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Rosanna Eleanor Leprohon

A Boy’s Hopes

Dear mother, dry those flowing tears,
They grieve me much to see;
And calm, oh! calm thine anxious fears—
What dost thou dread for me?
’Tis true that tempests wild oft ride
Above the stormy main,
But, then, in Him I will confide
Who doth their bounds ordain.

I go to win renown and fame
Upon the glorious sea;
But still my heart will be the same—
I’ll ever turn to thee!
See, yonder wait our gallant crew,
So, weep not, mother dear;
My father was a sailor too—
What hast thou then to fear?

Is it not better I should seek
To win the name he bore,

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The Fall Of The Leaf

Earnest and sad the solemn tale
That the sighing winds give back,
Scatt’ring the leaves with mournful wail
O’er the forest’s faded track;
Gay summer birds have left us now
For a warmer, brighter clime,
Where no leaden sky or leafless bough
Tell of change and winter-time.

Reapers have gathered golden store
Of maize and ripened grain,
And they’ll seek the lonely fields no more
Till the springtide comes again.
But around the homestead’s blazing hearth
Will they find sweet rest from toil,
And many an hour of harmless mirth
While the snow-storm piles the soil.

Then, why should we grieve for summer skies—
For its shady trees—its flowers,

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Virgin Of Bethlehem

Virgin of Bethlehem! spouse of the Holy One!
Star of the pilgrim on life’s stormy sea!
Humbler thy lot was than this world’s most lowly one,
List to the prayers that we offer to thee!

Not for the joys that this false earth bestoweth,
Empty and fleeting as April sunshine,
But for the grace that from holiness floweth,
Grace, purest Mother, that always was thine.

Charity ardent, and zeal that abounded,
Thine was the will of thy Father above,
Thus thy life’s fervor so strangely confounded
Cold hearts that mocked at religion’s pure love.

Meekness in suffering, patience excelling,
Bowed thee, unmurm’ring, beneath sorrow’s rod;
Spirit of purity ever indwelling
Made thee the Temple and Mother of God.

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Come, Tell Me Some Olden Story

I.
Come tell me some olden story
Of Knight or Paladin,
Whose sword on the field of glory
Bright laurel wreaths did win:
Tell me of the heart of fire
His courage rare did prove;
Speak on—oh! I will not tire—
But never talk of love.

II.
Or, if thou wilt, I shall hearken
Some magic legend rare—
How the Wizard’s power did darken
The sunny summer air:
Thou’lt tell of Banshee’s midnight wail,
Or corpse-light’s ghastly gleam—
It matters not how wild the tale
So love be not thy theme.

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The Stable Of Bethlehem

’Twas not a palace proud and fair
He chose for His first home;
No dazz’ling pile of grandeur rare,
With pillar’d hall and dome;
Oh no! a stable, rude and poor,
Received Him at His birth;
And thus was born, unknown, obscure,
The Lord of Heaven and Earth.

No band of anxious menials there,
To tend the new-born child,
Joseph alone and Mary fair
Upon the infant smiled;
No broidered linens fine had they
Those little limbs to fold,
No baby garments rich and gay,
No tissues wrought with gold.

Come to your Saviour’s lowly bed,
Ye vain and proud of heart!

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The Whispers Of Time

What does time whisper, youth gay and light,
While thinning thy locks, silken and bright,
While paling thy soft cheek’s roseate dye,
Dimming the light of thy flashing eye,
Stealing thy bloom and freshness away—
Is he not hinting at death—decay?

Man, in the wane of thy stately prime,
Hear’st thou the silent warnings of Time?
Look at thy brow ploughed by anxious care,
The silver hue of thy once dark hair;—
What boot thine honors, thy treasures bright,
When Time tells of coming gloom and night?

Sad age, dost thou note thy strength nigh, spent,
How slow thy footstep—thy form how bent?
Yet on looking back how short doth seem
The checkered coarse of thy life’s brief dream.
Time, daily weakening each link and tie,
Doth whisper how soon thou art to die.

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Mystical Rose, Pray For Us!

O aptly named, Illustrious One!
Thou art that flower fair
That filled this vast and changeful world
With mystic perfume rare—
Shedding on all the balmy breath
Of countless virtues high,
Rising like fragrant odours rich,
To God’s far, beauteous sky.

Mystical Rose! O aptly named!
For, as ’mid brightest flowers
The lovely Rose unquestioned reigns
The Queen of Nature’s bowers,
So ’mid the daughters fair of Eve
Art thou the peerless One!
The chosen handmaid of the Lord!
The Mother of His Son!

Yes, He endowed thee with all gifts
Which could thy beauty grace;

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Earth’s Moments Of Gloom

“The heart knoweth its own bitterness”

The heart hath its moments of hopeless gloom,
As rayless as is the dark night of the tomb;
When the past has no spell, the future no ray,
To chase the sad cloud from the spirit away;
When earth, though in all her rich beauty arrayed,
Hath a gloom o’er her flowers—o’er her skies a dark shade,
And we turn from all pleasure with loathing away,
Too downcast, too spirit sick, even to pray!

Oh! where may the heart seek, in moments like this,
A whisper of hope, or a faint gleam of bliss?
When friendship seems naught but a cold, cheerless flame,
And love a still falser and emptier name;
When honors and wealth are a wearisome chain,
Each link interwoven with grief and with pain,
And each solace or joy that the spirit might crave
Is barren of comfort and dark as the grave.

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The Vesper Hour

Soft and holy Vesper Hour—
Precursor of the night—
How I love thy soothing power,
The hush, the fading light;
Raising those vain thoughts of ours
To higher, holier things—
Mingling gleams from Eden’s bowers
With earth’s imaginings!

How thrilling in some grand old fane
To hear the Vesper prayer
Rise, with the organ’s solemn strain,
On incense-laden air;
While the last dying smiles of day
Athwart the stained glass pour—
Flooding with red and golden ray
The shrine and chancel floor.

Who, at such moment, has not felt
Those yearnings, vague, yet sweet,

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The Young Novice

The lights yet gleamed on the holy shrine, the incense hung around,
But the rites were o’er, the silent church re-echoed to no sound;
Yet kneeling there on the altar steps, absorbed in ardent prayer,
Is a girl, as seraph meek and pure—as seraph heav’nly fair.

The blue eyes, veiled by the lashes long that rest on that bright cheek
Are humbly bent, while the snow-white hands are clasped in fervor meek,
While in the classic lip and brow, each feature of that face,
And graceful high-bred air, is seen she comes of noble race.

But, say, what means that dusky robe, that dark and flowing veil,
The silver cross—oh! need we ask? they tell at once their tale:
They say that, following in the path that fair as she have trod,
She hath renounced a fleeting world, to give herself to God.

Her sinless heart to no gay son of this earth hath she given,
Her’s is a higher, holier lot, to be the Bride of Heaven;
And the calm peace of the cloister’s walls, abode of humble worth,
Is the fit home for that spotless dove, too fair, too pure for earth.

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