Edwardian and Georgian Canadian Poets
Outlaw Lyrics

OUTLAW LYRICS
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ALPH. PELLETIER’S PRINTERY
36 St. Lawrence Main St. MONTREAL
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OUTLAW
LYRICS

GILBERT BEZANGER
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Dedicated
To my fellow outlaws
Calder
Trennery, and
Martin
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INDEX

“Invocation”
“Could I sing you a song”
“I am a stranger in a far Countree”
“There is no heart’s content”
“In the shivering mist of a cold gray dawn”
“Good Mother—good Mother at rest in your grave”
“Without—within”
“Shall I sing you a song of the Slum?”
“I know it will be well with me”
“A book—a woman and—a glass of wine”
“In the midst of a loveliness almost supernal”
“Aye, drunk was I that night, though not with wine”
“Here to your crowning folly, O my gay one!”
“Hours of sweet abandon Love”
“Waiting for me”
“If you were Cleopatra”
“The Unkissed”
“Drinking Song”
“To a Theologian”
“Mosquito Song”
“If it rain to-day”
“I have lived my life in a moment of time”
“Come kiss me now and say ‘good bye’”
“Bind me with silken fetters unto Thee”
“Set me as a seal upon thine arm”
“Be not vain, O my Love”
“Laurel leaves”
“I saw my lost youth”
“There is one for whom I could pray”
“Bohemia”
“Magdalene”
“To win or lose”
“Leave me alone to-night”
“Retrospection”
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Invocation

My Harp! my Harp! by mine own brain designed, by my hand fashioned
While others slept I laboured with unwearying love o’er thee,
That I might some cunning instrument of song impassioned 
Might here create to voice my melody.
Long have I wrought—wrought have with ceaseless toiling,
But thou art rude, and ruder are they strains,
So that aghast from them and thee recoiling
I cry alas! but mine are wasted pains.
‘Twas thy creator’s will thou would’st be tender.
That thou would’st utter, but the gentlest sound,
Ah! can it be my spirit that doth lend her
Throat like the thirsty baying of blood hound
On human trail?  So sanguinary that I tremble!
Yet trembling dare to touch your chords once more
When lo! what hitherto it did resemble
It now resembles not—a change sweeps o’er.
Yea!  in a moment’s time the music changes
Unto a wail—one long wild wail of pain;
But in another willfully it ranges
Back to its former sullen mood again.
Ah me!  but yet once more I will the trial make—
And now ’tis laughter—laughter loud and shrill
In tones of irony at which I quake;
With shivering fear, my heart an instant still.
Yet tempt again—and now I hear a cry
Like to the weeping of a sorrowing soul;
How vain—how vain to think that ever I
Will find in her the song of the heart whole!
For when I breathed in her the breath of life [page 9]
Some love and beauty to create for men
I breathed as well this breath of bitter strife
And strife the burden of her song must be.
And yet I love you, oh my Harp! for thou
Hast been my consolation, I found joy
Even in thy creating, therefore now
My love commands me still thy voice employ
To sing some song of human misery;
For this our mission is as it would seem—
Our mission, if not vainly we created be
And from thy silence and my tender’st dreams
Let us awaken to our minstrelsy.
Oh then my Harp! my Harp!  I bid you waken—
Awaken thou to human aspirations,
Which all too quickly end in deep depression,—
Awaken thou and throb with every passion,
Awaken thou and pulse with all emotion,
Of all the high ideals unattained,
Of stern ambitions never realized,
Of fond, true friendships unrequited yet,
Of burning enmities, still unappeased,
Of wrongs to be revenged;
Which only the broken truly know,
But dumbly knowing never can express,
May speak through thee
Awake, Oh Harp! Oh Soul, I bid you waken—
Awake! awake! and tremble with emotion,
That even the yearning of mine own sad being
With all the stifled love within this breast
And all the pent up hatred of a heart
May here find utterance. [page 10]

Could I Sing You A Song

     Could I sing you a song
     Of my childhood days—
     Of its sunny ways—
     Of love’s pure rays—
Such a song—such a song would I sing;
So plaintively, tenderly sweet would it be,
So tenderly sweet, Oh your tears it would bring,
Heard you only the song I would sing.

     Could I sing you a song
     Of the loves I have loved,
     Of the hearts I have proved
     To love’s passion were moved,
Such a song—such a song would I sing;
So strangely and tenderly sad would it be,
So tenderly sad, Oh your tears it would bring,
Heard you only the song I would sing.

     Could I sing you a song
     Of the friends I have known—
     Of friendships outgrown
     That has left me alone,
Such a song—such a song would I sing;
So strangely and bitterly sad would it be,
So bitterly sad, Oh your tears it would bring,
Heard you only the song I would sing. [page 11]

     Could I sing you a song
     Of the beautiful dead,
     Who forever is laid
     In that lonely bed,
Such a song—such a song would I sing;
So wildly and bitterly sad would it be,
So bitterly sad, Oh your tears it would bring,
Heard you only the song I would sing.

     But I croon me a song
     Of my hopes and my fears,
     Of my trials and cares,
     ’Mid fast flowing tears,
Such a song—such a song do I sing;
It is strangely and utterly sad to me,
So utterly sad, Oh your tears it must bring,
Heard you only the song that I sing. [page 12]

I am a Stranger in a far Countree

     I am a stranger in a far countree—
     I am a stranger in a far countree—
     I am a stranger in a far countree—
And this night—this night of all the nights—unhappy as can be;
My thoughts too sad for tears at last find utterance in song,
My Soul cries out against this endless sufferance of wrong,
My heart is breaking, but my lips will voice the misery
Of one who is a stranger in a far countree.

