The Project Gutenberg eBook of A-Naughty-Biography and other poems

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Title: A-Naughty-Biography and other poems

Author: Mrs. Enoch Taylor

Release date: October 16, 2019 [eBook #60504]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by MFR, John Campbell and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file was
produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)



Some minor changes to the text are noted at the end of the book.





Robert Clarke & Co., Print.





My Dear Five Hundred.”

[Pg v]


My Infancy,7
School Life,20
A “Good-Bye”-ography,56
The Village Belle,61
St. Valentine’s Day,65
The Rainy Day,67
Love’s Longings,70
She Sleeps Beneath the Roses,72
Gone Blind,75
Lines Written by the Seaside,77
Twenty Summers,80
Chiding “Love’s Chidings,”81
Found Drowned,83
The Dark Days of Winter,87
The Song of the Slush,89
[vi] Betrayed,91
Summer Sighings,96
Our Baby,97
Response by Cindrella,100
Answer by Author,100
A Critique on the Morris Lyceum,105
Night’s Phases,114
The Foundling,116
The New Year,121
Spring Specialties,123
The Fair Ape of Phila.,126
Decoration Ode,128
The Honeymoon,130
The Model Man,131
The Stricken South,137
“If ever I Cease to Love”,139
An Appeal for the Memphis Orphans,141
Waiting for Frost,143
George Francis Train,146
Washington’s Birthday,149
Adieu to “My Dear Five Hundred,”152




Full forty years have passed and gone,

Since early on a winter’s morn,

My infant eyes first struck the light.

At once I showed my baby-spite,

To find my new abode so plain,

And half resolved I’d not remain.

If I had unexpected come,

And found this unpretending home,

I might the negligence excused,

But now I felt I was abused.

For half a year the fact was known

That I was on the road to town,

And all the neighbors, far and near,

Said, “Doctor’d bring a baby here.”


And so I came at dawn of day,

A-crying, too, I’ve heard them say,

And found few preparations made—

I’ve often wondered that I stayed.

Plain petticoats and untrimmed slips,

Pewter spoons that scratched my lips,

A cradle made of painted pine,

That rocked so rough it made me whine;

Then three long hours every day

The colic checked my baby play;

For months this griping kept me riled,

And nearly set my mother wild.

At last our troubles seemed to wane,

I thought I’d bid adieu to pain,

When teething time, with all its pangs,

Commenced its course with piercing twangs;

My mother’d walk the floor by day—

My pa by night, I’ve heard them say.

My father, jolly, good, and kind,

Would often half make up his mind


To slap me soundly if I cried,

But his heart would fail him when he tried,

And as he tossed and dandled me

In drowsiness upon his knee,

They say the more he nursed and tried,

The more I always screamed and cried,

And often would each soul alarm

Upon our little one-horse farm.

These trials lasted just a year,

The coast again seemed getting-clear,

When all at once the whooping-cough

Attacked and nearly took me off.

For nine long weeks I whooped and choked,

While mother nursed and father joked—

He was always great to jest and pun,

And turn all troubles into fun—

He said the crisis now was here,

And we had nothing worse to fear.

Alas! his jesting hopes were vain,

The whooping-cough did not remain,


But measles next came breaking out,

The pimples showing, little doubt,

Another siege was mine to bear.

“To all the ills that flesh was heir,”

I felt my infant lot was given,

And really wished I was in heaven.

But quiet comfort did arrive,

And I began to grow and thrive,

And ma and pa could take their rest,

And thought themselves supremely blest.

Just then I first began to talk;

At later date, I learned to walk;

But stammered out my early say,

And stumbled on my infant way,

Till one bright morn in early June,

A baby “brought in a balloon,”

Unjoints my little Grecian nose,

My infant ire at once arose.

Our family now was much too large,

And then it was a fearful charge


For mother, who had much to do.

I’d try to put the baby through.

I’d feel its tiny foot, and sly

Would pinch or scratch, and make it cry,

Or rub its head, with look so meek,

And pull its hair or pinch its cheek;

And mother would at once begin

To look for the offending pin,

That made the “baby waby” shriek,

Ne’er dreaming it was Bessie’s freak.

So, at the early age of three,

Being bad as bad could be,

I never was a minute mute,

And people thought me smart and cute;

The baby was, I’m glad to say,

More good and quiet in its way—

Not half the trouble I had been—

Unless I stuck it with a pin,

Or rocked it hard, and made it cry,

You scarce would know the babe was by.

So time rolled on, and I intent

On infant mischief, came and went,


Till little sister learned to talk.

’Twas I that taught her first to walk;

She’d tumble down—I’d pull her through

And scold her well, and shake her too.

Then she would totter on and cry,

While I would chase a butterfly,

And leave her standing in the lane,

A-wondering when I’d come again.

Around the barn we used to roam,

Or any place away from home;

We hand-in-hand would tramp and play,

From early morn till close of day,

Upsetting all the honest nests

That enterprising hens possessed,

And loving little ducks to death,

And out of chickens squeeze the breath,

Till mother’d come and frown and fuss,

And father, too, to save a muss.

Then homeward bound you’d see us go,

The family party in a row,

But I was nearly always last,

For when my penitence was past,


I stopped at times upon the way,

To finish my neglected play;

And father laughed and mother’d scold

About the black sheep of the fold.

Thus matters stood when I was five,

The hardest little case alive.

We spent the hottest summer days

Working hard at baby-plays,

Making pies of mud and clay,

Hauling sand and dirt away;

Through grass and puddles we would wade,

Till we a hill or ditch had made.

With muddy dresses, tousled hair,

And dirty faces, we’d repair

From lane to road, from road to lane,

Through dirt and dust, through sun and rain.

Our infant lives were passing by,

When all at once, we scarce knew why,

A shadow came upon our home,

And all our household filled with gloom.


Our father, ever good and kind,

Was taken from our midst, to find

A better home beyond the skies,

Which lasting happiness supplies,

And mother and five little ones

Were left to tread the world alone.

But blessings came from every friend

That could a kind assistance lend;

Our lot, though lonely, sad, and scant,

Was brightened and relieved from want

For kindred hearts, with willing hand,

Gave shelter to our orphan band.

Our home, of course, must scattered be

To suit the sad emergency.

Our little circle’s severed ties

Dimmed my mother’s loving eyes,

But still her grateful heart was glad

To know the help and hope we had.

I thought in this extremity,

There’d be a wondrous rush for me,

That I’d be claimed by all our kin,

But found myself quite taken in.


My country aunts took all the rest,

Though, after all, we fared the best.

The oldest boy, my brother Joe,

Who helped my father plough and hoe,

Was my especial pet and pride,

Now, since brother Sam had died.

So, when my city aunt arrived

To take her pick, at once, I strived

To be selected as her choice,

For Joe was pet among the boys,

And then we could together go,

The city sights each other show.

So, sure enough, our aunty came

A-riding grandly up the lane,

And caught me in my dishabille,

Much against my wayward will;

For I had hoped she’d find me clean,

That she might then and there have seen

How well I’d look in city guise.

Why did she take me by surprise?


The Diamond State was then our home,

And aunty came from Quakerdom,

A-looking prim and quite severe,

But still, I felt I needn’t fear,

For I had much to recommend

My ladyship, you may depend.

I dressed myself with special care,

And put on quite a company air;

And, strutting past my maiden aunt,

I wondered what more she could want;

She put her specs upon her nose,

And closely scanned my country clothes,

And asked if I was always good;

Never naughty, pert, or rude.

I shunned her kind but searching eye,

And half resolved, I’d not reply,

As I had nothing good to tell,

My silence might do just as well.

I thought she’d find out, soon enough,

My manners were a little rough,

And did not want to disenchant

My new-made friend, and city aunt.


So, looking meek and kind of shy,

I paused, before I made reply;

Then told her sometimes I was bad,

But blamed the company that I had;

’Twas never any fault of mine,

If ever I cut up a shine,

And any mischief that was done

Was nearly always just for fun.

So aunty smiled, and hoped I’d be

A little lady, and she’d see

If she could take me up to town,

And try to tone my manners down.

I then, at once, desired to know,

If she couldn’t take my brother, Joe.

She said she rather thought she would,

If both would promise to be good.

So off, in haste, I quickly ran,

To tell of aunty’s pleasant plan,

To dream of city’s new delights,

And think of all the wondrous sights

That soon would greet our verdant eyes

And fill our hearts with glad surprise.


So, then we soon began to pack—

Our outfit most was on our back—

Our trunks and traps were small and few,

Which, fortunately, aunty knew.

So, on a balmy, summer day,

We all prepared to start away

To leave our home and mother, kind,

And in the world our lot to find;

When will life ever seem as bright

As that receding from our sight?

So, slowly riding down the lane

We ne’er could call our own again,

Poor mother wept in silent woe,

But thought it best for us to go.

So, next you’ll see the orphan pair

In the midst of city’s stifled air;

No fields, no lanes, no trees to climb,

A-wondering how we’d kill the time.

What earthly goods we’d gladly give,

To get back home again to live!

Our aunty, sensible and kind,

Told us to leave regrets behind,


And, in her wise and pleasant way,

Informed us, life was not all play.

But childhood’s troubles seldom last

Much longer than the cause is past.

The city soon began to be

A wonder and a joy to me;

My aunty got me pretty clothes

And taught me how to turn my toes;

She’d dress me up so clean and sweet

And send me out into the street.

I’d miss the “pies” and “puddles” there

And to the gutters I’d repair,

And play and paddle there in glee,

Till I was summoned in to tea.

My vixen spirit, as of old,

New mischief daily would unfold,

And aunty shuddered, as she saw

How little I respected law;

So, wishing me to live by rule,

She entered me, at once, in school.



One Monday morn in early Fall

We made the nearest school a call,

To ascertain if they would take

A pupil willing to forsake

All mischief and frivolity,

And strictly stick to A, B, C.

The teacher showed a little doubt—

She saw how I began to pout;

I did not like the busy looks

Of slates and pencils, chalk and books—

I felt I’d much prefer to be

A stranger to my A, B, C.

I knew more now, at any rate,

Than many children did at eight,

Then why should I, that was so smart,

Go learning lessons all by heart?

I showed my feelings in my face,

And aunty, vexed at my disgrace,


At once enrolled my naughty name

Upon the future book of fame.

I then and there began to climb

The hill of science; oh! the time

It took to teach me how to do;

But I fought it out, and struggled through.

The teacher seldom suited me—

Indeed, we never could agree;

Her notions always seem so queer,

I wondered why they put her there;

And aunty, too, was odd as she,

Both seemed to be opposed to me.

