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THE RIDDLE READ.

 

I THANK my God I ever lived to see the blessed day,
    When the spirit's immortality to me is rendered clear;
Not by a logic might be made some other tune to play,
    But by a flash of inner light too keen for doubt to bear.

Long, long can death, be death indeed, I asked 'mid doubts
            and fears;
    Long vainly groped in darkness for the jewels I had lost;
Long listened for an answer to the quest expressed in tears,
    And only found what to the heart a bitterer struggle cost.

Oft in the visions of the night I saw their golden locks,
    I kiss'd their eyes as violets sweet when March with
            boisterous breath,
The lordly oak itself—nay more, the lordly steeple rocks,
    And ever as the morn arose I found them fast in death.

Then said I—If the "be all" and the "end all" of this
            strife,
    Be but to furnish coronals the temples to adorn
Of life's imperious enemy, then, death, and not for life,
    Should be the boon solicited whene'er a babe is born.

Far better man had never been if in a circle he
    Must travel till the little hour of mortal life is ran,
To find when life's dark riddle's read he then must cease
            to be,
    And the end of all his trouble is the end where he began.

To labour in a night on which the sun will never rise—
    To sweat and groan without a hope shall end the bitter
            curse,
Save in a dissolution which shall only close our eyes
    On all we love and cherish—all?—what destiny were
            worse?

Not worse were e'en the lot of those the Danaides of yore,
    Condemn'd the hole-fill'd tanks to fill from which the
            waters gushed
As fast as they the fluid in pour'd or could the fluid in
            pour,
    And left them only for their pains a heart by anguish
            crush'd.

Not worse to be like Ixion doom'd on a wheel to spin,
    Transfix'd on which the victim sad arrived at every round,
Just where he did the weary, dizzy, dreary round begin
    Which he—the sore confounded—served the deeper to
            confound.

Not worse to be like Sisyphus, destined up a high hill,
    With many an effort, many a pang still to uproll a rock
Which when the goal was all but won, despite an iron will,
    Re-bounded in a way that made his labours vast, a mock.

Not worse to be like these, for these amid their night of pain
    Had intervals of hope that would the darkest hour illume,
And present loss when viewed aright becomes the future's
            gain,
    And gloom that's past to glory turns to gild the present
            gloom.

But what avails to charm the soul who loves and toils—
            then learns
    That not a vestige of his ME can pass beyond the grave?
That all we love and cherish sink,—when dust to dust
            returns,—
    And with them sink to rise no more the soul in Lethe's
            wave?

In vain to point the present, what can the present yield,
    Except what proves a mock, and still the heart with
            sorrow fills;
And without the charm a future life affords, without a shield
    The soul is left to battle with the worst of human ills.

In vain to point the past, in vain will not its sheen arise
    Upon the mind about to be in death's dark cradle rock'd,
To keener make the thought that when the vital sparklet
            flies,
    Lock'd lies the spirit in the bonds in which the sense is
            lock'd.

To die and be no more is more than we can think, without
    An effort such as rends the heart or petrifies the man;
And when the soul has once began to tread the plain of
            doubt,
    The valley of despair is reached before we halt, or can.

Thus felt I till the truth was found by patient labour sought,
    —By labour and a spirit framed to brook the world's
            harsh scorn;
When gilded by its sheen a soul was mine with rapture
            fraught,
    And may be yours who seek aright the truths I sought
            to learn.

 

_______________________

 
THE SOUL'S HEREAFTER.

 

DIES not the soul when dust to dust is given;
    Even as we are in earth-life are we still,
Save from the worn-out garment rent and riven,
    That may have proved a fetter to the will.

Not into demons void of good converted,
    Not into angels void of error—no;
But human-spirited, and human-hearted,
    We on our way with pain or pleasure go.

Not reft of feeling, nay, with feelings keener,
    To other's woes more keen, to others' joys;
With bosoms purer and with minds serener—
    Though human still, more humane we and wise.

