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CAROLINE M. WILKINS
It is the Author’s hope, in publishing this Book of Poems, that the readers may find some of them interesting. If so, she will feel that the time and thought spent in their composition has not been in vain.
CAROLINE M. WILKINS. [unnumbered page]
Jerusalem the Golden
(General Allenby’s Entrance into Jerusalem)
No booming gun, nor shot nor shell, Nor e’en a note of trumpet sound. On no white charger was that entry made, No challenge met to hold the ground, Nor semblance there of pomp displayed As in His Name The sacred portals draw aside, Then victor with reverent step, And head in honor bared, It was the conqueror’s entry, Not halt nor warning note, From blast of silenced sentry. Prophetic time of times—prophetic memory, Of Jerusalem the Golden. [page 9]
Softly sighs the wandering breeze, Whispers low the fluttering leaves, Lightly falls the gentle rain, Flower buds calling, “Come again.” Each blade of grass, low or tall, Glistens o’er as dew-drops fall, Soft dew of morn that melts away, When through dawn’s curtain breaks the day. A sunrise over land and sea, Another day for you and me, So much there is in Nature’s store, Yet wide and open is the door. If we would see all Nature’s gifts, Each step we’d take would mean uplifts, With conscious thought and conscious mind, Rich treasures on our way we’d find. If we would more of Nature know, Along the heights asthetic is the view, For the receptive mind, Nature is so real—nature is so true. [page 10]
The Captive Bird
Sweet little bird, Your twitterings and notes and lively trills, Your song how often with delight it fills, A full reward. And yet what is it to you—a fond caress? Supplies of dainty morsels rare. Much rather your lost liberty possess, Than in a golden cage with care. How useless your imprisoned wings! How vain seems your wild flutterings! What strength is there in just one little beak, ‘Gainst bars of gold that will not bend or break. But see, sweet little birdling, see, In answer to your struggles, calls and cry, You may through open door carefree Encircle air your wings were formed to fly. Unmeasured height and on through space, You now may fly, may soar. Thrilling the air with joyous notes, Of your sweet song once more.
I’ll touch your petals white, With a golden disc, You’ll be a flower bright, And through the days may be All sunshine, clouds or rain, Never among your leaves Will you hide again. [page 11]
When Autumn paints and thins the woods, Unveiling Nature’s face, Then Autumn with her changeless moods, Provides the Bluebells open space. Haze of blue o’er every glade, Where Nature’s belfry swings, With slightest breeze o’er mountain-side, Each floral bell its own song sings.
Close and droop your petals, Anemone, ‘neath the trees. Coming is the North Wind, With his chilly breeze. Your bloom and beauty hide away, Till the sun shines o’er your way. Then open wide your petals bright, When gone the North Wind’s chill and blight. [page 12]
My Father dear, would that you knew How fondly I have loved and yearned for you! How oft in fancy I have tried To solace and to comfort you, When my dear Mother died. Sad that home without dear Mother, Yet you were there and always near. You, my brothers and I, tried to cheer each other, And you, my Father, how we tried to cheer. I dreamed that we walked arm in arm, Through winding paths of pleasant shade, And then I thought those lighted paths, Their lights so bright would never fade. ‘Twas but a dream, then I awoke, Paused to collect my thoughts a while. “Daughter, ‘twas but a dream.” Ah, then, I knew it was my Father spoke. I saw his eager, pitying smile. I saw in the light of a lighted gleam, “Yes, daughter dear, had I but lived, I know you would have tried, To comfort and to solace me, When your dear Mother died.” Then faded that gleam of light away, While the clock told ‘twas long ere the break of day, Alone in that darkened room, it seemed, That my thoughts were uplifted by the light that gleamed. I prayed my Saviour to give me more light, His answer to me was, “The song in the night.” Which helped me to bear my double cross, Then He taught me the words of that sweet refrain, Words that told though great was my loss, ‘Twas my dear Father’s, my dear Mother’s gain. [page 13]
The Twin Sisters’ Dream
Two little maidens went out for a walk, The City’s great sights to see, On, on they went with their chatter and talk, Till they came to an old oak tree. The branches all swayed and bowed low to each maid, “Thank you kindly,” they said, “we’ll rest ‘neath your shade.” So tired they were that soon fast asleep, And now were in dreamland across the blue deep. In a light-bark canoe o’er silvery seas, Neptune had wafted them on with his breeze. Flitting shadows crossed their path ‘neath cloud and sun, Chased each other to and fro, full of fun. Skimming o’er the sparkling waters, Gliding along with care free joy, Where light barks in Neptune’s quarters, Ride o’er waves and wavelets high. Foamy white and silver spray, Tossed around them in their play, Soon the shore and City lights, all in grand review, Looked like they were coming o’er the waters blue. Safely landed, there they watched, The busy street and surging throng, And though they tried and tried to walk, They could not move one step along. [page 14] With dazzling rays of light around, They were so tightly with them bound, Just then the little maids awoke, And with wide-opening eyes, Each told her dream, each dream alike, In wonder and surprise. And yet throughout was mingled awe So real to them seemed all they saw— “Babes in the wood” they said we are, And then they thanked God for his care. And the branches all swayed and bowed low to each maid, “Thank you kindly,” they said, “for that rest ‘neath your shade.” The retracing their steps—once more to roam, Where the brightest lights were in their own home sweet home. [page 15]
(The White Mountains)
The downy clouds that kiss the mountain peak, With their unfolding roll, And fain the mountainside would keep, Within their misty scroll. Enveloping with silent touch, The hidden wonders of that steep. On downward rolling till they reach, Earth’s grassy bed with lowly sweep.
(The White Mountains)
Your profile high, oh mountain man, We’ve come this way to see. When will you lift your cloudy ban, That hides your face from me? So thick and long sometimes you wear, A curl-cloud veil that drops too far. Through it we cannot see your face, Your profile high we cannot trace. And yet we know you’re always there, With cloud and mist and rock to share. Strong winds that blow and rains that beat, Upon your firm and fast retreat. An added wonder, one more gift, Of Nature seen, through cloud or rift. [page 16]
Nestling in shade of fairy dell, Arrayed in velvet garb. Sweet little flower of thought, Some mystic touch that adds its spell, And hovers where you are, With all the love you’ve brought. Gnomes and fairies, faces quaint, Radiant colors, Nature’s paint. Not only in fancy each petalled face. Through mingled group of splendor we may trace, Heart’s-ease and eyes with all the love you’ve brought, Looking quaintly wise, sweet little flower of thought.
Mount Parnassus, and have you spread, O’er distant shores, your grassy bed? No fabling blur, no misty view, Can hide the scene from starry blue. Words may grow faint from distance far, Yet marked distinct that white lone star. [page 17]
I trace my steps to childhood’s land, And roam that happy world once more. Their footprints on the glistening sand, I see along that happy shore, That happy shore that goes out far to meet The laughing waters as they smile and greet, I watch the children at their play, Amid the birds and flowers, “Forget us not,” I hear them say, From out their fairy bowers. Always in the children’s world, The sky is clear and starry blue. And if perchance a cloud should pass, They see the silver lining, too. The rainbow those eyes often see, Arched covenant of love. They view it with a raptured glee, That sacred promise from above. They like to hear the story told, Of when Christ walked this earth, For they are always very near, Lessons on life and truth. Where on the shore of Judea, That blessed command was given, “Suffer the little children to come unto Me, For of such is the kingdom of Heaven.” [page 18]
Home, Sweet Home
The home of my childhood with sweet memories framed, Each spot so familiar that we in our play named, Where Nature so smilingly placed within reach, Her studies of pleasure none other could teach. How oft have we roamed o’er the green meadowland, Through moss-covered woods where trodden paths wind. O’er the old rustic bridge and low gurgling stream, As of yore I was there again in my dream. I had climbed o’er the stile, was wending my way With the dear ones, it seemed to me yesterday; I heard the clear tone, the church-bell o’er the hill, And in my day-dream hear its mellow tone still.
