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- Poems of Experience - 3/13 -


They are waking, they are waking, In the east, and in the west; They are throwing wide their windows to the sun; And they see the dawn is breaking, And they quiver with unrest, For they know their work is waiting to be done.

They are waking in the city, They are waking on the farm; They are waking in the boudoir, and the mill; And their hearts are full of pity As they sound the loud alarm, For the sleepers, who in darkness, slumber, still.

In the guarded harem prison, Where they smother under veils, And all echoes of the world are walled away; Though the sun has not yet risen, Yet the ancient darkness pales, And the sleepers, in their slumber, dream of day.

And their dream shall grow in splendour Till each sleeper wakes, and stirs; Till she breaks from old traditions, and is free; And the world shall rise, and render Unto woman what is hers, As it welcomes in the race that is to be.

Unto woman, God the Maker Gave the secret of His plan; It is written out in cipher, on her soul; From the darkness, you must take her, To the light of day, O man! Would you know the mighty meaning of the scroll.

MEMORIES {1}

I am thinking of the Springtime On the farm out in the West, When my world held nothing for me that I wanted, (Save a courage all undaunted), And my foolish little rhymes, Were but heart beats, rung in chimes, That I sounded, just to ease my life's unrest. Yes, I sang them, and I rang them, Just to ease my youth's unrest.

When I heard the name of London, In that early day, afar, In that Springtime of my Country over yonder, Then I used to sit and wonder If the day would come to me, When my ship should cross the sea, To the land that seemed as distant as a star. In my dreaming, ever gleaming Like a distant unknown star.

Now in London in the Springtime, I am sitting here, your guest. Nay--I think it is a vision, or a fancy - Part of dreamland Necromancy; And I question: is it true That the great warm hearts of you, Heard the winging of that singing in the West, Heard the chiming of my rhyming From the farmhouse in the West?

Let me linger in the fancy, For the soul of me is stirred As I dream that I am sitting here among you; And the songs that I have sung you Shall grow stronger through the art Of heart speaking unto heart, Through the gladness of the singer who is heard Lo! my songs have crossed the ocean But the voice of my emotion finds no word.

SEE?

If one proves weak who you fancied strong, Or false who you fancied true, Just ease the smart of your wounded heart By the thought that it is not you!

If many forget a promise made, And your faith falls into the dust, Then look meanwhile in your mirror and smile, And say, '_I_ am one to trust!'

If you search in vain for an ageing face Unharrowed by fretful fears, Then make right now (and keep) a vow To grow in grace with the years.

If you lose your faith in the word of man As you go from the port of youth, Just say as you sail, '_I_ will not fail To keep to the course of truth!'

For this is the way, and the only way - At least so it seems to me. IT IS UP TO YOU, TO BE, AND DO, WHAT YOU LOOK FOR IN OTHERS. SEE?

THE PURPOSE

Over and over the task was set, Over and over I slighted the work, But ever and alway I knew that yet I must face and finish the toil I shirk.

Over and over the whip of pain Has spurred and punished with blow on blow; As ever and alway I tried in vain To shun the labour I hated so.

Over and over I came this way For just one purpose: O stubborn soul! Turn with a will to your work to-day, And learn the lesson of SELF-CONTROL.

THE WHITE MAN

Wherever the white man's feet have trod (Oh far does the white man stray) A bold road rifles the virginal sod, And the forest wakes out of its dream of God, To yield him the right of way. For this is the law: BY THE POWER OF THOUGHT, FOR WORSE, OR FOR BETTER, ARE MIRACLES WROUGHT.

Wherever the white man's pathway leads, (Far, far has that pathway gone) The Earth is littered with broken creeds - And alway the dark man's tent recedes, And the white man pushes on. For this is the law: BE IT GOOD OR ILL, ALL THINGS MUST YIELD TO THE STRONGER WILL.

Wherever the white man's light is shed, (Oh far has that light been thrown) Though Nature has suffered and beauty bled, Yet the goal of the race has been thrust ahead, And the might of the race has grown. For this is the law: BE IT CRUEL OR KIND, THE UNIVERSE SWAYS TO THE POWER OF MIND.

A MOORISH MAID

Above her veil a shrouded Moorish maid Showed melting eyes, as limpid as a lake; A brow untouched by care; a band of jetty hair, And nothing more. The all-concealing haik Fell to her high arched instep. At her side An old duenna walked; her withered face Half covered only, since no lingering grace Bespoke the beauty once her master's pride.

Above her veil, the Moorish maid beheld The modern world, in Paris-decked Algiers; Saw happy lad and lass, in love's contentment pass, Or in sweet wholesome friendship, free from fears. She saw fair matrons, walking arm-in-arm With life-long lovers, time-endeared, and then She saw the ardent look in eyes of men, And thrilled and trembled with a vague alarm.

Above her veil she saw the stuccoed court That led to dim secluded rooms within. She followed, dutiful, the dame unbeautiful, Who told her that the Christian world means sin. Some day, full soon, she would go forth a bride - Of one whose face she never had beheld. Something within her, wakened, and rebelled; She flung aside her veil, and cried, and cried.


Poems of Experience - 3/13

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