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THE DIVINE IMAGE

A BOOK OF LYRICS



THE DIVINE IMAGE

A BOOK OF LYRICS

BY
CAROLINE GILTINAN



"For this, for this the lights innumerable
As symbols shine that we the true light win:
For every star and every deep they fill
Are stars and deeps within"

A. E. (George W. [Russell)




THE CORNHILL COMPANY
BOSTON



COPYRIGHT, 1917
By THE CORNHILL COMPANY



All rights reserved



IN LOVING REMEMBRANCE OF
$U| Metier

HELEN MCCAFFREY GILTINAN



1 noi



ACKNOWLEDGMENT

For permission to reprint certain poems in this
book thanks are due to the editors and proprietors
of Lippincotfs Magazine, The Catholic World,
The Queen's Work, The Poetry Journal, The
Poetry Review, The Boston Transcript, The
Philadelphia North American, and the Anthology
of Magazine Verse for 1915 and 1917. Appreciation
is expressed to William Stanley Braithwaite for his
unfailing kindness and encouragement.



vii



CONTENTS

THE BREEZE 1

OVER NIGHT, A ROSE 2

THE COWARD 4

WHEN DARKNESS COVERED THE

EARTH 5

CLOUDS 7

THE COURTYARD PIGEONS .... 8
MARY FITTON, TO MASTER WILL

SHAKESPEARE 10

MY HEART is FULL OF VAGRANT

SONGS 12

MATER SALVATORIS 13

WANTING So THE FACE DIVINE . 15

THE LITTLE MAID 16

MAGIC . . 18

REALISM 19

WOULD THE SKY BE BEAUTIFUL . 20

ALL THAT I LOVE 21

"ViVE LA FRANCE!" ..... 22

DURANCE 23

CHIPS 24

CERTAINTY 26

AFTER DARK 27



COST 28

CRY OF THE CHILDLESS .... 29

PROTEST 30

SHACKLED 31

To MY VICTROLA 32

RODIN'S " HAND OF GOD "... 35

His WOMAN 36

TRADITION 37

THE SISTERS 38

THE HUNGRY 39

BEFORE THE DAWN ...... 40

THE INTERLOPER 41

PROFICIENT 42

MATED 43

ABSENCE 44

TOLL 45

THE CHANGELING 46

THE CONJURER 48

REAPING 49

THE RANSOM 50

ACHIEVEMENT 51

THE SACRIFICE 52

THE THIRTEENTH STATION ... 54

TESTIMONY 55

X



THE DIVINE IMAGE

A BOOK OF LYRICS



THE BREEZE-

Something touched me as I

walked

Beneath the silent trees
A soft caress against my lips
It may have been a breeze;

But with it came the thought of

you

And all you've grown to mean.
A wandering wind, or was it

you:
A messenger unseen?

The bright new leaves grew very

still;

They did not dance or play.
Nor did my heart for, in a

breath,
The breeze had gone away.



[i]



OVER NIGHT, A ROSE

That over night a rose could

come

I, one time did believe,
For when the fairies live with

one,

They wilfully deceive.
But now I know this perfect thing

Under the frozen sod
In cold and storm grew patiently

Obedient to God.
My wonder grows, since knowl-
edge came

Old fancies to dismiss;
And courage comes. Was not the

rose

A winter doing this?
Nor did it know, the weary

while,

What color and perfume
With this completed loveliness
Lay in that earthy tomb.

[2]



So maybe I, who cannot see
What God wills not to show,

May, some day, bear a rose for

Him
It took my life to grow.



3]



THE COWARD

It lies before my wounded feet:
The cross I am to bear.
Blocking my path, it frightens me
To see it lying there.

And yet I dare not turn away,
Nor yet dare go around.
God ! give me strength to carry it :
The thing upon the ground 1



[4]



WHEN DARKNESS COV-
ERED THE EARTH



Blood-guilty with blood of the

Sinless One

And tortured by memory,
Three wretched men, ere the night

had run,
Travelled from Calvary.

