long to hear the church bell's sound
    Tell to these wilds that day,
  When thousands meet to praise and pray
    In the Green Isle far away.

  Here life lays hold of brighter things
    For the fair years to be,
  But the deathless Past and all her dreams,
    Old land, belong to thee!
  The buried love, the buried hope
    Of youth's glad summer day,
  That blend with unforgotten scenes
    Of the Green Isle, far away.

  And while we love this pleasant land
    And own it good and fair,
  Our hearts' first love goes backward
    And fondly lingers there--
  Back to the dear home country,
    Then forward to that day
  When all shall meet together,
    From the Green Isle pass'd away.



  SONG.


  "In the gloaming Oh, my darling."

  Oh! green-bosomed Isle, as the summer day's gloaming,
    Lies dreamy and dun on the prairie's wild breast
  There my worn, wayward heart o'er the wild waves is roaming
    Far, far to the scenes that are dearest and best.

  As by bluff and by woodland, by swamp and by meadow,
    The gloom gathers round in its dim, mystic pall,
  Then my fancies come forth, spirit-children of shadow,
    Slow gliding from haunts where the lone night-birds call.

  When the wind, ardent lover, in songful caressing,
    Speaks low to the grasses that bend to his breath,
  And the dew woos the rose with the balm of its blessing
    And steals it with love from the shadow of death.

  Then I seek the wild glen, when the new moon is beaming
    All weirdly and wan, through a cloud's fleecy haze,
  'Till I stand, young and free, in the land of my dreaming,
    Clasping hands with the phantoms of happier days.

  And then, oh! mavourneen, in grey distance flying
    The present, the real, grows dimmer, and dies,
  See but the moonbeams, but hear the winds sighing,
    And bask, fancy bound, in the light of your eyes.

  My own! though the years in the gloom of their sadness
    Stand, frowning, 'tween me and the light of my star,
  And memory can feel the wild might of loves madness,
    Or scoff as rude Time its first sweetness would mar.

  Again, by the banks where Moyola is flowing
    We stray as the moonbeams smile sweet through the dell

  Unheeded the moments, unmarked in their going,
    Nor dreamed we of woe in the sound of "farewell."

  Is it lost--all the light of the fair morning vision?
    Is spirit to spirit unanswering, cold?
  No, it never shall die, while in memory's Elysian
    It lingers in beauty and brightness untold.

  Love is love, and though Fate blasts our hope vines may sever
    From the stay which their tendrils in fondness entwine
  Yet the past of our joy we must cherish forever
    And spirit meet spirit at memory's shrine.



  A MEMORY.


  "Indulgent Memory wakes, and, lo! they live!"
  --RODGERS

  Deathless, while the years are flying,
  And all lesser hopes are dying.
  To my widowed heart near lying
      By a life-time's love embalmed,
  Is a memory, dear and tender,
  And in dreams its bygone splendour
  Sweetest, holiest, balm can render
      To my grief, by Time uncalmed.

  In life's morning, young and early
  Glistening fair through dew-drops pearly,
  Burst a bud that promised fairly
      Through the length of future days.
  Ah! it charmed my passion'd dreaming,
  Bathed in beauty's brightness, beaming
  Fadeless still, and deathless seeming
      In fond Hope's delusive haze.

  And, as when in wild December,
  June's calm twilights we remember,
  So this dream in shadowy splendour

  Ever haunts my lonely way;
  And I see in fond delusion,
  Glowing as in light Elysian,
  The entrancing, old-time vision
        Doom'd so early to decay.

  Days when Hope, how false! still flaunted
  Through my dreamings, love enchanted,
  Framed by busy Fancy, haunted
        By glad visions of delight,--
  Morns of light, and sunsets golden,
  Dreams of legends, grand and olden,
  Hopes for future years, withholden
        From our youthful, yearning sight.

  Past and gone! Ah! vain my sighing,--
  Hope's dead leaves are round me lying,
  But their fragrances, undying,
        Like a hallowed incense rise;
  And I feel, with joy unspoken,
  That the spirit love unbroken
  Leaves this Memory for a token
        Of its truth, that never dies.

  In that land whose beauty vernal
  Through tried ages blooms eternal
  Thou, in bliss undreamed, supernal
        Baskest in the glory-light
  Where celestial joys inspire
  All heaven's vast, unnumbered choir
  With sweet songs that never tire,
        Through the fadeless summer bright.

  Here, how sad this dreary roaming,
  Through the shadows of earth's gloaming,
  Waiting for the longed-for coming
        Of the lingering Morning Star;
  But swift time is onward fleeting--
  Backward is the past retreating,
  Nearer, nearer draws our meeting
        In the future, dim and far.



  AFTER LIFE'S FEVER.


  _Obiit, June, 1882_.

     --"And then, a flood of light, a seraph's hymn,
     And God's own smile, forever, and forever."

  Oh! pale, calm face; eyes by the Death-kiss sealed,
    Cold hands, upon the silent bosom folden;
  Oh! soul, set free--of all sin's sickness healed,
    Basking in light, from mortal eyes withholden,
                                   _In cœlo quies_.

  Still heart, that ached and throbb'd with human passion,
    Locks, white with snow of many a winter past,
  Tired body, weary after earth's poor fashion,
    Sleep calmly till the waking trumpet blast--
                                   _In cœlo quies_.

  All over now--the heart-ache and the burning
    Of thoughts, so trammelled by this "mortal coil;"
  The soul has cast behind its moans and yearning,
    The hands are resting from the long life's toil,--
                                   _In cœlo quies_.

  I, mournful gazer, watching by the portal
    Whence thou, from death to life, hast entered in,
  Would fain catch one stray gleam of light immortal,
    To tell me, ever drowning earth's wild din,
                                   _In cœlo quies_.

  I might not hear the angel welcome ringing,
    Nor see the pearly portals open wide,
  Wherein the ransomed band, the new song singing,
    In white robes wander by life's river side,
                                   _In cœlo quies_.

  "_In cœlo quies_," while the storms are beating
    Along earth's desert moorlands, wild and wide;
  While skies shall lower, and angry waves are meeting
    Thy bark is moored--thou art beyond the tide,
                                   _In cœlo quies_.

  "_In cœlo quies_"--Rest, pure, deep, eternal,
    Peace, in a perfect, blissful, endless calm;
  Charmed by the beatific joys supernal,
    Lull'd by the melody of seraph's psalm,
                                   _In cœlo quies_.

  Here, we but dream it all--the rest--the glory,
    Here we but yearn for it in sob and pain;
  Till knees wax weary and till locks grow hoary,
    Still "westward journeying," at length to gain,
                                   _In cœlo quies_.

  But _thou_ mayest sleep; thy toilsome warfare ended,
    The long, rough life-path has been nobly trod,
  And with our lost ones, thou sweet songs hast blended,
    To hail them found, beside the throne of God?
                                   _In cœlo quies_.



  LIGHT AT EVENTIDE.


  Round us in the stillness spreading,
    Comes the night.
  Mortal ears can't hear the treading
    Of her footsteps, soft and light.

  Dusky veil that shades the valleys,
    Bringing rest;
  Shadowy glooms in greenwood alleys.
    Twilight dreamings, sweet and blest.

  All the day-time cares are ended,
    And instead,
  Now by unseen bands attended,
    Far, in fancy, we are led.

  Misty forms of mystic seeming
    Hover near;
  Memory's myriad tapers gleaming
    Light old scenes and make them clear--

  Morn's vain hopes, and noon's stern sorrows,
    Tears and cares;
  Days of toiling, and to-morrow's
    Bringing less of wheat than tares.

  And the chequered, varied pages
    Of life's book
  Seem a sea whose calms and rages
    Now the tired heart cannot brook.

  Evening calm! ah, best and purest
    Time of peace;
  Soothing balm, when hope is surest,
    To bid all vain doubting cease.

  Pointing on, when near the pleasant,
    Rest awaits;
  When we leave this weary present
    And have gained the pearly gates.

  And as evening shadows, creeping,
    Gather round
  Dim eyes, worn so weak with weeping,
    Learn to smile as peace is found.

  In the hope so full of cheering
    And delight--
  Home, sweet home! our rest we're nearing!
    Evening time shall bring us light.

  Light of heaven! Earth's gloom adorning
    With thy smile,
  Earnest of the eternal morning
    After this brief "little while."



  CHRISTMAS EVE.


  Ruddy bright the dying embers
    In the glooming, glow and burn,
  Scenes of olden-time Decembers,
    Ashes now in Times' great urn,
  That the heart so well remembers
    At this haunted hour reborn:--
  All the fairy scenes Elysian
    Born again in recollection,
    Seen with mirror-like reflection,
  Throng upon the wondering vision.
  Once again I hear the river
    In the darkness rush and roar,
  See the pine-boughs wave and quiver,
    Hear the oak trees, blasted, hoar,
  Muttering, as their gaunt arms shiver,
    "Come again, oh! days of yore!"
  Come, oh times of hope and longing,
    When the beauteous, pure ideal,
    Seemed tangible and real--
   "Love the light of Truth's belonging."

  And the woodland walks, enchanted,
    By the moonlight's mystic sheen,
  Seen as near as when Hope flaunted
    In the distance, dimly seen,
  That the witched hour seems haunted
    By the joys that once have been.
  Dear old days! they seem returning.
  Though their radiance long has vanished,
    Though their rays stern fate has banished,
  Fancy still can see them burning.

  See their magic, nameless graces,
    Through the shadows flit and gleam,
  See again beloved faces
    Shine around as in a dream,
  And the well-remembered places
    Of the bygone, nearer seem,
  Till all present melancholy,
    Fades away, and sweet and tender,
    Visions of life's spring-time splendour,
  Gleam among the bay and holly.

  Hark! the Christmas bells are ringing
    From the grey church-steeple near,
  And the choir are sweetly singing,
    "Nowel! Hail Messiah here!
  Nowel! for He cometh, bringing
    Unto all mankind good cheer."
  Through the night the music stealing
    Bringeth soothing sweet and pleasant,
    Sheds a peace upon the present,
  Future days in light revealing.



  AT ANCHOR.


    "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and forever"
    HEBREWS xiii. 8.


  In life's young morning blue-eyed promise smiled
    O'er a fair future of enchanting grace,
  And sweet toned love the golden hours beguiled,
    And Fortune's radiant smile illumed the place.

  But change, dread vulture, swooped upon her prey.
    And seized my treasures as Time's car sped on,
  Then traitor love took wings, and fled away.
    And long ere noon I wept a setting sun.

  Then Phoenix-like, beside the smoldering pile,
    Kind friendship rose with open, outstretched hands,
  But, ere I grasped them, death with icy smile
    Had rudely snapp'd in twain the three-fold bands.

  E'en while I mourned, I heard a thrilling voice
    That said in stirring accents, "Up! arise!
  Work, that in harvest time thou mayest rejoice!"
    And Fame stood pointing to the brightening skies.

  Then dreams, false phantoms, filled the gloaming air
    And lured me, spell-bound, by a labyrinth maze,
  But morning beams awakened new despair--
    The meteor glories passed in mist and haze.

  Through shady groves I strayed, and on before
    Walked high-browed Knowledge, calm-eyed and severe
  Unwearied still, I trod his footprints o'er,
    But fainting fell, the longed-for prize anear.

  Hard-smitten then, I wept; all woe-all gloom!
    The heart-void still unfilled, ached keen and sore,
  When through the inky darkness shot a gleam
    Of new-born glory, unrevealed before.

  Dear Lord! How frail these bauble-toys of Time
    When Thy "forever" dawns upon the heart;
  Thy perfect fullness, Saviour, how divine,
    E'en while we taste its blessedness in part!
  Still yesterday, to-day, while ages roll
    In grand, eternal vastness, still the same,
  Oh! potent Healer! every whit made whole,
    I sing glad Hallelujah to Thy name!



  THE OLD TRYSTING PLACE.


  "Die erste Liebe ist die beste."

  Through the green boughs the golden sunshine falling
    Glints on the glades and lonely woodland bowers;
  Bird answers bird, through the wide woodlands calling,
    In the deep hush of the calm summer hours.

  The limpid river winding through the meadows,
    Laughing and sparkling in the sunny noon,
  Takes peaceful tones here, 'neath the beeches' shadows,
    And sings sweet idylls in low, fitful tune.

  Songs of the olden days, of hopes and pleasures,
    Songs of the love of youth's glad morning times,
  That sigh around our path like dream-world treasures,
    Soothing as music of the vesper chimes.

  The rustic bridge, the leaves' soft shadows playing
    Down in the water-depths, and from away
  'Mong the blue hills, come mingled echoes straying,
    The pleasant sounds that fill the summer day.

  Aburnum's gold, and quivering beech-leaves blending,
    Sway, dancing in the breezes, to and fro;
  Wild hyacinths, their blue heads lowly bending,
    Listen the secrets of the winds to know.

  Oh! quaint old trysting-place! oh! lights and shadows,
    And sounds that haunt the dreams of Life's glad May!
  Dreams withered like the May-flowers in the meadows
    Or roses of the Junes long passed away.

  Here, oft in dreams, I see my own true maiden,
    The pure flower-face, the rippling golden hair;
  Ah! many years have roll'd past, sorrow-laden,
    Since blue-eyed Edmee waited for me there!

  Ah! murmuring brook, with waving willow fringes,
    Ah! woodland picture, all your charmed glow
  Is touched and changed by Truth's own sober tinges,
    Tints that youth's eager eyes see not, nor know.

  Fraught with these gleams of old-time faith and feeling,
    Fraught with the memory of "what might have been,"
  A still, small voice says all is God's wise dealing,
    Behind the clouds is brightness yet unseen.

  Young love and hope in all their matchless glory,
    Smile on our morning-time, then fade away;
  Teaching unwilling hearts the sad, true story,
    No lasting joy is here, all knows decay.

  "Die erste Liebe ist die beste," leaving
    A holy radiance round the scenes we knew;
  A potent power to point lone spirits, grieving,
    To deathless Love whose charms are ever new.

  It ever shows, "in part," in sweet tuition,
    What we shall know when we have gained the light,
  When all our highest hopes fade in fruition,
    Where the Eternal Summer beameth bright.



  THY WORD IS A LIGHT UNTO MY FEET.


  Oh! Light of Lights! dark, dark is earth's long way,
  Cloud upon cloud looms o'er the path I stray;
  Far-off and dim the heavenly Land appears,
  Through the thick mist of weak distrust--and fears.
  Helpless, I seek Thy Word, and hear Thy voice,
  That bids me always in the Lord rejoice;
  Pointing from doubts within, and this world's wile
  To peace and victory, in "a little while."

  Oh! Saviour, Friend, how dark is life's rough path.
  What gloom and sorrow haunts this Vale of Death;
  Subtle the way, beset with many a snare
  And hidden evils lurking everywhere.
  But in this Light that shows my love, I see,
  This path Thou'st trod, and borne these griefs, for me,
  "Fear not!" I hear in tones of tenderest love
  "'Tis in thy weakness that my strength I prove."

  The world's temptations rage on life's wild sea,
  Drifting the fragile bark I steer to Thee,
  But safe I pass the rocks and angry waves,
  Helped by Thy mighty arm that shields and saves.
  And still above the wind's and water's roar
  A calm voice hails me from the distant shore,
  "Cast all your care undoubtingly on Me,
  Fully and freely, for I care for thee."

  When twilight shades fall round me, dim and grey,
  All those I love the most are far away,
  I look to Thee, and dry my willful tears--
  With love like Thine, I dread no lonely years.
  If 'tis Thy will, let bitter partings come,
  Sweet shall the meetings be in yonder Home;
  While here I have Thy love that cannot die,
  And could I feel alone when Thou art nigh?

  Weary with waiting for Thy promised rest,
  Dismayed with doubts, with sinfulness distressed;
  "Oh! let Thy kingdom come!" I pray "that I
  May join the glad new song they sing on high;"
  Then thy sweet words bring patience, "I prepare
  For thee an heavenly mansion, bright and fair,
  That where I am Thou mayest with Me abide,
  And taste full joy for ever by My side."

  I bless thee, Saviour, for this word of life,
  This light to guide me safe through every strife,
  This lantern o'er my pathway shining clear
  To show the dangers, and the Helper near.
  I love to see it beaming, day by day,
  Thine own bright smile, that lights the darksome way;
  "Led by Thy counsel," oh! what joy to be
  "Received in glory," Lord, at last by Thee.



  MEMORIES.


  "In der Weit, weit,
  Aus der Einsamkeit,
  Wollen sie Dich locken."--FAUST.


  When the glad, bright days of our youth's fresh prime,
    Shall have pass'd, as a dream that at morning dies;
  When the long blank stretch of the coming time
    Like a desolate desert before us lies,
    Dreary and cheerless, 'neath sunless skies.

  When young, sweet love, with her luring smile,
    The mystic charm-light of halcyon hours,
  Shall no more with her witch'ry our souls beguile,
    As the leaves grow seer on Life's fading bowers,
    And the blushes are pale on its withering flowers.

  When the strains we loved in the days of yore
    No more with their sweetness our heart's-chords thrill,
  When Hope's roseate meteors glow no more,
    Like the summer sunrise o'er vale and hill,
    That our dreamings with radiance were wont to fill.

  When these are gone, shall the lone heart know
    No solace the solitude's gloom to cheer?
  Shall no stray beams lighten the spirit's woe
    As it moans "alone!" e'en when crowds are near?
    Must _all_ be lost that was once so dear?

