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Jacob Brown : and other poems / by Henry T. Stanton. Stanton, Henry Thompson, 1834-1898. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-251-31802608 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Jacob Brown : and other poems / by Henry T. Stanton. Stanton, Henry Thompson, 1834-1898. R. Clarke, Cincinnati : 1875. 155 p. ; 20 cm. Coleman Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1995. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN05059.03 KUK) Printing Master B92-251. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. JACOB BROGAN AND OTHER POEMS By HENRY T. STANTON AUTHOR OF " THE HONEYLESS MAN, AND OTiER tPOEMS " CINCl N NATI ROBERT CLARKE & CO 1875 Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year iS75, by HENRY T STANTON, In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington. Stcreotyped by OGDEN, CA1PnFBLL. & Co., Cincinnati. PREFACE. IF any apology is necessary for the gathering together of these articles in verse, it should come from another source than the author. Those who have honored me by reading my first vol- ume will discover a marked difference in the character of the two books. and it may be to my prejudice with some of them; but a close observation has taught me that humor is more graciously received by the general reader than mere fine sentiment. If any- thing, in these pages shall leave an impression that I have in- dulged a less worthy spirit, it must be regarded as growing out of an inability to make myself clearly understood. I have con- ceived no satire. I have given no individuality or special direc- tion to any line in the book, and those who know me best will readily acquit me .f any desi On to be other than amiable and delicate in every allusion. My inclination has been, and still is to a far different accom- plishment, but like most persons who love music, some songs I sing for myself and some for the audience. These are for those who like them. HENRY T. STANTON. (iii) Js T ENDERLY JN SCRIBED TO HIS SWEETHEART BY HER HUSBAND. CONTENTS. JACOB BROWN, OUT OF THE OLD YEAR DOWS THE ROAD, WEEDS, GOING TO SCHOOL, A MENSSA ET THORO, MY MOTHER AND 1, THE SPRING, TRUE VERSION, DRAWING IT FINE, MURDER, . METEMPSYCHOSIS, 1HE RED CROSS, A SPECIAL PLEA, THE MIDNIGHT ROSE, INTO TiHE NEW (v) 7 23 29 32 34 :36 37 44 46 49 57 C0 67 67 vi CONTENTS. SELF-SACRIFICE, 68 THE LOST CURL, . . . . . . 78 CULEX IN CARMINE,. 80 THE COURT OF BERLIN, . , . . ' 88 TIlE LAST LEAF, . . . . . 90 MAY I MASON, . . . . . 91 PYTHIAN LI-ES, . . . . 9x THE CROWN ON GUARD, . . . . . 100 OCR DEAD, . . . . . - 101 PARtSON- GILES,. . . . . . 105 OMNIPOTENS VERITAS, . . . 121 FROM ME TO YOU, . . . . . 1:1 GAMBRINUS, . . . . . 133 Tim GROVE AT ST. ELMO, . . . . 148 THE PHOTOGRAPff, . . . . . . 150 NOTES, . . . . 153 JACOB BROWN AND OTHER POEMS JACOB BROWN. ITH a nmost unhappy thinking, Forward bent, and deeper sinking In the cushions of his chair, Jacob Brown sits in his study, Silent, gloomy-browed, and moody- Quite a picture of despair. Out beyond him stand the steeples, O'er the sected, casted peoples, Of a slumb'rous, shadowed town, Reaching upward till their slimness Loses outline in the dimness Of a night-sky, clouded down. (vii) JACOB BROWN. Still beyond-a patch of river, That the vista lcuds no quiver, Lieth like a leaden plate; Whilst a straying, faint air dandies With the distant clhamber-candles, And the street-lamps scintillate. From their brawling in the beakers, He has seen the pleasure-seekers Swaying homeward to their cells; He has heard the startled hours, From the sounding, hollow towers, Give their death-cry on the bells. It is just the time for sinking Under great excess of thinking, And the secret time for tears; It is just the time for sorrow To be yearning for the morrow, From the watch-place at her biers. Oh, ye million quiet sleepers, Who have closed your weary peepers On an evening's purple light I Little reck ye of tho number Of your kind that can not slumber Through the horrors of the night I 8 JACOB BROWNM Little reck ye of the peoples Staring outward on the steeples Of your dreamy city's wards; Men wiho haunt the silent places, With the shadow on their faces, Like an army's outer guards! Jacob Brown had cast no missile At the social law's epistle, Nor had ever harmed a dove; He was simply in the illness And the sleep-defying stillness Of a trying case of love. .Many times had gone his distress To the proud heart of his mistress. In expression, honest, plain; Many times ho went appealing To her tenderness of feeling, And as many times in vain. Tho' the bee, in every hour, May forsake a chosen flower, Where the sweets are yielded not; Tho' it go and nearly smother In the sweetness of another, With the chosen one forgot- 9 JACOB BROWN. Jacob Brown's was not the nature To possess this vapid feature, And to seek another dear; He had set his altar burning, And his sighs were ever turning All its incense out to her. With his fingers interlacing, There he sat the city facing, In a vacant staring o'er- Brooding on the dead devices He had brought to break her ices In the bitter days before. Whilst a heavy gloom invaded Every crevice there, and shaded From the world his deep despair, With a bitterness of thinking, He was slowly, deeper sinking In the cushions of his chair, When from out the chamber silent Of his prisoned heart, servilent, Came a most unhappy tone; Something spoken to the inner: "I would give my soul to win her," 'Twixt a whisper and a groan. 10 JACOB BROWN. It is said the King of Evil Is exceeding free and civil To the heart that utters this, And His Majesty Infernal, To possess a soul eternal, Offers anything that 's his. Whilst it can not be that ladies Give their angel selves to Hades. For the wic ked devil's sake, Yet, the fact we can not smother, That our pretty, primal mother Had a fancy for the " snake." Jacob Brown was somewhat flurried, When he found that Satan hurried There to close a trade with him; For he could not be mistaken, When hie felt his shoulder shaken By a person rather dim. It was scarcely worth his turning, When there came a sort of burning From the presence at his back; And it needed not the vision To perfect a quick decision: " It 's the Gentleman in Black !" 11 JACOB BROWN. You can have the lady, Jacob- I am come the trade to make up By a very fair device; I have thought of something better, Since you want a wife, to get her At a less expensive price. If you give me daily labor, For yourself, or for your neighbor- Keep me constantly at work- I will run the sooty legions Of my underlying regions With a deputy or clerk. Just agree to keep me busy, Or to make me faint and dizzv With a task I can not do, And I'll never hope in Hades- Though you take a score of ladies, For an after-time with you. But be sure you keep me going, Like a flood of water flowing In and out a fountain's bowl- Never pause a single minute- Give me work and keep me in it, Or I take and keep your soul." 12 JACOB BROWN. Brown reflected just a little On the questionable title Under which he'd hold his wife- Just a little-then responded: "Sir, consider that we're bonded- It's a bargain, made for life." OF It miay smack a bit of treason To the monarch Human Reason, When we undertake to say Of the lesser things that burrow For their livings in the furrow: " They are truly better clay." That the very mole who scratches Underncath the paths and patches, Having neither point nor plan, Born, denied the eyes Elysian, In his perfect lack of vision, Is a greater thing than man I It may smiack, I say, of treason To this reigning thing, called Reason, Thus to ruffle up its pride; Thus to bear its courtly ermine, To the shoulders of the vermin, And to put its rule aside; 13 JACOB BROWN. But the human mind that reaches Over cultivated stretches, To the very far-away. Often dedicates to sorrow All its glorified to-morrow, For an aureate to-day; And this heritor of treasure, For a momentary pleasure, Barters off its sacred right, Sinks a joyous sunny after, For a single day of laughter, In an unremitting night: Men are truly born immortal, But they struggle to the portal With the blindness of the moles- They partake of all the features Of the under-going creatures, That have neither sight nor souls. Having attributes of power Far beyond the common hour Of their probatory time, They prefer the baser level Of a passage to the devil, To the path they ought to climb. OF 4 r . 14 JACOB BROWN. Now an early day came, bringing That peculiar, pleasant ringing, From the sanctuary bells, And the Ganvmedes of Autumn Gathered up her wines and brought 'em From the outer-lying dells. And the very streets, in bustle, Kept a silken under-rustle In their red leaves bedded down- It was sighing Nature shedding All her splendor for the wedding Of the happy Jacob Brown. Now the priest is in the chancel, Ready robed to blot and cancel All of Jacob's sadder life; And the twain come at the altar, There to stammer and to falter ('er the vows of man and wife. Who does give him here the woman" This was cruel and inhuman To the happy, guilty man; For, he thought if any mortal Only knewr-the fact would startle, And the world forbid the ban. 15 JACOB BROWN. He alone could tell the giver, But a sudden rush of fever Made his tongue exceeding dry, And the blood came up to blind him, Whilst a hollow voice behind him Uttered indistinctly-" I! " It was answered rather lowly, With an interval, and slowly, Like a whisper at his back; Though the bride herself was rather Of opinion 't was her father- 'T was the " Gentleman in Black." But it came at last to marriage, And the bride went to her carriage, Down a smiling line of friends; Here and there a little blissing, In the way of squeezing, kissing, As the common wedding ends. Brown had quite ignored the devil. Whilst his joyous wedding revel Yet was only partly through; It was scarcely in the vesper. When he heard a hollow whisper: "' Give me something now to do." 16 JACOB BROWN. They were laughing then, and wining, In the pleasantry of dining, And the bride began to sing; Brown responded from his chalice: "Go and build me now a palace Fit to entertain a king." Ah ! we seldom note a fleeting Of the moments at our eating, Though the dial shadow 's true- They were sitting still at dinner, When he came again-the sinner- " Give me something else to do." Brown was startled, but responded: "Are we not together bonded This is jesting now and fun. You must go and do my bidding- Build the palace for my weddinr." Quoth the devil: " It is done !" "What !" said Brown, his pulse diminished, Is it buiilded Is it finished Wall and roof, and ceil and floor " Said the devil: " Jacob, truly, I have done your labor duly, And am -waiting here for more." 17 JACOB BROWN. Brown was object then of pity. "Go," said he, " and build a city Full of palaces and piles- Build me columns, build me arehes, Plant me cedars, lindens, larches, On a hundred thousand miles !" When the company was fle-ing, And at twelve o'clock the tea-ing Found the party very slim; When the timid bride, uncertain, Sought the hiding of a curtain In her chamber's shadow dim, Brown was sitting there and boasting Of her beauty in the toasting With the still-remaining few, Full of joy, and -Ill a flutter, When hle heard the devil utter: "Give me something else to do." This was torment dreadful, horrid, And the atmosphere grew torrid Though the Autumn night was late. "Am I waking Is it real' Can he take a grand ideal And so readily create" TS JACOB BRO 197N. At his elbow darkly standing, Satan waited his commanding, And his shoulder leaning o'er, Whispered: "Wasting time is pity; I have built your splendid city- Done my duty-give me more!" Demon! go and take the motion From the pulses of the ocean- Go and make the billows still! Go to all the whitened beaches, Tell the sands in all their reaches- Count the leaves on every hill." Thus the spirit kept him worried, Always haunted, always hurried, Till a twelvemonth struggled by; Finding work to give this sinner, Kept him wearing thin and thinner- He was ready near to die. Worst of all, unhappy er-ror! Brown, too late, had found a terror In his costly lady's tongue; In their little year of marriage She had quite another carriaige, And another song she sung. 19 JACOB BRO W1N. It was now the " old, old story," Of a woman in the glory Of her kingdom over man; She had passed the time of wiling, Of her sunlight and her smiling, And the reigning-day began. With the woman always r.