Edwardian and Georgian Canadian Poets
Verses, Versions and Versicles
10th Jan 2014Posted in: Edwardian and Georgian Canadian Poets 0

VERSES, VERSIONS
AND,
VERSICLES
[unnumbered page]

Errata

Page 7, last line, for “sincere” read “secure.”

Page 8, “The Comet of 1882,” line 2, for  “working” read waking.

Page 37. “Song” line 3, for “daring” read “darling.” [unnumbered page]

These Odds and Ends of Verse
Some Translations
Some Original
Many of the shorter pieces
suggested in thought or phrase by other writers
are here presented to his friends
By the Author.
[unnumbered page]

[blank page]

 Verses, Versions and Versicles.


  THANKSGIVING DAY.

O Canada! O land so fair!
Our own dear land beyond compare!
It well beseems us on this day
To praise our Father as we may.

   Under the dome of heaven blue
Some hearts may give the tribute due;
   Some may be stirred to grateful mood
’Mid rustling glories of the wood;

With loved ones round the festive board,
The God of Home may be adored;
Our young men on the warlike field
Their country’s gratitude may yield;

But surely to the House of Prayer
The hosts of Christians should repair,
To render thanks for blessings given,
And fix their minds on things of Heaven;

To join in aspiration pure
For power to bless and mercies sure;
To find their hearts to goodness stirred
By truths expounded from the Word.

How can they gratitude display
By nought but sports and pleasures gay?
Not ever on the selfish one,
   As on the just, will shine God’s sun. [page 5]

O God beneficent!forgive
Forgetful souls that thankless live;
Incline their hearts to know thy love
And lead them to thy Home above.

Oct. 26th, 1905.

 TO TORQUATUS.

[HORACE, ODES, IV., 7.]

The snows are fled, the fields are decked with pride,
     The woods are bright and vernal;
The earth is changed; within their banks subside
     The streams with flow eternal.

With joyous Nymph and Muse the buxom Grace
     Leads up the woodland dances.
Think not thou’lt never die; with ceaseless pace
     The warning year advances.

The skies grow balmy, soon the summer’s heat
     Succeeds the spring’s revival;
Then autumn throws its treasures at our feet
Ere winter’s cold arrival.

Swift months repair what’s in a season lost
     But once we’ve travelled yonder
Beyond the flood our noble fathers crossed
     There dust-freed shades we’ll wander.

Who knows if future hours the gods will add
     To those already given?
Then all that’s spent to make one’s own life glad
     From greedy heir is riven. [page 6]

When once you’ve died, and death’s stern judge has made
     Clear sentence, thee concerning,
Though birth, worth, eloquence, are all arrayed,
     For thee there’s no returning.

For from the shades Diana may not take
     Hippolytus, th’unspotted,
Nor Lethe’s chains from off his friend to break
To Theseus ’tis allotted.

Sept. 28th, 1880.

 SELF-EFFACEMENT.

     Who pleases but himself is slave of slaves,
     Who pleases not himself alone is free;
     Unfettered Tsars are pliant tools of knaves
     And freedom gain, proclaiming liberty:
     Efface thyself if thou wouldst something be.

Nov. 1905.

 SINCERITY AND TRUTH.

     “What matters my belief if ’tis sincere?
Where’er I walk, I have no need to fear,—
     Through furnace flame or on foam crested wave
     Or on thin air, or in a darksome cave
Wherein are beasts of prey—provided I
     Am quite convinced there is no danger nigh.”
     O self-conceited sage or verdant youth,
     Too late thou’lt find there’s nought sincere but truth! [page 7]

THE COMET OF 1882.

Thou splendid stranger in the morning sky,
     Thou wonder of an early working world
     All gazing on such mystery unfurled,
     Say what art thou? whencecomest thou? and why?
Proud Science gives as yet no sure reply
     To eager searching man. Thou art perchance
     A fiery vapor, an electric glance,
     Or chaos wild where clash and liquefy
Millions of meteors, thought of but late,
     And hailing from some distant ordered sphere
        Where calmly rule the planet-guiding Powers—
An incandescent chariot of state,
     Bearing ambassadors in grand career
        Between those realms, so thickly veiled, and ours.
Oct. 5th, 1882.

LOSS AND GAIN.

Surrender is the gain of life;
        That man who nothing keeps own’s all.
Then why this greed, this selfish strife?
        Why turn deaf ear to duty’s call?

KNOWING AND DOING.

     The things we do, not those we know,
        Determine what we are;
     By effort we in wisdom grow,
        And lose the things that mar:
     Then let us for the future plan
     By doing now the best we can. [page 8]

JOHNNY CANUCK.

Johnny Canuck is a fine young buck,
     A sturdy young buck is he,
A doer of right, a giver of light,
A lover of liberty.

With Johnny Canuck ’twas nip and tuck,
     Sometimes in days that are past;
But measles and croup and the cough with a whoop
     Are now far behind him cast.

Johnny Canuck has plenty of pluck,
     And room for his enterprise;
And he will be bold and wisely unfold
     The treasure that round him lies.

