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- Poems of Sentiment - 4/14 -


AN ODE TO TIME

Ho! sportsman Time, whose chargers fleet The moments, madly driven, Beat in the dust beneath their feet Sweet hopes that years have given; Turn, turn aside those reckless steeds, Oh! do not urge them my way; There's nothing that Time wants or needs In this contented by-way.

You have down-trodden, in your race, So much that proves your power, Why not avoid my humble place? Why rob me of my dower? With your vast cellars, cavern deep, Packed tier on tier with treasures, You would not miss them should I KEEP My little store of pleasures.

As one who, frightened, flying, flings Her riches down at random, Your course is paved with precious things Life casts before your tandem: The warrior's fame, the conqueror's crown, Great creeds for ages cherished, Beneath your chariot-wheels were thrown, And, crushed to earth, they perished.

Although to just and generous deeds Your heart is not a stranger, I have the feeling that one needs To guard his wealth from danger. And though a most heroic light Oft on your pathway lingers, I'd hide my treasures, if I might, From contact with your fingers.

You are the loyal friend of Truth, Go seek her, make her stronger, And leave the remnant of my youth To me a little longer. There's work enough for you before Eternity shall wed you: Why stoop to steal my simple store? Why make me shun and dread you?

You do not need my joys, I say, Home, love, and friends united - I beg you turn and go the way Where wrong waits to be righted; Or pause, and let us chat a while: I'll listen--not too near you, For oh! no matter how you smile, I fear you, Time, I fear you!

REGRET AND REMORSE

Regret with streaming eyes doth seem alway A maiden widowed on her wedding day.

While dark Remorse, with eyes too sad for tears, A crushed, desponding Magdalene appears.

One, with a hungering heart unsatisfied, Mourns for imagined joys that were denied.

The other, pierced by recollected sin, Broods o'er the scars of pleasures that have been.

EASTER MORN

A truth that has long lain buried At Superstition's door, I see, in the dawn uprising In all its strength once more.

Hidden away in the darkness, By Ignorance crucified, Crushed under stones of dogmas - Yet lo! it has not died.

It stands in the light transfigured, It speaks from the heights above, "EACH SOUL IS ITS OWN REDEEMER; THERE IS NO LAW BUT LOVE."

And the spirits of men are gladdened As they welcome this Truth re-born With its feet on the grave of Error And its eyes to the Easter Morn.

BLIND

Whatever a man may think or feel He can tell to the world and it hears aright; But it bids the woman conceal, conceal, And woe to the thoughts that at last ignite. She may serve up gossip or dwell on fashion, Or play the critic with speech unkind, But alas for the woman who speaks with passion! For the world is blind--for the world is blind.

It is woman who sits with her starved desire, And drinks to sorrow in cups of tears; She reads by the light of her soul on fire The secrets of love through lonely years: But out of all she has felt or heard Or read by the glow of her soul's white flame, If she dare but utter aloud one word - How the world cries shame!--how the world cries shame!

It cannot distinguish between the glow Of a gleaming star, in the sky of gold, Or a spent cigar in the dust below - 'Twixt unclad Eve or a wanton bold; And ever if woman speaks what she feels (And feels consistent with God's great plan) It has cast her under its juggernaut wheels, Since the world began--since the world began.

THE YELLOW-COVERED ALMANAC

I left the farm when mother died and changed my place of dwelling To daughter Susie's stylish house right on the city street: And there was them before I came that sort of scared me, telling How I would find the town folks' ways so difficult to meet; They said I'd have no comfort in the rustling, fixed-up throng, And I'd have to wear stiff collars every week-day, right along.

I find I take to city ways just like a duck to water; I like the racket and the noise and never tire of shows; And there's no end of comfort in the mansion of my daughter, And everything is right at hand and money freely flows; And hired help is all about, just listenin' to my call - But I miss the yellow almanac off my old kitchen wall.

The house is full of calendars from attic to the cellar, They're painted in all colours and are fancy like to see, But in this one particular I'm not a modern feller, And the yellow-coloured almanac is good enough for me. I'm used to it, I've seen it round from boyhood to old age, And I rather like the jokin' at the bottom of the cage.

I like the way its "S" stood out to show the week's beginning, (In these new-fangled calendars the days seem sort of mixed), And the man upon the cover, though he wa'n't exactly winnin', With lungs and liver all exposed, still showed how we are fixed; And the letters and credentials that was writ to Mr. Ayer I've often on a rainy day found readin' pretty fair.

I tried to buy one recently; there wa'n't none in the city! They toted out great calendars, in every shape and style. I looked at 'em in cold disdain, and answered 'em in pity - "I'd rather have my almanac than all that costly pile." And though I take to city life, I'm lonesome after all For that old yellow almanac upon my kitchen wall.

THE LITTLE WHITE HEARSE

Somebody's baby was buried to-day - The empty white hearse from the grave rumbled back, And the morning somehow seemed less smiling and gay As I paused on the walk while it crossed on its way, And a shadow seemed drawn o'er the sun's golden tract.

Somebody's baby was laid out to rest, White as a snowdrop, and fair to behold, And the soft little hands were crossed over the breast, And those hands and the lips and the eyelids were pressed With kisses as hot as the eyelids were cold.

Somebody saw it go out of her sight, Under the coffin lid--out through the door; Somebody finds only darkness and blight


Poems of Sentiment - 4/14

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