-ting, Always scolding him and prating Of the gloomy life he led, Was it strange the wretched fellow Should be growing thin and sallow, And be longing to be dead It was just about the coming Of a mellow Autumn gloaming, With its dewy, fruity air; Jacob Brown again was sinking, With a bitterness of thinking, In the eushions of his chair. Out before him rose the steeples Over all the happy peoples Of the underlying town He was gFlzing, gloomy, moody, When within his si'ent studly Stalked the stately Lady Brown. JACOXB BROWN. Always moping, always sighing- You are very slow at dying- Will it never, never be I would joy to see you buried- Every day that we are married Is a misery to me." He had scarce attention centered, When the devil slowly entered From a gloomy passage through, And, with true politeness, waiting For a pause about her prating- " Give my something else to do ! Jacob rather liked the civil, Quiet nanler of the devil, When his wife about hiiiii hung, So he answered rather slowvlv, In a whisper, timid, lowly: "1 Please to stop the lady's tongue " But, alas ! the spell was ended, And the devil, shocked, offended, Out the open window flew; He was fairly there defeated, For he groaned as he retreated: II That is work I can not do 1'.' 21 22JACOB BROWF.YM This is truly most surprising! " Uttered Jacob, there uprising: - Pray, your majesty, come back I" But the fatal word was spoken, And the bond of union broken With the ' Gentleman in Black." Down lie settled then, and sighing: "I am ready now for dying- I have nothing left in life- I have lost my friend-the dev-il, And am in this world of evil At the mercy of my wife." After that, within his study, Silent, gloomy-browed, and moody, With his hands before his eyes, Jacob muttered, as a muser: I would give my soul to lose her!" -But the devil did not rise. . 22 OUT OF THE OLD YEAR INTO THE NEWV. T. UT of his jacket and into his blouse, Out of the lanes where linger the cows, Up froin the stream where shy trout rise To the silent fall of the snaring flies; Squaring his shoulders, stroking his chin, Eying the boot with the breech-leg in, The bov-ehild pippeth the egg so well, fhat 31an comes out of the brok. a shell. What shall he do in his life begun - Go to the bank where the brook-trout run Go to the close and follow the cows The homeward way from the slopes they browse Snare in the thicket Trap in the field Ride on. the sweep at the cider yield "Lord of Creation! " What shall lhe do Out of his Old Year into his New (23) 24 OUT OF THE OLD YEAR INTO THE ANEW. Fuller the coveys than ever before- Hare in the warren, fish at the shore- The seed of the rag-weed falls full fast, But trapping days of the boy are past. The snows may come, but free is the hare To hold his track in the hiding tare- The hare-race now with the boy is done; The hound-race hard with the nian begun. Aye, square your shoulders and stroke your chin, The days of labor are crowding in. You play no hide-and-seck in the mOws; You beat no way with the browsing cows- IHo! f)r the siclkle and scythe and spade! Into the sun-heat out of the shade- Start in the furrow, travel it true Out of the Old Year into the New. II. Out of her under-coat, red and small, And out of her bib and her overall; hliding the rise of her ankles fair AWith trailing drape of a fuller wear; Binding her breast to steadier place In silken bonds of the corset-lace, The girl-child endeth her days of bliss, And Woman comes from the chrysalis. OUT OF THE OLD YEAR INTO THE NEW. 25 What shall she do in her life begun - Gather the buds that blow in the sun Fashion her garlands to quaint design Under the glint of the fielder's tine Loiter the meadows and romp and cry, As the mower goes in the golden rye Blossom of girlhood! What shall she do Out of the Old Year into the New Go to the brook for the yetreen girl, With her sundown hat and leaf-brown curl Go to the glass of the opal lymph And widen your eyes, ohl, new-born nymph I The meadow is sweet with fresh-cut hay, The odor the same as yesterday, But never you 'll tread, with singing blithe, The scented bed of the mower's scythe. You loosen your zone and turn your eye To gleaning girls in the golden rye; But tighten it now, and turn away, It's only a glimpse of yesterday- Tue distaff stands in the window-light, There's weft to weave in the warp to-night; The rye-field way is not for you, Out of the Old Year into the New. 26 OUT OF THE OLD YEAR INTO THE INE TV. III. Woman and man, at the start of life, A sunburnt spouse and a peach-cheeked wife, Kneeling and swearing the words that bind The twain in bonds of the archer blind Plucking the flowers they nursed so true In the gloaming walk where wild ones grew; A man and woman with life begun, Who were two but now, and now but one;- What will they do at their life's outstart - Meet ina the meadow and smile and part Walk in the sundown aisles of the day, Study the shades of the twilight gray Ramble the fields where the roses are When the foot falls dry and sun shines fair What will the twain in the blood-rite do Out of' the Old Year into the New When flax is ripe for the spinning-wheel There s nothing, left for the honey-meal In other bloom where the dew food lies Must loiter the bees with hadcn thighs- Now gather the flax and break it bright, The distaff's still in the window-light; Gather and garner it under roof, For still the wvarp is waiting the woof. OUT OF THE OLD YEAR INTO THE NEWI. Be true to your plow and sweep your scythe With sinew strong and muscle lithe; A cradle rocks on the homestead floor, One stranger there, and a chance for more; Go deep in the sod and turn full fair, For youth is coming the yield to share. Mother and father, there 's more to do Out of your Old Year into your New. IV. Master and dame, at the close of life, A toil-bent spouse and a child-worn wife; Sitting at eve in their westward stoop, Watching the sun to the westward droop; Sitting alone, in their oaken chairs, Waiting the twilight, gray as their hairs; Olden and worn and ending the run Of days like that of the dying sun. Ah, still, as the sun that leaves the plain, They sink at the verge, to rise again; Making the course from gold to gray, They turn the arc of a single day, And sink in the eve to rise again, In world of beauty, or world of bane. Mother and father, what world for you Out of the Old Day into New 27 28 OUT OF THE OLD YEAR, INTO THE NEW. Look to the life that is laid before. In fields beyond on the faint-lined shore; It's not a measure of labor now, A question of bread, and beaded brow; A question of fields, and buds, and bloom, Of days of shining, arid days of gloom; You'll answer the Maker's graver one, Not what shall you do-W1HAT HAVE YOU DONE Ah, woman and man, there lies the test For human souls of their final rest- What are your hopes and what arc your fears What have you done in the dry, dead years What do you claim as a just reward At the band of Him-the gracious Lord Mercy and love be given to you, Out of the Old Life into the New. DOWN TILE ROAD. HE overhead blue of the summer is gone, The overhead canopy gray'd; The damp and the chill of the winter is on, And the dust of the highway laid. I sit in the glare of the simmering beech, At the hearth of the old abode, And I look with a sigh at the comfortless reach Of the farm-lands down the road. rThe wind is astir in the camp of the grain, The tents of the grenadier corn; The sentinel stalk at the break of the lane Hathawearisome look and lorn; Yet it has n't been long since into the blades The sap of the summer-time flowed, When I and my ox-team loitered the shades Of the oak-trees down the road. (29) DO3IDIN TIHE ROAD. There was n't a day that I did n't go by The house at the swell of the hill- The cattle bad broken the close of the rye, Or something Was wanted at mill; And Kitty-she stood in the porch at her wheel, And the gold to her sboulder flowed; And what did I care for the " turn of the meal," Or the rye-field down the road In the seeding-time, when I followed the plow And furrowed the mellow ground, There was n't that labor-like sweat of the brow That honester husbandry crowned; For the fairy was there at her wheel and spun As I plowed or planted or sowed, And my labor was never right faithfully done In the grain-fields down the road. And then in the heat of the harvesting-day, When the sickle and scythe went through, It was only the veriest time for play That ever a harvester knew; For there was the maid at the humnming wheel yet Just fronting the swath that I mowed, And the scythe ran slow, for my eyes were set On the old porch down the road. 30 DOWN THE ROAD. Then the autumn at last came into the year, And life took a mellower mood: We gathered the grain, and the quail with a whirr Went out of the field to the wood. And I tried to be steady and brisk; but Still It was hard to be plying the goad When my indolent oxen balked at the hill By the farm-house down the road. Now Kitty has eyes of the tenderest blue, And hair of the glossiest gold, But never a word of my loving so true To Kitty have ever I told. And the winter is here and the winter may go And still I can carry the load- The green of the spring cometh after the snow In the grain-fields down the road. 31 WEEDS. C ENT at the gate in her weeds, A trifle reduced and wniter-- Some say of her heart: "' It bleeds;" Some say of her heart: " It's lighter." A woman of mind and soul, Arid strong to the utmost straining- How should I know if her dole Be dole, or only a feigning Once I was weak to believe, And said: " God pity us madam! You be a blossom of Eve, And I be a scion of Adam." The tide in her cheek ran red- Red as the East in the morning Sir, I be a wife," she said, In passion, and pride, and scorning. (32) WEEDS. 33 Forbidden, the ripe, fair fruit- Forbidden, but near to reaching. I stood in the garden mute, Abashed and stung with the teaching. A queen in her weeds is she, By the gate, in shadow leaning. Now tell me if mask it be, Or grief in the real meaning I pass on the other side, I make an obesiance to her- I wonder if he who died Was wiser than I, and-knew her. GOING TO SCHOOL. X HIS knowledge we find in the flow of the street, From faces we see and from figures we. meet, That men in their callow, their ripening and rime Are under the rod of the pedagogue TIME; And this we deduce, by a logical rule: However we go, we are going to school. Now. here is a brown little urchin of ten, Half hidden from sight in the sea of the men A steady-eyed, stout little lad in his looks, Tied up like his burdensome bundle of books, So mitted and buttoned that any poor fool May see, at a glance, he is going to school. Then here is a chap with a worrying stock Of wonderful wrangles from Bacon and Locke, Who, having been polished and plated and pearled, Somewhere at a college, comes out in the world, And, mixing with men in the slime of its pool, Is forced to admit he is going to school. (3o4) GOING TO SCHOOL. And here is a priest, with the saintliest face A pauper in pocket, a Crcesus in grace; He enters the pulpit, and opens the book, As wise as an owl and as grave as a rook; But spite of the penitents bent at his stool, And though lie may teach, h1e is going to school And there is a bridegroom with beautiful bride- The fact of' her beauty is never denied; He's proud of his purpose and promise in life,- Is proud of his manhood, and proud of his wife: How long will he be under petticoat rule Till lie says to himself, "' I am going to school !" And here is a chance to look into the glass Of the wearisome eye of a woman you pass; Her purpose is gone and her promise is dead, Her life is a skein of the slenderest thread, And sorrow is winding it fast on a spool- Her husband 's a sot, and she 's going to school. But here is a person-no longer a slave To the pedagogue Time-at the brink of the grave. His course in the school of the world lie has run, His summer is over, his session is done; And now, as he dies in the driftings at Yule, His children may say, "' He is going to school 1' 35 "A MENSA ET THORO." ;OTH of us guilty and both of us sad- Anrd this is the end of passion! And people are silly-people are mad, Who follow the lights of Fashion; For she was a belle, and I was a beau, And both of us giddy-headed- A priest and a rite-a glitter and show, And this is the way we weddcd. There were wants we never had known before, And matters we could not smother; And poverty came in an open door, And love went out at another: For she had been humored-I bad been spoiled, And neither was sturdy-licarted- Both in the ditches and both of us soiled, And this is the way we parted. (36) MY MOTHER AND I. W E were finishing tea-my mother and I- Exactly at half after eight; The noise in the kettle went down to a sigh, The muffin grew cold on the plate; I looked in the cup) as I toyed with a spoon, Attempting to balance it clear, And said to myself: "' It 's the last afternoon Of the very last day of the year; I '11 see if my fortune-for better, for worse- By drops of the tea will be told," And then, like a boy, I began to rehearse What I tried when I was n't so old. "Why, John," said my mother, a manifest smile Just lighting her lips and her eyes, "You seem to be dropping a very long while, The handle is slow to arise." My arm gave a lurch and it flooded the bowl, And down to the bottom it fell; I 'm forty! but farther than that from the goal, If tea-drippings honestly tell. (37) MY MOTHER AND I. "No use for such folly at my time of life." Then I quietly said in reply: "It is n't for me to be taking a wife As long as it 's-mother and I." Then something got under my lid like a mote; I rose at recalling my sire, And parting the points of a pigeon-tailed