Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Day Is Done

The day is done, and the darkness
Falls from the wings of Night,
As a feather is wafted downward
From an eagle in his flight.
I see the lights of the village
Gleam through the rain and the mist,
And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me,
That my soul cannot resist:
A feeling of sadness and longing,
That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
As the mist resembles rain.
Come, read to me some poem,
Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling,
And banish the thoughts of day.
Not from the grand old masters,
Not from the bards sublime,
Whose distant footsteps echo
Through the corridors of Time.
For, like strains of martial music,
Their mighty thoughts suggest
Life's endless toil and endeavor;
And tonight I long for rest.
Read from some humbler poet,
Whose songs gushed from his heart,
As showers from the clouds of summer,
Or tears from the eyelids start;
Who through long days of labor,
And nights devoid of ease,
Still heard in his soul the music
Of wonderful melodies.
Such songs have power to quiet
The restless pulse of care,
And come like the benediction
That follows after prayer.
Then read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
The music of thy voice.
And the night shall be filled with music~
And the cares that infest the day
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.


Animal Crackers

Animal crackers, and cocoa to drink,
That is the finest of suppers, I think;
When I'm grown up and can have what I please,
I think I shall always insist upon these.
What do you choose when you're offered a treat?
When Mother says, "What would you like best to eat?"
Is it waffles and syrup, or cinnamon toast?
It's cocoa and animals that I love the most!
The kitchen's the coziest place that I know:
The kettle is singing, the stove is aglow,
And there in the twilight, how jolly to see
The cocoa and animals waiting for me.
Daddy and Mother dine later in state,
With Mary to cook for them, Susan to wait;
But they don't have nearly as much fun as I
Who eat in the kitchen with Nurse standing by;
And Daddy once said he would like to be me
Having cocoa and animals once more for tea!



Dare to be true;
 Nothing can need a lie;
The fault that needs one most
 Grows two thereby.


The Knight's Leap

So the foemen have fired the gate, men of mine,
And the water is spent and gone?
Then bring me a cup of the red Ahr-wine:
I never shall drink but this one:
And reach me my harness, and saddle my horse,
And lead him me round to the door:
He must take such a leap tonight perforce
As horse never took before.

I have fought my fight, I have lived my life,
I have drunk my share of wine;
From Trier to Coin there was never a knight
Led a merrier life than mine.
I have lived by the saddle for years two score;
And if I must die on tree,
Then the old saddle-tree, which has borne me of yore,
Is the properest timber for me.
So now to show Bishop, and burgher, and priest,
How the Altenahr hawk can die;
If they smoke the old falcon out of his nest,
He must take to his wings and fly!

He harnessed himself by the clear moonshine,
And he mounted his horse at the door;
And he drained such a cup of the red Ahr-wine
As man never drained before.
He spurred the old horse, and he held him tight,
And he leapt him out over the wall
Out over the cliff, out into the night,
Three hundred feet of fall.
They found him next morning below in the glen,
With never a bone in him whole.
A mass or a prayer, now, good gentlemen,
For such a bold rider's soul.


On a Quiet Conscience

Close thine eyes, and sleep secure;
Thy soul is safe, thy body sure.
He that guards thee, He that keeps,
Never slumbers, never sleeps.
A quiet conscience in thy breast
Has only peace, has only rest.
The wisest and the mirth of kings
Are out of tune unless she sings:
Then close thine eyes in peace and sleep secure,
No sleep so sweet as thine, no rest so sure.



I never have had a look at the sea,
I who would love it so.
I never have watched from the surf-drenched shore
The brave ships come and go.
I do not know how the silent tides
Unfailingly ebb and flow.

God who is wise to his children's needs,
Gives me the wide low plain,
He gives me the wondrous, whispering grass,
The kildeer's sweet refrain,
And my reed-fringed pools are myriad seas,
After the last long rain.

I never have been where the mountains stand
Majestic - aloof - apart
But nightly the infinite star-crowned heights
Speak to my waiting heart,
And mine are the winds that are mountain-born,
And of seas they are a part.


Sea Fever

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a gray mist on the sea's face and a gray dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the seagulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.


Theme in Yellow

I spot the hills
With yellow balls in autumn
I light the prairie cornfields
Orange and tawny gold clusters
And I am called pumpkins.
On the last of October
When dusk is fallen
Children join hands
And circle round me
Singing ghost songs
And love to the harvest moon;
I am a jack-o'-lantern
With terrible teeth
And the children know
I am fooling.


Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee

Ho, for the Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee!
He was as wicked as wicked could be,
But oh, he was perfectly gorgeous to see!
The Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee.
His conscience, of course, was as black as a bat,
But he had a floppety plume on his hat
And when he went walking it jiggled - like that!
The plume of the Pirate Dowdee.

His coat it was crimson and cut with a slash,
And often as ever he twirled his mustache
Deep down in the ocean the mermaids went splash,
Because of Don Durk of Dowdee.
Moreover, Dowdee had a purple tattoo,
And stuck, in his belt where he buckled it through
Were a dagger, a dirk, and a squizzamaroo,
For fierce was the Pirate Dowdee.
So fearful he was, he would shoot at a puff,
And always at sea when the weather grew rough
He drank from a bottle and wrote on his cuff,
Did Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee.

Oh, he had a cutlass that swung at his thigh
And he had a parrot called Pepperkin Pye,
And a zigzaggy scar at the end of his eye
Had Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee.
He kept in a cavern, this buccaneer bold,
A curious chest that was covered with mould,
And all of his pockets were jingly with gold!
Oh jing! went the gold of Dowdee.

His conscience, of course, it was crook'd like a squash,
But both of his boots made a slickery slosh,
And he went through the world with a wonderful swash,
Did Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee.
It's true he was wicked as wicked could be,
His sins they outnumbered a hundred and three,
But oh, he was perfectly gorgeous to see!
The Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee.