VOICES OF SOLITUDE POEMS
WRITTEN AND COMPOSED BY Lucian B. Watkins
CHICAGO and DONOHUE & COMPANY PUBLISHERS
My motto through this life I choose to be Evolution! The light amid the darkness 'round I see- Evolution! The steady view and mental quiz, A delving for the truth there is, A building up to loy and bliss — Evolution!
The Vale of Solitude 19
My Mother's Picture 22
The Beauties of Woman 24
The Siren 26
The Manly Man 28
The Libertine 29
The Flower at My Window 31
The Household Queen 33
The Man With the Gun 35
To the Sighing Winds 37
One of Earth's Few 40
Only a Little Curl 41
Rocked on the Waters of the Deep 42
To the Ocean Pacific 45
Paul Lawrence Dunbar 47
Little Golden Pen 48
To One of the Brave 49
The New Leaf 50
"Ever Faithful to You" 51
The Sunlight of Temperance 53
The Drink-Slave 54
"Looking for Work" 56
The Debtor 58
A Dedication (Booker T. Washington) 59
The Hand That Guides the Plow 61
Toussaint L'Ouverture 63
San Francisco's 18th of April (1906) 65
An Ode to the Christian Martyrs 67
A Memorial (Frederick Douglass) 68
Life's Day 69
A Major Chord 73
A Minor Chord 75
Time's Chord 77
Sharps and Flats 78
A Dirge to Ancient Rome 79
The Dove 81 Voices of the Waves. 84
The Miser 85
The Spendthrift 86
An Elegy to John Brown 94
The Treasured Curl 95
Uncle Ike's Opinion of Winterpock's College 97
The Faded Leaves 100
Christmas Morn 101
"I Love You, Too" 102
Have I Done Wrong? 104
A Divided Love 106
My Father's Letter 108
Thanksgiving no The Frozen Rain in A Winter's Sunrise 112
The Death of a Soldier-Comrade 113
Imagination (Essay and Poem) 121
Teach Me 126
"Rest in Jesus" 127
THE !!! 128
In compliance with the wish of many friends, I have consented to the publication of these products of my heart and pen, the reading of which, I hope, may lead many to feel the emotions that prompted me to their production.
It has been said, "Necessity is the mother of Invention." I say that Solitude is the mother of Poetry. I speak of solitude in a special sense. I do not intend to imply that one must necessarily be apart from mankind, but I speak of that secluded, quiet communion with the imagination such as the heart often enjoys regardless of environment. In such times of solitude and re- flection my heart has often been moved to overflowing, and the trifles of this little volume are the deluges that have found expression in words.
My selections are all brief. Just faint touches upon the heartstrings of Human Nature. They all bear my own originality. Not one is an imitation. Though, doubtless, many of the chords have been sounded before, since "there is nothing new under the sun," and we must all harp upon the same strings; yet, there are as many different "touches" as there are players, and the melody of each harper bears a certain unique characteristic. This little book is "touched" with the will of my ardent desire to reach the thought-centers of humanity, and, that these may find here motives tending toward the illustrious influences of good thoughts and deeds. Should this result be obtained, in any degree, I shall not have striven in vain.
L. B. W. Chicago, 111., February 5, 1907.
"Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips." We who are inclined to speak overmuch of ourselves seem to feel in these words an open rebuke by the wise Solomon. Yet it seems if one can. only resist the impulse to soar away upon the evil winds of egotism into the vain clouds of auto-laudation, he may be permitted to walk cautiously about the peaceful valley of truthful simplicity.
I have no reasons to offer in defense of present assumption as an autobiographer. I feel that my life has been insignificant and, upon my part, void of much good. But the vernal years of man's allotted "three score and ten" have just passed over my head, placing thereon — even in their swift flight — many of the silver threads of life's autumn. Should there be the blessed visual realization of life's summer in store for me, I hope to grow into a life of real usefulness.
My father's name is Henderson B. Watkins. The maiden name of my mother was Emeline Brooks. Humble, praying, Christian parents from the lowly log cabin of slavery. "Joined together" in those benighted days of servitude, and, subsequently, legally confirmed. Both of them secretly learned to read print, and were devoted readers of the Bible. Neither of them learned to write. My father became a successful miner. My mother was an acknowledged efficient cook and a competent nurse. Upon the summit of industry, perseverance, fortitude, goodness, kindness and womanliness my mother's life rises before me — an amatory personage.
According to the "birth record" of our family Bible, and the unquestionable statement of my parents, I was born May 25, 1878, in Chesterfield County, Virginia, at a small settlement called Otterdale, about twenty miles from Richmond. I am the youngest but two of the family of fifteen children. Soon after I became seven years of age my parents gave me a McGufifey's Primer, and one bright Monday morning I was sent with my older brothers and sisters to the first school that I ever attended. I shall never forget how proud and happy I felt that "first day in school." My older sister had taught me the alphabet. I could read and spell quite well.
This school was taught by one Mr. Gray, a man who was kind in disposition, noble, magnetic and impressive in his bearing, and a worthy teacher. My young heart was drawn toward him with the tender liking of true friendship. My studies became a pleasure; thus my launch upon an educational sea was replete with pleasures that I am always glad to recall. I do not think I gave my teacher much trouble with my studies, as I found myself at the end of my first session in school ready for the Third Reader, with other studies accordingly. For three suc- cessive sessions I attended the same school, with the same teacher. The next session I attended the same school, but had a lady teacher, one Miss Tucker, who had been an advanced pupil of Mr. Gray's school during my preceding school days. The following three sessions I attended another school, taught by my older sister, Leora, the one who taught me the alphabet, and to whom I dedicated "The Household Queen," of this volume. Sister Leora was also formerly a pupil of Mr. Gray's school, but afterward graduated from the Summer Normal Course of "The Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute," of Petersburg, Va.
In December, 1891, my mother died. I was then thirteen years of age. I think I was my mother's favorite. O! those thirteen years in the sunshine of mother's love ! I now look back through the dim mists of years and see the smiles! hear the voice! feel the caresses of MOTHER!
Soon after my mother's death I began to study crayon portraiture and automatic shading pen work. Having made fair progress with these studies, I made a portrait of my mother. From this portrait I received the impulse that led me to write "My Mother's Picture." This was my first attempt at verse-making, and was written when I was thirteen years of age.
About this time my older brother presented me with an organ and I began to study music.
My parents had early talked of sending me to college some day, and in September, 1892, I was sent to "The Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute," Petersburg, Va. My sister, Leora, bore the greater part of my expenses ; a portion I paid by doing janitor work at the school. My entrance examination at this school was creditable, and I found it comparatively easy to keep up with my class. This session at college having been in every way favorable, and my desire for an education being awakened, I endeavored during the intermission from the close of school in May to its re-opening in September, to earn enough money to return to college. In this I failed, but earned enough money to buy the books sufficient for the class in which I would have been had I returned.
I had heard a college professor tell how he at one time, while obtaining an education, found himself with insufficient means to return to college ; and that he bought books and pursued the studies of his class, personally reporting and successfully taking each examination, finally graduating with his class. This I endeavored to do. I succeeded in this to a great extent but, unlike my hero, I did not report to take the examinations; whether I would have graduated with my class or not is one of the untried things that must ever be unknown.
About this time I received my inspirations of Christianity, and joined the Baptist church. Soon after this I wrote mv second selection, "The Vale of Solitude." Then followed "The Beauties of Woman," "The Flower at My Window," "The Faded Leaves," "The Frozen Rain," "Uncle Ike's Opinion of Winterpock's College," "A Winter's Sunrise," "The Household Queen," "Retrospection," and others.
In my life there is one love. This is manifested in the selections: "A Divided Love," "The Treasured Curl," "To the Sighing Winds," "Love," "I Love You, Too," and " Ever Faithful to You."
In the summer of 1897 I passed successfully the examination for public school teacher. I taught school the following two sessions.
May 25, 1900 (my twenty-second birthday), I left home, in company with a cousin and two other young men, for the Chamberlin Hotel, Old Point Comfort, Va., where we had been promised engagements as waiters. Being the least experienced of the four of my company, I soon became discouraged in my attempts at waiting, despite the fact I was treated kindly and assured that I would become a successful waiter. But my despondency increased daily, until I, at length, left that hotel and went to Baltimore, Md., in which city one of my brothers lived. In this city I was engaged as waiter at the "Old Town Hotel." One month's work at this hotel gave me new ambitions for hotel work. I afterward served as waiter at the "Florence Hotel," Philadelphia, Pa.; lastly, at the "Queen City Hotel," Cumberland, Md.
Led by the love of adventure and travel, coaxed by the hope of experience and the ac- quisition of knowledge, driven by the pangs of a seemingly hopeless love, August i6, 1900, I enlisted in the service of the United States Army. I was assigned to the Tenth Cavalry. For my first soldierly training, I was sent to Fort Clark, Texas. A few months later I was assigned to Troop " F" of the Tenth Cavalry then stationed at Fort Mcintosh, Texas. The next day after joining my troop I was detailed as clerk at the post Adjutant's Office. Later I was detailed troop clerk.