‘Neath the Shadow
He kissed her ‘neath the shadow, ‘Neath the shadow of the tree, On a rustic chair he sat, She was seated on his knee, Counting kisses by the dozen, By the dozen, one—two—three. Then I heard the maiden, As she shook her curly head, And in solemn tones She sweetly lisping said: “Take them back—yes, Every one, dear Dad.” Back he took them, ‘Neath the shadow of the tree, By the dozen—one—two—three. [page 19]
Give me, O Lord, an understanding mind, That with Thine aid clearer vision I may find. Where naught of mist may e’en obscure the view, To higher realms of thought, Thy will, Thy way, Lord, show. Lord, lead me through. And all the way along the path May I not step aside. That path that leads to life and truth, O Lord, be Thou my Guide!
Snowflakes over land and sea, Beautiful snow, gently falling. Crystal flakes in silence coming, Without a struggle—mastery. Ships are blinded, harbour silent, Through great white darkness, stillness reigns. O’er oceans deep and prairies wide, Where years of toil those snowflakes hide. Trodden paths, now trackless wastes, Gently falling crystal flakes; Weaving over land and sea, Without a struggle—mastery. [page 20]
O’er a smooth and placid sea, That mirror of serenity, With a tumult wild wind craves, Ruffled are those peaceful waves. Weird are the notes that tune the air, And add their mingling strains High above the turmoil That now supremely reigns. Furrowed surface, billows high, Waves as if their height to try, With turbulence each rising crest, Struggles against a sea’s unrest. Deep an ocean’s mysteries, Wrapped are secrets of the seas, Naught will foaming waves unfold, Nor have through ceaseless murmurs told. Through currents deep, ‘neath ebb and flow, Or tide that marks their come and go. [page 21]
Have you seen the fairies At the break of day? Looking just like shadows, In their suits of grey. Out and in the forest, O’er vale and glen and hill, Flitting hither, to and fro, At their own sweet will. Skipping round the woodland trees, Making garlands of the leaves. If they see you watching, Away they always run, Coming again quite near you, Full of mirth and fun. They like to toy with you and tease, And lure you on just as they please. Full of fun those little sprites, Their pranks are huge for such small mites. Where they rest we do not know, We just see them come and go. Watching for the first light ray, Flitting shadows—suits of grey. [page 22]
High carnival they’re holding, High carnival o’er the sea, With foamy waves, unrolling, Their scrolls—an ocean’s mystery. While Neptune in a lively mood, Ploughs waves and billows high and deep, Riding along on spray and crest, That turbulence the while may keep. Ceaseless murmurs growing loud, Nearing most to lowered cloud, Mounting high with silvery spray, Ocean’s aides in grand display. Madcap frolics and wild waves’ song, Beating time ‘gainst shores as they rush along. Untiring efforts mark throughout their play, Meanwhile monarchs of all they now survey. Viewing with grim pleasure o’er his vast domain, Neptune drops his anchor that calm once more may reign. High carnival o’er the sea, With foamy waves, unrolling, Their scrolls—creation’s majesty. [page 23]
Hunter! Spare the Deer
Wigwam, that tells of bygone days, Weathered logs where memory stays. Shelter for gunman, game and all, Sport they call it, when helpless fall A vanishing kindred wild, That soon on wigwam floors are piled. Hear the frightened plaintive bleat, O’er the runway of timid fawn. No safety now, no woods retreat, As the hunter’s gun brings down. Till e’en from distant view all game, May meet their fate with hunter’s aim. While through the forest loud and clear, Resounds the echo—“Spare the deer!” [page 24]
Somewhere in wonderland, For bird life brings us there, As in ecstasy transported, That happy realm to share. So tireless the journey, We know not till we come. The chimes of birdland call us To the air of “Home Sweet Home.” Through maze and labryinths’ shaded paths, Where fairy ushers led; By limpid stream and laughing brook, We e’er so lightly tread. Wending our way enrapt, As in amaze, we list to warbling trills. Enchantment reigns supreme, While every breath of air with music falls, Transfixed we pause, and then glide on, Our feet scarce touching earth, Again some songster’s happy notes, now softly peeling forth. Then mayhap a rival warbler, With strong contralto notes of song, We hail with fresh, with new delight. Yet fear that tiny throat would break, Or a chord become unstrung. Or the burden of the song, O’er balance that downy weight. When an answering mate, As if to aid takes up the strain, Which blends to willing ears, In joyous, glad refrain, Joined by full chorused notes, O’er hill and dale now borne along, ‘Twould seem the very air were filled With sweetly volume song— Somewhere in wonderland. [page 25]
Of this garden the Cabbage declared, “I am head, By the price I command will my comrades be led.” At that the dear tubers’ eyes opened wide, While their lips were silent and mute. ‘Twas a case of pardonable pride; For they as a class were of higher repute. The ears of the Corn clearly heard the words too, But the sheaves said that Corn was the tallest there grew. Quite pertly the Lettuce, “Oh! let us alone”; Then aside to the Radish, “You know we are one.” For with Cucumber sliced when from skin it is free, Together in a Salad we always agree.” But the Cucumber cool and the Radish quite hot, Said they each had a say in that garden plot. “Now can you beat that,” and the Beet whispered low; “Hush, hush,” said the Squash, the green and yellow; “Have a heart,” said the Celery, at which they all smiled, Then the salt of the earth rose up replied; “That Celery without Salt would surely be spoiled”; All agreed that was true and could not be denied. Tomatoes were there, and tied up with string, Feeling no inclination to join in that ring. The Mustard was restless, and seemed ill at ease, For all cried at once, “Not too much, if you please.” Onions in rows looked very exclusive, But when disturbed, they were most effusive. Attention was drawn to the mild Cauliflower, All voting “’Twas a Heard well fitted for power.” Quite loyal and true the Brussels-Sprouts cried: “I’ve never been cultured, but I’ve often been tried.” [page 26] Parsley so useful was there to be seen, And Cress, too, both robed in soft shades of green. Beans in variety and Marrowfat Peas, The kind at exhibits one always sees. Rhubarb in a corner, ‘neath its green leaves there grew, Always called for Sugar when in pies or stew. Asparagus, Savoury, Thyme and Sage. And Pumpkin which is not alone for pies; Without it how could Hallowe’en manage? For often some face will a Pumpkin disguise. Carrots and Parsnips were plentiful there; Melon and Citron of each a good share. Turnips and Spinach and Egg Plant and Chard, All agreed that the toiler should reap a reward; For that acre of ground was of value untold, And would render the reaper a mine of pure gold. [page 27]
Trees of the Forest
The trees of the forest in talkative mood, Were discussing in a language that each understood Of all trees in general, their merits and worth, Of their deep-rooted strength and the fruit they brought forth, Unanimous all when the Maple-Tree won, With honors for each branch, and leaf that grows on. Each leaf bears a message of loyalty true, As an emblem it’s high-mark is honor due; Marked always with favor wherever it grew, And ranks side by side with the red-white and blue. The strong and sturdy Oak, the tall and stately Pine, With rustling leaves their eloquence no words could that define, It may be near palace or near the cottage door, Where the Elm tree, deeply rooted, is in memories store; “Beau Brummel” of the forest, the Beech, its leaves of glossy green, With overcoat the finest, and smoothest texture in bark seen. The Birch a sprightly Aphrodite, With o’erlapped parchment suit of white; The rugged Chestnut, its branches far outspread, And finely pleated leaves sweeping o’er earth’s bed. Each bow and branch with upward slant, The Poplar like a spire, And when in line those statue trees, One cannot but admire. Hemlock, Spruce and Fir, add a delightful zest To winter’s landscape and for the North-bird, rest. Far ‘neath the silver fir-cones on the mountain high. [page 28] An aeolian harp of the forest Is the Pine’s sweet music, through needles and leaves Sounds like the reeds of a great pipe-organ, As they bend and stir through the woodland breeze. Hear the low whispering through every nook, And the answering silver notes of gurgling brook— Every day a concert free, Though no audience may be there, The great outdoors sweet symphony, Divinely floating through the air. [page 29]
