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Title: The Book of the Native
Author: Roberts, Charles G. D., Sir
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.

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  TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE

  Italic text is denoted by _underscores_.

  Some minor changes to the text are noted at the end of the book.



  The Book of the Native

  By

  Charles G. D. Roberts

  [Illustration: (Publisher’s colophone)]

  Boston--New York--London

  Lamson, Wolffe and Company

  The Copp, Clark Company, Limited
  Toronto

  MDCCCXCVI



  Copyright, 1896,

  By Lamson, Wolffe and Company.

  _All rights reserved_


  Norwood Press

  J. S. Cushing & Co.--Berwick & Smith
  Norwood Mass. U.S.A.



AUTHOR’S NOTE


Many of the poems in this collection have already appeared in the
pages of English, American, or Canadian periodicals. For kind
courtesies in regard to the reprinting of such poems my grateful
acknowledgments are due to the editors of _Harper’s Magazine_,
_The Century_, _The Atlantic Monthly_, _Scribner’s Magazine_, _The
Cosmopolitan_, _Massey’s Magazine_, _The Yellow Book_, _Harper’s
Weekly_, _The Independent_, _Munsey’s Magazine_, _The Chap-Book_,
_The Outlook_, _The Youth’s Companion_, _Harper’s Bazar_, _St.
Nicholas_, _Truth_.

            C. G. D. R.

  FREDERICTON, N.B., August, 1896.



To

Goodridge Bliss Roberts


      The kindly strength of open fields,
        The faith of eve, the calm of air,
      They lift my spirit close to thee
        In memory and prayer.



CONTENTS


        I. THE BOOK OF THE NATIVE             Page

  Kinship                                       11

  Origins                                       16

  An April Adoration                            19

  An Oblation                                   21

  Resurrection                                  25

  Afoot                                         27

  Where the Cattle come to Drink                31

  The Heal-All                                  32

  Recompense                                    35

  An Epitaph for a Husbandman                   37

  The Little Field of Peace                     40

  Renewal                                       43

  The Unsleeping                                45

  Recessional                                   48

  Earth’s Complines                             52

  Two Spheres                                   55

  The Stillness of the Frost                    58

  A Child’s Prayer at Evening                   59


        II. LYRICS

  The Frosted Pane                              63

  The Brook in February                         64

  Beside the Winter Sea                         65

  The Quest of the Arbutus                      67

  The Jonquil                                   70

  The Trout Brook                               72

  A Wake-up Song                                75

  Butterflies                                   77

  July                                          78

  An August Wood Road                           81

  Apple Song                                    84

  The Cricket                                   87

  The Train among the Hills                     89

  The Lone Wharf                                90

  The Witches’ Flight                           92

  Three Good Things                             95

  Trysting Song                                 98

  Love’s Translator                            100

  Ebb                                          103

  Twilight on Sixth Avenue                     105

  Mothers                                      107

  Up and Away in the Morning                   108

  Home, Home in the Evening                    110

  Sleepy Man                                   112


        III. BALLADS

  The Wrestler                                 117

  The Ballad of Crossing the Brook             120

  Whitewaters                                  124

  The Forest Fire                              136

  The Vengeance of Gluskâp                     142

  The Muse and the Wheel                       145

  The “Laughing Sally”                         150



I

The Book of the Native



            Kinship


      Back to the bewildering vision
        And the border-land of birth;
      Back into the looming wonder,
        The companionship of earth;

      Back unto the simple kindred--
        Childlike fingers, childlike eyes,
      Working, waiting, comprehending,
        Now in patience, now surprise;

      Back unto the faithful healing
        And the candor of the sod--
      Scent of mould and moisture stirring
        At the secret touch of God;

      Back into the ancient stillness
        Where the wise enchanter weaves,
      To the twine of questing tree-root,
        The expectancy of leaves;

      Back to hear the hushed consulting
        Over bud and blade and germ,
      As the Mother’s mood apportions
        Each its pattern, each its term;

      Back into the grave beginnings
        Where all wonder-tales are true,
      Strong enchantments, strange successions,
        Mysteries of old and new;

      Back to knowledge and renewal,
        Faith to fashion and reveal,
      Take me, Mother,--in compassion
        All thy hurt ones fain to heal.

      Back to wisdom take me, Mother;
        Comfort me with kindred hands;
      Tell me tales the world’s forgetting,
        Till my spirit understands.

      Tell me how some sightless impulse,
        Working out a hidden plan,
      God for kin and clay for fellow,
        Wakes to find itself a man.

      Tell me how the life of mortal,
        Wavering from breath to breath,
      Like a web of scarlet pattern
        Hurtles from the loom of death.

      How the caged bright bird, desire,
        Which the hands of God deliver,
      Beats aloft to drop unheeded
        At the confines of forever:

      Faints unheeded for a season,
        Then outwings the furthest star,
      To the wisdom and the stillness
        Where thy consummations are.



            Origins


      Out of the dreams that heap
      The hollow hand of sleep,--
      Out of the dark sublime,
      The echoing deeps of time,--
      From the averted Face
      Beyond the bournes of space.
      Into the sudden sun
      We journey, one by one.
      Out of the hidden shade
      Wherein desire is made,--
      Out of the pregnant stir
      Where death and life confer,--
      The dark and mystic heat
      Where soul and matter meet,--
      The enigmatic Will,--
      We start, and then are still.

          Inexorably decreed
      By the ancestral deed,
      The puppets of our sires,
      We work out blind desires,
      And for our sons ordain,
      The blessing or the bane.
      In ignorance we stand
      With fate on either hand,
      And question stars and earth
      Of life, and death, and birth.
      With wonder in our eyes
      We scan the kindred skies,
      While through the common grass
      Our atoms mix and pass.
      We feel the sap go free
      When spring comes to the tree;
      And in our blood is stirred
      What warms the brooding bird.
      The vital fire we breathe
      That bud and blade bequeathe,
      And strength of native clay
      In our full veins hath sway.

          But in the urge intense
      And fellowship of sense,
      Suddenly comes a word
      In other ages heard.
      On a great wind our souls
      Are borne to unknown goals,
      And past the bournes of space
      To the unaverted Face.



            An April Adoration


      Sang the sunrise on an amber morn--
      “Earth, be glad! An April day is born.

      “Winter’s done, and April’s in the skies.
      Earth, look up with laughter in your eyes!”

      Putting off her dumb dismay of snow,
      Earth bade all her unseen children grow.

      Then the sound of growing in the air
      Rose to God a liturgy of prayer;

      And the thronged succession of the days
      Uttered up to God a psalm of praise.

      Laughed the running sap in every vein,
      Laughed the running flurries of warm rain,

      Laughed the life in every wandering root,
      Laughed the tingling cells of bud and shoot.

      God in all the concord of their mirth
      Heard the adoration-song of Earth.



            An Oblation


      Behind the fateful gleams
      Of Life’s foretelling streams
          Sat the Artificer
      Of souls and deeds and dreams.

