Are you bowed down in heart?
Do you but hear the clashing discords and the din of life?
Then come away, come to the peaceful wood,
Here bathe your soul in silence. Listen! Now,
From out the palpitating solitude
Do you not catch, yet faint, elusive strains?
They are above, around, within you, everywhere.
Silently listen! Clear, and still more clear, they come.
They bubble up in rippling notes, and swell in singing tones.
Now let your soul run the whole gamut of the wondrous scale
Until, responsive to the tonic chord,
It touches the diapason of God’s grand cathedral organ,
Filling earth for you with heavenly peace
And holy harmonies.
To chase a never-reached mirage
Across the hot, white sand,
And choke and die, while gazing on
Its green and watered strand.
THE WORD OF AN ENGINEER
“She’s built of
From deck to keel,
And bolted strong and tight;
In scorn she’ll sail
The fiercest gale,
And pierce the darkest night.
Has proved each part
Throughout her breadth and length;
Deep in the hulk,
Of her mighty bulk,
Ten thousand Titans’ strength.”
The tempest howls,
The Ice Wolf prowls,
The winds they shift and veer,
But calm I sleep,
And faith I keep
In the word of an engineer.
Along the trail
Of the slender rail
The train, like a nightmare, flies
And dashes on
Through the black-mouthed yawn
Where the cavernous tunnel lies.
Over the ridge,
Across the bridge,
Swung twixt the sky and hell,
On an iron thread
Spun from the head
Of the man in a draughtsman’s cell.
And so we ride Over land and tide, Without a thought of fear— Man never had The faith in God That he has in an engineer!
Out of the infinite sea of
To climb, and for an instant stand
Upon an island speck of time.
From the impassible peace
of the darkness
To wake, and blink at the garish light
Through one short hour of fretfulness.
O Sleep, thou kindest minister
Silent distiller of the balm of rest,
How wonderful thy power, when naught else can,
To soothe the torn and sorrow-laden breast!
When bleeding hearts no comforter can find,
When burdened souls droop under weight of woe,
When thought is torture to the troubled mind,
When grief-relieving tears refuse to flow;
’Tis then thou comest on soft-beating wings,
And sweet oblivion’s peace from them is shed;
But ah, the old pain that the waking brings!
That lives again so soon as thou art fled!