Gerald Massey: Havelock's March (3)

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ENGLAND AND LOUIS NAPOLEON

MAY 1859.


MAJESTIC Mother! Thine was not a brow
To bend, and blindly take a tinsel Crown
From hands like His.   Thy glorious Sons have won
More crowns than thou canst wear, tho' all the year
A fresh one glistened daily.   These are crowns
Untarnishable by the breath of scorn!
And crowns that never can be melted down
And minted for the market.   Thine was not
A soul to wear the fetters that made fast
His stolen throne to him, and gracefully
To drape the imperial purple round, and hide
The blood that splasht there, red till Judgment Day.
He stole on France, deflowered her in the night,
Then tore her tongue out lest she told the tale:
And Statesmen called him friend, and proudly held
Our Banner over him, while moneyed worldlings,
So pleased they knew not on which leg to stand,
Went on their knees, and worshipt his success;
So prostrate in their souls, so prone in dust,
They saw not how the feet were only clay,
For all the golden Image; they forgot
How meanest reptiles crawl up tallest towers.

Our England is long-suffering, and slow
Of judgment, lulled by seeming to the last.
And they are busy dreaming their dark dreams,
While she is sleeping sound in trustful peace.
'Tis well for thee, my Country, when the day
Breaks, thou canst never match them in the dark!
Thine eyes are blind where Birds of night see best.
But instinct, that Veiled Prophet of the Soul,
Flashes up, startled from its seeing trance,
As though God's hand had touched it while we slept.
There's some invisible danger drawing near,
That hath not taken shape yet, but it comes.
The still small voice cries Wake, my Country, wake,
And sleep no more while that Man's in the world.
The treacherous dealer will deal treacherously;
The lawless Power is still above all Law!
The Foe that cometh at the dead of night
May find the Goodman slumbering with the arms
Too rusted on the walls.    Make the Sword sharp!
Watch warily, you lookers from the hill!
Arm every rampart, rock, and tower of Right,
And arm the people: thus, securely armed,
We may sit safe and hold the hands of War
In ours, he cannot strike us for the time.

Once more the war-wave surges gaily out
From Paris with its gallant armaments,
In music's pomp, and bannered pride, and dance
Of life light-hearted, and light-headed crests.
The Ghost of Buonaparte hath broken loose
With Ruin's lighted torch half hidden in
The Devil's own dark lanthorn.   We shall see
The night-side of Napoleon, as he tracks
His old earth foot-prints black with rusted blood.

Alas for Italy! the Storm of War
From its fire-mountain throne sweeps burning down,
Its purple lava-mantle trails behind,
Embracing all and blasting all it folds.
A sea of soldiery breaks over her;
Her fair face darkens in the shadow of Swords;
Destruction drives his ploughshare thro' her soil,
But will he turn her old lost Jewel to light?
Another crop of young heroic life
Is ready for the Reaper; it springs fast
In such a land, so watered, with such blood.

Poor Fools! this Despot turned Deliverer is
A sneaking Cutpurse, not a Cutthroat grand,
Like him that lifted up a Sword of fire,
Whose flashes frightened nations; and went forth,
A prairie-flame consuming men as grass;
How dazzlingly his beacon-star, that danced
From crown to crown, did shine above the lands
He covered with his purple and his pall!
He stormed the dizziest heights, and there he
      stood
In sanguine glory!    Like a Battle-God
Ruling the strife with face of marble-calm!
The eyes of Heaven that look down on us with
The earnestness of all eternity;
Saw our old world turn blood-red mirroring Him!
Napoleon dilated till he filled
The vision of France instead of Liberty.
And such the glamour of his grandeur, She
Knew not which Image crowned the Column lifted
A heaven above her, in her love and worship.
But this Man leads her eyeless, blind in blood.
He bears a Burglar's Bludgeon, not a Sword:
Great Oath-breaker, and not World-Victor He.

How far the tide may flood, how quick return
With wreck and ruin for its freightage home,
We know not, nor how soon the nether pit
May open and stern Nemesis rise up
For vengeance infinitely terrible!
As in the grim Norse dream Loke lyeth bound
Down at the heart o' the world, so Tyranny keeps
A potent spirit fettered underground,
And o'er it hangs a Serpent horrible,
With eyes thro' which all hell crowds up to see
The poison-fire spit in that Spirit's face;
In straining waves it writhes along to squeeze
Its soul of venom into every drop:
And there sits Wife-like Patience at the side,
Catching the poison till her cup will hold
No more, and she must empty it.
Ah then the poison burns! and with one heart-heave
That Spirit's bonds are burst! an Earthquake's born!
It is the Regnarok of Tyranny!

These Despots do but throw with loaded dice;
They lose or win by other will than theirs!
A Goddess blind leads worshippers as blind.
Henceforth we have no part in this man's lot,
No faith in him; he goes his way, we ours:
If we were true to him we must be false
To all our dearest deeds and noblest dreams!
We are no close-chained Mob for one to walk
Over our heads, and kiss the feet that tread!
Our welding oneness binds up all our wounds,
And one heart and one breath make healing life.
We trust in God, and mean to hold our own.
We are not stainless; there are wrongs on wrongs
Crying for Right! the patient heavens have lookt
On many a failing sadly!    England's Star
Hath winkt on many a crime, and thro' the gloom
Suffering still doggeth Sin, to strike at last.
May God forgive us, we are apt to grow
Unmindful of our blessings, and forget
That this is England, and forget how He
Hath wrought for England; that the sacred Ark
Rests on this Ararat; we dare not face
The world with that same faith we dare profess
Kneeling to God.    And so at times we need
A hint from Heaven, and these are often stern.
We tamper with God's silence till He speaks.
May He forsake not England, but in need
Look smilingly upon her!
                                              We at least
Will never run beside this Tyrant's car
Of triumph, glorying in the dust we raise!
Our voice at least shall cry aloud his fall,
Tho' but a lonely trumpet in the night,
And spare not him who plots against our land.

O statesmen, ye who lead this noble land,
May you prove wise and worthy! Great good Men,
With hearts that beat to high heroic measures,
And strength still equal to the sternest time;
With faith to fight and patience to work on,
Still knowing these live longer than a Lie!
The pyramid of our power is not complete
Until it touches heaven for its crown!
And if the Bloody Star should turn this way
Its red eye of destruction, fierce to see
The pride and prowess of our might go down
With England for funereal pyre; then give
No quarter to the foes that strike at us!
Thro' fire and foam flash on them, and strike home!
Like lightnings of the Lord! fuel the flames
Of Battle with the Revolution's wrecks
That drift upon our shores.   In Tyrant-land
A young Deliverer lies a-dream, and sees
Such splendours in his vision only eyes
When veiled can look on! tell him the time's come!
He will arise and stretch his hand and snatch
The Sword.    It will be resurrection day!
The Tyrant's fortresses and palaces
Built with the Headsman's scaffold will dissolve;
The piles of ghastly, gory heads shall turn
To flaming-sworded Spirits! the dry bones
Will stir and rise up in a dance of life.

