Obadiah Cyrus Auringer (1849-1937)

"So far as I am aware, Mr. Auringer has not as yet published in book-form." (Sharp)

"He was born where he now resides, in the lovely natural region of Glens Falls, N.Y.  After considerable naval service he has settled down as a retired farmer and Presbyterian minister, and is at once active in field, church, Sunday-school, and literature.  The Bridge at Glenn's, a reminiscence of the cave celebrated by Fenimore Cooper, also Confession, appeared in the Critic; Winter, in the Century.  His last volume of poems, Scythe and Sword , was well received. (D. Lothrop & Co.)"  (Crandall )

The Vale of Spirits

In deep green woods there lies a fairy glade,
Shut in by tawny hemlocks wild and tall;
Its floor is made with richest moss, and all
Its round is steeped in most delicious shade.
It is a spot for listening silence made.
Few sounds awake it save the wild bird's call,
And winds that murmur round its forest wall,
like instruments at airy distance played.

'Tis there a still and stolen guest I lie,
And listen to the weird wood-spirits singing:
I hear their bell-like voices floating nigh,
From arches green and dewy dingles springing;
They pass in elfin song and laughter by—
I hear their clear ha! ha! In deep dells ringing.

(Text from American Sonnets)


Thou art the friend and comrade, Poesy,
For whom I suffer all things, still content
If not in vain for thee my light is spent,—
The share of heavenly light that fell on me.
Thou art my meat, my drink, my liberty;
Thou art my garb, thou art my tenement,
Wherein I hide all night from floods unpent
From lightnings, winds, and scourgings of the sea.
Oh, thou art strong and lovely as the light,—
Yea, as the light of morning, strong and sweet!
Thou art the lover perfect in my sight,
Attending all my steps with eager feet;
The form, the image in my dreams at night,
The morning glory that I rise to greet.

On the Bridge at Glenn's


Blank shadow here.  The heights on either hand
Sparkle with lamps.  Around me foams the bold,
Loud Hudson,—swiftly into darkness rolled.
Those vanish all, and Memory takes her stand
In that wild cave among that famous band,
Girt round by unseen terrors manifold,
Revealed in that enchanting fiction old,
Blown hence through many an alien tongue and land.
I see the haughty Uncas, and the wise,
Grim Sagamore; hear Hawkeye's cheery call;
The singer's strains, of sacred sounds compact;
And then I hear the holy hymn arise
From the sweet Sister's lips; and, borne through all,
The plunge and tremble of the cataract.

Emerson - Carlyle

One stood upon the morning hills and saw
The heavens revealed in symbol and in sign;
He read their mystic meanings, line by line,
And taught in light the reign of rhythmic law.
One in the twilight valleys, pierced with awe,
Beheld wan Hope amid great darkness shine—
Saw gloom and glory blent without design,
And cried against a world of blot and flaw.
Sunrise and sunset poise the perfect day:
One was the prince of morning fair and free,
And one the lord of darkness was, and they
Made day and night one round of harmony
For they were kings and brothers, and their sway
One law,—one new, divine philosophy.

Fading Days

Filled with a quiet sadness nigh to tears,
When tears come fresh from no ungentle spring,
Beside this stream, whose tongue runs faltering,
I watch this graceful fading of the year's.
A breeze shakes all the host of grassy spears,
Rustling their faded pennants where they cling,
A brown rust widens round the fairies' ring,
Pale on each bough a dying grace appears.
The air is tremulous with hovering fears,
Each moment some loved charm is taking wing;
For every pearl that falls from summer's string
Dies in my breast some song her love endears.
O autumn, haste! blow fresh through heart and brain
The riper notes of thy reviving strain!


O Winter!  thou art not that haggard Lear,
With stormy beard and countenance of woe,
Raving amain, or dumbly crouching low,
In hoary desolation mocked with fear!
To me thou art the white queen of the year,
A stately virgin in her robes of snow,
With royal lilies crowned, and all aglow
With holy charms, and gems celestial clear.
Nor dost thou come in barren majesty,—
Thou hast thy dower of sunbeams, thrice refined,—
Nor songless, but with cheerful minstrelsy,
Rung from the singing harpstrings of the wind;
And, ah!  with such sweet dreams, such visions bright,
Of flowers and birds, and love's divine delight! 

