B 3 33b DOS
PUBLISHER S NOTE
THE Tale Series of Younger Poets is designed to afford a publishing me
dium for the work of young men and women who have not yet secured a
wide public recognition. It will include only such verse as seems to give the
fairest promise for the future of American poetry, to the development
of which it is hoped that the Series may prove a stimulus. Communications
concerning manuscripts should be addressed to the Editor, Professor Charl-
ton M. Lewis, 425 St. Ronan Street, New Haven, Connecticut.
VOLUMES ISSUED, OR PLANNED FOR
I. THE TEMPERING. By Howard Buck.
II. FORGOTTEN SHRINES. By John C. Farrar.
JOHN CHIPMAN FARRAR
NEW HAVEN - YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS
LONDON HUMPHREY MILFORD OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
COPYRIGHT, 1919, BY
YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS
TO MY MOTHER
Six of the poems in the following group received the eight
eenth award of the prize offered by Professor Albert Stan-
burrough Cook to Yale University for the best unpublished
verse, the Committee of Award consisting of Professors Chaun-
cey B. Tinker, of Yale University, Alfred Xoyes, of Princeton
University, and Edward Mims, of Vanderbilt University.
SOMETIMES on summer noons the silence grows
Unbearable ; but then I sweep and dust
The images, or polish off the rust
Blackening the twisted brass. At curfew time
I ring the bell, and then, it seems, the chime
Looks in my heart and knows.
There are so very many little things
Each day perhaps you might not understand
The joy of reaching out a quiet hand
To touch the cross ; or once it w r as at night
Suddenly all the hushed blue church grew white
With holy angels wings.
THEY tell me there are gleaming stars afar,
Golden and silver-white I cannot tell
Whether they lie who speak. Stars may as well
Be crimson or blue or darting green-tongued flames ;
To me they are but hollow, far-sung names
I know not what they are.
They tell me how the world and life began :
Some talk of fire-wrought worlds, some mystics dream
Of distant heavens with cherubim agleam.
I care not whether they have seen or know ;
But this is true my heart has told me so
God was and is a man.
A HILL-SIDE FARMER.
DAWN and the mist across the silent lane ;
Each day its little round of petty tasks.
Are you not very lonely *? someone asks,
Here where the old folks stay, and no one new
Comes in to start a farm 4 ? You should go, too;
Valleys grow better grain.
This may seem still and lonely, but for me
Hill-tops are wider than the open land.
Maybe you never could quite understand
How dear it is to me this loneliness.
You think the hills are narrowing, I guess ;
But, oh, how far we see !
YOU D think I d hate the hills ? well, this life brings
Little that s new. Once many years ago
I thought I d leave the place and flee below,
Down where the world is bright with life and change,
But I met him, and now it s very strange
How marriage changes things.
Listen ! beyond that grove (you would not know)
A hermit thrush, it sings round five each night !
One moment now, and he will come in sight
Driving the chestnut mare ! There, that s his call !
7 hate the hills? How could I, now, at all,
Knowing he loves them so ?
I CAN remember quiet times, and those
When you had tired yourself with riotous play ;
Then we would sit, and while the passing day
With fairy tales of lands beyond the sun.
You loved me, then, completely not as one
Who does her work and goes.
I saw you yesterday. Your hair is light ;
We thought it would be darker. Oh, why, why
Did you not know me as I passed you by ?
Have I grown old *? You could not be too proud.
You might have spoken, yes, or only bowed,
Or have you forgotten, quite *?
How dark it is ! This time the load is big
And heavier. Somehow, it is so far
Up to the places where the carloads are.
All I can see is her face, as she sat
Coughing and weakening, just for need of that
Which I could only dig.
It was so cold that year, and damp, beside.
Wages were low, and every day I d pile
The shining lumps in heaping baskets, while
I knew she needed it. You would have thought
I could have stolen some ; but I was caught.
She had a chill and died.
How many days now is it we have lain
Here by the towering docks ? I do not know :
Each day, eager and free, the sail-boats go
Out to the west. I would go swiftly, too,
Like a bird at dawn across the opening blue,
Like a bird to rest again.
He has grown silent with the years men do
Having talked the same thing much. For my part now
It is enough to watch the huge boats plow
Furrows of white ; to cook, to sew, to hear
Her little laughing voice ! Yet God, I fear
Lest she be barge-wed, too.
A FRENCH WOMAN.
I CAME upon him in the hush of night,
His eyes looked up and they were close to death.
I took him close, his weary, halting breath
Eased, and he spoke feverish, swift, but clear,
Voicing over and over the hideous fear
That they had lost the fight !
