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457 Works of George MacDonald

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Yes, there is one who makes us all lay down Our mushroom vanities, our speculations, Our well-set theories and calculations, Our workman’s jacket or our monarch’s crown! To him alike the country and the town, Barbaric hordes or civilized nations, Men of all names and ranks and occupations, Squire, parson, lawyer, Jones, or Smith, or […]

Mirls

Story type: Poetry

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The stars are steady abune; I’ the water they flichter and flee; But, steady aye, luikin doon They ken theirsels i’ the sea. A’ licht, and clear, and free, God, thou shinest abune; Yet luik, and see thysel in me, Aye on me luikin doon. * * * * * Throu the heather an’ how […]

The bairns i’ their beds, worn oot wi’ nae wark, Are sleepin, nor ever an eelid winkin; The auld fowk lie still wi’ their een starin stark, An’ the mirk pang-fou o’ the things they are thinkin. Whan oot o’ ilk corner the bairnies they keek, Lauchin an’ daffin, airms loosin an’ linkin, The auld […]

Greitna, Father

Story type: Poetry

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Greitna, father, that I’m gauin, For fu’ well ye ken the gaet; I’ the winter, corn ye’re sawin, I’ the hairst again ye hae’t. I’m gauin hame to see my mither; She’ll be weel acquant or this! Sair we’ll muse at ane anither ‘Tween the auld word an’ new kiss! Love I’m doobtin may be […]

I Ken Something

Story type: Poetry

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What gars ye sing sae, birdie, As gien ye war lord o’ the lift? On breid ye’re an unco sma’ lairdie, But in hicht ye’ve a kingly gift! A’ ye hae to coont yersel rich in ‘S a wee mawn o’ glory-motes! The whilk to the throne ye’re aye hitchin Wi a lang tow o’ […]

Lord, I’m an auld man, An’ I’m deein! An’ do what I can I canna help bein Some feart at the thoucht! I’m no what I oucht! An’ thou art sae gran’, Me but an auld man! I haena gotten muckle Guid o’ the warld; Though siller a puckle Thegither I hae harlt, Noo I […]

Granny Canty

Story type: Poetry

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“What maks ye sae canty, granny dear? Has some kin’ body been for ye to speir? Ye luik as smilin an’ fain an’ willin As gien ye had fun a bonny shillin!” “Ye think I luik canty, my bonny man, Sittin watchin the last o’ the sun sae gran’? Weel, an’ I’m thinkin ye’re no […]

Doon cam the sunbeams, and up gaed the stour, As we spangt ower the road at ten mile the hoor, The horse wasna timmer, the cart wasna strae, And little cared we for the burn or the brae. We war young, and the hert in’s was strang i’ the loup, And deeper in yet was […]

Hame

Story type: Poetry

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The warl it’s dottit wi’ hames As thick as gowans o’ the green, Aye bonnier ilk ane nor the lave To him wha there opent his een. An’ mony an’ bonny’s the hame That lies neth auld Scotlan’s crests, Her hills an’ her mountains they are the sides O’ a muckle nest o’ nests. His […]

The Burnie

Story type: Poetry

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The water ran doon frae the heich hope-heid, Wi’ a Rin, burnie, rin; It wimpled, an’ waggled, an’ sang a screed O’ nonsense, an’ wadna blin Wi’ its Rin, burnie, rin. Frae the hert o’ the warl, wi’ a swirl an’ a sway, An’ a Rin, burnie, rin, That water lap clear frae the dark […]

Win’ that blaws the simmer plaid Ower the hie hill’s shoothers laid, Green wi’ gerse, an’ reid wi’ heather– Welcome wi’ yer sowl-like weather! Mony a win’ there has been sent Oot aneth the firmament– Ilka ane its story has; Ilka ane began an’ was; Ilka ane fell quaiet an’ mute Whan its angel wark […]

A Song Of Hope

Story type: Poetry

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I dinna ken what’s come ower me! There’s a how whaur ance was a hert! I never luik oot afore me, An’ a cry winna gar me stert; There’s naething nae mair to come ower me, Blaw the win’ frae ony airt! For i’ yon kirkyard there’s a hillock, A hert whaur ance was a […]

I’m a puir man I grant, But I am weel neiboured; And nane shall me daunt Though a puir man, I grant; For I shall not want– The Lord is my Shepherd! I’m a puir man I grant, But I am weel neiboured!

The Home Of Death

Story type: Poetry

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“Death, whaur do ye bide, auld Death?” “I bide in ilka breath,” Quo’ Death; “No i’ the pyramids, No whaur the wormie rids ‘Neth coffin-lids; I bidena whaur life has been, An’ whaur’s nae mair to be dune.” “Death, whaur do ye bide, auld Death?” “Wi’ the leevin, to dee ‘at are laith,” Quo’ Death; […]

A Lown Nicht

Story type: Poetry

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Rose o’ my hert, Open yer leaves to the lampin mune; Into the curls lat her keek an’ dert, She’ll tak the colour but gie ye tune. Buik o’ my brain, Open yer faulds to the starry signs; Lat the e’en o’ the holy luik an’ strain, Lat them glimmer an’ score atween the lines. […]

“What gars ye sing,” said the herd-laddie, “What gars ye sing sae lood?” “To tice them oot o’ the yerd, laddie, The worms for my daily food.” An’ aye he sang, an’ better he sang, An’ the worms creepit in an’ oot; An’ ane he tuik, an’ twa he loot gang, An’ still he carolled […]

The Auld Fisher

Story type: Poetry

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There was an auld fisher, he sat by the wa’, An’ luikit oot ower the sea; The bairnies war playin, he smil’t on them a’, But the tear stude in his e’e. An’ it’s–oh to win awa, awa! An’ it’s, oh to win awa Whaur the bairns come hame, an’ the wives they bide, An’ […]

Godly Ballants

Story type: Poetry

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I.–THIS SIDE AN’ THAT. The rich man sat in his father’s seat– Purple an’ linen, an’ a’thing fine! The puir man lay at his yett i’ the street– Sairs an’ tatters, an’ weary pine! To the rich man’s table ilk dainty comes, Mony a morsel gaed frae’t, or fell; The puir man fain wud hae […]

The Deil’s forhooit his ain, his ain! The Deil’s forhooit his ain! His bairns are greitin in ilka neuk, For the Deil’s forhooit his ain. The Deil he tuik his stick and his hat, And his yallow gluves on he drew: “The coal’s sae dear, and the preachin sae flat. And I canna be aye […]

Halloween

Story type: Poetry

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Sweep up the flure, Janet; Put on anither peat. It’s a lown and a starry nicht, Janet, And nowther cauld nor weet. It’s the nicht atween the Sancts and Souls Whan the bodiless gang aboot; And it’s open hoose we keep the nicht For ony that may be oot. Set the cheirs back to the […]

The Laverock

Story type: Poetry

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The Man says: Laverock i’ the lift, Hae ye nae sang-thrift, ‘At ye scatter ‘t sae heigh, and lat it a’ drift? Wasterfu laverock! Dinna ye ken ‘At ye hing ower men Wha haena a sang or a penny to spen? Hertless laverock! But up there you, I’ the bow o’ the blue, Haud skirlin […]

The Last Wooin

Story type: Poetry

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“O lat me in, my bonny lass! It’s a lang road ower the hill, And the flauchterin snaw begud to fa’ On the brig ayont the mill!” “Here’s nae change-hoose, John Munro!” “I’ll ken that to my cost Gien ye gar me tak the hill the nicht, Wi’ snaw o’ the back o’ frost! But […]

The Twa Gordons

Story type: Poetry

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I. There was John Gordon an’ Archibold, An’ a yerl’s twin sons war they; Quhan they war are an’ twenty year auld They fell oot on their ae birthday. “Turn ye, John Gordon, nae brither to me! Turn ye, fause an’ fell! Or doon ye s’ gang, as black as a lee, To the muckle […]

The Mermaid

Story type: Poetry

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Up cam the tide wi’ a burst and a whush, And back gaed the stanes wi’ a whurr; The king’s son walkit i’ the evenin hush, To hear the sea murmur and murr. Straucht ower the water slade frae the mune A glimmer o’ cauld weet licht; Ane o’ her horns rase the water abune, […]

The wind it blew, and the ship it flew, And it was “Hey for hame!” But up an’ cried the skipper til his crew, “Haud her oot ower the saut sea faem.” Syne up an’ spak the angry king: “Haud on for Dumferline!” Quo’ the skipper, “My lord, this maunna be– I‘m king on this […]

The Waesome Carl

Story type: Poetry

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There cam a man to oor toon-en’, And a waesome carl was he, Snipie-nebbit, and crookit-mou’d, And gleyt o’ a blinterin ee. Muckle he spied, and muckle he spak, But the owercome o’ his sang, Whatever it said, was aye the same:– There’s nane o’ ye a’ but’s wrang! Ye’re a’ wrang, and a’ wrang, […]

Time And Tide

Story type: Poetry

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As I was walkin on the strand, I spied ane auld man sit On ane auld black rock; and aye the waves Cam washin up its fit. His lips they gaed as gien they wad lilt, But o’ liltin, wae’s me, was nane! He spak but an owercome, dreary and dreigh, A burden wha’s sang […]

A Sang O’ Zion

Story type: Poetry

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Ane by ane they gang awa; The getherer gethers grit and sma’: Ane by ane maks ane and a’! Aye whan ane sets doon the cup Ane ahint maun tak it up: A’ thegither they will sup! Golden-heidit, ripe, and strang, Shorn will be the hairst or lang: Syne begins a better sang!

Gaein And Comin

Story type: Poetry

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Whan Andrew frae Strathbogie gaed The lift was lowerin dreary, The sun he wadna raise his heid, The win’ blew laich and eerie. In’s pooch he had a plack or twa– I vow he hadna mony, Yet Andrew like a linty sang, For Lizzie was sae bonny! O Lizzie, Lizzie, bonny lassie! Bonny, saucy hizzy! […]

Nannie Braw

Story type: Poetry

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I like ye weel upo Sundays, Nannie, I’ yer goon and yer ribbons and a’; But I like ye better on Mondays, Nannie, Whan ye’re no sae buskit and braw. For whan we’re sittin sae douce, Nannie, Wi’ the lave o’ the worshippin fowk, That aneth the haly hoose, Nannie, Ye micht hear a moudiwarp […]

Ower The Hedge

Story type: Poetry

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I. “Bonny lassie, rosy lassie, Ken ye what is care? Had ye ever a thought, lassie, Made yer hertie sair?” Johnnie said it, Johnnie seekin Sicht o’ Mally’s face, Keekin i’ the hedge o’ holly For a thinner place. “Na,” said Mally, pawky smilin, “Nought o’ care ken I; Gien I meet the gruesome carline, […]

Oh! the bonny, bonny dell, whaur the yorlin sings, Wi’ a clip o’ the sunshine atween his wings; Whaur the birks are a’ straikit wi’ fair munelicht, And the brume hings its lamps by day and by nicht; Whaur the burnie comes trottin ower shingle and stane Liltin bonny havers til ‘tsel its lane; And […]

O lassie ayont the hill, Come ower the tap o’ the hill, Come ower the tap wi’ the breeze o’ the hill, Bidena ayont the hill! I’m needin ye sair the nicht, For I’m tired and sick o’ mysel. A body’s sel ‘s the sairest weicht: O lassie, come ower the hill! Gien a body […]

Annie she’s dowie, and Willie he’s wae: What can be the matter wi’ siccan a twae, For Annie she’s fair as the first o’ the day, And Willie he’s honest and stalwart and gay? Oh, the tane has a daddy is poor and is proud, And the tither a minnie that cleiks at the goud […]

I cannot write old verses here, Dead things a thousand years away, When all the life of the young year Is in the summer day. The roses make the world so sweet, The bees, the birds have such a tune, There’s such a light and such a heat And such a joy this June, One […]

To A Sister

Story type: Poetry

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A fresh young voice that sings to me So often many a simple thing, Should surely not unanswered be By all that I can sing. Dear voice, be happy every way A thousand changing tones among, From little child’s unfinished lay To angel’s perfect song. In dewy woods–fair, soft, and green Like morning woods are […]

Contrition

Story type: Poetry

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Out of the gulf into the glory, Father, my soul cries out to be lifted. Dark is the woof of my dismal story, Thorough thy sun-warp stormily drifted!– Out of the gulf into the glory, Lift me, and save my story. I have done many things merely shameful; I am a man ashamed, my father! […]

I. What human form is this? what form divine? And who are these that gaze upon his face Mild, beautiful, and full of heavenly grace, With whose reflected light the gazers shine? Saviour, who does not know it to be thine? Who does not long to fill a gazer’s place? And yet there is no […]

Equity

Story type: Poetry

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No bird can sing in tune but that the Lord Sits throned in equity above the heaven, And holds the righteous balance always even; No heart can true response to love afford Wherein from one to eight not every chord Is yet attuned by the spirits seven: For tuneful no bird sings but that the […]

I was very cold In the summer weather; The sun shone all his gold, But I was very cold– Alas, we were grown old, Love and I together! Oh, but I was cold In the summer weather! Sudden I grew warmer Though the brooks were frozen: “Truly, scorn did harm her!” I said, and I […]

An Improvisation

Story type: Poetry

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The stars cleave the sky. Yet for us they rest, And their race-course high Is a shining nest! The hours hurry on. But where is thy flight, Soft pavilion Of motionless night? Earth gives up her trees To the holy air; They live in the breeze; They are saints at prayer! Summer night, come from […]

A harebell hung her wilful head: “I am tired, so tired! I wish I was dead.” She hung her head in the mossy dell: “If all were over, then all were well!” The Wind he heard, and was pitiful, And waved her about to make her cool. “Wind, you are rough!” said the dainty Bell; […]

Said the Wind to the Moon, “I will blow you out! You stare In the air As if crying Beware, Always looking what I am about: I hate to be watched; I will blow you out!” The Wind blew hard, and out went the Moon. So, deep On a heap Of clouds, to sleep Down […]

Cottage Songs

Story type: Poetry

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I.–BY THE CRADLE. Close her eyes: she must not peep! Let her little puds go slack; Slide away far into sleep: Sis will watch till she comes back! Mother’s knitting at the door, Waiting till the kettle sings; When the kettle’s song is o’er She will set the bright tea-things. Father’s busy making hay In […]

Room To Roam

Story type: Poetry

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Strait is the path? He means we must not roam? Yes; but the strait path leads into a boundless home.

I. I say! hey! cousin there! I mustn’t call you brother! Yet you have a tail behind, and I have another! You pull, and I pull, though we don’t pull together: You have less hardship, and I have more weather! II. Your legs are long, mine are short; I am lean, you are fatter; Your […]

In his arms thy silly lamb, Lo, he gathers to his breast! See, thou sadly bleating dam, See him lift thy silly lamb! Hear it cry, “How blest I am! Here is love, and love is rest!” In his arms thy silly lamb See him gather to his breast!

DECEMBER 28, 1879. A dim, vague shrinking haunts my soul, My spirit bodeth ill– As some far-off restraining bank Had burst, and waters, many a rank, Were marching on my hill; As if I had no fire within For thoughts to sit about; As if I had no flax to spin, No lamp to lure […]

December 23, 1879

Story type: Poetry

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I. A thousand houses of poesy stand around me everywhere; They fill the earth and they fill my thought, they are in and above the air; But to-night they have shut their doors, they have shut their shining windows fair, And I am left in a desert world, with an aching as if of care. […]

I shall be satisfied With the seeing of thy face. When I awake, wide-eyed, I shall be satisfied With what this life did hide, The one supernal grace! I shall be satisfied With the seeing of thy face.

December 27, 1879

Story type: Poetry

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Every time would have its song If the heart were right, Seeing Love all tender-strong Fills the day and night. Weary drop the hands of Prayer Calling out for peace; Love always and everywhere Sings and does not cease. Fear, the caitiff, through the night Silent peers about; Love comes singing with a light And […]

I do not know thy final will, It is too good for me to know: Thou willest that I mercy show, That I take heed and do no ill, That I the needy warm and fill, Nor stones at any sinner throw; But I know not thy final will– It is too good for me […]

The Sparrow

Story type: Poetry

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O Lord, I cannot but believe The birds do sing thy praises then, when they sing to one another, And they are lying seed-sown land when the winter makes them grieve, Their little bosoms breeding songs for the summer to unsmother! If thou hadst finished me, O Lord, Nor left out of me part of […]

Christmas, 1880

Story type: Poetry

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Great-hearted child, thy very being The Son, Who know’st the hearts of all us prodigals;– For who is prodigal but he who has gone Far from the true to heart it with the false?– Who, who but thou, that, from the animals’, Know’st all the hearts, up to the Father’s own, Can tell what it […]

A Dream-Song

Story type: Poetry

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The stars are spinning their threads, And the clouds are the dust that flies, And the suns are weaving them up For the day when the sleepers arise. The ocean in music rolls, The gems are turning to eyes, And the trees are gathering souls For the day when the sleepers arise. The weepers are […]

Mercy to thee, O Lord, belongs, For as his work thou giv’st the man. From us, not thee, come all our wrongs; Mercy to thee, O Lord, belongs: With small-cord whips and scorpion thongs Thou lay’st on every ill thy ban. Mercy to thee, O Lord, belongs, For as his work thou giv’st the man.

