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ISS SARAH CHAUNCEY WOOLSEY, known in the literary world as Susan Coolidge, stands in the front rank of American female poets. She was born in Cleveland, Ohio, about 1845, and now resides in Newport, R. I. She is a niece of Theodore Dwight Woolsey, the celebrated educator. Facts conceruing her daily life she reserves to herself, believing a writer's personality can best be found in his works. She has published two volumes of poems: "Verses," in 1880, and" A Few More Verses," in 1889. She is a prolific writer for the press in prose and verse. Her prose publications include: "A Guernsey Lily," "A Little Country Girl," "A Short History of the City of Philadelphia," besides a number of books for children. H. A. T.
COUCHED in the rocky lap of hills,
To rise again, led higher and higher,
High as the lake's bright ripples shine,
But not a drop that air-drawn line
Though man may strive and man may woo,
Vainly the lonely tarn its cup
Holds to the feeding skies; Unless the source be lifted up, The streamlet can not rise: By law inexorably blent, Each is the other's measurement.
Ah, lonely tarn! ah, striving rill!
Against the unheeding powers.
In vain is longing, vain is force;
IF I were told that I must die to-morrow,
That the next sun
Which sinks should bear me past all fear and sorrow For any one,
All the fight fought, all the short journey through: What should I do?
NEW EVERY MORNING.
EVERY day is a fresh beginning,
Every morn is the world made new. You are weary of sorrow and sinning, Here is a beautiful hope for you, A hope for me and a hope for you.
All the past things are past and over;
The tasks are done and the tears are shed. Yesterday's errors let yesterday cover;
Yesterday's wounds, which smarted and bled, And healed with the healing which night has shed.
Yesterday now is a part of forever,
Bound up in a sheaf, which God holds tight, With glad days, and sad days, and bad days, which
Shall visit us more with their bloom and their blight,
Their fullness of sunshine or sorrowful night.
Let them go, since we can not re-live them,
Can not undo and can not atone;
God in His mercy receive, forgive them!
Here are the skies all burnished brightly,
To face the sun and share with the morn
Every day is a fresh beginning;
Listen, my soul, to the glad refrain, And spite old sorrow and older sinning,
And puzzles forecasted and possible pain, Take heart with the day, and begin again.
THANK God for life! Life is not sweet always.
And dreams divine end in awakening dull;
Thank God for love! Though love may hurt and wound,
Though set with sharpest thorns its rose may be, Roses are not of winter; all attuned
Must be the earth, full of soft stir, and free And warm ere dawns the rose upon its tree. Fresh currents through my frozen pulses run; My heart has tasted summer, tasted sun, And I thank Thee, Lord, although not one Of all the many roses blooms for me.
Thank God for death! Bright thing with dreamy
We wrong with mournful flowers her pure, still
We heap her with reproaches and with blame,
Men die, but sorrow never dies.
The crowding years divide in vain, And the wide world is knit with ties Of common brotherhood in pain, Of common share in grief and loss,
And heritage in the immortal bloom Of Love, which, flowering round its cross, Made beautiful a baby's tomb.
-The Cradle Tomb.
To each, one dawning and one dew,
Be not impatient, then, but wait!
The morning comes before the sun. -Before the Sun.
Lo! amid the press,
The whirl, and hum, and pressure of my day,
I hear Thy garment's sweep, Thy seamless dress, And close beside my work and weariness
Discern Thy gracious form, not far away,
Only the glancing needle which they hold,
While through each labor, like a thread of gold, Is woven the sweet consciousness of Thee!
-Laborare Est Orare.
This way he passed; I saw his shadow fall,
The nymphs are gone, and see! he lies asleep;
His cheeks are furrowed with tears he learned to weep,
His garments stained with travel of the day.
That life is brief hath seemed a piteous thing
Ay, long enough for bliss to turn to bale,
For hearts to harden, love itself to fail, And faith be wearied out (O, sad and strange!) Unless Death save us from the deathly change.
The seed of Eden grows, there's no decay;
And some high souls have even now in ken
While scorners dally in an aimless quest. The waves of unbelief mount and recede,
And jar the century with strong unrest; They carry back the sands of many a creed, But only leave the Rock more manifest.
Silent upon the sands of Egypt stand
The pyramids that centuries have crowned; And, clothed with mystery, the sphinx has frowned Upon the storied ruins of the land,
Strange monuments, that finite minds have planned
Of crumbling ashes in a mummy's hand,
His hand but holds the dust, the soul passed through.
While life is widened through eternity.
Life seems almost a circle, its two.ends
Then from that center down the thither slope With lessened strength he gropes, e'en as the blind, Till, taught by faith, and in her courage brave,
Chastened by fear, yet triumphing in hope,
We hold thee up against the infinite,
The mirror that reflects the great unseen
The prism colors of the eternal flame,
Bend the unfathomed deeps of Death and Fate. 7.
Life, we, thy children, cling about thy knees
And pray for largess; some are babes that turn Sweet faces, sure of answer, yet to learn What suns may shine and they be left to freeze;
And some cast fiercely at the words that burn,
Or all thy steps with bitter plainings tease
We court on bended knee thy constant frown,
All souls are poets, writing for a prize,
And "Life," the theme that heads the work of all; The works of some are ponderous, others, small, But they'll be judged by merit, not by size; And every gem of truth that snugly lies
Half-hid by rubbish, soon or late, shall fall Into the scale of Justice, when the eyes Of one Great Judge must rightly weigh them all, And give each soul a just and due reward But once, and that for aye! Ne'er can there be A second trial! Then, ye authors! guard And guide aright Life's poetry
In paths of truth, for in Life's book a bard Writes not for Time, but for Eternity!
"Worth living?" Not to listless souls who deem That Life should be a bed of Persian roses, Where Pleasure vigil keeps, and Duty dozes, While the strong hours go by us like a dream. "Worth living?" Not to him who hunts a gleam Across Ambition's desert, and supposes
His name shall flourish when his life-time closes, A fool's name writ but in a fleeting stream.
"Is Life worth living?" Not to men who creep From sunny vale to cliff cloud-rain-scented,
Only to hear, far down, the moaning deep, And see sand-wastes with bones of dead men spread, Then fling the Agnostic's question on the air, And with the name of Progress gild Despair.
When she, the mother-mystery of old days,
And loading echo with the loved one's praise, 'Tis told how, to her hidden heart of flame
She pressed a mortal, yet a princely child, And with a nurse's cares her grief beguiled. O, Life, of whom all parables are told!
Thou art the Goddess-Pilgrim, who hast taught All things to mourn with thee thy lost desire. Man is the nursling whom thine arms enfold, Whom secretly thy God-like spells have wrought, To make immortal with a bath of fire!
The vex'd sea murmurs in the tinted shell;
With raptured song, to find the past a dream.
Deep in the shade, where drowsing insects drum,
I yield to rest, and bid contentment come.
Bewildering Trade alone their blood can rouse; Or War, to bind the laurel round their brows! Give me but Peace, with all the charms of Home. O, Life! thou art, to me, yon raptured bird, Thou art the blue of yonder sun-warmed skies,
The ringing laugh of children at their play.
O, happy heads of yellow, waving wheat!
Have stood in wind and storm, with bosom bare, And green beard streaming like a mermaid's hair, That for another summer, fair and fleet,
Your life may waken at her fervid kiss.
O, Life, have you not something yet more dear
Had I been master of that fateful bark