my eyes make pictures
lessons for A child
the death of the old year
A song in A dream
THE GOSPEL WOMEN.
The mother Mary
the woman that cried in the crowd
the mother of ZEBEDEE’S children
the SYROPHENICIAN woman
the widow of Nain
the woman whom Satan had bound
the woman who came behind him in the crowd
the widow with the two mites
the women who ministered unto him
the woman of Samaria
the woman in the temple
the woman that was A sinner
A HIDDEN LIFE.
Proudly the youth, by manhood sudden crowned,
Went walking by his horses to the plough,
For the first time that morn. No soldier gay
Feels at his side the throb of the gold hilt
(Knowing the blue blade hides within its sheath,
As lightning in the cloud) with more delight,
When first he belts it on, than he that day
Heard still the clank of the plough-chains against
The horses’ harnessed sides, as to the field
They went to make it fruitful. O’er the hill
The sun looked down, baptizing him for toil.
A farmer’s son he was, and grandson too;
Yea, his great-grandsire had possessed these fields.
Tradition said they had been tilled by men
Who bore the name long centuries ago,
And married wives, and reared a stalwart race,
And died, and went where all had followed them,
Save one old man, his daughter, and the youth
Who ploughs in pride, nor ever doubts his toil;
And death is far from him this sunny morn.
Why should we think of death when life is high?
The earth laughs all the day, and sleeps all night.
Earth, give us food, and, after that, a grave;
For both are good, each better in its time.
The youth knew little; but he read old tales
Of Scotland’s warriors, till his blood ran swift
As charging knights upon their death career.
And then he chanted old tunes, till the blood
Was charmed back into its fountain-well,
And tears arose instead. And Robert’s songs,
Which ever flow in noises like his name,
Rose from him in the fields beside the kine,
And met the sky-lark’s rain from out the clouds.
As yet he sang only as sing the birds,
From gladness simply, or, he knew not why.
The earth was fair—he knew not it was fair;
And he so glad—he knew not he was glad:
He walked as in a twilight of the sense,
Which this one day shall turn to tender light.