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Full text of "Saint Longinus the Centurion, and other poems"

THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 

OF CALIFORNIA 

LOS ANGELES 



SAINT LONGINUS THE CENTURION 
AND OTHER POEMS 



SAINT LONGINUS THE 
CENTURION 

AND OTHER POEMS 



BY 

COL. W. L. GREENSTREET 

Authoy of "The Flower of Nepal," and 
" Lalu, the Child Widow." 



PRINTED FOR PRIVATE CIRCULATION BY 

SKEFFINGTON & SON 
34, Southampton Street, Strand, London, W.C. 
Publishers to His Majesty the King 

1913 



&'3 ^a^ 



TO 

THE LOVING MEMORY 

OF 

MY DEAR WIFE 

M. C. F. G. 






Several of the shorter pieces in this collection 
appeared some years ago in one or other of the 
Indian papers. 



CONTENTS. 



RELIGIOUS POEMS. 

PAGE 

ST. LONGINUS THE CENTURION - - - II 

CAIAPHAS (l.) - - - " ' 2^ 

CAIAPHAS (ll.) - - - - - 28 

JAEL ------ 32 

THE GARMENT OF THE CREATOR - - "39 

S. SIMEON STYLITES - " " " 54 

THE ANCHORITE - - - - * 57 

A FANATIC ON THE PULPIT ROCK - - 64 

HOLY COMMUNION - - - - - 68 

HYMN FOR THOSE AT SEA - - - 70 

ALONE ON THE MOUNTAIN - - - - 72 

HOW FARES IT WITH THE HAPPY DEAD ? - 74 

THE OPEN GRAVE - - - - - 76 

REQUIESCANT IN PACE- - - 78 

HEAVEN - - - - - - 80 



CONTENTS 
INDIAN POEMS. 

PAGE 

CAWNPORE - - - - - - 83 

A soldiers' graveyard - - - 86 

SUNDAY EVENING IN AN INDIAN FOREST - 88 

THE BROWN MAN - - - - 90 

THE INDIAN RYOT - - - - "92 

A STREAM BELOW CHAKRATA " " - 95 

SUNSET IN THE HIMALAYAS - - - 97 

THE PUNKAH COOLIE - - - - 99 

THE INDIAN MISSION FIELD - - - lOI 

TO THE WIND IN AN INDIAN HOT WEATHER - IO3 

FAREWELL TO KASHMIR - - - - 105 

OOTACAMUND ----- 108 

THE TWO CHILDREN - - - - 109 

THE SACRIFICE OF RATH - - - II5 

TIGER HILL .... - 121 

ELSIE MAY - - - - - 126 

MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

THE SEER AND THE AGE - - - - 135 

THE CHILD AND THE CROWN - - - I49 

WAR - - - - - - 152 

UNDYING LOVE - - - . 156 

THE LEGEND OF LLYN CWELLYN - - - 161 

THE OUTCAST ... - - 167 



RELIGIOUS POEMS. 



II 



SAINT LONGINUS THE CENTURION. 

I BID you welcome, brothers in the Lord, 
Who come to see an old man ere he pass 
In pain of body, but in joy of soul, 
To his long rest. I bid you welcome, friends. 
And gladly to your question make reply. 
You ask if I whose sun is well-nigh set, 
Remember well that day on Calvary, 
When we, — may God forgive us, — crucified 
The holy Jesus, — aye, from early dawn 
Till night it all comes back to memory. 
Clear as a legend sculptured on the frieze 
Of some Greek temple to Athena reared. — 

You want the story of that day complete. 
Told as I saw it, not the incidents, — 
These are engraved with steel upon your minds 
Through hearing oft the wondrous narrative, — 
But as they seemed to me, a Gentile Wind 
To Jewish faith and customs, which I thought 
Vain superstitions fit for eastern slaves. 
But not for Romans. 

I will tell the tale 
Although the memory of my part therein 
Wounds hke a scorpion when with angry sting 
It pierces to the fiesh. 



12 

Early that morn 
When I commanded Pilate's guard, the Jews 
Brought Jesus up for judgment. All His face 
Was marred so with blows that I supposed 
He had been battered in some riotous brawl. 
But as I watched, surprised, such royal grace 
And majesty shone in His countenance, 
Although defaced with buffets, that I thought, 
Here is no common culprit : Pilate, too, — 
Who might, perhaps, without much questioning 
Have sentenced some base slave to please the Jews, — 
Seeing the unwonted dignity of Christ, 
Required the Sanhedrim to state His crime ; 
Whereas the Jews in their presumption thought 
To have Him sentenced at their mere behest. 
No question being asked. But Roman rule. 
Unless by some weak hand administered, 
Brooks not such rank injustice. Then the Jews, — 
Whose answer deserved chastisement, — replied, 
" Were He not guilty He would not be here." 
Oh ! Pilate vexed me greatly on that day, — 
So weak and vacillating. — Well he knew 
Jesus had done no wrong, and yet he feared 
The wretched Jews, and dared not set Him free. 
I longed to take my hundred soldiers mailed 
Straight through the crowd with sword and spear in hand, 
And make short work of Caiaphas and his gang : 
But Pilate gave no sign. The soldiers, too, 
Who saw the Praetor yielding to the Jews 
Unwillingly, were vexed, and when the word 
Was given to scourge Jesus, all their rage, — 
He being a Jew, — was vented upon Him. 
Heinous injustice ! And I, angry too. 
Checked not their cruelty ; for this I weep 



13 

Daily, and daily mourn in penitence. 
Human injustice ? Nay, 'twas bestial, 
Canine, not human ; see a pack of hounds, — 
If one attack a weak defenceless dog 
What do the rest ? Assail the criminal ? 
Defend the innocent ? Not so, they side 
With him who did the wrong, the stronger beast. 
And join in worrying the defenceless hound. 
Thus did my soldiers, and I checked them not, 
Angry with Pilate, Caiaphas, and the Jews. 

Men take their scourging differently ; some 
Howl from the first, but others laugh in scorn 
Until the iron-tipped thongs have ploughed the flesh, 
And every stroke is torture ; then they groan. 
Knowing the scourge will fall relentlessly 
With regular pulsations ; some will faint. 
And after, when the tale of strokes is done. 
Are found, it may be, dead. But unlike all 
Was Jesus, Who in silence bared His back, 
And with a countenance resolved and firm 
Walked to the post, and held His hands aloft 
Until the soldiers tied them to the ring. 
And then the blows descended. Not a word 
Or cry He uttered, but with upturned face 
Gazed skyward, and His lips moved silently 
As though He prayed to some invisible God. 

You ask, — did He not suffer since no cry 
Revealed His anguish ? Aye, the tortured flesh 
Quivered in agony, and from His brow. 
With pain distorted, poured a stream of sweat ; 
But not a word He uttered. This enraged 
The soldiers, who regard it as their due 
To hear their victims groaning, so they wove 



A crown of thorns and pressed it on His head 

Until the spikes had passed into His brow, 

And all His face was bloodstained. O'er Him then 

They cast in scorn a tattered purple robe, 

And giving Him as sceptre a bamboo. 

They mocked Him as a false, pretended King. 

I would have checked them, but they had the right 
By custom to amuse themselves at will 
With culprits sent to torture. 

Pilate then. 
Struck by His deep humihation, hoped 
His foes might be appeased. So deemed not I : — 
Hate thrives on deeds of hatred, and each sin 
Grows strong by sinning. This I knew too well 
By dim self-knowledge. Oh, the dreadful cry 
From many thousand raging Israelites, — 
" Let Him be crucified." — It brought to mind 
The yell of some huge pack of hungry wolves 
Round a belated traveller at night 
Lost in a German forest. Such a sound 
Would in most hearts strike terror, not in His, — 
The prisoner before Pilate, — silent still. 
Even when Pilate asked Him " Whence art thou ? " 
He did not tremble at the mob's fierce cry. 
Nor kneeling ask protection, but quite calm. 
As though the people's rage concerned Him not. 
Spoke of the source of strength, and told the judge 
His power was given by God. I thought it strange. 
But now perceive He would the Praetor help 
To fear not Caesar but the heavenly powers. 
And so do justice, — not for Jesus' sake 
But Pilate's. 

All was vain, the Jewish mob 
Prevailed, and Pilate's selfish, timid soul 



»5 

Was stained with innocent blood. I thought it, then, 

Unworthy of a Roman, and the attempt 

By vain ablutions to evade the blame 

His own heart uttered, childish. Now I see 

Not only this, but in the fuller light 

Vouchsafed me since, that all injustice meets 

The wrath of God : 'Tis strange, for earth seems full 

Of what we count injustice ; sickness falls. 

And pain, upon the noblest of mankind. 

So God ordains, and simple folk like me 

Know not the reason ; but if man commit 

Injustice on his fellows, God's rebuke 

Will surely fall upon him, either now. 

Or in the fields of Hades. Pilate then 

Condemned the innocent Jesus, and his crime 

The Furies saw and punished. 

Many a man 
Have I to crucifixion led, and aye 
Their thoughts were fixed on coming agony. 
Must it not be so ? Think of this, my friends ; — 
Suppose you know that in a short half-hour 
Your body will be racked with direst pain, — 
Nerve-torture that will sometimes last three days, 
Without a hope of respite, would your thoughts 
Turn to aught else, or could you make them dwell 
On troubles that might meet your countrymen 
A generation hence ? Yet Jesus Christ, 
Though staggering 'neath the burden of His cross, 
Half turned to tell the women standing near 
And weeping, not to vex themselves for Him 
But for the sorrows coming on their babes. 

I noted this as strange and wonderful, 
Beyond my knowledge of the ways of men 
About to die in torture. 



i6 

Then I asked, 
Questioning self without a spoken word, 
Has this strange man no thought at all of self. 
No fear of coming agony, no dread 
Of those long-drawn-out hours upon the cross 
Which soon must rack His frame ? Then as I looked 
I saw that He was gazing on the crowd 
Gathered around, with eyes so full of love 
And pity that I knew He took no thought 
For his own pain or sorrow. 

After this 
He fell to earth exhausted. He had lived 
Throughout the scourging, which will often kill ; 
But pain and loss of blood, and that long night 
Of sleepless torment well might sap the force 
Even of the strongest. And I sometimes think. 
My brothers, since I learnt the mystery 
Of Love Divine, that what oppressed His soul 
That night on Ohvet beneath the moon, 
When thrice He prayed, was not the fear of death, 
Nor yet of pain, nor even mental pangs. 
But dread of dying 'neath the murderous scourge. 
And losing thus the glory of the cross. 
And that mysterious power to win men's souls 
Which Jesus' love, revealed upon the cross, 
Holds as the price of suffering : But I stray, — 
A simple soldier, — from my proper path. 

When Jesus fell through weakness, and the blows. 
And harsh spear-prickings of my soldiers failed 
To make Him raise His cross, I knew not whom 
To lade with its slave's burden. Fain would I 
Have caught some sleek and prosperous Pharisee, 
And laid it on his shoulders, but the law 
Forbade such treatment of the vanquished Jews ; 



17 

Nor would the soldiers bear it. Happily 
By chance came Simon of Cyrene, him 
We might compel, and so he bore the cross. 

Or was it God's high purpose, and not chance 
That brought Him there just then, that he might watch 
The faultless patience of the Son of Man, 
And seeing learn to love ? I think God works 
Amongst us men in that way, — little things, — 
Some chance decision of our wayward wills, — 
Using to serve great ends. I thank the Lord 
It was my turn for duty on that day 
Of Jesus' crucifixion, else His Love 
I might have never known, because the sight 
Of His vast patience in the midst of pain 
Showed me the dreadful ugliness of sin, 
And turned me from the foul delights of sense. 
Which Roman vice had taught me, to the joys 
Found in the thought of God and His great Love. 

But not at once the change ; it slowly came 
As other action in the drama dire 
Wrought on my soul. For when at last we reached 
The skull-shaped hill with Jesus and His cross 
He spoke the words which more aroused my thoughts 
Than all else done or uttered on that day. 

For when the nails were driven through His flesh. 
And all His body quivered with the pain, 
In place of the accustomed bitter cry, 
He spake the words, — well known now, then so strange, — 
" Father, forgive them," and I standing by 
Heard them and greatly wondered. Who was this ? 
And who His Father ? and why in His pain, 
When men are wont to curse their torturers. 
Asked He that they be pardoned ? All day long 
I pondered on this mystery as I watched 

B 



i8 



The cross and all the Jewish rabblement 

That came to mock their King. And when there fell 

That strange and awful darkness on the land, 

And strong men trembled, and the mocking voice 

Of all that abject multitude was hushed, 

And men spoke low in whispers, or were dumb. 

My wonder grew, and still the question came 

Unanswered to my soul, — " What man is this ? " 

And as I gazed upon His quivering form. 

Scarred, flayed, and furrowed bj^ the cruel scourge. 

All suddenly there came into my mind 

Hercules dying on Mount (Eta's crest, 

Tortured by Nessus' poison, punished thus 

For saving his wife's honour, — Hercules, 

The son of Zeus the Thunderer. And then 

The thought came of Prometheus and his woes. 

The godlike Titan, who gave gifts to men, 

And therefor suffered torture ; and I asked 

Within myself, — Is it a trait Divine 

Pain to endure for giving gifts to men ? 

And I remembered then that one had told, — 

Bringing me Jewish tattle, — that a man 

Who seemed to be a prophet from the north. 

Had brought the gift of health to sickly folk, 

And even life to some who seemed as dead ;— 

Was this the man now dying on the cross ? 

The Jews had said He came from Galilee. — 

So through the hours of darkness did my soul 
Question and get no answer. Then there rang 
Through the black horror the most awful cry 
That ever smote my ear and stilled my heart, — 
A cry that bitter anguish of the soul, 
Not suffering of the body, might extort 
From one in mental torment. At that cry 



19 

The firm earth trembled, and the crosses swayed ; 

And then the sky grew brighter, and I saw 

The face of Him I watched change suddenly 

As though illumined by some wondrous joy ; 

x\nd from the parched mouth of that tortured frame. 

When breath was scant, and friends beside the cross 

Might scarcely hope to catch a whispered word, 

There came a loud cry like the voice of one 

Who shouts in victory ; and then I knew 

That He who hung there dying on the cross 

Could be none other than the Son of God. 



20 



CAIAPHAS. 

I. 

The way is dark, the path is set with snares, 
And how to guide my footsteps through the maze 
Of jeopardy and doubt I see not yet. 

Here in the shadow of the oHve tree 
Watching the holy city will I rest, 
And ponder o'er the dangers of the State. 

A vain thing is ambition. With much gold 
Bought I the High Priest's office : Pharisees 
Whisper that this was sin ; I see them talk, 
Huddled together with Gamahel, 
And eyeing me askance ; the hyprocrites ! 
Their poverty their conscience. Be it sin, 
One more or less what matters ? They too sin 
About the things that please them : who can keep 
The ten unbroken ? Were it indeed sin 
That would not vex me if it brought me joy, 
The joy of power and honour ; but no more 
Do these delight me, growing stale with use : — 
All things on earth grow vapid : and besides, 
Where is my glory ? that base Nazarene, 
That vagrant from despised Galilee, 
Is reverenced more than I. The vulgar folk, — 
That cursed people who know not the Law, — 
Flock after Him like sheep. 



21 



When yestermom 
I reached the Temple in my glorious robes, 
Made on the pattern Moses saw in dreams, 
And thought God showed him, all the common herd 
Were gathered round the preaching carpenter, 
And scarce took note of me. I heard Him say ; — 
His words were blasphemous, — " I am the Light " — 
" The world's hght." David to Jehovah cried, 
" Thou art my hght " ; what arrogant man is this 
Claiming God's attributes ? He must be mad, 
Or by some lying devil be possessed. — 
How cling to me the old thoughts of my race ! — 
There are no devils ; — but within His soul 
Dwell pride and vanity, false thoughts and hate. 
Making Him strong and fearless, — leading Him 
Without a scruple onwards to His goal. — 
Aye, but they 'vail not to work miracles 
Such as they tell me this strange wanderer 
Performs through Jewry blest and Galilee. 

No prophet did so many wondrous works. 
Not even Elisha ; for He heals the sick. 
The blind restores to sight, makes the deaf hear, 
Feedeth the people, quells the raging storm, 
The leper heals by touch, — Oh ! vile offence 
Against the Law. Whence come His wondrous works ? 
Nowise of God : the holy Sabbath Day 
Which Moses bade our Fathers consecrate, 
And Prophets chode them for dishonouring. 
He breaks by heahng. Those whom God inspires 
Respect the Sabbath, — whence, then, comes His power ? 
The Pharisees say, — from Beelzebub : 
This serves to tell the ignorant, but we know, — 
By wisdom raised above the common herd, — 
There are no spirits, whether good or bad. 



22 

Only great God and man and solid earth, 

There is naught else. What God is, none may know, 

For man by searching cannot find out God. 

This need not vex us ; earth remains unchanged, 

And gold still brings us honour and delight. 

But if I, Chief Priest, in my office fail, — 
Not in the pageantry of sacrifice, 
The sacred robes, Urim and Thummim vests. 
And all the mummery whereby the crowd 
Is awed and governed, but as ruling prince. 
Who stand before the Romans, if I fail 
To guide the people right, then Caesar comes 
With his resistless legions, and destroys 
Our faith and race. 

Where are the Maccabees ? 
In this degenerate age to wage our wars. 
Or perish in the fight ? We have no faith. 
Our manhood being destroyed by luxur}' ; 

Yet many a Jew, inspired by their great deeds, 
Has hoped to save his country. I too dreamed 
Sweet dreams of glory when a boy I roamed 
About the flowery uplands of Judaea, 
Where David fed his sheep, and Judas fought. 
I vowed to lead the armies of the Lord 
To battle some day, gaining victories, 
And freeing from the hated foreign yoke 
This fair land of my fathers. But the dream 
Passed when youth's pleasures came and lured my soul 
From patriotic sacrifice, but still 
I sometimes hope our Saviour may arise, — 

And once I thought that from the Jordan's banks. 
Where John baptised and preached, clad prophet-wise. 
In camel skins, our hero might have come 



23 

To lead our armies, but he called himself 
Naught but a voice, and him hath Herod slain. 

Then Jesus came, and hope with Him returned,- 
I knew not He was born in Galilee, — 
The vain impostor, — so I thought His power 
Of miracle, or whatsoe'er it be 
That holds the rabble, might supply the strength 
Of will and purpose and religious zeal 
To rouse us to shake off the abhorred yoke 
Of Rome. I even hoped He might have proved 
The Christ, and so I sent my trusted friends 
To watch His converse 'mid the multitude. 
" A mere unpractical enthusiast," 
So they report, " befriending publicans 
And sinners, even harlots, but the good. 
The Lawyers, Scribes, and rigid Pharisees, 
Charging with falsehood and hypocrisy." 
No sign from heaven, no portent in the sky 
Proves Him Messiah ; for this we ask in vain : 
No royal dignity or noble birth 
Proclaims the kingship of the carpenter. 

I hate Him, for His life reproveth ours 
By mad contempt of earthly happiness, 
Of riches, pleasure, and the sweet delights 
That pleased the Wise King's heart, and satisfies 
Us who pretend not to be better men 
Than he, the wisest. But the Nazarene 
Dares to upbraid, and in His language coarse, — 
Rejoicing all the vulgar, — calleth us 
" Adulterous generation." He must die : 
I sit in Moses' seat, in Samuel's place. 
To judge God's people ; under me they rise 
To power, or fall to grosser servitude 
Than hated Rome imposes on us now. 



