Author:

A Farewell

With all my will, but much against my heart,
We two now part.
My Very Dear,
Our solace is, the sad road lies so clear.
It needs no art,
With faint, averted feet
And many a tear,
In our opposèd paths to persevere.
Go thou to East, I West.
We will not say
There ‘s any hope, it is so far away.
But, O, my Best,
When the one darling of our widowhead,
The nursling Grief,
Is dead,
And no dews blur our eyes
To see the peach-bloom come in evening skies,
Perchance we may,
Where now this night is day,
And even through faith of still averted feet,
Making full circle of our banishment,
Amazèd meet;
The bitter journey to the bourne so sweet
Seasoning the termless feast of our content
With tears of recognition never dry.

The Sick Stockrider

Hold hard, Ned! Lift me down once more, and lay me in the shade.
Old man, you’ve had your work cut out to guide
Both horses, and to hold me in the saddle when I swayed,
All through the hot, slow, sleepy, silent ride.
The dawn at "Moorabinda" was a mist rack dull and dense,
The sun-rise was a sullen, sluggish lamp;
I was dozing in the gateway at Arbuthnot’s bound’ry fence,
I was dreaming on the Limestone cattle camp.
We crossed the creek at Carricksford, and sharply through the haze,
And suddenly the sun shot flaming forth;
To southward lay "Katawa", with the sand peaks all ablaze,
And the flushed fields of Glen Lomond lay to north.
Now westward winds the bridle-path that leads to Lindisfarm,
And yonder looms the double-headed Bluff;
From the far side of the first hill, when the skies are clear and calm,
You can see Sylvester’s woolshed fair enough.
Five miles we used to call it from our homestead to the place
Where the big tree spans the roadway like an arch;
‘Twas here we ran the dingo down that gave us such a chase
Eight years ago — or was it nine? — last March.
‘Twas merry in the glowing morn among the gleaming grass,
To wander as we’ve wandered many a mile,
And blow the cool tobacco cloud, and watch the white wreaths pass,
Sitting loosely in the saddle all the while.
‘Twas merry ‘mid the blackwoods, when we spied the station roofs,
To wheel the wild scrub cattle at the yard,
With a running fire of stock whips and a fiery run of hoofs;
Oh! the hardest day was never then too hard!
Aye! we had a glorious gallop after "Starlight" and his gang,
When they bolted from Sylvester’s on the flat;
How the sun-dried reed-beds crackled, how the flint-strewn ranges rang,
To the strokes of "Mountaineer" and "Acrobat".
Hard behind them in the timber, harder still across the heath,
Close beside them through the tea-tree scrub we dash’d;
And the golden-tinted fern leaves, how they rustled underneath;
And the honeysuckle osiers, how they crash’d!
We led the hunt throughout, Ned, on the chestnut and the grey,
And the troopers were three hundred yards behind,
While we emptied our six-shooters on the bushrangers at bay,
In the creek with stunted box-trees for a blind!
There you grappled with the leader, man to man, and horse to horse,
And you roll’d together when the chestnut rear’d;
He blazed away and missed you in that shallow water-course —
A narrow shave — his powder singed your beard!

In these hours when life is ebbing, how those days when life was young
Come back to us; how clearly I recall
Even the yarns Jack Hall invented, and the songs Jem Roper sung;
And where are now Jem Roper and Jack Hall?
Ay! nearly all our comrades of the old colonial school,
Our ancient boon companions, Ned, are gone;
Hard livers for the most part, somewhat reckless as a rule,
It seems that you and I are left alone.
There was Hughes, who got in trouble through that business with the cards,
It matters little what became of him;
But a steer ripp’d up Macpherson in the Cooraminta yards,
And Sullivan was drown’d at Sink-or-swim;
And Mostyn — poor Frank Mostyn — died at last, a fearful wreck,
In the "horrors" at the Upper Wandinong,
And Carisbrooke, the rider, at the Horsefall broke his neck;
Faith! the wonder was he saved his neck so long!

