[3 blank pages]
THE CALL OF THE MOTHERLAND.
(See page 42).
HENRY A. ASHMEAD
TORONTO POST OFFICE
“I’d rather sing some simple lay
And have the world know what it means
Than sing in such bewildering way
As those who write for magazines.”
DETROIT FREE PRESS
DEDICATED BY SPECIAL PERMISSION TO
FIELD MARSHAL, HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE DUKE
OF CONNAUGHT AND STRATHEARN, GOVERNOR-
GENERAL OF CANADA, K.G., K.P., K.T.
Having been requested by many of my friends to collect and publish in book form my various contributions to the Public Press, I have endeavored in the present volume to meet their wishes.
Although a thought or sentiment might very often be better expressed in prose than verse, still it is not so likely to catch and rivet the attention of a casual reader, and many quotations now “Familiar in our mouth as household words,” would probably never have attained their present popularity had they been embodied in a speech or newspaper paragraph.
As many of the poems in this volume have been read and met the approval of various people in high positions, well qualified to judge, I think no apology is needed for offering them to the general public, although the material may not have the culture or polish of the high-class magazine.
I would express my thanks to the Editors of the Montreal Standard, Toronto Saturday Night, Mail and Empire, Star, News, and Telegram, of Toronto, for their courtesy in giving prominent position to my efforts. I also owe a debt of deep gratitude to one who, unfortunately, is past receiving my thanks, [unnumbered page] viz., “Kit,” of Woman’s Kingdom, in whose columns some score of my verses were first printed, and also to the “Flaneur,” for many a kind word of encouragement.
His Royal Highness, The Governor-General of Canada, has with his well-known kindness of heart, graciously permitted me to dedicate this volume to him, an honor I greatly appreciate, and I would say in conclusion that if the perusal of any of these pages should arouse any latent sentiment or strike some dormant chord of memory, for the betterment of the reader, it will more than repay the efforts of
THE AUTHOR. [page viii]
|THOSE IN PERIL ON THE SEA||2|
|ONLY A SCRAP OF PAPER||5|
|WITH IT OR ON IT||6|
|THE MAJOR OF HUSSARS||8|
|ON TO BERLIN||10|
|THE WAR LORD OF THE SEA||12|
|ERIN GO BRAGH||14|
|A CHRISTIAN MARTYR||16|
|HOW HE DIED||17|
|THE WHITE FEATHER||22|
|THE MAN IN THE TRENCHES||26|
|HE CHOSE THE BETTER PART||27|
|COMRADES AND FRIENDS||28|
|KITCHENER OF KHARTOUN||29|
|THE HOME COMING OF “BOBS” BAHADUR||30|
|FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH||32|
|THE ROBINS REQUIEM||33|
|THE PRINCESS PATS||34|
|THE RANK AND FILE||36|
|THE AMERICAN LEGION||37|
|A LION IN THE PATH||38|
|WELL DONE LONDON||41|
|THE CALL OF THE MOTHERLAND||42|
HISTORICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE
|THE CHRIST CHILD||143|
|THROUGH THE FIRE||145|
|STEP UP TO THE FRONT||147|
|A PLEA FOR THE ENGLISH ROSE||150|
|WE ARE BRITISH SUBJECTS||153|
|THE TOUCH OF A VELVET PAW||154|
|A PLEA FOR CHRISTMAS||156|
|MY SWEETHEART WHEN A BOY||157|
|IN MEMORY OF CHARLES DICKENS||159|
|IN MEMORIUM (GEN. BOOTH)||160|
|A HERO’S CAREER||161|
|ST. GEORGE’S DAY||162|
|CAPT. ROBT. SCOTT||163|
|LINES TO A FRIEND||164|
|GOD SAVE IRELAND||165|
|PEACE AT THE LAST||167|
|A KITCHEN SHOWER||169|
|OUR IMPERIAL ANTHEM||171|
|THE SUNNY SIDE||172|
|A FUTILE APPEAL||173|
|THE BUTTERFLY AND THE BEE||176|
Poems from the Press
Oh! God of Battles, by whose power All nations rise and fall; Protect the right for which we fight On Thee alone we call. To Thee we plead, great is our need, For Thee alone we trust, For well we know thrice arm’s is he Who hath his quarrel just. We thank Thee, Lord, that in this hour No discords intervene, But altogether firmly knit, With one accord are seen. With wisdom guide out counselors, And “steel” each soldier’s heart, That on the sanguine battlefield He well may act his part. Oh! grant if victory crowns our arms, Let pride not hold full sway, And teach us that without Thy help We are as potter’s clay. We pray that when the battle’s strife And war and tumult cease, Long years may pass and nations stay In ever ending peace. [unnumbered page]
“THOSE IN PERIL ON THE SEA”
Oh, Thou Who from above canst see The hidden perils of the sea, Thy blessing on our ships bestow, And keep them safe from hidden foe. Bless Thou their crews who danger face, And shed on the Thy Heavenly grace, Our sailors bless—we plead to Thee, Protect our battleships at sea. In olden days, men gave up life On blood-stain’d decks, in deadly strife, ‘Midst crashing spears and leaden hail, And yet no man was found to quail. Now, struck unseen, from off this world, Swift to eternity he’s hurled; From sudden death, we plead to Thee, Protect our sailors on the sea. Protect, oh Lord, our troops who cross The ocean wide—protect from loss, That all may know far o’er the sea, There breathes the spirit of liberty. Our cause is just, for truth we fight, Give victory, Lord, unto the right. Again, O Lord, we pray to Thee For those in peril on the sea. [page 2]
“Ave Caesar Imperator,” thus they used to shout in Rome, “Dying men salute thee, Caesar,” seated on thy purple throne, And the Emperor smiled benignly at those men about to die. What to him was slaughter’d manhood, what to him the widow’s cry? Little reck’d he of the anguish, life blood crimsoning the sand. Was he not the “Imperator,” lord of sea and lord of land? Long years have passed since Nero watched, all Rome a funeral pyre, And Goths and Huns in thousands swept the land with sword and fire; Another “War Lord” now reigns proudly and has made the vaunted boast: “German culture,” spreading onward, soon shall rule from coast to coast. Shatter’d Liege and wreck’d Namur, witness to that culture show, Smoking ruins, slaughter’d peasants, and the Heaven with fires aglow. Oh! nations of all Christendom, strike now, before too late, For the scourge is rolling onward, “the Hun is at the gate.” Rapine, lust, and brutal warfare mark each separate foot of way, [page 3] Priceless churches laid in ruins, that age could not decay. Though “the Mill of the Gods grind slowly, they grind exceedingly small.” Tyrant, even now thy strength is failing, thou art tottering to thy fall.
Who at the sound of duty’s call, Leaving his loved ones, wife and all, Went forth to battle, perhaps to fall, My Husband. Who also went and firm of will, Said, “Mother do not take it ill, Your other boys are with you still,” My Son. Who, trusting in the God above, In Christ, and blessed holy love, Gave cheerfully of those she loved? Their Mother. Who caused this bloodshed, war and strife, Who made a hell of peaceful life, Who’d slaughter husband, son and wife? The Kaiser. [page 4]
“ONLY A SCRAP OF PAPER”
“Only a Scrap of Paper” That a wind might blow away, Once ‘twas a solemn treaty, But it’s long since served its day. What use for sickly sentiment When we hear the trumpets call, With our legions gathered round us, And France tottering to its fall. “Only a Scrap of Paper,” ‘Tis a pledge not worth a thought; There was never yet a nation, But at some time could not be bought; The end, not the means we think of, Under me shall the nations live, The heaven-born conquering Teuton Will freedom all to give. “Only a Scrap of Paper,” Signed when all was peace, With full intent and purpose, That rivalry shall cease. Cancel that solemn treaty, Depart from the true and just; And Britain’s truth and honor Lies trampled in the dust. [page 5] ‘Twas “Only a Scrap of Paper” Gave freedom to the slave, And taught the cruel slaver Britannia rules the wave. ‘Twas “Only a Scrap of Paper” Bade war and conflict cease, And gave to all America One hundred years of peace. And now a “Scrap of Paper” Shall pull a tyrant down, And free a down-trod nation, Who trembled at this frown. Though might will triumph for a time, God will protect the right; For they who plighted promise keep Will conquer in the fight.
WITH IT OR ON IT
There are times when we sigh for the good old days Of pagan Greece or Rome— When the flower of manhood went to war, And the women stayed at home. No man then flinched at duty’s call, From low estate to great; Then “none were for a party, But all were for the State.” [page 6] Thank God! in France there still exists, The spirit of ancient Gaul, And mothers there give up their sons To die at duty’s call. They copy the Spartan women of old, Who arm’d their men to fight; And sent them cheerfully on their way, To battle for the right. History tells what these women said, As they handed each one his shield, “With it or on it,” you must return; You can die, but never yield. And at Thermopylae’s fell pass, And on many a stricken field, O’erwhelm’d by odds, they fighting fell, They died, but scorn’d to yield. Women of Canada, you must not flinch Now the foe is at our gate, To give of your lov’d ones, husbands, sons— Give now, before ‘tis too late. There’s a God above looks down on all; He will do what seemeth to Him best; Though strife and battle’s our portion now, In Heaven, at last, there’s rest! [page 7]
THE MAJOR OF HUSSARS
There’s a saying old that blood will tell, And it usually works out right, And whether it flows in man or beast, Will generally win the fight. The dormant power may long lie hid, ‘Tis, perhaps, the Creator’s plan; But when the time for action comes, “Opportunity makes the man.” In the stirring days of good Queen Anne There was one who won great fame At Blenheim, Oudenarde, Ramilies, John Churchill was his name; Fearless in action, nought could shake His firm, unbending mood; And Marlborough’s dukedom still attests The nation’s gratitude. As years rolled by the parent stock Have well maintained their name, And in the councils of the State Gained both cleat and fame. When war clouds gathered thickly round, The Fleet was armed and ready; For Winston Churchill, at the helm, Had labored long and steady. [page 8] Perhaps future years may show his worth And add more to his fame, But a nobler deed was never done By any of his name, Than, when leaving office, fortune, fame, This votary of Mars, He “did his bit” like other men, As a Major of Hussars.
O! Serbia, gallant Serbia, Land of the brave and free; Proud Austria’s might could not control Thy land or liberty. Alone, thou rolled the formen back In ignominious flight, The “God of Battles” nerved thy hand, Thou battled for the right. But now, when triple foes assail, No friend in sight you see, There’s none to “stand at thy right hand” And keep thy land with thee. But courage take, like him of old, When facing fearful odds; “For the ashes of his fathers, And the temple of his Gods.” [page 9] But hark! the rolling of the drums, The tramp of marching feet, The clink of sabres rattling free As French and English greet. The foe not long will brag and boast, For freedom never dies, And Serbia from her burning towns Shall, Phoenix-like, arise.
“ON TO BERLIN”
When the Berlin march commences and we sweep the Teutons back, When we’ve done with trench and breastwork for awhile; Let us not forget we’re human, of the good old British stock, From the general to the fighting rank and file. Though the cry of outraged Belgium ever present in our ears, And the babes and women slaughtered on our coast, Let our vengeance fall most heavily on those who caused the war, And justice fraught with mercy be our boast. Englishmen and Welshmen, Sons of the Emerald Isle, Scotchmen from the land of heather bloom, Shoulder to shoulder press, give your foe not time to rest, Press them onward till you’ve sealed the tyrant’s doom. [page 10] Let not falling comrades daunt you, close up the ranks anew, Your country knows you will not hault or flinch, Though the enemy you fight are veterans trained and steady, Drive them backward, steady backward, inch by inch. ‘Tis on the field of battle you have always shown your mettle, Your spirit chafes when cooped behind stone wall, Cold steel has been the story, and the bayonet Britain’s glory, For your onward charge is known to one and all. Canadians from across the seas, men from Afric’s veldt, Australian and New Zealander, coming in their might, With their dusky sons of India—Sepoy, Gurkha, Sikh, The Lion’s Cubs press forward to the fight. Long you’ve waited for the order, “Press onward to Berlin,” For you knew in time would come the Chieftain’s call; You know the old-time saying, “The Mills of Gods Grind Slowly”; Though slow in speed, they grind exceeding small. There’s no time to waste on pity, your fallen comrade’s blood Cries for vengeance on the Huns, whose hellish hate [page 11] Sent the Lusitania downward, crushed by felon blow, And left the struggling myriads to their fate. Millionaires and bankers’ clerks, men from field and plow, All are equals in this fight, and naught can you divide; Officers and rank and file are striving for one end, To crush the Prussian autocrat and humble German pride.
THE WAR LORD OF THE SEA
The Kaiser was sick and sad at heart, With his army he could not agree, So he said: “If on land I can’t make a stand, I am still the War Lord of the Sea; I am Blake and Van Tromp all rolled into one And a terror to fight when all said and done.” So he sent out his ships in a deep, thick fog, “For the British sight’s keen,” said he; “I am more of the Fox than the Eagle bold, But I know I’m cut out for the sea; Then here’s a deed to startle mankind And show them that Wilhelm is in his right mind.” [page 12] They sailed through the night till the rising sun Illuminated the Eastern sky, And a short way off the Scarboro’ sands, With shot and with shell let fly. But the only fort that met their sight Was the Castle ruins grim and white. They reaped a goodly harvest there Of women and children and babes, Shot down at their peaceful breakfast hour, Shot down near the sad sea waves; For the Kaiser had said, “It’s only by terror We can make these English see their error.” They tackled a fort at Hartlepool town, But it proved a hard nut to crack; “Discretion’s the best part of valor,” they said, “’Tis not likely we’ll ever come back.” So they sailed on to Whitby, a small fishing port, Where the danger was less and they wouldn’t get caught. They got back in safety to Germany’s shore, And bragged they’d suffered no loss, And the Kaiser said loud as pined on each breast A newly-designed Iron Cross— “Every woman you kill, I am proud to confess, Is making false England’s population the less.” [page 13]
“The Harp that once through Tara’s Halls,” Struck chords of love and war, Shall once again responsive throb As in the days of yore; And Erin’s sons knit by a bond That death alone can sever, Will side by side on battlefield Lay down their lives together. All old-time feuds shall be forgot, And God’s most favored Isle Shall bloom again with emerald sheen, And bask in Heaven’s smile; For Ireland to herself was true, She quick obeyed the call, When the Motherland sore wanted help She straightway gave her all. Her well-drill’d sons sprang up as one, For naught could make them swerve, They left the land they loved so well, In foreign lands to serve; Their arms they gave (earned at great risk), To the Belgians for the fray, Knowing full well that God above Would in his time repay. [page 14] We pray that when the conflict ends And tyranny lies prone, Each nation that has been despoiled Will come into its own. Then brighter days will dawn for all— Such has not yet been seen— When side by side will work, not strive, The Orange and the Green.
God bless those women, every one, Who cast away their fads, And said, “We wish to do some work To help our soldier lads;” Let votes for women bide a wee, Our country’s peril great; This is the time for deeds, not words, We throw aside all hate. So the hardened roadway echoed loud With the ramp of women’s feet, As twenty thousand strong they went The Minister to greet. Who with a smile said unto them— The Empire’s proud of you, Go train yourselves, we need your help, There’s lots for you to do. [page 15]
A CHRISTIAN MARTYR
Ten weeks a prisoner, Waiting her fate, Under a despot mad, Victim of hate; Tender and kind was she, Nursing her foes, Giving her sympathy To all their woes. Her crime was humanity, Love for her land; Her fate was a bitter one, Fearful yet grand. “Bind not my eyes,” she said, “Death’s not my foe; There will be a light above, Whither I go.” “Dying with Freedom’s flag Pinn’d on my breast, Soon may dear England have Victory and rest. Freely my life I give, Without a sigh, Though but a woman frail, fear not to die.” [page 16] Britain will ne’er forget Miss Cavell’s end, Shot in the darksome night, Without a friend. But by her side there stood, Sent from above, God’s angel messenger, Spirit of love.
HOW HE DIED
‘Twas a sorrowful tale he had to tell To the folks who awaited him there; He’d rather have faced the cannon’s mouth, For he’d done so before without fear. ‘Tis true, he’d a hero’s death to tell, He’d a hero’s sword to bring, But the trouble was how to tell the tale And lessen the news of its sting. Erect the veteran father stood, His daughter hung on his arm, While the mother bowed with grief sat down (For her alone was no balm); But the father listen’d with conscious pride To the tale of a glorious deed, How in saving a loved companion’s life His son lost his own instead. [page 17] He spoke of that dashing, glorious charge, Right into the batteries’ smoke; How they spiked the guns and then rode back, With their ranks all shattered and broke. He told how a comrade close at his side Lost his horse and both of them fell, How their son had leaped down and lifted him up, Though the carnage around was like hell. And then with his friend on the saddle in front, While the bullets flew round him like hail, He had fought his way back his comrades to join, (And he dwelt on this part of the tale)— How when at the last safety nearly assured, With his comrades around him again, His death wound he got from a shot at long range, And this message he sent o’er the main: “Tell father I died as he’d have me die, In defence of my country and King; Tell Sissy her lover’s still safe in the ranks, And some day the joy bells will ring; Tell mother we part for a very brief space, And I never forgot her in prayer; And when God in His providence takes her above, Tell her ‘tis my hope I’ll be there.” [page 18]
Weary and worn from the trenches A soldier struggled along, No kindly hand to help him, No Tipperary song. He had done “his bit” in the fighting, He had earned a little rest, So he plodded his way weak and patient, For he’d striven and done his best. He moved to one side as an auto Overtook him on the way, And a wistful glance he cast aside As though he would like to say, “’Tis ‘Tommy’ to do the fighting, And trudge on weary feet; While the staff ride by in a carriage With cushions on the seat.” But a cheery voice now hailed him, “Get in, my man, and ride; We will take you to your base point Whatever else betide”; And two young men jumped to the ground And steadied his trembling knees, And talked to him in friendly tones To put him at his ease. [page 19] Then the soldier’s mouth was opened And he spoke right from his heart, “I will show you my sweetheart’s photo, From which I never part.” Then he spoke of the dear old homeland, To the listeners by his side; No though had he of birth and rank, As his thoughts he did confide. But a sudden thought came o’er him, As he spoke to the youngest there, “Did you ever carry a portrait Of one for whom you care?” A smile passed o’er the young man’s face As he gave him a coin of gold: “Yes, I carry the face of my father, Of whom you have oft been told.” “He prays for the men in the trenches, And his interest never fails; And comrade, he who speaks to you Men call the Prince of Wales. [page 20]
(NOBILITY HATH OBLIGATIONS)
What Nation’s Peers can claim a name like those of British birth, First to take arms for liberty, crush lawlessness to earth; From Simon de Montfort (Leicester’s Earl) down to more recent date, When Chatham’s burning eloquence rang out in keen debate. And then the Empire calls them, they take their place again In trench or battlefield they stand, where the shrapnel falls like rain. Well to the front when they bayonets cross a mark for all to see, They lead their men with rousing words to death or victory. They come of the bulldog stock, those men, and what they have they’ll hold, To them their country’s fame is worth far more than untold gold; For blood will tell in strenuous times and come well to the fore, And though they value ancestry, they prize their honor more. [page 21]
THE WHITE FEATHER
It was once a snow-white feather, But now ‘twas crimson red, Dyed with the blood of a soldier Who had bravely fought and bled; Wrapped in a silken cover, Next his heart on a slender chain; He had worn it in the trenches, ‘Midst the mud and sleet and rain. But now with his end approaching, He spoke to his gentle nurse, “Send this package back to the sender, Her name is in my purse. Send the cross I won for valor, Won in this bloody strife; And say the cruel gift she gave Cut short a soldier’s life.” Months back, in the dear old Homeland, In a stately home in Kent, He had wooed a haughty maiden, A girl of high descent. She said the man who won her Must prove his valor in war; And fight for King and country, Or never see her more. In a cottage bowered with roses, Dwelt a widow old and bent; One of those simple, kindly souls Whom heaven to earth has lent One son alone was left to her, And she clung to him in love, [page 22] For she knew her days on earth were few, ‘Ere called to realms above. “Though your King and country need you,” She said, “I need you most; Stay with the homeguard yet awhile And help defend the coast. It is not long I’ll keep you here, And when I’m laid to rest, Your duty do, brave, steadfast, true, ‘Tis your mother’s last request.” What need to tell the struggle, Though not long he stayed in doubt, Or the scornful token sent by her When the call for men went out. A snow-white tip from a lady’s hat, Inscribed with the sender’s name, Conveyed a meaning more than words, That filled his heart with pain. It was only a few short weeks Before God’s messenger came down, And closed those gentle eyes in death That never wore a frown. And then, his duty done at home, He sailed for Belgium’s shore, And fought life one who courted death, For the gift it rankled sore. First in the headlong bayonet charge, Panting for want of breath, No foe could stand the cut and thrust Of him who feared not death. [page 23] And then at last when a comrade fell, Like a lion who stands at bay, He fought o’er his body and carried him back From the midst of that bloody fray. To every man upon this earth Death cometh soon or late, And so at last the bullet came, Stern messenger of fate. All night upon the field he lay Upon the blood-soaked ground, And by the Red Cross ambulance In the morning light was found.
