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Abram Joseph Ryan

A Flower's Song

Star! Star, why dost thou shine
Each night upon my brow?
Why dost thou make me dream the dreams
That I am dreaming now?

Star! Star, thy home is high --
I am of humble birth;
Thy feet walk shining o'er the sky,
Mine, only on the earth.

Star! Star, why make me dream?
My dreams are all untrue;
And why is sorrow dark for me
And heaven bright for you?

Star! Star, oh, hide thy ray,
And take it off my face;
Within my lowly home I stay,
Thou, in thy lofty place.

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The Star's Song

Flower! Flower, why repine?
God knows each creature's place;
He hides within me when I shine,
And your leaves hide His face.

And you are near as I to Him,
And you reveal as much
Of that eternal soundless hymn
Man's words may never touch.

God sings to man through all my rays
That wreathe the brow of night,
And walks with me thro' all my ways --
The everlasting light.

Flower! Flower, why repine?
He chose on lowly earth,
And not in heaven where I shine,
His Bethlehem and birth.

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Wake Me A Song

Out of the silences wake me a song,
Beautiful, sad, and soft, and low;
Let the loveliest music sound along,
And wing each note with a wail of woe:
Dim and drear
As hope's last tear;
Out of the silences wake me a hymn,
Whose sounds are like shadows soft and dim.

Out of the stillness in your heart --
A thousand songs are sleeping there --
Wake me a song, thou child of art!
The song of a hope in a last despair:
Dark and low,
A chant of woe;
Out of the stillness, tone by tone,
Cold as a snowflake, low as a moan.

Out of the darkness flash me a song,
Brightly dark and darkly bright;

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Out Of The Depths

Lost! Lost! Lost!
The cry went up from a sea --
The waves were wild with an awful wrath,
Not a light shone down on the lone ship's path;
The clouds hung low:
Lost! Lost! Lost!
Rose wild from the hearts of the tempest-tossed.

Lost! Lost! Lost!
The cry floated over the waves --
Far over the pitiless waves;
It smote on the dark and it rended the clouds;
The billows below them were weaving white shrouds
Out of the foam of the surge,
And the wind-voices chanted a dirge:
Lost! Lost! Lost!
Wailed wilder the lips of the tempest-tossed.

Lost! Lost! Lost!
Not the sign of a hope was nigh,

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A Laugh -- And A Moan

The brook that down the valley
So musically drips,
Flowed never half so brightly
As the light laugh from her lips.

Her face was like the lily,
Her heart was like the rose,
Her eyes were like a heaven
Where the sunlight always glows.

She trod the earth so lightly
Her feet touched not a thorn;
Her words wore all the brightness
Of a young life's happy morn.

Along her laughter rippled
The melody of joy;
She drank from every chalice,
And tasted no alloy.

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Feast Of The Assumption

Dark! Dark! Dark!
The sun is set; the day is dead:
Thy Feast has fled;
My eyes are wet with tears unshed;
I bow my head;
Where the star-fringed shadows softly sway
I bend my knee,
And, like a homesick child, I pray,
Mary, to thee.

Dark! Dark! Dark!
And, all the day -- since white-robed priest
In farthest East,
In dawn's first ray -- began the Feast,
I -- I the least --
Thy least, and last, and lowest child,
I called on thee!
Virgin! didst hear? my words were wild;
Didst think of me?

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Night After The Picnic

And 'Happy! Happy! Happy!'
Rang the bells of all the hours;
'Shyly! Shyly! Shyly!'
Looked and listened all the flowers;
They were wakened from their slumbers,
By the footsteps of the fair;
And they smiled in their awaking
On the faces gathered there.

'Brightly! Brightly! Brightly!'
Looked the overhanging trees,
For beneath their bending branches
Floated tresses in the breeze.
And they wondered who had wandered
With such voices and so gay;
And their leaflets seemed to whisper
To each other: 'Who are they?'

They were just like little children,
Not a sorrow's shade was there;

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