Alice Helen Collins
Thoughts

[handwritten: Fergie Dear

                              With my fond love

                                      A. R. C]

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Thoughts

BY ALICE H. ROGER COLLINS

[illustration]

  • 1920 —

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PRESS OF THE HUNTER-ROSE CO., LIMITED

TORONTO

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CONTENTS

Thoughts

5

Joys of Life

6

I Think of You

7

The Robin

9

O Mother Mine

10

Little Papoose

11

My Father

12

Little Girl

13

Little Boy

14

The Mother Heart

15

The Reason

17

Keep Him for Me

18

Absence

20

The Tryst

21

April’s Approach

22

A Rosebud

23

A Rose, A Song, A Heart

24

A Prayer for Faith

25

In August

26

You

27

Stay Close

28

December

29

To You

30

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THOUGHTS

Thoughts are like fluttered leaves,

       In Autumn of the year;

For some lie colorless, and dull,

       While others beautiful, in red-

And-gold, appear.

And some we push aside,

       Then pass, nor pause to look;

Others we carry home, and press

        Between the leaves of some revered

And much-loved book.

So take these thoughts of mine,

       With love that is untold;

Reject the worthless, poor and mean;

        But, may you find, gleaming between,

Some “red-and-gold.” [page 5]

JOYS OF LIFE

How full of joy Life is!

       The winds that gently bend the trees,

The birds, the flowers, the humming bees,

       The grasses, skies, and clouds—all these

              Forever say:

“How full of joy Life is!”

How full of joy Life is!

       The winds rejoice e’en when they sigh.

The twinkling stars, clouds scudding by,

       And gay bees bumbling, tell that I

              Should ever say:

“How full of joy Life is.”

How full of joy Life is!

       All nature makes me feel this true,

But, by the stars in Heaven’s blue,

       It’s the most holy soul of you

That makes me know

       How full of joy Life is! [page 6]

I THINK OF YOU

Winter is here

I think of you.

          Now holly berries seem to mock

          The ice and frost and snow;

          And, while the Yule log cheers the home,

          Our hearts are warmed by friendship’s glow

                                              In Winter.

When Springtime comes

I think of you.

          When Nature dons her garb of green,

          And all things new appear,

          Our friendship seems to bud anew,

          And bring us to each other near,

                                              In Springtime.

Sweet Summer

Makes me think of you.

           All through the lazy, lovely days

           Fragrant with scent of flowers,

           Surely the wind will waft to you

           A tale of friendship, that is ours

                                               In Summer.

And Autumn bids

Me think of you,

          For, while the best of earth’s rich store

          From field, and vine, and tree,

          Is safely garnered in, so I

          Harvest dear memories of thee,

                                               In Autumn. [page 7]

So all the time

I think of you.

          Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter come;

          Each season finds me true—

          O, “May your life be filled with joy,”

          Is my best wish to yours and you

                                              For all time. [page 8]

THE ROBIN

Hush! In the woods, up in a tree,

       The first robin is singing for me.

He has a secret he doesn’t want to tell

       But I know the meaning—know it very well.

I’ll not let him see me, even though he try,

       But listen while he sings,

                     “Spring is coming

                                       Bye and bye.”

Out in the woods (sight passing fair),

       The first leaf bud is breathing the air.

She has a secret in her heart of green—

       (I know the meaning though she thinks it can’t be seen)

Though she only breathes it to the passers by

        It is what the robin sings—

                      “Spring is coming

                                         Bye and bye.”

O, little bud! O, little bird!

        I know your secret—know every word.

I have a message better still for you—

       Listen while I whisper. (Every word is true.)

I want you to know that, when buds first appear,

       And when Robin Redbreast sings

                      “Spring is coming,”

                                        SPRING IS HERE. [page 9]

O MOTHER MINE

This is your birthday, Mother Mine!

I wish that I might cull

The sweetest flow’rs that ever grew

And send them every one to you.

But even the fairest flowers that blow

Only a little of my love could show,

                                           O Mother Mine!

This is your birthday, Mother Mine!

I wish that I might make

A symphony of glorious sound

Which, echoing all the world around,

Would tell of all you mean to me,

And all you make me wish that I could be,

                                            O Mother Mine!

This is your birthday, Mother Mine!

I have nor flow’rs nor song;

Only Devotion’s gifts so true—

A heart that loves and honours you—

The thought that all the sky is blue

While God’s in Heaven and I still have you,

                                            O Mother Mine! [page 10]

LITTLE PAPOOSE

Little papoose sleep on, sleep on,

Night is coming soon.