I felt if ever I grew big,

I’d love to give them both a dig.

At times my patience would give out;

You couldn’t play a bit without

At once, she’d raise an awful fuss—

A little laugh would make a muss.

You couldn’t talk in any peace,

But you’d be told at once to cease,


And look upon your book or slate,

Or be kept in till awful late,

You even couldn’t turn around,

No matter what the sight or sound

That made you want to look behind—

You might have just as well been blind,

Or deaf and dumb, for all she cared—

She always kept you kind of scared.

No matter what you had to say,

She’d surely look another way,

And talk and teach, and teach and talk;

Slate and pencil, book and chalk;

Were ever at her finger ends—

I wonder she had any friends.

Indeed, she hadn’t many there,

Except the good girls round her chair.

They seemed to think her very nice;

I wished they’d taken my advice,

And never mind a word she said;

They soon would found, what motive led

Her to appear so sweet to them,

And that she wasn’t such a gem.


She had a special spite at me,

The reason why I couldn’t see;

She’d scold me soundly every day,

Whether I would work or play;

And then she’d often keep me in,

For just a little bit of sin,

That no one else would scarcely see—

She was just as mean as mean could be.

If it hadn’t been for family pride,

I think I’d left that school or died;

But aunty thought it best to stay,

And she nearly always had her way.

So there I was for one long year,

And then I left without a tear.

I’d learned to read and write and spell,

Indeed, they said I studied well.

My failing was behaving bad,

At least that’s what the teacher said;

But she was always saying things,

And telling tales that trouble brings.

I’ve left her class, I’m glad to say—

I’ll try a new one now to-day.


Alas, a-lack-a-day—ah! me,

I fear we too will disagree;

There’s much that’s new I want to know,

And ask the girls if they will show

Exactly how the things are done,

Besides we want a little fun,

Just to cheer us as we learn—

The teachers are so stiff and stern,

I wouldn’t be one for a farm—

They do the children so much harm;

Though aunty said to-night at tea

That’s what she’s going to make of me.

I don’t know what I’ve ever done

To her, indeed to any one,

That I should suffer such a fate,

Or learn a trade I love to hate.

I tell you what, when I get big,

You’ll see me dance a different jig;

I won’t be sober, staid, and stern,

And try to make the children learn.

Poor little things, I’ll let them be,

Remembering how it was with me.


Just worry, lecture, preach, and scold,

Enough to make a young one old.

At school and home I had no rest,

Was always getting blamed or blest,

And mostly too without a cause,

Just for breaking little laws,

That never should, by rights, been made,

Nor never would by Bessie’s aid.

So, thus my early life was spent,

From class to class I yearly went;

Each teacher seemed to be my foe,

And quite content to have me go;

But still I had my share of fun,

In spite of all the scolding done.

In tricks and pranks I took delight,

And misbehaved with all my might;

In tact and lessons I excelled,

Or I should long since been expelled.

The merits that I got to-day

To-morrow’s marks would wipe away.

But, at the end of every term,

Remorse and resolution firm


Would fill me with a new desire;

But “all the fat was in the fire”

The minute mischief crossed my way,

Which it, alas! did every day.

Thus school life, with its hopes and fears—

At least the first short seven years—

Was drawing nearly to a close,

When, all at once, the question rose—

What should next be done with me.

The teachers gladly did agree,

That I should try my luck and leave—

The high-school might my name retrieve.

So I studied hard, both night and day,

(But leisure took for fun and play),

Till testing time, with questions hard,

Brought me my happy hope’s reward.

I did not pass with honors high—

I guess you know the reason why;

But still I passed, and was content,

And to my laurels proudly went,

And talked as big and looked as wise

As those that got the highest prize;


And felt it was a happy school,

Possessing such a precious jewel.

So, at the age of green fourteen,

I felt as proud as any queen.

A new leaf I resolved to turn,

And study hard and laurels earn;

I stood quite high for one so young,

And could I only held my tongue

I might have been almost a star,

But mischief would my merits mar;

For what I gained by work and tact,

I’d loose by some rebellious act:

I sacrificed myself to fun—

My ablest efforts were undone

By some wild freak or fractured rule,

That put me down a dot in school.

I soon began, as heretofore,

To find the teachers quite a bore,

In interfering all the time—

Indeed it seems a chronic crime,


To be officious and prevent

The pleasures that were my intent.

They so delight in being dry

And dull and stiff. I wonder why?

They looked with frowning doubt and dread

On every thing I did and said.

At times they’d give a sickly smile

At my peculiar wayward style;

But in a moment they would be

A-pointing morals all at me.

As we were taught full forty things,

With names as long as corset strings,

And teachers stern and dignified,

I future punishment denied.

I felt we had our troubles here,

And naught to come was aught to fear.

Away into the quiet night

I’d pore and ponder by the light

That poets call the “midnight oil,”

Some crooked problem to uncoil,


Or draw a map, or parse a verse,

Or write an essay, which was worse,

Or worry with celestial globes—

The very thought my bosom probes

With recollections full of woe.

What good is it for us to know

That Mars has belts or Saturn rings—

A thousand other different things?

That don’t concern this world at all,

Nor never have since Adam’s fall.

Then scanning Milton through and through

Is what I did despise to do;

Nor did I care a single dime

If all his blank verse had been rhyme,

Or was awry or wrong in rhythm,

Or had it been with him—in Heaven.

That Paradise was lost I knew—

I never doubted it was true;

Then why extend the dreary tale,

To worry pupils—maid and male?


Mythology and classic lore

Is such an everlasting bore.

The other poets we’d dissect,

And try their metre to correct—

And murder many of their lays

So sadly that it would amaze

The sainted soul, could it but know

The scandalous scanning done below!

Then algebra, with x and z,

Would always vex and puzzle me,

And make me wish that each equation

Was in the sea, with mensuration.

I’d sigh and cipher for an hour,

And long for calculating power

To get the cube root or the square,

Or puzzle out the proper share

That A and B would have to get

In value either gross or net.

Then hunting rivers, lakes, and bays,

And telling all their different ways


Of rising, flowing, and their end,

Or with what waters they may blend;

And all their lengths and widths and size,

And what each state or town supplies,

Of products, imports, exports, ores

That yearly pass its special shores.

Ah me! the mountains I would climb

To find the height, and what a time

I’ve had with longitudes and poles,

Enough to try poor pupils’ souls—

And tropics, latitudes, and zones,

That gave me geographic groans.

And then we had to daily tell

The capitals and towns as well,

Of territories and of states,

And give in full the different dates

Of settlements and civil wars,

And then we’d have five minutes pause,

Before our history began.

Thus our daily duties ran.

We never knew an hour’s peace;

For if we weren’t in Rome or Greece,


Discussing troubles old and stale,

Some insurrection to bewail,

We’d have our massacres at home,

To fill our hearts with bygone gloom,

Rebellions, riots, rows, and wars,

Breaking all the country’s laws;

But then that was so long ago,

I hardly think we need to know

All those troubles that are past,

It’s bad enough to know the last.

And then I think it’s really vile

To take us through the British isle,

And worry o’er her wars and woes,

Her usurpations, overthrows,

Her kings and queens both killed and crowned.

We’ll never get a single pound,

For all our interest in their fate,

No matter how large their estate.

I’m tired now of history.

I’ve learned it all, and can not see


Why we have to know so much

About the English, French, and Dutch,

And all these men of ancient times,

Their virtue, valor, and their crimes.

We have as many of to-day

As we can well their traits portray.

Then why go back to ages past

To get our heroes for a cast?

Or worry o’er the wars of yore,

When we can have them at our door,

Green and fresh, of recent date,

In our own land, indeed our state?

What trials teachers do invent.

They never seem to be content

Without a torture of some kind

To agitate the pupil’s mind.

And as for rest or idle hours,

The very thought their temper sours.

But study early, study late,

Things you like and things you hate;

Study hard and study long,

Whether you are weak or strong.


I tried my best to keep my brain

Healthy, sound, and free from pain;

I never had it suffer aught

From exercise of weighty thought.

All extra care and overwork,

My great ambition was to shirk;

To save the tissues of my mind,

I’ve always been somewhat inclined!

I’d study just to struggle through,

But not enough to make me blue,

Nor any recreation miss,

Which now I think accounts for this

Entire health which is my boast,

That over study might have lost.

In moderation thus I went

From grade to grade, and was content.

In tricks and trifling, mirth and fun,

Was always passing number one.

The teachers vexed at every turn,

And wanting me to leave or learn,

Would often help me gladly through

Their special class into a new,


Thus hoping then and there to find

More occupation for my mind,

And for themselves relief and rest.

How little my adieus distressed;

For those bereft of such a prize

Looked coolly on with driest eyes!

Once or twice I skipped a grade,

And cast the good girls in the shade,

Thus rid that teacher most entire

Of all the mischief I’d inspire;

’Twas less in learning than in luck,

Together with my tact and pluck,

That helped me prematurely through,

But that is nothing odd or new.

I gushed as much at my advance

As though it was no game of chance,

And never hinted in the least,

As honors on me so increased,

’Twas troubled teachers pushing me

To get me through thus rapidly.


So thus, for two years and a half—

I think of it, and have to laugh—

I spent the chequered, closing days

Of school life, with its blame and praise,

Till all at once the president,

On my departure firmly bent,

Informed me I must now begin

My graduating bays to win.

He seemed quite glad to have me leave,

Indeed, there’s no one seemed to grieve

About my going at this date,

So I resolved to graduate.

My parting essay now I write,

And try sad feelings to excite.

I use the most pathetic strain,

As though I’d willingly remain

To share those sweet scholastic joys

That leaving school at once destroys.

I tried to make their bosoms sigh

For blessings now about to fly.

But, ah! alas, what cool content

My phrases to their faces lent!


I sadly spoke of happy scenes

Of school life, with its hopes and dreams,

Of patient teachers, just and kind,

And wondered if we’d ever find

In life again, such friends as these,

(And, aside, I thought) as hard to please.

I really felt it was a time

When I should utter thoughts sublime,

But no one seemed to be disposed

To feel the slightest discomposed;

Nor could I hear a sob or sigh,

Or see a single moistened eye!

Each teacher that I left behind

Seemed reconciled and well resigned

To hear my valedictory read,

And every parting word I said

Gave pleasure, I could plainly see,

To all the high-school faculty.

That day in June I’ll ne’er forget,

Their happy faces haunt me yet.


So eager, anxious, and content,

To lose a light, ’twas only lent.

I felt their hearts were made of stone,

To be so glad when I was gone.

Our president, so mild and meek,

So happy was, he scarce could speak;

He said my welfare was his aim,

But now my farewell was the same!

