Edwardian and Georgian Canadian Poets
Verses by the Wayside

Verses by the Wayside






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[handwritten text: PS8455




Copyright, Canada, 1910, by

The Musson Book Company Limited.

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Page 46, 11.2

“I’l” corrected to “I’ll”

Page 59, 11.5

paient” corrected to “patient”

Page 99, 8.2

Space added between dutiesthis”

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To the love that never falters,

To the heart that never alters,

 To the one above all others

I dedicate these simple Lays

        With sincerest love and praise—

        To the best of all—my mother.

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[blank page]


Sunset and Sunrise


The First Snowfall


The Autumn Forest


The Glen


Lochaber Bay


Silver Creek




Singing For Food


On London’s Street


The Window View


Daisy Buttercup and Clover








Night at Square Lake


The Violet


Come Out on the Hills




To My Dear E.


I Dream of Thee


The Only Girl


My Friend That Was


The Sweetest Thing


My Lover’s Letter


Just Tell Me That You Love Me


The Sea




Summer and Winter


[page 7]

A Betrothal Wish


What Thou Art to Me


The New Year


Thy Trust is Safe in Me


Christ Arose


A Sinner’s Need


What is a Home


The Past


The Shadowed Way


A Prayer


Trust Him Still


Three “R’s


Abide With Me: For it is Evening, and the Day is

     Far Spent




His Voice


Then ’Tis Sweet to Live




Only One Soul


A Revival Prayer


The Spirit’s Pleading


God Answers Prayers




Near the Kingdom


Where the Weary Are at Rest


Some Day—Some Day






The Harvest is Past and the Summer is Ended


Oh, Come, Thou Weary One, to Me


[page 8]

His Ways Are Not Our Ways


St. John, 1st Chapter


No Other Hand Can Save


The Angel Guard


Ask Me not to Linger




New Year Eve


Spun from Fact


Now I am Old


A Driving Party








My Birthday


The Spirit Land




Childhood and Age


When the Dear Lads Come Home


Fancies Four


Mother’s Birthday




In Memoriam


In Memoriam


Sister Hattie


Long Thou Art Gone


Her Birthday


Two Years Ago


Time is on the Wing


Hattie’s Birthday


Three Years Ago


[page 9]

His Resting Place




In Loving Memory of Janet Shaw Campbell


My Father




Little Herbie


In Memory of Edna Woodley


In Memory of Jennie Gervan


A Loving Daughter, A Helpful Sister and a

     Faithful Wife


The Dead Baby


[page 10]

Verses by the Wayside


As the sun shines in the morning

       Sipping up the dew,

Making all the birds so joyous

       And the people, too;

So should we in youth’s sweet morning

       Shed around us light,

Helping others tired and weary

       Of the world’s rough fight.

As the sun sinks down to rest

       In glorious array,

Gliding everything around it

       At the close of day.

Even so should we when parting

       From this life away,

Leave behind us golden traces

       Like the sun’s last ray. [unnumbered page]


Blowing wildly round the farmhouse

           Falls the snow,

Tossed by wind that’s cold and piercing

           To and fro;

Summer skies and summer sunshine

           All must go,

Clouds and winter storms are coming

           With the snow.

Tinted leaves are scattered broadcast,

           Gone for aye,

Just as joy that only stayeth

           For a day;

Memories come of sunny moments,

           Tears will flow,

As I stand and look with sorrow

           At the snow.

Last year’s snowfall brought me gladness

           And good cheer,

As, the bitter, bitter changes

           In a year.

A dear one down beneath the grasses,

           Sleeps and lo—

Leaves me heartaches, lone and bitter

           With the snow. [page 12]


Yonder upon the hillside

    The autumn forests stand,

A flush of crimson glory

    Decked by the Master’s hand.

And every day as I scan them,

    My grateful eyes behold

Some fresh new tint of beauty,

    Some touch of red or gold.

My eyes they wander slowly

    From the trees of evergreen

To the poplars clothed in yellow,

    The cedar trees between.

And the gorgeous tinted maples,

    With their golden brown and red.

They more than compensate us

    For the summer days now fled. [page 13]

O’er all the hill and hollow,

    As the sun shines down so bright

Is a gorgeous blaze of color,

    Like a wave of golden light.

And they shake from the autumn breezes

    And the leaves dance in their glee,

As clothed in garments of beauty,

    They hang on the mother tree.

But some morning as I look for them,

    Each tree will stand brown and bare,

Done with gay fall clothing,

    And drest for the winter air.

Jack Frost with the autumn breezes,

    Will lay their beauty low,

And soon the great King Winter,

    Will wrap them close in the snow. [page 14]


O’er the Glen in silver rays,

Shines the moon by night, by days

The sun shines soft o’er all,

Gilding flowers and trees so tall.

Far, far down in dewy depths,

      Laughs the rill,

As the waters in their flight

      Splash and spill.

Many an unexpected nook,

      Quiet retreat,

From the weary din of life

      And the heat.

Listening to the song of birds

      ’Mid the leaves,

Making up of golden thoughts

      Golden sheaves.

Forgetting life’s all-fevered dream,

Life is sweet down here unseen,

    If t’were so that all day long

    We could listen to the song

Of those songsters, thrush and wren,

Chirping sweetly in the glen. [page 15]


Lochaber Bay,

    My well loved country home,

My heart is still with thee,

    Though far my steps may roam.

Where childhood’s days were spent,

    Land of my birth,

To thee my spirit turns

    In joy or mirth.

Land where my father lived,

    Land where he died,

Land where I hope to rest,

    Close by his side.

Though from the well-loved place

    I exiled roam,

My thoughts are oft with thee,

    My country home.

I see the dear old Bay

    Clear neath the moon,

I see the clover fields

    Fragrant with bloom.

I see the broad green fields,

    The golden grain

Gone but remembered yet,

    Though it gives pain. [page 16]

I see far through the trees

    Ottawa’s tide,

Fringed with the maples

    That grow by its side.

I see the little church

    At set of sun,

Where I was wont to go

    When work was done.

I hear familiar tones,

    Faces I see,

Though they are far away,

    Still dear to me.

Sister and brother,

    Cousin and friend.

Father and mother

    In one happy blend.

Faces of each

    Oft in fancy I see

When my heart turns,

    Dear Lochaber, to thee. [page 17]


A peaceful, softly gurgling stream,

   Its waters flowing clear and bright,

Its silver pebbles, how they gleam

   As it winds about from left to right.

Here gleaming, glistening in the sun

   And dancing shadows there I see,

As calm its shallow waters run

   Then hide neath over-hanging tree.

The branches bend o’er waters cool

   And shadows softly cluster round,

For peace and quietness are the rule,

   We hear not of the world a sound.

And by the stream as it goes on

   There’s many a dainty quiet retreat,

Mayhap just there in days agone

   Some happy pair were wont to meet.

The tiny fishes in the sun

   Flash and gleam as on they glide;

’Tis sweet to watch their careless fun

   As they ’neath silver pebbles hide. [page 18]

The plash of waters to the ear

   Seems o’er the heart a calm to fling,

And the voice of birds comes soft and clear

   As in the trees above they sing.

To stray out here, the world forgot,

   And every anxious care unknown,

Fancy grows quainter in this spot

   And every scene a living poem.

Oh, ye who wish through summer’s hot

   A place of calm repose to seek,

You could not find a lovelier spot

   To idle, than by Silver Creek. [page 19]


Down where the rippling waters flow

    In the dear old-fashioned creek—

Down where the grass is green I go

    Beautiful violets to seek.

Many a time alone I’ve strayed

    Idly walking along,

Stooping to pick a lovely flower,

    Softly humming a song.

I cross the creek on a rotten log.

    Holding my breath as I creep,

Fearing lest the log give way

    And I plunge into the deep.

Then with hands o’erburdened with blossoms

    I wend my homeward way,

Just in time to milk the cows

    Right at the close of day. [page 20]


I recall to-night a picture

   On my memory firm impressed;

In a great and distant city

That touched my heart with pity

   For a poor, sad boy distressed.

He was standing by the pavement

   Near the throng that glided by,

And he sang with wistful sadness

Songs of love and life and gladness,

   And between he heaved a sigh.

And his form was gaunt and shaken,

   And his face was thin and blue,

And his look begged of the many

For to help him with a penny

   For he had naught else to do.

How ironical is fate!

   Just to think that any should

Have to sing, when heart is breaking,

Brain and bone and muscle aching,

   For to earn their daily food. [page 21]

And to-night this picture hovers

   And my heart does still opress,

And I still can hear shrill ringing

The lad’s voice so sadly singing

   And I see his deep distress.


Buy a rose, lady!

    Buy a rose!

Only a penny—

    And on the throng goes.

Down by St. Paul’s

    And Trafalgar Square,

And Picadilly

    And everywhere.

Buy a rose lady!

    Buy a rose!

Or some sweet violets—

    And so it goes.

Some of the vendors

    Have faces like flowers,

But poverty looks from

    Their eyes, and glowers. [page 22]

As they press all about,

    These girls of the street,

You feel they are begging

    For something to eat.

Buy a rose lady!

    Buy a rose!

Only a penny—

    And on the throng goes.


Through my window here

I have watched through the year

   The changes in nature outside

From the sweet blooming May

Till November’s cold day

   Borne along by time’s ceaseless tide.

