Claribel and Other Poems (4)
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SHADOWS


THE world goes round and the rain is falling:
                          Welladay!
The world goes round and the rain is falling;
Ever the Shadowy Ones are calling—
                          Come away!

The world goes round and the leaves are falling
                          Every day.
The world goes round and the leaves are falling;
Autumn weeds, are the Spring forestalling;—
                          Earth is grey.

The world goes round and Death is calling—
                          Come away!
The world goes round and Death is calling,
Hour by hour, poor Life appalling.
                          Welladay!

The world goes round and the stars are falling,
                          Welladay!
The world goes round and the stars are falling:
All things, God! unto thee, are calling—
                          Be our stay!


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DEATH


                     O WELCOME, Death!
Long have I sought thee thorough trials many:
Long; long, and tempted would not be of any:
                     Most welcome Death!

                     Thy foes, O Death!
Wisdom and Fame, woo'd me; to my pale lips
Fond Beauty clung—a cloud too thin to eclipse
                     The mooned Death.

                     O trusty Death!
Wisdom with cold sneer mocks thy prophecies
And Glory would outbid thy promises:
                     Yet welcome, Death!

                     All hate thee, Death!
Have not I reason? thou hast stolen away
The sunshine of my being:— my sole stay
                     Art thou, O Death!

                     O gentle Death!
Ill things are said of thee: that thou dost rend
The loving hearts, and mocking ever blend
                     Foul dust with breath.

                     Beloved Death!
Men call thee Pain, and say that thou dost fasten
Thy fangs in the heart of Joy: and yet all hasten
                     To the arms of Death.

                     Impassion'd Death!
All lovely things pillow them on thy breast:
What seek they? surer dreams than life, or rest?
                     Serenest Death!

                     O silent Death!
What joy in thy dream-circled home abideth?
Over the moon-lit face a calm smile glideth.
                     O silent Death!


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A FUNERAL HYMN


WHY are your spirits sad?
                      Why is't ye weep,
When the Weak and Pain-wearied
                      Are bosom'd in sleep?
Hush! lest ye vex the Tired with your rude cries;
In the calm home of Death there are no agonies.
                                            Why do ye weep?

Why are your hearts unstrung?
                      Why are ye dull?
Though our Lost was so young,
                      And is beautiful.
Whom God best loveth he first calleth home:
Wouldst thou detain the summon'd through long
        years to roam,
                                            To toil and weep?

Why mourn ye thanklessly?
                      Toil needeth rest,—
Pain asketh remedy,—
                      'Friends! death is best.'
Better to strew his pillow with green praise
Than pile on his sere heart the snow of evil days!
                      Then ye might weep.

Mourn not what we have lost!
                      What hath he won?
Love ever smileth most.
                      Where he is gone,
There shall we follow.   Joy that lie hath gain'd
God's blessed peace so soon, that he is first unchain'd.
                                            How can ye weep?

Why are your spirits sad?
                      He is at rest.
O, be ye calmly glad!
                      Wrong not the Blest!
What though we see him not, though life is dim?
Hope sits with us in the shade, bearing one wish from
        him—
                                            'Friends! do not weep!'


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A DIRGE

'SWEETS TO THE SWEET'


NIGHTINGALE! sing o'er her tomb;
        Forest-flowers! bend o'er her:
Song to song, and bloom to bloom:
God's wide universe the dome
        Wherein we adore her.

Let our lives sing o'er her tomb,
        True thoughts blossom o'er her!
Song to song, and bloom to bloom:
God smiles through the narrow room,
        White wings float before her.

Soul of song! thou hast no tomb;
        God's own bosom wore her:
Song of song and Bloom of bloom!—
Weep not! in the Blessed Doom
        God's love watcheth o'er her.


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NIGHT-MUSIC


O NIGHTINGALE! why singest thou in May,
    Amid the tender leaves,
Unto the crescent moon, in the twilight grey
    Of sultry eves?
Kissing the pale-brow'd Night with thy low moan,
When the written song o' the sun is blotted out
        and gone.

