Songs & Lyrics (1)

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English Lyrics


THE POET'S REWARD.


The worldling said unto the Bard,
        "Why waste thy precious time in song,
        To please the ever-changing throng?—
For they will give thee no reward."

The Bard was silent for awhile;
        Then, with a touch of magic fire,
        His fingers swept the tuneful lyre,
And he made answer, with a smile.

"I ask not their rewards," he said,
        "The Master deigned to send me here
        To teach, and by my songs to cheer
The priceless souls for whom He bled.

"I am the servant—He the Lord,—
        And I must do my duty well
        Whilst in this fleeting world I dwell;
And trust in Him for my reward.

"I 'know 'tis hard to sing at times
        When faithless children of this earth
        Deny the beauty, truth, or worth
Of poets' noblest, stateliest rhymes.

"But what of that?   All are not so;
        And over some—thank God, not few!—
        A song falls like the morning dew
And cools the fever of their woe.

"And so I do not sing in vain,
        But scatter songs upon my way,
        And find glad listeners every day,
Amid life's sunshine, storm, or rain.

"These songs, perchance, may bring sweet tears
        And memories of days of yore
        To some whose time of joy seemed o'er,
And give them peace unknown for years.

"Or some poor wanderer, steeped in sin,
        Responding to my simple lay,
        May feel his heart inclined to pray,
And, cleansed, a nobler life begin.

"To help my brethren in the strife
        'Gainst sin, or sorrow, dark and drear,
        To teach them none but God to fear,
Shall be the objects of my life.

"And for refreshment I will drink
        From streams of song which Bards of old
        Have poured from minds sublime and bold;
And I will be content to think

"That God, who unto me hath given
        The depth of grief, the height of mirth,—
        If I but do His work on earth,
Will give me my reward in Heaven!"

 

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THE LILY-MAID OF BRINDLE.


Within a cot down yon hill-side,
    Where a little brook doth rindle,
Dwells she that is to be my bride,—
    The lily-maid of Brindle.
Old Hoghton Tower looks o'er the bower
    Which hides this woodland fairy,
And breezes free from the Western sea
    Make music for my Mary.

When o'er the fields this maid doth pass
    The little birds sing sweeter,
The daisies in the soft, green grass
    Look up with smiles to greet her.
The milk-white lamb will leave its dam
    To seek my love's caressing,
And each dumb thing to her doth cling,
    Secure of peace and blessing.

The tender children at their play
    Delight to cluster round her;
I never shall forget the day
    When in their midst I found her.
With them so sweet about her feet
    I could not choose but love her,
For the radiant grace of her young face
    Was like the heaven above her.

With many a softly whispered prayer
    I wooed the gentle maiden
As to her home we did repair
    With woodland posies laden.
And when I'd seen her sweet blue e'en
    With love on me first beaming,
The whole green earth seemed filled with mirth
    As pure as childhood's dreaming.

And now I wait the happy morn
    When proudly I shall claim her:
Another Spring will scarce be born
    Ere the nuptial knot re-name her.
Since each bright day that fleets away
    More lovely hath revealed her,
I'll gladly swear by all things fair
    Through life to guard and shield her.

Whate'er of good or ill betide
    Shall find me wise and wary,—
Still constant to my youth's fair bride,
    The gentle-hearted Mary!
In our dear home by fair Mintholme
    Love's light shall never dwindle,
But shine for aye, as it shines to-day,
    On the lily-maid of Brindle!

 

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THE PLEASURES OF TOIL.


Let the worldling who seeks for the pleasures of wealth
    And the comforts which money may bring
Hear a song of the happiness, virtue, and health
    That from labour for ever will spring.
Let the thousands who toil in the town all the day
    Swell the strain with the sons of the soil,
And we'll sing, while the sunshine is lighting our way,
    Of the life-cheering pleasures of toil.

When the mind broods in silence o'er days that are gone,
    And remembrance is burdened with pain,
In the breast of the sluggard dark sorrow lives on,
    For his will never strives with its chain:
But the artisan feels, 'mid the whirl of his wheels,
    That joy which life's cares cannot spoil;
And with blithe heart he sings, as the loud hammer rings,
    Of the grief-slaying pleasures of toil.

When the passions of life meet in desperate strife—
    As when Anger holds combat with Love—
Let us toil through the storm, and with hearts fresh and warm,
    We shall see the bright sun rise above:
For while Sloth gives the chance for Dissension's advance—
    Which makes gentle ones weep and recoil—
Noble Labour's firm hand brings us safely to land
    Through the soul-cleansing waters of toil.

When the rich drone complains of the numerous pains
    That deprive him of comfort and peace,
He remembers, with sorrow, that wealth cannot borrow
    For him any lasting release.
Would he daily arise, bid adieu to vain sighs,
    And let Labour his nerves disembroil,
Like the lark on the wing, with the farmer he'd sing
    Of the health-giving pleasures of toil.

Then we'll cleave to our work and the gladness it brings,
    And if Indolence dares to say nay,
We can tell him that Adam, the father of Kings,
    Did his work, like a man, every day.
Let the thousands who toil in the great busy town
    Swell the strain with the sons of the soil,
And we'll spread o'er the earth the untarnished renown
    Of the pleasures, the blessings of Toil!

 

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THE HEART OF ROBERT BURNS.