Ah! those days and nights we squandered at the Logans’ in the glen —
The Logans, man and wife, have long been dead.
Elsie’s tallest girl seems taller than your little Elsie then;
And Ethel is a woman grown and wed.

I’ve had my share of pastime, and I’ve done my share of toil,
And life is short — the longest life a span;
I care not now to tarry for the corn or for the oil,
Or for wine that maketh glad the heart of man.
For good undone, and gifts misspent, and resolutions vain,
‘Tis somewhat late to trouble. This I know —
I should live the same life over, if I had to live again;
And the chances are I go where most men go.

The deep blue skies wax dusky, and the tall green trees grow dim,
The sward beneath me seems to heave and fall;
And sickly, smoky shadows through the sleepy sunlight swim,
And on the very sun’s face weave their pall.
Let me slumber in the hollow where the wattle blossoms wave,
With never stone or rail to fence my bed;
Should the sturdy station children pull the bush-flowers on my grave,
I may chance to hear them romping overhead.

I don’t suppose I shall though, for I feel like sleeping sound,
That sleep, they say, is doubtful. True; but yet
At least it makes no difference to the dead man underground
What the living men remember or forget.
Enigmas that perplex us in the world’s unequal strife,
The future may ignore or may reveal;
Yet some, as weak as water, Ned, to make the best of life,
Have been to face the worst as true as steel.

The Unsubscriber

Like all children, you were a de facto
Member of the Flat Earth Society,
Believing nothing but what you could see
Or touch or whatever sense led act to

Fruition: mudpies made summer beneath
A tree whose measured shade endowed decrees
Between light and dark: such hierarchies
Gave you implicit, a sophistic faith–

(Fallacious fellowship!)"
Youth’s adherents
Ignore the fact that most factions reject
Their lyric league (which only fools have stayed

Striplings of) and none condone its nonsense:
No-one loves that vain solipsistic sect
You’d never join, whose dues you’ve always paid.

Matthew Viii,28 Ff.

Rabbi, we Gadarenes
Are not ascetics; we are fond of wealth and possessions.
Love, as You call it, we obviate by means
Of the planned release of aggressions.

We have deep faith in properity.
Soon, it is hoped, we will reach our full potential.
In the light of our gross product, the practice of charity
Is palpably non-essential.

It is true that we go insane;
That for no good reason we are possessed by devils;
That we suffer, despite the amenities which obtain
At all but the lowest levels.

We shall not, however, resign
Our trust in the high-heaped table and the full trough.
If You cannot cure us without destroying our swine,
We had rather You shoved off.

From California

Sunday night in the house.
The blinds drawn, the phone dead.
The sound of the kettle, the rain.
Supper: cheese, celery, bread.

For company, old letters
In the same disjointed script.
Old love wells up again,
All that I thought had slipped

Through the sieve of long absence
Is here with me again:
The long stone walls, the green
Hillsides renewed with rain.

The way you would lick your finger
And touch your forehead, the way
You hummed a phrase from the flute
Sonatas, or turned to say,

"Larches–the only conifers
That honestly blend with Wales."
I walk with you again
Along these settled trails.

It seems I started this poem
So many years ago
I cannt follow its ending
And must begin anew.

Blame, some bitterness,
I recall there were these.
Yet what survives is Bach
And a few blackberries

Something of the "falling starlight",
In the phrase of Wang Wei,
Falls on my shadowed self.
I thank you that today

His words are open to me.
How much you have inspired
You cannot know. The end
Left much to be desired.

"There is a comfort in
The strength of love." I quote
Another favourite
You vouchsafed me. Please note

The lack of hope or faith:
Neither is justified.
I have closed out the night.
The random rain outside

Rejuvenates the parched
Foothills along the Bay.
Anaesthetised by years
I think of you today

Not with impassionedness
So much as half a smile
To see the weathered past
Still worth my present while.

Praise Song

to my aunt blanche
who rolled from grass to driveway
into the street one sunday morning.
i was ten. i had never seen
a human woman hurl her basketball
of a body into the traffic of the world.
Praise to the drivers who stopped in time.
Praise to the faith with which she rose
after some moments then slowly walked
sighing back to her family.
Praise to the arms which understood
little or nothing of what it meant
but welcomed her in without judgment,
accepting it all like children might,
like God.