April 15, 1 901, I embarked with my troop, at San Francisco, Cal., for foreign service in the Philippine Islands. We arrived at Manila May 13, 190 1. I served in the campaign against the Philippine insurgents on the island of Samar, May, June and July, 1901. After about one year and four months service in the islands we were surprised by an order directing our troop to return to the United States. After returning to the States, we were stationed at Fort Wash- akie, Wyo. (a post then about one hundred and fifty miles from any railroad). This being an Indian reservation I learned many curious and interesting facts in regard to the customs of this race of people. During school session while serving at this post I was assistant teacher of the post school. While here I wrote the military record of the First Sergeant of my troop. It was published in the February number of "THE COLORED AMERICAN MAGAZINE," then published in Boston, under the title of "The Life Story of a Typical Fighter." By request, I also contributed articles and poems to "THE ARMY AND NAVY UNION JOURNAL" of New York. Among them — "A Recruit's Resolutions," "Fort Washakie," "The Man With the Gun," and "To One of the Brave." I remained at this station until the expiration of my term of enlistment (August 15, 1903), at which date I was given an honorable discharge, showing for me an "excellent character and absolutely temperate habits." During this service in the Army I completed a course of "Advanced Bookkeeping and Business," with the " National Correspondence School," Washington, D. C.
December 21, 1903, I re-enlisted for service in the Hospital Corps, Medical Department, United States Army, and was sent to the " Hospital School of Instruction," Washington Barracks, D. C. Meanwhile, I attended night school at the "ARMSTRONG MANUAL TRAINING SCHOOL," Washington, D. C, and pursued a course of stenography and typewriting. Having completed the prescribed course at the "Hospital School of Instruction," I was sent to Fort Assinniboine, Mont., for duty.
October, 1904 (nine months and a few days after having entered the Medical Department), I passed successfully the examination for Hospital Sergeant. November, 1904, I received the appointment.
January 25, 1906, by special request, I was again sent to the Philippine Islands. During this service I was engaged in much actual hospital work in the field. This was during the pulejanes insurrection on the island of Leyte, July, August, September and October, 1906. Deciding to leave the army service, I was returned to the United States and received my second discharge January 3, 1907.
"VOICES OF SOLITUDE" breathes all that is dear to me in life. Every good emotion of which my heart is capable is 'in each line, and is a part of me.
LUCIAN BOTTOW WATKINS. February 5, 1907,
Dear Readers: — In my heart abides
Fond Hope, who has a little son —
His name is Wish, and more besides
He seems to be a pleasant one.
He seems obliging in his way —
Although he is a little lad —
He comes and offers me to-day
A service — but his face is sad.
He says he'll bear this little book
And place it in your busy hand ;
Perhaps, you'll, by his honest look,
His earnest motives understand.
The little fellow cannot talk
(This I forgot to say before),
A mute from birth ; but he can walk
And look the things he would im- plore.
He always tries his best to please,
And make you smile approvingly;
For by this act he always sees
You take his faults excusingly.
But when you've learned his noiseless speech,
Indeed, this peaceful little elf
Will well explain this book,
and each of all his signs is truth itself.
He'll tell you of the mournful day,
In th' early morning of my youth,
When mother went from me away
Up to the heavens above, forsooth!
He'll tell you of the day
I wrote "My Mother's Picture" when I stood
Before her photograph to note
This noble view of womanhood.
He'll tell you of my Christian birth
Down in the Vale of Solitude ;
And of the friends of noble worth
I've met in life — so kind and good.
He'll tell you of the girl I love,
And how her love has helped me live ;
How all the pretty stars above
Have lent me songs to sing and give.
He'll help you see in every way
The many things that bid me write;
How hard I try to do and say
What e'er may give the brightest light.
You'll treat him kindly, now, I know
And please this little bearer's heart;
Then in his little bow he'll show
Another well accomplished art.
VOICES OF SOLITUDE
THE VALE OF SOLITUDE
Sweet, silent, Vale of Solitude!
Secluded, quiet, rest!
Oft thee I seek with serious mood
Of thought within my breast.
Thou beaut 'ous plain amid the hills
Where sunlight's dancers play; '
Tis here a fragrant odor fills
The air with breaths of May.
A dreamy breeze here gently blows,
As if from angels' wings;
The sweetest songs that
Here in this vale she sings.
The flowers here all seem to know
A heart when it is glad ;
They seem to laugh when one is so,
And weep when one is sad.
The chymings of its gentle streams
Bear beauty's imagery
Of wasted loves, wars' blood-stained dreams —
Sad trophies for life's sea !
Its lifeless stones lie motionless,
Yet preach their sermons, too,
Of dead souls that no Life confess,
Though e'er so near the true!
Great sentinels of massy hills —
With summits' golden heights — :
Vale's jew'led thoughts rich luster fill While in their upward flight.--
The spirit of this dreamy plain
Harm'nizes with each heart;
Each pleasure, sorrow, joy or pain '
It seems to share a part.
The Savior sought this quiet place
(Gethsemane was there)
A seriousness was on His face
As here He lay in prayer.
Then all the flowers closed their eyes
To check their tears of grief,
A gloomy shade was o'er the skies.
And breathless every leaf.
A guilty sinner once I lay
Upon this sacred ground ;
All gloomy shadows cleared away
When peace — sweet peace — I found!
With sighs of grief and songs of joy
This spot I oft have sought ;
For nothing here seems to annoy
While I am wrapped in thought.
Oh, let me in this vale seclude,
For 'tis a place I love !
The sweet, sad Vale of Solitude leads all my thoughts above.
MY MOTHER'S PICTURE
Oh, if thou could' st speak to me,
My mother dear! Silent are those lips
I see — No voice I hear!
Mother dear — oh ! dost thou know
How my heart yearns for thee so?
When from earth I'm called to go
May I not fear.
Thy dear love — oh, I do miss,
Beloved one! Now I never feel thy kiss
When day is done! Thou art gone now as a dove,
Gone to realms up above,
But, now longing for thy love
Is thy dear son.
Mother, since thou left me here
Some years ago,
Oft this world seems dark and drear '
I Down here below.
Mother dear, farewell! I trust
When to leave this world I must,
When my body lies in dust
Then thee I'll know!
O, Love! Love! Love! mysterious strength!
Weak e'en is death to ever quench
Thy glowing, pure, magnetic light.
The strongest heart hath not the might
To e'er resist thy entrance there.
Thy reigning force ne'er fails to bear
Its fruit fulness.
Thou art the true
Essential of the heart; and through
Thy inclination's kingly will,
Is blended with another, still,
And now the twain become but one —
Thus is thy happiness begun —
And though thy days seem oft so bright,
Thou sometimes casteth shades of night;
And in these days of seeming gloom
The dregs of thy sweet cup assume
The taste of pain and cruel ache!
But these dark days dost only make
The bright ones brighter; and the bad
And bitter dregs — so truly sad —
Dost make the sweets but sweeter still.
And thus thy joyous spirit fills
Thy hearts with all thy peace's refrain.
Sweet happiness dwells in thy pains !
The blessing of a dreamy bliss
Is centered in thy magic kiss!
I fain would have thee dwell with me
Through Hfe and death — eternity!
THE BEAUTIES OF WOMAN
O, woman of virtue! sweet woman of love!
As heavenly manna sent down from above
Your wonderful actions are thus to the world ;
Then may your love's banner — no never be furled,
But gently waving through ages of time,
May e'er it be seen in its motions sublime.
Affectionate woman of truth and pure light !
You ease many pains and dear homes you make bright;
And often your tender, sweet voice may be heard
Consoling the sad with an angelic word,
And tenderly soothing the weary through life,
Thus lovingly cheering his pathway of strife.
Sweet woman, you wept o'er the Savior, of old,
And washed His feet with our tears, we are told ;
You wiped them dry with the hair of your head —
Put on them a costly sweet ointment, 'tis said;
Kind woman, then may your dear ministering hand
Ne'er cease noble actions o'er all of the land.
Good woman of beauties so noble and true!
The hearts of this world will ne'er cease to love you,
But always will cherish your name while on earth —
Through sickness and sadness or pleasure and mirth ;
And when time is over and all things must die
I know you will rest in the "home bye and bye."
Fond mistress o'er the very dreamy treasures
Of Fairy's love, your shining golden wand
Each wave e'er summons captivating pleasure
That don your form and luring jeweled hands.
The smiles of stolen sweets play in your dimples,
And at your will fling bright, delusive plights —
A silv'ry web — invisible and simple —
To do your bidding — capture vain delights.
To please you now the colors of the roses
Glide o'er your cheeks; and those of lilies fair
Rest on your brow. Fair Nature even poses
And brightest sunshine lingers in your hair.
Your teeth e'en seem fair sisters to pure white- ness;
Your eyes with diamond twinkles seem to speak
Beneath their silken lashes' veiled brightness —
A pictured love of trueness, kind and meek.
The magnetism of your presence only
Invites your victims to their certain fate,
For with your fatal weapons false you fondly
Insnare the hearts for which you lie in wait.
Slaves to your charms of winsomeness' devising,
Rejoicing with each kiss of loveless love
That plays upon your ruby lips, disguising
Your wit's sweet Falsehood's cooing of the dove.
Love's noblest monarchs tangle in your webbing,
Each counts your heel a blessing on his head
Each fairy day, until the cruel ebbing
Of your affections shows the husks you've fed!
Dark, blighted lives! great bleeding hearts! lamenting —
Cursed with your sinful life, and with a night
Dark as the tomb ! — Your left hand these resent- ing,
Next victims now you're greeting with vour right !
Wot id's noblest hearts are but your tiny toys
To baffle, fling aside — forsooth, you can!
Yea, e'en the tender love of thoughtless boys
Oft count amid your conquests of the man.
Your days will end! Your fairy wand will perish!
We shudder at the fate that 'waites you then!
Oh ! while the breath of fleeting life you cherish
Consider! turn! and view a happy end!