Sharing their grief and bitter fear,
(Since hatred had gone with the

sun!)
Shudderingly, each man asked to

hear
What work the others had done.

"I am the one who plaited
The crown of briar and thorn.
God! how His hair was matted!
God! how His head was torn!"



[5]



"And I, when He asked, denied

Him
A draught from my brimming

grail."
"Woe, woe unto me, I despised

Him
And drave through His hand the

nail."



[6]



CLOUDS

(A child speaks]

Those fleecy, white and floating

things
They are the backs of angels'

wings.

They can't be impolite, you know,
And turn to look on us below,
But always keep their faces

toward

Our Lady Mary and the Lord.
Yet, I can guess what lovely

things
Are hidden by those angel-wings.



THE COURTYARD
PIGEONS

Dear birds, that flutter happily
Against the grey stone wall,
That hides the joyous sun from

me,

Do you not hear my call?
Each weary day when you go

past

To strut and perch up there,
Or when you soar away so fast,

I watch you, and I care :
For, in your iridescent flight,

My eyes have learned to see
How, in this strange and man-
made night,

One thing, at least, goes free.
And do you know what you have

taught
In low and cooing cries?



[8]



Though much is gone, they have

not bought
The part of me that flies!



[9]



MARY FITTON,

TO MASTER
WILL SHAKESPEARE

"The better angel is a man right
fair,

The worser spirit a woman col-
or' d ill.

To win me soon to hell, my fe-
male evil

Tempteth my better angel from
my side

And would corrupt my saint to
be a devil

Wooing his purity with her foul
pride."

So long a time, and is it fair to

keep
My image darkened in your

bitter word

That stabs my heart, though
dust, as if a sword

[10]



Turned there to wound, and made
the wound more deep?

Had I been foul, would both your
angels weep?

Though the times spurned, to

me a singing bird
Your vision came in music my
being heard

Color'd with Prosperous island-
haunted sleep.

Why was I blind, when most I

wished to see-
Accepting less than what was

tossed away:
Unknowing then, this world

beyond what seems
This world from which you have

exiled me?
Around your moods, I, as your

angel, play;

And am a part of all your
greatest dreams!



MY HEART IS FULL OF
VAGRANT SONGS

My heart is full of vagrant songs
That, flashing to and fro,
Escape the words which covet

them
And tease me as they go.

But in the woods they seldom

come;

Underneath the trees
My songs are silent, for I hear
More lovely sounds than these.

The stream is dashing over rocks :

Two voices can be heard.

From where the green is still and

thick
Come the love-notes of a bird.



[12]



MATER SALVATORIS

Against thy breast and covered

with thy hair
Christ Jesus lay, for God so

trusted thee
His only Son was born dear

mystery!
A helpless Baby, needing all thy

care.
Sweet Mary, was He even then

aware
The little Saviour shepherds

came to see
In Bethlehem that to His

Calvary

Thy love must follow and His
Passion share?

And ever since, each sinner is thy

child

For whom thy tender pity doth
beseech ;

[13]



My Blessed Lady, take me to

my Brother.
He would forgive, if only once

He smiled :
With memories, His heart of

mercy reach,

For God is Love and thou
thou art His Mother.



[Hi



WANTING SO THE FACE
DIVINE

To M



Wanting so the Face divine,

I searched within this soul of

mine,

But there the Image is so dim :
Unlike, unlike, it seems to Him.

Weary of heart, with faith grown

weak,

Again, the vanished Face I seek.
Lo! in my need, God sends me

thee:
And from thy soul, He smiles on

me!



[15]



THE LITTLE MAID

Three Saints of Heaven wanted,

long ere thy life began,
One perfect little earth-child and

asked God for thee, Jeanne.
Saint Michael, strong and valiant;

Saint Margaret, mother, queen;
Saint Catherine, virgin, saw thee,

a little maid, thirteen.
Then each one came to visit thee,

bewildered, frightened child,
And each one gave a gift most rare

to still thy heart so wild.
Saint Catherine kept thee chaste

and sweet; Saint Michael, like

a man;
Thy beauty, courage, strength of

soul, Saint Margaret mothered,

Jeanne.
Each Saint so loved thee each one

stayed a constant guardian . . .