  Ah, no! Though Time is a thief, I ween,
    Stealing youth's best wealth as the swift years go,
  Still the memories of pleasures which once have been--
    The dreams of the beautiful "Long ago,"
    Are our own to keep, and shall aye be so!



  "THE KING IS DEAD."


  Hush! There's a solemn pause,
    And looks of fear!
  You ask--Whence comes the cause?
    Grim Death is here!

  Oh! well thou answerest, well--
    'Tis fairly said;
  Our hearts thrill to the knell,
    "The King is dead!"

  Dead! And the bell swings, swings
    On in its deep, sad tone;
  We own the King of Kings
    Is King alone!

  We crown our Kings, we place
    Bay leaves on victors' brow,
  But all our mortal race
    Can boast is _now._

  The body lay in state,
    All fair to mortal eye;
  The soul's eternal fate--
    Oh! Death, thy mystery!



  TO "X. Y. Z.,"
  On receiving a paper from him.

  "Old places have a charm for me
    The new can ne'er attain;
  Old faces--how I long to see
    Their kindly looks again!"--Anon.


  "X. Y. Z.," your paper was
    A welcome thing, indeed, to me;
  It brought the memories of old days,
    Like fragrance wafted o'er the sea.

  It spake about familiar nooks,
    The dear old paths I know so well;
  I almost thought I heard the brooks,
    Or roamed again my favourite dell.

  The happy hours, the rustic glades,
    The gloaming time, the twilight stroll,
  Ah, me! these April evening shades
    With old-time dreams can haunt one's soul.

  The heart feels young again and free,
    And no such word is known as care;
  Sweet rays of light that used to be
    Seem hovering in the twilight air!

  The hedges and the fields of green,
    The lanes, the flowers, the wild bird's trill,
  The trees, seen down the water's sheen.
    The cattle lowing o'er the hill!

  Your well-drawn school-life picture, too,
    My school-time morn recalls again;
  'Tis like an old tune, sweet and true,
    That mingles pleasing notes with pain.

  The fields, the schools, the village way,
    The quaint, old-fashioned, country rhyme,
  All come, like mystic glows that stray
    Across the yellowing fields of Time.

  The English lanes have lovely flowers,
    And moss, and ferns, and birds that sing,
  But Erin--green Erin--still is ours.
    And to her name our fond hearts cling.

  Each land we visit claims some grace--
    Some special charm it calls its own;
  Yet patriot souls must love the place
    Which childhood's happy memories crown.



  LOVE.


  When first from Eden's blissful bowers,
    Man roamed o'er earth in exile driven,
  Kind Heaven, to cheer his lonely hours,
    A source of joy to him hath given.

  'Tis Love, that lights our darkest days,
    'Tis Love, that cheers our keenest woe,
  'Tis Love, whose soul inspiring rays,
    Gilds all our lives with heaven-lent glow.

  Ambition leads us for a while
    To follow many a meteor light--
  Whose flickering beams our souls beguile,
    And lure us on to hopeless night.

  And Fame may sound her clarion voice--
    Wealth bring his hoards from every clime,
  But Age shall come, and earth's frail joys
    Must own the sway of sovereign Time.

  But Love, as flying years go past,
    Shall glow with holier, tenderer beam,
  And shine, our guiding star at last
    Till our dull hearts shall catch a gleam.

  And when our life on earth is o'er
    And we from all our toil shall rest,
  The beams of Love will light that shore
    Where Love has ransomed all the Blest!



  A BIRTHDAY ANNIVERSARY.


  "Tis sweet, when year by year we lose
  Friends out of sight, in faith to muse
  How grows in Paradise our store!"--KEBLE.

  His Birthday! but to-night there is no gladness,
    As in the bright old days forever flown;
  And in my heart one aching thought of sadness
    Seems ever whispering, Alone! Alone!

  The darkness gathers round, and, wan and olden,
    The worn day paler grows, and dies away,
  And all life's light and brightness now seem folden
    Beneath the twilight's dusky mantle gray.

  The old church tower, amid the shadows looming,
    Stands grim and sombre in the dying light;
  The trees with leafless branches shiver, moaning,
    As the sad winds sigh softly through the night.

  Weird looks the ruined church, where ivy creeping
    Decks the old walls fast mouldering in decay;
  And peace rests o'er the graves in whose calm keeping,
    In quiet safety, sleeps the treasured clay.

  Here in this corner, where his grave is lying,
    The fir trees throw deep shade, and soft and low,
  When summer eve or winter day is dying,
    The winds seem ever sighing songs of woe!

  Oh! cherished spot! beloved beyond all measure,
    Your holy peace that brings a balm so blest!
  When turning from the world, in grief or pleasure,
    I seek your calm, and hunger for your rest!

  How feeble, then, seem all the ties that bound me
    To this world's ways, that held such charms for me
  And heaven-born dreams and holy thoughts surround me
    Until from earth's vain things my soul is free!

  Then do I feel this wound of Mercy's giving
    Draws all my hopes from earth to holier love.
  An e'en while here, sin-stained and lonely living,
    My heart is with my treasure fixed above!

  Still, looking upward to the Heavenly Mansion,
    Where he abides--where we shall meet him there--
  Where soul with soul shall blend in the expansion
    Of that world's higher life, immortal, fair!

  That land of beauty, where the Lamb in glory
    Gathers His own to perfect bliss and peace,
  Where all the ransomed sing Redemption's story
    In joys celestial that can never cease.

  Thrice happy lot was thine, oh, blessed spirit!
    So early called from this dark vale of woe--
  From chequered scenes of warfare--to inherit
    That perfect love that God's own favoured know.

  Then could we wish thee back to dwell with mortals
    And bear those storms that toss Time's troubled sea?
  No! from that home beyond the pearly portals
    Thou canst not come, but we will go to thee!



  IN MEMORIAM

  OF

  R. A. WILSON, ESQ.,

  EDITOR OF THE BELFAST MORNING NEWS.


  Fair vales of Ulster! in the noontide smiling,
    Blue Northern mountains, frowning to the sky;
  Rivers that flow along, with song beguiling
    The summer day _your_ beauties, too, must die!

  Know ye no _requiem_? Ah! streamlets borrow
    Your tones from tearful voices! Mountains blue,
  O'er your high heads let heavy clouds of sorrow
    Tell that ye mourn the death of Patriot true.

  Erin! green Erin! let your great heart feel it!
    Bid all your sons and daughters, fair and brave,
  By dropping tears and mourning faces tell it,
    As they place laurels on a new-made grave!

  Lowly he lies to day? Death's deep, calm slumber
    Has claimed another of our cherished ones;
  As he, the talented, ranks with the number
    Of Erin's lost, best-loved--her gifted sons!

  "Barney Maglone" is dead! Let the winds sighing
    On their fleet wings, bear far the wail of woe
  To every land. Let them in wild, sad crying
    Tell out to all the sorrow that we know.

  _Our_ Poet, and not all Westminster's glory
    Could ever give him half so loved a grave
  As this green mound, with simple cross, whose story
    Shall live 'mong annals of our gifted brave!

  Methinks that far among old Ireland's mountains
    I hear the breezes sing a sad dirge, low,
  Wild, and yet soft, with tears from many fountains
    And murmuring riven wailing in their flow.

  The grand old woods, with leafy branches waving,
    Mingle their many harps in one refrain,
  Blent with the waves, whose foam our coast is laving,
    Rolling afar, weeping aloud the strain--

  Waters and wondrous deep,
    Mountains and valleys;
  Woodlands and heathery steep,
    Lone greenwood alleys,

  Sound the long wail of woe,
  Tell the news, sad and low,
  Let all the wide world know
    Of the loved, lost one!

  Waves of deep, boundless sea,
  Boiling for ever free,
  Tell through the time to be
    Of the bright, lost one!

  Erin, whose bosom green,
  His own, his loved shrine has been,
  Feel the woe thou hast seen
    For the true, lost one!

  His land, in weal or woe,
  In dark gloom or sunny glow,
  Do all Ireland's great ones know
    Such zeal as this lost one?

  Bright dreams! ah, how fleeting
    Was his life's fair story!
  Swift, swift was the meeting
    Of Death, with earth's glory!

  Unrivalled in splendour
    His sky was at morning,
  Still brightening, its grandeur
    His noonday adorning.

  But a dark cloud rose glooming,
    Ah, me! 'twas Death's shadow!
  It chilled the heat blooming
    Of hillside or meadow!

  Oh, waters and wondrous deep,
    Mountains and valleys,
  Woodlands and heathery steep,
    Lone greenwood alleys--

  Sound the weird wail of woe,
    Tell the news sad and low,
  Let all the wide world knew
    Of Erin's best lost one!



  WELCOME TO SPRING.


  Oh, Spring! sweet Spring! with your golden hours,
  Thrice welcome back to our vales and bowers!
  I have sighed for you through the Winter's gloom,
  And counted the months, till again you come.
    Then, welcome, sweetest! I hail you here,
    Fairest child of the smiling year!

  I have watched for your advent with longing eyes,
  As you lingered 'neath sunnier southern skies;
  I have wafted songs o'er the winds to thee
  The sighs of a lover's fond constancy.
    Then, welcome, darling! to glen and grove,
    Child of gladness, and nope, and love!

  I see your footprints along the woods,
  And your magic touch on the opening buds,
  Bursting to birth on hedge and tree,
  In promise of vernal life to be.
    Then, welcome, Spring! to our land again,
    Bringing beauty and me in your happy train!

  I have marked where you paused by the streamlet's side,
  There smiled the primrose, in early pride,
  All golden fair 'mid her leaves of green.
  Dropped from your garland, oh, beauteous queen!
    Then, welcome! to brighten our long-left bower
    Fair child of sunshine, and joy, and flowers!

  I have paused entranced in the early morn,
  When the birds awoke as the day was born,
  Pealing welcomes wild in their native glee.
  And my heart went out in their songs to thee,
    On the fresh winds borne o'er the hills along,
    Child of music, and mirth, and song!

  Oh, Spring! sweet Spring! 'neath your gentle reign.
  Life, light, and beauty are born again;
  And sad hearts, hopeless in Winter days,
  Break forth to singing glad songs of praise--
    For that promise renewed in your yearly birth
    Of a fadeless Spring and a ransomed Earth!



  ONLY "A LITTLE WHILE."


  I saw the sun arise in light at morning;
    My being drank the beauty, like some dream
  That comes when all is dark, the gloom adorning
    With gilding mystic--bright--a soul-world gleam

  I saw the noontide flush on grove and meadow,
    I heard the coo of birds that seem'd at rest;
  And the fair radiance, all undimm'd by shadow,
    Was like a foretaste of the bright and blest.

  I saw, when evening's mellow sunlight glinted,
    Far and anear, gleaming on wood and gold;
  Mountain and valley shone all carmine-tinted,
    Old Ocean's burnished breast seem'd heaving gold.

  Only "a little while" since morn rose brightly,
    Followed by noontide calm: a little while
  Since sunset glory lit all Nature, lightly
    Blessing the earth with one sweet parting smile.

  Only "a little while" a meet type, showing
    How brief is earth's short day--how soon 'tis o'er;
  Morn, noon, and night, still onward, onward going,
    So soon to land us on the eternal shore.

  Only "a little while," poor child of sadness!
    The shadows must come first, the clouds and gloom;
  Then, the full glow of Heaven, the new born gladness,
    When Christ, thy risen Lord, prepares thee room.

  In that fair Home, where He has passed before us,
    And in "a little while," shall call us in;
  Here, with His love's own glory shining o'er us,
    Strong in His strength, we run that goal to win!

  Only "a little while," gay child of pleasure!
    The night is spent so far--the morn is near;
  Then think! oh, think! where hast thou hid thy treasure?
    In these frail, dying toys that charm thee here.

  Oh! in "a little while," their borrowed radiance
    Shall fade, as starlight fades when dawn is nigh;
  And all earth's glittering show, her smiles and fragrance,
    In the fierce fire of wrath shall melt and die!

  Only "a little while!" would we but ponder
    These three brief words, their length and breadth and
  height
  A solemn sign to each, a ray of wonder
    From the Unseen, to light the spirit's night.

  "A little while"--past, present, future blending
    Shall be a tale soon told, and pass'd for aye;
  Then the eternal life, that cannot die--unending,
    Undying woe, or Heaven's own dazzling day.



  LIFE'S PATHWAY.


  We walk among labyrinths of wonder, but tread the mazes with
       a club;
  We sail in chartless seas, but behold! the Pole-star is above
       us--TUPPER.

  Life is a pathway, stretched from morn till eve,
    O'er which, through shade and sunshine, we must go
  And, whether bright or dark this life we live,
    Its end must bring us unto joy or woe;
  Joy, that no mortal's holiest dreams can know,
    Or dread, unending; fearful depths of woe!

  This path is fair at morning, wondrous fair;
    With verdant windings, hiding from the view
  The far-off journey, and what may be there,
    Hid by the Future hilltops, high and blue;
  And morn's glad sunlight smiles from dazzling skies,
    Gilding the path we tread with heaven-lent dyes.

  Oh! youth is sweet! for tender hands are near,
    And eyes aglow with Love's own magic ray,
  Heart meeting heart, each to the other dear--
    Through hours that, ere we count them, glide away;
  For none can turn to seek a cherished place--
  One only life, whose path we can't retrace!

  And soon they pass, these meteor joys of earth,
    That flash and gleam along the troubled way;
  Till wondering wanderers question if their birth
    Dawns from a Land that knows no sad decay;
  Some sinless region, from whose portals bright
  These fleeting rays descent in heavenly light.

  Such glorious hues, in golden glory glowing,
    When sunrise splendour glads the morning sky;
  That bloom awhile, and as they bloom bestowing
    Beauty and light, so soon to melt and die,
  Leaving a yearning in the darkened heart
  To know more closely what we see in part.

  The noonday calm, the sunny Summer hours,
    The wild-birds' warbled songs, the balmy air;
  Life's early pathway strewn with earth's sweet flowers--
    Can these be dying things--so bright, so fair?
  Or lights to lead us o'er a chequered road,
  And cheer the shadows to a blest abode?

  Oh! spell-bound Fancy fain would wander far,
    If we might only break this mortal thrall;
  And roam, unshackled, o'er Time's broken bar,
    Trace these gleams whose glory lights on all!
  Then would we see in all below, above,
  The Great Creator's perfect power and love.

  Yet in this path that stretched before us lies
    We may, as oft with weary feet we tread
  Through chequered ways of change, see through the mysteries
    The living promise from their gleamings shed,
  That far from mortal things, and sin, and care,
  There is a glorious world, unchanging, fair.

  Oh! may we trace in all that lives and grows
    The shadows of a perfect life, unseen;
  As when some star that in the twilight glows
    In mirrored dimly in the water's sheen,
  And we can see, in the calm lake's cool breast,
  The far-off glow that lingers in the West.

  Thus, as we onward go, may thoughts be ours
   Whose holy pureness in our souls may raise
  An anthem of thanksgiving, till life's hours,
   Ending, shall find our hearts' attuned to praise
  That Love which cheered us on earth's chequered way,
  O'er the long path that led to Cloudless Day!



  CLOUDS IN MAY.


  "May is here, sweet 'Mois de Marie,' but my sky is
   overcast!"--ST. GERMAN.

  The hush of twilight, fair and still
      Great cloud-ranks, bright with gorgeous dyes
      That linger in the Western skies,
  Ere Night's deep gloom steals o'er the hill.
  The wind sighs softly round the eaves,
     The May's fresh sweetness fills the air,
     And Peace seems hovering everywhere.
  Oh, restless heart, that aches and grieves!--
  Grieves when the earth is bright and green,
     And Summer's balmy breeze and flowers
     Are brightening, charming all the hours
  That span the long, long "bridge between"
  Dear hopes and their fruition, laid
     In many a way, by human plan.
     But ah! these dream-world thoughts of man
  Soon, soon can droop, and blight and fade!

  We know 'tis best. Then wherefore try
      To ask whence come the darksome clouds?
      We know 'tis God's own hand that shroud
  Our coming days in mysteries.
  "A little while," and there is room
      In that bright, blessed land above,
      To see, and feel, and taste the love
  That sends us now the clouds and gloom.
  Why come the clouds? God only knows
      Why human hearts need pain and woe;
      But Faith's glad gleams still come and go,
  Like sunbeams flashing on the snows
  Of earth's dark winter-time, and He
      Shall smile at last, and frosts shall melt,
      And heavenly sunshine shall be felt
  When Time fades in Eternity



  A FRAGMENT.


  "My spirit beats her mortal bars
  As down dark tides the glory glides,
  Then, star-like, mingles with the stars."--TENNYSON.

  Oh, restful peace of night! The balmy air
  Laden with myriad sounds of things so fair,
  The waving branches, and the leaves' low whispering
  The wondrous songs the winding river sings,
  That through the meadow-lands and forest ways,
  By flowery nooks, and glades, and valleys strays.

  Oh! shadowy time of dreams, and mysteries,
  And longing hopes! Far in the dark blue skies
  The star-worlds glimmer brightly through the night;
  The flowers are sleeping that at close of day
  Wept dew-tears, as the sun's last fading light
  From glen and moor land slowly passed away,
  When amorous zephyrs wooed them softly sighing
  In odorous breaths, as eve's last glow was dying.

