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E75








LIBRARY

OF THE

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA.

GIFT OF




Cfes



; - -



.



ACKNOWLEDGEMENT



A goodly number of the WRITINGS in the fol-
lowing pages have appeared elsewhere from time to
time. The author here makes thankful acknowledge-
ments to the following publications in which a number
of these products were first printed :

CURRENT LITERATURE, New York City.

POET-LORE, Boston.

BIRDS AND ALL NATURE, Chicago.

THE KANSAS EDUCATOR, Kansas.

THE TOPEKA CAPITAL, Kansas.

THE INDIAN WITNESS, Calcutta, India.

EPWORTH HERALD, Chicago.

MICHIGAN CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE, De-
troit.

CENTRAL CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE, Kansas
City.

CALIFORNIA CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE,San
Francisco.

The SUNDAY SCHOOL JOURNAL and BI-
BLE STUDENTS MAGAZINE, New York City.

The author's greatest gladness would be to learn
that these short messages have helped other pilgrims
in services of life and love.



f.



A HARP
OF THE HEART



BY



CHARLES COKE WOODS




BROADWAY PUBLISHING CO.

885 Broadway, New York

BRANCH OFFICES: WASHINGTON. BALTIMORE

INDIANAPOLIS, NORFOLK, DES MOINES. IOWA



COPYRIGHT, 1911,

BY
CHARLES COKE WOODS



I C

k C t 1 '

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c ( <te i

*',! I 1 t

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I * t I *



TO

MR. M. L. WOY,
In Memory of Martha Elisabeth Woy.



228807



Wondrous scenes of beauty came

Across the years to me;
Would I could find some brush of flame

And paint them all for thee.

Wondrous music flowed along

On singing winds to me ;
Would I could catch it in my song,

And sing it all to thee.



Copied from the "California Christian Advocate"
of San Francisco; issue of Nov. 23, 1911.



"A HARP OF THE HEART"

By CHARLES COKE WOODS

Dr. Woods is not a stranger to the
readers of the CALIFORNIA CHRIS-
TIAN ADVOCATE. It has been a
pleasure to publish now and then a
poem from his pen and all know his
rare genius in that sort of literature.
The Broadway Publishing Company
has collected these poems of Dr.
Woods and presented them in a most
beautiful volume. The book is a rare
gift book. Dr. Woods has shown more
than ordinary genius in these poems.
We commend the book for careful
reading a book full of poems of beau-
tiful, tender, touching sentiment. Ideal
for a gift.

$1.00 Post paid from Broadway Pub-
lishing Co., 835 Broadway, N. Y. Or
order through your book dealer.



CONTENTS

PAGE

DEDICATION ., r . > >? >; 5

MOTTO .- .... ., > : >, . 7

GOD'S GOOD-NIGHT Kiss -. ; >, >j : .j >. t . : 9

SINGING OF THE SOUL :

A Dream at Dawn . . . . . >, > 13

Some of These Days . ... . . : .. 14

His Presence . ; >, .. ... t ., 15

The Conqueror's Creed . ., > : t .i i.j 16

If Wild Poppies Blow . . . ; ,., . 16

The Crowns ...... . . 17

Foregleams ...... , . . 19

"The Clearing" . ..... 20

A Night Song . . . .. . . . . 20

Lees of Life ..... ; . : . . . 21

Miracles ....;..>, ... > 22



;.;



The Return of Truth . . . . 24

My Shepherd ...... , : . 25

The Master ...... . . 26

A Soldier Prayer ....... 27

Friend ...... , .... 27

The Invisible Weaver ...... 28

Forward ....... . 28

A Journey with My Soul ..... 29

Via Dolorosa ........ 30

The Touches of His Hands . . . . 31

The Artist's Dream ...... 32

Thy Hand ......... 33

Love ....... ... 34

FIRESIDE SONGS:

"Are All the Children In?" .... 37

Words . .., ^ . ;.j .., .., .. w & 38



CONTENTS

PAGE

Her White Hands . . ., w M > .. 39

In the Old Cabin Door . . . . . 40

Playmates ... . : ., .. 40

The Baby and the Moon . . . . 45

Heart of My Heart ., .. . . . . 46

Hush-a-by 47

The Home-builder ., .1 i, -., . ; . . 48

Lad of My Love . . . ., . 49

SINGING OUT OF DOORS :

