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- THE sweetest notes among the human heart-strings
- Are dull with rust;
- The sweetest chords, adjusted by the angels,
- Are clogged with dust;
- We pipe and pipe again our dreary music
- Upon the self-same strains,
- While sounds of crime, and fear, and desolation,
- Come back in sad refrains.
- On through the world we go, an army marching
- With listening ears,
- Each longing, sighing, for the heavenly music
- He never hears;
- Each longing, sighing, for a word of comfort,
- A word of tender praise,
- A word of love, to cheer the endless journey
- Of earth's hard, busy days.
- They love us, and we know it; this suffices
- For reason's share.
- Why should they pause to give that love expression
- With gentle care?
- Why should they pause? But still our hearts are aching
- With all the gnawing pain
- Of hungry love that longs to hear the music,
- And longs and longs in vain.
- We love them, and they know it; if we falter,
- With fingers numb,
- Among the unused strings of love's expression,
- The notes are dumb.
- We shrink within ourselves in voiceless sorrow,
- Leaving the words unsaid,
- And, side by side with those we love the dearest,
- In silence on we tread.
- Thus on we tread, and thus each heart in silence
- Its fate fulfils,
- Waiting and hoping for the heavenly music
- Beyond the distant hills.
- The only difference of the love in heaven
- From love on earth below Is:
- Here we love and know not how to tell it,
- And there we all shall know.
- Constance Fenimore Woolson
- OUR drift-wood fire burns drowsily,
- The fog hangs low afar,
- A thousand sea-birds fearlessly
- Hover above the bar;
- Our boat is drawn far up the strand,
- Beyond the tide's long reach;
- Like a fringe to the dark green winter land,
- Shines the silvery Florida beach.
- Behind, the broad pine barrens lie
- Without a path or trail,
- Before, the ocean meets the sky
- Without a rock or sail.
- We call across to Africa,
- As a poet called to Spain:
- A murmur of "Antony! Antony!"
- The waves bring back in refrain.
- Far to the south the beach shines on,
- Dotted with giant shells;
- Coral sprays from the white reef won,
- Radiate spiny cells;
- Glass-like creatures that ride the waves,
- With azure sail and oar,
- And wide-mouthed things from the deep sea caves
- That melt away on the shore.
- Wild ducks gaze as we pass along:
- They have not learned to fear;
- The mocking-bird keeps on his song
- In the low palmetto near;
- The sluggish stream from the everglade
- Shows the alligator's track,
- And the sea is broken in light and shade
- With the heave of the dolphin's back.
- The Spanish light-house stands in haze:
- The keeper trims his light;
- No sail he sees through the long, long days,
- No sail through the still, still night;
- But ships that pass far out at sea,
- Along the warm Gulf Stream,
- From Cuba and tropic Carribee,
- Keep watch for his distant gleam.
- Alone, alone we wander on,
- In the southern winter day.
- Through the dreamy veil the fog has spun
- The world seems far away;
- The tide comes in-the birds fly low,
- As if to catch our speech.
- Ah, Destiny! Why must we ever go
- Away from the Florida beach?
- Constance Fenimore Woolson
Poets' Corner .
H O M E .