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Title: In Various Moods - Poems and Verses
Author: Bacheller, Irving
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Poems And Verses

By Irving Bacheller

Harper & Brothers Publishers New York And London


[Illustration: 0002]

[Illustration: 0007]

[Illustration: 0010]



_Written for the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Founding of St. Lawrence

     I know the hills that lift the distant plain,

     The college hall--the spirit of its throngs,

     The meadows and the waving fields of grain,

     Full well I know their colors and their songs.

     I know the storied gates where love was told,

     The grove where walked the muses and the seers,

     The river, dark or touched with light of gold,

     Or slow, or swift so like the flowing years.

     I know not these who sadly sit them down

     And while the night in half-forgotten days;

     I know not these who wear the hoary crown

     And find a pathos in the merry lays.

     Here Memory, with old wisdom on her lips,

     A finger points at each familiar name--

     Some writ on water, stone or stranded ships,

     Some in the music of the trump of fame.

     Here oft, I think, beloved voices call

     Behind a weathered door 'neath ancient trees.

     I hear sad echoes in the empty hall,

     The wide world's lyric in the harping breeze.

     It sings of them I loved and left of old,

     Of my fond hope to bring a worthy prize--

     Some well-earned token, better far than gold,

     And lay it humbly down before their eyes.

     And tell them it were rightly theirs--not mine,

     An harvest come of their own word and deed;

     I strove with tares that threatened my design

     To make the crop as noble as the seed.

     So they might see it paid--that life they knew--

     A toilsome web and knit of many a skein,

     With love's sweet sacrifice all woven through,

     And broken threads of hope and joy and pain.

     On root-bound acres, pent with rocks and stones,

     Their hope of wealth and leisure slowly died.

     They gave their strength in toil that racked their

     They gave their youth, their beauty, and their pride.

     Ere Nature's last defence had been withdrawn

     That those they loved might have what they could

     The power of learning wedded to their brawn

     And to the simple virtue there begot.

     My college! Once--it was a day of old--

     I saw thy panes aglow with sunset fire

     And heard the story of thy purpose told

     And felt the tide of infinite desire.

     In thee I saw the gates of mystery

     That led to dream-lit, vast, inviting lands--

     Far backward to the bourne of history

     And forward to the House not made with hands.

     You gave the husbandman a richer yield

     Than any that his granary may hold;

     You called his children from the shop and field,

     Taught them to sow and reap an undredfold.

     To sow the seed of truth and hope and peace,

     And take the root of error from the sod;

     To be of those who make the sure increase,

     Forever growing, in the lands of God.


_Read before the Lambda Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, June 24, 1902_

     Idle gods of Old Olympus--Zeus and his immortal

     Grown in stature, grace and wisdom, meekly serve
     the will of man.

     Every elemental giant has been trained to seek and

     Gates of the "impossible" that lead to undiscovered

     Man hath come to stranger things than ever bard
     or prophet saw.

     Lo, he sits in judgment on the gods and doth amend
     their law.

     Now reality with wonder-deed of ancient fable teems--

     Fact is wrought of golden fancy from the old
     Homeric dreams.

     Zeus, with thought to load the fulmen gathered for
     his mighty sling,

     Hurls across the ocean desert as 'twere ut a pebble-fling;

     Titans move the gathered harvests, push the loaded
     ship and train,

     Rushing swiftly 'twixt horizons, shoulder to the

     Hermes, of the winged sandal, strides from midday
     into night.

     Pallas, with a nobler passion, turns the hero from
     his fight.

     Vulcan melts the sundered mountain into girder,
     beam and frieze.

     Where the mighty wheel is turning hear the groan
     of Hercules.

     Eyes of man, forever reaching where immensity

     View the ships of God in full career with light upon
     their sails.

     Read the tonnage, log, and compass--measure each
     magnetic chain

     Fastened to the fiery engine towing in the upper

     Man hath searched the small infernos, narrow as a
     needle's eye,

     Rent the veil of littleness 'neath which unnumbered
     dragons lie.

     Conquered pain with halted feeling, baned the
     falling House of Life,

     As with breeding rats infested, ravening in bloody

     Change hath shorn the distances from little unto
     mighty things--

     Aye, from man to God, from poor to rich, from
     peasants unto kings.

     Justice, keen-eyed, Saxon-hearted, scans the records
     of the world,

     Makes the heartless tyrant tremble when her stem
     rebuke is hurled.

     Thought-ways, reaching under oceans or above the
     mountain height,

     Drain to distant, darkened realms the ceaseless
     overflow of light.

     In the shortened ways of travel Charity shall seek
     her goal,

     Find the love her burden merits in the commerce
     of the soul.

     Right must rule in earth and heaven, though its
     coming here be slow;

     Gods must grow in grace and wisdom as the mind
     of man doth grow;

     Law and Prophet be forgotten, deities uprise and

     Till one God, one hope, one rule of life be great
     enough for all.


_Being some words of counsel from an old Yankee to his son Bill when the
latter is about to enter college._

     Faith, Bill? You remember how ye used to wake
     an' cry,

     An' when I lit a candle how the bugaboos 'u'd fly?

     Well, faith is like a father in the dark of every

     It tells ye not t' be afraid, an' mebbe strikes a

     Now, don't expect too much o' God, it wouldn't
     be quite fair

     If fer anything ye wanted ye could only swap a

     I'd pray fer yours, an' you fer mine, an' Deacon
     Henry Hospur,

     He wouldn't hev a thing t' do but lay abed an'

     If all things come so easy, Bill, they'd hev but little

     An' some one with a gift o' prayer 'u'd mebbe own
     the earth.

     It's the toil ye give t' git a thing--the sweat an'
     blood an' care--

     That makes the kind o' argument that ought to
     back yer prayer.

