Tell Him So

If you hear a kind word spoken
Of some worthy soul you know,
It may fill his heart with sunshine
If you only tell him so.

If a deed, however humble,
Helps you on your way to go,
Seek the one whose hand has helped you,
Seek him out and tell him so!

If your heart is touched and tender
Toward a person, lost and low,
It might help him to do better
If you’d only tell him so!

Anonymous

The Manly Man

The world has room for the manly man, with the spirit of manly cheer;
The world delights in the man who smiles when his eyes keep back the tear;
It loves the man who, when things are wrong, can take his place and stand
With his face to the fight and his eyes to the light, and toil with a willing hand;
The manly man is the country’s need, the moment’s need, forsooth,
With a heart that beats to the pulsing troop of the lilied leagues of truth;
The world is his and it waits for him, and it leaps to hear the ring
Of the blow he strikes and the wheels he turns and hammers he dares to swing;
It likes the forward look on his face, the poise of his noble head,
And the onward lunge of his tireless will and the sweep of his dauntless tread!
Hurrah for the manly man who comes with sunlight on his face,
And the strength to do and the will to dare and the courage to find his place!
The world delights in the manly man, and the weak and evil flee
When the manly man goes forth to hold his own on land or sea!

Anonymous

Mary, Queen of Scots

I looked far back into other years, and lo, in bright array
I saw, as in a dream, the form of ages passed away.
It was a stately convent with its old and lofty walls,
And gardens with their broad green walks, where soft the footstep falls;
And o’er the antique dial stones the creeping shadows passed,
And all around the noonday sun a drowsy radiance cast.
No sound of busy life was heard, save from the cloisters dim
The tinkling of the silver bell, or the sisters’ holy hymn.
And there five noble maidens sat beneath the orchard trees,
In that first budding spring of youth, when all its prospects please;
And little recked they, when they sang, or knelt at vesper prayers,
That Scotland knew no prouder names — held none more dear than theirs;
And little even the loveliest thought, before the Virgin’s shrine,
Of royal blood and high descent from the ancient Stuart line;
Calmly her happy days flew on, uncounted in their flight,
And as they flew they left behind a long-continuing light.

The scene was changed: it was the court, the gay court of Bourbon,
And ‘neath a thousand silver lamps a thousand courtiers throng;
And proudly kindles Henry’s eye — well pleased I ween, to see
The land assemble all its wealth of grace and chivalry;
But fairer far than all the rest who bask in fortune’s tide,
Effulgent in the light of youth is she, the new-made bride!
The homage of a thousand hearts — the fond, deep love of one —
The hopes that dance around a life whose charms are but begun —
They lighten up her chestnut eye, they mantle o’er her cheek,
They sparkle on her open brow, and high-souled joy bespeak.
Ah, who shall blame, if scarce that day, through all its brilliant hours,
She thought of the quiet convent’s calm, its sunshine and its flowers?

The scene was changed: it was a barque that slowly held its way,
And o’er its lee the coast of France in light of evening lay;
And on its deck a lady sat, who gazed with tearful eyes
Upon the fast-receding hills that, dim and distant, rise.
No marvel that the lady wept — there was no land on earth
She loved like that dear land, although she owed it not her birth.
It was her mother’s land, the land of childhood and of friends,
It was the land where she had found for all her griefs amends;
The land where her dead husband slept, the land where she had known
The tranquil convent’s hushed repose, and the splendors of a throne.
No marvel that the lady wept — it was the land of France,
The chosen home of chivalry, the garden of romance.
The past was bright, like those dear hills so far behind her barque;
The future, like the gathering night, was ominous and dark.
One gaze again — one long, last gaze, “Adieu, fair France, to thee!”
The breeze comes forth — she is alone on the unconscious sea!

The scene was changed: it was an eve of raw and surly mood,
And in a turret chamber high of ancient Holyrood
Sat Mary, listening to the rain and sighing with the winds
That seemed to suit the stormy state of men’s uncertain minds.
The touch of care had blanched her cheek, her smile was sadder now,
The weight of royalty had pressed too heavy on her brow;
And traitors to her councils came, and rebels to the field;
The Stuart sceptre well she swayed, but the sword she could not wield.
She thought of all her blighted hopes, the dreams of youth’s brief day,
And summoned Rizzio with his lute, and bade the ministrel play
The songs she loved in early years — the songs of gay Navarre,
The songs perchance that erst were sung by gallant Chattilor.

They half beguiled her of her cares, they soothed her into smiles,
They won her thoughts from bigot zeal and fierce domestic broils;
But hark, the tramp of armed men, the Douglas’ battle cry!
They come! they come! and lo, the scowl of Ruthven’s hollow eye!
The swords are drawn, the daggers gleam, the tears and words are vain —
The ruffian steel is in his heart, the faithful Rizzio’s slain!
Then Mary Stuart dashed aside the tears that trickling fell:
“Now for my father’s arm!” she cried; “my woman’s heart farewell!”

