THE MANY-MANSIONED HOUSE
AND OTHER POEMS


By
EDWARD WILLIAM THOMSON




 

OUR TOWN’S COMFORTER



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

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          they come, as if wholly forgetful
Of fear to repose their confessions
          with Our Town’s fount of relief.

What crucified faces of maidens
           despairing in love’s desolation

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Have streamed with the weeping they’ve hidden
           from all, except Mother alone!
What stormy-heart fighters came wildly
           lamenting their souls’ tribulation
At hearing the weaklings they’d vanquished

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           from terrible silences groan!

What saints who had failed of the halo,
           because their stiff features retarded
The flow of affection from children
           they loved, though with signals confused,

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Would open, for Mother’s eyes only,
           mysterious portals that guarded
Their yearning for all the caresses
           their hickory manners refused.

When parents, grown aged, and basking

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           long years in the Town’s veneration,
Shrank bitter and dumb, at the blow of
           an archangel son in disgrace,
How he knelt in despair with Our Mother,
           and rose with the transfiguration

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Of that which is God, or just mother,
           that shines in her triumphant face. [Page 117]

Yet Mother is given to blaming
           her nature for cold-hearted dealing;—
“Dear souls, how they pour out their troubles

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           to me, whose responses are wood!
Though I strive to console them, my sayings
           seem void, to myself, of all feeling,
For I never can find an expression
           to make my heart half understood.”

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“And I never can love them enough
           in their sadness, however I’m trying
To soften the life in my heart
           till it break with their anguishing tears,
For it’s flooded with gladness to feel them

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           so helped by the balm of the crying,—
And, oh, what a shame I’m made happy
           through sorrows they’ll carry for years.” [Page 118]