1884 numbers of the Bay state monthlyBe the first and subjects of first 10 volumes and List of por.

The Granite monthly, a New Hampshire magazine, devoted to literature, history, and state progress (Volume 53) online

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Online Library1884 numbers of the Bay state monthlyBe the first and subjects of first 10 volumes and List of porThe Granite monthly, a New Hampshire magazine, devoted to literature, history, and state progress (Volume 53) → online text (page 36 of 57)
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himself of an unpleasant undertone
of feeling for the lonely man across
the road and a strange cloud of re-
gret for the daughter he remember-
ed most often as a little, pale faced
country girl, standing in her grey
dress between the lilacs and rose-
bushes of the doorvard.

Perhaps it was this jarring of ideas
that drove him to seek light from
Simon himself. Surely he found
little. Evening often saw the Judge
cross the road and enter the wide
doorway to find the old man in the
little rough-walled back room, seated

before the great fireplace, bowed
over a book — usually a dingy calf
bound copy of Belknap's History
that successive generations of Mur-
rays had left standing in the chimney
niche beside the powder horn car-
ried by the first settler of them all.
Yet Simon never seemed to read,
and even the Judge's presence was
powerless to call him back from a
dream that fled beyond walls into the
hill pastures that once had been a
country's pride. Left to himself the
Judge could note the new touch of
disorder and almost of decay in the
dark house, and for minutes together
he used to look out at the dim out-
lines of the Ford farm, falling fast-
er and faster into ruin. Sometimes
he shook his head as the last glow of
the western sky half lighted up the
old door with two wide new boards
nailed tightly across it, remembering
that on the day after Clark's going
he had heard the sound of Simon's
hatchet echoing through the empty
pastures, and had watched him fix
the barrier between the rotting door
posts and with swift axe strokes cut
bars to lay across the gap in the wall
where the road wound in toward
what was once the spacious Ford

Gradually, however, he found that
Simon came to regard him more and
his own thoughts less, and often he
turned uneasily to find the old man's
eyes raised from the history upon
his knees and fixed steadily upon him
Sometimes he thought he saw the
same look of sadness that had mark-
ed his dismissal of Clark ; sometimes
he imagined something very like fear
looked out from beneath the white
eyebrows. But Simon rarely spoke,
and usually his attention drifted
again to his book or to the ashes in
the cold fireplace. It was not until
one early autumn night when the
moonlight marked neat squares upon
the floor that he rose hurriedly and
beckoned the Judge to the window.

Outside the tall grass under the



moonlight looked almost like snow,
and the old orchard took fantastic
shapes weaving strange shadows in a
sea of silver. The old man did not
waver in his glance but pointed far
down toward the bend in the wall by
the road, and whispered, "There she
is !"

The Judge saw nothing hut the
barred gate to the Ford house, and
yet half shivered with the feeling that
silence and moonlight in empty fields
can awake.

"My little lady in grey," Simon
went on eagerly, almost breathlessly.
"There she stands waiting for him
to come back to his father's house."

As he looked the Judge half
fancied he saw a girlish figure in
grey cape and hood, standing by the
apple tree on the old grass road near
the Ford gate. He brushed his eyes
impatiently, and turned from the
window, then back again, and looked
once more. Certainly there was a
figure, indistinct — but moonlight only
half reveals.

"She always was kind of fond of
grev," said the old man, inconse-
quently it seemed.

"She left me because I drove him
away, but she won't leave the place.
She thinks he's man enough to come
back." His voice was mild and full
of a weary sort of patience. "She
wakes me when I sleep, and when 1
read she creeps in on the hearth be-
fore me, but mostly she stands there.
She lifts the door latch when she
goes in and out. but she never .smiles
now. Seems to me she used to
smile a lot."

"Let's go out." The Judge's voice
sounded curiously distant in his own
ears, and he felt a wave of anger at
his weakness.
, "Let's go out and speak to her."

The old man shook his head.

"You go." he said, "but she won't
stay for me. She only comes when
I'm not looking for her, and when I
speak she goes. She's always so far
away from me. You go though, you

go, and tell people old Murray's
crazy rind seeing ghosts!"

So the Judge went out, and once
outside he saw nothing but fields and
moonlight and misty grey patches on
the trunks of the apple trees. Noth-
ing but the silvered grass, the old
road, and the boards nailed across the
Ford doorway. But many nights
thereafter he came back to see the
old man. Many times he furtively
looked from the window, and half
indignantly he found that many
times he thought he saw standing by
the old road that little figure in the
grey cape and hood.

