The Little Book of Modern Verse
Part 4 out of 5
Are cold and quiet. You nor I,
Nor fiddle now, nor flagon-lid,
May ring them back from where they lie.
No fame delays oblivion
For them, but something yet survives:
A record written fair, could we
But read the book of scattered lives.
There'll be a page for Leffingwell,
And one for Lingard, the Moon-calf;
And who knows what for Clavering,
Who died because he couldn't laugh?
Who knows or cares? No sign is here,
No face, no voice, no memory;
No Lingard with his eerie joy,
No Clavering, no Calverly.
We cannot have them here with us
To say where their light lives are gone,
Or if they be of other stuff
Than are the moons of Ilion.
So, be their place of one estate
With ashes, echoes, and old wars, --
Or ever we be of the night,
Or we be lost among the stars.
Uriel. [Percy MacKaye]
(In memory of William Vaughn Moody)
Uriel, you that in the ageless sun
Sit in the awful silences of light,
Singing of vision hid from human sight, --
Prometheus, beautiful rebellious one!
And you, Deucalion,
For whose blind seed was brought the illuming spark,
Are you not gathered, now his day is done,
Beside the brink of that relentless dark --
The dark where your dear singer's ghost is gone?
Imagined beings, who majestic blend
Your forms with beauty! -- questing, unconfined,
The mind conceived you, though the quenched mind
Goes down in dark where you in dawn ascend.
Our songs can but suspend
The ultimate silence: yet could song aspire
The realms of mortal music to extend
And wake a Sibyl's voice or Seraph's lyre --
How should it tell the dearness of a friend?
The simplest is the inexpressible;
The heart of music still evades the Muse,
And arts of men the heart of man suffuse,
And saddest things are made of silence still.
In vain the senses thrill
To give our sorrows glorious relief
In pyre of verse and pageants volatile,
And I, in vain, to speak for him my grief
Whose spirit of fire invokes my waiting will.
To him the best of friendship needs must be
Uttered no more; yet was he so endowed
That Poetry because of him is proud
And he more noble for his poetry,
I obey the strong compulsion which this verse
Lays on my lips with strange austerity --
Now that his voice is silent -- to rehearse
For my own heart how he was dear to me.
Not by your gradual sands, elusive Time,
We measure your gray sea, that never rests;
The bleeding hour-glasses in our breasts
Mete with quick pangs the ebbing of our prime,
And drip, like sudden rime
In March, that melts to runnels from a pane
The south breathes on -- oblivion of sublime
Crystallizations, and the ruthless wane
Of glittering stars, that scarce had range to climb.
Darkling those constellations of his soul
Glimmered, while racks of stellar lightning shot
The white, creative meteors of thought
Through that last night, where -- clad in cloudy stole --
Beside his ebbing shoal
Of life-blood, stood Saint Paul, blazing a theme
Of living drama from a fiery scroll
Across his stretched vision as in dream --
When Death, with blind dark, blotted out the whole.
And yet not all: though darkly alien
Those uncompleted worlds of work to be
Are waned; still, touched by them, the memory
Gives afterglow; and now that comes again
The mellow season when
Our eyes last met, his kindling currents run
Quickening within me gladness and new ken
Of life, that I have shared his prime with one
Who wrought large-minded for the love of men.
But not alone to share that large estate
Of work and interchange of communings --
The little human paths to heavenly things
Were also ours: the casual, intimate
Vistas, which consecrate --
With laughter and quick tears -- the dusty noon
Of days, and by moist beams irradiate
Our plodding minds with courage, and attune
The fellowship that bites its thumb at fate.
Where art thou now, mine host Guffanti? -- where
The iridescence of thy motley troop!
Ah, where the merry, animated group
That snuggled elbows for an extra chair,
When space was none to spare,
To pour the votive Chianti for a toast
To dramas dark and lyrics debonair,
The while, to `Bella Napoli', mine host
Exhaled his Parmazan, Parnassan air!
Thy Parmazan, immortal laird of ease,
Can never mold, thy caviare is blest,
While still our glowing Uriel greets the rest
Around thy royal board of memories,
Where sit, the salt of these,
He of the laughter of a Hundred Lights,
Blithe Eldorado of high poesies,
And he -- of enigmatic gentle knights
The kindly keen -- who sings of `Calverly's'.
Because he never wore his sentient heart
For crows and jays to peck, ofttimes to such
He seemed a silent fellow, who o'ermuch
Held from the general gossip-ground apart,
Or tersely spoke, and tart:
How should they guess what eagle tore, within,
His quick of sympathy for humblest smart
Of human wretchedness, or probed his spleen
Of scorn against the hypocritic mart!
Sometimes insufferable seemed to come
That wrath of sympathy: One windy night
We watched through squalid panes, forlornly white, --
Amid immense machines' incessant hum --
Frail figures, gaunt and dumb,
Of overlabored girls and children, bowed
Above their slavish toil: "O God! -- A bomb,
A bomb!" he cried, "and with one fiery cloud
Expunge the horrible Caesars of this slum!"
Another night dreams on the Cornish hills:
Trembling within the low moon's pallid fires,
The tall corn-tassels lift their fragrant spires;
From filmy spheres, a liquid starlight fills --
Like dew of daffodils --
The fragile dark, where multitudinous
The rhythmic, intermittent silence thrills,
Like song, the valleys. -- "Hark!" he murmurs, "Thus
May bards from crickets learn their canticles!"
Now Morning, not less lavish of her sweets,
Leads us along the woodpaths -- in whose hush
The quivering alchemy of the pure thrush
Cools from above the balsam-dripping heats --
To find, in green retreats,
'Mid men of clay, the great, quick-hearted man
Whose subtle art our human age secretes,
Or him whose brush, tinct with cerulean,
Blooms with soft castle-towers and cloud-capped fleets.
Still to the sorcery of August skies
In frilled crimson flaunt the hollyhocks,
Where, lithely poised along the garden walks,
His little maid enamoured blithe outvies
The dipping butterflies
In motion -- ah, in grace how grown the while,
Since he was wont to render to her eyes
His knightly court, or touch with flitting smile
Her father's heart by his true flatteries!
But summer's golden pastures boast no trail
So splendid as our fretted snowshoes blaze
Where, sharp across the amethystine ways,
Iron Ascutney looms in azure mail,
And, like a frozen grail,
The frore sun sets, intolerably fair;
Mute, in our homebound snow-tracks, we exhale
The silvery cold, and soon -- where bright logs flare --
Talk the long indoor hours, till embers fail.
Ah, with the smoke what smouldering desires
Waft to the starlight up the swirling flue! --
Thoughts that may never, as the swallows do,
Nest circling homeward to their native fires!
Ardors the soul suspires
The extinct stars drink with the dreamer's breath;
The morning-song of Eden's early choirs
Grows dim with Adam; close at the ear of death
Relentless angels tune our earthly lyres!
Let it be so: More sweet it is to be
A listener of love's ephemeral song,
And live with beauty though it be not long,
And die enamoured of eternity,
Though in the apogee
Of time there sit no individual
Godhead of life, than to reject the plea
Of passionate beauty: loveliness is all,
And love is more divine than memory.
Azrael. [Robert Gilbert Welsh]
The angels in high places
Who minister to us,
Reflect God's smile, -- their faces
Save one, whose face is hidden,
(The Prophet saith),
The unwelcome, the unbidden,
Azrael, Angel of Death.
And yet that veiled face, I know
Is lit with pitying eyes,
Like those faint stars, the first to glow
Through cloudy winter skies.
That they may never tire,
Angels, by God's decree,
Bear wings of snow and fire, --
Passion and purity;
Save one, all unavailing,
(The Prophet saith),
His wings are gray and trailing,
Azrael, Angel of Death.
And yet the souls that Azrael brings
Across the dark and cold,
Look up beneath those folded wings,
And find them lined with gold.
The Flight. [Lloyd Mifflin]
Upon a cloud among the stars we stood.
