The year has but one June, dear friend;
The year has but one June;
And when that perfect month doth end,
The robin's song, though loud, though long,
Seems never quite in tune.
The rose, though still its blushing face
By bee and bird is seen,
May yet have lost that subtle grace—
That nameless spell the winds know
Which makes it garden's queen.
Life's perfect June, love's red, red rose,
Have burned and bloomed for me.
Though still youth's summer sunlight glows;
Though thou art kind, dear friend, I find
I have no heart for thee.
I hold it the duty of one who is gifted
And specially dowered I all men’s sight,
To know no rest till his life is lifted
Fully up to his great gifts’ height.
He must mould the man into rare completeness,
For gems are only in gold refined.
He must fashion his thoughts into perfect sweetness,
And cast out folly and pride from his mind.
For he who drinks from a god’s gold fountain
Of art of music or rhythmic song
Must sift from his soul the chaff of malice,
And weed from his heart the roots of wrong.
Great gifts should be worn, like a crown befitting,
And not like gems in a beggar’s hands!
And the toil must be constant and unremitting
Which lifts up the king to the crown’s demands.
Once in the world’s first prime,
When nothing lived or stirred,
Nothing but new-born Time,
Nor was there even a bird –
The Silence spoke to a Star,
But do not dare repeat
What it said to its love afar:
It was too sweet, too sweet.
But there, in the fair world’s youth,
Ere sorrow had drawn breath,
When nothing was known but Truth,
Nor was there even death,
The Star to Silence wed,
And the Sun was priest that day,
And they made their bridal-bed
High in the Milky Way.
For the great white star had heard
Her silent lover’s speech;
It needed no passionate word
To pledge them each to each.
O lady fair and far,
Hear, oh, hear, and apply!
Thou the beautiful Star –
The voiceless silence, I.
Song Of The Aviator
You may thrill with the speed of your thoroughbred steed,
You may laugh with delight as you ride the ocean,
You may rush afar in your touring car,
Leaping, sweeping, by things that are creeping-
But you never will know the joy of motion
Till you rise up over the earth some day,
And soar like an eagle, away-away.
High and higher above each spire,
Till lost to sight is the tallest steeple,
With the winds you chase in a valiant race,
Looping, swooping, where mountains are grouping,
Hailing them comrades, in place of people.
Oh! vast is the rapture the birdman knows,
As into the ether he mounts and goes.
He is over the sphere of human fear;
He has come into touch with things supernal.
At each man's gate death stands await;
And dying, flying, were better than lying
In sick-beds, crying for life eternal,
Better to fly half-way to God
Than to burrow too long like a worm in the sod.
Good Templars' Song
Ye soldiers in the temperance cause,
Our work is but begun.
Oh! sit not down in idleness
And think the field is won.
Our lambs are straying from the fold,
The wolves are on the track:
Oh! can you sit and see them go,
Nor strive to bring them back?
O Good Templars!
There's work for us to-day.
Then gird your armor on again,
And only pause to pray.
Whichever way the eye may turn,
It sees the rum-shop stand
With open door and flowing bowl,
A viper in the land.
The grapes are hanging from the vines,
All ready for the press.
Before, behind, on every side
Are seeds of drunkenness.
Our foes are all untiring,
But God is with the right,
And we will conquer at the last-
Then onward to the fight!
Ay, onward to the battle-field,
Each woman, child, and man!
King Alcohol shall yet go down
With all his demon clan.
Song Of The Rail
Oh, an ugly thing is an iron rail,
Black, with its face to the dust.
But it carries a message where winged things fail;
It crosses the mountains, and catches the trail,
While the winds and the sea make sport of a sail;
Oh, a rail is a friend to trust.
The iron rail, with its face to the sod,
Is only a bar of ore;
Yet it speeds where never a foot has trod;
And the narrow path where it leads, grows broad;
And it speaks to the world in the voice of God;
That echoes from shore to shore.
Though the iron rail, on the earth down flung,
Seems kin to the loam and the soil,
Wherever its high shrill note is sung,
Out of the jungle fair homes have sprung,
And the voices of babel find one tongue,
In the common language of toil.
Of priest, and warrior, and conquering king,
Of Knights of the Holy Grail,
Of wonders of winter, and glories of spring,
Always and ever the poets sing;
But the great God-Force, in a lowly thing,
I sing, in my song of the rail.
The Song Of The Allies
We are the Allies of God to-day,
And the width of the earth is our right of way.
Let no man question or ask us why,
As we speed to answer a wild world cry;
Let no man hinder or ask us where,
As out over water and land we fare;
For whether we hurry, or whether we wait,
We follow the finger of guiding fate.
We are the Allies. We differ in faith,
But are one in our courage at thought of death.
Many and varied the tongues we speak,
But one and the same is the goal we seek.
And the goal we seek is not power or place,
But the peace of the world, and the good of the race.
And little matters the colour of skin,
When each heart under it beats to win.
We are the Allies; we fight or fly,
We wallow in trenches like pigs in a sty,
We dive under water to foil a foe,
We wait in quarters, or rise and go.
And staying or going, or near or far,
One thought is ever our guiding star:
We are the Allies of God to-day,
We are the Allies-make way! make way!
Only A Simple Rhyme
Only a simple rhyme of love and sorrow,
Where 'blisses' rhymed with 'kisses,' 'heart,' with 'dart:'
Yet, reading it, new strength I seemed to borrow,
To live on bravely and to do my part.
A little rhyme about a heart that's bleeding—
Of lonely hours and sorrow's unrelief:
I smiled at first; but there came with the reading
A sense of sweet companionship in grief.
The selfishness of my own woe forsaking,
I thought about the singer of that song.
Some other breast felt this same weary aching;
Another found the summer days too long.
The few sad lines, my sorrow so expressing,
I read, and on the singer, all unknown,
I breathed a fervent though a silent blessing,
And seemed to clasp his hand within my own.
And though fame pass him and he never know it,
And though he never sings another strain,
He has performed the mission of the poet,
In helping some sad heart to bear its pain.
The Tendril’s Faith
Under the snow in the dark and the cold,
A pale little sprout was humming;
Sweetly it sang, ‘neath the frozen mold,
Of the beautiful days that were coming.
“How foolish your songs, ” said a lump of clay,
“What is there, I ask, to prove them?
Just look at the walls between you and the day,
Now, have you the strength to move them? ”
But under the ice and under the snow
The pale little sprout kept singing,
“I cannot tell how, but I know, I know,
I know what the days are bringing.”
“Birds, and blossoms, and buzzing bees,
Blue, blue skies above me,
Bloom on the meadows and buds on the trees,
And the great glad sun to love me.”
