Edwardian and Georgian Canadian Poets
Little John Bull

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LITTLE
JOHN BULL

And other Poems by
DAISY McLEOD WRIGHT
BOSTON
THE GORHAM PRESS
1915
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Copyright, 1915, by Daisy McLeod Wright


Some of the poems printed here are
republished through the courtesy of
 The Philadelphia Farm Journal, The
Westminster and the Canadian Century,
in which they originally appeared.

THE GORHAM PRESS, BOSTON, U. S. A.
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CONTENTS

PAGE

Little John Bull

7

The Roast Beef Man

8

The Milkman

9

The Pieman

10

The Way of the World

11

Mothers Know Best

12

A Substitute

13

The Moo-Cow

14

Santa Claus Forgot

15

Jeff’s Krismus

16

Puzzled

17

Grievances

18

Dad’s Rival

20

Ant Bee

21

Unfair

22

The Wedding Dress

23

Counterfeits

24

The Tables Turned

25

The Wild Horse

26

The Home Missionary

27

Hard Lines

29

The Arrival

30

Dolls

32

Doubting Arthur

34

Missing

35

“Saint Frances”

36

Death’s Music

37

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O Mother Heart

38

He Sleeps

49

He Giveth His Belovèd Sleep

40

A Memory

41

A Vision

42

Dreaming

43

Spring

44

Our Own

45

Our Absent Boys

46

The Waking Stream

47

The Valley

48

“Risen With Christ”

49

Dreaming and Waking

50

Somewhere Land

51

The Pen

52

A Phenomenon

53

Summer

54

Life

55

“Not Changed but Glorified”

56

Who Has Not Heard

57

Once in Mother Earth’s Brown Bosom

58

Persephone Her Dreamrobe Cast Aside

59

What of Those Other Battlefields?

60

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 LITTLE JOHN BULL

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LITTLE JOHN BULL

Young John Bull went to visit his neighbor
   And see all the wonderful sights;
He thought Paris a real fairy city
   Just out of “Arabian Nights.”
But the language to him was a puzzle—
   Why should bread be spelt like a pain,
And how could e, a, u (o) mean water,
   What kept them from making French plain?

Johnny said that his ears felt so homesick,
   Hearing only strange words all day,
So, one morn when he wakened up early,
   A cock crowing not far away
Quite enraptured surprised little Johnny,
   And made him cry out in his glee,
“Wake up, Daddy, that rooster speaks English!
   I want you to catch him for me.” [page 7]

THE ROAST BEEF MAN

O the roast beef man, who is only three,
   Comes bringing his little cart,
Filled with make-believes in the butcher’s line,
   Choice bits from the play-world mart.
When I ask, “How much are your wares to-day?”
   The figures are very high;
“Eight hundred dol,” is the favorite price,
   But somehow I always buy,

For the roast beef man is persistent too,
   As peddlers are apt to be;
Like them he comes at my busiest times,
   But he does not care, not he.
At night when he’s gone to the fair dream world,
   There are things to patch and darn
That he tore while placing his fiery steed
In quaintly improvised barn.

O, roast beef man, with your sweet roguish face,
   You are a poem indeed,
Living before me in sunshine and storm
   With joy and profit I read.
Ah, who can tell what the swift passing years
   May bring to you or to me?
Though your business change, in your mother’s heart
   Still the roast beef man you’ll be. [page 8]

THE MILKMAN

Hark! the milkman’s cart is built with a squeak,
   I can hear it a block away;
And his milk cans rattle recklessly round
As he calls at my house each day.

The milk he serves has a watery look,
   But I care not a whit for that,
For the milkman’s a most enticing chap.
When he gallantly doffs his hat.

He gives such good measure that some spills out
   In a chalky stream on the floor;
Instead of chiding, I pass maple fudge,
As his pay, through the open door.

Then—the milkman tenders a sticky kiss,
   Sweet miniature man of five;
With his mischievous face and starry eyes
   He’s the dearest thing alive!

As he moves away with his rusty cans,
   And his much-prized though battered cart,
I feel what a blank would my future be,
   Should milkman and I drift apart! [page 9]

THE PIEMAN

After rain comes a pieman to my door,
   All his pies just freshly made;
They are brown as brown, oh, so juicy, too;
   He’s an expert at his trade.

The pieman has stolen my heart, alas!
   He has such bewitching eyes,
When he smiles his face is a sunlit flower,
   He is worth a world ofpies.

The pieman is clad in blue overalls,
   They are muddy, I must confess,
And so are his cheeks and his chubby hands,
   And his pies are mud, I guess.

But I buy them all, for my heart would break
   If he came to my door no more;
I pay him in cookies, he gives me hugs,
   For my pieman is only four. [page 10]

THE WAY OF THE WORLD

Hark, the tanager sings! Sweet Summer is here.
No requiem sung over Spring’s lonely bier.
O, fie, fickle world, how you welcomed young Spring—
Now but a memory already a-wing! [page 11]

MOTHERS KNOW BEST

A mother fish said to her son,
   “Now listen, Tom, my dear,
Your appetite for worms pray curb—
   They’re bad this time of year.”

But Master Tom knew best he thought,
   So tossed his wayward head;
“I’ve eaten worms before,” said he,
   “And yet I am not dead.”

Just then a tempting one appeared
   Within his sheltered pool—
“What luck!” cried he, “I’ll dine off that,
   Or else I’d be a fool!”