Johnny Canuck was born in luck,
     His heritage truly is great;
He’ll use it well, nor his birthright sell,
     Nor squander his vast estate.

Johnny Canuck will have no truck
     With the mean, and the sordid, and base:
He was taught in the school of old John Bull,
His sire of the honest face.

Johnny Canuck is not much struck
     With Columbia down in the South;
Her riches are rare, her form is full fair,
     But alack for her manners and mouth! [page 9]

Johnny Canuck can drive the puck,
     To win through the narrow goal;
He knows what he wants, no obstacle daunts
His ardent, persistent soul.

Johnny Canuck will never get stuck,
     His motto is “Forward aye!”
And onward he’ll go, past rival and foe,
     In spite of their“must” or their “may.”

 THE BROOK.

[FROM THE GERMAN OF GOETHE.]

     O silver brooklet, bright and clear,
     Thou ripplest on from year to year;
     I muse beneath thy murmur low:
     Whence dost thou come, and whither go?

     “I come from darksome rocky bowers;
     My course is over moss and flowers;
     Upon my mirror gently ply
Blue pictures of the kindly sky.

     So I am joyous as a child,
     And on I go as lightly wild;
     God called me from the rocks, and he
     Will still, I think, my Leader be.” [page 10]

A SPIRIT’S TASK.

 [FROM GOETHE’S “FAUST,” SCENE 1.]

     In floods of life, in action’s storm
     Up and down I wave,
     Rocking to and fro!
     The womb, the grave,
     An eternal ocean,
     A changing motion,
     A life aglow,
     The clattering shuttle of time thus I heave,
     And vestments of life for the Godhead I weave.

 HOME.

Domestic peace! Oh what a boon thou art!
How blessed is the home where joy unfolds
Her golden wings, and gladdens every heart;
Where love each soul in perfect union holds
With bands more thin than gossamer, but strong
As chains which bear the swinging railway train;
Where discord is not heard, instead, the song
Of joy and gladness, with its sweet refrain;
Where self is pleased in soothing others’ grief,
And is most blest in striving but to bless,
To sacrifice, to bear, to give relief:
O blessed home, thou heavenly joy on earth,
Mine be thy peace, give me thy hallowed mirth!

July 4th, 1882. [page 11]

CONSECRATION.

 A PRAYER FOR THE NEW YEAR.

This heart of mine.
     So foul with sin,
By grace divine 
     May cleansing win:
Lord, purify
     This heart of mine!

This soul of mine,
     Of priceless worth,
O Christ, refine
     Of dross and earth:
Oh sanctify
     This soul of mine!

These feet of mine
     No more must stray,
But aye incline
     To wisdom’s way:
Lord, guide aright
     These feet of mine!

These hands of mine,
     From bondage free,
In deeds benign
     Must busied be:
Lord, useful make
     These hands of mine!

These ears of mine
     The words must hear
That truth enshrine,
     A message clear:
O Lord, instruct
These ears of mine.

These eyes of mine
     Must see no ill,
But purely shine
     With kind good-will:
Lord, glorify
     These eyes of mine!

These lips of mine
     Must harmless prove,
And words combine
     Of truth and love:
Lord, consecrate
     These lips of mine!

This will of mine
     Be mine no more,
I all resign,
     I all restore:
God’s will be done,
     O will of mine! [page 12]

LIKE AND LIKE.

 [FROM THE GERMAN OF GOETHE.]

A blue-bell dainty
     From earthy womb
Was early budded
     In lovely bloom;
A bee alighted
     And gently sipped—
They must for each other
     Have been equipped.

 MIGNON.

[FROM THE GERMAN OF GOETHE.]

     Only he my pain has known
     Who feels heart yearning!
     Separated and alone
     In grief and mourning,
     Far beyond this earth I’m prone,
To Heaven turning.
     Him by whom I’m loved and known
     There’s no discerning; 
     Sick and giddy I have grown,
     My heart is burning.
     Only he my pain has known
Who feels heart yearning! [page 13]

THE CASTLE BY THE SEA

 [FROM THE GERMAN OF UHLAND.]

Have you seen the castle olden.
That high one by the sea?
The rosy clouds and golden
     Sail o’er it peacefully.

Its mirrored form admiring,
     It stoops to the flood below,
To evening clouds aspiring,
     It towers in their glow.

“I have seen the castle olden,
     That high one by the sea,
And the moon above it holden,
     And the mists that round it be.”

The wind and the waves of ocean,
     Did they give a cheerful sound?
From the halls was there commotion
     Of harp and merry round?

“The winds and ocean’s heaving
     Were lying deeply stilled,
I heard but strains of grieving 
     That the lofty hallways filled.”

Did you see the king there going
     In the turrets with his spouse
The scarlet mantles flowing,
Bright crowns upon their brows? [page 14]

Led they not forth with pleasure
     A beauteous maiden there,
A glorious sunlike treasure,
     Beaming in golden hair?

“Without the crowns’ adorning, 
     Both parents I descried,
In robes of deepest mourning;
     No maid was by their side.”

 TO PYRRHA

 HORACE, ODES, 1. 5.

