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(LIBRARY^)
UNIVERSITY OF
CALIFORNIA
SAN DIEGO J



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NORTHLAND LYRICS




NORTHLAND LYRICS

BY WILLIAM CARMAN ROBERTS

THEODORE ROBERTS & ELIZABETH ROBERTS

MACDONALD SELECTED AND ARRANGED WITH

A PROLOGUE BY CHARLES G. D. ROBERTS

AND AN EPILOGUE BY BLISS CARMAN




BOSTON

SMALL MAYNARD & COMPANY
MDCCCXCIX



Copyright, 1899, by

Small, Maynard & Company

(Incorporated}



Entered at Stationers' Ha/1



The Everett Press, Boston, U.S.A.



To

Emma Wetmore Roberts



CONTENTS



xi A Foreword to Northland Lyrics

CHARLES G. D. ROBERTS



Beyond the Golden Gates of Song

A Dedication

The Poet

Kinsfolk

The Night's Comfort

A Song of Climbing

In an Old Garden

The Journey

10 Another Company

1 1 The Quiet Port

To Goodridge Bliss Roberts

The Conqueror

The Wine

The Window of Dream

A Song of Her Singing

Andante

The Chamber of the Dream

The Watcher

Love's Inclusions

The Tower

A Prayer in a Garden

To Lilith

At the Last

" WinterWarms His FreezingHand "

A Whispered Word

Sunset

VII



12

13
H

'5

1?

18
'9

22

23

2 4

25
26
26
28
2 9
29



E. R. MACD.

W. C. R.

T. R.

E. R. MACD.
T. R.

E. R. M A cD.

W. C. R.

T. R.

T. R.

E. R. MACD.

E. R. M A cD.

E. R. M A cD.

T. R.

W. C. R.

W. C. R.

W. C. R.

T. R.

T. R.

E. R. M A cD.

E. R. MACD.

T. R.

W. C. R.

W. C. R.

T. R.

E. R. MACD.
E. R. MACD.



Contents



The Voices E. R. MxcD.

Ex Umbris E. R. M A cD.

32 In the Night-Season E. R. MACD.

32 The Last Furrow T. R.

On the Hills a God Lies Dead " T. R.

To W. C. R. T. R.

Socobie's Passing T. R.

Estranged W. C. R.

Autumn Dream W. C. R.

Haunted W. C. R.

The Wind in the Garden W. C. R.

40 An Autumn Night E. R. MACD.

41 The Wind-Cry E. R. M A cD.
Beyond the Years W. C. R.
The Wanderer W. C. R.
A Secret Song E. R. MACD.

44 Thanksgiving E. R. M A cD.

45 The Fading Year E. R. M AC D.

46 Heimweh E. R. M A cD.

47 Surprise E. R.

47 Greeting E. R.

48 Spirit of Spring E. R. M A cD.

49 March- Waking E. R. MxcD.

49 Beyond the Hills E. R. M A cD.

50 From the Earth E. R. MACD.

51 The Shooting of the Moose T. R.

52 Olaf's Bowman T. R.

53 The Shadowy Tide W. C. R.

54 To an Old Ship's Figure-Head T. R.

VIII



29
3



33
35
36
37
38
39
4



42
43

43



Contents



55 Inscrutable

56 Harold

57 Grey Garry

58 Smoke- Wreaths

60 The Deeps

6 1 Before the Gate

62 The Loup-Garou

63 Kathaleena E.

64 Rosemarie E.

65 His Whim

66 After

67 To the Lord of the Years

68 Toasts

70 Before the Duel

71 The Novice

72 At the Heart's Cry

74 Alien

75 At Twilight

76 Slumber-Song E.

77 Berceuse E.

78 The Garden E.

79 The Men of My Heart's Desire

80 A Lament to the Memory of Archibald

Lampman

8 1 Dargai Ridge

83 The Bugle-Call E.



W. C. R.

T. R.

T. R.
W. C. R.
W. C. R.
W. C. R.
W. C. R.
R. MACD.
R. MACD.
W. C. R.
W. C R.
W. C. R.

T. R.

T. R.
W. C. R.
W. C. R.
W. C. R.
W. C. R.
R. MACD.
R. MACD.
R. MACD.

T. R.

T. R.

T. R.

R. MACD.



85 At the End of a Book



BLISS CARMAN



IX



A FOREWORD TO
NORTHLAND LYRICS

To E. R. MacD., W. C. ., T. R.