You Lovers of our England, do but look
On this dear country over whose fair face
God droopt a bridal veil of tender mist,
That she might keep her beauty virginal,
And he might see her thro' a softer glory:
So very meek and reverent doth she stand
Within this shadow soft of Love Divine,
More lovable, and not as brighter lands
Whose bolder beauty stares up in heaven's face.
Look on her now, this jewel of the world,
Set in that marriage-ring of circling sea!
She smiles upon her Image in its calm,
Like some proud Ship that floateth in its shadow.
And as a happy lover clasps his Bride,
The fond Sea folds her round, and his brimmed life
Runs rippling to her inmost heart of hearts,
Until it swims a-flood with happiness;
And all the waters of her love leap back
To him exultant from a thousand hills.
From his salt virtue comes her northern sweetness.
How his rough kisses make her roses bloom!
Once in his rousèd wrath he lifted up
A mighty Armada in his arms, and dasht
It into sea-drift at his Mistress' feet.
And still he threatens with his voice of storms
The plots of all Invaders; still he keeps
Eternal watch around.    How proud in peace,
The wild white horses rear and foam along
And bring to her the harvests of the world!
How grand in war they bear her battle-line
In strength half-smiling, perfect Power crowned
With careless grace, which seemeth to all eyes
The plume of Triumph nodding as it goes;
For visible victory sits upon her brow,
And shines upon her sails.
                                                 See where she sits
Holding at heart her noble dead, and nursing
Her living Children on the old brave virtue!
Wearing the rainy radiance of the morning,
With silver sweetness swimming in her tears,
Feeling the glory rippling down from heaven,
With smiles from all her wild flowers, her green leaves,
And nooks where old times live their shepherd ways.
We cannot count her heroes who lay down
In quiet graveyards when their work was done;
But mound on mound they rise all over the land
To bar a Tyrant's path, and make his feet
To stumble like the blind man among tombs.
Her brave dead make our earth heroic dust;
Their spirit glitters in our England's face
And makes her shine, a Star in blackest night,
Calm at her heart, and glory round her head.
We think of all who fought, and who are now
Immortals in the heaven of her love;
The Martyrs who have made of burning wrongs
Their fiery chariot, and gone up to God;
The saintly Sorrows that now walk in white;
Till faces bloom like battle-Banners flusht
All over with most glorious memories.
We are a chosen People; Freedom wears
Our English Rose for her peculiar crest,
Whoso dares touch it bleeds upon the thorn:
It may be that the time will come again
For one more desperate struggle to the death.
The Devil's eye upon our England looks
With snaky sparkle still.    It may be they
Will rouse the old Berserkir rage, and make
The vein of wrath throb livid on her brow,
And wake the grim Norse War-dog in her blood,
Until she springs afloat upon the sea
Like an Immortal white-winged on the air,
The joy of swiftness lightning thro' her veins.

Thrice hath our England swept the seas, and cleared
Her ocean-path, the highways of the world,
And shall again if Robbers lie in wait.
She hath stood fast when towering nations hurled
In one vast wave their culminating power!
Thro' all that harvest-day of bloody death,
They charged in vain, and dasht upon the edge
Of her good sword, and fell, at Waterloo!
We kept the shamble-slopes of Inkerman!
Thro' blood and fire and gloom of Indian War
We swam the Red Sea, and rode out the storm!
So shall we hold our own dear land with all
The old unvanquished soul, and we shall see
Their changing Empires shift like sand around
The Island Rock, the footstool of the Lord,
Where Freedom also lays her head, and rest
In calm or storm the best hopes of a world.

Ah, let the Peacemen preach, but let our Peace
Be Right victorious, not triumphant Wrong!
Peace in her white robes, not white-livered Peace!
These pallid Peacemen are to true men what
Our world might be without its iron ore;
But never may the grand old bravery die.
No, no! we must not let the death-fires dance
Along our heights with their funereal flames,
As Hell had thrust up many red-hot tongues
To get its lap of gore when earth is drenched.
Our green fields shall not blush in blood for us!
We must not let them pluck the old land down
To throne them in her seat; they must not wear
The Crown she raced for round the world and won.
The Country has a name and fame might fill
The eyes of Hate and Envy with tame tears;
And they shall never lay her low while we
Are true to her in heart and head and hand.
And all who come in peace will find a home,
And all who come in war a mouthful of
Our dust in death, and Sea-beach for a grave.

Great starry thoughts grow luminous in the dark!
The Bird of Hope soars singing overhead!
We cannot fear for England, we can die
To do her bidding, but we cannot fear;
We who have heard her thunder-roll of deeds
Reverberating thro' the centuries;
By battle fire-light had the stories told;
We who have seen how proudly she prepares
For sacrifice, how radiantly her face
Flasht when the Bugle blew its bloody sounds,
And bloody weather fluttered her old Flag;
We who have seen her with the red heaps round!
We who have known the mightiest powers dasht
           back
Broken from her impregnable sea-walls;
We who have learned how in the darkest hour
The greatest light breaks out, and in the time
Of trial she reveals her noblest strength;
For we have felt her big heart beat in ours.

Hail to thee, Mother of Nations! mighty yet
To strive, or suffer, and give overthrow!
For all the powers of nature fight for thee.
Spirits that sleep in glory shall awake,
Come down and drive thy Car of victory
Over thine enemies' necks. 
                                                    Long will they wait
Who privily lurk to stab thee when the night
Shall cover all in darkness.
                                                    Dear old Land,
Thy shining glories are no Sunset gleams,
But clouds that kindle round some great new Dawn.

 

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THE SEA-KINGS.


THE Spaniard thought to wear our crown,
    Three hundred years ago;
And bow the head of England down
    To kiss the Pope's great toe!
And next the Dutchman swept the sea
    With besom top-mast high.
Gone is their ocean sovereignty;
    To-day, how low they lie!

And now the Frenchman's old wounds burn,
    Like devils in their pain;
They bode the weather of war will turn
    To a bath of bloody rain.
Tingle and ring the ears of France
    With sound of battle hymns;
As on Ambition's dark, mad trance
    The bloody vision swims.