The Untimely Singer

A bird with azure breast and beak of gold,
A joyous stranger, beautiful and shy,
Flown from far groves beneath a summer sky,
At morn amid our March woods bare and cold
Sang like a spirit.  Raptures such as hold
The arches charmed, and hush the zephyr's sigh,
From his enamored throat flowed carelessly
In musical low warblings manifold.
At length he ceased, with arch head bent aside,
And listened long! but from the woodlands bare
No cheering voice of melody replied,—
Only a faint call from the fields of air;
Swiftly he rose, and as the echo died
Fled to the open heavens, and warbled there.


On the bare cliffs in lonely revery
I wait, and hear far off the smothered shocks
Of billows plunging on the stubborn rocks
That pillar the ancient gateway to the sea;
And there comes o'er me, swift, resistless, free,
Again that old fierce soul of storm and flood,
With fire and joy exultant in the blood,
Erewhile through stormy years my destiny!
That strong voice of the sea, prophetic, great,
How shall the weak of soul resist its call,
Having once loved it?  'Tis the voice of fate,
Swifter than tongue of siren to enthrall,
Such sway hath mighty nature o'er us still,
Such power, despise, deny her, as we will!

God's Country


Dost thou not know God's country, where it lies?
That land long dreamed of, more desired than gold,
Which noble souls, by dauntless hope made bold,
Have searched the future for with longing eyes!
Hast thou not seen in heaven its hills arise?
Hast thou not viewed its glories manifold,
'Midst sky-wide scenery splendidly unrolled,
Ripe for hearts' trust and godlike enterprise?
Yes, thou hast known it in familiar guise,
Its soil thy feet are keeping with fast hold;
And thou dost love its songs, its flowers dost prize;
Thy corn-land and thy wine-land is its mould:
'Tis here,—'tis here God's land lies, the devine,
America, thy heart's true home and mine!


All lands are God's lands; yet is this indeed
The home express of His divinity;
His visible hand redeemed it from the sea,
And sowed its fields with freedom's deathless seed.
He succored it most swiftly in its need;
In field and council men with awe did see
His arm made manifest almightily,
Scarce veiled in instruments of mortal breed.
He laid a way here for the feet that bleed,
A space for souls ayearn for liberty
To grow immortal in,—no more to plead
With nature for their portion which should be.
'Tis here, O friend!  the land lies that shall grow
The vine of sacred brotherhood below.

The Parting of Emerson

Too fairy-light of keel, and swift of sail
To bide the winds and currents of the world,
At last good-by to fickle wave and gale!
Thy bark steers free, with all her wings unfurled,
Into the happy deeps through foam-wreaths curled!
Thought, like a seraph, radiant at the peak,
Leans seaward through the shower of diamond spray
Tossed in light scorn from off the shallop's beak,
And at the helm Instinct, the pilot gray,
Guiding to golden islands of the day.
Speed on, bright sail, into the happy seas,
While vainly on the utmost line of strand
We wait to catch some faint breath of the breeze
That blows on thee from the enchanted land!


'Tis not so sad to know that thus he died,
Small power hath Death to trouble such as he,
Whom, overcome by darkest treachery,
No meaner pang than pity could betide,
But that so rich a spirit—such a pride
Of passion, splendor, immortality,
Such a fire—be quenched and lost so utterly,
How sinks our heart of hope betrayed, belied!
Alas, and this is so!  Not all that zeal,
And power, and holy ardor could avail
To turn aside one mean assassin's steel!
What if within yon silent city's pale
All these imperial passions that we feel
Be found at last but splendid dreams that fail?


Along the hushed aisles, little frequented,
Except by feet on sacred service bent
At Sabbath's hour of praise or sacrament,
The gathering pastors move with quiet tread.
Such men!  see what a lion in that head!
What passion in those eyes magnificent!
What pride in that imperial brow unbent!
This face, what grace and subtle charm inbred;
What power divine, with what transforming rod,
Has tamed these fiery spirits into peace,
And made them reapers in the fields of God,
With naught of strength's decay or fire's decrease?
Love, heavenly master of all arts to bless,
And Love, that turns all hearts to tenderness!

The Poet's Heritage

All riches, honor, fame's divine estate,
Are due the gentle poet and his song.
The earth is first for him; to him belong
Life's every part and glorious aggregate.
To him the sweet birds carol soon and late,
To him the streams run, and the fairy throng
Of flowers live for his praises, and the strong
Sun and the sea roll tribute to his gate!
Men's trust is his, and childhood's innocent kiss,
And love, and praise of women's gentle eyes;
He passes greeting over the abyss
With the heroic spirits of the wise,—
"How fares it with thee in the wilderness?"
"Bravely!  and how art thou in Paradise?"