24 

A little thing would weight the galling chain 
Beyond endurance ; and this dreamer mad, 
Driving the people to some desperate act, 
May cause our Roman lords to take away 
Our place and Nation, as in bygone days 
The eastern king took Sion's daughters fair 
Captive to Babylon. 

O, chosen seed, 
So blest in promise, but in fact so curst, — 
Once only noble, when the glorious king 
Whose wisdom filled the East, ruled thy fair land, 
How hast thou suffered ! Egypt's tyrant first 
Plagued thee in bondage, then Assyria 
Thy ten tribes carried to a barbarous land, 
And left them there to lose their faith and race 
Among the heathen nations. Judah then 
Was taken captive, and though Ezra led 
A remnant back, where are the rest ? where dwell 
The people countless as the seashore sand 
Promised to Abraham ? What are we now ? 
A little State which every conquering king 
Grinds under foot, and tramples with his shoe, 
As royal David did the Edomites. 

Jehovah cares not, or His arm is short. 
I love my country, — land of hill and dell, 
Where grow the vine and olive ; where the corn 
Laughs in the sunshine, and the meadows smile 
With flowers that grew in Eden, and the winds 
Blow softly in the summer, bringing health 
And dew from Hermon. 

Oh, that David's son. 
The anointed King Messiah, would appear. 
And lead our nation on to victory. 
Driving the Roman armies to the sea. 



25 

No sign declares him here, so danger hangs 

Over Jerusalem if Jesus lives ; 

And as He will not fight for Sion's hope. 

Expediency demands that He should die 

For God's own people. What is one poor life ? — 

Some feeble members of the Sanhedrim, — 
Joseph perchance, or Nicodemus, asked 
" Would it be just to kill Him ? " Let them ask,- 
Mere talkers, irresponsible, but we. 
On whom the burden rests of government. 
Know that in statecraft scrupulosity 
Brings ruin, so I spoke of Galilee, 
And they perforce were silent. It is well 
Report assigns His birth to Nazareth ; 
My task were hard if He from Bethlehem came, 
As I was told once by an ancient dame 
Who whispered, dying, that when Herod slew 
The babes at Bethlehem three decades past. 
Because star-gazers from the East had come 
To seek a Child-King in Judaea born, 
He Whom King Herod sought to kill escaped. 
His parents safe to Zoan taking Him 
At dead of night. After, they brought Him back,- 
So said the dame, — to Nazareth, and now 
He roams the land a prophet. 

I know not 
If this be true ; behke the woman lied. 
So from my friends I keep the story hid. 

Or true or false, the man's hfe is to us 
As dangerous as the babe's was to the king. 
Aye, surely He must die ; our nation's good 
And my security require His death. — 

And yet His works perplex and trouble me. 



26 



For Moses and Elijah seem in Him 
United, and God's people still expect 
That He will send a prophet like them both 
In Israel's need. — Can it be possible 
That Jesus is the seer whom we expect ? — 
The Sabbath-breaking Galilean, — Tush : 
Vain thought unworthy God's High Priest. 

And yet 
I would He were less faultless, so my task 
Were easier, for no tongue would then speak out 
In His defence, — and in my inmost soul 
The voice which now keeps bidding me beware 
Of innocent blood would cease to trouble me. 

For if so be that He is innocent. 
Nay, more than innocent, a holy man. 
Will not Jehovah punish those who shed 
The innocent blood, and root the Nation up 
From our own land, even as Rome will do 
If we rebel ? But does Jehovah know. 
Or trouble much about the acts of men ? 
He makes no sign ; the daily sacrifice 
Ascends with incense through the long dull years, 
And 3'et our servitude to Rome remains, 
And grows more galling : Pilate in his wrath 
Pouring the blood of harmless devotees 
Upon their sacrifices. Yet no hand 
Saves, and it seems as though Jehovah sleeps ; 
But Rome sleeps never. Better risk God's wrath 
Than that of Rome, — the Nazarene must die. 
And yet His death to compass will be hard, 
For all the people love Him ; Pilate, too, 
Though often weak, is sometimes obstinate. 
And may be dangerous if unduly urged. 
If need be, we must use his selfish fear 



27 

Of Csesar's wrath by speaking of the claims 
Of Jesus to be king. Yet would I fain 
Keep back the word of kingship which proclaims 
Our Nation's fall. 

Another chance I dread : — 
Will not His mien, so calm and dignified, 
His visage noble and His aspect kind, 
Weigh against us with Pilate, and excite 
The rabble in His favour ? 'Tis a risk 
Which needs judicious treatment. 

In the night, 
When all the people sleep who joyfully, 
On that strange morning when He rode the ass. 
Acclaimed Him as their king, He must be brought 
Here to my palace : I have faithful slaves 
Who at a word from me will mar His face 
So that the multitude who, in their zeal, 
Shouted " Hosanna " in His form will see 
No beauty to desire Him. And the judge 
Will just look at Him with a casual glance, 
And recognise a culprit worthy death 
In one who comes before the judgment-seat 
With locks dishevelled, and with face defiled, 
Torn and discoloured by the blows of men. 

Who spoke ? A voice seemed whispering through the 

trees, — 
" God hates injustice." 

There is no one here ; 
Alone I sit beneath the olive tree. 
My own thoughts spoke, but unadvisedly ; 
Pilate will crucify Him — what are blows 
To one about to die in agony ? 



28 



CAIAPHAS. 

1.1 . 

Again beneath the o'ershadowing tree I sit 

Unresting, as I strive in vain to think 

Calmly of all the issues terrible, 

Perplexingly mysterious and strange, 

Which followed on our deed of yesterday, 

Crowding the dreadful hours. But this one thought 

Thrusts out all others, — that the direst pain, 

The fellest torture that a man endures, 

Is that which he prepares by his own crime 

To clutch him in the talons of despair, 

Till thought is torment and the memory hell. 

Was it but yesterday we watched Him die 

Upon the cross ? It seems as though since then 

Eons had passed. How patiently He bore 

The di"eadful agony : no murmur fell 

From out His blackened hps till rose the cry 

Which filled us with a horror that will fade 

Never from memory while hfe shall last, — 

The horror of a soul which God forsakes : — 

That cry will haunt my deathbed. Did it mean 

That Him God had forsaken ? I trow not ; 

He prayed for those who nailed Him to the wood. 

And such men God forsakes not in their need ; — 

Nails through the hands and feet ! It made me shrink 



29 

To watch it, though it satisfied my hate, 
And I was glad, though now I fain would give 
All I possess to change the dreadful past. 

We mocked Him in His torment ; everyone 
In that vast multitude derided Him, 
Save for a few disciples near the cross ; 
But not a word He uttered of reproach. 
Or answer to our gibes, only He looked 
Unutterably sad ; and then His eye 
Caught mine and held me spellbound. He had stood 
Before me as a culprit in my court, 
But as before His cross I stood entranced, 
I seemed to be the sinner. He the judge ; 
And all the evil things that I had done. 
And all the foul thoughts that had stained my mind, 
The crimes, impurities, and cruel deeds, 
Came back to memory with a sudden flash, 
And seemed as though He too beheld them there. 

Then came the awful darkness, and I knew 
That for our sins God had forsaken us. 
And when from out the gloom there came that cry 
Of horror, lo ! it seemed as though a void 
Beneath my feet had opened, like the pit 
Which swallowed Korah : and methought that He 
Who hung upon the cross in agony 
Uttered that cry because He knew indeed 
That God had left His people in their sins 
To perish, and Him with them, being a Jew. 
So to the holy city back I came, 
Trembhng and terrified, but when I reached 
The hill of Sion and the sacred fane, 
Hoping to find before its altar fires 
And in its holy ritual rehef 
From fearful thoughts, and those dread searching eyes. 



30 

Which ever pierced into my inmost soul. 
Behold ! the veil that shut from vulgar gaze 
The Holy Place where none but I dare tread, 
All suddenly, and by no human hand, 
Was rent in twain, and with a dreadful sound 
The soHd earth 'gan tremble, and the walls, 
Which Ezra had built solid hke the rock 
Of Sion's hill, swayed fearfully and shook, 
As though the earth were ocean. 

Then I saw 
In the dim light a shadowy figure, clad 
In all the glorious robes of the High Priest, 
Come slowly towards me with a noiseless tread 
From out the Holy Place, his threatening hand 
Held high, and in his noble countenance 
Anger and sorrow, mingled with disdain : 
And through his form the golden cherubim 
Shone, so I knew he was no mortal man. 
But some dread spirit from the nether world, — 
Aaron behke, or Eh, and I fell 
Unconscious through paralysis of fear. 

When I awoke the shadowy form was gone. 
But not its memory ; it tilled my thoughts. 
And showed that all the Sadducean lore 
On which my life was founded, and my pride. 
Was false, for now I know a spirit world 
Exists beyond the sphere of sight and sense 
In Paradise, or dread Gehenna fire. 
Where sin and death have torment ; so my heart 
Sinks in a void, engulfed in blank despair. 

And still those searching eyes look into mine ; 
And all night I beheld them : If I slept 
They mingled with some dreadful dream of woe 
From which I started trembling. 



31 

Once I saw, — 
It seemed more real than aught seen by day, — 
The Crucified enthroned amidst the clouds 
In dazzling light, and all the sky was filled 
With glorious angels, but beneath their feet 
A black form grovelled in his filthy robes ; 
And as I looked I saw it was myself. 
Then dreadful fear fell on me and I woke ; 
But still from out the darkness shone those eyes, 
And I remembered, horror-struck, the curse 
Which I had uttered, — was it yestermorn, 
Or on a day far distant ? — " May His blood 
Lie on us and our children." So despair 
Falls on me, for the curse will be my doom : 
My doom, and my dear country's that I love. 
'Tis with the Holy Seed I stand or fall ; 
Then be it so, I will not flinch or fail. 
Or go back from the deeds which have been wrought, 
Nor falter in the course I have begun. 

What I have done was for my countr^^'s good. 
Nor for myself, — no, surely, not for self, 
Nor hate nor envy moved me, only fear, — 
Fear of the Roman menace. Still it stands 
Before us threatening ; and the followers 
Of Him Whom Pilate crucified may rouse 
The Galilean swarms fanatical 
To dangerous riot by some lying tale, 
For which His words prepared them. I must work 
With energy and swiftness. Action brings 
The surest remedy for sickly thoughts, 
Banishing fear and weakness and remorse. 



32 



JAEL. 

" Blessed above women shall Jael be. the wife of Heber the 

Kenite." 

The fiery sun rose redly yestermorn, 

Crossed by the black bars of an angry cloud 

Which darkened all the region of the East 

Above the plain of Jezreel, and lo ! 

E'en as I watched there shot a bolt of God 

From sky to earth across the cloud's dark pall ; 

And then the voice of Him Who spake in storm 

On Sinai to Moses, called again 

As oftentimes He calls, and men awestruck, 

Looking from face to face, in wonder ask, 

" What saith the mighty Lord ? " So when at dawn 

He spake in thunder, to my soul I said, — 

" Is it of war or pestilence He tells. 

Of private grief to Heber and our kin, 

Or danger to the people of the Lord ? " 

And while I thought thereon, from out the grove, 
Where the long shadow of the terebinth 
At early morn steals to the sacred well. 
Swiftly a youth of Israel drew nigh, 
And said, — " To thee, O Jael, Deborah 
The prophetess sends greeting from beneath 
The palm tree in the hills of Ephraim ; 
To thee she says, — ' The God of Moses once 
Delivered His own people from the hand 



33 

Of Egypt's king, and now again will show 

On Sisera and Jabin His fierce wrath : 

And God has tools ; — the Red Sea slew the host ; 

A woman shall slay Sisera ; beware 

Thou fear not.' " Then he vanished, but I heard, 

Far off, his voice upon the mountain-side 

Singing the song of Moses which he taught 

To Jethro, and the priest of Midian 

Taught Zipporah's fair sister, — " This is God, 

My God, and I will praise Him, Thy right hand, 

O Lord, in power is glorious, Thy right hand 

Dasheth the foe in pieces." 

Deborah 
Is great and wise, what means she when she says 
" Beware thou fear not " ? 

Lo ! the sheen of arms 
Far down the valley gleams ; The sound of war 
Comes on the wind, the shout of mighty men. 
The rolling of the chariots, and the clash 
Of sword and spear, — Thus Deborah awakes 
The people of the Lord from their long sleep 
Beneath the yoke of Jabin, and they fight 
For freedom and the glory of their God. — 

" The Lord hath tools," said Deborah. " The sea. 
The sea it was that as the hand of God 
Did dash the foe in pieces ; and the tool 
Of God may be a woman, who shall dash 
In pieces Sisera " — so said the lad. 
What meaneth Deborah ? What woman ? She 
Herself the prophetess ? Then why warn me 
" Beware thou fear not " ? Can she have meant me ? 
How can a woman slay who feels no hate ? 
And Heber is with Jabin now at peace. 

If Sisera should come a fugitive 

c 



34 

From Jabin's army here into my tent 

I could not slay him : yet if it should be 

Jeho\'ah's will, I dare not disobey. 

The sea stood still to let His people pass, 

And flowed again to overwhelm their foe ; 

And Jordan's waters stayed their downward course 

When touched by priests who bare the sacred Ark. 

Shall I be less obedient than the tide 

Which, senseless, does the will of the Most High ? 

God's finger on the mount for Moses wrote, — 

" Thou Shalt not kill "—did Joshua transgress 

Slaying the men and women, aye, and babes, 

Of Jericho ? Nay, for the Lord's command 

Bade him to slay, because their sin was great. 

He rules the sea, sometimes His lightning kills ; 

His fire from heaven consumed the Sodomites ; 

And if He says to Joshua,—" Slay the folk 

Who break my law," where lies the difference ? 

Death by the fire of God or Jewish sword 

Is equal death ; and they obeyed the Lord. 

But why should He command the Israelites 

To kill ? they scarce are better than the folk 

Whom they destroyed. They worship Ashtaroth, 

And Baalim, forsaking the Most High, 

And so to Jabin's rule He giveth them 

For punishment. Then will He slay them too,— 

Destroy them like the Canaanites ? Ah, no ; 

God's promise unto Abraham is known 

Through all the land from Jordan to the sea. 

That in his seed the nations of the earth 

Shall find a blessing. This may be the cause 

\^'hy God forgives and watches evermore 

O'er Abram's wayward children.— When shall come 

Fulfilment of Jehovah's promise ? When 



35 

The Holy Seed come forth that Balaam saw 
Far off in vision ? It will right the world, 
Which now is evil. Oh, that it might come 
Now and restore the goodness of the earth 
As God beheld it ere our mother sinned. — 
Now might alone prevails. No poor man dwells 
Secure beneath his vine and ohve tree : 
Some robber tribe from out the desert wild 
Or mountain fastness sweeps at dead of night 
Upon his quiet homestead, and destroys 
With torch and weapon all that he holds dear, 
And those who die not, strips for slavery. 
O ! that the Lord of all would send us peace ! 
The blessed peace which Abraham's race will bring. 

It may not be, how can the promised seed 
Come when the people of the Lord are slaves 
To Jabin and to Sisera ? God brought 
His people from Egyptian slavery, 
Bidding the sea o'erwhelm the impious king 
Who would not let them seek the promised land ; 
And He may slay again another king. 
Or mighty captain, to prepare the way 
For the seed's coming. If He bade me slay, 
Speaking in thunder roll, as once He spoke 
On Sinai, I dare not disobey. 
But He may speak more gently, as of yore 
To Abraham at eve beside his tent. 

The voice Divine, in thunder or in calm. 
Must be obeyed, — and Deborah is ordained 
By God to judge His people, she it was 
Who sent the lad. — 

Hark to the clash of arms 
In Kishon's valley, and the warriors' shout. 
How dread a thing is war and cruel iron 



36 

The blood, the pain, the dying and the thirst. 
May God the victory to His people grant. 
How can He ? Sisera and his hosts are strong. 
And he has countless chariots ; Israel's sons 
So long have trembled at his cruel sword 
That when they see him they will flee away 
To Tabor's heights, making the rock their nests 
Like Heber's kin : I hear the sound of flight. 
And victors shouting. — 

Lo ! who Cometh here, 
Climbing the steep alone with weary step 
And hunted eye, back-looking on his path ? 
His dress is torn and bloodstained, and his face 
Pale with calamity. — 'Tis Sisera. 



He asked for shelter and I gave it him, 

He called for water and I brought him milk : 

Poor soul, he was so weary and afraid, 

So parched with thirst and terror, that my heart 

Was full of pity, — yet I know too well 

That Sisera and pity are apart 

As far as Hermon from Mount Sinai. 

When showed he mercy upon Israel's sons 

Whose daughters he desired ? the orphaned maids 

Were soon within his power : fierce is the hate 

Of Moses' people for the man asleep 

Within the tent. Him they will catch and slay 

With cruelty, for him 'twere well to die 

There in his sleep. 

When I was but a child 
A hunted wolf came crawling to the tent 
Wounded and weary, and with outstretched tongue 



37 

Lay gasping, and its eye was pitiful, 
So flesh I brought and water, and it slept. 
Then came my little brother with a spear. 
And would have slain it but I held him back 
For pity ; so it woke refreshed and strong. 
Then came my father weary from the hunt. 
And at the tent door saw the wounded beast, 
And fought with it ; I wept to see its pain, — 
Slashed, maimed, and blinded ere at length it died. 
And then I thought it had been better far 
My brother's spear had slain it in its sleep. 
So were it well for Sisera if death 
Could find him now. 

Death ! What said Deborah ? 
" A woman shall slay Sisera, beware 
Thou fear not ! " I ? Is this great God's command 
That I should slay him sleeping in the tent ? 
If God commands and I dare disobey 
What happens ? Lo ! the vengeful Israelites 
Will find him here and I shall see him die 
In pain and terror ; it were kinder now 
To slay him painless ; rest and milk I gave. 
And painless death were also a kind gift. 
But they may find him not ; — ^Then will he go 
Back to the king and gather up his force. 
And kill and slave the people of the Lord. 
Then will they cry, " 'Tis Jael's fault we die." 
And Deborah will curse Jael, — and the Lord 
Will say, — " 'Tis Jael that hath done this thing, 
She saved my people's enemy." Through the years 
Of Israel's slavery, when the promised seed 
In whom the world is blest can come not forth. 
The weary people in their pain will curse 
The memory of Jael. But to slay 



38 

A guest in mine own tent to whom I gave 
Food, drink, and shelter were a dastard act. 
How should I answer Heber and his friends 
Blaming the deed ? I know not. Every way 
Is blame to me and trouble. What is death ? 
The death of one ? It had been good to slay 
The Egyptian king ere j^et the firstborn died. 
And well for him to perish. Moses self 
Grew wise in Pharaoh's palace through the death 
Of many an infant. When the promised seed 
Shall come to bless the world, I think that death 
Will near Him dwell. — It may be Sisera's death 
Is needful for His coming ; who can say ? 
Not I, a short way only can I see. 
How then to act ? Obedience is the way ; — 
Through Deborah God calls me, and I come. 
If Sisera sleeps not and beholds me armed 
With nail and hammer, me he will destroy. 
What matters death if I obey the Lord, — 
My death or Sisera's ? Little things are we 
Before Jehovah. To obey His will 
Is our sole wisdom, Deborah I come. 



39 



THE GARMENT OF THE CREATOR. 



I WALK through the Enghsh woods and lanes, 

When the air is fresh and the sun is bright ; 

For the Spring has burst the Winter's chains, 

And earth is a garden of pure deHght. 