Sons of the old Norse sailors brave,
    We fill their place to-day;
No wisp of foam upon the wave,
    To flash and pass away:
Our perilous prize we guard and keep,
    Till last relief God brings;
Then lie in calm majestic sleep
    Along with the old Sea-Kings.

Well may your proud eyes sparkle, ye
    Rough Sea-Kings, young and old;
The salt sea-spirit laughs to see
    The Frenchman grown so bold!
Sword-bayonets, rifled cannon may
    The poor of heart alarm;
But pluck at last will win the day,
    With naked strength of arm.

We are not beaten at a dash;
    Nor swiftly overthrown;
Let ship with ship together lash,
    We know who must go down.
No man in Gallic land will live
    To see us dispossessed;
When our Sun sets at sea, we give
    Our Glory to the West.

Those old unconquerable waves,
    They mock at Tyranny;
And never can a land of slaves
    Be Ruler of the Sea.
But would you see their Empress, now
    Behold her! where she smiles;
This diadem on Ocean's brow;
    His Glory of the Isles.

We've fed the Sea with English souls;
    And every mounded wave
To heaven bears witness, as it rolls
    Some English seaman's grave.
Our rivers bear heroic dust
    For burial in that sea,
Which helps to keep our noble trust,
    And battles for the free.

We cannot always down the path
    Of dalliance can we tread;
Ofttimes the Chosen people hath
    To climb with footprints red:
Our highest life with cross, and scorn,
    And tears, may yet be trod;
And England wear a crown of thorn,
    Whose Roses bloom in blood.

We have immortal quarrel with
    The men who war with Right:
We will not own him, kin or kith,
    Who fails us in this fight!
No room for him on English ground;
    No bed in Ocean's breast,
Who draws her purple curtains round
    Unfathomable rest.

If those old Greeks for Beauty wrought
    Their ten-years' daring deed,
Shall it be said that less we fought
    For Freedom in her need?
No! Fight till all the Brave lie dead,
    And grass grows on the mart;
But Freedom here shall rest her head,
    Upon our England's heart.

Like some old Eagle on her nest,
    Up in her pride of place,
Our England sits with brooding breast,
    And looks with sharpened face;
She feels the Shadow of a Hand,
    But, ere it touch her brood,
The Sea, that narrows round our land,
    Shall run a Moat of blood.

Wave out, Old Bird! or still brood on!
    They shall not bring you low;
A thousand years have come and gone,
    A thousand more shall go,
Our True Hearts still shall tread the deck;
    Our Ships sail every Sea;
And ride like those who rein the neck
    Of rearing Tyranny.

We've mounted many a windy wave;
    We've weathered many storms;
Unshaken still can hear them rave,
    Safe in the eternal arms!
For, if the worst comes, every man
    We'll perish in our place;
And then our Frenchman—if he can—
    May lead the New Sea Race.

 

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ROBIN BURNS.

- I -


A HUNDRED years ago this morn,
      He came to walk our human way;
And we would change the Crown of Thorn
                For healing leaves To-day.

But we can only hang our wreath
      Upon the cold white marble's brow;
Tho' loud we speak, or low we breathe,
                We cannot reach him now.

He loved us all! He loved so much!
      His heart of love the world could hold;
And now the whole wide world, with such
                A love, would him fold.

'Tis long and late before it wakes
      So kindly, —yet a true world still;
It hath a heart so large, it takes
                A Century to fill.

 
- II -

 

Aye, tell the wondrous tale to-day,
      When songs are sung, and warm words said;
Tell how he wore the hodden gray,
                And won the oaten bread.

With wintry welcome at the door,
      Did Nature greet him to his lot;
Our royal Minstrel of the Poor
                Hid in an old clay Cot.

There, in the bonny Bairn-time dawn,
      He nestled at his Mother's knee,
With such a face as might have drawn
                The Angels down to see

That rosy Innocent at prayer,—
      So pure and ready for the hand
Of Her who is Guardian Spirit where
                Babes sleep in Silent Land.

There young Love slily came to bring
      Rare balms that will bewitch the blood
To dance, while happy spirits sing,
               With life in hey-day flood:

And there she found her darling Child,
      The robust Muse of sun-browned health,
Who nursed him up into the wild
                Young heir of all her wealth:

And there she rockt his infant thought
      Asleep with visions glorious,
That hallow now the Poor Man's Cot
                For evermore to us.

Disguised Angelic Playmates are
      Those still ideal dreams of Youth,
That drew it on to Greatness; there
                We find them shaped in truth!

Disguised Angelic playmates are
      Those still ideal dreams of Youth,
That draw it on to Greatness; there
               We find them shaped in truth.

Yes, there he learned the touch that thrills
      Right to the natural heart of things;
Struck rootage down to where Life heals
                At the eternal Springs.

Before the lords of earth there stood
      A Man by Nature born and bred,
To show us on what simple food
                A hero may be fed.

No gifts of gold for him; no crown
      Of Fortune ready for his brow!
But wrestling strength to earn his own:
                It shines in glory now!

 
- III -

 

Wild music on lone shingly shores,—
      Wild winds that break in seas of sound;
Sad gloamings eerie on the moors;
              The murdered Martyr's mound;

Wan awful Shadows, trailing like
      The great skirts of the hurrying Storm;
Bronzed purple thunder-lights that strike
              The woodlands wet and warm;

Meek glimpses of peculiar grace,
      Where Beauty lyeth, in undress,
Asleep in secret hiding place,
              Out in the wilderness:

Those glorious Sunsets, God's good-night,
      It smiled thro' to our world, and felt;
All, all enrich his ear and sight,—
              Thro' all his being melt.

He rose up in a dawn of light
      That burst upon the olden day;
Many weird voices of the night
                In his music passed away!

He caught them, Witch and Warlock, ere
      They vanisht; all the revelry
Of wizard wonder, we must wear
                The mask of Sleep to see!

Droll Humours came for him to paint
      Their pictures; straight his merry eye
Had taken them, so queer and quaint,
                We laugh until we cry.

 
- IV -

 

He knew the Sorrows of poor folk,
      He felt for all their patient pain;
And from his clouded soul he shook
                A music soft as rain.

For them his eyes would brim with balm,
      Dark eyes, and flashing as the levin—
Grew at a touch as sweet and calm
                As are the eyes of Heaven.

So rich in sadness is his breast
      That tenderness, heaven-mirroring, fills;
As lies the soft blue lake at rest
                Among the rugged Hills;

And quick as Mother's milk will rise,
      At thrill of her Babe's touch, and strong;
It heaves his heart; and floods his eyes;
                It overflows his song.

