Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: A spray of lilac: and other poems and songs
Author: Browne, Marie Hedderwick
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 "A spray of lilac: and other poems and songs" ***


                           A Spray of Lilac

                _Printed by_ BALLANTYNE, HANSON AND CO.

                        _London and Edinburgh_



                                A Spray
                               of Lilac

                      _And Other Poems and Songs_

                                  BY
                        MARIE HEDDERWICK BROWNE

                                LONDON
                     ISBISTER AND COMPANY LIMITED
                15 & 16 TAVISTOCK STREET COVENT GARDEN
                                 1892



              _Oh, lilac bloom! strange that so slight a thing
                  As thou is strong to roll away the stone
              From memory’s grave, and set the dead past free
                  To claim again brief kinship with its own._



PREFATORY NOTE


_Most of the Poems contained in this volume have appeared
during the past ten years, in “Atalanta,” “Chambers’s
Journal,” “London Society,” “Little Folks,” “The Girl’s
Own Paper,” and other serials._

_If an apology for venturing to offer them to the public in
collected form be deemed necessary, I can only urge the plea
of the poor but hospitable Dervish, “He is a generous host
who freely giveth his best, be his best but clear water and a
crust.”_

                                                             _M. H. B._

_London, December 1892_



CONTENTS


                                                                    PAGE

A SPRAY OF LILAC                                                       1

IN AN OLD GARDEN                                                       3

A MOTHER’S GRIEF                                                       5

A SUMMER MEMORY                                                        8

UNSATISFIED                                                           11

MY SONG                                                               12

IN AN OLD CHURCHYARD                                                  13

SECRETS                                                               15

REVEALED--NOT SPOKEN                                                  16

BURIED TREASURES                                                      19

AFFINITY                                                              20

“MY HOUSE IS LEFT UNTO ME DESOLATE”                                   21

AN OLD MAN’S DREAM                                                    22

A SUMMER WOOING                                                       24

WEE ELSIE                                                             26

BIDE WI’ MITHER                                                       28

CHILD ANGELS                                                          30

MY LOVE OF LONG AGO                                                   32

IN SUMMER TIME                                                        34

TWIN-SISTERS                                                          36

AT LAST                                                               38

TRYSTING-TIME                                                         40

BESIDE THE DEAD                                                       41

HER FIRST SEASON                                                      43

ANTICIPATED                                                           46

WHEN THOU ART NEAR                                                    47

A PORTRAIT                                                            48

DOROTHY                                                               49

DAFFODILS                                                             51

THE BLACKBIRD                                                         52

“WHOM THE GODS LOVE DIE YOUNG”                                        53

GRANNIE’S BAIRN                                                       54

LOVE’S POWER                                                          56

A JUNE MEMORY                                                         57

A MESSAGE                                                             59

HER WINDOW                                                            61

SHATTERED HOPES                                                       62

HAND IN HAND                                                          64

“AND FOR THE WEARY, REST”                                             65

IN AN OLD ORCHARD                                                     67

BY THE SEA                                                            68

REGRET                                                                69

WAE’S ME                                                              70

THE REASON WHY                                                        71

DOWN BY THE SEA                                                       73

A VENTURE                                                             74

WATER LILIES                                                          75

THE SENTINEL                                                          76

A LOVE SONG                                                           77

AUTUMN                                                                78

A QUAKER MAID                                                         79

THE TIME, THE PLACE, THE BELOVED                                      81

DAY DREAMS                                                            82

SONG OF THE SEASONS                                                   83

ONE SUMMER DAY                                                        84

THE INSCRUTABLE                                                       85

DELILAH                                                               86

A BABY’S GRAVE                                                        87

A CHILD’S FAVOURITE                                                   88

RICH OR POOR?                                                         89

DOLLY’S GARDEN                                                        90

IN A DREAM-SHIP                                                       91

THE FLOWER-QUEEN’S FALL                                               93

A VETERAN                                                             95

TO A BUTTERFLY                                                        96

WHEN AND WHERE                                                        96

WHEN LOVE IS YOUNG                                                   100

A CHARACTER SKETCH                                                   101

FRIENDS                                                              102

BED-TIME                                                             104



_A SPRAY OF LILAC_


Pale cluster, thy faint perfume comes to me
  Laden with memories of long ago,
And all the present dims as o’er my soul
  The waves of tender recollection flow.

With Spring’s young blood again my veins are thrilled,
  My hands are stretched to meet the coming years,
The world holds all the glory that it held
  Ere yet mine eyes had looked on it thro’ tears.

With deftest fingers fancy weaves once more
  Her fairy fabrics; vast horizons glow
With fires of promise, for behind their veils
  They hid rich treasures in that long-ago.

The subtle sweetness of the vanished days,
  The rapture of the old ecstatic bliss,
All, all are mine, as once again I cling
  To ripe warm lips in love’s first passion-kiss.

The long delicious Summer slowly weaves
  For Autumn’s brows a crown of living gold;
Sad Winter follows with his winding-sheet,
  For all the glory has grown grey and old.

Oh, lilac bloom, strange that so slight a thing
  As thou, is strong to roll away the stone
From memory’s grave, and set the dead past free
  To claim yet once brief kinship with its own.



_IN AN OLD GARDEN_


Yellow roses, purple pansies,
  Tufts of heavy-headed stocks;
Either side the quaint old gateway
  Blazing, torch-like hollyhocks.

Sweet peas tossing airy banners,
  Saintly lilies bending low,
Daisies, powdering all the green sward
  With a shower of summer snow.

Boxwood borders--yews fantastic--
  Wallflowers that with every sigh
Spill such scent that e’en the brown bees,
  Reel with rapture wandering by.

And the pear trees, long arms stretching
  O’er the sunny gable wall,
Scarce can hold their ruddy nurslings
  Ripening where the warm beams fall.

Oh, the ecstasy of living!
  How it thrills my life to-day!
I can almost hear the flower-bells
  Tinkle where my footsteps stray!

In a garden God first placed man,
  There first woke Love’s magic thrill;
And methinks a breath of Eden
  Clings to earth’s old gardens still.



_A MOTHER’S GRIEF_


To a great wide city all alone,
  Long, long ago went our baby queen--
No name but hers on the white headstone,
  That gleams to the moon from its mound of green!
None of her own did welcome her there--
  Not a grain of kindred dust doth wave
In the flowers that out of the tears of despair
  Have arched a rainbow over her grave.

Out from the shelter of loving arms,
  Out from the warmth of a mother’s breast,
Heedless of darkness and night’s alarms,
  On to the silent city she pressed
To take her place ’mong the mighty throng
  That people its myriad streets. Ah, me!
I felt my God had done me a wrong,
  When He loosened love’s cords and set her free!

