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THE SOUL SPEAKS
'Here is Honor, the dying knight,
And here is Truth, the snuffed-out light,
And here is Faith, the broken staff,
And here is Knowledge, the throttled laugh,
And there are Fame, the lost surprise,
Virtue, the uncontested prize,
And Sacrifice, the suicide,
And here the wilted flower, Pride.
Under the crust of things that die
Living, unfathomed, here am I.”
EDWARD H. PFEIFFER.
From The Step Ladder (Chicago).
EPITAPH FOR A POET
Here lies a spendthrift who believed
That only those who spend may keep;
Who scattered seeds, yet never grieved
Because a stranger came to reap:
A failure who might well have risen,
Yet, ragged, sang exultantly
That all success is but a prison,
And only those who fail are free:
Who took what little life had given,
And watched it blaze, and watched it die;
Who could not see a distant heaven
Becau e of dazzling nearer sky:
Who never flinched till earth had taken
The most of him back home again,
And the last silences were shaken
By songs too lovely for his pen.
From The Bookman.
BYRON (On the One Hundredth Anniversary of His Death.) Byron, the beautiful, the much maligned,
Ill-starred in ancestry, birth and upbringing,
In youthful love, in poesy's earliest winging, Crippled, misunderstood, what could men find In the pale brow, a citadel of mind,
To waken dark mistrust or slander stinging?
Dreamer of dreams, in tears you learned your singing,
In grief you live, in war your days declined.
Dead, though in youth! A heart that loved so keenly
And yet so widely met Hate's cruel frown!
Less gallant souls would have surrendered meanly,
Stifled their cries, and fawned upon the Town.
But your proud spirit rose from strife serenely
And passed, through storied Greece, to calm Renown.
CLYDE WALTON HILL.
Published first in The Dallas News.
I care not who the man may be,
Nor how his tasks may fret him,
Nor where he fares, nor how his cares
And troubles may beset him
If books have won the love of him,
Whatever fortune hands him,
He'll always own, when he's alone,
A friend who understands him.
Though other friends may come and go,
And some may stoop to treason,
His books remain, through loss or gain,
And season after season
The faithful friends for every mood,
His joy and sorrow sharing,
For old time's sake, they'll lighter make
The burdens he is bearing.
Oh, he has counsel at his side,
And wisdom for his duty,
And laughter gay for hours of play,
And tenderness and beauty,
And fellowship divinely rare,
True friends who never doubt him,
Unchanging love, and God above,
Who keeps good books about him.
EDGAR ALBERT GUEST.
By permission of Mr. Guest's publishers, the Reilly & Lee Co., Chicago, III.
Fame comes to the artist who paints all alone;
To author who writes in his den.
But we of the stage, when our sketches are shown,
Have used neither brushes nor pen.
The pictures we paint are the largest of all;
The stories we tell are most true
We carve them in life, when we answer their call.
Ourselves we give freely to you.
But after the last final curtain is drawn,
No tangible art do we give.
Enriching the world with no work of renown,
In memory only we live.
And soon will this tribute fadé quickly away,
Though homage for years has been shown.
Achievements forgotten, our names nought convey;
We join the great host—the unknown.
MINERVA FLORENCE SWIGERT.
The Interlude, Baltimore, Md.
There's a mockin' bird a-singin' in a tall pine tree,
An' the meadowlarks are chirpin' jus' as merry as can be;
For the mornin sun is spillin' loads of powdered yellow gold,
An' the birds are full of music—all their little throats will hold.
They swing among the titi an’ lift their souls and sing.
'Cause there's nothin' half so lovely as Florida-in Spring.
You can see the jasmine bloomin' and the vi'lets in the grass,
You can smell the honeysuckle in the hammocks as you pass;
An' the Bay is always smilin'—so is every livin' thing,
An' a callin' you, just callin' you in Florida-in Spring.
Night time comes a-stealin' with the tide a creepin' slow,
All the gold of early mornin' turnin’ soft like to a glow, i
An' the mockin' bird is sleepin', but to-morrow he will sing,
"'Cause the e's nothin' half so lovely as Florida—in Spring.
C. B. ROTH.
From The Sunshine Magazine.
We were settin' there an’smokin' of our pipes discussin' things.
Like licker, votes for wimmin, an' the totterin' thrones o' Kings,
When he up an’ strokes his whiskers with his hand an' says t'me:
"Changin' laws an' legislatures ain't, as fur as I can see,
Goin' to make this world much better, unless somehow we can
Find a way to make a better an' a finer sort o' man.
“The trouble ain't with statutes or with systems-not at all;
It's with humans jest like we are an' their petty ways an' small.
We could stop our writin' law-books an' our regulating rules
If a better sort of manhood was the product of our schools.
For the things we air needin' ain't no writin' from a pen
Or bigger guns to shoot with, but a bigger type of men.
"I reckon all these problems are jest ornery like the weeds.
They grow in soil that oughta nourish only decent deeds,
An' they waste our time an’ fret us when, if we were thinkin' straight
An' livin' right, they wouldn't be so terrible an' great.
A good horse needs no snaffle, an' a good man, I opine,
Doesn't need a law to check him or to force him into line,
“If we ever start in teachin' to our children, year by year,
How to live with one another, there'll be less o' trouble here.
If we'd teach 'em how to neighbor an' to walk in honor's ways,
We could settle every problem which the mind o' man can raise.
What we're needin' isn't systems or some regulatin' plan,
But a bigger an'a finer an'a truer type o' man.”
EDGAR ALBERT GUEST.
This is my prayer to Thee, my Lord, -
Give me the strength never to disown the poor
Or bend my knees before insolent might. . .
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high,
Where knowledge is free,
Where the world has not been broken up by narrow domestic walls,
Where words come out the depth of truth,
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way in the dreary desert
sand of dead habit, Where the mind is led forward by Thee into ever widening thought and actionInto that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake!
SIR RABINDRANATH TAGORE.
Nobel Prize Laureate, 1916.
From "India's Nation Builders"-Brentano's.
So I be written in the Book of Love
I do not care about that book above;
Erase my name, or write it as you will,
So I be written in the Book of Love.
Elyphants an' chariots a-ridin' in th’sky,
An' you an' me a-sittin' an'a-watchin' of 'em ride,
Watchin' of a camel an' a lion flittin' by-
Ghostly sort o'camel in a ghostly sort o' glide,
Glidin' out o' Noah's ark that's emptyin' its load
Yonder in th' heavens where th' golden sunbeams play,
Dan in' an'a-skippin' down a shinin' silver road,
An' you an' me a-watchin' of 'em on a summer day.
Here's a ship a-floatin' in a dazzlin' sea o'white,
Here's a head o' Santy Claus, an' here's a sojer hat;
Here's a funny rooster in a funny sort o’ flight;
Here's a dog a-chasin' of a spooky witch's cat.
Breeze is pickin' up a bit. There goes oľ Noah's ark
Scuddin' off in pieces an'a-spoilin' of our fun.
Seems as though th' western sky is gettin' sort o' dark-
I jes' felt a drop o' rain! Come on, we better run!
CHARLES R. ANGELL.
From Harper's Magazine, March, 1924.