But none dare sneer, who see the tear
      In Robin Burns' honest eye;
With all the weakness, it comes clear
                From where the Thunders lie!

Such Ardours flash from out that dew,
      And quiver in its pearl of pain;
As thrills the Spirit of Lightning thro'
                A drop of tempest rain.

In Life's low ways and starless night,
      The Poor so often have to creep
Where Manhood may not walk full  height,
                And this made Robin weep.

 
- V -

 

Of all the Birds the Robin he
          Is darling of the gentle poor;
His nest is sacred; he goes free
                By window or by door;

His lot is lowly, and his wings
      Are only of the homely brown;
But in the dreary day he sings,
                When gayer friends have flown,

And hoarded up for us he brings,
      In that brave breast of bonny red,
A gathered glory of the springs
                And summers long, long fled:

Even so, all Birds of Song above,
      To which the poor man smiling turns,
The darling of his listening love
                Is gentle Robin Burns.

His summer soul our winter warms;
      He makes a glory in our gloom;
His nest is safe from all the storms
                For ever in our home.

Yes, there is such a human glow
      Of life and love in Robin's breast;
Its warmth can melt the winter snow
              In Poverty's cold nest.

 
- VI -

 

His ministers of Music win
      Their way where night is all so mirk,
You scarce can see the Devil in
                The darkness at his work!

Or feel the face of friends from foes:
      But these song-spirits softly come;
And lo! a light of heaven glows
                Within the poorest home:

On either side the hearth they glide,
      And take the empty seat of Care,
Immortal Presences that bide
                In blessed beauty there.

They set us singing at our work,
      And where no easing voice is found,
Out smiles the music that may lurk
                In thoughts too fine for sound.

They weave some pictured tints that shine
      Luminous in life's cold grey woof;
They make the vine of Patience twine
                About the barest roof.

More sweet his songs to him who plods
      Shut up in smoky city prison,
Than to the cagèd Lark cool sods
                Cut ere the sun be risen.

The Soldier feels them as a spring
      Of healing 'mid the Indian sand:
They gush from out his heart; and they bring
                Such news of the Old Land.

Ah, how some old sweet cradle song
      The wayward wandering soul still brings
Home! home again; with ties as strong
                As Love's own leading-strings.

We hug the Homestead, and more near
      The fresh and fonder tendrils twine
To make our clasp more close, for fear
                Our dear ones we may tine.

 
- VII -

 

When Hesper, thro' some shady nook,
      Sparkles on Lovers face to face,
Where droopt lids shade a burning look
                With Beauty's shyer grace—

And holy is the hour for love;
      And all so silent comes the Night,
Lest even a breath of faërie move
                That poise so feather light—

Where two hearts weigh, to blight or bless,
      Till swarming like a summer hive,
The inner world of happiness
                With music grows alive—

There, as Life aches so, heart in heart,
      And hand in hand so fondly yearns,
Love shakes his wings, and soars and sings
                Some song of Robin Burns.

 
- VIII -

 

Think how those Heroes, true till death,
      In Lucknow listened thro' the strife,
And held, what seemed their latest breath
                They had to draw in life,

To hear the old Scots' music dear
      Ask, down the battle pauses brief,
As Havelock's men with fire and cheer,
                Swept in to their relief—

"Should auld acquaintance be forgot?"
      Thro' flaming hell we come! we come!
To keep that pledge, not given for nought
                Around the hearth at home!

"We'll take a cup of kindness" here,
      For Scotland yet, and Auld Lang Syne;
Aye, tho' that cup be filled with dear
                Heart's blood instead of wine!

"And here's a hand, my trusty fere;"
      And then it seemed the dear old Land
Did burst their tomb, the death-shroud tear,
                And clasp them with her hand.

 
- IX -

 

How dearly Robin lo'ed the land
      That gave such gallant heroes birth;
Its wee blue bit of heaven, and
                Its dear green nook of earth!

And dearer is the purple heath;
      The bonny broom of beamless gold;
And sweeter is the mellow breath
                Of Autumn on the wold;

Where he once lookt with glorious gaze,
      In all our way-side wanderings,
Shy Beauty lifts her veil of haze,
                And smiles in common things:

The Daisy opes its eye at dawn,
      And straight from Nature's heart so true,
The tear of Burns peeps sparkling! an
                Immortal drop of dew!

With eyes a thought more tender we
      Look on all dumb and helpless things;
In his large love they stand, as he
                Had sheltered them with wings.

Down by the singing burn we greet
      His voice of love and liberty;
High on the bleak hill-side we meet
                His Spirit blithe and free:

And on this land should Foe e'er tread,
      He will fight for it at our side;
Flame on our Banners overhead;
                In songs of victory ride.

 
- X -

 

A Hundred years ago To-day,
      The great and glorious Stranger came;
Men wondered as he went his way,
                A wild and wandering flame!

The fiercer fire of life, confined,
      With higher wave 'twill heave and break;
And higher should the mountain mind
                Thrust up its starward peak!

But often is the kindling clay
      With its red lightnings rent and riven;
And Earth holds up a wreck to pray
                The the healing hand of Heaven.

Round such a soul more sternly warred
      The powers that smite for Wrong and Right;
Till thunder-scathed, and battle-scarred,
                Death bore him from the fight.

But now we recognize in him,
      One of the high and shining race;
All gone the mortal mists that dim
            The fair immortal face!

The splendour of a thousand suns
      Is shining; and the tearful rain
No more with passionate pathos runs;
                And there is no more pain.

The sorrow and suffering, soil and shame
      All gone; all far away have passed;
He sitteth in the heavens of fame,
                Quietly crowned at last.

The prowling Ghoul hath left his grave;
      Hushed is the praying Pharisee;
His frailties fade, his virtues brave
                Live, work immortally.

 
- XI -

 

Weep, weep, exulting tears that He,
      The lowly-born, the Peasant's son,
Hath wrought for us imperishably;
                A peerless place hath won!

And such a Crown to bind thy brow,
      Thy glorious Child hath gained for thee,
Thou grey old nurse of Heroes! Thou
                Proud Mother, Poverty!

Look up! and let the big tears be
      Triumphant, toucht with sparks of pride;
Look up! in His great glory we
                Are also glorified.

Or weep the tear that Pity wrings,
      To think his brightness he should dim;
Then 'tis the drop of sorrow brings
                Us nearer unto him.

'Tis here we touch his garment; here
      The poorest ,or the frailest, earns
The right to call him kinsman dear;
                Our Brother, Robin Burns.

