By W—ll—m C—wp—r.
'Tis evening. See with its resorting throng
Rude Carfax teems, and waistcoats, visited
With too-familiar elbow, swell the curse
Vortiginous. The boating man returns,
His rawness growing with experience—
Strange union! and directs the optic glass
Not unresponsive to Jemima's charms,
Who wheels obdurate, in his mimic chaise
Perambulant, the child. The gouty cit,
Asthmatical, with elevated cane
Pursues the unregarding tram, as one
Who, having heard a hurdy-gurdy, girds
His loins and hunts the hurdy-gurdy-man,
Blaspheming. Now the clangorous bell proclaims
The Times or Chronicle, and Rauca screams
The latest horrid murder in the ear
Of nervous dons expectant of the urn
And mild domestic muffin.
To the Parks
Drags the slow Ladies' School, consuming time
In passing given points. Here glow the lamps,
And tea-spoons clatter to the cosy hum
Of scientific circles. Here resounds
The football-field with its discordant train,
The crowd that cheers but not discriminates,
As ever into touch the ball returns
And shrieks the whistle, while the game proceeds
With fine irregularity well worth
The paltry shilling.—
Draw the curtains close
While I resume the night-cap dear to all
Familiar with my illustrated works.

Upon Eckington Bridge, River Avon

O pastoral heart of England! like a psalm
Of green days telling with a quiet beat-
O wave into the sunset flowing calm!
O tirèd lark descending on the wheat!
Lies it all peace beyond the western fold
Where now the lingering shepherd sees his star
Rise upon Malvern? Paints an Age of Gold
Yon cloud with prophecies of linkèd ease-
Lulling this Land, with hills drawn up like knees,
To drowse beside her implements of war?

Man shall outlast his battles. They have swept
Avon from Naseby Field to Savern Ham;
And Evesham's dedicated stones have stepp'd
Down to the dust with Montfort's oriflamme.
Nor the red tear nor the reflected tower
Abides; but yet these elegant grooves remain,
Worn in the sandstone parapet hour by hour
By labouring bargemen where they shifted ropes;
E'en so shall men turn back from violent hopes
To Adam's cheer, and toil with spade again.

Ay, and his mother Nature, to whose lap
Like a repentant child at length he hies,
Nor in the whirlwind or the thunder-clap
Proclaims her more tremendous mysteries:
But when in winter's grave, bereft of light,
With still, small voice divinelier whispering
-Lifting the green head of the aconite,
Feeding with sap of hope the hazel-shoot-
She feels God's finger active at the root,
Turns in her sleep, and murmurs of the Spring.

Unity Put Quarterly

By A. C. S.
The Centuries kiss and commingle,
Cling, clasp, and are knit in a chain;
No cycle but scorns to be single,
No two but demur to be twain,
'Till the land of the lute and the love-tale
Be bride of the boreal breast,
And the dawn with the darkness shall dovetail,
The East with the West.
The desire of the grey for the dun nights
Is that of the dun for the grey;
The tales of the Thousand and One Nights
Touch lips with 'The Times' of to-day.—
Come, chasten the cheap with the classic;
Choose, Churton, thy chair and thy class,
Mix, melt in the must that is Massic
The beer that is Bass!
Omnipotent age of the Aorist!
Infinitely freely exact!—
As the fragrance of fiction is fairest
If frayed in the furnace of fact—
Though nine be the Muses in number
There is hope if the handbook be one,—
Dispelling the planets that cumber
The path of the sun.
Though crimson thy hands and thy hood be
With the blood of a brother betrayed,
O Would-be-Professor of Would-be,
We call thee to bless and to aid.
Transmuted would travel with Er, see
The Land of the Rolling of Logs,
Charmed, chained to thy side, as to Circe
The Ithacan hogs.
O bourne of the black and the godly!
O land where the good niggers go.
With the books that are borrowed of Bodley,
Old moons and our castaway clo'!
There, there, till the roses be ripened
Rebuke us, revile, and review,
Then take thee thine annual stipend
So long over-due.

