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Mystery Poems

Table of Contents

  1. Enigmas by William Stanley Braithwaite
  2. O Little Road by Annette Wynne
  3. Invisible by Emily Dickinson
  4. The Mystery by Amos Russel Wells
  5. Mystery by Dudley Hughes Davis
  6. The Cabin of Mystery by James W. Whilt
  7. To The Northern Lights by Isaac Gray Blanchard
  8. The Listeners by Walter de la Mare
  9. Virginia Dare by Virginia F. Townsend

  1. Enigmas

    by William Stanley Braithwaite

    The joy of the world is in a man's strength,
    The sorrow of the world in a woman's tears;
    Beauty lives and dies in a second's length,
    And Time rolls on the years.

    The battles of the world are in a man's dream,
    The altars of the world in a woman's eyes;
    Out of Eden follows one long far gleam
    Till the last slow sunset dies.

  2. O Little Road

    by Annette Wynne

    O little road, where do you go?
    I saw you start a while below,
    And then you climbed the woody hill;
    It almost seemed you'd reach the sky, While down below so patient, I Am standing, waiting for you still.

    Will you sometime turn round and then
    Hurry back to home again?
    Or will you always want to stray
    To richer lands far, far away—
    And never once look back to see
    This little house and waiting me?

  3. Invisible

    by Emily Dickinson

    From us she wandered now a year,
    Her tarrying unknown;
    If wilderness prevent her feet,
    Or that ethereal zone

    No eye hath seen and lived,
    We ignorant must be.
    We only know what time of year
    We took the mystery.

  4. The Mystery

    by Amos Russel Wells

    One mystery there is, and one alone,
    Baffles the human spirit with despair,
    Filches the very sunlight from the air.
    And wrenches every breath into a groan.
    Oh, it is when our loved, our very own,
    The good,—so good! the fair,—so dearly fair!
    Are doomed some awful agony to bear.
    And all their sweet, pure life becomes a moan.
    Send us, O God! amid our aching tears
    The memory of Thine accepted fate,—
    Thy Son, Thy best beloved, torn with spears
    Of all our mortal woes disconsolate;
    So that our mystery of pain appears
    A mystery of love and not of hate.

  5. Mystery

    by Dudley Hughes Davis

    A little brook, with beauties grand,
    Comes rippling from a mountain spring,
    And winds its way o'er stone and sand
    Through woods where birds melodious sing.

    Through time unknown to days of man,
    This murmuring stream has found its way,
    And cut a ravine through the land,
    A link in nature's grand display.

    And interwoven timber bends
    In wreathy arches o'er the walls,
    Through which this little brook descends,
    To make its leap down o'er the falls.

    It rushes down its winding stair,
    A bold and sparkling silvery sheet;
    It sends its mist into the air,
    And forms a rainbow at its feet.

    By little streams the chasm cliff
    Is worn to grains of drifting sand,
    And angry waters foam and drift
    Through wonderous wall not made by hand.

    And man looks back through time unknown
    To date the wonderous streamlet hand,
    Which sculptured chasm wall of stone,
    And wore its chips to grains of sand.

    But could the work a life had done
    Be seen by eves of mortal man,
    The sands that crumble one by one
    Could equal not the busy hand.

    Though life is short man, leaves the stage,
    As though his wonderous work was done,
    Another man, another age,
    Proves that his work has just begun.

    So like the mystic cataract stream
    Which flows a myriad years through sand,
    The world's adrift by light and stream,
    The work of ages, brain and hand.

  6. The Cabin of Mystery

    by James W. Whilt

    No trail leads to this cabin,
    Not even a blaze on a tree,
    Hidden beneath the tall dark firs
    Is this cabin of mystery.

    No one knew its builder
    Or when this cabin was made,
    Not one of the oldest trappers
    Can explain or give any aid.

    The stove still stands in the corner,
    The table all neat and clean
    And the cupboard still holds its grubstake
    As fine as ever was seen.

    But there are no traps or stretchers
    So no trapper was he,
    No prospector's pick or shovel,—
    All adds to the mystery.

    No name upon the door-jamb,
    No initials cut in the wall,
    No calendar hangs by the window,
    Just silence and mystery—that's all.

