Edwardian and Georgian Canadian Poets
From Dreamland Sent
23rd Oct 2013Posted in: Edwardian and Georgian Canadian Poets 0

Dear Mrs. Ballan—

May I venture to offer you these little verses for the sake of that (on page 121) same gesture of the photographer given me by dear Mr. Ballan whose memory I hold in dearest reverence,

With love—Lilian Whiting,
1896.
[unnumbered page]

[3 blank pages]

FROM DREAMLAND SENT.
BY
LILIAN WHITING.
AUTHOR OF “THE WORLD BEAUTIFUL.”
“O birds of ether without wings!
O heavenly ships without a sail!”

BOSTON:
ROBERTS BROTHERS.
1895.


University Press:
JOHN WILSON AND SON, CAMBRIDGE, U.S.A.


[unnumbered page]

TO
KATE FIELD
THESE VERSES ARE INSCRIBED
BY
LILIAN WHITING.
“And she the rest will comprehend, will comprehend”
[unnumbered page]

[blank page]

“Sometimes a breath floats by me,
   An odor from Dreamland sent,
That makes the ghost seem nigh me,
   Of a splendor that came and went;
Of a life lived somewhere,—I know not
   In what diviner sphere,—
Of memories that stay not and go not,
   Like music heard once by an ear
That cannot forget or reclaim it.”

LOWELL. [unnumbered page]

[blank page]

CONTENTS.


PAGE

COMPANIONED

13

THE LAST WORDS OF THE ROMANCE

15

HAPPY NEW YEAR

17

AN IMPROMPTU

19

UNSEEN

21

ANSWERED

22

TO-NIGHT

23

OLD AND NEW

25

IN THE MORNING

26

A BIRTHDAY WISH

28

NEXT OCTOBER

30

CHRISTMAS GREETING

31

HER BRIDAL EVE

33

AN AUTUMN RETROSPECT

35

TELL ME SO

38

CHRISTMASTIDE

40

THE THREE HORSEMEN

42

FROM MY WINDOW

44

HÉLÈNE

45

A SUMMER MEMORY

46

THE POET AND HIS FRIEND

48

LEONE

49

[page 9]

JUNE

51

GOOD-BYE

53

AS IN VISION

55

ON CONCORD RIVER

57

PHILLIPS BROOKS

58

SOMETIME

62

AN EASTER REMEMBRANCE

64

OFFERINGS

65

CONSECRATION

67

A VISION

69

COMING

70

A FRAGMENT

72

ARBOR VITÆ

74

ONLY

76

A PREMONITION

77

THE SHEPHERD’S SUNDAY SONG

79

A DREAM OF SPRING

80

TWO EVENINGS

82

A WOMAN’S LETTER

84

ANSWERED

89

ANOTHER ANGLOMANIAC

91

A WAIF

92

A VANISHED PRESENCE

94

OUT IN THE YEARS

96

FOR YOU

97

HER LAST DAY

99

TIRED

100

AN OCTOBER BIRTHDAY

106

[page 10]

ON EASTER EVENING

108

LILLIAN ADELAIDE NEILSON

110

IN EXTREMIS

112

PAX VORBISCUM

113

A MEMORY

115

IN MOUNT AUBURN

117

A CHRISTMAS WISH

119

AN IMMORTAL LOVE

121

AT PEACE

123

A TWILIGHT MEMORY

124

FOR FLORENCE

126

SINCE SEPTEMBER

128

FROM FIRE TO FROST

132

A CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

133

ISABELLE

134

TWO DAYS

136

AFTER EASTER

137

REQUIESCAT

139

FRANCES E. WILLARD

140

IN FRANCONIA NOTCH

144

LINES

145

IF THERE WERE DREAMS

149

“POET, PRIESTESS, AND PROPHET”

151

UNE BIENHEUREUSE

156

[page 11]

[blank page]

 

FROM DREAMLAND SENT.

 


COMPANIONED.

“O love! we too shall go no longer
To lands of summer beyond the sea.”

THROUGH days and dreams I seem to walk with one
Whose feet must shun
Henceforth, the paths of earth; for whom the sun
Rises in unknown realms I cannot trace;
And still there is to me no vacant place.
Before me comes upon the air her face.
In the deep, luminous and wondering eyes
I read the rapture of a glad surprise;
A tender hand is clasped within my own,
And on the air there vibrates still her tone.

O Friend! on whom the Vision shines to-day,
                         What mystic sway [page 13]
Hath wrought its spell o’er thee? What fair desire,
As o’er that sea of glass with mingled fire
Thy way hath sped — what fair desire
Is born within thy soul? What strange, sweet dreams
Transfigure thy new life, in wondrous gleams
Of rose, and gold, and pearl, through starry space?
Not vainly do I ask. Thy tender grace
Answers my love, and brings the new life near;
And all our baffled meanings grow more clear. [page 14]

 

THE LAST WORDS OF THE ROMANCE.

[Fin de Siècle.]

Ah, well; let it pass in silence.
          We’ll forget.
There are, doubtless, things to live for
Even yet.	
And life has far nobler uses
Than regret.

There are joys that wait our coming
Down the years.
Do not think that I shall meet them
          But with tears,—
That for me life holds no promise,
          Only fears.

Do not think that I shall idly
          Sit and wait,
Watching, with the old blind worship,
Your fair fate.
This might once have been; now, truly,
‘Tis too late.[page 15]

There are breezy heights my footsteps
          Well may tread.
There’s a future’s radiant promise
Overhead.
Naught shall dim its light, not even
          Words you’ve said.

So we’ll let the years slip from us,—
          Suns have set.
In your life may love and sweetness
          Linger yet.
And for me — O Father, help me
          To forget! [page 16]

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR.

“I WISH you a Happy New Year,” — the greeting rang so clear.
Two maidens listened silently the old, sweet words to hear;
And both were thinking joyously of all the year might hold,—
Of all the wondrous treasures the months would find enrolled.

“I wish you a Happy New Year — all that loving thought can bring;
May it give you unguessed treasures, a fair, fresh offering.”
Ah! little dreamed the maidens in that fair flush of light
Of all that new year held for them, hidden from mortal sight.

For one the orange blossoms, twined in her shining hair;
For one a cross of lilies, in folded hands more fair, [page 17]
For one the marriage altar, and bridal robes of white;
For one the Heavenly Vision, and angel robes of light.

For one a close, enfolding love that granted every boon;
But the other won a tenderer love in the land of fadeless bloom;
One in her winsome happiness was gay and joyous there,
And one in changeless loveliness will be forever fair. [page 18]

 

AN IMPROMPTU.

Suggested by the words of M. D. J. Snider, who checked himself in terms of compliment to Prof. William T. Harris, saying “He is too great for any praise of mine.”

 

“HE is too great for any praise of mine.”
   So said the artist whose rare touch had wrought
For us the glow of Grecian morns—the shrine
Of buried majesty—of living thought.

He whose fine power had pictured mountains old,
   And brought us draughts from Helicon’s pure stream;
He who of legend, myth, and poet told,
   Of Delphic oracle and mystic dream;

And who, with subtle power, revealed to all
   The listening world immortal Shakespeare’s art;
He, too, discerns this spell of wisdom’s thrall,
The grand ideal of our Master’s heart.[page 19] 

Teacher, Philosopher! our Master still!
   Thy words thrill life with subtler harmonies;
Thy guidance teaches duties to fulfil;
Transfigures time in sacred mysteries.

Thou art too great — we echo still the thought;
   We reverence thy life as Wisdom’s shrine.
We say, O Master! all that thou has wrought,
   “It is too great for any praise of mine.” [page 20]

 

UNSEEN.

                                      “We see but half the causes of our deeds,
                                      Seeking them wholly in the outer life,
                                      And heedless of the encircling spirit world,
                                      Which, though unseen, is felt, and sows in us
                                      All germs of pure and world-wide purposes.

LOWELL.

“IF He would only help me but once more!”
   Bending beneath the burden low I cried.
My eyes were blinded, and I did not see
The Shining Angel standing at my side.

I did not hear the faint, sweet words that fell,—
Replies that met my spirit’s deepest needs.
I did not heed the touch of holy hands
   That thrilled my own with strength for nobler deeds.

Oh, Friend, in heaven’s sweet peace enfolded now,
   How could I dream your love would find a means
To ease the burden and to point the way,	
   And lead me to the fair life of my dreams? [page 21]

 

ANSWERED.

“WHAT will the new year bring to us?”
   Thus wrote, last year, a treasured friend.
“What hold the months in their hidden clasp?
   What rare new gifts will the angels send?”

Half lightly the words were penned, I know,
   And lightly I read them, one moonlit night,
When the sunset and moonrise seemed to blend,
As I watched from the window the changing light.

Yet, half expectant, I questioned, too,
   Half fearing, half shrinking, from all it might hold;
And the darkness deepened around as I stood;
   And the winter moonlight grew white and cold.
     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .
          Again I stand on the threshold
             Of another year untried;
          The shadow of a sculptured cross
          Falls dimly at my side. [page 22]

 

TO-NIGHT.

SING to me, darling, O darling, to-night!
I sit weary and faint in the lessening light.
The day so full-freighted with duties has past;
And while it leaves courage and faith at the last,
Its demands were too many—my hand was too slight,—
Sing to me, darling, O darling, to-night!

Play for me, darling, O darling, to-night!
Touch the white keys with your fingers of light;
Waken the melodies only your hand
Can make for my heart in its pleading demand;
Dreams half divine at your touch will unite,—
Play for me, darling, O darling, to-night!

Talk to me, darling, O darling, to-night!
Your words bring me always the Vision, the Light.
Tell me how even our faltering hands
Can wrest from this life our divinest demands;
Bring me your insight, your faith in the Right,—
Talk to me, darling, O darling, to-night! [page 23]

Pray for me, darling, O darling, to-night!
For the world grows dark with the fading light;
The night wind is chill, the snowdrifts are heaping,
The stars have grown weary their watches of keeping;
My spirit from earth would be winging her flight,—
My spirit from earth would be winging her flight,—
Pray for me, darling, O darling, to-night! [page 24]

 

OLD AND NEW.

THE old year out and the new year in,
We watched for the dawning to begin;
And the radiant glow of the moonlight fair
Shone soft o’er all through the silvered air.