A pebble spoke next: “You are quite absurd.”
It said, “with your song’s insistence;
For I never saw a tree or a bird,
So of course there are none in existence.”
“But I know, I know, ” the tendril cried,
In beautiful sweet unreason;
Till lo! from its prison, glorified,
It burst in the glad spring season.
Of all the waltzes the great Strauss wrote,
mad with melody, rhythm--rife
From the very first to the final note,
Give me his "Artist's Life!"
It stirs my blood to my finger ends,
Thrills me and fills me with vague unrest,
And all that is sweetest and saddest blends
Together within my breast.
It brings back that night in the dim arcade,
In love's sweet morning and life's best prime,
When the great brass orchestra played and played,
And set our thoughts to rhyme.
It brings back that Winter of mad delights,
Of leaping pulses and tripping feet,
And those languid moon-washed Summer nights
When we heard the band in the street.
It brings back rapture and glee and glow,
It brings back passion and pain and strife,
And so of all the waltzes I know,
Give me the "Artist's Life."
For it is so full of the dear old time--
So full of the dear friends I knew.
And under its rhythm, and lilt, and rhyme,
I am always finding--you.
Our lives are songs. God writes the words,
And we set them to music at pleasure;
And the song grows glad, or sweet, or sad,
As we choose to fashion the measure.
We must write the music, whatever the song,
Whatever its rhyme, or metre;
And if it is sad, we can make it glad,
Or if sweet, we can make it sweeter.
One has a song that is free and strong;
But the music he writes is minor;
And the sad, sad strain is replete with pain,
And the singer becomes a repiner.
And he thinks God gave him a dirge-like lay,
Nor knows that the words are cheery;
And the song seems lonely and solemn-only
Because the music is dreary.
And the song of another has through the words
An under current of sadness;
But he sets it to music of ringing chords,
And makes it a pean of gladness.
So whether our songs are sad or not,
We can give the world more pleasure,
And better ourselves, by setting the words
To a glad, triumphant measure.
Art And Heart
Though critics may bow to art, and I am its own true lover,
It is not art, but heart, which wins the wide world over.
Though smooth be the heartless prayer, no ear in Heaven will mind it,
And the finest phrase falls dead if there is no feeling behind it.
Though perfect the player's touch, little, if any, he sways us,
Unless we feel his heart throb through the music he plays us.
Though the poet may spend his life in skilfully rounding a measure,
Unless he writes from a full, warm heart he gives us little pleasure.
So it is not the speech which tells, but the impulse which goes with the saying;
And it is not the words of the prayer, but the yearning back of the praying.
It is not the artist's skill which into our soul comes stealing
With a joy that is almost pain, but it is the player's feeling.
And it is not the poet's song, though sweeter than sweet bells chiming,
Which thrills us through and through, but the heart which beats under the rhyming.
And therefore I say again, though I am art's own true lover,
That it is not art, but heart, which wins the wide world over.
Let there be many windows to your soul,
That all the glory of the universe
May beautify it. Not the narrow pane
Of one poor creed can catch the radiant rays
That shine from countless sources. Tear away
The blinds of superstition; let the light
Pour through fair windows broad as truth itself
And high as God.
Why should the spirit peer
Through some priest-curtained orifice, and grope
Along dim corridors of doubt, when all
The splendor from unfathomed seas of space
Might bathe it with the golden waves of Love?
Sweep up the debris of decaying faiths;
Sweep down the cobwebs of worn-out beliefs,
And throw your soul wide open to the light
Of Reason and of knowledge. Tune your ear
To all the wordless music of the stars,
And to the voice of Nature; and your heart
Shall turn to truth and goodness as the plant
Turns to the sun. A thousand unseen hands
Reach down to help you to their peace-crowned heights,
And all the forces of the firmament
Shall fortify your strength. Be not afraid
To thrust aside half-truths and grasp the whole.
Dear Love, where the red lilies blossomed and grew
The white snows are falling;
And all through the woods where I wandered with you
The loud winds are calling;
And the robin that piped to us tune upon tune,
Neath the oak, you remember,
O'er hill-top and forest has followed the June
And left us December.
He has left like a friend who is true in the sun
And false in the shadows;
He has found new delights in the land where he's gone,
Greener woodlands and meadows.
Let him go! what care we? let the snow shroud the lea,
Let it drift on the heather;
We can sing through it all: I have you, you have me.
And we'll laugh at the weather.
The old year may die and a new year be born
That is bleaker and colder:
It cannot dismay us; we dare it, we scorn,
For our love makes us bolder.
Ah, Robin! sing loud on your far distant lea,
You friend in fair weather!
But here is a song sung that's fuller of glee,
By two warm hearts together.
Time has made conquest of so many things
That once were mine. Swift-footed, eager youth
That ran to meet the years; bold brigand health,
That broke all laws of reason unafraid,
And laughed at talk of punishment. Close ties
Of blood and friendship, and that joy of life,
Which reads its music in the major key
And will not listen to a minor strain-
These things and many more are spoils of time.
Yet as a conqueror who only storms
The outposts of a town, and finds the fort
Too strong to be assailed, so time retreats
And knows his impotence. He cannot take
My three great jewels from the crown of life;
Love, sympathy, and faith; and year on year
He sees them grow in lustre and in worth,
And glowers by me, plucking at his beard,
And dragging as he goes, a useless scythe.
Once in the dark he plotted with his friend
Grim death, to steal my treasures. Death replied:
'They are immortal, and beyond thy reach:
I could but set them in another sphere,
To shine with greater lustre.'
Time and Death
Passed on together, knowing their defeat;
And I am singing by the road of life.
Song Of The Wheelman
Over my desk in a dark office bending.
Dim seems the sunlight and dull seems the day;
But when the afternoon draws toward an ending,
Here waits my steel steed-I mount, and away!
Like cobwebs of silver I see in the distance
The glint of bright wheels, I must follow and find.
What life in the air now! what zest in existence,
As faster and faster I race with the wind.
Down the smooth pavements, and out toward the heather-
Ho! fellows, ho! I am coming you see!
Breast to breast, now let us speed on together-
Who dares try mounting that hillside with me?
Over the bridge I go-past the green meadows,
Au revoir, boys, I will ride on alone!
For in yon cottage half hid in the shadows,
Waiting for me, is my sweetheart-my own.
She watches my wheel as it glitters and glistens
Down the steep crest of the daisy-starred hill.
Fair is her cheek as she waits there and listens
For the sure signal blown tenderly shrill.
Sweetheart, my sweetheart, I'm coming, I'm coming.
Here, sturdy steed, you may stand by the wall.
A bird to her mate has flown swift thro' the gloaming,
Love, youth and summer, thank God for them all.
