Songs & Lyrics (3)

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THE MUSIC ON THE WIND.


Last night my heart was filled with woe,
    My thoughts were all of thee,
Yet wayward Memory would not show
    Thy beauteous form to me.

I strove in vain to call again
    Thine image to my mind,
When lo! a strain of music sweet
    Came wafted on the wind.

The memories of our early days
    Came back—a glorious throng;
I saw once more upon thy face
    The love too deep for song.

I saw within thine eyes the light
    That shone for me alone;
I lived again that radiant day
    Which made thee all my own.

The golden years together spent
    In one unclouded home,
That music to my fancy lent
    Beneath the starry dome.

And when at last the gladsome strain
    Ceased ringing in my ears,
I turned and wandered on again,
    With eyes o'erbrimmed with tears.

My heart was beating wild and fast;
    My soul was strangely stirred;
Yet as I walked I thankful grew
    For all that I had heard.

For if earth's music holds the power
    To bring thy face in view,
And give me back in one short hour
    The years of joy we knew,—

I know when rest awaits my feet—
    Earth's weary wanderings o'er—
A strain of heavenly music sweet
    Will wed our souls once more!

 

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THE TOILER'S WIFE.


My wife looks bright—her heart is light,
    When Fortune's sun is shining;
And in her face I see the grace
    That loves not dull repining.
She gaily sings, and daily brings
    To me a world of gladness;
And drives away, with laughter gay,
    The ghosts of care and sadness.

And so I live, and so I love;
    And though the rich may shine,
Not one, I know, of them can show
    A wife so blithe as mine.

But in the hour when life's clouds lower
    Shines forth her virtue's beauty;
For trials serve her soul to nerve,
    And mark the way of duty.
With conscience clear, she conquers fear,
    And yields to no blind sorrow;
But oft will say, "Though dark to-day,
    The sun will shine to-morrow."

And so I live, and so I love;
    And though the rich may shine,
Not one, I know, of them can show
    A wife so true as mine!

 

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WHY SHOULD I FEAR?


Why should I fear to bear my part,—
    Why o'er this world repine,
When evermore my weary heart
    Can trust, my Love, in thine?
Why should I let the world's neglect
    Bring wrinkles to my brow
When thy approving smiles have decked
    My pathway even now?

Why should I fear to mount the hills
    Of Duty or of Fame?
A nobler zeal my bosom fills,
    And puts my fears to shame.
Shall I not trust the God who gave
    Thy priceless love to me,
When near me rolled Despair's dark wave,
    Upon life's lonely sea?

For though I did not ask my God
    To crown my life once more,—
And though alone I would have trod
    This earth till life was o'er,—
True love—that only God sends twice—
    Came back again to me,
As when the sun breaks through the ice,
    And sets the brooklet free.

Within thy stainless heart He placed
    The gifts revered of yore,
Upon thy countenance He traced
    Love's winning smile once more.
I heard the thrilling tones of old
    Ring in thy gentle voice,
It was as if an angel told
    My sad soul to rejoice.

I see that light within thine eyes
    I never hoped to see,
For He who lights yon golden skies
    Brings back the past to me:
And if He work such wonders now,
    While grace in me is dim,
Shall I not kiss thy hopeful brow,
    And learn to trust in Him?

Yes!   Why should I not bear my part?
    Why o'er this world repine,
When evermore my weary heart
    Can trust, my Love, in thine?
Why should I let the world's neglect
    Bring wrinkles to my brow,
When thy approving smiles have decked
    My pathway even now?

 

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SAINT AUGUSTINE OF ENGLAND.


Let us, heart and voice united,
    Sing the great Apostle's fame,
Who unto our Saxon fathers
    With the faith's glad tidings came.
Saint Augustine! faithful Shepherd,
    Thou didst bring the truth from Rome;
And its brightness through the ages
    Glorified our Island Home.

See! the Monks in meek procession,
    With a silver cross on high,
And His holy image bearing,
    Who for men vouchsafed to die.
Hark! they chant a supplication—
    "Lord, we pray Thee take away
All Thy wrath and indignation
    From the land we hail this day.

"See their holy meek demeanour,
    While before the Kentish king!
Hear the words of life delivered;
    Watch the faith take root and spring!
Think how grace flowed down from Heaven
    At that gladsome Christmas-tide,
When ten thousand souls were given
    Back to Him who for them died!

Saint Augustine! by thy spreading
    Of the faith on England's shore,
We, thy children now beseech thee
    Look upon our land once more.
Wicked men from Truth have torn her,
    England that was Mary's Dower;
Now no more thy voice may warn her
    When false teaching wields its power.

Restless, weary, and divided
    Is our home from sea to sea,
And in this our night of sadness,
    Still, great Saint, we look to thee.
Raise once more thy supplication,
    Beg of God to take away
All His wrath and indignation,
    From our native land to-day.

By thy help, beloved Apostle,
    We will toil with hope new-born,
That the dawn may come to England
    Of another glorious morn.
That the one true faith may bind us
    In one blessed bond of love;
And when earth is left behind us,
    We may still be one above!

 

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TO A FRIENDLY CRITIC.


Good friend, grieve not because in my poor song
            I often linger long
Upon the mingled tale of joys and woes
            Our inner lives disclose.

Let this suffice us; since the world within,
            Where Grace makes war on Sin,
Is parent of the mighty world without
            Where Nations strive and shout.