Pilate’s Wife’s Dream

I’ve quenched my lamp, I struck it in that start
Which every limb convulsed, I heard it fall­
The crash blent with my sleep, I saw depart
Its light, even as I woke, on yonder wall;
Over against my bed, there shone a gleam
Strange, faint, and mingling also with my dream.

It sunk, and I am wrapt in utter gloom;
How far is night advanced, and when will day
Retinge the dusk and livid air with bloom,
And fill this void with warm, creative ray ?
Would I could sleep again till, clear and red,
Morning shall on the mountain-tops be spread!

I’d call my women, but to break their sleep,
Because my own is broken, were unjust;

They’ve wrought all day, and well-earned slumbers steep
Their labours in forgetfulness, I trust;
Let me my feverish watch with patience bear,
Thankful that none with me its sufferings share.

Yet, Oh, for light ! one ray would tranquilise
My nerves, my pulses, more than effort can;
I’ll draw my curtain and consult the skies:
These trembling stars at dead of night look wan,
Wild, restless, strange, yet cannot be more drear
Than this my couch, shared by a nameless fear.

All black­one great cloud, drawn from east to west,
Conceals the heavens, but there are lights below;
Torches burn in Jerusalem, and cast
On yonder stony mount a lurid glow.
I see men stationed there, and gleaming spears;
A sound, too, from afar, invades my ears.

Dull, measured, strokes of axe and hammer ring
From street to street, not loud, but through the night
Distinctly heard­and some strange spectral thing
Is now upreared­and, fixed against the light
Of the pale lamps; defined upon that sky,
It stands up like a column, straight and high.

I see it all­I know the dusky sign­
A cross on Calvary, which Jews uprear

While Romans watch; and when the dawn shall shine
Pilate, to judge the victim will appear,
Pass sentence­yield him up to crucify;
And on that cross the spotless Christ must die.

Dreams, then, are true­for thus my vision ran;
Surely some oracle has been with me,
The gods have chosen me to reveal their plan,
To warn an unjust judge of destiny:
I, slumbering, heard and saw; awake I know,
Christ’s coming death, and Pilate’s life of woe.

I do not weep for Pilate­who could prove
Regret for him whose cold and crushing sway
No prayer can soften, no appeal can move;
Who tramples hearts as others trample clay,
Yet with a faltering, an uncertain tread,
That might stir up reprisal in the dead.

Forced to sit by his side and see his deeds;
Forced to behold that visage, hour by hour,
In whose gaunt lines, the abhorrent gazer reads
A triple lust of gold, and blood, and power;
A soul whom motives, fierce, yet abject, urge
Rome’s servile slave, and Judah’s tyrant scourge.

How can I love, or mourn, or pity him ?
I, who so long my fettered hands have wrung;

I, who for grief have wept my eye-sight dim;
Because, while life for me was bright and young,
He robbed my youth­he quenched my life’s fair ray­
He crushed my mind, and did my freedom slay.

And at this hour­although I be his wife­
He has no more of tenderness from me
Than any other wretch of guilty life;
Less, for I know his household privacy­
I see him as he is­without a screen;
And, by the gods, my soul abhors his mien !

Has he not sought my presence, dyed in blood­
Innocent, righteous blood, shed shamelessly ?
And have I not his red salute withstood ?
Aye,­when, as erst, he plunged all Galilee
In dark bereavement­in affliction sore,
Mingling their very offerings with their gore.

Then came he­in his eyes a serpent-smile,
Upon his lips some false, endearing word,
And, through the streets of Salem, clanged the while,
His slaughtering, hacking, sacrilegious sword­
And I, to see a man cause men such woe,
Trembled with ire­I did not fear to show.

And now, the envious Jewish priests have brought
Jesus­whom they in mockery call their king­

To have, by this grim power, their vengeance wrought;
By this mean reptile, innocence to sting.
Oh ! could I but the purposed doom avert,
And shield the blameless head from cruel hurt!