Thought and Passion

What feeble and unhappy bards are we,
Who trace our lines with over-cunning hand
Upon a narrow strip of seashore sand,
Washed over night by strong floods of the sea!
We look at length and wonder where they be:
They vanish, and we do not understand;
Not though we muse the verse divinely grand
Of him whose natural breath was poetry,—
Shakespeare the happy.  He with fearless art
Sang all his deep heart forth, his lovely name
Is graved forever on the human heart.
Our day is gracious, but our love is tame;
We shrink from passion's face, and strive apart
To kindle with cool thought the Muse's flame.

A Song on the Shore

Welcome, strong soul of Poesy, once more!
O where so long hast thou been wandering?
Thou comest to me like the gales of spring
That tell me winter's blasts are blown and o'er.
Since thou took'st sail and left me on the shore,
Far vanishing as on a sea-bird's wing,
I've heard but steely tempests round me ring,
Crushed down 'neath ocean's mighty overpour!
Where wert thou?  They did scourge me till my cry
Outrang the tempest!  yea, my soul was tried
Till angels saw and pitied me on high!
They flew like doves and brought thee with the tide.
And now that thou art come joy hovereth nigh,
Dimpling the deep with laughter far and wide!


'Tis not where sculpture rules a world grown dim
Fair Hellas lies, so dear to poet's heart,—
Not in the galleries of sacred art,
Where group the old gods maimed in trunk and limb.
Nor is it where enchanted islands swim
The warm Ægean waves, and where apart
Through rosy mists Olympian heights upstart,
And float like dreams on the horizon's rim.
Ah, where is Hellas then?  'Tis where fresh eyes
Look forth with love on nature's face again;
There dreams spring up and fairy visions rise,
And hallowed fanes appear by cliff and glen.
In the warm breast of Nature, Hellas lies,—
Great mother of all gods and godlike men.

A Tropical Shower

 A pulseless languor lay upon the sea,
The solemn mountains rested in their calm,
The mighty forests slumbered, and the palm
Above the warm sands brooded breathlessly;
The heavens bent down in dark expectancy,
Then suddenly the clouds burst 'midst the strain,
Drenching the woods with torrents of warm rain,
Till in their deeps they roared tumultuously!
It ceased;—the sun broke forth with fire, and then,
O how the birds sang!  Such a joyous choir
Woke in the heart of hidden glade and glen
As when a god immortal strikes his lyre
In deep Parnassian groves afar from men,
'Mid smoke and incense from his altar fire.

The New Kingdom

There is a kingdom in a rugged land;
It lies between a mountain and a sea;
A torrent roaring down in headlong glee
Divides it from a forest's ancient stand,
And in its narrow bounds by nature planned
A happy monarch reigns in majesty;
Though small his realm and few his subjects be,
Supremest powers obey his mild command;
And I, a pilgrim from a land forlorn,
Find shelter there, and rest for weary feet,
Welcome from fiery toil and desert heat
To genial feasts of royal wine and corn,
The king and I together sit at meat,
And drink deep draughts from friendship's holy horn.

A Day and a Friend

We sat upon the shore, my friend and I;
The lake lay rocking in the morning shine,
Odors of gum were round us, and a pine
Played music while the waves danced, ceaselessly.
Joy of wild woods and waters and blue sky
Flowed through our spirits like celestial wine;
We talked of poet's hopes and thoughts divine,
And he was generous and I was shy.
O golden heart of all that golden day,
Wise friend!  so kind to my reluctant thought;
So gentle with the grace that went astray
Through stammering speech and woodland ways untaught!
He read me by the things I dared not say,
And loved me for the trust that doubted naught.

The Slayer

Ah, Poesy!  thou glorious, deadly thing,
Fair to create and merciless to slay,
What have we done to thee, that day by day
Thou wearest us with fruitless suffering?
Is it for thine own glory thou dost wring
These souls with pangs that waste our hearts away,
This fairest web of life to fret and fray,
Weaving thereof our grave-clothes while we sing?
Thou art like Love, that wastes us in our spring,—
Or art thou Love's own self, though grown less gay,
That in this guise dost lead us still astray
And cheat us with the glitter of a wing?
I know not; only when I look I see
Toil paid with pain and faith with mockery.

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