O Nightingale! why singest to the moon,
    The full-orb'd moon of May?
Pouring the fragrance of that pining tune
    Upon the feet of Day;
Ever from vesper time to near the morn
Trilling thy sweetest plaint, thou ecstasy forlorn!

O Nightingale! O life so sweetly sad!
    Singing 'mid yellow buds that may not leaf;
O soul of song! whose noble music had
    Borrow'd its dearest eloquence from grief:
O thou broad-fronted Heaven, with thy clear eyes,
Solve the sad quest of these melodious agonies!


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OLD FRIENDS


THE old old friends!
Some changed; some buried; some, gone out
                    of sight;
Some enemies, and in this world's swift fight
             No time to make amends.

The old old friends—
Where are they?   Three are lying in one grave;
And one from the far-off world on the daily wave
             No loving message sends.

The old dear friends!
One passes daily; and one wears a mask;
Another long estranged cares not to ask
             Where causeless anger ends.

The dear old friends,
So many and so fond in days of youth!
Alas that Faith can be divorced from Truth,
             When love in severance ends.

The old old friends!
They hover round me still in evening shades:
Surely they shall return when sunlight fades,
             And life on God depends.


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THE DIRGE OF LOVE


STREW flowers, for Love is dead!
Flowers with the Morning's tears upon them shed.
Drop them in Love's lone grave,
By Sorrow's ceaseless wave.
            For Love is dead!

Not flowers!—or take the crown
Hope in her desperate agony flung down!
Unweave each wither'd stem;
And idly scatter them
            Where Love lies dead!

No flowers, but grey moss'd stones!
Or greyer yet, from heights the lichen owns!
Pile them on Love's lone grave,
By Sorrow's moaning wave,
            Now Love is dead!

Fair flowers! ye bloom no more.
Grey mountain summits! ye are clouded o'er.
Lay neither stones nor flowers,
But only woeful hours,
            Where Love lies dead!

Not flowers! but tears instead!
Love was the flower of life——and Love is dead.
Pile up no record stones!
For Sorrow ever moans
            Where love lies dead.


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NOUGHT


HOPE and fear are nought to me,—
        Even despair outwears its sting;
Fear is whelm'd in certainty,—
        Hope, far from me wandering,
Rests where Love may be:
Sorrow sleepeth at my side,
Like the veil'd corse of a bride,—
Ever calmly smileth she:
Earthly hope is not for me.—
                                 Woe is me!

Hope and fear are nought to me,
        Throned o'er Time and Circumstance
In desolation's majesty;
        Evil-tiding and Mischance
Dare not look on Me.
O'er the world the pilgrim fareth;
To the grave Love's cross he beareth:
Pity clingeth tearfully.
Hope and fear are nought to me:
                                 Woe is me!


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HOPE


POOR HOPE sate on a grave, a very child,
Blowing her rainbow bubbles; as she cast
Each one in the air, it broke.   Yet still she smiled
Upon the latest one.  'Look! this will last.'


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GONE


WILL the dead Hours come again,
            From the arms of the buried Years?
Though we call, we call in vain,
            And they will not heed our tears.
Why, O why were they slain
            By thy fears?

Will the dead Love e'er return,
            For all thy late desire?
Can thy grief unclose Love's urn,
            Or make of the ashes—fire;
Though the cinders yet may burn
            Round the pyre?

Alas and alas for the Gone!
            We mourn and we mourn in vain.
Like a ghost, or the dreamy tone
            Of some long-forgotten strain,
Their memory haunts the Lone
            But with pain.


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TO THE WEST WIND


SWEET West Wind! thou breathést on my brow:
    O dear West Wind! thou comést from my home.
O heedless Wind! had I been free as thou
    To stay or go, I had not cared to roam.

O glad West Wind! what bringest then from Her?
    Thy breath is fragrant with her plaint to thee.
What message hast thou from the weary stir
    Of that lone heart which ever beats for me?

