Posts tagged ‘1901’

Tuesday, 25 January 2022

The Track That Leads Home by Marion Miller Knowles

Sometimes in my lonely hours, my tired feet tread it still—
The narrow winding track that leads across the stony hill,
The shining crystals of the quartz, I see their sparkle yet.
With the sunlight and the mountain streams I never can forget!

The lichen on the old gray rocks, the dewy moss beneath,
The ferns within the shaded clefts, the groundwort’s trailing wreath,
The jewelled scabbards of the grass, the cobwebs’ fairy lace
Throw still across the sordid years their soft, ideal grace!

And, evermore, the distant hills, whose ev’ry peak, I knew,
Stand out with snowy crown against the sky’s deep, tender blue;
The Goulburn winds about their feet with swift and silv’ry flow,
And beckons every wayward burn to sunnier vales below.

I used to chase the mountain wind with all a child’s conceit,
And fancy that it lagged behind the flying of my feet!
I used to answer back the birds’ sweet shower of melody,
And think that ev’ry nestling’s tweet was welcome blithe for me!

And when I reached the little gate that crowned the homeward track,
How often, in my love of all, I paused for one look back;
And waved my hand in brief farewell to river, tree, and bird—
The sweetest feelings in my heart by Nature’s beauty stirred.

They say that when our day is done, and Heaven’s Gate we near,
Our childhood’s, is the only path we see with vision clear:
To us who weary miles have strayed, and still in sadness roam,
May God with loving pity bless the track that leads us home!

From: Miller, Marion, “The Track That Leads Home” in The Australasian, Saturday, 2 Feb 1901, p. 52.

Date: 1901

By: Marion Miller Knowles (1865-1949)

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Wave On, Thou Flag by James Ephraim McGirt

Wave on, wave on the air,
Oh flag that we have bought!
The Stars and Stripes for unity,
They tell for what we fought.

Oh fade thou not by rain;
May whirlwinds passing by,
Not dash to threads thy noble form,
But leave thee in the sky.

Stand firmly, thou mast pole,
On which the flag doth wave;
So many who thy color bore
Are lying in the grave.

Oh fare thee well, wave on,
Perform thy duty well;
Wave gently o’er the burial place
Of those who fought and fell.

From: McGirt, James E., Avenging the Maine, a Drunken A.B., and Other Poems, 1997, University of Michigan Humanities Text Initiative: Ann Arbor, Michigan, p. 32.

Date: 1901

By: James Ephraim McGirt (1874-1930)

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Prayer to the Dynamo from “Prayer to the Virgin of Chartres” by Henry Brooks Adams

Mysterious Power! Gentle Friend!
Despotic Master! Tireless Force!
You and We are near the End.
Either You or We must bend
To bear the martyrs’ Cross.

We know ourselves, what we can bear
As men; our strength and weakness too;
Down to the fraction of a hair;
And know that we, with all our care
And knowledge, know not you.

You come in silence, Primal Force,
We know not whence, or when, or why;
You stay a moment in your course
To play; and, lo! you leap across
To Alpha Centauri!

We know not whether you are kind,
Or cruel in your fiercer mood;
But be you Matter, be you Mind,
We think we know that you are blind,
And we alone are good.

We know that prayer is thrown away,
For you are only force and light;
A shifting current; night and day;
We know this well, and yet we pray,
For prayer is infinite,

Like you! Within the finite sphere
That bounds the impotence of thought,
We search an outlet everywhere
But only find that we are here
And that you are–are not!

What are we then? the lords of space?
The master-mind whose tasks you do?
Jockey who rides you in the race?
Or are we atoms whirled apace,
Shaped and controlled by you?

Still silence! Still no end in sight!
No sound in answer to our cry!
Then, by the God we now hold tight,
Though we destroy soul, life and light,
Answer you shall–or die!

We are no beggars! What care we
For hopes or terrors, love or hate?
What for the universe? We see
Only our certain destiny
And the last word of Fate.