If I should die, to-day,
To-morrow, maybe, the world would see
Would waken from sleep, and say,
"Why here was talent! why here was worth!
Why here was a luminous light o' the earth.
A soul as free
As the winds of the sea:
To whom was given
A dower of heaven.
And fame, and name, and glory belongs
To this dead singer of living songs.
Bring hither a wreath, for the bride of death!"
And so they would praise me, and so they would raise me
Mayhap, a column, high over the bed
Where I should be lying, all cold and dead.
But I am a living poet!
Walking abroad in the sunlight of God,
Not lying asleep, where the clay worms creep,
And the cold world will not show it,
E'en when it sees that my song should please;
But sneering says: "Avaunt, with thy lays
Do not sing them, and do not bring them
Into this rustling, bustling life.
We have no time, for a jingling rhyme,
In this scene of hurrying, worrying strife."
And so I say, there is but one way
To win me a name, and bring me fame.
And that is, to die, and be buried low,
When the world would praise me, an hour or so.
The meadow lark’s trill and the brown thrush’s whistle
From morning to evening fill all the sweet air,
And my heart is as light as the down of a thistle –
The world is so bright and the earth is so fair.
There is life in the wood, there is bloom on the meadow;
The air drops with songs that the merry birds sing.
The sunshine has won, in the battle with shadow,
And she’s dressed the glad earth with robes of the spring.
The bee leaves his hive for the field of red clover
And the vale where the daisies bloom white as the snow,
And a mantle of warm yellow sunshine hangs over
The calm little pond, where the pale lillies grow.
In the woodland beyond it, a thousand gay voices
Are singing in chorus some jubilant air.
The bird and the bee and all nature rejoices,
The world is so bright, and the earth is so fair.
I am glad as a child, in this beautiful weather;
I have tossed all my burdens and trials away;
My heart is as light – yes, as light as a feather; -
I am care-free, and careless, and happy to-day.
Can it be there approaches a dark, dreary to-morrow?
Can shadows e’er fall on this beautiful earth?
Ah! To-day is my own! No forebodings of sorrow
Shall darken my skies, or shall dampen my mirth.
Time's Hymn Of Hate
Oh, boastful, wicked land, that once was beautiful and great,
How bitter and how black must be your self-invited fate,
While Time goes down the centuries and sings his hymn of hate!
Time's voice is just. His words ring true. For as the past recedes,
The clear-eyed Future slowly writes the story of its deeds;
And as Time toward the Infinite his ceaseless flight is winging
He shall go singing
The hymn of hate, of men and gods, for all your deeds of lust,
For all your acts of cruelty and hell-concocted schemes
(More hideous than the darkest plot of which a devil dreams)
Which sprang from your Medusa head before it touched the dust.
Beneath the strangling hand of Fate
That strident voice of yours
Shall hush to silence, soon or late
That Justice that endures
Will mobilise its mighty ranks and free the human race,
Then shall all Space,
Yea, all the chains of sphere on sphere,
With that loud hymn be ringing,
Which Time goes singing
His far flight winging
And all the cherubims of God that dwell in regions o'er us
Shall swell the chorus.
Oh, boastful, wicked land, that once was beautiful and great,
How desolate and dark must be your self-invited fate,
While Time goes down the centuries and sings his hymn of hate!
I Step Across The Mystic Border-Land
I step across the mystic border-land,
And look upon the wonder-world of Art.
How beautiful, how beautiful its hills!
And all its valleys, how surpassing fair!
The winding paths that lead up to the heights
Are polished by the footsteps of the great.
The mountain-peaks stand very near to God:
The chosen few whose feet have trod thereon
Have talked with Him. and with the angels walked.
Here are no sounds of discord-no profane
Or senseless gossip of unworthy things-
Only the songs of chisels and of pens,
Of busy brushes, and ecstatic strains
Of souls surcharged with music most divine.
Here is no idle sorrow, no poor grief
For any day or object left behind-
For time is counted precious, and herein
Is such complete abandonment of Self
That tears turn into rainbows, and enhance
The beauty of the land where all is fair,
Awed and afraid, I cross the border-land.
Oh, who am I, that I dare enter here
Where the great artists of the world have trod-
The genius-crowned aristocrats of Earth?
Only the singer of a little song;
Yet loving Art with such a mighty love
I hold it greater to have won a place
Just on the fair land's edge, to make my grave,
Than in the outer world of greed and gain
To sit upon a royal throne and reign.
The Common Lot
It is a common fate – a woman’s lot –
To waste on one the riches of her soul,
Who takes the wealth she gives him, but cannot
Repay the interest, and much less the whole.
As I look up into your eyes, and wait
For some response to my fond gaze and touch,
It seems to me there is no sadder fate
Than to be doomed to loving overmuch.
Are you not kind? Ah, yes, so very kind –
So thoughtful of my comfort, and so true.
Yes, yes, dear heart; but I, not being blind,
Know that I am not loved, as I love you.
One tenderer word, a little longer kiss,
Will fill my soul with music and with song;
And if you seem abstracted, or I miss
The heart-tone from your voice, my world goes wrong.
And oftentimes you think me childish – weak –
When at some thoughtless word the tears will start;
You cannot understand how aught you speak
Has power to stir the deapths of my poor heart.
I cannot help it, dear – I wish I could,
Or feign indifference where I now adore;
For if I seemed to love you less, you would,
Manlike, I have no doubt, love me the more.
‘Tis a sad gift, that much applauded thing,
A constant heart; for fact doth daily prove
That constancy finds oft a cruel sting,
While fickle natures win the deeper love.
A Song Of Life
In the rapture of life and of living,
I lift up my head and rejoice,
And I thank the great Giver for giving
The soul of my gladness a voice.
In the glow of the glorious weather,
In the sweet-scented, sensuous air,
My burdens seem light as a feather –
They are nothing to bear.
In the strength and the glory of power,
In the pride and the pleasure of wealth
(For who dares dispute me my dower
Of talents and youth-time and health?) ,
I can laugh at the world and its sages –
I am greater than seers who are sad,
For he is most wise in all ages
Who knows how to be glad.
I lift up my eyes to Apollo,
The god of the beautiful days,
And my spirit soars off like a swallow,
And is lost in the light of its rays.
Are tou troubled and sad? I beseech you
Come out of the shadows of strife –
Come out in the sun while I teach you
The secret of life.
Come out of the world – come above it –
Up over its crosses and graves,
Though the green earth is fair and I love it,
We must love it as masters, not slaves.
Come up where the dust never rises –
But only the perfume of flowers –
And your life shall be glad with surprises
Of beautiful hours.