     Fer the record o' yer doin'--I believe the soul is

     With some self-workin' register t' tell jest how ye

     An' it won't take any cipherin' t' show, that
     fearful day,

     If ye've multiplied yer talents well, er thrown 'em
     all away.

     When yer feet are on the summit, an' the wide
     horizon clears,

     An' ye look back on yer pathway windin' thro' the
     vale o' tears;

     When ye see how much ye've trespassed, an' how
     fur ye've gone astray,

     Ye'll know the way o' Providence ain't apt t' be
     _your_ way.

     God knows as much as can be known, but I don't
     think it's true.

     He knows of all the dangers in the path o' me an'

     If I shet my eyes an' hurl a stun that kills--the
     King o' Siam,

     The chances are that God 'll be as much surprised
     as I am.

     If ye pray with faith _believin'_, why, ye'll certainly

     But that God 'll break His own good law is more 'n
     I'll believe.

     If it grieves Him when a sparrow falls, it's sure as

     He'd hev turned the arrow, if He could, that broke
     the sparrow's wing.

     Ye can read old Nature's history that's writ in rocks
     an' stones,

     Ye can see her throbbin' vitals an' her mighty rack
     o' bones,

     But the soul o' her--the livin' God, a little child
     may know

     No lens er rule o' cipherin' can ever hope t' show.

     There's a part o' God's creation very handy t' yer

     All the truth o' life is in it an' remember, Bill, it's

     An' after all yer science ye must look up in yer

     An' learn its own astronomy the star o' peace t' find.

     There's good old Aunt Samanthy Jane that all her
     journey long

     Has led her heart to labor with a reveille of song.

     Her folks hev robbed an' left her, but her faith in
     goodness grows;

     She hasn't any larnin', but I tell ye, Bill, _she_ knows!

     She's hed her share o' troubles; I remember well
     the day

     We took her t' the poor-house--she was singin' all
     the way.

     Ye needn't be afraid t' come where stormy Jordan

     If all the l'arnin' ye can git has taught ye half _she_

     There's a many big departments in this ancient
     school o' God,

     An' ye keep right on a l'arnin' till ye lay beneath
     the sod,

     All the books an' apperaytus, all the wisdom o'
     the seers

     Will be jest a preparation fer the study o' the years.


     A troop of sorrels led by Vic and then a troop of

     In the backward ranks of the foaming flanks a
     double troop of grays;

     The horses are galloping muzzle to tail, and back
     of the waving manes

     The troopers sit, their brows all knit, a left hand
     on the reins.

     Their hats are gray, and their shirts of blue have
     a sabre cross and 7,

     And little they know, when the trumpeters blow,
     they'll halt at the gates of heaven.

     Their colors have dipped at the top of a ridge--
     how the long line of cavalry waves!--

     And over the hills, at a gallop that kills, they are
     riding to get to their graves.

     "I heard the scouts jabber all night," said one;
     "they peppered my dreams with alarm.

     "That old Ree scout had his medicine out an'
     was tryin' to fix up a charm."

     There are miles of tepees just ahead, and the
     warriors in hollow and vale

     Lie low in the grass till the troopers pass and then
     they creep over the trail.

     The trumpets have sounded--the General shouts!
     He pulls up and turns to the rear;

     "We can't go back--they've covered our track--
     we've got t' fight 'em here."

     He rushes a troop to the point of the ridge, where
     the valley opens wide,

     And Smith deploys a line of the boys to stop the
     coming tide.

     A fire flames up on the skirt of the hills; in every
     deep ravine

     The savages yell, like the fiends of hell, behind a
     smoky screen.

     "Where's Reno?" said Custer. "Why don't he
     charge? It isn't a time to dally!"

     And he waves his hat, this way and that, as he
     looks across the valley.

     There's a wild stampede of horses; every man in
     the skirmish line

     Stands at his post as a howling host rush up the
     steep incline.

     Their rifles answer a deadly fire and they fall with
     a fighting frown,

     Till two by two, in a row of blue, the skirmish line
     is down.

     A trooper stood over his wounded mate. "No use
     o' yer tryin't' fight,

     "Blow out yer brains--you'll suffer hell-pains
     when ye go to the torture to-night.

     "We tackled too much; 'twas a desperate game--
     I knowed we never could win it.

     "Custer is dead--they're all of 'em dead an' I
     shall be dead in a minute."

     They're all of them down at the top of the ridge;
     the sabre cross and 7

     On many a breast, as it lies at rest, is turned to the
     smoky heaven.

     Three wounded men are up and away; they're
     running hard for their lives,

     While bloody corses of riders and horses are
     quivering under the knives.

     Some troopers watch from a distant hill with hope
     that never tires;

[Illustration: 0034]

     There's a reeling dance on the river's edge; its
     echoes fill the night;

     In the valley dim its shadows swim on a lengthening
     pool of light.

     The scattered troops of Reno look and listen with
     bated breath,

     While bugle strains on lonely plains are searching
     the valley of death.

[Illustration: 0035]

     "What's that like tumbled grave-stones on the
     hilltop there ahead?"

     Said the trooper peering through his glass, "My
     God! sir, it's the dead!

     "How white they look! How white they look!
     they've killed 'em--every one!

     "An' they're stripped as bare as babies an' they're
     rotting in the sun."

     And Custer--back of the tumbled line on a slope
     of the ridge we found him;

     And three men deep in a bloody heap, they fell as
     they rallied 'round him.

     The plains lay brown, like a halted sea held firm
     by the leash of God;

     In the rolling waves we dug their graves and left
     them under the sod.


     So ye 're runnin' fer Congress, mister? Le 'me tell
     ye 'bout my son--

     Might make you fellers carefuller down there in

     He clings to his rifle an' uniform--folks call him
     Whisperin' Bill;

     An' I tell ye the war ain't over yit up here on
     Bowman's Hill.

