C. K. OGDEN
MISSIONARY VERSES OF
ARTHUR SHEARLY CRIPPS
B. H. BLACKWELL, 50 & 51 BROAD STREET
SIMPKIN, MARSHALL & CO., LIMITED
Right Reverend WILLIAM THOMAS GAUL,
Missionary Bishop of Mashonalancl,
'L\ivov tint TO 8' ev
/ wish to thank the Editors of " The Rhodesia
Church Magazine," "The Oxford Magazine," " The
Essex Review," and "The Westminster Gazette"
for leave to reprint a few of the following verses.
A . S. C.
THE DAY'S WORK.
Epiphany . . . . . . 3
Benediction . . . . . . 4
Disillusion . . . . . . 6
In Deserto . . . . . . 7
Near Sunset . . . . . . 8
Angelus-time .. .. .. 9
After-Glory . . . . . . 10
Twilight Pieces, I. .. .. n
II. .. .. 12
III. .. .. 13
At Night .. .. .. 14
Out of due Time . . . . 15
A Pagan's Baptism .. .. 16
First Communion .. .. 17
Ordination . . . . . . 18
A Counsel of Perfection . . . . 19
Loneliness . . . . . . 20
Amor Mutat Omnia .. .. 21
Advent in Africa . . . . 25
Christmas, I. .. .. 27
II. .. .. 28
III. .. .. 30
IV. .. .. 31
V. .. .. 32
Twelfth Night .'. 33
Good Friday . . . . . . 35
An Easter Hymn . . . . 36
Ascension-Day . . . . . . 37
Whitsuntide . . . . . . 38
Embertides, I. .. 39
II. .. .. 40
All Saints' Day .. .. 41
Certain Patron Saints
I. - Our Lady
II. Saint Joseph
III. Saint Francis
IV. For Saint Cecily's Day
V. Saint Austin
VI. Saints of Africa
Saturnia Regna . . . . 53
A Mashona Husbandman . . 54
Love Pagan . . 55
I. Waiting for the Rains . . 57
II. After Rains .. .. 58
Summer Rain-Songs, I. 59
II. .. 60
Autumn . . . . . . 61
Winter Veld-Fires . . . . 62
A dead Chameleon . . . . 63
A Franciscan Prayer . . . . 64
To some Poet in England . . 65
Ad Viam Viator . . . . 69
Missa Viatoris . . . . . . 70
Way-Song . . . . . . 71
To the Veld . . . . . . 72
Lightning Song . . 73
On a Steamship near Suez . . 74
The Lost Way . . . . . . 75
To my Carriers . . . . . . 76
By a Camp-Fire . . . . 77
At a Tree Altar . . . . . . 78
The Veld-Fires' Vision . . . . 79
Retrospect . . . . . . 80
THAT COUNTRY FROM WHENCE WE CAME OUT
A Refrain . . . . . . 83
A Lyke-Wake Carol . . . . 84
Encamped in April . . . . 85
Essex . . . . . . . . 86
Oxford in Africa . . . . 88
The Round . . . . . . 89
After Three Years . . . . 90
At Michaelmas . . . . . . 91
Fold Song . . . . . . 92
Dreams of Passage . . . . 93
At Christmas . . . . . . 94
The Changeling . . . . 96
To a Home Missionary . . . . 97
Recessional . . 98
SCORN AND PITY.
To certain new Shepherds . . 101
Not by Might .. .. .. 102
Black and White . . . . 103
Ecclesiastes in Mashonaland . . 104
Shepherds to Shepherds . . 107
A Pilgrimage .. .. .. no
Time of Famine
I. Golden Drouth .. in
II. Christmas in Famine .. 112
III. On a Mealie Crop . . 113
IV. Found Starved .. 114
V. Les Revenants .. 115
Mors Africana .. .. .. 116
SET OF SUN.
Requiescat .. .. .. 119
Resurgat . . . . . . 120
A Bishop's Leave-Taking . . 121
On the Sailing of a Bishop for Home 122
Death on a Mission . . . . 123
In the Heat . . . . . . 124
Nunc Dimittis . . . . . . 125
THE DAY'S WORK.
