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Title: Poems
Author: Shastid, Thomas Hall
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 "Poems" ***

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                                POEMS,

                                  BY

                         THOMAS HALL SHASTID,

                               AUTHOR OF

                         “NEWSPAPER BALLADS.”

                         PITTSFIELD, ILLINOIS:
                              THE AUTHOR.
                                 1881.



      Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1881, by

                         THOMAS HALL SHASTID,

      In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

                         Printed and Bound by

                      H. E. HANNA, BOOK PRINTER,

                         Pittsfield, Illinois.


[Illustration]



          PREFACE.


To my many friends who have been so lenient in their criticisms of my
former work, and to the several editors and literary men who have given
me so much encouragement, I wish to return my sincere thanks.

All the request I have to make, is, that I hope my efforts this time
will receive no more condemnation than my other.

I take pleasure in launching my little volume upon the wide sea of
literature. The author is fourteen years of age, but many of the poems
were written at a much earlier age.

Yours, most respectfully,

THOMAS HALL SHASTID.

[Illustration]



          POEMS.



          CHRISTMAS NIGHT.


    Be peace on earth, good will to men;
      And let this now our carol be:
      If on the land, or on the sea,
    We still will sing the glad refrain;
      And in the closing light of day
      Good words of peace and cheer will say.

    The Babe that in the manger born
      Has risen high above the star,
      To judge in peace, or judge in war,
    To judge at night or judge at morn.
      The star that told us of his birth
      Has given us joy and lasting mirth.

    The Man that suffered on the tree
      Is risen high above all men;
      Then swell the glad refrain again--
    He died for me, He died for thee:
      Then peace be ever on the earth
      To one and all of human birth.



          FALLING OF THE APPLE TREE.


    The apple tree has fallen, now--
      The axe has laid it low;
    The blossoms sparkled ere it fell,
      But now they wither so.

    Its shade we now shall seek in vain--
      The spot we loved so well
    Has vanished since the apple tree
      So loudly crashing fell.

    No more the wind sings through the leaves,
      The song so dear to me;
    Ah! yes, that rustling far above
      Was one of melody.

    No more we see that staunch old tree--
      The axe has laid it low,
    And much we’ll miss it, evermore,
      That fall was one of woe.



          THE ANGELS.


    The Angel of Peace flew over the land,
      And the country was wild with glee;
    And she stilled the wave in the stormy night
      On a rolling and restless sea.

    But the Angel of Death flew over the land
      And a babe was taken that night.
    And an angel sweet in heaven appeared
      In the land of glory and light.



          THE SPECTRES.


    In a palace sad and lonely
      Flit two spectres all the day--
    Spectres chasing joy and brightness
      From each window far away.

    One is Sorrow clad in raiment,
      Sombre as the shades of night,
    While her trailing robes of darkness
      Chase away each ray of light.

    But the other one is Envy
      Clad in blackness, clad with woe,
    Sorrow’s only sad companion,
      Flitting ever to and fro.

    By the windows ever gliding,
      Filling all with thoughts of pain;
    All who gaze are doomed forever,
      Ne’er to see bright joy again.



          THE YEARS.


    All around us, ever floating,
      Silently yet swiftly on,
    Pass the years in quick succession--
      Years that are forever gone.

    Years that soon are past recalling.
      Years of gladness or of woe;
    We can never stop their fleeting
      But forever they will go.

    Years of sorrow passing round us,
      Dark and dreary as the night.
    Years of gladness quickly follow
      Bringing thoughts all fair and bright.

    Still the years continue passing
      Swiftly as the years can be,
    Till we leave our pains and sorrow;
      Till we find eternity.



          MY THOUGHTS.


    I would I had some magic pen
      That would my thoughts convey.
    There were a mighty pen that would
      The world astound to-day.

    They come and go as fountains flow:
      Unceasing, always flowing,
    For while some thoughts are coming fast
      The others fast are going.



          BY THE FIRESIDE.


    On the bright red coals before me,
      Pictures come and pictures go--
    Pictures of the waiting future
      Filled with gladness or with woe.

