When your joys are of the sweetest
    And your heart is light and free; 
When your griefs are skimming fleetest, 
    Love, one moment think of me. 

I’d not ask you to remember 
    Me when life is dull and drear;
When your hopes are but an ember
    From a cold and vanished year; 

Sorrow’s far too bleak a burden
    To retain in mem’ry’s hall. 

Friendship has no greater guerdon
    Than to happiness recall. 

So, when roses scent the twilight
    Air with ling’ring dew damp breath, 

Please remember me as eye-bright
    Faith remembers until death.

The Universe

Count o’er the million leagues from here to yonder star.
On then. On to the next count of a million more.
Sum up the myriad gleams that light the night;
Add too, the orbit where the cold bright moon doth soar.
That done, return to earth and with thy mind outline
That huge expanse called space; and then out from our Hearse
Of changing dust dream out the words—The Universe.

To a Skull

Ghastly, ghoulish, grinning skull,
Toothless, eyeless, hollow, dull,
Why your smirk and empty smile
As the hours away you wile?
Has the earth become such bore
That it pleases nevermore?
Whence your joy through sun and rain?
Is ’t because of loss of pain?
Have you learned what men learn not
That earth’s substance turns to rot?
After learning now you scan
Vain endeavors man by man?
Do you mind that you as they
Once was held by mystic sway;
Dreamed and struggled, hoped and prayed,
Lolled and with the minutes played?
Sighed for honors; battles planned;
Sipped of cups that wisdom banned
But would please the weak frail flesh;
Suffered, fell, ’rose, struggled fresh?
Now that you are but a skull
Glimpse you life as life is, full
Of beauties that we miss
Till time withers with his kiss?
Do you laugh in cynic vein
Since you cannot try again?
And you know that we, like you,
Will too late our failings rue?
Tell me, ghoulish, grinning skull
What deep broodings, o’er you mull?
Tell me why you smirk and smile
Ere I pass life’s sunset stile.

I Saw You

I saw you as I passed last night,
    Framed in a sky of gold;
And through the sun’s fast paling light
    You seemed a queen of old,
Whose smile was light to all the world
    Against the crowding dark.
And in my soul a song there purled—
    Re-echoed by the lark.

I saw you as I passed last night,
    Your tresses burnished gold,
While in your eyes a happy bright
    Gleam of your friendship told.
And I went singing on my way;
    On, on into the dark.
But in my heart still shone the day,
    And still—still sang the lark.

Related Poems

Sunshine After Cloud

Come, “Will,” let’s be good friends again, 
     Our wrongs let’s be forgetting, 
For words bring only useless pain, 
     So wherefore then be fretting. 

Let’s lay aside imagined wrongs, 
    And ne’er give way to grieving,
Life should be filled with joyous songs, 
    No time left for deceiving. 

I’ll try and not give way to wrath, 
    Nor be so often crying; 
There must some thorns be in our path, 
    Let’s move them now by trying. 

How, like a foolish pair were we, 
    To fume about a letter; 
Time is so precious, you and me; 
    Must spend ours doing better.

Thoughts

What kind of thoughts now, do you carry
   In your travels day by day
Are they bright and lofty visions, 
   Or neglected, gone astray?

Matters not how great in fancy, 
    Or what deeds of skill you’ve wrought; 
Man, though high may be his station, 
    Is no better than his thoughts. 

Catch your thoughts and hold them tightly, 
   Let each one an honor be; 
Purge them, scourge them, burnish brightly, 
   Then in love set each one free.