Poems

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Houghton, Mifflin, 1887 - 112 pages
 

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Page 62 - The royal feast was done; the King Sought some new sport to banish care, And to his jester cried: "Sir Fool, Kneel now, and make for us a prayer!" The jester doffed his cap and bells, And stood the mocking court before; , They could not see the bitter smile Behind the painted grin he wore. He bowed his head, and bent his knee Upon the monarch's silken stool; His pleading voice arose: "O Lord, Be merciful to me, a fool! 'No pity, Lord, could change the heart From red with wrong to white as wool: The...
Page 44 - Shocked upon swords and shields. A prince's banner Wavered, then staggered backward, hemmed by foes. A craven hung along the battle's edge, And thought, "Had I a sword of keener steel — That blue blade that the king's son bears, — but this Blunt thing!" he snapt and flung it from his hand, And lowering crept away and left the field. Then came the king's son, wounded, sore bestead, And weaponless, and saw the broken sword, Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand, And ran and snatched it, and with...
Page 64 - Our faults no tenderness should ask, The chastening stripes must cleanse them all ; But for our blunders— oh, in shame Before the eyes of heaven we fall. ' Earth bears no balsam for mistakes ; Men crown the knave, and scourge the tool That did his will ; but Thou, O Lord, Be merciful to me, a fool...
Page 27 - Forenoon, and afternoon, and night ! — Forenoon, And afternoon, and night ! — Forenoon, and — what ? The empty song repeats itself. No more ? Yea, that is Life : make this forenoon sublime, This afternoon a psalm, this night a prayer, And Time is conquered, and thy crown is won.
Page 63 - Tis by our follies that so long We hold the earth from heaven away. "These clumsy feet, still in the mire, Go crushing blossoms without end; These hard, well-meaning hands we thrust Among the heart-strings of a friend.
Page 49 - Tradition, handed down for hours and hours, Tells that our globe, this quivering crystal world, Is slowly dying. What if, seconds hence, When I am very old, yon shimmering dome Come drawing down and down, till all things end...
Page 111 - What if some morning, when the stars were paling, And the dawn whitened, and the East was clear, Strange peace and rest fell on me from the presence Of a benignant Spirit standing near : And I should tell him, as he stood beside me, "This is our Earth — most friendly Earth, and fair; Daily its sea and shore through sun and shadow Faithful it turns, robed in its azure air : 'Author unknown.
Page 33 - CHRISTMAS IN CALIFORNIA CAN this be Christmas — sweet as May, With drowsy sun, and dreamy air, And new grass pointing out the way For flowers to follow, everywhere ? Has Time grown sleepy at his post, And let the exiled Summer back, Or is it her regretful ghost, Or witchcraft of the almanac...
Page 63 - These clumsy feet, still in the mire, Go crushing blossoms without end; These hard, well-meaning hands we thrust Among the heart-strings of a friend. "The ill-timed truth we might have kept — Who knows how sharp it pierced and stung? The word we had not sense to say — Who knows how grandly it had rung! "Our faults no tenderness should ask. The chastening stripes must cleanse them all; But for our blunders — oh, in shame Before the eyes of heaven we fall. "Earth bears no balsam for mistakes;...
Page 63 - T is not by guilt the onward sweep Of truth and right, O Lord, we stay; 'T is by our follies that so long We hold the earth from heaven away.

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