Abbildungen der Seite
[blocks in formation]


THE perfect sight of duty; thought which

moulds A rounded life, and its true aims beholds. Not the mere holding a great flag un


But making it the goodliest in the Obeisance unto greatness understood; The first step of a toward good.





Be narrow !-as the bud, the flame, the Think what God doth for man ; so mayst But narrow’in thy aim, not at thy heart.

thou know How godlike service is, and serve also.




Cornelia's jewels; blind old Milton's The shadow of a slave who turns his back thought; On the light, and cries, “The universe Job's patience; and the lesson Lazarus is black !”


[blocks in formation]



[U. S. A.]

"'For Christ and his truth I stand alone In the midst of millions: a sand-grain

blown I would be ready, Lord,

Against yon temple of ancient stone
My house in order set,
None of the work thou gavest me

"As soon may level it!' Faith fors, oku To do, unfinished yet.

My soul, as I turned on the pile to jok:

Then rising, my saddened way I I would be watching, Lord,

With lamp well trimmed and clear, “To its lofty roof, for the cooler air: Quick to throw open wide the door,

I gazed, and marvelled; how crumbled What time thou drawest near.

The walls I had deemed so firm and fair ! I would be waiting, Lord, Because I cannot know

“For, wedged in a rift of the massive stone, If in the night or morning watch,

Most plainly rent by its roots alone, I may be called to go.

A beautiful peepul-tree had grown: I would be working, Lord,

Whose gradual stress would still expand Each day, each hour, for thee;

The crevice, and topple upon the sand Assured that thus I wait thee well,

The temple, while o'er its wreck should Whene'er thy coming be.

stand I would he living, Lord,

“The tree in its living verdure ! - Who As ever in thine eye;

Could compass the thought ?- The bird

that flew For whoso lives the nearest thee The fittest is to die.

Hitherward, dropping a seed that grew, “Did more to shiver this ancient wall

Than earthquake, — war, --siinoon, - or A BIRD'S MINISTRY.


The centuries, in their lapse and fall! FROM his home in an Eastern bungalow, In sight of the everlasting snow

“Then I knelt by the riven granite there, Of the grand Himalayas, row on row, And my soul shook off its weight of care,

As my voice rose clear on the tropic air : Thus wrote my friend :-

“I had travelled far “"The living seeds I have dropped remain From the Afghan towers of Candahar, In the cleft: Lord, quicken with dew and Through the sand-white plains of Sinde

rain, Sagar;

Then temple and mosque shall be rent

in twain!'“Andonce, when the daily march was o'er, As tired I sat in my tented door, Hope failed me, as never it failed before.


“In swarming city, at wayside fane,
By the Indus' bank, on the scorching

I had taught, – and my teaching all

seened vain.

[U. S. A.]


* No glimmer of light (I sighed) appears; I saw a man, by some accounted wise, The Moslem's Fate and the Buddhist's For some things said and done before fear's

their eyes,

of power,


Quite overcast, and in a restless muse, “Some pray for wealth, and seem to pray Pacing a path about,

aright; And often giving out:

They heap until themselves are out of “What is the use?


Yet stand, in charities, not over shoes, Then I, with true respect: What meanest And ask of their old age thou

As an old ledger page, By those strange words, and that unset

What is the use?.... tled brow? Health, wealth, the fair esteem of ample “The strife for fame and the high praise

views, To these things thou art born Is as a man, who, panting up a tower, But he, as one forlorn:

Bears a great stone, then, straining all his "What is the use?”


Heaves it, and sees it make “I have surveyed the sages and their A splashing in a lake. books,

What is the use ? Man, and the natural world of woods and brooks,

“Should some new star, in the fair even. Seeking that perfect good that I would ing sky, choose;

Kindle a blaze, startling so keen an eye But find no perfect good,

Of flamings eminent, athwart the dews, Settled and understood.

Our thoughts would say, No doubt What is the use?

That star will soon burn out.

What is the use? “Life, in a poise, hangs trembling on the beam,

“Who'll care for me, when I am dead Even in a breath bounding to each extreme

and gone? Of joy and sorrow; therefore I refuse Not many now, and surely, soon, not one; All beaten ways of bliss,

And should I sing like an immortal Muse,
And only answer this:

Men, if they read the line,
What is the use?

Read for their good, not mine;

What is the use?. “The hoodwinked world is seeking happiness.

“Spirit of Beauty! Breath of golden •Which way!' they cry, 'here?' 'no!'

lyres ! there?' who can guess?' Perpetual tremble of immortal wires ! And so they grope, and grope, and grope, Divinely torturing rapture of the Muse ! and cruise

Conspicuous wretchedness!
On, on, till life is lost,

Thou starry, sole success!
At blindman's with a ghost.

What is the use ?
What is the use?