Know you her secret none can utter?
Hers of the Book, the tripled Crown?
Still on the spire the pigeons flutter,
Still by the gateway flits the gown;
Still on the street, from corbel and gutter,
Faces of stone look down.

Faces of stone, and stonier faces—
Some from library windows wan
Forth on her gardens, her green spaces,
Peer and turn to their books anon.
Hence, my Muse, from the green oases
Gather the tent, begone!
Nay, should she by the pavement linger
Under the rooms where once she played,
Who from the feast would rise to fling her
One poor sou for her serenade?
One short laugh for the antic finger
Thrumming a lute-string frayed?
Once, my dear—but the world was young then—
Magdalen elms and Trinity limes—
Lissom the blades and the backs that swung then,
Eight good men in the good old times—
Careless we, and the chorus flung then
Under St Mary's chimes!

Reins lay loose and the ways led random—
Christ Church meadow and Iffley track,
'Idleness horrid and dog-cart' (tandem),
Aylesbury grind and Bicester pack—
Pleasant our lines, and faith! we scanned 'em:
Having that artless knack.
Come, old limmer, the times grow colder;
Leaves of the creeper redden and fall.

Was it a hand then clapped my shoulder?—
Only the wind by the chapel wall!
Dead leaves drift on the lute… So, fold her
Under the faded shawl.

Never we wince, though none deplore us,
We who go reaping that we sowed;
Cities at cock-crow wake before us—
Hey, for the lilt of the London road!
One look back, and a rousing chorus!
Never a palinode!

Still on her spire the pigeons hover;
Still by her gateway haunts the gown.
Ah! but her secret? You, young lover,
Drumming her old ones forth from town,
Know you the secret none discover?
Tell it—when you go down.
Yet if at length you seek her, prove her,
Lean to her whispers never so nigh;

Yet if at last not less her lover
You in your hansom leave the High;
Down from her towers a ray shall hover—
Touch you, a passer-by!

Friend, old friend in the Manse by the fireside sitting,
Hour by hour while the grey ash drips from the log;
You with a book on your knee, your wife with her knitting,
Silent both, and between you, silent, the dog.

Silent here in the south sit I; and, leaning,
One sits watching the fire, with chin upon hand;
Gazes deep in its heart--but ah! its meaning
Rather I read in the shadows and understand.

Dear, kind she is; and daily dearer, kinder,
Love shuts the door on the lamp and our two selves:

Not my stirring awakened the flame that behind her
Lit up a face in the leathern dusk of the shelves.

Veterans are my books, with tarnished gilding:
Yet there is one gives back to the winter grate
Gold of a sunset flooding a college building,
Gold of an hour I waited--as now I wait--

For a light step on the stair, a girl's low laughter,
Rustle of silk, shy knuckles tapping the oak,
Dinner and mirth upsetting my rooms and, after,
Music, waltz upon waltz, till the June day broke.

Where is her laughter now? Old tarnished covers--
You that reflect her with fresh young face unchanged--
Tell that we met, that we parted, not as lovers;
Time, chance, brought us together, and these estranged.

Loyal were we to the mood of the moment granted,
Bruised not its bloom, but danced on the wave of its joy;
Passion--wisdom--fell back like a fence enchanted,
Ringing a floor for us both--whole Heaven for the boy!

Where is she now? Regretted not, though departed,
Blessings attend and follow her all her days!
--Look to your hound: he dreams of the hares he started,
Whines, and awakes, and stretches his limbs to the blaze.

Far old friend in the Manse, by the green ash peeling
Flake by flake from the heat in the Yule log's core,
Look past the woman you love. On wall and ceiling
Climbs not a trellis of roses--and ghosts--of yore?

Thoughts, thoughts! Whistle them back like hounds returning--
Mark how her needles pause at a sound upstairs.
Time for bed, and to leave the log's heart burning!
Give ye good-night, but first thank God in your prayers!

