The mother calls with mother-fear—
Hush, sweet Mary!
Another sound is in His ear,
A sound he cannot choose but hear—
Hush, hush, the barley and the corn!
Far and still far—through years yet dim
List, sweet Mary!
From o’er the waking earth’s green rim
Another Springtime calleth Him!
Bend low, the barley and the corn!
Call low, call high, and call again,
Ah, poor Mary!
Know, by thy heart’s prophetic pain,
That one day thou shalt call in vain—
Moan, moan, the barley and the corn!
O mother! make thine arms a shield,
Sing, sweet Mary!
While love still holds what love must yield
Hide well the path across the field!—
Sing low, the barley and the corn!
. . . . .
“The Spring is come!” a shepherd saith;
Rest thee, Mary—
The passing years are but a breath
And Spring still comes to Nazareth—
Green, green, the barley and the corn!
There lived a man who raised his hand and said,
“I will be great!”
And through a long, long life he bravely knocked
At Fame’s closed gate.
A son he left who, like his sire, strove
High place to win;—
Worn out, he died and, dying, left no trace
That he had been.
He also left a son, who, without care
Or planning how,
Bore the fair letters of a deathless fame
Upon his brow.
“Behold a genius, filled with fire divine!”
The people cried;
Not knowing that to make him what he was
Two men had died.
Song of the Sleeper
Sleeper rest quietly
Lord of your kingdom
Of murmurous sound.
Hear the grass growing
Sweet for the mowing;
Hear the stars sing
As they travel around—
Grass blade and star dust,
You, I, and all of us,
One with the cause of us,
Murmur not, sleeper!
Yours is the key
To all things that were and
To all things that be—
While the lark’s trilling,
While the grain’s filling,
Laugh with the wind
At Life’s Riddle-me-ree!
How you were born of it?
Why was the thorn of it?
Where the new morn of it?
Yours is the Key!
Sleep deeper, brother!
Sleep and forget
Red lips that trembled
Eyes that were wet—
Though love be weeping,
Turn to your sleeping,
Life has no giving
That death need regret.
Here at the end of all
Hear the Beginning call,
Life’s but death’s seneschal—
Sleep and forget!
One comes with foot insistent to my door,
Calling my name;
Nor voice nor footstep have I heard before,
Yet clear the calling sounds and o’er and o’er—
It seems the sunlight burns along the floor
With paler flame!