With my airship unseen I fly along through space, And with many swift-moving clouds I run a merry race; I play at hide-and-seek with rays of dazzling sun, But from all shadows I fly away—I run. From eagles soaring o’er their lofty peaks, I dodge their wings and danger-signal beaks; Spiraling on to the North, to the South, Again diving low to carpeted earth. Through currents of air I now fly with ease, Or I anchor and wait for an on-coming breeze; That again o’er the ocean’s blue I may ride, But alas! the sad scenes earth or seas cannot hide. Where the battlefield with its din and glow, There earth in tumult its tragedies show; Where pirates at sea ride billows and waves, Where their victims lie low in watery graves. While the sounds that I hear from shore to shore, Is the boom of the gun and the cannon’s roar; Higher I fly that my eyes may not see, More of this world’s great tragedy. Far above clouds from all this will I fly, Yet here battles rage betwixt earth and sky, Where shot and shell mingle on their errands of death, Adding more horrors to a deep-crumpled earth. [page 30] Once more will I fly through vastness of space, With my airship unseen in quest of peace; Higher and higher trackless paths I now follow, Till a grey mist lies unfathomed below. On, on, unimpended with Pegasus I race, And o’er the magpie bridge the Milky Way I trace; I almost see the shepherd boy and the maiden at her wheel, Ere they cross the Magpie Bridge and plight their troth for woe or weal. Sun, moon and stars, messengers of love and light, Welcome all my wanderings through the day and night; Shining o’er my pathway, all along through space, Making effort easy in my quest for peace. [page 31]
I am six years old to-day, I heard a little maiden say; I am going to have a birthday party— Of girls and boys—there’ll be about twenty. I’ll have a table with dainties spread, My dishes are in blue and white and red; My guests are coming at half-past two— Margaret and May, Nell and Lu. Mary, Alice and Jenny Day, And that little French girl, Marie Dupuey; Freddie and Will, Albert and Bob, Billie Sloan and Horace Rob. And Jack, oh, he’s a dear little boy, We always call him “Fauntleroy.” Then there is Nell’s two little brothers, Elsie Dean, and lots of others. I know we will have lots of fun, We’ll play at ball and races run; At half-past five we’ll have our tea, And laugh and talk right merrily. But before we eat we’ll sing our grace, Give thanks for food before each place, Then eat and talk, tell pleasant jokes, Just like we hear the grown-up folks. And e’er we from the table rise, Give thanks to God who food supplies; Again have games till half-past eight, For after that ‘twould be too late. About that time my guests will leave, And I from each farewells receive. That night when her prayers a little girl said, And a tired head on her pillow she laid, We heard a very low sleepy voice say, “Going on seven,—I was—six—to-day.” [page 32]
Come, little Flower Bud, Come through the warm earth, We’re waiting and watching To see you come forth. You’re a message of love, Coming through the warm earth, One more gift from above That may brighten some hearth. O’er vale and o’er meadow, Now lifting your head, Peeping at daylight, Through earth’s carpet-bed. Peeping at daylight, A sunrise you’ve seen; Now you’ll stay with us, Above carpets of green. Peeping at daylight, Through forest you’re seen, Where you are welcome ‘Neath mansions of green. Silent your coming, Through night’s gentle hush; May no rough handling Your petals e’er crush. [page 33]
Father Time is wide awake, Never halts a nap to take; Always alert with ready wings, Nor even stops while bells he rings. With measure always counts each song, With even tread he moves along, Divides in twelve each passing year, Always on hand as the seasons appear. Sometimes borrows from November, Days for June and July weather; Oft through Autumn are Summer days, For Father Time with kind thought pays. Sometimes there may be a snowstorm in May, Reminding us then of a Winter’s day. While we eat, or sleep, or play, Father Time goes on his way. Takes the leaves from off the trees, Without a sign of wind or breeze; Puts them on without us seeing, Till the rustling’s within hearing. Invites the birds when it is time To come from far-off Southlands clime; He lures them on with balmy breeze And points to them the leafing trees. Cloud or sunshine, rain or snow, Father Time is never slow; Has his hands in every clock, Marks clear his time, tick-tock, tick-tock. [page 34]
Light of the World
Light of the world, Thy rays so wide, Drawing the shades of night aside, Till clearing mist along the way, Unfolds the dawning light of day. Light of the world, Thy glow so bright, Piercing the gloom of darkest night, And though our paths so varied are, Thy guiding light may we all share. Light of the world, o’er waters deep Thy shining rays around us keep; Thou who canst at Thy blessed command, ‘Midst seas create pathways of land. Light of the world, Thy light so free, That through the wilderness we see And find with the uplifting haze, Rich treasures ‘neath thy shining rays. Light of the world, Thy dazzling hue, Through gathered clouds shows sky of blue, Thy kingdom come o’er all this earth, Thy will be done as we go forth. Light of the world, Thy banners raise That nations wide may sing thy praise, While in thy strength we follow on, Where thou wilt lead till we have won. [page 35]
With your warmth, oh gentle breeze, Have you come to stay? Scorching sands bordering seas, Restless are to-day. With each breeze that stronger grows, Dim the view that clear day shows; Sand and wind tossed around together, Rivalling Neptune in display; Soothing are the waves’ cool water, That wash the restless sands to-day.
Molly Ann Magee
On the banks of Lake Killarney, The dearest spot on earth to me, Unfolding cherished memory Of dear Molly Ann Magee. There beside the smiling waters, All along the glistening sand, Wrote so full of love our letters, In words that each could understand. And now across the ocean wide, The dearest spot on earth will be. When you are here and by my side, My own dear Molly Ann Magee. [page 36]
(Launch Trip from “Royal Hotel,” Muskoka)
It seems to me but yesterday, We sailed o’er the waters blue, With Doctor and Nurse aboard, Sixteen in all that gallant crew. On rolling waves that swelled with pride, Dashed gentle spray against each side. There was lots of fun in that merry-making crowd, Fun that passed the “censor,” and by his rules allowed. And yet, alas! a cruel deed that marred it all— Let us here forget that deed, and not recall On that same ship a pirate bold, Had dared the doctor’s feet to hold, And while his victim prostrate lay, Unlaced his shoes without delay; Then deftly placed them ill-concealed, Those canvas shoes he ruthless peeled. The rising doctor through that scene, Stirred up and thought what might have been. Then sadly to his chair he turned, His own armchair he once had spurned; Not iron clad nor e’en hatpin To prick the pirate’s hardened skin. No hand was raised, not one protest, All took it as ‘twere but a jest. And now the ship has reached the shore, With valued freight and precious store, When quickly flies the current news: “The Nurse stepped off in the Doctor’s shoes.” In rank and file on the dock we stand, At Nelson’s charge and brave command, Nor flinched e’en one that gallant crew, All surrendered to Nelson, the brave and true. [page 37]
Procession of the Months
New Year’s enters in robes of state, Time’s herald for an open gate, That all the seasons may pass through, Each one in turn as it is due. The procession of months in all the years, Barely keeps well in step as time appears. February closely follows, January heading the list, Within March all Winter lingers—never yet a snowstorm missed; Often March ends with winds and blows, Then slyly steps on April’s toes. Saying farewell with flakes of snow, Just when April would wish to show Spring showers that aid May blossoms to grow. Don’t worry, cries May, for we cannot rule, The elements at large are keeping us cool. I must not idle through my days, For June my honest help may need, So much depends on Industry, That with our toil June may succeed. Then pass along to July month, Some yield, some proof of early growth, And now has August come full soon, With favors full and harvest moon. A month of labor hard and tried, For idleness reward denied. September mostly without fault, At times may hint of Summer’s halt, Or, make us think that Autumn’s here, With October then so very near. Through November often are Summer days, With proofs of a harvest and Thanksgiving praise; Christmas day in December, a day of good cheer, That always precedes a Happy New Year. [page 38]
Awaken, queen of the night, And with your beauty overspread, ‘Neath starry sky and moon, Unfolded blossoms of delight; Blossoms that close too soon, Scarcely their midnight fragrance shed.
