* * * * *
Soldier and priest and dreamer—she drew them, a mighty throng.
The unmapped seas took tribute of many a dauntless band,
And many a brave hope measured but bleaching bones in the sand;
Yet for one that fell, a hundred sprang out to fill his place,
For death at her call was sweeter than life in a tamer race.
Sinew and bone she drew them; steel-thewed—and the weaklings shrank—
Grim-wrought of granite and iron were the men of her foremost rank.
* * * * *
The wanderers of earth turned to her—outcast
of the older lands—
With a promise and hope in their pleading, and she reached them
And she cried to the Old World cities that drowse by the Eastern main:
“Send me your weary, house-worn broods and I’ll send you men again!
Lo! here in my wind-swept reaches, by my marshalled peaks of snow,
Is room for a larger reaping than your o’er-tilled fields can grow;
Seed of the Man-seed springing to stature and strength in my sun,
Free with a limitless freedom no battles of men, have won.”
in Out West.
One night when the plain was like a sea of liquid black, and the sky blazed with stars, we rode by a sheep-herder’s camp. The flicker of a fire threw a glow out into the dark. A tall wagon, a group of silhouetted men, three or four squatting dogs, were squarely within the circle or illumination. And outside, in the penumbra of shifting half light, now showing clearly, now fading into darkness, were the sheep, indeterminate in bulk, melting away by mysterious thousands into the mass of night. We passed them. They looked up, squinting their eyes against the dazzle of the fire. The night closed about us again.
STEWART EDWARD WHITE,
in The Mountains.
THE DROUTH: 1898.
No low of cattle from these silent fields
Fills, with soft sounds of peace, the evening air;
No fresh-mown hay its scented incense yields
From these sad meadows, stricken brown and bare.
The brook, that rippled on its summer
Shrinks out of sight within its sandy bed,
Defenseless of a covert from the ray,
Dazzling and pitiless, that beams o’erhead.
The rose has lost its bloom; the lily
Our garden’s perfumed treasures all are fled;
The bee no longer to their sweetness flies,
The humming-bird no longer dips his head.
The butterfly—that fairy-glancing
Ethereal blossom of the light and air!
No longer poises on its fluttering wing;
How could it hover in this bleak despair?