Genealogy of Caleb W. Lawrence & Family


A TURKISH LOVE LYRIC
(Abdul to Fatima) 


Mine only, thine only!
No man may gaze on thee
Save only I who am lover and lord:
Sing thou thy bridal song,
Thy graceful dance prolong,
Soothe thou the fretting of life’s silver cord. 


Pouting and petulant,
Smiling and jubilant,
Laughing like sunshine, and weeping like showers:
Child in mentality,
Nymph in maturity,
Ever delighting in day’s golden hours. 


Here in our pleasure place,
Smyrna’s fair gulf in face,
Watching the sea-gulls skim over the wave;
Counting the ocean craft
With their white wakes abaft,
Living a life that is dreamy and suave. 


Nightly the nightingale
Singing in yonder vale
Lulls us to slumber deliciously sweet;
Each morning reunites
Our lives in new delights,
Filling my yearnings with pleasures replete. 


Fatima! Paradise
Hay other souls entice,
May have enhancements beyond those of earth;
Yet would I willingly
Through all eternity
Lengthen this summer of langourous mirth.
 

Paradise, Smyrna
August 1909



CLEOPATRA


Queen of impurity,
Lechery’s mate!
Gorgon of cruelty,
Fit was thy fate. 


Spawn of Nilotic lust,
Incest and crime!
Slave of erotic gust,
Sinner sublime! 


Granted, thy tiny form
Beauty surpassed:
True, too, thy
passion's storm
Rapture outclassed. 


Also Egyptian art
Waited in state
Each sense and every part
To tillitate. 


Julius, the grave, succumbed
Quick to thy charm;
Antony, will benumbed,
Found lasting harm. 


Only Octavius
Hidden snakes saw,
And, all victorious,
Scorned thy red maw.  


Thou, in the pyramid,
Clutched in Fear's grasp,
Longing thy life to rid
Breasted the asp. 


No! Cleopatra lost!
Never again
May thou mankind accost
Fain to enchain. 


Paradise, Turkey
September 1928



TO AUTUMN


Proud Autumn! once again I see thee dressed
In robes of scarlet, gold and russet brown;
Again upon the earth thy hand is pressed,-
At once the fields assume their golden crown:
The orchard trees, with loads of luscious fruit,
Bend down their ranches to the parched ground;
And I beneath them hear the happy sound
       Of leaves in gay pursuit,
Tossed here and there by winds of perfumed breath,
Which, of thy joyous coming whispereth. 


What would we do without thee, Spirit fair!
Grim Winter follows with remorseless tread;
But thou dost go before, a billionaire,
To give to all who live their needful bread:
The peasant quickly gathers in his grain,
The quadrupeds accumulate their store,
The iron steeds go snorting to the shore
       Dragging the serpent train,
That we, who dwell in cities, may with glee
Dance out the year in gay festivity.


THE SNOW

 

One who has never seen the snow

Could not believe his eyes:

Instead of drops in liquid flow

The flakes come floating down below

Like feathers from the skies.

 

The rain sinks in or runs away;

But snow piles high and firm:

Sometimes a crystal crust array

Covers the surface, for the sleigh

Or sled to twist and squirm.

 

Rain never drifts: at intervals

The snow piles house-top high,

And then extremity compels

The folk to pierce out parallels

With insides white and dry.

 

The snow a blanket is for fields 

To farmers great delight, 

For it assures the greatest yields 

For crops, and sure protection wields 

To ward off drought's dread plight.

 

On mountains lofty snow can melt

Never, the avalanche

Makes it the huts and ravines pelt

Until, a long and sinuous belt,---

The glaciers slow advance.

 

The cities, towns the snow abhor;

Traffic is paralyzed:

The snow a while is conqueror

But yields, at last, the losing war

And all is pulverized.

 

Long since, when horses were the mode 

Sleigh rides had greatest charm; 

But now deep snow upon the road 

Gives motorists a heavy load 

Of care to keep from harm.

 

The snow-shoe, bob-sled devotees,

And ski enthusiasts

Welcome the snow like honey-bees

Welcome the flowers, and each chance seize

To skim o'er regions vast.

 

Under the lens the retina

Sees snow a six-side prism

Or six-ray stars, which hollow are

Of ice? and the phenomena

Of white is asterism.

 

 

Paradise, Norton 

February 9, 1935


WORLDS OF WEALTH

 

Certain it is, no billionaire

Can e'er in wealth with me compare: 

I have my health, a wire more rare 

Than Helen, and an equal share 

In seven children debonair,-

Six stalwart youths all unaware 

Of sorrow, and a daughter fair 

Whose graces all our hearts ensnare.

