BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

Songs of the Cascades. First part Martley, John 1894

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[All rights reserved.] LONDON:
H i
Upon the fingers of this single hand
I reckon o'er your names, and write the five—
Yea, grave them—on my soul, where they shall live
Through all the ages.    In the deathless land—
Ah, gone before—three of your number stand :
O comrade-voices of the air and wave,
Now bear, I pray you, these poor rhymes I weave,
To those on Earth—to those who harp Beyond.
O my beloved, most constant and most true,
Thy hearts no time or space hath power to shake :
Three angels watching me from yonder blue,
Two others where Atlantic surges break,
These rude, wild songs I dedicate to you,
Forgive their faults, receive them for my sake.
November 22,  1892.  CONTENTS.
Part I.—Miscellaneous.
To " Vega " page i
a O Tempora!"  3
An Appeal Case (Lillooet)  5
A Fighter Who Fell  8
Fall In!  n
Seaton River  13
The Raid : a Ballad  14
Habet!  17
Individuus  19
Egomet  20
Quorsum ?  22
An Assignation  23
The Deaths of Tristram and Iseult  24
H. P. C.    In Loving Memory  27
Reward  29
A Flight  30
A Memory  32
Two Barrack-room Ballads—
I. The Escalade  33.
II. Storm at Daybreak  35
Never Again  37 Vlll
Veiled be your Light -page 38
Infiniti Alii Mundi  39
Delilah  40
For His King  42
Faces  44
A Mountain Vigil.    Sonnet  47
A Tale of Blood  48
Mr. Saunders' Lament.    (A sequel to "A Tale of
Blood")  56
To"Capella" (I.) '.59
Mr. Doolan's Lament  60
A Wail from New Westminster  63
I Where Shall We Lay Him ? "  65
Cast Out: a Fragment  66
Crowned !  68
To I Capella " (II.)  69
At Lillooet, August 8th, 1892  70
Fight On!  73
Some Friends  74
The Post Bag  76
Bellona's Darlings  "jj
Tramps ■  80
To " Hortensia "  82
Retrorsum  83
To "Thalia"  85
To My Harp  88
To the Honourable   89
They Hang their Harps where Roses Twine   .    . 90
A Song: not of the Cascades  92 CONTENTS.
Part II.—Political, &c.
A Little Game page 97
In Torments  ioo
Some Traitors  101
Shall it be ever thus while Time doth last ?     .    . 102
To " Montreal"  105
" Review of Reviews," October 15, 1892    .    .    . 107
Part III.—Sketches and Portraits.
I The Silent Sisters "         111
A Portrait  112
A Portrait.    Sonnet  114
A Sketch  115
A Sketch  117
A Sketch  120
The Leader of the Bar    .    .    ._  122
An Archdeacon  125
A Sketch  127
On the Mill Bridge, Lillooet.    Sonnet     .    .    . 129
A Little Incident  130
Some Pharisees: a Fragment  132
A Sketch        133
Perdita  134
Part IV.—From the Syriac    (In Three
Fragment    1  137
II.     ...           156
Part V.—Serious.
Two Sonnets on Death page 185
To a Prodigal  187
Chained to the Oar  189
A Rough Parallel.    Sonnet  190
Undique  191
Page 36, verse 3, line 3, for " ? " put " ! "
Page 57, verse 7, line 2, for " 'Tis true I said," read
yet 'tis true."
Page 78, verse 3, line 3, for " O " read " great."
Page 104, verse 6, line 6, for " brave" read "great."
Page 126, verse 3, line 5, for " may" read " shall."
Page 159, line 3, for " doth " read " shall."
Page 159, line 8, for " doth send " read " hath sent."
'But  PART I.
TO   " VEGA."
No light; unbroken hangs the gloom
O'erspreading all the Infinite;
Strikes not one ray to guide me home,  -
My soul-star, where art thou to-night ?
Light breaks; O, fairest of the fair,
Queen of the rriansioned realms on high,
Sweet Vega, hearest thou my prayer ?
My goddess, answ'rest thou my cry ?
So lone, so pure, so far above
Surrounding stars you calmly shine,
I concentrate on thee my love,
Star of my heart, for ever mine. TO  " VEGA."
I long to burst the bonds of Earth,
As, gazing on thee from afar,
Throbs in my soul the dawning birth
Which draws that soul to thine, my star.
When borne on the luminous wings
Of endless life I sweep through space,
Loved Vega, strike thy lyre's sweet strings,
And guide me to thine arms' embrace. O   TEMPORA! "
Weary of men I crept unto thy feet,
Craved of thy grace a little spot to rest,
And, smiling, lo ! thou caught'st me to thy breast,
Fair Nature, refuge of the desolate :
Thy presence fills my spirit in vast nights
When from the steel-blue sky the shafts of frost
Smite the sad Earth, o'er whose white face are tossed
Roseate saffron waves from Northern lights :
The grip of Winter tightens on the Land ;
Silence o'er all, not death itself more still;
Save when the fettered lake, invincible,
Thunders against th' oppressor's icy hand.
But, see, across the great Cascades there come
Extending fleece clouds, Spring's fleet skirmishers
O, hark, the music in the pines, soft airs
Scent laden, from the far Australian foam ;
B  2 0  TEMPORA!"
And Spring sweeps in with sunburst and with song
Full on fierce Winter, smiling as she smites:
Back fall the snows to the eternal heights,
The border-land beyond which harps are strung.
I revel in thy roses, burning June,
Watch thy brief star-shine cross the short divide,
See the swift Day through Night's frail leaguer glide
On Morning's wings of crystal, to her throne.
Dearest art thou, O Autumn; o'er the plain,
On mountain, lake, and river Nature's love
Showers upon her darling from above
Her gifts, and gives again and yet again :
The tempered sunshine, th' enraptured night,
The radiance of russet, green, and gold
That deck sweet Earth ; the wondrous mists that fold
Morning and evening in translucent light:
Thy glory waneth; yet to me more dear
The hour of thy remembrance and regrets;
Beneath thy withered leaves and violets
Lie buried, memories of days that were. AN   APPEAL
CASE    (Lillooet,    August,
" Captain," he said—he spoke in the Chinook—*
" I want to talk with you a little while : "
His eye was troubled, and his calm voice shook,
Although his grave face wore its courteous smile.
An Indian—I have known him long and well—II
John Bull his name, and this his tale of hell:
" My brother George, his girls, and his wife
Last April on Bridge river mined for gold :
Captain, all gone—all killed—killed with a knife ;
Long time I wait, my heart is very cold ;
And you do nothing, you arrest no man.
Why is this, Captain ?    Tell me if you can."
Tastest thou not, my soul, some bitterness,
What time Earth's sorrow-laden, full of care,
Look to me impotent, in their distress ?—
The jargon invented by the Hudson's Bay Company to facilitate
intercourse with the tribes. 6 AN APPEAL  CASE.
Vega, as I look up to thee, my star—
To me, mere earth worm, clod of useless clay,
Who, wrath at heart, must send them crushed away.
Murder most foul.    The family had gone ;
Their tent left standing on the fatal ground.
Dog too had gone ; there stood the tent alone,
And blood, blood everywhere, within, around.
Ere absence woke inquiry weeks went by,
Never a trace, when came discovery.
Where the great Fraser thunders to the sea
They found the corpses of the wife and sire *
Both stabbed; and there the book closed suddenly.
Of motive, which so oft, like beacon fire,
Guides dim suspicion on to certainty,
None was apparent.    All was mystery.
Save indirectly naught of this I knew ;
The matter came no nearer to my hand
Than mere circuitous report; and so
Blameless of negligence I well might stand,
Nor fear John Bull's calm, penetrating eye;
And yet I shrank—I scarce can tell you why.
* No trace of the two daughters—-both mere children. AN APPEAL CASE.
For the keen brain, and deep concentred mind
Crime hath a thousand willing witnesses.
Each blade of grass, each leaflet intertwined
With gossamer ; the stream, the rocks, the trees
Whisper " Behold."    One hears the bloody cry ;
Others—the fools, the deaf, the blind—pass by.
To each his part.    My worthy masters all
| Avete," Csesars; all most worshipful:
To each his part, the longitudinal
Cram not in circular, remember Bull.
Farewell poor John, farewell.    I much deplore
The system,* but, alas, can do no more. -
* In a " Tale of Blood " I have, on public grounds, let in light
upon a great crime which stained some years ago this isolated
corner of British Columbia, and the outcomings of which continue to stain from time to time the community.
In that paper I have indicated the points of character requisite
for the detection of crime.
If a justice of the peace be worth his salt he will possess
some of the necessary qualifications. To such a man should be
intrusted the detection of great crime in his section—murder
only. He will select as his constable one who is strong in those
points wherein the J.P. knows himself to be weak. He should be
given a free hand.
To intrust work of this sort to an official much trained to, and
occupied with, office work, is to "organise defeat," however
excellent he may be for all other purposes. I must add that never
was a Government better served than is this one, by its officers at
Clinton and Lillooet: in this murder case the scent was very cold.
I watched him in the stormy years,
Through which he marched to fame ;
And gave him little but my sneers,
Wrathful contempt, and blame.
I loathed the cause for which he fought,
I spurn it still to-day;
Nor hold I compromise with aught
That walks that trait'rous way.
But, looking only at the man,
Half is my judgment veiled ;
With blindness, culpable, I scan
All that I once assailed ;
Dash from my breast the bitterness,
Let fall, unchecked, the tear,
By heaven, almost with tenderness,
Upon the foeman's bier.
An open foe ! when all is said
What better shall I ask ?
Next to a friend I love the head
That scorns to wear a mask; A  FIGHTER  WHO FELL.
That ever fronts me eye to eye,
Enraptured for the field,
Yet over helpless misery
Holds high his steadfast shield.
I judge not; touch not wrong or right,
But with stern joy behold
The dauntless Captain of the fight,
The Fighter calm and bold.
Unswerving as th' avalanche snow,
Unfalt'ring to his pledge;
Whate'er the odds he met the foe
Ever with point and edge.
Though broke his shield and stained his crest,
A fighter to the last.
0 that the brothers of his breast
Stones on his grave could cast.
1 Hosanna ! "—when the day was his—
Ye noble patriots !
Scorcheth it not, your Judas kiss ?
Band of Iscariots.
Upon thy tomb no wreath I fling,
No flowers upon thy grave,
Yet from a foe this offering,
Bravest amongst the brave, 10
Take.    Of the censure or the praise
Nothing I reck, but tell—
Tell me of camps and battle days,
And how this fighter fell. FALL  IN!
" Ho ! Ulster, turn out, for the foe's at your gate."
" All ready," the answer rings back from within :
I The hour comes at last to the man who can wait.
It has come, men—Fall in.
■ And long we have waited, most calmly have borne
The taunts of the foemen; yea, Christ! we have
The voice of our brothers uplifted in scorn,
And endured it, O Lord.
" Have heard and endured this: ' The day has gone by
When meji fought for honour, for child and for
For country and God deemed it rapture to die
In the front of the strife.
" ' Should Parliament barter to traitors and knaves
The rights that your forefathers left in your trust,
Veil crests, kiss the rod, and, like dutiful slaves,
Lay your necks in the dust.' 12
| How little you know us ; unconquered and free
As our fathers, when England in direst strait
Cried I North men of Derry, far over the sea,
Stand fast, hold the gate.'
I O, free as the falcon that swoops on Slieve-more,
Our friends we forgive, rebel foes we defy ;
For the land of our love, for the God we adore,
We have lived, we will die." SEATON RIVER.
O river, rushing to the sea,
This morning as I stood by thee
• Thy voice was like the bugle in the fight.
Sweet morning wore to burning day,
Noon-tide hath sunk in evening gray,
What wail is this that heralds in the night ?
0 river, still thy trumpet voice
Cries " Onward ! in thy strength rejoice."
Not from thee comes this feeble-hearted wail.
1 know thee well, foul fiend Despair.
Tempter, away—what dost thou here ?
This hold of calm, strong Life wouldst thou assail ? THE RAID:   A Ballad.
We left the gates of Morn behind,
Her arms around my heart entwined,
As flings the falcon down the wind
Our yacht stood out to sea.
Not all the harem bolts could bind
Or keep my Love from me.
Westward, on Helle's wave we bore,
Bright glanced the lights on either shore.
Above, the midnight stars shone o'er
Our fire flecked path below.
All sail! for freedom lies before,
Astern the deadly foe.
Out on iEgean's sea we pass.
Night wanes, by Besika we cross.
Day dawns on lonely Tenedos
And Ida's sacred hill:
Nor fleeter flies the albatross—
The foe pursuing still. THE RAID: A BALLAD.
Steam against canvas; odds are great.
"All sail! we yet may conquer fate
If the wind change not nor abate—
Kiss once again, sweet Love.
Onward we fly with hearts elate,
Our trust in heaven above.
It comes at last, close-hauled we see
Stern Lemnos frowning on our lee.
The Turk bears down exultingly,
They number two to one.
They close, they board, right gallantly
The Pacha leads them on.
Aloft fair England's banner flew,
On deck my English sailors hew,
Each cutlass falling fast and true.
" Quarter," the boarders cry;
But Sayd fights on, for well he knew
That one or both must die.
I Stand back! none dare to interpose,"
Thunders my order as we close.
Swiftly and strong his sabre blows
Rain on my steady guard;
Out from his throat the life-blood flows
As home I send my sword. THE RAID: A BALLAD.
She bent in prayer for them we slew.
His hand with one last effort drew
A pistol from his sash.—0, true
The shot sped to its mark.
I heard her scream; no more I knew,
Around me all was dark.
Cressid, long years have since gone by ;
Still quenchless burns that memory.
Far o'er the wild waves rings that cry.
In each red sunset's ray,
Love, in my last embrace you lie
Dead, with the dying day.
Where Salonika's waters lave
Olympus' shore we made her grave,
And back to Greece's breast I gave
From mine, my Grecian maid.
Buried with her beside that wave
My broken heart is laid. HABET!
" Habet ! " Megaera yells; and Nemesis
Wipes with her flowing hair her bloody sword;
Ruthless and grim, the goddess speaks no word;
But still the Furies' " Habet" rends the skies.
Howl as ye will, your malice I defy.
Stand round and know, if never ye have known,
How faith in God, and in himself alone,
Can arm a man to set his face and die.
About my dying pillow hovering,
Bends a most glorious presence from above.
O Spirit, bear this tear unto my Love—
Who but my Love a tear from me could wring ?
And tell her to the last my heart was true;
That ever in that heart she reigned the first,
Through all the guilt; tell her—O fate accursed
She never understood, she never knew :
c i8
Can never know, mine own, until we meet
Where soul is bared to soul, as face to face;
Then I will tell thee all, and for thy grace,
Darling, entreat thee, kneeling at thy feet. INDIVIDUUS.
Darling, how can we part ?   O Death draws near.
Kiss me, enfold me closer still, mine own;
Come with me, dearest, then I shall not fear;
Love, thou wilt never let me go alone ?
Together, still together, side by side ;
Thy throbbing pulses beat response to mine.
If this be death, 'tis rapture to have died
Heart unto heart, thus, in a dream divine.
Floating away upon a silver sea,
Drifting far out beyond the earthly bars.
O look, beneath us lie our cells of clay,
Around us, Love, the white, immortal stars.
Leave me to bear my load alone,
I crave no sympathy,
To march until the night has gone,
Face set towards the rising sun
In immobility.
Alone, alone; my hand, indeed,
Ever outstretched to aid.
Heart open to a brother's need—
Go, for thine own in silence bleed-
Heart, on thyself be stayed.
The friend to whom my soul was given,
When flashed the morning light;
Whose love was as the love of Heaven,
Failed and betrayed me ere the even
Had darkened into night. EGOMET.
And one still dearer.    O she sleeps
Where western cedars wave;
O'er her lone grave the sea-bird weeps,
Round her the broad Atlantic sweeps
Through coral reef and cave.
Then forward to the welcome end,
Whate'er that end may be;
God and my own stout heart defend;
Fight on, nor fear what Fate may send,
At last comes victory. QUORSUM?
Love on, love on while yet you may,
Burning and brief Love's rose-strewn way,
And moths nave wings, and wings will stray.
, | Did ever kiss
So sweet as this
Betray ?
Nay, dearest, nay."