Come up where the rare golden wine is
Apollo distills in my sight,
And your life shall be happy as mine is,
And as full of delight.
We walk on starry fields of white
And do not see the daisies;
For blessings common in our sight
We rarely offer praises.
We sigh for some supreme delight
To crown our lives with splendor,
And quite ignore our daily store
Of pleasures sweet and tender.
Our cares are bold and push their way
Upon our thought and feeling.
They hang about us all the day,
Our time from pleasure stealing.
So unobtrusive many a joy
We pass by and forget it,
But worry strives to own our lives
And conquers if we let it.
There's not a day in all the year
But holds some hidden pleasure,
And looking back, joys oft appear
To brim the past's wide measure.
But blessings are like friends, I hold,
Who love and labor near us.
We ought to raise our notes of praise
While living hearts can hear us.
Full many a blessing wears the guise
Of worry or of trouble.
Farseeing is the soul and wise
Who knows the mask is double.
But he who has the faith and strength
To thank his God for sorrow
Has found a joy without alloy
To gladden every morrow.
We ought to make the moments notes
Of happy, glad Thanksgiving;
The hours and days a silent phrase
Of music we are living.
And so the theme should swell and grow
As weeks and months pass o'er us,
And rise sublime at this good time,
A grand Thanksgiving chorus.
Song Of The Spirit
Too sweet and too subtle for pen or for tongue
In phrases unwritten and measures unsung,
As deep and as strange as the sounds of the sea,
Is the song that my spirit is singing to me.
In the midnight and tempest when forest trees shiver,
In the roar of the surf, and the rush of the river,
In the rustle of leaves and the fall of the rain,
And on the low breezes I catch the refrain.
From the vapours that frame and envelop the earth,
And beyond, from the realms where my spirit had birth,
From the mists of the land and the fogs of the sea,
For ever and ever the songs come to me.
I know not its wording - its import I know -
For the rhythm is broken, the measure runs low,
When vexed or allured by the things of this life
My soul is merged into its pleasures or strife.
When up to the hill tops of beauty and light
My soul like a lark in the ether takes flight,
And the white gates of heaven shine brighter and nearer,
The song of the spirit grows sweeter and clearer.
Up, up to the realms where no mortal has trod -
Into space and infinity near to my God -
With whiteness, and silence, and beautiful things,
I am bourne when the voice of eternity sings.
When once in the winds or the dropp of the rain
Thy spirit shall listen and hear the refrain,
Thy soul shall soar up like a bird on the breeze,
And the things that have pleased thee will never more please.
The Beautiful Blue Danube
They drift down the hall together;
He smiles in her lifted eyes.
Like waves of that mighty river
The strains of the ‘Danube’ rise.
They float on its rhythmic measure,
Like leaves on a summer stream;
And here, in this scene of pleasure,
I bury my sweet dead dream.
Through the cloud of her dusky tresses,
Like a star, shines out her face;
And the form of his strong arm presses
Is sylph-like in its grace.
As a leaf on the bounding river
Is lost in the seething sea,
I know that for ever and ever
My dream is lost to me.
And still the viols are playing
That grand old wordless rhyme;
And still those two are swaying
In perfect tune and time.
If the great bassoons that mutter,
If the clarinets that blow,
Were given the chance to utter
The secret things they know.
Would the lists of the slain who slumber
On the Danube’s battle-plains
The unknown hosts outnumber
Who die ‘neath the ‘Danube’s’ strains?
Those fall where the cannons rattle,
‘Mid the rain of shot and shell;
But these, in a fiercer battle,
Find death in the music’s swell.
With the river’s roar of passion
Is blended the dying groan;
But here, in the halls of fashion,
Hearts break, and make no moan.
And the music, swelling and sweeping,
Like the river, knows it all;
But none are counting or keeping
The lists of those who fall.
Over The May Hill
All through the night time, and all through the day time,
Dreading the morning and dreading the night,
Nearer and nearer we drift to the May time
Season of beauty and season of blight,
Leaves on the linden, and sun on the meadow,
Green in the garden, and bloom everywhere,
Gloom in my heart, and a terrible shadow,
Walks by me, sits by me, stands by my chair.
Oh, but the birds by the brooklet are cheery,
Oh, but the woods show such delicate greens,
Strange how you droop and how soon you are weary-
Too well I know what that weariness means.
But how could I know in the crisp winter weather
(Though sometimes I notices a catch in your breath),
Riding and singing and dancing together,
How could I know you were racing with death?
How could I know when we danced until morning,
And you were the gayest of all the gay crowd-
With only that shortness of breath for a warning,
How could I know that you danced for a shroud?
Whirling and whirling through moonlight and star-light,
Rocking as lightly as boats on the wave,
Down in your eyes shone a deep light-a far light,
How could I know 'twas the light to your grave?
Day by day, day by day, nearing and nearing,
Hid under greenness, and beauty and bloom,
Cometh the shape and the shadow I'm fearing,
'Over the May hill' is waiting your tomb.
The season of mirth and of music is over-
I have danced my last dance, I have sung my last song,
Under the violets, under the clover,
My heart and my love will be lying ere long.
In The Garden
One moment alone in the garden,
Under the August skies;
The moon had gone but the stars shone on, -
Shone like your beautiful eyes.
Away from the glitter and gaslight,
Alone in the garden there,
While the mirth of the throng, in laugh and song,
Floated out on the air.
You looked down through the starlight,
And I looked up at you;
And a feeling came that I could not name, -
Something starnge and new.
Friends of a few weeks only, -
Why should it give me pain
To know you would go in the morrow,
And would not come again?
Formal friends of a season.
What matter that we must part?
But under the skies, with a swift surprise,
Each read the other's heart.
We did not speak, but your breath on my cheek
Was like a breeze of the south:
And your dark hair brushed my forehead
And your kiss fell on my mouth.
Some one was searching for me, -
Some one to say good-night;
And we went in from the garden,
Out of the sweet starlight,
Back to the glitter and music,
And we said 'Good-bye' in the hall,
When a dozen heard and echoed the word,
And then - well, that was all.
The river that rolls between us
Can never be crossed, I know,
For the waters are deep and the shores are steep,
And a maelstrom whirls below;
But I think we shall always remember,
Though we both may strive to forget,
How you looked in my eyes, 'neath the August skies,
After the moon had set; -
How you kissed my lips in the garden,
And we stood in a trance of bliss,
And our hearts seemed speaking together
In that one thrilling kiss.
I sit in the twilight dim
At the close of an idle day,
And I list to the soft sweet hymn,
That rises far away,
And dies on the evening air.
Oh, all day long,
They sing their song,
Who toil in the valley there.