coat, Extended my palms to the fire. Then one after one of the last forty years, I soberly mustered them up; A little of laughter, a little of tears, And the fortunes I tried in the cup. May mother, still dreamily keeping her seat, Was thinking, no doubt of the one Who left her, a stalk of the yellowing wheat, To ripen alone in the sun. The picture is clearly domestic, I know, And homely and common withal, A celibate, just in his midsummer glow, A -x'idow, somewhat in her fall; She is sixty and past, but having the air Of one whjo had reigned in her day- A trifle subdued, and the dusk of her hair Just br-oken witlh glintings of gray. 38 MY MOTHER AND I. My mother's my sweetheart, my glory, my queen, My only true woman in life; I wonder sometimes what an ass I have been To ever have dreamed of a wife. I said it was half after eight, and the eve Of the very last day of the year; The ghosts of my life at the time, I believe, I had soberly called to appear. A fig for the past I L2t the closets of time Forever their skeletons hide; There 's nothing to gain from the mold and the grime, And the ghosts of the things that have died. So, breaking the chain of my mother's duress In the prison of days that were dead, I gave her the query: " Pray, what is your guess Concerning the twelvemonth ahead " It staggered her some, but she rallied at last, And the sweet of her smiling arose; Well, John, if you 're wanting your horoscope cast, I 'm a proper old witch, I suppose "- That's she, on the laugihing and bantering side, When she passes from winter to spring. Do n't trouble yourself about me," I replied, " For my destiny's not in your ring; 39 MY MOTHER AND I. I come to the brink of your beaker of age For a drop of its wine's overcharge, 'A cross on your palm' for an honest presage Of the world and the people at large." In any event, you would have me a witch 'Whilst. yet ill the flush of my prime. Ah, well, we are both of ns knotti[ng a stich, To-night, in the stocking of time. And John, let me say of the stitches just here, Their making's perfection of art; 'Unless there's a flaw in the yarn of the year We never can tell them apart. I look on the stitch we are finishing now, By others as evenly laid, And feel it's a trifle to estimate how The stitch of to-morrow'll be made. "That's witchery, fair as the best you have known, And as true as the best you will see; From nature to-day it is readily shown What nature to-morrow will be." Then, leaving the table, she came to a seat In the cushioned old rocker of state, And crossing her arms and extending her feet, Looked musingly into the grate. 40 MY MOTHER AND I. She l)urnished a thought I refused to express, When I banished the past from my brain, Tho' cleverly said, I am free to confess It was not what I hoped to obtain. Continuing then: "It may do very well To be earnestly looking ahead For the something to buy, or something to sell. In the matter of making our bread. We 're not like the sparrows that gather the crumbs Sown over the snow in the street; We put in our fingers to pull out the plums From the pie of the Earth-if we eat. We may not foretell what the season will bring By a rule of the previous yield; A chill may go down to the germ in the spring, Or summer may ashen the field. 'I do not refer to the physical world, With its bees, and its ants. and its moles; But the surface of time that's blackened and pearled By a tireless passage of souls. The age, to my mind, is no better, no worse, Than it was in the century gone; Though we act in this year, 't is to simply rehearse For the play of a year coming on. 41 2MY MOTHER AND I. The Father of All is abroad everywhere, But the bad ' little master' is free; There 's evil and good in proportionate share, And long as we live it will be. Now, mark it, my son, there are sections of Earth In excellence greatly advauced; But equally, places much lessened in worth With ignorance sadly enhanced. We fluctuate, some in the scale, it is true- How could we be mortal without it - But taking the whole of our pilgrimage through, There 's always a sameness about it. What guess could I make on the twelvemonth ahead Except on the basis of others Men know that their bodies in time will be dead, Because they have buried their brothers." Then mother looked earnestly back in the blaze, And studied the glow of the coals; No doubt they gave pictures of beautiful days To her, but to me they were ghouls. So I turned and abraded a match on the wall, And I lighted a Cuba cigar, And I said to myself: "1 There's a doubt after all As to what sort of creatures we are. 42 MY MOTHER AND I. 43 ",Here 's mother, so good that the angels above Might safely kneel down at her feet; And I, of her blood, and her life, and her love, Not more than the dust of the street." THE SPRING. lUT of the bill there issued a spring, And into a moss'd retreat; Lucent and cool, with eddy and swing, It came at our feet. Violet beds a trifle a-stir, A nd stray leaves driven about; A low, sweet noise to me and to her As the stream ran out. Two great broad elms beclouded the sky And meted the ether through; What care to us if a midnight dye Flowed over the blue Tremulous arms that circled me there, And pluvial eyes afloat; And wanton tides of vagabond hair- They flooded my throat! (44) THE, SPRING. 45 Then down the way the waters went, Together went I and she; And on, and on, we followed the bent Till into the sea. The wide, high sea I Oh, frail are the helms, And heavy the billows' fling I Oh, to go back to the spreading elms Where issued the spring I TRUE VERSION. 5 LITTLE vine about an oak Its lissom thread has run, To find, beyond the shadow-cloak, A fruitage in the sun. A scapeling from the prison-ground- Through heat and shower free- Nowv tenderly it twines around The roughness of the tree; And soon upon the upper air Its pliant jesses swing, Till, in the shine, it comes to bear, The children of the Spring. Proud mother to the multibloom, The canopy and cloak- That floods with such a rare perfume The precincts of the oak. (40) TRUE VERSION. On steely wings the yellow bees Ply in and out the place; The oriole there shakes the lees Of blossoms to her face. Now mellow Autumn days are here, The ripening days and brown; The leaves upon the trees are sore, The limbs are leaning down- In clusters hang the winy globes Above the nether way, The vine is in its purple robes, The tree is in its gray. Then Winters pass, and Spring on Spring, With blossoms blown and shed, The vine has grown a massy thing- The sturdy oak is dead- And silent, on the greening earth, A weighted monarch lies, The proudest of her forest birth, The noblest one that dies. 47 48 TPRUE VE. rSION. No longcr in the golden shine Her glowing lilb shall be, Until the widowed arms shall twine Another fated tree. Arid this, in season, too, shall die. And all that she encloaks; And still shall come the widow's cry, "Bring on your sturdy oaks I " DRAWING IT FINE. CJ N a shining cloud of meshes, Where a marge of Summer rushes To a noisy water dipt, Dwelt a prim, maternal spider, Witht her grim, brown spouse beside her, Like two mummies in a crypt. And except, perhaps, the shimmer Of a sunset's silver tremor, There was not the slightest breath- Not the faintest undulation, In the pendant, hooded station, Where they simulated death. Everv tentacle enfolded, Much as if the parts were molded, Or were carven so from stone; There they sat, without emotion, Staring down a woven ocean, From the funnel of their cone. (49) DRA WVING I FINE -When the dry, drawn spider's forces Puts its legion pulsate courses Thus successfully to rout, Well, indeed, may Science marvel How it is this crimson travel Of the venous-tide goes out. We have no such tragic actors As these adept tissue-factors- Since they never rant or rave- And there 's not a thing in nature Wearing such a perflect feaittirc Of the unrelenting grave. True, they act this taIbleau merely, But they mimic death so nearly- Being rigid. there and still- That the blinded inseet rushes Down the silence of their meshies To escape some lesser ill. So these consorts sat in quiet, Watching ever 1Ih the diet To their finished talent due; Waiting patiently and stilly For the win6ed things ande silly That were intermitting througb. 50 DRA WING IT FINE. By-and-by, upon her vision Came a light of clear decision, And the sober matron spoke (She had something like that human, Active impulse of a woman, In her tongue-the common joke): Having trained our girl and taught her, As a spider should her daughter, All the proper things in life, It is time she had our blessing- Though the thought is sore distressing- As some decent person's wife. I am sure the maid is able, Now, to run her line of cable Unassisted, from the spooi; And as weaver, and as spinner, That there 's more than common in her, I believe, upon my soul I Only yesterday, I saw her, For our neiglhbor, Mistress Drawer, Darning places in her net; Busy there in giving issue To the fine-t solar tissue I have ever noticed yet. 51 DRA WVING IT FINE. She is skilled in all the graces Of the most exquisite laces- Quite invisible to me- And I think such work would kill me, With my eyes so very filmy, I could tlever, never see. There 's a wanton mass of buslhes Just above our line of rushes, Where to spread the maids i's net; So, good man, though sad to miss her, Let us bless the child and kiss her, Whilst our lives are steady yet." And the grim old spider listened, Till upon his optics glistened Something not unlike a tear; And with quite a man's ogreeing To a woman s way of seeing, Answered: -As you think, my dear." Then the mother called her daughter From a-sporting on the water, In a little bay below; And the ladylike young spider Came and settled down beside her, To the sorrow of her beau; 52 DRA WING IT FINE. For she ceased at once her skating, Left the gallant there awaiting, Made a courtesy and flew- Just as every little woman, When she hears her mother summon, Ought undoubtedly to do. It was charming in the tunnel, Of their silver-sided funnel, Thus the family to see; Sitting close to one another Were the father and the mother And the daughter-happy three I There their plans were all unfolded, And the maiden's future molded In the fancy of the dame; In the matted brier trellis She should have her silver palace And be given up to Fame. But alas ! like every other Living thing--that has a mother- How these fancies went astray! All the goodly things we nurture For the overburdened future Pass too fleetingly away. 53 DRA HING IT FINE. So it was, this callow weaver, When her mamma let her leave her, Went a little bit too fast; Though she made a fair beginning With her cunning kind o' spinning, It wvas not a kind to last. She was full of life, and agile, But her shining threads were fragile And defective in their length; For she made her woofing wider Than her warping justified her, And the fabric wanted strength. We have seen a thousand ladies On a rapid way to HIades By this very common force, And exactly like the spinner They persist in drawing finer, When they ought to draw it coarse. 'T is peculiar to the human- Where the debutant 's a woman- To exceed the parent marge; She rejects the frual spirit She should properly inherit, And essays to "go it large." DRA WING IT FINE. And the rule is just as certain, When it 's time to lift the curtain On the drama of her days, She has found her light ambition At the margin of perdition, Through the saddest sort o' ways. Now, the highest aim that filled her- And the very thing that killed her- Was her foolish love for show; For our pulsing spider lady Could n't keep her palace shady In the brier-patch below. But she made her nicest hitches On some pendulating switches, That her glory might be seen; And she loitered with her lover All its silver terrace over, With the leisure of a queen. And, as might have been expected, She was readily detected By a bandit living near, For the wily robber sparrow, Coming downward like an arrow, Made a quiet meal of her. 55 DRA WVING IT FINE. And the prim maternal spider, With her grim, brown spouse beside her, Sits a silent muminy yet; And the breaking of each morrow Brings her such a ineed of sorrow, As she never can forget. She is full of sad upheavals, From the crater of her evils, For the wrong she did her child, When she taught her only graces In the art of making laces, By a vanity beguiled. So the two unhappy tenants Of the cone are doing penance, And their bosoms both are wrung; He has chronic gout to bother, And this wicked, wicked mother Has paralysis of tongue. 