And stretching wide his greedy mouth,
   The juicy worm he took—
Alas! Alack! Poor foolish Tom!
   The worm was on a hook! [page 12]

A SUBSTITUTE

One Sunday when my mammy woke
   She felt so drefful sick,
That Daddy said he’d do the work—
   My Dad he’s jest a brick!
Poor Mammy groaned but laid in bed,
   Dad dressed hisself an’ me,
Then lit the fire an’ made for Mam
A nice strong cup of tea.

He burnt his fingers pretty bad
   Most fifty times that day;
He didn’t cry like I’d ‘a’ done,
   Wish I could act that way.
His dinner was jest bew-ti-ful!
   Mince pie an’ fudge an’ cake;
I ate an’ ate till I was full
An’ sumpin ‘gan to ake.

Then dad he made a ginger drink,
   An’ poured it down my froat;
My, how it burnt! I spit it out
Right on his new house coat.
I spilt the ink, too, on his book,
   The rug an’ other things,
An’ cut his shaving stick most up,
Lost Mammy’s pretty rings.

But when I ast for jelly, then
   Dad said a word like “jam”
An’ got real cross an’ stamped about,
   But I kep’ cool an’ ca’m.
He hustled me to bed ‘fore dark,
   The sandman hadn’t come—
Dad said he’d rather shuvvel coal
   Than jest mind me at home. [page 13]

THE MOO-COW

In the playroom I hear a plantive moo,
   So I open the door, and lo
A moo-cow is chewing a scanty cud,
   Moving restlessly to and fro!

As soon as the animal spies me there
   It gives a loud ‘moo-moo-moo-moo!’
And rushes my way with terrific force,
   To gore my poor frame through and through.

I hold out an apple, it sees the bait,
   Its fierceness is gone in a trice;
Instead of horns I feel velvety lips,
   And soft kisses for stabs suffice.

Then the moo-cow gives me a great big hug,
   And cuddles itself in my arms;
Not for untold gold would I part with it,
   For my heart this quaint moo-cow charms! [page 14]

SANTA CLAUS FORGOT

It’s awful hard to ‘member things
   My Muvver tells to me;
One say she sed, “Play out a hour—”
   An’ sed I’d ‘member that—
I wisht when she was doin’ it
I had ‘a’ been the cat.

For cats kin be out long’s they please
   An’ no one thinks they’s bad,
But little girls what’s not on time
   Makes growed folks drefful mad!
Now there’s Kriss Kringle—he forgits,
   An’ he’s lots older’n me—
Last Krismus Eve I ast for things
   As loud as could be—

I sed, “Please bring a great big doll
   With heaps an’ heaps of clo’es—
He broughted one athout a stitch;
   The poor thing looked ‘most froze.
I ast him for a little trunk
   With really lock an’ key—
But ‘sted, he putted bonbon things
   All round my Krismus tree.

Well—p’r’aps he ‘members gooder now,
   An’ pretty soon I’ll see;
But if he don’t, I won’t git cross,
   For ‘twouldn’t pay to be—
‘Cause Santa might fit mad hisself,
   An’ then I’d be ‘most killed
If after’ards a Krismus comed
Athout my stockin’ filled. [page 15]

JEFF’S KRISMUS

W’en Krismus is a comin’ near,
   I smell it in the air—
There is cakes an’ pies an’ puddin’s
Starin’ at me ev’rywhere;
But they make a feller hungry,
Ferit’s “Jeff, mind, doncher touch!”
So I keep on feelin’ empty,
Fer the smell don’t fill me much.

But w’en The Day is really here,
   I’m paid fer starvin’ so,
Fer Maw sez, “Jeff, now eat yer fill.”
   Gee wiz! then I ain’t slow!
The turkey fair flies down my throat,
Petaters chases beets,
Plum puddin’ rushes in on top,
   An’ homemade Krismus sweets!

Then course I hev to eat the things
   St. Nick put in my sock—
Next day my head feels kinder queer—
   Like pounded with a rock—
An’ Maw she makes me lay in bed
   Jest ‘cause my head’s so sore,
But soon I’m well—an’ countin’ days
   Till Krismus comes some more! [page 16]

PUZZLED

Las’ week Paw had a talk with me
   An’ sed, “’Lexander Brown,
If you don’t quit a-losin’ things
   We’ll soon be on the town.
It takes ‘most ev’ry cent I ern
   To feed your hungry face
An’ buy the clo’es you hafter wear,
   ‘Thouthavin’ to replace

“Spoons, hammers, sizzers, axes, nives
   You lug off by the tun;
You play with ‘emferjist a spell,
   An’ then away you run
An’ nevver think to bring ‘em back—
W’at’s best fer me to do?
I hate like thunder to lambas’e
A little chap like you!”

Paw ‘peared to feel so ter’bul bad,
   I telled him where I hid
Maw’s silver spoons an’ jool’ry box
   A-playin’ Cap’n Kid.
Nex’ day I digged my garden up
  An’ ‘scovered lots of things;
Then Paw an’ Maw was gay as larks—
   I ‘most could see their wings!

