Poems by John Charles McNeill

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Where the rails converge to the station yard
I pass a cobbler's shop along the street
Near where the shepherds watched by night
When in this room I turn in pondering pace
If many years should dim my inward sight,
A little baby went to sleep
Not long the living weep above their dead,
The Sun has come again and fed
Upon a gnarly, knotty limb
I care not what his name for God may be,
When the dim, tall sails of the ships were in motion,
He who wills life wills its condition sweet,
'T will not be long before they hear
The girls all like to see the bluets in the lane
The cat sleeps in a chimney jam
The hills again reach skyward with a smile.
When merry milkmaids to their cattle call
If fate had held a careless knife
A soaking sedge,
Cows in the stall and sheep in the fold;
The little loves and sorrows are my song:
When in the Scorpion circles low
When first I stood before you,
If I have had some merry times
God willed, who never needed speech,
To you, dear mother heart, whose hair is gray
Oh, I can jest with Margaret
(Died October 8, 1904)
Her brown hair knew no royal crest,
Green moss will creep
The thought of old, dear things is in thine eyes,
A horror of great darkness over them,
Love, should I set my heart upon a crown,
Give over now; forbear. The moonlight steeps
A century of silent suns
Oh, I am weary, weary, weary
We sang old love-songs on the way
I have not been among the woods,
The home of love is her blue eyes,
I would that love were subject unto law!
To-day was but a dead day in my hands.
Down on the Lumbee river
Hills, wrapped in gray, standing along the west;
Tear-marks stain from page to page
The little white bride is left alone
Repose upon her soulless face,
The Old Bad Woman was coming along,
All day low clouds and slanting rain
From pacing, pacing without hope or quest
Coiled like a clod, his eyes the home of hate,
They locked him in a prison cell,
Some time, far hence, when Autumn sheds
A flight of doves, with wanton wings,
When summer's languor drugs my veins
What shall I bring you, sweet?
One sits in soft light, where the hearth is warm,
This is the time for birds to mate;
The wintry sun was pale
When I go home, green, green will glow the grass,

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