The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Book of Humorous Verse, by Various, Edited by Carolyn Wells

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Title: The Book of Humorous Verse

Author: Various

Editor: Carolyn Wells

Release Date: December 22, 2007 [eBook #23972]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

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THE BOOK OF
HUMOROUS VERSE



Compiled by
CAROLYN WELLS
Author of "Such Nonsense,"
"The Whimsey Anthology,"
etc., etc.








NEW YORK
GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY
[Pg iv]


PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA



TO
ROBERT CHAPMAN SPRAGUE
[Pg v]


INTRODUCTION

A hope of immortality and a sense of humor distinguish man from the beasts of the field.

A single exception may be made, perhaps, of the Laughing Hyena, and, on the other hand, not every one of the human race possesses the power of laughter. For those who do, this volume is intended.

And since there can be nothing humorous about an introduction, there can be small need of a lengthy one.

Merely a few explanations of conditions which may be censured by captious critics.

First, the limitations of space had to be recognized. Hence, the book is a compilation, not a collection. It is representative, but not exhaustive. My ambition was toward a volume to which everyone could go, with a surety of finding any one of his favorite humorous poems between these covers. But no covers of one book could insure that, so I reluctantly gave up the dream for a reality which I trust will make it possible for a majority of seekers to find their favorites here.

The compiler's course is a difficult one. The Scylla of Popularity lures him on the one hand, while the Charybdis of the Classical charms him on the other. He has nothing to steer by but his own good taste, and good taste, alack, is greatly a matter of opinion.

And no opinion seemeth good unto an honest compiler, save his own. Wherefore, the choice of these selections, like kissing, went by favor. As to the arrangement of them, every compiler will tell you that Classification is Vexation. And why not? When many a poem may be both Parody and Satire,—both Romance and Cynicism. Wherefore, the compiler sorted with loving care the selections here presented striving to do justice to the verses themselves, and taking a chance on the tolerant good nature of the reader. [Pg vi]

For,

"A jest's prosperity lies in the ear Of him that hears it. Never in the tongue Of him that makes it."

Which made me all the more careful to do my authors justice, leaving the prosperity of the jests to the hearers.

Carolyn Wells.
[Pg vii]


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The compiler is indebted to the publisher or author, as noted below, for the use of copyright material included in this volume. Special arrangements have been made with the authorized publishers of those American poets, whose works in whole or in part have lapsed copyright. All rights of these poems have been reserved by the authorized publisher, author or holder of the copyright as indicated in the following:

Little, Brown & Company: For selections from the Poems and Limericks of Edward Lear.

The Macmillan Company: For selections from the Poems of Lewis Carroll and Verses from "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass."

Harr Wagner Publishing Company: For permission to reprint from "The Complete Poems" of Joaquin Miller "That Gentle Man From Boston Town," "That Texan Cattle Man," "William Brown of Oregon."

Frederick A. Stokes Company: "Bessie Brown, M.D." and "A Kiss in the Rain," by Samuel Minturn Peck.

Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Company: For the inclusion of the following Poems by Sam Walter Foss: "The Meeting of the Clabberhuses," "A Philosopher" and "The Prayer of Cyrus Brown" from "Dreams in Homespun," copyright, 1897. "Then Agin—" and "Husband and Heathen," from "Back Country Poems," copyright, 1894. "The Ideal Husband to His Wife," from "Whiffs from Wild Meadows," copyright, 1895.

Forbes & Company: "How Often?" "If I Should Die To-night," and "The Pessimist," by Ben King.

The Century Company: For permission to reprint from St. Nicholas Magazine the following poems by Ruth McEnery Stuart: "The Endless Song" and "The Hen-Roost Man"; and by Tudor Jenks: "An Old Bachelor"; and by Mary [Pg viii] Mapes Dodge: "Home and Mother," "Life in Laconics," "Over the Way" and "The Zealless Xylographer."

Thomas L. Masson: For permission to reprint "The Kiss" from "Life."

E. P. Button & Company: "The Converted Cannibals" and "The Retired Pork-Butcher and the Spook," by G. E. Farrow.

Houghton Mifflin Company: With their permission and by special arrangement, as authorized publishers of the following authors' works, are used: Selections from Nora Perry, John Townsend Trowbridge, Charles E. Carryl, Oliver Wendell Holmes, John Greenleaf Whittier, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bret Harte, James Thomas Fields, John G. Saxe, James Russell Lowell and Bayard Taylor.

A. P. Watt & Son and Doubleday, Page & Company: For their permission to use "Divided Destinies," "Study of an Elevation, in Indian Ink," and "Commonplaces," by Rudyard Kipling.

G. P. Putnam's Sons: Selections from the Poems of Eugene Fitch Ware and "The Wreck of the 'Julie Plante,'" by William Henry Drummond.

Henry Holt & Company: Two Parodies from "— and Other Poets," by Louis Untermeyer.

Dodd, Mead & Company: "The Constant Cannibal Maiden," "Blow Me Eyes" and "A Grain of Salt," by Wallace Irwin.

John Lane Company: For Poems by Owen Seaman, Anthony C. Deane and G. K. Chesterton.

The Smart Set: "Dighton is Engaged," and "Kitty Wants to Write," by Gelett Burgess.

Small, Maynard & Company: For selections from Holman F. Day, Richard Hovey and Clinton Scollard.

The Bobbs-Merrill Company: For special permission to reprint from the Biographical Edition of the Complete Works of James Whitcomb Riley (copyright, 1913) the following Poems: "Little Orphant Annie," "The Lugubrious Whing-Whang," "The Man in the Moon," "The Old Man and Jim," "Prior to Miss Belle's Appearance," "Spirk Throll-Derisive," "When the Frost is on the Punkin."

The Bobbs-Merrill Company: For permission to use the [Pg ix] following Poems by Robert J. Burdette, from "Smiles Yoked with Sighs" (copyright, 1900), "Orphan Born," "The Romance of the Carpet," "Soldier, Rest!", "Songs without Words," "What Will We Do?".

Charles Scribner's Sons: For permission to use "The Dinkey-Bird," "Dutch Lullaby," "The Little Peach," "The Truth About Horace," by Eugene Field. [Pg x]


CONTENTS

I: BANTER

page

The Played-Out HumoristW. S. Gilbert25
The Practical JokerW. S. Gilbert26
To PhœbeW. S. Gilbert28
MalbrouckFather Prout29
Mark Twain: A Pipe DreamOliver Herford30
From a Full HeartA. A. Milne31
The Ultimate JoyUnknown32
Old Fashioned FunW. M. Thackeray33
When Moonlike Ore the Hazure SeasW. M. Thackeray34
When the Frost is on the PunkinJames Whitcomb Riley34
Two MenEdwin Arlington Robinson35
A Familiar Letter to Several CorrespondentsOliver Wendell Holmes36
The Height of the RidiculousOliver Wendell Holmes38
Shake, Mulleary and Go-etheH. C. Bunner40
A RondelayPeter A. Motteux41
Winter DuskR. K. Munkittrick42
Comic MiseriesJohn G. Saxe42
Early RisingJohn G. Saxe44
To the Pliocene SkullBret Harte46
Ode to Work in SpringtimeThomas R. Ybarra47
Old StuffBert Leston Taylor48
To MinervaThomas Hood49
The Legend of Heinz Von SteinCharles Godfrey Leland49
The Truth About HoraceEugene Field50
Propinquity NeededCharles Battell Loomis51
In the CatacombsHarlan Hoge Ballard52
Our Native BirdsNathan Haskell Dole53
The Prayer of Cyrus BrownSam Walter Foss54
Erring in CompanyFranklin P. Adams55
CupidWilliam Blake56
If We Didn't Have to EatNixon Waterman57
To My Empty PurseGeoffrey Chaucer58
The Birth of Saint PatrickSamuel Lover58
Her Little FeetWilliam Ernest Henley59
SchoolJames Kenneth Stephen60
The MillenniumJames Kenneth Stephen60
"Exactly So"Lady T. Hastings61
CompanionsCharles Stuart Calverley63
The SchoolmasterCharles Stuart Calverley64
A Appeal for Are to the Sextant of the old Brick MeetinouseArabella Willson66
Cupid's DartsUnknown67
A Plea for TrigamyOwen Seaman68
The PopeCharles Lever70
All at SeaFrederick Moxon70
Ballad of the Primitive JestAndrew Lang72
Villanelle of Things AmusingGelett Burgess73
How to Eat WatermelonsFrank Libby Stanton73
A Vague StoryWalter Parke74
His Mother-in-LawWalter Parke75
On a Deaf HousekeeperUnknown76[Pg xi]
Homœopathic SoupUnknown76
Some Little BugRoy Atwell77
On the Downtown Side of an Uptown StreetWilliam Johnston79
Written After Swimming from Sestos to AbydosLord Byron80
The Fisherman's ChantF. C. Burnand81
Report of an Adjudged CaseWilliam Cowper82
Prehistoric SmithDavid Law Proudfit83
SongGeorge Canning84
LyingThomas Moore86
Strictly Germ-ProofArthur Guiterman87
The Lay of the Lover's FriendWilliam B. Aytoun88
Man's Place in NatureUnknown89
The New VersionW. J. Lampton90
Amazing Facts About FoodUnknown91
TranscendentalismUnknown92
A "Caudal" LectureWilliam Sawyer92
SaladSydney Smith93
NemesisJ. W. Foley94
"Mona Lisa"John Kendrick Bangs95
The Siege of DjklxprwbzEugene Fitch Ware96
Rural BlissAnthony C. Deane97
An Old BachelorTudor Jenks98
SongJ. R. Planché99
The Quest of the Purple CowHilda Johnson100
St. Patrick of Ireland, My Dear!William Maginn101
The Irish SchoolmasterJames A. Sidey103
Reflections on Cleopathera's NeedleCormac O'Leary105
The Origin of IrelandUnknown106
As to the WeatherUnknown107
The TwinsHenry S. Leigh108
II: THE ETERNAL FEMININE
He and SheEugene Fitch Ware109
The KissTom Masson109
The Courtin'James Russell Lowell110
Hiram HoverBayard Taylor113
Blow Me Eyes!Wallace Irwin115
First LoveCharles Stuart Calverley116
What Is a Woman Like?Unknown118
Mis' SmithAlbert Bigelow Paine119
TrioletPaul T. Gilbert120
Bessie Brown, M.D.Samuel Minturn Peck120
A Sketch from the LifeArthur Guiterman121
Minguillo's KissUnknown122
A Kiss in the RainSamuel Minturn Peck123
The Love-KnotNora Perry124
Over the WayMary Mapes Dodge125
Chorus of WomenAristophanes126
The Widow MaloneCharles Lever126
The Smack in SchoolWilliam Pitt Palmer128
'Späcially JimBessie Morgan129
Kitty of ColeraineEdward Lysaght130
Why Don't the Men Propose?Thomas Haynes Bayly130
A PinElla Wheeler Wilcox132
The WhistlerUnknown133
The CloudOliver Herford134
ConstancyJohn Boyle O'Reilly137
Ain't it Awful, Mabel?John Edward Hazzard137
Wing Tee WeeJ. P. Denison139[Pg xii]
Phyllis LeeOliver Herford139
The Sorrows of WertherW. M. Thackeray140
The UnattainableHarry Romaine141
Rory O'More; or, Good OmensSamuel Lover141
A Dialogue from PlatoAustin Dobson142
Dora Versus RoseAustin Dobson144
Tu QuoqueAustin Dobson146
Nothing to WearWilliam Allen Butler148
My Mistress's BootsFrederick Locker-Lampson153
Mrs. SmithFrederick Locker-Lampson155
A Terrible InfantFrederick Locker-Lampson156
SusanFrederick Locker-Lampson157
"I Didn't Like Him"Harry B. Smith157
My AngelineHarry B. Smith158
Nora's VowSir Walter Scott159
Husband and HeathenSam Walter Foss160
The Lost PleiadArthur Reed Ropes161
The New Church OrganWill Carleton162
Larrie O'DeeWilliam W. Fink165
No Fault in WomenRobert Herrick166
A Cosmopolitan WomanUnknown167
Courting in KentuckyFlorence E. Pratt168
Any One Will DoUnknown169
A Bird in the HandFrederic E. Weatherly170
The Belle of the BallWinthrop Mackworth Praed171
The RetortGeorge Pope Morris174
Behave Yoursel' Before FolkAlexander Rodger174
The Chronicle: A BalladAbraham Cowley176
Buxom JoanWilliam Congreve179
Oh, My GeraldineF. C. Burnand180
The ParterreE. H. Palmer180
How to Ask and HaveSamuel Lover181
Sally in Our AlleyHenry Carey182
False Love and True LogicLaman Blanchard183
Pet's PunishmentJ. Ashby-Sterry184
Ad Chloen, M.A.Mortimer Collins184
Chloe, M.A.Mortimer Collins185
The Fair MillingerFred W. Loring186
Two FishersUnknown188
MaudHenry S. Leigh188
Are Women Fair?Francis Davison189
The PlaidieCharles Sibley190
Feminine ArithmeticCharles Graham Halpine191
Lord GuyGeorge F. Warren191
Sary "Fixes Up" ThingsAlbert Bigelow Paine192
The Constant Cannibal MaidenWallace Irwin194
Widow Bedott to Elder SnifflesFrances M. Whitcher195
Under the MistletoeGeorge Francis Shults196
The Broken PitcherWilliam E. Aytoun196
Gifts ReturnedWalter Savage Landor198
III: LOVE AND COURTSHIP
Noureddin, the Son of the ShahClinton Scollard199
The Usual WayFrederic E. Weatherly200
The Way to ArcadyH. C. Bunner201
My Love and My HeartHenry S. Leigh204
Quite by ChanceFrederick Langbridge205
The NunLeigh Hunt206
The Chemist to His LoveUnknown206
Categorical CourtshipUnknown207
Lanty LearySamuel Lover208[Pg xiii]
The Secret CombinationEllis Parker Butler209
Forty Years AfterH. H. Porter210
CupidBen Jonson211
Paring-Time AnticipatedWilliam Cowper212
WhyH. P. Stevens214
The Sabine Farmer's SerenadeFather Prout214
I Hae Laid a Herring in SautJames Tytler216
The Clown's CourtshipUnknown217
Out Upon ItSir John Suckling218
Love is Like a DizzinessJames Hogg218
The Kitchen ClockJohn Vance Cheney220
Lady MineH. E. Clarke221
Ballade of the Golfer in LoveClinton Scollard222
Ballade of Forgotten LovesArthur Grissom223
IV: SATIRE
A Ballade of SuicideG. K. Chesterton224
Finnigan to FlanniganS. W. Gillinan225
Study of an Elevation in Indian Ink Rudyard Kipling226
The V-a-s-eJames Jeffrey Roche227
Miniver CheevyEdwin Arlington Robinson229
The RecruitRobert W. Chambers230
Officer BradyRobert W. Chambers232
Post-ImpressionismBert Leston Taylor235
To the Portrait of "A Gentleman"Oliver Wendell Holmes236
Cacoethes ScribendiOliver Wendell Holmes238
ContentmentOliver Wendell Holmes238
A Boston LullabyJames Jeffrey Roche240
A Grain of SaltWallace Irwin241
SongRichard Lovelace241
A PhilosopherSam Walter Foss242
The Meeting of the ClabberhusesSam Walter Foss244
The Ideal Husband to His WifeSam Walter Foss246
DistichsJohn Hay247
The Hen-roost ManRuth McEnery Stuart247
If They Meant All They SayAlice Duer Miller247
The ManStephen Crane248
A ThoughtJames Kenneth Stephen248
The Musical AssTomaso de Yriarte249
The Knife-GrinderGeorge Canning249
St. Anthony's Sermon to the FishesAbraham á Sancta-Clara251
The Battle of BlenheimRobert Southey252
The Three Black CrowsJohn Byrom254
To the Terrestrial GlobeW. S. Gilbert256
EtiquetteW. S. Gilbert256
A Modest WitSelleck Osborn260
The Latest DecalogueArthur Hugh Clough261
A SimileMatthew Prior262
By Parcels PostGeorge R. Sims262
All's Well That Ends WellUnknown264
The ContrastCaptain C. Morris265
The Devonshire LaneJohn Marriott266
A Splendid FellowH. C. Dodge267
IfH. C. Dodge268
Accepted and Will AppearParmenas Mix268
The Little VagabondWilliam Blake269
SympathyReginald Heber270
The Religion of HudibrasSamuel Butler271
Holy Willie's PrayerRobert Burns272
The Learned NegroUnknown274
True to PollF. C. Burnand275[Pg xiv]
Trust in WomenUnknown276
The Literary LadyRichard Brinsley Sheridan278
Twelve ArticlesDean Swift279
All-SaintsEdmund Yates280
How to Make a Man of ConsequenceMark Lemon280
On a Magazine SonnetRussell Hilliard Loines281
ParadiseGeorge Birdseye281
The Friar of Orders GrayJohn O'Keefe282
Of a Certain ManSir John Harrington282
Clean ClaraW. B. Rands283
Christmas ChimesUnknown284
The Ruling PassionAlexander Pope285
The Pope and the NetRobert Browning286
The ActorJohn Wolcot287
The Lost SpectaclesUnknown287
That Texan Cattle ManJoaquin Miller288
FableRalph Waldo Emerson290
Hoch! Der KaiserRodney Blake291
What Mr. Robinson ThinksJames Russell Lowell292
The Candidate's CreedJames Russell Lowell294
The Razor SellerJohn Wolcot297
The Devil's Walk on EarthRobert Southey298
Father MolloySamuel Lover307
The Owl-CriticJames Thomas Fields309
What Will We Do?Robert J. Burdette311
Life in LaconicsMary Mapes Dodge311
On Knowing When to StopL. J. Bridgman312
Rev. Gabe Tucker's RemarksUnknown312
ThursdayFrederic E. Weatherly313
Sky-MakingMortimer Collins314
The PositivistsMortimer Collins315
Martial in LondonMortimer Collins316
The Splendid ShillingJohn Philips316
After HoraceA. D. Godley320
Of a Precise TailorSir John Harrington322
MoneyJehan du Pontalais323
Boston Nursery RhymesRev. Joseph Cook324
Kentucky PhilosophyHarrison Robertson325
John GrumlieAllan Cunningham326
A Song of ImpossibilitiesWinthrop Mackworth Praed327
SongJohn Donne330
The OubitCharles Kingsley330
Double Ballade of Primitive ManAndrew Lang331
Phillis's AgeMatthew Prior332
V: CYNICISM
Good and Bad LuckJohn Hay334
BangkolidyeBarry Pain334
Pensées De NoëlA. D. Godley336
A Ballade of an Anti-PuritanG. K. Chesterton337
PessimismNewton Mackintosh338
Cynical Ode to an Ultra-Cynical PublicCharles Mackay339
Youth and ArtRobert Browning339
The Bachelor's DreamThomas Hood342
All Things Except Myself I KnowFrancois Villon343
The Joys of MarriageCharles Cotton344
The Third PropositionMadeline Bridges345
The Ballad of Cassandra BrownHelen Gray Cone345
What's in a Name?R. K. Munkittrick347
Too LateFits Hugh Ludlow348[Pg xv]
The AnnuityGeorge Outram350
K. K.—Can't CalculateFrances M. Whitcher353
Northern FarmerLord Tennyson354
Fin de SiècleUnknown357
Then Ag'inSam Walter Foss357
The PessimistBen King358
Without and WithinJames Russell Lowell359
Same Old StoryHarry B. Smith360
VI: EPIGRAMS
Woman's WillJohn G. Saxe362
Cynicus to W. ShakespeareJames Kenneth Stephen362
Senex to Matt. PriorJames Kenneth Stephen362
To a BlockheadAlexander Pope362
The Fool and the PoetAlexander Pope363
A RhymesterSamuel Taylor Coleridge363
Giles's HopeSamuel Taylor Coleridge363
CologneSamuel Taylor Coleridge363
An Eternal PoemSamuel Taylor Coleridge364
On a Bad SingerSamuel Taylor Coleridge364
JobSamuel Taylor Coleridge364
Reasons for DrinkingDr. Henry Aldrich364
SmatterersSamuel Butler365
HypocrisySamuel Butler365
To Doctor EmpiricBen Jonson365
A Remedy Worse than the DiseaseMatthew Prior365
A WifeRichard Brinsley Sheridan366
The Honey-MoonWalter Savage Landor366
DidoRichard Porson366
An EpitaphGeorge John Cayley366
On Taking a WifeThomas Moore367
Upon Being Obliged to Leave a Pleasant PartyThomas Moore367
Some LadiesFrederick Locker-Lampson367
On a Sense of HumorFrederick Locker-Lampson367
On Hearing a Lady Praise a Certain Rev. Doctor's EyesGeorge Outram368
Epitaph Intended for His WifeJohn Dryden368
To a Capricious FriendJoseph Addison368
Which is WhichJohn Byrom368
On a Full-Length Portrait of Beau MarshLord Chesterfield369
On ScotlandCleveland369
MendaxLessing369
To a Slow Walker and Quick Eater Lessing369
What's My Thought Like?Thomas Moore370
Of All the MenThomas Moore370
On Butler's MonumentRev. Samuel Wesley370
A Conjugal ConundrumUnknown371
VII: BURLESQUE
Lovers and a ReflectionCharles Stuart Calverley372
Our HymnOliver Wendell Holmes374
"Soldier, Rest!"Robert J. Burdette374
ImitationAnthony C. Deane375
The Mighty MustW. S. Gilbert376
Midsummer MadnessUnknown377
MavroneArthur Guiterman378[Pg xvi]
LiliesDon Marquis379
For I am SadDon Marquis379
A Little Swirl of Vers LibreThomas R. Ybarra380
Young LochinvarUnknown381
Imagiste Love LinesUnknown383
BygonesBert Lesion Taylor383
Justice to ScotlandUnknown384
Lament of the Scotch-Irish ExileJames Jeffrey Roche385
A Song of SorrowCharles Battell Loomis386
The Rejected "National Hymns"Robert H. Newell387
The Editor's WooingRobert H. Newell389
The Baby's DebutJames Smith390
The CantelopeBayard Taylor393
Never Forget Your ParentsFranklin P. Adams394
A Girl was Too Reckless of GrammarGuy Wetmore Carryl395
Behold the Deeds!H. C. Bunner397
Villon's Straight Tip to All Cross CovesWilliam Ernest Henley399
Culture in the SlumsWilliam Ernest Henley400
The Lawyer's Invocation to SpringHenry Howard Brownell402
North, East, South, and WestUnknown403
Martin Luther at PotsdamBarry Pain404
An Idyll of Phatte and LeeneUnknown406
The House that Jack BuiltSamuel Taylor Coleridge407
Palabras GrandiosasBayard Taylor407
A Love PlayntGodfrey Turner408
DarwinityHerman C. Merivale409
Select Passages from a Coming PoetF. Anstey410
The Romaunt of Humpty DumptyHenry S. Leigh411
The WeddingThomas Hood, Jr.412
In Memoriam TechnicamThomas Hood, Jr.413
"Songs Without Words"Robert J. Burdette413
At the Sign of the CockOwen Seaman414
Presto FuriosoOwen Seaman417
To Julia in Shooting TogsOwen Seaman418
FarewellBert Leston Taylor419
Here is the TaleAnthony C. Deane421
The WillowsBret Harte423
A BalladGuy Wetmore Carryl426
The Translated WayFranklin P. Adams427
CommonplacesRudyard Kipling427
Angelo Orders His DinnerBayard Taylor428
The Promissory NoteBayard Taylor429
CameradosBayard Taylor430
The Last Ride TogetherJames Kenneth Stephen431
Imitation of Walt WhitmanUnknown434
SaladMortimer Collins436
IfMortimer Collins436
The Jabberwocky of AuthorsHarry Persons Taber437
The Town of NiceHerman C. Merivale438
The Willow-TreeW. M. Thackeray439
A Ballade of Ballade-MongersAugustus M. Moore441
VIII: BATHOS
The ConfessionRichard Harris Barham
["Thomas Ingoldsby"]
443
If You Have SeenThomas Moore444
CircumstanceFrederick Locker-Lampson444
ElegyArthur Guiterman445[Pg xvii]
Our TravelerH. Cholmondeley-Pennell445
OptimismNewton Mackintosh445
The DeclarationN. P. Willis446
He Came to PayParmenas Mix447
The Forlorn OneRichard Harris Barham
["Thomas Ingoldsby"]
449
Rural RapturesUnknown450
A FragmentUnknown450
The Bitter BitWilliam E. Aytoun451
Comfort in AfflictionWilliam E. Aytoun453
The Husband's PetitionWilliam E. Aytoun454
Lines Written After a BattleUnknown456
LinesUnknown456
The Imaginative CrisisUnknown457
IX: PARODY
The Higher Pantheism in a Nut-Shell Algernon Charles Swinburne458
NephelidiaAlgernon Charles Swinburne459
Up the SpoutAlgernon Charles Swinburne460
In MemoriamCuthbert Bede463
Lucy LakeNewton Mackintosh463
The Cock and the BullCharles Stuart Calverley464
BalladCharles Stuart Calverley467
DisasterCharles Stuart Calverley469
Wordsworthian ReminiscenceUnknown470
Inspect UsEdith Daniell471
The Messed DamozelCharles Hanson Towne471
A Melton Mowbray Pork-PieRichard le Gallienne472
IsrafiddlestringsUnknown472
After Dilettante ConcettiH. D. Traill474
Whenceness of the WhichUnknown476
The Little StarUnknown476
The Original LambUnknown477
Sainte MargérieUnknown477
Robert FrostLouis Untermeyer479
Owen SeamanLouis Untermeyer480
The Modern HiawathaUnknown482
Somewhere-in-Europe-WockyF. G. Hartswick482
Rigid Body SingsJ. C. Maxwell483
A Ballad of High EndeavorUnknown484
Father WilliamLewis Carroll485
The Poets at TeaBarry Pain486
How OftenBen King489
If I Should Die To-NightBen King489
"The Day is Done"Phoebe Cary490
JacobPhoebe Cary491
Ballad of the CanalPhoebe Cary492
"There's a Bower of Beanvines"Phoebe Cary493
ReubenPhoebe Cary493
The WifePhoebe Cary494
When Lovely WomanPhoebe Cary494
John Thomson's DaughterPhoebe Cary494
A PortraitJohn Keats496
Annabel LeeStanley Huntley497
Home Sweet Home with VariationsH. C. Bunner498
An Old Song by New SingersA. C. Wilkie506
More ImpressionsOscuro Wildgoose509
Nursery Rhymes á la ModeUnknown509
A Maudle-In BalladUnknown510[Pg xviii]
GillianUnknown511
Extracts from the Rubaiyat of Omar CayenneGelett Burgess512
Diversions of the Re-Echo ClubCarolyn Wells515
Styx River AnthologyCarolyn Wells521
Answer to Master Wither's Song, "Shall I, Wasting in Despair?"Ben Jonson526
Song of the SpringtideUnknown527
The Village ChoirUnknown528
My FoeUnknown529
Nursery Song in Pidgin EnglishUnknown530
Father WilliamUnknown531
A Poe-'em of PassionC. F. Lummis532
How the Daughters Come Down at DunoonH. Cholmondeley-Pennell533
To an Importunate HostUnknown534
CremationWilliam Sawyer534
An Imitation of WordsworthCatharine M. Fanshawe535
The Lay of the Love-LornAytoun and Martin537
Only SevenHenry S. Leigh543
'Twas Ever ThusHenry S. Leigh544
Foam and FangsWalter Parke544
X: NARRATIVE
Little BilleeW. M. Thackeray546
The Crystal PalaceW. M. Thackeray547
The Wofle New Ballad of Jane Roney and Mary BrownW. M. Thackeray552
King John and the AbbotUnknown554
On the Death of a Favorite CatThomas Gray557
Misadventures at MargateRichard Harris Barham
["Thomas Ingoldsby"]
558
The Gouty Merchant and the StrangerHorace Smith563
The Diverting History of John GilpinWilliam Cowper564
Paddy O'RaftherSamuel Lover571
Here She Goes and There She GoesJames Nack572
The Quaker's MeetingSamuel Lover576
The Jester Condemned to DeathHorace Smith578
The Deacon's MasterpieceOliver Wendell Holmes580
The Ballad of the OystermanOliver Wendell Holmes583
The Well of St. KeyneRobert Southey584
The Jackdaw of RheimsRichard Harris Barham
["Thomas Ingoldsby"]
586
The Knight and the LadyRichard Harris Barham
["Thomas Ingoldsby"]
590
An Eastern QuestionH. M. Paull598
My Aunt's SpectreMortimer Collins600
Casey at the BatErnest Lawrence Thayer601
The Pied Piper of HamelinRobert Browning603
The GooseLord Tennyson611
The Ballad of CharityCharles Godfrey Leland613
The Post CaptainCharles E. Carryl615
Robinson Crusoe's StoryCharles E. Carryl617
Ben BluffThomas Hood619
The Pilgrims and the PeasJohn Wolcot621
Tam O'ShanterRobert Burns623
That Gentleman from Boston TownJoaquin Miller629
The Yarn of the "Nancy Bell"W. S. Gilbert632[Pg xix]
Ferdinando and ElviraW. S. Gilbert635
Gentle Alice BrownW. S. Gilbert639
The Story of Prince AgibW. S. Gilbert641
Sir Guy the CrusaderW. S. Gilbert644
Kitty Wants to WriteGelett Burgess646
Dighton is EngagedGelett Burgess647
Plain Language from Truthful JamesBret Harte648
The Society Upon the StanisalausBret Harte650
"Jim"Bret Harte652
William Brown of OregonJoaquin Miller653
Little BreechesJohn Hay657
The Enchanted ShirtJohn Hay658
Jim BludsoJohn Hay661
Wreck of the "Julie Plante"William Henry Drummond662
The Alarmed SkipperJames T. Fields664
The Elderly GentlemanGeorge Canning665
Saying Not MeaningWilliam Basil Wake666
Hans Breitmann's PartyCharles Godfrey Leland668
Ballad by Hans BreitmannCharles Godfrey Leland669
Grampy Sings a SongHolman F. Day670
The First BanjoIrwin Russell672
The Romance of the CarpetRobert J. Burdette674
Hunting of the Snark, TheLewis Carroll676
The Old Man and JimJames Whitcomb Riley678
A Sailor's YarnJames Jeffrey Roche680
The Converted CannibalsG. E. Farrow683
The Retired Pork-Butcher and the SpookG. E. Farrow685
Skipper Ireson's RideJohn Greenleaf Whittier688
Darius Green and His Flying-MachineJohn Townsend Trowbridge690
A Great FightRobert H. Newell697
The Donnybrook JigViscount Dillon700
Unfortunate Miss BaileyUnknown702
The Laird o' CockpenLady Nairne703
A WeddingSir John Suckling704
XI: TRIBUTE
The Ahkond of SwatEdward Lear708
The Ahkoond of SwatGeorge Thomas Lanigan710
Dirge of the Moolla of KotalGeorge Thomas Lanigan712
The Ballad of BouillabaisseW. M. Thackeray714
Ould Doctor MackAlfred Perceval Graves717
Father O'FlynnAlfred Perceval Graves719
The Bald-headed TyrantVandyne, Mary E.720
Barney McGeeRichard Hovey721
Address to the ToothacheRobert Burns724
A Farewell to TobaccoCharles Lamb726
John BarleycornRobert Burns730
Stanzas to Pale AleUnknown732
Ode to TobaccoCharles Stuart Calverley732
Sonnet to a ClamJohn G. Saxe734
To a FlyJohn Wolcot734
Ode to a Bobtailed CatUnknown737
XII: WHIMSEY
An ElegyOliver Goldsmith740
Parson GrayOliver Goldsmith741
The Irishman and the LadyWilliam Maginn742[Pg xx]
The Cataract of LodoreRobert Southey743
Lay of the Deserted Influenzaed H. Cholmondeley-Pennell746
Bellagcholly DaysUnknown747
Rhyme of the RailJohn G. Saxe748
EchoJohn G. Saxe750
SongJoseph Addison751
A Gentle Echo on WomanDean Swift752
Lay of Ancient RomeThomas R. Ybarra753
A New SongJohn Gay754
The American TravellerRobert H. Newell757
The Zealless XylographerMary Mapes Dodge759
The Old Line FenceA. W. Bellaw760
O-U-G-HCharles Battell Loomis761
Enigma on the Letter HCatherine M. Fanshawe762
Travesty of Miss Fanshawe's EnigmaHorace Mayhew763
An Elegy on the Death of a Mad DogOliver Goldsmith764
An EpitaphMatthew Prior765
Old GrimesAlbert Gorton Greene766
The Endless SongRuth McEnery Stuart768
The Hundred Best BooksMostyn T. Pigott769
The Cosmic EggUnknown771
Five WinesRobert Herrick772
A Rhyme for MusiciansE. Lemke772
My MadelineWalter Parke773
Susan SimpsonUnknown774
The March to MoscowRobert Southey775
Half Hours with the ClassicsH. J. DeBurgh779
On the Oxford CarrierJohn Milton780
Ninety-Nine in the ShadeRossiter Johnson781
The TrioletWilliam Ernest Henley782
The RondeauAustin Dobson782
LifeUnknown783
Ode to the Human HeartLaman Blanchard784
A Strike Among the PoetsUnknown785
Whatever Is, Is RightLaman Blanchard786
NothingRichard Porson786
DirgeUnknown787
O D VUnknown788
A Man of WordsUnknown790
SimilesUnknown791
No!Thomas Hood792
Faithless Sally BrownThomas Hood792
Tim TurpinThomas Hood795
Faithless Nelly GrayThomas Hood797
Sally Simpkin's LamentThomas Hood800
Death's RambleThomas Hood801
Panegyric on the LadiesUnknown803
Ambiguous LinesUnknown804
SurnamesJames Smith804
A Ternary of Littles, Upon a Pipkin of Jelly Sent to a LadyRobert Herrick806
A Carman's Account of a Law SuitSir David Lindesay807
Out of Sight, Out of MindBarnaby Googe807
NongtongpawCharles Dibdin808
Logical EnglishUnknown809
LogicUnknown809
The Careful PenmanUnknown810
Questions with AnswersUnknown810
Conjugal ConjugationsA. W. Bellaw810
Love's Moods and SensesUnknown812
The Siege of BelgradeUnknown813[Pg xxi]
The Happy ManGilles Ménage814
The BellsUnknown816
TakingsThomas Hood, Jr.817
A Bachelor's Mono-RhymeCharles Mackay817
The Art of BookkeepingLaman Blanchard818
An Invitation to the Zoological GardensUnknown822
A Nocturnal SketchThomas Hood823
LoveliltsMarion Hill824
Jocosa LyraAustin Dobson824
To a ThesaurusFranklin P. Adams825
The Future of the ClassicsUnknown826
Cautionary VersesTheodore Hook828
The War: A-ZJohn R. Edwards829
Lines to Miss Florence Huntingdon Unknown830
To My NoseAlfred A. Forrester832
A Polka LyricBarclay Philips832
A Catalectic MonodyUnknown833
Ode for a Social MeetingOliver Wendell Holmes833
The Jovial Priest's ConfessionLeigh Hunt834
LimericksCarolyn Wells835
XIII: NONSENSE
Lunar StanzasHenry Coggswell Knight841
The Whango TreeUnknown842
Three ChildrenUnknown843
'Tis MidnightUnknown843
CossimbazarHenry S. Leigh843
An Unexpected FactEdward Cannon844
The CumberbuncePaul West844
Mr. Finney's TurnipUnknown847
Nonsense VersesCharles Lamb848
Like to the Thundering ToneBishop Corbet848
AestivationOliver Wendell Holmes849
Uncle Simon and Uncle JimCharles Farrar Browne
["Artemus Ward"]
849
A Tragic StoryW. M. Thackeray850
Sonnet Found in a Deserted Mad HouseUnknown851
The Jim-Jam King of the Jou-JousAlaric Bertrand Stuart851
To MarieJohn Bennett852
My DreamUnknown853
The Rollicking MastodonArthur Macy853
The Invisible BridgeGelett Burgess855
The Lazy RoofGelett Burgess855
My FeetGelett Burgess855
Spirk Troll-DerisiveJames Whitcomb Riley855
The Man in the MoonJames Whitcomb Riley856
The Lugubrious Whing-WhangJames Whitcomb Riley858
The Yonghy-Bonghy-BoEdward Lear859
The JumblesEdward Lear862
The Pobble Who Has no ToesEdward Lear865
The New VestmentsEdward Lear866
The Two Old BachelorsEdward Lear868
JabberwockyLewis Carroll869
Ways and MeansLewis Carroll870
Humpty Dumpty's RecitationLewis Carroll872
Some HallucinationsLewis Carroll874
Sing for the Garish EyeW. S. Gilbert875
The ShipwreckE. H. Palmer876[Pg xxii]
UffiaHarriet R. White877
'Tis Sweet to RoamUnknown878
Three Jovial HuntsmenUnknown878
King ArthurUnknown879
Hyder IddleUnknown879
The Ocean WandererUnknown879
Scientific ProofJ. W. Foley880
The ThingumbobUnknown882
Wonders of NatureUnknown882
Lines by an Old FogyUnknown882
A Country Summer PastoralUnknown883
Turvey TopWilliam Sawyer884
A Ballad of BedlamUnknown886
XIV: NATURAL HISTORY
The Fastidious SerpentHenry Johnstone887
The Legend of the First Cam-u-elArthur Guiterman888
Unsatisfied YearningR. K. Munkittrick889
Kindly AdviceUnknown890
Kindness to AnimalsJ. Ashby-Sterry891
To Be or Not To BeUnknown891
The HenMatthew Claudius892
Of Baiting the LionOwen Seaman893
The FlamingoLewis Gaylord Clark894
Why Doth a Pussy Cat?Burges Johnson895
The Walrus and the CarpenterLewis Carroll896
NirvanaUnknown900
The CatfishOliver Herford900
War ReliefOliver Herford901
The Owl and the Pussy-CatEdward Lear901
Mexican SerenadeArthur Guiterman902
Orphan BornRobert J. Burdette903
Divided DestiniesRudyard Kipling904
The ViperHilaire Belloc906
The LlamaHilaire Belloc906
The YakHilaire Belloc906
The FrogHilaire Belloc907
The MicrobeHilaire Belloc907
The Great Black CrowPhilip James Bailey907
The ColubriadWilliam Cowper909
The Retired CatWilliam Cowper910
A Darwinian BalladUnknown913
The PigRobert Southey914
A Fish StoryHenry A. Beers916
The Cameronian CatUnknown917
The Young GazelleWalter Parke918
The Ballad of the EmeuBret Harte921
The Turtle and FlamingoJames Thomas Fields923
XV: JUNIORS
Prior to Miss Belle's AppearanceJames Whitcomb Riley925
There Was a Little GirlUnknown926
The Naughty Darkey BoyUnknown927
Dutch LullabyEugene Field928
The Dinkey-BirdEugene Field929
The Little PeachEugene Field931
Counsel to Those that EatUnknown932
Home and MotherMary Mapes Dodge932
Little Orphant AnnieJames Whitcomb Riley934[Pg xxiii]
A Visit From St. NicholasClement Clarke Moore935
A Nursery LegendHenry S. Leigh937
A Little GooseEliza Sproat Turner938
Leedle Yawcob StraussCharles Follen Adams940
A Parental Ode to My Son, Aged Three Years and Five MonthsThomas Hood941
Little MammaCharles Henry Webb943
The Comical GirlM. Pelham946
Bunches of GrapesWalter Ramal947
XVI: IMMORTAL STANZAS
The Purple CowGelett Burgess948
The Young Lady of NigerUnknown948
The Laughing WillowOliver Herford948
Said Opie ReedJulian Street and James Montgomery Flagg948
ManilaEugene F. Ware949
On the Aristocracy of HarvardDr. Samuel G. Bushnell949
On the Democracy of YaleDean Jones949
The HerringSir Walter Scott949
If the ManSamuel Johnson949
The Kilkenny CatsUnknown950
Poor Dear GrandpapaD'Arcy W. Thompson950
More WalksRichard Harris Barham
["Thomas Ingoldsby"]
950
IndifferenceUnknown950
Madame Sans SouciUnknown950
A RiddleUnknown951
IfUnknown951

