THE RAINBOW AND THE ROSE
TO IRIS AND ROSAMUND
THE THINGS THAT MATTER THE CONFESSION WORK THE JILTED
LOVER THE WILL TO LIVE THE BEATIFIC VISION
MUMMY WHEAT THE BEECH TREE IN ABSENCE SILENCE RAISON
D'ETRE THE ONLOOKER THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE AT PARTING SONG RENUNCIATION
THE VEIL OF MAYA SONG TO VERA THE POET TO HIS LOVE THE
MAIDEN'S PRAYER SONG THE MAGIC FLOWER LA DERNIERE ROBE DE SOIE THE LEAST
POSSIBLE EN TOUT CAS APPEAL ST. VALENTINE'S DAY CHAGRIN D'AMOUR BRIDAL EVE
LOVE AND LIFE FROM THE ITALIAN
"OUT OF THE FULNESS OF THE HEART" SUMMER SONG THE LOWER
ROOM SONG MAY SONG
TO IRIS TO A CHILD BIRTHDAY TALK FOR A CHILD TO ROSAMUND
FROM THE TUSCAN MOTHER SONG: FROM THE PORTUGUESE
THE ISLAND POSSESSION ACCESSION THE DESTROYER THE EGOISTS
THE WAY OF LOVE TO ONE WHO PLEADED FOR CANDOUR IN LOVE THE ENCHANTED GARDEN
THE POOR MAN'S GUEST IN THE SHALLOWS "AND THE RAINS DESCENDED AND THE FLOODS
CAME" THE STAR
THE PRODIGAL SON DESPAIR THE TEMPTATION SECOND NATURE DE
AT THE GATE VIA AMORIS RETRO SATHANAS THE OLD DISPENSATION
THE NEW DISPENSATION THE THREE KINGS
AFTER DEATH CHLOE INVOCATION THE LAST BETRAYAL A PRAYER
FOR THE KING'S MAJESTY TRUE LOVE AND NEW LOVE DEATH IN MEMORY OF SARETTA
DEAKIN A PARTING
THE THINGS THAT MATTER.
NOW that I've nearly done my days,
And grown too stiff to sweep or sew,
I sit and
think, till I'm amaze,
About what lots of things I know:
Things as I've found out one by one-
And when I'm
fast down in the clay,
My knowing things and how they're
Will all be lost and thrown away.
There's things, I know, as won't be lost,
Things as folks write and talk about:
The way to
keep your roots from frost,
And how to get your ink spots
What medicine's good for sores and sprains,
What way to salt your butter down,
What charms will
cure your different pains,
And what will bright your faded
But more important things than these,
They can't be written in a book:
How fast to boil
your greens and peas,
And how good bacon ought to look;
The feel of real good wearing stuff,
The kind of
apple as will keep,
The look of bread that's rose enough,
And how to get a child asleep.
Whether the jam is fit to pot,
Whether the milk is going to turn,
Whether a hen
will lay or not,
Is things as some folks never learn.
I know the weather by the sky,
I know what herbs
grow in what lane;
And if sick men are going to die,
Or if they'll get about again.
Young wives come in, a-smiling, grave,
With secrets that they itch to tell:
I know what
sort of times they'll have,
And if they'll have a boy or
And if a lad is ill to bind,
Or some young
maid is hard to lead,
I know when you should speak 'em kind,
And when it's scolding as they need.
I used to know where birds ud set,
And likely spots for trout or hare,
And God may
want me to forget
The way to set a line or snare;
But not the way to truss a chick,
To fry a fish, or
baste a roast,
Nor how to tell, when folks are sick,
What kind of herb will ease them most!
Forgetting seems such silly waste!
know so many little things,
And now the Angels will make
To dust it all away with wings!
O God, you
made me like to know,
You kept the things straight in my
Please God, if you can make it so,
know something when I'm dead.
I HAVEN'T always acted good:
taken things not meant for me;
Not other people's drink and
But things they never seemed to see.
haven't done the way I ought
If all they say in church is
But all I've had I've fairly bought,
paid for pretty heavy too.
For days and weeks are very long
you get nothing new and bright,
And if you never do no wrong
Somehow you never do no right.
The chap that
daresent go a yard
For fear the path should lead astray
May be a saint-though that seems hard,
But he's no
traveller, any way.
Some things I can't be sorry for,
The things that silly people hate:
But some I did I
I knew, inside, they wasn't straight.
And when my last account is filed,
angels stop their song,
I'll ask God's pardon like a child
For what I really knew was wrong.
If you've a child, you'd rather see
A bit of temper, off and on,
A greedy grab, a silly
And then a brave thing said or done
hear your boy whine all day long
About the things he musn't
Just doing nothing, right or wrong:
may feel the same as you.
For God's our Father, so they say,
He made His laws and He made me;
about the way
Me and His laws could not agree.
He might say, "You're worth more, My son,
My laws since law began.
Take good with bad-here's something
And I'm your God, and you're My man."
WHEN I am busying about,
buttons, tapes, and strings,
Hanging the week's wet washing
Or ironing the children's things,
and dusting, cleaning grates,
Scrubbing the dresser or the
Washing the greasy dinner plates,
Scouring the brasses on the doors-
I wonder what it's all about,
when did people first begin
To keep the dirt and wornness
And keep the wholesome comfort in:
it is since women bore
This round of wash and make and mend,
And what God makes us do it for
And whether it will
When God began to do His work
made a new thing every day-
Even now He is not one to shirk,
But makes things, always some new way
He made the
earth, and sky, and sun,
The creatures of the sea and wood,
And when his first week's work was done
He saw that
it was very good.
But He-for all He worked so fast
finish air, and wave, and shore,
Knew that this work of His
For ever and for evermore.
Saturday night He was content,
He knew that Monday would not
Need for another firmament,
Another set of
But though my work is easier far
Than making sky and sea and sun,
It's harder than
God's labours are,
Because my work is never done.
I sweep and churn, save and contrive,
I bake and
brew, I don't complain,
But every Monday morning I've
Last Monday's work to do again.
I'm good at work-I work away;
the same my work must go;
The flowers grow different every
That's why I like to see them grow.
in Heaven, God understood
He'd let me for my Paradise
Make all things new and very good
And never make
the same thing twice!
THE JILTED LOVER TO HIS MOTHER.
You needn't pray for me, old lady, I don't want no
I'm fit and jolly as ever I was-you needn't think
When I go whistling down the road, when the warm night
She needn't think I'm whistling her, it's another
girl I'm calling.
If I pass her house a dozen times, or fifty times a
She needn't think I think of her, my work lies out that
If they should tell her I've grown thin (for that is what
they've told me)
This cursed weather counts for that, and not
the girl who sold me.
And if they say I'm off my feed I still can tip a
If I get drunk what's that to her? I am not her young
I know I've had a lucky let-off-she ain't no class, she
For all she looked like a bush o' roses and talked like a
story book saint.
I never give a thought to her. Don't worry your old
I've quite forgot her pretty ways and the cruel things she
There's lots of other gals to be had as any chap can
So you cheer up, you've got no call to go and pray for
But all the same, if you want to pray, you'd best pray God
take care of them,
For if I catch them two together, by hell!
I'll swing for the pair of them.
THE WILL TO LIVE.
SINCE Faith is a veil that has nothing behind
And Hope wanders lost where no mortal can find it,
Since Love is a mirror we break in a minute
snatching the image our soul has cast in it,
What is the use of
the Summers and Springs,
The wave of the woods and the waft of
Since all means nothing, and good things and ill
Make madness,-a mirage tormenting us still?
Since all the fighting, the ardent endeavour,
The heart cast bleeding to feed the Ideal,
vain, vain, vain, and the one thing real
Is that all's vain, for
ever and ever;
Why then, be a man and stand back from the
Fall by the sword, but keep out of the snare;
Will but to be-and be willing to bear
All that the
gods may lay on your of life!
In the far East, where light ever dawns first,
There has man learned how the Fates may be cheated,
How by our craft may their strength be defeated,
Though all our best be no match for their worst!
Kill the desire that they set in your bosom,
not for fruit when you gaze on the blossom,
Dream not of flowers
when you gaze on the bud,
Kill all the rebels that shout in your
Sorrow and sickness, disease and
These toll the hours of Life's desolate day;
Hopes unfulfilled and forbidden delight
the dreams of Life's treacherous night.
So let me image an
Touched with no joy but the ease of release.
Out of the eddies I climb and I cease
change for this man's soul of me,
Something which, by the
Is as like Nothing as Something can be!
Not to desire, to admit, to adore,
Casting the robe of the soul that you wore
the soul casts the body's robe down.
This is man's destiny, this
is man's crown.
This is the splendour, the end of the feast;
This is the light of the Star in the East.
So, Silence reconciles Life's jarring phrases
Far in the future, austere and august:
the buds of the poplars are falling,
Spring's on the lawn, and a
little voice calling:
"Daddy, come out! Daddy darling, you
Daddy come out and help Molly pick daisies!"