[16]



They saved thee for the Sacred
Breast whose Heart most loves
thee, Jeanne!



MAGIC

A world transformed! There
flashes

One vivifying gleam:
My heart, the tabernacle,

I, warder of the Dream.



[18]



REALISM

Did planning bugs and toads and

worms

Make the Creator sad?
Well, at the Thought of wooded

hills,
I think that God was glad.



[19]



WOULD THE SKY BE
BEAUTIFUL?

Would the sky be beautiful if it

were not blue;

And if the grass were not so green
Would crocuses peep through?
Suppose the morn came silently
Without this burst of song;
And had we never loved, my dear,
Would all our days seem long?

But God has made the sky all

blue ;

The grass a vivid green;
While just beneath the softened

mold,

A garden grows unseen.
And I I call thee through the

dawn

When birds awake to sing:
Oh, Life is full of mystery:
Beloved, it is Spring!

[20]



ALL THAT I LOVE

All that I love lies sleeping
Under a new-made mound.

To-night I see the sky again:
And the moon is nearly round.



[21]



"VIVE LA FRANCE!' 7

In a crowded car we crossed the
bridge,

Packed in like silly sheep
With more than one resenting

A rudely broken sleep.
The river slowly sullen,

The sky a sordid grey,
And drizzling rain combined to
make

A dull and cheerless day.
Arrestingly, we saw it:

A poorly printed scrawl
In chalk which stood out clearly

Against an old black wall.
Life suddenly grew vital

In one, swift, thrilling glance:
A heart and soul had blazoned
there

The letters : 'ViVE LA FRANCE!"



DURANCE

My friend, God-given with the

years,

This night of agony
Too deep and sharp for words or

tears,
I offer all for thee.

Where is the feeling heart of me?

A thing of stone lies there:
Can waiting, helpless misery

And speechless grief be prayer?



[23]



CHIPS

On brooks and rivers, creeks and

streams,
Were logs and rafts and chips

afloat;
But on some shore, dreaming its

dreams,
A worthless chip said: "I'm a

boat.

To mid-stream waters I must go;
Here the eddies only play,
There I'll feel the ebb and flow.
I think I'll make the trip today."

Yet, the shore line held it fast,
Helpless, hopeless, always

twirled,

And the hurrying boats went past
While the chip unceasing swirled.
Then he came a little child
To the bank to sail a ship

[24]



And, with rapture almost wild,
He saw one in the lonely chip.

With boyish, laughing, shouting

joy
He worked to set the new boat

loose ;

It sailed, a bobbing, happy toy
A chip that realized its use.

And I, a woman, idly float
Quite near the shore, a useless

chip.

I pray a Child who wants a boat
Believes I am His waiting ship.



[25]



CERTAINTY

Sleep, darling, in my arms
Nestled close against my breast,
Here you're safe from all harms,
And so, we both know rest.
Your roughened head fills so well
The warm nest God made to fit;
Your soft flesh, relaxing, fell
Clinging and content in it.

Your sweet, moist breath, and

each start

Tell me of the coming goal.
Selfish I press to my heart
The body of the dreaming soul,
(Begging so) and whisper lowly,
Wanting a good-bye from you,
And the heavy lids lift slowly :
"Yes ; me lub you. Sure I do!"



[26]



AFTER DARK

When muzzer and me go up the

stairs,
I undress quick and say my

prayers.

And den, when all of dem is said,
And jes' before I hop in bed,
My muzzer and me, we has a

chat;
We hug and kiss I 'member

dat.

I'm almost t'ree and getting tall -
An' after dat, why dat is all!



[27]



COST

Little Boy in the manger
Who saved a world from woe,
Did You lie there freezing?
She could not have it so!
Snuggled against her throbbing

breast,

Wrapped in her own soft hair,
Warmth You shared with every

breath,
Happy and peaceful there.

