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- Poems of Experience - 10/13 -


I'm pardoned out. Again the stars Shine on me with their myriad eyes. So long I've peered 'twixt iron bars, I'm awed by this expanse of skies. The world is wider than I thought, And yet 'tis not so wide, I know, But into its remotest spot My tale of shame can go.

I'm pardoned out. Old Father Time Who seemed to halt in horror, when I stained my manhood by a crime, With steady step moves on again, And through the black appalling night, That walled me in a gloom accurst, The wonder of the morning light In sudden glory burst.

I'm pardoned out. I shall be known No more by number, but by name. And yet each whispering wind has blown Abroad the story of my shame. I dread to see men shrink away With startled looks of scorn or fear, When in life's crowded marts some day, That name falls on their ear.

I'm pardoned out, ah God! to roam Like some whipped dog among my kind. I have no friends, I have no home, Save these bleak walls I leave behind. How can I face the world of men, My comrades in the days of yore? Oh! hide me in my cell again, And, warden, lock the door.

THE TIDES

Oh, vain is the stern protesting Of winds, when the tide runs high; And vainly the deep-sea waters Call out, as the waves speed by; For, deaf to the claim of the ocean, To the threat of the loud winds dumb, Past reef and bar, to shores afar, They rush when the hour is come.

Vainly the tempest thunders, Of unsexed waves that roam, Away from the mid-sea calmness, Where Nature made their home. For the voice of the great Moon-Mother, Has spoken and said, 'Be free.' And the tide must go to the strong full flow, In the time of the perigee.

So vain is the cry of the masters, And vain the plea of the hearth; As the ranks of the strange New Woman Go sweeping across the earth. They have come from hall and hovel, They have pushed through door and gate; On the world's highway they are crowded to-day, For the hour is the hour of fate.

Many are hurt in the crowding, The light of the home burns dim; And man is aghast at the changes, Though all can be traced to him. They sat too long at the hearthstone, And sat too oft alone: And the silence spoke, and their souls awoke, And now they must claim their own.

Let no man hope to hinder, Let no man bid them pause: They are moved by a hidden purpose, They follow resistless laws. And out of the wreck and chaos Of the order that used to be, A strong new race shall take its place In a world we are yet to see.

Oh, ever has man been leader, Yet failed as woman's guide. It is better that she step forward, And take her place at his side. For only from greater woman, May come the greater man, Through life's long quest they should walk abreast - As was meant by the primal plan.

PROGRESSION

To each progressive soul there comes a day When all things that have pleased and satisfied Grow flavourless, the springs of joy seem dried. No more the waters of youth's fountains play; Yet out of reach, tiptoeing as they may, The more mature and higher pleasures hide. Life, like a careless nurse, fails to provide New toys for those the soul has cast away.

Upon a strange land's border all alone, Awhile it stands dismayed and desolate. Nude too, since its old garments are outgrown; Till clothed with strength befitting its estate, It grasps at length those raptures that are known To souls who learn to labour, and to wait.

ACQUAINTANCE

Not we who daily walk the city's Not those who have been cradled in its heart, Best understand its architectural art Or realise its grandeur. Oft we meet Some stranger who has staid his passing feet And lingered with us for a single hour, And learned more of cathedral, and of tower, Than we who deem our knowledge quite complete.

Not always those we hold most loved and dear, Not always those who dwell with us, know best Our greater selves. Because they stand so near They cannot see the lofty mountain crest, The gleaming sun-kissed height, which fair and clear Stands forth--revealed unto the some-time guest.

ATTAINMENT

There is no summit you may not attain, No purpose which you may not yet achieve, If you will wait serenely and believe. Each seeming loss is but a step to'rd gain.

Between the mountain-tops lie vale and plain; Let nothing make you question, doubt, or grieve; Give only good, and good alone receive; And as you welcome joy, so welcome pain.

That which you most desire awaits your word; Throw wide the door and bid it enter in. Speak, and the strong vibrations shall be stirred; Speak, and above earth's loud, unmeaning din Your silent declarations shall be heard. All things are possible to God's own kin.

THE TOWER-ROOM

There is a room serene and fair, All palpitant with light and air; Free from the dust, world's noise and fuss - God's Tower-room in each of us.

Oh! many a stair our feet must press, And climb from self to selflessness, Before we reach that radiant room Above the discord and the gloom.

So many, many stairs to climb, But mount them gently--take your time; Rise leisurely, nor strive to run - Not so the mightiest feats are done.

Well doing of the little things: Repression of the word that stings; The tempest of the mind made still By victory of the God-like will.

The hated task performed in love - All these are stairs that wind above The things that trouble and annoy, Up to the Tower-room of joy.

Rise leisurely; the stairs once trod Reveal the mountain peaks of God; And from its upper room the soul


Poems of Experience - 10/13

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