Anecdote For Fathers

By the late W. W. (of H.M. Inland Revenue Service).
And is it so? Can Folly stalk
And aim her unrespecting darts
In shades where grave Professors walk
And Bachelors of Arts?
I have a boy, not six years old,
A sprite of birth and lineage high:
His birth I did myself behold,
His caste is in his eye.
And oh! his limbs are full of grace,
His boyish beauty past compare:
His mother's joy to wash his face,
And mine to brush his hair!
One morn we strolled on our short walk,
With four goloshes on our shoes,
And held the customary talk
That parents love to use.
(And oft I turn it into verse,
And write it down upon a page,
Which, being sold, supplies my purse
And ministers to age.)
So as we paced the curving High,
To view the sights of Oxford town
We raised our feet (like Nelly Bly),
And then we put them down.
'Now, little Edward, answer me'—
I said, and clutched him by the gown—
'At Cambridge would you rather be,
Or here in Oxford town?'
My boy replied with tiny frown
(He'd been a year at Cavendish),
'I'd rather dwell in Oxford town,
If I could have my wish.'
'Now, little Edward, say why so;
My little Edward, tell me why.'
'Well, really, Pa, I hardly know.'
'Remarkable!' said I:
'For Cambridge has her 'King's Parade,'
And much the more becoming gown;
Why should you slight her so,' I said,
'Compared with Oxford town?'
At this my boy hung down his head,
While sterner grew the parent's eye;
And six-and-thirty times I said,
'Come, Edward, tell me why?'
For I loved Cambridge (where they deal—
How strange!—in butter by the yard);
And so, with every third appeal,
I hit him rather hard.
Twelve times I struck, as may be seen
(For three times twelve is thirty-six),
When in a shop the Magazine
His tearful sight did fix.
He saw it plain, it made him smile,
And thus to me he made reply:—
'At Oxford there's a Crocodile;
And that's the reason why.'
Oh, Mr. Editor! my heart
For deeper lore would seldom yearn,
Could I believe the hundredth part
Of what from you I learn.

After C. S. C.
When the hunter-star Orion
(Or, it may be, Charles his Wain)
Tempts the tiny elves to try on
All their little tricks again;
When the earth is calmly breathing
Draughts of slumber undefiled,
And the sire, unused to teething,
Seeks for errant pins his child;
When the moon is on the ocean,
And our little sons and heirs
From a natural emotion
Wish the luminary theirs;
Then a feeling hard to stifle,
Even harder to define,
Makes me feel I 'd give a trifle
For the days of Auld Lang Syne.
James—for we have been as brothers
(Are, to speak correctly, twins),
Went about in one another's
Clothing, bore each other's sins,
Rose together, ere the pearly
Tint of morn had left the heaven,
And retired (absurdly early)
Simultaneously at seven—
James, the days of yore were pleasant.
Sweet to climb for alien pears
Till the irritated peasant
Came and took us unawares;
Sweet to devastate his chickens,
As the ambush'd catapult
Scattered, and the very dickens
Was the natural result;
Sweet to snare the thoughtless rabbit;
Break the next-door neighbour's pane;
Cultivate the smoker's habit
On the not-innocuous cane;
Leave the exercise unwritten;
Systematically cut
Morning school, to plunge the kitten
In his bath, the water-butt.
Age, my James, that from the cheek of
Beauty steals its rosy hue,
Has not left us much to speak of:
But 'tis not for this I rue.
Beauty with its thousand graces,
Hair and tints that will not fade,
You may get from many places
Practically ready-made.
No; it is the evanescence
Of those lovelier tints of Hope—
Bubbles, such as adolescence
Joys to win from melted soap—
Emphasizing the conclusion
That the dreams of Youth remain
Castles that are An delusion
(Castles, that's to say, in Spain).
Age thinks 'fit,' and I say 'fiat.'
Here I stand for Fortune's butt,
As for Sunday swains to shy at
Stands the stoic coco-nut.
If you wish it put succinctly,
Gone are all our little games;
But I thought I 'd say distinctly
What I feel about it, James.