And as I tread on the soft green sward, 

Besprinkled with blossoms, I thank the Lord 

For health, and strength of body and mind, 

For peace and light, and the life-giving wind ; 

For the heavenly blue above. 

For the canopy of love, 

For the cloudlets white and golden, 

In the unseen ether holden, 

As swiftly through the sunny space they fly 

Across the blue expanses of the sky. 

Glittering, golden, far beneath me shines the placid, 

sunlit bay. 
Lovely now in calm, and glorious when a tempest flings 

the spray. 
Blue hills stand beside it furrowed deep by violet-grey 

vales 
Lying sheltered by the oak trees from the rage of winter 

gales 



40 

And afar the granite headlands, where the waves beat, 

crest on crest. 
In the greyness of the distance, seem the calm abodes of 

rest. 
So I thank the Lord of Heaven, 
Who to earth its charm has given, 
And has broken up the light. 
So that colours gladden sight, 
And has given to vaporous air 
Power to mellow the sun's fierce glare. 
And to soften each earthly scene 
With a tender grey, or a delicate green, 
Caught up from the sea, or lent by the sky ; 
And when the sun to the earth draws nigh 
The whole of the western space to infuse 
With a saffron light from the glory untold. 
Hidden by clouds with a fringe of gold. 



II. 



How sweet to the soul is the evening peace. 

When the air is still, and the fierce winds cease 

To ripple the waves and the sails to shake. 

And the bay is calm as a crystal lake. 

And amber cloudlets are floating high 

Before a vista of blue-green sky, — 

A heavenly green like a lawn for rest 

In the garden of Paradise the blest ; — 

The beautiful country which Thou hast prepared 

For those who the pain of Thy Cross have shared 

Gladly, O Lord, for love of Thee, 

Creator of earth and the beautiful sea. 



41 

But we come not yet to the promised land, 

It is still far off with its blissful bowers : 

Yet love is all round me as here I stand 

On the bountiful earth clad with verdure and flower?. 

The meadow is gay 

In its vernal array 

Of daisies and buttercups shining with dew. 

Of hawkweed-stars and veronica blue, 

Of clover and campion white and red, 

And grasses tall with a feathery head. 

The primrose rests in its home of leaves. 

Like a bird in the nest which she skilfully weaves ; 

The celandine decketh the edge of the lane 

With a carpet of golden sheen. 

The cuckoo-flower speckles the roadside drain. 

And the hedge is an emerald green. 

'Tis the home of the thrush who is singing the praise 
Of God in the budding thorn. 
And surely the blossoming thorn itself, 
And the elm in its fresh attire 
Of virginal green, are as brimful of praise 
As the dear little bird in the briar : 
For now they are bursting once more into life. 
As the winter is over and gone. 
And sorrow is past, and the yearly strife 
With death is triumphantly won. 

III. 

We walk through the fields which with flowers are 

bedight. 
Through the woods where the hyacinth looks for the 

light. 



42 

And giveth its scent to the morning breeze ; 

Through lanes which are green with embowering trees. 

And glad with the songs of birds which bring 

The full delight of the early Spring. 

And the bliss of the morning fills 

The wayfarer's heart with the purest joy, 

And the spirit of blessedness thrills 

His sou] as he follows the track of a wain, 

Through meadow and coppice and shadowy lane, 

Past bjTe and hamlet and farmstead grey. 

And in the garden bright 
Of the cottage by the way, 
Where the flowers are a delight 
To the senses, smell, and sight. 
With the sweetness of their lovety Spring array, 
The happy bees are buzzing 
Round the blossoms pink and white 
Of the apple trees that make the hamlet gay. 
And the lowly folk who dwell 
In the calm, sequestered dell. 
Surrounded by the gracious gifts of God, 
Have learnt in joy and pain. 
In sunshine and in rain, 
To give by kindly deeds and grateful w^ords 
A higher, hoher praise than that of birds. 
For the birds and insects praise Him with the joyance 

of their lay, 
But the hearts of loving people, which throughout the 

weary day 
Of ill-requited toil and stress. 
Are lifted up in thankfulness, 
Present a strain of better worth 
To aid the harmonies of earth 
Than creatures void of reason in their mirth. 



43 
IV. 



The earth is fair with its flowers and herbs. 

The sky is blue, and the mountain grey, 

But it is not alone for the beauty seen 

That we bless the Creator's sway. 

The air that we breathe gives life and health, 

The blithe lambs skip, and the children play, 

The flowers are bright in the meadows green, 

And the trees grow strong through the breezes keen, 

For every life has need of the air, 

And plants and animals take their share 

Of its varied gifts, and in exchange, 

For the common store they all prepare 

Their tribute through an alembic strange. 

For the Will Divine in Nature works 
Through cycles of change unceasing ; 
The Spring-time glad follows Winter sad. 
The earth from its sleep releasing ; 
And autumnal dying, and dead leaves flying, — 
The Winter's death and frosty breath 
Come after the sweetness of summer days 
In flowery meads beneath golden rays. 
So we thank the Lord for the poles' incline. 
And the change that the seasons bring : 
'Twas a wondrous part of the vast design, 
That madf the angels sing. 



V. 



We praise the thought of the Father wise 
In giving us rain from the cloudy skies. 



44 

Enduing the glorious sun with power 

The vapour to raise from the silvery ocean, 

And send it afar by the breeze's motion, 

Until on the thirsty land there lower 

The black rain-clouds. The air is chill. 

The stormy wind grows suddenly still, 

And lo ! the long-wished-for shower. 

Onward the clouds are borne to the hills, 

And there the rainstorm rapidly fills 

The little mountain rills, 

Until the streamlets which they feed 

Swallow them up in unsatisfied greed, 

And flowing swiftly through forest and lea. 

Carry them on to the mighty river. 

Which gives them all back to the former giver,- 

The wild and desolate sea. 

Thus with a regular fixed pulsation. 

The vapours rise and the clouds descend. 

For all things move in a ruled relation, 

And nothing has either beginning or end, 

Unless from the depths God's voice shall call, 

For His infinite wisdom is over all. 



VI. 



A Httle rabbit crossed my path as I walked beside the 

brook. 
It rushed away when it saw me come, with a startled, 

terrified look, 
It ran beside the grazing sheep, but they no notice took ; 
And when I came to some dark brown kine. 
Contentedly chewing the grass, 
They looked at me with their soft sad eyen, 



45 

But I doubt if they saw me pass ; 

Just a picture on the retina came, but no thought 

informed the brain ; 
No thought except of hope or fear, of pleasure or of pain, 
Can reach their clouded animal minds 
In their apathy serene. 
Then is there a link that the creatures binds 
To the spirit-world unseen ? 

And can their feeble mental powers find any true relation 
To that stupendous intellect which formed the vast 

creation ? 
And dare we believe that it is their fate 
To find a place in the future state ? 
Perhaps a hope may lie in the love 
Of the animals for their young, 
For as I passed by the beech-tree grove 
A cow did her haby calf caress, 
Which to life had suddenly sprung 
From the strange abyss of nothingness ; — 
Will it there again be flung, — 
To the dreadful void be cast 
When its little day is passed ? 

The love of the beast for its offspring frail 

Is an image dim and obscure 

Of the Love Divine for created life. 

Which is steadfast, strong, and sure. 

And yet, as in all the works of God, 

There is mystery lying here, — 

In the vision of pain and the strokes of Fate, 

And the agony of fear. 

When the victim beholds its enemy, 

And knows that death is near : 

And we ask how suffering, strife, and hate 



46 

Can exist when the Love of God is nigh. 

For the shadow of sorrow and sacrifice, — 

(O ! Lord, is it shadow or light ? ) 

On the beautiful earth all heavily lies. 

And when, having veiled His Glory and Might, 

The Creator in love, came to visit the earth, 

And eternity changed into time, 

And Glory and Power into weakness and shame, 

And ineffable bliss into contact with crime. 

His days He spent in sorrow and pain, 

Pain of body and grief of mind, 

And His marred life seemed to have been in vain 

When His soul in agony He resigned. 

So pain and grief like threads of gold 

Through life's woof run, for young and old, 

Whether animal or man ; 

And dare we the mystery further scan, 

And dream that the sweetness of sacrifice 

Is essentially part of the joy Divine, 

Since He Who suffered in human guise, 

As the image of God upon earth did shine, — 

The expression to human thought and sight 

Of God as He is in ineffable light ? 

Then does the distress of His creatures prove 

A grief to the heart of the God of love ? 

Is the sacrifice His even more than theirs 

When sorrow or pain their heart-strings tears ? 

To what intent ? Is it all in vain ? 

Or will creation through its pain 

Slowly rise to a higher hfe, 

As man was evolved through painful strife ? 

No sacrifice fails of its proper guerdon, 

And if God can share the creature's burden 

Of pain and dolour, in heaven He reigns, 



47 

And can balance the sorrow against the gains, 
And the groaning creation can slowly raise 
To a higher state in the endless days, 
For the earth's life is but a little span, 
And eternity was ere time began. 
And if life's germ in the course of time 
Grew to the height of a man sublime, 
In eternity all God's works may rise 
To a glory beyond our hope's surmise. 



VII. 



For we are animals too, we men who drink and eat 
Have bodily wants and desires, and toil with our hands 

and feet 
Have muscular activity, and the nerves whereby we feel. 
And the senses of sight and sound, which the wondrous 

world reveal. 
But we thank the Lord of all for a higher blessing still, 
For memory and thought, and the gift of a steadfast will, 
And an eye to see the beautiful, and a heart its charm to 

love ; 
For love is the best and divinest of blessings from above : 
Love for the great Creator, and the offspring of His 

thought, 
The garment of Light and Glory that His will alone has 

wrought ; 
Love for the beauties that charm us in human and animal 

forms. 
For the sweetness of peaceful valleys, and the grandeur 

of mountain storms. 
Love for the far-stretching plains, for the chaunt of the 

winds rushing bv. 



48 

For the greyness of grass-covered hills and the blue of 

the star-spangled sky, 
For the cornfields, the heather and whin ; for the verdure 

that covers the earth ; 
For the trees in the forest and held, and the wild-flowers 

that dance in their mirth. 
Love, too, for all things that are living, for man and for 

woman and child, 
For gentle and friendly animals, and beasts of the 

forest wild. 
For birds with a gorgeous plumage, and those with a 

dulcet song 
And for all the diverse creatures that to this fair earth 

belong. 

Oh ! love is a wonderful, heavenly gift. 
But others there are which the soul upUft ; 
For these we adore the All-Father Who knows 
Our trials and weakness, our pleasures and woes. 

For forces of Spirit around and within us, 

For aid in temptation, and strength in our need. 

For comfort in grief, for the mercies that win us 
To love, when from sorrow and pain we are freed ; 

For the volume Divine and the truths that it teaches. 
For faith and the pardon vouchsafed to misdeeds. 

For hope that to heavenly blessedness reaches, 
For intellect, mystic religion, and creeds. 

For the struggles of life, lending character force. 
For the grief of bereavement, its loneness and loss, 

For failure and sadness, to humble our course, 

And the pain which is marked by the sign of the cross. 



49 

For these and the favours of every hour 

Thy love and Thine infinite wisdom we bless 

O, wonderful Trinity, perfect in Power, 
The essence of beauty and true loveliness. 

So Thee we praise through changeful earthly days 
For Thee we hope as in the gloom we grope. 

Thy glorious Being, Lord, Thy sons adore. 
Mysterious, wonderful, enthroned in space. 

The fount of wisdom, and the source of power, 
Love in Thine essence, Love revealed in grace. 

And in creation, where Thy Spirit dwells, 
Abiding as the source of all things fair. 

For every lovely form Thy glory tells. 
And each minute perfection shows Thy care. 

The wisest fail to comprehend Thy ways ; 

Even the nature is as yet unknown 
Of matter, though it dominates our days. 

And mystery deep still lingers in a stone : 

Solid seems matter, motionless and dead. 

Yet science points to movements swift within 

Each tiny unseen atom, where, 'tis said. 
Unnumbered corpuscles for ever spin. 

Strange mystery of the infinitely small. 
More awful still the infinitely great. 

The Light-year spaces 'twixt the stars appal 
The minds which Thy creation contemplate. 



50 

The veiled effulgence of the Milky Way, — 
Faint spangles on the azure of the sky,— 

To aided sight reveals the dread array 
Of countless stars lost in immensity. 

Yet chaos rules not there ; Thy Spirit moves 
E'en in the vast realms of the starry deep 

As surely as amid the budding groves 

In Springtime when the earth awakes from sleep. 

And nothing less than Thy unfailing might, 
High Will and perfect Wisdom could avail 

To form that wondrous galaxy of light, 
And rule the stars as through the abyss they sail. 

VIII. 

Thou movest in all creation, in insect and blossom and 

star. 
In beautiful earth as in desolate space, for naught is 

near or far ; 
The indwelling source of all natural force, Thou givest 

us light and heat. 
The heat that warms in the winter storms, and the light 

that makes life sweet. 
Thou rulest the motions of planet and moon, for gravity's 

force is Thine, 
And Thou art nigh in the stormy sky when the lightning 

blasts the pine. 
Thou governest with a regular law all natural motion 

and force. 
But if Thou wiliest to show Thy Power, Thy Will can 

change its course ; 
For Thou art not only within Thy works : all things 

Thou dost transcend, 



51 

Thou rulest above the water-floods, and Thy reign can 

have no end. 
And Thou art Love and Beauty and Joy, and glorious 

is Thy throne ; 
But though One only in essence and Will, Thou art not. 

Lord, alone. 
Yet the whole creation would not suffice to satisfy Thy 

Heart, 
And before the universe 'gan to be, from eternity Thou 

art. 
What was there in the ages past Thy Being with joy to 

mi, 

When nothing had sprung into life as yet in obedience 

to Thy Will ? 
Within the essence Divine there meet the Persons of 

Father and Son, 
And in union with both the Paraclete, and they are 

Three in One. 
Herein is the fountain of peace and joy, — the Love of 

the Holy Three, 
In Person distinct, yet united in Will, in Essence and 

Deity. 
O wonderful light on the Being of God ! O mystery 

sublime ! 
Which draws the things of Eternity into touch with 

those of time, 
And shows that God in His works may dwell as the 

moving Spirit-force, 
And yet transcend them all as King, their origin and 

source : 
And gives us men the blessed gift of a mystic Union 

true 
With Him Who dwelt on Earth as man, man's nature 

to renew. 



52 

IX. 



And so for Thy creation, Lord, Thy glorious Name we 

praise. 
For all the mighty universe which Thy decree obeys, 
For countless stars in spaces vast unfathomed e'en by 

thought, 
As through the boundless deep they take the path Thy 

wisdom taught, 
For the golden sun and the silver moon, to gladden day 

and night. 
The loveliness of summer days, and winter garments 

white. 
We praise Thee for creation vast, but more for what 

Thou art. 
Thy Being all-pervading, yet from all Thy works apart. 
For the splendour of Thine earthly robeisbut a mysticsign 
To show how beautiful Thou art in radiant light Divine, 
Lovely to eye if eye could see, to heart if it were pure, 
To mind if man's imperfect powers were strengthened 

to endure. 
But as the eye of mortal man Thy perfect work can see, 
His heart made glad by the lovehness of all that comes 

from Thee, 
So when its spiritual state his body shall attain. 
Oh ! may his sight be purified and such perfection gain 
That the vision of Thee in Glory may ravish the heart 

at last ; 
Not only the outer garment fair, now o'er Thy splendour 

cast. 
But the inner shrine of beauty, where Thine awful 

Presence is. 
Shining from all eternity in perfect blessedness. 
And in that vision wonderful, delights will surely blend. 



53 

Which mortal, uniUumined man can not yet compre- 
hend : — 
The joy of all the loveliest things that on this earth have 

been. 
Not the view alone which pleases sight, but that which 

the soul has seen ; 
The underlying sweetness consoling the heart forlorn, 
When the sunlight touches the snow-white peaks with 

fire at the early dawn ; 
The awful sense of mystery which bringeth infinity nigh. 
When alone in the night we watch the stars shine clear 

in a tropic sky ; 
The thought of Divine Omnipotence, which makes the 

heart adore, 
When tossed on the mighty ocean where the winds and 

waters roar ; 
The blessed sense of an infinite Love which fills the heart 

with praise. 
On seeing a valley rich with corn, and meads where the 

cattle graze. 
Or at the sight of a gentle wife, with her little child at 

play, 
The type of the Holy Mother dear, whose Son is our 

hope and stay. 
The rapture of images sweet as these, we hope may be 

attained 
In the Beatific Vision seen when the perfect life is gained. 
For God is the source of all things fair that heaven and 

earth can show. 
And the souls that perceive His beauty veiled by His 

garment here below. 
May hope to behold the Robe again when His glorious 

Form they see 
In the vision of Light which will gladden sight through 

all eternity. 



54 



S. SIMEON STYLITES. 

" I never found any so religious and devout, that he had not 
sometimes a withdrawing of grace, or felt not some decrease of 
zeal. 

" There never was saint so rapt and illuminated, who first or 
last was not tempted." — Imitation of Christ. 

O God, the morning star shines cold and bright, 

And golden dawn begins to touch the East, 

Yet Thou hast heard not ; since the setting sun, 

Bowing in prayer upon the western hills. 

Sank down to slumber, I have lifted up 

My hands to Thee in sorrow, whilst the dew 

Fell coldly on mc. All the night I prayed 

In desolation, but the dew of grace 

Celestial came not, and no ray of hope 

Passed from the stars, and still my heart is dark, 

All dark and loveless ; and the vision clear 

Of heavenly beauty that, to comfort me. 

Thou sendedst once, is gone and in its place 

Dark sights of hell torment me, and the fear 

Comes horribly upon me that perchance 

My life of awful torment has been spent 

In vain, — and at the end I may be lost 

A wreck, through self-deception and self-will, 

Cast on the rock of pride ; was it a sin 

For which Thou leav'st me that I wandered far 

From Sacrament and holy brotherhood 

Into the desert ; that I well-nigh died 



55 

By mine own act in fasting ? Oh, 1 thought 

Of Jesus in His sorrow till the pain 

Was vanquished b}^ His sweetness. But I fear : 

For Thou art angry : is it sin to live 

High on my pillar, separate from men 

As though I tried to come too near to Thee 

In mine un worthiness ? O God, I see 

In every act a dreadful taint of sin 

That makes my life a wasted agony. 

All round my tower the sleeping multitudes 
Lie waiting for the morning, — men untaught 
And savage as their desert come to hear 
Of Christ the gentle : how can I discourse 
To these of His great sweetness when He leaves 
Me desolate ? How can the desert land 
Bear fruit unwatered ? Many days have passed 
Since Thou went from me, and with daily grief 
I taught Thy people truths which seemed to me 
Decaying visions of departed peace, — 
Realities no more. 

I had no joy 
All through my life but in the love of Thee, 
And Thou hast left me ; — whither shall I turn ? 
The world and friendship and the joys of earth 
I quit in childhood, Thou alone wert mine ; 
And when, a boy, I followed in Thy path 
Of sorrow, heaven seemed to be so near 
That I could almost see it, and at night 
Could hear the angels singing : All was then 
So real in the brilliancy of faith. 
Now art Thou absent, yet to Thee I cling 
In fiery desolation, though a voice, — 
Without the deeper spiritual will, — 



56 

Denying Thy existence and Thy love, 
Torments me with the agonies of doubt. 
Yet in my inmost soul I hold to Thee, 
And will not leave Thee ; do Thy Holy Will 
On me in all things, only grant me this, 
My God, to persevere unto the end. 



57 



THE ANCHORITE. 