Birds will sleep, shadows creep,

Weird will be the Wind’s tune;

                          And so—

                                     Sleep on,

                                     Sleep on,

                                     Little papoose.

Little papoose sleep long, sleep long,

Dream till Dawn shall come.

Birds will wake, daylight break,

Droning bees will hum;

                           But now—

                                      Sleep long,

                                      Sleep long,

                                      Little papoose. [page 11]

MY FATHER

Thine is a memory that grows more dear,

As all the swift-winged hours and years

                          Go by.

Could I but hear the Still Small Voice as thou,

From dawn of day to cloudy night

(Even in sleep whisp’ring with God my vow

And living all-serenely in His sight)—

Then fervent, pure, devoted, patient Soul,

I should not be ashamed to live,

Nor even fear

                         To die! [page 12]

LITTLE GIRL

Little Girl, with eyes of brown,

I looked up and down the town,

None saw I like you.

Little maids there were with curls,

Frills, and furbelows, and pearls,

None with heart so true.

Little Girl with heart of gold,

Never will our love grow cold,

As Time’s Seasons whirl.

Love will always keep us near,

You’ll be ever dearer, Dear.

Mother’s Darling Girl! [page 13]

LITTLE BOY

O little Boy with the eyes of blue,

And heart of a knight of old,

Can you guess who I think of, while you are at play,

And I am at home and am working away?

              It’s you, Little Boy, it’s you!

O Little Boy that my heart adores,

Whether you’re near or far,

Can you guess who I’ll trust to keep clean, and pure,

And work for the good that will ever endure?

               It’s You, Little Boy, it’s you! [page 14]

THE MOTHER HEART

I had a little boy once and my little boy died.

And when war, with its lust of blood,

Came with all its mad power,

And the boys were called out,

With bugle and shout

(All the British, and Belgian, and German lads),

                         To fight

                                     For their flags;

Then I thought of their mothers, because

I am a mother and my little boy died.

I had a little boy once, and my little boy died.

And when tales of the pain and the woe

Of the mad battle fields

Came to tear us with grief,

And there seemed no relief

For the Belgian, and British, and German lads

                          Who fought

                                  For their flags;

Then my heart wept for each, because

I am a mother and my little boy died. [page 15]

I had a little boy once, and my little boy died.

So I know sorrow’s pain

With its heartache and strain.

And the German and Belgian and British lads

                         Lie dead,

                                 Side by side,

And I grieve for them all, because

I am a mother and my little boy died. [page 16]

THE REASON

I s’pose I should be bright and gay

Because I’ll have a holiday

But I can’t be glad with you away

                             (You wonder why?)

I know a change will do me good;

A change of air, and scene and food;

But still I’d stay here if I could

                             (You wonder why?)

For it will be so hard to go;

The time away from you is slow,

And, Honey, I do love you so!

                             And that is why. [page 17]

KEEP HIM FOR ME

How does she think of him

As he plays in the garden fair?

Too tiny yet to stray afar,

So safe she feels him there.

               Thus does she sing all day

               The mother fond and gay

        “O Jesu, keeper of the lambs,

        The lambs so pure and wee

                                     Keep him for me.”

How does she think of him

When his way in the world he takes,

And she knows that, in Life, the time of youth

Is the time that mars or makes?

              Thus prays she o’er and o’er

              As never she prayed before

       “O Father, when my boy is near

       Evils I cannot see,

                                    Keep him for me.” [page 18]

How does she think of him

When the curse of war is here,

And she knows he has gone, at his country’s call,

To fight for all that’s dear?

              Stifling the heart’s deep moan

              She speaks with God alone

       “God—only this—stay close to him—

       Help me to trust in Thee—

                                   Keep him for me!” [page 19]

ABSENCE

A SONNET

Who was it said that Absence makes the heart

Grow fonder? ’Tis a lie. For Love that’s true

Is firm, immovable as Heaven’s blue,

Whether the loved ones near are, or apart.

No, Absence is a phantom weird and grim

That brings us pain, and sense of bitter loss—

That seems to draw a cloud of gray, across

The sky we view with eyes that smart, and swim.

Absence can wake us in the darksome night

And make us feel that those we dote upon

Have had dread happenings, and full of fear,

We tremble for them e’en in noonday light.

Absence, I hate thee! Hence, and get thee gone,

And let me wake and find my Love is here! [page 20]

THE TRYST

Written after reading Alan Seagar’s “I have a Rendezvous with Death.”

