Wallflower

Till midnight her needle she plied
To finish her pretty pink dress;
"Oh, bless you, my darling," she sighed;
"I hope you will be a success."
As she entered the Oddfellow's Hall
With the shy thrill of maiden romance
She felt like the belle of the Ball,
But . . . nobody asked her to dance.

Her programme was clutched in her hand;
Her smile was a tiny bit wan;
She listened, applauding the band,
Pretending she liked to look on.
Each girl had her favourite swain,
She watched them retreat and advance;


Wandering Singers

WHERE the voice of the wind calls our wandering feet,
Through echoing forest and echoing street,
With lutes in our hands ever-singing we roam,
All men are our kindred, the world is our home.
Our lays are of cities whose lustre is shed,
The laughter and beauty of women long dead;
The sword of old battles, the crown of old kings,
And happy and simple and sorrowful things.
What hope shall we gather, what dreams shall we sow?
Where the wind calls our wandering footsteps we go.


Wanderer's Return

My home is so glad, my heart is so light,
My wandering boy has returned to­p;night.
He is blighted and bruised, I know, by sin,
But I am so glad to welcome him in.

The child of my tenderest love and care
Has broken away from the tempter's snare;
tonight my heart is o'erflowing with joy,
I have found again my wandering boy.

My heart has been wrung with a thousand fears,
Mine eyes have been drenched with the bitterest tears;
Like shadows that fade are my past alarms,
My boy is enclasped in his mother's arms.


Walking

To walk abroad is, not with eyes,
But thoughts, the fields to see and prize;
Else may the silent feet,
Like logs of wood,
Move up and down, and see no good
Nor joy nor glory meet.

Ev'n carts and wheels their place do change,
But cannot see, though very strange
The glory that is by;
Dead puppets may
Move in the bright and glorious day,
Yet not behold the sky.

And are not men than they more blind,
Who having eyes yet never find
The bliss in which they move;
Like statues dead


Waking

ABOVE us hangs the jewelled night;
And how her restful cool caresses
Make us forget the weary sight
Of summer’s daily wildernesses!
O aching toil and hope deferred,
The night has made a promise to me;
She whispered, and a wonder stirred,
And still the joy is thrilling through me.
Smooth water, shadow deeply still,
I dare not move, you wait unsleeping
—You share the breathless hopes that fill
The watch my longing soul is keeping.
A fish is leaping in the bay;


Waiting

Serene, I fold my hands and wait,
Nor care for wind, nor tide, nor sea;
I rave no more 'gainst time or fate,
For lo! my own shall come to me.

I stay my haste, I make delays,
For what avails this eager pace?
I stand amid the eternal ways,
And what is mine shall know my face.

Asleep, awake, by night or day,
The friends I seek are seeking me;
No wind can drive my bark astray,
Nor change the tide of destiny.

What matter if I stand alone?


Wail

Love has gone a-rocketing.
That is not the worst;
I could do without the thing,
And not be the first.

Joy has gone the way it came.
That is nothing new;
I could get along the same, --
Many people do.

Dig for me the narrow bed,
Now I am bereft.
All my pretty hates are dead,
And what have I left?


Virginity

My mother she had children five and four are dead and gone;
While I, least worthy to survive, persist in living on.
She looks at me, I must confess, sometimes with spite and bitterness.

My mother is three-score and ten, while I am forty-three,
You don't know how it hurts me when we go somewhere to tea,
And people tell her on the sly we look like sisters, she and I.

It hurts to see her secret glee; but most, because it's true.
Sometimes I think she thinks that she looks younger of the two.


Victory Stuff

What d'ye think, lad; what d'ye think,
As the roaring crowds go by?
As the banners flare and the brasses blare
And the great guns rend the sky?
As the women laugh like they'd all gone mad,
And the champagne glasses clink:
Oh, you're grippin' me hand so tightly, lad,
I'm a-wonderin': what d'ye think?

D'ye think o' the boys we used to know,
And how they'd have topped the fun?
Tom and Charlie, and Jack and Joe --
Gone now, every one.
How they'd have cheered as the joy-bells chime,


Voices of Earth

We have not heard the music of the spheres,
The song of star to star, but there are sounds
More deep than human joy and human tears,
That Nature uses in her common rounds;
The fall of streams, the cry of winds that strain
The oak, the roaring of the sea's surge, might
Of thunder breaking afar off, or rain
That falls by minutes in the summer night.
These are the voices of earth's secret soul,
Uttering the mystery from which she came.
To him who hears them grief beyond control,


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