[Pg xxiv]




THE BOOK OF HUMOROUS VERSE

[Pg 25]


I

BANTER


THE PLAYED-OUT HUMOURIST

Quixotic is his enterprise and hopeless his adventure is,
Who seeks for jocularities that haven't yet been said;
The world has joked incessantly for over fifty centuries,
And every joke that's possible has long ago been made.
I started as a humourist with lots of mental fizziness,
But humour is a drug which it's the fashion to abuse;
For my stock-in-trade, my fixtures and the good-will of the business
No reasonable offer I am likely to refuse.
And if anybody choose
He may circulate the news
That no reasonable offer I am likely to refuse.

Oh, happy was that humourist—the first that made a pun at all—
Who when a joke occurred to him, however poor and mean,
Was absolutely certain that it never had been done at all—
How popular at dinners must that humourist have been!
Oh, the days when some step-father for a query held a handle out,—
The door-mat from the scraper, is it distant very far?
And when no one knew where Moses was when Aaron put the candle out,
And no one had discovered that a door could be a-jar!
But your modern hearers are
In their tastes particular,
And they sneer if you inform them that a door can be a jar!

In search of quip and quiddity I've sat all day alone, apart—
And all that I could hit on as a problem was—to find
Analogy between a scrag of mutton and a Bony-part,
Which offers slight employment to the speculative mind.
[Pg 26]
For you cannot call it very good, however great your charity—
It's not the sort of humour that is greeted with a shout—
And I've come to the conclusion that my mine of jocularity,
In present Anno Domini is worked completely out!
Though the notion you may scout,
I can prove beyond a doubt
That my mine of jocularity is worked completely out!

W. S. Gilbert.


THE PRACTICAL JOKER

Oh, what a fund of joy jocund lies hid in harmless hoaxes!

What keen enjoyment springs

From cheap and simple things!

What deep delight from sources trite inventive humour coaxes,

That pain and trouble brew

For every one but you!

Gunpowder placed inside its waist improves a mild Havana,

Its unexpected flash

Burns eyebrows and moustache.

When people dine no kind of wine beats ipecacuanha,

But common sense suggests

You keep it for your guests—

Then naught annoys the organ boys like throwing red hot coppers.

And much amusement bides

In common butter slides;

And stringy snares across the stairs cause unexpected croppers.

Coal scuttles, recollect,

Produce the same effect.

A man possessed

Of common sense

Need not invest

At great expense—

[Pg 27]

It does not call

For pocket deep,

These jokes are all

Extremely cheap.

If you commence with eighteenpence—it's all you'll have to pay;

You may command a pleasant and a most instructive day.

A good spring gun breeds endless fun, and makes men jump like rockets—

And turnip heads on posts

Make very decent ghosts.

Then hornets sting like anything, when placed in waistcoat pockets—

Burnt cork and walnut juice

Are not without their use.

No fun compares with easy chairs whose seats are stuffed with needles—

Live shrimps their patience tax

When put down people's backs.

Surprising, too, what one can do with a pint of fat black beetles—

And treacle on a chair

Will make a Quaker swear!

Then sharp tin tacks

And pocket squirts—

And cobbler's wax

For ladies' skirts—

And slimy slugs

On bedroom floors—

And water jugs

On open doors—

Prepared with these cheap properties, amusing tricks to play

Upon a friend a man may spend a most delightful day.

W. S. Gilbert.

[Pg 28]

TO PHŒBE

"Gentle, modest little flower,
Sweet epitome of May,
Love me but for half an hour,
Love me, love me, little fay."
Sentences so fiercely flaming
In your tiny, shell-like ear,
I should always be exclaiming
If I loved you, Phœbe dear.

"Smiles that thrill from any distance
Shed upon me while I sing!
Please ecstaticize existence,
Love me, oh, thou fairy thing!"
Words like these, outpouring sadly,
You'd perpetually hear,
If I loved you fondly, madly;—
But I do not, Phœbe dear.

W. S. Gilbert.


MALBROUCK

Malbrouck, the prince of commanders,
Is gone to the war in Flanders;
His fame is like Alexander's;
But when will he come home?

Perhaps at Trinity Feast, or
Perhaps he may come at Easter.
Egad! he had better make haste, or
We fear he may never come.

For Trinity Feast is over,
And has brought no news from Dover;
And Easter is past, moreover,
And Malbrouck still delays.
[Pg 29]
Milady in her watch-tower
Spends many a pensive hour,
Not well knowing why or how her
Dear lord from England stays.

While sitting quite forlorn in
That tower, she spies returning
A page clad in deep mourning,
With fainting steps and slow.

"O page, prithee, come faster!
What news do you bring of your master?
I fear there is some disaster,
Your looks are so full of woe."

"The news I bring, fair lady,"
With sorrowful accent said he,
"Is one you are not ready
So soon, alas! to hear.

"But since to speak I'm hurried,"
Added this page, quite flurried,
"Malbrouck is dead and buried!"
(And here he shed a tear.)

"He's dead! he's dead as a herring!
For I beheld his 'berring,'
And four officers transferring
His corpse away from the field.

"One officer carried his sabre,
And he carried it not without labour,
Much envying his next neighbour,
Who only bore a shield.

"The third was helmet-bearer—
That helmet which on its wearer
Filled all who saw with terror,
And covered a hero's brains.
[Pg 30]
"Now, having got so far, I
Find that (by the Lord Harry!)
The fourth is left nothing to carry;
So there the thing remains."

Translated by Father Prout.

MARK TWAIN: A PIPE DREAM

Well I recall how first I met
Mark Twain—an infant barely three
Rolling a tiny cigarette
While cooing on his nurse's knee.

Since then in every sort of place
I've met with Mark and heard him joke,
Yet how can I describe his face?
I never saw it for the smoke.

At school he won a smokership,
At Harvard College (Cambridge, Mass.)
His name was soon on every lip,
They made him "smoker" of his class.

Who will forget his smoking bout
With Mount Vesuvius—our cheers—
When Mount Vesuvius went out
And didn't smoke again for years?

The news was flashed to England's King,
Who begged Mark Twain to come and stay,
Offered him dukedoms—anything
To smoke the London fog away.

But Mark was firm. "I bow," said he,
"To no imperial command,
No ducal coronet for me,
My smoke is for my native land!"
[Pg 31]
For Mark there waits a brighter crown!
When Peter comes his card to read—
He'll take the sign "No Smoking" down,
Then Heaven will be Heaven indeed.

Oliver Herford.


FROM A FULL HEART

In days of peace my fellow-men
Rightly regarded me as more like
A Bishop than a Major-Gen.,
And nothing since has made me warlike;
But when this age-long struggle ends
And I have seen the Allies dish up
The goose of Hindenburg—oh, friends!
I shall out-bish the mildest Bishop.

When the War is over and the Kaiser's out of print
I'm going to buy some tortoises and watch the beggars sprint;
When the War is over and the sword at last we sheathe
I'm going to keep a jelly-fish and listen to it breathe.


I never really longed for gore,
And any taste for red corpuscles
That lingered with me left before
The German troops had entered Brussels.
In early days the Colonel's "'Shun!"
Froze me; and as the war grew older
The noise of some one else's gun
Left me considerably colder.

When the War is over and the battle has been won
I'm going to buy a barnacle and take it for a run;
When the War is over and the German fleet we sink
I'm going to keep a silkworm's egg and listen to it think.


The Captains and the Kings depart—
It may be so, but not lieutenants;
Dawn after weary dawn I start
The never ending round of penance;
[Pg 32] One rock amid the welter stands
On which my gaze is fixed intently:
An after-life in quiet lands
Lived very lazily and gently.

When the War is over and we've done the Belgians proud
I'm going to keep a chrysalis and read to it aloud;
When the War is over and we've finished up the show
I'm going to plant a lemon pip and listen to it grow
.

Oh, I'm tired of the noise and turmoil of battle,
And I'm even upset by the lowing of cattle,
And the clang of the bluebells is death to my liver,
And the roar of the dandelion gives me a shiver,
And a glacier, in movement, is much too exciting,
And I'm nervous, when standing on one, of alighting—
Give me Peace; that is all, that is all that I seek....
Say, starting on Saturday week.

A. A. Milne.


THE ULTIMATE JOY

I have felt the thrill of passion in the poet's mystic book
And I've lingered in delight to catch the rhythm of the brook;
I've felt the ecstasy that comes when prima donnas reach
For upper C and hold it in a long, melodious screech.
And yet the charm of all these blissful memories fades away
As I think upon the fortune that befell the other day,
As I bring to recollection, with a joyous, wistful sigh,
That I woke and felt the need of extra covers in July.

