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- Poems of Sentiment - 3/14 -


All mighty words are short: God, life, and death, War, peace, and truth, are uttered in a breath. And briefly said are love, and will, and time; Yet in them lies a majesty sublime.

Love is the vast constructive power of space; Time is the hour which calls it into place; Will is the means of using time and love, And bringing forth the heart's desires thereof.

The way is love, the time is now, and will The patient method. Let this knowledge fill Thy consciousness, and fate and circumstance, Environment, and all the ills of chance Must yield before the concentrated might Of those three words, as shadows yield to light.

Go, charge thyself with love; be infinite And opulent with thy large use of it: 'Tis from free sowing that full harvest springs; Love God and life and all created things.

Learn time's great value; to this mandate bow, The hour of opportunity is Now, And from thy will, as from a well-strung bow, Let the swift arrows of thy wishes go. Though sent into the distance and the dark, The dawn shall prove thy arrows hit the mark.

THE TWO AGES

On great cathedral window I have seen A summer sunset swoon and sink away, Lost in the splendours of immortal art. Angels and saints and all the heavenly hosts, With smiles undimmed by half a thousand years, From wall and niche have met my lifted gaze. Sculpture and carving and illumined page, And the fair, lofty dreams of architects, That speak of beauty to the centuries - All these have fed me with divine repasts. Yet in my mouth is left a bitter taste, The taste of blood that stained that age of art.

Those glorious windows shine upon the black And hideous structure of the guillotine; Beside the haloed countenance of saints There hangs the multiple and knotted lash. The Christ of love, benign and beautiful, Looks at the torture-rack, by hate conceived And bigotry sustained. The prison cell, With blood-stained walls, where starving men went mad, Lies under turrets matchless in their grace.

God, what an age! How was it that You let Colossal genius and colossal crime Walk for a hundred years across the earth, Like giant twins? How was it then that men, Conceiving such vast beauty for the world, And such large hopes of heaven, could entertain Such hellish projects for their fellow-men? How could the hand that, with consummate skill And loving patience, limned the luminous page, Drop pen and brush, and seize the branding-rod, To scourge a brother for his differing faith?

Not great this age in beauty or in art; Nothing is wrought to-day that shall endure, For earth's adornment, through long centuries Not ours the fervid worship of a God That wastes its splendid opulence on glass, Leaving but hate, to give it mortal kin. Yet great this age: its mighty work is man Knowing himself, the universal life. And great our faith, which shows itself in works For human freedom and for racial good. The true religion lies in being kind. No age is greater than its faith is broad. Through liberty and love men climb to God.

COULEUR DE ROSE

I want more lives in which to love This world so full of beauty, I want more days to use the ways I know of doing duty; I ask no greater joy than this (So much I am life's lover), When I reach age to turn the page And read the story over. (O love, stay near!)

O rapturous promise of the Spring! O June fulfilling after! If Autumns sigh, when Summers die, 'Tis drowned in Winter's laughter. O maiden dawns, O wifely noons, O siren sweet, sweet nights, I'd want no heaven could earth be given Again with its delights (If love stayed near).

There are such glories for the eye, Such pleasures for the ear, The senses reel with all they feel And see and taste and hear; There are such ways of doing good, Such ways of being kind, And bread that's cast on waters fast Comes home again, I find. (O love, stay near.)

There are such royal souls to know, There is so much to learn, While secrets rest in Nature's breast And unnamed stars still burn. God toiled six days to make this earth, I think the good folks say - Six lives we need to give full meed Of praise--one for each day (If love stay near).

But oh! if love fled far away, Or veiled his face from me, One life too much, why then were such A life as this would be. With sullen May and blighted June, Blurred dawn and haggard night, This dear old world in space were hurled If love lent not his light. (O love, stay near!)

LAST LOVE

The first flower of the spring is not so fair Or bright as one the ripe midsummer brings. The first faint note the forest warbler sings Is not as rich with feeling, or so rare As when, full master of his art, the air Drowns in the liquid sea of song he flings Like silver spray from beak, and breast, and wings. The artist's earliest effort, wrought with care, The bard's first ballad, written in his tears, Set by his later toil, seems poor and tame, And into nothing dwindles at the test. So with the passions of maturer years. Let those who will demand the first fond flame, Give me the heart's LAST LOVE, for that is best.

LIFE'S TRACK

This game of life is a dangerous play, Each human soul must watch alway, From the first to the very last. I care not however strong and pure - Let no man say he is perfectly sure The dangerous reefs are past.

For many a rock may lurk near by, That never is seen when the tide is high - Let no man dare to boast, When the hand is full of trumps--beware, For that is the time when thought and care And nerve are needed most.

As the oldest jockey knows to his cost, Full many a well-run race is lost A brief half length from the wire. And many a soul that has fought with sin, And gained each battle, at last gives in To sudden, fierce desire.

And vain seems the effort of spur and whip, Or the hoarse, hot cry of the pallid lip, When once we have fallen back. It is better to keep on stirrup and rein, The steady poise and the careful strain, In speeding along Life's track.

A watchful eye and a strong, true hand Will carry us under the Judge's stand, If prayer, too, does its part; And little by little the struggling soul Will grow and strengthen and gain control Over the passionate heart.


Poems of Sentiment - 3/14

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