The world-compelling plan was thine, -
And, lo ! the long laborious miles
Of Palace ; lo! the giant aisles,
Rich in model and design ;
Harvest-tool and husbandry,
Loom and wheel and enginery,
Secrets of the sullen mine,
Steel and gold, and corn and wine,
Fabric rough, or fairy-fine,
Sunny tokens of the Line,
Polar marvels, and a feast
Of wonder, out of West and East,
And shapes and hues of Art divine !
All of beauty, all of use,
That one fair planet can produce,

Brought from under every star,
Blown from over every main,
And mixt, as life is mixt with pain,

The works of peace with works of war.


Oye, the wise who think, the wise who

reign, From growing commerce loose her latest

chain, And let the fair white-wing'd peacemaker fly To happy havens under all the sky, And mix the seasons and the golden hours; Till each man find his own in all men's good, And all men work in noble brotherhood, Breaking their mailed fleets and armed

towers, And ruling by obeying Nature's powers, And gathering all the fruits of earth and

crown'd with all her flowers.

Welcome her, thunders of fort and of

fleet ! Welcome her, thundering cheer of the

street ! Welcome her, all things youthful and

sweet, Scatter the blossom under her feet ! Break, happy land, into earlier flowers ! Make music, O bird, in the new-budded

bowers ! Blazon your mottos of blessing and

prayer ! Welcome her, welcome her, all that is

ours ! Warble, O bugle, and trumpet, blare ! Flags, flutter out upon turrets and towers ! Flames, on the windy headland flare ! Utter your jubilee, steeple and spire ! Clash, ye bells, in the merry March air ! Flash, ye cities, in rivers of fire ! Rush to the roof, sudden rocket, and

higher Melt into stars for the land's desire ! Roll and rejoice, jubilant voice, Roll as a ground-swell dash'd on the

strand, Roar as the sea when he welcomes the

land, And welcome her, welcome the land's

desire, The sea-kings' daughter as happy as fair, Blissful bride of a blissful heir, Bride of the heir of the kings of the

seaO joy to the people and joy to the

throne, Come to us, love us and make us your

own : For Saxon or Dane or Norman we, Teuton or Celt, or whatever we be, We are each all Dane in our welcome of thee,

Alexandra !


MARCH 7, 1863. SEA-KINGS' daughter from over the sea,

Alexandra ! Saxon and Norman and Dane are we, But all of us Danes in our welcome of thee,


[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Yet thine own land has bow'd to Tartar

hordes Since English Harold gave its thronea wife,

Alexandrovna ! For thrones and peoples are as waifs that

swing, And float or fall, in endless ebb and

flow; But who love best have best the grace

to know That Love by right divine is deathless king,

Marie Alexandrovna !

[ocr errors]

The Son of him with whom we strove for

powerWhose will is lord thro' all his world

domainWho made the serf a man, and burst

his chainHas given our Prince his own imperial Flower,

Alexandrovna. And welcome, Russian flower, a people's

pride, To Britain, when her flowers begin to

blow! From love to love, from home to home

you go, From mother unto mother, stately bride,

Marie Alexandrovna !

And Love has led thee to the stranger land, Where men are bold and strongly say

their say ;See, empire upon empire smiles to-day, As thou with thy young lover hand in hand

Alexandrovna ! So now thy fuller life is in the west, Whose hand at home was gracious to

thy poor : Thy name was blest within the narrow

door ; Here also, Marie, shall thy name be blest,

Marie Alexandrovna !


The golden news along the steppes is

blown, And at thy name the Tartar tents are

stirr’d; Elburz and all the Caucasus have heard ; And all the sultry palms of India known,

Alexandrovna. The voices of our universal sea On capes of Afric as on cliffs of Kent,

The Maoris and that Isle of Continent, And loyal pines of Canada murmur thee,

Marie Alexandrovna !

Shall fears and jealous hatreds flame again? Or at thy coming, Princess, everywhere, The blue heaven break, and some

diviner air Breathe thro' the world and change the hearts of men,

Alexandrovna? But hearts that change not, love that

cannot cease, And peace be yours, the peace of soul

in soul ! And howsoever this wild world may roll, Between your peoples truth and manful peace,

Alfred-Alexandrovna !


Fair empires branching, both, in lusty

life! Yet Harold's England fell to Norman

swords ;


AND Willy, my eldest-born, is gone, you say, little Anne ?
Ruddy and white, and strong on his legs, he looks like a man.
And Willy's wife has written : she never was over-wise,
Never the wife for Willy : he wouldn't take my advice.