Ah ! Would they had ! Our fearful, burning loss
Cried through my soul how could I stoop and bless
His alien heart with our own helplessness *?
Yes, yes, I breathed, You won ! His great fear slipped
To the night. And dying, his chill hand gripped
A cruel iron cross.
HE died at morning. I was nursing then ;
The priest had shriven him, and his soul was white ;
But in the cruel stillness of that night
His tired eyes opened and his hand sought mine.
I took it softly. Pardon me, divine
Mary, Mother of men.
Then, first, I noticed his strong face, grown thin,
The yearning fever of his lips, the eyes
That longed for comfort. Was I too unwise
To stoop, and in the unseeing darkness, kiss
Away his fear of death*? O speak, was this,
Marv, a fearful sin*?
II. SONGS FOR CHILDREN AND OTHERS
SOME children like gay weather,
When the world is dry for play ;
But that s so quiet and stupid,
I like a windy day ;
When the gray clouds hide the sky,
And the furry white clouds sink low,
And the thunder-heads tumble over the hill
From where, I don t quite know ;
W T hen small drops rustle the leaves,
And large drops bend the flowers,
Pounding the dusty turn-pike
Rain, rain for hours and hours,
Till the big brooks jump down the mountain,
And the little brooks cover the plain,
Oh, yes, I like the rainy days,
When the world gets clean again.
FOUR bright pennies in a purse of brown.
Shall I buy mamma a purple gown,
Or a cart to drive her round the town,
Or shall I salt the money down*?
Four bright pennies in a purse of brown.
Four bright windows where the street-car stops,
Oh lollypops ! Oh lollypops !
And two-for-a-penny lemon drops
Such fascinating candy shops !
Four bright windows where the street-car stops.
WHY are my good dreams all done up
In boxes quite so small *?
They stop at just the nicest parts,
I d like to dream them all !
I dreamed a fairy princess came
And promised me a kiss,
But just before she paid I woke
Now what a thing to miss !
RJMBLE, rumble, rumble, goes the gloomy "L,"
And the street-car rattles on as well,
Motor-trucks wheeze and limousines purr,
Everything is noisy all the world s a-stir !
Bang-whirr! Bang-whirr! We ll join, too,
The pavement may be dirty, but the sky s clean blue !
Whiz by the lady with the funny little girl,
Swing round the corner in a gleeful whirl !
Don t bump the fat man, jump the other way,
Yell a little, shout a little, "Hip-horray !"
Everybody s busy we ll be busy, too,
The pavement may be dirty, but the sky s clean blue !
AJXT ALICE has a birthday,
And I ve shopped all afternoon,
I haven t bought a single thing,
I ll have to very soon ;
But twenty cents is such a lot,
And she s so very nice
That I must be most sure to get
The best thing for the price.
WHITE daisies are down in the meadow,
And queer little beetles and things,
And sometimes nice rabbits and field-mice
And black-birds with red on their wings.
I want to explore all alone,
With nobody spying around,
All alone, all alone, all alone !
It has such a wonderful sound.
Just I on the dusty town road,
With my bank money safe in my purse.
Do you think I shall ever grow up*?
Or shall I just always have nurse?
SONG FOR A CAMPER.
Up ! Up ! The sky s afloat
With dawn cool dawn
And the mad robin s note !
Down to the lake,
The whole world s awake.
Plunge down, down,
Glad arms out-thrown,
Through the crinkle of spray
In the keen new day ;
With joy a-tingle in heart and limb,
Down, boys, down for the morning swim !
SONG FOR A CHILD TOSSING A BUBBLE.
SWIFT! Swift! Whirling,
Wind, wind, whither blowing*?
Take me where brown brooks are flowing;
Where the white-fringed orchid s growing.
Wind, wind, whither blowing?
Up ! Up ! Dancing,
Through the meadows glancing.
Bubble, bubble, whither flying?
Lead me where new hay is lying
And the plaintive thrush is crying.
Bubble, bubble, whither flying?
Dreams ! Dreams ! Stealing,
White-winged birds a-wheeling.
Sleep, sleep, whither straying?
Soothe me where bright clouds are graying,
And silver dream fountains are playing.
Sleep, sleep, whither straying?
SONG FOR A FORGOTTEN SHRINE TO PAN.
COME to me, Pan, with your wind-wild laughter,
Where have you hidden your golden reed "?
Pipe me a torrent of tune-caught madness,
Come to me, Pan, in my lonely need.
Where are the white-footed youths and the maidens,
Garlanded, rosy-lipped, lyric with spring*?