Accessible is Pilate’s heart to fear,
Omens will shake his soul, like autumn leaf;
Could he this night’s appalling vision hear,
This just man’s bonds were loosed, his life were safe,
Unless that bitter priesthood should prevail,
And make even terror to their malice quail.

Yet if I tell the dream­but let me pause.
What dream ? Erewhile the characters were clear,
Graved on my brain­at once some unknown cause
Has dimmed and rased the thoughts, which now appear,
Like a vague remnant of some by-past scene;­
Not what will be, but what, long since, has been.

I suffered many things, I heard foretold
A dreadful doom for Pilate,­lingering woes,
In far, barbarian climes, where mountains cold
Built up a solitude of trackless snows,
There, he and grisly wolves prowled side by side,
There he lived famished­there methought he died;

But not of hunger, nor by malady;
I saw the snow around him, stained with gore;

I said I had no tears for such as he,
And, lo ! my cheek is wet­mine eyes run o’er;
I weep for mortal suffering, mortal guilt,
I weep the impious deed­the blood self-spilt.

More I recall not, yet the vision spread
Into a world remote, an age to come­
And still the illumined name of Jesus shed
A light, a clearness, through the enfolding gloom­
And still I saw that sign, which now I see,
That cross on yonder brow of Calvary.

What is this Hebrew Christ ? To me unknown,
His lineage­doctrine­mission­yet how clear,
Is God-like goodness, in his actions shewn !
How straight and stainless is his life’s career !
The ray of Deity that rests on him,
In my eyes makes Olympian glory dim.

The world advances, Greek, or Roman rite
Suffices not the inquiring mind to stay;
The searching soul demands a purer light
To guide it on its upward, onward way;
Ashamed of sculptured gods­Religion turns
To where the unseen Jehovah’s altar burns.

Our faith is rotten­all our rites defiled,
Our temples sullied, and methinks, this man,
With his new ordinance, so wise and mild,
Is come, even as he says, the chaff to fan

And sever from the wheat; but will his faith
Survive the terrors of to-morrow’s death ?

* * * * *

I feel a firmer trust­a higher hope
Rise in my soul­it dawns with dawning day;
Lo ! on the Temple’s roof­on Moriah’s slope
Appears at length that clear, and crimson ray,
Which I so wished for when shut in by night;
Oh, opening skies, I hail, I bless your light !

Part, clouds and shadows ! glorious Sun appear !
Part, mental gloom ! Come insight from on high !
Dusk dawn in heaven still strives with daylight clear,
The longing soul, doth still uncertain sigh.
Oh ! to behold the truth­that sun divine,
How doth my bosom pant, my spirit pine !

This day, time travails with a mighty birth,
This day, Truth stoops from heaven and visits earth,
Ere night descends, I shall more surely know
What guide to follow, in what path to go;
I wait in hope­I wait in solemn fear,
The oracle of God­the sole­true God­to hear.

Apostasy

THIS last denial of my faith,
Thou, solemn Priest, hast heard;
And, though upon my bed of death,
I call not back a word.
Point not to thy Madonna, Priest,­
Thy sightless saint of stone;
She cannot, from this burning breast,
Wring one repentant moan.

Thou say’st, that when a sinless child,
I duly bent the knee,
And prayed to what in marble smiled
Cold, lifeless, mute, on me.
I did. But listen ! Children spring
Full soon to riper youth;
And, for Love’s vow and Wedlock’s ring,
I sold my early truth.

‘Twas not a grey, bare head, like thine,
Bent o’er me, when I said,
‘ That land and God and Faith are mine,
For which thy fathers bled.’
I see thee not, my eyes are dim;
But, well I hear thee say,
‘ O daughter, cease to think of him
Who led thy soul astray.

Between you lies both space and time;
Let leagues and years prevail
To turn thee from the path of crime,
Back to the Church’s pale.’
And, did I need that thou shouldst tell
What mighty barriers rise
To part me from that dungeon-cell,
Where my loved Walter lies ?