The Robin in the Rain 53

Clouds 53

The Sheep Sorrel . > 54

Nesting Time ......... 55

Wild Strawberries . 55

Focr C*7

J- ^ W * * * * ' * * ) /

The Smile of Spring . . . . . 58

Alt 3.1 la ......;.,... 59

The Wind . . , ; 60

The Grass 61

The Song of the Sickle 62

The Wild Rose . 63

Sweet William 64

The Prairie Petunia . . . . . .64

The Swinging Lamps of Dawn ... 65

Rain . * . . . . .. * ... . 66

Falling Leaves 67

The Old World ., ; ., w >, >. .. ,.. 67

SONGS OF HOMELAND:

* *

Lincoln . . .... . .. . . 7 1

Brotherhood . . .. .< > ... 72

Freedom . . . ... >, .1 . . . 72

Washington . ; . . : . .. .. . . 73

Judgment M n ^ M M w w 73



>.'>>

> >' > > ' >

>>'->' > I

> >



> > 1 , 1 1

i . r > \ > > > >

>

i 11



GOD'S GOOD-NIGHT KISS.

She walked with God, or in the sun or rain,
And when her time was come to leave,

She gave no sign of mortal pain,
On that near night to Christmas eve.

She faced earth's frowns with faith's unfailing
smile

That drove the clouds from all our skies ;
As free as sunlight is from guile,

Was she, with clear, untarnished eyes.

Her voice in speech was always music sweet,

And swift her feet to follow pain
Until arrived at grief's retreat,

She hushed all sobs with love's refrain.

Then in the evening dusk the kiss of God

Fell on her brow, as soft and still
As dew-fall finds the flowering sod,

And all is well that is God's will.

And now she lives that glad, unaging life,

Beyond the blinding touch of tears,
Beyond the struggle and the strife,

With joy that knows no ending years.

9



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c



( I



r <











I

' :



SINGING OF THE SOUL.



A HARP OF THE HEART



A DREAM AT DAWN.

A Stranger took my hand in his,

And at the dawn-time stood with me

High on a mountain's wind-washed brow,
And said, with speaking gesture, "See

All life, and its full meaning now."

I saw unrolled a wondrous scroll,
And wistful strove to read its page;

I gazed and wordless grew with awe,
Nor did the sight my pain assuage;

The Stranger said, "Child, this is Law."

A chieftain then in armor clad,
Stood giant tall behind the scroll,

Impatient, waiting for his hour,

With tyrant's heel to crush man's soul ;

The Stranger said : "Child, this is Power."

Hard by the chieftain stood a queen,
Too finely fair for speech to name,

And at her feet unmeasured booty,

And world-wide was her fadeless fame;-

The Stranger said: "Child, this is Beauty."



A HARP OF THE HEART

Engirt with Beauty, Law, and Power,

Came One whose worth surpassed them all;

Like rain of gold, light from above
On her fair face did gently fall ;

The Stranger said : "Child, this is LOVE."



SOME OF THESE DAYS.

Some of these days the shadows will shift
From the face of the sky, and the fogs will lift,
And peace will bloom in paths of pain,
As flowers come blossoming after the rain,
Some of these days.

Some of these days the burthen will fall,
And sweet thro* the dark a Voice will call,
Luring away from the lowering night
Into a day of uncloudening light,
Some of these days.

Some of these days our work will change,
And widen to reaches of infinite range;
The finest of deeds we meant to do,
And the sweetest of dreams will come full true,
Some of these days.

Some of these days a Hand in the gloam
Will beckon away to a radiant home ;
And as gleeful groups when school is out
We'll gladsome go with joyous sfiout,
Some of these days.

14



A HARP OF THE HEART



HIS PRESENCE.

Some One attends this pilgrim way,

And treads each path with me,
He meets my wondrous need each day

With wondrous ministry;
His presence doth my soul engage,

Whose power upholds the earth,
Who guides all worlds from age to age,

And every life from birth.