Fight on, fight on while yet you can,
Your plumed crest blazing in the van,
Fight ever till the victory's won.
What was His word ?
I No peace; a sword,
O man,
I send.'
Fight on. r»
Not yet; there is something still to be done;
Then, come when you will—by night or by day,
With the amethyst dawn or evening grey,
On December's snows, or odours of June,
On the shining paths of the summer sea,
Or the heaving track of the stormy moon;
I shall be ready, sweet Death, when you come,
I am weary for home;
For my Love in the star-lighted depths on high,
For the peace and the rest of Eternity. THE DEATHS  OF TRISTRAM AND
Fallen ! He, the invincible,
Fell in battle for Brittany:
For Arundel Sir Tristram fell,
Peerless champion of chivalry.
Friend of my soul, loyal and true,
Bear this message, my Kursenal,
Fleet as falcon never yet flew
To my own Iseult of Cornwall:
" Tell my love that her Tristram dies ;
Holds dark Death for a space at bay,
Craves one kiss, one glance of her eyes,
Then in peace he can pass away:
| White as sea-mew's breast be your sail
So my lady come to my prayer;
Black as the raven's if she fail,
So I die in my dark despair." THE DEA THS OF TRISTRAM A ND ISEULT.    25
Pillowed at casement Tristram lay,
Dim were the eyes that wistfully
Swept the waters beyond the bay,
Mourned his lost love over the sea.
Stricken with sorrow couched Hodain ;
Trembled in sheath the mighty sword;
Wailed in the night a dying strain
From the harp his spirit adored.
Day dawned fair upon sea and land;
Broadened o'er field and foam the light;
Spake Iseult of the snowy hand,
I Breaks a black sail out of the night."
Swift sped death from the lips that lied-
Vain, false lips, your desolate wail ;
Back came Kursenal on that tide,
White as the breaker's crest his sail.
Beats her step on the marble stair,
Bidding from none Iseult doth wait;
Rings her anguished cry of despair,
" Tristram, my soul—too late—too late." 26   THE DEATHS OF TRISTRAM AND ISEULT,
Ah, the sorrowful lives found rest ;
Parting ended, surcease of pain;
There she died—from her Tristram's breast
Never the fair head rose again. H. P. C.
Died   15TH  August,   1892.
The silver cord
Is loosed ; no more on mountain or by river
He marks the covey, casts across the tide,
And with the racing pack again, O never,
When Autumn's leaves have fallen, shall he ride.
Smote hath Death's sword.
Faith sheds no tear
For the old friend, so faithful and so true;
She bends o'er that which yesterday was " thee,"
Then soars her beaming eye beyond the Blue
And thrills her seraph-voice, " O comfort ye,
Behold him there."
Smile on, bright Faith;
Little thou giv*st me; naught thy sister Hope,
Save blasted hopes; we stand beside his bier—
She, his beloved, and I; hands clasped, we stoop
Over him with rent hearts, weep tear for tear,
Around us, Death. 28
H. P. C.
Deathless lives on
That hour, till love and memory shall fail ;
And so, we buried our noble dead.
Dry the vain tear and cease the bitter wail;
This, this alone, remaineth to be said,
| Thy will be done." REWARD.
I threw my harp upon the floor at night,
And in my visions I beheld it hung
High amongst harps, whose mighty masters flung
Their glorious music to the realms of light:
Then spake a sweet voice: " Mortal, thou may'st
Thine own reward; say, shall I give thee fame,
Renew thy youth, strew it with roses bright,
Bind on thy brow this wreath with loud acclaim,
And set thee on Parnassus' radiant height ?"
But I laughed sadly: Nay, O grant me rest.
Till then, if my poor song should yield delight
To one sad heart; restore to clearer sight
One tear-dimmed eye; relieve one soul oppressed;
Enough reward, enough I shall be blessed. A  FLIGHT.
O heralds from the Northern Pole,
Borne on the blanching Northern blast,
Home strikes your message to my soul
At last, at last.
And now I watch with wistful eye
Your phalanx stream across the day,
Spear-headed, cleaving through the sky
Its purposed way :
No skulking swerve to left or right,
No coward fear, no falt'ring faith,
Straight to the goal speeds on your flight,
Come life, come death.
Southward the steadfast squadron sweeps,
Gleams on its files the setting sun,
Rings its wild challenge through the deeps,
I Forward, fight on." A  FLIGHT.
Down swoops a darkness palpable,
Around, beyond, no light to guide;
On ! your indomitable will
Sudden, the shroud is rent apart,
Across your path Orion swings,
Day shoots her pearly shafts athwart
Your throbbing wings,
That through new realms shall nightly pass,
Vast calms where never thunder rolled;
Until beneath the Southern Cross
At rest they fold;
And guided by a wondrous hand
Shall find on some fair sapphire sea
A haven in the Silent Land
" Where thou wouldst be. A  MEMORY.
Down in the deeps when a heart lies wrecked
There it buries itself in pride ;
To Heaven, its tears unseen, unchecked,
Bars and ice unto all beside :
Friendships'and loves to faggot and stake,
Heart, bend over the ashes and break.
Over an ocean and continent,
Backward, across the tide of years,
O Heart, too late thy remorse is sent;
Vain, repentance and burning tears;
For the noble friend and love that died
Slain on the altar of cursed pride. TWO BARRACK-ROOM BALLADS.
To the rank and file—those good fellows whom the writer knew
and loved well.
I Give me .a hundred volunteers ! "
The Colonel's voice rang out;
Begad you might have heard our cheers
From Cork to Lilliput.*
I There's something up," says Sergeant Joyce;
I His face is full of fight."
We storm the Fort to-night, my boys,
And in we go to-night.
| Fall out," our Captain says to me—
We called him " Rosie Bell."f
His heart was kind, his hand was free,
The Light Bobs loved him well;
* Evidently the narrator is a student of the "dane's "■ immortal
t Probably a corruption of " Rosabel; " they called the Colonel
" Dandy Jem," with absolute irrelevancy except as to the adjective,
—(Author's note.) 34
With cheek so smooth and lisping voice—
Himself's the girls' delight.
I Forlorn hope's " our name, my boys-
Show 'em the way to-night.
Fear ?—fear be blowed!    But I confess
Old fancies round me came,
I thought of Kate I used to kiss
At the thorn by the stream;
Of home and its innocent joys,
Mother, with hair so white—
I sent to Heaven above, my boys,
A bit of a prayer that night.
We mustered ere the moon had set,
I watched her as she sank;
I think I see the Captain yet
Inspect us, rank by rank;
No lisping now!   Stern came his voice—
His face with fire alight—
| The steel! the steel alone, my boys,
And send it home to-night."
So in we went, dead silent till
There suddenly arose
A rocket from the Fort, and—well
It just was Hell broke loose; TWO  BARRACK-ROOM BALLADS. 35
But down the ditch the ladders swung,
And cheering up we mount—
While loud the Captain's order rung,
I My stormers ! to the front!"
I No firing, men! the bayonet! " *
With hearts athirst for blood
We swept them from the parapet
As sweeps the lightning cloud.
Till on the crimson sod, beneath
The crimson morning light,
We stood, in life—or lay, in death
The victors in the fight.
From Ecclesiasticus, chapter xxiv., verse 24.
I Faint not," my lads, | to be strong in the Lord,
That He may confirm you cleave unto Him."
Where is my battle flag ? give me my sword—
Soon shall your bayonets' burnish be dim;
I For the Lord Almighty is God alone,
And besides Him other Saviour there's none."
* " Sword in hand ! " was the cry through all the ranks of that
terrible brigade. "Sword in hand; no firing. Do it with the
steel."—Steinkirk.   (Macaulay.)
Praise Him, Who teacheth our fingers to fight,
Who formed us the rapture of battle to feel;
Forward, men !    See, there's the first streak of light,
Follow me, stormers, and give them the steel!
1 For the Lord Almighty is God alone,
And besides Him other Saviour there's none."
Never a thought but to close with the foe,
Fight for us, God of Sabaoth, we pray;
Up the breach, rush 'em lads ! at them we go ?—
His the glory who's first on the ramparts to-day;
I For the Lord Almighty is God alone,
And besides Him other Saviour there's none.' NEVER AGAIN.
Never again to watch one white sail, growing
Nearer and nearer o'er the crested sea;
Beneath the western blaze the billows glowing
Down on the laughing winds he sends his wooing.
He comes to me.
O days, ye days when Life's sweet morn shone o'er us,
Ashes, the mem'ries on your dead sea shore;
Buried the radiant hopes that beamed before us,
Spent the swift tide that on its bosom bore us,
Wailing, " No more." VEILED   BE  YOUR LIGHT.
Veiled be your light, ye sorrowing stars,
Moan low, O sea,
Locked be ye winds within your bars;
Flow silently
My blinding tears,
Through all the years
Till dawns Eternity.
But glory fills the holy night,
Rolls the proud wave,
From mansions of the Infinite
Beyond the grave,
Thrills his sweet voice,
I O Love, rejoice,
No tears.    I died to save.
I fell on the field of my fame
For home and thee;
Evermore shall ye hallow my name,
Harps of the free.
Foremost I fell.
No tears, but tell
' He died for Land and me.'" INFINITI ALII MUNDI.
And hast thou gone
Without a parting word, or trace, to tell me
Whither to send my soul in search of thine ?
Although thou knewest how I should bewail thee,
Although thou saidest that thy heart was mine,
And mine alone.
Gone! and O where ?
Hearest thou not ?    Art thou not faint with waiting
For the entwining arms, the meeting eyes ?
Thrill not thy pulses at my soul's entreating,
Know'st thou not that the love which never dies
Awaits thee here ?
Ah, dearest Love,
Thou comest not; yet, hark! thy voice is speaking,
Its music breathes around me where I stand.
It sighs, " My darling, haste! my heart is breaking
Until you kiss me in th' eternal Land
Of stars above." DELILAH.
The mighty brain that sways the world to-day,
The voice upon whose utt'rance nations wait,
The eyes whose glance a million swords obey,
The hand whose touch can guide the wheels of fate.
In the dim, vast to-morrow where are they ?
In that unknown, upon whose edge we dwell,
Strewn thick with noble fronts and feet of clay,
Seek for the great who stumbled; there they fell.
Gods ! what a charnel field; behold the ghouls
Rending with reeking claw and gibb'ring beak
The bleeding reputations, while the fools
With platitudes around the victims sneak.
O noble heart, so well beloved of all;
And in thy ruin dearer to me still,
That, when high Fortune's smile imperial
Lighted thy pathway, heralded thy will. DELILAH.
And she ?    She calmly" watched the torturers,
Heaping fresh fuel on the furnace pile;
So gazed Delilah on that work of hers
When the shorn soldier fell beneath her guile.
To fall in fight.    O glorious destiny;
Beyond, th' echellon'd squares immovable;
Behind, his squadrons charging knee to knee
At Death, confronting on the serried steel.
Or had he fallen, first, in that wild race
When o'er War's death-divide the stormers strive,
The light of battle flaming on each face—
O men, in that short span a lifetime live.
Not to him came such boon; he fell, yet lived;
Broken his honour, blasted his career,
And of the glorious wreck alone survived
The courage that had never quailed in fear.
Shame smote, then pitiful drew back again,
Before the sad smile of that steadfast eye;
Covered with gentle hand her fatal stain,
And left him in his loneliness to die. FOR HIS KING.
Well he knew his hour had come,
Knew it was the last " good-bye !'
Lovely looked the dear old home—
Round its windows roses sigh—
Hushed beneath the star-lit sky;
Stars that quivered mournfully,
Stars that watched him tenderly,
Riding forth to die.
Looked his last upon her face,
. Laid his last kiss lovingly
On her lips, from her embrace
Tore himself; despairingly
Rang her broken-hearted cry,
Yet with calm and steady eye
And unshaken constancy
He rode out to die. FOR HIS KING.
" We shall meet again, sweet Love,
Where no sorrow cometh nigh;
Mine the glory far above
Earthly pomp and vanity:
Perish all but loyalty! "
Pealed his death-song proud and high
As he passed exultingly
For his King to die. FACES.
Out through the pitiless caverns of Night
Wandering far,
Seeketh my soul in vain its beacon-light,
Its guiding star.
Yet sometimes hover in the chill, sad mist
Faces oft seen
In the old days; loved faces I have kissed
In the " Hath-been."
Faces of angels who on Earth have trod;
Some still remain;
Some stand before the great white throne of God
Souls without stain.
Faces of friends whose hearts were knit to mine
When life was young ;
For whom amidst the roses and the wine
My harp was strung. FACES.
Faces all seared and scarred with pangs of Hell—
Once, O how fair—•
Furrowed with woes no Lethe can dispel
Surround me here.
But ever, vainly, do I seek to trace
In all this crowd,
Seek, O how longingly, one lovely face
Serene and proud.
* * * *
Across my mem'ry floats the field's perfume,
Breaks the calm day,
Sounds Earth's reveille round the darkened room
Where my Love lay.
Without, the thrushes' songs to Heaven ascended,
Trilled the glad lark;
Within, her soul its silent, far flight wended
Into the dark.
And though I followed fast, vainly for trace
Of my lost Love,
Ever I seek through boundless realms of space
Around, above.
* * * * 46
Lo ! breaks the light, breaks song with mightier roll
Then surging sea;
At last, sweet Love, at last soul claspeth soul
Eternally. SONNET.
Here, my beloved, on thy throbbing breast,
Where the vast pulses of the summer night
Speak to my soul from out the Infinite,
Here, in the Light of God, I lie at rest:
Great Aldebaran blazes in the East,
And all the morning stars foretell the flight
Of this supreme hour of prophetic sight
When only to exist is to be blessed.
Foretaste of Heaven! but yesterday I stood
Below there in the little world of men,
A part of, yet apart from, all the crowd;
And now! not more the separation, when
Death shall enfold me in his shining shroud,
And in that star-shine lay me down again.
Viator :
" The crime, you say, was never brought to light ?"
Rusticus :
I To light, but not to Justice; or to speak
Closer, the sword was bared and turned aside.
Here is the place."
Viator : " Almost I recognise
The scene from your description.    I have here
The verses which you sent me ; thus they run :
' A lonely log-house by a rushing stream;
Round it the giant pines stood motionless
In that calm summer morning's holy beam,
Their mighty arms outstretched as though to bless;
Watching the stately centuries sweep by,
Borne on Time's billows to Eternity.
j About their boles the forest flowers bloomed,
And flashed the flood of myriad insect life;
Yet hell was there—fell murder's shadow loomed
Over that house; hideous, unequal strife A   TALE  OF BLOOD.
Raised its red hand to mar that scene so fair,
Blood tinged the sunshine, tainted the sweet
air.' "
Rusticus :
" Tell me, Viator, hast thou never felt
Sharp premonition of impending doom ? "
Viator :
" Nay, Rusticus ; and hold such idle thoughts
Disorders of digestion, or vexed brain."
Rusticus :
" I have felt flash within, a subtle spark,
When, midst  the  crowd,   some  face hath caught
mine eye;
And a sweet warning voice hath whispered ■ Mark
That man, and hold him as thine enemy.'
Unquestioning, I say ' A rattlesnake !—
Praise be to Vega !
She it was who spake."
Viator : (continues reading)
"' Warn them, O Christ, those children, and their sire,
'Gainst him who, at the fall of eventide,
Had sought their hearth, sat by the evening fire,
Who now breaks fast among them, side by side ;
See him ! cup half raised, fork poised, listening,
A human tiger crouching for his spring.
E 5°
-the signal from
Harkening—damned  fiend !
He^—so their plot was laid, each detail planned—
Leaving his den at day-dawn, should await
Without, the bolder murderer's command.
Their motive ?    It was double.    Lust of gold
And malice seething in their hearts, of old.'
Viator (continues):
" 'Partly from evidence I tell the tale,
Partly from knowledge not in evidence;
On some points, immaterial, the trail
Is indistinct.    There I draw inference*
Of facts material, nothing I infer—
The bloody record stands distinct and clear.' "
Viator (loq.):
" My Rusticus, how cometh it you hold
Within your bosom matter undisclosed
In evidence ?"
Rusticus :
I Nay, you misapprehend.
S Knowledge,' I said, not ' secret'; it is shared
By all around; not put in evidence
Through gross neglect, rank inexperience,
The blundering of honest, brainless fools—
Provincial Dogberrys; Justices of Peace—
Drunken, illiterate, marks for public scorn—
* E.g.,   "Cup   half   raised,   fork   poised,   listening."
passages are inferential.