     This dooryard is his battle-field--le's see, he was nigh

     When Sumter fell, an' as likely a boy as ever this
     world has seen;

     An' what with the news o' battles lost, the speeches
     an' all the noise,

     I guess ev'ry farm in the neighborhood lost a part
     of its crop o' boys.

     'T was harvest time when Bill left home; ev'ry stalk
     in the fields o' rye

     Seemed to stan' tiptoe to see him off an' wave him
     a fond good-bye;

     His sweetheart was here with some other gals--the
     sassy little miss!

     An' purtendin' she wanted to whisper 'n his ear, she
     give him a rousin' kiss.

     Oh, he was a han'some feller! an' tender an' brave
     an' smart,

     An' though he was bigger 'n I was, the boy had a
     woman's heart.

     I couldn't control my feelin's, but I tried with all
     my might,

     An' his mother an' me stood a-cryin' till Bill was
     out o' sight.

     His mother she often tol' him, when she knew he
     was goin' away,

     That God would take care o' him, maybe, if he
     didn't fergit to pray;

     An' on the bloodiest battle-fields, when bullets
     whizzed in the air,

     An' Bill was a-fightin' desperit, he used to whisper
     a prayer.

     Oh, his comrades has often tol' me that Bill never
     flinched a bit

     When every second a gap in the ranks tol' where
     a ball had hit.

     An' one night, when the field was covered with the
     awful harvest o' war,

     They found my boy 'mongst the martyrs o' the cause
     he was fightin' for.

     His fingers was clutched in the dewy grass--oh,
     no, sir, he wasn't dead,

     But he lay kind o' helpless an' crazy with a rifleball
     in his head;

     An' he trembled with the battle-fear as he lay there
     in the dew;

     An' he whispered as he tried to rise: "God 'll take
     care o' you."

     An officer wrote an' toL' us how the boy had been
     hurt in the fight,

     But he said the doctors reckoned they could bring
     him around all right.

     An' then we heard from a neighbor, disabled at
     Malvern Hill,

     That he thought in the course of a week or so he'd
     be comin' home with Bill.

     We was that anxious t' see him we'd set up an'
     talk o' nights

     Till the break o' day had dimmed the stars an'
     put out the Northern Lights;

     We waited an' watched fer a month or more, an'
     the summer was nearly past,

     When a letter come one day that said they'd started
     fer home at last.

     I'll never fergit the day Bill come--'twas harvest
     time again--

     An' the air blown over the yeller fields was sweet
     with the scent o' the grain;

     The dooryard was full o' the neighbors, who had
     come to share our joy,

     An' all of us sent up a mighty cheer at the sight o'
     that soldier boy.

     An' all of a sudden somebody said: "My God!
     don't the boy know his mother?"

     An' Bill stood a-whisperin', fearful like, an' a-starin'
     from one to another;

     "Don't be afraid, Bill," says he to himself, as he
     stood in his coat o' blue,

     "Why, God 'll take care o' you, Bill, God 'll take
     care o' you."

     He seemed to be loadin' an' firin' a gun, an' to act
     like a man who hears

     The awful roar o' the battle-field a-soundin' in his

     Ten thousan' ghosts o' that bloody day was marchin'
     through his brain

     An' his feet they kind o' picked their way as if
     they felt the slain.

     An' I grabbed his hand, an' says I to Bill, "Don't
     ye 'member me?

     I'm yer father--don't ye know me? How frightened
     ye seem to be!"

     But the boy kep' a-whisperin' to himself, as if
     'twas all he knew,

     "God'll take o' you, Bill, God'll take care o'

     He's never known us since that day, nor his
     sweetheart, an' never will;

     Father an' mother an' sweetheart are all the same
     to Bill.

     An' he groans like a wounded soldier, sometimes
     the whole night through,

     An' we smooth his head, an' say: "Yes, Bill,
     He 'll surely take care o' you."

     Ye can stop a war in a minute, but when can ye
     stop the groans?

     Fer ye've broke our hearts an' sapped our blood
     an' plucked away our bones.

     An' ye've filled our souls with bitterness that goes
     from sire to son,

     So ye best be kind o' careful down there in Washington.


_Being some small account of the war experience of an East River pilot,
whose boat was the Susquehanna, familiarily known as the Susq, and who
lost his leg and more at Gettysburg._

     At de break o' day I goes t' bed, an' I goes to work
     at dusk,

     Fer ev'ry night dat a boat can run I takes de wheel
     o' de Susq.

     De nights is long in de pilot-house? Well, now
     d'ye hear me speakin'?

     No night is long since de one I spent wid me sta'b'ard
     side a-leakin'.

     I'd gone t' de war an' was all stove in, an' I seen
     how a little white hand

     Can take holt of a great big chump like me an'
     make him drop his sand.

     An' her face! De face o' de Holy Mary warn't
     any sweeter 'n hern!

     If ye like I'll set de wheel o' me mind an' let 'er
     drift astern.

     We'd fit all day till de sun was low an' I t'ought de
     war was fun,

     Till a big ball skun de side o' me face an' smashed
     de end o' me gun.

     Den anodder one kicked me foot off--see? an'
     I tell ye it done it cunnin',

     An' I trun meself in de grass, kerplunk, but me
     mind kep' on a-runnin'.

     Next I knowed I was feelin' o' somebody's face,
     an' I seen de poor devil was cryin',

     An' he tumbled all over me tryin't' r'ise, an' he
     cussed an' kep' turnin' an' tryin';

     "Good Gawd!" sez I, "what's de matter wid you?
     Shut up yer face an' hark,"

     An' s' help me, de odder man's face was mine an'
     I was alone in de dark.

     When I lay wid me back ag'in de world I seen how
     little I was

     An' I knowed, fer de firs' time in me life, how deep
     an' broad de sky was;

     An' me mind kep' a-wanderin' off 'n de night, till
     it stopped where de Bowery ends,

     An' come back a-sighin' an' says t' me dat it couldn't
     find no friends.