XT AY, not gold
At His Crib I hold ;
Base metal is mine heart, and bare my hand.
I may not canopy His Altars high
With warm blue wreaths. How cold and ashen
These prayers that I had planned !
Myrrh at His Cross' foot I lay
All my dull worth of patience harshly strong
To plod by day or night my short life long
(Grim on God's errands gay)
His own parched foot-sore way !
THE DAY'S WORK.
(Sunrise after night-travelling) .
"T*HO' as it were a crypt I pace
My long night vigil through,
Within tbe church of God I am
His dome of frescoed blue.
I pass deep stoups in earthly floors
Where heavenly roof-gems show
Niches o'er lustral waters set
Where worms' dim candles glow
Wind-carven pillars of the trees
Where horned owls' Lauds are said-
Slab, plinth, and pile, the cenotaphs
Of the long crumbled dead.
A jewelled Eikon of my Lord
Glitters to East afar
Louting upon one knee I hail
The Bright and Morning Star.
Lo the brown-tussocked floor is sprent
With holy sprinklings cold !
Lo vigil gray of draping clouds
Is doffed for festal gold !
The ghostly voices of the doves
Croon in the brooding light
The Christ-taught cock that Peter chode
Scolds the forsaking night.
At last the voices hush and pause,
The vast church fills with dread
Brow to the throbbing floor I crouch,
My "Judica me" said.
How soon mine ears as I adore
The stir of welcome fills
God's awful Monstrance is upheld
The sun is o'er the hills !
THE DAY'S WORK
(In the noon-tide heat).
O PENT is the morn's fresh clarity,
Slackens and tires and faints the joy.
Now the sun's strength, the flies' annoy,'
The Rood's dead weight, press hard on thee !
Now fouled and grim 'tis thine to swink
Once the deep waters lavish-wide
Flowed for thy bath the road beside
How scanty now are drops to drink !
Thy hero's wreath is forfeit now
Yet having borne, bear all the way !
With no least hope of crowning bay,
Wear a man's sweat upon thy brow !
(~* OD'S Fire-ball rolling smooth o'er heavens of
God's Hand-fed hawk with wide unfluttered gait,
Are o'er me as feet wrench'd and worn I pass
By black-burnt clods, by sandy furrows strait.
They do their best so lightly, bird and sun,
But all my struggling leaves my best undone.
THE DAY'S WORK.
(Carrying grass to thatch a Mission Church).
QO when the sun is almost down
Bright in the slanting light we come,
Bearing our rustling grass-sheaves high
Against the splendour of the sky
To thatch for Christ a Home.
Thou Reaper God o' daybreaks spread
Its Board with brave wayfarers' Bread,
Our hay-sheaf harvests crown
With corn-sheaf of Thine Own !
(At set of sun).
/^\UR earth grows virgin cool and calm,
Humble and simple, kind and new,
In bosomed hills the red sun falls
And all at once the low bell calls
" Now and in our last hour be true ! "
Mother of earth, a child you stood
(The March eve glimmers now as then),
Shechinah of a sunset fell
Into your bosom there to dwell
And rise to East for wandering men !
O you that know our pit-falls dark,
While high on heavenly hills you stand,
Come, Day-Shine, at the end of day !
As God stoop'd to you all the way,
Stoop to us husht and bright and bland !
THE DAY'S WORK.
f~* OLD upon the rough rock-ledges
Gold upon the crests and edges
Of the bleaching grass !
At the West's Apocalyptic gate,
In the air's wall blue and delicate
Whence the street winds in and in so strait-
Is it gold or glass ?
TWILIGHT PIECES. 11
T T ERE in the purple light, the beetles buzz ;
Withered and fired the upland pastures fold
Their nakedness in dress
Of doves'-down shadows, edged with red or gold.
So upon Job in that far land of Uz
Sank some rich easy Day, and left untold
All news of nearing Morrows
With feet that slipped,
And aching shoulders dipped
Beneath their packs of sorrows !
THE DAY'S WORK.
A H ! Boding dulness of the fall of night !
The goats gone home, the folk have sought
And left me lonely. See the stars grow bright
Full small and perfect as a child's desires !