* * * * * * * * *
“Somewhere in France,” a gentle nurse, Loved by all those she tends, Flits like an angel ‘midst those cots That harbor foe and friend. The haughty look of bygone days (Those days of stress and pride), Have soften’d been by vain regret Since one she loved has died. Next to her heart a slender chain A golden locket holds, Well hid beneath her Nurse’s robe And draperies soft folds; A once white feather dyed with blood Of a Hero gone to death,— Is held within that locket’s clasp, Sent with his latest breath. [page 24]
FAUGH A BALLAGH
Irishmen were never backward, When there’s fighting to be done; Brave and active in the conflict— Though they like their little bit of fun; This is no time for parties striving, Let all colors now unite, Brothers all in union blending, All are fighting for the right. CHORUS Ulster, Munster, Leinster, Connaught, All for one, and one for all; Rally round the Empire’s Ensign, Rally now at duty’s call. Let your cry be “Faugh a Ballagh,” Drums and pipers lead the way; Thrust the Teutons back to Berlin, Show how Ireland clears the way, Belgium, Serbia, Montenegro, Ravaged by their ruthless foes, Shall emerge from desolation, Bloom and blossom like the rose. Who can better bring them freedom Than the men who freedom know? Men of Ireland, “Fix your bayonets,” Press strong back the savage foe.—CHORUS Men of Ireland on your standards Glorious names are writ on gold, Led by men who claim the shamrock As their native badge of old. [page 25] Irish men are first in battle, (Irish colleens charm the world), Pluck and beauty still will conquer, Onward then with flags unfurled.—CHORUS
THE MAN IN THE TRENCHES
May God in whose care is the soldier, Who faces the foe without fear, Steel his heart with the power of endurance, Give him courage his burden to bear; May he shorten his time in the trenches And hasten the day when, at last, Face to face with the treacherous Teuton, He’ll repay him the deeds of the past. There are hundreds right here in the Homeland Who cannot take part in the fray, But whose hearts beat more quick and more proudly, When the news comes to hand day by day: How Canada well to the front is, Though the death toll is heavy and high; Then the pride rises high in their bosoms, And stifles the hard repressed sigh. Oh! Soldier, if aught then can lighten The self-imposed task you’ve in hand, We will cheerfully all give our trifle Who stay in this peaceable land. There are reasons we may not be with you— Age and sickness forbid us to roam, But we’ll send you some creature home comforts, And pray for your safe return home. [page 26]
HE CHOSE THE BETTER PART
SINKING OF THE LUSITANIA
The time to show the grit in a man Is the time when he faces death, And he knows not the moment the ship will sink And the waves take his parting breath; When he feels the fatal torpedo shock And the deck takes a sudden slope, ‘Tis then that his courage and nerve are shown, For in God alone there is hope. Himself or others, which will he save? For life after all is sweet; Then there’s thoughts of the loved ones he left at home Whom never again may he meet. ‘Tis a time when the wealth of this world does’nt count When the peer and the peasant are one; For Death the great leveler gathers in all, Rich and poor, old and young, he spares none. There was one at least on that fated ship, ‘Midst those scenes of sorrow and woe, Who thought not of self, and lost not his nerve, As he witnessed the struggle below. “Come, let’s save the kiddies,” he said, “and stow All into the boats we can find, For it’s women and children first, you know, May Heaven to them be kind.” [page 27] Although a man of fame and wealth, No thought of self had he, And he went to his death like a martyr of old, Sucked down by the angry sea. Not wealth, but worth, stood that awful test, And He who judges men’s hearts, Will see that he gets his just reward, For he “Chose the Better Part.”
COMRAES AND FRIENDS
Stretched on the frozen ground Face to the skies, Glassy eyes motionless, A dead trooper lies. Only one life the less Will some one mourn? Wife, Mother, Sister, Perhaps babe unborn. Standing by, over him, With drroping head, Faithful his charger stands, Watching the dead. No eyes to see him there But God’s above, He who sees everything, Even dumb love. Neighing in sorrow low, Touching his face; [page 28] What grief is more than this, In human race. Moonbeams from skies above Their soft light shed, On Horse and Trooper stark, Comrades and Friends. True are the poet’s words, Truthful they ring; “One touch of nature makes All the world kin.” Nature comprises all God has created; Man and all living things, So it is stated.
KITCHENER OF KHARTOUM
“Know you not that a great man has passed away this day in Israel.” Never yet in Britain’s need did she want a man of might, For Marlboro’, Wellington, Nelson, Clive, each battled for the right; And when the present crises came the man to fit the hour Was Kitchener of Khartoum, stern, adamant, dour. [page 29] A man like Cromwell in his might, resourceful, silent, still He raised an army well equipped by force of iron will, And now, like Roberts, well beloved he passes from our sight; But we know that after darkness comes the early morning light. He is not dead, though passed away, none will their duty shirk, The men he trained are with us yet, to carry on his work; And the Teuton hosts will never gain advantage from the death Of one who did his duty through his life and in his death.
THE HOME COMING OF “BOBS” BABADUR
There was sorrow deep midst the waiting crowd, As the cortege slowly passed; For they mourned for one who was well beloved, Who had gone to rest at last. Even the elements needed to grieve And sorrow as though in pain, For the morn was cold, and the streets were filled With fog and a drizzling rain. [page 30] No stately car, deck’d with velvet pall, Brought him home to his resting place; No muffled drums or funeral march Marked the escort’s steady pace. But on gun truck laid with Union Jack On the coffin amply spread, He who had witnessed full many a strife, Lay still in his narrow bed. Did that charger black miss the well-known hand That oft’ guided him into the fray, It seemed that he grieved, as with drooping head, He slowly paced on his way. But Musselman, Hindoo, Gurka or Sikh, Who have for the British “Raj” bled, Will sorrow for him who on many a field Their columns to victory led. They’ll tell of the sahib who gave up his life Old and staunch comrades to greet, Of Delhi and Lucknow and Candahar’s dash, Cross the plains ‘midst a tropical heat. But all will remember with sorrow and pain, That his life might have been spared, Had we heeded the warnings he gave us years back, And the foeman found British prepared. [page 31]
FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH
High on the bridge of the Battleship, ‘Midst the spray of the howling waves, (A cigarette between his lips), Stood the Captain tried and brave, Not a tremor marked his orders keen, He was one of the good old stock, Though his life he knew was as good as lost When he felt that deadly shock. All that a man could do he’s done To save his ship and crew, The issue must rest with God alone, From whom he courage drew. For a sailor knows, when on the sea, How sudden may be his fate, And he knows full well to every man Death cometh soon or late. So he calmly smoked on that heaving deck, While the waves dashed mountains high; If he could not save his gallant crew, He could show them how to die. Who knows the thoughts that crossed his mind, Or the prayer that passed his lips, When the waves dashed through the batter’d plates And he sank with the fated ship. [page 32] ‘Tis easy to die ‘midst the battle’s roar, And the crash of the splintered deck; But harder far to stand alone And go down with a sinking ship. But whether men die on the tented field, Or the realm of the boundless sea; A Briton’s name and a Briton’s fame Will well to the forefront be.
THE ROBIN’S REQUIEM
The sun set red in the Western sky And illumined a shot-ploughed field, Where the dead lay thick on the blood-soaked ground, Grim harvest for earth to yield. It seemed no place for joy or song, When lo, from a tree o’erhead, A Robin Redbreast the silence broke And sang o’er the silent dead. Beneath a tree whose budding twigs Spoke of Spring’s awakening breath, Lay a fair-haired dying soldier lad, Waiting patiently for death. Slow as his life blood ebb’d away, Seen only by God in Heaven, He thought of his mother and those he loved And his home in sunny Devon. [page 33] There are times when life is ebbing fast, Sights and sounds come from above, To soften and soothe the spirit’s flight, For the Lord is a God of Love. And that Robin’s song to the dying man Brought a peace and a holy calm, When his thoughts when back to the happy days, On the homely Devon Farm. Do the birds sing only for those on earth, For the skylark pierces the clouds; Perhaps the same sweet songs we love below Rise to heaven clear and loud. Howe’er that be when the last sweet notes Had cleft the evening sky, That boyish spirit wing’dit’s flight To the Throne of God, on high.
THE “PRINCESS PATS”
There are thousands who’ll haste at the Motherland’s call, To die for the land that they love, Leaving their loved ones, and all their home ties To the care of the Father above. If the sea’s Britain’s glory, there are those that on land Who will add to her fame and renown, And fresh laurels will pluck, not counting the cost, To twine round her star-bedecked crown. [page 34] But there’s none you’ll find in this battle for right More brave than the men “who’ve been there,” The battle-scarr’d veterans, the long service men, Who have fought, and have never known fear. Of Afric’s broad veldt, their might has been felt, And also on Ind’s distant shore; What men might well do, brave, sturdy and true, Their duty they did and much more. And now when the Empire has need of her sons, And our colours are nailed to the mast; The men of the “Old Brigade” respond, Again to live up to the past. Then three cheers for the gallant Princess Pats! (Three cheers for the Princess, too!) May God in his mercy soon send them safe back, When peace reigns again o’er the blue. .
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Twelve hundred strong they crossed the seas and fell right into line, No need for veterans such as they to linger in the rear; Their ranks were thinn’d their Colonel fell, but still the remnant held, The rank and file fought grimly on, of death they had no fear. When future ages tell of deeds done far away in France The “Princess Pats” will take the lead, their glory ever last, The colors by the Princess given will bravely flaunt the wind, With names emblazon’d on its fold of a great and glorious past. [page 35]
THE RANK AND FILE
What is the want, the present call That echoes far and wide, ‘Tis men to fill the gaping ranks And stem the German tide. List not to those who stay at home And try to put on style, But be a man and do your best, Fill up the Rank and File. Who faced the Cuirassier’s wild charge, On Waterloo’s famed field? And like a rock that breaks the waves, Refused to bend or yield. ‘Twas a master mind that battle plann’d, Whom the foe could not beguile; Yet the day was won by grit and sand, And won by the rank and file. Remember ‘tis the rank and file Who bear the battles’ brunt, Then take your place with willing heart, Step right up to the front. The man who well his duty does, Will soon rise from the ranks, And perhaps with medal on his breast Achieve his Sovereign’s thanks. [page 36]
“THE AMERICAN LEGION”
“The Washington Government has protested against the 97th Battalion bearing the name of “The American Legion,” but Sir Sam Hughes apparently does not feel inclined to drop the name, since, as he says, Canada is as much a part of “America” as is the United States. Whether the name be dropped or not, Canadians will always remember with pride and appreciation the men who have trained in Toronto this winter and are shortly to go overseas, who, believing in the justice of our cause, could not remain neutral, but gladly volunteered to serve under the Union Jack in the cause of human liberty. All honor to them.”
In freedom’s cause we’re up in arms, four thousand men or more. Men from the prairies of the West and California’s shore; From Alaska and the Rockies ‘neath the Union Jack we’ll fight; For like Stars and Stripes we love, ‘tis ever for the right.
Hurrah! Hurrah! we’ll sail across the foam; Hurrah! Hurrah! we’ll drive the bayonet home; And if with gas they play their pranks We’ll show they’re up against the Yanks, The men who’ll make them break their ranks And scuttle to the rear. [page 37] ‘Tis fit that men who freedom have, should fight in Freedom’s cause, And crush the tyranny of those who trample down the laws; Twice is he armed, the poet says, who has his quarrel just; The German pride we soon will crush and humble in the dust.—CHORUS. Our Legion’s not composed of Boys, but veterans trained and steady, And when we meet the foe in fight, they find us ever ready; For with the Canucks by our side, like brothers brave we’ll fight; Our cry will be, “On to Berlin!” and God protect the right.—CHORUS.
A LION IN THE PATH
There was a pleasant look on the Kaiser’s face, For his plans had turned out well; His latest raid with the Zeppelins Was worthy the power of hell; And he said we will shortly show the world How the foes of the fatherland fare, For now I’m not the only Lord of the Sea, But also “War Lord of the Air.” [page 38] But it seems to me it is nearly time For another raid by the sea, Those British Isles want stirring up And there’s none can do it like me; So he called out his swiftest battle ships, He had previously had them well taught; “Go, do all the damage you can,” said he, “But be careful you never get caught.” Oh! pleasantly sailed that gallant fleet, Not a foeman near or far; “Tis the life we love,” said the Admiral bold, As he lit up a fresh cigar; But a hail from above soon altered his tone, “Four cruisers ahead I see.” “’Bout ship,” said the Admiral, “full steam below, There’s no other way but to flee.” For right in the path was the bold British Lion, The Tiger, and trim Princess Royal, And the New Zealand, named from over the seas, No colony ever more loyal. The avengers were out and vain was the flight From the wrath of the men they had raided, So the Blucher was left by the rest of the fleet To fight out the battle unaided. To Blucher was doomed, for each ship as she passed Sent in shells till she tottered and reeled, And batter’d her consorts until they were fain To flee to their mine-guarded field. [page 39] The Blucher went down with her captain and crew, No power could the battleship save, While the light cruisers stopped and lowered their boats To rescue the crew from the wave. The Kaiser was sad when he heard the bad news And he said, “nought but trouble’s been my lot; I’ve seen lots of trouble since that fateful day When I stopped ship and let off the pilot; I know very well I could conquer with ease That strutting stuck-up Gallic bird, The Hare of the Belgians I’ve already run down And the Serbs they are really absurd.” But the trouble with me is “The Lion in the Path, If he only were out of the way, The rest of the gang I could soon polish off, In fact, ‘twould be merely child’s play. And now that his whelps have come without call, The outlook is bad, I’m afraid, For me and “Mein Got” will be left in the lurch, If the Yankees don’t come to our aid.” [page 40]
“WELL DONE, LONDON”
When all have done their best ‘tis hard to single out A regiment that is better than the rest, But the men of good old London made a record of their own, When a bloody Loos they amply stood the test. For the 47th Regiment lost heavily that day, But they stood the strain like veterans one and all. Men from civil service ranks; men from office, store and bank, They left to fight in France at duty’s call. Though the pen is reckoned mighty, ‘tis the rifle wins the war, Backed by guns and mortars belching out their shell, And the man who never blanches, ‘midst the horror of the trenches, Is the man the average foeman cannot quell. When a mine blew up a trench and buried gun and team, ‘Twas a Cockney scrambled out and showed no fear, Single handed fought the foeman like a sturdy English yeoman, Till a rescue party hurried from the rear. ‘Twas a sergeant in this regiment who crawled on hands and knees, ‘Midst a storm of shell from enemy’s redoubt, And from a near “dugout” fetched a mortar from its place, And fired, till at last his shot gave out. [page 41] Though the country lads have held their own, stout, sturdy, strong and brave, The city men need never blush for shame, For they’ve held their own with veterans who have stood the test of time, And have nobly played their part in war’s dread game.
THE CALL OF THE MOTHERLAND
The cry went out and it sounded clear O’er two oceans vast and wide, Ringing with vibrant stirring note As it ebb’d and flowed with the tide; That call was not one of doubt or fear, No faltering was in that tone; ‘Twas the call to arms from the Motherland, A call from the dear old home. It crossed o’er three thousand miles of foam, To Canada’s fair domain, And fertile plain and prairies lone Re-echoed that martial strain. It swept o’er the snow-capp’d Rocky heights, O’er Columbia’s beauteous land; Gathering strength as it slowly neared The foam –fleck’d Pacific strand. Australia, New Zealand, the isles of the sea, Each in their turn heard the call, And it rang o’er Africa’s burning sands, From the cape to its northern bounds. [page 42] It stirr’d the fronds of the Eastern palm, Across city and jungle wide; And India shook off its sensuous calm To come to the mother’s side. The veteran arm’d himself with a zest, The hind left his plough on the plain, The voyageur came from the lone far west, And the clerk from the marts of gain; The hardy mechanic in labor skilled, And the ‘prentice learning his trade, All came at that call with a hearty good will To tender the homeland their aid. For each had a share in the glorious past, Of the land where his forefathers sleep; And would see that her flag still flies from the mast, And her iron clads ride o’er the deep. For the Saxon and Gael, the Briton and Celt, Have often rolled back the invader; Like the good time of old, when Howard and Drake Broke the might of the Spanish Armada.