THE MANLY MAN
O, Maniy Man! born of Perfection's Hand
With all the beautitude of soul-blown purity !
O, Noble Man of blessing to your land,
Filled with Love's magnetism of sincerity!
O, Gentle Man! Aye! go where e'er you can
You'll always find a welcome sweet of loyalty!
O, Knightly Man! your presence seems to fan
The glowing flames of worth and royalty.
O, Honest Man! a little lower than
The angels is your place of usefulness !
Yea, Godly Man! e'en when the world began
There was prepared for you a peaceful rest !
Monarch over weakness,
Emperor o'er the fair;
Conqueror of the helpless —
Falsehood's artful snare.
Forceful magnetism —
Willing all you crave —
Forcing brows of innocence
In your false love's grave.
But, this grave is darkness —
Though the guise be light —
What may seem day's brightness
Is but, in truth, a night.
Into eyes of seeming
Maidens look and read
Truth where lies are lurking,
Love where only greed.
Soon the cruel moment
Comes when they do know
Falsehoods such as dreaming
Makes a blinded show.
Broken hearted victims!
Saddened lives of sin!
Weep your tears repenting,
Better lives you'll win.
Will you thus enthrall
While you hear appealing
Reason's earnest call?
THE FLOWER AT MY WINDOW WRITTEN FOR A LADY FRIEND
O! my heart now feels so cheerful as
I go with footsteps light
In the daily toil of my dear home ;
And I'll tell to you the secret that now makes my life so bright —
There's a flower at my window in full bloom.
It is radiant in the sunshine, and so cheerful after rain;
And it wafts upon the air its sweet perfume.
It is very, very lovely ! may its beauties never wane —
This dear flower at my window in full bloom.
Nature has so clothed it in such glorious array,
And it does so cheer our home, and hearts illume ;
Its dear mem'ry I will cherish though the flower fade away —
This dear flower at my window in full bloom.
THE HOUSEHOLD QUEEN
She looketh well to the ways of her household; and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Her children arise up and call her blessed, her husband also, and he praiseth her. — Prov. xxxi., 27-28
DEDICATED TO MY SISTER, MRS. SALLIE L. BRANCH
Let Other poets sing about the queen that wears the crown,
And sits upon a shining throne with dignity's renown ;
But my song to queenly woman is to her who comforts home
With a cheerful heart of sunshine, by industry with her broom.
By the pure and wholesome dishes that her careful hands prepare,
By the rocking of her cradle, with contents so precious there ;
By the love she sheds around her. making life so gay and bright
For those of her dear home circle who at home feel pure delight.
Thus to her I sing in glory, for to her 'tis justly due;
All through life may many blessings rest on her so kind and true.
In the bright celestial city, glowing with sweet love serene,
When ends here her earthlv mission, there will rest the HOUSEHOLD QUEEN.
THE MAN WITH THE GUN WRITTEN WHILE A SOLDIER AT FORT CLARK, TEXAS
With a look of stern demeanor, "duty" stamped upon his brow ;
Every muscle of his body seeming conscious of his "vow; "
There we see beside him Justice — ("Only right is right," quoth he)
At a distance near her lover we behold sweet Liberty.
Meek and queenly Peace is poised on his head, so brave and true —
There it sings sweet songs of dreamland, where 'tis joy and comfort, too;
Thus he stands with e'er the pressure of the world against his breast —
Do you wonder why he never wearies — never sighs for rest ? —
See his mother, sister, father, brother, friends and sweetheart dear '
Mid the multitude behind him — looking to him from the rear !
Then he must not — cannot falter, for whene'er he coward grows
Justice dwells no longer with him — strikes for him no other blows;
Liberty, his pride — his dear one, then from him is torn away —
(Death to him is far the sweeter than to live as worthless clay)
Peace now hushes songs of pleasure, lifts its light, fantastic wings
With a song of sad heartbreakings — lo, a farewell song it sings!
Hark ! what sounds are those of wailings strike so mournfully his ear
Like the weird notes of night-birds from some v/oodland brown and sere?
Ah, alas! 'tis those behind him, now oppressed and full of fears —
And with confident assurance they have looked to him for years !
O ! we cannot view such horrors ! from this dream let us awake.
View the patriot now nobly standing for his country's sake.
He is earnest, true and faithful, he will face all dangers there ; —
When you're in your secret chamber breathe for him these words of prayer "
Thou, O God, who art his Captain, grant him strength — this noble one '
Til Thy order— 'Blow the Trumpet; faithful man, lay down thy gun.' "
TO THE SIGHING WINDS WRITTEN WHILE A SOLDIER AT FORT MCINTOSH, TEXAS
O, sighing winds! now in thy journey over hills and far away,
Wilt thou bear a message for me — whisper what I bid thee say
To my many friends and kindreds far away in distant land,
Thinking of me in my sojourn on the banks of the Rio Grand?
Wilt thou whisper — murmur softly, while thou'rt passing oft the way
Where now dwells my dear old father with his head silvered with gray.
Fan his venerable forehead with thy calm, sweet, breath of
Hfe, Tell him I am gently passing through this world of toil and strife ?
Tell him though the fatal bullets of some battle wild and fierce —
While they strike the marks of marksmen — one this heart of mine may pierce
Bid him — oh! if this should some day be the tidings of his son
Only hft his voice to heaven crying — " Lord, thy will be done!"
Then there is a dear and fair one — wilt thou grant this earnest plea —
As thou passeth in thy journey pause and speak to her for me ?
Surely, surely, thou must know her, such a sweet and charming one,
With a head of silken tresses, smiles as bright as yonder's sun;
Eyes of dark and sparkling beauty, face so picturesquely fair.
And her merry peals of laughter fill as silv'ry bells the air.
Surely, thou dost know I love her, and she loves me just the same,
And I have her dear sweet promise that she'll share with me my name.
Wilt thou calm and gentle zephyr, put my silent thoughts in words ? —
I know thou canst bear them for me faster than the fleetest birds. '
Mid the many things thou beareth, with a whisper soft and low.
Tell her I will come back someday, if God wills it to be so.
Tell to all my friends and kindreds that I'm striving to be true.
Hoping that I may with honor wear this uniform of blue.
Gentle breeze so calmly passing, softly whisper all I've said;
In my sojourn should death take me, gently bear the news, "He's dead."
ONE OF EARTH'S FEW DEDICATED TO MISS R. L. WILSON, OF SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
Written While a Soldier at Fort Mcintosh, Texas.
White as are the whitest hues — lo ! thou art as pure!
Bright as are the brightest jewels thus thy hfe is seen ;
As the brightest gleam of sunshine enters any door,
Just SO welcome is thy presence, truly ideal queen.
Nobler moral standard never this vain world e'er knew
I am forced to say thou, really, art one of earth's few.
Kind words of sweetest music, such thou hast in stow.
Cheery smiles of sunny brightness dost thou daily wear;
Many lives thou maketh lighter through this world of woe.
Many hearts exclaim, "God bless thee" in this life of care.
In the day of separation of the false and true
I believe thou wilt that morning be one of earth's few.
ONLY A LITTLE CURL
WRITTEN FOR A LADY FRIEND
While a Soldier ovi the U. S. A. Transport, "Logc En Route to P. L
Only a little curl of darkest hue !
Only these silken strands that are but few,
Cut from amid companions where they grew
A woman's glory.
Bright glossy curl ! dear little silken tress !
Fond memento! no king can e'er possess
A greater gift ; nor ever words express
A sweeter story.
Ah! I received thee from the faltering hand
Of one I knew in far and distant land,
When distant journey was the stern command
To "boys in blue." Only a little curl, was my request —
"I know not whether it be wise or best,"
She said, "but with this token may there rest
A friendship true."
ROCKED ON THE W'ATERS OF THE DEEP WRITTEN WHILE A SOLDIER, ON THE U. S. A. TRANSPORT "LOGAN," EN ROUTE TO P. I.
Rocked on the waters of the deep, briney blue,
Oft I am tossed by surging, foaming billows, too ;
When drear skies are 'bove me, with the wind's thrilling sound,
Loud roaring waters then I hear all around.
Rocked but not gently with a mother's lulaby —
Oh, for such rockings oft my heart heaves a sigh
Deep as this ocean! Ah, this loved one is dead!
On the Pacific I am rocked now, instead.
Rocked on the waters of the blue briney deep,
Sometimes the streaming moon and stars seem to weep,
As over shining waters there seems a bright
Flowing stream of silver tears reflecting the light.
Rocked now amid the beauties of Nature's scenes ; —
Sunrise's bright golden colors with shades between,
Bright streams of golden glimmers of setting sun,
Dark shadows of the evening when day is done.
Rocked 'mid sweet dreams of dreamland o'er waters' wave,
Bright shining visions of the dear One who saves ;
His tender care and presence on the wide deep
Give all who know His mercy sweet, peaceful sleep.
Rocked 'mid the pleasant and sweet dreams of the past,
To my interior vision they come so fast
O'er these dark waters from the land far away —
Sweet dreams of Hfe when it was one cloudless day.
Rocked, and each moment as the time passes by,
Thus I am moving on between land and sky ;
These weary rockings take me far, far away
From many friends and kindreds — sad, sad to say!
Rocked o'er these waters for it is the command,
And I have pledged obedience with "upraised hand;"
Far o'er these waters there is work to be done
By many soldiers — of which I am one.
Rocked while the saddest hearts repine, but in vain —
Sighs and emotions from the hearts that remain
Far, far behind me, yet their love I can feel
Bound ever 'round my heart as strong hoops of steel !