    By the fireside do I picture
      To myself my destiny.
    Who knows but these golden raptures
      May be real unto me.

    Though the storm outside be raving
      And the snowflakes drift on high;
    By the fireside I am safely
      Counting on what may be nigh.

    All the flames fly ever upward
      Coiling into every form.
    Fairies circle ever round me
      Heedless of the outside storm.

    Still I watch the weird wild raptures
      Of the golden dream so nigh.
    Let us love our happy fancies
      E’er the time has passed us by.



          THE HAUNTED HOUSE.


    See the grass upon its threshold;
      See the ivy on its wall;
    Vacant are its crumbling windows,
      Vacant is its mossy hall.

    Ah! the step of man upon it
      Shall resound along no more,
    For the spirits of the dead ones
      Ever flit about the door.

    There the whisperings of the voices
      Of the spirits of the dead;
    Those of friends and enemies
      Ever murmur ’round your head.

    Let us leave the haunted ruin;
      Spirits walk the crumbling floor;
    Light their step, but oh! their voices
      Haunt the building evermore.



          THE KINGDOM OF THE DEAD.


    Peaceful be for we have reached it
      Lighter, lighter ever tread,
    ’Tis a sacred spot and hallowed:
      ’Tis the kingdom of the dead.

    Silent kingdom, sad and lonely,
      Though so many in it dwell.
    Who can number all its people?
      Who, ah! who can ever tell?

    Still and peaceful is their resting
      In their last and humble bed.
    Tread ye lightly, ’tis the kingdom
      Of the sacred holy dead.



          THE WIND.


    Hear ye not the howling wind,
          Sad and wild?
    In its wake come dismal fancies
          Never mild.

    Like the moaning of the lost
          Comes the wind:
    Moaning, sighing--viewless phantoms
          Come behind.

    In the darkness come the spirits
          Of the night,
    Howling, with their dismal groaning
          In their flight.

    Absent friends come in our fancies
          Evermore,
    As the demons flee from Hades
          Rush and roar.

    Hear ye not the moaning wind
          Moan and quiver
    Like the moaning of the lost--
          Lost forever?



          THE SONG OF THE WIND.


          I.

    Over hill and over valley--
      Over meadows rich and green,
    Playing with the summer grasses--
      Fairer sights were never seen.

    Not a mortal ever saw me,
      Though I see THEM ev’ry day;
    Passing like a viewless spirit
      On my happy singing way.

    Often do I rise up skyward,
      Chasing fast the cloudlets there,
    And I drive them headlong onward
      Till they all in fragments tear.

    Often on the field of battle,
      ’Mid the storm that works them woe,
    Do I cheer ’mid cannon’s rattle,
      Kissing both the friend and foe.

    And the wounded, as he listens
      To me as I whistle on,
    Thinks of home and friends and parents
      And of days that now have gone.

    I often whistle through the woods
      And toss the hunter’s hair.
    He sits him down upon a log,
      While I caress him there.

    His brow with sweat is covered o’er--
      He feels my cooling sway,
    I toss about his silver locks;
      That deck his head of gray.

    But on I go until I find
      The farmer in his field;
    I whistle o’er his garnered store
      The willing land doth yield.

    He hails me as his merry friend,
      And thus I am to him;
    I never pass without I cheer
      His features calm and grim.

    I cheer the poet as he sings
      Beside some flowing stream,
    And looks upon the dim, dim past,
      A vision or a dream.


          II.

    He hails me, as I sail along,
      In accents clear and free.
    I answer in an unknown tongue
      And pass on cheerily.

    He knows me well, and loves me too--
      He watches till I find
    His resting place where he may leave
      All earthly cares behind.

    I visit oft where lovers sit,
      I hear their vows of love;
    The bright green grass is all below--
      The sky of blue above.

    And there they sit and talk of love--
      As only lovers know;--
    They think the world a paradise
      And all things bright below.


          III.