The fiery sun is rising o'er the dunes. 
Gilding the scanty herbage of the waste, 
And in the hollows underneath the rocks 
Casting blue shadows : thus the day begins ; 
And you who come but rarely find the scene 
Fair to the sight, but I who see no change 
From day to day through all the weary years. 
Find httle beauty in the dawn. So come 
Into the ancient tomb wherein I dwell, 
For converse on the text of sacred writ, 
Which to discuss, my brother, you have come 
From yonder city to this desert wild. 

You ask about those words of holy John, 
Which some have given a sense heretical, —  
" The whole world lieth in the evil one " : 
So all last night I watched, and pondered them. 
Bathed in the soft light of the paschal moon, 
Striving to bring once more to memory 
The stings that drove me first into the wild 
Far from the city's pleasure and its sin. 
But now I find the thoughts which moved my will. 
Far off across the sands of twenty years 
Return no more, for I am greatly changed, 
And all the world, methinks, is changed with me. 
And you, my brother, you whom I recall 



58 

A bright and happy boy are altered most, — 

Your face all lined and furrowed with sad thoughts. 

See on the south horizon, like a star, 
That golden turret ghtter in the rays 
Shot by the morning sun. — Naught else we see 
Of all the glorious city far away : 
So is it with my memory of past thoughts ; 
And only this shines clear, — that evil lay 
All round me in the city, and sin strove 
So fiercely to engulf my soul in vice 
That in my terror to the desert lone 
I fled for peace and safety. But wherein 
The evil lay my memory fails to tell, — 
Whether in self alone, or in the friends 
Who moulded thought, or in material things 
Which ministered to pleasure I know not. 
For memory weakens 'neath the sun's fierce glare, 
'Mid tliirst and hunger and the desert sands. 

Sometimes I think all evil lay in self, 
For little respite found I in the wild, 
The old temptations coming in new guise : 
So memory helps not and experience fails. 

Why said the aged saint before his death 
" The whole world lieth in the evil one " ? — 
You ask, — does this refer alone to men. 
Or doth the ordered cosmos share the curse ; 
And is it truth or heresy to say 
That matter is all evil ? 

God, we know, 
Made all things perfect ; He could not create 
Aught evil, being Good ; yet evil is. 
Whence comes it then ? Say first, — what is it now ? 
Rebellion against God ; all human sin 



59 

Is this in essence : so the origin 
Of evil is rebelhon in the past ; 
Not man's, he was too feeble to invent 
So vast a thing as evil. 

Spirit powers, 
Created for some glorious destiny. 
Alone could plan and dare so great a crime 
As was the first rebellion against God. 

And though created things are beautiful, 
And bear the impress of God's thought ; yet all 
Seem not to savour equally of love. — 
The fierce simoom, the earthquake and the storm, 
The dread \'olcano and the pestilence. 
Whene'er they vanquish man, appear to him 
Forces of hate not love. They show God's might 
And justice more than mercj', and maybe 
Their use is by permission to fell Powers 
Rather than His own act. Remember Job, 
And who tormented him. 

Methinks God gave 
Vast powers on earth to Satan — ages past 
When as a glorious angel he performed 
God's bidding in creation. Then he fell. 
And through rebellion broke the harmony 
Of earth's mysterious forces. But God's gifts 
Being without repentance, He endures 
The evil, till the hour of victory 
Comes in the far-off ages. And meanwhile 
Earth is the battlefield of good and ill. 
And where the evil conquers, Satan rules, 
In part within the souls of wicked men. 
And in the world around them. Then his hate 
Unchecked by good men living in the world, 
And aiding Divine Goodness, grasps the sword. 



6o 



And smiting the ungodly, carries out 

The sentence of God's justice. Hence the flood. 

And fires from heaven upon the cities vile. — 

God's work, you say. Aye, naught can Satan do 

Without Divine permission. God alone 

Is of all power the source, and He employs 

Satan to execute His judgments dread. 

Consider prayer : — Why need men pray, since God 
Knows all we want, and loves us ? Is not this 
Enough without importunating Him 
To give us what we crave ? Nay, for our sins 
Aiding Satanic influences, may close 
The door to heavenly mercies. Thus it was 
That when God visited this evil world. 
And dwelt a Man with men, His mighty works 
He could not show where faith was choked by sin. — . 

I see it there, that war in Palestine 
'Twixt good and evil wills. On one side gloom, 
Where Satan dwelt, and with him human pride, 
Foul lusts, base avarice, and envious greed 
Stifling the frail aspirings of weak souls ; 
And on the other, — light and Love Divine 
Striving to pierce the darkness with the rays 
Of perfect beauty, and yet leaving free 
The darkened will to accept it or refuse. 
Imagine in the gloom one sunlit spot — 
A saint at prayer, imploring Light Divine 
To shine upon the murky land around. 
And bring forgiveness for the people's sins ; 
Would not God's light at last find entrance there. 
And spread beyond the halo of the saint 
Into the darker coasts of Galilee, 
Or wheresoever Satan had his realm ? 



6i 



What said the holy Paul ? " We wrestle not 
'Gainst flesh and blood, but principalities, 
Rulers of this world's darkness, and its powers." 
These caused the Jews to crucify the Lord, 
They tempted Rome to persecute the Church, 
They tempt each Christian to deny the faith. 
Instilling doubts and vain, unholy thoughts, — 
We feel their onslaughts, brother, you and I. — 
The Church itself they tempt to loose the reins 
Of discipline, subservient to the State. 
Is it not true, my brother, of the world. 
Outside the hidden saintship of the Church, 
That all is lying in the evil one ? 

Here in the desert dwell in holes and caves 
Hundreds of hermits who have left for aye 
The joys of home and all the sweets of life, — 
Or social or domestic, — and await 
In solitude, privation, heat and cold, 
Hunger and thirst, the kindly hand of death. 
Why hve we thus apart from haunts of men ? 
Is it delightsome unto flesh and blood ? — 
O brother, sometimes it is horrible, — 
The soHtude, the sense of wasted life. 
The desolation and the weariness. 
The longing for sweet human fellowship. 
And friendly faces. In such gloomy hours 
What thought sustains us ? 'Tis the joy of prayer. 
And that God-nearness which we find in prayer. 

And think not, brother, when I speak of joy. 
That selfishly we seek through tortured flesh 
For spiritual joys in earth or heaven 
Not caring for the troubles that beset 
The fighting Church around us. Nay, one cause 
That drives us to the wilderness for prayer 



62 

Is the great danger that besets the Church 
Now freed from persecution : everywhere 
Is licence coming in the wake of peace ; 
And love is waxing cold. The words of Christ 
No longer rule the Church : The marriage law, 
Which by its purity once raised her high 
Above the heathen cults, and made her fair. 
E'en in the eyes of pagans, by the State 
Has been degraded. Heathen rites and feasts 
Receive a Christian setting and are brought 
Under the Church's order to entice 
The unconverted heathen to her ranks, 
Who thus become a danger to her life. 

And everywhere is self-indulgent ease, 
And love of pleasure. Once self-sacrifice. 
Learnt 'neath the Cross, ruled every Christian life ; 
Now though the Church seems to have won the world, 
I fear it is the world that wins the Church. 
These are the things which call for ceaseless prayer 
From those whom God keeps faithful. So we pray 
To add the spiritual force of man 
To that of God against the spirit force 
Of evil men and fallen angels. Thus 
We strive to work for God. 

But there are times 
'Twixt sleep and waking when dread visions come. 
Apocalyptic, of a far-off day 
When faith is cold, and then I see the Church 
Throughout the East, and on the southern shore 
Of that vast sea which swallows the Nile flood, 
O'erthrown in dreadful ruin for her sins. 
But when I strive to pierce the veil of dreams, 
And learn the nature of the overthrow, 
Naught can I see except a naked sword, 



63 

Flashing like lightning through a gloomy cloud, 
And on the sword is written " Antichrist." 

O brother, is it better for men's souls 
To live in error separate from Christ, 
Than hold a false distorted Christian faith 
And live an evil life, though seeing light ? 

And if the Church is evil may not God 
In mercy take her candle, and instead 
Send some false easy faith which men may hold 
With little pains, and thus avoid the pricks 
Of conscience, which unheeded kill the soul ? 
O God, I see the high ideal fade 
Which we have loved ; and all these eastern lands, 
Where once the Faith was glorious, sinking down 
To one dead level of low life and aims 
Drowned in the errors of a creed debased. 

And when this vision dread disturbs my peace, 
And all seems murk, with holy John I cry 
" The whole world lieth in the evil one." 



64 



A FANATIC ON THE " PULPIT ROCK." 

{In the Cynfael Valley, near Festiniog.) 

You ask, O grey-haired preacher of the Word, 
Whom from a distant town my fame has brought 
To this wild valley, why I stand all day 
Mid-stream upon the rock : know then, the cause 
Is this, — the doom of sinners and the wrath 
Divine on wicked men constraineth me 
To give God's message to the sinful folk. 
Who to the warning voice will pay no heed 
Unless the preacher startles their dull sense, 
Rousing dead consciences with actions strange. 

The torrent roars between the blackened rocks. 

Descending swiftly like men's souls to death : 

But louder is my voice when fervent zeal 

For Heaven fills my spirit, as the flood 

From off the mountain when the clouds are black 

Fills the rock-channel of the boisterous stream. 

For when I see the sins of wicked men 

Swift to perdition leading, all my soul 

Is filled with dreadful horror, and perforce 

I fain must cry aloud and warn the world 

Of sinners' coming doom, so here I stand 

Daily upon this rock, and preach the Word 

That all who will may hear ; for if I fail 



65 

To warn the sinful people, their misdeeds 
On my lost soul will lie. 

Not alwavs seemed 
The earth so evil : once 'twas very sweet 
To my hard heart, before the shadow came 
And made all joyless : then I loved the flowers 
That blossom in the meadow by the stream, 
And those bright ferns which deck the blackened rocks. 
Bringing sweet sunshine to the gloomy rifts 
Down which the angry waters grind their way. 

And in that far-off day when I was young, 
A maiden used to sit beside the burn 
With me and gather flowers ; and many a rhyme 
T made to her sweet face and gentle heart. 
For then it seemed not sin to love a maid ; 
But now my thoughts of God and earth are changed ; 
Then earth seemed God's, the sunshine and the flowers. 
His also was the beauty of the maid, — 
The rushing water and the emerald ferns, 
Not then was I converted. Now I know 
That these things are but snares, deceitful wiles 
To draw dead souls away from living truth. 
I fondly fancied that the godly life 
Lay just in duty done and thankful joy 
In all earth gives of loveliness and bliss ; — 
That man can serve his God and this world take 
With all its sinless pleasures, having earth 
Now in its sweetness, and hereafter heaven. 
'Twas false, a black delusion of self-love, 
Whose untruth Heaven shrivelled up in wrath 
When, long years gone, I wandered by the lake 
At Capel Curig. Bathed was all the scene 
In sunhght, and the pale blue mere was still, 
Witho\it a ripple on its gentle face. 

E 



66 



On one side Moel Siabod massive stood, 

And far away before me Snowdon's peaks 

Rose grey with distance into the grey sky 

From out the soft grey vale beyond the lake. 

And round the dented margin of the pool 

Bright flowers and emerald grass shone in the light 

Of summer rays soft-tempered by thin mist : 

And all the place seemed blest with God's great love. 

False was the seeming : suddenly the vale 
Was shadowed by a black cloud threatening woe ; 
The thunder crashed and echoed through the hills, 
Rain fell in cataracts like Rhaider Dhu, 
The lightnings blazed upon the mountain-side, 
Destroying trees and shattering solid rocks ; 
And lo ! my friend, the treasure of my soul. 
Who stood beside me at the water's marge, 
In one great horror of terrific light 
Fell at my feet a corpse, — not burnt or charred, 
But fair in death as living. Then a cry, — 
" One shall be taken and the other left," — 
Shrilled through the tempest, and 1 knew that God 
Dwelleth in cloud and thunder, storm and fire. 
Not in the peaceful beauty of the earth. 
For He is angry at the sins of men. 
And armed with lightning, sword and pestilence, 
Will punish sinners and self-pleasing folk. 
And I am set to warn the evil world 
Henceforth, of death and judgment and dread doom. 
And so I climb my pulpit, and the folk 
From far and near come, drawn by itching ears, 
And Hsten to my voice pronouncing woe. 
As o'er the flood of waters it prevails. 
And o'er the crash of thunder, but is weak 
To reach the hearts of men in which the world 



67 

Singeth of pleasure with the Syren's voice. 
So many scoff, and others hear and gape, 
But few escape the slavery of sin. 

So ceased the zealot whom the Lord had bruised ; 
And he, the grey-haired preacher of the Word, 
Who heard his story, shocked that zeal so keen 
Was tainted with unworthy thoughts of God, 
Took the fanatic home, and bathed his wounds 
Of heart and mind, showing that love Divine 
Resteth on all things, and that pain and joy 
Both come from God to further His designs 
Inscrutable ; so grief implies not wrath, 
But may be sent in love since on it rests 
The shadow of the Cross. Perhaps in ruth 
The maid was taken suddenly from life, 
To save her from some bitter cup of woe, 
Unseen by any save the One Who knows. 

With such blest thoughts the man was comforted, 
And saw God's love again in earth and sky, 
And in the sinless joys of gentle lives. 

[This poem is entirely imaginary, and has no reference to any 
individual who may be associated by legend with the " Pulpit 
Rock."] 



68 



HOLY COMMUNION. 

"Beware of much talk; remain in some secret place and 
enjoy thy God ; for thou hast Him Whom all the world cannot 
take from thee." 

The echo of the angels' song 

Has ceased ; God's people kneeling still 
In meek submission to His Will 

Around His altar Hnger long. 

What find they in the silence deep 
To still their souls, as on the walls 
The morning sunlight painted falls 

And wreaths of incense upward creep ? 

Their souls have met the Lord of Love, 
Unseen, they feel that He is there, 
And kneeling still in earnest prayer 

Are carried to the land above. 

A wave of holy longing rolls 
Like strains of music over all, 
A strong desire, — an upward call ; 

For God has come within their souls. 

And infinite desires He brings 
Of holiness and gifts of grace, 
And patience in the heavenward race. 

And aspiration's holy wings. 



69 



For God is near, He is within ; 
How can His favoured people bear 
To breathe again the outer air, 

Polluted by the world of sin ? 

So kneel they still and reahse 
A foretaste of the heavenly rest, 
And join the concourse of the blest 

In the bright fields of Paradise. 

How can they linger yet below ? 

Their souls have met the Lord of life ; 

Can they dwell in the world of strife 
Whose hearts the peace of heaven know ? 

A little while their bodies here 

Remain, and though their spirits stand 
A moment in the Holy Land, 

And see its beauty bright and clear, 

They must to earth return again 
And toil with patience, humbly bear 
Their cross of keenest grief or care 

From God, and learn to bless the pain. 

But soon, the time of trial o'er, 
The need of Sacraments shall cease. 
And they shall see the Prince of Peace 

In perfect beauty evermore. 



70 



HYMN FOR THOSE AT SEA. 

Thee we praise, Almighty Father, 
Who hast made the glorious sea, 

With its changeful, joyous utterance 
Evermore to worship Thee. 

When the winds uplift the billows. 
And the tempests rage and swell, 

Voices loud of many waters 
To the earth Thy praises tell. 

When a calm is on the ocean, 
And the waves are hushed to sleep. 

Still a whispered song of glory 
Moves upon the glassy deep. 

So Thy people sing thanksgivings 
With a voice that shall not fail, 

Though an anxious prayer may often 
Mingle with their praises frail. 

When the mighty ocean rages, 

Father, in Thy mercy save 
All Thy children who are tossing 

Helplessly upon the wave. 



71 

Let Thy strength support their weakness 
In the hour of need and fear : 

In the extremity of peril 

May they feel that Thou art near. 

To the haven safely bring them, 
Where they long to be at rest, 

And hereafter gently lead them 
To the country of the blest. 

There the praises of Thy people 

ShaJl a holier music be,— 
Grander, louder, more unceasing 

Than the voices of the sea. 



72 



ALONE ON THE MOUNTAIN. 



" And when He had sent the multitude away, He went up 
into a mountain apart to pray : and when the even was come 
He was there alone." 



The toilsome day had passed, and now had come 
The hour of rest ; for all the crowd had gone 

At His command, back to their distant home, 
And in the desert He remained alone. 

And He was weary, for throughout the day 
He'd wandered 'mid the throng upon the plain, 

Teaching the poor, and where the sick folk lay 
By words of love and power had cured their pain. 

Now they had gone to rest, but in the waste 
Alone He rested not, for on the height 

Above the sea, bathed in the moonlight chaste, 
He fain would pass in solitude the night. 

For oft His patient heart had grieved that men 

Whom He had gently guided to aspire 
To heavenly sweetness, swift to earth again 
Tast down their eyes, allured by vain desire. 

Unlike these fickle wanderers from true light, 
The quiet mountain pointed to the sky 

In ceaseless adoration of the might 

Of Him Who dwells for evermore on high ; 



73 

And Jesus loved it : from its meadows still 
He watched the moon, through Him created, shine, 

And saw in perfect harmony the will 
Of silent Nature with the Will Divine. 

And seeking in the higher, purer air 
Above the world that slept in sin and crime, 

A quiet haven for His midnight prayer 
He would, though weary, the steep pathway climb. 

No sleep for Him. The eagle gained his nest 
Among the crags upon the mountain-side, 

And in their holes the foxes found their rest, 
But He 'neath Heaven's canopy would bide. 

At length the summit reached, in prayer He knelt, 
And faith can fancy how in that blest hour, 

When with His Father His pure spirit dwelt. 
His words were winged with charity and power. 

For He could see with clear prophetic eye 
The sorrows that His people would oppress 

Through all the future ; He could hear their cry 
In that still night, and pity their distress. 

And who can tell, how o'er our sorrows now 
The peace of that most holy prayer may fall, 

Till comfort soothes the mourner's aching brow, 
And joy revives the heart that had lost all ? 



74 



HOW FARES IT WITH THE HAPPY DEAD ? 

She is gone to her rest. Oh, the mystery deep 

Of the life of departed souls ! 
Around her the mourners uncomforted weep 

And the bell in the steeple tolls. 

Yet the bright sun shines on the beautiful earth 

As it did when our hearts were gay, 
And from far comes the sound of the children's mirth 

On the old village green at play. 

But where is the soul that has gone from us now ? 

Does she talk with the dead who were dear ? 
Ethereal, intangible, bodiless, — how 

Can she see and remember and hear ? 

And is the fair home of departed souls far ? — 

The beautiful Paradise glad ? 
Do they rest on the face of some radiant star 

In garments of blessedness clad ? 

And without sight or sound, by the potence of thought. 
And the force of their love deep and strong. 

Do they commune with Christ Whom on earth they have 
sought. 
And the friends loved and lost for so long ? 



75 

Or else do the souls who have gone from us rest 

In the bliss of a joyous sleep, 
Made glad by a vision unspeakably blest 

In the land where they no more weep ? 

It all is as dim as a dream in the night, 

But in this we may rest secure, — 
Through the Father's love and His infinite might 

There is joy for the souls washed pure. 

And if at the Vision of God there is pain 
Through the memory of bygone sins, 

There is joy in the suffering that cleanses the stain, 
And the bliss of eternity wins. 

For the pain of the living, and grief of the dead 

Were sanctified once by the Cross, 
And since the God-Man for His sinful folk bled, 

To suffer is gain and not loss. 



1^ 



THE OPEN GRAVE. 