In softened tones He speaks to me,

His hand's in easy reach,
My glad heart knows this mystery

Which passes human speech ;
Transcending all material forms,

Yet throbbing in each mote,
His music sounds thro' hurtling storms,

And in the zephyr's note.



A HARP OF THE HEART



THE CONQUEROR'S CREED.

The storm's swift wings belong to God,

He folds them when He will ;
He speaks along the thunder's voice,

And bids the din be still ;
His lips of love shall drink the dark

From every bitter night,
And all my clouded space shall fill

With His unclouded light.

No dreams of good are aught too good

Some day to come full true ;
The largest hope is nearest right,

God's upper skies are blue ;
All dark despairs shall turn to hope,

All sobbings into song,
For God and good still hold the throne,

And right shall conquer wrong.



IF WILD POPPIES BLOW.

What matter if wild poppies blow

Above my sleeping dust;
Or brief my years, or long, if so

I have been true and just;
I care not where my dust may lie,

Or in the field or wood, v

If only all who pass me by

Have known that I was good.

16



A HARP OF THE HEART



THE CROWNS.

The reckoning- day had come at last,

The coronation day ;
The years of earthly life had passed,

Nor could I longer stay;
I saw the mighty King- of Love,

And heard his gentle word
The estimates of life above,

And His awards I heard.

Ten thousand glowing crowns I saw,

Set full of shining stars ;
Nor in one crown was found a flaw,

As earthly blemish mars;
I wondered whose the shining ones,

And whose the crowns less bright ;
I said: "The brightest are for sons

That flash in fame's high light."

Then bowed the King above the head

Of one with pallid face;
And as He crowned this one He said,

"His life was full of grace;"
But in the halls of earthly fame

No man could find a shred
Of that immortal hero's name,

Nor one great word he said.

He was an invalid in pain
For many weary years,

17



A HARP OF THE HEART

Who kept his spirit free from stain,

And free from fretting fears;
But from his bed of suffering came

Brave words that cheered the throng ;
His love life burned with ceaseless flame,

And ceaseless was his song.

And then a dwarf with humble mien

Received a shining crown ;
He scarce on earth was ever seen,

A stranger to renown;
No flaming torch he held aloft,

His was a modest light ;
At his small work the haughty scoffed,

And kept him out of sight.

But when God's light uncovered all,

On the great reckoning day,
That dwarf stood tallest of the tall,

And bore his crown away;
A crown thick-set with shining stars

Was placed upon his head,
For not one flaw his manhood mars,

Nor spoils one word he said.

In handing out each soul's reward

No heed was paid to fame ;
'Twas real worth that pleased the Lord,

Despite men's praise or blame ;
Mere gifts of genius counted naught

In that perfect assize,
'Twas seen that wealth no crown had bought,

But goodness won the prize.

It



A HARP OF THE HEART



FOREGLEAMS.

We spread palm leaves beneath Thy feet,

Resplendent Prince of Light;
Against our night Thy sunbeams beat,

And darkness takes to flight.

From seed we sow in sorrow's rain,

Amid the tempest's din,
We'll bring bright sheaves from fields of pain,

Where angels' feet have been.

Field lilies fill footprints of frost,

When snowdrifts melt away;
And love-lit faces we have lost

God will give back some day.

Earth's tombs are draped with living blooms
From seeds Thy hands have sown;

Thy quenchless light gleams thro' our glooms,
And hushes all our moan.



A HARP OF THE HEART



"THE CLEARING."

Among tall trees I walked in evening gloam,

And for a little space saw not the path;

The dismal owls called thro' the dark, and winds

Made moan as some spent pilgrim racked with pain ;

Then suddenly I found with sweet surprise

That in "the clearing" I had come, and stood

Assured and unafraid at my own door;

Thus will it be some gladsome time, when thro*

The tangled dark my stumbling feet have come,

And with my Father safe arrived at home.



A NIGHT SONG.

Dumb with dread my faltering feet
Stand still upon the verge

Of stormy seas whose billows beat
My dead hope's funeral dirge.

Is there no Father's hand to take
The hand outstretched to Him?