 

Such health as mine has come to few:

I never any illness knew,

As six decades pass in review

I taste the joys of sense anew

A healthy mind, with nought askew,

Has been my prize, and I can view

With judgment, separate the true

And bid the false for aye adieu;

A wholesome heart and conscience, too,

Have never failed faith to renew.

 

And few have lived as hard as I

And greater deeds exemplify.

For currents that were turned awry

I seldom failed to rectify

Experience I loved to buy

And nought but truth would satisfy

Full many a land I now espy

In memory, and glorify

The far-flung friendships that imply

That loyalty can never die,

And gratitude I ne’er deny

That Death has me and mine passed by.

 

My mind has paced through realms of gold 

Where interest has not grown cold: 

With each decade, the wealth untold, 

Piled up with pain in days of old 

By men who have been more than bold 

I have been privileged to behold; 

And many a castle and stronghold 

With dungeons damp and icy-cold 

Have I with shuddering patrolled.

 

The newer jewels manifold 

In art and song have been unrolled, 

While science wonders has unscrolled 

That renders spirit higher souled 

And makes the mind the more uphold 

The glories saints have oft foretold.

 

My soul has lived its life as well, 

Not mid dank fields of asphodel 

But climbing where it could unspell 

The truth as conscience did impel 

Oft changing views with ever swell 

Of knowledge, noting not the knell 

Doubt rang, neither the whisper fell 

Despair emitted; faith could quell 

All doubts, and lire itself could tell 

Of miracles quite parallel 

To those that in the dim past dwell, 

And all to greater faith compel. 

When Death my spirit doth expel 

I shall on high my soul propel 

And Paradise shall earth excel 

More than a throne a hermit's cell.

 

Love has been more than kind to me

And I would worse than thankless be

Did I not praise the constancy

Of her who: has unfailingly

Made life for me a jubilee,

A quarter of a century 

Has passed in perfect love since we

Exchanged our vows, and now with glee 

We look upon our progeny 

Bursting with life. No ennui Confronts us, as
the apogee Of life approaches, for with free

And perfect trust we witness flee 

The gliding years, and sure foresee 

The endless life, with guarantee 

That no forlorn Gethsemane 

Awaits, but a futurity

Of blissful immortality. 

Let selfish couples bliss forego 

Who care not for the babe they owe;

 

Only true parents true love know

Whose loves in children overflow.

Our memories with rapture glow

As we recall the long ago

When, one by one, did Heaven bestow

The babes with in our portico,

What joy to watch them kick and crow,

And then through boyhood slowly grow

To fullest prime. The cameo,

Our daughter, loveliness doth strow

Upon our lives, --- would fain foreshow

The tenderness which sure will flow 

When we grow old and watch time go: 

When in some roomy bungalow, 

We watch the bride and her trousseau 

And see her beaming on her beau,

Or glimpse the blessed over flow 

Of children grand, in row on row, 

To see them coming on tip-toe 

Or gaily prancing to and fro: 

For these blest riches here below 

One should with gladness undergo 

The greatest stress, the deepest woe.

 

I would not change my lot benigh

For all earth’s riches argentine

For wealth can give no anodyne

For ennui. No concubine

However fair, can wife outshine

When home is blessed with love devine.

Than health, contentment, and the wine

Of perfect love?

 

The clear star-shine

Assures me that a life like mine

Is linked with all creation, ---sign

That I can share with great design

And solve the secret sibylline:

That if my soul I can refine

I may with God myself entwine,

May reach a plateau sub-devine

And with His plans myself align.

I am God’s heir, and I opine,

When firmaments incarnadine

Show matter in its last decline

That I shall resign with Him ashine,

And have pure Truth as counter sign;

 

Nor mass nor force shall e'er confine

My power, but in perfect line

With God I shall all space enshrine.

That world of ether crystalline

Where dwell the spirits superfine

I soon shall snare with mine and thine.

 

Paradise, Turkey 

October, 1928

 



EXILE

 

Saint John on Patmos busied with his pen, 

At Wartburg Luther wrote the years away, 

Bunyan in Bedford Jail made into men

Abstractions that will live and move alway:

 

Only in exile from the world's harsh voice 

Can mind and soul find leisure to produce; 

Only in exile gain that equipoise

Without which thought is mundane, shallow, loose.

 

Like love, one proves in exile joy and pain;

Yet pain essential is to reach the core,

In all creation contrasts come again

And greater contrast yields so much the more.

 

I thank my Maker for the exiles sent

And for the months on Patmos  that I spent.

 

 

Paradise, Smyrna 

March 3, 1933

PEACE

 

No matter what may come or go, 

Be it good fortune, loss or woe, 

It cannot stir my pulses slow.

 

My seven children shout and leap

And all in vast confusion keep

Yet nought but love their antics reap.

 

I shelter near the flowing Marne 

And listen to War's loud alarm 

But never dream of hurt or harm.