Mournfully drops the falling rain, 
The leaves are shrunk and die, 

" Earth's labour pangs are all in vain " 
The breezes sadly sigh. 

The world is full of toil and fear 

As men pass to and fro ; 
The leaves say, — " Death is ever near, 

The end of joy and woe." 

We worked and toiled with anxious hearts. 

Success seemed far away ; 
We hurried on to bear our parts 

In the burden of the day. 

We hurried on, — beside the road 

There lay an open tomb : 
For whom is built that strait abode 

That warns of coming doom ? 

Beside the narrow home of death 

Upon our way we stayed, 
And softly spoke with bated breath 

Of him whom there they laid. 

How little seemed the things of earth 

For which we strive and toil ; 
A sudden glimpse of their true worth 

Came from the clammy soil. 



77 



REQUIESCANT IN PACE. 

We kneel to Thee, O Lord, in prayer 
For faithful warriors slain in fight, 

Beseeching Thee their souls to spare, 
And bring them into Thy full light. 

In battle far from home they fell. 
And where they bravely died they lie ; 

On arid hill and grassy dell 
They rest beneath the southern sky. 

The lives of some in Thee were hid, 
But some were ignorant and wild ; 

Alas ! they knew not what they did, 
When sin their precious souls defiled. 

Pardon, O Lord, in each poor life 
The evil, look not on the sin. 

But on their faithfulness in strife, 
The little germ of good within, 

The courage and self-sacrifice, 
The willingness to suffer pain. 

At duty's summons to arise, 

And death to dare for others' gain. 



78 

The winter frost the bud has killed 

That might have blossomed fair for Thee, 

If loving care and culture skilled 
Had been expended on the tree. 

Transplant it to a better land, 

Where all the germs of good wall grow 

Beneath Thy ever fostering Hand, 
To fairer bloom than earth can show. 

With fearful suddenness death came 

In all the rush of eager fight, 
As with stern front and eyes aflame, 

They struggled up -the deadly height. 

No space had they for penitence, 
No time in prayer to bend the knee : 

A shell or bullet sent them hence, 
Unhouseled, unassoiled to Thee. 

Forgive their evil, and their good 
Accept for His dear sake Who died, 

A sacrifice upon the Rood, 
That sinners might be sanctified. 

Grant them, O Lord, eternal rest. 
Upon them let Thy Glory shine ; 

Give them a place among the blest ; 
Take them to Thee, and make them Thine. 



79 



HEAVEN. 

Think not of Heaven as a far-off place 
Fixed on a wandering comet or a star, 
For heaven is round us, God is near not far. 

Though flesh obscures the glory of His Face, 

And cloaks the sweet song of the angel race. 
But He Who rose without Elijah's car 
Broke, as He passed to heaven, the earthly bar 

That hid the glory of the abode of grace. 

Since then the saints have seen it, Paul and John, 
And/many a martyr dying in his pain, — 
And we in the fair places of God's earth 
Have caught a glimpse of heaven in the birth 
Of some pure joy that on the soul has shone, 
As for a moment she has burst her chain. 



POEMS ON INDIAN SUBJECTS. 



83 



CAWNPORE. 

{The Mutiny, 1857. Consecration of All Saints' Memorial 

Church, 1875.) 

Dying is sharp, but the fame of a glorious death hves for 

aye, 
And heroes in battle for women and babies will joyfully 

die. 
And even if death is delayed and they see it slowly 

appear, 
Clad in the horrible robes of violence, hatred, and fear, 
Fell, with the terrible dread of the murder of those who 

are dear. 
It is swift as the flash of a star in the infinite sky. 
Compared with the limitless age of a happy eternity. 

Then let the cannon roar, and the cruel fanatics yell, 
And the multitude shout for rage hke demons let loose 

from hell. 
For calm are the hearts of the heroes intent on duty and 

right, 
And clear is each steadfast eye, lit up with a holy light, 
For naught in the malice of man or of devils can them 

affright. 



84 

There was but a handful of heroes whom hatred did 

enfold, 
And some looked on to the peace beyond while the 

thunder rolled, 
Seeing their comrades fall down at their guns and grow 

stiff and cold 
And not even time to bury them solemnly in the mould ; 
And some in their agony thought of their happy native 

land, 
Glad that the noble acts of her sons in the memory stand 
Of England, for ever, and glad that each brave deed of 

renown 
Is an additional jewel of light in the national crown. 
And so they wilhngly died in the fight, or when it was 

done 
Were cruelly butchered by light of the blood-red setting 

sun. 

A flash in the sky and a tempest, a line of lurid light 
In the East, with shadows below and black clouds up in 

the height. 
The victims' shriek is rending the sky and the chasms of 

earth. 
And as it travels, it changes to mourning the voices of 

mirth. 
And birds and animals weep as it reaches the land of 

their birth. 

A shriek from the shambles accurst at the slaughter of 

mother and child ! — 
The cry of women and babes, as they see the flashing wild 
Of the butchers' crimson knives in the pitiless hands, 

defiled 



85 

With rivers of innocent blood flowing down to the ocean 

of death — 
A shriek and a stifled prayer, — the meeting of terror and 

faith,— 
For they, Hke the King on the Cross, for their murderers 

prayed — 
Rose up from the graves of the living where dying and 

dead were laid, 
Rose up with a cry to the mercy of God and the justice 

of man. 
Till the listening heaven and earth at the cry grew pale 

and wan. 

Toll a bell for the dead, it tolled not before at their 

dying, 
Sing a requiem soft in the place where their bodies are 

lying: 
Let the religious tones of the organ resound in the nave 
Of a noble shrine dedicate to the souls of those in the 

grave ;— 
To the souls that are blest in the keeping of Him Who 

was able to save. 
Pray for the glorious dead, who in bitterest agony died, 
Pray for the murdered hero and murdered wife at his side, 
For the bliss of the dead may grow, and love must be 

purified. 
To memory much may be lost as the changeful years 

roll by. 
And thoughts that are new are born, and old generations 

die. 
But it never shall be forgotten till time shall be no more 
How nobly Britain's sons and daughters suffered at 

Cawnpore. 



86 



A SOLDIERS' GRAVEYARD. 

(On a lonely disused graveyard in the Himalayas; marked by 

a stone cross.) 

Far from their homes, far from their native land, 
Brave soldiers rest upon the mountain-side ; 

Nor mother's voice, nor sister's gentle hand 
Was near to soothe their sufferings when they died 

But far away from all they cherished most. 

By duty exiled to a foreign clime. 
They bore their pain, and perished at their post, 

Struck down by deadly sickness in their prime. 

Hot tears fell for them in their island home. 
Lone wept a mother by the murmuring sea, 

And in the coppice where they used to roam. 
The maiden mourned her lover secretly. 

In the trim cottage by the riverside 
The old man's eye watched vacantly the wave. 

His heart was broken, for his son, his pride, 
Was buried far off in a foreign grave. 

But there were none beside their tombs to mourn 
Save comrades of the camp and battle dread, 

Who soon across the ocean wide were borne, 
Leaving to solitude the exiled dead. 



87 

Only the pure white mountains from afar 
For ever watch the soldiers' lonely rest ; 

And through the night looks down the warrior star 
Upon his sons asleep on Nature's breast. 

The ferns wave o'er them and the bright flowers bloom. 

The grasses glisten in the morning dew, 
The little gentian nestles on the tomb, 

And looks to heaven with its eye of blue. 

And high above them stands the sign of faith, 
To speak of hope, and show that soldiers brave. 

Who in the path of duty meet their death. 
Shall never be forgotten in the grave. 

Find peace, brave men, your countrymen revere 
The steadfastness of those who give their lives 

In fight or sickness for their country dear. 
So in true hearts your memory survives. 

And when the traveller nears your place of rest, 
And sees the sacred symbol on the height, 

He fain will pray your spirits may be blest 
In God's glad garden, waiting perfect light. 



88 



SUNDAY EVENING IN AN INDIAN FOREST. 

The sun is setting redly beyond the western hills, 

But at home the golden glory still the summer noonday 

fills. 
The forest trees are gilded by the last touch of light ; 
And, beneath, the darkening shadows tell of the approach 

of night. 
The sun is sinking slowly, — it is the hour of prayer ; 
When at home the bells are ringing sweetly in the balmy 

air. 
And I almost think I hear them chiming far away, 
For I know that they are sounding, and are bidding me 

to pray. 

The church door wide is open, the people gather round ; 
From afar they come to worship, summoned by the 

bells' glad sound. 
We have no shrine to pray in, here in the forest still. 
No roll of the organ's music the resounding spaces fill. 

But painted lights of sunset through arching branches 

shine. 
Like a floriated window high above the eastern shrine : 
And the ensculptured canopy of foliage dark and grave. 
Throws a soft religious shadow o'er the lonely vaulted 

nave. 



89 

The church is very lovely that God Himself has made ; 
Veiled image of the mansions where His light shall never 

fade, 
And in the quiet stillness of Nature's temple high, 
The great Creative Spirit cometh ever very nigh. 

So may the lonely exile rejoice in grassy glade, 
Bedight with flowers and lichens, and cool with leafy 

shade. 
And yet I fain would travel beyond the forest grand, 
Would leave the eastern splendour gladly for my native 

land ; 

Would give up gleams of sunset in Oriental skies, 
And tropical magnificence to refresh my weary eyes 
B}' seeing in the homeland one dear old church I love, 
Where friends this night are praying unto God Who 
reigns above. 



90 



THE BROWN MAN. 

The brown man lives in his tiny mud hut 

Beneath the o'ershadowing palm, 
With his patient wife and his little brown brats, 

And he labours all day on the farm. 

His back he bares to the pitiless sun, 

As he follows the oxen slow, 
But he is not vexed by his toilsome life, 

For he works that his babes may grow. 

They are playing beneath a mimosa bush, — 

Their brown little bodies all bare, — 
With a milk-white goat and a coal-black kid. 

Untroubled by sorrow or care. 

Their mother is washing a few ragged clothes 

In the runnel beneath the trees ; 
Of what does she think as she stoops at her task 

With the water around her knees ? 

And what are the thoughts of her lord as he guides 
Through the furrows his obsolete plough ? 

They are thinking of pice and the cost of food. 
And their only remaining cow : 



91 

They are wondering when the monsoon will begin, 

They are hoping for suitable rain. 
And then comes the thought of their merry brown babes 

With a joy that is almost pain. 

For potent is love in the brown man's heart, 

And he fears neither heat nor cold, 
As he dreams how the sons he has nourished and fed 

Will support him when weak and old. 

And he looks beyond to the time of death, 

And knows that the funeral rite 
Will be duly performed for the peace of his soul 

When his pyre by the flood they light. 



92 



THE INDIAN RYOT. 

The bullocks slowlj^ drag the plough, 
Unchanged in shape since Akbar's days ; 
The ryot unchanged in his ways 

Follows through the stumps of jau. 

Thus all the day he'll slowly toil, 
The fierce sun beating on his back. 
As generations trod the track 

Of labour on the self-same soil. 

At midday comes his wife, the drudge, 
\^'ith water and his simple food. 
And with her comes a naked brood 

Of babies laughing as they trudge. 

What occupies the ryot's mind 
As hour by hour and day by day 
He moves along the self-same way ? 

His thoughts are few and hard to find. 

We cannot scan the bullock's thought. 
As patiently he moves along 
His way, uncheered by word or song ; 

We fancy he can think of naught. 



93 

But who can tell ? Perhaps he may 
Take comfort in the thought of rest, 
Or deem the moment will be blest 

When he may have his sweet new hay. 

And has the man no thoughts but these ? 

Is his the level of the beast, 

A creature that can only feast, 
And find its joy in thoughts of ease ? 

Whence cometh thought ? From change of scene, 

Or by the pressure of the will 

That cannot let the mind be still 
To vegetate in paths serene ? 

What killeth thought ? A dull routine, 
A plodding on from year to year. 
With stifled hope and deadened fear, 

And memory blank to what has been ? 

How can the untaught ryot think ? 
His dull life glideth as a stream 
Through arid plains, without a gleam, 

Without a flower upon the brink. 

For him no dreams of Paradise, 

No thoughts of heaven drawing near 
Can come his dreary life to cheer. 

And make him from the dust arise. 

One thought he has, — domestic love. 

His naked babies and his wife 

Are flowers around his barren life. 
To lead him to his home above. 



94 



Throughout the weary day he'll look 
To see them coming through the corn, 
His eldest and the babe new-born, 

Beside the artificial brook. 

And on the feast day of his god 
A little rice before the shrine 
He lays and asks the thing Divine 

To bless for them the fertile sod, 

To keep them from the evil eye, 
To rob the demon of his prey, — 
The cruel fiend that loves to slay, 

And make them slowlj^ waste and die. 

And so for generations past 
The ryots lived and toiled and died, 
Without a dream of aught beside 

Their children, and the grave at last. 



95 



A STREAM BELOW CHAKRATA 

(In the Himalayas) . 

The sun is shining brightly, 

The insects hum their glee, 
The water trickles merrily 

Beneath the tall oak tree. 

The butterflies are dancing 

Around the white dog rose. 
The moss-grown rock high overhead 

In morning sunlight glows. 

The cuckoo tells of England 

Among the glistening leaves. 
The spider round the blackberry 

Her silver network weaves. 

The ferns and bright green ringalls 

Are waving o'er the rill, 
\\'hich glides between the blackened rocks, 

Then rushes down the hill. 

The dove coos in the hoUj^ 

To mate in distant thorn, 
The bell-owl in the ivy sits, 

And rings his note forlorn. 



96 

The oak tree looks down kindly 

In his old age serene ; 
The ivy climbs about his trunk, 

Each leaf a jewel green. 

Unceasingly the cicala 

Chirps in his mossy bed, 
And sadly cries a gentle bird 

That his dear mate is dead. 

For sounds there are of sorrow 

On earth however fair ; 
And flowers must fade and woods decay, 

For death is everywhere. 

Yet 'neath the beauty of the earth 

A hidden life is shining, 
And when its sweetness meets the soul 

It stills the heart's repining. 



97 



SUNSET IN THE HIMALAYAS. 

The even falls, and all the mountain vast, 
White clad, is brilliant with the sunset glow, 

While from beneath, the shadows creeping fast, 
Will soon cast ashy paleness o'er the snow. 

Down in the valley underneath the trees 
A village rests beside the murmuring stream. 

From which, ascending on the evening breeze, 
A sound of waiUng greets the soft moonbeam 

A tuneless drum with tuneless voices pour 
Sad sounds of grief, which up the hillside roll ; 

They tell a tale of human sorrow o'er, — 
Of dawning light upon a darkened soul. 

Deep is the sorrow, — some have lost a friend. 
Some mourn a father or a brother dear ; 

To them death cometh as a cheerless end : 
Beyond it lieth neither hope nor fear. 

Poor heathen spirit living in the gloom 
And sleeping, — then awaking to the light : 

How strangely through the silence of the tomb. 
Celestial rays will dawn upon thy sight. 

G 



98 

Is there for those who knew not Christ below 
The sweetness of the beatific rest ? 

Or do less perfect spirits only know 
A fainter image of the vision blest ? 

Dark are the mysteries of life and death ; 

Vainly the living ponder the unknown, 
But to the soul that now gave up its breath 

A ghmpse of the inscrutable is shown. 

What sees he now ? A view of love Divine, 
With present sorrow fitting him for bliss ? 

Or has a look, his grossness to refine, 
Disclosed the terrors of the deep abyss ? 

If on his course, without a light to guide, 

The parted soul has wandered from the right, 

Show mercy, Jesus, let Thy Love abide 

On one who sinning, sinned without the light. 



99 



THE PUNKAH COOLIE. 

Pull, pull, pull, at the punkah for my bread ; 
Kainch, kainch, kainch. I must pull till I am dead ; 
Pull, pull, pull, by day and perhaps by night ; 
Kainch, kainch, kainch, I must pull with all my might. 

Oh, why was I born to pull 

At a punkah all my day. 
When I feel I could do better things 

If I only knew the way ? 

Indoors it is shady and cool 

But the hot air scorches here. 
And the sun shines down through the mat, 

Which above my head I rear. 

And yet I am wilhng to pull, 

For a baby sleeps within, 
A gentle and beautiful boy, 

Who is sickly, pale, and thin ; 

And if on my going away 

There came another than I, 
Perhaps he would sleep at his task, 

And the gentle boy might die. 



100 

And so I'll continue to work 

As my father did before, 
And I know that the time will come 

When I shall labour no more. 

For when he was feeble with age, 
And his eyes were pale and dim. 

To the marge of the sacred river 
I wearily carried him. 

At last when the sun was setting, 

And the holy river flowed 
Away to the golden beauty 

Where the evening radiance glowed. 

As he watched the fading sunlight. 

On his face I saw a gleam 
Of dehght pass quickly over, 

As the sweetness of a dream. 

Then the darkness fell around us, 
And I knew that he had gone 

Away to the river's gladness. 
Where the royal glory shone ; 

Beyond the wearisome city, 
To a land of peace and light. 

Did the mighty river bear him 
In the darkness of the night. 



lOI 



THE INDIAN MISSION FIELD. 

The fields are barren on the plain : 

All summer the hot fiery blast 
Has scorched them, will they smile again 

In beauty, when the heat has passed ? 

And untaught hearts are barren there ; 

For ages sin has withered love, 
They cannot rise to heights of prayer. 

Or visions sweet of God above. 

In patient toil throughout the day 
Men plough their land and sow their seeds. 

Their lives are like the scorched clay. 
They bear no fruit of noble deeds. 

From cooling wells they pour a stream 

Of water on the thirsty land, 
But little do their dark souls dream 

How living waters from God's Hand 

Flow earthward from the wells of Life, 
And strengthen weary souls to gain 

The victory in the long sad strife 
With evil in a world of pain. 



I02 

The blade will spring, the fields grow green, 
And then the corn the ear will fill ; 

But sadness spoils the joyous scene. 
For heathen hearts are barren still. 

At harvest time the golden hue 
Of grain will brighten all the land, 

A picture of the harvest true, 
When golden deeds shall clearly stand 

In hght of heaven. In that hour 
How shall the heathen bear to feel 

The awful justice and the power, 
Which one dread moment shall reveal ? 

And how shall those who had the Hght, 
But let it not on darkness shine. 

Regardless of the heathen's night, 
Endure to hear the voice Divine ? 

We hope in mercy : who can say 
A Hfe was barren ? All unknown 

Except by Him to Whom we pray 
A fruitful seedling may have grown 

In rocky soil, and bravely fought 
Against the scorching sun, and fed 

With dew of heaven, gently brought 
On evening breezes, may have led 

A life of duty known to Him 

Who sees our trials and our sighs. 

And Who with joys that grow not dim 
Rewards the smallest sacrifice. 



I03 



TO THE WIND IN AN INDIAN HOT WEATHER. 

Pleasant balmy breeze 
Floating through the trees. 
Playing with the leaves 
Where the cushat grieves, 

Fan the fevered cheek 

Of a maiden weak. 

Gentle summer gale 
Spreading out the sail, 
Wafting seagulls white 
O'er the ocean bright, 

Kiss her softly now, 

Cool her aching brow. 

Northern mountain air 
Born 'mid icefields bare 
And eternal snows 
Whence the cool stream flows, 

Leave your mountains grand 

For a tropic land. 

Zephyrs kind and good 
Sighing through the wood 
And the leafy bowers 
Scented with sweet flowers, 

O'er her gently sigh 

Till her fever die. 



104 

Stormy wind and bleak 
Rushing o'er the peak 
Into valleys deep 
With a roaring sweep, 
Waft a healthful breath, 
Save my love from death. 