     I came a stranger to your far countree—
     I came a stranger to your far countree—
     I came a stranger to your far countree—
With loving hearts, with open arms good friends ye welcomed me.
Heaven speed your fond endeavour and may I ever show
Equal kindness to the stranger, prove he friend or foe,
God bless you gentle people, and may you never be
As weary-hearted strangers in a far countree.

     Show me a stranger in a far countree—
     Show me a stranger in a far countree—
Show me a stranger in a far countree,
Though wealth, though fame, though love were his who yet could happy be;
He wears a crown of thorns and smiles as if ’twere laurel leaves;
But over the world of a cherished past his spirit vainly grieves.
There are tears in silent chamber where there is no eye to see
Because he is a stranger in a far countree. [page 13]

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There is no Heart’s Content

There is no heart’s content,
It is not to be found,
For I have sought in vain
The weary world around;
And I will seek no longer,
As mine hours are vainly spent
In longing and in searching for
Sweet heart’s content.

With the first dawn of reason—
The awakening of the soul—
My gentle mother taught me
Of that One who maketh whole,
My little hands she clasped in prayer,
My childish knee she bent,
But even then my childish soul
It knew no heart’s content.

Wealth and honour, gaudy baubles,
Held before my wondering eyes,
Charmed my senses, lured me onward,
And to win a glittering prize,
Oh the folly I committed,
Folly that was all well meant,
For I was only seeking after
—Heart’s content. [page 15]

I sought it in a woman’s love—
And what could be more vain?
‘Tis surely there for heart’s content
I shall not seek again;
Though I dreamed she was an angel
Unto me from heaven sent,
To teach my doubting perjured soul
The truth of heart’s content.

I sought it in that better Life
Which cometh from above;
That Life which is a dream
Of beauty, purity and love.
Of my folly and my wickedness
I surely did repent;
But Heaven did not reveal to me
The way of heart’s content.

There is no heart’s content;
It is not to be found,
Search for it as you may
This wide, wide world around.
But if there be another whose joy
Is with no sorrow blent,
God bring us quickly, bring us all
To His Haven of heart’s content. [page 16]

In the Shivering Mist of a Cold Gray Dawn

In the shivering mist of a cold gray dawn,
Heart ill at ease, I rambled on
Until with my roaming at last I stood
Where my path is fringed by the mountain wood,
And where Old McGill from her heights looks down
In stately pride o’er the sleeping town.

Was it some trick of mine own vain heart,
The wisdom envious thoughts impart,
Or was it some gleam of light divine
At that moment illumined this soul of mine?
I know not which; but I know with a glance
At those gray stone walls as if in a trance

I saw a man, who aged and worn,
With deep, hard lines of anguish born
On his face—with locks that were like the snow—
To his plough in the light of that morning go;
For a son at college has bills to pay—
Let money be coined as money may.

And another I saw, who with sorrow bent—
Heart’s blood with life’s struggle almost spent—
That her darling a gentleman might be
O’er the reeking steam of her tub bent she;
But where is that prophet who dares to say
Such toiling of love he will ever repay? [page 17]

For oft have I noticed him on the street,
How anxious he is the Great to greet;
While with a sneer he passes by
Men stained with labour, such as I,
And I fancy reader—Ah!  what would you?
’Tis little he cares for the good and true.

Yet he whom others have placed so high
Self sacrifice will justify,
And thus shall teach me how to live;
My life for others welfare give,—
As thou McGill to an arrant knave
For other’s gold this privilege gave.

Oh!  I doubt not but the good and true,
As elsewhere, here is found in you;
I doubt not but as a beacon light
From day to day you shall shine more bright,
But for fools who are crowned in your royal halls
I cursed that day your gray stone walls. [page 18]

Good Mother—Good Mother—at rest in your Grave

Good Mother—good Mother—at rest in your grave—
     It is well you are there,
     I am glad you are there.
Good Mother—good Mother—who birth to me gave
     You are free now from care—
     You are free from all care.
When I look on the mothers who toil and who bleed
Their Sons and their Daughters to clothe and to feed,
But whose life of devotion has scorn for its meed,
I am glad Mother dear that you are where you be
And no strand of your auburn was silvered for me.

My Father—my Father—at rest by her side—
     By her side lying low
     Oh I’m glad it is so.
My Father—my Father—’twas well that you died—
     Far better ’tis so—
     Now you never can know
What they know who drudge for some worthless boor
And when aid of his hands in old age do implore
In return for love’s labour, find closed is the door;
Oh! I’m glad Father dear that you are where you be,
That your brown cannot furrow with anguish o’er me. [page 19]

Sweet Sister—Sweet Sister—laid also at rest
     In the springtime of life,
     Ere sorrow is rife,—
Sweet Sister—Sweet Sister—’twas all for the best;
     For as maiden or wife
     You had lived but to strife.
And when passion tossed like the wind-driven foam,
I thoughtlessly, aimlessly, wantonly roam
Bringing sorrow at last it may be to some home,
’Twill be well, Sister dear, that you are where you be
And your cheek cannot pale love nor crimson for me. [page 20]

Without—Within

Without—bleak fields and dismal forests bare;
Within—rich draperies and the cosy chair.
Without—the wind and ever drifting snow;
Within—the stillness and the hearth’s bright glow.
Without—the nakedness and misery;
Within—the robes of sensual luxury.
          Without—Within.