Our God hath placed the everlasting soul
            Above Creation's whole;
And takes, amid His countless works divine
            True care of thee and thine.

From Him those sorrows come that chasten joy—
            Not those which peace destroy;
And man, if he will only do His will,
            Holds much of Eden still.

 

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TWO JUDGMENTS.


"Not fit for business!"   That judgment was passed
        on him—
    My friend, who went to his rest long ago;
Eyes hypercritical, scornfully cast on him
    By the self-righteous, embittered his woe.

Yet he had toiled all his life, hard and steadily,
    Out every morn at the dawn or before,
Constant each day to do duty's task readily,
    Adding each year to fair Industry's store.

Working with secret foes ever surrounding him—
    Foes to his peace and his worldly success;
Working for those who to ruin were hounding him,
    Striving by patience to win them and bless.

Great were his gifts, had he used them for self alone—
    Gifts of a ruler and master of men;
Fortune had smiled, had he striven for pelf alone,
    Selling for lucre his tongue and his pen.

There lies the secret!   His soul scorned the knavery
    Mammon expects from the vot'ries of Gold;
Hard though he toiled, he knew naught of earth's slavery,—
    Poor man, but free man; for ever unsold!

When he knew joy, with a blithe heart he'd sing of it—
    Sing for his foemen as well as his friends;
When he knew sorrow, song took out the sting of it,
    Faith turned his grief to her heavenly ends.

So he died poor; and above him the daisies grow,
    Sweet is his rest, like the strains of his song,
While on the lips of the just man his praises grow
    Louder and deeper as time speeds along.

Still his true soul, freed from all that is sinister,
    Lives,—though his body lies under the sod,—
Happy for ever to lone hearts to minister,
    Fit for the business of heaven and God!

 

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Sonnets
AND
Sonnet-Stanzas
________

FAITH.


There came an Angel-King to dwell with men:
    He gained allegiance through celestial things,
    And 'neath the shadow of his mighty wings
The peace of Eden drew near earth again.
Souls, Godlike, traversed every mount and glen
    Of changing life, with hearts that knew not fear,
    Their hopes were great, their aims were high and clear,
Their lowliest lives had noble features then.

But O, if life waxed strong beneath his sway,
    Far stronger death! for then the Angel strode
        With lifted sword by each true pilgrim's side,
    And smote the demons by the darkling road;
        Then threw the gates of Heaven open wide,
And God's own smile became eternal day!

 

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TENNYSON.
(October 6th, 1892.)


O prince, by right divine, of English song!
    Most noble, with nobility inborn;
    Pure-hearted, strong, melodious, free from scorn,
Thy wondrous voice hath been our solace long.
But now a hush falls on each anxious throng
    Through thy own England on this saddened morn,
    As thou, with holiest labours spent and worn,
Layest down the burdens which to life belong.
O mayest thou "see thy Pilot face to face,"
    Now thou hast "crost the bar" so peacefully!
And may we—later pilgrims of thy race—
    Cheered by thy songs, with life's tempestuous sea
Do battle bravely, till by God's own grace
    We too behold His form and meet with thee!

 

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SUNSHINE AFTER GLOOM.


O sweet spring day, that followeth weeks of rain,
    I love thee for thyself, when I can see
    Thy glorious sun, that fills the morn with glee,
And bids man triumph over grief and pain,

While I exulting in thy sheen again
    Can wander gladly o'er the fruitful lea,
    'Mid smiling flowers and songbirds' melody,
Returning by the hawthorn-scented lane.

But O bright day!—God's gift—I love thee more
    Because thy wealth of perfume, light, and singing,
    Is but a type of Hope once more upspringing
Within my heart, made desolate of yore;
    For lo! my Lord, Who to the cross was clinging,
Gives back the home that sheltered me before.

 

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WILLIAM BILLINGTON.
(January 3rd, 1884.)


The Singer hath departed, and no more
    Is heard his voice, so strong and clear and sweet,
    Cheering the crowds in factory and in street,
With melody, as in the days of yore.

His was a master-mind; and 'twill be long
    Before old Blackburn, through the smoke and gloom
    That gather round the busy lathe and loom,
Will see another half so bright in song.

He needs no lays to blazon forth his name,—
    His own will bear it o'er the sea of time!
Yet I, a Child of Song, to whom he came
    With friendship true and counsel most sublime,
Would to his memory dedicate this stave,
And lay my simple wreath upon his grave.

 

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TO HENDRIK CONSCIENCE.

(The "Walter Scott of Belgium."  Author of
"The Lion of Flanders," and many other
stories of Flemish life and history.)


Dear Hendrik Conscience, Master of Romance,
    With tender skill thy pen pourtrays the lot
    Of humble life in many a rural spot
Where Grief and joy meet with familiar glance,
And when thy country's warriors stern advance
    At thy behest, and battle waxes hot,
    Scarce even our own valiant Walter Scott,
In "Ivanhoe" with thee could break a lance.

Lion of Flanders! how thine image glows,
    True Golden Knight! upon the matchless page
Of Conscience,—this new Iliad in prose,
    Whence streams the light of that heroic age
    When dire oppression bred the conquering rage
With which the guildsmen slew their plundering foes!

 

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JOHN CRITCHLEY PRINCE.


