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POEMS



POEMS



BY

FRANCIS MAITLAND



LONDON

ELKIN MATHEWS, CORK STREET

M CM XVII



To A. M.



IN AFFECTIONATE REMEMBRANCE



Go little booh^ and ij you pass unJicedea,
And all companionless upon your -way.

Yet so 7ny labour is not vain that made you ^
That knew the joy of making day by day.

But should you find one friend upon your joicrney,
One resting place in heart of man or maid^

Comfort one soul, or give to one wayfarer
One momenfs gladness, I am doubly paid.



CONTENTS













PACK


Sunset 9


^ TOIV i) (TTl t6.V










10


Chicago Stock Exchange










II


COHASSET I . . .










12


COHASSET II . . .










13


How Long ? . . .










14


Loci Dulcedo .










15


Diana ....










16


Dog Days










18


Spring in Absence .










19


The Return .










21


()UAMQUAM O—










24


"Maidy"










25


Horace. Book I. Ode 22










26


Horace. Book II. Ode 10










27


Horace. Book III, Ode 9










28


Homer. Iliad, Book VI, 440-502








30


Millwater


.








• 35



CONTENTS



E. M. J


36


R.M.S. Titanic


• 39


On the Lacedaemonian Dead at Plataea .


40


The Belgian Dead . . . . .


. 40


SURSUM CORDA


41


Rheims Catheurai-


42


This Dear, Dear Land


45


The Splendid Vision


46


Resolve


48


Killed in Action


49


"Strict Accountapii.ity " ....


SO


Vox POPULI


51


The Watching Dead


56



NOTE



Three of the sonnets have appeared in
the Times, and one of the translations
in the Westminster Gazette^ and I desire
to thank the Editors for permission to
reprint these poems.



Sunset

When I have fully satisfied mine eyes
With the calm beauty of a summer's eve,
Have watched the sun sink down to rest, and leave

A splendid radiance in the western skies ;

The glory fades, all creatures hush their cries.
The gates of Death stand open to receive
The lingering light, and Nature seems to grieve

For the slow passing of the day that dies.

Then will a subtle melancholy steal

Upon my senses, and the voices deep
Of Night and Death call with a mute appeal.

Why will men strive and wrangle, laugh and weep,
When such an hour can almost reveal

The beauty of the everlasting Sleep ?



These many months I have not seen thy face,
Darkness and gloom have covered me, the night
Has chilled my soul with doublings, and my sight

Is all bedimmed, so that I scarce can trace

The narrow path that saves me from disgrace.
And hard it is to battle for the right
Without thy voice to cheer me in the fight,

Or speed my faltering footsteps in the race.

Come love, and save me, for my faith grows cold.
Come, and with thy sweet presence heal my pain,
And all my foolish doubts and fears remove ;

So shall I, like the Spartan youth of old,
Go forth to battle, and return again
Or with my shield, or on it, to my love.



Chicago Stock Exchange

Bert Alward

The brawling voices babble as before

Though one is hushed : the noblest and the best
Is taken from our midst, and yet the rest

Still fight, and shout and wrangle on the floor.

But we shall never feel his presence more.
Nor hear his merry laugh and constant jest :
The Shades have welcomed an unwilling guest,

And darkness hides him on the farther shore.

Ah, cruel Death, why dost thou joy to show

Thy power by striking down the young and fair,

Letting the weak and old escape the blow ?
Restore thy victim we so ill can spare !

Nay, for 'tis best, and thus he shall not know
Old age, disease or poverty or care.



Cohasset



The days are sped, and never shall return,
Days of deep joy, which Helen did beguile
Widi her sweet presence and enchanting smile

That could the veriest Hell to Heaven turn.

The days are sped ! God give me grace to learn
The lesson of her cheerfulness, the while
There stretches out before me, mile on mile

My lonely road. She will no more return.

Yet, though a dreary life before me lies,

Though I am dead henceforth to blame or praise,

And live but in past memories, mine eyes

Have looked on Heaven itself for six whole days ;

Nor life nor death can rob me of my prize,
This glorious memory that is mine always.



Cohasset
II

She sits beside me by the murmuring sea,
The weary king of heaven his course has run,

The earth lies hushed in silent reverie,

The sad, pale moon hangs in the southern sky
Watching the downfall of her lord, the sun ;

All nature is at peace, and night is nigh.