Without—the cowering form and pallid face;
Within—the soft repose and placid grace.
Without—the anguish and the biting pain;
Within—the idle dream, dreamed o’er again,
Without—the embittered, sullen, savage soul;
Within—the heart that seemingly is whole.
          Without—Within.

Without—clasped hands and storm dishevelled hair,
Within—those folded, knowing no despair.
Without—the stifling sob and freezing tears;
Within—the smile that languid beauty wears.
Without—the glory it may chance to be;
Within—the shame, but what is that to me?

Without—I see your ever beckoning light,
Within—ye cannot see my desperate plight.
Without—I curse you in my helpless rage;
Within—ye listlessly turn o’er your page.
Without—I count you as an enemy;
Within—Ye care not what my jealousy.
          Without—Within.

Without—’tis true I am the better man;
Within—I weaken, come beneath the ban.
Without—reward awaits for duty done,
Within—no laurels for a victory won.
Without—is my salvation made secure,
Within—and heaven has closed to me its door.
          Without—Within. [page 21]

Shall I sing you a Song of the Slum?

Shall I sing you a song of the slum
To the music of spindle and drum,
To the echoing whirr of the wheel;
The throb, the sob and the hum,
As ceaselessly onward through space it doth reel—
Sing you a song of the slum
To the music of spindle and drum?

If I sing you a song of the slum
To the music of spindle and drum
I must sing of the man by my side,
I must sing of the man who is dumb;
The man out of whom all the manlier pride
Is crushed by this song of the slum,
By this music of spindle and drum.

If I sung you this song of the slum,
To the music of spindle and drum,
I must sing of the woman who toils—
Who toils till the hand with its toiling is numb—
That tribute he brought to the reaper of spoils;
For this is the song of the slum
With its music of spindle and drum.

Yes, in singing this song of the slum
To its music of spindle and drum,
I sing of the broken indeed—
Of those for whom better days never will come—
This is their portion, to toil and to bleed.
Ah! sweet is the song of the slum!
Sweet! sweet! the music of spindle and drum. [page 22]

I know it will be well with me

I cannot fathom the decrees of God,
I know not if a future life there be,
Know not the destiny of this poor clod,
And yet I know it will be well with me;

As well with me as with the countless ones
Who passed through life, as I am passing now;
As well with me as with Earth’s unborn sons
Who yet shall tread the self-same path I trow;

As well with me as with the tender child;
As well with me as with the maiden fair;
As well with me a man still vain and wild,
As with those souls subdued by grief and care.

And shall I then fear death which comes to all?
Fear death when loved ones weaker far than I,
Will meet it, greet it, answer to its call,
With smiling lips to death make glad reply?

No! Out of chaos and a dreamless past
Drawn am I into this world of pain,
With all provision made while life shall last
And when I ushered shall be forth again,

Nature, my Mother, stern but ever true,
Still will provide for me where e’er I be;
Oh my good Mother, but I trust in you,
That in thy keeping ‘twill be well with me. [page 23]

A Book, a Woman and a Glass of Wine

In life, each man has his own quaint design,
Each builds an altar, worships at a shrine;
The gods of some I know are herds of swine,
The gods of others, little better, droves of kine,
Each hath his folly, as I too have mine,
Which is a book, a woman and—a glass of wine.

Given this only, but a day that’s fine,
My favourite spot of overshadowing pine
Where creeping plants, round fallen trunks entwine,
That I may make my couch of flowering vine,
And there in blissful laziness I would recline
With a book, a woman and—a glass of wine.

On love alone I fancy we could dine,
If eyes should sparkle, kiss away the brine,
And though our hearts be sad, let faces be benign;
No man o’er his misfortune should repine,
No man at Fate has any right to whine
Who has his book, his woman and—his glass of wine

Unto oblivion all else I would assign;
Life’s meaner joys I’d cheerfully resign,
And though some think this course would not refine—
Holding to other things they call divine—
I for this world’s ideal draw the line
At a book, a woman and—a glass of wine. [page 24]

In the Midst of a Loveliness almost supernal

In the midst of a loveliness almost supernal
I roam with the opening dawn of the day,
And muse on a beauty, which if but eternal,
For life everlasting I surely would pray.
For as softly the south wind sweeps listlessly o’er me
Rich, rich with the odour of withering hay,
As full and serene the great river before me
On its course to the ocean bears slowly away;
And as over the mind steals such strange fascination
Of meadowy landscape reflecting its form
In that mirror, an image of perfect creation,
Ensnared in this heart, that to beauty is warm
And I quietly pause here in deep adoration
The thrall of some witchery over my soul;
While the dreams—Oh the dreams!—the dreams that I have on
Those banks in the twilight of soft summer day;
The banks of this beautiful river of Avon
Where shadow and light irresistible play. [page 25]

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Aye! drunk was I that night, though not with Wine
—not with Wine

Aye! drunk was I that night,
Though not with wine—
Not with wine,
With the odour of the roses
On her breast—
On her breast,
With the fragrance inhaling
Of petals quickly paling—
Of flowers quickly paling
Though lying there at rest
Where never man had lain—
Where never man had lain.

Lights burning low
And music softly swelling—
And music sadly welling
Out unutterable yearning,
With the pleading of her eyes—
The pleading of her eyes,
Made me forget the debt I owe—
Forget that love should keep me low—
Forget the gulf that lies
Between her world and mine—
Between her world and mine. [page 27]

Nor could I unto cold
Reality awaken—
Nor would I awaken
While fevered, burning lips
To mine were pressed—
Mine were pressed,
While mine arms her form was holding,
While her arms were me enfolding,
While I feet the deep, voluptuous
Heaving of her breast—
Of her breast;
Where man before had never lain,
Where never man had lain. [page 28]

Here to your Crowning Folly

                 “For wisdom’s crown is crown of thorns,
                 And he who wears it vainly grieves;
                 But Folly’s wreath is one joy,
                 And better far that laurel leaves.”

