Edward William Thomson

Rating: 4.33
Rating: 4.33

Edward William Thomson Poems

E sang on the Heath of the Volsungs,
Mid Volsung common men,
Shepherds, chafferers, delvers,
And the fowlers of the fen,
The beaters of the anvil,

AGAIN we greet the patient heart,
The conference-guiding master-hand,
Who put illusive dreams apart,
And wrought as careful wisdom planned.
With welcoming hearts we strive in vain

Yet, at the end, from seeming death he stirred
As one whose sleep is broke by sudden shine,
And whispered Christ, as if the soul had heard
Tidings of some exceeding sweet design.

WHEN iron taskwork levelled low
My youthful dreams of pride,
’T was “Oh to reach the end and go
Beyond all seas,” I sighed;
“For freedom’s songbirds pierce me sore,

“SPIRIT,” said God, “come up for Judgment now.”
The words seemed spoke in such familiar tone
As if the accents of a natural voice
Close to the heart as its own beating pulse.

IT touches the heart of “Our Mother”
with happiness queerly regretful
To muse on all they who instinctively
bring her their innermost grief,
For reasons she never can fathom

WHEN some of the ancient lineage prate
We brothers listen with a smile,
We do not boast ancestral state,
It really is n’t worth our while,
Since all must know that we can trace

We buried in Mount Auburn last July
The gentle, clerkly, wan old bookkeeper,
Who left to me his sheaf of casual verse.
“You’ll smile,” he wrote, “to learn I poetized,
However little. Here are all my rhymes;

OF all who’d thronged the Commons’ galleries
For early April evening’s main debate,
One student visionary sole remained.

OUR prison house extends so wide
It walls the farthest Oceans’ tide,
Enarches every Tropics bloom,
And gives the opposing Arctics room.

“DEAR Dove, both Love and Life command we wed,”
Spoke I. She smiled and shook her sage young head,
And mused, and gravely said: “Before we met,
Life had ruled straight our page, and rules it yet.
Though Love be come to light that even Way,

A TENDER miracle so blends
The separate life which is our fate
With gentle joys, that it transcends


QUIET, my heart! My brain must be
Untroubled by your anxious pain.
I must be laboring patiently
To-day, to-morrow, oft again.

LOIS, alone I’ve walked the way
By Talking Brook to Fairy Falls
We trod a year ago to-day.
And did you hear such bluebird calls?
And is the April green as fresh?


TO-DAY our Office friends declare,—
“Fate gave to her a hopeless part,
And wondrous was her pluck to bear

SINCE Lois died the tyrant Sun
Drags haggard in his orbit bound
This puppet Earth, whose seasons run
For me an aimless, wasted round.

IF ancient England nobly sing,
We hearken to the song.
Her words ten million echoes bring
To urge the strain along;
It rallies farm and market-square,

WHEN April’s tinge was on the fringe
Of willows near the pool,
She clipt their shoots to fashion flutes
For children of her school;
She sloped the tips to suit the lips

LANDLORD, take a double fee, and let the banquet slide,
Send the viands, send the wine to cheer the poor outside,
Turn the glasses upside down, leave the room alight,
Let the flower-strown tables stand glittering all the night.

LOW in the fertile vale by Tunstall’s Run
A rainy rifle skirmish closed the day.
Beyond the April-swollen, narrow stream,
Lee’s stubborn rearguard veteran raggedies

Edward William Thomson Biography

Edward William Thomson (February 12, 1849 – 1924) was a Canadian journalist and writer. He was born in Peel County, Ontario, the grandson of Edward William Thomson, a member of the York militia who was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada. When Thompson was 14, he was sent to Philadelphia to work in a mercantile office; he enlisted in the Union Army in October 1864 (at 15), and saw action during the American Civil Waras a trooper in the 3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry.Thomson returned to Canada when discharged in August, 1865. He saw combat again the next year, at the Battle of Ridgeway during the Fenian Raids. Thomson took up civil engineering in 1867, and worked as a Land Surveyor from 1872 to 1878. In 1878, at the invitation of publisher George Brown, he became an editorial writer for The Toronto Globe. In 1891 he joined the staff of The Youth's Companion, and worked there for the next 11 years. He wrote a book of short stories, Old Man Savarin and Other Stories (1895), and one of poetry, The Many-Mansioned House and Other Poems (1909).)

The Best Poem Of Edward William Thomson

King Volsung And The Skald

HE sang on the Heath of the Volsungs,
Mid Volsung common men,
Shepherds, chafferers, delvers,
And the fowlers of the fen,
The beaters of the anvil,

Wights who mined the ore,
Tamers of the horsekind,
And fishers from the shore.

Tall through the press strode Sigmund,
Lord-warden of the Peace,

While, shrilling fierce, the blood song
Rang to the throng’s increase,
And some lips smiled the pleasure
Of Lynxes scenting prey,
And some brows frowned the anger

That holds the wolf at bay.

“Be dumb, O Skald!” spoke Sigmund,
“Thou singst a troublous song,—
The King of the kindly Volsungs
Shall judge thee right or wrong.”

Then slow to the Hall of The Mighty,
And silently under its roof,
Flowed the host of the mid-world people
To hear the thing at proof.