There’s a whispering through the trees, Boughs and branches softly swaying, Hear the plaint of falling leaves, From their branches low and tall. Mother Nature, they are pleading, Pleading awhile to linger, To linger ere they fade and fall— Vainly baffling ‘gainst wind and breeze, Fluttering, fading, falling leaves. Already drooping, they are drooping fast, Protect them, Mother Nature, yet awhile, From Autumn’s cool and chilly blast. [page 39]
Dawn and Early Day
Night’s curtain slowly draws aside, Night’s shadows away have flown, Showing on Nature’s timely slide The first, faint flush of spreading dawn. Daylight’s landscape unfolding to the view, A golden sunrise and another day, Each blade of grass bedecked with dew, Soft dew of morn so soon to melt away. Unwearied notes we hear of the song-bird’s sweet trill, While the perfumed air we breathe with a sense of thrill; How varied are the sounds floating through the air, As life awakens with its busy hum and stir. As the shepherd of the hills with his staff in hand, Leads each sheep with tender care to green pasture-land, While the toiler and the reaper through their industry may gain, Making hay ‘neath rays of sunshine, ere to them come days of rain, A golden sunrise through all of life’s pathway; A life that Nature’s gifts rehearse, A line from volumed universe. [page 40]
Wind and Rain
“Swish, swish,” said the Wind to the low-bending trees, “I’ll make your roots strong with my stiff blow and breeze, I’ve brought along with me some nourishing food, For I am a Wind that will blow you some good; I will strengthen the bark of many a tree, And, though fickle, may favor its destiny. The boughs and branches and fluttering leaves, I touch them all with my stiff blow and breeze, Then I draw away my gently till naught may be heard, Save the rustle of leaves or the song of the bird.” “Patter, patter,” said the rain, “I’ll make you all grow,” And smiles wreathed the tear-drops like a sun-shower’s glow; Refreshed were the meadows, the hills and the plain, As they welcomed the Wind and the downfall of Rain, While all Nature glowed with a deepening hue, Far-spreading that landscape of enraptured view. Soon all vegetation took courage and heart, For the Wind and the Rain had both done their part— “Swish, swish, patter, patter,” till the sounds grew quite faint, “Swish, swish, patter patter,” for your good we were sent. [page 41]
‘Neath the ocean, fathoms deep, Where mermaids dream and wake and sleep, And meadows miles and miles o’erspread A carpet green on ocean’s bed. Where forest deep with leafing trees, Freshened grow beneath those seas; Over crest and wave they ride, Mermaids from their shells of pearl; Swimming o’er the ocean wide, Combing tresses that unfurl. Far out on some rock o’er the blue-rolling sea, Where on it and around it they gambol with glee, Fearless they meet rising billow and spray, As they cast furtive glance o’er landscape’s display. While lightly the fairies from their moss-covered shore, Launch out their gay ships to lure them on o’er; But never a sail for the mermaid brave, Nor in ships will they ride on ocean wave. Gracefully swimming along, or they float, Or diving may vanish to shells remote; So well do they know the paths of the deep, Instinctive protection awake or asleep. Catch me if you can, each one seems to say, As over and under the surface they play, So silent their movements like phantoms they’re seen, Mermaids and shadows o’er a sea’s restless screen. [page 42]
To the Rescue
O’er the wild waves’ foaming crest Sounds the signal—A ship’s distress; To the rescue, struggling onward, Bravely baffling mountain wave. Heroic deeds that always record Their mission’s password, “Lives to save”; While in the mirror of the sea Reflects those deeds of bravery.
From a vanishing year the parting knell, While welcomes loud through carillon tell Their message, their greetings for the new year, Softly sweet chimes widely spread with good cheer. Tuning each note of joyous song While chords of hope are borne along Entwined with faith; unfolding view Where through the mist are skies of blue. May faith and hope with deeply rooted growth Yield all good-will to men and peace on earth. Ring out sweet chimes, ring loud and clear Your greetings for the coming year. [page 43]
“Bell Isle’s” Jubilee
There’s a beautiful Isle lies far o’er the seas, “Bell Island” it’s called by the native fairies, Thus Nature formed beauty that fairies might dwell On that lone strip of land, so shaped like a bell. They have moss for their carpets, and moss everywhere, Through the length of that isle, not one spot of land bare; They have birds there, and flowers, and beautiful trees, That so gracefully wave to every fresh breeze. Each day the fairy King and Queen, In their gilded coach of state, With the gnomes as guards of honor, Drive through the palace gate. All join together at each jubilee, While their joy-notes mingle over land and sea; Nereids, elves and naiads may always there be seen, Errant knights and pages of Bell Isle’s King and Queen. Those fairy folk never are gloomy or sad, Their songs are so cheery and their chorus so glad, The water nymphs spring up from the rocks in the sea, And join with the fairies in their glad jubilee. The fish hear the sound, and to the surface will rise, All hues, all shapes, all colors, and all size; Some come from the deep, with their torches alight, Looking just like the ships that pass in the night. The moon and the stars look down and smile too, As they say to each other, “What a gorgeous review”; At nightfall, star-decked are all of the trees, Shedding a radiant light far over the seas. There’s a bell that rings softly, both morning and night, A bell that no one has ever yet seen; Yet the first stroke is hailed with a raptured delight, Nor question they what has always there been. [page 44] Those odd little folk trip along to and fro, As in language their own loath to let that sound go; Sometimes friendly mermaids come sporting around, Then the kind-hearted fairies ask them to tea. But they never will step on that moss covered mound, Wafting thanks with the words, “More at home in the sea”; So the carnival’s held on sea and on land, And here fancy has it they go round hand in hand— The mermaids in the sea, and the fairies on land, While the birds take a part with glad song so care free, Adding joy to the pleasures of Bell Isle’s Jubilee. At such times, the bell rings mostly all day, And then may be heard many furlongs away, For an inrolling wave from far over the sea, Swished the news around the bark of an evergreen tree. And the whispering winds, decked in breezy array, Join the wild waves in frolic with foam and with spray, And for many miles distant will sailors at sea Hear clearly the echo of Bell Isle’s Jubilee, And often will sailors around a fireside tell Of that mystery light, and the sweet sounding bell. [page 45]
How beauteous are Thy works, O Lord, Can we enough adore, Or see as Heaven’s compass points To Thine innumerable store. How safe within Thy sheltered wall, Unmeasured with Thy love, Thou dost surround us each and all, With blessings from above.
O Lord, my Saviour, can it be, That when my thoughts have strayed from Thee, E’en then, with love, Thy watchful Eye Has guarded me with constancy? Forgive, O Lord, forgive, I pray My wanderings from Thy fold— Teach me more clearly yet Thy way; To me Thy will unfold. Whene’er or what Thou wilt direct, Thy will, not mine, be done, And through my life may deed or act Be willed by Thee alone. [page 46]
Ringing in the glad New Year, Silver chimes that all may hear, With whistles shrill and sirens’ sound, High notes of cheer that spread around. Thus Father Time so promptly tells Of New Year’s Eve by chiming bells; Nor halts as portals open wide— Time always is the New Year’s guide. May the New Year’s entrance for all have won Goodwill—sweet silver chimes, ring on, ring on! While swelling notes of sweet refrain Resound their echoes through each strain With a radio message far and near, Waves of hope, raised high for the coming year; Petitions, o’er and o’er again, For peace on earth, goodwill to men.
Midnight, the closing year’s final adieu Carilon’s joyous notes herald the new; Sirens their welcome sounds And chorus of song Through space and lines measure, As time moves along, While hymns of joy re-echoing ascend, Mingle with the prayers that all tumult may end; Then will be peace on earth, Goodwill to men, When faith, hope and charity In united blend. [page 47]
Mother’s day, for me, is every day of the year; For her a never-fading rose I wear In loving memory. For her a white rose and a red I always keep in bloom; And then, with every leaf that’s shed, A fragrance fills the room.
The light that shines on mother’s day Shines through the darkest night; A light that never fades away, Its rays are always bright. A light that shines o’er mountains high And through the valley low; It penetrates the cloud to sky, Where mirrored clear reflections show. Piercing the gloomy cavern deep, The light of mother’s day, Melting with warmth the chill of sleep. Awakening the dawn of day. [page 48]
The searchlight of a mother’s love Spreads wide o’er water’s deep, Through the voyage of life undimmed, A light that memory may keep. Scattering the gloom of night away, A beacon light of dawning day; Always paving the way so clear; Red rose or white rose, “Mother Dear.” Encircling is that chain of light That keeps its clasp in Heaven bright, Through life’s shadows shining so near, Red rose or white rose, “Mother Dear.” Ceaseless cares of strew the way, That lighter loom at break of day; Lifting all shades—smiling at fear, Red rose or white rose, “Mother Dear.”
The Last Post
Halt! and with a reverence softly tread, As in solemnity we approach The sacred precincts of our honored dead, It is a tribute—the least that we may give, To those who gave their lives for us; A sacrifice That we in freedom’s light might live. [page 49]
If we could measure Mother love, ‘Twould reach beyond the skies; ‘Neath ocean’s billows fathomless, A love that never dies. Through rugged paths, o’er wearied trails, So tireless all the way Is Mother love—it never fails To cheer with brightening ray.