Here to your crowning folly
O my gay one—
My gay one—my sweet one,
As a tribute to the memory
Of that memory will I sing;
For the day is sad and dreary,
Of toiling I am weary,
If this thought has power to cheer me
Let me to its memory cling.

Of your transcendent folly
O my gay one—
My gay one—my sweet one,
These lips can scarcely utter praises
Worthy of the theme;
Heart of joy! had I the power
But to paint that magic bower
Where we revelled for an hour
Like some creatures of a dream!

In our sweetest, earliest folly
O my gay one—
My gay one—my sweet one
When first we drank the wine of life [page 29]
Whence maddening joy doth flow;
Drinking wildly, without measure
Draught of such delicious pleasure,
Counting not our wasted treasure—
Can I let such memories go?

And pay no tribute to that folly
O my gay one—
My gay one—my sweet one,
By which I learned that you were human
As I knew you were divine;
Composite of Earth and Heaven!—
Sinful lump and holy leaven!
Woman thou, with devils seven!
Still I worship at your shrine.

And could such an hour of folly
O my gay one—
My gay one—my sweet one,
Be now repeated, would we for
A moment count the cost—
Heart to heart so quickly turning,
Soul to soul with boundless yearning,
Though we suffer in the burning—
We! as spirits of the lost?

O my gay one—
My gay one—my sweet one. [page 30]

Hours of Sweet Abandon Love

MARTIN’S FAVOURITE

How well I remember the days of old
When summer evenings did unfold
Their glory of crimson and of gold—
The hours of sweet abandon Love—

When the last faint rays of dying lifht
Had faded away into tranquil night
And stars in the heaven were gleaming bright—
The hours of sweet abandon Love—

When a trouble world had sunk to rest
And loving winds the fields caressed
As I lay wit hmy head upon your breast
In the joy of sweet abandon Love;

In the joy of a raptured free from care
Our senses charmed by the odours rare
Of the garden of dreams—together were
In the gladness of abandon Love

We gave us up to the merry life
Forgetting the harassing toil and strife
Forgetting that sorrow is ever rife
In the bliss of our abandon Love—

Light fingers sweeping the trembling lyre,
Bright eyes that are burning with fitful fire,
White lips that are flushing with hot desire—
With the fever of that abandon Love. [page 31]

White arms that cling in their wild embrace,
White cheeks where passions their impulse trace,
White breasts that yeild in the hour of grace
With the madness of abandon Love;

’Till a pale light breaks in the eastern sky,
’Till the glamorous moon ascends on high,
And the end of the revel draweth nigh;
The revel of fierce abandon Love.

For when in the searching midnight hour,
With soft rays flooding the dainty bower,
Your Couch of fairy fern and flower
Is sadness of abandon Love.

While the mournful murmuring of the leaves
Such thought with the gayest fancy weaves
In the Soul—in the Soul of one who grieves
O’er the folly of her abandon Love—

The guilt, the sorrow—that hot tears flow,
There is joy in life, but its close is woe,
We have loved—we have loved—and the rest you know
The fruit of our abandon Love.

And yet with the close of this summer day,
When haunting fears for a moment stay,
Again with you I am up and away
To that revel of sweet abandon Love. [page 32]

Waiting for Me

What! under the maples to and fro,
A stranger only, I see her move
With a quickening heart, a heart I know
Which easily turns to thoughts of love—
But under the maples a stranger to see
Whom I would at this moment were waiting for me?

Eyes of the duskiest, dreamiest gray,
Lips of the softest, tenderest hue,
Face of an angel of God, I will say;
Though it may be some other, alas ’tis true,
For such wayward wreaths of golden hair
In their lurking folds, what hearts ensnare?

You are waiting I know for some lover now—
Dreaming the dreams that all girls dream—
With innocence written upon your brow,
How fair life’s promise to you must seem.
Could you but innocent remain
Of all that will bring to your pure heart pain.

So I pass you by with hurring feet—
What am I to daily here;
What am I to love you sweet;
What am I to linger near?
For ah! not innocent would you be
Were you at this hour awaiting me. [page 33]

If you were Cleopatra

If you were Cleopatra
And I were Antony,
His kingly deed I would repeat
And loose a world for thee.
Indeed, such joy ’twould be
That world to loose for thee—
Would you were Cleopatra love
And I were Antony.

Will you be Cleopatra
And let me be Antony;
His kingly deed let me repeate
And loose a world for thee?
Indeed, I clearly see
A world is lost to me;
But you’d be Cleopatra then
While I’d be Antony.

You now are Cleopatra,
And I am Antony,
The kingly deed has been performed
A world is lost to me;
My life that was to be—
For ever lost to me;
But my world is Cleopatra now
Let hers be Antony. [page 34]

The Unkissed

“The air is rife with sighs
That from lover’s breasts arise,
Who are sport of wanton eyes
Of the unkissed;
Eyes that sparkle and that glow,
With an everchanging flow
Lighting up, then fading low—
Hinting yes, but saying no,
For the Unkissed.

Until at last in desperation,
We, the masters of creation,
Brook no longer such flirtation
By the Unkissed.
Hence, the burden of my ditty,
You so young and Oh so witty,
You so young and Oh so pretty,
Is the vastness of the pity
You are Unkissed.