Chatta Singh of the 9th Bhopal, Was a soldier tried and true; Firm as the steel of his bayonet point, What a man could do he’d do. For he came of a warrior Hindoo race, That never yet knew fear; First in the charge, last in retreat, ‘Mongst Sepoys he had no peer. [page 43] Now between the trenches and the foe His officer wounded lay, Exposed to a deadly rifle fire, In the cloudless light of day. But Chatta Singh of the 9th Bhopal, Who never from foe yet ran, Leaped out from his trench and crouching low, Crept up to the wounded man. Placing himself on the danger side, He took his entrenching spade, And calm and cool, as if on parade, A shelter for both he made. For five long hours he vigil kept, And stayed till the light did fade; Then left the shelter with stealthy steps, And back for assistance made. Chatta Singh of the 9th Bhopal, Before King George did stand; Nor a muscle stirr’d on his dark bronze face, Though the King stood Cross in hand. “I am proud of my Indian warriors brave,” He said, as he pinn’d it tight, “No braver deed was done than yours, Throughout this bloody fight.” [page 44]
Historical and Descriptive
THE LAST MUSTER
Royal Albert Hall, 24th December, 1907
From North and South, from East and West, Far away from hearth and home, Seven hundred souls are gathered to-day ‘Neath this vast stupendous dome. Fifty whole years have passed and gone, Since the deeds which they did were done, Sheer courage and valour (and not by luck) Saving an Empire by British pluck. ‘Midst the blaze of an Eastern sun Cold and bleak is the weather without, But within all is light and life; As the kettle-drum rolls out its muffled notes And the trumpets blare on the night. For Roberts is there with his cross of bronze, The idol of those that he led; The man who has never been known to fail, A veteran of veterans, hardy and hale, Beloved by the living and dead.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Now the Band has ceased and a silence falls On the guests in this massive hall; Each head is raised with expectant look For they hear the bagpipe’s call. Low at first, but gathering strength [page 45] As the piper comes slowly to view, The Campbells are coming the Pibroch rings out, (‘Tis the sound that has oft put the foeman to rout) And old hearts are again made as new. For their thoughts fly back to those crumbling walls, And the women and children they saved; When Lucknow teemed with a hellish crowd, And its streets with the corpses were paved; When worn out with toil, starvation and wounds, With flies and the heat of the sun, They closed up the gaps of their lessening ranks, (Fighting for loved ones, without thought of thanks), Thinned out by the Rebel Gun. ‘Twas then that they heard the selfsame strain, The same as they hear it now, Pealing out hope to their fainting hearts, For Campbell was keeping his vow; And a cheer burst out from all gathered there For the Piper the last of the Band Of the old “Forty-twa” who had come to their aid, (With cold steel and clubbed muskets a path they soon made), As they fought like fiends in the van. Then after a pause, and well to the front, Came the Buglers they all knew so well And the “Last Post” sounds its solemn blast Like the dirge of a funeral knell; For never again will those gallant men Meet again in that Banqueting Hall, Their “Last Muster’s” been held and it will not be long, [page 46] That the men so youthful, so gallant and strong, Hear God’s Messenger sound their last call. Then they fill up their glass to the memory of those Both of high and of low estate; To the men that carried the powder That blew up the Cashmere Gate, And Wilson who captured the City By the point of the Bayonet’s steel, When “Remember the women and children too, The babes at the bosom, these human fiends slew,” Rang out in a thunderous peal. They think of the prisoners captive, And the blood-stained well of Cawnpore, And of Havelock’s brave futile endeavor To throw open the prison door. Of Outram, the Bayard of India, Of Lawrence who died at his post, Of Nicholson, Baird, Inglis and Grant, (The men whom no evil or danger could daunt), And the rest of that mighty host.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Oh God! in thine infinite mercy, Grant this, in thine infinite love, That the hundreds that here are assembled, May meet in Thy Heaven above, That when their “Last Point” has been sounded, Those parted now for a brief space; May with comrades they loved be united, And meet in Thy Courts, face to face. [page 47]
THE CASHMERE GATE
An Episode of the capture of Delhi.
‘Twas early dawn when the column moved To the post where they lay in wait; And we of the storming party stood, With bated breath and grim of mood; Watching the sappers lay their bags At the foot of the Cashmere Gate. For many a week had the siege lagged on, But the day had come at last, When face to face with those within, ‘Midst muskets’ flash and cannon’s din, We’d play in part the debt we owed Of vengeance for the past. We thought of the murderous crew within, Of the babes on the bayonets toss’d; Of the tender women these hell-hounds slew; Of the men shot down, good, brave and true; Of the nameless horror and havoc wrought, Of an empire nearly lost. We thought of the slaughter in dread Cawnpore, (It was hard to keep us still), Of the broken faith of a despot fell, Of the ghastly slain in the ruined well, Of the blood-stained walls of the prion cell, Where the butchers wrecked their will. [page 48] And we gave a cheer as past with a rush Came the men to fire the powder; For the gate was strong, and behind it, massed, Were the rebel “Pandies” who stood aghast, As the sappers finished their perilous task, While our cheers grew loud and louder.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
And now as sore wounded brave Salkeld fell, With the charge not yet ignited; To Burgess he handed the fatal port-fire, (‘Twas death to advance, ‘twas death to retire)— Carmichael fell dead ‘midst that hailstorm of fire, But the train had by this time been lighted. With a deafening roar the splintered gate By the charge was blown into fragments; And bleeding and mangled the rebel host Were hurl’d to swift death from their vantage post, Like waves dash’d back from a rock-bound coast, Broken and scattered in segments. Then the thrice-blown call of the bugle blast Was heard loud and clear o’er the firing; With an onward rush we stormers came As that brave lad sounded that martial train, (A summons that never was sounded in vain), And we press back the foe retiring. With point of steel and musket butt We fought our way through the city; No quarter was asked, and none was given, [page 49] As the rebels before us were wildly driven, We ran them thro’ madly, save only the women, For them alone we had pity. In history’s pages few deeds can surpass Those done at the Cashmere Gate, Where the Great Mogul in the days of old Went forth in pomp and state. Inscribed on fame’s records ‘twill ever be told, How those sappers faced death like the heroes of old, And an Empire to save from her fate.
We smile at the small events in life and think they’re of no avail, We take no stock of the little things, except as an idle tale; But great events from small ones spring, although we pay no need, For a word or a thought if acted on to great events may lead. Since Eve’s temptation and the fall, and banishment from the garden, When a thoughtless deed without excuse shut out all hopes of pardon; Many great events in history, perhaps repented when too late. Have made or marred a destiny, or sealed a nation’s fate. [page 50] When ancient Rome was leagued about by the men of savage Gaul, A way was found up the rocky heights by those warriors stout and tall; Without noise or cry, the foe attained the city’s outer wall, When some cackling geese woke the slumbering guards and the city was saved by their call. In after years when Cæsar’s legions came to the river’s brink, The fate of a world was in the scale as one moment he paused to think; With victory flushed, ambition fired, should he lead his legions on, “The die is cast,” he cried at last, and he passed the Rubicon. When the Dauphin of France in a sportive mood, sent a message to England’s King, He little thought the insult keen would to France disaster bring; But when too late he realized, the harm those words had done, For the chivalry of France went down and Agincourt was won. When Napoleon stood at the barricades with men at each shotted gun, The rabble mad with the lust of blood, thought their victor nearly won; [page 51] No touch of fear on his sallow face as he gave the word of fire, But the fate of France was in that word and the consequences dire. In Balaclava’s fatal vale, sat the gallant Cardigan, At the head of the famous “Light Brigade,” a hero every man. An Aide rides up, an order is given, and the squadrons ride to their fate, How the blunder was made or who was to blame was never known till too late. When the German Chancellor said with scorn, “’Tis only a scrap of paper,” No doubt he thought the incident would lead to nought but vapour, But Britain and her Colonies took up their arms to fight, And thousands freely gave their lives to battle for the right. When landing was made at Suvia Bay, ‘midst a torrent of shot and shell, Britons and Colonials charged through a vertable hell; They fell in hundreds, took the heights, but then exhausted stayed, Failure of water was the cause, the mules had been decided. [page 52] This lesson is clear as we learn from the past, no event however so small, But is fraught with fate and may lead to things we never can recall; The mightiest river that flows to the sea, springs but from a tiny source, Gathering strength as it onward flows, with ever-increasing force.
THE LAST CARTRIDGE
There’s many a deed that’s done unseen Except by Omniscient eyes , That’s worthy the coveted “Cross of Bronze,” Which a soldier so justly doth prize. Such a deed was done in the Mutiny year, ‘Twas in eighteen fifty-seven; But it never was writ in the scroll of fame, Though it stands recorded in Heaven. In an outlying town near Peshawar, A battalion of Sepoys were quartered, But on barrack ground drawn up on parade They rebelled and their officers slaughtered; Save one, who sore wounded had cut his way Through the murderous hellish band; For the thought of his wife through this blood and strife, Had strengthened his weary hand. [page 53] The Bungalow reached, he turned at bay, Although of all hope bereft; But his trusty blade was red to the hilt, And he still had one cartridge left. Now madden’d with Bhang and brutal lust And the sunlight’s scorching ray, The yelling mob with a rush came on, For but two now barr’d the way. A soldier, one of the Bull-dog breed, That hails from the British Isles; The other a girl, his fair young wife, With a face only made for smiles. “The cursed Feringhee cut down and slay, The ‘Mem Sahib’ shall be our prey; For the Raj of the white man is ended now, And all Ind. is our own to-day.” One look in the eyes of her husband dear, As he strained her to his breast; “Remember your promise and fail me not, We shall soon be free and at rest.” Then his hand grew firm and steady his grip, As he thought of their unborn babe, And his last bullet sped to her dauntless heart, His wife from dishonour to save. One moment to lay her gently down, And then like a tiger at bay, He slew till his sword blade was broken And a musket ball ended the fray. [page 54] Was the deed that he did viewed in Heaven As the deed of a man who did right? We may guess, but we cannot judge calmly, Like the Almighty, who judges right.
* * * * * * * * * * *
It was early next morn when some outlying scouts, In advance of a hasty-raised force, Rode into the compound, the scene of the fray, And each trooper sharp checked up his horse; For there on the ground, as if fast asleep, Untouched by the spoilers rude hand, Lay Husband and Wife, his arm round her thrown, And his death grip still grasping her hand. Each helmet was raised as the men view’d that scene, For it needed no words to explain; And eyes filled with tears, that had long years been dry. As in one grave they buried the slain.
THE CREW OF THE CORNISH GIG
The Cornishmen are a hardy race from the Tamar to Land’s End, And firm as the rocks by the salt spray washed, their wills are hard to bend; In the days of James they rose as one man, and the rocks re-echoed the cry, If Trelawny died, how the Cornishmen would “know the reason why.” Though stalwart and bold are the Cornishmen, their women are staunch and true, And Ann of Saltash was the pride of the coast with her buxom fisher crew. So a Captain in the Navy, who knew well what they could do, Proposed to challenge “Monsier Jacques,” across the waters blue. At Havre, on the coast of France, the Frenchmen made a boast, No crew could beat their fisherman on all the English coast. Twas in the year of ’33, when all French hearts were sore, For at Waterloo they had met defeat just eighteen years before. Now Ann consulted with her crew, and each one of the band, Determined to achieve her best for love of her native land; But the Frenchmen laughed at the challenge bold and reck’d not of defeat, Their pride was touched that the sailors, skilled, with women should not compete.
* * * * * * *
The longed-for day had come at last and ‘twas a charming sight, Those maidens with their rounded arms and garb of snowy white; [page 55] Each face serene and confident and each bosom swelled with pride, For never yet had that crew been beat in all the country side. Ten four-oared boats were in the race, and six soon forged ahead, But the Cornish crew rowed an even stroke until stout Ann Glanville said, “Bend your backs, my maidens all, for the honour of the flag, Hurrah for bonnie England! Don’t let your efforts lag.” The course was long, but steadily to the front those maidens drew, The light of triumph in their eyes, for well each sculler knew, That prize was now within their reach, their foes could spurt no more, And they won at last by a hundred yards, with the British Flag at the fore. [page 56]
“Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”—St. John.
There is grit and sand in the Englishman, For he comes of the lion’s breed, And at duty’s call he does not flinch, Nor sway like a broken reed. Though some may say he has had his day And his records of the past, He’s as staunch to-day as he was of yore, And is game to the very last. Let us take the case of those heroes four, Returned from the South Pole’s quest; As under the fold of their sheltering tent They calmly waited death; Small hope was there of a safe return, No help could their comrades give; While the deadly blizzard raged outside, Which none could face and live. Of the four inside there was one so low, It was thought he would die that night; But the weary hours came and passed, And once more came the morning light. He had hoped and prayed that a merciful God Would his sufferings shortly end. And his comrades yet might safely attain Untrammelled by the care of their friend. [page 57] So he ope’d the tent door and went to his death, Though they pleaded with him to remain; No sepulchre marked out the place where he died In the midst of that wild wintry plain. Who knows but perhaps the Lord in His love, Sent His Angels to guard and to keep His body from harm, and his soul safely guide, ‘Ere his eyes closed in merciful sleep. There’s pride in the heart of an Englishman, When he reads of such deeds as these; Which is shared by all folk of the British Isles And their comrades from Over Seas. It is glorious to die for our country’s sake, ‘Midst the battle’s tumult and strife; But ‘tis braver still for a comrade’s sake To cheerfully give up a life. [page 58]
SIR CLOUDESLEY SHOVEL; OR FROM CABIN BOY TO ADMIRAL
‘Twas a gallant fight that the old Superb Had fought with the French that day, But her powder and shot had at last run out And she lay like a lion at bay. Could she signal for help all yet migt go well— ‘Tis not in the English to fear— And the foe would soon quail when raked by the hail From her consort the brave Temeraire. [page 59] But the smoke lay between like a mantle of gloom— No signal would show through that pall— And the enemy’s ships lay like a barrier between, While like hail came the death-dealing ball. In a pitiable plight was the gallant Superb, As she rolled in the trough of the sea; Men fell on all sides, and if no help came soon, A wreck on the ocean she’d be. Then a thought struck stout Narborough—he scribbled a note And he held it for all men to see— “Who’ll take these few lines to the ship Temeraire And bring back and answer to me?” But the men looked askance at the water around; Sure, theirs was no enviable lot, But ‘twas better to die on a blood-stained deck, Than struck down to the depths by the shot. But while they reflected, a shrill voice called out: “I’ll take it, your honor, ne’er fear; Get through with the paper and come back again With reply from the good Temeraire.” Then the Admiral said, “You’re a chip of the block That’s made England so known on the foam; Be off, quick as you can, some day you will tread Quarterdeck of a ship of your own. Face blackened with powder, the brave cabin boy Ope’ his mouth, placed the missive within, Then plunged o’er the side of the sore-stricken ship And struck out on his perilous swim. [page 60] The minutes passed slowly; would help never come? But the enemy chuckled with glee, As she poured in a broadside with deadly intent, To sink her foe deep in the sea. But hark! what’s the crash, like thunder o’er head, That brings from the crew such a cheer; ‘Tis the answer they wait, nor waited in vain, ‘Tis the guns of the stout Temeraire. A few minutes later is heard by the men A faint voice that hails “ship ahoy!” And hauled to the deck by a score of willing hands, Torn and bleeding’s the brave cabin boy. Thirty years from that day, the once cabin boy Now an admiral, the pride of the fleet, Brought his ship into port and was grasped by the hand By the man he had saved from defeat. And Narborough, the veteran, welcomed with pride Cloudesley Shovel (who knighthood could bost), Who was known for his deeds far from north to Land’s End, From the capital down to the coast. [page 61]
HOW CATHERINE DOUGLAS BARRED THE DOOR AT PERTH
Of the Steward Kings of Scotland, who ruled that troubled land, King James the First holds foremostplace, though he ruled with iron hand; As Monarch, Poet and Statesman, he was premier over all, But treason lurked within his court and brought about his fall. King James’ court was radiant with dames of high degree, For Scotia’s hardy demoselles were beautiful to see; But the brightest flower among them, the fairest of them a’ Was Bonne Catherine Douglas, the slender and the tall. King James had come to “Royal Perth,” with the favorites of his court, (Not knowning by foul trechery, his life was osld and bought;) The laugh and jest had passed around, he rose up to retire, When the clash of arms and furious shouts caused consternation dire. [page 62] Too late to fly! how deeply laid had been the cunning plot, For the bolt was gone from the oaken door, and empty lay the slot; The armed footsteps nearer drew—was there no way to stay The entry of those regecides, and gain some short delay? And then was seen how the Douglas strain, the blood of the stout Sir James, That never flinched when duty vcalled, flowed in a lady’s veins; For Catherine bared her shapely arm and barred the heavy door. Such living bolt, with quivering flesh, was never seen before. Why dwell on the sickening details of a crushed and mangled limb, Of the murder foul, in the chamber vault, of the luck-less, ill-starred king? For Scottish annals tell the tale, and Scottish bards relate How justice, ere a month had passed, avenged King James’ fate. ‘Midst the roll of famous heroines, whose names will never fade, Stands the martyr of King James’ Court, the high-born Scottish maid, Few nobler deeds were ever done by woman on this earth, Than that by Catherine Douglas when she barred the door at Perth. [page 63]
IN THE NICK OF TIME
Suggested by the painting by R. Caton Woodville.
