« PreviousContinue »
Thus come to me, through eye and ear,
Impressions which my songs repeat. If humble men may pause, to heed
The transient fragrance of these flowers; If those who toil may pause to read,
And find a rest in weary hours, It is enough; no more I ask.
Since Fancy's dream, or earnest thought, Have cheered the toiler at his task,
I have attained the good I sought.
THE TWO VESSELS.
Two vessels sail adown the bay;
But one to sunny lands will go,
Two lives are passing side by side,
But when, in years to come, at night
The breeze blows freshly o'er the bay;
FIRESIDE SCENES. BESIDE the glowing flames we sat,
Which on the hearth-stone rose and fell; The purring of the dozing cat
Was like the droning of a shell.
The embers into houses grew
And thrones and armies doomed to fall; Without, the dreary wind, that blew,
Beat wildly on the cottage wall.
We sung and laughed in merry cheer;
We told strange stories, fancy dressed; And, if we wiped away a tear,
No soul-felt grief our hearts oppressed.
O, happy time, from sorrow free!
O, childhood, with thy golden hours! Stay yet a little while with me,
Nor fade, as fade the summer flowers.
Long years have glided to their grave:-
Again around the fire we sit,
While, in the coals, strange phantoms flit
'Tis like the “scene to memory dear,"
Until we see a vacant chair; A woman and an infant here,
Where sat a child with golden hair;
A manly form, so boyish then;
And one with beard of silver white, Which had the hue of midnight, when
We sat and talked that autumn nighi.
Yet not to thee would we return,
O, Past, with scenes of careless mirth; Though, from experience, we would learn
How little all thy dreams are worth.
NEAR OR FAR.
NEAR, near, so near,
And feels no fear!
And sadly sigh, “So near
And yet so far away?”
Far, far, so far,
We know not why!
JAMES B. KENYON.
And yet he smiles upon us in his grace.
Our glad hearts thrill, and say,
“ He is not far away." His love streams round us like the sunrise ray; Though far above us, past the azure sky, Yet, with the love we long for, he is nigh.
As the seed that was strewn abroad;
-As Ye Sow Ye Shall Reap.
Throb on, O Sea, in solemn woe,
- Throb on, O Sa.
Those years which never backward turn
-Departing Di?ns. FRIENDSHIP. With wisdom's words I have not power,
And yet some tribute I would bring; If not a gem, at least a flower, Which bears the freshness of the spring.
- Friendship's Token.
Her lilies, too, are sweet;
Which bloom around our feet;
Felt half the joyful thrill
As violets, by the rill?
Sweet daughters of the spring;
AMES BENJAMIN KENYON was born at
Frankfort, Herkimer County, N. Y., April 26. 1858. His boyhood was passed amid the delightful scenery of the Mohawk Valley. The high hills, wooded from base to crown, with intervals of grain fields and pasture-lands, and the fertile valley with the Mohawk winding through, were all indelibly stamped on the mind of the poet. And now, when he describes a landscape in his poems, it is from memory, and he paints in words some picture of the Mohawk Valley.
Mr. Kenyon graduated from the Hungerford Collegiate Institute, at Adams, in New York state, July 2, 1874. For three seasons following he taught in the common schools. In April, 1878, being just twenty years old, he entered the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church, With the exception of two years spent in New York City as manager of a lecture bureau, Mr. Kenyon has been in the pastorate since the time when he first received a license to preach. He has been successful in the pulpit, having rapidly risen from the poorest to the best appointments in his Conference.
He usually preaches without notes and his manner and matter are impressive and admirable. He is highly esteemed at Watertown, N. Y., where he is now preaching.
Mr. Kenyon has published four volumes of poems, the first volume appearing when he was only sixteen years of age. It should be a warning to all young aspirants to literary honors that every poet who has issued a volume of poems before he attained his majority has invariably regretted it. Mr. Kenyon is no exception to this rule. The title of his first book was “ The Fallen, and Other Poems." It was published at Utica. Out of the Shadows" followed in 1880, Songs in All Sea. sons,” in 1885, “In Realms of Gold,” in 1887. Mr. Kenyon has been a contributor to the Atlantic Monthly, The Century, Lippincott's, Manhattan, and American magazines, and to Outing, The Current, and other publications.