And my passionate moan that broke in tears,
  Like a burdened wave on a desert shore,
Seemed all too feeble to reach His ears
  And the pain grew old that my bosom bore;
But the faith that I once had thought mine own
  Rose up to mock where it could not save,
And my heart grew hard as the carven stone
  That was crushing my darling in her grave.

Whenever a child’s sweet flower-like face
  Met mine, a sickness would o’er me creep,
And I’d turn wild eyes to the lonely place
  Where she was lying alone--asleep.
At strife was I with the world, and God
  Had drawn around Him an angry cloud;
Earth held no green but the churchyard sod,
  And the daisies wore the gleam of a shroud.

But a time there came when about my breast
  With a wand’ring touch small fingers stole,
And feeble lips to its fountains pressed,
  And stirred with a vague sweet joy my soul;
And the floodgates opened, and blessèd tears
  Of repentance fell from my eyes like rain,
And after the barren and prayerless years
  I knelt to the Giver of All again!



_A SUMMER MEMORY_


I remember an evening,
  An evening in one far June,
The sun seemed loth to leave the sky
  To a young impatient moon.

The yellow sands lay waiting
  For the sea’s long cool embrace;
We watched the ripples breaking,
  Like smiles upon its face.

The green trees nestled closer
  To the broad breast of the hill;
The twilight’s glamour gathered,
  And the day was with us still.

And a sadness born of beauty,
  And a joy to pain akin,
Touched all that lay without us,
  And hushed my soul within.

A silence stepped between us,
  We seemed to stand apart;
Yet I thought your eyes grew tender,
  And I know what filled my heart.

But the words were never spoken;
  And the distance wider grew,
Till the world of waves was lying
  Between me, love, and you,

No bridge might ever cross it.
  I watched you turn away,
And I went back to duty--
  ’Tis all a woman may.

But I never shall be nearer
  The thrilling heights of bliss--
Unless the next world gives us
  The love we lose in this--

Than when in that far June-time,
  We seemed to stand apart,
And I thought your eyes grew tender,
  And I knew what filled my heart.



_UNSATISFIED_


Oh, “dear dead days” that dearer grow,
  I look behind, and thro’ my tears,
  Across a wide, wide gulf of years,
I see you now and now I _know_.

When I was yours, you mine, alas!
  I did not know your real worth,
  And, longing for the future’s birth,
Found time so slow, so slow to pass.

The joys I hoped for never came,
  While those I held slipped from my clasp,
  As I stretched yearning hands to grasp
Shadows--’tis evermore the same!

We strain dim eyes up to the stars,
  Nor heed the blossoms at our feet;
  Like puny birds we beat and beat
Our lives out ’gainst Fate’s prison bars.



_MY SONG_


“When love is mine,” said I, “I’ll make a song
  In praise of love that maketh life so sweet;
One worthy such a grand and noble theme--
  Worthy to lay at my belovèd’s feet.

“Pure, perfect pearls of poesy I’ll string
  On Music’s silken thread, so rhythmic-sweet
That those who hear shall feel as though each word
  Were but an echo of my heart’s warm beat.”

Now love _is_ mine; but where my boasted song?
  My heart is full--too full, ah me! for words;
And yet methinks my new-found joy has lent
  Fresh rapture to the voices of the birds.

And I am dumb; the world will never hear
  The music filling all this life of mine.
Oh! love is too sublime a theme for me;
  I can but kneel in silence at love’s shrine.



_IN AN OLD CHURCHYARD_


In one of England’s sweetest spots,
  A little old grey church I found;
  Around it lies--dear restful ground!
God’s garden with its sacred plots.

With myriad arms the ivy holds
  Its time-worn walls in close embrace:
  So Memory sometimes keeps a face
Half-veiled in tender misty folds.

With sleepy twitter and with song
  The tower, bird-haunted, is alive;
  In leafy seas they dip and dive,
Those tiny warblers all day long.

Like sentinels grown hoar with age,
  The crumbling headstones guard the graves
  Which softly swell--green voiceless waves
That will not break though tempests rage.

“Concerning them that are asleep”
  In this sweet hamlet of the dead,
  In broken sentences I read
The record those old tablets keep;

Each told its tale, for hath not Grief
  A voice whose echoes never die?
  Adown the ages, Rachel’s cry
Still rings o’er some God-garnered sheaf.

Mine eyes, ne’er prodigal of tears,
  Did fill with such as seemed to rise
  And drown the glory of the skies,
O’er those who’d slept the sleep of years.



_SECRETS_


July roses wet with rain
Tap against the window-pane;
There is something they would seek,
Had they voices and could speak.
Silence seals their crimson lips,
And the dull rain drops and drips.

Th’ other side the streaming glass
Stands a little sad-eyed lass;
There is something she would seek,
But a maiden may not speak--
Silence seals her longing lips,
And the dull rain drops and drips.

And salt tears in showers stain
Her side of the window-pane;
And the crimson roses grow
Pale as dreams dreamt long ago;
(Hearts may break behind sealed lips),
And the dull rain drops and drips.



_REVEALED--NOT SPOKEN_


The little maiden that I love,
  I met in yonder lane;
A flood of sunshine seemed to fall
  Around her as she came.

Methought the very hedgerows took
  A tenderer, livelier green,
And blossoms burst from every bud
  As she passed on between!

And gladder, madder, merrier notes
  A skylark round him threw,
As high above her golden head,
  He poised amid the blue.

I meant to tell her all my heart,
  And yet--I know not why,
Upon the threshold of my lips
  The story seemed to die.

It might have been the witchery,
  The magic of her smile,
That in a spell held all my soul,
  And kept me dumb the while!

It might have been that all too pure
  For earth-born love seemed she;
From her white height of maidenhood
  How could she stoop to me?

But eyes can prove more eloquent,
  And though the tongue may fail,
In potent language they reveal
  The old, old tender tale.

For, placing her slim hand in mine,
  Methought I heard my name
So softly, murmurously breathed,
  I scarce knew whence it came!

No need for words between us now;
  A subtle sweetness stole
Through all our being, and we felt
  That soul had answered soul.

And with the sunshine in our hearts,
  The bird’s song in our ears,
We left the lane, my love and I,
  To meet the coming years.



_BURIED TREASURES_


’Tis true my later years are blest
  With all that riches can bestow,
But there is wealth, wealth cannot buy,
  Hid in the mines of “Long Ago.”

There jealous guard does Memory keep;
  Yet sometimes, when I dream alone,
She comes and takes my hand in hers,
  And shows me what was once my own.

I revel ’mong such precious things;
  I count my treasures o’er and o’er;
I learn the worth of some, whose worth,
  Ah me! I never knew before.

And then all slowly fades away,
  And I return to things you know,
With empty hands and tear-filled eyes,
  Back from the mines of “Long Ago.”