Oh, eerie hour of drowsiness—'twas like a fairy spell,
That respite from the terrors we have known, alas, so well,
The malevolent mosquito, with a limp and idle bill,
Hung supinely from the ceiling, all exhausted by his chill.
And the early morning sunbeam lost his customary leer
And brought a gracious greeting and a prophecy of cheer;
A generous affability reached up from earth to sky,
When I woke and felt the need of extra covers in July.
[Pg 33]
In every life there comes a time of happiness supreme,
When joy becomes reality and not a glittering dream.
'Tis less appreciated, but it's worth a great deal more
Than tides which taken at their flood lead on to fortune's shore.
How vain is Art's illusion, and how potent Nature's sway
When once in kindly mood she deigns to waft our woes away!
And the memory will cheer me, though all other pleasures fly,
Of how I woke and needed extra covers in July.

Unknown.


OLD FASHIONED FUN

When that old joke was new,
It was not hard to joke,
And puns we now pooh-pooh,
Great laughter would provoke.

True wit was seldom heard,
And humor shown by few,
When reign'd King George the Third,
And that old joke was new.

It passed indeed for wit,
Did this achievement rare,
When down your friend would sit,
To steal away his chair.

You brought him to the floor,
You bruised him black and blue,
And this would cause a roar,
When your old joke was new.

W. M. Thackeray.

[Pg 34]

WHEN MOONLIKE ORE THE HAZURE SEAS

When moonlike ore the hazure seas
In soft effulgence swells,
When silver jews and balmy breaze
Bend down the Lily's bells;
When calm and deap, the rosy sleap
Has lapt your soal in dreems,
R Hangeline! R lady mine!
Dost thou remember Jeames?

I mark thee in the Marble all,
Where England's loveliest shine—
I say the fairest of them hall
Is Lady Hangeline.
My soul, in desolate eclipse,
With recollection teems—
And then I hask, with weeping lips,
Dost thou remember Jeames?

Away! I may not tell thee hall
This soughring heart endures—
There is a lonely sperrit-call
That Sorrow never cures;
There is a little, little Star,
That still above me beams;
It is the Star of Hope—but ar!
Dost thou remember Jeames?

W. M. Thackeray.


WHEN THE FROST IS ON THE PUNKIN

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock,
And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,
And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O it's then's the times a feller is a-feelin' at his best,
With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
[Pg 35] As he leaves the house, bare-headed, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

They's something kindo' hearty-like about the atmosphere,
When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here—
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees;
But the air's so appetisin'; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur that no painter has the colorin' to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

The husky, rusty rustle of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin' of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries—kindo' lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin' sermons to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover overhead!—
O, it sets my heart a-clickin' like the tickin' of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock!

James Whitcomb Riley.


TWO MEN

There be two men of all mankind
That I should like to know about;
But search and question where I will,
I cannot ever find them out.

Melchizedek he praised the Lord,
And gave some wine to Abraham;
But who can tell what else he did
Must be more learned than I am.

Ucalegon he lost his house
When Agamemnon came to Troy;
But who can tell me who he was—
I'll pray the gods to give him joy.

[Pg 36] There be two men of all mankind
That I'm forever thinking on;
They chase me everywhere I go,—
Melchizedek, Ucalegon.

Edwin Arlington Robinson.


A FAMILIAR LETTER TO SEVERAL CORRESPONDENTS

Yes, write if you want to—there's nothing like trying;
Who knows what a treasure your casket may hold?
I'll show you that rhyming's as easy as lying,
If you'll listen to me while the art I unfold.

Here's a book full of words: one can choose as he fancies,
As a painter his tint, as a workman his tool;
Just think! all the poems and plays and romances
Were drawn out of this, like the fish from a pool!

You can wander at will through its syllabled mazes,
And take all you want—not a copper they cost;
What is there to hinder your picking out phrases
For an epic as clever as "Paradise Lost"?

Don't mind if the index of sense is at zero;
Use words that run smoothly, whatever they mean;
Leander and Lillian and Lillibullero
Are much the same thing in the rhyming machine.

There are words so delicious their sweetness will smother
That boarding-school flavour of which we're afraid;
There is "lush" is a good one and "swirl" is another;
Put both in one stanza, its fortune is made.

With musical murmurs and rhythmical closes
You can cheat us of smiles when you've nothing to tell;
You hand us a nosegay of milliner's roses,
And we cry with delight, "Oh, how sweet they do smell!"

[Pg 37] Perhaps you will answer all needful conditions
For winning the laurels to which you aspire,
By docking the tails of the two prepositions
I' the style o' the bards you so greatly admire.

As for subjects of verse, they are only too plenty
For ringing the changes on metrical chimes;
A maiden, a moonbeam, a lover of twenty,
Have filled that great basket with bushels of rhymes.

Let me show you a picture—'tis far from irrelevant—
By a famous old hand in the arts of design;
'Tis only a photographed sketch of an elephant;
The name of the draughtsman was Rembrandt of Rhine.

How easy! no troublesome colours to lay on;
It can't have fatigued him, no, not in the least;
A dash here and there with a haphazard crayon,
And there stands the wrinkled-skinned, baggy-limbed beast.

Just so with your verse—'tis as easy as sketching;
You can reel off a song without knitting your brow,
As lightly as Rembrandt a drawing or etching;
It is nothing at all, if you only know how.

Well, imagine you've printed your volume of verses;
Your forehead is wreathed with the garland of fame;
Your poem the eloquent school-boy rehearses;
Her album the school-girl presents for your name.

Each morning the post brings you autograph letters;
You'll answer them promptly—an hour isn't much
For the honour of sharing a page with your betters,
With magistrates, members of Congress, and such.

Of course you're delighted to serve the committees
That come with requests from the country all round;
You would grace the occasion with poems and ditties
When they've got a new school-house, or poor-house, or pound.
[Pg 38]
With a hymn for the saints, and a song for the sinners,
You go and are welcome wherever you please;
You're a privileged guest at all manner of dinners;
You've a seat on the platform among the grandees.

At length your mere presence becomes a sensation;
Your cup of enjoyment is filled to its brim
With the pleasure Horatian of digitmonstration,
As the whisper runs round of "That's he!" or "That's him!"

But, remember, O dealer in phrases sonorous,
So daintily chosen, so tunefully matched,
Though you soar with the wings of the cherubim o'er us,
The ovum was human from which you were hatched.

No will of your own, with its puny compulsion,
Can summon the spirit that quickens the lyre;
It comes, if at all, like the sibyl's convulsion,
And touches the brain with a finger of fire.

So, perhaps, after all, it's as well to be quiet,
If you've nothing you think is worth saying in prose,
As to furnish a meal of their cannibal diet
To the critics, by publishing, as you propose.

But it's all of no use, and I'm sorry I've written;
I shall see your thin volume some day on my shelf;
For the rhyming tarantula surely has bitten,
And music must cure you, so pipe it yourself.

Oliver Wendell Holmes.


THE HEIGHT OF THE RIDICULOUS

I wrote some lines once on a time
In wondrous merry mood,
And thought, as usual, men would say
They were exceeding good.
[Pg 39]
They were so queer, so very queer,
I laughed as I would die;
Albeit, in the general way,
A sober man am I.

I called my servant, and he came;
How kind it was of him,
To mind a slender man like me,
He of the mighty limb!

"These to the printer," I exclaimed,
And, in my humorous way,
I added (as a trifling jest),
"There'll be the devil to pay."

He took the paper, and I watched,
And saw him peep within;
At the first line he read, his face
Was all upon a grin.

He read the next, the grin grew broad,
And shot from ear to ear;
He read the third, a chuckling noise
I now began to hear.

The fourth, he broke into a roar;
The fifth, his waistband split;
The sixth, he burst five buttons off,
And tumbled in a fit.

Ten days and nights, with sleepless eye,
I watched that wretched man,
And since, I never dare to write
As funny as I can.

Oliver Wendell Holmes.

[Pg 40]

SHAKE, MULLEARY AND GO-ETHE

I

I have a bookcase, which is what
Many much better men have not.
There are no books inside, for books,
I am afraid, might spoil its looks.
But I've three busts, all second-hand,
Upon the top. You understand
I could not put them underneath—
Shake, Mulleary and Go-ethe.

II

Shake was a dramatist of note;
He lived by writing things to quote,
He long ago put on his shroud:
Some of his works are rather loud.
His bald-spot's dusty, I suppose.
I know there's dust upon his nose.
I'll have to give each nose a sheath—
Shake, Mulleary and Go-ethe.

III

Mulleary's line was quite the same;
He has more hair, but far less fame.
I would not from that fame retrench—
But he is foreign, being French.
Yet high his haughty head he heaves,
The only one done up in leaves,
They're rather limited on wreath—
Shake, Mulleary and Go-ethe.

IV

Go-ethe wrote in the German tongue:
He must have learned it very young.
His nose is quite a butt for scoff,
Although an inch of it is off.
[Pg 41] He did quite nicely for the Dutch;
But here he doesn't count for much.
They all are off their native heath—
Shake, Mulleary and Go-ethe.

V

They sit there, on their chests, as bland
As if they were not second-hand.
I do not know of what they think,
Nor why they never frown or wink,
But why from smiling they refrain
I think I clearly can explain:
They none of them could show much teeth—
Shake, Mulleary and Go-ethe.

H. C. Bunner.


A RONDELAY

Man is for woman made,
And woman made for man:
As the spur is for the jade,
As the scabbard for the blade,
As for liquor is the can,
So man's for woman made,
And woman made for man.

As the sceptre to be sway'd,
As to night the serenade,
As for pudding is the pan,
As to cool us is the fan,
So man's for woman made,
And woman made for man.

Be she widow, wife, or maid,
Be she wanton, be she staid,
Be she well or ill array'd,
So man's for woman made,
And woman made for man.

Peter A. Motteux.

[Pg 42]

WINTER DUSK

The prospect is bare and white,
And the air is crisp and chill;
While the ebon wings of night
Are spread on the distant hill.

The roar of the stormy sea
Seem the dirges shrill and sharp
That winter plays on the tree—
His wild Æolian harp.

In the pool that darkly creeps
In ripples before the gale,
A star like a lily sleeps
And wiggles its silver tail.

R. K. Munkittrick.


COMIC MISERIES

My dear young friend, whose shining wit
Sets all the room a-blaze,
Don't think yourself a "happy dog,"
For all your merry ways;
But learn to wear a sober phiz,
Be stupid, if you can,
It's such a very serious thing
To be a funny man!

You're at an evening party, with
A group of pleasant folks,—
You venture quietly to crack
The least of little jokes,—
A lady doesn't catch the point,
And begs you to explain—
Alas for one that drops a jest
And takes it up again!
[Pg 43]
You're talking deep philosophy
With very special force,
To edify a clergyman
With suitable discourse,—
You think you've got him—when he calls
A friend across the way,
And begs you'll say that funny thing
You said the other day!

You drop a pretty jeu-de-mot
Into a neighbor's ears,
Who likes to give you credit for
The clever thing he hears,
And so he hawks your jest about,
The old authentic one,
Just breaking off the point of it,
And leaving out the pun!

By sudden change in politics,
Or sadder change in Polly,
You, lose your love, or loaves, and fall
A prey to melancholy,
While everybody marvels why
Your mirth is under ban,—
They think your very grief "a joke,"
You're such a funny man!

You follow up a stylish card
That bids you come and dine,
And bring along your freshest wit
(To pay for musty wine),
You're looking very dismal, when
My lady bounces in,
And wonders what you're thinking of
And why you don't begin!

You're telling to a knot of friends
A fancy-tale of woes
That cloud your matrimonial sky,
And banish all repose—
[Pg 44] A solemn lady overhears
The story of your strife,
And tells the town the pleasant news:
You quarrel with your wife!

My dear young friend, whose shining wit
Sets all the room a-blaze,
Don't think yourself "a happy dog,"
For all your merry ways;
But learn to wear a sober phiz,
Be stupid, if you can,
It's such a very serious thing
To be a funny man!

John G. Saxe.


EARLY RISING

"God bless the man who first invented sleep!"
So Sancho Panza said, and so say I:
And bless him, also, that he didn't keep
His great discovery to himself; nor try
To make it—as the lucky fellow might—
A close monopoly by patent-right!

Yes—bless the man who first invented sleep,
(I really can't avoid the iteration;)
But blast the man, with curses loud and deep,
Whate'er the rascal's name, or age, or station,
Who first invented, and went round advising,
That artificial cut-off—Early Rising!

"Rise with the lark, and with the lark to bed,"
Observes some solemn, sentimental owl;
Maxims like these are very cheaply said;
But, ere you make yourself a fool or fowl,
Pray just inquire about his rise and fall,
And whether larks have any beds at all!
[Pg 45]
The time for honest folks to be a-bed
Is in the morning, if I reason right;
And he who cannot keep his precious head
Upon his pillow till it's fairly light,
And so enjoy his forty morning winks,
Is up to knavery; or else—he drinks!

Thompson, who sung about the "Seasons," said
It was a glorious thing to rise in season;
But then he said it—lying—in his bed,
At ten o'clock A.M.,—the very reason
He wrote so charmingly. The simple fact is
His preaching wasn't sanctioned by his practice.

'Tis, doubtless, well to be sometimes awake,—
Awake to duty, and awake to truth,—
But when, alas! a nice review we take
Of our best deeds and days, we find, in sooth,
The hours that leave the slightest cause to weep
Are those we passed in childhood or asleep!

'Tis beautiful to leave the world awhile
For the soft visions of the gentle night;
And free, at last, from mortal care or guile,
To live as only in the angel's sight,
In sleep's sweet realm so cosily shut in,
Where, at the worst, we only dream of sin!

So let us sleep, and give the Maker praise.
I like the lad who, when his father thought
To clip his morning nap by hackneyed phrase
Of vagrant worm by early songster caught,
Cried, "Served him right!—it's not at all surprising;
The worm was punished, sir, for early rising!"

John G. Saxe.

[Pg 46]

TO THE PLIOCENE SKULL

"Speak, O man less recent!
Fragmentary fossil!
Primal pioneer of pliocene formation,
Hid in lowest drifts below the earliest stratum
Of volcanic tufa!

"Older than the beasts, the oldest Palæotherium;
Older than the trees, the oldest Cryptogami;
Older than the hills, those infantile eruptions
Of earth's epidermis!

"Eo—Mio—Plio—whatsoe'er the 'cene' was
That those vacant sockets filled with awe and wonder,—
Whether shores Devonian or Silurian beaches,—
Tell us thy strange story!

"Or has the professor slightly antedated
By some thousand years thy advent on this planet,
Giving thee an air that's somewhat better fitted
For cold-blooded creatures?

"Wert thou true spectator of that mighty forest
When above thy head the stately Sigillaria
Reared its columned trunks in that remote and distant
Carboniferous epoch?

"Tell us of that scene—the dim and watery woodland,
Songless, silent, hushed, with never bird or insect,
Veiled with spreading fronds and screened with tall club-mosses,
Lycopodiacea,—

"When beside thee walked the solemn Plesiosaurus,
And all around thee crept the festive Ichthyosaurus,
While from time to time above thee flew and circled
Cheerful Pterodactyls;—
[Pg 47]
"Tell us of thy food,—those half-marine refections,
Crinoids on the shell, and Brachipods au naturel,—
Cuttle-fish to which the pieuvre of Victor Hugo
Seems a periwinkle.

"Speak, thou awful vestige of the Earth's creation—
Solitary fragment of remains organic!
Tell the wondrous secret of thy past existence—
Speak! thou oldest primate!"

Even as I gazed, a thrill of the maxilla,
And a lateral movement of the condyloid process,
With post-pliocene sounds of healthy mastication,
Ground the teeth together.

And, from that imperfect dental exhibition,
Stained with expressed juices of the weed Nicotian,
Came these hollow accents, blent with softer murmurs
Of expectoration:

"Which my name is Bowers, and my crust was busted
Falling down a shaft in Calaveras county,
But I'd take it kindly if you'd send the pieces
Home to old Missouri!"

Bret Harte.


ODE TO WORK IN SPRINGTIME

Oh, would that working I might shun,
From labour my connection sever,
That I might do a bit—or none
Whatever!

That I might wander over hills,
Establish friendship with a daisy,
O'er pretty things like daffodils
Go crazy!
[Pg 48]
That I might at the heavens gaze,
Concern myself with nothing weighty,
Loaf, at a stretch, for seven days—
Or eighty.

Why can't I cease a slave to be,
And taste existence beatific
On some fair island, hid in the
Pacific?

Instead of sitting at a desk
'Mid undone labours, grimly lurking—
Oh, say, what is there picturesque
In working?

But no!—to loaf were misery!—
I love to work! Hang isles of coral!
(To end this otherwise would be
Immoral!)

Thomas R. Ybarra.


OLD STUFF

If I go to see the play,
Of the story I am certain;
Promptly it gets under way
With the lifting of the curtain.
Builded all that's said and done
On the ancient recipe—
'Tis the same old Two and One:
A and B in love with C.

If I read the latest book,
There's the mossy situation;
One may confidently look
For the trite triangulation.
Old as time, but ever new,
Seemingly, this tale of Three—
Same old yarn of One and Two:
A and C in love with B.
[Pg 49]
If I cast my eyes around,
Far and near and middle distance,
Still the formula is found
In our everyday existence.
Everywhere I look I see—
Fact or fiction, life or play—
Still the little game of Three:
B and C in love with A.

While the ancient law fulfills,
Myriad moons shall wane and wax.
Jack must have his pair of Jills,
Jill must have her pair of Jacks.

Bert Leston Taylor.


TO MINERVA

My temples throb, my pulses boil,
I'm sick of Song and Ode and Ballad—
So Thyrsis, take the midnight oil,
And pour it on a lobster salad.

My brain is dull, my sight is foul,
I cannot write a verse, or read—
Then Pallas, take away thine Owl,
And let us have a Lark instead.

Thomas Hood.


THE LEGEND OF HEINZ VON STEIN

Out rode from his wild, dark castle
The terrible Heinz von Stein;
He came to the door of a tavern
And gazed on its swinging sign.

He sat himself down at a table,
And growled for a bottle of wine;
Up came with a flask and a corkscrew
A maiden of beauty divine.
[Pg 50]
Then, seized with a deep love-longing,
He uttered, "O damosel mine,
Suppose you just give a few kisses
To the valorous Ritter von Stein!"

But she answered, "The kissing business
Is entirely out of my line;
And I certainly will not begin it
On a countenance ugly as thine!"

Oh, then the bold knight was angry,
And cursed both coarse and fine;
And asked, "How much is the swindle
For your sour and nasty wine?"

And fiercely he rode to the castle
And sat himself down to dine;
And this is the dreadful legend
Of the terrible Heinz von Stein.

Charles Godfrey Leland.


THE TRUTH ABOUT HORACE

It is very aggravating
To hear the solemn prating
Of the fossils who are stating
That old Horace was a prude;
When we know that with the ladies
He was always raising Hades,
And with many an escapade his
Best productions are imbued.

There's really not much harm in a
Large number of his carmina,
But these people find alarm in a
Few records of his acts;
[Pg 51]
So they'd squelch the muse caloric,
And to students sophomoric
They'd present as metaphoric
What old Horace meant for facts.

We have always thought 'em lazy;
Now we adjudge 'em crazy!
Why, Horace was a daisy
That was very much alive!
And the wisest of us know him
As his Lydia verses show him,—
Go, read that virile poem,—
It is No. 25.

He was a very owl, sir,
And starting out to prowl, sir,
You bet he made Rome howl, sir,
Until he filled his date;
With a massic-laden ditty
And a classic maiden pretty,
He painted up the city,
And Mæcenas paid the freight!

Eugene Field.


PROPINQUITY NEEDED

Celestine Silvousplait Justine de Mouton Rosalie,
A coryphée who lived and danced in naughty, gay Paree,
Was every bit as pretty as a French girl e'er can be
(Which isn't saying much).

Maurice Boulanger (there's a name that would adorn a king),
But Morris Baker was the name they called the man I sing.
He lived in New York City in the Street that's labeled Spring
(Chosen because it rhymed).

Now Baker was a lonesome youth and wanted to be wed,
And for a wife, all over town he hunted, it is said;
And up and down Fifth Avenue he ofttimes wanderéd
(He was a peripatetic Baker, he was).
[Pg 52]
And had he met Celestine, not a doubt but Cupid's darts
Would in a trice have wounded both of their fond, loving hearts;
But he has never left New York to stray in foreign parts
(Because he hasn't the price).

And she has never left Paree and so, of course, you see
There's not the slightest chance at all she'll marry Morris B.
For love to get well started, really needs propinquity
(Hence my title).

Charles Battell Loomis.


IN THE CATACOMBS

Sam Brown was a fellow from way down East,
Who never was "staggered" in the least.
No tale of marvellous beast or bird
Could match the stories he had heard;
No curious place or wondrous view
"Was ekil to Podunk, I tell yu."

If they told him of Italy's sunny clime,
"Maine kin beat it, every time!"
If they marvelled at Ætna's fount of fire,
They roused his ire:
With an injured air
He'd reply, "I swear
I don't think much of a smokin' hill;
We've got a moderate little rill
Kin make yer old volcaner still;
Jes' pour old Kennebec down the crater,
'N' I guess it'll cool her fiery nater!"

They showed him a room where a queen had slept;
"'Twan't up to the tavern daddy kept."
They showed him Lucerne; but he had drunk
From the beautiful Molechunkamunk.
They took him at last to ancient Rome,
And inveigled him into a catacomb:
[Pg 53]
Here they plied him with draughts of wine,
Though he vowed old cider was twice as fine,
Till the fumes of Falernian filled his head,
And he slept as sound as the silent dead;
They removed a mummy to make him room,
And laid him at length in the rocky tomb.

They piled old skeletons round the stone,
Set a "dip" in a candlestick of bone,
And left him to slumber there alone;
Then watched from a distance the taper's gleam,
Waiting to jeer at his frightened scream,
When he should wake from his drunken dream.

After a time the Yankee woke,
But instantly saw through the flimsy joke;
So never a cry or shout he uttered,
But solemnly rose, and slowly muttered:
"I see how it is. It's the judgment day,
We've all been dead and stowed away;
All these stone furreners sleepin' yet,
An' I'm the fust one up, you bet!
Can't none o' you Romans start, I wonder?
United States ahead, by thunder!"

Harlan Hoge Ballard.


OUR NATIVE BIRDS

Alone I sit at eventide;
The twilight glory pales,
And o'er the meadows far and wide
I hear the bobolinks—
(We have no nightingales!)

Song-sparrows warble on the tree,
I hear the purling brook,
And from the old manse on the lea
Flies slow the cawing crow—
(In England 'twere a rook!)
[Pg 54]
The last faint golden beams of day
Still glow on cottage panes,
And on their lingering homeward way
Walk weary laboring men—
(Alas! we have no swains!)

From farmyards, down fair rural glades
Come sounds of tinkling bells,
And songs of merry brown milkmaids
Sweeter than catbird's strains—
(I should say Philomel's!)

I could sit here till morning came,
All through the night hours dark,
Until I saw the sun's bright flame
And heard the oriole—
(Alas! we have no lark!)

We have no leas, no larks, no rooks,
No swains, no nightingales,
No singing milkmaids (save in books)
The poet does his best:—
It is the rhyme that fails.

Nathan Haskell Dole.


THE PRAYER OF CYRUS BROWN

"The proper way for a man to pray,"
Said Deacon Lemuel Keyes,
"And the only proper attitude
Is down upon his knees."

"No, I should say the way to pray,"
Said Rev. Doctor Wise,
"Is standing straight with outstretched arms
And rapt and upturned eyes."

"Oh, no; no, no," said Elder Slow,
"Such posture is too proud:
A man should pray with eyes fast closed
And head contritely bowed."
[Pg 55]
"It seems to me his hands should be
Austerely clasped in front.
With both thumbs pointing toward the ground,"
Said Rev. Doctor Blunt.

"Las' year I fell in Hodgkin's well
Head first," said Cyrus Brown,
"With both my heels a-stickin' up,
My head a-pinting down;

"An' I made a prayer right then an' there—
Best prayer I ever said,
The prayingest prayer I ever prayed,
A-standing on my head."

Sam Walter Foss.


