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- Poems of Cheer - 4/17 -


Days when he will not call for "mamma," when The world, with many a pleasure and bright joy, Shall tempt him forth into the haunts of men And I shall lose the first place with my boy;

When other homes and loves shall give delight, When younger smiles and voices will seem best. And so I held him to my heart to-night, Forgetting all my need of peace and rest.

THE OCEAN OF SONG

In a land beyond sight or conceiving, In a land where no blight is, no wrong, No darkness, no graves, and no grieving, There lies the great ocean of song. And its waves, oh, its waves unbeholden By any save gods, and their kind, Are not blue, are not green, but are golden, Like moonlight and sunlight combined.

It was whispered to me that their waters Were made from the gathered-up tears That were wept by the sons and the daughters Of long-vanished eras and spheres. Like white sands of heaven the spray is That falls all the happy day long, And whoever it touches straightway is Made glad with the spirit of song.

Up, up to the clouds where their hoary Crowned heads melt away in the skies, The beautiful mountains of glory Each side of the song-ocean rise. Here day is one splendour of sky-light - Of God's light with beauty replete. Here night is not night, but is twilight, Pervading, enfolding, and sweet.

Bright birds from all climes and all regions, That sing the whole glad summer long, Are dumb, till they flock here in legions And lave in the ocean of song. It is here that the four winds of heaven, The winds that do sing and rejoice, It is here they first came and were given The secret of sound and a voice.

Far down along beautiful beeches, By night and by glorious day, The throng of the gifted ones reaches, Their foreheads made white with the spray, And a few of the sons and the daughters Of this kingdom, cloud-hidden from sight, Go down in the wonderful waters, And bathe in those billows of light.

And their souls evermore are like fountains, And liquid and lucent and strong, High over the tops of the mountains Gush up the sweet billows of song. No drouth-time of waters can dry them. Whoever has bathed in that sea, All dangers, all deaths, they defy them, And are gladder than gods are, with glee.

"IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN"

We will be what we could be. Do not say, "It might have been, had not or that, or this." No fate can keep us from the chosen way; He only might, who IS.

We will do what we could do. Do not dream Chance leaves a hero, all uncrowned to grieve. I hold, all men are greatly what they seem; He does, who could achieve.

We will climb where we could climb. Tell me not Of adverse storms that kept thee from the height. What eagle ever missed the peak he sought? He always climbs who might.

I do not like the phrase, "It might have been!" It lacks all force, and life's best truths perverts For I believe we have, and reach, and win, Whatever our deserts.

MOMUS, GOD OF LAUGHTER

Though with gods the world is cumbered, Gods unnamed, and gods unnumbered, Never god was known to be Who had not his devotee. So I dedicate to mine, Here in verse, my temple-shrine.

'Tis not Ares,--mighty Mars, Who can give success in wars. 'Tis not Morpheus, who doth keep Guard above us while we sleep, 'Tis not Venus, she whose duty 'Tis to give us love and beauty; Hail to these, and others, after Momus, gleesome god of laughter.

Quirinus would guard my health, Plutus would insure me wealth; Mercury looks after trade, Hera smiles on youth and maid. All are kind, I own their worth, After Momus, god of mirth.

Though Apollo, out of spite, Hides away his face of light, Though Minerva looks askance, Deigning me no smiling glance, Kings and queens may envy me While I claim the god of glee.

Wisdom wearies, Love has wings - Wealth makes burdens, Pleasure stings, Glory proves a thorny crown - So all gifts the gods throw down Bring their pains and troubles after; All save Momus, god of laughter. He alone gives constant joy. Hail to Momus, happy boy.

I DREAM

Oh, I have dreams. I sometimes dream of Life In the full meaning of that splendid word. Its subtle music which few men have heard, Though all may hear it, sounding through earth's strife. Its mountain heights by mystic breezes kissed Lifting their lovely peaks above the dust; Its treasures which no touch of time can rust, Its emerald seas, its dawns of amethyst, Its certain purpose, its serene repose, Its usefulness, that finds no hour for woes, This is my dream of Life.

Yes, I have dreams. I ofttimes dream of Love As radiant and brilliant as a star. As changeless, too, as that fixed light afar Which glorifies vast worlds of space above. Strong as the tempest when it holds its breath, Before it bursts in fury; and as deep As the unfathomed seas, where lost worlds sleep, And sad as birth, and beautiful as death. As fervent as the fondest soul could crave, Yet holy as the moonlight on a grave. This is my dream of Love.

Yes, yes, I dream. One oft-recurring dream Is beautiful and comforting and blest, Complete with certain promises of rest, Divine content, and ecstasy supreme. When that strange essence, author of all faith, That subtle something, which cries for the light, Like a lost child who wanders in the night, Shall solve the mighty mystery of Death, Shall find eternal progress, or sublime And satisfying slumber for all time. This is my dream of Death.

THE SONNET

Alone it stands in Poesy's fair land, A temple by the muses set apart; A perfect structure of consummate art, By artists builded and by genius planned, Beyond the reach of the apprentice hand, Beyond the ken of the untutored heart, Like a fine carving in a common mart, Only the favoured few will understand. A chef d'auvre toiled over with great care, Yet which the unseeing careless crowd goes by,


Poems of Cheer - 4/17

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