 

I journey on the winter sea 

Where U-boats wander craftily 

But all is joy and peace with me.

 

I travel here, I travel there,

I seem to move  'most everywhere, 

Yet only friends I find to share.

 

I look back on a lengthened life 

And little find of storm or strife 

Because my heart with peace was rife.

 

True happiness is of the heart, 

It least depends on wealth or art, 

And from itself makes radiance dart.

 

If I might choose 'twixt gold or fame 

Or power and peace I sure should name 

Peace, for it makes them all the same.

 

A balanced nature, tranquil mind 

And grateful heart will surely find 

Life in real ecstasy unwind.

 

 

Paradise, Turkey 

September, 1928

RECOLLECTION

 

Whenever I fain would taste sweet agony 

I recollect the days now long gone by: 

I summon friends who now in ashes lie 

And recreate their merry symphony.

 

Where are they now? The sad monotony 

Squeezes my soul as I repeat the cry,-

My boyhood friends who life could amplify!

And answer, - tantalizing echoes, only.

 

I live not in the past, for that way leads 

To madness. Greatly blessed am I to take,

By choice alone, brief journeys to the past:

 

Such recollection satisfaction feeds 

That I can always find my thirst to slake 

Unnumbered blessings that remain steadfast.

 

 

February 2, 1933 

Paradise, Smyrna

MY MEMORIES

 

I would not drink of Lethe's cup 

For all or Nature's gold; 

For I could never render up 

My memories of old;

The struggles fierce and triumphs high 

And comrades brave and bold 

And loved ones who could nought deny 

Whom I no more behold.

 

Life without memory would be

An idiotic tale: No friends would live in poesy

Who ecstasy exhale:

There would be no high increment

Of mind in lore's vast vale

Nor any spiritual ascent

Seeking the Holy Grail.

 

What matter if some grave mistake

Has marked my long career

Or youthful folly left a wake

That time can never clear?

For I have lived and lusted strong

And gained the life austere

And all the glimpse of right and wrong

Makes fuller truth appear.

 

My memories will death survive 

And when my soul is free 

And I in Paradise arrive 

They will mean all to me; 

For I shall gauge and estimate 

That untold jubilee 

And even now anticipate

The bliss I hold in fee.

 

 

Paradise, Turkey 

September, 1928

SLEEP

 

“I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep”

Sang David, though beset by many foes:

My life, as well, has had its rue and rose, 

Yet ever doth my Lord his promise keep:

 

I dwell in safety, though the floods may sweep 

About me; and each dawning, by repose, 

I bravely face whate'er it may disclose, 

Assured that many a boon from life I’ll reap.

 

As I grow older, --- six decades and five, ---

Of high adventure lived in many lands, 

I lean the more on sleep and find I thrive 

So well I gladly meet all life’s demands.

 

Unbroken sleep is my support and friend: 

Sleep, as man's greatest boon, God doth defend.

 

Paradise, Smyrna 

March 9, 1933

THREE PARADISES

 

Two Paradises were vouchsafed to me

On earth, and one I hope to share in Heaven;-

The first near Homer’s town beside the sea

There, where I met my Helen, fairer even

 

Than she who launched the ships, and there were born

The babes, the sacred number. Fire and war

And even earthquake left us not forelorn

For nothing our great happiness could mar.

 

As Roger Williams was to Providence

Conducted, we from that fine port were led

To Norton, where in new magnificence

The second Paradise our love bestead.

 

If Paradise on earth can be so fair

The third in Heaven we shall gladly dare.

 

 

 

Paradise, Norton

December 24, 1932

PERFECT TRUST

 

Only two souls I perfectly can trust

The Master-Soul and my devoted wife:

I feel He is the very source of life 

And that He is infallibly just: 

 

Without My Helen I should swiftly rust 

She is my Joan of Arc in care and strife, 

She kindles in me aspirations rife 

With selflessness and holiness, which must

 

Draw us both nearer to the Master-Soul.

My wife shares every secret hove known

And I can trust her till my dying breath:

 

My Father has revealed the destined goal;

He in my spirit precious seed hath sown,-

I trust the harvest now and after death.

 

Paradise, Smyrna

January 6, 1933

WOMAN

 

I would not live, were not some woman dear, -

Dearer to me than life, - to call mine own, 

Some woman I could trust, and could revere 

As I do God.    If I had never known

 

The greatest love that woman has for man, 

The confidence, the comradeship, the flame.

Of deep affections that all barriers span, 

I should have been defeated in life’s game.

 

The great loves of the past I now recall, 

Poems of passion that were writ in blood; 

And yet, in each there is some drop of gall, -

Some canker that was hidden in the bud:

 

Good women are like jewels in the crown 

Of the Almighty, bad are like His frown.

