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Full text of "Wild oats"

6ooo 
Mv/64 




,D OATS 




ODUffilDS PRESS* 



Resirvtd.) 



LONDO 

ELKIN MAT: IGO si; 

1906. 




THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 
OF CALIFORNIA 

LOS ANGELES 



ANNOUNCEMENTS OF THE WOODLANDS 
PRESS PUBLICATIONS. 



VOX HUMANA, an Album of verse and illustration 
by REGINALD HALLWARD, (a limited number 
only of the sets remain.) 

The series is issued in six parts with separate covers, each 
with cover design (grey and black) and bound in green silk. 
Each part contains three full page drawings (one a copper 
plate) and a selection of verses on decorated pages, printed on 
hand made paper, and coloured by the artist himself. The 
plates are by Messrs. WALKER & COCKERELL and the 
AUTOTYPE Co. 

Part I. Vox Humana. 
II. On the Edge of the Dark. 
III. Earth's Ladder to the Sky. 
,, IV. The Temple of Sorrow. 
,, V. Beauty's Pleasures. 
VI. The little Copse Wood. 

PRICE : 

Series (hand coloured by the artist) ... 3 35. 
Single copies ... 125. 6d. 

APOTHEOSIS. A DRAMATIC POEM IN FOUR 
ACTS ... Price 25. 

WILD OATS. Poems by the Author of APOTHEOSIS 

as. 6d. 

FLOWER OF PARADISE. A Book of songs for 
children, set to music, full of coloured 
illustrations. By REGINALD HALLWARD ... 6s. 

IN PREPARATION 

GRANNY'S WORKBOX. A child's story book in 
verse, with many black and white illus- 
trations. By REGINALD HALLWARD. 



The above may be obtained from 

THE WOODLANDS PRESS, SIIORNE, GRAVESEND, 

or from ELKIN MATHEWS, Vigo Street, London, W. 

(Prices are in all cases nett.) 



WILD OATS 




Where was his dwelling-place ? 
What was his name? you say. 
Neither this hour to-morrow, or yesterday, 
Own any more to a trace of locality. 
Sprung from wherever night changes to-day, 
Voice of humanity. 



(All Rights Reserved.) 



LONDON : 

ELKIN MATHEWS, VIGO STREET, W. 
1906. 



PREFACE. 

THE verses selected for publication in the follow- 
ing pages refer to a time of apprenticeship 
and struggle which accompanied the effort to build 
up, amid outward and inward misfortune, a toler- 
able house of life. They represent imperfectly 
enough some glimpse into the world of thought 
and feeling out of which they grew, and are the 
echo of the various conflicts, and the expression 
of them. 

It is easy to see they are the work of youth, 
and that they have little claim to art, or adequate 
literary intention. Indeed, something far more 
urgent brought them into being, a necessity no 
less than that, of building from the foundations an 
acceptable theory of life, amid the exaggerated 
distress, and half-formed visions the hints and 
intuitions which accompany the passage of youth 
from old use and wont ; from what is sanctioned and 
customary, to a newer and better world. 

THE AUTHOR. 



868759 



INDEX. 

Preface .... 5 
Wild Oats .... 9 

Apology . . . .11 

The Thrush . . . .15 

Conversion . . . .18 

Nature's Recompense . . 20 

Then and now . . .22 

All, all is well . . .23 

Soon . . . .24 

On the Pier . . . .25 

Recollection. . . .27 

The Angels . . . .29 

The Songs of the Birds . . 30 

The Way to Heaven . . 32 

Weary and Lonely . . -33 

A Portrait . . . .34 

At St. Paul's 35 

Farewell . . . -37 

Circumstance . . 3& 

The Blackbird . . -39 

On the East Coast . . .40 

Plagiarist . . . ,42 

An Apology . . . -43 

Strangers . . . ,44 

Love's trial . . . .45 

Marching Song . . .46 

Sympathy . . . .48 

Friends . . . .50 

^Eolus . . . .51 
Song ..... 52 
On the duty of stopping at home . 53 

Genius . . . -55 

The Insanity of Genius . . 56 

The Promise of Reason . . 57 

What Art is . . . . 58 

A Visit to Cothele . . -59 



DEDICATED TO 
MY WIFE. 



WILD OATS. 

When first a poet takes the pen 

His thoughts and feelings to rehearse, 

To lay at last his sorrows down 

In the broad fatherland of verse. 

Shall he who hardly dreamed to win 

Through poesy so great reward, 

At enmity with all he loves 

Contented leave the paths untrod ? 

Those griefs which now ceased blossoming 

An autumn found in early spring, 

Those withered leaves my verse shall sing 

As grave to hide their sorrowing. 



AUTHOR'S APOLOGY. 

Reformer. 

When there's so much of active work 
To occupy the mind, 
I wonder such an one as you 
Should here be left behind ; 
Wasting his time on idle verse, 
Leaving events to take their course. 
Look, note, around, how everywhere 
The signs of change are in the air, 
How progress vast right forward flies, 
And Freedom glitters from the skies : 
While despots howl, and breaking chain, 
Proclaim all shall be well again. 
When there's so much of active work 
To help emancipating, 
Whatever led, at such a time 
To such an undertaking ? 

The poet whispers to himself, 

To save oue heart from breaking. 

Reformer. 

We're quite ashamed to see how base 

The Government's become, 

Yet here you muse the time away, 

In indolence at home ! 

Oh ! join the fight, and quickly mix 

Your lot in current politics 

I'm sure you would enjoy the sight 

There's bound to be a fight to-night, 

Oh, to the meeting come ? 



II 



You won't ? I must misapprehend 
It really is too bad ! 

The poet whispers to himself, 
I would not quite go mad. 

