Song- Love While You May

Day by day, with startling fleetness,
Life speeds away;
Love, alone, can glean its sweetness,
Love while you may.
While the soul is strong and fearless,
While the eye is bright and tearless,
Ere the heart is chilled and cheerless-
Love while you may.

Life may pass, but love, undying,
Dreads no decay;
Even from the grave replying,
'Love while you may.'
Love's the fruit, as life's the flower;
Love is heaven's rarest dower;
Love gives love its quick'ning power-
Love while you may.

The birds are singing merrily, and here
A squirrel claims the lordship of the woods,
And scolds me for intruding. At my feet
The tireless ants all silently proclaim
The dignity of labour. In my ear
The bee hums drowsily; from sweet to sweet
Careering, like a lover weak in aim.
I hear faint music in the solitudes;
A dreamlike melody that whispers peace
Imbues the calmy forest, and sweet rills
Of pensive feeling murmur through my brain,
Like ripplings of pure water down the hills
That slumber in the moonlight. Cease, oh, cease!
Some day my weary heart will coin these into pain.

Underneath the maple-tree
Gertrude worked her filigree,
All the summer long;
To sweet airs her voice was wed,
As she plied her golden thread;
Echo stealing through the grove
Filched away the words of love,
And the birds, from tree to tree,
Bore the witching melody
Through avenues of Song.

Underneath the maple-trees
Zephyrs chant her melodies,
All the summer long;
Words and airs no longer wed,
Death has snapped the vocal thread
Echo sleeping in the grove
Dreams of liquid airs of love,
And the birds among the trees
Fill with sweetest symphonies
Whole avenues of Song.

Oh, That I Were The Spirit Of These Wilds!

Oh, that I were the spirit of these wilds!
I'd make the zephyrs dance for my delight,
And lead a life as happy as a child's.
Echo should tremble with unfeigned affright,
And mock its own weird answers. I would kiss
Eliza's cheek, and touch her lips with dew
Stol'n from the scented rose. And Carrie's laugh
Should be a portion of the silver rills'
Sweet music, breathed mellifluously through
The hearts of generations. She should quaff
The nectar of inspired song, and thrills
Of sweet remembrances of her should strew
The woodland air, as sand-grains strew the shore;
And these two hearts should be my joy for evermore.

Oh, that I were the spirit of these wilds!
I'd make the zephyrs dance for my delight,
And lead a life as happy as a child's.
Echo should tremble with unfeigned affright,
And mock its own weird answers. I would kiss
Eliza's cheek, and touch her lips with dew
Stol'n from the scented rose. And Carrie's laugh
Should be a portion of the silver rills'
Sweet music, breathed mellifluously through
The hearts of generations. She should quaff
The nectar of inspired song, and thrills
Of sweet remembrances of her should strew
The woodland air, as sand-grains strew the shore;
And these two hearts should be my joy for evermore.

Spirit of Song! whose whispers
Delight my pensive brain,
When will the perfect harmony
Ring through my feeble strain?

When will the rills of melody
Be widened to a stream!
When will the bright and gladsome Day
Succeed this morning dream?

'Mortal,' the spirit whispered,
'If thou wouldst truly win
The race thou art pursuing,
Heed well the voice within:

And it shall gently teach thee
To read thy heart, and know
No human strain is perfect,
However sweet it flow.

And if thou readest truly,
As surely shalt thou find
That truths, like rills, though diverse,
Are choicest in their kind.

The souls of Poet-Dreamers
Touch heaven on their way;
With the light of Song to guide them
It should be always Day.'

Song. Clara And I

We have a joke whenever we meet,
Clara and I;
Prattle and laughter, and kisses sweet,
Clara and I.
Were I but twenty, and not two score,
Clara and I would laugh still more,
With plenty of hopeful years in store
For Clara and I, Clara and I;
With plenty of hopeful years in store
For Clara and I.

We will be true as Damascus steel,
Clara and I;
Sealing our truth with a honied seal,
Clara and I.
Eyes so loving, and lips of rose,
Cheeks where the dainty ripe peach grows,
And mouth where the sly god smiles jocose
At Clara and I, Clara and I;
And mouth where the sly god smiles jocose
At Clara and I.

We have a kiss whenever we part,
Clara and I;
Grasping of hand, and flutter of heart,
Clara and I.
Were she but twenty, and not sixteen,
Over my love she'd reign the queen,

And no fair rival should come between
My Clara and I, Clara and I;
And no fair rival should come between
My Clara and I.

Song- I'D Be A Fairy King

Oh, I'd be a Fairy King,
With my vassals brave and bold;
We'd hunt all day,
Through the wildwood gay,
In our guise of green and gold;
And we'd lead such a merry, merry life,
That the silly, toiling bee,
Would have no sweet
In its dull retreat,
So rich as our frolic glee.
I'd be a Fairy King,
With my vassals brave and bold;
We'd hunt all day,
Through the wildwood gay,
In our guise of green and gold.

At night, when the moon spake down,
With her bland and pensive tone,
The fairest Queen
That ever was seen
Would sit on my pearly throne;
And we'd lead such a merry, merry life,
That the stars would laugh in show'rs
Of silver light,
All the summer night,
To the airs of the passing Hours.
I'd be a Fairy King,
With my vassals brave and bold;
We'd hunt all day
Through the wildwood gay,
In our guise of green and gold.

We'd talk with the dainty flow'rs,
And we'd chase the laughing brooks;
My merry men,
Through grove and glen,
Would search for the mossy nooks;
And we'd be such a merry, merry band,
Such a lively-hearted throng,
That life would seem
But a silvery dream
In the flowery Land of Song.
I'd be a Fairy King,
With my vassals brave and bold;
We'd hunt all day,
Through the wildwood gay,
In our guise of green and gold.

The Wine Of Song

WITHIN Fancy's halls I sit and quaff
Rich draughts of the wine of Song,
And I drink and drink
To the very brink
Of delirium wild and strong,
Till I lose all sense of the outer world
And see not the human throng.

The lyral chords of each rising thought
Are swept by a hand unseen,
And I glide and glide
With my music bride,
Where few spiritless souls have been;
And I soar afar on wings of sound
With my fair ├ćolian queen.

Deep, deeper still, from the springs of Thought
I quaff till the fount is dry,
And I climb and climb
To a height sublime
Up the stars of some lyric sky,
Where I seem to rise upon airs that melt
Into song as they pass by.

Millennial rounds of bliss I live,
Withdrawn from my cumbrous clay,
As I sweep and sweep
Through infinite deep
On deep of that starry spray;
Myself a sound on its world-wide round,
A tone on its spheral way.

And wheresoe'er through the wondrous space
My soul wings its noiseless flight,

On their astral rounds
Float divinest sounds,
Unseen, save by spirit-sight,
Obeying some wise, eternal law,
As fixed as the law of light.

But, oh, when my cup of dainty bliss
Is drained of the wine of Song,
How I fall and fall
At the sober call
Of the body that waiteth long
To hurry me back to its cares terrene,
And earth's spiritless human throng!

Song For Canada

Sons of the race whose sires
Aroused the martial flame
That filled with smiles
The triune Isles,
Through all their heights of fame!
With hearts as brave as theirs,
With hopes as strong and high,
We'll ne'er disgrace
The honoured race
Whose deeds can never die.,
Let but the rash intruder dare
To touch our darling strand,
The martial fires
That thrilled our sires
Would flame throughout the land.

Our lakes are deep and wide,
Our fields and forests broad;
With cheerful air
We'll speed the share,
And break the fruitful sod;
Till blest with rural peace,
Proud of our rustic toil,
On hill and plain
True kings we'll reign,
The victors of the soil.
But let the rash intruder dare

To touch our darling strand,
The martial fires
That thrilled our sires
Would light him from the land.

Health smiles with rosy face
Amid our sunny dales,
And torrents strong
Fling hymn and song
Through all the mossy vales;
Our sons are living men,
Our daughters fond and fair;
A thousand isles
Where Plenty smiles,
Make glad the brow of Care.
But let the rash intruder dare
To touch our darling strand,
The martial fires
That thrilled our sires
Would flame throughout the land.

And if in future years
One wretch should turn and fly,
Let weeping Fame
Blot out his name
From Freedom's hallowed sky;
Or should our sons e'er prove
A coward, traitor race,-
Just heaven! frown
In thunder down,
T' avenge the foul disgrace!
But let the rash intruder dare
To touch our darling strand,
The martial fires
That thrilled our sires
Would light him from the land.

The Plains Of Abraham

I stood upon the Plain,
That had trembled when the slain,
Hurled their proud defiant curses at the battle-hearted foe,
When the steed dashed right and left
Through the bloody gaps he cleft,
When the bridle-rein was broken, and the rider was laid low.

What busy feet had trod
Upon the very sod
Where I marshalled the battalions of my fancy to my aid!
And I saw the combat dire,
Heard the quick, incessant fire,
And the cannons' echoes startling the reverberating glade.

I saw them one and all,
The banners of the Gaul
In the thickest of the contest, round the resolute Montcalm;
The well-attended Wolfe,
Emerging from the gulf
Of the battle's fiery furnace, like the swelling of a psalm.