And, since one's here, and the Spring's in the garden
(How many lives hence will that thought earn pardon?)
Since one's a man and man's heart is insistent,
And, since Nirvana is doubtful and distant,
life's a hard road and thorny to travel-
Stones in the borders
and grass on the gravel,
Still there's the wisdom that wise men
Still one can go and pick daisies with Molly!
THE BEATIFIC VISION.
OH God! if I do my duty
And walk in
the thorny way,
Will you pay me with heavens of beauty,
Millions of lives away?
Will you give me the music
And the joy that none understands,
place of what life would have given
If I had held out my
I have lived in a narrow prison,
have writhed 'neath a bitter creed,
And I dare to say that no
heaven can pay
The renounced dream and deed,
when my life's portal closes,
If you have no heaven to spare
God! give me a garden of roses,
And some one to
walk with there.
LAID close to Death, these many thousand years,
In this small seed Life hid herself and smiled;
well she hid, Death was at least beguiled,
Set free the
grain-and lo! the sevenfold ears!
Warmed by the sun, wooed by the wind's soft
Under blue canopy they hold their state:
For this, ah, was it not worth while to wait
Through all the centuries of hope deferred?
What could they know who laid the seed with
Of this Divine fruition fixed and planned?
Love-since Life parts us-lend my hand your hand
look with me into the eyes of faith.
For here between your hand and mine there lies
A little seed we trust to Death to keep
unimagined centuries of sleep
Until the day when Life shall bid
Our harvest waits us. Who knows where or how,
What worlds away, wrapped in what coil of pain?
Life shall bid us pluck gold sevenfold grain
Grown from the love
she bids us bury now.
THE BEECH TREE.
MY beautiful beech, your smooth grey coat is
With letters. Once, each stood for all things dear
To foolish lovers, dead this many a year,
lamp of lighted love so soon was dimmed.
You have seen them come
And heard their kisses and vows
The pitiful vows they swore,
seen their poor tears flow,
Have seen them part; to meet, and to
return, no more!
And in old winters, through your branches bare,
The north wind drove the blue home-scented smoke
That on the glowing Christmas hearth awoke
the old logs, with eager flicker and flare,
Sang their low
Of peace and of good will.
old song is still,
The old voices have died away,
The hearth has been cold so long,
And the bright
faces dimmed and covered up with clay.
And summer after summer wakes to glow
The ordered pleasance with the clipped box-hedge,
The drooping lilac by the old moat's edge,
roses, that throw you kisses from below,
The orchard pink and
The sedge's whispered words,
All these return to revel round your feet.
And in the untroubled night
The nightingale still
sings, the jasmine still is sweet.
My beautiful beech, I carve upon you here
The master-letter which begins her name
whom, to me, the royal summer came,
And nightingale and rose,
and all things dear.
And, in some far-off time,
I shall come here, weary and old,
When the hearth
in my heart is cold
And the birds that nest there flown;
I will remember this summer in all its prime
say, "There was a day-
Thank God, the Giver, an unforgotten
When I walked here, not alone,
-O God of
pity and sorrow, not alone!"
WAKE, do you wake in the dark in the strange far
Window and door not set like the ones we knew,
Leaning your face through the dark for another face,
Stretching your arms to the arms that are far from you,
Even as I, through the depth of this darkness, do?
Sleep, do you sleep in the house in the lonely
In the lonely room do you hear no steps draw near?
Do you miss in the darkness the hand that implores your hand,
See through the darkness your last dream disappear,
And weep, as I weep, in the outer darkness here?
Dream, do you dream? Nay, never a dream will
Never a phantom is fond, or a vision kind.
Your dreams elude you and fly through the dark my way,
My dreams fly forth to you whom they may not find;
And we in the darkness weep, we weep and are left behind.
So silent is the world to-night
lamp gives silence out like light,
The latticed windows open
Show silence, like the night, outside:
nightingale's faint song draws near
Like musical silence to mine
The empty house calls not to me,
"Here, but for fate, were thou and she-"
for once is checked. To-night
Silence is queen in grief's
And even the longing of my soul
silent 'neath this hour's control.
O WEARY night, O weary day,
heart's delight is far away!
What is the day? A frame of blue
vacant-glaring sun grins through.
What is the night? A sable
Through which the moon peers tired and pale.
O weary day! O weary night!
away is heart's delight!
Love hung the sun in his high place
To give me light to see her face,
And love spread
out the veil of night
To hide us two from all men's sight.
O kindly night, O pleasant day,
use is gone-why should ye stay?
My heart's delight is far
O weary night, O weary day.
If I could make a pillow for your head,
Soft, pleasant, filled with every pretty thought;
If I could lay a carpet where you tread
Of all my
life's most radiant fancies wrought,
And spread my love as
canopy above you,
Your sleep, your steps should know how much I
But-as life goes, to the old sorry
I stand apart, I see thorns wound your feet,
Your sleeping eyes resenting sun and moon,
head lie restless on a breast unmeet-
And say no word, and suffer
Lest you should guess how much you are alone.
THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE.
I PLUCKED the blossoms of delight
many a wood and many a field,
I made a garland fair and
As any gardens yield.
But when I sought the living tree
make new earth and Heaven new,
I found-alas for you and
Its roots were set in you.
Oh, dear my garden, where the fruit
Of lovely knowledge sweetly springs,
you guard the root
Of all enlightening things!
AND you could leave me now-
first remembered whispered vow
Which sings for ever and ever in
The vow which God among His Angels
After the long-drawn years,
The slow hard
Could break new ground, and wake
strange garden to blossom for your sake,
And leave me here
In the old garden that was once our own?
How should I learn to bear
garden's pleasant ways and pleasant air,
Her flowers, her
fruits, her lily, her rose and thorn,
When only in a picture
These, once alive, and always over-dear?
Ah-think again: the rose you used to wear
still be more than other roses be
The flower of flowers. Ah,
pity, pity me!
For in my acres is no plot of ground
Whereon could any garden site be found,
I have but
To water weed and till
And make the
desert blossom like the rose;
Yet our old garden knows
If I have loved its ways and walks and kept
garden watered, and the pleasance swept.
Yet-if you must-go now:
Go, with my
blessing filling both your hands,
And, mid the desert sands
Which life drifts deep round every garden wall,
Make your new festival
Of bud and blossom-red rose
and green leaf.
No blight born of my grief
touch your garden, love; but my heart's prayer
Shall draw down
blessings on you from the air,
And all we learned of leaf and
plant and tree
Shall serve you when you walk no more with me
In garden ways; and when with her you tread
pleasant ways with blossoms overhead
And when she asks, "How did
you come to know
The secrets of the ways these green things
Then you will answer-and I, please God, hear,
"I had another garden once, my dear".
I HEAR the waves to-night
Though the light
Of the kind
moon is falling,
Like kisses, on the sea
calls for sunshine, dear, as my soul calls for thee.
I see the sea lie gray
brows in sorrow,
Hear her say:-
"Bright love of
yesterday, return to-morrow,
Sun, I am thine, am thine!"
Oh sea, thy love will come again, but what of mine?
ROSE of the desert of my heart,
of the night that is my soul,
Thou can'st not know how sweet
Nor what wild tides thy beams control.
For all thy heart a garden is,
soul is like a dawn of May.
And garden and dawn might both be
Who from them both must turn away.
Oh, garden of the Spring's delight!
Oh, dewy dawn of perfect noon!
I will not pluck thy
Or warm thy May-time into June.
I can but bless thee, moon and rose,
And journey far and very far
To where the night no
To where no happy roses are!
THE VEIL OF MAYA.
SWEET, I have loved before.
This longing that invades my days;
shape that haunts life's busy ways
I know since long and long
This starry mystery of delight
floats across my eager eyes,
This pain that makes earth
These magic songs of day and night-
I know them for the things they are:
A passing pain, a longing fleet,
A shape that soon
I shall not meet,
A fading dream of veil and star.
Yet, even as my lips proclaim
wisdom that the years have lent,
Your absence is joy's
And life's one music is your name.
I love you to my heart's hid core:
Those other loves? how should one learn
marshlights how the great fires burn?
Ah, no! I never loved
THE sunshine of your presence lies
On the glad garden of my heart
And bids the leaves
of silence part
To show the flowers to your dear eyes,
And flower on flower blooms there and dies
still new buds awakened spring,
For sunshine makes the garden
To know the time for blossoming.
Night is no time for blossoming,
Your garden then dreams otherwise,
Summer, vanished Spring,
And how the dearest flower first
Yet from your ministering eyes
night hath drawn me far apart
On the still garden of my
The moonlight of your memory lies.
TO VERA, WHO ASKED A SONG.
IF I only had time!
I could make you
But my time is kept flying
And living and dying for you.
song-seed, I sow it,
I water and hoe it,
never can grow it.
Ah, traitress, you know it!
What is a poor poet to do?
Ah, let me take breath!
I am harried
By the loves and the graces
where your face is
That lurk in your laces and throng.
Call them off for a minute,
Once let me begin
The devil is in it
If I can not spin it
As sweet as a linnet, your song!
