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Custer, and Other Poems.

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High Noon

Time's finger on the dial of my lifePoints to high noon! and yet the half-spent dayLeaves less than half remaining, for the dark,Bleak shadows of the grave engulf the end.

To those who burn the candle to the stick,The sputtering socket yields but little light.Long life is sadder than an early death.We cannot count on raveled threads of ageWhereof to weave a fabric. We must useThe warp and woof the ready present yieldsAnd toil while daylight lasts. When I bethinkHow brief the past, the future still more brief,Calls on to action, action! Not for meIs time for retrospection or for dreams,Not time for self-laudation or remorse.Have I done nobly? Then I must not letDead yesterday unborn to-morrow shame.Have I done wrong? Well, let the bitter tasteOf fruit that turned to ashes on my lipBe my reminder in temptation's hour,And keep me silent when I would condemn.Sometimes it takes the acid of a sinTo cleanse the clouded windows of our soulsSo pity may shine through them.

Looking back,My faults and errors seem like stepping-stonesThat led the way to knowledge of the truthAnd made me value virtue; sorrows shineIn rainbow colors o'er the gulf of years,Where lie forgotten pleasures.

Looking forth,Out to the western sky still bright with noon,I feel well spurred and booted for the strifeThat ends not till Nirvana is attained.

Battling with fate, with men and with myself,Up the steep summit of my life's forenoon,Three things I learned, three things of precious worthTo guide and help me down the western slope.I have learned how to pray, and toil, and save.To pray for courage to receive what comes,Knowing what comes to be divinely sent.To toil for universal good, since thusAnd only thus can good come unto me.To save, by giving whatsoe'er I haveTo those who have not, this alone is gain.


She waited in a rose-hued room;A wanton-hearted creature she,But beautiful and bright to seeAs some great orchid just in bloom.

Upon wide cushions stretched at easeShe lolled in garments filmy fine,Which but enhanced each rounded line;A living picture, framed to please.

A bold electric eye of lightLeered through its ruddy screen of laceAnd feasted on her form and faceAs some wine-crimsoned roué might.

From wall and niche, nude nymph beguiledFair goddesses of world-wide fame,But Psyche's self was put to shameBy one who from the cushions smiled.

Exotic blossoms from a vaseTheir sweet narcotic breath exhaled;The lights, the objects round her paled—She lost the sense of time and place.

She seemed to float upon the air,Untrammeled, unrestricted, free;And rising from a vapory seaShe saw a form divinely fair.

A beauteous being in whose faceShone all things sweet and true and good.The innocence of maidenhood,The motherhood of all the race.

The warmth which comes from heavenly fire,The strength which leads the weaker manTo climb to God's Eternal planAnd conquer and control desire.

She shook as with a mighty awe,For, gazing on this shape which stoodEmbodying all true womanhood,She knew it was herself she saw....