Not more to be despised, nor venerated,
    For aught from change of state acquired or caught,
But at our inner value estimated,
    Shall we be shunned or courted as we ought.

Not to their fabled hell, nor fabled heaven,
    By the good Father's will are we consigned,
But to a sphere of human action—even,
    To one adapted to each frame and mind.

Not one sweet feeling passeth unrewarded,
    Not one black deed can go unpunished—not—
Not one swift thought can vanish unrecorded
    And give no colour to our future lot.

Not words but thoughts, and not on faith but actions
    And on whatever gives our acts their hue,
The heart's allurements, and the minds distractions—
    Is based the verdict we shall prize or rue.

Yes, such the future that awaits the spirit,
    Then let us pause and think while pause we can,
How best we may the meed eternal merit,
    That shall be to the weal eterne of man.

 

_______________________

 
THE HELL BROTH.

 

THE devil and the devil's brood
    Around a boiling caldron hung,
While in a nook in merry mood
    Grim Death a dainty ditty sung;
For guided by a baleful star
    The devil himself had caused to beam,
Lo, myriads hurried from afar
    To reap the fruit of a darksome dream:
On, on they came with cheek a-flame,
    And lips that quivered as they sought
In tones subdued the demon brood,
    For but a drop of the magic pot.
—Anon around was the hell-broth spun,
    And a measure brimmed to old and young,
The while delighted with the fun,
    Grim Death a dainty ditty sung.

That potion quaft, in his conceit
    Behold the dwarf a giant tread,
At least a hundred thousand feet
    Above his worthier neighbour's head;
Despising still or lord or serf,
    About the land he strutting goes,
'Till bang against a brother dwarf,
    The merry fellow runs his nose:
Thus many a one—loon, fop, and clown—
    A lesson to their sorrow got,
And yet aloud they pray the brood
    For deeper draughts of the magic pot.
—Anon around was the hell-broth spun,
    And a measure drained by old and young,
The while delighted with the fun,
    Grim Death a dainty ditty sung.

Now double-drugg'd the rout about
    A soul-consuming furnace bore,
And what they took to put it out,
    But only made it burn the more:
It burnt in heart, it burnt in brain,
    And from its fumes arose a sprite,
One, whom her favours to obtain
    They chased by day, they chased by night;
And still as they deemed her their prey,
    Away, away with a leer she shot,
'Mid cries right loud to the demon brood,
    For deeper draughts of the magic pot.
—Again around was the hell-broth spun,
    And a measure drained by old and young,
The while delighted with the fun,
    Grim Death a daintier ditty sung.

So la, ta, la!—that fiery draught
    Now led them one and all a dance:
Lo, ere the drug was wholly quaft,
    Each threw on each a lurid glance;
And from that glance a wasp took wing,
    From busy tongue to ear it flew,
And ever around it bore a sting
    The devil himself had cause to rue:
It stung them black, it stung them blue,
    And with each sting the louder got
Their cries right loud to the demon brood,
    For deeper draughts of the magic pot.
—Again around was the hell-broth spun,
    And a measure drained by old and young,
The while delighted with the fun,
    Grim Death a daintier ditty sung.

That horrid draught being duly quaft,
    A cry o'er plain and mountain rolled,
At which the strong the weaker took,
    And bartered body and soul for gold:
And of the gold thus gotten they
    At once a gloomy castle built
Whose dome might from the eye of day
    Forever hide their horrid guilt:
Tombed in their victims' blood-price thus,
    Long revelled they and faltered not
To cry aloud to the demon brood,
    For deeper draughts of the magic pot.
—But around no more was the hell-broth spun;
    Awe-struck the fiends in the pot had sprung,
The while surfeited with the fun,
    Death cursed the dainty lay he'd sung.

 

_______________________

 
THE REIGN OF GOLD.

 

IT sounded in castle and palace,
    It sounded in cottage and shed,
It sped over mountains and valleys,
    And withered the earth as it sped;
Like a blast in its fell consummation
    Of all that we holy should hold,
Thrilled, thrilled thro' the nerves of the nation,
    A cry for the reign of King Gold.