What slender youth bedecked with roses,
And sprinkled o’er with perfumes sweet,
Pyrrha, to thee his love discloses
     Within yon cool retreat?

Why tie thy golden hair so plainly?
Alas! he’ll weep the gods and truth,
And at the waters tossed insanely,
     Oft marvel, simple youth,

Who, chained and happy in thy splendor,
Thee deems from rival lovers free,
Thinks worthy of his love’s surrender,
     Windsfickle does not see.

What griefs the beauty-lured are sipping!
Myself have hung the sacred wall
With picture vowed and garments dripping
At mighty Neptune’s call. [page 15] 

COMMONPLACES.

Some at the commonplace will sneer,
But more the commonplace hold dear,
For bread and water, time and space,
And light and love are commonplace;
Besides, the trite and dull to me
May startling truth to many be.

 TO FAUNUS.

[HORACE, ODES, III. 18.]

     O Faunus, who sportest with Naiads shy,
     My broad sunny fields come and fructify,
     And may all the nurslings in safety be,
                        When thou hast departed:
     For thee falls a kid when the year grows cold,
     Rich wines in abundance our goblets hold,
     And incense so sweet from thy altar old,
                         Is heavenward started.

     The cattle all sport on the grassy plain,
     When festal December comes round again,
     The ox free from toil and the joyful swain,
                         Find rest in the meadows:
     The lambkins from fear of the wolf are free,
     The wood on the ground spreads its leaves for thee,
     The labourer dances with spiteful glee,
                         Till long are the shadows.
Feb. 26th, 1880. [page 16]

GOOD NIGHT.

 [FROM THE GERMAN OF KÖRNER]

     Good night!
Say it to the tired and worn.
Day is into darkness gliding,
Busy hands in rest abiding,
Till again awakes the morn.
     Good night!

     To bed!
Close in peace the wearied eyes.
On the street it grows more quiet,
And we hear the watchman’s fiat,
When, like night, to all he cries,
     “To bed!”

     Sweet Sleep!
Heaven come to all in dreams.
May the lover, deep lamenting,
Find the loved one then relenting,
Basking in her gracious beams.
     Sweet sleep!

     Good night!
Sleep until the day awakes,
Sleep until the coming morrow
Brings its own distress and sorrow;
Loving care our Father takes!
     Good night! [page 17]

AN ASPIRATION.

 (Air-“SCOTS WHA HAE”)

O Canada, my native land,
Fair daughter of Britannia grand,
From thee all freedom’s foes be banned,
                         All greed and treachery!

Thy skies are of the brightest blue,
Thy snows are of the chastest hue,
Then may thy sons be pure and true,
            And spurn all villany.

See field and forest, hill and dale,
Lake, river, prairie, mountain, vale,
Comprised within thy sweeping pale,
In peace and unity.

’Tis thus the youthful nation pleads,
With all her races, tongues and creeds,
In lofty thoughts, and noble deeds
To join in rivalry.

Then down with all that causes strife,
And up with all that fosters life,
On conduct false war to the knife,
                         Justice our policy! [page 18]

MAY SONG.

 GOETHE

Now nature’s donning
     Attire so bright,
Of sky and meadow
     How glad the sight!

The blossoms open
     On every spray,
Among the bushes
     A chorused lay!

And joy and rapture
     All hearts express;
To fields thou sendest
     Refreshing rain,
And streaming blossoms
To all the plain.

O maiden, maiden,
     How love I thee!
Thine eyes are gleaming
     Thou lovest me!

As loves the skylark
     To sing in air,
O sun! O verdure!
     O happiness!

O love! O darling!
     With golden light,
Like cloud of morning
     On yonder height!
And morning flowers
     The fragrance rare,

’Tis thus I love thee,
     With kindling heart;
Youth, friends, and genius
     Thou canst impart,

For joyous dances
New minstrelsy.
Be ever happy
Who lovest me! [page 19]

SONG.

 [TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN]

They’re riding and seeking through hill and dale,
A sweetheart of wonderful beauty to hail;
Through castle and town they hold their way,
To seek out a darling of gentle sway;
They’re searching, where never a path has led,
In quest of a darling all gently bred;
O gallop, ye knights, you will search full long,
For I have her found in the light of song,
For her have I found, gentle, wise, and fair,
Then her I will honour by valour rare.
And though in this life no more she appear,
Yet surely in death will her face shine clear,
And though on this orb no more she’s found,
Good night then, dear world! Sweet love, a good day.
He truly will find who seeks the way.
 

 SET ON AN HILL.

     Not what I get, but what I give
     Is measure of my real wealth,
     The good I do, the truth I live,
     Is index of my inner health:
     No man for long does good by stealth,
     And other joys are fugitive. [page 20]

A LIFE

On a snow-clad hillside far away
     There lies a little grave—
Untimely was taken the self-same day
     The breath that the Giver gave;
And the world knows not, but a mother’s heart
     Oft sighs o’er that lonely plot,
And sad thoughts rise and tear-drops start
     O’er a life that was here, but is not.