  Oh! stars, that through the darkness smile and gleam,
  Like glory-rays that gild the dreary gloom,
  Or like some soul-world glance or mystic dream
  That from the mind's vast store of summer bloom
  We feel at times--your influence comes to raise
  Our hearts above earth's night of doubts and haze
  For all these holy thoughts of peace, that spring
  From hearts at rest from daytime cares and pains,
  Are messengers of love, sent from the King
  That in the blessed country lives and reigns.
  And from its gates, above the starry heaven,
  Come mystic rays that round our pathway stray--
  His guiding lights that to our souls are given,
  Foretastes that cheer and brighten all our way!



  SPRING THOUGHTS.


  "Of the bright things in earth and air
    How little can the heart embrace-
  Soft shades and gleaming lights are there
    I know it well, but cannot trace!"--KEBLE

  Spring comes again, and the freed flowers are springing
    From the cold, frost-bound earth;
  And on the budding trees the wild birds singing,
    Hail Nature's glad new birth!

  And hope awakes from many a heart-grave using,
    Glad gloriously and new;
  And many souls, in faith and trust, are prizing
    That promise sweet and true;

  Summer and Winter, ever coming, going,
    Springtime and Harvest days,
  And falling leaves and opening buds are showing
    God's ever faithful ways.

  That point us to the resurrection morning,
    And to the gladsome day,
  When light eternal, the far East adorning,
    Shall chase these glooms away.

  And she shall rise who left our home so early,
    And left our hearts in gloom,
  Clad like the flowers, in beauty's bloom all fairly
    Arising from the tomb.

  In that fair Spring and in that Summer shadeless,
    With her we, too, shall live--
  There, 'neath His smile whose glory, beaming fadeless,
    Eternal peace shall give.

  And all these ties that Time's rough hand had driven
    Shall be united there,
  And every cross a Father's hand had given
   Be gemmed with jewels fair!



  LINES.


  On reading "Lays of Love and Fatherland," by X. Y. Z.

  Oh! say not now that Erin's harp
    Is left untouched by minstrel hand;
  Oh! say not that no minstrel heart
    Sings now of "Love and Fatherland."
  Green Ulster's mountains and her vales
    Hear once again a patriot's lyre;
  Ierna's legendary tales
    Once more are told in patriot fire!

  And hearts beat high, as when of old
    In chieftain's hall or peasant's cot
  The stories of our land were told
    In songs whose spell was half forgot
  Till, touched again, the chords resound
    That bid our slumbering zeal return,
  And souls, so long in coldness bound,
    With old-time fire and fervour burn!

  And favoured ones, whom love shall bless
    In life's bright, sunny morning hours,
  Shall sing in joy and happiness
    These songs in Hope's enchanted bowers,
  For youth hath dreams, and tho' they go
    like sunset fading from the sky,
  The cherished songs of "long ago,"
    While memory lives, can never die.

  Song's potent powers, like holy things
    That hover round our path unseen,
  On airy wings, to fancy brings
    Old scenes, new-clad in fairy sheen.
  And like sweet music heard at eve
    In some cathedral, old and grey,
  Such songs can cheer the hearts that grieve,
    And chase all present gloom away.



  IF "SOMEONE" LOVES US.


  If life's path grows dull and dreary,
     With grim shadows on it cast;
  If the tired heart grows weary
     When all joy seem o'er and past;
  When e'en Hope hath ceased to cheer us
    With its warm and sunny ray,
  And the peace that once was near us
   From our pathway steals away
     There's one source where we can borrow
      Sweetest wealth to keep and claim,
     If we feel in joy or sorrow
     _Someone_ loves us all the same!

  If fair-faced Pleasure brightly
    Beam upon our happy home,
  And our hearts with hope beat lightly
    Of brighter days to come;
  If fickle Fortune, smiling,
    Strew the pleasant path with flowers,
  And Mirth, with song beguiling,
    Lead the merry-footed hours--
      There's a deeper, holier gladness
       That is ours to keep and claim,
      If we feel in joy or sadness
       _Someone_ loves us all the same!

  If our thoughts, at evening blending
     With the dim and shadowy light,
  Bring us dreams of bliss unending
     In the Haven, calm and bright--
  Oh! how sweet the thought--"for ever
     'Mong the sinless _we_ shall stand,
  There united, ne'er to sever,
      In the bright and better land:"
        And e'en then, refined and holy,
          Free from earthly stain and sin,
        Shall the pure heart, meek and lowly,
          Wear the crown true love shall win.



  NEW YEAR'S SONG.


  "Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky.
    The flying clouds, the frosty light;
    The year is dying in the night--
  Ring out, wild bells, and let it die!

  "Ring out the Old; ring in the New!
    Ring, happy bells, across the snow!
    The year is going; let it go--
  Ring out the false! ring in the truer!"--TENNYSON.


  Oh! welcome! welcome! glad New Year!
    We hail with joy your birth.
  Let peace and love reign far and near,
    And plenty fill the earth!

  Old Year, good-bye! a last good-bye
    To sorrow, woe and sin!
  Let all of darkness with thee die
    And all of light begin!

  When first we bade you welcome here
    We hailed you with delight;
  But ah! how many then were near,
    So far away to-night!

  Ah! well! if thorns were 'mong thy flowers,
    Or clouds were in thy sky,
  We owe thee many blissful hours
    Whose memory ne'er can die!

  Farewell, farewell, for aye, Old Year,
    And as you pass from view,
  For all those golden hours a tear
    That pass away with you!

  "Le Roi est mort!" "Vive le Roi!"
    The Old Year, weeping, dies!
  Ere we can mourn, a joyous chime
    Peals through the midnight skies.

  Oh! welcome! welcome! New-born Year!
    We join the strains of joy;
  To everyone our hearts hold dear
    Be peace without alloy!

  May fadeless light their pathway bless;
    And, for a lasting stay,
  Oh! may they find that happiness
    That cannot pass away.

  For years may come, and years may go,
    And earthly joys grow old;
  But heavenly love no change can know--
    No time can make it cold.

  Oh! welcome! welcome! New-born Year!
    And, as we hail your birth,
  May pure and holy thoughts come near
    And raise our hopes from earth!



  OUR NATIVE LAND.


  Our Native Land! Our Native Land!
    Long may old Erin's vales be green;
  May plenty smile on every hand,
    Be want and woe unseen!
  Oh! let us join with heart and hand
  To raise the song--Our Native Land!

  Our Native Land! Our Native Land!
    May countless blessings on her smile
  May dove-eyed Peace her lily-wand
    Wave o'er pure Emerald Isle--
  Her sons, united brethren, stand,
  To raise the song--Our Native Land!

  Our Native Land! Our Native Land!
    Let patriot voices join the song,
  And swell the chorus high and grand,
    Till every breeze shall bear it on.
  O'er flowery mead and wave-kissed strand
  Loud let it ring--Our Native Land!

  Our Native Land! Our Native Land!
    Let Erin's sense the notes prolong,
  Together joined-a mighty band
    United by one common song.
  'Tis Honour's right-her just command
  Then let us love Our Native Land!



  TO THE SEA.


  Oh! rolling waves, while ye sing around me,
    My poises beat to your fitful tune,
  And higher thoughts in my breast awaken,
    But the spell must vanish too soon, too soon.
  Here while I lie let your echoes linger,
    And rest awhile on this lute of mine;
  And though I play with an erring finger,
    The sounds shall charm if they're caught from thine.
  And my song shall be rich in melody,
    Learned from thy singing, oh' tuneful Sea!

  Sadly sigh while the clouds loom o'er thee,
    Dark and grey in yon stormy sky;
  Foaming billows, your angry wailing
    Fills my soul like a hopeless cry!
  Heaving breast with your great heart throbbing
    Ocean pulses that wildly thrill;
  Wandering waves in such cadence breaking,
    Rolling, rolling, and never still.
  Oh! that my soul, like thine, were free,
  Eager and restless, oh! beautiful Sea!

  The clouds disperse, and like glory breaking
    In fancy's eyes o'er a poet's dream,
  Clad in the sunlight the waters glisten,
    And dazzling bright in the radiance gleam.
  Far and wide o'er the scene of grandeur
    My glad eyes wander, my heart beats high;
  Lost in a maze of light and wonder,
    I faint in a dream of ecstasy;
  And the spirit of beauty thou seem'st to me
  In that flood of glory, oh! changing Sea!

  Yet best I love when the mystic gloaming
    Grows dim, and the crimson sunset dies;
  For I dream that your mighty tones are changing,
    And in psalms of praise through the shadows rise.
  Oh! Nature's organ! Methinks thy numbers
    Keep time with the songs of Cherubim,
  While through hidden caves come the echoes swelling
    Their chorus grand to the ocean hymn;
  And my soul, adorning, ascends with thee,
  In deep thanksgiving, oh! wondrous Sea!



  A FAREWELL SONG.


  Oh! sometimes when our hearts are gay,
    And Pleasure round us smiles,
  Too soon the hours may pass away
    That rosy Mirth beguiles;
  And we may feel a tinge of pain
    Amid the festal cheer,
  And pause to ask, "When, when again,
    Shall all be gathered here?"

  But ah! the future's dusky veil
    Hides coming years from view;
  And still our yearning eyes must fail
    To pierce its darkness through.
  But Memory can hold the past
    That we have loved so well;
  And, like a halo round it cast,
    Affection's light may dwell.

  And thus, my friends, though call'd away
    To join another scene,
  My thoughts shall often backward stray
    To all that once has been.
  And bygone hours shall come again--
    The cherished times and dear.
  And bring the moments in their train
    When I was with you here.

  And as sweet flowers, tho' sere and dead,
    Can by their fragrance bring
  Remembrance of the days long fled
    Again on Memory's wing.
  So many a kindly smile I'll mourn
    With deep and fond regret;
  For though I never may return,
    I never can forget.



  SOLITUDE.


  "Solitude delighteth well to feed on many thoughts;
  There, as thou sittest peaceful, communing with Fancy,
  The precious poetry of life shall gild its leaden cares"
  --TUPPER


  Come, Solitude! best soother of my mind--
    The sole companion of my happiest hours;
    The spell, all potent, of thy gentle powers
  Here in this lovely spot, I come to find.

  Below yon mountains, in the sunset beams,
    Lough Neagh's glassy waters widely spread;
    And through the distance, like a shining thread,
  The "Silver Bann" along the valley gleams.

  Lough Neagh! often in the evening light
    I've watched the golden sunset kiss thy breast,
    Then, as it died on many a wavelet's crest,
  Homeward, unwilling, turned, with fond "Goodnight."

  The bare trees in the planting moan and sigh;
    I've watched their leaves from buds, till they had grown
    To vernal beauty. Withered now and strewn
  Upon the walks, all sere and dead they lie.

  And in the Spring, when the young leaves came first,
    Here, often in my lone imaginings,
    What golden dreams I knew of glorious things;
  Visions my willing mind too fondly nurse.

  Visions that, like the leaves, to beauty grew,
    Gladdening my heart thro' sunny summer hours;
    Clad in bright garlands, woven from Fancy's bowers
  Radiant with Hope's fair light of mellow hue.

  And are they withered too? All those swept dreams
    That I had hoped in future years to see
    Around me bloom, in living, grand reality;
  No longer far-off things, or misty, meteor gleams.

  Some like these leaves, have fallen by the way,
    Never again in spring to wake to birth;
    While some are mine e'en now, whose priceless worth
  Shall bloom and ripen, knowing no decay!

  Round me the shadows deepen; and I see
    My dead dreams in a phantom band draw near.
    And dim Æolian strains fall on my ear,
  like some wild mystic requiem's fitful melody!

  Oh! Solitude! thou canst alone restore
    The buried bygone, till the haunted isles
    Of memory's chambers shine in moonlight smiles
  Shadows of sunlight from the days of yore.

  Oh! Solitude! come often for my guest!
   Still, when I meet thee in sequestered glade,
   I feel thy presence lasting peace has made;
  Of life's sweet things, I hold thee first and best!



  WITH A WHITE ROSE.


  Long ago, in ages olden,
    When our world was new;
  When old Time was young and golden,
    When men's hearts were true;
  Fairer flowers than now are growing
    Blossom'd everywhere--
  Beauty to the earth bestowing,
    Sweetness to the air!

  Well men loved them, fondly dreaming
    They were not of earth;
  In their glorious beauty seeming
    Of a higher birth.
  And in those Elysian bowers,
    In the days of old,
  Speaking all their thoughts in flowers,
    Thus their love they told:--

  One alone, of purest whiteness,
    Of them all was queen;
  Sweeter than their hues of brightness
    Was its snowy sheen.

  If this flower as pledge were given
    By true hearts in love,
  Though on earth by sad doubts driven,
    Yet their life above
  Would be one in joy unending,
    Undivided there,
  Soul with soul in glory blending
    In that kingdom fair.

  This the legend I have told thee
       Of the flower I send.
  Oh, may its sweet leaves unfold thee
       Hope, with such an end!



  "THE EXILE'S REVERIE."


  It is sweet to dream of the vanished times, in this changing
       land of ours,
  When we touch the hidden spring of thought, with the wand of
       mystic powers,
  That Remembrance yields to our yearning hearts, that are
       lonely left, and pine
  For the loves once ours, till shadowy forms come round us,
       and flit and shine.

  Through the gloom that wraps the earth-tired soul, that
       drifts on life's sea apart,
  Missing the clasp of a kindred hand, or thrill of heart to
       heart.
  Alone! alone! on the wide, wide world, where hope can console
       no more;
  Alone! alone! on the friendless waste, strange, on a stranger
       shore.

  Oft times when the gloaming gathers round, and the night wind
       moans on the hill
  Like a ghostly voice from the buried dead, when all around is
       still,
  In the midnight darkness and silence, I call through the mist
       and maze,
  To the sunny joys of the glad, bright dream, of the golden,
       bygone days.

  Then the poem of the wakened long-ago, to the music of memory
       flows,
  Now filled as with bridal gladness, now wailing out dirge-
       like woes;
  Through sunshine and summer glories, through brightness and
       fragrant blooms,
  Through howling storms, 'neath winter skies, through weeping
       and murky glooms.

  And then, when the weird strain ceases, and  the fitful music
       is done,
  The pictures I love to gaze on, rise slowly, one by one
  Through the mist of the past slow coming, they give to our
       eyes once more,
  What Death has stolen from me, and Death can alone restore.

  Again, as in early childhood, I feel the fond caress
  Of my mother's lips, or I hear the tones of my father's voice
       that bless
  His child in its gleeful gambols; Oh! happy and peaceful
       hours!
  Ye come in visions of golden noons, and sunshine, and shady
       bowers!

  And the low-breathed prayer when the sunset glow'd crimson in
       the West,
  And the sweet "Good-night," and the tender kiss, ere I sank
       to tranquil rest;
  Mother! that prayer still haunts me, adown  the dreary years,
  And the earnest tones of thy gentle voice, can steep my soul
       in tears.

  My brothers! faithful hearted! strong in your love, and true;
  Oh! breaking heart, do you mock me?  Can _they_ have
       perished too?
  In their morning time, when they shared my dreams of a Crown
       and a Life-fight won,
  Thank God, it was their's so early, when my fight had but
       begun!

  Oh, darling, best-beloved! keen now is the aching smart,
  As when Death's chill touch on our clasped hands fell, when
       he breathed the hard word "part,"
  Only for earth's short span, my sweet, for love can never
       die,
  And the spirit bond but strengthens, as Time's wild waves
       sweep bye.

  Mine! by the vows soft-whispered, where hand in hand we
       strayed
  In twilight hours, through summer lanes, or roamed in the
       lonely glade;
  But the dream in its glory perished, and earth's brightest
       hope was fled,
  And light from my life was faded, when they laid thee with
       the dead!

  Elsie! my bright-haired sister! tender blossom and pure!
  You drooped in that last storm's fury, too fragile its might
       to endure;
  And then I left the home-nest when my last sweet dove had
       flown,
  And sought to forget, amid stranger scenes, the sorrows my
       soul had known.

  It's thus the shadowy phantoms come back from the spirit-
       shore,

  When I cry in my lonely anguish for the joys now mine no
       more.
  I thrill with a passion'd yearning for the fuller life to be,
  When my tired soul faints in wonder, lost in earth's
       mystery!



  CHURCH ISLAND, COUNTY DERRY.


    "Oh, search with mother-love the gifts
     Our land can boast;
  Fair Erna's isles--Neagh's wooded slopes--
     Green Antrim's coast."--MACCARTHY.

  In peerless beauty, flushing, glowing,
     O'er broad Lutigh Neagh's breast,
  The sunset banner hovers, throwing
     Its glory over the West.
  And varied banks of glen and wood,
  That smile round Neagh's smiling flood,
  In this sweet hour seem fitting theme
  For Poet's song or artist's dream.

  Round the horizon, sternly frowning,
     The mountains like a barrier rise,
  The purple range, Slieve Gallion crowning,
     Towers grimly to the western skies.
  Northward Losgh Beg's bright waters play
  Round the Church Isle, where, lone and grey.
  The ruined pile with ivied walls
  To present days the past recalls.

  On many a grave the sunset gleams,
     Where calmly rest the sleeping dead--
  Tired mortals, done with mortal dreams
     In other life, whetted they have fled.
  E'en now they live! Oh! if tonight
  One soul might earthward take its flight,
  In awful tones methinks t'would say--
  "Prepare for death, oh child of clay!"