'Tis but the South of Scotland
    That I have ever seen,
'Tis but as far as Annandale
    That I have ever been:
Where the Poet, Joseph Jardine,
    My own leal-hearted friend,
Oft muses in a garden
    By fair Annan's green town-end.

O well I love my Shakespeare,
    My Milton, and the throng
Of silver-voicčd English Bards
    That I have prized so long.
The Bards of sweet New England
    Beyond the western main
Are ever true and musical,—
    I'll read them all again.

That gentlest Friend old Whittier,
    Bret Harte the brave and clear,
The noble-hearted Emerson,—
    Are fresh from year to year:
And Boston's genial Doctor,
    The kindly-hearted Holmes,
Who filled with lightest melody
    Both stout and slender tomes.

The Singer of Miles Standish;
    Of fair Evangeline,
Brave-hearted Henry Longfellow
    The noble and serene.
But here do I sit reading
    This Saturday at night,
My darling little daughter Mary
    Glowing in my sight.

Her namesake sits beside me,
    Whose like hath rarely been
Since Mary, Maid of Nazareth,
    Became the Virgins' Queen.
With Poesy around me,
    With Love my soul to cheer,
On this thrice-welcome Saturday
    My song flows soft and clear.

I love my native England,
    My heart is oft in Wales,
I would I were by Erin's shore
    When blow the western gales.
I've told you Bonnie Scotland
    I may not yet explore,
Though oft I long to do so
    When the northern tempests roar.

I stand beside my book-case,
    Take books out in their turns,
And lastly choose a slender one
    The Songs of Robert Burns!
I chant them to my children
    With voice that rings with glee,
Because God's gift, good health, returns
    To make me blithe and free.

My heart expands with gladness—
    With love for all the world,
I cast all needless cares aside,
    Hate's banners all are furled.
I never will unfurl them,—
    Let Satan—him alone!
Sow strife and discord o'er this Earth
    Which 'neath God's smile hath grown.

I turn these pages over,
    I view Rob's honest face
That looks towards the title-page,—
    And lo! both time and place
Are lost in meditation
    On Scotland's peerless son,
Who singing ever at the plough
    His fame immortal won.

O noble is my Shakespeare!
    And noble are they all
Who fill the World with music
    At Our Heavenly Father's call.
Great-hearted were my Singers,
    With love my own heart yearns,—
But Scotland gave a grateful World
    The heart of Robert Burns!

 

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THE BARD AND THE BARRISTER.


I sat and read, the other night,
    Full many a merry tale
About that most delightful wight,
    The "Bard of Ribblesdale."
Old Richard Dugdale's honest fame
    In Blackburn flourished long;
In youth he gained a soldier's name,
    His age he gave to song.

Like Scotland's songster, Robert Burns,
    Whom most he did admire,
To mirth and tenderness by turns
    He touched his tuneful lyre:
And, though he sang of homely themes,
    To charm he did not fail;
For he had dreamt a Poet's dreams
    In bonny Ribblesdale.

He sang the lonely Orphan's woe—
    By sad experience taught;
His heart, doomed early grief to know,
    With sympathy was fraught.
To deeds of kindness quickly moved,
    At sight of others' need,
To many a comrade has he proved
    A faithful friend indeed.

And many a time, when sterling worth
    Passed 'neath a cloud of shame,
The kind old man went bravely forth
    To save a friend's good name.
He feared no proud man's haughty glance,
    Though he was lowly born,
But used his keen wit, like a lance,
    To tame the sons of Scorn.

To Liverpool Assizes once
    There came a lawyer bold,
Who thought to prove our Bard a dunce,
    When he his tale had told.
Had Dugdale's memory been but dim
    The lawyer had been fain;
But it had proved too much for him,—
    Made awkward facts too plain.

Up rose this learned counsel quick—
    A "Mr. Bliss " by name—
To fling his scorn at honest Dick,
    And prove his story lame.
His eloquence, so strong and loud,
    Poured forth in lofty style,—
Though timid men it might have cowed—
    Made Richard only smile.

For Bliss professed his ignorance
    Of how the wisest brain
The things the witness dared advance
    For years could thus retain.
Required at once to answer this,
    Our Bard showed no surprise,
But said, "Where Ignorance is Bliss,
    'Tis folly to be wise!"

 

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A THOUSAND RHYMES.


"Laureate of the gentle craft. . .
 In huge folios sang and laughed."

LONGFELLOW'S "NUREMBERG."


In the "huge folios" of the Blackburn Times
Our modern Master-Singer stores his "Rhymes,"
And to one page the Toiler, week by week,
Turns eagerly "Jack's" mirthful verse to seek.

A thousand "Rhymes" without a single break!
That is a record, friends, and no mistake;
A record that defies all emulation,
And well deserves our glad congratulation.

While some poor Bards make fine poetic plans
Only to bury them,—brave "Jack o' Ann's,"
With heart whose hope no sorrow can destroy
Sings blithely on, and fills us all with joy.

Our laughing Blackburn lads vote "Jack" a "rare un,"
And long since vowed that he'd beat "J. T. Baron,"—
Not knowing, when the "Rhymes" were new to Fame
That "Jack" and "J. T. B." were just the same!