THE POET TO HIS LOVE.
ALL the flight of thoughts here, shy, bold, scared,
Fluttering in the sun, between the green and
Wheeling, whirling, poising, lovely and elusive,
How to cage the flying thoughts, my winged delight, for you?
Set a springe of rhyme, and hope to catch them in
Strew my love as grain to lure them to the snare?
Watch the hours built up, slow minute piled on minute?
Still the wide sky guards their flight, and still the cage is
Gleam of hovering feathers, brushing me to flout
Wings, be weary! Rest! Who loves you more than I?
Caught? Oh fluttering pinions whitening air about me!
Rustling wings, and distant flight, and empty cage and sky!
THE MAIDEN'S PRAYER.
SPRING, pretty Spring, what treasure do you bring to
Green grass and buttercups, cherry-bloom and may?
Sunshine to be glad with me, and little birds to sing to me?
Warm nests to call me along the woodland way?
Spring, happy Spring, what wonder will you do for
Light the tulip lanterns, and set the furze a-fire?
Fill your sky with sails of cloud on waves of living blue for
Show me green cornfields and budding of the briar?
Spring, darling Spring, my days will not return to
You who see them fleeting, you, all time above,
You who move the whole world's heart, ah move one heart to turn to
-Bring me a lover, and teach me how to love!
"LOVE me little, love me long,"
the burden of my song,
And if nothing more may be
Little shall suffice for me.
But if you could crown with flowers
All my radiant, festal hours,
And console for hours
Love me more with each to-morrow.
And if you would turn my days
splendid hymn of praise,
And set hopes like stars above me
Love me much, and always love me!
THE MAGIC FLOWER.
THROUGH many days and many days
seed of love lay hidden close;
We walked the dusty tiresome
Where never a leaf or blossom grows.
the darkness, all the while,
The little seed its heart
And we by many a weary mile
towards it, round the world.
To the hid centre of the maze
last we came, and there we found-
O happy day, O day of days!
-Twin seed-leaves breaking holy ground.
life's joys, a garnered sheaf,
And spell-bound watched, still
hour by hour,
Magic on magic, leaf by leaf,
unfolding of our love's white flower.
LA DERNIERE ROBE DE SOI.
OH, silken gown, all pink and pretty,
Bought, quite a bargain, in the City,
ill-trained soul full false has played me-
No Paris gown would
have betrayed me.
You knew, my pretty silken treasure,
I must not wed for love or pleasure,
But for a
settlement and title;
Yet you encouraged his recital!
He said-oh, faithless gown, you listened
While on your sheen two tear drops glistened-
said . . . let love to music set it,
I'll never speak it-nor
"No, no!" I cried, I tried to save
False gown, you showed the tears I gave you!
You looked discreet when first I found you.
could you let his arm go round you?
You darling dress-I'll smooth your creases,
I'll wear you till you drop to pieces;
men's wives wear cotton only-
Dear gown-I hope you won't feel
THE LEAST POSSIBLE.
DEAR goddess of the shining shrine
Where all my votive tapers burn,
And all my flowers of life are
-With many, alas! that are not mine-
will you give me in return?
The bow in Bond Street-in the Park
The smile all worship on your lips,
word at dinner-dance-
But never a blush-a conscious glance;
At most, at Henley, in the dark,
Ah, just for once, once only, be
altar-server-stoop and set me
Upon the altar richly wrought
Of your most secret flower-sweet thought:
nightlight's flicker burn for me
Before you sleep and quite
EN TOUT CAS.
WHEN I am glad I need your eyes
be the stars of Paradise;
Your lips to be the seal of all
The joy life grants, and dreams recall;
to lie my hands between
What time we walk the garden green.
But most in grief I need your face
To lean to mine in the desert place;
Your lips to
mock the evil years,
To sweeten me my cup of tears,
Your eyes to shine, in cloud's despite,
to hold mine through the night.
Daphnis dearest, wherefore weave me
Webs of lies lest truth should grieve me?
pardon much, believe me:
Dower me, Daphnis, or bereave me,
Kill me, kill me, love me, leave me-
Damn me, dear,
but don't deceive me!
ST. VALENTINE'S DAY.
THE South is a dream of flowers
a jewel for sky and sea,
Rose-crowns for the dancing hours,
Gold fruits upon every tree;
But cold from the
The wind blows forth
That blows my love to
The stars in the South are gold
lamps between sky and sea;
The flowers that the forests hold
Like stars between tree and tree;
But little and
Is the pale moon's light
That lights my
love to me.
In the South the orange grove
dusk by the dusky sea,
White palaces wrought for love
Gleam white between tree and tree,
But under bare
Is the little house
Warm-lit for my love
IF Love and I were all alone
forget to grieve,
And for his pleasure and my own
Might happier garlands weave;
But you sit there,
and watch us wear
The mourning wreaths you wove:
And while such mocking eyes you bear
I am not
friends with Love.
Withdraw those cruel eyes, and let
Me search the garden through
That I may weave, ere
Love be set,
The wreath of Love for you;
you, whom Love so well adorns,
Its hidden thorns discover,
And know at last what crown of thorns
It was you
gave your lover.
GOOD-NIGHT, my Heart, my Heart,
Oh, good and dear and fair,
of life and eyes of light
And roses in your hair.
To-morrow brings the other crown,
The orange blossoms, Sweet,
And then the rose will
be cast down
With lilies at your feet.
But in your soul a garden stands
Where fair the white rose blows-
God, teach my
foolish clumsy hands
The way to tend my rose.
That in the white-rose garden still
The lily may bloom fair
God help my heart and soul
To keep the lily there.
LOVE AND LIFE.
LOVE only sings when Love is young,
When Love is young and still at play,
How shall we
count the sweet songs sung
When Love and Joy kept holiday?
But now Love has to earn his bread
stress and toil of tears,
He finds his nest of song-birds
That sang so sweet in other years.
For Love's a man now, strong and brave,
To fight for you, for you to live,
And Love, that
once such bright songs gave,
Has better things than songs to
He gives you now a lifelong faith,
to help in joy or pain,
And he will sing no more, till Death
Shall come to make him young again!
FROM THE ITALIAN.
AS a little child whom his mother has chidden,
Wrecked in the dark in a storm of weeping,
with his tear-stained eyes closed hidden
And, with fists
clenched, sobs still in his sleeping,
So in my breast sleeps Love, O white lady,
What does he care though the rest are playing,
rattles and drums in the woodlands shady,
Happy children, whom
Joy takes maying!
Ah, do not wake him, lest you should hear him
Scolding the others, breaking their rattles,
Smashing their drums, when their play comes near
Love who, for me, is a god of battles!
"OUT OF THE FULNESS OF THE HEART THE
In answer to those who have said that English
give no personal love to their country.
ENGLAND, my country, austere in the clamorous
council of nations,
Set in the seat of the mighty, wielding the
sword of the strong,
Have we but sung of your glory, firm in
Are not your woods and your meadows the
core of our heart and our song?
O dear fields of my country,
grass growing green, glowing golden,
Green in the patience of
winter, gold in the pageant of spring,
Oaks and young larches
awaking, wind-flowers and violets blowing,
What, if God sets us
to singing, what save you shall we sing?
Who but our England is
fair through the veil of her poets' praises,
What but the
pastoral face, the fruitful, beautiful breast?
Are not your
poets' meadows starred with the English daisies?
Were not the
wings of their song-birds fledged in an English nest?
the leaves in the sunlight, songs of the fern-brake in shadow,
Songs of the world of the woods and songs of the marsh and the
Are they not English woods, dear English marshland and
Have not your poets loved you? England, are you not
Shoulders of upland brown laid dark to the sunset's
Living amber of wheat, and copper of new-ploughed
Downs where the white sheep wander, little gardens in
Roads that wind through the twilight up to the lights
Lanes that are white with hawthorn, dykes where the
Hollows where caged winds slumber, moorlands
where winds wake free,
Sowing and reaping and gleaning, spring
and torrent and river,
Are they not more, by worlds, than the
whole of the world can be?
Is there a corner of land, a furze-fringed rag of a
Coign of your foam-white cliffs or swirl of your
Leaf of your peaceful copse, or dust of your
But in our hearts is sacred, dear as our
cradles, our graves?
Is not each bough in your orchards, each
cloud in the skies above you,
Is not each byre or homestead,
furrow or farm or fold,
Dear as the last dear drops of the blood
in the hearts that love you,
Filling those hearts till the love
is more than the heart can hold?
Therefore the song breaks forth
from the depths of the hidden fountain
Singing your least frail
flower, your raiment of seas and skies,
Singing your pasture and
cornfield, fen and valley and mountain,
England, desire of my
heart, England, delight of mine eyes!
Take my song too, my
country: many a son and debtor
Pays you in praise and homage out
of your gifts' full store;
Life of my life, my England, many
will praise you better,
None, by the God that made you, ever can
love you more!