And, did I need that thou shouldst taunt
My dying hour at last,
By bidding this worn spirit pant
No more for what is past ?
Priest­must I cease to think of him ?
How hollow rings that word !
Can time, can tears, can distance dim
The memory of my lord ?

I said before, I saw not thee,
Because, an hour agone,
Over my eye-balls, heavily,
The lids fell down like stone.
But still my spirit’s inward sight
Beholds his image beam
As fixed, as clear, as burning bright,
As some red planet’s gleam.

Talk not of thy Last Sacrament,
Tell not thy beads for me;
Both rite and prayer are vainly spent,
As dews upon the sea.
Speak not one word of Heaven above,
Rave not of Hell’s alarms;
Give me but back my Walter’s love,
Restore me to his arms !

Then will the bliss of Heaven be won;
Then will Hell shrink away,
As I have seen night’s terrors shun
The conquering steps of day.
‘Tis my religion thus to love,
My creed thus fixed to be;
Not Death shall shake, nor Priestcraft break
My rock-like constancy !

Now go; for at the door there waits
Another stranger guest:
He calls­I come­my pulse scarce beats,
My heart fails in my breast.
Again that voice­how far away,
How dreary sounds that tone !
And I, methinks, am gone astray
In trackless wastes and lone.

I fain would rest a little while:
Where can I find a stay,
Till dawn upon the hills shall smile,
And show some trodden way ?
‘ I come ! I come !’ in haste she said,
‘ ‘Twas Walter’s voice I heard !’
Then up she sprang­but fell back, dead,
His name her latest word.

Preference

NOT in scorn do I reprove thee,
Not in pride thy vows I waive,
But, believe, I could not love thee,
Wert thou prince, and I a slave.
These, then, are thine oaths of passion ?
This, thy tenderness for me ?
Judged, even, by thine own confession,
Thou art steeped in perfidy.
Having vanquished, thou wouldst leave me !
Thus I read thee long ago;
Therefore, dared I not deceive thee,
Even with friendship’s gentle show.
Therefore, with impassive coldness
Have I ever met thy gaze;
Though, full oft, with daring boldness,
Thou thine eyes to mine didst raise.
Why that smile ? Thou now art deeming
This my coldness all untrue,­
But a mask of frozen seeming,
Hiding secret fires from view.
Touch my hand, thou self-deceiver,
Nay­be calm, for I am so:
Does it burn ? Does my lip quiver ?
Has mine eye a troubled glow ?
Canst thou call a moment’s colour
To my forehead­to my cheek ?
Canst thou tinge their tranquil pallor
With one flattering, feverish streak?
Am I marble ? What ! no woman
Could so calm before thee stand ?
Nothing living, sentient, human,
Could so coldly take thy hand ?
Yes­a sister might, a mother:
My good-will is sisterly:
Dream not, then, I strive to smother
Fires that inly burn for thee.
Rave not, rage not, wrath is fruitless,
Fury cannot change my mind;
I but deem the feeling rootless
Which so whirls in passion’s wind.
Can I love ? Oh, deeply­truly­
Warmly­fondly­but not thee;
And my love is answered duly,
With an equal energy.
Wouldst thou see thy rival ? Hasten,
Draw that curtain soft aside,
Look where yon thick branches chasten
Noon, with shades of eventide.
In that glade, where foliage blending
Forms a green arch overhead,
Sits thy rival thoughtful bending
O’er a stand with papers spread­
Motionless, his fingers plying
That untired, unresting pen;
Time and tide unnoticed flying,
There he sits­the first of men !
Man of conscience­man of reason;
Stern, perchance, but ever just;
Foe to falsehood, wrong, and treason,
Honour’s shield, and virtue’s trust !
Worker, thinker, firm defender
Of Heaven’s truth­man’s liberty;
Soul of iron­proof to slander,
Rock where founders tyranny.
Fame he seeks not­but full surely
She will seek him, in his home;
This I know, and wait securely
For the atoning hour to come.
To that man my faith is given,
Therefore, soldier, cease to sue;
While God reigns in earth and heaven,
I to him will still be true !