Unmeasured love, its path is widel O’er rugged hills, or sunlit plains, Through labryinths thick, unwearied guide, A mother’s love always remains. It plucks the rose from our the thorns, The white rose, and the red; And with the beauty that adorns There is a fragrance shed. A love that shines through darkened shades, And always hovers near, Throughout all times, it never fades— The love of mother dear. A volume theme in letters gold, With lines spread far and near; Between the lines, it will unfold The love of mother dear. [page 50]
Courtesy, refinement and gentleness, Bright keys in a golden ring; Opening the door of palace or hut, Which for them wide-open swing.
Encircle Erin, Dove of Peace, And with your halo fly, Your lighted path then all may trace Across that troubled sky. Spread rays of light o’er Tara’s Hall, Where hangs the harp so mute and still, Some touch of chords may scenes recall. And shadows fade from Tara’s hill. ‘Till living memories’ tender strain, Awake the chords of love again; With faith in prayer, and hope That anchors around the shore; With charity that follows, In unity for evermore.
Farewells will oft vanish with the passing year, Memories will oft mingle with the coming cheer, Across the bridge at midnight, Each bell, with a glad welcome, chimes Throughout the still and waiting night; Renewing their message of time’s Unceasing pilgrimage of flight. Across the bridge at midnight, Between the old year and the new, For guidance ‘neath Heaven’s starlight, To Thee, O Lord, our praise is due. [page 51]
A thick grey mist spreads o’er the sea, O’erhead a clear, blue canopy, Resplendent as with halo showing forth, A dove—herald of triumph from sky to earth And now through mist a rift appears, While distant music fills the ears. With awesome thrill I closely peer, Expectant I may see “What I can hear,” And all the while harmonious is the blending Of the notes that waft o’er the sea— And the words, “To Thee, O Lord, we render thanks For our great Victory.” Exultant and in joyous mood—most eagerly I gaze, When to my waiting vision and with uplifting haze, Appears a great white fleet in view; Each good ship with its army and host, Manned by a brave, gallant crew. O’er gory seas they long have sailed, Through fire they all have come, And now as each draws to its port, Loud echoes sound their welcomes home. And all the while harmonious is the blending Of the notes that waft o’er sea— And the words, “To Thee, O Lord, we render thanks For our great Victory.” [page 52]
Indian Summer, whisperings low, Linger warmth and hazy glow; Indian war-paint on the leaves, Brilliant colors, fluttering breeze; Too frail those little leaves to hold The dusky Indian warrior bold. Leaves are falling, footfalls light, Camp fires burning day and night, Purple haze o’er the land lies low, Smoke from the pipes of peace to show A gorgeous pageant, a feathery throng, Evergreen memories passing along, Marching around wigwam fires, Feeding the flames that peace inspires. Children of the forest whisper soft and low, Tarry a while and rest; may your march be slow. Feathers wave round tree-branch and bough, In silence they’re holding their grand pow-wow. With a pathos that through the ages gains A fading heritage all that remains; Indian Summer, whisperings low, Linger warmth and hazy glow. [page 53]
Denizens of the Forest
“I am king of the forest.”—‘Twas the lion’s roar, As the echo resounded from shore to shore; “I’ll challenge your kingship,” was bruin’s reply, “Your ownership here, I’ll always defy. “What’s this?” said the tiger, with a growl and a spring, “How oft with my wild cries I’ve made these woods ring.” “Each spot,” said the leopard, looking hungry and bare, Showed their disapproval of the lion’s share; ‘Neath a bunch of sour grapes foxes kept away, Slyly told each other they yet would have their day. Monkey climbed the trees, and with chattering sound, Made their presence known, throwing nuts around; With a buzz the bumble-bee, looking very small, Said, “I’ve come on the scene to scatter you all.” The tiger and wolves, the leopard and bear, All fled in disorder, fled everywhere; The lion alone would not move an inch, Soon a stinging rebuke deprived him of speech. The moral: there is—‘twould be better to run From danger: though small, a sting we might shun. [page 54]
Among sweet memories, treasured, of my mother dear, ‘Twas on a sunny morn—a morning bright and clear; I wandered to an open door, in quest of her I loved so well, And there a picture met my gaze; a radiance around her fell. As seated in that rustic chair, a wounded birdling on her knee, Which she had found on going out, and now was holding tenderly; On seeing me she quickly cried: “A little milk in a saucer, dear,” Oft comes that vision before mine eyes—and that sweet request again I hear. While the hovering mother bird, with instinct content, Well knew what that care for her dear offspring meant; Knew that labor of love was not labor in vain, For soon bird and birdling joined in happy flight again. True character of dear mother in that little deed revealed, Her walks of life and love—all unconscious of the wounds she healed; Truly ‘twas a picture an artist might crave, (For the subject:) An effort of love—a bird’s life to save. Just a little act of kindness, which this earth may not record, But above, the Father seeth and for such there is reward. [page 55]
Forget me not throughout the year Some way, Forget-me-not’s blue blossom wear Some day, Or e’en a pansy just for thought, A pansy or forget-me-not. I’ve often heard a Father pray, And then not only once a year, But every day these words he’d say: “O Lord, to us this day draw near, With blessings for each and everyone.” Those words we hear them yet though he has gone.
For a church to be healthy, vigorous and strong, Requires a tonic to help it along; The highways and byways, with brotherly love, ‘Twould then, by all means, humanity serve. Prescription reads thus: A Friendship sincere, Zeal, courage and candour—a plentiful share; Faith, hope and charity, mixed well together, Take in large doses, and in all kinds of weather. Keep the windows well lighted, both inside and out, With the search light turned on the wayfarer’s route; Don’t muzzle the pulpit—but give it fair play, It’s the parson’s apartment, it’s his right of way. [page 56]
(A young man out for a stroll, hearing the sound of an organ, entered that church for the first time in years).
I wandered alone through the hurrying throng, I knew not where to go, When I saw some lighted church windows, That seemed to beckon, and show A Pathway so clear and easy, That my steps I hurried along, When my ear caught the sound of an organ, And the heavenly notes of song. With scattered thoughts and a heart oppressed, I entered that church, that haven of rest, Where the very air whispered: “A welcome here,” And my burden grew lighter, and lighter to bear; The words from the pulpit Where like rays of great light, And the text was—I call to remembrance— “The song in the night.” Memories were stirred through my whirling brain, With visions of boyhood, and home again; A quieting influence o’er me stole, In that harbor of safety from rock and shoal, And there I felt, in that restful haven, On that spot of earth a gleam of heaven. [page 57]
From Toronto, Ontario, En route to some Southern State, The scenery and the experience, No enlarged volume could relate. Through hamlets small and farspread shire, And cities gray and old, From five to fifty miles an hour, And yet not half the story’s told. Scaling the mountain, high and steep, Trailing along through valleys low, Straining at times safe paths to keep, Then five miles an hour we go. “Curve to the left,” “Curve to the right,” “A narrow bridge, go slow,” But on a straight road, and no one in sight, At fifty an hour we go. “Detour to the left,” “Detour to the right,” Signs that we all well know; But on a straight road, and no one in sight, At fifty an hour we go. “Danger: A Railway three hundred feet ahead,” Is a familiar sign one has often read; “Closed to traffic”—“No thoroughfare,” “Turn to the right,” or left, somewhere. Along some of the highways, And through parts of Southern States, Silver coins were the passwords, And right of way through each Toll Gate. Always glad when we anchored—and had safely reached our quest, For a while the terminus of the jaunt—and for a few days’ change and rest. [page 58]
“Cheer up,” Springtime is coming, When the days are light and long, And o’er land and sea returning, Through trackless space, sweet bird of song. “Cheer up,” Springtime is coming, Winter blasts have closed their door, At the sound of Springtime’s warning, Opening wide a budding store. “Cheer up,” Springtime is coming, Winter months have passed away, As they heard the call, Spring morning, And farewells of Winter day. “Cheer up,” Springtime is coming, When the flowers begin to bloom, And the voice of Spring is calling, To grassy beds from out the loom.