_AFFINITY_


But little converse have we held,
  Our hands have scarcely ever met,
With just a formal word or two
  You come and go; and yet--and yet--
I have a dream we two were one
  Ere garb of flesh these spirits wore;
The soul that speaks within your eyes
  Tells mine they’ve met and loved before.

And so I am content to wait,
  Knowing the day will surely dawn
When, as the first man woke, you’ll wake
  From your soul-sleep, and looking on
My face will know that I am she,
  Your Eve, your other self, your fate.
Till then, till then, come weal or woe,
  I am content, content to _wait_.



“_MY HOUSE IS LEFT UNTO ME
DESOLATE_”


A little while, you say, a little while,
  And I shall be where my belovèd are;
And with your eyes aglow with faith, you say,
  “Thy dear ones have not journeyed very far.”

“Not very far.” I say it o’er and o’er,
  Till on mine ear mine own voice strangely falls,
Like some mechanic utterance that repeats
  A meaningless refrain to empty walls.

“Not very far;” but measured by my grief,
  A distance measureless as my despair.
When from the dreams that give them back to me,
  I wake to find that they have journeyed there!

“Not very far.” The soul surmises, hopes,
  Has hoped, surmising, since the first man slept;
But, oh, the heart, it knoweth its own loss,
  And death is death, as ’twas when Rachel wept.



_AN OLD MAN’S DREAM_


With idle hands and misty eyes,
  I sit alone to-night and dream;
Upon the hearth, like elfin sprites,
  The red flames dance, and twist, and gleam.

A dimness gathers in my room,
  The pictured faces on the wall
Pale, and o’er each familiar thing
  A strangeness slowly seems to fall.

With noiseless step there comes to me,
  One whom I loved in days gone by.
The same is she, unchanged by time--
  Unchanged--but oh, how changed am I!

Her hair, which long, long years ago
  Was like spun threads of living gold,
Still clusters round a brow that wears
  Immortal youth--and I am old.

No look of recognition lights
  Her eyes, that meet mine o’er and o’er;
And yet she loved me once--and love,
  I know, is love for evermore.

She looks around in anxious quest;
  I think I know for whom she seeks.
She only sees a strange old man,
  With snow-white hair and wrinkled cheeks.

And then like wings of birds that preen
  For flight, a soft stir moves the air,
It is the whisper of her gown--
  She goes to look for me elsewhere.

A sudden glory fills my eyes,
  It is the firelight’s ruddy gleam;
Thank God she did not pass me by
  I only saw her in a dream!



_A SUMMER WOOING_

A SONG


Up and away!--up, up, and away!
The hedgerows are foaming with blossom to-day;
Its bonfires the golden gorse lights on the hill,
And the wanton wind’s wooing wherever it will.

Up and away!--up, up, and away!
The cuckoo’s name rings through the woodlands to-day;
The warm blood of Summer runs rioting through
The veins of each leaflet--then why not of you?

Up and away!--up, up, and away!
There’s Passion and Poetry stirring to-day.
Half blinded with rapture, the heavy bees dart
From the lily’s white breast to the rose’s red heart.

Up and away!--up, up, and away!
The old world’s begun a fresh courting to-day.
I wooed you all winter, but found you as cold
As the snowdrift that gleamed on the ridge of the wold.

Up and away!--up, up, and away!
Your eyes tell me “Yes,” though your lips say me “Nay.”
The tears, so long frost-bound, are ready to flow,
And she melts in my arms, my proud maiden of snow!



_WEE ELSIE_


O’ a’ the bonny wee bit lasses
That e’er I’ve kent, not ane surpasses
              My Elsie.

An’ oh, she has sic denty ways,
Auld farrant a’ she does and says;
Just watch the bairnie as she plays
“At mither,” dressed in mither’s claes!

Like twa sweet rosebuds on ae stalk,
Her lips part in her guileless talk;
She hauds a key that wad unlock
Yer heart were’t hard as granite rock.

Sae fearless are her een o’ blue,
They seem tae look ye through an’ through;
But though sae brave, an’ frank, an’ true,
Wi’ happy fun they’re brimmin’ fu’.

Adoun her shoulders floats her hair,
Sae long, sae silken, an’ sae fair,--
In truth it seems a verra snare
That’s caught an’ kept a sunbeam there.

But better faur, those graces meet
Aroun’ a nature just as sweet;
Methinks the bairnie is complete
Frae wise wee heed tae willin’ feet.



_BIDE WI’ MITHER_


Oh bide a wee, my bonny lass,
Nor seek to lea’ the auld hame-nest;
O’ a’ earth’s luvs ye yet will fin’
A mither’s highest is, an’ best.

She watched you like a rose unfauld,
She reads you like an open buik;
You scarce need speak, she is sae quick
Tae understan’ yer ev’ry luik.

The han’ that aye fan’ time tae pat
The wee bit face sae aft turned up
For “mither’s kiss,” has workit late
An’ early for your bite an’ sup.

An’ oh! it was a struggle sair
Tae mak’ twa unco scrimp en’s meet;
In her first days o’ weedowhood
She scarce could spare the time tae greet.

Oh dinna lea’ her yet awhile;
The laddie’s young, an’ he can wait;
There was a time, when you were wee,
_She_ micht hae had anither mate.

But she was feert he micht na be
As guid’s the fayther you had lost;
An’ though she could hae boucht her ease,
_She_ wad na’ dae it at the cost.

An’ noo she’s auld an’ growing frail,
Your strong young arm should be her stay;
Life’s dounward slope is hard eneuch,
Be yours the han’ tae smooth the way.

Oh, bide wi’ her, an’ you will fin’
That duty done brings sweet reward;
The Maister, Christ, pleased na’ Himsel’,
Although He was creation’s Lord!



_CHILD ANGELS_


Oh, there are happy angels
  That go on missions sweet;
They have no wings to bear them,
  Just little human feet.

When I had grown aweary,
  And all my faith was dim,
’Twas one of them that led me,
  And brought me back to Him.

When ’tween you and a loved one
  There lay a widening breach,
And you were coldly drifting
  Beyond each other’s reach,
A child’s hand ’twas that bridged it--
  A child’s soft, rosy palm
Held both your souls united,
  And life grew sweet and calm.

When sorrows closely gathered,
  And heart and head were bowed,
The blue eyes of a baby
  Made rifts in pain’s dark cloud.

Oh, happy, earth-born angels,
  Who go on missions sweet,
If ye had wings to bear you,
  Instead of little feet,

I fear me ye would use them,
  Altho’ ye love us much,
To soar to Him who tells us
  His “Kingdom is of such.”