    I visit oft the city’s haunts,--
      I raise the dust on high,
    And whirl it like a water-wheel,
      As ever on I fly.

    I play with wigs and hats and cloaks,
      And whistle by the house--
    Then to a gentle zephyr turn,--
      As quiet as a mouse.

    Then breaking in an angry fit,
      I whistle by the bell
    That hangs within the steeple tall--
      And sound a faint, low knell.

    By ruins old I make my way--
      I tear the ivy vines,
    And fill with dust and sand and dirt
      The ancient sculptured lines.


          IV.

    I ramble on the deep, dark sea,
      And toss those waves of blue;
    I scare the boasting mariner
      And tear the sails in two.

    The clouds that hang far overhead
      Are dropping to the sea,
    The waves as mountains now become--
      I roar out in my glee.

    The captain stands with face aghast--
      With terror in his eyes--
    The fork-ed lightning strikes its wings
      That waft it from the skies.

    The thunder stops, the clouds pass by,
      The waves are resting now;
    The gallant ship before my breath
      With magic speed doth plow.


          V.

    Ye frightened goodly mariners,
      That angels were before--
    The storm has quit, you curse again,
      You’re sinners wild once more.

    And when the next storm rocks the ship,
      And the thunders roll and roar,
    You drop upon your knees again--
      Art sainted then once more.

    I cross the sea, and soon I find
      Europa’s golden coast--
    The Spanish pride;--the English tar
      Makes well his frequent boast.


          VI.

    I love the clime of Africa--
      The dark man’s native home;
    I love that central, torrid zone
      Wherever I may roam.

    I also love the Northern pole--
      Auroras glisten there--
    I love the regions still and cold,
      The icebergs standing bare.

    The water trickling down their sides--
      I waft them towards the south;
    The walrus suns him as we go,
      And opes his giant mouth.

    I love to sway the trees in spring
      When all in green they stand,--
    In winter do I move their boughs
      While roaming o’er the land.

    Sometimes I frolic round about
      Between the earth and sky;
    And it is true where’er I go
      A jolly one am I.

    I love to whirl the storm around
      And roar out ev’rywhere,
    And superstitious people, too,
      I often sadly scare.

    I’ve seen fair Eden’s leafy trees--
      I’ve seen the first of man,
    And I shall see the last of him--
      I saw how he began.


          VII.

    I saw the star of Bethlehem--
      I heard the angels sing;
    I saw the manger and the Christ--
      The great and goodly king.

    I saw the Cæsar in his Rome--
      Who raised her towers on high;
    She raised those towers aloof from earth,
      She rose, and but to die.

    Then passing in the flight of years
      I saw Napoleon’s day;
    I saw the time when he did rise,
      And when he fell away.

    I saw the hero, Washington,
      Who for his country fought.
    “I’ll free my country from her bonds,”
      That was his only thought.

    I’ve known more things than history--
      And if I brought to light,
    These things ’twould make the stoutest heart
      To start aback with fright.

    I’ve witnessed murders never seen
      By any human eye;
    I’ve seen the very best of men
      By violence to die.

    I’ve touched the knife that did the deed;
      I’ve kissed the brow in vain;
    No sign of life upon the face,
      So dark and black with pain.


          VIII.

    I know of secrets never known
      To any one but me.
    I’ve seen when death had come at last
      And set the captive free.

    Then listen as I pass along
      For aye and evermore,--
    I sing my only song to you,
      As I pass by your door.


          IX.

    Often have I sung this story,
      When at midnight’s solemn reign;
    Like a ghost or howling demon
      Will I sing it oft again.

    I have lived through all the ages,
      And will live for many more,
    Blowing by the stormy ocean,
      On the sea and on the shore.

    On the shore or on the ocean--
      Still a jolly friend am I,
    Ne’er deserting, always constant,
      As my zephyrs gently fly.

    You will find me in the future
      Just as I have always been--
    Free from all unjust transgressions--
      Free from any kind of sin.

    Often do I waft the odors
      From the fields of clover sweet;
    When with breath of sweetest perfume,
      Do I all the woodlands greet.