Placed on Commission to secure their votes,
Or else in payment of the votes they gave.
Thus prostituted is this office high
To vile political expediency."
Rusticus (loq.) :
1 My God ! Viator, I consume within !
This coil required a man of brains, cool, brave,
As lightning sudden, as the sleuth-hound keen,
And secret as the bowels of the grave.
Christ!  between blunderers and knavish crew,
The  noose  was  slacked,  the   murderers   slipped
Viator (reads on) :
I' The sire fell to a bullet from his rear—
Father above ! they cut the young girl's throat!
Beneath the house a cellar lay, and there
They flung the corpses. The poor child had fought
Hard for her feeble life, and left the trace
Of nails scored deep upon one murderer's face.*
Then they secured his gold, in eagles, allf—
He loved the noble coin, as men well knew—
* On the face of him who had slept in the house—the Scotchman. It was inferred that she was spared for a brief space that
she might disclose the repository of her murdered father's money.
And I accept the inference, having no desire to send out conjecture
in search of additional horrors.
■f" The American gold coin, value twenty dollars: into these
Poole converted his sdver at every opportunity.
E  2 52
(At trial, here some bungling work befel
Twixt fools and scoundrels, Christian and Jew*).
And then they fired the house, the bloody reek
Went up to God. O, if these pines could speak!"
Viator (continues reading):
I ■ Tinder, the dry old house ; above the ground
Naught save charred embers presently remained.
But when suspicion woke, the seekers found
Father's and daughter's corpses—seared, bloodstained,
But unconsumed—within the cellar laid,
Earth-sheltered; so the grave gave up its dead.' "
Viator (loq.) :
| Here ends, my Rusticus, your manuscript.
Complete, I pray, the bloody narrative."
Rusticus :
I But little more remains.    One was arraigned,
And tried for murder of the sire alone.f
' Which of the twain ?' you ask me.    He it was
Who slept beneath the roof, a Scotchman he,
* The Scotchman displayed some twenty dollar pieces—the coin
is rare in the interior. He said that he had received them from
one Budwick, a Jew of Lillooet, a money lender. Budwick
stated that he had supplied him with money, but not in that coin.
It would appear that he was not nailed hard and fast to this
evidence at the preliminary investigation. At one of the trials—
the second I think—he " doubled; " under what influence it is
impossible to say.
■f This of course was right; though acquitted of the murder of
the father, he can be tried for that of the daughter. A   TALE OF BLOOD.
'Gainst him convincing proof; but round him drew
Some Scots, and loud proclaimed his innocence.
' A Scot a murderer !   Cursed be he who saith !'
Thus they aroused that maudlin sympathy
Of which Earth's large majority of fools
And feeble back-boned drivellers ever keeps
A never-failing stock on hand.    They fling
Their mischievous, weak pity forth, broadcast.
Their- babble falls upon the dull-brained crowd,
As drops from cave-roof on the sand beneath,
And saturates with falsehood all the mass.
In vain the Judge condemns, the twelve wise men*
Acquit, release Barabbas, who goes forth
At first with head downcast, and slinking eye;
But when he finds the base and mean flock round,
Each jostling each in eagerness to grasp
The crimson hand, late paddling in the blood
Of slaughtered innocents and fellow man,
He lifts the low, flat crest and crafty gaze—
Tiger all over, in the act to spring—
Whines of his sorrows, losses, God knows what;
Until, by Heaven! the assassin crawls
* The Scotchman only was tried. The Crown servants failed
to secure evidence against the American sufficient to indict him,
though evidence most ample was within the grasp of any keen
and resolute man—evidence against both beyond hope of escape.
The Scotchman was thrice tried, two juries disagreed, the third
trial resulted in an acquittal. The opinion of each of the three
judges who presided at the trials is an open secret; indeed, the
judge who sat upon the last trial left nothing to be inferred as to
his opinion when the jury returned a.verdict of " Not guilty." 54
Into the public service of the State,
As a mere labourer, I grant, but still*
No less the shame, since honest men are forced
To suffer contact with a murderer
Escaped with life, but branded as a Cain.
Against his fellow scarce a proof was found,
Naught but suspicion, doubled-dyed indeed,
But still suspicion only; and yet he,
Haunted, perchance, more vividly by fear,
* Understand : a Government labourer receives pay at the rate
of ten shillings and five pence daily. Out of this he " finds"
himself; also work ceases for the winter months in the interior;
but it is a capital billet, and much sought after. It is a grave
scandal the employment of this man by the lands and works
department. Of course the Chief Commissioner knows nothing
about it, or probably he does not.
In one gaol in which the accused men were confined they were
permitted free intercourse with each other, and I believe—but of
this I am not certain—with the world at large.
The body of the younger child, the boy, was destroyed beyond
After the acquittal of the Scotchman it came into the minds of
some of the men who had procured it, that they could not well
sit down; they had stepped into crime and must wade on, Alecto
and her sisters driving them.
They began by asserting that the deed had been done by
Chilcoten Indians.
Next they arrested an Indian called Hunter Jack on the
suborned prattle of an Indian woman living with a sympathetic
friend of the Scotchman. A sympathetic justice of the peace
issued a warrant for this poor Indian's arrest. He was taken
through the country in irons, was brought before this J.P., and
was remanded from time to time for many weeks upon a story
which should not have kept a wolf in confinement for an hour.
Of course the Indian was never brought to trial. A second J.P.
at last appeared on the scene, and by his interposition the
unhappy Indian was discharged.—E. V. A   TALE OF BLOOD.
Or less sustained by nerve and circumstance,
Skulks with the prowling wolf abroad by night,
And, wolf-like, shuns by day the haunts of men."
I My tale is done.
Awake!    Arise, O God!
Reacheth not to Thine ear the cry of blood ?
Is it not time Thy right arm's vengeance fell,
And smote these devils down to their own hell ?" MR.  SAUNDERS' LAMENT.
Sair could I greet!    Hech ! Tonald, mon,
Oor aiffoorts maist nawtoreeouslee
Have failed : Speer oot the whusky can,
Aiblins ye'll drink a drap wi' me ?
An' wad ye ken the bluidie stain,
The lees, the pairjuree an' a'
We smoored oorsels wi'—a' in vain—
To save a murderer frae the la' ?
Na, Tonald, na, I wrang oorsels,
Py tam ! we wass mair wide.awake ;
Sure—boot! ma poosum proodly swells,
We did it for auld Scotland's sake.
When he wass ta'en we cursed fu' lood,
Fu' lood proclaimed his eenocence,
An' swoor na Scotchman e'er drew bluid
Save in his native lan's defence. MR.  SAUNDERS'   LAMENT.
I ask ye cood we stooltifee
Oorsels, or think o' reet or wrang
When we discoovered preesentlee
The eevidence wass ower Strang ?
They tried him ance, they tried him twice,
The jooree could na a' agree,
An' then py tam ! they tried him thrice—
" An' hanged him on the gallows tree ?"
Na, na, ma freend, it wass na sae,
'Tis true I said we leed in vain;
His life we held na worth a strae
Had Scotland's name been saved frae stain.
It wass na saved !    Through yon blue skies
Up to the throne of God on high
A brither's bluid for vengeance cries,
Ascends the slaughtered bairnie's cry.
Tonald ! their bluid is on ma han' ;
Yea, Tonald, on the han's of a'
Wha by that murderer took their stan',
An' cheated justice an' the la'. 58
O God will not us geeltless hauld,
I greatly fear me, in yon day
When the last troompet-blast has rawled,
An' Airth an' a' shall pass away. TO   " CAP ELLA."
The south wind sighs its soul upon the rose,
The ocean's rippling kisses woo the shore,
Star for its star with passion throbs and glows,
O ! as my heart for thine, Love, evermore.
Rent is the rose, the raging wind raves on;
Trembles the shore beneath the lashing wave;
No star in all the storm-swept Heaven's crown,
And thou, O Love, art lying in the grave. MR.  DOOLAN'S LAMENT.
At Lillooet, British Columbia, on 3rd May, 1S92, the Rev.
Eugene Chirouse, Roman Catholic priest, was tried before the
Hon. Clement Francis Cornwall, County Court Judge, for having
caused a young Indian girl to be stripped to her chemise and
publicly—i.e., in presence of the tribe—flogged with a raw hide
whip; he was convicted and sentenced to be imprisoned for one
year. A point was reserved—a mere piece of'professional by-play;
it was never argued. The Minister of Justice at Ottawa and the
provincial Attorney-General were both Roman Catholics, and a
pardon was secured. It would be interesting to know what representations were made to His Excellency the Governor-General.
The Catholic vote is a great power in Canada; and, after all—
it was only an Indian girl.
Tare an' ages thin, Corny! what's this that yez tell ?
Be Saint Pathrick 'tis tirrible news !
Had thim Lillooet boys no rishpict onto Hell
Whin they shut up good Father Chirouse ?
'Tis mesilf would have loiked to have been in the
He'd an iligant laryer ye say ?
Oi'd have given MacPh—lips me harty suppoort
Av he'd wanted a foighter that day. MR. DOOLAN'S LAMENT.
An' for batin' a gurl they throied that good praist!—
Did yez iver hear tell of the loike ?
Shure it's proud we'd have been, not vexed in the laist,
Av he'd shtruck us, now wouldn't we, Moike ?
Obsarve this, me frinds, it don't matther a shtraw
If his Riv'rince was wrong or was roight,
If they poonish our praisthood for brakin' the law,
Shure it's plain that 'tis done out of shpoite.
Mr. Doolan visiteth New Westminster City;  on returning to
Lillooet he discourseth further as follows :
What tuk place at Weshtminsther Oi'll shortly ralate—
'Tis a roisin' young town be the say—
Shure MacP. is a laryer that cudn't be bate,
He relased the good father to-day.
Judge Walk—m tuk beal, sors, an' thin they tuk lunch—
Shure the Judge is a broth iv a boy—
Whin Oi seen his Riv'rince injying his punch,
The tears, Moike, kem into me oye. 62
I Take a glass, Mishter Doolan—or moight Oi say
An' rapoort av Oi brewed it all roight;"
Thin Oi tipped him the wink, " Trust your lardship
for that"
Oi anshered him moighty purloite.
MacPh—lips, good luck to him, s troying to prove
The chiefs in ould toimes in thim lands,
Used to flog, so his Riv'rince, in marcy and luv,
Was intoitled to lay on his hands.
Bad cess to thim hiritics, M—rt—y and all ;
But be aisy, me boys, and howld on,
For thim voile parsecuthers 'ill crow moighty shmall
Before D—vie and honest Sir John. A   WAIL FROM NEW  WESTMINSTER.
Friends ! my heart is bowed with care
By that father named Chi—ouse;
He shall wear a shirt of hair,
Also peas within his shoes.
Flogged a girl ?—flog a dozen !
'Tisn't that I'm vexed about ;
If he flogged his au'nt or cousin
Deem not it would put me out:
Should we find that all our preaching
Cannot keep our flocks from sin,
There's another plan of teaching—
We must whip religion in :
But we need not do it rashly,
Neither with a trumpet sound ;
Neither—mark you this especi'ly-
When a bad J.P.'s around : 64
Ch'rouse, by not observing this
Slight precautionary measure,
Now has raised a precious fuss;
Thai's what rouses my displeasure.
Painful are the consequences
Of Chirou—e's indiscretion :
I've to deal in false pretences,
Talk about, a gross' oppression:
Hint at risk of Indian war
(Shun, my friends, the lie direct);
Lay on soft soap, work on fear,
Trample on my self-respect:
Truckle to the politicians,
Take a passage in their boat;
Fish for fav'rable conditions,
Baiting with the Cath'lic vote :
All to save the Church from scandal,
Keep untarnished still her glory:
As for him who " gave the handle,"
Let him go to—purgatory. WHERE SHALL  WE LAY HIM?
I Where shall we lay him ?" they said ;
They had carried him home on their spears
Drooped every warrior's head,
And her maidens stood round him in tears:
" Ask your lady where he shall be laid—
He is dead—he is dead."
Tearless she came in her pride,—
But her woe none should see, none should tell,-
Folded the face-cloth aside
From the face that her soul loved so well:
Who shall dare Death's embrace to divide ?
Lay them down side by side. CAST OUT:  A  FRAGMENT.
Mnemosyne or Lethe ?    Sweetest, say
Which guards for us our dream ?
Ah, the faint flush
Kissed your fair cheek,—as tints the dawning day
Yon pure cascadian snow with amorous blush,—
In that dead " Long-ago" ; hushed was the night,
And the swift hours spurred on their reckless flight:
The stars beheld the quivering hand-clasp,
Saw the mute anguish speak from eye to eye,
Saw the gate shut in Honour's icy grasp   .
And vanquished Love cast- out, but not to die.
Cold Reason saith, " Come, was it ill or well
That in the wild dawn of your hopeless love
Your lives were rent asunder ?    Can ye tell
Whence comes the shaft, from hell or heaven above ?
Ye walk in darkness where the fitful gleam
Is but the ignis fatuus of a dream :
Staled by possession, crushed by sudden slip,
O, the wrecked loves that I have seen go down,
Heard the heart-hatred flung from lip to lip."
Never such lot, sweet Love, could we have known. CAST OUT: A  FRAGMENT.
Severed our lives, we parted from that day,
Forged earthly bonds as the slow years crept on,
Trod the world's decent ways—all stained with clay-
Slaves to stern duty and oblivion:
Then dawned an inner soul-life, boundless, free,
Mansion of hope and constant memory,
Which for us, Love, threw open wide its gate,
Wherein, triumphant over space and time,
The world's sharp censure and the sword of fate
We meet, and wistful wait the dawn sublime.
O bid thy harp to breathe
A song for me.
For guerdon this fair wreath
I send to thee.
Glory thy gift shall win.
Back to her, wreath;
Crown her my Love, my Queen,
In life, in death. TO  " CAPELLA."—11.
When laden bees hiveward are humming
And the West is burning,
In Evening's deep calm thou art coming
To meet me, returning
Over a bridge that crosses a stream
Where ghostly water-lilies entwine—
Thou, with the dying daylight aflame,
Comest to meet me, O Love of mine.
O vanished dream!    I stretch out a hand
In the watches of night,
From my lone pillow, into a land
Boundless, unpierced by sight:
No hand meets mine, no answering kiss,
No white arms, gleaming, around me strain;
Dead, the caress that thrilled to caress ;
Dead my soul, till I find thee again. AT    LILLOOETi
8th August, 1892.
What was our noblest ?    A chained eagle, striving
To soar with Thought on cripple-pinioned Speech;
Vain is the poet's harp, vain the contriving,
Weak hands to reach
Outward across the gulfs that separate
To-morrow from to-day : th' Invisible
To voice in song: chambers where Thought elate
Wanders at will.
O master, unto whom we bow the knee—
For thou, indeed, to summits did'st attain
Beyond our utmost vision—after thee
We toil and spin.
.   * * * *
From summits crimsoned by young Morning's kiss
I watched the pleasure-hunters on their path,
Marked 'neath the mask the abject weariness
The dregs of wrath : AT LILLOOET.
Soul-chambers swept and garnished: deadly cold,
Empty, and ready for hell's furniture;
Young hearts, in Mammon's market bought and sold,
Break, yet endure.
I saw the desecrated, shrivelled thing
That fools call " Life," flaunt, leering hideously
About this fair, sad world of suffering,
In devilish glee:
Locked in her harlot arms lay old and young,
Trifled their hour upon her burning breast,
Reaped as they sowed, and then aside were flung
To moth and rust.
The glories of the universe are mine;
Thy cup, O Life, bitter and sweet, I drain;
Star-voices whisper, unseen arms entwine
Round me their chain.
Down the long vista of the mighty stream,
Between the yawning jaws of that vast gorge,
Last night I watched the War-god's banner flame I
The moon emerge AT LILLOOET.
From out the Eastern mountain's citadel
And sail across a sea of thousand isles; *
Blue sea—white isles ! glory unspeakable
My dull brain thrills :
Deep peace around : the distant river's roar
Unheard, as if had ceased its ceaseless strife;
I drank a draught divine in that sweet hour
Of larger life.