So I hurriedly my parchment drew,

And bid the happy school adieu.


Thus I left those hallowed halls,

Its blackboards and its pictured walls,

With maps and charts of every size,

To torture brain and tease the eyes;

And fondly fancied I was through;

I knew twice now what others knew,

And all I had to do was show

My talents off, and catch a beau.


What consternation then was mine,

When aunt’s original design

Was carried out, to have me teach—

I’d almost rather beg or preach;

But as it was her great desire,

And as I had no wealthy sire,

My talents must my banker be—

So I took a class in A, B, C.

Again I must divide my time,

between a share of prose and rhyme;

I taught all day which was my prose—

The rhyme in evening, was my beau.

My daily duties never flagged,

But evening callers often lagged;

I’d wonder too how they could know

My many charms and tarry so!

How often evenings I have sat,

Impromptu welcomes all so pat;

I’d tell the girl to say “I’m home,”

Alas the callers never come!

And I would sit and read a book,

I’d read before, and never look


Disconcerted or annoyed,

Till evening hopes were all destroyed.

Then, disappointed, I’d retire,

And try to think of something higher,

But bitter pangs would rend my heart,

And dreams and nightmares make me start.

Sometimes a beau would happen in,

And make me most commit a sin,

By seeming very much surprised,

When really I had half surmised

That he was coming for a week—

But this was just a girlish freak.

They really ought to like to come,

I made them feel so much at home;

They seemed so happy while they stayed,

And left reluctantly, they said;

And I would often think it true,

And show my sorrow—wouldn’t you?

But, ah, alas! I soon began

To see the sad deceit of man;


I’d sit and watch and wait in vain,

My nose against the window-pane,

Or listen with an anxious spell,

To hear the ringing of the bell,

And bless the beggar that would dare,

To waken hope and bring despair!

Thus matters stood at seventeen—

An age that’s always noted been

For sunny happiness and joys—

And so would mine, but for the boys;

The very ones that suited me,

My aunty never seemed to see

With loving eyes as I desired,

And those she liked I ne’er admired;

And when we did on one agree

He hardly ever fancied me!

The scrapes and troubles I have had,

Enough to make a martyr sad;

These sorrows didn’t happen once,

But worried me for weeks and months.

At last becoming better known,

New suitors I began to own,


And having more, had bitter choice

And had occasion to rejoice

That I was blest with lots of beaus,

But none seemed anxious to propose.

They’d come and go with thoughtless air,

And I, pretending not to care,

Would bid them welcome and adieu,

As sweet and kind as if I knew

Their very heart-throb was for me—

Their lives one line of constancy!

How many sorry sighs I’ve had

About a wayward truant lad,

How oft “unwisely but too well,”

Would love assert its magic spell,

And hold my heart so tight and strong—

I’m glad it never lasted long!

I’ve thought at times I couldn’t live,

Unless Augustus would forgive

The little pique I showed last night,

Done really more in love than spite.

I’ve gone to bed and tried to weep

Myself into a troubled sleep;


But oft the sorrow I’d forget,

Before I found my eyes were wet!

Or Morpheus would my senses blind,

And leave love’s trials all behind.

How kind in Nature to prepare

A heart elastic, that can bear

The miseries and weighty woes

That must attend the age of beaus.

For, with so many different kind,

You couldn’t well make up your mind,

Especially when you didn’t know

Which was destined for your beau.

To wait and wait, and then to find

The wrong one is the one inclined

To breathe his hopes into your ears,

A nuisance is that seldom cheers.

Just after such a blow as this,

I thought I saw much future bliss,

In a student of the “nobby” kind,

So rich and handsome and refined.

But, oh, dear me! my brief delight

Was shattered by his getting tight,


And a love of fully thirty days

Was checked by aunt in many ways.

I thought at last it might be best

To let my student lover rest.

My next, an artist proud and poor,

By chance then living in next door,

Was always at my beck and call,

Which aunty didn’t like at all—

She said he was a fop and dandy.

To me he was so nice and handy,

And then so pleasant and polite,

We had engagements every night;

Till all at once my artist beau

Was told by aunt ’twas best to go—

The love that lasted three long months

Was crushed and killed by her at once.

And then I had an interval

Of several weeks in which to fill

The place of lovers I had lost—

But no one knew the pain it cost,

And nothing but a handsome clerk

I chanced to meet while at his work,


Could make amends for all my woes;

But he, alas! did not propose.

I think he would, but times were hard,

Which often happy hopes retard.

I, knowing this, would not allow

Him any chance to make a vow,

For poverty, though not a crime,

Has always been a dread of mine.

His handsome eyes and wavy hair,

Were great temptations I declare;

And then his love was firm and true

But he hadn’t cash enough for two.

So we sighed in silence o’er our fate,

And wisely thought it best to wait—

The other callers too seemed slow,

I’ve often wondered why ’twas so.

I had no wealth, or charms to praise;

But, then, I had such “winning ways,”

That ought to take, and may-be will—

At least I won’t give up until

I hear from some more hopeful source,

All true love has a crooked course.


I know the chap I’d like to catch—

I think ’twould be a splendid match—

I wonder what he thinks of me?

I’ll wait a while and we will see;

He has a tender sort of way

When he wishes me to sing or play;

And, when the hour comes to leave,

He often looks disposed to grieve.

He’s handsome, too, but awful shy,

Has such a melting, mellow eye,

It makes me reconciled to wait

If just to see, at any rate,

If time won’t ripen his desire,

And sparks of love for me inspire;

And while I wait he’ll never know

I ever wished to have a beau.

Here twice this week, I do declare,

And took me out once to the fair;

I really think he’s coming round,

So I’ll keep cool and hold my ground;

Should he propose, I’ll show surprise,

And stammer, No, with drooping eyes:


That’s the way they do in books,

Nor show their haste by eager looks;

I hope he won’t discover mine,

Nor take in earnest my decline,

It really wasn’t final, nay,

It only meant a slight delay

In making up my maiden mind,

And, in repeating he will find

That after the surprise was o’er,

I’d “love and honor and adore.”

But blessed luck, and happy fate,

That didn’t give me long to wait.

One quiet eve, in early fall,

He came, and made a lovely call;

No other beaus that night appeared,

As both of us at first had feared;

And aunty being out of town,

We didn’t dread her maiden frown.

So being favored thus by fate,

His smothered love he did relate.

Our happiness and new-made bliss

Was sanctioned by the sealing kiss.


I quite forgot the sighs and looks

So recommended in the books,

And answered, Yes, without delay

Or looking once another way.

He found I wasn’t hard to woo,

My answer came so frank and true;

For when you’re suited, what’s the sense

Of being kept in such suspense,

Till silly rules of etiquette

Love’s happy longings all upset?

That evening Cupid’s capers thrived,

Till all at once my aunt arrived;

I fear we guilty look and feel,

Our awkward actions can’t conceal

How matters stand, but I will try

By tact detection to defy.

We treat each other calmly cool,

Talk carelessly of church and school,

Or any subject but the one

That we have just agreed upon.

To please my aunty’s prudish ear,

We shunned the theme to us so dear,


Till passing hours in hasty flight,

Suggest to us a sad good-night.

Now he is gone—how queer I feel!

I wish I only dared reveal

My pent up joy unto my aunt;

I want to, but I really can’t.

She always seemed to like this beau

As well as any that I know,

But then she never thought that he

Would ever care a fig for me;

And now I fear that when she finds

He really loves and has designs,

She might at once discover flaws

To cause her to object or pause,

And then what misery would be mine

No heart could know or tongue define.

The fearful Rubicon is past;

I’ve told her all—her sanction asked,

And she consents—most strange to tell,

I find my suitor suits her well;

But wonders what he e’er could see

In such a wayward girl as me.


Indeed, I’ve often wondered too,

Though other people never knew,

But what I thought I was a prize;

Nor did my suitor e’er surmise—

He thought me all that he desired;

That trait in him I so admired!

For total blindness in a beau

Is one the best gifts that I know;

So, feeling so secure in this,

We might have lived a life of bliss,

But for a couple other beau,

Who thought at once that they’d propose;

They never dreamed of it before,

Nor would till they had been four score.

If I had still kept “fancy free,”

They never would have fancied me.

“It seldom rains but what it pours”—

Too many beaus are often bores.

I cutely kept my matters mum,

But found it truly troublesome;

I told them I was nothing loth

To love, indeed to marry, both—


For still on mischief I was bent,

And seldom said a word I meant;

Must ever have my share of fun

At sad expense of “number one.”

I really felt, I blush to tell,

That I was getting quite a “belle,”

And could afford to put on airs,

When offers tackled me in pairs!

And then, too, I had been so fast

In saying yes, that I would blast

Those tender hopes I lately made—

Two lovers cast one in the shade.

I timed my hours to see them all,

Preventing, thus, a lover’s squall,

And thought my wits were working fine,

When, all at once, that aunt of mine

Commenced, she said, “to smell a rat,”

And then we had a lively spat.

I hardly need to tell the rest—

For aunty always came out best—

And I was then obliged to be

Content with one, instead of three,


And though I loved the first one well,

I missed the two, I blush to tell.

If aunty hadn’t been so queer,

I’d had three lovers all the year,

But now I stuck to number one,

And left the other two undone.

And neither of them seemed to die,

I can not tell the reason why;

They nearly always do in books,

Or turn out bad, which I think looks

More in keeping with their grief.

I wonder how they got relief?

Indeed, I hear they’re living yet,

And doing well, and their regret

Lasted but a little while,

And terminated in a smile

That they had missed the happy chance—

That wasn’t my fault, but my aunt’s.

But dear devoted number one

Forgave the flirting I had done,

And now, as always, I could see

How much too good he was for me.


At once I thought, with aunty’s aid,

I’d try to settle, and be staid,

Becoming worthy of so fine

And noble-hearted beau as mine.

How easy ’tis for folks to talk,

But oh! how hard to walk the chalk.

The only hope that I could find

Was keeping my beloved blind,

An easy task, I’m glad to say.

Till he wanted me to “name the day,”

So what’s the use of waiting now

For consummation of our vow,

When heart and hand and ready will

Are longing for us to fulfill

That little form and loving rite

That permanently hearts unite?

So I shall name an early day,

And wed at once, without delay.

My trousseau won’t be much to get;

Indeed, I’m never one to fret

About apparel new and fine,

Or try my neighbors to outshine.


And then, too, meaning no offense,

To teachers in the abstract sense,

Light and slender was my purse.

To some, I know, that’s quite a curse;

To me, it being nothing new,

My wants were rather small and few.