     Den I fumbled me breat' till I cert'inly t'ought
     I never could ketch it ag'in.

     If I'd bin a-bawlin' t' git a prize ye bet cher life
     I'd 'a' win.

     If ye're dyin' an' ain't no home in de world an'
     yer fr'ends is all on de shelf,

     An' dere's nobody else t' bawl fer ye--ye're goin'
     t' bawl fer yerself.

     De sun peeped over de hills at last, an' as soon as
     I seen his rim

     De dew in de valley was all afire wid a sort o' a
     ruby glim.

     De blue coats lay in de tumbled grass--some
     stirrin' but most o' 'em dead--

     'Pon me word, de poor devils had bled so much,
     de dew in de valley were red!

     An' what d'ye t'ink? de nex' t'ing I knowed, a
     lady had holt o' me hand,

     An' smoothed de frills all out o' me face an' brushed
     off de dew an' de sand.

     No lady had ever mammied me an' I were scairt
     so I dassent say boo,

     I warn't in no shape t' help meself an' I didn't
     know what she'd do.

     An' me heart was a-t'umpin' ag'in me ribs, an' me
     lettin' on I was dead!

     Till she put down her cheek so close to me mug
     dat I had t' move me head.

     An' she lifted me head wid her sof' white hands
     an' I don't know all she done;

     I was blubberin' so dat I couldn't see, but I knowed
     I were havin' fun.

     I lay wid me head 'n de lady's lap while de doctors
     cut an' sawed,

     An' dey hurted me so dat me eyes was sot, but I
     never cussed er jawed.

     An' she patted me cheek an' spoke so sof' dat I
     didn't move a peg,

     An' I t'ought if dey'd let me lay dere awhile dey
     could saw off de odder leg.

     Fer de loss o' me leg, t'ree times a year, I gets me
     little wad,

     But dere ain't any pension fer losin' yer heart
     unless it comes from Gawd.

     If anythin' busts ye there, me boy, I t'ink ye'll be
     apt t' find

     Ye'll either drop out o' de game o' life, er else go
     lame in yer mind.

     I never c'u'd know de reason why, till de lady
     helt me head,

     Dat a man 'll go broke fer de woman he loves er
     mebbe fight till he's dead.

     When I t'inks dat I never had no friends an' what
     am I livin' fer?

     I fergits dat I'm holdin' de wheel o' de Susq, an'
     I sets an' t'inks o' her.

     An' I t'inks how gentle she spoke t' me, an' I t'inks
     o' her sof', white hand,

     An' de feel o' her fingers on me face when she
     brushed off de dew an' de sand.

     An' I set a-t'inkin' an' turnin' me wheel, sometimes
     de whole night t'rough,

     An' de good Gawd knows I'd a giv' me life, if she'd
     only 'a' loved me too.


_Being some account of the little cadets of the Virginia Military
Institute, who stood the examination of war at New Market, Va. May 15,
1864, in the front line of the Confederate forces, where more than three
hundred answered to their names and all were perfect._

     We were only a lot of little boys--they called us a
     baby corps--

     At the Institute in Lexington in the winter
     of '64;

     And the New Year brought to the stricken South
     no end of the war in sight,

     But we thought we could whip the North in a week
     if they'd only let us fight.

     One night when the boys were all abed we heard
     the long roll beat,

     And quickly the walls of the building shook with
     the tread of hurrying feet;

     And when the battalion stood in line we heard the
     welcome warning:

     "Breckinridge needs the help o' the corps; be
     ready to march in the morning."

     And many a boastful tale was told, through the
     lingering hours of night,

     And the teller fenced with airy foes and showed
     how heroes fight.

     And notes of love were written with many a fevered

     That breathed the solemn sacrifice of those about
     to die.

     Some sat in nature's uniform patching their suits
     of gray,

     And some stood squinting across their guns in a
     darkly suggestive way.

     The battalion was off on the Staunton pike as soon
     as the sun had risen,

     And we turned and cheered for the Institute, but
     yesterday a prison.

     At Staunton the soldiers chaffed us, and the girls
     of the city schools

     Giggled and flirted around the corps till we felt like
     a lot of fools;

     They threw us kisses and tiny drums and a volley
     of baby rattles,

     'Til we thought that the fire of ridicule was worse
     than the fire of battles.

     We made our escape in the early dawn, and, camping
     the second night,

     Were well on our way to the seat of war, with
     Harrisonburg in sight;

     And the troopers who met us, riding fast from the
     thick of the army hives,

     Said: "Sigel has come with an awful force, and
     ye'll have to fight fer yer lives."

     But we wanted to fight, and the peril of war never
     weakened our young desires,

     And the third day out we camped at dusk in sight
     of the picket fires;

     Our thoughts, wing-weary with homeward flight,
     went astray in the gloomy skies,

     And our hearts were beating a reveille whenever
     we closed our eyes.

     "Hark! what's that? The sentry call?" (A
     galloping horseman comes.)

     "Hey, boys! Get up! There's something wrong!
     Don't ye hear 'em a-thumpin' the drums?"

     Said the captain, who sat in the light of the fire
     tying his muddy shoes:

     "We must toe the line of the Yankees soon, an'
     we haven't much time to lose.

     "Hats off!" And we all stood silent while the
     captain raised his hand

     And prayed, imploring the God of war to favor
     his little band.

     His voice went out in a whisper at last, and then
     without further remark

     He bade the battalion form in fours, and led us
     away in the dark.

     We lamed our legs on the heavy road and a long
     rain cooled our blood

     And every time we raised a foot we could hear the
     suck of the mud.

     At noon we came--a weary lot--to the top of a
     big clay hill,

     And below were miles of infantry--the whole bunch
     standing still.