  Oh, time-worn walls! full many a word
     Ye echoed in the Sabbath calm;
  Love, warning, blessing, oft ye heard,
     And solemn prayer, and chanted psalm;
  And funeral dirge, as wild and high'
  Rose on the gale the _caione_-cry,
  Borne far and wide, o'er fern and brake,
  As passed the cortege o'er the lake.

  And legends of the days gone by
     Tell that if, when a funeral train
  Passed there, dark clouds swept over the sky,
     And howled the wind and sobbed the rain,
  Such storm was still an omen blest,
  And told the spirit's happy rest.
  If all were calm--then woe the dead!
  Sad rose their wailing, weird and dread!

  And that before a chieftain's death,
     On moonless nights, by lightning shown,
  How oft they saw the water-wraith,
     And heard the weeping banshee's groan.
  How many a barque, at midnight toss'd
  And in the angry waters lost,
  In the gray dawn-light seemed to glide
  In phantom-beauty o'er the tide.

  But ah! the past and all its lore
    Is fading from our hearts away,
  And memories of the times of yore
    Are all forgotten in to day!
  And now, 'tis but by peasants old
  These cherished legends can be told;
  For Erin's harp is mute and still,
  Its mystic notes no heart can thrill!

  Once minstrel hearts awoke its strain,
    And swept its chords with master-hand;
  But who can wake these lays again
    In songs of love and fatherland?
  Oh! when again shall such as they
  Wake passion'd song and warrior's lay?
  Till Erin's vales once more resound
  With harp-notes long in silence bound!



  LIVINGSTONE.


  At last thou art resting; thy life-work is ended--
    Thy life-work so nobly and faithfully done;
  And thy name, with the names of the mightiest blended,
    Shall be honored and loved as the ages roll on!

  Far away in the wilds, as thy life-scene closed slowly,
    How thy soul must have pined for one home-voice to cheer;
  But the God, ever kind, of the high and the lowly,
    With blessings and strength to thy spirit was near!

  How sweet to thy tired soul that glorious light breaking
    In beauty untold o'er the land of the blest,
  As thou heard'st, in the hour of that wond'rous awaking--
    "Well done, faithful servant, now enter thy rest!"

  Great Britain's Columbus--her son and our glory!
    Her true hearts with love shall beat high at thy name;
  Thou shalt stand 'mong the first in our country's proud
  story,
  And be graven with fire on the Temple of Fame!

  Oh! that some minstrel soul, from the days long departed
    Would awake, a meet requiem o'er thee to sing--
  And tell of thy brave deeds--the high, lion-hearted--
    Till the listening nations their homage would bring!



  A DREAM AT SUNRISE.


  Sapphire and rosy brightness in the East;
  Fresh, light-winged zephyrs o'er the hilltops stray
  And through the valleys roam, through glens and woods
  Waking the leaves and flowers to morning life,
  Seeming to tell to all--"The sun is near!"
  Slow--brightening now, the rose-light deeper grown
  The sapphire flames in wondrous golden maze,
  And, all unrivalled, the great King of Day,
  In dazzling glory, mounts his regal throne!

  To me a vision down the sunbeams came,
  When wrapt in wonder by the beauty-spell,
  My soul, entranced, afar from earth did soar,
  Unshackled, free, and drank the grandeur of the hour
  Brightest and fairest hour of all the day,
  When new life thrills the veins as when of old
  The morning stars their high thanksgivings raised,
  And all the sons of God did shout for joy!
  Wondering, I cried, "Oh, Earth is very fair!
  I cannot see the shadow of man's fall
  On aught around me--sin has left no trace:
  Oh! for a bower in such a scene as this,
  Where Love and Beauty, blessed by Peace, might dwell!"

  Then round me, on the light wind softly borne,
  I heard the numbers of an unseen harp,
  And turning, saw an angel near me stand.
  He sang of earthly love, and the soft tones
  Of his sweet harp were like Aeolian strains
  Far breathing o'er some blissful Eden world!
  And as I listened, all my holiest dreams
  Of harmony, ideal, grand, and high,
  Seem'd discord. Then methought I saw,
  Upon the morning hills, a bower arise.
  Bright flowers of wondrous hues around it bloomed,
  All, all of beauty that the heart could dream
  Was there; and, lov'lier far than all,
  A sweet-eyed maiden, twining rose-wreaths fair!

  Dark clouds arose and dimmed the glowing sky;
  The lightnings flashed, and fearful thunder pealed;
  And, as they shook the bower, I hid mine eyes,
  Fearing to see the beauteous visions fade.

  The fierce storm ceased. I raised mine eyes again,
  And saw the wreck of what was once so fair;
  The flowers had perished, and the maiden wept--
  Then all the picture melted into air!

  "This shows," the angel said, "what sin has done;
  Death and decay must fall on earthly things.
  See that you read God's mighty Teacher right--
  The Book of Nature wide before you spread.
  'Twas given for man to look on, love, and learn;
  But men have eyes, and will not read its lore--
  Ears, and the God-sent teachings will not hear!
  Earth's glories and her brightness all must fade;
  Yet, while they linger, still they say, 'Prepare.'"



  "LINES ON VISITING EARLY SCENES."


  Oh! well-known scenes of childhood's days,
    Again ye meet my longing eyes;
  And still, as memory backward strays,
    A thousand tender visions rise;
  Of days when youth's all potent powers
  Could trace in light the coming hours,
  Of dreams that withered with the flowers
             That round my pathway sprung!

  When fond Belief, unchill'd by Time,
    Built airy castles, high and grand;
  When fickle Fancy's dreams sublime
    Made Earth appear a fairyland!
  Yon school-house seems the same to day--
  Each well-remembered turn and way
  Are there--yet, ah! how far away
             Are childhood's hours from me!

  Still, still the same--the cherished scene,
     That ever thro' the varying years,
  Deep-graven on my heart has been,
     In morns of joy--in nights of tears.
  And oft in darksome times of pain,
  When hope seem'd dead, and comfort vain,
  Ye shone upon life's desert plain
            A friendly light, and true.

  And often when the tide of care
    Beat strong against my fragile bark--
  When stormy doubt loom'd everywhere,
    With nought to light the gloomy dark--
  The faith I knew in early days,
  Ere yet I trod the world's hard ways,
  Led gently through the 'wildering maze,
             And whispered words of peace!

  Sweet peace, amid the din and strife
    And holy thoughts and calm repose;
  The promise of a better life--
    The joy that from _believing_ flows!
  As when amid these scenes I'd stray,
  And dream through all the golden day
  Of coming years, in bright array,
             Till earth would seem a heaven!

  The Hand that led Youth's steps aright,
    The Love that blessed its careless hours--
  Shall they not strengthen for the fight,
    Then wreathe the Victor's brow with flowers?
  Yes! and ere from these scenes I go,
  I've learned what all must come to know--
  Earth's wisdom is but empty show--
             "The child shall teach the man!"



  IDOL WORSHIP.


  Idol worship in these later ages,
    When the light of learning shines so clear,
  Golden sayings graved on million pages--
    Wisdom's voices sounding far and near.

  Idol worship, subtle and deceiving,
    Lives mis-spent and talents thrown away;
  Grim remorse, and after years of grieving--
    Skeletons that haunt us night and day.

  Idols have we manifold in number--
    Idols worshipped both in age and youth;
  Visions that beguile life's fitful slumber,
    Soul-destroying, blinding us to truth.

  All unreal dreams that fade and perish,
    Painted idols, rich in gilded shrines--
  Airy phantoms that we blindly cherish,
    Clad in borrowed tints from Fancy's mines.

  All the shining, glittering, worthless splendour--
    All the brilliance of the earthly toy
  That we deck with careful hands and tender,
    Is not gold, but dross and foul alloy.

  Earth-born idols, lovely but in seeming,
    Flitting round us in the moonlight hours
  On Love's holy shrine we place them dreaming,
    "Though all else may leave us, _this_ is ours!"

  Oh! like meteor-flashings gleaming only
    Through the far-off vapours, dense and dark,
  Disappearing, leaves, misled and lonely
    'Mid the angry waves, the storm-beat bark.

  So our earthly idols, vain, deceiving,
    Come with promise fair for future years;
  Fill us with false hopes, forsake us, leaving
    Nought but memory's torture, gloom and tears.

  Oh! may we, their many tempting scorning
    From earth's sceptres lift our yearning sigh
  To fadeless flowers the heavenly hills adorning
    That shall be ours when we have gained the high.

  Not the joy whose end is gloom and sadness--
    Withering flowers that deck the earthly sod
  Patience hath her crown--eternal gladness--
    By the living "hid with Christ in God."



  IN WINTER DAYS.


  Spring, and Summer-time, and Autumn
      Now are flown-
  Dreamy noontides--mellow sunsets--
      Balmy twilights--all are gone!

  Hope's bright visions, carmine-tinted,
      Where are they?
  Dreams that mocked us in the sunlight
      Now in Winter pass'd away.

  Joy shall reign when Spring returning
      Wakes the flowers
  That the tender Earth has guarded
      Safely thro' the Winter hours;

  But the sad winds round me sighing
      Seem to sing
  She hath treasures in her bosom
      That she cannot yield in Spring!

  And I weep in yearning sadness,
      Worse than vain,
  For the vanished joys that Summer
      Ne'er can bring to me again!



  PARTED.


  Slow lingering months with swifter pace move on--
    Let this dark winter of my life be past;
  This cloud athwart the sky of summer thrown--
    Whose gloom and darkness on my heart is cast.

  Parted--Death's deep, dark river rolls between;
    Those talks and rambled when the day was done
  And now among the things that once have been,
    And I am left in sadness here alone!

  Parted! Oh, me, he is for ever gone!
    How hopeless _now_ the sunset's golden ray;
  How far off seem those joys we both have known,
    How cheerless look the paths we used to stray!

  Just when the autumn days grew short and chill,
    When all its sunny hours seemed past and o'er,
  And moaning winds swept wildly o'er the hill,
    Like some sere leaf he fell, to rise no more.

  The spring shall come, and leaves grow green again,
    And vernal beauty to the earth return;
  Sunshine and flowers shall deck the hill and plane,
    And birds awake with song to greet the morn.

  But he has flown far from our wintry sphere,
    Where fadeless summer glads the spring-bright clime;
  Not where the tempest clouds spread grief and fear,
   But safely moored beyond the waves of time!

  Mine is the weeping--his the blissful change;
    Mine is the waiting--his the sighed-for peace;
  Mine through these dreary, lingering years to range,
    until I find a land where partings cease.



  RETROSPECTIVE.


  I'm free from the city's noises now,
    And the city cares that bound me;
  I chase their shadows off my brow,
    'Mid the rural scenes around me.

  And alone in the shadowy evening light,
    In the deepening gloom and sadness,
  I roam the paths of past delight
    Of youth's wild dream of gladness.

  I see the panorama vast
    That to these eyes is giving
  The joyous scenes of that dead past
    Still in my bosom living.

  I call those thoughts and memories back
    That stern-faced Toil has banished,
  And wander o'er the beaten track
    Of happy days long vanished.

  The friends of youth for whom I sigh--
    The true and tender-hearted;
  The happiness of days gone by,
   The pleasures long departed:

  I see them all again to-night,
    They seem to come and linger
  Like pictures traced in truest light
    By Memory's artist finger.

  Those happy times, to me how dear!
    Well loved, yet lost for ever;
  Those forms that I can fancy near,
    Can they return? Ah, never!

  Grim Time's dark shadow of decay
    Falls on our hopes when brightest;
  A cloud may dim our sky of May
    When happy hearts beat lightest.

  When golden sunbeams softly fall
    In light on shrub and flower,
  E'en then a storm to blight them all
    May in the distance lour!

  But still when evening's shadowy light
    Steals round in gloom and sadness,
  I'll feel a thrill of old delight,
    Of youth's wild dream of gladness!



  DUNLUCE.


  In concert grand the tuneful waves
    Break wildly on the foam-girt shore,
  And through a thousand secret caves
    The shrill wind-voices loudly roar.
      Now are the harps of the Ocean waking,
      'Mid the howling winds and the billows breaking!

  The mermaid leaves her ocean home
    To sing her love-songs, soft and tender;
  The moonlight gilds the breaker's foam,
    And bathes the sea in silvery splendour;
      And the splashing spray on the White Rocks falling
      Sounds like lonely voices of Ocean calling.

  Oh, lone Dunluce! looking o'er the sea,
    With tower and keep so grim and hoary,
  Do the waves' wild revels recall to thee
    The days of your long-departed glory--
      When the wan, weird moonlight is round thee streaming,
      With the stars' pale light on your gray walls beaming?

  Oh, stern old relic of bygone ages!
    Oh, stout old scorner of Time's rude hand!
  Your name shall live in our history's pages
    While a poet sings in our native land;
      And your fame shall be heard in old Erin's story
      When we tell of the days of her vanished glory.

  Ah! many a tale not in history's keeping,
    Of lordly chieftain and lady fair,
  in the gloom of Oblivion now are sleeping,
    And can never be told in the twilight there;
      Who repose unremembered in graves unknown,
      Where the storms of past ages have o'er them blown.

  I can almost fancy the winds are singing
    Those stories forgotten by all but thee,
  And the rolling waves in their turn are bringing
    Back mem'ries of olden chivalry;
      Wild minstrels around thee in darkness stealing
      The scenes of the long ago revealing

  I hear in the distance their harp-notes swelling
    In a dirge-like wail o'er the moaning sea,
  And I think that their mournful strains are telling
    A thousand tales of the past to me.
      The echoing caves to their songs replying,
      As each fitful sound on the gale is dying.

  Wild minstrels of Nature, whose poet-fire
    Rings out through her solitudes, wild and grand.
  Let your spirit rest on my feeble lyre,
    And I'll chain it there with a willing hand.
      And when Night hangs her myriad star-lamps shine
      Let me blend her notes with your wondrous chord.



  THOUGHTS AT EVENTIDE.


  "I hold it true, with one who sings
   To one clear lute of divers tunes.
   That men may rise on stepping-stones
  Of their dead selves to higher things."--TENNYSON

  Lo! the sunset fire is burning in the roseate sky of evening
    Where grand in dying glory sinks the god of day to rest
  And wide o'er the dewy meadows lie the golden lights and
       shadows,
    Like gleams that come to cheer us from the regions the
       blest!
  Slow the fiery orb is sinking down below the purple
       mountains;
    Still the splendour of his radiance lingers round us for a
       while;
  And the peaceful country bowers, and the stately run towers,
    Are rejoicing in the beauty of the glad, refulgent smiles.

  From the trees and from the meadows the bird-song wild and
       tender,
    In sweet and mingled chorus, like vesper songs, arise
  With the evening zephyrs blending, on their airy wings
       ascending,
    Like anthems of thanksgiving they are ringing thro' the
       skies.

  The children's happy voices from the village playground
       stealing,
    With the cadence of their laughter, come floating through
       the air;
  And the face of Nature smiling, every thought of care
       beguiling,
    Soothes my restless soul to musing in the twilight calm and
       fair,--

  Keeps my soul in peaceful musing, 'mid the tranquil summer
       gloaming,
    When the cares of day are ended, and its labours all are
       done;
  When the Dove of Peace is stealing o'er the valleys, bringing
       healing
    On her white wings to the weary, with the rest that they
       have won.

  Here let me sit and ponder on life's long and varied story,
    On the things that are, and have been, and the times that
       are to be;
  Of the past and of the present, of the darksome days and
       pleasant,
    And the future years, still hidden, that are kept in store
       for me.

  But, the past--should I deplore it? All my longing can't
       restore it;
    Still it lies beyond my reaching, to come back to me no
       more;
  It is right to keep and cherish, or to let its memory perish,
    Like a dream to be forgotten, when the hours of sleep are
       o'er?

  Like a dream to be forgotten, like a phantom, a delusion
   That but lured away our moments with its subtle, witching
       powers,
  Till it sinks our souls in sadness with the dreams of
       gladness,
    And the thoughts of vanished pleasures that can ne'er again
       be ours.

  Let me cease this idle longing for the days that have
       departed,
    It is worse than useless wishing for a light grown dim and
       dead:
  For joy so lovely seeming, when we clasp them in our
       dreaming,
    And know we must awaken and remember all is fled.

  Let past failures be our beacon through the breakers spread
       around us,
    To show where danger meets us on life's rough and troubled
       main--
  Where earth's joys like billows meeting, on the rock's care
       are beating,
    And we see them dashed and shattered where they can not
       rise again.

  Let me wake, and cease repining; let me learn life's sternest
       lesson--
    Joys when born of earth are earthy, and must therefore fade
       and die;
  Let me feel new knowledge glowing, on my opening eye
       bestowing
    The experience that will lead me to a fairer, by-and-by.

  'Tis our past has made our present, so our present makes our
       future,
    Let us work, and cease of wishing--let us _do_, not
       _dream_ through life;
  Ever mindful, never straying, with our earnest hearts still
       praying
    For the guerdon of the worker, and the winner in the
       strife.



  LIFE.