The angel raised his hand and looked and said,
"Which world, of all yon starry myriad,
Shall we make wing to?" The still solitude
Became a harp whereon his voice and mood
Made spheral music round his haloed head.
I spake -- for then I had not long been dead --
"Let me look round upon the vasts, and brood
A moment on these orbs ere I decide . . .
What is yon lower star that beauteous shines
And with soft splendour now incarnadines
Our wings? -- THERE would I go and there abide."
Then he as one who some child's thought divines:
"That is the world where yesternight you died."
The Rival. [James Whitcomb Riley]
I so loved once, when Death came by I hid
Away my face,
And all my sweetheart's tresses she undid
To make my hiding-place.
The dread shade passed me thus unheeding; and
I turned me then
To calm my love -- kiss down her shielding hand
And comfort her again.
And lo! she answered not: and she did sit
With her fair face and the sweet smile of it,
In love with Death, not me.
A Rhyme of Death's Inn. [Lizette Woodworth Reese]
A rhyme of good Death's inn!
My love came to that door;
And she had need of many things,
The way had been so sore.
My love she lifted up her head,
"And is there room?" said she;
"There was no room in Bethlehem's inn
For Christ who died for me."
But said the keeper of the inn,
"His name is on the door."
My love then straightway entered there:
She hath come back no more.
The Outer Gate. [Nora May French]
Life said: "My house is thine with all its store:
Behold I open shining ways to thee --
Of every inner portal make thee free:
O child, I may not bar the outer door.
Go from me if thou wilt, to come no more;
But all thy pain is mine, thy flesh of me;
And must I hear thee, faint and woefully,
Call on me from the darkness and implore?"
Nay, mother, for I follow at thy will.
But oftentimes thy voice is sharp to hear,
Thy trailing fragrance heavy on the breath;
Always the outer hall is very still,
And on my face a pleasant wind and clear
Blows straitly from the narrow gate of Death.
The Ashes in the Sea. [George Sterling]
N. M. F.
Whither, with blue and pleading eyes, --
Whither, with cheeks that held the light
Of winter's dawn in cloudless skies,
Evadne, was thy flight?
Such as a sister's was thy brow;
Thy hair seemed fallen from the moon --
Part of its radiance, as now,
Of shifting tide and dune.
Did Autumn's grieving lure thee hence,
Or silence ultimate beguile?
Ever our things of consequence
Awakened but thy smile.
Is it with thee that ocean takes
A stranger sorrow to its tone?
With thee the star of evening wakes
More beautiful, more lone?
For wave and hill and sky betray
A subtle tinge and touch of thee;
Thy shadow lingers in the day,
Thy voice in winds to be.
Beauty -- hast thou discovered her
By deeper seas no moons control?
What stars have magic now to stir
Thy swift and wilful soul?
Or may thy heart no more forget
The grievous world that once was home,
That here, where love awaits thee yet,
Thou seemest yet to roam?
For most, far-wandering, I guess
Thy witchery on the haunted mind,
In valleys of thy loneliness,
Made clean with ocean's wind.
And most thy presence here seems told,
A waif of elemental deeps,
When, at its vigils unconsoled,
Some night of winter weeps.
We needs must be divided in the Tomb. [George Santayana]
We needs must be divided in the tomb,
For I would die among the hills of Spain,
And o'er the treeless, melancholy plain
Await the coming of the final gloom.
But thou -- O pitiful! -- wilt find scant room
Among thy kindred by the northern main,
And fade into the drifting mist again,
The hemlocks' shadow, or the pines' perfume.
Let gallants lie beside their ladies' dust
In one cold grave, with mortal love inurned;
Let the sea part our ashes, if it must,
The souls fled thence which love immortal burned,
For they were wedded without bond of lust,
And nothing of our heart to earth returned.
Departure. [Hermann Hagedorn]
My true love from her pillow rose
And wandered down the summer lane.
She left her house to the wind's carouse,
And her chamber wide to the rain.
She did not stop to don her coat,
She did not stop to smooth her bed --
But out she went in glad content
There where the bright path led.
She did not feel the beating storm,
But fled like a sunbeam, white and frail,
To the sea, to the air, somewhere, somewhere --
I have not found her trail.
Song. [Richard Le Gallienne]
She's somewhere in the sunlight strong,
Her tears are in the falling rain,
She calls me in the wind's soft song,
And with the flowers she comes again.
Yon bird is but her messenger,
The moon is but her silver car;
Yea! Sun and moon are sent by her,
And every wistful, waiting star.
The Invisible Bride. [Edwin Markham]
The low-voiced girls that go
In gardens of the Lord,
Like flowers of the field they grow
In sisterly accord.
Their whispering feet are white
Along the leafy ways;
They go in whirls of light
Too beautiful for praise.
And in their band forsooth
Is one to set me free --
The one that touched my youth --
The one God gave to me.
She kindles the desire
Whereby the gods survive --
The white ideal fire
That keeps my soul alive.
Now at the wondrous hour,
She leaves her star supreme,
And comes in the night's still power,
To touch me with a dream.
Sibyl of mystery
On roads unknown to men,
Softly she comes to me,
And goes to God again.
The Inverted Torch. [Edith M. Thomas]
Threading a darksome passage all alone,
The taper's flame, by envious current blown,
Crouched low, and eddied round, as in affright,
So challenged by the vast and hostile night,
Then down I held the taper; -- swift and fain
Up climbed the lovely flower of light again!
Thou Kindler of the spark of life divine,
Be henceforth the Inverted Torch a sign
That, though the flame beloved thou dost depress,
Thou wilt not speed it into nothingness;
But out of nether gloom wilt reinspire,
And homeward lift the keen empyreal fire!
Night's Mardi Gras. [Edward J. Wheeler]
Night is the true democracy. When day
Like some great monarch with his train has passed,
In regal pomp and splendor to the last,
The stars troop forth along the Milky Way,
A jostling crowd, in radiant disarray,
On heaven's broad boulevard in pageants vast,
And things of earth, the hunted and outcast,
Come from their haunts and hiding-places; yea,
Even from the nooks and crannies of the mind
Visions uncouth and vagrant fancies start,
And specters of dead joy, that shun the light,
And impotent regrets and terrors blind,
Each one, in form grotesque, playing its part
In the fantastic Mardi Gras of Night.
The Mystic. [Cale Young Rice]
There is a quest that calls me,
In nights when I am lone,
The need to ride where the ways divide
The Known from the Unknown.
I mount what thought is near me
And soon I reach the place,
The tenuous rim where the Seen grows dim
And the Sightless hides its face.
~I have ridden the wind,
I have ridden the sea,
I have ridden the moon and stars.
I have set my feet in the stirrup seat
Of a comet coursing Mars.
Thro' the earth and air
My thought speeds, lightning-shod,
It comes to a place where checking pace
It cries, "Beyond lies God!"~
It calls me out of the darkness,
It calls me out of sleep,
"Ride! ride! for you must, to the end of Dust!"
It bids -- and on I sweep
To the wide outposts of Being,
Where there is Gulf alone --
And thro' a Vast that was never passed
I listen for Life's tone.
~I have ridden the wind,
I have ridden the night,
I have ridden the ghosts that flee
From the vaults of death like a chilling breath
Is the world laid bare --
Ether and star and clod --
Until I wind to its brink and find
But the cry, "Beyond lies God!"~
It calls me and ever calls me!
And vainly I reply,
"Fools only ride where the ways divide
What Is from the Whence and Why"!
I'm lifted into the saddle
Of thoughts too strong to tame
And down the deeps and over the steeps
I find -- ever the same.
~I have ridden the wind,
I have ridden the stars,
I have ridden the force that flies
With far intent thro' the firmament
And each to each allies.
That a thought may dare
To gallop, mine has trod --
Only to stand at last on the strand
Where just beyond lies God.~
I would I might forget that I am I. [George Santayana]
I would I might forget that I am I,
And break the heavy chain that binds me fast,
Whose links about myself my deeds have cast.