God bless thee, Jack!   May Joy and Song attend
Thy cheerful steps till life's long-distant end.
May Sorrow and Misfortune ever shun thee,
And faithful friends rejoice to look upon thee.

And in the days of earthly life's decline,
May peace that passeth utterance be thine;
Until at last thy soul, to Heaven winging,
Finds rest beside "The Master of all Singing."

 

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THE HOUR OF REST.


When the toilsome day is ended,
    And the robes of darkness close
O'er the earth, night comes attended
    By a balm for human woes.

Like a true foretaste of heaven,
    Comes the welcome hour of rest;
And, of all to whom 'tis given,
    'Tis the poor man loves it best:

He who goes, at early morning,
    Forth to earn his daily bread,
When the factory bell gives warning
    That another night hath fled.

Oftentimes his work is dreary,
    Or his masters stern and hard:
Yet at eve, when he is weary,
    Comes his brief but sweet reward:

Little ones who run to meet him;
    Others waiting at the door;
And their mother's smile to greet him
    Now that labour's time is o'er.

And the night is filled with gladness,
    While among this happy throng
He forgets the care and sadness
    Which have tried him all day long.

Many a home each night is brightened
    By a scene as fair as this;
Many a heavy heart is lightened
    In this hour of tranquil bliss.

O that hearts which have not tasted
    Joys like these, that God hath blessed—
Hearts by strife or folly wasted—
    Knew thy peace, glad hour of rest!

 

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THE TWO NOBLE BROTHERS.


I hold the one faith of the Church of Old England—
    That Church which belonged to both England and Rome—
The faith of King Alfred and Becket and Langton,
    The glory for ages of our native home.

And I love none the less those true sons of my country
    Who know not the face of our Mother of old;
Who were robbed, in advance, of their glorious birthright
    By the Tyrant who lusted for woman and gold.

Not theirs is the blame that they know not Her features
    Who sent the first monks of Saint Benedict's line
To win for Christ's Kingdom our rough Saxon fathers,
    Reclaim the wild waste, and build many a shrine.

I have mused by my hearth when the twilight was falling—
    And my musing hath made me revere them the more—
On the two noble brothers, brave John and Charles Wesley,
    Who toiled to rekindle the fervour of yore.

In a day when the worldling invaded the temple,
    And hirelings too often neglected the sheep,
With the souls of Apostles these brothers were striving
    To rouse a great nation from sin's deadly sleep.

By the preaching of John, the sweet tears of contrition
    Brought peace to sad hearts that had wearied of sin;
And the hymns of his brother made heavenly music
    For those who resolved the soul's blessings to win.

With "the world for his parish," John taught the poor people,
    While Charles made them glad with his wonderful runes,
Praising God with blithe heart, like the great Joseph Haydn,
    For "why should the devil have all the good tunes?"

They are gone to their rest, long ago, the good Brothers,
    And surely in Heaven they join in our prayer
That the fair land we love—as they loved it most dearly—
    May yet be One Fold in the Good Shepherd's care.

God speed the bright day—that our children may see it—
    In faith, hope and love, let us toil for it still;
Ever mindful that He, who both made and redeemed us,
    Gives true "peace on earth unto men of good will."

 

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TO MARY WINEFRIDE:
A "CHILD OF MARY" TWICE OVER: ON HER
SECOND BIRTHDAY.


Our Lady and Saint Winefride,
    Sweet "Lily-Maid!" guard Thee,
And make thy life and love a joy
    To Mother, and to me!

 

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TO ANOTHER MARY.


Thy name is MARY, my dear girl!
    Our Lady's name,—GOD'S gift to thee!
O, guard it as a precious pearl
    And pray, sometimes, for mine and me.

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TO MY OLD SCHOOLMASTER.
(With a volume of verse.)


My Muse hath sung the "Friend Unseen"
Whose tale of sweet Evangeline
Like sunshine used to glide between
    My tasks in early days:
But you, sir, were the nearer friend
Whose joy it was my steps to tend,
And lead me safely—to the end
    Of boyhood's devious ways.

The few brief songs that bear my name
The world's applause will never claim,
Yet I have striven not to shame
    The teacher of my youth.
If aught of mine be brave and true,
The primal praise belongs to you,
Beneath whose guiding hand I grew
    In love of God and truth.

The student—like the moon that shines
Serenely o'er the forest pines,
When strength-imparting day declines,
    And labour's course is run—
Doth but reflect, through all his dreams,
His master's warmer, brighter beams,
As she who decks the midnight streams
    Reflects the golden sun.

 

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THE PURE HEART'S PRAYER.

"More things are wrought by prayer than this world
dreams of."—TENNYSON.


'Tis midnight on a raging sea
The storm is howling fearfully.

A gallant ship by tempest tossed
With all its crew, may soon be lost.

The lightning flashes, and the roll
Of thunder chills each trembling soul.

Strong men are battling with despair,
While women shriek and rend their hair.

Some—calmer 'mid the storm's wild strife—
Sigh forth a fervent prayer for life.

But still the lightning cleaves in twain
The skies; the thunder booms again.

It seems that soon the waves will flow
O'er all that weight of human woe—

When, lo! a little child serene
Kneeleth in prayer 'mid that dread scene.

He lifts his tiny hands, and cries
To Him who rules those angry skies—

"O Father! save us from the sea
Let us not die, we trust in Thee!"