Wind and Breeze
Murmurs and echoes as each louder grows, Mark through the forest the way the wind blows; The babes in the woods; it awakens them all, As they feel the leaves stir and hear the breeze call. Sooth with your chorus of weird lullabies, As your path reaches out to cloud and skies; Tuning the notes of some mystery song, Sway on through air, take your message along, Measuring the distance of clouds and their height, O’er waters deep, aiding petrels in flight; Soon lowering your sails till one gentle breeze Sweeps over the land and calms ruffled seas. [page 59]
The Kaiser’s Plans
The curtain rises and I see King William II of Germany— He holds in his hand a scrap of paper, Contents of which, to him, is small matter. Around and about him his warriors stand, Waiting to hear their Sire’s command, When, lo! at a signal, they all draw near, And the Kaiser’s voice I audibly hear. With “ahem” and “ahem”; then a few seconds’ pause, Briefly comments on this war’s righteous cause, “As all of you know, a war I’ve declared, An event long in view, and for which we’re prepared.” Again a slight pause, and now he proceeds, To dwell with grim pleasure on imaginative deeds; Over and over his plans are rehearsed, Showing clearly he means that his war will be first. Then he views and reviews his armies and hosts, And with self-satisfaction continues his boasts; “War matter in conference we’ve discussed o’er and o’er, Our armies are ready—we’ll countries explore. “Through Belgium we march (Belgium’s neutral, I know) But what does that matter, if we meet no foe; With our armies and hosts it’s steady advance, Without e’en a fear we march on. “To make a right turn our entry to France, That entry which means victory won; Not long can we halt here, brief must our stay be, As in haste we embark for a sail o’er the sea. [page 60] ‘Old England’s shore we now have reached—we stand on British soil; If we are asked why have we come, our answer, ‘For this Isle’; Thus far my good star, and with me it’s all well, This country’s mine—nor dare Britons rebel. “O’er seas our voyage now we take—America’s shores we view, Most pleasing it is to the eye—methinks I’ll take that too; North and South America—that sounds quite good to me, Those scores of German Princes, their kingdoms there might be. “Canada, one of our colonies, we must now inspect, Lest they might other than Germans for offices elect; Their emblem is a leaf—a leaf that lives forever, Their freedom we will daunt, their loyalty we’ll sever. “Africa, Asia, China and Japan— These countries I’ll take—they’re marked on my plan; With sojourns I’ve stirred up the world with my fame, My right to all nations I’ll loudly proclaim; And now I command that my flag be unfurled, My decree, it reads thus: ‘I will rule the whole world’.” [page 61]
A Child’s Lament
A little bird, a dainty bird, To my window flew, And I just said the kindest word, “Birdie, here’s a crumb for you.” And then I had a pinch of salt, Too—it was in my other hand; I was so sure that it would halt, And at my window stand. I’m watching for that little bird, That from my window flew; Just now the sweetest notes I heard, Oh Birdie, is it you?
War Memories of 1917
Write to them often, to the Boys oversea, To the Boys who are fighting for you and for me; Tell them what happens, the small and the great, With joy will they read the news you relate: How the love in your heart for them night and day burns, Of a vacant chair waiting till the loved one returns, Of the light in the window that shines o’er the sea, Shedding softly its rays of sweet memory; Hoping soon the day dawns when the Boys Homeward come, In unity singing, “There’s No Place Like Home!” [page 62]
Midnight, dark and drear the hour, yet darker deed, A tragedy beneath night’s shadowed prison walls, In silenced hour a martyr to her death they led, Her only crime was quick response to anguished calls. For this an angel of mercy by lawless judge was tried, She who had followed in her Saviour’s steps—for this she died. Nor was a mad King’s order disobeyed, A noble life was sacrificed, And yet her works live on and grow, In faith, in hope, in charity, Illumined monument to show— ‘Twas but another tragedy.
In an earthenware bowl, Is the health-giving brew, Of the good-capped sister; To Springtime always true, Among untilled field flowers—fair Camomile, With your welcome bloom and your magic smile.
The Dutchman’s Dog
I vool not sell mine leetle dog, Not von vag of his leetle tail, Ven I goes out datleetle rogue, He gifs von great beegleetlevail. Ven mine dog vags his leetle tail, He means for you he gifs von smile, But ven he growls or snarls datvay, He means you run von mile. [page 63]
A Debate Between Married and Single Men
Brethren, as to the question which we now have in hand, “Should married men fraternity meetings attend?” My answer to that question is emphatically “No”, That is, if my wife did not wish me to go; And from my point of view you will with me agree, That to act otherwise would be discourtesy; My argument, which is through a long endless chain, Begins with the question: “What would married men gain?” If maybe force of habit somewhere to roam, Attending those meetings when they should be at home, Yet we’ll always welcome them and never reflect That, married or single, no man is perfect, A challenge to judgment and reason I offer, And who would wish, may I ask, my decision to alter? With an assurance all’s well, on safe ground we stand, May peace part the way with a single command. Wisdom strength and beauty may well unlock the door, And spread within the circle each their precious store, For the compass there points to sun, moon, and lone star, And the Master of Lodge welcomes those from afar, Where ‘neath that spanned arch the Fraternity meet, Which, for single men is a pleasant retreat; Where Temperance and Cardinal virtues dwell, With Fortitude and Prudence that justice will tell Of a goal where the wanderer may reach his quest For the single men always safe refuge and rest, Where the rule is two feet and everything square, Even though we may meet no married men there. [page 64] Fraternity meetings are for single men only, Where the brotherhood appeals to men that are lonely, So when out for subscriptions, hunting up married men, Each will gladly receive you at home in his den, And hand without stint a right goodly share, But for Fraternity meetings—no married men there.
Rock-a-bye, Water Lily, Rock-a-bye there in the shade, Far from hands that would reach you, Stay—or your beauty would fade; Rock-a-bye there where you stay, Join with the shadow-folks’ laughter, Where you’ll be happy all day. [page 65]
Nana Bojou, Springtime is calling you! Four moons have waned while you have slept, Snowstorms and winds and rain so cold, So cold o’er you have often swept, Nana Bojou, Nana Bojou, Awake, Springtime is calling you! That you from your deep sleep may stir, Softly sweet calls float through the air, Nana Bojou, Nana Bojou, Springtime is calling you!
Star of the east, O, beautiful star, Robed yet in mystery, thou art star of the night, We view with wondering awe, through vastness afar, Thy glowing advent and thy glowing light; Though obscure is thy pathway, O beautiful star, Star of the night. Nova, star of the east, thou art star of the night, Thy destiny we do not know, Nor yet know we the time thy course began; It may have been at His command, “Let there be light!” It may be thou wert here before created man. [page 66]
I’m on my way to Alabama, Though my heart’s in Tennessee, With my love—‘twas there I met her, My own sweetheart, Nora Lee. Oft I’ve rowed along that river, Along that river, Tennessee, ‘Neath the moonbeams long to linger, With my sweetheart, Nora Lee. There our troth we plighted fast, As we anchored on the stream, There we pledged our love to last, ‘Twasn’t only moonlight’s dream. I’m on my way to Alabama, Though my heart’s in Tennessee, With my love—‘twas there I met her, My own sweetheart, Nora Lee. Her eyes shone like the twinkling stars, Like the glistening dew, her tears, As she laughed away all care, Smiling said my love she’d share. I’m on my way to Alabama, Though my heart’s in Tennessee, With my love—‘twas there I met her, My own sweetheart, Nora Lee. [page 67]
What gallery of art could ever yet compare, With Nature’s unframed, varied scenes, In grandeur and amaze, rapturous beauty rare, Free views of Nature so complete, Where could the range of thought or means, Or form of plans devised compete? Sunrise or sunset, or noonday’s melting rays, Moonlight, shades or shadows, through each scene portrays Free views of Nature, so complete, No woods of Lebanon, no glided frames, Nor walls of art could they contain; The glories of the hills and lake, The valley and the plain, Where Nature spreads with lavish hand, Her gift as if some magic wand Had touched the view with brush unseen, A product free on Nature’s screen.