What in the body's tomb doth buried lie
Is boundless; 't is the spirit of the sky,
Lord of the future, guardian of the past,
And soon must forth, to know his own at last.
In his large life to live, I fain would die.
Happy the dumb beast, hungering for food,
But calling not his suffering his own;
Blessed the angel, gazing on all good,
But knowing not he sits upon a throne;
Wretched the mortal, pondering his mood,
And doomed to know his aching heart alone.
To William Sharp. [Clinton Scollard]
The waves about Iona dirge,
The wild winds trumpet over Skye;
Shrill around Arran's cliff-bound verge
The gray gulls cry.
Spring wraps its transient scarf of green,
Its heathery robe, round slope and scar;
And night, the scudding wrack between,
Lights its lone star.
But you who loved these outland isles,
Their gleams, their glooms, their mysteries,
Their eldritch lures, their druid wiles,
Their tragic seas,
Will heed no more, in mortal guise,
The potent witchery of their call,
If dawn be regnant in the skies,
Yet, though where suns Sicilian beam
The loving earth enfolds your form,
I can but deem these coasts of dream
And hovering storm
Still thrall your spirit -- that it bides
By far Iona's kelp-strewn shore,
There lingering till time and tides
Shall surge no more.
The Quiet Singer. [Charles Hanson Towne]
(Ave! Francis Thompson)
He had been singing -- but I had not heard his voice;
He had been weaving lovely dreams of song,
O many a morning long.
But I, remote and far,
Under an alien star,
Listened to other singers, other birds,
And other silver words.
But does the skylark, singing sweet and clear,
Beg the cold world to hear?
Rather he sings for very rapture of singing,
At dawn, or in the blue, mild Summer noon,
Knowing that, late or soon,
His wealth of beauty, and his high notes, ringing
Above the earth, will make some heart rejoice.
He sings, albeit alone,
Spendthrift of each pure tone,
Hoarding no single song,
No cadence wild and strong.
But one day, from a friend far overseas,
As if upon the breeze,
There came the teeming wonder of his words --
A golden troop of birds,
Caged in a little volume made to love;
Their breaking hearts on mine, and swiftly bringing
Tears, and the peace thereof.
How the world woke anew!
How the days broke anew!
Before my tear-blind eyes a tapestry
I seemed to see,
Woven of all the dreams dead or to be.
Hills, hills of song, Springs of eternal bloom,
Autumns of golden pomp and purple gloom
Were hung upon his loom.
Winters of pain, roses with awful thorns,
Yet wondrous faith in God's dew-drenched morns --
These, all these I saw,
With that ecstatic awe
Wherewith one looks into Eternity.
And then I knew that, though I had not heard
His voice before,
His quiet singing, like some quiet bird
At some one's distant door,
Had made my own more sweet; had made it more
Lovely, in one of God's miraculous ways.
I knew then why the days
Had seemed to me more perfect when the Spring
Came with old bourgeoning;
For somewhere in the world his voice was raised,
And somewhere in the world his heart was breaking;
And never a flower but knew it, sweetly taking
Beauty more high and noble for his sake,
As a whole wood grows lovelier for the wail
Of one sad nightingale.
Yet if the Springs long past
Seemed wonderful before I heard his voice,
I tremble at the beauty I shall see
In seasons still to be,
Now that his songs are mine while Life shall last.
O now for me
New floods of vision open suddenly . . .
Rejoice, my heart! Rejoice
That you have heard the Quiet Singer's voice!
After a Dolmetsch Concert. [Arthur Upson]
Out of the conquered Past
Hearts that are dew and dust
Rebuking the dream of Death;
Flower o' the clay downcast
Triumphant in Earth's aroma;
Strings that were strained in rust
A-tremble with Music's breath!
Wine that was spilt in haste
Arising in fumes more precious;
Garlands that fell forgot
Rooting to wondrous bloom;
Youth that would flow to waste
Pausing in pool-green valleys --
And Passion that lasted not
Surviving the voiceless Tomb!
On a Fly-Leaf of Burns' Songs. [Frederic Lawrence Knowles]
These are the best of him,
Pathos and jest of him;
Earth holds the rest of him.
Passions were strong in him, --
Pardon the wrong in him;
Hark to the song in him! --
Each little lyrical
Grave or satirical
Miniver Cheevy. [Edwin Arlington Robinson]
Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,
Grew lean while he assailed the seasons;
He wept that he was ever born,
And he had reasons.
Miniver loved the days of old
When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;
The vision of a warrior bold
Would set him dancing.
Miniver sighed for what was not,
And dreamed, and rested from his labors;
He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot,
And Priam's neighbors.
Miniver mourned the ripe renown
That made so many a name so fragrant;
He mourned Romance, now on the town,
And Art, a vagrant.
Miniver loved the Medici,
Albeit he had never seen one;
He would have sinned incessantly
Could he have been one.
Miniver cursed the commonplace
And eyed a khaki suit with loathing;
He missed the mediaeval grace
Of iron clothing.
Miniver scorned the gold he sought,
But sore annoyed was he without it;
Miniver thought, and thought, and thought,
And thought about it.
Miniver Cheevy, born too late,
Scratched his head and kept on thinking;
Miniver coughed, and called it fate,
And kept on drinking.
At the End of the Day. [Richard Hovey]
There is no escape by the river,
There is no flight left by the fen;
We are compassed about by the shiver
Of the night of their marching men.
Give a cheer!
For our hearts shall not give way.
Here's to a dark to-morrow,
And here's to a brave to-day!
The tale of their hosts is countless,
And the tale of ours a score;
But the palm is naught to the dauntless,
And the cause is more and more.
Give a cheer!
We may die, but not give way.
Here's to a silent morrow,
And here's to a stout to-day!
God has said: "Ye shall fail and perish;
But the thrill ye have felt to-night
I shall keep in my heart and cherish
When the worlds have passed in night."
Give a cheer!
For the soul shall not give way.
Here's to the greater to-morrow
That is born of a great to-day!
Now shame on the craven truckler
And the puling things that mope!
We've a rapture for our buckler
That outwears the wings of hope.
Give a cheer!
For our joy shall not give way.
Here's in the teeth of to-morrow
To the glory of to-day!
The Joy of the Hills. [Edwin Markham]
I ride on the mountain tops, I ride;
I have found my life and am satisfied.
Onward I ride in the blowing oats,
Checking the field-lark's rippling notes --
Lightly I sweep
From steep to steep:
Over my head through the branches high
Come glimpses of a rushing sky;
The tall oats brush my horse's flanks;
Wild poppies crowd on the sunny banks;
A bee booms out of the scented grass;
A jay laughs with me as I pass.
I ride on the hills, I forgive, I forget
Life's hoard of regret --
All the terror and pain
Of the chafing chain.
Grind on, O cities, grind:
I leave you a blur behind.
I am lifted elate -- the skies expand:
Here the world's heaped gold is a pile of sand.
Let them weary and work in their narrow walls:
I ride with the voices of waterfalls!
I swing on as one in a dream -- I swing
Down the airy hollows, I shout, I sing!
The world is gone like an empty word:
My body's a bough in the wind, my heart a bird!
The Lesser Children. [Ridgely Torrence]
A Threnody at the Hunting Season
In the middle of August when the southwest wind
Blows after sunset through the leisuring air,
And on the sky nightly the mythic hind
Leads down the sullen dog star to his lair,
After the feverous vigil of July,
When the loud pageant of the year's high noon
Passed up the ways of time to sing and part,
Grief also wandered by
From out the lovers and the leaves of June,
And by the wizard spices of his hair
I knew his heart was very Love's own heart.
Deep within dreams he led me out of doors
As from the upper vault the night outpours,
And when I saw that to him all the skies
Yearned as a sea asleep yearns to its shores,
He took a little clay and touched my eyes.
What saw I then, what heard?
Multitudes, multitudes, under the moon they stirred!