Scarce ended is that lispčd prayer,
When calmer grows the midnight air.

Behold! the flashing lightnings cease,
And the loud thunders hold their peace!

Now all is calm: the ship sails on,
Protected by the Almighty One.

For all the deadly danger there
Hath fled before a pure heart's prayer!

 

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TO TENNYSON.


May God's eternal benison
    Rest on thy noble name,
My long-loved Alfred Tennyson
    Of purest English fame.

O, I have held a hand I love,
    In happy days of yore,
While thou did'st sing the Land I love
    As none had sung before.

I know that Shakespeare played of it
    As no one else could play,
I know that Milton made of it
    Full many a noble lay.

But thou, dear friend, could'st sing the
        best
    Of all our bardic throng,
And church-bells seem to ring the best
    When I muse on thy sweet song.

"There are no wives like English wives,"
    Was blithely sung by thee:
I pray God that all English lives
    May aye be pure and free.

If this dear native land of ours
    Grow all thou would'st desire,
There'll be a merry band of ours
    In Christ's eternal choir.

Ah! there I touch a chord of thine,—
    The deepest of them all,—
And think of that reward of thine,
    Thy Heavenly Pilot's call.

I, seeking, roam from place to place,
    Yet oft must seek anew:
But thou, I trust, art face to face
    With Him and all the true.

 

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MY LOVE WAS BUT A LASSIE.


        My Love was but a lassie,
        A bonnie factory lassie,
As sweet as a lily or a rose;
        She was just a humble weaver
        When my heart did first receive her,
And as pure as the purest breeze that blows.
        She used to sing so sweetly
        She won my heart completely,
She blushed to be my darling and my pride;
        For I'd vowed "That girl I'll marry
        As sure as my name's Harry!"
And soon the bonnie Mary was my bride.

        When all her weaving ended,
        And my peaceful home was tended
By the dearest wife in all the land,
        One bright morn by Heaven
        A lovely child was given
With us twain to travel hand in hand.
        Then did we scan each feature
        Of the wondrous little creature,
'Raptured by the love-light in its eyes:
        When in time God sent another
        Happy was the youthful mother,
Proud was I the father of my prize.

        We both love young children,
        Their questions so bewildering
Are like sweet angel-voices ringing free;
        God bless their sunny faces
        So full of Heaven's graces,
No dark, "empty cradle" creed for me!
        He the Wise who sends them,
        And such beauty lends them,
Sends the father's strong right arm to toil:
        Shelter, food, and clothing
        I win for mine, while loathing
Those who would the Christian home despoil.

        I've a treasure in my lassie,
        My bonnie factory lassie,
Still as sweet as a lily or a rose;
        As I loved her then sincerely,
        Now I love her far more dearly
Since she's mother of each merry child that grows.
        You remember yet our wedding
        When the gay dance we were treading,
And you envied me my fair and modest flower:
        Ah! no power on earth shall sever
        That which made her mine for ever,
For she's not the fleeting darling of an hour!

 

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LINES FOR "THE TIMES."

(June 3rd, 1905.)


Hail to thy fiftieth birthday, Blackburn Times,
Thus friends at home, thus friends in far-off climes
Salute thee,—champion true, in time of need,
Of men oppressed, whate'er their class or creed.

Since Ernest King first toiled with voice and pen,
Thou ne'er hast lacked thy force of valiant men
For Liberty's dear cause to plead or fight,
Denouncing Wrong, upholding Truth and Right.

And as thou wert in years long passed away,
So art thou in thy vigorous prime to-day;
Fair to thy foes, and true to every friend:
Long may Prosperity thy faithful steps attend!

 

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TO A HOSPITAL NURSE.


Sometimes, as o'er the tide
    The lonely wanderer sails,
In one strange traveller by his side
    A sudden friend he hails.

What seemed a random word
    The kindred soul reveals,
And thence sweet friendship's voice
        is heard,
    The while each grief-wound heals.

They anchor in the bay,
    The new-made friends must part,
And as each goes his separate way
    Regret weighs down his heart.

A keen regret that he
    Perforce must dwell so far
From one whose lofty soul might be
    Till death a guiding star.

So, in our daily life,
    When dread disease lays low
The child that cheers when cares are rife,
    Whose love 'tis bliss to know,—

When sadly we resign
    Into a stranger's arms
That child, whose smile is half divine,
    Whose voice like music charms,—

And when that stranger proves,
    Ere anxious days are fled,
A messenger of peace, who moves
    Beside the dear one's bed,—

With tender voice to still
    The childish cry of pain,
And win, by mingled love and skill,
    Health's roses back again,—

O! how can words express
    The thanks we fain would say
To her, who, 'mid such toil and stress,
    Has chased death's shade away!

What words can make her know
    How loth we are to part
From one, who, in our time of woe,
    Has cheered each parent-heart!

O, friend! late found, yet true
    As the oldest whom we see,
Oft may we gladly meet with you
    In days that are to be.

May every joy that Life—
    God-guarded—has in store
Be yours, through all its care and strife
    Increasing evermore!

 

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PAST-TIME PICTURES.
TO
LUKE S. WALMSLEY.


When I was quite a little lad
            In Blackburn long ago,
And on my simple errands went
            All blithely to and fro,
Your pictures made my heart more glad
            On many a toilsome day,
And to my schoolroom lessons lent
            A cheering sunny ray.