Rocked, moved with rockings, o'er the waves' swelling tide,
While o'er these foaming waters I slowly glide,
Sad hearts behind me, cease — oh, cease to repine !
Wait for my coming from this "world o'er the line!"
Rocked, but more roughly, by this world's swelling tides,
Rocked by life's tempest — roughly tossed, yet, besides ;
Rocked on life's ocean of the unfathomed deep,
Rocked 'til the final day of one "lasting sleep."
TO THE OCEAN PACIFIC
WRITTEN WHILE A SOLDIER, ON THE U. S. A. TRANSPORT "LOGAN," EN ROUTE TO P. I.
Wondrous blue and briney ocean!
As I o'er thy bosom glide,
Oft I watch the swaying motion
Of thy surface far and wide.
Peaceful ocean ! oft it seemeth
When thou art so calm and free,
Surely Fancy never dreameth
Sweeter dreams than this of thee.
When thy waves but softly tinkle
'Neath the sun's bright, shining rays,
Making diamond studded twinkles —
Nature seems to stand and gaze.
There is one thing I learn of thee,
Though thou hast thy peaceful days,
Oft the sky grows dark above thee,
And thou art not calm always.
Thou dost have thy days of trouble,
Such as is the way of life,
Days when each and every bubble
Seems a frightful scene of strife.
My life sometimes seems as dreary
As thy waters ever are ;
And my heart is oft as weary
As a fading morning star.
Though my life is often sadness,
Yet, it is not always so ;
For it has its psalm of gladness
Mingled with its dirge of woe.
PAUL LAWRENCE DUNBAR LINES WRITTEN UPON THE DEATH OF THIS SWEET POET-SINGER
We were afraid that you would soon be borne away
Upon the sweet endearing breathings of your heart!
We were afraid that you would soon forget to stay
And give to life your lofty, soulful missioned part!
Too true! but — ah! the jeweled breaths with which you sang —
That blew in their soft whispers o'er the tender strings
Of human hearts, the sweet aeolian sounds that rang
An echo as if blown from heaven's angels' wings —
Still linger in the ethics of our souls! Then must
We say you're dead? and can we ever for you weep ?
Ah, no! amid the sacred halo o'er your dust.
We listen to your echoed- breathing while you sleep!
LITTLE GOLDEN PEN
Written While a Soldier, at San Joaquin, Panay, P. I., for a Friend Who Presented Me with a Fountain Pen for a Birthday
Present Little Golden Pen!
Oh, could there from thy fountain flow, expressed in words, all that my heart so often feels !
But, ah! for this I know not how to guide or e'en direct thee!
Thy donor, venerable and hale, hath due the praise for which there never can be words —
Then it is vain to try to say what language cannot let me.
Little Golden Pen ! Since thou art with me now — a souvenir — a token of a friendship tried and true,
Thou, surely, canst e'er render me invaluable assistance ;
When wing expressive thoughts to dwell with me, my hand will guide thee while thy fountain flows
Upon some page where friends may read when I've no more existence.
TO ONE OF THE BRAVE
Written While a Soldier, at Fort Washakie, Wyo., for First Sergeant William Barnes, Troop "F," loth Cavalry, on the Occasion of His Forty-Fifth Birthday
Though forty-five long years, you say,
Have silvered o'er your head with gray,
Your friends rejoice, to-day, that you
Stand hale and hearty in your "blue."
Long for Old Glory you have stood
With truest sense of brotherhood;
Long may you live a useful life —
Noble and true in peace or strife.
THE NEW^ LEAF WRITTEN WHILE A SOLDIER, AT FORT WASHAKIE, WYO., NEW YEAR's DAY, 1903
On this page of my life's hist'ry, with the help of God I'll make
Brighter, truer, nobler record — strive to follow Jesus' wake.
Thus I'll make my life more useful, with an influence strong to win
Many who are daily drifting in the way of death and sin.
In my journey o'er life's ocean, Jesus, Savior, pilot me
Let thy beacon light of wisdom ever true my guidance be.
**EVER FAITHFUL TO YOU" DEDICATED TO A LADY FRIEND
Written While a Soldier at Fort Washakie, Wyo.
When e'er I read these words,
Dear Heart, of your sweet valentine,
I'm sure no heart can ever feel a sweeter joy than mine.
"Faithful!" no word can e'er express a truer, greater love —
No tmer constancy than this have angels up above !
"Ever!" ah, then eternally you pledge that you'll be true!
For love's sweet sake, alone, I choose a happy life with you.
Through every sorrow, joy or pain that we in life may meet,
In sweet companionship we'll share — the bitter with the sweet.
We'll live these words of faithfulness, what e'er our lot may be,
And live that we may after death from earthly stains be free.
THE SUNLIGHT OF TEMPERANCE
Afar it gleams its glowing light,
And wafts its golden beams
From lofty heights that know no night,
From realms that know no dreams.
Within the home its glist'ning rays
Delight each loving heart ;
They sweeten life with joyous days,
And blissful peace impart.
They place upon the mother's face
The smiles of brightest day,
They give the wife her charming grace.
They light the children's play.
They give to life its noble worth,
They sweeten every breath ;
They find true pleasures here on earth,
And smile and welcome death.
THE DRINK SLAVE
Poor Slave ! Great flowing streams of pity's tears
And anguish's sobbing bitter cries,
Are now before your blinded eyes,
Groan in your dizzy, deafened ears!
Poor Slave ! Poor Slave !
The silver threads of years bow low
In token of the prayers that rise
From breaking hearts of wasted sighs-
For you who take this drink of woe !
Poor Slave ! Poor Slave !
The love that once you counted sweet
Now of yourself is not a part !
The soulless pulses of your heart
Now liiaster vou from head to feet !
Poor Slave! ! Poor Slave !
The touch of baby's tender hands
Once found within your heart's re- spond —
But, now — alas! your sacred bond
Of love you do not understand !
Poor Slave! Poor Slave!
Give back to life the love you owe !
O, break this chain of loveless death!
, will a life of temperate breath !
O, leave this cup of nameless woe! Poor Slave!
'LOOKING FOR WORK"
The wheel of Time turns slowly o'er and o'er,
The hand of Wealth revels but more and more
In happy comforts and the joyous fill
Of pleasures such as it alone instills.
But, now, a grave foot-sore procession's tread
Falls, as a funeral march upon the dead,
On many heedless ears that hear its cries,
And many thoughtless hearts that hear its sighs.
Yea, heedless of the hunger and the pains
That steal away the spirit of these brains;
Yea, thoughtless even of the starving wives
Now weeping in the background of these lives
Yea, heedless of the bowed heads"of gray,
And thoughtless of the spoiled children's play
That're hidden in the voice at your door
That only asks for work and nothing more !
Yea, heedless of the love that is, indeed,
Now hidden in this life of darkened need;
Yea, thoughtless of the fatal stroke of death
Now hidden in this feeble, pleading breath!
Perchance, 'tis now you hear the last attempt
Of Sad Despair with every joy exempt!
O, World give now the living that you owe,
That these may something of your comforts know !
Bowed beneath the dead'ning weight of Woe
Crawling 'neath the gaUing yoke of Owe Obligation's hand
Beats him with his wand,
And his restless bed his burden knows !
'Neath stern Justice's ever grinding heels,
In Debt's prison now he sadly kneels
Fettered with Due's claim,
Pilloried with shame !
And no tongue can tell the pain he feels.
Fortunate is he if now he bear
Not a greater burden than this care;-
If his soul is free From sin's misery
He may work 'til life again is fair.
A DEDICATION TO PRINCIPAL BOOKER T. WASHINGTON OF TUSKEGEE INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL
To you who now so nobly do
A noble deed ;
Who now instill the virtues true
To virtuous need;
Whose mission is so truly good —
So full of kindly brotherhood —
Who live the life you surely should-
A trusty lead ;
Who early saw that skillful head
And skillful hands
Should, surely, be in union wed
'Gainst life's quicksands —
For people whose unhappy state
Was, surely, in the hands of fate,
Would make a combination great
As iron bands.
Long may your daring presence live
And works instill.
Long may your kingly reasons give
A forceful will.
Long may your glowing, useful days Shine forth their bright illuming rays, And give to gloomy lives always A happy thrill.
THE HAND THAT GUIDES THE PLOW IS THE HAND THAT RULES THE WORLD
Perched upon the beam above the plowshare, Gath'ring from the soil o'er which she glides Food and many other cheery comforts — For she has a sure and trusty guide ; Busy with her many occupations: — Playing with the lightning of the clouds, Peeping at the great and lofty planets, Solving darkened mystery's misty shrouds; Pealing sweetest music o'er her mountains, Shouting now the lyrics of the brave ; Learning all the mighty Laws of Nature — Seeking e'en a "why" for death and grave; Proudly does she polish precious metals — Hoping e'en to make a brighter hue — Donning pretty fashions gay in splendor — Rainbow's, sunset's dress and ocean's blue. Dancing with the glee of childish pleasures Thoughtless in her love of City's whirl Moves the world with pomp and pride —
\ Oft she scorns to be the bride At her benefactor's side, But the hand that guides the plow Is the hand that moves the WORLD.
To learn the great achievements in the epics of your Hfe,
Or to learn the noble story of your victory- sworded strife ;
To learn the supernatural feat with which you struck slave-free —
How the Spaniard, French and English bled and groaned about your knee —
We only need to go to Hayti — France — where once you trod,
And Hasten to the story of the hearts beneath the sod!