          X.

    So good-bye; I must be speeding--
      Stirring up the Autumn leaves;
    I must visit now the farmer
      As he binds his golden sheaves.

    I must visit now the smithy
      And his anvil ringing clear,--
    Even now his clanking irons
      Do I faintly seem to hear.

    Now, adieu; I must be speeding
      Where the wild wings swiftly fly,
    And the clouds go by me floating,
      So I bid you all “good-bye.”



          HASTINGS.


    Oh, bright the day when England’s crown
      Came forth to crown the king;
    And in the minds of those around
      It seemed no trifling thing.

    “Give back the crown!” was William’s word,
      “Or my good sword shall pay,
    With heavy thrust and bleeding cut,
      For this you’ve done to-day.”

    For Edward’s will that crown had sent
      To grace stern William’s head,
    But Harold too had claimed the right,
      And for that right he bled.

    Aye! bled, and died, and lost the crown
      He’d struggled so to save,
    And ah! that struggle led him to
      His solitary grave.

    Yes! Godwin’s son was born to fight--
      To chase and not to fly,
    And he was born for Hasting’s fate,
      And that fate was to die.

    Ah! weep ye noble Saxon men--
      The last king of your line
    Shall sleep the cold, still sleep of death,
      That solemn sleep divine.

    To-day we merry are and joy
      Doth reign supreme around,
    And music seems in every noise
      And ev’ry passing sound.

    To-morrow comes--that joy is gone--
      There lies the human clay,
    The spirit to its rest has gone
      Where brighter shines the day.

    We know not when that bidding comes,
      That bears us from the earth;
    How few the years that stand between
      Our death-call and our birth.

    Thus was’t with Harold--in the night,
      Carousing in the tent,
    His joy was great, but ’morrows light,
      His knee in suppliance bent.

    The cup went round,--and small thought they
      Upon the next day’s fight,
    That Harold soon in death should lie
      Within the waning light.

    In William’s camp no cup went round,
      But heads were bent in prayer,
    And plans were laid; then silence kept
      Its peaceful reigning there.

    Oh! solemn was the prayer they said--
      And solemn was the scene;
    The archers with their bows stood by
      With grave and silent mien.

    The morning came,--the proud array
      Stood silent as the dead;
    The battle-axes in their hands
      Did rise far overhead.

    And in the midst, his armor bright,
      Stood Harold with his sword,
    And far and near around stood those
      Who waited at his word.

    The banner rose above them all--
      Its warrior stood on high,
    And precious stones did mark him there
      That scarcely wealth could buy.

    Duke William led his heroes forth
      And gave them to the fray,
    Ah, many of those heroes there
      Ne’er saw another day.

    The battle raged, and sunset came,
      And flashed on armor bright,
    And all around were mangled men--
      It was an awful sight.

    King Harold fell, the arrow pierced
      And bore him to the ground;
    Ah! then was heard a trampling noise--
      A wildly flying sound.

    The warrior and the banner fell,
      And dyed were they in blood
    No more the Saxon’s sang their shout:
      “God’s rood! aye, holy rood!”



          THE TEMPERANCE SHIP.


    Drifting down the tide we go?
      Nay! we hoist the sail;
    Speeding fast and faster still
      With the blowing gale.

    Come sign the pledge and get on board
      And leave behind your woe,
    For the sky is bright, and the gale is right,
      As like the wind we go.

    We sail between the shores of green,
      On the waters shining breast;
    Oh! sign the pledge and the ribbon don
      And forever you’ll find rest;

    Sweet rest upon our temperance ship
      And leave behind your woe;
    For the sky is bright and the gale is right,
      As like the wind we go.



          THE HALL OF MEMORY.


    There is a Hall of Memory
      Within a happy land;
    The walls are high and marble clear
      With wealth on every hand.

    The railings on the stairway
      Are made of purest gold;
    The marble steps below them
      Are hard and stern and cold.

    I love the Hall of Memory--
      I love to linger there;
    Sweet visions coming evermore,--
      Its pictures bright and fair.

