When the heavens throb and vibrate
All along their silver veins,
To the mellow storm of music
Sweeping o'er the starry trains,
Heard by few, as erst by shepherds
On the far Chaldean plains:

Not the blazing, torch-like planets,
Not the Pleiads wild and free,
Not Arcturus, Mars, Uranus,
Bring the brightest dreams to me;
But I gaze in rapt devotion
On the central star of three.

Central star of three that tingle
In the balmy southern sky;
One above, and one below it,
Dreamily they pale and die,
As two lesser minds might dwindle,
When some great soul, passing by,

Stops, and reads their cherished secrets,
With a calm and godlike air,
Luring all their radiance from them
Leaving a dim twilight there,
Something vague, and half unreal,
Like the Alpha of despair.

Gazing thus, and holding converse
With the silence of my heart,
I would speak with famed Orion,
I would question it apart,
Wrest her love's strange secret from it,
If there's strength in human art.

And there come to me sweet whispers,
Half in answer, half in thought:-
'Be but strong, impassioned mortal!
Love will come to thee unsought;
Love is the divine Irene,-
It is given, and not bought.

[Transcriber's note: In the original book,
the e's in the 'Irene' in the above verse
were e-macrons, Unicode U+0113.]

Strong of heart. Be wise, be steadfast,
Learn, endeavour, and endure;
Blest with strength and light, in wisdom
Make the higher purpose sure;
Never can her heart receive thee
Till thine own is rendered pure.

I but shone in truth above her;
Psyche-like, she yearned to me,
And her soul, an Aphrodite,
Rose above the ether sea.
Love. Love should and will inherit
The divine Euphrosyne.'

When at night, the gleaming heavens
Throb through all their starry veins,
Oft I ponder on Orion,
And I hear celestial strains
Passing through my soul, and flooding
All its green immortal plains.

Then I pray for strength Promethean,
Pray for power to endure;
Then I say, O soul, be steadfast!
Make the lofty purpose sure;
And that love may be all-worthy,
God of heaven, make me pure!

That morn our hearts were like artesian wells,
Both deep and calm, and brimming with pure love.
And in each one, like to an April day,
Truth smiled and wept, while Courage wound his horn,
Dispatching echoes that are whispering still
Through all the vacant chambers of our souls;
While Sorrow sat with drooped and aimless wing,
Within the solitary fane of thought.
We wished some warlike Joshua were there
To make the sun stand still, or to put back
The dial to the brighter side of time.
A cloud hung over Couchiching; a cloud
Eclipsed the merry sunshine of our hearts.
We needed no philosopher to teach
That laughter is not always born of joy.
'All's for the best,' the fair Eliza said;
And we derived new courage from her lips,
That spake the maxim of her trusting heart.
We even smiled, at some portentous sign
That signified-well, if it turn out true,
Then, I'll believe it. Heaven works in signs
More parting words, more lingering farewells,
Pressure of hands, and thrilling touch of lips,
A waving of white handkerchiefs, and Love
Grew prayerful, and knelt down, and wept
His scattered rosary of human hearts.

Soon looking back, we saw where Ramah lay;
Cold, wan, and cheerless as the race it holds.
And as we neared the Lake the sun came forth,
As tardily as if the sluggard day
Had slept more soundly for the piping storm,
That, veering round, had flung its challenge out
In sullen menace to the western sky,
Now black with clouds. A flash, a muffled roll
Of elemental passion, broke the spell,
And down on Simcoe fell the sudden rain,
Veiling the gloomy landscape from our sight.
Throughout the changeful day, alternate cloud
And sunshine left their traces on our hearts,
Until the evening reared its dreamy piles
Of cloud-built chateaux steeped in gorgeous tints,
That from celestial censers are outpoured
When the grand miracle of sunset draws
Our souls, all yearning with a joy divine,
To share the fleeting glory, ere it goes
To glean new splendors for the ruby morn.
'Tis ever thus with true impassioned love;
Love's sun, like that of day, may set, and set,
It hath as bright a rising in the morn.
True love has no gray hairs; his golden looks
Can never whiten with the snows of time.
Sorrow lies drear on many a youthful heart,
Like snow upon the evergreens; but love
Can gather sweetest honey by the way,
E'en from the carcass of some prostrate grief.
We have been spoiled with blessings. Though the world

Holds nothing dearer than the hope that's fled,
God ever opens up new founts of bliss-
Spiritual Bethsaidas where the soul
Can wash the earth-stains from its fevered loins.
We carve our sorrows on the face of joy,
Reversing the true image; we are weak
Where strength is needed most, and most is given.

Thus musing, as they chatted in the train,
The whistle broke my reverie, as one
Might be awakened from a truthful dream.
The city gas-lights flashed into our eyes;
And we, half-shrinking from the glare and din,
Thought but of two more partings on the morn,
When Love should be enfettered, hand and foot,
For the long aeon of a human year.

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.

The Happy Harvester


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.


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.


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, 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.


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:


'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.


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:


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.


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:


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!


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:


'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.


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


'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:



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.


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:



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:



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.