_MY LOVE OF LONG AGO_


There are faces just as perfect;
  There are eyes as true and sweet;
There are hearts as strong and tender
  As the heart that’s ceased to beat;
There are voices just as thrilling;
  There are souls as white, I know,
As hers was when she went from me--
  My love of long ago.

New lips are ever telling
  The tale that ne’er grows old;
Life’s greys are always changing
  For some one into gold;
But amid the shine and shadow,
  Amid the gloom and glow,
She walks with me, she talks with me--
  My love of long ago.

When I think of all the changes
  That the years to me have brought,
I am glad the world that holds her
  Is the world that changes not.
And the same as when she left me,
  She waits for me, I know--
My love on earth, my love in heaven,
  My love of long ago.



_IN SUMMER TIME_


Daisies nod and blue-bells ring,
Streamlets laugh and song birds sing,
To the clover bees close cling.

Cornfields wave their locks of gold,
Poppies burn and wings unfold,
Earth-stars twinkle on the mould.

Butterflies--live blossoms, blown
From that Eden once our own--
Make of every flower a throne.

And a royal purple dyes
Yonder heather-hill, that lies
Fitting footstool for the skies.

And the gorse is all ablaze,
Lighting up the moorland ways,
And the days are golden days.

E’en the myriad-mooded sea
(Earth-bound, yet than earth more free)
Wears a look of _constancy_.

And your love, that in the spring
Was a shy, uncertain thing,
Like a bud just blossoming,

With the summer’s growth has grown,
Till our two lives, lived as one,
Make a summer of their own.



_TWIN-SISTERS_


Two girls--before me now they stand,
Twin tender rosebuds, hand in hand,
Fashioned as one--scarce known apart;
I see each face, God sees each heart.

I look on ripe red lips, and eyes
That hold the blue of summer skies,
And hair like finest gold refined;
I see the beauty, God the mind.

In womanhood’s first faint sweet dawn
Oh! they are fair to look upon;
Perfect from crown to dainty foot;
I see the bloom, God sees the fruit.

What though a rose is each soft cheek,
If theirs be not that spirit meek?
What though their eyes are heaven’s own hue,
If never wet with pity’s dew?

The plainest casket may enshrine
A gem that will for ever shine.
Oh, may this outward beauty be
But type of inward purity!

God grant when Time its tale hath told,
And backward swing the gates of gold,
Before the Master they may stand,
Twin tender rosebuds hand in hand!



_AT LAST_


She is waiting for his coming,
  As she waited long ago,
Ere her sweet eyes were pain-haunted
  Or her hair was touched with snow;
Ere that look of patient pathos
  Downward curved her tender lips,
Or across her life’s young morning
  Fell a shadow of eclipse.

He is coming--but his footsteps
  Know not now youth’s bounding grace,
And a world of sin and suffering
  Is recorded in his face;
Airy dreams of high ambition
  That he cherished in the past--
All have vanished--and aweary
  He returns to her at last.

In the old familiar garden
  Where he first breathed love’s fond vow,
With new hopes, like the new roses
  Sprung from old roots, they stand now;
And the past is past for ever,
  She forgives, and he forgets,
For the present peace has buried
  Years of sorrows and regrets.



_TRYSTING-TIME_


’Tis only when the wooing west
Has drawn the tired sun to her breast,
I seek my darling’s place of rest.

In twilight-time we used to meet--
Ah me, how lag our listless feet
When we have but a grave to greet!

And yet, this daisy-dappled grave
So like a soft white-crested wave
Is all beneath the skies I have.

On broken wings the years have flown,
Oh love, since in the long agone
I left you sleeping here alone!



_BESIDE THE DEAD_


Touch not her hand, let not your tear-drops stain
  The show-white purity of her dead brow;
Withhold your lips, their passion or their pain
  Can thrill her nor with love nor pity now.

The empty years that followed your farewell--
  The joyless dawns, the nights that brought no rest
Are ended,--and those weary eyelids fell
  O’er eyes that had grown dim in one vain quest.

Thank God for this; her woman’s faith remained
  Steadfast, unshaken to the very last,
And with her idol undefaced, unstained,
  To place it in a “niche in Heaven” she passed.

But yesterday, your lightest whispered word
  Had thrilled her heart, as spring’s first breath awakes
The rapture in the bosom of a bird
  Till winter’s silence with a song he breaks.

And I,--whose love for her was purified
  In the fierce crucible of human pain,
Had felt that I was more than satisfied
  If loss of mine had ended in her gain.

For her soul’s sustenance you only left
  The memory of a lightly plighted vow,
To take one kiss from those dead lips were theft,
  The jewel was yours,--I claim the casket now.



_HER FIRST SEASON_


Cloud-like laces softly float
Round a dainty snow-white throat--
Fastened here and flutt’ring there
With a careless cunning care;
Blue-bells, blue as summer skies are.
Or her own sweet sunny eyes are,
Cluster close beneath her chin,
As if love--and not a pin--
Kept them fondly nestling in!

Gown of some transparent thing,
Like a dragonfly’s clear wing
Full of whispers vague and sweet,
Falls in white folds to her feet.
Light as moss veils drape their roses,
Round her flower-like form it closes--
Every graceful curve it shows us.

Silken mittens soft and quaint,
Of a shade æsthetic, faint,
Weave a jealous network o’er
Two pink palms that I adore;
And a musical mixed jangle
Comes from bracelet and from bangle
As it fetters each slim wrist
(Made but to be clasped and kissed),
With fantastic coil and twist.

Hair a-ripple like ripe corn
Wind-kissed on a summer morn.
What, you say you see the glint
Of a reaper’s blue scythe in’t?
Nay, ’tis but a silver arrow
Wand’ring through a golden furrow,
Where the sun-shafts bore and burrow.

Like a bright plumed bird is she,
From the home-nest just set free;
Knowing neither grief nor wrong,
In her heart and lips a song.
’Tis not I would wish to make her
Prim and drab-gown’d like a Quaker!
All fair things are beauty’s dower--
Doth not God’s hand paint the flower?
(Youth is but a fleeting hour!)



_ANTICIPATED_


Oh I have wealth, and could have placed
  Upon your head a golden crown,
But Nature, having had my taste,
  And being first, has set one down.

I could have given you rubies rare,
  And sapphires of a heavenly hue,
And pearls all shimmering soft and fair;
  But here she’s been before me too.

For ruby lips to you she’s given,
  And strung two pearly rows between,
And sapphire eyes more blue than heaven
  She’s dowered you with, my queen, my queen!

I needs must be content to lay
  My heart’s best treasures at your feet:
Without love’s gem, which shines for aye,
  The fairest crown were incomplete.



_WHEN THOU ART NEAR_

A SONG


When thou art near no other face I see,
  Thy voice is all the music I can hear;
My heart’s desire is granted unto me
  When thou art near.