Upstarted the chiefs of the city,
    And sending it back with a ring,
To the air of a popular ditty,
    Erected a throne to the king;
'Twas based upon fiendish persuasions,
    Cemented by crimes manifold:
Embellished by specious ovations,
    That dazzled the foes of King Gold.

The prey of unruly emotion,
    The miner and diver go forth,
And the depths of the earth and the ocean
    Are shorn of their lustre and worth;
The mountain is riven asunder,
    The days of the valley are told;
And sinew, and glory, and grandeur,
    Are sapped for a smile, of King Gold.

Beguiled of their native demeanour,
    The high rush with heirlooms and bays,
The poor with what gold cannot weigh, nor
    The skill of the pedant appraise;
The soldier he spurs with his duty,
    And lo! by the frenzy made bold,
The damsel she glides with her beauty,
    To garnish the brow of King Gold.

Accustomed to traffic forbidden
    By honour—by heaven—each hour,
The purest, by conscience unchidden,
    Laugh, laugh at the noble and pure;
And Chastity, rein'd in halter,
    Is led to the temple and sold,—
Devotion herself, at the altar,
    Yields homage alone to King Gold.

Affection on whose honey blossom,
    The child of affliction still fed—
Affection is plucked from the bosom,
    And malice implanted instead;
And dark grow the brows of the tender,
    And colder the hearts of the cold:—
Love, pity, and justice surrender
    Their charge of the hounds of King Gold.

See, see, from the sear'd earth ascending,
    A cloud o'er the welkin expands;
See, see, 'mid the dense vapour bending,
    Pale women with uplifted hands;
Smokes thus to the bridegroom of Circe,
    The dear blood of hundreds untold;
Invoke thus the angel of mercy,
    A curse on the reign of King Gold.

It sounded in castle and palace,
    It sounded in cottage and shed,
It sped over mountains and valleys,
    And withered the earth as it sped;
Like a blast in its fell consummation,
    Of all that we holy should hold,
Thrilled, thrilled thro' the nerves of the Nation;
    "Cling!  Clang!  for the reign of King Gold."

 

_______________________

 
THE DOWNFALL OF MAMMON.

 

THE baleful Era of King Gold is vanished,
    And men disgusted with the part they played,
From out the temple of the heart are banished
    The idols that debased the soul they swayed.

Man yet has passions and the cause of passions,
    And so will have in his best future state;
But he has reason too by which he fashions
    Them into servants for a purpose great.

Instead of selfhood and of actions cruel,
    Inspired by love heroic deeds abound,
And charity's esteemed a richer jewel
    Than ever yet in Orient mine was found.

Instead of servitude and evil doing,
    Inspired by freedom men erected wear
Their sun-crowned brows and a high course pursuing
    Whatever they deem right to do, they dare.

Instead of falsehood, truth their speech inspireth—
    Inspires their thoughts and permeates the man,
Till spoken promises a worth acquireth,
    Which merely written missives never can.

Instead of superstition grim and hideous,
    Religion triumphs; and whate'er obtains,
No longer envy can with hints invidious
    Cause man to visit brother man with pain.

Thus in ways manifold, sublime and glorious,
    The God-sprung tenants of the earth at last
Arise o'er every "mortal ill victorious,"
    That made their life a hell-life in the past.

No longer prompted by fell aspirations,
    Does man send havoc into realms afar,
But gains from acts of peace more prized ovations
    Than ever gratified the sons of war.

No longer to his inner part disloyal,
    He learneth from the "still small voice" he scorned
How to become a king in act, more royal
    Than ever yet a throne of gold adorned.

No longer bound to themes abhorred or hated,
    On highest subjects is the mind employed;
And as by war no land is desolated,
    From lack of love no heart is left a void.

By cords of sympathy, before the altar,
    Not chains of gold are youth and virgin drawn;
And when the trite "I will" their accents falter,
    It's falter'd from two hearts by bliss o'er-flown.

