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The Spike: or, Victoria College Review, June 1909


page 66


"To wake the soul by tender strokes of art,
To raise the genius, and to mend the heart."


Bard writing on scroll of paper

A Nation Armed

It is not for the open purse to make
a satisfaction for our debt as men,
While we lie stupefied within the fen
of selfishness; unwilling to awake
To Duty. Evermore the soul should break
and free herself from low declining
When adversity shall ope the sickly den
of pleasure, and its guilty beings quake.

With arm that is no longer smooth, uplift
Thy sword, and with thy cannon on the shore
make answer to thine enemies' array.
God gives the sacrifice, and He will sift
and choose us-but, like Samuel of yore,
With all thy strength pursue the difficult way.

Hubert Church.

Antipodean Horace.

Liber I. Carmen IV.

"Solvitur acris hiems grata vice veris...."

Keen winter, with his icy southern blast,
in languor melts before the breath of Spring.
The yachtsman trims his vessel, steps the mast,
Brings forth the canvas like a folded wing,
and into her loved ocean guides the keel
for months athirst In durance of the stocks.
The fisherman now plies his rod and reel,
or flings the Baited line from off the rocks;
And as a swallow in the northern sphere,
Prime herald of the season through the land,
Flies near the gelid waters— not too near—
a bather unadorned flits o'er the sand.

page 67

Then Venus leads the chorus of the sand.
a measure to love's immemorial tune;
fond lovers hear the simple opening bars,
and trip it blithely, neath the vernal moon.
Now is it time to deck the glossy head
with crown of straw in verdant ribbon bound,
and in a posy brightest flowers thread
Whate'er on earth emancipate is found.
Meanwhile, in shady haunts of savage man,
Bay whares where on holidays he stops,
The glowing altars sacrifice to Pan
Burnt offerings of sausages or chops.
Hut of the poor or mansion of the rich,
Death knocks with even hand at either door;
Brief is the sum of life : Death turns the switch —
Our little light is out to burn no more.
Thee, happy Hendry, will the darkness whelm,
Sooner or later, and amid the host
of phantoms thronging through the cheerless realm
of night eternal, shalt thou roam a ghost.
In spirit-land, there to when thou shalt come,
Thou shalt not toss the coin to see who pays
For wine: nor Flora, tender as a plum,
Adore—Flora, whom all the youth now praise;
Sans wine, sans women shalt thou pass thy days!

Arthur Chorlton.

White Hyacinths

"If I had but two loaves of bread, I would sell one of them and buy whate hyacinths to feed my soul."

A flower, through the glimmering even-tide,
Shines shadow-pale, and what the bees have spared
Of all her fragrance, to the night has bared,
Spreading her beauty on the dimness wide.
Down from the circling heavens the night mists slide
To woo the tender violets that have dared
To peer forth from the covert. Forth have fared
The lissome moths; a lonely owl has cried.

Come down the rustling path with silent feet—
Stoop where the wind has stooped, and what he stole
Snatch from his fading pinions— all the sweet
Of all the spring and summer in one whole.
Here have I planted them, my heart to greet—
All these— white hyacinths to feed my soul.