And, indeed, one fain would try—
If one thought that none were nigh
And you would not shriek, Oh my!
I’ll be not kissed.
Now ’tis certain none is near;
Say, ah really would you care?
Gad!  your nose is very near—
Shut your eyes and breathe a prayer—
What?  my Unkissed.” [page 35]

What a funny little flutter!
What a funny little mutter—
Rather funny little sputter—
Makes the Unkissed;
Like a maiden in a dream,
Though she utters not a scream—
Nay! but rather it would seem
I may do whate’er I deem
With the Unkissed.

What a funny little shiver!
Just a tremor and a quiver,
Like a ripple on a river,
O’er the Unkissed
Passes, and in passing leaves
Her as one who half believes
She has fallen among thieves;
For she swoons (?) her bosom heaves,
Ah! myUnkissed.

Filled am I with vague alarm
As she rests upon my arm,
That I may have caused some harm
To the Unkissed.
But no; she opens wide her eyes,
Smiles, and in a moment cries:
“Dick! you took me by surprise.”
“Baby I apologize—
Yes my Unkissed.

Though the fault is not mine own,
Or at least, not mine alone,
On your brow the moonlight shone—
Shone my Unkissed,— [page 36]
A wanton gleam,—how could it dare
To kiss the brow of one so fair,
To nestle in your golden hair,
And tempt my wandering fancy where—
Where my Unkissed?

Where in truth it should not be,
And urged me to this liberty,
For I am jealous love of thee—
Of my Unkissed,
And could not suffer its caress,
Although so lightly it did press;
That kiss did but its love confess
And think you Love I love you less—
Less my Unkissed?

Nay! and even the moonlight sheen
I cannot suffer come between
Your lips and mine, or aught I ween—
Or aught my Unkissed.
Then lay your head upon my breast
And let me kiss you into rest,
With lips to lips thus fondly prest,
Ah, Me! but we are truly blest—
Blest my Unkissed.

But lo!  my love, it is full time
I change the burden of my rhyme,
For I committed have a crime,
A theft my Unkissed,
And through it cannot call you more
The Unkissed, as in days of yore,
Yea, though my fault I may deplore
Your title never can restore—
No longer Unkissed. [page 37]

But compensation we may make;
A thought of others let us take
Who to our joy can never wake
As they are unkissed.
Ah! sad must be the lot indeed
Of those who sufer, those who bleed
For others—others scorn their meed,
They dwell—they dwell in utter need
For they are unkissed.

And shall we then your title lost,
Regret?  Why love ’tis but the cost
Of what those wretched tempest tossed,
The Unkissed,
Would gladly give our joy to know
The only joy in life I trow
For rich and poor, for high and low—
Ah God! what misery and woe
Is theirs, the Unkissed.

They who awake to daily strife,
Uncheered by love of husband, wife,
Say what is there for them in life
When they are unkissed?
And if in this sweet hour of madness,
With all its joy, its wealth of gladness,
There is a world of untold sadness
Then what of the Unkissed—
What of the Unkissed?” [page 38]

Drinking Song

By special request of my fellow outlaw,
Walter Trenery

T.  “Halloo!”
B.  “Halloo!”
T.  “Two of a kind I trow!”
B.  “Hail fellows well met?”
T.  “You Bet!”
B.  “And—
T.  “Something wet?”
B.  “Its a go.”
T.  “Yes, I’ve drank the waters of life my boy;
     Have tasted its sorrows and tasted its joy
     And think I should know—
     So fill up our glasses.
     Heigho!”
B.  “Touch like old cronies would; So!
“Well here’s to the one who is mouldering yonder.”
T.  “And here’s to the one who is under the snow.”
B.  “The loves of our youth?”
T.  “Of our snowy white youth;”
B.  “When we trusted in woman—
T.  “Believed in the truth.”
B.  “Just so.”
T.  “Two more lagers Joe!”
B.  “Well!  here’s to that other of wonderful charms.”
T.  “And this, to whoever may rest in her arms.” [page 39]
B.  “Yourself?”
T.  “Oh no—o—o—o—!
     You’re thinking of one and I of another;
     You mean the daughter
     While I mean the mother.
B.  “Oh—ho-o—o—,
     Well that’s for the both of us quite a good case;
     We’re pulling together
     Not running a race.”
T.  “And will we go?
B.  “But the question of dough?”
T.  “No!  No!”
     A bottle of beer is all we need take.
     The parlour—the kitchen—until the day break—
     And you’ll find them—not slow—
B.  “Come! let us go.” [page 40]

To a Theologian

Must I then forego
All I have cherished here below,
All I have loved so well;
Fond hearts that beat in sympathy,
Fond hearts that truly do love me
Better than tongue can tell?
If this be so
I answer no!
Then say I you may keep your heaven,
But I will keep my hell. [page 41]

Mosquito Song

          He lit upon my hand, he bit me,
          “Alas! poor devil, but I hit thee
          And hit thee rather hard.
          You tumble on my book,
          To note you now I look,
          And thus behold your dying agony;
          The sharp convulsions of your misery.
          “Well!  Well! you hurt me don’t you know.”
          “Yes!  Yes! perhaps that may be so.
          But I was suffering with such raging thirst
          I felt that I could drink till I had burst,
          And suddenly stumbling upon you,
          Without a thought drove my proboscis through
And”—“Gad! but I’m sorry now you’ve brought to mind
          Your right; ’tis but the right of all mankind
          To live, steal, plunder, thrive as best you know
          Upon some other—pity God has made it so!
          What under heaven tempted you to bite me?
Unless you thought you were quite big enough to fight me. [page 42]

If it rain to-day

Two little boys came up the road—
Hungry, dirty, but smiling were they;
For one looking up at the frowning clouds 
Said: “Brother I guess it’ll rain today;
Don’t you hear the howlin’ o’ the wind
Like somebody cryin’ behind the trees?
Now we’ll go fshin’ in the pond—
Father’ll let us go there if we please:
I know he will, for I heard him say—
You bet! I hope it’ll rain to-day.”

