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IN that black forest, where, when day is done,
With a snake's stillness glides the Amazon
Darkly from sunset to the rising sun,

A cry, as of the pained heart of the wood,
The long, despairing moan of solitude
And darkness and the absence of all good,

Startles the traveller, with a sound so drear,
So full of hopeless agony and fear,
His heart stands still and listens like his ear.

The guide, as if he heard a dead-bell toll,
Starts, drops his oar against the gunwale's thole,
Crosses himself, and whispers, "A lost soul!"

"No, Señor, not a bird. I know it well,—
It is the pained soul of some infidel
Or cursed heretic that cries from hell.

"Poor fool! with hope still mocking his despair,
He wanders, shrieking on the midnight air
For human pity and for Christian prayer.

"Saints strike him dumb! Our Holy Mother hath No prayer for him who, sinning unto death, Burns always in the furnace of God's wrath!"

Thus to the baptized pagan's cruel lie,
Lending new horror to that mournful cry,
The voyager listens, making no reply.

Dim burns the boat-lamp: shadows deepen round, From giant trees with snake-like creepers wound, And the black water glides without a sound.

But in the traveller's heart a secret sense
Of nature plastic to benign intents,
And an eternal good in Providence,

Lifts to the starry calm of heaven his eyes;
And lo! rebuking all earth's ominous cries,
The Cross of pardon lights the tropic skies!

"Father of all!" he urges his strong plea, "Thou lovest all: thy erring child may be Lost to himself, but never lost to Thee!

"All souls are Thine; the wings of morning bear None from that Presence which is everywhere. Nor hell itself can hide, for Thou art there.

"Through sins of sense, perversities of will, Through doubt and pain, through guilt and shame and ill,

Thy pitying eye is on Thy creature still.

"Wilt thou not make, Eternal Source and Goal!
In Thy long years, life's broken circle whole,
And change to praise the cry of a lost soul?"


ACROSS the sea I heard the groans
Of nations in the intervals

Of wind and wave. Their blood and bones
Cried out in torture, crushed by thrones,
And sucked by priestly cannibals.

I dreamed of freedom slowly gained
By martyr meekness, patience, faith.
And lo! an athlete grimly stained,

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With corded muscles battle-strained,
Shouting it from the fields of death!

I turn me, awe-struck, from the sight,
Among the clamoring thousands mute,
I only know that God is right,
And that the children of the light

Shall tread the darkness under foot.

I know the pent fire heaves its crust,

That sultry skies the bolt will form To smite them clear; that Nature must The balance of her powers adjust,

Though with the earthquake and the storm.

God reigns, and let the earth rejoice!
I bow before His sterner plan.
Dumb are the organs of my choice;
He speaks in battle's stormy voice,

His praise is in the wrath of man!

Yet, surely as He lives, the day

Of peace He promised shall be ours,
To fold the flags of war, and lay
Its sword and spear to rust away,
And sow its ghastly fields with flowers!


No bird-song floated down the hill,
The tangled bank below was still;

No rustle from the birchen stem,
No ripple from the water's hem.

The dusk of twilight round us grew,
We felt the falling of the dew;

For, from us, ere the day was done,
The wooded hills shut out the sun.

But on the river's farther side
We saw the hill-tops glorified,-

A tender glow, exceeding fair,
A dream of day without its glare.

With us the damp, the chill, the gloom:
With them the sunset's rosy bloom;

While dark, through willowy vistas seen,
The river rolled in shade between.

From out the darkness where we trod
We gazed upon those hills of God,

Whose light seemed not of moon or sun.
We spake not, but our thought was one.

We paused, as if from that bright shore
Beckoned our dear ones gone before;

And stilled our beating hearts to hear
The voices lost to mortal ear!

Sudden our pathway turned from night;
The hills swung open to the light;

Through their green gates the sunshine showed,
A long, slant splendor downward flowed.

Down glade and glen and bank it rolled;
It bridged the shaded stream with gold;

And, borne on piers of mist, allied
The shadowy with the sunlit side!

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"So," prayed we, " when our feet draw near The river dark, with mortal fear,

"And the night cometh chill with dew, O Father!-let thy light break through!

"So let the hills of doubt divide,
So bridge with faith the sunless tide!

"So let the eyes that fail on earth On thy eternal-hills look forth;

"And in thy beckoning angels know The dear ones whom we loved below!"


M. A. C.

O THICKER, deeper, darker growing,
The solemn vista to the tomb
Must know henceforth another shadow,
And give another cypress room.

In love surpassing that of brothers,

We walked, O friend, from childhood's day; And, looking back o'er fifty summers, Our footprints track a common way.

One in our faith, and one our longing

To make the world within our reach Somewhat the better for our living,

And gladder for our human speech.

Thou heardst with me the far-off voices,
The old beguiling song of fame,
But life to thee was warm and present,
And love was better than a name.

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