An Evening Prayer

Story type: Poetry

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I am a bubble Upon thy ever-moving, resting sea: Oh, rest me now from tossing, trespass, trouble! Take me down into thee. Give me thy peace. My heart is aching with unquietness: Oh, make its inharmonious beating cease! Thy hand upon it press. My Night! my Day! Swift night and day betwixt, my world doth […]

Roses all the rosy way! Roses to the rosier west Where the roses of the day Cling to night’s unrosy breast! Thou who mak’st the roses, why Give to every leaf a thorn? On thy rosy highway I Still am by thy roses torn! Pardon! I will not mistake These good thorns that make me […]

A Winter Prayer

Story type: Poetry

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Come through the gloom of clouded skies, The slow dim rain and fog athwart; Through east winds keen with wrong and lies Come and lift up my hopeless heart. Come through the sickness and the pain, The sore unrest that tosses still; Through aching dark that hides the gain Come and arouse my fainting will. […]

All things are shadows of thee, Lord; The sun himself is but thy shade; My spirit is the shadow of thy word, A thing that thou hast said. Diamonds are shadows of the sun, They gleam as after him they hark: My soul some arrows of thy light hath won. And feebly fights the dark! […]

The miser lay on his lonely bed; Life’s candle was burning dim. His heart in an iron chest was hid Under heaps of gold and an iron lid; And whether it were alive or dead It never troubled him. Slowly out of his body he crept. He said, “I am just the same! Only I […]

Satan, avaunt! Nay, take thine hour, Thou canst not daunt, Thou hast no power; Be welcome to thy nest, Though it be in my breast. Burrow amain; Dig like a mole; Fill every vein With half-burnt coal; Puff the keen dust about, And all to choke me out. Fill music’s ways With creaking cries, That […]

Lord, what is man That thou art mindful of him! Though in creation’s van, Lord, what is man! He wills less than he can, Lets his ideal scoff him! Lord, what is man That thou art mindful of him!

A Year Song

Story type: Poetry

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Sighing above, Rustling below, Thorough the woods The winds go. Beneath, dead crowds; Above, life bare; And the besom tempest Sweeps the air: Heart, leave thy woe: Let the dead things go. Through the brown Gold doth push; Misty green Veils the bush. Here a twitter, There a croak! They are coming– The spring-folk! Heart, […]

Why do the houses stand When they that built them are gone; When remaineth even of one That lived there and loved and planned Not a face, not an eye, not a hand, Only here and there a bone? Why do the houses stand When they who built them are gone? Oft in the moonlighted […]

O Wind Of God

Story type: Poetry

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O wind of God, that blowest in the mind, Blow, blow and wake the gentle spring in me; Blow, swifter blow, a strong warm summer wind, Till all the flowers with eyes come out to see; Blow till the fruit hangs red on every tree, And our high-soaring song-larks meet thy dove– High the imperfect […]

I cannot praise thee. By his instrument The master sits, and moves nor foot nor hand; For see the organ-pipes this, that way bent, Leaning, o’erthrown, like wheat-stalks tempest-fanned! I well could praise thee for a flower, a dove, But not for life that is not life in me; Not for a being that is […]

The homely words how often read! How seldom fully known! “Which father of you, asked for bread, Would give his son a stone?” How oft has bitter tear been shed, And heaved how many a groan, Because thou wouldst not give for bread The thing that was a stone! How oft the child thou wouldst […]

From Novalis

Story type: Poetry

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Uplifted is the stone And all mankind arisen! We are thy very own, We are no more in prison! What bitterest grief can stay Beside thy golden cup, When earth and life give way And with our Lord we sup! To the marriage Death doth call, The lamps are burning clear, The virgins, ready all, […]

That Holy Thing

Story type: Poetry

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They all were looking for a king To slay their foes, and lift them high: Thou cam’st a little baby thing That made a woman cry. O son of man, to right my lot Nought but thy presence can avail; Yet on the road thy wheels are not, Nor on the sea thy sail! My […]

In A Churchyard

Story type: Poetry

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There may be seeming calm above, but no!– There is a pulse below which ceases not, A subterranean working, fiery hot, Deep in the million-hearted bosom, though Earthquakes unlock not the prodigious show Of elemental conflict; and this spot Nurses most quiet bones which lie and rot, And here the humblest weeds take root and […]

God In Growth

Story type: Poetry

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I said, I will arise and work some thing, Nor be content with growth, but cause to grow A life around me, clear as yes from no, That to my restless hand some rest may bring, And give a vital power to Action’s spring: Thus, I must cease to be! I cried; when, lo! An […]

Lost And Found

Story type: Poetry

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I missed him when the sun began to bend; I found him not when I had lost his rim; With many tears I went in search of him, Climbing high mountains which did still ascend, And gave me echoes when I called my friend; Through cities vast and charnel-houses grim, And high cathedrals where the […]

Truth, Not Form!

Story type: Poetry

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I came upon a fountain on my way When it was hot, and sat me down to drink Its sparkling stream, when all around the brink I spied full many vessels made of clay, Whereon were written, not without display, In deep engraving or with merely ink, The blessings which each owner seemed to think […]

An angel saw me sitting by a brook, Pleased with the silence, and the melodies Of wind and water which did fall and rise: He gently stirred his plumes and from them shook An outworn doubt, which fell on me and took The shape of darkness, hiding all the skies, Blinding the sun, but giving […]

Life Or Death?

Story type: Poetry

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Is there a secret Joy, that may not weep, For every flower that ends its little span, For every child that groweth up to man, For every captive bird a cage doth keep, For every aching eye that went to sleep Long ages back, when other eyes began To see and know and love as […]

Oh, melancholy fragment of the night Drawing thy lazy web against the sun, Thou shouldst have waited till the day was done With kindred glooms to build thy fane aright, Sublime amid the ruins of the light! But thus to shape our glories one by one With fearful hands, ere we had well begun To […]

Sun And Moon

Story type: Poetry

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First came the red-eyed sun as I did wake; He smote me on the temples and I rose, Casting the night aside and all its woes; And I would spurn my idleness, and take My own wild journey even like him, and shake The pillars of all doubt with lusty blows, Even like himself when […]

A power is on me, and my soul must speak To thee, thou grey, grey man, whom I behold With those white-headed children. I am bold To commune with thy setting, and to wreak My doubts on thy grey hair; for I would seek Thee in that other world, but I am told Thou goest […]

Born Of Water

Story type: Poetry

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Methought I stood among the stars alone, Watching a grey parched orb which onward flew Half blinded by the dusty winds that blew, Empty as Death and barren as a stone, The pleasant sound of water all unknown! When, as I looked in wonderment, there grew, High in the air above, a drop of dew, […]

Now have I grown a sharpness and an edge Unto my future nights, and I will cut Sheer through the ebon gates that yet will shut On every set of day; or as a sledge Drawn over snowy plains; where not a hedge Breaks this Aurora’s dancing, nothing but The one cold Esquimaux’ unlikely hut […]

The Human

Story type: Poetry

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Within each living man there doth reside, In some unrifled chamber of the heart, A hidden treasure: wayward as thou art I love thee, man, and bind thee to my side! By that sweet act I purify my pride And hasten onward–willing even to part With pleasant graces: though thy hue is swart, I bear […]

O wild and dark! a night hath found me now Wherein I mingle with that element Sent madly loose through the wide staring rent In yon tormented branches! I will bow A while unto the storm, and thenceforth grow Into a mighty patience strongly bent Before the unconquering Power which hither sent These winds to […]

Sudden Calm

Story type: Poetry

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There is a bellowing in me, as of might Unfleshed and visionless, mangling the air With horrible convulse, as if it bare The cruel weight of worlds, but could not fight With the thick-dropping clods, and could but bite A vapour-cloud! Oh, I will climb the stair Of the great universe, and lay me there […]

Thou Also

Story type: Poetry

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Cry out upon the crime, and then let slip The dogs of hate, whose hanging muzzles track The bloody secret; let the welkin crack Reverberating, while ye dance and skip About the horrid blaze! or else ye strip, More secretly, for the avenging rack, Him who hath done the deed, till, oozing black Ye watch […]

One With Nature

Story type: Poetry

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I have a fellowship with every shade Of changing nature: with the tempest hour My soul goes forth to claim her early dower Of living princedom; and her wings have staid Amidst the wildest uproar undismayed! Yet she hath often owned a better power, And blessed the gentle coming of the shower, The speechless majesty […]

My Two Geniuses

Story type: Poetry

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I. One is a slow and melancholy maid; I know riot if she cometh from the skies Or from the sleepy gulfs, but she will rise Often before me in the twilight shade, Holding a bunch of poppies and a blade Of springing wheat: prostrate my body lies Before her on the turf, the while […]

Confidence

Story type: Poetry

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Lie down upon the ground, thou hopeless one! Press thy face in the grass, and do not speak. Dost feel the green globe whirl? Seven times a week Climbeth she out of darkness to the sun, Which is her God; seven times she doth not shun Awful eclipse, laying her patient cheek Upon a pillow […]

Unrest

Story type: Poetry

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Comes there, O Earth, no breathing time for thee, No pause upon thy many-chequered lands? Now resting on my bed with listless hands I mourn thee resting not. Continually Hear I the plashing borders of the sea Answer each other from the rocks and sands! Troop all the rivers seawards; nothing stands, But with strange […]

Hears’t thou the dash of water, loud and hoarse, With its perpetual tidings upward climb, Struggling against the wind? Oh, how sublime! For not in vain from its portentous source Thy heart, wild stream, hath yearned for its full force, But from thine ice-toothed caverns, dark as time, At last thou issuest, dancing to the […]

Steadfast

Story type: Poetry

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Here stands a giant stone from whose far top Comes down the sounding water: let me gaze Till every sense of man and human ways Is wrecked and quenched for ever, and I drop Into the whirl of time, and without stop Pass downward thus! Again my eyes I raise To thee, dark rock; and […]

Provision

Story type: Poetry

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Above my head the great pine-branches tower; Backwards and forwards each to the other bends, Beckoning the tempest-cloud which hither wends Like a slow-laboured thought, heavy with power: Hark to the patter of the coming shower! Let me be silent while the Almighty sends His thunder-word along–but when it ends I will arise and fashion […]

I do remember how, when very young, I saw the great sea first, and heard its swell As I drew nearer, caught within the spell Of its vast size and its mysterious tongue. How the floor trembled, and the dark boat swung With a man in it, and a great wave fell Within a stone’s […]

To June

Story type: Poetry

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Ah, truant, thou art here again, I see! For in a season of such wretched weather I thought that thou hadst left us altogether, Although I could not choose but fancy thee Skulking about the hill-tops, whence the glee Of thy blue laughter peeped at times, or rather Thy bashful awkwardness, as doubtful whether Thou […]

Summer

Story type: Poetry

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Summer, sweet Summer, many-fingered Summer! We hold thee very dear, as well we may: It is the kernel of the year to-day– All hail to thee! thou art a welcome comer! If every insect were a fairy drummer, And I a fifer that could deftly play, We’d give the old Earth such a roundelay That […]

On A Midge

Story type: Poetry

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Whence do ye come, ye creatures? Each of you Is perfect as an angel! wings and eyes Stupendous in their beauty–gorgeous dyes In feathery fields of purple and of blue! Would God I saw a moment as ye do! I would become a molecule in size, Rest with you, hum with you, or slanting rise […]

I pray you, all ye men who put your trust In moulds and systems and well-tackled gear, Holding that Nature lives from year to year In one continual round because she must– Set me not down, I pray you, in the dust Of all these centuries, like a pot of beer– A pewter-pot disconsolately clear, […]

Nature, to him no message dost thou bear Who in thy beauty findeth not the power To gird himself more strongly for the hour Of night and darkness. Oh, what colours rare The woods, the valleys, and the mountains wear To him who knows thy secret, and, in shower, And fog, and ice-cloud, hath a […]

There is not any weed but hath its shower, There is not any pool but hath its star; And black and muddy though the waters are We may not miss the glory of a flower, And winter moons will give them magic power To spin in cylinders of diamond spar; And everything hath beauty near […]

Evil Influence

Story type: Poetry

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‘Tis not the violent hands alone that bring The curse, the ravage, and the downward doom, Although to these full oft the yawning tomb Owes deadly surfeit; but a keener sting, A more immortal agony will cling To the half fashioned sin which would assume Fair Virtue’s garb; the eye that sows the gloom With […]

The Watcher

Story type: Poetry

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From out a windy cleft there comes a gaze Of eyes unearthly, which go to and fro Upon the people’s tumult, for below The nations smite each other: no amaze Troubles their liquid rolling, or affrays Their deep-set contemplation; steadily glow Those ever holier eyeballs, for they grow Liker unto the eyes of one that […]

I. One do I see and twelve; but second there Methinks I know thee, thou beloved one; Not from thy nobler port, for there are none More quiet-featured: some there are who bear Their message on their brows, while others wear A look of large commission, nor will shun The fiery trial, so their work […]

The Dawn

Story type: Poetry

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And must I ever wake, gray dawn, to know Thee standing sadly by me like a ghost? I am perplexed with thee that thou shouldst cost This earth another turning! All aglow Thou shouldst have reached me, with a purple show Along far mountain-tops! and I would post Over the breadth of seas, though I […]

Galileo

Story type: Poetry

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“And yet it moves!” Ah, Truth, where wert thou then When all for thee they racked each piteous limb? Wert thou in heaven, and busy with thy hymn When those poor hands convulsed that held thy pen? Art thou a phantom that deceives! men To their undoing? or dost thou watch him Pale, cold, and […]

Subsidy

Story type: Poetry

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If thou wouldst live the Truth in very deed, Thou hast thy joy, but thou hast more of pain. Others will live in peace, and thou be fain To bargain with despair, and in thy need To make thy meal upon the scantiest weed. These palaces, for thee they stand in vain; Thine is a […]

Second Sight

Story type: Poetry

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Rich is the fancy which can double back All seeming forms, and from cold icicles Build up high glittering palaces where dwells Summer perfection, moulding all this wrack To spirit symmetry, and doth not lack The power to hear amidst the funeral bells The eternal heart’s wind-melody which swells In whirlwind flashes all along its […]

Not Understood

Story type: Poetry

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Tumultuous rushing o’er the outstretched plains; A wildered maze of comets and of suns; The blood of changeless God that ever runs With quick diastole up the immortal veins; A phantom host that moves and works in chains; A monstrous fiction, which, collapsing, stuns The mind to stupor and amaze at once; A tragedy which […]

Hom. IL. V. 403

Story type: Poetry

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If thou art tempted by a thought of ill, Crave not too soon for victory, nor deem Thou art a coward if thy safety seem To spring too little from a righteous will; For there is nightmare on thee, nor until Thy soul hath caught the morning’s early gleam Seek thou to analyze the monstrous […]

To The Clouds

Story type: Poetry

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Through the unchanging heaven, as ye have sped, Speed onward still, a strange wild company, Fleet children of the waters! Glorious ye, Whether the sun lift up his shining head, High throned at noontide and established Among the shifting pillars, or we see The sable ghosts of air sleep mournfully Against the sunlight, passionless and […]

They Are Blind

Story type: Poetry

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They are blind, and they are dead: We will wake them as we go; There are words have not been said, There are sounds they do not know: We will pipe and we will sing– With the Music and the Spring Set their hearts a wondering! They are tired of what is old, We will […]

When the storm was proudest, And the wind was loudest, I heard the hollow caverns drinking down below; When the stars were bright, And the ground was white, I heard the grasses springing underneath the snow. Many voices spake– The river to the lake, And the iron-ribbed sky was talking to the sea; And every […]

The Diver

Story type: Poetry

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FROM SCHILLER. “Which of you, knight or squire, will dare Plunge into yonder gulf? A golden beaker I fling in it–there! The black mouth swallows it like a wolf! Who brings me the cup again, whoever, It is his own–he may keep it for ever!” ‘Tis the king who speaks. He flings from the brow […]

Seek not my name–it doth no virtue bear; Seek, seek thine own primeval name to find– The name God called when thy ideal fair Arose in deeps of the eternal mind. When that thou findest, thou art straight a lord Of time and space–art heir of all things grown; And not my name, poor, earthly […]

TO E.M. II. Dear friend, you love the poet’s song, And here is one for your regard. You know the “melancholy bard,” Whose grief is wise as well as strong; Already something understand For whom he mourns and what he sings, And how he wakes with golden strings The echoes of “the silent land;” How, […]

See how the storm of life ascends Up through the shadow of the world! Beyond our gaze the line extends, Like wreaths of vapour tempest-hurled! Grasp tighter, brother, lest the storm Should sweep us down from where we stand, And we may catch some human form We know, amongst the straining band. See! see in […]

Awake!