When thou art near I am content, nay more,
  I’m blest in breathing the same atmosphere.
To higher heights my aspirations soar
  When thou art near.

When thou art near, though yet I dare not lay
  My lips on those I hold so very dear,
I know that heaven is not so far away
  When thou art near.



_A PORTRAIT_


A sadness lingers round her lips,
  A shadow ever haunts her eyes;
Like dusky pools are they on which
  The mystery of the moonlight lies.

Her voice is sweet, but grave in tone,
  No ring hath it of joyous mirth;
Yet somehow when she speaks, methinks
  A benediction falls on earth.

A sense of rest her presence brings,
  She moves with such a quiet grace;
And ’tis the pitying soul within
  Makes tender twilight of her face.

Methinks the Virgin-mother must
  Have looked like this when to her breast
The Babe, who was to save a world,
  With mingled joy and pain she pressed.



_DOROTHY_


Dorothy is debonair;
Little count hath she or care;
All her gold is in her hair.

And the freshness of the Spring
Round this old world seems to cling
When you hear her laugh or sing.

On her sunny way she goes;
Much she wonders--little knows,
Love’s as yet a folded rose.

All her smiles in dimples die;
Glad is she, nor knows she why:
Just to live is ecstasy!

Lightly lie the chains, methinks,
That have daisies for their links;
Youth’s the fount where Pleasure drinks.

Dorothy is debonair;
Little count hath she or care,
Sunshine in her heart and hair.



_DAFFODILS_


Oh, wild is the daffodils’ dance
  To the tune that the March pipes blow,
Heads a-tossing--lances crossing,
  Curtsies sweeping and low.

Like waves in a flaming sunset
  They tumble, and twist, and turn,
What tho’ from its slender pillar
  Droppeth one golden urn?

Short-lived is their joy and reckless,
  Never a pause for breath.
Ah, well!--are _we_ too not whirling
  As blind, in our “dance of death”?



_THE BLACKBIRD_


When baby buds begin to shoot
Then hey! the blackbird’s golden flute;
All steeped in love seems every note
Let loose from his mellifluous throat.

No wild rhapsodic bursts proclaim
What rapture thrills his tiny frame,
His heart is like a brimming cup,
Where pearls of joy keep bubbling up.

The lark like some delirious thing
At heaven’s far gate may soar and sing,
But oh, methinks the blackbird brings
Heaven down to earth what time he sings!



“_WHOM THE GODS LOVE DIE YOUNG_”


Her voice is hushed, her hands are still,
I, from the summit of the hill,
Look down, and marvel at God’s will.

Her foot was planted at the base
All eager for the upward race,
Her genius shining in her face.

She felt the soul within her leap,
She yearned to scale the steepest steep,
And now--she’s fallen upon sleep!

God knoweth best!--I must descend
The downward slope. Good-bye, sweet friend,
Life’s myriad ways meet in the end.



_GRANNIE’S BAIRN_


When oor wee Elspeth’s in the hoose
  I scarce hae use for hauns or feet--
An’ after a’, why _should_ I fash
  When she’s sae nimble an’ sae fleet?

“I wonner whaur I laid my specs!”
  The words hae haurdly left ma mooth
Afore I fin’, across my nose,
  She has them set astride forsooth.

She threeds ma needle, winds ma woo’,
  Picks up the steeks that whiles _will_ drap--
She slips aboot like some wee moose
  For fear she’ll wauke me frae ma nap.

Her wee three-leggit stool ye’ll aye
  Fin’ drawn up close tae granny’s chair;
She learns her task an’ sews her seam,
  An’ sups her cog o’ parritch there.

An’ mony’s the lang crack we twa hae;
  But whiles, sic puzzlin’ things she’ll spier,
The verra Meenister himsel’
  Waud be dumbfounded could he hear.

She _has_ her bit camsterie turns,
  But just eneuch tae show that she
Is no a being that is made
  O’ diff’rent clay tae you an’ me.

But that she’s no by-ord’nar wean
  The neebors roon aboot agree,
And sae ye ken it is na just
  Ma _ain_ opeenion that I gie.



_LOVE’S POWER_


When you did leave me, love,
The whole world seem’d with you to ebb away,
And like a broken stranded wreck I lay.

But you returned; and lo!
A fresh tide thrill’d my life’s deserted shore;
And Love was conqueror over Death once more.



_A JUNE MEMORY_


’Twas June, the roses were reigning
  In regalest splendour and pride.
Sweet peas, like butterflies tethered,
  Were flutt’ring on every side.

Like smouldering fires the wallflowers
  Burned dull in the sun’s strong glow,
And the yellow bees, like meteors,
  Went flashing to and fro.

No lordly pleasaunce was it,
  But an old-world garden wild,
Where purple-hooded pansies
  And long-lashed daisies smiled.

And there in June we parted;
  And the sad years hurtle by
Like birds whose wings are broken
  When they just have learned to fly.

And I think,--Do you remember
  In the life that’s yours to-day,
That garden and its glamour,
  And the time that _would not_ stay!

Oh, amid the faces around you,
  Does one face never arise
And for a moment hold you
  With the old spell of its eyes?

Ah no! You men forget us,
  And we!--we must be dumb.
And life’s June goes for ever
  And the snows of winter come.



_A MESSAGE_


In a little broken flower-pot
  High up on a window-sill,
’Mid grime and gloom and squalor,
  Grew a golden daffodil.

It seem’d in the gloom of the alley
  Like a sunbeam that had strayed
Out from the light of heaven
  Into a land of shade.

And close in a cage beside it
  A skylark sweetly sang
Till all the narrow alley
  With its wild rapture rang.

And one poor weary sinner
  Paused, as her wild eyes turned
To where, on its humble altar,
  The flower-flame upward burned.

And something stirred in her bosom;
  ’Twas the heart that had long lain dead,
As the bird’s song rose from its prison
  In the shadow overhead.

God’s angels are birds and flowers,
  And oh! methinks they preach
At times with a power and pathos
  We men can never reach.



_HER WINDOW_


Up the gable the roses creep,
Eager to get a little peep
Behind the curtain of snowy lace
That hangs, like a bridal veil, over the face
Of a shy wee window, whose panes glint through
A network of creepers, like eyes of blue.

I needs must stand below, below,
And see them high and higher go
Till their lips are kissing the lattice sill,
And their tendrils toy at their own sweet will
With the casement, so full of tender charms
Since _her_ shadow has lain within its arms.



_SHATTERED HOPES_


This morn upon the birken tree
The mavis carolled blithe and free;
But--ah, his song was not for me!

Each wild note of his glad refrain
Pierced like an arrow thro’ my brain;
I could have cursed him for his strain.

I saw the sunshine and the flowers,
Each proof of a Creator’s powers;
Yet dull and hateful were the hours.

