Peter McArthur

Rating: 4.33
Rating: 4.33

Peter McArthur Poems

There was a light upon the sea that made
Familiar things mysterious, which to teach,
With inarticulate, alluring speech,
The living wind with lisping tongue essayed.

My little boy is eight years old,
He goes to school each day;
He doesn't mind the tasks they set-
They seem to him but play.

When snow-balls on the horses' hoofs
And the wind from the south blows warm,
When the cattle stand where the sunbeams beat
And the noon has a dreamy charm,

A man! A man! There is a man loose in Canada,
A man of heroic mould, a 'throwback' of earlier ages,
Vigorous, public-spirited, not afraid of work!
A doer of deeds, not a dreamer and babbler;

Toiling through ruined temple-halls, where Time
Had dwelt with Havoc, eager searchers found,
With shattered idols that bestrewed the ground,
An image strange, of lineaments sublime.

How blest is he that can but love and do
And has no skill of speech nor trick of art
Wherewith to tell what faith approveth true
And show for fame the treasures of his heart.

Of all that felt thy spell I envied one,
A youth whose sightless eyes were dimly turned
Where Tosca's soul with breathless passion burned,
Or thrilled with fury, agonized, undone.

I may not tell what hidden springs I find
Of living beauty in this deathless page,
Lest the dull world, that chooses to be blind,
Mock me to shame or lash me in its rage.

The chiselled fineness we can but surmise;
All that is delicate in form and mould
To-day has vanished under fold on fold
Of crystal whiteness that upon it lies.


Dear God, I thank Thee for this resting place,
This fleshly temple where my soul may dwell,
And, like an anchorite within his cell,
Learn all Thy love and grow to perfect grace.

Because that men were deaf, and man to man
I could not speak, but inarticulate
Still felt the burden and the urge of fate,
The strong compulsion of the perfect plan,


If 'Yea' and 'Nay' were words enough for Him,
Who taught beyond the lessons of all teaching,
With works nor Time nor Envy can bedim,
How vain the burden of our foolish preaching ?


If every thought shall weigh in the award,
And every dream as if fulfilled shall stand,
Who may complain or deem the justice hard
That heaven shall deal when his account is scanned ?

Last night the boy came back to me again,
The laughing boy, all-credulous of good—
Long lost, far-wandered in the ways of men,
He came and roused me with an olden mood.

How should I be the master of my ways
When every nerve is vibrant to the sweep
Of dreams that fill the measure of my days—
Too rare to lose and past all power to keep.

Laughter and Silence for a sword and shield!
O aching heart, what war is this you wage ?
What part have you upon this furious field
Where mailed pride and reckless folly rage ?

I sometimes think it would be sweet
If we were like the olden lovers—
The simple-hearted ones we meet
In musty books with vellum covers.


Not on your life, Bob; not on your life! The Muse salutes you!
And if there still be virtue left in catgut,
In brass or wood, she'll sound a stave that's worthy
The squarest, hardest hitting slugger that ever pawed
the sawdust!


He marks his shadow in the sun,
His form is fair, his dream is proud;
But shadow, form, and dream are one
And vanish like an empty cloud.

It is no bondage to be free to give
Our all to Him who first so freely gave,
That in his living we may ever live;
For, losing all, the all we lose we save.

Peter McArthur Biography

Peter Gilchrist McArthur (March 10, 1866 - October 10, 1924) was a Canadian poet, writer, and farmer. Life McArthur was born in Ekfrid, in Middlesex County, Upper Canada (now Ontario), to Peter and Catherine (McLennan) McArthur, immigrants from Scotland. He was educated at Strathroy Collegiate Institute and later at University College, University of Toronto. While in university he contributed to Grip magazine, and in 1889 he left to become a reporter with the Toronto Daily Mail. McArthur became assistant editor of Truth magazine in March 1895, and editor-in-cheif that August. As editor of Truth from 1895 to 1897, he published work by Roberts, Carman, Stephen Leacock, and Duncan Campbell Scott. (One of the poems McArthur published was ["The Piper of Arll" by Scott, which was read by a teenaged John Masefield and which awakened Masefield's interest in poetry.) In September 1895 McArthur married Mabel C. Waters, of Niagara Falls, Ontario, who would bear him four sons and one daughter. From 1902 to 1904 the McArthurs lived in London, England, where McArthur contributed to Punch and to the Review of Reviews. In 1904 they returned to New York, where McArthur became a partner in the publishing firm of McArthur and Ryder. Writing R.H. Hathaway: "Perhaps the first thing that strikes the reader of his poetry–and his prose as well, for the matter of that–is that it possesses that rare enough quality,–zest. Mr. McArthur is no mere æsthete, no lackadaisical dilettante, but is alive to his finger tips; and all his writings fairly tingle with life. The next thing one perceives is that a strong human feeling runs through his work. Mr. McArthur is above all things else a human being, and a lover of all things human. But he loves nature, too, and manages to get very close to her: we can fairly smell the good brown earth in every out-of-doors poem of his. Naturalness is another of his qualities. He is ever himself: affectation of all kinds is anathema to him. His work is marked also by a lambent, playful humour, which, however, can become sardonic enough when occasion requires.")

The Best Poem Of Peter McArthur

The Salt Marshes

There was a light upon the sea that made
Familiar things mysterious, which to teach,
With inarticulate, alluring speech,
The living wind with lisping tongue essayed.
O'er sand and weed and spongy moss I strayed
And lifeless, orient shells, musing on each;
While casting nets with ever wider reach
A fisher plied his immemorial trade.
A sea-bird winged the aerial solitude
Searching the deep for his appointed dole,
Where his wide-wandering flocks the ocean feeds;
And with the day's full orbed strength indued,
At one with all, by all illumed, my soul
Pulsed to the rhythmus of immortal deeds.

Peter McArthur Comments

harmony bell 22 October 2018

we all love your poem and im doing my standars mastery so i just wanted to say this i love your books

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azziah mone 22 October 2018

hey i love your poems i was just doing my standers mastery and when i cliked the websiet and it brung me here soo i decided to comment before i go back to my standards i wante dto tell you this i love your [poems so i have to gooo so byeee

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