  Life is a day. In its morning bright
  We frolic and scamper, free and light.
  'Tis a happy path that we have to run,
  The way is pleasant when new-begun.
  The sky of our youth is clear and blue,
  With no clouds to impede our raptured view;
  There's a prize to win in its golden hours--
  Let us work with zeal, and that prize is ours.
  There's a laurel crown for the victor's brow,
  And a time to win it--that time is now!
  Now, when our hearts are young and gay,
  Ere the light of our morning fades away.
  It is hard to work 'neath the noon-day sun,
  But the rest shall be sweet when the work is done;
  It is hard to struggle and fight alone,
  But the prize we win shall be all our own.

  The noontide fades, and the evening grey
  Overtakes us soon on our weary way;
  But our day of working will soon be o'er,
  And the rest is nearer us than before.

  Life is a night, to watch and pray
  For the coming dawn of a brighter day;
  But our lamps are trimmed--we have nought to fear,
  The darkness is fleeting--the dawn is near.

  And now we see through a darkened glass
  The shadowy scenes of the future pass;
  But then, in a morn of unclouded light,
  It shall break in glory upon our sight.
  The Master shall come when the night is o'er,
  And bid us to work and watch no more;
  He shall tell His servants their work is done,
  And bestow the crown they have nobly won!



  A SUMMER SONG.


  The summer flowers in regal bloom
    Make field and garden fair,
  Their fragrance in the dreamy noon
    Perfumes the balmy air;
  The river murmurs through the vale
    Upon its sea-bound way,
  And o'er the pleasant hill and dale
    The birds sing blythe and gay,--
  And river, flowers, and birds to me
  Are ever bringing thoughts of Thee!

  The woods at eve are cool and lone;
    And when I linger there,
  There's something in the wind's soft moan
    That whispers Thou art near.
  My thoughts by Fancy's chains are bound
    As by a magic spell,
  And strange, sweet visions wrap me round
    While in the lonely dell,--
  And rustling leaves and murmuring streams
  To me are bringing sweetest dreams.

  The sunset saddens in the West,
    The stars peep through the skies;
  The weary day is hush'd to rest
    By gentlest zephyr sighs;
  The wavelets break upon the shore.
    The moon shines o'er the sea,
  The sandy beech I wander o'er
    Alone to dream of Thee,--
  And stars, and sky, and moonlit sea,
  All, all are bringing thoughts of Thee!



  EVENING.


  Red shines the sunset in the evening sky,
  And paints the cloud-ranks in rich crimson glow,
  Till every varying tint in rival splendour burns,
  And earth and ocean catch the gleam, and smile
  In new-born glory for a time, and then,
  As the enraptured gaze absorbs the scene,
  It fades, and, growing dim and dimmer, dies.
  It is a glimpse from worlds unseen--a light from the
       Invisible,
  Foreshadowing things the brighter yet to be.
  A soft wind-whisper wanders thro' the boughs,
  And wakes a thousand harps in forest lands,
  That all the sultry day were hushed, till now,
  When the fair twilight spreads her dreamy spell:
  They wake to melody so softly sweet that one might think
  An angel's wing had stirr'd the varied leaves.
  And swept the woodlands with ethereal song.
  Now the great sea, with all its restless waves,
  Seems calmer grown, as forth the stars appear,
  And smile upon us from the silent skies,
  Where nightly, looking down the azure depths,
  Like guardian angels o'er a sinning world,
  In their grand, silent eloquence, they show
  The marvels of their great Creator's power.
  This is the time when dreams will come, and bring
  Days which have fled, and we would fain recall.
  A shadow thrown across the moonlit walk--
  A breeze that, sighing, lifts the woodbine leaves, and strays
  In through the open lattice, may restore
  The scenes that long in memory have slept.
  Ah, me! stern Time can take out youth away--
  Whiten our hair and mark our brows with age;
  But Memory, kind Memory, that holds the past,
  He cannot claim. Remembrance still is ours,
  And we may grasp her magic wand and touch
  The secret spring that hides our bygone years.
  The murmur of a brook that flowing glides
  Between its violet banks, can call a sigh
  From that far time when we could roam at eve.
  To hear the birds that sang the sunset down,
  With wild, glad vesper-songs by Nature taught.
  The earnest face and tender eyes, that beamed
  With a whole world of deep, undying love,
  Rises again before my tear-dimm'd sight.
  Then came a time when, with slow steps, and voices low and
       sad,
  They laid _her_ down to rest. Then life grew dark,
  And all that I had left on earth to love
  Was but a grave, beneath the churchyard trees,
  Where I could sit for dreary hours and weep.
  Years fly apace. The wildest grief grows calm--
  As storm-clouds lowering in the noonday sky,
  Seem darkest when they hang above our heads--
  So we most feel the stroke of sorrow when it falls;
  But Hope draws near, and, pointing to the Future, whispers-
       "Wait:"
  Yes, wait awhile; and for a few short years
  Struggle, and fight, and bear the burden well.
  The sun that sank below the purple hills,
  Leaving the earth to darkness and to night,
  Shall bring new glory to the morning sky.
  Death's night of gloom shall have its morn of bliss,
  And we shall find within the golden gates
  Our flowers that withered, in eternal bloom!



  TO "W. C. T."


  Oh, sad one, who wails for thy love that is slighted
    Left lone and forsaken, all joy fled away;
  Thy day-dream of beauty o'ershadowed and blighted,
    Thy sky once so rosy now clouded and gray.
  Thine idol was earthly, and earth-like must perish;
    The casket was doubtlessly faultless and fair;
  But 'tis only the soul-gem the poet can cherish,
    And blend with, his dreamings in gladness or care.

  The glory that shone like the East in the morning
    On the radiant ideal was sweet to behold;
  But, alas! 'twas thy fancy had wrought its adorning,
    And without it the real is worthless and cold.
  And the poet's high soul ever craves for that beauty
    That must be arrayed in the white robe of Truth;
  The Love, Heaven-born, that walks hand-clasped with Duty,
    That thro' life's changing years keeps the heart in its
      youth.

  Then shall Truth at the shrine of the False linger pining
    No! Nature rebels, and Hope whispers, Arise!
  There are regions unknown in the glad sunlight shining--
    In the paths of thy calling where happiness lies!
  Oh, linger not weeping, in gloom and in sadness,
    The days that are coming thy healing shall bring;
  And a love, brighter far, horn of Truth and of Gladness,
    Shall Phoenix-like up from the dead ashes spring!



  SUMMER LONGINGS.


  There's a sound of woe in the forest lands,
    A wailing sigh in the wild wind's breath;
  The woods are waving their naked hands
    As they mourn fair Summer's death.

  Through the leafless groves in the twilight hours
    Come gusts of music that sink and swell,
  And I cry, "Come back, with your light and flowers,
    Fair Queen of the year that I love so well!"

  Come back to gladden the earth again,
    For the woods are grim in their winter woe,
  There's a dreary look on the lonely plain,
    And the hills and mountains are crowned with snow.

  And I fancy I hear from the distant hills
    A blast of wind sweeping o'er the lea,
  From the gray old hawthorns and foam-clad rills,
    To tell a word of their woe to me.

  Oh, Summer so lovely, lost and dead,
    I miss your sunshine and balmy hours,
  And blissful calms, when the noontide shed
    Its dreamy radiance on fields and flowers!

  I miss your bird-songs that called me up
    To welcome the blush of the golden morn,
  When the dew-pearls gleamed in the harebell's cup,
    And the lark soared high o'er the fields of corn.

  I miss the hush of the quiet eves,
    When the gloaming stole through the silent wood,
  And the low-toned zephyrs that stirred the leaves
    Were like elfin harps in the solitude.

  Oh! Spring, return with your tender buds,
    And thousand splendours to deck the earth;
  Come back and reign in the grand old woods,
    And Winter shall fly at your welcome birth.

  Come back, and wide o'er the hills and vales,
    The birds your welcome in glee shall sing;
  And their songs shall float on the gentle gales
    Till the earth in gladness and joy shall ring!



  MY TREASURES.


  Yes, I have treasures--not of gold or silver,
    Yet they are hoarded with a miser's care;
  Cherished and loved more tenderly and fondly
    Than purest gems, or jewels rich and rare.

  Only a scrap of paper, old and faded,
    Only some withered rose-leaves, sere and dry;
  And one long tress of hair, all bright and golden,
    Dear relics of the happy days gone by.

  Well I remember that long, dreamy summer,
    With all its sunshine and its cloudless days;
  The pleasant rambles through the lanes at even,
    When earth was glowing in the sunset rays.

  And when the Autumn, in his mellow splendour,
    Clothed field and forest in autumnal dyes,
  'Twas sweet to wander in the still, weird twilight,
    And watch the moon ascend the eastern skies.

  Oh! blissful hours! ah, vows so softly spoken,
    Ye held a subtle witchery for me;
  I dreamed a heart of love and trust unbroken
    Was mine--and mine alone--through time to be.

  Alas! not mine that blossom that I cherished,
    And hoped would bloom through all the coming years;
  Death's chill hand fell upon it, and it perished,
    And left with me but memory and tears!

  Oh, woods! though Autumn left you bare and leafless,
    Spring has returned, and brought you life and mirth;
  But the dead dream of youth's bright golden morning
    Of love and beauty, can it wake to birth?

  It cannot be; the times that have departed,
    The days of gladness, can return no more;
  And I am lonely left and broken-hearted,
    Like some sad exile on a foreign shore,--

  Who, gazing backwards, through the years can picture
    A time when love and friendship were his own;
  Then turning to the present, lone and cheerless,
    Finds all his happiness in life is gone.

  So, now, life's evening shadows, grim and dreary,
    In deepest gloom, are round my pathway shed;
  The beams of hope are growing dim and weary,
    And all that once was bright is cold and dead!

  Oh, long-lost love! the gloomy years are fleeting,
    Through life's dark dream they ever hurry fast;
  Great waves upon the brink of Time they're meeting,
    And, mingling, rush to form the shadowy Past!



  THE GIFTED.


  Say, are the gifted born the sons of woe--
  The favoured ones on whom kind Heaven hath smiled,
  And dowered so richly with its priceless store;
  The lords of earth, the monarchs of the soil--
  Men who are bless'd with minds that angels have:
  Are these to bear the jibe of vulgar tongues,
  To feel the taunts fell Envy madly hurls,
  Or brook the scorn gaunt Jealousy may show?
  To them such things are but the angry blast
  That mars the bosom of the placid lake,
  Which smiles in dimpling ripples at its wrath!
  They _have_ their "world of flower, and song, and gem,"
  The land of beauty where the poet dwells--
  His green Parnassus where the muses reign:
  _Not_ hidden nor unseen; oh! look abroad,
  And tell me if thine eye no beauty sees.
  The solemn grandeur of the Autumn woods,
  Bright-crimsoned with the dying Summer's blood;
  The mountains in their hoary splendour drest,
  The valleys with their fields of golden grain,
  The glens deep hidden, where a thousand flowers
  In modest beauty shun the noontide glare;
  The wild-birds' song, the murmur of the streams
  That through their heathery banks of fragrance glide.
  All these are theirs--their solace, their delight;
  Each with its charm of mystic beauty fraught;
  The gleams that pierce the clouds of common life,
  And let the light of Heaven's own sunshine in!
  They have their dreams in twilight's shadowy hour,
  When they can strike their golden lyre, and feel
  The holy joy the poet calls his own.
  And the soft breeze that sings among the boughs
  In numbers like the famed Æolian harp
  Seems blending with its tones, till earthly cares
  Melt, as beneath the syren's spell, and die!

  Thus lightly o'er the waves his bark goes on,
  Hope for a beacon shining bright above.
  While firmly at the helm stands fair Content
  To steer him safely till he reach the shore.
  And then, when Death's grim portals open wide,
  And he has reached the Land he dreamed and sung,
  Oh! bliss to wander o'er the streets of gold,
  _His_ harp-notes mingling with the choirs of Heaven!
  His hopes all realized, "faith lost in sight"--
  His life a poem which God Himself hath read!



  MORNING.


  The gladsome Morning looked across the hills,
  Clad in his richly tinted robes; the opal dawn,
  Faint blushing in the East, grew clear and brighter,
  Till the resplendent sunrise decked the sky.
  It shone upon the woods--the birds awoke
  To chant their welcome to the god of day.
  It shone upon the meadows, and the flowers
  Ope'd their eyes, where the bright dew-tears glistened
  As they had wept thro' the long hours of night,
  Heedless of how the star-beams smiled and played;
  And the pale, tender moon, with pitying ray,
  Looked down upon their lowly, drooping heads,
  Now lifted gladly to the morning light,
  Till the warm sunshine kissed their tears away.
  And clouds of fragrance from their beds arose,
  That amorous zephyrs, as they wandered by,
  Wafted, like sweetest incense, to the sky!
  It shone upon the rivers, as they flowed
  Through fertile meadow-lands, so rich in loveliness;
  Sweet streams, that, rippling on in restful song,
  Took up a tone more joyous in that hour;
  And whispering leaves, and birds that, far and near,
  From grove and hedgerow, warbling clear and sweet
  In blending music, trembled in the air--
  Like matin hymns, that on Creation's wings
  Were upwards borne to the Creator's Throne!



  ANOTHER YEAR.


  Another year has well nigh passed,
    With all its smiles and tears,
  And joys and sorrows that are cast
  In Time's great stream, whose waters vast
  Roll to the ocean of the Past,
    Bearing our hopes and fears,
  Where 'neath its waves they mingle fast
    With all our vanished years.

  Another year! a span of Time,
    That tells of lifework done;
  A book, some pages dark with crime--
  Some grand, and holy, and sublime;
  A trumpet, telling every clime
    Of battles lost and won:
  A knell of woe--a joy-bell's chime,
    Hope dead, and bliss begun!

  Another year! In Spring's sweet hours
    What blissful thoughts we knew!
  What hopes, that came with opening flowers,
  What visions, nurse in spring-wreathed bowers,
  When Fancy lent her magic powers
    To trace in brilliant hue
  Castles of air, and dream-built towers
    Too soon to fade from view!

  Another year! and I can trace
    Footprints o'er Summer's way,
  But turn to find a vacant place,
  Where once I met a cherished face,
  And well-loved form of youth and grace,
    Now pass'd from earth away--
  This year the goal of one bright race,
    The close of one fair day.

  Autumn is dead. The year is old,
    The dull November days are chill;
  The bare woods dreary to behold;
  The northern blast blows keen and cold,
  Far sighing over waste and world,
    O'er wintry vale and hill;
  And in its moan are requiems told
    For true hearts dead and still!

  So must it be. Each passing year
    Still bears some joy away;
  Some darling treasure, held too dear,
  In trembling bliss, in hope and fear,
  Which we would fancy safe and near,
    Departs, and seems to say--
  "We have no lasting city here,
    Earth's life is but a day!"

  But Christmas, coming round again,
    Shall bring his wonted cheer;
  And Pleasure, in his jovial train,
  With rosy mirth and glee shall reign,
  To chase these thoughts of gloom and pain
    That haunt the dying year;
  And grief-parched lips the cup shall drain
    Of "Peace and good-will here!"



  WITH A SHAMROCK.


  Here, in these triple leaves, oh! read from me,
    What I, for _thee_, have dreamed their mystic spell,
  Faith, Hope and Love, joined hand in hand, I see,
    And this the message that they seem to tell:--

  Love, for the present, and the time to he,
    Faith, that its might and truth can never die;
  Hope, that beyond the future clouds and mystery
    Points to a smiling scene, and cloudless sky.



  "WAITING FOR THE MAY,"


  "Ah! my heart is weary waiting, waiting for the May!"
  Old thoughts come back from the old time,
    Where, at even, the sunset light
  Gilds wood and world, ere the glory dies,
  And darkness gathers along the skies
    And the world is left in night.

  Old songs float round in the gloaming,
    Sweet fragments that come and go;
  They are echoes, I know, from the olden times,
  Holy, as music vesper chimes,
    In the days of "Long Ago!"

  And faces shine in the firelight;
    And laughter rings through the rooms;
  And memories of bygone springtime eves
  Come back to my lone heart that aches and grieves
    In the chill of life's winter glooms,

  Then, the May of love that I longed-for
    Was hid in the future haze;
  I dreamed it a land of joy unknown,
  Where bliss and beauty would be my own
    Through the length of life's fair days.

  So in hope for the May I waited
    As gay as the joyous hours
  That sped so fast, on their lightsome wings
  Thro' flowers, and sunlight, and glorious things
    That lived in youth's fairy bowers;

  But the hopes I nursed in that springtime--
    Ah! me, but those times were bright!
  Are withered now, and no fruit I see,
  Though the blossoms were fair on every tree
    In the glow of their promise-light!

  Yet, when by the grave where I buried
    Those hopes, I stand and weep,
  I hear Faith say, as the storm-winds blow,--
  "If in patience, and sorrow, and tears ye sow,
    The guerdon of joy ye shall reap!"



  AWAKENED.


  The glories of fair April's pride
    Are smiling round on every hand,
  And springtide beauties, far and wide,
    As with a garment clothe the land.

  In shady nooks, in lonely glades,
    In forest alleys wild flowers spring,
  In budding stalls, in twilight shades,
    In lonely woods the birdies sing.

  The violet's bloom on many a bank
    Is mirror'd in the waters sheen;
  And 'mong the grasses long and rank
    The yellow primrose flower is seen.

  In yon dim wood the trestle sings
    'Mong boughs that clasp hands overhead,
  And through the air his glad song rings,
    As in that April long since dead.