But when You left her shielding

arms,

Saviour of fallen men,
Bitter cold You did endure,
She could not warm You then!
She could not warm Your Body;
She could not bear Your Rod ;
She bore, instead, a bleeding

heart.
Oh, were we worth it, God?

[28]



CRY OF THE CHILDLESS

My baby never came!

He is but dream and name!

These empty arms so curve and

ache
Feed their hunger. For Christ's

sake

Lift this grief, of me a part,
From my lonely breaking heart.
Let my breasts his pressure feel!
God of Pity, make him real!



[29]



PROTEST

Handmaid of a swift machine,

She acts her weary part;

While loud above the clanging

noise
Beats her rebellious heart.

Poor prisoner! it pleads for life
With protest ceaseless, strong,
Against these sterile, empty years
So endless and so wrong!

She is denied her rightful task,
Debarred from Nature's plan :
A fettered slave of a machine,
Not mother of a man!



[30]



SHACKLED

In stress and strain and whirr of

things

That complicate life so,
We hide an instinct's perfect

wings
And dare not let them show.

They know, the bush, the bird,

the bee,

Their part, so old, yet new;
Do all things know, save you and

me,
The work that they must do?

The prayerful wish for work
denied

Has set my spirit free.
If but, for us, 'twere simplified

As for that budding tree.



TO MY VICTROLA

Within this mute Victrola lie
strangely prisoned joys!

"Not music"? Well, what is it?
. . . How can you call it
"noise."

When twilight comes to hurt me

with memories I fear,
(For we were once so happy and

now he is not here)
I bid this friend of melody the

stabbing silence break
And in the dusk, it comforts me

and lessens sorrow's ache.
I hear James Whitcomb Riley

his quaintest story tell;
Or Schubert leads my heart within

some eerie, woodland dell.
When Gadski sings the "Ave,"

great Gounod's music-prayer,
My soul seeks out "Maria" and

asks for strength to bear;

[32]



Or Melba sings the lovely songs

of many years ago ;
And, for a change, there is a

waltz from Victor Herbert's

show;
Then Lauder sings of lassies and

other Scottish folk
Until we hum the lilting air

and chuckle at his joke.
If very brave, I listen to Caruso's

maddened cry:
"A'ida! ah, Celeste!" he sobs; so,

in my heart, do I !
There's Kreisler and Maud

Powell; the love-songs from

"Boheme"
And "Butterfly" ; with lesser

things we know without their

name.
Each record brings its different

mood. When gone, the lin-
gering light,

[33]



And stars come flickering through

the dark and it is nearly night,
I want a bit of Chopin with pas-
sion's throbbing spell,
Where, even in his "Funebre," it

only ebbs to swell.
Then, at the close, McCormack

who tenderly will sing
A ballad of his Ireland and make

"God bless you!" ring,
For if I close my burning eyes,

another man I see
And through the dark, I feel his

arms, and "hear him calling

me!"
"Not music?" This: the power

whose poignant, piercing tone
Can baffle night and loneliness

until I'm not alone?



[34]



RODIN'S "HAND OF GOD"

It is God's great Hand
Holding two He planned.
They, from all else whirled,
One in the other furled,
Fill the only place
Their own in vast space.
With arms tightly clasped,
Love's mystery is unasked.
Life to life is given.
Marble, man-riven!



[35]



HIS WOMAN

In the pale, murmuring dawn she

lay

Alone, with nothing more to lose.
Her eyes one soft white arm

espied
And lips too tired to voice her

pride
Caressed and kissed a bruise.



[36]



TRADITION

Above, about, they flutter:
Dim hands of women long since

dead

Who touch me lovingly.
These women of my ancient line,
Each with her part in me,
Are banded now against myself -
The self I want to be.
Frightened, they beg me to re-
turn ;

And, clutching, hold me sol-
Help me escape these phantom

hands :
Beloved, must I go?



[37]



THE SISTERS

Only to blur it: the vision!

Only to feel less alive
To be freed from this wish to

surrender

Against which I always must
strive.

To cease, for one instant, this

thinking ;

To know only joy, and not sin.
Unwelcome one guest: the grey

stranger

Who came when my Love en-
tered in.