He had charged with the fiery Rupert, who like chaff had scattered the foe, He had fought for his king and country until fate had laid him low, And now that his life was forfeit by a stern usurper’s will, He would die like a gallant soldier, undismayed and loyal still. Then the past came back to his vision as he stood by the castle wall, And blurred were the line of musketeers who waited the captain’s call; For he thought of his native Devon, with its hedgerows, trim and neat, And of her, his own wild rose, so loving, true and sweet. “Thank God! She would hear no tidings of the forfeit that he paid; Perhaps time would bring its healing to his own true country maid.” But he little knew the workings of a loving woman’s heart. And how, far away in London, she was acting well her part. [page 64] How she sought the Lord Protector, and pleading at his feet, She bowed her haughty head—till rising from his seat, He handed her the pardon sealed, signed with his potent name, He had daughters of his own he loved, or her prayers had been in vain. Then she tightened the girths of her faithful grey, for the times were days of strife, “Oh! fail me not, my gentle maire, for we ride for a human life.” So lightly bounding to saddle bow, she gathered the loosened reins, And the iron-bound hoofs on the frozen ground rang out through streets and lanes. ‘Tis a fearsome ride for a tender maid, ‘midst the dark of a winter’s night, But she knows that at dawn her lover dies in the early morning light; So she bends o’er the neck of her panting horse and speaks to him words of cheer, And the steed answers back with a whinneying neigh, for her voice she loves to hear. And now at the castle the soldiers press back the gathering crowd at the gate, The muskets are raised and wait but the word that will send a brave man to his fate; [page 65] But, hark! Down the road comes the clatter of hoofs, and right through the throng rides a maid; Too exhausted to speak, a parchment she shows, and her courage her lover has saved. Oh! Why tell the story of two loving hearts united again at death’s door? Let us pass to the future, long years having passed, for gone are the horrors of war. The King now enjoys his own again, and peace sheds his blessing around, And the grass grows green on the blood-soaked ground, and smiling crops abound. In a fair and stately mansion, in the loveliest part of Devon, Which county’s said by those who know, to rhyme with beauteous Heaven. Lives the man who faced those levelled tubes of the musketeers in red, And she, the faithful, loving wife, whom long years since he wed. And oft’ when the winter’s frost lies thick on the harden’d ground outside, They speak of the past and its stirring times, and the grey mare’s gallant ride; For the children love to hear that tale, dearer than fairy rhyme, How mother saved their father’s life, “Just in the Nick of Time.” [page 66]
A HERO’S FUNERAL
The “Mill of the Dogs” grinds slow, they say; yet it grinds exceedingly small; At Omdurman, after fourteen years, we’d avenged proud Khartoum’s fall; For step by step o’er the desert sand we’d beaten back the foe. And the city once again was ours, with its memories of woe. On Friday we’d dealt the crushing blow that mark’s the Madhi’s fall; ‘Twas on Sunday morn that the troops formed up at the foot of the palace wall; For on those steps brave Gordon, like a hunted stag at bay, Disdaining flight, had yielded life, with him ‘twas the “only way.” The troops in line, bronzed by the sun, stood at attention ready; On the right the British regulars, on the left the Egyption levy; In the centre the Sirdar with his staff, while on the palace wall, Two flagstaffs marked the fatal spot of the dauntless Hero’s fall. The Sirdar raised his head high, and from the distant fleet, The guns salute in muffled sounds which the echoes oft repeat; [page 67] Two flags fly up, by the halyards raised, and the watching Soudanese See the Union Jack and Egyptian flag float proudly in the breeze. Then the band of the Guards struck up the strain, the Anthem we love so well, And each hand went up to the helmet peak as its cadence rose and fell; While followed close the Khedive Hymn, played by the native band, For Egypt’s ruler now held sway on this recaptured land. Each heart went out in sympathy, and made us all recall (As the solemn sound arose of Handel’s Funeral March in Saul) How at duty’s post he stay’d through all those days of grief woe, Like a thorough true born Englishman, facing alone the foe. Gordon the Christian Warrior was a man of no narrow creed, His life was ever spotless—blameless in word and deed; Four chaplains, each of a different creedm the burial service read, ‘Twas meet that each should thus unite to honor the gallant dead. [page 68] And then the band of the 12th Soudan played that hymn he loved in the past. “Abide with Me,” and the Sirdar’s eyes grew moist, for he knew at last, After years of weary toil and strife he had well fulfilled his aim, And paid the last sad tribute to a Hero’s deathless fame. Though Gordon’s statue, carved in stone, stands in the sunlight’s glare, With Havelock and Nelson in famed Trafalgar Square. His monument in Khartoum lies now blessed with peace at last, Risen Phœnix like from the ashes of a now forgotten past.
WAITING FOR THE QUEEN
In no other place but Britain could such a sight be seen, When the proudest Monarchs of the world stood waiting for the Queen; For on that soil all men are free as long as they do right, No need to fear the assassin’s knife or deadly dynamite. There stood the Kaiser’s regal form with air of conscious pride; The haughty Spaniard’s youth King now yoked to English bride; [page 69] The Viking King from Denmark’s shore, King Haakon Norway’s pride; The boyish King of Portugal with Belgium at his side. While from the toles of ancient Greece, a King who ruled a race Whose deeds done in the past can never be effaced; Princes and Dukes, a glittering crowd, while calm amongst them waits The envoy from across the seas, stout Roosevelt from the States. The carriage door stands open, on either side is seen Two stalwart footmen waiting, for the coming of the Queen; She comes at last, sweet, patient, sad, a widow in her grief, For loss like hers is hard to bear, time only sends relief. Why does she pause and move aside, what fills her eyes with tears? She sees her husband’s Charger, who now no rider bears, She sees his terrier, Cæsar, the dog he loved so well, They seem to feel the loss she feels, though their grief they cannot tell. With a quick impulsive movement she clasps the horse’s head, On its muzzle prints a loving kiss in memory of the dead [page 70] And then to Cæsar, stooping low, she gives a fond caress, She knows that they, like to herself, will pine in loneliness. Oh, Monarchs, who stand waiting will this to you recall, How they reign the best, who love the best, all things both great and small. For the highest types of Sovereignty the world has ever seen, Were the friends of all dumb animals, King Edward and his Queen.
THE LAST TOKEN
The King of a mighty Empire With hands clasped on his breast, Peaceful and calm as though aslep, Lies cold and still in death. His hands hold no regal sceptre, No emblem of sovereignty shows, But clasped in his stiffen’d fingers Is a simple English Rose. A token from wife to husband Placed by her own fair hand, An emblem of dear old England And her own adopted land. [page 71] She chose not a costly orchid, Full well his taste she knows, And she placed in his hand the blossom Of a sweet old English Rose. Did she think of those sweet and peaceful groves In their dear old Norfolk home; Where royalty and state put by, Their footsteps used to roam. Where the robin from a nearby branch His note of sweetness throws, And the hedges teem with the blossoms Of the sweet wild English Rose. Oh! Alexandra, widowed Queen, May God still on thee pour, The blessing of a perfect peace, Until thou reach that shore; Where those that love will meet again And all forget their woes; Christ loved the flowers while on this earth, Perhaps there will bloom the Rose.
For many a weary day and hour Did Maggie Massie lay, Waiting the call of the angel voice That should summon her away. She knew that her days were number’d, But she longed to see her Queen, For she knew she was leaving Engand And for long could not be seen. [page 72] So she wrote a letter by stealth and asked, Would the Queen come e’re she left, And gladden the heart of a dying girl Of all other joys bereft? She had faith in the Queen of Britain; She knew she was kind and good; And she said to herself again and again: Oh! if she only would?
* * * * * *
But hark! ‘tis the sound of a voice she hears, And a red flush dyes her cheeks, As the matron whispers a few kind words, Giving place to the one she seeks; And she sees bend o’er her a sad sweet face; Oh! it seems so like a dream, As a voice whispers comfort resignation and hope The voice of her country’s Queen.
THE FIRST PRINCE OF WALES
The Cymry wild and turbulent Had cost the King much care; Rude as the rugged boulders round, Free as their native air. For they would brook no alien rule, Bend to no foreign yoke; Unconquered still they scorned to yield, A hardy stubborn folk. [page 73] But Edward, King of England, Was wise beyond his years; By subtlety alone he knew He could allay their fears; So he called their leading chieftains, Rough, hardy, stern and brave, And from grim Carnavon’s battlements, To them this promise made— That he’d find a prince to rule them, Born ‘midst their craigs and peaks; Who would be a thorough Welshman, And no word of English speak. So, worn out by fierce dissension And their fear of one another, They gave their promise gladly, All jealousies to smother. They’d accept the King’s decision And live beneath the sway Of the Lord that Edward gave them, To be their Prince that day. They did not know that up on high, In a turret room there lay Proud Edward’s Queen with new-born babe, Whom they’d sworn to all obey.
* * * * * *
From the steps of grey Carnarvon, With the portals open wide, Came forth a kingly warrior With a retinue of pride. [page 74] With a golden circlet on his helm He bore on upturned shield And silken cushions, a lovely babe, Pink on an argent shield. “Behold,” said he! “the Prince I give To rule this gallant nation,” The Chieftains looked, then shoook the air With joyful acclamation; And now Carnarvon once again, As in the time long since, Another Edward loud acclaims, Her own beloved prince.
THE BABY’S ANSWER
Far away beyond the seas in the land of Sunny Spain Sat a widow sad and lonely, she had waited long in vain, For an answer to her sad appeal parying the state to grant, A pension in her lonelieness, to keep her free from want. Her husband fell at Cuba fighting his country’s foe, But her plea remained unanswered for the government was slow; And suffering women though they starve must wait their weary turn, Routine must not be hurried, the authorities were stern. [page 75] Now as the widow ponder’d on the best course to pursue, The mother heart within her solved the problem quick and true; She would plead to the heir apparent, the future hope of Spain, Sure such a plea if rightly urged would not be made in vain. Now the “Prince of the Austurias” was but a baby boy, But the idol of the nation, and a source of love and joy To his fond and loving parents, the King and Queen of Spain, And heir to an ancient monarchy o’er which one day he’d reign. So she wrote her plea in simple fait and sent it to Spain’s heir, And prayed the blessed Virgin with many a sob and tear, To touch those parent’s hearts who’d read her lowly, sad request; Not often had a woman’s plea been so feelingly addressed. The Lord of Castile and Arragon was a proud and mighty king, But he loved his son and heir as he loved no other thing; So he brough the letter the woman wrote and gave it to his boy, [page 76] Who took it in his chubby hands as he would some childish toy, Then gently dropp’d it from his hand and smil’d with infant joy. Then the king turn’d round and asked each one what they’d the answer call, But they shook their heads and gently said there was no reply at all; “Then silence gives consent,” said he, “from her wants the suppliant frees, Tell the widow her boon is granted, for the Infant Prince agrees.”
A true incident told by G. R. Sims.
In a slum in the south of London, Where the very poorest dwell, Lay a dying girl named Jessie (She’d one been the factor belle); Loved by all those who knew her, For her kind and gentle ways; They knew that death would claim her For his own in a few more days. So her factory chums assembled, Hard working girls and poor, And they plann’d how best to show their love When their comrade was no more. [page 77] So each from her scanty earnings Gave as much as she could spare, To buy a wreath for Jessie, To lay on her coffin bare. And they went to the shop of the florist And chose a wreath of price; It took all their hard-earn’d savings, But they wanted something nice. But then the thought came o’er them, That the one they lov’d so well, Would never set eyes on their purchase, And a cloud on their spirits fell. Then a girl had an inspiration, That found favor with them all; Why not show the wreath to Jessie, Before she quits this world. So the wreath was ordered quickly And taken to her room, By a sorrowing deputation, For they knew they’d lose her soon. And they told her why they’d brought it, And she lay there pale and weak, Then the eyes of Jessie brightened And a flush came on her cheek. “How beautiful,” she siad with pride, “I’m so glad you let me see it; Our parting now will not be sad, Your loving gift has made me glad, For I soon this world must quit.” [page 78] The wreath was hung full in her sight, Against the sombre wall, And the last few hours of the dying girl E’re the angel made his call Were hours of peace and joyful trust In her Redeemer’s love; As she prayed she would meet her comrades dear, In the blissful realms above.
Far away in a distant Yukon camp lived an emigrant called Joe, Who had left his home in England some eighteen months ago; Wandering, he struck this mining camp, a dreary place and cold, But what will man not venture in search of hidden gold. The luck had been against him, he never made his pile, Got just sufficient of the dust to make another trial; Always hoping for the best, he labored hard and long, Kind providence had blessed him with a constitution strong. His mates were hardy miners, “diamonds in the rough,” For mining in the Yukon makes men both hard and tough; Joe was a kind of favorite, not one who liked to roam, He laughed and joked like other men, but never spoke of home. [page 79] One day an accident occurred, poor Joe was picked up dead, Found at the bottom of the shaft with crushed and batter’d head; So the miner’s met, and the Parson read a service short and brief, And eyes that seldom shed a tear were wet that day with grief. In looking over Joe’s effects to see what could be done With their comrade’s camping outfit, clothing, shovel, pick and gun, They came on a baby’s stocking, soft and fleecy as could be, A cosy winter stocking reaching far above the knee. They look’d at one another, at last a miner spake: We’ll fill this sock right up with gold (a tidy sum ‘twill make); The world is hard on a widow poor, hers is a wretched life, We’ll send it off across the pond to Joey’s lonesome wife. There are some who give to charity, who never feel the loss, Others who give it grudgingly have never borne the cross; But those men in the distant Yukon, gave of their little store, Perhaps that loving “touch of nature” brough them nearer Heaven’s door. [page 80]
JESSIE BROWN AT LUCKNOW
The air was hot and stifling and seated on the ground Two women sought repose and rest, though little could be found; Danger had levell’d the caste of rank and a common sisterhood Was felt by both those weary ones who in deadly peril stood. Wrapped in her plaid with pallid face the Scottish lassie lay, Reclining on the friendly lap of her comrade for the day; No peaceful slumber closed her eyes, though tired nature sent A fevered rest, which to her face a sad strange beauty lent. With parted lips and mutter’d words she slept amid the boom Of cannon’s road and falling walls, sad heralds of the doom Which hung o’er all the garrison, fighting as ne’er before, To save their loved ones from the fate of the women of Cawnpore. But hark! what is it Jessie hears, that rouses her from rest; With straining eyes and listening ears, hands tight clasp’d on her breast: [page 81] “We’re saved, we’re saved, O thank the Lord, the Campbells come at last, “Dinna ye hear it comrades true, the Pibrochs cheerful blast. Of all the tunes that thrill the breast, the grandesrt of them a’ Is the slogal in the Hielandmen that come from far Loch Awe; No foe can bar their entrance here, they’ll win each foot of ground, With bayonet point and musket butt to the bagpipes martial sound. With ears intent they listen’d long, but could detect no sound, They look’d with pity on the girl, just risen from the ground; Fatigue and want have turned her brain, so many of them said, And they turned again to their weary task, ‘midst dying and the dead. But soon their doubts were chased away, they heard the distant sound, The cheers of their gallant rescuers as their fighting column wound And fought its way through crowded streets, but far above the roar, Was the bagpipes of the Highlanders, heard by Jessie long before. [page 82]
A GAME AT BOWLS
True English hearts were stout and bold in the days of the Virgin Queen, And whether on land or out at sea, no braver men were seen; No matter the odds opposed to them, although it were six to one, Shoulder to shoulder they fought and died for they knew not how to run. ‘Twas at the time the Armada’s Fleet hd sailed from the Spanish coast, And put to sea in its majesty, for the Spaniards made the boast, That Albion’s pride should humbled be, her ships swept off the main, And Spain victorious in her might should yet fresh laurels gain. Merry the feast and loud the laugh that was heard on Plymouth Hoe, Where a band of gallant mariners, little caring for the foe, Were playing a friendly game of bowls (for the seaman loved his sport), All undisturbed by the coming strife or the battle to be fought. [page 83] ‘Twas a captain of a privateer, a man of visage keen, Who came in haste to tell them how the Spanish ships he’d seen, Right off the Lizard coming on in crescent shape and wide, Great Galleons all frowning ports in power of pomp and pride. Assembled there on Plymouth Hoe were men who knew no fear, Men who had fought on the Spanish main, men to their country dear: Howard and Hawkins, Grenville and Drake, men who would fight, not boast, These were the men who played at boys on the lovely Devon coast. Then Drake look’d up with a quiet smile and his words were calm and clear: “Let’s finish the game we are playing now, to an Englishman sport is dear, Then we’ll down to our ships and tackle the dons and strike for our country’s sake; For ‘tis right, not might, this victory wins, for our nation’s honor’s at stake.” [page 84]
THE PASSING OF THE GREAT MARQUIS
‘Twas Morley House in the Cannongate and its inmates held good cheer, And the sound of revelry came forth from the open casement there; For Argyle’s son was newly wed and the wedding guests were gay, When the gruesome cart with Montrose bound stopp’d on its onward way. Weary and worn but with steadfast mien, John Graham raised his eyes To the balcony right above his head, (he did not fear to die) Where surrounded by his parasites, Gillespie Grumach stood, Shrinking with shame from the scornful gaze of the noble and the good. For seven long years he had feared this man and trembled at his name, When the heart of the distant Highlands had echoed with his fame; No crag, too steep, no ford too deep, no mountain pass could bar, The passage of those hardy men who’d folowed him from far. And now the gallant Marquis went a shameful death to die, And his foes tried hard to break his heart by shame and ignomy; [page 85] But true to his king he had served so well he cheerfully gave up life, “I live and die for loyaltie,” he said, “in peace and strife.”
* * * * * *
Eleven years have passed, the tide has turn’d and a king rules once again, But in durance vile lies proud Argyle, oppressed with grief and shame; While from Abbey Church of Holyrood, in the glare of noon-day sun, A funeral cortage passes slow ‘midst the boom of the minute gun. The greatest nobles of the land, that hallow’d coffin bear, Covered with pall in Royal state with trimmings rich and rare; Those scatter’d fragments once again united ne’er to part, Though ‘tis believed a loving friend had stolen away the heart. In St. Giles’ Church Montrose’s Tomb stands to this very day, And his deeds will live in history and point to all the way; To “live and die for loyaltie,” e’en to the bitter end, For though ‘tis at the scaffold’s foot, Heaven will its blessing send. [page 86]
A LEGEND OF COUER DE LION
“Know now whether it be thy son’s coat or no.”
A fighting Bishop was he of Beauvois, and he foiught with no spiritual sword, In chain mail bright, in the thickest fight, he could vie with the stoutest lord; But fate so willed that one so skilled should be overthrown at last, And in dungeon drear, should make atone for the deeds done in the past. When Couer de Lion a captive lay, in the power of Austria’s Duke, When his spirit chafed at his solitude, by all his friends forsook; This Bishop had happened a visit to make and he urged that one so bold, Should be shut up close and in fetters kept, secure in the lowest hold. Now Richard swore that affront so sore should never be forgot, But be repayed if the Bishop stayed in the dungeon till he rot; Though his clergy offered a ransom large, he was deaf to their sighs and prayers, And said the Bishop should ne’er go free for the rest of his weary years. [page 87] Then recourse was had to the Pope of Rome, who wrote to England’s King: “You’ve imprisoned my son, you’ve sacrilege done, which is a most wicked thing; Let his Lordship free and we’ll all agree to pay you a ransom large, He’s wanted a home to look after his flock, who have no one left in charge.” Then a grim smile stole o’er King Richard’s face, and he sent for the coat of mail Which the Bishop wore when wounded sore and his strength began to fail; And he said to the Envoys waiting there, “To the Pope now straightway go, And say from the King (like Jacob’s sons) is this thy son’s coat or no?” When the Holy Father saw the coat besmirched with blood and dust, He was shocked at the sight and turned away from the mail with much disgust: “Tell England’s King the Bishop can stay behind the prison bars, This is no son of mine I wot, more like a son of Mars. [page 88]
CŒUR DE LION’S REVENGE
That terror of the Saracens, that Lion-hearted king Whose doughty deeds in Palestine had made all Europe ring; Whose name used by the Moslem wife would still her fractious son, Lay on a couch of pain and death, his life-work nearly done. Oh! irony of fate, that he who made the Moslem quail, Whose deeds were sung by Troubador in castle hall and vale; Who pass’d unscathed through battlefield ‘midst dying and the dead, Should by a random shaft be slain by Norman Bowman sped. “Bring here the prisoner,” Richard said, “I fain would see his face, Question why he did this deed and hear him plead for grace; He must be brave indeed who lifts his hand ‘gainst England’s King, Knowing ful well the penalty which such a deed must bring.” Undaunted by impending fate the captive’s eye ne’er quailed, His words were bold and haughty, nor did his cheeks turn pale; [page 89] But he gazed upon the dying king as he lay upon his bed, In accents firm and bold he spake and to King Richard said: “My father and my brothers twain by thine own hand were slain, And, tyrant, now you too must die, my deed was not in vain; I care not for your torture, nor the worst that you can do, For you must die the same as I, for both our hours are few.” The King looked up with glistening eye, he loved a manly deed, (To the mutter’d threats of those around he gave not any heed), “O, youth,” he said, in accents mild, “I forgive what thou hast done, Let him go free, rewarded be, and see him harmed by none.” Oh! sad was the day for England when its bravest king lay dead, But sadder still for that brave young man who left his dying bed; Not long had the monarch ceased to breathe when the pardon was cast aside, And Bertrand de Gourdon by brutal hands was tortured till he died. [page 90]
THE LAST OF THE SAXONS
Old England boasted men of might before the Norman’s came, Sturdy and strong the Saxon race had played a manly game; And whether against the hardy Welsh or Norway’s viking host, No foeman who once crossed their path had ever cause to boast. But fate had willed that a Norman Duke should conquer Anglia’s realm, And an alien foe by skill and might the Saxons overwhelm; Better by far that Harold died with battle axe in hand Than live a life of servitude when William ruled the land. Stripped to the skin ‘midst a heap of slain, the stricken Harold lay, What mortal man could do he’d done that luckless, bloody day; He perished nobly at his post, back’d by his brothers twain, And the dragon flag was drenched in gore when Godwin’s sons were slain. Slowly that night o’er the ghastly dead a woman search’d intent, Some monks with lantern light to aid their kind assistance lent; [page 91] The spoilers hand had torn away vesture and jewel of worth, In one “rude burial blent” they lay, on the ensanquined earth. But the eye of love has instincts keen and knows not let or stay, And sees as welol in the darksome night, as it does in the cloudless day; Fair Edith knew by a well-known mark the man she sought was found, So they gently raised the manly form of Harold from the ground. At Waltham Abbey he found rest, a king both wise and great, Borne to his tomb by simple marks, shorn of all pomp or state; Even Norman William dared not leave his enemy unblessed. And in the church he loved so well his body lay at rest.