What if Joy comes e'en now outrunning Woe ?
* $ :|: *
One dusk like this I think did Moses stand
In a lone goat-browsed land
Muffled for twilight's chill in shepherd's hood.
He heard a wind go by,
And trembled as he stood
Then trembling, bared his face, and saw on high
Upon the Mount's blank face one glowing eye,
And drawing nigh
Heard words as tides of many waters sound
In flows and ebbing calms,
And knew the Everlasting Arms
Beneath him and around.
TWILIGHT PIECES. 13
'"THE trouble lessens with the light.
What shepherd in his lonely fate
But finds more solace wait
Now on the threshold of the night
Than when betimes or late
Sunlight or moonlight rules in full estate ?
In that wide Pleasaunce, where the calm air
With placid lips and strings,
Nor moon nor sun will be.
He of the crimson Wounds will lighten all
Oft in that still red glow will men recall
Not noon, nor midnight, nay, but Twilight's fall 1
14 THE DAY'S WORK.
T^HE wind in my parch'd mouth is sweet,
As fresh a wind as ever blew,
The earth is quick beneath my feet,
Her strength leaps up to make them new ;
O'er the last hill I buoyant go,
With joy that mounts at every stride,
To reach my Flock, my Fold below
Hub of this merry world so wide.
OUT OF DUE TIME. 15
OUT OF DUE TIME.
pARTH-CHILDREN mine, how ill to come to
Unversed in wonders that my forebears knew
Twilights of magic faith, and vigil nights
Starred thick with symbols of the Dawn's de-
Shame 'tis from cock-crow dusk to lead you out
Into a light-bleached afternoon of doubt :
Summon I back ere yet I dare to teach
Such day-break reverence as my faith may reach !
16 THE DAY'S WORK.
A PAGAN'S BAPTISM.
THREAD Potter, in Thine Hands we lay
Thine Image made and marred in clay.
First in Thy timely mercy break,
Then all re-make !
These votive waters wait Thee here
'Twixt rocks and greensward deep and clear !
Water and Dust we give for share,
Give Fire and Air !
That Tree Thou barest lit for earth
Her Furnace flame of cleansing worth :
In crimson Hollow of Thine Hand
That Flame be fanned !
Breathe, Air, from out the Land Desired,
Breathe till this glowing clay be fired !
According to Thy primal plan
Create a man !
FIRST COMMUNION. 17
T A 7 HEN in the West is set the sunset's sign
Wash red, so white those earth-soiled
feet of thine !
Night's token of the shrouded hills descry
Go rest in grace, to restless nature die !
By token of the Heaven mooned and starred
God's Saints and Mother keep thy watch and
By token of the dews upon the grass
God's Spirit wake thee ere the fourth watch pass !
When o'er the rampart hills the sun climbs in,
God thy lips' threshold cross and entrance win !
i8 THE DAY'S WORK.
(On the Eve of a Mission Priest's Sacring).
f~\ MAKER, mould his lips and hands with
All meet henceforth to make Thee on Thy Board !
Christ, o'er his reins and heart this night be
That Blood wherewith his word shall wash men
O Thou the Dove-like, stoop from star-lit height,
Primaeval Grace in these old wilds afford,
Their life-breath breathe within him, Life's own
Come, a blue Dove of our own rocks, to-night !
Rush on him thro' our gorges, blessed Wind,
With all our crags' huge echoes in Thy tone,
Burn, Fire, as fires about our pastures blown !
Teach him our tongue, O Tongue of human-kind !
Shepherd, make this one shepherd all our own
To tend our deaf sheep, feed our young lambs
A COUNSEL OF PERFECTION. ig
A COUNSEL OF PERFECTION.
S~\ LITTLE goatherd would you climb to Him?
From your low thatch'd hut is His Vision
Why have you left your tending goats and grain,
Changed your skin-belt for stuffs of gaudy stain ?
Will you win thus the white contemptuous Christ
So vain of temper and so close of fist ?
What if you win him, little goatherd mine ?
He's but a Devil dressed so tawdry fine.
Give locusts, all you caught at morning light,
Give your one blanket thin this bitter night !
Give all, strip bare and barer so to gain
The only Christ that is not won in vain !
