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When thou, bereft of sleep,
Of thy encurtain'd room,
Shalt hear his evening prayer,
Stroke his yellow hair,
Now hush'd in death;
The dread decree-
Thine eyelids overflow,
Then will I think of thee,
To weep with thee.
By Heaven sent
Faded and spent.
There is bliss in tears -
The archéd bow appears -
Whereof his closest knoweth not the plan,-
The nearest, dearest, truest of my friends
Knows but the vestibule; nor ever wends
A Mother's smile, upon its inner way,
Sweet lips and eyes of tenderness, to stay
With faint aureola of angel's hair,
Brings down at times a light that lingers there, That sheds its gold, yet cannot fill the place.
O voice of song! could she in life have fill'd
The inner chamber and its aching still'd ? Nay- God alone must fill it -- nothing less!
THE PEARL OF PEACE. A BIVALVE feeding in the warm salt sea
Draws inward, with the wave, a sandy grain,
Which, not returning with the wave again, Remains henceforth its secret grief to be. Day after day, so sea-wise folk agree,
The creature hides it in a dew-like rain
Of ceaseless tears, till, harden'd out of pain, A precious pearl is fashion'd perfectly.
From outer seas of passion, seas of strife, There drifts at times upon the human heart
A secret rankling grief that day by day We cover with the bitter tears of life, Till, wrought of pain from out our nobler part,
The pearl of Peace remains with us alway.
THE HUMAN CRY.
And clinging hands to clutch the dim Unknown
That draws forever back behind His throne Who gives good gifts; but speaketh not a word.
II. The world grows old : still lifts the bitter breath :
Why? Tell us – Why? behind our prison bars !
o Children! are we wise? Hope crown'd with stars Is ours — and Love that dieth not — and Death!
Nor mates the soaring skylark with the wren;
So, scorning narrow aims of lesser men, Move to their goal, the minds of high emprise.
I. Some Friendships are like leaves; when skies are
fair Their green flags flutter, making glad the day;
The cryptic chamber of the heart of man,
INTERPRETATION. Nature's fair rind, the Poet doth ignite
With his soul's flame; subjectively he sees
Form, force, and law, and deep analogies — And all her beauty blazes in his light.
A Poet true to Art and God, not read
In his life-space; but who when gone receives
Full meed, is like sweet-woodruff, in whose leaves Men find small perfume until they be dead.
She will not show her face, though woo'd by kings, Till o'er her beat the pulsings of thy wings.
- Blow, Wild March Wind.
ROSES, But a cry, as of pain, arose in Eden A sharp cry, from the lips of Eve, embower'd 'Mid her roses, she, plucking milky blossoms, Felt thorns twain, on a sudden, smite her finger; Sharp thorns, sharper than spears, the first in Eden; For the roses were thornless, smooth as willow, Ere her sinfulness. Blood-drops stain'd the petals, Erst as white as the hellebore in winter; And she, musing, beheld a wondrous marvel — Where the beads of her blood the leaves ensanguin'd, Lo! red roses were born, as joys in sorrow, A rose, red as the nut-tree bloom in spring-days.
- The Birth of the Red-Rose.
MEMORY. Upon the mirror-surface of the mind The Beautiful imprints itself, in shades And colors of its own, and thenceforth lives, Through passing days and all the weighted years, A precious picture of the memory.
Gems of the woodland wide,
Meek watchers by our side;
Within your petals hide.
Uncertain flow its springs,
- a lock of hair- a flower,
A Golden Day.
Steals sweetly over me;
Nothing to do- but be -
In sight of summer sea.
The feathers for his nest;
How good a thing is rest!
We met, and we parted, By the weed-strewn, brown, desolate reaches.
Still Looking ANEMONE. Blow, wild March wind! In hollows of the lea, In copses low, thy bride awaiteth thee The timid, saint-like, white anemone.
BEAUTY. O eyes! where dwelt the witchery of power, Dark eyes and deep that beam'd from out a bower Of lashes curl'd like stamens of a flower. O hair of night! not flowing light and free As wintry tresses of the birchen tree, But serpent-wound and braided royally. O form! the beauty of the Greek inbred, Such gracious curves of brow, and lip, and chin, And stately throat, and fair full breasts wherein The Love-god's self might rest his drowsy head.
- A Memory.
SILENCE. The wheel is silent, for the stream is dry, The dead leaves drift, the green leaf turns to brown, And on her grave the quiet stars look down.
- A Memory.
THE sweet and plaintive lyric which preserves
the name of Gilfillan takes its place among our standard songs as one of the best, if not the best of its kind. Its author was born in Dunfermline, in 1798, in very humble circumstances.
After learning the trade of a cooper in Leith, he became a clerk in a wine-merchant's office, and in 1837, was appointed collector of poor-rates for the burgh of Leith. He held this appointment will his death, which took place in 1850. Two editions of his poems have been published; but though some others of them are well written, none comes up to the standard of “ Why Left I My Hame." J. R.
THE EXILE'S SONG.
Tune-"My Ain Countrie."
In the days o' langsyne we aye ranted an' sang
Oh, why left I my hame?
Why did I cross the deep? Oh, why left I the land
Where my forefathers sleep? I sigh for Scotia's shore,
And I gaze across the sea, But I canna get a blink
O' my ain countrie!
In the days o' langsyne ilka glen had its tale,
The palm-tree waveth high,
And fair the myrtle springs; And, to the Indian maid,
The bulbul sweetly sings; But I dinna see the broom
Wi’ its tassels on the lea, Nor hear the lintie's sang
O' my ain countrie!
In the days o'langsyne there were feasting an' glee,
to tyne, It was your stoup the nicht, an' the morn it was
mine; Oh, the days o' langsyne!- Oh, the days o' lang
Oh! here no Sabbath bell
Awakes the Sabbath morn, Nor song of reapers heard
Amang the yellow corn: For the tyrant's voice is here,
And the wail of slaverie; But the sun of freedom shines
In my ain countrie!
There's a hope for every woe,
And a balm for every pain, But the first joys o' our heart
Come never back again. There's a track upon the deep,
And a path across the sea; But the weary ne'er return
To their ain countrie!
Calm and serene may be the morrow;
Without some mingling drops of sorrow!
-Fare Thee Well.
YOUTH. I canna dow but sigh, I canna dow but mourn, For the blythe happy days that never can return; When joy was in the heart, an' love was on the
tongue, An' mirth on ilka face, for ilka face was young.
– The Happy Days o'Youth.