Sister and brothers, not by blood alone
Kinship inalienably dear we own,
Nor hearts close-knit in common joys and tears
And memories of sweet, familiar years

That pledge the deep endurance of our love ;

But also by the fellowship of song,
One art, one aim, one impulse, we belong
Each to the others ! Therefore let this word,
Though poor, amid your Northland notes be heard
For craft and kin and the loyal warmth thereof.
CHARLES G. D. ROBERTS.



VII



NORTHLAND LYRICS



BEYOND THE GOLDEN GATES
OF SONG

Beyond the golden gates of Song

Who treads with reverent feet shall find

The dreams and visions cherished long,
The loftier longings unresigned ;

The sacred memories that wake
Our lives to noble yearnings still,

The quiet love no years can break
Nor any earthly hour fulfil;

And many a dear and distant hour
When gladness flooded land and sea,

And many a word whose tender power
Yet stirs our souls to victory ;

And so to win our lives' release

From out the world's tumultuous throng,
We pass, with lips that sue for peace,

Beyond the golden gates of Song.

A DEDICATION

These foolish rhymes of a foolish rhymer
One who has laughed and cried,



Northland Lyrics

And dreamed at times of a mood sublimer
I send, this Autumn-tide.

Not quite a thinker nor quite a poet,

Though touched with the whims of each;

With much to learn and fain to know it,
But never a thing to teach,

Except some rune of the gold leaves lying

In the arms of the whispering frost,
While under the stars the geese are flying

And the frozen winds are tossed;

Or the far, sweet word of the Spring-winds calling

Our brothers out of the sod,
With the gold-bright drops of the Spring rain falling,

And joy in the heart of God.

Poor scraps of dream from a heart world-weary,

The rhymes you'll find within;
But take at their hands the message, dearie,

Of love from your kith and kin;

And say to yourself when you see them after,
There is one who is foolish and fond,

Whose heart is moulded of tears and laughter
And dust, and a dream beyond.



Northland Lyrics

THE POET

God, give me breath for one brave fight
For one great deed that the world will hear;
If not, then God give me night.

Night, with a candle to light the gloom,
And the comfort shadows and twilight cheer,
Crowding like friends in the room.

God, give me valor, and courage, and breath
For one great fight that the stars will see;
If not, then God give me death.

Death, with one candle to light the gloom
From the church to the door of Eternity
Where, Lord, Thou wilt portion my doom.

Better the death, ere the beard be grown,
Than the idle waiting with sheathed sword
Uncheered, uncrowned, unknown.

God, give me breath for one fight more
For one great fight in Thy name, O Lord;
If not, then close me the door.

Thus sang the Dreamer, with hands along
The clanging strings then, loosing his lyre,
He flushed with the pride of his song;
3



Northland Lyrics

For he was a poet, and lived in the gleam
Of the wonderful deeds that he touched to fire j-
How brave he was in his dream !



KINSFOLK

Oh, fame may heap its measure,
And hope its blossoms strew,

And proud ambition call us,

And honour urge us through

But kinsfolk, kinsfolk,
My heart is all for you.

When stately halls are ringing
With mirth and light and song,

Among the mazy dances
The forms familiar throng,

And speak above the viols
The voices loved so long.

When wandering far I visit

Grey tower and haunted stream,

Beyond the storied casements

Those earliest hearth-fires gleam,

And dear Canadian forests
Grow dark around my dream.



Northland Lyrics

No strange and lovely countries
Men venture far to view,

No power and gifts and glory
Are worth one heart-beat true ;

Kinsfolk, kinsfolk,

My heart is all for you !

THE NIGHT'S COMFORT

i.

