Here, through this hoary chancel
Where all’s the same,
A thrill, a gaiety even, ranged
That morning when it seemed I changed
My nature with my name.
Though now not fair, though gray my hair,
He loved me, past proclaim,
Here in this hoary chancel,
Where all’s the same.
AT THE ENTERING OF THE NEW YEAR
I (OLD STYLE)
Our songs went up and out the chimney,
And roused the home-gone husbandmen;
Our allemands, our heys, poussettings,
Our hands-across and back again,
Sent rhythmic throbbings through the casements
On to the white highway,
Where nighted farers paused and muttered,
“Keep it up well, do they!”
The contrabasso’s measured booming
Sped at each bar to the parish bounds,
To shepherds at their midnight lambings,
To stealthy poachers on their rounds;
And everybody caught full duly
The notes of our delight,
As Time unrobed the Youth of Promise
Hailed by our sanguine sight.
II (NEW STYLE)
We stand in the dusk of a pine-tree
As if to give ear to the muffled peal,
Brought or withheld at the breeze’s whim;
But our truest heed is to words that steal
From the mantled ghost that looms in the gray,
And seems, so far as our sense can see,
To feature bereaved Humanity,
As it sighs to the imminent year its say:-
“O stay without, O stay without,
Calm comely Youth, untasked, untired;
Though stars irradiate thee about
Thy entrance here is undesired.
Open the gate not, mystic one;
Must we avow what we would close confine?
With thee, good friend, we would have Converse none,
Albeit the fault may not be thine.”
December 31. During the War.
THEY WOULD NOT COME
I travelled to where in her lifetime
She’d knelt at morning prayer,
To call her up as if there;
But she paid no heed to my suing,
As though her old haunt could win not
A thought from her spirit, or care.
I went where my friend had lectioned
The prophets in high declaim,
That my soul’s ear the same
Full tones should catch as aforetime;
But silenced by gear of the Present
Was the voice that once there came!
Where the ocean had sprayed our banquet
I stood, to recall it as then:
The same eluding again!
No vision. Shows contingent
Affrighted it further from me
Even than from my home-den.
When I found them no responders,
But fugitives prone to flee
From where they had used to be,
It vouched I had been led hither
As by night wisps in bogland,
And bruised the heart of me!