56 MURDER. IS wine of life, drawn past its lees, Had stained the grasses red, Where, uinder laden date-palm trees, A man laid newly dead. The motley of a summer day- The shadow set in light- With sharp-defined existence lay Impriinted on the sight. A hush was in the fruity bloom, Where late attrition made An atmosphere of spice-perfume The distances pervade. The Naiad of a ltcent brook That loitered in the l)laee, Went oultwardl with a f(righted look Upon a whited face. (57) MURDER. An utter, utter stillness there; A silence and a pain; A terror in the marching air, That halted by the slain. The world was young and virgin then To common blight and ill, And Nature, in the outraged glen, Stood, horrified and still. And this was fruit from Eden-seeds In serpent-trailings lain ! The meek and mild-way'd Abel bleeds Whilst, pulseful, wanders Cain. The dove and robin only keep A record of that day. The world did pause awhile and weep Above the mortal clay; But soon the world went on, went by The rotting gold-haired thing- The very wind came gleeful nigh- The brook learned soon to sing. 58 MURDER. With song the dove was sweetly blest, And down the long-ago, The robin held upon its breast The driftings of the snow; But under Abel's date-palm trees The dove forgot its tone, And since, o'er other lands and seas, It makes its plaintive moan; And there, when pulsing sadly, stood The robin by the slain, His plumage caught from Abel's blood Its never-fading stain. Thus Deity hath marked the crime For cycles passing round- The blood that flowed in Adam's time Is crying from the ground- For this is why the dove declares Its tearful, sad unrest; And this is why the robin wears The red upon its breast. 59 METEMPSYCHOSIS. ET me go back to the maze Where light to my life returns; Let me lift out of their urns Ashes of splendorful days. Oh, days of the far-gone years; Oh, days of mist-hidden time- Days of the rust and the rime, Be risen above your biers! Give me the scepter again; Give me the ermine and crown: Press the front outward and down, Make my lost royalty plain. I fall in a life so mean- I sink in the slough of this; Oh, give me the days of bliss, Make me again a queen! (60) THE RED CROSS. IR Knights, beyond the river there, And dlown the distance gray, In courtly robes, with saber bare- A soldiie' takes his wny- The seion of a royal house, A prince of knightly signs, Has gone among the sentinels That tread the Persian lines. A mission from the broken swords, And bended heads of them That hold the ruined walls and wards. Of vreeked Jerusalem. Now mark the stately fiont lhe bears- His martial swaY and grace- A heart that feels-a soul that dares- Is speaking in his face. ((;1) THE RED CROSS. Ah, proud Zerubbabel, take heed- The Persian guards advance, The countersign must serve thy need, And not thy princely glance- Grasp well thy sword and be prepared To meet the 'larum cry, An enemy! What ho! The guard! An enemy-a spy!" Now clash like flints their sabers' steel In jealous ward and pass, Our Prince has made the Persians feel Through corselet and cuirass; But not his single arm can hold The numbers there at bay- With half his prowess yet untold The guards have gained the day. And from the royal shoulders there They strip the em'rald down, They mock the knightly prince and heir Unto the Jewish crown. They deck him in the meaner gown That holds the prison stains, And weigh his lordly person down With shackles and with chains. 62 THE RED CROSS. And there, before their sovereign lord, Within his presence hail, Zerubbabel attends the guard, The proudest of them all. With peerless brow and steady eye- His only visage known- He fronts the monarch seated high, Darius on his throne. Well may the Knights that stand around, Their plumed helmets raise. Beneath the robe, the court has found Another royal gaze; And though, in chains, Zerubbabel The meaner soldiers bring- The truly great, may pause to tell- Now which is here the King. Then from his place Darius speaks, And in the kinder way, Of one whose mental vision seeks A long-departed day. He calls to mind the early friend, That knew his tender youth, The one whose higher aim and end Was in the holy truth. 63 THE RED CROSS. But ermined garb and scepter strong Had ma(le the King forget, That hie who scorned to do a wrong Hell steady purpose yet; And to Zerubbabel lie said, "We knew thee once of old, A goodly Prince-a royal head, A knightly man and bold, A member of that mystic clan, A MASON firm and true, The highest typc of noble man, A kingdom ever knew; Now give us here the secret things Thy silent brothers hold, And thou shalt be the friend of kings II purple and in gold."' Then sudden flusl'd the Prince's face, And proudly 'rose his head, As if to scorn the shameful grace In whlat Darius said; My sovereign master, know that I Am suljeet to thy will, Ihen ban ikh nme, or bid nme die- I hIo1 n1y honior still." 64 THE RED CROSS. Then ran the blood in kingly veins With rapid pulse and play- What ho! the guard! strike off his chains! Strike off is chains. I say, Now give him back the em'rald thing And sword of honor bright, And make it known the Prince and King Shall banquet here to-night. Zerubbabel, thou teaehest now The lesson of our youth, The grandest crown for kingly brow Is courage, honor, truth! Now make thy secret wishes known The dearest and the best, And by our sovereign word and throne Is granted thy request." Oh, King, my trodden people there In ruined arches kneel, And pray thee in thy might to spare From adversary's steel; And, Sire, I come from ruined halls, To crave a boon for them- That thou wilt build the domes and walis, Of old Jerusalem." 65 A SPECIAL PLEA. FRUE and I together sat Beside a running brook; The little maid put on my hat, And I the forfeit took. "Desist," she cried: " It is not right, I 'm neither wife nor sister; " But in her eye there shone such light, That twenty times I kiss'd her. (66) THE MIDNIGHT ROSE. HERE is a flower that loves to shun The kisses of the morning sun; There is a rose that never knew The sparkle of the morning dew. But when the mellow evening dies Upon the glinting summer skies, It gently breaks the sepal close And opens out-a perfect rose. Oh, ye who wander down the days, In crocus, fern, and fennel ways, There has not broken on your sight The rose that glorifies the night! Go call the buttercup that yields Its gold floriscence to the fields- Go gather all your noons disclose, But leave to me my midnight rose! (67) SELF-SACRI FICE. T is in that edge of Winter When the frost its silver splinter Throws along the window-glass; When upon the crusty border, In a cruel, sad disorder, Hang the brown lines of the grass- It is in that time for sighing, When the dry things underlying, Give their crisping to thc feet; When the wrecks of vernal races, With their painted, brazen faces, Go abandoned in the street- It is in that sober weather When the fowls are more in feather, And the furs are thicker grown, That the world shrinks under cover From the dun clouds reaching over, And the cares of life are known. (68) SELF-SACRIFICE. Only such as keep in storage Goodly bins, from Summer forage, May the barren days defy For the dreamy thing that lingers WVith the blossom in its fingers, When the Winter comes, may die. But in many living creatures There 's an impulse (f their natures, Over care of life ald pelft And to save some thriftless neighbor, MAan wvill yiiekl his fruits of labor, Though it sacrifice himself. Here's a case that is not common Even in the higher human, Though from underneath his house- 'T is a simple illustration, From the lower tribe and nation, Of an antiquated mouse. It was in that edge of Winter, When the frost began to splinter Into pictures on the glass- When the red along the heather Told a rapid change of weather, That the matter came to pass. 69 SELF-SACRIFICE. And 't was in a tunneled entry From a kitchen to a pantry, At the noontide of the day- Though the place was gloomy rather- That the antiquated father Had a solemn thing to say. So they came from every quarter, Malc and female, son and daughter, There to hearken to the sage; And with quiet, sober faces, There assumed such proper places As aecorded rank and age. It was not a common meeting, Where they scramble over seating, Making every kind of noise; For thc maids were prim and steady- Each and every one a lady- And a decent set of boys. There was no outrageous stamping, Like a stud of horses tramping On a shaky bridge of rails; But they sat respectful, stilly, Doing notlingD rude or silly, With their faces, feet, or tails. 70 SELF-SACRIFICE. When the latest mouse had entered, With attention duly center'd, And all noises under ban, From his chill and dusky corner, Like an aged and shaken mourner, Thus the patriarch began: I have called you here together, At the dawn of Winter weather, For a purpose fixed and strong; And you see I 'm frail-I tremble, For I can not now dissemble, That my days may not be long. "Through the Summer, daily-nightly- I have sought to teach you rightly How to manage for your food; And I 'd like to guide you longer, For there 's naught in life that 's stronger Than this holy tie of blood. But, my children, I am going Where the bread of life is growing, In the GOOD PLACE uPp :above; And I leave you now in sorrow, To the mercies of to-morrow, With a legacy of love. 71 7FELF-SA CRIIFICEI. You will find it somewhat harder To be keeping up your larder, As the bleaker days go by. And I will not be your burden- And I pray this as a guerdon- Just to turn away and die. So, my darlings, come and kiss me- You will sometimes sigh and miss me, But I know 'tis for the best. Let your hearts be light and cheery, For I 'm going where the weary And the laden are at rest." Ere the sage had finished speaking, There began a bitter squeaking All around about the place; And a troop of tearful misses Came and covered o'er with kisses All the beard upon his face. Then he gave such admonition As befitted their condition, And he urged them not to cry; And he said: " All life is sorrow," And that maybe they to-morrow Would be going off to die. 72 SELF-SACRIFICE. And his sturdy sons protested That he never should be wrested From the kindness of their care; That they 'd underg'o the squeezes Of all crevices, for cheeses, And fbr other dainty fare. le should nibble at his leisure From their fullest store and treasure, And should never come to want; That they 'd fill the tunneled entry From the kitchen to the pantry, And that nothing should be scant. But in vain was all persuasion- He had taken that Occasion Just to speak a sad good-by; He would hear no further pressing, So he gave them all his blessing, And lie totterd out to die. Now, most truly, this was noble, Though 't was sore and bitter trouble Thus to see the parent go; For the winds without grew bolder, Anid they whistled shriller, colder, Of the coming ice and snow. 73 SE, LI,-SA RIFI CE. Through the dark, unfriendly weather, Went they foraging together, All the little orphaln'd mice; And their ways were illy chosen, For their feet arid tails were frozen On the bleak plateau of ice. Sad indeed their lives, and trying, Full of sore distress and sighing For a father's guidance bold, And they wept such tears as only Little orphans, wretched, lonely, Weep for parents in the mold. By the wicked, cunning kitten Some where caught and badly bitten; Others met their fate in traps; Some were lying in the gutter, Dead of poisoned bread and butter, And from other sad mishaps. When at last there came a murmur From the treed, denoting Summer, They were very few indeed; All were caught, or killed, or frozen- All, except, perlhaps, a dozen, Now in dire distress and need. 74 SELF-SACRIFICE. True, they held their tunneled entry To the old haunts in the pantry, Where the shelving ran below; But above the cornice, higher, Though 't was greatly their desire, They had never dlarecl to go. Now, at last, their need was sorer, So they sent a bold explorer To the very topmost shelf; One who swore to find the upper With its narrowv chance for supper, Though he sacrificed himself. Up lhe clambers, now, and squeezes Righit between some bigger cheeses Than lhe 'd ever seen before, And he signaled with a squeak, a Something very like Eureka; To the orphans on the floor; And they raised their tails and start,,A, Very brisk and happy-hearted, Up the angle of the wvall; Some were breathing like a furnace, And they overcame the cornice Iu a fever, one and all. 75 Sr,SL F-S, I CRI FIE. Though thei mice were not so many, Yet the biggest cheese of any Was their object of attack; And a mouse who ran around it, Just to circumscribe and bound it, Found it open at the back. It was hard and heavy-cru;ted, Very green outside and musted, And they thought it not a sin, When their strongest, andi their oldest, And their biggest and their boldest Brother orphan ventured in. So they all began to follow. And they gathered in the hollow Of the new-discovered house, And within-oh, melancholy! Very sleek, and fat, and jolly, Sat that gray, paternal mouse. This is where he came. in sorrow, When lie left them to the morrow With his lcgaoy of love! Thlis the heaven lhe Was sCeJiDg, When hie left his children, squeaking Of the " Good Place up above! " 76 SELF-SACRIFICE. 