ERRING IN COMPANY

"If I have erred, I err in company with Abraham Lincoln."—Theodore Roosevelt.

If e'er my rhyming be at fault,
If e'er I chance to scribble dope,
If that my metre ever halt,
I err in company with Pope.

An that my grammar go awry,
An that my English be askew,
Sooth, I can prove an alibi—
The Bard of Avon did it too.

If often toward the bottled grape
My errant fancy fondly turns,
Remember, leering jackanape,
I err in company with Burns.

If now and then I sigh "Mine own!"
Unto another's wedded wife,
Remember, I am not alone—
Hast ever read Lord Byron's Life?
[Pg 56]
If frequently I fret and fume,
And absolutely will not smile,
I err in company with Hume,
Old Socrates and T. Carlyle.

If e'er I fail in etiquette,
And foozle on The Proper Stuff
Regarding manners, don't forget
A. Tennyson's were pretty tough.

Eke if I err upon the side
Of talking overmuch of Me,
I err, it cannot be denied,
In most illustrious company.

Franklin P. Adams.


CUPID

Why was Cupid a boy,
And why a boy was he?
He should have been a girl,
For aught that I can see.

For he shoots with his bow,
And the girl shoots with her eye;
And they both are merry and glad,
And laugh when we do cry.

Then to make Cupid a boy
Was surely a woman's plan,
For a boy never learns so much
Till he has become a man.

And then he's so pierced with cares,
And wounded with arrowy smarts,
That the whole business of his life
Is to pick out the heads of the darts.

William Blake.

[Pg 57]

IF WE DIDN'T HAVE TO EAT

Life would be an easy matter
If we didn't have to eat.
If we never had to utter,
"Won't you pass the bread and butter,
Likewise push along that platter
Full of meat?"
Yes, if food were obsolete
Life would be a jolly treat,
If we didn't—shine or shower,
Old or young, 'bout every hour—
Have to eat, eat, eat, eat, eat—
'Twould be jolly if we didn't have to eat.

We could save a lot of money
If we didn't have to eat.
Could we cease our busy buying,
Baking, broiling, brewing, frying,
Life would then be oh, so sunny
And complete;
And we wouldn't fear to greet
Every grocer in the street
If we didn't—man and woman,
Every hungry, helpless human—
Have to eat, eat, eat, eat, eat—
We'd save money if we didn't have to eat.

All our worry would be over
If we didn't have to eat.
Would the butcher, baker, grocer
Get our hard-earned dollars? No, Sir!
We would then be right in clover
Cool and sweet.
Want and hunger we could cheat,
And we'd get there with both feet,
If we didn't—poor or wealthy,
Halt or nimble, sick or healthy—
Have to eat, eat, eat, eat, eat,
We could get there if we didn't have to eat.

Nixon Waterman.

[Pg 58]

TO MY EMPTY PURSE

To you, my purse, and to none other wight,
Complain I, for ye be my lady dere;
I am sorry now that ye be light,
For, certes, ye now make me heavy chere;
Me were as lefe be laid upon a bere,
For which unto your mercy thus I crie,
Be heavy againe, or els mote I die.

Now vouchsafe this day or it be night,
That I of you the blissful sowne may here,
Or see your color like the sunne bright,
That of yellowness had never pere;
Ye are my life, ye be my hertes stere,
Queen of comfort and of good companie,
Be heavy againe, or els mote I die.

Now purse, thou art to me my lives light,
And saviour, as downe in this world here,
Out of this towne helpe me by your might,
Sith that you will not be my treasure,
For I am slave as nere as any frere,
But I pray unto your curtesie,
Be heavy againe, or els mote I die.

Geoffrey Chaucer.


THE BIRTH OF SAINT PATRICK

On the eighth day of March it was, some people say,
That Saint Pathrick at midnight he first saw the day;
While others declare 'twas the ninth he was born,
And 'twas all a mistake between midnight and morn;
For mistakes will occur in a hurry and shock,
And some blam'd the baby—and some blam'd the clock—
Till with all their cross-questions sure no one could know,
If the child was too fast—or the clock was too slow.
[Pg 59]
Now the first faction fight in ould Ireland, they say,
Was all on account of Saint Pathrick's birthday,
Some fought for the eighth—for the ninth more would die.
And who wouldn't see right, sure they blacken'd his eye!
At last, both the factions so positive grew,
That each kept a birthday, so Pat then had two,
Till Father Mulcahy, who showed them their sins,
Said, "No one could have two birthdays but a twins."

Says he, "Boys, don't be fightin' for eight or for nine,
Don't be always dividin'—but sometimes combine;
Combine eight with nine, and seventeen is the mark,
So let that be his birthday."—"Amen," says the clerk.
"If he wasn't a twins, sure our hist'ry will show—
That, at least, he's worth any two saints that we know!"
Then they all got blind dhrunk—which complated their bliss,
And we keep up the practice from that day to this.

Samuel Lover.


HER LITTLE FEET

Her little feet! ... Beneath us ranged the sea,
She sat, from sun and wind umbrella-shaded,
One shoe above the other danglingly,
And lo! a Something exquisitely graded,
Brown rings and white, distracting—to the knee!

The band was loud. A wild waltz melody
Flowed rhythmic forth. The nobodies paraded.
And thro' my dream went pulsing fast and free:
Her little feet.

Till she made room for some one. It was He!
A port-wine flavored He, a He who traded,
Rich, rosy, round, obese to a degree!
A sense of injury overmastered me.
Quite bulbously his ample boots upbraided
Her little feet.

William Ernest Henley.

[Pg 60]

SCHOOL

If there is a vile, pernicious,
Wicked and degraded rule,
Tending to debase the vicious,
And corrupt the harmless fool;
If there is a hateful habit
Making man a senseless tool,
With the feelings of a rabbit
And the wisdom of a mule;
It's the rule which inculcates,
It's the habit which dictates
The wrong and sinful practice of going into school.

If there's anything improving
To an erring sinner's state,
Which is useful in removing
All the ills of human fate;
If there's any glorious custom
Which our faults can dissipate,
And can casually thrust 'em
Out of sight and make us great;
It's the plan by which we shirk
Half our matu-ti-nal work,
The glorious institution of always being late.

James Kenneth Stephen.


THE MILLENNIUM

TO R. K.

As long I dwell on some stupendous
And tremendous (Heaven defend us!)

[Pg 61] Monstr'-inform'-ingens-horrendous
Demoniaco-seraphic
Penman's latest piece of graphic.

—Robert Browning.


Will there never come a season
Which shall rid us from the curse
Of a prose which knows no reason
And an unmelodious verse:
When the world shall cease to wonder
At the genius of an Ass,
And a boy's eccentric blunder
Shall not bring success to pass:

When mankind shall be delivered
From the clash of magazines,
And the inkstand shall be shivered
Into countless smithereens:
When there stands a muzzled stripling,
Mute, beside a muzzled bore:
When the Rudyards cease from Kipling
And the Haggards Ride no more?

James Kenneth Stephen.


"EXACTLY SO"

A speech, both pithy and concise,
Marks a mind acute and wise;
What speech, my friend, say, do you know,
Can stand before "Exactly so?"

I have a dear and witty friend
Who turns this phrase to every end;
None can deny that "Yes" or "No"
Is meant in this "Exactly so."

Or when a bore his ear assails,
Good-humour in his bosom fails,
No response from his lips will flow,
Save, now and then, "Exactly so."
[Pg 62]
Is there remark on matters grave
That he may wish perchance to waive,
Or thinks perhaps is rather slow,
He stops it by "Exactly so."

It saves the trouble of a thought—
No sour dispute can thence be sought;
It leaves the thing in statu quo,
This beautiful "Exactly so."

It has another charm, this phrase,
For it implies the speaker's praise
Of what has just been said—ergo
It pleases, this "Exactly so."

Nor need the conscience feel distress,
By answ'ring wrongly "No" or "Yes;"
It 'scapes a falsehood, which is low,
And substitutes "Exactly so."

Each mortal loves to think he's right,
That his opinion, too, is bright;
Then, Christian, you may soothe your foe
By chiming in "Exactly so."

Whoe'er these lines may chance peruse,
Of this famed word will see the use,
And mention where'er he may go,
The praises of "Exactly so."

Of this more could my muse relate,
But you, kind reader, I'll not sate;
For if I did you'd cry "Hallo!
I've heard enough"—"Exactly so."

Lady T. Hastings.

[Pg 63]

COMPANIONS

A TALE OF A GRANDFATHER

I know not of what we ponder'd
Or made pretty pretence to talk,
As, her hand within mine, we wander'd
Tow'rd the pool by the lime-tree walk,
While the dew fell in showers from the passion flowers
And the blush-rose bent on her stalk.

I cannot recall her figure:
Was it regal as Juno's own?
Or only a trifle bigger
Than the elves who surround the throne
Of the Faëry Queen, and are seen, I ween,
By mortals in dreams alone?

What her eyes were like, I know not:
Perhaps they were blurr'd with tears;
And perhaps in your skies there glow not
(On the contrary) clearer spheres.
No! as to her eyes I am just as wise
As you or the cat, my dears.

Her teeth, I presume, were "pearly":
But which was she, brunette or blonde?
Her hair, was it quaintly curly,
Or as straight as a beadle's wand?
That I fail'd to remark;—it was rather dark
And shadowy round the pond.

Then the hand that reposed so snugly
In mine,—was it plump or spare?
Was the countenance fair or ugly?
Nay, children, you have me there!
My eyes were p'r'aps blurr'd; and besides I'd heard
That it's horribly rude to stare.
[Pg 64]
And I—was I brusque and surly?
Or oppressively bland and fond?
Was I partial to rising early?
Or why did we twain abscond,
All breakfastless, too, from the public view,
To prowl by a misty pond?

What pass'd, what was felt or spoken—
Whether anything pass'd at all—
And whether the heart was broken
That beat under that shelt'ring shawl—
(If shawl she had on, which I doubt)—has gone,
Yes, gone from me past recall.

Was I haply the lady's suitor?
Or her uncle? I can't make out—
Ask your governess, dears, or tutor.
For myself, I'm in hopeless doubt
As to why we were there, who on earth we were,
And, what this is all about.

Charles Stuart Calverley.


THE SCHOOLMASTER

ABROAD WITH HIS SON

O what harper could worthily harp it,
Mine Edward! this wide-stretching wold
(Look out wold) with its wonderful carpet
Of emerald, purple and gold!
Look well at it—also look sharp, it
Is getting so cold.

The purple is heather (erica);
The yellow, gorse—call'd sometimes "whin."
Cruel boys on its prickles might spike a
Green beetle as if on a pin.
You may roll in it, if you would like a
Few holes in your skin.
[Pg 65]
You wouldn't? Then think of how kind you
Should be to the insects who crave
Your compassion—and then, look behind you
At yon barley-ears! Don't they look brave
As they undulate—(undulate, mind you,
From unda, a wave).

The noise of those sheep-bells, how faint it
Sounds here—(on account of our height)!
And this hillock itself—who could paint it,
With its changes of shadow and light?
Is it not—(never, Eddy, say "ain't it")—
A marvelous sight?

Then yon desolate eerie morasses.
The haunts of the snipe and the hern—
(I shall question the two upper classes
On aquatiles, when we return)—
Why, I see on them absolute masses
Of filix or fern.

How it interests e'en a beginner
(Or tiro) like dear little Ned!
Is he listening? As I am a sinner
He's asleep—he is wagging his head.
Wake up! I'll go home to my dinner,
And you to your bed.

The boundless ineffable prairie;
The splendor of mountain and lake
With their hues that seem ever to vary;
The mighty pine forests which shake
In the wind, and in which the unwary
May tread on a snake;

And this wold with its heathery garment—
Are themes undeniably great.
But—although there is not any harm in't—
It's perhaps little good to dilate
On their charms to a dull little varmint
Of seven or eight.

Charles Stuart Calverley.

[Pg 66]

A APPEAL FOR ARE TO THE SEXTANT OF THE OLD BRICK MEETINOUSE

BY A GASPER

The sextant of the meetinouse, which sweeps
And dusts, or is supposed too! and makes fiers,
And lites the gas and sometimes leaves a screw loose,
in which case it smells orful—worse than lampile;
And wrings the Bel and toles it when men dyes
to the grief of survivin pardners, and sweeps pathes;
And for the servases gits $100 per annum,
Which them that thinks deer, let em try it;
Getting up be foar star-lite in all weathers and
Kindlin-fires when the wether it is cold
As zero, and like as not green wood for kindlers;
I wouldn't be hired to do it for no some—
But o sextant! there are 1 kermoddity
Which's more than gold, wich doant cost nothin,
Worth more than anything exsep the Sole of Man.
i mean pewer Are, sextent, i mean pewer are!
O it is plenty out o dores, so plenty it doant no
What on airth to dew with itself, but flys about
Scaterin levs and bloin of men's hatts;
in short, jest "fre as are" out dores.
But o sextant, in our church its scarce as piety,
scarce as bank bills wen agints beg for mischuns,
Wich some say purty often (taint nothin to me,
Wat I give aint nothin to nobody), but o sextant,
u shut 500 mens wimmen and children,
Speshally the latter, up in a tite place,
Some has bad breths, none aint 2 swete,
some is fevery, some is scrofilus, some has bad teeth,
And some haint none, and some aint over clean;
But every 1 on em breethes in and out and out and in,
Say 50 times a minit, or 1 million and a half breths an our,
Now how long will a church ful of are last at that rate,
I ask you, say 15 minutes, and then wats to be did?
Why then they must brethe it all over agin.
[Pg 67] And then agin, and so on, till each has took it down,
At least ten times, and let it up again, and wats more
The same individible don't have the privilege
of brethen his own are, and no one's else;
Each one mus take whatever comes to him,
O sextant, don't you know our lungs is bellusses,
To blo the fier of life, and keep it from
goin out; and how can bellusses blow without wind,
And aint wind are? i put it to your conscens.
Are is the same to us as milk to babes,
Or water to fish, or pendlums to clox—
Or roots and airbs unto an injun Doctor,
Or little pils to an omepath,
Or boys to gurls. Are is for us to brethe,
Wat signifies who preeches if i cant brethe?
Wats Pol? Wats Pollus? to sinners who are ded?
Ded for want of breth? why sextant, when we die
Its only coz we cant brethe no more—that's all.
And now, O sextant, let me beg of you
2 let a little are into our church.
(Pewer are is sertin proper for the pews)
And do it weak days and Sundays tew—
It aint much trouble—only make a hole
And the are will come in itself;
(It luvs to come in whare it can git warm):
And o how it will rouse the people up
And sperrit up the preacher, and stop garbs,
And yawns and figgits as effectooal
As wind on the dry Boans the Profit tells of.

Arabella Willson.


CUPID'S DARTS

WHICH ARE A GROWING MENACE TO THE PUBLIC

Do not worry if I scurry from the grill room in a hurry,
Dropping hastily my curry and retiring into balk;
Do not let it cause you wonder if, by some mischance or blunder,
We encounter on the Underground and I get out and walk.
[Pg 68]
If I double as a cub'll when you meet him in the stubble,
Do not think I am in trouble or attempt to make a fuss;
Do not judge me melancholy or attribute it to folly
If I leave the Metropolitan and travel 'n a bus.

Do not quiet your anxiety by giving me a diet,
Or by base resort to vi et armis fold me to your arms,
And let no suspicious tremor violate your wonted phlegm or
Any fear that Harold's memory is faithless to your charms.

For my passion as I dash on in that disconcerting fashion
Is as ardently irrational as when we forged the link
When you gave your little hand away to me, my own Amanda
As we sat 'n the veranda till the stars began to wink.

And I am in such a famine when your beauty I examine
That it lures me as the jam invites a hungry little brat;
But I fancy that, at any rate, I'd rather waste a penny
Then be spitted by the many pins that bristle from your hat.

Unknown.


A PLEA FOR TRIGAMY

I've been trying to fashion a wifely ideal,
And find that my tastes are so far from concise
That, to marry completely, no fewer than three'll
Suffice

I've subjected my views to severe atmospheric
Compression, but still, in defiance of force,
They distinctly fall under three heads, like a cleric
Discourse.

My first must be fashion's own fancy-bred daughter,
Proud, peerless, and perfect—in fact, comme il faut;
A waltzer and wit of the very first water—
For show.
[Pg 69]
But these beauties that serve to make all the men jealous,
Once face them alone in the family cot,
Heaven's angels incarnate (the novelists tell us)
They're not.

But so much for appearances. Now for my second,
My lover, the wife of my home and my heart:
Of all fortune and fate of my life to be reckon'd
A part.

She must know all the needs of a rational being,
Be skilled to keep counsel, to comfort, to coax;
And, above all things else, be accomplished at seeing
My jokes.

I complete the ménage by including the other
With all the domestic prestige of a hen:
As my housekeeper, nurse, or it may be, a mother
Of men.

Total three! and the virtues all well represented;
With fewer than this such a thing can't be done;
Though I've known married men who declare they're contented
With one.

Would you hunt during harvest, or hay-make in winter?
And how can one woman expect to combine
Certain qualifications essentially inter-
necine?

You may say that my prospects are (legally) sunless;
I state that I find them as clear as can be:—
I will marry no wife, since I can't do with one less
Than three.

Owen Seaman.

[Pg 70]

THE POPE

The Pope he leads a happy life,
He fears not married care nor strife.
He drinks the best of Rhenish wine,—
I would the Pope's gay lot were mine.

But yet all happy's not his life,
He has no maid, nor blooming wife;
No child has he to raise his hope,—
I would not wish to be the Pope.

The Sultan better pleases me,
His is a life of jollity;
He's wives as many as he will,—
I would the Sultan's throne then fill.

But even he's a wretched man,
He must obey the Alcoran;
He dare not drink one drop of wine—
I would not change his lot for mine.

So here I'll take my lowly stand,
I'll drink my own, my native land;
I'll kiss my maiden fair and fine,
And drink the best of Rhenish wine.

And when my maiden kisses me
I'll think that I the Sultan be;
And when my cheery glass I tope,
I'll fancy then I am the Pope.

Charles Lever.


ALL AT SEA

THE VOYAGE OF A CERTAIN UNCERTAIN SAILORMAN

I saw a certain sailorman who sat beside the sea,
And in the manner of his tribe he yawned this yarn to me:
[Pg 71] "'Twere back in eighteen-fifty-three, or mebbe fifty-four,
I skipped the farm,—no, 't were the shop,—an' went to Baltimore.
I shipped aboard the Lizzie—or she might ha' bin the Jane;
Them wimmin names are mixey, so I don't remember plain;
But anyhow, she were a craft that carried schooner rig,
(Although Sam Swab, the bo'sun, allus swore she were a brig);
We sailed away from Salem Town,—no, lemme think;—'t were Lynn,—
An' steered a course for Africa (or Greece, it might ha' bin);
But anyway, we tacked an' backed an' weathered many a storm—
Oh, no,—as I recall it now, that week was fine an' warm!
Who did I say the cap'n was? I didn't say at all?
Wa-a-ll now, his name were 'Lijah Bell—or was it Eli Ball?
I kinder guess 't were Eli. He'd a big, red, bushy beard—
No-o-o, come to think, he allus kept his whiskers nicely sheared.

But anyhow, that voyage was the first I'd ever took,
An' all I had to do was cut up cabbage for the cook;
But come to talk o' cabbage just reminds me,—that there trip
Would prob'ly be my third one, on a Hong Kong clipper-ship.

The crew they were a jolly lot, an' used to sing 'Avast,'
I think it were, or else 'Ahoy,' while bailing out the mast.
And as I recollect it now,—"
But here I cut him short,
And said: "It's time to tack again, and bring your wits to port;
I came to get a story both adventurous and true,
And here is how I started out to write the interview:
'I saw a certain sailorman,' but you turn out to be
The most un-certain sailorman that ever sailed the sea!"
[Pg 72] He puffed his pipe, and answered, "Wa-a-ll, I thought 'twere mine, but still,
I must ha' told the one belongs to my twin brother Bill!"

Frederick Moxon.


BALLAD OF THE PRIMITIVE JEST

I am an ancient Jest!
Paleolithic man
In his arboreal nest
The sparks of fun would fan;
My outline did he plan,
And laughed like one possessed,
'Twas thus my course began,
I am a Merry Jest.

I am an early Jest!
Man delved and built and span;
Then wandered South and West
The peoples Aryan,
I journeyed in their van;
The Semites, too, confessed,—
From Beersheba to Dan,—
I am a Merry Jest.

I am an ancient Jest,
Through all the human clan,
Red, black, white, free, oppressed,
Hilarious I ran!
I'm found in Lucian,
In Poggio, and the rest,
I'm dear to Moll and Nan!
I am a Merry Jest!

ENVOY:

Prince, you may storm and ban—
Joe Millers are a pest,
Suppress me if you can!
I am a Merry Jest!

Andrew Lang.

[Pg 73]

VILLANELLE OF THINGS AMUSING

These are the things that make me laugh—
Life's a preposterous farce, say I!
And I've missed of too many jokes by half.

The high-heeled antics of colt and calf,
The men who think they can act, and try—
These are the things that make me laugh.

The hard-boiled poses in photograph,
The groom still wearing his wedding tie—
And I've missed of too many jokes by half!

These are the bubbles I gayly quaff
With the rank conceit of the new-born fly—
These are the things that make me laugh!

For, Heaven help me! I needs must chaff,
And people will tickle me till I die—
And I've missed of too many jokes by half!

So write me down in my epitaph
As one too fond of his health to cry—
These are the things that make me laugh,
And I've missed of too many jokes by half!

Gelett Burgess.


HOW TO EAT WATERMELONS

When you slice a Georgy melon you mus' know what you is at
An' look out how de knife is gwine in.
Put one-half on dis side er you—de yuther half on dat,
En' den you gits betwixt 'em, en begin!
Oh, melons!
Honey good ter see;
But we'en it comes ter sweetness,
De melon make fer me!
[Pg 74]
En den you puts yo' knife up, en you sorter licks de blade,
En never stop fer sayin' any grace;
But eat ontell you satisfy—roll over in de shade,
En sleep ontell de sun shine in yo' face!
Oh, melons!
Honey good ter see;
But we'en it comes ter sweetness,
De melon make fer me!

Frank Libby Stanton.


A VAGUE STORY

Perchance it was her eyes of blue,
Her cheeks that might the rose have shamed,
Her figure in proportion true
To all the rules by artists framed;
Perhaps it was her mental worth
That made her lover love her so,
Perhaps her name, or wealth, or birth—
I cannot tell—I do not know.

He may have had a rival, who
Did fiercely gage him to a duel,
And, being luckier of the two,
Defeated him with triumph cruel;
Then she may have proved false, and turned
To welcome to her arms his foe,
Left him despairing, conquered, spurned—
I cannot tell—I do not know.

So oft such woes will counteract
The thousand ecstacies of love,
That you may fix on base of fact
The story hinted at above;
But all on earth so doubtful is,
Man knows so little here below,
That, if you ask for proof of this,
I cannot tell—I do not know.

Walter Parke.

[Pg 75]

HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW

He stood on his head by the wild seashore,
And danced on his hands a jig;
In all his emotions, as never before,
A wildly hilarious grig.

And why? In that ship just crossing the bay
His mother-in-law had sailed
For a tropical country far away,
Where tigers and fever prevailed.

Oh, now he might hope for a peaceful life
And even be happy yet,
Though owning no end of neuralgic wife,
And up to his collar in debt.

He had borne the old lady through thick and thin,
And she lectured him out of breath;
And now as he looked at the ship she was in
He howled for her violent death.

He watched as the good ship cut the sea,
And bumpishly up-and-downed,
And thought if already she qualmish might be,
He'd consider his happiness crowned.

He watched till beneath the horizon's edge
The ship was passing from view;
And he sprang to the top of a rocky ledge
And pranced like a kangaroo.

He watched till the vessel became a speck
That was lost in the wandering sea;
And then, at the risk of breaking his neck,
Turned somersaults home to tea.

Walter Parke.

[Pg 76]

ON A DEAF HOUSEKEEPER

Of all life's plagues I recommend to no man
To hire as a domestic a deaf woman.
I've got one who my orders does not hear,
Mishears them rather, and keeps blundering near.
Thirsty and hot, I asked her for a drink;
She bustled out, and brought me back some ink.
Eating a good rump-steak, I called for mustard;
Away she went, and whipped me up a custard.
I wanted with my chicken to have ham;
Blundering once more, she brought a pot of jam.
I wished in season for a cut of salmon;
And what she brought me was a huge fat gammon.
I can't my voice raise higher and still higher,
As if I were a herald or town-crier.
'T would better be if she were deaf outright;
But anyhow she quits my house this night.