Spring’s pretty May flowers

Brightened up the long hours,

   Then by summer’s bright glories replaced

And I watched with delight

The butterflies flight

   As among them they each other chased. [page 23]

But the clover soon went

And the buttercup bent,

   And both hid their face in the sod;

A few sweet daisies stayed

And their going delayed

   Till replaced by the gay golden rod.

Then they all sped away

And one autumn day

   Not a flower any place could be found,

And the leaves on each tree

Took a notion to flee

   And so cast themselves to the ground.

Then the world looked so dreary

And my heart felt so weary

   That I longed to be gone like the rest,

And to hide me away

   Some chill autumn day

   Folded close upon nature’s soft breast. [page 24]


Daisy, buttercup and clover

Nodding gaily the field over;

    The burning sun

    To these are fun—

They fear not the blazing rover.

We poor mortals nearly roast,

We’re as hot as buttered toast.

    The daisy, she

    Nods pleasantly.

Of her coolness seems to boast.

And the clover, fresh and neat,

Finds it easy to keep sweet—

    Rich with honey,

    Without money,

Furnishes the bee a treat.

Buttercup so cool and clear

Nods the passer-by to cheer—

    Always gay

    And full of play—

Oh! the precious flowers, how dear. [page 25]


Kingston, calm, sweet old city,

    My heart has found a home

Here, where the great St. Lawrence

    Absorbs the Great Lake foam,

Here where the air is purest

    And life is calm serene

I gaze upon the waters

    As the white caps flash and gleam,

And I gaze upon the ivied homes

    And the ancient forts and walls,

And it gives my heart a calm repose

    As the voice of nature calls.


The bare trees sway in the northern blast

    And crack and creak and groan,

The sky is o’ercast with dismal clouds

    And the rafters shake and moan.

The dead leaves sweep like spirits gone

    That come back to haunt the earth,

And make us feel as we look at them

    That it’s no time for joy or mirth. [page 26]

The grass that was once so bright and green

    Is turning an ugly brown,

And the flowers that brightened the summer days

    Are gone from off hill and down.

The world has a cold forlorn look

    Which makes us chill and creep,

And makes us start and turn to flee

    When the brown leaves by us sweep.

There’s something weird about it all

    That makes us think and ponder.

And coaxes us upon the hills

    And wills our feet to wander. [page 27]


September is over,

    October is here,

November is coming,

    So bleak and so drear;

The leaves are now flying

    About on the earth,

The birds have flown southward

    With all their glad mirth;

The cold winds are wandering,

    Soon, soon, it will snow,

And through cracks and crannies

    The north wind will blow.

The thought chills my heart

    Of the winter’s cold sting,

If I were but a bird,

    Far southward I’d wing—

Far from the frost

    To a bright land of flowers,

And there I would wander

    Amid sunny bowers. [page 28]


Oh! the stillness of the midnight,

    Not a sound the quiet breaks,

Save when the wierd, lone night call

    Of the loon the silence wakes.

And the great full moon slow sailing

    Does a flood of silver make

Streaming to the shore beneath us

    On the surface of the lake.

Oh! the voices in the stillness—

    Little voices of the night—

Whispering to ears not sleep-bound

    Things ne’er thought of in the light;

Not of gain or worldly grasping,

    Nothing of the earthly sod,

But the solemn voice of nature

    Whispering of nature’s God.

While the world sleeps, tired and weary,

    Nature moves with silent grace,

With unerring judgement going

    Each to fill the chosen place.

All unfevered—each obeying

    Unfailingly from hour to hour;

All things tranquil, none resisting,

    In the hand that wields the power. [page 29]

Safe alone amid the silence

    In the weirdness of the night,

Safe on life’s lone waste of sorrow,

    For there surely shall be light.

Safe, though all the world forsake me

   Safe—and calm—no matter where,

For the One who moves the planets

    Safe, will keep me in His care.


The violet, the violet, the violet for me—

The little fairy blossom that grows ’neath every tree.

The blue, the deep blue violet, so fragile and so free,

    Drooping its shy and graceful head,

    Right by the pathway where I tread.

The violet, the violet, the tiny white wood violet,

The fragrant, wee, white violet

That hides itself away, that seeks to hide away,

Yet turns its dainty face to greet the opening day.

It throws its flagrance all around,

And seeking carefully I’ve found

Close midst the green, on many a mound,

    The tiny white wood violet, the modest little violet,

    That hides so near the ground. [page 30]

Then there’s another violet—

A little giddy flower—a little golden flower

It’s not so modest—but more bright

It hates the shadow—loves the light—

It has no fragrance, but you see,

It’s of the violet family.

    To violets all, whate’re their hue,

    My love will ever answer true.

The violet, the violet, the violet for me,

Be they the blue-eyed or the gold,

Or simple white the flower unfold.

They tell of spring and woodlands cool,

They whisper of a country school;

They bring back childhood’s golden days

And paths that led through pleasant ways

Where passed so innocent the hours

’Mid dales where grew these winsome flowers.

    And so through all the years you see

    The violet is the flower for me. [page 31]


Come out on the hills

Where the sunshine is dancing,

Where the breath of the pines

    Makes the heart laugh aloud,

Where each bounding streamlet,

Fast seeking the valley,

Reflects the deep blue

    And the fleecy spring cloud.

Come out on the hills

In the early spring morning,

And you’ll hear the great heart

    Of Creation atune;

The bird song and earth song

All join in the giving

To greet the world’s Easter

    That’s coming so soon.

Come out on the hills

And list to the music,

Leave the valley and glades

    And come, greet the spring;

The voice of the birds

And the song of the treetops

Will enter your heart,

    And with them you will sing. [page 32]


The home is but a house now,

   Mother’s gone away,

The sun don’t shine so bright

   And everything looks gray.

The stove looks kind of cold

   And the rain might fall to-day,

Everything is filled with gloom

   Since mother’s gone away.

We meet again after long days,

Cross once more our separate ways

Hand to hand and eye to eye,

Hearts in greeting swiftly fly.

Each beholds and half with pain

Finds the other not the same—

Dreams of rapture and of bliss,

Memories of full many a kiss,

Which we find we crave no more,

And so we turn life’s pages o’er. [page 33]


Years ago, do you remember,

    How we plighted friendship true,

And as on the years have flitted

    How from strength to strength it grew!

Other friends have come and gone,

    Grieved my heart and flitted by,

But the friendship formed in childhood

    Never yet has caused a sigh.

True in childhood, true in girlhood.

    Womanhood still finds us true;

May old age still find us faithful,

    You to me and I to you.


              I dream of thee, my love,

When the leaves are rustling softly in the breeze,

When the birds are chirping sweetly in the trees,

When the sun is sinking golden in the west,

And the busy world is sinking into rest,

              Then—I dream,

                            My love,

                                Of thee. [page 34]

              I dream of thee, my love,

When the night is hanging darkly all around,

When by gentle sleep my mind is closely bound,

And when the morning sweetly breaks

And from slumbers charm I wake,

               Then—I dream,

                             My love,

                                Of thee.

Joy of my life! How can I let thee go?

   Out, from my sight away,

Without a whisper that I love thee so,

   Thus must I let thee go, my love, to-day.

Away beyond my little world so small

   Unconsciously you bear my heart from me.

It had been better not to love at all

   And yet I’m proud to feel I love but thee.

No thought of thine e’er strays to me, I know;

   In thy life’s noble plans I form no part.

And yet into my life it sends a glow

   To know you have my heart.

You know it not and never shall you know,

   My love for thee no tongue shall ever tell.

I grieve, dear heart, I grieve to have thee go,

   God bless thee, love, farewell. [page 35]


Perhaps her hair is not of gold,

But it is soft, and neatly rolled;

Perhaps her eyes are not violet blue,

But they are tender, so tender and true.

Her cheeks perchance do not rival the rose

And I think there is a wee tilt to her nose,

But whatever her beauty of face may be

She’s the only girl in this world for me.


Too good a friend, my dear, to me you’ve been,

    To give the stoney stare across the street;

And yet I cannot count it quite a sin

    That I refuse to grovel at your feet.

If I were harsh and judged in too great haste,

    I meant it kindly and in love I spoke;

But when of withering scorn I got a taste

    From friendship’s dream, I woke.

I can but say across the days now past

    If I was wrong, I pray my friend forgive;

Let not those angry glances be the last,

    But smile once yet and bid our friendship live.

To S——. [page 36]


There is nothing on earth one-half so sweet

    As this—thy kiss—

Taken from me, I pine and sigh

    Oh! for the bliss!

If what I asked for might be mine

    I’d ask for this—

One moment of the joy that dwells

    In thy sweet kiss.


’Twas a letter old and yellow

    With the seal as yet unbroken,

And my name was plain upon it—

    My maiden name as it was spoken.

In an old book in the attic

    In my own loved childhood’s home.

From which ten years before

    My youthful feet did roam.

Father, mother, both departed

    Long years from this home away,

And I visited my brother—

    Came to spend the Christmas Day. [page 37]

And I wandered o’er the old house,

    Up the attic’s rickety stair,

Eager to look o’er the relics

    Mother’s hands had stored up there.

When among the books I rummaged,

    From one book by dust made gray,

Out there fell this yellow letter,

    Stamped, eleven years that day.

Quick my eyes fell on the writing,

    And my cheeks went red, then white,

I could hear my heart’s wild beating,

    I trembled so with fright.

To the window quick I took it

    And I read the words through tears,

As the old days come before me

    And the mist rolls off the years.