O thought soared upward ; the soul winged its flight
Into new realms beyond the night and day;
Sunk in the ocean of the Infinite
All stains of clay :
This stamm'ring tongue brake forth in noble song,
A harp immortal in my hand I grasped,
Loved lips, long lost, to mine enraptured clung,
Arms round me clasped.
And then the vision passed.    O not in vain
We soar above our Earth, a little space,
And catch a ray no night can veil again,
No time efface.
* 8th August, 1892 : Mars at his best, midway in the gap; moon
at the full; she takes about two hours to cross from jaw to jaw,
and then disappears behind the western.
The harp that sleeps forgot among
The ruined halls that heard it last
Again shall wake and breathe a song
Divine, as in the glorious Past.
Last night the eagle burst his chain,
To-day he soars against the sun;
O coward, criest thou " in vain ";—
My brother, up! fight on, fight on.
In dust the dauntless heart may lie—
Defiant, ever, to Despair;
The Hand that smote, from yon blue sky
Is stretched and lifts the load of care.
O, welcome at the Mercy seat
Earth's outcasts stand, the vict'ry won;
Let cravens crouch beneath defeat,
But, brother, evermore fight on. SOME  FRIENDS.
O I do love ye: oft beneath your shade
Catch, from your rugged strength, strength in my
Calm from your calm, what time I am afraid;
Learn how to face to-day, nor fear to-morrow.
Steadfast—as England's men-at-arms of eld
Breasted the battle's shock—immovable
Ye stand, when o'er the mountain and the feld
The hurricane rides forth to work its will.
The tempest crashes round your noble heads,
That sway, defiant, as it rushes past;
Fierce swing your mighty arms though some shreds
Be shivered here and there before the blast.
Nor less I love ye in the summer eve
When your long shadows lie athwart the hill,
And your low voices for Earth's sorrows grieve
With me, the while they whisper " Peace, be still." SOME FRIENDS.
Great sentinels, what wondrous deeds ye see
Ye mark the generations pass away;
Their dust lies thick around your feet, to ye
A hundred years are but as yesterday. THE POST-BAG:   A MEMORY.
From Bertie !    Joyously I break the seal,
And then—the bursting hearts, the tears of blood;
The shattered lamp—the fallen star—life's road
Darkened for ever.    Woe unspeakable.
O last embrace.    O then we rent apart.
Upon his shivered shield this legend shone :
I To man the crest unbowed; to God alone
Be bared the stricken soul, the broken heart."
How shall we slake the thirst that never dies-
The longing to behold him once again—
To tell him that despite of every stain
Earth holds no other like him in our eyes ? BELLONA'S DARLINGS.
I marvel much how man of woman born,
A man that is a man, can bear the weight
Of rank and stars and crosses, won and worn*
In courts and palaces, uncrushed by scorn,
Self-scorn, loathing, shame, yea, even self-hate.
I've seen some men who ne'er had faced a sword,f
Flout those who'd drunk of battle to their fill;
* St. James' darlings.
t I saw one of these fellows turn away
With (rather carefully concealed) disdain
When an old war-dog of the camps, one day
In Presence most august, was heard to say
A small cuss-word, the outcome of champagne.
That it was not the thing, I quite admit,
But surely it would have been nicer far
Had the staff man said, " Come, old chappie, let
Me take you to my den ; there we shall get
A cooling cup to drink, and a cigar." 78
I've seen them flaunt their feathered heads abroad,
With eagles* who in crimson fields had soared,
And plumed their bloody crests in tires of hell.
0 little reck 1 of the rank or star,
I love, indeed, to see them well bestowed,
And well they sit on ye, O Lights of War,
Whose "Stormers to the front! " hath rung afar,
As o'er the death-divide the way you showed.
Free be my harp to censure or to praise,
I crave no gifts or favours, fear no frown,
1 sing because it fires my blood to raise
A song of fighters, and of battle days,
Of Wol—ley's. Rob—t's, Evl—n W—ds' renown.
O, sometimes from these snowy summits calm,f
Whose bosoms blush beneath the eyes of dawn,
Th' offender bore a dozen noble scars.
To me he seemed, beside the popinjay,
A god, a veritable son of Mars—
My dear old chap, all over are your wars,
And now you muster in Eternal Day.
* Eagles:   Whether colonel or private—Sir Vere de Vere or
T. Atkins,
•f" " A deuced deal too calm, said Warrington." BELLONA'S DARLINGS. 79
Mine ear hath heard within the whispered psalm
Breathed by the solemn pines, our oriflamme
Of battle rustle.    Once I dreamed that one
Of those great soldiers spake: "To you this chance—
For Albion bares her sword, the hour hath come—
Beneath my flag again to lift your lance,
Again to hear the mad'ning ' Line, advance !'
And with the cheering bayonets charge home." TRAMPS.
O happy morn, O Spring-time sweet
When we fared forth together;
The flowers bloomed beneath our feet,
Beyond, the purple heather;
O both were young and she was fair
And nothing either knew of care.
At noon a little cloud arose,
We climbed the mountain trail;
Blacker the heaven above us grows,
My heart began to fail;
And now we carried burdens sore.
O Christ, how nobly her's she bore.
Though bending underneath her own,
She said, with love divine,
IO sweetheart, lay thy burden down,
I'll carry it with mine; "
And then upon my breast she fell,
And there we kissed the last farewell. TRAMPS.
Onward, alone; the evening sun
On me its glory shed ;
And now the mountain crest was won
But—she was lying dead :
Worthless the prize, heart crushed, I went
Unheeding, down the long descent,
Into the night; then sunrise beamed
O'er all the vale and sea,
A sea of stars that throbbed and gleamed,
And there, awaiting me,.
There with White arms outstretched you stand,
Love, on the shore of that fair Land. TO " HORTENSIA."
| Like sister and like brother "—were we, dear ?
Knowest thou aught of a diviner love
As pure and passionless, that draws us near,
In nightly vigils, to the stars above ?
Ah well, the past is past but not the thirst
Again to hear thy voice, to see thy face;
Though in my heart you may not be the first
No other stands before thee in that place. RETRORSUM.
" While memory is still half passionate
Not merely contemplative," thus spake one
In whose clear gaze the heart's vast caverns shone
Till no recess was left inviolate.
No paltry prying in those eyes ; they shed
Pure love and grief for frail humanity;
Their lightning scorn for the Pharisee,
Their boundless pity for the broken reed.
Her fingers played upon th' immortal chords
That string the soul, with sympathy divine;
Her music bent our proud hearts at God's shrine
Or fired our spirits like the clash of swords.
O Lethe and Mnemosyne ye meet:
" Half passionate, not all contemplative ! "
Severed, in leaf-strewn Autumn shades we live
Amidst the withered violets, and yet
G 2 84
Know'st thou not moments, darling, when thy soul
Saith to the calm, sad Present, " Stand aside,
The dead Past cometh in, awhile to bide."
Then, Passion's surges o'er chy mem'ry roll ? TO  THALIA.
Child of the Gods, adored of Art,
Fair daughter of Mnemosyne,
I breathed my soul and bared my heart
To thee, and prayed thee to impart
The flame of minstrelsy;
Till, kindled by thy torch divine
Not all unworthy rose my song—
Sweet Thalia, the glory thine !—
Ended, I laid it on thy shrine
Where erst my harp was strung.
Thy voice rang clear and cold, " My grace
O song dost thou indeed intreat ?
Few are ye now who seek my face;
Whose Art, unstained by sordid trace,
Finds welcome at my feet: 86
" Pander to earthy appetite
Wise generation of to-day !
Thou who would'st climb where gods invite
Must seek the laurel on my height,
Not gold amongst the clay."
Sadness and scorn were in thy frown,
Beneath their sting the truth I felt;
Gain first—Art last—the levelling-down;
Unheeded now the laurel crown
Save when its leaves are gilt.
O not for lust of praise or gold
Go forth my song—to death or life;
Shame lieth in the napkin's fold
The laurel for the fighter bold
Drunk with the joy of strife.*
Though never wreath on thee be flung
Still strike, my harp ; not uncontent
So—grant the gods!—thou smite some wrong,
Or raise a soul with anguish wrung
Arresting its descent.
* Gandia certain in is.—Sallust. TO  THALIA.
What though the trumpet-blast of Fame
For thee my song may never swell;
Enough, sweet goddess, that I came
And kissed thy feet and felt thy flame,
And knew and loved thee well. TO MY HARP.
Harp of my soul!    A song to her!
A song that shall be hers alone,
Unbreathed before to mortal ear—
A memory when I have gone.
As slumber's kiss on weary brain
So softly breathes the melody,
Soars to the stars its proud refrain,
" To thee, sweet Vega, only thee! "
No wreath, my harp, thy brows entwine,
But when thy song is hushed and o'er,
Perchance such guerdon may be thine
As never harp has won before.
What if—when holy Night is nigh,
And only sister angels hear—
She breathe upon thy chords a sigh,
Let fall on thee, O harp, a tear ? TO   THE HONOURABLE
Some whisper stirred the little world, and I,
With half-amused scorn, received its frown
From two of those poor, crawling things who lie
Ever in wait to catch the voice of town,
And by its praise or censure tune their own.
The cause I never knew—'twas naught to me ;
You, , must have known ?    At those sweet
I two "
The slight collapsed, and, flung from memory,
The whole had long since passed away, but you
Have chained it there for ever, friend most true.
You, holding at that day the chief command,
Thus, on the instant, stamped the reptile out:
You took me to your house, you " held my hand "—
All as | of course "—no. reference to aught
Beneath, and so it passed.    Have I forgot ?
By heaven !    No.    Not while the blue skies bend
Above us.    No, not until memory end. THEY HANG   THEIR HARPS.
They hang their harps where roses twine
Above the beds of mignonette ;
They catch within their lays divine
An odour of the violet,
A ripple of the rivulet.
But on my soul their music falls
As Evening's breath on battle-plain.;
Softly it whispers, sweetly calls—
No answer ?—O in vain, in vain !
It wakes them not, the silent slain.
Then one came by whose harp was strung
Beneath the furnace-blasts of Life;
His song, like sledge on anvil, rung
Of rugged ways where sin was rife,
And souls lay stricken in the strife. THEY HANG  THEIR HARPS.
The wind had rent his robe apart,
And bared his bosom to my view.
Christ! I beheld his bleeding heart!
Around it smouldering ashes glow
As smoulder fires of hell below.
And yet he smiled; and still his song
Sent forth—triumphant and serene—
Its proud refrain, " Be strong, be strong."
O scant the grace such bard or strain
From Beauty's hand or lips would gain.
Like noble wine it stirred my blood ;
I heard his challenge from afar—
For he had passed along the road,
Up through the shadows of Night's bar,
Towards the risen Morning Star.
To-night, O my harp, wake a song that shall reign
When the dust of the centuries lies on my breast;
That shall peal o'er the gallant, at glorious rest
Where vulture and wolf are at work on the slain.
In vain I invoke thee; then sing what thou wilt:
Of the  friendships   forgotten,  the   loves  that   lie
Or a  song of the cups, when the vineyard hath
Or field, the fair "image of war, without guilt."
That toucheth thee, harp !—I am back in the days
When old William brought in the hot water at eight—
O the smoke room last night!    O repentance too
late !—
And said, " Sir, it's time to get up if you please." •A  SONG:   NOT  OF THE  CASCADES."     93
The bell rang—I'd just struggled into my boots— 'tBir
When I entered the room she was there in her place,
Through the mist of the years I behold her sweet
Around me the perfume of violets floats.
It seems like a vision of paradise lost;
What! sweet Memory ?—playing wild work with me
still ?
As I swung her to saddle—O exquisite thrill!—
Flaming sword and barred portal, I have been blest.
We drew the " home covert"—a gorse—drew it blank;
Gaffer Giles hobbles up to the Master and cries,
I Dra' they turmuts, m' lard, ye may durn m' old
Not hour gorn, a zeed vox a crassin' t' bank."
We slipped to the corner, my darling and I—
She was riding " The Kitten," a thoroughbred bay—
The   Master's  " Yooi,  wind  him !"—the   whip's
I Gone away!"
And hounds—'twas the dog-pack—are scoring to cry! 94
Just eight of us in it, we came to the brook,
What a bumper!—" You mustn't attempt it!" I cried;
But you steadied " The Kitten " a bit in her stride,
And the sapphire eyes had a dangerous look.
The huntsman, Tom Hilary, held a short lead;
A scramble and over, with nothing to spare;
And then you sat back on the game little mare,
" Now, my Kitty!" you murmured, and gave her her
No thought of refusal—a resolute shake—
Then the rush of the rocket!—and over she went;
A view halloo ahead—a most ravishing scent—
Again we are sailing along with the pack.
Who-whoop ! the stout fox is a draggle of fur:
Ah, my darling, your radiant face !—and your blush
At the marquis's praise as he gave you the brush:
And O, then—the return beneath Evening's star.
The wine cup is empty, the lamp hath burned low,
My harp's music dies down to a desolate wail;
But go ! powerless Fate; for a heart cannot fail
That died and was buried in days long ago. PART II.
From heights serene I watch the game
My brothers play below :
A statesman, beggared of his fame,
Stakes all upon a throw.
The Celt " sic vos no?i vobis " sneers—
As yet with bated breath—
Peaceful the smile and garb he wears,
And sharp the knife beneath.
His hungry glances, greedily
Gloat ever on the stake;
Whate'er the other players be,
This player is awake.
Empty of purse, his credit gone,
His honour bought and sold,
In every mart where he is known—
" Who, then, provides the gold ?"
h 98
The fools and knaves—behold them—
That round the Irish stand,
And fawning, bow the feeble knees,
And grasp each blood-stained hand.
Go, I repeat, in Israel's strain
Of anguish and of wrath—
Behold them ; these are Englishmen—
0 tell it not in Gath.
The Celt, in broadcloth or unkempt,
Reeking of blood and crime,
Than these is less beneath contempt,
They crawl, he fain would climb.
Leader, Celt, Saxon, fool and knave,
Links in the traitor chain
Forged upon many a bloody grave,
Stamped with the brand of Cain.
Albion, to days long vanished
For parallel I go :
Dark eyes—a noble soldier's head
On Beauty's bosom, low—
A silver tongue—the honeyed words—
The mighty sleeper's trust—
The Philistines—the shears—the cords-
The honour in the dust A  LITTLE  GAME.
Gods I the great England of the past
Drivels in lethargy;
She, who defied Napoleon, massed
Across the narrow sea;
Her sons gird sword within her gate-
Up, England, up before
Thy guarding angels wail " Too late "
And Hell rings out " Red war."
Nor hearts nor garments will they rend, I trow,
Not such the rending that they contemplate,
Who rendeth coat or heart immaculate ?
When hearts on sleeves of broadcloth bravely show
Ungenerous 'twere to penetrate below;
Though through red rapine once they marched elate
To the dismemberment of our fair State,
Great G stone's hand hath washed them white as
Aye ; but what waters can wash white that hand,
Where is the water that shall cool his tongue
In that dread day when o'er his native land
The fires that he hath kindled shall be flung;
While ye who bow your necks at his command
Will, eyes unveiled, curse him to whom ye clung. SOME  TRAITORS.
From the caves where the sea-wrack wreathes a shroud
Round the blanching bones of your darling dead,
In sea-mew's scream as she swings overhead—
Swingeth white against livid thunder-cloud ;
From waters where footsteps unknown have trod—
His from Whose hand the destroyer hath sped—
Ere guns are unlimbered and bayonets red
Warning, O Albion, hell is abroad.
By Heaven ! not in stress of battle day,
No, not on Albuera's bloody height,
Nor even when at Chillianwallah lay
Gough's host, loins girt to die at morning light,
Stood, as stand now, fame, honour, all—at bay
Before the traitors, Celt and Gladstonite. SHALL  IT BE EVER   THUS.
Shall it be ever thus while Time doth last,
Will men look back across the centuries
To our own time when it shall be " the Past"
With mournful retrospection, saying, " These,
These were the days; they brim with histories
Of statesmen, warriors, churchmen, bards who cast
A deathless fame around their images;
When loyalty was no vain pomp of words
And England's throne was girt with hearts and swords ?
Perchance—I know not; this I know, that I
With such a retrospection meditate
On the great days of the past century
When with one pulse the whole of England beat,
When faction hid and all were for the State,
And her ranks closed, to conquer or to die;
Each man, from king to hind, with fire elate ;
" For Crown and Country!'" rang her battle cry,
And prouder rang as danger drew more nigh.