In fires of suffering far more fair
      We forge the precious bond of love.
Ah! Robin, if God hear our prayer
                'Tis all made well above,

And you, who comforted His Poor
      In this world, have eternal home
With those He comforteth, His Poor,
                Thro' all the world to come.

Your Highland Mary went before,
      To plead for you in saintly sooth,
Whom she remembered when you wore
                The pureness of youth!

With those high Bards who live for aye,
      Your faults and failings all forgiven,
May there be festival to-day,
                And a great joy in heaven.

The truth, afar off, found at last;
      The triumph rung impetuously,
Thro' all that Crystal Palace vast
                Of white Eternity.

 
- XII -

 

Dear Robin, could you but return
      Once more, how changed it all would be;
The heart of this wide world doth yearn
                To take you welcomingly.

Warm eyes would shine at windows; quick
      Warm hands would greet you at the door,
Where oft they let you pass heart-sick,
                So heedlessly of yore.

And they would have you wear the Crown,
      Who bade you bear the crushing cross;
Their glorious gain was all unknown,
                Without the bitter loss.

The cup you carried was so filled;
      The pressing crowd, so eager round,
Dragged down your lifted arm, and spilled
                Such dear drops on the ground!

How we would comfort your distress;
      Would see you smile as once you smiled;
And hold your hands in silentness;
                Strong Man and little Child !

Your poor heart heaving like the waves
      Of seas that moan for evermore,
And try to creep into the caves
                Of Rest, but find no shore,—

Poor heart, come rest thee from the strife;
      Come rest thee, rest thee in the calm,
We'd cry; come bathe thy weary life
                In Love's immortal balm.

 
- XIII -

 

We cannot see your face, Robin!
      Your flashing lip, your fearless brow:
We cannot hear your voice, Robin!
                But you are with us now.

Altho' the mortal face is dark
      Behind the veil of spirit-wings;
You draw us up as Heaven the Lark
                When its music in him sings.

With tender awe we feel you near;
      You make our lifted faces shine;
You brim our cup with kindness here,
                For sake of Auld Lang Syne.

We are one at heart as Britain's Sons,
      Because you join our clasping hands,
While one electric feeling runs
                Thro' all the English lands.

And near or far, where Britons band,
      To-day, the leal and true heart turns
More fondly to the fatherland
                For love of Robin Burns.

 

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THE FIGHTING TEMERAIRE

TUGGED TO HER LAST BERTH.


IT is a glorious tale to tell,
    When nights are long and mirk,
How well she fought our fight; how well
    She did our England's work;
        Our good ship Temeraire;
        The fighting Temeraire!
She goeth to her last long home,
        Our grand old Temeraire.

Bravely over the breezy blue,
    They went to do or die;
And proudly on herself she drew
    The Battle's burning eye!
        Our good ship Temeraire;
        The fighting Temeraire!
She goeth to her last long home,
        Our grand Old Temeraire.

Round her the glory fell in flood,
    From Nelson's loving smile,
When, raked with fire, she ran with blood,
    In England's hour of trial!
        Our good ship Temeraire;
        The fighting Temeraire!
She goeth to her last long home,
        Our grand old Temeraire.

And when our darling of the sea
    Sank dying on his deck;
With her revenging thunders, she
    Struck down his foe—a Wreck!
        Our good ship Temeraire;
        The fighting Temeraire!
She goeth to her last long home,
        Our grand old Temeraire.

And when our victory stayed the rout,
    And Death had stilled the storm,
How gallantly she led them out—
    Her prize on either arm!
        Our good ship Temeraire;
        The fighting Temeraire!
She goeth to her last long home,
        Our grand old Temeraire.

Her day now draweth to its close,
    With solemn sunset crowned;
To death her crested beauty bows;
    The night is folding round,
        Our good ship Temeraire;
        The fighting Temeraire!
She goeth to her last long home,
        Our grand old Temeraire.

No more the big heart in her breast,
    Will heave from wave to wave;
Weary and war-worn, ripe for rest,
    She glideth to her grave,
        Our good ship Temeraire;
        The fighting Temeraire!
She goeth to her last long home,
        Our grand old Temeraire.

In her dumb pathos desolate
    As night among the dead!
Yet wearing an exceeding weight
    Of glory on her head.
        Our good ship Temeraire;
        The fighting Temeraire!
She goeth to her last long home,
        Our grand old Temeraire.

Good bye! good bye! Old Temeraire;
    A sad, a proud good bye!
The stalwart spirit that did wear
    Your sternness, shall not die.
        Our good ship Temeraire;
        The fighting Temeraire!
She goeth to her last long home,
        Our grand old Temeraire.

Thro' battle blast, and storm of shot,
    Your Banner we shall bear;
And fight for it, like those who fought
    Your guns, old Temeraire!
        The fighting Temeraire;
        The conquering Temeraire;
She goeth to her last long home,
        Our grand old Temeraire.

 

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RIFLE VOLUNTEERS.


YOU leal high hearts of England,
    The evil days are near,
When we with steel in heart and hand,
    Must strike for all that's dear.
And better to tread the bloodiest deck,
    Or fieriest field of fame,
Than break the heart, and bow the neck,
    And sit in the shadow of shame.
Let Despot, Death or Devil come,
    United here we stand:
We'll safely guard our Island-Home.
    Or die for the dear old Land.

O Volunteers of England,
    You'll hurry to her call;
And our good Ship shall sail the storm,
    With its merry mariners all.
In words we need not waste our breath,
    But, be the Trumpet blown,
And in the Battle's dance of death,
    We'll dance the bravest down.
Let Despot, Death or Devil come,
    United here we stand;
We'll safely guard our Island-Home,
    Or die for the dear old Land.

Success to our dear England,
    Should dark days come again;
And may she rise up glorious
    As the rainbow after rain:
A thousand memories warm us still,
    And, ere the old spirit dies,
The purple of each wold and hill
    From our best blood shall rise.
Let Despot, Death or Devil come,
    United here we stand;
We'll safely guard our Island-Home,
    Or die for the dear old Land.

God strike with our dear England;
    And long may the old land be,
The guiding glory of the world;
    Home of the fair and free!
Old ocean on his silver shield
    Uplifts our little Isle,
Unvanquisht still by flood or field,
    While the heavens in blessing smile.
Let Despot, Death or Devil come,
    United here we stand;
We'll safely guard our Island-Home,
    Or die for the dear old Land.

 

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NAVAL VOLUNTEERS.


COME, show your colour now, my Lads,
    That all the world may know
The Boys are equal to their Dads,
    Whatever blast may blow.
England, as Mistress of the Sea,
Shall rule in boundless sovereignty.

