In Equal Sacrifice

THUS of old the Douglas did:

He left his land as he was bid

With the royal heart of Robert the Bruce

In a golden case with a golden lid,

To carry the same to the Holy Land;

By which we see and understand

That that was the place to carry a heart

At loyalty and love's command,

And that was the case to carry it in.

The Douglas had not far to win

Before he came to the land of Spain,

Where long a holy war had been

Against the too-victorious Moor;

And there his courage could not endure

Not to strike a blow for God

Before he made his errand sure.

And ever it was intended so,

That a man for God should strike a blow,

No matter the heart he has in charge

For the Holy Land where hearts should go.

But when in battle the foe were met,

The Douglas found him sore beset,

With only strength of the fighting arm

For one more battle passage yet--

And that as vain to save the day

As bring his body safe away--

Only a signal deed to do

And a last sounding word to say.

The heart he wore in a golden chain

He swung and flung forth into the plain,

And followed it crying 'Heart or death!'

And fighting over it perished fain.

So may another do of right,

Give a heart to the hopeless fight,

The more of right the more he loves;

So may another redouble might

For a few swift gleams of the angry brand,

Scorning greatly not to demand

In equal sacrifice with his

The heart he bore to the Holy Land.

The Tuft of Flowers

I WENT to turn the grass once after one

Who mowed it in the dew before the sun.

The dew was gone that made his blade so keen

Before I came to view the leveled scene.

I looked for him behind an isle of trees;

I listened for his whetstone on the breeze.

But he had gone his way, the grass all mown,

And I must be, as he had been,--alone,

'As all must be,' I said within my heart,

'Whether they work together or apart.'

But as I said it, swift there passed me by

On noiseless wing a 'wildered butterfly,

Seeking with memories grown dim o'er night

Some resting flower of yesterday's delight.

And once I marked his flight go round and round,

As where some flower lay withering on the ground.

And then he flew as far as eye could see,

And then on tremulous wing came back to me.

I thought of questions that have no reply,

And would have turned to toss the grass to dry;

But he turned first, and led my eye to look

At a tall tuft of flowers beside a brook,

A leaping tongue of bloom the scythe had spared

Beside a reedy brook the scythe had bared.

I left my place to know them by their name,

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