Poems
FIDDLERS THREE
KEEPING THE RULES
A BAD FELLOW
THE NEW YEAR
RESURGAM
MY LITTLE GARDEN
THE ALABAMA



Manuscripts
MY LITTLE GARDEN
CORAL - [MONTS?]
Letter
BACK
 
 

FIDDLERS THREE


Up in a spreading maple-tree,
Merrily playing sat fiddlers three.
Each had a bow, and each a string,
And oh, they made the maple ring!
With one note this way, one note that,
And each note just a trifle flat;
Playing over the happy tune
They learned in honour of the moon,
And never one mistake they made
In all that moonlight serenade.
For three notes on a single string,
Makes fiddling quite a pleasant thing,
And jolly fiddlers never tire
Who play for love and not for hire,
Up in a leafy, maple hid,
The good old tune of katydid!

 


KEEPING THE RULES


I'd like to see the man who took
The pains to make the spelling-book,
And ask why words are so contrary
There, and in the dictionary;
Why d-e-w is "du,"
And n-e-w-is "nu,"
While s-e-w is "so,"
I certainly would like to know!
Then r-o-u-g-h is "ruff,"
And t-o-u-g-h is "tuff,"
But d-o-u-g-h is "doe" --
Now tell me, pray, why that is so!
An will not some one tell me how
P-l-o-u-g-h, is "plow?"
For if poor little boys at school
Are strictly made to keep the rule,
I think the book-makers should be
Just as particular as we!

 



A BAD FELLOW


Right-Hand is steady, strong and true,
Left-Hand does all that he can do,
But there is one, be sure to shun --
He is not good for work or fun;
A fellow bad in every land
Is lazy, tardy Behind-Hand!

 


THE NEW YEAR


O thou New Year, I would not know
  What thou shalt bring to me;
My waiting soul, the rather asks
  What shall I give to thee?

A largess, free and bountiful
  Sure, thou wilt not withhold, --
The radiancy of light and air,
  The sunset's wealth of gold

The winter's jewelled crown and robe,
  The incense of the Spring,
The regal Autumn's pageantry,
  The joy of living thing, --

The panorama of the stars,
  The nurture of the rain,
The music dear of birds and brooks,
  The mellow fruit and grain.

But when thou shalt thy reckoing make,
  Ah, what shall be the claim
For wasted opportunity
  Set down against my name?

What mark of failure or misdeed,
  Of coward doubts and fears,
Shall thine unerring record bear
  To the eternal years?

Aye, -- as thou dont keep faith with man
  May I keep faith with thee,
And with thy changing seasons show
  Such precious harvestry, --

That when before the great white throne
  Thou dost unseal thy scroll
My humble meed of praise may be,
  "This was no faithless soul!"

 


RESURGAM


Ah, what meaneth it, -- this wonder,
  With the winds of mourn uprising
    Over hill and valley roaming,
    In the noontide and the gloaming, --
  Frost-bond solitides, surprising; --
Laughing in the rain and thunder,
    Hiding in the cloud and shadow, --
    Till the dreaming sky and meadow
Meet and mingle green and blue,
And the worn old world is born anew!

Winter's tyranny undoing,
  Lo! it frees the ice-sheathed river,
    Warning it to life and joyance,
    Till it leaps with gladsome buoyance,
  And the reedy marshes quiver
To the low-voiced zephyr's wooing, --
    While at merry bluebird's trial
    Of his soft and tuneful viol,
Woodlands frore forget their pain
And the dead world wakes to life again!

 


MY LITTLE GARDEN


I had a little garden,
  With seeds blanketed in a row.
And every day I dug them up
  To see how they did grow.

I gave them pails of water.
  And I worked them with my hoe,
But oh, those stubborn little seeds
  Would never, never grow!

And then I grew so angry
  That I told them I must go.
I would not work with naughty seeds
  That plagued my temper so! --

I ran away and left them
  And I stayed a month but oh! --
When I came back again they stood
  All blooming in a row.

So now I make my garden,
  With seeds planted in a row
And let them they may have their way.
  Then they are sure to grow!



CORAL - [Monts?]


Busy toilers in the sea,
Day and years and century,
Building in the glad sunlight.
Building through the dreary night
Plant and tree and branch and leaf
Pillar, rock, and rosy reef!

Busy toilers in the sea -
Day and years and century,
Uncomplaining of your task,
Seeking only to fullfil
Nature's ordered law and will!

Busy toilers in the sea,
Day and year and century,
Far from reach of human gaze
Without thought of blame or praise
[SOMETHING], humbly, but each one
Working till his life is done!

Busy toilers in the sea,
Day and years and century,
Till upon the astonished [sight?]
Gleams an island fair and [ripe?]
Till one day with awe we stand
On a new created land!


 


THE ALABAMA

O to see the Alabama in the spring!
  How it gathers to its tide
  Many waters deep and wide,
  How it calls them from afar,-
  Over brake and burn and bar,-
  Bending, binding to its will
  River, rivulet and rill!

To its shores a myriad buds and blossoms cling,-
  Yet they will not, may not stay,
  When the waters say them nay,
  Waters wrestling in dispute
  With each leaf and branch and root,
  Till their vanquished victims ride
  Helpless on the surging tide!

O to hear the Mocking-birds triumphant, sing!
  As to topmost tree they fly,
  There the waters to defy,
  And a flood of music pour,
  Through the river's sullen roar,
  Till the listening hours of night
  Pause, in tremulous delight!

O the stillness! Oh the hush of living thing!
  In this weird, enchanted ground,
  Without voice or stir or sound,
  Save the rushing water's throng,
  And the Mocking-bird's proud song,
  Where the silence far and near
  Seems a rapt, enravished ear!

                              (From "Cherokee Rose.")


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