The Missionary

LOUGH, vessel, plough the British main,
Seek the free ocean’s wider plain;
Leave English scenes and English skies,
Unbind, dissever English ties;
Bear me to climes remote and strange,
Where altered life, fast-following change,
Hot action, never-ceasing toil,
Shall stir, turn, dig, the spirit’s soil;
Fresh roots shall plant, fresh seed shall sow,
Till a new garden there shall grow,
Cleared of the weeds that fill it now,­
Mere human love, mere selfish yearning,
Which, cherished, would arrest me yet.
I grasp the plough, there’s no returning,
Let me, then, struggle to forget.

But England’s shores are yet in view,
And England’s skies of tender blue
Are arched above her guardian sea.
I cannot yet Remembrance flee;
I must again, then, firmly face
That task of anguish, to retrace.
Wedded to home­I home forsake,
Fearful of change­I changes make;
Too fond of ease­I plunge in toil;
Lover of calm­I seek turmoil:
Nature and hostile Destiny
Stir in my heart a conflict wild;
And long and fierce the war will be
Ere duty both has reconciled.

What other tie yet holds me fast
To the divorced, abandoned past?
Smouldering, on my heart’s altar lies
The fire of some great sacrifice,
Not yet half quenched. The sacred steel
But lately struck my carnal will,
My life-long hope, first joy and last,
What I loved well, and clung to fast;
What I wished wildly to retain,
What I renounced with soul-felt pain;
What­when I saw it, axe-struck, perish­
Left me no joy on earth to cherish;
A man bereft­yet sternly now
I do confirm that Jephtha vow:
Shall I retract, or fear, or flee ?
Did Christ, when rose the fatal tree
Before him, on Mount Calvary ?
‘Twas a long fight, hard fought, but won,
And what I did was justly done.

Yet, Helen ! from thy love I turned,
When my heart most for thy heart burned;
I dared thy tears, I dared thy scorn­
Easier the death-pang had been borne.
Helen ! thou mightst not go with me,
I could not­dared not stay for thee !
I heard, afar, in bonds complain
The savage from beyond the main;
And that wild sound rose o’er the cry
Wrung out by passion’s agony;
And even when, with the bitterest tear
I ever shed, mine eyes were dim,
Still, with the spirit’s vision clear,
I saw Hell’s empire, vast and grim,
Spread on each Indian river’s shore,
Each realm of Asia covering o’er.

There the weak, trampled by the strong,
Live but to suffer­hopeless die;
There pagan-priests, whose creed is Wrong,
Extortion, Lust, and Cruelty,
Crush our lost race­and brimming fill
The bitter cup of human ill;
And I­who have the healing creed,
The faith benign of Mary’s Son;
Shall I behold my brother’s need
And selfishly to aid him shun ?
I­who upon my mother’s knees,
In childhood, read Christ’s written word,
Received his legacy of peace,
His holy rule of action heard;
I­in whose heart the sacred sense
Of Jesus’ love was early felt;
Of his pure full benevolence,
His pitying tenderness for guilt;
His shepherd-care for wandering sheep,
For all weak, sorrowing, trembling things,
His mercy vast, his passion deep
Of anguish for man’s sufferings;
I­schooled from childhood in such lore­
Dared I draw back or hesitate,
When called to heal the sickness sore
Of those far off and desolate ?
Dark, in the realm and shades of Death,
Nations and tribes and empires lie,
But even to them the light of Faith
Is breaking on their sombre sky:
And be it mine to bid them raise
Their drooped heads to the kindling scene,
And know and hail the sunrise blaze
Which heralds Christ the Nazarene.
I know how Hell the veil will spread
Over their brows and filmy eyes,
And earthward crush the lifted head
That would look up and seek the skies;
I know what war the fiend will wage
Against that soldier of the cross,
Who comes to dare his demon-rage,
And work his kingdom shame and loss.
Yes, hard and terrible the toil
Of him who steps on foreign soil,
Resolved to plant the gospel vine,
Where tyrants rule and slaves repine;
Eager to lift Religion’s light
Where thickest shades of mental night
Screen the false god and fiendish rite;
Reckless that missionary blood,
Shed in wild wilderness and wood,
Has left, upon the unblest air,
The man’s deep moan­the martyr’s prayer.
I know my lot­I only ask
Power to fulfil the glorious task;
Willing the spirit, may the flesh
Strength for the day receive afresh.
May burning sun or deadly wind
Prevail not o’er an earnest mind;
May torments strange or direst death
Nor trample truth, nor baffle faith.
Though such blood-drops should fall from me
As fell in old Gethsemane,
Welcome the anguish, so it gave
More strength to work­more skill to save.
And, oh ! if brief must be my time,
If hostile hand or fatal clime
Cut short my course­still o’er my grave,
Lord, may thy harvest whitening wave.
So I the culture may begin,
Let others thrust the sickle in;
If but the seed will faster grow,
May my blood water what I sow !