But never a song sing I,
Sitting with folded hands,
The hours pass me by -
Dropping their golden sands -
And I list, from day to day,
To the 'tick, tick, tock'
Of the old brown clock,
Ticking my life away.
And I see the twilight fade,
And I see the night come on,
And then, in the gloom and shade,
I weep for the day that's gone -
Weep and wail in pain,
For the misspent day
That has flown away,
And will not come again.
Another morning beams,
And I forget the last,
And I sit in idle dreams
Till the day over - past.
Oh, the toiler's heart is glad!
When the day is gone
And the night comes on,
But mine is sore and sad.
For I dare not look behind!
No shining, golden sheaves
Can I ever hope to find:
Nothing but withered leaves.
Ah! dreams are very sweet!
But will not please
If only these
I lay at the Master's feet.
And what will the Master say
To dreams and nothing more?
Oh, idler, all the day!
Think, ere thy life is o'er!
And when the day grows late,
Oh, soul of sin!
Will He let you in,
There at the pearly gate?
Oh, idle heart, beware!
On, to the field of strife!
On, to the valley there!
And live a useful life!
Up, do not wait a day!
For the old brown clock,
With its 'tick, tick, tock, '
Is ticking your life away.
Music In The Flat
When Tom and I were married, we took a little flat;
I had a taste for singing and playing and all that.
And Tom, who loved to hear me, said he hoped
I would not stop
All practice, like so many wives who let their
So I resolved to set apart an hour or two each day
To keeping vocal chords and hands in trim to sing and play.
The second morning I had been for half and hour or more
At work on Haydn’s masses, when a tap came at my door.
A nurse, who wore a dainty cap and apron, and a smile,
Ran down to ask if I would cease my music for awhile.
The lady in the flat above was very ill, she said,
And the sound of my piano was distracting to her head.
A fortnight’s exercises lost, ere I began them, when,
The following morning at my door, there came that tap again;
A woman with an anguished face implored me to forego
My music for some days to come – a man was dead below.
I shut down my piano till the corpse had left the house,
And spoke to Tom in whispers and was quiet as a mouse.
A week of labour limbered up my stiffened hand and voice,
I stole an extra hour from sleep, to practice and rejoice;
When, ting-a-ling, the door-bell rang a discord in my trill –
The baby in the flat across was very, very ill.
For ten long days that infant’s life was hanging by a thread,
And all that time my instrument was silent as the dead.
So pain and death and sickness came in one perpetual row,
When babies were not born above, then tenants died below.
The funeral over underneath, some one fell ill on top,
And begged me, for the love of God, to let my music drop.
When trouble went not up or down, it stalked across the hall,
And so in spite of my resolve, I do not play at all.
A maiden sat in teh sunset glow
Of the shadowy, beautiful Long Ago,
That we see through a mist of tears.
She sat and dreamed, with lips apart,
With thoughtful eyes and a beating heart,
Of the mystical future years;
And brighter far than the sunset skies
Was the vision seen by the maiden's eyes.
There were castles built of the summer air,
And beautiful voices were singing there,
In a soft and floating strain.
There were skies of azure and fields of green,
With never a cloud to come between,
And never a thought of pain;
There was the music, sweet as the silvery notes
That flow from a score of thrushes' throats.
There were hands to clasp with a loving hold;
There were lips to kiss, and eyes that told
More than the lips could say.
And all the faces she loved were there,
With their snowy brows untouched by care,
And locks that were never grey.
And Love was the melody each heart beat,
And the beautiful vision was all complete.
But the castles built of the summer wind
I have vainly sought. I only find
Shadows, all grim and cold; -
For I was the maiden who thought to see
Into the future years, - Ah, me!
And I am grey and old.
My dream of earth was as fair and bright
As my hope of heaven is to-night.
Dreams are but dreams at the very best,
And the friends I loved lay down to rest
With their faces hid away.
They had furrowed brows and snowy hair,
And they willing laid one day.
A shadow came over my vision scene
As the clouds of sorrow came in between.
The hands that I thought to clasp are crossed,
The lips and the beautiful eyes are lost,
And I seek them all in vain.
The gushes of melody, sweet and clear,
And the floating voices, I do not hear,
But only a sob of pain;
And the beating hearts have paused to rest.
Ah! dreams are but dreams at the very best.
The strings of my heart were strung by Pleasure,
And I laughed when the music fell on my ear,
For he and Mirth played a joyful measure,
And they played so loud that I could not hear
The wailing and mourning of souls a-weary -
The strains of sorrow that floated around,
For my heart's notes rang out loud and cheery,
And I heard no other sound.
Mirth and Pleasure, the music brothers,
Played louder and louder in joyful glee;
But sometimes a discord was heard by others -
Though only the rhythm was heard by me.
Louder and louder, faster and faster
The hands of the brothers played strain on strain,
When all of a sudden a Mighty Master
Swept them aside; and Pain,
Pain, the musician, the soul-refiner,
Restrung the strings of my quivering heart,
And the air that he played was a plaintive minor,
So sad that the tear-drops were forced to start;
Each note was an echo of awful anguish,
As shrill as solemn, as sharp as slow,
And my soul for a reason seemed to languish
And faint with its weight of woe.
With skilful hands that were never weary,
This Master of Music played strain on strain,
And between the bars of the miserere,
He drew up the strings of my heart again,
And I was filled with a vague, strange wonder,
To see that they did not snap in two.
'They are drawn so tight, they will break assunder, '
I thought, but instead, they grew,
In the hands of the Master, firmer and stronger;
And I could hear on the stilly air -
Now my ears were deafened by Mirth no longer -
The sound of sorrow, and grief, and despair;
And my soul grew kinder and tender to others,
My nature grew sweeter, my mind grew broad,
And I held all men to be my brothers,
Linked by the chastening rod.
My soul was lifted to God and heaven,
And when on my heart-strings fell again
The hands of Mirth, and Pleasure, even,
There was never a discord to mar the strain.
For Pain, the musician, and soul-refiner,
Attuned the strings with a master hand,
And whether the music be major or minor,
It is always sweet and grand.
Now ere I slept, my prayer had been that I might see my way
To do the will of Christ, our Lord and Master, day by day;
And with this prayer upon my lips, I knew not that I dreamed,
But suddenly the world of night a pandemonium seemed.
From forest, and from slaughter house, from bull ring, and from stall,
There rose an anguished cry of pain, a loud, appealing call;
As man – the dumb beast’s next of kin – with gun, and whip, and knife,
Went pleasure-seeking through the earth, blood-bent on taking life.
From trap, and cage, and house, and zoo, and street, that awful strain
Of tortured creatures rose and swelled the orchestra of pain.
