Poems is a compilation of four small volumes of original poetry: Early Lyrics; Portraits from Scripture; Later Lyrics; and After Darkness, Light. Contained within these four volumes are poems touching upon a wide range of themes, both in the realm of the overtly "religious," or "sacred", and that which is not explicitly so. The poems are all composed in a variety of traditional meters, both rhymed and unrhymed, and are chiefly lyrical, but include some narratives, etc.
If you would find a moral in these lines,
Look not, dear Tracy! on the words alone:
On all the hopes and fears – symbols and signs –
Virtues and vices – musings half-unknown: –
(Even at best, shallow and rudely done
Yester-ideas); look not! though they be bare
Of worth, the faults are thick as summer-flies:
Unless your softer-than-Midas touch of care
Turn them to gold – your fair look make them fair,
Reflecting them in softly-glancing eyes, –
(As the butterfly sheds loveliness abroad –
Comes on a thistle which were grey and bowed,
Yet is made lovely by its being there).
Draw thy bellows o’er the burning coal;
Skim the dross, mingled with my soul.
Temper thy steel with the tears I weep.
Rivers run down to the sea,
Yet seas run dry; – all is vanity!
Mountains fall; flowers fade;
And my withered heart has found no shade. Through barren lands, through the desert waste, Without relent my soul is chased.
Draw thy bellows o’er the burning coal
Of the raging fire in my soul!
Oh! that time might be turned back,
That I might bask in days of yore;
Oh! that these years could fall away,
And Oh! to see my love once more.
Burn! burn! burn! vent thine ire!
All my tears but feed the fire.
Weep, weep, weep. Coals burn on.
My love is gone. My love is gone.