I think the power of dream
Is the power the spirit knows
Over the crushing of fate,
Over the grinding snows;
The strength of the Galahad-heart,
Stronger than barbed spears
The soaring of Chatterton
Beyond the beggarly years.

II.

I think the power of dream
Is subtle and fine like song
Like essence of harvest fields
When harvest days are long ;
Gold and strong and rare,
Healing the dreamer's brain
Filling his shadowed heart
With softened laughter again.
5



Northland Lyrics

in.

I think the realm of dream
Is true as the realm of day j
The houses our souls have built
Border the dreamland way ;
The love that we may not reach,
The heart that is bitter cold,
Soften, when night comes down
With white stars manifold.

IV.

When the sunset fires are out
And the ashes blown abroad,
I throw aside day's rags
And follow my dreamland god.
He leads me into a place
Where dreams are woven me;
Valour and love and joy
Like a wonderful tapestry.

A SONG OF CLIMBING

Dim questionings of Fate and Time

Beset our souls on every side ;
Clouds thicken round the path we climb,
Yet strive we to the height sublime,
Or perish if the worst betide.
6



Northland Lyrics

What worse could happen than to lie

Here in the valley leisurely,
To watch the clouds go drifting by,
And feel our powers grow faint and die

To one tame, weak monotony ?

To see our mountain's shining gold
Gleam far above us height on height,

And know the comrades loved of old

Yearn from it vainly to behold

Our upward strife, our deeds of might ?

Nay, face the terrors of the way,

The rock-pierced torrent's angry roar,
Grim walls that blind the eyes of day,
Sharp, swift descents for feet that stray,
And awesome birds that swoop and soar.

Ah, better steadfast-eyed to scale
The awful hillside hand in hand,

For never yet without avail

Did one true striving soul assail
The barriers of the Mountain-land.

Rouse we our spirits to the race.

Friends ! Brothers ! From the walls above
Leans many an unforgotten face
7



Northland Lyrics

Still wearing through its new-born grace
The old sweet look of human love.

On ! On ! A hand for those who fall,

For those who droop a song of cheer,
Ears quick to catch the Leader's call,
Stout hearts the gloom shall not appal,
For lo ! the towers of Home are near !

There watching by the open door

Shine Cuthbert's heavenly eyes of blue,
There Muriel waits to meet once more
The earth-born loves she hungered for,
To clasp our hands and lead us through.

There shall our lost ones wait, and there

The height, the dream of our desire,
Supreme fulfilment, answered prayer
From lip to lip the watchword bear,

The cry of Home ! Through flood and fire !



IN AN OLD GARDEN

Sir Gold-Plush Beetle, in your crimson rose

With you how goes
This life of perfume breeze and pollen gold

Above the garden mold ?



Northland Lyrics

Does any thread of longing in your heart

At criss-cross start,

When some strange, wandering, bourneless thing
goes by

Beyond, against the sky ?

A wide-winged moth, or twilight-weaving bat

But what of that ?
Perhaps it set some wild, quick chord athrill

Only the stars can still.



THE JOURNEY

When will I have to go ?

Morning, or noon, or night ?
Will the lilies be white or the snow

When I buckle the girths all tight ?

When will I have to leave

This roomy old house and gay ?

Will my roistering fellows grieve
When they hear me gallop away ?

Gallop away in the night

From the light of the mirthful room
With their faces still in my sight

As I set my face to the gloom.
9



Northland Lyrics

How long will the riding be

Through the sunlight and fog and blur ?
Friends, whisper a prayer for me

When I buckle on sword and spur.

For the road will be rough to the ford
And the spirits will shout in the gloom

When I gallop and beat with my sword
At the narrow door of my tomb.

ANOTHER COMPANY

Do you not know, my friends, that sometimes here

In this dim room with books along the wall

I entertain another company

Where no wine gleams, no circled ashes fall ?

The merry jests we know the narratives
Of brave adventure, which we tell to cheer,
When uttered by these other guests of mine
Ring, through their wide smiles, like a falling tear.

Last night they all came in, Ambition, Doubt,
Care with his heavy eyes and broken dream,
Life with his cynic smile and dainty hands,
And Memory, too, with her dear eyes agleam.

