Death Of The Old Sea King
'Twas a fearful night -- the tempest raved
With loud and wrathful pride,
The storm-king harnessed his lightning steeds,
And rode on the raging tide.
The sea-king lay on his bed of death,
Pale mourners around him bent;
They knew the wild and fitful life
Of their chief was almost spent.
His ear was growing dull in death
When the angry storm he heard,
The sluggish blood in the old man's veins
With sudden vigor stirred.
"I hear them call," cried the dying man,
His eyes grew full of light;
"Now bring me here my warrior robes,
My sword and armor bright.
"In the tempest's lull I heard a voice,
I knew 'twas Odin's call.
The Valkyrs are gathering round my bed
To lead me unto his hall.
"Bear me unto my noblest ship,
Light up a funeral pyre;
I'll walk to the palace of the braves
Through a path of flame and fire."
Oh! wild and bright was the stormy light
That flashed from the old man's eye,
As they bore him from the couch of death
To his battle-ship to die,
And lit with many a mournful torch
The sea-king's dying bed,
And like a banner fair and bright
The flames around him spread.
But they heard no cry of anguish
Break through that fiery wall,
With rigid brow and silent lips
He was seeking Odin's hall.
Through a path of fearful splendor,
While strong men held their breath,
The brave old man went boldly forth
And calmly talked with death.
Do Not Cheer, Men Are Dying, Said Capt. Phillips
Do not cheer, for men are dying
From their distant homes in pain;
And the restless sea is darkened
By a flood of crimson rain.
Do not cheer, for anxious mothers
Wait and watch in lonely dread;
Vainly waiting for the footsteps
Never more their paths to tread.
Do not cheer, while little children
Gather round the widowed wife,
Wondering why an unknown people
Sought their own dear father's life.
Do not cheer, for aged fathers
Bend above their staves and weep,
While the ocean sings the requiem
Where their fallen children sleep.
Do not cheer, for lips are paling
On which lay the mother's kiss;
'Mid the dreadful roar of battle
How that mother's hand they miss!
Do not cheer: once joyous maidens,
Who the mazy dance did tread,
Bow their heads in bitter anguish,
Mourning o'er their cherished dead.
Do not cheer while maid and matron
In this strife must bear a part;
While the blow that strikes a soldier
Reaches to some woman's heart.
Do not cheer till arbitration
O'er the nations holds its sway,
And the century now closing
Ushers in a brighter day.
Do not cheer until the nation
Shall more wise and thoughtful grow
Than to staunch a stream of sorrow
By an avalanche of woe.
Do not cheer until each nation
Sheathes the sword and blunts the spear,
And we sing aloud for gladness:
Lo, the reign of Christ is here,
And the banners of destruction
From the battlefield are furled,
And the peace of God descending
Rests upon a restless world.
The Present Age
Say not the age is hard and cold-
I think it brave and grand;
When men of diverse sects and creeds
Are clasping hand in hand.
The Parsee from his sacred fires
Beside the Christian kneels;
And clearer light to Islam's eyes
The word of Christ reveals.
The Brahmin from his distant home
Brings thoughts of ancient lore;
The Bhuddist breaking bonds of caste
Divides mankind no more.
The meek-eyed sons of far Cathay
Are welcome round the board;
Not greed, nor malice drives away
These children of our Lord.
And Judah from whose trusted hands
Came oracles divine;
Now sits with those around whose hearts
The light of God doth shine.
Japan unbars her long sealed gates
From islands far away;
Her sons are lifting up their eyes
To greet the coming day.
The Indian child from forests wild
Has learned to read and pray;
The tomahawk and scalping knife
From him have passed away.
From centuries of servile toil
The Negro finds release,
And builds the fanes of prayer and praise
Unto the God of Peace.
England and Russia face to face
With Central Asia meet;
And on the far Pacific coast,
Chinese and natives greet.
Crusaders once with sword and shield
The Holy Land to save;
From Moslem hands did strive to clutch
The dear Redeemer's grave.
A battle greater, grander far
Is for the present age;
A crusade for the rights of man
To brighten history's page.
Where labor faints and bows her head,
And want consorts with crime;
Or men grown faithless sadly say
That evil is the time.
There is the field, the vantage ground
For every earnest heart;
To side with justice, truth and right
And act a noble part.
To save from ignorance and vice
The poorest, humblest child;
To make our age the fairest one
On which the sun has smiled;
To plant the roots of coming years
In mercy, love and truth;
And bid our weary, saddened earth
Again renew her youth.
Oh! earnest hearts! toil on in hope,
'Till darkness shrinks from light;
To fill the earth with peace and joy,
Let youth and age unite:
To stay the floods of sin and shame
That sweep from shore to shore;
And furl the banners stained with blood,
'Till war shall be no more.
Blame not the age, nor think it full
Of evil and unrest;
But say of every other age,
'This one shall be the best.'
The age to brighten every path
By sin and sorrow trod;
For loving hearts to usher in
The commonwealth of God.