I remember as a maiden

    How I stood that Christmas eve,

And a dear face looked upon me

    Fondly as he took his leave.

And he whispered, oh, so softly:

    “You will get a note to-morrow.

And I’ll see you in the evening,

    Dear, you will not cause me sorrow!” [page 38]

Then he went, and in my chamber

    In a dream of pure delight,

I sat for hours and thought about him

    E’er I fell asleep that night.

Waking late on Christmas morning,

    Many greetings did I get.

I was always mother’s baby

    And I was the household pet.

Oh, the hour of noon came slowly,

    Then at last the mid-day post.

Mother said: “What ails you, Mabel,

    Why you look quite like a ghost.”

Quick I rushed off to my chamber—

    Not a line, a line for me.

Then I wept in bitter passion

    Till my eyes could scarcely see.

Not one word of all my sorrow

    To a mortal did I speak;

But amid the gayest company

    Consolation I did seek.

And I got it in a measure,

    For before a year had fled

I had made another conquest

    And at Christmas I was wed. [page 39]

Ever since that Christmas evening

    I had thought his love untrue,

That he’d only triffled with me

    When my young heart he did woo.

He had gone a few days after

    From his native land away,

And I seldom heard a whisper

    Of him since that winter’s day.

Now his letter lay before me

    Staring plainly through the gloom,

And I knew he got no answer,

    And to him it seemed his doom.

Oh those words of fond entreaty

    Traced by hand I loved so well,

How it cut my heart to read them

    Mortal tongue can never tell.

Christmas Eve his hand had penned it

    After he had left me there,

“Standing in the door” he told me

    Looking oh so sweet and fair.

By the morning post he’d sent it

    And he waited my reply,

Would I tell him that I loved him,

    Would I bid him live or die? [page 40]

If you do not love me Mabel,

    Then don’t send a line to me,

And I’ll love you just the same, dear,

    Though I’ll go far, far from thee.

Ah! my poor, poor boy, I whispered,

    And you thought I was not true

When my heart was well nigh breaking

    Ronald, dear, for love of you.

I could see it all so plainly,

    How this note my mother took,

And to keep it safe for Mabel

    Put it for me in this book.

Then amid the joys of Christmas

    It had been for aye forgot,

And when cleaning up soon after

    To the attic it was brought.

No one knew the pain I suffered

    In that attic there alone,

No one knew my heart was bleeding,

    For I seemed like turned to stone.

By and by I sought the fireplace,

    And I think no one could blame,

If hot ears fell on that letter

    Ere I cast it in the flame. [page 41]

In the armchair sat my brother,

    Reading as I went to him,

And I know he did not notice

    That my eyes with tears were dim.

Mabel! said he, without looking,

    From the paper as he read,

There’s an old friend of your girlhood

    Recorded here among the dead.

There’s been a fierce fight in the Transvaal,

    And the paper’s well-nigh filled

With the news of dead and wounded—

    Ronald Weir’s among the killed.

Oh, the torture! oh, the torture!

    That my heart endured that day;

But I found a brief oblivion

    For I fainted dead away.

Months have past since all this trouble,

    And I’ve grown to bear the pain,

Though to bear it all in silence,

    To my strength is quite a strain.

And my husband is the kindest

    Of all husbands in the land,

But my best love it is buried

    Far away ’neath Afric’s sand. [page 42]


Just tell me that you love me,

   Softly say the words once more,

Oh, tell me that you love me

   As you did in days of yore,

When the moon was shining down

   Like blessings from above,

And I listened while you told to me

   The old, old tale of love.

And all the world seemed brighter

   As we stood upon the shore,

And you told me that you loved me

   In those sweet days of yore.

Many years have come and past

   Since those blest days of old,

And I’ve found your words were truthful

   And your love more dear than gold.

You have seemed as days departed,

   Ever kinder than before,

And as age has stealed upon us

   You have seemed to love me more.

Now tell me that you love me,

   Softly say the words once more,

Just tell me that you love me

   As you did in days of yore. [page 43]


        Oh! the moaning of the waves,

        As they break upon the shore,

        And the screeching of the gulls

           Waft in to me;

        But the moaning of my heart

        For the one I’ll see no more,

           Is wilder than the moaning of the sea.

        Just a few short weeks have fled

        Since I wandered on the shore,

        With my heart as light and gay

           As yonder foam;

        But to-night my heart is sore

        And my eyes with tears are dim,

           And my feet are never now inclined to roam.

        Just a pair of eyes so blue,

        And so tender and so bright,

        And lips that taught a world

           Of love to me,

        And then left my heart to moan

        In the depths of deepest night,

        That is wilder than the moaning

           Of the sea. [page 44]

        Oh, wondrous eve when first I glanced

            Into those eyes of blue,

            It made my eyes of deeper hue,

            It made my heart beat far more true—

        I loved her as I danced.

        Oh, wondrous eve when first I pressed

            That little hand so white—

            So warm with touch, so light—

            I wished then for the right

        Just there to let it rest.

        Oh, many wondrous eves in life.

    But sweeter far than this

                    Was that first little kiss

            From this fair blue-eyed miss,

        And now she is my wife.

Winter of 1899. [page 45]


If sometime when cruel fortune has turned you down,

And friends that have smiled now give you the frown,

And weary you turn from these cold hearts of snow,

And thirst for the heart that was yours long ago.

May God then grant, oh! lost love of mine,

That my love round your memory may fondly entwine,

And though lands and oceans and worlds may divide,

If you call my name I will be at your side,

And all the long years of estrangement and pain

Shall slip quite away and forgotten remain,

And I’ll know when naught else could your heart satisfy,

You have crept to my arms and content I can die. [page 46]


Where the shadows fall the thickest,

Where the grass gets green the quickest.

    Where the sweetest blossoms blow.

Where the sunbeam slyly glances

And a stray moonbeam oft chances

    To steal in a silvery glow.

There a trysting place we made it.

By the maple tree soft shaded.

    When the stars began to peep

And we heard the birds last singing,

Sweet peace to each fond heart bringing.

    As the shadows softly creep.

Many words of love were spoken,

Vows made never to be broken,

    While the life of each should last—

Words which each for aye should ponder

Where so e’er their steps should wander,

    When these starry eves were past.

Starry eves like all take flight,

And one early autumn night

    Came the time to say good-by,

Youthful hearts in summer weather

Are not quite—well, made of leather—

    So it cost them each a sigh. [page 47]

Country lanes in pleasant weather

One could love and love forever.

    But a little country maid

N’er shall meet her handsome lover

By the bank all pink with clover,

    ’Neath the straight old maple shade.

And green fields with all their beauty,

One must leave at call of duty

    For the city’s gay turmoil,

And a sweet young country maiden,

Though she sighs with heart love laden,

    Goes about her daily toil.

In the gayest city throng,

Joining laugh and happy song,

    Stands a youth with handsome face;

And he never gives a thought

To the gentle heart he bought

    In the peaceful country place.

Where the snowdrifts are the thickest,

Where the chill winds blow the quickest.

    Stands the maple robbed of life.

Down beneath a little mound,

Underneath the frost-clad ground,

    Lies the maiden done with strife. [page 48]


You are in love’s happy spring-time, little girl. beware,

Value high the love that’s near thee—have a care.

Never through the years before thee e’er shall greet

Anything to you more precious or more sweet

Than this love so full and tender, girlhood’s love.

Given thee to help and bless thee, from above.

Cherish it as one would cherish jewels rare.

In the eyes of him who loves thee, thou’rt most fair.

Keep thy soul that it will ever answer true

To the faith that now he places strong in you.

So your eyes may look serenely, through your love.

Filled with strength and truth and purity, from above.

There’s a tear that is sadder than that for the dead.

   Yes, a tear far more bitter, I say—

’Tis the tear that is wrung from a woman’s sad heart

   When she knows that she’s done with love’s day.

When she sees it just die and knows that no power

   She can wield can restore it again.

Ah, the tears may be bitter we shed for the dead,

   But naught can compare with this pain. [page 49]


     What art thou, love, to me?

         I would that I could tell—

     I would the gift to say were mine

         Of how I love thee well.

     Just what the evening star

         Is to the twilight gray,

     And what the morning sun

         Is to the opening day.

     And what the harvest moon

         Is to the August night,

     Thou art my star, my sun,

         Thou art my heart’s great light.

     Ah! love is a myth,

         An illusive shy elf:

     It comes and it goes,

         Never sure of itself.

     To-day it is here

         And to-morrow away—

     When sure of its object

         Its fancy will stray.

     When kept in suspense

         It with longing will ache,

     If it faces despair

         It is near a heart break. [page 50]

     If the object is coy

         And will give but one kiss

     Love then has attained

         The height of its bliss.


     If the kisses are many,

         And loving doth pall,

     Then fickle young Cupid

         Is not there at all.

Tell me, beloved, if I should go to-day

For all, all time away,

    Would your heart soon forget,

    Soon cease for me to fret?

Oh, tell me, pray.

Would those dear eyes still shine

If these poor eyes of mine

    Were closed to all to-day—

    Were closed on earth for aye,

Dear, would you pine?

When years had passed and years,

Sometimes would thought cause tears

    And pain sometimes come in

    To show that love had been?

Forgive my foolish fears. [page 51]


Another year to work for God,

   Oh! Christian worker! up and do,

And strive to please your Master

   This whole year through.