By your shop window bright I gazed
            On nobly-pictured scene;
On mountain, woodland, moorland waste,
            With mead and stream between.
'Twas there, delighted and amazed,
            I saw, when they were new,
Those great historic paintings, traced
            By master-hands for you.

I saw old Whalley's Abbey fair,
            Dear Hoghton's lofty Tower,
The Fight at Walton-in-the-Dale,
            And Preston in its power.
Whene'er I looked for beauty there
            I never looked in vain,
My Feast of Art could never fail,
            My joy could never wane.

And now, when patriarchal age
            In peace hath come to you,
Word-pictures of our native town
            My memories sweet renew.
For I can read on printed page,
            Sketched by your kindly pen,
True tales of Blackburn's past renown
            That bring youth's dreams again.

Though you were man when I was boy,
            I still remember well
Full many a character and scene
            On which you fondly dwell.
May He, who gives the purest joy
            That Earth and Heaven know,
Be with you as with heart serene
            About your tasks you go.

 

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TWENTY-ONE.


Though we cannot expect "many happy returns"
    Of the day when you're "twenty-one,"
We can trust that His grace, who has guided your youth
    Will be with you till life is done:
For the heart grows not old when with God's love it
        yearns,
    Though its years on this earth fleet away;
But its pure joys increase in the light of His truth,
    Till dawns the Eternal Day!

 

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THE LITTLE THATCHED COT IN THE NOOK.


O, the little thatched cot in the nook,
    Where the willow bent over the stream;
        Where I played the bright day
        Of my childhood away,
    That has passed like a Paradise-dream!
    O, this earth like an Eden did seem,
On which angels in rapture might look,
        To the gaze of the child,
        Still by sin undefiled,
In that little thatched cot in the nook.

When I strolled to the top of the hill,
    And looked over the meadows so green,
        Darwen's dear little dale
        And the Ribble's bright vale,
    Stretching far in their beauty were seen.
    In the summer, the sight of their sheen
With delight my young bosom did thrill,
        While Samlesbury sweet
        With old Hoghton did meet
Just below, by the clear-flowing rill.

I have travelled in many a clime,
    I have viewed the proud dwellings of kings;
        But the homes of the great,
        With their splendour and state,
    Are but cold and inanimate things.
    As I gaze on them, fancy takes wings,
And I live o'er again the glad time
        When my sweet rest I took
        In that cot in the nook,
Knowing naught of the world and its crime.

To that little thatched cot in the nook,
    Where the willow bends over the stream,
        Though I sometimes return,
        'Tis in vain I must yearn
    For the joys that have passed like a dream—
    Yet this earth like an Eden doth seem,—
As I know by his rapturous look,—
        To the gaze of my child,
        Still by sin undefiled,
As we pass the old cot in the nook!

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THE ANGEL BRIDE.


O grave! where is thy victory?
O Death! where is thy sting?


When I first met Lily-Mary, many years ago,
    I was little more than a boy, and she a little maid;
But she took my hand, and set my youthful heart a-glow,
    By the winsome smile that o'er her lovely features played.

Mary! gentle Mary! your heart was ever true,
    Never purer Lily-Maid in England's garden grew!
You were young, and I was young, and youth's bright day
        is o'er,
    But we love each other evermore, dear!

Five long years passed over ere I saw her face again—
    Five long years of exile in a great and teeming town—
Meanwhile, foolish fancies held my wayward heart and brain,
    Till one lovely Sunday I the green fields wandered down.

Mary! gentle Mary!   Your heart was ever true,
    Never purer Lily-Maid in England's garden grew!
You were young, and I was young, and youth's bright day
        is o'er,
    But we love each other evermore, dear!

When I saw that face again, and gazed into those eyes;
    'Raptured by that smile I cast all foolish dreams away,
Soon we told our love, and she, so careful and so wise,
    Bade me, only for a time, defer our wedding day!

Mary! gentle Mary! your heart was ever true,
    Never purer Lily-Maid in England's garden grew!
You were young, and I was young, and youth's bright day
        is o'er,
    But we love each other evermore, dear!

We were wed; and while one night we rested side by side,
    I confessed I'd half forgot her through those five long years;
Swiftly came the answer from my heart-clasped angel bride,
    "But I loved you all the time, alike in smiles and tears!"

Mary! gentle Mary! your heart was ever true,
    Never purer Lily-Maid in England's garden grew!
You're in HEAVEN, and I'm on Earth, but LOVE'S bright day's
        NOT o'er,
    For we love each other evermore, dear!

 

________________________

 
A BROKEN HEART.

Air: "She is Far from the Land."—MOORE.


Lay her gently to rest by her own mother's side,
    Near the church at the foot of the mountain;
She had loved, long and well, but she ne'er was a bride,
    And of sorrow her love was a fountain.

Plant flowers round her tomb; let a cross mark the place
    Where her innocent heart lieth broken—
Where the earth hides her beauty and young stainless grace
    Which the rose and the lily betoken.

O, the false heart that wooed, but to fling hers away,
    Shall repent of the wrong he hath done her;
When the storms gather round him, on no distant day,
    He shall wish he had wed when he won her.