I head the chorus dire,
That jarred along the lyre
On which the hymn of battle rung, like surgings of the wave
When the storm, at blackest night,

Wakes the ocean in affright,
As it shouts its mighty pibroch o'er some shipwrecked vessel's grave.

I saw the broad claymore
Flash from its scabbard, o'er
The ranks that quailed and shuddered at the close and fierce attack;
When Victory gave the word,
Then Scotland drew the sword,
And with arm that never faltered drove the brave defenders back.

I saw two great chiefs die,
Their last breaths like the sigh
Of the zepher-sprite that wantons on the rosy lips of morn;
No envy-poisoned darts,
No rancour in their hearts,
To unfit them for their triumph over death's impending scorn.

And as I thought and gazed,
My soul, exultant, praised
The Power to whom each mighty act and victory are due,
For the saint-like Peace that smiled
Like a heaven-gifted child,
And for the air of quietude that steeped the distant view.

The sun looked down with pride,
And scattered far and wide
His beams of whitest glory till they flooded all the Plain;
The hills their veils withdrew,
Of white, and purplish blue,
And reposed all green and smiling 'neath the shower of golden rain.

Oh, rare, divinest life
Of Peace, compared with Strife!
Yours is the truest splendour, and the most enduring fame;
All the glory ever reaped
Where the fiends of battle leaped,
Is harsh discord to the music of your undertoned acclaim.

If seasons, like the human race, had souls,
Then two artistic spirits live within
The Chameleon mind of Autumn-these,
The Poet's mentor and the Painter's guide.
The myriad-thoughted phases of the mind
Are truly represented by the hues
That thrill the forests with prophetic fire.
And what could painter's skill compared to these?
What palette ever held the flaming tints
That on these leafy hieroglyphs foretell
How set the ebbing currents of the year?
What poet's page was ever like to this,
Or told the lesson of life's waning days
More forcibly, with more of natural truth,
Than yon red maples, or these poplars, white
As the pale shroud that wraps some human corse?
And then, again, the spirit of a King,
Clothed with that majesty most monarchs lack,
Might fit old Autumn for his royal rule:
For here is kingly ermine, cloth of gold,
And purple robes well worthy to be worn
By the best monarch that e'er donned a crown.

Proclaim him Royal Autumn! Poet King!
The Laureate of the Seasons, whose rare songs
Are such as lyrist never hoped to fling
On the fine ear of an admiring world.
Autumn, the Poet, Painter, and true King!
His gorgeous Ideality speaks forth
From the rare colors of the changing leaves;
And the ripe blood that swells his purple veins
Is as the glowing of a sacred fire.
He walks with Shelley's spirit on the cliffs
Of the Ethereal Caucasus, and o'er
The summits of the Euganean hills;
And meets the soul of Wordsworth, in profound
And philosophic meditation, rapt
In some great dream of love towards
The human race. The cheery Spring may come,
And touch the dreaming flowers into life,
Summer expand her leafy sea of green,
And wake the joyful wilderness to song,
As a fair hand strikes music from a lyre:
But Autumn, from its daybreak to its close,
Setting in florid beauty, like the sun,
Robed with rare brightness and ethereal flame,
Holds all the year's ripe fruitage in its hands,
And dies with songs of praise upon its lips.

And then, the Indian Summer, bland as June:
Some Tuscarora King, Algonquin Seer,
Or Huron Chief, returned to smoke the Pipe
Of Peace upon the ancient hunting grounds;
The mighty shade in spirit walking forth
To feel the beauty of his native woods,
Flashing in Autumn vestures, or to mark
The scanty remnants of the scattered tribes
Wending towards their graves. Few Braves are left;
Few mighty Hunters; fewer stately Chiefs,
Like great Tecumseth fit to take the field,
And lead the tribes to certain victory,
Choosing annihilation to defeat:
But having run thy gauntlet of their days,
This Autumn remnant of some unknown race,
Nearing the Winter of their sad decay,
Fall like dry leaves into the lap of Time;
Their old trunks sapless, their tough branches bare,
And Fate's shrill war-whoop thund'ring at their heels.

The Falls Of The Chaudiere, Ottawa

I have laid my cheek to Nature's, placed my puny hand in hers,
Felt a kindred spirit warming all the life-blood of my face,
Moved amid the very foremost of her truest worshippers,
Studying each curve of beauty, marking every minute grace;
Loved not less the mountain cedar than the flowers at its feet,
Looking skyward from the valley, open-lipped as if in prayer,
Felt a pleasure in the brooklet singing of its wild retreat,
But I knelt before the splendour of the thunderous Chaudiere.

All my manhood waked within me, every nerve had tenfold force,
And my soul stood up rejoicing, looking on with cheerful eyes,
Watching the resistless waters speeding on their downward course,
Titan strength and queenly beauty diademed with rainbow dyes.
Eye and ear, with spirit quickened, mingled with the lovely strife,
Saw the living Genius shrined within her sanctuary fair,
Heard her voice of sweetness singing, peered into her hidden life,
And discerned the tuneful secret of the jubilant Chaudiere:

'Within my pearl-roofed shell,
Whose floor is woven with the iris bright,
Genius and Queen of the Chaudiere I dwell,
As in a world of immaterial light.

My throne, an ancient rock,
Marked by the foot of ages long-departed,
My joy, the cataract's stupendous shock,
Whose roll is music to the grateful-hearted.

I've seen the eras glide
With muffled tread to their eternal dreams,
While I have lived in vale and mountain side,
With leaping torrents and sweet purling streams.

The Red-Man's active life;
His love, pride, passions, courage, and great deeds;
His perfect freedom, and his thirst for strife;
His swift revenge, at which the memory bleeds:

The sanguinary years,
When sullen Terror, like a raging Fate,
Swept down the stately tribes like slaughtered deers,
And war and hatred joined to decimate

The remnants of the race,
And spread decay through centuries of pain-
No more I mark their sure, avenging pace,
And forests wave where war-whoops shook the plain.

Their deeds I envied not.
The royal tyrant on his purple throne,
I, in secluded grove or shady grot,
Had purer joys than he had ever known,

God made the ancient hills,
The valleys and the solemn wildernesses,
The merry-hearted and melodious rills,
And strung with diamond dews the pine-trees' tresses;

But man's hand built the palace,
And he that reigns therein is simply man;
Man turns God's gifts to poison in the chalice
That brimmed with nectar in the primal plan.

Here I abide alone-
The wild Chaudiere's eternal jubilee
Has such sweet divination in its tone,
And utters nature's truest prophecy

In thunderings of zeal!
I've seen the Atheist in terror start,
Awed to contrition by the strong appeal
That waked conviction in his doubting heart:

'Teachers speak throughout all nature,
From the womb of Silence born,
Heed ye not their words, O Scoffer?
Flinging back thy scorn with scorn!
To the desert spring that leapeth,
Pulsing, from the parched sod,
Points the famished trav'ler, saying-
'Brothers, here, indeed, is God!'

From the patriarchal fountains,
Sending forth their tribes of rills,
From the cedar-shadowed lakelets
In the hearts of distant hills,
Whispers softer than the moonbeams
Wisdom's gentle heart have awed,
Till its lips approved the cadence-
'Surely here, indeed, is God!'

Lo! o'er all, the Torrent Prophet,
An inspired Demosthenes,
To the Doubter's soul appealing,
Louder than the preacher-seas:
Dreamer! wouldst have nature spurn thee
For a dumb, insensate clod?
Dare to doubt! and these shall teach thee
Of a truth there lives a God!'

By day and night, for hours,
I watch the cataract's impulsive leap,
Refreshed and gladdened by the cheering showers
Wrung from the passion of the seething deep.

Pleased when the buried waves
Emerge again, like incorporeal hosts
Rising, white-sheeted, from their gloomy graves,
As if the depths had yielded up their ghosts.

And when the midnight storm
Enfolds the welkin in its robe of clouds,
Through the dim vapours of the cauldron swarm
The sheeted spectres in their whitest shrouds,

By the lightning's flash betrayed.
These gather from the insubstantial vapour
The lunar rainbows, which by them are made-
Woven with moonbeams by some starry taper,

To decorate the halls
Of my fair palace, whence I'm pained to see
Thy human brethren watch the waterfalls-
Not with such rev'rence as I've found in thee:

Too many with an eye
To speculation and the worldling's dreams;
Others, who seek from nature no reply,
Nor read the oral language of the streams.

But of the few who loved
The beautiful with grateful heart and soul,
Who looked on nature fondly, and were moved
By one sweet glance, as by the mighty whole:

Of these, the thoughtful few,
Thou wert the first to seek the inner temple,
And stand before the Priestess. Thou wert true
To nature and thyself. Be thy example

The harbinger of times
When the Chaudiere's imposing majesty
Will awe the spirits of the heartless mimes
To worship God in truth, with nature's constancy.'

Still I heard the mellow sweetness of her voice at intervals,
Mingling with the fall of waters, rising with the snowy spray,
Ringing through the sportive current like the joy of waterfalls,
Sending up their hearty vespers at the calmy close of day.
Loath to leave the scene of beauty, lover-like I stayed, and stayed,
Folding to my eager bosom memories beyond compare;
Deeper, stronger, more enduring than my dreams of wood and glade,
Were the eloquent appeals of the magnificent Chaudiere.