No want of union, and no fatal duel,
    Fought by two hearts in silence grim, if not,
In cruel actions or in words as cruel,
    The lot of wedlock makes a bitter lot.

A circle round the hearthstone, young and olden,
    The family gather, and their feelings blend
And inter-blend till in a concord golden,
    As one they labour for some common end.

In time those circles form but inner circles
    To circles greater, till the nations act
As one vast soul whose sphere with glory sparkles,
    And heaven the dream on earth is heaven the fact.

Onward and upward move the nations, onward
    And ever upward thus the earth-born move—
Till like the gilded fanes that pointed sun-ward,
    Their soul-flames touch the souls of those above.

Then in a way hard to be comprehended,
    As hills are cleft were hills ere time began,
So are the barriers asunder rended
    That kept apart the angel and the man.

Illumined by a light celestial, even
    To them the life beyond the Veil's unfurl'd
And messages of import sweet are given
    Unto the outer from the inner world.

Not dead are found the jewels death had captured—
    Not, tho' their dust be scattered by the wind;
Not dead, but living, and with hearts enraptured,
    Still toiling for the dear ones left behind.

United soul to loving soul, united
    Blent heaven and earth in one harmonic whole—
"Glory to God" shout one and all delighted,
    And "Hallalujah" rings from pole to pole.

The baleful Era of King Gold has vanished
    The idols that debased the soul they chained,
From out the temple of the heart are banished,
    And the millenium's at length obtained.

 

_______________________
 
THE SEATON TERRACE LASS:

A BALLAD.

 

MY love at Seaton Terrace dwells,
    A hale and hearty wight,
Who lilts away the summer day,
    Also the winter night:
The merriest bird with rapture stirr'd,
    Could never yet surpass
The melody awaken'd by
    The Seaton Terrace lass!

She's graceful as a lily-wand,
    Right modest too is she,
And then ye'll search in vain the land
    To find a busier bee
Like silver clear her iron gear
    Like burnished gold, the brass—
For tidyness there's none to peer
    The Seaton Terrace lass.

More restless than a clucking hen
    About her, Minnie stirs;
"Go, jewel, knit your fancy net,
    And I will scour the floors."
"Enjoy the day, a-down the way,
    Where greenest grows the grass,
No help I need," replies with speed
    The Seaton Terrace lass.

She'll knit or sew, she'll bake or brew—
    She'll wash the clothes so clean,
The very daisy pales beside
    Her linen on the green;
Then what she'll do, with ease she'll do,
    And still her manner has
A charm, would gar a stoic woo
    The Seaton Terrace lass.

Discomfort flies her dark-brown eyes,
    And when the men folk come
All black and weary from the pit,
    They find a welcome home.
Her brothers tease her, and a pride,
    The father feeleth as
Again he meets again he greets
    The Seaton Terrace lass.

When day is past and night at last
    Begins to cloud the dell,
She'll take her skiel and out she'll steal,
    And meet me at the well;
Then, oh! how fleet the moments sweet—
    Yet fleeter shall they pass,
That night the Bebside laddie weds
    The Seaton Terrace lass.

 

_______________________

 
THE COLLIER LAD:

A BALLAD.

 

My lad he is a Collier Lad,
    And a blithe, blithe soul is he,
And when a holiday comes around,
    He'll spend that day in glee;
He'll tell his tale o'er a pint o' ale,
    And crack his joke, and bad
Must be the heart who loveth not
    To hear the Collier Lad.

At bowling matches on the green
    He ever takes the lead,
For none can swing, his arm and fling
    With such a pith and speed;
His bowl is seen to shim the green,
    And bound as it were glad,
To hear the cry o' victory
    Salute the Collier Lad.

When 'gainst the wall they play the ball,
    He's never known to lag,
But up and down he gars it bowne,
    Till all his rivals fag;
When deftly,—lo! he strikes a blow
    Which gars them all look sad,
And wonder how it came to pass
    They play'd the Collier Lad.