On a flower-spread hillside far away
     There lies a tiny grave;
No life is there where the zephyrs play—
     The breath was taken to save.
And the world recks not, but a mother’s love
     Oft rises on wings of faith
To the spirit beyond, to the life above,
     Unhindered, but hallowed by death.

 MOONLIGHT AT SEA.

The moonlight shimmers on the sea,
A narrow path of light to me;
And all is dark and dread beside,
Oh all is blank, and waste, and wide!

But nay, it floods the mighty sea
With brightness beautiful and free:
So Heaven’s light doth equal fall;
God’s radiant love is over all! [page 21]

EDWALD’S SONG.

[TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN]

     A hero sage,
     A trustful child,
     So fond and mild,
Once through the world made a pilgrimage.

     With glory gained 
     The hero shone,
     The child looked on
And felt in his friendship a joy unfeigned..

 IMAGE-BREAKING.

He is most loyal to the state,
     The town, the church, the party,
Who loves so well that he must hate
     Its Baal and Astarte.

 EFFORT.

The hardest to attain is most worth while;
It breeds the bravest heart, the strongest will,
The sanest mind, the eye and hand of skill:
Then greet the task tremendous with a smile,
And climb with ardent foot the steepest hill. [page 22]

FRODE’S SONG

 [FROM THE GERMAN OF FOUQUE]

The hall grows bright like the dawning day
’Tis that fair maiden, in bright array.
She looks to the right. She looks to the left,
The knights wait her will. of motion bereft.
He with the golden coat shall it be?
She soon turns away. I think not he.
Or this one in speech so clever and wise?
She averts from him both ears and eyes.
Perhaps ’tis the prince in his massive state?
Indeed her fancy needs other bait.
Pray tell to me then in all the earth,
Who is, at last, to the maid of worth?
Quite silent sits he in love’s deep smart,
A gentle young man, he has her heart;
The others have all vain arrows shot,
This one, he it is. and knows it not.

 SAYING AND DOING.

Not all who hail the living Christ
     As King of kings and Lord of lords,
     Shall taste the bliss his rule affords;
But those who, too, have sacrificed
     Their wills unto the Father’s will,
And all his kind behests fulfil. [page 23]

SONGS OF EMPIRE

Songs of empire let us sing,
With a clear Britannic ring,
Songs of life and liberty,
Sounding over land and sea.

Songs of empire let us sing;
Tributes worthy would we bring,
Glorify the trite but true,
Aspirations high pursue.

Songs of empire let us sing,
Soaring high on Fancy’s wing,
Till the Kingdom may be seen
Of the lowly Nazarene.

Songs of empire let us sing,
At our foes defiance fling:
Powers of evil stand at bay,
Turn and flee, and pass away.

Songs of empire let us sing,
Preludes of the coming King,
Who the captives shall release,
King of kings and Prince of peace.

 SAVING BY LOSING.

To rise one must depress,
     To gather one must give,
One must withhold to bless,
     And one must die to live. [page 24]

THE SHEPHERD’S SONG.

 [FROM THE GERMAN UHLAND.]

     This is the Lord’s own day!
Alone I bide on meadows wide;
But one more bell of morning tide,
     Peace near and far away.
     Adoring now I kneel.
Oh awe how sweet! I spirits greet,
For all unseen in worship meet,
     They join my mute appeal.

     And near and far away,
The heavens so clear, so glad appear,
I think they’d fain be opened here:
     This is the Lord’s own day.

 GET RIGHT WITH GOD.

What God has told us we can do:
God says “Repent” and we can rue;
God says “Serve me” and we can serve;
God says “Walk straight”, we need not swerve;
God says “Believe”, we can have faith,
“O’ercome” and we can conquer death. [page 25]

CANADA.

Hurrah for our dear country,
     This Canada so vast!
We glory in its future;
     We celebrate its past:
In virtue, beauty, joy, advance,
Daughter of Britain and of France.

We love our own dear country,
     This Canada sofair;
We love the snows of winter,
     The limpid, bracing air;
We love the summer’s ripening ray,
The painted leaf, the buds of May.

God save our blessed country
     From national disgrace!
Down with the sordid traitor!
     Away with passions base!
With single heart, though twain the tongue,
May purity and peace be sung.

We’ll fight for home and country,
     If foreign foes assail;
We’ll guard its sacred honor;
     And surely we’ll prevail,
With right and truth upon our side,
O’er those who, ruthless, override. [page 26]

Long live our noble country!
     Hurrah for Canada,
The freest of the peoples
     Of young America!
Long may this great Dominion stand!
God bless and keep our native land!

 LOVE AND HONOR.

Seek we the truth; let right prevail;
     May freedom’s flag still float above ;
When friends cajole, or foes assail,
     Still use we all subduing love.

But ’tis not love to weakly yield 
     When wrong would ruthlessly o’erride:
There’s love upon the tented field,
     For love can smile, or weep, or chide.

We love the right; we hate the wrong;
     We pity those by error swayed;
We go not with the fickle throng;
     The inward Guide must be obeyed.