Shall prayer but empty echoes wake
Among the sea- fogs dim?

Oh, answer, God, speak back to me
Across this reach of night;

Touch my slow eyes and let them see
The coming of the light.

20



A HARP OF THE HEART



LEES OF LIFE.

From chalices of languid life,

I drain the bitter lees,
And all the music left to me

Sobs out from broken keys ;

The glad song bird of hope is hushed,

A-droop with weary wing,
Nor can the angel of the dawn

Coax her sad heart to sing.

But fruit was never ripened yet,

Without the storm and rain,
And all life's brightest sheaves are gleaned

With keenest blades of pain ;

Mayhap all grief and grim despair,

Like frost and ice and snow
Will turn to good when God's sunshine

Shall make them melt and flow.



21



A HARP OF THE HEART



MIRACLES.

Miracles are wrought to-day

There are so many now
That many men forget to pay

The deferential bow
To Him who only hath the skill

To do the unmatched deed,
Of working out His wondrous will,

In mind of man or weed.

I hold "The Sign" to be such thing

As none but God can do,
Or be it wrought in floods of spring,

Or in a drop of dew;
In "wonders'* of the grape and wheat,

Full ripe in His sunshine,
I find interpretation meet,

Of those in Palestine.

God changes water into wine,

In vineyards, I allow ;
And where His heavy harvests shine,

He makes the "Manna" now ;
His methods may be otherwise

(God's modes are manifold)
Than under Palestinian skies,

In those dear days of old.



A HARP OF THE HEART

What matter, if He work His will?

For only that is good,
Or in the vale, or on the hill,

Or in the field, or wood;
God's will thro' nature's pulses flows,

In human kind, or tree,
His works are greater now than those

He wrought in Galilee.



ft



CREEDS.

Pagan crumbs in human creeds

Hold much of error's bane,
Nor do they meet my outer needs,

Nor soothe my inner pain ;
How helps it me to know the path

Where runneth mercy's feet,
If Love's lips drain no cups of wrath,

Nor make life's bitter sweet.

Traditions hoary with the past,

No longer solace me,
By fickle fancy they were cast

In Mind's sweet infancy;
Too real is life to stand on dreams,

Or fables well devised ;
All Truth is greater than it seems,

Nor long can be disguised.

23



A HARP OF THE HEART

The creed that shows the heart of God

With less of love than mine,
Is only dust from earthly clod,

And ne'er could be divine ;
That creed and Christ are far apart,

Like desert sand and sea,
It shows man's error-blinded heart,

But, God, it shows not Thee.



THE RETURN OF TRUTH.

Seaward far the billows heaved,

And left me on the sand;
Had my own eyes my soul deceived,

Did I not understand
That with the tide the Truth had gone,

And left me lost and lone
That never more sweet day would dawn,

But night winds aye would moan?

I only lay affrighted there,

Wreck-drift upon the shore,
And breathed a prayer choked with despair,

For Truth's return once more;
The tide had rolled afar from land,

And left a weary waste,
Where wrecks and ruins strewed the strand

And Truth could not be traced.

24



A HARP OF THE HEART

Her glowing face had gone away,

Her flaming feet had fled,
I faintly sobbed, but could not pray

For TRUTH or / was dead ;
But like the rush of waters wild,

Or floods of falling rain,
The tide came back in billows piled,

And Truth returned again.

Truth ne'er had died, but I was dead,

Cloud- veiled were all the stars ;
And Hope on muffled feet had fled

Across the ocean bars;
But when the tide returned again,

My spirit mewed her youth,
For walking on the widening main,

With proffered hands came Truth.

^^^^W 9^^^^f (^V~*J

MY SHEPHERD.

Over the braes with bleeding feet,
My Shepherd sought for me,

Through blinding rain and stinging sleet
That hurtled across the lea.

From sheltering fold I wandered far,
And groped amid the gloam;

Night reft the skies of every star,
And me of friends and home.

25



A HARP OF THE HEART

But when my Shepherd's voice rang clear
Through night's bewildering black,

That music soothed away my fear,
And brought the morning back.

