I knew that a baby was hid in that house,
Though I saw no cradle and heard no cry;
A trusting little leaf of green,
A bold audacious frost;
A rendezvous, a kiss or two,
And youth for ever lost.
A little leaf just in the forest's edge,
All summer long, had listened to the wooing
The subtle beauty of this day
Hangs o'er me like a fairy spell,
And care and grief have flown away,
As we hurry away to the end, my friend,
Of this sad little farce called existence,
The house is like a garden,
The children are the flowers,
The gardener should come methinks
And walk among his bowers,
Somebody said, in the crowd, last eve,
That you were married, or soon to be.
I have not thought of you, I believe,
We two were lovers, the Sea and I;
We plighted our troth ?neath a summer sky.
And all through the riotous ardent weather
He said he loved me! Then he called my hair
Silk threads wherewith sly Cupid strings his bow,
I have written this day down in my heart
As the sweetest day in the season;
From all of the others I've set it apart---
Sometimes, when I am toil-worn and aweary,
And tired out with working long and well,
Begin each morning with a talk to God,
And ask for your divine inheritance
Of usefulness, contentment, and success.
Why are thou sad, my Beppo?But last eve,
Here at my feet, thy dear head on my breast,
It seemeth such a little way to me
Across to that strange country ? the Beyond;
And yet, not strange, for it has grown to be
Soar not too high,O bird of Hope!
Because the skies are fair;
The tempest may come on apace
And overcome thee there.
Bohemia, o'er thy unatlassed borders
How many cross, with half-reluctant feet,
And unformed fears of dangers and disorders,
?By-and-bye, ? the maiden sighed ? ?by-and-bye
He will claim me for his bride,
Hope is strong and time is fleet;
Last night I knelt low at my lady?s feet.
One soft, caressing hand played with my hair,
Changed?Yes, I will confess it ? I have changed.
I do not love you in the old fond way.
Now ere I slept, my prayer had been that I might see my way
To do the will of Christ, our Lord and Master, day by day;
When Christmas bells are swinging above the fields of snow,
We hear sweet voices ringing from lands of long ago.
I want more lives in which to love
This world so full of beauty,
I want more days to use the ways
I know of doing duty;
When my blood flows calm as a purling river,
When my heart is asleep and my brain has sway,
When I shall meet God?s generous dispensers
Of all the riches in the heavenly store,
Those lesser gods, who act as Recompensers
If any line that I ever penned,
Or any word I have spoken,
Has comforted heart of foe or friend -
I see the tall church steeples,
They reach so far, so far,
But the eyes of my heart see the world?s great mart,
When this world's pleasures for my soul sufficed,
Ere my heart's plummet sounded depths of pain,
In the warm yellow smile of the morning,
She stands at the lattice pane,
And watches the strong young binders
In the midnight of darkness and terror,
When I would grope nearer to God,
With my back to a record of error
The winds came out of the west one day,
And hurried the clouds before them;
And drove the shadows and mists away,
I think that the bitterest sorrow or pain
Of love unrequited, or cold death?s woe,
Is sweet, compared to that hour when we know
If one poor burdened toiler o?er life?s road,
Who meets us by the way,
Goes on less conscious of his galling load,
How baseless is the mightiest earthly pride,
The diamond is but charcoal purified,
All in the beautiful Autumn weather
One thought lingers with me and stays;
Death and winter are coming together,
She sits beside the window.All who pass
Turn once again to gaze on her sweet face.
She is so fair; but soon, too soon, alas,
If I should die, to-day,
To-morrow, maybe, the world would see
Would waken from sleep, and say,
He never made a fortune, or a noise
In the world where men are seeking after fame;
But he had a healthy brood of girls and boys
An idle rhyme of the summer time,
Sweet, and solemn, and tender;
Fair with the haze of the moon's pale rays,
My thoughts soar not as they ought to soar,
Higher and higher on soul-lent wings;
But ever and often and more and more
Thank Fate for foes! I hold mine dear
As valued friends. He cannot know
The zest of life who runneth here
After the fierce midsummer all ablaze
Has burned itself to ashes, and expires
In the intensity of its own fires,
God, what a joy it is to plant a tree,
And from the sallow earth to watch it rise,
Lifting its emerald branches to the skies
Walking to-day on the Common,
I heard a stranger say
To a friend who was standing near him,
'Do you know I am going away? '
HERE AND NOW.
