The Confederation Poets
Pen Symphonies
22nd Apr 2014Posted in: The Confederation Poets 0

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PEN SYMPHONIES
—BY—
MAUDE E. BAKER.
HALIFAX, N. S.
HALIFAX, N. S. :
T.C. ALLEN & CO.,
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Go! little book and on your errand speed,
In gentle tones straight to the hearts I love,
Then    *     *     *     *     *     *
If scanned by strangers’ eyes forbearance plead;
A few stray thoughts from out a wavering pen. [unnumbered page]

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CONTENTS

 

PAGE
The New Year 1
Request 2
A Wish 3
Trouble in the Woods World 4
In June Time 5
Contrast 6
Submission 7
An Autumn Evening 8
Night 9
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PEN SYMPHONIES.
A FRAGMENT.
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THE NEW YEAR.

O blythe Young Year with your cheeks rich glow,
   And your golden head fearless and proud;
Crowned with holly gleaming with snow,
   Newly born of the starshine and cloud!
Full of the North Wind’s boisterous mirth,
   Fresh from the breath of the frost-kissed sea,
What do you bring to this sad old Earth,
   Pealing Her welcome to thee? [unnumbered page] 

REQUEST.

Swift Spirit of the woods, the storm, the sea!
   List ye awhile, and O, abide with me!
Go! tell the books to chant with varying moods,
   In the deep silence of the sombre woods!
To lave the green-brown moss with touches wet!
   To gem the shadowed ways with violet!
Then bid the dark-browed Storm to hie away
   In caverns deep, and tell old Ocean grey
To have His waves in gentle tones to roll
   Their softer cadence to the very soul!
Then to my Love, she of the soul-lit eyes,
   Plead with her, Spirit, that the swift Time flies!
O spirit of the woods, the storm, the sea!
   The stars are glowing gold, she comes to me! [page 2]

A WISH.

O, to go back to that year again, 
Its dewy nights in starlit glem,
Brown eyed Twilight with hair aflame,
Lush, sweet meadows in violets’ sheen,
To linger where pines stood whispering,
Weaving their shadows, purpled deep;
Night-dream silence the hour would bring;
Golden eyed stars their watch would keep.
But now, Beloved, the sky is drear,
With bits of blue, a dash of pearl,
Brown and lemon, just over there
Where you see clouds of night uncurl—
The trees like ghouls in spectral mist;
And bright is the gold, for everywhere
Autumn has claimed, and clasped, and kissed,
Yet left me naught, but a mute despair. [page 3] 

TROUBLE IN THE WOODS WORLD.

In the heart of the woodlands Miss Autumn sat musing,
   Her sweet face growing colder, her grey eyes full of care,
For the Pines and the Spruce were so sternly refusing
   The gifts which Miss Autumn had given kindly each year.
Now the Birches, the Maples and sturdy young Saplings,
   With their dresses of fine crimson and gold, trembled so
As they thought of the rudeness of these grim old scarred trees,
   To refuse the rich colours which would dress them in glow,
And listening in wonder, as each old tree said,
   In deep chorus of sighing, “We would rather be dead,
Than change now our dark robes for the crimson and gold,
   We were so dressed for contrast, at least, we’ve been told,
The old order n’er changeth, sombre and tall,
   We’ll remain in our dark robes, once and for all.”
But, over the hill-top the Sun in his glee
   Threw a shaft of gold arrows right into the tree,
And thus for a moment, in spite of the scold,
   The gloomy old scarred trees were turned into gold.
Miss Autumn’s sweet grey eyes deep gleamed in delight,
   And the one star above, simply winked, all its might. [page 4] 

IN JUNE TIME.

What is it, Beloved, we men to do,
   You and I in the witching June weather,
So high above us the heaven’s clear blue,
   All things forgotten, We Two to-gether.

Wandering on till the west is fading
   Out of its passionate heart, the glow;
Shadows all deepening, folding, shading
   The cherry trees with their blooms of snow.