Worldling. 

" Good morning " to you Ah ! I see ; 
Correcting proofs so busily, 
I've just come from the town. 
Suppose it pays you very well ? 
I really hope that it will sell, 
When you the book have done ; 
And that you will find some reward 
Ahem for being rather bored. 

Philosopher. 

You will admit as now so very clear 
The only thing in verse is the idea. 
And so forsooth, I'd sooner write it down 
In honest prose, as well as could be done. 
Forgotten now, a relic of the race, 
" Progress " of poetry doth take the place ! 

Poet. 

I quite admit as altogether clear 
All is not poetry that meets the ear. 
So many people by mistake rehearse 
Their thoughts in rhyme philosophise in 

verse. 

Ideas do not alone make poetry ; 
A younger sister to the muse is she. 
And when dished up as verse ideas appear 
Their awkward form proclaims " philosopher ! " 
Unto ideas must something wedded be, 

The poet whispers Here, the mystery ! 



12 



Verse Maker. 

You've very little polish got. 
D'you count the syllables or not ? 
I like a full and sounding line, 
Alliteratively divine. 
And whether it mean ought or not, 
Is surely quite an after-thought. 

Poet. 

'Tis very kind of you to say, 

What passes in your thoughts to-day, 

Though after all how hard to find 

The motives of the human mind ? 

But if you ask, at such a time, 

All better tasks forsaking, 

What led one lone, unhappy heart, 

To such an undertaking ; 

No better thing than this I find, 

To bring me back my peace of mind ; 

To save one heart from breaking. 

And in a world so beautiful, he found himself 

awaking^ 
Such hope returning in the place of doubt, now fast 

forsaking, 
Such joy in every impulse felt, for life new life 

remaking. 
Small wonder if he resteth not, till all men are 

partaking. 



THE THEUSH. 



One gentle evening in the Spring, 

Ere yet the lilac's blossoming 

Was stayed, and spikes of purple bloom, 

Flung their sweet incense through the room. 

While through the casement window wide, 

The Spring's pale twilight entered. 

A little thrush who all day long 

Had made the valley ring with song ; 

Now, at the closing in of day 

Poured once again its minstrelsy, 

As though it hardly might express 

The sum of all its happiness. 

With such a sens the song was fraught 

Of liberty enjoyed unsought, 

Morbid comparisons it brought, 

With human life's conditioned lot. 

The slightest work of nature's hand 

The joy of life can understand ; 

While man, the heir of ages born, 

Is left in misery to mourn. 

While thus I mused, a peal was sent, 

That seemed to wake the firmament. 

The stars looked down ; with deepening fire, 

The twilight glowed, a smouldering pyre. 

As though the song, like arrow sent, 



Right through the heart of nature went ; 

Even as the poet's song must be 

The voice of all humanity. 

" Is it " I questioned with a sigh 

" That longings felt continually, 

" Were never meant to fructify. 

1 Is such life's evil destiny ? 

1 Why am I stirred by happiness, 

' If I may never it possess ? 

' Why doth this bird's sweet ecstacy, 

' Stir, madden, if not too in me, 

' Like powers and feelings I possess, 
" To hold and give forth happiness. 
Out of the hour's tranquility, 
It seemed as though one spoke to me : 
"That song sublime which so much stirred, 
u Was in yourself a music heard, 
u Awakening by the powers of love, 
u Fires, which within but dimly move. 
"The power that made that song divine 
" Was largely power unused of thine. 
" The greater part from thee was given, 
" Which made that song to speak of heaven. 
"This is the poet, he who can 
" Discern the God-like still in man, 
u The radiance of whose soul is given, 
" To make the path less dusk to heaven. 
" But none can sorrow's sorrow move, 
" Till sorrow is cast out in love. 
" And love though no less sorrow prove 
u Shall be a worship gladly given 
" To lead mankind the way to heaven. 
u Thus from himself again set free 
u Shall man redeem his liberty. 
" Triumphant then shall live the brave 



16 



" And his last triumph be the grave." 
And musing on the answer brought 
With so much meaning for me fraught, 
It seemed that I might possibly 
Yet grasp with less uncertainty 
Those yearnings, aspirations all 
Which unexpressed my heart appal 
'Oh, could," I cried, u united be' 1 
1 Could once become more plain to me, 
' The actual as I see it here 
' With those great hopes of reason clear ;- 
' Ah ! could this world of sin and wrong 
' As now I see it yet belong, 
' And in its heart this ideal wear, 
1 Oh then were earth my heaven here ! " 

Again renewed from out the trees 
There poured a flood of melodies 
No spirit saved made peal along 
Where angel and archangel throng 
The vault of heaven, more wondrous song. 
As though translated from the skies 
Poured such a flood of melodies 
Came such a pent-up burst of song 
Pealing, increasing, loud and long : 
I watched, though almost breathlessly, 
The fading splendours die. 

Yet once again with higher flight, 
The little thrush with all her might, 
Rang out one last peal to the night, 
Then like a meteor dropped from sight. 



CONVERSION. 

Sorrow is lovely when the way 
Of sorrow shines far distantly, 
When once again we walk the way 
We walked once Ah! how differently. 

On Saturday, half holiday, 

I took my walk the river way ; 

As usual, with no company 

On this or any other day. 

This Saturday, half holiday, 

I wandered more unhappily 

Than any other previously. 

For I had found to my dismay 

That what I learned from day to day, 

But left me yet more helplessly ; 

That knowledge, reason, as it grew 

Without an object, preyed on you. 

On Saturday, half holiday, 

The river scene is always gay ; 

This Saturday, it seemed to be 

Of flood time force of gaiety. 