Twilight lengthen ere the night, Ere its deepening shadows fall, Why so brief your stay, twilight, Faintly blending haze o’er all? Softly shading Nature’s screen From the light of day, Your gauzy curtain barely seen As you glide away, Leaving with us shadowed night, Brief your stay—farewell, twilight! [page 68]
Unmeasured height, unfathomed depth, Are all of Nature’s gifts, Throughout the length, throughout the breadth, There is no trace of rifts. Can we all see them as they are, Without one thought, without one word, Those gifts that we so freely share, Some thought for them, we should afford. All Nature’s gifts, just as they come, We take without one question why, And yet if we would trace them home, Would find them blessings from on high. In every flower, in plant and tree, A message from above, through them we see, The hill and vale, the glen and wood, Created for our use and good. For He Who all our need supplies, Provides those gifts each one enjoys, Strewn o’er our paths in countless ways, To Thee, O Lord, we give the praise. [page 69]
Those houses that you for pleasure build, Will soon by birdland folks be filled, And glad each will be for each nest, Rewarding well that sheltered rest. With sweetest songs of gratitude, For human friendship thus renewed, Voicing with highest notes and trills, Their glad return to vale and hills. Tuning the air with sweet delight, At dawn of day, at eve, at night, And soon o’er hill and vale and dell, With notes of volumned chorus swell. Each music wave that high will raise, From sanctuary, far and near, Swelling through echoes, notes of praise, In radio that all may hear.
The Leafing Trees
The leafing trees that were so bare, A little while ago, As if it was through night’s still hush, That leaf and leaflet grow. We may not see the artist’s brush, And yet we know ‘Twas with heaven’s creative touch, We see them as they are. The leafing trees no longer bare, Boughs and branches with budding leaves, Nature robing afresh the trees, Trough night’s still hush. [page 70]
Not all thy magnitude, Mount Lebanon, Can human eye descry, Where summits pierce the clouds, in view of sun, And moon and starlit sky. Where all the seasons of the year, Within thy boundaries lie; A budding Springtime may be near, Where golden Autumn colours vie. Nor many miles the distance shows From snow-capped mount to Summer heat; With melting stream that sparkling flows That flows beneath a Summer sky. [page 71]
Welcome, Robin Redbreast! Harbinger of Spring, Braving chill and climate, Your own sweet song to bring. Welcome, Robin Redbreast! With your cheery song, Tuning notes of Spring, As Winter passed along. Welcome, Robin Redbreast! From southlands hastening here, Bringing warmth and sunshine, Though for you our trees yet bare. Welcome, Robin Redbreast! Where the livelong day Are you sheltered from the blast, That around the eavestroughs play? Welcome, Robin Redbreast! With your song, carefree. If we could only find your nest, How warm that nest would be!
Not always are our varied paths, With flowers overspread, Not always do we pluck the weeds From out the rose’s bed; Not always for us in view Are cloudless skies, Not always for silver linings Do our thanks arise. [page 72]
Through the Silence
Through the silence we may hear, If we lend a listening ear, Words in accents clear, unbroken, Words that would remain unspoken, Without the listening ear.
Through the Stillness
Both the hearing ear and the seeing eye, The Lord hath made, That through the stillness we may hear, And through the mist we may see clear, ‘Neath sun and shade. [page 73]
A wordless ecstasy, And in that silent mood, There is for conscious minds A satisfying food.
Culture, courtesy and service, are the growth, Of sympathy, intelligence, love and truth. [page 74]
Would that the days of August, Could longer with us stay; Days that foretell our harvest, They so soon pass away. Days that bring sower and reaper, Nearer than ever before, Days that tell sower and reaper, Tell of their bountiful store. The fruits of labor showing, The toiler’s rich reward, That joy comes with the morning, As in the written Word.
Snowflakes, willed by Father Time, Their lofty homes are leaving, Influrries o’er our Northern clime, Fabric for earth’s mantle weaving. What product of the human brain, Could rival in scenery—in texture; O’er mountain, hill and plain, That while expanse of Nature? [page 75]
No Unknown Warrior
Unknown warriors there are none, For all are known by deed or name; And though their earthly work is done, Their sacrifice—our country’s gain. They are unbroken links that reach across the sea, To join a golden chain of honored memory; That chain will always bright remain, Their sacrifice—our country’s gain.
A Stray Incident
Many an incident picked up at random, Which this world-wide struggle deprives Of its record; Humanity’s effort for freedom, Somewhere that effort is felt and survives, Somewhere receives its reward. [page 76]
Welcome, merry month of May, with your balmy sir, Opening leaf and leaflet, a joy which all may share, While through the woods and glen the perfumed breeze, Stirs the fragrant blossoms ‘neath the budding trees. The white Narcissus, with its dainty red-edged crown, Bluebells mingling with Alpine Cress and daffodils— Surely a gorgeous carpet spread by Nature’s own, While happy birds from southlands went familiar trills. Four forth your fullest notes, O joyous birds of song, While your warbles echo which will sweet notes prolong, They may some sad heart lighten, they may some wrong set right, For song and echo are real, and are tokens of delight. [page 77]
The Kaiser’s Dream
Awaken me from this—this horrid dream, Dark clouds are gathering fast; The very air seems weight and overcharged, I almost hear the clank of heavy chains, Ill-omened is you sentry’s blast, Which adds its sound to unfamiliar strains That grate upon mine ear. Awaken me—is this a dream Or some foul strategy That dare accost a sovereign King? An Emperor, I am deprived of liberty.
The Cedar Tree
It was a silver cedar tree, Among the mountains grew, Unshaded, and from mountains’ shadow free, No artist’s brush could paint that silver cedar tree By Nature’s pruning-hook ‘twas trimmed, Branch and branchlet in beauty formed; No light had they yet ever dimmed, Oh, marvelous symmetry! With dazzling sunlight hue, No artist’s brush could paint that silver cedar true. [page 78]
April, with your smiles and frowns, and with fitful moods, Inviting for a ramble through the mossy woods, Among the mighty forest oak, the tall and stately pine, I hear low murmurings my ear cannot define. A language most mysterious, and sometimes grows quite loud, It may be whispering to near or passing cloud; Some cloud perhaps with a scowl or a frown, That is going to weep till the tears fall down, Refreshing the earth with April’s Spring shower, Stirring the growth of May’s blossoms and flowers.
Hear the Whipporwill song, turning night into day, Whipporwill, Whipporwill, where do you stay? Silent our notes all the day long, Awaking the night with your sweet song, ‘Neath the moonbeams you’re calling still, Whipporwill, Whipporwill, Whipporwill. Unwearied notes float through the air, Call from the thickets that tell you are there, Come out where we’ll see you; don’t hide away, With song, welcome sunrise and early day; ‘Neath the moonbeams you’re calling still, Whipporwill, Whipporwill, Whipporwill. Stirring the stillness of long silent night, Measuring your notes with time in its flight, Awaking all birdland, naught do you care, Whipporwill, Whipporwill echoes through the air. [page 79]
Little Snow Drop’s Seal
Tinkle, tinkle, tiny bells, With your merry peal, A wedding white in fairyland, Little snow drops seal. Winter’s armour thinner grows With each vanguard’s wheel, It’s Springtime in fairyland, Little snow drops seal. Tinkle, tinkle, tiny bells, With your chimes so real, A wedding white in fairyland, Little snow drops seal. Winter’s mantle thinner grows, Melts its icy feel, Soon will be a green woodland, Little snow drops seal. [page 80]
Missions, Near and Far
Thou, Lord, Who knoweth all our wants; May we see where Thy compass points, Though smooth or rough or long the way, Thine aid unceasing, we would pray, That o’er the nations’ furrowed earth Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, O Lord; And through the wilderness lead forth, That all may hear and understand Thy Word From near and far-off fields, o’er sea and land, As East and West clasp hand in hand. Lord of the rising Sun, And of its going down; O’er East and West, o’er North and South One Lord we own. Our guiding star to lead and light the way Throughout the wilderness till dawn of day. May blessings fall as showers, And with fellowship extend; United in our efforts, For peace on earth unto the end. May each and every nation Yet more enlightened be; Paving the miles between With a love that will last On earth and through eternity. [page 81]
Come Out from the Canyon
Come out from the Canyon of City Street, Come out for a walk o’er the meadow sweet, Stroll along winding paths, through thickened woods, Study the language of trees and their moods. As you walk by the stream, some pebbles throw, Watching while rings on the surface will show; By the way gather flowers, they are worth more than a look, Note the pleasure they give, ‘twould fill many a book; Through the forests deep no sky can you trace, Where your canopy forms as bough and branch lace. Come out from the Canyon of City Street, Come where Nature, with smiles, your presence will greet; Leave all your cares that might bar up the way, And enjoy through life’s pathway one more perfect day. Unchallenged, you may ramble all the day long, Where Nature’s great highways are arched with bird song; Those lofty-domed concert halls always are free, And through wide open doors waves of sweet melody. From the first warbling thrill that heralds the dawn, When birdland awakens the air; Varied are the sweet notes till night’s curtain has drawn, Pleasures an audience may share; Trills and chords of music throughout all the way, Nor ends those waves of song with Vesper’s close of day. [page 82]
Bunny’s High Jump
‘Twas the season’s first fall of light snow; And Bunny, so very excted was he, That he ran around to show His delight as he hopped round an evergreen tree. Snowflakes were falling so thick and so fast, It seemed like the snowfall was going to last, Still around and around Bunnie ran, full of glee, For he said, “I know this snow falls for me.” Nor yet did he note how high he could hop, While the snowflakes climbed softly around the tree top; ‘Twas time for a halt, so tired he grew, As he gazed on a branch of tree-top in view. On that branch Bunny slept till break of day, And while he slept the snowfall had melted away; O, wonder of wonders, for now he could see A path of green grass; he thought “that’s just for me,” So hungry he was, and there could not stop, As with one great leap he jumped from tree top.