20 THE DAY'S WORK.
A LWAYS the shadow of yourself
So proud of all its depth profound :
But daily grow you more aware
How strait the limit and the bound.
Always the shadow of yourself
To straiten in its own set way
Broad glories of the sun of God
That rises on you every day.
Always the shadow of yourself !
Bury it, drown it, lose it then !
" To lose oneself to save oneself"
True words how true of lonely men !
AMOR MUTAT OMNIA.
AMOR MUTAT OMNIA.
"DECAUSE in me red Discord burned of late,
Because in me the Pulse of God beat low,
I crossed those ample wolds inviolate,
And knew blue Heaven no friend, the sun a foe !
The fire-swept grass grew forlorn beyond speech,
The rocks bulked grim as gathering weights of
Ere I a homestead and a friend might reach,
Athirst and weary, as the night fell slow.
Poor though he was, he made me welcome gay
Sad though I was, I would not let him know
How soon red Discord sank to ashes grey !
My heart grew fond once more, mine eyes grew
When I recrossed the wolds forsaking him
Of tendernesses how the night was full,
As many as its stars innumerable,
As eager as its fires insatiate !
ADVENT IN AFRICA. 25
ADVENT IN AFRICA.
(The Native Church) .
T T NTO the Church of the Arcadians, write
" Neatherds and husbandmen, arise, your
Is come, arise and shine !
Lo I unfold a sweet and bitter Sign
Lo how this faithless Star in Hand of Mine
Falls out and there is room !
Lo how this guttering Candle wastes away !
Come kindle all your glory in her place
Her empty place !
Arise and shine, the encroaching Night abase !
Rise, swarthy Star, a fair Star wanes to-night
In an eternal gloom !
Ah woe ! To shine through a long night thus far,
Then fall to such a doom !
Hark how the cocks chide as the East grows
Search out and tell Me now why fell My Star !
Search out and find what envious wind made war
And compassed My rich Candle's dull disgrace !
26 CHRIST'S YEAR.
Hark what the cocks crow as the East grows
Hark to their proclamation as they chide
Him who of old My meekness thrice denied
And is't not true ?
Did not her pride and scorn of you
This that was once a lustrous Church undo ?
Watch, lest your own late-risen Star be cast
Her way from Heaven at last ! "
I. A SHEPHERD'S HYMN.
JESU, I that drove unfed
Thy lambs and with their wounds am red
I who would feast and rest to-day
Haste home with Dawn to tend and pray.
Why are Thy tiny Hands so cold ?
Because these hands in sleep I fold.
Why are Thy Feet so blue and bare ?
Because mine idle feet I spare.
What draw Thy swaddling bands so tight ?
Ill thoughts that tie me day and night.
What in that hay-bed chafe and gall ?
My rough sore words that lightly fall.
Love's little Lips that suck and cry,
suck my breast of malice dry !
Full Eyes, your many Tears that spill
Spare one to drown a sluggard's will !
1 came to see Thy care and want
An easy rich man ministrant,
Empty Thou sendest me away
Hungry at last to tend and pray !
28 CHRIST'S YEAR.
II. THE HOLY NIGHT.
(On a Mission Station).
ID LEST is Bethlehem Town
Thatch'd roofs, earth -walls brown -
There poor shepherds live
There a wise man's faith
As a child's may thrive !
See the sun dips down !
Nears the blessed night,
With the slanting light
Where the rocks divide
Come swart flocks and pied.
Lo ! Wee Christs bestride
Cattle black or red !
Blest is Bethlehem's Shrine
Thatch'd as byre for kine !
There poor plough-boys meet,
Stretch their earth-brown hands,
Take from Heaven and eat.
At the broad sky's sign
Writ in star runes clear
" Noon of night is here ! "
Cocks cried " Watch and Ward !
Lowing beasts adored
Serpents hissed in fear.
Birth- Robes of our Lord
Glistened on His Board
Birth- Robes White and Red !