The old year out and the new year in,—
Ah, love, what chapters of life begin?
What pages are turned, what records read,
To be laid away with the year now dead?

And what shows the new year’s horoscope?
Shall doubt and failure be changed to hope?
Shall fulfilments come,—so fondly prized,—
And its aspirations be realized?

Only one truth shall this Time confess,—
Work truly done is its own success!
And this alone its reward shall win,
In the old year out, or the new year in. [page 25]

 

IN THE MORNING.

“And with the dawn those angel faces smile
That I have loved long since, and lost awhile.”

 

IN the quiet hush of morning,
   Ere the sunlight glories fall,
In their rose and gold of radiance
   Gleaming from my chamber wall;
Ere the day, so duty-laden,
   Comes to meet me, all untried,
Glide angelic forms around me
   Who from earth have turned aside.

In the stillness of the dawning
   I can see their faces fair,
And their robes of snowy whiteness,
   And the gleam of shining hair;
I can hear them murmur softly
   As they bend my pillow o’er;
I can catch the distant music
Wafted from an unseen shore. [page 26]

One who in her life’s fair morning
   Turned her from the busy way,
Glad to greet the golden dawning
   In the land of perfect day,—
Ah, her hands were folded whitely!
   From their clasp the lilies fell!
Yet she comes, in radiant beauty,
Of her strange new life to tell.

Intimations throng upon us,
   By these presences unseen,
Of that spirit world which lieth
Nearer than we sometimes dream.
And the days take on new meanings;
   Finer forces seem to rise;
Life, transfigured, gains new vision,
Sees the gleam of fairer skies. [page 27]

 

A BIRTHDAY WISH.

[To W.G.J.]

“Wearing the white flower of a blameless life.”

I.

WHAT can I wish for thee, O friend of mine!
In all the bloom and beauty of the May?
   Thou, whose fair life the poet’s words portray,
Wearing the white flower with its breath divine.

 

II.

Wealth, power, and honor do I ask for thee;
   Yet not the wealth that’s counted but in gold;
   The riches of right-doing — purpose told
In deeds that stamp thy life with majesty.

 

III.

Power, — not to use but for thyself alone,
   But power to strengthen hands that else were weak,
   And power to bring high thought to them that seek,
And lead from all that’s known to the Unknown. [page 28]

 

IV.

The honor that must come from being true
   Unto the Heavenly vision,— which shall shine
   Ever upon your way, — its light divine
Transfiguring all old meanings into new.

 

V.

Thus do I pray for thee in these May days
   That dawn with bloom and light and sweetness rife;
   Wearing the white flower of a blameless life,
Your footsteps set in His appointed ways. [page 29]

 

NEXT OCTOBER.

   NEXT October, next October,
When the leaves are scarlet dyed,
   We shall watch the sunbeams sifting
   Through the shadows purple, drifting,
Then as now, love, side by side.

   Next October, Next October,
In the autumn’s dreamy light,
   Shall our skies of life be bluer,
   And the clouds of doubt be fewer
Than they are, O love, to-night!

   Next October, next October,—
Ah, the words sound faint and far;
   For perchance some mystic meaning
   In our lives shall prove its seeming,
And a year may make or mar. [page 30]

 

CHRISTMAS GREETING.

[With Flowers.]

INTO the blessed Christmas-time
(With a lily for love and a rose for rhyme)
I send you, sweetest, the fairest things
That ever the Christmas greeting brings,—
Love, and belief, and faith in the right,
I give to you, darling, this Christmas night.

Into the gladness of Christmas days
(With a lily for love and a rose for praise)
I send to you visions that flash from afar
Of the Child, of the glory, the magical Star;
And a voice rings out on the air again
That message of peace and good-will toward men.

Into the music of Christmas bells,
(With a lily for love and a rose that tells)
Its wonderful legend that Paradise lies
All round about him whose spirit-touched eyes
Can discern that the life wrought in beauty and love
Makes on earth the same heaven we read of above,— [page 31]

Into this glory of Christmas dawn
(With a lily for love and a rose for song)
I send you greeting and gladness and flowers;
I commend you to all the heavenly powers:
That still nearer may draw in the Christmas days,
With a lily for love and a rose for praise. [page 32]

 

HER BRIDAL EVE.

WHICH will you be,—
True to yourself, love, and loyal to me?
Will all your care and your tenderness last;
Or will I be wakened to find my dreams past?
Will you brighten my life, or bid happiness flee,—
Which will it be?

What do you think?	
Ah, wonder not that from the future I shrink.
That I tremble lest soon shall the witchery fade,
The magic dissolve, and the light change to shade;
That my feet will tread closely on sorrow’s dark brink,—
What do you think?

What will you say
When beside you I walk through each beautiful day?
Will you draw me with you to heights distant and fair?
Will you lead me to happiness sacred and rare?
Will your love make me stronger and nobler each day,—
What do you say? [page 33]

What will you do
If I tell you my faith rests on faith, love, in you;
That I’m yours if you hold me, beloved, by your side;
That else I am gone, like the sea’s ebbing tide:
You can glorify life, or bid happiness flee:
Which will it be? [page 34]

 

AN AUTUMN RETROSPECT.

AGAIN October walks the hills
   On which the summer lingers;
Again she flingers her colors brave,
   Painting with skilful fingers
The maple in its scarlet dyes;
   The beech to gold is turning;
A purple haze broods o’er the days
   In mystical, vague yearning,
As if it sought to fling its veil
   Of memories, sweet and tender,
O’er all the vanished light and bloom,
The summer’s pomp and splendor.

Untutored in the poet’s art,
   I yet essay his singing;
Though all the woodland haunts are fair,
   And echo to the ringing
Of songs, breeze-blown from Paradise,
   Of softer music flowing
Than on the elfin horns of eld
   The fairy folk were blowing. [page 35]
With hands unskilled to touch the lyre,
   And empty of all treasure,
Unmeet to light the altar fire
   Or chord the rhythmic measure,—

I needs must come, O love, to-day,
   And plead to lay before you
A hope, a faith, a memory sweet,
   Whose gift and grace are o’er you.
The summer’s vanished days have held
   For you, for me, their sadness;
And still the autumn light shines fair,
   And radiates a gladness
That thrills the air as if her voice
   Death’s silence strange had broken,—
Bringing the message to rejoice,
To know the love unspoken.

Oh, human love! Oh, love divine!
   October, month of angels,
Bring each to make our lives a shrine
   Sacred to thy Evangels!
Bring hope, bring faith, to hearts that plead!
   Grant fortune’s fairest treasure
To meet, O love, your daily need
In over-flowing measure. [page 36]
So do I pray this autumn day,
   And send you grace and greeting;
And to my prayer upon the air
   May angels make completing! [page 37]

 

TELL ME SO.

IF you love me, tell me so.
Wait not till the summer glow
Fades in autumn’s changeful light,
Amber clouds and purple night;
Wait not till the winter hours
Heap with snowdrifts all the flowers,
Till the tide of life runs low,—
If you love me, tell me so.

If you love me, tell me so.
While the river’s dreamy flow
Holds the love-enchanted hours,
Steeped in music, crowned with flowers;
Ere the summer’s vibrant days
Vanish in the opal haze;
Ere is hushed the music flow,—
If you love me, tell me so.

If you love me, tell me so.
Let me hear the sweet words low; [page 38]
Let me now, while life is fair,
Feel your kisses on my hair;
While in womanhood’s first bloom,
Ere shall come dark days of gloom,
In the first fresh dawning glow,—
If you love me, tell me so. [page 39]

 

CHRISTMASTIDE.

LAST Christmas, love, I did not guess,
   When silver bells were chiming,
Of all the melodies of life
   The months for me were rhyming.

How could I know or dream, O love,
   When summer hours were dying,
That ere the spars of frosty bars
   On winter hills were lying,—

That ere another Christmastide
   The holiest of all sweetness,
The fairest gift of all my life
   Should crown its incompleteness!

Ah, love! the years may come and go,
   But in our hearts we’ll treasure
The Christ’s white flowers that bloom for us
In such bewildering measure. [page 40]

For His dear sake who gives to us
   The fragrance of their beauty,
We’ll seek His work where’er there’s need,—
Where life hath claim or duty.

And when the Christmas flowers shall blow
   On heavenly heights before me,
I only ask that I may know
Your tender care still o’er me. [page 41]

 

THE THREE HORSEMEN.

(From the German of Uhland.)

THREE horsemen halted the inn before;
Three horsemen entered the open door,
And loudly called for the welcome cheer
That was wont to greet the traveller here.

“Good woman,” they cried, as the hostess came,—
A buxom, rosy, portly old dame,—
“Good woman, where is your wine and beer?”
And how is your little daughter dear?”

“My house is ever supplied with cheer,
But my daughter lieth upon her bier.”

A shadow over the horsemen fell,
Each wrapped in thoughts he could never tell;
And silently, one by one, they crept
To the darkened room where the maiden slept.

The golden hair fell, rippling low,
Over a forehead as pure as snow;
And the little hands were idly pressed,
Clasping a cross to the pulseless breast. [page 42]

“I loved thee ere the death chill lay
On thee, sweet child,” and one turned away;
“I would have loved thee,” the second said,
“Hadst thou learned to love me, and lived to wed.”

“I loved thee ever, I love thee now,”
The last one cried, as he kissed her brow.
“In the heavens to come our souls shall wed;
I have loved thee living, I love thee dead.”

Then silently out from the oaken door
Three horsemen passed, to return to more. [page 43]

 

FROM MY WINDOW.

THE sunset burning low
   Falls on the Charles,— a flood of golden light.
Dimly, as in a dream, I watch the flow
Of waves of light.

The splendor of the hour
   Repeats its glory in the river’s flow;
And sculptured angels from the gray church tower
   Gaze on the throngs below.

Dimly, by gift or grace,
   I see the hurrying throngs before me pass;
Yet ‘mid them all I only see one face
Under the meadow grass.

Ah, love, I only know
   How thoughts of you forever cling to me;
I wonder how the seasons come and go
Beyond the Sapphire Sea? [page 44]

 

HÉLÈNE.