    Its walls are decked with pictures
      Made by a Masters hand;
    The marble figures far and near
      Alive they seem to stand.

    But there is one fair picture
      I love to gaze upon;
    It is the picture of a time
      That is forever gone.

    There is a Hall of Memory,
      Its walls are stern and high;
    The treasures it contains for me
      No wealth can ever buy.



          PEACE.


    The cold moon-light is shining clear;
      The tall trees shadows throw,
    And all is spectral far and near
      As far as eye can go.

    A peaceful calm rests o’er the scene,
      The clouds no longer fly.
    The busy world is hushed and still--
      Its cares have passed us by.

    But when to-morrow’s light has come,
      Then comes the care and pain--
    The strife and warfare of our lives
      Is rushing on again.

    But still the white clouds fleck the sky,
      And Peace is reigning on;
    But soon the beauty of the night
      Will fade and fast be gone.



          THE SUNSET LAND.


    Far in the west is the sunset land
      Where flows a mighty river;
    It flows right o’er the crimson clouds
      And it follows the sun forever.

    The stars come chasing through the sky,--
      They chase and they twinkle and play,
    And they love the clouds of the sunset land
      That soon will be far away.

    And the twilight jealous and sombre and sad
      Comes down with his robes of gray,
    And he chases the light of the sunset land
      Far from the west away.



          STANZAS.


    When the weary day at last
    With its cares and strife is past;

    When I lay me down to sleep,
    While the angels vigils keep,

    Comes an echo far away
    Of the doings of the day.

    Ere my weary eyelids close,
    Ere my being seeks repose.

    Comes a voice from far away:
    “What hast thou performed this day?”

    Yes the air is full of spirits,
    Many does each man inherit.

    But at night each one will say:
    “What hast thou performed this day?”

    Ere my weary eyelids close;
    Ere I calmly seek repose,

    Comes an echo far away:
    “What hast thou performed this day?”



          THE SHIPWRECK.


    The seagull screamed and flopped his wings
      And hied him to his home;
    The breakers dashed upon the shore--
      Their crests were filled with foam.

    The briny mounts were thrown on high
      Where reeled a ship; the gale
    Had shorn her of her masts, and torn
      In shreds each flying sail.

    Alas! a wail comes o’er the deep--
      The ship is sinking fast--
    The mighty mountains of the sea
      Are aided by the blast.

    ’Tis morn again, the rosy morn
      The storm at sea is o’er;
    The elements are calm and still;
      The wreck is on the shore.

    Then take good care in future life,
      While near the billows roll;--
    Take care lest your own self be lost
      By shipwreck of your soul.

    Then never let the breakers roll
      To whelm the bark within,
    As in the world you sail around
      The blackened sea of sin.



          CLEOPATRA’S NEEDLES.


    It was in Africa’s torrid clime,
      Two sisters stood alone,
    And what they witnessed was a sight
      To melt a heart of stone.

    The English came and carried off
      One sister, far away;
    And now in London’s haunts she stands
      And sorrows all the day.

    They took her from her native spot,
      Where she was wont to stand,
    And placed her in a foreign clime,
      Within a foreign land.

    Ah! how she feels, with other eyes
      Than on bright Egypt’s shore;--
    She stands where she had never been--
      To stand for evermore.

    The others came with iron bonds,
      Her sister, too, they brought,
    To grace America’s bright parks
      Where pity ne’er was thought.

    Ah! yes, in New York city’s haunts
      That sister is to be;
    Between the two the waters lie--
      A dark and stormy sea.

    Ah! now when I to Egypt’s plains
      Do wend my careful way,
    I’ll seek the spot where once they stood,
      And there respect I’ll pay.

    But, oh, the beauties will be gone--
      The sisters are not there,
    Insulted by a grosser race,
      They stand where naught is fair.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]SONNETS.

[Illustration]



          SONNETS.



          WINTER.