The quoits are out, the hobs are fix'd,
    The first round quoit he flings
Enrings the hob; and lo! the next
    The hob again unrings;
And thus he'll play a summer's day,
    The theme o' those who gad;
And youngsters shrink to bet their brass
    Against the Collier Lad.

When in the dance he doth advance,
    The rest all sigh to see
How he can spring and kick his heels,
    When they a-wearied be;
Your one-two-three, with either knee
    He'll beat, and then, glee mad,
A summerset will crown the dance,
    Danced by the Collier Lad.

Besides a will and pith and skill,
    My laddie owns a heart
That never once would suffer him
    To act a cruel part;
That to the poor would ope the door
    To share the last he had;
And many a secret blessing's pour'd
    Upon my Collier Lad.

He seldom goes to church, I own,
    And when he does, why then,
He with a leer will sit and hear,
    And doubt the holy men;
This very much annoys my heart,
    But soon as we are wed,
To please the priest, I'll do my best
    To tame my Collier Lad.

 

_______________________

 
THE UNFORGOTTEN ONE.

— I.—

 

Too lovely art thou to behold,
    And not to be stung by desire,
To bathe in those ringlets of gold,
    To bathe in those glances of fire.

Too lovely art thou to the ken,
    And twenty times so unto mine,
Since all the desires are in vain,
    With which I am destined to pine:

Not that but I'm agile and young,
    And exult in the strength of an arm,
Could shield thee from every wrong,
    Could shield thee from every harm:

Not that with a heart-chilling pride,
    Thou woud'st hark to my ardent appeal;
Not that thou would'st seek to deride
    What thus I am fated to feel.

No, no—for upon thy fair brow
    Is the stamp of a heart meek and kind;
And however thy beauty may glow,
    It but adds to the charms of thy mind:

'Tis that while the fates have combined
    With nature to bless thee, too drear
The lot to thy lover assigned
    For aught but the wretched to share.

 

— II.—


I SAW but once that lovely one,
    Nor need I see her twice to love;
She broke upon me like the dawn,
    And o'er my soul her magic wove—
Yea, forced the lion stern to own
    Himself the captive of the dove.

She brought the morn, she left the night;
    Nor strove I to throw off the chain;
But rather felt a sweet delight
    To intermingle with the pain
That made my heart's repose, a blight,
    Till madness ruled my thought's domain.

By night I sought a solitude,
    And gave unto the winds a grief
That struggled like the lava flood,
    That boils and struggles for relief;
And night still left me in a mood
    Unto the voice of reason deaf.

The radiant planets in their flight,
    And she the quiet Queen of heaven,
With glory garmented the night;
    But not to them the power was given
To kill, but rather nurse the blight
    By which afar my peace was driven.

Yet wished I not the sun to rise,
    For then the world were up, and then
Were I exposed to wistful eyes,
    And questions bold of forward men,
Who deem themselves both good and wise,
    Yet neither know nor pity pain.

And what on earth—ay, what in hell
    Can be more racking to the thought,
Than that our pangs unspeakable
    Should, disregarded, be as nought;
Or look'd upon with looks that tell
    In vain would sympathy be sought?

The magic vision fled, and so
    Have all those precious feelings, all!
Which gave to life a golden glow—
    Which made a joy this earthly ball—
And now, what's left to me? what, oh!
What, but a cup of very gall?

 

— III.—


OH, chaunt that theme again, sweet girl!
    That theme enchanting more, to me,
Than ocean's richest, purest pearl,
    To miser's heart could ever be.

Thy lay's the language of a heart
    By blighted hopes delirious grown,
And mine has felt as keen a smart
    As e'er to beauty's dupe was known.

It tells of tears that flowed unseen,—
    Of sighs that woke and died unheard,—
Such, such, sweet girl, my lot has been,
    And such too oft is faith's reward.

'Tis something still to know, alone
    I have not trod the path of grief;
And joining in another's moan,
    Will give the bursting heart relief.

Then, chaunt that theme, sweet girl, again,
    That theme so sweet, so sad to me;
And I will join the pensive strain,
    And mourn the lover's lot with thee.