E'en the solid bridge is trembling, whence I look my last farewell,
Dizzy with the roar and trampling of the mighty herd of waves,
Speeding past the rocky Island, steadfast as a sentinel,
Towards the loveliest bay that ever mirrored the Algonquin Braves.
Soul of Beauty! Genius! Spirit! Priestess of the lovely strife!
In my heart thy words are shrined, as in a sanctuary fair;
Echoes of thy voice of sweetness, rousing all my better life,
Ever haunt my wildest visions of the jubilant Chaudiere.

'Truth lights our minds as sunrise lights the world.
The heart that shuts out truth, excludes the light
That wakes the love of beauty in the soul;
And being foe to these, despises God,
The sole Dispenser of the gracious bliss
That brings us nearer the celestial gate.
They who might feed on rose-leaves of the True,
And grow in loveliness of heart and soul,
Catch at Deception's airy gossamers,
As children clutch at stars. To some, the world
Is a bleak desert, parched with blinding sand,
With here and there a mirage, fair to view,
But insubstantial as the visions born
Of Folly and Despair. Could we but know
How nigh we are to the true light of heaven;
In what a world of love we live and breathe;
On what a tide of truth our souls are borne!
Yet we're but bubbles in the whirl of life,
Mere flecks upon its ever-restless sea,
Meteors in its ever-changing sky.
Eternity alone is worth the thought
That we expend upon the passing hour,
Chasing the gaudy butterflies that lure
Our footsteps from the path that leads us home.
We will not see the beacon on the rock;
The prompter is unheeded; and the spark
Of the true spirit quenched in utter night,
As we rush headlong, wrecked on Error's shoals.
Some hearts will never open; all their wards
Have grown so rusty, that the golden key
Of Love Divine must fail to move the bolt
That Self has drawn to keep God's angels out.'

So spake the merry Margery, the while
Her fingers lengthened out a filigree,
That seemed to me so many golden threads
Of thought between her fingers and her brain,
Bestrung with priceless pearls; her lightsome mood,
Worn as occasion might necessitate,
Replaced to-night by sober-sided Sense,
That made her beauty like an eve in June,
Just as the moon is risen. I, to mark
My approbation of her present mood,
Rehearsed a rambling lyric of my own,
That seemed prophetic of her thoughts to-night:

Within my mind there ever lives
A yearning for the True,
The Beautiful and Good. God gives
These, as He gives the dew

That falls upon the flowers at night,
The grass, the thirsty trees,
Because 'tis needful; and the light
That suns my mind from these-

Truth-Beauty-Goodness, doth but fill
A void within my soul;
And I fall prone before the Will
Of Him who gave the whole-

The wondrous life-the power to think,
And love, and act, and speak.
Standing, half-poised, upon the brink
Of being-strong, yet weak-

Strong in vast hopes, but weak in deeds,
I lift my heart and pray,
That where the tangled skein of creeds
Excludes the light of day

From human minds, God's purposes
May be made plain, that all
May walk in truth's and wisdom's ways,
And lay aside the thrall

Of enmity, whose clouds have kept
Their souls as dark as night;
That they whose love and hope have slept,
May come into the light,

And live as men, with minds to grasp
Within the sphere of thought
The boundless universe, and clasp
The good the wise have sought,

As if it were a long-lost dove,
Or a stray soul returned
To worship in the fane of love,
That it so long had spurned.

Where'er I gaze, my eyes behold
Nought but the beautiful.
The world is grand as it is old;
The only fitting school

For man, where he may learn to live,
And live to learn that what
He needs heaven will in mercy give.
Whatever be his lot,

He shapes it for himself; his mind
Is his own heaven or hell:
Just as he peoples it, he'll find
Himself compelled to dwell

With good or evil. Good abounds
In this delightful sphere;
But man will walk his daily rounds,
And evermore give ear

To the false promptings that waylay
His steps at every turn;
Flinging the true and good away
For joys that he should spurn,

As being all unworthy of
His greatness as a man.
Why, man!-why tremble at the scoff
Of fools and bigots? Scan

The mental firmament, and see
How men in every age,
Who strove for immortality-
Whose errand was to wage

Not War, but Peace-men of pure minds,
Who sought and found the truth,
And treasured it, as one who finds
The secret of lost Youth

Restored and made immortal-see
How they were scorned, because
Their Sphinx-lives spake of mystery
To those to whom the laws

Of nature are as clasped books!-
Poets, who ruled the world
Of Thought; in whose prophetic looks
And minds there lay impearled,

But hidden from the vulgar sight,
Such universal truths,
That many, blinded by the light-
Gray-haired, green-gosling youths,

With whips of satire, looks of scorn,
And finger of disdain,
Have crushed these harbingers of morn,
But could not kill the strain

That was a part of nature's mind,
And therefore can not die.
That which men spurned, angels have shrined
Among God's truths on high.

And so 't will ever be, till man
Knows more of Goodness, Truth,
And Beauty-more of nature's plan,
And Love that brings back youth

To hearts that have grown frail and old
By groping in the dark
With blinded eyes; their idol, Gold,
And Gain, their Pleasure-bark!

''Tis well that nature hath her ministers,'
She said, her voice and looks so passing sweet;
'Great-hearts that let in love, and keep it there,
Like the true flame within the diamond's heart,
Informing, blessing, chastening their lives.
Man has but one great love-his love for God;
All other loves are lesser and more less
As they recede from Him, as are the streams
The farthest from the fountain. God is Love.
Who loves God most, loves most his fellow-men;
Sees the Creator in the creature's form
Where others see but man-and he, so frail
The very devils are akin to him!
There is no light that is not born of love;
No truth where love is not its guiding star;
Faith without love is noonday without sun,
For love begetteth works both good and true,
And these give faith its immortality.'

We parted at the outer door. The stars
Seemed never half so bright or numberless
As they appeared to-night. Margery's laugh
Tripped after me in merry cadences,
Like the quick steps of fairies in the air
United to the chorus of their hearts
Breathed into silvery music. Happy soul!
Nature's epitome in all her moods.

At the wheel plied Mariline,
Beauteous and self-serene,
Never dreaming of that mien
Fit for lady or for queen.

Never sang she, but her words,
Music-laden, swept the chords

Of the heart, that eagerly
Stored the subtle melody,
Like the honey in the bee;
Never spake, but showed that she

Held the golden master-key
That unlocked all sympathy

Pent in souls where Feeling glows,
Like the perfume in the rose,
Like her own innate repose,
Like the whiteness in the snows.

Richly thoughted Mariline!
Nature's heiress!-nature's queen!


II.

By her side, with liberal look,
Paused a student o'er a book,
Wielder of a shepherd's crook,
Reveller by grove and brook:

Hunter-up of musty tomes,
Worshipper of deathless poems:

Lover of the true and good,
Hater of sin's evil brood,
Votary of solitude,
Man, of mind-like amplitude.

With exalted eye serene
Gazed he on fair Mariline.

Swifter whirled the busy wheel,
Piled the thread upon the reel-
Saw she not his spirit kneel,
Praying for her after-weal?

Like the wife of Collatine,
Busily spun Mariline.


III.

Hour by hour, and day by day,
Sang the maid her roundelay;
Hour by hour, and day by day,
Spun her threads of white and gray.

While the shepherd-student held
Commune with the great of eld:

Pondered on their wondrous words,
While he watched his scattered herds,
While he stemmed the surging fords.
And he knew the lore of birds,

Learned the secrets of the rills,
Conversed with the answering hills.

Like her threads of white and gray,
Passed their mingled Eves away,
One unceasing roundelay-
Winter came, it still was May!


IV.

When the spring smiled, opening up
Pink-lipped flower and acorn cup;

When the summer waked the rose
In the scented briar boughs;
When the earth, with painless throes,
Bore her golden autumn rows-

Field on field of grain, that pressed,
Childlike, to her fruitful breast-

When hale winter wrapped his form
In the mantle of the storm,
Tamed the bird, and chilled the worm,
Stopped the pulse that thrilled the germ;

As the seasons went and came,
One in heart, and hope, and aim,

Cheered they each the other on,
Where was labor to be done,
At day-break or set of sun,
Like two thoughts that merge in one.

Dignified, and soul-serene,
Busily spun Mariline.


V.

Brightly broke the summer morn,
Like a lark from out the corn,-
Broke like joy just newly born
From the depths of woe forlorn,-

Broke with grateful songs of birds,
Lowings of well-pastured herds;

Hailed by childhood's happy looks,
Cheered by anthems of the brooks-
Chants beyond the lore of books-
Cawing crows, instead of rooks.

Glowed the heavens-rose the sun,
Mariline was up, for one.


VI.

Like a chatterer tongue-tied,
Lo, the wheel is placed aside!-
Not from indolence or pride-
Mariline must be a Bride!

Fairest maid of maids terrene!
Bride of Brides, dear Mariline!


VII.