    The snow is lying deep upon the ground,
    And naught disturbs the quiet, bitter air
    Except the distant jingling sleigh bells sound,
    Which seems to banish from my heart all care.
    The trees are barren of their waving leaves,
    The limbs are swaying sadly to and fro;
    It seems as though it for its verdure grieves,
    As down it shakes the flakes of shining snow.
    Oh, thou to me forever art a friend--
    I would that you were for the whole year round,
    And He on high those blessings by you send
    That always in your bounteous lap are found;
    And you and I would be as angels here
    And sorrow never know nor ever shed a tear!



          SUNSHINE.


    Thou dancing sunbeams through the happy day
    Dost cheer me on my onward path through life,
    You show to me more clear my stumbling way
    And lighter make my almost ceaseless strife.
    Thou art to me a greater friend indeed,
    Than others I have loved up to this hour;--
    They are oft but a wildly growing weed--
    But thou art like a shining summer flow’r.
    The world could not exist if not for thee,
    The Ice-King would possession then obtain;
    The light and beauty from all things would flee,
    And naught but lasting, dark’ning chaos reighn.
    But now we have the cheerful, glittering light
    That keeps the universe alive and bright.

[Illustration]



          POEMS.



          PAST AND PRESENT.


    Let us now improve the present,
      Waiting not for something more;
    For the past is gone forever
      And its troubles all are o’er.

    Let us hope not in the future
      Golden days will be at hand;
    Try, keep trying, for that country,
      In a fairer, better land.

    Up, be doing in the present,
      Waiting not for something more;
    For the past is gone forever
      And its troubles all are o’er.

    Those who wait are ne’er receiving--
      Those who act are always blest;
    Up, be doing, still be acting,
      This is not a time for rest.

    Let us now improve the present,
      Waiting not for something more;
    For the past is gone forever
      And its troubles all are o’er.



          GONE TO REST.


    Little Ada now has gone
      To that land above,
    Where no trouble ever comes;
      All is brightness, all is love.

    Now an angel far away
      In that land of light;
    Cheer up, oh, afflicted ones,
      She is gone where all is bright.

    Father, cheer the grieving parents;
      Help them now to bear the woe;
    Pity us, thy simple children,
      In this land so far below.

    Angels carried her to heaven,
      Clothed her in their robes of light;
    She is gone, but not forever,
      From the loving parents’ sight.

    Little Ada now has gone
      To that land above,
    Where no trouble ever comes,
      All is brightness, all is love.



          A DREAM.


    On the summit of a mountain
      Stood I in the twilight gray,
    There were many standing with me
      In the closing light of day.

    Two paths led out from the summit--
      One to lands so clear and bright,
    And the other to a dark land
      Where reigned eternal night.

    Many chose the road to darkness--
      Pathway leading down to hell;
    Few there were that took the other--
      They that chose it, chose it well.

    ’Twas a dream I dreamed in slumber,
      But ’tis real every day;
    Many take the downward path,
      Few that go the brighter way.



          THE LAST DRINK.


    An old man entered a dram-shop,
      He staggerd and stumbled in;
    His face was as hard as granite,
      His hair was light and thin.

    The bar-keeper’s daughter entered
      In a dress of purest white,
    And she looked as sweet as could be
      In her nice new clothes that night.

    The old man stopped, and reasoned,
      For his own dear child he knew
    Was shoeless and cold and ragged
      And his wife was starving, too.

    So the dime that lay in his pocket,
      Bought bread for his wife that night,
    And the old bar-keeper’s daughter
      Still dressed in her snowy white.

    But soon ere the winter was over
      The drunkard was drunkard no more,
    And the wife and child were happy
      As they never had been before.



          IN SPRING TIME.


    Oh, fresh from the woodland comes the breath--
      The breath of the beautiful spring;
    And the gentle zephyrs that float about
      Scents from the meadow and forest bring.
          And in every tree
          A robin in glee
    Is chanting a joyous melody.

    Oh the sweet calm breath of beautiful spring--
      And the azure sky is bright above,
    And the warm sunshine makes the whole world glad
      For every beam is a message of love.
          And in every tree
          The robin in glee
    Is chanting a joyous melody.