     The league-long hills are striped with blue, the
     valley is lined with gray,

     And between the armies of North and South are
     blossoming fields of May.

     There's a mighty cheer in the Southern host as,
     led by the fife and drum,

     To the front of the lines with a fearless tread our
     baby cadets have come.

     "Forward!" The air is quaking now; a shrill-
     voiced, angry yell

     Answers the roar of the musketry and the scream
     of the rifled shell.

     The gray ranks rushing, horse and foot, at the
     flaming wall of blue

     Break a hole in its centre, and some one shouts:
     "See the little cadets go through!"

     A shell shoots out of its hood of smoke, and slows
     mid-air and leaps

     At our corps that is crossing a field of wheat, and
     we stagger and fall in heaps;

     We close the ranks, and they break again, when a
     dozen more fall dying;

     And some too hurt to use their guns stand up with
     the others trying.

     "Lie down an' give 'em a volley, boys--quick there,
     every one!

     "Lie down, you little devils!--Down! It's better
     to die than run."

     And huddling under the tender wheat, the living lay
     down with the dead,

     And you couldn't have lifted your finger then
     without touching a piece of lead.

     "Look up in the sky and see the shells go over
     a-whiskin' their tails";

     "Better not lift yer hand too high or the bullets
     'll trim yer nails."

     Said the captain, "Forward, you who can!" In a
     jiffy I'm off on my feet

     An' up to their muzzles a-clubbin' my gun, an'
     the Yanks have begun a retreat.

     Said a wounded boy, peering over the grain,
     "Hurrah! See our banner a-flyin'!

     "Wish I was there, but I can't get up--I wonder
     if _I'm_ a-dyin'?

     "O Jim! did you ever hear of a man that lived
     that was hit in the head?

     "Say, Jim! did you ever hear of a man that
     lived-- My God! Jim's dead!"

     A mist, like a web that is heavy with prey, is caught
     in the green o' the fields;

     It breaks and is parted as if a soul were struggling
     where it yields;

     The twilight deepens and hushes all, save the beat
     beating of distant drums,

     And over the shuddering deep of the air a wave of
     silence comes.

     By lantern light we found the boys where under the
     wheat they lay

     As if sleep--soft-fingered, compelling sleep!--had
     come in the midst of play.

     The captain said of the bloody charge and the
     soldiers who fought so well:

     "The army had to follow the boys if they entered
     the flames o' hell."


     The battle roar is ended and the twilight falls

     The bugles have blown, the hosts have flown save
     they in the dusky grain.

     And lo! the shaking barley tells where the wounded
     writhe and roll;

     With a panting breath at the pass of death the body
     fights for the soul.

     Some rise to retreat and they die on their feet in
     this terrible fight for the soul.

     And horses urged by the spur of Death are galloping
     over the grain;

     Their hoofs are red, their riders are dead, and
     loose are the stirrup and rein.

     A ghost in the saddle is riding them down, the
     spurs of Pain at his heels;

     They are cut to the bone, they rush and they groan,
     as a wake in the barley reels:

     And faces rise with haggard eyes where the wake
     in the barley reels.

     The blue and the gray lie face to face and their
     fingers harrow the loam,

     There's a sob and a prayer in the smoky air as
     their winged thoughts fly home.

     The Devil of war has dimmed the sky with the
     breath of his iron lungs,

     And he gluts his ear on the note of fear in the cry
     of the fevered tongues;

     Like the toll of a bell at the gate of hell is the wail
     of the fevered tongues.

     One rising, walked from the bullet shock, seems to
     reel 'neath the weight of his head,

     He feels for his gun and starts to run and falls in a

     The wagons are coming and over each the light of
     a lantern swings,

     And a holy thought to the soul is brought, as the
     voice of a driver sings;

     And the cry of pain in the trampled grain is hushed
     as the driver sings:

     My country, 'tis of thee,

     Sweet land of liberty,

     Of thee I sing.


     The busy cranes go back an' forth, a-ploughin' up
     the sky,

     The wild goose drag comes down the wind an'
     goes a-roarin' by;

     The song-birds sow their music in the blue fields
     over me

     An' it seems to grow up into thoughts about the

     The apple-blossoms scatter down--a scented summer

     An' man an' wind an' cloud an' sun have all begun
     to sow.

     The green hopes come a-sproutin' up somewhere
     inside o' me,

     An' it's time we ought to see the sprouts upon the

     The velvet leaves the willow an' adorns the ven'son

     There's new silk in the tree-top an' the coat o' horse
     an' cow.

     The woods are trimmed fer weddin's, an' are all
     in Sunday clo's,

     An' the bark upon the ven'son-tree is redder than
     a rose.

     The days are still an' smoky, an' the nights are
     growin' cold,

     The maples are a-drippin' blood, the beeches
     drippin' gold;

     The briers are above my head, the brakes above
     my knee,

     An' the bark is gettin' kind o' blue upon the ven'son-

     What makes the big trees shake an' groan as if
     they all had sinned?

     'Tis God A'mighty's reaper with the horses o' the

     He will hitch with chains o' lightnin', He will urge
     with thunder call,

     He will try the rotten-hearted till they reel an'
     break an' fall.

     The leaves are driftin' in the breeze, an' gathered
     where they lie

     Are the colors o' the sunset an' the smell o' the
     windy sky;

     The squirrels whisk, with loaded mouths, an' stop
     an' say to me:

     "It's time to gether in the fruit upon the ven'son-

     "What makes ye look so anxious an' what makes
     ye speak so low?"

     "It's 'cause I'm thinkin' of a place where I'm
     a-goin' to go.

     "This here I've, been a-tinkerin' which lays acrost
     my knee

     "Is the axe that I'm a-usin' fer to fell the ven'son-

     I've polished up the iron an' I've covered it with ile,
     Its bit is only half an inch, its helve is half a

     (The singer blows an imitation of the startled deer)
     "Whew! what's that so pesky--why, it kind o'
     frightened me?"