The proud dame he took for the sake of her gold
    Is to lead him a long life of sorrow:
She is watching the proofs of his falsehood unfold,
    And will meet him with scorn on the morrow.

But the Bruised Lily there!—not a sorrow or care
    Is now able to break on her slumber:
She hath lost his false love; but the angels above
    Have with joy added her to their number!

 

________________________

 
THE OLD HOME IN BONNIE HOGHTON LANE.

(Air: "The strawberries grow in the mowing, Mill-May.")


The bleak days of Winter are going, Mary, mine!
    And the swallow's coming home o'er the sea;
In the dell the dear primrose is growing, Mary, mine!
    Then away from the throng let us flee.
Still true to each other, in gladness or woe,
    In the City with its sorrow and pain,
Let us go where we dwelt together long ago,
    To the old home in bonnie Hoghton Lane.

Dwelt together long ago!   Dwelt together long ago!
    Ere we knew of the sorrow that would come with the
        morrow;
Let us go where we loved together long ago,
    To the old home in bonnie Hoghton Lane!

All around are the young flowers springing, Mary, mine
    And the Sunny Fields are green as of yore;
But we miss the sweet sounds of the singing, Mary, mine,
    As we pass by each Old Weaver's door.
They are gone, the Old Weavers, to their graves 'neath the hill,
    And their blithe songs will never sound again,
As they toil at the loom, with a brave heart and will,
    In the old homes of bonnie Hoghton Lane.

O the days of long ago!   O the days of long ago!
    Ere we knew of the sorrow that would come with the
        morrow;
When we toiled in our homes, all together, long ago,
    In those old homes of bonnie Hoghton Lane!

The poor Weavers' children are squandered, Mary, mine!
    Some will never see the old country more;
In the sad search for gold they have wandered, Mary, mine,
    To the town or the far foreign shore.
Some gain the bright guerdons that Wealth can bestow
    Others strive for her favours in vain;
Some have died far away; others care not to know
    Of the old home in bonnie Hoghton Lane.

O the peace of long ago!   O the peace of long ago!
    Ere they knew of the sorrow that would come with the
        morrow:
O their hearts were so pure, all together, long ago,
    In the old homes of bonnie Hoghton Lane!

The Old House is still there to greet us, Mary, mine!
    And our darling Daughter waits by the door;
While her rosy little children come to meet us, Mary, mine,
    We'll return to the City never more!
We'll see the old faces—Time still spares a few,
    Thanking Heaven, that has brought us again
In our life's afternoon, morning joys to renew
    In our Old Home in bonnie Hoghton Lane.

O the peace of long ago!   O the peace of long ago!
    Left behind is the sorrow, 'twill be peace on the morrow,
As we wait for the call, that in time comes to all,
    By the Old Hearth in bonnie Hoghton Lane!

 

________________________

 
FOR ERIN.

(Air: "The Last Rose of Summer.")
Written for, and now inscribed to Father P. J. Kirwan.


'Twas the prayer of each hero
    As wounded he lay,
And for Erin his life-blood
    Was ebbing away,
That brother with brother
    United should be
To win back for their mother
    Her place 'mid the Free.

And if, vanquished and dying,
    Our fathers thus clung
To the hope of that union
    Their minstrels had sung,
Shall we, their own children,
    Not hold it as dear
When the freedom they died for
    Approaches so near?

The bright sun of Justice
    Is rising to-day,
And the hate-clouds of ages
    Are passing away:
Let brother with brother
    United now be,
And we'll win for our mother
    Her place 'mid the Free!

 

________________________

 
SHALL ENGLAND BE RE-CONQUERED?


"Shall England be re-conquered?"
    Screams Robert, white with rage;
"Shall we bow down to idols?"
    Wails Joseph in despair;
"It is not to be thought of,
    In this enlightened age,
That Ancient Superstition
    To dream of this should dare.

"Are we not heirs of Freedom—
    Her first and foremost sons?—
Have we not such a Conscience
    As makes all England quake?
We never will surrender,
    But stick close by our guns,
And by our peerless wisdom
    The laws of England make."

O fear not, righteous Robert!
    And fear not, zealous Joe!
Should Peter's Faith re-conquer
    The England that we love,
It will not be by seeking
    Fair Freedom's overthrow,
But by His great ordaining
    Who reigns and rules Above.

When Gregory sent Augustine
    With sweet Saint Benet's rule
To place the Kentish Kingdom
    Beneath Christ's gentle sway,
'Twas Love that conquered England,
    And made it one great School
Of that true Christian teaching
    Which we maintain to-day.

Have ye not heard of Alfred,
    Who freed our Island Home?
Have ye not heard of Langton,
    Who tamed the tyrant John?
These men, like us, were faithful
    To England and to Rome,
And won our land the freedom
    That we shall yet hand on.

It will not be by slander—
    Maintained, though proved untrue,
In pulpit's seemless fury,
    In lurid fiction's guise—
That we shall strive to conquer
    The souls misled by you:
If we win back our England
    It shall not be by lies!

O shame upon you, Robert!
    Shame on you, Joseph, too!
That scandalize your brothers
    Who keep the faith of yore:
There's better work in England
    For you, and such as you;
Now, in God's name, go, do it,
    Or speak and write no more!