Ambition, golden-haired, was all agog ;
Doubt sat there moping at the window-pane,
10



Northland Lyrics

And Memory leaned against my dusty books
And counted her bright treasures o'er again.

I loved Ambition, for he promised me

Great things green wreaths a name to belt the

world ;

I glanced at Life who sat beside the hearth
And saw his cynic lips with laughter curled.

But as the night advanced Ambition left,

And Doubt and Life and Care, those brothers three.

So I sat on, until the dawn came in

Beneath the tears of wondrous Memory.

Do you not know, my comrades, true of heart,
That I pledge other eyes at other times ?
That heavy-shouldered Doubt has his own chair
And brave Ambition fires my little rhymes ?

THE QUIET PORT

There lies a quiet port across the sea

Where the proud sail is furled,
Where the bright banner flares and flaunts no more

That once waved round the world.

There the brave ships that steered for other shores,
That fought the bitter blast
ii



Northland Lyrics

And dared the unknown straits, the frost-hung bays,
Find harbourage at last.

And those white barques that sought the isles of
dream,

The lands of love's report,
They too, though steering gladly otherwhere.

Have found the quiet port.

There the dark night comes down around them,
there

The weary captains rest,
The homesick voyager bows down his head,

The sage forgets his quest.

But yet, ah even while we fall on sleep,

We are content to wait ;
Comrades, the land of our desire is near,

This port is but its gate.



TO GOODRIDGE BLISS ROBERTS

All night the crickets sing among the flowers
That watch beside you, sleeping on the hill,

And low winds whisper through the lonely hours
That though we sleep our love is with you still.



12



Northland Lyrics

Some respite slumber brings us from our pain,
For bygone days and hours of lost delight

Come back, and you are with us, dear, again
Though by your grave the low winds singto-night.

THE CONQUEROR

Where are the eyes we loved,

Tender and full of light ?
Where are the hands we held

Stumbling on through the night ?
Gone they are gone as a lamp

Dies, blown out by a breath !
What have you done with our dear ones,
Death ?

Where, from our eager eyes

Withheld for a bitter space,
Do they wait till our hasting feet

Have brought us face to face ?
Let us on to the Land

That shines at the end of the quest,
Where they who passed from our side
Rest.

Death, who took them away,

Now they are yours no more ;
He who went through the vale

'3



Northland Lyrics

And drank of the cup before
Is Master even of thee,

Yea, thou shalt fall at His word,
For He is over us all
Lord.

On in the storm we strive,

And thou dost lurk in the strife,

Ever subtle and strong
In the very midst of life :

A touch and the face we love
Loses the mystic spark ;

We are left in the lonely night
Dark.

Yet we strive in the way,
For out of the gloom a voice

Comes to us, clarion-sweet,
Bidding our souls rejoice.

" I am the Resurrection,"

Hear what the White Christ saith ;

He is thy Lord and Master,
Death !

THE WINE

He breaks the seal, he pours the wine ;
We find the flavor somewhat hard,
But the color is divine.



Northland Lyrics

And we must drink it to the lees :
See yonder coward lift the cup
And drain it on his knees.

If we must down it, hard and sweet,
Bitter and mellow, we will up
And drink it on our feet;

Drink it like men of giant race
Pledge to our host, who stands not far
With smiles across his face.

He knows the flavor and bouquet.
He forces it on every guest,
Grinning the same old way.

He keeps the flagon on the shelf
And gives us each a mighty glass,
But will not drink himself.

He will not drink, but we must drink ;
So let us toss the stuff and bow
Only the cowards shrink.

THE WINDOW OF DREAM

On the edge of the deep grey sea of sleep

Between the veils of the rain
A casement gleams with the light of dreams,
15



Northland Lyrics

Glimmers, and fades again
While my heart goes keening out to it

Through the volleying gusts in vain.

The window is set (O heart, forget)

In walls of looming stone,
And she is there, of the shadowy hair,

Waiting so long alone,
Whose eyes my soul would perish for

love, desired, unknown.