Here, in the heart of the world,
Here, in the noise and the din,
Here, where our spirits were hurled
Time?s finger on the dial of my life
Points to high noon! And yet the half-spent day
We will be what we could be. Do not say,
"It might have been, had not this, or that, or this."
I know not whence I came,
I know not whither I go;
But the fact stands clear that I am here
I love your lips when they're wet with wine
And red with a wild desire;
I love your eyes when the lovelight lies
I told you the winter would go, love,
I told you the winter would go,
That he'd flee in shame when the south wind came,
I may not reach the heights I seek,
My untried strength may fail me;
Or, halfway up the mountain peak
I sit in the twilight dim
At the close of an idle day,
And I list to the soft sweet hymn,
That rises far away,
Dear love, if you and I could sail away,
With snowy pennons to the wind unfurled,
Across the waters of some unknown bay,
How can I wait until you come to me?
The once fleet mornings linger by the way;
Their sunny smiles touched with malicious glee
When the soft sweet wind o' the south went by,
I dwelt in the light of a dark brown eye;
And out where the robin sang his song,
One moment alone in the garden,
Under the August skies;
The moon had gone but the stars shone on, -
My heart is like a little bird
That sits and sings for very gladness.
Sorrow is some forgotten word,
In the dawn of the day when the sea and the earth
Reflected the sunrise above,
The first flower of the spring is not so fair
Or bright, as one the ripe midsummer brings.
We will lay our summer away, my friend,
So tenderly lay it away.
It was bright and sweet to the very end,
Toward even when the day leans down,
To kiss the upturned face of night,
Out just beyond the loud-voiced town
All in the dark we grope along,
And if we go amiss
We learn at least which path is wrong,
And there is gain in this.
Life is a privilege. Its youthful days
Shine with the radiance of continuous Mays.
To live, to breathe, to wonder and desire,
Let no man pray that he know not sorrow,
Let no soul ask to be free from pain,
They say the world is round, and yet
I often think it square,
So many little hurts we get
From corners here and there.
There is nothing, I hold, in the way of work
That a human being may not achieve
If he does not falter, or shrink, or shirk,
I'd rather have my verses win
A place in common people's hearts,
Who, toiling through the strife and din
Whoever you are as you read this,
Whatever your trouble or grief,
I want you to know and to heed this:
Though with gods the world is cumbered,
Gods unnamed, and gods unnumbered,
Never god was known to be
Who had not his devotee.
You are the moon, dear love, and I the sea:
The tide of hope swells high within my breast,
Let me to-day do something that shall take
A little sadness from the world?s vast store,
And may I be so favoured as to make
If I could clasp my little babe
Upon my breast to-night,
I would not mind the blowing wind
That shrieketh in affright.
When Tom and I were married, we took a little flat;
I had a taste for singing and playing and all that.
Out from my window westward
I turn full oft my face;
But the mountains rebuke the vision
That would encompass space;
This is the place that I love the best,
A little brown house, like a ground-bird's nest,
If all the ships I have at sea
Should come a-sailing home to me,
From sunny lands, and lands of cold,
Wherever my feet may wander
Wherever I chance to be,
There comes, with the coming of even' time
A vision sweet to me.
I and new love, in all its living bloom,
Sat vis-à-vis, while tender twilight hours
Went softly by us, treading as on flowers.
I hold it the duty of one who is gifted
And specially dowered I all men?s sight,
To know no rest till his life is lifted
Not quite the same the springtime seems to me,
Since that sad season when in separate ways
Long have the poets vaunted, in their lays,
Old times, old loves, old friendships, and old wine
Friend of my youth, let us talk of old times;
Of the long lost golden hours.
When "Winter" meant only Christmas chimes,
The day will dawn when one of us shall hearken
In vain to hear a voice that has grown dumb.
?Twas just a slight flirtation,
And where?s the harm, I pray,
In that amusing pastime
So much in vogue to-day?
A maiden sat in teh sunset glow
Of the shadowy, beautiful Long Ago,
That we see through a mist of tears.
Sitting to-day in the sunshine,
That touched me with fingers of love,
I thought of the manifold blessings
Here in my office I sit and write
Hour on hour, and day on day,
With no one to speak to from morn till night,
Over the banisters bends a face,
Daringly sweet and beguiling.