I05 



FAREWELL TO KASHMIR. 

I. 

LOVELY valley, bright with fruits and flowers, 
Blue waters and green meadows, where strong trees 
Stand motionless or shiver when the breeze 

Whispers of angels and celestial powers, 

And Love Divine, through the long summer hours : 
O happy valley, home of kine and bees, 
Flowing with milk and honey are thy leas. 

And rich with wine and fruit thy shady bowers. 

To thee with grief I bid my last farewell, 
For never more shall I thy beauty see, 
Nor watch the sunrise as it gently streaks 
With golden light thy snowy mountain peaks. 
Nor will thy flowing river again tell 
My heart of life, God and eternity. 

IL 

When to the fairest lands I. bid adieu, 

And know that I shall see them not again. 
This thought will sometimes come to lessen pain. 

That God perhaps may this fair earth endue 

In some mysterious way with bodies two, — 
The corporal, which to mortal eye is plain. 
And spirit-born of which they only gain 

Who die in peace of God the glorious view, — 



io6 



The underlying glory of the seen 

Fills mortal eyes with longing : it were blest 

To see it with the unclouded vision keen 

Of spiritual potence, wandering free 

In the bright days of immortality 

Through happy lands with those we have loved best. 

III. 

In one fair world life on two different planes, 
Distinct, and though so near, yet separate 
One from the other ! 'Twere a mystery great 

Yet mystery everywhere in Nature reigns. 

In birth, in death, in life's delights and pains. 
In moral forces, will and love and hate, 
In mystic powers which this world animate, 

And God's high Will which every force maintains. 

And if He wills that His new earth be born 

In spiritual Ukeness to the known. 

It can no more to our dull sight be shown 

Than ether or the force of gravity, 

Or the dread Will that rules eternally. 

Alike in chaos and creation's morn. 

IV. 

But could the spirits who have gone before, — 
The souls of those we love, if now they rest 
On earth amid the beauty all unguessed 

Of spiritual-bodied sea and shore, 

Mountain and valley that they loved of yore 
Embodied, with their trees and flowers all blest 
With spiritual grace, see even the best 

Of those they loved, and not be grievM sore 



107 



At all their evil ? Surely it were so, 

But 'tis perchance as hard for naked souls 

To see the world of matter as for men 

The spiritual : only angels know, 

And God, how painfully the round world rolls 

And all thereon. 'Tis not in dead men's ken. 



io8 



OOTACAMUND. 

Fair Ooty, girt with darkly wooded hills, 
Bright with sweet gardens and thy silvery lake 
Upon whose bosom tiny wavelets break, 

Dancing to music sung by sparkling rills 

Thy tender beauty the rapt spirit fills, 
Bidding the silent memories awake 
Of home and all we love for home's sweet sake 

Blue lakes, green pastures, woods and flowery dells. 

Yet thy fair face with dreamy sadness moves 
The exile's soul, making his full heart burn 
With yearning for fair forms no longer near. 
Thy mocking Ukeness to the land he loves 
His spirit pains, that fain would home return 
Where the bright faces smile which he holds dear. 



I09 



THE TWO CHILDREN. 

" One shall be taken and the other left." 

I. 

Blow softly, gentle winds, beneath the moon. 
And kiss the vessel with her golden freight ; 
Ask of the waves before it is too late 

O kindly breezes, ask their blessed boon, 

The gift of health. A golden- headed child 
Is lying there ; a fever from the mere 
Lay waiting, and we blindly brought her near ; 

Her face is pallid, and her eye is wild. 

Oh, will she live, my golden-headed child, 
She left me scarce a minute, and my tear 
Lies still upon her bed, — perchance her bier : — 

It seems an age since she looked up and smiled. 

Now she is gone, gone to another land ; 
The cruel waves are driving us apart, 
The cord that bound is severed, and my heart 

Is very sad as on the shore I stand. 



no 
II. 



The ship has gone, I saw it fade away 

Behind a grove of palm trees on the shore, 
And still I watched when I could see no more 

The white speck waving through the sea mist grey. 

No flag of truce from a beleaguered town 
E'er told a deeper grief. — I knew the sign, — 
My wife's desire and sorrow spoke to mine, 

And found a grief and love to meet her own. 

Why must our griefs be double ? It is woe 
Enough for me to lose what I hold dear. 
But oh ! the pain of dreading what I fear, 

And knowing how my loved one's sorrows grow. 



III. 

Oh ! Was it a voice of the night 
In a dream, or an angel's song. 

Or a whisper of love in its might 
Overcoming the ocean strong 

That I heard in the moonhght clear, 
As under the palm tree's shade 

I watched a weird shadowy fear 
Move ghostlike along the glade ? 

Oh ! Strong is the ocean, but kind, 
And perhaps he has carried to me. 

To solace my suffering mind. 
Glad tidings from over the sea ; 



Ill 

For I know that my love would send, 
If it might be, a message of hope. 

An electric flash from the end 
Of a silver love-woven rope. 

So I know that the golden head 
Will gleam in the sun once more ; 

I shall see her before I am dead 
At her play on my native shore. 



But under the boughs as they wave 
There cometh a shadowy fear, 

And I seem to look into the grave 
Of some one that I hold dear. 

IV. 

I scarcely slept after I walked 

Under the trees where the spectre stalked 

In the shadow cast by the pale 

Light of the moon through a misty veil. 

I lay awake until the morn, 
But saw a dream in the cold sad dawn : 
And in my dream a little grave 
Restlessly cut in an ocean wave ; 

And oh ! its sides were narrow and steep 
Down to the base of the unknown deep. 
And there it seemed, 'mid shell and flower, 
A corpse might rest till the judgment-hour 



112 

In unbroken stillness and peace, 

Where grief must end and sorrow must cease. 

In the twilight I saw a face 

Moving down from surface to base, — 

A face I love, it haunts me now, 
A baby face with a snowy brow. 

V. 

I weep for my baby dead, he had never spoken a word. 
But he used to sing to himself in his crib Uke a joyous 

bird, 
A song that the angels knew well, and carried to God 

above, 
A song that was fitter for heaven than earth, being 

brimful of love. 
Daily he sang like a lark when the beautiful morning sun 
Painted a rosy glory beside my innocent one, 
And when I came nearer to hst to the glad inarticulate 

sound. 
And the eye of the babe caught mine, from the depths of 

the blue profound, 
I saw the joy of a soul unto which a glimpse has been 

shown. 
Of the everlasting sweetness of the infinite unknown. 

And oh ! on the innocent face what a beautiful smile 

there grew. 
As he answered the love of my heart with a guileless love 

and true ; 
A love that it maybe was learnt in a period long gone by 
When he lived as a sweet emanation of God's love in 

the sky. 



113 
VI. 



That he must learn how to talk in the heavenly land 

seems strange, 
And everything learn of wisdom : but doubtless a wider 

range 

Of faculties shall be his in the glorious spirit land, 
Where a strong and holy angel shall lead him by the 
hand. 

And when we shall see him again he will surely have 

learnt far more 
Than we who have wearily wandered upon the shadowy 

shore. 



VII. 

What a number of things to learn 

Has a baby of six months old : 
Will he suddenly truth discern, 

Or will his mind slowly unfold ? 

Will he childishly hsp at first 
The words of the heavenly choir, 

Or will the gift of language burst 
On his soul hke a flame of fire ? 

In the midnight gloom I would fain 
Know what is the heavenly tongue, 

And hear the words of the joyous strain 
Which the choirs at creation sung. 

H 



114 

He has heard it now, but I fear 
My baby will never learn there 

The language that I hold dear, 

That I breathed with my native air. 

VIII. 

Has he much to learn ? I can see 
On his face such a beautiful smile, 
So glad and so spotless of guile. 

That the sweet thought comforteth me 

That they who have learnt to love 
Even man in this world below, 
Have at least begun to know 

The key of the wisdom above. 



115 



THE SACRIFICE OF RATH. 



(.4 Tale of Pachmarhi.) 

There was sorrow in the valley where the blue Nerbudda 

flows 
Death and anguish, — yet the people's cry for mercy 

vainly rose. 

For it seemed the will of Heaven that a famine curse the 

land, 
And a pl^jue before whose terror not the stoutest heart 

might stand. 

So, a while they suffered weeping, till the sons of Agor 

cried : 
" Let us hasten to the mountain where the hoi}' hermit 

died, 

" Where the sages five are dwelling, each within his 

sacred cave ; 
Let us ask the ascetics saintly how the people we may 

save." 

Rath and Heera, sons of Agor, ruled by wisdom and 

strong arm. 
Nought the brothers' hearts could sever, nought their 

trustful love might harm. 



ii6 

So the men and women journeyed to the sacred mountain 

high, 
And beside her father, bhthely, stepped Ahta fair and 

shy. 

Both the brave young brothers loved her, for no veil yet 

cursed the land. 
But a man might ask the maiden whom he chose to give 

her hand. 

Sweet Ahta both the youths held dear, but in the 

damsel's sight 
Rath was like a brother, Heera stood in love's sweet 

golden light. 

Rath perceived Ahta's secret ere she knew it, but his 

grief 
Struggling fiercely, in unselfish love for Heera found 

relief. 

Came the people to Pachmarhi, where they found the 

hermits wise, 
Rapt in deathlike trance beholding, dimly, far-off 

mysteries. 

Silently they heard the voices telhng of the people's woe, 
And their forms were fixed and rigid as the rocks of 
Mahadeo. 

Long the people stood expectant, till at length the oldest 

sage, 
Gaunt and dried and deeply wrinkled through long fast 

and mystic age, 



117 

Rose and cried,—" The Gods are angry, for the people 

is profane, 
Sacrifice has been forgotten, so they weep and call in 

vain : 

" Man for man must die, descending headlong from the 

awful height 
Down the gulf of Andikho, down to black and endless 

night." 

Pale then grew the gentle people, thinking of the dreadful 

leap ; 
But they drew the lot in silence for the victim of the 

deep. 

On the noble sons of Agor fell the lot, then all men stood 
Wondering which of the brave brothers twain should 
perish for their good. 

Heera draws the fatal pebble, Rath is saved, his glances 

fly 

Swiftly to the fair Alita, oh ! the horror in her eye : 

There he reads that if he perish she will be a little sad, 
But if Heera die the maiden's heart will never more be 
glad. 

Falls the night 'mid dance and music, but a sad voice 

fills the cave ; 
" Holy sages, might a brother die his brother's life to 

save ? " 



ii8 

Answering comes a hollow echo : " It is whispered from 

the grave 
That a brother freely dying has unmeasured po\ver to 

save ; 

" 'Tis a mystery of the ages, life from out of death will 

rise ; 
Light and sweetness spring from sorrow, when a good 

man freely dies." 

* * « * * 

O'er the blue plain, like the billowed ocean, stretching 

far away, 
Redly rose the sun next morning, as the folk at break of 

day. 

Gathered round the awful chasm where a man should 

die ere night. 
Bravely for the sinful people, leaping from the fearful 

height. 

Heera, Rath, and pale Alita on the cHff edge hand in 

hand. 
Gaze on the expectant people ; — nigh the dreamy sages 

stand. 

They wait a sign ; dark clouds from heaven hide the 

lion of Dhup Ghur, 
And a mighty peal of thunder rolls down Mahadeo's 

spur. 

Then the oldest sage awaking, cries aloud, — " O people, 

hear, 
God is calling from the heaven. He to us draws very 

near : 



119 

" He is pleased that one is willing out of purest love to 

die, 
So upon your land He sendeth blessed rain-clouds from 

on high. 

" Let the sacrifice be finished." — Bravely Heera turns to 

greet 
For the last time dear Alita, and his tears fall at her feet. 

Oh ! the bitterness of parting. Oh ! the awful gvilf 

below, 
The sheer unbroken precipice, the unknown depth of 

Andikho ! 

Sadly Rath for one short moment looks upon them, then 

he cries : 
Live and love, for life is pleasant, willingly your brother 

dies, 

" Dearest Heera and AHta, and you folk who love me 

well " ; 
Thus he spoke, then leaping wildly, down the dreadful 

steep he fell. 

Swiftly grew the sky o'ershadowed, fell the rain, the 

wind grew cold ; 
Livid lightning struck the mountain, loud the awful 

thunder rolled. 

Straight the people hurried homeward, stricken with 

supernal dread ; 
Only Heera and Alita stayed to mourn the noble dead. 

And beside them stood like statues, carved from out the 

rocky hill. 
The five sages deeply musing on the mystery of ill. 



120 

Little light they had and cruel was their creed ; but 

from above 
Shone a gleam of truth lit for them by Rath's sacrifice of 

love. 

Centuries have passed, and changes come upon the 

eastern lands, 
But of all the warring forces, sacrifice still mightiest 

stands. 



121 



TIGER HILL. 

{A Tale of Sikkrm.) 
I. 

The clouds lay thick on Senchal height, 
And softly through the misty gloonv 

The night wind took the balmy scent 
Of sweet magnolia bloom, 

And brought it to a forest glade, 
Where, amid flowers and silver fern, 

The grass hut of a shepherd stood 
Beside a httle burn. 

The night wind kissed the lovely face 
Of gentle Rita, who lay there 

Asleep within her father's hut, 
Clad in her raven hair. 

The sweetest maid in Sikkim land 
She lay, her bright eyes closed in rest, 

And love had painted her fair cheek 
As sunset, Everest. 

For young Aruna loved her well, 
The shepherd lad from Sandakfoo ; 

He'd fought the borderers of Nepal, 
His heart was strong and true. 



122 

From off the heights they took his flock 

Away into their valleys deep, 
He followed after them at night 

And rescued his lost sheep. 

What led him from his home to pass 
Beyond Tongloo and Goompahar ? 

A dream at night, or voice of love 
Low-whispering from afar ? 

He crossed the wooded hills and found 
Amid the trees on Senchal slope. 

The maiden decked with flowers : his heart 
Was stirred with fear and hope. 

Their glances met, their glances fell. 

First wonder moved, then awe, but soon 

Love came, and hand in hand they walked 
Beneath the argent moon. 

Their love grew deeper day by day ; 

The flowers had never seemed so bright. 
The mountains never shone before 

With such a holy light. 

He plucked the orchids from the trees. 
And bound them in her glossy hair, 

Then laid a lily from the wood 
Upon her forehead fair. 

There as she sat upon a rock, 

With starry flowers of gold behind, 

And at her feet the fragile ferns. 
Swayed gently by the wind, 



123 

Anma gazed upon her face, 
With all a lover's tender pride, 

And swore that he would either die, 
Or make her his own bride. 

She smiled for love, she laughed for joy. 
She laughed, and named a happy hour 

The sun was setting o'er the hills, 
Deep blushed her snow-white flower. 



II. 



The sun had set behind the hills. 

And through the trees the moon shone bright. 
The night wind blew the cold grey mist 

Across dark Senchal's height. 

And Rita slept, and dreamed of love, 

Alone beside her father's flock ; 
There came a tiger stealthily 

From out a hollow rock. 

He came, but when he saw her face, 

His cruel purpose 'gan to fail ; 
'Fore beauty joined to innocence 

The fiercest heart will quail. 

O young Aruna, leave alone 

Thy lover's innocence to fight, 
'Tis stronger than an armfed man : — 

He could not sleep that night ; 



124 

He wandered through the forest glade, 
And ever of his love he thought, 

He sauntered towards the maiden's home, 
By love's true instinct brought. 

He saw the tiger at the door, 
And knew his love in danger lay, 

He rushed upon the savage beast. 
It met him in the way. 

A dagger in the moonlight flashed, 
A roar resounded from the hill, 

A groan was heard, and then a shriek, — 
And then the night was still. 

The mist had passed and from the sky 
Looked down in grief the pallid moon. 

And saw the dying beast, and sav/ 
Anma in death's swoon, 

And over him the maiden bent, 

And as she washed his wounds she wept ; 
Her hot tears fell upon his face. 

But still her lover slept. 

Shine out, kind moon, and golden stars. 
Shine from j^our azure home above. 

That she may see and cherish long 
His look of deathless love. 

In agony she kissed his face, 

And cried, — " Oh, speak to me again, 
My brave Aruna," and her tears 

Fell over him hke rain. 



125 

He woke and told her of his love, 

Low whispering with his dying breath, 

A smile of joy passed o'er his face, 
Love dieth not in death. 

Blow, gentle winds, and bring the mists 
To hide the bright eyes of the sky, 

For oh ! the maiden's heart will break 
To see her lover die. 

The strong winds blew, and o'er the ridge, 
Past rock and tree and knoll, there fled 

Pale ghostly unsubstantial clouds, 
Like spirits of the dead. 

Long Sikkim mourned the lovers' fate ; 

And still is named high Senchal Hill 
After the tiger who too late 

Repented him of ill. 



126 



ELSIE MAY. 
Proem. 

Lying 'twixt the Tonse and Sutlej is a glorious mountain 

land 
On whose slopes the happy homesteads of the forest 

city stand. 
There is beauty, there is pleasure, music and the merry 

dance. 
There the silent cedars calmly watch o'er many a life's 

romance. 

Yet about this pleasant country memory weaves a 

woeful tale, 
Sorrow poisons human gladness, through all music 

sounds a wail : 
Is there not a mood of sadness on the fairest spots of 

earth ? 
Does not melancholy meet us even in the hours of mirth ? 



I. 



Lovely and bright was Elsie May, 
With laughing lips and clear blue eye. 

And well she knew to sip the sweets 
Of Hfe like some gay butterfly. 



127 

The youth of Almis, ail in love. 

Saw sweet simplicity in art, 
Her lady friends without a voice 

Dissentient, said she had no heart. 

False was it ; see the rosy tint 

Upon her lovely cheek of pearl, 
A heart she had although of flint, 

She loved the first-born of an Earl. 

Much had she flirted, hearts were sad. 

Brave youths with grief had lost their health ; 

But when the Viscount came, she thought, 
" He shall be mine with all his wealth." 

How could he 'scape ? For she was fair, 
And witching when she chose to please ; 

Danced like a sylph, and gaily rode, — 
A goddess 'neath the cedar trees. 

They rode together day by day. 
They walked upon the mountain-side, 

And all the world of Almis knew 
That she was promised as his bride. 

Lord Ronald, if you live to wed. 

How sad will your awakening be, 
You are in love, but she, alas ! 

Can only love herself, not thee. 

Upon a fatal day they rode 

To Shobra's forest one fair morn, 
And as he fondly spoke of love. 

The maiden's heart was filled with scorn 



128 



And anger, for she found him dull ; 

For he was serious, she was light, 
She dared not give her tongue the rein, 

And knew not where to vent her spite. 



An aged fakir, on the way, 

Whose hut stood near a giant pine. 
Held out his bony hand and asked 

An alms with melancholy whine. 



She struck him rudely with her whip,— 
(It was a cruel, vicious deed) — 

He saw her face, he read her eye. 

And knew her loveless heart and greed. 



As flashes the electric spark 

From cloud to cloud, so evil flies 

From soul to soul when hate is there, 
And love is gone, and pity dies. 



The fakir cursed her by his gods,— 
It was an awful curse, and loud,- 

Cursed her by the demons dwelling 
In the thunder and the cloud ; 



And in earth's abysses dreadful : 
Ronald heard and Elsie May, 

And the air seemed full of cmrses 
As they homeward rode that day. 



129 

II. 

Swiftly passed the weeks, and Elsie 
Hid her soul 'neath practised smiles, 

And her lover thought her perfect : 
Man is weak 'fore woman's wiles. 



So she felt secure, and laughing, 
Scorned the fakir's futile threat. — 

Rather weep, each evil action 
Must in due time pay its debt. 