I DO not find you in the outer life;
Always I see you in those gardens fair,
With starry jasmine shining in your hair,
Afar from noise and fret of jarring strife
With which the day and daylight world is rife.
Always I see you in those regions where
Music and fragrance linger on the air.
Flower of all Cities! City of all Flowers!
‘T is there I see you in the charmèd hours,

Where she who “sang of Italy” still lies
Beneath the glory of the starlit skies,
Whose beauty held her in a glad surprise.
With jasmine in your hair, I see you stand,
Fair in the grace of that Enchanted Land. [page 45]

 

A SUMMER MEMORY.

OVER the summer’s dreamy days,
Over the labyrinthine ways,
O, fall tenderly, autumn haze!

Softly, softly from mortal sight
Cover the day and cover the night
Forever, forever, O mists of light!

Let the deep heart of the summertide
Ever its innermost secrets hide,—
All of the anguish and all of the pride.

Never reveal, O roses in bloom,
Down in the dark of your winter tomb,
Aught of the glory or aught of the gloom!

Cover it gently, O autumn leaves,
Down in the depths of your wind-tossed sheaves
Deep, where the moaning night-wind grieves. [page 46]

Shine on it softly, O stars of night!
Let but a fitful gleam of light
Fall on the pages hidden from sight.

Over the summer’s vanished days,
Over the labyrinthine ways,
O, fall silently, autumn haze! [page 47]

 

THE POET AND HIS FRIEND.

THE Poet read to me his verses
(I could not get away).
I heard, “This earth’s a chilling desert”—
(The air was soft as May);
And though I had my own convictions,
I could not say him nay.

For surely he who is a poet
Should know better than I.
To him the summer tells her secrets,—
The winds and stars reply;
To him all Paradise is open,
And he should know — not I.

Still, all the loveliness of living
Thrilled me anew; the glow
Of all the sunset’s dreamy splendor,
Far in the west burned low,
And as I watched its changeful glory
I wondered,— Did he know? [page 48]

 

LEONE.

IF I had known, O friend so loved,
   That ere another autumn came,
Painting the trees in colors rare,
   Setting the maples all aflame;

That ere the dreamy, purple light
   Lay low and still o’er all the land,
That in the autumn hush and peace
   Alone and lonely I should stand,—

I should have come to you, O love,
   In the fair summer’s vanished calm,
Nor waited, dreaming that to you
   The weeks would bring a healing balm.

How could I know that when I came
Your loving words and smiles to crave,
I should be led in silent tears
To stand beside a new-made grave? [page 49]

Still, shall communion sweet be ours:
   Trust that shall evermore remain;
For life divides, while death unites,
   And gives us back our own again.

And when at last our Father’s voice
   Shall call us to a happier home,
His messenger — our guide — shall be
   An angel whom we call — Leone! [page 50]

 

JUNE.

SUMMERS may come and summers may go,
But never another will be, I know,
So full of greenness and fragrance and bloom,
So laden with sunshine and rare perfume,
So full of its mystic, intangible lore;
Oh, there never was summer like this before!

Other summers were fragrant and fair,
Purple shadows have trailed through the air:
Clouds of pearl and of amethyst
Have glimmered through a silvery mist:
Sunsets have gleamed with their golden glow,
But no summer was ever like this, I know.

The summers that wait in the coming years
May be full of sadness and full of tears;
The starry nights that are now so fair
May be darkened then by a weight of care,
And the sunshine and song, the greenness and glow,
May change to sorrow and trial, I know; [page 51]

Yet trial begins with it the strength to endure:
God sends us no sorrows that have not some cure.
So the thought of a possible grief-darkened day
Shall not dim the sweet prophecies haunting my way.
No trial that waits in some far-away June
Shall cloud this wonderful, mystical bloom.
          .          .          .          .          .          .
Ah, love! the summer a year ago
Was full of blossoming grace, I know;
The sunshine sifted through swaying trees,
The lilies beckoned the wandering breeze;
But a voice that is now my music, I know,
Had not called through the silences one year ago.

So the summers may come and the summers may go;
Nothing can shadow this golden glow.
Never from out my life shall fade
This love that is perfect and undismayed;
For on through the years we shall together go,
Though there never come summer like this below. [page 52]

 

GOOD-BYE.

 

LOVE, good-bye!
Sunset colors gem the sky:
And the perfume-haunted breeze,
Drifting through these swaying trees,
Stirs them to faint symphonies.
Song of bird, and fountain playing,
Sunshine o’er the roses straying,—
None of these may bring delaying;
For the parting hour draws nigh:
     Love, good-bye.

     Let them go!
June’s fair roses, winter’s snow:
Hours of sweetness, hours of pain,
Hours that may not come again,
And we ask them all in vain!
They are gone; but do you find, love,
You can put them out of mind, love?
Can you leave them quite behind, love?
Do I hear your answer, low?
     Let them go! [page 53] 

     They may pass,
Shadow-like, o’er meadow grass.
Not to these lost hours I cling;
I would only hold one thing,
Won from pain and suffering:
Let me keep this fairest gleaming,
My ideal of you,—seeming
Real, as in my sweetest dreaming.
All things else may fade away,
     This must stay.

     But one prayer
Lips may breathe or heart may share:
Leave to me the friend I knew
In ideal faith; keep true
To those aims that hold but few.
Summer days, oh, bring your sweetness,
As ye pass in mystic fleetness,
Crowning life with fair completeness!
Be yours all achievement high;
     Love, good-bye! [page 54]

 

AS IN VISION.

I.

LITTLE girl upon the street,
Laughing eyes and tripping feet,
With your hands all running over
Daisy blooms and flowers clover,
You to me a picture bring
Of a long-lost sunny spring;
Waving woods and sunset skies
Rise like dreams of paradise.

 

II.

Little girl, when coming days
Hold for you their memories;
When in womanhood’s fair land
You shall, haply, one day stand,—
Keep your childish faiths as sweet
As the blossoms at your feet;
Though your hands no more run over
With the daisies and the clover. [page 55]

 

III.

Some day, little maiden fair,
With the wind-tossed, sunny hair,
Shall you flush at love’s sweet praises,
That are sweeter than the daisies;
Woman’s hopes and woman’s love,
Sweetness sent by heaven above,—
With these shall your hands run over,	
Dropping daisy blooms and clover. [page 56]

 

ON CONCORD RIVER.

ONLY while the lilies blow
Shall our boat be drifting low;
While the flush of sunset light
Fades into the purple night,
While the whipporwills are singing,
And the twilight breeze is bringing
Dreams of lands in sunset glow,
Shall our boat be drifting low.

Only while the lilies blow,
While winds murmur soft and low,
Shall we drift on, love, together
In the golden summer weather.
Dreams of perfumes haunt us yet,
Eglantine and mignonette,
Though our boat is drifting low
Only while the lilies blow. [page 57]

 

PHILLIPS BROOKS.

[The Rt. Ren.Phillips Brooks, S.T.D., LL.D., Bishop of Massachusetts, entered into that rest which remaineth to the people of God, Jan. 23, 1893.]

 

Thy own loved Church in sadness read
Her solemn ritual o’er thy head,
And, blessed and hallowed with her prayer,
The turf laid lightly on thee there.

WHITTIER.

AH, where shall we lay our deep sorrow,
   How speak of our loss,
That our noblest of friends has been given
The Crown for the Cross?

Since he, whom we knew but to honor,
   To love and revere,
Who brought to all hearts the Glad Tidings
   In messages clear,—

Whose hands, with their pure benediction,
   Uplifted in prayer,
Were our pledge of the Saviour’s direction,
   His guidance and care,—[page 58]

Since he, our pastor and helper,
   So tenderly dear,
Has gone to the Wonderful Country
   That lieth so near!

And now, in the hush of the morning,
   In its silence and calm,
We would gather a few leaves of healing,
   For sorrow a balm.

Our friend—full of gifts of honors,
   Of race culture and grace,
Of sweetness and faith that no other
   Can hope to replace—

Has fought the good fight, and has entered
   The rest that God gave;
And the lives he has blessed bring the tribute
   We lay on his grave.

For all, in his presence uplifting,
   Were exalted and cheered;
And virtue seemed more to be cherished,
   And sin to be feared. [page 59]

O hearts, whose sorrowful longings
   His ministry blessed,—
O souls, whose divinest aspiring
   His teachings expressed,—

O Church, where as pastor and Bishop
   He faithfully taught,—
Bring your tears, and your love, and your gladness
   For the work that he wrought!

Bring your thanks, O Church universal,
   O’er land and o’er sea!
For the tears of two nations shall mingle,
Our Bishop, for thee.

Oh, still, from that life thou hast entered,
   Behold us, we pray!
Vouchsafe still to guide and direct us,
   And teach us the Way.

May we feel that ever upon us
   Are the vows of the Lord;
May our lives be more worthy thy teaching,
   And show forth God’s word; [page 60]

And still, when for help and forgiveness
   Imploring we kneel,
In the peace of a sweet benediction,
   Thy hands may we feel.

Oh, still, to thy sorrowing children,
   Give the Bread and the Wine;
When we wait, in remembrances holy,
   The tokens divine.

Commune with us yet in the spirit,
   Our Bishop, we pray;
Till for us, on the wings of the morning,
   Dawns the Heavenly Day! [page 61]

 

SOMETIME.

SOMETIME you’ll think of these summer days
Dreamily drifting through purple haze.

Sometime, with a thrill of passionate pain,
You’ll long for their sweetness over again.

Sometime, when the moonlight is silvering all,
And the pansies sleep by the garden wall,—

In the mystic twilight’s odorous dusk,
Freighted with clustering rose-bloom’s musk,—

You will watch for a flitting figure there,
White-robed and noiseless, with falling hair.

And gazing deep in the luminous eyes
That made for your life its paradise,—

The silence and music and wonderful calm
Of this magical summer will linger like balm,—[page 62] 

Till, starting, you waken to clasp but air,
And list to a flitting footfall there.

Sometime you’ll listen in silence lone
For a girlish voice that was all your own;

For words that only to you were given,
Telling of love and the sweetness of heaven.

Sometime you’d give all the wise world’s praise
For one of these vanishing summer days.

For just one leaf from the swaying bough,—
Sometime you’d clasp it; oh, why not now? [page 63]

 

AN EASTER REMEMBRANCE.

