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The Piper and the Reed   By:

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THE PIPER AND THE REED

Know you a garden near the road? Its walls are very high; A gift of dream on me bestowed, And covered with the sky: There one may walk and talk and talk, Forgetful of aught else but friends, When twilight into evening blends.

[Frontispiece: Sincerely yours, Robert Norwood]

THE PIPER

AND THE REED

BY

ROBERT NORWOOD

AUTHOR OF "THE WITCH OF ENDOR," "HIS LADY OF THE SONNETS," ETC.

MCCLELLAND, GOODCHILD & STEWART

PUBLISHERS :: :: :: TORONTO

COPYRIGHT, 1917,

BY GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

TO

L. L. H.

CONTENTS

The Piper and the Reed Aldebaran Comrades After the Order of Melchisedec O Little Pale Pilgrim of Dream A Song of Evolution A Song of the Trinity A Song of the Father A Song of the Mother A Song of the Son Te Deum O Will You Come With Me The King of Glory Matins A Cradle Song of Life A Song of the All The Slow Emerger A Song of the New Gods The Optimist Revelation A Song of Workers A Song of Battles Can You Forget Bartim├Žus The Cock The Stream The One Oblation A Question Combatants On the Wide, White Road That One Should Love Me Rahab On Guard The Ploughman Dear Little Maid of Dream The Violet to the Aster Magic The King and the Maid A Woman's Prayer Foeman Geraint Grief The Empty Room Love Eternal After the Feast The Lonely Road

THE PIPER AND THE REED

THE PIPER AND THE REED

I am a reed a little reed Down by the river, A whim of God whose moment's need Was that the Giver Might blow melodious and long One cadence of eternal song.

Through me are blown Wild whisperings of wind from hills No sun hath known. The splendour that Orion spills On purple space; The golden loom of Leo's mane; The scintillance of Vega's face; Dim unto dark: And great Arcturus' far refrain Fades to a silence that is pain, When, like a lark, Riseth melodious and strong That cadence of eternal song. God is the Piper I, the reed Down by the river for His need. One note in those vast melodies Waited on me, Or else the choral companies Went silently Complaining to the muted stars: "What lack we yet that Discord bars That infinite Processional?" Or else the seraphim would call: "Minstrels, your dulcimers let fall And break the silvern psalteries!"

A little reed a little reed! And yet were silence of that song, Failed I the river's pebbled brim, Nor trembled never unto him The Piper! passing where we throng Vibrant and ready for His need.

O Miracle! He who in beauty goeth by The marches of the meadowy sky, A piping on the many reeds His canticle, Paused in His playing; For He found An under sound Failed of the music that He made. Wild winds went straying, Like sheep lost on the daisied meads Scattered by Discord and afraid, Lost from the fold They knew of old. My God had need Of one more reed Had need of me To make the perfect harmony. I am that under sound, That needed note. Eternally the Piper tried Reed after reed until He found Me growing by the river side, And laughing at the leaves that float Forever down its burnished tide.

How frail my body is how frail And common of its kind; A reed among a field of reeds A tremble to the wind The wind that threshes like a flail Until my body bleeds! Yet through me such wild music blows The Piper laughs among the stars. Know you the Piper? Little scars Burn on His brow, each shoulder shows Wounds of a knotted scourge that fell To hurt Him from the hands of Hell! Welcome, O Wind! All hail, O Pain! One little reed one little reed, To fill the Piper's far refrain, Is broken till its body bleed; Glad that the Minstrel Lord doth find A tone of His eternal need.

ALDEBARAN

The minstrel tuned the triple strings His harp of many murmurings Then on a mighty chord began A song of bright Aldebaran:

I

Aldebaran, Aldebaran, One night I saw thee rise Above the peaks of Ispahan, Red on those purple skies... Continue reading book >>




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