" To rend or not the Empire in two "
Is now the burning question of the hour;
On this side stand the noble and the true,
On that the mob led by a statesman hoar;
He, by his own heart's lust; for evermore
His voice saith " Peace," the while his hand doth strew
Broadcast the fire of fratricidal war,
Holding in leash a blood-stained Irish pack,
Eyes strained, fangs whetted, raging for th' attack.
Once, pointing at that pack he spake : " I say
Marching through rapine to their purposed end—
England's dismemberment—they force their way."
Lo ! now he fawns on them, grasps hand, " My friend,
I prithee at the next election lend
Your most sweet voice to me; trust me, you may,
T' requite the boon I ask you to extend
Ere long—that is—rely on this—I pray,
In measurable distance dawns the day."
His foot is dipped in blood of friend and foe
And his dogs' tongues are reddened by the same;
Rash war his pathway lights with lurid glow,
Followed by Honour sunk, surrender, shame;
O this the Transvaal battle-fields proclaim,
Where the rude Boer upturneth with his plough
Our soldiers' graves, whereon the light of Fame
Had shone; but now, O unavenged, now
Dishonoured, his the hand that dealt the blow. 104
The same false hand that cast away Transvaal
Failed noble Gordon in his sorest need;
Withheld till time had passed beyond avail,
Outstretched then, a wavering, wind-rocked reed
Shifting, as vacillating will decreed :
Well- might brave Wol y's gallant spirit fail
As waned the priceless hours that could have freed;
Too late—all lost, and Gordon dauntlessly
Bared his great heart and calmly stood, to die.
So, when the Present seeks the mighty Past
And, wreathed with glory, our Victoria's reign
Into the lap of History shall be cast,
On its fair face, for ever, shall the stain
Of this man's deeds indelibly remain ;
And future times shall cry, " Behold, what waste
Of god-like speech, wide knowledge, soaring brain :
All prostituted; pander to self-lust
He laid his Country's honour in the dust.
[In Canada, politics get into one's soup and poison your claret.
How is it at home ? Would a publisher and his " reader "—they
being of the Gladstonian persuasion—look at a MS. which contained the above sort of thing with judicial impartiality ? If it be
so tell me, that in my nightly orisons to Vega I may give thanks.
" The postal link is one of the strongest in the chain which binds
Canada to the mother country."—"Montreal" Letter to Times
(weekly edition),  Sept. 15, 1892.
Montreal Discourse™ :
A noble link!    And thou would'st dare to break it,
Bloated official!   General of postmasters ;
A five cent link !    Four, you propose to make it,
Utterly reckless of the dire disasters
The docking of that cent would cause.—Damnation!
Nay, do not let the word arouse displeasure;
I merely would imply that separation
Would doubtless follow such a serious measure.
One Answereth :
" The strongest link," you say; if I mistake not,
Good " Montreal," that just as is the strain
Which its most feeble link will bear, yet break not,
So is the strength of even the strongest chain. io6
If your five cent link be so very brittle*
It seems unnecessary to explain
That a one cent link represents, O Montreal,*
About the strength of your Canadian chain.
O chain of Freedom forged by Loyalty,
On thee the nations gaze with eyes intent,
Round thee rings Albion's challenge proud and high,
Montreal holds thee only worth a cent!
* By taking a very small liberty with brittle, and really none at
all with Mon-treal ("Mon-tree-ali " is ridiculous), the kind reader
will find that they rhyme very nicely.—Author's Note. "REVIEW OF REVIEWS,"
October 15, 1892.
Words   worse  than  vain;   and  then   the   specious
pleading, '^ •%•<
The wild, half-crazy scrawl from Limpopo ;
Th' American intrusive interceding—
My worthy Mr. S d, you ought to know
■ That merely to advance such pleas at all
Is forging chains about the criminal.
Should we give such considerations weight,
Yea, but a hair's weight, in fair Justice' scale,
Down falls the noblest fabric of the State,
The Law of England.    O, if faith once fail
In that firm rock our England's day is done,
Fallen her glorious star and set her sun.
Gird up your loins, my friend.    Invertebrate
I do not deem thee, S d, nor yet a reed
By the wind shaken; therefore I entreat
That you will understand we are agreed
On the main point—the criminal's release;
The criminal or convict, which you please. io8
Like you, I was not present, but I read
The full report with care, and with a mind
(I blush, but truth is truth) of which 'tis said
By friends that 'tis somewhat judicial.    Kind,
Too kind by far is this their estimate (!!!)—
Now, to be serious.    Briefly let me state—
Weighed in the balance, all the prayers and tears,
The hapless woman's woe, her suffering,
The dead man's vice or virtue, aye, or her's,
Are naught to me, all these aside I fling.
Naught reck I of her guilt or innocence,
The verdict was against the evidence. PART  III.
Sketches and Poi^fi^iits.  THE SILENT SISTERS."
Duty stands mute, no bond of kindred blood
Binds them to me, and yet their love, most dear,
Their joyance in my joy, in woe their tear,
These on my soul they shed though nought they owed.
Heart, for their grace what guerdon has thou given ?
I Thyself alone !    O worthless offering:
Yet scorn it not Loves, what have we to fling
But our rent hearts before the throne of Heaven. A PORTRAIT.
Deep is the debt, my harp, I owe her house,
For I have eaten of the bread divine
It casts upon the waters; yet it knows
Naught that its hand doth.    O, my harp, be thine-
Thine, as a right—to tell it that there flows
From'one cold heart a lasting memory;
Nor deem the wave less deep that floweth silently.
And so I loved the daughter for its sake,
Yea, loved the little maiden for her own;
When first I met thee childhood's placid lake
Before thy wistful eyes unruffled shone ;
I saw thee in the budding girlhood hours,
With inner charms beyond thy years indued,
Then the fair bud, transplanted to fresh bowers,
Bloomed into noblest, fairest womanhood.
O here, a rose may bloom through all the years,
Ah there, a violet hath drooped and died ;
Sweet dews to some, to others burning tears,
Star of my orisons, be thou her guide. PORTRAIT.
Again we met—O not the child I loved:—
Reigning above her sisters, lone, apart,
A woman, seraph-voiced, face soul-lit, moved,
As reigns fair Vega, goddess of my heart. A PORTRAIT.
'Tis not alone her noble loveliness ;—
Mere satellites all other women show
Beside her, in her calm meridian glow,
Not fairer Aphrodite of the seas.
Round her a charm that half conveys caress
Hovers, and in the star-shine of her brow
Celestial light beams upon earth below—
O long-lost darling of the Pleiades.
Shine on, fair star, no fairer ever shone,
O touch my harp with fire divine, and raise
My soul to breathe the songs that once thine own
Sang with the Morning Stars in other days;
Where Aldebaran, blazing on his throne,
Woos thy sweet sisters and the Hyades. A   SKETCH.
He brings us breezes from the seas,
He bears the proudest rank of all;
Above the ducal strawberries
I hold an English Admiral.
He leaves the seas, he seeks the snows, .
Where unto ear attuned, O God,
Walks Thy still voice : Columbia knows
His rifle's crack on heights untrod
By man before; in solitudes
Where the freed soul escapes its clay,
And far above the brawling crowds
Hears breathings of Eternity.
O constant hand, O noble heart,
Brimful of manly sympathy;
Would that it lay in my poor Art
To tell how much I honour thee;—
I  2 n6
And wake thereby thy discontent ?
Fear not—I know thee—-here I cease.
Across this Western Continent,
Across the far Atlantic waves,
Greeting.    If London revel saps,
The Seaton River still sweeps on:
The rams are out on Shoo-a-laps,
The stags are fat on Ty-ak-son. A SKETCH.
Time was when I could take my pen
And draw an average sketch
Of those amongst my fellow-men
Who'd salient points to catch:
" Women ? " you ask; ah, not so sure-
Sweet darlings!    You elude
All efforts to describe you—you're
Adorably indued.
But now my hand has lost the trick,
This dull brain gives no glow,
And feebly burns a rushlight wick
Where wax-lights long ago
Blazed (?)—Well, at least a tallow " mould "
Gave tolerable light.
You press ?    Come little pet, don't scold,
I'll try my hand to-night.
Hard is my task.    I-must not dare
To praise as I would praise;
What, shall I laud yon steadfast star—
Gild great Arcturus' rays ? n8
Harder the task to curb the tongue,
The truth in chains to crush,
To hush the song that should be sung
Lest men should call it—"gush."
In days when Douglas ruled the land—
With B e by his side—
One man was known as his right hand,
Foremost to quell the tide
Of lawlessness ; and well " The Three "
In council, camp, and court,
Swayed Justice' sceptre sternly
Through good and ill report.
Just as he charged a five-foot wall
On lush November day,
When echoed far th' entrancing call,
" Hark for'ard, gone away ! "
When heads were up and sterns were down,
And thrusters "ride" and shirkers stream,
He took—upon the bay or brown—
His fences as they came ;
So with his work; no fait'ring glance
To left hand or to right,
Stern duty sat upon his lance,
Honour, his beacon light; A  SKETCH. 119
Far from the world his mark he made
In lone lands wide apart;
The " gallery " to whom he " played,"
God, and his own great heart.
His record ?   Go, " Circumspice " :
On the lone mountain side,
In court, in camp, by torrent free,
By Georgia's icy tide ;
'Tis writ on drear desert, fair valley,
On eternal Cascadian snows,
It rings in sweet Morning's reveille,
It is whispered in Evening's repose.
His record ?    Go, learn of the humble,
You can mark if they measure their praise;
The crushed hearts, the footsteps that stumble,
Ask of them whose the hand that shall raise.
Ask friends—can you count them ?—who love him,
Ask the souls that in bitterness sigh;
Go—ask the Recorders above him,
Read his record on Earth and on High. A  SKETCH.
Self-contained, silent, calm, and nobly proud,
Scanning with half-indifferent eye the crowd;
Serenely seated on high Honour's throne
He goes his way, and his own way alone.
| Public opinion," terror of weak men,
He passes by, not with defiant mien,
But without anxious glance towards her face
And all unheeding of her blame or praise.
Icily courteous to " the general,"*
Yet steadfast, true, constant, and firm of will,
If, once, he stamp you with his friendship's seal
He clasps you to his " soul with hooks of steel."
And then, in friendly converse, shall you know
The hidden excellence in depths below,
And marvel much why, with " consummate art,"
He should so strive to veil his noble heart.
* " Caviare to the general."—Shakespeare. A SKETCH.
River or stubble—tennis—cricket-ground—
Over the claret (let the wine be sound):
But above all, to see him as you should,
Mark—when his hounds are running mute for blood.
Foe to detraction, to all talk that smacks
Of tittle-tattle behind people's backs ;
Even should the world sit upon a man
Through thick and thin he'll back him—if he can.
O pleasant world !—so kindly—aye—and just,
Just in the main; now credulous in trust,
Now circumspectly cautious of your way
To find out, first, what " other people say."
Sometimes, within your lists we see a knight—
(We carpet heroes)—fighting for the Right,
Trampling on Wrong, his heel with iron shod,
And reckoning only with himself and God. THE LEADER OF THE BAR.
Within the stately pale of Law,
Through reek of politics,
Some hold the honours without flaw,
Some score the game by tricks.
Let us review the first of these,
Then, learned sir, declare
Whom 'mongstth' eminent brethren is
The Leader of the Bar.
The County Bench, if I am right,
Your ranks did late divest
Of certain luminaries bright,
Shall these our thoughts arrest ?
Had they remained ?   You shake your head.
I We need not look so far;
Vainly amongst them should we seek
A Leader of the Bar.
I The full court sits ; with me for guide
Enter—fear not—believe
That on that Bench in all its pride
Mortals may gaze—and live ! THE: LEADER  OF THE BAR.
My chaff, you know—good fellows all,
And dear to us some are.
Look round, he's here within this hall,
The Leader of the Bar.
" O come, you surely can't mistake,
Closer the faces scan.
Ah, now the light begins to break—
I see you've picked our man.
That stalwart form!—if e'er I stand
Amid the ranks of war,
Grant I may find at my right hand
Our Leader of the Bar.
I Not by his gown of silk you're struck,
Reck not of his Q.C.,
The manner of this man—his look—
Attract us instantly.
The frank address, the guileless eye,
Steady as Honour's star,
These the true " orders " worn by
This Leader of the Bar.
" Attorney-Generals come and go,
Within the great ' Hath been '
They rest, some pure as virgin snow,
And some—well, not so clean THE LEADER  OF THE BAR.
(I draw no vile comparison,
My verse shall leave no scar)—
I fail to find amongst them one
Such Leader of the Bar.
| Good comrade when the cup goes round,
Keen sportsman in the field ;
More serious depths I may not sound,
Though nobly they would yield.
When to the challenge of Relief
Rings his ' Excelsior!'
Calmly he shall unfold his brief
At Heaven's immortal Bar." AN ARCHDEACON: A SKETCH.
" Archidiaconal functions to perform,
Such is the duty of an archdeacon,"
In humorous speech and wary, replied one
Whose pen once held us captive with its charm.
O well those duties thou interpretest,
Strong Man of God, the kindest and the best
Of all thy brethren, or if this should wrong
The memory of one departed long.
Your pardon, if I throw my words less wide,
And set you with that brother side by side.
Friend of the friendless! Even as thy church door
Lies open daily to the rich and poor,
So thy large heart its portals free doth fling
To every outcast soul in suffering.
Wide as thy Master's sweeps thy sympathy,
Tender and true as His thy pitying eye.- AN ARCHDEACON: A SKETCH.
Forgive, if I who knew thee in old days,
Though all unworthy dare to sing thy praise.
Not mine the fulsome plaudits of the crowd,
Not mine with ill-bred flattery to obtrude;
Not all a man doth feel his tongue may tell.
Enough !    Archdeacon, ever fare thee well. A SKETCH.
Of giant height, crowned by a head of snow,
Massive of limb—a modern Achilles;
Commanding intellect throned on his brow,
Caustic of tongue, headstrong and stern his will is ;
Viewing with thin-veiled scorn the world and men,
And stirring up a wasp's nest now and then.
This is his Court; mark him as there he sits,
Calm, yet impatient of undue delay
Or dreary babble; courteous, as befits
A gentleman ; but should Wrong bar the way
'Gainst even-handed Justice, you shall find
He's not particular how he speaks his mind.
Yet vainly might you seek herein to trace
Petulant irritation, which doth tell
Of want of balance, of attempt to " brace "
A system that is given to " lunch " too well,
Or rank excess that dims the quick perception
And lands it in the swamp of self-deception. A SKETCH.
Not overmuch doth this Judge love the sound
Of his own voice ; seldom, yea, never tries
To thrust on prisoner, jury, Court all round,
That cheap commodity called " good advice,"
But ends the case, lays on the chastening rod,
And leaves the rest to conscience and to God.
Graved on our hearts till Gratitude and Truth
Shall die, be this man's service in the day
When his strong hand guided our stormy youth,
Made law,.enforced it, and swept clear the way
Of foul disorder, till the pure, white feet
Of Justice marched along with tranquil beat.
Not for me is it to unclose the lid
Of the man's privacy, his inward worth;
Of his large charity, most keen to hide
From left hand what it is that right hand doth.
Vivat I   When others go their seats we fill—
Empty, his place remaineth empty still. ON THE MILL BRIDGE, LILLOOET.
February n, 1892.
I Thirteenth of January. Fishing here."
(Post-card from S—n K—rr, Ajaccio.)
While you are buried deep in frost and snow,
Though not expressed, | between the lines " is clear.
But the first breathings of young Spring appear,
And I, too, take my rod in hand, although
The chance of sport is small, as well I know,
And once again behold this scene so dear;
Stand on the rustic bridge that spans the tide
Tranced by the rushing water's rhythmic flow.
Here I watched Jupiter in all his pride
Rise nightly, just five fleeting moons ago.
Father above ! the loved ones who have died !
The heart*, then high and radiant, broken now! A LITTLE INCIDENT.
Saunt'ring alone, unheeded, through the crowd,
I marked two fluttering, fair Ephemerae;
One gently born, her great forefathers rode
With York, upon St. Alban's bloody day.
The other charmer was of loftier grade—
The chance of wealth—God knoweth what, not I;
How born, heaven also knows ; she never made
Kind greeting, passed her sister haughtily.