Upon the bosom of the tide, 

The pleasure steamers upward plied, 

And I could hear as well as see 

Another was approaching me, 

By its familiar music known ; 

Far off, and glittering in the sun. 

But even as I listened, 

Faint heard, yet plaintive clear, 

The sound of other music 



18 



Now hovered on the air. 

And the sound which faintly floated, 

Like an oft-repeated sigh 

Borne nearer on the breezes, 

Till it seemed to pause and die ; 

Borne nearer on the breezes 

Till it reached the busy hum 

And commingled with the laughter, 

Was the roll of funeral drum. 

It was just as though the music, 

Which pierced so mournfully 

Through the sounds of song and laughter, 

Came to point the fact to me 

That I stood betwixt them either, 

And my labour too was there, 

And if neither called me brother, 

I would love them unaware. 

Oh, happy sounds of laughter, 
Oh, mournful funeral beat, 
Oh music, music of the world, 
Too slow, my heart to greet. 
From this hour will I embrace you, 
And the ways that were to be 
Full of sorrow, desolation, 
Shall be beautiful to me. 
For I stand betwixt them either, 
And my labour too is there, 
And if neither hail me brother, 
I will love them unaware. 



NATURE'S RECOMPENSE. 

Both harsh and cruel seems the choice, 
Great Nature's choice to one and all ; 
That all the choice she ever gives 
In simple truth is none at all ! 

And when we saw with breaking heart 
That all our youth and hope were fled, 
Whoever thought great Nature led 
To higher, worthier joys instead ! 

And yet as guide doth Nature lead 
Not through a glittering country fair, 
But^ where from all we shrink aghast, 
And takes her will and pleasure there. 

Oh, cruel jest yet youth hath seen 
Its fondest hopes set one by one, 
Seen friendship, faith, all earthly hopes 
Deserted, dying, vanished, gone. 

Yet knowing all the time that he 
Is mocked, pursued, in his despair. 
That all the world is full of joy, 
Is full of joy he cannot share. 

Till full the cup, see Nature turn 
Her pitying, downcast, tearful face, 
And on those brows so tempest tossed 
The gentlest, tenderest kisses place. 



And now instead of hopeless woe, 
Her kisses rain upon the brow. 
The sun has risen which was low, 
Can this be earth we tread on now ? 

And who are these fresh greeting twain 

Once seen, but dimly, from afar ? 

Not Sacrifice, and Duty now, 

But Love and Faith themselves they are. 

Ah ! mortal, doubting Nature's laws. 
Be quick, renounce, attend her call, 
Content whate'er thy suffering, 
And she will dower thee with all. 

Oh words of hope immortal sent, 
What deepest darkness can appal, 
I have given all for which men strive, 
And have for ever won it all. 



THEN AND NOW. 

How different through the waving trees, 
Sound the sweet song birds' melodies. 
How different seems the sky so blue, 
Once only meant to mock at you. 
How different dear is every face, 
Once hostile puckered in grimace. 
How little is the wrong I see, 
To that which once was wrong for me. 
How wide the garment goodness wears, 
For ever shining unawares. 
How different is the world I see, 
l"ro)Dwhat the world was formerly ! 

O God ! whose great divinity, 
Robes all the world's activity, 
O God, who made this earth divine, 
Give me the eyes to make it mine. 



ALL, ALL IS WELL. 

All, all, is well, 

Though dark the night and dreary 

Though the lone heart 

Its anguish cannot tell ; 

Still in the darkness, 

Not in vain it uttereth 

All, all is well. 

And though the broken 

Spirit vainly fluttereth 

Pinions all torn, 

Ev'n from lonely hell 

Spirit divine 

Still through its anguish uttereth 

All, all, is well. 

O hark the song of God and angels swelling, 
From end to end the earth its message tell, 
How for the bravest, sorest yet in travail, 
God hath prepared a place near him to dwell. 

All, all is well, 

Whoso denieth not, 

God and the angels take 

With them to dwell. 



SOON. 

Soon the doubts that fill the day, 
Sad ones weeping bitterly ; 
All our doubts shall flee away, 
All shall vanish utterly. 

Comes from whom all doubts must hide. 
Comes the universal bride. 
Comes for ever to thy side 
Love, with whom no tears abide. 

Out of darkness, dawns the day. 
Say not " Why doth Love delay." 
She, apparelled gloriously, 
Even now is on the way. 

Love our mistress, love our guide. 
Stretching far on every side ; 
See the world doth perfectly, 
Fitted to man's service lie. 



24 



ON THE PIER. 

I was standing alone a stranger, 

Far at the end of the pier, 

And the people behind were crowding, 

The strains of the band to hear. 

But I turned my eyes to the seaward, 

Which had its music for me, 

And the lights shone out in the distant town 

As the band played over the sea. 

And there while absently musing, 

The sound of the band in my ear, 

Mid all the gossip and laughter 

Of the idle company near. 

Strange indeed was the contrast, 

Almost pathetic to me, 

Was the dark ship's silent, unerring course, 

Over the distant sea. 

Away on the distant horizon, 

The line of their dark sails hung, 

And to see the solemn procession 

Silently, one by one, 

Mid all the gossip and laughter, 

The strains of the noisy band. 

Well, perhaps it was weakness, 

But it seemed to me so grand ; 

The dark ship's silent, unerring course, 

Far from the distant land. 



And watching alone in silence, 

I saw or seemed to see 

Mid all the gossip and laughter 

Of the idle company, 

As the lights shone out in the distant town, 

And the band played over the sea. 

Once more I gazed on my old, old self, 

Came my old self back unto me. 



RECOLLECTION. 

I am strong in my purpose, 
I will not give way. 
But let me be weak brother, 
Just for one day. 