  The brook has still the same soft flow,
    Whose murmur filled the evening air
  In those old days of long ago,
    Though I may never wander there.

  I shut my eyes, and see no more
    The hurrying throng of city ways
  And call to life that dream of yore,
    And feel the thrall of bygone days.

  The passion'd yearning for the time,
    The glorious time that was to be,
  The restless young heart's dreams sublime,
    Of all the future held for me.

  Ah! fair the blossoms Hope's tree bore!
    I dreamed of Autumn's golden grain--
  Oh! fatal blooms! ye brought a store
    Of deep remorse, of life-long pain!

  Oh! dream of youth, I see you now
    With calmer eyes, and world-taught mind,
  And know these care-lines on my brow
    My waking hour has left behind.

  All false the glow that round you shone,
    Though fair as Fancy's dream-land light:--
  With all your rainbow decking gone
    I view your naked wreck to-night.

  I look and bless the sudden blast
    That tore my idol from its throne;
  And bless the keen pain of the past--
    If pain for error could atone.

  False love! bereft of all your wiles
    Dead dream whose sweetness all is o'er,
  The memories of your tears or smiles
    Can touch my wakened heart no more.

  I lay you in your grave to-night
    And seal the stone without a sigh,
  Rejoicing that your gloom and blight
    No more can cloud my brightening sky.



  "ONLY."


  Only relics, yet precious and pure
    Are the dreams of the days of old,
  Though they tell of wounds that no charm can cure,
    And of bright hopes, dead and cold.
      Only visions of forest ways,
      Only thoughts of happier days,
      Only the glow of Life's sunrise haze
        When the morning sun was shining.

  Only, it may be, a lock of hair,
    Or a flower sere and dry;
  Only a pictured face, how fair
    In the light of the times gone by!
      Only a sigh for what may not be,
      Only a yearning wish to see
      The light beyond the mystery
        That for weary souls is shining.

  Only thoughts of the gladsome time
    When the world of youth was bright;
  Only memories of joys sublime--
    The gleams of youth's fairy light,
      Only sweet flashes that come and go,
      Only the thrall that sets heart aglow,
      Only the spells we were wont to know
        When Fancy's rays were shining.

  Only voices we hear no more,
    But the echoes haunt our ears;
  Only dreams that are past and o'er
    That we mourn through the lonely years
      Only to find that the sunny gleam
      Of earth's love fades like a passing dream,
      Only to wait for that deathless beam
        That "beyond the tide" is shining.

  Only the clasp of a parting hand
    On the silent rivers' shore,
  As the dear one sails for the unseen Land
    And we see his face no more,--
      Only to gaze o'er the waters drear,
      Only to wait till the call we hear,
      "Come over now, for rest is near
        Where the true life light is shining."

  Only the burden all must bear,
    Only earth's weight of woe;
  Only to learn from each dreary care
    The patience the pure must know.
      Only this:--but what welcomes wait
      To hail us home at the pearly gate;
      Only to toil until night is late
        And awake where the Morn is shining.



  FIRST PSALM.


  How blessed are they who turn their steps
    From paths the wicked choose,
  Who stand not in the sinners ways,
    And scorners' seats refuse.

  Who take their solace and delight
    In meditation pure--
  The law of God--its depth and height,
    Its wisdom, might, and power.

  They, like the trees on verdant banks
    Whereby sweet rivers flow,
  Shall bring forth fruit, and fadeless leaves,
    And prosperously grow.

  But such is not the sinners' end--
    Like the light chaff are they,
  Which when the softest winds arise,
    Are quickly swept away.

  They shall not in the judgment stand,
    Nor sinners, scorning grace
  Be in the congregation found
    Where righteous men find place.

  The Lord himself the righteous knows--
    He marks them from their birth,
  But godless ways of sinful men
    Shall perish from the earth.



  HER NAME.


  The purple heather on the brae
    Was all abloom; by glen and weld
  The wild birds sang the live-long day,
    The corn-fields ripened into gold.

  The garden blooms were wonderous fair;
    Red roses blushed in regal glow;
  Carnations scented all the air,
    Pure was the lilies' virgin snow.

  But fairer than the garden flowers,
    Or all the summer blooms, wean
  Was she, whose smiles beguiled the hours--
    Was she, whose presence charmed the scene.

  Oh! pleasant were the sylvian glades,
    Oh! sweet the hush of summer noon;
  Roaming 'neath tangled green-wood shades
    We deemed _that_ twilight came too soon!

  Our home-ward way lay through the wood,
    We lingered by the streamlet's side,--
  False vows were made what time we stood
    There, 'neath the elms, that eventide.

  I carved her name upon a tree,--
    A gnarled old ash-tree, gaunt and grey;
  "The name may stay," she said to me,
    "When I, perchance, am far away!"

  Swiftly the summers come and go,
    And life grows stern, and love grows cold;
  Dim are the days of long ago--
    Their joys a story long since told.

  But, sometimes, at the close of day,
    I dream of that dim wood, and see,
  A name upon an ash-tree grey--
    'Tis all the past has left to me!



  MEMORY.


    "And other days come back to me
    With recollected music."--BYRON.

  How memory's boundless store is fraught
    With wonders, mystic and sublime!
  Bright gleams, that oft we set at nought;
    Sweet messengers from Heaven's own clime.
  The wind that stirs the boughs at eve--
    A star that glimmers in the blue
  Of nights gemm'd crown, oftimes may wreathe
    A halo, strangely sweet and new.
      Round hopes and fears we used to know
      In life's young morning, long ago.

  The cadence of the sighing waves
    That break in song along the shore,
  The winds that sigh thro', hidden caves
    Are echoes from the days of yore.
  The moonlight, stealing o'er the sea,
    So calm, above the restless tide,
  Is like the light that used to be
    In many a by-gone eventide,
      As memory comes, and paints each scene,
      Of loves and joys that once have been.

  We feel the power, and own the spell,
    That bid the lonely spirit stray,
  In thought, to where our lost ones dwell,
    Now from our paths so far away
  We say "'tis dreams that Fancy brings,"
    And go our way, forgetting still;
  But on the winds are angels' wings,
    And spirit power, our souls that thrill
      With yearning for that life unseen,
      Hid far behind this mortal screen.

  For Memory still with subtle art
    Unfolds the bygone to our eyes,
  And still the lonely, longing heart
    Would soar beyond earth's mysteries,
  Till wearied grown of useless tears,
    And longing for the olden days,
  We turn to see the future years
    Lie smiling 'neath hope's rosy haze,
      And view the past with hopeful love,
      Made sure our life is "hid above."--

  Hid far away from mortal ken,--
    These wonderous gleams that round us stray,
  These meteors, 'mong the haunts of men,
    These holy thoughts, that day by day,
  Shine in their light of Heavenly hue
    O'er chequered paths of work and love,
  Refreshing as the tender dew,
    Are stray-beams from the light above
      Men call it Memory, but we know
      'Tis Heaven's warm light on earth's cold snow!


  TWILIGHT.


  Twilight's shades are round me creeping,
    Nature dons her robe of gray;
  Through the blue the stars are peeping,
    Sunset's last, faint streaks decay.

  Visions come of bygone hours,
    Ere these eyes were dimmed by tears,
  Youth's bright scenes unwreathed with flowers
    Dimly seen through mist of years.

  Softly through the summer gloaming
    Steals this picture of the past;
  Through the wood the breeze is roaming
    Moon beams round their shadows cast.

  By the murmuring, flowing river,
    Sits a maiden waiting there;
  Graven on my heart forever
    Is that form of beauty rare!

  Vows are plighted, love is given,
    Trusting love without alloy,
  And the calm, blue, starry heaven
    Whispers but of truth and joy!

  By the murmuring, flowing river,
    Where the shore the waters lave,
  Now the moon beams fall and quiver
    On a green and lonely grave!

  Token sad of fond love slighted,
    Of a rose cut down in bloom,
  Of a fair young blossom blighted
    All too lovely for the tomb.

  Softly through the summer gloaming
    Sighs the breeze a requiem low,
  And my sad heart, ever moaning
    Answers to its tones of woe!



  TOLD IN THE TWILIGHT.


  We left our ink-stained office-desk,
    Two, young in years, yet old in care;
  We laid aside our world-face mask,
  We laid aside our daily task
    To breathe the country air.

  We laid aside our musty books,
    Grown almost hateful to our eyes;
  We longed to roam the country nooks,
  We longed to hear the murmuring brooks,
    And see the sunny skies.

  We longed to hear the birds again,
    Minstrels that through the woodlands stray;
  We longed to hear the reaper's strain
  Sung in the fields of golden grain
    On the bright harvest day.

  Oh! pleasant were the breezy downs!
    Oh! fair the lanes and fields;
  Far from the weary noise of towns,
  We half-forgot grim Care's dark frowns,
    'Mong peace such quiet yields.

  He said, The busy city's street
    The path of labour and of woe,
  The anxious faces, hurrying feet,
  The things that every day I meet,
    Are what I hate to know!

  Oh! might I bathe in Lethe's stream,
    Forget the happy days gone by,
  And know this life a fleeting dream,
  And look on every passing scene
    As with a stranger's eye.

  To walk along this quiet lane,
    To feel this evening calm,
  Ah! how it soothes my tired brain
  With peace I thought that ne'er again
    Would bless me with its balm.

  'Twas in a lane like this, at even
    My life's peace came to me;
  A great, sweet joy to me was given,
  A pure, true love, whose hope has riven
    Earth's gloom and mystery.

  A maiden, lovely as the glow
    Of Fancy's soul-land light,
  Once vowed to me for weal and woe,
  As calm or storm would come or go,
    Her love was 'mine by right!'

  Twas Spring-time then, ere Autumn's blast
    Sighed with its dreary moan,
  To shake the brown leaves falling fast,
  Her sweet life-tale was told and past,
    And I was left alone!

  'Twas hard to think that _she_ was dead,
    'Twas hard to bear such pain;
  'Twas hard to feel all brightness fled,
  'Twas hard to count bright days swift sped
    That could not come again!

  I sought her grave at eve, alone,
    And there before me lay
  Her tomb, a lily carved on stone,
  Meet emblem of my darling one
    So early called away.

  And, 'neath the lily, words so sweet,
    In dreams they haunt my rest;
  Oft at their sound I turn to weep
  'He giveth His beloved sleep.'
    Oh! portion purest, best!

  Sleep to the weary body, worn,
    On earth, with pain and care,
  To meet the ransomed soul, new-born,
  On the Great Resurrection Morn,
    In God-like beauty fair.

  There, at her grave, I bade farewell
    To all my heart loved best;
  I left our home, I could not dwell
  "Mong scenes our love had marked so well,
    I felt Grief's wild unrest."

  This is my story told to you--
    My holiest dream of life;
  The blest home-love that once I knew
  When she, so good, so fair, so true,
    I called my own--my wife!

  My sunshine faded when she died,
    Such joy I might not know;
  God called her early from my side,
  And when I lost my gentle bride
    The world seemed full of woe!

  He knew 'twas best--my stubborn heart
    Had need of chastening pain;
  To bow beneath the rod's keen smart,
  To learn, by grief, the better part,
    To feel such loss is gain.

  And now no earthly idol smiles,
    No pleasant passions lure;
  No fleeting phantom now beguiles
  My soul from heaven with tempting wiles,
    My hope is fixed and sure.

  She waits for me--the swift year's flight
    I count like miser's gold;
  I keep the "watches of the night,"
  I wait until the morning light
    Its glories snail unfold.



  SUNSET.


  A burning flood of glory blazing far along the West,
  And clouds on clouds aglowing towering o'er the mountains'
       crest
  Till the shining, burnished columns and the ranks of crimson
       vie
  In a living trail of splendour, lighting all the evening sky.

  The grand October sunset burns above the mountains' brow,
  Whose grey old heads shine redly, light-kissed and ruddy now;
  There the sunshine loves to linger in a parting glow of
       light,
  Ere Day his throne resigneth to the dusky reign of Night.

  But low and lower sinking, the sun goes down the West
  And the dazzling beams are fading along the Ocean's breast
  Till, pale and paler growing, the grandeur dies away,
  And the wild waves and the breezes seem wailing for the Day!

  For the fair Day, that has vanished--the brightness that is
       fled,
  And for all the sunny hours that are passed away and dead,
  The rosy flush of sunrise, the gladsome time of morn,
  And bird-songs sweet, that far and near told when the Day was
       born!

  The tranquil hush of noontide, the mellow evening hours
  But ah! the Day's departure left desolate the bowers,
  And woodland haunts, and flowery dells, and mountain streams
      and glades
  Are lonely left in deepening gloom, and mystic twilight
      shades!

  But through the Night's grim darkness the star-lamps bright
      shall burn,
  'Till the lone Earth, cheered and hopeful, shall wait for
      Day's return,
  And gaze with wistful longing, till the dawn the far East
      hills,
  And the sun in regal beauty smile o'er the grand old hills.

  Then life and light and brightness shall be her own again,
  And in the new-found gladness she'll forget the night of pain
  Forget the hours of darkness when deep in gloom she lay,
  And her weeping-time of sadness be "as waters that pass
      away!"

  Thus, this dreary night of sorrow through which we wander
      here
  Be only transient darkness the long bright Day is near,
  Whose light of peace and glory the ransomed spirit fills,
  As it hails the dawn eternal upon the Heavenly Hills!



  "CONSIDER THE LILIES."


  Not gold nor diamond flash of dazzling brightness,
  No costly thing of earth Thou givest for thought;
  But these sweet simple flowers, beside whose whiteness
  The great king's glory all would seem as nought.

  Thou knewest how soon must fade all earth's poor splendour,
  Worthless its wealth to Thine all-seeing eye;
  The short-lived glimmer of its pomp and grandeur
  Fleeting and transient only born to die.

  Thou would'st not point our love to earth's frail treasure,
  But to these lilies, beautiful and pure;
  They toil nor spin not, yet their life's full measure
  Thou metest, and their day is kept secure.

  Oh, lilies! well I love your snowy pureness!
    That once the Master deigned while here to trace,
  Pledges of His dear love, whose truth and serene
    Are faintly shadowed in your beauty's grace.

  Meek teachers! could I learn that lesson given!
    If God so clothe the grass with beauty rare,
  Shall He not guide us on our way to heaven,
    And guard our pathway till we enter there?

  Oh give me, Lord, a soul of lily whiteness,
    Washed in the blood that Thou hast shed for me,
  Thy Spirit's light to pierce earth's gloom with brightness
    And show the way thro' mist and cloud to Thee

  Give me a heart whose treasure is in heaven,
    Not for to-morrow feeling anxious thought;
  Even as my day, so shall my strength be given,
    And grace sufficient--can I want for aught?

  Oh, give me faith, that on Thy love relying,
    From doubt's dark thrall I may be ever free;
  And clothe me, Lord, that in the hour of dying,
    Thy righteousness, blest robe, may cover me!

  Thus may I walk, by Thee, my Guide, befriended,
    'Joyous with joy that knows no sad decay;
  That when earth's sun has set her brief day ended
    My morn may break and shine to "perfect day'"



  SONGS OF THE SEA.


  "My soul is full of longing
  For the secret of the sea,
  And the heart of the great ocean
  Sends a restless pulse through me."--LONGFELLOW

  In the grey light of the morning, ere the sun has lit the sky
  When the winds rave loud and wildly, to the angry waters
  How the mighty, foaming billows thunder forth, in ceaseless
       roar,
  Songs majestic, wild with anguish, woeful waitings evermore.
  In the dawn light, in the gloaming, beating, breaking, o'er
       and o'er,
  Telling out the ocean stories, to the wide, encircling shore;
  And I listen, till the legends of the past, a shadowy host,
  Seem to gather round, and people storied Antrim's rock-bound
       coast.

  Where the grandeur of the Causeway smiles in scorn at Art's
       weak hand,
  Seem the wild waves ever singing of the high schemes Nature
       plann'd,
  When she hurled the giant columns, by some mighty earthquake
       shock,
  Till they stand, huge pillar-wonders, by the paved,
       mysterious rock;
  And the dark caves, weird and frowning, echoing the sea's
       wild strife,
  Seem to hold some spell unearthly, of the ocean's secret
       life.

  Where th'Atlantic rolls sublimely, lashing round Port
       Ballintrae,
  Language cannot paint the grandeur of the waves, in awful
       play!
  Beating, breaking, wildly seething, whilst in restless,
       fitful roar,
  Deep to far-off deep is calling, answering round from shore
       to shore.
  And the spirit of the ocean seems to fill its heaving breast
  With ten thousand prison'd longings, wailing out in wild
       unrest.

  Softening down to calmer music, round the White Rocks and the
       caves,
  With a tender, nameless pathos, softly sing the curling waves
  To the battlements and turrets, and the old towers, grim and
       hoary.
  Where the stern Macquillan chieftains reigned in once
       unconquered glory.
  There Dunluce, in lonely grandeur, frowns in wild, and
       deathless pride,
  Sentinel of bygone ages, Time-tried warder by the tide.

  Grey Dunluce, in concert blending, winds, and waves, and
       sounding sea,
  Seem to sing a dirge of sorrow for the glory fled from thee,
  Rolling onward to the Skerries, wailing far in requiem moan
  Till they catch the surf's bold thunder round toe rock at
       Innishone,
  Where the foam-girt shore re-echoes with the burthen of the
       song,
  And the angry dashing billows wide and far the cry prolong.