      Before him April came;
      And on her mouth his name
          Breathed like a flower
      And lightened like a flame.

      She offered him a world
      With showers of joy empearled;
          And a Spring wind
      With iris wings unfurled.

      She offered him a flight
      Of birds that fare by night,
          Voyaging northward
      By the ancestral sight.

      She offered him a star
      From the blue fields afar,
          Where unforgotten
      The ghosts of gladness are.

      And every root and seed
      Blind stirring in the mead
          Her hands held up,--
      And still he gave no heed.

      Then from a secret nook
      Beside a pasture brook,--
          A place of leaves,--
      A pink-lipped bloom she took.

      Softly before his feet,
      Oblation small and sweet,
        She laid the arbutus,
      And found the offering meet.

      Over the speaking tide,
      Where Death and Birth abide,
        He stretched his palm,
      And strewed the petals wide;--

      And o’er the ebbing years,
      Dark with the drift of tears,
        A sunbeam broke,
      And summer filled the spheres,



            Resurrection


      Daffodil, lily, and crocus,
        They stir, they break from the sod,
      They are glad of the sun, and they open
        Their golden hearts to God.

      They, and the wilding families,--
        Windflower, violet, may,--
      They rise from the long, long dark
        To the ecstasy of day.

      We, scattering troops and kindreds,
        From out of the stars wind-blown
      To this wayside corner of space,
        This world that we call our own,--

      We, of the hedge-rows of Time,
        We, too, shall divide the sod,
      Emerge to the light, and blossom,
        With our hearts held up to God.



            Afoot


      Comes the lure of green things growing,
      Comes the call of waters flowing,--
        And the wayfarer desire
      Moves and wakes and would be going.

      Hark the migrant hosts of June
      Marching nearer noon by noon!
        Hark the gossip of the grasses
      Bivouacked beneath the moon!

      Hark the leaves their mirth averring;
      Hark the buds to blossom stirring;
        Hark the hushed, exultant haste
      Of the wind and world conferring!

      Hark the sharp, insistent cry
      Where the hawk patrols the sky!
        Hark the flapping, as of banners,
      Where the heron triumphs by!

      Empire in the coasts of bloom
      Humming cohorts now resume,--
        And desire is forth to follow
      Many a vagabond perfume.

      Long the quest and far the ending
      Where my wayfarer is wending,--
        When desire is once afoot,
      Doom behind and dream attending!

      Shuttle-cock of indecision,
      Sport of chance’s blind derision,
        Yet he may not fail nor tire
      Till his eyes shall win the Vision.

      In his ears the phantom chime
      Of incommunicable rhyme,
        He shall chase the fleeting camp-fires
      Of the Bedouins of Time.

      Farer by uncharted ways,
      Dumb as Death to plaint or praise,
        Unreturning he shall journey,
      Fellow to the nights and days:--

      Till upon the outer bar
      Stilled the moaning currents are,--
        Till the flame achieves the zenith,--
      Till the moth attains the star,--

      Till, through laughter and through tears,
      Fair the final peace appears,
        And about the watered pastures
      Sink to sleep the nomad years!



            Where the Cattle come to Drink


      At evening, where the cattle come to drink,
        Cool are the long marsh-grasses, dewy cool
        The alder thickets, and the shallow pool,
      And the brown clay about the trodden brink.
      The pensive afterthoughts of sundown sink
        Over the patient acres given to peace;
        The homely cries and farmstead noises cease,
      And the worn day relaxes, link by link.

      A lesson that the open heart may read
        Breathes in this mild benignity of air,
        These dear, familiar savours of the soil,--
      A lesson of the calm of humble creed,
        The simple dignity of common toil,
        And the plain wisdom of unspoken prayer.



            The Heal-All


      Dear blossom of the wayside kin,
        Whose homely, wholesome name
      Tells of a potency within
        To win thee country fame!

      The sterile hillocks are thy home,
        Beside the windy path;
      The sky, a pale and lonely dome,
        Is all thy vision hath.

      Thy unobtrusive purple face
        Amid the meagre grass
      Greets me with long-remembered grace,
        And cheers me as I pass.

      And I, outworn by petty care,
        And vexed with trivial wrong,
      I heed thy brave and joyous air
        Until my heart grows strong.

      A lesson from the Power I crave
        That moves in me and thee,
      That makes thee modest, calm, and brave,--
        Me restless as the sea.

      Thy simple wisdom I would gain,--
        To heal the hurt Life brings,
      With kindly cheer, and faith in pain,
        And joy of common things.



            Recompense


      To Beauty and to Truth I heaped
        My sacrificial fires.
      I fed them hot with selfish thoughts
        And many proud desires.

      I stripped my days of dear delights
        To cast them in the flame,
      Till life seemed naked as a rock,
        And pleasure but a name.

      And still I sorrowed patiently,
        And waited day and night,
      Expecting Truth from very far
        And Beauty from her height.

      Then laughter ran among the stars;
        And this I heard them tell:
      “Beside his threshold is the shrine
        Where Truth and Beauty dwell!”



            An Epitaph for a Husbandman


      He who would start and rise
        Before the crowing cocks--
      No more he lifts his eyes,
        Whoever knocks.

      He who before the stars
        Would call the cattle home,--
      They wait about the bars
        For him to come.

      Him at whose hearty calls
        The farmstead woke again
      The horses in their stalls
        Expect in vain.

      Busy, and blithe, and bold,
        He laboured for the morrow,--
      The plough his hands would hold
        Rusts in the furrow.

      His fields he had to leave,
        His orchards cool and dim;
      The clods he used to cleave
        Now cover him.

      But the green, growing things
        Lean kindly to his sleep,--
      White roots and wandering strings,
        Closer they creep.

      Because he loved them long
        And with them bore his part,
      Tenderly now they throng
        About his heart.



            The Little Field of Peace


      By the long wash of his ancestral sea
        He sleeps how quietly!
      How quiet the unlifting eyelids lie
        Under this tranquil sky!
      The little busy hands and restless feet
        Here find that rest is sweet;
      For sweetly, from the hands grown tired of play,
        The child-world slips away,
      With its confusion of forgotten toys
        And kind, familiar noise.

      Not lonely does he lie in his last bed,
        For love o’erbroods his head.
      Kindly to him the comrade grasses lean
        Their fellowship of green.
      The wilding meadow companies give heed,--
        Brave tansy, and the weed
      That on the dyke-top lifts its dauntless stalk,--
        Around his couch they talk.
      The shadows of his oak-tree flit and play
        Above his dreams all day.
      The wind, that was his playmate on the hills,
        His sleep with music fills.

      Here in this tender acre by the tide
        His vanished kin abide.
      Ah! what compassionate care for him they keep,
        Too soon returned to sleep!
      They watch him in this little field of peace
        Where they have found release.
      Not as a stranger or alone he went
        Unto his long content;
      But kissed to sleep and comforted lies he
        By his ancestral sea.