And tender words are rising to my lips ;

Alas, I may not breathe them in her ear,
Nor tell her of my love : and now as dips
The blood red sun beneath the western wave.

So sink my dying hopes : she must not hear
The secret I shall carry to the grave.

Yet I may love her still, and strive to make
This sorry world in which my days are past

A little happier for her sweet sake ;

May consecrate my life to her, and keep
Her image in my heart, until at last

Kind Death enshrouds me in the mists of sleep.



13



How Long }

The weeks go by, the weary weeks go by,

The months are lengthened into years, the years
Are filled with sordid toil, and wet with tears ;

Nor Hell nor Heaven gives relief: the sky

Is brass above our heads, our feeble cry

Goes trembling up to Heaven, and no God hears,
But evermore dull, sullen labour sears

The aching heart, and will not let it die.

How long. Lord, must the sons of labour wait ?

How long must we refrain, and hold our hand ?
Some day the fierce and smouldering spark of hate

Shall of a sudden to a flame be fanned :
Then shall the lords of labour curse their fate,

While anarchy runs riot o'er the land.



14



Loci Dulcedo

Once again in thy meadows of Christ Church,

Through thy chapels and gardens again
I walk as of old, while thy towers

Ring out a refrain.
Dear Mother, my heart is o'er-flowing

With the joy of thy peace, as of yore.
While my steps in the hush of thy cloisters

Re-echo once more.

And yet, with the joy of the present

Is mingled the sadness and pain
Of regret for the days that are vanished.

And come not again :
For now, in the toil and the hurry

Of the new country over the seas
I forget the deep calm of thy cloisters,

The shade of thy trees.

Wilt thou be with me there in thy stillness.

Wilt thou give me a part of thyself
In the noise of the street and the market,

The struggle for pelf?
Lest I weary and faint by the wayside,

May the thought of thy manifold charm
Bring peace to my spirits o'er-burdened,

And heavenly calm.

15



D



lana



O Moon, that sailest in the heavens above,

Inscrutable, pale, beautiful, alone.

Art weary of thy solitary throne ?
Dost long sometimes for sympathy or love ?

Imperious mistress of the realms of sleep.
Colder and purer than new-fallen snow,
What would'st thou say to mortals here below.

To men that love and hate, that laugh and weep ?

" Ah, happy careless men, ye cannot tell
With what an aching heart I swim in space.
While the great sorrow written on my face

Speaks of the solitudes with which I dwell.

" Men look upon my face and call me cold,
And know not that, behind the mask, a fire
Consumes me of unsatisfied desire,

And longing for the world which I behold ;
i6



DIANA

" The life I may not share, but still must see,
The petty, struggling life of man on earth.
Who is the sport of Fortune from his birth.

And yet hath love, which is denied to me.

" Aye, and though sin and sorrow can destroy
The bliss of life, and even love can die,
I would renounce my immortality

For one brief hour of human love and joy.

" The niggard gods, that had so much to give,
Made me a queen, but crowned me with despair ;
I have not love— then wherefore am I fair?

I am alone — what profits it to live ?

" So, while I sail the solitary ways

Bathed in the light of my own loveliness,
The sorrow of eternal loneliness

Shines in the cold, pale beauty of my gaze."



17



Dog Days



The angry sun slow sinking in the west,

Casts one last lingering glance upon the earth
Which he has parched and withered all the day ;
And weary, worn out men prepare to rest

Where rest is none, and all glad sounds of mirth
Are hushed, and tired children cease their play.

At last the sun is down, and now the stars
Begin to peep with cruel, laughing eyes.
And mock the miseries of mirthless men.
The air is still as death, and no cloud mars
The pitiless perfection of the skies.

And night but tells the day's sad tale again.



iS



Spring in Absence

Nature her gifts is bringing

To deck the fields anew,
And all the birds are singing,

And all the skies are blue,
And all the land is gay, love.

And all the world is glad,
But thou art far away, love,

And I alone am sad.

^yhat though the earth be learning

The gladness of the Spring,
If all my heart is yearning

For her it cannot bring.
"What though the Spring be giving

The best of all the year,
There is no joy of living

If Helen be not here.

Could we but roam together

The leafy woods of June,
In bright or cloudy weather,

The world were all in tune.

19 c 2



SPRING IN ABSENCE

But now the night is dreary,

And dreary is the day,
And ah ! my heart is weary,

My love is far away.