Strive to leave behind this year

   All enmity and strife;

Begin anew and let love reign

   Through all your future life.

Go onward with God’s praise in view,

   Leave self-praise all behind,

And in the strength that He will give

   Proclaim His message kind.

We’ve each our mission here to do,

   Though humble it may be,

So let us do it while we may,

   And do it faithfully.

For our God will surely help us

   If we strive to do the right—

He will help us bear each burden

   And the darkest pathway light.

He is faithful who has promised

   To our feet to be a guide,

And He’ll lead us safely homeward

   If we in His love confide. [page 52]


Soft falls the darkness round me.

    Another day has gone—

A day of mercies God bestowed

    My erring heart upon.

Though I have sinned against Him,

    Times too oft to trace,

Still there is naught of anger,

    But kindness in his face.

Still that pierced hand is outstretched,

    And tender His words to me

As he whispers, “Child, walk closer,

    That I may watch o’er thee.”

Be patient with the little cross,

    Think what I gave for thee;

Keep ever near me, fainting one,

    Thy trust is safe in me.

And thus I rest upon His love

    And from my heart I pray,

Oh help me so to follow Thee,

    Dear Lord, from day to day. [page 53]


Christ arose,

The first glad morning

   Of the first great Easter day,

And the righteous Son arisen

   Banished fear of death away.

Christ arose,

And o’er the world wide

   Comes a song of happy praise—

Hail to Him, the pure, the holy!

   We will songs of rapture raise.

Christ arose,

No more in darkness

   Do we pine and long for light.

He the Saviour rose victorious

   From the grave and banished night. [page 54]


I’ve strayed o’er mountains cold,

   In caverns strange and wild—

If ever child did stray

   I’ve been a wandering child.

I’ve been among the shades

   That darkens forests lone,

And longed as only in distress

   The heart can long for home.

I’ve felt the weight of sin

   With all its mighty sting,

And hated with a perfect hate

   The loathsome, traitorous thing.

I’ve cried aloud—O God!

   My aching heart relieve!

But in the atoning blood of Christ

   My heart did not believe.

So darkness pressed me down

   And still my soul did keep,

And only mourning filled my days,

   My eyes could ever weep.

I tried in vain to see

   To prove the Christ divine,

But science did not lend a light

   To o’er my pathway shine. [page 55]

Then to my heart a voice

   Spoke in a gentle tone:

“Give up the struggle, weary one,

   Come, I will lead thee home.”

“The past I’ll wipe away,

   ’Twill be for aye forgot,

And all your future spotless be

   A page without a blot.”

O Jesus, living one!

   I will, I will believe

That pure and gentle one could not

   The weakest soul deceive.

The soul who feels not sin

   May from the old faith turn,

But I’m a sinner, Lord,

   And to be cleansed I yearn.

A sinner, I accept

   Thy pardon free to-day,

And gladly, joyfully I turn

   My steps into Thy way. [page 56]


What is a home? Oh, tell me, pray,

Ye who have wandered here and away

And know the world as it is to-day—

                                                        What is a home?

Is it a mansion all flowers and light

With not a note of the outward night

And not a thought of the world’s sad blight?

Or is it a cottage, plain and drear,

Where hearts are starved for a word of cheer

And faces grow sadder year by year?

Is it a place, whether mansion or cot,

Where joy is banished and love is not

And the tender word is for aye forgot—

                                                        Is that a home?

Is it a place. whether noble or poor,

Where the heart may rest and love is sure

And every motive is true and pure?

Is it a place where one can depend

On getting a welcome, stranger or friend,

And if in trouble or pain or grief

Is it a place one could find relief?

Would there be courage for hearts that quail

And a helping hand to the ones that fail?

Would there be sympathy there with the joy

And the romp and life of the girl and boy?

Would there be kisses to dry the tears,

Would there be patience all through the years? [page 57]

Could you return from the mad world’s glare

And turn to a heart that is beating there

That still holds faith in God and prayer?

Then home is heaven on earth begun

And shall spread to the many, because of the one,

Like the warming beams of the glorious sun—

                                                      For this is a home.


Oh! bury the past,

    Go bury it deep

Where the gaunt wolves

    Of memory, that harrow thy sleep,

Though they dig, may not find.

    And over the spot

    Let love plant a thought—

A thought that is kind.

And the good at thy heart

    Shall respond to the deed

And will quicken and nourish

    The beautiful seed,

And the past left forever, forever behind,

    In the land of the dead.

    From the ground comes instead

The fragrance of thoughts that are kind. [page 58]


All through the day the shadows

    Have darkened up my way;

Blackness seemed all around me,

    The sun sent n’er a ray

To light my heart of its sorrow

    All through the day.

But now the eve is upon me,

    The stars shine in the sky,

And out from my heart a prayer

    Rises to God on high,

Oh, Father, make me patient—

    ’Tis for this alone I sigh.

Help me in all to trust Thee

    And love Thee to the last,

And to know if all else fail me

    And my sky seems overcast,

That Thine eye is watching o’er me

    And Thine hand will hold me fast. [page 59]


Nearer and nearer

The angry waves approach me

    As if to overwhelm.

God—God, my mighty maker,

    Be thine hand at the helm.

What can I do?

Temptations are stronger than the strongest

    And nature all is weak.

I’ll drift away in blackness

    Except Thy voice shall speak.

I feel I’m drifting, drifting,

    My heart no more feels brave,

I’m out on life’s fierce billows,

    Great God oh, turn the wave—

Let not a weak child perish

    Whom Jesus died to save. [page 60]


Are your prayers unanswered yet?

       Trust Him still.

Does your heart in sadness fret?

       Trust Him still.

Patience yet—look up in prayer,

       It’s His will.

Never doubt thy God up there,

       Trust Him still.

Does your angry passions rise,

       Trust Him still.

Pray that He’ll subject each thought

       To His will.

When your heart with loving thoughts

       He will fill,

Anger then will flee away—

       Trust Him still.



Ruined: a world of sinners

    By God condemned to die,

In darkest night they wander,

    No help, no refuge nigh. [page 61]

Redeemed: by Christ our Saviour,

    Who gave His life to save,

We sinners by His merit

    Now triumph o’er the grave.

Regenerated: praise Him,

    He our salvation won.

Our lives we give in service,

    Our hearts to God’s dear Son.


Abide with me, dear Saviour,

   For far the day is spent,

The night of death’s approaching,

   My knees to Thee art bent;

My heart is bowed before Thee,

   Oh! hear me, Lord, I pray,

Protect me through the darkness

   Out to the perfect day.

Often I’ve wandered from Thee,

   Often my feet have strayed,

Often Thou hast forgiven

   And harkened when I prayed; [page 62]

And now when I am aged.

   Father, I come to Thee.

The night is fast advancing,

   Dear Lord, abide with me.


Two obscure fishers on Galilee’s shore

Cast in their nets while they hear the waves roar.

Voices of nature alone meet their ear

Till a voice comes to them speaking life and good cheer.

Jesus’ voice breaks the gloom of those fishermen’s life,

That voice that so often has stilled the heart’s strife;

“Follow me and I’ll teach thee far greater to reach,

To fish for men’s souls and the gospel to preach.”

What did the lone fishers on Galilee’s shore?

Did they stay where they were and list the waves roar?

Did they long to remain near the much loved sea spray,

Nor go with this stranger homeless away?

Did they stand by the waters, startled, dismayed?

Nay, but they arose, left their nets, and obeyed. [page 63]


’Tis Jesus’ voice that now you hear

In gentle tone fall on your ear,

He pleads, my child come unto Me,

I bore your sins upon the tree;

Come now and trust Him while you may,

Thy soul He’ll lead to endless day.

’Tis Jesus gave His precious life

A sacrifice to end all strife,

His blood He shed a crimson flow

To cleanse and make thee white as snow.

Oh, come, accept Him now—to-day—

Nor ever from the Saviour stray.

The time is swiftly passing o’er,

Soon will death’s knock sound at thy door.

The bid Him enter now and stay,

For soon He, grieved, will turn away.

If in your heart He makes His home

You never more in sin shall roam. [page 64]


Just to live, and move, and breathe,

   Oh the joy that’s in it—

Just to know ’tis God that plans

   Every single minute.

Just to know He n’er forgets

   What His children need—

Just to think that He approves

   Every loving deed.

Just to feel that Jesus knows

   Every troubled thought—

Just to trust Him every day

   Whatsoe’er our lot.

Just to say our Father knows

   What is best to give—

Just to follow where He leads,

   Then ’tis sweet to live. [page 65]


Not in length of prayers

   Nor in chapters read,

Not in works I do

   Nor in tears I shed,

Can the weight of sin

   Roll from off my soul,

But Christ alone

   Can make me whole.

When I come to Him,

   Leaving all behind,

Seeking all from Him,

   He is ever kind.

He will purge from sin,

   He my steps will lead,

With the bread of life

   He my soul will feed. [page 66]


Only one soul, only one soul,

    And yet we laboured long—

Only one soul, only one soul,

    That has turned away from wrong.

It seems a fearful thing to me

    That out of all that throng

That only one has turned to God

    To sing the glad new song.

A soul turned from the evil course!

    And dost thou now complain

That any labour you have given

    If—after that—in vain?

A soul, a never dying soul,

    For whom our Saviour died,

Won from the ranks of satan

    To fight on Jesus’ side.

