A Christmas Hymn

IT was the calm and silent night!
Seven hundred years and fifty-three
Had Rome been growing up to might,
And now was Queen of land and sea.
No sound was heard of clashing wars;
Peace brooded o’er the hush’d domain;
Apollo, Pallas, Jove and Mars,
Held undisturb’d their ancient reign,
In the solemn midnight
Centuries ago.

’T was in the calm and silent night!
The senator of haughty Rome
Impatient urged his chariot’s flight,
From lordly revel rolling home.


A Christmas Fancy

Early on Christmas Day,
Love, as awake I lay,
And heard the Christmas bells ring sweet and clearly,
My heart stole through the gloom
Into your silent room,
And whispered to your heart, `I love you dearly.'

There, in the dark profound,
Your heart was sleeping sound,
And dreaming some fair dream of summer weather.
At my heart's word it woke,
And, ere the morning broke,
They sang a Christmas carol both together.

Glory to God on high!
Stars of the morning sky,


A Child's Nightmare

Through long nursery nights he stood
By my bed unwearying,
Loomed gigantic, formless, queer,
Purring in my haunted ear
That same hideous nightmare thing,
Talking, as he lapped my blood,
In a voice cruel and flat,
Saying for ever, "Cat! ... Cat! ... Cat!..."

That one word was all he said,
That one word through all my sleep,
In monotonous mock despair.
Nonsense may be light as air,
But there's Nonsense that can keep
Horror bristling round the head,
When a voice cruel and flat


A Child of the Snows

There is heard a hymn when the panes are dim,
And never before or again,
When the nights are strong with a darkness long,
And the dark is alive with rain.

Never we know but in sleet and in snow,
The place where the great fires are,
That the midst of the earth is a raging mirth
And the heart of the earth a star.

And at night we win to the ancient inn
Where the child in the frost is furled,
We follow the feet where all souls meet
At the inn at the end of the world.


A Chicot

IN days of ancient history
Who were you? Tell me if you know.
Between your kisses answer me
To-night, Chicot.

Were you a faun by Castaly
Tracking Urania or Clio?
Or a white boy in Arcady
Astray, Chicot?

Were you a satin-supple page
Swinging a curtain to and fro,
Chanting some impudent addage
Of love, Chicot?

Were you the subtlest cardinal
That ever blessing did bestow?
At Fontarabia did you fall,
Fighting, Chicot?

Or at some monarch' table set,


A Change of Menu

Now the new chum loaded his three-nought-three,
It's a small-bore gun, but his hopes were big.
"I am fed to the teeth with old ewe," said he,
"And I might be able to shoot a pig."
And he trusted more to his nose than ear
To give him warning when pigs were near.

Out of his lair in the lignum dark.
Where the wild duck nests and the bilbie digs,
With a whoof and a snort and a kind of bark
There rose the father of all the pigs:
And a tiger would have walked wide of him


A Calendar of Sonnets September

O golden month! How high thy gold is heaped!
The yellow birch-leaves shine like bright coins strung
On wands; the chestnut's yellow pennons tongue
To every wind its harvest challenge. Steeped
In yellow, still lie fields where wheat was reaped;
And yellow still the corn sheaves, stacked among
The yellow gourds, which from the earth have wrung
Her utmost gold. To highest boughs have leaped
The purple grape,--last thing to ripen, late
By very reason of its precious cost.
O Heart, remember, vintages are lost


A Calendar of Sonnets November

This is the treacherous month when autumn days
With summer's voice come bearing summer's gifts.
Beguiled, the pale down-trodden aster lifts
Her head and blooms again. The soft, warm haze
Makes moist once more the sere and dusty ways,
And, creeping through where dead leaves lie in drifts,
The violet returns. Snow noiseless sifts
Ere night, an icy shroud, which morning's rays
Willidly shine upon and slowly melt,
Too late to bid the violet live again.
The treachery, at last, too late, is plain;


A Birthday Gift

No gift I bring but worship, and the love
Which all must bear to lovely souls and pure,
Those lights, that, when all else is dark, endure;
Stars in the night, to lift our eyes above;

To lift our eyes and hearts, and make us move
Less doubtful, though our journey be obscure,
Less fearful of its ending, being sure
That they watch over us, where'er we rove.

And though my gift itself have little worth,
Yet worth it gains from her to whom `tis given,
As a weak flower gets colour from the sun.


A Birthday

"Aug." 10, 1911.

Full moon to-night; and six and twenty years
Since my full moon first broke from angel spheres!
A year of infinite love unwearying ---
No circling seasons, but perennial spring!
A year of triumph trampling through defeat,
The first made holy and the last made sweet
By this same love; a year of wealth and woe,
Joy, poverty, health, sickness --- all one glow
In the pure light that filled our firmament
Of supreme silence and unbarred extent,
Wherein one sacrament was ours, one Lord,


Pages

Subscribe to RSS - night