My preparations soon were done,

Interspersed with lots of fun;

My wedding day was near at hand

And I was feeling mighty grand.

And each of my “five hundred friends”

Got tickets, and the fête attends;

I, robed in white, with fleecy veil,

With orange wreath and courtly trail,

Fancied that, at my levee

They’d all admire and envy me;

But strange to say, I never heard

The very first admiring word!

But then the guests, the gifts, the ring,

And all the joys that weddings bring—

A sweetish scare, I must confess,

Was mingled with my happiness.


I could not see the sense of tears,

When I had been, for several years,

Just waiting for this happy day,

To give my willing self away;

Yet still I trembled as I swore,

“To love and honor and adore.”

My single friends, that disbelieve

My statements, I will give them leave

To marry for themselves, and see

How scared and happy they will be;

My married ones already know

That what I’ve said is really so.

The altar often ends the tale—

The fair one then, that we assail,

Is shelved at once, and cast aside

As soon as she is made a bride;

Now, twenty years of merry life

Is passed—I became a wife.

The “Naughty” heroine, you see,

Has finished her “Biography.”



I’ll say a few words at the close,

In case discussions ever rose

About my traits in after life—

I mean when I became a wife.

A lenient husband’s charity,

In trust and boundless love for me,

O’erlooked my early erring ways,

And filled my ear with daily praise.

Indulgent friends would kindly say

Such pleasant things most every day,

And looked so mildly on my mirth,

It made me overrate my worth,

And feel reformed, as aunty quotes,

“That I have sown my wildest oats.”

The stern realities of life

Will sober down the gayest wife.

The cares and crosses surely come

To cloud, at times, the brightest home;

And mine was not exempt from these,

For sighs and sorrows and disease


Were all, in turn, my painful lot—

’Twere better though they were forgot.

I’ll finish in the brightest strain,

Nor have my friends peruse, with pain,

A clouded page, when my intent

Was solely for their merriment;

They’ll see how short these twenty years,

Beside the first, in print appears.

The reason ’s easy understood:

The traits depicted here are good,

And occupy a smaller space

Than wicked ones I had to trace.

I wanting quite a good sized book,

My sinnings and short comings took

The other side, I do engage,

Would hardly fill the second page.

I’ll say, for fear my friends deplore,

These vixen traits are mine no more;

The heroine, once known as “Naughty,”

Is now reformed—“fair, fat, and forty.”


The heroine, once known as “Naughty,”
Is now reformed—“fair, fat, and forty.”




A verdant youth of modest mien

Fell in love with the village queen,

When strolling through the clover;

And in his homely honest way

Rudely coined what he would say,

And how he’d always love her.

He looked in her coquettish eye,

With hope and fear for her reply;

But she so careless seeming,

Scarce listened to his honeyed words,

But turned their sweetness into curds,

And woke him from his dreaming.

She laughed aloud, with merry glee,

At the very thought of such as he


Presuming to the honor

Of loving her, the village belle;

Indeed, his feelings he must quell,

Nor force his love upon her.

There were a dozen love-sick swains

Awaiting to blow out their brains

When she refused affection;

Which, of course, she would to all but one,

And when the others’ fates were known,

They’d die of deep dejection.

She would not wed a country lad,

Did she want a husband e’er so bad—

She sighed for city suitors;

Uriah’s hopes were sadly crushed,

His tender words at once were hushed,

Her wishes were his tutors.

There’s Harry Banks just fresh from Yale,

Who’s apt and easy at the tale


That Cupid first invented;

He doesn’t blush or stammer through,

As though the art were strange and new,

Act awkward or demented;

But takes the favored fair one’s hand,

With melting looks and accents bland,

He tells his heart’s emotion;

And though he’s often tight, they say,

I like his jovial, genial way,

His lover-like devotion.

I really think my choice is made

In favor of the college blade;

And, though a reckless rover,

I vow his wild and winning ways

Would any maiden’s fancy daze

That craved a dashing lover.

He’ll sow his “wild oats” soon, I know,

And then he’s such a “nobby” beau,

I feel I’m blest to get him;

And Oh, the gay, bright city life,

That will be mine, when I’m his wife,

And the girls that will regret him.


So argued our fair village belle,

And wed the dashing college swell,

And left our poor Uriah,

And all the other sighing swains,

Whose hearts had turned their youthful brains.

And set their souls on fire.

But ah, alas! one little year,

Has changed her happiness to care,

And time too soon discloses,

By sunken cheek and saddened eye,

Her heavy heart and stifled sigh,

Her bed is not of roses.

The dashing beau of other days,

Has lost his soft persuasive ways;

Her city life and lover

Are but a myth to what they seemed,

As she in girlish fancy dreamed,

When strolling ’midst the clover.



This season of old,

We’ve often been told,

Was the time of all others

For youth to be bold;

So the brave and the fair

May venture to dare,

Like the birds of the air,

Their feelings unfold.

This day of the year,

To the young very dear,

Suggests to the heart

A sweet happiness near;

And a hope bright and gay,

May tempt them to say,

On St. Valentine’s Day,

Words tender and queer.

Shy lovers, begin,

Faint hearts never win,

Nor is it a sin


To love wisely and well;

And the coy and the fair

May be yearning to hear,

At least once a year,

What a lover might tell.

So, gents, your attention;

I beg you will mention

To the fair of your choice

Your honest intention;

And should she reject you,

Don’t let it deject you,

But think it an ounce

Of healthy prevention.

They say Cupid’s arrows

Pierce even the sparrows;

The thought surely harrows

The youth of to-day;

For who with right reason,

In love-making season,

Would like by the birds

To be “given away?”



The gentle rain that softly falls,

Befriending earth and ocean,

Awakens many a happy thought,

As well as sad emotion.

It tells of changing Nature’s tears,

That fall to freshen beauty;

It teaches us that gloomy hours

May darken pleasant duty.

Tearful times must come to all,

And joy be mixed with sadness;

Our years are not one summer dream,

Our hearts one glow of gladness;

But like the gentle rain to earth,

Bereaving while it brightens,

A few dark days, in every life,

Each coming blessing heightens.

We greet the golden sunshine more,

That follows after showers,


Just as we welcome happiness

Succeeding dreary hours;

Were years continued summer time,

Or filled with constant glory,

Were Nature always in her prime,

And life one cloudless story,

We’d poorly prize the blessings sent—

No contrast to create content.


I love to live in autumn days,

To linger in their balmy haze,

To ponder in a dreamy maze,

Upon their many glories.

I love to watch the setting sun,

To see the stars come one by one,

And fade away when they are done,

Telling their nightly story.

I love sweet autumn’s golden hours,

Though chilling winds and fading flowers,

Tell of Nature’s waning powers,


Still I love the season;

They speak of ripeness, ere decay

Has swept their beauties all away;

The change of leaf from green to gray

Must charm the dullest reason.

The garnered grain, the golden sheaf,

The varied bough, the yellow leaf,

Teem with beauties, all too brief,

That vanish as we view them.

I’d have the autumn’s gentle sway

Control the year from June to May;

I’d have its glories ne’er decay,

Nor winter snows to strew them.


This golden month, with varied leaves,

So full of waning glories,

Adorns the groves that it bereaves,

And fills the woods with stories


Of fleeting verdure, fading flowers—

Dying Nature’s empty bowers.

It stills the birds and chills the air,

It scatters roses here and there,

Making bush and branches bare

Of foliage and beauty.

The verdant leaves of summer lie

Seared, beneath an autumn sky,

Left to wither and to die,

As Nature’s latest duty.


I dream of thee in dewy hours,

I think of thee by day,

I muse upon thy winning powers,

When thou art far away.

I love to live in love with thee,

To watch thy pensive eye,


To linger in thy memory,

To soothe thy bosom’s sigh.

I fain would have thy love-lit face

Forever turned on me,

Oh, may we not in future trace

One common destiny?

And then together we could tread

Life’s flowery fields as one,

Dependent on each other’s love,

As earth is on the sun.

Each joy in life would brighter be,

If thou wert always near,

And every sorrow lighter be,

If thou wert there to cheer.

So let me linger by thy side,

In love with thee alone,

Should fortune frown or ills betide,

Thy presence would atone.

And blest and happy in thy smiles,

Despite of cross or care,

I’d pray for rare longevity,

Thy holy love to share.


And then when life should cease to be,

And earthly love grow cold,

My songs throughout eternity

Should angel love unfold.


We bore our Bessie’s angel form,

Which now in death reposes,

To the silent grave, in summer days,

When earth was bathed in sunny rays,

When June birds sang their summer lays,

We laid her ’neath the roses.

We watched the form we loved so well,

As the grave so greedy closes,

We heard the sod as it sadly fell,

A heartless tale it seemed to tell,

Its echo like a funeral knell,

Was heard among the roses.


We turned away and left her there,

With flowers around, above her,

We breathed the soothing summer air,

Which bade us hope and hush despair,

We gave our child to angel care,

And trust to God to love her.

We sought our sorrow-stricken home,

Which naught but grief discloses,

Each echo there repeats a groan,

Each merry laugh is now a moan,

For angel Bessie sleeps alone,

Beneath the summer roses.


The Autumn boughs are growing bare,

The leaves are changed and falling,

And dying nature everywhere

Obeys grim Winter’s calling;


The fields bereft of grass and grain,

The waving woods deserted,

The fountains gush, the songsters strain,

To wailing winds converted.

All nature frowns in drear dismay,

As Autumn beauties pass away.

We see them all decay and die,

Each bud and tree and flower,

The trailing vines neglected lie,

Around the summer bower;

O’er slopes so lately pleasure’s haunts,

The withered leaves are blowing,

The broken branch, the barren bough

The sterile grounds are strewing;

Earth’s beauties vanish one by one,

As nature’s yearly race is run.

November’s winds are bleak and cold,

Its skies are gray and dreary,

Its landscapes no delights unfold,

To rest the eye that’s weary.


There’s naught around, beneath, above,

But tells of fading glory,

Each lonely lawn, and leafless grove

Confirms the saddened story;

Earth sobs her grief, and Boreas sighs,

As changing Nature droops and dies.


An early friend, of brilliant mind,

In manhood’s summer stricken blind;

Earth’s beauties faded day by day,

Till views and visions passed away,

And left a blank in the midst of bloom—

A spirit crushed in a life of gloom.

A heart bowed down in manly grief,

No hope of light to bring relief.

His sun is set at early noon,

His rayless night ’s without a moon;

His life’s bright zenith ’s clouded o’er,

To him the stars will rise no more.


No sunny scenes illume his way,

The flowers bloom and then decay,

The planets daily set and rise

Before those yearning, sightless eyes.

