Where is thy dwelling-place? Echo of sweetness,
   Seraph of tenderness, where is thy home?
Angel of happiness, herald of fleetness,
   Thou hast the key of the star-blazon'd dome.
   Where lays that never end
   Up to God's throne ascend,
And our fond heart-wishes lovingly throng,
   Soaring with thee above,
   Bearer of truth and love,
Teacher of heaven's tongue -- Spirit of Song!

Euphony, born in the realms of the tearless,
   Mingling thy notes with the voices of Earth;
Wanting thee, all would be dreary and cheerless,
   Weaver of harmony, giver of mirth.
   Comfort of child and sage,
   With us in youth and age,
Soothing the weak and inspiring the strong,
   Illuming the blackest night,
   Making the day more bright,
Oh! thou art dear to us, Spirit of Song!

Oft in the springtime, sweet words of affection
   Are whispered by thee in thy tenderest tone,
And in the winter dark clouds of dejection
   By thee are dispelled till all sorrow has flown.
   Thou'rt with the zephyrs low,
   And with the brooklet's flow,
And with the feathered choir all the year long;
   Happy each child of thine,
   Blest with thy gifts divine,
Charming our senses, sweet Spirit of Song!

Nigh the cross with sorrow laden,
Weeping stood the Mother-maiden
While her Son in torment hung:
Sadly moaning, deeply wailing,
Now the cruel sword prevailing
Pierced her soul with anguish wrung.

Oh how sad that spirit lowly,
Blessèd Virgin, pure and holy,
Mother of the Only-born.
She with bitter grief and sighing,
Piteous Mother of the dying,
Saw her son with anguish torn.

Who could, tearless, thus behold her,
While such agonies enfold her,
Mother of the Crucified?
Who could see the Christ before him
See his Mother grieving o'er Him,
And unpitying turn aside?

In His torment she beheld Him,
While the cruel scourge compelled Him
Others' sins to expiate,
Saw her Son so meek and tender
Forth His stainless spirit render,
Hers, yet dying desolate.

Mother, fount of all affection,
Let me, bowed in sore dejection,
Share the grief and bear the rod.
Let my soul with ardour glowing,
Hence abound to overflowing
With the love of Christ my God.

Holy Mother, pierce my spirit
With the wounds for my demerit
Borne upon the accursed tree.
Let me, keenly sympathising,
Feel the torment agonising,
Of the cross endured for me.

Tear for tear, thy sorrow bearing,
Be it mine, thine anguish sharing,
While I live to weep with thee,
With thee at the cross abiding,

With thee mournful watch dividing,
This I ask thee tearfully.

Virgin, virgins all excelling,
May my spirit near thee dwelling,
Feel thy bitter grief its own;
Share the Saviour's dark affliction,
Passion, scourge, and crucifixion,
Pang for pang and groan for groan.

Pierce me till my spirit bleedeth,
Pierce me till my sense recedeth,
Blood-enraptured clean away.
Virgin blest when time is ended,
Be my soul by thee defended,
In the dreadful Judgment Day

Christ, when hence my soul is fleeting,
Through thy mother mercy meeting,
Be the palm of victory given.
When this mortal bond shall sever,
Take my spirit home for ever,
To the glorious rest of Heaven.

Quart Pot Creek

On an evening ramble lately, as I wandered on sedately,
Linking curious fancies, modern, mediaeval, and antique—
Suddenly the sun descended, and a radiance ruby-splendid,
With the gleam of water blended, thrilled my sensitive physique—
Thrilled me, filled me with emotion to the tips of my physique,
Fired my eye, and flushed my cheek.

Heeding not where I was going, I had wandered, all unknowing,
Where a river gently flowing caught the radiant ruby-streak;
And this new-found stream beguiling my sedateness into smiling,
Set me classically styling it with Latin names and Greek,
Names Idalian and Castalian, such as lovers of the Greek
Roll like quids within their cheek.

