« AnkstesnisTęsti »
I tried a new plough at the fair;
'Twas neat, but I refused it.
This "Rough and Ready" stands the tear,
Old ploughs and old beliefs are strong,
Things that have stood the strain so long
I like to watch before the plough
The June-grass and the clover.
A plough reminds me, then, of Time.
But when above the buried weeds
I've sometimes thought if we would range
AT FIRST SIGHT.
HAST thou a heart, O, dark-eyed girl,
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,
It leaps to meet its owner sweet,
And I have thine, O, fair-eyed lad,
Then since they may not be exchanged
CHARLES LEMUEL THOMPSON.
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 His unpublished humorous rhymes are replete with the genuine essence of laughter.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
From the woods to the western sky;
So the lance of firelight bursts to-night
I am rich, I think, in this somber wood,
For time is not, and in memory's flood
What care I now for the strife of men?
And, memory's miser, I count again
What is it I hear? Through the silence round
A laughing ripple of baby sound
And the patter of baby feet.
I am strangled again in the old arm-chair,
Of the curls that net me everywhere,
For the loneliest hour, on seas or lands
Is the day when the strangling baby hands
When the game of bo-peep goes out of the hall,
I am counting over my pearls. Ah, here
From a mighty depth has brought, a tear
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
It has no sound for other ears,
So I listen and dream; and beneath the free
The church of the village comes to me
From its silent doors the ghost of a hymn
As if the dead, from their silence dim,
Though the parson sleeps in his grassy tent,
I am walking again in the grasses deep
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?
A path of fire through the wood that shines?
Is this woodland temple a Gothic shrine,
Of the house not made with hands?
I can not tell; but the dream I dream
Has a dash that, like a mountain stream,
My heart leaps out of the past with a bound
So I rest awhile in the shadow here,
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 CRYPT AND THE CATHEDRAL.
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
He shall pass by a stair that winds and turns,
He shall stand in a surplice as white as snow,
"Above the censer that swings its cloud,
It will cheer the spirit as dews that fall,
And, borne by its power, the people all
Oh! world-wide prison, girt with graves,
When the singers learn, shall lift their waves
The sound of the heart reverberates,
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,
Where the voice of the little birds is hushed,
Where the world in dimness sinks away,
Even so I leave the paths of men,
In a daring climb, somewhere to find
Where lone, and vast, and full of rest-
Worthy the weight of a weary faith-
AFTER THE RAIN.
OUT of the sobs of the winter's storm
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
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;
I LOVE thee, love thee, life!
I fain would dwell with thee, thy much-loved guest.
I love thee, love thee, life!
Oh, hold me closer in thy strong embrace,
I love thee, love thee, life!
I fain would wear thy brightness in my face!
MISSING! A voice!
Its impassioned refrain
And I listen in vain.
Its music has vanished afar from me
Missing! A smile!
And the sunshine of home
Doth lack-doth lack;
My heaven of joy has lost a star,
Missing! A face!
And the fireside of love
Is lone is lone.
The lack of a something dear to me
Missing! Ah me!
The strange silence around
Enflamed through the darksome mystery
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.
BEFORE A MUMMY.
AMID the ghastly relics of dead time
A shaft of sunlight fell in careless play,
It spied an ancient mummy as it fell,