Up the meditative air
Passed the smoke-wreaths, white and fair,
Like the spirit of the prayer
Mariline now offered there:

Passed behind the cottage eaves,
Curling through the maple leaves:

Through the pines and old elm trees,
Belies of past centuries,
Hardy oaks, that never breeze
Humbled to their gnarly knees:

Forest lords, beneath whose sheen
Flowers bloomed for Mariline.

Round the cottage, fresh and green,
Climbed the vine, the scarlet bean,
Morning-glories peeped between,
Looking out for Mariline.

Odours never felt before
Tranced the locust at the door,

Vieing with the mignonette
Bound the garden parapet,
Whose rare fragrances were met
By rich perfumes, rarer yet,

Stealing from the garden walks,
Sentineled with hollyhocks.


VIII.

What a heaven the cottage seemed!
Love's own temple, where Faith dreamed
Of the coming years that beamed
On them, as pale stars have gleamed

Through unnavigated seas,
To which the prophetic breeze

Whispered of a future day,
When swift fleets would urge their way,
Through the waters cold and gray,
Like the dolphins at their play.

There the future Bride, and he,
Prince of love's knight-errantry,

Whose good shepherd arms must hold
This pet yeanling of the fold,
Gift of God so long foretold,
Gift beyond the price of gold.

There the parents, aged and hale,
Passing down life's autumn vale,

With a joy as rare and true
As their daughter's eye of blue,
With such hopes as reach up to
Heaven's gate, when, passing through,

Peris, bound for higher skies,
Win the Celestial Paradise.


IX.

Thoughtfully stood Mariline,
Whitely veiled, and soul-serene;
Love's fair world for her demesne,
Never looked she more a queen-

With her maidens by her side,
Smiling on the coming bride.

Her pet lamb, with comic mirth,
Licked her hand and scampered forth;
The fine sheep-dog, on the hearth,
Kindly eyed her for her worth.


X.

Up the air, across the moor,
As they left the cottage door,

Chimed the merry village-hells,
Music-wrapt the neighbouring fells,
Stirred the heart's awakened cells,
Like fine strains from fairy dells.

Past the orchard, down the lane,
By fresh wavy fields of grain,

By the brook, that told its love
To the pasture, glen, and grove-
Sacred haunts, that well could prove
Vows enregistered above.

By the restless mill, where stood,
Bowing in his amplest mood,

The old miller, hat in hand,
Rich in goodness, rich in land,
On whose features, grave and bland,
Glowed a blessing for the band.

Through the village, where, behind
Many a half-uplifted blind,

Eyes, that might have lit the skies
Of Mahomet's Paradise,
Flashed behind the curtains' dyes,
With a cheerful, half-surprise.

Through the village, underneath,
Many a blooming flower-wreath,

Garlanding the arches green
Beared in honour of the queen
Of this day of days serene,
Day of days to Mariline.

To the church, whose cheering bells
Told the tale in music-swells-

Told it to the country wide,
With an earnest kind of pride-
Something not to be denied-
'Mariline must be a Bride!'


XI.

Up the aisle with solemn pace,
Meeting God there, face to face.

Never Bride more chaste or fair
Stood before His altar there,
Her ripe heart aflame with prayer,
Blessing Him for all His care:

Every earthly promise given,
Registered with joy in heaven.

From the galleries looked down,
Village belle and country clown,
Men with honest labour brown,
Far removed from mart or town:

Smiling with a zealous pride
On the shepherd and his bride-

Playmates of their early days;
For their walks in wisdom's ways,
Ever crowned with honoured bays
Of esteem and ardent praise.


XII.

Well done, servant of the Lord!
Grave expounder of His Word,

Who in distant Galilee
Graced the marriage feast, that He,
With all due solemnity,
Might commission such as thee

To do likewise, and unite
Souls like these in marriage plight.

With what manly, gentle pride,
The glad Shepherd clasps his Bride!
Love like theirs, so true and tried,
Ever true love must abide!

XIII.

Ye whose souls are strong and firm,
In whom love's electric germ

Has been fanned into a flame
At the mention of a name;
Ye whose souls are still the same
As when first the Victor came,

Stinging every nerve to life,
In the beatific strife,

Till the man's divinest part
Ruled triumphant in the heart,
And, with shrinking, sudden start,
The bleak old world stood apart,

Periling the wild Ideal
By the presence of the Real:

Ye, and ye alone, can know
How these twain souls burn and glow,
Can interpret every throe
Of the full heart's overflow,

That imparts that light serene
To the brow of Mariline.

The Happy Harvester

I.

Autumn, like an old poet in a haze
Of golden visions, dreams away his days,
So Hafiz-like that one may almost hear
The singer's thoughts imbue the atmosphere;
Sweet as the dreamings of the nightingales
Ere yet their songs have waked the eastern vales,
Or stirred the airy echoes of the wood
That haunt the forest's social solitude.
His thoughts are pastorals; his days are rife
With the calm wisdom of that inner life
That makes the poet heir to worlds unknown,
All space his empire, and the sun his throne.
As the bee stores the sweetness of the flowers,
So into autumn's variegated hours
Is hived the Hybla richness of the year;
Choice souls imbibing the ambrosial cheer,
As autumn, seated on the highest hills,
Gleans honied secrets from the passing rills;
While from below, the harvest canzonas
Link vale to mountain with a chain of praise.
Foremost among the honoured sons of toil
Are they who overcome the stubborn soil;
Brave Cincinnatus in his country home
Was even greater than when lord of Rome.
Down sinks the sun behind the lofty pines
That skirt the mountain, like the straggling lines

Of Ceres' army looking from the height
On the dim lowlands deepening into night;
Soft-featured twilight, peering through the maze,
Sees the first starbeam pierce the purple haze;
Through all the vales the vespers of the birds
Cheer the young shepherds homeward with their herds;
And the stout axles of the heavy wain
Creak 'neath the fulness of the ripened grain,
As the swarth builders of the precious load,
Returning homewards, sing their Autumn Ode.


AUTUMN ODE.

God of the Harvest! Thou, whose sun
Has ripened all the golden grain,
We bless Thee for Thy bounteous store,
The cup of Plenty running o'er,
The sunshine and the rain.

The year laughs out for very joy,
Its silver treble echoing
Like a sweet anthem through the woods,
Till mellowed by the solitudes
It folds its glossy wing.

But our united voices blend
From day to day unweariedly;
Sure as the sun rolls up the morn,
Or twilight from the eve is born,
Our song ascends to Thee.

Where'er the various-tinted woods,
In all their autumn splendour dressed,
Impart their gold and purple dyes
To distant hills and farthest skies
Along the crimson west:

Across the smooth, extended plain,
By rushing stream and broad lagoon,
On shady height and sunny dale,
Wherever scuds the balmy gale,
Or gleams the autumn moon:

From inland seas of yellow grain,
Where cheerful Labour, heaven-blest,
With willing hands and keen-edged scythe,
And accents musically blythe,
Reveals its lordly crest:

From clover-fields and meadows wide,
Where moves the richly-laden wain
To barns well-stored with new-made hay,
Or where the flail at early day
Rolls out the ripened grain:

From meads and pastures on the hills,
And in the mountain valleys deep,
Alive with beeves and sweet-breathed kine
Of famous Ayr or Devon's line,
And shepherd-guarded sheep:

The spirits of the golden year,
From crystal caves and grottoes dim,
From forest depths and mossy sward,
Myriad-tongued, with one accord
Peal forth their harvest hymn.


II.

Their daily labour in the happy fields
A two-fold crop of grain and pleasure yields,
While round their hearths, before their evening fires,
Whore comfort reigns, whence weariness retires,
The level tracts, denuded of their grain,
In calm dispute are bravely shorn again,
Till some rough reaper, on a tide of song,
Like a bold pirate, captivates the throng:


A SONG FOR THE FLAIL.

A song, a song for the good old Flail,
And the brawny arms that wield it,
Hearty and hale, in our yeoman mail,
Like intrepid knights we'll shield it.
We are old nature's peers,
Right royal cavaliers!
Knights of the Plough! for no Golden Fleece we sail,
We're Princes in our own right-our sceptre is the Flail.

A song, a song for the golden grain,
As it wooes the flail's embraces,
In wavy sheaves like a golden main,
With its bright spray in our faces.

Mirth hastens at our call,
Jovial hearts have we all!
Knights of the Plough! for no Golden Fleece we sail,
We're Princes in our own right-our sceptre is the Flail.

A song, a song for the good old Flail,
That our fathers used before us;
A song for the Flail, and the faces hale
Of the queenly dames that bore us!
We are old nature's peers,
Right royal cavaliers!
Knights of the Plough! for no Golden Fleece we sail,
We're Princes in our own right-our sceptre is the Flail.


III.

Fair was the maid, and lovely as the morn
From starry Night and rosy Twilight born,
Within whose mind a rivulet of song
Rehearsed the strains that from her lips ere long
Welled free and sparkling, as the vocal woods
Repeat the day-spring's sweetest interludes.
Her gentle eyes' serenest depths of blue
Shrined love and truth, and all their retinue;
The health and beauty of her youthful face
Made it the Harem of each maiden grace;
And such perfection blended with her air,
She seemed some stately Goddess moving there:
Beholding her, you thought she might have been
The long-lost, flower-loving Proserpine:


AN AUTUMN CHANGE.