All Hands aboard! our country calls
    On her seafaring folk!
In giving up our wooden Walls,
    More need for Hearts of Oak!
England, as Mistress of the Sea,
Shall rule in boundless sovereignty.

Remember how that old Fire-Drake
    Did singe the Spaniard's beard;
And think how Raleigh, Nelson, Blake,
    Into their harbours steered!
England, as Mistress of the Sea,
Shall rule in boundless sovereignty.

Think how o' nights we cut them out!
    'Twas—many a time and oft—
Silence!—a rush—a tug—a shout!—
    And the old flag flew aloft:
England, as Mistress of the Sea,
Shall rule in boundless sovereignty.

Be it one to seven—hell of heaven!
    We've fought our decks red-wet;
Be it hell or heaven!—one to seven!
    We fear no foeman yet!
England, as Mistress of the Sea,
Shall rule in boundless sovereignty.

That secret in the Sphinx's eyes
    Must have solution stern;
There is but one more throw o' the dice,
    And then 'twill be our turn!
England, as Mistress of the Sea,
Shall rule in boundless sovereignty.

At every port-hole there shall flame
    The same fierce battle-face,
All worthy of the old sea fame,
    All of the old sea race!
England, as Mistress of the Sea,
Shall rule in boundless sovereignty.

Alone, aloft in her right hand
    She bears her flag unfurled;
One foot on sea and one on land,
    The bulwark of a world.
England, as Mistress of the Sea,
Shall rule in boundless sovereignty.

 

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OUR NATIVE LAND.


THIS is our Mother Country!
          The dearest Land;
           The rarest Land,
Round which the sea keeps sentry,
          Or Ships are manned;
           Or ships are manned;
Nothing but Heaven above her!
          And here's my hand,
           And here's my hand,
We are Brothers all who love her!
          Our Native Land,
           Dear Native Land.

Afar and near they hail her
          With greetings warm,
           With greetings warm.
The famous old brave Sailer,
          That rode the storm,
           Aye, many a storm.
Who would not die to save her
          Shall bear the brand,
           The Coward's brand.
Our love we never waver
          For Native Land,
           Dear Native Land.

No matter where our place is,
          We may go forth,
           We may go forth,
And turn dead frozen faces,
          Home from the North;
           Home from the North.
Or sink, 'neath Orient heaven,
          In burning sand,
           Waste, desert sand.
Our lives shall still be given
          For Native Land,
           Dear Native Land.

And long may such life nourish
          The old land on,
          This dear land on;
And long, long may she flourish
          When we are gone,
          All dead and gone.
Long may the sea caress her,
          As great and grand,
          As great and grand.
Thou GOD in Heaven bless her!
          Our Native Land,
          Dear Native Land.

Ofttimes the foe beheld us,
          All torn apart,
           All torn apart;
Altho' a blow would weld us
          All one at heart,
           All one at heart.
Now trust we in each other,
          A little band,
           A happy band;
As Children of one Mother,
          Our Native Land,
           Dear Native Land!

Some new heroic story
          The world shall learn,
           The world shall learn,
If we who keep her glory
          Are true and stern,
           All true and stern.
Come wild and warring weather,
          We ready stand,
           All ready stand,
To fight or fall together
          For Native Land,
          Dear Native Land!

 

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A NATIONAL ANTHEM.


GOD bless our native Land,
Glorious, and grave, and grand;
                  God bless our Land!
God bless her noble face;
God bless her peerless race;
Great heart, and daring hand,
                  God bless our Land.

God love our English Land;
Make her for ever grand;
                  God love our Land!
Robe her with righteousness;
Crown her with gifts of grace;
Throne her at Thy right hand;
                  God love our Land.

If secret foes should band
To strike our dear old Land,
                  God aid our Land!
Be Thou her strength and stay,
God, in the battle day!
Strew them ashore like sand;
                  God aid our Land.

Few are we, Sword in hand;
All Sword in soul we stand,
                  Around our Land!
And when her blood shall flow,
Green make her glory grow,
Lead her in triumph grand,
                  Our leal old Land!

Here pray we hand in hand,
Tears in our eyelids stand;
                  God save our Land!
Thy Watch-tower on the Sea;
Venger of Right is she;
Long let old Fear-not stand,
                  God save our Land!

 

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CHRISTIE'S POEMS*
______________

* Ed. - 'Christabel', Massey's eldest daughter.

FOR CHRISTIE'S SAKE.


UPON us falls the shadow of Night,
    And darkened is our day;
My Love will greet the morning light,
    Four hundred miles away;
God love her! borne so swift and far
    From hearts so like to break;
And God love all who are good to her;
                For Christie's sake.

I know whatever spot of ground,
    In any land, we tread—
I know the eternal arms are round;
    That Heaven is overhead;
And faith the mourning heart will heal;
    But many fears will make,
Our spirits faint, our fond hearts kneel,
                For Christie's sake.

God bye, dear! be they kind to you,
    As tho' you were their ain;
My Daisy opens to the dew,
    But shuts against the rain!
Never will New Moon glad our eyes,
    But offerings we shall make,
To old God Wish! and prayers will rise,
                For Christie's sake.

Four years ago we struck our tent;
    O'er homeless Babes we yearned;
Our all—three darlings—with us went,
    But only two returned!
While life yet bleeds into her grave,
    Love ventures one more stake;
Hush! hush! poor hearts! if big, be brave;
                For Christie's sake.

Like Crown to most ambitious brows,
    Was Christie to us given;
To make our Home a holy house,
    And nursery of Heaven.
O softer was her bed of rest
    Than lily's on the lake;
Peace filled so deep each billowy breast,
                For Christie's sake.

To music played by harps and hands
    Invisible, were we drawn
O'er charmed seas, thro' fairy lands,
    Under a dearer dawn;
We entered our new world of love,
    With blessings in our wake;
And prospering heavens smiled above,
                For Christie's sake.

We gazed with proud eyes luminous,
    On such a gift of grace;
All heaven narrowed down to us,
    In one dear little face!
And many a pang we felt, dear Wife,
    With hurt of heart and ache,
All shut within like clasping knife,
                For Christie's sake.

I would no tears might e'er run down
    Her patient face, beside
Such happy pearls of heart as crown
    Young Mother—new-made Bride;
For 'tis a face that, looking up
    To passing Heaven, might make
An Angel stop; a blessing drop;
                For Christie's sake.

If Love in that Child's heart of hers
    Should breathe, and break its calm,
With trouble sweet as that which stirs
    The brooding buds of balm,—
Listening at ear of peeping pearl;
    Glistening in eyes that shake
Their sweet dew down! God bless our Girl!
                For Christie's sake.