Not unamused I: still more, when she
Said (with sweet nose upturned) to one she met,
I Respectable ?—O most—but, really—
You know—she moves in quite a different set." A  LITTLE INCIDENT.
The proudest peak of yon serene Cascades,
That link us to the Majesty on High,
His lower brother with kind shelter aids,
Owns him his equal in the Father's eye.
" Amongst the ninety-nine just ones are we;
Most pure, beyond all need of penitence ;
And scarcely fair to us it seems to be
That angels should rejoice with love intense
Over that man at whom we cast our stones,
Taking small heed of us, the perfect ones.
" Rejoicing over him I—if they but knew
Things we could tell them—knew the hideousness
His soul is steeped in—they would quickly rue
Their much misplaced rejoicing, and express,
With us, a proper horror of this man
Standing far off."    So stood a publican. A   SKETCH.
Ecclesiasticus, chapter iv., verse 9.
Man, when thou sittest in the Judgment Seat,
Be merciful; but let no weakness taint
Justice.    Let not thy steadfast heart be faint
When before thee oppressed and tyrant meet.
Smite the oppressor, be he ne'er so high;
Deliver him that suffereth the wrong.
Away with maudlin sympathy—be strong!
So—answer to thy Judge most fearlessly. PERDITA.
What ! not one guardian angel hovering there
When she strayed forth that wild October eve,
Gently to chide, " My darling, do not leave
Your sheltering home, I will stay with you, dear."
She wandered on, so far and yet so near,
Her falt'ring feet crossed the familiar brook.
Back came her mother, casting wistful look,
Calling, naught doubting, harbouring no fear.
Christ! silence.  Then arose, "My child, my child!"
Dumb skies, inscrutable, no answer yield.
Hearts break;   Earth  heeds not; passed the  winter
And thousand-throated Spring all reckless smiled
Upon a riven tree, a golden tress,
The little bones, the fragment of a dress.*
* The dear child had wandered from the house in search of her
mother, had become entangled in the meshes of a fallen fir-tree,
with a surrounding of briars, and had there, alas, perished. To
have entered into details of the abortive search, or to prolong, in
any way, the heart-rending tale, might give pain to relatives. I
earnestly hope that this little tribute of deep sympathy may not
sadden or offend.—E. V. PART   IV.
Bl|Om    TH6    SY^IHC.
Part I.
Benhadad (solus):
" By Rimmon, it is hard ! but yesterday
Betrothed; to-day, Urania is widowed,
Naaman a leper—ye gods, 'tis hard.
And then the raid we planned on Israel,
Who is to lead it ?    Osman is the man,
After my Naaman, the only man.
Gods !    What a hornets' nest it will arouse.
They murmur now about the ' Osman gang.'
But if indeed my Queen prevail with me—
' If!'    When my Love and ' if' confederate
Not doubtful the result, her will is mine—
Then must our Syrian standard hang unfurled
And I, Benhadad, as a suppliant
For Naaman's sake to Israel must go.
The Captain of my Guard.    Ho, Osman, ho."
Enter Osman :
1 My lord the King ?"
" This message to the Queen:
We do entreat her gracious Majesty FROM THE SYRIAC.
That she, the Princess, and the lady Ruth
Meet us at sunset in her palace hall,
There to inquire somewhat more perfectly
Touching the matter that she hath disclosed.
Summon the High Priest Armon to attend;
Secret the Council, beside these shall none
Enter our presence save thyself alone."
Exit Benhadad.
Osman (solus) :
I Death crouching lurks in every air we breathe,
Each hour we face it, but not living death :
No more to hear the trumpet sound,
No more to feel his charger bound
Responsive to his sway;
Knee to knee where steel and shield are. clashing;
Down upon th' opposing squadrons dashing
In battle-day,
To shout his battle-cry, ' Follow me, Charge !'
Never again the rapture of the fight ;
To see the foeman's shattered ranks enlarge—
Pursuit, relentless, to the gates of night;
Would I could die, so might my chief be freed—
Yet hold—impostor, sham, poor hypocrite,
So glib of speech—but if it came to deed ?
How then ?—O Ruth, my darling, yet not mine
This life of which I babble, it is thine." FROM THE SYRIAC.
A Guard Room in the Queen's Palace.
Prince Cyras (solus):
"By the gods ! I am weary. Since Armon espied
the spot on Naaman at the betrothal yesterday, a
man dares not to speak above his breath; the
Queen will have no music, the Chamberlain no
dice; my slave Cor's grief would not allow him to
burnish my cuirass, and obliged him to get drunk ;
Torqua is so sorry, that she must have pearl earrings to console her; I myself am no whit behind
any in sorrow—wherefore I need distractions and
for want of these am distraught."
Enter Osman.
I Osman ! my well-beloved, is 't thou ?  The gods
have heard my cry."
" My dear Prince, had I but guessed you were
praying I had not entered."
" What good geni hath borne you to this accursed
Guard ?"
Osman :
" Cyras, still thou delightest to dress thy speech
in garb of discontent. I indeed know the spirit
that lieth beneath, but this trick of tongue doth
work thee injury, yea, and with some so high that I FROM THE SYRIAC.
may not name them; at fitting season more of this,
but now instant the time. I wait the Chamberlain,
and would pass through to the gardens."
" Ho, sentinel! the Captain of the Guard—
A moment, dear my lord ; a whisper saith
The King hath planned a raid on Israel,
Thine the command, in room of Naaman ;
If it be so, Osman, remember me."
" Cyras, I will; and that a raid was planned
Is true indeed—this for thy secret ear—
Beyond, believe me, all is idle talk,
And now farewell."
Cyras :
" Deep thanks, my lord; farewell;
And hold me in thy thoughts if aught should chance
Wherein might ope gate of escape for me
From this routine which crushes down my soul :
Be thou to me the dawn of a career
Which mine own sword shall carve to fuller day,"
The Queen's Gardens.
Urania and Ruth.
Princess Urania:
" At sunset, so Benhadad doth command, FROM THE SYRIAC. 141
We stand before his Majesty the King;
His purpose to inquire more certainly
Touching that healer of Samaria,
Of whom the Queen, at thy persistency,
Hath made report."
" Now may my father's God
Direct the issue."
Urania :
" Dearest Ruth, I go ;
My soul is sick with sorrow and despair;
Nay, follow not; breathe thou the morning air."
Enter Osman.
Osman (aside):
" Ye Gods, I thank thee!   Now my hour hath come,
Up, heart! loose, tongue! or evermore be dumb."
Ruth :
" Good morrow, my Lord Osman."
Osman :
" O, at last—
Fairest, one word; nay, do not turn away;
Ruth, hear me; thou hast seen—surely thou hast ?
The love, mine eye, but never yet my tongue,
Hath dared to speak; yea, once I  thought, perchance— FROM THE SYRIAC.
O, say not that I erred—thy glance in mine
Rested one fleeting moment ere it fell.
11 ask not answer now, scant is the time
And all unmeet th' occasion, to lay bare
My heart to thee, beloved ; yet, a hope ?—
A little hope ?    Ruth, darling, may I hope ?
O, love, that rose ?—this ring, my mother's, take ;
Sweetest, thy hand; O wear it—Ah ! the Queen !'
Enter Queen.
Queen :
"My lord of Osman and the Lady Ruth.
Roses and rings ! blushes, as roses red;
A pretty bauble; girl, your hand ; nay, dear,
The Queen is witness that it binds you not!
Give him his rose.    And now, Lord Osman, go."
Exit Osman.
Joy at his heart, silence upon his lips,
Instant obedience to his Queen's command
The warrior paid.    Then she, to Ruth who stood
Rose-red 'twixt bliss and anger spake in mirth :
"The blood of Judah's kings breaks spear with
So to their noontide rest departed they.
As passed the Queen and Ruth to their siesta
In words of wisdom thus the Queen addressed her: FROM THE SYRIAC. 143
" How seldom, dear, in this queer world we see
One of us mated quite desirably;
Or gold, or lust, or a malignant witch
Hath often the arrangement of a match.
"A child-wife yields the dotard doubtful joy;
Not more hath ancient lass in husband-boy;
This for an ornamental partner begs,
Brains she despiseth ; but delights in legs.
" Behold her married; married to an author
All brains, no legs; and he might be her father
As far as looks go! O we must agree
That marriage is, at best, a lottery.
" But you have drawn a prize, my little pet;
Now don't pretend you've not decided yet,
I shall console him, if you should refuse,
I'm half in love with him myself, you goose."
Naaman sits by a casement high,
Eyes upraised to the pitiless sky;
So Chaldea's monarch gazing,
Watched the mural writing blazing;
And such a look in later day,
As fell the sceptre from his sway,
Mightier monarch cast;
When, on his flank, he saw the flash
Of Prussia's guns, and knew their crash
Spoke plain that all was lost; 144
When Albion, victor in the fight,
Yet reeling in her pride,
Swooped downward from her bloody height
In the last hour of fading light,
And hope and honour died.
O there, within his grasp, hung Fame's reward :
To fall amidst the Eagles of the Guard !
Earth hath no balm to heal the agony
That tears his heart, who knew not when to die.
A leper! he, so young; upon his head
Scarce had three decades sat; such a career!
Now buried, numbered as amongst the dead,
Well might his great heart sicken with despair.
He watched his squadrons from the casement there,
The warriors he never more should lead ;
He turned his gaze, the plume he used to wear—
In battle-day the star of every eye—
Now from the chamber wall drooped listlessly.
Beside the mighty sword around whose hilt
The sapphire's azure lightnings leaped and blazed ;
O, he recalled the day when he had knelt
Before his King, after the carnage ceased,
When Israel had fled, and to their feast
The vultures swooped; the King unclasped his belt,
Girt the sword on him, raised him, and embraced
Him blood and dust bedecked; while thus he spake,
" My Prince and brother, wear it for my sake." FROM THE SYRIAC.
And she, Urania, his betrothed, his bride ?
All else he might, perchance, have borne; but here
Centred the storm, the whirlpool of that tide
Of desolation, beneath which lay bare
His stricken soul.    O, never by her side—
Heart unto heart, lip pressed to lip, her hair
Veiling her glory; hour intensified
By passion, and the spell of holy night,
And all the rapture of the infinite,
O, never should that hour supreme be his—
Despair beheld her opening and swooped down ;
Then his great soul leaped into his sad eyes,
And steadfast as the light of battle shone;
Flashed, in the glory of the setting sun,
Upon the man a hundred memories
From history's page, of mighty dead who won
Through fires of hell their way to victory;—
Nor less his fame who knoweth how to die.
" In the Queen's hall at setting of the sun."
Such was the King's command; not oft he brooked,
Save when high purposes of State compelled,
The dull observance of the tinsel show
Upheld by custom, by the merchants' greed,
And by the clamour of the vulgar crowd.
Born in the purple, bred in tented field,
His earlier years spent in the noble chase; FROM THE SYRIAC.
Alone, no weapon save his hunting sword,
He slew the desert lion in his lair,
Rolled the wild boar in death beneath his spear,
And on his lonely bed the white stars shone.
Still was his lip unfring6d when he led
The Syrian squadrons on the battle day,
And when his father fell, his sword cleft through
The slayer, from helm to the saddle-bow.
No lance like his in tourney or in fight
Save Naaman's, the Captain of his Host.
Then thus the King to Ruth his speech addressed
With courtesy of host to honoured guest;
Inseparable friends, beside him there,
Calm vigil kept the mighty boar-hound | War" :
" Thy memory recalls the battle, day
Of Ramoth Gilead, where Jehoshaphat,
Thy uncle, leagued with the base Ahab, fought
Against me, and I swept them from my path
As the sirocco drives the desert sand—
Ahab I slew, but spared Jehoshaphat.
"By Rimmon! Judah was a noble foe :
He, naught suspecting, fell an easy prey
To crafty Ahab, promised him his aid
And well redeemed his "word ! for his reward
Ahab set trap : he to escape disguised,
Great Judah, warring royally, to die.  . FROM  THE SYRIAC
" So I made peace with Judah; he the while
Our conference lasted nobly entertained
My Queen and me.    Between you twain sprang up
An equal love.    ' Go with us,' prayed the Queen,
And you consenting, to Jehoshaphat
Jesting I said, ' As hostage Ruth must come.'
"Not all in jest; if Judah had denied,
I had enforced, for well I knew that he
Had destined you, his ward, to be the wife
Of his young son Jehoram, none more base
Amongst the youth of Judah; secret word
Told me you loathed even to hear him named.
" And so you came, not as a hostage, no !
An honoured and most deeply welcome guest,
Free to remain, free to depart whene'er
You signify your pleasure to depart.
Free—need I say it ?—as the winds that sweep
To worship your own God in your own way.
" 111 it befits the King to question you
As though he doubted; well he knows your truth
And pure nobility of soul; my Queen
Hath shown me all, and nothing now remains
Save to weigh well the matter and decide—
Deaf Rimmon once again, or Israel ?
" That Israel can fight I not deny;
No question here of war, but of good faith
On their part; and on ours—faith in their God
l 2 148
And in this healer.    God ?    Which of their gods ?
I swear by Rimmon that the only gods
They cling to when we sack are gods of gold.
" These safe or lost their thanks or groans ascend
To One invisible; have I not seen
How on their Sabbath day, low on their knees,
Within their temples they proclaim aloud
Their all-unworthiness, and call themselves
Sinners most miserable, lost, undone ?
" Next for the world at large they supplicate,
And specially for captives, sick and poor ;
' Lord, we commend them heartily to Thee—
Most heartily; we for our part will give
What, without inconvenience, we can spare;
To visit social outcasts were unmeet.'*
" And then their preacher.    Warily he walks,
Choosing safe ground, avoiding as the plague
Those burning questions upon which men's minds
Crave for the light; ended his platitudes,
Find if you can one broken heart restored,
One soul in anguish from its-torments freed.
" By Rimmon ! I have laughed to hear their priests.
' The chalice mixed,' saith one.  ' Wine, wine alone !
To mix were sin,' his angry fellow cries.
' I will have candles on the altar,' this;
* Queen Olga of Greece heads a noble band of noble exceptions.—Author's Note. FROM THE'SYRIAC. 149
The other, ' Candles ?    Nay !    Rank heresy!'
Thus bicker they beneath the wondering stars.
" One scatters incense, wears a silken robe
Of Tyrian hue, hands jewelled, hair perfumed;
His brother, in sad raiment, points and saith
' Behold the scarlet whore of Babylon!'
And both preach ' peace'; love of our fellow-man,
And warn us, ' O, dear friends, beware of pride.'
" Through the dense sadness of this puerile strife—
Where faith and precept eye distrustfully
Conduct and common sense, lest these should set
Too large a value on themselves—I grant
Bright stars shine out, their little orbs of light
Deepening the blackness of surrounding night.
" And is it to a people such as this
That I, the King, shall humbly supplicate ?
Benhadad bow the crest and bend the knees,
Waiting Israel's pleasure at his gate !—
And—gods ! his laugh of scorn!    I hear it now,
Hear his deep sarcasm, ' Aye! heal my foe !'
" I cease.   Unveiled, my heart: laid bare, its strife.
The Captain of my host is sick to death,
Half of my kingdom for my Captain's life !
' Try Israel,' our High Priest Armon saith;
God of my fathers ! must I do this thing ?—
Trail in the dust, the honour of the King! " 15°
Here paused Benhadad, and his kindling eye,
Quenching its fiery light, on Ruth was bent—
So clears a summer sky from thunder-cloud—
With earnest, kindly glance     Interpreting
The King's command, slowly the maid arose
Calm in her radiant beauty as a star.
" O King! and you my gracious Queen, I know
How lightly hath the King touched and passed by
The debt this orphan girl doth owe to you;
For when Benhadad said ' Ruth goes with us,'
Jehoshaphat spake sharply, ' Nay, not so,
She weds Jehoram ; 'mongst the Syrian youth
Perchance her eye might rove; she goeth not.'
This hearing, O my Queen, you wept—for once,
Walking by Jordan with you, I unveiled
My heart and said, ' Death's bride; Jehoram's never'
Then thus Benhadad : 'Tears ! what, tears, my love!
Nay, Ruth shall go, or else I break with Judah ;
For every radiant drop those eyes have wept,
By all the gods, I lay a town in ashes.