  When the moonlight, pale and faintly, gleams on Malin Head's
       blue crest,
  And its silvery pathway shimmers far across the ocean's
       breast;
  When the yeasty breakers glisten softly in the shadowy light,
  When the rocks seem mystic castles, looming grimly thro' the
       night;
  Then the solemn songs of Ocean, fraught with precious, new-
       found lore
  Bring for Fancy unknown treasure, priceless gems for
       Thought's great store!

  Grand old Ocean! how my spirit longs to catch thy melody
  Do thine heart's great pulses quicken with a secret life, oh,
       Sea?
  Far adown the blue waves, hidden by the hearings of your
       breast,
  Is there soul to tune your singing, to its ceaseless, wild
       unrest?
  Oh! thou dread and wondrous ocean, tell these mystic songs to
       me
  For their cadence, grand and changeful, haunts my path with
       mystery.



  THE MOONLIGHT.


  Silvery moonlight, clear and bright,
  Shining down on our earth to-night,
  Soft as the touch of an angels' wing,
  Tender, beautiful, holy thing!

  Seeking the glen where the cool waters flow--
  Lighting the bank where the violets grow;
  Gilding the crest of the foamy rill;
  Falling in silence upon the hill;
  Piercing the depths of the forest glade,
  Glancing down thro' the leafy shade,
  Till the loneliest haunts of the wild wood seem
  To rejoice in the light of thy radiant beam!

  Glistening out on the trackless deep,
  Where the spirits of ocean their revels keep;
  Lighting the path over the billows' foam,
  As the mermaid glides from her gem-built home,
  And the peri's song o'er the heaving sea
  Sounds in fitful, plaintive melody!

  Pouring down on the mountain pass,
  Where, tripping light o'er the dewy grass,
  The fairies join in their wild, weird dance,
  And the mystic forms thro' the moonbeams glance,
  While far and wide on the wind is borne
  Through answering echoes, the elfin horn.

  Flooding with glory the prairie's breast,
  Till, all transformed, in the radiance drest,
  The shanty, south of the poplar wood,
  Seems a sylvian lodge in the solitude;
  And the settler dreams, with a moistened eye,
  Of the moonlights and loves of the times gone by.

  Gleaming fair on the city towers
  Where the clocks, thro' the night, chime the passing hours,
  On the city's heart that no longer beats,
  With the ebb and flow of its noisy streets,
  And their living pulse-throbs that come and go,
  To the smile of joy, and the throb of woe!

  Smiling down from a cloudless sky,
  On the village homes, that all peaceful lie;
  Where simple hearts, in a happier life,
  Know nought of the city's cares and strife,--
  The hardy sons of honest toil,
  Pensioners free of their parent soil!

  To hopeful hearts in the morn of youth,
  The dream-land of Love, and the type of Truth,
  Where the future shows 'neath its veil of light
  An Eden of blissful, untold delight

  In the stern, hard struggle of manhood's days
  When tired feet stumble o'er life's rough ways,
  And in age's twilight of shadowy gloom,
  A dream of the rest that is yet to come.

  Shine on, silvery moonlight, shine!
  Gladden earth with your beams benign;
  On restless ocean, on tranquil lake,
  Through forest alleys, by fern and brake;
  By quiet village, and crowded town,
  By mountain, prairie, and breezy down;
  O'er sights of gladness, o'er scenes of woe,
  Let the tender light of thy pure beams glow,
  And the weary and hopeless shall bless your light.
  And the child of joy have more pure delight.



  "GOODNIGHT."


  "Until the day break, and the shadows flee away."
  Cant. 2.17

  Goodnight, beloved! see the sun descending,
    Behind the woodlands of the far, bright West,
  And in the glory of the daylights ending,
    The "light at eventide" brings dreams of rest.

  Goodnight, beloved! now the grey-eyed gloaming
    Glides through the valleys with an unheard tread,
  And haunts the woodlands, where the wild winds moaning
    Wails o'er the leaves of Autumn, sere and dead.

  Goodnight, beloved! see the pale stars peeping
    Through the blue curtain of the shadowy skies;--
  The lamps the angels hold, their night-watch keeping,
    O'er souls who wait their call to Paradise!

  Goodnight, beloved! a faint, lingering glory,
    Of dying daylight glows in parting smile;
  Its last kiss lighting all the hill-tops hoary,
    As though the hour with brightness to beguile.

  So now, I dream, a tender love-light lingers
    O'er all the bygone, in a charmed glow,--
  That hides the marks of Time's relentless fingers
    And gilds the cherished dreams of long ago.

  How fair it shines! but ah! the West grows dimmer,
    The crimson radiance melts to sober grey,
  And so earth's dream-light fades in fitful glimmer,
    Its meteor brightness swiftly dies away.

  Goodnight, beloved! for the shadows darken
    In gloom around me, and I cannot see;
  Come nearer, nearer still; beloved, hearken;
    I hear a far-off voice that calls for me.

  Goodnight, beloved! a new light is breaking
    As earth's light fades to brighten nevermore;
  Goodnight, beloved! till that glad awaking
    When morning shines upon the other shore.



  LOST.


  The sunset burns on roof and spire,
    And streets with busy passers rife;
  But ah! it lacks the dream-world fire,
    That once 'twas wont to call to life.

  That once it kindled in the days
    Of woodland haunt and country lane,
  Before I knew the city's ways,
    Before I learned that life has pain.

  Oh! present, with your armed host
    Of anxious cares, barbed sharp, and keen
  Fade! for the light of pleasures lost
    Shines forth from days that once have been.

  A fairer sunset charms the West
    A mellower radiance fills the air;
  A scene with old-time beauty drest,
    Lies stretched before me, smiling fair.

  A rustic range-wall, gnarled and old,
    A wooden bridge that spans a stream;
  The glory of the sunset's gold.
    The sweetness of my first love-dream!

  Two hearts that meet in passion'd thrill,
    Whose perfect bliss no words can tell;
  But once in life that joy we feel,
    And feeling, prize, alas! too well!

  Oh! Time and Doubt! ye fill the heart
    With sepulchres of Love and Truth;
  Our hopes lie dead but memory's part
    Must still be played till life shall cease.

  Oh! swift years ever drifting fleet
    Adown life's current, tempest toss'd,
  Roll on! till on Time's brink we meet
    And hail the life where nought is lost!



  GOOD WISHES

  TO ------ ON HIS MARRIAGE.


  My friend, on this your wedding-day,
    Where Love and Hope unite,
  To yield with Hymenal ray
    The bridal morning bright.--
      When hands are clasped
      And cups are quaffed,
  When round go wishes true,
      This song of mine
      For Auld Lang Syne
  I send to her and you.
    An echo of the bygone times
    To mingle with your wedding chimes!

  "Good luck," on this your wedding morn,
    "God speed" for years to be;
  Good wishes, of old friendship born
    For days ye both shall see.
      When in your bowers,
      Bloom promise-flowers,
  Ah! ne'er may sorrow's gloom
      Bring shadow there,
      May sunlight fair
  Your hearth and home illume!
    All good, all joy, all blessing true,
    I wish to your fair bride and you!

  May Heaven its choicest riches send
    To bless your life's long way;
  May Love its lasting beauty lend
    That age can't steal away.
      Oh! may your sky
      As swift years fly
  Be cloudless, bright and fair;
      May joys' own glow
      Dispel all woe,
  And chase away grim care!
    May every good that God can send
    Be yours through all your life, my friend!



  "ONLY FRIENDS."


  We said "good-bye" in a quiet lane,
    the gloaming, years ago;
    few were our words about "parting pain"--
  we were "only friends" you know.

  Good friends had we been in the dear, dead hours,
    that still in our hearts would live,
  At morn we had wandered the wild-wood bowers,
    We had roamed through the lanes at eve.

  We had gathered the sweets of the summer glades,
    The rose, and the violet blue;
  We had talked of Love in the twilight shades,
    And of hearts that were tried and true.

  But of our heart's hopes, or our own love-dreams,
    Ah! never a word said we,
  For Fate had forbidden our lips such themes,
    And "friends" we could only be.

  And our farewell came, like a boding gloom,
    That darkened life's morning ray,
  And joy's glad glow, and Hope's tender bloom
    Died out of one heart that day.

  How we thought in that hour of the bygone days,
    Of the golden summer prime,
  Of the mountains wild, and the woodland ways,
    And the spell of the gloaming time!

  And, it may be, the memory of whispered words
    Came o'er us with subtle power,
  Awaking, unbidden, our full hearts' chords
    In the pain of that parting hour.

  For our hands were clasped, and our lips once met,
    The first time, and the last;
  Ah me! 'twere well could we all forget,
    Some scenes in our buried past;--

  For the blue outline of the mountains high,
    The lake, and the woodland green,
  The quiet lane, and the twilight sky,
    Too oft in my dreams are seen!

  And still, tho' the summers are bright and fair,
    And the summer woods are gay,
  To me there is something wanting there
    That has passed from my life away!



  ODE TO SUMMER.


  Beauteous Queen! with crown of flowers,
    On your tresses sunny sheen;
  Welcome! to the "Lone-Land" bowers,
    To our prairies, wild and green!
      In your path spring flowers to meet you,
      Nature's choicest glories greet you,
      Fair Enchantress! I entreat you,
          Listen to my lay!

  Smiling Summer, down the ages,
    Still your praises have been sung,
  And the poets and the sages,
    Who have spoke with gifted tongue,--
      In our legends, old and hoary,
      Thrilling song, and 'trancing story,
      Live to-day in deathless glory,
          Thrill our souls anew!

  Still their songs our breasts inspire,
    Still is theirs undying fame;
  Theirs the untaught poet-fire,
    That I may not hope to claim;--
       Louder than the war-host dashing,
       Brighter than their bright spears clashing,
       Shine their souls, like lightning flashing
          Through their thunder-words!

  Radiant Queen! Their songs combining
    Yield to thee their highest praise,
  Round thy brows of beauty twining,
    Fadeless garlands of their lays;--
      Lays whose light our gloom has rifted,
      And our yearnings heavenward lifted,
      As we soar with them, the gifted,
         Far from earth away.

  Queen of Beauty! Still we sing thee,
    Worthy of the poets' song;
  Willing homage still we bring thee
    As the ages roll along.
      Songs of birds, and breath of flowers,
      Wind-notes, charming woodland bowers,
      Morn's fresh glories, gloaming hours,
         Yield their sweets to thee!

  Now the prairie-lands are smiling
    With the wealth thy reign bestows,
  Brightness golden days beguiling,
    O'er smooth sands life's river flows.
      Through the air glad sounds are ringing,
      Nature summer idylls singing,
      I, my simple off'ring bringing,
         Kneel at Summer's feet!



  CHANGED.


  It seems the same as it used to be, when I watched the sunset
       glow,
  In the days of beauty and gladness, the times of long ago;
  Like a light that is dim and far-off, for dark years, full of
       pain,
  Lie, rolled between me and the beautiful past, that never can
       come again!

  Yet Ireland's hills are as verdant now, and the sun, as he
       sinks to rest,
  As then pours his parting glory, o'er Slieve Gallion's purple
       crest,
  A glory that brightens and lingers, as though it were fain to
       stay,
  Till the twilight shadows darken, and daylight dies away.

  On Mullaboy the darkness looms weird on the lonely hill,
  The cattle have ceased their lowing, and the song-birds'
       notes are still;
  And here, in the gloom and silence, 'neath the stars and the
       quiet sky,
  Old memories throng around me, of days long, long gone by.

  Two scenes are ever fairest, and first in this heart of mine,
  And with clearer light and brighter, 'mong the dimmer
       phantoms shine,
  And perfect in light and shadow, in tracing true and grand
  Are the pictures as memory paints them, with firm and master-
       hand.

  The first is a cloudless moonlight, in calm and silvery
       sheen,
  And the range of the Morne Mountains in the dim background is
       seen;
  Beneath them the sea is rolling, all fair in the gentle
       light,
  And beauty and peace are blending in the hush of the summer
       night.

  I gaze, till again in fancy, I hear the waves' soft roar,
  As they break in wild sweet music along Rostrevor's shore;
  And a voice with their song is blending telling the old sweet
       tale,
  Of a fond, true love, that through life's long years would
       never change or fail.

  That picture fades before me and the second comes in view--
  A walk 'neath o'er-arching beeches, with the sunlight
       glinting through
  Leaves that rustle and whisper on branches that wave above,
  A silent, tearful parting, the death of a deathless love!

  Dead, and yet unforgotten, worn, but never estranged,
  The glory and brightness of morning to the darkness of
       midnight changed!
  And life is dull and dreary, and joy from earth is fled,
  For the love that was light and beauty, and joy and peace, is
       dead.



  SABBATH ON THE PRAIRIE.


  The year's first, blushing roses,
    Were decking the prairie's breast;
  And the summer garb of beauty
    Made fair the wild North-West.
  It flashed in the sedgy hollows,
    And smiled in the woodland dell;
  It whispered in low, soft zephyrs
    That breathed o'er the lake and fell.
  How it glowed in the mystic star-shine
    Of the clear blue Northern sky;
  How it crmison'd and flushed in grandeur
    In the sunset's sweet good-bye!
  And gaudy birds from the South-land
    Made brilliant the poplar grove,
  And plaintiff calls came sounding,
    From the haunts where the plovers rove.

  With dream-notes in the gloaming
    The wind-lutes swept the boughs,--
  Sweet songs of the distant stretches,
    Where the moose and bison browse.
  And we lay in our camp, and listened,
    And thought of the wilds untrod;
  Of the misty, lonely future,
    And the homes on the stranger sod.

  And still o'er the wide, wide ocean,
    Our eager thoughts would stray,
  To the homes and scenes, to the loves and hopes
    Of the youth-time, far away.
  Then we slept, to dream of the morrow,
    "'Twill be Sunday at home," we said;
  "But our church must be the prairie,
    With the blue sky overhead."

  The Sabbath dawned in beauty,
    With a calm whose breath of peace,
  Made a solemn grand cathedral
    Of the wild vast wilderness.
  The woods were the soft-toned organs,
    And the winds, thro' their alleys dim,
  Now raised some high, glad anthem,
    Now chanted some low, sweet hymn.

  We came from our tents together,
    And stood on the lone hill-side,
  To join in the songs of Nature,
    That Sabbath morning-tide.
  "With one consent let all the earth,"
    Swelled on' the sunny air.
  And then, how each home-sick, heart went forth
    In that strange hour of prayer!
  And the text the preacher gave us
    Was, "Rejoice in the Lord always,"
  Alike in the summer sunshine,
    And the gloom of winter days.
  And the clouds of our gloom were banished
    Like the mists from the morning air;
  We had strength for the untried future
    For God is everywhere.



  AT EVENING.


  Slowly along the darkening sky
    The twilight comes with stealthy tread;
  Far out to west great cloud-ranks lie,
    By sunset flushed a rosy red.
  Oh! shadows of the gloaming time,
    Gather, and loom, and darkly fall,
  The winding path to Fancy's clime,
    Lies hidden 'neath your dusky pall.

  Pent in the city, now I dream
    Of country scenes, of lanes and flowers,
  Of woodland glen, and woodland stream,
    Pictures of bygone sunset hours!
  Oh, bygone! mighty claims you own,
    That summon me to seek your shrine,
  I hear the call and wait alone,
    Until the charmed light shall shine.

  'Tis breaking! Glistening near and far
    A radiance floats, of dazzling light
  Untouched by Time, or Tempest-scar
    I view my past again to-night!
  Oh! fair, false hope, your fruit is pain,
    Oh, Love! when life's spring leaves were green,
  Sweet, e'en in thought to see again
    Th' Elysian called "what might have been."

  "What might have been," we scan it o'er
    And charmed we live the dreams in thought,
  But wake to find that mist-world shore,
    Like cloudy vapor melt to nought--
  The brightness fades, the sweet rays die,
    Deep darkness falls and night is come;
  A wan new moon looks down the sky,
    And stars are trembling in the gloom.

  Morning, and noon, and evening grey,
    And mystic twilight, all are flown;
  And e'en my dreams are pass'd away,--
    Again I find myself alone!
  Young love's sweet morn, when hope was nigh.
    Stern noonday toiling, which is best?
  Ah! me, they all must fade and die,--
    'Tis but the end can give us rest.



  IN PEACE.


  The name, the age, and a sentence written
    On a marble cross o'er a grassy mound,
  Where, calmly beneath sleeps the tired heart smitten,
    Cruelly pierced by a dastard wound,
  At peace in the heart of the restless city.
    She slumbers well in her lowly bed,
  With never a tear of love or pity
    By kindly mourner above her shed.

  High birth is safely, its rank and splendor,
    Blazoned lineage, pride and show,
  Scorn coward justice, who fears to tender,
    The lash to vice, in this world below,
  What matter--a thousand such things have happened
    Man has been false since woman was fair;--
  But say, must he stand at yon High Tribunal,
    And what account shall he render there?



  TO THE SEA.


  'Tis eventide and the sun is dying,
    Painting the sky in its roseate beam,
  And out to sea-ward the cloud-ranks lying,
    Are crimson-bright in his parting beam;
  In dazzling light o'er the waves extending,
    In burnished glow on each foamy crest,
  At the golden portals of sunset ending,
    Its pathway illumines the ocean's breast.
  Oh! light of the sunset, soft and tender,
    Oh! waves that shine in the rosy glow,
  Oh! mountains, so grand in your hoary splendour,
    Oh! billowy ocean that heaves below!