Why need my heart fight against

me?
For succor, I reach out my

hand
To her whom they stoned in

Samaria . . .

God! how we two understand!
[38]



THE HUNGRY

Whom does He love the most-
The poor, the sick, the blind,
The rich, the maimed, the host
Unknowingly unkind?

The ones who strive, and fail;
The ones who have, and lose ;
The ones who will not quail
Nor martyrdom refuse?

The wind went sobbing low
To His great Heart and cried:
"Dear God, they need you so,-
Who die unsatisfied."



[39]



BEFORE THE DAWN

At night, sweetheart, I am with

thee,

For dreaming sleep unfetters me;
And, when released, my soul goes

where
Her truest, purest thought may

dare.

Reluctantly, she comes away
A captive to the bonds of day
And leaves one lovely word un-
said :

Dear, must it wait till we are
dead?



[40]



THE INTERLOPER

She played with Love: the little
god.

This pink and chubby boy
Was asking soon to own her heart,

For Love will have his toy.

Then bolder waxed the prankish
Love

Before he stole away;
Nor has he yet returned the heart

She cries for night and day.

A strange, strong man withholds
it now,

A man of flame and fire!
Love is full-grown : the little god

In manhood, is Desire.



PROFICIENT

One time I feared (before I knew

The man you've grown to be)

That you would never understand

This complicated me.

That fear is dead! Another one

As urgent, bids me tell:

When you are listening to my

heart,
You understand too well !



[42]



MATED

At last I see him undisguised
Unkind, unclean, uncouth,

Deceiving dream, come back and

hide
The terror of the truth.



[43]



ABSENCE

All melody comes to me muted;
All time one eternal, dull day!
The heavens and earth have been

looted :
The soul of my world is away!



[44]



TOLL

Love seemed a fearsome foe!
Alarmed,

Her breast she guarded 'gainst his
dart.

Love came, a laughing god, un-
armed,

And slipped two hands beneath
her heart.

But, all the while, Love played

his game:
The happy time he made his

stay-
Though empty-handed when he

came,
Not so, the Love that went away.



[45]



THE CHANGELING

Until you came, he lived with me :
My dream-child to be born

some day;

And, with our hopes, so happily
The boy and I once dared to

play.
But now, when he has grown so

real
This child who would become

your son !
My trembling flesh shrinks from

the feel
Of him - poor, little, wistful

one.
So, from my breast your babe I

tear

(God! if I dared to let him
stay!)



[46]



And strangle what I must not

bear:

Nor shall you drag my hands
away!



[47]



THE CONJURER

Dear little one, with tender heart
You gave to me a kiss unsought
And in a sudden holiness,
I felt the sacred gift it brought.

With bending soul, I signed the

cross
That blessing which begins my

prayer

Because thy seeking baby lips
Discovered mine and rested there.

From out the potent, silent dusk
My own dream-children came

and smiled.
You were not then, as now you

are:
Another woman's little child.



[48]



REAPING

My son and I together saw
The man (for whom I blindly

bore
This child, who never should

have been)
Slip down the fatal road of sin.

For dying Love, there are no

cries.

God ! help me look into these eyes,
Too pure for pity, where I see:
"Why, mother, were you false to

me?"



[49]



THE RANSOM

He did not know (nor would he

care,)

What blocked the road to Hell ;
And yet he found it lying there
When, striking it, he fell-
But he divined that he must go
Over the road he came,
And turning left it broken so,
Unconscious of his shame.

A woman (seeming from the

dead,)

After he did depart,
Came where the road was stained

with red,
And, stooping, touched her heart.



[So]



ACHIEVEMENT

The biggest thing I ever did
Was all inside of me.
There was a battle, hardly won.
With only God to see.

When I plucked out a flaming

brand

Whose evil light shone through,
The place it burned was black and

charred . . .
But no one ever knew!



THE SACRIFICE

On Calvary, when Christ was dy-
ing,

A woman bitterly was crying

To Michael of the flaming sword:

"Command thy host! Avenge the
Lord!"