Story type: Poetry

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The stars are all watching; God’s angel is catching At thy skirts in the darkness deep! Gold hinges grating, The mighty dead waiting, Why dost thou sleep? Years without number, Ages of slumber, Stiff in the track of the infinite One! Dead, can I think it? Dropt like a trinket, A thing whose uses are […]

Sometimes, O Lord, thou lightest in my head A lamp that well might pharos all the lands; Anon the light will neither rise nor spread: Shrouded in danger gray the beacon stands! A pharos? Oh dull brain! poor dying lamp Under a bushel with an earthy smell! Mouldering it stands, in rust and eating damp, […]

When the heart is a cup In the body low lying, And wine, drop by drop Falls into that cup From somewhere high up, It is good to be dying With the heart for a cup In the body low lying.

I have long enough been working down in my cellar, Working spade and pick, boring-chisel and drill; I long for wider spaces, airy, clear-dark, and stellar: Successless labour never the love of it did fill. More profit surely lies in a holy, pure quiescence, In a setting forth of cups to catch the heavenly rain, […]

Thou foldest me in sickness; Thou callest through the cloud; I batter with the thickness Of the swathing, blinding shroud: Oh, let me see thy face, The only perfect grace That thou canst show thy child. 0 father, being-giver, Take off the sickness-cloud; Saviour, my life deliver From this dull body-shroud: Till I can see […]

Quiet Dead!

Story type: Poetry

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Quiet, quiet dead, Have ye aught to say From your hidden bed In the earthy clay? Fathers, children, mothers, Ye are very quiet; Can ye shout, my brothers? I would know you by it! Have ye any words That are like to ours? Have ye any birds? Have ye any flowers? Could ye rise a […]

Sabbath Bells

Story type: Poetry

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Oh holy Sabbath bells, Ye have a pleasant voice! Through all the land your music swells, And man with one commandment tells To rest and to rejoice. As birds rejoice to flee From dark and stormy skies To brighter lands beyond the sea Where skies are calm, and wings are free To wander and to […]

Fighting

Story type: Poetry

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Here is a temple strangely wrought: Within it I can see Two spirits of a diverse thought Contend for mastery. One is an angel fair and bright, Adown the aisle comes he, Adown the aisle in raiment white, A creature fair to see. The other wears an evil mien, And he hath doubtless slipt, A […]

Lord, according to thy words, I have considered thy birds; And I find their life good, And better the better understood: Sowing neither corn nor wheat They have all that they can eat; Reaping no more than they sow They have more than they could stow; Having neither barn nor store, Hungry again, they eat […]

Chained is the Spring. The Night-wind bold Blows over the hard earth; Time is not more confused and cold, Nor keeps more wintry mirth. Yet blow, and roll the world about– Blow, Time, blow, winter’s Wind! Through chinks of time heaven peepeth out, And Spring the frost behind.

RONDEL. Would that thou hid me in the grave And kept me with death’s gaoler-care; Until thy wrath away should wear A sentence fixed thy prisoner gave! I would endure with patience brave So thou remembered I was there! Would that thou hid me in the grave, And kept me with death’s gaoler-care! To see […]

I woke at midnight, and my heart, My beating heart, said this to me: Thou seest the moon, how calm and bright! The world is fair by day and night, But what is that to thee? One touch to me, down dips the light Over the land and sea. All is mine, all is my […]

Of The Son Of Man

Story type: Poetry

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I. I honour Nature, holding it unjust To look with jealousy on her designs; With every passing year more fast she twines About my heart; with her mysterious dust Claim I a fellowship not less august Although she works before me and combines Her changing forms, wherever the sun shines Spreading a leafy volume on […]

Oh That A Wind

Story type: Poetry

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Oh that a wind would call From the depths of the leafless wood! Oh that a voice would fall On the ear of my solitude! Far away is the sea, With its sound and its spirit tone; Over it white clouds flee; But I am alone, alone. Straight and steady and tall The trees stand […]

I. I see thy house, but I am blown about, A wind-mocked kite, between the earth and sky, All out of doors–alas! of thy doors out, And drenched in dews no summer suns can dry. For every blast is passion of my own; The dews cold sweats of selfish agony; Dank vapour steams from memories […]

The Lost House

Story type: Poetry

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Out of thy door I run to do the thing That calls upon me. Straight the wind of words Whoops from mine ears the sounds of them that sing About their work, “My God, my father-king!” I turn in haste to see thy blessed door, But, lo, a cloud of flies and bats and birds, […]

A FRAGMENT. When the cock crows loud from the glen, And the moor-cock chirrs from the heather, What hear ye and see ye then, Ye children of air and ether? 1st Echo.A thunder as of waves at the rising of the moon, And a darkness on the graves though the day is at its noon. […]

Come To Me

Story type: Poetry

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Come to me, come to me, O my God; Come to me everywhere! Let the trees mean thee, and the grassy sod, And the water and the air! For thou art so far that I often doubt, As on every side I stare, Searching within, and looking without, If thou canst be anywhere. How did […]

A Fear

Story type: Poetry

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O Mother Earth, I have a fear Which I would tell to thee– Softly and gently in thine ear When the moon and we are three. Thy grass and flowers are beautiful; Among thy trees I hide; And underneath the moonlight cool Thy sea looks broad and wide; But this I fear–lest thou shouldst grow […]

I have not any fearful tale to tell Of fabled giant or of dragon-claw, Or bloody deed to pilfer and to sell To those who feed, with such, a gaping maw; But what in yonder hamlet there befell, Or rather what in it my fancy saw, I will declare, albeit it may seem Too simple […]

When the summer gave us a longer day, And the leaves were thickest, I went away: Like an isle, through dark clouds, of the infinite blue, Was that summer-ramble from London and you. It was but one burst into life and air, One backward glance on the skirts of care, A height on the hills […]

Hunger

Story type: Poetry

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Father, I cry to thee for bread With hungred longing, eager prayer; Thou hear’st, and givest me instead More hunger and a half-despair. 0 Lord, how long? My days decline, My youth is lapped in memories old; I need not bread alone, but wine– See, cup and hand to thee I hold! And yet thou […]

Sharing

Story type: Poetry

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On the far horizon there Heaps of cloudy darkness rest; Though the wind is in the air There is stupor east and west. For the sky no change is making, Scarce we know it from the plain; Droop its eyelids never waking, Blinded by the misty rain; Save on high one little spot, Round the […]

In Bonds

Story type: Poetry

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Of the poor bird that cannot fly Kindly you think and mournfully; For prisoners and for exiles all You let the tears of pity fall; And very true the grief should be That mourns the bondage of the free. The soul–she has a fatherland; Binds her not many a tyrant’s hand? And the winged spirit […]

The Prism

Story type: Poetry

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I. A pool of broken sunbeams lay Upon the passage-floor, Radiant and rich, profound and gay As ever diamond bore. Small, flitting hands a handkerchief Spread like a cunning trap: Prone lay the gorgeous jewel-sheaf In the glory-gleaner’s lap! Deftly she folded up the prize, With lovely avarice; Like one whom having had made wise, […]

Sleep

Story type: Poetry

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Oh! is it Death that comes To have a foretaste of the whole? To-night the planets and the stars Will glimmer through my window-bars But will not shine upon my soul! For I shall lie as dead Though yet I am above the ground; All passionless, with scarce a breath, With hands of rest and […]

Punishment

Story type: Poetry

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Mourner, that dost deserve thy mournfulness, Call thyself punished, call the earth thy hell; Say, “God is angry, and I earned it well– I would not have him smile on wickedness:” Say this, and straightway all thy grief grows less:– “God rules at least, I find as prophets tell, And proves it in this prison!”–then […]

“Shew us the Father.” Chiming stars of space, And lives that fit the worlds, and means and powers, A Thought that holds them up reveal to ours– A Wisdom we have been made wise to trace. And, looking out from sweetest Nature’s face, From sunsets, moonlights, rivers, hills, and flowers, Infinite love and beauty, all […]

The Sangreal

Story type: Poetry

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A Part Of The Story Omitted In The Old Romances. I. How sir Galahad despaired of finding the Grail. Through the wood the sunny day Glimmered sweetly glad; Through the wood his weary way Rode sir Galahad. All about stood open porch, Long-drawn cloister dim; ‘Twas a wavering wandering church Every side of him. On […]

The Failing Track

Story type: Poetry

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Where went the feet that hitherto have come? Here yawns no gulf to quench the flowing past! With lengthening pauses broke, the path grows dumb; The grass floats in; the gazer stands aghast. Tremble not, maiden, though the footprints die; By no air-path ascend the lark’s clear notes; The mighty-throated when he mounts the sky […]

The Three Horses

Story type: Poetry

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What shall I be?–I will be a knight Walled up in armour black, With a sword of sharpness, a hammer of might. And a spear that will not crack– So black, so blank, no glimmer of light Will betray my darkling track. Saddle my coal-black steed, my men, Fittest for sunless work; Old Night is […]

The Golden Key

Story type: Poetry

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From off the earth the vapours curled, Went up to meet their joy; The boy awoke, and all the world Was waiting for the boy! The sky, the water, the wide earth Was full of windy play– Shining and fair, alive with mirth, All for his holiday! The hill said “Climb me;” and the wood […]

Somnium Mystici

Story type: Poetry

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A Microcosm In Terza Rima. I. Quiet I lay at last, and knew no more Whether I breathed or not, so worn I lay With the death-struggle. What was yet before Neither I met, nor turned from it away; My only conscious being was the rest Of pain gone dead–dead with the bygone day, And […]

The Pinafore

Story type: Poetry

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When peevish flaws his soul have stirred To fretful tears for crossed desires, Obedient to his mother’s word My child to banishment retires. As disappears the moon, when wind Heaps miles of mist her visage o’er, So vanisheth his face behind The cloud of his white pinafore. I cannot then come near my child– A […]

Autumn’s Gold

Story type: Poetry

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Along the tops of all the yellow trees, The golden-yellow trees, the sunshine lies; And where the leaves are gone, long rays surprise Lone depths of thicket with their brightnesses; And through the woods, all waste of many a breeze, Cometh more joy of light for Poet’s eyes– Green fields lying yellow underneath the skies, […]

The True

Story type: Poetry

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I envy the tree-tops that shake so high In winds that fill them full of heavenly airs; I envy every little cloud that shares With unseen angels evening in the sky; I envy most the youngest stars that lie Sky-nested, and the loving heaven that bears, And night that makes strong worlds of them unawares; […]

Down a warm alley, early in the year, Among the woods, with all the sunshine in And all the winds outside it, I begin To think that something gracious will appear, If anything of grace inhabit here, Or there be friendship in the woods to win. Might one but find companions more akin To trees […]

Beautiful stories wed with lovely days Like words and music:–what shall be the tale Of love and nobleness that might avail To express in action what this sweetness says– The sweetness of a day of airs and rays That are strange glories on the winter pale? Alas, O beauty, all my fancies fail! I cannot […]

I know not what among the grass thou art, Thy nature, nor thy substance, fairest flower, Nor what to other eyes thou hast of power To send thine image through them to the heart; But when I push the frosty leaves apart And see thee hiding in thy wintry bower Thou growest up within me […]

In February

Story type: Poetry

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Now in the dark of February rains, Poor lovers of the sunshine, spring is born, The earthy fields are full of hidden corn, And March’s violets bud along the lanes; Therefore with joy believe in what remains. And thou who dost not feel them, do not scorn Our early songs for winter overworn, And faith […]

Who would have thought that even an idle song Were such a holy and celestial thing That wickedness and envy cannot sing– That music for no moment lives with wrong? I know this, for a very grievous throng, Dark thoughts, low wishes, round my bosom cling, And, underneath, the hidden holy spring Stagnates because of […]

On A December Day

Story type: Poetry

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I. This is the sweetness of an April day; The softness of the spring is on the face Of the old year. She has no natural grace, But something comes to her from far away Out of the Past, and on her old decay The beauty of her childhood you can trace.– And yet she […]

Who lights the fire–that forth so gracefully And freely frolicketh the fairy smoke? Some pretty one who never felt the yoke– Glad girl, or maiden more sedate than she. Pedant it cannot, villain cannot be! Some genius, may-be, his own symbol woke; But puritan, nor rogue in virtue’s cloke, Nor kitchen-maid has done it certainly! […]

The Old Garden

Story type: Poetry

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I. I stood in an ancient garden With high red walls around; Over them grey and green lichens In shadowy arabesque wound. The topmost climbing blossoms On fields kine-haunted looked out; But within were shelter and shadow, With daintiest odours about. There were alleys and lurking arbours, Deep glooms into which to dive. The lawns […]

A Noonday Melody

Story type: Poetry

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Everything goes to its rest; The hills are asleep in the noon; And life is as still in its nest As the moon when she looks on a moon In the depth of a calm river’s breast As it steals through a midnight in June. The streams have forgotten the sea In the dream of […]

A Mood

Story type: Poetry

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My thoughts are like fire-flies, pulsing in moonlight; My heart like a silver cup, filled with red wine; My soul a pale gleaming horizon, whence soon light Will flood the gold earth with a torrent divine.

The Carpenter

Story type: Poetry

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0 Lord, at Joseph’s humble bench Thy hands did handle saw and plane; Thy hammer nails did drive and clench, Avoiding knot and humouring grain. That thou didst seem, thou wast indeed, In sport thy tools thou didst not use; Nor, helping hind’s or fisher’s need, The labourer’s hire, too nice, refuse. Lord, might I […]

I See Thee Not

Story type: Poetry

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Yes, Master, when thou comest thou shalt find A little faith on earth, if I am here! Thou know’st how oft I turn to thee my mind. How sad I wait until thy face appear! Hast thou not ploughed my thorny ground full sore, And from it gathered many stones and sherds? Plough, plough and […]

A Broken Prayer

Story type: Poetry

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0 Lord, my God, how long Shall my poor heart pant for a boundless joy? How long, O mighty Spirit, shall I hear The murmur of Truth’s crystal waters slide From the deep caverns of their endless being, But my lips taste not, and the grosser air Choke each pure inspiration of thy will? I […]

Come Down

Story type: Poetry

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Still am I haunting Thy door with my prayers; Still they are panting Up thy steep stairs! Wouldst thou not rather Come down to my heart, And there, O my Father, Be what thou art?

Loosener of springs, he died by thee! Softness, not hardness, sent him home; He loved thee–and thou mad’st him free Of all the place thou comest from!

Are the leaves falling round about The churchyard on the hill? Is the glow of autumn going out? Is that the winter chill? And yet through winter’s noise, no doubt The graves are very still! Are the woods empty, voiceless, bare? On sodden leaves do you tread? Is nothing left of all those fair? Is […]

No Sign

Story type: Poetry

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O Lord, if on the wind, at cool of day, I heard one whispered word of mighty grace; If through the darkness, as in bed I lay, But once had come a hand upon my face; If but one sign that might not be mistook Had ever been, since first thy face I sought, I […]

November, 1851

Story type: Poetry

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What dost thou here, O soul, Beyond thy own control, Under the strange wild sky? 0 stars, reach down your hands, And clasp me in your silver bands, I tremble with this mystery!– Flung hither by a chance Of restless circumstance, Thou art but here, and wast not sent; Yet once more mayest thou draw […]

0 Earth, Earth, Earth, I am dying for love of thee, For thou hast given me birth, And thy hands have tended me. I would fall asleep on thy breast When its swelling folds are bare, When the thrush dreams of its nest And the life of its joy in the air; When thy life […]

Thy Heart

Story type: Poetry

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Make not of thy heart a casket, Opening seldom, quick to close; But of bread a wide-mouthed basket, Or a cup that overflows.

