HOPE AND FEAR Beneath the shadow of dawn's aerial cope,With eyes enkindled as the sun's own sphere,Hope from the front of youth in godlike cheerLooks Godward, past the shades where blind men gropeRound the dark door that prayers nor dreams can ope,And makes for joy the very darkness dearThat gives her wide wings play; nor dreams that fearAt noon may rise and pierce the heart of hope.Then, when the soul leaves off to dream and yearn,May truth first purge her eyesight to discernWhat once being known leaves time no power to appal;Till youth at last, ere yet youth be not, learnThe kind wise word that falls from years that fall—"Hope thou not much, and fear thou not at all."
AFTER SUNSET "Si quis piorum Manibus locus." I Straight from the sun's grave in the deep clear westA sweet strong wind blows, glad of life: and I,Under the soft keen stardawn whence the skyTakes life renewed, and all night's godlike breastPalpitates, gradually revealed at restBy growth and change of ardours felt on high,Make onward, till the last flame fall and dieAnd all the world by night's broad hand lie blest.Haply, meseems, as from that edge of death,Whereon the day lies dark, a brightening breathBlows more of benediction than the morn,So from the graves whereon grief gazing saithThat half our heart of life there lies forlornMay light or breath at least of hope be born. II The wind was soft before the sunset fled:Now, while the cloud-enshrouded corpse of dayIs lowered along a red funereal wayDown to the dark that knows not white from red, A clear sheer breeze against the night makes head,Serene, but sure of life as ere a raySprings, or the dusk of dawn knows red from grey,Being as a soul that knows not quick from dead.From far beyond the sunset, far above,Full toward the starry soundless east it blowsBright as a child's breath breathing on a rose,Smooth to the sense as plume of any dove;Till more and more as darkness grows and glowsSilence and night seem likest life and love. III If light of life outlive the set of sunThat men call death and end of all things, thenHow should not that which life held best for menAnd proved most precious, though it seem undoneBy force of death and woful victory won,Be first and surest of revival, whenDeath shall bow down to life arisen again?So shall the soul seen be the self-same oneThat looked and spake with even such lips and eyesAs love shall doubt not then to recognise,And all bright thoughts and smiles of all time pastRevive, transfigured, but in spirit and senseNone other than we knew, for evidenceThat love's last mortal word was not his last.
A STUDY FROM MEMORY If that be yet a living soul which hereSeemed brighter for the growth of numbered springsAnd clothed by Time and Pain with goodlier thingsEach year it saw fulfilled a fresh fleet year,Death can have changed not aught that made it dear;Half humorous goodness, grave-eyed mirth on wingsBright-balanced, blither-voiced than quiring strings;Most radiant patience, crowned with conquering cheer;A spirit inviolable that smiled and sangBy might of nature and heroic needMore sweet and strong than loftiest dream or deed;A song that shone, a light whence music rangHigh as the sunniest heights of kindliest thought;All these must be, or all she was be nought.
TO DR. JOHN BROWN Beyond the north wind lay the land of oldWhere men dwelt blithe and blameless, clothed and fedWith joy's bright raiment and with love's sweet bread,The whitest flock of earth's maternal fold.None there might wear about his brows enrolledA light of lovelier fame than rings your head,Whose lovesome love of children and the deadAll men give thanks for: I far off beholdA dear dead hand that links us, and a lightThe blithest and benignest of the night,The night of death's sweet sleep, wherein may beA star to show your spirit in present sightSome happier island in the Elysian seaWhere Rab may lick the hand of Marjorie....