Justj for one hour 
One hour, and no more 
Then back to my purpose, 
As strong as before. 

Just for one moment, 
Let memory stay. 
I have nothing better, 
To help me to-day. 

Oh, talk now of nothing, 
But what we can share. 
Let the ways lie together, 
And no difference appear. 

Let us rest here together, 
Be serious, or gay. 
In the old simple manner, 
Let us kneel down and pray. 



Ah ! you smile but, if once 
If we could as of yore, 
All the friendship so free, 
Open-hearted restore. 

If again we could look, 
With no more of disguise, 
And with nothing withheld. 
Into each other's eyes. 

Then the striving alone, 
In a grief which is dumb, 
Yet, which speaketh in all, 
To an ending would come. 



THE ANGELS. 

Childish illusions, too utterly vanished : 

Where are the angels that watched round our bed ? 

Where are the voices encouraging, kindly ? 

By which in our childhood each footstep was led. 

Utterly vanished, no longer we find them 

Coming to comfort us, hovering near. 

The world of our childhood was peopled with 

visions, 
Oh, why is our manhood so bleak and so drear ? 

Have we done ought in our striving to silence, 
Voices that whispered, our spirits which heard ? 
Has wisdom at last come to mock and deride us ? 
The best of its gifts to make faith seem absurd ! 

Ah ! if we listened, looked oftener skyward, 
Humble in spirit, no longer in vain, 
Weary and troubled, our manhood would find us, 
Seeking to be like the children again. 



THE SONG OF THE BIRDS. 

If the birds did not sing, 
I should really begin 
Oh, my brothers, who sigh 
For the world's misery ; 
I should really begin 
I believe, I should cry. 

But the birds they all sing, 
And it seems then that I 
Have left nothing to hate ; 
Neither yet to decry. 
For if they can sing, 
Ah, indeed, then should I, 
Who have all the world's glory, 
Laid bare to my eye. 

" But the world is all black, 
Men are cruel and wrong," 
Hark, the thrush how it sings ! 
I can hear its sweet song. 
u Indeed, you are careless 
Of misery's cry ! " 
But, my brother, they sing so ; 
Why, then, should not I ? 

If they sing, they are happy. 
What ! oh, sorrow's thy sting, 
But that some are unhappy ? 
Let us sing let us sing. 
I see new worlds rising 
In spite of your cry ; 
Oh, sing then my brother, 
Let us try ! let us try ! 



And left nothing to hate, 
Neither yet to decry, 
Finding love in our hearts, 
And a God in the sky, 
Our lips must needs utter, 
One long melody. 



THE WAY TO HEAVEN. 

A poet gazing on the sea, 
That separates humanity 
Stepped lightly o'er the gulf so wide 
That doth humanity divide. 

And meeting there a youth who asked 
The road to him did say ; 
" All roads, indeed, to heaven lead," 
There is no only way. 

And gazing kindly in his face, 
He took him by the hand 
And saying " forwards let us go," 
He brought him o'er the strand. 

And many more, till all the world 
Were marching side by side 
The thousand ways becoming one, 
A poet as their guide. 

But knowing hardly of their joy, 
They asked him to declare 
How out of all their misery, 
They came so gently there. 

To you andrrte-as now you see 
The way is very wide,; 
And every road we travel on 
Seems heavenwards to guide. 

And so it needs must ever be 
Where love, and joy, and sympathy, 
Instead of hate and mortal strife 
Adjust the difference of life. 
And this is why the poet's life, 
Most blest of all we find, 
That he can ever feel himself, 
United to mankind. 



WEARY AND LONELY 

Weary and lonely what hope have I ? 

What now is left to treasure ? 
Nothing is left. Where all might please the eye 

Nothing is left for pleasure. 

So thought I, passing on my lonely way, 

Where never love had dwelling ; 
But everywhere was written clear as day, 

Each one his soul is selling. 

Weary and lonely, what hope have I ? 

Can ever reign a blessing ? 
On that which seems to mock the passers by, 

No care or love expressing. 

Weary and lonely, on my homeward path 

Turning away my eye, 
There for my pleasure, far beyond the trees, 

I saw the evening sky. 

Weary and lonely, ever this have I 

Wherever be my dwelling, 
To watch the dear light in the evening sky 

Its quiet angelus telling. 

Weary or joyful, this hope have I 

To watch the dear light in the evening sky, 
To watch the daylight die. 



33 



A PORTRAIT. 
NEVER OR ALWAYS. 

Under the ivied wall she walks 
Unstirred as the leaves behind her. 
Whether she listens, or whether she talks ? 
Or what there is in her mind as she walks 

I wonder ? 

You say ; no love in her face you trace, 
What men call love so you shunned her. 
But passion for love is a poor grimace 
And little of this can I trace in her face, 
No wonder ! 

That face in which such a friendship lies, 
With its calm, sweet grace, so gentle and wise 
Oh friend, looking black as thunder. 
Do you find in those earnest, eloquent, eyes, 
Nothing deeper than that which is love's dis- 
guise ? I wonder ! 

Friendship, lasting and true is rare 
Admit my friend that you blunder 
For friendship, endurance, and pity are there, 
And these no love in her face declare ? 

I wonder ! 



34 



AT ST. PAULS. 

The cares that fill the day, soon drive away 
Thoughts that more often come, 
Feelings that better cherished are, 
Where care is far from home. 

Mean cares of bread that busy dread, 
Lest all our burden should not fortune wed 
What else the endless rush of anxious feet 
That in the city everywhere we meet ? 

The cares that fill the day, soon drive away 
Hopes and endeavours, worthier far to stay. 
Yet were a heart like lead, 
Some light into that heart were surely shed, 
Who first that vast Cathedral visited. 

