Page images
PDF
EPUB

CURRENT POEMS.

THE SAINT AND THE SINNER.

HEART-worn and weary the woman sat

Her baby sleeping across her knee, And the work her fingers were toiling at

Seemed a pitiful task for such as she. Mending shoes for the little feet

That pattered over the cabin floor, While the bells of the Sabbath day rang sweet,

And the neighbors passed by the open door.

How glorious to feel the spirit's power

Unbroken by the near approach of death;

To breathe blest prophecies with failing breath, Soul-bound to beauty in that latest hour! How sweet to greet, in final kinship owned,

The master-spirit to thy dreams so dear;

At last from his immortal lips to hear, The dire for Imogen, and thee, intoned! How beautiful to live as thou didst live!

How beautiful to die as thou didst die,

In moonlight of the night, without a sigh, At rest in all the best that love could give!

FLORENCE EARLE COATES. -Lippincott's, April, 1893.

PHILLIPS BROOKS.

The children played, and the baby slept,

And the busy needle went and came, When lo, on the threshold stone there stept

A priestly figure, and named her name: “What shrift is this for the Sabbath day,

When bells are calling, and far and near The people gather to praise and pray.

Woman, why are you toiling here?”

Like one in a dream she answered low:
“Father, my days are work-days all;
I know not Sabbath. I dare not go

Where the beautiful bells ring out and call.
For who would look to the meat and drink

And tend the children and keep the place? I pray in silence, and try to think,

For God's love can listen, and give me grace.”

Thus, childlike, “I am going home!” he said,
And spake no more. The great, good heart lay

still;
The majesty of death encrown'd his head,

And holy silence all the room did fill.

The nation's pulse, smit with a sudden chill, Beat feverish strokes that, like a midnight knell Wild pealing from the lofty-tower'd bell,

Sent through the homes of men a startling thrill. Well fill'd his part, the man of spotless fame,

The missioner from Jesus Christ to all, So earnest, tender, yet so nobly grand, With human heart set in a heavenly frame.

At morning-dawn he heard his Father's call And homeward pass'd into his Father's land.

THOMAS MACKELLAR. -Germantown, January 24, 1893.

APRIL'S AFIELD.

The years passed on, and with fast and prayer

The good priest climbed to the gate of rest, And a tired woman stood waiting there,

Her work-worn hands to her bosom pressed: “Oh saint, thrice blessed, mount thou on high,

He heard the welcoming angels say. When meekly, gently, she passed him by, Who had mended shoes on the Sabbath day.

MADELINE BRIDGES. -Ladies' Home Journal, February, 1893.

APRIL's afield, April's in the air!

Almost you may see each hour Willows that at dawn were bare, Meadows that were brown,

On which the lengthening mellow day has burned,
Creep into green before the sun goes down,
And some black bough, while mortal backs were

turned,
Swift stolen into flower.

TENNYSON.

How beautiful to live as thou didst live!

How beautiful to die as thou didst die,

In moonlight of the night, without a sigh, At rest in-all the best that love could give!

How excellent to bear into old age

The poet's ardor and the heart of youth,

To keep to the last sleep the vow of truth, And leave to lands that grieve a glowing page!

April's afield, April's in the air!

Fleeting over Earth's slow dust,
Leaving us behind here, where
Pass and pass the years.

Soulless as Echo, she can never know
Our kisses that she hastens, nor our tears.
Not for us watchers do her blossoms blow;

Their day is come—they must.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

So to-day the wheel of fate
Turneth round to honor Blake.
Angels whisper, Late! Too Late!

DAVID HENRY WRIGHT. - Philadelphia Press, January 29, 1893.

ETERNITY.

O! vast unmeasured bound-Eternity,

Who shall uplift the veil upon thy face?
Or gaze within the Tomb of Time, and trace
The fount and source of Immortality ?
Who shall descry, where ceaseless years all flee,
And unexpiring, clasp in one embrace

Of everlasting Now; where interlace
All height and depth and breath, boundless and

free?

The pulsing south-wind stirs and thrills
The golden-hearted daffodils,
And brings sweet hints, of tranquil ease
From far-off isles and tropic seas.
More dreamful as the days go by
The argosies of cloudland lie,
Where, to its April lustre true,
The sky's arch lends a deeper blue.
Drowning the winter chickadee's
Soft chirp, amidst the apple trees.
Down from the orchard's hill-tops floats
The warble of the blue-bird's notes.
Not less the robin's cheery soul
Makes gay the green-glossed grassy knoll;
The passion 'neath his ruddy breast
He leaves not doubtful, or unguessed.
On lakes and streams, among the trees,
In woods where the anemone's
Shy face is bent, what matchless grace

Crowns April's dear, delicious days.
-Godey's, April, 1893.

JOEL BENTON,

Who shall explore that bourne, which endless ages

holds, Where cycle into cycle, pauseless runs ?

Eternity! Be such rash thoughts subdu'd. Thou are the robe the Almighty round Him folds, Thron'd in the glory of ten thousand suns, Tented, pavillion'd in infinitude.

JOHN W. KAYE. -For The Magazine of Poetry.

A MARCH SUNSET.

TO-MORROW.

The robin chants when the thrush is dumb,

Snow smooths a bed for the clover, Life flames anew, and days to come

Are sweet as the days that are over.

Faint clouds that form a snowy ledge

And through the space that twilight fills,
The gray half-moon with battered edge

Sailing athwart the sunken hills.
And in the west a ragged glint

Of sunset splendor sends its flash
Where night and day, like steel to flint,

All suddenly together clash.
And down the chill wind's rustling flight

From out a waste of desert sky,
Sinks, bubbling into vasty night

A wandering curlew's cry. - The Independent. ERNEST MCGAFFEY.

The tide that ebbs by the moon flows back,

Faith builds on the ruins of sorrow, The halcyon flutters in winter's track,

And night makes way for the morrow.

BATS.

And ever a strain, of joys the sum,

Sings on in the heart of the lover-
In death sings on-that days to come
Are sweet as the days that are over!

FLORENCE EARLE COATES. -The New Peterson Magazine.

Dusk-devils! Messengers of woe
From some dim-distant unknown world;

Weird, dapple-winged phantom-shades,
Sly, darting mutely to and fro,
Like Hell-born lokis upward hurled

To taunt the soul with masquerades.
Air-urchins in the amber gloom,
Swift sporting with the tribes of night;

Star-spectres, whose strange presence brings
Thoughts of a vision-haunted tomb,
To tinge the mellow waning light

With fancy's forms of ghostly things.

APRIL.

CAPRICIOUS daughter of the Spring,
Blissful beyond imagining
Are thy undying miracles
Of silver songs and blossom-bells.

« PreviousContinue »