  Oh! rolling waves, that are ever beating,
    In wild, sweet music along the shore,
  Tell me tales ye are still repeating,
    Sighing and moaning forever more;
  In seething foam 'mong the grey rocks meeting,
    Where, rushing, ye break in doleful roar!

  Sighing on in your restless roaming
    Wailing so wildly and ceaselessly;
  In the morning light, or the shadowy gloaming,
    Tell me, what are thy songs, oh, sea!

  Is thine the wail of a life-long sorrow,
    The hopeless crying of hope long dead;
  The dearth of loneness that cannot borrow
    One beam of light from the brightness fed,
  To point to the dawn of a fairer morrow
    Far away in the future spread?

  But, heedless, it rolls in its wonderous splendour,
    Onward, in cadence sublime and vast;
  Are these ocean-songs, in their mystic grandeur
    Requiems sung for the vanished past?
  It is buried and dead, yet still unsmitten,
    It lives and blooms in one hidden spot,
  Where in Memory's chamber each scene is written,
    Graven too deeply for Time to blot!

  But see! o'er the waters the light grows dimmer,
    The white-winged sea-gulls to Westward fly;
  Pale stars look down in a fitful glimmer
    As the crimson fades from the opal sky.
  I soon shall sleep, and perchance in dreaming,
    I'll live again in the time that's fled,
  And fancy the rays of its brightness beaming
    In mellow radiance around my bed
  And it may be I'll dream not of bliss that's fleeting
    But of that fair life that is yet to be,
  Where no cloud can arise to dim our meeting
    As I stand with _him_ by the Jasper Sea!



  NOT LOST.


  "Mine," saith the Lord, "these jewels bright and pearless.
    Mine, in the day when I shall count mine own!"
  So He has called them, and the hearts left cheerless
    Sad and bereaved, must mourn the loved ones flown
  "Mine," saith the Lord, He gave, and He has taken
    In wisdom infinite He dealt the blow;
  And round our hearth their places are forsaken
    But _they_ are gathered to His fold, we know!

  Home-gathered early, when the sun so brightly
    In life's fair morning tinged their curls with gold,
  And o'er their snowy brows all calm and lightly--
    The joyous span of earth's brief time had roll'd.
  Home-gathered early; fair to mortal seeming,
    The promises that o'er their pathway hung,
  But ah! we cannot e'en in fondest dreaming
    Conceive their bliss amid the cherub throng.

  Eye hath not seen, nor to man's heart is given,
    To know what to His loved one He bestows
  What joys untold the ransomed band in heaven,
    Through the eternal, blissful ages knows.
  And the bereavement is no hopeless sorrow,
    No lasting parting, but an ending pain;
  We feel that upward, toward the glad to-morrow
    Are drawn these links of the earth-binding chain.

  For well we know that these, our darlings, entered,
    Into His joy, shall be at last restored
  So while our hope in perfect faith is centred
    We wait for resurrection in the Lord.



  LOOKING UNTO JESUS.


  Worn and wearied on earth's road
    Oft with stumbling feet I go;
  Eyes that fain would look to God
    Dim and weak with sin and woe.
  But when, all my guilty stains
    Rise in dread immensity,
  Then I know my Saviour's pains
    Took the load of guilt from me.
      Pardoned, healed, redeemed, restored,
      Then I look to Christ, my Lord!

  When the clouds of sorrow rise,
    And the light of woe is dim,
  When the subtle Tempter tries
    To win back my soul to him.
  Then I look to One Who said,
    "All things I have overcome;
  Onward go, be not afraid
    I shall guide to yonder Home!"
      Then what evil can betide
      While I lean on Christ, my Guide?

  Worn with toil of earthly strife--
    Wearied hands and heart grown faint,
  Tired of all the ills of life,
    For the water brooks I pant,
  Then above the world's wild din,
    I can hear "Come unto Me;
  I shall heal these wounds of sin,
    Give you rest, and make you free!"
      When my doubting soul is blest
      When I look to Christ my Rest.

  Journeying o'er this path of tears
    Oft my doubting heart is cold,
  Far away my Home appears--
    The gates of pearl--the street of gold.
  Can I ever enter there?
    All the way with danger rife,--
  Then the Master's voice I hear,

  "I am the Way, the Truth, the Life!
    Ah! what doubt can then dismay
    While I walk with Christ, the Way!

  "Looking unto Jesus" still
    I can bid my doubting cease,
  Joyful, though beset with ill,
    Fighting, yet at perfect peace--
  Sorrowful, yet filled with joy,
    Tossed, yet feeling all secure;
  Earth nor Hell cannot annoy
    While my peace with Him is sure!
      "Looking unto Jesus," blest!
      Soul at anchor, heart at rest!



  BY THE WAVES.


  A merry leap on the sunny air,
    And a gleam of tresses, golden bright;
  A 'witching face that is wonderous fair,
    A creature of beauty and joy and light.

  A rocky coast with the waves at play,
    Wild wandering waves that are mad with glee;
  "Tell me, what do the wild waves say,
    Are their words in their music?" she asks of me.

  I start and shiver, my heart grows cold,
    Aye, cold in the flush of the August sun,
  Whose glory lies on the sea like gold,
    In farewell radiance, ere day is done.

  The eager smile from her lips has died,
    For the pain on my face was plain to see,
  And she turns to pace the sand by my side
    Watching the billows silently.

  She does not know--could my darling dream,
    Of lost, dead love in her golden world,
  Where the hope-flowers bloom, and the joy-lights gleam
    'Neath the rosy light of Love's flag unfurled!

  Oh! girlie mine, with the true brown eyes,
    And the perfect faith in your fair to be,
  Could I lead you back o'er the bridge of sighs
    That spans the gulf 'tween the past and me.

  I could show you love in its full-tide swell,
    Its syren beauty its dream-world light;
  Then, the gathering storm, and the deep-toned knell,
    As Love lies bleeding in clouds and night!

  Would you step aside from the shining coils
    That circle to-day round your dainty feet,
  Could I show you the woes without the wiles,
    In the dregs of that chalice, bitter-sweet?

  Ah! no, sweet maid, you must "live and learn,"
    Though experience is bought, it cannot be sold;
  And the heart joy's thrill, and the heartache's burn,
    Must needs be felt, they were never told!

  So live and smile in your fair to-day
    And wear the jewel of maiden-faith;
  May its diadem gleam on your brow for aye,
    And Truth with your Love walks in step with death.



  IN MEMORIAM.
  A. S.


  Oh! land of partings, brief and sad probation--
    When all is brightest, then farewell must come!
  And the lone mourner weeps in desolation,
    Earth's fairest seeping in the silent tomb.

  Far from her home, where kindly hands have tendered
    As graceful tribute, to her well-loved name;
  Not by chill stranger-feeling coldly rendered,
    But by the care respect and love can claim.

  And still her memory shall be loved and cherished,
    By all who knew her in her sojourn here;
  Like some fair flower that in the morning perished
    In spring's bright hours when skies were blue and clear

  Oh' widowed mother-heart! dead e'en to hoping
    Longing to leave the life whence joy has flown.
  The eager hands through earth's grim shadows groping!
    "Darling, come back to me, I am alone!"

  Oh! yearning heart-cry, in deep anguish spoken,
    In sleepless midnights, or in twilight dreams!
  Oh! aching pain-throb of the spirit broken,
    Soon shall these clouds be pierced by Mercy's beams.

  These deep, dense clouds of anguish and repining--
    Darkness and gloom that but the present show
  E'en now, behind them, in the brightness shining.
    Wait angel-bands that minister to woe.

  Soon shall they come, and bring the consolation,
    When the first burst of agony is o'er,
  Then when thy soul is calmed by resignation,
    Point to the meeting on the other shore:--

  Where safe at home, in Christ's eternal keeping,
    Celestial joy her ransomed being fills,
  She waits, when thou hast left this vale of weeping
    To greet thee on the Everlasting Hills.



  CHRISTMAS.

  FIFTY YEARS AGO.


  Christmas! why child, can this be Christmas Eve?
    Ah, me! the years run swiftly on;
  Threads in the warp of this short life we live.
    And now my chequered web is well nigh spun.

  And Christmas seems not what it used to be,--
    The good old customs all are changed, I wean;
  Yet memory of old times is left with me--
    The days whose brightness these dimm'd eyes have seen.

  Come, Elsie, bring your stool beside my chair,
    Stir up the fire to shine with brighter glow,
  And while it flickers on your sunny hair,
    I'll tell a Christmas-tale of long ago--

  Full fifty years ago, when I was young,
    And this grey hair like yours was golden-bright,
  When mirth and laughter dwelt on brow and tongue,
    In fleet winged hours, that sped with magic flight.

  Sometimes, in waking dreams it all comes back,--
    Familiar forms move softly through the room,
  Then leave me, gliding up the moonlight track,
    Wafting sweet music down the twilight gloom.

  And at these times I see the home that stood,
    In the lone highland valley far away;
  The snow-crowned hills, the lake, the lonely wood,
    Through which I wandered many a summer day.

  And I was happy in those summers, child!--
    Life in its morning brightness knows not gloom,
  The rose-tinged future-mists hide waste and wild
    As sharp thorns hide beneath the rose's bloom.

  And girlhood seemed like some fair sunny day
    Without a cloud to mar the summer sky.
  On pleasure's airy pinions borne away
    Too swiftly far the winged hours sped by.

  Then came a glory-crown to gild the years,--
    I loved; but 'twas no fancy of the hour,
  No fleeting day-dream fraught with hopes and fears,
    But Love, that ruled my soul with sovereign power.

  A love that strengthened as the days went past,--
    Dearer and holier far than all beside;
  An Eden-world of beauty grand and vast,
    With joys new-born, out spreading far and wide.

  Seemed then mine own; and the long years to be,
    Would fill my life with happiness and light,
  While this great love would shed its beams on me
    In glad refulgence making all things bright

  For he--the hero of my life's romance,
    Was dear to me--ah! words can never show
  That passion'd love, how every tone and glance
    Tender or cold, brought happiness or woe

  But cherished hatred goads to bitter end
    And, mocking, fain would quench youth's ardent fire
  We saw a shadow on our life descend--
    The full charged storm-cloud of long-gathering ire.

  My father boasted his high birth and name
    And owned a pedigree that he could trace,
  Back to the stern old chiefs, whose hostile fame--
    He held the pride and honor of our race.

  And still when Christmas came he loved to see
    All the old customs of our sires kept up,
  Huge yule-logs graced the hearth, and Christmas glee
    Rang high, 'mid merry song and festal cup.

  And on that Christmas day of which I tell
    The seasons revelry was held the same;
  The stately hall with guests was furnished well
    And, 'mong, the rest, was bidden Hector Graem

  He drank to me--"his lady fair and bright,"
    As was the custom of the olden time,
  "Your lady! never, while the sun gives light
    Shall Graem ever wed with child of mine!"

  And pointing to the door with haughty mein
    My father bade him from his board begone;--
  And then a curtain fell upon life's scene--
    Blackness of darkness where Hope's sun had shone

  Some family-feud, in days long passed away
    Between the Graems and the MacDonnell's rose.
  And still its memory in his bosom lay
    Though seeming peace was made between the foes

  But ah! my child, how can I tell the rest?
    I lived; but Heaven in mercy spared the blow
  Of thought and memory then, and weeks that pass'd
   Were one drear blank--I felt not then my woe.

  Child, you have never loved, and cannot know
    How drear and hopeless youth itself may seem;
  The long, blank loveless years to wonder through,
    With nought, save memory of a bygone dream.

  But sorrow kills not, we may laugh or weep,
    Still Time by stealthy gliding steals away;
  And Winter snows again lay white and deep,
    And once again they welcomed Christmas day.

  I watched them with sad eyes that knew no smile,
    And a dull mind from which all hope had flown,
  A listless heart that nothing could beguile
    Back to the gladness that it once had known.

  The dull December twilight grey and cold,
    Fell weird and grim upon the lonely moor;
  The wild wind raged o'er wintry waste and old,
    And in the storm a stranger sought our door.

  He asked a shelter from the bitter night
    My father's brown cheek blanched to hear _that_ tone,
  He led him forward to the yule-log's light,
    A lost--a mourned, but now a new-found son!

  Oh! sweetest welcomes on the wanderer fell!
    The last of our long race--returning home;
  Home to the long-tired hearts that loved him well
    No more an exile, by strange shores to roam.

  "Bid me not rest" he said, "until you know,
    I have a friend who claims his welcome now,
  For, but for him, the depth of Alpines snow
    Had been my grave, and you had lost your son."

  "Then wherefore wait?" my mother gently said,
    "Let him come hither till I bless his name!"
  And Roderick turned, and forth the stranger led
    And once again, I looked on Hector Graem.

  No welcome-glow lit up the old man's eye,
    Surprise or anger seemed to hold him dumb,
  My mother clasped his hand with sob and sigh,
    But to full hearts the fewest words will come

  Then Hector kissed her hand with courtly grace,--
    Bowed lowly to my father, half in scorn,
  "Old ills" he said "are hardest to erase
    From hearts where gratitude was never born"

  But as he spoke the glistening tear drops fell
    From those old eyes, that seldom tear drops know.
  "You here" he said "love breaks hates baleful spell,
    And gratitude comes forth to yield her due!"

  "Let feuds and errors perish with the Past,--
    'Tis thus I lay them in a deep dug-grave'"
  And, beckoning me beside him, there, at last,
    His blessing, once refused, he fondly gave!

  Ah! life is very fair, and love is sweet!
    The dark sky cleared, the sun shone out again,
  Earth seemed a heaven, with perfect bliss replete,
    And new-born gladness healed the sting of pain

  And standing by the window hand in hand,
    Hearing the storm howl o'er the wastes of snow.
  We were the happiest of the happy band
    That merry Christmas fifty years ago!



  BEGINNINGS.


  At dawn sweet flushes softly creep
    Along the brightening sky,
  Pale watchers whom lone vigils keep
    Perceive the sign, and cry,
        The night is gone, the bright day comes,
        And gladsome light the East illumes!

  Bright blossoms on the branches burst,
    Then Autumn fruits grow there;
  So, dreams that sickly hope had burst
    Grown real, make life fair.
        And dreams we prize as holy things
        That haunt our path on mystic wings.

  And so, across life's weary road,
    Made dark by many a woe,
  We hear the tender words of God,
    "Come, follow where I go!"
        And listening to that gentle voice
        Is fixed the best and earliest choice.

  First, we must pray, and watch, and wait,
    And bear the daily cross,
  And, till we reach the Master's gate,
    Count earthly gain as lost,
        Then hear, "good servant, nobly done,"
        By patience hath the crown been won.



  IN REPLY TO "ALONE."


  It is the joyous time of June,
    And Nature glads the smiling land
  Arrayed in garments gay and green
    Bestowed by nature's lavish hand.
  Oh! soft the lullaby of streams
    'Neath shadow of o'er arching trees,
  When all sweet, summer music seems
    To float around us on the breeze.
  It greets us in the greenwood glades--
    By forest aisles and alleys lone,
  Where, wandering in the twilight shades
    The poet calls the hour his own.
  Perchance he dreams some minstrel hand,
    Wakes woodland harps to heavenly song,
  While spirits from the golden land
    On white wings bear the notes along.

  But to thine eyes the world is grim,
    And life is dark through falling tears;
  Hath Hope's soft ray grown dull and dim
    And paled the brightness of your years?
  I know your woe--for I have knelt
    Beside the new made, grassy mound--
  The anguish of bereavement felt
    And moaned beneath the piercing wound.

  Through the soft azur veil of e'en
    The stars look down with watching eyes,
  Beacons to life our souls to heaven
    And tell of love beyond the skies
  To tell, tho' earth is bright and fair,
    Still Heaven must be our lasting home;
  A land untouched by sin and care
    Where pain and parting never come.

  Not far away; scarce out of sight,
    A shadowy veil, a misty cloud,
  Is roll'd between us and the light,
    From mortal eyes the bliss to shroud.

  Oh, thou whose poet-mind can feel
    The magic spell of beauty's powers
  Let these, His "meaner works" reveal
    That fairer life that shall be ours.
  Where we shall find in fadeless bloom
    The love Time's withering blast had slain,
  Restored from death and from the tomb
    To life, immortal life again.
  And while we weep for earth-joys fled,
    Or sigh to feel ourselves "alone,"
  While fragrant memories of the dead,
    Like perfumes round our path are strewn;
  Let us not think them wholly lost;--
    These flowers that glad the wondering vision,
  Slept 'neath the winter storm and frost
    Then sprung to beauty half Elysian.
  Fair blossoms deck the orchard bough
    The promise-fruit of harvest hours;
  Nought have we but that promise now,
    Yet faith already shows it ours.
  Oh! sweet the light around our tombs,
    Where promise-buds in faith are sown;
  Faith's eye descerns eternal blooms,
    In stature of God's fullness blown.
  Still ours--the true and tender heart,--
    The form that trod these paths awhile;
  We said "good-night" content to part
    Until the morning light shall shine.
  Oh! blessed hope! Oh! promise sweet
    The harvest of the Lord is sure;
  His Hand shall give the guerdon meet
    To all that to the end endure!





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