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The stairs are too steep, boys,
You may carry me to the head,
The night's dark and deep, boys,
Your mother's long in bed;
'Tis time to go to sleep, boys,
And Tommy's dead.

The sky is shrivelled and shred;
The hedges down by the loan
I can count them bone by bone,
The leaves are open and spread.
But I see the teeth of the land,
And hands like a deaci man's hand,
And the eyes of a dead man's head.
There's nothing but cinders and sand,
The rat and the mouse have fled,
And the summer's empty and cold;
Over valley and wold,
Wherever I turn my head,
There's a mildew and a mould;
The sun's going out overhead,
And I'm very old,
And Tommy's dead.

I'm not used to kiss, boys;
You may shake my hand instead.
All things go amiss, boys,
You may lay me where she is, boys,
And I'll rest my old head;
'Tis a poor world, this, boys,
And Tommy's dead.

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Put the shutters up, boys,
Bring out the beer and bread,
Make haste and sup, boys,
For my eyes are heavy as lead;
There's something wrong i'the cup, boys,
There's something ill wi’ the bread;
I don't care to sup, boys,
And Tommy's dead.

I'm not right, I doubt, boys,
I've such a sleepy head;
I shall never more be stout, boys,
You may carry me to bed.
What are you about, boys,
The prayers are all said,
The tire's raked out, boys,
And Tommy's dead.

“How's my boy

- my boy? And unless you let me know I'll swear you are no sailor, Blue jacket or no Brass buttons or no, sailor, Anchor and crown or no — Sure his ship was the “Jolly Briton,'"“Speak low, woman, speak low!" “And why should I speak low, sailor, About my own boy John? If I was loud as I am proud I'd sing him over the town! Why should I speak low, sailor?”. “ That good ship went down."

Every man aboard her."
'Every man on board went down,


“How's my boy — my boy?
What care I for the ship, sailor-
I was never aboard her.
Be she afloat or be she aground
Sinking or swimming, I'll be bound
Her owners can afford her!
I say, how's my John?”–

“How's my boy, — my boy?
What care I for the men, sailor?
I'm not their mother
How's my boy

- my boy?
Tell me of him and no other !
How's my boy - my boy?”


Circa 1825-circa 1875. [A SISTER to F. E. Smedley. Author of Nina, 1861; Twice Lost, and other Prose Tales, 1863; Linnet's Trial, 1864: Á Mere Story, 1869; Other Folks' Lives, 1869; Lays and Bal. lads from English History, 1858: Poems, 1868; Two Dramatic Poems, 1874. Her reputation as a poet rests chiefly upon her shorter poems.)

A LITTLE fair soul that knew no sin " And like an army in the snow

Looked over the edge of Paradise, My days went by, a treacherous train, And saw one striving to come in, Each smiling as he struck his blow,

With fear and tumult in his eyes. Until I lay among them -- slain."

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“ Tell me, where are our sisters gone?” “I cannot move this mighty weight,

“ Alas, I left them weary and wan.” I cannot find this golden key; “And tell me, is the baby grown?” But hosts of heaven around us wait, “Alas! he is almost a man.”

And none has ever said 'no' to me.

“Cannot you break the gathering days,

And letthelight of death comethrough, Ere his feet stumble in the maze

Crossed safely by so few, so few?

"Sweet Saint, put by thy palm and scroll,

And come undo the door for me!" “Rest thee still, thou little fair soul,

It is not mine to keep the key."

* For like a crowd upon the sea

That darkens till you find no shore, So was the face of life to me,

Until I sank for evermore.

“Kind Angel, strike these doors apart !

The air without is dark and cold." “Rest thee still, thou little pure heart,

Not for my word will they unfold.”

Up all the shining heights he prayed

For that poor Shadow in the cold! Still came the word, “ Not ours to aid;

We cannot make the doors unfold."

And all the souls went up and cried,

Where never cry was heard in vista,

But that poor Shadow, still outside,

Wrung all the sacred air with pain;

No eye beheld the pitying Face,

The answer none might understand, But dimly through the silent space

Was seen the stretching of a Hand.


1825-1864. (Born at London, Oct. 39, 1825: daughter of Bryan Waller Procter (Barry Cornwall). He first contributions to Household Words, under the name "Mary Berwick," were in 1853. to which periodical she became a regular contributor. She also wrote for Cornhill and Good Words. Her Poems, Legends, and Lyrics, were published in two volumes, 1858 and 1860. Died at London, Feb. 2, 1804. Her works were reissued in 1865, with an introduction by Charles Dickens.) A WOMAN'S QUESTION. Is there within thy heart a need

That mine cannot fulfil? BEFORE I trust my fate to thee,

One chord that any other hand Or place my hand in thine,

Could better wake or still? Before I let thy future give

Speak now, - lest at some future day Color and form to mine, Before I peril all for thee, question thy

my whole life wither and decay. soul to-night for me.

Lives there within thy nature hid I break all slighter bonds, nor feel The demon-spirit Change, A shadow of regret:

Shedding a passing glory still Is there one link within the Past

On all things new and strange? That holds thy spirit yet?

It may not be thy fault alone, - but Or is thy faith as clear and free as that

shield my heart against thy own. which I can pledge to thee?

