Rhymes Of A Rolling Stone Part 17

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Ghostlike she lay, as still as doom; turned to the wall her weary head; Icy-cold in the pallid gloom, silent as death . . . at last she said: "Do! my husband? Keep your vow! Guard his secret and let me die. . . .

Oh, my dear, I must tell you now -- _THE WOMAN HE LOVED AND WRONGED WAS I_; Darling! I haven't long to live: I never told you -- forgive, forgive!"

For a long, long time Brown did not speak; sat bleak-browed in the wretched room; Slowly a tear stole down his cheek, and he kissed her hand in the dismal gloom.

To break his oath, to brand her shame; his well-loved friend, his worshipped wife; To keep his vow, to save her name, yet at the cost of what? Her life!

A moment's space did he hesitate, a moment of pain and dread and doubt, Then he broke the seals, and, stern as fate, unfolded the sheets and spread them out. . . .



On his knees by her side he limply sank, peering amazed -- _EACH PAGE WAS BLANK_.

(For oh, the supremest of our art are the stories we do not dare to tell, Locked in the silence of the heart, for the awful records of Heav'n and Hell.)

Yet those two in the silence there, seemed less weariful than before.

Hark! a step on the garret stair, a postman knocks at the flimsy door.

"Registered letter!" Brown thrills with fear; opens, and reads, then bends above: "Glorious tidings! Egypt, dear! The book is accepted -- life and love."

Good-Bye, Little Cabin

O dear little cabin, I've loved you so long, And now I must bid you good-bye!

I've filled you with laughter, I've thrilled you with song, And sometimes I've wished I could cry.

Your walls they have witnessed a weariful fight, And rung to a won Waterloo: But oh, in my triumph I'm dreary to-night -- Good-bye, little cabin, to you!

Your roof is bewhiskered, your floor is a-slant, Your walls seem to sag and to swing; I'm trying to find just your faults, but I can't -- You poor, tired, heart-broken old thing!

I've seen when you've been the best friend that I had, Your light like a gem on the snow; You're sort of a part of me -- Gee! but I'm sad; I hate, little cabin, to go.

Below your cracked window red raspberries climb; A hornet's nest hangs from a beam; Your rafters are scribbled with adage and rhyme, And dimmed with tobacco and dream.

"Each day has its laugh", and "Don't worry, just work".

Such mottoes reproachfully shine.

Old calendars dangle -- what memories lurk About you, dear cabin of mine!

I hear the world-call and the clang of the fight; I hear the hoarse cry of my kind; Yet well do I know, as I quit you to-night, It's Youth that I'm leaving behind.

And often I'll think of you, empty and black, Moose antlers nailed over your door: Oh, if I should perish my ghost will come back To dwell in you, cabin, once more!

How cold, still and lonely, how weary you seem!

A last wistful look and I'll go.

Oh, will you remember the lad with his dream!

The lad that you comforted so.

The shadows enfold you, it's drawing to-night; The evening star needles the sky: And huh! but it's stinging and stabbing my sight -- God bless you, old cabin, good-bye!

Heart o' the North

And when I come to the dim trail-end, I who have been Life's rover, This is all I would ask, my friend, Over and over and over:

A little space on a stony hill With never another near me, Sky o' the North that's vast and still, With a single star to cheer me;

Star that gleams on a moss-grey stone Graven by those who love me -- There would I lie alone, alone, With a single pine above me;

Pine that the north wind whinneys through -- Oh, I have been Life's lover!

But there I'd lie and listen to Eternity passing over.

The Scribe's Prayer

When from my fumbling hand the tired pen falls, And in the twilight weary droops my head; While to my quiet heart a still voice calls, Calls me to join my kindred of the Dead: Grant that I may, O Lord, ere rest be mine, Write to Thy praise one radiant, ringing line.

For all of worth that in this clay abides, The leaping rapture and the ardent flame, The hope, the high resolve, the faith that guides: All, all is Thine, and liveth in Thy name: Lord, have I dallied with the sacred fire!

Lord, have I trailed Thy glory in the mire!

E'en as a toper from the dram-shop reeling, Sees in his garret's blackness, dazzling fair, All that he might have been, and, heart-sick, kneeling, Sobs in the passion of a vast despair: So my ideal self haunts me alway -- When the accounting comes, how shall I pay?

For in the dark I grope, nor understand; And in my heart fight selfishness and sin: Yet, Lord, I do not seek Thy helping hand; Rather let me my own salvation win: Let me through strife and penitential pain Onward and upward to the heights attain.

Yea, let me live my life, its meaning seek; Bear myself fitly in the ringing fight; Strive to be strong that I may aid the weak; Dare to be true -- O God! the Light, the Light!

Cometh the Dark so soon. I've mocked Thy Word; Yet do I know Thy Love: have mercy, Lord. . . .

_FINIS_

Rhymes Of A Rolling Stone Part 17

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Rhymes Of A Rolling Stone Part 17 summary

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