'Oh, dreamy autumn days!
I seek your faded ways,
As one who calmly strays
Through visions of the past;
I walk the golden hours,
And where I gathered flowers
The stricken leaves in showers
Are hurled upon the blast.'

Thus mused the lonely maid,
As through the autumn glade,
With pensive heart, she strayed,
Regretting Love's delay;
In vain the traitor flies!
To pleading lips and eyes,
Sweet looks, and tender sighs,
He falls an easy prey.

'Oh, dreamy autumn days!
I tread your bridal ways,
As one who homeward strays,
Through realms divinely fair;
I walk Love's radiant hours,
Fragrant with passion flowers,
And blessings fall like dowers
Down the elysian air.'

Thus mused the maiden now,
With sunny heart and brow,
For Love had turned his prow

Towards the Golden Isles,
Where from Pierean springs
The soul of Music sings
Its sweet imaginings,
Through all the Land of Smiles.


IV.

Up the wide chimney rolls the social fire,
Warming the hearts of matron, youth, and sire;
Painting such grotesque shadows on the wall,
The stripling looms a giant stout and tall,
While they whose statures reach the common height
Seem spectres mocking the hilarious night.
From hand to hand the ripened fruit went round,
And rural sports a pleased acceptance found;
The youthful fiddler on his three-legged stool,
Fancied himself at least an Ole Bull;
Some easy bumpkin, seated on the floor,
Hunted the slipper till his ribs were sore;
Some chose the graceful waltz or lively reel,
While deeper heads the chess battalions wheel
Till some old veteran, compelled to yield,
More brave than skilful, vanquished, quits the field.
As a flushed harper, when the doubtful fight
Favors the prowess of some stately knight,
In stirring numbers of triumphal song
Upholds the spirits of the victor throng,
A sturdy ploughboy, wedded to the soil,
Thus sung the praises of the partner of his toil:



THE SOLDIERS OF THE PLOUGH.

No maiden dream, nor fancy theme,
Brown Labour's muse would sing;
Her stately mien and russet sheen
Demand a stronger wing,
Long ages since, the sage, the prince,
The man of lordly brow,
All honour gave that army brave,
The Soldiers of the Plough.
Kind heaven speed the Plough!
And bless the hands that guide it;
God gives the seed-
The bread we need,
Man's labour must provide it.

In every land, the toiling hand
Is blest as it deserves;
Not so the race who, in disgrace,
From honest labour swerves.
From fairest bowers bring rarest flowers,
To deck the swarthy brow
Of those whose toil improves the soil,
The Soldiers of the Plough.
Kind heaven speed the Plough!
And bless the hands that guide it;
God gives the seed-
The bread we need,
Man's labour must provide it.

Blest is his lot, in hall or cot,
Who lives as nature wills,
Who pours his corn from Ceres' horn,
And quaffs his native rills!
No breeze that sweeps trade's stormy deeps,
Can touch his golden prow;
Their foes are few, their lives are true,
The Soldiers of the Plough.
Kind heaven speed the Plough!
And bless the hands that guide it;
God gives the seed-
The bread we need,
Man's labour must provide it.


V.

Fast sped the rushing chariot of the Hours.
Without, the Harvest Moon, through fleecy bowers
Of hazy cloudlets, swept her graceful way,
Proud as an empress on her marriage-day;
The admiring planets lit her stately march
With smiles that gleamed along the silent arch,
And all the starry midnight blazed with light,
As if 'twere earth and heaven's nuptial-night;
The cock crowed, certain that the day had broke,
The aged house-dog suddenly awoke,
And bayed so loud a challenge to the moon,
From the old orchard fled the thievish 'coon;
Within, the lightest hearts that ever beat
Still found their harmless pleasures pure and sweet;
The fire still burned on the capacious hearth,
In sympathy with the redundant mirth;

Old graybeards felt the glow of youth revive,
Old matrons smiled upon the human hive,
Where life's rare nectar, fit for gods to sip,
In forfeit kisses passed from lip to lip.
Be hushed rude Mirth! as merry as the May
Is she who comes to sing her roundelay:


CLAIRE.

Whither now, blushing Claire?
Maid of the sylph-like air,
Blooming and debonair,
Whither so early?
Chasing the merry morn,
Down through the golden corn?
List'ning the hunter's horn
Ring through the barley?

'Flowerets fresh and fair,'
Answered the blushing Claire,
'Fit for my bridal hair,
Bloom 'mongst the barley;
Hark! 'tis the hunter's horn,
Waking the sylvan morn,
And through the yellow corn
Comes my brave Charlie.'

Through the dew-dripping grain
Pressed the heart-stricken swain,
Crushed with a weight of pain,

Drooped like the barley;
Ah! timid shepherd boy!
Man's love should ne'er be coy,
Sweet is Claire's maiden joy,
Kissing her Charlie!


VI.

A pleasant soul as ever trilled a song
Was hers who warbled 'Claire.' All the day long
Her voice was ringing like a bridal bell;
Gladness and joy leaped up at every swell;
And love was deeper, warmer, for the tone
That clasped the heart like an enchanted zone.
A youth was there more comely than the rest,
One who could turn a furrow with the best,
Compete for manly strength and portly air,
Or wield a scythe with any reaper there.
The spirit of her voice had moved above
The waters of his soul, and waked his song to Love:


BALLAD.

'Come tell me, merry Brooklet, of a gentle Maid I seek,
Thou'lt know her by the freshness of the rose upon her cheek;
Her eyes are chaste and tender, and so serenely bright,
You can read her heart's pure secrets by their warm religious light.'

'The Maid has not come hither,' said the Brooklet in reply;
'I've listened for her footfall ere the stars were in the sky;
The Fountain has been singing of a Maid, with eyes so bright
You may read the cherished secrets of her bosom by their light.'

'Pray tell me, merry Brooklet, what saith her thoughts of one
Who wronged her loving nature ere the setting of the sun?
What say they of yon autumn moon that smiles so mournfully
On the slowly-dying season, and the blasted moorland tree?'

'She sitteth by the Fountain,' the Brook replied again,
'Her heart as pure as heaven, and her thoughts without a stain;
'Oh, fickle moon, and changeful man!' she saith, 'a year ago
All the paths were true-love-lighted where I'm groping now in woe.'

'She sitteth by the Fountain, the gentle mists arise,
And kiss away the tear-pearls that tremble in her eyes,
The Fountain singeth to me that the Maiden in her dream
Shrinks as the vapours claim her as the Oread of the stream.'

Off sped the merry Streamlet adown the sloping vale;
The Shepherd seeks the Fountain, where sits the Maiden pale;
And to the wandering Brooklet, through many a lonely wild,
The burden of the Fountain was, that Love was reconciled.


VII.

But soon the Morn, on many a distant height,
Fingers the raven locks of lingering Night;
The last dark shadows that precede the day
Have stripped the splendour from the Milky Way;
And Nature seems disturbed by fitful dreams,
As one who shudders when the owlet screams;
The painful burden of the Whippoorwill,
Like a vague Sorrow, floats from hill to hill;
Along the vales the doleful accents run,
Where the white vapours dread the burning sun;
While human voices stir the haunted air,
One sings 'the Plough,' another warbles 'Claire:'
The Happy Harvesters, a lightsome throng,
Dispersing homewards, prove the excellence of Song.

Into The Silent Land

I.

'Oh for a pen of light, a tongue of fire,
That every word might burn in living flame
Upon the age's brow, and leave one name
Engraven on the future! One desire
Fills every nook and cranny of my heart;
One hope-one sorrow-one beloved aim!
She whose pure life was of my life a part,
As light is of the day, could she inspire
My unmelodious muse, or tune the lyre
To diapasons worthy of the theme,
How would her joy put on its robes of light,
And nestle in my bosom once again,
As when life, like an Oriental dream,
Fanned by Arabian airs, glode down the stream
To music whose remembrance is a pain.
The foot of time might trample on my strain,
But could not quench its essence. There was might,
And majesty, and greatness in the love
She blest me with-a blessing without stain,
And that was earthly; since her spirit-sight
Looked through the veil, and learned love's true delight,
Which sainted ministrants alone can prove
Who taste the waters of eternal love:
I pause to think how wonderful has grown
The love that was to me so wondrous here!
Chained as I am to this terrestrial sphere,
Groping my way through darkness, and alone,

Like a blind eaglet soaring towards the sun,
How would her full experience lift and cheer
The heart that never feels its duty done,
And with a girdle of pure light enzone
My flowery world of thought, and make it all her own.'

Thus mused the Minstrel, for his heart was sad.
Death had bereaved him of his bride, while youth,
And looming years of future trust and truth,
Knit them together, till their souls were clad
With joy ineffable. Love's great High Priest
Sacrificed in their hearts to Him that doeth
All things well; and such rare, perpetual feast
Of love and truth no mortals ever had,
To keep their memories green, their lives serene and glad,

He sat again within the quiet room,
Where Death had snapped one golden thread of life,
And the pale hand of Sickness, sorrow-rife,
Robbed the plump cheek of childhood of its bloom;
Where she, another Philomena, moved
Like a fond Charity-the coming wife
Ordained to crown his being: And he loved.
The future rose before him, joy and gloom;
For where the sunlight shone, there waved the sable plume.