I have a tryst to keep with Life

Each hour I breathe, each day I live;

And I must all attention give

To keep my hands and heart unsoiled;

For I’ve a tryst to keep with Life,

And so must guard my soul unspoiled.

Some day I’ll meet Life’s brother Death.

It may be that, with bated breath,

I’ll watch and wait for him. Who knows?

For he may come like sudden light—

But this I know—at evening’s close,

Or at the dawn, or darkest night,

I shall not fear his form to view

If to my tryst with Life I’m true.

For God doth know ’tis easier far

(’Midst shout of battle, sound of drum,

Following glory as a star,)

To fearless meet the Angel Gray,

Than just to sweeten life with smiles,

Spreading glad sunshine on the way

(By foes maligned, misjudged by some),

Keeping a glad heart—battling evil’s wiles

Where snares lie thickest. Help me, Christ

To walk serene and keep the tryst! [page 21]

APRIL’S APPROACH

April is near!

How do I know it,

When all the snow lies

Thick on the ground?

Nothing in all bleak

Nature to show it—

Yet I can feel that

April is near.

April is near.

Let the woods ring it.

Soon where the snow is,

The flowers will peep.

Soon every bird will

Twitter, and sing it,

All things will shout that

“April is here!” [page 22]

A ROSEBUD

I held a baby rosebud

Fast in my hand to-day;

When suddenly a great wind came

And snatched my flow’r away.

I tried in vain to hold it,

The wind was swift and strong

Over a wall so thick and high

It swept my rose along.

The flowers never wither

In yonder garden fair;

The Gardener must love my bud

So tender, pure and rare.

And when the work is over,

The gate will ope for me,

And ’mongst God’s beauteous blossoms,

My own sweet bud I’ll see.

                         And hold it fast—

                         At last! At last! [page 23]

A ROSE, A SONG, A HEART

I come to thee with a rose

Whose perfume fills the air;

And all its fragrance means to me

                     A prayer.

I come to thee with a song

Of a hope that is pure, and high;

Then, crushed with doubtful fears, I breathe

                      A sigh.

I come to thee with a heart

That is full of love sincere.

Ah! Will thine answer bring to me

                    Joy, or a tear? [page 24]

A PRAYER FOR FAITH

My Baby Love, my Baby Love,

Your cheek was soft and warm,

I would have given my very life

To shield you from all harm.

But God’s gray angel bore you swift

Unto a purer sphere;

With shattered hopes and aching heart

You left me longing here.

My Baby Love, my Baby Love,

So near to God you dwell;

Ask Him to give to me the faith

To know that all is well. [page 25]

IN AUGUST

The summer is waning

But what care we?

The scent of the flower,

The hum of the bee

                  We shall miss—

But

The Autumn is coming

And you’ll be here!

Enough if you have me,

And I have you, dear,

                  ’Twill be bliss! [page 26]

YOU

Every little flower,

Every sky that’s blue,

All that’s true or beautiful

Makes me think of

              You.

Every thought of love sincere,

Every kind deed too

Every song, or poem sweet,

Makes me think of

              You.

Ask me not, then, Dearie,

Why I know you true.

Can’t you see that all things good

Make me think of

              You? [page 27]

STAY CLOSE

O God of Love stay close, stay close;

Our Country needs Thee sore;

For Thou hast known before,

Life’s stress

        Life’s agony without redress.

                O God of Love, stay close.

O God of Love stay close, stay close;

And touch with zeal, and grace,

Those men who have high place;

Who hold

        Fair lives as less than house or gold.

               O God of Love, stay close!

O God of Love stay close, stay close;

And give us MEN who’ll care

To save our youth so fair;

REAL MEN

       Who’ll fight for Purity—E’en then

               O God of Love, stay close! [page 28]

DECEMBER

Why talk of “chill December”?

The best month of the year.

It brings us mirth and Santa Claus

And God’s own Christmas cheer.

Why talk of “bleak December,”

When the great Yule log burns high,

With children clustering ’round the fire

And dear old friends near by?

O here’s to “old December,”

With its laughter and its fun!

And here’s to all the friends we love,

God bless them every one! [page 29]

TO YOU

These little songs of mine,

I give to you;

To make you think of me

The whole year through.

O treat them then with Love,

For love they take;

And all of them were penned

Just for your sake.

My thoughts shall be with you

All through the year;

May joy, and peace be yours,

And not a tear. [page 30]

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