From the German of Dessler. O Lord, how happy is the time When in thy love I rest! When from my weariness I climb Even to thy tender breast! The night of sorrow endeth there– Thou art brighter than the sun; And in thy pardon and thy care The heaven of heaven is won. Let […]

A Cry

Story type: Poetry

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Lord, hear my discontent: all blank I stand, A mirror polished by thy hand; Thy sun’s beams flash and flame from me– I cannot help it: here I stand, there he! To one of them I cannot say, Go, and on yonder water play; Nor one poor ragged daisy can I fashion– I do not […]

From Home

Story type: Poetry

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Some men there are who cannot spare A single tear until they feel The last cold pressure, and the heel Is stamped upon the outmost layer. And, waking, some will sigh to think The clouds have borrowed winter’s wing, Sad winter, when the grasses spring No more about the fountain’s brink. And some would call […]

Smoke

Story type: Poetry

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Lord, I have laid my heart upon thy altar But cannot get the wood to burn; It hardly flares ere it begins to falter And to the dark return. Old sap, or night-fallen dew, makes damp the fuel; In vain my breath would flame provoke; Yet see–at every poor attempt’s renewal To thee ascends the […]

Such guests as you, sir, were not in my mind When I my homely dish with care designed; ‘Twas certain humble souls I would have fed Who do not turn from wholesome milk and bread: You came, slow-trotting on the narrow way, O’erturned the food, and trod it in the clay; Then low with discoid […]

She loves thee, loves thee not! That, that is all, my heart. Why should she take a part In every selfish blot, In every greedy spot That now doth ache and smart Because she loves thee not– Not, not at all, poor heart! Thou art no such dove-cot Of virtues–no such chart Of highways, though […]

Two Rondels

Story type: Poetry

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I. When, in the mid-sea of the night, I waken at thy call, O Lord, The first that troop my bark aboard Are darksome imps that hate the light, Whose tongues are arrows, eyes a blight– Of wraths and cares a pirate horde– Though on the mid-sea of the night It was thy call that […]

Heart, thou must learn to do without– That is the riches of the poor, Their liberty is to endure; Wrap thou thine old cloak thee about, And carol loud and carol stout; Let thy rags fly, nor wish them fewer; Thou too must learn to do without, Must earn the riches of the poor! Why […]

A Threefold Cord

Story type: Poetry

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Poems by Three Friends. TO GREVILLE MATHESON MACDONALD. First, most, to thee, my son, I give this book In which a friend’s and brother’s verses blend With mine; for not son only–brother, friend, Art thou, through sonship which no veil can brook Between the eyes that in each other look, Or any shadow ‘twixt the […]

In The Winter

Story type: Poetry

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In the winter, flowers are springing; In the winter, woods are green, Where our banished birds are singing, Where our summer sun is seen! Our cold midnights are coeval With an evening and a morn Where the forest-gods hold revel, And the spring is newly born! While the earth is full of fighting, While men […]

I think I might be weary of this day That comes inevitably every year, The same when I was young and strong and gay, The same when I am old and growing sere– I should grow weary of it every year But that thou comest to me every day. I shall grow weary if thou […]

There is a river whose waters run asleep run run ever singing in the shallows dumb in the hollows sleeping so deep and all the swallows that dip their feathers in the hollows or in the shallows are the merriest swallows and the nests they make with the clay they cake with the water they […]

“Little one, who straight hast come Down the heavenly stair, Tell us all about your home, And the father there.” “He is such a one as I, Like as like can be. Do his will, and, by and by, Home and him you’ll see.”

Loving looks the large-eyed cow, Loving stares the long-eared ass At Heaven’s glory in the grass! Child, with added human birth Come to bring the child of earth Glad repentance, tearful mirth, And a seat beside the hearth At the Father’s knee– Make us peaceful as thy cow; Make us patient as thine ass; Make […]

“What! you Dr. Doddridge’s dog, and not know who made you?” My little dog, who blessed you With such white toothy-pegs? And who was it that dressed you In such a lot of legs? Perhaps he never told you! Perhaps you know quite well, And beg me not to scold you For you can’t speak […]

There was a girl that lost things– Nor only from her hand; She lost, indeed–why, most things, As if they had been sand! She said, “But I must use them, And can’t look after all! Indeed I did not lose them, I only let them fall!” That’s how she lost her thimble, It fell upon […]

A Make-Believe

Story type: Poetry

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I will think as thinks the rabbit:– Oh, delight In the night When the moon Sets the tune To the woods! And the broods All run out, Frisk about, Go and come, Beat the drum– Here in groups, There in troops! Now there’s one! Now it’s gone! There are none! And now they are dancing […]

King Cole

Story type: Poetry

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King Cole he reigned in Aureoland, But the sceptre was seldom in his hand Far oftener was there his golden cup– He ate too much, but he drank all up! To be called a king and to be a king, That is one thing and another thing! So his majesty’s head began to shake, And […]

Said And Did

Story type: Poetry

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Said the boy as he read, “I too will be bold, I will fight for the truth and its glory!” He went to the playground, and soon had told A very cowardly story! Said the girl as she read, “That was grand, I declare! What a true, what a lovely, sweet soul!” In half-an-hour she […]

Little Boy Blue

Story type: Poetry

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Little Boy Blue lost his way in a wood– Sing apples and cherries, roses and honey: He said, “I would not go back if I could, It’s all so jolly and funny!” He sang, “This wood is all my own– Apples and cherries, roses and honey! Here I will sit, a king on my throne, […]

I. Willie speaks. Is it wrong, the wish to be great, For I do wish it so? I have asked already my sister Kate; She says she does not know. Yestereve at the gate I stood Watching the sun in the west; When I saw him look so grand and good It swelled up in […]

Up In The Tree

Story type: Poetry

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What would you see, if I took you up My little aerie-stair? You would see the sky like a clear blue cup Turned upside down in the air. What would you do, up my aerie-stair In my little nest on the tree? With cry upon cry you would ripple the air To get at what […]

A Baby-Sermon

Story type: Poetry

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The lightning and thunder They go and they come: But the stars and the stillness Are always at home.

Baby

Story type: Poetry

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Where did you come from, baby dear? Out of the everywhere into here. Where did you get those eyes so blue? Out of the sky as I came through. What makes the light in them sparkle and spin? Some of the starry twinkles left in. Where did you get that little tear? I found it […]

Up And-Down

Story type: Poetry

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The sun is gone down And the moon’s in the sky But the sun will come up And the moon be laid by. The flower is asleep. But it is not dead, When the morning shines It will lift its head. When winter comes It will die! No, no, It will only hide From the […]

Bird-Songs

Story type: Poetry

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I will sing a song, Said the owl. You sing a song, sing-song Ugly fowl! What will you sing about, Night in and day out? All about the night, When the gray With her cloak smothers bright, Hard, sharp day. Oh, the moon! the cool dew! And the shadows!–tu-whoo! I will sing a song, Said […]

Riddles

Story type: Poetry

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I. I have only one foot, but thousands of toes; My one foot stands well, but never goes; I’ve a good many arms, if you count them all, But hundreds of fingers, large and small; From the ends of my fingers my beauty grows; I breathe with my hair, and I drink with my toes; […]

Nobody knows the world but me. The rest go to bed; I sit up and see. I’m a better observer than any of you all, For I never look out till the twilight fall, And never then without green glasses, And that is how my wisdom passes. I never think, for that is not fit: […]

Mother Nature

Story type: Poetry

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Beautiful mother is busy all day, So busy she neither can sing nor say; But lovely thoughts, in a ceaseless flow, Through her eyes, and her ears, and her bosom go– Motion, sight, and sound, and scent, Weaving a royal, rich content. When night is come, and her children sleep, Beautiful mother her watch doth […]

Appeal

Story type: Poetry

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If in my arms I bore my child, Would he cry out for fear Because the night was dark and wild And no one else was near? Shall I then treat thee, Father, as My fatherhood would grieve? I will be hopeful, though, alas, I cannot quite believe! I had no power, no wish to […]

Winter froze both brook and well; Fast and fast the snowflakes fell; Children gathered round the hearth Made a summer of their mirth; When a boy, so lately come That his life was yet one sum Of delights–of aimless rambles. Romps and dreams and games and gambols, Thought aloud: “I wish I knew What makes […]

Dejection

Story type: Poetry

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O Father, I am in the dark, My soul is heavy-bowed: I send my prayer up like a lark, Up through my vapoury shroud, To find thee, And remind thee I am thy child, and thou my father, Though round me death itself should gather. Lay thy loved hand upon my head, Let thy heart […]

Thou art my thought, my heart, my being’s fortune, The search for thee my growth’s first conscious date; For nought, for everything, I thee importune; Thou art my all, my origin and fate!

“Where is thy crown, O tree of Love? Flowers only bears thy root! Will never rain drop from above Divine enough for fruit?” “I dwell in hope that gives good cheer, Twilight my darkest hour; For seest thou not that every year I break in better flower?”

The Word Of God

Story type: Poetry

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Where the bud has never blown Who for scent is debtor? Where the spirit rests unknown Fatal is the letter. In thee, Jesus, Godhead-stored, All things we inherit, For thou art the very Word And the very Spirit!

Graut Euch nicht, Ihr lieben Leute, Vor dem ungeheuren Morgen; Wenn es kommt, es ist das Heute, Und der liebe Gott zu sorgen.

To My God

Story type: Poetry

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Oh how oft I wake and find I have been forgetting thee! I am never from thy mind: Thou it is that wakest me.

Oh that men would praise the Lord For his goodness unto men! Forth he sends his saving word, –Oh that men would praise the Lord!– And from shades of death abhorred Lifts them up to light again: Oh that men would praise the Lord For his goodness unto men!

Imagination cannot rise above thee; Near and afar I see thee, and I love thee; My misery away from me I thrust it, For thy perfection I behold, and trust it.

When, with all the loved around thee, Still thy heart says, “I am lonely,” It is well; the truth hath found thee: Rest is with the Father only.

A Prisoner

Story type: Poetry

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The hinges are so rusty The door is fixed and fast; The windows are so dusty The sun looks in aghast: Knock out the glass, I pray, Or dash the door away, Or break the house down bodily, And let my soul go free!

Much And More

Story type: Poetry

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When thy heart, love-filled, grows graver, And eternal bliss looks nearer, Ask thy heart, nor show it favour, Is the gift or giver dearer? Love, love on; love higher, deeper; Let love’s ocean close above her; Only, love thou more love’s keeper, More, the love-creating lover.

Hope And Patience

Story type: Poetry

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An unborn bird lies crumpled and curled, A-dreaming of the world. Round it, for castle-wall, a shell Is guarding it well. Hope is the bird with its dim sensations; The shell that keeps it alive is Patience.

A Better Thing

Story type: Poetry

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I took it for a bird of prey that soared High over ocean, battled mount, and plain; ‘Twas but a bird-moth, which with limp horns gored The invisibly obstructing window-pane! Better than eagle, with far-towering nerve But downward bent, greedy, marauding eye, Guest of the flowers, thou art: unhurt they serve Thee, little angel of […]

Lost But Safe

Story type: Poetry

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Lost the little one roams about, Pathway or shelter none can find; Blinking stars are coming out; No one is moving but the wind; It is no use to cry or shout, All the world is still as a mouse; One thing only eases her mind: “Father knows I’m not in the house!”

A Birthday-Wish

Story type: Poetry

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Who know thee, love: thy life be such That, ere the year be o’er, Each one who loves thee now so much, Even God, may love thee more!

To Any One

Story type: Poetry

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Go not forth to call Dame Sorrow From the dim fields of Tomorrow; Let her roam there all unheeded, She will come when she is needed; Then, when she draws near thy door, She will find God there before.

A De Profundis

Story type: Poetry

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When I am dead unto myself, and let, O Father, thee live on in me, Contented to do nought but pay my debt, And leave the house to thee, Then shall I be thy ransomed–from the cark Of living, from the strain for breath, From tossing in my coffin strait and dark, At hourly strife […]

Blind Sorrow

Story type: Poetry

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“My life is drear; walking I labour sore; The heart in me is heavy as a stone; And of my sorrows this the icy core: Life is so wide, and I am all alone!” Thou did’st walk so, with heaven-born eyes down bent Upon the earth’s gold-rosy, radiant clay, That thou had’st seen no star […]

With us there is no gray fearing, With us no aching for lack! For the morn it is always nearing, And the night is at our back. At times a song will fall dumb, A thought-bell burst in a sigh, But no one says, “He will not come!” She says, “He is almost nigh!” The […]

Obedience

Story type: Poetry

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Trust him in the common light; Trust him in the awesome night; Trust him when the earth doth quake: Trust him when thy heart doth ache; Trust him when thy brain doth reel And thy friend turns on his heel; Trust him when the way is rough, Cry not yet, It is enough! But obey […]

Love Is Strength

Story type: Poetry

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Love alone is great in might, Makes the heavy burden light, Smooths rough ways to weary feet, Makes the bitter morsel sweet: Love alone is strength! Might that is not born of Love Is not Might born from above, Has its birthplace down below Where they neither reap nor sow: Love alone is strength! Love […]

Coming

Story type: Poetry

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When the snow is on the earth Birds and waters cease their mirth; When the sunlight is prevailing Even the night-winds drop their wailing. On the earth when deep snows lie Still the sun is in the sky, And when most we miss his fire He is ever drawing nigher. In the darkest winter day […]

Approaches

Story type: Poetry

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When thou turn’st away from ill, Christ is this side of thy hill. When thou turnest toward good, Christ is walking in thy wood. When thy heart says, “Father, pardon!” Then the Lord is in thy garden. When stern Duty wakes to watch, Then his hand is on the latch. But when Hope thy song […]

Bands of dark and bands of light Lie athwart the homeward way; Now we cross a belt of Night, Now a strip of shining Day! Now it is a month of June, Now December’s shivering hour; Now rides high loved memories’ Moon, Now the Dark is dense with power! Summers, winters, days, and nights, Moons, […]

The Giver

Story type: Poetry

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To give a thing and take again Is counted meanness among men; To take away what once is given Cannot then be the way of heaven! But human hearts are crumbly stuff, And never, never love enough, Therefore God takes and, with a smile, Puts our best things away a while. Thereon some weep, some […]

False Prophets

Story type: Poetry

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Would-be prophets tell us We shall not re-know Them that walked our fellows In the ways below! Smoking, smouldering Tophets Steaming hopeless plaints! Dreary, mole-eyed prophets! Mean, skin-pledging saints! Knowing not the Father What their prophecies! Grapes of such none gather, Only thorns and lies. Loving thus the brother, How the Father tell? Go without […]

Life-Weary

Story type: Poetry

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O Thou that walkest with nigh hopeless feet Past the one harbour, built for thee and thine. Doth no stray odour from its table greet, No truant beam from fire or candle shine? At his wide door the host doth stand and call; At every lattice gracious forms invite; Thou seest but a dull-gray, solid […]

The Dead Hand

Story type: Poetry

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The witch lady walked along the strand, Heard a roaring of the sea, On the edge of a pool saw a dead man’s hand, Good thing for a witch lady! Lightly she stepped across the rocks, Came where the dead man lay: Now pretty maid with your merry mocks, Now I shall have my way! […]

It is May, and the moon leans down at night Over a blossomy land; Leans from her window a lady white, With her cheek upon her hand. “Oh, why in the blue so misty, moon? Why so dull in the sky? Thou look’st like one that is ready to swoon Because her tear-well is dry. […]

Prince Breacan of Denmark was lord of the strand And lord of the billowy sea; Lord of the sea and lord of the land, He might have let maidens be! A maiden he met with locks of gold, Straying beside the sea: Maidens listened in days of old, And repented grievously. Wiser he left her […]

A clock aeonian, steady and tall, With its back to creation’s flaming wall, Stands at the foot of a dim, wide stair. Swing, swang, its pendulum goes, Swing–swang–here–there! Its tick and its tack like the sledge-hammer blows Of Tubal Cain, the mighty man! But they strike on the anvil of never an ear, On the […]

Lycabas

Story type: Poetry

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Lycabas: A name of the Year. Some say the word means a march of wolves, which wolves, running in single file, are the Months of the Year. Others say the word means the path of the light. O ye months of the year, Are ye a march of wolves? Lycabas! Lycabas! twelve to growl and […]

The Unseen Model

Story type: Poetry

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Forth to his study the sculptor goes In a mood of lofty mirth: “Now shall the tongues of my carping foes Confess what my art is worth! In my brain last night the vision arose, To-morrow shall see its birth!” He stood like a god; with creating hand He struck the formless clay: “Psyche, arise,” […]

Bell Upon Organ

Story type: Poetry

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It’s all very well, Said the Bell, To be the big Organ below! But the folk come and go, Said the Bell, And you never can tell What sort of person the Organ will blow! And, besides, it is much at the mercy of the weather For ’tis all made in pieces and glued together! […]

Master And Boy

Story type: Poetry

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“WHO is this little one lying,” Said Time, “at my garden-gate, Moaning and sobbing and crying, Out in the cold so late?” “They lurked until we came near, Master and I,” the child said, “Then caught me, with ‘Welcome, New-year! Happy Year! Golden-head!’ “See Christmas-day, my Master, On the meadow a mile away! Father Time, […]

A Dead House

Story type: Poetry

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When the clock hath ceased to tick Soul-like in the gloomy hall; When the latch no more doth click Tongue-like in the red peach-wall; When no more come sounds of play, Mice nor children romping roam, Then looks down the eye of day On a dead house, not a home! But when, like an old […]

A brown bird sang on a blossomy tree, Sang in the moonshine, merrily, Three little songs, one, two, and three, A song for his wife, for himself, and me. He sang for his wife, sang low, sang high, Filling the moonlight that filled the sky; “Thee, thee, I love thee, heart alive! Thee, thee, thee, […]

Love’s History

Story type: Poetry

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Love, the baby, Crept abroad to pluck a flower: One said, Yes, sir; one said, Maybe; One said, Wait the hour. Love, the boy, Joined the youngsters at their play: But they gave him little joy, And he went away. Love, the youth, Roamed the country, quiver-laden; From him fled away in sooth Many a […]

In the air why such a ringing? On the earth why such a droning? In the air the lark is singing; On the earth the wind is moaning. “I am blest, in sunlight swinging!” “Sad am I: the world lies groaning!” In the sky the lark kept singing; On the earth the wind kept moaning.