30 CHRIST'S YEAR
III. AT THE CRIB.
T^REEZING doubts have nipped the flowers
where the Child reposes,
Good-bye, Grecian violets ! Good-bye, Gothic
Bring, now northern blooms are dead nipped by
Rough brown southern grass of ours, flowers of
Shepherd, Whom Thy sheep refuse, rule Thy
Wear our lilies of the field, mount our throne of
IV. THE ROOFLESS CHILD.
(In a Mission Altar-Piece after Luini, the Holy Child and
His Mother are pictured as throned on ruins).
/^\ LITTLE One, how ruined is Thy shed
With sad dismantled stones !
The naked Star is glinting o'er Thine Head,
The Wind His Maker owns.
Years since was Israel ashes, heap on heap.
What now of Europe's Shrine ?
The faithless mortar cracks, the seams yawn deep,
Keen roofless nights are Thine.
Great ruins fall from Thee, O little Child,
Wise lands outgrow Thee fast,
Come, rest in grass-thatched byre or cavern wild
Of Arcady at last !
32 CHRIST'S YEAR.
"D ED kine, pied sheep and goats, and bronze-
dyed swains !
Rise on them, Star most white, this Christmas
Not as contemning them,
Rather as fusing in Thy fiery Gem
All glowing creatures' stains !
TWELFTH NIGHT. 33
(His Star in the South).
A GAIN a blessed Pilgrims' Night
God's lanthorn Star for wise men's light
The road beneath my feet winds white
Then forth to lose, if not to find !
Here in the South how near the Star
That in the North seemed nowise far!
How bitter-sweet God's mercies are
I yet have eyes, it yet hath light.
How many years I've played the Mage,
Dreamed that I went on embassage,
My worship paid and took my wage !
Myself I gave, myself received.
Full lightly in my dreams I came
To That whereto I gave God's Name,
And sleeked its lust and glossed its fame.
Myself I gave, myself received.
I crowned as king, I censed as God,
Found fragrant myrrh and greenest sod
To bury Self ; with wink and nod
I bade him haste to rise again.
34 CHRIST'S YEAR.
O mockery ! For never smiled
On quest of mine that Holy Child !
O truth ! In heart and flesh defiled
The record of my quests remained !
No hope to find now ; God is just.
Yet forth I stride in blessed trust
To lose myself and wear to dust,
If to His Star mine eyes hold true !
Once more a blessed Pilgrims' Night
Christ's lanthorn Star shows wise men light !
The road athwart the hills winds white
On, on to lose, if not to find !
GOOD FRIDAY. 35
(At a Mission Altar).
'"THINE is the Brow, not mine,
In sweat whereof I eat this Bread,
My brow in festal bond red roses twine
Given from Thy briar-bound Head,
My drinking cups Thine Own Palms be,
By Nails carved out for me.
Feasted and garlanded I rise
To furnish forth in turn Thy Feast and Sacrifice.
So having fed me first
And slaked my thirst
Thou biddest me to serve that Thou may'st eat,
" Child hast thou any meat ? "
I go to seek the meat that pleaseth Thee,
To do the Will of Him Who sendeth me.
* * * *
Thou sayest this sad day " I thirst" again,
And I, remembering how to ease Thy pain,
Some harsh -faced Roman stained and seared
Gave Thee his vinegar,
(And earned a fuller comfort than he gave,)
Go forth to seek for Thee at Thy behest
Not only such suave souls as please me best,
But rough sour souls that Thou did'st parch to
36 CHRIST'S YEAR.
AN EASTER HYMN.
(Easter in South Africa falls in Autumn).
"LJIS wide Hands fashioned us white grains and
His Eyes weep rains to swell them in their bed,
Whereby the dust-grains of our lives are fed.
In Earth our mother's bosom undecayed
The Seed-corn of the Flesh He took, He laid
One white small Grain beneath a sealed rock's
How blind that Seed lay till this autumn morn
When forth It sprouted blade and flower and
And with Its lifted Head the seal was torn !
Hope of men's bodies' grains both red and white
Shrivelled and sere and void of speech and sight,
Is that blind Seed Who burst His way to light.
We, God's red millet grains, men hold so cheap,
Innumerable beneath our grey rocks sleep,
Yet He that cared to sow us cares to reap.
ASCENSION DAY. 37
A STALL ! A Cross ! A Grave in quarried stone !