THE MIDNIGHT SUPPER
A Glimpse of Life in London
We boast of our missions to far distant lands, We strive hard the heathen to win, By sending out teachers to point of the right To those whom we think live in sin. But while trying to show to others the truth (Perhaps people more moral than we) Do we not overlook our own kith and kin Here at home and far over the sea. [page 92] I would like for a moment you’d picture a scene That was told by a lady at home; A picture so sad it would haunt you alway Wherever your footsteps might roam; For what could be sadder than purity soiled, Than womanhood sunk and debased, Fair forms and fair faces disfigured by vice And all marks of God’s image defaced. ‘Tis one by the clock, for midnight had passed As we enter a large Mission Hall, Where a dainty repast is laid out with taste And bright mottoes illumine the wall; With fruit and with flowers the tables are set And a welcome extended to all; Yet the guests are a class whom the virtuous shun, For they all bear the marks of the fall. And yet in that room there are gathered to-night, Those who once possessed beauty so rare, That Satan ne’er paused till he made them his own ‘Ere he left them to utter despair; For well does he know that when once on the path Which so often his victims have trod, The chances are slim he will e’er lose his prey, For they dare not appeal to their God. There’s a girl scarce fifteen, whose tresses float loose In a shower of gold to her waist, Sitting next to a woman of thirty or more, With the trade-marks of sin in her face; [page 93] Clad in silks that are fashioned their charms to display Dress and jewellery quite up to date; They live in the present, ignoring the past, Fear to think of their ultimate fate. Many are here who once were the pride Of a home that was peaceful and mild, Beloved by fond parents who never thought ill Would ever o’ershadow their child. Others with talent which if guided aright, Would have brought them both honor and fame; But talent and love misdirected may lead, To a future of peril and shame.
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The supper is over, addresses are given, By lips that are loving and kind; Pleading so gently and pointing the way The Magdalene’s Saviour to find. And then someone starts a hymn known to all And its sweet strains bring welling the tears, That have lingered unshed this many a year, Since they left home nad parents once dear. Let us honor that noble Mission Band That walk the streets at night, To rescue a fallen sisterhood, And lead them to the light. May God stir up in this our land, Many with self-same views, As the band of Christian women led By Mrs. Hugh, Price, Hughes. [page 94]
“Inasmuch as ye did it to one of the least of these, ye did it unto Me.”
When the judgment books are opened and the deeds of all are shown, To him will the Saviour’s words apply—to the Christian man alone? To whom who tries to shape his life from formula and creed, Or to him who from a well-filled purse gives that he does not need? There are deeds oft’ done in kindness, and the world gives little heed, But they’re registered on High as a great and glorious deed; Oft’ done by the poor and needy with a loving, generous heart, As without a thought of recompense they choose the “better part.” Such happened not so long ago on a cold and wintry day; The frost and snow lay on the ground, the sky above was grey; A minister was on his rounds to visit sick and poor, When on a snowbank, fast asleep, close by a cottage door [page 95] He saw a youth, not yet a man, lie stupified by drink; His hat was off, his hands were bare, ‘twas horrible to think How his friends had left to his fate, in the chilly freezing air, And a human soul was perishing and no one near to care. He bent right o’er that sleeping lad and tried with might and main, To rouse him from his lethargy, but his efforts were in vain; When from the door right opposite spoke a voice in accents mild: “Just wait a bitm we’ll carry in this helpless, wayward child.” Then carefully and tenderly they laid him on her bed, Took off his outer garments and bathed his fevered head. “Sons of my own, I have,” she said, “who knows but they may need, Some day a helping hand like mine to do a kindly deed.”
THE TWO SUPPLIANTS
Two women stood at the gate of Heaven, And they sought admission there; The one all smiles and free as air, (No cross had it been her lot to bear), The other was sad, with a look of care, But both had been wondrous fair. [page 96] “I have sinned no sin,” was the cry of the first, “My life has been free from stain; No woman can at me point the finger of scorn (Though the social circle I once did adorn), And safe in the harbour I’ve felt not the storm, Can I not then admission claim. But the voice of the other was sad and low, As she pleaded with sob and tear; (For the tempter had spread his net too well, She had loved not wisely and so she fell); It is hard when young our passions to quell So her soul was filled with fear. Then low on the ground at the angel’s feet, Not daring to look on the ligh, She could only say, “I have loved and lost, I have risked my all not counting the cost; My soul, O Lord, has been temptest tossed, O send me not hence from thy sight. Then the guardian Angel stretched out his hand, And he raised her from the ground; Your sins are erased by the tears you have shed, ‘Twas to save the repentant He rose from the dead; Through trial and sorrow, your steps have been led To the Haven where peace can be found. If all were judged by the sins of the past, Fed’d pass to bliss out of strife; ‘Tis the sins of omission bar entrance here, [page 97] The talent that’s buried, the want of care, For the needs of the erring ones to Him so dear, Making self the one object in life. Then the gate opened wide and joy reigned within, Round the sinner the angels did gather; But the fate of the other was hid from my sight, Maybe in the darkness ‘twas some ray of light, Whate’er the Lord doeth, we know it is right, For His mercy endureth forever.
HOME—SHE HAD NONE
‘Twas early spring and the leafless boughs Swayed gently in the breeze, While the robins carolled their joyful notes From the top of the distant trees. The sun shone out of a clear blue sky, All nature seemed smiling and gay; But a sorrowful group by a lonely grave Bore saddened hearts that day. ‘Twas some “Chorus Girls” who in mourning clad, Had gathered that morn to show, Their love for a comrade gentle and kind, Whom the angel of death had lain low. For brown-haired Bessie was one of themselves, (Scarce twenty and three years of age); So they paid for the rite from their own scanty means, Those kind-hearted girls from the stage. [page 98] Struck down by fever, in hospital cot, No loved one around her bedside; The poor girl gave up her wearisome life, And with strangers around her died. Maybe at the last an angel was sent, Comfort and pardon to bring; And her voice may be heard in the chorus above, Which the angels so joyfully sing. Oh, women, who favored by Heaven above, With the blessings of comfot and wealth, Do you think of your sisters who work night and day On the stage, risking honor and health; If so, judge them kindly, those hard-working girls And turn from them not in disdain, Behind the footlight’s bright glare there beats fond living hearts, Which can feel for a comrade in pain.
THE SUFFRAGETTE’S DREAM
There was fierce resolve on that fair young face, When she lay herself down to rest, For she’d lectured that day with an eloquent tongue, And she felt she had spoken her best: She had argued the wrongs of her down-trodden sex In a manner convincing to all, She had silenced her foes, she had earned her repose, For her words had been wormwood and gall. [page 99] And now as in slumber her senses are wrapped, To her vision the future seems brought; Women’s rights have been won and under the sun All is gained for which she has fought. She sees all around her the fruits of her toil, Old ideas have all been put to flight; And by her own tongue has the triumph been won, For might has been conquered by right. On the Bench, at the Bar, in the Pulpit at church, Woman takes equal right with a man; Their numbers are more, why should men then feel sore, Let them come to the front if they can. For hard manual labor must now be their lot, Unfit for the feminine mind; No more from his home a man now may roam, But always be docile and kind. Then her thought took a turn and she thought in her dream There was something seemed waiting in life; The want of a sequel where all things were equal, And the sequel was in the word wife. For courtesy now was a thing of the past, No loving attentions were paid; Romance had all passed, the die had been cast, All were equal by laws that were made. How different once were the plans she had formed, Before this cloud had come over her life; How she once turn’d to one, like a flower to the sun, To shield her from danger and strife; [page 100] But now in her triumph she seemed all alone, Without sympathy, comfort or love; “Thank God, ‘twas a dream,” she said when she woke “And they say dreams are sent from above.”
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No more on the platform are now to be heard, That suffragette’s fiery speeches; No more does she roam, but in her own home, This lesson with eloquence teaches; We all may be equal in Heaven above, But on earth let our banners be furled; And one comfort we have, it should make us content, ‘Tis the cradle hand now rules the world.
WHETHER OF THE TWAIN
The pall of night had cast its shade on the deep and flowing tide, As with hasty steps a woman came and paused at the river’s side; One look she cast at the darksome gloom and then with a frenzied prayer, She sought refuge in the waters deep from a world of sin and care. Why dwell on the tale, you will find it write in the “Bridge of Sighs,” by Hood, A woman betrayed by a trusting heart and before the world she stood; [page 101] Alone to face the world’s deep scorn, the horror of her shame; While he, the tempter, stood aloof, and none to help her came.
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Oh! list to the sound of the wedding bells, as the crowd expectant wait, See the smiling bride on her husband’s arm, as they pass through the open gate; What a cheer breaks forth as they drive away, on a foreign tour intent, For their path in life seems bright and clear with joy and gladness blent. And yet but a few short months have passed, since that sad event took place, And a woman as fair, as she he has won, looked up with a trusting face. Looked up as he promised to make her his own, ‘ere a few more weeks had fled, Then he cast her adrift on a pitiless world, a wealthier woman to wed.
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Two souls stand before the judgment seat, for the time has come at last, When both must account to a righteous Judge for the sins done in the past; Tempter and tempted, both of them stand, they know all excuses are vain; God of the Magdalen, which is the guilty one, we ask, Lord, which of the twain? [page 102]
Jane Shore for witchcraft by church accursed, Was condemned to a living death, For the snow fell fast on that wintry day And the frost congealed her breath; No hideous hag as such as fancy paints, With the devil’s stamp on her face; But a beauteous woman, whose shrinking form Showed symmetry and grace. We are told, in the days of her power and fame, That she cared for the sick and poor; Her bounty was great, though living in state, None ever were turned from her door. She was tempted and fell, we know very well ‘Tis hard for such sins to atone; But in Scripture we read how Jesus once said, “Let him without sin, cast first stone.” Women in luxury just picture that scene, Heap reproach on her then if you can; Barefooted and clad in but one scanty robe, With penitent candle in hand. How she walked through the snow nad cold, chilly slush, None to succor or pity her near; As the Demon of Gloucester wreaked his fell will On the woman to brother so dear. [page 103] Some say that she wandered, till nature more kind Than the rabble flocked to her trial, Sent death to her aid, and she died in a ditch, After wandering many a mile; While others contend that, helped by a friend, She found sanctuary spite of the bann On those who should shelter or give any aid To one cursed both by God and by man. Whatever her faults, what a lesson we learn From the chequered career of Jane Shore; How her beauty God sent, led to dire punishment, And was cause of her downfall and more. But who sinned the most, the woman or man; Was the tempter or tempted most vile? Was it Edward of York or the fair Goldsmith’s wife Who was reft from her husband by guile. [page 104]
THE MERRY WIDOW HAT
Down below in the nether regions Was an Imp in sad disgrace; He was sent from his master’s presence And told not to see his face, Until he’d redeemed his prestige And invented some dark deep plot, Whereby mankind would be tempted— What it was, he cared not a jot. Now this Imp was deep and crafty, (He was versed in mystic lore), There was lots of plans that he thought of, But they’d all been tried before. Then he thought of Eve in the Garden, How she tempted Adam to sin, And he knew he’d found the tender spot And how his pardon to win. So he fashioned a mighty head-piece, Large and round as a light cart wheel, He trimmed it with bows of ribbon, And he stamped it with fashion’s seal; And he called it the “Merry Widow,” For he knew that the name would take (The Imp was a fiend of genius) And very wide awake.) [page 105] And whether it is at the Horse Show, Or the church’s crowded aisles, Mankind is doomed to extinction By that little wretch’s wiles. And muttered sounds (not blessings) Till the very air seems blue, Rise up from the luckless escort, As the hats in every pew, Birds and flowers and monstrous bows Exclude all else from view. But not alone in church or hall Does that hat work its deadly will, It scores one’s face in the street cars As the seats begin to fill. No fender yet has been designed To guard the unhappy wight, Who has two girls on either arm, Hats level with his sight.
STOP FOR A MOMENT AND THINK
When you get off a car on a warm summer day, And the sun in your eyes makes you blink, Don’t rush o’er the road in advance of another, Just stop for a moment and think. When you come to a fountain, hot, thirsty and dry, And you’d give all you have for a drink; Just consider the germs that the water contains, Just stop for a moment and think. [page 106] When it’s ten below zero and skating is good, And you take your fair friend to the rink; Be sure it’s a covered one, free from the wind, Just stop for a moment and think. When you read in the papers of bargains for sale, Of vests and of drawers that won’t shrink; Don’t be carried away by the very low price, Just stop for a moment and think. When you hear of some shares that pay cent per cent., And you’re asked by promoters to shrink; All the money you’ve saved many long, weary years, Just stop for a moment and think. When you meet with a girl that you’d like for a wife, And the future looks rosy and pink; Pay cash for your goods and start clear of debt, Just stop for a moment and think. And then, when at last, life’s battle near o’er, And you’re close on eternity’s brink, Consider your failings, it’s never too late Just stop for a moment and think. [page 107]
THE WRONG ENVELOPE
That evil is wrought by want of thought, Is a maxim that’s known to all; And dire results from slight mistakes There are few that cannot recall An action, a word, what would we not give Could we live the time over again; But remorseless fate makes it all too late And the sequel is always the same. ‘Twas the absence of thought that wrecked the whole life Of brillian Miss Caroline Parke; She had long held proud sway, but was gettig passee, And her future looked gloomy and dark; Now one she had slighted in days that were gone, When she had all the men at her feet, Had once more come back asked for her hand, In words that were courteous and meek. He asked her in writing to send a reply And plead his cause with much fervor, He had lands, he had wealth to bestow on herself, And his utmost would do to deserve her. It did not take long for the lady to make Up in her mind (for the years they were flitting), So she took up her pen and wrote there and then Her acceptance in words that were fitting. [page 108] Now Miss Caroline Parke, like most women and girls, Had a “chum” in whose faith she confided, So by the same post she wrote her a line, Just as soon as her mind she’d decided. And it ran: “Dearest Amy, why what do you think! You know Jack, he’s proposed in a letter; He was always a “cad,” but there’s others as bad, And he’s money, so I cannot do better.” She looked at her watch, it was time for the post, So she folded and sealed up each letter, And posted them straight with a sigh of relief, For ne’er did her prospects seem better. But had she but known before ‘twas too late, That each letter was in the wrong cover; She’d have saved her good name and much future shame, To herself and her scandalized lover. We can picture the look of the horrified man, When he read what was meant for another; And the puzzled expression on fair Amy’s face, As she spelled out the note of the lover. The result in both cases was shocking and sad, For the error a high price was paid; Friendship was severed, a husband was lost, And Miss Parke lived and died an old maid. [page 109]
THE FATAL CANOE
The devil had done a hard day’s work, When he sat himself down to think, For somehow he wasn’t satisfied, For there seem’d some missing link. Now, though he’d invented a great many things, He felt there was still a blank, And the more he cudgel’d his cunning head, The lower his spirit’s sank. He’d made an engine quite fair to view, With the safety valve o’erweighted, And a gasoline launch nought could control, And whose crew to death were fated. A gun that would burst at the slightest o’ercharge, And go off when not thought to be loaded, An automobile that would work its sweet ill, When its driver by anger was goaded. Some life buoys he’d made to look like the real thing. Though stuffed full of sawdust and shavings; And he laugh’d in his glee, as his fancy could see Men sinking, ‘midst curses and ravings; But an idea at last came into his head, And he said, “I know just what I’ll do, I’ll fashion a craft much alike fore and aft, And I’ll call it a pleasure canoe. And folks young and happy will enter that craft, And sail on the water so blue; A storm will arise and unseen by all eyes, Turns turtle that fairy canoe. [page 110]
We need not to doubt the success of this scheme, If the papers we carefully scan; What is more entrancing, when bright eyes are glancing, Than to paddle away from the land; Why think of the danger? Why feel any fear? When the horizon around is so bright? So the devil’s smart ruse adds a column of news Before the readers turn in for the night.
THE SOLDIER’S RETORT
It was a sentry on his beat who slowly paced his way, Though duty kept him on the move his heart was light and gay, Till suddenly a cry of pain subdued the rising laugh, For the teeth of a fine retriever dog were fastened in his calf. Not a thought of fear had our Hero bold, as he turned to face the foe, For he pinn’d the dog with his bayonet keen till his told he had let go; And limping sore he eyed the foe with a look of savage joy, For a bayonet’s point on a rife fixed is a very deadly toy. Now, the fate of a dog as an ordinary rule is not of much import, But this happened to be a thoroughbred and not for its owner’s sport; [page 111] So he dued the soldier for damages in the ensuing County Court, As the injury done by the canine’s jaws was of but a trifling sort. “Why didn’t you strike the dog so fierce with the butt of your Enflield Rifle?” Said the judge on the Bench, to the warrier bold, “for your wound was but a trifle.” But the audience grinned and laughed out loud, for the answer hit the nail, “Your honor, I’d ask why the blooming dog didn’t bite me with his tail?”
