Slike strani

Know that the wealth of the poet's thought Is sweet to win, but bitter to keep.

- Ballad of the Poet's Thought.


IN SEPTEMBER. This windy, bright September afternoon

My heart is wide awake, yet full of dreams.

The air, alive with hushed confusion, teems With scent of grain-fields, and a mystic rune, Foreboding of the fall of Summer soon,

Keeps swelling and subsiding; till there seems

O'er all the world of valleys, hills, and streams, Only the wind's inexplicable tune. My heart is full of dreams, yet wide awake. I lie and watch the topmost tossing boughs

Of tall elms, pale against the vaulted blue; But even now some yellowing branches shake, Some hue of death the living green endows:

If beauty fies, fain would I vanish too.

Breather of honeyed breath upon my face!

Teller of balmy tales! Weaver of dreams!

Sweet conjurer of palpitating gleams And peopled shadows trooping into place

In purple streams Between the drooped lid and the drowsy eye!

Moth-winged seducer, dusky-soft and brown, Of bubble gifts and bodiless minstrelsy

Lavish enough! Of rest the restful crown! At whose behest are closed the lips that sigh, And weary heads lie down.

Ode to Drowsi hood,


A BREATHING TIME. Here is a breathing time, and rest for a little season. Here have I drained deep draughts out of the

springs of life. Here, as of old, while still unacquainted with toil

and faintness, Stretched are my veins with strength, fearless my

heart and at peace. I have come back from the crowd, the blinding

strife and the tumult, Pain, and the shadow of pain, sorrow in silence en

dured; Fighting, at last I have fallen, and sought the

breast of the Mother,Quite cast down I have crept close to the broad

sweet earth. Lo, out of failure triumph! Renewed the waver

ing courage, Tense the unstrung nerves, steadfast the faltering

knees! Weary no more, nor faint, nor grieved at heart,

nor despairing, Hushed in the earth's green lap, lulled to slumber

and dreams!

O Child of Nations, giant-limbed,

Who stand'st among the nations now
Unheeded, unadored, unhymned,

With unanointed brow,-
How long the ignoble sloth, how long

The trust in greatness not thine own?
Surely the lion's brood is strong

To front the world alone!
How long the indolence, ere thou dare

Achieve thy destiny, seize thy fame -
Ere our proud eyes behold thee bear

A nation's franchise, nation's name? The Saxon force, the Celtic fire,

These are thy manhood's heritage! Why rest with babes and slaves ? Seek higher The place of race and age.




The solitude's evading harmony
Mingled remotely over sea and land.

- Ariadne.
And each compelling beauty that excites
A yearning shall fulfil its own desire.

- Ibid. POETRY. Oh, poets bewailing your hapless lot, That ye may not in Nature your whole heart


Summers and summers have come, and gone with

the flight of the swallow; Sunshine and thunder have been, storm, and win

ter, and frost; Many and many a sorrow has all but died from

remembrance, Many a dream of joy fall’n in the shadow of

pain. Hands of chance and change have marred, or

moulded, or broken, Busy with spirit or flesh, all I most have adored; Even the bosom of Earth is strewn with heavier

shadows, Only in these green hills, aslant to the sea, no change!

The Tantramar Revisited.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors][merged small]

Oh, might some patriot rise the gloom dispel,
Chase Error's mist, and break her magic spell!
But vain the wish — for, hark, the murmuring meed
Of hoarse applause from yonder shed proceed!
Enter and view the thronging concourse there,
Intent with gaping mouth and stupid stare;
While in their midst their supple leader stands,
Harangues aloud and flourishes his hands,
To adulation tones his servile throat,
And sues successful for each blockhead's vote.




(Published in a volume at the age of seventeen, written some

years earlier.) Mild offspring of a dark and sullen sire! Whose modest form, so delicately fine,

Was nursed in whirling storms,

And cradled in the winds; Thee, when young Spring first questioned Winter's

sway, And dared the sturdy blusterer to the fight,

Thee on this bank he threw,

To mark his victory.
In this low vale, the promise of the year,
Serene, thou openest to the nipping gale.

Unnoticed and alone,

Thy tender elegance. So virtue blooms, brought forth amid the storms Of chill adversity; in some lone walk

Of life she rears her head,

Obscure and unobserved;
While every bleaching breeze that on her blows
Chastens her spotless purity of breast,

And hardens her to bear
Serene the ills of life.,



(Published at the age of twelve.) O STILL, white face of perfect peace,

Untouched by passion, freed from pain! He, who ordained that work should cease,

Took to Himself the ripened grain. O noble face! your beauty bears

The glory that is wrung from pain,The high, celestial beauty wears

Of finished work, of ripened grain.
Of human care you left no trace,

No lightest trace of grief or pain,-
On earth an empty form and face-
In Heaven stands the ripened grain.