The weaker brothers of our earthly breed;
Watchmen of whom our safety takes no heed;
Swift helpers of the wind that sowed the seed
Before the first field was or any fruit;
Warriors against the bivouac of the weed;
Earth's earliest ploughmen for the tender root,
All came about my head and at my feet
A thousand, thousand sweet,
With starry eyes not even raised to plead;
Bewildered, driven, hiding, fluttering, mute!
And I beheld and saw them one by one
Pass and become as nothing in the night.
Clothed on with red they were who once were white;
Drooping, who once led armies to the sun,
Of whom the lowly grass now topped the flight:
In scarlet faint, who once were brave in brown;
Climbers and builders of the silent town,
Creepers and burrowers all in crimson dye,
Winged mysteries of song that from the sky
Once dashed long music down.
O who would take away music from the earth?
Have we so much? Or love upon the hearth?
No more -- they faded;
The great trees bending between birth and birth
Sighed for them, and the night wind's hoarse rebuff
Shouted the shame of which I was persuaded.
Shall Nature's only pausing be by men invaded?
Or shall we lay grief's fagots on her shoulders bare?
Has she not borne enough?
Soon will the mirroring woodland pools begin to con her,
And her sad immemorial passion come upon her;
Lo, would you add despair unto despair?
Shall not the Spring be answer to her prayer?
Must her uncomforted heavens overhead,
Weeping, look down on tears and still behold
Only wings broken or a fledgling dead,
Or underfoot the meadows that wore gold
Die, and the leaves go mourning to the mould
Beneath poor dead and desperate feet
Of folk who in next summer's meadows shall not meet?
Who has not seen in the high gulf of light
What, lower, was a bird, but now
Is moored and altered quite
Into an island of unshaded joy?
To whom the mate below upon the bough
Shouts once and brings him from his high employ.
Yet speeding he forgot not of the cloud
Where he from glory sprang and burned aloud,
But took a little of the day,
A little of the colored sky,
And of the joy that would not stay
He wove a song that cannot die.
Then, then -- the unfathomable shame;
The one last wrong arose from out the flame,
The ravening hate that hated not was hurled
Bidding the radiant love once more beware,
Bringing one more loneliness on the world,
And one more blindness in the unseen air.
Nor may the smooth regret, the pitying oath
Shed on such utter bitter any leaven.
Only the pleading flowers that knew them both
Hold all their bloody petals up to heaven.
Winds of the fall that all year to and fro
Somewhere upon the earth go wandering,
You saw, you moaned, you know:
Withhold not then unto all time to tell
Lest unborn others of us see this thing.
Bring our sleek, comfortable reason low:
Recount how souls grown tremulous as a bell
Came forth each other and the day to greet
In morning air all Indian-Summer sweet,
And crept upstream, through wood or field or brake,
Most tremblingly to take
What crumbs that from the Master's table fell.
Cry with what thronging thunders they were met,
And hide not how the least leaf was made wet.
Cry till no watcher says that all is well
With raucous discord through the leaning spheres.
With tears, with tears
How the last man is harmed even as they
Who on these dawns are fire, at dusk are clay.
Record the dumb and wise,
No less than those who lived in singing guise,
Whose choric hearts lit each wild green arcade.
Make men to see their eyes,
Forced to suspect behind each reed or rose
The thorn of lurking foes.
And O, before the daylight goes,
After the deed against the skies,
After the last belief and longing dies,
Make men again to see their eyes
Whose piteous casements now all unafraid
Peer out to that far verge where evermore,
Beyond all woe for which a tear atones,
The likeness of our own dishonor moans,
A sea that has no bottom and no shore.
What shall be done
By you, shy folk who cease thus heart by heart?
You for whose fate such fate forever hovers?
O little lovers,
If you would still have nests beneath the sun
Gather your broods about you and depart,
Before the stony forward-pressing faces
Into the lands bereft of any sound;
The solemn and compassionate desert places.
Give unto men no more the strong delight
To know that underneath the frozen ground
Dwells the warm life and all the quick, pure lore.
Take from our eyes the glory of great flight.
Let us behold no more
People untroubled by a Fate's veiled eyes,
Leave us upon an earth of faith forlorn.
No more wild tidings from the sweet far skies
Of love's long utmost heavenward endeavor.
So shall the silence pour on us forever
The streaming arrows of unutterable scorn.
Nor shall the cry of famine be a shield
The altar of a brutish mood to hide.
Stains, stains, upon the lintels of our doors
Wail to be justified.
Shall there be mutterings at the seasons' yield?
Has eye of man seen bared the granary floors?
Are the fields wasted? Spilled the oil and wine?
Is the fat seed under the clod decayed?
Does ever the fig tree languish or the vine?
Who has beheld the harvest promise fade?
Or any orchard heavy with fruit asway
No, not these things, but grosser things than these
Are the dim parents of a guilt not dim;
Ancestral urges out of old caves blowing,
When Fear watched at our coming and our going
The horror of the chattering face of Whim.
Hates, cruelties new fallen from the trees
Whereto we clung with impulse sad for love,
Shames we have had all time to rid us of,
Disgraces cold and sorrows long bewept,
Recalled, revived, and kept,
Unmeaning quarrels, blood-compelling lust,
And snarling woes from our old home, the dust.
Yet even of these one saving shape may rise;
Fear may unveil our eyes.
For know you not what curse of blight would fall
Upon a land lorn of the sweet sky races
Who day and night keep ward and seneschal
Upon the treasury of the planted spaces?
Then would the locust have his fill,
And the blind worm lay tithe,
The unfed stones rot in the listless mill,
The sound of grinding cease.
No yearning gold would whisper to the scythe,
Hunger at last would prove us of one blood,
The shores of dream be drowned in tides of need,
Horribly would the whole earth be at peace.
The burden of the grasshopper indeed
Weigh down the green corn and the tender bud,
The plague of Egypt fall upon the wheat,
And the shrill nit would batten in the heat.
But you, O poor of deeds and rich of breath,
Whose eyes have made our eyes a hue abhorred,
Red, eager aids of aid-unneeding Death,
Hunters before the Lord,
If on the flinted marge about your souls
In vain the heaving tide of mourning rolls,
If from your trails unto the crimson goals
The weeper and the weeping must depart,
If lust of blood come on you like a fiery dart
And darken all the dark autumnal air,
Then, then -- be fair.
Pluck a young ash tree or a sapling yew
And at the root end fix an iron thorn,
Then forth with rocking laughter of the horn
And passing, with no belling retinue,
All timorous, lesser sippers of the dew,
Seek out some burly guardian of the hills
And set your urgent thew against his thew.
Then shall the hidden wisdoms and the wills
Strive, and bear witness to the trees and clods
How one has dumb lore of the rocks and swales
And one has reason like unto the gods.
Then shall the lagging righteousness ensue,
The powers at last be equal in the scales,
And the man's club and the beast's claw be flails
To winnow the unworthy of the two.
Then on the earth, in the sky and the heavenly court
That broods behind it,
Justice shall be awakened and aware,
Then those who go forth greatly, seeking sport,
Shall doubtless find it,
And all things be fair.
A Vagabond Song. [Bliss Carman]
There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood --
Touch of manner, hint of mood;
And my heart is like a rhyme,
With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time.
The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry
Of bugles going by.
And my lonely spirit thrills
To see the frosty asters like a smoke upon the hills.
There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir;
We must rise and follow her,
When from every hill of flame
She calls and calls each vagabond by name.
Somewhere. [John Vance Cheney]
The weasel thieves in silver suit,
The rabbit runs in gray;
And Pan takes up his frosty flute
To pipe the cold away.
The flocks are folded, boughs are bare,
The salmon take the sea;
And O my fair, would I somewhere
Might house my heart with thee!
"Frost To-Night". [Edith M. Thomas]
Apple-green west and an orange bar,
And the crystal eye of a lone, one star . . .
And, "Child, take the shears and cut what you will,
Frost to-night -- so clear and dead-still."
Then, I sally forth, half sad, half proud,
And I come to the velvet, imperial crowd,
The wine-red, the gold, the crimson, the pied, --
The dahlias that reign by the garden-side.
The dahlias I might not touch till to-night!
