The Seven Days


(Day of the Moon.)

DIANA, sister of the Sun! thy ray
Governs these opening hours. The world is wide ;
We know not what new evil may betide
This six days’ journey ; by what unknown way
We come at last unto the royal day
Of prophecy and promise. O preside
Propitious, and our doubting footsteps guide
Onward and sunward. Long in shadows gray
We have but slumbered, — hidden from our view
Knowledge and wisdom in unfruitful night.
But if upon the dawn’s unfolding blue
Thy hand this day our destiny must write,
Once more our outer, inner life renew
With Heaven’s first utterance, — Let there be light!


(Day of the War-God.)

Fear not, O soul, to-day ! Imperial Mars
Leads on the hours, a brave and warlike train,
Fire in his glance and splendor in his reign,
From the first glitter through the sunrise bars
Till his red banner flames among the stars !
Thou, too, go forth, and fully armed maintain
Duty and right. The hero is not slain,
Though pierced and wounded in a hundred wars.
The daring are the deathless. Tie alone
Is victor who stays not for any doom
Foreshadowed ; utters neither sigh nor moan
Death-stricken, but right onward, his fair plume
Scorched in the battle flame, through smoke and gloom,
Strikes for the right, nor counts his life his own.


(Day of Odin.)

The mighty Odin rides abroad, and earth
Trembles and echoes back his ghostly sigh,
More deep than thought, more sad than memory.
The very birds rejoice in timid mirth,
For in the forest sudden gusts have birth,
And harsh against the pale, appealing sky
Ascends his ravens’ melancholy cry.
Peace be with Odin. Of his ancient worth
Many and proud the tales we will repeat,
For saered memories to these hours belong.
But yesterday with reckless speed our feet
Dared the bold height. With spirit no less strong
To-day step softly. After battle’s heat
Warriors and wars are only themes for song.


(Day of the Mighty.)

White-robed, white-crowned, and borne by steeds snow-white
The Thunderer rolls across the echoing skies !
No hour is this to dream of past surprise
Or with old runes the memory to delight.
The mountain tops with prophet beams are bright !
The eagle soars aloft with jubilant cries '
Thou too unto the hills lift up thine eyes ;
To some new throne these sacred signs invite.
Learn thy own strength; and if some secret sense
Of power untried pervades thy low estate,
Bend thy soul’s purest, best intelligence
To seek the mastery of time and fate.
Courage and deathless hope and toil intense
Are the crown jewels of the truly great.


(Day of the Beautiful.)

In the world-garden walled with living green,
The foam-born goddess of delight to-day
Plucks glowing garlands for her own array.
Poppy and myrtle in her wreath are seen,
And roses bending o’er her brow serene
Blush to perceive she is more fair than they.
Sweet grasses at her feet their odors lay,
While doves, low warbling, hover round their queen.
In this brief life shall ever toil and care
Hold fast our wishes? Earth’s bewildering bowers,
Her streams melodious and her woodlands fair,
Are palaces for gods. The world is ours !
Beauty and love our birthright; we will share
The sunshine and the singing and the flowers !


(Day of Saturn.)

Though bright with jewels and with garlands dressed,
The bloom decays, the world is growing old !
Lost are the days when peaceful Saturn told
The arts to men, and shared their toil or rest
With eloquence divine. The Olympian guest
Took with him in his flight the age of gold !
Westward through myriad centuries has rolled
The ceaseless pilgrimage, the hopeless quest
For the true Fatherland. Through weary years
What if some rainbow glory spans the gloom ?
Some strong, sweet utterance the wayside cheers ?
Or gladness opens like a rose in bloom ?
Step after step the fatal moment nears,
Earth for new graves is ever making room.


(Day of the Sun.)

Thou glorious Sun ! illumining the blue
Highway of heaven ! to thy triumphant rays
The earth her shadow yields, the hill tops blaze,
Up lifts the mist, up floats the midnight dew.
Old things are past away, the world is new !
Labor is changed to rest and rest to praise !
Past are the toilsome heights, the stormy days,
The eternal Future breaks upon our view!
Last eve we lingered uttering our farewells, —
But lo ! One met us in the early light
Of this divinest morn. The tale He tells
Transfigures life and opens heaven to sight.
Bring altar flowers ! Lilies and asphodels !
Sing Jubilates! There is no more night!
Frances L. Mace.