They tossed me poppies, tall lilies and roses
And now but the winds their soft blown petals bring.
Where are the fauns and the nymphs and the satyrs *?
Where are the voices that sang in the trees *?
Beauty has fled like a wind-startled nestling,
Beauty, O Pan, and your sweet melodies.
Come to me ! Come to me ! God of mad music,
Come to me, child of the whispering night.
Bring to all silences, torrents of music,
People all shadows with garlands of light.
(Suggested by Euripides Bacchantes.)
COME from the dusk with your gold locks glinting,
Maidens with fire-eyes, white-footed maidens.
Gird up your fawn-skins, leap to the mountains,
Dionysus calls you come !
The pine trees sway as we leap to their branches.
The night wind laughs as we fly on its wings,
We whirl the stars with our wanton thyrsi,
Dionysus calls we come!
Bathe in the fountains of milk and of honey,
Crush with your dances, the new-plucked grapes,
Drink ruby madness, drink crystal pleasure,
Dionysus calls you come !
We will dance with the fauns and the leaping stars,
We will drink cups of night and of dawn,
We will follow, follow your gleaming smile
You call, Dionysus, we come!
LALAGE AND THE SATYR.
SEE ! White ghosts are stealing through the trees,
The stars are dripping, dripping endlessly,
All frozen and their old fire noiselessly
Before the wind into blue dimness flees.
Last night I saw a black-winged bat that flew
Through all the diamond cob-webs of the moon,
Where Puck was wont to dance with flaming shoon
Where light, and joy, and love were born and grew.
Ah, where is Bacchus and his golden train *?
The leprecauns and nymphs have fled away,
Mars gleaming helm, grown iron, Venus gray,
Ah, yes, the golden stars are dripping rain.
The reeds are broken by the riverside
And laughing Pan forgets to pipe his tunes
No mad-limbed dryads greet the rising moons,
No wild Bacchantes on the wind s back ride.
The nights are empty of soft murmurings
Of tree nymphs and of silver naiads glee.
Ah, Lalage, the dull mist seems to me
Alive and sweet with loved, lost echoings.
Where are the limbs that taught the snow its hue,
Where are the eyes that dreamed the violet
And, ah, the lips where earth and heaven met !
Lalage, Lalage, you have vanished, too !
THE violets, fresh a week ago
Are brown wisps now, the lilies row
Droops languidly, as flower by flower
They tempt the bee for his golden hour,
Then, the coquettes, woo the season s flight
And waste their beauty over night.
Love had woven a garland, gay,
But would not give the prize away.
She tossed me one burning glowing rose
Then vanished, whither no one knows
But the crinkled petals *? I have those !
MY first love was golden,
A thing of sun-light made,
With white gold in her laughter
And red gold in her braid.
My second love was silver,
Wrought from a young moon s horn,
With quiet silver glances
And eyes like silver morn.
My new love is a flame,
Her voice a trumpet call.
With flag and sword uplifted,
I kiss her lips and fall !
HER hair was as gold as the sun-spun foam,
Her dress as green as the bud-new spring,
And her eyes were full of the wonder-light
Of youth s young worshipping.
An angel passed in the mellow light,
He breathed a kiss on her shimmering hair,
Where it glowed like a gem in a golden snare,
And shyly, it lingered there.
A troubadour sang in the silvered night
To the maiden s golden locks, adrift
Where the moonlight laughed at her sly spendthrift,
As she squandered the angel s gift.
ON A WINTER SUNDAY.
"To the truths we keep coming back and back
THE slow white silence of the snow
Has clothed the little village in a dream
Of stillness, and the crazy, muffled bell
Swings high and low, and high again to tell
The hour as through the aged gate
That creaks, and hangs a little bit awry
Upon its rusty hinges, there pass by
The older folk we used to know. They seem
Saddened and quiet, different and shy !
The church door opens and the light
Pours out upon them and envelopes all
In its soft beam of ancient kindliness.
The tiny organ seems, somehow, to bless
The night to talk of God.
And in the song are all the olden things
We love the touch of silver angels wings,
The sound of holy voices in the night.
Oh, to go on and in with them, to feel
Within, like burning wine, new faith, to kneel
Before the altar of our memories !
But they have passed, and with a sigh, we see
Like some huge loneliness, our mangled creed
Looming above and what we loved before
Fades dim before the things that we believe !
The sleet beats down, unmercifully cold,
The path is dark see, they have closed the door.
TO CHARLES X JUST MARRIED.
You, perhaps, recall those golden ways
Filled with road-dust, bounteous light, and scent
Of countless undreamed flowers, when we went
With souls bared each to each and to the breeze ;
Counting old cares, grown to glad memories ;
Talking away the holidays.