THE CREATION OF A GODDESS
There was discontent in the world below, and women began to fret, So in council on Mount Olympus, the Gods in conclave met; For women were tired of the olden ways, the path they had trod in the past, And an unquiet spirit possessed them, they had broken their bonds at last. Juno and Pallas, Venus and Hebe, had all in their time held sway; Dignity, Love, Wisdom and Youth were old-fashioned and voted passé; So Jove in his wisdom a new Goddess made and he swore that her worship would last, And all women bow down to her cruel decrees and in fetters be ever held fast. [page 112] He borrowed ideas from the Satyr Pan and he took from deft Vulcan’s Forge, Some iron bands to fetter her limb’s he made Juno’s Bird disgorge A share of her pomp and finery, her ungainly strut and way, And he moulded them all in a Goddess’ shape whose nod should all women obey. Thus was Fashion created and soon held such sway, all creation fell down at her feet, To be out of the style was a thing that was vile and to follow her dictates a treat; One time with a waist very much like a wasp, another with no waist at all, Then robed in a skirt fastened tight ‘neath the knees or in one like an inflated ball. Sometime clad in a frock that was just ankle high to show an embroidered stocking, Then one with a train some yards on the ground (to exhibit her feet was too shocking); Now a head held erect by a tight-fitting stock and sleeves fitting close like a crust. Next a corset cut “V-shape” right down to the waist, exposing an ample bust. There were toques a few inches across the crown, there were some with a narrow brim; Some of cart-wheel shape a yard across, according to Fashion’s whim; [page 113] And so through the ages new fashions were made and then they were thrown aside, As not in the style, last season’s mode no lady could ever abide. But Venus laughed a scornful laugh, as her bosom rose and fell, “What fools these mortals be,” she said, for this I know right well; That whatever the style they drape their limbs or to disfigure themselves endeavor, My Cupid’s darts can still pierce hearts and my power be strong as ever.
THE CITY OF SMOKE
With a brain that is trying to think, “With eyes that are heavy and red.” I gaze through the open window, At the smoke that is overhead. Smoke, black smoke; It poisons the air that we breathe, It blots out our vision and makes us say things That we’d better by far left unsaid. Smoke, black smoke, From the tall factory chimneys in sight, It curls overhead like a poisonous snake, Obscuring a sun that is bright; [page 114] And when showers descend from on high, The evil’s intensified more, For the drops are all black, and all purity lack, And resemble the darkness of night. We speak of old London the grim, With its noise, and its dust and its smoke; And we brag of our own fair Toronto, But surely our brag is a joke. Our city, quite true’s not so ancient, But our buildings will soon look that way, If we wrestle not soon with the problem. That gets harder to solve every day. When a trip to the Island we take, To inhale the fresh ocean zone, What a pleasure to leave our surroundings And take in just the ether alone. But some day when our Island has vanished, (Eat up by the incoming wave), Even this satisfaction will fail us, And the future look solemn and grave. Pure water we know is a blessing, And we will not its merits decry; But pure air, we think equally pressing, And who will its virtues deny? The water we drink can boil, We can’t do the same with the air; Then let us hope that the city will on us have pity, And enforce the by-law without fear. [page 115]
THE LAY OF THE MUZZLED DOG
With tail between his legs, With feet that were weary and slow, A poor muzzled dog came limping along, And this is his tale of woe: ‘Tis tramp, tramp, tramp, With a cage on the end of my nose; ‘Tis tramp, tramp, tramp, From dawn until daylight’s close; It’s better to be a dog In the land of the savage Turk, Where a dog has never a muzzle to wear, If this is humane work. When a pool of water I reach, And I stop a moment to think That the water is free to all but me, For the muzzle won’t let me drink. The Man in the Iron Mask Had no woes to equal mine, His mouth wasn’t shut with a padlocked clasp, He could speak as well as dine. ‘Tis tramp, tramp, tramp, Without energy, listless and sad, The tortures of Tantalus sure are mine, There’s nothing to make me glad. The very cats on the street Know well my teeth I lack; They don’t even take the trouble To spit and put up their back. While the bones that I used to pick up I can only regard with a sigh; [page 116] Just sniff through the bars for a time, Then silently pass them by. O, people with Christian hearts, The rabies you say that you fear Will ne’er be wiped out by torture like this, But brought on by this hateful gear.
“TORONTO REVISITED,” A.D. 1920
Musing the other day on facts, as the newspaper I read, My eyelids closed in gentle sleep, and I dreamed nine years had fled; It seemed to me that in that time I’d been across the foam, And just come back to view with pride my loved Canadian home. A friend was with me at the time who volunteered to tell All that had happen’d since I left (and he did it very well). He talked of vast improvements, skyscrapers, large and tall, And spoke of nearly half a mile of newly-built seawall. He said “he thought a viaduct would very soon appear, One more appeal to a higher court was all we had to fear; And then maybe they’d clear away the debris of the fire, And build a bran-new station, which all strangers would admire.” I asked why all the flags were up, “did it mean some victory won?” He said, “Oh no! that’s all forgot, we’ve now with warfare done; Each regiment’s disbanded, we no longer drill the boys, Their uniforms are given up and their other warlike toys.” “But then, you know, we’ve built a fleet since you have been away, Two cruisers and two gunboats, to keep the foe at bay. One cruiser’s touring Hudson Bay, the other’s in dry-dock; Of the gunbtoats, one’s at Halifax and the other’s on the rocks. All women now, too, have a vote and use their franchise well; Tobacco is abolished and cigarettes as well, In street cars now ‘tis easy for the men to get a seat, The women have a longer strap to keep them on their feet.” ,,I suppose the water now,” I said, “is pure as pure can be, And free from the deadly microbes we sometimes used to see?” “Oh, well,” he said, “the filter beds are not yet up-to-date, A few more thousands spent on them will fix them up first-rate.” [page 118] “Well then,” said I, “let’s have a drink, which is the nearest bar?” “The nearest bar,” he said in scorn, “why you must have travelled far; Each year they’ve weeded out a few, and now they are all closed,” With a cry of horror I awoke and found I’d only dozed.
When the Scot’s abroad, he travels far With a dogged vim he sets forth, And his brogue is heard in many lands, For his footsteps mark the desert sands, As well as the frozen North. To Morocco’s Court some years ago A Scotchman found his way, An’no whit abashed by the warlike men, (Though Arabia’s language he did not ken) He tried a few words to say.z So he turned to the Kaid, a most truculent man, And who looked like a robber chief, And in his best French, with accents bland, Tried hard to get him to understand The cause of his present grief. But language so fluent only puzzled the Kaid, And a pause ensued of some length, So Italian and German were afterwards tried, (In both of these tongues our Scot took a pride), But the twain shared the fate of the French. [page 119] “A’h’m stuck noo,” he muttered, but looked up in surprise, As in broad Scottish accents there rung These words from the Kaid, “O na’ ye’re no,” And then laughed and said, “Wherever you go, Mon, speak in yer ain mither tongue.”
THE WOMEN OF ROCKAWAY BEACH
At Rockaway Beach, so the people say, The women are fair to see, And fresh from the wave, they all hearts enslave, For their manners are gay and free. When the bathing is over at Rockaway Beach, They rise fresh and fair from the foam; No apparel they change, which appears very strange, But they saunter away to their home. In byegone years, they were filled with fears That too much of their charms they might show, So they wore a loose wrap o’er their clinging skirts That covered them top to toe; But this year’s fashions have made a change, And they say, “let who will deride, With a low cut neck, and a ruffle for skirt, ‘Tis a shame such creations to hide.” At Rockaway Beach, as they left the sands, For their letters their footsteps would roam, They’d linger and talk on their homeward walk, Discussing the news from home. [page 120] But the Postmaster stern (at least so I learn), Has taken the wind from their sails; He forbid them the entry, in fact placed a sentry, And cut them quite off from their mails. What the outcome will be it is hard to decide, ‘Tis a choice between letters and style; They scorn to give in, ‘twould in fact be a sin, So they say that the order is vile. But there’s always a ray of light ahead Howe’er so dark be the night, The fashions may change and longer skirts Yet hide shapely limbs from the sight.
HOW IT WORKS OUT
The Street Car Boss was sad at heart And his spirit was sorely vexed, The profits were good and came rolling in, But his conscience was sore perplexed. “The money is good in its way,” he said, “But there’s a future we all must face; Can I find a way, that some of this pay May bring to me saving grace?” Then a happy thought came into his head As he heard the church bells ring, And the smile came back to his jocund face And he actually ‘gan to sing; [page 121] “I’ll stop the cars at the doors of the church, To the service early and late; There’ll be five cents dropp’d in the fare box, And five cents dropp’d in the plate.” And the scheme work’d well for the company, And pleased its patrons too, They can go to a church that knows them not And sit in a stylish pew Instead of the quarter they’d give at home, (For less to give they’d hate) Five cents they give to the street car man, And five cents goes to the plate.
THE PASTOR AND THE GIRLS
In a church in East St. Louis, Preached the Rev’d L. D. Bass, And he gave a dreadful warning To each church-attending lass. He said that too much freedom Was allowed the sterner sex, They came too close in contact, Which sorely did him vex. In public place and office They oft’ sat side by side, And even spoke in whispers (Could aught but harm betide). [page 122] Instead of frigid dignity, They laughed and joked and sung; Such conduct most improper was, For women old or young. And when their short-sleeved dresses, (Worn open at the throat) Was, to say the least, immodest And from sin not far remote. But their dancing with male partners, Was the crowning sin of all; So he warned them all to keep away From the gay, seductive ball. All this they might have listened to, And a better life have led; But he went a step too far when he In stirring accents said,— “No kiss should ever be exchanged Until the bride was wed.” This capp’d the climax, and, alas, To mutiny it led. For forty girls at once refused Their money to donate, To pay the Pastor’s salary And keep him up-to-date. For lover’s kiss, they all did say, “Was pure and free from vice.” He reckoned it was naughty, They thought it very nice. [page 123]
THE WONDERFUL SINGING MOUSE
A series of letters was published in Woman’s Kingdom respecting the appearance to different people of a mouse which differed from the ordinary variety by being endowed with a singing voice like a bird.
In Homer we read of the very great deeds That were done by the frogs and the mice, How they fought and they died, and some speechified, In language both proper and nice. We took it on trust, as all people must Who wish to be learned and clever; We know frogs have a voice, though its not very choice And it generally heralds wet weather. But the squeak of a mouse, oft heard in the house, We never considered entrancing; Until Kit told us all, in bower and in hall She heard strains that near set her dancing. And some lady declares, after saying her prayers, When she laid her head down on the pillow, A mouse came and sung, in its own native tongue, “Tit Willow, Tit Willow, Tit Willow.” Then to put a climax on the above weighty facts, Another brave lady declares: That the song of a mouse, oft’ heard in the house, Should give rise to the gravest of fears. [page 124] So a trap was procured by the woman so bored, And baited with odorous cheese; The siren was caught, and its death as it ought, At once set the household at ease. Now one would have thought this death, as it ought, Would have settled a very vexed question; But an incredulous man, said such fallacies can Be brought on by bad indigestion; And that whatever was said had been thought of in bed, When sleep binds the senses in slumber, And the mouse that had sung in a musical tongue Was merely a dream—not a wonder.
A WOMAN’S THOUGHT
When a woman first entered Eden’s garden so fair, And was tempted by fruit fair and pink; When all nature was bright and pleasing to sight, Every object was beauteous and nought could affright, Would she not have put up a much better fight If she’d stopped but a little to think. When a woman first enters a street railway car, The thermometer being at nought; And then takes a seat on the warmest side, Carefully leaving the door open wide; It does not take long for a man to decide, That the woman’s not troubled with thought. [page 125] When she slams the door in a woman’s face, Who is following close in the rear, And walks up the aisle with a satisfied smile, As if but her duty she’d done all the while; While the woman behind is thinking thoughts vile, Her thoughts are away I much fear. When she fastens her hat with the longest of pins, Whose points project far from her head; Does she think of the eyes of the neighbors near; When the car gives a lurch, does she have any fear Of those she may blind with her deadly headgear And the pins that project from her head? When she goes to a lecture or concert hall With one of those picturesque hats, Shading not only her face with its chiffon and lace, But causing the lady behind to grimace, Finding herself so completely shut out of the race, Does she ponder at all on these facts? When a woman gets married and settles down, And she sees other women well dressed, Whose husbands are earning a far higher sum Than her own can expect to for some years to come, Does she stay to consider what will be the outcome Of the bills for the dresses that cost such a sum. Does she think why her husband’s depressed? Let us hope when life’s journey is very near done, And the soul from the body must part; These little transgressions may be set down as nought And the sins of omission which evil have wrought, May be charged to her merely as want of due thought And not to the want of good heart. [page 126]
KEEP YOUR SMALL CHANGE FOR SUNDAY
Founded on Fact
With pockets well filled and hearts that were light, A couple went shopping one day, No care on their mind, but only to find Some presents for friends young and gay; Expense was no object—what money could buy Was the purpose they had in their mind; From the depth of his pocket the husband began The requisite money to find. There were chocolate bon-bons and caramels sweet, All tasty and fair to the sight; (What was money to them who had never known want) And whose pathway had ever been bright). So a handful of silver he soon brought to view, When the wife her hand on his arm lay, And said in a tone that all ‘round could hear, “Dear, keep your small change for next Sunday.” Do we think when we lay our small coin on the plate, By the side of a score of some others, That the Angel of God casts a pitying eye, And compares our small gift with another’s, With the Widow’s wee mite (‘twas all that she had), But in God’s eye the offering was great, By the side of the alms that we give here below, The small change we reserve for the plate. [page 127]
“JUST CHANGE ‘EM BACK”
Two ladies went out some shopping to do, ‘Twas a day when the bargains were rife; They were each married women and close bosom friends, And each was a fond loving wife. So they took their two babies, as most women do, Not knowing how long they would be; Each snugly wrapped up and in a carriage laid, ‘Twas a sight for a mother to see. Leaving their babes at the door of the store, They soon were engrossed in the task, Of hunting for bargains for which they’d no use And for which but a small price was asked. But a glance at the clock when an hour had gone by, Gave warning that meal-time was near, So they made for the door in very quick time, To wheel home their children so dear. Now be it well understood, those babies so good, Who had slept while their ma’s were away, Were so much alike in feature and form, That they both look’d like twins where they lay, Each took as they thought their very own babe, Much pleased with the bargains they’d bought; And with cheerful good-byes each made for her home, Not knowing what mischief was wrought. [page 128] Now some women take all events as they come, Without pausing to fume or fret; While others are vex’d at very slight things, And are always with trouble beset; So the lady who first took the babe from its nest, When she looked at it closer at home, Began to suspect a mistake had been made, A mistake for which nought could atone. Next day she appeared at the house of her friend (Who always took things as they came), And with sobs and with tears she said twas’ her thought That her baby did not seem the same She had puzzled her brains, but could not make sure, All her efforts to do so were vainl It look’d like her own, and yet it did not, And her heart was distracted with pain. “Oh! what shall we do,” she cried in despair, “Our children are mixed, I am sure, I shall fret, I shall grieve, you would scarcely believe It is bringing me down to death’s door.” But her friend took it calmly and reasoned it out With wonderful judgment and tact; “The very best way to settle this case, Is a simple one—let’s change ‘em back.” [page 129]
In days gone by when Greece and Rome Had won renown and fame, The women worshipped at many shrines, Nor thought their prayers were vain. To Venus many prayed that she Would from on high look down, And on their love shed happiness, Not turn away and frown. Some to Diana of the chase Appealed with fervent zeal, To keep them chaste and pure thought, Like her to whom they kneel. On haughty Juno others called, Proud mistress of the skies; While many at Minerva’s shrine, For wisdom asked with sighs. The Goddess that held such sway In the glorious days of old, Have from their pedestals been cast, And turned out in the cold. But human nature, still the same, Although more up-to-date, Has raised another goddess up, On whom its votaries wait. And she who yet reigns over all, Rules with unbounded sway; Although her moods are varying ones And alter day by day [page 130] Is now called Fashion, and she holds Her sway o’er rich and poor; Greater than goddess ever held, For her worshippers are more. No matter what her mandates are, They are obeyed by all; And women watch her fashion plates, Obey her slightest call. The beehive hat without a brim, Or one that’s three feet wide, Are worn with equal pride by them, Although mankind deride. Then skirts that’s many yards around, With crinoline beneath; One time the waist line at the bust, Another the clinging sheath; With dainty ruffles at the throat, Or collars set up flush, And then a waist cut down so low, ‘Twould make a statue blush. But still through all these vagaries, The women still hold sway; Though they worship at an idol’s shrine And her dictates obey; Their hearts are still both fond and true By all it is confessed, Their hold on man will never cease, However they are dressed. [page 131]
NEVER BE AFRAID TO ASK
When you think you’ve courted long enough the girl that you love best, And know not if the words she speaks are spoke in love or jest; Just face the music like a man, and speak out plump and plain, ‘Tis better far to know the truth than linger on in pain. It may not be a pleasant task, But never be afraid to ask. When your boss don’t raise your salary and you think you’re worth much more Than the money you’re receiving, and you feel much hurt and sore, Wait ‘till he’s in a genial mood, strike while the iron’s hot, Tell him ‘tis time you got a rise, perhaps he’ll give it on the spot. It may not be a pleasant task, But never be afraid to ask. When in theatre or at concert you find your vision barr’d By a hat that’s just three feet across, don’t take it very hard; But gently bend your head a bit and whisper soft and low: “Would you please remove your headgear, miss, and let me see the show.” It may not be a pleasant task, But never be afraid to ask. [page 132] If late at night you’re coming home (been dining with a friend), Sometimes such things will happen, to refuse it would offend. You’re not quite sure about the road and would respect the law, Then ask the policeman on the beat, he’ll show you to your door. It may not be a pleasant task, But never be afraid to ask.