Among the workmen-poets of our land
    He reigns—a Prince by nature, as by name;
    A bright star in the firmament of Fame,
Shedding a radiance beautiful and grand:
For though so lowly born, with master-hand
    He struck the lyre whence heavenly numbers came,
    And 'mid his fellow-toilers' proud acclaim,
Sang clear in tones which now immortal stand.
While frail in life, he had a noble mind,
    And nothing base hath ever marred his song;
He laboured for the welfare of mankind,
    A champion of the Right, a foe to Wrong;
And thus his sweet and fervent strains will bind
    True hearts to his while ages roll along.

 

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TO HOPE.


Hail! brightest star of multitudes immense.
    How grandly in the firmament of life
    Thou shinest o'er the scenes of earthly strife,
With rays so clear, so steady, so intense!
Thy brightness comes from God, and thou wert given
    To pierce the sable clouds of sin and care,
    To light us in our battles with despair,
And finally to lead us on to Heaven.
When other lights have faded, thou dost shine
    With greater splendour, and thy shining brings
Before us visions holy and divine,
    While, from the soil of sorrow, gladness springs.
Transcendent Hope! how wretched should we be
Were not life's darker hours illumed by thee!

 

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LOVE ETERNAL.


We walked one summer eve—my wife and I—
    Across the fields and down a cool, green lane:
    The flowers, refreshed by recent showers of rain,
Gave forth sweet odours; in the western sky
    The sun in fiery splendour sank to rest.
    I gazed upon her face, and as I pressed
Her yielding hand, I whispered, with a sigh,
    "How sad to think that, ere we are aware,
We, like the rest, o'erwhelmed with weight of care,
Must lose the days of love and youth and die!"
    How sweet and brave her answer! "Nay," she said,
    "Although we may have thorny paths to tread,
Love will endure when even life will fly,
For love was made for endless youth on high!"

 

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FATHER RICHARD DUNDERDALE.
(Rector of St. Mary's, Islington, Blackburn.)
(August 9, 1887.)


There is a grief words have no power to tell:
    It fills the heart when someone near and dear
    Is stretched before our eyes upon the bier,
And we must bid the long-loved face farewell.

Such is our grief to-day: a friend most true
    To all to whom his kindly heart was known,—
    A spiritual father to his own,—
Is lowered slowly from our longing view.

His was the faith that knew not storm or cloud;
    He held it firmly, with a mind serene;
Proclaimed its beauties, taught its truths aloud,
    Yet scorned not those by whom they were not seen.

His charity was genial as the sun:
God grant him rest; his task was nobly done!

 

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HOGHTON TOWER.


(Said to have been built—but more probably re-built—by Thomas Hoghton, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.  The story of this brave Confessor of the Faith is told in a beautiful old ballad entitled: "The Blessed Conscience," which may be found in Harland and Wilkinson's "Ballads and Songs of Lancashire.")


Not solely that thou speakest of the hour
    When Royal James and all his train were seen
    To chase the deer about thy woodlands green,
Do I revere thee, stately Hoghton Tower!
But for his sake who built thy "lordly bower
    Of sports" upon this rocky height serene,
    Yet fled abroad, took Conscience for his Queen,
And dying gave his memory to her dower.
E'en now I see him wander down the hill,
    And view the lovely landscape and the sea
That in the distance lies so bright and still;
    Then, as he looks with longing back to thee,
His wavering soul is quickened by the thrill
    Of Christ's, "Take up thy cross and follow Me!"

 

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CHARLES SWAIN.


How truthful are thy verses, noble singer!
    'Tis seldom that amid the crowd we find
    A Bard like thee, for thou didst sing "The Mind"
With music whose sweet echoes seem to linger
About our lives, as though an Angel's finger
    Had swept for once across an earthly lyre,
    And left to us the strong, but vain, desire
To hear again the heavenly solace-bringer
Peal forth his message from the mountain height
    Whilst we stood listening in the vale below,
"The Mind" secures thy name, while pure and bright
    Thy ballad-strains like silver streamlets flow,
And on dear "English Melodies" the light
    Of happy home-life sheds its sunny glow.

 

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AN AFTERNOON IN NOVEMBER.
(1883.)


The sky is leaden, though the drenching rain
    Has ceased to shoot its angry torrents down!
    A sad and dreary aspect has the town,
For soon the floodgates will be loosed again.
Beside the fire I sit at leisure—fain
    To learn from Hendrik Conscience the renown
    Of those brave Flemish Knights, whose castles brown
And hoary still delight the pilgrim train.

Friends of my schooldays are around me, too,
    Full of youth's buoyant hope and sweetest mirth;
May every year their happiness renew!
    And may we—pilgrims journeying o'er this earth—
Meet now and then, contented as to-day,
Till life grows dark, then pass in peace away.

 

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SCANDAL.


Behold this man, with handsome form and face,
    Crowned King of Wit, 'mid scenes of reckless mirth;
    Yet known to Truth as one devoid of worth,
And made a slave to passions dark and base!
Oft, when he speaks, Temptation shakes the space
    On which his listeners stand; a sudden cloud
    O'ershadows Faith, as, growing thunder-loud,
His voice begins to revel in disgrace.

Then, from the wild volcano of his soul,
    Through his hot lips the burning scandal showers,
Which, blasting all things in its downward roll,
    Destroys the children—God's most fragrant flowers—
Sweeps down pure souls that stood like stately trees,
Wrecks peaceful homes, and leaves a poison in the breeze!