But parents is sich funny folks—
W’enplayin’ groc’ry store,
I tooked a sugar skoop of Maw’s—
   ‘Tain’troun’ here enny more—
Then Paw he jerked me ‘crost his knee!
   Soon I was feelin’ sad—
How is it men’s so awful good,
   An’ little boys is bad? [page 17] 

GRIEVANCES

Dear G’an’ma, I’ve an orfulkof,
   So had to wait for Pa
To write this letter down for me,
   He’s got more time than Ma.
I had to promise lots of things
   Before a word he’d write—
That he could give me med’sin nice,
   An’ rub my froat to-night,

An’ that some mornin’ jest at two
   I’d git into his bed,
An’ let him scratch my little back,
   An’ sit on top his head.
I wish you’d come an’ play with me,
   My Pa does pretty well,
But—my, what queer words Pa puts down!
   I wish that he could spell—

I dasent carry by her tail
   Our big malteaser cat;
An’ if I lick my plate, Pa says
   The little pigs do that.
One night I had the colickbad,
   An’ course I made a row;
My Pa said to my Ma, “What ails
That little rascal now?”

Then Pa came over to my crib
An’ said, “Poor little pet!”
How ‘ceitful that was, wasn’t it?
   It makes me real mad yet!
He gave me Parrygorick first,
Jimachey Ginger too,
An’ said in his most ‘ceitful way,
“Poor little dear, shu—shu!” [page 18] 

Dear G’an’ma, I must say dood-by,
   Please scuseothogerphee,
Pa slipped his spellin’ in sometimes,
   An’ wouldn’t spell like me.
Please ‘cept a great big heap of love,
   An’ kisses sixteen, one,
From your own lovin’ g’an’child May,
   For now my letter’s done. [page 19]

DAD’S RIVAL

I’d luv to see St. Nick’lus wunst
   Afore he hasster die,
Hemus’ be gittin’ pow’rful old,
   But whew, he’s awful spry!
It beats me how he gitsaroun’
   With all them piles uv toys,
An’ climbs down chimbleys Cris’mus Eve
   A-fillin’ socks fer boys.

One time I hollered up the grate,
   “Be sure you bring a horse—
A ‘normous rockin’ kine, I mean,
With stir-ups, too, a-course!”
Nex’ mornin, ‘fore it gotted light,
   I sneaked real soft downstairs
An’ foun’ the bewtifullest one—
The bestest ennywheres!

Las’ year I writ a nice, long note
   An’ ‘dressed it to St. Nick;
It telled I’d like a trike or gun—
   I’d let him take his pick.
I putted two big centses in
   An’ sed, “Them’s your’n from me—“
I b’leeve he liked ‘em, fer he brung
   Both things I astfer—see?

This year, fer fear he’ll soon git dead,
   I’ll try to keep awake—
I’ve growed so big I think I can—
   An’ giv his han’ a shake.
I luv Kriss Kringle nexter Dad!
   An’ w’en he starts to die
I know he’ll git to Heav’n all right,
   But still—I’ll hafter cry! [page 20]

ANT BEE

When Ant Bee goes in the kitchen,
Fer jest a little while,
There’s a smell like somethin’s fyin’,
   An’ soon a’normous pile
Of deliciousest big fried cakes
Athought a middle hole—
Think it’s do-nuts what she calls ‘em—
   Lays waitin’ fer to roll

Down the red lane (‘t’ ain’t one really)
   An’ then they finds their way
Inside a saferer cake box
   Than Ma’s is enny day.
Lots an’ lots keeps disappearin’,
   Ant Bee seems downright glad;
Now, my Ma she wouldn’t ‘low it,
   ‘Twould make her awful mad.

Since Ant Bee came here to visit,
   I have a heap more fun—
When I’m good she gives me candy,
   But Ma won’t give me none.
An’ it’s been so horrid rainy
   My clo’es git full of mud,
But Ant Bee don’t let Ma see ‘em,
   She cleans off ev’ry dud.

Then she mends my holey stockin’s,
   An’ patches up my pants;
I hate to ask fer new ones,
Fer Pa he allers rants.
Oh, Ant Bee’s ‘most good as Chrismus’
   An’ soon’s I’ve growed real old—
Don’tcher tell—us two’ll git married—
   Her beau’ll look awful sold! [page 21]

UNFAIR

W’en some comp’ny comes to dinner
   I hafter be perlite;
Can’t take bones up in my fingers
   An’ nothin’ seems jus’ right.
I love ‘taters soaked with gravy,
   But if I ask fer more
Daddy laffs, which ‘tracts folks’ ‘tention
An’ makes my feelins sore.

But the comp’ny’s helped ‘thou taskin’—
   Dad piles their plates up high
With the veg’tibulsan’ chicken—
   A wunder they don’t die.
Oh, I wish I was them people
W’at’s coaxrd so hard to eat,
‘Stead of me w’at’s ‘most forgotten
   Yet hasster look real sweet!

W’en the ‘sert’sbrung on the table
They git a lot of pie—
Daddy cuts my piece so little,
   Could put it in my eye;
So, as soon’s the dinner’s over,
   I’m ‘bliged to help myself,
An’ I sneak out to the pantry,
   Where’s goodies on the shelf.

W’en I’m through I lick the crumbs up,
   But somehow Mum can tell,
An’ she sez, “You’re frightful greedy,
   You keep your room a spell.”
It’s most ‘stonishin’ how growed-ups
W’ats eats an awful sight
Has good manners, but us kidses
Is ‘side redimperlite! [page 22]

THE WEDDING DRESS

When our Cuzzin Flo was married
   We was flow’r girls, Meg an’ me,
So we had to have new dresses
   For the ‘casion, don’t you see?

