Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

Dinah Maria Mulock Craik Poems

THERE was a marriage-table where One sate,
Haply, unnoticed, till they craved His aid:
Thenceforward does it seem that He has made

"She loves with love that cannot tire:
And if, ah, woe! she loves alone,
Through passionate duty love flames higher,
As grass grows taller round a stone."

DOST thou thus love me, O thou beautiful?
So beautiful, that by thy side I seem
Like a great ducky cloud beside a star:

"PRAISE God from whom all blessings flow."
Praise Him who sendeth joy and woe.
The Lord who takes, -- the Lord who gives, --
O praise Him, all that dies, and lives.

WITH steady march across the daisy meadow,
And by the churchyard wall we go;
But leave behind, beneath the linden shadow,

A FRIEND stands at the door;
In either tight-closed hand
Hiding rich gifts, three hundred and three score:

O the green things growing, the green things growing,
The faint sweet smell of the green things growing!

NOT at the battle front,--writ of in story;
Not on the blazing wreck steering to glory;

WHERE shall we sail to-day?'--Thus said, methought,
A voice that only could be heard in dreams:
And on we glided without mast or oar,

A WIND-SWEPT tulip-bed--a colored cloud
Of butterflies careering in the air--
A many-figured arras stirred to life,

A CHILD'S smile--nothing more;
Quiet, and soft, and grave, and seldom seen;

No, I'll not say your name. I have said it now,
As you mine, first in childish treble, then
Up through a score and more familiar years

You 'never loved me,' Ada. These slow words
Dropped softly from your gentle woman-tongue
Out of your true and kindly woman-heart,

LOUD wind, strong wind, sweeping o'er the mountains,
Fresh wind, free wind, blowing from the sea,

IF, coming from that unknown sphere
Where I believe thou art,--
The world unseen which girds our world
So close, yet so apart,--

GOD rest ye, merry gentlemen; let nothing you dismay,
For Jesus Christ, our Saviour, was born on Christmas-day

SILENT and sunny was the way
Where Youth and I danced on together:
So winding and embowered o'er,
We could not see one rood before.

LITTLE soul, for such brief space that entered
In this little body straight and chilly,
Little life that fluttered and departed,

YE are twa laddies unco gleg,
An' blithe an' bonnie:
As licht o' heel as Anster's Meg;--
Gin ye'd a lassie's favor beg,

IT is the Christmas time:
And up and down 'twixt heaven and earth,
In glorious grief and solemn mirth,
The shining angels climb.

Dinah Maria Mulock Craik Biography

Born Dinah Maria Mulock at Longfield Cottage, Hartshill, Stoke-upon-Trent in 1826. Her father was a Nonconformist clergyman. She wrote poetry from an early age and helped her mother teach in a small school. In 1831 the family went to live at Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire where she attended Brampton House Academy. On inheriting some property in 1839, they all moved to London. Dinah continued to study a range of modern and classical languages. Her other interests included drawing and music. Her first work to be published was a poem on the birth of the Princess Royal which appeared in the Staffordshire Advertiser in 1841. She wrote some stories for children and in 1849 The Ogilvies appeared. This novel was dedicated to her mother who had died four years earlier. Her career began to take off and she began to move in London literary circles. The head of the family (1852) was dedicated to Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Her best known work is John Halifax, Gentleman (1857) which features Longfield, named after the cottage in which she was born, and its publication led to a new prosperity. It was printed in many editions in English and in several foreign translations. Her own favourite novel was A life for a life (1859). In 1865 she married George Lillie Craik who was a partner in the company of Macmillan, publishers. Mrs. Craik lived with her husband at Shortlands, Bromley, Kent for the rest of her life. Dinah was respected for her very generous and compassionate nature and this strength of character can be seen in the rather moralistic tone of much of her poetry, fiction and essays. She felt that true nobility was not dependent upon material wealth and this theme is well developed in John Halifax, gentleman.)

The Best Poem Of Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

A Marriage-Table

THERE was a marriage-table where One sate,
Haply, unnoticed, till they craved His aid:
Thenceforward does it seem that He has made
All virtuous marriage-tables consecrate:
And so, at this, where without pomp or state
We sit, and only say, or mute, are fain
To wish the simple words 'God bless these twain!'
I think that He who 'in the midst' doth wait
Oft-times, would not abjure our prayerful cheer,
But, as at Cana, list with gracious ear
To us, beseeching, that the Love divine
May ever at their household table sit,
Make all His servants who encompass it,
And change life's bitterest waters into wine.

Dinah Maria Mulock Craik Comments

Oiver Henry 08 March 2018

How are you doing

1 0 Reply
G.F. Watkins 05 December 2017

I'm particularly interested in Mulock-Craik's Magnus and Morna, which I set to music in my youth. As she herself wrote music for a number of her poems, did she also set that work?

0 1 Reply

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