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I tried a new plough at the fair;

'Twas neat, but I refused it.

This "Rough and Ready" stands the tear,
And our folks allus used it.

Old ploughs and old beliefs are strong,
And good yet if kept shinin'!

Things that have stood the strain so long
Kin stand some underminin'.

I like to watch before the plough
The grass a-tumblin' over;
The big and little have to bow,

The June-grass and the clover.

A plough reminds me, then, of Time.
Does't other folks, I wonder?
There goes a violet in its prime-
I hate to turn them under.

But when above the buried weeds
The yellow wheat is wavin',
"Twill teach that buried years and deeds
Still live, if worth the savin'.

I've sometimes thought if we would range
Our daily walk with Natur',
Our lives with things that never change,
We'd draw our furrer straighter.


HAST thou a heart, O, dark-eyed girl,
To match that glance of thine?
Hast thou a love as rich and deep,
And may I call it mine?

I have no heart, O, blue-eyed boy,

I am a maid forlorn;

For I dreamed of you and lost my heart,

Long years ere I was born.

I have thy heart, O, deep-eyed girl,
And hard within my breast

It leaps to meet its owner sweet,
That it may be at rest.

And I have thine, O, fair-eyed lad,
It flutters like a feather,

Then since they may not be exchanged
Lets keep them close together!



R. THOMPSON is a poet, because he has the faculty of seeing, as Elisha's young man was given to see, and when he saw, the rocky and barren sides of the mountain were set with squadrons of winged chariots. Dr. Thompson writes with marked directness and simplicity. It is the charm both of his essay and poetry writing. One does not see his crystalline words, but only the thing which they reveal. His work as a minister makes him a mystic, and leads his eyes to "the hills from whence cometh mine aid," to the scenery of that land whose light our material eyes can not gather. The hopes, aspirations and pure passions of the soul, its moods of exaltation or resignation, all that are in faith, hope and love are familiar to his vision. All the winds that blow from the upper or the lower hills and plains of mortal and immortal life awaken the chords of his harp. He has been somewhat warped out of his natural bent by his profession. The element of humor, which is in such frequent effervescence in his soul, should be permitted freer expression in his poems. His unpublished humorous rhymes are replete with the genuine essence of laughter. As in the old method of milling, the best part of the wheat went with the bran, so it is very often with the products of genius.

Dr. Thompson was born near Allentown, Pa. His parents moving to Wisconsin when he was ten years of age, his classical education was received at the Classical Institute, at Portage, Wis., and at Carroll College, at Waukesha, Wis. He received theological training at Princeton, N. J., and at Chicago, Ill. After a few years of ministerial work in Wisconsin, he became pastor of the First Church of Cincinnati. While there, with a few friends, he founded and edited Our Monthly, a religious and literary magazine which attained a good deal of prominence, and in which some of his best poems were published. Subsequently, while pastor in Chicago, he was associated with me in the conduct of The Interior, with which journal he has ever since been connected, either as editor or editorial writer. During his residence in Chicago he published a History of American Revivals." Since then in pastorates in Pittsburgh, Kansas City and now in New York, he has found time to make many contributions to the periodical press in both prose and poetry. He has often been urged by his friends to collect his scattered poems into a volume, and he has at length given the promise that at an early day he will revise them for this purpose. The increasing exactions of his minis


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From the woods to the western sky;

So the lance of firelight bursts to-night
The shadow-gates of the past,
And shows in the glow of its dancing light
The years with their treasures vast.

I am rich, I think, in this somber wood,
With a richness past compare,

For time is not, and in memory's flood
I am yester's happy heir.

What care I now for the strife of men?
I hold the world at bay;

And, memory's miser, I count again
The gold that is mine alway.

What is it I hear? Through the silence round
Comes, borne on a current fleet,

A laughing ripple of baby sound

And the patter of baby feet.

I am strangled again in the old arm-chair,
I am fast in the meshes light

Of the curls that net me everywhere,
And moisten my eyes to-night.

For the loneliest hour, on seas or lands
(Match it no solitude can),

Is the day when the strangling baby hands
Unclasp from the neck of the man;

When the game of bo-peep goes out of the hall,
As the game of the years comes in,
And we play more alone, and care not at all
Whether we lose or we win.