To truth and conscience let us cling,
     Still honest though the heavens fall;
For us may doubt no weakness bring;
     No wrath affright, no pain appal.
1899 [page 27]

SONG.

 [FROM FOUQUE’S “SINTRAM.”]

Who feels that he is dying
With secret thrill through heart and limb,
     And relying,
     Relying,
     Pain defying,
     Doth supplicate
     At Mercy’s gate,
The Lord gives peace to him.

See you it eastwards sparkling?
Hear you the angels singing 
Through morning’s ruddy glow?
Long you have lingered darkling,
But gracious Death is bringing
Relief from every woe.
Give him a friendly greeting,
     And he’ll be friendly too,—
Turn grief to joy unfleeting,
For so he’s wont to do.

Who feels that he is dying
With secret thrill through heart and limb,
     And relying,
     Relying,
     Pain defying,
     Doth supplicate
     At Mercy’s gate,
The Lord gives peace to him. [page 28]

BE EVER KIND.

The brightest flower
Full often blows
’Mid darksome bower
That no one knows.
Exhaling there
Its fragrance, sweet fragrance,
On soulless air.

The tuneful bird.
In leafy wood,
Has often stirred
The solitude.
No joy or cheer
Imparting, imparting
To human ear.

Then, gentle maid.
Be ever kind,
For men are swayed
By woman’s mind;
Thus art thou not 
Refreshing, refreshing
A fruitful spot?

 HARDSHIP.

If I could choose the hardship of my lot 
     There would no real hardship be;
If I’d be brave and strong—disloyal not—
Then may true service consecrate the spot
     The Captain has assigned to me. [page 29]

TO GROSPHUS.

 [Horace, ODES II. 16.]

The sailor cries out to the gods for ease
When wearily tossed on stormy seas,
When the moon with the stars from his vision flees
                                   ’Mid vapors cruel:
Both Thrace that with martial ardor glows,
And Media, fair-quivered, would seek repose,
A blessing nor purple nor gold bestows,
Nor sparkling jewel.

The pomp of a king nor his treasures rare
Can take from his mind its deep despair,
Nor drive from his palace that gloomy care
                                   Which o’er him hovers.
His life has more bliss on whose frugal board
The plates of his father are plainly stored,
No sleepless alarm for some golden hoard
                                   His greed discovers.

Why aim at so much in our life’s brief space?
Why change for new regions our native place?
Who escapes from himself though he flee apace,
His shadow shunning?
Wicked care clambers up the vessel’s side,
It leaves not brave knights as they onward ride,
’Tis swifter than clouds that are tempest-hied,
The stag out-running. [page 30]

Think not of the future ’mid present joy,
But carelessly smile when griefs annoy,
For the happiest lives have some alloy,
Some pain unquiet.
Swift death bore away Achilles bright,
Tithonus in age lost his youthful might,
My life may be lengthened, thine shortened quite,
By fortune’s fiat.

Thy cattle in hundreds around thee low,
In chariots swift do thy coursers go,
The Tyrianhue that thy garments show
                                   Right royal blazes.
I live with content on my small estate,
A love for the Muses my humble fate,
The envious crowd I spurn and hate
Their fickle praises.

 AS A MAN THINKETH.

Oh guard the portals of thy soul,
     Let nought unfitting enter;
If thou wouldst keep thy actions whole
     Keep pure the brooding centre;
So do not fondle them, but shrink,
     When thoughts degrading stir thee,
For thou wilt do what thou dost think,
The worthy or unworthy. [page 31]

GRETCHEN’S SONG.

 FROM GOETHE’S FAUST.

My peace is gone,
     My heart is sore,
I’ll find it never
And nevermore.

Anywhere save
     With him is the grave,
The world and all
     Is bitter as gall.

My poor, poor head
     Is wholly crazed,
My poor, poor brain
     Is racked and dazed.

My peace is gone,
     My heart is sore,
I’ll find it never,
     And nevermore,

Only to see him
     To the window I come;
Only to meet him
     Leave I my home.

His noble form 
     His step so light 
His mouth’s sweet smiling
     His eyes’ still might!

His voice o’ertflowing
     With magic bliss,
His gentle hand,
     And oh! his kiss!

My peace is gone,
     My heart is sore,
I’ll find it never.
And nevermore.

My bosom swells
     When he’s away,
Oh might I clasp him,
     And make him stay!

And kiss him with 
     Full liberty;
Amid his kisses
     I’d gladly die! [page 32] 

THE LANDLADY’S DAUGHTER.

FROM THE GERMAN OF UHLAND.

Three hearty young fellows would cross the Rhine,
And gladly turned in at an innkeeper’s sign.

“Dear landlady, have you good beer and wine?
And where is your daughter, so blooming and fine?”

“My beer and my wine are fresh and clear:
My daughter is lying upon her bier.”

And there as they entered the darkened room,
She lay in her coffin prepared for the tomb.

The first turned the covering back from its place,
And gazed at the dead one with sorrowful face:

“Alas! wert thou still of the earth, fair maid,
Love’s homage from henceforth by me would be paid.”