I wandered there when day to noon had come, 
Up the wide steps, beneath the towering dome. 
And all the place seemed filled with gravity 
More deep in contrast with the busy day, 
Which thundered all around upon its way. 
A heedless world in haste to find its bread, 
Who thy deep portals seldom visited. 

'' Life is too mean for reverence, 

u Hath now no store 

u Of that which once the mark of reverence bore." 

Oh, ye who burdened 

By such base thinkers led 

The earth is still beneath your feet, 

The sky is o'er your head. 

Hath then not any store ? 

" Whatever truly reverend was 

" Is reverend evermore.' 1 ' 1 



35 



While folly's tongue is wise 

And truth mere sophistries, 

How shall the voices reach, 

That peal from out the skies ? 

Where is the heart that hath not worshipped 

wrong, 
Still the world's music, one grand marching 

song, 
Shall guide his steps along. 

Oh ye, whose hearts still parch 

Some higher hope to feel, 

In reverence still to kneel, 

Oh ! clerk in City bred, 

Too seldom led 

By reverend thoughts too seldom visited, 

Taught by mean cares instead. 

Go to that echoing aisle, 

And soaring nave, 

And stand beside the grave, 

A hero's bed 

Oh, were thy heart like lead, 

Some little light into that heart were shed, 

Who that Cathedral aisle first visited. 

Tombs of the mighty dead, 

Which me admonished, 

Made noble all the path before 

Of life, which your example bore. 

Tombs of the might dead, 

By your great peace, and high example led, 

My footsteps onward tread. 



FAREWELL. 

What it feels, but cannot tell, 
Every heart remembers well. 

Farewell, farewell, if a heart broken whisper 
Be all the sad heart of its sorrow can tell 
Oh ! doubt not the love, if the lips only utter 

One broken farewell. 

Oh doubt not the love, if in silence the minutes, 
The last of our union went mournfully by, 
Oh doubt not the love, if the heart overladen 

Breathe no word but a sigh. 

Farewell, farewell, though in silence we parted 
In silence unbroken is meaning as well. 
What the breaking heart feels, but the lips cannot 
utter 

No language can tell. 

Farewell, farewell, in the silence of parting 
What heart having feeling, but knoweth it well, 
That language, more human than word ever spoken, 
Though speechless beyond its one broken farewell. 



37 



CIRCUMSTANCE. 

The weight of circumstance stupendous size : 
Still serves the course of human destinies. 
As potters clay, or blocksot marble rise, 
To fair proportions under master's eyes. 
As marbles, precious stones, or jewels tell 
Their beauty in their working fashioned well. 
So Circumstance, the brave in thee descries, 
That he shall fashion, and control likewise. 
Use then the circumstance which bars thy way. 
As doth the potter, shaping of his clay. 
And that which seemed thy master, shall be shewn 
This circumstance to be God's kindest loan 
To aid men in the race which they would run. 

But Satan, or the spirit that denies, 

Whoso alike doth all things criticise, 

Whose world is but the world of his own eyes ; 

For him shall circumstance like giant rise ! 

Let fools accuse the clay they cannot shape 

The marble which they cannot consecrate. 

But who with faithless blindness in the strife 

Accuses circumstance, accuses life ! 

Accusing life, affronts God's self on high, 

Who gave with life the means of victory. 

Oh doubt which dries the heart, spirit of Cain 

Of Satan withering up both heart and brain, 

Oh unbelief thy blighting, withering cry, 

Is growing old. Be quick, curse God, and die ! 



THE BLACKBIRD. 

Oh, raptures afterglow is faint, 

Or we should understand, 
How gracious are the benefits, 

Received at Nature's hand. 

1 wandered through a lovely land, 
When this thought came to me ; 

And near a blackbird poured its song 
With wondrous minstrelsy. 

Only a blackbird singing near 

On this still, sunny day, 
Yet little can I tell the thoughts 

It brought me with its lay. 

But this I know, that through and through 
It pierced this heart of mine, 

If, full of joy unspeakable, 
No less with joy divine. 

But raptures afterglow is faint ! 

Or you would tell to me, 
What secrets teach, when nature's voice 

Pours forth in melody. 

Oh raptures afterglow is faint, 

Or we should understand, 
More clearly of the moment's joy, 

Received at nature's hand. 



39 



ON THE EAST COAST. 

Across the marshes where the sea 
Is dragging down continually 
The pastures that adjacent lie. 
And where the land is pebbled o'er, 
With seaweed, stones, and boulders, more 
Like ocean's near approaching floor. 
There lies a village known to me 
Where beats, and beats, and beats the sea. 

This lonely village anciently 
Had famous name in history. 
A city proud looked o'er the sea 
Of spire, and tower, and gable high. 
The seat of kings, where, day by day 
The court was held all sumptuously. 
And now the deep, and awful sigh 

As tocsin to its history, 
The murm'ring of the sea hard by 
Which buried all e'erlastingly. 
For all the city, so they say 
Was washed, and washed, and washed way. 
Except a crumbling abbey wall 
Which stands above the cliff so tall, 
And totters there towards the sea 
In graveclothes of old majesty. 
For where the cliff now lifts its head 
Once stretched the wardrobe of the dead. 
The bones of those long buried lie 
Laid bare by washes of the sea ; 
Projecting from the cliffs great height 
Until they tumble out of sight. 
As though the sea's devouring wave, 
Claimed tribute even from the grave. 