And yet he failed not, for the coming pain;
The coming bliss would counterbalance all.
The sight prophetic that perceived the pall,
Looked far beyond for the celestial gain.

They do not truly love who cannot yield
The mortal up at the Immortal's call,
Or fail to triumph for the soul that's sealed.
His mind was strung to one harmonious strain:
To give when God should ask, and not resign in vain.

Love was to him life's chiefest victory;
He knew no greater, and he sought no less.
Like a green isle surrounded by the sea
That gives it health and vigour, so was he
The centre of love's sphere of perfectness;
He breathed its heavenly atmosphere; the key
That opened every chamber in love's court
Was in his hand; love's mystery was his sport,
He knelt within love's fane and worshipped there-
But not alone, for one was by his side
Whose love refined his being, filled the air
Of life's irradiated sky with light,
As the sun floods the heavens with a tide
Of renovating freshness, as the night
Is mellowed by the ample moon.
And hoping for the recompense
That would be theirs in life's approaching noon,
They built on hope's high eminence
Their airy palaces, whose magnificence
Surpassed the dreams that fancy drew,
So fair the promised land that lay within their view.

And here they lived; just within reach of heaven.
They could put forth their hands and touch the skies
That brooded o'er the walls of chrysolite,
The airy minarets, and golden domes

Of their new home, by Love, the Maker, given,
Steeped in his brightest dyes.
All nature opened up her ponderous tomes,
Whereby they had new knowledge and new sight,
Learned greater truths, and saw the paths of light,
Mosaic-paven, which to Duty led.
And there were secrets written overhead,
In burning hieroglyphs of thought,
From which they gleaned such lessons as are taught
Only to those whom heaven, in graciousness,
Lifts in her arms with a divine caress.
Earth, like a joyous maiden whose pure soul
Is filled with sudden ecstacy, became
A fruitful Eden; and the golden bowl
That held their elixir of life was filled
To overflowing with the rarest draught
Ever by gods or men in rapture quaffed;
Till from the altar of their hearts love's flame
Passed through the veins of the world, and thrilled
The soul of the rejoicing universe,
Which became theirs, and like true neophytes
They drained the sweet nepenthe, and love's rites
Wiped from their hearts all trace of the primeval curse.

The happy months rolled on; each wedded day
A bridal; and each calm and holy eve
Strewed with rare blessings all the sunny way
Through which they passed, with so divine a joy
That in his brain would meditation weave
Love's roses into garlands of sweet song,
To deck the brow of his devoted wife.

In this their El Dorado, no alloy
Mixed with the coinage of their wedded life;
The workmen in the mint an honest throng.
No wonder, then, that with go fine a bliss
Informing every fibre of his brain,
His thoughts begat impressions such as this;
Linking their lives together with a chain
Of melody as rare as some divine refrain:

Like dew to the thirsty flower,
Like sweets to the hungry bee,
Is love's divinest dower,
Its tenderness and power,
To thee, dear Wife! to thee.

Like light to the darkened spirit,
Like oil to the turbid sea,
Like truthful words to merit,
Are the blessings I inherit
With thee, dear Wife! with thee.

Afar in the distant ages,
Soul-ransomed, and spirit-free,
I'll read all being's pages,
Unread by mortal sages,
With thee, dear Wife! with thee.

None but the happy heart could carol thus;
A feather stolen from Devotion's wing,
To keep as a memento of the time
When earth met heaven, in life's duteous
And prayerful journey towards the shadowy clime;

Ere they descended from their height sublime,
Where at Love's well-filled table, banqueting,
They sat, and watched the first glad year,
Earthlike, revolving round the sun
Of their true life. Within that sphere
Was the new Eden. One by one
The precious moments dropped like golden sands,
And formed the solid hours. No perilous strands
Delayed life's blissful current, as it sped
Through flowery realms with blue skies overhead,
To songs and laughter musically sweet,
As if all sorrow had forever fled;
And idylls, sung with cheerful tone,
Haunted the calm, enchanted zone
That hemmed them in,
Where, like a stately queen,
Sate Peace, beatified, serene,
The guardian, heaven-sent, of this their fair demesne:

---

LOVE'S ANNIVERSARY.

Like a bold, adventurous swain,
Just a year ago to-day,
I launched my bark on a radiant main,
And Hymen led the way:
'Breakers ahead!' he cried,
As he sought to overwhelm
My daring craft in the shrieking tide,
But Love, like a pilot bold and tried,
Sat, watchful, at the helm.

And we passed the treacherous shoals,
Where many a hope lay dead,
And splendid wrecks were piled, like the ghouls
Of joys forever fled.
Once safely over these,
We sped by a fairy realm,
Across the bluest and calmest seas
That were ever kissed by a truant breeze,
With Love still at the helm.

We sailed by sweet, odorous isles,
Where the flowers and trees were one;
Through lakes that vied with the golden smiles
Of heaven's unclouded sun:
Still speeds our merry bark,
Threading life's peaceful realm,
And 'tis ever morn with our marriage-lark,
For the Pilot-Love of our safety-ark
Stands, watchful, at the helm.


II.

A beautiful land is the Land of Dreams,
Green hills and valleys, and deep lagoons,
Swift-rushing torrents and gentle streams,
Glassing a myriad silver moons;
Mirror-like lakelets with lovely isles,
And verdurous headlands looking down
On the Neread shapes, whose smiles
Were worth the price of a peaceful crown.

We clutch at the silvery bars
Flung from the motionless stars,
And climb far into space,
Defying the race
Who ride in aerial cars.

We take up the harp of the mind,
And finger its delicate strings;
The notes, soft and light
As a moonbeam's flight,
Departing on viewless wings.
Afar in some fanciful bower,
Some region of exquisite calm,
Where the starlight falls in a gleaming shower,
We sink to repose
On our couch of rose,
Inhaling no mortal balm.
The worlds are no longer unknown,
We pass through the uttermost sky,
Our eyelids are kissed
By a gentle mist,
And we feel the tone
Of a calmer zone,
As if heaven were wondrous nigh.

A fanciful land is the Land of Dreams,
Where earth and heaven are clasping hands;
No heaven-no earth,
But one wide, new birth,
Where Beauty and Goodness, and human worth,
Make earth of heaven and heaven of earth;
And angels are walking on golden strands.

And the pearly gates of the universe
Of mind and fancy, opening
To the touch of the dainty finger-tips
Of elegant Peris with rose-bud lips,
Delicate, weird-like sounds are born
From the amber depths of odorous morn,
And spirits of beauty and light rehearse
Such strains as the young immortals sing,
When the souls of the blest
Are borne to their rest,
On luminous pinions of light serene
To the fragrant bowers of evergreen;
O'er the rosy plains, where the dying hours
Are changed by a spell to celestial flowers,
Where the skies have a hue no name can express,
For the tone of their passionate loveliness
Surpasseth all human imagining.

Such was their beautiful Dream of Life;
Each stern reality softened down;
Earth seemed to have ended her age of Strife,
And Harmony reigned, her olive crown
Besting on the Parian brow
Of the fair victor, like the gleam
Of the silvery moon on waves that flow
Thoughtfully down the summer stream.
Such was their earnest Dream of Life!
Was it some angel, with jealous eye,
Seeing such love beneath the sky
As never yet in world or star,
Or spheral height, that reached so far
'Twas never beheld by mortal sight,

Or elsewhere, save in highest heaven,
Was duly earned, or truly given,
That leagued with the usurper, Death,
To quench the light that shone so bright
That in all the earth there was not a breath
So foul as to change their day to night?

Alone! alone! Oh, word of fearful tone!
Well might the moon withhold her light,
The stars withdraw from human sight,
When Love was overthrown.
The Minstrel's heart how changed!
Love's principalities,
O'er which he reigned supreme,
Usurped by earth's realities;
The realm through which he ranged
Become a vanished dream!
And yet he sung, as sings
The dying swan that droops its wings
And drifts along the stream:

---

THE LIGHT IN THE WINDOW PANE.

A joy from my soul's departed,
A bliss from my heart is flown,
As weary, weary-hearted,
I wander alone-alone!
The night wind sadly sigheth
A withering, wild refrain,
And my heart within me dieth
For the light in the window pane.

The stars overhead are shining,
As brightly as e'er they shone,
As heartless-sad-repining,
I wander alone-alone!
A sudden flash comes streaming,
And flickers adown the lane,
But no more for me is gleaming
The light in the window pane.

The voices that pass are cheerful,
Men laugh as the night winds moan;
They cannot tell how fearful
'Tis to wander alone-alone!
For them, with each night's returning,
Life singeth its tenderest strain,
Where the beacon of love is burning-
The light in the window pane.

Oh, sorrow beyond all sorrows
To which human life is prone:
Without thee, through all the morrows,
To wander alone-alone!
Oh, dark, deserted dwelling!
Where Hope like a lamb was slain,
No voice from thy lone walls welling,
No light in thy window pane.

But memory, sainted angel!
Rolls back the sepulchral stone,
And sings like a sweet evangel:
'No-never, never alone!