Unknown.


HOMŒOPATHIC SOUP

Take a robin's leg
(Mind, the drumstick merely);
Put it in a tub
Filled with water nearly;
Set it out of doors,
In a place that's shady;
Let it stand a week
(Three days if for a lady);
Drop a spoonful of it
In a five-pail kettle,
Which may be made of tin
Or any baser metal;
Fill the kettle up,
Set it on a boiling,
Strain the liquor well,
To prevent its oiling;
One atom add of salt,
For the thickening one rice kernel,
[Pg 77] And use to light the fire
"The Homœopathic Journal."
Let the liquor boil
Half an hour, no longer,
(If 'tis for a man
Of course you'll make it stronger).
Should you now desire
That the soup be flavoury,
Stir it once around,
With a stalk of savoury.
When the broth is made,
Nothing can excell it:
Then three times a day
Let the patient smell it.
If he chance to die,
Say 'twas Nature did it:
If he chance to live,
Give the soup the credit.

Unknown.


SOME LITTLE BUG

In these days of indigestion
It is oftentimes a question
As to what to eat and what to leave alone;
For each microbe and bacillus
Has a different way to kill us,
And in time they always claim us for their own.
There are germs of every kind
In any food that you can find
In the market or upon the bill of fare.
Drinking water's just as risky
As the so-called deadly whiskey,
And it's often a mistake to breathe the air.

Some little bug is going to find you some day,
Some little bug will creep behind you some day,
Then he'll send for his bug friends
And all your earthly trouble ends;
Some little bug is going to find you some day.
[Pg 78]
The inviting green cucumber
Gets most everybody's number,
While the green corn has a system of its own;
Though a radish seems nutritious
Its behaviour is quite vicious,
And a doctor will be coming to your home.
Eating lobster cooked or plain
Is only flirting with ptomaine,
While an oyster sometimes has a lot to say,
But the clams we eat in chowder
Make the angels chant the louder,
For they know that we'll be with them right away.

Take a slice of nice fried onion
And you're fit for Dr. Munyon,
Apple dumplings kill you quicker than a train.
Chew a cheesy midnight "rabbit"
And a grave you'll soon inhabit—
Ah, to eat at all is such a foolish game.
Eating huckleberry pie
Is a pleasing way to die,
While sauerkraut brings on softening of the brain.
When you eat banana fritters
Every undertaker titters,
And the casket makers nearly go insane.

Some little bug is going to find you some day,
Some little bug will creep behind you some day,
With a nervous little quiver
He'll give cirrhosis of the liver;
Some little bug is going to find you some day.

When cold storage vaults I visit
I can only say what is it
Makes poor mortals fill their systems with such stuff?
Now, for breakfast, prunes are dandy
If a stomach pump is handy
And your doctor can be found quite soon enough.
Eat a plate of fine pigs' knuckles
And the headstone cutter chuckles,
[Pg 79] While the grave digger makes a note upon his cuff.
Eat that lovely red bologna
And you'll wear a wooden kimona,
As your relatives start scrappin 'bout your stuff.

Some little bug is going to find you some day,
Some little bug will creep behind you some day,
Eating juicy sliced pineapple
Makes the sexton dust the chapel;
Some little bug is going to find you some day.

All those crazy foods they mix
Will float us 'cross the River Styx,
Or they'll start us climbing up the milky way.
And the meals we eat in courses
Mean a hearse and two black horses
So before a meal some people always pray.
Luscious grapes breed 'pendicitis,
And the juice leads to gastritis,
So there's only death to greet us either way;
And fried liver's nice, but, mind you,
Friends will soon ride slow behind you
And the papers then will have nice things to say.

Some little bug is going to find you some day,
Some little bug will creep behind you some day
Eat some sauce, they call it chili,
On your breast they'll place a lily;
Some little bug is going to find you some day.

Roy Atwell.


ON THE DOWNTOWN SIDE OF AN UPTOWN STREET

On the downtown side of an uptown street
Is the home of a girl that I'd like to meet,
But I'm on the uptown,
And she's on the downtown,
On the downtown side of an uptown street.
[Pg 80]
On the uptown side of the crowded old "L,"
I see her so often I know her quite well,
But I'm on the downtown
When she's on the uptown,
On the uptown side of the crowded old "L."

On the uptown side of a downtown street
This girl is employed that I'd like to meet,
But I work on the downtown
And she on the uptown,
The uptown side of a downtown street.

On a downtown car of the Broadway line
Often I see her for whom I repine,
But when I'm on a uptown
She's on a downtown,
On a downtown car of the Broadway line.

Oh, to be downtown when I am uptown,
Oh, to be uptown when I am downtown,
I work at night time,
She in the daytime,
Never the right time for us to meet,
Uptown or downtown, in "L," car or street.

William Johnston.


WRITTEN AFTER SWIMMING FROM SESTOS TO ABYDOS

If, in the month of dark December,
Leander, who was nightly wont
(What maid will not the tale remember?)
To cross thy stream broad Hellespont.

If, when the wint'ry tempest roar'd,
He sped to Hero nothing loth,
And thus of old thy current pour'd,
Fair Venus! how I pity both!
[Pg 81]
For me, degenerate, modern wretch,
Though in the genial month of May,
My dripping limbs I faintly stretch,
And think I've done a feat to-day.

But since he crossed the rapid tide,
According to the doubtful story,
To woo—and—Lord knows what beside,
And swam for Love, as I for Glory;

'T were hard to say who fared the best:
Sad mortals! thus the gods still plague you!
He lost his labor, I my jest;
For he was drowned, and I've the ague.

Lord Byron.


THE FISHERMAN'S CHANT

Oh, the fisherman is a happy wight!
He dibbles by day, and he sniggles by night.
He trolls for fish, and he trolls his lay—
He sniggles by night, and he dibbles by day.
Oh, who so merry as he!
On the river or the sea!
Sniggling,
Wriggling
Eels, and higgling
Over the price
Of a nice
Slice
Of fish, twice
As much as it ought to be.

Oh, the fisherman is a happy man!
He dibbles, and sniggles, and fills his can!
With a sharpened hook, and a sharper eye,
He sniggles and dibbles for what comes by,
Oh, who so merry as he!
On the river or the sea!
[Pg 82] Dibbling
Nibbling
Chub, and quibbling
Over the price
Of a nice
Slice
Of fish, twice
As much as it ought to be.

F. C. Burnand.


REPORT OF AN ADJUDGED CASE

NOT TO BE FOUND IN ANY OF THE BOOKS

Between Nose and Eyes a strange contest arose,
The spectacles set them unhappily wrong;
The point in dispute was, as all the world knows,
To which the said spectacles ought to belong.

So Tongue was the lawyer, and argued the cause
With a great deal of skill, and a wig full of learning;
While chief baron Ear sat to balance the laws,
So famed for his talent in nicely discerning.

In behalf of the Nose it will quickly appear,
And your lordship, he said, will undoubtedly find,
That the Nose has had spectacles always to wear,
Which amounts to possession time out of mind.

Then holding the spectacles up to the court—
Your lordship observes they are made with a straddle
As wide as the ridge of the Nose is; in short,
Designed to sit close to it, just like a saddle.

Again, would your lordship a moment suppose
('Tis a case that has happened, and may be again)
That the visage or countenance had not a nose,
Pray who would, or who could, wear spectacles then!

[Pg 83] On the whole it appears, and my argument shows
With a reasoning the court will never condemn,
That the spectacles plainly were made for the Nose,
And the Nose was as plainly intended for them.

Then shifting his side (as a lawyer knows how),
He pleaded again in behalf of the Eyes;
But what were his arguments few people know,
For the court did not think they were equally wise.

So his lordship decreed with a grave solemn tone,
Decisive and clear, without one if or but
That, whenever the Nose put his spectacles on,
By daylight or candlelight—Eyes should be shut!

William Cowper.


PREHISTORIC SMITH

QUATERNARY EPOCH—POST-PLIOCENE PERIOD

A man sat on a rock and sought
Refreshment from his thumb;
A dinotherium wandered by
And scared him some.

His name was Smith. The kind of rock
He sat upon was shale.
One feature quite distinguished him—
He had a tail.

The danger past, he fell into
A revery austere;
While with his tail he whisked a fly
From off his ear.

"Mankind deteriorates," he said,
"Grows weak and incomplete;
And each new generation seems
Yet more effete.
[Pg 84]

"Nature abhors imperfect work,
And on it lays her ban;
And all creation must despise
A tailless man.

"But fashion's dictates rule supreme,
Ignoring common sense;
And fashion says, to dock your tail
Is just immense.

"And children now come in the world
With half a tail or less;
Too stumpy to convey a thought,
And meaningless.

"It kills expression. How can one
Set forth, in words that drag,
The best emotions of the soul,
Without a wag?"

Sadly he mused upon the world,
Its follies and its woes;
Then wiped the moisture from his eyes,
And blew his nose.

But clothed in earrings, Mrs. Smith
Came wandering down the dale;
And, smiling, Mr. Smith arose,
And wagged his tail.

David Law Proudfit.


SONG

OF ONE ELEVEN YEARS IN PRISON

I

Whene'er with haggard eyes I view
This dungeon that I'm rotting in,
I think of those companions true
[Pg 85] Who studied with me at the U
niversity of Gottingen,
niversity of Gottingen.

[Weeps, and pulls out a blue kerchief, with which he wipes his eyes; gazing tenderly at it, he proceeds—

II

Sweet kerchief, check'd with heavenly blue,
Which once my love sat knotting in!—
Alas! Matilda then was true!
At least I thought so at the U
niversity of Gottingen,
niversity of Gottingen.

[At the repetition of this line he clanks his chains in cadence.

III

Barbs! Barbs! alas! how swift you flew,
Her neat post-wagon trotting in!
Ye bore Matilda from my view;
Forlorn I languish'd at the U
niversity of Gottingen,
niversity of Gottingen.

IV

This faded form! this pallid hue!
This blood my veins is clotting in,
My years are many—they were few
When first I entered at the U
niversity of Gottingen,
niversity of Gottingen.

V

There first for thee my passion grew,
Sweet, sweet Matilda Pottengen!
Thou wast the daughter of my tu
tor, law professor at the U
niversity of Gottingen,
niversity of Gottingen.
[Pg 86]

VI

Sun, moon and thou, vain world, adieu,
That kings and priests are plotting in;
Here doom'd to starve on water gru
el, never shall I see the U
niversity of Gottingen,
niversity of Gottingen.

[During the last stanza he dashes his head repeatedly against the walls of his prison; and, finally, so hard as to produce a visible contusion; he then throws himself on the floor in an agony. The curtain drops; the music still continuing to play till it is wholly fallen.

George Canning.


LYING

I do confess, in many a sigh,
My lips have breath'd you many a lie,
And who, with such delights in view,
Would lose them for a lie or two?

Nay—look not thus, with brow reproving:
Lies are, my dear, the soul of loving!
If half we tell the girls were true,
If half we swear to think and do,
Were aught but lying's bright illusion,
The world would be in strange confusion!
If ladies' eyes were, every one,
As lovers swear, a radiant sun,
Astronomy should leave the skies,
To learn her lore in ladies' eyes!
Oh no!—believe me, lovely girl,
When nature turns your teeth to pearl,
Your neck to snow, your eyes to fire,
Your yellow locks to golden wire,
Then, only then, can heaven decree,
That you should live for only me,
Or I for you, as night and morn,
We've swearing kiss'd, and kissing sworn.
[Pg 87]
And now, my gentle hints to clear,
For once, I'll tell you truth, my dear!
Whenever you may chance to meet
A loving youth, whose love is sweet,
Long as you're false and he believes you,
Long as you trust and he deceives you,
So long the blissful bond endures;
And while he lies, his heart is yours:
But, oh! you've wholly lost the youth
The instant that he tells you truth!

Thomas Moore.


STRICTLY GERM-PROOF

The Antiseptic Baby and the Prophylactic Pup
Were playing in the garden when the Bunny gamboled up;
They looked upon the Creature with a loathing undisguised;—
It wasn't Disinfected and it wasn't Sterilized.

They said it was a Microbe and a Hotbed of Disease;
They steamed it in a vapor of a thousand-odd degrees;
They froze it in a freezer that was cold as Banished Hope
And washed it in permanganate with carbolated soap.

In sulphureted hydrogen they steeped its wiggly ears;
They trimmed its frisky whiskers with a pair of hard-boiled shears;
They donned their rubber mittens and they took it by the hand
And 'lected it a member of the Fumigated Band.

There's not a Micrococcus in the garden where they play;
They bathe in pure iodoform a dozen times a day;
And each imbibes his rations from a Hygienic Cup—
The Bunny and the Baby and the Prophylactic Pup.

Arthur Guiterman.

[Pg 88]

THE LAY OF THE LOVER'S FRIEND

Air—"The days we went a-gipsying."

I would all womankind were dead,
Or banished o'er the sea;
For they have been a bitter plague
These last six weeks to me:
It is not that I'm touched myself,
For that I do not fear;
No female face hath shown me grace
For many a bygone year.
But 'tis the most infernal bore,
Of all the bores I know,
To have a friend who's lost his heart
A short time ago.

Whene'er we steam it to Blackwall,
Or down to Greenwich run,
To quaff the pleasant cider cup,
And feed on fish and fun;
Or climb the slopes of Richmond Hill,
To catch a breath of air:
Then, for my sins, he straight begins
To rave about his fair.
Oh, 'tis the most tremendous bore,
Of all the bores I know,
To have a friend who's lost his heart
A short time ago.

In vain you pour into his ear
Your own confiding grief;
In vain you claim his sympathy,
In vain you ask relief;
In vain you try to rouse him by
Joke, repartee, or quiz;
His sole reply's a burning sigh,
And "What a mind it is!"
O Lord! it is the greatest bore,
Of all the bores I know,
To have a friend who's lost his heart
A short time ago.
[Pg 89]

I've heard her thoroughly described
A hundred times, I'm sure;
And all the while I've tried to smile,
And patiently endure;
He waxes strong upon his pangs,
And potters o'er his grog;
And still I say, in a playful way—
"Why you're a lucky dog!"
But oh! it is the heaviest bore,
Of all the bores I know,
To have a friend who's lost his heart
A short time ago.

I really wish he'd do like me
When I was young and strong;
I formed a passion every week,
But never kept it long.
But he has not the sportive mood
That always rescued me,
And so I would all women could
Be banished o'er the sea.
For 'tis the most egregious bore,
Of all the bores I know,
To have a friend who's lost his heart
A short time ago.

William E. Aytoun.


MAN'S PLACE IN NATURE

DEDICATED TO DARWIN AND HUXLEY

They told him gently he was made
Of nicely tempered mud,
That man no lengthened part had played
Anterior to the Flood.
'Twas all in vain; he heeded not,
Referring plant and worm,
Fish, reptile, ape, and Hottentot,
To one primordial germ.
[Pg 90]

They asked him whether he could bear
To think his kind allied
To all those brutal forms which were
In structure Pithecoid;
Whether he thought the apes and us
Homologous in form;
He said, "Homo and Pithecus
Came from one common germ."

They called him "atheistical,"
"Sceptic," and "infidel."
They swore his doctrines without fail
Would plunge him into hell.
But he with proofs in no way lame,
Made this deduction firm,
That all organic beings came
From one primordial germ.

That as for the Noachian flood,
'Twas long ago disproved,
That as for man being made of mud,
All by whom truth is loved
Accept as fact what, malgré strife,
Research tends to confirm—
That man, and everything with life,
Came from one common germ.

Unknown.


THE NEW VERSION

A soldier of the Russians
Lay japanned at Tschrtzvkjskivitch,
There was lack of woman's nursing
And other comforts which
Might add to his last moments
And smooth the final way;—
But a comrade stood beside him
To hear what he might say.
The japanned Russian faltered
As he took that comrade's hand,
[Pg 91] And he said: "I never more shall see
My own, my native land;
Take a message and a token
To some distant friends of mine,
For I was born at Smnlxzrskgqrxzski,
Fair Smnlxzrskgqrxzski on the Irkztrvzkimnov."

W. J. Lampton.


AMAZING FACTS ABOUT FOOD

The Food Scientist tells us: "A deficiency of iron, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and the other mineral salts, colloids and vitamines of vegetable origin leads to numerous forms of physical disorder."

I yearn to bite on a Colloid
With phosphorus, iron and Beans;
I want to be filled with Calcium, grilled,
And Veg'table Vitamines!

I yearn to bite on a Colloid
(Though I don't know what it means)
To line my inside with Potassium, fried,
And Veg'table Vitamines.

I would sate my soul with spinach
And dandelion greens.
No eggs, nor ham, nor hard-boiled clam,
But Veg'table Vitamines.

Hi, Waiter! Coddle the Colloids
With phosphorus, iron and Beans;
Though Mineral Salts may have some faults,
Bring on the Vitamines.

Unknown. [Pg 92]


TRANSCENDENTALISM

It is told, in Buddhi-theosophic schools,
There are rules.
By observing which, when mundane labor irks
One can simulate quiescence
By a timely evanescence
From his Active Mortal Essence,
(Or his Works.)

The particular procedure leaves research
In the lurch,
But, apparently, this matter-moulded form
Is a kind of outer plaster,
Which a well-instructed Master
Can remove without disaster
When he's warm.

And to such as mourn an Indian Solar Clime
At its prime
'Twere a thesis most immeasurably fit,
So expansively elastic,
And so plausibly fantastic,
That one gets enthusiastic
For a bit.

Unknown.


A "CAUDAL" LECTURE

Philosophy shows us 'twixt monkey and man
One simious line in unbroken extendage;
Development only since first it began—
And chiefly in losing the caudal appendage.

Our ancestors' holding was wholly in tail,
And the loss of this feature we claim as a merit;
But though often at tale-bearing people we rail,
'Tis rather a loss than a gain we inherit.
[Pg 93]

The tail was a rudder—a capital thing
To a man who was half—or a quarter—seas over;
And as for a sailor, by that he could cling,
And use for his hands and his feet both discover.

In the Arts it would quickly have found out a place;
The painter would use it to steady his pencil;
In music, how handy to pound at the bass!
And then one could write by its coilings prehensile.

The Army had gained had the fashion endured—
'Twould carry a sword, or be good in saluting;
If the foe should turn tail, they'd be quickly secured;
Or, used as a lasso, 'twould help in recruiting.

To the Force 'twould add force—they could "run 'em in" so
That one to three culprits would find himself equal;
He could collar the two, have the other in tow—
A very good form of the Tale and its Sequel.

In life many uses 'twould serve we should see—
A man with no bed could hang cosily snoozing;
'Twould hold an umbrella, hand cups round at tea,
Or a candle support while our novel perusing.

In fact, when one thinks of our loss from of old,
It makes us regret that we can't go in for it, or
Wish, like the Dane, we a tail could unfold,
Instead of remaining each one a stump orator.

William Sawyer.


SALAD

To make this condiment, your poet begs
The pounded yellow of two hard-boiled eggs;
Two boiled potatoes, passed through kitchen-sieve,
Smoothness and softness to the salad give;
Let onion atoms lurk within the bowl,
And, half-suspected, animate the whole.
Of mordant mustard add a single spoon,
Distrust the condiment that bites so soon;
[Pg 94] But deem it not, thou man of herbs, a fault,
To add a double quantity of salt.
And, lastly, o'er the flavored compound toss
A magic soup-spoon of anchovy sauce.
Oh, green and glorious! Oh, herbaceous treat!
'Twould tempt the dying anchorite to eat;
Back to the world he'd turn his fleeting soul,
And plunge his fingers in the salad bowl!
Serenely full, the epicure would say,
Fate can not harm me, I have dined to-day!

Sydney Smith.


NEMESIS

The man who invented the women's waists that button down behind,

And the man who invented the cans with keys and the strips that will never wind,

Were put to sea in a leaky boat and with never a bite to eat

But a couple of dozen of patent cans in which was their only meat.

And they sailed and sailed o'er the ocean wide and never they had a taste

Of aught to eat, for the cans stayed shut, and a peek-a-boo shirtwaist

Was all they had to bale the brine that came in the leaky boat;

And their tongues were thick and their throats were dry, and they barely kept afloat.

They came at last to an island fair, and a man stood on the shore.

So they flew a signal of distress and their hopes rose high once more,

And they called to him to fetch a boat, for their craft was sinking fast,

And a couple of hours at best they knew was all their boat would last.

[Pg 95]

So he called to them a cheery call and he said he would make haste,

But first he must go back to his wife and button up her waist,

Which would only take him an hour or so and then he would fetch a boat.

And the man who invented the backstairs waist, he groaned in his swollen throat.

The hours passed by on leaden wings and they saw another man

In the window of a bungalow, and he held a tin meat can

In his bleeding hands, and they called to him, not once but twice and thrice,

And he said: "Just wait till I open this and I'll be there in a trice!"

And the man who invented the patent cans he knew what the promise meant,

So he leaped in air with a horrid cry and into the sea he went,

And the bubbles rose where he sank and sank and a groan choked in the throat

Of the man who invented the backstairs waist and he sank with the leaky boat!

J. W. Foley.


"MONA LISA"

Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa!
Have you gone? Great Julius Cæsar!
Who's the Chap so bold and pinchey
Thus to swipe the great da Vinci,
Taking France's first Chef d'oeuvre
Squarely from old Mr. Louvre,
Easy as some pocket-picker
Would remove our handkerchicker
As we ride in careless folly
On some gaily bounding trolley?
[Pg 96]

Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa,
Who's your Captor? Doubtless he's a
Crafty sort of treasure-seeker—
Ne'er a Turpin e'er was sleeker—
But, alas, if he can win you
Easily as I could chin you,
What is safe in all the nations
From his dreadful depredations?
He's the style of Chap, I'm thinkin',
Who will drive us all to drinkin'!

Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa,
Next he'll swipe the Tower of Pisa,
Pulling it from out its socket
For to hide it in his pocket;
Or perhaps he'll up and steal, O,
Madame Venus, late of Milo;
Or maybe while on the grab he
Will annex Westminster Abbey,
And elope with that distinguished
Heap of Ashes long extinguished.

Maybe too, O Mona Lisa,
He will come across the seas a—
Searching for the style of treasure
That we have in richest measure.
Sunset Cox's brazen statue,
Have a care lest he shall catch you!
Or maybe he'll set his eye on
Hammerstein's, or the Flatiron,
Or some bit of White Wash done
By those lads at Washington—

Truly he's a crafty geezer,
Is your Captor, Mona Lisa!

John Kendrick Bangs.


THE SIEGE OF DJKLXPRWBZ

Before a Turkish town
The Russians came.
And with huge cannon
Did bombard the same.
[Pg 97]

They got up close
And rained fat bombshells down,
And blew out every
Vowel in the town.

And then the Turks,
Becoming somewhat sad,
Surrendered every
Consonant they had.

Eugene Fitch Ware.


RURAL BLISS

The poet is, or ought to be, a hater of the city,
And so, when happiness is mine, and Maud becomes my wife,
We'll look on town inhabitants with sympathetic pity,
For we shall lead a peaceful and serene Arcadian life.

Then shall I sing in eloquent and most effective phrases,
The grandeur of geraniums and the beauty of the rose;
Immortalise in deathless strains the buttercups and daisies—
For even I can hardly be mistaken as to those.

The music of the nightingale will ring from leafy hollow,
And fill us with a rapture indescribable in words;
And we shall also listen to the robin and the swallow
(I wonder if a swallow sings?) and ... well, the other birds.

Too long I dwelt in ignorance of all the countless treasures
Which dwellers in the country have in such abundant store;
To give a single instance of the multitude of pleasures—
The music of the nighting—oh, I mentioned that before.

And shall I prune potato-trees and artichokes, I wonder,
And cultivate the silo-plant, which springs (I hope it springs?)
In graceful foliage overhead?—Excuse me if I blunder,
It's really inconvenient not to know the name of things!
[Pg 98]

No matter; in the future, when I celebrate the beauty
Of country life in glowing terms, and "build the lofty rhyme"
Aware that every Englishman is bound to do his duty,
I'll learn to give the stupid things their proper names in time!