Bing, Bim, Bang, Bome! Sang the Bell to himself in his house at home, High in the church-tower, lone and unseen, In a twilight of ivy, cool and green; With his Bing, Bing, Bim, Bing, Bang, Bome! Singing bass to himself in his house at home. Said the Owl, on a shadowy ledge below, Like […]

A Mammon-Marriage

Story type: Poetry

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The croak of a raven hoar! A dog’s howl, kennel-tied! Loud shuts the carriage-door: The two are away on their ghastly ride To Death’s salt shore! Where are the love and the grace? The bridegroom is thirsty and cold! The bride’s skull sharpens her face! But the coachman is driving, jubilant, bold, The devil’s pace. […]

Queen Mary one day Jesus sent To fetch some water, legends tell; The little boy, obedient, Drew a full pitcher from the well; But as he raised it to his head, The water lipping with the rim, The handle broke, and all was shed Upon the stones about the brim. His cloak upon the ground […]

The Early Bird

Story type: Poetry

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A little bird sat on the edge of her nest; Her yellow-beaks slept as sound as tops; Day-long she had worked almost without rest, And had filled every one of their gibbous crops; Her own she had filled just over-full, And she felt like a dead bird stuffed with wool. “Oh dear!” she sighed, as […]

“Good morrow, my lord!” in the sky alone Sang the lark as the sun ascended his throne. “Shine on me, my lord: I only am come, Of all your servants, to welcome you home! I have shot straight up, a whole hour, I swear, To catch the first gleam of your golden hair.” “Must I […]

Tell Me

Story type: Poetry

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“Traveller, what lies over the hill? Traveller, tell to me: Tip-toe-high on the window-sill Over I cannot see.” “My child, a valley green lies there, Lovely with trees, and shy; And a tiny brook that says, ‘Take care, Or I’ll drown you by and by!’” “And what comes next?”–“A little town, And a towering hill […]

I. Victorious through failure! faithful Lord,Who for twelve angel legions wouldst not prayFrom thine own country of eternal day,To shield thee from the lanterned traitor horde,Making thy one rash servant sheathe his sword!–Our long retarded legions, on their way,Toiling through sands, and shouldering Nile’s down-sway,To reach thy soldier, keeping at thy word,Thou sawest foiled–but glorifiedst […]

Methought I floated sightless, nor did knowThat I had ears until I heard the cryAs of a mighty man in agony:“How long, Lord, shall I lie thus foul and slow?The arrows of thy lightning through me go,And sting and torture me–yet here I lieA shapeless mass that scarce can mould a sigh!”The darkness thinned; I […]

Methought that in a solemn church I stood.Its marble acres, worn with knees and feet,Lay spread from door to door, from street to street.Midway the form hung high upon the roodOf him who gave his life to be our good;Beyond, priests flitted, bowed, and murmured meet,Among the candles shining still and sweet.Men came and went, […]

I. Upon a rock I sat–a mountain-side,Far, far forsaken of the old sea’s lip;A rock where ancient waters’ rise and dip,Recoil and plunge, eddy, and oscillant tide,Had worn and worn, while races lived and died,Involved channels. Where the sea-weed’s dripFollowed the ebb, now crumbling lichens sipSparse dews of heaven that down with sunset slide.I sat […]

A. M. D. [Sonnet]

Story type: Poetry

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Methinks I see thee, lying straight and low,Silent and darkling, in thy earthy bed,The mighty strength in which I trusted, fled,The long arms lying careless of kiss or blow;On thy tall form I see the night-robe flowDown from the pale, composed face–thy headCrowned with its own dark curls: though thou wast dead,They dressed thee as […]

When at Philippi, he who would have freedGreat Rome from tyrants, for the season briefThat lay ‘twixt him and battle, sought reliefFrom painful thoughts, he in a book did read,That so the death of Portia might not breedUnmanful thoughts, and cloud his mind with grief:Brother of Brutus, of high hearts the chief,When thou at length […]

They say that lonely sorrows do not chance:More gently, I think, sorrows together go;A new one joins the funeral gliding slowWith less of jar than when it breaks the dance.Grief swages grief, and joy doth joy enhance;Nature is generous to her children so.And were they quick to spy the flowers that blow,As quick to feel […]

In that high country whither thou art gone,Right noble friend, thou walkest with thy peers,The gathered great of many a hundred years!Few are left like thee–few, I say, not none,Else were thy England soon a Babylon,A land of outcry, mockery, and tears!Higher than law, a refuge from its fears,Wast thou, in whom embodied Justice shone.The […]

I. Lawrence, what though the world be growing dark,And twilight cool thy potent day inclose!The sun, beneath the round earth sunk, still glowsAll the night through, sleepless and young and stark.Oh, be thy spirit faithful as the lark,More daring: in the midnight of thy woes,Dart through them, higher than earth’s shadow goes,Into the Light of […]

Filled with his words of truth and right,Her heart will break or cry:A woman’s cry bursts forth in mightOf loving agony. “Blessed the womb, thee, Lord, that bare!The bosom that thee fed!”A moment’s silence filled the air,All heard the words she said. He turns his face: he knows the cry,The fountain whence it springs–A woman’s […]

Ray of the Dawn of Truth, Aubrey de Vere,Forgive my play fantastic with thy name,Distilling its true essence by the flameWhich Love ‘neath Fancy’s limbeck lighteth clear.I know not what thy semblance, what thy cheer;If, as thy spirit, hale thy bodily frame,Or furthering by failure each high aim;If green thy leaf, or, like mine, growing […]

She knelt, she bore a bold request,Though shy to speak it out:Ambition, even in mother’s breast,Before him stood in doubt. “What is it?” “Grant thy promise now,My sons on thy right handAnd on thy left shall sit when thouArt king, Lord, in the land.” “Ye know not what ye ask.” There layA baptism and a […]

The Unseen Face

Story type: Poetry

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“I do beseech thee, God, show me thy face.”“Come up to me in Sinai on the morn!Thou shall behold as much as may be borne.”And on a rock stood Moses, lone in space.From Sinai’s top, the vaporous, thunderous place,God passed in cloud, an earthy garment wornTo hide, and thus reveal. In love, not scorn,He put […]

Thrice-happy he whose heart, each new-born night,When old-worn day hath vanished o’er earth’s brim,And he hath laid him down in chamber dim,Straightway begins to tremble and grow bright,And loose faint flashes toward the vaulted heightOf the great peace that overshadoweth him:Keen lambent flames of hope awake and swimThroughout his soul, touching each point with light!The […]

I. If thou hadst been a sculptor, what a raceOf forms divine had thenceforth filled the land!Methinks I see thee, glorious workman, stand,Striking a marble window through blind space–Thy face’s reflex on the coming face,As dawns the stone to statue ‘neath thy hand–Body obedient to its soul’s command,Which is thy thought, informing it with grace!So […]

To G. M. T.

Story type: Poetry

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The sun is sinking in the west,Long grow the shadows dim;Have patience, sister, to be blest,Wait patiently for Him. Thou knowest love, much love hast had,Great things of love mayst tell,Ought’st never to be very sadFor thou too hast lov’d well. His house thou know’st, who on the brinkOf death loved more than thou,Loved more […]

In Memorium

Story type: Poetry

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Lady Caroline Charteris The mountain-stream may humbly boastFor her the loud waves call;The hamlet feeds the nation’s host,The home-farm feeds the hall; And unto earth heaven’s Lord doth lendThe right, of high import,The gladsome privilege to sendNew courtiers to Love’s court. Not strange to thee, O lady dear,Life in that palace fair,For thou while waiting […]

The veil hath lifted and hath fallen; and himWho next it stood before us, first so long,We see not; but between the cherubimThe light burns clearer: come–a thankful song! Lord, for thy prophet’s calm commanding voice,For his majestic innocence and truth,For his unswerving purity of choice,For all his tender wrath and plenteous ruth; For his […]

George Rolleston

Story type: Poetry

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Dead art thou? No more dead than was the maidOver whose couch the saving God did stand–“She is not dead but sleepeth,” said,And took her by the hand! Thee knowledge never from Life’s pathway wiled,But following still where life’s great father led,He turned, and taking up his child,Raised thee too from the dead, O living, […]

The silence of traitorous feet!The silence of close-pent rage!The roar, and the sudden heart-beat!And the shot through the true heart going,The truest heart of the age!And the Nile serenely flowing! Carnage and curses and cries!He utters never a word;Still as a child he lies;The wind of the desert is blowingAcross the dead man of the […]

JANUARY 26, 1885. Gordon, the self-refusing,Gordon, the lover of God,Gordon, the good part choosing,Welcome along the road! Thou knowest the man, O Father!To do thy will he ran;Men’s praises he did not gather:There is scarce such another man! Thy black sheep’s faithful shepherdWho knew not how to flee,Is torn by the desert leopard,And comes wounded […]

Failure

Story type: Poetry

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Farewell, O Arm of the Lord!Man who hated the sword,Yet struck and spared not the thing abhorred!Farewell, O word of the Word!Man who knew no failureBut the failure of the Lord!

How shall he sing who hath no song?He laugh who hath no mirth?Will cannot wake the sleeping song!Yea, Love itself in vain may longTo sing with them that have a song,Or, mirthless, laugh with Mirth!He who would sing but hath no songMust speak the right, denounce the wrong,Must humbly front the indignant throng,Must yield his […]

A broken tale of endless things,Take, lady: thou art not of thoseWho in what vale a fountain springsWould have its journey close. Countless beginnings, fair first parts,Leap to the light, and shining flow;All broken things, or toys or hearts,Are mended where they go. Then down thy stream, with hope-filled sail,Float faithful fearless on, loved friend;‘Tis […]

This World

Story type: Poetry

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Thy world is made to fit thine own,A nursery for thy children small,The playground-footstool of thy throne,Thy solemn school-room, Father of all!When day is done, in twilight’s gloom,We pass into thy presence-room. Because from selfishness and wrath,Our cold and hot extremes of ill,We grope and stagger on the path–Thou tell’st us from thy holy hill,With […]

Saint Peter

Story type: Poetry

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O Peter, wherefore didst thou doubt?Indeed the spray flew fast about,But he was there whose walking footCould make the wandering hills take root;And he had said, “Come down to me,”Else hadst thou not set foot on sea!Christ did not call thee to thy grave!Was it the boat that made thee brave? “Easy for thee who […]

Zacchaeus

Story type: Poetry

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To whom the heavy burden clings,It yet may serve him like a staff;One day the cross will break in wings,The sinner laugh a holy laugh. The dwarfed Zacchaeus climbed a tree,His humble stature set him high;The Lord the little man did seeWho sought the great man passing by. Up to the tree he came, and […]

I. Who follows Jesus shall not walkIn darksome road with danger rife;But in his heart the Truth will talk,And on his way will shine the Life. So, on the story we must poreOf him who lives for us, and died,That we may see him walk before,And know the Father in the guide. II. In words […]

Men sought, ambition’s thirst to slake,The lost elixir oldWhose magic touch should instant makeThe meaner metals gold. A nobler alchymy is thineWhich love from pain doth press:Gold in thy hand becomes divine,Grows truth and tenderness.

To The Same

Story type: Poetry

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Dead, why defend thee, who in lifeFor thy worst foe hadst died;Who, thy own name a word of strife,Didst silent stand aside? Grand in forgiveness, what to theeThe big world’s puny prate!Or thy great heart hath ceased to beOr loveth still its mate!

The He Heeded Not

Story type: Poetry

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Of whispering trees the tongues to hear,And sermons of the silent stone;To read in brooks the print so clearOf motion, shadowy light, and tone–That man hath neither eye nor earWho careth not for human moan. Yea, he who draws, in shrinking haste,From sin that passeth helpless by;The weak antennae of whose tasteFrom touch of alien […]

The thousand streets of London grayRepel all country sights;But bar not winds upon their way,Nor quench the scent of new-mown hayIn depth of summer nights. And here and there an open spot,Still bare to light and dark,With grass receives the wanderer hot;There trees are growing, houses not–They call the place a park. Soft creatures, with […]

When things are holding wonted paceIn wonted paths, without a traceOr hint of neighbouring wonder,Sometimes, from other realms, a tone,A scent, a vision, swift, alone,Breaks common life asunder. Howe’er it comes, whate’er its door,It makes you ponder something more–Unseen with seen things linking:To neighbours met one festive night,Was given a quaint and lovely sight,That set […]

The Disciple

Story type: Poetry

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DEDICATION. To all who fainWould keep the grain,And cast the husk away–That it may feedThe living seed,And serve it with decay–I offer this dim storyWhose clouds crack into glory. THE DISCIPLE. I. The times are changed, and gone the dayWhen the high heavenly land,Though unbeheld, quite near them lay,And men could understand. The dead yet […]

A Dream Of Waking

Story type: Poetry

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A child was born in sin and shame,Wronged by his very birth,Without a home, without a name,One over in the earth. No wifely triumph he inspired,Allayed no husband’s fear;Intruder bare, whom none desired,He had a welcome drear. Heaven’s beggar, all but turned adriftFor knocking at earth’s gate,His mother, like an evil gift,Shunned him with sickly […]

A Manchester Poem

Story type: Poetry

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‘Tis a poor drizzly morning, dark and sad.The cloud has fallen, and filled with fold on foldThe chimneyed city; and the smoke is caught,And spreads diluted in the cloud, and sinks,A black precipitate, on miry streets.And faces gray glide through the darkened fog. Slave engines utter again their ugly growl,And soon the iron bands and […]

Trust my father, saith the eldest-born;I did trust him ere the earth began;Not to know him is to be forlorn;Not to love him is–not to be man. He that knows him loves him altogether;With my father I am so contentThat through all this dreary human weatherI am working, waiting, confident. He is with me; I […]

My wife contrived a fleecy thingHer husband to infold,For ’tis the pride of woman stillTo cover from the cold:My daughter made it a new textFor a sermon very old. The child came trotting to her side,Ready with bootless aid:“Lily make veckit for papa,”The tiny woman said:Her mother gave the means and ways,And a knot upon […]

Reciprocity

Story type: Poetry

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Her mother, Elfie older grown,One evening, for adieu,Said, “You’ll not mind being left alone,For God takes care of you!” In child-way her heart’s eye did seeThe correlation’s node:“Yes,” she said, “God takes care o’ me,An’ I take care o’ God.” The child and woman were the same,She changed not, only grew;‘Twixt God and her no […]

My little boy, with smooth, fair cheeks,And dreamy, large, brown eyes,Not often, little wisehead, speaks,But hearing, weighs and tries. “God is not only in the sky,”His sister said one day–Not older much, but she would cryLike Wisdom in the way– “He’s in this room.” His dreamy, clear,Large eyes look round for God:In vain they search, […]

I. O night, send up the harvest moonTo walk about the fields,And make of midnight magic noonOn lonely tarns and wealds. In golden ranks, with golden crowns,All in the yellow land,Old solemn kings in rustling gowns,The shocks moon-charmed stand. Sky-mirror she, afloat in space,Beholds our coming morn:Her heavenly joy hath such a grace,It ripens earthly […]

I. The sky has turned its heart away,The earth its sorrow found;The daisies turn from childhood’s play,And creep into the ground. The earth is black and cold and hard;Thin films of dry white ice,Across the rugged wheel-tracks barred,The children’s feet entice. Dark flows the stream, as if it mournedThe winter in the land;With idle icicles […]

I. Back shining from the pane, the fireSeems outside in the snow:So love set free from love’s desireLights grief of long ago. The dark is thinned with snow-sheen fine,The earth bedecked with moon;Out on the worlds we surely shineMore radiant than in June! In the white garden lies a heapAs brown as deep-dug mould:A hundred […]

I. A gentle wind, of western birthOn some far summer sea,Wakes daisies in the wintry earth,Wakes hopes in wintry me. The sun is low; the paths are wet,And dance with frolic hail;The trees–their spring-time is not yet–Swing sighing in the gale. Young gleams of sunshine peep and play;Clouds shoulder in between;I scarce believe one coming […]

I. The flush of green that dyed the dayHath vanished in the moon;Flower-scents float stronger out, and playAn unborn, coming tune. One southern eve like this, the dewHad cooled and left the ground;The moon hung half-way from the blue,No disc, but conglobed round; Light-leaved acacias, by the door,Bathed in the balmy air,Clusters of blossomed moonlight […]

Two In One

Story type: Poetry

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Were thou and I the white pinionsOn some eager, heaven-born dove,Swift would we mount to the old dominions,To our rest of old, my love! Were thou and I trembling strandsIn music’s enchanted line,We would wait and wait for magic handsTo untwist the magic twine. Were we two sky-tints, thou and I,Thou the golden, I the […]

Bedtime

Story type: Poetry

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“Come, children, put away your toys;Roll up that kite’s long line;The day is done for girls and boys–Look, it is almost nine!Come, weary foot, and sleepy head,Get up, and come along to bed.” The children, loath, must yet obey;Up the long stair they creep;Lie down, and something sing or sayUntil they fall asleep,To steal through […]