But Father! if our Babe must mourn,
    Be merciful and kind;
And if our gentle Lamb be shorn,
    Attemper Thou the wind!
Over the deluge guide our Dove,
    And to thy bosom take
With arm of love and shield above;
                For Christie's sake.

We have had sorrows many and strange.
    Poor Christie! when I'm gone,
Some of my words will wierdly change
    If she read sadly on:
Lightnings, from what was dark of old,
    With meanings strange will break,
Of sorrows hid, or dimly told,
                For Christie's sake.

Wife! we should still try hard to win,
    The best for our dear child;
And keep her resting place within,
    When all without grows wild.
As on the winter graves the snow
    Falls softly, flake by flake,
Our love should whitely clothe our woe;
                For Christie's sake.

For one will wake at midnight drear
    From out a dream of death,
And find no dear head pillowed near;
    No sound of peaceful breath;
May no weak wailing words arise,
    No bitter thoughts awake,
To see the tears in Memory's eyes;
                For Christie's sake.

And There! where many crownless Kings
    Of Earth a Crown shall wear;
The Martyrs who have borne the pangs
    Their palm at last shall bear!
When, with our Lily pure of sin
    Our heavenward way we take,
There may we walk with welcome in;
                For Christie's sake.

 

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HUNT THE SQUIRREL.


IT was Atle of Vermeland
    In winter used to go
A hunting up in the Pine Forest,
    With snow-shoes, sledge, and bow.

Soon his sledge with the soft fine furs
    Was heapt up heavily;
Enough to warm old Winter with;
    And a wealthy man was he.

Just as he was going back home,
    He looked up into a tree;
There sat a merry brown Squirrel that seemed
    To say—"You can't shoot me!"

And he twinkled all over temptingly,
    To the tip of his tail acurl;
Its humour was arch as the look may be
    Of a would-be-wooed sweet Girl

Who makes the Lover follow her, follow her,
  All his life up-caught!
A-floating on, a-floating on,
  High in the heaven of thought.

Atle he left his sledge and furs!
    All day his arrows rung—
Bun went leaping from bough to bough—
    Only himself they stung.

He hunted far in the dark forest,
    Till died the last day-gleams;
Then laid him a-weary down to rest
    And hunted it thro' his dreams.

All night long the snow fell fast,
    And covered his snug fur-store;
Long, long did he strain his eyes!
    He never found it more.

Home came Atle of Vermeland;
  No Squirrel! No furs for the Mart!
Empty head brought empty hand;
  Both—a very full heart.

Many a one hunts the Squirrel,
    In merry or mournful truth!
Until the gathering snows of age,
    Cover the treasures of Youth.

Deeper into the forest dark,
    The Squirrel will dance all day;
Till eyes go blind and miss their mark;
    And hearts will lose their way.

My Darling! should you ever espy,
    This Squirrel up in the tree,
With a dancing Devil in its eye—
    Just let the Squirrel be.

 

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MY MAID MARION.


SPRING comes with violet eyes unveiled,
    Her fragrant lips apart!
And Earth smiles up as tho' she held
    Most honeyed thoughts at heart.
But nevermore will Spring arise
Dancing in sparkles of her eyes.

A gracious wind low-breathing comes
    As from the fields of God;
The old lost Eden newly blooms
    From out the sunny sod.
My buried joy stirs with the earth,
And tries to sun its sweetness forth.

The trees move in their slumbering,
    Dreaming of one that's near!
Put out their feelers for the Spring,
    To wake, and find her here!
My spirit on the threshold stands,
And stretches out its waiting hands,

Then goeth from me in a stream
    Of yearning; wave on wave
Slides thro' the stillness of a dream,
    To little Marian's grave;
For all the miracle of Spring
My long lost child will never bring.

Where blooms the golden crocus-burst,
  And Winter's tenderling,
There lies our little Snowdrop! first
  Of Flowers in our love's spring!
How all the year's young beauties blow
About her there, I know, I know.

The Blackbird with his warble wet,
    The Thrush with reedy thrill,
Open their hearts to Spring, and let
    The influence have its will!
Tho' all around the Spring hath smiled,
She seems to have kissed where lies my
        child.

In purple shadow and golden shine
    Old Arthur's Seat is crowned;
Like shapes of Silence crystalline
    The great white clouds sail round!
The Dead at rest the long day thro'
Lie calm against the pictured blue.

O Marian, our maid Marian,
    So strange it seems to me!
That you, the Household's darling one,
    So soon should cease to be.
Ah, was it that our praying breath
Might kindle heavenward fires of faith?

So much forgiven for your sake
    When bitter words were said,
And little arms about the neck
    With blessings bowed the head!
So happy as we might have been,
Our hearts more close with you between.

Dear early Dew-drop! such a gleam
    Of sun from heaven you drew,
We little thought that smiling beam
    Would drink our precious dew!
But back to heaven our dew was kissed,
We saw it pass in mournful mist.

Our lowly home was lofty-crowned
    With three sweet budding girls!
Our sacred marriage-ring set round
    With darling wee love-pearls!
One jewel from the ring is gone,
One fills a grave in Warriston.

We bore her beauty in our breast,
    As heaven bears the Dawn.
We brooded over her dear nest,
    Still close and closer drawn.
Hearts thrilled and listened, watched
        and throbbed
And strayed not,—yet the nest was
        robbed!

"Stay yet a little while, Beloved!"
    In vain our prayerful breath:
Across heaven's lighted window moved
    The shadow of black Death.
In vain our hands were stretcht to save;
There closed the gateways of the Grave!

Could my death-vision have darkened up
    In her sweet face, my child;
I scarce should see the bitter cup,
    I could have drank and smiled:
Blessing her with my last-wrung breath,
Dear Angel in my dream of death.

Her memory is like music we
    Have heard some singer sing,
That thrills life thro', and echoingly
    Our hearts for ever ring;
We try it o'er and o'er again,
But ne'er recall that wondrous strain.

My proud heart like a river runs,
  Lying awake o' nights;
I see her with the shining Ones
  Upon the shining heights.
And a wee Angel-face will peep
Down starlike thro' the veil of sleep.

My yearnings try to get them wings
    And float me up afar,
As in the Dawn the sky-lark springs
    To reach some distant Star
That all night long swam down to him
In brightness, but at morn grew dim.

She is a spirit of light that leavens
    The darkness where we wait;
And starlike opens in the heavens
    A little golden gate!
O may we wake and find her near
When work and sleep are over here!