To him, all life is one long night,

The season’s change brings no delight;

His vacant orbs scan nothing new,

But stare in vain for one dim view

Of sights and scenes of other days,

When life was full of sunny rays;

He’d freely give all earthly gold

For one glad glimpse of scenes of old.

Familiar faces, favorite friends,

That by his side in love attends;

What priceless gift ’twould be for him

To see those forms, though faint and dim;

To trace the features, watch the eye

Of loved ones, flitting fondly by,

And gaze upon her gentle face,

Whose charms e’en darkness can’t efface.


Oh, could this dreary winter dream

Be gladdened by one golden gleam,

One sunbeam’s blessed brightening ray

Could turn this darkness into day.

But this eclipse, this sunless gloom,

That now makes life a living tomb,

May know no dawn till earthly night

Gives place to heaven’s eternal light.


As I sit by the seaside,

And watch the blue waves

On the boundless bright bosom of ocean,

The roar of the billows,

The sea as it raves,

Awaken ecstatic emotion.

I long for the leisure

To stay by its side,


To linger in love by its beauties,

To listen entranced,

To gaze with delight,

And regret that I have other duties.

I regret that dull life,

With its prosy routine,

Must claim my attention to-morrow;

That I must awake

From my bright ocean dream,

And leave the cool seaside in sorrow.

This world of delight,

This home by the sea,

This hour so full of enjoyment,

How I wish that the future

Had nothing for me

But just such happy employment.

I’d live by the sea,

All these long summer days

I’d watch the bright breakers at even,

I’d wander at twilight,

And silently gaze

On the beauties of ocean and heaven.


Till Luna lends light

To the billowy scene,

That sparkles like gems in its glory;

As tipping the waves

With her silvery sheen.

She nightly renews her bright story.

I’d gaze at the stars

In the heavens on high,

And list to the music of ocean,

Till the moan of the sea

And the zephyr’s soft sigh

Would turn my delight to devotion.

I could muse on those orbs,

Thus mirrored by waves,

In revery live by the hour

By the side of the sea,

As it sighs or it raves,

And dream of Omnipotent power.



On our Daughter’s Birthday.

Thy first bright twenty years have past,

And left an impress that will last

A lifetime on thy brow;

May the moulding of thy gentle face,

Which all the kindly feelings grace,

Be always calm as now!

All nature’s noble gifts are thine,

So carry out her sweet design

In every new career;

Thus radiate delight around,

Make sunny happiness abound,

And bless each future sphere.

Let every grace that now is thine

Be ripened by the hand of time,

Enriched by coming years;

Ennobled and refined by art,

That only culture can impart,

And moral worth endears.


No idle ease nor empty hours

Should dwarf thy mind’s improving powers,

But live with earnest aim;

And strive each happy trait to woo,

Do nobly what thou hast to do,

And grace thy future name.


The cruel word in anger spoken,

Has oft the loving heart near broken,

And left its sting for hours behind,

Upon some dear one’s troubled mind.

How many a day is clouded o’er,

And many a heart made sad and sore,

By thoughtless words that give us pain,

That ne’er can be recalled again!

Our dearest friends should surely be

The ones the last our faults to see,

And then, all leniency and love,

Should by its blind devotion prove


How far above all other ties

In life, our home-hearts we should prize;

Our wedded love’s responsive thrill

Should be the same through good and ill.

Away with love that’s only lent

Till all the summer hours are spent,

That fades and cools as cares increase,

That comes and goes with each caprice.

Ah! no, the love for which we yearn

Will through all age and error burn,

Will live and light our winter days,

And be the same in blame and praise.

True love is trusting, patient, pure,

Is constant, kind, and will endure;

It never chides, but soothes the breast

That sighs for sympathy and rest.

One broken chord may wreck a life,

One angry word may start a strife,

And chill the love that early won,

That should be life’s domestic sun.



There drifted a form on the banks of a stream,

As pretty and fair as poet’s young dream;

With her worn, draggled dress and her small tattered shoes,

Her golden hair floating dishevelled and loose;

Her pale, haggard face, so sad in repose,

Told tales of a life beclouded by woes;

Her small dimpled hands lay listless and cold

Across her fair breast, where sorrows untold

Had made her young heart in misery old.

Her poor glassy eyes, now death dimmed and blue,

Looked vacantly out, as if bidding adieu


To a world that had shunned her, to friends that denied

Love, kindness, and pity in self-righteous pride:

Who can she be, this fair one unknown,

Has she a history, has she a home?

Was life ever bright to her, friends ever kind?

Why did she seek thus oblivion to find—

This blankness and Lethe for body and mind?

Did nobody love her, did nobody wait

In crazy anxiety as to her fate?

Had she no father, no husband, no brother,

Had she no dear, tender sister or mother,

To watch for her coming and wonder and wait,

Impatient and anxious, because she’s so late?


And when she comes not, is there no one to miss her,

No one to seek her, to love her or kiss her?

Will nobody come to claim the fair clay,

Will friends all forsake her in doubt and dismay?

Must this disappointed, mistaken young life,

Gone out in its misery, not end the strife?

Will forgiveness not come, even if error were there,

To the clay of this victim of hopeless despair?

Did life in its springtime to her seem so sad,

That living was sorrow? Ah, mayhap she had

Crushed hopes and affections too heavy to bear,

So she seeks dissolution in crazy despair.


To live would need courage, to die would end all,

So she leaps in the dark, e’er her Maker doth call.

“Found Drowned” is the verdict too sad to believe,

No kindred to sorrow, no loved ones to grieve,

Doomed to desertion, both living and dead,

No mourners to follow to the place she is laid;

By strangers she’s buried, unwept and unknown,

Thus ends a brief life, misery marked for its own.



As gloom gathers round, the dark days of winter,

And the season of shadows, beclouds the bright skies,

The heart becomes tinged with pensive emotions

As Nature, in mourning, thus withers and dies.

We recall the sweet hours of retrospect pleasure,

Of green haunts of happiness—lately our own—

Of gay, joyous scenes, and sweet summer fancies,

Engendered by beauty and brightness alone.

Adieu to the charms of summer and autumn,

That each, in their turn, fill life with delight;


We love Nature, budding or blooming or ripened,

We cherish its beauties—regretting their flight.

But the dark days of winter must come to the seasons,

That change, in their rounds, from the bright to the drear;

And, though we deplore their cold dullness and darkness,

We can’t hope for springtime all thro’ the year.

These dull, dreary days, these clouds, gray and heavy,

That hang, like a pall, over Nature’s fair face,

But serve to enhance each gleam of gold sunshine,

When new-waking Nature its beauties retrace.



The slush, the slush, the terrible slush,

That streams from each pore of the earth with a gush;

Impeding the travel, making walking a woe;

All on account of the “Beautiful Snow.”

From each roof and tree, great drippings we see,

Making gutters and crossings quite up to the knee;

The sidewalks so icy, the pavements a show;

All on account of the “Beautiful Snow.”

From the time that we leave the sill of the door,

“Eaves-droppings,” in torrents, all over us pour—


Such splashing above, such slushing below;

All on account of the “Beautiful Snow.”

Then we slip and we slide, as we try to proceed;

Tottering and trembling, like a wind-waving reed.

This icy mud-mixture makes traveling so slow;

All on account of the “Beautiful Snow.”

The soot and the slush, the mud and the smoke,

Make that pure, pretty poem a dark, dirty joke;

With a nature poetic, we certainly know

No “Queen City” bard wrote “Beautiful Snow.”



I knew a rustic beauty once,

A happy-hearted maiden,

Whose life seemed bright as summer days,

And as she watched the autumn rays,

With love of nature’s works and ways,

Her heart seemed always laden.

She loved her quiet, rural home,

In all its sweet sedateness,

She’d stroll along with happy air,

Regardless of a coming care,

Supposing joy was everywhere,

And dream of future greatness.

Her bright, blue eyes would seek the skies,

In wondering admiration,

She’d roam at will, from wood to hill,

Or sit and dream by rock and rill,

As if she yearned her soul to fill

With love of God’s creation.


Could her young life ne’er known of strife,

Nor seen but rural beauties,

That happiness might still be hers,

Where anguish now her bosom stirs,

That always follows each that errs

Against life’s hallowed duties.

A suitor came, in city guise,

A gay and dashing lover,

He woos this simple-hearted girl,

He tells her of the city’s whirl,

Where fascinations all unfurl,

And pleasure’s cup runs over.

She soon would scorn these rustic scenes,

So tame to riper vision,

Her beauty buried out of sight,

Her love spent on some country wight,

Her life without one gay delight,

Would mark her future mission.

She loving heard his dangerous words,

And, with fond trust believing,


She listened by her favorite stream

To tales of love that made life seem

Enchanting as a fairy dream,

Nor thought of his deceiving.

She quit her happy, rural home,

To share his boasted pleasures.

Alas, her love was soon despised,

He left her e’er she had surmised

That he, bereft of all she prized,

Was least among her treasures.

Crushed beneath that heavy blow,

She sank in deep dejection;

Her happiness is changed to tears,

Her purity to guilty fears,

Estranged each friendly face appears,

And dead each fond affection.

His broken vows near drove her mad,

His treacherous desertion

Made desperate every hope she had,

To her the rest of life was sad,

Not even innocence to glad

Or shield her from aspersion.


She, broken-hearted, crush’d and wrong’d,

Who erred through blind devotion,

Could ne’er regain her home and friends,

Nor could a lifetime make amends,

Nor dull the pang her bosom rends;

She’d die and end emotion.

She seeks the brook that once she loved,

By stealth in twilight hour,

And, musing on that peaceful scene,

She sadly thought “what might have been,”

Had traitors love, with gilded mien,

Not charmed with subtle power.

Then came the flood of bitter tears,

Heart-chiding and misgiving,

When stilling all her future fears,

As she a fancied footstep hears,

She takes a leap and disappears,

And ends the pain of living.

Despairing death her early doom,

Young, wretched, and mistaken,


Her innocence and beauty gone,

Her life cut off in early morn,

Her broken heart in anguish torn,

Deserted and forsaken.

And where is he whose treach’rous wiles

Have driven her to madness?

Whose hollow heart and sinful soul

Betrayed, while under love’s control,

The trusting heart we here enroll

Upon life’s book of sadness?

Her icy form drifts down the stream,

While he pursues his pleasures;

The world looks on his murd’rous deeds

With leniency, and scarcely heeds

The ruin wrought, or wrong that pleads

For justice in God’s measures.



