A Passing Bell

Mournfully to and fro, to and fro the trees are waving;
What did you say, my dear?
The rain-bruised leaves are suddenly shaken, as a child
Asleep still shakes in the clutch of a sob—
Yes, my love, I hear.

One lonely bell, one only, the storm-tossed afternoon is braving,
Why not let it ring?
The roses lean down when they hear it, the tender, mild
Flowers of the bleeding-heart fall to the throb—
It is such a little thing!

A wet bird walks on the lawn, call to the boy to come and look,


A Nursery Darling

A Mother's breast:
Safe refuge from her childish fears,
From childish troubles, childish tears,
Mists that enshroud her dawning years!
see how in sleep she seems to sing
A voiceless psalm--an offering
Raised, to the glory of her King
In Love: for Love is Rest.


A Darling's kiss:
Dearest of all the signs that fleet
From lips that lovingly repeat
Again, again, the message sweet!
Full to the brim with girlish glee,
A child, a very child is she,


A Mysterious Naked Man

A mysterious naked man has been reported
on Cranston Avenue. The police are performing
the usual ceremonies with coloured lights and sirens.
Almost everyone is outdoors and strangers are conversing
excitedly
as they do during disasters when their involvement is
peripheral.
'What did he look like? ' the lieutenant is asking.
'I don't know, ' says the witness. 'He was naked.'
There is talk of dogs-this is no ordinary case
of indecent exposure, the man has been seen
a dozen times since the milkman spotted him and now


A Mother's Wail

My babe! my tiny babe! my only babe!
My single rose-bud in a crown of thorns!
My lamp that in that narrow hut of life,
Whence I looked forth upon a night of storm!
Burned with the lustre of the moon and stars!

My babe! my tiny babe! my only babe!
Behold the bud is gone! the thorns remain!
My lamp hath fallen from its niche -- ah, me!
Earth drinks the fragrant flame, and I am left
Forever and forever in the dark!

My babe! my babe! my own and only babe!
Where art thou now? If somewhere in the sky


A Mother Gazes Upon Her Daughter

Is she not lovely! Oh! when, long ago,
My own dead mother gazed upon my face,
As I stood blushing near in bridal snow,
I had not half her beauty and her grace.

Yet that fond mother praised, the world caressed,
And ONE adored me -- how shall HE who soon
Shall wear my gentle flower upon his breast,
Prize to its utmost worth the priceless boon?

Shall he not gird her, guard her, make her rich,
(Not as the world is rich, in outward show,)
With all the love and watchful kindness which


A Mile With Me

O who will walk a mile with me
Along life's merry way?
A comrade blithe and full of glee,
Who dares to laugh out loud and free,
And let his frolic fancy play,
Like a happy child, through the flowers gay
That fill the field and fringe the way
Where he walks a mile with me.

And who will walk a mile with me
Along life's weary way?
A friend whose heart has eyes to see
The stars shine out o'er the darkening lea,
And the quiet rest at the end o' the day,--
A friend who knows, and dares to say,


A Maori Girl's Song

"Alas, and well-a-day! they are talking of me still:
By the tingling of my nostril, I fear they are talking ill;
Poor hapless I -- poor little I -- so many mouths to fill --
   And all for this strange feeling -- O, this sad, sweet pain!

"O! senseless heart -- O simple! to yearn so, and to pine
For one so far above me, confest o'er all to shine,
For one a hundred dote upon, who never can be mine!
   O, 'tis a foolish feeling -- all this fond, sweet pain!

"When I was quite a child -- not so many moons ago --


A Man's a Sliding Mood

Ardent in love and cold in charity,
Loud in the market, timid in debate:
Scornful of foe unbuckled in the dust
At whimper of a child compassionate,
A man's a sliding mood from hour to hour,
Rage, and a singing forest of bright birds,
Laughter with lovely friends,and loneliness,
Woe with her heavy horn of unspoke words.
What is he then this heir of heart and mind?
Is this the man with his conflicting moods,
Or is there in a deeper dwelling place
Some silly shaping thing that bides and broods?


A Man Went Before a Strange God

A man went before a strange God --
The God of many men, sadly wise.
And the deity thundered loudly,
Fat with rage, and puffing.
"Kneel, mortal, and cringe
And grovel and do homage
To My Particularly Sublime Majesty."

The man fled.

Then the man went to another God --
The God of his inner thoughts.
And this one looked at him
With soft eyes
Lit with infinite comprehension,
And said, "My poor child!"


A Lover's Lullaby

SING lullaby, as women do,
   Wherewith they bring their babes to rest;
And lullaby can I sing too,
   As womanly as can the best.
With lullaby they still the child;
And if I be not much beguiled,
Full many a wanton babe have I,
Which must be still'd with lullaby.

First lullaby my youthful years,
   It is now time to go to bed:
For crooked age and hoary hairs
   Have won the haven within my head.
With lullaby, then, youth be still;
With lullaby content thy will;


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