“Doth not all struggle tell, upon its brow, "Love first, with most, then wealth, dis- That he who makes it is not easy now, tinction, fame,

But hopes to be? Vain hope that dost Quicken the blood and spirit on the game.

abuse !
Some try them all, and all alike accuse : Coquetting with thine eyes,
'I have been all,' said one,

And fooling him who sighs.
And find that all is none.'

What is the use ?
What is the use?

“Go pry the lintels of the pyramids; “In woman's love we sweetly are undone, Lift the old kings' mysterious coffin-lidsWilling to attract, but harder to be won, This dust was theirs whose names inese Harder to keep is she whose love we choose.

stones confuse,
Loves are like flowers that grow

These mighty monuments
In soils on fire below.

Of mighty discontents.
What is the use?

What is the use?

[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]


Did not hesumitall, whose Gate of Pearls Souls on a globe that spins our lives Blazed royal Ophir, Tyre, and Syrian away, girls,

A multitudinous world, where Heaven l'he great, wise, famous monarch of the

and Hell,

Strangely in battle met,
Though rolled in grandeur vast,

Their gonfalons have set.
He said of all, at last :
What is the use?

Dust though we are, and shall return to

dust, “O, but to take, of life, the natural good, Yet being born to battles, fight we must; Even as a hermit caverned in a wood,

Under which ensign is our only choice. More sweetly fills my sober-suited views,

We know to wage our best,
Than sweating to attain

God only knows the rest.
Any luxurious pain.
What is the use?

Then since we see about us sin and dole,
And some things good, why not, with

hand and soul, “Give me a hermit's life, without his Wrestle and succor out of wrong and

beads, His lantern-jawed, and moral-mouthing Grasping the swords of strife, creeds;

Making the most of life? Systems and creeds the natural heart abuse.

Yea, all that we can wield i: worth the end, What need of any book,

If sought as God's and man's most loyal Or spiritual crook ?

friend. What is the use?

Naked we come into the world, and take

Weapons of various skill, I love, and God is love; and I behold Let us not use them ill. Man, Nature, God, one triple chain of gold,

As for the creeds, Nature is dark at Nature in all sole oracle and muse.

best; What should I seek, at all,

And darker still is the deep human breast. More than is natural?

Therefore consider well of creeds and What is the use?


Lest thou mayst somewhat fail Seeing this man so heathenly inclined,

Of things beyond the vail. So wilted in the mood of a good mind, I felt a kind of heat of earnest thought; Nature was dark to the dim starry age And studying in reply,

Of wistful Job: and that Athenian sage, Answered him, eye to eye:

Pensive in piteous thought of Faith's

distress; Thou dost amaze me that thou dost mis- For still she cried, with tears:

“More light, ye crystal spheres ! take Thewanderingrivers forthe fountain lake. What is the end of living?- happiness? But rouse thee, man! Shake off this An end that none attain,

hideous death! Argues a purpose vain.

Be man! Stand up! Draw in a mighty

breath! Plainly, this world is not a scope for bliss, This world has quite enough emasculate But duty. Yet we see not all that is,

Or may be, some day, if we love the Dallying with doubt and sin.

Come-here is work— begin!
What man is, in desires,
Whispers where man aspires. Come, here is work—and a rank field

begin. But what and where are we? what now Put thou thine edge to the great weeds -to-day?

of sin;

So shalt thou find the use of life, and see | To make me own this hind of princes
Thy Lord, at set of sun,

Approach and say, “Well done !" This rail-splitter a true-born king of


[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

as few


He went about his work, -such work (From “THE LONDON PUNCH.") You lay a wreath on murdered Lincoln's Ever had laid on head and heart and bier,

hand, You, who with mocking pencil wont As one who knows, where there's a task to trace,

to do,
Broad for the self-complacent British Man's honest will must Heaven's good

grace command;
His length of shambling limb, his fur-
rowed face.

Who trusts the strength will with the
His gaunt, gnarled hands, his unkempt,

That God makes instruments to work
bristling hair,
Hisgarbuncouth, his bearingill at ease, If but that will we can arrive to know,

his will,
His lack of all we prize as debonair,
Of power or will to shine, of art to

Nor tamper with the weights of good

and ill. please.

burden grow,

You, whose smart pen backed up the So he went forth to battle on the side pencil's laugh,

That he felt clear was Liberty's and Judging each step, as though the way Right's, were plain;

As in his peasant boyhood he had plied Reckless, so it could point its paragraph, His warfare with rude Nature's thwart

Of chief's perplexity or people's pain. ing mights,
Beside this corpse, that bears for wind- The uncleared forest, the unbroken soil,

The iron bark that turns the lumberers
The stars and stripes he lived to rear
Between the mourners at his head and The rapid that o'erbears the boatman's

Say, scurril-jester, is there room for

The prairie, hiding the mazed wander

er's tracks. you? Yes, he had lived to shame me from my The ambushed Indian, and the prowling sneer,

bear, To lame my pencil, and confute my Such were the needs that helped his pen,

youth to train :



« ZurückWeiter »