Oh! Christian, sing with gladness,

    Yes, sing with joy to-day,

There’s joy o’er “One” in heaven

    Brought from the far away. [page 67]


We ask a blessing, Lord, to-night,

    For we are, oh, so weak,

None but Thyself can satisfy

    The souls of those who seek.

None can the living waters give,

    But Thine own hand alone—

None but Thyself can come with power

    And melt the heart of stone.

Some are so near Thy kingdom, Lord,

    Oh, let Thy voice be heard,

And may they give themselves to Thee

    And take Thee at Thy word.

Oh, may they not put off this night,

    But come to Thee and live,

For Thou hast promised in Thy Word

    Eternal life to give. [page 68]


Oh, soul in the far-away country,

   The spirit is pleading with thee;

He wills not to leave thee in darkness

   But calls thee from danger to flee.

Resist not the spirit, my brother;

   God’s spirit will not always plead.

Oh, give up your life to His keeping,

   In paths then of safety He’ll lead.

Oh, come while we’re now praying for you,

   While soft calls the voice at your heart,

And Jesus is waiting to save you

   And help you now for Him to start.

Full many a year you have wandered

   Far from our dear Saviour away,

Then no longer slight His salvation,

   But come and accept Him to-day.

If you but decide now for Jesus,

   What joy to your heart it will bring,

Earth’s friends will be glad and in heaven

   The angels will joyfully sing. [page 69]


Your prayers may seem in vain, dear friend,

   The wanderer still doth roam,

But let them not thus find an end,

   Though he go far from home.

Though thy kind voice can’t reach him now,

   Though thou and he must part,

Unto the Master humbly bow—

   His voice can reach his heart.

He’s just as near him in that land,

   His spirit there can plead,

And to the shelter by the hand

   Thy wandering one He’ll lead.

Your love for him is strong, sincere,

   But Jesus loves him best,

So pray for him and never fear

   The Lord will do the rest.

You must be patient, then, and wait,

   Though far off he may stray,

You’ll meet him at the golden gate,

   God answers those who pray. [page 70]


“And every man went unto his own house.”

“Jesus went unto the Mount of Olives.”

          Unto his dwelling each man went,

              The multitude went home;

          But on the Mount of Olives

              The Saviour wandered lone.

          The birds up ’mid the branches

              Found home upon the trees;

          The fox speeds on and past Him,

              Unto its hole it flees.

          To rest the world is going,

              Both man and beast have fled.

          And yet Jesus, the Saviour,

              Had not where to lay His head.

          Upon the lonely hillside,

              The heavens for a dome,

          This was His only shelter,

              This was His only home.

          This was the way they treated

              He who for sinners sought:

          He came unto His own,

              But they received Him not. [page 71]

          And so He’s left to wander

              ’Lone on the mountain side,

          Yea even yet we make no room

              Through this fair world so wide.

          No room to-day for Jesus,

              ’Tis the same as it was then—

          The pure and lowly Saviour

              Unsought and spurned by men.


So near, so near the kingdom,

    And yet not in;

Resist not, lest the spirit

    Leave thee to sin.

If you this time reject Him

    And shut the door,

Perhaps He, grieved, will leave thee

    And knock no more.

Why should He keep on knocking,

    Oh! heart of sin,

When thou won’t heed His pleading,

    Or let Him in. [page 72]

He who is calling to thee

    Is thy dear friend,

And to your darkened pathway

    A light He’ll send.

He’ll guard your feet from falling.

    Why further roam?

Come while His voice is calling,

    Calling thee home.


Oh, what joy our hearts will thrill

    When we meet among the blest,

Where the wicked cease from troubling

    And the weary are at rest.

When our struggles shall be o’er,

    And our King shall say. “Well done.”

And we enter life eternal,

    Life through Christ our Saviour won.

No more darkness, no more sadness,

    No more doubts and no more fears,

And from eyes that oft were troubled,

    God shall wipe away all tears. [page 73]


Some day, some day,

   Oh, blessed time,

When I no more

   In worn-out rhyme

Shall seek the Saviour’s

   Praise to chime,

But in that land,

   That heavenly clime,

His praise will ring,

   Some day—some time.

Some day, some day,

   In glorious song,

The words will come

   For which we long,

And ’mid that pure

   And ransomed throng

Which n’er again

   Shall stoop to wrong,

We’ll praise Him, then,

   ’Twill not be long. [page 74]


Eternity away from God,

   Without His face to light,

Without His blessed hand to guide

   In blackest, darkest night.

Eternity, eternity,

   Oh, sinner, haste and flee,

And under shadow of His wings

   Safe for eternity.

Long has He called in tender tone,

   Oh, come, thou sin-sick one;

This is the time, oh, then, prepare

   Ere darkness hide the sun.

Oh, answer to God this question now,

   As Jesus pleads with thee,

Your earthly course will soon be run

   And then eternity.

When on the wing of pleasure gay

   Thy heart doth bound and glee,

Remember now while it is day

   That after time—eternity. [page 75]

When clouds of trouble dark hang o’er,

   No ray of light your eyes can see,

Fix then your hope on yonder shore,

   You may enjoy—eternity.

Deep in the heart of God above

   Is mercy e’er for you and me,

He will forgive, so great His love,

   And keep us in eternity.


               Once as a sinner

                   I wandered afar,

               When o’er my pathway

                   Shone Bethlehem’s star.

               Death and the judgment

                   Once I did dread,

               When to the mercy seat

                   My soul was led.

               Jesus, the blessed,

                   I fall at His feet,

               He in whose righteousness

                   I stand complete. [page 76]

               Once for all gave His life

                   A ransom for me,

               Jesus, my Saviour,

                   My soul longs for thee.


               Once from the judgment seat

                   Good looked at sin,

               Jesus then shed His blood,

                   pardon to win.

               Now at the mercy seat

                   God welcomes me,

               Oh, bow down before Him,

                   His mercy is free.


God’s voice is calling,

Softly ’tis falling,

    Now while we’re toiling here ’neath the sun,

List to His pleading,

All love exceeding,

    Our pardon is purchased, salvation is won.

Come, come to-day, then;

Why, why delay, then,

    Now while He calls thee to enter the fold—

Now while He’s pleading,

Follow His leading,

    And have your name in the Lamb’s book enrolled. [page 77]


The summer is ended, the harvest is o’er.

The grain is all garnered, they’ll search for no more;

The voice that so long has been calling you home

Will call you no longer, but leave you to roam.

Long you have neglected, long you have refused,

The offerer of mercy you long have abused;

Now though you entreat with a heart full of fear

The harvest is past, and God will not hear,

Though long you may knock on the beautiful gate

’Tis closed now forever, you’ve left it too late.

                            To-day if ye will hear His voice

                                harden not your heart.


Weary, troubled soul,

Heed the warning voice,

    As the tide moves toward eternity

Leave the path of sin,

Make the precious choice

    And come, thou weary one, to me.

Oh, some! oh, come!

’Tis the voice of God that speaks to thee—

Lay thy burden down, for thy soul is free,

And come, thou weary one, to me. [page 78]

Long in darkness now

Thou hast wandered far.

    But Jesus whispers unto thee.

Open now thine eyes

To behold the star

    To guide all weary ones to me.


If God’s ways are not our ways

   And our path in life seems drear.

Knowest thou He planned it so,

   Trust Him, then, and do not fear.

The dark path we so much dread

   May but lead to brighter days,

Safely we can trust our God

   Though His ways are not our ways.

And when dark clouds of trouble

   Hang thick on every hand,

Will we doubt His love because His ways

   Seem hard to understand? [page 79]

Nay, but we can ever trust Him

   And gladly go to do His will,

Own our Father’s right to guide us,

   Then our heart with peace He’ll fill.


In the beginning was the word with God,

   The world by Him was made,

By Him came the light to man

   That maketh not afraid.

There was a man sent forth from God

   To bear witness of the light,

That it was true and lighteth all

   And drives away all night.

The word was then made flesh for us

   In Christ God’s son from heaven,

And thus through Him a way was made

   And hope to us was given.

As many as received the word

   To them the power He gave.

To become sons of God above

   And triumph o’er the grave. [page 80]

By Moses came to us the law,

   Good works to save the race;

By Jesus Christ came love and truth,

   Salvation, all of grace.

No man saw God at any time

   But Jesus, Him declared

To intervene ’tween God and man,

   The cruel cross He dared.

And this the record given by John,

   Whom to our Lord did bow,

When unto Him the Levites came

   To ask Him. Who are thou?

And he confessed it unto them

   That he was not that one,

The promised Saviour and the Christ

   Which they had hopes would come.

He humbly said, “I am a voice

   Which unto you doth cry,

His way make straight, Messiah comes,

   The hollow place make high.”

Repent! repent! John called it then,

   ’Tis called again to-day—

Repent! repent! and have your sins

   By Jesus washed away. [page 81]

Then Jesus cometh unto John,

   And John did cry and say,

Behold, behold the Lamb of God

   That taketh sin away.

God’s spotless Lamb was offered up

   And for the world He bled,

A sacrifice made once for all,

   He suffered in our stead.

For we poor sinners here below

   He left His throne above;

Oh, wanderer, can you turn away

   And still reject His love.


No other hand can help us,

    No other hand can save,

No other power but Thine

    Can raise us from the grave.

Weary with earthly care

    All other helpers sleep,

Thine eye doth never close,

    Thine hand doth still us keep. [page 82]

When dangers round us press,

    Who then can be our stay?