I cannot weep--the fever dries
The tears within my burning eyes--
The past before my vision flies.

Once more I feel his deep-drawn kiss;
Once more my being thrills with bliss;
Once more I melt with tenderness.

I hear the trembling words that hung
Deep fraught with passion on his tongue,
Till heart and soul with pain are wrung.

All nature smiles--and yet to-day
In memory’s grave I’ve laid away
My idol that has turned to clay.



_HAND IN HAND_


Hand in hand through the flow’ry ways
Went Dora and I in the bygone days;
A wee girl she, her boy lover I,
Ready to fight for her and die.

Hand in hand through this vale of tears
Went Dora and I in the after-years;
She was my wife and her husband I
Ready to fight for her and die.

Hand in hand to the very last
As her dear eyes dimmed, and her spirit passed;
An angel is she,--alone am I
Ready, O, God! and I _cannot_ die.



“_AND FOR THE WEARY, REST_”


Of all God’s precious promises
  The sweetest and the best
Is, that to weary laden ones
  Who come, He giveth _rest_.

’Tis not of glad Hosannas
  And streets of shining gold
We think so much when we are sick
  And sorrowful and old.

Ah! there are times we feel too sad
  To contemplate the joy,
The great and glorious themes of heaven
  That angel-minds employ.

And weak, and worn, and weary,
  We long to lay us down,
Feeling we scarce could bear the weight
  Of e’en a glory-crown.

That He is “very man,” I need
  None other proof than this,--
That He has “rest” for those who feel
  Almost too tired for bliss.



_IN AN OLD ORCHARD_


Sweet avalanches of scented snow
Bury one deep, as I lie below
The laden white boughs abloom and ablow
In the dear old orchard, where long ago
My grand-dame dreamed, as I’m dreaming now,
With love in her heart and youth on her brow.

O, blossom-time passes too soon, too soon!
And grey night follows the golden noon,
And Autumn though ruddy brings ruin and rune,
And passion ne’er warms the cold heart of the moon.
So let me dream on, ’mid the apple-blooms sweet,
For noontide and bloomtide are fair as they’re fleet.

And then when the blue of the sky is o’ercast,
And Summer is ended, and harvest is past,
And the loosened leaves earthward are fluttering fast,
And the sleep that is dreamless is mine at last,
O, make my grave here; and lay me to rest
Where the sweet-scented snow shall fall light on my breast.



_BY THE SEA_


I think, as the white sails come and go,
Of the welcomes loud, and the farewells low;
Of the meeting lips, and the parting tears,
Of the new-born hopes, and the growing fears,
Of the eyes that glow, and the cheeks that pale,
As the hazy horizon’s mystic veil
Is silently parted, and to and fro
The white sails come and the white sails go.

And a grey mist gathers, and all grows dim
As I watch alone by the ocean’s rim.
For a dream is mine--ah me! ah me!
That salt with _tears_ is the salt salt sea.
O, yearning eyes and outstretched hands!
O, divided lives, and divided lands!
As long as the waters ebb and flow
Shall the white sails come and the white sails go.



_REGRET_


“It might have been,” is the sad refrain
That forever haunts my weary brain,
Till heart and soul grow weak with pain.

“It might have been,” are the words I hear
In the curlew’s cry from the lonely mere;
In the whisper of leaves when woods are sere.

“It might have been,” says the sea’s long moan,
As if a breaking heart of its own
Wailed out in that strange low undertone.

“_It might have been._” Ah, the hungry cry
As the leaden years crawl slowly by!
It will ring through my life till I die, I die.



_WAE’S ME_


Aroun’ my bit bieldie the cauld win’ is soughing,
  The dull rain is patt’ring amang the deid leaves,
The mist-wreaths are swirling about the grey mountains,
  The wee drookit birds huddle close ’neath the eaves.

Alang the bleak shore the lane sea gangs a sobbin’
  Like some wander’d bairnie that fain wad win hame,
Aye seekin’ an’ seekin’, an’ never yet findin’,--
  Sure man, in his pilgrimage here, is the same.

The sky has nae promise, the earth hauds nae pleesure.
  I look north an’ south, an’ I look east an’ west,
An’ I envy the folk i’ the kirk-yaird out yonder,
  For there, ’mang the mools, there is rest--there is rest!



_THE REASON WHY_


I ken the lassie’s winsome,
  An’ blithe as she is braw;
But ’tis not worth nor beauty aye
  That steal the heart awa’.

Her cheek is like the wild-rose,
  Her lips are like the haw;
But neither ane nor t’ither ’twas
  That stole my heart awa’.

Her locks are black as midnight,
  Her brow like driven snaw;
And yet it was na’ these I vow
  That stole my heart awa’.

Her smile is like the sunshine,
  ’Twad gar an iceberg thaw;
But ’twas na’ this by my guid-faith
  That stole my heart awa’.

Ilk lad’s lass the fairest is,
  For Beauty kens nae law;
(Though _some_ folk maun be easy pleased
  Wha’s hearts are stown awa’!)

Ah weel! maybe the pearl I’ve foun’
  Is no wi’out a flaw!
But just because she’s her ain sel’
  She stole my heart awa’.



_DOWN BY THE SEA_


O, mighty organ of a thousand keys,
  O’er which the Master’s fingers ever stray!
I, listening, hear a myriad melodies
  Played in the space of one short summer day.

The long, low plash of little languid waves,
  The sweet, sad dirge of softly dying swell,
The deep, delicious gurglings in the caves,
  Hold music that this soul of mine loves well.

Full as the human heart of mysteries,
  Like it responsive to His touch alone,
For only He can wake the harmonies
  Which sleep within thy bosom and mine own.



_A VENTURE_


Her mouth looks like a scarlet flower
  And I feel like a hungry bee,
I long to dart straight to its heart,
  But--what would be the fate of me?

The bravest ’tis should win the prize,
  And yet I dare not risk her scorn,
And who but knows the reddest rose
  May hide the very sharpest thorn?

Yet who can tell but she might yield
  Its sweetness up in one long kiss?
So I, who dare not risk her scorn,
  Can risk still less to lose such bliss.

And when she feels my parchèd lips
  Athirst with long long years of drouth,
She will forgive me, that I sought
  That dewy chalice, her sweet mouth.



_WATER LILIES_


A fleet of fairy vessels
  All freighted with pure gold,
The lilies lie at anchor
  On the lake’s breast, calm and cold.

Their soft, white sails, seem waiting
  The zephyr’s first faint kiss
To waft them to another world,
  More bright and fair than this.

Methinks, it were no marvel,
  If I should find, one day,
They’d drifted from their moorings,
  And in silence sailed away.