THE DREAM OF A PRIZE POEM COMPETITOR
I was trying to get the meaning of a most mysterious poem, Which was said to be perfection in the very highest form; ‘Twas all about Gethsemane and trees with boughs like snakes, That writhed and mocked the wanderer and filled his heart with quakes. I thought so long my eyes grew dim, the subject was too deep, And then tired nature succored me and sent me off to sleep, And in my sleep I dreamed a dream, like Bunyan in the jail, Though my characters no progress made like that immortal tale. [page 133] I thought the poets from off my shelves had come again to life, Contended which could write the best, and then to end the strife, Each sent a copy of the poem, he thought his very best, To a “Literary Editor” for a thorough searching test. They scorn’d to strive for any prize, but only wished to see How a modern editor could judge, from prejudice set free, They have a “pen name” with their work, in order that each might On equal terms stand side by side and so be judged aright. The “Song of a Shirt” was sent by Hood who thought it was his best, But the editor soon jumped on him and set his mind at rest, “The Poem” he said, may merits have, but the writer plainly lacks That humor without which all poets are literary “hacks.” Then Longfellow sent the “Psalm of Life,” said the critic sharp and terse, “The pulpit is the place to preach, you should not preach in verse; “The Queen of the May,” by Tennyson, fared no better than the rest, ‘Twas common-place repetition, and lacking vim and zest. [page 134] ‘Twas thought poet Cowper would much better fortune meet, When he sent “John Gilpin’s” matchless ride with others to comete; But the censor only used long words, to heights sublime he rose, And said the poem was silly stuff, much better said in prose. Felicia Hermans and Eliza Cook fared no better than the rest, They’d no emotional harmony to say the very best; Poetic instinct they had none, their verse was out of tune, Their lines, in fact, were out of place, like a fall of snow in June. At last with stanzas from Don Juan, came Byron, loved of Greece, He had been reviewed before, he said, but it did not hurt his peace; The editor asked him to “re-write some parts that were obscure, And in different guise no doubt the verse, would some attract much more.” But the bard was wiser than the judge, he knew the public best, And certain limits he must keep, although he loved a jest; So he laughed aloud, for it struck him ‘twas a very pleasant joke, He laughed so loud and heartily, I from my slumber woke. [page 135] Awoke to find it was a dream, but the lesson was not lost, For I’ve sworn off “Competition,” no matter at what cost; The “Flaneur” and “Kit,” in days gone by, to me a welcome lent, For my contributions, “Prose and Verse,” I often to them sent; For I’d rather write some simple lay, strike some responsive chord, Then write in measured Rythmic Verse for a critic to applaud; Awake some latent feeling, give some reader grit and sand, Than write sonnets full of platitudes, which but few can understand.
FOR HIS COUNTRY’S SAKE
See Speech of German Emperor to his wounded soldiers.
“I must not die,” the Kaiser said, “My country needs me sore, If I were dead, you’d never have A leader anymore. I with Gott’s help will still survive, And safely from the rear, Direct my mighty conquering hosts, Who show like me no fear. [page 136] “If Gott had not willed otherwise, To the trenches I would hie, And snipe some paltry Englishman— How I love to see them die. But then, you know, there’s danger there, Shells might your ruler kill; What then would happen Germany, No one my place could fill. “I have my sons, they do their best, But no victories do they gain; They’ve not my eagle eye to scan, Nor my colossal brain. But when their father’s gained the day, Sank Jellicoe’s battle ships; Maybe on them he’ll pity take, And pardon all their slips.”
WHY PEOPLE DO NOT GO TO CHURCH
Some people do not go, because they think Their sins are not excessive, And only those who need some balm, To help to keep them free from harm, Should go to find a holy calm, When Satan is aggressive. Some do not go, because they say, I’m just as well at home; Not all are saints who go to pray, And if I’m good, why then I may My Bible read, and sometimes pray On Sunday when alone. [page 137] Some stay at home, because they’re tired With working all the week; They’re never tired when pleasure calls Them out to concerts, plays and balls; But back to work when duty calls, They trudge with willing feet. Young married women do not go, Nor do their footsteps roam; They have at least a valid plea, For household cares we all agree, And little “bairnie’s” wants must be Attended to at home. The young man loves to take a walk Away from work and care, All nature smiles around his feet, (His pipe is set between his teeth), But nature’s God he does not meet, His thoughts are other where. Some people do not go to church, Because they are too poor; For modern churches are so fine, (In silks and satins ladies shine), The poor are “froze out” all the time, For such is fashion’s law. But the Lord looks down with pitying eye, On those who break His law; And the Guardian Angel heaves a sigh, For he knows the days of reckoning’s nigh, To the careless ones who not try To enter the church’s door. [page 138]
WHEN SATAN LAUGHS
He laughs when he sees the millionaire give away what he cannot spend, To build a church or an orphanage, and purchase a godly end; But he doesn’t laugh when the widow’s mite is cast in the open plate, For well he knows the tribute small is a passport to Heaven’s gate. He laughs When he hears at the altar rails, “love honor and obey, For he knows full well those solemn words will not outlive the day; But he fears when he sees the loving wife fall on her knees and plead To the God above for her husband’s soul, for he knows He’s one to heed. And on New Year’s Eve he is full of mirth, as he hears the young man vow, To give up all his habits bad, and start again from now, ‘Tis the old, old tale he’s heard before, in the centuries that fled, For broken vows are dear to him, so he laughs and nods his head. He laughs when a woman talks equal rights, which she’d forcibly obtain, He knows when she throws off gentleness, she loses the power to gain; [page 139] The love of those around her, that soft persuasive power, That makes of home a bower of light when dark clouds round it lower. He laughed when he saw the Pharisee up in the temple pray, For pride is very dear to him, and what he heard him say; But a sinner’s prayer is gall to him, and he trembles when he sees The lowly mien of the Penitent, a weak Saint on his knees. He laughs when he sees a vessel built, Titanic in make and bulk, For he knows on a berg or a rock her strength’s no more than the sheerest hulk; But his face clouds o’er when men stand aside, while women to safety flee, And the strains float out o’er the angry sea, “Never my God to Thee.”
Adapted from Mark Twain
A brigand there was, when he shot ‘twas to kill, And he murdered a man in his hate, Then the law it stepped in and brought him to book, And it speedily settled his fate. [page 140] When in hail he had time to think o’er his sins, And to sorrow for deeds of the past; He repented him sore he’s not done so before, But thank God he was saved at the last. To the scaffold he marched with a smile on his face (For he knew he deserved all he got), But now he’d no fear, his soul it was saved, But what of the man’s that he shot?
“THE NEW ERA”
The new Council met and in solemn state Determined to put down all vice: “Let us start with the bars, for we know that they are The devil’s own pet device; We cannot close them up all at once, But we’ll do as the Emperor Tarquin, We’ll cut them down slowly, and so save the lowly From committing most grievous sin.” “What matter the clubs of the rich or the great, Or the wine in their cellars at home, We’ll shut up the saloon, for the time’s opportune, And the glory will be all our own. Then, after we’ve closed up those vile drinking dens, We must try and translate new the Bible, A majority vote, backed by ministers’ coat Will show that we have not been idle.” [page 141] “And all books that were written by authors of old, Such as Thackeray, Fielding and Dickens, From the library we’ll banish so temptation will vanish And we’ll be proud as a hen of her chickens. Then fountains we’ll raise, so that all sing our praise, As they’re drinking—man, woman and child, From the great pipe intake, from the sweetest of lake Ontario placid and mild.” “What matter if fever, or germs floating there, Take a few from our large population, If in a good cause, oh! why should we pause, In our efforts towards their salvation? We’ll make everyone good, by taking away All temptation and worry and care; In no tree’d been in Eden, we should perhaps now be leading A life of simplicity there.”
* * * * * *
But Satan looked up with a satisfied smile, As he heard, and it set him a-thinking; Open bars, he well know, just brought him a few, But nothing compared to sly drinking; If treating were bad, it oft made him sad, For it showed a man’s generous mind; Soon all this would be passed, and the sinner at last, Would be selfish, a sot, and unkind. [page 142]
THE CHRIST CHILD
In the Emerald Isle (so the legend runs), no matter how dread the night, On each Christmas eve the Christ Child walks unseen by mortal sight; So a light is placed in each window pane and its guardians humbly pray, That its flame will shine out bright and clear and guide Him on His way. From cot and mansion throughout the land, the beacon is lit that night, And the traveller sees ‘neath the updrawn blind the glare of the candle light; While the exile far beyond the seas on that eve will bring to mind, The loved ones—sister, mother, wife, he had to leave behind. Though distant from the Homeland, with its quaint and touching lore, There are scores of weary pilgrims who are passing by our door; Shall we show a light this Christmas to help them on their way? Let us aid them in the darkness, not wait for break of day. [page 143] And the children’s weary footsteps, will no one guide their feet, And light the way to safety, where a welcome they will meet? For He loved the little children, who was himself so mild; May we profit by the legend of the “Wandering Christ Child.”
They were out for a drive (‘twas a youth and a maid), And they laughed as they chatted quite gaily; She dressed up to kill, he quite in the style, ‘Tis a sight you may see almost daily. The sun poured its rays on a blistering ground, Though a canopy covered the twain; Which served equally well to shield from the sun, As it would to have kept off the rain. But the horse in the shafts, did they give it a thought? Save to flick once or twice with the whip, With its head held erect with a painful check strap, Drawn tight light the sails of a ship. And to make matters worse, the closely-docked tail, Was useless to brush off the flies; While the ears laid well back showed the torture endured, Also seen in the wild, rolling eyes. [page 144] There are none quite so blind as those who wont see, And though preachers are somewhat to blame; When they speak of our duty to God and to man, And say nought of Humanity’s claim. “He careth for them,” so the Bible declares, “Not a sparrow shall fall to the ground,” Unknown to the Maker, who watches above, In whom goodness and mercy are found. Is there mercy in Heaven for long suffering breasts, That are cut off from sympathy here? Are there punishments meted to those who oppress The creatures God placed in our care? If our duty to God and our neighbor were taught, Will none for dumb animals speak? ‘Tis seldom we hear a kind plea made for them— The patient, the helpless and weak.
THROUGH THE FIRE
Painted by hand on a graceful vase, Was a cluster of blossoms so true To their natural tints, that it seemed to the eye That out of these panels they grew; And I said: “Will this beauty remain, will it fade? Will it always remain with the buyer?” And the answer returned was, the colors are fast, For thrice have they been through the fire.” On a golden brooch by a skillful hand, Fair and pleasing to the sight, Was a chaste design wrought out with skill, In colors vivid and bright; [page 145] But the tints had been fixed by a fiery test, Which the choicest enamels require, And now in their loveliness, who would suspect They had passed through the ordeal of fire? Like a “thing of life” on the ocean wide, Sailed a “greyhound of the seas,” Whose powerful form and graceful lines Cut through the waves with ease; But each plate that formed her shapely hull, Each rivet and cable of wire, Were hammer’d and roll’d and pressed into shape By the powerful action of fire. ‘Round the throne of God, so the Apostle says, Stand a throng in robes of white; Saints and martyrs who, when on earth, Had laid down their lives for the right; The dungeon and chains had been their lot, Persecution and torture dire, They had sealed their faith at the altar stake, And their souls went up through the fire. Let us keep in our heart this comforting thought, That all sorrow, bereavement and pain, Is an ordeal of fire through which we must pass Before we can see joy again; That the heavier our cross, the brighter our crown, And each sorrow will bring us the nigher To that haven of rest enjoyed by the blessed, Who have passed unscathed through the fire. [page 146]
STEP UP TO THE FRONT
How oft’ we hear those warning words by the car conductor said, Yet we stand at the back of an empty aisle when there’s plenty of room ahead; ‘Tis so thro’ life, when many hold back without energy listless and dead, While people of action step to the front and take up their place ahead. When England by a tyrant rule groaned under heavy yoke, Well to the front the barons came, and straight liberty awoke; And to this day we bless the deed when John was brought to time, And pen in hand, against his will, did Magna Charta sign. When Scotland lay at Edward’s feet and liberty seemed lost, A hero came up to the front, not reckoning the cost, And the name of Robert Bruce in fame’s scroll is blazon’d fast; He staked his all upon the die and conquered at the last. When the day looked dark at Waterloo, did the British soldier quail? Exposed to a deadly cannonade, which swept the ranks like hail; [page 147] As the gaps were made in those bristling squares, each soldier knew his place, And stepp’d to the front with bayonet fixed, the cavalry to face. Oh, Motherland, across the sea, how well we know thy past, With all Europe turn’d against thee though naildst the colors to the mast; ‘Twas then that Nelson ruled the seas and from thy threatened shores, Kept back the armed hosts of France that threatened them so sore. And now, when danger hovers near, and dark clouds round thee lower, Well to the front may we step up to swell thy naval power; May greater Britain do her share, so that upon the seas, May ever fly the flag that’s braved the battle and the breeze.
Of all the flowers that bloom so fair In many a country garden, None are so sweet or can compete, With bloomy Dolly Varden. Let others sing the praise of those They find in Dickens’ pages, But Dolly’s fame and witching name Will last for countless ages. [page 148] Her hood and cloak of cherry hue, Match well with her complexion; The mirror that she glances in, Smiles back in glad reflection. Her little hat with ribbons gay, Her dainty shoes and feet, Her demure looks and roguish eyes, Who can with her compete? But Dolly has her faults as well, Like others of her sex; She does not seem to know her mind And likes her beaus to vex; The sighs that other women move Only seems her heart to harden; ‘Tis pretty hard the heart to find Of crafty Dolly Varden. She has no grand or stately airs, Though her beaus she’s rather hard on, She smiles on every one alike, Bewitching Dolly Varden; Others may have more right to fame, But few can we easier pardon Than she who to fashion has given a name, Repentant Dolly Varden. [page 149]
A PLEA FOR THE ENGLISH ROSE
O dear to heart of an Irishman Is the sprig that’s in Ireland found, So the Shamrock green on his coat is seen When St. Patrick’s Day comes round. And the canny Scot, wheresoe’er he be, Loves the Thistle’s purple bloom; St. Andrew’s Day he ne’er forgets, Nor will to the crack of doom. No country boasts of a fairer flower Than the sweet old English Rose; Much blood was shed in the olden days, When the Red and the White were foes. But that’s happily past, and whatever the hue Of the loveliest flower that grows, Its perfume sweet will our senses greet, As we pluck our own native Rose. All nature smiles on St. George’s Day, For the spring is by then confest, And the grass grows green with an emerald sheen, While the song birds sing their best. Yet hundreds of freeborn Englishmen Forget both saint and his day, And unless in the ranks of a church parade, To their emblem no honor pay. To such I would say, there’s no reason to blush For the land of our forefathere’s birth, When Shakespeare and Milton alone would suffice To show what an Englishman’s worth; [page 150] While Hawkins and Raleigh, Grenville and Drake Have shown what’s been done on the foam, To say nothing of Nelson, whose last words recall Our duty abroad and at home. Then here’s to the loveliest flower that grows, And may next Saint George’s Day Find it worn by all, to help recall Their homeland, blithe and gay— Where the hedgerows teem with pale pink flowers, While the lark sings up above, And the violets grow on the mossy banks, And nature breathes peace and love.
If duty’s finger points the way And makes it plain to sight, Though pleasure beckons other way And bids us wait some future day, Keep firm and do what’s right. Do not stop to count the cost, “The man who hesitates is lost.” When conscience prompts us to a deed That lightens another’s burden, Do it right off with hearty will, Although it fetch no grist to mill, ‘Twill bring a heavenly guerdom. Do not stop to count the cost, “The man who hesitates is lost.” [page 151] And so through life ‘twill always be, And bear this well in mind. The man who does not hesitate, Will never make a great mistake, And peace at last will find. Do not stop to count the cost, “The man who hesitates is lost.”
“A fool there was” of the feminine kind, And she said that all women should vote; “Too long has our sex had injustice from man; In future we’ll see that we march in the van, At least we will try to, as much as we can, Militancy our trumpet blast note.” This fool that was born of the feminine kind, Said, “Man from the first had held sway”; She forgot how fair Eve had o’er-ruled her mate, And forced him to bite at the apple of fate, Until finally both were shut out by the gate, And Eden’s still closed to this day. This fool who a Militant Suffragette’s called, Would make laws she herself does not keep; The torch of destruction she waves in the air, The windows they crash as she passes them near, Art treasures are ruined, but what does she care, She sows and she thinks that she’ll reap. [page 152] Yes! she’ll reap when she finds all chivalry dead, As she’s jostled amongst a mixed crowd; All the halo surrounding a woman laid by, From her pedestal cast, in the dust she will lie, Is the game worth the candle? ask the Christ up on high, Who preached peace and no fighting allowed. Thank God, we have women yet, faithful and true, Whom we need not go far for to find; And by reason, not force, they will gain what they wish, For a frown will not soften the heart like a kiss, So here’s to all women, whether Mrs. Or Miss, Who are not of the Militant kind.
“WE ARE BRITISH SUBJECTS”
The die is cast, we breathe again, Our country still is true as steel, For, like an echo from the strife, It seems as if we almost feel And hear again that statesman’s voice (As countless thousands swell the cry—) “A British subject I was born, A British subject I will die.” Our future now looms clear and bright, ‘Tis onward progress to the end; And Canada’s star will always shine The brightest gem in Diadem. [page 153] Our Nation’s shaken off its sloth, The people will not break the tie— “For British subjects we were born, And British subjects we will die.” Linked with the other sister States, Under the same time-honored flag, “’Tis all for one, and one for all,” A patriot’s cry, not empty brag. We need not fear the world in arms, Our trust’s in God who dwells on high,— “For British subjects we were born, And British subjects we will die.”
THE TOUCH OF A VELVET PAW
(Founded on Fact)
There are times in our lives when a word of a thought May change them for good or for ill, And a trifling event may shape out our ends, Though we think we rough hew them at will. Looking back o’er the past my memory recalls Such a case—‘twas a man with a past— What matter the cause? He had broken no laws, And few could a stone at him cast. The future to him seemed all gloomy and dark, He thought he had never a friend, All his ambition check’d, his fondest hopes wreck’d, To him there seemed only one end; [page 154] Why prolong an existence whose future was blank? Why live with a heart filled with gall? When one touch of a trigger, one second of pain, Would for once and forever end all. His mind was made up with a prayer to his God To forgive him and pardon his crime, He sat himself down with revolver firm gripped, (He would count out ten seconds of time); But one yet remained, when a soft gentle touch Stopp’d his arm e’er he could count more— And a human soul was saved that day “By the touch of a velvet paw.” His little pet kitten had clambered up, And with pleading touch and mew, Had brought back his mind to its normal state, And saved soul and body too. Did chance or God’s Providence rescue that man, And change his whole life and condition; God’s love, it is great, and ‘tis never too late To snatch a lost soul from perdition. Honored and loved for his kindly deeds, And his care for both “great and small,” Liv’d one who had suffer’d, had “loved and lost,” But who manfully lived down it all: A peace which no earthly power could give Was with him, and ne’er left him more; And he bless’d the day when his arm was stayed “By the touch of a velvet paw.” [page 155]
A PLEA FOR CHRISTMAS
We may banish the old Christmas carols From our schools and our public resorts; We may carefully take down the pictures For which we have striven and fought; We may banish the name of the Saviour And turn his dear face to the wall; But the star that once shone o’er Bethlehem At this season, still shines over all. ‘Tis the season that brings us together, When we from us all evil thoughts cast; Knits the bonds that long absence has severed, And buries the feuds of the past; ‘Tis the season beloved by Dickens, How he loved on its joys to dilate! And to show how the “one touch of nature,” Could soften the rancour of hate. And men far away in the Arctic, Fast bound ‘midst the bergs and ice-pack, Not knowing when succor will reach them, Or if any will live to go back; They open the long-hoarded bottle, And fill up their glass to the brim; And they drink to the memory of loved ones, Eyes filling with tears ‘till they’re dim. [page 156] And whether ‘tis far in the North Land, Or ‘midst palms ‘neath the sunny South skies, All love the old season of Christmas, And their thought to the Homeland back flies; We can part with all other days sooner, But take not our Christmas away, For the void it would leave in our lifetime Could be filled up by no other day.
