Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“

*THE ANCIENT "LADY OF SORROW."

HER closing eyelids mock the light;
Her cold, pale lips are sealed; quite
Before her face of spotless white

A mystic veil is drawn.
Our Lady hides herself in night;
In shadows hath she her delight;

She will not see the dawn!

The morning leaps across the plain-
It glories in a promise vain;
At noon the day begins to wane,
With its sad prophecy;

At eve the shadows come again;
Our Lady finds no rest from pain,
No answer to her cry.

In spring she doth her winter wait;
The autumn shadoweth forth her fate;
Thus, one by one, years iterate
Her solemn tragedy.

Before her pass in solemn state
All shapes that come, or soon or late,
Of this world's misery.

What is, or shall be, or hath been,
This Lady is; and she hath seen,
Like frailest leaves, the tribes of men
Come forth, and quickly die.

Therefore our Lady hath no rest;
For, close beneath her snow-white breast,
Her weary children lie.

She taketh on her all our grief;
Her passion passeth all relief;

In vain she holds the poppy leaf-
In vain her lotus crown.

Even fabled Lethe hath no rest,
No solace for her troubled breast,
And no oblivion.

"Childhood and youth are vain,” she saith,
Since all things ripen unto death;
The flower is blasted by the breath

That calls it from the earth.

"And yet," she saith, "this thing is sureThere is no life but shall endure,

And death is only birth.

"From death or birth no powers defend, And thus from grade to grade we tend, By resurrections without end,

Unto some final peace.

But distant is that peace," she saith;
Yet eagerly awaiteth death,

Expecting her release.

"O Rest," she saith, "that will not come, Not even when our lips are dumb, Not even when our limbs are numb,

And graves are growing green!

O Death, that, coming on apace,
Dos't look so kindly in the face,

Thou wear'st a treach'rous mien!"

But still she gives the shadow place-
Our Lady, with the saddest grace,
Doth yield her to his feigned embrace,
And to his treachery!

Ye must not draw aside her veil;
Ye must not hear her dying wail;
Ye must not see her die!

But, hark! from out the stillness rise
Low-murmured myths and prophecies,
And chants that tremble to the skies-
Miserere Domine!

They, trembling, lose themselves in rest, Soothing the anguish of her breastMiserere Domine!

HENRY M. ALDEN.

IN THE DARK.

ALL moveless stand the ancient cedar-trees
Along the drifted sand-hills where they grow;
And from the dark west comes a wandering breeze,
And waves them to and fro.

A murky darkness lies along the sand,

Where bright the sunbeams of the morning shone,
And the eye vainly seeks by sea and land
Some light to rest upon.

No large, pale star its glimmering vigil keeps;
No inky sea reflects an inky sky;

And the dark river, like a serpent, creeps
To where its black piers lie.

Strange salty odors through the darkness steal,
And through the dark the ocean-thunders roll;
Thick darkness gathers, stifling, till I feel
Its weight upon my soul.

I stretch my hands out in the empty air;
I strain my eyes into the heavy night;
Blackness of darkness! Father, hear my prayer!
Grant me to see the light!

GEORGE ARNOLD.

THE ROYAL ABBESS.

Is the Abbey stall, with his vestments old,
And raveled and rent through stress of time,

[blocks in formation]

"And under thy veil of costly lace

Is little, I ween, of penance done;
What right to heighten a beauty's grace
Belongs to a Wilton nun?

"My robe, with its reaved and ragged fray,
And its knotted girdle of hempen string,

I would not give in exchange to-day
For the ermine that clothes the king!"

The fair young abbess had stood before
The priest as he spake, with lowly guise;
But there shown, when the sharp rebuke was
o'er,

A fire in her saintly eyes.

"God gave me the beauty that thou dost bid
Me cowardly lessen, or meanly dim.
Nay! rather that under the rough serge hid,
I keep it supreme for Him!

"My father, the king, to the court still calls;
But even his summons have not sufficed
To lure away from her convent walls
The virgin espoused to Christ.

"And I, for my holy service' sake,

As a daughter of princes, choose that He Who winneth me from the world should take My dowry along with me.

"He loved the lilies; He made them fair; And sweet as the sweetest incense flows The stream of its fragrance when I wear For Him, on my heart, a rose.

"And, father, I doubt not there may hide
Beneath the tatters thou bid'st me view
As much of arrogance, scorn and pride
As ever the ermine knew!"

MARGARET J. PRESTON.