 

 

Paradise, Smyrna 

December 29, 1932

TO HELEN

 

I did not have fair Helen for my bride 

Ere Menelaeus wooed her, or before 

False Paris set in flow War's crimson tide 

By bearing her beyond the Grecian shore;

 

For Death diminished Helen's radiant glow

Ages before my soul had mortal birth 

And all her marble members, wasting slow, 

Were shared in secret by the air and earth.

 

The Argive, Helen, and the men of Troy

Have sailed to sombre realms on Lethean prow

But other men and women laugh with joy

In this delightful world, like me; for now

 

A living Helen leans in my embrace, 

Fully as fair, and pure and sweet and warm; 

The love look beams upon her gentle face 

And tender Is the pressure of her form.

 

Not for Greek Helen and the gold of Greece 

Would I exchange my sweetheart, friend, and wife; 

Nor shall the bounds of space or time decrease 

Our love, which shall endure through endless life.

 

 

Paradise, Turkey 

April, 1925

WAITING

 

I’m longing, I’m yearning 

I'm waiting for you; 

Dear Helen, In Asia, 

Where skies are so blue. 

In three months, my darling,

My dream will come true 

And "Paradise Farm” will 

Our rapture renew.

 

You’re working, and planning, 

And watching for me, 

My help-meet, in Norton 

Where I long to be; 

Your loyalty, dearest, 

Is sure guarantee

Some ninety days after 

Of high jubilee.

 

We’re longing, and yearning,

And waiting for each, 

When letters will finish 

And love lips have speech, 

When arms for each other 

Wide open shall reach,

And future communion

No partings shall breach.

NORTON

 

From Paradise to Paradise I came,

From old Ionia, where Homer hymned,

To Norton, where a landscape fair is limned,

Whiter flock many maidens lore to claim.

 

Wheaton has merited her waxing fame; 

Her lamp illumined yet has never dimmed, 

Her aureole has ever wider rimmed 

And more and more of honor gilds her name.

 

The gems of Norton,- lake and field and fell, 

Are multi-colored in the sunset hue; 

Fairer by far than plains of asphodel,

 

More beautiful than Capri, brown and blue.

Here, in my sunset, glad am I to dwell;

Here find I comrades, friends, and teachers true.

 

Paradise, Norton

September 1, 1933

MY CHILDREN

 

O Children! My darlings, my jewels; 

Seven Pleiades starred in a stack!

My Arthur, and Edward, and Alfred.

And Henry, and Ralph, and dear Jack,

 

And Dorothy, daintily graceful,

A fairy flown in from around!

I look on you all with thanksgiving

And my love is with Paradise crowned.

 

Strong Arthur, the poet and wrestler 

And big embryo engineer! 

May you win the prizes you cherish 

And find life o’erflowing with cheer!

 

Tall Edward, the swimmer and scholar 

And chemist in future estates!

May you prove that knowledge and virtue 

Will keep men from Life's evil fates!

 

Bright Alfred, at school and in playgroup

So eager, efficient, alert!

May you in the world’ s large arena

Your seal into value convert!

 

Slow Henry, the good, golden-hearted,

With head ever buried in books!

May you find the niche that you covet 

In Phantasy’s cool, shady nooks!

 

And Ralph, never pleased, but impatient 

With, "Give me” and "Why not?" and "Oh"! 

May restlessness urge you to conquer 

And all minor pleasures forego!

 

You meteor of mischief my Jackie 

With energies increased to "nth", 

May you ever find best of guidance 

And soon be a tower of strength.

 

And Dorothy, darling and Angel,

Our sunshine and paragon Miss!

May you dance o’er purity’s pathways

And dwell in a bower of bliss!

My children! Though Father may lead you

A step or two in life;

Though Father has little to leave you

Of wealth in your struggle and strife,

 

Our Father in Heaven has riches

Untold at your beck and your call,

And We shall surround and protect you

And lift whenever you fall.

 

 

Paradise, Smyrna

October, 1928


BIRTHDAY SONNET FOR RALPH

 

O happy, happy age of seventeen!

Congratulations on your natal day

My dear, dear Ralph! may all your work and play

Be prospered, and no evil come between

You and your hopes!  May e'er the golden sheen

Of faith and high ambition light your way

And lead you great achievements to essay

In piercing through the veil of the unseen!

 

Dear Ralph, you have delighted us, your vein 

Original, your friendships, loyal, true, 

Your humor, though sometimes against the grain, 

Your zeal in doing what is best to do,-

These traits endear you to us all, my son; 

And we shall love and aid till life is done.

 

 

 

February 26, 1933

TO ALFRED

 

Hurrah! Hurrah! for nineteen thirty-three,

My Alfred, cherished jewel of my crown!