 

_______________________

 
THE GUARDIAN ANGEL.

 

I'm the spirit Emmalina thy guardian angel, and
Drawn hither by a subtle law but few can understand—
The golden cord of sympathy I leave the summer-land
    Thy aching brows with lilies to entwine.

I have watched thee late and early, I have watched thee on
            the morn;
And when the sun has left the sky and Luna like a lorn
Dejected maid has brought the hour most prized by hearts,
            grief-torn,
    I thy aching brows with lilies have entwined.

I have watched thee in the battle with the many ills of life,
And then when sleep has seized thee only to renew the
            strife
In dreams has made thy woe too rife appear more keen and
            rife,
    I thy aching brows with lilies have entwined.

I have watched when dark and dreary has been thy horo-
            scope,
And when thou strength has needed most with cark and
            care to cope,
I have nerved thy arm, into thy heart have pour'd the oil
            of hope—
    I thy aching brows with lilies have entwined.

 

_______________________

 
BEHIND THE VEIL:

A PSYCHIC CHAUNT.

 

"A PHANTOM to me thou appearest,
    But spite of this seeming I know
The magical image thou wearest,
    Is real as the lilies in blow;

As real and as rare as the fairest of all our fair lilies in blow.


"Not alive to the senses external,
    Of hearing, the touch, or the sight—
Not aught that would yield to the carnal
    Desire a delusive delight;

But alive to the spirit eternal art thou, and its joy day and
            night.


"Not alive to the outer but inner
    Keen sense of the spirit, and when
I'm far from the world and its din, or
    Low chat of most women and men,

I see in thy form what no artist could portray with pencil
            or pen.


"Not a phantom so call'd, but a glory—
    An outburst of sheen from the sky,
At which the black evils before thee
    Upheave their huge pinions and fly—

At which I too mantled in glory am borne to the regions
            on high.


"Uplifted on raptures bright pinions,
    I tread the bright zones of the blest;
I enter the azure dominions
    Of those who have long been at rest

From the turmoil, the strife, the opinions by which here the
            good are opprest.


"Away o'er the gold-crested mountains
    I hie light of foot as the roe;
I drink of the pellucid fountains
    That flow in the valleys below,

And that instant both valleys and mountains with a deeper
            significance glow.


"Yea, awake to the meaning and grandeur
    By which I'm surrounded, I gaze;
And gazing thus wonder on wonder
    The disenthrall'd spirit surveys;

And I see that on which I may ponder but never reveal in
            those days.


"Ah me, what availeth the vision
    Of music-sowl'd bard, seer, or sage;
When bigotry, self, superstition
    Unite their fell forces to wage

A war upon truth and its mission, when learning would
            fetter the age?


"What, what would it be to the nations
    Did I give what I'd give for love's sake?
Would they hearken the blest revelations
    I'd deem it my duty to make?

They'd say I had drank of libations should doom me to
            dungeon or stake.


"Yet freely the truth should be spoken
    Could I but unfold it and say
How when from its manacles broken,
    The soul to the spheres wings away,

We find where we go not a token of what our paid bishops
            portray.


"This learn we in joy—ay, or sadness—
    For tho' be the creeds, new and old,
The offspring of falsehood and madness,
    The scrolls of the past are unroll'd,

And we see as if shown in a mirror each fact there is there
            to unfold.


"On all can be seen by the spirit,
    Around us, above us, below;
Nay, even the homes we inherit,
    Are graced or defaced—gloom or glow,

With merit our merit, demerit, our shame and joy, glory
            and woe.


"Not in dead pictures merely but living
    Bright symbols our deeds speak and move;
And we see with the gifts we have given
    In the God-enshrined spirit of love,

The lest of our sins tho' forgiven can never be cancelled
            above.


"Hence we gather the unborn hereafter,
    From out the live present is born;
That the laugher is stripped of his laughter,
    The mask from the masker is torn:

The crafty is whipt by his craft and the scorner is met by
            his scorn.