Couldst thou withdraw thy hand one Does there within thy dimmest dreams

day A possible future shine,

And answer to my claim, Wherein thy life could henceforth That Fate, and that to-day's mistakebreathe,

Not thou --- had been to blame? Untouched, unshared by mine?

Some soothe their conscience thus; but If so, at any pain or cost, O, tell me be

thou wilt surely warn and save fore all is lost.

me now

Look deeper still. If thou canst feel,

Within thy inmost soul,
That thou hast kept a portiou back,

While I have staked the whole,
Let no false pity spare the blow, but in

true mercy tell me so.

Nay, answer not, - I dare not hear,

The words would come too late; Yet I would spare thee all remorse,

So, comfort thee, my Fate, -Whatever on my heart may fall -- re

member, I would risk it all!

It seemed the harmonious echo

From our discordant life.

It linked all perplexed meanings

Into one perfect peace,
And trembled away into silence,

As if it were loath to cease.

A LOST CHORD. SEATED one day at the organ,

I was weary and ill at ease,
And my fingers wandered idly

Over the noisy keys.
I do not know what was playing,

Or what I was dreaming then,
But I struck one chord of music,

Like the sound of a great Amen. It flooded the crimson twilight,

Like the close of an angel's psalm, And it lay on my revered spirit,

With a touch of infinite calm. It quieted pain and sorrow,

Like love overcoming strife;

I have sought, but I seek it vainly,

That one lost chord divine,
That came from the soul of the organ,

And entered into mine.

It may be that Death's bright angel

Will speak in that chord again; It may be that only in heaven

I shall hear that grand Amen.


1826-1887. [Born at Stoke-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, in 1826. Published her first novel, The Ogilvies, in 1849, followed by numerous others, among which John Halifax, Gentleman, 1857, is the most noted. In 1864 she obtained a literary pension of C 60 a year, and in 1865 was married to Mr. George Lillie Craik, a nephew of the literary historian of the same name.) DOUGLAS, DOUGLAS, TENDER I never was worthy of you, Douglas; AND TRUE.

Not half worthy the like of you:

Now all men beside seem to me like Could ye come back to me, Douglas,

shadows Douglas,

I love you, Douglas, tender and true. In the old likeness that I knew, I would be so faithful, so loving, Doug.

Stretch out your hand to me, Douglas, las,

Douglas, Douglas, Douglas, tender and true. Drop forgiveness from heaven like


As I lay my heart on your dead heart, Vever a scornful word should grieve ye,

Douglas, I'd smile on ye sweet as the angels Douglas, Douglas, tender and true.

do; Sweet as your smile on me shone ever, Douglas, Douglas, tender and true.

PHILIP MY KING. O to call back the days that are not! “Who bears upon his baby brow the round My eyes were blinded, your words

And top of sovereignty." were few :

Look at me with thy large brown eyes, Do you know the truth now up in

Philip my king, heaven,

Round whom the enshadowing purple Douglas, Douglas, tender and true?


Of babyhood's royal dignities:

May rise like a giant and make ma Lay on my neck ihy tiny hand

bow With love's invisible sceptre laden; As to one Heaven-chosen amongst his I am thine Esther to command

peers : Till thou shalt find a queen-handmaiden, My Saul, than thy brethren taller and Philip my king.


Let me behold thee in future years; O the day when thou goest a wooing, Yet thy head needeth a circlet rarer, Philip my king!

Philip my hing. When those beautiful lips 'gin suing, And some gentle heart's bars undoing A wreath not of gold, but palm. One Thou dost enter, love-crowned, and

day, there

Philip my king, Sittest love-glorified. Rule kindly, Thou too must tread, as we trod, a way Tenderly, over thy kingdom fair,

Thorny and cruel and cold and gray: For we that love, ah! we love so blindly, Rebels within thee and foes without, Philip my king.

Will snatch at thy crown. But march

on, glorious, Up from thy sweet mouth — up to thy Martyr, yet monarch: till angels shout, brow,

As thou sitt'st at the feet of God victoPhilip my king!

rious, The spirit that there lies sleeping now

" Philip the king!"



[Born at Tring, in Herefordshire, May 29, 1828. He received a scanty education at the British and National schools. At the age of fifteen he went to London, and served as an errandtoy. His first volume, Poems and Chansons, was published about 1846. In 1849 he published Voices of Freedom, and Lyrics of Love. The Ballad of Babe Christabel, and other P&*5, appeared in 1855; Craigi rook Castle and Other Poems, in 1836; Havelock's March and Other Poems, in 1861. His latest work is A Tale of Eternity and Other Poems, 1869. ir 1873 he made a lecturing tour in the United States.]

O, LAY thy hand in mine, dear!

A many cares are pressing
We're growing old;

On this dear head;
But Time hath brought no sign, dear, But Sorrow's hands in blessing
That hearts grow cold.

Are surely laid.
'Tis long, long since our new love
Made life divine;

0, lean thy life on mine, dear! But age enricheth true love,

'Twill shelter thee. Like noble wine.

Thou wert a winsome vine, dear,

On my young tree :
And lay thy cheek to mine, dear, And so, till boughs are leafless,
And take thy rest;

And songbirds flown,
Mine arms around thee twine, dear, We'll twine, then lay us, griefless,
And make thy nest.

Together down.

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