And a lassie parting her window screen
At that moment, pouting turned away;
“Too bad!  The others were all so fine
And it must rain—must rain to-day!
What is the reason I’d like to know?
Ah me!  Some say it forbodes much woe;
’Tis an evil omen they say—they say,
If it rain upon one’s wedding day.”

But a farmer came strolling up just then,
One meanly clad in homespun gray,
And he looking up at the darkening heaven
Said: “Wheter or no it rain to-day
Is a matter of little import to me.
God knoweth best what ought to be.
It helps the grain, though it spoils the hay—
If it wants to rain let it rain I say. [page 43]

I have lived my life in a moment of time

I have lived my life in a moment of time;
In a moment of time there has passed from me,
With the flushing of passion, the joy of this life
And the hope of a better eternity.

I was so young and knew no guile,
So young, and he thought me wondrous fair,
But I learned of guilt in a moment of time
And my beauty has proven the fatal snare.

And I lived my life in that moment of time—
In a moment of time it had passed away;
Gone was the pride of my girlish heart,
And the peace of the woman’s for ever and aye. [page 44]

Come kiss me now and say “good-bye”

Come kiss me now and say “good-bye;”
Come kiss me quickly, ere I die;
Oh brother mine, thy foolish tears—
Are they in answer to my prayers
That we may meet again?

Come kiss me now and say “good-bye;”
Come kiss me quickly ere I die;
Ah Sister! Sister! now you see
What Christ the Lord hath wrought in me,
And we shall meet again.

Come kiss me now and say “good bye;”
Come kiss me quickly ere I die;
Dear Mother, Mother do not weep—
Oh Mother mine I do but sleep
In Christ, to wake again. [page 45]

Bind me with Silken Fetters unto Thee

Bind me with silken fetters unto thee,
With golden chains, that I may never stray;
I would be always held in slavery,
This is the liberty for which I pray.

Be thou my queen and let me be thy slave,
Thou art my hope—my heaven—mine all in all;
For thou, and thou alone, has power to save,
To guide my erring footsteps lest I fall.

Take then my hand, and ever wilt thou prove
The guardian Angel you must surely be.
Lead me my dream of purity and love—
Draw me and I will follow after thee.

Purged is my heart of all that may defile,
Shriven my Soul from every thought of sin,
The benediction of your holy smile
Rests on my spirit,—all is peace within.

Choose now the cords wherewith I shall be bound,
With thine own hand securely fasten me,
That at thy side I ever may be found
Held in those bonds of perfect liberty.

Bind ye with silken fetters—bind ye fast and strong
With golden chains, for if again I stray
Shall I return?  Who from the path of wrong
Bring me once more into the perfect way? [page 46]

“Set me as a Seal upon thy Heart”

“Set me as a Seal upon thine heart”
Oh! My Heart’s Chosen!
As a seal upon thine heart—
Upon thine heart let me be graven;
Loudly my pulses with love’s frenzy beating 
Calls to thee, throbbing echo thee entreating,
“Set me as a seal upon thine heart.”

“As a Seal upon thine arm”
Oh!  my Breast Chosen—
A Seal upon thine arm,
Thine arm that now my form encircles;
My melting soul with anguish burns within me.
But let this embrace of anguish burn within thee
As a seal upon thine arm.

“For love is strong as death”
Oh!  my Soul’s destiny!
As strong as death,
Yet destined am I through our love to die;
Love’s wayward will mine hours of peace shall number,
But kiss thou me into eternal slumber
For love is as strong as death.

“Jealousy is cruel as the grave”—
Wilt thou be constant?
--Cruel as the grave—
Bloods stir with latent madness;
Our love is but ashes o’er the smouldering ember—
Beneath are coals and the consuming flame—remember!
“Cruel as the grave.” [page 47]

[blank page]

Be not vain O my Love

Be not vain O my love—
But a moment I implore—
Be not vain O my love—
Listen but a moment more,
For a moment let me plead,
For a moment love give heed,
For a moment love I pray
And I spare you then for aye,
Be not vain with idle fancy
I implore.

Be not vain O my love
Of the race from whence you came;
Blood is but a word of mouth,
Lineage is but a name.
And my people who are proud,
But to God alone have bowed;
My people who are true
Shame will never bring to you,
Be not vain with idle fancies 
I implore.

Be not vain O my love
Of the honour wealth commands,
There is honour with the poor
If innocent remain their hands;
And I have not wronged another,
Nay! I could not wrong my brother,
Though your smile were on its doing,
Though you urged me with your wooing,
Though I lose you by refusing,
God be with me in my choosing!
You are lost, but mine is honour evermore. [page 49]

Be not vain O my love
Of that lithe and willowy form,
Like some slender, pliant reed
Swaying, bending in the storm.
If bursts on you the storm of life
Ah! You would not despise 
The strength that in me lies;
The strength of heart and arm
To shelter you from harm,
To shield you in the desolating strife.

Be not vain O my love
Of your beauty and your grace, 
There are charms as exquisite,
There are fairer far of face,
There is one as fair as you
Who walks the streets to-night
’Neath the ghastly yellow light,
’Mid the glitter and the glare
Of a crowded thoroughfare
With the seal of infamy upon her brow.