Now and again through the streaming pane

1 see her longing face

O love, I come, and my lips are dumb

And wan with many a trace
Of hungerings unsatisfied

For your eternal grace.

The long waves lift and the great winds drift
My heart to the sands of night,

Where the end of all is the looming wall
And never a door in sight,

While over the breaking sea there lies
The casement's lonely light.



16



Northland Lyrics

A SONG OF HER SINGING

The wind at the casement enters, like a child's soul

into the dusk,
With the cool, fresh scent of the garden, a fragrance

of roses and musk.

Sing me a song, my love, and plead with the ivory
keys

Till the soul of the organ wakes, astir with such vi-
sions as these,

While the golden day fades slowly among the garden
trees

And I hear the robins coining their hearts upon the
breeze.

Sing me a song, my love, of joys more sharp than

pain,
The sweet, wild heart of dream athrill in the Autumn

rain,
The pleasure that crowns us now, the joy that will

find us again.

O love, with the beating and rapture of the spirit of

life in your eyes,
Sing low of the passionate yearning, the heart's first

faint surmise;

'7



Northland Lyrics

Of the fairy quest, and the capture; the silence, the

rapt replies;
Sing softlier, love, sing lower, till the hush on my

spirit lies.

ANDANTE

Your fingers sweep the keys, and then

By river reach and iris fen

The long dead days come back again.

Smile on me once again, and so
Waft me on music soft and low
Down the far hills of long ago,

Where lonely sunsets blow and fade
For one whose haunted heart has strayed
At evening to the upland glade

Where he can hear the wild geese cry

Across the solitary sky,

And the cold sweeping winds go by

With broken words that laugh and weep
Like some one troubled in his sleep
By visions of the calling deep.

Strange forest-girdled lakes, whose moods
Lie hidden in far solitudes
Where no irreverent foot intrudes;
18



Northland Lyrics

Black, tossing rapids, through whose roar
A vague, great voice forevermore
Goes echoing from shore to shore;

All phases of that wilderness

Whose close communion used to bless

My boyhood in its loneliness;

All these across my spirit's ken

Sweep by on waves of sound, and then

A sharp, sweet chord they fade again.

The wandering ghosts have found their tomb;
And here, within this shadowed room,
Your gold hair glimmers through the gloom.



THE CHAMBER OF THE DREAM

I did not build a lordly house

Here in my heart, to stand through time.

I only filled a little room

With joyous scraps of rhyme,

And pictures that no brush could trace,
And music that no harp could make.
I hung the walls about with joy
And gold for my dream's sake.



Northland Lyrics

I pierced the walls with openings
One for each season windows four.
I wished to hold it through all time
So did not cut a door.

A workman from the goblin world
Carved me the ledges, fine and rare,
And bars of sunlight I had set
To hold my vision there.

With wonder of old tapestry
I hung the ceiling and the wall.
A clock, as every hour went past,
Rang a sweet madrigal

That some young poet wrote, years gone,
To some sweet lady, ages dead.
I had mock stars on either hand
And a gold sun overhead.

One window faced the April-time ;
Grey poplars in a golden sheen ;
Blue rivers breaking joyously
Like pictures on a screen.

One window faced the beautiful
Ripe Summer over all the land ;



20



Northland Lyrics

The clouds that drifted in the blue
Were white as my dream's hand.

One window faced the Autumn hills
Where maples set the world aflame.
There the Red Hunter built his fire
And cried his lady's name.

One window faced a dreary place
Where spruce-trees crowded the low sun ;
Where Winter set his spotless seal
On all that joy had done.

And thus, not in a lordly house,
I housed the dream I had of love
I kept it there between four walls
With a mimic sky above.

And thus live I in my small room
With tricks of rhyme and my sweet dream,
Watching the suns of all the year
Across the casement gleam.

Sometime I think the walls will part
And some one enter then I '11 wake
To know the room and dream were made
For some real maiden's sake.



21



Northland Lyrics

THE WATCHER

My heart is like an empty house,
The hostess being gone :
The halls are laughterless at noon,
The beds are cold at dawn.

My heart is like an empty house
That has not revel there,
With ashes on the hearth at night.
And winds upon the stair.