See the wee aster pale in the farlight
   Glow of the night, like a fleck of foam,
Tremulous there in the dreamy starlight,
   Wide awake keeping, to see you go home.

Hear the lush music of leaves, ashiver,
   See the white sheen of the harbor-bar
Glimmer and dimple, all in a quiver,
   Enkindled with gold from the laughing star!

O! then my Dear One my heart is yearning
   So deep in its inmost depths, through and through,
Waiting, the June-time with sunset’s burning
   In rapture and glory, roses and you. [page 5]

CONTRAST.

Life is sad in the city street,
   But, O sweet, where the clover blooms,
Where summer winds with dallying feet,
   Are drunk with the lillie’s perfumes.

Life is narrow in city street,
   But ‘tis broad on the wind-swept hills,
Where pines murmur, a rest complete,
   And life seems a song with the rills.

O, to think of the infant lives,
   Which are lived in the city street,
Cramped with mis’ry in human hives,
   So pallid, so weary and beat.

Though to His Own the Heavenly Love
   From the Merciful One is sent,
“Ye lie ‘mong pots, ye’ll be as a dove,”
   Never seems for these to be meant.

And, yet, His Purpose is right we know,
   Some souls must be spent in the moil;
The crocus blossoms under the snow,
   The star-flower glows from the soil.

Dear little lives so patient and sweet,
   Playing alone in the grim city street,
Teach us a lesson, whoever complain
   Loaded with luxury, lives without aim,
Teach us, O, teach us, wee ones of the street,
   Draw us a-near, to His Glorious Feet. [page 6] 

SUBMISSION.

O, Fate, ‘tis hard to bow to thy decree! —
To turn away from all the glorious noon,
The sunlit meadows, blushed with clever bloom,
The laughing brightness of the dimpled sea,
The heart-yearned, hand-clasp, soul-lit sympathy,
And pierce down, deep, the dark abyss of gloom!
‘Tis not so very much to ask, this boon;
A less’ning of the distaff, free from dread,
A glimpse of gold athwart the dull-hued thread,
A breath of roses sweet, with summer dew,
To walk as in a glory, pregnant through
With bliss of loving, dull content, a thing of naught,
And, banished for one hour, having all things fraught
To make our life a picture, rich and rare.
Yet, Beloved, if to our lot there fall no share,
Then, I will walk the briers, think it meet,
Since suffering, dear, with Thee, makes all things sweet.[page 7]

AN AUTUMN EVENING.

A white road glimmering athwart the dark,
   Broad shadows lying on its rutted breast;
A clump of firs, crowned with expiring spark,
   Of ruddy fire, from the now purpling west:
A squirrel, chatt’ring in brown-richness drest,
   A soothing scent of ferns, and forest things;
An old worn fence, round which, the brier clings,
   With heart on fire, to its rough hewn bars;
A broad expanse of blue, all showered with stars:
   The chirp, chirp, of some belated bird;
A ploughboy, calling to his distant herd;
   The laughter of a brook, with mossy stone,
The croak of frogs, in deepening monotone;
   The barking of a dog so sharp and shrill;
A gold-red moon peeps o’er the long dark hills
   Whose crest is fired in a deeper hue;
Tall birches, with their red veins pulsing through
   The satiny whiteness of their limbs of snow;
Another star glems through the throbbing glow—
   A light is seen to flash from yonder sill,
A gate’s sharp click, a step, and all is still. [page 8] 

NIGHT.

Beloved, in golden pomp the day declines;
   See over the ridge of dreamy fan-shaped pines
A young may moon her silver sickle shows;
   A thousand night-blown odours now unclose;
The mystery of the time enwraps me round,
   Whilst distant roofs and spires, to me appear
A city wrought of dreams; the only sound
   The voices of the night, and ever near
In shadowy moss glades, the song of streams,
   The stars unveil the beauty of their eyes,
To dark retreat the tiny glow-worm hies
   A minim world of fire, the birches gleam
Like yearning arms of Naiads, snowy white
   Stretching towards the gold-gemmed brow of Night
Who wraps them soft in the perfumed breaths of air. [page 9]
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