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Ashlar Home > Poems > Albert Pike

The Poetic Works of Albert Pike

Every Year

Life is a count of losses,
Every year
For the weak are heavier crosses,
Every year
Lost Springs with sobs replying
Unto weary Autumns' sighing,
While those we love are dying,
Every year.

It is growing darker, colder,
Every year
As the heart and soul grow older,
Every year
I care not now for dancing,
Or for eyes with passion glancing,
Love is less and less entrancing,
Every year.

The days have less of gladness,
Every year
The nights more weight of sadness,
Every year
Fair Springs no longer charm us,
The winds and weather harm us,
The threats of death alarm us,
Every year.

There come new cares and sorrows,
Every year
Dark days and darker morrows,
Every year
The ghosts of dead loves haunt us,
The ghosts of changed friends taunt us,
And disappointments daunt us,
Every year.

Of the loves and sorrows blended,
Every year
Of the charms of friendship ended,
Every year
Of the ties that still might bind me,
Until Time to Death resigns me,
My infirmities remind me,
Every year.

Ah! how sad to look before us,
Every year
While the cloud grows darker o'er us,
Every year
When we see the blossoms faded,
That to bloom we might have aided,
And immortal garlands braided,
Every year.

To the Past go more dead faces,
Every year
As the loved leave vacant places,
Every year
Everywhere the sad eyes meet us,
In the evening's dusk they greet us,
And to come to them entreat us,
Every year.

You are growing old, they tell us,
Every year
You are more alone, they tell us,
Every year
You can win no new affection,
You have only recollection,
Deeper sorrow and dejection,
Every year.

Too true!-Life's shores are shifting,
Every year
And we are seaward drifting,
Every year
Old places, changing, fret us,
The living more forget us,
There are fewer to regret us,
Every year.

But the truer life draws nigher,
Every year
And its Morning star climbs higher,
Every year
Earth's hold on us grows slighter,
And the heavy burden lighter,
And the Dawn Immortal brighter,
Every year.

Our life is less worth living,
Every year
And briefer our thanksgiving,
Every year
And Love, grown faint and fretful,
With lips but half regretful,
Averts its eyes regretful,
Every year.

The Struggle for Freedom

The Ancient Wrong rules many a land, whose groans
Rise swarming to the stars by day and night,
Thronging with mournful clamour round the thrones
Where the Archangels sit in God's great light,
And, pitying, mourn to see that Wrong still reigns,
And tortured Nations writhe in galling chains.

From Hungary and France fierce cries go up
And beat against the portals of the skies
Lashed Italy still drinks the bitter cup,
And Germany in abject stupor lies
The knout on Poland's bloody shoulders rings,
And Time is all one jubilee of kings.

It will not be so always. Through the night
The suffering multitudes with joy descry
Beyond the ocean a great beacon-light,
Flashing its rays into their starless sky,
And teaching them to struggle and be free,
The Light of Order, Law, and Liberty.

Take heart, ye bleeding Nations and your chains
Shall shiver like thin glass. The dawn is near,
When Earth shall feel, through all her aged veins
The new blood pouring and her drowsy ear
Hear Freedom's trumpet ringing in the sky,
Calling her braves to conquer or to die.

Arm and revolt, and let the hunted stags
Against the lordly lions stand at bay!
Each pass, Thermoplζ, and all the crags,
Young Freedom's fortresses! and soon the day
Shall come when Right shall rule, and round the thrones
that gird God's feet shall eddy no more groans.

Every Year

The Spring has less of brightness

Every year,

And the snow a ghastlier whiteness

Every year.,

Nor do Summer flowers quicken,

Nor Autumn fruitage thicken

As they once did,––for we sicken

Every year.

It is growing darker, colder,

Every year,––

As the heart and soul grow older

Every year.,

I care not now for dancing

Nor for eyes with passion glancing,

Love is less and less entrancing,

Every year.

Of the loves and sorrows blended,

Every year,––

Of the charms of friendships ended,

Every year,––

Of the ties that still might bind me

Until time of death resigned me,

My infirmities remind me

Every year.

Ah, how sad to look before us

Every year,––

While the cloud looks darker o′er us

Every year!

When we see the blossoms faded

That to bloom we might have aided

And immortal garlands braided,

Every year.

To the past go more dead faces

Every year,––

As the loved leave vacant places

Every year.

Everywhere the sad eyes meet us,

In the evening′s dusk they greet us,

And to come to them entreat us,

Every year.

You are growing old, they tell us,

Every year

You are more alone, they tell us,

Every year.,

You can win no new affection,

You have only recollection,

Deeper sorrow and dejection,

Every year.

Yes, the shores of life are shifting

Every year,

And we are seaward drifting

Every year,

old places changing fret us,––

The living more regret us,––

There are fewer to regret us,

Every year.

But the true life draweth nigher

Every year.,

And its Morning Star climbs higher

Every year,

Earth′s hold on us grows slighter,

And the heavy burden lighter,

And the Dawn Immortal brighter,

Every year.
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