Down the green hill-side fro' the castle window
Lady Jane spied Bill Amaranth a-workin';
Day by day watched him go about his ample
Nursery garden.
Cabbages thriv'd there, wi' a mort o' green-stuff—
Kidney beans, broad beans, onions, tomatoes,
Artichokes, seakale, vegetable marrows,
Early potatoes.
Lady Jane cared not very much for all these:
What she cared much for was a glimpse o' Willum
Strippin' his brown arms wi' a view to horti-
—Cultural effort.
Little guessed Willum, never extra-vain, that
Up the green hill-side, i' the gloomy castle,
Feminine eyes could so delight to view his
Noble proportions.
Only one day while, in an innocent mood,
Moppin' his brow ('cos 'twas a trifle sweaty)
With a blue kerchief—lo, he spies a white 'un
Coyly responding.
Oh, delightsome Love! Not a jot do you care
For the restrictions set on human inter-
-course by cold-blooded social refiners;
Nor do I, neither.
Day by day, peepin' fro' behind the bean-sticks,
Willum observed that scrap o' white a-wavin',
Till his hot sighs out-growin' all repression
Busted his weskit.
Lady Jane's guardian was a haughty Peer, who
Clung to old creeds and had a nasty temper;
Can we blame Willum that he hardly cared to
Risk a refusal?
Year by year found him busy 'mid the bean-sticks,
Wholly uncertain how on earth to take steps.
Thus for eighteen years he beheld the maiden
Wave fro' her window.
But the nineteenth spring, i' the Castle post-bag,
Came by book-post Bill's catalogue o' seedlings
Mark'd wi' blue ink at 'Paragraphs relatin'
Mainly to Pumpkins.'
'W. A. can,' so the Lady Jane read,
'Strongly commend that very noble Gourd, the
Lady Jane, first-class medal, ornamental;
Grows to a great height.'
Scarce a year arter, by the scented hedgerows—
Down the mown hill-side, fro' the castle gateway—
Came a long train and, i' the midst, a black bier,
Easily shouldered.
'Whose is yon corse that, thus adorned wi' gourd-leaves,
Forth ye bear with slow step?' A mourner answer'd,
''Tis the poor clay-cold body Lady Jane grew
Tired to abide in.'
'Delve my grave quick, then, for I die to-morrow.
Delve it one furlong fro' the kidney bean-sticks,
Where I may dream she's goin' on precisely
As she was used to.'
Hardly died Bill when, fro' the Lady Jane's grave,
Crept to his white death-bed a lovely pumpkin:
Climb'd the house wall and over-arched his head wi'
Billowy verdure.
Simple this tale!—but delicately perfumed
As the sweet roadside honeysuckle. That's why,
Difficult though its metre was to tackle,
I'm glad I wrote it.