The scene was changed: a royal host a royal banner bore,
And the faithful of the land stood round their smiling Queen once more;
She stayed her steed upon a hill — she saw them marching by —
She heard their shouts — she read success in every flashing eye.
The tumult of the strife begins — it roars — it dies away;
And Mary’s troops and banners now — and courtiers — where are they?
Scattered and strewn, and flying far, defenceless and undone;
Alas! to think what she had lost, and all that guilt had won!
Away! Away! thy noble steed must act no laggard’s part;
Yet vain his speed, for thou dost bear the arrow in thy heart!

The scene was changed: it was a lake, with one small lonely isle,
And there, within the prison walls of its baronial pile,
Stern men stood menacing their queen, till she should stoop to sign
The traitorous scroll that snatched the crown from her ancestral line;
“My lords, my lords,” the captive said, “were I but once more free,
With ten good knights on yonder shore to aid my cause and me,
This parchment would I scatter wide to every breeze that blows,
And once more reign a Stuart queen o’er my remorseless foes!”
A red spot burned upon her cheek, streamed her rich tresses down,
She wrote the words, she stood erect, a queen without a crown!

The scene was changed: beside the block a sullen headsman stood,
And gleamed the broad axe in his hand, that soon must drip with blood.
With slow and steady step there came a Lady through the hall,
And breathless silence chained the lips and touched the hearts of all.
I knew that queenly form again, though blighted was its bloom;
I saw that grief and decked it out — an offering for the tomb!
I knew that eye, though faint its light, that once so brightly shone;
I knew the voice, though feeble now, that thrilled with every tone;
I knew the ringlets almost grey, once threads of living gold;
I knew that bounding grace of step, that symmetry of mould!

Even now I see her far away in that calm convent aisle,
I hear her chant her vesper hymn, I mark her holy smile;
Even now I see her bursting forth upon the bridal morn,
A new star in the firmament, to light and glory born!
Alas, the change! she placed her foot upon a triple throne,
And on the scaffold now she stands — beside the block — alone!
The little dog that licks her hand the last of all the crowd
Who sunned themselves beneath her glance, and round her footsteps bowed.
Her neck is bared — the blow is struck — the soul is passed away!
The bright — the beautiful — is now a bleeding piece of clay.
The dog is moaning piteously; and, as it gurgles o’er,
Laps the warm blood that trickling runs unheeded to the floor.
The blood of beauty, wealth and power, the heart-blood of a queen,
The noblest of the Stuart race, the fairest earth has seen,
Lapped by a dog! Go think of it, in silence and alone;
Then weigh against a grain of sand the glories of a throne.

Henry Glassford Bell

The Last Hymn

The Sabbath day was ending in a village by the sea,
The uttered benediction touched the people tenderly,
And they rose to face the sunset in the glowing lighted West
And then hastened to their dwellings for God’s blessed boon of rest.
But they looked across the waters and a storm was raging there.
A fierce spirit moved above them–the wild spirit of the air,
And it lashed, and shook, and tore them till they thundered,
groaned, and boomed,
But alas! for any vessel in their yawning gulfs entombed.
Very anxious were the people on that rocky coast of Wales,
Lest the dawns of coming morrows should be telling awful tales,
When the sea had spent its passion, and should cast upon the shore
Bits of wreck, and swollen victims, as it had done heretofore.
With the rough winds blowing round her a brave woman strained her eyes,
And she saw along the billows a large vessel fall and rise.
Oh! it did not need a prophet to tell what the end must be,
For no ship could ride in safety near that shore on such a sea.
Then the pitying people hurried from their homes and thronged the beach.
Oh, for power to cross the waters, and the perishing to reach.
Helpless hands were wrung in terror, tender hearts grew cold with dread,
As the ship urged by the tempest to the fatal rock-shore sped.
She has parted in the middle! Oh, the half of her goes down!
God have mercy! Is His heaven far to seek for those who drown?
So when next the white shocked faces looked with terror on the sea,
Only one last clinging figure on a spar was seen to be.
Nearer the trembling watchers came the wreck tossed by the wave,
And the man still clung and floated, though no power on earth could save.
“Could we send him a short message! Here’s a trumpet, shout away!”
‘Twas the preacher’s hand that took it, and he wondered what to say.
Any memory of his sermon? Firstly? Secondly? Ah, no.
There was but one thing to utter in that awful hour of woe.
So he shouted through the trumpet, “Look to Jesus! Can you hear?”
And “Aye, aye, sir!” rang the answer o’er the waters loud and clear,
Then they listened, “He is singing, ‘Jesus, lover of my soul,'”
And the winds brought back the echo, “While the nearer waters roll.”
Strange indeed it was to hear him, “Till the storm of life is past.”
Singing bravely o’er the waters, “Oh, receive my soul at last.”
He could have no other refuge, “Hangs my helpless soul on thee;”,
“Leave, oh, leave me not!”–the singer dropped at last into the sea.
And the watchers looking homeward, through their eyes, by tears made dim,
Said, “He passed to be with Jesus in the singing of that hymn.”

