Above us, and a sweet-voiced chorus rang
A “Nunc Dimittis,” and from caverns sang
In echo all the list’ning mountain wights.
Uniting fervently in their “amen,”
We stood a moment in the dark’ning gray;
In silence, as the knowing only may,
And then, refreshed, turned to our tasks again.
Awake, wild rose, lift up your lovely
And smile a welcome sweet to one whose days
Were spent of yore in rose-embowered ways,
Where lovingly he marveled at your grace
And found in music lore for you a place,
Telling in tones the world heard with amaze,
How fair you were to his inspired gaze.
A grieving people lost him for a space,
And ’round his darkened home there hung a band
Of messengers, half-dreading, day by day,
Lest they should bear sad tidings o’er the land.
But now, as Nature wakes, joy hath full sway.
MacDowell lives! Grim death could not withstand
The tide of loving thought that flowed his way.
THE SPIRIT CALL
(Celtic myth: “The ghosts of Fathers, they say, call away the souls of their race, while they behold them lonely in the midst of woe.” “Erin’s clouds are hung ’round with ghosts."—OSSIAN.)
I go: my father’s spirit calls!
From his gray cloud beholding,
He sees how thickly sorrow falls,
My lonely path enfolding.
So near he comes: I see him well:
He beckons, smiling, pleading!
I cannot in this sad world dwell,
When he is drawing, leading.
My heart is sore, he loves me dear,
My soul is weary, weary!
Father, I come, naught holds me here:
Thou lov’st, and life is dreary!
Bend lower, cloud, his spirit’s
My helpless form to cover!
A gasp, a sigh, one faint, low breath,
And all life’s woes are over.
Seeking a lodge remote from men,
A place for rest and labor,
Where I might inspiration gain,
Dame Nature for close neighbor,
I came on a deserted farm,
By forest deep surrounded;
’Twas mine, by ev’ry subtle charm,
I saw, with joy unbounded.
I wandered through its empty halls,
And ’mong its spreading acres,
Where birds and bees and frisky squirrels
Were undisturbed caretakers.
What sturdy youth and maid demure
Within that garden olden,
Their vows of love and constancy
Pledged in the sunset golden?
What lady hands in lilac hedge
Or tansy bed went gleaning?
Who placed that rusty flintlock there,
Against the stone fence leaning?
The very nails within your walls
Handwrought, with skill, proclaim you
A relic of colonial days,
And home of comfort name you.