After W. M. P.
Dear Kitty,
At length the term's ending;
I 'm in for my Schools in a week;
And the time that at present I'm spending
On you should be spent upon Greek:
But I'm fairly well read in my Plato,
I'm thoroughly red in the eyes,
And I've almost forgotten the way to
Be healthy and wealthy and wise.
So 'the best of all ways'—why repeat you
The verse at 2.30 a.m.,
When I 'm stealing an hour to entreat you
Dear Kitty, to come to Commem.?
Oh, come! You shall rustle in satin
Through halls where Examiners trod:
Your laughter shall triumph o'er Latin
In lecture-room, garden, and quad.
They stand in the silent Sheldonian—
Our orators, waiting—for you,
Their style guaranteed Ciceronian,
Their subject—'the Ladies in Blue.'
The Vice sits arrayed in his scarlet;
He's pale, but they say he dissem-
-bles by calling his Beadle a 'varlet'
Whenever he thinks of Commem.
There are dances, flirtations at Nuneham,
Flower-shows, the procession of Eights:
There's a list stretching usque ad Lunam
Of concerts, and lunches, and fetes:
There's the Newdigate all about 'Gordon,'
—So sweet, and they say it will scan.
You shall flirt with a Proctor, a Warden
Shall run for your shawl and your fan.
They are sportive as gods broken loose from
Olympus, and yet very em-
-inent men. There are plenty to choose from,
You'll find, if you come to Commem.
I know your excuses: Red Sorrel
Has stumbled and broken her knees;
Aunt Phoebe thinks waltzing immoral;
And 'Algy, you are such a tease;
It's nonsense, of course, but she is strict';
And little Dick Hodge has the croup;
And there's no one to visit your 'district'
Or make Mother Tettleby's soup.
Let them cease for a se'nnight to plague you;
Oh, leave them to manage pro tem.
With their croups and their soups and their ague)
Dear Kitty, and come to Commem.
Don't tell me Papa has lumbago,
That you haven't a frock fit to wear,
That the curate 'has notions, and may go
To lengths if there's nobody there,'
That the Squire has 'said things' to the Vicar,
And the Vicar 'had words' with the Squire,
That the Organist's taken to liquor,
And leaves you to manage the choir:
For Papa must be cured, and the curate
Coerced, and your gown is a gem;
And the moral is—Don't be obdurate,
Dear Kitty, but come to Commem.
'My gown? Though, no doubt, sir, you're clever,
You 'd better leave fashions alone.
Do you think that a frock lasts for ever?'
Dear Kitty, I'll grant you have grown;
But I thought of my 'scene' with McVittie
That night when he trod on your train
At the Bachelor's Ball. ''Twas a pity,'
You said, but I knew 'twas Champagne.
And your gown was enough to compel me
To fall down and worship its hem—
(Are 'hems' wearing? If not, you shall tell me
What is, when you come to Commem.)
Have you thought, since that night, of the Grotto?
Of the words whispered under the palms,
While the minutes flew by and forgot to
Remind us of Aunt and her qualms?
Of the stains of the old Journalisten?
Of the rose that I begged from your hair?
When you turned, and I saw something glisten—
Dear Kitty, don't frown; it was there!
But that idiot Delane in the middle
Bounced in with 'Our dance, I—ahem!'
And—the rose you may find in my Liddell
And Scott when you come to Commem.
Then, Kitty, let 'yes' be the answer.
We'll dance at the 'Varsity Ball,
And the morning shall find you a dancer
In Christ Church or Trinity hall.
And perhaps, when the elders are yawning
And rafters grow pale overhead
With the day, there shall come with its dawning
Some thought of that sentence unsaid.
Be it this, be it that—'I forget,' or
'Was joking'—whatever the fem-
-inine fib, you'll have made me your debtor
And come,—you will come? to Commem.

Three Men Of Truro


E. W. B.

Archbishop of Canterbury: sometime the First Bishop
of Truro. October 1896

The Church's outpost on a neck of land
By ebb of faith the foremost left the last
Dull, starved of hope, we watched the driven sand
Blown through the hour-glass, covering our past,
Counting no hours to our relief—no hail
Across the hills, and on the sea no sail!
Sick of monotonous days we lost account,
In fitful dreams remembering days of old
And nights—th' erect Archangel on the Mount
With sword that drank the dawn; the Vase of Gold
The moving Grail athwart the starry fields
Where all the heavenly spearmen clashed their
In dereliction by the deafening shore
We sought no more aloft, but sunk our eyes,
Probing the sea for food, the earth for ore.
Ah, yet had one good soldier of the skies
Burst through the wrack reporting news of them,
How had we run and kissed his garment's hem!

Nay, but he came! Nay, but he stood and cried,
Panting with joy and the fierce fervent race,
'Arm, arm! for Christ returns!'—and all our pride,
Our ancient pride, answered that eager face:
'Repair His battlements!—Your Christ is near!'
And, half in dream, we raised the soldiers' cheer.
Far, as we flung that challenge, fled the ghosts—
Back, as we built, the obscene foe withdrew—
High to the song of hammers sang the hosts
Of Heaven—and lo! the daystar, and a new
Dawn with its chalice and its wind as wine;
And youth was hope, and life once more divine!