7 He who would not be a burden- He who prayed it is a guerdon Just to totter out and freeze- He had tottered out the entry, To the " Good Place " in the pantry, And had " frozen to" a ehcese. THE LOST CURL. W AS it the ghost of a beautiful girl Flitting away from the sun, That out of its binding of amber and pearl, Lost, in the morning, a lihlit-brown curl, Just as the night was done Lured by the glow of the Christ-night's moon, Came she out of her crypt, To patter the streets in her erystal shoon, Where the spars of frost, like the dlewi of June, Lay over the way she tript Was it the ghost of a girl that (lied, Ripe for the sphere of wife, Just as the bloom of the oranges sighed To hide in the hair of the brown-cmrled bride, Whiten and freshen her life LOST, in this city, on Ann or Main street, Christmas morn- ing, a long, ligIht-brown curl. The finder will ple'Use leave it at this office.-Kentucky Yeoman. (78) THE LOST CURL. 79 Whoever shall find it, that light-brown curl. At break of the Christ-day lost, WVitli moon in its amber and frost in its pearl, Must go to the grave of a beautiful girl, And ask for a brown-haired ghost. CUJEX IN CARMINE. 3kJ HEN some migratory clouds, Broke upon the leafy shrouds, Where the insects lay in crowds, And a melancholy rain, On the sounding window-pane, Beats its funeral refrain, Through a crevice in the sash, Where the splatter and the dash, Made his purpose very rash, A mosquito, lean and thin, From the drowning and the din, Undertook to flutter in; And a crazy shutter's swing, Made the hanging blossoms fling, Such a flood upon his wing, (80) CULEX IN CARMINE. That he rather fell than flew, And was fairly driven through, By the gusty wind that blew- Thus succeeding in his flight, From the unrelenting night, In a wet and wretched plight. 'T was the chamber of a maid, Who, her perfectness displayed- In a measure-disarrayed; For a taper in the gloom, Of the curtained, quiet room, Showed a woman in her bloom- And the mellow light was shed, On her bosom and her head, In the splendor of her bed. In a golden current there, Ran her undulating hair, From the polished shoulder bare. As the whitest foam that flees, Up the beaches from the seas, Lay the lace of her chemise; 81 CULEX IN CARMINE. And the billows of her breast, In the pillows there imprest, Kept an ocean-like unrest. Ali, 't was well indeed for her, That the only viewer near. Was the poor mosquito here; And 't was better still for him, That his vision should be dim, In the halo of the glim. For the splendid creature there, With the gilding on her hair, Lay magnlificently fair, And the smallest insect's eyes, S.,ei-g such a paradise, Might be blinded with surprise. On the inner Window-ease, With his humid Wing and face, He had anything but grace; Whilst the mad, reminding rain, To the vibratory pane, Brought its horrible refrain. 82 CULEX IN CARJMILE.V8 There upon the window-sill, He was sitting, dreary, still, In the terror of a chill; But within his little soul, He was grateful for the hole That allowed him sueh a goal So he brushed his little eye, Saying, " Maybe by and by I '11 be comfortably dry." And exactly as he planned With his stoicism grand, Both his dripping wings were fanned, For a breeze appeared to flout In the chamber all about, And the taper there wvent out. Then his eyes began to mark, By their tiny inner spark, What there was within the dark. It was very plain that he, With a candle burning free, Found it difficult to see. 83 8 CULEX IN CARM1INE. But his eyes, denied their sight In the waxen taper light, Were exceeding good at night. By and by, at last he tried, With a flutter at his side, And his little wings were dried; And the still existing breeze Brought a very pleasant ease, To the bending of his knees. Then be fervently exclaimed I Now I wish I may be blamed If I 'm either wet or lamed." And he tried a tune of his'n, Quite a striking kind of buzzin', "I 'm your Cousin, Cousin, Cousin!" And as joyously he sings, All around about lie flings, "Cousin, Cousin," with his wings. Then he went upon a raid, Through the heavy-curtained shade, 'Till be came upon the maid. 84 CULEX IN CARMIINE. And its meet and proper here That a reason should appear Why he tarried there with her. So, the fact is simply this, When he came upon the Miss, He was famished for a kiss. Now, the coldest man we know, Coming on the Houri so, For the very same would "go." And it is n't fair to think, A mosquito on the brink Of a nectar-cup-won 't drink. Splendid type of angel sleep ! Fairer than the pillows' heap, Lying there in silence deep- Who will blame him while he dips From the vintage of her lips, Redder wine than Bacchus sips Less impassioned things of earth, Seeing such, would know their worth, Feel it in a fever birth. 85 CULEX IN CARMINE. Any statue, wanting life, Nearing lips so passion-rife, Soon would wake to pulsing strife. So the glad mosquito sank Joyous on thc fruity tank, And to utter fullness drank. Botter far the cruel rain, Thrumming on the window-pane, Fell upon his wing again- Better far the shutter's swing, Caught his cousin-crying wing, Never more to let it sing. Better lie bad known a drouth In the marshes of the South, Than the nectar of' her mouth. Early morning, fair and sweet, Found him helpless on a sheet- Glassy eye and icy feet. Butterfly and humble-bee, For the coroner's decree, E:rly came the corpse to see - 86 CULEX IN CARMINE. Laid him out upon the floor, Scanned his body o'er and o'er As it never was before. After consultation slow, Pro and con, and so and so, There they let the insects know: This mosquito, lying dead, By the female in that bed, Pizined was with carmine red." 87 THE COURT OF BERLIN. ] ING Frederick of Prussia grew nervous and ill , When pacing his chamber one day, Because of the sound of a crazy old mill That clattered so over the way. 'Ho, miller! " cried he, " What sum shall you take In lieu of that wretched old shell It angers my brain, and it keeps me awake - Said the miller, " I want not to sell." But you must," said the King-in a passion for once- I- But I won't," said the man in a heat. 'Gods! this to my face Ye are daft or a dunce- We can raze your old mill to the street." 'Aye, true, my good sire, if such be your mood," Then answered the man with a grin; Bat never you '11 move it the tenth of a rood As long as there 's law at Berlin." (88) THE COURT OF BERLIN. 89 " Good, good," said the King-for the answer was g-rand As opposing the Lawv to the Crowin- " We bow to the Court, arnd the mill it shall stand. Thoughi even the palace come down." THE LAST LEAF. T last I find thc slighted page, On Which no favored name Is dedicate to fame. I write my own, and from this age, Go out the splendid years With trooping knights of her's. What more could life's ambition crave, Than just to write and live What more can labor give Hereby I rise from out the grave, And take a life in stone For one of (lust unknown. (90) MAY IN MASON, 1775. S HERE Limestone, with her gathered rills, A rocky passage follows; Where Lawrence, breaking thronugli the hills, Beats down the lonesome hollows; The woods were dark and dense above, The canes were dank below, When houseless lay the city's cove An hundred years ago. In narrow way, by gulch and knoll, The brown deer broke his bearing The grey wolf made the sloping mole An ambush for his fariing; The stately elk, witll antlers wide, The nose-down buffalo, Their lickward way went side by side, An hundred years ago. (91) 9MA JY IN MASON, 1775. The blue Ohio. gulfWard bound, Rani ripples on the border. Where nature gave the wanton ground Her winning, wild disorder. Nor sound of bell, nor sigh of steam, Nor oar-sweep creaking slow- The river lay a liquid dream An hundred years ago. The web-fowl nested in the sloo Beside the sliding otter; The red maid, in her bark canoe, Just skimmed the slumbrous water; The red man took the wareless game With sinew-twanging bow, Till Kenton's cracking rifle came, An hundred years ago. An hundred years! What time! What change! To bin who kept the tally, Till balder grew the bounding range, And busy grew the valley. There floats the smoke of forge and mill, That tireless ply below, Where stood the white cane, stark and still, An hundred years ago. 92 MIA Y IN 3M0ASON, 1775. The willows died upon the shore, The beeches lost their glory; The giant, wIbite-barked sycamore But lingers still in story. Now smoother ways go down the bank, To meet the water's flow- It never knew a steamer's plank A n h und red years ago. These fillowv lands that laugh to-day In suminer's mulling juices, From wanton sleep atid idle play, WVere brought to truer uses; And daring hands were on tire plow That broke the primal row, To see the tasseled corn-tops bow, An hundred years ago. The settler found hris savage foes, In every col)se app)earing, And death was in the smoke that rose, Above the early elearing; The toil was har'd, the danger great, The progress doubtful, slow; But these were men who made the State An hundred years ago. 93 9MA Y IN MASON, 1775. Now closures grand and pastures green Are blocked about the Granges, And goodly herds and homes are seen Along the olden ranges- The busy city rings with toil, The steamers come and go- God bless the brawn that broke the soil An hundred years ago. No longer in her bark canoe, The red maid skims the river; The web-fowl's nestling from the sloo Has winged away forever; A single line these lands abrade, The lick-bound buffalo Has left till now, the trace he made An hundred years ago. So let us leave our trace behind, And wear it broader, deeper, That coming man may bring to mind The courses of the sleeper- That after days may see our toil And women praise us so; As brawny men who broke the soil Anm hundred years ago. 9-t PYTHIAN LINES. IR Knigh&ItS, when first to social ways Our early fathers turned, Ere in the rud-, primeval days Their forest altars burned; Before the. Druids felt the dawn Of reason at their feasts, Or brought to shoulders bare and brawn The pelts of preying beasts; Before the coml)act of our kind, By which, to human rules, Was bent the sway of savage mind In germinating schools, Man kept his law of force above, And lived by strength alone, Nor kindred claim, nor commlton love Nor civil bond was known. (95) PJYTIILLA LIlES. The faint traditions of the past, Brougrht up the tongues of TIME Through maze of race, and creed, and caste, In( dust, a.nd rust, and rime, Have told how in the Asia-plains A virain sod wais thrown, How from its sparsely scattered grains A cultured world has grown. The gray, historic stones that stand Along the backward aisles, To point the progress of the land, As though by measured miles, Are weather-stained, a 11d still, and stark, And crumiblin- to the base, But still their iron closures mark The onward reach of Grace. Thus, step by step, the world has grown,- The civil eree(1 prevailed; Its grand estate, to-day, is shown For other heirs Cntailed, And generations yet to come Shall backward turn with smiles To point the solid shaft and dome We structure in the aisles. 9i PYTHIAN LINES. Whilst yet the Christian era slept Unopened to the years, And savage bands their victims swept To pagan sepulehres; Some faith from man to man was plight, Some sympathies were born, And human kind from out the nlight, Beheld the break of morn. From ancient and litroic Greece; From 'neath the walls of Rome; From times of war and times of peace, Our stately fables come. The annals of the olden world- For honor now avails- And give, in vellum scrolls unfurled, Their mythic moral tales. Of one of these was born the tio That binds the Pythic elan; Was caughit the heat of honor high That weldeth man to man- From out thre forge of primal days We hear the hammer's beat, Where metal to the metal lays Arid makes the bond complete. 97 93 PYTHIAN LINES. Ye Pythic Pages here, who wear The myrtle in your breasts; Ye proved Esquires who proudly bear The shield above your crests; Ye brave, chivalric Knights, whose feet Have borne the test of steel, Who wear your helmets now to meet The foes of common weal. The misty days that lie beyond This cycle of your lives, Shall keep the record of your bond In golden -bound archives; Shall tune for you their sweetest reeds, And lengthen and prolong The music-story of your deeds, To everlasting song. As hostages ye stand to-day, Confiding to the last; That yet slhall come, from down the way The Damrons of the past Thougrh steeds may fail and foes may snare, And leagues may intervene; No wall shall stay the friends that wear The sprigs of myrtle green. 98 PYTHIIAN LINES. 