Suddenly, though, existence in
Edgeware grew to be no longer ab-
sorbing for the Judge, for new sights
and sounds intruded and new activ-
ities swept the once self-sufficient
little place. Before he hurried off
to the city to wrestle with the affairs
of a hundred panic-stricken clients,
he marvelled at the sight of uniform-
ed men in the little village street and
heard the selectmen speak to the de-
parting draft men from the platform
beside the new and highly varnished
flagpole in the "Square." Yet in all
Edgeware's war awakening he found
time to wonder how the old man on
the hill faced these flying clouds be-
fore the storm.

He was left to wonder, for war
days of a busy man in a busy city left
no time for rural pilgrimages, until
one day two letters in his crowded
mail woke him to new visions of
Edgeware. Once again were stirred
the strange haunting memories that
throughout his preoccupation had
made a persistent undertone in all his
thoughts until they had come to be
for him the very keynote of his in-
terest in the village and its brooding
hillside. The papers on his desk be-
came suddenly unreal, and to him
came scents of the upland pastures
and the familiar sounds of the dusty
village street.

The first of his leters held a brief
note from his housekeeper on the



hill, and enclosed a tiny clipping.

"Killed in action," it read, "|uly
10, 1918, Sergeant Clark Danforth
Ford, of Edgeware, under circum-
stances of peculiar bravery."

These were the words that headed
the few brief lines. He read on:
"Sergeant Ford, on the outbreak of
the war a traveller and prospector in
the West, hurried hack to Boston to
enlist, and went overseas almost at
once. He has keen recommended for
posthumous decoration."

That was all, and yet, as so many
times before, the Judge saw the vivid
picture of that far-ofT evening in his
house on the hill, hut this time even
more brightly there dawned before
his eyes a queer medley of moonlight
and grass grown roads, and, some-
where in the midst, a strange little
figure in grey cape and hood.

The second letter was from the
Edgeware Public Safety Committee,
with an invitation to he present and
to speak at a memorial service to be
held for Sergeant Clark Danforth
Ford, late of Edgeware, the first man
from the town to die, and one whom
every citLen must be proud to

There was in it something so new
to Edgeware, something so universal
in its appeal, and yet so proudly
local, that the Judge felt it as a call
not to lie denied. And, though he
would have been ashamed to admit
it, with his interest in the village and
its pride in the first son it had sacri-
ficed, there were mingled memories
of an old and haggard white-haired
man and an elf-like figure hooded in

The little church was full. Three
flags stood proudly as the only
decoration, and stirred idly in the
soft breeze that drew down from the
hillside. ( )ne or two officers who had
known Clark spoke of him, simply,
and yet with an unconscious effect
based on the inevitable power of the
surroundings. The Judge, too, felt
himself making his words count for

more than he had dared to hope, as
he spoke of the spirit of youth gone
forth from the hills that reared it, to
die in saving the hills of a noble sis-
ter land. In the faces before him he
saw how close Edgeware was to the
battle line and that it was very sud-
denly made part of a distressed and
heroic world. Edgeware foik were
proud, and the very sun in the vi.lage
street seemed to shine on more than
the mere sand and shavings of a tiny
mill town.

Yet the Judge was not quite con-
tent, and afterward he was not sur-
prised to find himself suggesting to
the officers with whom he talked that
they should see Clark's birthplace on
the hill. As they walked a queer ex-
pectancy seemed to take possession
ol him, and a heated discussion be-
tween his comrades, on the merits of
the Browning gun, failed quite to
drive away the queer little vision in
gi ey that wavered before his eyes.

It was a long climb up the o.d
road, yet the cool breeze that greeted
them at the top of the ridge came as
a surprise to the Judge in waking
him to realize where he was. To the
left stood his own house on the knoll,
to the right was Simon Murray's
dooryard, but it was before the road-
way to the Ford house that he stop-
ped in amazement. The grass was
neatly mowed. The bars of the gate
were down, and the grassy track
stretched on into the yard. There
the lilac bushes sheltering the path
were trimmed. Behind them the
boards across the door were gone,
and the door itself stood open. Be-
side the rosebushes they stopped
again, for in the doorway stood a
figure, erect, strong, and welcoming.
Simon's face was strangely lighted,
and his smile was proud. The stoop
of his shoulders was gone, and the
fear in his eyes had given place to a
deep contentment.

He stepped across the threshold to
meet them, heedless of the crumbling
planks he trod on.