The second then covered the beautiful clay,
And quietly wept as he turned away:

“Alas! That thou liest there on thy bier!
I’ve cherished thee dearly for many a year.”

The third with a sigh then uplifted the veil,
And passed a last kiss on the lips so pale:

“I ever have loved thee, and still love I thee,
And thee shall I love in eternity.” [page 33]

SWEET CONTENT.

 THE GENERAL:

When we are beaten by the foe,
Or hosts before us fearsome fly,
     My soldiers love me, this I know,
     And sweet content have I.

THE PATRIOT:

Let Party high rewards bestow,
Or Faction’s jealous rage decry;
     My country loves me, this I know,
     And sweet content have I.

THE POET:

I know not how my numbers flow,
I fret not if my name shall die;
     The people love me, this I know,
     And sweet content have I.

THE EMPLOYER:

Though Enterprise success may show,
Though Fortune’s favors pass me by,
     My toilers love me, this I know,
     And sweet content have I.

THE TEACHER:

While I may reap not all I sow,
With heavy heart, and much to try,
     My pupils love me, this I know,
     And sweet content have I. [page 34]

THE PASTOR:

Does life seem joyless here below?
Do Faith and Hope give comfort high?
     My flock doth love me, this I know,
     And sweet content have I.

THE BETHROTHED:

Let storms arise, or fair winds blow,
Or clouds or sunshine fill my sky;
     My sweetheart loves me, this I know,
     And sweet content have I.

THE PARENT.

Though friends of youth with fervor glow,
Or in my sorrows come not nigh,
     My children love me, this I know,
     And sweet content have I.

THE CHRISTIAN:

Though griefs or cares may come or go,
Though severed be each earthly tie,
     My Saviour loves me, this I know,
     And sweet content have I.

 THE STILL SMALL VOICE.

Quiet for work and noise for war;
     Calmness for growth, but tumult for death;
Wouldst thou build up, or wouldst thou mar?
     List to the words that the Spirit saith:
“Nor by might, nor by power, but by my breath.” [page 35]

THE CLOUDLET.

O white fleck in the sky,
That floatest soft and high
               O’er the blue,
Whence hast thou come? and why?
And whither dost thou fly?
               What pursue?

With even sailing pace,
Aye changing in thy chase,
                Dost thou glide:
Of many a fancied face,
And many a quaint grimace,
               None abide.

A sporting in the sun,
A mission quickly done,
               Smiles and tears,
Thy little race is run,
Thy form so lately won
               Disappears.

But yet in other mould,
In sunshine or in cold,
               Unconfined,
In duties manifold
Thou still thy way dost hold,
Ever kind. [page 36]

SONG.

 TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN

     Whom dost thou bury
     So dull and still?
     That is my daring,
     My gladsome will.
Sleep calmly, thou dead one, in thy small room!
My hopes are lying in that same tomb.

 THEKLA’S SONG

 FROM SCHILLER’S PICCOLMINI.

The dark clouds gather, the forests roar,
The maiden walks on the verdant shore,
The wild wave lashes with might, with might,
And she sings out into the gloomy night,
     Her eyes are all faded with weeping.

The world is empty, her heart is dead,
And all that on earth she could wish for is fled:
“Thou Holy One, call thy child back and bless,
For I have enjoyed earthly happiness,
     A harvest of love I’ve been reaping.” [page 37]

LOVE TO THEE, DEAR CANADA!

 THANKSGIVING DAY, OCT. 18TH., 1906.

Love to thee, dear Canada,
     To thy forests all ablaze
With the red and gold of autumn
     In its glorious dreamy haze;
Love to thy sturdy manhood,
     To woman’s gentle sway,
To thy sprightly youths and maidens,
Thy hope against decay.

Love to thee, dear Canada,
     When clad in virgin snow,
When the cold, cold breath of winter
     Sets dimpled cheeks aglow;
Love to thy rugged mountains,
     Thy islands, rocks and lakes,
Thy waterfalls and glaciers,
Thy rivers, woods and brakes.

Love to thee, dear Canada,
     When frosts and darkness flee,
When melting snows of winter
     Go rushing to the sea,
When the cattle seek the meadows,
     When the redbreast robins sing,
When the land is clothed with verdure
And blossoms of the spring. [page 38]

Love to thee, dear Canada.
     In summer’s ripening glare;
Love to thy bounteous harvests.
     Thy fruits beyond compare,
Thy lowing herds in meadows,
     Thy bleating flocks on hills;
Love to this land of plenty,
To the toiling man who tills.

Love to thee, dear Canada.
     The heir of ripening time;
Love to the mingled races
That hail from many a clime;
To the pure, devout affections
That build thy happy homes;
Love to thy schools and churches,
Thy huts and stately domes.

Love to thee, dear Canada,
     May Heaven’s grace descend,
And bring thee truest blessings,
     From every ill defend;
Land purest, fairest, freest,
E’er honest freeman trod,
Love to thee, our country!
     And praise to thee, our God! [page 39]

 IN MEMORIAM OF AN AGED CLERGYMAN.