O happy Wind! love-laden with her sighs:
    What dreamy kisses layest thou on my brow?
O sad West Wind!—sad, sad, and most unwise:
    A fugitive like me—an exile now.


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LITERÆ SCRIPTÆ


WORDS, loving words, since kisses can not be!
    Words, passionate words that echo past delight!
O Love! whose sun is absent, give to me
    Some starry memories to cheat my night!

Words, loving words! repeat that thou art mine!
    Words, burning words! to warm my heart so cold,
Iced in this polar distance, where I pine
    For summer and its splendours manifold.

Words, fiery words! a pentecost of flame:
    Words, tonguéd fire! to comfort my despair:
Crowning my brow with every passion'd name,—
    Electric sparks from Phoibos' golden hair.

Words, star-like words! each word a globe of fire!
    My Sun-god bath departed: life is dim.
Words! words! a heaven of stars!—O fond Desire!
    The starriest night is darkness, wanting Him.


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FALSE HOPE


GOD save me from mine enemy!
        I pray we ne'er may meet again.
She has been worse than foe to me:
        And yet, if we should meet again
        I should believe her, to my bane.

She has been worse than foe to me,
        With promised love and present pain,
Till love seem'd only injury,
        And troth was known to be in vain:
        I did believe her, to my bane.

Her clear eyes look'd so lovingly,
        She clung with such a hearty strain,
Her lips—O God! so sweet to me—
        Left upon mine a poison blain:
        I did believe her, to my bane.

She has been worse than foe to me:
        Yet I should love her o'er again
If we should meet—dear Injury!
        Men call her Hope,—but she is Pain.
        Pray God we may not meet again.


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VAIN COUNSEL


CEASE to love! since all thy wooing
Can not win her, cease pursuing!
Cease thy loving all so gainless!
Cease, since love can not be painless!
Love not to thine own undoing!

Cease to love love so uncaring!
Cease a love she is not sharing!
Cease to love whose love is fickle!
Fling aside thy broken sickle!
Why should one reap but despairing?

Cease rejected vows to tender!
Cease! thy worthless hope surrender!
Cease to love!—But words are idle.
Will could never yet Love bridle:
Love struck mad with loving splendour.


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FOOT-PRINTS


THERE are days of our lives that lie on the past
    Like the prints of bleeding feet:
But the heart's wayfaring records last,
    Though Hope and Joy may meet. 
Never effaced by the summer rain,
Those marks must aye remain.

Look not back, thou Unhappy One!
    For the blood will blind thine eyes;
Look not down on thy feet; begone
    From the track of agonies.
Leave to the past the things of the past:
For, alas! those marks must last.


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TO HIS LOVE

WHO HAD UNJUSTLY REBUKED HIM


GENTLE as Truth, and zealous even as Love—
    Which is the fiercest of all earthly things;
Frank, and yet using caution as a glove
    To guard the skin from foulnesses or stings,—
Giving the bare hand surely to the true:
Such would I be, to make me worthy you. 

Bitter sometimes, as wholesome tonics are;
    Wrathful as Justice in her earnest mood;
Scornful as Honour is, yet not to bar
    Appreciation of the lowest good;
Loathing the vile, the cruel, the untrue:
How should my manhood else be worthy you?

Say I am subtil, fierce, and bitter-tongued:
    Love is all this, and yet Love is beloved.
But say not that I wilfully have wrong'd
    Even those whose hate and falsehood I have proved.
Who say this know me not, and never knew
What I would be, but to be worthy you.


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BEGINNINGS


A SMALL small seed, and of no account,—
    'Twas a chance if it would grow:
In a deep rock crevice a hidden fount,—
    Mere drops, too few to flow.

Now the seed is a spreading upas tree,
    No joy can live beneath:
And that fount has flooded love's pleasant lea
    With the dark deep tide of death.


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LOVE'S TALISMAN


THOU say'st—'Will thy love last?'   Look through
                the years;
    Behold where Change still sleepeth with the dust
On his closed eye-lids.   Let not thy vain fears
    Awaken him!   Love's talisman is trust.