Here, in this land of cattle, rocks, and trees,
I clasp these verities.
If it was long ago You left Your Throne,
Yet did You count Your days by moon and sun
As I, and You an earthly course did run.
Blest Spoor of Wounded Feet my feet may travel
But now this morn I watch our mighty sky
Lucent and clear of stain
Arched o'er the breadths of our brown lonely
And to myself I say
" Into that great Beyond He passed to-day,
For Ever and for Ever there to reign."
Suffer me to descry " Beyond" and " Ever,"
From arched walks and green confines of to-day ;
Your own o'ershadowing Rood-Screen roof my
Awhile from You, dread Light, to Whom I pray !
Sunny earth bare me, stoop to me in sun !
Be't mine to mount from earth on low steps one
by one !
38 CHRIST'S YEAR.
(A bout this time there are veld fires) .
f~* RASS, sere grass !
Valleyfuls and hill-shocks as far as eye may
Fires now of nights in glancing pageants pass,
Winds blow by day to speed their pageantry.
Ashes for grass !
Charred hills and scathed vales as far as eye may
Kind heat of sun in healing chariot pass !
Boon dews of night ensue his ministry !
All flesh is grass !
Country-sides and villagefuls of dead brown
grass are we
Come, Fire of God, in zeal consuming pass !
Blow, Wind of God, to speed that embassy !
Grass, green grass !
Schoolfuls and Churchfuls of God's young grass
are we !
Come, Heat of Heaven, with kindliest shillings
Fall, Dew, Red Dew of Christ's own Agony !
I. FISHERS OF MEN.
QTEDFAST o'er the fire-charred heights,
Dogged thro' the mire-track nights,
Drag I nets for God,
At my faithless heart a faithful wish
O to snare these dart-down fish !
Draw their shoals so wild
From their wizard tarns defiled,
Wash within that Red Sea bright
Whose dark waves make white !
Then, their stains being gone,
O to set them every one
In fresh silver-gravelled rills
Of their own brown hills !
Their scaly eyes enlightening to foresee
That deep eternal Lake of Galilee,
Whereinto all our shallow streams may run !
4 o CHRIST'S YEAR.
II. THE SHEPHERD.
TT OW fouled my hands ! Each new-laved fleece
how white !
How lame my feet to seek them where they are
My sheep among the huge rocks scattered far !
How heavy grow mine eyes each dead of night !
The fencings of the fold, I deemed so strong,
Are breached ; the lambs too lightly come and go.
What horror of great snakes the logs below !
What howls and roars make discords of my song!
Soiled, maimed, my tale of sheep untruly kept,
With a stern heart the reckoning I await ;
Fierce grows my love, as fierce as desperate.
No man shall say, these last days, that I slept.
ALL SAINTS' DAY. 41
ALL SAINTS' DAY.
" Magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas in faery lands forlorn." Keats.
It was God's choice 'ere mine that I should
The one dim casement by whose panes they see
These maiden knights of mine their elders'
How cobweb-hung the frame ! How dim the glass
Whereat their bright eyes watch the pageant
Pageant with raiment white and palms of Hallow-
O glimmering Showers of Grace and Dews un-
My panes that do deface their rainbow sheen
Those venturous Sails that furl in haven-pools
At my poor breath-dimmed panes what pomps
4 z CHRIST'S YEAR.
See the Host rise a Harvest Moon of gold !
Lo the Vine's Branches bend with clusters yet
Ah me !
Flawed priest, that God should choose to m;ike
A nursery window, whence His babes may see
Rapture of Saints that are, wonder of Saints to be !
CERTAIN PATRON SAINTS. 43
CERTAIN PATRON SAINTS.
I. OUR LADY.
" Now and in the hour of our death."
T N that war with no discharge,
Come, our Mother dear,
For some that die are motherless,
Some have no mother near !
Thy Child He'll have us "brethren Mine,'
So all that die are sons of thine,
Then bend to all thine ear !
Smoothe the pillow, kiss the brow
Prepare us then,
Prepare us now
That feet be clean, that eyes be clear,
In that black path to outface the fear
Pray for us men !
44 CHRIST'S YEAR.