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- Poems of Sentiment - 5/14 -


All through the glory of summer-sun light; Somebody's baby will waken no more.

Somebody's sorrow is making me weep: I know not her name, hut I echo her cry, For the dearly bought baby she longed so to keep, The baby that rode to its long-lasting sleep In the little white hearse that went rumbling by.

I know not her name, but her sorrow I know; While I paused on the crossing I lived it once more, And back to my heart surged that river of woe That but in the breast of a mother can flow; For the little white hearse has been, too, at MY door.

REALISATION (At the Old Homestead)

I tread the paths of earlier times Where all my steps were set to rhymes.

I gaze on scenes I used to see When dreaming of a vague To be.

I walk in ways made bright of old By hopes youth-limned in hues of gold.

But lo! those hopes of future bliss Seem dull beside the joy that IS.

My noonday skies are far more bright Than those dreamed of in morning's light,

And life gives me more joys to hold Than all it promised me of old.

SUCCESS

As we gaze up life's slope, as we gaze In the morn, ere the dewdrops are dry, What splendour hangs over the ways, What glory gleams there in the sky, What pleasures seem waiting us, high On the peak of that beauteous slope, What rainbow-hued colours of hope, As we gaze!

As we climb up the hill, as we climb, Our hearts, our illusions, are rent: For Fate, who is spouse of old Time, Is jealous of youth and content. With brows that are brooding and bent She shadows our sunlight of gold, And the way grows lonely and cold As we climb.

As we toil on, through trouble and pain, There are hands that will shelter and feed; But once let us dare to ATTAIN - They will bruise our bare hearts till they bleed. 'Tis the worst of all crimes to succeed, Know this as ye feast on a crust, Know this in the darkness and dust, Ye who climb.

As we stand on the heights of success, Lo! success seems as sad as defeat! Through the lives we may succour and bless Alone may its litter turn sweet! And the world lying there at our feet, With its cavilling praise and its sneer, We must pity, condone, but not hear, Where we stand.

As we live on those heights, we must live With the courage and pride of a god; For the world, it has nothing to give But the scourge of the lash and the rod. Our thoughts must be noble and broad, Our purpose must challenge men's gaze, While we seek not their blame or their praise As we live.

THE LADY AND THE DAME

So, thou hast the art, good dame, thou swearest, To keep Time's perishing touch at bay From the roseate splendour of the cheek so tender, And the silver threads from the gold away. And the tell-tale years that have hurried by us Shall tip-toe back, and, with kind good-will, They shall take the traces from off our faces, If we will trust to thy magic skill.

Thou speakest fairly; but if I listen And buy thy secret, and prove its truth, Hast thou the potion and magic lotion To give me also the HEART of youth? With the cheek of rose and the eye of beauty, And the lustrous looks of life's lost prime, Wilt thou bring thronging each hope and longing That made the glory of that dead Time?

When the sap in the trees sets young buds bursting, And the song of the birds fills the air like spray, Will rivers of feeling come once more stealing From the beautiful hills of the far-away? Wilt thou demolish the tower of reason, And fling for ever down into the dust The caution time brought me, the lessons life taught me, And put in their places my old sweet trust?

If Time's foot-print from my brow is driven, Canst thou, too, take with thy subtle powers The burden of thinking, and let me go drinking The careless pleasures of youth's bright hours? If silver threads from my tresses vanish, If a glow once more in my pale cheek gleams, Wilt thou slay duty and give back the beauty Of days untroubled by aught but dreams?

When the soft fair arms of the siren Summer Encircle the earth in their languorous fold, Will vast, deep oceans of sweet emotions Surge through my veins as they surged of old? Canst thou bring back from a day long-vanished The leaping pulse and the boundless aim? I will pay thee double, for all thy trouble, If thou wilt restore all these, good dame.

HEAVEN AND HELL

While forced to dwell apart from thy dear face, Love, robed like sorrow, led me by the hand And taught my doubting heart to understand That which has puzzled all the human race. Full many a sage has questioned where in space Those counter worlds were? where the mystic strand That separates them? I have found each land, And Hell is vast, and Heaven a narrow space.

In the small compass of thy clasping arms, In reach and sight of thy dear lips and eyes, There, there for me the joy of Heaven lies. Outside, lo! chaos, terrors' wild alarms, And all the desolation fierce and fell Of void and aching nothingness, makes Hell.

LOVE'S SUPREMACY

As yon great Sun in his supreme condition Absorbs small worlds and makes them all his own, So does my love absorb each vain ambition, Each outside purpose which my life has known. Stars cannot shine so near that vast orb'd splendour; They are content to feed his flames of fire: And so my heart is satisfied to render Its strength, its all, to meet thy strong desire.

As in a forest when dead leaves are falling From all save some perennial green tree, So one by one I find all pleasures palling That are not linked with or enjoyed by thee. And all the homage that the world may proffer, I take as perfumed oils or incense sweet, And think of it as one thing more to offer, And sacrifice to Love, at thy dear feet.

I love myself because thou art my lover, My name seems dear since uttered by thy voice; Yet, argus-eyed, I watch and would discover Each blemish in the object of thy choice. I coldly sit in judgment on each error, To my soul's gaze I hold each fault of me, Until my pride is lost in abject terror, Lest I become inadequate to thee.

Like some swift-rushing and sea-seeking river, Which gathers force the farther on it goes,


Poems of Sentiment - 5/14

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