40 



Some way above the cliff, hard by, 
An old house stands reposefully, 
But when at night with awful cry, 
The surge leaps up the cliff on high, 
The whole house trembles shudderingly, 
As though it knew its end was nigh. 
We wandered up one moonless night 
The cliff's head to its utmost height. 
Through pathway close, which suddenly, 
Leads out upon the lonely sea. 
And far below you hear the tide, 
And far on either side the sea 
Is heaving everlastingly. 
And where the eye can see no more 
Is heard its low and muffled roar, 
For miles, and miles along the shore. 

Amid the pauses of the sea 

There may be heard continually 

The dropping of the cliff hard by. 

And you ma}' hear in ocean's lull, 

Sounds like the dropping of a skull, 

As though some mitred abbot's head 

From out its own last resting bed, 

Was sucked into the sea instead. 

One seemed to hear the shriek it gave, 

Dragged down the beach by madden'd wave. 

But over all, and far, and wide 

Is heard the pulsing of the tide, 

Weary voiced, forbidden sleep, 

Deep ocean answering to deep. 



PLAGIARIST ! 

Of all the proofs the brains are out, I wist 
The surest is this shout of " plagiarist ! " 
And even now a critic's pen is filling 
To strangle that scarce worth the toil of killing. 
For if the author borrowed all as shewn ; 
Stern critic spare it might have been his own ! 
But still the truth remains, ideas are free 
They can be no man's vested property. 
And so thought wanders freely o'er the 

ground, 

Which formerly the greatest may have trod. 
"That Shakespeare said," "So Goethe 

thought," you cry, 
They sought and found so ? even so have I ! 



AN APOLOGY. 

As we have changed, the ways have changed, 

Or rather let it be ; 

Each see his object worthily. 

Though both so differently, 

That being so what question then ? 

What anger need there be ; 

If now I serve thee differently 

Still am I serving thee. 

Yet if I view another scene 
Wherein what once was large 
Is now its proper stature given ; 
Why lay it to my charge 
That I have seen unworthily, 
For purposes unshriven, 
By any such a worthy charge 
As yours for reaching heaven ? 

Oh, grudge me not a little space, 
I grudge it not to thee. 
I grant thee thine activity, 
Oh, do the same for me. 

No motive base find I in thee, 

That thou so zealous art, 

'Gainst that, which seeming wrong to thee. 

Must needs affront thy heart. 

Nor think less well, if for that wrong 

So hateful, seen by thee, 

For that same wrong, if one poor heart 

Should melt in sympathy. 

Oh, grudge me not this little spot, 
A home in which to dwell. 
For I have climbed hitherward, 
But out of lonely hell. 



43 



STRANGERS ! 

I think for some uncertain cause 
Though strange and far from home, 
That denizens of other spheres 
Do through our planet roam. 

Who find in all established things 
Though doomed awhile to stay 
The clipping of their soaring wings, 
Their home, from far away. 

Who set their rules of conduct here 
By standards from another sphere ; 
And read in stars, and twilight skies, 
Their more than human destinies. 

Yet not unrecompensed their way. 
Like music from afar, 
Come visions of an imperial day, 
To hope's attentive ear. 



44 



LOVE'S TRIAL. 

Ah ! how it glittered, life's beautiful morning ; 

How the sun shone on the dew-spangled way, 
Recking not then of the hours of trial, 

Of the fiery ordeal, for the children of day. 

Fools ! for we thought we had only to whisper 
Our love and our longing for others to feel, 

But they turned from our tale, as from madmen or 

strangers 
With doubt, nay denial of all our appeal. 

'Till Love on the ruins of love unrequited, 

Her mantle close wrapped to her beautiful head, 

Wages with death and despair her last battle, 
Her features of marble, no tear left to shed. 

But God for her sorrow, in love to her yearning, 

Whispered, ' My child, there is hope yet for thee.' 
To love and be loved not, most mortals have 

sighted. 
The goal is not yet of Love's great victory. 

To love, and love on in a world where love is not ; 

Oh, my child, this most precious of all is to me, 
Who have loved, and loved on, unreturned, unre- 
quited, 
Save for the love of such children as thee. 



45 



MARCHING SONG. 

Oh, hark ye my brothers, 

Oh, hark to the calling, 

The cry near is ringing 

Is ringing for thee ; 

That the days are approaching 

For which all are watching ; 

That seen in the dawning 

Is great Liberty. 

Oh hark ye my brothers, 
Oh hark to the calling 
Of those who are falling 
In marching array. 
Oh join in rejoicing, 
Oh join them in inarching 
For the break of the morning 
Flames up o'er the way. 

Oh heed not the warning, 
Oh heed not the scorning 
Of those would betray us, 
Our cause would betray. 
Into other ranks falling 
Of hatred and scorning, 
Denying the dawning 

Of great Liberty ! 

Choose now of the leaders, 
Choose now of the pleaders, 
Is it Love who should lead us ? 
Is it Love then or they ? 
Will ye hatred and clamour 
Were inscribed on our banner ? 
Or Love who can lead you 
Will never betray ? 



With Love on our banner, 
Scorning hatred and clamour, 
Love only shall lead us 
Shall shew us the way. 
We march to the morning, 
We march to the dawning, 
To the coming in splendour 
Of great Liberty ! 



47 



SYMPATHY. 

Dear comforter, sweet sympathy, 

Thy voice, whoever hears, 
Finds all his sorrow vanishing 

And all his fears. 
Oh, Sympathy, life without thee, 

Were hard indeed to tears. 

Dear comforter, sweet sympathy, 

It seemeth, oh, so well, 
That each to one another should 

His soul's aspiring tell. 
So gathering untiring strength 

Through force of friendship's spell. 

Dear comforter, in misery, 
Oft have I cried to thee. 
Alone, I cannot still pursue, 
The only way that seemeth true. 
Oh, sympathy, untiring, 
Help thou my soul's aspiring. 