Farewell, O sweet and saintly soul,
     Full-ripened fruit of saving grace!
The race is won, and gained the goal,
     He standeth in the Holy place 
     Before our loving Father’s face—
His is the joy, and ours the dole.

With kindly deeds, and words of cheer,
     He soothed our pain, and grief, and strife;
In service of his Master dear
     He taught us peace when sin was rife;
Ensampling fair the Christ-like life,
He fostered hope and banished fear.

We saw his cheerful, hearty ways;
     We felt his quiet courtesy;
In words of wisdom many days 
     We heard his voice’s tender plea;
     We knew his ample charity,
For God’s own truth his zeal ablaze.

His body to the dust we give;
     His spirit let the angels bear
To happiness superlative,
     In boundless knowledge aye to share,
     All frailty fled, and vanished care,
Through endless ages still to live. [page 40]

Farewell, he’s gone to some bright star,
     And left these earthly scenes below:
And he will watch us from afar;
     And we shall to that Heaven go;
     And we shall one another know.
And praise sing where glories are.

 A CORONATION ACROSTIC.

 AUGUST 9TH. 1902.

Exalted pair on august throne,
Despotic rulers of our hearts,
We proffer from the Northern Zone
And from its widely sundered parts
Rejoicings free from flatt’ring arts,
Devotion, homage all our own.

All lands their hearty greetings send:
Let Canada her best extend,
Exulting, in the glad acclaim,
Xesibeland is saved from shame;
Affection lavish we, and truth —
No better gifts from ardent youth;
Denounce we wrong and cherish peace,
Rememb’ring Britain’s rule of truth,
And praying aye for war’s surcease. [page 41]

AN APPEAL.

 (WRITTEN IN 1896, BUT GENERAL IN ITS APPLICATION.)

Fair Canada, awake!
Too long thine eyes have drooped in sleep;
Arouse thee for thy future’s sake;
Cast off the bonds of torpor deep;
Frustrate each sinister design,
A rich inheritance is thine.

Canadians, be free!
Bend not beyond the galling yoke:
Will ye who loosed the refugee
Yourselves be chained and driven folk?
All slavery is mean and base,
Forever spurn the deep disgrace!

Each citizen, stand fast!
Be firm as rock and true as steel;
For by thy voice the die is cast
That brings us woe or works our weal:
Sturdy elector, bravely vote,
If right demands it, turn your coat.

True patriot, be bold!
Disown corruption’s fatal sway;
When provinces are bought and sold,
Fell faction’s mandate disobey:
May deeds of valor now be done,
And patriotic battles won! [page 42]

Canadians, be wise!
Give gentle judgment fullest play;
Be not misled by party cries,
Nor flustered by the furious fray:
Look well before, look well behind,
Be rational, not deaf, nor blind.

My countrymen, be true
To virtue, liberty and right!
Pay principle the honor due,
Eschew the dark and seek the light;
Cast off mere faction-fealty,
And shine with high consistency.

O Britain’s heirs, be swift
To punish sordid treachery!
Nor prostitute God’s blessed gift,
Civic responsibility:
May each elector faithful stand
To Heaven, and home, and native land!

O Canada, be strong!
Rout all thy fierce, domestic foes.
In splendid triumph march along,
Though greed and bigotry oppose,
That true men everywhere may bless
Thy spotless name for righteousness. [page 43]

 SONG.

 FROM THE GERMAN OF FOUQUE

Oh might I be
A little bird!
That o’er the lea
Is singing heard,
In various ways
Outpouring, outpouring,
Her warbled lays!

Oh might I grow
A stainless flower!
To sweetly blow
In leafy bower,
So pure and kind
Appearing, appearing,
With others twined!

But I am only
A humble knight!
On highway lonely
An outlawed wight,
And all I have,
Descending, descending,
I give the grave! [page 44]

GOD-MAN.

     Thou art not man!
Thy mystery divine of birth,
Thy perfectness of life on earth,
The glory of thy going forth,
     Mind may not span.

     Yet man thou art!
The Son of Man thy blessed name,
Thou knewest weakness, grief and shame, 
In all temptation, anguish, blame,
     Thou borest part.

     Both God and man!
Thou Saviour sent from Heaven above,
On whom there rested like a dove
The Spirit, pledge of God’s best love
     Since time began.

 MODERATION.

“In all things moderate!” a Devil’s phrase.
Which with men’s souls the saddest havoc plays:
Wouldst thou just feel the prick of adders’ fangs,
Or try the verge of hydrophobia’s pangs?
With small-pox or pneumonia wouldst thou toy,
Or slight consumption find a cause of joy?
So of the soul eschew each malady:
In sin there can no moderation be. [page 45]

CONDUCT.

The standard set for all men is the same,
The perfect law of God, and none can claim
Exemption from its sway, it matters not 
What one’s profession, dignity or lot:
That which consistent Christians should not do,
Forbidden is, ye railing ones, to you;
Where Christians would not have their leaders go,
Is for themselves unquestionably low:
Men get in Christ, for duties old, new strength,
And by his aid they reach hill-tops at length.

 


 EXCELLING ONE’S SELF.