Full soon be thou a seasoned dominie 

And no more student in the halls of Brown!

 

Congratulations on this happy day, 

Thy birthday, though 1 cannot clasp thy hand 

For health and happiness I deeply pray 

And promise all the aid I can command.

 

Dear Alfred, all my love I cannot tell: 

Thou hast been patient, earnest, loyal, true:

May we together many long years dwell, 

And in communion art and lore pursue!

 

"Beauty is truth” sang the immortal Keats

And the pursuit of truth man’s life complete

 

 

Paradise, Smyrna 

March 22, 1933

TO JOHN PURDON LAWRENCE 

ON HIS TWELFTH BIRTHDAY

 

Long, long before your birth, a lady dear 

Foretold your coming, dearest Jackie boy! 

She said that you would be our pride and joy 

And when you came that we need never fear:

 

A thousand blessings, Jack on your twelfth year;

May accident or Illness ne'er annoy

May you your strength and cleverness employ

And always be a source of help and cheer!

 

You luckily were born at Paradise 

And to another Paradise you came: 

Soon, Father's coming you will realize 

And our delightful life will be the same,

 

A fine youth you will be; a finer man, 

And each of us-will help you all we can.

 

 

January 1, 1933

TO DOROTHY NANCY LAWRENCE

ON HER ELEVENTH BIRTHDAY

 

My only daughter, darling Dorothy, 

How long we waited and how much we prayed 

That your dear soul would come to us, arrayed 

In beauty, goodness, grace and symmetry!

 

And then you came, the sweetest baby girl 

Who ever lived, and we were satisfied 

And every friend was gladly gratified 

For all knew we had gained a priceless pearl.

 

May God shower blessings on you, dearest Dot, 

Thru this eleventh year and all your life! 

And may your sunny self shed blessing, rife 

With joy and goodness, that are ne'er forgot! 

 

I love you Dorothy, more than the gold 

Of Croesus, for your gentleness and grace,

For your swift body and your happy face; 

And soon these arms my “Gift of God” shall hold

 

 

January 8, 1933

THE LEANING TOWER OF PISA

 

I climbed the Leaning Tower, and it seemed 

Ascending was uneven, for at times 

A greater effort needed than I deemed 

While force relaxed at other turning climbs:

 

So with mankind's ascending in the scale 

Of human progress up from brute to God, 

At times almost descending to the vale 

Of savagery, to almost soulless clod:

 

Yet in each spiral course, a higher round,

A more exalted station he attains, 

Until, at last, with one exulting bound, 

He gazes on God's infinite domains.

 

Let poets pout, and misanthropes despair 

In vain, for there is progress everywhere.

 

 

Paradise, Smyrna 

January. 1, 1933

JERUSALEM

 

One morn unique I never shall forget

When, leaping from my bed ere break of day,

I hastened to the top of Olivet

And gazed upon the city, old and gray,

Which, wrapped in slumber deep, below me lay:

The solar beams, shot slanting from the rear,

Soon lighted Zion’s summit far away,

Revealed Moriah's crown, the sight so dear

That long my soul had seen, and vainly wished was near.

 

Emotions past description filled my breast 

As there I stood, enraptured by the sight: 

The mingled joys of peace, and love, and zest 

Brought every moment some renewed delight 

And gave a clearer view of truth and right. 

As o'er the scared scene my vision ran 

The hallowed spots stood out in form so bright 

I seemed to feel the presence of the Man,

Who taught and suffered there to break Death's mortal ban.

 

Below me was the Garden where he wept

And watched in anguish deep the long night through;

Alone, forsaken, He the vigil kept

In sorrow keener than e'er mortal knew,

With bloody sweat did He the ground imbrue:

Across that Brook to judgment He was led

With no disciple near to hope renew,

A crown of thorns was placed upon His head

And soon the robe of white was dyed a crimson red.

 

Upon that hill, without the city wall,

That barren mound I now so plainly see,

They nailed Him 'fast, and then with mocking call

They bade Him come from off the shameful tree, -

To save Himself, if He the chosen be.

The watching sun, at sight so full of bane,

Soon drew a blackened pall o'er Calvary;

The Temple veil was roughly rent in twain

And all in nature groaned with pangs of deepest pain

 

The sun lights up the valleys, now I turn 

A little to the south, to Bethany 

For which the heart of Jesus oft did yearn; 

Mary and Martha listened breathlessly 

To living words, and, later deathlessly, 

Lazarus laughed. Directly southwards, down 

Nearly a mile beneath me where I stand, 

Behold the Barren Lake, the mountain brown 

Of Nebo, whence the dying Moses saw his Land.