    But the hills hold many a secret,
    That the trails and streams never tell,
    We can only guess at the answer
    And perhaps it's just as well.

    Now as I gaze at this cabin,—
    Brush almost obscuring the door,—
    Many moons have you guarded the secret,
    Keep guard for as many more.

    But perhaps when we cross the border
    And step aboard death's train,
    The secrets of hills and mountains,
    To us will then be plain.

  7. To The Northern Lights

    by Isaac Gray Blanchard

    Ye gorgeous visions of the northern sky,
    Mysterious and sublime!
    Who lit your brilliant lights on high?
    Stream ye alone in idle revelry
    Above our cloudy clime,
    Without an aim, or nature, more
    Than mortal vision can explore?

    Or have ye some high, unknown ministry?
    Whence sprang ye into birth?
    In distant realms unseen?
    Or claim ye sisterhood with earth?
    And will your strange, ethereal sheen
    Fade with her fading green?

    Man's wisdom has not told—
    Ye are a mystery,
    Which time perhaps shall ne'er unfold;
    Philosophy, whose eagle pinion bold
    Has conquered space, and brought the planets near
    To her inspecting eye,
    Has sought in vain to fathom you,
    Or tell the office that ye do.

    Ye are of latter date—
    Say—are ye for a sign,
    Lit by the hand divine,
    Whence earth should read her coming fate?
    Signs shall be set in heaven,
    And wonders meet the eye,
    And naming prodigies be given
    Within the upper sky.

    Ye may be such—yet man would be
    Most backward thus to interpret ye,
    Who glides in blind security
    Down Time s exhausting tide;
    Puts far away the evil day,
    Or dreams that he shall dwell for aye
    In all his lust and pride.

    Whate'er ye are, ye have an aim,
    For He has lit your wondrous flame,
    Who fashions not a flower in vain,
    And howe'er fruitlessly we pry
    Into your inward mystery,
    One feature still is plain—
    Like as in all His works, sublime or fair,
    We trace the glories of the Godhead there!

  8. The Listeners

    by Walter de la Mare

    ‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,
    Knocking on the moonlit door;
    And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
    Of the forest’s ferny floor:
    And a bird flew up out of the turret,
    Above the Traveller’s head:
    And he smote upon the door again a second time;
    ‘Is there anybody there?’ he said.
    But no one descended to the Traveller;
    No head from the leaf-fringed sill
    Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
    Where he stood perplexed and still.
    But only a host of phantom listeners
    That dwelt in the lone house then
    Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
    To that voice from the world of men:
    Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
    That goes down to the empty hall,
    Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
    By the lonely Traveller’s call.
    And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
    Their stillness answering his cry,
    While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
    ’Neath the starred and leafy sky;
    For he suddenly smote on the door, even
    Louder, and lifted his head:—
    ‘Tell them I came, and no one answered,
    That I kept my word,’ he said.
    Never the least stir made the listeners,
    Though every word he spake
    Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
    From the one man left awake:
    Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
    And the sound of iron on stone,
    And how the silence surged softly backward,
    When the plunging hoofs were gone.

  9. Virginia Dare

    by Virginia F. Townsend

    Amid the hum of summer bees,
    And wind's soft laughter in the trees,
    And distant murmur of the seas,

    Oh, English child, thy blue eyes woke
    In that lone Isle of Roanoke,
    Round which white blooms of surges broke.

    And birds sang through the golden air,
    Green vines hung out their banners fair,
    To welcome thee, Virginia Dare.

    Oh, sweet babe on thy mother's knees,
    While round thee flashed the birds and bees,
    Why looked her sad eyes to the seas?

    Ah, never on that far blue line,
    Her hungry gaze would catch the sign—
    Would see the sails like white mists shine.

    But when she marked the glimmering spray,
    Its fringes round the green coast lay,
    She thought of hawthorn blooms in May.

    And round that coast the birds' song flowed,
    The oriflammes of sunset glowed,
    Yet there no fleet at anchor rode.

    It came at last—the English tongue
    Through Roanoke's green arches rung,
    And birds and bees for answer sung.

    No human passion, love or prayer,
    Have ever laid thy secret bare;
    God only knows Virginia Dare!

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