No sweetness to this world of ours
    Is without purpose given,
The fragrance that goes up from flowers
    May be their seed in Heaven.
We saw Heaven in her face, may we
Her future face in Heaven see.

In some far spring of brighter bloom,
    More life and ampler breath,
My bud hath burst the folding gloom,
    A-flower from dusty death!
We wonder will she be much grown?
And how will her new name be known?

I saw her ribboned robe this morn,
    Mine own lost little child;
Wee shoes her tiny feet had worn,
    And then my heart grew wild.
We only trust ourselves to peep
In on them when we want to weep.

But hearts will break or eyes must weep,
    And so we bend above
These treasures of old days that keep
    The fragrance of young love.
Our harvest-field tho' reapt and bare
Hath yet a patient gleaner there.

I never think of her sweet eyes
    In dusky death now dim,
But waters of my heart will rise,
    And there they smile and swim,
Forget-me-nots so blue, so dear,
Swim in the waters of a tear.

How often in the days gone by
    She lifted her dear head,
And stretcht wee arms for me to lie
    Down in her little bed.
And cradled in my happy breast
Was carried softly into rest.

And now when life is sore oppressed
    And runs with weary wave,
I long to lay me down and rest
    In little Marian's grave;
To smile as peaceful as she smiled—
For I am now the nestling child.

Immortal Love, a spirit of bliss
    And brightness, moves above,
While here forever Sorrow is
    The shadow cast by Love,
But love for her no sorrow will bring
And no more tearful leaves-taking.

No passing sorrows on their march
    Will leave sad foot-prints now,
No troubles strain the tender arch
    Of that white baby brow.
No cares to cloud, no tears that come,
That rob the cheek of pearly bloom.

All sweetest shapes that Beauty wears
    Are round about her drawn;
Auroral bloom, and vernal airs,
    And blessings of the dawn;
All loveliness that ne'er grows less;
Time cannot touch her tenderness.

One sparkle of immortal light
    Our love for her shall shine
In the dew-drop that nestles white
    At heart with gleam divine,
But vanishes from Death's cold clasp
When he the flower of life doth grasp.

The patient calm that comes with years,
    Hath made us cease to fret;
Only at times in sudden tears
    Dumb hearts will quiver yet:
And each one turns the face and tries
To hide WHO looks thro' parent eyes.

 

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CHRISTI'S POOR OLD GRAN.


No GREEN age, beautiful to see,
          Hath Poor Old Gran:
No ripe life mellowed goldenly
          Hath Poor Old Gran.
One by one we have left her fold;
Her lonely hearth is growing cold;
Faint is her smile as the primrose gold,
          Our Poor Old Gran.

Ah! whitened face, and withered form,
          Of Poor Old Gran!
Beaten and blancht in many a storm:
          Poor Old Gran!
She hath wept the bitter tears that sow
The dark grave-violets in the snow
Where once the red young rose did glow;
          Poor Old Gran!

There's few have lived a harder lot;
          Poor Old Gran!
But she toiled on and murmured not;
          Poor Old Gran!
For us she toiled on starvingly,
And fought the wolf of poverty;
Upon her heart's blood suckled me,
          Our Poor Old Gran!

Her river of life hath roughly rolled;
          Poor Old Gran!
A Wreck lies dark, its tale untold;
          Poor Old Gran!
Yet shall her old heart laugh with ye,
My Bird'snest in the mouldering tree!
And soft in heaven the bed shall be
          Poor Old Gran!

The grip of Poverty is grim;
          Poor Old Gran!
Lustres of lip and eye will dim;
          Poor Old Gran!
But thro' the frailty of her face
There gleams a light of tender grace,
Or else I see thro' a tearful haze,
          Poor Old Gran!

You came in all our sorrowings,
          Poor Old Gran!
How your weakness hurried on wings,
          Poor Old Gran!
You stood at Bridal, Birth, and Bier:
Our darlings dead and gone seem near
When you are near, and make more dear
          Our Poor Old Gran!

So come to our Cottage up the lane,
          Poor Old Gran!
Follow our fortune's harvest wain,
          Poor Old Gran!
We'll shelter you from wind and rain,
Hunger you shall not know again,
Plenty shall smile away your pain,
          Poor Old Gran!

And little laughing Stars shall rise
            On Poor Old Gran!
In the clear heaven of Childhood's eyes,
            For Poor Old Gran!
Wee fingers, stroking her grey hair,
Shall almost melt the hoarfrost there;
Wee lips shall kiss away the care
            From Poor Old Gran!

So come and sit beside our hearth,
          Poor Old Gran!
Come from the darkness and the dearth,
          Poor Old Gran!
And you shall be our fireside guest,
And weary heart and head will rest;
And your last days shall be your best,
          Poor Old Gran.

 

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_______________________


THE LEGEND OF LITTLE PEARL.


"POOR little Pearl, good little pearl!"
    Sighed every kindly neighbour;
It was so sad to see a girl
    So tender, doomed to labour.

A wee bird fluttered from its nest
    Too soon, was that meek creature;
Just fit to rest in mother's breast,
    The darling of fond Nature.

God shield poor little ones, where all
    Must help to be bread-bringers!
For once afoot, there's none too small
    To ply their tiny fingers.

Poor Pearl, she had no time to play
    The merry game of childhood;
From dawn to dark she went all day,
    A-wooding in the wild wood.

When others played, she stole apart
    In pale and shadowy quiet;
Too full of care was her child-heart
    For laughter running riot.

Hard lot for such a tender life,
    And miserable guerdon;
But like a womanly wee wife,
    She bravely bore her burden.

One wintry day they wanted wood,
    When need was at the sorest;
Poor Pearl, without a bit of food,
    Must up and to the forest.

But there she sank down in the snow,
    All over numbed and aching;
Poor little Pearl, she cried as though
    Her very heart was breaking.

The blinding snow shut out the house
    From little Pearl so weary;
The lonesome wind among the boughs
    Moaned with its warnings eerie.

To little Pearl a Christ-Child came,
    With footfall light as fairy;
He took her hand, he called her name,
    The voice was sweet and airy.

His gentle eyes filled tenderly
    With mystical wet brightness:
"And would you like to come with me,
    And wear the robe of whiteness?"

He bore her bundle to the door,
    Gave her a flower when going:
"My darling, I shall come once more,
    When the little bud is blowing."

Home very wan came little Pearl,
    But on her face strange glory:
They only thought, "What ails the girl?"
    And laught to hear her story.

Next morn mother sought her child,
    And clasped it to her bosom;
Poor little Pearl, in death she smiled,
    And the rose was full in blossom.



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