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195

17 The grim Geneva ministers

With anxious scowl drew near,
As you have seen the ravens flock

Around the dying deer.
He would not deign them word nor sign,

But alone he bent the knee ;
And veiled his face for Christ's dear grace
Beneath the gallows-tree.

200 Then radiant and serene he rose,

And cast his cloak away : For he had ta’en his latest look

Of earth and sun and day.

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18 A beam of light fell o'er him,

Like a glory round the shriven, And he climbed the lofty ladder

As it were the path to heaven. Then came a flash from out the cloud,

And a stunning thunder-roll; And no man dared

to look aloft, For fear was on every soul. There was another heavy sound,

A hush and then a groan ;
And darkness swept across the sky--
The work of death was done!

W. E. AYTOUN.

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351 TUBAL CAIN

Old Tubal Cain was a man of might

In the days when Earth was young ; By the fierce red light of his furnace bright

The strokes of his hammer rung ; And he lifted high his brawny hand

On the iron glowing clear, Till the sparks rushed out in scarlet showers,

As he fashioned the sword and spear.

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And he sang— Hurra for my handiwork !

Hurra for the spear and sword ! Hurra for the hand that shall wield them well,

For he shall be king and lord !'

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To Tubal Cain came many a one,

As he wrought by his roaring fire, And each one prayed for a strong steel blade

As the crown of his desire : And he made them weapons sharp and strong,

Till they shouted loud for glee,
And gave him gifts of pearl and gold,

And spoils of the forest free.
And they sang—' Hurra for Tubal Cain,

Who hath given us strength anew!
Hurra for the smith, hurra for the fire,

And hurra for the metal true!'

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But a sudden change came o'er his heart,

Ere the setting of the sun,
And Tubal Cain was filled with pain

For the evil he had done ;
He saw that men, with rage and hate,

Made war upon their kind,
That the land was red with the blood they shed

In their lust for carnage, blind.
And he said-Alas! that ever I made,

Or that skill of mine should plan,
The spear and the sword for men whose joy 35

Is to slay their fellow-man.

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And for many a day old Tubal Cain

Sat brooding o'er his woe ;
And his hand forbore to smite the ore,

And his furnace smouldered low.
But he rose at last with a cheerful face,

And a bright courageous eye,
And bared his strong right arm for work,

While the quick flames mounted high.

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And he sang — Hurra for my handicraft !

And the red sparks lit the air ; 'Not alone for the blade was the bright steel

made,'

And he fashioned the first ploughshare. And men, taught wisdom from the past,

In friendship joined their hands, Hung the sword in the hall, the spear on the wall,

And ploughed the willing lands;
And sang- Hurra for Tubal Cain !

Our stanch good friend is he;
And for the ploughshare and the plough

To him our praise shall be.
But while oppression lifts its head,

Or a tyrant would be lord,
Though we may thank him for the Plough,
We'll not forget the Sword !'

C. MACKAY.

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352 QUA CURSUM VENTUS As ships, becalmed at eve, that lay

With canvas drooping, side by side, Two towers of sail at dawn of day

Are scarce long leagues apart descried When fell the night, upsprung the breeze,

And all the darkling hours they plied, Nor dreamt but each the self-same seas

By each was cleaving, side by side : E'en so—but why the tale reveal

Of those, whom year by year unchanged, Brief absence joined anew to feel,

Astounded, soul from soul estranged ? At dead of night their sails were filled,

And onward each rejoicing steeredAh, neither blame, for neither willed,

Or wist, what first with dawn appeared !

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To veer, how vain! On, onward strain,

Brave barks ! In light, in darkness too, Through winds and tides one compass guides

To that, and your own selves, be true.

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But o blithe breeze ! and O great seas,

Though ne'er, that earliest parting past, On your wide plain they join again,

Together lead them home at last.

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One port, methought, alike they sought,

One purpose hold where'er they fare,
O bounding breeze, O rushing seas!
At last, at last, unite them there!

A. H. CLOUGH.

353

Say not, the struggle naught availeth,

The labour and the wounds are vain, The enemy faints not, nor faileth,

And as things have been they remain.

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If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars ;

It may be, in yon smoke concealed, Your comrades chase e'en now the fliers,

And, but for you, possess the field.

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For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,

Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back, through creeks and inlets making,

Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

And not by eastern windows only,

When daylight comes, comes in the light, In front, the sun climbs slow, how slowly, But westward, look, the land is bright.

A. H. CLOUGII.

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354 Where lies the land to which the ship would go ? Far, far ahead, is all her seamen know. And where the land she travels from ? Away, Far, far behind, is all that they can say.

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On sunny noons upon the deck's smooth face,
Linked arm in arm, how pleasant here to pace ;
Or, o'er the stern reclining, watch below
The foaming wake far widening as we go.
On stormy nights when wild north-westers rave,
How proud a thing to fight with wind and wave !
The dripping sailor on the reeling mast
Exults to bear, and scorns to wish it past.

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Where lies the land to which the ship would go ?
Far, far ahead, is all her seamen know.
And where the land she travels from ? Away,
Far, far behind, is all that they can say.

A, H. CLOUGI.

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355

'O MAY I JOIN THE CHOIR INVISIBLE'

Longum illud tempus, quum non ero, magis me movet, quanı hoc exiguum.—CICERO, ad All. xii. 18.

O may I join the choir invisible
Of those immortal dead who live again
In minds made better by their presence : live
In pulses stirred to generosity,
In deeds of daring rectitude, in scorn
For miserable aims that end with self,
In thoughts sublime that pierce the night like stars,
And with their mild persistence urge man's search
To vaster issues.

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