Day, and hot noon, and now the evening glow,
And 'neath our scaffolding the city spread
Twilit, with rain-wash'd roofs, and—hark!—below,
One late bell tolling. 'Dead? Our Captain dead?'
Nay, here with us he fronts the westering sun
With shaded eyes and counts the wide fields won.

Aloft with us! And while another stone
Swings to its socket, haste with trowel and hod!
Win the old smile a moment ere, alone,
Soars the great soul to bear report to God.
Night falls; but thou, dear Captain, from thy star
Look down, behold how bravely goes the war!


A. B. D.

Canon Residentiary and Precentor of Truro
December 1903

Many had builded, and, the building done,
Through our adornèd gates with din
Came Prince and Priest, with pipe and clarion
Leading the right God in.

Yet, had the perfect temple quickened then
And whispered us between our song,
'Give God the praise. To whom of living men
Shall next our thanks belong?'

Then had the few, the very few, that wist
His Atlantean labour, swerved
Their eyes to seek, and in the triumph missed,
The man that most deserved.
He only of us was incorporate
In all that fabric; stone by stone
Had built his life in her, had made his fate
And her perfection one;

Given all he had; and now—when all was given—
Far spent, within a private shade,
Heard the loud organ pealing praise to Heaven,
And learned why man is made.—

To break his strength, yet always to be brave;
To preach, and act, the Crucified ...
Sweep by, O Prince and Prelate, up the nave,
And fill it with your pride!

Better than ye what made th' old temples great,
Because he loved, he understood;
Indignant that his darling, less in state,
Should lack a martyr's blood.
She hath it now. O mason, strip away
Her scaffolding, the flower disclose!
Lay by the tools with his o'er-wearied clay—
But She shall bloom unto its Judgment Day,
His ever-living Rose!


C. W. S.

The Fourth Bishop of Truro
May 1912

Prince of courtesy defeated,
Heir of hope untimely cheated,
Throned awhile he sat, and, seated,

Saw his Cornish round him gather;
'Teach us how to live, good Father!'
How to die he taught us rather:
Heard the startling trumpet sound him,
Smiled upon the feast around him,
Rose, and wrapp'd his coat, and bound him

When beyond the awful surges,
Bathed in dawn on Syrian verges,
God! thy star, thy Cross emerges.
And so sing we all to it—

Crux, in coelo lux superna,
Sis in carnis hac taberna
Mihi pedibus lucerna:

Quo vexillum dux cohortis
Sistet, super flumen Mortis,
Te, flammantibus in portis!

Of Three Children


You and I and Burd so blithe—
Burd so blithe, and you, and I—

The Mower he would whet his scythe
Before the dew was dry.

And he woke soon, but we woke soon
And drew the nursery blind,

All wondering at the waning moon
With the small June roses twined:

Low in her cradle swung the moon
With an elfin dawn behind.

In whispers, while our elders slept,
We knelt and said our prayers,

And dress'd us and on tiptoe crept
Adown the creaking stairs.

The world's possessors lay abed,
And all the world was ours—

'Nay, nay, but hark! the Mower's tread!
And we must save the flowers!'

The Mower knew not rest nor haste—
That old unweary man:

But we were young. We paused and raced
And gather'd while we ran.

O youth is careless, youth is fleet,
With heart and wing of bird!

The lark flew up beneath our feet,
To his copse the pheasant whirr'd;

The cattle from their darkling lairs
Heaved up and stretch'd themselves;

Almost they trod at unawares
Upon the busy elves

That dropp'd their spools of gossamer,
To dangle and to dry,

And scurried home to the hollow fir
Where the white owl winks an eye.

Nor you, nor I, nor Burd so blithe
Had driven them in this haste;

But the old, old man, so lean and lithe,
That afar behind us paced;

So lean and lithe, with shoulder'd scythe,
And a whetstone at his waist.

Within the gate, in a grassy round
Whence they had earliest flown,

He upside-down'd his scythe, and ground
Its edge with careful hone.

But we heeded not, if we heard, the sound,
For the world was ours alone;

The world was ours!—and with a bound
The conquering Sun upshone!