            Renewal


      Comrade of the whirling planets,
        Mother of the leaves and rain,
      Make me joyous as thy birds are,
        Let me be thy child again.

      Show me all the troops of heaven
        Tethered in a sphere of dew,--
      All the dear familiar marvels
        Old, child-hearted singers knew.

      Let me laugh with children’s laughter,
        Breathe with herb and blade and tree,
      Learn again forgotten lessons
        Of thy grave simplicity.

      Take me back to dream and vision
        From the prison-house of pain,
      Back to fellowship with wonder--
        Mother, take me home again!



            The Unsleeping


      I soothe to unimagined sleep
      The sunless bases of the deep.
      And then I stir the aching tide
      That gropes in its reluctant side.

      I heave aloft the smoking hill;
      To silent peace its throes I still.
      But ever at its heart of fire
      I lurk, an unassuaged desire.

      I wrap me in the sightless germ
      An instant or an endless term;
      And still its atoms are my care,
      Dispersed in ashes or in air.

      I hush the comets one by one
      To sleep for ages in the sun;
      The sun resumes before my face
      His circuit of the shores of space.

      The mount, the star, the germ, the deep,
      They all shall wake, they all shall sleep.
      Time, like a flurry of wild rain,
      Shall drift across the darkened pane.

      Space, in the dim predestined hour,
      Shall crumble like a ruined tower.
      I only, with unfaltering eye,
      Shall watch the dreams of God go by.



            Recessional


      Now along the solemn heights
      Fade the Autumn’s altar-lights;
          Down the great earth’s glimmering chancel
      Glide the days and nights.

      Little kindred of the grass,
      Like a shadow in a glass
          Falls the dark and falls the stillness;
      We must rise and pass.

      We must rise and follow, wending
      Where the nights and days have ending,--
          Pass in order pale and slow
      Unto sleep extending.

      Little brothers of the clod,
      Soul of fire and seed of sod,
          We must fare into the silence
      At the knees of God.

      Little comrades of the sky
      Wing to wing we wander by,
          Going, going, going, going,
      Softly as a sigh.

      Hark, the moving shapes confer,
      Globe of dew and gossamer,
          Fading and ephemeral spirits
      In the dusk astir.

      Moth and blossom, blade and bee,
      Worlds must go as well as we,
          In the long procession joining
      Mount, and star, and sea.

      Toward the shadowy brink we climb
      Where the round year rolls sublime,
          Rolls, and drops, and falls forever
      In the vast of time;

      Like a plummet plunging deep
      Past the utmost reach of sleep,
          Till remembrance has no longer
      Care to laugh or weep.



            Earth’s Complines


      Before the feet of the dew
      There came a call I knew,
          Luring me into the garden
      Where the tall white lilies grew.

      I stood in the dusk between
      The companies of green,
          O’er whose aerial ranks
      The lilies rose serene.

      And the breathing air was stirred
      By an unremembered word,
          Soft, incommunicable--
      And wings not of a bird.

      I heard the spent blooms sighing,
      The expectant buds replying;
          I felt the life of the leaves,
      Ephemeral, yet undying.

      The spirits of earth were there,
      Thronging the shadowed air,
          Serving among the lilies,
      In an ecstasy of prayer.

      Their speech I could not tell;
      But the sap in each green cell,
          And the pure initiate petals,
      They knew that language well.

      I felt the soul of the trees--
      Of the white, eternal seas--
          Of the flickering bats and night-moths
      And my own soul kin to these.

      And a spell came out of space
      From the light of its starry place,
          And I saw in the deep of my heart
      The image of God’s face.



            Two Spheres


      While eager angels watched in awe,
        God fashioned with his hands
      Two shining spheres to work his law,
        And carry his commands.

      With patient art he shaped them true,
        With calm, untiring care;
      And none of those bright watchers knew
        Which one to call most fair.

      He dropped one lightly down to earth
        Amid the morning’s blue--
      And on a gossamer had birth
        A bead of blinding dew.

      It flamed across the hollow field,
        On tiptoe to depart,
      Outvied Arcturus, and revealed
        All heaven in its heart.

      He tossed the other into space
        (As children toss a ball)
      To swing forever in its place
        With equal rise and fall;

      To flame through the ethereal dark,
        Among its brother spheres,
      An orbit too immense to mark
        The little tide of years.



            The Stillness of the Frost


      Out of the frost-white wood comes winnowing through
        No wing; no homely call or cry is heard.
        Even the hope of life seems far deferred.
        The hard hills ache beneath their spectral hue.
      A dove-gray cloud, tender as tears or dew,
        From one lone hearth exhaling, hangs unstirred,
        Like the poised ghost of some unnamed great bird
        In the ineffable pallor of the blue.
      Such, I must think, even at the dawn of Time,
        Was thy white hush, O world, when thou lay’st cold,
        Unwaked to love, new from the Maker’s word,
      And the spheres, watching, stilled their high accord,
        To marvel at perfection in thy mould,
        The grace of thine austerity sublime!



          A Child’s Prayer at Evening

        (_Domine, cui sunt Pleiades curae_)


      Father, who keepest
        The stars in Thy care,
      Me, too, Thy little one,
        Childish in prayer,
      Keep, as Thou keepest
        The soft night through,
      Thy long, white lilies
        Asleep in Thy dew.



II

Lyrics



            The Frosted Pane


      One night came Winter noiselessly, and leaned
        Against my window-pane.
      In the deep stillness of his heart convened
        The ghosts of all his slain.

      Leaves, and ephemera, and stars of earth,
        And fugitives of grass,--
      White spirits loosed from bonds of mortal birth,
        He drew them on the glass.



            The Brook in February


      A snowy path for squirrel and fox,
        It winds between the wintry firs.
      Snow-muffled are its iron rocks,
        And o’er its stillness nothing stirs.

      But low, bend low a listening ear!
        Beneath the mask of moveless white
      A babbling whisper you shall hear
        Of birds and blossoms, leaves and light.



            Beside the Winter Sea


      As one who sleeps, and hears across his dream
      The cry of battles ended long ago,
      Inland I hear the calling of the sea.
      I hear its hollow voices, though between
      My wind-worn dwelling and thy wave-worn strand
      How many miles, how many mountains are!
      And thou beside the winter sea alone
      Art walking, with thy cloak about thy face.
      Bleak, bleak the tide, and evening coming on;
      And gray the pale, pale light that wans thy face.
      Solemnly breaks the long wave at thy feet;
      And sullenly in patches clings the snow
      Upon the low, red rocks worn round with years.
      I see thine eyes, I see their grave desire,
      Unsatisfied and lonely as the sea’s;--
      Yet how unlike the wintry sea’s despair!
      For could my feet but follow, thine, my hands
      But reach for thy warm hands beneath thy cloak,
      What summer joy would lighten in thy face,
      What sunshine warm thine eyes, and thy sad mouth
      Break to a dewy rose, and laugh on mine!