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THE WOUNDED KNIGHT


LET me rest! the fight is over; I am smitten unto
        death.
Leave me! I shall be unwounded by the worst the
        foeman saith:
Foeman's taunts no more can move him whom his
        friend dishonoureth.

O, 'tis thou hast struck my spirit, stabb'd me in the
        thickest fight
With thy doubt most false and cruel: thou and I had
        else such might,
That all odds had fallen before us, strong in brother-
        hood and right.

Thou didst hold thy shield before me; when my
        sword-point as of old
Cover'd thee, then lookedst on me with a smile so
        scornful cold,
Saying— 'Henceforth I will guard me with an arm
        that is not sold.'

Thou spakest plainly, roundly chargedst me with a
        treason unconceived;
Badest me turn my sword against thee, only so to be
        believed;
Smotest me with a vile suspicion never more to be
        retrieved.

So I fell, fell fighting madly, without thee to shield
        my life; 
All unused to fight dishonour'd, rushing blindly to
        the strife:
So fell, stabb'd to the heart,—O friendliest! stabb'd,
        and by no foeman's knife.

Leave me now! thy pity hurts me.   Thou wilt think
        that thou wert wrong:
Thou wilt think?—O, henceforth rest thee in thy
        false assurance strong:
No such wound be thine as speeds me this dark flood
        of grief along!

Yet, true friend! then didst not falsely, thou by
        treacherous words beguiled.
Closer! thy true tears fall on me! closer!—my words
        too were wild:
My death-smile would whisper to thee—how our love
        is reconciled.


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TEARS


WEEP! weep bitter tears! for thy friends
            Are the Dead and the Overthrown
And the Sacrificed: God lends
            Such help to the Lone.

Weep! weep bitter tears! for thy friends
            Are the Friendless: what art thou?
How silently each yellow leaf wends
            From the wither'd bough.

Weep desperate tears! in the tomb
            Build thy palace brave!
A sure friend and a certain home
            There alone thou may'st have.


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WATCHING


O I am weary, watching for thy coming,—
            And yet thou comést not;
Day after day my weary feet are roaming
            To that dear spot
Where thou didst bless me with those words so
        vain—
'We soon shall meet again.'

My soul is worn with prayer for thy returning,
            And yet thou dost not come;
All through the long long night the lamp is burning
            In thy lone home,—
Thy home, my heart, where echo yet in vain
Thy words—'We meet again.'


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A ROMANCE


'O SISTER! leave your broidery-frame;
        Come to the window, Dear!
Be quick: I hear them shout his name;
        The music draweth near.'——
She leaneth o'er her broidery-frame,
        Her tears are dropping fast;
She heedeth not the glad acclaim,
        Nor the triumph thronging past.

'O Sister! look,—how grand they ride;
        Come to the window, Sweet!
Be quick: the king is at his side,
        They're coming down the street.'——
She leaneth o'er her broidery-frame,
        Her tears are dropping fast;
She heedeth not the pomp of fame,
        Nor the banners flaunting past.

'The sun smiles on their blazonry:
        Come, Dear! or they'll be gone.
Be quick—his eyes are seeking me,—
        My own Victorious One!'— 
She lifts her brow; 'tis flush'd with shame;
        'He was my wooer last.'
She lieth dead by her broidery-frame,
        Ere the knight hath ridden past.


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PARTING
( From the French)


NOT a penny left, and you know in such a case
        You have but to leave me, Darling! and—it's
                easy to forget.
One kiss, one look again into your bonny face,
        And we part, we part for ever—But your eyes
                are wet.

It is nought, dear! we have pass'd a many happy days,
        To say nothing of our nights; but days and
                nights are past.
Could they have been more lasting—But the pro­verb
                soothly says—
        The very best of joys are those which may not
                last.


