Saving souls with smiles;

'Mid the restless actors

She is rich and slow.

She will stand like marble,

She will pause and glow,

Though the film is twitching,

Keep a peaceful reign,

Ruler of her passion,

Ruler of our pain!


For a Very Little Girl, Not a Year Old. Catharine Frazee Wakefield.

The sun gives not directly

The coal, the diamond crown;

Not in a special basket

Are these from Heaven let down.

The sun gives not directly

The plough, man's iron friend;

Not by a path or stairway

Do tools from Heaven descend.

Yet sunshine fashions all things

That cut or burn or fly;

And corn that seems upon the earth

Is made in the hot sky.

The gravel of the roadbed,

The metal of the gun,

The engine of the airship

Trace somehow from the sun.

And so your soul, my lady--

(Mere sunshine, nothing more)--

Prepares me the contraptions

I work with or adore.

Within me cornfields rustle,

Niagaras roar their way,

Vast thunderstorms and rainbows

Are in my thought to-day.

Ten thousand anvils sound there

By forges flaming white,

And many books I read there,

And many books I write;

And freedom's bells are ringing,

And bird-choirs chant and fly--

The whole world works in me to-day

And all the shining sky,

Because of one small lady

Whose smile is my chief sun.

She gives not any gift to me

Yet all gifts, giving one....


An Apology for the Bottle Volcanic

Sometimes I dip my pen and find the bottle full of fire,

The salamanders flying forth I cannot but admire.

It's Etna, or Vesuvius, if those big things were small,

And then 'tis but itself again, and does not smoke at all.

And so my blood grows cold. I say, "The bottle held but ink,

And, if you thought it otherwise, the worser for your think."

And then, just as I throw my scribbled paper on the floor,

The bottle says, "Fe, fi, fo, fum," and steams and shouts some more.

O sad deceiving ink, as bad as liquor in its way--

All demons of a bottle size have pranced from you to-day,

And seized my pen for hobby-horse as witches ride a broom,

And left a trail of brimstone words and blots and gobs of gloom.

And yet when I am extra good and say my prayers at night,

And mind my ma, and do the chores, and speak to folks polite,

My bottle spreads a rainbow-mist, and from the vapor fine

Ten thousand troops from fairyland come riding in a line.

I've seen them on their chargers race around my study chair,

They opened wide the window and rode forth upon the air.

The army widened as it went, and into myriads grew,

O how the lances shimmered, how the silvery trumpets blew!

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