Dear comforter, sweet sympathy, 

Ah, leave us not alone. 

The way the hope so dazzling bright- 

Without thee, dimmed is all its light 

And we are left to mourn. 

Oh, sympathy, sweet sympathy, 

Remain, be still our own. 



48 



Dear comforter, life without thee 
Were hard indeed to tears, 
Yet, whoso would the servant be 
To voices that he hears 
Far sounding o'er the stormy sea 
Of human hopes and fears. 
Who to his soul's best hope is true, 
Ah, sympathy shall mourn for you. 

Oh, sympathy, sweet sympathy, 

Great is our need of thee. 

Yet, doth the whispering voice demand 

Far higher loyalty, 

Strong and untiring, with or without thee, 

To press still on, through faith to victory. 



49 



FRIENDS. 

In weaker moments unaware, 
I said " my friends shall with me share 
All hopes along the path of life " 
Thus making stronger for the strife. 

A friend 's a friend, 
I would not flout 'em, 
For it is hard, 
To do without 'em. 

But though I care no less for friends 
Than those who friends have round about. 
And though in weaker moments I 
Can hardly dare trudge on without. 

Though friends are friends, 
I would not flout 'em 
If they stay not, 
I'll do without 'em. 



A thousand instruments vibrating swell, 

The woods and waves unite in passionate voice, 

Sweeping harmonious through the void of night, 

A voice like Freedom's peals, rejoice ! rejoice ! 

I gazed into the darkness of the night, 

Grey, passionless, and all the moonlight fled. 

Imagination waking at the sound 

Dim hosts perceives, close ranked, and banners 

spread. 

In such yEolian interchange of sound, 
Oh, who would paint the language of a sigh ? 
Chains of mortality do drag us down 
And passionate life becomes calamity. 
Fresh aery squadrons join, renew the strain, 
And soars again sublime, what erst did wane. 



SONG. 

Bravely and hopefully 

Press we still on, 

Grateful for all 

That the sun shines upon. 

Guide us, O Father, 

Lead us, we pray. 

Helpless alone 

To interpret the way. 

Life were too heavily 
Bitterly trod, 
Knew we no father 
Felt we no God. 
Life hath no terror 
When we can say, 
Guide us, O Father, 
Shew us the way. 

Leaving to nature 
Leaving to God 
To guide and protect us, 
Kissing the rod 
This is the pathway 
Heroes have trod. 

Guide us, O Father, 
Teach us the way, 
Thy sorrowing children 
In penitence pray ; 
Bravely and hopefully, 
Still pressing on, 
Grateful for all 
That the sun shines upon. 



ON THE DUTY OF STOPPING AT HOME. 

" Man walketh in a vain shadow, and disquieteth 
himself in vain." 

The art which most I cultivate 

In man's so civilized estate 

The art through which with measured beat 

The days go by on joyful feet ; 

Is just this art why don't you try ? 

Of letting Oh ! so much go by. 

One interest there, another here 
Consumes our time. In needless fear 
We rush to keep at equal pace 
With life's mean, empty, greedy race. 
Neglecting thus continually 
This lore of letting much go by. 

And so we push, and fret, and strive, 
Yet time's no faster than before. 
The ancient dignity of men 
Was not in having any more 
But just this art Why don't you try ; 
Of letting Oh ! so much go by. 

I do not mind that in the press 

My portrait has not yet appeared. 

I cannot even fret to find 

Naught that I ever said was cheered. 

For though I lack the praise of men 

The stars still glitter in the sky, 

This thought doth calmer feelings lend, 

And thus I let so much go by. 



53 



Oh let it pass, life's fitful fever, 
Hurry no more 'twill soon be done. 
And there is ever to believer 
The thought of how its race was run, 
Then brother will you rest and try, 
The peace of letting much go by. 



54 



GENIUS. 

' Genius," saith one, no doubt a seer 
' Like unto meteor doth appear. 
' Flashed for a moment through the sky, 
' Then disappearing instantly. 
' And foolish mortals may not know, 
' What brought it, or what made it go." 
While others say, " to few 'tis given, 
" The divinely ordered will of heaven ! " 

Xow difference no doubt we see 
Dividing human faculty. 
But is it true, we cannot trace 
Its general features in the race ? 
To what would you the power impute 
Which may not claim this attribute ? 
Though Shakespeare's genius be divine, 
From whence that little gift of thine ? 
And has the source less wondrous grown 
Of pebble, than of precious stone ? 

In every faculty I see 

The same law everlastingly. 

God's presence shining everywhere, 

Though in degree not here or there 

And " genius," that of which we trace 

So little likeness in the race, 

Or less, or more, is still to me 

The one sole power eternally. 

God's mighty gift original 

On which we either rise or fall. 



55 



THE "INSANITY OF GENIUS." 



" Genius," God's gift from out the skies ! 

Not this it is in any wise, 

The product rather, if you please 

Of drink, and lust, and foul disease. 

To preach against such views were vain, 
As reason urged on the insane. 
Oh God ! have mercy upon men 
Give back to them their souls again. 

And Genius, manhood's noblest prize, 
Consider not the blasphemies, 
Of some bereft of brains and eyes. 



THE PROiMISE OF REASON. 
" We bid you be of hope." Goethe. 

Ah who can doubt, if reason's hour 
Doth give us grounds for hope ; 
That what we feel the power to do 
Shall all at last find scope. 

That all the aspirations felt 
The longings of the breast, 
Shall in their due maturity 
Be all of them expressed. 

All that we ever dreamed to win 
Or ever dared to hope 
When shrivelled as a scroll shall be 
This time through which we grope 
Safe in the all sustaining arms 
Where the stars sing, nor death alarms- 
There shall it all find scope. 