Meg was three an’ just a baby,
   I was big—‘most five years old,
So my dress it was the bestest—
Wunder Meggiedident scold.

This year Meg’s growed into my dress,
   Hers is long enuff for me
‘Cause Mum sewed on lots of ‘sertion—
   Think it’s mean as mean can be!

For I made a ‘licious plan up—
   Made it out of my own head—
Hundred years I’d keep that white dress,
   Leastways till I gotted dead—

Keep it for a fambly air loom,
   If you know what that thing is,
Let my little chillens wear it,
   Dottie May or Baby Liz.

But my hopes is all a-blited
   ‘Cause my weddin’ dress is Meg’s.
S’pose just boys she gets for chillens,
Horred things what seems all legs?

Then the dress will just be wasted.
B’leeve I’m goin’ to—to—cry!
What an awful world to live in!
   How’d Mum feel if I should die? [page 23] 

COUNTERFEITS

I found three little graves on the sandy shore,
And cries, “Poor little tots, they’ll play here no more—
What a queer, queer place for a burying ground!
In this land could none any better be found?
How the graves do wriggle and heave! I declare
I’m quite sure there must be an earthquake somewhere;
It is coming—Ah, me!” The graves opened wide
And disclosed three beautiful children inside,
But I didn’t feel frightened, all were alive,
Basil, Doris and tiny Billy just five.
As they jumped from their graves they scattered the sand—
Oh, I never have seen a jollier band!
Then said Doris, the one with the curly head,
“Did you really and truly think we were dead?
When our bath is over we lie in the sun,
And Big Sister buries us. Oh, it’s such fun!” [page 24]

THE TABLES TURNED

Bert had been naughty all day long,
   He’d pulled the old cat’s tail,
Tried hard to clip poor Fido’s ears,
And crushed a harmless snail.

That night a fairy waved her wand
   And changed him to a mouse!
In fright he scampered to and fro
   Through all the lonely house.

Just as he reached his pantry hole
   Electric lights flashed out!
They proved to be sly Pussy’s eyes,
Which put poor Bert to rout.

Puss used him in a football game,
   And tweaked his tail for spite,
While Fido nipped his tiny ears,
And barked with dog delight.

Oh, then a frightful fate was his!
   A monster snail appeared,
Began to eat him up alive,
   And at his death squeaks jeered.

How glad he was when Fairy Day
   Put all his fears to flight—
Bert has been friend of all dumb things
   Since that eventful night! [page 25]

THE WILD HORSE

Just as sure as my baking day rolls ‘round,
   And the kitchen door stands ajar,
A wild horse comes rushing in with a snort,
   Like one from the prairies afar.
How he tosses his head and sniffs the air,
   Then viciously paws at the ground!
I feel I must tame him at any cost,
   He threatens smash-ups all around.

I take from the oven an apple tart,
   And I seize his silky, brown mane—
No lasso I need, he calms down at once
And follows me out to the lane.
There he eats his pie and gives me a smile
   That makes him look charmingly quaint,
Then takes to his heels and gallops away,
A picture for artists to paint. [page 26] 

THE HOME MISSIONARY

Our Jemmy’s the busiest chap in town;
   He wakes at the break of day—
Soon after, we hear a Morning Express
   Go shrieking along its way.
How the engine snorts as it takes a shunt
   Outside of his bedroom door!
Then, good-by to sleep—Jem’s the engineer
Though he’s only half past four.

By the time the breakfast hour rolls around
   A carpenter he’s become,
So to headache powders we have recourse,
For his workshop’s in our home.
It seems he’s a plumber, as well, by trade,
   And tinkers about a lot;
His bills are not heavy—he takes as pay
The scrape of the candy pot.

He scarcely has time to eat a square meal,
   There’s always a job on hand—
When a circus tents in our long front hall
   He has to play in the band.
A piece of frayed rope tied on for a tail
   Makes him a lion or horse;
Then he roars or neighs in a frantic way
Which frightens us all, of course!

When old Giant Night comes a-striding down
   Before Jem’s finished his work,
He is glad to cuddle in Mother’s arms,
   Though he’s loath to task to shirk;
But, before he knows it, he’s on a train—
   A magical, silent train—
Whose “All aboard!” as it takes him in charge
Is a lullaby’s refrain. [page 27] 

Dear little traveler, “Jack-at-all-trades,”
   When you enter Sleep’s Express,
May you gather strength for each new-born day,
   As toward manhood you progress.
Like a sunbeam shaming the clouds away
   You change our frowns into smiles—
We are better men and women to-day
Through hard-working Jem’s sweet wiles. [page 28]

HARD LINES

I think it’s sich a scan’lus shame
   How little boysgit sassed,
‘Cause why when dinner’s goin’ on
   They eats their meat up fast!
A hunk wunstchoaked me in my throat,
   So course I made a noise,
An’ sed, “Please scuse me,” but Pa growled,
   “The barn’s the place fer boys!”

The other day Pa swallered wrong
   When he wuzdrinkin’ tea—
He didentast to scusehis fuss,
So he wuzworser’n me.
But no one scolded him a tall,
   Which wuzent actin’ square,
An’ now I s’pose he’ll never know
Jist what I’ve hadter bear. [page 29]

THE ARRIVAL

Marguerite has just arrived,
   Watch out now for squalls;
When she’s dressed all in her best,
   She’ll sit up for calls.