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VALENTINE'S DAY


SOME young urchin, shamming lonely,
        Writes on 'gilt-edged superfine'
To some unknown charmer, only
        'Be thou, Darling! ever mine';
Draws a heart, with arrow-skewer,—
        'So Love hath transfix'd me thine.'
Never recipe was truer
        For a perfect Valentine.

Birds are billing, birds are cooing;
        All things lovely go in pairs:
We are willing, why not wooing,
        When sweet Spring comes unawares?
Very cold though is this spring-time,
        Snow on every tiny spray;
Better wait some happier ring-time:
        Valentine! put off thy day.

Ho, Saint Valentine so simple,
        Sadly simple Valentine,
All so earnest for a dimple
        And a smile that meets not thine!
Gentle Love! do not deceive me:
        Is thy heart quite throughly mine,
And the arrow barb'd?   Believe me
        Thine own faithful Valentine.


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MIND YOUR KNITTING
( After Beranger )


LUCY! mind your knitting:
            Blind as I may be,
I am certain you're not sitting
            At your work by me.—
' 'Tis so hot this April weather.'—
            Is it cooler where
You and Robert sit together?
            You are idling there.
Lucy! mind your knitting.

Lucy! mind your knitting:
            You have left your seat.
Tell me where again you're flitting:
            Those are not your feet.—
' 'Tis the cat that you hear moving.'—
            You speak false to me:
I'd like Robert better loving
            You more openly.
Lucy! mind your knitting.

Lucy! mind your knitting;
            Lucy! have a fear:
Some day Robert will be quitting——
            Ah! she does not hear.
These young folk will still be scorning
            All we old folk say;
They will never heed our warning
            While their playmates stay.
Lucy! mind your knitting.


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TWO FABLES
________

POT AND KETTLE


WIPE out that black stain, naughty Sister Pot!'
                'You're just as foul, Dame Kettle!' Pot
                          replied.
Twas nicely mean'd by each.   And yet, God wot,
                Some scouring had done more on either side.


PLATE AND JUG


SAYS Plate—'You are narrow and thin; 
        And, poor Jug!   I abominate that.'
Jug replies—'You may call it a sin:
        But, my dear!   I'm not shallow and flat.'


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MAIDEN WISDOM


IT is so hard to keep my lover in his sorrow,
        When, O Love! this very moment I would pine
                to make him blest.
O wisest Mother! tell me, wherefore say To-morrow,
        When there on the threshold waits my heart's
                expected guest?

Tell me, dear Mother! tell me, wherefore test him
                with denial,
        When I know that he is true, for I would give
                him life or death?
Is there need to prove his honour?   Is there any need
                of trial
        When he tells me that he loves me and I listen
                with rapt breath?

When I answer, as you bade me, that he had best be
                waiting
        Till proofs of love's reality and persistence can be
                had,
Then he laughing says—'The birds are less cautions
                in their mating';
Or his eyelids droop so sadly that my darken'd
                heart is sad.

Be sure he's earnest, Mother! very true and pure and
                loving;
Could you see his heart as I do, you would say I
                might be sure:
And he looks, O so imploringly,——Even is there
                need of proving,
I would rather say—Dear Lover! I can trust you
                to endure.


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WINE SONG


LET the purple wine o'erbrim the golden beaker,
            Pouring o'er the Bacchants richly sculptured
                    there;
Never cease thy song-stream, eloquentest speaker!
            Ne'er, till all believe, thy sweet discoursing spare.

Quickly pour the wine from out the fruit-lipp'd beaker;
            Whisper to us, Bacchus! how this life is fair;
Speak out roundly, Wine-god! fortunatest seeker!
            Thou most true bliss-finder! tell us how and
                    where.

Let again the flood o'erbrim the perfect beaker;
            Lift our hearts, Ascender! make our lives thy
                    care;
Yet, yet once more bless—Thy voice is growing
                    weaker——
Bless us with those ripe lips, on this heaven-stair.


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WHAT I HATE


        I HATE cant,
        And I hate a 'plant,'
And humbug I hate altogether;
        And I hate a lie,
        And treachery,
Worse than the foulest weather.