[To K. F.]

Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

John XX. 29.

TO you, O love, all greetings go,
Whene’er a festival appears:
All the glad days of all the years
Set toward you with their joyous flow.

So, on this ressurection morn,
   Sublime with messages that give
   New meaning to the years we live —
When a diviner life is born, —

I turn me, Sweet, to ask for you
   Glad beauty, sunshine, flowers, and love;
   All sweetest gifts of Heaven above
Make, for your sake, the world anew.

His peace be yours — His love enfold!
   The Easter sun shines down in glory;
   All hearts are thrilling to its story,
And from the grave the stone is rolled! [page 64]

 

OFFERINGS.

The only gift is a portion of thyself.—EMERSON.

FOR all that you have been to me,
Of light and joy and melody,
What can I offer, love, to thee?

What can I plead thy life may hold?
Renown and riches, gems and gold?
A fair success, and honors told?

Ah, I can only breathe one prayer,—
Angels be with thee everywhere,
In guidance and in tenderest care.

I only know that by your side
My life is thrilled and glorified,
And heavenly peace seems flowing wide.

For all the kindness you have shown,
For every tender word and tone,
More precious than before I’ve known,— [page 65]

I thank you: even in her name
Who long beneath the flowers hath lain,
Unmoved by sunshine or rain;

O’er whose sweet rest the lilies blow;
O’er whose unbroken slumbers low
Unheeding falls the sunset glow.

O love! my love, when other hands
More dear than mine across the strands
Of future life shall plead demands,—

When other arms than mine shall fold
You tenderly, in sheltering hold
More strong, and true, and self-controlled,—

Oh, then remember how my prayer,
My tenderest thought, my sweetest care,
Go with thee, dearest, everywhere. [page 66]

 

CONSECRATION.

O FATHER! not for worldly wealth
   We pray to Thee to-day;
We only ask for faith to tread
The straight and narrow way.

For we would walk so near to Thee,
   Encircled by Thy love,
That we may ever catch the gleams
Of glory from above.

O Father! to Thy will we bow!
   And lead us all to see
How, even in the darkest hours,
   We’re closer drawn to Thee.

God’s plans and purposes to us
   May oft seem strange and dim;
But where we cannot understand,
   We trust it all to Him. [page 67] 

And of the hopes, yet unfulfilled,
   Help us to truly say,
The prayers that oft unanswered seem
Are answered in His way.

O Father! make us wholly Thine,
   Grant us Thy loving care,
And when life’s labor all is done,
   May we Thy glory share! [page 68]

 

A VISION.

FROM the tropic air of the city
   I’m turning, O darling! to you,
Where your feet tread the shining lilies,
White and fragrant in morning dew.

I catch a breath of their perfume,
   Of the breezy, life-giving air,
And there rises before me your face, love,
In its framing of golden-touched hair. [page 69]

 

COMING.

FAR out in the untried future fair
Waiteth for you a treasure rare;
   Patiently waiting, noticed by none,
In dust and darkness until you come.
Only your eye shall catch its gleam;
To others, it ever must be unseen.
   It is yours—God fashioned it rich and rare.
   Long hath it lain awaiting you there.

Out in the Future, star-crowned and bright,
Waiteth for you a dawning of light.
   It is coming to you, no other shall prize
   The glowing tints that for you arise.
On your path alone shall its light be shed,
Illuming the way that your feet must tread.
   Though darkness and doubt overshadow just here,
   Be patient and trustful,—the dawning is near. [page 70]

Down some still pathway leading to you
There is walking a friend, brave, loving, and true.
   He is coming to meet you, he needeth no guide
   To find the one destined to walk by his side.
Your paths will soon meet, and you surely will know
The heart that is yours for the life-work below;
   A love tender, trustful, with yours shall soon blend,—
The sweetest, best gift that our Father can send.

Your life is all ready and waiting for you.
Not all of its gifts come at once, it is true:
   They are scattered alone,—you will not fail to find,
   If you walk in the way so divinely designed.
Faint prophecies often will haunt you; and gleams
Of pleasant things coming will flit through your dreams.
   Sweet glimpses of days beyond range of your view,
   Yet still they are formed, and are coming to you. [page 71]

 

A FRAGMENT.

ONLY a dream of wild, white waves
   Creeping up over silent sands;
Only a kneeling figure there,
   With head low bowed and claspèd hands.

Only a waste of waters wild
   Stretching far as the eye could see;
With a line of light that peacefully lay
   Like the silent shore of Eternity.

A flitting flush of lambent light
   Glowed through the purple twilight there;
But I only saw that kneeling form,
   With head low bowed and floating hair.
          .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .
O friend! whose life-barque, fair and frail,
   Floated out on the tide that night,
Thy spirit lingered upon the shore
In voiceless prayer for the dawn of light. [page 72]

The claspèd hands I saw in dreams
   Were those that had lingered oft in mine;
The low-bowed head with the floating hair
Had knelt with me at the Sacred Shrine.

And standing now on the waveless shore
   Of the dark and dim unsounded sea,
I catch a glimpse of an angel form
   That watches and waits to welcome me.

And I know the waiting will not be long.
   The light around me grows faint and dim.
I can almost reach the clasping hands,
   I catch a strain of the choral hymn. [page 73]

 

ARBOR VITÆ.

ONCE in summer days long gone,
Wandering, idly, o’er the lawn,
   In the Junetide’s crimson bloom,
   Fragrant with a faint perfume,
We had lingered where the glow
Burning in the sunset low	
   Flamed like fire among the leaves
Of the arbor-vitæ trees.

Half-unconsciously, the tide
Of our words and laughter died;
   And a faint and undefined
   Prescience, dim, was in each mind.
Just an instant’s haunting fear,
Just a touch of loss was near,
   Just a breath that stirred the leaves
Of the arbor-vitæ trees.
     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     . [page 74] 
When the autumn’s purple haze
Lay upon the dreamy days,
   When the world, so care-oppressed,
   In a deep peace seemed to rest,
Wandered I, alone, one day,
O beloved one! where you lay,
   Clasping but one spray of leaves
From those arbor-vitæ trees.

Folded hands and closèd eyes.
Rest! there is no sacrifice.
   Tired hands forever stilled,
   Sweetest dreaming now fulfilled!
Thou hast found the fairer land,
And, O love, I see thee stand,
   Far from earthly fret and strife,
‘Neath the fadeless Tree of Life. [page 75]

 

ONLY.

ONLY a touch, a whisper,
I said, would banish unrest;
Only a glance from the eyes I love
Will make my life so blest.
And I heeded not there that the sun shone fair,
And the wind came out of the west.

Only the old-time music
Of songs that my spirit caught,
Only a vanished presence,
Only a loving thought,
And I failed to hear the music near,
With which the air was fraught. [page 76]

 

A PREMONITION.

YOU’RE dreaming now of coming days,
Of woodland walks and sunny ways,
When we, whose paths so long have lain
So wide apart, shall meet again;
You say the time will soon be o’er,
And we shall meet to part no more,
                                         No more!

You count the many happy years
Of sweetest hopes with no dark fears;
You paint our lives in colors fair,
Without one thought of pain or care;
All love and happiness in store
When we shall meet to part no more,
                                            No more!

But all the while you talk to me
A voice is whispering silently,
That tells me, ere the coming spring,
When buds and blossoms round you cling, [page 77] 
It tells me clearer than before
That I shall meet you, love, no more,
  No more!

And ‘tis not that in foreign lands
I shall not hear your sweet demands,—
‘Tis not that you will love me less,
Leaving me to forgetfulness,—
Our hearts will cling and ne’er before,
But, darling, we shall meet no more,
No more!

And when the summer violets meet
O’er folded hands whose rest is sweet,—
When all your words of tenderness
Unheeded fall in silentness,—
Ah, pray that when your life is o’er,
We’ll meet, O love! to part no more,
                      No more! [page 78]

 

THE SHEPHERD’S SUNDAY SONG.

(From the German of Uhland.)

THIS is the day of the Lord,
   In the wide fields alone am I here.
Only one morning-bell more,
   Silence then far and from near.

Kneeling, I worship Thee here.
   Oh, sweet dread inspired by Thee!
As if many, unseen, were near,
And praying with me.

The heavens are everywhere,
So solemn and clear.
Complete as if they would open,—
   The day of the Lord is here! [page 79]

 

A DREAM OF SPRING.

“Thou bringest me flowers, thou bringest me songs,—
Bring back the love I have lost.”

 

ONLY to know, only to know
How the daisies bloom and the grasses grow
On the sunny slope of a Western height,
Bathed in the springtime’s misty light;
Where the golden glow of the sunsets fair
Blend the rose and the gold in the azure air;
Only to know, only to know
How the ivies twine and the grasses grow!

Only to know, only to know
How fair are those hills in the evening glow!
Only to feel the mosses deep,
Cool and soft from their winter sleep;
To find again, ‘neath sheltering trees,
The first faint gleam of anemones;
Only to know, only to know
How the brook is singing its music low! [page 80]

Only to know, only to know,
How sweet she sleeps in her bed so low;
Only to know how the grasses wave
Over her rest in that hillside grave,
Where the brook’s faint ripple is ever heard,
And the voice of the winds in the maples stirred;
Only to know, only to know,
How for her the seasons shall come and go! [page 81]

 

TWO EVENINGS.

I.

BY the couch with snowy hangings,
   Held by sculptured angels fair,
Florence, whitely robed for slumber,
   Knelt to say her evening prayer;
Knelt to ask the loving Saviour
   For His touch on lip and brow:
“Blessed Jesus, make me holy;
   Let me be an angel now.”

 

II.

Shimmering folds of misty laces
   O’er the deep bay window hung;
Fragrant perfumes floating through them
On the night air faintly flung.
And the carpet’s crimson roses
   Strewn upon a mossy ground
Seemed to twine o’er marble statues,
Whitely gleaming, all around. [page 82]

 

III.

Once again the shimmering moonbeams,
   In that chamber dim and fair,
Fall on hands all lily-laden,
   Linger on the golden hair;
With a touch of peace prophetic
   Rest on cheek, and lip, and brow,
For the childish prayer was answered:
   Florence is an angel now. [page 83]

 

A WOMAN’S LETTER.