THERE are white moon daisies in the mist of the
Where the flowered grass scatters its seeds like
There are purple orchis by the wood-ways' shadow,
There are pale dog-roses by the white highway;
the grass, the grass is tall, the grass is up for hay,
daisies white like silver and buttercups like gold,
And it's oh!
for once to play thro' the long, the lovely day,
To laugh before
the year grows old!
There is silver moonlight on the breast of the
Where the willows tremble to the kiss of night,
Where the nine tall aspens in the meadow shiver,
Shiver in the night wind that turns them white.
the lamps, the lamps are lit, the lamps are glow-worms light,
Between the silver aspens and the west's last gold.
And it's oh! to drink delight in the lovely lonely night,
To be young before the heart grows old!
THE LOWER ROOM.
How soft the lamplight falls
And pleasant coloured walls
How happily one looks
flame and ember;
Ah, why should one remember
Here age and wisdom sit
Life and the fruit of it
Are here in
Whose gathering once was sweet-
age! Well met!
Yet neither can forget
THE summer down the garden walks
Swept in her garments bright;
She touched the pale
still lily stalks
And crowned them with delight;
She breathed upon the rose's head
And filled its
heart with fire,
And with a golden carpet spread
The path of my desire.
The larkspurs stood like sentinels
To greet her as she came,
Soft rang the Canterbury
The music of her name.
She passed across
the happy land
Where all dear dreams flower free;
She took my true love by the hand
And led her out
BIRDS in the green of my garden
Blackbirds and throstle and wren,
Wet your dear
wings in the tears that are Spring's
And so to your singing
Birds in my blossoming orchard,
and goldfinch and lark,
Preen your bright wings, little happy
The May trees grow white in the park!
Birds in the leafy wet woodlands,
Cuckoo and nightingale brown,
Sing to the sound of
the rain on green ground-
The rain on green leaves dripping
Fresh with the rain of the May-time,
with the promise of June,
Deep in her heart, where the little
Love, like a bird, sings in tune!
IF I might build a palace, fair
every joy of soul and sense,
And set my heart as sentry
To guard your happy innocence-
If I might
plant a hedge so strong
No creeping sorrow could writhe
And find my whole life not too long
give, to make your hedge for you-
If I could teach the wandering air
To bring no sounds that were not sweet,
the earth that only fair
Untrodden flower deserved your
Would I not tear the secret scroll
all your griefs lie closely curled,
And give your little hand
Of all the joys of all the world?
But ah! I have no skill to raise
palace, teach the hedge to grow;
The common airs blow through
By common ways your dear feet go.
you must twine of common flowers
The wreath that happy women
And bear in desolate darkened hours
common griefs that all men bear.
The pinions of my love I fold
little shoulders close about:
Ah-could my love keep out the
And shut the creeping sorrows out!
paths will tire your darling feet,
Gray skies will weep your
While round you still, in torment, beat
The impotent wings of mother-love.
TO A CHILD.
The fairies have been busy while you slept;
They have been laughing where the sad rain wept,
They have taught Beauty to the ignorant flowers,
Set tasks of hope to weary wind-torn bowers,
heard the lessons learned in school-rooms cold
snapdragon and marigold.
At dawn, while still you slept, I grew
How good the fairies are, how many and fair.
The fairy whose delightful gown is red
Across a corner of our garden sped,
And, where her
flying raiment fluttered past,
Its roseate reflection still is
Red poppies by the rhododendron's side,
Paeonies gorgeous in their summer pride,
may-bushes by the old red wall
Shower down their crimson petals
Then she whose gown is gold, and gold her hair,
Swept down the golden steep straight sunbeam-stair,
She lit the tulip-lamps, she lit the torch
hollyhock beside the cottage porch.
She dressed the honeysuckle
in fringe of gold,
She gave the king-cups fairy wealth to
She kissed St. John's wort till it opened wide,
She set the yarrow by the river side.
Then came the lady all whose robes are white:
She made the pale buds blossom in delight,
silver stars upon the jasmine's hair,
And gave the stream white
lily-buds to wear.
She painted lilies white, and pearl-white
White poppies, passion-flowers and gray-leaved
Her pure kind touch redeemed the most forlorn,
And even the vile petunia smiled, new-born.
The dearest fairy of all-green is her
She kissed the plane-trees in the tiresome town,
She smoothed the pastures and the lawn's pale sheen,
She decked the boughs with hangings fresh and green,
She showed each flower the one and only way
beauty of shape and colour to display;
She taught the world to
be a Paradise
Of changing leaf and blade, for tired eyes.
Then, one and all, they came where you were laid
In your strait bed, my little lovely maid;
red-robed fairy kissed your lips, your face,
made your heart her dwelling-place.
Into your eyes the green
robed fairy smiled;
The golden fairy touched your dreams, my
And one, not named, but mightiest, made my Dear
The innermost rose of the re-flowered year.
BIRTHDAY TALK FOR A CHILD.
DADDY dear, I'm only four
rather not be more:
Four's the nicest age to
Two and two, or one and three.
All I love is two and two,
Fabian, Paul and you;
All you love is one and three,
Mother, Fabian, Paul and me.
Give your little girl a kiss
she learned and told you this.
AND it is fair and very fair
maze of blossom and sweet air,
This drift of orchard snows,
This royal promise of the rose
Wherein your young
Such buds of scented joys to be.
green garden, softly fanned
By the blythe breeze that blows
To speed your ship of dreams to the enchanted land.
But I-beyond the budding screen
green and red and white and green,
Behind the radiant show
Of things that cling and grow and glow
I see the
plains where lie
The hopes of days gone by:
breadths of melancholy, crossed
By winds that coldly blow
From that cold sea wherein my argosy is lost.
FROM THE TUSCAN.
WHEN in the west the red sun sank in glory,
The cypress trees stood up like gold, fine gold;
The mother told her little child the story
gold trees the heavenly gardens hold.
In golden dreams the child sees golden rivers,
Gold trees, gold blossoms, golden boughs and leaves,
Without, the cypress in the night wind shivers,
Weeps with the rain and with the darkness grieves.
From the Portuguese.
HEAVY my heart is, heavy to carry,
Full of soft foldings, of downy enwrapments-
outer fold of all is love,
And the next soft fold is love,
And the next, finer and softer, is love again;
were they unwound before the eyes
More folds and more folds and
more folds would unroll
Of love-always love,
And, quite at the last,
Deep in the nest, in the
One last fold, turned back, would disclose
You, little heart of my heart,
Laid there so warm,
so soft, so soft,
Not knowing where you lie, nor how softly,
Nor why your nest is so soft,
Nor how your nest is
You, little heart of my heart,
in my heart,
Warm, safe and soft as this body of yours,
This dear kissed body of yours that lies
Here in my
arms and sucks the strength from my breast,
The strength you
will break my heart with one of these days.
DOES the wind sing in your ears at night, in the
Rattling the windows and doors of the cheap-built
Do you hear its song as it flies over marsh and down?
Do you feel the kiss that the wind leaves here on my face?
Or, wrapt in a lamplit quiet, do you restrain
Thoughts that would take the wind's way hither to me,
And bid them rest safe-anchored, nor tempt again
The tumult, and torment, and passion that live in the sea?
I, for my part, when the wind sings loud in its
I bid it hush-nor awaken again the storm
That swept my heart out to sea on a moonless night,
And dashed it ashore on an island wondrous and warm
Where all things fair and forbidden for ever flower,
Where the worst of life is a dream, and the best comes true,
When the harvest of years was reaped in a single hour
And the gods, for once, were honest with me and you.
I will not hear when the wind and the sea cry
I will not trust again to the hurrying wind,
I will not swim again in a sea of doubt,
that shore with the world left well behind;
But you,-I would
have you listen to every call
Of the changing wind, as it blows
over marsh and main,
And heap life's joys in your hands, and
offer them all,
If only your feet might touch that island
THE child was yours and none of mine,
And yet you gave it me to keep,
And bade me sew it
And wrap my kisses round its sleep.
I carried it upon my breast,
it in a world apart,
I wrapped my kisses round its rest,
I rocked its cradle with my heart.
When in mad nights of rain and storm
You turned us homeless from your door,
I wrapped it
close, I kept it warm,
And brought it safe to you once more.
But the last time you drove us forth,
The snow was wrapped about its head,
That night the
wind blew from the North,
And on my heart the child was
The child is mine and none of yours,
My life was his while he had breath,
What of your
claim to him endures,
Who only gave him birth and death?
ONCE I loved, and my heart bowed down,
Subject and slave, for Love was a King;
above with sceptre and crown,
Turning his eyes from my
The laugh of a god on his lips lay
His lips victorious that mocked my pain,
And I mourned in the cold and the outer night,
my tears and my prayers were vain.
Now the old spell is over and done,
Myself I wear the ermine and gold,
My brows are
crowned, I ascend the throne,
I have taken the sceptre and orb
I smile victorious, set far above
music of voices that moan and pray,
My feet are wet with the
tears of love,
And I turn my eyes away.
ACROSS the quiet pastures of my soul
The invading army marched in splendid might
poor forces fled beyond control,
Scattered, defeated, hidden in
My fields were green, their hedges white with
With gold of buttercups made bright and fair,
The careless conquerors did not even stay
one of all the blossoms there.