What ! have I ever trembling stood,
And feared to give to God that blood ?
What ! has the coward love of life
Made me shrink from the righteous strife ?
Have human passions, human fears
Severed me from those Pioneers,
Whose task is to march first, and trace
Paths for the progress of our race ?
It has been so; but grant me, Lord,
Now to stand steadfast by thy word !
Protected by salvation’s helm,
Shielded by faith­with truth begirt,
To smile when trials seek to whelm
And stand ‘mid testing fires unhurt !
Hurling hell’s strongest bulwarks down,
Even when the last pang thrills my breast,
When Death bestows the Martyr’s crown,
And calls me into Jesus’ rest.
Then for my ultimate reward­
Then for the world-rejoicing word­
The voice from Father­Spirit­Son:
‘ Servant of God, well hast thou done !’

The Wife’s Will

SIT still­a word­a breath may break
(As light airs stir a sleeping lake,)
The glassy calm that soothes my woes,
The sweet, the deep, the full repose.
O leave me not ! for ever be
Thus, more than life itself to me !

Yes, close beside thee, let me kneel­
Give me thy hand that I may feel
The friend so true­so tried­so dear,
My heart’s own chosen­indeed is near;
And check me not­this hour divine
Belongs to me­is fully mine.

‘Tis thy own hearth thou sitt’st beside,
After long absence­wandering wide;
‘Tis thy own wife reads in thine eyes,
A promise clear of stormless skies,
For faith and true love light the rays,
Which shine responsive to her gaze.

Aye,­well that single tear may fall;
Ten thousand might mine eyes recall,
Which from their lids, ran blinding fast,
In hours of grief, yet scarcely past,
Well may’st thou speak of love to me;
For, oh ! most truly­I love thee !

Yet smile­for we are happy now.
Whence, then, that sadness on thy brow ?
What say’st thou ? ‘ We must once again,
Ere long, be severed by the main ? ‘
I knew not this­I deemed no more,
Thy step would err from Britain’s shore.

‘ Duty commands ?’ ‘Tis true­’tis just;
Thy slightest word I wholly trust,
Nor by request, nor faintest sigh
Would I, to turn thy purpose, try;
But, William­hear my solemn vow­
Hear and confirm !­with thee I go.

‘ Distance and suffering,’ did’st thou say ?
‘ Danger by night, and toil by day ?’
Oh, idle words, and vain are these;
Hear me ! I cross with thee the seas.
Such risk as thou must meet and dare,
I­thy true wife­will duly share.

Passive, at home, I will not pine;
Thy toils­thy perils, shall be mine;
Grant this­and be hereafter paid
By a warm heart’s devoted aid:
‘Tis granted­with that yielding kiss,
Entered my soul unmingled bliss.

Thanks, William­thanks ! thy love has joy,
Pure­undefiled with base alloy;
‘Tis not a passion, false and blind,
Inspires, enchains, absorbs my mind;
Worthy, I feel, art thou to be
Loved with my perfect energy.

This evening, now, shall sweetly flow,
Lit by our clear fire’s happy glow;
And parting’s peace-embittering fear,
Is warned, our hearts to come not near;
For fate admits my soul’s decree,
In bliss or bale­to go with thee !