Come back, my love, and cheer me,

And drive away my care ;
'Tis Spring when thou art near me.

And everything is fair.
Thy smile can bring the May, love,

That smile I know so well,
Can turn the night to day, love,

And make a Heaven of Hell.



20



The Return

1 HAVE seen thee again, my beloved,

Thou art come in the pride of thy youth,
^Vith thy beauty a garment about thee,

In thy mantle of truth :
Though my heart \vas a-weary with waiting.

And the days of thy absence were long,
Thou art come, and the world at thy coming

Is turned to a song.

When the night hangs her shroud in the heavens.

And blackens the face of the land,
And darkness broods over the waters

Ere day is at hand,
Of a sudden the tops of the mountains

Are touched by the fingers of dawn.
And all creatures give thanks for. the daylight,

And sin? to the morn.



THE RETURN

When the long weary months of the winter

Have forgotten that summer is gay,
While the sun hides his face in displeasure

And darkens the day,
One morning we wake, and the hedgerows

Are green, and the birds as they sing,
And the soft air that breathes in our faces

Are telling of Spring.

Thou art come, and the Spring is come with thee,

Thou art come, and the morning is here.
Forgotten the horror of watching

For day to appear.
Forgotten the darkness of winter,

The gloom and despair of the night,
In my heart is the gladness of Springtime

When morning is bright.

When the moon in her beauty arising

Makes glorious the heavens above,
When she floods the whole earth with her radiance,

Do we ask her for love ?
So for me 'tis enough that I see thee.

Enough that my heart for a while
Is made glad with the joy of thy presence,

The light of thy smile.

22



THE RKTURxX

I have seen thee again, my beloved,

Thou art come in the pride of thy youth.
With thy beauty a garment about thee.

In thy mantle of truth :
Thou art come, and the Spring is come with thee,

Thou art come, and the morning is here ;
In my heart is the gladness of morning

When Summer is near.



23



Quamquam O —

With all my heart, with all my soul,
With all my strength I love thee, dear ;

Thou art my life, my light, my goal,

My Heaven and Hell, my hope and fear.

I would not that the lightest breath
Of harsh suspicion on thee blow.

And I would gladly welcome death
Could I but make thee happier so.

There is no comfort in my heart,

No happiness for us can be.
The Fates have set our paths apart — -

A lonely path for thee and me !

Yet sometimes I may see thy face,

May press thy hand, and know thee true ;

Then silently my steps retrace
To commune with despair anew.



24



Maidy "



Maidy with the laughing eyes

And the mind that none can follow,

Every word is a surprise

Maidy with the laughing eyes.

Now thy thought deep-hidden lies,
Now it glances like the swallow,

Maidy with the laughing eyes

And the niind that none can follow.



25



Horace. Book I. Ode 22

The man of pure and blameless life
Needs no stout armour in the strife,
Nor poisoned arrow-head, nor knife
Of Moorish fashion.

Whether o'er stormy seas he goes,
Or through the inhospitable snows
Of Caucasus, or yet where flows
Fabled Hydaspes.

For while afar in Sabine glade
Singing of Lalage I strayed,
From me unarmed a wolf, dismayed.
Fled in confusion :

A monster, such as roams in bands
O'er Daunia's war-swept forest lands.
Or breeds in Libya's burning sands,
The nurse of lions.
26



HORACE. BOOK 1. ODK 22

Set me where no soft breezes blow,
Nor any flowers or trees may grow,
Where is perpetual rain and snow,
And mist eternal.

Or where the car of Heaven's bright King
Brings death to every living thing :
Still Lalage's sweet voice I'll sing.
And her sweet laughter.



Horace. Book II. Ode 10

Sail not too rashly out to sea,
My friend, nor, fearful of the roar

Of winds and waters, hug too close
The rocky shore.

Who loves the golden middle way,

Escapes the poor man's wants and cares,

Escapes the envious glance that waits
On millionaires.

High towers fall with mightier crash,
With the tall pine more fiercely fights

The tempest : 'tis the mountain tops
The lightning smites.
27



HORACE. BOOK II. ODE 10

Fear in good luck, but hope in ill,

Prepared for all that chance may bring

The God that gives us winter now
Will send the Spring.

Misfortune comes not every day;

Apollo clears his brow, and lo !
The sounding lyre takes the place

Of bended bow.