For, Annie, you see, her father was not the man to save,
Hadn't a head to manage, and drank himself into his grave.
Pretty enough, very pretty! but I was against it for one.
Eh !—but he wouldn't hear me—and Willy, you say, is gone.

Willy, my beauty, my eldest-born, the flower of the flock ;
Never a man could Aling him : for Willy stood like a rock.
Here's a leg for a babe of a week !' says doctor; and he would be bound,
There was not his like that year in twenty parishes round.

[ocr errors]

Strong of his hands, and strong on his legs, but still of his tongue !
I ought to have gone before him : I wonder he went so young.
I cannot cry for him, Annie : I have not long to stay;
Perhaps I shall see him the sooner, for he lived far away.

Why do you look at me, Annie? you think I am hard and cold ;
But all my children have gone before me, I am so old :
I cannot weep for Willy, nor can I weep for the rest ;
Only at your age, Annie, I could have wept with the best.

For I remember a quarrel I had with your father, my dear,
All for a slanderous story, that cost me many a tear.
I mean your grandfather, Annie : it cost me a world of woe,
Seventy years ago, my darling, seventy years ago.

For Jenny, my cousin, had come to the place, and I knew right well
That Jenny had tript in her time : I knew, but I would not tell.
And she to be coming and slandering me, the base little liar !
But the tongue is a fire as you know, my dear, the tongue is a fire.


And the parson made it his text that week, and he said likewise,
That a lie which is half a truth is ever the blackest of lies,
That a lie which is all a lie may be met and fought with outright,
But a lie which is part a truth is a harder matter to fight.

[ocr errors]

And Willy had not been down to the farm for a week and a day ;
And all things look'd half-dead, tho' it was the middle of May.
Jenny, to slander me, who knew what Jenny had been !
But soiling another, Annie, will never make oneself clean.

And I cried myself well-nigh blind, and all of an evening late
I climb'd to the top of the garth, and stood by the road at the gate.
The moon like a rick on fire was rising over the dale,
And whit, whit, whit, in the bush beside me chirrupt the nightingale.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

Willy stood up like a man, and look'd the thing that he meant ;
Jenny, the viper, made me a mocking courtsey and went.
And I said, “Let us part : in a hundred years it'll all be the same,
You cannot love me at all, if you love not my good name.'


And he turn’d, and I saw his eyes all wet, in the sweet moonshine :
'Sweetheart, I love you so well that your good name is mine.
And what do I care for Jane, let her speak of you well or ill ;
But marry me out of hand : we two shall be happy still.'

XIV. “Marry you, Willy!' said I, but I needs must speak my mind, And I fear you'll listen to tales, be jealous and hard and unkind.' But he turn’d and claspt me in his arms, and answer’d, 'No, love, no ;' Seventy years ago, my darling, seventy years ago.

So Willy and I were wedded : I wore a lilac gown ;
And the ringers rang with a will, and he gave the ringers a crown.
But the first that ever I bare was dead before he was born,
Shadow and shine is life, little Annie, flower and thorn.

That was the first time, too, that ever I thought of death.
There lay the sweet little body that never had drawn a breath.
I had not wept, little Anne, not since I had been a wife ;
But I wept like a child that day, for the babe had fought for his life.

XVII. His dear little face was troubled, as if with anger or pain : I look'd at the still little body-his trouble had all been in vain. For Willy I cannot weep, I shall see him another morn : But I wept like a child for the child that was dead before he was born.

XVIII. But he cheer'd me, my good man, for he seldom said me nay : Kind, like a man, was he; like a man, too, would have his way : Never jealous--not he : we had many a happy year; And he died, and I could not weep—my own time seem'd so near.

[ocr errors]

But I wish'd it had been God's will that I, too, then could have died :
I began to be tired a little, and fain had slept at his side.
And that was ten years back, or more, if I don't forget :
But as to the children, Annie, they're all about me yet.

[ocr errors][merged small]

And Harry and Charlie, I hear them too—they sing to their team :
Often they come to the door in a pleasant kind of a dream.
They come and sit by my chair, they hover about my bed-
I am not always certain if they be alive or dead.

And yet I know for a truth, there's none of them left alive ;
For Harry went at sixty, your father at sixty-five :
And Willy, my eldest born, at nigh threescore and ten;
I knew them all as babies, and now they're elderly men. .

For mine is a time of peace, it is not often I grieve ;
I am oftener sitting at home in my father's farm at eve:
And the neighbours come and laugh and gossip, and so do I;
I find myself often laughing at things that have long gone by.

To be sure the preacher says, our sins should make us sad :
But mine is a time of peace, and there is Grace to be had ;
And God, not man, is the Judge of us all when life shall cease;
And in this Book, little Annie, the message is one of Peace.

« ElőzőTovább »