DAYS that are lost in sweetness, dim in their amethyst light,
That fade into rose-toned sunsets, and star-crowned, silvery nights;
Days that are dim with sweetness, yet sad in their mystery,
For you are alone by the mountains, and I am alone by the sea!

Only for this one thought, love, the days would be all too fair.
They are days of magic and music, days weighted with treasure rare;
With treasures of art and of story, for which I had asked so long,
Till the wish was its own fulfilment, and prayer was changed into song. [page 84]

And if I ask for life’s gifts, love, and seek for its fairest prize,
If I plead for its grace and sweetness, and even long to be wise,
It is only that I may bring you, dear, all that your love can dream,
And make of our far, fair future what it may sometimes seem.

I know when you watch the sunsets fade on the Alban hills,
While with brush or pencil you loiter while the purple evening fills
The valleys and defiles with beauty,—I know you are thinking of me
As you watch the light on the mountains and I watch the light on the sea!

And sometimes I catch a glimpse, love, of a mystical morning fair,
When I in the Seven-Hilled City shall forget that this life has care.
You may dream on over your pictures, and I will pen rhymes, it may be,
But you will not loiter alone, then, nor be watching and waiting for me! [page 85]

Yet the sea rolls darkly between us, and its pulses come and go:
I linger beside it, beloved, to catch the ebb and the flow;
And watching the mystic shadows that faintly rise and fall,
I cling to the Infinite Love, dear, that ever is over us all! [page 86]

 

ANSWERED.

“GOD bless you and keep you, my darling!”
   So I said to you only last May,
As we sat ‘mid the ferns and the mosses
In the woods that sunny spring day.
“God bless you and keep you forever.”
   One kiss,—and we each turned away,
Turned away from the ferns and the mosses
In the woods that morning in May.

Our life-paths that through many summers
   So closely together had lain
Diverged on that lovely May morning,
   And widened apart o’er life’s plain;
But we looked at the heights far before us,
   And rejoiced in the sunshine that lay
Illuming the ferns and the mosses
In the woods that lovely spring day. [page 87]

“God bless you and keep you forever!”
   Ah, darling! He will evermore,
But my tears are falling so thickly
   I see not the shining shore;
I see not the throngs of bright angels,
   But I know that our Angie is there,
And I feel how in truest wisdom
   Our Father has answered my prayer. [page 88]

 

ANOTHER ANGLOMANIAC.

TO LADY HENRY SOMERSET.

I NEVER dreamed I should become
   An Anglomaniac;
My thoughts on England’s peerage great
   Be stretched as on a rack;
That pomp and circumstance and rank
   And prestige, place or power,
Should hold such strange significance
To stamp the passing hour.

But when she came, our Ladye Faire,
   With wondrous charm and grace,
This “daughter of an hundred earls,”
   To whom no power or place
Can prestige add — she lends to these
   That else might somewhat lack —
For her sweet sake I’ve come to be
An Anglomaniac. [page 89]

Fair Daughter of an Hundred Earls!
   Thy rank no peerage holds,
The winning magic of thy smile
   The larger life enfolds.
The world be beautiful to thee,
   O queen of hearts, I pray!
Sunshine be fair, and roses bloom
About thy path always. [page 90]

 

A WAIF.

THE day had been dark and cloudy,
   But just at the sunset hour
Came a gleam of light through the shadows
   That fell with a magical power;
That fell on our hearts like music,
   Chasing the shadows away,
Till the darkness and gloom around us
   All fled with the weary day.

And as brightly the glowing sunset
   Came with its rosy light,
And the golden shades still lingered,
Tinging the gloom of night,—
So, ever, I thought, through life’s journey,
   Though darkened and sad be the days,
Yet the sunset, at last, that He sendeth
Will be brightened by heavenly rays.[page 91]

 

A VANISHED PRESENCE.

And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire… stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.—Rev. XV. 2.

IN MEMORY OF PHILIPS BROOKS.

I.

THE lilies bloom again;
The Easter sunshine floods the world with light.
But he, whose voice had made this day so glad,
Has vanished from our sight.

II.

   What visions has he seen?
What has he found the other side of life?
Beyond the sunrise — past the morning star —
   What words with glory rife,—

III.

   What strange, sweet mysteries
Have dawned upon his vision ere to-day?
What sea of glass and mingled fire hath shone
Before his onward way?

IV.

   He whose majestic form,
Clad in its priestly robes, in sacred hours,
Hath linked our Easters to the heavenly realm,
   Revealed the unseen powers,—

V.

   Shall he not send today
A spirit message that our hearts may hear?
Shall we not catch, through all the silences,—
   “Lo, I am ever near,—

VI.

   “Near you, Beloved, still;
When through the trial or the joy you pass”
The harps of gold, the crystal gates that gleam,
   The sea of fire and glass,—

VII.

 

   These have no power to hold
The radiant spirit from the earth set free;
And in the air there thrills his voice to-day!
   We feel his ministry! [page 93]

 

OUT IN THE YEARS.

There are beautiful things out in the years. Some of them are for everybody.—Hitherto.

 

AH, many the things that are out in the years!
There are visions of joy, bright hopes and dark fears,
There are prophecies made which the future must hold
To swift, sure fulfilment, in measure untold,
There are gleamings of smiles and cloud-mists of tears,
There are beautiful things far out in the years.

There are beautiful things far out in the years:
There is light which the gloom of the present endears,
There are thoughts which the future to good deeds may change,
There is happiness there so blissful and strange,
Though the present for us hold but trial and tears,
There are beautiful things far out in the years. [page 94]

There are beautiful things far out in the years;
Can we not bear bravely some burdens and fears?
Can we not be patient if He bids us wait
For some things, till we meet at the Beautiful Gate?
For they all shall be ours when our Saviour appears
With the beautiful things that are out in the years. [page 95]

 

FOR YOU.

IF you might always have, love,
   The sunshine and the flowers,
And I the cold and loneliness
   Of bitter wintry hours,—
If any sweetness in my life
   Would answer to your claim,
And I might bear whatever loss,
   Whatever wrong or pain
Would otherwise fall to you, love,
   As falls the autumn rain,—
I think I could not ask, love,
   For any happier hours,
Than just to know God gives to you
The sunshine and the flowers. [page 96]

 

HER LAST DAY.

IN LOVING MEMORY.

[J. A. A., DEC. 11, 1891.]

And with the dawn those angel faces smile
That I have loved long since, and lost awhile.

CARDINAL NEWMAN.

I.

THAT day in its wonderful splendor of light
   Grew fairer as onward it rolled;
It dawned in a glory of sapphire and rose,
   It died in a glory of gold.

II.

We spoke much of life, of its promises fair,
   Its sweetness, its sorrows, its fear:
Of its work to be done, of its burdens to bear,
   And we dreamed not one Presence drew near,—

III.

 

We dreamed not there waited, unseen by our eyes,
   The angel to lead her away;
Unguessed was that Presence, unheard the replies,
   That thrilled through the air of that day. [page 97]

 

IV.

And still at that wonderful glory of light
   Enchanted the fast-flying hours,
And an undefined prescience touched her with its spell
   While the sunshine lay low on the flowers, —

V.

And the angels whose faces had smiled from the dawn
   Drew near her with beckoning hand;
One look, one last word, and with “Victory gained” —
   She had gone to the Wonderful Land. [page 98]

 

TIRED.

THE shadows are dimly falling,
   The fireside is glowing and bright,
Friends kind and dear are around me,
   But I’m longing for you, love, to-night;
I’m longing to turn away, darling,
From all the noise and the light.

All day, since the early morning,
   I have striven, yet failed to meet
The rest, and the peace, and the comfort,
   That cometh with work complete,
And I longed to lay all the burdens
At the blessèdSaviour’s feet.

And now the twilight is falling,
   The fireside is glowing and bright,
But I turn from all its fair visions
   To one who is absent to-night,—
Whose presence would bring to me ever
   All I long for of love and of light. [page 99]

Yet why do I turn away sadly,
   When I know that one Friend is so near?
That His love is ever enfolding,
   His ear ever ready to hear,
And no pathway can e’er be so darkened
   His grace will not brighten and cheer!

 

AN OCTOBER BIRTHDAY.

October, the “Month of the Holy Angels.”

I.

WITH the October days in mystic splendor,
   The heart of opal gleaming through its haze,—
What dreams may come, their visions to surrender
With the October days?

What new ideals shine, what glad evangels
   Make your world fair, and prophesy new ways?
What shall it bring — Month of the Holy Angels!
In the October days?	

O friend, for whom to-night I ask the question,
   Into whose future fair I fain would gaze,
How throng on me glad thought and sweet suggestion
   With these October days! [page 100]

The prayer that life may give you its completeness;
   October’s angels ever guard your ways;
And love and honor crown you with their sweetness,
Through all October days.

And when, on some fair morning’s starry splendor,
   You turn aside from earth’s bewildering maze,
Enfolded in His love, divinely tender,
   How fair will be the days!

For all is life, and death the door whose portal
   We pass to enter on diviner ways;
Achieving there the work that is immortal,
   With prayer transformed to praise.

 

II.

October, the Month dominated by the Opal.

DEAR friend, for you an untried year
   To-day its page discloses;
Take happy thoughts and sweetest hopes,
   And with them — take my roses.

Month of the Holy Angels! thus
   October’s shrined in glory
For mystic legends seem to cling
About its wondrous story. [page 101]

Month of the opal! sorrow, hope,
   Its destiny enfolding;
May least of sorrow, most of joy,
   Come for your happy holding.

Month of the opal! dawning now
   In all its dreamy splendor;
Through all its mists of doubt shines faith,
In meanings strong and tender.

All sweet fulfillments come to you,
   The opal’s promise binding;
And truth and trust and tenderness
   Always await your finding!

And whatsoe’er the years may bring,
   Whatever fate discloses,—
Take all fair thoughts and happy hours,
   And with them — take my roses.

 

III.

We have received divine mysteries, O Lord, Rejoicing on the Festival of the Holy Angels.

—ROMAN MISSAL.