You are vain O my love
And our parting now has come,
You are vain O my love
In the future I am dumb.
You are vain with pride of grace;
You are vain with pride of face;
Vain are you with pride of place;
Vainer yet with pride of race;
Here I leave you to your pride—
Leave me to mine. [page 50]

Laurel Leaves

Yes, I dream I would ever be well content
As one unknown and obscure,
Would you to my pleading but consent
And kindly think of the haughty poor.

But you laughed me to scorn in my misery,
Mocking my poverty and my pride;
Wealth and not honour you seek in me,
With gold, Ah! then you would be my bride.

But scarce to God I bend the knee
And think you Earth, this Spirit can
For gold, to win even a smile from thee.
Bow down to meaner man.

No! love to honour must then give place;
Thou art a creature of coarser clay
And why should I weep? your sweet, false face—
Let me forget it as best I may.

And only remember the laurel leaves,
Which bid me onward, upward strive
Till fame by the touch of her wondrous hand
Me from mine imperfections shrive.

But deeply and sadly my spirit grieves
The triumph I never can share with thee,
And though I may win my laurel leaves
Who shall wear them for me? [page 51]

I saw my lost Youth

I rambled this morning through meadow and pasture
Courting the grace of the sweet summer morn;
But the voice of all nature though ringing with laughter,
Each wild note, the sweet note, close following after,
Yet into my spirit no music was borne.

For I lifted mine eyes and beheld with the dawning
Away in the distance, upon the hillside,
Beneath the cool shade of a green leafy awning
There rambled two lovers, two lovers whose fawning,
Revealed me the presence of groom and of bride,

Dreaming their day dream of love’s happy hour;
So happy thought I are the man and the maid,
As she plucked and then gave to her lover a flower
While he bending kissed her beneath that fair bower
Away in the distance; beneath the green shade.

But strangely and sadly it served to remind me
Of the wondrous life I had lived in the past,
Of the home and the friends I had left far behind me
And I felt then the fetters—the fetters that bind me—
The fall of my fetters, securing me fast.

And I saw my lost youth on that hillside this morning;
Then I thought of the hopes that had perished for aye,
I thought of the fond hearts that once gave me warning,
I thought of the counsel I treated with scorning,
And sadly, yet bitterly, turned I away.

But with sunshine and song of the birds all around me
In air that was heavy with odour of May,
The ghosts of lost loves for a space did surround ’me—
Then tears! Oh my treacherous heart did confound me
When I saw my lost youth on that hillside to-day. [page 52]

There is one for whom I could pray

There is one, there is one for whom I could pray,
For whom I could pray this very hour,
For one who was fair as a dream of May,
And what is she now?—poor faded flower!
           But heart is stone
           And all alone
I must bear my burden as best I may;
The light on my table is sinking fast,
How the old house shivers beneath the blast
Of the echoing storm that rages past
Wailing alas!
Weeping and wailing ere mercy be past
Go to! poor sinner for pardon pray.

There is one, there is one for whom I could pray
Could I frame my lips to penitent words
And bowing my head at the mercy seat
Plead only the promises of God’s Word.
            But heart is stone
            And all alone
I will bear my burden as best I may;
Shadow of night is enveloping me,
Deeper and darker it yet shall be,
I hear the moan of a troubled sea
Wailing alas!
Weeping and wailing alas! alas!
Weeping and wailing the harvest is past,
The summer is ended—he cannot pray. [page 53]

Bohemia

Bohemia! Bohemia!
Oh Land! Oh Land of wondrous dreams,
Of mystic splendor viewed afar,
The courts of Heaven not fairer are,
Nor sweeter there each pure delight;
Like them, thy region knows no night
And city gates there stand ajar
As if to welcome me.

Bohemia! Bohemia!
My World! my World of wondrous dreams
Thy shores I shall not see.
I dreamed, perchance, my lot would be
In spite of storms thy coast to win—
Through blood and tears to enter in—
And find at last delight in thee.
Alas! the vision fades away,
The vision fades, and fades for aye;
How vain to strive! how vain to pray!
There is no fair Bohemia. [page 54]

Magdalene

It would be to feel
That the world is yet young,
That the hearts are yet warm,
That roses still bloom
And stars continue to shine,
Could I met you once more as of old face to face,
Could I clasp you once more in that tender embrace,
Could I kiss you once more; Oh! the hour of grace!
Magdalene, Magdalene Queen of my Soul! [page 55]

To Win or Lose

To win or lose, to win or lose, a final throw;
My fate to choose, my fate to choose for weal or woe.
Stay trembling hand—a moment stay!
To Heaven for guidance let me pray
Ere I shall seal,
For woe or weal
Mine and another’s fate this day.

For if I lose, and if I lose, what then, what then;
The loss is whose, the sorrow whose my fellowmen?
Not mine, but one whose heart will break—
Not mine, but one whose heart I stake
As thus I choose
To win or lose
All and forever for her sake.

But if I win, and If I win—ah God above!
We enter in—we enter in—our tryst of love,
Oh soul long seperate, will that hour be kept;
By joys delirious fingers will love’s lyre be swept
As we shall meet
And wildly greet,
Mad with the knowledge that we might have wept.

To win or lose, to win or lose, the fatal cast.
Now hand refuse, ere thou shalt choose my hopes to blast.
To Thee Great God, a gambler’s prayer
Arises; Lord in pity hear;
Smite Thou this hand,
By thy command,
Ere her life’s ruin in the dice I bear. [page 56]

Leave me alone to-night

Leave me alone to-night.
Go! leave me alone with my God;
I am sick of my life,
I am sick of its lust,
I am sick of my pride,
I am bowed in the dust,
Go!  eave me alone with my God.