I called Him near with pleading cry,

And with His pitying palm
He stroked the teardrops from my eye,

And loved my soul to calm.

He drives away the wolves of ills,

As Shepherds did of old,
And on life's winter-beaten hills

His bosom is my fold.



THE MASTER.

So true is the Master who rules in the earth,

That no giant evil can come to the birth,

But some mighty good springs forth full grown,-

Seizes a sceptre and climbs to a throne,

Makes servants of evils, helps truth to the goal;-

So strong is the Master who rules in the soul.



26



A HARP OF THE HEART



A SOLDIER PRAYER.

Take not away my chance of life,

Nor ease me of my task,
Nor grant me furlough from the strife,

Nor save from scars, I ask;
But make me bravest of the brave,

Unswerving, strong, and true,
And when my comrades dig my grave,

Say this, "A fair fight through."



^^B fi^W ^^W



FRIEND.

I would empty thy chalice of heartache and pain,
Would freshen thy desert with flowers and rain,
Would draw out the bitter and pour in the sweet,
And pluck every thorn from the way of thy feet;
I would sing in the gladness of summer and bloom,
And sing out the sadness of winter and gloom ;
Would lessen thy load by enlarging thy life,
I would sing back repose and would sing away
strife.



A HARP OE THE HEART



THE INVISIBLE WEAVER.

Behind the warp and woof of things,

The unseen Weaver stands;
And from His hand the thread He flings

That makes the mystic strands.

The tangled skeins unsightly seem,
Ere passed through His sure loom ;

But woven in the warp they gleam
Like beauty in a bloom.

Bright threads of weal are spun from woe,
And night-black threads come white,

When from His flawless spindles flow
The finished robes of right.



FORWARD.

I face the wind,
I front the storm,

Nor quail, nor faint, nor backward turn ;
But up the steeps
With truth-shod feet-
God made me not to fear or fail ;
I climb and stand
Above the storm
Where clouds forever fall away.

28



A HARP OF THE HEART



A JOURNEY WITH MY SOUL.

A journey with my soul I went,
Among earth's thrones and crowns,

To find full measure of content,
In country place or towns.

The highest mountain tops I scaled,
And searched the deepest vales;

On seas each passing ship I hailed,
And yet contentment fails.

I gathered gold from many mines,
And pearls from many seas;

I drank from cups of mingled wines,
And drained them to the lees.

In every land I worshiped Art,
And bowed at Beauty's shrine;

But not in studio or mart
Found I the thing divine.

Like some lost bee far from the hive,
Wing strength all gone to waste,

I find my spirit scarce alive,
In bloomless deserts placed.

Content dwells not in some far star,
Nor on some distant strand ;

But duty brings it where we are,
On any seas or land.

29



A HARP OF THE HEART



VIA DOLOROSA.

The upward sloping path to power has crimson
stain,

Drawn from lacerated feet that tread on pain,

And press their way through battling winds that
smite them sore,

Till they have borne the soul above the storm's up-
roar.

I thought to climb the steeps of strength by rugged

roads,

And on my Titan thews bear other Pilgrims' loads.
But now through vales fog-choked and chill, bereft

of day,
I find myself a wayfarer strayed from the way.

The set and stress of brawn and brain and my soul's
might

Have been to reach the glowing goal of manhood's
height,

And then to stand aloft and lift and draw men
there,

Where to glad sceptred souls comes no touch of de-
spair.

The long-locked secret's soul asserts itself at last*;
I half suspected years agone that when youth past
I should wake up some day where stinging frost

winds blow,
And, startled, find myself unclothed mid wilds of

woe.

30



A HARP OF THE HEART

I grope among Divine debris and feel for One
Amid the wreck, whose face eclipses noon-day sun,
And whose voice speaks across the anguish of my

years,
Whose lips drain dry the chalice of my grief and

fears.

My heart and flesh and my high dreams have failed,

But like a witless bird on some sharp thorn im-
paled,

Whose life in crimson drops falls back to mother
sod,

Thus my spent soul drops in the open palms of God.



ft ft

THE TOUCHES OF HIS HANDS.