Last night when I had clasped your hands and seen
Your happy faces in the candle light,
I went to talk a little to the night
Of comradeship that still was very close ;
But as I said farewell, a mist arose,
Like to her love, between.
THAT clown of the daisy s ring,
The bee with his yellow coat,
Is humming a drowsy chanting,
A honey-perfumed chanting
Of the June-tide blossoming.
The spokes of the whirling wheel,
The belts in the dapple dusk,
Through dizzy measures reel
While white, strained fingers feel,
Like animated steel.
O child eyes, O child eyes,
You do not know the hills
Or the hope of sun-swept fields
And the nodding daffodils
Of morning in the skies.
O tired eyes, O tired eyes,
Your sad gaze dreams of nought ;
You do not see how summer flies,
Or care that daily dies
The sun, that it may rise.
That clown of the daisy s ring,
The bee with his yellow coat,
Is humming a drowsy chanting
Mad shuttles drown his chanting !
Quick ! Time and Death are coming !
THE PIPER OF WEINSBERG.
(A ballad of the Peasants War.)
COUNT Louis sat in his high-beamed hall,
Dark were the shadows that streaked the wall
And dark the thoughts that pelted down
Like stinging drops of storm-blown rain
To sere his heart with wrath and pain.
"Melchior, Melchior, play !" he cried.
The piper sprang to his master s side.
"Play me a song of laughter. Play
Till care and brooding anger fade."
And Melchior, trembling with fear, obeyed.
The notes laughed high, the notes laughed low,
But the piper s eyes grew deep with woe,
And the trembling depths of his own despair
Rushed from the pipes in a strangled wail
And the brooding count in the dusk, grew pale.
"Hush!" and he struck the piper down.
"Go play your tune to the rabble town,
They ll add their whine as a gay refrain
To your merry melody. Now go !
Go bark with the peasant whelps below !"
Melchior crept to the great hall door,
The torch-light danced on the wide-stretched floor
And long through the quiet night, the count
Fought with the fear of a phantom sound
A wailing of pipes that hedged him round.
Count Louis sat in his high-beamed hall,
Bright were the torches that gleamed from the wall
As a motley crowd of his merry men
Sang, while they swung and tossed their ale ;
When swift from the night shrilled the piper s wail.
Up from the valley, wild and clear,
Trembling with passionate hate and fear
It pierced like a dart. The singers hushed
Their rollicking song they flocked to look;
And the hands that flung the casement, shook !
Their drunken eyes peered forth, "To sword !
The serfs, the serfs !" below, the horde,
Swinging their glittering torches, wound
Like a scarlet snake up the narrow path,
Led on by the piper s song of wrath.
They tore the count from his men away,
They snatched his coat and his doublet, gay,
They stripped him clean and Melchior bowed,
"Come, come, Sir Count ! Pray dance with me,
I ll pipe for you now in a merry key !"
Two lines of spears gleamed through the night
A glittering hell in the scarlet light
"Dance, dance !" And the pipe s mad laugh pursued
The tortured soul of the count that fled
As the red spears tossed him overhead !
TO AN INTELLECTUALIST.
HAVE you ever felt the touch
Of soft wings in the night ?
Or played at being river god
In some red mountain brook*?
Or walked with Christ across the dawn
When no one else was near
To say he was but myth?
You have not?
Then go back to your dull books,
And tired, dusty thoughts,
Until, perhaps, some day
A sudden mist will dim your eyes
Between you and your intellect
YET MORE THAN THIS.
HAVE you sought beauty where night mystifies
The loves and laughter of the cool closed flowers 7
Have you learned the exquisite passion of dear eyes
Or followed the furious path of autumn showers?
There are eyes of anguish in the thronging street,
Made tender by a longing for the dawn.
There are lives of irony ! . . . but these are sweet
In dreams of secret gentleness, not gone,
But hiding for a space ; and there are those
Who sing the mountain heights of life along,
Stilling the world to watch a budding rose *?
And knowing these have you found nought but song?
THESE were the meadow lands of his delight,
Far-stretching to the green hills and the sky,
And here the brook he fished in, laughing by
With benison of comfort. And the light,
Sorrowing for him, veils with graying white
The ripples and the sleepy herds that lie
Dreaming. Far overhead his wild things cry,
Swaying among the rushes after flight.
I pick a bit of beauty for his room,
A chastened branch of late October leaves
And sigh to think that he has left the whole :
The future quietness of snow, the bloom
Of sudden April yet my heart believes
That here, in deepening beauty, dwells his soul.