        And as much as I can
        Ever hate a man,
I hate one with a voice unpleasant,
        With a mouth most greedy
        And an eye unsteady:
Him I hate, as a snare the pheasant.

        I hate rich fools,
        And I hate sham schools,
And I hate the pretence of passion;
        And I hate foul words,
        And swine and swineherds,
Though Pork be the height, of the fashion.

I hate weak rhymes—
        Though I use them at times;
        And I hate all the baseness of evil;
And I hate some things more
        Even worse than a bore,—
        And a bore I hate worse than the Devil.


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TRIADS


THREE things that are gone for ever
        When once they have pass'd away:
A man's and a woman's honour
        And the life of Yesterday!

The last in our dreams returneth—
        Though the wakening doubles pain;
But, however the sad heart yearneth,
        Lost honour is sought in vain.

Two things that can never be mended
        By penance or prayer or power:
The trust in a broken promise,
        The growth of a sever'd flower!

And a third that is yet more tender—
        The hope of our trustful years:
Like the autumn's morning splendour,
        Gone—gone in a waste of tears.

Three more should endure for ever:
        The strength of a heavenward song,
The heart of a brave endeavour,
        The pardon that meeteth wrong!

And three should be ever exhaustless—
        Ay! four,—though the heavens depart:
True effort and faith and mercy
        And the love of a loving heart.


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SWEET GALE


THE sweet South Wind once underground was
         frozen,
    And only growth to save her could avail.
She grew up through a plant; the plant so chosen
    We call in our North Country the Sweet Gale.


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AN HOUR OF ROBIN HOOD


O FOR an hour with Robin Hood, deep, deep in the
                forest green,
With fern and budding bramble waving o'er me as a
                screen,
                        In mid noon shade,
                        Where the hot-breath'd Trade
Came never the boughs between.

O for an hour of Robin Hood, and the brave health
                of the free,
Out of the noisome smoke to where the earth breathe,
                fragrantly,
                        Where heaven is seen,
                        And the smile serene
Of heavenliest liberty.

O for the life of Robin Hood, to wander an outlaw
                free
Rather than crawl in the market-place of human
                slavery:
                        Better with men
                        In the wildest glen,
Than palaced with Infamy.

My life for a breath of Robin Hood, with the arrow
                before my eye
And a tyrant but within bow-shot reach: how gladly
                could I die
                        With the fame of Tell,
                        With Robin so well
Embalm'd in history.

O but to rest, like Robin Hood, beneath some forest-
                green,
Where the wild-flowers of the coming spring on my
                mouldering heart may lean;
                        For England's sward
                        Is trampled hard
With the journeyings of the Mean.


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EMIGRANTS


WE'LL not forget you, Mother!
    In the land that's far away;
We'll think of you, dear! at our work,
    And bless you when we pray.
Look cheerly, that your smile may be
    Before me night and day,
On our long journey o'er the sea,
    To the land that's far away.
        Stay those sobs of woe;
            Smooth thine hair so grey:
        'Twill wring my heart to see thee so,
            In the land that's far away.

You'll tend the white rose, Mother!
    On our little Nelly's grave:
I can not help these foolish tears,—
    And yet I'm very brave.
And you'll take care of Tom's dog, poor thing!
    And Nelly's skylark, too;
And think, whene'er you hear him sing,
    He sings of us to you.
        Nay! look calmly, do!
            Mother, Mother! pray:
        How will I bear to dream of you
            In the land that's far away?

We'll write so often, Mother!
    And Father—he can read;
And you'll get some neighbour write to us,
    To say if you're in need.
And tell us how you bear the cold,
    If Father's lameness mends:
Dear life! he's not so very old;
    And God will bring you friends.
        O this parting pain!
            Mother, darling! pray
        Let me see you smile again,
            Before I go away!