WHAT ART IS. 

How few know what art is, 
How many who care ? 
Though art is what art is, 
How few in her share. 

Now tell mj what art is? 
You : artist, declare ! 
" Art is what art is." 
" Great mystery there." 



A VISIT TO COTHELE, DEVON. 

A cloudy background, where the sun 
In Jit fill gleams of beauty shone. 

Shall never more my footsteps trace, 
That dear, that old, familiar place. 
Is now the past so loved by me, 
A grave, where bells toll mournfully ? 
O'er every pleasure we have known 
O'er every sweetest pleasure gone 
Oh say not " as a dream have been " 
" Those many pleasures we have seen." 
Oh, speak not of them as a grave 
Wherein is nothing we may save. 

The lofty buildings, terraced wall, 

I see them all, I see them all. 

I see the hills, where long ago 

I watched the clouds of summer go, 

Their drowsy, idle, summer's pace, 

Like laggards toiling in a race 

And o'er the hills their shadows fall ; 

I see them all, I see them all, 

As though they threw their cloaks away 

Upon this sultry summer's day. 

Oh, happy land of long surprise, 
For where the loveliest foreground lies, 
There peep the loveliest hills and skies, 
And valleys slumbering, with the gleam 
Of sunlight on a rocky stream, 
Refreshing with its cooling roar, 
With mountain ashes bending o'er. 



59 



Oh land of ever new surprise, 
For where the woodland thickest lies, 
And nigh a manor's ancient walls, 
A height of precipice appalls 
And gazing from the rocky top 
O'er swaying pines, that breezes rock 
Far, far below a distant gleam, 
Reveals the winding Tamar's stream. 
So wide and vast the landscape lies 
One seems to watch from out the skies. 
Hill after vale, vale after hill 
The dazzled eyes with wonder fill. 
No rest from ever new surprise 
Scene after scene to feast the eyes. 

And here where Nature lord's it o'er, 
Art yet would seem to offer more. 
Far from all sight of human face 
Which rose and foxglove take the place. 
A way, once you had travelled o'er, 
Could seem to lead to nothing more, 
So endless is the winding grace 
And beauty of the fairy place 
Still journey on, and you will find 
The best in what remains behind. 

And now the flowers so thickly grew, 
One plucked them driving slowly through, 
So close they nodded to the face. 
One hid one from the flowers embrace, 
And hardly now the sky was seen, 
So thick the foliage grew between. 
Still on, and through a gate, and o'er 
A flowering meadow land before, 
A winding park-like drive we trace 
Mid ancient trees proportioned grace. 



60 



Now gates again before us lie, 

And further signs of company. 

A tired yeoman trudging on ; 

A woodstack piled, some labour shewn ; 

As though it blessed some human face, 

For all the quiet of the place. 

But soon come other signs to one : 

The answering cock, the watch dog's moan. 

And to the sky, a column blue 

Of smoke which, where the pigeons coo, 

Seen through the pines appears to you. 

But more, the impressions strange that come 

When nearing any ancient home. 

And now at last the horses wait 
Beside a massive entrance gate, 
And walking through with sense of awe 
We stand before a courtyard door. 
With time enough to gaze, and trace 
The features of the ancient place 
The massive doors, and windows high, 
Of hall, and chapels majesty. 
The bell tower, and entrance gate 
Where peeping through the horses wait. 
The gabled roofs, and chimneys tall, 
And silence reigning over all. 
Silence reigning everywhere 
Save for the swallows chattering there. 

But now at last the echoes wait 
On listening ears, and tall, sedate, 
An aged butler ope's the door, 
And asking, if a visitor 
May see the grand old place, we wait 
For answer from the man sedate. 



I know of nothing more to me 

Affecting in their majesty 

Than these old honoured guests of time, 

The work of manhood's noblest prime. 

Where joyful fancy loves to trace 

An artist's hand in every place. 

To know that toil the humblest part, 

If truly done, that there is art. 

We gazed about the silent hall, 
The ancient chairs, the pannelled wall 
The warped oak table, staircase nigh 
And solemn timbered roof on high. 
And having leave we wander where 
From out the hall ascends the stair. 
And looking gravely from their place 
Old portraits stare us in the face, 
And every sound upon the stair 
Is some old knight or lady there. 
Perhaps, had one the care to know 
What in the place affects us so, 
What in the place affected me 
So deeply, though unconsciously : 
The undisturbed and calm repose 
Which out of years unnumbered rose, 
The proofs of continuity, 
The hopes which in endurance lie. 

And wandering on from room to room, 
Through passages of vaulted gloom, 
Or pleasant sunny chambers high, 
Whose latticed windows traced the sky, 
We lingered yet, in fear to part 
From that which lay so near the heart, 
With memories sweet, and beauty's glow, 
From long, unnumbered years ago. 



But time at last must call away 

Our fancy from the scene to-day, 

And lonely steps we must retrace, 

And sigh to leave so fair a place, 

Where all that's best, and greatest glows, 

In long, and undisturbed repose. 

Oh, pardon then a tear or two 

A poet sheds on leaving you. 

Oh, pardon then a moment's shame, 

That all he meets is not the same. 

Farewell, dear scene, farewell to thee 
Dear Kelly College memory. 
Oh farewell, for a nearer place 
Around my heart in long embrace. 
And should my footsteps ne'er retrace 
That dear, that old familiar place. 
The heart again will journey o'er 
Those well remembered scenes of yore. 
And loving thoughts, will make appear, 
Their -joys e'en fairer than they were. 

Then say not : " as a dream have been," 
" Those sweetest pleasures we have seen," 
Oh, speak not of them as a grave, 
Wherein is nothing we may save ! 



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