A Bad Break

The preacher quoted, and the cranks
Among his congregation smiled,
"How sharper than a serpent's thanks
It is to have a toothless child."

He saw he erred, his eye grew wild,
He frowned upon the mirthful ranks:
"How toothless than a serpent's child
It is to have a sharper's thanks!"


1492

Thou two-faced year, Mother of Change and Fate,
Didst weep when Spain cast forth with flaming sword,
The children of the prophets of the Lord,
Prince, priest, and people, spurned by zealot hate.
Hounded from sea to sea, from state to state,
The West refused them, and the East abhorred.
No anchorage the known world could afford,
Close-locked was every port, barred every gate.
Then smiling, thou unveil'dst, O two-faced year,
A virgin world where doors of sunset part,
Saying, "Ho, all who weary, enter here!


Through Pleasant Paths

Through pleasant paths, through dainty ways,
   Love leads my feet;
Where beauty shines with living rays,
   Soft, gentle, sweet;
The placid heart at random strays,
And sings, and smiles, and laughs and plays,
And gathers from the summer days
   Their light and heat,
That in its chambers burn and blaze
   And beam and beat.

I throw myself among the ferns
   Under the shade,
And watch the summer sun that burns
   On dell and glade;
To thee, my dear, my fancy turns,


Fighting Mac

A Life Tragedy

A pistol shot rings round and round the world;
In pitiful defeat a warrior lies.
A last defiance to dark Death is hurled,
A last wild challenge shocks the sunlit skies.
Alone he falls, with wide, wan, woeful eyes:
Eyes that could smile at death -- could not face shame.

Alone, alone he paced his narrow room,
In the bright sunshine of that Paris day;
Saw in his thought the awful hand of doom;
Saw in his dream his glory pass away;


Me thinks this heart...

Me thinks this heart should rest awhile
So stilly round the evening falls
The veiled sun sheds no parting smile
Nor mirth nor music wakes my Halls

I have sat lonely all the day
Watching the drizzly mist descend
And first conceal the hills in grey
And then along the valleys wend

And I have sat and watched the trees
And the sad flowers how drear they blow
Those flowers were formed to feel the breeze
Wave their light leaves in summer's glow

Yet their lives passed in gloomy woe


lollyby, lolly, lollyby

Last night, whiles that the curfew bell ben ringing,
I heard a moder to her dearie singing
"Lollyby, lolly, lollyby."
And presently that chylde did cease hys weeping,
And on his moder's breast did fall a-sleeping,
To "lolly, lolly, lollyby."

Faire ben the chylde unto his moder clinging,
But fairer yet the moder's gentle singing,--
"Lollyby, lolly, lollyby."
And angels came and kisst the dearie smiling
In dreems while him hys moder ben beguiling
With "lolly, lolly, lollyby!"


A little while, a little while...

A little while, a little while,
The weary task is put away,
And I can sing and I can smile,
Alike, while I have holiday.

Why wilt thou go, my harassed heart,
What thought, what scene invites thee now?
What spot, or near or far,
Has rest for thee, my weary brow?

There is a spot, mid barren hills,
Where winter howls, and driving rain;
But if the dreary tempest chills,
There is a light that warms again.

The house is old, the trees are bare,
Moonless above bends twilight's dome;


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