Meanwhile, you needn't wonder at the view I've indicated,
The country life appears to me indubitably blest,
For, even if its other charms are somewhat overstated,
As long as Maud is there, you see,—what matters all the rest?

Anthony C. Deane.


AN OLD BACHELOR

'Twas raw, and chill, and cold outside,
With a boisterous wind untamed,
But I was sitting snug within,
Where my good log-fire flamed.
As my clock ticked,
My cat purred,
And my kettle sang.

I read me a tale of war and love,
Brave knights and their ladies fair;
And I brewed a brew of stiff hot-scotch
To drive away dull care.
As my clock ticked,
My cat purred,
And my kettle sang.

At last the candles sputtered out,
But the embers still were bright,
When I turned my tumbler upside down,
An' bade m'self g' night!
As th' ket'l t-hic-ked,
The clock purred,
And the cat (hic) sang!

Tudor Jenks.

[Pg 99]

SONG

Three score and ten by common calculation
The years of man amount to; but we'll say
He turns four-score, yet, in my estimation,
In all those years he has not lived a day.

Out of the eighty you must first remember
The hours of night you pass asleep in bed;
And, counting from December to December,
Just half your life you'll find you have been dead.

To forty years at once by this reduction
We come; and sure, the first five from your birth,
While cutting teeth and living upon suction,
You're not alive to what this life is worth.

From thirty-five next take for education
Fifteen at least at college and at school;
When, notwithstanding all your application,
The chances are you may turn out a fool.

Still twenty we have left us to dispose of,
But during them your fortune you've to make;
And granting, with the luck of some one knows of,
'Tis made in ten—that's ten from life to take.

Out of the ten yet left you must allow for
The time for shaving, tooth and other aches,
Say four—and that leaves, six, too short, I vow, for
Regretting past and making fresh mistakes.

Meanwhile each hour dispels some fond illusion;
Until at length, sans eyes, sans teeth, you may
Have scarcely sense to come to this conclusion—
You've reached four-score, but haven't lived a day!

J. R. Planché.

[Pg 100]

THE QUEST OF THE PURPLE COW

He girded on his shining sword,
He clad him in his suit of mail,
He gave his friends the parting word,
With high resolve his face was pale.
They said, "You've kissed the Papal Toe,
To great Moguls you've made your bow,
Why will you thus world-wandering go?"
"I never saw a purple cow!"

"I never saw a purple cow!
Oh, hinder not my wild emprise—
Let me depart! For even now
Perhaps, before some yokel's eyes
The purpling creature dashes by,
Bending its noble, hornèd brow.
They see its glowing charms, but I—
I never saw a purple cow!"

"But other cows there be," they said,
"Both cows of high and low degree,
Suffolk and Devon, brown, black, red,
The Ayrshire and the Alderney.
Content yourself with these." "No, no,"
He cried, "Not these! Not these! For how
Can common kine bring comfort? Oh!
I never saw a purple cow!"

He flung him to his charger's back,
He left his kindred limp and weak,
They cried: "He goes, alack! alack!
The unattainable to seek."
But westward still he rode—pardee!
The West! Where such freaks be; I vow,
I'd not be much surprised if he
Should some day see
A
Purple
Cow!

Hilda Johnson.

[Pg 101]

ST. PATRICK OF IRELAND, MY DEAR!

A fig for St. Denis of France—
He's a trumpery fellow to brag on;
A fig for St. George and his lance,
Which spitted a heathenish dragon;
And the saints of the Welshman or Scot
Are a couple of pitiful pipers,
Both of whom may just travel to pot,
Compared with that patron of swipers—
St. Patrick of Ireland, my dear!

He came to the Emerald Isle
On a lump of a paving-stone mounted;
The steamboat he beat by a mile,
Which mighty good sailing was counted.
Says he, "The salt water, I think,
Has made me most bloodily thirsty;
So bring me a flagon of drink
To keep down the mulligrubs, burst ye!
Of drink that is fit for a saint!"

He preached, then, with wonderful force,
The ignorant natives a-teaching;
With a pint he washed down his discourse,
"For," says he, "I detest your dry preaching."
The people, with wonderment struck
At a pastor so pious and civil,
Exclaimed—"We're for you, my old buck!
And we pitch our blind gods to the devil,
Who dwells in hot water below!"

This ended, our worshipful spoon
Went to visit an elegant fellow,
Whose practice, each cool afternoon,
Was to get most delightfully mellow.
That day with a black-jack of beer,
It chanced he was treating a party;
Says the saint—"This good day, do you hear,
I drank nothing to speak of, my hearty!
So give me a pull at the pot!"
[Pg 102]
The pewter he lifted in sport
(Believe me, I tell you no fable);
A gallon he drank from the quart,
And then placed it full on the table.
"A miracle!" every one said—
And they all took a haul at the stingo;
They were capital hands at the trade,
And drank till they fell; yet, by jingo,
The pot still frothed over the brim.

Next day, quoth his host, "'Tis a fast,
And I've nought in my larder but mutton;
And on Fridays who'd made such repast,
Except an unchristian-like glutton?"
Says Pat, "Cease your nonsense, I beg—
What you tell me is nothing but gammon;
Take my compliments down to the leg,
And bid it come hither a salmon!"
And the leg most politely complied.

You've heard, I suppose, long ago,
How the snakes, in a manner most antic,
He marched to the county Mayo,
And trundled them into th' Atlantic.
Hence, not to use water for drink,
The people of Ireland determine—
With mighty good reason, I think,
Since St. Patrick has filled it with vermin
And vipers, and other such stuff!

Oh, he was an elegant blade
As you'd meet from Fairhead to Kilcrumper;
And though under the sod he is laid,
Yet here goes his health in a bumper!
I wish he was here, that my glass
He might by art magic replenish;
But since he is not—why, alas!
My ditty must come to a finish,—
Because all the liquor is out!

William Maginn.

[Pg 103]

THE IRISH SCHOOLMASTER

"Come here, my boy; hould up your head,
And look like a jintlemàn, Sir;
Jist tell me who King David was—
Now tell me if you can, Sir."
"King David was a mighty man,
And he was King of Spain, Sir;
His eldest daughter 'Jessie' was
The 'Flower of Dunblane,' Sir."

"You're right, my boy; hould up your head,
And look like a jintlemàn, Sir;
Sir Isaac Newton—who was he?
Now tell me if you can, Sir."
"Sir Isaac Newton was the boy
That climbed the apple-tree, Sir;
He then fell down and broke his crown,
And lost his gravity, Sir."

"You're right, my boy; hould up your head,
And look like a jintlemàn, Sir;
Jist tell me who ould Marmion was—
Now tell me if you can, Sir."
"Ould Marmion was a soldier bold,
But he went all to pot, Sir;
He was hanged upon the gallows tree,
For killing Sir Walter Scott, Sir."

"You're right, my boy; hould up your head,
And look like a jintlemàn, Sir;
Jist tell me who Sir Rob Roy was;
Now tell me if you can, Sir."
"Sir Rob Roy was a tailor to
The King of the Cannibal Islands;
He spoiled a pair of breeches, and
Was banished to the Highlands."
[Pg 104]

"You're right, my boy; hould up your head,
And look like a jintlemàn, Sir;
Then, Bonaparte—say, who was he?
Now tell me if you can, Sir."
"Ould Bonaparte was King of France
Before the Revolution;
But he was kilt at Waterloo,
Which ruined his constitution."

"You're right, my boy; hould up your head,
And look like a jintlemàn, Sir;
Jist tell me who King Jonah was;
Now tell me if you can, Sir."
"King Jonah was the strangest man
That ever wore a crown, Sir;
For though the whale did swallow him,
It couldn't keep him down, Sir."

"You're right, my boy; hould up your head,
And look like a jintlemàn, Sir;
Jist tell me who that Moses was;
Now tell me if you can, Sir."
"Shure Moses was the Christian name
Of good King Pharaoh's daughter;
She was a milkmaid, and she took
A profit from the water."

"You're right, my boy; hould up your head,
And look like a jintlemàn, Sir;
Jist tell me now where Dublin is;
Now tell me if you can, Sir."
"Och, Dublin is a town in Cork,
And built on the equator;
It's close to Mount Vesuvius,
And watered by the 'craythur.'"

"You're right, my boy; hould up your head,
And look like a jintlemàn, Sir;
Jist tell me now where London is;
Now tell me if you can, Sir."
[Pg 105] "Och, London is a town in Spain;
'Twas lost in the earthquake, Sir;
The cockneys murther English there,
Whenever they do spake, Sir."

"You're right, my boy; hould up your head,
Ye're now a jintlemàn, Sir;
For in history and geography
I've taught you all I can, Sir.
And if any one should ask you now,
Where you got all your knowledge,
Jist tell them 'twas from Paddy Blake,
Of Bally Blarney College."

James A. Sidey.


REFLECTIONS ON CLEOPATHERA'S NEEDLE

So that's Cleopathera's Needle, bedad,
An' a quare lookin' needle it is, I'll be bound;
What a powerful muscle the queen must have had
That could grasp such a weapon an' wind it around!

Imagine her sittin' there stitchin' like mad
Wid a needle like that in her hand! I declare
It's as big as the Round Tower of Slane, an', bedad,
It would pass for a round tower, only it's square!

The taste of her, ordherin' a needle of granite!
Begorra, the sight of it sthrikes me quite dumb!
An' look at the quare sort of figures upon it;
I wondher can these be the thracks of her thumb!

I once was astonished to hear of the faste
Cleopathera made upon pearls; but now
I declare, I would not be surprised in the laste
If ye told me the woman had swallowed a cow!

It's aisy to see why bould Cæsar should quail
In her presence, an' meekly submit to her rule;
[Pg 106] Wid a weapon like that in her fist I'll go bail
She could frighten the sowl out of big Finn MacCool!

But, Lord, what poor pigmies the women are now,
Compared with the monsthers they must have been then!
Whin the darlin's in those days would kick up a row,
Holy smoke, but it must have been hot for the men!

Just think how a chap that goes courtin' would start
If his girl was to prod him wid that in the shins!
I have often seen needles, but bouldly assart
That the needle in front of me there takes the pins!

O, sweet Cleopathera! I'm sorry you're dead;
An' whin lavin' this wondherful needle behind
Had ye thought of bequathin' a spool of your thread
An' yer thimble an' scissors, it would have been kind.

But pace to your ashes, ye plague of great men,
Yer strength is departed, yer glory is past;
Ye'll never wield sceptre or needle again,
An' a poor little asp did yer bizzness at last!

Cormac O'Leary.


THE ORIGIN OF IRELAND

With due condescension, I'd call your attention
To what I shall mention of Erin so green,
And without hesitation I will show how that nation
Became of creation the gem and the queen.

'Twas early one morning, without any warning,
That Vanus was born in the beautiful say,
And by the same token, and sure 'twas provoking,
Her pinions were soaking and wouldn't give play.

Old Neptune, who knew her, began to pursue her,
In order to woo her—the wicked old Jew—
And almost had caught her atop of the water—
Great Jupiter's daughter!—which never would do.
[Pg 107]

But Jove, the great janius, looked down and saw Vanus,
And Neptune so heinous pursuing her wild,
And he spoke out in thunder, he'd rend him asunder—
And sure 'twas no wonder—for tazing his child.

A star that was flying hard by him espying,
He caught with small trying, and down let it snap;
It fell quick as winking, on Neptune a-sinking,
And gave him, I'm thinking, a bit of a rap.

That star it was dry land, both low land and high land,
And formed a sweet island, the land of my birth;
Thus plain is the story, that sent down from glory,
Old Erin asthore as the gem of the earth!

Upon Erin nately jumped Vanus so stately,
But fainted, kase lately so hard she was pressed—
Which much did bewilder, but ere it had killed her
Her father distilled her a drop of the best.

That sup was victorious, it made her feel glorious—
A little uproarious, I fear it might prove—
So how can you blame us that Ireland's so famous
For drinking and beauty, for fighting and love?

Unknown.


AS TO THE WEATHER

I remember, I remember,
Ere my childhood flitted by,
It was cold then in December,
And was warmer in July.
In the winter there were freezings—
In the summer there were thaws;
But the weather isn't now at all
Like what it used to was!

Unknown.

[Pg 108]

THE TWINS

In form and feature, face and limb,
I grew so like my brother,
That folks got taking me for him,
And each for one another.
It puzzled all our kith and kin,
It reach'd an awful pitch;
For one of us was born a twin,
Yet not a soul knew which.

One day (to make the matter worse),
Before our names were fix'd,
As we were being wash'd by nurse
We got completely mix'd;
And thus, you see, by Fate's decree,
(Or rather nurse's whim),
My brother John got christen'd me,
And I got christen'd him.

This fatal likeness even dogg'd
My footsteps when at school,
And I was always getting flogg'd,
For John turned out a fool.
I put this question hopelessly
To every one I knew—
What would you do, if you were me,
To prove that you were you?

Our close resemblance turn'd the tide
Of my domestic life;
For somehow my intended bride
Became my brother's wife.
In short, year after year the same
Absurd mistakes went on;
And when I died—the neighbors came
And buried brother John!

Henry S. Leigh.

[Pg 109]

II

THE ETERNAL FEMININE


HE AND SHE

When I am dead you'll find it hard,
Said he,
To ever find another man
Like me.

What makes you think, as I suppose
You do,
I'd ever want another man
Like you?

Eugene Fitch Ware.


THE KISS

"What other men have dared, I dare,"
He said. "I'm daring, too:
And tho' they told me to beware,
One kiss I'll take from you.

"Did I say one? Forgive me, dear;
That was a grave mistake,
For when I've taken one, I fear,
One hundred more I'll take.

"'Tis sweet one kiss from you to win,
But to stop there? Oh, no!
One kiss is only to begin;
There is no end, you know."
[Pg 110]
The maiden rose from where she sat
And gently raised her head:
"No man has ever talked like that—
You may begin," she said.

Tom Masson.


THE COURTIN'

God makes sech nights, all white an' still
Fur 'z you can look or listen,
Moonshine an' snow on field an' hill,
All silence an' all glisten.

Zekle crep' up quite unbeknown
An' peeked in thru' the winder,
An' there sot Huldy all alone,
'Ith no one nigh to hender.

A fireplace filled the room's one side
With half a cord o' wood in—
There warn't no stoves (tell comfort died)
To bake ye to a puddin'.

The wa'nut logs shot sparkles out
Towards the pootiest, bless her,
An' leetle flames danced all about
The chiny on the dresser.

Agin the chimbley crook-necks hung,
An' in amongst 'em rusted
The ole queen's-arm that Gran'ther Young
Fetched back f'om Concord busted.

The very room, coz she was in,
Seemed warm f'om floor to ceilin',
An' she looked full ez rosy agin
Ez the apples she was peelin'.
[Pg 111]
'Twas kin' o' kingdom-come to look
On sech a blessed cretur;
A dogrose blushin' to a brook
Ain't modester nor sweeter.

He was six foot o' man, A 1,
Clear grit an' human natur';
None couldn't quicker pitch a ton
Nor dror a furrer straighter.

He'd sparked it with full twenty gals,
He'd squired 'em, danced 'em, druv 'em,
Fust this one, an' then thet, by spells—
All is, he couldn't love 'em.

But long o' her his veins 'ould run
All crinkly like curled maple;
The side she breshed felt full o' sun
Ez a south slope in Ap'il.

She thought no v'ice hed sech a swing
Ez hisn in the choir;
My! when he made Ole Hunderd ring,
She knowed the Lord was nigher.

An' she'd blush scarlit, right in prayer,
When her new meetin'-bunnet
Felt somehow thru its crown a pair
O' blue eyes sot upun it.

Thet night, I tell ye, she looked some!
She seemed to 've gut a new soul,
For she felt sartin-sure he'd come,
Down to her very shoe-sole.

She heered a foot, an' knowed it tu,
A-raspin' on the scraper—
All ways to once her feelins flew
Like sparks in burnt-up paper.
[Pg 112]
He kin' o' l'itered on the mat,
Some doubtfle o' the sekle;
His heart kep' goin' pity-pat,
But hern went pity Zekle.

An' yit she gin her cheer a jerk
Ez though she wished him furder,
An' on her apples kep' to work,
Parin' away like murder.

"You want to see my Pa, I s'pose?"
"Wal ... no ... I come dasignin'—"
"To see my Ma? She's sprinklin' clo'es
Agin to-morrer's i'nin'."

To say why gals act so or so,
Or don't, 'ould be presumin';
Mebbe to mean yes an' say no
Comes nateral to women.

He stood a spell on one foot fust,
Then stood a spell on t'other,
An' on which one he felt the wust
He couldn't ha' told ye nuther.

Says he, "I'd better call agin";
Says she, "Think likely, Mister";
Thet last word pricked him like a pin,
An' ... Wal, he up an' kist her.

When Ma bimeby upon 'em slips,
Huldy sot pale ez ashes,
All kin' o' smily roun' the lips
An' teary roun' the lashes.

For she was jes' the quiet kind
Whose naturs never vary,
Like streams that keep a summer mind
Snowhid in Jenooary.
[Pg 113]
The blood clost roun' her heart felt glued
Too tight for all expressin',
Tell mother see how metters stood,
An' gin 'em both her blessin'.

Then her red come back like the tide
Down to the Bay o' Fundy,
An' all I know is they was cried
In meetin' come nex' Sunday.

James Russell Lowell.


HIRAM HOVER

A BALLAD OF NEW ENGLAND LIFE

Where the Moosatockmaguntic
Pours its waters in the Skuntic,
Met, along the forest side
Hiram Hover, Huldah Hyde.

She, a maiden fair and dapper,
He, a red-haired, stalwart trapper,
Hunting beaver, mink, and skunk
In the woodlands of Squeedunk.

She, Pentucket's pensive daughter,
Walked beside the Skuntic water
Gathering, in her apron wet,
Snake-root, mint, and bouncing-bet.

"Why," he murmured, loth to leave her,
"Gather yarbs for chills and fever,
When a lovyer bold and true,
Only waits to gather you?"

"Go," she answered, "I'm not hasty,
I prefer a man more tasty;
Leastways, one to please me well
Should not have a beasty smell."
[Pg 114]
"Haughty Huldah!" Hiram answered,
"Mind and heart alike are cancered;
Jest look here! these peltries give
Cash, wherefrom a pair may live.

"I, you think, am but a vagrant,
Trapping beasts by no means fragrant;
Yet, I'm sure it's worth a thank—
I've a handsome sum in bank."

Turned and vanished Hiram Hover,
And, before the year was over,
Huldah, with the yarbs she sold,
Bought a cape, against the cold.

Black and thick the furry cape was,
Of a stylish cut the shape was;
And the girls, in all the town,
Envied Huldah up and down.

Then at last, one winter morning,
Hiram came without a warning.
"Either," said he, "you are blind,
Huldah, or you've changed your mind.

"Me you snub for trapping varmints,
Yet you take the skins for garments;
Since you wear the skunk and mink,
There's no harm in me, I think."

"Well," said she, "we will not quarrel,
Hiram; I accept the moral,
Now the fashion's so I guess
I can't hardly do no less."

Thus the trouble all was over
Of the love of Hiram Hover.
Thus he made sweet Huldah Hyde
Huldah Hover as his bride.
[Pg 115]
Love employs, with equal favor,
Things of good and evil savor;
That which first appeared to part,
Warmed, at last, the maiden's heart.

Under one impartial banner,
Life, the hunter, Love the tanner,
Draw, from every beast they snare,
Comfort for a wedded pair!

Bayard Taylor.


BLOW ME EYES!

When I was young and full o' pride,
A-standin' on the grass
And gazin' o'er the water-side,
I seen a fisher lass.
"O, fisher lass, be kind awhile,"
I asks 'er quite unbid.
"Please look into me face and smile"—
And, blow me eyes, she did!

O, blow me light and blow me blow,
I didn't think she'd charm me so—
But, blow me eyes, she did!

She seemed so young and beautiful
I had to speak perlite,
(The afternoon was long and dull,
But she was short and bright).
"This ain't no place," I says, "to stand—
Let's take a walk instid,
Each holdin' of the other's hand"—
And, blow me eyes, she did!

O, blow me light and blow me blow,
I sort o' thunk she wouldn't go—
But, blow me eyes, she did!
[Pg 116]
And as we walked along a lane
With no one else to see,
Me heart was filled with sudden pain,
And so I says to she:
"If you would have me actions speak
The words what can't be hid,
You'd sort o' let me kiss yer cheek"—
And, blow me eyes, she did!

O, blow me light and blow me blow,
How sweet she was I didn't know—
But, blow me eyes, she did!

But pretty soon me shipmate Jim
Came strollin' down the beach,
And she began a-oglin' him
As pretty as a peach.
"O, fickle maid o' false intent,"
Impulsively I chid,
"Why don't you go and wed that gent?"
And, blow me eyes, she did!

O, blow me light and blow me blow,
I didn't think she'd treat me so—
But, blow me eyes, she did!

Wallace Irwin.


FIRST LOVE

O my earliest love, who, ere I number'd
Ten sweet summers, made my bosom thrill!
Will a swallow—or a swift, or some bird—
Fly to her and say, I love her still?

Say my life's a desert drear and arid,
To its one green spot I aye recur:
Never, never—although three times married—
Have I cared a jot for aught but her.
[Pg 117]
No, mine own! though early forced to leave you,
Still my heart was there where first we met;
In those "Lodgings with an ample sea-view,"
Which were, forty years ago, "To Let."

There I saw her first, our landlord's oldest
Little daughter. On a thing so fair
Thou, O Sun,—who (so they say) beholdest
Everything,—hast gazed, I tell thee, ne'er.

There she sat—so near me, yet remoter
Than a star—a blue-eyed, bashful imp:
On her lap she held a happy bloater,
'Twixt her lips a yet more happy shrimp.

And I loved her, and our troth we plighted
On the morrow by the shingly shore:
In a fortnight to be disunited
By a bitter fate forevermore.

O my own, my beautiful, my blue-eyed!
To be young once more, and bite my thumb
At the world and all its cares with you, I'd
Give no inconsiderable sum.

Hand in hand we tramp'd the golden seaweed,
Soon as o'er the gray cliff peep'd the dawn:
Side by side, when came the hour for tea, we'd
Crunch the mottled shrimp and hairy prawn:—

Has she wedded some gigantic shrimper,
That sweet mite with whom I loved to play?
Is she girt with babes that whine and whimper,
That bright being who was always gay?

Yes—she has at least a dozen wee things!
Yes—I see her darning corduroys,
Scouring floors, and setting out the tea-things,
For a howling herd of hungry boys,
[Pg 118]
In a home that reeks of tar and sperm-oil!
But at intervals she thinks, I know,
Of those days which we, afar from turmoil,
Spent together forty years ago.

O my earliest love, still unforgotten,
With your downcast eyes of dreamy blue!
Never, somehow, could I seem to cotton
To another as I did to you!

Charles Stuart Calverley.


WHAT IS A WOMAN LIKE?

A woman is like to—but stay—
What a woman is like, who can say?
There is no living with or without one.
Love bites like a fly,
Now an ear, now an eye,
Buzz, buzz, always buzzing about one.
When she's tender and kind
She is like to my mind,
(And Fanny was so, I remember).
She's like to—Oh, dear!
She's as good, very near,
As a ripe, melting peach in September.
If she laugh, and she chat,
Play, joke, and all that,
And with smiles and good humor she meet me,
She's like a rich dish
Of venison or fish,
That cries from the table, Come eat me!
But she'll plague you and vex you,
Distract and perplex you;
False-hearted and ranging,
Unsettled and changing,
What then do you think, she is like?
Like sand? Like a rock?
Like a wheel? Like a clock?
Ay, a clock that is always at strike.
[Pg 119] Her head's like the island folks tell on,
Which nothing but monkeys can dwell on;
Her heart's like a lemon—so nice
She carves for each lover a slice;
In truth she's to me,
Like the wind, like the sea,
Whose raging will hearken to no man;
Like a mill, like a pill,
Like a flail, like a whale,
Like an ass, like a glass
Whose image is constant to no man;
Like a shower, like a flower,
Like a fly, like a pie,
Like a pea, like a flea,
Like a thief, like—in brief,
She's like nothing on earth—but a woman!

Unknown.


MIS' SMITH

All day she hurried to get through,
The same as lots of wimmin do;
Sometimes at night her husban' said,
"Ma, ain't you goin' to come to bed?"
And then she'd kinder give a hitch,
And pause half way between a stitch,
And sorter sigh, and say that she
Was ready as she'd ever be,
She reckoned.