Oh! leave me alone to-night.
Go! revel with whom you will;
If only mine eyes,
If only mine ears,
See not, hear not
Mirth’s maddening jeers,
Go! revel with whom you will

But my loathing soul—
My loathing soul will have none of it,
I hate your folly,
I hate your sin;
Your gilded fruit
Is but ashes within
And my loathing soul will have none of it.

I am sated with such;
Never again will dice for joy,
I have drank your wine,
With your women lain;
’Tis fleeting pleasure
And lasting pain,
Never again will I dice for joy. [page 57]

Better, indeed, a clod
Than what I am this very night;
A cultured lie.
Better some savage be,
With his yearning for
Immortality
Than be as I am to-night;

Willfully blind—
Walking in darkness through hating the light,
Wantonly cruel,
A barbarous soul
Seeking nought but indulgence
Of self as life’s goal—
Walking in darkness through hating the light.

But ere dawn shall break—
Ere dawn shall break I will find my God;
In this hour of grief
In his mercy proved,
In his mercy this hour
To tears I am moved
And ere dawn shall break I will find my God,

Then leave me alone to-night.
Go! leave me alone with my God;
I am sick of my life,
I am sick of the lust,
I am sick of my pride
And am bowed in the dust,
Go! leave me alone with my God.

Gilbert Bezanger [page 58]

“Retrospection”

One brought to me in the twilight dim
A coal black steed that was foam and fire—
“Up and away you must ride,” cried he,
“You must ride this night—and you must not tire;
For you ride this night by the will of God,
Who has lain on you the chastening rod,
And ride you quickly—ride you uwell—
That you ride through the depth of Nethermost hell
And forth again ere the dawning.

Many have ridden this way before,
On man this burden has ever lain;
But feet have stumbled and hearts have quailed,
Few—once in the deep—return again.
But that you see and that you hear
To the world of the living back you bear,
If you ride quickly and ride well,
Ride through the depth of Nethermost hell
And forth again ere the dawning.

If you quall not at the sight of pain,
Nor tarry, nor falter by the way,
You will ride through the region of endless night—
And yet return to the world of day;
You will ride through the region of endless woe—
And the grief of the damned shall surely know—
But ride you quickly and ride you well
As you ride through the depth of Nethermost hell
Or you come not forth ere the dawning.” [page 59]

Then my heart cried out in the joy of its pride:
“I ride at the service of the King.
From the sad abode of sin and death
Some message to man I would gladly bring;
Though no pure in spirit such deed may dare,
For leave I pray but to enter  there
And riding quickly and riding well
Ride through the depth of Nethermost hell
And forth again ere the dawning.”

So I gat me up on my coal black steed;
On my coal black steed so fierce and strong.
I gave him rein and I gave him spur;
Like roaring tempest we swept along.
And I rode him hard though that live long night
As I rode my race with the morning light,
Rode him quickly and rode him well,
To ride through the depth of Nethermost hell
And forth again ere the dawning.

Now that which first mine eyes beheld 
Was the souls of men, who from death do fly,
Crying to me in fearful voice:
Turn you!—turn you!—why will you die?
For they who a knowledge of evil seek—
On them will our Judge his vengeance wreak.
Ride you ever so quickly, ever so well,
You will rest in the depth of Nethermost hell;
You will come not forth ere the dawning.

And the souls of men who had ridden forth
In quest of adventure I next did see,
But each rode at the will of a masterless steed
In whatever direction its will might be. [page 60]
These had ridden not there through love of the light;
These had ridden in there through love of the night;
All riding quickly—none riding well,
Riding forever the depth of hell
In which there can be no dawning.

And I saw the souls of those who rode,
By the grace of the Master, even as I;
For the good of the world, for the peace of their souls
To taste of the death, that many die;
To taste of that death yet to life return—
Through fire passing and yet not burn.
—Riding quickly and riding well—
Riding with me through Nethermost hell
Through Nethermost hell ere the dawning.

Through a region of laughter and light and song
Through a region of spirits in fiery pain,
Through a region of peace with its ghastly dead,
Through a world where silence and darkness reign,
On, on with the speed of spirits we swept,
With the spirits we laughed, we sighed, we wept,
But riding quickly and riding well,
Thus riding the depth of Nethermost hell
Lest we come not forth ere the dawning.

Nor love, nor honour, nor fear of death
Checked for a moment our wild career
As through flowery wildness, desolate wood,
Where lost souls call—through the vale of fear;
Through the river of death, whose flood is fire,
The flaming passion of blood’s desire,
We rode us quickly and rode us well;
Rode with such speed through Nethermost hell
That forth came we ere the dawning. [page 61]

For we came to that valley which lies beyond—
That valley of semilight and calm—
Where I saw at last the faces of those
Who for earthly ills had found some balm;
Saved as by fire—a burning brand
Plucked from the flame by a merciful hand—
Each who rode quickly and rode well,
Rode with all speed through Nethermost hell
And forth again ere the dawning.

And the message we bring to the men of the Earth
Is that under life’s burden they patiently plod;
What profited us the mad dash of the night?
As they, we are blind to the working of God.
But the end of the darkness is drawing near,
Short space and life’s mystery will be made clear,
Why some ride badly and some ride well—
Some saved—and some rest in Nethermost hell,
All—all is revealed with the dawning. [page 62]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration]

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