Some will look her up and down,
   Say, “How like her Ma.”
Others, at a chance grimace,
   “My! Just like her Pa!”

How she doubles up her fist—
   Surely she won’t fight!
If she only had some teeth
P’rhaps she’d try to bite.

She will bring her parents up,
   Make them mind real well,
Punishment on them inflict
By a lusty yell.

Now another kind of ball
   They’ll attend each night,
Where they’ll both attendance dance
Till it’s nearly light.

All next day the rogue can sleep,
   But poor Pa must work—
In her nightie sleeve she’ll laugh,
   Cruel little Turk!

Babes are priceless, tender buds,
   Spotless human flowers—
May life’s sunshine, not its shade,
   Rest on this of ours. [page 30] 

As each day her leaves unfold,
   Pure and white and sweet,
May they heart of gold disclose,
Dainty Marguerite. [page 31] 

DOLLS

   It is said that at one time it was a Parisian fad for women to carry dolls.

Poor Jenny’s sawdust leaks sometimes
   An’ messes up the floor;
Her nose is mashed a little bit,
Which makes me love her more;
For ‘t’ain’t her fault Pa stepped on her,
   Or that she lost her hair
That drefful day when I went out
An’ left her on the stair.

I wasn’t gone so very long,
   But kitty found her there—
You’ll have to ‘magine all the rest—
‘Twas awful hard to bear!
My Uncle Tom’s the sweetest man!
   He tried to comfit me
An’ said he’d get another doll
   From some place called Paree.

Well, sure enuff, he went to France,
   His fingers full of rings
I made from blue, pink, greed, red cord
To help him ‘member things.
Last week he ‘rived at home again,
   An’ brought the dearest pet—
A real French doll with truly hair,
   The goodest he could get. [page 32] 

Her clo’es are made of shiny silk,
   Her toke is trimmed with fur,
She has the darlin’est wee muff—
   Ma fell in love with her,
An’—would you b’leeve it—stole my doll
   Right straight away from me,
An’ ‘clares she’ll take her when she ‘tends
A ‘ception or a tea.

She says French ladies carry dolls
   Just ev’rywhere they go;
I think it’s awful queer, don’t you?
   Ma says it’s stylish, though.
I love my Ma, but oh, it’s hard—
   ‘Most tears my heartstrings out—
To lose Marie! I wouldn’t mind
Her toting Jen about. [page 33]

DOUBTING ARTHUR

 Anecdote of Henry W. Longfellow1880.

Mamma and Arthur went one fall
   To Cambridge where is found
The house that was headquarters once
Of Washington renowned.
In after years, a poet made
   His home within these walls;
And Arthur found himself one day
Inside historic halls.

He’d heard about the famous chair
   Made from the chestnut tree,
And now, the children’s treasured gift
   Quite plainly he could see.
Its owner drew him near and asked,
   “Pray tell me, do you know
Where I the children always keep?”
   “No,” Arthur answered low.

“In the round tower of my heart,”
   The courtly poet said,
But Arthur could not understand,
   It puzzled his small head.
His eager eyes the room explored,
   No tower could he see—
“I don’t believe it!” cried the child,
   For very young was he.

The poet smiled and kissed the boy,
   A benediction sweet
Which won his childish heart and made
His mother’s joy complete.
This tale that night she told with pride—
   His father sighed, “I fear
That Arthur’s face will not be washed
Again for many a year!” [page 34]

MISSING

Missing is one whom little children loved,
   For well they knew she was their friend;
Missing is one the poor and needy blessed
   For help that she was wont to lend.
Vacant—a chair within her shadowed home,
   For she no longer needs it there—
Vacant—a place in many hearts to-day,
For she has passed beyond their care.

Sleeping—we see her lying now in state—
   But oh, so strangely still and calm!
Sleeping? Then surely she will soon awake
If we but chant a hymn or psalm.
Awake? Ah, wide-awake in Heaven’s pure Day
Her true self lives, surpassing fair.
Awake? O yes, and loving us the same—
   Her mission now to draw us There. [page 35]

“SAINT FRANCES”

 (Frances E. Willard)

     What treasure have we in our midst to-day?
Fair pictured face of one we used to know instinct with life—
Pure, fearless eyes revealing in their depths a heaven-born light,
The beauty of the rose on lips that comforted and blessed,
Impress of vict’ry on the brow of one “valiant in fight”—
     This is the treasure in our midst to-day.

     How beautiful it is to walk with God!
Yea, her life was one long day of loving toil for others.
As night closed in she felt so weary that she longed to sleep,
Then—of that land from our eyes veiled a vision came to her,
And these, her words, in mem’ry’s storehouse sacred do we keep—
     “How beautiful it is to be with God!”

     When is “Saint Frances,” our belovèd Chief?
She fell asleep and angels placed a smile upon her lips.
When she “crept in with mother,” O what lonely hearts she left!
We will not call her dead—she has but gone “a little way”
Where still she works, while of her earthly form we are bereft—
     There is “Saint Frances,” our belovèd Chief. [page 36]

DEATH’S MUSIC

As you entered the Valley of Shadows,
   So mystic to all who are here,
And you found from your vision receding
   The faces and forms you held dear,

While their sobbing grew fainter and fainter,
   O brother, what sound charmed your ear?
‘Twas a symphony sweet yet majestic,
   That those whom you left could not hear,

For their eyes would have brightened through teardrops, 
   Their quivering lips would have smiled,
Had they heard the music celestial 
That your way through Death’s vale beguiled.