Should difficulties come, be bold

And play the man : should favouring gale^
Too kindly blow, be wise in time,

And reef your sails.



Horace. Book HI. Ode 9

While I was the king of your heart, love,
And you kept all your kisses for me,

I'll wager no king on his throne, love.
So rich or so happy could be.

When NelliCj that impudent hussy,

Hadn't stolen my lover away,
Men might brag of their Norman descent, Sir,

But your Lucy was prouder than they.
28



HORACE. BOOK III. ODE 9

But Nellie now holds me in bondage,
Such music divine she can make,

Could I purchase her life with my own life,
E'en death would I dare for her sake.

And Robert is now my adorer.
The son of old Benjamin Lake,

Could I purchase his life by my dying,
Twice gladly I'd die for his sake.

But what if the old love returning
Should bind me to Lucy anew.

If Nellie be scorned and rejected,
And my heart open only to you ?

Then though he be a perfect Adonis,
You fickle and cross as the sea,

Yet to live and to die with my Charlie
Were fortune sufficient for me.



29



Homer. Iliad, Book VI, 440-502

Then to her answered and spake great Hector the

waving-crested :
" I too grieve for all this, dear love, but indeed it

were shameful
Here in the eyes of the men of Troy, and the long-
robed women,
If I should skulk like a coward and fly far away from

the battle ;
Nor does my spirit allow, which ever has made me

courageous,
Ever has taught me in battle for Troy to fight with

the foremost.
Jealously guarding my father's renown and my own

great glory.
Full well I know in my heart, and the voice of my

heart has foreboded.
Surely the day will come when all shall be brought to

destruction.
Ilium's sacred walls and Priam and all his people.



HOMER. ILIAD, BOOK VI, 44O-502

Yet I care not so much for the sorrow to come to the

Trojans,
Care not for Hecuba's woe so much, nor yet for King

Priam's,
Grieve not even so much in my heart for my own

dear brothers
Many and brave who shall fall in the dust at the

hands of the foemen ;
Nay, but for thee I grieve, when some siout-armoured

Achaean
Bearing thee weeping away shall deny thee the light

of freedom :
Then with Argos thy home thou'lt wield for another

the distaff,
Carrying water for her from Messeis and swift

Hypereie
Sore distressed in heart, and harsh compulsion shall

drive thee.
Haply will someone say when he sees thee bitterly

weeping,
' This is Hector's wife who was ever the foremost in

battle.
First of the horsemen of Troy when the battle raged

around Ilium.'
Thus will they say, and thy grief will ever be freshly

awakened,

31



HOMER. ILIAD, BOOK VI, 44O-502

Grief for the need of a man such as I to protect and

defend thee.
May I He dead in the dark with the eartli heaped

high o'er my body
E'er I be told of thy grief and thy cries when they

drag thee to bondage."
So spake mighty Hector, his arms to his child out-
stretching.
Back shrank the child to the breast of his nurse with

the beautiful girdle,
Shrank with a cry, at the sight of his own dear father

affrighted,
Fearing the brazen helm and the crest with the waving

horse-hair,
Watching the plume on the crest so terribly shaking

and nodding.
Loud laughed his dear father and lady mother

together.
Straightway then from his head great Hector removed

the helmet,
And on the ground he set it in haste, all glittering

brightly.
Then he took his child in his arms and fondled him

gently.
Kissed him, and prayed to Zeus and to all the gods

of Olympus.

32



HOMER. ILIAD, BOOK VI, 44O-502

" Zeus and ye other gods, grant this my prayer, that

the boy here
Be a true son of mine, Uke me the first of the Trojans,
Mighty in strength as I, and hold high lordship in

Ilium :
So shall men say of my son, ' He is greater far than

his father,'
As he returns from battle, and spoils shall he take

from the vanquished,
Slaying his man in the fight, and shall gladden the

heart of his mother."
Thus having prayed, to the arms of his own dear wife

he returned him.
Even his child, and she to her fragrant bosom received

him,
Smiling through her tears, and her dear lord saw her

and pitied ;
Then with his hand he caressed her, and spake brave

words of comfort.
" Dearest, let not thy heart be for me too sorely

afflicted,
Verily ere my time there is no man living can slay me,
But from his doom there is none can flee, be he

coward or hero.
Nay, not one can escape when the fates have surely

decreed it.