     "It's the wind a blowin' through the top o' the
     cute ol' ven'son-tree."


_Being a story of the Adirondacks told by me in the words of him who had
borne with buck-fever and bad marksmanship until, having been long out
of meat and patiencey he put his confidence in me and we sallied forth._

     We'd greased our tongues with bacon 'til they'd
     shy at food an' fork

     An' the trails o' thought were slippery an' slopin'
     towards New York;

     An' our gizzards shook an' trembled an' were most
     uncommon hot

     An' the oaths were slippin' easy from the tongue
     o' Philo Scott.

     Then skyward rose a flapjack an' a hefty oath he

     An' he spoke of all his sufferin' which he couldn't
     stan' no more;

     An' the flapjack got to jumpin' like a rabbit on
     the run

     As he give his compliments to them who couldn't
     p'int a gun.

     He told how deer would let 'em come an' stan' an'
     rest an' shoot

     An' how bold an' how insultin' they would eye the

     How he--Fide Scott--was hankerin' fer suthin'
     fit to eat

     "------!" says he. "Le's you an' me go out an'

     find some meat."

     We paddled off a-whisperin' beneath the long birch

     An' we snooked along as silent as a sucker when
     he swims;

     I could hear him slow his paddle as eroun' the
     turns he bore;

     I could hear his neck a-creakin' while his eye run
     up the shore.

     An' soon we come acrost a buck as big an' bold
     as sin

     An' Philo took t' swallerin' to keep his
     feelin's in;

     An' every time he swallered, as he slowly swung

     I could hear his Adam's apple go a-squeakin' up
     an' down.

     He sot an' worked his paddle jest as skilful as he

     An' we went on slow an' careless, like a chunk o'
     floatin' wood:

     An' I kind o' shook an' shivered an' the pesky ol'

     It seemed to feel as I did, for it shook an' shivered

     I sot there, full o' deviltry, a-p'intin' with the

     An' we come up clost and closter, but the deer he
     didn't run;

     An' Philo shet his teeth so hard he split his brier-

     As he held his breath a-waitin' an' expectin' me to

     I could kind o' feel him hanker, I could kind o'
     hear him think,

     An' we'd come so nigh the animal we didn't dast
     to wink,

     But I kep' on a-p'intin' of the rifle at the deer

     Jest as if I was expectin' fer to stick it in his

     An' Philo tetched the gunnel soft an' shook it with
     his knee;

     I kind o' felt him nudgin' an' a-wishin' he was me,

     But I kep' on a-p'intin', with a foolish kind o' grin,

     Enjoyin' all the wickedness that he was holdin' in.

     An' of a sudden I could feel a tremble in his feet;

     I knew that he was gettin' mad an' fillin' up with

     His breath come fast an' faster, but he couldn't
     say a damn--

     He'd the feelin's of a panther an' the quiet of a

     An' his foot come creepin' for'ards an' he tetched
     me with his boot

     An' he whispered low an' anxious, an says he:
     "Why don't ye shoot?''

     An' the buck he see the time had come fer him an'
     us to part

     An' away he ran as Philo pulled the trigger of his

     He had panthers in his bosom, he had horns upon
     his mind;

     An' the panthers spit an' rassied an' their fur riz
     up behind;

     An' he gored me with his languidge an' he clawed
     me with his eye

     'Til I wisht that, when I done him dirt, I hadn't
     been so nigh.

     He scairt the fish beneath us an' the birds upon the

     An' he spoke of all his sufferin' which he couldn't
     stan' no more;

     Then he sot an' thought an' muttered as he pushed
     a mile er so

     Like a man that's lost an' weary on the mountain
     of his woe.

     An' he eyed me over cur'ous an' with pity on his

     An' he seemed to be a sortin' words to make 'em
     fit the case.

     "Of all the harmless critters that I ever met," says

     "There ain't not none more harmlesser--my God!--
     than what you be."

     An' he added, kind o' sorrowful, an' hove a mighty

     "I'd be 'shamed t' meet another deer an' look him
     in the eye.

     God knows a man that p'ints so never orter hev no

     What game are you expectin' fer t' slaughter with
     a club?"

     An' I answered with a riddle: "It has head an'
     eyes an' feet

     An' is black an' white an' harmless, but a fearful
     thing to meet;

     It's a long an' pesky animal as any in the county;

     Can't ye guess?--I've ketched a pome an' I'll give
     ye half the bounty."


     The red was on the clover an' the blue was in the

     There was music in the meadow, there was dancing
     in the rye,

     An' I heard her call the scattered flock in pastures
     far away

     An' the echo in the wooded hills: "Co' day! Co'
     day! Co' day!"

     O fair was she--my lady love--an' lithe as the

     An' like a miser's money are her parting words
     t' me.

     O the years are long an' lonesome since my sweet-
     heart went away!

     An' I think o' her as I call the flocks: "Co' day!
     Co' day! Co' day!"

     Her cheeks have stole the clover's red, her lips the
     odored air,

     An' the glow o' the morning sunlight she took away
     in her hair;

     Her voice had the meadow music, her form an'
     her laughing eye

     Have taken the blue o' the heavens an' the grace
     o' the bending rye.

     My love has robbed the summer day--the field,
     the sky, the dell,

     She has carried their treasurers with her, she has
     taken my heart as well;

     An' if ever, in the further fields, her feet should
     go astray

     May she hear the good God calling her: "Co' day!
     Co' day! Co' day!"


     There's many a hue an' some I knew in the skeins
     of a weaver old--

     Ah, there is the white o' the lily hand an' the glow
     o' the silky gold!

     An' the crimson missed in the lips we kissed an'
     the blue o' the maiden's eye;

     O, look at the wonderful web of life, an' look at
     the weaver's dye!