"You've come to see him now he's
back," he said, "and Ellen, too.
Both back after so long. I'm very
proud of him."

Then with his hand on the slant-
ing doorpost, and without a glance
toward the gaping roof where the
sun streamed through the rotten
shingles and fog of tiny cobwebs:
"Back to his old home he fought for.
Back and proud to he here. Back to
the finest house in Edgeware"- he

half motioned toward the fallen sheds
and out-buildings, past the sagging
walls of the house itself- "and the
oldest, next to mine."

He looked higher up the pasture
toward his own silent roof between
the elms. "And now he has Eilen he
has both houses."

The Judge took the old man's hand
and tried to say something to hide the
frank amazement of his companions.
Simon led him into the dusty front
room where the fireplace w r as half
choked with fallen bricks and mor-
tar, and dry leaves rustled fretfully
in the breeze that wandered in
through the empty window frames.

The old man's pride and triumph
spared the Judge the necessity of
further words, and fortunately. In
the doorway he shook Simon's hand
again for the last time, and with a
last look at his tall figure proudly
guarding the home of his daughter
and his new found son. followed his
companions toward the village.

It was not until the shrill buzz of
the saws in the mill, and the appear-
ance of the evening papers thrown
on the station platform from the late
train, had awakened him to a realiza-
tion of up-to-date Edgeware, that he
dared to speculate on the house on
the hill. As it was, it was not until
he was half way home that he dared
ask his companions of the afternoon
the question that had been shaping it-
itself on his lips for hours.

"Did you see a little woman in
grey beside that old man on the hill

The major kept on dealing his
cards, but the young lieutenant found
time in throwing away his cigarette
to answer, "No. Did you?"

"I thought I' did," said the Judge.


By Blanche Finkle Gile.
(Burlington, Vermont)

My mind is proud, resentful,

And sternly through the day.

It drives the haunting thoughts of you

Determinedlv away.

At night they sw r oop upon me
And mad possession take,
For while my mind is fast asleep
My heart is wide awake.


The generous offer by Mr. Brookes
More of a $50 prize for the best
poem published in the Granite
Monthly during the year 1921 has
evoked a degree of interest through-
out the country which is most pleas-
ing to the editor of the magazine and
must be to Mr. More. Looking over
the entries thus far made in the con-
test and not previously printed, we
find that thirty-four states, two
Canadian provinces and France are
represented in the competition and it
occurs to us that an interesting idea
of sectional taste and style in litera-
ture may be given by publishing in

this number one poem from every
one of the geographical divisions
mentioned. The prize winning poem
may and may not be included in this
collection. That will be for the
judges, Professor Bates, Mr. Braith-
waite and ex-Governor Bartlett, to
say. Some excellent verse has been
printed in the prior issues of the
Granite Monthly for this year. Some
of the best poems we have received,
especially from Massachusetts and
New Hampshire, are still held in
reserve because of the decision to
print but one poem from each state
this month.


By D. E. Adams.
(Farmington, Maine)

Mount Washington ! Thy hoary head

Hath seen the passing of untold generations

Marching .down the endless files of time !

In rugged peace thy massive head reclining

Hath watched the slow succession of the onward years —

'Mid storm and sunshine, 'mid the gale's wild fury,

Through drifting snows and icy blasts of winters, end on

Thou hast beheld the little race of men pass on.
And of thy massive strength thou giv'st to each as ever
That boon for which he seeks thy lofty fastness:
To youth — the joy of contest, and the meed of valor won—
To age — surcease from toil, and rest for wearied heart and

brain —
To sorrow — consolation in the kinship of thy mighty and

enduring rocks :
To joy — the fuller joy of racing breezes, and of distant

To all thy sons the mighty inspiration of thy noble self,
The glory of thy flaming dawns and glowing sunsets —
The mystery of thy flowing veils of cloud —
The knowledge that thou art, and ever shalt be standing
As long as earth endures, eternal — the pledge and handi-
work of God.



By Claribel Weeks Avery.
(Rumney, New Hampshire)

When my garden fills with glory

at the rising of the sun,
And the silver dew points glisten
on the greenage and the sod.
Yellow 1 dooms on the tomatoes,
White and gold of the potatoes,
Lift and quiver in the sunshine
Like a morning hymn to God.
Not in hallowed walls will I
Raise my full heart to the sky.
Or go blindly to my closet where

the day has not begun;
1 will seek my Lord in places
Where the glad soil sings Mis graces.
And my garden fills with glory
at the rising of the sun.