I am counting over my pearls. Ah, here
Is one which a mighty wave

From a mighty depth has brought, a tear
Made crystal in its deep sea grave.

I wrung it out on a baby's face,

I dashed it away from me;

Now it comes back, by its transformed grace To light my eternity.

Another wave to my idle feet
Has flung a tinted shell,
Burdened with music sad and sweet,
From a depth no line can tell.

It has no sound for other ears,
I press it to my heart alone,
Where it sobs and sings of far-off years
In a haunting undertone.

So I listen and dream; and beneath the free
Groined arches of the pines,

The church of the village comes to me
With its square and modest lines.

From its silent doors the ghost of a hymn
Comes quavering along,

As if the dead, from their silence dim,
Were keeping up the song.

Though the parson sleeps in his grassy tent,
The voice of his trembling prayer,
Sweeter than sound of an instrument,
Lingers upon the air.

I am walking again in the grasses deep
Of the churchyard's empty way,

I am reading the names of those who sleep 'Neath the marbles worn and gray.

And they who have gone come back to me As I read each moss-grown stone; Heaven's goodly and shining company, And I am no more alone.

Is it the wind that sighs in the pines?
Or the strange, sweet noise of wings?

A path of fire through the wood that shines?
Or a vision of heavenly things?

Is this woodland temple a Gothic shrine,
With its swaying lines and bands?
Or is it in shadow the rise divine

Of the house not made with hands?

I can not tell; but the dream I dream
Of the fading days of yore

Has a dash that, like a mountain stream,
Cuts open the hills before.

My heart leaps out of the past with a bound
That requires somewhere should be,
Beyond the shadows that bind me round,
A landing-place for me.

So I rest awhile in the shadow here,
This tent of God's own love,
While memory guards the darkening rear,
And hope flies on above.

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So, heart of mine, fly on before,

The path through the woods is free, While I wait for the house where evermore

My dwelling-place shall be.


THE pile of a great cathedral stood,

In the ages of long ago,

On the marge where the great Rhine River flowed To the breadth of the sea below,

And under the deep, dim arch and nave,

Where the river washed the walls,

Was the gloomy crypt, like a waiting grave,

With its silent, shadowy halls.

When the morning struggled through windows low,

When the sunset fell aslant,

A hooded friar, with utterance slow,

Rehearsed the Litany Chant

With a choir of boys from the streets and lanes, Who stood where the death-damp dripped, And sang together the friar's strains,

In the great cathedral's crypt.

And the friar said, "As each one learns
The chant in this prison-gloom,

He shall pass by a stair that winds and turns,
To the great cathedral's room;

He shall stand in a surplice as white as snow,
Where the lights of the altar fall,
And the voice of his song shall rise and flow
Like a glory along the wall.

"Above the censer that swings its cloud,
Through the aisles and the arches dim,
And over the heads of the worshipers bowed,
Shall rise your vesper hymn.

It will cheer the spirit as dews that fall,
Refresh the fevered sod;

And, borne by its power, the people all
Will lift their hearts to God."

Oh! world-wide prison, girt with graves,
The songs you echo now,

When the singers learn, shall lift their waves
Where the vailèd angels bow;

The sound of the heart reverberates,
The altar-lights are aglow,
But the great cathedral-service waits
For the singers from below.


NOT from the Vale of Chamouni,

Where the flow of pleasant streams Is veiled by the lingering morning mist, As a thought may be clothed in dreams;

Where the gleaming gates of the glaciers old The stately entrance bar

To the pinnacles and bastions

Of the mountains vast and far;

Not there, where the grasses whisper low,
And the sweet-voiced birdlings sing,
Can I take the measure of thy form,
Thou storm-wrapped, awful king!
But from some weary Col de Balm,
Lonely, and far, and bleak,

Where the voice of the little birds is hushed,
And the awful voices speak;

Where the world in dimness sinks away,
And the purple distance shows
Thine upward rise of solitude
And everlasting snows.

Even so I leave the paths of men,
And the voices that I love,

In a daring climb, somewhere to find
A throne that is built above
The last dim peak of the Alpine way
And beyond a sinking world,
Beyond the star-sprent robe of eve
In its purple distance furled;

Where lone, and vast, and full of rest-
Worthy thy spirit's laud,

Worthy the weight of a weary faith-
Rises the throne of God.


