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SCOTLAND, 1814–1889

Tubal Cain

Old Tubal Cain was a man of might,

In the days when earth was young;
By the fierce red light of his furnace bright,

The strokes of his hammer rung: 5 And he lifted high his brawny hand

On the iron glowing clear,
Till the sparks rushed out in scarlet showers,
As he fashioned the sword and the

spear. And he sang: “Hurrah for my handiwork!

Hurrah for the Spear and the Sword ! Hurrah for the hand that shall wield them well,

For he shall be king and lord !”


To Tubal Cain came many a one,

As he wrought by his roaring fire, 15 And each one prayed for a strong steel blade

As the crown of his desire.
And he made them weapons sharp and strong,

Till they shouted loud for glee,
And gave him gifts of pearls and gold,
20 And spoils of the forest free.
And they sang : “Hurrah for Tubal Cain,

Who hath given us strength anew!


Hurrah for the smith, hurrah for the fire,

And hurrah for the metal true!”

But a sudden change came o'er his heart,

Ere the setting of the sun,
And Tubal Cain was filled with pain

For the evil he had done;
He saw that men, with rage and hate,

Made war upon their kind;
That the land was red with the blood they shed,

In their lust for carnage blind.
And he said: “Alas! that ever I made,

Or that skill of mine should plan,
The spear and the sword for men whose joy

Is to slay their fellow-man!”




And for many a day old Tubal Cain

Sat brooding o'er his woe;
And his hand forbore to smite the ore,

And his furnace smoldered low.
But he rose at last with a cheerful face,

And a bright, courageous eye,
And bared his strong right arm for work,

While the quick flames mounted high.
And he sang : "Hurrah for my handiwork !"

As the red sparks lit the air; “Not alone for the blade was the bright steel made,” — 25

As he fashioned the first plowshare.

And men, taught wisdom from the past,

In friendship joined their hands, Hung the sword in the hall, the spear on the wall,

And plowed the willing lands;
5 And sang : “Hurrah for Tubal Cain !

Our stanch good friend is he;
And for the plowshare and the plow

To him our praise shall be.
But while oppression lifts its head,

Or a tyrant would be lord,
Though we may thank him for the plow,

We'll not forget the sword.”



ENGLAND, 1819–1861

Say not, the Struggle Naught Availeth "

Say not, the struggle naught availeth,

The labor and the wounds are vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,

And as things have been they remain.


If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;

It may be, in yon smoke concealed,
Your comrades chase e'en now the fliers,

And, but for you, possess the field.




For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,

Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back, through creeks and inlets making,

Comes silent, flooding in, the main.


And not by eastern windows only,

When daylight comes, comes in the light,
In front, the sun climbs slow, how slowly,

But westward, look, the land is bright.

“ Where Lies the Land ? "


Where lies the land to which the ship would go ?
Far, far ahead, is all her seamen know.
And where the land she travels from ? Away,
Far, far behind, is all that they can say.


On sunny noons upon the deck's smooth face,
Link'd arm in arm, how pleasant here to pace!
Or o'er the stern reclining, watch below
The foaming wake far widening as we go.
On stormy nights, when wild northwesters rave,
How proud a thing to fight with wind and wave!
The dripping sailor on the reeling mast
Exults to bear, and scorns to wish it past.
Where lies the land to which the ship would go ?
Far, far ahead, is all her seamen know.


And where the land she travels from ? Away,
Far, far behind is all that they can say.


ENGLAND, 1819–1880

“Oh, may I join the Choir Invisible'

Oh, may I join the choir invisible
Of those immortal dead who live again
8 In minds made better by their presence; live
In pulses stirred to generosity,
In deeds of daring rectitude, in scorn
For miserable aims that end with self,

In thoughts sublime that pierce the night like stars, 10 And with their mild persistence urge men's search

To vaster issues. So to live is heaven:
To make undying music in the world,
Breathing a beauteous order that controls

With growing sway the growing life of man. 15 So we inherit that sweet purity

For which we struggled, failed, and agonized
With widening retrospect that bred despair.
Rebellious flesh that would not be subdued,

A vicious parent shaming still its child,
20 Poor anxious penitence, is quick dissolved;

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