A gleam of the shears in the fading light,
And I gathered them all, -- the splendid throng,
And in one great sheaf I bore them along.
. . . . .
In my garden of Life with its all-late flowers
I heed a Voice in the shrinking hours:
"Frost to-night -- so clear and dead-still" . . .
Half sad, half proud, my arms I fill.
Under Arcturus. [Madison Cawein]
"I belt the morn with ribboned mist;
With baldricked blue I gird the noon,
And dusk with purple, crimson-kissed,
White-buckled with the hunter's-moon.
"These follow me," the Season says:
"Mine is the frost-pale hand that packs
Their scrips, and speeds them on their ways,
With gypsy gold that weighs their backs."
A daybreak horn the Autumn blows,
As with a sun-tanned hand he parts
Wet boughs whereon the berry glows;
And at his feet the red fox starts.
The leafy leash that holds his hounds
Is loosed; and all the noonday hush
Is startled; and the hillside sounds
Behind the fox's bounding brush.
When red dusk makes the western sky
A fire-lit window through the firs,
He stoops to see the red fox die
Among the chestnut's broken burrs.
Then fanfaree and fanfaree,
His bugle sounds; the world below
Grows hushed to hear; and two or three
Soft stars dream through the afterglow.
Like some black host the shadows fall,
And blackness camps among the trees;
Each wildwood road, a Goblin Hall,
Grows populous with mysteries.
Night comes with brows of ragged storm,
And limbs of writhen cloud and mist;
The rain-wind hangs upon his arm
Like some wild girl who cries unkissed.
By his gaunt hands the leaves are shed
In headlong troops and nightmare herds;
And, like a witch who calls the dead,
The hill-stream whirls with foaming words.
Then all is sudden silence and
Dark fear -- like his who cannot see,
Yet hears, lost in a haunted land,
Death rattling on a gallow's-tree.
The days approach again; the days
Whose mantles stream, whose sandals drag,
When in the haze by puddled ways
The gnarled thorn seems a crooked hag.
When rotting orchards reek with rain;
And woodlands crumble, leaf and log;
And in the drizzling yard again
The gourd is tagged with points of fog.
Now let me seat my soul among
The woods' dim dreams, and come in touch
With melancholy, sad of tongue
And sweet, who says so much, so much.
The Recessional. [Charles G. D. Roberts]
Now along the solemn heights
Fade the Autumn's altar-lights;
Down the great earth's glimmering chancel
Glide the days and nights.
Little kindred of the grass,
Like a shadow in a glass
Falls the dark and falls the stillness;
We must rise and pass.
We must rise and follow, wending
Where the nights and days have ending, --
Pass in order pale and slow
Unto sleep extending.
Little brothers of the clod,
Soul of fire and seed of sod,
We must fare into the silence
At the knees of God.
Little comrades of the sky,
Wing to wing we wander by,
Going, going, going, going,
Softly as a sigh.
Hark, the moving shapes confer,
Globe of dew and gossamer,
Fading and ephemeral spirits
In the dusk astir.
Moth and blossom, blade and bee,
Worlds must go as well as we,
In the long procession joining
Mount and star and sea.
Toward the shadowy brink we climb
Where the round year rolls sublime,
Rolls, and drops, and falls forever
In the vast of time.
Like a plummet plunging deep
Past the utmost reach of sleep,
Till remembrance has no longer
Care to laugh or weep.
I know not why. [Morris Rosenfeld]
I lift mine eyes against the sky,
The clouds are weeping, so am I;
I lift mine eyes again on high,
The sun is smiling, so am I.
Why do I smile? Why do I weep?
I do not know; it lies too deep.
I hear the winds of autumn sigh,
They break my heart, they make me cry;
I hear the birds of lovely spring,
My hopes revive, I help them sing.
Why do I sing? Why do I cry?
It lies so deep, I know not why.
Winter Sleep. [Edith M. Thomas]
I know it must be winter (though I sleep) --
I know it must be winter, for I dream
I dip my bare feet in the running stream,
And flowers are many, and the grass grows deep.
I know I must be old (how age deceives!)
I know I must be old, for, all unseen,
My heart grows young, as autumn fields grow green,
When late rains patter on the falling sheaves.
I know I must be tired (and tired souls err) --
I know I must be tired, for all my soul
To deeds of daring beats a glad, faint roll,
As storms the riven pine to music stir.
I know I must be dying (Death draws near) --
I know I must be dying, for I crave
Life -- life, strong life, and think not of the grave,
And turf-bound silence, in the frosty year.
Tryste Noel. [Louise Imogen Guiney]
The Ox he openeth wide the Doore,
And from the Snowe he calls her inne,
And he hath seen her Smile therefor,
Our Ladye without Sinne.
Now soon from Sleep
A Starre shall leap,
And soone arrive both King and Hinde:
But O, the Place co'd I but finde!
The Ox hath hush'd his voyce and bent
Trewe eyes of Pitty ore the Mow,
And on his lovelie Neck, forspent,
The Blessed layes her Browe.
Around her feet
Full Warme and Sweete
His bowerie Breath doth meeklie dwell:
But sore am I with Vaine Travel!
The Ox is host in Judah stall
And Host of more than onelie one.
For close she gathereth withal
Our Lorde her littel Sonne.
Glad Hinde and King
Their Gyfte may bring,
But wo'd to-night my Teares were there,
Between her Bosom and His hayre!
Hora Christi. [Alice Brown]
Sweet is the time for joyous folk
Of gifts and minstrelsy;
Yet I, O lowly-hearted One,
Crave but Thy company.
On lonesome road, beset with dread,
My questing lies afar.
I have no light, save in the east
The gleaming of Thy star.
In cloistered aisles they keep to-day
Thy feast, O living Lord!
With pomp of banner, pride of song,
And stately sounding word.
Mute stand the kings of power and place,
While priests of holy mind
Dispense Thy blessed heritage
Of peace to all mankind.
I know a spot where budless twigs
Are bare above the snow,
And where sweet winter-loving birds
Flit softly to and fro;
There with the sun for altar-fire,
The earth for kneeling-place,
The gentle air for chorister,
Will I adore Thy face.
Loud, underneath the great blue sky,
My heart shall paean sing,
The gold and myrrh of meekest love
Mine only offering.
Bliss of Thy birth shall quicken me;
And for Thy pain and dole
Tears are but vain, so I will keep
The silence of the soul.
A Parting Guest. [James Whitcomb Riley]
What delightful hosts are they --
Life and Love!
Lingeringly I turn away,
This late hour, yet glad enough
They have not withheld from me
Their high hospitality.
So, with face lit with delight
And all gratitude, I stay
Yet to press their hands and say,
"Thanks. -- So fine a time! Good night."
[The format of these notes has been slightly altered. Most notably,
dates (hopefully correct, but not very certain for the lesser known poets)
have been added -- when available -- in square brackets after each name,
and the number of poems by that author in this anthology is in parentheses.
These notes (first included in 1917, whereas the selections were made in 1913)
combined with the searchability of electronic texts,
renders the original Indexes of Authors and of First Lines obsolete,
and so both have been dropped. Occasionally, further information follows
in angled brackets. -- A. L., 1998.]
Barker, Elsa. [1869-1954] (2)
Born at Leicester, Vermont. Received her early education in that State.
After a short period of teaching, she became a newspaper writer
and contributed to various periodicals and syndicates.
Her journalistic period closed with editorial work upon "Hampton's Magazine"
in 1909 and 1910. Since that date she has published several books
in different fields of literature: "The Son of Mary Bethel",
a novel, putting the character of Christ in modern setting; "Stories from
the New Testament, for Children"; "Letters of a Living Dead Man",
psychic communications which have attracted much attention;
and in poetry, "The Frozen Grail, and Other Poems", 1910;
"The Book of Love", 1912; and "Songs of a Vagrom Angel", 1916.
Mrs. Barker's poem, "The Frozen Grail", addressed to Peary, the explorer,
did much, as he has testified, to inspire him, and was upon his person
when he finally achieved the North Pole.