     Jack Tot is as big as a baby's thumb,

     And his dinner is only a drop and a crumb
     And a wee little sailor is he.

     Heigh ho!

     A very fine sailor is he.

     He made his boat of a walnut shell;

     He sails her at night, and he steers her well
     With the wing of a bumblebee.

     Heigh ho!

     The wing of a bumblebee.

     She is rigged with the hair of a lady's curl,

     And her lantern is made of a gleaming pearl,

     And it never goes out in a gale.

     Heigh ho!

     It never goes out in a gale.

     Her mast is made of a very long thorn;

     She's a bell for the fog, and a cricket's horn,

     And a spider spun her sail.

     Heigh ho!

     A spider he spun her sail.

     She carries a cargo of baby souls,

     And she crosses the terrible Nightmare Shoals,

     On her way to the Isles of Rest.

     Heigh ho!

     The beautiful Isles of Rest.

     The Slumber Sea is the sea she sails,

     While the skipper is telling incredible tales
     With many a merry jest.

     Ho! ho!

     He's fond of a merry jest.

     When the little folks yawn they're ready to go,

     And the skipper is lifting his sail--he ho!

     In the swell how the little folks nod!

     Ha! ha!

     Just see how the little folks nod!

     He fluttered his wing as they ast him to sing an'
     he tried fer t' clear out his throat;

     He hemmed an' he hawed an' he hawked an' he

     But he couldn' deliver a note.

     The swallow was there an' he ushered each pair
     in his linsey an' claw-hammer coat.

     The bobolink tried fer t' flirt with the bride, in a
     way that was sassy an' bold,

     An' the notes that he took as he shivered an'

     Had a sound like the jingle o' gold.

     He sat on a brier an' laughed at the choir an' told
     'em the music was old.

     The sexton he came--Mr. Spider by name--a
     citizen hairy an' gray.

     His rope in a steeple, he called the good people

     That live in the land o' the hay.

     The ants an' the squgs an' the crickets an' bugs
     came out in a mighty array.

     A number came down from ole Barleytown an' the
     neighborin' city o' Rye.

     An' the little black people each climbed up a steeple,
     An' sat lookin' up at the sky;

     They came fer t' see what a weddin' might be an'
     they furnished the cake an' the pie.


     The day is passing; I have tarried long;

     My way leads far through paths I fear to try;

     But as I go I'll cheer my heart with song--

     Old home, good-bye!

     In hallowed scenes what feet have trod thy stage!

     The babe, the maiden leaving home to wed;

     The young man going forth by duty led

     And faltering age.

     And some, returning from far distant lands,

     Fainting and sick their ways to thee have wended

     To feel the sweet ministry of loving hands,

     Their journeys ended.

     Thou hadst a soul--thy goodly prop' and stay

     That kept the log, the compass and the chart,

     And showed the way for many a trusting heart--

     The long, long way!

     O humble home! thou hadst a secret door

     Through which I looked, betimes, with wondering

     On splendors that no palace ever wore

     In days gone by.

     From narrow walls thy lamp gave glad release

     And shone afar on distant lands and powers;

     A sweet voice sang of love and heavenly peace

     And made them ours.

     Thou hadst a magic window, broad and high--

     The light and glory of the morning shone

     Through it, however dark the day had grown

     Or bleak the sky.

     Its panes, like mighty lenses, brought to view

     A fairer home; I saw in depths above

     The timber of the old home in the new--

     The oak of love.


     To Jones's tavern, near the ancient woods,

     Drive young and old from distant neighborhoods.

     Here comes old Crocket with his great bass horn--

     Its tone less fit for melody than scorn.

     Down through its wrinkled tubes, from first to last,

     A century's caravan of song has passed.

     The boys and girls, their mirthful sports begun,

     With noisy kisses punctuate the fun.

     Some youths look on, too bashful to assist

     And bear the sweet disgrace of being kissed.

     The fiddler comes--his heart a merry store,

     And shouts of welcome greet him at the door.

     Unlettered man--how rude the jest he flings!

     But mark his power to wake the tuneful strings!

     The old folks smile and tell how, long ago,

     Their feet obeyed the swaying of his bow;

     And how the God-sent magic of his art

     To thoughts of love inclined the youthful heart,

     And shook the bonds of care from aged men

     Who 'neath the spell returned to youth again.

     He taps the fiddle-back as 'twere a drum;

     The raw recruits in Cupid's army come;

     And heeding not the praise his playing wins,

     The ebullition of his soul begins.

     The zeal of Crocket turned to scornful sound,

     Pursues the measure like a baying hound.

     The fiddle's notes pour forth like showers of rain,

     The dancers sway like wind-swept fields of grain,

     And midst the storm, to maddening fury stirred,

     The thunder of the old bass horn is heard.

     Beside the glowing fire, with smiles serene,

     An aged couple sit and view the scene.

     Grandfather's ears the reveille have caught,

     And thronging memories fill the camps of thought.

     His heels strike on the floor, with measured beat,

     As if to ease a tickling in his feet.

     Year after year, for love of kith and kin.

     Grandmother's hands have had to toil and spin;

     But since the palsy all their cunning stole

     Her mind is spinning raiment for the soul,

     Of spotless white and beauty fit to wear,

     When comes the Bridegroom and the end of care.

     So goes the dance until the night is gone

     And chanticleer proclaims the breaking dawn.

     The waning stars show pale to wearied eyes

     And seem to dance cotillions in the skies;

     As if, forsooth, upon the journey home

     Terpsichore's music filled the starry dome.

     Blest be the dance! with noisy pleasure rife

     Enough to temper all the woe in life;

     What magic power its capering measures hold

     To keep the hearts of men from growing old!

     Stem Father Time, rejoicing in the scene,

     Forbears to reap while yet the fields are green.