 

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TO ORBY SHIPLEY.
(After reading a series of his articles on Ireland in 1886.)


Thanks for thy noble words! for they have taught
    Our English hearts to grieve o'er Erin's wrongs;
    They have that strength and beauty which belongs
To love fraternal, joined with lofty thought.
Before we read, dense darkness was around us,
    And Erin, standing out amid the storm,
    Seemed in our eyes a strange, bewildering form;
But, when the sunlight of thy pleading found us
    At morning's prime, we recognised, with thee,
Her faithful heart, her sorrow, and her beauty;
And said, "Not Fear, but long-imprisoned Duty
    Bids us arise and set our sister free;
What need we fear?—ourselves will be the stronger
When Erin's dark despair estranges her no longer!"

 

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"EDWARD THE CONFESSOR."
(Edward Woods, Saint Anne's, Blackburn.)
(September 1, 1913.)


The saintly Saxon King, in early days,
    Was Lord of Blackburn, our most ancient town;
    And many a legend, fondly handed down,
Still keeps alive the Good King Edward's praise.
Oft have I wished to see skilled hands upraise
    A stately church to his most pure renown:
    "Saint Edward's, Blackburn," sure would fitly crown
Our City-of-the-Future's busy ways.

But, lo! another Confessor was here;
    No Saxon, but a son of Erin's isle:
Friend! Brother! Father of the Poor! how dear
    To stricken souls his counsel and his smile!
Edward of Blackburn! surely saint and seer,
    And, like our gentle King, all free from guile.

 

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ADELAIDE ANNE PROCTER.


(Born 1825, died 1864.  Daughter of Bryan Waller Procter—"Barry Cornwall"—friend of Charles Dickens.  Authoress of "Legends and Lyrics," "A Chaplet of Verses," &c. Contributor—at first under nom de plume of "Mary Berwick"—to "Household Words" and "All the Year Round" during Dickens' editorship.)


Sweet Poetess! though all too brief thy stay
    With us on earth, "True Honours" grace thy lyre—
    "The Angel's Story" lives to raise us higher;
"The Peace of God" consoles us day by day.
We read thy "Legends" with rapt hearts, and say,
    "O Heaven itself did this pure verse inspire,
    That it might be to us a beacon fire
In life's dark night to show the 'narrow way.'"
The true love of "the Faithful Soul" was thine,
    Thou didst not "fear the beautiful Angel Death":
"Give me thy heart," said Christ the Lord; and thou
    Meekly and gladly yielding up thy breath,
Didst pass from earthly pain to peace divine,
    With Song's immortal crown upon thy brow.

 

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THEOBALD MATHEW.


Theodore, not Theobold, should have been thy name,
    For Theodore, we are told, means Gift of God:
    And surely no man, since Saint Patrick trod
Dear Erin's Shores, hath won a holier fame
Than thou, whose great zeal fann'd the Temperance flame
    Which from thine Isle to Britain quickly spread,
    Awaking souls of men, as from the dead,
To live new lives, freed from the Drunkard's shame.

Thousands on thousands bless thy name to-day,
    In the New World, as well as in the Old:
For thou didst wipe the children's tears away,
    Bring back faith, hope, and love to hearts grown cold,
And light, in countless homes, the precious ray
    Of truth divine, that's better far than gold.

 

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TO THE BELGIANS.
(1914.)


When this great war is over, when each crime
    Of the mad Kaiser and his brutal horde
    Brings down the vengeance of our outraged Lord
To warn the despots for all earthly time—
What shall be done for you, O Race sublime
    Whose heroes bled upon your native sward,
    Whose orphaned children fled with one accord
To seek for shelter in a foreign clime?
Shall England, France—aye, shall not all the world
    Unite to do God's will and right the wrongs
        That you have suffered in fair Freedom's cause?
Yea! for if not, our flags were surely furled
    For ever; hushed the patriot-poet's songs,
        And dead, in every land, the soul of laws?

 

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TO MY SON.
(On the death of his friend, Gunner Joseph Aelred Burscough, of Hoghton Lane.)


"Vengeance is mine, I will repay," saith He
    Who made us all; and when, my gallant son,
    You go to meet the devil-guided Hun,
Let that thought ever in your memory be.

Yet with those words divine take these from me:
    God hath ordained that victory shall be won
    Not by the power alone of bomb and gun,
But by the strength He gives the pure and free.

Then go to battle, loyal-hearted lad,
    Remembering that you are an instrument
    Of that most righteous vengeance He is taking
Upon our foes; and let your soul be glad
    To avenge your friend, and all whose lives were spent
    To cheer the hearts these Prussian fiends are breaking.

 

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PETER LONSDALE.
(July 9th, 1915.)


True man, true gentleman, true Priest of God,
    For ever striving; strong in heart and will,
    We hoped for many a year to hail thee still,
Our leader in the way the Saints have trod:
But lo! to-day, beneath the summer sod
    Thy earthly part reposes, while the thrill
    Of great grief pierces thousands; keen eyes fill
With tears; hearts bow beneath Heaven's chastening rod.

"Eternal rest," the Church's hallowed prayer,
    Seems almost strange for valiant souls like thine:
        For thou, we feel, upon the heavenly morrow,
When peace eternal crowns thy spirit there,
    Wouldst rather beg the boon from Love Divine
        Of endless toil for others in their sorrow!