And then methought the gentle Christ appeared to me and spoke:
‘I called you, but ye answered not’ – and in my fear I woke.
Then next I heard the roar of mills; and moving through the noise,
Like phantoms in an underworld, were little girls and boys.
Their backs were bent, their brows were pale, their eyes were sad and old;
But by the labour of their hands greed added gold to gold.
Again the Presence and the Voice: ‘Behold the crimes I see,
As ye have done it unto these, so have ye done to me.’
Again I slept. I seemed to climb a hard, ascending track;
And just behind me laboured one whose patient face was black.
I pitied him; but hour by hour he gained upon the path;
He stood beside me, stood upright – and then I turned in wrath.
‘Go back! ’ I cried. ‘What right have you to walk beside me here?
For you are black, and I am white.’ I paused struck dumb with fear.
For lo! the black man was not there, but Christ stood in his place;
And oh! the pain, the pain, the pain that looked from his dear face.
Now when I woke, the air was rife with that sweet, rhythmic din
Which tells the world that Christ has come to save mankind from sin.
And through the open door of church and temple passed a throng,
To worship Him, with bended knee with sermon, and with song.
But over all I heard the cry of hunted, mangled things;
Those creatures which are part of God, though they have hoofs and wings.
I saw the mill, the mine, and shop, the little slaves of greed;
I heard the strife of race with race, all sprung from one God-seed.
And then I bowed my head in shame, and in contrition cried –
‘Lo, after nineteen hundred years, Christ still is crucified.’
You left me with the autumn time;
When the winter stripped the forest bare,
Then dressed it in his spotless rime;
When frosts were lurking in the air
You left me here and went away.
The winds were cold; you could not stay.
You sought a warmer clime, until
The south wind, artful maid, should break
The winter's trumpets, and should fill
The air with songs of birds; and wake
The sleeping blossoms on the plain
And make the brooks to flow again.
I thought that the winter desolate,
And all times felt a sense of loss.
I taught my longing heart to wait,
And said, 'When Spring shall come across
The hills, with blossoms in her track,
The she, our loved one, will come back.'
And now the hills with grass and moss
The spring with cunning hands has spread,
And yet I feel my grievous loss.
My heart will not be comforted,
But crieth daily, 'Where is she
You promised should come back to me? '
Oh, love! where are you? day by day
I seek to find you, but in vain.
Men point me to a grave, and say:
'There is her bed upon the plain.'
But though I see no trace of you,
I cannot thiink their words are true.
You were too sweet to wholly pass
Away from earth, and leave no trace;
You were to fair to let the grass
Grow rank and tall above your face.
Your voice, that mocked the robin's trill,
I cannot think is hushed and still.
I thought I saw your golden hair
One day, and reached to touch a strand;
I found but yellow sunbeams there -
The bright rays fell aslant my hand,
And seemed to mock, with lights and shades,
The silken meshes of your braids.
Again, I thought I saw your hand
Wave, as if beckoning to me;
I found 'twas but a lily, fanned
By the cool zephyrs from the sea.
Oh, love! I find no trace of you -
I wonder if their words were true?
One day I heard a singing voice;
A burst of music, trill on trill.
It made my very soul rejoice;
My heart gave and exultant thrill.
I cried, 'Oh heart, we've found her - hush! '
But no - 'twas the silver-throated thrush.
And once I thought I saw your face,
And wild with joy I ran to you;
But found, when I had reached the place,
'Twas a blush rose, bathed in dew.
Ah, love! I think you must be dead;
And I believe the words they said.
In the fair morning of his life,
When his pure heart lay in his breast,
Panting, with all that wild unrest
To plunge into the great world's strife
That fills young hearts with mad desire,
He saw a sunset. Red and gold
The burning billows surged and rolled,
And upward tossed their caps of fire.
He looked. And as he looked the sight
Sent from his soul through breast and brain
Such intense joy, it hurt like pain.
His heart seemed bursting with delight.
So near the Unknown seemed, so close
He might have grasped it with his hand.
He felt his inmost soul expand,
As sunlight will expand a rose.
One day he heard a singing strain--
A human voice, in bird-like trills.
He paused, and little rapture-rills
Went trickling downward through each vein.
And in his heart the whole day long,
As in a temple veiled and dim,
He kept and bore about with him
The beauty of that singer's song.
And then? But why relate what then?
His smoldering heart flamed into fire--
He had his one supreme desire,
And plunged into the world of men.
For years queen Folly held her sway.
With pleasures of the grosser kind
She fed his flesh and drugged his mind,
Till, shamed, he sated turned away.
He sought his boyhood's home. That hour
Triumphant should have been, in sooth,
Since he went forth an unknown youth,
And came back crowned with wealth and power.
The clouds made day a gorgeous bed;
He saw the splendor of the sky
With unmoved heart and stolid eye;
He knew only West was red.
Then suddenly a fresh young voice
Rose, bird-like, from some hidden place,
He did not even turn his face;
It struck him simply as a noise.
He trod the old paths up and down.
Their ruch-hued leaves by Fall winds whirled--
How dull they were--how dull the world--
Dull even in the pulsing town.
O! worst of punishments, that brings
A blunting of all finer sense,
A loss of feelings keen, intense,
And dulls us to the higher things.
O! penalty most dire, most sure,
Swift following after gross delights,
That we no more see beauteous sights,
Or hear as hear the good and pure.
O! shape more hideous and more dread
Than Vengeance takes in creed-taught minds,
This certain doom that blunts and blinds,
And strikes the holiest feelings dead.
In the warm yellow smile of the morning,
She stands at the lattice pane,
And watches the strong young binders
Stride down to the fields of grain.
And she counts them over and over
As they pass her cottage door:
Are they six, she counts them seven;
Are they seven, she counts one more.
When the sun swings high in the heavens,
And the reapers go shouting home,
She calls to the household, saying,
'Make haste! for the binders have come
And Johnnie will want his dinner -
He was always a hungry child';
And they answer, 'Yes, it ia waiting';
Then tell you, 'Her brain is wild.'
Again, in the hush of the evening,
When the work of the day is done,
And the binders go singing homeward
In the last red rays of the sun,
She will sit at the threshold waiting,
And with her withered face lights with joy:
'Come, Johnnie, ' she says, as they pass her,
'Come into the house, my boy.'
Five summers ago her Johnnie
Went out in the smile of the morn,
Singing across the meadow,
Striding down through the corn -
He towered above the binders,
Walking on either side,
And the mother's heart within her
Swelled with exultant pride.
For he was the light of the household -
His brown eyes were wells of truth,
And his face was the face of the morning,
Lit with its pure, fresh youth,
And his song rang out from the hilltops
Like the mellow blast of a horn,
And he strode o'er the fresh shorn meadows,
And down through the rows of corn.