And so the years went one by one,
An' somehow she was never done;
An' when the angel said, as how
"Mis' Smith, it's time you rested now,"
She sorter raised her eyes to look
A second, as a stitch she took;
"All right, I'm comin' now," says she,
"I'm ready as I'll ever be,
I reckon."

Albert Bigelow Paine.

[Pg 120]

TRIOLET

"I love you, my lord!"
Was all that she said—
What a dissonant chord,
"I love you, my lord!"
Ah! how I abhorred
That sarcastic maid!—
"I love you? My Lord!"
Was all that she said.

Paul T. Gilbert.


BESSIE BROWN, M.D.

'Twas April when she came to town;
The birds had come; the bees were swarming.
Her name, she said, was Doctor Brown;
I saw at once that she was charming.
She took a cottage tinted green,
Where dewy roses loved to mingle;
And on the door, next day, was seen
A dainty little shingle.

Her hair was like an amber wreath;
Her hat was darker, to enhance it.
The violet eyes that glowed beneath
Were brighter than her keenest lancet,
The beauties of her glove and gown
The sweetest rhyme would fail to utter.
Ere she had been a day in town
The town was in a flutter.

The gallants viewed her feet and hands,
And swore they never saw such wee things;
The gossips met in purring bands,
And tore her piecemeal o'er the tea-things.
The former drank the Doctor's health
With clinking cups, the gay carousers;
The latter watched her door by stealth,
Just like so many mousers.
[Pg 121]
But Doctor Bessie went her way,
Unmindful of the spiteful cronies,
And drove her buggy every day
Behind a dashing pair of ponies.
Her flower-like face so bright she bore
I hoped that time might never wilt her.
The way she tripped across the floor
Was better than a philter.

Her patients thronged the village street;
Her snowy slate was always quite full.
Some said her bitters tasted sweet,
And some pronounced her pills delightful.
'Twas strange—I knew not what it meant—
She seemed a nymph from Eldorado;
Where'er she came, where'er she went,
Grief lost its gloomy shadow.

Like all the rest I, too, grew ill;
My aching heart there was no quelling.
I tremble at my doctor's bill—
And lo! the items still are swelling.
The drugs I've drunk you'd weep to hear!
They've quite enriched the fair concocter,
And I'm a ruined man, I fear,
Unless—I wed the Doctor!

Samuel Minturn Peck.


A SKETCH FROM THE LIFE

Its eyes are gray;
Its hair is either brown
Or black;
And, strange to say,
Its dresses button down
The back!

It wears a plume
That loves to frisk around
My ear.
[Pg 122] It crowds the room
With cushions in a mound
And queer

Old rugs and lamps
In corners à la Turque
And things.
It steals my stamps,
And when I want to work
It sings!

It rides and skates—
But then it comes and fills
My walls
With plaques and plates
And keeps me paying bills
And calls.

It's firm; and if
I should my many woes
Deplore,
'Twould only sniff
And perk its little nose
Some more.

It's bright, though small;
Its name, you may have guessed,
Is "Wife."
But, after all,
It gives a wondrous zest
To life!

Arthur Guiterman.


MINGUILLO'S KISS

Since for kissing thee, Minguillo,
Mother's ever scolding me,
Give me swiftly back, thou dear one,
Give the kiss I gave to thee.
Give me back the kiss—that one, now;
[Pg 123] Let my mother scold no more;
Let us tell her all is o'er:
What was done is all undone now.
Yes, it will be wise, Minguillo,
My fond kiss to give to me;
Give me swiftly back, thou dear one,
Give the kiss I gave to thee.
Give me back the kiss, for mother
Is impatient—prithee, do!
For that one thou shalt have two:
Give me that, and take another.
Yes, then will they be contented,
Then can't they complain of me;
Give me swiftly back, thou dear one,
Give the kiss I gave to thee.

Unknown.


A KISS IN THE RAIN

One stormy morn I chanced to meet
A lassie in the town;
Her locks were like the ripened wheat,
Her laughing eyes were brown.
I watched her as she tripped along
Till madness filled my brain,
And then—and then—I know 'twas wrong—
I kissed her in the rain!

With rain-drops shining on her cheek,
Like dew-drops on a rose,
The little lassie strove to speak
My boldness to oppose;
She strove in vain, and quivering
Her fingers stole in mine;
And then the birds began to sing,
The sun began to shine.

Oh, let the clouds grow dark above,
My heart is light below;
'Tis always summer when we love,
However winds may blow;
[Pg 124] And I'm as proud as any prince,
All honors I disdain:
She says I am her rain beau since
I kissed her in the rain.

Samuel Minturn Peck.


THE LOVE-KNOT

Tying her bonnet under her chin,
She tied her raven ringlets in;
But, not alone in the silken snare
Did she catch her lovely floating hair,
For, tying her bonnet under her chin,
She tied a young man's heart within.

They were strolling together up the hill,
Where the wind comes blowing merry and chill;
And it blew the curls, a frolicsome race,
All over the happy peach-coloured face,
Till, scolding and laughing, she tied them in,
Under her beautiful dimpled chin.

And it blew a colour bright as the bloom
Of the pinkest fuchsia's tossing plume,
All over the cheeks of the prettiest girl
That ever imprisoned a romping curl,
Or, in tying her bonnet under her chin,
Tied a young man's heart within.

Steeper and steeper grew the hill—
Madder, merrier, chillier still—
The western wind blew down and played
The wildest tricks with the little maid,
As, tying her bonnet under her chin,
She tied a young man's heart within.

Oh, western wind, do you think it was fair
To play such tricks with her floating hair?—
To gladly, gleefully do your best
To blow her against the young man's breast,
[Pg 125] Where he as gladly folded her in,
And kissed her mouth and dimpled chin?

Oh, Ellery Vane! you little thought
An hour ago, when you besought
This country lass to walk with you,
After the sun had dried the dew,
What perilous danger you'd be in
As she tied her bonnet under her chin.

Nora Perry.


OVER THE WAY

Over the way, over the way,
I've seen a head that's fair and gray;
I've seen kind eyes not new to tears,
A form of grace, though full of years—
Her fifty summers have left no flaw—
And I, a youth of twenty-three,
So love this lady, fair to see,
I want her for my mother-in-law!

Over the way, over the way,
I've seen her with the children play;
I've seen her with a royal grace
Before the mirror adjust her lace;
A kinder woman none ever saw;
God bless and cheer her onward path,
And bless all treasures that she hath,
And let her be my mother-in-law!

Over the way, over the way,
I think I'll venture, dear, some day
(If you will lend a helping hand,
And sanctify the scheme I've planned);
I'll kneel in loving, reverent awe
Down at the lady's feet, and say:
"I've loved your daughter many a day—
Please won't you be my mother-in-law?"

Mary Mapes Dodge.

[Pg 126]

CHORUS OF WOMEN

FROM THE "THESMOPHORIAZUSÆ."

They're always abusing the women,
As a terrible plague to men;
They say we're the root of all evil,
And repeat it again and again—
Of war, and quarrels, and bloodshed,
All mischief, be what it may.
And pray, then, why do you marry us,
If we're all the plagues you say?
And why do you take such care of us,
And keep us so safe at home,
And are never easy a moment
If ever we chance to roam?
When you ought to be thanking Heaven
That your plague is out of the way,
You all keep fussing and fretting—
"Where is my Plague to-day?"
If a Plague peeps out of the window,
Up go the eyes of men;
If she hides, then they all keep staring
Until she looks out again.

Aristophanes.


THE WIDOW MALONE

Did you hear of the Widow Malone
O hone!
Who lived in the town of Athlone
Alone?
O, she melted the hearts
Of the swains in them parts;
So lovely the Widow Malone,
O hone!
So lovely the Widow Malone.
[Pg 127]
Of lovers she had a full score
Or more;
And fortunes they all had galore
In store;
From the minister down
To the clerk of the Crown,
All were courting the Widow Malone
O hone!
All were courting the Widow Malone.

But so modest was Mrs. Malone,
'Twas known,
That no one could see her alone,
O hone!
Let them ogle and sigh,
They could ne'er catch her eye;
So bashful the Widow Malone,
O hone!
So bashful the Widow Malone.

Till one Mister O'Brien from Clare,
How quare!
'Tis little for blushing they care
Down there;
Put his arm round her waist,
Gave ten kisses at laste,
And says he, "You're my Molly Malone,
My own."
Says he, "You're my Molly Malone."

And the widow they all thought so shy—
My eye!
Never thought of a simper or sigh;
For why?
"O Lucius," said she,
"Since you've now made so free,
You may marry your Mary Malone,
Your own;
You may marry your Mary Malone."
[Pg 128]
There's a moral contained in my song,
Not wrong;
And one comfort it's not very long,
But strong:—
If for widows you die,
Learn to kiss—not to sigh,
For they're all like sweet Mistress Malone!
O hone!
O they're all like sweet Mistress Malone!

Charles Lever.


THE SMACK IN SCHOOL

A district school, not far away,
Mid Berkshire's hills, one winter's day,
Was humming with its wonted noise
Of threescore mingled girls and boys;
Some few upon their tasks intent,
But more on furtive mischief bent.
The while the master's downward look
Was fastened on a copy-book;
When suddenly, behind his back,
Rose sharp and clear a rousing smack!
As 'twere a battery of bliss
Let off in one tremendous kiss!
"What's that?" the startled master cries;
"That, thir," a little imp replies,
"Wath William Willith, if you pleathe,—
I thaw him kith Thuthanna Peathe!"
With frown to make a statue thrill,
The master thundered, "Hither, Will!"
Like wretch o'ertaken in his track,
With stolen chattels on his back,
Will hung his head in fear and shame,
And to the awful presence came,—
A great, green, bashful simpleton,
The butt of all good-natured fun.
With smile suppressed, and birch upraised,
The thunderer faltered,—"I'm amazed
That you, my biggest pupil, should
[Pg 129] Be guilty of an act so rude!
Before the whole set school to boot—
What evil genius put you to't?"
"'Twas she herself, sir," sobbed the lad,
"I did not mean to be so bad;
But when Susannah shook her curls,
And whispered, I was 'fraid of girls
And dursn't kiss a baby's doll,
I couldn't stand it, sir, at all,
But up and kissed her on the spot!
I know—boo—hoo—I ought to not,
But, somehow, from her looks—boo—hoo—
I thought she kind o' wished me to!"

William Pitt Palmer.


'SPÄCIALLY JIM

I wus mighty good-lookin' when I wus young—
Peert an' black-eyed an' slim,
With fellers a-courtin' me Sunday nights,
'Späcially Jim.

The likeliest one of 'em all wus he,
Chipper an' han'som' an' trim;
But I toss'd up my head, an' made fun o' the crowd,
'Späcially Jim.

I said I hadn't no 'pinion o' men
An' I wouldn't take stock in him!
But they kep' up a-comin' in spite o' my talk,
'Späcially Jim.

I got so tired o' havin' 'em roun'
('Späcially Jim!),
I made up my mind I'd settle down
An' take up with him;

So we was married one Sunday in church,
'Twas crowded full to the brim,
'Twas the only way to get rid of 'em all,
'Späcially Jim.

Bessie Morgan.

[Pg 130]

KITTY OF COLERAINE

As beautiful Kitty one morning was tripping,
With a pitcher of milk from the fair of Coleraine,
When she saw me she stumbled, the pitcher it tumbled,
And all the sweet buttermilk water'd the plain.

"O, what shall I do now, 'twas looking at you now,
Sure, sure, such a pitcher I'll ne'er meet again!
'Twas the pride of my dairy: O Barney M'Cleary!
You're sent as a plague to the girls of Coleraine."

I sat down beside her,—and gently did chide her,
That such a misfortune should give her such pain;
A kiss then I gave her,—and ere I did leave her,
She vow'd for such pleasure she'd break it again.

'Twas hay-making season, I can't tell the reason,
Misfortunes will never come single,—that's plain,
For, very soon after poor Kitty's disaster,
The devil a pitcher was whole in Coleraine.

Edward Lysaght.


WHY DON'T THE MEN PROPOSE?

Why don't the men propose, mamma?
Why don't the men propose?
Each seems just coming to the point,
And then away he goes;
It is no fault of yours, mamma,
That everybody knows;
You fête the finest men in town,
Yet, oh! they won't propose.

I'm sure I've done my best, mamma,
To make a proper match;
For coronets and eldest sons,
I'm ever on the watch;
[Pg 131] I've hopes when some distingué beau
A glance upon me throws;
But though he'll dance and smile and flirt,
Alas! he won't propose.

I've tried to win by languishing,
And dressing like a blue;
I've bought big books and talked of them
As if I'd read them through!
With hair cropp'd like a man I've felt
The heads of all the beaux;
But Spurzheim could not touch their hearts,
And oh! they won't propose.

I threw aside the books, and thought
That ignorance was bliss;
I felt convinced that men preferred
A simple sort of Miss;
And so I lisped out nought beyond
Plain "yesses" or plain "noes,"
And wore a sweet unmeaning smile;
Yet, oh! they won't propose.

Last night at Lady Ramble's rout
I heard Sir Henry Gale
Exclaim, "Now I propose again——"
I started, turning pale;
I really thought my time was come,
I blushed like any rose;
But oh! I found 'twas only at
Ecarté he'd propose.

And what is to be done, mamma?
Oh, what is to be done?
I really have no time to lose,
For I am thirty-one;
At balls I am too often left
Where spinsters sit in rows;
Why don't the men propose, mamma?
Why won't the men propose?

Thomas Haynes Bayly.

[Pg 132]

A PIN

Oh, I know a certain woman who is reckoned with the good,
But she fills me with more terror than a raging lion would.
The little chills run up and down my spine when'er we meet,
Though she seems a gentle creature and she's very trim and neat.

And she has a thousand virtues and not one acknowledged sin,
But she is the sort of person you could liken to a pin,
And she pricks you, and she sticks you, in a way that can't be said—
When you seek for what has hurt you, why, you cannot find the head.

But she fills you with discomfort and exasperating pain—
If anybody asks you why, you really can't explain.
A pin is such a tiny thing,—of that there is no doubt,—
Yet when it's sticking in your flesh, you're wretched till it's out!

She is wonderfully observing—when she meets a pretty girl
She is always sure to tell her if her "bang" is out of curl.
And she is so sympathetic: to a friend, who's much admired,
She is often heard remarking, "Dear, you look so worn and tired!"

And she is a careful critic; for on yesterday she eyed
The new dress I was airing with a woman's natural pride,
And she said, "Oh, how becoming!" and then softly added, "It
Is really a misfortune that the basque is such a fit."

Then she said, "If you had heard me yestereve, I'm sure, my friend,
You would say I am a champion who knows how to defend."
[Pg 133] And she left me with the feeling—most unpleasant, I aver—
That the whole world would despise me if it had not been for her.

Whenever I encounter her, in such a nameless way
She gives me the impression I am at my worst that day,
And the hat that was imported (and that cost me half a sonnet)
With just one glance from her round eyes becomes a Bowery bonnet.

She is always bright and smiling, sharp and shining for a thrust—
Use does not seem to blunt her point, not does she gather rust—
Oh! I wish some hapless specimen of mankind would begin
To tidy up the world for me, by picking up this pin.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox.


THE WHISTLER

"You have heard," said a youth to his sweetheart, who stood
While he sat on a corn-sheaf, at daylight's decline—
"You have heard of the Danish boy's whistle of wood;
I wish that the Danish boy's whistle were mine!"

"And what would you do with it?—tell me," she said,
While an arch smile play'd over her beautiful face.
"I would blow it," he answered, "and then my fair maid
Would fly to my side, and would there take her place."

"Is that all you wish for? Why, that may be yours
Without any magic," the fair maiden cried;
"A favour so slight one's good-nature secures;"
And she playfully seated herself by his side.

"I would blow it again," said the youth; "and the charm
Would work so, that not even modesty's check
Would be able to keep from my neck your white arm."
She smiled, and she laid her white arm round his neck.
[Pg 134]
"Yet once more I would blow, and the music divine
Would bring me a third time an exquisite bliss
You would lay your fair cheek to this brown one of mine
And your lips, stealing past it, would give me a kiss."

The maiden laughed out in her innocent glee—
"What a fool of yourself with the whistle you'd make!
For only consider how silly 'twould be
To sit there and whistle for what you might take."

Unknown.


THE CLOUD

AN IDYLL OF THE WESTERN FRONT

I

Scene: A wayside shrine in France.

Persons: Celeste, Pierre, a Cloud.

Celeste (gazing at the solitary white Cloud):
I wonder what your thoughts are, little Cloud,
Up in the sky, so lonely and so proud!

Cloud: Not proud, dear maiden; lonely, if you will.
Long have I watched you, sitting there so still
Before that little shrine beside the way,
And wondered where your thoughts might be astray;
Your knitting lying idle on your knees,
And worse than idle—like Penelope's,
Working its own undoing!

Celeste (picks up her knitting): Who was she?
Saints! What a knot!—Who was Penelope?
What happened to her knitting? Tell me, Cloud!

Cloud: She was a Queen; she wove her husband's shroud.

Celeste (drops the knitting).
His shroud!

Cloud:There, there! 'Twas only an excuse
To put her lovers off, a wifely ruse,
Bidding them bide till it was finished, she
Each night the web unravelled secretly.

Celeste: He came home safe?
[Pg 135]
Cloud:If I remember right,
It was the lovers needed shrouds that night!
It is an old, old tale. I heard it through
A Wind whose ancestor it was that blew
Ulysses' ship across the purple sea
Back to his people and Penelope.
We Clouds pick up strange tales, as far and wide
And to and fro above the world we ride,
Across uncharted seas, upon the swell
Of viewless waves and tides invisible,
Freighted with friendly flood or forkèd flame,
Knowing not whither bound nor whence we came;
Now drifting lonely, now a company
Of pond'rous galleons—

Celeste:Oft-times I see
A Cloud, as by some playful fancy stirred,
Take likeness of a monstrous beast or bird
Or some fantastic fish, as though 'twere clay
Moulded by unseen hands.

Cloud:Then tell me, pray,
What I resemble now!

Celeste:I scarcely know.
But had you asked a little while ago,
I should have said a camel; then your hump
Dissolved, and you became a gosling plump,
Downy and white and warm—

Cloud:What! Warm, up here?
Ten thousand feet above the earth!

Celeste:Oh dear!
What am I thinking of! Of course I know
How cold it is. Pierre has told me so
A thousand times.

Cloud:And who is this Pierre
That tells you all the secrets of the air?
How came he to such frigid heights to soar?

Celeste: Pierre's my—He is in the Flying Corps.

Cloud: Ah, now I understand! And he's away?

Celeste: He left at dawn, where for he would not say,
Telling me only 'twas a bombing raid
Somewhere—My God! What's that?

Cloud:What, little maid?
[Pg 136]
Celeste (pointing): That—over there—beyond the wooded crest!

Cloud: Only a skylark dropping to her nest;
Her mate is hov'ring somewhere near. I heard
His tremulous song of love—

Celeste:That was no bird!
(Drops upon her knees.)
O Mary! Blessed Mother! Hear, my prayer!
That one that fell—grant it was not Pierre!
Here is the cross my mother gave me—I
Will burn the longest candle it will buy!

Cloud: Courage, my child! Your prayer will not be vain!
Who guards the lark, will guide your lover's plane.
The West Wind's calling. I must go!—Hark! There
He sings again! Le bon Dieu garde, ma chère!

II

Pierre: I made a perfect landing over there
Behind the church—

Celeste:The Virgin heard my prayer!
Now I must burn the candle that I vowed—

Pierre: Then 'twas our Blessed Lady sent that Cloud
That saved me when the Boche came up behind.
I made a lightning turn, only to find
The Boche on top of me. It seemed a kind
Of miracle to see that Cloud—I swear
A moment past the sky was everywhere
As clear as clear; there was no Cloud in sight.
It looked to me, floating there calm and white.
Like a great mother hen, and I a chick.
She seemed to call me, and I scurried quick
Behind her wing. That spoiled the Boche's game,
And gave me time to turn and take good aim.
I emptied my last drum, and saw him drop
Ten thousand feet in flames—

Celeste (shuddering):Stop! Pierre, stop!
Maybe a girl is waiting for him too—

Pierre: 'Twas either him or me—
[Pg 137]
Celeste:Thank God, not you!

Pierre (pointing to the church): Come, let us burn the candle that you vowed.

Celeste: Two candles!

Pierre: Who's the other for?

Celeste: The Cloud!

Oliver Herford.


CONSTANCY

"You gave me the key of your heart, my love;
Then why do you make me knock?"
"Oh, that was yesterday, Saints above!
And last night—I changed the lock!"

John Boyle O'Reilly.


AIN'T IT AWFUL, MABEL?

It worries me to beat the band
To hear folks say our lives is grand;
Wish they'd try some one-night stand.
Ain't it awful, Mabel?

Nothin' ever seems to suit—
The manager's an awful brute;
Spend our lives jest lookin' cute.
Ain't it awful, Mabel?

Met a boy last Tuesday night,
Was spendin' money left and right—-
Me, gee! I couldn't eat a bite!
Ain't it awful, Mabel?

Then I met another guy—
Hungry! well, I thought I'd die!
But I couldn't make him buy.
Ain't it awful, Mabel?
[Pg 138]
Lots of men has called me dear,
Said without me life was drear,
But men is all so unsincere!
Ain't it awful, Mabel?

I tell you, life is mighty hard,
I've had proposals by the yard—
Some of 'em would 'a had me starred.
Ain't it awful, Mabel?

Remember that sealskin sacque of mine?
When I got it, look'd awful fine—
I found out it was a shine.
Ain't it awful, Mabel?

Prima donna's sore on me;
My roses had her up a tree—
I jest told her to "twenty-three."
Ain't it awful, Mabel?

My dear, she went right out and wired
The New York office to have me "fired";
But say! 'twas the author had me hired.
Ain't it awful, Mabel?

I think hotels is awful mean,
Jim and me put out of room sixteen—
An' we was only readin' Laura Jean.
Ain't it awful, Mabel?

The way folks talk about us too;
For the smallest thing we do—
'Nuff to make a girl feel blue.
Ain't it awful, Mabel?

My Gawd! is that the overture?
I never will be on, I'm sure—
The things us actresses endure,
Ain't it awful, Mabel?

John Edward Hazzard.

[Pg 139]

WING TEE WEE

Oh, Wing Tee Wee
Was a sweet Chinee,
And she lived in the town of Tac.
Her eyes were blue,
And her curling queue
Hung dangling down her back;
And she fell in love with gay Win Sil
When he wrote his name on a laundry bill.

And, oh, Tim Told
Was a pirate bold,
And he sailed in a Chinese junk;
And he loved, ah me!
Sweet Wing Tee Wee,
But his valiant heart had sunk;
So he drowned his blues in fickle fizz,
And vowed the maid would yet be his.

So bold Tim Told
Showed all his gold
To the maid in the town of Tac;
And sweet Wing Wee
Eloped to sea,
And nevermore came back;
For in far Chinee the maids are fair,
And the maids are false,—as everywhere.

J. P. Denison.


PHYLLIS LEE

Beside a Primrose 'broider'd Rill
Sat Phyllis Lee in Silken Dress
Whilst Lucius limn'd with loving skill
Her likeness, as a Shepherdess.
Yet tho' he strove with loving skill
His Brush refused to work his Will.
[Pg 140]
"Dear Maid, unless you close your Eyes
I cannot paint to-day," he said;
"Their Brightness shames the very Skies
And turns their Turquoise into Lead."
Quoth Phyllis, then, "To save the Skies
And speed your Brush, I'll shut my Eyes."

Now when her Eyes were closed, the Dear,
Not dreaming of such Treachery,
Felt a Soft Whisper in her Ear,
"Without the Light, how can one See?"
"If you are sure that none can see
I'll keep them shut," said Phyllis Lee.

Oliver Herford.


THE SORROWS OF WERTHER

Werther had a love for Charlotte
Such as words could never utter;
Would you know how first he met her?
She was cutting bread and butter.

Charlotte was a married lady,
And a moral man was Werther,
And for all the wealth of Indies,
Would do nothing for to hurt her.

So he sigh'd and pined and ogled,
And his passion boil'd and bubbled,
Till he blew his silly brains out,
And no more was by it troubled.

Charlotte, having seen his body
Borne before her on a shutter,
Like a well-conducted person,
Went on cutting bread and butter.