When darkness settles down,

    Who then can lead the way?

None but Thine hand can give

    Safety ’mid danger’s snare—

None but Thine hand can change

    Darkness to daylight fair.

Who have we then on earth

    To whom our souls can flee?

In either earth or heaven

    None, Lord, but Thee.


At dusk, when the night is creeping

   Up o’er hill and glade,

And the world seems almost sleeping,

   My heart feels sore afraid,

As alone through the world I wander,

   Sadly to and fro,

My heart is filled with self-pity

   At my loneliness and woe. [page 83]

As quietly I sit and ponder

   A sweet fancy comes to me,

And out of my heart and far away

   My sadness seems to flee;

For I think as I sit deserted,

   Alone in the twilight drear,

That there are angels round me

   And it drives away all fear.

My loneliness goes from me

   And troubles flee away,

And the thought comes ever to me

   As I plod on day by day;

I feel wherever I may drift

   On life’s fast moving tide,

That some sweet angel presence

   Is ever by my side.

If it is in the early morning

   As I go life’s tasks to meet,

I fancy they walk beside me,

   Safely guiding my feet:

And when trouble’s clouds hang darkly,

   And the world is steeped in night,

Those angel helps stand ready

   To make the burden light. [page 84]

And sometimes thus in fancy

   I familiar faces see

Among those angel guardians

   That hover over me;

I can hear the loved departed,

   Though from us they’ve gone away,

Gently whispering words of guidance

   As I toil on day by day.

And ’twill do no harm to think it

   When in early dawn I rise

And look through mist of sunshine

   To the blue of heaven’s skies,

That some sweet angel watcher

   Looks down with every ray,

Seems I almost hear them whisper

   “Unto God commit thy way.” [page 85]


Nay, ask me not to linger,

    The sun is sinking low,

The radiance o’er the earth cast

    Is beautious—yet I go.

The greatest care by dear ones

    Can’t stay me now, I know,

But grieve more gently, mother.

    And kiss me e’er I go.

No more shall earth’s fair beauties

    Have power to charm my eye,

No more fair sunsets golden

    For me shall tint the sky—

Ah, time is fleeting, mother,

    The hours are speeding by,

It’s hard, it’s hard, dear mother,

    I’m very young to die.

My life seemed full of gladness,

    There was one all else above,

Some other man will woo her

    And wed my little love;

And when a few years wander

    She will have quite forgot

The one who loved her dearly

    Who sleeps in the quiet plot;

But you’ll remember, mother,

    You’ll ne’er forget, I know,

But grieve more softly, mother,

    And kiss me ere I go. [page 86]


When the storms of life have gathered

   And the world seems dark around,

Then there’s no friend like a mother

   Can anywhere be found.

There’s no one like a mother

   To cool the fevered brain,

And there’s no one like a mother

   To still the weary pain.

There’s no hand so soft and tender,

   There’s no touch that healing brings,

Like the mother touch so loving

   That o’er all its magic flings.

When through the world you wander

   And far from home you stray,

Oft your thoughts go back to mother,

   To dear mother far away.

When perhaps from troubled slumber

   In the midnight watch you wake,

A longing thought for mother

   Does o’er your sad heart break. [page 87]

And you wish so much for mother

   To come from that far land

And place upon your forehead

   As of old her tender hand.

When travelling through this world

   You may meet with friend and lover.

But, oh! be good and kind to her,

   For there’s no friend like a mother.


Sitting by the coal stove

   Watching out the year,

Gossiping together,

   Trying to keep good cheer,

Four old women sitting

   By the coal fire bright,

While the year is dying

   In the silent night.

Thoughts are swiftly flying

   Backward o’er the years—

Thoughts of days of gladness.

   Thoughts of days of tears.

So they are sitting dreaming

   Through the evening cold.

Gazing at the coal fire,

   Those four women old. [page 88]


Two little maidens as pretty and clean

As any two maidens that ever were seen

Proudly stood in the playhouse door

Amidst the plum trees in days of yore.

Their mothers had dressed them all clean and neat.

And the dear little creatures looked quite sweet.

But their playhouse needed a dust and a rub,

So those two little lassies decided to scrub.

They found some water in a boiler near,

So helped themselves, though it looked kind of queer.

But they scrubbed that house in every part,

Till twenty wee fingers began to smart.

And oh, those girls were a sorry sight

As they ran to the house to tell of their plight.

Their dresses, which had been so fresh and white,

Were all spoiled and dirty, every mite.

And those four little hands were all red and sore

As those lassies stood in the kitchen door. [page 89]

When they told of the fine hot water they got

Hanging out in the iron pot.

Then the mother said, “That water so fine

Is nothing less than some strong salt brine

Which I had all ready to salt some meat,

Now you’ve scrubbed your house and made it neat.

Just look at your clothes, and your hands so red,

You two naughty girls should go right to bed.

But seeing your hands are really so sore

I’ll let you off this time and punish no more.”

So those two little romps ran out to play

And after all had a happy day. [page 90]


Once I was young like thee,

And life a tale all untold;

But life proved a weary thing to me,

          And now I am old.

Once I was young like thee;

And beautiful, too, I was told;

But now my eyes have lost their light

          And I am old, so old.

Once I was young like thee;

And loving arms did enfold;

Now I am left without a friend

          And I am old. [page 91]


List! How the sleigh bells jingle;

    Look! How they glide o’er the snow;

List to the gay young voices

    As merrily on they go:

List! to the merry laughter

    And how the voices blend.

That seems to the cold, clear evening,

    A spirit of gladness to lend.

A song and then more laughter

    As on they glide o’er the snow,

With hearts so happy and mirthful

    These frolicsome young people go.

I turn from the window in silence,

    My bright fire to me seems blue;

I’m lonely the rest of the evening

    “Because I am young yet, too.” [page 92]


We cannot know the Why

   And wherefor of each thing—

Why our hearts should heave a sigh,

   Why our friends do sometimes sting.

Why the frost must kill the flower,

   Why the summer hours must flee.

Why we have to live afar

   From the friends we’d love to see.

Why the hours we fain would keep

   Seem to pass so swift away.

And the darkest hour we have

   Is the longest in the day.

Why that sorrow like a cloud

   O’er our heart does often roll.

Why the gayest hour on earth

   Does not satisfy the soul.

Trudge along and never mind,

   Bother not to puzzle—Why?

These are problems we can’t solve

   Any more than we can fly. [page 93]


Two birds of a feather

Swung together

    Upon an old clothes line;

The stars were gleaming,

The moon was beaming,

    And everything quite sublime.

They chirped and chatted,

And quarreled and spatted,

    These two little birds on the line.

And the stars looked and blinked,

And one of them winked

    As it said, “That’s all very fine.”

The moon laughed aloud

From behind a white cloud

    Far up in the beautiful sky.

And the birds got a fright

And so took their flight

    And far, far apart they did fly. [page 94]


Muriel stood at the woodshed door

Watching a sight she had n’er seen before.

She was the cutest of all wee girls

From her little feet to her ruddy curls,

With her eyes of blue and her skin of white

She was a darling, a heart’s delight.

But Muriel’s face had no sign of a laugh,

But a serious look for two years and a half;

As she stood so prim in the woodshed door

Watching the horse rolling o’er and o’er.

Her eyes getting larger and flashing so bright

As she ran to her mother in such a wild fright.

Mamma! she said, her wee face in a frown,

Oh, come! come out quick, Horsie’s all upside down!


When Christmas comes around again

I very greatly fear

That there’ll be a weight of sorrow on my heart,

For the old home’s gone to strangers.

What then my heart can cheer

When from loved ones and the old home

I must part. [page 95]

How the family used to gather there

At Christmas long ago,

And the good old jolly times there used to be,

With the nieces and the nephews

As they scampered to and fro,

And the old folks glad their loved ones all to see.

But things are greatly changed now,

For some of those we love

Have gone to the better land away.

Though we’ll gather there no more

We will hope to meet above,

But farewell to the old home by the bay. [page 96]


Precious, joyous days of childhood

       All have fled;

Girlhood’s bloom and girlhood’s freedom

       Both are dead.

Now I find that life is real,

       Not a dream;

Facts are not the golden fancies

       They did seem.

Days are shorter, joys are fleeter

       Than of yore;

Sweet sixteen seems nonsense quite

       At twenty-four.

Next year will cap the climax, surely—


A quarter century on earth—

       If I’m alive. [page 97]


Gone to the land of spirits far away

Gone—from which none returnest

To tell us of their stay.

Only a little struggle,

A little fluttering breath,

And then the spirit leaves the clay

Still, in the grasp of death.

No more those eyes shall watch us,

No more those lips shall move,

No more that voice shall speak to us

Love and devotion to prove.

We see that the spirit’s departed

We cannot even tell where,

We look on the earthly casket,

We look and know its not there.

We hope in a queer, dim fashion,

That some time again we may meet

When we in our turn have winged our fight

When our hearts have ceased to beat.

When off to the land of spirits

We in our turn have fled,

When the old paths we’ve roamed so often

No more shall echo our tread;

When the old rooms we have lived in

No more with our voice shall resound,

When friends shall take us in our turn

And place us beneath the ground. [page 98]


Our lives are filled with longing, hoping, wishing

   For that which likely we will never gain;

And thus our hearts are never free and happy,

   There’s always this same discontented pain.

There’s something always looming in the distance.