ARE ALL THE CHILDREN IN?

THE darkness falls, the wind is high,
Dense black clouds fill the western sky;
The storm will soon begin;

The thunders roll, the lightnings flash,
I hear the great round rain-drops dash-
Are all the children in?

They're coming softly to my side;
Their forms within my arms I hide-
No other arms are sure;
The storm may rage with fury wild,
With trusting faith each little child
With mother feels secure.

But future days are drawing nearThey'll go from this warm shelter here Out in the world's wild din;

The rain will fall, the cold winds blow, I'll sit alone and long to know

Are all the children in ?

Will they have shelter then secure,
Where hearts are waiting strong and sure,

And love is true and tried?

Or will they find a broken reed,

When strength of heart they so much need

To help them brave the tide?

God knows it all; His will is best;
I'll shield them now and yield the rest
In His most righteous hand;
Sometimes the souls He loves are riven
By tempests wild, and thus are driven
Nearer the better land.

'If He should call us home before The children go on that blessed shore, Afar from care and sin,

I know that I shall watch and wait, Till He, the keeper of the gate,

Lets all the children in.

SUSAN TEALL PERRY.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

The blackbird golden-billed

As piping plain,

"Hope, hope, again!”

Till my heart's grief be stilled. ALFRED PERCIVAL GRAVES

-The Spectator.

EXPECTATION.

UNDER the trees my Heart and I together
Await the step that neverinore will come;
Await the greeting word forever dumb!

I know not how-whether we dreamed or whether
My Heart and I, seeing the new-blown heather,
Took hope from its full glory; or the sum
Of earth's wide joy, moving our pulses numb,
Drew us abroad into the sweet warm weather.
We conned the lesson well, long, long ago,
My Heart and I-we conned the lesson well
In summer heats, in winter's stubborn cold!
That he will come no more, we know, we know;
Yet we expect him more than tongue can tell,
And listen for his coming as of old!
IDA WHIPPLE BENHAM.
-The Independent, June 26, 1890.

A FOOLISH WISH.

WHY need I seek some burden small to bear
Before I go?

Will not a host of nobler souls be there,
Heaven's will to do?

Of stronger hands, unfailing, unafraid?
O silly soul! what matters my small aid
Before I go?

I tried to find, that I might show to them,
Before I go,

The path of purer lives: the light was dim-
I do not know

If I had found some footprints of the way;
It is too late their wandering feet to stay,
Before I go.

I would have sung the rest some song of cheer,
Before I go;

But still the cords ring false; some jar of fear
Some jangling woe,

And at the end I can not weave one chord
To float into their hearts my last warm word
Before I go.

I would be satisfied if I might tell

Before I go,

That one warm word,-how I have loved them well, Could they but know!

And would have gained for them some gleam of

good;

[blocks in formation]

MATER DOLOROSA.

(To Mrs. John T. Mygatt.)

SORROWFUL mother, with tear-wet face, Thinking perchance of your boy to-day, Seeing only his vacant place,

Missing the form you have laid away,
Though friends are loving and kindred kind,
What an empty world he has left behind.
'Tis the house of mourning, the children call
In vain for the father that can not come,
The cloud of sorrow hangs like a pall
Over your beautiful, happy home,

So loved, so lovely, your only son,
God help you to say, "Thy will be done."

Look from the sorrow, the darkness and gloom,
Think of the Home where he is to-night,
Not of the form in the silent tomb,

But the glorified spirit, so happy and bright; Sorrowful mother, you still can say:

'Tis the Lord who has given and taken away. MAGGIE GRIFFIN NOBLE.

-Binghamton Republican.

THE HIRED MAN.

I GIVE my time, my song, my life to Toil,

My brow of bronze, my arms of brawn, are hers, For her alone each willing muscle stirs; For her I guide the plow and delve the land, For her my brow is wet, my face is tanned. Sweet labor, brown-cheeked as the chestnut burs, Thy lightest law my lagging spirit spurs, And under heat and burden bids me stand. So, in thy name the old line-fence I scale,

Just where the whispering maple shades the place;

I mount the panel with the softest rail,
And let the light winds fan my patient face;
And there where birds and moments idly flit-
I sit, and sit, and sit, and sit.

-Brooklyn Eagle.

ROBERT J. BURDETTE.

BEATRICE.