We need not mock Old Hist'ry for the light he failed to catch
From the lustrous streak of glory that o'er- hung your cottage thatched ;
We know this cunning artist's white heroes are painted with Honors;
but, he oft forgets the shaded counte- nance of myth.
The dotted pages of no book can breathe your spotless fame —
For 'tis written in the "Milky Way" that marks your noble name.
Soldier and statesman, brave and true, unlearned of book's device — Soul-taught alone, your heart proclaimed, " Freedom at any price!" Words feebly shadow forth the vim that heaved your noble breast — We leave these for the sunbeams' crowns! — to grace your sleeping rest !
SAN FRANCISCO'S 18th OF APRIL (1906) << * * * y0 shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, * * * nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the be- ginnings of sorrows." — St. Mark, xiii, 7-8 "O, what an awful, awful dream!" A dream? O, sleepy head! Arouse! arouse! electric brain, from this delusive sleep ! Open your eyes upon a truth that churns the ocean deep! That splits asunder even now the mighty mountain's bed! O, sleepy eyes, look and behold yon reeling mass of steel! Yon track-laid paves of broken stones now writhing in their speach Of mighty forces great and strong that they are bound to teach! Ears, 'wake and hear their message, too! heart, drink the trvith you feel !
Hark! what is that? — O, fire! fire! our city is wrap'd in flames! The leaping flames whose awful breath bloweth death so deeply wrought With scorched sounds of human cries; and, of mercy beareth naught ! Who stamps Life's faces with its brand of crisp — unknown names. The Unseen Hand! let us believe, in spite of every cant About the science that's proclaimed does these great shocking deeds; Life- Words' great prophecies we see ful- filling as they read — All of their deep, mysterious truths we must in wonder grant.
AN ODE TO THE CHRISTIAN MARTYRS
In humble reverence and Christian love Before the Greatest of them all we bow, Likewise before the Father of this One ! We see the greatness of this mighty love — The giving of an only Son to die A martyr for the cause of sin ! We view The cruel thorns upon His sacred brow, And crimson streams e'en trickling from their wounds ! We hear the hands of buffeters against His face; the cruel, ringing hammers' sound Upon the nails that pierce His hands and feet ! We praise Him for the faith and mighty strength That He hath given to the noble host Of martyrs who have followed Him, and shown The priceless jewel of His love, so bright And shining to the world! Grim Death canst bear No sting of terror for such noble hearts ! I now in mem'ry of these sacred hves. Dare this, the veiled shadow of a song. With just the hope that it may mingle with The whispers of the soft and gentle breeze That hover o'er the halo of their graves!
A MEMORIAL IN MEMORY OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS.
In mem'ry of your truly noble life ;
In mem'ry of the cause for which you fought ;
In mem'ry of your fierce and bitter strife ;
In mem'ry of the lasting good you wrought ;
In mem'ry of the talents, really great,
That found a home within your massive brains.
And swayed the thousands of each town and State
Who heard your forceful oratory strains;
I offer now these simple words of praise —
This chord I touch to sound your honor's due —
The pathway of your truly useful days
Shines now a grand and brilliant light for you.
LIFE'S DAY MORNING Aurora's dawning veil reveals A glimpse of 'wak'ning Day Who opes his eyes upon the world In a curious, wond'ring way. Strange faces 'round about he sees With eyes of truthful vow ; Fond fingers fan away the cares Before they reach his brow. The twitter of the early birds, The freshness of the breeze, The scent of Fairy's flowers, and The blossoms of the trees ; The clatter of the busy world. The lurings of the sea Soon lead him forth, on hands and knees, To see what these things be. Vain butterflies before him flit — He rises in his glee To trip, fall, rise 'mid worlds of books And Nature's misery.
A feast of wholesome literature ; Deserts of sweet love coos, And pleasures such as oft he finds Digestion brings distress of mind And storming clouds of blues. EVENING His dimming eye now faint reveals A world that changes, too. Bright flowers vanished from the fields- The leaves all colored new The happy thoughts of morn's bright hours, And thoughtless moments' sting, Awake afresh to give him joy And painful reasoning. The dreary, tardy hours creep Into his bending frame ; Upon a cane his waning weight He places, without shame. The shades of night he plainly sees Faint twilight gleams afar ; His brighter hopes grow brighter still At the sight of each new star.
They seem to plainly speak to him, " A good fight you've fought, Upon your crown we all shall shine As you have oft been taught." The closing scene now shows a smile Upon his beaming face. And closes now his eyes to ope Within the "better place."
The heaven and its glories bright above ; \ The earth with Nature's beauties here below; i The wondrous light of day and veiling shades i Of night ; the glowing sun ; the fiick'ring moon ; | The lofty planets and the tiny stars ; j The eagle up amid the cloudy mists ; ;i The little fish down in the whirling deep ; ii The wisdom's treasures of the very myth i Of Time ; the best that ever will — or can i E'er nestle in the very purest soul ] Of Thine own imaged man — lo, all is Thine! \
A MAJOR CHORD JOY Hail Fair Elixir of the heart and mind! Hail Bright Cajoler for the good of life! Your presence gives to all the sweetest kind Of happiness, amid the world of strife. FRIENDSHIP Twin sister to your fairer sister, Love, But with a sweetness truly all your own You bind your hearts with golden thoughts ; and all Are pure; no one is base — a perfect tie. SORROW Sad Friend, when e'er you creep into our lives We do not often greet you with a smile. But, still, we know 'tis thus the Lord con- trives To chasten — yet, He loves the while. PURITY White with the snowdrifted bleaching of Good Deeds.
Bright with the sunlit glowing of Pure Thought; Sad with the sight of Pity's sorrowing needs, Glad with the hope of blessings inward wrought.
A MINOR CHORD
Vain Pride, Conceit; vain love of Fond Display! Vain pleasures of the world that cannot stay To be our guide when we'll a guidance need To cheer us through Death's Night of darkened deed. FAITHLESSNESS Untrue to self, and e'en to love untrue! Yea, false in words and false in actions, too! Great lives are ruined by your sad untruth; Great souls are blackened by your life — forsooth! PITY O, Plaintive Softener of Hard'n'd Hearts! Your mission is, in truth, a one of need; The tender sympathies which you impart To life is one of noble worth, indeed! HATRED Hatred, thou art the bitter foe of love ! The petrifying hardener of hearts !
I 'i .)] The cruel thrust of Anger's murd'rous blade ! ) The strangling grasp of Vengeance's mere 'less | hand ! i The deadly venom of Jealousy's sweetened cup! | The fatal blow of heartless Envy's club ! : The mortal wound of Guilty Pleasure's plan! \ The darkness that declines to see the light ! \ The wrong that e'er declines to know the right! ,! The hopeless drift that leads to sinful death ! \
Thou hideth in thy bosom many sweets Of joyous past that we so much adore; And many tears of sorrow at thy feet We dropt to thy farewell — forevermore! TO-DAY Thy flitting moments dance before our eyes, And beg that we would wreathe into a crown Their jeweled forms — so like the starry skies — To make for us an emblem of renown. TO MORROW O, sphinx of time, thou flit'h from day to day, Eluding our every grasp — so much As butterflies caress the many gay Sweet flowers, yet evade bright childhood's touch. ETERNITY O, mighty and infinite space of time! O, shrouded myth of hopeful mystery! O, glorious light for righteousness, sublime! O, utter darkness for sin's misery!
.j SHARPS AND FLATS REMORSE j Bitter pang of sin, I Painful sleeplessness! j Dart of bleeding life within, ] Excruciating stress! \ DISCOURAGEMENT 1 1 Smotherer, strangler, slayer of hearts! ! Coercer of ambition — lo, living death thou art! j FEAR Scare, quiver and quake; Stare, shiver and shake; A heartless breathlessness you are- A joyless life you make! SHAME Guilty sin of heavy head And drooping eyes ! Evaded gaze of sad regret And heaving sighs !
A DIRGE TO ANCIENT ROME
O, Rome! thy flaming annals even scorch Our searching view! Yea, e'en the breath (A lava of corruption, cruel vice, Gross irreligion, sensuality), Of all thy murd'rous tyrants fall Upon the ethics of our very souls And sadly wounds us! yea, it even makes Us shudder in our dreams ! O, Rome! Rome! Why didst not thou, for pity, only keep From us the knowledge's pain that even such Base sins could ever form the faintest part Of human hves? For always in our search For thy bright talents — law, philosophy, Grand architectural arts, the jeweled breaths Of literature — we have to clear away The putrifying carcasses of sin — The murd'rous work of bloody daggers' thrusts, By hands of Envy, Hatred, Pride, Contempt, Ingratitude, Dehumaned Pleasure, Fear, Degeneracy, Insatiatety, Dislike, Debauchery, Ambition, Madness, Fame, Mad Pagan Antichristianity, Disdain, The Siren's Love, Hereditary Vice! The reasons of a serious thinking mind Canst not perform a task so sore unclean
Without returning to its fond abode And bringing dizzy tremors to the soul ! Thy Claudius quakes our very souls with fear ; Tiberius even haunts our dreams at night ! Caligula! Our hearts e'en squirm within! Nero ! His name 's breath bears his poisoned sins ! Yet, when our search is finally all done, And at thy grave we view thy ruined heap, We see thy talents' virtues with true light And close thy mausoleum lid of past.