 

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TO TWO ALFREDS.
(1916.)


How dear the name you bear, my faithful friends!
    The name of our great-hearted Saxon King;
    The name that has the truest English ring,
And will have, till this old world one day ends!
With what delight my heart this message sends
    To both of you, since health renewed doth bring
    Fresh joy to me each morn, while blithe I sing
His praise divine Who to my need attends.

Dear Alfred of the early time when Law,
    Divine and human, first we students knew!
        Dear Alfred of the Kind Heart, whom I praise
For those good deeds you thought that few men saw!
    May He, the Sun of justice, shed His rays
        On both, till Heaven rewards your lives so true.

 

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THE ISLE OF PEACE.


The world, scarce mindful of the loftiest song,
    Can have no ear for lowly lay of mine;
    Hence have I built fair Poesy a Shrine—
Love-decked, though humble—far from all the throng.
To thee, its gentle Guardian, doth belong
    That human love which leadeth to Divine:
    In thy clear eyes I daily see it shine,
Serene, amid surrounding care and wrong.

Then shall not my best verse belong to thee?
    Shall I not sing in thy sweet praise alone,
And find my brightest guerdon in thy smile?
Yea! for this peace-crowned Home is such an Isle
    Of Rest as doth Life's Mariner atone
    For all that he hath suffered on the sea!

 

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Songs of War and Peace

THE YOUNG CRUSADERS.
(1914.)


O brave were the Red Cross legions in the far-off olden time,
When they fought in the Eastern regions for the Christian cause sublime.
When they marched with radiant faces from their homes to the Holy Land,
To rescue the sacred places from the Turk's profaning hand.

And the Cause is as just and holy that inspires our men to-day,
And well may the high and the lowly in a heaven-blest union pray
That the victory may be speedy o'er the merciless hordes of might,
While the homeless poor and the needy see God defending the right.

Success to the Young Crusaders who fight for the homes of the free,
For the doom of the proud invaders, for the laws of the land and sea;
For the sacred word of a nation, which the tyrant dares to break,
For the world's emancipation, for the plundered people's sake.

From the homes of our English sireland, from Scotland's rugged vales,
From the green shores of old Ireland, from the glens of gallant Wales,
From the Empire's farthest places, from the Indian's distant home,
With joy on their hopeful faces, still the dauntless warriors come.

Then haste to the fight for the King, lads, and join in the noblest fray
That ever a bard shall sing, lads, for many a long, long day.
There was never a war more glorious, there was never a cause more true,
But the date of the day victorious, depends, dear lads, on you.

Let us join with the Young Crusaders who fight for the homes of the free,
For the doom of the proud invaders, for the right, on the land and sea;
For the sacred word of a nation, which the tyrant dares to scorn,
For the world's emancipation, for the Freemen yet unborn!

 

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TO THE PRUSSIAN WAR LORDS.


We've read of tyrants many a time
    In History's teeming pages;
Their evil lives and dismal deeds
    Have darkened all the ages.
But you have beaten all the tribe,—
    Sent just men to Death's sleeping,
Doomed women weak to worse than death,
    And set God's angels weeping.

O murderers of children pure!
    Destroyers of God's altars!—
No wonder at this fateful hour,
    Your braggart purpose falters.
Blasphemers!   You, to talk of Peace!
    You, "Vessels of Election"!
You, drowners of the innocent,—
    Hell's samples of "perfection"!

O would our gallant Englishmen
    Could meet you in your places,
And, with their honest swords in hand,
    Could smite your shameless faces.
But you, who send your serfs to fight,
    Will not escape for ever;
For dark indeed will be your night
    When soul and body sever!

 

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O LISTEN, GALLANT FELLOWS!


O fighting Sons of England; of Scotland—Northern Queen!
Of Wales, dear land of beauty! of Ireland ever green;
O Sons of Greater Britain! I greet you all with glee,
Good lads and true Crusaders, who fight by land and sea.

O Sons of France and Flanders, our neighbours staunch and true!
Of Italy the beauteous!—my heart goes out to you.
O Sons of every Nation that loves the fair and right!
Of each Land, big or little, that aids us in this fight:

I sing your well-won praises, your deeds of noblest fame,
Which countless generations yet proudly shall proclaim.
O listen, gallant fellows! 'tis lovely Summer here,
Our English birds are singing, and Victory draweth near!

We have not fought for conquest—whate'er our sins may be;
We've fought and bled together, to keep this great world free!
To teach the haughty Prussian that "Kultur" is not all
Our lads and yours are fighting—our good cause will not fall.

Saint George for Merry England! Saint Patrick never fails!
Saint Andrew for brave Scotland! Saint David for bright Wales!
We love our King in England, who bears Saint George's name,
And, lads of Greater Britain, you love him—all the same!

He may be wisely silent, sometimes, dear lads—but then,
He speaks when speech is golden—this King of free-born men!
Good-bye!   Fight on, my brothers!   We toil to aid you here,
And Summer grows more golden as Victory draweth near!

 

________________________

 
THE HEROES.


"For Flanders and the Lion!" was the cry in days of yore,
When the Flemings fought for freedom as men seldom fought before;
When Deconinck and Jan Breydel led the guildsmen to the fray,
And the Battle of the Golden Spurs was won that glorious day.