Only when they had passed, the fields were
The grass and blossoms trampled in the mud:
The flowering hedges withered and torn down,
one richer by a single bud.
TWO strangers, from opposing poles,
Meet in the torrid zone of Love:
And their desire
seems set above
The limitation of their souls.
This is the trap; this is the snare,
This is the false, enchanting light,
And when it
smoulders into night,
How can each know the other is there?
They own no bond of common speech;
Each, from far shores by wild winds brought,
for some cord of common thought
To draw the other within
Each when the dark tide drowns their star,
Cries out, "Thou art not one with me:
One flesh we
seemed when eyes could see,
But now, how far thou art! How
Each calling, "Come! be mine! be wise!"
Stands obstinately in his place,
How can these two
come face to face,
Till light spring from their meeting
Could both but once cry, "Far thou art,
But I am coming!" How the beat
Of waves that part
them would retreat,
Resurge and find them, heart to heart!
THE WAY OF LOVE.
THE butterfly loves the rose,
flutters around her bed,
Till the soft curled leaves
And she raises her darling head.
He whispers of dawn and of dew,
love, and the heart of love,
Of worship, timid and true,
And she takes no joy thereof.
But when, through the noon's blind heat,
The arrogant bee flaunts by,
She yields him her
heart's hid sweet,
And he leaves her alone, to die.
The depth of her dying bliss
grief-white butterfly knows:
And the bee laughs low in the
Of another, a redder rose.
TO ONE WHO PLEADED FOR CANDOUR IN
HERE is the dim enchanted wood
face, a mystery divine,
But half revealed, half understood,
Appears the counterpart of mine.
Beyond the wood the daylight lies;
Cruel and hard, it lies in wait
To steal the magic
from your eyes
And from your lips the thrill of fate.
Ah, stay with me a little while
Here, where the magic shadows rest,
Where all my
world is in your smile
And all my heaven on your breast.
Ah no!-cling close, what need to move,
What need to advance or explore?
We came here
blindly, led by love,
Who will not lead us any more.
Thank God that here we two have stood,
Thank God this shade was ours to win;
Time with his
axe has marked our wood
And he will let the daylight in.
THE ENCHANTED GARDEN.
OH, what a garden it was, living gold, living
Full of enchantments like spices embalming the air,
There, where you fled and I followed-you ever unseen,
Yet each glad pulse of me cried to my heart, "She is there!"
Roses and lilies and lilies and roses again,
Tangle of leaves and white magic of blossoming trees,
Sunlight that lay where, last moment, your footstep had
Was not the garden enchanted that proffered me these?
Ah, what a garden it is since I caught you at
Scattered the magic and shattered the spell with a
Wintry and dreary and cold with the wind of the past,
Ah that a garden enchanted should wither to this!
THE POOR MAN'S GUEST.
ONE came to me in royal guise
banners flying fair and free
But many griefs had made me
And I refused to bow the knee.
Then one drew near who bore the flower
Of all the flowers of June and May;
But many griefs
had lent me power
And I was strong to turn away.
Then came a beggar to my gate
shoulders bowed to sorrow's pack,
So weary and so desolate
I had no heart to turn him back.
I let him share my board, my bed,
warmed him in my shrinking breast,
I gave him all I had, and
"You, only you, have been my guest.
"Love passed in many a fair disguise
But never could an entrance win,
But you came in
such piteous wise,
Poor friend, I could but let you in."
Low laughed my guest: "Kind friend!" said he,
And dropped the rags he was weary of;
betrayed, saw over me
The terrible face of outraged Love.
IN THE SHALLOWS.
AMONG the shallows where the sand
golden and the waves are small,
I love to lie, and to my
How many little treasures fall!
and seaweed grace the shore,
What happy birds on happy
And for companions, what a store
humble, happy, living things!
Yet the sea's depths are also mine,
And in the old days I used to dive
Into the caves,
where corals shine
And where the shimmering mer-folk live.
I am the master of the sea
In deeps where fairy
That treasure-house belongs to me,
Those amber halls, those stairs of pearl.
But now thereto I go no more,
Because of all the argosies,
Deep sunk upon the
Where all the world's lost treasure lies.
Where loveless laughter curls the lips
Of wild sea
creatures at their sport
About the bones of noble ships,
My ships, that never came to port.
"AND THE RAINS DESCENDED AND THE
NOW the far waves roll nearer and more near,
The wind's awake, the pitiless wind's awake,
shrieks the menace that I dare not hear,
Soon at my feet the
angry waves will break
In desolating wrath-and here I stand
Helpless my house is built upon the sand.
O you, whose house upon a rock is set,
Laugh, safe and sure, at threatening wave and wind.
You chose the better part and yet-and yet,
was no other ground that I could find,
And I was weary and I
longed to raise
A house to guard my shivering nights and
And it was pleasant in the house I made,
While still the floods and winds were held asleep.
I blessed it at the dawn, at night I prayed
though its dear foundations had been deep
Sunk in the rock. I
whispered in surmise,
"What if winds never wake, floods never
And now the waves are near and very near,
And here I wait and wonder which may be
The wave in
which my house will disappear,
My little house that loved and
Where joy still sings, her garland in her
Built on the sand, oh God, built on the sand!
I HAD a star to sing by, a beautiful star that
But when I sang of its splendour the world in its wisdom
"Sweet are your songs, yet the singer sings but in madness
He hymns but stars unbeholden of us his fellows of men;
Glow-worms we see and marshlights; sing us sweet songs of those
For the guerdons we have to give you, laurel and gold and rose;
Or if you must sing of stars, unseen of your brother man,
Go, starve with your eyes on your vision; your star may save if it
So I said, "If I starve and die I never again shall
The glory, the high white radiance that hallows the world
I will sing their songs, if it must be, and when I have
I will turn from the marsh and the glow-worms, and
sing of my star once more."
So I walked in the warm wet by-ways,
not daring to lift my eyes
Lest love should drive me to singing
my star supreme in the skies,
And the world cried out, "We will
crown him, he sings of the lights that are,
marshlight and glow-worms, not visions vain of a star!"
I said, "Now my brows are laurelled, my hands filled
full of their gold,
I will sing the starry songs that these
earthworms bade withhold.
It is time to sing of my star!" for I
dreamed that my star still shone,
Then I lifted my eyes in my
triumph. Night! night! and my star was gone.
THE PRODIGAL SON.
COME home, come home, for your eyes are sore
With the glare of the noonday sun,
looks as it did before,
And the best of the day is done.
You have played your match, and ridden your
You have fought in your fight-and lost;
And life has set its claws in your face,
know what the scratches cost.
Out there the world is cruel and loud,
It strikes at the beaten man;
Come out of the press
of the stranger crowd
To the place where your life began.
The best robe lies in the cedar chest,
And your father's ring is here;
You have known the
worst, come home to the best-
You will pay for it, never
In every kiss of your sister's mouth,
In each tear from your mother's eyes,
You will pay
the price of the days in the South
Where the far-off country
SMILE on me, mouth of red-so much too red,
Shine on me, eyes which darkened lashes shade,
Turn, turn my way, oh glorious golden head,
is lost, then let the price be paid!
Amid rich flowers your rosy
Amid rich hangings pass your scented
And woods and fields are green but in my dreams,
And only in my dreams grow meadow-flowers.
I have forgotten everything but
The apple orchard where the whitethroat sings,
The quiet fields, the moonlight, and the dew,
virgin's bower that in wet hedgerow clings.
I have forgotten how
the cool grass waves
Where clean winds blow, and where good
For happy, honest men, safe in their graves;
And-oh, my God! I would I were as they!
YOU bring your love too late, dear, I have no love
to buy it,
I spent my love on worthless toys, at fairs you do
I am a bankrupt trader-dear eyes, do not deny it,
I could have bought your love, dear, but that was long ago.
My soul has left me widowed, my heart has made me
Leave me-all good things, dear, have left me-leave me
For here is ice no tears of yours, no smiles of yours can
Leave me, leave me, leave me, I have no love for
I have no flowers to give you, they grow not in my
I have no songs to sing you, my songs have all been
I have no hope of heaven, no faith in any pardon,
I might have loved you once, dear, when I was good and young.
I will not steal, nor cheat you; take back the heart
you lent me.
O God, whom I have outraged, now teach me how to
That love come never again so near me to torment me,
Lest I be found less faithful than, by Thy grace, to-day.
WHEN I was young how fair the skies,
Such folly of cloud, such blue depths wise,
dews of morn, such calms of eve,
So many the lure and the
Life seemed a toy to break and mend
make a charm of in the end.
Then slowly all the dew dried up
only dust lay in the cup;
And since, to slake his thirst, man
I sought a cup that had no dust,
it at the Goat and Vine-
Mingled of brandy, beer and wine.
The goat-cup, straight, drew down the skies
And lit them in lunatick wise:
What had been rose
went scarlet red,
And the pearl tints grew like the dead.