            The Quest of the Arbutus


      For days the drench of noiseless rains,
      Then sunshine on the vacant plains,
      And April with her blind desire
      A vagrant in my veins!

      Because the tardy gods grew kind,
      Unrest and care were cast behind;
      I took a day, and found the world
      Was fashioned to my mind.

      The swelling sap that thrilled the wood
      Was cousin to my eager blood;
      I caught the stir of waking roots,
      And knew that life was good.

      But something in the odors fleet,
      And in the sap’s suggestion sweet,
      Was lacking,--one thing everywhere
      To make the spring complete.

      At length within a leafy nest,
      Where spring’s persuasions pleaded best,
      I found a pale, reluctant flower,
      The purpose of my quest.

      And then the world’s expectancy
      Grew clear: I knew its need to be
      Not this dear flower, but one dear hand
      To pluck the flower with me.



            The Jonquil


      Through its brown and withered bulb
        How the white germ felt the sun
      In the dark mould gently stirring
        His Spring children one by one!

      Thrilled with heat, it split the husk,
        Shot a green blade up to light,
      And unfurled its orange petals
        In the old Enchanter’s sight.

      One step more and it had floated
        On the palpitating noon
      Winged and free, a butterfly
        Soaring from the rent cocoon.

      But it could not leave its earth,
        And the May-dew’s tender tears,--
      So it wavers there forever
        ’Twixt the green and azure spheres.



            The Trout Brook


      The airs that blew from the brink of day
      Were fresh and wet with the breath of May.
      I heard the babble of brown brooks falling,
      And golden-wings in the woodside calling.

      Big drops hung from the sparkling eaves;
      And through the screen of the thin young leaves
      A glint of ripples, a whirl of foam,
      Lured and beckoned me out from home.

      My feet grew eager, my eyes grew wide,
      And I was off by the brown brook’s side.
      Down in the swamp-bottom, cool and dim,
      I cut me an alder sapling slim.

      With nimble fingers I tied my line,
      Clear as a sunbeam, strong and fine.
      My fly was a tiny glittering thing,
      With tinselled body and partridge wing.

      With noiseless steps I threaded the wood,
      Glad of the sun-pierced solitude.
      Chattered the kingfisher, fierce and shy,
      As like a shadow I drifted by.

      Lurked in their watery lairs the trout,
      But, silver and scarlet, I lured them out.
      Wary were they, but warier still
      My cunning wrist and my cast of skill.

      I whipped the red pools under the beeches;
      I whipped the yellow and dancing reaches.
      The purple eddy, smooth like oil,
      And the tail of the rapid yielded spoil.

      So all day long, till the day was done,
      I followed the stream, I followed the sun.
      Then homeward over the ridge I went,
      The wandering heart of me well content.



            A Wake-up Song


      Sun’s up; wind’s up! Wake up, dearies!
        Leave your coverlets white and downy.
      June’s come into the world this morning.
        Wake up, Golden Head! Wake up, Brownie!

      Dew on the meadow-grass, waves on the water,
        Robins in the rowan-tree wondering about you!
      Don’t keep the buttercups so long waiting.
        Don’t keep the bobolinks singing without you.

      Wake up, Golden Head! Wake up, Brownie!
        Cat-bird wants you in the garden soon.
      You and I, butterflies, bobolinks, and clover,
        We’ve a lot to do on the first of June.



            Butterflies


      Once in a garden, when the thrush’s song,
        Pealing at morn, made holy all the air,
      Till earth was healed of many an ancient wrong,
        And life appeared another name for prayer,

      Rose suddenly a swarm of butterflies,
        On wings of white and gold and azure fire;
      And one said, “These are flowers that seek the skies,
        Loosed by the spell of their supreme desire.”



            July


      I am for the open meadows,
        Open meadows full of sun,
      Where the hot bee hugs the clover,
        The hot breezes drop and run.

      I am for the uncut hayfields
        Open to the cloudless blue,--
      For the wide unshadowed acres
        Where the summer’s pomps renew;

      Where the grass-tops gather purple,
        Where the ox-eye daisies thrive,
      And the mendicants of summer
        Laugh to feel themselves alive;

      Where the hot scent steams and quivers,
        Where the hot saps thrill and stir,
      Where in leaf-cells’ green pavilions
        Quaint artificers confer;

      Where the bobolinks are merry,
        Where the beetles bask and gleam,
      Where above the powdered blossoms
        Powdered moth-wings poise and dream;

      Where the bead-eyed mice adventure
        In the grass-roots green and dun.
      Life is good and love is eager
        In the playground of the sun!



            An August Wood Road


      When the partridge coveys fly
      In the birch-tops cool and high;

      When the dry cicadas twang
      Where the purpling fir-cones hang;

      When the bunch-berries emboss--
      Scarlet beads--the roadside moss:

      Brown with shadows, bright with sun,
      All day long till day is done

      Sleeps in murmuring solitude
      The worn old road that threads the wood.

      In its deep cup--grassy, cool--
      Sleeps the little roadside pool;

      Sleeps the butterfly on the weed,
      Sleeps the drifted thistle-seed.

      Like a great and blazing gem,
      Basks the beetle on the stem.

      Up and down the shining rays
      Dancing midges weave their maze.

      High among the moveless boughs,
      Drunk with day, the night-hawks drowse.

      Far up, unfathomably blue,
      August’s heaven vibrates through.

      The old road leads to all things good;
      The year’s at full, and time’s at flood.



            Apple Song


      O the sun has kissed the apples,
            Kissed the apples;
      And the apples, hanging mellow,
            Red and yellow,
      All down the orchard seen
      Make a glory in the green.

      The sun has kissed the apples,
            Kissed the apples;
      And the hollow barrels wait
            By the gate.
      The cider-presses drip
      With nectar for the lip.

      The sun has kissed the apples,
            Kissed the apples;
      And the yellow miles of grain
            Forget the rain.
      The happy gardens yet
      The winter’s blight forget.

      The sun has kissed the apples,
            Kissed the apples;
      O’er the marsh the cattle spread,
            White and red.
      The sky is all as blue
      As a gentian in the dew.

      The sun has kissed the apples,
            Kissed the apples;
      And the maples are ablaze
            Through the haze.
      The crickets in their mirth
      Fife the fruiting song of earth.

      The sun has kissed the apples,
            Kissed the apples;
      Now with flocking call and stir
            Birds confer,
      As if their hearts were crost
      By a fear of coming frost.

      O the sun has kissed the apples,
            Kissed the apples;
      And the harvest air is sweet
            On the wheat.
      Delight is not for long,--
      Give us laughter, give us song!



            The Cricket


      Oh, to be a cricket,
        That’s the thing!
      To scurry in the grass
        And to have one’s fling!

      And it’s oh, to be a cricket
      In the warm thistle-thicket,
        Where the sun-winds pass,
        Winds a-wing,
      And the bumble-bees hang humming,
        Hum and swing,
      And the honey-drops are coming!