99 Then keep your friendship pure and true, With caution wear your shields; No foes shall strike their lances through The brave hearts in the fields; And when the living days have died And rited been and knelled, All coming Knights shall note with pride The confidence ye held. THE CROWN ON GUARD 4,HE Emperor Solyman, holding his Pleas, On taking the town of Belgrade, Observing a wonman, bent down on her knees, Demanded what trouble she had "My liege, I am widowed, alone, aud in dole- Last night, as I lay in my sleep, Your soldiers came into mi closure and stole The whole of my poultry and sheep." "Why slept you so well-and the robbers about " Then Solyman said with a sneer. Oh, sire, when the Emperor watcheth. without, How can a poor woman have fear" (100) OUR DEAD. 1 ND still a mindful people turns To such as wear their crosses, Beneath a way of waving ferns And interwoven mosses. And still, with knots and crates of bloom, With soonest blowing roses, They come to break the night of gloom That o'er the hero closes. Here yet, by fingers deft from love, The wild vine's tendril 's matted, In tribute wreaths and crowns are wove, And lissom garlands plaited. Hero yet, the new-strewn immortelles Of memory are saying, As tender-fresh as if the bells A dying chime were playing. (101) OUR DEAD. And years have been, and years may be, And still shall gather yearly The fettered souls beside the free- The dead they love so dearly. And still shall freshest garlands fall From loving hands in showers, O'er fragments of the crumbled wall That closed the Land of Flowers. Here sleep the brave, the good, the true, The trusting and the daring; The great, that in their living grew The laurels they are wearing. The battle-stains are on their breasts, The battle-eurrents clotted- An index on the outer vests Of inner men unspotted. An hundred mounds are eircled near- An hundred heroes under; An hundred knights that ne'er shall hear Again the battle's thunder. 102 OUR DEAD. But o'er the turf in drooping fold, With broken staff, a banner Shall keep their knightly prowess told In true chivalric manner. Among the mounds are some whose names Upon the stones are missing- 'Who fell in front too soon for Fame's As for the mother's kissing. Thc brave "unknown" in martial pride And honored here and knightel; We only know a hero died- A soldier's home was blighted. Be still, sad bells! Where HLainson lies Ten thousand tongrues are telling; Trhe wailing ot a 1)eol)le rise Beyond an iron knelling. What need to wake a mournful tone Upon an anthemn organ, Whilst broken rusts the sword that shone Above the plume of Morgan 103 OUR DEAD. What founts Kentucky starts for one, Of all her dead the nevest; For Breekinridge-her peerless son, Her proudest and her truest! There shrouded lies her latest gift To God, and Fame, and Story, Whose going left a golden rift Upon the skies of glory. It may not be that in our day Yon bligrbted land will blossom- The land for which their coats of gray Grew crimson on the bosom; But time will come at last for all, When from these mounds of ours The Master hand shall build the wall That closed the Land of Flowers. 104 PARSON GIL ES. (T was not from dearth of churches, In the plain of vernal birches, And its marge of uplands brown, That the Sabbath crowds were gathered. And their scores of horses tethered In the precincts of the town. It was not that zealous trying In the chancels there, was dying. Or the watch-lamps burning low; That the wooded fanes were slighted, And their silent aisles benighted By a worship wandered fro. It was not from weaker passion For the press of morbid fashion On the virtue of the place; Nor for any solace sweeter Than the sacred music-meter, And the cup of perfect grace. ( 1 05) PARSON GILES. There was such a world of teaching In the earnest, honest preaching Of the pleasant Parson Giles, That a Sabbath morning's ringing Of his serviec bell was bringing All the country in for miles. From the sweat and strain of tillage, They were turning to the village, Through its avenues and lanes; Making desolate the granges Of the onter-sleeping ranges, And the inner-sweeping plains. Not because his words were burning With a brilliancy of learning, In an ignorance and gloom; Not because he went in roses Through his sermons to their closes, With a scatter of perfume; But for reason that a feeling Came, the real man revealing In his preaching's every part; Till the eyes about him glistened With a fervor, as they listened To the droppings of his heart. 106 PARSON GILES. Now it chances, in our courses, That we meet these stronger forces, Though the circumstance is rare; And we note, through sharp attrition With a cunning world's ambition. Who its real giants are. Men of Adam's form and feature Seek to rise above the creature, And to spurn their brother clods; Egots, saying to the masses: Ye are dy ing things and asses- We are living things and gods ! These are of that wearing real, But the wanton, frail ideal, That so often leads astray, And the glamoured world, in sor-row, Sees the fouling mold to-morrow, Of its thing divine to-day. For the truer, better sample Of the Maker's cunning ample Cometh not from such as these; Not from such as give their faces To the peopled corner-places, With the faith of Pharisees: 107 PARSON GILES. Rather men, whose finer natures Turn their pulses to the creatures Of an ever-falling kind, Such as bend beside the kneeling, More with plenitude of feeling Than with plentitude of mind. To the trusting eyes of woman Parson Giles was more than human- Good beyond the better ken; As his simple thoughts were worded, So his ways in life were guarded, And he held respect of men. For the souls that went in blindness He was full of tender kindness, And he sought the beaten way, That to such his clearer vision Might deline the grand Elysian Of the shining final day. So a Sabbath morning's ringing Of his service bell was bringing All the country in for miles- There was such a world of teaching In the earnest, honest preaching, Of the pleasant Parson Giles. 108 PARSON GILES. Dwelling in the Christian manor, Billy Jones, the village tanner, Stood without the temple door- He, alone, of all the people, In the shadow of its steeple, Never knelt upon the floor. Not because he held in scorning Any service on the morning Of the blessed Sabbath day; For the time had been, with Billy, When his life ran not so illy, And his boyhood knew to pray. Those who saw his daily going With the silent, certain flowing Of an open ocean's tide, Truly said that something other Than the teaching of his mother, Turned his compass-point aside. It was clear to every neighbor, There was frequent, heavy labor In the breathing of his wife, And the village knew a reason For the tawny tanner's treason To the promise of his life. 109 PARSON GILES. Not to deal in further hinting, Billy bore the scourge of vinting, Like a self-abusing nmonk, And his plain, unsteady swaying, Gave an honest ground for saying He was very often drunk. So lie kept beyond the reaching Of the Parson's better teaching, Never coming in his wake- Giving up the spirits, drinking From a cup of sober thinking, For the morbid stomach's sake. All the deacons and the members Saw the rapid dying embers In the wicked tanner's soul; And the case was gravely mooted As to who was better suited There to win him from the bowl. Brother Brown, his nearest neighbor, Couldn't undertake the labor, Having failed already twice; But he saw redemption in him, And if any man could win him, It was surely brother Price." 110 PARSON GILES. You must single out another," Answered quietly the brother, "I have made the effort too; I have sought him, working, walking, And have done a sight of talking. Till I saw it would n't do." Then it wass that Deaeon Carson Made a mention of the Parson, As the proper one of all- Better suited, better able, To dispel the shadow sable Hiding Billy like a pall. So the Parson took the office, Feeling not unlike a novice In a case so trying hard; And he seized that very minute To establish and begin it, Going down to Billy's yard. I believe, sir, you'll excuse me, And I think you'll not refuse me, What I very seldom pray- For I rather shrink from drumming- Will you favor me by coming To my preaching, Sabbath day " 111 PARSON GILES. Billy Jones was not in liquor, Yet his voice was somewhat thicker Than a sober man's should be; And his nerves were slightly shaken, Though, perhaps, he had n't taken Of his measures more than three. And he seemed a little worried, For he turned the skin he curried, In a foolish sort of way; Looking sidelong at his measure- I will give myself the pleasure, Sir, to hear you Sabbath day." When the Sunday morning's ringing Of the meeting-bell was bringing All the people with its tones, Unto one it came appalling, For the tanner heard it calling Very plainly: " Bil-ly Jones." Bil-ly Joncs," it said, so truly, That the tanner answered duly And he sought the chapel door; And the eyes of all were centered, As. with timid step, he entered Where he never did before. 112 PARSON GILES. Parson Giles felt highly honored When he saw the sinner cornered, For, at least, the coming hour, And he prayed with greater fervor For the soul of Satan's server, And he preached with greater 1)owver. In a sermon, terse and graphic, He besieged the liquor traffic, And he held its terror up, Till he painted every sorrow That the human soul could borrow From. the Satan of the Cup. Somewhat late that Sabbath even, When a cloud went up the heaven Like a gloomy, hooded monk, There was heard the heavy mutter Of a being in the gutter- Billy Jones was very drunk. Thus a hope of saving smothers In the deacons and the brothers: " He is lost in Satan's wiles- He is gone beyond the reaching Of the most effective preaching Of the godly Parson Giles." 113 PARSON GILES. But the Parson saw his beacons Giving light beyond the deacons And the brothers of the place; There was something rather winniing In the man's defiant sinning- And a courage in his face. So he sought again the tanner, With another sort of banner Than the pennant of his church- Like the youth of proud desire, Crying " Higher! Higher! Higher!" Till he perished in the search. William Jones, I come to offer What an honest man may proffer With a noble aim and end; I would like to know you better, Through the sacred bond and fetter Of' a true and steadfast friend." Billy, then and there, was batting Down the tannin in his vatting, With a not unsteady hand; Looking much as if he could n't- Or, most likely, if he would n't- Just exactly understand. 114 PARSON GILES. It is not a worthless present,' Said the Parson, looking pleasant- Not a simIple work of art; But the dearest thing that nature Ever gives a human creature- I amn come to give my heart." Perhaps from out the tumor Of his vices. Billy's humor Of the lower order came- Though he very seldom fretted, Yet he spoke an(l soon regretted, With a quite apparent shame. "Have you such a, might of yearning Just to stop the little burning In the soul of such an elf If you have, I 'll tell you, Parson, Its the clearest case of arson- 1 have set the match myself." Then hie went on thumping, thumping, With his heavy pestle bumping In the corners of the vat- So he does n't like my drinking; Billy then was doultless thinking- ' Wonder what he thikuls of that ! 115 PARSON GILES. But the Parson not responding, Billy felt a certain bonding, Thotughl he did n't see the band; And he turned upon the preacher- You shall be my friend and teacher; Here 's a wicked devil's hand." Then began a true alliance 'Twixt the two, in sin's defiance; Arid the Parson's Sabbath tones, When his mellow bells were calling, Never failed to have a falling On the ear of Billy Jones. But, at intervals, a ripple Of the tanner's olden tipple Made a music in his throat, Till its sullen under-towing Set him to the breakers going, In a very crazy boat. More than once, the common treason Of his stomach to his reason, Bore him out upon the night; And his morrow's homeward swaying Set the neighlbors all a-saying, Billy Jones is in a p)light." 116 PARSON GILDS. Yet the Parson never faltered; Billy, sure, was somewhat altered, And it very clearly seemed, That with little harder trying, Ile might keep the man from dying, And he yet might be redeemed. So the bonds were closer riven, And the Parson's pulses given More than ever to the man; In the change of time and weather, They were still allied together, And their ways together ran. Now and then, but far less frequent, Billy found the olden sequent In the gutters of the town; And the Parson, constant near him, Did the best to guide and cheer him, And to save his falling down. But at last the race is ended, And his broken life is mended; And the country round for miles Gives the meed of earnest praising To the hand that did the raising, And the heart of Parson Giles. 117 1PARSON GILES. So a Sabbath morning's ringing Of his meeting-bell was bringing All the people with its tones; And the bell was never calling But the Parson's voice was falling On the ear of Billy Jones. When the winter days were coming, And the chilly breezes humming In the birches and the pines, When the riven leaves were shoaliug To the valleys in their rolling From the barren mother vines. In the dead of night a groaning, Heard above the common moaning, Brought the people to their doors; For the voice was surely human, And it sounded so uncommon, That they gathered out in scores. In the open highway lying, It was " sure a mortal dying," From the wailing and the groans; But a little nearer vision Brought the piteous decision- " He is drunk, and-Billy Jones." 