We'll save our earnings, Mother!
    To help your failing years;
And some day come back to you, love!
    And kiss away your tears.
Who knows but we may send for you?
    You'll live to see that day:
O, Mother darling! bear it through,
    While we are far away.
        Stay those sobs of woe!
            Smooth thine hair so grey!
        'Twill wring my heart to leave thee
            In the land that's far away.


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THE SONG OF THE PAUPER.


SPRING cometh to the world;
         Spring cometh not to me:
There is no Spring in the poor-house yard,
         For the prison'd Misery.
The fond Spring whispereth:
             The merry birds are singing;
             The chime o' the flowers is ringing:—
But mine is prison breath.

Spring shouteth jubilee:
         The pauper may not fare
From the closeness of his winter ward
         Into the fragrant air.
Spring loosens the frozen earth;
             The forests their free arms are flinging
             Abroad: to me are clinging
Death and the rule of dearth.

Spring smileth: the free birds mate;
         The free flower blossometh:—
The home of the pauper is desolate;
         The grave-weed is his wreath.
There is no smile for me;
             No child to my life is clinging;
             Though the buds on the moors are springing,
I have no family.

Spring cometh to the world;
         Spring giveth life to all:
O, when shall the Spring of poor Human-kind
         Proclaim its festival?
The fond Spring whispereth:
             The merry birds are singing;
             The chime o' the flowers is ringing:—
But mine is prison breath.


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_______________________

RICH AND POOR


IN the softly carpeted and richly furnish'd room
Young life hath enjoyment, as a flower its bloom;
Broidering some pretty toy the dainty fingers ply
An easy task, 'mid pleasant hours, in very luxury.

On the bare floor, in the attic, where cold winds drive
            through,
Young life withers sadly, wanting all its due;
Broidering some gorgeous robe for wealthy dame to
            wear,
Slowly weary fingers labour,—pleasure smiles not
            there.

In the mansion child and maiden know all life's
            delight;
Child and maiden homed with Squalor live in sorry
            plight.


________________


Yet the mansion and the hovel are not far apart;
Under rags or satin beats the human heart;
And the child, on floor or carpet, hopes, desires, and
        fears;
And the rich lass than the poorest hath no pearlier
        tears.

Tell your children that God made them brethren,
    sisters, all,
Born in even a manger or baronial hall;
Teach them what the Poor Man taught the rich long
    time ago,
How all of us are God's children, be we ne'er so low.

Little children! learn the lesson: wheresoe'er you be,
Love and loving help each other, truly, tenderly.


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_______________________

UNSEEN WORTH


A SINGLE drop of rain fell from the skies:
        None saw it, on that day so bright and fair.
        It slid into the ground, and nourish'd there
The acorn of an oak to live for centuries.


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_______________________

GOD'S MARTYRS


THE glorious roll of martyr names—
        The angels of our earth,—
Our hearts beat high when praise proclaims
        That constellated Worth;
But in the shade of Time there lies
        A tomb Love stoopeth o'er,
To read—'The Scorn'd of Histories,
        The Nameless Martyr Poor.'

The Poor, the unthank'd labour-worn,
        Who all unnoticed died,—
The Toilers trampled down by scorn
        Upon the world's wayside!
Tell out the starry names that gem
        God's heaven!   The sanded shore
Is countless: who shall number them—
        The silent-suffering Poor?

The world shall never know their names,
        Nor Fame recount their deeds;
They had no high heroic aims,
        Nor strain'd at lofty meeds:
They were but men of common mould,
        Yet royal crowns they wore:
What though their trials be untold?
        God's Martyrs are the Poor.

They toil'd, they died,—Oblivion trod
        Above the dust of Slaves:
Yet reach'd they hero-souls to God
        From out the lowliest graves.
And yet a glorious shrine we'll raise
        Their buried memories o'er,
Where reverent ages long shall praise
        The scarce-remember'd Poor.


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_______________________

THE PALACE


ILL-BUILT, dim-window'd, many a broken tile,—
    A king dwells here, kings are his visitors.
Which is the palace?   This? or yonder pile
    Where crowned Meanness hides, past all its golden
        doors?



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