     He started on the left road and I went on the

     We were young and strong and the way was long
     and we travelled day an' night;

     And O the haste and O the waste! and the rush
     of the busy throng!

     The worried eye, and the quick good-bye, and
     the need to hurry along!

     Odd times we met on the main highway and told
     our hopes and fears,

     And after every parting came a wider flood of

     I love to tell of the last farewell, and this is the way
     it ran:

     "I don't know when I'll see you again--take care
     of yourself, ol' man."

     Put the Beta pin upon his breast, with rosemary
     and rue,

     The cap and gown, the scarlet and brown and the
     symbol of '82,

     And lay him low with a simple word as the loving
     eye grows dim:

     "He took care of more than his share--O Christ!
     take care of him."

     The snow is falling on the head and aye the heart
     grows cold;

     The new friend comes to claim a share of that we
     gave the old,

     And men forget while the eye is wet and bend to
     the lug of the load,

     And whether or when they will meet you again is
     ever a chance of the road.

     The babes are boys, the boys are men, and slowly,
     year by year,

     New faces throng the storied halls and old ones

     As the hair is grayed and the red lips fade let
     friend be friend, for aye

     We come and go and ere we know have spoken
     a long good-bye.


     The veil of care is lifted from his face!

     How smooth the brow where toil had left its trace!

     How confident the look, how calm the eyes

     Once keen with life and restless enterprise!

     And gone the lines that marked the spirit's haste

     To do its work, nor any moment waste.

     Imperial peace and beauty crown his head,

     God's superscription writ upon the dead.

     Behold, herein, his dream, his inmost thought

     As if in time-washed Parian marble wrought.

     Truly he read the law we must obey:

     Man moulds the image and God gives the clay,

     And if it's cast of God or Cæsar is

     To each all render what is rightly his.

     Thousands at noontide are climbing the hills under
     Nain, like an army

     Fleeing the carnage of war, seeking where it may
     rest and take counsel;

     Some with the blind or the palsied, some bearing
     the sick on their shoulders,

     Lagging but laboring hard, so they be not too far
     from the Prophet;

     Some bringing only a burden of deep and inveterate

     Hard by the gate of the city their Captain halts
     and is waiting.

     Closer the multitude presses and widens afar on
     the hillside;

     Thronged are the ways to the city with eager and
     hastening comers.

     Heard ye? A man was delivered from death by
     his power, and the story

     Crosses the murmuring host like a wave passing
     over the waters,

     How at the touch of his finger this day, the dead
     rose and was living.

     Hushed are the people; the Prophet is speaking;
     his hand is uplifted--

     Lo! the frail hand that ere long was to stop the mad
     rush of the tempest.

     Quickly their voices are hushed, and the fear of
     Jehovah is on them.

     Jesus stood high on a hillock. His face, so divinely

     Shone with the light that of old had illumined the
     dreams of the prophets.

     Gently he spake, like a shepherd who calleth his
     flock to green pastures.

     Hiding her face and apart from the people, a woman
     stood weeping,

     Daughter of woe! on a rosary strung with her
     tears ever counting

     Treasures her heart had surrendered and writ on
     her brow was the record.

     Hope and the love of her kindred and peace and
     all pleasure had left her

     Chained to the pillar of life like a captive, and
     Shame was her keeper.

     Long spake the Prophet, and scarcely had finished
     when came the afflicted,

     Loudly entreating: "Make way for the blind!" and
     the people were parted,

     Silent with pity, and many were suffered to pass;
     but the woman

     Felt no miraculous touch, for the press kept her
     back and rebuked her.

     "Why comest thou to the Prophet?" they said.
     "Get thee hence and be silent;

     "He hath no mercy for thee or thy kind"; and
     the woman stood weeping.

     Now when the even was come over Nain, and the
     bridge of the twilight,

     Silently floating aloft on the deepening flood of the

     Rested its timbers of gold on the summits of Tabor
     and Hermon,

     Jesus came, weary, to sup at the house of one
     Simon, a Pharisee,

     Dwelling at Nain. Far behind him the woman
     came, following slowly;

     Entered the gate in the dusk, and when all were
     reclining at supper,

     Stood by the Prophet, afraid, like a soul that has
     come to its judgment,

     Weeping, her head bowing low, her hair hanging
     loose on her shoulders.

     Then there was silence, and Jesus was moved, so
     he spake to the woman:

     "Daughter, what grieves thee so sore?" and she
     spake not, but dumb with her weeping

     Sank at his feet; and her tears fell upon them like
     rain, and she kissed them.

     Simon, amazed when the Prophet forbade not the
     woman to touch him,

     Rose to rebuke her; but seeing His face, how it
     shone with compassion,

     Waited; and Jesus then spake: "I have somewhat
     to say to thee, Simon.

     "A man had two debtors of pence, and the one
     owed five hundred,

     "The other owed fifty; and when they had nothing
     to pay he forgave them

     "All that they owed; wherefore which of the two
     will most love him?"

     Simon said, thoughtfully: "He, I suppose, to whom
     most was forgiven."

     Jesus made answer: "Thou judgest well. Consider
     this woman.

     "Weary with travel and sore were my feet, but
     thou gavest no water;

     "She, to wash them, hath given the tears of her
     love and her sorrow,

     "Wiping them dry with her hair; and hath kissed
     them and bathed them with ointment.

     "Wherefore, O woman, weep not! I forgive thee
     thy sins which are many.

     "Go thou in peace."

     And those who were with Him at meat were astonished.

     "Lo! she spoke not, she asked not and yet He forgave
     her," they whispered.

     * * * *

     Dear to my God are the rills that flow from the
     mountains of sorrow

     Over the faces of men and in them is a rainbow of

     Strong is the prayer of the rills that oft bathed the
     feet of The Master.


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allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

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