THE KINGDOM OF LOVE
In the dawn of the day when the sea and the earth Reflected the sunrise above,I set forth with a heart full of courage and mirth To seek for the Kingdom of Love.I asked of a Poet I met on the way Which cross-road would lead me aright;And he said “Follow me, and ere long you shall see Its glittering turrets of light.”
And soon in the distance a city shone fair. “Look yonder,” he said; “How it gleams!”But alas! for the hopes that were doomed to despair, It was only the “Kingdom of Dreams.”Then the next man I asked was a gay Cavalier, And he said: “Follow me, follow me”;And with laughter and song we went speeding along By the shores of Life’s beautiful sea.
Then we came to a valley more tropical far Than the wonderful vale of Cashmere,And I saw from a bower a face like a flower Smile out on the gay Cavalier;And he said: “We have come to humanity’s goal: Here love and delight are intense.”But alas and alas! for the hopes of my soul— It was only the “Kingdom of Sense.”
As I journeyed more slowly I met on the road A coach with retainers behind;And they said: “Follow me, for our Lady’s abode Belongs in that realm, you will find.”’Twas a grand dame of fashion, a newly-made bride, I followed, encouraged and bold;But my hopes died away like the last gleams of day, For we came to the “Kingdom of Gold.”
At the door of a cottage I asked a fair maid. “I have heard of that realm,” she replied;“But my feet never roam from the ‘Kingdom of Home,’ So I know not the way,” and she sighed.I looked on the cottage; how restful it seemed! And the maid was as fair as a dove.Great light glorified my soul as I cried: “Why, Home is the ‘Kingdom of Love’!”MEG’S CURSE
The sun rode high in a cloudless sky Of a perfect summer morn.She stood and gazed out into the street, And wondered why she was born.On the topmost branch of a maple-tree That close by the window grew,A robin called to his mate enthralled: “I love but you, but you, but you.”
A soft look came in her hardened face— She had not wept for years;But the robin’s trill, as some sounds will, Jarred open the door of tears.She thought of the old home far away; She heard the whr-r-r of the mill;She heard the turtle’s wild, sweet call, And the wail of the whip-poor-will, whip-poor-will, whip-poor-will.
She saw again that dusty road Whence he came riding down;She smelled once more the flower she wore In the breast of her simple gown.Out on the new-mown meadow she heard Two blue-jays quarrel and fret,And the warning cry of a Phoebe bird “More wet, more wet, more wet.”
With a blithe “Hello” to the men below Who were spreading the new-mown hay,The rider drew rein at her window-pane— How it all came back to-day!How young she was, and how fair she was; What innocence crowned her brow...!