But hushed were the voices of singing,
Hushed by the presence of death,
As back to the cottage they bore him -
In the noontide's scorching breath,
For the heat of the sun had slain him,
Had smitten the heart in his breast,
And he who towered above them
Lay lower than all the rest.
The grain grows ripe in the sunshine,
And the summers ebb and flow,
And the binders stride to their labour
And sing as they come and go;
But never again from the hilltops
Echoes the voice like a horn;
Never up from the meadows,
Never back from the corn.
Yet the poor, crazed brain of the mother
Fancies him always near;
She is blest in her strange delusion,
For she knoweth no pain nor fear,
And always she counts the binders
As they pass by her cottage door;
Are they six, she counts them seven;
Are they seven, she counts one more.
The Song Of The Sandwich
met at night in the season's hight,
Mid revel and mirth and song.
I looked in your eye with a mute, mute cry,
As you elbowed your way through the throng.
Alone in that crowd of men who bowed,
And flattered, and flirted around,
Your quick thought guessed the woe in my breast,
And you sprang to my side with a bound.
In a whisper as faint as a south wind's plaint,
I murmured my need to you.
'A sandwich!' I wailed, then your strong eye quailed,
For oh! they were thin and few.
And about them hustled and pushed and tussled,
A score of desperate men.
But you drew your breath, and you hissed ''Sdeath!'
And then you turned back again.
'Ladye!' you cried with haughty pride,
While your dark eye flashed on me,
'If I risk my life in yon seething strife
What shall my guerdon be?'
'May I hope for a line that shall be all mine,
A song by the world unheard?
From rivals detested, shall the sandwich be wrested,
If thou wilt but say the word.'
'If you reach that goal, I vow by my soul,
(I spoke in a desperate tone)
And I live till that time, I will write you a rhyme,
A rhyme to be all your own.'
'Nay more, if you try, and in warfare die,
As sometimes befalls the brave,
In lines of glory I'll wreathe your story
And lay them upon your grave.'
Like a knight of old, with an air that was bold,
You turned from my side and went,
Past salad dish, past deviled fish,
Past cake and condiment.
With a step unswerving and a speed deserving
A better reward-alack!
You crossed the room 'neath the red globes' gloom,
Bent on the sandwich's track
My heart stood still in a nameless chill,
As I saw you stride away,
For fair girls' smiles, and punch bowl's wiles,
Both by your roadside lay.
With the fever fire of hunger dire,
I saw you pass them straight,
And I almost wept as your bold hand swept
To the waning sandwich plate.
Then back you came with your cheek aflame,
And the victor's glow in your eye;
Oh! it was grand to see you stand
With the sandwich held on high.
So here and now, I keep my vow;
(Tho' the sandwich is no more)
I would rise from my hearse and write that verse,
If it were not written before.
Poet, we know that many men go,
Forth on that self-same track,
With purpose as high, to do or die,
But they bring no sandwich back.
The Muse And The Poet
The Muse said, Let us sing a little song
Wherein no hint of wrong,
No echo of the great world need, or pain,
Shall mar the strain.
Lock fast the swinging portal of thy heart;
Keep sympathy apart.
Sing of the sunset, of the dawn, the sea;
Of any thing or nothing, so there be
No purpose to thy art.
Yea, let us make, art for Art's sake.
And sing no more unto the hearts of men,
But for the critic's pen.
With songs that are but words, sweet sounding words,
Like joyous jargon of the birds.
Tune now thy lyre, O Poet, and sing on.
The Virgin Night, all languorous with dreams
Of her belovèd Darkness, rose in fear,
Feeling the presence of another near.
Outside her curtained casement shone the gleams
Of burning orbs; and modestly she hid
Her brow and bosom with her dusky hair.
When lo! the bold intruder lurking there
Leaped through the fragile lattice, all unbid,
And half unveiled her. Then the swooning Night
Fell pale and dead, while yet her soul was white
Before that lawless Ravisher, the Light.
The Muse said, Poet, nay; thou hast not caught
My meaning. For there lurks a thought
Back of thy song.
In art, all thought is wrong.
Re-string thy lyre; and let the echoes bound
To nothing but sweet sound.
Strike now the chords
And sing of
One day sweet Ladye Language gave to me
A little golden key.
I sat me down beside her jewel box
And turned its locks.
And oh, the wealth that lay there in my sight.
Great solitaires of words, so bright, so bright;
Words that no use can commonize; like God,
And Truth, and Love; and words of sapphire blue;
And amber words; with sunshine dripping through;
And words of that strange hue
A pearl reveals upon a wanton's hand.
Again the Muse:
Thou dost not understand;
A thought within thy song is lingering yet.
Sing but of words; all else forget, forget.
Nor let thy words convey one thought to men.
Try once again.
Down through the dusk and dew there fell a word;
Down through the dew and dusk.
And all the garments of the air it stirred
Smelled sweet as musk;
And all the little waves of air it kissed
Turned gold and amethyst.
There in the dew and dusk a heart it found;
There in the dusk and dew
The sodden silence changed to fragrant sound;
And all the world seemed new.
Upon the path that little word had trod,
There shone the smile of God.
The Muse said, Drop thy lyre.
I tire, I tire.
The Camp Fire
When night hung low and dew fell damp,
There fell athwart the shadows
The gleaming watchfires of the camp,
Like glow-worms on the meadows.
The sentinel his measured beat
With measured tread was keeping,
While like bronze statues at his feet
Lay tired soldiers, sleeping.
On some worn faces of the men
There crept a homesick yearning,
Which made it almost seem again,
The child-look was returning.
While on full many a youthful brow,
Till now to care a stranger,
The premature grave lines told how
They had grown old through danger.
One, in his slumber, laughed with joy,
The laughing echoes mocked him,
He thought beside his baby boy
He sat and gaily rocked him.
O pitying angels! Thou wert kind
To end this brief elysian,
He found what he no more could find
Save in a dreamer's vision.
The clear note of a mocking bird-
That star of sound-came falling
Down thro' the night; one, wakeful, heard
And answered to the calling,
And then upon the ear there broke
That sweet, pathetic measure,
That song that wakes-as then it woke,
Such mingled pain and pleasure.
One voice at first, and then the sound
Pulsed like a great bell's swinging,
'Tenting to-night on the old camp ground,'
The whole roused camp was singing.
The sense of warfare's discontent
Gave place to warfare's glory;
Right merrily the swift hours went
With song, and jest, and story.
They sang the song of Old John Brown,
Whose march goes on forever;
It made them thirsty for renown,
It fired them with endeavor.