Once upon a bright spring morning, When the world seemed at its best — Filled with sweetly scented flowers, Azure skies from east to west — I was walking 'mid the breezes That were blowing 'round about, Fining all the blood within me With its glowing, rich redoubt 'Gainst disease and all its kindred; And I felt that in each beat Of my pulse was throbbed a pleasant Thinking mood from head to feet. Then I heard the plaintive voice Of a dove — so soft and low — All its tinv heart seemed mourning: "O----0! O! 0! O o! O o!" Little mourning bird," I answered, " How can you, to-day, be sad While the world now seems so happy, And the flowers seem so glad? And the merry bees are buzzing, And the butterflies are gay ; And the breeze that bears your mournings Wafts the fragrance of the hay?
And the glimmers of the sunbeams On your shining plumage rest, Seeking now to learn the secret That is hidden in your breast ! All are guessing for a reason That we think could make you mourn, For we think no heart among us Should be happier than your own. Still while yet we sit and ponder, * For the truth we'd like to know, You repeat your onlv answer;" '"O o! O! O! O o!0 o!'" "Can it be you know the suf 'rings Of the world with death and sin? Can it be 3^ou know the sorrows Of the clashing battle's din? Can it be you know the shameful Stalking of the monster. Wrong? Can you see the sad oppression Of the weakhngs by the strong? Is it true you've not forgotten How a flood did once destroy All the people who were wicked — Who had made of sin a joy? Can it be you see the murderer As he goes about his work; Can it be you hear the clashing Of his deadly, cruel dirk? Can you see the suicides leaping From the brinks of sad despair —
From a life of sinful torture, And a life of burdened care? If you hear and know these wailings, And can feel the same, also, I know why you sit in mourning:" "'O o! O! O! O o!0 o!'
VOICES OF THE WAVES
WRITTEN WHILE A SOLDIER, ON U. S. A. TRANSPORT "SHERMAN, "returning TO U. S.
Gay, rolling mists, now leaping in your play A foaming, splashing, white and shining spray; 'Tis oft I stand and feast my eyes on you. And watch your gentle, swaying field of blue! But, as I stand and look methinks I hear The voices of your throbbing Pulses stir. As gurgling through the veins of all your thought They whisper now your hist'ry — sadly wrought With wasted loves and battles' crimsoned floods; With sad despair and wreckaged-scattered bloods ! With maiden's honor and with woman's sighs; With youth's ambitions and with man's devise; With secret follies and with mother's prayers; With dizzy pleasures and with burdened cares' With blood-stained glitters of the pirate's gold; With wealth ill-gotten that is 3^et untold — Is this, in truth, your story, surging waves? Are all these secrets hidden in your grave?
THE MISER Bowed in shameful reverence of gold, Quaking with the fear of sudden theft ; Groping with the blinded weight untold Of soulless love and yellow-hearted quest. Starving with the husks of meanly fare, Feasting on the glitter of his hoard ; Clothed with the rags of worthless wear — Shiv'ring fireless oft in his abode. Oft there 're others, too, who share this life. And hear his lie of poverty each day — Children, an only daughter — or a wife Weep with the suf'rings that his gold could stay ! Foolish man ! We pity you. We know The glitter of your gold that now you see — Alas! some day you'll leave it here, and go Crushed by its weight, into eternity!
Tripping the time of his frivolous heart, Playing in life a ridiculous part, ; Foolish with money and thoughtless with I health, ! Careless with love and indifferent with \ wealth ; | Heedlessly racing away from advice, j Reveling in pleasures more evil than nice; ! Giddily pacing a dizzy pursuit i Of squandering measures of shameful repute Treating e'en lightly life's serious scenes, While gaily discarding his valuable means ; ! Crazed with Vanity's teachings of fun, 1 The sorrows of life and its joys are one. | Merrily laughing when, really, he should cry ' Enriching the vices that surely should die; Trifling away many comforts so sweet : For which the sad paupers now cry in the street ! 'Tis a blessing to him when his money is spent.
Then if he consider and thoroughly repent ; For if his gay heart in atonement he'll give He'll surely be taught how he really should live.
WRITTEN WHILE A SOLDIER IN MANILLA, P. I. AN ACTUAL CASE
Far out in the dreamy ocean, by Nature's beauty planned, Lie the Islands of the Philippines — the Flower Blossom Land — With flow'rs that seem most surely blown by the rainbow's magic wand. Their shores are kissed by the foaming waves that race from the dancing seas, As lambs that frolic in their play to their bound- ing gay hearts' ease — They wash the Sand-beach's feet to see just how much they can tease. Tall, massive, sturdy trees here stand, great sentinels of might, That seem to do their faithful watch so bravely •"V;< day and night; One sees in these undaunted forms a sermon for the right. The glowing brightness of the sun ; the chyming of the streams ;
The whispers of the leafy trees as the breezes pass — It seems That Nature gives one here a touch of all her fairy dreams. There seems to be a misty spell o'er all the world above And all below — and all around — I wonder if it's love! And if it is the "sweety" kind that poets oft write of! There lived in this bright picture-land, not many years ago, A native maid; I'll try to make her lovely picture show Before your eyes, for I am sure that you fair beauty know. Anita was this maiden's name — her people called her "Nete," And th' love they showered over her to her was always sweet; Her happy heart shone in her hands and dainty little feet. It seems as if the chestnut came and begged its leave to place Within the dimples of her cheeks and o'er her pretty face Its richest hue, that it might here receive her smiling grace.
The moonbeams gave their streaming light to her dark and wond'ring eyes, They seemed to cast a flick'ring light twixt love and fond surprise One moment then the next they'd droop as a v/ounded pansy dies. But, of every touch of Nature's hand that made this beauty fair. The greatest glory of them all was clustered in her hair — A blending of the sunbeams' gold and th' flow- ing midnight air. Anita loved a soldier boy, a colored youth called Bob, A soldier in her land. He heard a love sigh in each sob When she lisped his name the best she could — a tiny little "Vob." At first Bob seemed as true in love as duty's soldier boy ; They were both happy day by day — but not w4th lasting joy! For when Bob learned of her great love he made her heart his toy. Time brought to Bob these sorrowing words "To America you'll return" — Now on his cheeks Anita's tears fell fast; and seemed to burn
Their way into his dizzy brains! — Can he such love e'er spurn? Oh! take me to your dear homeland, "querido," will you, please? I love you and I want to go with you o'er land or seas!" "I'll take you with me home, my Love," Bob smilingly agrees. "Let's go before the altar, dear, within your holy church, For there alone can e'er we find the tie for which we search; Let's fly into one little nest on Love's exalted perch." "O, is this, really, true, now, Vob? — oh! say when may we go Before the altar in the church that we, by this, may show The love we've cherished now so long and must so surely know?" Bob named the day, then in her eyes he saw her happy heart, But, lo ! the day he named to v/ed was his evasive art. For on the day before he knew his home-boat would depart.
Time brought, at last, Anita's day and found her all prepared — And at her windowFall the day she stood and looked and stared ; But, Bob ne'er came to greet her there — and e'en the waves were sad! Bob tried to cheer his murm'ring heart while sailing home that day: — "O, well, I could not marry th' girl," he bravely tried to say But his heart rose up and choked his words in a Strang 'ling kind of way. " Come eat your porridge, *Nete,' my dear, 'tis plain this man has lied." " No, no, mama! O, no, papa! I cannot eat," she cried, "I'll wait for 'Vob,' he'll, surely, come to claim me for his bride." Day after day Anita stood and looked, but would not eat ! Grief crept into her dark blue veins and coursed from head to feet ; He stole her breaths of beauty that had graced her village street ; And stole the moonlight from her eyes and fixed dark pools, instead, Of tears so deep and still that shone a tint of evening's red —
Also, the cruel sorrow, too, by which her life was fed. He chased the chestnut shades away and gave them to the seas ; He stole the roundings of her cheeks and flung them to the breeze ; And being thus so shorn of strength she sank upon her knees. Thus was she found by Time, who came and brought his servant, too. Death, and he bade him, "Gently take this broken hearted, true And saddened, wasted love away to blossom in a new And better world! away from life that's now to her so blue!" "Oh, 'Nete,' please speak to us once more! we cannot let you go!" Her mother, father, brothers, cried — "Don't leave us, love — oh, no!" Her spirit dropped, now, in its flight, her whisper " *Vob,' vouknow!"
AN ELEGY TO JOHN BROWN (The Would-be Liberator)
Sleep on! True martyr for your principle of right !
True hero of the cause for which you fought !
True life of lofty, grand, courageous might!
Sincerity with manly motives fraught !
Sleep on! Sleep on!
Your grand and noble presence here is done,
Your noble heart revolted for sweet peace!
Your noble march to victory was won
When from embittered life you smiled release !
Sleep on! Sleep on!
Your choice was death! none would your life enthrall !
You struck for liberty for all your clan '
Your enemies e'en at your scaffold's fall
Looked and declared, "Here is in truth, a man!"
THE TREASURED CURL
How dear to my heart is this tress which I trea- sure! Such fond recollections it brings to my mind : I think of the dear loving fingers that cut it — The donor so gentle — so noble and kind. Ah! sweet were the moments I passed in her presence, While roaming through woodland so happy were we ; 0, how I admired those dear silken tresses! She knew it, and kindly gave this one to me. So lovely and bright were the trees of the forest, So green were the leaves with the flowers in bloom; Fair Nature had clothed the dear woodland with grandeur — Together we scented its fragrant perfume. It seems I now see her all laden with flowers, And hear her sweet nightingale voice soft and low In silvery ripples re-echoing the forest,
As sweetly she sang the dear songs I well know, O, Alice, dear Alice, oft now do I see you, In love's sweetest dreams I behold your sweet face! But when I awake I have naught to console me — Ah ! naught but this curl with its beauty and grace ! Ah ! when comes the day that I lifeless am lying— My soul then departed forever to rest — When friends are preparing my body for burial Oh, may this dear treasure be placed on my breast !