Thou who mad’st the mighty clockOf the great world go;Mad’st its pendulum swing and rock,Ceaseless to and fro;Thou whose will doth push and drawEvery orb in heaven,Help me move by higher lawIn my spirit graven. Like a planet let me swing–With intention strong;In my orbit rushing singJubilant along;Help me answer in my courseTo my seasons […]

A Song Prayer

Story type: Poetry

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Lord Jesus,Oh, ease usOf Self that oppresses,Annoys and distressesBody and brainWith dull pain!Thou never,Since ever,Save one moment only,Wast left, or wast lonely:We are alone,And make moan. Far parted,Dull-hearted,We wander, sleep-walking,Mere shadows, dim-stalking:Orphans we roam,Far from home. Oh new man,Sole human,God’s son, and our brother,Give each to the other–No one left outIn cold doubt! High Father,Oh […]

I. A glory on the chamber wall!A glory in the brain!Triumphant floods of glory fallOn heath, and wold, and plain. Earth lieth still in hopeless bliss;She has, and seeks no more;Forgets that days come after this,Forgets the days before. Each ripple waves a flickering fireOf gladness, as it runs;They laugh and flash, and leap and […]

I. The dreary wind of night is out,Homeless and wandering slow;O’er pale seas moaning like a doubt,It breathes, but will not blow. It sighs from out the helpless past,Where doleful things abide;Gray ghosts of dead thought sail aghastAcross its ebbing tide. O’er marshy pools it faints and flows,All deaf and dumb and blind;O’er moor and […]

Going To Sleep

Story type: Poetry

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Little one, you must not fretThat I take your clothes away;Better sleep you so will get,And at morning wake more gay–Saith the children’s mother. You I must unclothe again,For you need a better dress;Too much worn are body and brain;You need everlastingness–Saith the heavenly father. I went down death’s lonely stair;Laid my garments in the […]

I. We bore him through the golden land,One early harvest morn;The corn stood ripe on either hand–He knew all about the corn. How shall the harvest gathered beWithout him standing by?Without him walking on the lea,The sky is scarce a sky. The year’s glad work is almost done;The land is rich in fruit;Yellow it floats […]

Foolish Children

Story type: Poetry

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Waking in the night to pray,Sleeping when the answer comes,Foolish are we even at play–Tearfully we beat our drums!Cast the good dry bread away,Weep, and gather up the crumbs! “Evermore,” while shines the day,“Lord,” we cry, “thy will be done!”Soon as evening groweth gray,Thy fair will we fain would shun!“Take, oh, take thy hand away!See […]

Love Is Home

Story type: Poetry

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Love is the part, and love is the whole;Love is the robe, and love is the pall;Ruler of heart and brain and soul,Love is the lord and the slave of all!I thank thee, Love, that thou lov’st me;I thank thee more that I love thee. Love is the rain, and love is the air,Love is […]

Our Ship

Story type: Poetry

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Had I a great ship coming home,With big plunge o’er the sea,What bright things, hid from star and foam,Lay in her heart for thee! The stormy billows heave and dip,The wild winds veer and play;But, regnant all, God’s stately shipIs steering home this way!

Autumn clouds are flying, flyingO’er the waste of blue;Summer flowers are dying, dying,Late so lovely new.Labouring wains are slowly rollingHome with winter grain;Holy bells are slowly tollingOver buried men. Goldener light sets noon a sleepingLike an afternoon;Colder airs come stealing, creepingFrom the misty moon;And the leaves, of old age dying,Earthy hues put on;Out on every […]

My Heart Thy Lark

Story type: Poetry

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Why dost thou want to singWhen thou hast no song, my heart?If there be in thee a hidden spring,Wherefore will no word start? On its way thou hearest no song,Yet flutters thy unborn joy!The years of thy life are growing long–Art still the heart of a boy?– Father, I am thy child!My heart is in […]

Winter Song

Story type: Poetry

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They were parted then at last?Was it duty, or force, or fate?Or did a worldly blastBlow-to the meeting-gate? An old, short story is this!A glance, a trembling, a sigh,A gaze in the eyes, a kiss–Why will it not go by!

Picture Songs

Story type: Poetry

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I. A pale green sky is gleaming;The steely stars are few;The moorland pond is steamingA mist of gray and blue. Along the pathway lonelyMy horse is walking slow;Three living creatures only,He, I, and a home-bound crow! The moon is hardly shapingHer circle in the fog;A dumb stream is escapingIts prison in the bog. But in […]

Heaven and the sea attend the dying day,And in their sadness overflow and blend–Faint gold, and windy blue, and green and gray:Far out amid them my pale soul I send. For, as they mingle, so mix life and death;An hour draws near when my day too will die;Already I forecast unheaving breath,Eviction on the moorland […]

When God’s own child came down to earth,High heaven was very glad;The angels sang for holy mirth;Not God himself was sad! Shall we, when ours goes homeward, fret?Come, Hope, and wait on Sorrow!The little one will not forget;It’s only till to-morrow!

The Temple Of God

Story type: Poetry

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In the desert by the bush,Moses to his heart said Hush. David on his bed did pray;God all night went not away. From his heap of ashes foulJob to God did lift his soul, God came down to see him there,And to answer all his prayer. On a dark hill, in the wind,Jesus did his […]

Hard Times

Story type: Poetry

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I am weary, and very lonely,And can but think–think.If there were some water onlyThat a spirit might drink–drink,And arise,With light in the eyesAnd a crown of hope on the brow,To walk abroad in the strength of gladness,Not sit in the house, benumbed with sadness–As now! But, Lord, thy child will be sad–As sad as it […]

I. Night, with her power to silence day,Filled up my lonely room,Quenching all sounds but one that layBeyond her passing doom,Where in his shed a workman gayWent on despite the gloom. I listened, and I knew the sound,And the trade that he was plying;For backwards, forwards, bound on bound,A shuttle was flying, flying–Weaving ever–till, all […]

The Flower-Angels

Story type: Poetry

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Of old, with goodwill from the skies–God’s message to them given–The angels came, a glad surprise,And went again to heaven. But now the angels are grown rare,Needed no more as then;Far lowlier messengers can bearGod’s goodwill unto men. Each year, the snowdrops’ pallid dawnBreaks from the earth below;Light spreads, till, from the dark updrawn,The noontide […]

I. Old fables are not all a lieThat tell of wondrous birth,Of Titan children, father Sky,And mighty mother Earth. Yea, now are walking on the groundSons of the mingled brood;Yea, now upon the earth are foundSuch daughters of the Good. Earth-born, my sister, thou art stillA daughter of the sky;Oh, climb for ever up the […]

Wild Flowers

Story type: Poetry

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Content Primroses,With hearts at rest in your thick leaves’ soft care,Peeping as from his mother’s lap the childWho courts shy shelter from his own open air!–Hanging Harebell,Whose blue heaven to no wanderer ever closes,Though thou still lookest earthward from thy domed cell!–Fluttering-wildAnemone, so wellNamed of the Wind, to whom thou, fettered-free,Yieldest thee, helpless–wilfully,With Take me […]

Summer Song

Story type: Poetry

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“Murmuring, ‘twixt a murmur and moan,Many a tune in a single tone,For every ear with a secret true–The sea-shell wants to whisper to you.” “Yes–I hear it–far and faint,Like thin-drawn prayer of drowsy saint;Like the muffled sounds of a summer rain;Like the wash of dreams in a weary brain.” “By smiling lip and fixed eye,You […]

DEDICATION Sweet friends, receive my offering. You will findAgainst each worded page a white page set:–This is the mirror of each friendly mindReflecting that. In this book we are met.Make it, dear hearts, of worth to you indeed:–Let your white page be ground, my print be seed,Growing to golden ears, that faith and hope shall […]

Mary

Story type: Poetry

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1. She sitteth at the Master’s feetIn motionless employ;Her ears, her heart, her soul completeDrinks in the tide of joy. She is the Earth, and He the Sun;He shineth forth her leaves;She, in new life from darkness won,Gives back what she receives. Ah! who but she the glory knowsOf life, pure, high, intense;Whose holy calm […]

She washes them with sorrow sweet,She wipes them with her hair;Her kisses soothe the weary feet,To all her kisses bare. The best of woman, beauty’s crown,She spends upon his feet;Her eyes, her lips, her hair, flung down,In one devotion meet. His face, his words, her heart had woke.She judged Him well, in sooth:Believing Him, her […]

Near him she stole, rank after rank;She feared approach too loud;She touched his garment’s hem, and shrankBack in the sheltering crowd. A trembling joy goes through her frame:Her twelve years’ fainting prayerIs heard at last; she is the sameAs other women there. She hears his voice; He looks about.Ah! is it kind or goodTo bring […]

Here much and little change their nameWith changing need and time;But more and less new judgments claim,Where all things are sublime. Sickness may be more hale than health,And service kingdom high;Yea, poverty be bounty’s wealth,To give like God thereby. Bring forth your riches,–let them go,Nor mourn the lost control;For if ye hoard them, surely soTheir […]

They give Him freely all they can,They give Him clothes and food;In this rejoicing, that the ManIs not ashamed they should. Enough He labours for his hire;Yea, nought can pay his pain;The sole return He doth requireIs strength to toil again. And this, embalmed in truth, they bring,By love received as such;Their little, by his […]

Pilate’s Wife

Story type: Poetry

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Strangely thy whispered message ran,Almost in form behest!Why came in dreams the low-born manTo part thee from thy rest? It may be that some spirit fair,Who knew not what must be,Fled in the anguish of his careFor help for him to thee. But rather would I think thee great;That rumours upward went,And pierced the palisades […]

The empty pitcher to the poolShe bore in listless mood:In haste she turned; the pitcher fullBeside the water stood. To her was heard the age’s prayer:He sat upon the brink;Weary beside the waters fair,And yet He could not drink. He begged her help. The woman’s handWas ready to reply;From out the old well of the […]

Mary Magdalene

Story type: Poetry

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With eyes aglow, and aimless zeal,Throughout the land she goes;Her tones, her motions, all revealA mind without repose. She climbs the hills, she haunts the sea,By madness tortured, driven;One hour’s forgetfulness would beA gift from very heaven. The night brings sleep, the sleep distress;The torture of the dayReturns as free, in darker dress,In more secure […]

A still dark joy. A sudden face,Cold daylight, footsteps, cries;The temple’s naked, shining space,Aglare with judging eyes. With all thy wild abandoned hair,And terror-pallid lips,Thy blame unclouded to the air,Thy honour in eclipse; Thy head, thine eyes droop to the ground,Thy shrinking soul to hide;Lest, at its naked windows found,Its shame be all descried. Another […]

The Mother Mary

Story type: Poetry

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1. Mary, to thee the heart was givenFor infant hand to hold,Thus clasping, an eternal heaven,The great earth in its fold. He seized the world with tender might,By making thee his own;Thee, lowly queen, whose heavenly heightWas to thyself unknown. He came, all helpless, to thy power,For warmth, and love, and birth;In thy embraces, every […]

She says within: “It is a man,A man of mother born;She is a woman–I am one,Alive this holy morn.” Filled with his words that flow in light,Her heart will break or cry:A woman’s cry bursts forth in mightOf loving agony. “Blessed the womb, Thee, Lord, that bore!The breast where Thou hast fed!”Storm-like those words the […]

Ah mother! for thy children bold,But doubtful of thy quest,Thou begg’st a boon ere it be told,Avoiding wisdom’s test. Though love is strong to bring thee nigh,Ambition makes thee doubt;Ambition dulls the prophet-eye;It casts the unseen out. Not that in thousands he be one,Uplift in lonely state–Seek great things, mother, for thy son,Because the things […]

“Bestow her prayer, and let her go;She crieth after us.”Nay, to the dogs ye cast it so;Help not a woman thus. Their pride, by condescension fed,He speaks with truer tongue:“It is not meet the children’s breadShould to the dogs be flung.” She, too, shall share the hurt of good,Her spirit, too, be rent,That these proud […]

The Widow Of Nain

Story type: Poetry

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Away from living man’s abodeThe tides of sorrow sweep,Bearing a dead man on the roadTo where the weary sleep. And down the hill, in sunny state,Glad footsteps troop along;A noble figure walks sedate,The centre of the throng. The streams flow onward, onward flow,Touch, waver, and are still;And through the parted crowds doth go,Before the prayer, […]

For eighteen years, O patient soul,Thine eyes have sought thy grave;Thou seest not thy other goal,Nor who is nigh to save. Thou nearest gentle words that wakeThy long-forgotten strength;Thou feelest tender hands that breakThe iron bonds at length. Thou knowest life rush swift alongThy form bent sadly low;And up, amidst the wondering throngThou risest firm […]

“My eyes make pictures, when they are shut.”COLERIDGE. Fair morn, I bring my greetingTo lofty skies, and pale,Save where cloud-shreds are fleetingBefore the driving gale,The weary branches tossing,Careless of autumn’s grief,Shadow and sunlight crossingOn each earth-spotted leaf. I will escape their grieving;And so I close my eyes,And see the light boat heavingWhere the billows fall […]

When, like a garment flung aside at night,This body lies, or sculpture of cold rest;When through its shaded windows comes no light,And the white hands are folded on its breast; How will it be with Me, its tenant now?How shall I feel when first I wander out?How look on tears from loved eyes falling? HowLook […]

I. There breathes not a breath of the morning air,But the spirit of Love is moving there;Not a trembling leaf on the shadowy treeMingles with thousands in harmony;But the Spirit of God doth make the sound,And the thoughts of the insect that creepeth around.And the sunshiny butterflies come and go,Like beautiful thoughts moving to and […]

To C.C.P.

Story type: Poetry

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The bird on the leafy tree,The bird in the cloudy sky,The fish in the wavy sea,The stag on the mountain high,The albatross asleepOn the waves of the rocking deep,The bee on its light wing, borneOver the bending corn,–What is the thought in the breastOf the little bird at rest?What is the thought in the songsWhich […]

Summer is come again. The sun is bright,And the soft wind is breathing. We will joy;And seeing in each other’s eyes the lightOf the same joy, smile hopeful. Our employShall, like the birds’, be airy castles, thingsBuilt by gay hopes, and fond imaginings,Peopling the land within us. We will tellOf the green hills, and of […]

The weary Old Year is dead at last;His corpse ‘mid the ruins of Time is cast,Where the mouldering wrecks of lost Thought lie,And the rich-hued blossoms of Passion dieTo a withering grass that droops o’er his grave,The shadowy Titan’s refuge cave.Strange lights from pale moony Memory lieOn the weedy columns beneath its eye;And strange is […]

A Song In A Dream

Story type: Poetry

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I dreamed of a song, I heard it sung;In the ear that sleeps not its music rung.And the tones were upheld by harmonies deep,Where the spirit floated; yea, soared, on their sweepWith each wild unearthly word and tone,Upward, it knew not whither bound,In a calm delirium of mystic sound–Up, where the Genius of Thought aloneLoveth […]

I went to listen to my teacher friend.O Friend above, thanks for the friend below!Who having been made wise, deep things to know,With brooding spirit over them doth bend,Until they waken words, as wings, to sendTheir seeds far forth, seeking a place to grow.The lesson past, with quiet foot I go,And towards his silent room, […]

I, strengthened, left him. Next in a close place,Mid houses crowded, dingy, barred, and high,Where men live not except to sell and buy,To me, leaving a doorway, came a grace.(Surely from heaven she came, though all that raceWalketh on human feet beneath the sky.)I, going on, beheld not who was nigh,When a sweet girl looked […]

And there I found him whom I went to find,A man of noble make and head uplift,Of equal carriage, Nature’s bounteous gift;For in no shelter had his generous mindGrown flowers that need the winds, rough not unkind.The joiner’s bench taught him, with judgment swift,Seen things to fashion, unseen things to sift;From all his face a […]

(Exodus XXXIII. 18-23.) “I do beseech Thee, God, show me thy face.”“Come up to me in Sinai on the morn:Thou shalt behold as much as may be borne.”And Moses on a rock stood lone in space.From Sinai’s top, the vaporous, thunderous place,God passed in clouds, an earthly garment wornTo hide, and thus reveal. In love, […]

I. If Thou hadst been a sculptor, what a raceOf forms divine had ever preached to men!Lo, I behold thy brow, all glorious then,(Its reflex dawning on the statue’s face)Bringing its Thought to birth in human grace,The soul of the grand form, upstarting, whenThou openest thus thy mysteries to our ken,Striking a marble window through […]

Death And Birth

Story type: Poetry

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A Symbol. [Sidenote: He looks from his window on the midnight town.] ‘Tis the midnight hour; I heardThe city clocks give out the word.Seldom are the lamp-rays shedOn the quick foot-farer’s head,As I sit at my window old,Looking out into the cold,Down along the narrowing streetStretching out below my feet,From base of this primeval block,My […]

The Gray Wolf

Story type: Literature

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One evening-twilight in spring, a young English student, who had wandered northwards as far as the outlying fragments of Scotland called the Orkney and Shetland Islands, found himself on a small island of the latter group, caught in a storm of wind and hail, which had come on suddenly. It was in vain to look […]