AGAIN October paints the woods 
   In hues of gold and amber;
Again, against the mossy rocks,
   The scarlet tendrils clamber; [page 102]
The purple shadows seem to thrill
   The air with mystic dreaming,
And softly shines the silver stream,
A magic mirror seeming.	

Within its depths the autumn skies
   As mirrored there, are bluer;
All nature’s subtle, low replies
   Make life seem fairer, truer;
October’s spell enchants the days
   And sings its glad evangels,
October — Month of Prayer and Praise!
   Month of the Holy Angels!

Its Festival is yours, O love!
Its rare and golden wine,
Its vino santo for you, dear,
   Is poured as seal and sign —
As sign and seal of all that’s great
   For you, in life’s Elysian:
Till on your sight, in purple state,
   There dawns the Heavenly Vision! [page 103]

 

IV.

Across the world I speak to thee,
Whether in yonder star thou be
A spirit loosed in purple air;
Whether beneath the tropic tree
The cooling night-wind fans thy hair—
Whether in yonder star thou be,
Across the world I speak to thee.

BELOVED, there are no fit words to tell
(Unless for speech were wrought a miracle)
How much of thought goes out to you to-day,
As from the sunset shore you sail away
For the far Orient; how all sweetest dreams,
Aglow with all the rose and gold of dreams,
Aglow with all the rose and gold of gleams
That touch the dawning into perfect day,—
Go with you, dearest, ever on your way.

That fair October day that brought you here
A spirit drawn from some diviner sphere
I needs must mark, e’en with this halting rhyme,
Taxing too far your patience and your time,
Assured you will forgive the faltering speech
For that which lies beneath it out of reach;
Lying so deep that it responds alone
But to some subtle spirit touch or tone. [page 104]

Holding your friendship, life is rich to me;
Losing it, only abject poverty
Could be my portion. Life contains no gift
So potent with its spell, its strong uplift,
As the sweet privilege that has been mine
Thus to have known you; and this gift divine
Forever will I guard, — a priceless treasure,
By which all happiness henceforth I measure. [page 105]

 

A PARTING.

MONTHS of sunny life and fair,
Days that flitted — none knew where,
Hours of pleasure, hours of pain,
Hours that ne’er can come again;
They are gone, but do you find
You can leave them all behind?

Come not memories evermore
Drifting round you from that shore?
Words which lessened every care,
Thoughts no other e’er could share,
Duties that we ever met
With one thought,—can you forget?

Can you calmly thus efface
From life’s tablet every trace
Of the hopes, and tears, and prayers,
That we shared ‘mid all the cares?
Can we all these memories smother,
And “be nothing to each other”? [page 106]

Can you break the golden chain
With its links of joy and pain?
Do you think it will decay
As the long years pass away?
That the bright strands e’er will fade,
Though long hidden in the shade?

When for us life’s task is o’er,
And we tread its paths no more;
When, ‘mid shadows dimly falling,
We shall hear the angels calling,
As we calmly stand and wait
Just outside the golden gate,—

Then will these dark moments seem
Like a phantom, or a dream.
In that dawn of purer light
You will read all things aright,
False words will not seem as true;
Till that morn,—adieu, adieu! [page 107]

 

ON EASTER EVENING.

“Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”

[INSCRIBED TO ————.]

ALONE with the lilies that breathe their sweetness
   Where violets glow and acacias bloom,
With the lights turned low for the day’s completeness,
   I sit in to-night in the silent room;	

And I hear on the air the wonderful story
   That Passion Weak touches newly to life,
Of His love, His suffering, and His glory,
And the peace and the joy that follows strife.

I wait — but I dream no ecstatic morrow
   Of time enchanted by music and flowers;
I know that the highest is won through sorrow,
   And I know that duty must burden the hours. [page 108]

And only through duty’s fulfilled completeness,
   Through the daily task not refused, but done,
Shall we tread the way of diviner sweetness,
   And learn the meaning of victory won.

Ah, the lights burn low, but the lilies shining
   Fragrant and fair where the shadows play
Teach me to love and live, unrepining,
   For humanity’s Christ is risen to-day. [page 109]

 

LILLIAN ADELAIDE NEILSON.

          Strew on her roses, roses,
             And never a spray of yew!
               .     .     .     .     .     .     .
          Her life was turning, turning,
             In mazes of light and sound,
          But for peace her soul was yearning,
             And now peace wraps her round.

WHILE the lilies lean above her,
Look your last, O friend or lover!
While the light, unfading, lies
Gently on the closèd eyes,
And the waving grasses keep
Watch above her silent sleep;
While the English daisies yet
Linger over Juliet,—
While the lilies lean above her,
Look your last, O friend or lover!

Not for her the summer’s close
Breaks the calm of that repose.[page 110]
Nevermore shall wind or wave
Call her from that lonely grave.
Angel of the Asphodel
Guard the sleeper — all is well!
O’er her rest the suns shall set,
Dreamless rest of Juliet;
Holy starlight, still and calm,
Fold her in its voiceless psalm.

Sunny-tressed, fair Adelaide!
In our hearts her grave is made.
All her loveliness appears
Only through a rain of tears.
Only love and tenderness,
Only prayers and mute caress,
Only hearts that ne’er forget,
Guard the grave of Juliet.
Look your last, O friend or lover,
Let the angels watch above her! [page 111]

 

IN EXTREMIS.

TROUBLED and weary, doubting, sad,
With sorrows none may see,
I only ask that I may come,
O Saviour! unto Thee.

For life is dark, the way is closed;
My days and dreams denied.
I turn from all and only seek
A refuge at Thy side.

I only ask Thy pitying love,
I only plead my claim
That Thou hast promised help to those
Who love Thy holy name.

Give me, I pray Thee, life and light
Through all the darkness wild;
And when the lamps of life go out,
Oh, then take home Thy child! [page 112]

 

PAX VORBISCUM.

[To K. F.]

“And she the rest will comprehend, will comprehend.”

I.

MY friend, my love, the summer days are flying;
   The glories of the sunset fade and die;
The starry splendors of the night, replying,
   Breathe silent lessons of the life on high.

II.

Again the roses tell their mystic story,
   And on the hillside blooms the eglantine.
And trailing lilies, on the mirrored glory,
   Shine faint and fair along the woodland stream.

III.

The bluebell sets its fairy cups a-chiming
   In the deep heart of pine woods as of old;
And winds among the trees are all a-rhyming.
   By bird and flower and leaf our life is told. [page 113]

 

IV.

Peace be with you — the summer’s peace and sweetness!
   O friend whose life is dearer than my own!
His peace, His love, that holds in its completeness
   All we can dream of—all that we have known.

V.

 

Peace be with you! The words that you have treasured,
   I echo back to you, O love, to-day!
Words telling of a faith divine, unmeasured,
   In Him who said, “I am with you alway.” [page 114]

 

A MEMORY.

AN autumn evening: purple-tinged
   The dusky night closed round us,
Hushed into silence by the spell
   With which that music bound us.

O winds of might and stars of night
   That listened to her singing!
Through all the next day’s dreamy light
   That thrilling voice was ringing.

Through all the maze of magic mists
   One haunting face before me,
With topaz crowned, and amethysts,
   Bent, like a spirit, o’er me.

The air was vocal with its rhymes,
   Throbbing with wondrous measures,
With silent strains of chants and chimes,
Fragments of voiceless treasures.
          .     .    .     .     .     .     . [page 115]
The organ’s deep and thrilling tone
   Upon the air still lingers,
The dream was all the poet’s own,
Touched by her dainty fingers.

The wild waves break upon the shore,
   The “cold gray stones” revealing:
O love! your poet’s songs bring more
Than words can tell of feeling.

The “tender grace” of long-gone days
   Its mystic spell is bringing
I walk in memory’s magic maze
   And listen to your singing! [page 116]

IN MOUNT AUBURN.

“O World! so few the years we live,
Would that the life that thou dost give
Were life indeed!”

 

YOU have told me her story to-day,
   And we stand by her grave;
And we talk of it here by the way,
   All that love could not save.
And above us the sunshine is fair,
   And the elm branches wave.

Does he think of her now, do you know?
   In that far, foreign land,—
When at some pictured shrine he may kneel,
   Or before it may stand?
Does he see that fair girl as she leaned
With a rose in her hand? [page 117]

You have told me her story to-day;
   A sad story of fate;
And we talk of it here by the way,
   As we loiter and wait.
Ah, death brings it peace at the last!
     .     .     .     Let us go. It is late! [page 118]

 

A CHRISTMAS WISH.

[To ——————.]

For all my life is love,
. . And love thy life shall be;
Look where the dawn-rose blooms,
. . And there my signal see.

EDITH THOMAS.

AH, love! if wish of mine might cast
   Your Christmas horoscope,
How glad the days, how fair the years,
   How full of joy and hope!

Couleur de rose should be the air!
   And riches, honors, power,
The wine and radiance of life
   Attend your every hour.

The splendor of success should shine
   On every purpose o’er you;
The goddess Happiness should pour
Libations out before you. [page 119]

The joy-bells of the mystic skies
   Should peal their fairy chiming;
Sunshine and roses on your way
   Set all the days a-rhyming.

Yet wish of mine were poor beside
   The holiday Evangels,
That guide your feet in noble ways
Led by the Christmas angels.

May all their purposes for you
   Find in your work completeness,
And every year enrich your life
   With added wealth and sweetness!

All the glad praise of Christmas days
   Tell you its happy story!
Before you rise the Paradise
   Where reigns the King of Glory! [page 120]

 

AN IMMORTAL LOVE

[The TajMahal is the stately tomb of the wife of Shah Jehan, and over its entrance is the inscription, “In Memory of An Immortal Love.” The eminent author and traveller, Mr. M. M. Ballou, relates how,standing under its dome, he recited “The Psalm of Life,” and heard it echoed back as by angel voices.]

 

O DREAM of marble in the azure floating!
   What spell enchants us as we gaze above?
Pass softly through the portals — read their legend, —
“In memory of an immortal love.”

Backward the ages roll in stately splendor
   Since here a woman’s form was left alone,
Shrined fair and stately in its lofty beauty
   Where angel voices whisper from the dome.