Marianne Farningham

The hymn in question:

Jesus, Lover of My Soul

Jesus, lover of my soul, let me to thy bosom fly,
while the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high:
hide me, O my Savior, hide, till the storm of life is past;
safe into the haven guide, O receive my soul at last!

Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on thee;
leave, ah! leave me not alone, still support and comfort me!
All my trust on thee is stayed, all my help from thee I bring;
cover my defenseless head with the shadow of thy wing.

Thou, O Christ, art all I want; more than all in thee I find:
raise the fallen, cheer the faint, heal the sick, and lead the blind.
Just and holy is thy name; I am all unrighteousness;
false and full of sin I am, thou art full of truth and grace.

Plenteous grace with thee is found, grace to cover all my sin;
let the healing streams abound; make and keep me pure within:
thou of life the fountain art, freely let me take of thee;
spring thou up within my heart, rise to all eternity.

Charles Wesley

The Fighter

I fight a battle every day
Against discouragement and fear;
Some foe stands always in my way,
The path ahead is never clear!

I must forever be on guard
Against the doubts that skulk along;
I get ahead by fighting hard,
But fighting keeps my spirit strong.

I hear the croakings of Despair,
The dark predictions of the weak;
I find myself pursued by Care,
No matter what the end I seek;
My victories are small and few,
It matters not how hard I strive;
Each day the fight begins anew,
But fighting keeps my hopes alive.

My dreams are spoiled by circumstance,
My plans are wrecked by Fate or Luck;
Some hour, perhaps, will come my chance,
But that great hour has never struck;
My progress has been slow and hard,
I’ve had to climb and crawl and swim,
Fighting for ever stubborn yard;
But I have kept in fighting trim.

I have to fight my doubts away
And be on guard against my fears;
The feeble croaking of Dismay
Has been familiar through the years;
My dearest plans keep going wrong,
Events combine to thwart my will;
But fighting keeps my spirit strong,
And I am undefeated still!

Samuel Ellsworth Kiser

It Couldn’t Be Done

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
      But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
      Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
      On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it!

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
      At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
      And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
      Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
      There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
      The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
      Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
      That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

Edgar Albert Guest

The Loom of Time

Man’s life is laid in the loom of time
To a pattern he does not see
While the weavers and the shuttles fly
Till the dawn of eternity

Some shuttles are filled with silver threads
And some with threads of gold
While often but the darker threads
Are all that they may hold.

But the weaver watches with
Skilful eye
Each shuttle fly to and fro
And sees the pattern so deftly wrought
As the loom moves sure and slow

God surely planned the pattern
Each thread, the dark and fair
Is chosen by his masters skill
And placed in the web with care.

God only knows it’s beauty
And guides the shuttles which hold
The threads so unattractive
As well as the threads of gold

Not till each loom is silent
And the shuttle cease to fly
Shall God reveal the pattern
And explain the reason why
The dark threads were as needful
In the weavers skilful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
For the pattern which he planned.

Anonymous

Fellowship

When a feller hasn’t got a cent
And is feelin’ kind of blue,
And the clouds hang thick and dark
And won’t let the sunshine thro’,
It’s a great thing, oh my brethren,
For a feller just to lay
His hand upon your shoulder in a friendly sort o’ way.

It makes a man feel queerish,
It makes the tear-drops start.
And you kind o’ feel a flutter
In the region of your heart.
You can’t look up and meet his eye,
You don’t know what to say
When a hand is on your shoulder in a friendly sort o’ way.

Oh this world’s a curious compound
With its honey and its gall;
Its cares and bitter crosses,
But a good world after all.
And a good God must have made it,
Leastwise that is what I say,
When a hand is on your shoulder in a friendly sort o’ way.

Anonymous

A Better Resurrection

I have no wit, no words, no tears;
My heart within me like a stone
Is numb’d too much for hopes or fears;
Look right, look left, I dwell alone;
I lift mine eyes, but dimm’d with grief
No everlasting hills I see;
My life is in the falling leaf:
O Jesus, quicken me.

My life is like a faded leaf,
My harvest dwindled to a husk:
Truly my life is void and brief
And tedious in the barren dusk;
My life is like a frozen thing,
No bud nor greenness can I see:
Yet rise it shall—the sap of Spring;
O Jesus, rise in me.

My life is like a broken bowl,
A broken bowl that cannot hold
One drop of water for my soul
Or cordial in the searching cold;
Cast in the fire the perish’d thing;
Melt and remould it, till it be
A royal cup for Him, my King:
O Jesus, drink of me.

Christina Rossetti

History Of The Enlightenment

Faith was a dream technology
but one we couldn’t master, or do cold
and it soon became equivocal again.
Mountains got moved by money or the lash
and we started to insult faith
as if it might be piqued and after all
kick in that sacred phase-shift
where cancers vanish, and the
golden brown in their antique clothes
enlarge from photograph size, walking
toward us, all welcoming, with secrets
the day it is Dreamtime in our streets.

Les Murray