MY SWEETHEART WHEN A BOY
How sad ‘twould be if memory’s page Were blotted from our life, With all its bye-gone glimpses, Of mingled love and strife; For to me the world seems brighter, And the memories bring me joy, Of the many happy hours I passed With my sweetheart—when a boy. Her portrait lies before me, Bringing thoughts both sweet and sad; And I seem to feel her presence Till my very soul is glad; Other faces may be fairer, Greater charms they may enjoy, But to me there’s no one dearer, Than my sweetheart—when a boy. Alone, yet not alone, we’ve trod The thorny path of life; And hand in hand together, Have conquered in the strife. [page 157] But the memory that I prize the most, Pure bliss without alloy, Was when I first did call her wife, My sweetheart—when a boy. ‘Tis better to have loved and lost Than not have loved at all, For none can know the Master’s voice Who have not heard His call. Though parted now, ‘tis not for long, Soon grief will turn to joy, And I shall up above rejoin My sweetheart—when a boy.
There are some who think that Providence will give them all they ask They never strive to help themselves, that is too hard a task; But simply wait with folded hands and pray the Lord to send Them all they wish and crave for, and blessings without end. Have faith in God, ‘twill never hurt, but do not stop right there; Work out your own salvation, not with trembling or with fear; Remember Cromwell’s motto and like him always try, “To put your trust in Providence—but keep your powder dry.” [page 158]
IN MEMORY OF CHARLES DICKENS
In the cabin dim of the ice-bound ship, Far away in the frozen North, By the dim oil lamp in the miner’s camp Will the laugh and the tear burst forth; As men read the page, soiled and blacken’d by age (Those men will far away o’er the ocean), And their hearts will expand, in those far distant lands With a wonderful human emotion. They read how the heart of a selfish man Can become of a priceless worth, As the Christmas chimes ring in new times Of peace and good will on earth; They read how the power of a hopeless love, Which to death a man is sending; How the scaffold grim has no terrors for him, But only a peaceful ending. They follow the fortunes of Oliver Twist, And they almost see in their fancy, Cunning Fagan the Jew and his thieving crew, And the terrible murder of Nancy. But not all gloom or dreadful doom They read in those matchless pages, Pickwick and Widow Bardell, alone would expel The gloom from the sternest of sages. Sam Weller and Winkle, both make their eyes twinkle, Tupman, Snodgrass and Widow so deep; Old Wardell the jolly and Jingles’ mad folly, And the boy who was always asleep. [page 159] And then to that shore, they’ll perhaps see no more Their memory carries them back; And the world seems the brighter on account of the writer, For his creations are founded on fact. But it is not alone in that far-off zone That Dickens is thought of an read; In the land of his birth they well know his worth And his memory never will fade; Though he’s long passed away, his genius will stay, As long as this world of ours lasts; And hearts will grow lighter, and faces shine brighter, In reading his tales of the past. Though he’ll lecture no more on platform or floor, To the world he has thrown down the gage And his humor keen, like the ivy green, Will grow better and brighter with age. May his “Fellowship” spread although he is dead, And the little ones have all our pity, And hearts that would sever come closer together In hamlet, in town and in city.
(Gen. Booth, Aug. 20, 1912)
He has laid down the sword that has smitten the foe, Sharp and keen it remained to the last; And now reigns with the blest, in well-merited rest, The conflict is over and passed. [page 160] All the world owned his sway, and though now away, The Flag of Salvation remains, Blood red in its hue, floating proudly and true, Now converts it steadily gains. The poor bless his name, he cared not for fame, His appeals were by prayer and by song; Satan trembled and fled when his banner was led Through the slums where he’d triumphed so long.
A HERO’S CAREER
INTO HIS REST
Lower the flag until it reaches Half way down the slender mast, For the world this day is mourning A hero with a glorious past. Not as a reckless chief we prized him, Hurling thousands to their death, But as comrade tried and trusty, True to friends with latest breath. On the plains of sun-scorched India, From the vales of Afghan tribes; And on Afric’s veldt he ever Careful was of soldiers’ lives. Had we heeded when he warned us, Had we been for war prepared, Perhaps this strife had never happened, And much precious blood been spared. [page 161] Though to him a grateful country Raise a monument of stone, ‘Tis in our hearts he’ll live forever, For his kindly deeds alone; And Britain’s sons will ne’er forget him, She will claim him as her own, Laying down his life for friendship, Far away from ties at home.
ST. GEORGE’S DAY
Ho! men from distant Yorkshire, From the rugged Cornish coast, From the misty hills of Surrey, From the gardens Kent doth boast; From Bristol’s ancient city, From London’s busy mart, From the sea-washed sands of Somerset— Let all men do their part. To celebrate St. George’s Day And the day of Shakespeare’s birth; And show all men the English Rose Is the sweetest bloom on earth. Let Erin boast her Shamrock, And Scots the Thistle claim; Let Welshmen proudly wear the Leek— They may wear them without shame. [page 162] The time was once when the blood-red cross On Coeur de Lion’s breast, With terror struck the Saracens And hushed their babes to rest; And since that time in battle fray To the fore it’s always been; Then on this day let the English Rose On every breast be seen.
CAPT. ROBERT SCOTT
“Be thou faithful unto death”
There are names inscribed indelibly On fame’s emblazon’d scroll, Of men who’ve striven gallantly To reach some distant goal; Full many have perished in the quest, Fighting hard ‘gainst adverse fate; Others, oft’ back’d by fortune’s smile, Have reached the open gate. Oh, gallant Scot, ‘midst frozen wilds And the blizzard’s piecing cold, You strove to wrest from nature’s grasp The secret of the Pole. One of a gallant band wert thou, Whose praise we loudly vaunt; For Torrid heat, or Arctic cold Could not a Briton daunt. [page 163] Thy fate was hard, who won success, Though at the cost of life, And never lived to reap reward Or greet a loving wife. Thy words should quicken every pulse And make each heart throb fast: “We can still meet death as bravely now, As others in the past.”
LISTEN TO A FRIEND
ON HIS MARRIAGE
Not all can climb the giddy heights that lead to rank and fame; Not all can write in history a never dying fame, But all can leave behind them fond memories that recall How in this life they did their best, although that best was small; There’s no such thing as failure if we do our very best, For the man who does his duty and obeys his God’s behest, And will rank, maybe, much higher in the peaceful world above, Than they who strove for rank and fame and gave no thought to love; The future lies before thee, let the dead past bury its dead, May many happy days be thine, and hers whom thou dost wed. [page 164]
GOD SAVE IRELAND
From fratricidal strife, From foes who’d disunite, God keep her free. Guard her from traitor band, Shield her on every hand, So that a prosperous land Soon she may be. Bind up her wounds anew, Make her brave, loyal, true, Strong in her might. May she be ever free, Blessed with true liberty, Putting her trust in Thee Howe’er sore her plight. Save her from foreign foe On her thy grace bestow, Fair Erin’s Isle; May a new era dawn, Leave her not all forlorn, But on the coming morn Kind Heaven smile. Land of the shamrock green, No fairer land is seen, May thy woes cease; May orange and green unite, Each in their power and might, And to each other plight, Friendship and peace. [page 165]
There are heroes we praise both in story and song, And their names have passed down through the ages Who have conquered and fought, who have travelled and sought, We may find them on history’s pages. There are men who have given their youth and their strength, In endeavoring to make us their debtor; Turning night into day till their hair has turned grey, But the world has been never the better. There are some who have given up friendship and love To work in a far distant field, Where burning sun glows, or amidst winter snows, Their courage sustained by their zeal; But the one who has striven God’s blessing to gain, Is he who is doing his best; In the station in which God has called him to live, For his efforts will always be blessed. Such a one was Tom Finch, the gentle and mild, Although he was not blessed with beauty; He was rugged and good and on honor he stood, When he sacrificed love to his duty. For ‘tis not the brilliant and talented man That lightens the load of the weary, But the comrade that cheers them by word and by deed, And keeps them from thoughts sad and dreary. [page 166] Oh! God touch our souls with Thine infinite love, And our hearts with the same loving trust, That enabled Tom Pinch Thy blessing to gain And to tread in the steps of the just. Enable us all when we lay down this life, To leave such fond memories behind, That hearts may be lightened, the bonds of love tightened, As our past is recalled to their mind.
PEACE AT THE LAST.
“Peace at the last,” thank God for that word, No matter what trouble He send, We can look up on high, there’s a rift in the sky, And a haven of rest at the end. There is peace at the last, our time’s here but short, Let us strive and fight on to the last; If we do what is right and trust to his might, To His promise we still can hold fast. Though friends may desert us and fortune take wing, And death takes our loved ones away, Even then we may reason, ‘tis but for a season, And soon there will dawn a new day; A day when the former things all passed away, Are memories but of the past; We throw aside sorrow and think of the morrow, When God sends us “Peace at the Last.” [page 167]
“THE ONLY WAY”
‘Twas “The Reign of Terror”—‘midst curses loud, Through the dense-pack’d mass of the seething crowd The “Tumbril” wends its way; Tranquil and pale with a heaven-lit smile, Unruffled by threats of the “sans cullote” vile, His hand clasped in that of a tender child, Stands one whose life’s forfeit to-day. As the maid looks up to that sad, calm face, So full of strength, of love and grace, Her courage comes back again; “I fear nought when I hold your hand,” she said, Not the cursing crowd or the guillotine red, For such as I Christ rose from the dead, And surely He died not in vain.” She was cheered by the courage of him at her side, So gently he spoke while he took the dread ride, To the scaffold to lay down his life; “It will soon be over, fear not,” he said, As he stood between her and the engine dread; Then he kissed her lips and with bowed head She passed before him out of strife. Then Carton knew it was not in vain He had given his life to save from pain, The woman he loved and lost; Though he wasted the talents which Heaven gave, [page 168] Made a wreck of his life, like an errant knave, He was still permitted this child to save From despair when tempest toss’d. And he saw as it were in a vision bright, That what he had done was a deed of right Better far than he’d done before; And a woman’s voice he seemed to hear, And he saw slow rise the welling tear, As she pressed to her bosom a child so fair, A child called after his name. Then he knew that his life to others so dear, Which he now laid down without tremor or fear, Brought pardon to him from on high; That the man he had saved and she his fond wife, Far away in a land free from carnage and strife, Would sorrow for him to the end of their life, And speak of his fate with a sigh.
A KITCHEN SHOWER
We send these little gifts to you, To help the kitchen shower; You know ‘tis always after rain The sun doth show most power. May the future have in store for you, Many happy, happy years, And wedded life roll smoothly on, Free from all troubling cares. [page 169] And remember that in future years, When you with husband dine, ‘Tis said that in the kitchen That a woman most doth shine.
Rugged and straight as a mountain pine That to Heaven rears its crest; He lived a life of ceaseless toil, Without one thought of rest. Step by step he won his way To honor, power and fame, Trusted and loved by young and old, His was a household name. Patriot, Statesman, a pillar of strength Patron of Science and Art; With a kindly heart and willing hand He well achieved his part; And whether with troop of Khaki Horse, Or in training the school Cadet, A part he took in the Empire’s cause We never shall forget. May his memory stir each sluggish heart, And his deeds be ne’er forgot; Though Canada claims him for her own, He was still a sturdy Scot. But racial ties had no part in him, True charity has no bound, For in the Heaven “above us blent,” No class or creed is found. [page 170]
OUR IMPERIAL ANTHEM
There’s a tune that should always stir the hearts Of all that are good and true, Though it has no part in a traitor’s heart, (Let us hope there are very few); Sung o’er the world by rich and poor As no other song they sing, All rise and sing, with heart and voice, The song—“God Save the King.” ‘Tis said when the good ship Birkenhead, Sinking low in the angry waves, With troops drawn up on the slippery deck, As though they were on parade; ‘Tis said that the last sound from that ship, And sang with a hearty ring, Was the song a soldier knows so well, The song—“Gave Song the King.” When Major Wilson, in Africa, By the Matabelee pressed, No succor near and every hope Gone from each manly breast. The natives said from that dying band (Whose souls were on the wing), Their parching throats rang out in song, That song—“God Save the King.” Then why in our theatres and concert halls, When the well-known strain is played, Should we treat our Anthem with disrespect, And no courtesy be paid; [page 171] For hats and cloaks are snatched with haste (Time seems precious then to all), And a rush is made to the nearest door, That leads from the crowded hall. It is not so much for want to heart, As for want of thought, they say, That evil is wrought, and trouble is brought Home to the thoughtless and gay. A solution I offer, the best one I know, And I think it would straight hit the mark, Instead of our Anthem, I would let the band play, “I’m afraid to go home in the dark.”
THE SUNNY SIDE
Though the weather may be wintry, Still the air is bright and clear, Across the way the sun is shining, And its warmth brings hope and cheer. Why in gloom should we continue, Let us quickly then decide, Not to linger in the shadows, But to choose the sunny side. When misfortune overtakes us, And the clouds are dark and drear, Look out for the silver lining, It is present never fear. Beyond the pall of utter darkness, Peace and joy and light abide; And the eye of faith can see them, For they’re on the sunny side. [page 172] Life is mostly what we make it, Pain and joy together strive; If we live a life that’s cheerful, We can brighten other lives. Taking all things at their brightest, Whispering hope both far and wide, Laughing down all dark forebodings, Pointing out the sunny side. When our journey here is ended, When we hear the Master’s call, And the shadows close around us, Dark and drear as funeral pall. When we have to cross the river, Let us then on Him confide; In His courts are joy and brightness, And they’re on the sunny side.
A FUTILE APPEAL
‘Twas not for sums of money To build some stately pile, Where tony folks might worship And the time away beguile; Nor was it for an hospital Where the rich can lie at ease, And the poor just tolerated are, Such as one often sees. ‘Twas not in cause of charity, For concert or bazaar; Nor yet for women to refrain, From fashions from afar; [page 173] ‘Twas not against the tango, Or other sinful dance, That clergymen were asked to speak, And break a righteous lance. These would be easy words to preach, And texts in plenty found, To emphasize the preacher’s words And cover up the ground; But ‘twas in the cause of mercy, For those who could not plead; Their sufferings known to God alone, For mankind gives scant heed. For horses gall’d with frightful sores, Who cannot tell their woes; For cats shut up and left to starve, While the wife on pleasure goes; For birds whom fashion’s whim decide Should stylish hats adorn, Whose young bereft of parent’s care, Are left to die alone. The appeal was made to every church Their influence to lend, And set aside a special day To plead for man’s dumb friend. What was the outcome of it all, For few obeyed the call; They’d rather preach on politics Than discourse at mercy’s call. [page 174]
They say he failed in everything he ever undertook, He left no riches when he died, he wrote no thrilling book; He simply took his place in life, one of the rank and file, But he met with life’s buffets manfully and he met them with a smile. Not till he died we felt his loss and miss’d his cheerful face, It seemed to us that in the world there was a vacant place; There are clever men in plenty, successful men in scores, It’s the working man we want the most, the man who does the chores. I think howe’er at the last day, when the books are opened wide, His failures may be blotted out, so will the judge decide, And say “Though from the world below his worth was often hid, He left the world the better for the kindly acts he did. Whate’er the trials we undergo, we should not fume or fret, There’s “Balm in Gilead” for our woes and let us not forget, Success and riches do not bring us comfort at the last Like the thoughts of kindly deeds we’ve done in the days that are long past. [page 175]
THE BUTTERFLY AND THE BEE
Gorgeous in hue with its varying tints, A butterfly flits o’er the flowers; Or daintily poised on its outspread wings, Its floats through the sunny hours; Blue is the sky o’erhead, why have a care, When nature is bursting in bloom, No sign of a coming storm, the day it is bright and warm, No sign yet of darkness or gloom. Close by in the clover a honey bee works, Gathering up sweets for the hive; It enlivens its work with a cheerful hum, An example to workers who strive. Lay up for the future is its motto in life, While all nature is bounteous and gay, Adversity’s wind may soon blast with its breath The flowers that are blooming to-day. A storm raged that evening, it lasted the night, Yet the sun shone out brightly next morn, But the butterfly swept from a sheltering bush, On the ground lay bedraggled a torn; While the bee from its shelter devoid of a care, Does again with its daily task strive, For no thought of self is its object in life, But the welfare and good of the hive. [page 176] Now nature’s God works out a way of His own, Whatever He doeth is right; Though His plans may be hid from all eyes but his own Some day they’ll be plain to our sight. In the meantime a choice we may all of us make, Between a life that on pleasure is bent, Or doing our duty in that state of life, Which God in his providence meant.
There are times when we feel all alone in the world, When all life seems heartless and hollow; No loving hands near, no sympathy dear, And our cup to the brim filled with sorrow. Yet could we but see with the vision of faith, We should know that the Lord in his love, Sends an angel to guard and stand by our side, Till we join Him in mansions above. When Daniel was cast in a den full of lions, What kept those wild beasts from their prey, But the shield of the angel sent down from above, Making darkness as light as the day. When Elisha in Dothan was compassed about, By the hosts of the Syrian King; Did he fear or yet quail at the circle of steel, When his servant the message did bring? No! he prayed to the Lord that he’d open the eyes Of his man, that he too might behold, How by angelic hosts he was compass’d about And was safe as a sheep within fold. [page 177] And so since that day it ever has been, None who trust him have long been alone, For a guardian is nigh, and ever stands by To protect us abroad or at home. Was Gordon alone when he faced the fierce mob Of the Mahdi’s fanatical host? His heart did not quail or his confidence fail, For he stayed to the last at his post. He knew that his God would in death as in life, Throw around him His mantle of power; So he gave up his life with a smile on his lips, And found peace in his last dying hour. And ‘tis so when life’s done, when He calls us away, And the waters of death must be passed, It will not be alone we shall enter that stream. He will send us a guide at the last.
Six miles from crowded London There are gardens fair to view, Where the greensward brightly sparkles With the early morning dew; There the oak, the elm, the sycamore, The cypress and the yew, Spread their various tints and loveliness In the everglades of Kew. [page 178] There are gathered in the palm house, Growing ‘midst a torrid heat, Rare flowers that charm the senses; Such as few but travellers meet; Plants from far-off tropic regions, Spreading palms and orchids rare, With the beauteous water lily, Giant leaved, with flowerets fair. But a greater charm has Kew than these, More homelike and more dear, Than the wealth of rare exotics, To perfection brought with care. For there amid the woodland, From the branches far and near, Float our the voice of song birds, Piping loud their notes of cheer. An exile from the homeland For many a weary year, There again I heard the robin, With his song so sweet and clear. Other warblers may sing louder, But none can him excel; The black-eyed saucy robin With the trill we love so well. [page 179]
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