And while as from his level ray
We stood our eyes to screen.

The world was not as yesterday
Our homelier world had been—

So grey and golden-green it lay
All in his quiet sheen,

That wove the gold into the grey,
The grey into the green.

Sure never hand of Puck, nor wand
Of Mab the fairies' queen,

Nor prince nor peer of fairyland
Had power to weave that wide riband
Of the grey, the gold, the green.

But the Gods of Greece had been before
And walked our meads along,

The great authentic Gods of yore
That haunt the earth from shore to shore
Trailing their robes of song.

And where a sandall'd foot had brush'd,
And where a scarfed hem,

The flowers awoke from sleep and rush'd
Like children after them.

Pell-mell they poured by vale and stream,
By lawn and steepy brae—

'O children, children! while you dream,
Your flowers run all away!'

But afar and abed and sleepily
The children heard us call;

And Burd so blithe and you and I
Must be gatherers for all.

The meadow-sweet beside the hedge,
The dog-rose and the vetch,

The sworded iris 'mid the sedge,
The mallow by the ditch—

With these, and by the wimpling burn,
Where the midges danced in reels,

With the watermint and the lady fern
We brimm'd out wicker creels:

Till, all so heavily they weigh'd,
On a bank we flung us down,

Shook out our treasures 'neath the shade
And wove this Triple Crown.

Flower after flower—for some there were
The noonday heats had dried,

And some were dear yet could not bear
A lovelier cheek beside,

And some were perfect past compare—
Ah, darlings! what a world of care
It cost us to decide!

Natheless we sang in sweet accord,
Each bending o'er her brede—

'O there be flowers in Oxenford,
And flowers be north of Tweed,

And flowers there be on earthly sward
That owe no mortal seed!'

And these, the brightest that we wove,
Were Innocence and Truth,

And holy Peace and angel Love,
Glad Hope and gentle Ruth.

Ah, bind them fast with triple twine
Of Memory, the wild woodbine
That still, being human, stays divine,
And alone is age's youth!...

But hark! but look! the warning rook
Wings home in level flight;

The children tired with play and book
Have kiss'd and call'd Good-night!

Ah, sisters, look! What fields be these
That lie so sad and shorn?

What hand has cut our coppices,
And thro' the trimm'd, the ruin'd, trees
Lets wail a wind forlorn?

'Tis Time, 'tis Time has done this crime
And laid our meadows waste—

The bent unwearied tyrant Time,
That knows nor rest nor haste.

Yet courage, children; homeward bring
Your hearts, your garlands high;

For we have dared to do a thing
That shall his worst defy.

We cannot nail the dial's hand;
We cannot bind the sun

By Gibeon to stay and stand,
Or the moon o'er Ajalon;

We cannot blunt th' abhorred shears,
Nor shift the skeins of Fate,

Nor say unto the posting years
'Ye shall not desolate.'

We cannot cage the lion's rage,
Nor teach the turtle-dove

Beside what well his moan to tell
Or to haunt one only grove;

But the lion's brood will range for food
As the fledged bird will rove.

And east and west we three may wend—
Yet we a wreath have wound

For us shall wind withouten end
The wide, wide world around:

Be it east or west, and ne'er so far,
In east or west shall peep no star,
No blossom break from ground,
But minds us of the wreath we wove
Of innocence and holy love
That in the meads we found,

And handsell'd from the Mower's scythe,
And bound with memory's living withe—
You and I and Burd so blithe—
Three maidens on a mound:

And all of happiness was ours
Shall find remembrance 'mid the flowers,
Shall take revival from the flowers
And by the flowers be crown'd.

The Children In The Wood

NOW ponder well, you parents dear,
These words which I shall write;
A doleful story you shall hear,
In time brought forth to light.
A gentleman of good account
In Norfolk dwelt of late,
Who did in honour far surmount
Most men of his estate.