      It’s to be a summer rover,
        That can see a sweet, and pick it
        With the sting!
        Never mind the sting!

      And it’s oh, to be a cricket
        In the clover!
        A gay summer rover
      In the warm thistle-thicket,
      Where the honey-drops are coming,
      Where the bumble-bees hang humming--
        That’s the thing!



            The Train among the Hills


      Vast, unrevealed, in silence and the night
        Brooding, the ancient hills commune with sleep.
        Inviolate the solemn valleys keep
      Their contemplation. Soon from height to height
      Steals a red finger of mysterious light,
        And lion-footed through the forests creep
        Strange mutterings; till suddenly, with sweep
      And shattering thunder of resistless flight
      And crash of routed echoes, roars to view,
        Down the long mountain gorge the Night Express
        Freighted with fears and tears and happiness....
      The dread form passes; silence falls anew.
        And lo! I have beheld the thronged, blind world
        To goals unseen from God’s hand onward hurled.



            The Lone Wharf


        The long tides sweep
        Around its sleep,
      The long red tides of Tantramar.
        Around its dream
        They hiss and stream,
      Sad for the ships that have sailed afar.

      _How many lips
        Have lost their bloom,
      How many ships
        Gone down to gloom,
      Since keel and sail
        Have fled out from me
      Over the thunder and strain of the sea!_

        Its kale-dark sides
        Throb in the tides;
      The long winds over it spin and hum;
        Its timbers ache
        For memory’s sake,
      And the throngs that never again will come.

      _How many lips
        Have lost their bloom,
      How many ships
        Gone down to gloom,
      Since keel and sail
        Have fled out from me
      Over the thunder and strain of the sea!_



            The Witches’ Flight


      Come, Red Mouse,
          And come, Black Cat
      Oh, see what the goat
          And the toad are at!
      Oh, see them where
      They rise in the air,
      And wheel and dance
          With the whirling bat!

      We rise, we rise
          On the smoking air;
      And the withered breast
          Grows young and fair;
      And the eyes grow bright
      With alluring light,
      And the fierce mouth softens
          With love’s soft prayer.

      Come, White Sisters,
          Naked of limb!
      The horned moon reddens;
          The stars grow dim;
      The crags in the gloom
      Of our caldron’s fume
      Shudder and topple
          And reel and swim.

      We mount, we mount
          Till the moon seems nigh.
      Our rout possesses
          The middle sky.
      With strange embraces,
      And maddened faces,
      And streaming tresses,
          We twist and fly.

      Come, White Sisters,
          And four-foot kin,
      For the horned moon sinks
          And the reek grows thin,
      And brief is the night
      Of our delight,
      And brief the span
          Of our secret sin.



            Three Good Things

  _Bona in terrâ tria inveni, Ludum, venerem, vinum._


      _Three good things I’ve thanked the Gods for,--_
          _Play, and love, and wine!_
      So by Tiber sang my poet;--
          Would the song were mine!

      Yet methinks I would not turn it
          Just the Roman way,
      But for _ludum_ say read _libros_,--
          Books are more than play!

      Through the togaed Latin trembles
          Laughter half divine;
      Flash the dice beside the column;
          Rosy flagons shine.

      I, for gleams of yellow Tiber,
          Down my garden way
      See a water blue and beaming
          In the northern day.

      Ovid, Meleager, Omar,
          In the orchard shade,
      With a jug that gurgles gently,
          And a white-armed maid.

      Three good things I thank the Gods for,--
          Books, and love, and wine:
      So, my poet, singing later,
          Would have run your line!



            Trysting Song


          Dear! Dear!
      As the night draws nigh draw near.
        The world’s forgotten;
          Work is done;
        The hour for loving
          Is begun.

          Sweet! Sweet!
      It is love-time when we meet.
        The hush of desire
          Falls with the dew,
        And all the evening
          Turns to you.

          Child! Child!
      With the warm heart wise and wild.
        My spirit trembles
          Under your hand;
        You look in my eyes
          And understand.

          Mine! Mine!
      Mistress of mood divine.
        What lore of the ages
          Bids you know
        The heart of a man
          Can love you so?



            Love’s Translator


      When the white moon divides the mist,
        My longing eyes believe
      ’Tis the white arm my lips have kissed
        Flashing from thy sleeve.

      And when the tall white lily sways
        Upon her queenly stalk,
      Thy white form fills my dreaming gaze
        Down the garden walk.

      When, rich with rose, a wandering air
        Breathes up the leafy place,
      It seems to me thy perfumed hair
        Blown across my face.

      And when the thrush’s golden note
        Across the gloom is heard,
      I think ’tis thy impassioned throat
        Uttering one sweet word.

      And when the scarlet poppy-bud
        Breaks, breathing of the south,
      A sudden warmth awakes my blood
        Thinking of thy mouth.

      And when that dove’s wing dips in flight
        Above the dreaming land,
      I see some dear, remembered, white
        Gesture of thy hand.

      Wonder and love upon me wait
        In service fair, when I
      Into thy sweetness thus translate
        Earth and air and sky.



            Ebb


      The tide goes out, the tide goes out; once more
      The empty day goes down the empty shore.

      The tide goes out; the wharves deserted lie
      Under the empty solitude of sky.

      The tide goes out; the dwindling channels ache
      With the old hunger, with the old heartbreak.

      The tide goes out; the lonely wastes of sand
      Implore the benediction of thy hand.

      The tide goes out, goes out; the stranded ships
      Desire the sea,--and I desire thy lips.

      The tide goes out, the tide goes out; the sun
      Relumes the hills of longing one by one.

      The tide goes out, goes out; and goes my heart
      On the long quest that ends but where thou art.



            Twilight on Sixth Avenue


      Over the tops of the houses
        Twilight and sunset meet.
      The green, diaphanous dusk
        Sinks to the eager street.

      Astray in the tangle of roofs
        Wanders a wind of June.
      The dial shines in the clock-tower
        Like the face of a strange-scrawled moon.

      The narrowing lines of the houses
        Palely begin to gleam,
      And the hurrying crowds fade softly
        Like an army in a dream.

      Above the vanishing faces
        A phantom train flares on
      With a voice that shakes the shadows,--
        Diminishes, and is gone.

      And I walk with the journeying throng
        In such a solitude
      As where a lonely ocean
        Washes a lonely wood.



            Mothers


      Mary, when the childing pain
        Made thy patient eyes grow dim,
      Of that anguish wert thou fain,
        Wert thou glad because of Him?
      How thou smiledst in thy woe
      Every mother’s heart doth know.

      Mary, when the helpless Child
        Nursed and slumbered at thy breast,
      In the rosy form and mild
        Didst thou see the Heavenly Guest?
      Such a guest from Paradise
      Gladdens every mother’s eyes.



