Fair and sweet are the places
Where I see their unchanged faces!
And I feel in my heart with a secret thrill,
That the loved and lost are living still,
While the river of dreams runs down.
The river of dreams runs dimly down
By a secret way that no man knows;
But the soul lives on while the river flows
Through the gardens bright and the forests brown;
And I often think that our whole life seems
To be more than half made up of dreams.
The changing sights and the passing shows,
The morning hopes and the midnight fears,
Are left behind with the vanished years;
Onward, with ceaseless motion,
The life-stream flows to the ocean,
While we follow the tide, awake or asleep,
Till we see the dawn on Love’s great deep,
And the shadows melt, and the soul is free,—
The river of dreams has reached the sea.
SONGS OF HEARTH AND ALTAR
A HOME SONG
I read within a poet’s book
A word that starred the page:
“Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage!”
Yes, that is true, and something more:
You’ll find, where’er you roam,
That marble floors and gilded walls
Can never make a home.
But every house where Love abides,
And Friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home-sweet-home:
For there the heart can rest.
A SLUMBER-SONG FOR THE FISHERMAN’S CHILD
Furl your sail, my little boatie;
Here’s the haven still and deep,
Where the dreaming tides in-streaming
Up the channel creep.
Now the sunset breeze is dying;
Hear the plover, landward flying,
Softly down the twilight crying;
Come to anchor, little boatie,
In the port of Sleep.
Far away, my little boatie,
Roaring waves are white with foam;
Ships are striving, onward driving,
Day and night they roam.
Father’s at the deep-sea trawling,
In the darkness, rowing, hauling,
While the hungry winds are calling,—
God protect him, little boatie,
Bring him safely home!
Not for you, my little boatie,
Is the wide and weary sea;
You’re too slender, and too tender,
You must bide with me.
All day long you have been straying
Up and down the shore and playing;
Come to harbour, no delaying!
Day is over, little boatie,
Night falls suddenly.