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Denis Florence MacCarthy
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 80 pages of information about Poems.

PREFACE.

All through my busy years of prose writing I have occasionally jotted down idle thoughts in rhyme.  Imagining ideal scenes, ideal characters, and then, as is the way, I suppose, with more ambitious poets, trying to put myself inside the personalities I have invoked, trying to feel as they would be likely to, speak the words I fancied they would say.

The many faults of my verses I can see only too well; their merits, if they have any, I leave with the public—­which has always been so kind to me—­to discover.

And half-hopefully, half-fearfully, I send out the little craft on the wide sea strewn with so many wrecks.  But thinking it must be safer from adverse winds because it carries so low a sail, and will cruise along so close to the shore and not try to sail out in the deep waters.

And so I bid the dear little wanderer (dear to me), God-speed, and bon voyage.

Marietta Holley.

New York, June, 1887.

WHAT MAKES THE SUMMER?

It is not the lark’s clear tone
Cleaving the morning air with a soaring cry,
Nor the nightingale’s dulcet melody all the balmy night—­
Not these alone
Make the sweet sounds of summer;
But the drone of beetle and bee, the murmurous hum of the fly
And the chirp of the cricket hidden out of sight—­
These help to make the summer.

Not roses redly blown,
Nor golden lilies, lighting the dusky meads,
Nor proud imperial pansies, nor queen-cups quaint and rare—­
Not these alone
Make the sweet sights of summer
But the countless forest leaves, the myriad wayside weeds
And slender grasses, springing up everywhere—­
These help to make the summer.

One heaven bends above;
The lowliest head ofttimes has sweetest rest;
O’er song-bird in the pine, and bee in the ivy low,
Is the same love, it is all God’s summer;
Well pleased is He if we patiently do our best,
So hum little bee, and low green grasses grow,
You help to make the summer.

THE BROTHERS.

High on a rocky cliff did once a gray old castle stand,
From whence rough-bearded chieftains led their vassals—­ruled
        the land. 
For centuries had dwelt here sire and son, till it befell,
Last of their ancient line, two brothers here alone did dwell.

The eldest was stern-visaged, but the youngest smooth and fair
Of countenance; both zealous, men who bent the knee in prayer
To God alone; loved much, read much His holy word,
And prayed above all gifts desired, that they might see
        their Lord.

For this the elder brother carved a silent cell of stone,
And in its deep and dreary depths he entered, dwelt alone,
And strove with scourgings, vigils, fasts, to purify his gaze,
And sought amidst these shadows to behold the Master’s face.

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