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It was a sea uncharted that you sailed,
Oh, Mariner, borne by your winged barque
Beyond far ports, where winds sirens wailed,
Past the flight of the lark.
It was a field of sunlight and of air,
Oh, rider, that your haagic steed roamed over,-
Where clouds were left Hike dust along the glare,
And the stars were like Wover.
It was a land of nothingness and space,
Where, Conquerer, you entered and unfurled
An earthly ensign in a pathless place
Beyond the certain world.
It was a stairway that the foot of Man
Had never through the ages long ascended
But toward the sun, oh, Child, you laughed and ran,
Until your playtime ended.
It was a tryst you went unto, oh, Lover!
With Death, your Bride, —who prays you fare no more
From her small house
and gives you grass for cover
And bars a silent door.
Publisher: Mitchell Kennerley
From Current Literature, 1912.
Let Trouble Makers trouble make,
And fill the land with qualm and quake,
For me, who deem our whirling earth
A garden-spot of glorious worth,
Committed to our care that we
May make it yield more fruitfully,
I'll turn my back on raucous stir
And like a faithful Gardener
Do what I can in my small space
To bring forth flowers full of grace.
JOHN KENDRICK BANGS.
By McClure Newspaper Syndicate.
United States Air Service, 1918.
O Icarus, incarnate soul of flight,
Insatiate of swiftness and of height,
Fit comrade of the lark whose heart of fire
Springs up ecstatic in a wild desire
To quench the sun with song! To thee the sky
Was home, the winds that laugh so sweet on high
Gave eager welcome to thy kindred soul
And thou, as Heaven itself had been thy goal,
Up, up, and up in joyous fearlessness
Wast wont to circle. Who can ever guess
What blithe companionship with voiceless space
Was thine in that free solitary race-
What jocund converse with the sun by day
And with the stars upon the milky way
When thou wouldst seek for stardust at its source
And fragrant night was cold about thy course?
Flying itself was very life to thee,
So dear that nothing but eternity
Could tempt thee from it. Now thy flight is o'er.
The summer sky shall never see thee more
After that day when from a cloudy rift
Thou divedst down to soar again more swift
Than ever man has flown, in Heaven's light
To satiate thy soul with perfect height,
O Icarus—thou disembodied flight!
ALFRED RAYMOND BELLINGER.
From "Spires and Poplars," Yale University Press,
kind permission of the Author and the Publishers.
To you alone our shivering souls confess,
Since you the inexpressible express.
Shake star-dust in our eyes
For all Life's hurts and hazards ye have lent
Ointment and alabaster. Rest content!
From Harper's Magazine, March, 1924.
I HAVE A RENDEZVOUS WITH LIFE
I have a rendezvous with Life
In days I hope will come
Ere youth has sped and strength of mind,
Ere voices sweet grow dumb;
I have a rendezvous with Life
When Spring's first heralds hum.
It may be I shall greet her soon, ,
Shall riot at her behest,
It may be I shall seek in vain
The peace of her downy breast.
Yet I would keep this rendezvous,
And deem all hardships sweet,
If at the end of the long white road
There Life and I shall meet.
Sure, some will cry it better far
To crown their days in sleep,
Than face the wind, the road, and rain,
To heed the calling deep.
Though wet, nor blow, nor space I fear,
Yet fear I deeply, too,
Lest Death shall greet and claim me ere
I keep Life's rendezvous.
COUNTÉE P. CULLEN.
This poem won the award of the Federated Women's Clubs and the Witten Bynner Prize for under-graduate poetry.
Out of the silence song;
Out of the bud, a rose;
Out of the rose, the scent
The wood-wind blows.
Out of the years a faith;
Out of life's travail truth;
Out of the heart, the charm
Of ageless youth.
ARTHUR WALLACE PEACH.
From The Independent, 1912.
Wherever war, with its red woes,
Or flood, or fire, or famine goes,
There, too, go I;
If earth in any quarter quakes
Or pestilence its ravage makes,
Thither I fly.
I kneel behind the soldier's trench,
I walk 'mid shambles' smear and stench,
The dead I mourn;
I bear the stretcher and I bend
O’er Fritz and Pierre and Jack to mend
What shells have torn.
I go wherever men may dare,
I go wherever woman's care
And love can live,
Wherever strength and skill can bring
Surcease to human suffering,
Or solace give.
I helped upon Haldora's shore;
With Hospitaller Knights I bore
The first red cross;
I was the Lady of the Lamp;
I saw Solferino's camp
The crimson loss.
I am your pennies and your pounds;
I am your bodies on their rounds
Of pain afar;
I am you, doing what you would
If you were only where you could-
The cross which on my arm I wear,
The flag which o'er my breast I bear,
Is but the sign
Of what you'd sacrifice for him
Who suffers on the hellish rim
Of war's red line.
JOHN HUSTON FINLEY.