We must do better than our best,
     And heights beyond our reach attain;
With strength that’s not our own we wrest
     Exulting joy from deepest pain,
     And every loss we turn to gain.

INCONSISTENCY.

What teacher lives as well as he should teach?
What Christian can the great Ideal reach?
Then do not rail at inconsistency;
For heights attained and future, grateful be. [page 46]

DISTRESS AND RELIEF.

When the heavens lower and the tide runs low,
When this frail bark quivers with the undertow,
With eyes on the compass and hand on the helm,
May I know that no tempest will ever o’erwhelm:
The current will change and flood will come back,
And lighter and smoother shall be my track.

 FORWARD!

Not “Back to Christ!”, but “Forward” be the cry,
     To reach the great Ideal none have yet attained.
     The glories of the past have shone and waned,
And greater far the glories that are nigh.

 HARMONY.

Harmonious thoughts, with rhythmic force expressed,
Are things of beauty, music I love best.

 SOWING AND REAPING.

Sow thy wild oats, young man, nor hold the price but cheap;
For whatsoe’er man sows, that shall he surely reap. [page 47]

PRAYER.

The fool hath said that “men ought not to pray,
For what’s the use? It will not change the way
Of Him who rules the universe, to please
A puny creature pleading on his knees.”
Blessings there are which God will not bestow
Unless we ask for them, nor will they flow,
Like rain and sunlight, on the good and bad.
Only the hungry heart he maketh glad;
Only the eager outstretched hand he fills
With choicest gifts, for thus it is he wills.

 THE TEST OF RIGHT.

What most men say is not the test of right,
Too much we worship mere majorities.
What one man speaks for God is more of might
Than is the voice of millions, lacking light,
     Or heedless of the clearest prophecies.

 GOD’S PLAN.

I gaze upon the tiny flower,
     And see of God a plan;
Much more, the beauty and the power
Within the life of man. [page 48]

WEALTH AND POVERTY.

What man would be a millionaire
If he must live in gloom and care?
By far more blest is poverty
With sunshine in the soul, and glee.

PROFIT AND LOSS.

Salvation to the world comes through the cross;
Another’s gain full oft may mean my loss,
And yet not loss; for hunger, weakness, pain,
May be my own, as well as others’ gain.

 LIGHT IN GLOOM.

The day is cold and dark and drear,
And swept by sorrow, filled with fear;
But oh, sweet memories of the past!
Oh, hopes of happy days at last!

 VICTORY.

The man who wills to conquer may,
     Whatever sin his soul assail;
But he must have the strength to pray,
     And in his heart not want to fail. [page 49]

IN GOD’S SIGHT.

Ether waves beat on the light-struck eye
     Millions of times while the clock ticks one;
Between two such waves may be born and die
     Creatures minuter than fancy e’er spun,
Each life as perfect to the Maker’s ken,
Each life as worthy, as the lives of men.

Men’s lives may rock in the trough of time,
     A wavelet of a tick of eternity,
Lives to God’s angels no more sublime
     Than to men are careers of animalculae,
Yet honored by God, and as precious to Him
As the glorified lives of the cherubim.

 THOUGHTS.

Thoughts are but acts unborn:
The ill cast out with scorn
          Ere they the life control;
Those nurse that will adorn
          The chambers of the soul,
And make thy deeds as radiant as the morn.

 ALL THINGS POSSIBLE.

Men of strong will the Lord alone can hold in check,
And when their plans are his, those plans he will not wreck. [page 50]

HEROISM.

’Tis often harder far to live than die:
To rush to rescue at the anguished cry
And lose one’s self in saving is less hard
Than through long parlous years to stand on guard,
And at the end with not a wound he scarred:
So humble hidden heroes hold in honor high.

 STEADFASTNESS.

Who only with the current rows
     Will seldom gain the longed-for quest;
Who veers with every wind that blows
     Will never reach a haven of rest.
Who yieldeth to the passing cry—
     What seems to be the public trend—
Who does not strive, and can’t deny,
     Will ne’er attain a worthy end.

 EVIL BY INDUCTION.

As lightning often leaps from wire to wire,
And causes, where unsought, disaster dire,
So evil sets at naught too narrow space
And brings to careless lives untold disgrace:
Then keep the margin wide ’twixt good and ill,
Tempt not the Lord, nor trust thy strength of will. [page 51]

TILL SUNSET.

Only till the night doth fall.
     Last the burdens of to-day;
Be those burdens great or small,
     With a Friend to share and stay,
One can live with patience yet,
Singing till the sun be set.

 TAKE HEED.

Who thinks he stands most surely falls;
The strongest swimmer oft is drowned;
The most robust death early calls,
And life is bare where gifts abound.

 STRENGTH IN WEAKNESS.

I would be kept upon the mountain top
Of firm resolve
To do the right, how e’er my feelings drop,
               And hopes revolve:
Full well I know I shall attain at length,
For when I weakest grow, then comes my strength.

LASTING LOVE.

The love that fails does its own pleasure choose;
The love that lasts is love that lives to lose. [page 52]
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