We want to go to “Iceland,”

Or to the “polar seas;”

We want to hug an “iceberg,”

Or raise a “family breeze;”

We want to see a white frost

All o’er our grassy earth;

We want to have a snow storm

Give winter early birth;

A “cold” would be a godsend,

Indeed, we’d like a “chill;”

A “coolness” with our dearest friend

Would help to “fill the bill.”

A “cool reception” we’d enjoy,

Also, a “freezing” bow,

And “frosted feet” we’d think a treat

If we could have them now.

We’d like our home an “ice house,”

Our bed a bank of snow,

We’d have “refrigerator” cars

To take us to and fro;


We’d love to live in Lapland,

For reasons of our own,

Or spend our summer holidays

Within the “frigid zone.”

Why they call this world a “cold world”

We surely cannot tell,

We think this summer proves it

Almost as hot as “Hades.”


Our precious babe, our household pet,

“The well spring of our pleasure,”

Each hour welcomes some new art

Endearing this our treasure;

Its many little winning ways,

Its cunning tricks and baby plays

Bewitches beyond measure.

We watch it bud from day to day,

Developing new beauties;

A wonder in precociousness,

Performing baby duties;


It laughs, and coos, and “patty cakes,”

And plays with rings and rattles,

And reaches out its dimpled hands.

For all the goods and chattels

That tend to brighten babyhood.

And for them begs and battles;

Then laughs and leaps in gay delight;

And kicks and crows its pleasure,

Rejuvenates our quiet home

And fills our hours of leisure,

Till “tired nature” claims the sway

And gives the household holiday.


Cremation seems to some to be

A matter of economy;

To save a heavy funeral fee,

Thus cheat the undertaker.


It has always been our great desire

To wholly shun post mortem fire;

We’d hate to roast a son or sire,

Or be a body baker.

How those that like this novel plan

To inflamate the corpse of man,

May use the funeral frying pan,

And gather up the ashes.

But we truly trust that our friends,

When our demise their bosom rends,

Will in their sorrow make amends,

Omitting cinder hashes.

No matter if the freight is low,

Or if we were a deadhead through,

Who’d want to be a broil or stew—

Thus to the turkey leveled?

Oh, no! we hope that our fate

Will be postponed till it’s so late

The fashion will be out of date,

And then we can’t be deviled.



Not for you cremating pyre,

Because “it’s been your great desire

To wholly shun post mortem fire,”

And thus to save your “bakin’.”

Because you have this hope behind you,

Don’t think your master will not find you,

Tho’ deep in earth they have consigned you,

Beneath a lying stone.

When earthly things do fade from view,

And all the chances you’ve run through,

Then will the devil have his due,

And he will claim his own.


There is, we find, a class of folks

Opposed to our cremation jokes:

’Twere vain for us to try to coax

Them out of cinder-ation;


For furnace heat they sigh at heart,

They’d ape the goose or gander part,

Or baked like pudding, pie, or tart,

Be dessert of creation.

To such we would sincerely say,

Their fiery instincts should obey,

We would not have our wishes weigh

Against incendiaries;

But let them burn or bake by rule,

As suits the taste of sage or fool,

Our greatest aim is to keep cool,

Nor cross the Stygian ferries.

Cremators seem to pine for fire,

Nor would we quench their warm desire,

Though our hope is something higher,

We here would mildly mention:

If they their loved ones would ignite,

And think a burning bier is right,

Why let them take a fiery flight

“Where they pave with good intention.”



Hers is a rayless night;

No star or gleam of light

Beams o’er the widow’s blight,

As she sits alone.

Oh! could her tears that flow,

Wash out her woman’s woe,

Brown every sorrow’s throe

And misery’s moan.

She has a sunless sky,

Sadly to sit and sigh,

Her hope is but to die

And end the pain;

She thinks of other days

When life had sunny rays,

Such thoughts as nearly craze

Her busy brain.

Crushed hopes crowding come,

Dead joys, in a darkened home,


Lost love so lately known,

Make life so drear;

What is there left her now?

What peace has earth to show?

What bliss can life bestow

That once was dear?

She sits in twilight dim,

Vainly awaiting him,

Watching the shadows grim

Go faintly past;

Till night, lone and still,

Veils earth, dark and chill,

How kind could sorrow kill

By one cold blast.

But there she sits alone,

Lists for that tender tone,

Lately it was her own,

Fondly to hear;

How all is still and cold,

No ray can hope unfold,

Her young heart has grown old

In one short year.


Life’s early winter ’s come,

Clouded her happy home,

Made grief and woe her own,

Heartsore and sad;

Who could existence crave?

Her love is in the grave;

Would she die and save

Her going mad!

Heart bowed in deep despair,

Oh, God! hear thou her prayer;

Let time her loss repair,

And spring once more

Smile o’er her clouded years;

Give her the hope that cheers,

Wipe out her widow’s tears

And peace restore.



The first on the list is President Boyce,

“The head of the heap,” and the Lyceum’s choice,

Whose seeming set habits in bachelor ways

Is all that robs him of womanly praise.

The next that comes under my critical pen,

At the president’s table sits fair Mrs. Glenn,

A lady so rich in pleasing pen powers

That we oftentimes wish her minutes were hours.

And then Mr. Cole, so sober and sage,

Whose late recitations have been quite the rage;


He, too, ’s in the market—I beg you won’t tell,

For the girls will pursue him and find it a “sell.”

Now dear Mrs. Goodrich, our matron of mind,

Who can be both Biddy and Lady combined;

With much versatility, logic and fun,

We welcome her always as “A Number one.”

In strides Mr. Hollister, tall and profound,

Who refuses to see when a laugh may be found;

Who relishes Bennett’s rejecting Miss May,

As though the stale tidings were fresh of to-day.

Then chimes the “sweet singer,” Miss Huston—Ah, me!

What would the Lyceum do without thee?


With her silverest tones and dreamiest look,

To recite the sad “Bells” and sing the sweet “Brook.”

In trips Enoch Taylor with humor and fun,

As “Dundreary,” or “Paddy,” or “George Washington;”

He has a strong weakness for “Widow Bedotte,”

Indeed, for all widows a weakness he’s got.

See the bright star, May Donally, rise,

Whose musical voice and luminous eyes

Make her so brilliant in reading and song,

We wish we could teach her refusing was wrong.

Boyd, the “tall barrister,” drawls out his say

In his sensible, lazy, lack-a-daisical way;


He declaims or debates, according to choice;

He’s a bachelor, having no partner but Boyce.

Then Mrs. Thorne, whose husband is Joe,

Smilingly reads, in tones soft and low,

Good articles, essays, poems or prose—

She’s happy at any you choose to propose.

Now comes Col. Finch, so jolly and jocose,

Who lately, I think, got slightly morose

Because “Brother Watkins” fell flat on our ears,

And failed to bring any spectators to tears.

Mr. Babbitt’s a name suggestive of soap,

Clean records and linen, and giving a scope

For a lawyer of merit, who’s modest and shy,

To make him a mixture to “concentrate lye.”


Then Mrs. Jones and Coffin come in,

Gentle, sweet readers as ever have been;

Selected to serve in meter or prose,

They recite “ready made” or sweetly compose.

Mr. Baker, who next breaks out in debate,

Is a favorite here, and I think I may state

Our friends will find it instructive delight

Attending his lecture here, next Friday night.

Welcome Miss Fish and Miss Boyd, in their turn,

Who know so much now they have little to learn;

They give us at times an essay or two,

Well written and read, and then they are through.

Now pretty dame Stone is a hard name to puff,

And to stick to the truth would be very rough;


For the gents, as she reads, the author defies,

And lose their ideas in the light of her eyes.

Col. Taylor, the “chronic debater,” appears,

Who argues regardless of scruples or fear;

Our “smiling attorney” don’t fret about sin,

But espouses the cause that’s surest to win.

The sensible, cynical Simpson Glenn,

Scares us and scathes us with critical pen;

He’s not over pious, I’ve heard people say,

But would be a Christian, were the Tempter away.

McLaughlin, why will you persistently part

Your hair in the middle, thus touching the heart


Of the girls of our church? I think it is wrong;

For forgiveness you’ll have to sing us a song.

Now sweet Mrs. Worth, our directress and guide,

Her name and her nature so closely allied;

Her gay, happy face and her laughing, bright eyes,

Are a light in the Lyceum the male members prize.

Mr. Goodrich writes quaintly, a style of his own,

But favors us seldom, if we let him alone;

His smiling refusals don’t quite fill the bill,

Though he fancies the sugar will cover the pill.

See, brilliant and bright as an evening star,

Our “brunette contralto,” Lucebia LeBarr;


With Miss Mary Taylor, whose talent is fine,

Executes harmonies almost divine.

In stalks Frederick Peer, the “tragedian knight,”

So happy in “Hamlet,” so good to recite

The “Wreck” or the “Richards” either one, two or three—

A Booth in the future I think I foresee.

Now gentle Miss Conkling, of rustic renown,

Has kindly consented to honor the town

And favor our meetings, in spite of the trains,

And cheer us and charm us with musical strains.

The next new delight we wish to impart

Will be in the person of Johnny B. Hart;

So modest in manner, so earnest in mind,

Has piety, talent, good nature combined.


By the way, he will lecture on the 10th of this May

Concerning Victoria’s blest reign of to-day;

With so fine a speaker and pleasant a theme,

The church will be filled with “la crème de la crème.”

In pops pungent Pape, with his poem from Poe,

Distorted, dissected till you hardly would know

How it could of all grace be so thoroughly shaven,

Could the poet arise I know he’d be “Raven.”

Last though not least, is Mrs. E. Taylor,

Of fair ones of forty, I think I’ve seen frailer!

But she’s blest with one beauty, she never gets blue—

Not even in bidding the Lyceum adieu.



In sable mantle wrapt at rest,

Behold the glorious, gorgeous night,

Its firmament in splendor dressed

Its canopy the starry height,

Whose sparks illume and light the land,

And make e’en darkness bright and grand.

Then comes the moon with silver glow,

Whose mellow rays both charm and cheer,

Benignly blessing all below,

Before whose brightness disappear

Clouds and shadows, mists and shades,

Till silver sheen all earth pervades.

And then the mild, soft summer night,

With genial zephyrs, gentle dews,

Whose balmy breath wafts rich delight

O’er summer slopes where nightly strews


The ripened roses’ perfumed leaves,

Nor robs the flower that it bereaves.

Then comes the frosty winter night,

With crystal boughs and icy brooks,

With snow-capped hills, afar and white,

A-lending light to earth’s dark nooks,

Diffusing rays and borrowed gleams

O’er darkened woods and shaded streams.