And the fresh primrose of the morn
Was the wet red
of rain-spoiled corn.
Now, with a head that aches and nods
I hold weak hands out to the gods;
forgiving gods and kind,
They give me healing to my mind,
And show me once again the lawn
clear-gemmed with dews of dawn.
O gods, who look down from above
Upon our tangle of lust and love,
And, in your
The worth of what our follies leave:
Give us but this, and sink the rest-
To know that
dew and dawn are best.
NOW I am cast into the serpent pit
And, catching difficult breath
From the writhing,
loathsome, ceaseless stir of it,
The venomous whispers of
curling, clasping Death,
I lift my soul out of the pit to
And reaching with my soul to where Thou art
Look down, seeing with free heart
The beast God
gave my soul for company
Lie with companions fit;
And bid, with a good will,
The serpent-fangs of
Take their foul fill
Of the foul fell it
Though a thousand serpent heads were raised to slay,
A thousand twisting coils writhed where it lay,
There lies the beast, there let it lie for me
agonize and rave;
For Thou has raised my soul, Thy soul, to
Thy soul, dear Lord, Thou hast been strong to save!
AT THE GATE.
THE monastery towers, as pure and fair
As virgin vows, reached up white hands to Heaven;
The walls, to guard the hidden heart of prayer,
Were strong as sin, and white as sin forgiven;
there came holy men, by world's woe driven;
And all about the
gold-green meadows lay
Flower-decked, like children dear that
"Here," said the Abbot, "let us spend our days,
Days sweetened by the lilies of pure prayer,
with white garlands of the rose of praise;
And, lest the World
should enter with her snare-
Enter and laugh and take us
With her red rose, her purple and her
Choose we a stranger's hand the porter's keys to hold."
They chose a beggar from the world outside
To keep their worldward door for them, and he,
Filled with a humble and adoring pride,
Built up a
wall of proud humility
Between the monastery's sanctity
And the poor, foolish, humble folk who came
for love and care, in the dear Saviour's name.
For when the poor crept to the guarded gate
To ask for succour, when the tired asked rest,
weary souls, bereft and desolate,
Craved comfort, when the
murmur of the oppressed
Surged round the grove where prayer had
made her nest,
The porter bade such take their griefs away,
And at some other door their bane and burden lay.
"For this," he said, "is the white house of
Where day and night the holy voices rise
Through the chill trouble of our earthly air,
enter at the gate of Paradise.
Trample no more our flower-fields
in such wise,
Nor crave the alms of our deep-laden bough;
The prayers of holy men are alms enough, I trow."
So, seeing that no sick or sorrowing folk
Came ever to be healed or comforted,
The Abbot to
his brothers gladly spoke:
"God has accepted our poor prayers,"
"Over our land His answering smile is spread.
He has put forth His strong and loving hand,
sorrow and sin and pain have ceased in all the land.
"So make we yet more rich our hymns of praise,
Warm we our prayers against our happy heart.
God hath taken the gift of all our days
To make a spell that
bids all wrong depart,
Has turned our praise to balm for the
Fulfilled of prayer and praise be every hour,
For God transfigures praise, and transmutes prayer, to power."
So went the years. The flowers blossomed now
Untrampled by the dusty, weary feet;
the green and golden bough,
For none came now to ask for fruit
For ghostly food, or common bread to eat;
And dreaming, praying, the monks were satisfied,
Till, God remembering him, the beggar-porter died.
When they had covered up the foolish head,
And on the foolish loving heart heaped clay,
of us, brothers, now," the Abbot said,
"Will face the world, to
keep the world away?"
But all their hearts were hard with
prayer, and "Nay,"
They cried, "ah, bid us not our prayers to
Ah, father, not to-day, for this is Easter Eve".
And, while they murmured, to their midst there
A beggar saying, "Brothers, peace, be still!
I am your Brother, in our Father's name,
And I will
be your porter, if ye will,
Guarding your gate with what I have
So all they welcomed him and closed the door,
And gat them gladly back unto their prayers once more.
But, lo! no sooner did the prayer arise,
A golden flame athwart the chancel dim,
the porter crying, "Haste, arise!
A sick old man waits you to
tend on him;
And many wait-a knight whose wound gapes grim,
A red-stained man, with red sins to confess,
mother pale, who brings her child for you to bless".
The brothers hastened to the gate, and there
With unaccustomed hand and voice they tried
the body's pain, the spirit's care;
But ere the task was done,
the porter cried:
"Behold, the Lord sets your gate open
For here be starving folk who must be fed,
And little ones that cry for love and daily bread!"
And, with each slow-foot hour, came ever a
Of piteous wanderers, sinful folk and sad,
And still the brothers ministered, but long
seemed, with no prayer to make them glad;
No holy, meditative
joys they had,
No moment's brooding-place could poor prayer
Mid all those heart to heal and all those wounds to
And when the crowded, sunlit day at last
Left the field lonely with its trampled flowers,
Into the chapel's peace the brothers passed
quell the memory of those hurrying hours.
"Our holy time," they
said, "once more is ours!
Come, let us pay our debt of prayer
Forgetting in God's light the darkness of man's
But, ere their voices reached the first psalm's
They heard a new, strange rustling round their house;
Then came the porter: "Here comes many a friend,
Pushing aside your budding orchard boughs;
brothers, justify your holy vows.
Here be God's patient, poor,
Seek healing at God's well, whence
Then cried the Abbot in a vexed amaze,
"Our brethren we must aid, if 'tis God's will;
the wild creatures of the forest ways
Himself God heals with His
And charity is good, and love-but still
God shall not look in vain for the white prayers
send on silver feet to climb the starry stairs;
"For, of all worthy things, prayer has most
It rises like sweet incense up to heaven,
And from God's hand falls back upon the earth,
Being of heavenly bread the accepted leaven.
Through prayer is virtue saved and sin forgiven;
prayer the impulse and the force are found
That bring in purple
and gold the fruitful seasons round.
"For prayer comes down from heaven in the sun
That giveth life and joy to all things made;
falls in rain to make broad rivers run
And quickens the seeds in
earth's brown bosom laid;
By prayer the red-hung branch is
By prayer the barn grows full, and full the
For by man's prayer God works his wonders manifold."
The porter seemed to bow to the reproof;
But when the echo of the night's last prayer
in the mystery of the vaulted roof,
A whispered memory in the
The Abbot turned to find him standing there.
"Brother," he said, "I have healed the woodland things
And they go happy and whole-blessing Love's ministerings,
"And, having healed them, I shall crave your
To leave you-for to-night I journey far.
But I have kept your gate this Easter Eve,
your house to heaven shines like a star
To show the Angels where
God's children are;
And in this day your house has served God
Than in the praise and prayer of all its years before.
"Yet I must leave you, though I fain would stay,
For there are other gates I go to keep
round whose walls, long day by day,
Shut out of hope and love,
poor sinners weep-
Barred folds that keep out God's poor
I must teach these that gates where God comes
Must not be shut at all to pain, or want, or sin.
"The voice of prayer is very soft and weak,
And sorrow and sin have voices very strong;
is not heard in heaven when those twain speak,
The voice of
prayer faints in the voice of wrong
By the just man endured-oh,
Lord, how long?-
If ye would have your prayers in heaven be
Look that wrong clamour not with too intense a word.
"But when true love is shed on want and sin,
Their cry is changed, and grows to such a voice
clamours sweetly at heaven to be let in-
Such sound as makes the
saints in heaven rejoice;
Pure gold of prayer, purged of the
Of idleness-that is the sound most dear
Of all the earthly sounds God leans from heaven to hear.
"Oh, brother, I must leave thee, and for me
The work is heavy, and the burden great.
this charge I lay upon thee: See
That never again stands barred
thy abbey gate;
Look that God's poor be not left desolate;
Ah me! that chidden my shepherds needs must be
my poor wandering sheep have so great need of me.
"Brother, forgive thy Brother if he chide,
Thy Brother loves thee-and has loved-for see
nails are in my hands, and in my side
The spear-wound; and the
thorns weigh heavily
Upon my brow-brother, I died for
For thee, and for my sheep that are astray,
And rose to live for thee, and them, on Easter Day!"
"My Master and my Lord!" the Abbot cried.
But, where that face had been, shone the new day;
Only on the marble by the Abbot's side,
dear feet had stood, a lily lay-
A lily white for the white
He sought the gate-no sorrow clamoured
And, not till then, he dared to sink his soul in
And from that day himself he kept the gate
Wide open; and the poor from far and wide,
weary, and wicked, and disconsolate,
Came there for succour and
were not denied;
The sick were healed, the repentant
And from their hearts rises more prayer and
Than ever the abbey knew in all its prayer-filled
And there the Heavenly vision comes no more,
Only, each Easter now, a lily sweet
Lies white and
dewy on the chancel floor
Where once had stood the beloved
And the old Abbot feels the nearing beat
Of wings that bring him leave at last to go
meet his Master, where the immortal lilies grow.