Where is that pretty little bird, That sang from branch of tree, The sweetest song I ever heard? I think it sang for me. I climbed up on a little chair, And tried that bird to reach. It flew away from there, Flew to a higher branch, So high I could not see, I wish that bird would sing again Another song for me. [page 83]
of Harry Briggs Hall
(Who met with a tragic death)
How we miss you, Harry dear, Your Dad and I. We like to think of you as being very near, For then—in our cup of sorrow, There’s a taste of joy, When we think that way Of our darling Harry boy. It seems to me but yesterday, I sang you lullabies, And watched o’er you with a Mother’s love, As you closed your drooping eyes. “Sing more”—how often you would say, When I thought you were fast asleep, And I prayed that guardian angels My darling’s path would keep. You always called me your sweetheart, That very day you said, “Sweetheart, good-bye,” But, oh, how hard it was to part, We know—your Dad and I, How hard it was to part with our darling Harry boy. That day we waited for your coming, Harry dear, For your bounding step, your welcome voice of cheer; We wondered why you did not come, Your steps we could not hear Around your home, sweet home; And then—a dawn of muffled fear, Our darling Harry boy. [page 84] And yet we could not grasp it all, Arround us the curtain of night Had dropped with a sudden fall, We called you through the shadows, Called you softly by your name, Wafted for your answer, But no answer came From our darling, Harry boy. When the shadows were close—and oh, so near, And our burden of grief we could not bear; Then the Comforter came, for our cries He could hear, And He helped us, our burden of grief to bear; He showed us through the dark and shadowed night A glimmering ray of a shining light, And He helped us to say, for we could not say it alone, He helped us to say, “Thy will be done.” [page 85]
One moonlight night in Autumn, Not long was it after e’en, With lads and lassies on the shore, It was a pretty scene— For they had planned a corn roast, A merry masking time, And the moon, which had been hiding, Shone forth with a light sublime. There were fires lighted on the rocks, Which added a cherry glow; With flames that sparkled and leaped, While embers flickered low, Corn was there in abundance, Dainties were passed around; Keeping an Autumn’s remembrance Of those moonlit rocks and ground, Closing with chants and singing, While the waves joined with each song, And lapped against the shore As they bore the tunes along.
Thought assists its creation, Imagery of the present and of the past, And prophecy of the future it may suggest.
Home, the sweetest word on earth, Bound with the strong cords of love; And all around the sacred hearth, Sweet memories weave their strength, From Heaven’s home above. [page 86]
Celestial canopy of starry night, Spreads with its deepening hue; In splendor that archway of dazzling light, Not less than day’s translucent blue. Celestial canopy of starry night, Enhancing mystery view; Through vastness of space night’s pathway of light Illumines the deepening hue.
(Sweet Summer Months)
They all too soon have passed away, And Autumn, already in a wakeful mood, Tints Summer’s remnant in varied colors gay, With Nature’s brush o’er vale and forest wood. Where Autumn’s thick carpet of rustling leaves Are decked in rainbow hues, ‘Neath boughs and branches of the leafless trees, Autumn’s changing views. All the weeping willows Are sadly bending low; The dipping branch and faded leaves In mirrored waters show. An Autumn’s gold and russet glint, With touches deep from Nature’s paint, That through the silence, all so true, Unrolls a pageant’s changing view. [page 87]
When the water thrush to the silver springs, Their tinkling songs have brought, When the wood thrush calls from on the gloaming, Then woodland whispers through the leaves some sweetly solemn thought.
Sweet evening song from birdland, Ere the twilight falls; Clearly echoes linger, From out those lofty halls. Sweet evening song of birdland, Ere the close of day; Softly echoes linger, With our thoughts a while to stay. Sunset glows and vesper song, Treasured memories sweet; Woodland whispers borne along, Where breeze and tree tops meet. [page 88]
Indian songs of sunrise, And of early day; Of canoe and paddle, O’er the lake and riverway, Songs while they are at work, That through the forest sound; Like the laughing waters And the happy hunting ground Songs at the firelight Are of the birch bark trees Soft and low are the lullabies That blend with rustling leaves; Songs at eventide, When the sunsets golden glow, Tints through the forest trees, While camp fires flicker low, Songs throughout all the day, With night’s approach may cease; And then the songs to stars and moon Are the Indian songs of peace. [page 89]
A boon, that restful spot, Where one may come or go; Or stay, just as they please, Where through that vista There is a perfumed glow Of nature as it is, Those beaten paths that often lead To canyons of city street, Or the wandering wayfarer That pleasure spot may greet. It may be to that city park Some wearied pilgrims come; Who knows they may feel a touch, That’s like a breath from home? For all around where Nature smiles, The distance measures many miles, The city park and all that it may mean, Illuminates through haze of city’s scene. [page 90]
Here I wish that I could chime, My notes they would be so sweet; But now it’s just “ding-dong” for time, That sounds through every street. I sometimes am so weary When it’s nothing but “ding-dong,” And then I grow quite restless, For some other kind of song. I like to ring for the children, When I call them out to play; Though they never look up to me, I watch them every day. At times I’m brightened up, But I never receive much care; Just a passing glance at belfry, And the tired “ding-dong” there. How I wish that I could chime, My notes, they would be so sweet, With measured tunes that tell the time, Till sounds reached every street. [page 91]
There’s a stir in birdland halls, Answering notes to rally calls; Breezes blow o’er vale and hill, Instinct whispers, “Soon a chill.” Waves from Southlands calling loud, Wing your way ‘neath sky and cloud; That pathway over land and sea, Leads through lines of mystery, Where feathered flocks have right of way, All through their flight, both night and day; Muster now in areas wide, Clarion sounds from birdland’s guide; Countless as the stars of night, Birds of passage in their flight. [page 92]
A Child’s Thoughts
I wonder why the grass is green, And why the snow is white; I would know why, for both I’ve seen, If I could read and write I’d like to learn, but when I ask About the land and sea, I’m told ‘twould be too great a task For one who’s only three. I’d like to know why birds can sing, When I can only talk; I’d like to know why birds can fly, When I can only walk. I’m glad that I can hear and see, And soon I will be more than three, Then I’ll know when I read and write, Why grass is green and snow is white. [page 93]
From thoughts that soar along the heights, Beneath clear skies of blue, Words may spring from out the depths With influence for good in view, Followed by noble acts and deeds, A sure reward—earth’s rooted seeds; Priceless pearls from depths may rise, Unfolding light beneath blue skies, Rich treasures from the deep are brought, Tracing their source to lines of thought. [page 94]
A New Song
Oh, sing to me a new song In some dear familiar strain; May soft echoes soar along, While sweet memories remain. Oh, sing to me, no war song— Bind the words through lines of peace; May the cords, with hope, be strong, And all wars, forever, cease. Oh, sing for me a new song, With good-will and peace the strain— May the cords of love be strong! While sweet memories, remain. Then sing again, with chorused song, In unity, strains volume, swell— May not one cord become unstrung, Where memories, and echoes, dwell.
A Summer Scene
Stay with us awhile, with your sunshine and smiles, Stretching your landscape o’er region of miles— With your many colors, and raiments, of green, Not only on canvas—a Summer scene. [page 95]
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