Though ‘twas written on earth by you, brother,
   In kind deeds unselfishly done,
It could only be played by the Master,
Who melody made of each one.

When our Father looks over the music
   The rest of us write in our turn,
As we walk through the shadowy valley,
   Just what it is worth we shall learn. [page 37]

O MOTHER HEART

   You would not grieve if she had sailed
Across known waters to the Old World shore,
   You would be glad for her to see
The wonders told of in historic lore.
   Then do not mourn that she embarked
And crossed that still, calm stream whose cold waves break
   Upon a Country richer, brighter far
Than pictures which our purest fancies make.

   The Pilot beckoned her to come—
To say good-by to you, she could not wait,
   But on that Mystic Vessel stepped—
To Him who steered, content to thrust her fate.
   Would you, who love her, whom she loves,
Recall her from the glory over There?
   Nay, nay, O mother heart rejoice
To think of meeting her ‘midst scenes so fair! [page 38]

HE SLEEPS

   He sleeps—how beautiful his dream!
Upon his peaceful face no trace of care,
Naught but a holy calm is resting there.
   He sleeps—how beautiful his dream!

   We weep—for we are sad who watch!
We long to have him wake and hear his voice
Whose music ever made our hearts rejoice.
   We weep—for we are sad who watch!

   Why do we mourn? We too shall sleep.
O, may we smiling lie as he lies now,
The impress of God’s love on quiet brow.
   Why do we mourn? We too shall sleep.

   Then—some will say of us—“They sleep.”
But we shall really be awake with him,
While mistiness makes eyes that love us dim,
   When some shall say of us—“They sleep.” [page 39]

HE GIVETH HIS BELOVED SLEEP

     It seems so long ago
Since our belovèd closed her eyes and fell asleep;
     One moment she was here—
O, what a comfort just to eel her presence near!
The next beyond our reach—and we were left to weep—
Because we missed her so.

     Ah! far away she seemed,
Though we could see her lying ‘mongst her cherished flowers,
     Sweet, smiling, satisfied.
Just as earth’s sleeping buds began to wake, she died—
Nay—passed into a life more beautiful than ours,
     She looked as though she dreamed.

     We are the ones that sleep,
Our life in this fair world is but a fleeting dream;
     Some day when those we love
Are sent to guide us to the mystic realms above,
We’ll know we are awake, though dead to some we seem,
     We’ll wonder why they weep. [page 40]

A MEMORY

I muse in the glow of the setting sun,
Watching the play of my winsome girlie,
Old-fashioned and quaint, hair brown and curly,
Oh, dainty and sweet is my little one.
“Some day from my home-nest she will be gone
To bright some other,” fondly I say.
And then on the air is borne a sweet lay,
Homeward she’s coming, her day’s play is done.
She creeps to my side, and hushed is her song,
Gently I kiss her and put her to rest.
   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *
Weary days have passed by, and I sit once more
Watching the shadows come creeping along,
But no fairy form is clasped to my breast,
My birdling sings now on Heaven’s bright shore. [page 41]

A VISION

A presence holds commune with us,
   A being of a nobler life,
Unstained by lust or thoughts of self,
Or bitterness that genders strife.

His heart is tender towards a foe,
   In such he sees his Father’s son—
He wills to love, for Love is all
   In that Beyond when life is done.

Each New Year ushers in this guest,
   His face bears impress of his soul,
Bespeaks the Heaven within his heart,
   The guerdon won this side the goal.

He is a vision radiant
   Of one and all, of you and me—
Not one of what we are, alas!
   But one of what we all may be. [page 42]

DREAMING

O where is the poet the world waits to own
   As king of all those it has crowned?
He has sailed on a gay phantom ship to the land
Where fairy flowers bloom the year round.

Each bud holds a poem way down in its heart
   For those who can read it aright,
And the leaves of the trees are the pages of tales—
Their reading an endless delight.

He culls from them all and at last he comes home
   To tell his adventures to me—
Now he lies in his crib, cooing all his fair dreams,
   The poet the world waits to see! [page 43]

SPRING

Winter, pale Death’s similitude, ice-wreaths
Upon the Mother’s patient brow has pressed,
Maternal instinct now her heart bestirs
To shield the babe that suckles at her breast.

Great orb of day that needed strength vouchsafes,
Her freedom from the frosty seal contrives,
And as her quickened pulse diffuses warmth,
And nourishment flows forth, the infant thrives.

The hour its eyes are opened to the light,
The grayest skies become the purest blue,
Its fragrant breath the earth in vials stores
And sends them forth, wild buds of every hue.

It stretches out its tiny limbs—earth thrills!
The tender grass blades peep out in a day,
It coos—straightway the waking rivulets
Fall babbling in a sweet, unconscious way.

Fair Joy and Hope, attendants at its birth,
Inspire the robins their sweet songs to sing,
While earth, with all a mother’s pride makes haste
To echo praises of the new-born Spring! [page 44] 

OUR OWN

O voices of our loved and lost
That echo from that day girt Shore!
Across fond Memory’s Sea they float,
Their music sweeter than of yore.
We listen, and dear faces come,
Imaginings so real and fair,
We turn to offer rapt caress—
Alas, for us—they are not there!