 

Returning to the city, I survey

The Golden Gate, through which the Saviour rode

On His triumphal entry, and the way

Stephen, the pristine martyr, slowly strode

With Saul consenting to the heavy load

Of blame:   The Way of Sorrow leads along

To Pilate's Hall, where many feet below

The city's present level once did throng

The multitude to watch the Savior’s shame and woe.

 

I visit Calvary; the Sepulchre ,

Where, unto then, no form had e'er been laid,

Is simple and austere in character,

Nobler by far than that by moderns made

Within the walls the stone is still unstayed

As on that Easter morn; I see the light

Of one in shining raiment, - hear the tale

Of joy and wonder when the awesome sight

Bursts on the women, and the Saviour cries, “All Hail”

 

This holy hill, the sepulchre near by,

The ancient city lying at my feet,

Do still remain; but far beyond the sky

A fairer City stands, whose meanest street

Is paved with gold, and strewn with garlands sweet.

These hoary halls, so blest in days of yore,

No more can joy and inspiration give;

But in that heavenly land, the endless store

Of love, and joy, and peace forevermore will live.

 

 

Jerusalem, Palestine 

August, 1898

BETHLEHEM

 

One day I left Jerusalem 

Whose ancient glories claimed my quest.,

And rode, with hope of visions blest, 

To the dear town of Bethlehem;

 

Past Rachel's Tomb, past sloping fields 

Where David fed his flocks before 

To that deep well, from whence of yore 

A draught was brought by mighty shields.

 

To that sweet well the women came 

With babes on shoulders borne astride 

To fill their jars, and then with pride 

On heads erect they placed the same.

 

I reached the market place where lines 

Of merchants chaffered through the years, 

And where they wrought for souvenirs 

The olive wood in quaint designs.

 

At last I saw the scared spot 

Where God in man was incarnate, 

Where Mary laid her precious freight 

And Christ assumed His human lot.

 

The manger there doth still abide, 

Marked by a glistening silver star, 

And, as I cast my thought afar,

I saw the first glad Christmas-Tide.

 

The father, wondering and mute, 

The mother, in her Babe enwrapped, 

The Magi, by success enhapped, 

The shepherds and the lowing brute.

 

And that blest Babe! no parents fond 

On earth e'er saw such wondrous eyes, 

Which seemed to pierce the roof and skies 

To see His Father far beyond.

 

That forehead showed an intellect 

Which would give men new laws of life 

Those loving lips would teach that strife 

Is barred by Heaven’s Architect;

 

And that dear form, now tender, weak 

Would bear the hateful, glorious Cross, 

Would suffer all, men count as loss, 

And yet release for all bespeak.

 

And now that Babe, creation’s gem 

Has for the world recurring birth; 

A savior comes to each on earth 

And all may have their Bethlehem.

 

 

Bethlehem 

August 1898

 

Revised:

Paradise, Norton 

February 5, 1935

DAMASCUS

 

Would you see a lovely city, 

Diamond set in emerald green, 

With as bright a sky above it 

As e'er mortal eye hath seen? 

Then come out and sit beside me 

On this foothill, looking east, 

And, with eyelids opened widely, 

Let your love for beauty feast.

 

On all sides, on the horizon,

Rim the mountains, golden brown,

Then a circle,- narrow, nearer,-

Vineyards yellow, like a crown;

Then the orchards, fields, and gardens

Intercept the space between

Till the city's whiteness hardens

With a bright and splendid sheen.

 

An oasis is Damascus, 

Gift of Anti-Lebanon; 

For the Pharpar and Abana 

Offer thus her benison; 

Through the city run the rivers, 

Bringing joy to every home, 

Then are lost unto the givers 

In the Desert's yellow chrome.

 

Old Damascus! Abram's steward

From this ancient city came;

Saul went there with zeal to slaughter

Those who dared the Christian name.

There beyond, where highways join

From the north, and east, and south,

Christ his vision did purloin

And these words heard from his mouth,-

 

"Lord” what wilt thou have me do?" then 

Answer came and Saul was led

Through the Straight Street, which we see there 

With the long roof overhead:

 

Ananias, not the liar, 

Sight restored; the Holy Ghost 

Filled his soul with fervour higher 

Than has ever filled a host.

 

When Mohammed, Arab seer,

Saw Damascus, he exclaimed,

"Paradise, like this Damascus

If not for my men and me;

For it would abate our longing

For that future heavenly".

Turned away then this ascetic,

Elsewhere rode to spread his creed.

 

Martyrdom was not unknown here;

Marionites the Druses slew

By the thousand, till the French came

And their power to harm withdrew.

Now the city and oasis

Their prosperity advance

On a more established basis

With a minimum of chance.

 

Sunset is behind us, leaving 

All the western sky aglow: 

Slowly riding back to shelter, 

We a passing glance bestow 

On the women, curtained faces, 

On the men in silken robes, 

On the mosques, the holy places, 

Till the inn our group englobes.