Braithwaite, William Stanley. [1878-1962] (1)
Born at Boston, December 6, 1878. Educated in the public schools
of that city. He has published two volumes of his own verse,
"Lyrics of Life and Love", 1904, and "The House of Falling Leaves", 1908,
but has given his time chiefly to editorial and critical work.
Mr. Braithwaite edited three excellent anthologies:
"The Book of Elizabethan Verse", "The Book of Restoration Verse",
and "The Book of Georgian Verse", but has turned his entire attention,
for several years past, to contemporary American poetry,
having founded and edited "The Poetry Journal of Boston",
"The Poetry Review of America", etc. Mr. Braithwaite summarizes each year
for the "Boston Transcript" the poetic output of the American magazines,
and publishes, in an "Anthology of Magazine Verse", what he regards
as the best poems printed in our periodicals during the year.
Branch, Anna Hempstead. [1875-1937] (3)
Born at Hempstead House, New London, Connecticut. Graduated from
Smith College in 1897 and from the American Academy of Dramatic Art
in New York City in 1900. While at college she began writing poetry,
and the year after her graduation won the first prize awarded
by the "Century Magazine" for a poem written by a college graduate.
This poem, "The Road 'Twixt Heaven and Hell", was printed in
the "Century Magazine" for December, 1898, and was followed soon after by
the publication of Miss Branch's first volume, "The Heart of the Road", 1901.
She has since published two volumes, "The Shoes that Danced", 1902,
and "Rose of the Wind", 1910, both marked by imagination and beauty
of a high order.
Brown, Alice. [1857-1948] (3)
Born at Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, December 5, 1857.
Educated at Robinson Seminary, Exeter. She is chiefly known as a novelist,
having written with great art of the life of New England. Among her
best-known volumes are "Meadow Grass", a collection of short stories;
"Tiverton Tales"; "The Mannerings"; "Margaret Warrener"; "Rose MacLeod";
"My Love and I", etc. In 1915 Miss Brown received a prize of $10,000,
given by Winthrop Ames, for the best play submitted to him
by an American writer. This drama, "Children of Earth",
was produced the following season at the Booth Theater in New York.
In poetry Miss Brown has done but one volume, "The Road to Castaly", 1896,
reprinted with new poems in 1917, but this is so fine in quality
as to give her a distinct place among American poets.
Burton, Richard. [1861-1940] (3)
Born at Hartford, Connecticut, March 14, 1859 [sic]. Received the degree
of A.B. from Trinity College in 1883 and of Ph.D. from John Hopkins University
in 1888. He entered journalism and became for a short time
managing editor of "The Churchman", leaving this position to become
literary editor of the "Hartford Courant", where he remained
from 1890 to 1897. During this period he was also associate editor
of the "Warner Library of the World's Best Literature". In 1902
he went to Boston as literary editor of the Lothrop Publishing Company,
remaining until 1904. Previous to this time, Dr. Burton had been
lecturing widely upon poetry and the drama and spent the succeeding two years
chiefly engaged in this work. In 1906 he became the head
of the English Department of the University of Minnesota,
which position he still holds, although the scholastic year
is broken annually by a lecture tour through the East.
Dr. Burton has published many volumes of poetry and several upon the drama.
Among the former one may cite as most representative: "Dumb in June", 1895;
"Lyrics of Brotherhood", 1899; "Message and Melody", 1903;
"Rahab: A Poetic Drama", 1906; "From the Book of Life", 1909;
and "A Midsummer Memory", an elegy upon the untimely death
of Arthur Upson, 1910.
Bynner, Witter. [1881-1968] (3)
Born at Brooklyn, New York, August 10, 1881. Graduated at Harvard University
in 1902. After his graduation he became assistant editor
of "McClure's Magazine" and literary editor of McClure, Phillips & Company
until 1906. Since that period he has devoted himself chiefly
to the writing of poetry and poetic drama. His first volume,
"An Ode to Harvard, and Other Poems", was published in 1907.
This has been followed by the poetic dramas, "Tiger", 1913,
and "The Little King", 1917, both of which have had stage presentation,
and by "The New World", 1915, amplified from his Phi Beta Kappa Poem
delivered at Harvard in 1911.
Carman, Bliss. [1861-1929] (4)
Although so long a resident of America that he belongs among our poets,
Bliss Carman was born at Fredericton, New Brunswick, April 15, 1861.
He received the degree of A.B. from the University of New Brunswick in 1881
and of A.M. in 1884. He studied also at Harvard and at
the University of Edinburgh. Like most poets, Mr. Carman served his period
in journalism, being office editor of "The Independent" from 1890 to 1892,
and editor of "The Chap-Book" in 1894. He has, however,
given almost his sole allegiance to poetry and has published many books,
chiefly of nature, interspersed now and then with volumes dealing with
myth or mysticism. His first volume was "Low Tide on Grand Pre",
which appeared in 1893, and revealed at the outset his remarkable lyric gift
and his sensitive feeling for nature. In collaboration with Richard Hovey
he did the well-known "Vagabondia Books", -- "Songs from Vagabondia", 1894;
"More Songs from Vagabondia", 1896; and "Last Songs from Vagabondia", 1900, --
which introduced a new note into American poetry, and appearing, as they did,
in the nineties, formed a wholesome contrast to some of the work
then emanating from the "Decadent School" in England.
Among the finest of Mr. Carman's volumes, aside from his work
with Richard Hovey, are "Behind the Arras: A Book of the Unseen", 1895;
"Ballads of Lost Haven", 1897; "By the Aurelian Wall, and Other Elegies",
1899; "The Green Book of the Bards", 1898; "Pipes of Pan", 5 volumes,
first number in 1902; "Sappho: One Hundred Lyrics", 1903.
Among his later books may be cited "Echoes from Vagabondia", 1912,
and "April Airs", 1916.
Cather, Willa Sibert. [1873-1947] (1)
Born at Winchester, Virginia, December 7, 1875 [sic]. During her childhood
the family moved to Nebraska, and in 1895 Miss Cather was graduated from
the University of that State. Coming East to engage in newspaper work,
she became associated with the staff of the "Pittsburgh Daily Leader",
where she remained from 1897 to 1901. Soon after, she became
one of the editors of "McClure's Magazine", doing important feature articles
until 1912. Miss Cather is now writing fiction, and has published
three novels, "Alexander's Bridge", "O Pioneers!" and "The Song of the Lark".
In poetry, she has done but one small volume, "April Twilight", 1903,
but several poems from this collection seem likely to make for themselves
a permanent place.
Cawein, Madison. [1865-1914] (3)
Born at Louisville, Kentucky, March 23, 1865. Educated in the public schools
of that city. He began writing very early and published his first
book of verse, "Blooms of the Berry", 1887, when but twenty-two years of age.
From that time until his death, December 7, 1915 [sic],
he published many volumes of poetry inspired chiefly by the theme of nature.
As most of these volumes are out of print, it is unnecessary to list them all,
but among the more important may be cited: "Intimations of the Beautiful",
1894; "Undertones", 1896; "The Garden of Dreams", 1896;
"Myth and Romance", 1899; "Weeds by the Wall", 1901;
"Kentucky Poems", with an Introduction by Edmund Gosse, London, 1902;
"A Voice on the Wind", 1902; "The Vale of Tempe", 1905;
"Complete Poetical Works", 5 volumes, 1907; "New Poems", London, 1909;
"Poems -- A Selection from the Complete Work", 1911;
"The Poet, the Fool, and the Fairies", 1912; "Minions of the Moon", 1913;
"The Poet and Nature", 1914; and "The Cup of Comus", posthumous publication,
1915. Mr. Cawein was distinctly the creator of his own field.
From the publication of his first little volume, "Blooms of the Berry",
he had made himself the intimate, almost the mystic, comrade of nature.