OUT of the sobs of the winter's storm
The leaves of spring-time grow,
And behind the drifts of the apple bloom
Are the drifts of whirling snow.

The velvet robe of the prairies wide

Is wrought by the shuttles of rain, And the robin sings in the tree that moaned With the March day's dull refrain. Perhaps, oh, Soul, it will yet appear There is life in the beating rain, And not for naught the shuttles fly

O'er the quivering threads of pain. Perhaps a bird will sing, some day,

In the barren boughs, that thrill, Like striken harps, with the memory Of storms that haunt them still.


Floats the mad music on the wind
But the sailor's ears so fast
Great love did close and sweetly bind
Ulysses to the mast.


ARRIE RENFREW resides in Hastings, Neb.

though rapid, if not phenomenal, is evidently but the mere promise of what she is yet to accomplish, for she is still in the very morning of life, surrounded by every earthly comfort, a beloved member of a well-born, harmonious and happy family, who sympathize with her aspirations and rejoice in her success. Her mother, a rare and excellent woman, several sisters and a brother are still living, but her father, the late honored Silvester Renfrew, one of the early pioneers of Hastings, died during the past year.

Miss Renfrew was from childhood a thinker, dreamer and philosopher, but not, like most poets, an early rhymster. Her lack of training in the art of rhyming, while plainly visible in some of her first attempts, has its compensation in the higher and more essential qualities that characterize nearly all her recent efforts. It is scarcely more than five years since the advent of her first poems in the Inter-Ocean, Woman's Tribune and other western papers.

In temperament Miss Renfrew is a harmonious blending of the brunette and blonde types. She is of about medium size, has a graceful figure, an attractive manner and appearance, and a magnetic presence, and does not on acquaintance disappoint those who have learned to love and admire her through her poetry. She has already endeared herself to a host of personal friends and to thousands who knew her only through her work. The world at large will know her better in the near future. J. G. C.


THE bloom of thought kissing eternity;
The light of loves immortal recognized;
The fire and snow-bloom sprung from passion's sea;
Their light, their warmth, their fragrance crys-


I LOVE thee, love thee, life!

I fain would dwell with thee, thy much-loved guest.
Oh, fold me nearer to thy pulsing breast,
Thy I may feel thy heart beats throb in mine
So holding it in unison with thine.

I love thee, love thee, life!

Oh, hold me closer in thy strong embrace,
Uplift me, bear me onward in thy race;
Impart to me thy soul's exulting power
To be my heritage forevermore.

I love thee, love thee, life!

I fain would wear thy brightness in my face!
Oh, give to me thine animating grace,
Inspire me, thrill me, love me in return;
It is thy noblest gifts for which I yearn.
I love thee, love thee, life!
Bear not so swiftly to my journey's end,
For, oh! I dread to part with thee, my friend.
Surround me with thy warm, entrancing breath,
And leave me not too soon alone with death.


MISSING! A voice!

Its impassioned refrain
Is gone is gone.

And I listen in vain.

Its music has vanished afar from me
Somewhere in the lonely mystery.

Missing! A smile!

And the sunshine of home

Doth lack-doth lack;
And it harbors a gloom.

My heaven of joy has lost a star,
This smile that mine eyes are yearning for.

Missing! A face!

And the fireside of love

Is lone is lone.
And wherever I rove

The lack of a something dear to me
Doth follow and linger mournfully.

Missing! Ah me!

The strange silence around
Doth ache-doth ache;
And the yearnings I send

Enflamed through the darksome mystery
Come back all unanswered to me.

Missing! Ah me!

And I listen in vain

To catch one note

Of a tender reirain.

But yet, pitying Hope sings low to me Sometime, ay, somewhere in that mystery.


AMID the ghastly relics of dead time

A shaft of sunlight fell in careless play,
And joined in time's derision of the brief,
Frail life of men, the moth-flame of a day.

It spied an ancient mummy as it fell,
And laughed about the thing in soulless glee;
Ay, laughing at man's resistance to decay,
Ending in such a jeering mockery.

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