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

FRAGMENT. ( Written at the age of fourteen.) Hark! the owlet flaps his wings

In the pathless dell beneath! Hark! 'tis the night-raven sings Tidings of approaching death!



(Written at the age of twelve.) “Oh! what hath caused my killing miseries?” * Eyes," Echo said. What hath detained my

ease ?EASE," straight the reasonable nymph replies. That nothing can my troubled mind appease ?" “ PEACE," Echo answers. “What, is any nigh?”

Philetus said. She quickly utters, “ I." Is't Echo answers ? tell me then ihy will:” *I will," she said.

What shall I get," says he, “ By loving still ?" To which she answers, “Ill." · Ill ! Shall I void of wish'd-for pleasures die?” 1." "Shall not I, who toil in ceaseless pain,

Some pleasure know?” No," she replies again, “ False and inconstant nymph, thou lyest!” said he;

THOU LYEST,” she said, “And I deserved her hate, If I should thee believe.” “ BELIEVE," saith she. · For why? thy idle words are of no weight." Weight," she answers." Therefore I'll deparı." To which resounding Echo answers, “Part."


[ocr errors]


( Written at the age of thirteen.) E'EN while I sing, see Faction urge her claim, Misled with falsehood and with zeal inflame; List her black banner, spread her empire wide, And stalk triumphant with a Fury's stride! She blows her brazen trump, and at the sound A motley throng, obedient, flock around; A mist of changing hue around she flings, And Darkness perches on her dragon wings!


[blocks in formation]

SOMEBODY'S MOTHER. The woman was old and ragged and gray, And bent with the chill of winter's day; The streets were white with a recent snow, And the woman's feet with age were slow.

He stands at ilka door, an' he keeks wi' wistful' e'e, To see the crowd aroun' the fire a' laughin' loud

wi' glee, But he daurna venture ben, though his heart be

e'er sae fain, For he maunna play wi'ither bairns, the drunkard's

raggit wean. Oh, see the wee bit bairnie, his heart is unco' fou, The sleet is blawin' cauld, and he's droukit through

and through, He's peerin' for his mither, an' he wun'ers whaur

she's gane, But oh! his mither she forgets her puir wee raggit

At the crowded crossing she waited long,
Jostled aside by the careless throng
Of human beings who passed her by,
Unheeding the glance of her anxious eye.

Down the street with laughter and shout, Glad in the freedom of “ school let out," Come happy boys, like a flock of sheep, Hailing the snow piled white and deep; Past the woman, so old and gray, Hastened the children on their way.


None offered a helping hand to her,
So weak and timid, afraid to stir,
Lest the carriage wheels or the horses' feet
Should trample her down in the slippery street.

He ken's nae faither's love, an' he kens nae mith.

er's care, To sooth his wee bit sorrows, or kame his tautit

hair, To kiss him when he waukens, or smooth his bed

at e'en, An' oh! he fears his faither's face, the drunkard's

raggit wean.

At last came out of the merry troop
The gayest boy of all the group;
He paused beside her and whispered low,

I'll help you across, if you wish to go."

Oh pity the wee laddie, sae guileless an' sae young, The oath that lea's the faither's lip 'll settle on his

tongue; An' sinfu' words his mither speaks his infant lips

'll stain, For oh! there's nane to guide the bairn, the drunk.

ard's raggit wean.

Her aged hand on his strong young arm
She placed, and so without hurt or harm
He guided the trembling feet along,
Proud that his own were young and strong;
Then back again to his friends he went,
His young heart happy and well content.

“She's somebody's mother, boys, you know,
For all she's aged, and poor and slow;
And some one, some time, may lend a hand
To help my mother-you understand ?
If ever she's old and poor and gray,
And her own dear boy so far away."

Then surely we micht try an' turn that sinfu'mith.

er's heart, An' try to get his faither to act a faither's part, An' mak' them lea' the drunkard's cup, an' never

taste again, An' cherish wi' a parent's care, their puir wee raggit wean.


Somebody's mother" bowed low her head In her home that night, and the prayer she said Was: “God be kind to that noble boy, Who is somebody's son and pride and joy."


WHAT I LIVE FOR. I LIVE for those who love me,

Whose hearts are kind and true; For the Heaven that smiles above me,

And awaits my spirit too;
For all human ties that bind me,
For the task by God assigned me,
For the bright hopes yet to find me,

And the good that I can do.

THE DRUNKARD'S RAGGIT WEAN. A WEE bit raggit laddie gangs wan'rin through the

street, Wadin' 'mang the snaw wi' his wee hackit feet, Shiverin' i' the cauld blast, greetin' wi' the pain; Wha's the puir wee callan ? he's a drunkard's rag

git wean.

I live to learn their story

Who suffered for my sake; To emulate their glory,

And follow in their wake:


« PrejšnjaNaprej »