Sore sick he was and like to die,
No help his life could save;
His wife by him as sick did lie,
And both possest one grave.
No love between these two was lost,
Each was to other kind;
In love they lived, in love they died,
And left two babes behind:

The one a fine and pretty boy
Not passing three years old,
The other a girl more young than he,
And framed in beauty's mould.
The father left his little son,
As plainly did appear,
When he to perfect age should come,
Three hundred pounds a year;

And to his little daughter Jane
Five hundred pounds in gold,
To be paid down on marriage-day,
Which might not be controll'd.
But if the children chanced to die
Ere they to age should come,
Their uncle should possess their wealth;
For so the will did run.

‘Now, brother,' said the dying man,
‘Look to my children dear;
Be good unto my boy and girl,
No friends else have they here:
To God and you I recommend
My children dear this day;
But little while be sure we have
Within this world to stay.

‘You must be father and mother both,
And uncle, all in one;
God knows what will become of them
When I am dead and gone.'
With that bespake their mother dear:
‘O brother kind,' quoth she,
‘You are the man must bring our babes
To wealth or misery!

‘And if you keep them carefully,
Then God will you reward;
But if you otherwise should deal,
God will your deeds regard.'
With lips as cold as any stone,
They kiss'd their children small:
‘God bless you both, my children dear!'
With that the tears did fall.

These speeches then their brother spake
To this sick couple there:
‘The keeping of your little ones,
Sweet sister, do not fear;
God never prosper me nor mine,
Nor aught else that I have,
If I do wrong your children dear
When you are laid in grave!'

The parents being dead and gone,
The children home he takes,
And brings them straight unto his house,
Where much of them he makes.
He had not kept these pretty babes
A twelvemonth and a day,
But, for their wealth, he did devise
To make them both away.

He bargain'd with two ruffians strong,
Which were of furious mood,
That they should take these children young,
And slay them in a wood.
He told his wife an artful tale:
He would the children send
To be brought up in London town
With one that was his friend.

Away then went those pretty babes,
Rejoicing at that tide,
Rejoicing with a merry mind
They should on cock-horse ride.
They prate and prattle pleasantly,
As they ride on the way,
To those that should their butchers be
And work their lives' decay:

So that the pretty speech they had
Made Murder's heart relent;
And they that undertook the deed
Full sore did now repent.
Yet one of them, more hard of heart,
Did vow to do his charge,
Because the wretch that hirèd him
Had paid him very large.

The other won't agree thereto,
So here they fall to strife;
With one another they did fight
About the children's life:
And he that was of mildest mood
Did slay the other there,
Within an unfrequented wood.—
The babes did quake for fear!

He took the children by the hand,
Tears standing in their eye,
And bade them straightway follow him,
And look they did not cry;
And two long miles he led them on,
While they for food complain:
‘Stay here,' quoth he; ‘I'll bring you bread
When I come back again.'

These pretty babes, with hand in hand,
Went wandering up and down;
But never more could see the man
Approaching from the town.
Their pretty lips with blackberries
Were all besmear'd and dyed;
And when they saw the darksome night,
They sat them down and cried.

Thus wander'd these poor innocents,
Till death did end their grief;
In one another's arms they died,
As wanting due relief:
No burial this pretty pair
From any man receives,
Till Robin Redbreast piously
Did cover them with leaves.

And now the heavy wrath of God
Upon their uncle fell;
Yea, fearful fiends did haunt his house,
His conscience felt an hell:
His barns were fired, his goods consumed,
His lands were barren made,
His cattle died within the field,
And nothing with him stay'd.

And in a voyage to Portugal
Two of his sons did die;
And, to conclude, himself was brought
To want and misery:
He pawn'd and mortgaged all his land
Ere seven years came about.
And now at last his wicked act
Did by this means come out.

The fellow that did take in hand
These children for to kill,
Was for a robbery judged to die,
Such was God's blessed will:
Who did confess the very truth,
As here hath been display'd:
The uncle having died in jail,
Where he for debt was laid.

You that executors be made,
And overseërs eke,
Of children that be fatherless,
And infants mild and meek,
Take you example by this thing,
And yield to each his right,
Lest God with suchlike misery
Your wicked minds requite.