            Up and Away in the Morning


      Tide’s at full; the wave breaks white
        (Oh, up and away in the morning);
      Blue is the blown grass, red is the height;
      Washed with the sun the sail shines white
        (Oh, up and away in the morning).

      Wide is the world in the laughing sun
        (Oh, up and away in the morning).
      Work’s to be done and wealth’s to be won
      Ere a man turns home with the homing sun
        (Oh, up and away in the morning).

      Long is the heart’s hope, long as the day
        (Oh, up and away in the morning).
      Heart has its will and hand has its way
      Till the world rolls over and ends the day
        (Oh, up and away in the morning).

      It’s home that we toil for all day long
        (Oh, up and away in the morning).
      Hand on the line and heart in the song,
      The labor of love will not seem long
        (Oh, up and away in the morning).



            Home, Home in the Evening


      When the crows fly in from sea
        (Oh, home, home in the evening),
      My love in his boat comes back to me,
      Over the tumbling leagues of sea
        (Oh, home, home in the evening).

      And when the sun drops over the hill
        (Oh, home, home in the evening),
      My happy eyes they take their fill
      Of watching my love as he climbs the hill
        (Oh, home, home in the evening).

      And when the dew falls over the land
        (Oh, home, home in the evening).
      I hold in my hand his dearest hand,
      The happiest woman in all the land
        (Oh, home, home in the evening).

             *       *       *       *       *

      All day she sang by the cottage door
        (Oh, home, home in the evening).
      At sundown came his boat to the shore--
      But he to the hearthside comes no more,
        Home, home in the evening.



            Sleepy Man


      When the Sleepy Man comes with the dust on his eyes
            (Oh, weary, my Dearie, so weary!)
      He shuts up the earth, and he opens the skies.
            (So hush-a-by, weary my Dearie!)

      He smiles through his fingers, and shuts up the sun;
            (Oh, weary, my Dearie, so weary!)
      The stars that he loves he lets out one by one.
            (So hush-a-by, weary my Dearie!)

      He comes from the castles of Drowsy-boy Town;
            (Oh, weary, my Dearie, so weary!)
      At the touch of his hand the tired eyelids fall down.
            (So hush-a-by, weary my Dearie!)

      He comes with a murmur of dream in his wings
            (Oh, weary, my Dearie, so weary!)
      And whispers of mermaids and wonderful things.
            (So hush-a-by, weary my Dearie!)

      Then the top is a burden, the bugle a bane
            (Oh, weary, my Dearie, so weary!)
      When one would be faring down Dream-a-way Lane,
            (So hush-a-by, weary my Dearie!)

      When one would be wending in Lullaby Wherry
            (Oh, weary, my Dearie, so weary!)
      To Sleepy Man’s Castle by Comforting Ferry.
            (So hush-a-by, weary my Dearie!)



III

Ballads



            The Wrestler


      When God sends out His company to travel through the stars,
      There is every kind of wonder in the show;
      There is every kind of animal behind its prison bars;
      With riders in a many-colored row.
      The master showman, Time, has a strange trick of rhyme,
      And the clown’s most ribald jest is a tear;
      But the best drawing card is the Wrestler huge and hard,
      Who can fill the tent at any time of year.

      His eye is on the crowd, and he beckons with his hand,
      With authoritative finger, and they come.
      The rules of the game they do not understand,
      But they go as in a dream, and are dumb.
      They would fain say him nay, and they look the other way,
      Till at last to the ropes they cling.
      But he throws them one by one till the show for them is done,
      In the blood-red dust of the ring.

      There’s none to shun his challenge--they must meet him soon or late,
      And he knows a cunning trick for all heels.
      The king’s haughty crown drops in jeers from his pate
      As the hold closes on him, and he reels.
      The burly and the proud, the braggarts of the crowd,
      Every one of them he topples down in thunder.
      His grip grows mild for the dotard and the child,
      But alike they must all go under.

      Oh, many a mighty foeman would try a fall with him--
      Persepolis and Babylon and Rome,
      Assyria and Sardis, they see their fame grow dim,
      As he tumbles in the dust every dome.
      At length will come an hour when the stars shall feel his power,
      And he shall have his will upon the sun.
      Ere we know what he’s about, the stars will be put out,
      And the wonder of the show will be undone.



            The Ballad of Crossing the Brook


      Oh, it was a dainty maid that went a-Maying in the morn,
        A dainty, dainty maiden of degree.
      The ways she took were merry and the ways she missed forlorn,
        And the laughing water tinkled to the sea.

      The little leaves above her loved the dainty, dainty maid;
        The little winds they kissed her, every one;
      At the nearing of her little feet the flowers were not afraid;
        And the water lay a-whimpling in the sun.

      Oh, the dainty, dainty maid to the borders of the brook
        Lingered down as lightly as the breeze;
      And the shy water-spiders quit their scurrying to look;
        And the happy water whispered to the trees.

      She was fain to cross the brook, was the dainty, dainty maid;
        But first she lifted up her elfin eyes
      To see if there were cavalier or clown a-near to aid,--
        And the water-bubbles blinked in surprise.

      The brook bared its pebbles to persuade her dainty feet,
        But the dainty, dainty maid was not content.
      She had spied a simple country lad (for dainty maid unmeet),
        And the shy water twinkled as it went.

      As the simple lad drew nigh, then this dainty, dainty maid,
        (O maidens, well you know how it was done!)
      Stood a-gazing at her feet until he saw she was afraid
        Of the water there a-whimpling in the sun.

      Now that simple lad had in him all the makings of a man;
        And he stammered, “I had better lift you over!”
      Said the dainty, dainty maid--“Do you really think you can?”
        And the water hid its laughter in the clover.

      So he carried her across, with his eyes cast down,
        And his foolish heart a-quaking with delight.
      And the maid she looked him over with her elfin eyes of brown;
        And the impish water giggled at his plight.

      He reached the other side, he set down the dainty maid;
        But he trembled so he couldn’t speak a word.
      Then the dainty, dainty maid--“Thank you, Sir! Good-day!” she said.
        And the water-bubbles chuckled as they heard.

      Oh, she tripped away so lightly, a-Maying in the morn,
        That dainty, dainty maiden of degree;
      She left the simple country lad a-sighing and forlorn
        Where the mocking water twinkled to the sea.



            Whitewaters


      Beside the wharf at Whitewaters
      The loitering ebb with noon confers;
      And o’er the amber flats there seems
      A sleep to brood of sun and dreams.

      The white and clustering cottages,
      Thick shadowed by their windless trees,
      Inhabit such a calm, that change
      Goes by and lets her face grow strange.

      And not far off, on tiptoe seen,
      The brown dike and the sky between,
      A shifting field that heaves and slides,--
      The blue breast of the Minas tides.

      A-through the little harbor go
      The currents of the scant Pereau,
      Drawn slowly, drawn from springs unseen
      Amid the marsh’s vasts of green.

      Up from the wharf at Whitewaters,
      Where scarce a slim sandpiper stirs,
      A yellow roadway climbs, that feels
      Few footsteps and infrequent wheels.