On its marge was many a burrow, many a mound, and many a furrow,
Where the fossickers of fortune play at Nature's hide-and-seek;
And instead of bridge to span it, there were stepping-stones of granite,
And where'er the river ran, it seemed of hidden wealth to speak.
Presently my soul grew stronger, and I, too, was fain to speak:—
I assumed a pose plastique.

“Stream,” said I, “I'll celebrate thee! Rhymes and rhythms galore await thee!
In the weekly ‘poet's corner’ I'll a niche for thee bespeak:
But, to aid my lucubration, thou must tell thine appellation,
Tell thy Naiad-designation—for the journal of next week—
Give thy sweet Pactolian title to my poem of next week.
Whisper, whisper it—in Greek!”

But the river gave no token, and the name remained unspoken,
Though I kept apostrophising till my voice became a shriek;—
When there hove in sight the figure of a homeward veering digger,
Looming big, and looming bigger, and ejecting clouds of reek—
In fuliginous advance emitting clouds of noisome reek
From a tube beneath his beak.

“Neighbour mine,” said I, “and miner,”—here I showed a silver shiner—
“For a moment, and for sixpence, take thy pipe from out thy cheek.
This the guerdon of thy fame is; very cheap indeed the same is;
Tell me only what the name is—('tis the stream whereof I speak)—
Name the Naiad-name Pactolian! Digger, I adjure thee, speak!”
Quoth the digger, “Quart Pot Creek.”

Oh, Pol! Edepol! Mecastor! Oh most luckless poetaster!
I went home a trifle faster in a twitter of a pique;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living rhyming being
Ever yet was cursed with seeing, in his poem for the week,

Brook or river made immortal in his poem for the week,
With such name as “Quart Pot Creek!”

* * * * *
But the river, never minding, still is winding, still is winding,
By the gardens where the Mongol tends the cabbage and the leek;
And the ruby radiance nightly touches it with farewell lightly,
But the name sticks to it tightly,—and this sensitive physique,
The already-mentioned (vide supra) sensitive physique,
Shudders still at “Quart Pot Creek!”

Johnsonian Address

.“Let observation with extensive view
“Survey mankind from China to Peru”—
(And whence—permit me in parenthesis
To ask—on such historic night as this
Could one more fitly, seasonably, quote
Than from some page that Samuel Johnson wrote,
Our Godsire, in the honoured name of whom
This feast we spread, this temple we illume,
These long church wardens we)—but to resume—
“Let observation with extensive view
“Survey mankind from China to Peru,”
And judgment following observation try
Those countless multitudes to classify.
Camper, and Blumenbach, and Cuvier too,
Surveyed mankind from China to Peru,
And many a savant of more modern fame
With the same end in view has done the same
Seeking some formula that should embrace
The thousandfold divisions of the race—
And yet the theme grows more and more occult,
For each presents a different result.

Let us essay the task.—Imprimis, quit
Their uncouth jargon that but darkens wit.
What least pretence of light can mortal see
In “Dioscurian Mongolidae?”
What help in “Xanthochroic” can be found?
Is “Hyperborean Samoeid” aught but sound?
“Dolichocephalic” 's a wild guffaw,
“Orthognathous” and “Prognathous”—mere jaw.
Not ours to come to grief upon the rocks
Of groups and families and unplaced stocks,
Branches, varieties and sub-varieties
That only swell their total of dubieties—
But, as of old the Gentile and the Jew
Made up the whole world in the Hebrew view,
So we (to-night at least) will hold it true
That all mankind divides itself in two—
Two classes only form the race of man—


And we, the Hebrews of this later day—
“The Chosen People,” one might fitlier say—
We, too, have wandered in the wilderness
For many a year without a fixed address—
(I do not say “the Wilderness of Sin;”
The cases are sufficiently akin
Without that detail being counted in)—
We, too, from shifting stage to shifting stage
Have plodded through our thirsty pilgrimage,
A tabernacular existence led
(As our sonorous godsire would have said);
From well to well—at least from pub. to pub.—
We've humped the sacred Lares of the Club,
Still keeping, like the Jew, a hopeful eye
Upon the Promised Land of by-and-by.