Those other voices with us now,
We still may hear a little while;
Upon those other faces near,
We still may see an answering smile.
O dead and living—both our own!
Enwrapt in Life’s strange dream are we,
While voices of our wakened dead
To nobler things call you, call me. [page 45]

OUR ABSENT BOYS

They say good-by and then they go away,
   Those dear to us as life itself is dear;
And in our shadowed homes and lonely hearts,
   Unbidden guests—Grief and her train—appear.

The room our boys called theirs is sacred then,
   With tokens of their one-time presence there—
The pictures that they fancied, on the walls,
The books upon the stand, the favorite chair.

O soldier boys and sailor lads so brave!
   Not you alone are missed in homes to-day—
Some mothers’ sons, faced by a stronger foe,
Have fallen in the fierce though bloodless fray.

You may come back, but they can ne’er return—
   Ah, only mothers know the pang of this!
They are but human, and their hearts cry out
For touch of hand, loved voice, affection’s kiss.

But could their earth-bound eyes the scales cast off—
   Amidst the victors crowed, the Shining Ones,
Who with the Church Triumphant paeans sing—
   They’d see transfigured, glorified, their sons.

Death only seems destroyer of their joy,
   For some day he will act the part of friend,
And, beck’ning, lead these mothers to their boys
Where sweet communion knows not time nor end. [page 46]

THE WAKING STREAM

O voiceful stream, in your ceaseless flow
   Over depths so cool and green,
What do you sing in the twilight hour,
That shadowy time serene?
The graceful trees on your banks that grow,
   When swayed by the wind’s soft breath
Rustle their leaves in a dreamy way
Befitting the bright day’s death.

Gay stream, you dimple at Spring’s sweet kiss.
Like a maid that smiles in a dream of bliss.

“This is the springtime song I sing:
   ‘How dear is the world to me,
For love is heart sunshine free to all,
   And its beauty I ever see.
It shines in faces—a holy light—
   And as boats glide on their way,
Into my bosom love shyly peeps,
   Its secret is mine for aye.

“Had I the gift of the artist’s hand
My pictures of love would enchant the land.

“I mirror lover and charming maid,
   But sometimes in agèd eyes
I see the love light lit long ago,
   Still it lives, it never dies—
And the whispered words that I have heard
Have oft thrilled me through and through.
Did you heed them too, O fair spring sky,
   Peeping down with eyes of blue?

I sing of Love, of all loves most true,
That made me and gave me this song for you.’” [page 47] 

THE VALLEY

There’s a mystical, dusky valley
   That a somber river winds through;
Is it perfumed by roses blushing
   Through crystalline veils of fresh dew,

Or is its deep twilight eternal,
   So sun-loving flowers will not grow,
Do soft zephyrs breathe on this valley,
   Do weird, sighing winds ever blow?

Is there only majestic silence,
   No stir in the Valley of Calms,
Is there sound of the soul host passing
And the music of chanted psalms?

Do the spirit friends know each other
That enter the vale day by day,
Do they smile in the pleased recognition,
Clasping hands in the earth-known way?

Does a mother soul miss her children
   When the shadows hide them from sight,
Do any grow weary and stumble
   And long for the comforting light?

Through numberless Aeons these questions
   Have echoed and then died away,
No sage has peered through the vast darkness
Obscuring the fair Land of Day.

Oh, if at the close of their journey
   Some message the Missing could send!
While we only know of the silence,
   For them does the mystery end! [page 48]

“RISEN WITH CHRIST”

And did he walk with us but yesterday?
Ah, yes, but grew so weary by the way
That God the pearly gates of Heaven flung wide,
And called to his belovèd: “Rest inside.”

O, joyful entrance to eternal light,
As from his vision faded earth’s dark night!
O, joyful welcome Home on Easter Day,
From multitudes who throng the Shining Way!
For loved ones here this record of his life—
“He walked with God”—with comfort sweet is rite.
The tears they shed while missing him to-day,
In Heaven’s To-Morrow God shall wipe away. [page 49]

DREAMING AND WAKING

A voice like melody was heard
By one whose heart it strangely stirred;
Though she was hidden from his sight,
Its owner he believed divinely bright;
Fond thoughts of her filled his whole life,
     And love most true
     Thus daily grew;
In waking dreams he called her wife.

He sought her everywhere,
But all in vain.
At length, when in despair,
   He heard again
Her voice. With glad surprise,
   He looked around
To feast his ardent eyes,
   But only found
A woman bent and gray!
   Turning, he fled—
Now, dreary is each day,
   For hope is dead. [page 50]

SOMEWHERE LAND

In the Somewhere Land all white,
Trees and shrubs grow in a night,
Palms with tapering fingers greet
Christmas trees with toys complete.

Ferns and grasses here abound
On this weird enchanted ground;
Sunless in the day and night
Is the Somwhere Land all white,

But the stars by night and day
Cluster in the Milky Way—
Songless, voiceless, noiseless land,
Magic work of unseen hand.

Will an airship folks convey
To this land so far away,
Should they sail due east or west,
North or south, in their new quest?