UNCLE IKE'S OPINION OF WINTERPOCK'S COLLEGE WRITTEN FOR THE ORGANIZER OF A COUNTRY INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL
Hab yer heahed 'bout dat norm'l schuul dat dey is tryin' ter start? — De white fo'ks calls de black man a fool, but now he's gwine ter be smart.
At Winterpock is whah dey's tryin' ter hab dis schuul located,
F'om what I heahed I fink dey's gwine ter hab it des as stated.
Dat Rebrent Tyler ober dar is gittin up dis plan,
Tell yer de trufe, I see des Avhah dat 'twill be mouty gran'.
I heah dey's gwine ter fix it so de scarlars ken larn er trade —
Sich as carp'nter, blacksmiff an' sheenest, yer kno' dey'll be smart wid dat in der hades.
F'om what I heahed de tother day de charges gwine ter be small —
I tell yer what, de}' re'ly say, six dollers er munt is all.
Besize dey'll take yer butter an' aiggs as he'p in payin' debill,
An' I spose ef yer poot up sum taters in kaigs, an' grap'l some tunnups out de kil',
An' sen' dem ober ter de manager 'would make de bir more small;
Den when we sells our backer we could, certny, pay it all.
Dey say we wont hab ter dres' our chilluns in finery an' sich stuff,
But de cloth we gits free yahds fer er shillin' will be des good ernuff.
I finks dat p'int is mouty fine, kase yer kno' dat we aint able
Ter dres' our chilluns in ebery kine of fin'ry dat is costful.
I specks ter sen' my gal ober dar, sho as I's two foot hi' —
Dat gal, I tell ^-^er, br'er Cezar, gwine ter be sup'n bime bime.
She's fah f'om bein' er fool rite now — I tell yer dat fing ternite —
She's always cerreckin me somehow, an' sez I doan tahk des rite.
Whehoo! I didn't fink dat 'twas so late! 'tis ten by dat clock dar;
I orter bin gone at eny rate — so good nit<^, br'er Cezar. L.orc
Now the days are growing colder, As each day the year grows older ; Seared grass with frost is white — Summer now is out of sight , And the faded leaves are falling. Now the days seem melancholly As we think of things so jolly That have faded from our sight — But 'mid thoughts of things so bright Are the faded leaves now faUing. Just as leaves we all are fading, Just as leaves do now cease shading All must go — aye, one and all — The rich and poor, the great and small As the faded leaves now falling.
VOICES OF SOLITUDE loi CHRISTMAS MORN Come wake up and sing, "All hail to the King," aurora is dawning the sky ; Rejoice and be glad, let no one be sad, let " Peace and good will be our cry." Ye people be gay for this is the day that Jesus, our Savior, was born ; O! let the bells ring, and may we all sing sweet praise and thanksgiving this morn.
"I LOVE YOU, TOO"
WRITTEN WHILE A SOLDIER, AT FORT WASHAKIE, WYO.
One afternoon of May's sweet gift, when all the world w^as gay With singing birds and humming bees and flowers' bright array, I sat beside the girl I love of all the world the best, And held her hand most tenderly, and thus my love confessed : "O, Alice dear, you are, indeed, my first and only love! "The truth of this is known to God and angels up above!" O, how my heart did leap with joy, sweet, serene and true. As in a voice sweet and low she said. " I love you, too." REFRAIN " I love you, too ! I love you, too ! The angels know 'tis true ! "I am so glad you do love me, because I love you, too!"
The music of her loving voice was so sweet to me, As thus she spoke so tenderly these words in true love's key. Long years have passed since that bright day, but ne'er will I forget The one so fair who won my heart — for, O, I love her, yet! I love her, yet, and ever will while 'tis I breathe in life, No happiness will e'er be mine 'till I may call her wife! Long years I've passed away from her, clad in my country's blue, But, soon I'm going back to her who said^ "I love you, too."
HAVE I DONE WRONG? WRITTEN WHILE A SOLDIER AT FORT CLARK, TEXAS
Father says that he is sorry that I choose a soldier's Hfe, And he says he feels as if I now am dead ; In the letters from my sister there is oft a doleful strain — Though she tries her best at cheerfulness, instead. Brother said when last I left him that "the idea is absurd," Saying "Army life is not for such as you;" I have letters from my friends in which they ask the question thus — "Tell us why you joined the U. S. 'boys in blue?' " Have I done wrong, father, sister, brother, friends and kindred dear ? Have I done wrong, O God of heaven? Am I wrong? Should I be here? I have letters from the "fair sex" asking, "Is it really, true?" And the dearest of them all pleads " O, come back!"
For she says she cannot bear it, since I am so far away, Yet, for years I must remain away — sad fact! And she asks me if I'll leave her there so long a weeping girl, For she says this cruel grief gnaws her sad heart ; And she tells me all the sunshine of her life has vanished now Since it is we are so sadly far apart. Have I done wrong, O father, sister, brother, friends and sweetheart dear? Have I done wrong, O God of heaven? Am I ,.^^, wrong? Should I be here ?
A DIVIDED LOVE
I'm feeling sad to-night, love, and I cannot rest in bed; Sleep has fled far from my eyes of misty tears. Why is it I'm unhappy? though your love for me you've said — Ah, there comes to me the bitter thought of years ! REFRAIN vSad will I wander where e'er I go! My love will ever dwell with you, I know; An undivided love is what I crave, But to my heart such love you will not give. Though you love me and confess it there's another one, you know, Whom you tell me has a claim within your heart ; O'er these words I oft have pondered, and although it pains me so It is plain that we must ever live apart ! Though my heart will never cease to beat in love for you, my pet,
And a happy life I wish you from my heart ; To another's arms I yield you with a longing, sad regret ! Ah, farewell, "first love" if we must Uve apart !
MY FATHER'S LETTER WRITTEN WHILE A SOLDIER, AT FORT CLARK, TEXAS.
I've a letter from my father. And it is a doleful one — Sad, for, I must say, it is his First to me, his soldier son. REFRAIN Father, do not grieve about me, for I do not fear teps the gun ; Fwill do my duty bravely while I'm now your soldier son. When I left my home in springtime I ne'er thought of enlistment, But when last I wrote my father You can guess the news I sent. "My Dear Son" — thus he commences, " I have just received your news "Be you ever true and faithful "Since it is this life you choose. " Son, to tell the truth, I must say "I now feel as if you're dead;
"And must ever have this feeling " 'Til you're home again," he said. "Many of your friends are grieving, "Bitter tears fill many eyes * ' For these strange and sudden tidings "Give us all a great surprise. " Son My Dear, do not cease praying, "Pray and be both kind and brave: "Pray that you may live forever "In the life beyond the grave."
THANKSGIVING WRITTEN WHILE A SOLDIER, AT LEON", PANAY,P. I., THANKSGIVING DAY, 19O1,
O, Lord above, my prayer to Thee Is that my heart, to-day, may be Clothed in sincere humiUty And tuned with pure thanksgiving. REFRAIN Thanks, thanks, to Thee — O, thanks, to Thee! Dear Lord, to-day, my song is thanks, thanks, to Thee ! So many thanks now crowd my mind No words to tell them can I find, But, Thou who art so good and kind Dost know my heart's thanksgiving. Then, as my heart, to-day, dost speak- The contrite heart Thou hath made meek- Accept these thanks though faint and weak. Yet, they are my thanksgiving.
THE FROZEN RAIN
O ! the frozen rain upon the ground, Upon the trees and all around : And e'en the tiny bits of grass Are crystal white. What can surpass The picturesque frozen rain? When e'er my eyes this scene behold Sweet visions of the things untold Light up my heart. I can but gaze As, sparkling 'neath the sun's bright rays, I view the frozen rain. These diamond-studded twinkles bright Must be of heaven a sweet foresight ! 'Tis not of earth they seem a part — They're food for every anxious heart ! "Enchanting frozen rain!
A WINTER'S SUNRISE
There comes now o'er the eastern hills the glorious sun, His face now glows with radiance of pure light; He now views man and many works that must be done Before the darkness of the coming night. We gladly welcome thee, O, powerful king of day! Glad are we now to feel thou art in sight ; We missed thy warmth so much whilst thou wast far away — The warmth thou bringeth with thy bril- liant light. The cold and bitter frost canst not withstand thy gaze, And sheets of ice before thee disappear ; Thou showeth many glories of the God of praise, As daily thou dost shed thy Hght so dear.
THE DEATH OF A SOLDIER COMRADE
WRITTEN WHILE A SOLDIER AT FORT WASHAKIE, WYO., AUTUMN, 1902. A TRUE NARRATIVE
Among the sad-tinted shadows That've painted for me the past, There's one which in tender touching Is a shade of different cast. I once knew a youthful soldier, Full of hope's ambition and skill ; From his comrades he won true friend- ship — From his cavalry steed — good will. Fast friends we became together, And laughed in our comradeship's way — I'm sure no friendship was greater In David and Jonathan's day. He told me of his home in Ohio, Of a mother who queened this home : Of a sister, I think, and a brother,
Who longed that he home would come. He told me a sweetheart was waiting — This gave me the tenderest touch — I told him of mine, true and loving, Who was longing for me — oh, so much. One day he came into the office (Where I sat as clerk of the troop), And said he was going out hunting — With pleasure he was ready to whoop I learned that a party of officers, And ladies, and some troop-men. Were going to hunt in the mountains ('Twas W^^oming where we were then). The party went out for this pleasure, In the late autumn's eve of this State With wagons, provision and laughter — A departure of merriest rate. In autumn the mountains of Wyoming Steal the mantle of cold Winter's shroud. By their artful ways of teasing The soft'ning will of the cloud.