Seize, then, the Atom! rack his joints!
Tear out of him his secret spring!
Grind him to nothing!–though he points
To us, and his life-blood anoints
Me–the dead Atom-King!


Date: 1901

By: Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918)

Monday, 26 January 2015

Land I Love! by Marie Louise Hamilton Mack

Land I love! I will wrest your meaning
See, I swear I will know you yet.
You shall reveal the soul of your song,
And I will set it, as never set.
March of shadows to muted music,
Heat-mists creeping, I know, I know;
And I know, dear Rain, that your desolate story
Has a hidden sweet and an inner glory.

Trees of mine! ah, the nights I listen,
Nights I steal through your black, black shade,
I and the old gums sorrow alone,
The young gums give me their accolade.
Mile on mile through the death-grey silence,
Twilight, midnight, or yellow moon,
And ’tis I who know that your desolate story
Has its hidden sweet and its inner glory.

Dark and dawn through the grey gums sweeping,
Blazing gold of the afternoon,
All have revealed the soul of their song,
But when, O Land, is my promised tune?
I am silent, I have no music,
Maestoso nor Allegro,-
But you know how fain is my impotent story
To unfold the hymn of your veiled, great glory.

Only this can I sing, and singing,
Land of mine! you will understand,
You have revealed the heart of my song,
While I went seeking for yours, O Land!
Your young lips have disclosed my courage,
Deathless courage, my Continent!
For I learnt from you that my life’s own story
Has a deeper depth and a higher glory.

Heat and haze! you have crept and caught me.
See, ’tis you who will know me yet.
You have revealed the soul of my song;
‘Tis you who have set it, as never set.
March of shadows to muted music,
White gums waiting, we know, we know!
And we know, Dear Land, that our desolate story
Has its hidden sweet and its inner glory.


Date: 1901

By: Marie Louise Hamilton Mack (1870-1935)

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Money Makes the Man by Alcaeus of Mytilene

In Sparta once Aristodemus,
So the story ran,
A maxim full of wisdom uttered:
“Money makes the man.”
For valour leaves the wretch that’s poor,
And honour shuns the pauper’s door.

From: Easby-Smith, James S, The Songs of Alcaeus, memoir and text; with literal translations and notes by James S Easby-Smith, 1901, W H Lowdermilk: Washington, p. 85.

Date: 1901 (translated)

By: Alcaeus of Mytilene (c620BC-6th century BCE)

Translated by: James Stanislaus Easby-Smith (1870-1948)

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Improved Proverbs by Carolyn Wells

A living gale is better than a dead calm.
A church fair exchange is often robbery.
A man is known by the bank-account he keeps.
Only a fool never minds his change.
Make love while the moon shines.
It’s a wise child who knows less than his own father.
A little loving is a dangerous thing.
The love of money is the root of all pessimism.
Of two weevils, choose the smaller.
Seize Time by the love-lock.
None but the brave go to a fair.


Date: 1901

By: Carolyn Wells (1862-1942)

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Less than the Dust by Adela Florence Nicolson Cory (Laurence Hope)

Less than the dust, beneath thy Chariot wheel,
Less than the rust, that never stained thy Sword,
Less than the trust thou hast in me, Oh, Lord,
Even less than these!

Less than the weed, that grows beside thy door,
Less than the speed, of hours, spent far from thee,
Less than the need thou hast in life of me.
Even less am I.

Since I, Oh, Lord, am nothing unto thee,
See here thy Sword, I make it keen and bright,
Love’s last reward, Death, comes to me to-night,
Farewell, Zahir-u-din.


Date: 1901

By: Adela Florence Nicolson Cory (Laurence Hope) (1865-1904)

Friday, 24 February 2012

The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy

I leant upon a coppice gate
      When Frost was spectre-grey,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
      The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
      Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
      Had sought their household fires.

The land’s sharp features seemed to be
      The Century’s corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
      The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
      Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
      Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
      The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
      Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
      In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
      Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
      Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
      Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
      His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
      And I was unaware.


Date: 1901

By: Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

Alternative Title: By the Century’s Deathbed