BEYOND a stretch of quiet loveliness
As white as lyric joy, the new snows lie
Soothing the silver brook s stilled witchery,
Masking the dreaming, brooding wilderness.
The wind has caught into its cool caress
The outlines of the hills, and all the sky
Swirls with a mingled veil of purity,
As angeled, high white heaven stoops to bless.
Glorious whiteness hides the crying pain
Of new-made graves it stills new sorrowing.
The valleys and the hills know solitude ;
The river and the plain are one again ;
For, like forgetfulness, the long drifts bring
Silence and peace a white beatitude.
I WATCHED you as you turned and waited there,
Slim, in the darkened hall, and like a cloud
Blown to the ruddy moon, your amber hair
Clustered about your face. I cried aloud
The thoughts that harried me ! Could you not love
As I love ! Like a snow-stilled stretch of plain
The silent house, with your dim face above,
Gloriously holy with unspoken pain.
There are sorrows that burn like bands of white-hot steel
And pains that lower like an angry sky !
I knelt and in the darkness I could feel
Your dear hand stretched to comfort me. Why, why,
Did you not chide my petty love or flee !
Oh, how your tender pity tortured me.
YOUR voice has followed, like a temple bell
Rung in some long-forgotten old world tower
Far down the dusky years. I cannot tell
In what lost world or when the golden hour
That dreamed your love, this only know I : now
In the uncertain labyrinth of ways
I ve found you ! . . . Hear, the brook is laughing, low,
And every blossom with the night wind sways.
Low-stretching plains are harried by the wind,
Seas, stars and worlds move endlessly and far ;
But may death, swift across the ages, find
Our souls in silent peace, as now they are ;
And, like a dusky curtain falling, be
Sleep without dreaming . . . love s finality.
You love me as in some remembered dream,
Filled with the scent of falling flowers and rain.
Like a wet rose-bud in the dawn, you seem
Asleep, unmindful of the boundless pain
And crying joy that is my love for you.
Awake ! the noon heat quivers in the sky ;
Love me like light, swift-piercing through the blue
Of cloud-tossed skies ; like wild, clear melody.
Awake ! and like a fleeing nun, unveil
The passionate sweetness of your fearless eyes.
Open the petals of that dawn rose, pale
Before the flaming love that glorifies
Your dreaming soul. Awake ! sweep dreams away
Before the burning glory of the day.
You were the temple of my soul s desire,
Far distant from the town and market-place.
Night after night, I d watch the sky to trace
The slender outline of your top-most spire
Now dark and cold now suddenly a-nre
As angels hovered, hallowing the place
With holy song. All beauty, hope and grace
Clad you with distant power to inspire.
But once I crossed the plain that lay between,
To cast my sorrows at your inner shrine
And found a brooding portal veiled with gloom.
No longer could the tapering spire be seen,
And you, that were afar, this faith of mine,
Proved, as I passed within, an empty tomb.
I HAVE watched too long for You to come to me,
Like a sudden dawn across some purple hill.
I have waited, longed, and waited on, until
The dim months fade and life has grown to be
A tasteless drug, easing me on to see
The ultimate hope that dreams and death fulfill.
Yes, I have struggled, but You ve torn my will
Ruthless, apart, as lightning shreds a tree.
I watched for You in beauty and in joy,
Faces of friends, old songs and open fires ;
Sought life and thought to live it boldly through
With all the madness of a wayward boy ;
But through this mesh of furies and desires,
Since You come not, I can but come to You !
THE cool dawn wind has hurried far away
The mounded mist, and all the world lies, young
Upon the trembling bosom of the day,
Rippling with strange new anthems, yet unsung.
Ah, you have led me to this crest of light
Adown the waving valleys of the spring
Into the hush of thrilled, sweet vision, white
With angels wings and peace of worshipping.
But, oh, the old roads, matted with wind and tears
And bordered with long rushes, speaking low
The little evils of the day, the fears
That grave the binding wrinkles on my brow !
Lord, take them where the old, dull pains have gone,
Until, alone, my soul beholds the dawn.
SOMETIMES I see Him in the morning dew,
When every blossom quivers in the breeze,
Or when deep night steals down across the blue
And purple shadows draw the angry seas
Unto the stars ! And then my spirit flees
Up with the spray, where, like a bird, suspended,
I hear the sound of mortal melodies
With cloud and wind-song gloriously blended.
There, in the golden path of star-filled cloud,
Clean-spirited and like a god I lie,
Lifted and carried by a winged crowd,
Higher and higher, through the mystery
Of space, where with the cherubim is heard
The tenderness and wonder of God s Word.
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