While hunting, it seems, that my comrade Strayed too far all alone, To follow elk- tracks of such freshness That it seemed but recently gone. He lost his way in the snowdrift, But, ne'er found the game that he sought — His tired limbs became helpless, While his brain had the power of thought. He plowed away with his fingers The cold and cruel snow, In which was hidden the ghastly Great Hand that he soon would know. There was no fire to warm him, And none that he could make — The chilly winds brought for him Their offerings of cheerless ache. He lay with a log for his comfort, And thought of the sweets of the past : — Of mother and sister and sweetheart, Who had now surely seen him their last. He thought of the pleasures now blighted Ambitions he never could tell —
Ah! what means this cold, chilling numb- ing? Yea, the meaning he knew now too well! At his party's camp he was missing, And a diligent search was then made, But all of one day and another's Daylight was beginning to fade When they found his yet breathing body — Pleading eyes beyond any aid ! At the camp he talked and told them How he wandered away and was lost ; But, no healing art could e'er reach him. Though his party felt keenly the cost In their hearts for the youth now blighted As a flower heart-deadened by frost. Back to post they brought him for burial — My heart seemed to melt in its grief! The sight of his face brought mem'ries From which I could find no relief I The sending to his mother his letters And valuables that she could keep, Was a part of my soldierly duty, And a one that was tearfully deep.
He had read me some of these letters. So breathing with fond mother's love ; So^ftiU of endearing " God-bless-you's" That are touched with the mercies above. O, mother of him who was my comrade! Your blessings I return to your hand, Your boy will need them no more — He's, I hope, in a better land. But, this "bread" that you casted so fondly Upon the waters of Life, which to you Is returning — oh, may it be laden With blessings for you all anew ! He was loved by all who knew him. His departure is bathed with the tears Of many who were 'bove him in the station Of his useful, tender years. Look above for your comfort, dear mother, You'll find there one peaceful and deep ; We know that your heart is bursting! — 'Tis cruel to tell you, ** Don't weep!"
Be resigned to the will of the Father, He'll send then His spirit to heal — The bright star of hope for the future Will make many a woe a weal.
All honor to undaunted fortitude Where ever such a spirit breathe in life ! The legendary history of Rome, Of ancient date, relates one truly grand: A Roman youth — One Gacius Macius — /' Resolved to end a certain pressing siege Against his city ; driven by a man, One king Porsenna was his famous name. Into his camp this youth stole secretly, With willed intent to kill this man of war, But by an error killed another who Was secretary for the one he sought. Be'ng captured in this deed he then was brought Before the king who threat 'nd him with fire, Demanding that this youth should tell him all The plots of what the Romans sought to do. "Tell you my people's plots?" replied the youth, "Or 3^ou will place me in your burning flames?" Then, walking silently toward the fire, Thrusted his hand — the right one — in to burn; Unflinchingly he stood 'til it was charred! The king and all his men in wonder stood ; And whispered, "Gods! what fortitude is this!"
Go to your people, youth," the king replied; Such dauntlessness shall ne'er burn in my flames!" " Scaevola" afterward was called this youth — ; Left-handed lived he for the cause he loved. ' O, what a lesson of courageous vim! A trueness for the principle of right ! Live for the right ! Be maimed, or die for it ! ' " Fear not those who the body kill, but fear \ Him, who hath after death, the power still 'l To cast the soul into eternal flames!" \
THE BEAUTY OF IMAGINATION AND ITS INFLUENCE UPON LIFE
An Address Delivered Before a Literary Circle, Manila P. L, November, 1906, by the Author of This Book.
I believe, to the average mind the word "im- agination" suggests childish ^'daydreams," fooUsh"air castles/' "idle fancies," and "sweet nothings." Let us see if the word has not a deeper meaning. Let us see if we cannot find in it something of real value to life. pij-st— Imaginations, hke our thoughts, are either good or bad. Bad thoughts debase and dehumanize ; bad imag;inations demonize. Good thoughts inspire noble actions; good imagin- ations actuate great deeds. But, my subject deals with the lofty summit— the acme of im- agination. The beauty of Imagination is the poetry of Life: It is the fragrant breath of the flower ; the whisper of the breeze ; the wooing of the bird ; the murmur of the brook ; the voice of the wave; the awakening tread of spring; the joyous laugh of summer; the crowning gold of autumn's eve, and the spotless shroud of winter. It is the eye of the moon; the jewels of the stars; the glorying pride of day ; the traiUng robes of night; the silver of the moonlight, and the kiss of the sunbeams.
Its Influence upon Life: Upon consideration, it is astonishing to note how many of our im- aginations are "possibiHties." Imagination gives to the poverty of youth a sight of the wealth and splendor that may be for him ; to the despairing lover a view of the love and happiness that may be his; to the tired soldier it presents the laudatory sounds of victory that are ahead of him; it reveals the glowing light of Fame and Honor to the longing eye of Ambition. It sweetens childhood's play, and enriches declin- ing age. It is the spark of hope to the work- ing-man, and the lamp of happiness to the millionaire. It is the wolf of want; and the lap of luxury. It is the love-light of mother's eyes; and the heaven under the roof of the lover. It is the hand of Friendship ; and the arms of Love. It is the source of fruitful endeavors, and the root of renow^ned accomplishments. It is the forerunning "will" of the persevering "way." It is the view of sin's torture below, and the sight of celestial glories above ; the view of Death, and the sight of Life; the view of Earth's frowns, and the sight of Heaven's smiles. O, weird, fleeting phantasm of Muse, That playeth 'mid the pearly dews of life ! And through the twink'ling, jeweled portals bright Of heaven's purity thou soareth oft. And to thy fond abode returneth sweet And dreamy whispers that to Life unfold The smiles that speak of blissful hope, and, of The glowing faith within the blithesome heart.
Sweet Dreamer! that rejoices with the songs Of silv'ry twitters that the winged hosts Of earth resound their inward hearts of love And gratitude unto their Maker ! That Dreams 'mid the sun's departing tints to Day; His welcome smiles to Morn's sweet breath; the streams Of silvered lights of moonbeams' flick'ring gifts To Night; the faultless diamond twinkles of The studded firmament above ; the bright Hued panorama of the covenant Of God to Noah; and, the dancing blue Of ocean's balmy mists; the fragrance and The varied hues of Nature's flowered dress; The sermons of the fading shades of gold Of Autumn's eve ; the lifeless rocks and hills ; The curse of sin; the hand of death; and, all That Life proclaims. Heart of the heart, that feels The warmth of love! Soul of the soul, that hears Celestial songs, and sees the smiles above Of angels' love ! Sweet of the sweets of Life I
Now through dim mists of years I view the past And many scenes of which my heart holds dear To my interior vision thick and fast They are presented very bright and clear. I see the dear old home where I was born, And where a part of childhood's days I spent ; 'Twas there the radiant rising sun each mom Viewed many scenes of quietness and con- tent. There is my dear old father, hale and strong, Moving with gentle tread about the place, While mother sings a dear old sacred song With cheerful countenance and smiling face. There mother, with a loving lullaby, Holds me, her babe, within her gentle arm — Methinks I hear her whisper with a sigh, "May God protect thee, dear one, from all harm." 'Twas there my little sister, sweet and kind, Was with me and we played so glad and free:
When ne'er we had a thotight of troubled mind, Nor of the many future things to be. But mother's voice and Httle sister's, too, Are silenced now — no more they speak to mc! For they have long bade me a last adieu And left me lonely here on life's wild sea. But, soon I, too, must leave this world behind — When I have run the mighty race of life — Then may I rest from troubles of the mind, And every daily care of toil and strife.
TEACH ME Teach me, O God, the story of Thy Son! Teach me to feel Thy Pentacost within ; Teach me to pray, in truth, "Thy will be done" — Oh, teach me! Teach me to see the world about my feet ; Teach me to hear its music's sweetest strains ; Teach me to know the bitter from the sweet — Oh, teach me ! Teach me a word of loving truth within. Teach me a look to show this precious truth ; Teach me a touch of tenderness to win — Oh, teach me! Teach me the faith that leadeth to the light ; Teach me a song of ever joyous day ; Teach me a step to walk within the right — Oh, teach me!
** REST IN JESUS " The Dying Words of My Sister, to Whom I Dedi- cated ''The Household Queen," and Who Went to Her ''Rest" March 17, 1903. Dear sister, to "rest in Jesus " You told us you would go ; And now that you've gone and left us, As others have before, We think of these words with rapture — We know your "rest" is sweet — Although our hearts droop in mourning, Farewell, until we meet With you in the great eternal To share with you your "rest," Where there is no pain of parting And ever we are blessed.
Sickle of Time,
That's bladed with farewells of many tears!
And Nevermore is thine Own countersign to moments, days and years.
Thou art the sacred break
That marks the sever of the silver cord Of Life.
The sad mistake
That marks the "might-have-been" where Life hath trod!
Where love begins to wane,
Thou standeth with the drooping shades of night
For that which yet remains —
The Life's divided shadow from the light.
Thou art the period
That Nature uses for her written book —
Her chapter's marked-retard —
The grave of "It is finished's'' parting look.
But, yet we find in thee
A truly dear and sympathizing friend —
The sweetest liberty
From sorrowed past — our future hope,