THE MANY-MANSIONED HOUSE
AND OTHER POEMS


By
EDWARD WILLIAM THOMSON




 

HAPPYHEART



AMID a waste of worn-out apple trees,
In doorless ruin, nigh a grass-grown road
Set far from every tumult of to-day,
Stands yet the house where Happyheart was born.

That day, his mother told him once, she wept,

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Boding what gusty fates must threat the babe
Who lay as musing all delightedly
To hear the strangest storm she ever knew.

For while a norther hammered on the walls,
Tore crusted snow, whirled orchard branches off,

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Pelted the shuttered windows, wailed dismay,
Clear blue and sunshine held the winter sky.

And, happy in the southward lee, she saw
The earliest singing sparrow of the spring
Hop on her sill, chanting melodiously,

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Full glad of shelter in the warming beams.

“The bird is his,”—declared the Irish nurse,
“Great luck indeed!  See, will he notice it?”

Speaking, she turned the new-born man-child’s face
In such a wise his wondering mother saw

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Within the steady eyes a tiny scene,—
The panes, the singing bird, the whirling world,
Trees madly thrashing, wracks of hurrying drift
Crossing the clear, eternal, sunlit sky.

“What?  Crying?  Troth, but this will never do!

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Sure he takes notice of the bird, I’ll swear!
Cheer up!  ’T is happy fortune will be his!
There’s not a child in all the land so blest [Page 115]
As him the winter songbird hastens to!”
And still the mother wept, she knew not why.

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Within the portals of his house of birth
Has Happyheart beheld the snow wraiths reel,
While in the azure height of clear divine
The sun swung loudly o’er no loneliness
More chill than stared about the scene forlorn;

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And yet the eyes his mother wept to see
Pictured fine gleams through every clouding wrack,
Infinite calm, and singers wonderful. [Page 116]