The Broken Swords

Story type: Literature

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The eyes of three, two sisters and a brother, gazed for the last time on a great pale-golden star, that followed the sun down the steep west. It went down to arise again; and the brother about to depart might return, but more than the usual doubt hung upon his future. For between the white […]

The Wow O’ Rivven

Story type: Literature

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Elsie Scott had let her work fall on her knees, and her hands on her work, and was looking out of the wide, low window of her room, which was on one of the ground floors of the village street. Through a gap in the household shrubbery of fuchsias and myrtles filling the window-sill, one […]

The Castle

Story type: Literature

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On the top of a high cliff, forming part of the base of a great mountain, stood a lofty castle. When or how it was built, no man knew; nor could any one pretend to understand its architecture. Every one who looked upon it felt that it was lordly and noble; and where one part […]

The Cruel Painter

Story type: Literature

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Among the young men assembled at the University of Prague, in the year 159–, was one called Karl von Wolkenlicht. A somewhat careless student, he yet held a fair position in the estimation of both professors and men, because he could hardly look at a proposition without understanding it. Where such proposition, however, had to […]

Far Above Rubies

Story type: Literature

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Hector Macintosh was a young man about five-and-twenty, who, with the proclivities of the Celt, inherited also some of the consequent disabilities, as well as some that were accidental. Among the rest was a strong tendency to regard only the ideal, and turn away from any authority derived from an inferior source. His chief delight […]

CHAPTER I. Once upon a time, the Queen of Fairyland, finding her own subjects far too well-behaved to be amusing, took a sudden longing to have a mortal or two at her Court. So, after looking about her for some time, she fixed upon two to bring to Fairyland. But how were they to be […]

It was a dull evening in November. A drizzling mist had been falling all day about the old farm. Harry Heywood and his two sisters sat in the house-place, expecting a visit from their uncle, Cornelius Heywood. This uncle lived alone, occupying the first floor above a chemist’s shop in the town, and had just […]

Away from the city’s herds!Away from the noisy street!Away from the storm of words,Where hateful and hating meet! Away from the vapour grey,That like a boding of illIs blotting the morning gay,And gathers and darkens still! Away from the stupid book!For, like the fog’s weary rest,With anger dull it fills each nookOf my aching and […]

All sights and sounds of every year,All groups and forms, each leaf and gem,Are thine, O God, nor need I fearTo speak to Thee of them. Too great thy heart is to despise;Thy day girds centuries about;From things which we count small, thine eyesSee great things looking out. Therefore this prayerful song I singMay come […]

Far And Near

Story type: Poetry

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[The fact to which the following verses refer, is related by Dr. Edward Clarke in his Travels.] Blue sunny skies above; below,A blue and sunny sea;A world of blue, wherein did blowOne soft wind steadily. In great and solemn heaves, the massOf pulsing ocean beat,Unwrinkled as the sea of glassBeneath the holy feet. With forward […]

My Room

Story type: Poetry

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To G.E.M. ‘Tis a little room, my friend;A baby-walk from end to end;All the things look sadly real,This hot noontide’s Unideal.Seek not refuge at the casement,There’s no pasture for amazementBut a house most dim and rusty,And a street most dry and dusty;Seldom here more happy visionThan water-cart’s blest apparition,We’ll shut out the staring space,Draw the […]

Little Elfie

Story type: Poetry

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I have an elfish maiden child;She is not two years old;Through windy locks her eyes gleam wild,With glances shy and bold. Like little imps, her tiny handsDart out and push and take;Chide her–a trembling thing she stands,And like two leaves they shake. But to her mind a minute goneIs like a year ago;So when you […]

My little child receives my gift,A simple piece of bread;But to her mouth she doth not liftThe love in bread conveyed,Till on my lips, unerring, swift,The morsel first is laid. This is her grace before her food,This her libation poured;Uplift, like offering Aaron goodHeaved up unto the Lord;More riches in the thanks than couldA thousand […]

Is there a man on earth, who, every night,When the day hath exhausted each strong limb,Lays him upon his bed in chamber dim,And his heart straightway trembling with delight,Begins to burn up towards the vaulted heightOf the great peace that overshadows him?Like flakes of fire his thoughts within him swim,Till all his soul is radiant, […]

O Do Not Leave Me

Story type: Poetry

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O do not leave me, mother, till I sleep;Be near me until I forget; sit there.And the child having prayed lest she should weep,Sleeps in the strength of prayer. O do not leave me, lover, brother, friends,Till I am dead, and resting in my place.And the girl, having prayed, in silence bendsDown to the earth’s […]

Inscribed to S.F.S. They say that lonely sorrows do not chance.I think it true, and that the cause I know:A sorrow glideth in a funeral showEasier than if it broke into a dance.But I think too, that joy doth joy enhanceAs often as an added grief brings low;And if keen-eyed to see the flowers that […]

Of old, with goodwill from the skies,The holy angels came;They walked the earth with human eyes,And passed away in flame. But now the angels are withdrawn,Because the flowers can speak;With Christ, we see the dayspring dawnIn every snowdrop meek. God sends them forth; to God they tend;Not less with love they burn,That to the earth […]

Sad-hearted, be at peace: the snowdrop liesUnder the cold, sad earth-clods and the snow;But spring is floating up the southern skies,And the pale snowdrop silent waits below. O loved if known! in dull December’s dayOne scarce believes there is a month of June;But up the stairs of April and of MayThe dear sun climbeth to […]

My heart is full of inarticulate pain,And beats laboriously. Ungenial looksInvade my sanctuary. Men of gain,Wise in success, well-read in feeble books,Do not come near me now, your air is drear;‘Tis winter and low skies when ye appear. Beloved, who love beauty and love truth!Come round me; for too near ye cannot come;Make me an […]

A Boy’s Grief

Story type: Poetry

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Ah me! in ages far away,The good, the heavenly land,Though unbeheld, quite near them lay,And men could understand. The dead yet find it, who, when here,Did love it more than this;They enter in, are filled with cheer,And pain expires in bliss. Oh, fairly shines the blessed land!Ah, God! I weep and pray–The heart thou holdest […]

The Child-Mother

Story type: Poetry

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Heavily lay the warm sunlightUpon the green blades shining bright,An outspread grassy sea:She through the burnished yellow flowersWent walking in the golden hoursThat slept upon the lea. The bee went past her with a hum;The merry gnats did go and comeIn complicated dance;Like a blue angel, to and fro,The splendid dragon-fly did go,Shot like a […]

The Outer Dream

Story type: Poetry

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And as they lay and looked into the room,It wavered, changed, dissolved beneath the sun,Which mingled both the mornings in their eyes,Till the true conquered, and the unreal passed.No walls, but woods bathed in a level sun;No ceiling, but the vestal sky of morn;No bed, but flowers floating ‘mid floating leavesOn water which grew audible […]

Love’s Ordeal

Story type: Poetry

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A recollection and attempted completion of a prose fragment read in childhood. “Know’st thou that sound upon the window pane?”Said the youth quietly, as outstretched he lay,Where for an hour outstretched he had lain,Pillowed upon her knees. To him did sayThe thoughtful maiden: “It is but the rainThat hath been gathering in the West all […]

The monk was praying in his cell,And he did pray full sore;He had been praying on his kneesFor two long hours and more. And in the midst, and suddenly,He felt his eyes ope wide;And he lifted not his head, but sawA man’s feet him beside. And almost to his feet there reachedA garment strangely knit;Some […]

Alas! ’tis cold and dark;The wind all night has sung a wintry tune;Hail from black clouds that swallowed up the moonHas beat against my bark. Oh! when will it be spring?The sap moves not within my withered veins;Through all my frozen roots creep numbing pains,That they can hardly cling. The sun shone out last morn;I […]

INTRODUCTION. I sought the long clear twilights of the North,When, from its nest of trees, my father’s houseSees the Aurora deepen into dawnFar northward in the East, o’er the hill-top;And fronts the splendours of the northern West,Where sunset dies into that ghostly gleamThat round the horizon creepeth all the nightBack to the jubilance of gracious […]

The Story

Story type: Poetry

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Aye as it listeth blows the listless wind,Filling great sails, and bending lordly masts,Or making billows in the green corn fields,And hunting lazy clouds across the blue:Now, like a vapour o’er the sunny sea,It blows the vessel from the harbour’s mouth,Out ‘mid the broken crests of seaward waves,And hovering of long-pinioned ocean birds,As if the […]

I heard, in darkness, on my bed,The beating of my heartTo servant feet and regnant headA common life impart,By the liquid cords, in every threadUnbroken as they start. Night, with its power to silence day,Filled up my lonely room;All motion quenching, save what layBeyond its passing doom,Where in his shed the workman gayWent on despite […]

A quiet heart, submissive, meek,Father do thou bestow;Which more than granted will not seekTo have, or give, or know. Each green hill then will hold its giftForth to my joying eyes;The mountains blue will then upliftMy spirit to the skies. The falling water then will soundAs if for me alone;Nay, will not blessing more aboundThat […]

The Hills

Story type: Poetry

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Behind my father’s house there liesA little grassy brae,Whose face my childhood’s busy feetRan often up in play,Whence on the chimneys I looked downIn wonderment alway. Around the house, where’er I turned,Great hills closed up the view;The town ‘midst their converging rootsWas clasped by rivers two;From one hill to another sprangThe sky’s great arch of […]

I know what beauty is, for ThouHast set the world within my heart;Its glory from me will not part;I never loved it more than now. I know the Sabbath afternoon:The light lies sleeping on the graves;Against the sky the poplar waves;The river plays a Sabbath tune. Ah, know I not the spring’s snow-bell?The summer woods […]

I would I were a child,That I might look, and laugh, and say, My Father!And follow Thee with running feet, or ratherBe led thus through the wild. How I would hold thy hand!My glad eyes often to thy glory lifting,Which casts all beauteous shadows, ever shifting,Over this sea and land. If a dark thing came […]

The Lost Soul

Story type: Poetry

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Brothers, look there! What! see ye nothing yet?Knit your eyebrows close, and stare;Send your souls forth in the gaze,As my finger-point is set,Through the thick of the foggy air.Beyond the air, you see the dark;(For the darkness hedges still our ways;)And beyond the dark, oh, lives away!Dim and far down, surely you markA huge world-heap […]

THE OUTER DREAM. Young, as the day’s first-born Titanic brood,Lifting their foreheads jubilant to heaven,Rose the great mountains on my opening dream.And yet the aged peace of countless yearsReposed on every crag and precipiceOutfacing ruggedly the storms that sweptFar overhead the sheltered furrow-vales;Which smiled abroad in green as the clouds brokeDrifting adown the tide of […]

The Inner Dream

Story type: Poetry

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It was a drizzly morning where I stood.The cloud had sunk, and filled with fold on foldThe chimneyed city; so the smoke rose not,But spread diluted in the cloud, and fellA black precipitate on miry streets,Where dim grey faces vision-like went by,But half-awake, half satisfied with sleep. Slave engines had begun their ceaseless growlOf labour. […]

We doubt the word that tells us: Ask,And ye shall have your prayer;We turn our thoughts as to a task,With will constrained and rare. And yet we have; these scanty prayersYield gold without alloy:O God! but he that trusts and daresMust have a boundless joy.

Rest

Story type: Poetry

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When round the earth the Father’s handsHave gently drawn the dark;Sent off the sun to fresher lands,And curtained in the lark;‘Tis sweet, all tired with glowing day,To fade with faded light;To lie once more, the old weary way,Upfolded in the night. A mother o’er the couch may bend,And rose-leaf kisses heap:In soothing dreams with sleep […]

I walked all night: the darkness did not yield.Around me fell a mist, a weary rain,Enduring long; till a faint dawn revealed A temple’s front, cloud-curtained on the plain.Closed were the lofty doors that led within;But by a wicket one might entrance gain. O light, and awe, and silence! Entering in,The blackness and chaotic rain […]

Light

Story type: Poetry

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First-born of the creating Voice!Minister of God’s spirit, who wast sentTo wait upon Him first, what time He wentMoving about ‘mid the tumultuous noiseOf each unpiloted elementUpon the face of the void formless deep!Thou who didst come unbodied and alone,Ere yet the sun was set his rule to keep,Or ever the moon shone,Or e’er the […]

Thus, once, long since, the daring of my youthDrew nigh thy greatness with a little thing;And thou didst take me in: thy home of truth Has domed me since, a heaven of sheltering,Uplighted by the tenderness and graceWhich round thy absolute friendship ever fling A radiant atmosphere. Turn not thy faceFrom that small part of […]

Were I a skilful painter,My pencil, not my pen,Should try to teach thee hope and fear;And who should blame me then?Fear of the tide-like darknessThat followeth close behind,And hope to make thee journey onIn the journey of the mind. Were I a skilful painter,What should my painting be?A tiny spring-bud peeping forthFrom a withered wintry […]

If I were a monk, and thou wert a nun,Pacing it wearily, wearily,From chapel to cell till day were done,Wearily, wearily,Oh! how would it be with these hearts of ours,That need the sunshine, and smiles, and flowers? To prayer, to prayer, at the matins’ call,Morning foul or fair;Such prayer as from lifeless lips may fall–Words, […]

To Aurelio Saffi

Story type: Poetry

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To God and man be simply true:Do as thou hast been wont to do:Or, Of the old more in the new:Mean all the same when said to you. I love thee. Thou art calm and strong;Firm in the right, mild to the wrong;Thy heart, in every raging throng,A chamber shut for prayer and song. Defeat […]

Methinks I see thee, lying calm and low,Silent and dark within thy earthy bed;Thy mighty hands, in which I trusted, dead,Resting, with thy long arms, from work or blow;And the night-robe, around thy tall form, flowDown from the kingly face, and from the head,Save by its thick dark curls, uncovered–My brother, dear from childhood, lying […]

I. Upon a rock, high on a mountain side,Thousands of feet above the lake-sea’s lip,A rock in which old waters’ rise and dip,Plunge and recoil, and backward eddying tideHad, age-long, worn, while races lived and died,Involved channels, where the sea-weed’s dripFollowed the ebb; and now earth-grasses sipFresh dews from heaven, whereby on earth they bide–I […]

A Gift

Story type: Poetry

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My gift would find thee fast asleep,And arise a dream in thee;A violet sky o’er the roll and sweepOf a purple and pallid sea;And a crescent moon from my sky should creepIn the golden dream to thee. Thou shouldst lay thee down, and sadly listTo the wail of our cold birth-time;And build thee a temple, […]

The Man Of Songs

Story type: Poetry

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“Thou wanderest in the land of dreams,O man of many songs;To thee the actual only seems–No realm to thee belongs.” “Seest thou those mountains in the east,O man of ready aim?”“‘T is only vapours that thou seest,In mountain form and name.” “Nay, nay, I know them all too well,Each ridge, and peak, and dome;In that […]

Better Things

Story type: Poetry

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Better to smell a violet,Than sip the careless wine;Better to list one music tone,Than watch the jewels’ shine. Better to have the love of one,Than smiles like morning dew;Better to have a living seedThan flowers of every hue. Better to feel a love within,Than be lovely to the sight;Better a homely tendernessThan beauty’s wild delight. […]

A Hidden Life

Story type: Poetry

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Proudly the youth, by manhood sudden crowned,Went walking by his horses to the plough,For the first time that morn. No soldier gayFeels at his side the throb of the gold hilt(Knowing the blue blade hides within its sheath,As lightning in the cloud) with more delight,When first he belts it on, than he that dayHeard still […]

The Journey

Story type: Poetry

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Hark, the rain is on my roof!Every sound drops through the darkOn my soul with dull reproof,Like a half-extinguished spark.I! alas, how am I here,In the midnight and alone?Caught within a net of fear!All my dreams of beauty gone! I will rise: I must go forth.Better face the hideous night,Better dare the unseen north,Than be […]

Still flowed the music, flowed the wine.The youth in silence went;Through naked streets, in cold moonshine,His homeward way he bent,Where, on the city’s seaward line,His lattice seaward leant. He knew not why he left the throng,But that he could not rest;That something pained him in the song,And mocked him in the jest;And a cold moon-glitter […]

Abu Midjan

Story type: Poetry

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“It is only justTo laud good wine:If I sit in the dust,So sits the vine.” Abu Midjan sang, as he sat in chains,For the blood of the grape was the juice of his veins.The prophet had said, “O Faithful, drink not”–Abu Midjan drank till his heart was hot;Yea, he sang a song in praise of […]

An Old Story

Story type: Poetry

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They were parted at last, althoughEach was tenderly dear;As asunder their eyes did go,When first alone and near. ‘Tis an old story this–A trembling and a sigh,A gaze in the eyes, a kiss–Why will it not go by?