118 PARSON GILES. "fHow is that," said Deacon Carson, "Ie vas here to find the Parson But a little time atgo Are you surely not mistaken" And the voice came to the Deacon With a melancholy " No." Bring him in and let us see him We are sure it can not be him," Said a dozen men or more- So they raised the swaying body In its atmosphere of toddy, And they brought it to the door. Where the lamp-light's lurid streaming Fell upon it with the beaming Of a very demon's smiles, And their souls ini horror fluttered When the blanching Deacon uttered: " God of Heaven ! PARSON GILES !" Thus it was, the quiet village, And its outer bound of tillage, Saw the rise of Billy Jones. From the bitter slougih of drinking; He wVas now of sober-thinking Arnd a man of steady tones. 119 PARSON GILES. In their goodness they had sought him, They had bargained for and bought him, All the country round for miles- They had caught him will-he, nil-he, And were owners now of Billy, At the price of-Parson Giles. Thus the Parson won the tanner With another sort of banner, Than the pennant of his church- Like the boy of bold desire Crying "Higher! Higher I Higher 1" He has perished in the search. 120 OMNIPOTENS VERITAS. T'G0T the slightest breath of air Made a murmur anywhere In her majesty'sparterre; Not a zephyr in the bounds Of the pretty palace grounds Went its odorating rounds; In the atmosphere's embrace, All the roses of the place Took a paleness in the face; From the staring noon-sun rude, All the Calla lilies nude, Leaned away in lassitude. It was such a brazen day, That the fishes would not play From the hidings where they lay; (121) O12 ONIPOTENS VERITAS. For the pool-a perfect glass In the framework of the grass- Never felt a ripple pass, And the under-peering tront, From the water-plants about, Did not dare to glitter out, When they could not choose but see, From the fading flcurwde-lis, Such a mirrored misery. We would always rather not Find it qtiite so burning hot In the most inviting spot; But it's one of Nature's ways Thus to sprinkle in her days Just a little bit of blaze; So that folk may keep an eye To the chances, by and by, For the weather-when they die. Hidden in the deeper slhados- Loosenied robes and lissom braids- Lay the royal lady's maids; 122 OMNIPOTENS VERITAS. Hidden from the greater heat, In the leafier retreat, Under dropping blossoms sweet, Where a pretty pink and green Came the earth and sky between, Lay Her Majesty-the Queen! And it 's quite enough to know That the meshy, misty flow Of her lace was very low- Quite enough, beyond a doubt, Were it you or I without, To be putting us to rout; For there 's nothing half so rude As the spirit to intrude On a lady's solitude. But the branches disengage To a pretty, dapper page, With his privilege of age; Till beyond the jealous vines He may see the lissom lines Of the royal feminines. 123 124OMIPOTENS VERITAS. (I confess a sort of spleen For these fellows of fifteen- They're so very slow to wean.) If your Majesty so please, Here 's a man from over seas With a show of cunning fleas." There was dearth of every sort Of entertainment then, or sport, In the precincts of the court; For the days were coated o'er With a burning, hot glamour, And the nights-a stupid bore. So the startled ladies rose From their semi sort of doze, In a scantiness of clo'es; And with pretty shoulders bare, To the apparition there They returned the sudden stare. Cunning fleas ! now tell us. pray," Said the maids in disarray- Cunning fleas-and what are they " 124 OJINIPOTENS VERITAS. Then the dapper chap replied, With a show of knowledgc, pride, They are insects taught to ride- Taught to hop about and dance, At a motion or a glance, And their native place is France." And his terminating word- Quite the plainest one they heard- Touched a very tender chord; Not a touch-a perfect wrench, For a woman, wife or wench, Covets anything that 's French. So they prayed the Qtieen that she- Since they 'd never seen a flea- Very gracious now should be. And the languid lady Bess, Hitching up her foamy dress, Very graciously said-Yes. i Tiis incident, in a slightly modified form, is said to have act- ually occurred at the court of Queen Elizabeth, though it is sometimes located elsewhere. 125t 26OMNIPOTENS VERITAS. And the man from over seas, With his educated fleas, Came and fell upon his knees Fell upon the grassy place, With a very French grimace. Which was understood as grace; And his tiny team appears, Twenty Liliputian deers, In their homeopathic gears. And they move around a sheet, Now advance and now retreat, With a carriage all complete, Whilst a wonder and surprise Is besprinkled on the skies Of a dozen splendid eyes. And "their graces" crowd about, In a timid sort of doubt, Lest a flea should struggle out; Lest the whiteness of a breast Should invite a little guest To a refuge and a rest. 126 OMNIPOTENS VERITAS. (They were apt to tempt him so In the vicinage and show Of their laces lying low.) And it happened so at last, As the carriage rattled past That a flea became unfast. The little wretch upon her, A pretty maid of honor, Was suddenly a goner. Now it may have been the chance, That the rascal in his dance Caught the pretty woman's glance; And it may have been that lie In a very slight degree, Was a humanated flea; For it should n't give surprise If a splendid woman's eyes Such a thing should humanize, So to cause him break a trace To be roving in the lace Of a fair forbidden place, 127 1OMNIPO TEXS VERITAS. When, perhaps, the insect knew, What the Bible holds as true, That "no man would there pursue." We are very apt to be On the side of those that flee To the land of liberty; But the master claimed his own, Though the little slave had gone To a vastly freer zone. To anotber place of shade, Very nervous and afraid, Ran the startled, blushing maid- Left the others in the lurch, And beneath a friendly birch, Went to instituting search. How her nimble fingers flew All the sacred places through, Is denied to me and you. We may only fancy where, In the lacy meshes there, He was captured in despair. I 28 OMNIPO TENS VERITAS. We may only wish to be, For a little time, the flea, In his land of liberty. But a tardy moment past, Now the lady comes at last, Holding something very fast. And the fellow takes her hand With a smile exceeding bland. At the honor " vere grande." He recovers now his flea From the palpitating she, In a perfect ecstasy. But all joys are ever fleet, And this triumph in retreat Left a misery complete. For his face was overtost With the sudden white of frost- Zis is not ze flea I lost !" Now the world was out of tune On the sultry afternoon Of that brazen day in June, 129 130 OMNIPOTENS VERITAS. But it 's one of Nature's ways Thus to sprinkle in her days Just a little bit of blaze, So that folks may keep an eye To the chances, by and by, For the weather when they die! In the days of green or brown, Let us keep our vices down, That we may not miss the crown: Let us keep our bosoms free From the world's iniquity, And give up the proper flea. "FROM ME TO YOU." i MUST not write-'t is better here To let the pure, white page appearI I must not speak-the gossip-air Might give an echo everywhere; No words of love, however true, Should ever pass from me to you. I must not whisper how, at night, I meet you in the still starlight. 1 must not whisper how it seems I love you dearly in my dreams. Nay, nay, I'm sure it would not do- Such words as these from me to you. What if I met you in the grove, And held your hand and to!d my love What if you turned away and wept Or spoke me tender whilst I slept It is not wrong to dream, 't is true, But should I tell my dream to you (131) 132 "FROM ME TO YOU." What if I pressed your finger-tips, And gathered sweetness from your lips What if I lingered still and placed An arm about a slender waist Say, would you have the dream come true, Such love as this from me to vol. Awake, I could not dare to seek The peachy softness of your cheek- Awake, you might not even brook The sweet appealing of a look. I will not speak-until it be The look has come from you to me. GAMBRINUS. W HEN the leaves began to settle In a crimson, crisp and brittle, On the bosom of the Rhine, Somewhat cold, and more than sober, Came the gold and gray October, To the land of fruit and vine. Here and there, along the fallow, Tangled hops hung dry and yellow In the Autumn's failing sun; And the ravaged grape-fields, lying Over all the fells, were sighing: " This the vintager hath done." Ravaged truly, for the juices Of the clusters, down the sluices Of the presses, ran to must; And the gnarly tendons, riven Of their substance, thus were given To the griming and the rust. (1X3) GA MBRIN US. It was sadder, far, than sober, When the golden, cold October, Breaking down the North's incline, Hurtled South-a crashing missile, To the frond, and fruit and thistle, Of the silent-going Rhine. It was not so good a reason For the callow man's unreason, As the throbbing days of spring; When the blood-valves start and flutter, And the eyes grow dense to utter What the tongue is slow to sing. But, beneath a browning maple, Where the sun, in yellow dapple, Made its flecking at his feet, Somewhat branch-inclosed, and hooded, Young Gambrinus lay and brooded In a bitterness complete. For it seemed this stormy feature Kept its tiding in his nature, Spite of all the Autumn's chill, And his saps of love were going In a ceaseless, fever-flowing To thefraulein at the mill. 134 GAMBRIN US. Sweet-eyed Gretchen-fresh and splendid, In her lines of beauty, blended Twixt the womnan and the girl; Fair-faced Gretchen, blithe and riant- Graced of form and lithe and pliant. As the winding of her curl. Keeping watch to intereclt her, As the singing mill-maid kept her Leafy way around the hill; He was planning how to freshen Then his suit, with some expression, Than his strongest-stronger still. Time, on time, with fervid passion, He had tried his speech to fashion So to fill her with his dole; So to bring her coy defiance, Into love's distraught alliance- Hand to hand, and soul to soul. Hear my plea, 0! cruel Gretchen!" Words of heat he sought to etch in Lines of fire on his brain; When her notes, all clear, all wveetness, Toned and round to all completeness, Fell upon him like the rain. 135 GAM BIRIN US. Starting up, he stood and met her, As she broke the leafy fetter Of her erisping careless way: Gretchen ! "-That was all he uttered Lost the rest-he faltered, muttered- Tongne and eye and brain astray. There before him, proudly taking Freer lines of queenly making, Giving sense of strong surprise; Full her regal presence spurned him, And her scorning withered, burned him Through the furnace of her eyes. Get you gone! I make no trothing With a kerl who counts for nothing- Stand aside and let me pass! " Oh, the sudden, sudden stinging! Back he shrank-and she went singing Down the Autumn's faded grass. Then the reddened sun went over, And, anon, the silent river Caught the moon-spears glinting down; And the gray-stalked water lily, And the tinted wood lay stilly, And the mead and distant town. 136 GAMBRINIUS. On a rock, the Rhine o'erreaclhing, Stood G-ambrinus, death beseeching From tlhc silent underflowv- Fixed of' purpose: ' I am nothing- Be my wooing-be my trothing, With the waters here below." Not so fast, good friend, I pray you- There be reason to delay you- Would you make a time to die Would you culminate this fever Into dismal pain forever, And the Deity defy. "Take my word-it 's worse than folly, Thus to yield to melancholy, And to nullify your life- With a plunge, to make it shorter By a single day, iii water For a woman-not a wife. I admit-did Hly men's mangle Press you sorely, you would strangle With a better show of grace; But to break your brimming cruses Just because a maid refuses, Is a most outrageous case. 137 GAMBRIN US. You must live sir-live to shame her- (You could never live to tame her In the propagating bond), Live to have her sigh and sue yon With a longing to beshrew you When you cease to be so fond. "For nyself, it isn't pleasant To deter you, but at present I am rather full below; And I find it awkward firingP For the tide that's never tiring, Never Ceasing in its flow. You may live in peace and pleasure- Pride and glory without measure, For the coming thirty years I will make you wiser, richer Than the maid who broke the pitcher, And who wept the pearly tears. "You shall live. I swear, to fetch Such a rare remorse to Gretchen, That she '11 come and sue ' the kerl,' And when you find you 've caught her, You can spurn the miller's daughter, And mayhap, the Kaiser's girl." 138 GAMJB RIN US. Now, ot course, Gambrinus hearkened, For the way was dank and darkened, To the quiet underneath ; So lhe forced a smile, and turning: I prefer remoter burning, And accept the further death." Well, good friend, tho pact is settled, Be you proud and proper mettled, When the miller's maid appears; Shun all women-keep you steady; Be you brave and-bo you ready At the end of thirty years." Then the form in green grew faded, Till the last faint line was shaded, And the last light shadlow fled; And the saved and lost Gambrinus, Plus his life, and Gretchen minus, Wandered homc and went to bed. Now, Gambrinus was a fiddler, Or, in equal words, an idler, For he kept no honest call, And his fitter days for sowing, Were declining fast and going Very fleetly into fall. 139 GAMBRINUS. He had wasted days for graping. In a dreamy, dreary scraping Over vibratory strings, When le mighlt have borne the clusters To the brawny, lusty musters, To the end of better things. But the morrows come, and gilders Crowd upon him till he wilders In the rocks about the fells; And, the devil for his Mentor- He became the glad inventor Of the music-making bells. All around the hills with rhyming, Then his chiming bells went climbing, Flinging ringings on the Rhine, And the people paused, admiring, As his bells went on aspiring To a melody divine. Gretchen sat and ceased her singing, When the belfry bells Were swinging, For they gave her cruel pain; And she sighed: " 0, lost, lost lover! Make thine Autumn plainting over! Speak me tender once again." 