    The warm sun shines and the sweet flowers bloom,
      But ah, the wild winds will be raving amain,
    And the cold gray winter will ravish our joys--
      The beauties of earth will be vanished again.
          From every tree
          The robin will flee
    And fly to the South with his melody.

    But let us enjoy these transient delights
      And gaze on their beauty while linger they here.
    Let us thank our dear Father such grandeur may come
      While spring claims her place in every year;
          And in every tree
          A robin will be
    Chanting a beautiful melody.



          THE RAIN STORM.


    Through the din of patt’ring rain drops
      Comes the thunder in the night,
    While the bold electric flashes
      Dazzle for a while the sight.

    Patter, patter come the rain-drops
      Streaming down the window-pane.
    On the roof, unceasing, patter
      Noisy little drops of rain.

    All the stars have left and hidden
      And the cresent is no more;--
    When will come the day and sunshine
      As it came in days of yore?

    But the patter of the rain-drops
      Music to my thoughts they make,
    When the rumbling peals of thunder
      Rhyme and even rhythm break.

    May we thankful be for sunshine
      May we thankful be for rain;--
    Come again, oh patt’ring rain-drops,
      With your music come again.

[Illustration]



[Illustration]



          SOLFERINO.

_A Poem of Six Stanzas in Blank Verse._

[Illustration]



          SOLFERINO.


          I.

    On Solferino’s dizzy heights there grew
    The bright green grass and here and there were seen
    The golden hues of flow’rets shining fair,
    The bright, warm sunshine sparkled on the world
    And all the cloudlets of the azure sky
    Dark shadows threw upon the happy scene.


          II.

    But on the crest of that tall cliff there frowned
    The battered walls the battlements and tow’rs,
    And in the castle Solferino’s prince
    Walked to and fro and ’round him stood his men.
    And ere the heart had time to falter once
    Was heard the deafening rolling cannon’s roar.


          III.

    “The foe has come!” They flew to arms, and ere
    The echoes quite had died away, they gave
    Forth shot for shot and shout for shout.
    Then was thy life-blood spilt! That day
    Was one of woe to thee Sardinia!
    Those lives have left forevermore this earth.


          IV.

    Then came the awful ravage of the fray:
    The cannon’s roar, the dying’s groan, the sounds of war.
    And ev’rywhere was blood--the verdure was
    Beneath the hard foot trampled and the day
    Turned dark beneath the reign of chaos wild.


          V.

    The Mincio’s waters drifted toward the sea.
    But ever on its bosom wild was borne
    The life-blood of the soldier’s in the fray.
    Ah! red as blood its once clear waters were,
    And on its banks the same dread curse prevailed.


          VI.

    Thus man shall slay and man shall die until
    The time when his wild fury thus unchecked
    Shall spend itself and once relapse away.
    Oh! may man’s conscience soon awake to learn
    The wild disaster that his fury wrought.



          POEMS.



          THE TEMPEST.


    The cold gray mist crept o’er the shore,
      And hung about the bay;
    We saw the foaming of the surf
      Within the twilight gray.

    But through the twilight cold and still
      We heard the hum from yonder town;
    We saw the path around the hill
      Come winding ever slowly down.

    The wild wind rose as night came on,
      We heard the waves beat on the shore;
    The tempest wailed and moaned about
      Above the distant roar.

    Sad night, alas! was that to some
      Who, on the dreary ocean wide
    Heard far and near the tempest come--
      The wailing winds on either side.

    A dreadful night--a stormy night--
      It swept the wrecks ashore;
    It was a time--a dreadful sight--
      Forgotten nevermore.

    That night was one of woe, alas!
      The wild wind whistled by;
    And seemed to be as it did pass
      Some struggling sailor’s drowning cry.



          THE PEACEFUL LAND.


    Far in the west is a peaceful land
      Where the golden sunset fades away,
    And fast as the twilight shadows come
      The sunset bids farewell to day.