He had an ecstatic sense of the visible world. Beauty was his religion,
and he spent his life learning the ways and moods of nature and declaring them
in poetry rich in imagination. He had the naturalist's eagerness for truth,
and one might explore the Kentucky woods and fields
with a volume of his poetry as a handbook and find the least regarded flower
minutely celebrated. In his most affluent fancy his eye never left the fact,
and the accuracy of his observation gives his nature work a background
which adds greatly to its value.
Cheney, John Vance. [1848-1922] (2)
Born at Groveland, New York, December 29, 1848. Received his early education
at Temple Hill Academy in Geneseo, New York. After a short period
of teaching and of practicing law, he became the librarian
of the Free Public Library of San Francisco and held this position
from 1887 to 1894, when he accepted a similar one at the Newberry Library
in Chicago, where he remained until 1899. Since that date
he has resided in California, where he devotes his time to literary work.
His volumes of poetry are: "Thistle Drift", 1887; "Woodblooms", 1888;
"Out of the Silence", 1897; "Lyrics", 1901; "Poems", 1905;
"The Time of Roses", 1908; "At the Silver Gate", 1911.
Coates, Florence Earle. [1850-1927] (3)
Born at Philadelphia and educated at private schools in that city
and in France. She studied also at Brussels. Her volumes of poetry
in their order are, "Poems", 1898; "Mine and Thine", 1904;
"Lyrics of Life", 1909; "The Unconquered Air", 1912;
"Poems", Collected Edition, in two volumes, 1916.
Colton, Arthur. [1868-1943] (2)
Born at Washington, May 22, 1868. Received the degree of A.B.
at Yale University in 1890 and of Ph.D. in 1893. He was also instructor
in English at Yale for two years following the taking of his last degree.
Since 1906 he has been librarian of the University Club of New York City.
Mr. Colton has published several volumes of essays and but one volume
of poetry: "Harps Hung up in Babylon", 1907.
Cone, Helen Gray. [1859-1934] (2)
Born in New York City, March 8, 1859. Graduated at
the Normal College of New York City in 1876. She has been
Professor of English Literature at her Alma Mater, now called Hunter College,
since 1899. Her volumes of verse are: "Oberon and Puck", 1885;
"The Ride to the Lady", 1893; "Soldiers of the Light", 1911;
"A Chant of Love for England, and Other Poems", 1915.
Daly, Thomas Augustine. [1871-1948] (2)
Born at Philadelphia, May 28, 1871, and educated at Fordham University.
He was for some time reporter and editorial writer on
the "Philadelphia Record", and is now the general manager of
the "Catholic Standard and Times". Mr. Daly has put the Italian immigrant
into poetry and written several volumes of delightful verse in this field.
He has not pursued this exclusively, however, but has done some excellent work
in other themes. His volumes are: "Canzoni", 1906; "Carmina", 1909;
"Madrigali", 1912; and "Songs of Wedded Love", 1916.
Dargan, Olive Tilford. [1869-1968] (1)
Born in Grayson County, Kentucky, and educated at the University of Nashville
and at Radcliffe College. She became a teacher and was connected with
various schools in Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas until her marriage.
Mrs. Dargan's first work was in poetic drama in which she revealed gifts of
a high order. Her dramatic volumes are: "Semiramis, and Other Plays", 1904;
"Lords and Lovers", 1906; and "The Mortal Gods", 1912. Mrs. Dargan
has also written a collection of lyric verse called "Path Flower", 1914,
and a sonnet sequence, "The Cycle's Rim", 1916.
Daskam, Josephine Dodge (Mrs. Selden Bacon). [1876-1961] (1)
Born at Stamford, Connecticut, February 17, 1876. Graduated at Smith College
in 1898. She is chiefly known as a novelist and writer of short stories
in which field she has had conspicuous success. Among her
volumes of fiction are: "The Madness of Philip"; "Whom the Gods Destroyed";
"Margherita's Soul"; and "Open Market". Miss Daskam has done
but one volume of verse: "Poems", 1903.
Davis, Fannie Stearns (Mrs. Augustus McKinstrey Gifford). [1884-?] (2)
Born at Cleveland, Ohio, March 6, 1884. Educated at Smith College,
from which she graduated in 1904. She is the author of two volumes of poetry:
"Myself and I", 1913, and "Crack O' Dawn", 1915, both marked
by sensitive poetic feeling and delicate artistry.
Firkins, Chester. [1882-1915] (1)
Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 30, 1882. Received his education
in the public schools of that city and at the University of Minnesota.
He was an active journalist, having been associated with the press
of Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio, and of Chicago before coming to New York,
where he served on the staff of the "New York American" until his death,
March 1, 1915. He was a contributor of stories and verse
to well-known magazines, but his volume of poems was brought out posthumously
French, Nora May. [1881-1907] (1)
Born in East Aurora, New York, and died at Carmel, California, on November 14,
1907, when twenty-six years of age. A small volume of her poems,
edited by her friend, George Sterling, was brought out after her death.
Garrison, Theodosia (Mrs. Frederick J. Faulks). [1874-1944] (2)
Born at Newark, New Jersey. Educated at private schools in New York.
She was for several years a constant contributor of poetry to the magazines,
though she has written less of late. Her two published volumes of verse are:
"Joy O' Life", 1908, and "The Earth Cry", 1910.
Greene, Sarah Pratt McLean. [1856-1935] (1)
Born at Simsbury, Connecticut, July 3, 1856 and educated at
McLean Academy and at Mount Holyoke College. She is chiefly known
as the author of "Cape Cod Folks", "Vesty of the Basins", and other volumes
dealing with the life of the Cape Cod fishermen, but Mrs. Greene has written
one poem destined to hold a permanent place not only in our literature, but in
the larger body of enduring poetry. This is "De Massa ob de Sheepfol'",
contained in this collection.
Guiney, Louise Imogen. [1861-1920] (4)
Born at Boston, January 7, 1861. Educated in the private schools of Boston
and the Sacred Heart Convent in Providence, Rhode Island.
Her father, Patrick Guiney, was a brigadier-general in our Civil War,
and having been born during the period of the conflict and her early youth
having been spent almost before the echo of the guns had died,
Miss Guiney's work was much influenced by this background of association.
The symbolism of her poetry is frequently drawn from battle
or from knight-errantry, as in "The Wild Ride", "The Kings",
"The Vigil-at-Arms", "The Knight Errant", "Memorial Day", etc.
Valor, transmuted to a spiritual quality, may, indeed, be said to be
the keynote of Miss Guiney's work. Add to this a mystical element,
best illustrated in her poem, "Beati Mortui", a Celtic note,
shown so exquisitely in her "Irish Peasant Song", and one has
the more obvious characteristics of poetry that, whatever its theme,
is always distinguished and individual. Miss Guiney has
a crisp economy of phrase, a pungency and tang, that invest her style
with an unusual degree of personality. Her volumes in their order have been:
"The White Sail", 1887; "A Roadside Harp", 1893; "Nine Sonnets
Written at Oxford", 1895; "The Martyr's Idyl", 1899; and "Happy Ending",
her collected poems, 1909.
Hagedorn, Hermann. [1882-1964] (2)
Born July 18, 1882. Educated at Harvard University
and the University of Berlin and served as instructor in English
at Harvard from 1909 to 1911. Mr. Hagedorn is the author of
"The Silver Blade: A Play in Verse", 1907; "The Woman of Corinth", 1908;
"A Troop of the Guard", 1909; "Poems and Ballads", 1911;
and "The Great Maze and the Heart of Youth: A Poem and a Play", 1916.
Helburn, Theresa. [1887-1959] (1)
Born in New York City. Educated at Bryn Mawr College and at Radcliffe.
She has not yet published a collection of poetry, but has contributed
to the leading magazines.
[Theresa Helburn is best known for her work in theatre. -- A. L., 1998.]
Hovey, Richard. [1864-1900] (4)
Born at Normal, Illinois, May 4, 1864, died February 24, 1900.
He received his early education at Dartmouth College,
which he afterward celebrated in several of his best-known poems.