I lean not on my earthly lot,

But on Him whom. I know,
Whose unforgetting love hath not

Forgot the way I go;
And when His love-toned voice I hear,

And touch His healing hand,
The darkest skies of life come clear,

Above earth's shadow-land;
He walks the highways of the storm,

In stillest air He stands,
I feel in climates cold and warm

The touches of His hands;
And if He call me in the night,

Or at the tide of noon,

31



A HARP OF THE HEART.

Or when the evening star is bright,

Or when the mystic moon
Is raining soft her silvery sheen

Across night's open door,
Where still the shadows' watch I ween

My Friend shall come once more,
(Whose face at night I oft have seen)

And, leading on before,
His gentle hand shall safely screen

These eyes unused to waneless lights,
That gleam beyond the land of nights.



THE ARTIST'S DREAM.

Long the yearning artist hunted
For a block of sandal- wood,

From the which his skill might chisel
The Madonna great and good.

But the quest seemed wholly useless,
And despair stood at the door ;

Must he see his vision vanish,
Nor return forevermore?

Angel Hope came in the night-time,
Spreading splendor in her trail,

Speaking thus with inspiration,
"Up, my Hero, never fail."

32



A HARP OF THE HEART

Then the genius seized the oak wood,

Sleeping at the fireside,
And from that carved the Madonna

Which became the wide world's pride.

Thus it is that masterpieces

Which the dreamer would prepare,

Hide among the commonplaces
That surround us everywhere.

if^rV ifVV tf'Vv

THY HAND.

Thy Hand, Thy Hand, great Friend, Thy Hand-

The daylight fades, nor in the sky

Is seen one star to show the way

Thro' tangled thickets of the dark;

The sea tides lift, and weary waves

Fall heavy on the sodden sand,

And, sobbing at my feet, they die.

The moon in mist is wholly hid

Beyond the lonely night-clad hills;

My ships are all far out at sea

Great ships of Faith and Hope and Love;

Ah, what if they should ne'er return?

Thy Hand, Thy Hand, great Guide, Thy Hand,

To steer my lonely little barque

Around the rocks where breakers beat

Themselves to fury and to foam

O, Master of all storms and seas,

Till to my harbor home I come,

My Pilot Lord, Thy Hand, Thy Hand.

33



A HARP OF THE HEART



f LOVE.

Love hath eyes that see the deepest secrets shadows

hold, ,;,;,< r ;
Yet eyes that see in deepest dark the faintest gleams

of gold ;
And love climbs steeps and spills life's blood in

every track
Nor in the face of death or doom will love turn

back.



FIRESIDE SONGS.



A HARP OF THE HEART



"ARE ALL THE CHILDREN IN ?"

Life's lamp was burning low,
When a mother asked to know,
If the midnight had been passed,
And life's journey done at last,
Asked once more in whispers thin :
"Are all the children in?"

O the winds are cold and wild,
Chilling many a hapless child,
Lambs have wandered from the fold,
In the stormy night and cold;
Who will search the shadows black,
And help the Shepherd bring them back?

"Are all the children in?"
From the prowling wolves of sin,
From the place where dancing death
Breathes o'er all his blighting breath,
And crouching 'sets his secret ginn

"Are all the children in?' 1

O the winds are cold and wild,
Chilling many a hapless child,
Lambs have wandered from the fold,
In the stormy night and cold;
Who will search the shadows black,
'And help the Shepherd bring them back?

37



A HARP OF THE HEART

"Are all the children in?"
From the starless night of sin,
Where the winds their revels hold,
With swirling snow and killing cold,
And hunger shivers gaunt and thin

"Are all the children in?"

O the winds are cold and wild,
Chilling many a hapless child,
Lambs have wandered from the fold,
In the stormy night and cold;
Who will search the shadows black,
'And help the Shepherd bring them back?



WORDS.

If words were daggers, would we thrust

Them, as we often do,
Into hearts of those we love,

And smite them through and through?

If words were arrows poison-tipped,
Then would we bend the bow,

And let them fly so recklessly,
Unheeding where they go ?

If words were things that bruise and maim,

And lacerate and slay,
Like blades and bludgeons that men make

For brutal battle play,


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