The glasses on the buffet stand
Unused for many a day,
The brazen fire-dogs grin and grin
A new, forsaken way.

The spiders weave along the wall
The sunbeams in a thread.
The echoes of old times drift by
Like shadows of the dead.

My heart is like an empty house
With all the windows down
Save one, high in the cupola,
That looks beyond the town :

And ever at the window there
My soul looks out to see
22



Northland Lyrics

If Phillada, my heart's desire,
Is coming back to me.

When she comes back the fires will light
The guests will all return
The wine will fill the cups, all night
The scented candles burn.

The halls will glow with light of love
The shadows slip away.
At noon our laughter will out ring
Across the golden day.

LOVE'S INCLUSIONS

When your lips to my hand you press

Lowly, my dear one,
A moment out of the daytime stress

Swift-snatched, my dear one,
I am a princess, and you my knight
Seeking a guerdon, armed for fight,
(And the palace of Love looms near one !)

When we linger, while hours go by,

Where woods are lonely,
With garnet leaves and a mist-blue sky

Dream-deep and lonely,
I am a dryad that you have found
2 3



Northland Lyrics

And fast to the life of mortals bound
(Love's bonds are his young arms only !)

When your head on my shoulder lies

Weary, my true heart,
I am your mother with watchful eyes,

Dearie, my true heart ;
With only a mother's passion then
For the boy so weary of strife with men,
(For love has ever a new heart !)

When in your sheltering arms I rest

Safely, at gloaming,
I am a child on its father's breast

Hushed in the gloaming,
With all the rapture the child-hearts know,
Cradled and sung to, soft and low,
(Love's heart is the hearth for homing !)

THE TOWER

Thy love for me is like a tower

Whereto from strife and storm I flee ;
High on the rock its steadfast walls
Are set above the bitter sea.

Within its shelter safe and dear
I hear, and smiling dread no more,
24



Northland Lyrics

The mockery of the ghostly wind,

The time-waves breaking on the shore.

A PRAYER IN A GARDEN
Where this garden's walks are strewn
With the scarlet hopes of June

Poppy-petals, rose-bloom tears
Sun-dreams of a thousand years;

Let me lie till time is done,
Soft wrapt in dusk oblivion.

Let me lie, and dream, perchance,
Dim dreams of olden-time romance.

Let every golden lily blow

With some old tale of long ago

Some lilt of swords, some song of love,
Some ballad to a lady's glove.

So let me sleep till time is done
Till all the varied sands are run,

And Life forgets to turn the glass,
And drops his jester-bells, alas !

So let me dream, till these are done,
Soft wrapt in dusk oblivion.
25



Northland Lyrics

TO LILITH

Behind such various vesture of strange dreams
Abides my soul, I know not its true form ;
Nor have I faith it is the thing it seems
Now hushed in calm, now crying of the storm.

Forevermore the dreams are as a veil
Of strangely-wrought enchantment to my ken,
Wherethrough my soul's eyes make my being quail,
Or bid me wanton with my joys again.

I have no knowledge of the thing it is,
Whether it be of fiend or angel born,
This much I know, beloved, only this :
Beneath thy touch, of all its power shorn,

It yields glad captive to the joy that lies
Sweet on thy ruining lips and laughing eyes.

AT THE LAST

When all this trouble of life is past,

This prating of honor and fame and sin,

The cry of my passion will find you at last,
O love, and our life will begin.

26



Northland Lyrics

When God has broken His colored globes

And crumbling ruin is wide and far,
Our love will flame through the wreck of things

And build us a lovelier star.

The pigmy shadows which stand and leer
And rob my soul of its strength to do ;

The little duties which earth makes clear
To hold me far from you ;

The abnegations, the fears, the dooms,

That immure your heart from my soul's great love

These things will shrivel before God's eyes
And fade in the fire thereof.

Then through the tumult of shattering dreams,
The shriek and blur of the starry tides,

My love will lead you by quiet streams
Where our wild joy abides.

Our lips will recapture the first dear kiss,

And life's long fever which burned unquenched


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