True grief has its royal palace,
Each loss is a greater gain;
And Sorrow ne'er filled a chalice
That Joy did not wait to drain!

---

'Man must be perfected
By suffering,' he said;
'And Death is but the stepping-stone, whereby
We mount towards the gate
Of heaven, soon or late.
Death is the penalty of life; we die,

Because we live; and life
Is but a constant strife
With the immortal Impulse that within
Our bodies seeks control-
The time-abiding Soul,
That wrestles with us-yet we fain would win.

And what? the victory
Would make us slaves; and we,
Who in our blindness struggle for the prize
Of this illusive state
Called Life, do but frustrate
The higher law-refusing to be wise.'

Rightly he knew, indeed,
Earth's brightest paths but lead
To the true wisdom of that perfect state,
Where Knowledge, heaven-born,
And Love's eternal morn,
Awaiteth those who would be truly great.

With what abiding trust
He rose from out the dust,
As Death's swift chariot passed him by the way;
No visionary dream
Was his-no trifling theme-
The Soul's great Mystery before him lay:

---

THE SOUL.

All my mind has sat in state,
Pond'ring on the deathless Soul:
What must be the Perfect Whole,
When the atom is so great!

God! I fall in spirit down,
Low as Persian to the sun;
All my senses, one by one,
In the stream of Thought must drown.

On the tide of mystery,
Like a waif, I'm seaward borne,
Ever looking for the morn
That will yet interpret Thee,

Opening my blinded eyes,
That have strove to look within,
'Whelmed in clouds of doubt and sin,
Sinking where I dared to rise:

Could I trace one Spirit's flight,
Track it to its final goal,
Know that 'Spirit' meant 'the Soul,'
I must perish in the light.

All in vain I search, and cry:
'What, O Soul, and whence art thou?'
Lower than the earth I bow,
Stricken with the grave reply:

'Wouldst thou ope what God has sealed-
Sealed in mercy here below?
What is best for man to know,
Shall most surely be revealed!'

Deep on deep of mystery!
Ask the sage, he knows no more
Of the soul's unspoken lore
Than the child upon his knee!

Cannot tell me whence the thought
That is passing through my mind!
Where the mystic soul is shrined,
Wherewith all my life is fraught?

Knows not how the brain conceives
Images almost divine;
Cannot work my mental mine,
Cannot bind my golden sheaves.

Is he wiser, then, than I,
Seeing he can read the stars?
I have rode in fancy's oars
Leagues beyond his farthest sky!

Some old Rabbi, dreaming o'er
The sweet legends of his race,
Ask him for some certain trace
Of the far, eternal shore.

No. The Talmud page is dark,
Though it burn with quenchless fire,
And the insight must pierce higher,
That would find the vital spark.

O, my Soul! be firm and wait,
Hoping with the zealous few,
Till the Shekinah of the True
Lead thee through the Golden Gate.

Hesperus: A Legend Of The Stars

PRELUDE.

The Stars are heaven's ministers;
Right royally they teach
God's glory and omnipotence,
In wondrous lowly speech.
All eloquent with music as
The tremblings of a lyre,
To him that hath an ear to hear
They speak in words of fire.

Not to learned sagas only
Their whisperings come down;
The monarch is not glorified
Because he wears a crown.
The humblest soldier in the camp
Can win the smile of Mars,
And 'tis the lowliest spirits hold
Communion with the stars.

Thoughts too refined for utterance,
Ethereal as the air,
Crowd through the brain's dim labyrinths,
And leave their impress there;

As far along the gleaming void
Man's tender glances roll,
Wonder usurps the throne of speech,
But vivifies the soul.

Oh, heaven-cradled mysteries,
What sacred paths ye've trod-
Bright, jewelled scintillations from
The chariot-wheels of God!
When in the spirit He rode forth,
With vast creative aim,
These were His footprints left behind,
To magnify His name!

---

We gazed on the Evening Star,
Mary and I,
As it shone
On its throne
Afar,
In the blue sky;
Shone like a ransomed soul
In the depths of that quiet heaven;
Like a pearly tear,
Trembling with fear
On the pallid cheek of Even.

And I thought of the myriad souls
Gazing with human eyes
On the light of that star,
Shining afar,
In the quiet evening skies;

Some with winged hope,
Clearing the cope
Of heaven as swift as light,
Others, with souls
Blind as the moles,
Sinking in rayless night.

Dreams such as dreamers dream
Flitted before our eyes;
Beautiful visions!-
Angelo's, Titian's,
Had never more gorgeous dyes:
We soared with the angels
Through vistas of glory,
We heard the evangels
Relate the glad story
Of the beautiful star,
Shining afar
In the quiet evening skies.

And we gazed and dreamed,
Till our spirits seemed
Absorbed in the stellar world;
Sorrow was swallowed up,
Drained was the bitter cup
Of earth to the very lees;
And we sailed over seas
Of white vapour that whirled
Through the skies afar,
Angels our charioteers,
Threading the endless spheres,

And to the chorus of angels
Rehearsed the evangels
The Birth of the Evening Star.

---

I.

Far back in the infant ages,
Before the eras stamped their autographs
Upon the stony records of the earth;
Before the burning incense of the sun
Rolled up the interlucent space,
Brightening the blank abyss;
Ere the Recording Angel's tears
Were shed for man's transgressions:
A Seraph, with a face of light,
And hair like heaven's golden atmosphere,
Blue eyes serene in their beatitude,
Godlike in their tranquillity,
Features as perfect as God's dearest work,
And stature worthy of her race,
Lived high exalted in the sacred sphere
That floated in a sea of harmony
Translucent as pure crystal, or the light
That flowed, unceasing, from this higher world
Unto the spheres beneath it. Far below
The extremest regions underneath the Earth
The first spheres rose, of vari-coloured light,
In calm rotation through aerial deep,
Like seas of jasper, blue, and coralline,
Crystal and violet; layers of worlds-
The robes of ages that had passed away,

Left as memorials of their sojournings.
For nothing passes wholly. All is changed.
The Years but slumber in their sepulchres,
And speak prophetic meanings in their sleep.


FIRST ANGEL.

Oh, how our souls are gladdened,
When we think of that brave old age,
When God's light came down
From heaven, to crown
Each act of the virgin page!

Oh, how our souls are saddened,
At the deeds which were done since then,
By the angel race
In the holy place,
And on earth by the sons of men!

Lo, as the years are fleeting,
With their burden of toil and pain,
We know that the page
Of that primal age
Will be opened up once again.


II.

Progressing still, the bright-faced Seraph rose
From Goodness to Perfection, till she stood
The fairest and the best of all that waked
The tuneful echoes of that lofty world,
Where Lucifer, then the stateliest of the throng
Of Angels, walked majestical, arrayed

In robes of brightness worthy of his place.
And all the intermediate spheres were homes
Of the existences
Of spiritual life.
Love, the divine arcanum, was the bond
That linked them to each other-heart to heart,
And angel world to world, and soul to soul.
Thus the first ages passed,
Cycles of perfect bliss,
God the acknowledged sovereign of all.
Sphere spake with sphere, and love conversed with love,
From the far centre to sublimest height,
And down the deep, unfathomable space,
To the remotest homes of angel-life,
A viewless chain of being circling all,
And linking every spirit to its God.


ANGEL CHORUS.

Spirits that never falter,
Before God's altar
Rehearse their paeans of unceasing praise;
Their theme the boundless love
By which God rules above,
Mysteriously engrafted
On grace divine, and wafted
Into every soul of man that disobeys.

Not till the wondrous being
Of the All-Seeing
Is manifested to finite man,
Can ye understand the love

By which God rules above,
Evermore extending,
In circles never-ending,
To every atom in the universal plan.


SECOND ANGEL.

Oh, the love beyond computing
Of the high and holy place!
The unseen bond
Circling beyond
The limits of time and space.

Through earth and her world of beauty
The heavenly links extend,
Man feels its presence,
Imbibes its essence,
But cannot yet comprehend.


THIRD ANGEL.

But the days are fast approaching,
When the Father of Love will send
His interpreter
From the highest sphere,
That man fully may comprehend.


III.

Oh, truest Love, because the truest life!
Oh, blest existence, to exist with Love!
Oh, Love, without which all things else must die
The death that knows no waking unto life!
Oh, Jealousy that saps the heart of Love,

And robs it of its tenderness divine;
And Pride, that tramples with its iron hoof
Upon the flower of love, whose fragrant soul
Exhales itself in sweetness as it dies!
A lofty spirit surfeited with Bliss!
A Prince of Angels cancelling all love,
All due allegiance to his rightful Lord;
Doing dishonour to his high estate;
Turning the truth and wisdom which were his
For ages of supreme felicity,
To thirst for power, and hatred of his God,
Who raised him to such vast preeminence!


SECOND ANGEL CHORUS.

Woe, woe to the ransomed spirit,
Once freed from the stain of sin,
Whose pride increases
Till all love ceases
To nourish it from within!
Its doom is the darkened regions
Where the rebel angel legions
Live their long night of sorrow;
Where no expectant morrow,
No mercy-tempered ray
From the altar of to-day,
Comes down through the gloom to borrow
One dropp from their cup of sorrow,
Or lighten their cheerless way.