"This learn we, but learn too, whatever
    The strength and the hue of our creed,
That a good deed's a good deed and never
    Can other be than a good deed;

That destiny's self cannot sever nor keep from the worthy
            his need.


"To the disenthrall'd spirit is granted
    All this, and things deeper to know,
That in numbers of fire should be chaunted,
    To creed ridden mortals below,

Could the feelings by which I am haunted be taught in
            bright numbers to flow.


"But of this I despair; and I wander
    With one once a mortal to find
The marvels we see and their grandeur
    Can never be shown to mankind,

Till each for himself's learned to ponder and feel the sad
            fact he is blind."

 

_______________________

 
THE VITAE SPARK:

AN INNER VOICE.

 

BEWILDERED by Life's Gordian Knot long o'er me
    Despair had flung her adamantine chain,
When thro' the abyss of my spirit "Glory!"
    A deep voice cried, and "Glory!" then this strain:—

"A spark eternal from the co-eternal
    And inner source of light ere time began,
The soul built from the dust its home external,
    And so became what we now know as man.

"The outer temple built, an inner, finer
    From this and like to this was next ordained,
In which might be attained a life diviner
    Than could within the outer be attained.

"Thus in the image, in man's form reflected,
    From out the universal soul the soul
Its individuality projected,
    And so became a whole within the whole.

"From root and knot, from knot and leaf to blossom,
    Upsprang by slow degrees the oak to view;
So by degrees as slow from out God's bosom,
    The vital spark to man immortal grew.

"As by degrees he thus obtained his being,
    So by degrees his mental prime's obtained
When grown from man the blind to man the seeing,
    The chains are rent in twain by which he's chained.

"Then from the chaos of the days primeval,
    Into the future far his ken extends—
Then to his ken what error seemed and evil
    Appear but instruments to noble ends.

"The shadow's self thus seen becomes a splendour
    The mystic maze pervaded by a plan;
And laws sublime to intersect and render
    Harmonic what but discord seemed to man.

"In matter's seen the means to vanquish matter,
    In many a dismal ban a blessing bright;
In states chaotic what their gloom might scatter,
    And their domains enshrine in living light.

"The darkest woe the brightest joy enclaspeth,
    In what seems false is seen the true, a power
Which grasped by man as rich a mace he graspeth,
    As ever graced the mythic gods of yore.

"A thinker clear nor less a doer; even
    A more than soul Titanic he, who still
Can make the very death-forged bolts of heaven
    To dance attendance on his potent will.

The very lightning that the vision dazzles,
    The very tempest that the forest rends,
Are vassals bound unto his will, and vassals
    That help to realize the highest ends.

"Even as he wills empires arise—inventions
    Are seen uniting foreign land to land;
And where but winds and waves held dire contentions,
    By sweetest intercourse the deeps are spann'd.

"A victor o'er the elements, a victor
    E'en over self he moves till lo, appears
Upon the earth he treads the very picture
    Of what can be in the seraphic spheres.

"From higher than the seraph state descended,
    Up to the goal from whence he came he climbs;
And when the days of mortal life are ended,
    Still upward scales he thro' long future times.

"Just as the bee with honey laden flieth,
    To hive the guerdon earned by toil and pang;
So by experience enriched, he hieth
    With power to gift the Power from whom he sprang.

"Yea, ever moves he glory-ward, and ever
    Does glory to the Love Eterne accord!"
Thus rang that voice within my soul, and never
    Shall I forget how sweet the voice thus heard.

 

_______________________

 
THE ANGEL AND THE SEER.

 

"I HAVE, oped thy inner vision,"
    (Spake the Spirit to the Seer,)
"Now I'll show to thee the mission
    Which whate'er betides—whate'er—

Thou by heaven's high permission shalt accomplish.—Give
            ear!


"Thou shalt write and speak and wholly
    By the gift of speech and song;
Thou shalt make the proud one lowly,
    And the weak in spirit, strong,

And the servitor of folly for the ways of wisdom long.


