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SERIOUS


THANKSGIVING

For all the stores of garnered grain,
For all the fruit the harvest yields,
Rich with the blessings that the rain
And summer sun have brought the fields,
We give our thanks, but not alone
For these our gratitude we own.

For brawny hands and honest heart

To tend the loom or till the soil,
For steady brain to bear a part
In helpful thought, in hopeful toil,
For joy to work and bravely live,
Much more for these our thanks we give.

For victory for our flag unfurled

O'er broad domain in distant land,
For prestige in the wider world
Where elder nations watching stand,
We give our thanks, but not alone
For these our gratitude we own.

For victory much—but more for deeds

That show the pride of self-control,
That not alone our nation leads
In conquest, but in strength of soul,
For generous meed to fallen foe,
For faith well kept, our thanks shall flow.




WILD CALLA

I, the water arum, calla-like, serene,
Flash my spathe in sunshine
White beside the stream,
Love wild bees that cuddle me.
See the water snake,
Brown, red-bellied, silent.
Draw his sinuous wake.
Hear the frog garumph and prance
As the snake goes by,
Watch the water-striders dance,
In reflected sky.
Feel the muskrat grub the clam
Where my roots take hold,
Where at dusk the black duck swam
In the sky-dripped gold.
Breathe the clethra in the gloom
Censers swinging light,
Clouding with its white perfume
All the moon-drenched night.
I, the water arum, calla-like, serene,
Sleep in perfumed moonlight,
White beside the stream.





A YEAR OF WAITING

Twelve weary times about the leaguered world
The sentry moon his well-worn round has paced,
Twelve times his banner in the red west placed,
A slender pennant, night by night unfurled;
Set where the sun his parting arrows hurled
Upon the hordes of Night, whose warriors faced
The lost day's last redoubt, and, conquering, graced
The triumph with the shining stars, far whirled
In the deep void of space. Long is the time
Measured by waiting on the laggard year;
Slow move the seasons, and the weary days
Linger along; only when memory strays
Up the long stair of life and rings the chime
High in the tower of Hope, we cease to fear.





THE ASH

Toward the storm his bare gray arms he flings,
And sturdy stands as Harold's men once stood;
And when the night wind through his branches sings,
We men of English blood,
Hear once again the twanging of bow-strings,
The flying arrows hissing—singing wings,
And battle croon of yeomen in the wood.




THE STATUE OF ARTHUR
(Museum of Fine Arts)

White souled, white armored, leader of a race
Whose name marks history's honored page for aye,
Watching for dawn while yet the world is gray
With hope and courage in thy steadfast face;
Still 'neath the marble corselet's figured lace
Beats as of old thy heart with purpose high,
Still rings on stubborn field thy battle cry
Wherever Truth contends for foremost place.

Nor yet may rest within its waiting sheath

Keen edged Excalibur that mystic hands
Gave thee to wield for purity and right;
Shoulder to shoulder standing, still we fight
For God and Arthur's truth in all the lands;
Nor yet comes Peace, with stern eyed Victory's wreath.





AFTERGLOW

Sometimes, when low across the land
Glints the long ray of evening star,
The hills of God—by day so far—
Lifted and glowing seem to stand,
Nearer, more fair, more saintly grand,
While all between the weary way
Lies wrapped in twilight's hodden gray
Close drawn at night's serene command.

The hills of God; lo, evening's haze

Draws soft across Life's fading day,
Yet through the sunset's crimson bars
Dreamy and fair, nor far away,
They lift a stairway to the stars
Where lights of God's tomorrow play.




ANEMONE

I sought the bare brown fields for flowers,
Ere yet the early May was here
For promise of the summer hours,
Laid soft upon the Winter's bier.
I sought the hedgerows far and near,
My sad heart sighed for leafy bowers,
Ere yet I heard the phoebe's note,
Or bluebird had begun to sing,
Or robin with his tuneful throat,
Had waked the echoes of the spring.
A white flake fluttered from the air,
Fell on the earth so bare and gray,
A sudden faint perfume was there,
So! At my feet a snowdrop lay.





THE CARDINAL FLOWER

When flamed Aurora through the Winter night,
And crimson spearmen thronged the quivering sky,
One, slain, from out the hurley of the fight
Fell in the wood beside a stream to die;
And some had said; "A meteor flaming bright,
Falls in the frozen wood where none are nigh."

Now Summer through the sources of the stream

Sends all the burning glamour of her power,
The warrior's soul awakens from its dream
In the cool shadow of the woodland bower,
And where we saw his crimson armor gleam,
We find beside the brook the cardinal flower.






THE TOWER OF LONDON

Gray looms the Norman tower above the close;
Once might the hostile spearmen throng amain
To pierce or scale these stubborn walls; in vain
The wary archers bend their tough yew bows;
Impregnable it stood among its foes.
Today a child's touch trained in war's great lust
Could sweep those towers and ramparts to the dust
Nor strength avail, nor hostile force oppose.

Such are the fears of yesterday, that stood

In gloom portentous o'er Life's every good.
Whose battlement no effort might assail
No wary archer pierce, no spearman scale;
Today where gleam their turrets to the sky
We smile in scorn and idly pass them by.





SPRING'S CALL

The Spring is Gabriel. Hear his trumpet sound
In all the March winds blowing overhead,
Till from their graves within the yielding ground
Troop forth the flowers we mourned last year as dead.






ALASKAN GOLD

A million years in the smelting pots
     Of the great earth's furnace core
It bubbled and boiled as the old gods toiled
     Before it was time to pour.

A million years in the giant moulds

     Of granite and mica-schist
It cooled and lay in the self-same way
     That into their hearts it hissed.

A million years, and the clouds of steam

     Were rivers and lakes and seas
And the mastodon to his grave had gone
     In the coal that once was trees.

Then the Master Moulder raised his hand,

     He shattered the gray rock mould
And sprinkled its core from shore to shore,
     And the dust that fell was gold.





LIFE

Rain, sun, and rain,
And violets on the lea;
And two blue eyes
In sweet surprise
Soft smiling up at me.

Sun, rain, and sun,

And spring and summer meet;
The garden bed
With lilies red;
A maiden tall and sweet.

Sun, wind, and sun,

And ripe fruit on the tree;
A woman's face,
A form of grace,
And children at the knee.

Wind, sun, and wind,

And autumn fleets away;
A mind serene,
A quiet mien,
And soft hair touched with gray.

Low bending clouds,

And white flakes falling round;
All shivering
They softly cling
Upon a silent mound.




SNOW

Gray clouds the far horizon bar,
The night is chill, the wind is sharp,
And like sad breathing of a harp
Sighs through the treetops from afar.
Where but last night there shone a star,
Slow sinking in the amber west,
The low sky frowns, with clouds oppressed,
Nor glimmerings of sunset are,
Unseen soft fingers touch the form,
With ghost lips cold upon the brow
An unseen presence lingers by,
Voiceless, save for the shrill wind's cry
Note from unfathomed space,—and now
With rush of scurrying flakes we feel the storm.

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