FIRST ANGEL.

But blest be the gentle spirit
Whose love is ever increased
From its own pure soul,
The illumined goal
Where Love holds perpetual feast!


IV.

Ingrate Angel, he,
To purchase Hell, and at so vast a price!
'Tis the old story of celestial strife-
Rebellion in the palace-halls of God-
False angels joining the insurgent ranks,
Who suffered dire defeats, and fell at last
From bliss supreme to darkness and despair.
But they, the faithful dwellers in the spheres,
Who kept their souls inviolate, to whom
Heaven's love and truth were truly great rewards:
For these the stars were sown throughout all space,
As fit memorials of their faithfulness.
The wretched lost were banished to the depths
Beneath the lowest spheres. Earth barred the space
Between them and the Faithful. Then the hills
Rose bald and rugged o'er the wild abyss;
The waters found their places; and the sun,
The bright-haired warder of the golden morn,
Parting the curtains of reposing night,
Rung his first challenge to the dismal shades,
That shrunk back, awed, into Cimmerean gloom;
And the young moon glode through the startled void
With quiet beauty and majestic mien.



SECOND ANGEL.

Slowly rose the daedal Earth,
Through the purple-hued abysm
Glowing like a gorgeous prism,
Heaven exulting o'er its birth,

Still the mighty wonder came,
Through the jasper-coloured sphere,
Ether-winged, and crystal-clear,
Trembling to the loud acclaim,

In a haze of golden rain,
Up the heavens rolled the sun,
Danae-like the earth was won,
Else his love and light were vain.

So the heart and soul of man
Own the light and love of heaven,
Nothing yet in vain was given,
Nature's is a perfect plan.


V.

The glowing Seraph with the brow of light
Was first among the Faithful. When the war
Between heaven's rival armies fiercely waged,
She bore the Will Divine from rank to rank,
The chosen courier of Deity.
Her presence cheered the combatants for Truth,
And Victory stood up where'er she moved.
And now, in gleaming robe of woven pearl,
Emblazoned with devices of the stars,
And legends of their glory yet to come,



The type of Beauty Intellectual,
The representative of Love and Truth,
She moves first in the innumerable throng
Of angels congregating to behold
The crowning wonder of creative power.


THIRD ANGEL CHORUS,

Oh, joy, that no mortal can fathom,
To rejoice in the smile of God!
To be first in the light
Of His Holy sight,
And freed from His chastening rod.
Faithful, indeed, that soul, to be
The messenger of Deity!


FIRST ANGEL.

This, this is the chosen spirit,
Whose love is ever increased
From its own pare soul,
The illumined goal
Where Love holds perpetual feast.


VI.

With noiseless speed the angel charioteers
In dazzling splendour all triumphant rode;
Through seas of ether painfully serene,
That flashed a golden, phosphorescent spray,
As luminous as the sun's intensest beams,
Athwart the wide, interminable space.
Legion on legion of the sons of God;
Vast phalanxes of graceful cherubim;

Innumerable multitudes and ranks
Of all the hosts and hierarchs of heaven,
Moved by one universal impulse, urged
Their steeds of swiftness up the arch of light,
From sphere to sphere increasing as they came,
Till world on world was emptied of its race.
Upward, with unimaginable speed,
The myriads, congregating zenith-ward,
Reached the far confines of the utmost sphere,
The home of Truth, the dwelling-place of Love,
Striking celestial symphonies divine
From the resounding sea of melody,
That heaved in swells of soft, mellifluous sound,
To the blest crowds at whose triumphal tread
Its soul of sweetness waked in thrills sublime,
The sun stood poised upon the western verge;
The moon paused, waiting for the march of earth,
That stayed to watch the advent of the stars;
And ocean hushed its very deepest deeps
In grateful expectation.


SECOND ANGEL.

Still through the viewless regions
Of the habitable air,
Through the ether ocean,
In unceasing motion,
Pass the multitudinous legions
Of angels everywhere.

Bearing each new-born spirit
Through the interlucent void

To its starry dwelling,
Angel anthems telling
Every earthly deed of merit
To each flashing asteroid.


THIRD ANGEL.

Through the realms sidereal,
Clothed with the immaterial,
Far as the fields elysian
In starry bloom extend,
The stretch of angel vision
Can see and comprehend.


VII.

Innumerable as the ocean sands
The angel concourse in due order stood,
In meek anticipation waiting for
The new-created orbs,
Still hidden in the deep
And unseen laboratory, where
Not even angel eyes could penetrate:
A star for each of that angelic host,
Memorials of their faithfulness and love.
The Evening Star, God's bright eternal gift
To the pure Seraph with the brow of light,
And named for her, mild Hesperus,
Came twinkling down the unencumbered blue,
On viewless wings of sweet melodious sound,
Beauty and grace presiding at its birth.
Celestial plaudits sweeping through the skies
Waked resonant paeans, till the concave thrilled

Through its illimitable bounds.
With a sudden burst
Of light, that lit the universal space
As with a flame of crystal,
Rousing the Soul of Joy
That slumbered in the patient sea,
From every point of heaven the hurrying cars
Conveyed the constellations to their thrones-
The throbbing planets, and the burning suns,
Erratic comets, and the various grades
And magnitudes of palpitating stars.
From the far arctic and antarctic zones,
Through all the vast, surrounding infinite,
A wilderness of intermingling orbs,
The gleaming wonders, pulsing earthward, came;
Each to its destined place,
Each in itself a world,
With all its coining myriad life,
Drawing us nearer the Omnipotent,
With hearts of wonder, and with souls of praise:
Astrea, Pallas, strange Aldebaran,
The Pleiads, Arcturus, the ruddy Mars,
Pale Saturn, Ceres and Orion-
All as they circle still
Through the enraptured void.
For each young angel born to us from earth,
A new-made star is launched among its peers.


FULL ANGEL CHORUS.

Dreamer in the realms aerial,
Searcher for the true and good,
Hoper for the high, ethereal
Limit of Beatitude,
Lift thy heart to heaven, for there
Is embalmed thy spirit prayer:
Not in words is shrined thy prayer,
But thy Thought awaits thee there.
God loves the silent worshipper.
The grandest hymn
That nature chants-the litany
Of the rejoicing stars-is silent praise.
Their nightly anthems stir
The souls of lofty seraphim
In the remotest heaven. The melody
Descends in throbbings of celestial light
Into the heart of man, whose upward gaze,
And meditative aspect, tell
Of the heart's incense passing up the night.
Above the crystalline height
The theme of thoughtful praise ascends.
Not from the wildest swell
Of the vexed ocean soars the fullest psalm;
But in the evening calm,
And in the solemn midnight, silence blends
With silence, and to the ear
Attuned to harmony divine
Begets a strain
Whose trance-like stillness wakes delicious pain.
The silent tear
Holds keener anguish in its orb of brine,
Deeper and truer grief
Than the loud wail that brings relief,

As thunder clears the atmosphere.
But the deep, tearless Sorrow,-how profound!
Unspoken to the ear
Of sense, 'tis yet as eloquent a sound
As that which wakes the lyre
Of the rejoicing Day, when
Morn on the mountains lights his urn of fire.
The flowers of the glen
Rejoice in silence; huge pines stand apart
Upon the lofty hills, and sigh
Their woes to every breeze that passeth by;
The willow tells its mournful tale
So tenderly, that e'en the passing gale
Bears not a murmur on its wings
Of what the spirit sings
That breathes its trembling thoughts through all the
drooping strings.
He loves God most who worships most
In the obedient heart.
The thunder's noisome boast,
What is it to the violet lightning thought?
So with the burning passion of the stars-
Creation's diamond sands,
Strewn along the pearly strands,
And far-extending corridors
Of heaven's blooming shores;
No scintil of their jewelled flame
But wafts the exquisite essence
Of prayer to the Eternal Presence,
Of praise to the Eternal Name.
The silent prayer unbars

The gates of Paradise, while the too-intimate,
Self-righteous' boast, strikes rudely at the gate
Of heaven, unknowing why it does not open to
Their summons, as they see pale Silence passing through.


VIII.

In grateful admiration, till the Dawn
Withdrew the gleaming curtains of the night,
We watched the whirling systems, until each
Could recognize their own peculiar star;
When, with the swift celerity
Of Fancy-footed Thought,
The light-caparisoned, aerial steeds,
Shod with rare fleetness,
Revisited the farthest of the spheres
Ere the earth's sun had kissed the mountain tops,
Or shook the sea-pearls from his locks of gold.

---

Still on the Evening Star
Gazed we with steadfast eyes,
As it shone
On its throne
Afar,
In the blue skies.
No longer the charioteers
Dashed through the gleaming spheres;
No more the evangels
Rehearsed the glad story;
But, in passing, the angels
Left footprints of glory:

For up the starry void
Bright-flashing asteroid,
Pale moon and starry choir,
Aided by Fancy's fire,
Rung from the glittering lyre
Changes of song and hymn,
Worthy of Seraphim.
Night's shepherdess sat, queenlike, on her throne,
Watching her starry flocks from zone to zone,
While we, like mortals turned to breathing stone,
Intently pondered on the Known Unknown.

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