"Thou shalt teach he who devises
    Harm for others, harm will meet,
And that he who most despises
    Counsel's—to himself a cheat;

That the wisest of the wise is most devoid of self-conceit.


"Thou shalt speak a word in season
    To the poor in bondage, nor
Forget to say 'tis treason
    'Ganst the highest to ignore

The claims of love and reason and to trample on the
            poor.


"Thou shalt teach the tyrant master
    How to view his servants lot;
Not to want the wheels go faster
    Then there's strength to do it—not—

Not to make it a disaster to be cradled in a cot.


"Thou shalt teach the willing toiler
    Doomed for foe to shape and plan,
He has that which no dispoiler
    May divest him of—nor can—

The power to make his scorner feel the dignity of man.


"Thou shalt toll the sordid miser
    Not leaps of guinea gold
Will ever make him wiser—
    For wisdom ne'er was sold,

And lacking which his joys are too meagre to be told.


"Ask what will be his measure
    When dust to dust's restored;
What shall serve his gold, what pleasure
    Shall gems the soul afford?

And if his worshipped treasure, shall be worth one tender
            word.


"Are the deeds encircling
    The heart enshrined in love—
The brightest jewels sparkling
    In the courts above,

And lacking which we darkling down to our soul sphere move.


"All this in words unvarnished
    Say to the world; and say,
That lives by deeds ungarnished
    Must be deplored—and may

As much as lives crime-tarnished which other traits display.


"Strike, strike at superstition,
    Bid its slaves with open eyes,
See in lack of a volition
    For themselves to think, there lies

A more, damnable perdition than the bigots can devise.


"Bid each for himself but ponder,
    And e'en though he err persist;
And the fetters he will sunder,
    That now threaten to resist;

Nay, e'er long he'll come to wonder how so long he lay in
            mist.


"Risen on the wings of rapture,
    At his freedom he will soar
Far 'yond the reach of Scripture
    Misconstruers evermore

To redazzle, to recapture by their guile engendered lore.


"Leaving churches and their minions,
    Leaving books and bells and beads,
Leaving craftdom's dark dominions
    To the bigots and their creeds,

He will stamp his bold opinions on the coin of golden
            deeds.


"Thus thy thought shall like a sabre
    Cut some knot, if not untie,
And some duty to a neighbour
    Do—and yet a nobler—ay,

A higher, holier labour must thy efforts yet employ.


"See, yon desolated woman
    Weeping o'er an infant lost;
Tearing out her hair, consuming
    Life in anguish, till a ghost

She seems and not a woman weeping o'er her baby lost.


"Go, take her hand extended—
    In words of music say,
How the spirit that descended
    Once on Pentecost, yet may

The bosom heal thus rended—say the child's not far
            away.


"Say, In fact the little jewel
    Not a clod sepulchred lies—
Ah, the cruel creed, the cruel
    Hearts can teach such creed unwise!

That her jewel, yet a jewel will sparkle in her eyes.


"Aloud let it be sounded
    Whoever were, yet are;
Not lost in space unbounded,
    Not in another star—

That yet around, about us are the friends we deem
            afar.


"This may sound like a gigantic
    Fiction to the world—'tis true,
And thou be held an antic,
    And bigots not a few

Will with a fairy frantic thy lonely steps pursue.


"Slander black, and black detraction,—
    All the poison'd darts of hate,
All the malice of a faction
    Whose wounded pride would sate

Itself on thy distraction to brook shall be thy fate.


"But then shalt stand undaunted,
    The arrows at thee hurl'd,
Till on falsehood's grave implanted
    The flag of truth's unfurl'd,

And a mighty pean's chanted by her angels to the world.


"That shall be a day of glory—
    Glory to our God on high—
Glory to the angels o'er ye—
    Glory and exceeding joy—

Glory to the nations—glory to the seer they'd now de-
            stroy.


"Thus I've oped thy inner vision—
    In the language of thy kind
Have shown to thee the mission
    For which then art designed—

Then go and with God's blessing do the work to thee
            assigned."

 


THE END.

George Richardson, Printer, Bedlington.

 


 

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