Every town in olden Flanders had its band of heroes then,
And to-day the dauntless spirit of those warriors lives again,
When the little Belgian nation meets the huge invading foe
As the guildsmen met—and conquered—seven hundred years ago.

Then an evil-minded Queen had stung the Flemings to advance,
On the glorious field of Courtrai, 'gainst the loftiest knights of France;
But to-day the French and Flemish are as brothers in the fight
'Gainst the haughty Prussian tyrant, who would crush them in his spite.

He, the Egotist of Europe, would have had us stand aside
While he trampled on the Belgians in his madness and his pride;
But the voice of all Great Britain and of Ireland thundered, "No!
We were cowards, we were traitors, thus to let you lay them low."

Gallant Belgians!   Race of Heroes! you whom Cæsar praised of old,
You, whose fights for freedom, like our own, the noblest bards have told,
You who never tamely yielded to a proud invader yet,
You whose prowess not a patriot in the world will e'er forget.

They have put your poorest, weakest, and most helpless to the sword,
They have spared not seats of learning, nor the temples of the Lord;
They have robbed and burnt and plundered, like a savage tribe untamed,
Reeking naught of age or sex—the very devils they have shamed.

But the day of reckoning cometh; for the King by whom Kings reign
Will not long endure the taking of His sacred name in vain;
He will nerve the arms of freemen who are battling for the right,
Till they cast the haughty tyrants down who trusted in their might.

He, who planted love of freedom in the hearts of honest men,
Will upraise the gallant Belgians and restore their land again;
He will purify the nations who have fought for freedom's cause,
And bring forth from war's dread horrors loftier lives and holier laws.

Then to arms again, brave brothers; in this noblest cause allied,
For you fight beneath His banner who doth tame the sons of pride ;
You, the latest-born Crusaders, in the greatest war on earth,
Are the instruments of God to give a nobler era birth.

Rise to your sublime vocation, falter not upon the way,
Till the certain victory cometh on His own appointed Day,
When the noblest hearts on earth rejoice to see your labours cease,
And you march home with the blessing of The Christ the Prince of Peace!

 

________________________

 
THE YANKEES.


With "Tommy Atkins" on the land,
    And "Jack" for air and sea, lads;
With Allies brave to lend a hand,
    The world shall soon be free, lads!
I'd like to be with you, my boys—
    I'd keep a clear voice handy—
When all France hears the merry noise
    Of "Yankee Doodle Dandy."

Good luck to Brother Jonathan!
    Good luck to Uncle Sam, lads!
They'll help to smash the Tyrant's plan—
    His bragging's all a sham, lads.
The Yankee would have all men free,
    He seeks the fall of no man;
But pirates, both of air and sea,
    Will find him sternest foeman.

God bless the States!   Fair Freedom's throne,
    Brave land of Western Singers
Whose music, like our Shakespeare's own,
    In memory sweetly lingers.
May we and they who come to-day
    Be true on sea and shore, boys;
Then War shall wane, and Freedom's reign
    Shall last for evermore, boys!

 

________________________

 
VICTORY!
(November 13th, 1918.)


Two Georges of old England
    Went forth one Monday morning,
And saw the streets of London town
    In all their glad adorning.
The one was King of England,
    In love of duty splendid;
The other that brave Commoner,
    Who saw the great war ended.

And these had served old England!
    Through many a darksome day,
And well deserved that freemen
    Should cheer them on their way.
Our hearts were glad in England
    That merry Monday morning,
When God laid low that bitter foe
    Who once was full of scorning.

We hailed the British soldier,
    The type of modest bravery;
We cheered the British sailor lads,
    The foes of craft and knavery.
For these had served old England!
    Through many an anxious day,
And well deserved that freemen
    Should cheer them on their way.

Our hearts went out from England
    To all our noble aiders,
The freeborn men who fought with us
    To crush the proud invaders.
Yet while we sang in England
    The tear would oft be falling
For many a lad, both young and brave,
    Who waits the last great calling.

For these have died for England,—
    For Freedom's holiest day,—
And well deserve that angels
    Should guide them on their way.
O England, Mother-England!
    We swear to serve thee truly;
To live for God, and trample down
    Each thought and deed unruly.

The Prince of Peace, descending,
    With victory hath crowned us,
And to His service evermore
    With loving chains hath bound us.
'Tis sweet to live for England,
    For England sweet to die;
But sweeter still to serve Him
    Who shields us from on high!

 

________________________

 
THE GREAT PEACE.
(June 28th, 1919.)


Now that the long and bitter fight is o'er
        And Peace begins her reign,
Let us so live that war may never more
        Curse man and earth again.

Let us press on, O Brothers! to the height
        Of our predestined glory;
Each sworn to duty as a faithful knight
        To bless earth's later story.

Let civil faction find a speedy grave,
        Be hushed mere party cries;
Let us remember all our heroes gave,
        And, strong and pure, arise.

Arise to live for Christ, the Prince of Peace,
        For England, for our kinsmen;
Let bitter words 'twixt His disciples cease,
        'Tis love alone that wins men.

Let men no more exaggerate the things
        That Christian souls divide,
But seek for union through the power that springs
        From His own wounded side.

O England! when thy spiritual robe
        By strife's no longer rended,
Thy bright example will convert the Globe,
        And hate's grim rule be ended!

 

________________________

 
With the Children
_________
 

Come to me, O ye children!
        And whisper in my ear
What the birds and the winds are singing
        In your sunny atmosphere.