And now, when twenty homeless years have passed,
Behold us in that Promised Land at last,
Vagrants no more, but making jubilee
Under our own vine and our own figtree.
But here the parallel fails.—Unlike the Jew,
We have not played the privative cuckoo;
We've turned no Gentile fledgling from its nest,
No Non-Johnsonian fowl have dispossessed;
We have ourselves the twigs and mosses laid—
In point of fact, our home is pure home-made.

But “twigs and mosses!” What a sorry trope
For this grand culmination of our hope—
This lordly pleasure-house that we have built—
This brave o'erhanging wonderment of gilt—
This spacious hall, where festival is graced
With all the garniture of art and taste,
Rich with pictorial treasures that display
Whatever portraiture can well portray,
From grisly Johnson in his suit of snuff
To simpering Chloe in her native buff—
Those cloisters, in whose tesselated aisles
Sits Nicotina wreathed in vaporous smiles—
This billiard-chamber where our privileged ears
May hear all night the music of the spheres—
This salle de lecture, this ideal bar,
Where shipwreck lurks not, where no sirens are—
This whole substantial fabric of no dream
But solid brick and perdurable beam!

But what if, sloughing off the things that were,
We shed the old Johnsonian character?
If this migration to a home delectable
Should land us in the groove of the Respectable?
Oh, never may we shame our godsire thus!
Still let his golden words appeal to us,
“I'm with you, boys,” when in the midnight dark
His roystering comrades roused him for a lark;
“I'm with you, boys,” he answered with delight,
And Heaven alone knows what they did that night!
Still may these royal words define the true
Johnsonian temperament and point of view;
Still walk we in the old Johnsonian road,
“I'm with you, boys,” our motto and our code;
Still be our virtues in this order reckoned—
Fellowship first, Decorum a bad second.

Nor fear that moral poison lurks herein—
Desipere in loco isn't Sin;
Take him for type who, Wisdom's hierarch,
Retained the relish of the midnight lark;
Take this for counsel, keep it to the letter—
Be good as Johnson—but, oh, don't be better!

So walking in the light his spirit sheds,
This gilded splendour will not turn our heads;
So to the Gentile scorner who would say
That luxury is the herald of decay,
Our answer, framed in fashion old and famous,
Shall be “Domum, non animum, mutamus!”

Universally Respected

Biggs was missing: Biggs had vanished; all the town was in a ferment;
For if ever man was looked to for an edifying end,
With due mortuary outfit, and a popular interment,
It was Biggs, the universal guide, philosopher, and friend.

But the man had simply vanished; speculation wove no tissue
That would hold a drop of water; each new theoryfell flat.
It was most unsatisfactory, and hanging on the issue
Were a thousand wagers, ranging from a “pony” to a hat.

Not a trace could search discover in the township or without it,
And the river had been dragged from morn till night with no avail.
His continuity had ceased, and that was all about it,
And there wasn't even a grease-spot left behind to tell the tale.
That so staid a man as Biggs was should be swallowed up in mystery
Lent an increment to wonder—he who trod no doubtful paths,
But stood square to his surroundings, with no cloud upon his history,
As the much-respected lessee of the Corporation Baths.

His affairs were all in order: since the year the alligator
With a startled river bather made attempt to coalesce,
The resulting wave of decency had greater grown and greater,
And the Corporation Baths had been a marvellous success.

Nor could trouble in the household solve the riddle of his clearance,
For his bride was now in heaven, and the issue of the match
Was a patient drudge whose virtues were as plain as her appearance—
Just the sort whereto no scandal could conceivably attach.

So the Whither and the Why alike mysterious were counted;
And as Faith steps in to aid where baffled Reason must retire,
There were those averred so good a man as Biggs might well have mounted
Up to glory like Elijah in a chariot of fire!

For indeed he was a good man; when he sat beside the portal
Of the Bath-house at his pigeon-hole, a saint within a frame,
We used to think his face was as the face of an immortal,
As he handed us our tickets, and took payment for the same.