_THE SENTINEL_


“Tick! tick! tick!” goes the old clock in the hall;
  The merry hours, the mournful hours
Alike he counts them all
  As he stands erect at his post,
  Time’s solemn Sentinel.

All that he hath to say he saith,
  And on, with never a pause for breath,
He hurries us nearer the day of death.
Though his warning voice is ofttimes drowned
  In the whirr, as the wheels of life run round,
Yet, whether or no we _hear_ the sound,--

“Tick! tick! tick!” goes the old clock in the hall;
  The merry hours, the mournful hours
Alike he counts them all,
  As he stands erect at his post,
  Time’s solemn Sentinel.



_A LOVE SONG_


Upon a bosom snowy white
  A little dimpled chin drops down,
While trembling shy lids hide the light
  Of love, new born in eyes dark brown.

A tiny timorous hand seeks mine
  For shelter, fluttering like a dove;
And with a rapture half divine
  I burn my kisses through its glove.

June’s rosy treasures sweetly blend
  Upon her cheek and modest brow,
But only Cupid’s self could lend
  The crimson stealing o’er them now.

Her voice makes music of my name,
  A heaven of love is in her smile,
Her pure mind, like an altar-flame,
  Burns clear and steady all the while.



_AUTUMN_


Red as blood is Autumn’s gown,
And a flaming fire her crown.

And her fingers sere and scorch,
Each one a destroying torch.

Fever follows in her wake,
Nor the dews her thirst can slake.

In her kisses there is death,
And decay in every breath.

She makes tombs of what were bowers,
Strewn with corses of dead flowers.

To the loftiest leaves that wave
She but whispers of a grave.



_A QUAKER MAID_


Just a pair of green-grey eyes,
  With a knack of changing
Like the sea, when shine and shower
  O’er its breast are ranging.

Just a pair of green-grey eyes
  Each one a heart-breaker,
Who would think that they belonged
  To a little Quaker?

Prim her bonnet, drab her gown,
  And she walks sedately,
With a sort of lily-mien--
  Drooping, and yet stately.

And her voice sounds, oh, so meek!
  “Thou” and “thee” and “thying,”
Yet the while those grey-green eyes
  Seem to be belying.

All these airs of calm repose,--
  This sad suit and sober,
Why _should_ Spring’s young sapling be
  Brown-leaved like October?

Gown her in the lilies’ white!
  Crown her curls with roses!
Wreath her neck with daisy-chains!
  Fill her hands with posies!

Laughter-loving green-grey eyes,
  Young limbs girt with gladness,
How they mock this dismal drab
  Livery of sadness!



“_THE TIME, THE PLACE, THE BELOVED._”


You and I among the roses--
  You and I and love and June--
All without and all within us
  Set to one sweet happy tune!

You and I among the roses!
  Drowsy bees go blundering by;
’Mid the tresses on your temples
  Little breezes swoon and die.

You and I among the roses!
  Overhead a sapphire dome;
’Neath our feet a sea of emerald,
  Flecked with daisies for its foam.

You and I among the roses--
  ’Tis for love the time and place!
What a world of rapture can be
  Crowded into one small space.



_DAY-DREAMS_


I am dreaming of you, belovèd,
  In my home among the hills;
Your eyes meet mine in every flower;
Above the highest height you tower,
Yet the glamour of your presence
  The lowest valley fills.

I hear your voice in the river
  That sings on its way to the sea;
And when the wind sweeps over
The low beds of the clover,
’Tis the breath of my belovèd
  Its wide wings bear to me.

I am dreaming of you, belovèd,
  But though sweet these day-dreams be,
’Tis the deeper dreams of sleeping
That restore you to my keeping,
And so the world of shadows
  Is the dearest world to me.



_SONG OF THE SEASONS_


Sing, oh sing, ’tis summer time!
  Sing it ’mong the roses,--
Sing it till each sleeping bud,
  Dewy-eyed, uncloses.

Sing it through the woodlands, till
  All the song-birds hear it!
Sing,--till every blade of grass
  Finds a voice to cheer it.

       *       *       *       *       *

Sigh, oh sigh, ’tis winter drear!
  Sigh it through the flowing
Shroud that over earth’s dead breast
  Falls in time of snowing.

Sigh it through the bare brown stems
  That once held the roses!
Sigh it round the grave, that o’er
  Summer’s glory closes.



_ONE SUMMER DAY_


The sky stretched blue above us,
  The sea slept at our feet,
As still, as if its mighty heart
  Had almost ceased to beat.

A trembling hush seemed slowly
  Across the earth to steal,
As when after benediction
  The priest and people kneel.

It was as though God’s finger
  Lay on the pulse of life,
And stilled, for one brief moment,
  Its tumult and its strife.



_THE INSCRUTABLE_


A glad young girl amid the sunshine flitting,
  Like a bright bird let loose from Paradise--
A weary woman, in the shadow, sitting
  With haggard face and dry despairing eyes.

       *       *       *       *       *

The one in death’s dark chamber now is lying,
  Stricken to marble her warm pulsing breast:
And God denies the luxury of dying
  To the sad soul whose one cry is for _rest_.



_DELILAH_


Why comest thou with those grand eyes of thine
  To lure me as the cruel light the moth,
  To my destruction.--Long ago my wrath
Cooled its white heat in pity’s depths divine.

There was a time when full of bitter hate
  I could have crushed thee--but that time is past,
  And tho’ I needs must love thee to the last,
Tempt me not now--it is too late, too late.

Apart for evermore our paths must lie,
  Such love as thine can only bring a curse.
  I would be better for my love, not worse,
So go while I have strength to say “Good-bye.”



_A BABY’S GRAVE_


I could not lay her down to sleep
  In a death-crowded place,
With grim black yews to keep God’s sun
  From shining on her face.

With softest greenest moss I lined
  For her a little nest;
No crushing marble slab I laid
  Upon her tender breast.

Nor iron rails like prison-bars
  Her sacred form enclose,
The sternest guardian of her grave
  Is just a fragile rose.



_A CHILD’S FAVOURITE_


Only an old wooden dolly,
  With an arm and a leg a-missing,
The point of her nose rubbed off, I suppose,
  Through too much washing or kissing.

In a frock of faded satin,
  With tinsel lace tarnished and tattered;
Her “coal-scuttle” bonnet holds, alas!
  A head that’s a trifle battered.

Oh, no, she has not lost her locks,
  She _never_ had curls black or golden;
A doll’s wig was safely painted on
  In the days that _you_ call “olden.”

You laugh, and think her “too funny;”
  Yet _once_ she was just as much cherished
As _your_ dolly is--by a wee girl
  Whose dolly-days long ago perished.



_RICH OR POOR?_


Only a string of cold white pearls,
  Or diamond drops, like frozen tears,
Has clasped my lady’s slender neck
  Through all the barren empty years.