      It climbs to meet the westering sun
      Upon the heights of Blomidon,--
      Bulwark of peace, whose bastioned form
      Out-bars the serried hosts of storm.

             *       *       *       *       *

      Down to the wharf at Whitewaters,
      The children of the villagers
      One drowsy, windless hour of noon
      Deep in the green mid-heart of June,

      Like swallows to a sunset pool
      Came chattering, just let loose from school;
      And with them one small lad of four,
      Picked up as they flocked past his door.

      His sea-blue, merry eyes, his hair
      Curling and like the corn-silk fair,
      His red, sweet mouth, made Hally Clive
      Comely as any lad alive.

      His father, master of “The Foam,”
      Drave his tight craft afar from home;
      His mother--peaceful life was hers
      With Hally, safe in Whitewaters.

      And in his sun-brown arms the boy
      Carried his last, most cherished toy;
      A small white kitten, free from fleck,
      With a blue ribbon round its neck.

      In the old timbers lapping cool,
      About the wharf the tide hung full;
      And at the wharf-side, just afloat,
      Swung lazily an old gray boat.

      About the froth-white water’s edge,
      The weedy planks, the washing sedge,
      And in and out the rocking craft,
      The children clambered, splashed, and laughed,

      Till presently, grown tired of play,
      Up the bright road they raced away;
      But in the boat, a drowsy heap,
      Curled boy and kitten, sound asleep.

      Warm in the sunny boat they slept.
      Soon to its ebb the slow tide crept.
      By stealthy fingers, soft as dream,
      The boat was lured into the stream.

      Out from the wharf it slipped and swung--
      On the old rope one moment hung--
      Then snapped its tether and away
      For the storm-beaten outer bay.

      In Whitewaters, in Whitewaters,
      No watcher heeds, no rescuer stirs.
      Out from the port the currents sweep
      With Hally, smiling in his sleep.

      An hour they drifted, till the boat
      From the low shore one scarce might note.
      The kitten climbed the prow, and mewed
      Against the watery solitude.

      Then Hally woke, and stared with eyes
      Grown round and dark with grieved surprise.
      Where were the children gone? And where
      The gray old wharf, the weedy stair?

      Bewildered, and but half awake,
      He sobbed as if his heart would break;
      Then, as his lonely terror grew,
      Down in the boat himself he threw,

      And passionately for comfort pressed
      The kind white kitten to his breast.
      Through the thin plank his hand could feel
      The little eddies clutch the keel;

      Lost and alone, lost and alone,
      He heard the long wave hiss and moan,
      He heard the wild ebb seethe and mourn
      Along the outer shoals forlorn.

      And now a wind that chafed the flood
      Blew down from Noel’s haunted wood;
      And now in the dread tides that run
      Past the grim front of Blomidon,

      Over the rolling troughs, between
      The purple gulfs, the slopes of green,
      With sickening glide and sullen rest
      The old boat climbed from crest to crest.

             *       *       *       *       *

      That day in his good ship, “The Foam,”
      Shipmaster Clive was speeding home;
      His heart was light, his eyes elate;
      His voyage had been fortunate.

      “If the wind holds,” said he, “to-night
      We’ll anchor under Kingsport Light;--
      I’ll change the fogs of Fundy wild
      For Whitewaters and wife and child.”

      He marked the drifting boat, and laughed,
      “What clumsy lubber’s lost his craft?”
      “What’s that that walks the gunwale?” cried
      A sailor leaning o’er the side.

      The Captain raised his glass. Said he--
      “A kitten! Some one’s pet, maybe!
      We’ll give it passage in ‘The Foam’”--
      Soft is the heart that’s bound for home!

      “Stop for a kitten?” growled the mate:--
      “Look to the sun; we’re getting late!
      If we lose this tack we’ll lie to-night
      A long ways off o’ Kingsport Light.”

      The Captain paused irresolute;--
      “To leave the helpless little brute
      To the wrecked seaman’s death accurst,
      The slow fierce hunger, the mad thirst,--

      “I wish not my worst enemy
      Such death as that! Lay to!” said he.
      The ship came up into the wind;
      The slackening canvas flapped and dinned;

      And the ship’s boat with scant delay
      Was swung and lowered and away,--
      The Captain at the helm, and four
      Stout men of Avon at the oar.

      They neared the drifting craft; and when
      They bumped against her gunwale, then
      Hally upraised his tumbled head!
      “My God! My boy!” the Captain said.

             *       *       *       *       *

      And now with bellying sails “The Foam”
      Up the tossed flood went straining home;
      The wind blew fair; she lay that night
      At anchor under Kingsport Light.

      And late that night, in gladness deep
      Sank father, mother, child, to sleep,--
      Where no storm breaks, nor terror stirs
      The peace of God in Whitewaters.



            The Forest Fire


      The night was grim and still with dread;
        No star shone down from heaven’s dome;
      The ancient forest closed around
        The settler’s lonely home.

      There came a glare that lit the north;
        There came a wind that roused the night;
      But child and father slumbered on,
        Nor felt the growing light.

      There came a noise of flying feet,
        With many a strange and dreadful cry;
      And sharp flames crept and leapt along
        The red verge of the sky.

      There came a deep and gathering roar.
        The father raised his anxious head;
      He saw the light, like a dawn of blood,
        That streamed across his bed.

      It lit the old clock on the wall,
        It lit the room with splendor wild,
      It lit the fair and tumbled hair
        Of the still sleeping child;

      And zigzag fence, and rude log barn,
        And chip-strewn yard, and cabin gray,
      Glowed crimson in the shuddering glare
        Of that untimely day.

      The boy was hurried from his sleep;
        The horse was hurried from his stall;
      Up from the pasture clearing came
        The cattle’s frightened call.

      The boy was snatched to the saddle-bow.
        Wildly, wildly, the father rode.
      Behind them swooped the hordes of flame
        And harried their abode.

      The scorching heat was at their heels;
        The huge roar hounded them in their flight;
      Red smoke and many a flying brand
        Flew o’er them through the night.

      And past them fled the wildwood forms--
        Far-striding moose, and leaping deer,
      And bounding panther, and coursing wolf,
        Terrible-eyed with fear.

      And closer drew the fiery death;
        Madly, madly, the father rode;
      The horse began to heave and fail
        Beneath the double load.

      The father’s mouth was white and stern,
        But his eyes grew tender with long farewell.
      He said: “Hold fast to your seat, Sweetheart,
        And ride Old Jerry well!

      “I must go back. Ride on to the river.
        Over the ford and the long marsh ride,
      Straight on to the town. And I’ll meet you, Sweetheart,
        Somewhere on the other side.”

      He slipped from the saddle. The boy rode on.
        His hand clung fast in the horse’s mane;
      His hair blew over the horse’s neck;
        His small throat sobbed with pain.