   Some great and mighty fame we wish to win;

And so we let our chance of work go by us,

   Neglecting duties this itself is sin.

We cannot take with loving, thankful heart

   The morsel that may come within our grasp,

But that which is above, beyond our reach,

   ’Tis that our eager hand’s outstretched to clasp.


When in childhood’s days we roam,

    When the morning sun shines bright,

Romping gaily round the home

    We deem it long till night.

But old age as it comes on

    All too short, then, seems each day,

And they shorter seem to grow

    As into years they glide away. [page 99]


When the gallant ship rides home again

    From far off Afric’s land,

There will rise a cheer from shore to shore

    To welcome the brave band.

Yes, from o’er our fair Dominion

    Where’er Canadians roam,

Our hearts will give a welcome

    When the dear lads come home.

Oh, when the boys come marching in

    To the homes they love so dear,

Ah, surely then each loyal heart

    Will give a ringing cheer;

And we’ll clasp the hand that held the gun,

    The dear lads who’ve risked their life

And bravely marched o’er desert sand

    To settle Britain’s strife.

There’ll be mothers, fathers, sisters—

    There’ll be wives and sweethearts, too—

With their love grown even fonder

    There to greet the boys so true.

But for many who’ll be there that day

    Oh, what bitter, bitter pain,

When they think of those who’ve marched away

    But will n’er march home again. [page 100]

For the ones who sleep away so far

    ’Neath burning torrid skies,

No loving hand to tend the grave

    Wherein the loved one lies;

Ah, there’ll be joy to many

    When our lads come o’er the foam,

But let us drop a tear for those

    The dear lads who’ll n’er come home.


Of all the eyes I’ve seen, “she” said,

I love a pair of eyes

   Of deepest blue,

   So pure and true,

A piece of springtime’s skies.

A look of truth doth shine in them,

   And ne’er a touch of guile,

And just a gleam of heaven itself

   Thrown in them when they smile.

Of all the eyes I’ve seen, “she” said,

I love a pair the best

   Of softest brown,

   Without a frown,

And just a dream of rest. [page 101]

A look of tenderness in them

   Shines straight from heaven above,

It needeth not the sound of speech

   To tell you when they love.

Of all the eyes I’ve seen, “she” said,

Methinks I love a pair

   Of lovely gray,

   In which there stray,

Shadows and lights most fair.

No vile deceit doth in them lurk,

   No evil in them hides;

One look into their liquid depths

   A child in them confides.

Of all the eyes I’ve seen, “she” said,

I’ll tell the pair I love—

   The eyes of black

   My heart ransack,

Soft as a brooding dove.

When in excitement how they flash,

   Or soft like velvet seem,

They mirror oft the thunder cloud

   But oft’er the sunbeam. [page 102]


Mother, mother mine,

   This is your birthday, dear;

I hope that light divine

Will brightly on you shine

   And bless you through this year.

My mother, mother, dear,

   I hope that you may share

In all the bliss and cheer

That comes to mortals here,

   Be well and free from care.

As like a mother dove

   Thou art thoughtful, kind and true,

May heaven smile above,

Shine ever down in love,

   Shine and abide on you. [page 103]


Old and weary and sad,

   Waiting alone for death,

Lonely poor Granny lies

   Breathing her feeble breath.

Life has no interest now,

   For those she held so dear

Long have been gone from her

   Many and many a year.

The present is nothing to her,

   Her memory roams in the past,

Its joys and sorrows and cares

   So clear in her mind are cast.

The dear litle boys she lost

   Far in the distant years

Still has the power to bring

   To her faded eyes, the tears.

And so poor Granny thinks

   Thoughts straying too and fro,

Away—away, in the past—

   Memory of long ago;

Old and weary and sad,

   Waiting alone for death,

Lonely poor Granny lies

   Breathing her feeble breath. [page 104]


He is gone, our boy has left us,

    And our hearts with brief are sore.

But he is not gone forever;

    He’s not lost, but gone before.

He was young and life was golden,

    He was loved where’er he went

And his smile was like the sunshine

    That a glow of gladness sent.

But his happy youth was blighted,

    And affliction’s hand was lain

Till the eye had lost its luster

    And his form was changed by pain.

Yet through all he never murmured

    And his heart the nobler grew

As he bore it all with patience,

    Till his journey here was through.

Weary months of constant suffering,

    His poor feet with pain had trod,

But his spirit rose above it,

    Wrapt in fellowship with God. [page 105]

Death had now no terrors for him,

    For his hope was fixed on high,

And his trust was placed in Jesus

    Who for sinners all did die.

When at last God’s voice did call him,

    And his spirit sped above,

He went not to land of strangers,

    But unto the God we love.

Yet we miss him, oh! we miss him,

    And our hearts with sorrow sigh,

We no more shall see our loved one

    As the weary years go by.

But the time is swiftly passing.

    Soon we too shall leave earth’s shore

Then once more we’ll see our darling.

    He’s not lost but gone before. [page 106]


Sleep on, gentle sleeper,

In your last earthly bed,

   Sleep on in your calm sweet repose.

Our hearts ache with sorrow

To think you are dead,

   But we know you will rise, for Christ rose.

You went when the flowers died

From off the green sod

   To escape the cruel winds that roam,

And now you are safe

In the kingdom of God,

   With our Saviour forever at home.

And soon we will meet you,

Our dear one we lost,

   When we too are swept out by the tide;

And though on the billows

Our boat may be tossed,

   Safe to harbour our pilot will guide. [page 107]


Oh, Hattie, sister Hattie,

    When the evening shadows roam

I think of you, my dearest,

    As you wandered round your home.

I can see you ’mid the shadows

    As you used to sit and play,

As, the tunes of all your music

    Will forever with me stay.

I think of the good times we had,

    Dearest, in your home,

Oh, Hattie, sister Hattie,

    When the evening shadows roam.

Oh, Hattie, sister Hattie,

    Will we never go again

O’er the old paths as we used to

    Ere my heart had felt this pain.

Oft in duty, oft in pleasure,

    Did our feet together go,

And we talked and loved each other

    As we wandered to and fro.

But you’ve left me very lonely

    And my heart is filled with pain.

Oh, Hattie, sister Hattie,

    Will you never come again? [page 108]

Oh, Hattie, sister Hattie,

    Will I never see thee more,

As the lights were faintly shining

    O’er thee in the open door.

Thy dear face I well remember

    As you stood that Sabbath night—

I can see thee stand in memory

    There with thy dear face so bright,

As you watched me down the pathway

    That led me from your door.

Oh, Hattie, sister Hattie,

    Will I never see thee more.

Oh, Hattie, sister Hattie,

    When I said good-night to thee,

Little did I think, my darling,

    That I never more should see

That dear face I loved so truly,

    Hear again the voice I love.

Till I hear it in the morning

    Bid me welcome up above.

No, I thought that soon, soon after

    I again thy face would see,

Oh, Hattie, sister Hattie,

    When I said good-night to thee. [page 109]

Oh, Hattie, sister Hattie,

    It was a last good-night,

For thy dear face was hidden

    Ere another Sabbath night.

But when the light of heaven

    Is the glory hills adorning

We’ll meet among the ransomed

    Then we’ll bid a glad good morning,

And when we’re in that city

    Of which God is the light.

Oh, Hattie, sister Hattie,

    We will never bid good-night.


Long thou art gone, my dearest,

    Nearly a year has fled,

Since thy dear form was laid at rest

    Amid the silent dead.

Quickly the months are flying

    Onward upon their way,

For life or death or anguish

    Old time can never stay. [page 110]

And in that narrow resting place

    Quietly my darling sleeps,

And o’er her lonely little grave

    A watch our Father keeps.

Oh, I thank Thee much our Father,

    For the hope Thou givest me,

That some day in Thy dwelling place

    This loved one I shall see.


Sleeping, still sleeping, my dear sister lies

    On the bank near the Ottawa’s flow;

Broken, still broken, the tenderest of ties,

    Though the years in their flight onward go.

Again comes the day, ’tis the day of her birth,

    But she reckons not time as we do,

As calmly she sleeps ’neath the green mantled earth,

    My dear one so tender and true.

But fresh in our hearts is her memory to-day,

    And never forgotten she’ll be,

Till the years have for us as for her past away

    And her dear face we once more shall see. [page 111]



Another year has fled—

   How swift they pass away—

Since thou did’st leave us sad

   Two years ago to-day.

We thought that all must cease

   Without thy face to cheer,

But time must needs go on

   Even without thee, dear.

We love thee none the less

   As quick the years do fly—

We’re getting nearer thee

   With each day that goes by.

We’re getting nearer thee,

   Nearer the home we love,

Nearer the golden streets

   And the treasured ones above.

Sometimes our hearts nigh break,

   We think how long thou art gone,

We think of thee as dead,

   Looking so pale and wan. [page 112]

And then the light breaks out,

   We know thy spirit’s free,

Happy and blest in paradise

   Beyond the chilling sea.

And when our Lord shall come

   His voice shall pierce the gloom,

And raise to glorify

   Our bodies from the tomb.

Together we shall meet

   Our Saviour in the air—

Oh what a glorious gathering

   To meet our loved ones there. [page 113]


Ah, time! old time, thou art ever

       On the wing

What joy, what sorrow, thou

       To us dost bring.

Thou wilt come and steal our dearest

       From our door,

And on thy way rush on

       As e’er before.

Old time again will soon bring

       Round the day

We laid our darling from

       This life away.