I have said it!'
Judah perforce gave way,
And in that hour, a brother, O my King,
A sister, O my Queen, I found in thee."
Tears dimmed the beauty of her glorious eyes,
Tears quivered in the music of her voice;   '
The noble hound arose and licked her hand
In sympathy, and recognition mute FROM THE SYRIAC. 151
Of a great heart, the equal of his own;
That hand, caressing, on his head she laid,
Recovered voice and calm, then spake again :
" And now my lord the King, the King of Kings
Openeth my mouth to speak : ' O fear not thou,
Unto Samaria let Naamau go,
There by Elisha's hand he shall be healed,
And thou shalt know that I, the Lord of Hosts,
Am King alone.'
Jehovah's awful voice
Heard in the garden on that fatal day
When our first parents fell from Paradise,
Clearer conviction brought not than the lips
Of Ruth, when touched by Seraph's finger they
Breathed forth the message from th' eternal throne,
Brought to Benhadad.
" Naaman shall go !
Instant the time.    Osman, my orders take
The escort you command, ten chariots,
And of thine own Light Horse a thousand spears;
My signet ring give to my treasurer;
Let him provide such largesse as befits
Our Majesty in payment of the boon
We ask of Israel.    To Naaman
Haste, Armon haste, within the hour he goes;
And, Osman, all prepared report to me;
Letters to Israel I will write—away! " FROM  THE SYRIAC.
Then the Queen rose : " My King a moment stay;
Urania sends a token to the Prince ;
Let Osman go with us a little space—
While one may count a thousand—Osman come,
We leave you to your letters, O my King."
Exit Queen, &c.
The Knight swept back the rippling folds of blue
Studded with silver stars that hung between
The hall and ante-chamber of the Queen.
" Go, my Urania, we await you here ;
Go, fetch your token."
Exit Urania.
" Brief my absence, Ruth ;
I have forgot—would see the King again—
Osman beware that dog doth harm her not."
Command in voice but laughter in her eye,
Vanished the Queen.
O, now their hour had come!
No space for words, space but for lips and eyes
In that first tryst of love.    It comes but once;
Never again in all the changing years
Shall we renew it, nor from memory
Shall it depart.
O, on the battle day,
When the wild rapture rises and you pass
Along the ranks ere " Stormers to the front! " FROM  THE SYRIAC.
Thunders amidst the thunder of the war,
When the men's eyes, responsive to your own,
Blaze with the light of battle, then, even then,
Flashes and fades that vision of first love.
It haunts the hopeless exile in his dreams,
As the slow lustres grind him in their wheel,
And evermore he feels his sinking soul
Slide deeper down the brutalizing hell
Of base association.
It was their hour ;
Trysting and parting kiss together blent,
Passion and parting tears together strove,
Like showers with sunshine at the dawn of day,
In that pure morn of first and deathless love.
Urania entering, saw; then taking Ruth
In her embrace, a farewell hand she held
To Osman, and the token for her lord ;
Spake noble words of kindness, and of care
For Ruth until the hour of his return.
So parted they.
The trumpets rang " To horse! "
Blazing from plume to spur young Osman stood
Before the King, whose falcon eye surveyed
The squadrons formed below.
" This letter give
To King Jehoram.    Now mark well my words.
You know the country so 1 need not say,
Keep your men well in hand upon the way. 154
Who's that upon the flea-bitten gray mare ?
By Rimmon, 'tis that young viveur, I swear—
Prince Cyras.    Have you put him on your staff ?
I thought he'd nothing much in him but chaff.
Oh, if you answer for him all is right,
The youngster's game enough.   The other night
I had been supping with the Queen, and some
Freak seized her to make Cyras see me home ;
Half-way a drunken fellow with a razor
Came at us.    Cyras caught him such a facer!
I'm a hard hitter when my blood is up,
But, faith, I laughed to see that fellow drop—
Better I myself could scarce have done it;
The jaw it' was, the upper-cut—you con it ?—
He dropped the rascal just as dead as meat—
His style's peculiarly correct and neat.
" Don't trust those Jewish fellows overmuch,
Not that I think they'll try on any trick ;
But mind, if anyone attempts to touch
Foreign affairs, or other points that prick,
Avoid the subject, or, if speak you must,
Just give him in the eyes a little dust.
Possibly I may meet you over there,
Her Majesty requires change of air:
My liver's out of sorts—I want a run,
And I am anxious about Naaman :
Then, we could sound Jehoram, too ; he might
Join in a raid upon the Edomite, FROM  THE SYRIAC.
Our men are fairly spoiling for a fight:
By taking Saturday's express we'd get
There just with you—but nothing's settled yet."
Frankly as comrade to comrade his palm
Rang on the soldier's gauntlet; Osman bent
Low on his knee a moment, at the next
He sprang to saddle, one last look he cast,
And caught a waving hand from casement high
As marched his squadrons to Samaria's shore. FRAGMENT THE SECOND.
Scene.—The Royal Palace at Ramah.
Jehoram and Elisha.
If I have rightly understood, you aim
Your censure at the Monarch, not the man ?
Elisha :
At both, O King; but I am not thy judge ;
Of thine own sins judge thou thyself, not I;
Yet learn that both in heaven and on earth
Dwelleth much pardon for the sins of youth :
^ack of experience, foul example set,
Parental folly, weakness, negligence,
The stern, unchanging Statute which provides
" Upon your heads your fathers' sins recoil,"
Plead for the young before both God and man :
Not so for him of years and vice mature
Who 'drags a sister or a brother down;
Who feeds, not quells, the raging beast within,
And sinks poor outcast women deeper still ;
For him hell yawns wide open, scarce shall he
In all the ages of Eternity
Be purged and cleansed from his iniquity. FROM THE SYRIAC.
Enter Prince Azab.
Azab :
Good morning, sir; I fear I'm rather late.
King :
Welcome, my Prince; Elisha waits to add
His welcome unto mine.
Azab :
Your blessing, father.
Elisha :
Peace be to him, O Prince, that seeketh peace.
Azab :
By Baal—h'm, excuse the slip I pray,
The camps are rude! I only meant to say
That blessing, father, little profits me—
And, faith, it's just as well, your Majesty:
I heard a rumour from a spy to-day
About a Syrian force upon the way ;
O let it come ! my charger neighs in stall
And my good sword hangs rusting in its sheath;
Inglorious peace makes women of us all,
And luxury drags nations down to death.
King :
Prince, I perceive that somewhat doth thy speech
Offend the holy father. 158
Azab :
Once again
Excuse me, pray, if I have given you pain ;
By Baal—well—that is, I mean to say,
That I remember as t'were yesterday
When we met Moab at Kir-Haraseth,
How you stood by us—gad, t'was life or death.
In front was Moab forming to attack,
And our whole force lay gasping on its back :
Horses and men, each blessed one was down.
For my part I thought every hope had gone,
And just a choice of death by drought or sword,
When on a sudden, father, at your word—
So the report went—all the plain was filled
With «ater—O Ashtaroth, how we swilled !
rhen came fierce Moab on, charged home, and struck
nil all our centre reeled beneath the shock .
VihI well nigh broke : but Judah, on our right,
O it is grand to see great Judah fight)
> quarter-circle wheeled his foremost rank
And smote the enemy full upon the flank,
Rolling him up in rout: and then the sack!
The spoil I took paid Moses off.   Alack!
As deep I stand within his books to-day,
The rascal actually draws my pay!
In fact, my prospects are a perfect wreck;
Yet still, my father, here's a little cheque :
Accept it, I beseech you. FROM  THE SYRIAC.
Elisha :
Thanks my son;
Yet O, for ever, Azab praise His name
If health, food, clothing, God doth grant thee still;
Poverty, beneath which the coward whines,
The brave man faceth with a tranquil heart:
Then, sitting at her feet, from her clear lips
Learns to discern between the false and true ;
He marks the daily mercies Heaven doth send
Which passed unheeded in his hour of wealth;
Rivets to memory each kindly word,
Each hand-grasp, let the hand be coarse or fine;
And when his teacher saith, with parting smile,
I Farewell, I leave thee, yet forget me not,"
And Fortune enters with full hands outstretched,
O then with gratitude too full for speech
His soul embraceth every faithful friend ;
The cold neglect and slights of yesterday
Remembrance flings from her with scorn to-day;
He stands again within the world of men
Breast-chamber swept and garnished anew.
Exit Elisha.
Azab :
'Fore God, it grieves me if my idle talk
Hath angered him.
Let it not trouble thee;
Even unto me, the King, most haughtily
He carrieth himself; I scarce can brook i6o
At times his insolence.    I tell thee, Prince,
That on that glorious day of which thou spak'st,
When in that thirsty desert all our host—
Judah and Edom with us—gasping lay
With Moab's forces forming for th' attack,
Humbling myself, I begged this man for aid,
And thus he answered me : " As the Lord lives,
But for Jehoshaphat of Judah's sake
I would not look toward thee nor see thy face."
Enough of him.    Abimelech, some wine.
Enter Abimelech with wine.
Abim :
This wine the Prince hath sent your Majesty.
Azab :
Ten decades since my grandsire laid it down; '
From Tyre it came, and I have been so bold
To bring from my estate in Benjamin
Some twenty dozen or so—a trifling gift—
Which I beseech your Highness to accept.
King :
A royal gift, indeed !    Ten decades old !
The purple wine of Tyre !    Abimelech,
Take heed, take heed; draw gently off the oil: *
* Cyrus Redding on Wines: Before the age of corks a
little oil was poured into the neck of the flask, which was then
secured. FROM  THE SYRIAC.
Ha! the aroma doth already fill
The chamber.    Prince, I drink to your good health.
Azab :
I thank your gracious Majesty, and drink
Most heartily to thine.
Thanks, noble Prince.
Bring you from Benjamin and Judah aught
Of secret import ?    Gods !    What wine it is !
How clean, how silky on the palate, and
The after-taste how exquisite !    Speak, Prince.
Azab :
But little, sir.   Amongst the vulgar crowd
Some discontent doth lie, mainly the work
Of the base agitator, who doth find,
Or hopes to find, large profit to himself
From the inflamed passions of the mob.
I marvel much Jehoram doth not sweep
These base, disloyal scoundrels from his path.
If I may freely speak-
Azab :
King :
Speak freely, Prince. FROM  THE SYRIAC.
Azab :
I Suprema lex regis voluntas," * so
Rings the grand watch-word of great Rome, and thus
It was with us in the remembered days
Of Solomon and David—aye, until
The fatal hour when Rehoboam spake
Thoughts which were ill to hold in thought, but which
To breathe was madness.    Loud and scornfully
He thundered at the people : " With mere whips
My father punished you, but I, his son,
I, Rehoboam, will with scorpions
Chastise ye, break your stiff necks ; go, begone !
Then came revolt, secession ; Judah stood
Firm for the Crown.    " Loyalty first of all! "
Ever his battle cry; and though I say
Some discontent prevails, not heaven and earth
Jud'ah's allegiance to his King can shake.
Jehoram bids these agitators " Go !
Reptiles beneath my serious notice ye."
His men of war laugh at the men of words—
Words that, like scum upon the seething pot,
Float, disappear, nor leave a trace behind.
'Tis here, at home, my King, that danger lies.
* The student of chronology is invited not to rely too closely on
this work. FROM  THE SYRIAC
Proceed, Prince Azab, show me if you can
How, in this matter, we on different ground
And in more dangerous plight than Judah stand.
Azab :
Jehoram thus, discipline's iron hand
Holds Judah in its grasp ; but, though it gall,
Glory and honour, and the reverence paid
Even to the very name of | soldier,"' make
The yoke sit easily ; while here with us
The soldier's coat is oft a mark for scorn.
Branded by it, the wearer is denied
Admission where the merchant enters free ;
The pale shopkeeper—who, with greedy hand,
Across the counter grasps the petty coin,
Catches this client by an under-price,
And from the next doubly recoups his loss—
Flouts at the soldier, holds himself apart
As one superior.    Yea, the State itself
Deludes him in the matter of his pay.
Thus upon every side contemned, beset,
What wonder if the pride of loyalty
That under nobler auspices had made
The man a prop and bulwark of the throne
Should find no place within his sunken heart ?
What wonder if the dawn of self-respect
Extinguished dies ere it can break to day ?
The iron discipline is his indeed,—
But where's the antidote that should have freed ?
m 2 i64
Far distant be the day when we shall need
To quell revolt at home by arm£d force;
Yet, to thy secret ear alone, O King,
I here do whisper—such a thing may be.
The blatant agitator howls above,
The viler anarchist crawls underneath ;
Danger in both, they fling their sparks abroad.
The mine is open; on the west one tribe
Reeks with disloyalty and hate of thee.
Lastly, and worst of all, the King's right hand,
That once had grasped the whole, smoothed here,
smote there,
Re tain eili but the shadow of its might.
Azab, I thank thee.    Matter for deep thought
Thy words have given; well thou hast disclosed
The evil; at a more convenient time
Impart the remedy.    My Prince, farewell.
Exit Azab.
King (solus):
A loyal servant and a friend most true;
Hiding deep thought and intellect profound
Beneath a careless mien and flippant tongue;
Even now, before Elisha he appeared
A mere viveur, a soldier of the camp,
Although he loves the prophet, honours him.
Alone with me, the instant that I touched
Affairs of State, aside the mask was thrown,
And lo! the statesman and wise counsellor. FRAGMENT   THE   THIRD.
Advance Guard of Sy
Prince Cyras :
Trumpeters, sound the halt; these are the wells.
Off-saddle and encamp; under the shade
Of yonder giant palm trees pitch the tents
Of Naaman and Osman; let videttes
Be posted on the south and western ridge.
Belshazzar, see to it; see all prepared.
The first faint flush of Morning's beam doth glow
Upon the city's domes and minarets,
I must to Israel herald our advance
And bear Benhadad's letter to their King.
My standard-bearer and one trumpeter
Attend me.
Belshazzar :
Prince, to hear is to obey.
Cor (servant) :
Goest thou thus,   Cyras ?     Shame were  it   to  me
should'st thou appear all travel-stained amongst their
women ; yea, the wits will mock, saying, " Faugh !
he   smelleth of  stable —■ hath he  no valet ?     Is FROM THE SYRIAC.
there no soap in Syria?" Disgrace me not, my
master; yonder have I laid fair water; I would trim
thy beard somewhat. Wilt thou wear thy blue
enamelled mail or the gold inlaid ?
Cyras :
Peace, honest fool; begone and lend thine aid
To my dear lord of Osman's varletry.
Look to his comfort as it were mine own.
Apt art thou, haste, long ere the climbing sun
Attains, his force will sound the welcome halt.
Exit Cyras.
He is a worthy youth and I will obey; but hark ye,
fellow, see that thou hast my horse and a sumpter
mule or two ready to follow our Prince. H'm,
methinks the blue enamel to-day, and for evening
the rose silk doublet and white hose. I myself will
wear—by Ashtaroth, I know not what. We shall see.
They say the Jewish girls are passing fair.
The Palace in Samaria.
fehoram's Court.
Enter Prince Azab with Cyras.
Prince Azab :
Herald from Syria, my lord the King. FROM  THE SYRIAC.
Greeting from Syria to Israel.
The King :
Welcome from Israel to Syria!
Declare, O Knight, thine errand, name, and rank.
How fares it with thy master, great Benhadad ?
Cyras my name, O King, princely my rank,
Chief of the Staff to Osman of the Guard,
By whose command I stand before thy throne.
He, with the Captain of Benhadad's Host,
Prince Naaman, awaits your royal grace.
What further it importeth thee to know
This letter doth impart.
The King :
Our thanks, O Prince.
Azab, we charge thee straightway to provide
Meet welcome for our guest; reposed, refreshed,
He shall return for further audience.
Exit Azab and Cyras.
Jehoram reads Benhadad's letter :
To our well-beloved brother Israel, greeting.
My general, Naaman, has a bad attack
Of leprosy, which lays him on his back.
Now I am most averse to false pretences, 168
I know we've had our little differences ;
Perhaps you don't feel over well disposed
Towards Naaman, and may be quite opposed
To let him take advantage of your waters,
Or even admit him into camp or quarters.
Brother, I hope for better things than these,
For two years, say, let's swear to keep the peace :
I've been a good deal in the wrong, I own—
Bury the axe, and let bygones be gone.