He was married January 2, 1878, to Margaret Jane Taylor, a lady of sterling Scotch ancestry, and they have two children, a boy and a girl. Socially he attracts much attention by his mariner and intellectual attainments. Mr. Kenyon is of medium height and fair complexion. He has a broad, high forehead, sensitive lips, and a somewhat square chin. The poet in him is greater than the preacher, however great the preacher may be. On Poetry he has set his heart, and if he be as faithful to her in the future as he has been in the past, clinging to her through all vicissitudes, I shall not doubt that she will lead him to even higher honors than he has yet won.
Her eyes with morning light were sweet; And on her brow, that flushed and paled,
As love and fear passed o'er her face,
Was throned a rare and virgin grace, Such as earth's dawn first hailed.
Her face was seaward turned; her eyes
Looked southward, where the amber light
Against her chaste young brow was raised;
And so she stood, and seaward gazed Across the waters wide and bright.
She saw the level sunrays burn
Along the midsea's heaving breast; She saw the circling heavens spurn The utmost billow's tossing crest
Where, on the blue horizon's rim,
A galley's sails rose, white and dim, And all her blood leaped with unrest.
PAN. I'll seek him yet: in some warm nook He lies asleep beside the brook, Drugged by the spicy gales that pass; His pipe beside him on the grass Lies but half trimmed, -just as it fell When Sleep past o'er him her soft spell. I'll seek him yet: he does not hear The bee that drones beside his ear, Half buried in the nectared gloom Of some sweet-burdened, purple bloom. Above him droop the cooling leaves; His shaggy bosom falls and heaves, In his deep slumber's etness; He will not hear me, though I press Through woven bough and vine and flower, Quite into his sleep-charméd bower. Ah me, how soundly he has slept! How well the mossy wood hath kept Its secret old! The poppied gales, Blown softly by, have told no tales Of sleeping Pan, while far astray His white flock goes this many a day. I'll seek him yet: somew re lies Well screened from peering human eyes; And though his hoof-marks, as I know, From mortal sight passed long ago, Still I will tread the sylvan aisles And sunny meadows, miles and miles: I'll follow hard the dragon-fiy, As down the stream he circles by; I'll track the wild-bee from its home To that fair place whence it had come, Where, hoarding still their honeyed store, Bloom such rare flowers as starred of yore The shining slopes of Arcady. So I will seek him yet; ah me! Though human foot hath never trod The leafy lair where lies the god, Who knows but by some happy chance I yet may rouse him from his trance!
She knows that sail; love's eyes are keen;
She knows yon dancing bark is his; From distant coasts where he has been, From Cyprus, Tyre, and Tripolis,
Her lover brings the alien freight
She prizes not; to those who wait More precious is love's first warm kiss.
He homeward brings the costly dyes
The Romans love, and nard, and myrrh, And unguents which the Emperor buys, And silks, and spice, and fruits which were
Sun-steeped on far Phænician hills;
But not of these she recks; love fills Alone the happy heart of her.
So let her watch, while clearer rise
The sails which she has waited long; The sun climbs higher up the skies; The sea-wind greets her, salt and strong;
Her robe from one white shoulder slips;
Her breast is bare; and from her lips Half tremble little waifs of song.
A MAID OF SICILY.
She heard the waves creep up the sand;
Her hair, by roving sea winds blown, And careless of the prisoning band, Down fluttered to the azure zone
Girt lightly round her perfect form,
And clasped beneath her bosom warm Which like twin lilies shone.
SHE CAME AND WENT. She came and went, as comes and goes The dewdrop on the morning rose, Or as the tender lights that die At shut of day along the sky. Her coming made the dawn more bright Her going brought the somber night; Her coming made the blossoms shine, Her going made them droop and pine.
The dew gleamed on her sandalled feet;
Her clinging robe around her trailed;