By Janet Elizabeth Curtis.
(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Intimate notes of reed and string,
The English horn's refrain.
The coursing flight of buoyant flute,
Harmonic storms that wane.

The clarinet's Clear trehle voice.
Deep, solemn sounds of brass,
The answering call of rolling drums
And cymbals rousing crash.

So is life's symphony composed

Of strains that rise and swell

With one bright motive through its course

Like the note of a philomel.

May my own end as the symphony's
Be one of quiet theme,
A burst of reverent gratitude
Then silence great, supreme.



By Ethel Hope.
(Dayton, Ohio)

I sometimes wonder if you once were mine.
Bright hour that stayed with me so brief a space
Elusive as a bird whose course we trace
But faintly; then no longer can divine
Jts path. To me you ever seem a shrine
Where naught that's aught but pure can know a place;
Where life is purged from all that could be base,
And lifted up to noble things and fine.

Through all my life your subtle fragrance goes
Like some enchanted thing dispelling gloom—
A healing balm for sorrow and dee]) woes ;
As in old gardens where fair flowers bloom,
The air redacts the sweetness of the rose,
And breathes forth all its wonderful perfume.


By Lelah M. Austin.
(English, Indiana)

I, dear, once stood at the apex of life,

And viewed from the vantage point of youth

A world filled with labor and endless strife
'Ti.s true; but purity, love and truth

Were there, would 1 faithfully travel on.

Ambitions, dear son, beyond sex, filled my heart,
Clothed in glory, made easy the unseen task.

Before lay success in a finished art
Which, once attained, would let me bask

In the applause and approval of earth's best.

1, my boy, turned aside, to a band outstretched.
And love made duties some deem commonplace.

Gone were dreams of honor, and far out-reached
Were fame and glory, for in their place

Lay a downy head ciose against my breast.

You, ( )h son, some day, as 1 stood, will stand
At that vantage point and find all things fair.

Must you then, when life's duties the best demand,
Make your labor a setting for triumph rare.

A gem benefitting two lives, yours and mine.



By Clara Cox Epperson.
(Cookeville, Tennessee)

1 have a little room high up beneath the roof,
A little room all white and clean and sweet

Where 1 can go to rest.
And as 1 lie and look out on the sky
.And on the pale moon sailing swift and high,
I hear tlu- birds sing in the summer night,
Glad heralds of the dawn's first shaft of light,
And my soul goes wandering up, away and far
Above the things of earth, its grief and gloom.
And out there with tfi2 stars, the moon, and you, Dear

Sometimes I fain would not come back to my dear room.
My little, still, white room heneath the roof.


By Anne Hamilton Gordon.
(Washington, District of Columbia)

They are so fair, the mountains that I love.
And wise through long communion with space—
Upon their quiet hrows the shadows move
Like smiles tliat steal across a well-loved face.

Beneath their gaze comes spring with soft caress
To tip with bloom the meanest wayside thorn-
Bold autumn dons her full exotic dress
And marshals in her golden ranks of corn.

There is the rich, red earth ; the vivid green
( )f wheatfields, set like jewels in the land

The sin dn>- streams; the little hills serene

Still, over all, immutable they stand.

C) mountains that I love. I feel your might.
The peace that dwells within your spacious breast;
And I would .steep my spirit in your light,
.And in your silence lay my pain to rest

But ah, your fearful beauty is too great
Too infinitely keen to bring release -
i watch you, and my heart stands desolate
Sensing in vain its own vast need of peace.



By Julie Korwin.
(Illiers, France)

At Eventide — when light hegins to haze.
And showering through the waving foliage,
Reluctant to depart, in twilight lingering stays.

At Eventide — when skylarks soaring sing.

And all creation shouts a song of joy,

While we in harmony find good in everything.

At Eventide — when I would fain caress

Each living moment under God's great sky—

There comes the peace of all that's real, in restfulness.


By Mary Burke
(Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin)

All guarded by the mists of innocence and pride,
Mists rosy with the light our dreams have scattered wide,
We see the world as good, as beautiful and fair.
While Romance and Success await our efforts there.

Rut unto all must come the time when mists grow thin,
When dream-lamps lose their charm, and daylight enters in
Then, indistinct and gray, the real world we see ;
Oh, does it look to you as first it looked to me?

So ugly, dark and grim, with nothing you can trust,
For all you see is sham, while Greed lurks there, and Lust ?
Nearby on every side are slimy pitfalls spread?
Oh, does it look to you a world to fear, and dread?