And then behold the dreary night,

Without the spell of moon or stars,

Whose somber silence seems to blight

Earth’s finest phase, and chills and mars

The lonesome landscape, crowds the mind

With weird, wild fancies undefined;

And gives each form a phantom shape,

Creating visions gaunt and grim,

And, as a pall that mourners drape,

The clouds surround the shadows dim,

Filling the heart with nameless fears,

Till night’s dull darkness disappears.



As I sat by my window one cool autumn eve,

And watched the dim shades on the opposite lawn,

From my silent surroundings sweet fancies I weave,

Unmindful of time and the approach of the dawn.

There I sat in the quiet and beauty of night,

Till the sentinel stars grew dim with the light.

When recalled to myself from the silence around,

While Nature was sleeping in peaceful repose,

By the meager approach of a weak, wailing sound,

Which on the night air at intervals rose,


Growing faint and fainter as the evening chill

Crept over the landscape so somber and still.

Whence comes that faint cry so plaintive and thrilling,

That dies on the air at each waft of the breeze?

Why creeps o’er my heart this sensation so chilling,

As I listen enchained ’mid the rustle of trees?

At length all is quiet but the night-watch’s tread,

So I hasten beside him, and tell him my dread.

Together we seek in the dimness of dawn,

’Mid grass and dead leaves becovered with dew,

To unravel the mystery heard on the lawn;

And the darkness dispelling, we find it too true,


That a babe, sweet and chubby, but a week or two old,

Is lying neglected alone in the cold.

In a coarse blanket-shawl, soiled, ragged, and old,

Lay the poor little sleeper, the picture of grief,

Aweary with weeping and hunger and cold,

Kind nature had brought it this happy relief,

Its downy cheeks wet with the cold evening dew,

Its chubby fists doubled and dimpled and blue.

A moment we gazed on its rude little bed,

And wondered what misery it must atone,

Why it was left there—what mystery led

To expose it to perish, forsaken, alone,


Was it treachery, wickedness, want, or woe,

That tempted the mother to abandon it so?

I lifted the babe from the damp, chilly ground,

Which awakened the sleeper from its sobbing repose,

And casting a startled and wild look around,

It nestled again in an infantile doze,

While I carried it home to fire and food,

Dressed it more cleanly, less common and rude.

A sweet little girl, fat, rosy, and fair,

By Nature’s endowments all any could crave,

With gentle blue eyes and light downy hair

(On a snowy broad brow), inclining to wave;


In form sweetly perfect, in face near divine;

For such do our wealthy ones daily repine.

This poor little waif, unwelcomed has come,

Been rescued by chance from hunger and cold,

How early life’s trials for it have begun,

How many new fears may its future unfold!

Left helpless and homeless to strangers alone,

With not even a name to claim as its own.

Now the watchman returns for his foundling care.

I resign it reluctantly into his arms,

The babe is adrift again—O whither and where?

Will it find security from life’s alarms?


It may never know father nor mother nor home,

Kind heaven protect it from evils to come.


The year is an infant, new-born and pure-hearted,

No blur on its beauty, no tear on its cheek;

How long will it last, when the calendar ’s started,

In innocent purity? How soon will it reek

With sorrow and sinfulness, woe and unkindness,

Till the whole year is blotted with error and blindness?

Each happy new year brings good resolutions,


Which wane and wear out ere the change of the moon;

We picture new plans at each revolution,

Which we find, when to late, have failed us too soon,

And our visions of happiness, pleasure, and cheerfulness

Are changed, ere the end, to sorrow and tearfulness.

Oh, would that this year, unlike all preceding,

Could show a clean record of well-kept resolves—

Good plans well perfected, fair promises heeding—

Instead of a picture that daily dissolves;

Then, indeed, would our future be free from all care,

Were our pledges and vows kept all through the year.



Spring smacks of lamb and peas and eggs,

Of rural trips and pleasure,

New jaunty hats, and pants with legs

A yard around would measure;

Of light cloth suits for gents to wear,

And kilted skirts for ladies,

Who sally out to get the air

When the house is hot as Hades;

It tells of times when overcoats

Are being pawned for summer,

When furs are in the camphor chest,

And each officious drummer

Commences sale of china glue

And extra patent polish,

When heads of houses gladly would

Each canvasser demolish;

When brush and broom, and soap and sand

Are order of the season;


When cleaning paint and scrubbing floors

Would rob you of your reason;

When home looks damp, and smells of suds,

And dust and dirt are plenty;

There’s not a happy husband then—

I’m sure not one in twenty—

And the only hope they have to cheer,

The season comes but once a year.


Music, blest of all the arts,

We prize thy melting measures,

What other power so imparts

The magic to awaken hearts?

We’d have a line of crowned Mozarts

To tune our lives to pleasures.

Music soothes the infant’s sighs,

And lulls its baby slumbers;

Its charms cement domestic ties,


Each home its mellow measures prize;

It kindred hearts will harmonize

And chain by tuneful numbers.

Music cheers the bridal hours,

Each happiness it heightens;

It stirs, it animates, empowers

The love and hope that may be ours,

And ripens buds of bliss to flowers,

And every blessing brightens.

Music stirs the warrior’s fire,

And goads him on to glory;

It kindles every brave desire

That love of country can inspire,

And makes the hero’s heart beat higher

To ’dorn a patriot story.

The church’s choicest gift and best;

Its harmony and gladness,

Music’s strains, religion’s zest,

The Christian’s cheering balm and rest,


When hope seems dark, and heart depressed

It charms away the sadness.

Last, music of the funeral train,

So slowly, sweetly sighing;

It softens weeping mourners’ pain;

It tells of rapture we’ll regain

When heavenly transports we attain,

And soothes the dread of dying.


We have just read the news,

Which gave us the blues,

That a monkey was born in that city;

An honor so rare

We wanted to share,

So jealousy seasoned our pity.

To have the fair ape

Show its infantile shape


First out in that public garden,

So far away from

Her country and kind,

Aloof from her comrades

She never may find,

Nor the trees of the tropics,

For which she has pined,

Her case is truly a hard one.

This young kangaroo

Born out at the Zoo,

Made a ripple in public feeling,

Which gushes and glows,

And clamors and crows,

Unjointing at once,

Each Darwinian nose,

All love from foreign apes stealing.

A Quakeress monkey

Is a curious thing,

A grave and gay combination;

Its infantile antics

’Twill have to bring


Into sober sedateness;

And, poor little thing,

Away all its native

Amusements must fling

To claim its Quaker relation.

We can’t help thinking

’Twould have been for the best,

Could this fair young ape

Been born out West,

Though the Darwin theory goes to prove

Its right to the city of “Brotherly Love.”


Bring fragrant flowers, rich and rare,

Let wreathes and roses scent the air.

Go strew them freely o’er the graves

Of buried heroes, sainted braves.

The noisy din of war is o’er,

The battle drum shall wake no more.


Now quietly their bosoms rest,

Those silent hearts by valor blest.

On sacred soil their ashes lie,

Blest beneath a summer sky;

Their deeds of glory, brave and bold,

Their valiant will, their dying told,

Their honest hearts were in the strife,

For liberty they gave their life.

May every patriot in our land

Beside those sainted heroes stand,

And fill their names with warrior praise,

And deck their graves with lasting bays.

May woman’s gentle, soothing voice

Now sing sweet anthems and rejoice,

That, as she wreathes the flowers o’er

The mounds of loved ones, now no more,

Their names and deeds will ever bloom,

While flowers fade upon their tomb.

They’ve fought their earthly battles well,

We’d crown them all with immortelle.



With “loves” and “doves”

And white kid gloves

The “honeymoon” will wane away;

Each turn ’s a kiss,

This new-born bliss

Will last for thirty days, they say.

With gifts and glances

And wedding dances,

The time speeds onward far too fast;

Such blushing, sighing,

There’s no denying

This novel love ’s too sweet to last.

They love and languish

In blissful anguish,

Till all around swims with delight;

Their vows and pledges

Set your teeth on edges,

And they “bill and coo” till it dims your sight.


They seem so spooney

They’re almost luny,

This pair so lately joined in one.

They loll and linger,

Toy with hand and finger,

And think life’s pleasures just begun.

Mistaken mortals!

Life’s opening portals

Admit a glare too bright too last;

And “loves young dream,”

Which now may seem

Elysian joy, will soon be past.


I have an ambition to try to portray

In rhythm a masculine model;

So seldom such rarities brighten my way

To the fields of wild fancy I’m driven to stray,


And to paint my ideal in a rhyming array

Will force me the muses to coddle.

Well, this model of mine is married, of course,

For how could a bachelor be one?

So I gauge him by marital morals and force;

As a husband, he merits a crown for a cross,

For he acts as a beau instead of a boss—

I’d go to the moon to see one.

He seldom or never goes out after night,

As other men do, less devoted.

To lodges and clubs, and to see every sight,

Whether it be wrong or whether it be right;

He never comes home either cranky or tight—

A fact which should be duly noted.


He never comes in from the office and cowls

If dinner is late or not ready,

Nor frowns nor feazes, nor fusses nor howls,

Nor goes round the house and grumbles and growls,

Nor blesses the knife as he cuts up the fowls,

But always seems happy and steady.

He’s a model, indeed—content on a crust.

No sighing for honor or riches;

He’s as blind as a bat to cob-webs and dust;

Nor any domestic derangement or rust

Would he notice for worlds, for fear of a muss—

His thoughtfulness truly bewitches.

A buttonless shirt, or a hole in his hose,

He views with happy contentment.


Nor savagely scowls if his best Sunday clothes

Get mussed in the closet; nor blusters nor blows,

Nor curses the rocker for stumping his toes;

My model is free from resentment.

He never keeps letters for days in his hat

That I give him to mail in the morning,

But mails them at once, so punctual and pat.

Whether it’s from duty or fear of a spat,

I’m prepared not to say; I only know that

He mails them without further warning.

He never complains of long dry goods bills,

Nor squirms when the shoe bill ’s presented;

Nor scolds nor scowls when the milliner fills


A long sheet of foolscap with bonnets and frills,

But pays like a man, if it breaks him or kills,

With an air that’s resigned and contented.

And then too, he’s ever so ready to go,

At the sound of the slightest suggestion,

To the opera, theater, lecture, or show;

Consenting at once, he never says no,

Nor looks bored and cross if it’s stupid or slow,

But retains the same happy expression.

He does not complain, in our travels, of trunks,

Or baskets, or bundles, or boxes,

But smilingly looks at the over-stored bunks

In happy complacence—never worries or spunks;


This model of mine ’s no cross, surly lunks,

But a martyr quite equal to Fox’s.