A Book Of Dreams

Story type: Poetry

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PART I. 1. I lay and dreamed. The master cameIn his old woven dress;I stood in joy, and yet in shame,Oppressed with earthliness. He stretched his arms, and gently soughtTo clasp me to his soul;I shrunk away, because I thoughtHe did not know the whole. I did not love him as I would,Embraces were not […]

Men talk with their lips and dream with their soulOf better days hitherward pacing;To a happy, a glorious, golden goalSee them go running and chasing!The world grows old and to youth returns,But still for the Better man’s bosom burns. It is Hope leads him into life and its light;She haunts the little one merry;The youth […]

That was the sound of the wicket!That was the latch as it rose!No–the wind that through the thicketOf the poplars whirring goes. Put on thy beauty, foliage-vaulted roof,Her to receive: with silent welcome grace her;Ye branches build a shadowy room, eye-proof,With lovely night and stillness to embrace her,Ye airs caressing, wake, nor keep aloof,In sport […]

I. Without thee, what were life or being!Without thee, what had I not grown!From fear and anguish vainly fleeing,I in the world had stood alone;For all I loved could trust no shelter;The future a dim gulf had lain;And when my heart in tears did welter,To whom had I poured out my pain? Consumed in love […]

I. Before all the wondrous shows of the widespread space around him, what living, sentient thing loves not the all-joyous light, with its colours, its rays and undulations, its gentle omnipresence in the form of the wakening Day? The giant world of the unresting constellations inhales it as the innermost soul of life, and floats […]

I. Threefold is of Time the tread:Lingering comes the Future pacing hither;Dartlike is the Now gone thither;Stands the Past aye moveless, foot and head. No impatience wings its idleTread of leisurely delay;Fear or doubt it cannot bridleShould it headlong run away;No remorse, no incantationMoves the standing from its station. Wouldst thou end thy earthly journeyWise […]

The principle whence everythingTo life and shape ascended–The pulley whereon Zeus the ringOf Earth, which else in sherds would spring,Has carefully suspended–To genius I yield him a claimWho fathoms for me what its name,Save I withdraw its curtain:It is–ten is not thirteen. That snow makes cold, that fire burns,That man on two feet goeth,That in […]

“How far the world lies under me!Scarce can I see the men below there crawling!How high it bears me up, my lofty calling!How near the heavenly canopy!”Thus, from tower-roof where he doth clamber,Calls out the slater; and with him the small big man,Jack Metaphysicus, down in his writing-chamber!Tell me, thou little great big man,–The tower, […]

Up there, upon yonder mountain,Stands a castle old, in the gorse,Where once, behind doors and portals,Lurking lay knight and horse. Burnt are the doors and the portals;All round it is very still;Its old walls, tumbled in ruins,I scramble about at my will. Close hereby lay a cellarFull of wine that was old and rare;But the […]

Three words I will tell you, of meaning full:The lips of the many shout them;Yet were they born of no sect or school,The heart only knows about them:That man is of everything worth bereftWho in those three words has no faith left: Man is born free–and is free alwayEven were he born in fetters!Let not […]

AFTER THE MANNER OF HANS SACHS. While yet unknown, and very low,Our Lord on earth went to and fro;And some of his scholars his word so goodVery strangely misunderstood–He much preferred to hold his courtIn streets and places of resort,Because under the heaven’s faceWords better and freer flow apace;There he gave them the highest loreOut […]

Poems are painted window-panes:Look from the square into the church–Gloom and dusk are all your gains!Sir Philistine is left in the lurch:Outside he stands–spies nothing or use of it,And nought is left him save the abuse of it. But you, I pray you, just step in;Make in the chapel your obeisance:All at once ’tis a […]

Ah, from out this valley hollow,By cold fogs always oppressed,Could I but the outpath follow–Ah, how were my spirit blest!Hills I see there, glad dominions,Ever young, and green for aye!Had I wings, oh, had I pinions,To the hills were I away! Harmonies I hear there ringing,Tones of sweetest heavenly rest;And the gentle winds are bringingBalmy […]

True love, knight, as to a brother,Yield I you again;Ask me not for any other,For it gives me pain.Calmly I behold you come in,Calm behold you go;Your sad eyes the weeping dumb inI nor read nor know. And he hears her uncomplaining,Tears him free by force;To his heart but once her straining,Flings him on his […]

“Which of you, knight or squire, will darePlunge into yonder gulf?A golden beaker I fling in it–there!The black mouth swallows it like a wolf!Who brings me the cup again, whoever,It is his own–he may keep it for ever!” Tis the king who speaks; and he flings from the browOf the cliff, that, rugged and steep,Hangs […]

To this man, ’tis a goddess tall,Who lifts a star-encircled head;To that, a fine cow in a stall,Which gives him butter to his bread.

LX. They have company this evening,And the house is full of light;Up there at the shining windowMoves a shadowy form in white. Thou seest me not–in the darknessI stand here below, apart;Yet less, ah less thou seestInto my gloomy heart! My gloomy heart it loves thee,Loves thee in every spot:It breaks, it bleeds, it shudders–Butinto […]

XXXVIII. The phantoms of times forgottenArise from out their grave,And show me how once in thy presenceI lived the life it gave. In the day I wandered dreaming,Through the streets with unsteady foot;The people looked at me in wonder,I was so mournful and mute. At night, then it was better,For empty was the town;I and […]

IV. Thy little hand lay on my bosom, dear:What a knocking in that little chamber!–dost hear?There dwelleth a carpenter evil, and heIs hard at work on a coffin for me. He hammers and knocks by night and by day;‘Tis long since he drove all my sleep away:Ah, haste thee, carpenter, busy keep,That I the sooner […]

In a garden sweet went walkingTwo lovers hand in hand;Two pallid figures, low talking,They sat in the flowery land. They kissed on the cheek one another,And they kissed upon the mouth;They held in their arms each the other,And back came their health and youth. Two little bells rang shrilly–And the lovely dream was dead!She lay […]

In the far forest, overhead,A bell is often heard obscurely;How long since first, no one can tell–Nor can report explain it surely:From the lost church, the rumour hath,Out on the winds the ringing goeth;Once full of pilgrims was the path–Now where to find it, no one knoweth. Deep in the wood I lately wentWhere no […]

The Italian scholar will understand that the retention of the feminine rimes in translation from this language is an impossibility. I. O Lady fair, whose honoured name doth graceGreen vale and noble ford of Rheno’s stream–Of all worth void the man I surely deemWhom thy fair soul enamoureth not apace,When softly self-revealed to time and […]

PART I. SONNET LIX. I am so weary with the burden oldOf foregone faults, and power of custom base,That much I fear to perish from the ways,And fall into my enemy’s grim fold.True, a high friend, to free me, not with gold,Came, of ineffable and utmost grace–Then straightway vanished from before my face,So that in […]

Son, first-born, at home abiding!All without is cold and bare:Hide me from the tempest’s chidingWarm beside the Father’s chair. I am homesick, Lord of splendour!Twilight fills my soul with fright:Let thy countenance befriend her,Shining from the halls of light. I am homesick, loving Father!Long years hath the pain increased:Soon, oh soon! thy children gatherTo the […]

You have two ears–and but one mouth:Let this, friend, be a token–Much should be heard, and not so muchBe spoken. You have two eyes–and but one mouth:That is an indication–Much must you see, but little servesRelation. You have two hands–and but one mouth:Receive the hint you meet with–For labour two, but only oneTo eat with.

THE MOTHER BY THE CRADLECONTENTMENT THE MOTHER BY THE CRADLE. Sleep, baby boy, sleep sweet, secure;Thy father’s very miniature!That art thou, though thy father goesAnd says that thou hast not his nose. This very moment here was he,His face o’er thine did poseAnd said–Much has he sure of me,But no, ’tis not my nose. I […]

THE GRAVE.PSYCHE’S MOURNING. THE GRAVE. The grave is deep and soundless,Its brink is ghastly lone;With veil all dark and boundlessIt hides a land unknown. The nightingale’s sweet closesDown there come not at all;And friendship’s withered rosesOn the mossy hillock fall. Their hands young brides forsakenWring bleeding there in vain;The cries of orphans wakenNo answer to […]

FIRST CYCLE. XII. PEACE. [Footnote: I have here used rimes although the original has none. With notions of translating severer now than when, many years ago, I attempted this poem, I should not now take such a liberty. In a few other points also the translation is not quite close enough to please me; but […]

Dame Music

Story type: Poetry

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Of all the joys earth possesses,None the gladness fine surpassesWhich I give you with my singing,And with much harmonious ringing. An evil spirit cannot dwellWhere companions are singing well;Here strife, wrath, envy, hate, are not;Every heartache must leave the spot:Greed, care, all things that hard oppressTroop off with great unwillingness. Also each man is free […]

I. THE TWELFTH PSALM. Ah God, from heaven look down and view;Let it thy pity waken;Behold thy saints how very few!We wretches are forsaken.Thy word they grant nor true nor right,And faith is thus extinguished quiteAmong the sons of Adam. They teach a cunning false and fine–In their own wits they found it;Their heart in […]

Pentecost

Story type: Poetry

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I. Come, God, Creator, Holy Ghost,Visit the heart of all thy men;Fill them with grace the way thou know’st:What was thine, make so again; Our Comforter to soothe or chide;The blessed gift of highest God!A ghostly chrism to us applied,Live streams–fire–love spread abroad! O kindle in our minds a light;Give in our hearts love’s glowing […]

Easter

Story type: Poetry

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I. Death held our Lord in prisonFor sin that did undo us;But he hath up arisenAnd brought our life back to us.Therefore must we gladsome be,Praise our God, and thankful be,And sing out halleluja! Halleluja! No man yet Death overcame–All sons of men were helpless;Sin for this was all to blame,For no one yet was […]

Repentance

Story type: Poetry

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THE HUNDRED AND THIRTIETH PSALM. From trouble deep I cry to thee;Lord God, hear thou my crying;Thy gracious ear oh turn to me,Open it to thy sighing.For if thou mean’st to look uponThe wrong and evil that is done,Who, Lord, can stand before thee? With thee availeth nought but graceTo cover trespass mortal;Our good deeds […]

Baptism

Story type: Poetry

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A SPIRITUAL SONG, CONCERNING OUR HOLY BAPTISM, WHEREIN IS BRIEFLY CONTAINED WHAT IT IS, WHO HAS INSTITUTED IT, WHERETO IT SERVES, &C.; To Jordan when our Lord had gone,His Father’s pleasure willing,He took his baptism of St. John,His work and charge fulfilling;Therein he did appoint a bathTo wash us from defilement,And there to drown that […]

The Commandments

Story type: Poetry

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I. These are the holy ten commandsWhich came to us from God’s own handsBy Moses, who thus did his willOn the top of Sinai’s hill.Kyrioleis. I am the Lord thy God alone;Of Gods besides thou shalt have none;Thou shalt thyself trust all to me,And love me right heartily.Kyrioleis. Thou shalt not speak like idle wordThe […]

Of Life At Court

Story type: Poetry

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To the tune–Ein Lappisch Mann: A Silly Man. Who number oneKeeps in the van,And gently canHis hoop drive onAnd fawn and fan,And every manCounts dust and bran–Is now the cock to crow to Pan. Who has in sightTo live upright,Keep honour bright,And be true quite–In vain shall fightAnd lose his might,Shall meet with slightAnd scorn […]

The Praise Of God

Story type: Poetry

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I. Unto the seer, Isaiah, it was givenThat, in the spirit, he saw the Lord of heavenUp on a lofty throne, in radiance bright;The skirt of his garment filled the temple quite;Two seraphs at his side were standing there;Six wings, he saw, each one of them did wear:Two over their bright visages did meet,With two […]

I. A SONG OF ST. JOHN HUSS, IMPROVED BY DR. MARTIN LUTHER. Christ Jesus, our Redeemer born,Who from us did God’s anger turnThrough his sufferings sore and mainHelp he us all out of hell-pain! That we never should forget it,Gave he us his flesh, to eat it,Hid in poor bread, gift divine,And, to drink, his […]

Long ago, there lived far to the west a very young man, good, but extremely odd. He tormented himself continually about this nothing and that nothing, always walked in silence and straight before him, sat down alone when the others were at their sports and merry-makings, and brooded over strange things. Caves and woods were […]

[Footnote: 1864.] All England knows that this year (1864) is the three hundredth since Shakspere was born. The strong probability is likewise that this month of April is that in which he first saw the earthly light. On the twenty-sixth of April he was baptized. Whether he was born on the twenty-third, to which effect […]

[Footnote: 1880.] “I wish I had thought to watch when God was making me!” said a child once to his mother. “Only,” he added, “I was not made till I was finished, so I couldn’t.” We cannot recall whence we came, nor tell how we began to be. We know approximately how far back we […]

[Footnote: 1867.] There are in whose notion education would seem to consist in the production of a certain repose through the development of this and that faculty, and the depression, if not eradication, of this and that other faculty. But if mere repose were the end in view, an unsparing depression of all the faculties […]

On Polish

Story type: Essay

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[Footnote: 1865] By Polish I mean a certain well-known and immediately recognizable condition of surface. But I must request my reader to consider well what this condition really is. For the definition of it appears to us to be, that condition of surface which allows the inner structure of the material to manifest itself. Polish […]

[Footnote: 1853.] Goethe says:– “Poems are painted window panes.If one looks from the square into the church,Dusk and dimness are his gains–Sir Philistine is left in the lurch!The sight, so seen, may well enrage him,Nor anything henceforth assuage him. “But come just inside what conceals;Cross the holy threshold quite–All at once ’tis rainbow-bright,Device and story […]

[Footnote: “Essays on some of the Forms of Literature.” By T.T. Lynch, Author of “Theophilus Trinal.” Longmans.] Schoppe, the satiric chorus of Jean Paul’s romance of Titan, makes his appearance at a certain masked ball, carrying in front of him a glass case, in which the ball is remasked, repeated, and again reflected in a […]

[Footnote: 1875] ‘Tis bitter cold,And I am sick at heart. The ghost in “Hamlet” is as faithfully treated as any character in the play. Next to Hamlet himself, he is to me the most interesting person of the drama. The rumour of his appearance is wrapped in the larger rumour of war. Loud preparations for […]

[Footnote: 1863.] Who taught you this?I learn’d it out of women’s faces. Winter’s Tale, Act ii. scene 1. One occasionally hears the remark, that the commentators upon Shakspere find far more in Shakspere than Shakspere ever intended to express. Taking this assertion as it stands, it may be freely granted, not only of Shakspere, but […]

A Sermon

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[Footnote: Read in the Unitarian chapel, Essex-street, London, 1879.] PHILIPPIANS iii. 15, 16.–Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded; and if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by that same. This is the reading of […]

MATT. xx. 25–28–But Jesus called them unto him and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it should not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be […]

[Footnote: By J. Rutherfurd Russell, M.D.] In this volume, Dr. Russell has not merely aimed at the production of a book that might be serviceable to the Faculty, by which the history of its own art is not at all sufficiently studied, but has aspired to the far more difficult success of writing a history […]

A DAY AND NIGHT M´┐ŻHRCHEN. CHAPTER I. WATHO. There was once a witch who desired to know everything. But the wiser a witch is, the harder she knocks her head against the wall when she comes to it. Her name was Watho, and she had a wolf in her mind. She cared for nothing in […]

The Butcher’s Bills

Story type: Literature

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CHAPTER I. HUSBAND AND WIFE. I am going to tell a story of married life. My title will prepare the reader for something hardly heroic; but I trust it will not be found lacking in the one genuine and worthy interest a tale ought to have–namely, that it presents a door through which we may […]

CHAPTER I. “My hearers, we grow old,” said the preacher. “Be it summer or be it spring with us now, autumn will soon settle down into winter, that winter whose snow melts only in the grave. The wind of the world sets for the tomb. Some of us rejoice to be swept along on its […]

Stephen Archer

Story type: Literature

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Stephen Archer was a stationer, bookseller, and newsmonger in one of the suburbs of London. The newspapers hung in a sort of rack at his door, as if for the convenience of the public to help themselves in passing. On his counter lay penny weeklies and books coming out in parts, amongst which the Family […]

Port In A Storm

Story type: Literature

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“Papa,” said my sister Effie, one evening as we all sat about the drawing-room fire. One after another, as nothing followed, we turned our eves upon her. There she sat, still silent, embroidering the corner of a cambric hand-kerchief, apparently unaware that she had spoken. It was a very cold night in the beginning of […]

Golden Key

Story type: Literature

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There was a boy who used to sit in the twilight and listen to his great-aunt’s stories. She told him that if he could reach the place where the end of the rainbow stands he would find there a golden key. “And what is the key for?” the boy would ask. “What is it the […]

The Giant’s Heart

Story type: Literature

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There was once a giant who lived on the borders of Giantland where it touched on the country of common people. Everything in Giantland was so big that the common people saw only a mass of awful mountains and clouds; and no living man had ever come from it, as far as anybody knew, to […]

The Light Princess

Story type: Literature

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I. WHAT! NO CHILDREN? Once upon a time, so long ago that I have quite forgotten the date, there lived a king and queen who had no children. And the king said to himself, “All the queens of my acquaintance have children, some three, some seven, and some as many as twelve; and my queen […]