So much of that great heart lives still,
So much of that great spirit-
His very name shoots like a thrill
Through all men when they hear it.
They found in tales of march and fight
New courage as they listened,
And while they watched the weird camp-light,
And while the still stars glistened,
Like some stern comrade's voice, there broke
And swept from hill to valley
'Til all the sleeping echoes woke,-
The bugle's call to rally!
'To arms! to arms! the foe is near!'
Ah, brave hearts were ye equal
To hearing through without one fear
The whole tale's bloody sequel?
The laurel wreath, the victor's cry,
These are not all of glory;
The gaping wound, the glazing eye,
They, too, are in the story.
And when again their tents were spread,
And by campfires they slumbered,
The missing faces of the dead
The living ones outnumbered.
And yet, their memories animate
The hearts that still survive them,
And holy seems the task, and great,
For one hour to revive them.
A rose in my garden, the sweetest and fairest,
Was hanging her head through the long golden hours;
And early one morning I saw her tears falling,
And heard a low gossiping talk in the bowers.
The yellow Nasturtium, a spinster all faded,
Was telling a Lily what ailed the poor Rose:
'That wild roving Bee who was hanging about her,
Has jilted her squarely, as everyone knows.
'I knew when he came, with his singing and sighing,
His airs and his speeches so fine and so sweet,
Just how it would end; but no one would believe me,
For all were quite ready to fall at his feet.'
'Indeed, you are wrong,' said the Lily-belle proudly,
'I cared nothing for him, he called on me once,
And would have come often, no doubt, if I'd asked him,
But, though he was handsome, I thought him a dunce.'
'Now, now, that's not true,' cried the tall Oleander.
'He has traveled and seen every flower that grows;
And one who has supped in the garden of princes,
We all might have known would not wed with the Rose.'
'But wasn't she proud when he showed her attention?
And she let him caress her,' said sly Mignonette;
'And I used to see it and blush for her folly.
The silly thing thinks he will come to her yet.'
'I thought he was splendid,' said pretty pert Larkspur,
'So dark, and so grand with that gay cloak of gold;
But he tried once to kiss me, the impudent fellow!
And I got offended; I thought him too bold.'
'Oh, fie!' laughed the Almond, 'that does for a story.
Though I hang down my head, yet I see all that goes;
And I saw you reach out trying hard to detain him,
But he just tapped your cheek and flew by to the Rose.
'He cared nothing for her, he only was flirting
To while away time, as I very well knew;
So I turned a cold shoulder on all his advances,
Because I was certain his heart was untrue.'
'The Rose is served right for her folly in trusting
An oily-tongued stranger,' quoth proud Columbine.
'I knew what he was, and thought once I would warn her,
But of course the affair was no business of mine.'
'Oh, well,' cried the Peony, shrugging her shoulders,
'I saw all along that the Bee was a flirt;
But the Rose has been always so praised and so petted,
I thought a good lesson would do her no hurt.'
Just then came the sound of a love-song sung sweetly,
I saw my proud Rose lifting up her bowed head;
And the talk of the gossips was hushed in a moment,
And the flowers all listened to hear what was said.
And the dark, handsome Bee, with his cloak o'er his shoulder,
Came swift through the sunlight and kissed the sad Rose,
And whispered: 'My darling, I've roved the world over,
And you are the loveliest flower that grows.'
There was a sound in the wind to-day,
Like a joyous cymbal ringing!
And the leaves of the trees talked with the breeze,
And they altogether were singing,
For they knew that an army, both bold and strong,
A brave, brave army, was coming,
Not with the fife and sounds of strife,
With marshal music and drumming,
Not with stern faces and gleaming swords,
That would make blood to flow like water,
While brother and brother should slay each other
On wholesale fields of slaughter;
But rather like rills from a thousand hills,
That ripple through valley and heather,
On, on to the sea, with a song of glee,
Till they meet and mingle together.
They come from the South, and the East, and the West,
The bravest and best in the nation.
They come at no idle and aimless quest,
But to work for a world's salvation.
From the Scot's fair land and from England's strand,
O'er mountain and heather and ocean,
They come; and the foe by their coming shall know
The strength of a Templar's devotion.
On the earnest brows, in the thoughtful eyes,
We read the unchanging story-
They fight in their might for the truth and the right,
And not for vain name or glory.
O grandest of armies! O bravest of bands!
We give you a cordial greeting,
And the blood of our warm hearts beats in the hands
That are offered to you in meeting.
The heart of a Templar is never cold,
Nor stands it aloof from a brother,
And his hand is steady, and always ready
To clasp the hand of another.
In God's great Book, where but angels look,
On pages of spotless beauty
Are written in letters of living light
A Templar's vow and his duty.
'For ever and ever,' the promise reads,
For ever and ever 'twas given.
And who keeps or breaks the pledge that he takes
Must meet the record in heaven.
Our order is noble and grand and strong,
And is gathering strength each hour,
And the good of the earth proclaim its worth,
While the foe turns pale at its power.
And we of the State that men call great,
The nation's brave 'Badger' daughter,
Step by step as we go, are defeating the foe,
While we add to the hosts of cold water.
With a chief at our head whom the foe may well dread,
The Sherman or Grant of our battles,
By day and by night we fight the good fight,
Though never a cannon rattles.
For the tongue and the pen are the swords of our men,
And prayer keeps them whetted and polished;
They will let God's light in on the foe's licensed sin,
Till the traffic of death is abolished.
With cunning hands we fashioned the strands
Of a stout restraining tether,
To fasten the beast, for a season at least,
And our statesmen tied it together.
The beast strains the rope with the idle hope
Of making it weaker or longer,
But the Templars to-day are working away
To make it shorter and stronger.
We give you greeting-we need your aid!
There is work for many a morrow,
There are beautiful souls going down in the bowls,
There are homes that are burdened with sorrow,
There are mourning captives all over the earth,
Hugging the fetters that bind them.
We must show them the light, we must set them aright,
We must work for them all as we find them.
With a soaring 'Faith,' that is stronger than death,
We must work while the day hangs o'er us.
We are brave and strong, and our battle-song
Has 'Hope' for the ringing chorus.
With 'Charity' broad as the mercy of God,
We must lift up the fallen neighbor,
And the Lord's dear band, in the angel land,
Will smile on our blesséd labor.
Welcome, brave warriors in God's holy cause!
The hearts in our bosoms are beating
As one heart to-night, filled with pride and delight-
Welcome, thrice welcome, our greeting.
And though soon between will lie long miles of green,
Though oceans divide us for ever,
The ties which now bind heart with heart, mind with mind,
The hand of Death only can sever.