    The snow white vapor in fragments flies,
      And the gold-edged clouds near the sunset move;
    But the twilight, dim and dark and gray,
      Steals fast from sight this land of love.

    The zephyrs stir and the soft leaves wave
      And sigh for the loss of the sunset sky;
    But even the beauties that shine in the west
      Must ever fade till the glories die.



          THE LONELY CITY.


    In the distance dim a valley lies
      Where flows a deep dark river;
    On the farther shore a city stands,
      Where the tide flows on forever.

    A cloud hangs o’er the city fair
      By day in the valley yonder;
    By night in the streets, devoid of light,
      Wild phantoms ever wander.

    No sound comes forth from the vacant domes
      That gleam in the quiet air.
    No living thing breaks the solitude--
      But the phantoms wander there.

    In the distance dim a valley lies
      Where flows a rolling river,
    But the phantoms wander by its side
      As time flies by forever.



          THE COURSE OF THE STREAM.


    When the sunset in the west
      Gilds the landscape far and near
    Wraps the sun within his shroud
      Dies he on a glorious bier.

    When the night falls o’er the land,
      Comes the cresent from the sky;
    Silence reigns upon the scene,
      As the brooklet hurries by.

    When the starlight cold and still
      Falls upon the earth below--
    Falls upon the church-yard hill,
      By the saddened brooklets flow.

    Slower come the drifting waters
      Ceasing once their noisy glee.
    As it passes by it sings on
      In a plaintive melody.

    Ghostly rise the marble spectres
      O’er the beds of those who sleep;--
    Ever in the night or day time
      Still their solemn vigils keep.

    When the sunrise in the east
      Gilds the sky with flames of light,
    Runs the brooklet fast to meet
      With its waters ever bright.

    Onward to the flowing river,
      And its waters mingle there;
    Oh! when shall they return agan
      To the brooklet shining fair?



          THE STAR.


    When the Christ was born on earth,
      Then wise men the star did guide,
    Till with riches they appeared
      By the great Messiah’s side.

    And the angels ever echoed
      Songs of happiness again,
    And a voice from heaven answered
      PEACE ON EARTH GOOD WILL TO MEN.

    Still the star whirled in its orbit
      Round the sun of heat and light,--
    Saw the earth in years advancing--
      Watched her in her rapid flight.

    When we slumber peacefully,--
      When we think not what is near,
    Still the star’s light shineth ever
      All its beams are bright and clear.

    Thus forever, yet unceasing,--
      Still it shineth as of yore,
    And shall be a guide and helper
      Through the ages evermore.


[Illustration]

          FINIS.

[Illustration]



          TABLE OF CONTENTS.



    TITLE.                                                          PAGE.

    A DREAM                                                           37
    BY THE FIRESIDE                                                    8
    CLEOPATRA’S NEEDLES                                               27
    CHRISTMAS NIGHT                                                    5
    FALLING OF THE APPLE TREE                                          6
    GONE TO REST                                                      36
    HASTINGS                                                          19
    IN SPRING TIME                                                    38
    MY THOUGHTS                                                        8
    PEACE                                                             24
    PAST AND PRESENT                                                  35
    STANZAS                                                           25
    SUNSHINE                                                          33
    SOLFERINO                                                         43
    THE ANGELS                                                         6
    THE SPECTRES                                                       7
    THE YEARS                                                          7
    THE HAUNTED HOUSE                                                  9
    THE KINGDOM OF THE DEAD                                           10
    THE WIND                                                          10
    THE SONG OF THE WIND                                              11
    THE TEMPERANCE SHIP                                               22
    THE HALL OF MEMORY                                                23
    THE SUNSET LAND                                                   24
    THE SHIPWRECK                                                     26
    THE LAST DRINK                                                    37
    THE RAIN STORM                                                    39
    THE TEMPEST                                                       45
    THE PEACEFUL LAND                                                 46
    THE LONELY CITY                                                   46
    THE COURSE OF THE STREAM                                          47
    THE STAR                                                          48
    WINTER                                                            33





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