And, oh, the sweet advice with which he made of such occasion
A duplicate detergent for our morals and our limbs—
For he taught us that decorum was the essence of salvation,
And that cleanliness and godliness were merely synonyms;

But that open-air ablution in the river was a treason
To the purer instincts, fit for dogs and aborigines,
And that wrath at such misconduct was the providential reason
For the jaws of alligators and the tails of stingarees.

But, alas, our friend was gone, our guide, philosopher, and tutor,
And we doubled our potations, just to clear the inner view;
But we only saw the darklier through the bottom of the pewter,
And the mystery seemed likewise to be multiplied by two.

And the worst was that our failure to unriddle the enigma
In the “rags” of rival towns was made a by-word and a scoff,
Till each soul in the community felt branded with the stigma
Of the unexplained damnation of poor Biggs's taking off.

So a dozen of us rose and swore this thing should be no longer:
Though the means that Nature furnished had been tried without result,
There were forces supersensual that higher were and stronger,
And with consentaneous clamour we pronounced for the occult.

Then Joe Thomson slung a tenner, and Jack Robinson a tanner,
And each according to his means respectively disbursed;
And a letter in your humble servant's most seductive manner
Was despatched to Sludge the Medium, recently of Darlinghurst.

“I am Biggs,” the spirit said ('t was through the medium's lips he said it;
But the voice that spoke, the accent, too, were Biggs's very own,
Be it, therefore, not set down to our unmerited discredit
That collectively we sickened as we recognized the tone).
“From a saurian interior, Christian friends, I now address you”—
(And “Oh heaven!” or its correlative, groaned shudderingly we)—
“While there yet remains a scrap of my identity, for, bless you,
This ungodly alligator's fast assimilating me.

“For although through nine abysmal days I've fought with his digestion,
Being hostile to his processes and loth to pulpify,
It is rapidly becoming a most complicated question
How much of me is crocodile, how much of him is I.

“And, oh, my friends, 'tis sorrow's crown of sorrow to remember
That this sacrilegious reptile owed me nought but gratitude,
For I bought him from a showman twenty years since come November,
And I dropped him in the river for his own and others' good.

“It had grieved me that the spouses of our townsmen, and their daughters,
Should be shocked by river bathers and their indecorous ways
So I cast my bread—that is, my alligator—on the waters,

And I found it, in a credit balance, after many days.

“Years I waited, but at last there came the rumour long expected,
And the out-of-door ablutionists forsook their wicked paths,
And the issues of my handiwork divinely were directed
In a constant flow of custom to the Corporation Baths.

‘'Twas a weakling when I bought it; 'twas so young that you could pet it;
But with all its disadvantages I reckoned it would do;
And it did: Oh, lay the moral well to heart and don't forget it—
Put decorum first, and all things shall be added unto you.

“Lies! all lies! I've done with virtue. Why should I be interested
In the cause of moral progress that I served so long in vain,
When the fifteen hundred odd I've so judiciously invested
Will but go to pay the debts of some young rip who marries Jane?

“But the reptile overcomes me; my identity is sinking;
Let me hasten to the finish; let my words be few and fit.
I was walking by the river in the starry silence, thinking
Of what Providence had done for me, and I had done for it;

“I had reached the saurian's rumoured haunt, where oft in fatal folly
I had dropped garotted dogs to keep his carnal craving up”
(Said Joe Thomson, in a whisper, “That explains my Highland collie!”
Said Bob Williams, sotto voce, “That explains my Dandy pup!”)

“I had passed to moral questions, and found comfort in the notion
That fools are none the worse for things not being what they seem,
When, behold, a seeming log became instinct with life and motion,
And with sudden curvature of tail upset me in the stream.

“Then my leg, as in a vice”—But here the revelation faltered,
And the medium rose and shook himself, remarking with a smile
That the requisite conditions were irrevocably altered,
For the personality of Biggs was lost in crocodile.

* * * * *
Now, whether Sludge's story would succeed in holding water
Is more, perhaps, than one has any business to expect;
But I know that on the strength of it I married Biggs's daughter,
And I found a certain portion of the narrative correct.