But some place there the sun is shining bravely through ;
Its rays make some spot bright, to cheer and comfort you ;
Though now its light is faint, the space illumined small ;
Oh, strive hard to conceive, it might shine over all.

It is the sun of love for all your fellow men.

Of understanding too, excusing yet again.

Then let its beams disperse, yes, let them scatter wide

Those vision-clouding mists of ignorance and pride.

For where its glory falls, undreamed of splendors glow,

Its radiance reveals a realm you do not know ;

A thousand timid joys, exquisite wings unfold,

Your gray and ugly world becomes as shimmering gold.



By Lilian Sue Kerch
(Baltimore, Maryland)

Upon the roof the slow rain falls.

To seep like tears between the mossy eaves.

The staring windows gape in walls

Vine covered, and the sad wind grieves

In gusty sighs, driving the rustling leaves.

The creaking shutters chant a mournful song
Of bygone days, and in the window pane
The byzzing wasp is droning all day long.
A sagging door bangs in the wind and rain.
Forlorn, the cock twirls on the weather vane.

Inside the hall, the spiders weave their looms
Before the yawning fireplace, and the bats
Flit swiftly through the empty, silent rooms.
The chimney swallow whirs, and through the

Of broken walls creep in the starving rats.


By Laura A. Dames.
(Nursery, Texas)

One lingering ray of pink in the west

Fades out of sight.
One twinkling star in a dome of blue

Calls forth the night ;
The twittering doves send from the eaves

Their good night -call ;
The jonquils sway in the drowsy breeze

And night dews fall ;
The insects drone a sleepy song

In the leafy trees ;
The grasses whisper among themselves

Of rest and ease ;
The brook in the vale sings soft and low

A lullaby;
While Baby's eyelids droop and close .

With a fluttering sigh ;
The soothing cadence of the hour

Has cast its spell ;
The healing miracle of night

Brings peace — All's well !



By Jay Fitzgerald.
(Center Valley, New Mexico)

He took the sunshine with him when he went

Beyond the far, far Western hills.'

All the brave, bright hues of morning

Flashed across his fair horizon. Then

Fell the dark

E'er yet his noon had shone.

Leaving but the sunset flush of glory

And this moon.

This little crescent moon

Of memory.

The pathway bloomed with flowers as he passed,

Sweet flowers of spring: the violet and the primrose.

Then soft the asters nodded to the brook

And goldenrod ran o'er hill and dale ;

But his bright June roses blighted

E'er the bloom.

Leaving but the thorns of withered hope

And this flower.

This only crimson flower,

Of love and memory.


By Frances . {very Faunce.
(Salem, Massachusetts)

I cannot tell whether the sunrise hue

Spread gold or copper on the cloudy sheep,

Huddled in morning spaces through the blue-
Pale blue, night-spent with guarding mortal sleep.

I cannot think how morning gathered up
Colors so infinite, how she gave birth

To saffron tints not known to buttercup.
Or gleaming star, or precious ore of earth.

I do not know why God should send a bird
Sweeping beneath the moon with silver wings,

< )r why the lapping of the sea was heard.
Speaking the marvel of diviner things.

The way of dawn 1 need not comprehend.

For I have shared the wonder with a friend.



By Annabel Morris Buchanan.
(Marion, Virginia)

Before you came, my spirit was striving vainly,

As a caged bird, breaking its wings on its prison bars;

Now, in sudden joyous release, upsoaring,

Only vour voice shall call me home from the stars !


By Grace Clementine Howes.
(Boise, Idaho)

My windows are wide open to the night
That overflows with moonlight.

It is so stilh-

Just a mere breath touching the hushed trees.
The earth lies like a mage's glamorous garden—
A.S if in some strange, deep enchantment.

The trees have hung a curtain of leaves

Before the sky.

Woven in patterns of fern

And feathery plume.

Thru them the moon spills down

Her silent, mystic rain of gold:

Every leaf and twig drips warm, pale gold,

( )ver the window ledge streams fluid gold,

A pool of gold lies on my floor.

1 splashes wash across my bed.
Until 1 am drenched in beauty.
Magic leaf traceries play over me.

Deepening beyond the rifted lace of the leaves.

The moonlight spreads and rises like a tide,

A radiant inundation of still music.

Online Library1884 numbers of the Bay state monthlyBe the first and subjects of first 10 volumes and List of porThe Granite monthly, a New Hampshire magazine, devoted to literature, history, and state progress (Volume 53) → online text (page 36 of 57)