On the High-seat shone King Volsung,

His Champions gleamed anear,
And the voice of lordly Sigmund
Came welcome to his ear:—
“Father, King and Judger,
Now tell me what to do.

This Skald divides thy people—
Is praise or death his due?”

“Son Sigmund, tell thy story,
And whence the stranger came”.—
“I found him chanting on the Heath,

And no man knows his name.
Some think him even as Baldur
Come back to bless the Earth,
And some hear in his blood song
The Dwarf-kind’s cruel mirth.”

Then softly laughed King Volsung,
Yet pierced so keen his eyes
Men deemed he saw the stranger
As naked from disguise.
“O Skald!” he spoke, “fear nothing;

Though thou be Dwarf or Elf
Come back to trouble mankind,
Sing up, and be thyself.”

The stranger eyed the Father
As one who works a spell,

And from the board his fingers
Seized a sounding shell;
His touches thrilled its edges,
He sang, to words all changed,
A strain the brown seafarers

Oft chanted where they ranged.

Then round about the High-seat,
And through the huge-built Hall,
Did all men deem they listened
To waves whelm up and fall;

They heard the clash and clatter
Of shield-hung longships’ sides,
Straining sails gale-bellied,
The snarl of racing tides,

While, foul in seamen’s nostrils

Wallowing bilges stank
Of ale and meal long sea-borne,
Musty, wormy, rank;
Yet, half a-rot with scurvy,
They toppled up once more

To hail the enchanted looming
Of some unheard-of shore.

Out spoke the gracious Volsung,—
“The chant is good to me
That draws my shoremen closer

To their brothers of the sea.
And now, O Skald, I charge thee
To voice what song most brings
Joy to the hearts of heroes,
And men of worth and Kings.”


The stranger pondered, staring
So long on Volsung’s Pride
That soft-hand chafferers clamored:—
“Sing what thou sangst outside—
The song that stirred our pulses

As if through war-horn blown,
Thy chant of swords and corpses,
And blood on grass bestrown.
Hearing, we felt as Champions,
Our foes seemed beaten sore,

And fierce in exultation
We saw them free no more.”

Then, nearing close to Volsung,
The singer whispered, “King,
Thou knowst how wild the feeble

Relish a deathful thing;
Here came I hungry, seeking
The means for rest and meat—
They love to dream them heroes,
And praise to Skalds is sweet.

But now, O Volsung Father,
I read thy kingly heart,
And I know the battle-mighty
From war-lust dwell apart.”

Frowned dark the lordly Volsung,—

“Shame drowneth as a flood
The fame of every singer
Who urgeth men to blood.
The scorn of sworded heroes
Is on the swordless wight

Who stirs the weak to clamor
That sends the strong to fight;
Behold, all blades of battle
Around my shield-hung wall
Are hid in sheath, lest baleful

Their deadly gleams should fall;
And yet thy plea shall save thee
If now thou singst what brings
Most joy to hearts of heroes,
And men of worth, and Kings.”

Then beamed so kind the stranger,
It seemed that Baldur there
Had rose from Niflheim’s torpor
To bless the shining air;
He grasped an iron hammer,

He tinkled on the steel,
And he sang the ancient stithy
Laboring mankind’s weal.

Spike and chain and crowbar,
Axes, bolts, and ploughs,

Mallet, wedge, and hammer,
Bonds to stiffen prows,
Every shape of iron
Listeners saw anew,
For the splendor of the labor

Rang the song-craft through.

So changed the tinkled measure
That looms rocked in the Hall,
Spindles twirled, and shuttles
Flew ’twixt wall and wall,—

Cloth for street and temple,
Cloth for sea and wold,
And the weavers’ patient pleasure
Wove in every fold.

Through all Man’s craft and labor

The runic rhythm changed,
As Valorous Endeavor
All useful works it ranged;
And the Idler was the Dastard,
And the Pleasure-seeker’s joy

More weak, and far more witless
Than the pastime of a boy.

“O Skald,” spoke gladdened Volsung,
“Thou sangst the truest song!
It endeth and amendeth

Labor’s ancient wrong;
Its glory none had chanted,
Its pride no ear had heard,
For the toiling held the toiler
From the finding of the Word.

Yet none, save to that throbbing
My harp hath in its strings,
Can sing what most joys heroes,
And men of worth, and Kings.”

He took the harp of Volsung,

His fingers lingered slow,
He sang of Love commingled
With Work, and Joy, and Woe,—
The lover’s love for lover,
The bridegroom and the bride,

The father love for children,
The wifely true-heart’s pride,
Brother’s love for brother,
Love of friend for friend,
The yearning, patient mother love

That hath no stint nor end;
And, even as all World-things
Forth from the World-tree start,
He sang all love forever flows
Back to All-father’s heart.

King Volsung and his heroes,
All people round the Hall,
Yearned and flushed and joyed and wept
As if one soul swayed all.
None saw the singer vanish,

So blinding was his spell;—
And was he of the Gods, or Dwarfs,
King Volsung would not tell.

Edward William Thomson Comments

Edward William Thomson Popularity

Edward William Thomson Popularity

Error Success