140 But he heard her not, nor sought her, And she walked beside the water, Halting, songless and alone; And the golden-grown October Found her saddened, now, and sober, To the maples making moan. Later still, a fuller measure Gives he now to Teuton pleasure- More than all his tender bells- In a grotto., green, and shady, There the amber lager made he From the barley on the fells. Lager! bright and clear and creamy- Lager, ripe and rare and dreamy- Oh, the cool, delicious draught! Never c:ime such royal liquor To his lips, as filled the beaker That the noble Kaiser quaft. Soon the court grew all unsteady From the foaming ewers heady- For the lords and ladies drank- And the Queen, who tried to stand hers, Dubbed Gambrinus, Count of Flanders- And they recognized his rank. According to the mythic story, Gambrinus was made Ceumnt of Flanders, by the Kaiserin. GilMBRIN'US. 141 GAMIBRIINUS. Riches, honors on him thickened, Till the spirit in him quickened IUnderneath his merry chimes; And his life ran leal and rarely In among the bins of barley, Like a symphony of rhymes. Never songht be now to fashion Any speech of burning passion, Underncath the maple bough; But his days went on right lightly, And his lhger cheered him nightly, Neithcerfraulin-bound norfrau. Gretchen prayed in vain sorne token Of the Autumn-fever, broken, In the fervid days of old- Sho was free to spurn the trothing "Of the kerl who counts for nothing-" Not the Count who counts the gold. Manyfraulins, fair and gentle, Bowed their braids beneath his lintel, With the tender flush that tells; But he sat and sipped his lager With the Kaiser or the burgher, And he listened to his bells. 142 GAMBRINUS. By and by, the years were wasted, And his merry days had hasted Very nearly to their close; And his corner-clock was picking Out the seconds with its ticking, As he fell into a doze. Satan told the time as fairly As the brewer bought his barley; Not a measure less or more, Duly marked hIe all, and reckoned Every day and hour and second, From the thirty years before. Hither, varlet! slave ! imp! Vinus! Go, inform the Count Gambrinus, That the moon is on the Rhine- That I wait him at the river, Flowing free and full forever. For his soul is mine-is mine I" Vinus went, and sharply tapping, Broke the stillness of his napping, As the door was olen thrown- You 're the Devil's man, I augur, Take a scat and have some lager- I was sound asleep, I own." 143 GA JMBRIN US. "Quite correct," responded Vinus, I am here, Sir Count Gambrinus, On a mission from the Crown; But, I very freely toast you, May the Devil spit and roast you Very done and very brown." "You 're facetious-try another," And the count began to smother From the sulphur in the air; And he felt Belial's skewer, Though he filled the pewter ewer Much as if he did n't care. "IBy great Pluto! I am thinking This is most delicious drinking, Full of life and laugh and song;" "Try some more, sir-my own making." "Would you care, sir, for my taking, Say-a dozen kegs alon " "Care! you ninny! get 'em ready; Do I look so stiff and steady Fill my pewter up again. " Here he drank and paused a little: By the great red middle kittle You 're a grander man than Cain! 144 GAMBRINUS. Then he filled and kept on filling, And thc count was more than willing. For his moments now were gold. Try another! takcc thl pitcher, You will find it riper, richer- Do you mind its being cold" "Fill her np! By Death! I 'll stand her, May you prove a sal-a-man-der!" Here le fairly toppled o'er; Fill the pitcher-fill her level, I'm as drouthy as the-Devil, Just a little, lit-tle more!'" Tlhen Gambrinus kept on pouring, Till lis visitor was snoring, And the night was wearing on; I will lkeep my vigil by hiim, I will wnit and watch anrd ply him 'l'ill the breaking of the davn." On the morrow when the shiver Of tile stuI)Shiic on the river Made the lhenislh border bright, Vinus walied, and stared, arid -,ondered: Into what rare reion blundered [ from everiasting ni-lit 145 GA4 AMBRIN US. Have another mug of beer, sir, We are quiet, privatc here, sir," Said Gambrinus, speaking low. Who are you, sir By old Harry! Hc 's the chap I came to carry To the kingdom down below." Take a mug to make you Rtea(ly- I'm the man, and here, and ready," And he made a sober Low- Ready, are you Poor, frail human ! Why, I 'd rather take a-woman Than to face the Devil now." Get you there as best you can, sir, I will never go to answer For my failure in the trust." Trv another," said the brewer, Holding up a brimming ewer; But he vanished in a gust. Then the years went on renewing, With the brewer at his brewing Still beneath his chiming bells; And the sad, sore-hearted maiden, With a great regret o'erladen, Lingered still along the fells. 146 GAMBRIN US. 147 Then they crowned him King of Lager- All of Satan's scheming maugre- And lhe grew to fullness grand; And lhe drank: "God save the Kaiserl I 'm a better man and wiser, Lighlt of heart and free of hand." Then, for Gretchen, pale and pretty, Ile was filled at last with pity, And he thought to ease hier pailn I will lvcti her," said Ganibrinus- ro that pleasant follow, Vinus. Should he conic this way again." THE GROVE AT ST. ELAMO. HIE Grove at St. Elmo, by moonlight, is fair- Cool shadows, green curtains, long grass, and fresh air- (I envy the man who is domiciled there)- Beneath it the city, dull, smoky, and gray, The river in glimpses, and hills either way. Those beautiful hills, tree-covered and blue, In the mist of the morning-and here, looking through The tangle of vines, as the shine of the moon Falls over the summits, all golden as June, Though late in the August-I wonder how long It wvill be till the truc poet comes with his song- The lilhine halth itscastles of art; its bridges, the Thames: The Iludson. its somnolent hollows--all names Writ strongly in picture-but, standing alone, The cliffs of Kentucky are nearly unknown. If Taylor should come to St. Elmo. and sketch The undulant range of its westermost stretch, And tell in his song, as he told of Cashmere, The eye of the world would be wandering here. (148) THE GROVE AT ST. ELMO. St. Elmo ! I sit in the cool of its vines. Strung to a voice of the tenderest lines-- Strung to the sweetest accord of a song- A heart-cry of passion-" How long how long " Over me glitters the white, bright star, Riiding the sky in the distance far, Riding the sky and filling the sphere With a sense of light and a song of her. Vine after vine, goes out of the yard, Up to the curve of the gray Mansard Of the beautiful house-lines of art Over St. Elmo and over my heart. I hear in the grove, as I linger yet, The steady play of the parlor jet, The steady fall and the music-play Of a western window's fountain spray; I hear it fall in a tinkle brief, Over the ivy's waxen leaf; Over the cypress, frail and fair; Over the cups of fuchsias rare; Fresh and sweet, and pure and cool As the drip of the moss in the mountain pool. The grove of St. Elmo, laid leafy and still, The moonlight fair-the grass-grown hill- I could lie all night in the glow and gaze As the stars go down in the Eastern haze. 149 THE PHOTOGRAPH. iND was there more of tenderness exprest / Than ever yet my tongue had dared to speak, When I but took thy shadow to my breast- When I but touched the semblance of thy eheek I do not know-I did not mean to wound- I could not soil the whiteness of thy life; I see too clear the margin and the bound; I hold too high the sacred name of wife. And yet, Irene-how sweet the natno,-it seems Trliat all the currents of my soul are thine; For 1 have called thee darling in my dreams, And felt the pressure of thy lips to mine. The person for whom these verses were written had impulsively nnl (,ovishIvkissed the photograph of a married lady, in her pres- eice, very naturally giving offense. The atihor was invoked to mahe an apology in rhyme, and the lady pronouinced the apology far worse than the offlnse. I submit the question to the tribunal of the public. ( lo0j THE PHOTOGRAPH. Forgive me, that I sin so in my sleep- I would not that the dream should ever end; Nor would I have thee turn away and weep To find the guilty lover in thy friend. This life is but a shadow at the best, And every day is but a hope denied; And I would take thee silent to my breast, And call thee darling, darling, if I died. 151 This page in the original text is blank. NOTES. JACOB BROWN, from which this little volume takes its name, is a rhyme designed to make laughter from its very broadness. It was sold to Mr. Frank Leslie several years ago, and appeared with handsome illustrations in one of his popular journals. I am much indebted to the wide circulation of his paper for its apparent popular ity. TRUE VERSION was written at the instance of a charming lady., who wondered why I had not employed the figure of the vine and the oak, so common to poetry, in representing man and vornan. She had been widowed long enough to fully authorize me in expressing a belief that the vine generally killed the tree. So, at her suggestion, I wrote the lines down to the last stanza, which is due to her owvn spirit of humor. The MIDNIGHT ROSE and the LAST LEAF were written to the lady referred to above. Many of her friends will recognize the direction of the Midnight Rose, from a familiar knowledge of her social economy. AMETMePSYCHOSIS was an impromptu to a lady friend, from the rare beauty of whose weird ideas the writer has drawn largely. The lines are printed without her consent, but he hopes not without her approval. The LOST CURL speaks for itself. The fair girl who sustained this serious misfortune, should be happy in the possession of many more natural attractions. ( 163) 1NOTES. CULEX IN CARMINE was written for a lady who was good enough to pardon the ideal invasion of a sacred place for the rightful punishment which ensued. If the moral of this poem is at all obscure, the author will be happy to make it plain upon personal application. PARSONS GILES is printed here with timidity. Upon its first appearance-in questionable shape-it inspired a friendly but rather: severe criticism from one well calculated to discriminate betwecn a pleasant humor and a doubtful proprietv. I refer to the cultivated and world-knoWn Dr. II. A. M I Henderson, in whose personal regard I desire always to be held blameless. In the controversy wvhich ensued through the columns of the Couricr-yournal and the Kentucky Freemason, I am at liberty to say there was nothing acrimonious and that the relation of friendship has never been disturbed between us. I print the poem, not in defiance of his opinion, but in defense of my own; for as long as I remain conscious of no desi in to refiect upon the character of the cloth, the mere jarring of a few ill-selected words should not harm me in his opinion or in that of any individual of the class of society to which he belongs, and which I respect more sincerely than any other. 'VEEDS is purely an imaginative poem, based upon the uncharitable view which many persons take of a real distress. It is ever a source of comment among gossiping people when a woman is left alone in the world, and kind-hearted people and ill-natured people are alike free in expression. SELF-SACRIFIcE approaches satire a little nearer than any other of these compositions, but it was not designed to be so, and I disclaim any attempt to cast reproach upon any venerable gentleman. GAMISRINUS is a mere metrical rendering of an old German story, found in a volume entitled " Myths and Myth-makers," by a graceful author whose name I have been ungraceful to forget. 154 NOTES. 155 MAY IN MASON was written for the Centennial of corn-planting by Simon Kenton, in Mason county, at the celebration of which I was honored by an invitation to participate. The RED CROSS will be better understood and appreciated by those who have been stricken with the bare blade, and who have participated with me in libations never to be forgotten. PYTHIAN LINES were written for a brotherhood in whose bonds I am proud to be known. When thes were annouLnced as in hand for publication, an unscrupulous Bohemian, whblo is ever ready to sacrifice a friend at the shrine of a witticism, tonl occasion to remark he was " glad to discover something Pithy in this author's verses." DRAWING IT FINE was intended to point a moral a, wvell as to inspire a smile. If both are not obvious, I have clear '. missed an aim.