IT is not Love, this beautiful unrest,
This tremor of longing that invades my breast:
Love is in his grave this many a year,
He will not rise-I do not
wish him here.
It is not memory, for your face and eyes
Are not reflected where that dark pool lies:
not hope, for life makes no amends,
And hope and I are long no
It is a ghost out of another Spring
It needs but little for its comforting-
should hold your hand and see your face
And muse a little in
this quiet place,
Where, through the silence, I can hear you
And feel you sadden, O Virgin Mystery,
know my thought has in your thought begot
Sadness, its child,
and that you know it not.
If this were Love, if all this bitter pain
Were but the birth-pang of Love born again,
through the doubts and dreams resolved, smiled
promise of the holy child,
What should I gain? The Love whose
Could never be my own and only child,
But to Love's birth would come, with the last pain,
Renunciation, also born again.
If this were Love why should I turn away?
Am I not, too, made of the common clay?
Is life so
fair, am I so fortunate,
I can refuse the capricious gift of
The sudden glory, the unhoped-for flowers,
The transfiguration of my earthly hours?
Come, Love! the house is garnished and is swept,
Washed clean with all the tears that I have wept,
Washed from the stain of my unworthy fears,
with the splendid spoils of wasted years,
Lighted with lamps of
hope, and curtained fast
Against the gathered darkness of the
I draw the bolts! I throw the portals wide,
The darkness rushes shivering to my side,
not here-the darkness creeps about
My house wherein the lamps of
hope die out.
Ah Love! it was not then your hand that came
Beating my door? your voice that called my name?
"It is not Love, it is not Love," I said,
And bowed in fearful hope my trembling head.
not Love, for Love could never rise
Out of the rock-hewn grave
wherein he lies."
But as I spake, the heavenly form drew
Where close I clasped a hope grown keen as fear,
Upon my head His very hand He laid
"It is I, be not afraid!"
And this is Love, no rose-crowned laughing guest
By whom my passionate heart should be caressed,
one re-risen from the grave; austere,
Cold as the grave, and
To follow whom I lay the whole world down,
Take up the cross, bind on the thorny crown;
following whom, my bleeding pilgrim feet
Find the rough pathway
sure and very sweet.
The august environment of mighty wings
Shuts out the snare of vain imaginings,
For by my
side, crowned with Love's death-white rose,
The Angel of
"REFUSE, refrain: for this is not the love
The Annunciation Angel warned you of;
This is the
little candle, not the sun;
It burns, but will not warm, unhappy
"But ah! suppose the sun should never shine,
Then what an anguish of regret were mine
that even from this I turned away!
Candles may serve, if there
should be no day."
"Nay, better to go cold your whole life long
Than do the sun, than do your soul such wrong:
if the sun shine not, be life's the blame
And yours the pride,
who scorned the meaner flame."
THE OLD DISPENSATION.
O THOU, who, high in heaven,
This clouded earthly life
Blasted with ice and fire,
Filled with dead faith, and love
change is master of-
O Thou, who mightest have given
all Thy heaven,
But who, instead, didst give
This life we live-
Who feedest with blood and
The hungry years-
I make one prayer to
O Great God! grant it me.
Some day when summer shows
God, let Thy sinner lie
And feel Thy sun's large grace
Then grant him this, that he
believe in Thee!
THE NEW DISPENSATION.
OUT in the sun the buttercups are gold,
The daisies silver all the grassy lane,
has given love a flower to hold,
And love lays blindness on the
eyes of pain.
Within are still, chill aisles and blazoned
And carven tombs where memory weeps no more.
And from the lost and holy days remains
beside the long-closed western door.
Outside the world goes laughing lest it weep,
With here and there some happy child at play;
mother worshipping the babe asleep,
Or two young lovers dreaming
'neath the May.
Within, the soul of love broods o'er the place;
The carven saint forgotten many a year
to heaven his rapt adoring face
To pray, for those who leave him
That once again the silent church may ring
With songs of joy triumphant over pain-
Ah! God, who
makest the miracle of spring
Make Thou dead faith and love to
THE THREE KINGS.
WHEN the star in the East was lit to shine
The three kings journeyed to Palestine;
They came from the uttermost parts of earth
With long trains laden with gifts of worth.
The first king rode on a camel's back,
He came from the land where the kings are black,
Bringing treasures desired of kings,
Rubies and ivory and precious things.
An elephant carried the second king,
He came from the land of the sun-rising,
And gems and gold and spices he bare
With broidered raiment for kings to wear.
The third king came without steed or train
From the misty land where the white kings reign.
He bore no gifts save the myrrh in his hand,
For he came on foot from a far-off land.
Now when they had travelled a-many days
Through tangled forests and desert ways,
By angry seas and by paths thorn-set
On Christmas Vigil the three kings met.
And over their meeting a shrouded sky
Made dark the star they had travelled by.
Then the first king spake and he frowned and
"By some ill spell have our feet been led,
"Now I see in the darkness the fools we are
To follow the light of a lying star.
"Let us fool no more, but like kings and men
Each get him home to his land again!"
Then the second king with the weary face,
Gold-tinct as the sun of his reigning place,
Lifted sad eyes to the clouds and said,
"It was but a dream and the dream is sped.
"We dreamed of a star that rose new and fair,
But it sets in the night of the old despair.
"Yet night is faithful though stars betray,
It will lead to our kingdoms far away."
Then spake the king who had fared alone
From the far-off kingdom, the white-hung throne:
"O brothers, brothers, so very far
Ye have followed the light of the radiant star,
"And because for a while ye see it not
Shall its faithful shining be all forgot?
"On the spirit's pathway the light still lies
Though the star be hid from our longing eyes.
"To-morrow our star will be bright once more
The little pin-hole in heaven's floor-
"The Angels pricked it to let it bring
Our feet to the throne of the new-born King!"
And the first king heard and the second heard
And their hearts grew humble before the third.
And they laid them down beside bale and beast
and their sleeping eyes saw light in the East.
For the Angels fanned them with starry wings
And the waft of visions of unseen things.
And the next gold day waned trembling and white
And the star was born of the waxing night.
And the three kings came where the Great King
A little baby among the hay,
The ox and the ass were standing near
And Mary Mother beside her Dear.
Then low in the litter the kings bowed down,
They gave Him gold for a kingly crown,
And frankincense for a great God's breath
and Myrrh to sweeten the day of death.
The Maiden Mother she stood and smiled
And she took from the manger her little child.
On the dark king's head she laid His hand
And anger died at that dear command.
She laid His hand on the gold king's head
And despair itself was comforted.
But when the pale king knelt in the stall
She heard on the straw his tears down fall.
And she stooped where he knelt beside her feet
And laid on his bosom her baby sweet.
And the king in the holy stable-place
Felt the little lips through the tears on his face.
* * * * * * *
Christ! lay Thy hand on the angry king
Who reigns in my breast to my undoing,
And lay thy hands on the king who lays
The spell of sadness on all my days,
And give the white king my soul, Thy soul,
Of these other kings the high control.
That soul and spirit and sense may meet
In adoration before Thy feet!
Now Glory to God the Father Most High,
And the Star, the Spirit, He leads us by.
And to God's dear Son, the Babe who was born
And laid in the manger on Christmas morn!
IF we must part, this parting is the best:
How would you bear to lay
Your head on some warm
pillow far away-
Your head, so used to lying on my breast?
But now your pillow is cold;
hands have flowers, and not my hands, to hold;
Upon our bed the
worn bride-linen lies.
I have put the death-money upon your
So that you should not wake up in the night.
I have bound your face with white;
I have washed
you, yes, with water and not with tears,-
Those arms wherein I
have slept so many years,
Those feet that hastened when they
came to me,
And all your body that belonged to me.
I have smoothed your dear dull hair,
And there is
nothing left to say for you
And nothing left to fear or pray for
And I have got the rest of life to bear:
Thank God it is you, not I, who are lying there.
If I had died
And you had stood
This still white bed
Where the white,
scented, horrible flowers are spread,-
I know the thing it
And I thank God that He has spared you this.
If one must bear it, thank God it was I
Who had to
live and bear to see you die,
Who have to live, and bear to see
You will have nothing of it all to bear:
You will not even know that in your bed
alone. You will not miss my head
Beside you on the pillow: you
So soft in the grave you will not miss my breast.
But I-but I-Your pillow and your place-
And only the
darkness laid against my face,
And only my anguish pressed
against my side-
Thank God, thank God, that it was you who
NIGHT wind sighing through the poplar leaves,
Trembling of the aspen, shivering of the willow,
Every leafy voice of all the night-time grieves,
Mourning, weeping over Chloe's pillow.
Chloe, fresher than the breeze of dawn,
Fairer than the larches in their young spring glory,
Brighter than the glow-worms on the dewy lawn,
the dirge the green trees sing to end your story:-
"Chloe lived and Chloe loved: she brought new
Hope and life and all things good to all who met
Only, dying, wept to know the lifelong sadness
Willed, against her will, to those who can't forget her."