Alone she wandered through the wood 

A week before her bridal hour : 
The beggar stood beneath the pine, 

Dark was his face with evil power. 

Beside him sat a woman old, 
With body bent and eyes of fire, 

And Elsie saw in their fierce hate 
A prophesy of peril dire ; 

And shuddered, though the sun shone bright 
On moss and flower, on tree and fern ; 

" O ! fool to fear," she laughed, " I'll walk 
Straight through the forest ere I turn." 

A fair Pahari girl she passed, 

A lovely maid in garments white ; 

" It is my bridal day," she said, 
" I dwell beneath yon rocky height, 



130 

" Come, see my home," and Elsie went. 
She wished, but had no power, to stay ; 

The sun was hid, the clouds grew black, 
The thunder muttered far away ; 

And dark and weird the broken pines 
With dead limbs arched the forest road, 

But Elsie followed sick with fear. 
Forced onwards by an unseen goad. 

They paused beneath a hollow rock. 
Whereto, like witches' tresses clung. 

Drowned in a mere, dank ferns and weeds ; 
Beside them, ropelike mosses hung. 

A blasted tree to heaven upreared 

Its leafless arms as if to ban 
The stranger, and a gaunt black hound 

Around its base in circles ran. 

Loud cracked the thunder, lightnings flashed, 
From lurid heavens crashed the hail, 

And o'er the summit of the crag 
Roared the wild voices of the gale. 

Fear-struck, to the Pahari girl 
Did Elsie cling ; for one so fair, 

She thought, could not maliciously. 
With fell intent have brought her there. 

'Tis strange,— the hill maid seems to wane 
Beneath her grasp ; their faces meet 

In one short kiss,— ! horror dread ! 
Is this the maid who seemed so sweet, 



i3i 

This dreadful hag with wrinkled face. 
Keen, wicked eyes and cruel frown, 

And skinny body bent to earth, 
All hideous 'neath her tattered gown ? 

A shriek is borne upon the wind, 
Prone to the ground falls Elsie May ; 

Alas, the maiden may not swoon, 
The witch-eye holds her for its prey. 

What loathly sights, what gruesome sounds 
Were round her on that dreadful night ; 

What visitants from other worlds 
The witch conjured to blind her sight, 

And freeze her blood, oh, who can say ? 

But in the morning on the ground. 
Senseless beside the fakir's hut. 

By Ronald was the maiden found. 

III. 

What she had seen she ne'er would say, 
But quickly did she pine away, 
And on her hoped-for bridal day 
To rest beneath a pine tree grey. 
Her weeping friends bore Elsie May. 

Lord Ronald wept beside her bier. 
And mourned her sadly for a year. 
But then he found a comfort new 
In one fair maiden good and true. 
Who loved him as a maiden should. 
Because she knew him wise and good. 



132 

Epilogue. 

So dire a punishment for fault so slight ? 

The bounds of law and mercy none can see ; 

Tis better loveless souls should cease to be, 
Than work confusion on the earth they blight. 
No fault that shows a cruel heart is light : 

Crime dwells in will, and human will is free, 

Though fear and custom, each with potent plea, 
Check evil act that would the will delight. 

A foolish tale, you say, and all untrue. 
Based on dead superstition ; then explain 
The difference 'twixt thinking that one hears. 
And hearing. To the tale as told a clue 
May he in hidden powers of will and brain, 
Known to the eastern sage from twilight years. 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



135 



THE SEER AND THE AGE. 

On a summer day I had wandered far in a moorland wild 

and bare, 
When I came to a glen where a pine wood dark, shut 

out the midday glare ; 
Beneath its shadow a cottage stood by the side of a 

murmuring brook, 
And, enclosed with privet, a garden gay shone bright in 

a sheltered nook. 
I had come to visit an ag^d friend from public hfe retired. 
Who with the love of wisdom's light from his youth had 

been inspired. 
The ancient man with a snow-white beard and briUiant 

deep-set eyes 
Would often talk of the riddles of Hfe, and his words 

were keen and wise ; 
For much he had read, and deeply had thought, and 

appeared at times to see 
A vision fair in the sunny air, which none could behold 

but he. 
What was it he saw ? a real scene, or only an old man's 

dream ? 
Who knows ? for his heart was fixed on things that men 

unreal deem ; 
But worldly joys and concerns of weight, like money 

and house and lands. 
Appeared to him like the children's toys, or their castles 

in the sands. 



136 

He was talking now to a concourse of men of every 

political shade, 
Who had come from the nearest market town to obtain 

support and aid 
For a brand-new unsectarian school, which " agnostic 

ideas should nourish, 
And where the marvellous science and skill of this 

glorious age would flourish." 
Their spokesman, a rich loquacious youth, was applaud- 
ing modern thought, 
And spoke with pride of the wealth and ease that science 

to man had brought ; 
He boasted, too, of the sceptical age, from the bands of 

faith set free. 
And the shackles of that which was bound with faith, — 

the old morality. 
The ancient looked at me and smiled, but I saw that his 

hawk-eyes flashed, 
And then he spoke such scathing words that his hearers 

stood abashed. 
I cannot speak with the sage's fire, nor his eloquent 

phrases find, 
But this was the meaning of what he said, — the thought 

that was in his mind. — 

And so the age considers itself an epoch grand and free. 
Then let it look in the well of truth, and strive its defects 

to see : 
For dreams of pride are a fall indeed from the heights of 

wisdom true, 
And the age that boasts sees every theme in a false 

distorted view. 
You brag of its progress in science and art, and its vast 

reserves of wealth. 



137 

But these may ruin the national life, and spiritual health. 
For they tend to engulf a people's thoughts in vain 

material things, 
Like a viscid sap in which insects fall and lose their 

diaphanous wings. 
If softness and luxury follow on wealth, and a thriftless 

indolence, 
And love of amusement in place of toil, and desire for the 

pleasures of sense ; 
If zeal for perfection in work has gone, and pride in 

doing the best, 
And instead there is shirking and eye-service, and work 

which fails in the test, 
The nation is set on a dangerous path which is easy to 

descend, 
A precipitous way to the gulf of shame that in ruin and 

death must end. 
For a country's place in the universe depends not on 

silver and gold, 
But upon the aims towards which it strives,— the ideals 

its people hold ; 
If these be noble and high and pure, the land will be 

truly great, 
But a petty goal of enjoyment and ease will ruin a 

prosperous State. 

You vaunt your wealth : is a nobler life the result for the 

men of leisure ? 
Do they strive to accomplish the good they might with 

their gifts of time and treasure ? 
Are they seeking to bridge the terrible gulfs that class 

from class divide, 
And letting the measure of duty and right the trend of 

their acts decide ? 



138 

Or as bees from a flower do they seek to extract from the 

world what pleasure they can, 
Esteeming a life of amusement right and fit for a mortal 

man ? 
Are they heedless of all the sorrow and pain which sadden 

the suffering earth ? 
Contented if they can immunity gain, and revel in 

sensuous mirth ? 
Do they ever seek ease from another's loss, or enjoyment 

from someone's fall ? 
Do they ask if their wealth has been righteously gained, 

or does justice for vengeance call ? 

And the women, whom all would fain regard as the type 

of the pure and good, 
Do they seek to act in the role of men, despising their 

motherhood ? 
Or has the decadent nation reared a brood of hysterical 

shrews. 
Who careless of courtesy, justice, and right, with violence 

urge their views ? 

You speak of improvements which science brings, does 

happiness come in their train ? 
What joys do the millions of toiling folk in the cities and 

factories gain ? 
They are driven perforce to the festering towns by your 

fiscal laws unwise. 
From the country fair, with its health-giving air, and the 

joy of its open skies. 
Their hearts are dulled by mechanical toil, and their 

pleasures are poor and mean, 
For infidel teaching has dimmed or destroyed their faith 

in the things unseen. 



139 

So in drinking and gambling and betting on games their 

leisure they employ, 
Which only the zest of excitement bring, but never real 

joy. 



Do you shut your eyes when you boast of the age, and 

cannot you even see 
Its gigantic injustice, the poor half starved and the rich 

in luxury ? 
Can you flatter an age which compels the poor to live in 

a dreadful slum, — 
A rabbit warren of human beings, — the worthy mixed 

up with the scum ? 
Can a nation boast of its growth in wealth when wretched 

women and men 
Are spending more dreadful winter nights than a wild 

beast in its den. 
Exposed to the pitiless frosty skies, or the rain and 

drizzle and snow. 
With mansions behind them bathed in light, and the 

cold, dark river below ? 
When the body is numb, and the heart is cold, and hope 

is well-nigh dead, 
For continual misery casts out hope, and enthrones 

despair instead ? 
What wonder if desperate, suffering souls sunk deep in 

sin and sorrow 
In the gloomy water, still and dead, are found on the 

fearful morrow ? 
So poised on the edge of a precipice steep, unsafely the 

toilers dwell, 
All eagerly thrusting their neighbours down to 'scape 

from the " Enghshman's hell." 



140 



But a season of illness or failure of work may plunge 

them into the void, 
And make them in misery sink to the ranks of the hopeless 

unemployed. 



They are mocked with votes, does that bring peace and 

contentment to their souls ? 
Does it even bring good government, or secure wise men 

at the polls ? 

foolish nation, to put your faith in the votes of men 

untaught ! 
To imagine the voice of a shallow crowd God's voice is 

a crazy thought. 
And when the workmen are out on strike, do you find 

in their reckless deeds 
The signs of the wisdom, justice, and truth that rational 

government needs ? 
The labouring man or the artizan is concerned about 

food and wage, 

1 blame him not, he is not a sot, but neither is he a 

sage. 
For government good you want wisdom deep and 

spiritual sight, 
Will you look for these among horny-handed men of 

muscular might ? 
Can they foresee what the country needs for its safety 

from arrogant foes ? 
Are you waiting for them to tell you how to escape an 

invader's blows ? 
And when the toilers are in distress, and the bread- 
winners out of work. 
Will the voters tell you the hidden cause, and how its 

effects to shirk ? 



141 

But perhaps although unskilled themselves, their minds 

are sufficiently keen 
To move them to choose wise men to vote in the national 

voting machine ? 
Vain fancy, they just know what they want, — more 

wages and leisure and ease. 
And so they will vote for the windbag false who promises 

what they please ; 
Till duping electors becomes an art among skilled 

parliamentary hacks. 
Who will promise the needy voting man whatever he 

thinks he lacks ; 
And others will sell their honour and truth for trumpery 

Party gains, 
Regardless of national union and weal, — mere slaves in 

their Party chains. 
Well fee'd by their leaders from national funds, and 

bribed with the Church's spoils, 
They vote as they're told, and behave as required, held 

last in degrading toils ; 
So the loyal descendants of Britain's sons in Erin's 

unhappy land 
They would place beneath the disloyal rule of a wild and 

lawless band. 
Alas, that the English Parliament, which once had an 

honoured name. 
Degraded by its hireling cliques, has become the country's 
shame ! 



And lo ! the dreadful day draws nigh when a fearful 

national crash. 
With poverty, famine, and ruin, will come as a lightning 

flash : 



142 

For ominous voices are heard in the land, which warn you 

that danger is rife, 
In your puny strength among arm^d States, and un- 
readiness for the strife ; 
Your ships are the walls of your beautiful land and on 

them your hopes are stayed. 
Yet you leave your navy imperfectly manned, and your 

sailors underpaid : 
The words of your warrior sage you scorn, but when the 

mendacious placemen cry, — 
" Peace, you are safe," though the risk is great, you 

hear and believe the official lie. 
They flatter and cringe for your ignorant votes, like the 

fawning slaves of an eastern king, 
And they dare not tell you unwelcome truth, for like 

limpets to office they cling. 
And though your peril is near at hand, and wisdom cries 

loudly, " Beware ! " 
Their powers are devoted to wrecking the State, and you 

do not even care. 
Your ease-loving men in their folly refuse to learn how 

to fight for their homes. 
So their arms will be powerless to save the State when 

the day of disaster comes ; 
And the Britons whose bravery lay in songs about ruling 

the ocean waves, 
Ignoble in deed, must learn in shame to behave as 

conquered slaves, 
O England, those whom the heavens have doomed 

they render insane with pride. 
So madness is come upon you now, you are dancing 

with Ruin as bride. 



143 

But why are your people by folly ruled, and in such an 

evil case ? 
'Tis because they have forgotten their Lord, and His 

goodness to their race. 
And have lost the religious dread of sin, and the fear of 

offending God, 
And the spirit-force which raises man from the standing 

of a clod. 
For their rulers have robbed the children poor of the 

faith which should guide their lives, 
So the men are now like rudderless ships on the deep 

when the tempest drives. 
They worship idols, — enjoyment and wealth, — and 

barter their peace for gain. 
And now, as ever, idolatry brings vast evils in its 

train, — 
Blindness of soul to the light of truth, and deafness to 

wisdom's cry. 
Strife and disunion, with envy and greed, and selfish 

luxury. 
And in their titular Christian land, the paUament of 

the Lord 
Is slashed and torn to a hundred shreds with a wild 

sectarian sword. 
Which not alone His vesture rends, but His Truth itself 

would mutilate. 
The Truth for which martyrs died of old to hand it down 

inviolate. 
And though the bequest of the ancient Faith is righteous- 
ness and peace. 
Fanatical men in ungodly spite are striving the Church 

to fleece. 
Imposing a sacrilegious hand upon that which to God 

was given, 



144 

A crime which will bring on the impious State the 
punishment just of Heaven. 

O fatuous people who scorn the Faith that once was 
your defence, 

And drown your souls in material aims, and the vapid 
joys of sense. 

You forget that the only avaihng cure for your social 
and national ills 

Will be found in the power of brotherhood to soften 
human wills ; 

And this no social cult can give, for it cannot the " self " 
subdue ; 

It can only be gained when faith and love your earth- 
bound hearts renew. 

Your need is faith, yet divines abound who hold not the 

Truth intact, 
But value a critical German's guess above sacred Gospel 

fact, 
And scarcely dare to maintain the Creed revealed to the 

saints of yore. 
If some destructive pedant has shown that he credits it 

no more. 
They fondly imagine that scholarship causes their 

negative critical pose, 
Ignoring the deadly materialistic bane that in luxury 

grows. 
Ruining life, and fettering faith, and making miracles 

seem. 
In the gloom of their pantheistic thought, an almost 

impossible dream. 
So their doubts have infected the national mind, and 

many begin to say. 



145 

That humanity now is the wise man's cult, as the 

Church has had its day ; 
And faith in the Book of books grows dim, and its 

warnings they despise. 
And man, not God, is the central fact upon which they 

fix their eyes ; 
And many neglect on the day of rest to unite in prayer 

and praise. 
But in barren amusements which deaden the soul, they 

waste their joyless days. 
They cannot perceive that their loss of the Faith, and 

slight of the sacred page 
Is merely the tribute they feebly pay to the spirit of the 

age. 
And since the body and bodily things are what they 

chiefly love. 
They forget that hfe is a pilgrimage to a better land 

above ; 
A time for growth through the struggle with sin, and 

learning the cross to endure, 
A time to subdue the mutinous will, and daily to grow 

more pure. 
So pain and sorrow and suffering sore are riddles without 

a key. 
And men lose hope in the God of Love, Who is veiled in 

mystery. 



Can an age presume to judge of the Faith which worships 

silver and gold. 
And the sweets they bring, the comfort and ease and 

pleasures which life enfold ? 
Believe as Christians ? Nay, ye behave as decadent 

heathens might, 

K 



For the men are afraid that a father's cares might lessen 

their Ufe's dehght, 
And the women fear pain, and the trouble of babes, and 

stinting their ease and leisure, 
Renouncing the hohest joys for those that afford but 

transient pleasure. 
Can man judge the Faith in a libertine age, that is 

smirched by the Divorce Court, 
And numbers its fallen by tens of thousands ? — with 

ruin its men make sport. 

Isles of the sea, your ruin dire will come from your 

factious strife. 
Your schisms and sects at war with the Church in your 

vague religious life ; 
Your Parties in pohtics, ceaseless strikes, and toilers 

enraged at Fate, 
With your howling demagogues hounding them on to 

bitterness and hate ; 
For the patriot spirit is dying or dead through the 

worship of pleasure and gold, 
And the heart of the country beats not as it did in the 

glorious days of old. 
Alas ! there is gloom in the changeful sky : dread 

portents of ruin appear : 
There are storms within, and tempests without, for 

destruction draweth near. 

1 see it coming through cloud and mist, aflame with the 

fury of fire, — 
Disaster on ocean, and on the land a vast calamity dire. 
And in this lies the cause of the nation's risk, — its 

divided and godless state, 
For only a people God-fearing and one can ever be truly 

great. 



147 

The old man ceased and his face was sad, and it seemed 

as though he saw 
Far off a scene which filled his heart with grief, and his 

soul with awe. 
A dark cloud over the pine trees rose, and vivid lightnings 

played, 
The thunder echoed among the hills, and the wind blew 

up the glade ; 
And I thought with alarm of the social storm, and the 

tempest of alien foes 
Which the mystic saw in his vision dread of calamities 

and woes. 



O country dear, O beautiful land, I would that your sons 

might come, — 
Both those in the dim sectarian Hght, and those in 

agnostic gloom, — 
To the Church that was founded to give men peace, and 

unite them all in one, 
That brotherly love might daily increase, and the Will 

Divine be done, — 
To the ancient Church, which in England's realm since 

your Saxon fathers' day. 
The lamp of Truth in the State and home has upraised 

to light men's way, 
And has taught them their duty to God and man in 

their journey here below. 
Has shown the beauty of goodness and faith, and joys 

that from charity flow, 
United the Nation and joined it in one, and made the 

people free. 
And still is the hope of the national life in the days that 

are yet to be. 



148 

For justice and mercy, religion and truth, and reliance 

on Powers unseen, 
And a high ideal of duty's call, and a scorn of the base 

and mean. 
Are the only things that a nation can keep from ruin in 

war or peace. 
For if these are not found, all else is in vain, and the 

national life must cease. 



149 



THE CHILD AND THE CROWN. 

They have crowned the good king, and a little child 

In the joy of his reahn may share ; 
I will pray God to bless him and give him peace, 

And make his crown easy to wear. 

Though I may not the beautiful diadem see, 

I would I knew how it is made. 
I will ask my mother, and playmates kind 

In the garden and woodland glade. 



O Mother, of what do they make the crown 
" Of gold, my child, and velvet fair, 

All skilfully wrought by the deftest hands. 
And adorned with jewels rare." 

nightingale singing alone in the wood, 
What formeth the good king's crown ? 

" It is made, my dear, of his people's love, 
In country and village and town." 

And how do you fashion it, wise old rook. 

That croakest upon the pine ? 
" The noblest crown is of sorrow and pain. 

And of sacrifice Divine." 



? 



I50 

O what is the crown, gentle dove, cooing low 

To thy mate in the coppice green ? 
" It is fashioned of justice, and jewelled with peace, 

And of concord is its sheen." 

O butterfly sipping the wild eglantine. 

Just whisper me what you think : — 
" Oh, the crown of hfe is the bright sunshine. 

And honey to eat and drink." 

Then truthfully tell me you dear old oak, 

That shadowest all the glen : — 
" Vigour and strength, and a purpose high, 

Are the crown of a king of men." 

O canny old owl in the oak tree's bole, 
When you hoot in the dead of night. 

Ponder the answers of all my friends, 
And tell me which is right. 

" My dear little child, they are all telling true. 