My ideal man don’t growl for a week,

Should I get a few duds for my travels,

But gives money and time, to sew and to seek

New dresses and wraps, too many to speak,

And seems to enjoy each extravagant freak

That the mystery of toilet unravels.

Some men will forget in their every-day lives

The courtesies due to their spouses;

They get kind of used to their homes and their wives,

Neglecting the walks, the chats, and the drives,

Upon which connubial happiness thrives;

But devotion in mine never drowses.


Now, gents, stop your blushing; I did not intend

To step on the toes of a single male friend.

Your modesty might personalities dread,

So I will say that this model depicted—is dead.


[Summer of 1878.]

The pestilence that gaunt and grim

Stalks through our sunny land,

Leaves traces marked with misery

In many a broken band;

It scatters friends and severs ties,

And makes whole cities wail,

Neglected dead unburied lies

To tell the mournful tale.

One fickle moon has scarcely passed

Since first that blighting blow

Crushed hopes of years—all aims of life

Seemed paralyzed with woe;


Bereavement, blight, and bitterness

Reign o’er our stricken land,

And leave the lone and desolate

Beside their dead to stand.

Their sunny skies in beauty smile

O’er scores of scenes of woe,

And seem to mock the misery

The fatal records show;

Dread burdens every waft of breeze

Which pestilence imparts;

The very balmy air they breathe

Brings poison to their hearts.

Their streets deserted, kindred fled,

All busy life is still;

Their household gods all scattered lie

Before death’s dauntless will;

A grave-like silence reigns supreme,

No sound but moans and sighs

That echoes on the quiet air

As some new victim dies.

Fond lips that prayed but yesterday

Around the social hearth,


Are closed in death’s oblivion

And mute to sounds of earth;

Babes and mothers rest as one

Beneath the silent sod,

Together summoned sire and son

Before the bar of God.

For bleeding hearts and stricken homes

We plead thy pitying care,

And beg for mercy at thy will,

Oh, God! hear thou our prayer;

Relent, and stay the messenger

That lurks at every door;

Retard his ruthless ravages

And health and hope restore.


Then let the sun with rosy light

No longer shine, nor moon by night

Her mellow rays around, above,

Illume—if I should cease to love.


May starry heights grow dim and dark,

In absence of that heavenly spark,

All Nature’s gems in skies above

Suspend—if I should cease to love.

May dancing rills and crystal brooks

Rejoice no more mid shady nooks,

Nor wind in glee through moonlit grove

Or glen—if I should cease to love.

Without this magic spark divine

To warm and cheer this heart of mine,

Nor earth beneath nor heaven above,

Could compensate for loss of love.

The moon and stars, the sun and air,

The joyous birds and flowers rare,

All to me would worthless prove,

If ever I should cease to love.

This lovely land, these sunny skies,

No charm would have for loveless eyes,

No song from hall or sight from grove

Enchant—if I should cease to love.



[Recited at the St. Paul’s Children’s Social by Joe. E. Young, 1878.]

We are happy to meet you,

In gladness we greet you,

A welcome to all we extend;

Your happy, bright faces

Show nothing but traces

Which kindness and charity lend.

While we revel in pleasure,

Let’s try in a measure

To remember our brothers abroad,

Who are suffering and sighing,

And in misery crying,

For comforts they can not afford.

One short, fatal season

Has given them reason

For deploring their sorrows for years;

Taken father and mother,


And sister and brother,

And left them alone in their tears.

With no one to love them

But the Father above them,

No home but the one in the skies;

No hope for the morrow

To soften their sorrow,

No mother to quiet their cries.

To the cold care of strangers,

And the world’s many dangers,

Their lot in the future is cast:

They will miss every hour

The sweet, soothing power

Of the love that now lives in the past.

So, comrades, we pray you,

Let no motive stay you

From helping the orphans in need;

Their friends are all taken,

Their homes all forsaken,

Their childhood ’s a desert indeed.



In the silence of night,

In the dullness of day,

When disease and distress

Hold pre-eminent sway;

The sad, stricken souls

In their misery tossed,

Now yearningly sigh

For the coming of frost.

The friends and afflicted

Watch evening and morn,

For a waft of cool breeze,

That a hope may be borne

To the souls of the sighing,

Whose life it may cost,

This continued and fatal

Delay of the frost.

Their hopes still deferred

Each day brings regret,

While the suffering die,


And the end is not yet.

Fond wish of the weary,

Chilled, blighted, and crossed,

Each day disappointed,

In the coming of frost.

By the bed of the dying,

By the side of the bier,

The bereaved ones sit sighing

In sorrow and fear;

And others, deserted,

In agony tossed

On their feverish couch

Are praying for frost.

Oh, who can half measure

The sorrow and gloom

That enshrouds our fair land

Like a dark, dreary tomb.

May God in his mercy,

Ere hope is all lost,

Relentingly hasten

The coming of frost.

Memphis, Oct. 1878.



October winds are softly sighing

Through the stately oaks and pines,

Autumn leaves are wildly flying

As all nature now declines;

Brightly through the varied branches

Breaks the slanting autumn sun,

And chirping through the thinning bushes

See the swallows homeward come.

As I watch decaying nature

That surrounds our rural home,

Revel in these autumn glories,

Listen to the soft wind’s moan.

See the leaves from green to golden

Change their summer hue and fall,

The flowers fade, the branches wither,

It seems the “common lot of all.”

In life we find a fleeting springtime,

Rife with fancy’s wildest dream,


But giving early place to summer,

Which with ripened beauties teem;

Then comes autumn, sober autumn,

Roses scattered, hopes decayed,

When spring dreams and summer beauty

With life’s flowery fancies fade.

But the pensive, sad reflections,

Musing on those autumn days,

Imparts to us a saddened pleasure,

Surrounds our life with gentle haze;

Takes us through the faded flowers,

Crushed and scattered ’neath our tread;

Leads us through forsaken bowers,

Shows us nature withered—dead.

Oaklawn,” Memphis, Tenn.



Variable, versatile, stormy, and wild,

At times we’re entranced, and then again riled


At his wayward remarks and blustering strain,

Peculiar alone to Geo. Francis Train.

Original ever his words and his ways,

But orthodox seldom in aught that he says;

His fancy, so fertile, takes many a flight,

But leaves Truth and Religion quite out of sight.

Ambitious, progressive, political scion,

Reminding us oft of a wild, roaring lion,

Uncaged and untamed in a woody domain,

A manner peculiar to Geo. Francis Train.

His lectures all seem so wild and erratic,

His manner, at times, so raving, dramatic,

In a whirlwind of passion he prances and strides,

Then subdues—and his rage into poetry glides.


A perfect enigma, and a genius as well,

A tornado, a storm, and then comes a spell

Of brightness and sunshine, ’mid thunder and rain,

Peculiar alone to Geo. Francis Train.

Ambitious of honors, position and fame,

Determined to win a notorious name,

His wish, you will see, in every oration,

Is deathless desire to govern the nation!

To help on his cause, he solicits the aid

Of all colors and sexes and sorts ever made;

Generous indeed—he’s the workingman’s friend!

To hear him—he has only a dollar to spend!

Glorious republic! If the prophecy ’s true,

When Train is elected—we’ll have nothing to do


But enjoy perfect peace abroad and at home,

The nation will think the millennium ’s come!


As years roll on and ages pass,

This name of martial glory

Leaves traces on the calendar,

Which tell the yearly story

Of this our “prince of patriots’” birth,

The bravest, boldest, best of earth,

Whose mighty will and warrior worth

Won battles great and gory.

It tells of valor long since gone,

Of victories commended,

Of wonders seen and wonders told,

Of buried braves and heroes bold,

Cast in nature’s choicest mold,

Now on earth’s bosom blended.


We sigh in sadness o’er the wreck

Of this historic season,

We’d have its pleasures all return,

We’d have its patriot bosoms burn,

We’d have our nation ever spurn

The slightest trace of treason.

We’d wander through memorial halls

In quest of antique treasures,

We’d linger round those storied walls,

Renewing bygone pleasures,

And wishing for that olden time,

When our dead hero, in his prime,

Contested unjust measures.

We’d hear of battles lost and won,

Of dangers braved and ended,

We’d hear of patriots, long since gone,

Whom nature most intended

To live in fame and memory

Throughout a long eternity.


We’d have our sainted warrior’s name,

So famed in song and story,

And rendered to our memories dear

By records of its glory,

Kept green on history’s sacred pages,

From now throughout the lapse of ages.



We seldom see a preface in the back of a book, or a frontispiece in the middle, but as I have always been considered a little eccentric, I will make a new departure, and thank my indulgent readers here for their patient perusal of these pages. I locate these honeyed words in the rear as a reward of merit to any one that is martyr enough to reach them by the regular route, and those that have not energy and endurance enough to do so deserve to lose these chunks of wisdom and words of cheer. In the preceding poems are depicted sentiments to suit my changing moods; streaks of mirth and wails of misery; childhood’s mischief and woman’s woe; a mixture of ecstasy and agony, to suit “the gay or the grave, the[153] lively or severe.” Now, should they fail to find a responsive echo in my readers’ hearts, then is “Othello’s occupation gone,” and I will fold my hands, dry my quill, dismiss my muse, and write no more.


Obvious typographical errors and punctuation errors have been corrected after careful comparison with other occurrences within the text and consultation of external sources.

Poetic contractions have been treated consistently. Common contractions with is or has [such as she’s, there’s, that’s] have no space, but less common ones have retained the space usually but not always found in the original book [such as night ’s, turn ’s, mine ’s].

The space has been removed from other common phrases with contractions, for example ’T was has been changed to ’Twas, can ’t has been changed to can’t.

Except for those changes noted below, all misspellings in the text, and inconsistent or archaic usage, have been retained.

Table of Contents: ‘My Childhood’ replaced by ‘My Infancy’.
Pg 10: ‘Another seige was’ replaced by ‘Another siege was’.
Pg 13: ‘towsled hair’ replaced by ‘tousled hair’.
Pg 53: ‘My trosseau’ replaced by ‘My trousseau’.
Pg 55: ‘A could not see’ replaced by ‘I could not see’.
Pg 56: ‘It made be overrate’ replaced by ‘It made me overrate’.
Pg 92: ‘He wooes this’ replaced by ‘He woos this’.
Pg 94: ‘with gilded mein’ replaced by ‘with gilded mien’.
Pg 109: ‘pretty dame Stone’s is’ replaced by ‘pretty dame Stone is’.
Pg 128: ‘sober sedatenees’ replaced by ‘sober sedateness’.
Pg 140: ‘In absense of that’ replaced by ‘In absence of that’.