Two years have winged their flight,

       And sorrow still hath power

To move us as it did

       That autumn hour.

A word, a song and memory

       Soon flied o’er

Those scenes, and make us sad

       As days of yore. [page 114]


Another birthday, sister,

   Thou dost not count them more.

Thy little day of life is past,

   Thou roamest here no more.

But we remember, dearest,

   Thy birthday’s ne’er forgot;

Thy memory we will always love

   Whatever be our lot.

Soon three long weary summers

   Will have winged themselves away

Since you left us for to mourn you, dear,

   On that bleak October day.

We’ll love you none the less, dear,

   Nay, but we love thee more,

And we will hope to meet thee soon

   On the bright and happier shore. [page 115]


The night is coming on again,

    The sun is sinking low,

Our hearts with grief recall the time

    That night three years ago

When with pain and life aweary

    Our darling went to sleep,

And they came and told us she was dead,

    Her slumber was so deep.

We did not know about it

    Until it all was o’er—

We were not there to comfort her

    As we oft had done before.

They only told us she was dead,

    And to our hearts brought woe,

On that sad night of anguish

    For us all three years ago.

Many the loved ones left to mourn

    Not one of us forget.

This dear one stands out just as clear,

    Fresh in our memory yet.

We love her just as dearly now,

    Still for her our tears oft flow,

Our hearts with sorrow wander back

    To that night three years ago. [page 116]


Near the banks of the flowing river

   Weeping, we laid her down,

With a heart stirred by no heart quiver

   And her hair like a golden crown.

But the lips that had smiled were frozen,

   And the eyes that with beauty shone,

For this dear one by death was chosen,

   The spirit we loved was gone.

When the summer sun shines brightly

   And the breath of flowers waft round,

And the birds are singing lightly,

   Still she sleeps ’neath that little mound.

When the river so near is gleaming

   ’Neath the silvery moon-beam’s ray,

There will never a boat glide hither

   With a message to tell of her stay.

One by one of those so near us

   Of the ones that our hearts love best

Drift away through the land of the shadow.

   Fall asleep to their long, long rest. [page 117]


Gone without a word of warning—

    Gone without a last good-by—

Gone beyond our range of vision,

    Far beyond the deep blue sky.

Days will come and days will vanish,

    Many suns will wax and wane;

Eyes will look till they are weary

    But she’ll never come again.

Oh, how weary seems the waiting

    As in this lonely world we roam,

Till the call shall come that frees us

    And the wanderer’s called home.

Then the pain shall all be over

    And our tears be wiped away,

When we gather to our Father

    In the home of endless day.

There for us a rest remaineth,

    There our hearts are free from care.

And we’ll never lose our loved ones

    For we’re told there’s no death there.

Oh, the glorious re-union

    When our pilgrimage is trod,

And we gather with our loved ones

    Safe at home, at home with God. [page 118]


The little chair is empty,

   And the carriage now is still,

And in your hearts a place there is

   That nothing else can fill.

You have your other children

   To heap your love upon,

But nothing can replace to you

   The little one that’s gone.

There’ll never be such sweet blue eyes,

   Nor to you such golden curls,

And she’ll be the dearest ever

   Of all sweet baby girls.

But when your heart is sorest

   And the tear drops dim your eye,

Remember that your darling’s safe

   With those we love on High.

’Tis our Father who hath taken,

   ’Twas His dear hand that gave—

’Tis His eye that looks across the years,

   ’Tis He alone can save. [page 119]

We know His heart is tender

   And we know His love is true,

And ’twas in love He took her.

   Your little one from you.

She’s free from pain in heaven,

   So dear ones do not grieve,

While safe in His own keeping

   Your baby girl you leave.


Ah! sad this world! so sad it seems to me,

   As I again behold the sod close o’er,

Hiding another form I loved so well

   But shall behold on earth again “no more.”

One by one thy drift from us away,

   Borne far—and never shall return

To tell us they are happy where they dwell—

   Those loved ones for whose welfare our hearts yearn. [page 120]

What love of ours can keep when comes the call

   To journey o’er death’s sea to that far land;

But if we love them true would we recall

   When safe their feet have reached the shining strand?

We loved them dearly as with them we walked

   Here in sweet fellowship from day to day;

But could our love compare at all with “His”

   Who called them from this dreary world away?

We’ll mourn them often as the years drag by,

   And many tears will fall as on we roam;

But if our love so deep, unselfish, true,

   We would not call them from that peaceful home.

This world is at its best a lonely place

   Where our most treasured ones from us doth go;

But over yonder all is peace and joy

   And not a breath of sorrow there doth blow.

In slumber deep, he fell asleep,

   Calm as a little child,

Without a sigh, or say good-by,

   With look so sweet and mild.

He sank to rest, in slumber blest.

   Safe on our Saviour’s arm,

Ever secure, in His love sure,

   That God would guard from harm;

And thus to slumber deep

              He fell asleep. [page 121]

In slumber deep, he fell asleep,

   He whom we loved so dear;

Left us alone, left thus his home,

   But went without a fear.

Our God in love took him above

   Without a pang or pain;

Some day we’ll meet at Jesus feet

   In heaven, we’ll meet again,

And thus to slumber deep

              He fell asleep.


          Dear Douglas, time is flying

             Since you left us all behind—

          Old time that to each mourner

             Has a balm of healing kind.

          Now we can think with calmness

             How for thee ’tis for the best,

          After all thy pain and weakness

             God’s great good gift of rest.

Now as we draw toward the Christmas-tide,

   My thoughts oft to you go,

Down in your quiet resting place,

   Under the thickening snow. [page 122]

Never again at our Christmas board.

    Will I see your dear, kind face;

Never again in the walks of life,

    Will you fill the old-time place.

No warm hand-claps now will answer mine.

    Nor no smile shine in your eyes;

There was no earth power could keep you, dear,

    Though strong were the tender ties.

Now though years may come and as quickly go,

    Still will this sorrow remain.

You’re better and happier now, we know,

    But with us stayeth the pain.


Little brown-eyed Herbie’s gone

    Just as spring is here;

You could have spared most anything

    But him you held so dear.

Dear little lad, there’s many hearts

    Will grieve for him to-day;

Just as flowers were springing forth

    His bright life passed away. [page 123]

No little body ever held

    A brighter, sunnier soul;

But death came forward as you watched

    And your little treasure stole.

There’s many a one from far and near

    Who’ll miss your winning boy—

Sister will miss her playmate

    And you, your pride and joy.

But let hope its comfort whisper

    That the sweet boy that you prize

Is safe in God’s own keeping,

    And you’ll meet beyond the skies.


Underneath the coffin lid

    Sleeps a little form,

Taken from this world away

    In life’s early morn.

Worn out with suffering

    Her spirit sped away,

To be forever with its God

    In the blest land of day. [page 124]

No pain or sorrow enters there

    In that bright land above—

The little child will be at rest

    Up there where all is love.

Hard as those last days were on earth.

    In heaven ’twill be forgot,

Up there, among the angels,

    By her heavenly Father taught.

God in His own loving wisdom

    Knows just what is for the best.

And sometimes He sees it right

    To put His children to the test

Surely we can ever trust Him.

    He who gave His only Son,

And with hearts that trust Him always

    Humbly say “Thy will be done.”


Just a few short days since I saw her

   In girlhood’s happy morn,

While o’er her path methought I saw

   Roses without a thorn.

Petted and loved by every one,

   Her world seemed clear and bright;

But the clouds were fast approaching

   For to blot out earthly light. [page 125]

Just a few brief days have past

   And yet death angel swiftly flew

And bade this young flower say farewell

    To those who loved her true.

How strange a thing is death—

   It comes as silent as the shade,

And not for love and not for tears

   Is its icy fingers stayed.

It steals the prized from every home

   And takes the choicest gem,

And they shall ne’er come back to us,

   But we shall go to them.


Gone, ripe in years and ripe

    In gentle Christian grace,

Dear loving Aunt of mine

    I miss your kind, sweet face.

Your voice so soft

    And full of counsel wise.

That never failed its duty

    To point us to the skies. [page 126]

Dear, trusting heart,

    Resigned to go or stay,

So ’twas thy Master’s will,

    ’Twas then thy chosen way.

Thoughtful and true thou wert

    All through thy life—

Helping each one in turn

    Battling through strife.

Giving a helping hand,

    Giving the means, though small,

Giving thy word in season—

    Giving thy love through all.

We sorrow much now

    For not loving thee better;

But for thy sweet counsel

    We will ever be thy debtor. [page 127]


How deep, how deep and cold the snow,

And oh, how wild the cruel winds blow!

And must I send my darling child

So lovely with her blue eyes mild,

With her cheeks so white and hair of gold

Out from my sight to-night, out in the cold.

My darling, my baby, robed so fair.

Lying asleep in the casket there;

Those little hands so small and white

Holding the snowy flowers so tight—

Oh, how can I ever let you go

Out for to sleep ’neath the cold drifting snow.

Sweet little voice, I no more shall hear,

Calling my name in tone so clear—

No little feet to run to and fro

Pattering about as they used to go.

And her little cradle so white and fair,

But no golden head shall be resting there.

But surely, oh surely, it cannot be

That this is the last of my darling I’ll see!

No, sad-hearted mother, you will clasp her again

In the land where there’ll never be any more pain.

And ’tis but the beautiful form that shall go

Out from your arms to-day, out in the snow. [page 128]

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