COME to-night in a dream to-night,
Come as you used to do,
Come in the gown, in the
gown of white,
Come in the ribbon of blue;
in the virgin's colours you wear,
Come through the dark and the
Come with the scent of the night in your hair,
Come as you used to do.
Blue and white of your eyes and your face,
White of your gown and blue,
Will you not come from
the happy place,
Come as you used to do?
so many, so many tears
Where there were once so
Can they not wash the gray of the years
the white of your gown and blue?
THE LAST BETRAYAL.
AND I shall lie alone at last,
of the stream that ran so fast,
And feel the flower roots in my
And in my hands the roots of trees;
wrapt in the ungrudging peace
That leaves no pain uncovered
What-this hope left? this way not barred?
This last best treasure without guard?
free-no prayers to pay?
Fool-are the Rulers of men asleep?
Thou knowest what tears They bade thee weep,
when peace comes, 'tis thou wilt sleep, not They.
A PRAYER FOR THE KING'S
22nd January, 1901.
THE Queen is dead. God save the King,
In this his hour of grief,
When sorrow gathers
memories in a sheaf
To lay them on his shoulders as he
Inheriting her glories and her
First gain of his at which his Mother's voice
Has not been first to bless and to rejoice-
set lonely between gain and loss.
(O words of love the heart
O mighty loss outweighing every gain!)
A Son whose kingdom Death's arm lies across,
whose Mother lies alone with Death
Wrapped in the folds of white
O God, who seest the tears Thy children
O God, who countest each sad heart-beat, see
How our King needs the grace we ask of Thee!
knowest how little and how vain a thing
Is Empire, when the
heart is sick with pain-
God, save the King!
Queen is dead. The splendour of her days,
The sorrow of them
both alike merge now
In the new aureole that lights her
The clamour of her people's voice in praise
Must hush itself to the still voice that prays
the holy chamber of Death. Tread softly here,
A mighty Queen
Her people's heart wears black,
black bells toll unceasing in their ear,
And on the gold sun's
The great world round
Like a black ring
the voice of mourning goes,
Till even our ancient foes
With eyes downbent, and brotherly bared head,
mourning watch with us. This is the hour
When Love lends all his
To speed grief's arrows from the bow of Death,
When sighs are idle breath,
When tears are
She will not wake again,
now, not here.
O great and good and infinitely dear,
O Mother of your people, sleep is sweet,
Life's thorny ways will wound your feet.
O Mother dear, sleep sound!
Your brows freed from the crown that made them
So many a time, and wear the heavenly crown,
Then, then you will look down
On us who love you,
The love of earth will breathe with us our
Our prayer prayed here, joined to your prayer prayed
Who knows what radiant answer it may bring?
"God save the King!"
The Queen is dead. God save the King!
From all ill thought and deed,
service and from selfish sway,
From treason, and the vain
Of evil counsellors, and the noisome breed
Of flatterers who eat the soul away,
God save the
From loss and pain and tears
her many years
Brought her; from battle and strife,
And the inmost hurt of life,
The wounds that no
crown can heal,
No ermine robes conceal,
save the King!
God, by our memories of his Mother's face,
By the love that makes our heart her dwelling-place,
Grant to our sorrow this desired grace:
* * * * * * * * *
The Queen is dead. God save the King.
This is no hour when joy has leave to sing;
amid our tears, we are bold to pray,
More boldly, in that we
In this most sorrowful day.
who wast of a mortal Mother born,
Who driest the tears with
which Thy children mourn,
God, save the King!
Look down on him whose crown is wet with tears
In which its splendour fades and disappears-
tears, our tears, tears out of all her lands.
The Queen is
God! strengthen the King's hands!
save the King!
TRUE LOVE AND NEW LOVE.
OVER the meadow and down the lane
the gate by the twisted thorn:
Your feet should know each turn
of the way
You trod so many many a day,
the old love was put out of its pain,
Before the new love was
Kiss her, hold her and fold her close,
Tell her the old true tale:
You ought to know each
turn of the phrase,-
You learned them all in the poor old
Before the birth of the new red rose,
Before the old rose grew pale.
And do not fear I shall creep to-night
To make a third at your tryst:
My ghost, if it
walked, would only wait
To scare the others away from the
Where you teach your new love the old delight,
With the lips that your old love kissed.
No child shall stir the
inmost heart of her
And teach her heaven by that first faint
No little lips shall lie against her breast
Save the cold lips that now lie there at rest;
little voice shall rouse her from her sleep
And bid her wake to
Her sleep is calm and deep,
Close in her arm
As though even
death drew back before the face
Of Motherhood in this white
The gathered bud lies waxen white and cold,
As ever a flower your winter gardens hold.
the pain, she never wore the crown,
She worked the bitter
But all she won thereby is here laid down
Renounced-for good or harm.
Dream? Feed your soul
while we must starve our hearts on clay,
Dream of a glorious
white-winged sun-crowned day
When you shall see her once more
face to face
Beside Christ's Mother in the blessed place!
But while you dream, they carry her from here,
black bells toll and toll.
Oh God! if only she cannot see or
Not hear those ghoul-like bells that crowd so near,
Not see that cold clay hole.
IN MEMORY OF
Who Died on October 25th, 1899.
THERE was a day,
A horrible Autumn
When from her home, the home she made for ours
And that day made a nightmare of white flowers
folk in black who whispered pityingly,
They carried her
And left our hearts all cold
yet with such a store to hold
Of sodden grief the slow drops
still ooze out,
And, falling on all fair things, they wither
Tears came with time-but not with time went by.
And still we wander desolate about
The poor changed house, the garden and the croft,
Warm kitchen, sunny parlour, with the soft
Intolerable pervading memories
Of her whose face
and voice made melodies,
Sweet unforgotten songs of
Dear songs of all the little joys that were.
We see the sun, and have no joy thereof,
she gathered in her dying hands
And carried with her to the fair
The flower of all our joy, because she went
Out of the garden where her days were spent,
took the very sun away with her.
The cross stands at her head.
her breast, that loving mother-breast,
Close buds of pansies
purple and white are pressed.
It seems a place for rest,
For happy folded sleep; but ah, not there,
there, not there, our hardest tears are shed,
But in the house
made empty for her sake.
Here, in the night intolerable,
The hungry passionate pains of Love still strong
To fight with death the bitter slow night long.
Then the rich price that poor Love has to pay
paid, slow drop by drop, till the new day
With thin cold fingers
pushes back night's wings,
And drags us out to common cruel
That sting, and barb their stings with memory.
O Love-and is the price too hard to give?
the splendour of all things that live,
And this thy pain the
price of life to thee-
The sacrament that binds to the
The chain that holds though mountains be removed,
The portent of thine immortality.
So, in the house of pain imprisoned, we
Endure our bondage, and work out our time,
from out our dungeon walls to climb-
Bondsmen, who would not, if
we could, be free.
Thank God, our hands still hold Love's
Do not her hands still clasp the cord we hold,
Drawing us near, coiling bright fold on fold,
the far day when it shall draw us near
To the sight of her-her
living hands, her dear
Tired face, grown weary of watching for
And we shall hold her, in the happy place,
And hear her voice, the old same voice we knew-
children, I am tired of wanting you!"
Or, in some world more beautiful and dear
Than any she ever even dreamed of here,
is changed, does she await the day
She longed for, and so little
a while away,
When all the love we watered with our tears
Shall bloom, transplanted by the kindly years?
Dreaming through her new garden does she go,
Remembering the old garden, long ago,
flowers more fair than those that grow
In this sad garden where
such sad flowers blow;
And, fondly touching bud and leaf and
Training her flowers to perfect branch and root,
Does she sometimes entreat some darling flower
wait a little for its opening hour?
Can you not hear her voice:
"Ah, not to-day,
While my dear flowers, my own, are far
Be patient, bud! to-morrow soon will come:
Ah! blossom when my little girl comes home!"
But now. But here.
The empty house,
the always empty place-
The black remembrance that no night blots
The memories, white, unbearable, and dear
That no white sunlight makes less cruel and clear?
The resistless riotous rout
Of cruel conquering
thoughts, the night, the day?
Love is immortal: this the price
Worse than all pain it would be to
On Love's brave brow the crown of thorns is set.
Love is no niggard: though the price be high
God's market Love goes forth to buy
With royal meed God's
greatest gifts and gain,
Love offers up his whole rich store of
And buys of God Love's immortality.
FOR DOROTHY, 18th August, 1900.
I WILL not wake you, dear; no tears shall creep
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To chill the still bed where you lie asleep;
cry, no word, shall break the sanctity
Of the great silence
where God lets you lie.
I will not tease your grave with flower
You are tired, my heart; you shall be left alone.
And even the kisses that my lips must lay
mould of the triumphant clay
Shall be so soft-like those a
Upon her sleeping baby's little
You will not feel my kisses, will not hear;
You are tired: sleep on, I will not wake you, dear!
But when the good day comes, you will hear me cry,
"Ah, make a little place where I can lie!"
awakened, you will feel me creep
Into the folds of your familiar
And draw them round us, with a tender moan,
"How could you let me sleep so long alone?"