For what are all our contrivings,
        And the wisdom of our books,
When compared with your caresses,
        And the gladness of your looks?

LONGFELLOW.


_________

TWO LITTLE "WILLS " AWAY.
(In Hospital.)


"Where there's a will there's a way," boys,
    Is a saying as old as it's true;
But when there are two Wills away, boys,
    What are father and mother to do?
No Willie to chat in the corner,
    When finished with lessons and play;
No Wilfrid with "Little Jack Horner,"
    By the hearth at the close of the day.

No Willie to wheedle his daddy
    Into bringing him this thing or that—
Some new waggon wheels for the laddie,
    A "Book for the Bairns," or a bat.
No Wilfrid, still shouting and playing,
    Till sleep claims that wise little head,
Too weary for talking or praying,
    So daddy must ride him to bed.

No merry companions for Josie,
    Excepting his big brother John;
No Wilfrid to gather a posy
    For baby to smile gaily on;
No Willie to tenderly hold him
    When Mamma is busy awhile;
No strong little arms to enfold him,
    No sweet song the time to beguile.

O dear Father Christmas! they write you
    The daintiest letters each year,
And never forget to invite you
    To call with your toy-bundle here.
For the love of the Babe in the manger,
    Whose birth divine hallows our joys,
Pray that both may be kept from all danger,
    And bring home in your bundle—our boys!

 

________________________

 
SWEET HANNAH.


Oh! long you'll remember Sweet Hannah, my Mary—
    Sweet Hannah, so gentle and fair,
With heart ever true, with her clear eyes of blue,
    And the sheen of her beautiful hair.
She was tall and straight like a lily, my Mary,
    And pure like a lily as well;
So the Lord of the Children has called her home
    To the Land where His chosen ones dwell.

Oh! long you'll remember her kindness, my Mary,
    Her love for the little ones, too;
And the walks that she took, by the tree-shaded brook,
    With her own little brother and you.
May you be as kind as she was, Mary,
    To all that you meet on life's way,
Making gladness abound, shedding sunshine around,
    Till the end of your earthly day.

Last night I'd a beautiful dream, my Mary—
    A dream that I feel is true;
So just sit and listen a minute, my Love,
    While I tell the bright vision to you.
I saw gentle Hannah with Jesus our Lord,
    In that wonderful heavenly Land,
And the gladsome surprise in her innocent eyes
    As He took her Himself by the hand.

He led her to where the brave English boys stood
    Who had newly come Home from the fight,
And He welcomed the boys to His Father's best joys
    As they trooped to His side with delight.
And with love on our maid did He look as He said
    That their glory for ever would be
That they fought to the end from all stain to defend
    Such lily-white souls as she!

 

________________________

 
AT A BABY'S GRAVE.


The shining lilies white, dear,
        Are on thy grave to tell
The innocence and beauty
        We loved in thee so well.

Faith tells us thou art pleading
        For us before God's throne,—
Through sorrow He is leading
        Our weak hearts to His own.

O may our path grow clearer,—
        From sin's dark shadows free,—
And heaven still draw nearer
        Through hope of meeting thee,

And if that bright hope aid us
        Eternal peace to gain,
Sweet flower of rosy childhood,
        Thou hast not lived in vain!

 

________________________

 
THE LILY AND THE ROSE.


When on earth is born a little maiden,
    Comes an unseen angel from the skies;
With sweet blessings of Our Father laden,
    Quick to greet the little one she flies.

Flowers, full of fragrance and of beauty,
    Gives she to that little helpless child:
Guiding stars to show the path of duty
    When the world is stormy, dark and wild.

And the fairest of those flowers of Heaven
    Are the lily and the blushing rose;
For a purpose holy they are given,
    And their value well the angel knows.

Shines the lily with a saint-like whiteness,
    Pure and spotless comes it from God's hand;
And the rose doth glow with ruddy brightness,—
    Empress of the flowers of our Land.

Purity, of virtues is most glorious,
    And the lily is its emblem dear;
It will lead a maiden on, victorious,
    Through life's battle, drying every tear.—

While the rose of beauty, brightly beaming
    On her face, will glorify her smile;—
Soothing many a heart with sadness teeming,
    Making pain or sorrow sleep awhile.

Maiden! let those flowers be united,
    Ever, through thy life, in joy or pain;
Treasure them, that they may ne'er be blighted,
    Never sell them for a worldly gain.

By thy heavenly purity and beauty,
    Guide thou others, with thyself, along,
Through the ways of goodness and of duty,
    To the land of never-ending song!

 

________________________

 
THE KNIGHT AND THE SQUIRE.
(August 11th, 1912.)


There was a young "Wilfrid of Ivanhoe,"
As blithe a little chap as "The Straits" could show,
For whether his lot was work or play,
He whistled and sang through the livelong day;
And when he was at home the whole house rang
With the tunes he whistled and the songs he sang.

But one fine morning he marched away
From his mates in The Straits and his work and his play,
And calling his little "Squire" Josie too,
The twain sallied forth to Waterloo:
Not the place where the Duke fought long ago,
But the one where the fresh sea breezes blow.

And now in the home of this "Knight" and "Squire"
There is silence such as the Monks desire
When they meditate on the Four Last Things,
For nobody whistles and nobody sings;
And we wonder why we let them go,—
This Knight and this Squire of Ivanhoe.