For the fairest crown may fade ; — 
Of jewels and gold and a nation's love, 

And of peace it now is made : 

" And of vigour and joy ; but a time has been 

When a royal crown to wear 
Was sorrow and pain to endure in the heart. 

And thorns on the brow to bear. 

" Now all who are dwelling in English woods. 

The creatures that fly and sing. 
The forest trees, and the blossoming herbs. 

Wish joy to the Enghsh king." 



151 

Then an angel flew from the heart of a rose 

And whispered to the child ; — 
" There is also a glorious crown for you, — 

The meed of the undefiled ; 

" For when duty is done there's a fairer prize 

On earth than a crown of gold ; 
And a garland of joy in a better land, 

More lovely than can be told." 



152 



WAR. 



When an armed and warlike nation is assembled near 

our shore, 
Seeking world-wide domination, fearing not the battle's 

roar, 
Can we fail to see war's shadow falling on our fatherland ? 
Dare we slight the voice of duty caUing us to take our 

stand, — 
One and all our arms preparing that the onslaught we 

may check, 
Learning to do deeds of daring to defend our homes 

from wreck ? 

What is war ? 'Tis sudden dj'ing by the bullet and the 

sword, 
On the field of carnage lying, where the blood of friends 

is poured, 
Falling wounded, sorely smitten, dying slowly in our 

pain, 
Seeing in Fate's volume written, — " Failure ! Life and 

death are vain ! " 
What is war ? 'Tis woman's sorrow, and the cry of 

babes in want ; 
Hopeless looking for the morrow ; tears from an unfailing 

font ; 



153 

Ruined homesteads, savage burnings, blackened fields 

where once was corn ; 
Scattered all the patient earnings of a life in one fell 

morn. 

What is war ? Does naught but weeping mark its 

shadow on the world ? 
Nay, for heroes idly sleeping, waken at the flag unfurled. 
What of good has war to offer to atone for pain and woe ? 
This ; — that men will gladly suffer death, will let their 

hfe-blood flow 
For the cause that noble seemeth, for the country of 

their birth. 
For the ideal each man deemeth worthiest of the things 

on earth. 
Better 'tis that men be willing for a noble cause to die, 
Than to hve, their coffers filling with the gains of cheat 

and he. 

In the melting cauldron mingle silver coins from many a 

land. 
Heat the furnace, soon a single casting glitters in the 

sand : 
So the children of a nation molten in the fire of strife, 
In the glow of war's probation, union find, and fuller 

life. 
Side by side the peasant marches with the noble to the 

fight. 
Both the starlit sky o'erarches in the bivouac at night : 
Both would gladly for the other shed his blood in battle 

fell, 
Every comrade is a brother, love can death's grim terrors 

quell. 



154 

Look upon the field of battle ; see a wounded soldier 

fall. 
Listen how the bullets rattle all around him on the wall ; 
Must he die ? A brother yeoman, heedless of the peril 

dire. 
Through the hailstorm of the foemen, rushing, saves 

him from their fire. 
Lo ! the conflict fierce is ending : where are fury now, 

and hate ? 
Watch that crippled man befriending one with whom he 

fought but late. 
Binding up his wounds, and water offering, his most 

precious boon, 
Reckless of the thirst and torture that himself must 

suffer soon. 

He Who rules in heavenly beauty turns the ills of war 

to gain. 
Making sacrifice to duty glorious, crowning death and 

pain ; 
Bringing many a high emotion into wild unthinking 

souls. 
Filling them with self-devotion when the battle-thunder 

rolls. 
War is more than strife of nations, 'tis the land's refining 

fire, 
Burning up her false foundations, pride, ease, luxury, 

desire. 

In our years of war and sorrow, have we learnt through 

grief and care 
Not to wait until the morrow ere for battle we prepare, — 
Not to rest in fatuous weakness when we should be 

brave and strong, 



155 

Nor to think a nation's meekness will avail to save it 

long ? 
Learnt that courage and endurance, trust in God and 

love of right 
Give a people strong assurance, and in days of battle, 

might ? 
Is our country's love expelling love of luxury and greed, 
And each citizen compelling to defend her in her need ? 
Or are we too fond of pleasure, gambling, racing, playing 

games, 
Getting wealth and hoarding treasure to attend to 

nobler aims ? 
Happy is the nation learning out of failure to arise. 
And, — its errors past discerning, — strong in purpose to 

be wise. 



156 



UNDYING LOVE. 

The night is dark, and the wind is cold, 
And a cruel storm sweeps over the sea ; 

It will freeze the heart of the sailor bold, 
However bold he be. 

'Twill freeze the heart of the sailor bold 
To see the tall iceberg come floating by, 

For seldom has mariner young or old 
Seen iceberg loom so high. 

It comes as a phantom of the storm, 
All suddenly seen in the lurid light. 

As the clouds flash fire on its jagged form, 
Half black, half ghostly white. 

Young Roland sits in the vessel's prow ; 

He has fled from his gentle lady fair ; 
The maiden weeps, he has broken his vow, 

Inconstant as the air. 

She thought him true, now she weeps and prays, 
In her lonely bower on a southern sea. 

Through tearful nights and long desolate days, 
" Oh, bring him back to me." 



157 

But Roland stands on the plunging prow ; 

Though he fears neither wave nor iceberg high, 
Unhappiness sits on his marble brow, 

'Tis sad for the false to die. 

He thinks of the maiden far away, 

Then dreams of an innocent love betrayed. 

And a humble grave near the old church grey, 
Where she who loved was laid. 

A shudder suddenly thrills his frame. 

An icy hand is placed on his own, 
And he hears through the tempest his whispered name. 

And his heart is turned to stone. 

Who rides with Roland upon the deep ? 

When the sailors behold the ghostly form, 
Their blood will grow cold, and their flesh will creep : — 

A spirit drives the storm ! 

They see her now, a shadowy thing, 

That on Roland sheds an unearthly hght. 

The captain cries, — " Hither the wizard bring. 
For he must die to-night." 

The boat they lower on the raging wave, 
And in it leaps Roland, he is not alone ! 

A spirit is there, " Will it kill or save ? " 
The night winds screech and moan. 

Long time they watch the luminous speck 
Rise high, fall low on the wild rushing sea. 

The icebergs crash on the wind-driven wreck. 
But still the boat rides free. 



158 

And Roland utters nor word nor cry. 
He thinks of a bygone pleasure and pain, 

His heart tells true her nanie who is nigh, 
For there she once had lain. 

Cold is the wind and dark is the night, 
Neither moon nor stars in the sky appear, 

But round them there hovers a ghostly light, 
And thunder crashes near. 

The sun o'er the water rises red, 
The foaming billows are white like snow, 

The threatening waves hover high overhead. 
And oh ! the gulf below. 

High hangs the boat on the mountain's crest. 
Then is hurled far on to an iceberg chill. 

Oh ! here is the young man's terrible rest. 
And the spirit haunts him still. 

The mountain of ice moves swiftly on 
Past tempest and clouds to a sunht sea. 

Where nautilus sail 'neath a brilliant sun. 
And the waves move dreamily. 

But Roland sees not the silken sail. 
Nor knows how his refuge dwindles away ; 

Weary with hunger, weak, fainting and pale. 
He sleeps throughout the day. 

The iceberg is gone, the boat once more 
On the boundless ocean is all alone : 

Who hfts up the sail, and who pHes the oar ? 
No form of flesh and bone. 



159 

The maiden fair in her castle sleeps, 

And dreams of a boat on a lonely strand, 

A weeping spirit beside her creeps, 
And takes her by the hand. 

The moon is high, the shadows are dark. 
And the wind comes sadly over the sea. 

The maiden, she shivers, the watch dogs bark, 
The owl shrieks in the tree. 

Alone the maid quits the gloomy keep : 
'Tis the dead of night and the beach is still, 

And scarcely a ripple ruffles the deep ; 
The moon shines o'er the hill. 

She passes under the awesome cliff. 
And starts at her form in the brackish mere. 

On the shining sand is a little skiff 
Beside the water clear. 

What has she found in the little skiff ? 

The face that is dearest as pale as the moon. 
Oh ! can he be dead ? he is cold and stiff, — 

She loves too much to swoon. 

She chafes his hands, she calls through the night 
To the watchman high on her lonely tower ; 

Over the sandhills there glimmers a light, 
They'll fetch him to her bower. 

The night is past, low sinketh the moon. 
And Roland is sleeping in safety now. 

But a mournful wail sweeps over the dune, 
And cold hps touch his brow. 



i6o 

'Twas a last farewell. ' 

Now weeks have sped, 
There is joy in the castle beside the shore, 
For the lady fair and the youth will wed, 
He will not leave her more. 

But sometimes he'll go to pray and weep 
'Neath a marble cross by a nameless grave, 

To pray for the soul that came over the deep. 
An erring friend to save. 



Unselfish love is a heavenly balm. 
For guilt-stricken mortals it pardon wins. 

The wanderer wild it protects from harm ; 
And covers a cloud of sins. 



i6i 



THE LEGEND OF LLYN CWELLYN. 

I. 

The summit of Snowdon was wrapped in mist, 
And a heavy cloud lay on Mynydd Mawr, 

As lightly the delicate dewdrops kissed 
Llyn Cwelljm's wan face at the midnight hour. 

'Twas the midnight hour but it was not dark, 
For the moonbeams shone through the vapour grey, 

And over the water there flickered a spark. 
And a white flame danced in the torrent's spray. 

But the night was still, not a sound was heard 
Save the musical flow of the rippling stream, 

And away on the moorland a lonely bird 
Aroused by the moonhght uttered a scream. 

Young Meredith walked through the drizzhng rain 
To his lonely home by true Gellert's tomb ; 

The cloud-covered rocks were hke ghosts : a strain 
Of mystical music he heard in the gloom. 

What meant the sweet strain and the flickering flame ? 

The sprites of the lake were at play that night. 
And Meredith's pulses beat high as he came 

To a glade that was full of unearthly light ; 

L 



l62 

Where glittering dewdrops like diamonds shone, 
And a little pond lay like a mirror of glass, 

And around, giant boulders looked ghostly and wan, 
And clouds flitted lightly across the grass. 

Oh, why grew the cheek of the traveller pale ? 

There was something unearthly behind the cloud, 
For aerial forms that were fair and frail 

Danced there as the music grew wild and loud. 

From a shadowy boulder he watched at play 
The bright water-maidens in soft raiment dight. 

Their arms were entwined, and their smiles were gay ; 
'Twas a vision of joy in the silver light. 

A vision of dehcate forms that swayed 

In time to a wild ^olian air. 
Fair feet that in regular cadence played. 

And ghttering tresses of golden hair. 

As the dancers drew nigh to the boulder grey 

A beautiful maiden sat down to rest ; 
Then a human kiss met the brow of the fay, 

And a hand was laid on her gentle breast. 

A thick cloud suddenly darkened the night, 
The sweet vision faded, the strain was still, 

But the youth whispered love to the fairy bright. 
And kneehng awaited her soft " I will." 

" Can a mere-maid marry a mortal mate ? " 
" Oh, yes, if they really love," he said. 

But she,—" My sire dwells in the mountain spate, 
My mother was born in the haunted glade. 



i63 

" I now am a maiden, but often have seen, 
As I sailed on a cloud in the morning wind, 

My Meredith tread on the mountain green. 
And for mortal's love I have bitterly pined. 

" Through love I am yours, and through love j^ou are 
mine, 

But a word of distrust will turn joy into pain, 
For your dear self and home I must sadly resign, 

And weeping return to the fayland again." 

" Oh ! never can anger come 'twixt us, my dear," 
He answered, so straight to his home in the vale 

With Meredith went the fair maid of the mere : — 
There were voices that night in the summer gale. 



II. 



The happiest home in that country fair 

Was Meredith's cot by the murmuring stream ; 

For beauty and love and delight were there. 
And life was as sweet as a joyous dream. 

The home of contentment it was that shone 
With an infant's smile and sweet innocent life, 

With a mother's joy in her httle one, 
With the tender love of a beautiful wife. 

And Meredith prospered, his lambs on the wild 
Were ever as safe as if penned in fold, 

The rain fell softly, the frosts were mild. 

His cornfields in autumn shone yellow as gold. 



164 

For kind were the fairies, and oft he saw 
Sweet faces smile on him from out the spate. 

But clear through the grey mist on Mynydd Mawr 
Shone terrible eyes glowing fiercely with hate. 

His wife whispered wildly, — " Your rival is there. 
His spirit is crafty, his potence is dread, 

He rode on the tempest, he came in the air, 
He wooed me, but ever his presence I fled. 

" Beware of his craft and his cruel power, 
He ever is striving to ruin our bUss. 

If wrath come between us, in that fell hour 
I fain must submit to his odious kiss." 

He shuddered, her voice came as hollow and wild 
As o'er the black ocean the sea-mew's cry : 

He kissed her and tenderly clasped his child, 
To banish the fear from his wife's blue eye. 

The days flitted by and he saw no more 
The terrible eyes, the weird voices were still ; 

There was peace and quiet and joy as before. 
And content in the homestead beneath the hill. 



m. 



The bud may be blighted before it flower, 
The seeds sown in autumn may perish with frost. 

And so to each mortal there cometh an hour 
When joys may be deepened or peace may be lost. 



165 

So fell it to Meredith : one wild eve, 
When crossing the ridge of the windy mount, 

He fancied he saw, — How it made him grieve ! — 
His wife by the side of the murmuring fount. 

(Twas only a wile of his crafty foe), 
But her musical voice he believed he heard. 

Returning with utterance sweet and low 
An impassioned reply to a passionate word ; 

And her gentle face in the moonhght glowed, 
So it seemed, with a look that he knew right well. 

While from out the grot where the fountain flowed 
The eyes of his foe cast their terrible spell. 

In anger he rushed towards the phantom form. 
But full in the light of the silver moonbeam, 

As swift as a cloud in a mountain storm 
Before him it fled towards his home by the stream. 

All desolate seemed the fair earth that night. 
As he wearily hurried adown the steep. 

And bitterly thought of a broken plight. 
For the anguish of doubting in love is deep. 

So home he came ; oh, how fatally blind 
Is the mortal whose spirit is dark with ire ! 

His dear wife sat with her arms entwined 
Around his babe by the homestead fire ; 

And softly she sang to her sleeping child, 

A ditty of love to a fairyland air. 
And sweetly, as Meredith came, she smiled. 

And bright was his home with her womanly care. 



1 66 



But her truth and her love from his sight were hid 
By the phantom seen in the moon's sad rays. 

And his own true wife he cruelly chid, 
Forgetting the sweetness of bygone days. 

There was woeful pain in her gentle face. 
As she laid her child in his little bed. 

Then clasped him again in a last embrace. 
As sadly as one who hangs over the dead. 

A cloud flitted slowly across the hall, 

And a cry of agony rent the air, 
The door was of oak, and of stone the wall. 

But gone from his home was the Undine fair. 

And Meredith never again may see, 
The hght of her beauty his chamber fill, 

But often when clouds lie on mountain and lea 
He feels that she loves and is near him still. 



1 67 



THE OUTCAST. 

I. 

Slowly and sadly she wandered that day 
From the house of the gallant who'd led her astray, 
For her he had spurned in his selfish dismay 
When he saw how her beauty had faded away. 

For a terrible sickness had laid her low ; — 
'Twas a year since she left her glad home to go, 
In the dead of the night that none might know, 
With the man she loved with a passionate glow. — 

And during her sickness he never came near, 
Though she waited and wondered with many a tear 
And then came across her the terrible fear 
That perhaps he no longer held her dear. 

Her beauty had passed like the sunset glow. 
When she saw him again, but she could not know 
How hard was his heart ; — Oh ! the dreadful blow 
Which struck her dumb, when he bade her go. 

Tottering feebly, his threshold she crossed, 
Into the desolate winter and frost : 
Her soul was with cruellest agony tossed, 
As sadly and wildly she wailed " I am lost." 



i68 

Oh ! where should she seek for a refuge that night ? 
She looked at the moon with its cold cruel light. 
And she thought of her home, and remembered her flight. 
In a moment of madness, from duty and right. 

Tearless agony came with the thought, 
And despair settled down on her soul distraught, 
As through the dark maze of her mind she sought 
For guidance, but none in her anguish was brought. 

No hope came to comfort, — of light not a gleam ; — 
The past lay behind as a horrible dream, 
The future could never its errors redeem ; 
She saw but despair in the misty moonbeam. 

She wearily wandered she knew not where, 
Through the silent, deserted thoroughfare. 
Till she came to a bridge, and stopping there. 
Sat down in her grief on the cold water-stair. 

Though the night was dark and the wind was chill. 
She longed but for peace in the world of ill. 
She looked at the water ; it flowed so still, 
It seemed like a strong, irresistible will : 

It bound her thoughts as she wildly gazed, 
And it fixed itself in her mind amazed. 
As a peaceful home for a soul half crazed, 
As a peaceful home. — With her hand she raised 

A pebble and dropped it into the wave, 
The water flowed on, — " What a quiet grave," 
She thought, — " but a moment I need be brave, 
I will end my grief." — Is there none to save ? 



169 

Far away that night a mother's prayer ^ 

Was carried by angels swift through the air, 
That God, in His infinite mercy, would spare 
A wandering child who had left her care. 

" Sister, oh, why are you here all alone," 

And the voice had a tender compassionate tone, 

" Whatever your sorrow I'll make it my own. 

And show you joys sweeter than aught you have known." 

The nun, in her charity, spoke not in vain, 
'Twas her mission to comfort where'er she.saw pain. 
Her tender compassion would gently regain, 
The heart that had long in its bitterness lain. 

There was joy among angels, and triumph in hell ; — 
But love is resistless, and none can tell 
The might of the penitent's prayer as it fell. 
Daily for him she had loved but too well. 



Sadly and wearily drifted the years ; 

Never the scarring of sin disappears, 

For the penitent's joy must be mingled with tears. 

And hopes of forgiveness are shadowed by fears. 



n. 



The moon shone bright upon the ocean deep. 

As a lone hermit waking from short sleep, 

Knelt in his cave upon the headland steep. 

That through the night-watch he might pray and weep. 



I/O 

Far oft' that night a convent passing bell, 
For dying sister tolled a mournful knell, 
The hermit caught the echo as it fell, 
By angels wafted over hill and dell. 

And with the echo, strange and undefined, 
There passed an awe mysterious o'er his mind, 
As if a spirit came upon the wind, 
Who with his guilty past had been entwined. 

A misty shadow fell upon the wall. 

He heard a voice whose sweet tones did recall 

The memory of days before his fall. 

And then a palhd corpse in funeral pall 

Passed slow before him, and his heart grew cold 
With agonised remembrance, and behold, 
As far away the deep bell sadly tolled, 
A gentle voice brought back the days of old. — 

" We meet again to part for evermore ; 
It may be on a brighter, happier shore. 
When years of pain ecstatic being o'er. 
Upborne by love immortal we shall soar 

" For ever upwards. In the angelic strain, 
Perchance in echo we shall catch again 
Each other's voices, or on Heaven's plain 
Rapt in a vision blest we may regain 

" The sense of some diviner gift we knew, 
And in each other loved : 'Tis not for you 
And me, whose love was sinful, to renew 
In heaven the bliss of earth, as they may do, 



171 

" Whose love below was holy, so we part 
For ever." The form faded, and a dart 
Of bitterest anguish, and remorseful smart 
Pierced the ascetic's soul and broke his heart. 

The brilliant morning dawned and cast its glow 
Within the cave, the ocean rolled below 
Majestic, but the scene will never know 
Again the ancient hermit or his woe. 



Jarrold (SfSons, Ltd, Printers, The Empire Press, Norwich. 



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