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- Poems of Sentiment - 2/14 -


Though Vice may don the judge's gown And play the censor's part, And Fact be cowed by Falsehood's frown And Nature ruled by art; Though Labour toils through blinding tears And idle Wealth is might, I know the honest, earnest years Will bring it all out right.

Though poor and loveless creeds may pass For pure religion's gold; Though ignorance may rule the mass While truth meets glances cold, I know a law complete, sublime, Controls us with its might, And in God's own appointed time It all will come out right.

A WARNING

There was a flame, oh! such a tiny flame - One fleeting hour had spanned its birth and death, But for a silly child with playful breath Who fanned it into fury. It became A mighty conflagration. Ah, the cost! House, home, and thoughtless child alike were lost.

Lady beware. Fan not the harmless glow Of admiration into ardent love, Lean not with red curled smiling lips above The flickering spark of sinless flame, and blow, Lest in the sudden waking of desire Thou, like the child, shalt perish in the fire.

SHRINES

About a holy shrine or sacred place, Where many hearts have bowed in earnest prayer, The loveliest spirits congregate from space, And bring their sweet, uplifting influence there.

If in your chamber you pray oft and well, Soon will these angel-messengers arrive And make their home with you, and where they dwell All worthy toil and purposes shall thrive.

I know a humble, plainly furnished room, So thronged with presences serene and bright, The heaviest heart therein forgets its gloom As in some gorgeous temple filled with light.

Those heavenly spirits, beauteous and divine, Live only in an atmosphere of prayer; Make for yourself a sacred, fervent shrine, And you will find them swiftly flocking there.

THE WATCHER

She gave her soul and body for a carriage, And livened lackey with a vacant grin, And all the rest--house, lands--and called it marriage: The bargain made, a husband was thrown in.

And now, despite her luxury, she's faded, Gone is the bloom that was so fresh and bright; She has the dark-rimmed eye, the countenance jaded, Of one who watches with the sick at night.

Ah, heaven, she does! her sick heart, sick and dying, Beyond the aid of human skill to save, In that cold room her breast is hourly lying, And her grim thoughts crowd near to dig its grave.

And yet it lingers, suffering and wailing, As sick hearts will that feed upon despair, And that lone watcher, unrelieved, is paling With vigils that no pitying soul can share.

Ah, lady! it is hardly what you thought it, This life of luxury and social power; You gave yourself as principal, and bought it, But God extracts the interest hour by hour.

SWIMMING SONG

I am coming, coming to thee, My strong-armed lover, the Sea! On thy great broad breast I will lie and rest, And thou shalt talk to me.

I have come to thee, all unsought, I have stolen an hour from thought, And peace and power thou canst give in that hour, Which thy rival Earth gives not.

Alone here, under the sky, And the whole world drifting by! Thy breast of brine thrills close to mine, While the cloudless sun sails high.

I fly, but thou givest chase - Thy kisses are on my face! Be bold and free as thou wilt, O Sea, There is life in thy close embrace.

Throat and cheek and tress Are damp where thy salt lips press! There is strength and bliss in thy daring kiss, And joy in thy bold caress.

And what is the Earth to me! I have left it all, O Sea! With its dust and soil and strife and toil, For one glad hour with thee.

THE LAW

The sun may be clouded, yet ever the sun Will sweep on its course till the cycle is run. And when into chaos the systems are hurled, Again shall the Builder reshape a new world.

Your path may be clouded, uncertain your goal; Move on, for the orbit is fixed for your soul. And though it may lead into darkness of night, The torch of the Builder shall give it new light.

You were, and you will be: know this while you are. Your spirit has travelled both long and afar. It came from the Source, to the Source it returns; The spark that was lighted, eternally burns.

It slept in the jewel, it leaped in the wave, It roamed in the forest, it rose in the grave, It took on strange garbs for long aeons of years, And now in the soul of yourself it appears.

From body to body your spirit speeds on; It seeks a new form when the old one is gone; And the form that it finds is the fabric you wrought On the loom of the mind, with the fibre of thought.

As dew is drawn upward, in rain to descend, Your thoughts drift away and in destiny blend. You cannot escape them; or petty, or great, Or evil, or noble, they fashion your fate.

Somewhere on some planet, sometime and somehow, Your life will reflect all the thoughts of your now. The law is unerring; no blood can atone; The structure you rear you must live in alone.

From cycle to cycle, through time and through space, Your lives with your longings will ever keep pace. And all that you ask for, and all you desire, Must come at your bidding, as flames out of fire.

Once list to that voice and all tumult is done, Your life is the life of the Infinite One; In the hurrying race you are conscious of pause, With love for the purpose and love for the cause.

You are your own devil, you are your own God, You fashioned the paths that your footsteps have trod, And no one can save you from error or sin, Until you shall hark to the Spirit within.

LOVE, TIME, AND WILL

A soul immortal, Time, God everywhere, Without, within--how can a heart despair, Or talk of failure, obstacles, and doubt? (What proofs of God? The little seeds that sprout, Life, and the solar system, and their laws. Nature? Ah, yes; but what was Nature's cause?)


Poems of Sentiment - 2/14

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