Somebody stands in careless grace,
I?m pardoned out.Again the stars
Shine on me with their myriad eyes.
So long I?ve peered ?twixt iron bars,
Because of the fullness of what I had,
All that I have seems poor and vain.
If I had not been happy, I were not sad--
I called to the summer sun,
?Come over the hills to-day!
Unlock the rivers, and tell them to run,
At morn the wise man walked abroad,
Proud with the learning of great fools.
He laughed and said, ?There is no God ?
I knew it the first of the summer,
I knew it the same at the end,
That you and your love were plighted,
That which we had we still possess,
Though leaves may drop and stars may fall;
No circumstance can make it less
The stork flew over a town one day,
And back of each wing an infant lay;
One to a rich man?s home he brought,
It is easy to sit in the sunshine
And talk to the man in the shade;
It is easy to float in a well-trimmed boat,
We must not force events, but rather make
The heart soil ready for their coming, as
Whenever I am prone to doubt or wonder -
I check myself, and say, 'That mighty One
Who made the solar system cannot blunder -
Hers was a lonely, shadowed lot;
Or so the unperceiving thought,
Who looked no deeper than her face,
Straight through my heart this fact to-day,
By Truth?s own hand is driven:
God never takes one thing away,
?Anticipation is sweeter than realisation.?
It may be, yet I have not found it so.
In those first golden dreams of future fame
Build on resolve, and not upon regret,
The structure of thy future.Do not grope
Among the shadows of old sins, but let
Let us begin, dear love, where we left off;
Tie up the broken threads of that old dream;
And go on happy as before; and seem
Under the light of the silver moon
We two sat, when our hearts were young;
The night was warm with the breath of June,
These quiet Autumn days,
My soul, like Noah's dove, on airy wings
Goes out and searches for the hidden things
I wandered o'er the vast green plains of youth,
And searched for Pleasure. On a distant height
However the battle is ended,
Though proudly the victor comes,
With flaunting flags and neighing nags
And echoing roll of drums;
Sing to me! Something of sunlight and bloom,
I am so compassed with sorrow and gloom,
Smile a little, smile a little,
As you go along,
Not alone when life is pleasant,
But when things go wrong.
Last summer, lazing by the sea,
I met a most entrancing creature,
Her black eyes quite bewildered me---
When shall I hear the thrushes sing,
And see their graceful, round throats swelling?
When shall I watch the bluebirds bring
Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow it's mirth,
Too sweet and too subtle for pen or for tongue
In phrases unwritten and measures unsung,
The uses of sorrow I comprehend
Better and better at each year?s end.
Deeper and deeper I seem to see
We walk on starry fields of white
And do not see the daisies;
For blessings common in our sight
We rarely offer praises.
O man, with your wonderful dower,
O woman, with genius and grace,
You can teach the whole world with your power,
They drift down the hall together;
He smiles in her lifted eyes.
Like waves of that mighty river
Come, cuddle your head on my shoulder, dear,
Your head like the golden-rod,
And we will go sailing away from here
Heigh Ho! Well, the season?s over!
Once again we?ve come to Lent!
Programme?s changes from balls and parties ?
The Sunbeam loved the Moonbeam,
And followed her low and high,
But Moonbeam fled and hid her head,
She was so shy ? so shy.
She leaned out into the soft June weather,
With her long loose tresses the night breeze played;
Thou Christ of mine, Thy gracious ear low bending
Through these glad New Year days,
It is a common fate ? a woman?s lot ?
To waste on one the riches of her soul,
Who takes the wealth she gives him, but cannot
Our thoughts are molding unmade spheres,
And, like a blessing or a curse,
They thunder down the formless years,
There are two kinds of people on earth to-day;
Just two kinds of people, no more, I say.
Do you wish the world were better?
Let me tell you what to do:
Set a watch for your actions,
Give us that grand word ?woman? once again,
And let?s have done with ?lady?: one?s a term
We women teach our little sons how wrong
And how ignoble blows are; school and church
Support our precepts and inoculate
She must be honest, both in thought and deed,
Of generous impulse, and above all greed;
If it were in my dead Past?s power
To let my Present bask
In some lost pleasure for an hour,
This is the boon I?d ask:
It is easy enough to be pleasant,
When life flows by like a song,
But the man worth while is one who will smile,