Young Lives eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 267 pages of information about Young Lives.

“Oh, Mike,” said Esther, “you’re sure you’ll go on loving me?  I’m awfully frightened of those pretty girls in ——­’s company.”

“You needn’t be,” said Mike; “there’s only one girl in the world will look at a funny bit of a thing like me.”

“Oh, I don’t know,” said Esther, laughing, “some big girls have such strange tastes.”

“Well, let’s hope that before many months you can come and look after me.”

“If we’d only a certain five pounds a week, we could get along,—­anything to be together.  Of course, we’d have to be economical—­” said Esther, thoughtfully.

On the last night but one before his leaving, it was Mike’s turn for a farewell dinner.  Half-a-dozen of his best friends assembled at the “Golden Bee,” and toasts and tears were mingled to do him honour.  Henry happily caught the general feeling of the occasion in the following verses, not hitherto printed.  Henry was too much in earnest at the time to regard the bathos of rhyming “stage waits” with such dignities as “summoning fates,” except for which naivete the poem is perhaps not a bad example of sincere, occasional verse: 

     Dear Mike, at last the wished hour draws nigh—­
     Weary indeed, the watching of a sky
     For golden portent tarrying afar;
     But here to-night we hail your risen star,
     To-night we hear the cry of summoning fates—­
                                Stage waits!

     Stage waits! and we who love our brother so
     Would keep him not; but only ere he go,
     Led by the stars along the untried ways,
     We’d hold his hand in ours a little space,
     With grip of love that girdeth up the heart,
     And kiss of eyes that giveth strength to part.

     Some of your lovers may be half afraid
     To bid you forth, for fear of pitfalls laid
     About your feet; but we have no such fears,
     That cry is as a trumpet in our ears;
     We dare not, would not, mock those summoning fates—­
                                Stage waits!

     Stage waits! and shall you fear and make delay? 
     Yes! when the mariner who long time lay,
     Waiting the breeze, shall anchor when it blows;
     Yes! when a thirsty summer-flower shall close
     Against the rain; or when, in reaping days,
     The husbandman shall set his fields ablaze.

Nay, take your breeze, drink in your strengthening rain,
And, while you can, make harvest of your grain;
The land is fair to which that breeze shall blow. 
The flower is sweet the rain shall set aglow,
The grain be rich within your garner gates—­

                                                    Stage waits!

Stage waits! and we must loosen now your hand,
And miss your face’s gold in all our land;
But yet we know that in a little while
You come again a conqueror, so smile
Godspeed, not parting, and, with hearts elate,

                                                    We wait_.

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Young Lives from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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