In collaboration with Bliss Carman he did the well known "Vagabondia Books",
-- "Songs from Vagabondia", 1894; "More Songs from Vagabondia", 1896;
"Last Songs from Vagabondia", 1900, -- books whose freshness and charm
immediately won them a place in public favor that time has not lessened.
Aside from his work with Mr. Carman and his lyric collection,
"Along the Trail", 1898, Hovey had done a remarkable group of poetic dramas
built upon the Arthurian legend and issued separately under the titles,
"The Quest of Merlin: A Masque", 1898; "The Marriage of Guenevere:
A Tragedy", 1898; "The Birth of Galahad: A Romantic Drama", 1898;
"Taliesin: A Masque", 1899. These were but part of the dramas
projected in the cycle and a fragment of the next to be issued,
"The Holy Grail", was published, with explanatory notes of the whole series,
in 1907. The dramas stand for a dramatic achievement of a high order,
and contain poetry of great beauty, reaching at times,
in the lyric masque of "Taliesin", an almost consummate expression.
Richard Hovey was, indeed, both in lyric and dramatic work,
a poet of rare endowment and his early death was a distinct loss
to American letters.
Johns, Orrick. [1887-1946] (1)
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1887. Educated at the University of Missouri
and Washington University in St. Louis. He was associated for a short time
with "Reedy's Mirror". In 1912 he received the first prize,
of five hundred dollars, for a poem entitled "Second Avenue",
contributed to the prize contest of "The Lyric Year", and afterwards published
in that volume.
Jones, Thomas S., Jr. [1882-1932] (3)
Born at Boonville, New York, November 6, 1882. Graduated at
Cornell University in 1904. He was on the dramatic staff
of the "New York Times", from 1904 to 1907, and associate editor
of "The Pathfinder", in 1911. His published volumes are:
"Path of Dreams", 1904; "From Quiet Valleys", 1907; "Interludes", 1908;
"Ave Atque Vale" (In Memoriam Arthur Upson), 1909; "The Voice in the Silence",
with a Foreword by James Lane Allen, 1911; and "The Rose-Jar",
originally published in 1906, but taken over in 1915
by Thomas B. Mosher and made the initial volume of "Lyra Americana",
his first series of American poetry.
Kilmer, Joyce. [1886-1918] (2)
Born at New Brunswick, New Jersey, December 6, 1886, and graduated
at Columbia University in 1908. After a short period of teaching
he became associated with Funk and Wagnalls Company, where he remained
from 1909 to 1912, when he assumed the position of literary editor
of "The Churchman". In 1913 Mr. Kilmer became a member of the staff
of the "New York Times", a position which he still occupies.
His volumes of poetry are: "A Summer of Love", 1911,
and "Trees, and Other Poems", 1914.
Knowles, Frederick Lawrence. [1869-1905] (2)
Born at Lawrence, Massachusetts, September 8, 1869, and graduated
at Wesleyan University in 1894 and Harvard University in 1896.
He was connected for a short time with the editorial department
of Houghton Mifflin Company and with the staff of L. C. Page and Company
as literary adviser. In 1900 he accepted a similar position
with Dana Estes and Company where he remained until his death
in September, 1905. Mr. Knowles was the author of two volumes of verse:
"On Life's Stairway", 1900, and "Love Triumphant", 1904. In addition to
his own work in poetry he was the editor of several excellent anthologies,
such as "The Golden Treasury of American Lyrics", 1897;
"A Treasury of Humorous Poetry", 1902; and "A Year-Book of Famous Lyrics".
Mr. Knowles was a poet of fine gifts and his early death was a loss
to American poetry.
Ledoux, Louis V. [1880-1948] (1)
Born at New York City, June 6, 1880. Educated at Columbia University,
where he graduated in 1902. He is the author of "Songs from the Silent Land",
1905; "The Soul's Progress", 1907; "Yzdra: A Poetic Drama", 1909;
"The Shadow of Etna", 1914; "The Story of Eleusis: A Lyrical Drama", 1916.
Le Gallienne, Richard. [1866-1947] (4)
Born at Liverpool, England, January 20, 1866. He was already
a well-known poet, novelist, and critic when he took up his residence
in the United States. In each of these fields Mr. Le Gallienne
has achieved conspicuous success and it would be difficult to say
what phase of his literary work should take precedence of the others.
Among the best known of his prose works are: "The Quest of the Golden Girl",
"Book Bills of Narcissus", "An Old Country House", "Little Dinners
with the Sphinx", etc. In criticism he has done particularly fine work
in his study of George Meredith and in his volume, "Attitudes and Avowals".
In poetry, with which we are chiefly concerned, he has given us
several volumes distinguished by that delicacy and sensitive feeling
for beauty which characterize all of his work. These are:
"English Poems", 1892; "Stevenson, and Other Poems", 1895;
"New Poems", 1909; "The Lonely Dancer", 1913. In addition to these volumes,
Mr. Le Gallienne has made an admirable paraphrase of the "Rubaiyat"
of Omar Khayyam and of a group of odes from the "Divan" of Hafiz.
Lindsay, Vachel. [1879-1931] (3)
Born November 10, 1879. Educated at Hiram College, Ohio.
He took up the study of art and studied at the Art Institute,
Chicago, 1900-03 and at the New York School of Art, 1904-05.
For a time after his technical study, he lectured upon art
in its practical relation to the community, and returning to his home
in Springfield, Illinois, issued what one might term his manifesto
in the shape of "The Village Magazine", divided about equally
between prose articles, pertaining to beautifying his native city,
and poems, illustrated by his own drawings. Soon after this,
Mr. Lindsay, taking as scrip for the journey, "Rhymes to be Traded for Bread",
made a pilgrimage on foot through several Western States going as far afield
as New Mexico. The story of this journey is given in his volume,
"Adventures while Preaching the Gospel of Beauty". Mr. Lindsay first
attracted attention in poetry by "General William Booth Enters into Heaven",
a poem which became the title of his first volume, in 1913. His second volume
was "The Congo", published in 1914. He is attempting to restore to poetry
its early appeal as a spoken art, and his later work differs greatly
from the selections contained in this anthology.
Lodge, George Cabot. [1873-1909] (2)
Born at Boston, October 12, 1873. Educated at Harvard University
and the University of Paris. He did his first work in poetry at Harvard
in the stimulating companionship of a little group of poets
including Trumbull Stickney, William Vaughn Moody, and Philip Henry Savage,
all of whom, by a strange fatality, died within a few years after leaving
the University. Mr. Lodge was a poet whose gift followed classical lines,
but was none the less individual and sincere. His complete work
in lyric and dramatic poetry has been gathered into two volumes:
"Poems and Dramas", 1911. He died at Boston in 1909.
Lowell, Amy. [1874-1925] (1)
Born at Boston, February 9, 1874. Educated at private schools.
She has been prominently identified with the "Imagist" movement in poetry
and with the technical use of `vers libre'. These movements, however,
were not yet influencing poetry when "The Little Book of Modern Verse"
was edited, and Miss Lowell is, therefore, represented by a lyric
in her earlier and less characteristic manner. Her volumes
in their order are: "A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass", 1912;
"Sword Blades and Poppy Seed", 1914; "Men, Women, and Ghosts", 1916.
Miss Lowell is also the editor of "Some Imagist Poets", 1915;
"Some Imagist Poets", 1916; and "Some Imagist Poets", 1917,
all of which contain a group of her own poems.
MacKaye, Percy. [1875-1956] (2)
Born at New York City, March 16, 1875. Educated at Harvard University
and the University of Leipzig. He has written many poetic dramas
and several volumes of lyric verse. Among the best known of his dramas are:
"The Canterbury Pilgrims", 1903; "Fenris, the Wolf", 1905; "Jeanne d'Arc",
1906; "Sappho and Phaon", 1907; and "Caliban: A Masque", 1916. He is also
the author of several prose dramas which have been successfully produced.
In non-dramatic poetry his most representative volumes are: "Poems", 1909;
"Uriel, and Other Poems", 1912; "The Sistine Eve, and Other Poems",
"The Present Hour", 1915.
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