 

 

Damascus, Syria 

August 17, 1898

 

Revised Paradise, Norton 

February 4, 1935

.

SMYRNA

 

Queen Hyppolita and sweet Emily

A sister shared whom they saw nevermore,

For Smyrna earned her Immortality

By dying on the brown Ephesian shore.

 

Once the bold Greeks with lordly Androclus 

In conquest crossed the blue Aegean Sea 

And sought to gain the templed Ephesus 

Which then belonged to goddess Cybele.

 

The Amazons, whose right breasts all were shorn 

That they their falchions might the better wield, 

Of husbands and of lovers were forlorn 

And only to Cybele deigned to yield.

 

Brave Smyrna, to defend the holy place, 

Her female hosts marshalled in close array 

And when the Greeks advanced with martial grace, 

She led them forth to dread and bloody fray.

 

Croessus looked with anguish on the scene 

Of men and maidens locked in deadly strife, 

While Pion trembled as the falchions keen 

Deprived his faithful servitors of life.

 

Seven times the sword of Smyrna served its end

 And seven youths fell headlong to the ground; 

But then a thrust strong Smyrna failed to fend 

So that a Grecian blade her brave heart found.

 

Unwilling e'er to trust her virgin charms 

To alien hands, ere life was spent, at last 

She leaped into the Cayster's waiting arms 

Ana into the Aegean soon was cast.

 

The ocean maidens fitting burial gave

In a rich palace underneath the sea,

And there the floods her limbs forever lave

And there she waits for vanquished Cybele.

 

Honored was Smyrna by the conquering Greeks 

And a fair precinct kept her memory green, 

Whose valiant warriors won the bays and creeks 

Until Mt. Sipylus at last was seen.

 

Upon a bay where Clazomenae stood,

A city vast was founded, and the name

Of Smyrna, Amazon, the brave and good,

Has e'er preserved the mart in fairest fame.

 

"Smyrna the Faithful' was the Roman cry, 

For treachery was never there conceived; 

"Faithful till Death" was Polycarp's reply 

When flames the aged patriarch bereaved.

 

All honor then to Smyrna is the due-

To each brave spirit there is given a share-

And each new age the virtue shall renew

As long as souls their present bodles wear.

 

 

Paradise, Turkey 

September, 1928

 

INVOCATION

 

O glorious, eternal God!

Our Father and our Friend!

Whose wisdom guides the universe

From birth to distant end;

Help us to praise Thee and to pray

In fitting song and prayer;

Accept our lowly offering

And aid us all to dare!

 

Thou art Perfection, Beauty, Light,

The Source of every good!

And Thou dost offer every child

Thy Grace in boundless flood!

Help us our right divine to claim,

Our heavenly mission fill,-

To reign on earth as sons of God

And banish every ill!

 

Thou gavest Jesus, Thy dear Son,

To suffer and to die,

To tell to us Thy wondrous love

And our salvation buy!

Oh! aid us all like Him to live,

Thy confidence confirm;

That we may ever upward climb

Throughout life's transient term!

 

O glorious, eternal God!

Walk with us, hand in hand!

Make holy our America,

Make holy every land!

Inspire with zeal and sacrifice

Each voice and brush and pen;

That all may work with Thee, the Lord,

And Eden gain again.

 

 

Paradise, Turkey 

July 1924

EDGAR ALLAN POE

 

Poor Poe! an enemy to self and friend! 

All unrestrained like Shelley, and like Burns 

A slave to Bacchus; yet but few could blend 

Like fancy with pure music, or by turns

 

Produce such magic tales.   His tortured heart 

Oft wooed the mournful Muse; but his keen mind 

Saw clearly, and his melody and art 

Remained original.  No fate could bind

 

His quick imagination, and Death's hand,

Which snatched his lovely bride, but made him dwell

The more in charmed realms--- the fairy land

Of Argive Helen and of Israfel.

 

Expression proved Poe's whole and greatest gift 

Through which he found in life his only rift.

 

 

Paradise, Smyrna 

August 29, 1929

SHELLEY

 

What spirit has assumed this human form, 

Unconscious of man's prejudice and ire? 

Is it bright Ariel who rides the storm 

Or musical Apollo with his lyre?

 

"Mad Shelley"  was he called by dull mankind, 

And was in quarrels evermore involved 

Until he left his native land behind 

And with the elements at last dissolved.

 

The winds, the flowers, the birds, the sky, the seas, 

The fairy lands where spirits ever dwell, -

These are the subjects of his symphonies 

And no one ever sang them quite so well,

 

For Shelley's notes are liquid like the lute! 

Alas!  those vibrant strings are ever mute!

