W. J. Dawson. fully William James Dawson

W. J.
Dawson. fully William James Dawson
1854
1928

English Author, Clergyman, Evangelist, Poet and Father of Coningsby Dawson

Author Quotes

To a Desolate Friend -
O friend, like some cold wind to-day
Your message came, and chilled the light;
Your house so dark, and mine so bright,—
I could not weep, I could not pray!

My wife and I had kissed at morn,
My children’s lips were full of song;
O friend, it seemed such cruel wrong,
My life so full, and yours forlorn!

We slept last night clasped hand in hand,
Secure and calm—and never knew
How fared the lonely hours with you,
What time those dying lips you fanned.

We dreamed of love, and did not see
The shadow pass across our dream;
We heard the murmur of a stream,
Not death’s for it ran bright and free.

And in the dark her gentle soul
Passed out, but oh! we knew it not!
My babe slept fast within her cot,
While yours woke to the slow bell’s toll.

She paused a moment,—who can tell?—
Before our windows, but we lay
So deep in sleep she went away,
And only smiled a sad farewell!

It would be like her; well we know
How oft she waked while others slept—
She never woke us when she wept,
It would be like her thus to go!

Ah, friend! you let her stray too far
Within the shadow-haunted wood,
Where deep thoughts never understood
Breathe on us and like anguish are.

One day within that gloom there shone
A heavenly dawn, and with wide eyes
She saw God’s city crown the skies,
Since when she hasted to be gone.

Too much you yielded to her grace;
Renouncing self, she thus became
An angel with a human name,
And angels coveted her face.

Earth’s door you set so wide, alack
She saw God’s gardens, and she went
A moment forth to look; she meant
No wrong, but oh! she came not back!

Dear friend, what can I say or sing,
But this, that she is happy there?
We will not grudge those gardens fair
Where her light feet are wandering.

The child at play is ignorant
Of tedious hours; the years for you
To her are moments: and you too
Will join her ere she feels your want.

The path she wends we cannot track:
And yet some instinct makes us know
Hers is the joy, and ours the woe,—
We dare not wish her to come back!

It is for such a movement that I wait. Free and glad as my life among
the mountains has been, yet I am sensible that I am deprived of many
elements of human intercourse, which are efficacious in the growth of
thought and the widening of the mind. I count my deprivation light
compared with the higher gains that are mine in the composure of my
mind, the joy of animal vitality, the tranquil days that leave no
bitterness and bring no discord, each joined to each in 'natural
piety,' each inwoven into the calm rhythm of fulfilled desire and duty.
But my pleasure is too little shared to be entirely satisfactory. I
see that there are terms on which my happiness might be communicated;
that there is a mode of life that should combine all the delight of
human intercourse with the tranquillity of natural existence; that the
choice does not lie, and ought not to lie, between the city and the
desert; that it is only by the folly of man, only by his greed, and
haste, and carelessness, and contempt for the communal principle, that
such a choice is forced upon me. The Regenerated City will come in
time, too late perhaps for me to enjoy it; but the City Colony or
Commune may come at any time; and when it comes I will gladly be its
conscript, I will earnestly labor for its welfare, I will humbly seek
to promote its success, believing that in the degree that society
exchanges individualism for co-operation, personal gain for common
good, man will enter on the widening evolution of a real progress, and
find the path that leads him to a truly Golden Age.

The true gain is always in the struggle, not the prize. What we become must always rank as a far higher question than what we get.

When a man grumbles about the drudgery of his lot, then I am entitled to conclude that he has not learned the discipline of work, and that it is native indolence rather than suppressed genius which chafes against the limitations of his environment. Browning, in his poem of The Statue and the Bust, has laid down the doctrine that it is a man’s wisdom to contend to the uttermost even for the meanest prize that may be within his reach, because by such strenuous contention manhood grows, and by the lack of it manhood decays.

The Angel at the Ford -

I sought to hold her, but within her eyes
I read a new strange meaning; faint they prayed,
“Oh, let me pass and taste the great surprise;
Behold me not reluctant nor afraid!”

“Nay, I will strive with God for this!” I cried,
“As man with man, like Jacob at the brook,
Only be thou, dear heart, upon my side!”
“Be still,” she answered, “very still, and look!”

And straightway I discerned with inward dread
The multitudinous passing of white souls,
Who paused, each one with sad averted head,
And flashing of indignant aureoles.

A Child's Portrait -
Her face is hushed in perfect calm,
Her lips half-open hint the psalm
The angels sing, who wear God’s palm:
And in her eyes a liquid light,
With somewhat of a starry sheen,
Comes welling upward from the white
And vestal soul that throbs within.

A golden tangle is her hair
That holds the sunlight in its snare;
And one pure lily she doth wear
In her white robe: and she doth seem
A flower-like creature, who will fade
If suns strike down too rude a beam,
Or winds blow roughly on her shade.

The golden ladders of the Dawn
Meet at her feet, where on the lawn
She stands, in tender thought withdrawn:
And little wonder would it be,
If on those slanting stairs she trod,
And, with one farewell smile toward me,
Were caught into the smile of God.

Love is an emotion without limit.

Inspirations - Sometimes, I know not why, nor how, nor whence,
A change comes over me, and then the task
Of common life slips from me. Would you ask
What power is this which bids the world go hence?
Who knows? I only feel a faint perfume
Steal through the rooms of life; a saddened sense
Of something lost; a music as of brooks
That babble to the sea; pathetic looks
Of closing eyes that in a darkened room
Once dwelt on mine: I feel the general doom
Creep nearer, and with God I stand alone.
O mystic sense of sudden quickening!
Hope’s lark-song rings, or life’s deep undertone
Wails through my heart--and then I needs must sing.

If you would live a high life, you must begin by encouraging the growth of high thoughts. If you would voyage Godward, you must see to it that the rudder of thought is right.

Author Picture
First Name
W. J.
Last Name
Dawson. fully William James Dawson
Birth Date
1854
Death Date
1928
Bio

English Author, Clergyman, Evangelist, Poet and Father of Coningsby Dawson