Since then whole nations have been born and scattered,
   Kingdoms have risen, fallen, from their state;
Yet in this sculptured silence she, unheeding,
Knows not the clang of arms, the clash of Fate. [page 121]

Yet had she not on earth its fairest treasure?
   Nor sweeter gift could ask from heaven above;
Held tenderly in life, in death, and sleeping
“In memory of an immortal love.” [page 122]

 

AT PEACE.

LYING low and lying fair,
With the sunshine in her hair,—

With her forehead lily-pale
(E’en your words cannot avail) —

Not your prayer her slumber breaks;
Not to touch of yours she wakes.

Eyes grown dim with Death’s eclipse,
Folded hands, unanswering lips —

Gaze, — Love’s care can never cease,
Though she hath Love’s perfect peace. [page 123]

 

A TWILIGHT MEMORY.

I THINK of her, I think of her.
Across the way the shadows stir;
The sunset fades in lines of gold;
The winter twilight, gray and cold,
Falls o’er the landscape’s pictured light.
I wait, and think of her to-night.

I wait within the lingering glow,
And watch the sunset burning low.
I see, beyond the Brookline hills,
A far-off land — a life that thrills
And sets my fancy all astir,
As here I wait and think of her.

I think of her as meeting there
An undreamed need, an unguessed care;
And still serene and undismayed,
Bringing her thought and strength to aid.
And thus — as Truth’s interpreter,
I think of her, I think of her. [page 124]

I think of her in that far land,
Through twilight shades I see her stand;
The lily face, the waving hair,
Eyes shining in their radiance rare;
Fair hands, that never yet were still
If needs were near they could fulfil.

O love! from whom my life has caught
The purpose of a higher thought,
Whose fair ideal womanhood
Reveals to me the perfect good,
Still come to me when day is past;
Still hold your grand ideals fast.

The shadows deepen o’er the way,
The golden light has changed to gray;
I wait, and breathe for her one prayer,—
God’s love be with her every where;
His peace be e’er her comforter,
I pray, as still I dream of her. [page 125]

 

FOR FLORENCE.

TO “that new world which is the old,”
   We wait an entrance, love, to-night.
The year is gone, its story told,
   And still within the purple light,
Hand clasped in hand, we linger where
   The open casement frames our view,
And hear the chimes on midnight air
   Ring out the old, ring in the new.

The city’s pulse beats faint and still,
   The holy stars look calmly down;
We feel the touch, we catch the thrill
   That lieth softly o’er the town.
In old King’s Chapel prayers are said,
   With lights turned low and organ lending
A requiem for the year now dead,
A pæan for the New Year blending.

We linger in the window, love,
   While all the city’s chimes are ringing,—
The lights below, the lights above,—
   And wonder what the year is bringing. [page 126]
What will it hold of love and faith,
Of high ideal, earthly treasure?
What voice shall guide with its “Thus saith”?
   What hands shall heap its fullest measure?

Ah, vainly fall my questions, dear,
   The midnight silences are round us;
The Angel of the glad New Year
E’en as I ask has paused and crowned us.
“The present hour is all thou hast,”
   He whispers, “for thy sure possessing!
The only wisdom, hold it fast,
   Until each hour shall give its blessing.” [page 127]

 

SINCE SEPTEMBER.

BELOVED one, who entered, last Autumn,
   God’s own rest and peace,
Ah! what have the months brought unto you
Since your glad release?

And what have you seen of His glory,
Ineffably bright?
How near have you been to the Presence
Of love and of light?

When you rose, free from fetters of earth-life,
   And saw on the bed
The pale, lifeless form in its silence,
   And heard, “She is dead,” —

When you stood in the chamber of sorrow,
   In the hushed, darkened room,
With its weird changing phantoms and shadows,
   Its silence and gloom,— [page 128]

Did a thrill of heavenly rapture,
   Of ecstasy strange,
Come over your soul in that moment
Of wonderful change?	

When that which was you lay extended
   Whitely robed for the tomb,
With the folded hands clasping pale lilies
   Shining fair through the gloom,—

Did you mark all our tears and our anguish?
   Did it grieve you to see
That we took no note of your presence?
Your sweet ministry?
     .     .     .     .     .     .     .
The Autumn came on in its glory,
   The maples burned bright;
And brooded o’er hillside and valley
The magical light.

Again through low-lying shadows
   Gleam faintly the hills,
Again all the air a strange hush
Of expectancy fills. [page 129]

The rare, perfect days you so treasured,
   We feel you are near,
We wait, half expectant and silent,
Your footsteps to hear.

Canst thou come, O beloved! and tell us
   That which ne’er hath been told?
Can there not be again sweet communion
For us, as of old?

 I know you are near, when my spirit
   Perceive purer life;
When messages come from the angels
With high meaning rife.

Ag, what to you has this Autumn
   In its loveliness been,
If its beauty to us is so wondrous
Through our vision dim?

You would tell us all, my beloved,
   That to you is so clear;
Your love is as pure and as perfect
As when you were here. [page 130]

You read all our questioning longings,
   Our fear and our awe:
But between the dead and the living,
   God fixeth a law.

Not yours is the power to o’ercome it:
   Death is dumb to us here,
Because Life is deaf to its meanings,
   Its messages clear.

So, love, though you answer my longings,
   When my heart calls for you,
And your patient love ever enfolds me,
   So tender and true,—

My eyes are too dim to behold you,
   Though you are so near;
But soon, in a radiant dawning,
   Will all things grow clear.

For soon among flowers that are fadeless,
   White lilies of peace,
We shall hold sweet communion again, love,
   That never shall cease. [page 131]

 

FROM FIRE TO FROST.

[The Soma plant of the Himalayas was once a flower of the tropics, growing near volcanos.]

 

FLOWER of the burning lava
   Ages and ages ago
Springing from depths volcanic
   From heat and fervor glow,

Now the flower of the ice-world,
   What of grace hast thou lost?
Leaving the summer’s glory,
Turning from fire to frost.

Passion and strife are over;
   Pain is transformed to peace,
The fever of restless daring
   Now shall forever cease.

Yet of all that intense emotion
   Not a pulse-beat hath been lost
Through thy crystallized transformation,
   Flower of the fire and the frost! [page 132]

 

A CHRISTMAS MESSAGE.

THOUGH I sit in darkness this Christmas eve,
   I know that the world is fair,
And the musical chime of the Christmas bells
Will ring on the morning air.

And though I have neither gems nor gold
   As tokens to place before you,
I will not repine, for Love greater than mine
   Its gladness and grace throws o’er you.

And I will arise and rejoice to-day
   In the world’s glad loving and giving,
And will sing a song in my heart alway
For the untold richness of living.

For the comfort of Hope and the beauty of Love,
   For the Faith that faileth us never;
For the Peace on Earth and Good-will toward men,
   And the Star that shineth forever! [page 133]

 

ISABELLE.

[IN MEMORIAM.]

Thy voice from inmost dreamland calls;
The realms of sleep thou makest fair.

WILLIAM WATSON.

I.

THE summer comes again —You do not come,
   And yet we know with you that all is well,
And that your love is with us as of old,—
                              Isabelle!

II.

What have you found the other side of life?
   What of its sweet, strange mysteries could you tell?
Beyond the sunrise, past the morning star,—
                              Isabelle!

III.

The summer comes again with tender bloom;
   With golden sunlight, silver rain that fell
O’er emerald verdure, where pale roses leaned,—
                              Isabelle! [page 134]

IV.

The rose and gold of dawn o’er sapphire seas;
   The sunset glories that you loved so well!
The air all shimmering in its opal tints,—
                              Isabelle!

V.

All these have come again, but not your voice!
   Yet with you, love, we know that all is well! . .
The light dies softly over shore and sea,—
                              Isabelle! [page 135]

 

TWO DAYS.

YOU gave me roses, love, last night,
When the sea was blue and the skies were bright;
And the earth was aglow with a golden light
When you gave me roses, love, last night.

Lilies I lay by your side to-day,
And your face — it is colder and whiter than they;
And I linger and listen and wonder and pray,
As I bring you lilies to-day. [page 136]

 

AFTER EASTER.

DEAREST, my Easter greeting comes too late,
   You tell me? flown the hours and set the Easter sun?
Ah, you must know I count another date,—
   Mine is but just begun!

From all the Festival I turn away:
   From gladness, glory, incense of the flowers:
To feel, O love! so far remote from you
Made desolate the hours.

For distance is not measured by the space
   That lies between;—not leagues of sea or land
Can separate, or bar, when heart to heart
   May meet and understand.
          .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .
But now,—why, all my roses are aglow;
   I sit in sunshine (though the rain falls fast);
My Easter lilies shine in silver sheen,
   Nor chill of wintry blast. [page 137]

Can touch me: charmed the spell that lies
   Upon the day; to word, and touch, and glance
All Paradise replies, and holds me steeped
In ecstasy of trance.

And e’enher grave — one memory with us both —
   I see not; but a face upon the air
Smiles on me with the glad light as of old,
   And Love is everywhere! [page 138]

 

REQUIESCAT.

[WINIFRED HOWELLS.]

SHE is sleeping, only sleeping;
Ah, bring no lament, no weeping;
Where the ivy leaves are creeping
She is sleeping, only sleeping.

She is sleeping, ah, tread lightly,
As the stars above bend nightly,
As the flower-gemmed turf grows brightly,
For our Father judgeth rightly.

She is sleeping, and a quiver
Of the rippling of the river
Shall disturb her slumbers never,
Though it floweth on forever.

She is sleeping, only sleeping,
Eglantine and ivy creeping
O’er closed lids that know no weeping,—
Leave her to the angels’ keeping. [page 139]

 

TO FRANCES E. WILLARD.

BIRTHDAY GREETING.

To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it.—Rev. ii. 17.

 

I.

O FRIEND! whose life God’s purpose shows
   In all its great completeness,
What can I wish for you to-day
Of gain, or growth, or sweetness?
What can I ask that is not yours
In bounty overflowing?
Of friends, or fame, or treasure rare,
   Of love forever growing?

II.

I wish you honor, wealth, and power,
   But in that finer measure
Whose gain and fame is not dower
   That tells of earthly treasure:
The honor of a purpose true
   Unto the Heavenly Vision;
The riches of all noble aims	
   That trend toward Fields Elysian.[page 140]

III.