Jehoram :
Fair words—too fair.    What was 't old David said ?
I Vainly in sight of birds the net you spread."
And yet—I know not—writes he in good faith,
Or doth a hostile purpose lurk beneath ?
Abimelech, what ho ! Abimelech.
Enter Abimelech.
Knowest thou if Elisha hath returned ?
Abim. :
Not yet, O King.    Gehazi stands without ;
Ere set of sun his master doth return.
King :
With whom I would have instant speech; command
That to Elisha's ear he shall convey
My words.    Abimelech, see to it.    Away. FROM  THE SYRIAC.
A Street.
Azab and Cyras.
Azab :
Brother in arms, in peace my noble friend,
In war a foe as noble, let us bend
Our steps—'tis close on luncheon—to my place.
My wife must give us half an hour's grace—
You'd like a bath ? and after lunch I'll show you
The village ; lots of fellows want to know you.
It's rather slow work in the palace here,
Although the cook is good and wine is fair.
Cyras :
My lord, I take your gracious courtesy,
And shall with much impatience wait the day
When your camel or your dromedary
Shall drop you at Damascus.    By the way,
I've only got the clothes I stand in here
Until my fellow—
Azab :
Well, old chappie, wear
My things, you know—we're just about a size.
Here is my crib.
By Jove ! a paradise.
O, so so—now, what will you-take to drink ?—
And then a bath—a cock-tail ?— FROM THE SYRIAC.
Cyras :
Thanks, I think
That will be just about the very thing.
Azab :
What shall it be ?    Champagne ?    Here, Isaac, bring
Two champagne cock-tails quickly, and some ice.
Enter Isaac- with cock-tails.
Your health, old man.
Thanks ; yours.    By gad, that's nice.
The Gate of the City,
Gehazi and Cor.
Gehazi (aside):
One of the Syrian lords, a streak of luck !
This is a pretty good thing I have struck.
Give place there all.    Enter, my gracious lord.
Cor (aside) :
Confound the Jew—eh?—h'm, upon my word
He's serious—(aloud)—Thanks, rascal; here, take this,
Our Syrian dollars pass with you, 1 guess. FROM THE SYRIAC.
Gehazi :
My gracious lord, I wish we saw more of them.
(aside) :
This one is light, consume it!
Cor :
Since you love them
I've got another here, if you will show me
Where I can come across my master—(aside)—Blow
I've given myself away now—(aloud)—Hark ye, Jew,
I was about to ask you if you knew
The swell hotel here, the most swagger shop
For grub—(aside)—that's where the Prince will have
put up.
Gehazi (aside) :
His master, eh ? but still that other dollar
I really should be stupid not to collar.
My lord, I think you'll find the " Cider Cellars "
As good as any, all the high-toned fellars
Put up there ; and your lordship, I may mention
That it was your ambassador's intention—
I heard him say so—at that house to stop
If our Prince Azab had not put him up ;
Yonder his palace stands, on that hill there,
And now I must be moving, I declare
It's close on noon. FROM THE SYRIAC.
Ha! thanks, my worthy Jew,
Here's t'other dollar that I promised you.
Azab's Palace.
Azab, Princess, Cyras, at luncheon.
Princess :
Azab, dear; I hear the telephone ring.
He I is hi h the instrument.
Azab :
Hello! your Majesty ?    Yes—yes, my King.
Leah, I must be off without delay,
Look after Cyras while I am away.
Princess :
Now don't forget that dinner is at eight.
Azab :
All right, love, blame the King if I am late.
Exit Azab.
Princess to Cyras :
Come to the veranda, it's much cooler.
Enter Miss Rachel.
Rachel! returned!    Is not this your school hour ?
O dear mamma, I've done with Signor Shar FROM  THE SYRIAC. 17;
-He says that I am perfect on the harp;
Ts luncheon over ?—why, it's only ' one'—
She perceives Cyras.
Forgive me, pray; I thought you were alone.
Princess :
My daughter, Prince; Rachel, from Damascus,
Prince Cyras; and your Aunt Ruth writes to ask us
To make his visit nice ; we must discover
Something to do, although the season's over;
But—Prince excuse us—love, you must be starving,
Come to your lunch; I know you hate the carving.
Prince, you won't mind ?    I'll go with you, my pet.
Prince, take this chair, and smoke your cigarette.
Exit Princess and Rachel.
Cyras seizes a guitar and sings
Not Venus in the western skies
Beams with the brightness of those eyes:
Than lonely Vega fairer far,
Or burning Taurus' missing star.
O ankle most divinely fair,
O rose-leaf—mortals call it " ear
O teeth of pearl, O lips of bliss,
To see thee is to die to kiss! FROM THE SYRIAC.
A kiss! the wanton winds in vain
May seek those portals to profane,
To touch thy hand, to catch thy glance,
For death itself were recompense.
Enter Osman.
Cyras, you seem to make yourself at home.
O, Osman, my dear fellow, you have come :
I gave the Princess your fiancee's letter,
Miss.Ruth most kindly told her she had better
Put us both up ; Prince Azab had already
Invited me to come here, " Because," said he,
" Although the King may be a little jealous,
I know how deuced slow you'll find the palace ;
The cook is fairly good, the wine first-rate,
But then the company is what I hate ;
There's one old Judge, a most aggressive fellow,
He wants to talk, or, I might say, to bellow,
All dinner time—you can't get in a word—
The greatest bore—he's really too absurd."
I came, and now I feel inclined to strangle,
My heart beats so.—Osman, I've seen an angel!
Is the man mad ?    For heaven's sake, be calm !
The Princess comes.    Your humble servant, ma'am. FROM  THE SYRIAC.
Princess :
Lord Osman, I presume ?
My Princess, yes.
Most welcome.   This indeed is happiness.
If only our beloved Ruth were here !
Well, we must try to show how very near
For her sweet sake, my lord, you are to us.
And now sit down and tell us all the news.
This is my daughter Rachel.    Rachel, dear,
Please ring the bell.    Isaac, some bitter beer.
And Rachel—that new music—don't you know ?
That came quite lately by the P. and O.*
The Prince may not have seen it.     Prince, you sing ?
I heard you—such a sweetly pretty thing !
Take the Prince, dearest, to the music room,
And try to make him feel himself at home.
Exit Rachel and Cyras.
Enter Prince Azab.
Azab :
Back again, Leah.    Osman, my dear lord,
Most welcome—as you come without your sword.
* The recent discoveries prove incontestably the close intercourse existing between the East and the West B.C.
By George, I hav'n't seen you since we met
In that sharp business down by Oliphet.
You deuced nearly took us by surprise,
But, after all, I think we wiped your eyes.
Now, most important news I bring—
(Thanks, dear, I'll take a cup of tea)—
First, Osman, both your Queen and King
Have come by way of Galilee.
Their Majesties dispense with state ;
Their baggage travels by slow freight.
Benhadad said they hadn't a rag
Except one little Gladstone bag.
My Osman, you may ease your mind—
(They suffered much from dust and heat)-
Your charmer was not left behind—
She sat in front, a first-rate seat.
Urania's here, Prince Naaman met her;
Elisha read Benhadad's letter,
And cured the General's leprosy—
I hope that's satisfactory ?
Ruth sends you this; it seems you sent,
At every halt, a courier back
Informing her of each event.
She says you have a pretty knack
Of writing; now, perhaps you'll read,
Or sing, whatever Ruth has said,— FROM  THE SYRIAC. 177
Or shall we wait till after dinner ?
It's close on eight, as I'm a sinner !
In fact I hear first dinner gong;
Osman, you'd like to wash your hands ?
You need not dress, and don't be long.
I've got your lady-love's commands
To—Baal!—down upon your knees !—
My King!—your gracious Majesties !
Enter Jehoram,  Benhadad,  and Queen ; Naaman,
Urania, Ruth.
Nay, Princess Leah, you my Prince, and all,
Rise; we command; this is a friendly call.
Embrace me, Princess; pardon this intrusion.
Leah :
Madam, you overwhelm me with confusion,
This is, indeed, an honour.
Pray be seated.
Princess, I kiss your hand; Prince, I have waited
Long, for a chance, in friendly sort to meet you ;
I love to clasp a man of bone and sinew
In Beauty's bower; though more, in battle fray,
N in
Azab :
The honours, sire, you heap on me to-day,
Great though they be, as thistle-down will weigh
'Gainst that whereof your Highness hints design-
To grant me grace to cross thy sword with mine.
Born sworder, cease ! we come to dine ;
Touch him upon the noble art,
Your Majesty, and tierce and carte—
This school or that—the old or new—
Is like to be our sole menu.
Azab :
My King, words fail me to express our welcome,
We have a haunch of six-shear wether, and some
Of that old Tyre wine, you know, sir.
Jehoram :
O, come!
Capital! no better could man ask for ;
I love the mutton from your mountain pasture.
Prince Naaman—my Azab—know each other !
Azab :
Consider this poor house your own, my brother.
Well, sir! I thought you would have flown to me,
You seem to take things pretty easily! FROM THE SYRIAC.
O darling love, I only have this minute
Received your letter; may I read what's in it ?
Ruth :
Give it me, dearest; I'll not have it read;
'Tis only just a little song I made—
A foolish thing—you, now, have me instead.
Jehoram :
Eh—what ?—a song !    Pray let us hear it now.
Urania, try if she will sing for you.
Urania :
Ruth, dearest child, you really must consent;
The Queen commands; I'll play th' accompaniment.
Ruth's   Song.
A letter from thee !    O thy hand
Hath rested here;
Hath bound beneath this silken band
Treasures more rare
Than genii of lamp and ring
From all the caves of Earth could bring.
O, tenderly my fingers touch
The sacred seal;
O burning words ! did ever such
Before reveal,
Love, that no time or space can part ?
Lie there, sweet letter, on my heart!
Brava! brava!    A thousand thanks, O Fair!
But—Baal!—what is going on in there ?
From the music room.    Duet: Cyras and Rachel.
This, indeed, is a singular thing!
O my heart! not a note can I sing.
O my heart!
O my heart!
O both of our hearts! what exquisite smarts !
What are they ?    O say !—
♦They're deliciously sore; surely, never before
Bfave we felt in, precisely, this way,. FROM THE SYRIAC.
Leah :
Dear  me 1   how  strange!     Prince   Cyras   and   my
Benhadad (aside) :
So that's what Master Cyras has been after !
Princess, your daughter's fame is wafted far-
Yea, from Damascus to the Riviera—
If, then, she hath broke-in that colt, high-mettled,
We shall, indeed, be glad to see him settled:
And so—sincerely pitying the condition
Of all the lovers—with your King's permission,
If excellent Elisha doth agree,
He might unite the sufferers presently,
And put them—eh ?—ha!—out of misery.
She sings! throw wide the doors, and let us hear;
Then dinner—or the haunch will spoil, I fear.
Rachel's  Song,
The loving cup is filled,
Thine, Love and mine:
Unsullied and unchilled,
O draught divine.
For ever gleam and glow
Through all the years,
The fuller in thy flow
If dimmed with tears.
And thou, 0 fairest Cup,
Ever shalt be
Safe in our souls laid up
Most tenderly.
On, with heads bowed, hearts hushed,
Gently we tread,
Where other cups were crushed,
And loves lie dead.
Brief is the tale as told in Sacred Writ,
And if I have, on Fancy's plumed wing,
Fluttered abroad, deem not my little flight
An idle thought, a wanton jest, or fling,
O Pharisee, thy censure.    Pondering
History as we know it, oft I fill
The vacant spaces; and the pencilling
Is as my hour, dark or light: the will
Slumbers; then fancy plays on dale and hill. PART V.
Ecclesiasticus, chapter xli., verses i, 2.
Whence comest thou, intruder ?—Dost not see
Each place is filled, the banquet table spread ?
And all was revel till thy sweeping tread
Announced thy presence; on us suddenly
Fell silence, like the silence of the sea
Before the tempest from God's hand hath sped:
I feel an ice-cold blast upon my head,
And thy dread voice saith | Rise, and follow me."
Trembling, I ask, "Who art thou?"   " I am Death."
" O spare me!    Must I leave my Love to-day,
My friends, the music, roses, wine, sweet breath
Of life and break all hearts ?    I cannot—nay,
A little respite ?" but he answereth
" Come " ; and beyond the night we pass away. 186
How long, O Lord, how long! the awful road-
Awful in its dread sameness—far away
Interminably stretches, blank and gray.
Father in heaven, must it all be trod ?
I bow, but murmur not, beneath Thy rod,
lis trampling o'er the ashes day by day
While the dead opportunities' array
Passeth before, that crushes me, my God.
Sudden, the landscape with a Glory gleamed;
' Come, it is finished, I am He that saith."
' I come, O shining One, how art thou named,
The sound of Seraph's harp is in thy breath ?"
' Mortal "—and all his face with rapture flamed-
* My name is Endless Life, men call me Death.' TO A   PRODIGAL.
Poor prodigal!—a sorry case ;
Pity ?—Yes, take it, it is thine ;
Know—may my words impart some ease—
I've fed on husks and lived with swine:
They never rose above the lust
Of gold, or lusts more deadly still;
Breathed God's name only when they cursed,
And knew, but never did, His will.
Pure thoughts these men may once have felt;
In cottage homes where roses twine
Beside a mother's knee have knelt,
Their young lips lisping words divine.
May be, in the centuries' roll,
A mem'ry of the days that were
Will waken in these lost a soul,
And raise that soul from its despair TO A  PRODIGAL.
Through boundless Mercy.   Let us leave
With awe-struck hearts that awful ground,
A firmer rock for our belief
In this, my brother, may be found :
Fight on : though all be in the dust
There's rapture in the fight alone ;
Your kindly scorn for foes, your trust
In God's right hand and in your own. CHAINED   TO   THE   OAR.
Chained to the oar!
The labour ?    That is nothing; work is sweet-
Work, the brave antidote of fell despair;
Not mine to shun the burden and the heat,
Nor reck of humble roof or rugged fare
While soul can soar.
Chained to the oar !
Condemned to daily contact with a crew
Sunk in a slough of meanness, wherein self
Ruleth all these foul hearts that never knew
The quickening of an impulse, unless pelf
Glittered before.
Chained to the oar!
Down in the dust my head; shall I despise
The meanest of thy creatures, O my God ?
What, though each man amongst them grovelling lies?
Not less—nay more—for these was shed the blood,
The cross He bore. A ROUGH PARALLEL.
The mighty Fraser,* in his majesty
Sweeping to ocean goal lrom snow-girt source,
I)rinketh a hundred rivers in his course,
Nor rest he knoweth, nor satiety;
And his deep thunder speaks unceasingly
What time his waters with resistless force
Sunder the great Cascades, in that divorce
Wrought in some long-forgotten century.
With such a quenchless thirst, O Infinite;
With voice as deep and ceaseless, unto Thee
Ever ascends the prayer for strength and light
From storm-tossed souls that, undespairingly,
Struggle to rend apart the walls of Night.
The goal ?—O Thou art there, whate'er it be.
* The geographical student will find upon any map of British
North America a place called British Columbia, on the North
Pacific coast, and the guide-book of the C.P.R. will impart information as to the canon's of the Fraser River where it cleaves the
Cascade range of mountains between Yale and Lytton.—Author's
St.  Luke, chapter vii.
My poor sister, a voice ever calleth thee—" Come!"
The portals stand wide for thee ever,
And a beacon-light shines from the mansion at home-
Within, the Eternal For giver,
With the words on His lips—for the palace and street—
That He spake to the Magdalen, low at His feet.
0 Forgiver divine, Who forgoest the blame,
In the cloud-land of centuries past,
1 can see the fair face crushed with anguish and shame,
And the tears on Thy feet falling fast.
I can hear Thy calm voice : " She loved much; go in
O the tale shall be told till Eternity cease. AT LAST.
The long bazaar will praise.    But Thou ?
Heart of my heart, have I done well?"
Rudyard Kipling.
See, at Thy word I burst the tomb,
I tear the face-cloth from the Past,
From Memory the winding-sheet;
Lay bare my buried dead, and come
Before Thee, with my work, and cast
Worker and work beneath Thy feet.
Thou laid'st Thine order on this clay;
Thou said'st, " Go ! put My talent forth;
Cheer up some fainting child of Mine;
And for thy guerdon—in the day
I free thee from the stain of Earth
This harp immortal shall be thine."      


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