Go, teach to English women,
    Proclaim to English men,
The sacredness of marriage,
    The grace of children sweet;
That they who thwart God's purpose
    Will hear His voice again
When sunk below the outcasts
    Who tramp the city street.

I know that many a traitor
    Brings shame upon our Flock;
I know that Sin and Satan
    Still strive for mine and me;
But this I do maintain, sirs,
    That on Saint Peter's Rock
We teach men all their duty,
    With Truth that makes them free.

If you will do the same, sirs,
    With those who own your sway,
You'll do a work far nobler
    Than snarling at the Pope.
Go, teach your "British people"
    Christ's Gospel day by day,
And leave the Politicians
    To hang—by Party's rope.

Go, verify your facts, then,
    When you would criticise;
Go, learn the A B C first
    Of That which you condemn.
We cannot hold you guiltless
    Of old and slanderous cries,
If you, 'spite full disproving,
    Still print and utter them.

____________


O Mary, Virgin-Mother,
    Be mindful of thy Dower!
Pray God to save dear England,
    From Satan, Prince of Lies.
Beg Christ to shield our maidens
    From each seducer's power;
To make our young men eager
    Sweet Purity to prize.

Saint George, the martyred soldier,
    'Fore whom our brave lads came
When fighting for that freedom
    Which men love more than life,
Pray God to keep our own sons
    From thought and deed of shame;
To make each husband treasure
    A pure and honoured wife.

Saint George for Merry England!
    As he of old hath been;
King George to rule our people,
    Love-linked by one accord!
May Christ's own Virgin-Mother—
    The purest earth hath seen—
Bless all true souls who cherish
    Each child around their board.

I beg your pardon, Robert;
    And, Joseph, yours also,—
I'd momently forgotten
    The state of mind you're in:
Like Paul, the great Apostle,
    May both of you yet know
The One True Faith that conquers
    The rebel hosts of sin!

 

________________________

 
GENTLE MARY.


Gentle Mary, ever faithful,
    Ever true, in joy or pain,
I have often sung thy praises,
    I will sing them o'er again.
Thou wert God's best gift to me, dear,
    In my manhood's early prime;
I am happy still with thee, dear,
    In this gladsome later time.

When we first met, gentle Mary,
    Thou wert little more than girl,
Yet in heart and mind true woman,
    And as pure as purest pearl.
Thou wert speaking to some others,
    And I heard thy sweet young voice:
Lo! it thrilled my soul like music,
    And it made me still rejoice.

For my heart, though young, was aching—
    I had loved ones lost before—
And I felt that it was breaking
    When they sought the heavenly shore.
But the tones of thy word-music—
    Low and gentle, yet so clear—
Made me look at thee, dear Mary,
    Filled' my soul with brighter cheer.

O my Love! need I remind thee
    How I won thy heart—sweet maid!
How my early grief was mingled
    With the homage I thee paid?
Thou wert God's best gift to me, dear,
    In my manhood's early prime,
And I'll happy be with thee, dear,
    Till I see the End of Time!

 

________________________

 
ODE TO A SISTER OF NOTRE DAME.


For a brief, happy space—
Yet not too brief for grace
To come to me through your devoted prayer—
I dwelt beneath your care.
Within that lowly school,
Remote from earthly strife,
I and my little comrades learnt the rule
Of faithful Christian life.
Then did we all rejoice,
As at the sound of Gabriel's own blest voice,
When, innocent and fresh, we knelt to say
The Angelus each day.

Now that a tyrant world
Bids us abide where Sin
Struts boldly in the noonday, we begin
To feel how precious was that golden time—
By innocence impearled—
Spent at your feet in Virtue's nursing clime.
And you, I have no doubt,
When day is done, all weary oft look out
Upon that world—by you long since forsaken—
Where we our place have taken,
And wonder how all fare
Who dwelt beneath your care
In those bright days gone by.

True, some have wandered far
From the clear light of Bethlehem's glad star;
But unto others faith, hope, love, and truth
Are dear as in their youth.
Yet even for these last
As toilsome years have passed
You may have heaved a sigh,
Thinking you seldom heard
A grateful heart give utterance to a kindly word.

For me, I know—
Fond memory keeps so green the long-ago—
That when I late was told
How you were still at work within the Fold,
It almost seemed that old times had returned:
And as I mused I yearned
To shape the message I have penned to-day
To cheer you on your way.

And if you think these humble words of praise
Have been delayed too long
Among the careless throng
On the world's highways,
Bethink you that your lot—
To seem so long forgot—
Is but the common fate of Mary's daughters,
Who, amid anxious tears,
Do cast the bread of Faith upon life's waters,
Yet find it, gladly, after many years.

 

________________________

 
OUR LADY OF BLACKBURN.


O Mary ever Virgin,
    Most pure of Virgins all,—
The one sweet Virgin-Mother
    On whom the Children call:
I love to picture England,
    Thy consecrated Dower,
As England was of old-time
    Ere Kings abused their power.

The ancient Church of Blackburn—
    My own good honest Town—
From days of Saint Augustine
    Came sweetly, proudly down:
And oft did dear Paulinus—
    Not far from this our home—
Preach that same Faith, in England,
    Which Peter preached at Rome.

The Church of Thee, Saint Mary,
    Arose in Blackburn Town;
And from its Lady-Altar
    Thine image, with its crown,
Looked on our own forefathers
    Who age by age knelt there
To seek through thy own Jesus
    The wondrous aid of prayer.