Find this country—all who can—
Owned and hidden by one man;
Out from Somewhere Land he leaps,
To our windows slyly creeps,

Leaving pictures of his home,
But no guideboard whence he’s come—
This is all we understand
Of Jack Frost’s fair Somewhere Land. [page 51]

THE PEN

The realm wherein all languages are heard,
Boasts as its emblem neither flower nor bird;
Instead—the mighty Pen—and weal or woe
Upon the lives of men its gifts bestow! [page 52]

A PHENOMENON

A master hand the painting of an island wrought—
Its strand, like glint of sunlight, by the ocean sprayed,
Outside the harbor stately ships went sailing by,
And disappearing steered for lands their captains sought;
Then—vanished isle and ocean, swallowed up in shade,
For lo, the picture hung upon the sunset sky! [page 53]

SUMMER

Impatiently waited the world for fair Summer—
One day at earth’s gateway there came a soft tapping,
The ancient gate keepers were peacefully napping,
They woke from their sleep when long ceased was the rapping,
And knew not how near them had been the bright Summer.

Again to the portal comes beautiful Summer—
Through gates left ajar welcome guest now advances,
O’er hills and o’er hollows the gay fairy dances,
All Nature responds to her radiant glances.
O Queen of the Seasons is magical Summer! [page 54]

LIFE

Life’s Morn—when Hope is born—
          The time
     To smile, pluck flowers
     In idle hours,
     To dare and do,
     Ideals pursue,
     Chase youth’s delights
     And seek new heights
To climb.

Life’s Noon—come all too soon—
          The hour
     When burdens press,
     Toil’s in excess,
     The blossoms fair
     Found here and there,
Maturer years
     Impearl with tears—
Earth’s dower.

Life’s Night—grope for the light—
          So near—
     Of that bright Day
Which lasts alway;
     Here—fall asleep,
     There—harvest reap.
     When dawns that Morn,
     Knowledge is born,
          All’s clear! [page 55]

“NOT CHANGED BUT GLORIFIED”

Yes, she’s asleep, but lights need not be dimmed,
Nor voices hushed. No footfall on the stair
Will rouse her from her rest. Her eyes behold
The Light within the “many mansions” fair.

Her ears have caught sweet sounds we cannot hear.
Some day that those who sleep like her are dead,
But well we know their true life’s just begun
And by “still waters” evermore they’re led.

Then do not grieve that she has journeyed on
And reached her Father’s home. There she will wait
“Not changed but glorified,” and welcome you
When you in turn draw near the wondrous gate. [page 56]

WHO HAS NOT HEARD

Love’s fire burned bright by day and night,
   Kindled by Love’s fair hand;
In storms its flame, always the same,
   By Love’s sweet breath was fanned.
But yestermorn I saw Love borne
   Asleep on flower-strewn bier—
My heart was crushed, for, “Dust to dust—”
   Are cruel words to hear.

The clay that fell was Love’s death knell,
   Herald of Sorrow’s birth;
Ghost of that sound is haunting round,
   Dread thud of falling earth.
This, then, my doom—to see flowers bloom,
   And hear the singing birds!
While Love lies dead in earthy bed,
   All Nature sunshine girds.

Who has not heard that sound which stirred
   The soul to grief profound,
And sat apart with bleeding heart,
   Mocked by the joy around?
Then bear with me till I can see
   Through tears Grief rainbow-crowned,
And lift my eyes to Paradise
Beyond Love’s lonely mound. [page 57]

ONCE IN MOTHER EARTH’S BROWN BOSOM

Once in Mother Earth’s brown bosom
   Wild-flower babies lay asleep,
Daily gaining strength and beauty,
Till they woke and learned to creep.

Then their mother fastened on them
   Sachet bags of dainty hue,
Left them sitting in the doorway—
   Eagerly they all crawled through.

Father Sol soon spied them coming;
   Up into his warm embrace
Coaxingly he drew his children,
Gently kissing each wee face.

But at night their father left them,
   And they could not find their door,
So they nestled close together
In the woods upon the floor.

Every year their flower relations,
   Seeking for them, leave their home.
When we see them shyly peeping,
   Then we know sweet Spring has come. [page 58]

PERSEPHONE HER DREAMROBE CAST ASIDE

Persephone her dreamrobe cast aside
For one which from fair Iris caught its hue;
The earth, through icy veil, the goddess spied,
The fabric rent and pushed a nosegay through,
Then vernal carpet wove and deftly spread,
While sweet-voiced heralds—bird and breeze and stream—
Called as she fared, proclaiming Winter fled—
And now with Spring’s young life the earth’s agleam. [page 59]

WHAT OF THOSE OTHER BATTLE-FIELDS?

What of those other battlefields—those gardens of Gethsemane—
Where women’s souls engage in warfare all unseen except by One
Who hears the pale lips pray, “Help me, O God, to say, Thy will be done,”
And leads those other warriors on to unrecorded victory?

The World but sees them yield the flower of manhood at their Country’s call—
Their faces brave with smiles—but when they wave farewell with dimming eyes,
And hear those willing feet go forth the foe to meet, Fear, Hope defies,
And dashes from their lips Hope’s cup and gives the wormwood and the gall!

“Killed? Thousands upon thousands. Rush more forces to the firing line!
We have no time to mourn. Leave that to women. They are won’t to weep—”
This, then, is women’s part—to hide the heart wounds’ smart, Death’s harvest reap—
While winds and waves alone the dirges chant along the firing line.

What of those other battlefields—those gardens of Gethsemane—
Where women’s souls engage in warfare all unseen except by One
Who hears the pale lips pray, “Help me, O God, to say, Thy will be done,”
And leads those other warriors on to sacrificial victory? [page 60]

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