Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CLASS POEM, by HARRY RANDOLPH BLYTHE



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CLASS POEM, by            
First Line: Like lotus-eaters, late disturbed from sleep
Last Line: The love of loyal hearts which thou must e'er command!
Subject(s): Classmates; Dartmouth College; Poetry & Poets; Scholarship & Scholars; Schoolmates


LIKE Lotus-eaters, late disturbed from sleep,
We rise to answer voices from the wave
Which call us from the moorings we would keep
To far horizons, o'er a dreamless deep;
Yet loath are we to leave the spot that gave
The food for all our dreams, both gay and grave,
But still we face the hour which has come
As men who have the courage to be brave
When lips speak not and every heart is dumb!

But ere we go our tribute we shall pay;
As Spartans to their sacred temple went,
We seek the shrine of Dartmouth ere the day
Dies in the west and finds us on our way,
Love's vow unsaid. No words can speech invent
To frame the feelings in our bosoms pent,
As kneeling at the Altar of the Fold
We seal the vows which time cannot repent,
To stainless keep Her spotless name of gold!

Soft singing floats across the trembling air!
The pines are murmuring from hilltops nigh,
The giant campus-elms, as if to bear
Their brunt of song, are chanting forth a prayer
To swell the subtle chorus of good-bye
And make our going glorious, while high
Above the muffled anthem is the voice
Of Alma Mater, bidding us but try
To live and love, and in our love rejoice!

To live and love — this message long will dwell —
God strengthen us its blessing not to shame!
But rather, all our days to cherish well
The gifts She gave to us; no tongue can tell
The purity of purpose in Her aim,
The hallowed glory garnered in Her name,
All tendered to Her sons without alloy!
If we have been receptive to Her spell,
We've gained a heritage beyond destroy!

The spell is on us! Now in manhood's morn
We leave Her temple-court of native wood
To greet a world Her spirit has re-born,
In whose fair gardens none need be forlorn,
For this new sphere is Dartmouth brotherhood!
Whoever once at Dartmouth's shrine has stood
Shall find a comradeship throughout the earth,
In which his better self is understood
Because Her spirit seeks for manhood's worth!

We've chummed as boys together; we have played
At all our sports upon the campus green,
Light-hearted laughter known, and we have made
Merry of things we gravely should have weighed;
The boyish antics acted on this scene
Immortal live in memory's demesne,
Familiar faces, happy in their play,
Shall often peer from out the fadeless sheen,
Affection's tender ghosts of yesterday!

As tones unlike have formed the chapel chimes,
So have our lives been made of unlike things
Which ran together strangely into rhymes
And given us a consciousness, betimes,
Which told us of the richness of these springs,
Here where the restless voice of wisdom rings
To urge ambitious youth to gain the goal,
That ever in the eager fancy clings,
And urging, — builds anon the subtle soul!

We cannot tell what subtleties these are
That now are part of us, yet this we know —
The great green hills, the streams, the clouds afar,
The barren rocks, the snows, the winter star,
The summer breeze, the northern blasts that blow
Have entered in as friend and not as foe!
New Hampshire is a Magus who has wrought
Fair-fashioned pearls which evermore will go
Unceasing round the rosary of thought.

The greatest gift of Dartmouth is the face
Of him who led us through the precious years
In fearless firmness, clothed in gentle grace,
Our President! He holds his tender place
Too deep within our souls for shallow tears!
He loves us with a love the heart reveres
As sacred; he, like Him of Nazareth,
In grandeur rises o'er all human fears
And leaves the legacy which conquers death!

Dear Alma Mater! All our words are vain!
Though marshaled all the meaning speech supplies,
The Alps of fond affection yet remain
Cloud-capped above the flat, familiar plain
Of spoken thought! In thee we recognize
The Mother who has shown us Paradise!
As mutely now we part with clasp of hand,
Ah! teach us in our going in what wise
We may contrive to make Thee understand
The love of loyal hearts which Thou must e'er command!





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