E. Copeland Christie
In Many Moods

In Many Moods.

Ethel Copeland Christie.

[handwritten: North Sydney, N.S.


[unnumbered page]

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A Christmas Song.

Now hey for the holly and yew!

When the days are short and the world is white,

The door is shut and the fire is bright,

Oh cheerily sing on the coldest night –

      hey for the holly and yew.

Now hey for the holly and yew!

For brown eyes wide with a merry light,

For ’prisoned hands held warm and tight,

The dear old tale on a winter’s night,

      And hey for the holly and you. [unnumbered page]

Child Fancies.

Two wide, blue eyes evaded sleep, tonight,

Two lids that will not fall, disclose the light

Of merry thoughts. A busy little brain

Is troubled, and there comes a rain

        Of eager questions.

The light’s turned off-I raise the blind. The sky

Is rich with million diamond lights, and high

The harvest moon is hung. The fields are bare,

We laugh and say, “Dame earth has cut her hair.”

        Wee amid and I.

But clouds are scolding off the moon to bed

In surly haste. There droops a drowsy head

As all the glad sky-glories disappear;

“It’s dark,” the wee maid cries in sudden fear,

        “has God turned off the stairs?” [unnumbered page]


I do not care to look upon the snow,

Too white it glitters in the sun—I know

Such thoughts are wrong, and yet they seem to stay,

I know the world is beautiful today,

          But I am tired.

I wonder if ’t were easier in the rain

And storm to still this restless, weary pain,

Since all the cold white glory makes me sad—

And yet the wind’s fierce shriek would drive me mad,

          I am so tired.

Oh there, you little child. if I were you

I’d lay my troubles down, as children do

On mother-shoulders, dear. How best of all

I think, if one were only young and small

         When one is tired. [unnumbered page]

Since then fond arms will lift you up, and fold

You soft from ev’ry wind that blows too cold,

And tender voice will soothe away all fear,

While eyes will look an added blessing, dear,

          Because you’re tired.

But, being small, you cannot understand

How, one day, you may long too, for a hand

To guide as mother’s did, nor dream of how

Hearts drift in doubt, as mine is drifting now

          When I’m so tired.

So tired. I do not work, or ever heed

The hours as they go by—where is the need?

I cannot think, or cry, or even pray—

But oh, to sleep—but it must last always

          Since I’m so tired. [unnumbered page]

An Azure Rhyme.

Her eyes were blue,

    —You know the kind—

She smiled on me—

    I did not mind.

But day by day,

    My ardor grew;

I lived for her—

    —Her eyes were blue.—

My soul rejoiced

    A while or more,

Her smile then grew

    An awful bore.

And still she smiles

    —I wonder why!—

Her eyes are blue

    And so am I. [unnumbered page]


Seafoam and Sunshine!

See the daisies where they grow

With hearts of sunlight and a row

Of petals white as snow

          In stately line.

Where clover breezes blow,

’Mong buttercups of golden sheen,

And tall, amid the yellowing green

Of wheat a-nod, serene

          The daisies grow. [unnumbered page]

April’s Dole.

I’m sorry for April, for I know

   Her’s is a wearisome role;

She has little of snow and less of the sun,

   And large is the portion of tears in her dole.

Say good-bye to the winter, the frost and the fun,

   Here’s this glum little go-between,

With a mien so sad and a face so long,

   And never a sign of a smile to be seen.

Don’t welcome her, no, the little dour thing,

   She’s a nuisance to frown at and shun,

To rail at and carp at, to banter and ban,

   This pale little, prim little, sad little nun.

I’m sorry for April for I know

   She is mourning through all the years,

For the portion that falls to her lonely lot

   Begins with all fools and ends with all tears. [unnumbered page]

An April Song.

Ended the winter, vanished the snow,

   Day and a week and the seasons go;

A thaw and a frost and a wind that’s drear

   Oh! these are April’s whims my dear,

Some sun, and a mist, and a gleam of gold

   Day and a week and the month grows old,

With a “yea” and a “nay” while April’s here,

   The birth-month of a tear, my dear.

A wish and a hope and a dream or two,

   Day and a dawn when the dream comes true;

With a smile and a song and the flowers near,

   For April days are done, my dear. [unnumbered page]

In July.

Here in the wood, a world of green,

Slyly the sun has coared the sheen

Of leaf and bud to warmer bloom

Until nowhere is found a room

                   For wider beauty.

Deep in the shadow of the mossed

Tree-trunks, with million stars embossed,

The stillness soothes and all the gloom

Of softest green becomes the tomb

                   Of pretty things.

Here in the wood the old earth brings

Close touch with just the heart of things,

While breezes lull to lazy dreams

Life breathes a passion rest that seems

                   To echo silence. [unnumbered page]


Across the years,—long bills of time

   These tired feet have yet to climb;—

I wonder if the joy will come,

   If lips shall sing that now are dumb,

                  Across the years.

For Life, we seem to stand and wait

   A heart’s sad breathing space-of late

We’ve grown too glad each day is done,

   Since time may hide some fuller one

                  Across the years.

A day in Life’s long year, but one,

   Although at eve there sets Life’s Sun,—

When lips dare speak the heart’s dear song;

   I think the way could not seem long

                  Across the years. [unnumbered page]

At Dawn.

I awoke ere the dawn, and the peace was so deep,

With a hush in the world till the stars were asleep.

And I whispered your name in a tender soft way,

With a blessing and prayer in the dawning of day.

Then my heart grew so warm, ere it’s sorrow should wake;

That I knew I was glad for the name’s sweet sake.

With a soft little trust in a world of doubt—

And the peace of a love with the pain left out.

        *                  *                  *                 *

How the world lies awake in the sun’s golden gleams

While I long in my soul for the dark and it’s dreams. [unnumbered page]


When all the saintly crew,

   Who’ve never sinned at all

Have drawn their skirts away from you

   And stalked by, grand and tall,

Till all have onward marched,

   Each with averted face,

Their very blood all nicely starched

   Beneath their garb of grace.

Some few will fail in scorn,

   But not in sympathy,

And you’ll forget you were forlorn

   And lived so drearily.

Once in your need they stood,

   And well they understand,

So they are not too fiercely good

   To grasp a lonely hand. [unnumbered page]

New Year’s Eve.

The moonlight sends across the sea

A golden stretch, and I to thee

Would fain speed on the glimm’ring way—

A foolish dream, since here I stay

      And send, instead, a greeting.

The seasons pass and, one by one,

The lonely tasks are daily done;

But what is not is yet to be

So heaven speed on both thee and me

      And bring to pass our meeting.

The moonlight spreads a glitt’ring way,

But scarcely safe, and what I’d say

If I were only near you dear,

Must keep awhile, since I stay here

      And send instead a greeting. [unnumbered page]

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