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And this small, hideous, brown thing was once
The ghastly remnant of a joy and woe.
And gave life's fairness to this lump of clay? Ah, where? It has departed as the flame
Into invisible and soundless Nay.
Our questionings do haunt the voiceless deep Like homeless, storm-tossed birds seeking for rest.
And still 'tis nature's cruelty that blows
Them quivering, too, upon their hopeless quest.
The bird of faith is but a weakling bird,
It can not soar mid sepulchers of doubt;
Its pinions falter in the charnel air,
The Nay of silence shadows it about.
Oh, man! how poor, how limited thy light!
Though whirled above a precipice of night.
'Tis well! The present owns some little warmth; So bask within the pleasure of the known. Circean Life with kisses offers thee
Her flaming draught and bids thee drink the boon.
Drink, deeply drink, Life will not tarry long.
Too soon thou'lt see the fair one vanishing,
And from the blackness of the great abyss
The Sphinx of Death will rise with soundless wing.
Relentless, cruel in its voicelessness,
'Twill bear thee, shrinking, on its loveless breast Into the Whither where no ripple stirs
To whisper us the manner of thy rest.
But Love hath flung the rainbow of its hope
The flower of immortality's To Know
Illusion of illusion it may be,
But still this fleeting life, Time's parasite,
Thou withered mummy of a once fair life,
Nay! ours the light by which we're perfected,
That makes us something more than time's play
Not dew-drops lost in the eternal sea, But conscious parts of infinite To Know, The quenchless beams of immortality.
DYING, dying, dying!
Hearken to the solemn measure, Piercing inward like a knife Through our spirit's inmost pleasure, Under-currrent of all life.
Oh, the achings
On our wakings,
On our wakings, aye, and sleepings,
Dying, dying, dying!
Oh, the dark that lies behind it
When the dying ones are dead! Seeking light, we can not find it; Deeper dark is ours instead.
And we listen
For some echo
On the Mecca
Of our hot desire's upbuilding,
But there's only that one sighing,
Dying, dying, dying!
Is there not some truer measure
Sing, oh, soul, thy song immortal,
Sing thy hope through all this dying,
HARRY CHARLES FAULKNER.
ARRY CHARLES FAULKNER was born in Boston, November 27, 1863. His mother was a daughter of Josiah Abbott, Esq., of Boston, and his paternal grandfather was Augustus Faulkner, of Walpole, N. H., at one time governor of New Hampshire. The blood of the Puritans is almost undiluted in his veins. For eight generations his ancestors have been New England people, direct descendants of the "Mayflower" pilgrims, and the earliest settlers of Massachusetts Bay Colony in Boston and also in Andover. It is somewhat odd, in view of these facts, the direction his principal literary work has taken. Nothing could be farther removed from the firm, austere and solemn New Engiand manner than the gayety and lightness of his touch.
His parents moved to New York City when he was about four years old, and the metropolis has been his home ever since. His education began at five in the public schools, and at fourteen he entered the College of the City of New York, graduating in the year 1882, the youngest Bachelor of Arts ever sent out from its halls. After graduation he was associated with Colonel C. L. Norton, for some time editor of The Continent, and in 1884 he became managing editor of the Domestic Monthly, which position he still occupies.
It is difficult to say when his literary work began. All through the college periodicals are scattered his verses. Since 1883 his poems have been frequently seen in the leading journals. In 1884 he published a valuable little book, "Dictionary of Synonyms," upon an entirely new plan. In 1885 a "Classical and Mythological Dictionary" edited by him was issued, and at present he is busy with an important work for which he is particularly well equipped.
His range of work has not been great, but within his limits the result is brilliant. Vers de Société is his field, and he stands in the front rank of the few Americans who have followed successfully where Herrick and Prior, Praed and Thackeray, Dobson and Lang have led.
Mr. Faulkner is nearly six feet in height, slender, but muscular, and in his college days excelled in athletic sports such as running, foot-ball, etc. He still retains the elastic step and quickness of the athlete, but a slight droop in his shoulders is the penalty of his devotion to his desk. His eyes are blue, his nose large and prominent, and his hair curls away from his forehead, and is brushed back without a parting. He is unmarried. His health has not been good for several years, and trips
And murmuringly goes
To the very hindmost rows,
To pirouette and pose
When life frayed and faded grows,
Like her bows,
She in garret sits and sews
Till her weary eyelids close
HER faith makes worthy things of worthless, With all its promised powers.
Her hope makes joyous hearts of mirthless, With all the peace it showers.
Her love can waken love now birthless
Would such a love were ours!
If you had lived in olden days,
When men were too devout to praise
They would have canonized you saint
They would have called you good, divine,
A cross, a font―above, your face
There pious men of holy creeds
And all would kneel before your face,
To-day our faith is much the same;
To live than die for
Than in those days of cross and blade,
But virtue keeps its sacredness,
Our better selves have changed far less
We reverence innocence and truth,
We pledge our banners.
We have not changed; the shrines of old
Dear Saint Elise! ah, yes, as such
BALLADE OF TEASING.
HER letters come and I am glad,
The skies are dull and tearful too.
I call her "angel," and I add
One day I am Sir Galahad,
Devoted, gallant, tender, true,
Of course she may, but still a few-
Fates, did I rule your snake-haired crew,
I would not have her made anew,
AD CHLOEN, ÆTAT. XLV.
CHLOE, Time's breath is harsh and rough,
That wrinkle certainly I see,
Or something other.
You once, perhaps, were true and fair,