 

 

Paradise, Smyrna 

July, 1931

TENNYSON

 

The golden world of faery and romance 

Which Malory of old disclosed to view 

And many a poet has attempted, too, 

By Tennyson was fixed in permanence: 

 

Each person, place, and every circumstance 

Of high import, in figures bold and true, 

And with embellishments of vivid hue, 

Forever live, embalmed as in a trance.

 

King Arthur rules in state at Camelot 

The Table Round unites the men in mail, 

The queen to wooed by proud Sir Lancelot,

Sir Galahad still seeks the Holy Grail: 

 

Though Tennyson is gone has work survives 

And shall go on while Earth has human lives.

 

 

Paradise, Syria

December 1929

 

TO SHAKESPEARE

 

Imagination took on human guise, 

O Shakespeare! when thy soul to Albion came 

Forth from the spacious courts of Paradise 

To earn on earth the poet's highest fame.

 

On Fancy's wings to countries far and wide

And backward through, the corridors or Time 

Thou didst delight to travel; none could hide 

From thy creative gaze and power sublime.

 

And thou wast lonely, - thou couldst never find 

A kindred spirit worthy or thy love, 

And only in creations of the mind 

Couldst thou commune with souls like those above.

 

Thou art immortal, both while men shall live 

And when hereafter they their homage give.

 

 

Paradise, Smyrna

December  19, 1932

 

SAINT PAUL

 

Where Antony by Egypt was seduced 

The fiery Saul first saw the light of day: 

His ardent youth had fullest, noblest play 

Yet was to perfect discipline reduced,

 

Then at Damascus, was his blindness loosed 

And unto love was turned his lust to slay; 

There strength divine was given for the fray 

And Paul his miracles of might produced.

 

Not Phillip's son, nor Caesar, nor the host

Of sages ever did so much for man;

Only the Christ excelled Paul's uttermost

And, but for Paul even Christ had felt the ban:

 

The great Apostle his own Lord surpassed 

Because the Master's Spirit he amassed.

 

 

Paradise, Turkey 

September 1928

JOHN THE BAPTIST

 

Least known, by far, least famed in rhyme or prose, 

The Baptist, John, was greatest of them all,-

Disciples or apostles- who uprose 

To preach the Christ and spread the Gospel call.

 

"Than John the Baptist there has not arisen 

A greater", was the meed that Jesus gave: 

What matchless praise, from lips divine deriven, 

For him who was beheaded by a slave!

 

Great in humility, fain to decrease 

That Christ the fuller glory might attain, 

John, the forerunner of the Prince of Peace, 

Lived equally without a blot or stain.

 

Would that Humility, life's rarest bloom, 

Might beautify each life and every room.

 

 

Paradise, Smyrna

THE BIBLE

 

The Book on which my youthful faith was based 

Has suffered with these years of sweeping change: 

Once it was so infallibly encased 

That from its dogma thought might never range.

 

I saw the havoc criticism wrought

As when a masterpiece is proved untrue;

I shuddered as the doubts pressed in unsought

And strove to bolster up my faith anew;

 

Then I grew gentler, wiser, --- cast aside

The commentaries, read the Book again

And found, though much seemed chaff, there did remain

Food for the soul, like hills of golden grain.

 

Perhaps some other Bible there will be,

But this, THE Book, is God's own Book for me. 

 

 

Paradise, Smyrna 

December 23, 1932

THE STONE THAT WAS ROLLED AWAY

 

From Joseph's Tomb the stone is rolled away

And Christ, the Lord of fuller life, is risen:

No longer men need dread life's closing day

Nor fear to place their dead in earth's dark prison:

 

For, as the Spirit triumphs over death 

And rolls away each stone that limits man, S

O Spirit aids each soul that hungerth 

For God, and rolls away the stones that ban,-

 

The stones of selfishness, and doubt, and fear,

The stone of egotism, soul's suicide,

The stone of jealousy, to man so dear,

The stones of sluggishness, and lust and pride.

 

Spirit surround us as the earth the air 

Spirit will aid us if we only dare'.

 

 

Paradise, Smyrna 

April 5, 1931

 

PALM SUNDAY 1931

 

The fickle multitude their garments fling 

With palms upon the way the Saviour rides, 

And shouts repeated of "Hosanna!" ring 

For Him who ne'er the prince of power abides:

 

And yet, the selfsame week, they fiercely cry 

Against the One who asks for sacrifice: 

They turn to rage, and bellow "Crucify" 

Because they do not dare to pay the price.

 

As when a leopard licks the friendly hand 

That gives it easy, full and unearned food; 

But tears its master when he bids it stand 

And tasks perform which are for its own good.

 

Shall we Christ leave and lodge at Bethany 

Or shall we share His pain at Calvary?

 

 

Paradise, Smyrna 

March 31, 1931