A white stone well may mark this day
   In all its Autumn glory,
Its dreams of rose and pearl and gold,
   In which we tell the story—
The blessed story of your life:
   Does it seem like a fiction
To say the world gives you, to-day,
Its gift and benediction?

IV.

And still the story of these years
   Is yet by time impeded:
Youth’s shining morning-land for you
   Has not so far receded
But that its glory lingers near,—
   Its joy, but not its grieving;
Its rose-dreams of a future fair,
Its sweetness in believing.

V.

 

Full well the world may lay its bays,
   Its gifts, its grace, before you;
Your name is one the nations praise;
   The Star of Hope shine o’er you. [page 141]
But I—I only bring one thought,
   A dream, a meditation,
The memory of a vanished hand,
   My father’s consecration,—

VI.

His thought of you who watched your youth
   In all its sweet unfolding;
Who knew how noble were your aims;
   Who gave to your upholding
His deepest sympathies of heart,
   His reverent recognition
Of all your purity of soul,
Of your divine ambition.

VII.

Forgive me if I turn aside
   From all the gay, glad greeting:
Through tears I see a far-off grave,
   The maples o’er it meeting;
I see the woodland grasses wave;
   The brook, it murmurs lowly;
The happy haunts my childhood knew,
   To-day have all grown holy. [page 142]

VIII.

Yet Life, triumphant over Death,
   Tells me he has arisen;
I feel his guidance day by day
Through love’s immortal chrism.
From him in Heaven to you on earth,
   I turn, O friend most treasured!
I give you greeting, give you love,	
   I give you faith unmeasured! [page 143]

IN FRANCONIA NOTCH.

CLOUD-CROWNED mountains and mists of light
Shining fair through the summer night;
Starry sheen just trembling through
Exhalations of evening dew;
The lingering gleam of the golden mist
Threaded with amber and amethyst;
The lessening light of the summer tide
Where mountains and valley are glorified;
Clouds of sapphire and clouds of pearl,
Ruby-tinted, their wings unfurl.
Beautiful temples that seem to wait;
Portals of gold at the Heavenly Gate;
Topaz and crystal are the walls,
And over them all the glory falls. [page 144]

LINES.

[For the presentation of a portrait of the late Rt. Rev. Phillips Brooks, D.D., Bishop of Massachusetts, to the “Ella Reed Home,” founded and conducted by the generous enthusiasm of Miss Cynthia Bates.]

MAY He make His face to shine upon you!” thus the word
From the great preacher’s lips we oft have heard,
When through the sacred hush of silence fair
There thrilled his reverent words of praise and prayer.
And the rich organ music floated wide,—
“Abide with me, O Lord, with me abide,”
And softly fell the shades of eventide.

“May He make His face to shine upon you!” here, to-day,
These words return to us; we pause and say,
O friend revered! not only shall the face
Of Him, our Master, shine upon this place,
But thine, too, that reflected his pure grace.
Thy face in pictured loveliness shall shine
Within this Home,—its sacred seal and sign [page 145]

Of benediction; summer skies shall bend
Softly above it; flowers and music lend
Their sweet enchantment; here love’s low replies
Shall answer childish questions; for all-wise
Is love, with wisdom half divine.
All these shall make this Home love’s sacred shrine.

To her whose generous service thus is made
Part of humanity’s most noble aid
What tribute can we give? What words are meet?
She lays her service at Saviour’s feet,
Who said to little ones, “Come unto me;”
Who taught us life’s divinest harmony.
Ah, in the way He led her footsteps fall;
Life, love, and service,— here she brings them all.
Losing her life, she finds it, richer far,
Illumined by a never-setting Star.

To one* whose gracious presence shines to-day
Upon our hearts,—our pastor, friend, and guide,
Our love and loyalty go forth; and glorified
In fairer beauty is the faith we lay
Before this precious gift, that seems to say,
“Be not afraid; I am with you alway.”

________________________________________
*Rev. Dr. Donald, rector of Trinity Church, Boston. [page 146]
________________________________________

Pastor and friend! we hold your teachings dear.
Through you we feel our Bishop’s presence near,—
You whom he loved as brother and as friend;
Whose work he prized, and sought your aid to lend
Your noble gifts his church to guide and hold,
To be the shepherd of his cherished fold.

This pleasant Home of childish life and glee,
In memory of one whose name we hold
In tender thought — a name that’s now enrolled
Among those who have crossed the Sapphire Sea—

This Home enchants us; here we see arise
The hope and faith and love of Paradise.
Earth may be heaven; ‘tis our privilege here
To make this world love’s gracious atmosphere.
Love is the keynote of our common life;
‘Tis all-creative, with all beauty rife.

Sweet Ella Reed! although the lilies blow
Upon her grave, where falls the summer glow,
Her name shall live as grave and gladness meant;
Her name shall live in this,— her monument. [page 147] 

                                 “May He make
His face to shine upon you,” —how that prayer
Thrills all our hearts to-day; its thought we share,
As here upon these walls we come to place,
Forevermore to shine, this one loved face.
Two meanings do we give that invocation;
It holds for us the perfect consecration!
The name, the face, of Phillips Brooks shall be
The sign, the seal, of life’s divinity! [page 148]

IF THERE WERE DREAMS.

IF there were dreams to sell this Christmas night,
                    And I could buy;
If some weird sibyl held aloft her leaves
                    Of prophecy,
And cast upon me all her mystic spell,—
                    What would be well?

If I her sacred books might turn, and mark
                    For you each hour:
Should I not linger o’er those records, where
                    The Fates hold power?
And tremble, lest I mix with Fortune’s gain
Life’s loss and pain?

If there were dreams to buy, and visions fair
                    To realize:
Would I not fear my eager hand might grasp
                    But sacrifice?
Mistake avenging care and dark distress
For happiness? [page 149] 

One prayer alone I’d dare to breath to-night,—
                    That love be true;
That life, immortal made by noble deeds,
                    Be dear to you;
Life’s purposes more clearly on you shine
                    By light divine! [page 150]

“POET, PRIESTESS, AND PROPHET.”

[Response to the toast, “Mrs. Julia Ward Howe, Poet, Priestess, and Prophet,” proposed at the Fourth of July dinner of the Floral Emblem Society.]

“ON the matron’s time-worn mantle let the poet’s wreath be laid;”
Thus she wrote, our Gracious Lady, who to-day this feast has made
By her presence here among us an occasion rare and sweet;
While the winds and waves and blossoms all their harmonies repeat.

Long since have the years in passing laid upon her brow the bays;
Lauren wreath, and rose, and myrtle brought their tribute to her praise.
“In the beauty of the lilies” how her life flowered into deeds;
In the clang and clash of battle her word answered to the needs. [page 151]

Born the child of happy fortune, born to beauty, wit and place,—
Fairies brooding o’er her cradle, each bestowing some new grace,—
Born for learning and for culture, for accomplishments and art,—
Still the Muses clustering round her dowered her with the poet’s heart.

So, to all life’s claims responsive, as the poet e’re must be,
Seeing in the daily duties some diviner harmony,
Shrinking from no need that called her, asking not reward or fame,
So our Lady’s life flowed onward till its touch became a flame
That has lighted many a pathway; proved our aspirations real;
Recognized the value, ever, of faith kept with the Ideal.

And on this, our nation’s birthday, it is meet, with one accord,
That we honor here the poet who the glory of the Lord
Saw amid the burning watchfires of a hundred circling camps,
And who read God’s righteous sentence in their dim and flaring lamps. [page 152]

For her words made strong the nation; told them Truth was marching on;
Bade them hold their aim unfaltering; bade them see the coming dawn;
Neither Pallas with her armor, nor yet Hera, mythic queen,
Ever gazed from fair Olympia with a vision more serene.

Long since has the roar of cannon died away along the line.
Forces now of peace and progress hold prophetic seal and sign.
Turn we from the old negations to unfolding purposes
That shall bring the glad fulfilment of our nation’s destinies.

Poets are our prophets ever: it is they who quaff the wine
Of the rose and gold of dawning, when the air is all divine;
When the flood of golden sunshine fills the soul with mystic sense
That a marvellous unfolding waits its coming,—not far hence.[page 153]

So she dreamed— our seer and poet — of a noble womanhood;
And her hand unlocked the portals by whose gates we long had stood,
And her voice called on each spirit to arise in fuller power,
To fulfil those nobler meanings that unfolded, hour by hour.

Still we trace the onward pages, and the priestess, too, we see
Giving all her life’s best efforts for a new humanity.
Not alone for human freedom but for life divine she pleads;
That the standards of the Master be our measurement of deeds.

How the Heavenly Voices round us stir and thrill the air to-day!
While the restless, blue Atlantic throbs and tosses ‘neath the spray:
How they call to higher striving; lift our hearts to moods divine!
Unseen hands from laden goblets pour the sacramental wine. [page 154]

Outward far our vision turning, in the distance do we see
Shining, in immortal beauty, the blue waves of Galilee?
Do we see the Master walking on the waters there afar?
Do we catch the light that shineth from the never-setting Star?

By that Star life’s course is guided: earnest workers all may tell
How, amid the common duties, still is wrought the miracle.
In the presence of the Poet truth upsprings and error dies;
In the presence of the Priestess, love and light and joy arise!
In the Vision of the Prophet glows the faith of Paradise! [page 155]

UNE BIENHEURESE.

[THE FORTUNATE ONE.]

After a Painting by Courtois.

THE lilies of eternal peace,
   Fragrant and fair above her,
Bend over lips that thrill no more
To kiss or friend or lover.

The eyes forever closed on earth
   Have caught the Heavenly Vision;
The feet that turn from toilsome ways
   Tread now the Fields Elysian.

The sculptured hand lies motionless;
   Yet in its clasp still lingers
The seal and sign of faith divine
   Held in the death-chilled fingers!

O Fortunate, indeed, to clasp
   The crucifix, whose seeming
Transcends all change of time, of death,
   Eternal in its meaning! [page 156]

O Fortunate! O Fortunate!
   The midnight lamp is burning:
But she has gone beyond the stars,
The Sunrise Land discerning.

The strange, sweet mysteries of life
   Unfold to her their story;
Hold her in holy rapture there
In the Enchanted Glory.

THE END.
[page 157]
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