But very, very soon we'll be on their track,
And we'll haul these wandering warriors back;
And the little girl, wondering where they've gone—
With her puzzled looks at Willie and John—
Will hear once more the whole house ring
With the tunes they whistle and the songs they sing.

 

________________________

 
A STORY OF KING ALFRED.


King Alfred, rightly styled "The Great,"
    Discoursed among his Thanes
How best to rule the Saxon state
    And guard it from the Danes.

It was a goodly sight to see,—
    The King upon his throne;
Those light-haired warriors, brave and free,
    Whom he was proud to own.

He looked around with eager eye,
    But counted one Thane less;—
How strange that he could not espy
    The Earl of Holderness!

He asked, "Where is the noble Earl,
    My tried and trusted friend?"
A Thane replied, "My Liege, the Earl
    Hath reached his journey's end:

"Death struck him down six days ago;
    And grief too keen for life
In two more days had laid as low
    His broken-hearted wife.

"In love they lived, in peace they died,—
    Their hearts unsevered still;
With tears we laid them side by side,
    Close by yon rippling rill."

When this the warrior Wulph had said,
    Great Alfred turned aside,
And grief bowed down that noble head,
    That knew no foolish pride.

But ere his grief he could express,
    Wulph asked if he would give
The broad estates of Holderness
    To him, on which to live,

"For in the battle I have been
    The foremost of them all
And not a foe," said he, "I ween,
    By my sword longs to fall."

Then up rose Thurston, called "the Wise,"
    And said, "'Twould be more just,
My Liege, if you gave me the prize:
    Whom you so often trust:

"For when, at your command, I sailed
    To Denmark o'er the sea,
My quick wit more at Court availed
    Than all Wulph's bravery."

While Thurston spoke, the great hall door
    Was opened; and there came
A woman,—toil-worn, pale, and poor,—
    Her Sovereign's help to claim.

Beside her walked a gentle boy,
    With flowing flaxen hair;
With clear blue eyes so meek and coy,
    And face surpassing fair.

The woman led him through the throng;
    They knelt before the King;
Who wondered what o'erwhelming wrong
    The couple there could bring.

"O gracious King," she cried, "I crave
    Your help for this frail child;
His father brave lies in the grave,
    Beside his mother mild:

"He is the son of Holderness,
    Your Thane so brave and true;
For justice to him I must press,
    Because his friends are few.

"Usurping men would claim his lands,
    For greed hath killed their shame;
O King," she cried, with clasped hands,
    "Regard the orphan's claim."

But here a Thane cried angrily,
    "An infant's claim, forsooth;
A puny warrior he would be
    To guard such lands, in truth.

"We want strong men, and stronger hearts,
    To keep them from the Danes—
Men who can nobly bear their parts,
    Like true-born Saxon Thanes.

"And though this boy may be the heir,
    Those lands he ne'er could guard;
Therefore 'tis only just and fair,
    They should be our reward:

"Say, who would be thy champion, lad,
    If these to thee were given?"
The boy looked proudly up and said,
    "Our Lord, the King of Heaven."

Pale grew the Thane; for he had been
    Shamed by that child so shy;
And, as King Alfred viewed the scene,
    A tear fell from his eye.

But soon he spake,—"We will reward
    Each faithful servant well;
But this child's claim we must regard,
    As conscience soon will tell:

"His parents rest with God in Heaven;
    Each orphan is God's heir;
Then let the lands be duly given
    To this young Saxon fair."

 

________________________

 
A VOICE FROM HEAVEN.


Mother of mine, mother of mine,
    Why do you weep for me?
Why do your tears bring wondering looks
    From my sister on your knee?
O, mother of mine, mother of mine,
    If you could only see
The glories that shine in this Kingdom Divine,
    Your grief would swiftly flee.

Mother of mine, mother of mine,
    O cease to weep and moan!
I am hand-in-hand with an angel-child
    Whose name is like my own.
O, mother of mine, mother of mine,
    When you saw her baby-face
You could not know how sweet she would grow
    In the light of this wondrous Place.

Mother of mine, mother of mine,
    She has led me by the hand
To the glorious place where JESUS is,
    Where the holiest angels stand.
O, mother of mine, mother of mine,
    I am close to Mary's knee,
And the face that smiled on the Holy Child
    Is tenderly turned to me.

Mother of mine, mother of mine,
    The years will soon be o'er,
And the time will come when you must strive
    To reach this blissful Shore.
O, mother of mine, mother of mine,
    You taught me how to pray;
I can speak to JESUS face to face,
    And He will not say me nay.

Mother of mine, mother of mine,
    When life seems dark and drear,
Though you may think me far away,
    My spirit will hover near,
O, mother of mine, mother of mine,
    I'll plead for you day by day,—
For father and brother, and sister sweet,—
    That never a step you stray.

Mother of mine, mother of mine,
    Lift up a hopeful brow;
Set forth with a brave and trustful heart
    For the Home where I dwell now.
O, mother of mine, mother of mine,
    Let Faith be still your guide;
Its wonderful light will lead you aright
    Until you reach my side.

Then, mother of mine, brother of mine,
    Father, and sister sweet,
Shed never a tear, but haste you here,
    Where I rest at Our Lady's feet;
Where the gaze benign of Our Lord Divine
    Will meet your raptured view,
And Mary's face, all "full of grace,"
    Shall tenderly smile on you!



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