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Joseph Skipsey

(March 17, 1832 - September 3,1903 / Percy, Northumberland)

A Word Of Good Cheer


WHY thus mourn o'er star-hopes faded?
They are only from thy ken,
By a passing vapour shaded,
And will soon appear again:
Up and guard thee like a warrior,
Up and make the present thine;
Trust me every doubt's a barrier
To Life's heritage divine.

See, yon kingly soul attended
By the dulcet tones of love—
An immortal here descended
But to lift our eyes above;
Dark as be thy lot and cruel,
He has known as dire a woe;
Bright as be his prize, a jewel
Brighter still for thee may glow.

Not the Cytherean—truly
Vain its pursuit and unwise,
But the joy Uranian, duly
Seek we that, and rich the prize;
But for that be our endeavour,
And afar our doubt and fear,
We shall then be losers never,
Tho' but losers we appear.

Lose we may the husk and perish
What the outer senses prize,
But no real joy we cherish
Ever from us fades or flies;
Hid it may be from the spirit,
Only for awhile 'tis hid,
And one day will meed our merit,
With a joy to sense forbid.

From our bosom the infernal—
All that's mean, and low, and base,
Every wish and longing carnal
Chase we then, or seek to chase;
Clearer to us then and clearer
Would Life's complex riddle seem,
And our Edens fled prove nearer,
Than at present we may deem.

He the lord of his own passions,
Peers the monarch ne'er so bold—
For his loins a girdle fashions
Richer than a girth of gold:
Not a thorn can pierce his bosom
But—before the pang has flown—
But becometh a bright blossom
His right royal head to crown.

'Valour's born from self-denial,
Wisdom from each stern rebuke,
Power from every pain and trial
That the human soul may brook;'
Sagest heroes, heroic sages,
So have taught since Time began;
Up, then, earn a hero's wages,
Up, then up, and be a man.

Up! and lo! to hail thee victor
Smiles will leap from every brook;
Beauty will herself impicture
On whatever thou mayst look.
Stars—the blessed stars, my brother,
Will attend thee in the night;
And Creation's self be other
Than it seems to common sight.

Submitted: Friday, September 05, 2014
Edited: Tuesday, September 23, 2014

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