      “Father! Father!” he cried aloud.
        The howl of the fire-wind answered him
      With the hiss of soaring flames, and crash
        Of shattering limb on limb.

      But still the good horse galloped on,
        With sinew braced and strength renewed.
      The boy came safe to the river ford,
        And out of the deadly wood.

             *       *       *       *       *

      And now with his kinsfolk, fenced from fear,
        At play in the heart of the city’s hum,
      He stops in his play to wonder why
        His father does not come!



            The Vengeance of Gluskâp

                _A Micmac Legend_


      Gluskâp, the friend and father of his race,
      With help in need went journeying three days’ space.

      His village slept, and took no thought of harm,
      Secure beneath the shadow of his arm.

      But wandering wizards watched his outward path,
      And marked his fenceless dwelling for their wrath.

      They came upon the tempest’s midnight wings,
      With shock of thunder and the lightning’s slings,
      And flame, and hail, and all disastrous things.

      When home at length the hero turned again,
      His huts were ashes and his servants slain;
      And o’er the ruin wept a slow, great rain.

      He wept not; but he cried a mighty word
      Across the wandering sea, and the sea heard.

      Then came great whales, obedient to his hand,
      And bare him to the demon-haunted land,

      Where, in malign morass and ghostly wood
      And grim cliff-cavern, lurked the evil brood.

      And scarce the avenger’s foot had touched their coast
      Ere horror seized on all the wizard host,
      And in their hiding-places hushed the boast.

      He grew and gloomed before them like a cloud,
      And his eye drew them till they cried aloud,

      And withering like spent flame before his frown
      They ran forth in a madness and fell down.

      Rank upon rank they lay without a moan,--
      His finger touched them, and their hearts grew stone.

      All round the coasts he heaped their stiffened clay;
      And the seamews wail o’er them to this day.



            The Muse and the Wheel


      The poet took his wheel one day
        A-wandering to go,
      But soon fell out beside the way,
        The leaves allured him so.

      He leaned his wheel against a tree
        And in the shade lay down;
      And more to him were bloom and bee
        Than all the busy town.

      He listened to the Phœbe-bird
        And learned a thing worth knowing.
      He lay so still he almost heard
        The merry grasses growing.

      He lay so still he dropped asleep;
        And then the Muse came by.
      The stars were in her garment’s sweep,
        But laughter in her eye.

      “Poor boy!” she said, “how tired he seems!
        His vagrant feet must follow
      So many loves, so many dreams,--
        (To find them mostly hollow!)

      “No marvel if he does not feel
        My old familiar nearness!”
      And then her gaze fell on his wheel
        And wondered at its queerness.

      “Can you be Pegasus,” she mused,
        “To modern mood translated,
      But poorly housed, and meanly used,
        And grown attenuated?

      “Ah, no, you’re quite another breed
        From him who once would follow
      Across the clear Olympian mead
        The calling of Apollo!

      “No Hippocrene would leap to light
        If you should stamp your hoof.
      You never knew the pastures bright
        Wherein we lie aloof.

      “You never drank of Helicon,
        Or strayed in Tempe’s vale.
      You never soared against the sun
        Till earth grew faint and pale.

      “You bear my poor deluded boy
        Each latest love to see!
      But Pegasus would mount with joy
        And bring him straight to me!”

      He woke. The olden spell was strong
        Within his eager bosom;
      And so he wrote a mystic song
        Upon the nearest blossom.

      He wrote, until a sudden whim
        Set all his bosom trembling;
      Then sped to woo a maiden slim
        His latest love resembling.



            The “Laughing Sally”


      A wind blew up from Pernambuco.
        (Yeo heave ho! the “Laughing Sally”!
          Hi yeo, heave away!)
      A wind blew out of the east-sou’-east
        And boomed at the break of day.

      The “Laughing Sally” sped for her life,
        And a speedy craft was she.
      The black flag flew at her top to tell
        How she took toll of the sea.

      The wind blew up from Pernambuco;
        And in the breast of the blast
      Came the King’s black ship, like a hound let slip
        On the trail of the “Sally” at last.

      For a day and a night, a night and a day;
        Over the blue, blue round,
      Went on the chase of the pirate quarry,
        The hunt of the tireless hound.

      “Land on the port bow!” came the cry;
        And the “Sally” raced for shore,
      Till she reached the bar at the river-mouth
        Where the shallow breakers roar.

      She passed the bar by a secret channel
        With clear tide under her keel,--
      For he knew the shoals like an open book,
        The captain at the wheel.

      She passed the bar, she sped like a ghost,
        Till her sails were hid from view
      By the tall, liana’d, unsunned boughs
        O’erbrooding the dark bayou.

      At moonrise up to the river-mouth
        Came the King’s black ship of war.
      The red cross flapped in wrath at her peak,
        But she could not cross the bar.

      And while she lay in the run of the seas,
        By the grimmest whim of chance
      Out of a bay to the north came forth
        Two battle-ships of France.

      On the English ship the twain bore down
        Like wolves that range by night;
      And the breaker’s roar was heard no more
        In the thunder of the fight.

      The crash of the broadsides rolled and stormed
        To the “Sally,” hid from view
      Under the tall, liana’d boughs
        Of the moonless, dark bayou.

      A boat ran out for news of the fight,
        And this was the word she brought--
      “The King’s ship fights the ships of France
        As the King’s ships all have fought!”

      Then muttered the mate, “I’m a man of Devon!”
        And the captain thundered then--
      “There’s English rope that bides for our necks,
        But we all be English men!”

      The “Sally” glided out of the gloom
        And down the moon-white river.
      She stole like a gray shark over the bar
        Where the long surf seethes forever.

      She hove to under a high French hull,
        And the red cross rose to her peak.
      The French were looking for fight that night,
        And they hadn’t far to seek.

      Blood and fire on the streaming decks,
        And fire and blood below;
      The heat of hell, and the reek of hell,
        And the dead men laid a-row!

      And when the stars paled out of heaven
        And the red dawn-rays uprushed,
      The oaths of battle, the crash of timbers,
        The roar of the guns were hushed.

      With one foe beaten under his bow,
        The other afar in flight,
      The English captain turned to look
        For his fellow in the fight.

      The English captain turned, and stared;--
        For where the “Sally” had been
      Was a single spar upthrust from the sea
        With the red-cross flag serene!

             *       *       *       *       *

      A wind blew up from Pernambuco,--
        (Yeo heave ho! the “Laughing Sally”!
          Hi yeo, heave away!)
      And boomed for the doom of the “Laughing Sally,”
        Gone down at the break of day.



  TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE

  Obvious typographical errors and punctuation errors have been
  corrected after careful comparison with other occurrences within
  the text and consultation of external sources.

  Except for those changes noted below, all misspellings in the text,
  and inconsistent or archaic usage, have been retained.

  Pg 87: Blank line inserted after ‘And to have one’s fling!’
  Pg 95: ‘Ludum, venirem, vinum’ replaced by ‘Ludum, venerem, vinum’.





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