And Michael, waiting the One
call,

Watched and suffered through it
all.

Then, while he stood with sword
unsheathed,

The tortured God His Law be-
queathed :

"Forgive thy brother from thy
heart;

I ask of thee the greater part."

Though Hell itself the death de-
nounced,



[52]



Saint Michael all revenge re-
nounced.

So, bitterly the woman cried
On Calvary, for Jesus died.



[53]



THE THIRTEENTH
STATION

Once you journeyed with Him,

Mary
With your Son Who died for

me

Sharing all He had to suffer
On the way to Calvary.

With the expiation over,

When they laid Him on your

breast,

Did a little gladness tremble
That, at last, your Son could rest?

Mother Mary, had you comfort
Though He lay there, dead and

torn,

Taking from the Head of Jesus
That embedded crown of thorn?



[54]



TESTIMONY

I stood on guard in Pilate's court

the day they brought Him

there,
A beaten Man Who wore a

crown of thorns with regal air.
I watched while Pilate sentenced

Him to suffering and death ;
He stood alone and motionless

with calm and even breath.
To die is not an easy thing, yet

that is what He heard;
Then, turning 'round, He looked

at us but never said a word.
One of the guard, I went along,

though I had asked to stay,
And it was I who walked with

Him through all that awful

day.
He took the cross in silence, a

clumsy, wooden thing,



[551



And looked, absorbed and listen-
ing, toward birds that dared to

sing.
The way was rough and stony for

feet so bare and white ;
His hair was clotted thick with

blood which blinded half His

sight.
The first time that He staggered

beneath His heavy load,
We cursed and beat and kicked

Him as He fell upon the road;
But when His Mother came to

Him, He straightened up and

smiled
And whispered something as He

passed, as though she were His

child.
But after that He needed help

so, fearing that He might die,
We called the strong man, Simon,

who was idly standing nigh.



[56]



One woman named Veronica

came near to wipe His face;
Then suddenly she kissed the

cloth and hurried from the

place.
It seemed for miles we travelled

on; the sun grew hot and then
With one sharp, little moan of

pain, the Man fell down again.
Soon after noon we met a group

of women; they all cried
And some drew close; He touched

a child in passing and He

sighed.

To each He gave some comfort.
On leaving them, He fell
And then I heard some muttered

words, one Heaven, and one

Hell.

On Calvary, we stripped Him,
a fine, well-muscled Man,



[57]



And when we threw Him on the

cross, the hammering began.
I am no girl, I've killed my

men my record's brave and

clean ;
But courage such as this Man

showed, I never yet have seen.
We finished nailing through the

hands; the feet required one

nail,
. . . He never deigned to cry

aloud; He knew not how to

fail.

But when we raised the cross up-
right, He saw a grove of trees
And eyes half-blind from agony

smiled at the young green

leaves.
We stood around to listen, for

from the cross He spoke;
The sorrow which He seemed to

feel was all for other folk.



[58]



Three hours He hung dying . . .

I scarcely dare to think
Of all that time. He begged me

once to let Him have a drink;
And once He called His Father

. . . and afterward, came peace.
When He sank dead upon the

cross, why should I feel release?

As they drew near, His follow-
ers, the Mother and the rest,

The beauty they call Magdalen
wept loud and struck her breast;

The others tried to talk to her of
Jesus and His laws,

But she would not be comforted
and cried: "I am the cause!"

A man called John was cherish-
ing the Mother while she wept.

Each one of these seemed far
away; they were as if they slept.

But when they took Him from
the cross, her arms were opened
wide,

[59]



And then again we saw the blood
still flowing from His side.

She held Him tight against her
breast the while she sobbed and
said:

"Heart of my Heart, I under-
stand; and can be glad You're
dead!"

They placed Him in the sepul-
chre (I watched until the
close) ;

The Man lay dead almost three
days; but afterward HE
ROSE!



[60]






4V* T A 06044



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UNIVERSITY OF CAUFORNIA UBRARY





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Online LibraryCaroline GiltinanThe divine image; a book of lyrics → online text (page 1 of 1)