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- Poems of Progress - 3/16 -


You were flung upon your way. When the system falls to pieces, When this pulsing epoch ceases, When the IS becomes the WAS, You will live, for you will enter In the great Creative Centre, In the All-Enduring Cause.

HOLIDAY SONGS

I

Sailing away on a summer sea, Out of the bleak March weather; Drifting away for a loaf and play, Just you and I together; And it's good-bye worry and good-bye hurry And never a care have we; With the sea below and the sun above And nothing to do but dream and love, Sailing away together.

Sailing away from the grim old town And tasks the town calls duty; Sailing away from walls of grey To a land of bloom and beauty, And it's good-bye to letters from our lessers and our betters, To the cold world's smile or its frown. We sail away on a sunny track To find the summer and bring it back And love is our only duty.

II

Afloat on a sea of passion Without a compass or chart, But the glow of your eye shows the sun is high, By the sextant of my heart. I know we are nearing the tropics By the languor that round us lies, And the smile on your mouth says the course is south And the port is Paradise.

We have left grey skies behind us, We sail under skies of blue; You are off with me on lovers' sea, And I am away with you. We have not a single sorrow, And I have but one fear - That my lips may miss one offered kiss From the mouth that is smiling near.

There is no land of winter; There is no world of care; There is bloom and mirth all over the earth, And love, love everywhere. Our boat is the barque of Pleasure, And whatever port we sight The touch of your hand will make the land The Harbour of Pure Delight.

ASTROLABIUS (THE CHILD OF ABELARD AND HELOISE)

I wrenched from a passing comet in its flight, By that great force of two mad hearts aflame, A soul incarnate, back to earth you came, To glow like star-dust for a little night. Deep shadows hide you wholly from our sight; The centuries leave nothing but your name, Tinged with the lustre of a splendid shame, That blazed oblivion with rebellious light.

The mighty passion that became your cause, Still burns its lengthening path across the years; We feel its raptures, and we see its tears And ponder on its retributive laws. Time keeps that deathless story ever new; Yet finds no answer, when we ask of you.

II

At Argenteuil, I saw the lonely cell Where Heloise dreamed through her broken rest, That baby lips pulled at her undried breast. It needed but my woman's heart to tell Of those long vigils and the tears that fell When aching arms reached out in fruitless quest, As after flight, wings brood an empty nest. (So well I know that sorrow, ah, so well.)

Across the centuries there comes no sound Of that vast anguish; not one sigh or word Or echo of the mother loss has stirred, The sea of silence, lasting and profound. Yet to each heart, that once has felt this grief, Sad Memory restores Time's missing leaf.

III

But what of you? Who took the mother's place When sweet expanding love its object sought? Was there a voice to tell her tragic lot, And did you ever look upon her face? Was yours a cloistered seeking after grace? Or in the flame of adolescent thought Were Abelard's departed passions caught To burn again in you and leave their trace?

Conceived in nature's bold primordial way (As in their revolutions, suns create), You came to earth, a soul immaculate, Baptized in fire, with some great part to play. What was that part, and wherefore hid from us, Immortal mystery, Astrolabius!

COMPLETION

When I shall meet God's generous dispensers Of all the riches in the heavenly store, Those lesser gods, who act as Recompensers For loneliness and loss upon this shore, Methinks abashed, and somewhat hesitating, My soul its wish and longing will declare. Lest they reply: 'Here are no bounties waiting: We gave on earth, your portion and your share.'

Then shall I answer: 'Yea, I do remember The many blessings to my life allowed; My June was always longer than December, My sun was always stronger than my cloud, My joy was ever deeper than my sorrow, My gain was ever greater than my loss, My yesterday seemed less than my to-morrow, The crown looked always larger than the cross.

'I have known love, in all its radiant splendour, It shone upon my pathway to the end. I trod no road that did not bloom with tender And fragrant blossoms, planted by some friend. And those material things we call successes, In modest measure, crowned my earthly lot. Yet was there one sweet happiness that blesses The life of woman, which to me came not.

'I knew the hope of motherhood; a season I felt a fluttering heart beat 'neath my own; A little cry--then silence. For that reason I dare, to you, my only wish make known. The babe who grew to angelhood in heaven, I never watched unfold from child to man. And so I ask, that unto me be given That motherhood, which was God's primal plan.

'All womankind He meant to share its glories; He meant us all to nurse our babes to rest. To croon them songs, to tell them sleepy stories, Else why the wonder of a woman's breast? He must provide for all earth's cheated mothers In His vast heavens of shining sphere on sphere, And with my son, there must be many others - My spirit children who will claim me here.

'Fair creatures by my loving thoughts created - Too finely fashioned for a mortal birth - Between the borders of two worlds they waited Until they saw my spirit leave the earth. In God's great nursery they must be waiting To welcome me with many an infant wile. Now let me go and satisfy this longing To mother children for a little while.'

SLEEP'S TREACHERY

As the grey twilight, tiptoed down the deep And shadowy valley, to the day's dark end, She whom I thought my ever-faithful friend, Fair-browed, calm-eyed and mother-bosomed Sleep, Met me with smiles. 'Poor longing heart, I keep Sweet joy for you,' she murmured. 'I will send One whom you love, with your own soul to blend In visions, as the night hours onward creep.'

I trusted her; and watched by starry beams,


Poems of Progress - 3/16

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