Only wee warm white baby arms
  Have clasped _my_ neck thro’ the sweet years;
Yet she is rich and I am poor--
  Or so it to the world appears.



_DOLLY’S GARDEN_


This is Dolly’s garden,
  All her “very own,”
Every flower that’s in it
  By her hand was sown--
Never out of Eden
  Were such blossoms blown.

Like her eyes those pansies,
  Deep and dark and blue--
As her soul those lilies,
  Pure and white and true;
Frail earth-flowers and fading--
  Dolly’s fading too.

This _was_ Dolly’s garden,
  Here I stand _alone_,
Dolly’s tending blossoms
  Near the Great White Throne:
Dolly now has heaven
  For her “very own.”



_IN A DREAM-SHIP_


She sailed away one summer day
  In a ship of shining shell:
Her cloak was a butterfly’s gauzy wing,
  Her bonnet a big blue-bell,
Her bed was a lady’s slipper,
  Her blankets the leaves of a rose,
And a cushion of thistledown had she,
  Just to rest her tiny toes.

With golden oars from the earth’s dark shores
  She was borne o’er a silver sea;
And she never feared as the captain steered
  For the land where she wished to be.

    And this was the song,
    As they drifted along,
That she sang from the ship of shell--
    “Oh, we are bound
    For enchanted ground;
It’s _there_ that the fairies dwell.”

But a storm swept over the silver sea,
  And the little maid awoke
As against the side of the fair frail barque
  A cruel billow broke;
And she rubbed her eyes, and she pinched her arm,
  And fearfully peeped around;
But instead of a ship “for fairyland”
  She had boarded a “homeward-bound.”



_THE FLOWER-QUEEN’S FALL_


A rebel rose climbed to the top of the hedge,
  And watched the people go up and down
The winding highway, dusty and grey,
  That stretched from the village away to the town.

And an anger surged in her passionate heart,
  ’Gainst the humble garden where she was born,
And her red lips curled at the old flower world,
  And she cast around her such looks of scorn

That the lilies drooped ’neath her withering glance,
  And the pansies huddled together with fear,
And the poor pinks paled, and each daisy quailed,
  And dropped from her lashes a big round tear.

For of the flower-kingdom this rose was queen,
  And never were subjects more loyal than they--
And they fondly dreamed she was good as she seemed,
  And because they had loved they were proud to obey.

But lo! as she towered in haughty disdain
  High over their heads, with an angry gust
The wind swooped down and tore off her crown,
  And its jewels went whirling away with the dust.



_A VETERAN_


In his niche in the hall, the old clock stands,
But hushed is his voice, and still are his hands.
He ceased from his labours long years ago,
And he’s only a “pensioner” now, you know.

He did his duty as long as he could,
For a brave heart beat in his breast of wood,
And you could depend on _all_ he said
Till age, at last, turned him queer in the head.

With a visor of glass o’er his grim old face,
In his armour,--a straight, stiff, oaken case,
He “stands at ease” in his sentry box,
And leaves time-telling to younger clocks.



_TO A BUTTERFLY_


Butterfly, O butterfly,
  With gaily-jewelled wings,
You make me think of fairy folk
  And of enchanted things.

You once were held a prisoner
  In a castle grim and grey--
A “chrysalis” folk called it--
  But you escaped away.

And now you flutter ’mong the flowers,
  A restless roving elf,
Or fold your wings and lie so still--
  A very flower yourself.

Or hoisting high two gauzy sails,
  You softly float away,
Just like a tiny fairy barque
  Bound for a fairy bay.

The bees must work, the birds must sing,
  The flowers yield perfumes rare;
But you were born a trifler,
  Frail thing of light and air!



_WHEN AND WHERE_


I wonder “when” and I wonder “where”
  The Angel of Death will come,
And, laying a finger on lids and lips,
  Will strike me blind and dumb.

I wonder “when” and I wonder “where”!
  Like the skeleton at the feast,
’Mid laughter and mirth this thought finds birth
  Where it is welcome least.

I wonder “when” and I wonder “where”--
  In my prime or old age hoar,
At home, with my loved ones round my bed,
  Or alone on an alien shore.

I wonder “when” and I wonder “where!”
  Is God not over all?
He knows the time and He knows the place
  Who marks a sparrow’s fall.



_WHEN LOVE IS YOUNG_


The red and russet of Autumn die,
In the lap of winter their ashes lie,
And the earth is wan and grey the sky.

But the noon of a wondrous joy is mine,
And my pulses thrill with the glowing wine
That flows from the grape of Love’s deathless vine.

What care have I that the brown stems bear
Nor leaf nor bloom, and the mad winds tear
The last poor tatters the forests wear?

Is not the heart in mine own glad breast
A garden of roses, a haven of rest,
A bird that has builded a warm love-nest?



_A CHARACTER SKETCH_


Womanly-sweet in all her ways,
Slow to condemn, and swift to praise;
Ready to help in hour of need,
Generous in thought as well as deed.

Pitiful, tender, yet firm and strong
To uphold the right and put down wrong;
Never a thought of self or gain,
Proud of her God-given gifts--not vain.

Laughter-loving, and fond of fun,
When the “daily round” and task are done;
Modest and maidenly, yet no prude;
Perfect enough, but not “too good.”

Half an angel, yet wholly human;
No ideal--a living woman.



_FRIENDS_


We are such friends, my little girl and I,
  That, though her summers number scarcely nine
I need none other, as I go my ways
  With her small fingers closely clasping mine.

A little world we two make of our own,
  And people it with all things fair and sweet;
The stars that twinkle overhead at night
  Drop down at dawn in daisies at our feet.

My smiles are hers;--my tears are all my own,
  I keep my sighs and give her all my song,
Because she is so trusting and so weak
  I feel that I can suffer and be strong.

The while I try to keep the narrow way,
  ’Tis wide enough for both. And my white dove,
With untried wings, knows little love but this,
  That “Mother” is another name for “Love.”



_BED-TIME_


The sleepy daisies have said “Good night,”
And tied up their wee frilled nightcaps tight.
The summer day’s been hot and long
And daisies, although they are so strong,
Are always tired and ready for bed
Ere the stars, heaven’s daisies, awake o’erhead.

The roses have rocked themselves to sleep.
Awake they could no longer keep--
They’ve been astir since the dawn of day,
Sighing their sweet perfume away,
And feeding the hungry beggar bees
That never say “thanks” nor “if you please!”

And, baby darling, ’tis time that you
Had shut your drowsy eyes of blue--
Wee busy hands, wee busy feet
Must rest sometime, you know, my sweet--
The flower-bells _all_ have chimed “Good night.”
They’ll ring to wake you with the light.



*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A spray of lilac: and other poems and songs" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files. We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's search system for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.




Home