DANTE, Sole standing on the heavenward height,
Beheld and heard one saying, "Behold me well:
I am, I am Beatrice." Heaven and hell
Kept silence, and the illimitable light
Of all the stars was darkness in his sight
Whose eyes beheld her eyes again, and fell
Shame stricken. Since her soul took flight to
dwell

In heaven, six hundred years have taken flight.

And now that heavenliest part of earth, whereon Shines yet their shadow as once their presence

shone

To her, bears witness for his sake, as he For hers bear witness when her face was gone. No slave, no hospice now for grief—but free From shore to mountain and from Alp to sea. ALGERNON CHARLES SWINBURNE.

-The Athenæum.

BEATRICE.

BREATHING through twice three hundred years

an air

Of memory fresh as Morning's alter-spice, Thou, Star of Dante-Star of Paradise, Hast made the star of womanhood more fair; For, though thou art now his lofty guardian there,

Victress o'er jealous Sin, who dared entice His feet from thee-though now the high device Of wisdom lights the wreath around thine hairThose eyes can dim the angels' eyes above

Because they tell what flight was thine below: No eagle-flight past peaks of fire and snow, But through life's leaves the flutter of a dove Whose beating wings soothed Dante's air with love

Struck music from the wind of Dante's woe. THEODORE WATTS.

-The Athenæum.

THE WONDERFUL PASSION OF LOVE.

SHE is clad in a robe snowy white, like her purity; Mistily floats from her forhead her hair;

And her dreamy dark eyes, looking into futurity, Mirror the vision that breaks for her there.

In the tint of her face

And the turn of her form,

Showing never a trace

Of life's struggle or storm,
In the innocence veiling her eyes
The proof of her maidenhood lies.

But the maidenly fancies that daintily play
From her heart to her eyes and her lips,
To a welcoming haven they bear her away
As the sails do the outgoing ships.

More sweet than the olive-leaf joyfully carried by
Noah's unchangeable dove.

They tell of the rise of the land that is lit by the wonderful passion of love.

Came a guest when the soul of the summer was glistening

Stayed when the birds of the summer had flown; At the door of her heart he stood knocking and listening,

Craving admittance with music and moan.

Ah! the mischievous god,

With his weeping and mirth,

Blighting lives at a nod,

Bringing heaven to earth

He prevailed, and she opened her heart,
And he entered, alone and apart;

But an image he modeled from passionate life,
And he placed it within on a throne,

And she worshiped and crowned it as maiden and wife,

Till its soul was enwrapped with her own; Till her heart was fulfilled with the radiant passion that's born in the kingdom aboveHumanity's glory, the bountiful, beautiful, wonderful passion of love.

-Kate Field's Washington.

HOMER GREENE,

MAN.

I was born as free as the silvery light
That laughs in a southern fountain;
Free as the sea-fed bird that nests

On a Scandinavian mountain;
Free as the wind that mocks at the sway
And pinioning clasp of another;

Yet in the slave they scourged to-day
I saw, and knew-my brother!
Vested in purple I sat apart,

But the chord that smote him bruised me;
I closed my ears, but the sob that broke
From his savage breast accused me;
No phrase of reasoning judgment just
The plaint of my soul could smother,
A creature vile, abased to the dust,

I knew him still--my brother.

And the autumn day that had smiled so fair Seemed suddenly overclouded;

A gloom, more dreadful than Nature owns, My human mind enshrouded;

I thought of the power benign that made And bound men one to the other,

And I felt in my brother's fear afraid, And ashamed in the shame of my brother. FLORENCE EARLE COATES.

-The Century, June, 1890.

DISCIPLINE.

THE Soul that would in beauty bloom,
Some sorrow must endure.

It is the thorn which guards the bud,
That makes the rose more sure.
MARY A. MASON.
-For THE MAGAZINE OF POETRY.

LIFE.

LIFE'S a panorama shifting, shifting,
(Prelude) Blackness lapsing into gray,
Grayness, fading, fading, dies away.
Rosy morn with cloudlets drifting, drifting,
Through which sunbeams softly sifting, sifting,
Glint until the zenith of the day.

When, lo! A thunder-bolt! A flash! Oh, stay!
Too late! A heart is rent! (The curtain's lifting)
How changed the scene! And e'en while gazing, we
Scarce note the change, 'tis done so dexterously.
Behold! A sweet submissive peaceful haze,
So like the shortening Indian summer days,
And now the end! And if the life be true,
A bank of glory shows the sunset through.
MRS. B. C. RUDE.

-For THE MAGAZINE OF POETRY.

« AnkstesnisTęsti »