When I first knew my Blackburn—
    A tiny studious boy—
The Tower of Old Saint Mary's
    To my young heart gave joy.
The ancient Church had vanished,
    Thy Shrine had passed away;
Yet that old dedication
    Remains to this our day.

Magnificat is chanted
    Each peaceful Sabbath morn
In many a Church at Blackburn—
    Brave Town where I was born.
By long-divided Christians
    Thy name is honoured yet,
O! never may my Townsmen
    Thy wondrous life forget.

A second sweet 'Saint Mary's'
    Arose not far away,
Where gentle Father Richard
    For England used to pray.
The faithful sons of Ireland
    Oft gathered with us there,—
By one glad Faith united,—
    To conquer Sin and Care.

O Mary, gentlest Mother,
    Thy JESUS loves us all:
True God, true Man, true Brother
    He'll hear when thou dost call!
O beg Our Heavenly Father,
    In His and thy Son's name,
To save our Christian England
    From every deed of shame.

'Tis true we are divided,—
    All are not taught to call
Upon thy name, dear Mother,
    Who lovest one and all.
Yet never Soul whom JESUS
    In mercy would redeem
Was yet by thee forsaken,
    Though dark that Soul might seem.

Men call thee Purest Virgin
    In many a Church to-day,
Yet I would love and praise thee
    In my Forefathers' way.
In Lancashire-the-Loyal
    Still lives the Saxon tongue
In which throughout fair England
    Thy praises once were sung.

Look down, O Queen of Heaven!
    On Mary, England's Queen,
On George our noble Ruler,—
    On all who've faithful been.
Win Peace for all thy children,
    Beg GOD our cause to aid,
Tread down War's deadly serpents,
    O peerless Mother-Maid!

 

________________________

 
WALTON-LE-DALE.


Old Hoghton's lofty tower is grand, on rocky height sublime,
And lovely is the country round in Summer's golden prime;
But I have lived my life, with those whose love can never fail,
Away down bonny Hoghton Lane, at Walton in the Dale.

At Walton in the Dale, my lads, there's honest hearts and true,
There's faithful mothers, gradely dads, and bonny lasses too;
There's spinners, weavers,—upright men, with many a gallant son,
And girls who gaily work all day, and dance when weaving's done.

There's sturdy yeomen, brave and true, of many an ancient name,
And England has some Walton names upon her scroll of fame;
There's sailors from our bonny dale on British ships afar,
And soldiers who will never fail, abroad, in peace or war.

This Walton in the Dale, my lads, is ancient in renown,
For in the early British days it was a Roman town;
And all through loyal Lancashire there's not a fairer land,
From Hoghton Lane to Ribble-side, old Walton's simply grand.

When you would find a faithful man—and Earth's no nobler thing—
Whose loyal heart is ever true to country, home, and King;
Who shames not at the name of Christ, and knows not how to quail
Before the faithless,—look for him at Walton in the Dale.

Then here's good luck to Walton lads, and Walton lasses too,
Long may the bravest boys delight these lovely girls to woo;
May purest love of sweetest wife he his, who takes a bride,
To share his toil and bless his life, from bonny Ribble-side!

________________________

 
THE LITTLE CHURCH UNDER THE HILL.


On the crown of the hill stands the old Parish Church,
    With its chancel and tower as of old,
Where the Mass was oft sung and the sweet bells were rung
    When the Shepherd had only one Fold.
Though the Mass is no more in the time-honoured fane,
    The blithe bells make their melody still,
And the Heart of Our Lord by His own is adored
    In the little Church under the hill.

When the dark Tudor tyrants uprooted the faith
    That was better—far better—than gold,
In the farm-houses round, to no bell's merry sound,
    All in secret God's praises were told.
Like the rats in their holes, the true priests had to hide
    From the wrath of the man-hunters vile,
While the faithful were sundered, and shamelessly plundered
    To add to the Church-robber's pile.

But there came a bright morning of hope and of joy—
    'Twas the dawn of the sweet Second Spring—
When the Faith's golden ray, in the full light of day,
    Shone again its true blessings to bring.
At the foot of that hill rose a humble abode
    For the One who is Lord of man's will;
Then a far nobler home for the firm faith of Rome
    In the little Church under the hill.

In that beautiful Church we are gathered to-day,
    Happy heirs of a heritage grand,
For our fathers were true when the stormy winds blew
    And the tyrants were lords of the land.
And with us are united the sons of that Isle
    That would never to heresy bend,
But was leal to the core through the dark days of yore
    When 'twas death the old faith to defend.

Together their fathers and ours are asleep
    In the graveyard along the hillside,
And I think with a tear how their loved ones came here
    When their kinsmen of famine had died.
There were exiles from Erin in those bitter years
    Whose hearts never rested until
They were laid in the grave by the Ribble's bright wave
    Near the little Church under the hill.

God bless loyal Lancashire, land of my birth!
    God bless faithful Ireland for aye!
For the cause ever true may they still dare and do
    Till each error be melted away.
And when England and Ireland are one in the Faith—
    The sweet hope through my heart sends a thrill—
While the bells are still rung, holy Mass shall be sung
    Both above and below the dear hill!



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