33 D



HOMER. ILIAD, BOOK VI, 44O-502

Therefore get thee home and attend to the loom and

the distaff,
Mindful of thine own work, and order thy household

wisely.
Set them about their tasks ; we men will attend to the

fighting,
All of us, aye and myself above all, whose home is in

Ilium."
So great Hector spake, and the helm with the crest of

horse-hair
Up from the ground he took, and his own dear wife

w^ent homeward,
Oft she turned her about, and tears from her eyes

were streaming.
When she was come to the house, to the well-built

house of her hero.
Hector the slayer of men, she found there servants

a- many.
And to them all she brought loud wailing and lamen-
tation.
.So in Hector's house they all were mourning for

Hector,
Living yet though he was, for they said he would

come from the battle
Never again, nor escape from the hands of the

wrathful Achaeans.

34



Millvvater

Lady of the Garden, no

Fairer spot than this can be,

Proud with Summer's bravest show,
Sweet to smell and fair to see.

Lady of the Garden, we

Poor town-dwellers, for a while
From the noise and dirt set free,

Thank you for your garden's smile ;

Thank you for a happy day,
And your garden's welcoming,

Fountains lazily at play.
Waters ever murmuring.

Then reluctant go away

Richer for the fairy sight,
Peace and quiet of the day,

Country noises of the night.

Summer days too swiftly sped,
Summer nights that fairer grew —

All things pass and these are fled,
Lady of the Garden, too.



D 2



E. M. J.



What is he thinking lying there so still,
This tiny piece of soft humanity,
This little unknown stranger in our midst ?
Is he astonished at the gift of life.
That brings him into such a strange, new world,
With all its unfamiliar sights and sounds ?
What has this new-found life in store for him,
What joys and sorrows in the years to come ?
I bid you welcome, little new-comer
To this new life : may it be kind to you,
And give you happiness and loving friends,
Noble achievement, length of prosperous days,
And health and strength, and all your heart's desire
The fulness and the joy of life in youth,
And wealth of pleasant memories for your age.
And since your sky will not be always bright,
^6



E. M. J.

And sometimes for the happiest Hfe is hard,
Yours be stout heart and courage to endure
What share of pain the unseen years may bring.
To-day you are so helpless, small and weak,
Unreasoning and speechless and alone.
And we are big and strong and wondrous wise.
But a few years, and you will be a man.
And we shall be decrepit, feeble, old.
And worn with life, and you will feel contempt
And pity for our senile childishness.
And you will still be strong when we are gone,
^Vhen we have ceased from living, and have passed,
Perhaps to that far country whence you come.
Or where the silent, never-ending night
Shall bring us quiet and forgetfulness.
What will the world be like when you are old ?
What new things will you know in years to come,
^Vhat conquests over earth and sea and air,
Won by a race of men to us unknown,
Men of your age and day ? What new great names
Will be familiar on your lips ? What deeds
Will win your praises in the days to be,
When all that we have striven for to-day
Is but a dying memory ? The world
Grows older, but it does not greatly change.
Men come and go, but charity and love,
37



E. M. J.

Justice and mercy, pity for the weak,

And sympathy that feels another's pain,

Unblemished honour, loyalty and truth,

And hatred of all cruelty and wrong ;

These shall endure ; though men grow old and die,

These die not, neither are they dimmed by age,

But are forever beautiful and fresh,

And are of price to-morrow as to-day ;

Therefore keep these things always in thy heart.



38



R.M.S. Titanic

Sunk 15th April, 191 2
Requiescant in Pace

How shall we honour the unburied dead ?

Shall we go forth with loud acclaim, and rake

The sea for bodies ? Shall we, ruthless, wake
Each weary sleeper from his ocean bed ?
Shall the sad mourners thus be comforted ?

Can pomp of burial gladden hearts that break,

Or pitiful bride-widow solace take
From ruined sight of the beloved head ?

Nay, rather let us sing their deeds, not weep

These men that did their duty, shunned the door

Of safety, saving others from the deep.

Now in the hearts of men, from shore to shore,

Their memory lives : the sea that gave them sleep
Shall be their resting-place for evermore.



39



On the Lacedaemonian Dead at
Plataea

"AcrfiecrTov kXcos otSe 7 Trept Trarpt'Si ^e'lrcs
Kvavcov OavoLTOv d/x^e^aA.oi'TO re^os"

Ou 8e ridvacri Oavovres, ettci' (r


1

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