W. M. Thackeray.

[Pg 141]

THE UNATTAINABLE

Tom's album was filled with the pictures of belles
Who had captured his manly heart,
From the fairy who danced for the front-row swells
To the maiden who tooled her cart;
But one face as fair as a cloudless dawn
Caught my eye, and I said, "Who's this?"
"Oh, that," he replied, with a skilful yawn,
"Is the girl I couldn't kiss."

Her face was the best in the book, no doubt,
But I hastily turned the leaf,
For my friend had let his cigar go out,
And I knew I had bared his grief:
For caresses we win and smiles we gain
Yield only a transient bliss,
And we're all of us prone to sigh in vain
For "the girl we couldn't kiss."

Harry Romaine.


RORY O'MORE; OR, GOOD OMENS

Young Rory O'More, courted Kathleen Bawn,
He was bold as a hawk,—she as soft as the dawn;
He wish'd in his heart pretty Kathleen to please,
And he thought the best way to do that was to tease.

"Now, Rory, be aisy," sweet Kathleen would cry,
(Reproof on her lip, but a smile in her eye),
"With your tricks I don't know, in troth, what I'm about,
Faith you've teased till I've put on my cloak inside out."
"Oh, jewel," says Rory, "that same is the way
You've thrated my heart for this many a day;
And 'tis plaz'd that I am, and why not to be sure?
For 'tis all for good luck," says bold Rory O'More.

"Indeed, then," says Kathleen, "don't think of the like,
For I half gave a promise to soothering Mike;
The ground that I walk on he loves, I'll be bound."
"Faith," says Rory, "I'd rather love you than the ground."
[Pg 142]
"Now, Rory, I'll cry if you don't let me go;
Sure I drame ev'ry night that I'm hating you so!"
"Oh," says Rory, "that same I'm delighted to hear,
For drames always go by conthraries, my dear;
Oh! jewel, keep draming that same till you die,
And bright morning will give dirty night the black lie!
And 'tis plaz'd that I am, and why not, to be sure?
Since 'tis all for good luck," says bold Rory O'More.

"Arrah, Kathleen, my darlint, you've teas'd me enough,
Sure I've thrash'd for your sake Dinny Grimes and Jim Duff;
And I've made myself, drinking your health, quite a baste,
So I think, after that, I may talk to the praste."
Then Rory, the rogue, stole his arm around her neck,
So soft and so white, without freckle or speck,
And he look'd in her eyes that were beaming with light,
And he kiss'd her sweet lips;—don't you think he was right?
"Now, Rory, leave off, sir; you'll hug me no more,
That's eight times to-day you have kiss'd me before."
"Then here goes another," says he, "to make sure,
For there's luck in odd numbers," says Rory O'More.

Samuel Lover.


A DIALOGUE FROM PLATO

"Le temps le mieux employé est celui qu' on perd."

Claude Tillier.

I'd read three hours. Both notes and text
Were fast a mist becoming;
In bounced a vagrant bee, perplexed,
And filled the room with humming.

Then out. The casement's leafage sways,
And, parted light, discloses
Miss Di., with hat and book,—a maze
Of muslin mixed with roses.
[Pg 143]
"You're reading Greek?" "I am—and you?"
"O, mine's a mere romancer!"
"So Plato is." "Then read him—do;
And I'll read mine in answer."

I read. "My Plato (Plato, too,—
That wisdom thus should harden!)
Declares 'blue eyes look doubly blue
Beneath a Dolly Varden.'"

She smiled. "My book in turn avers
(No author's name is stated)
That sometimes those Philosophers
Are sadly mis-translated."

"But hear,—the next's in stronger style:
The Cynic School asserted
That two red lips which part and smile
May not be controverted!"

She smiled once more—"My book, I find,
Observes some modern doctors
Would make the Cynics out a kind
Of album-verse concoctors."

Then I—"Why not? 'Ephesian law,
No less than time's tradition,
Enjoined fair speech on all who saw
Diana's apparition.'"

She blushed—this time. "If Plato's page
No wiser precept teaches,
Then I'd renounce that doubtful sage,
And walk to Burnham-beeches."

"Agreed," I said. "For Socrates
(I find he too is talking)
Thinks Learning can't remain at ease
While Beauty goes a-walking."
[Pg 144]
She read no more, I leapt the sill:
The sequel's scarce essential—
Nay, more than this, I hold it still
Profoundly confidential.

Austin Dobson.


DORA VERSUS ROSE

"The case is proceeding."

From the tragic-est novels at Mudie's—
At least, on a practical plan—
To the tales of mere Hodges and Judys,
One love is enough for a man.
But no case that I ever yet met is
Like mine: I am equally fond
Of Rose, who a charming brunette is,
And Dora, a blonde.

Each rivals the other in powers—
Each waltzes, each warbles, each paints—
Miss Rose, chiefly tumble-down towers;
Miss Do., perpendicular saints.
In short, to distinguish is folly;
'Twixt the pair I am come to the pass
Of Macheath, between Lucy and Polly,—
Or Buridan's ass.

If it happens that Rosa I've singled
For a soft celebration in rhyme,
Then the ringlets of Dora get mingled
Somehow with the tune and the time;
Or I painfully pen me a sonnet
To an eyebrow intended for Do.'s,
And behold I am writing upon it
The legend, "To Rose,"

Or I try to draw Dora (my blotter
Is all overscrawled with her head),
If I fancy at last that I've got her,
It turns to her rival instead;
[Pg 145] Or I find myself placidly adding
To the rapturous tresses of Rose
Miss Dora's bud-mouth, and her madding
Ineffable nose.

Was there ever so sad a dilemma?
For Rose I would perish (pro tem.);
For Dora I'd willingly stem a—
(Whatever might offer to stem);
But to make the invidious election,—
To declare that on either one's side
I've a scruple,—a grain, more affection,
I cannot decide.

And, as either so hopelessly nice is,
My sole and my final resource
Is to wait some indefinite crisis,—
Some feat of molecular force,
To solve me this riddle conducive
By no means to peace or repose,
Since the issue can scarce be inclusive
Of Dora and Rose.

(Afterthought)

But, perhaps, if a third (say a Nora),
Not quite so delightful as Rose,—
Not wholly so charming as Dora,—
Should appear, is it wrong to suppose,—
As the claims of the others are equal,—
And flight—in the main—is the best,—
That I might ... But no matter,—the sequel
Is easily guessed.

Austin Dobson.

[Pg 146]

TU QUOQUE

AN IDYLL IN THE CONSERVATORY

NELLIE

If I were you, when ladies at the play, Sir,
Beckon and nod, a melodrama through,
I would not turn abstractedly away, Sir,
If I were you!

FRANK

If I were you, when persons I affected,
Wait for three hours to take me down to Kew,
I would at least pretend I recollected,
If I were you!

NELLIE

If I were you, when ladies are so lavish,
Sir, as to keep me every waltz but two,
I would not dance with odious Miss M'Tavish,
If I were you!

FRANK

If I were you, who vow you cannot suffer
Whiff of the best,—the mildest "honey dew,"
I would not dance with smoke-consuming Puffer,
If I were you!

NELLIE

If I were you, I would not, Sir, be bitter,
Even to write the "Cynical Review";—

FRANK

No, I should doubtless find flirtation fitter,
If I were you!

NELLIE

Really! You would? Why, Frank, you're quite delightful,—
Hot as Othello, and as black of hue;
Borrow my fan. I would not look so frightful,
If I were you!
[Pg 147]

FRANK

"It is the cause." I mean your chaperon is
Bringing some well-curled juvenile. Adieu!
I shall retire. I'd spare that poor Adonis,
If I were you!

NELLIE

Go, if you will. At once! And by express, Sir!
Where shall it be? To China—or Peru?
Go. I should leave inquirers my address, Sir,
If I were you!

FRANK

No—I remain. To stay and fight a duel
Seems, on the whole, the proper thing to do—
Ah, you are strong,—I would not then be cruel,
If I were you!

NELLIE

One does not like one's feelings to be doubted,—

FRANK

One does not like one's friends to misconstrue,—

NELLIE

If I confess that I a wee-bit pouted?

FRANK

I should admit that I was piqué, too.

NELLIE

Ask me to dance. I'd say no more about it,
If I were you!

[Waltz—Exeunt.]

Austin Dobson.

[Pg 148]

NOTHING TO WEAR

Miss Flora McFlimsey, of Madison Square,
Has made three separate journeys to Paris;
And her father assures me, each time she was there,
That she and her friend Mrs. Harris
(Not the lady whose name is so famous in history,
But plain Mrs. H., without romance or mystery)
Spent six consecutive weeks without stopping,
In one continuous round of shopping;—
Shopping alone, and shopping together,
At all hours of the day, and in all sorts of weather:
For all manner of things that a woman can put
On the crown of her head or the sole of her foot,
Or wrap round her shoulders, or fit round her waist,
Or that can be sewed on, or pinned on, or laced,
Or tied on with a string, or stitched on with a bow,
In front or behind, above or below;
For bonnets, mantillas, capes, collars, and shawls;
Dresses for breakfasts, and dinners, and balls;
Dresses to sit in, and stand in, and walk in,
Dresses to dance in, and flirt in, and talk in;
Dresses in which to do nothing at all;
Dresses for winter, spring, summer, and fall,—
All of them different in color and pattern,
Silk, muslin, and lace, crape, velvet, and satin,
Brocade, and broadcloth, and other material
Quite as expensive and much more ethereal:
In short, for all things that could ever be thought of,
Or milliner, modiste, or tradesman be bought of,
From ten-thousand-francs robes to twenty-sous frills;
In all quarters of Paris, and to every store:
While McFlimsey in vain stormed, scolded, and swore.
They footed the streets, and he footed the bills.

The last trip, their goods shipped by the steamer Argo
Formed, McFlimsey declares, the bulk of her cargo,
Not to mention a quantity kept from the rest,
Sufficient to fill the largest-sized chest,
Which did not appear on the ship's manifest,
[Pg 149] But for which the ladies themselves manifested
Such particular interest that they invested
Their own proper persons in layers and rows
Of muslins, embroideries, worked underclothes,
Gloves, handkerchiefs, scarfs, and such trifles as those;
Then, wrapped in great shawls, like Circassian beauties,
Gave good-by to the ship, and go-by to the duties.
Her relations at home all marvelled, no doubt,
Miss Flora had grown so enormously stout
For an actual belle and a possible bride;
But the miracle ceased when she turned inside out,
And the truth came to light, and the dry-goods beside,
Which, in spite of collector and custom-house sentry,
Had entered the port without any entry.
And yet, though scarce three months have passed since the day
The merchandise went, on twelve carts, up Broadway,
This same Miss McFlimsey, of Madison Square,
The last time we met, was in utter despair,
Because she had nothing whatever to wear!

Nothing to wear! Now, as this is a true ditty,
I do not assert—this you know is between us—
That she's in a state of absolute nudity,
Like Powers's Greek Slave, or the Medici Venus;
But I do mean to say I have heard her declare,
When at the same moment she had on a dress
Which cost five hundred dollars, and not a cent less,
And jewelry worth ten times more, I should guess,
That she had not a thing in the wide world to wear!
I should mention just here, that out of Miss Flora's
Two hundred and fifty or sixty adorers,
I had just been selected as he who should throw all
The rest in the shade, by the gracious bestowal
On myself, after twenty or thirty rejections
Of those fossil remains which she called her "affections,"
And that rather decayed but well-known work of art,
Which Miss Flora persisted in styling "her heart."
So we were engaged. Our troth had been plighted
Not by moonbeam or starbeam, by fountain or grove;
But in a front parlor, most brilliantly lighted,
[Pg 150] Beneath the gas-fixtures we whispered our love—
Without any romance, or raptures, or sighs,
Without any tears in Miss Flora's blue eyes,
Or blushes, or transports, or such silly actions;
It was one of the quietest business transactions,
With a very small sprinkling of sentiment, if any,
And a very large diamond imported by Tiffany.
On her virginal lips while I printed a kiss,
She exclaimed, as a sort of parenthesis,
And by way of putting me quite at my ease,
"You know, I'm to polka as much as I please,
And flirt when I like,—now stop,—don't you speak,—
And you must not come here more than twice in the week,
Or talk to me either at party or ball;
But always be ready to come when I call:
So don't prose to me about duty and stuff,—
If we don't break this off, there will be time enough
For that sort of thing; but the bargain must be,
That as long as I choose I am perfectly free:
For this is a sort of engagement, you see,
Which is binding on you, but not binding on me."

Well, having thus wooed Miss McFlimsey, and gained her,
With the silks, crinolines, and hoops that contained her,
I had, as I thought, a contingent remainder
At least in the property, and the best right
To appear as its escort by day and by night;
And it being the week of the Stuckups' grand ball,—
Their cards had been out for a fortnight or so,
And set all the Avenue on the tiptoe,—
I considered it only my duty to call
And see if Miss Flora intended to go.
I found her—as ladies are apt to be found
When the time intervening between the first sound
Of the bell and the visitor's entry is shorter
Than usual—I found—I won't say I caught—her
Intent on the pier-glass, undoubtedly meaning
To see if perhaps it didn't need cleaning.
She turned as I entered—"Why, Harry, you sinner,
I thought that you went to the Flashers' to dinner!"
"So I did," I replied; "but the dinner is swallowed,
[Pg 151] And digested, I trust; for 'tis now nine or more:
So being relieved from that duty, I followed
Inclination, which led me, you see, to your door.
And now will your Ladyship so condescend
As just to inform me if you intend
Your beauty and graces and presence to lend
(All of which, when I own, I hope no one will borrow)
To the Stuckups, whose party, you know, is to-morrow?"
The fair Flora looked up with a pitiful air,
And answered quite promptly, "Why, Harry, mon cher,
I should like above all things to go with you there;
But really and truly—I've nothing to wear."

"Nothing to wear? Go just as you are:
Wear the dress you have on, and you'll be by far,
I engage, the most bright and particular star
On the Stuckup horizon—" I stopped, for her eye,
Notwithstanding this delicate onset of flattery,
Opened on me at once a most terrible battery
Of scorn and amazement. She made no reply,
But gave a slight turn to the end of her nose
(That pure Grecian feature), as much as to say,
"How absurd that any sane man should suppose
That a lady would go to a ball in the clothes,
No matter how fine, that she wears every day!"
So I ventured again—"Wear your crimson brocade."
(Second turn-up of nose)—"That's too dark by a shade."—
"Your blue silk—" "That's too heavy."—"Your pink—" "That's too light."—
"Wear tulle over satin." "I can't endure white."—
"Your rose-colored, then, the best of the batch—"
"I haven't a thread of point lace to match."—
"Your brown moire-antique—" "Yes, and look like a Quaker."—
"The pearl-colored—" "I would, but that plaguy dressmaker
Has had it a week."—"Then that exquisite lilac,
In which you would melt the heart of a Shylock."
(Here the nose took again the same elevation)—
"I wouldn't wear that for the whole of creation."—
[Pg 152]
"Why not? It's my fancy, there's nothing could strike it
As more comme il faut"—"Yes, but, dear me, that lean
Sophronia Stuckup has got one just like it,
And I won't appear dressed like a chit of sixteen."—
"Then that splendid purple, that sweet mazarine,
That superb point d'aiguille, that imperial green,
That zephyr-like tarlatan, that rich grenadine—"
"Not one of all which is fit to be seen,"
Said the lady, becoming excited and flushed.
"Then wear," I exclaimed, in a tone which quite crushed
Opposition, "that gorgeous toilette which you sported
In Paris last spring, at the grand presentation,
When you quite turned the head of the head of the nation;
And by all the grand court were so very much courted."
The end of the nose was portentously tipped up,
And both the bright eyes shot forth indignation,
As she burst upon me with the fierce exclamation,
"I have worn it three times at the least calculation,
And that and most of my dresses are ripped up!"
Here I ripped out something, perhaps rather rash—
Quite innocent, though; but to use an expression
More striking than classic, it "settled my hash,"
And proved very soon the last act of our session.
"Fiddlesticks, is it, sir? I wonder the ceiling
Doesn't fall down and crush you!—oh, you men have no feeling.
You selfish, unnatural, illiberal creatures,
Who set yourselves up as patterns and preachers,
Your silly pretence—why, what a mere guess it is!
Pray, what do you know of a woman's necessities?
I have told you and shown you I've nothing to wear,
And it's perfectly plain you not only don't care,
But you do not believe me" (here the nose went still higher):
"I suppose if you dared you would call me a liar.
Our engagement is ended, sir—yes, on the spot;
You're a brute, and a monster, and—I don't know what."
I mildly suggested the words Hottentot,
Pickpocket, and cannibal, Tartar, and thief,
As gentle expletives which might give relief:
But this only proved as a spark to the powder,
And the storm I had raised came faster and louder;
[Pg 153] It blew, and it rained, thundered, lightened, and hailed
Interjections, verbs, pronouns, till language quite failed
To express the abusive, and then its arrears
Were brought up all at once by a torrent of tears;
And my last faint, despairing attempt at an obs-
Ervation was lost in a tempest of sobs.

Well, I felt for the lady, and felt for my hat too,
Improvised on the crown of the latter a tattoo,
In lieu of expressing the feelings which lay
Quite too deep for words, as Wordsworth would say:
Then, without going through the form of a bow,
Found myself in the entry,—I hardly knew how,—
On doorstep and sidewalk, past lamp-post and square,
At home and up-stairs, in my own easy-chair;
Poked my feet into slippers, my fire into blaze,
And said to myself, as I lit my cigar,—
Supposing a man had the wealth of the Czar
Of the Russias to boot, for the rest of his days,
On the whole do you think he would have much time to spare
If he married a woman with nothing to wear?

William Allen Butler.


MY MISTRESS'S BOOTS

They nearly strike me dumb,
And I tremble when they come
Pit-a-pat:
This palpitation means
These boots are Geraldine's—
Think of that!

Oh, where did hunter win
So delectable a skin
For her feet?
You lucky little kid,
You perished, so you did,
For my sweet!
[Pg 154]
The faëry stitching gleams
On the sides, and in the seams,
And it shows
The Pixies were the wags
Who tipt those funny tags
And these toes.

What soles to charm an elf!
Had Crusoe, sick of self,
Chanced to view
One printed near the tide,
Oh, how hard he would have tried
For the two!

For Gerry's debonair
And innocent, and fair
As a rose;
She's an angel in a frock,
With a fascinating cock
To her nose.

The simpletons who squeeze
Their extremities to please
Mandarins,
Would positively flinch
From venturing to pinch
Geraldine's.

Cinderella's lefts and rights,
To Geraldine's were frights;
And I trow,
The damsel, deftly shod,
Has dutifully trod
Until now.

Come, Gerry, since it suits
Such a pretty Puss (in Boots)
These to don;
Set this dainty hand awhile
On my shoulder, dear, and I'll
Put them on.

Frederick Locker-Lampson.

[Pg 155]

MRS. SMITH

Last year I trod these fields with Di,
Fields fresh with clover and with rye;
They now seem arid!
Then Di was fair and single; how
Unfair it seems on me, for now
Di's fair—and married!

A blissful swain—I scorn'd the song
Which says that though young Love is strong,
The Fates are stronger;
Breezes then blew a boon to men,
The buttercups were bright, and then
This grass was longer.

That day I saw and much esteem'd
Di's ankles, which the clover seem'd
Inclined to smother;
It twitch'd, and soon untied (for fun)
The ribbon of her shoes, first one,
And then the other.

I'm told that virgins augur some
Misfortune if their shoe-strings come
To grief on Friday:
And so did Di, and then her pride
Decreed that shoe-strings so untied
Are "so untidy!"

Of course I knelt; with fingers deft
I tied the right, and then the left;
Says Di, "The stubble
Is very stupid!—as I live,
I'm quite ashamed!—I'm shock'd to give
You so much trouble!"
[Pg 156]
For answer I was fain to sink
To what we all would say and think
Were Beauty present:
"Don't mention such a simple act—
A trouble? not the least! in fact
It's rather pleasant!"

I trust that Love will never tease
Poor little Di, or prove that he's
A graceless rover.
She's happy now as Mrs. Smith
And less polite when walking with
Her chosen lover!

Heigh-ho! Although no moral clings
To Di's blue eyes, and sandal strings,
We've had our quarrels!—
I think that Smith is thought an ass;
I know that when they walk in grass
She wears balmorals.

Frederick Locker-Lampson.


A TERRIBLE INFANT

I recollect a nurse call'd Ann,
Who carried me about the grass,
And one fine day a fine young man
Came up, and kiss'd the pretty lass.
She did not make the least objection!
Thinks I, "Aha!
When I can talk I'll tell Mamma"
—And that's my earliest recollection.

Frederick Locker-Lampson.

[Pg 157]

SUSAN

A KIND PROVIDENCE

He dropt a tear on Susan's bier,
He seem'd a most despairing swain;
But bluer sky brought newer tie,
And—would he wish her back again?

The moments fly, and when we die,
Will Philly Thistletop complain?
She'll cry and sigh, and—dry her eye,
And let herself be woo'd again.

Frederick Locker-Lampson.


"I DIDN'T LIKE HIM"

Perhaps you may a-noticed I been soht o' solemn lately,
Haven't been a-lookin' quite so pleasant.
Mabbe I have been a little bit too proud and stately;
Dat's because I'se lonesome jes' at present.
I an' him agreed to quit a week or so ago,
Fo' now dat I am in de social swim
I'se 'rived to de opinion dat he ain't my style o' beau,
So I tole him dat my watch was fas' fo' him.

REFRAIN

Oh, I didn't like his clo'es,
An' I didn't like his eyes,
Nor his walk, nor his talk,
Nor his ready-made neckties.
I didn't like his name a bit,
Jes' 'spise the name o' Jim;
If dem ere reasons ain't enough,
I didn't like Him.

Dimon' ring he give to me, an' said it was a fine stone.
Guess it's only alum mixed wif camphor.
Took it roun' to Eisenstein; he said it was a rhinestone,
Kind, he said, he didn't give a dam fur.
[Pg 158]
Sealskin sack he give to me it got me in a row.
P'liceman called an' asked to see dat sack;
Said another lady lost it. Course I don't know how;
But I had to go to jail or give it back.

REFRAIN

Oh, I didn't like his trade;
Trade dat kep' him out all night.
He'd de look ob a crook,
An' he owned a bull's-eye light.
So when policemen come to ask
What I know 'bout dat Jim,
I come to de confusion dat
I didn't like Him.

Harry B. Smith.


MY ANGELINE

She kept her secret well, oh, yes,
Her hideous secret well.
We together were cast, I knew not her past;
For how was I to tell?
I married her, guileless lamb I was;
I'd have died for her sweet sake.
How could I have known that my Angeline
Had been a Human Snake?
Ah, we had been wed but a week or two
When I found her quite a wreck:
Her limbs were tied in a double bow-knot
At the back of her swan-like neck.
No curse there sprang to my pallid lips,
Nor did I reproach her then;
I calmly untied my bonny bride
And straightened her out again.

Refrain

My Angeline! My Angeline!
Why didst disturb my mind serene?
My well-belovèd circus queen,
My Human Snake, my Angeline!
[Pg 159]
At night I'd wake at the midnight hour,
With a weird and haunted feeling,
And there she'd be, in her robe de nuit,
A-walking upon the ceiling.
She said she was being "the human fly,"
And she'd lift me up from beneath
By a section slight of my garb of night,
Which she held in her pearly teeth.
For the sweet, sweet sake of the Human Snake
I'd have stood this conduct shady;
But she skipped in the end with an old, old friend,
An eminent bearded lady.
But, oh, at night, when my slumber's light,
Regret comes o'er me stealing;
For I miss the sound of those little feet,
As they pattered along the ceiling.

Refrain

My Angeline! My Angeline!
Why didst disturb my mind serene?
My well-belovèd circus queen,
My Human Snake, my Angeline!

Harry B. Smith.


NORA'S VOW

Hear what Highland Nora said,—
"The Earlie's son I will not wed,
Should all the race of nature die,
And none be left but he and I.
For all the gold, for all the gear,
And all the lands both far and near,
That ever valour lost or won,
I would not wed the Earlie's son."

"A maiden's vows," old Callum spoke,
"Are lightly made and lightly broke,
The heather on the mountain's height
Begins to bloom in purple light;
[Pg 160] The frost-wind soon shall sweep away
That lustre deep from glen and brae;
Yet Nora, ere its bloom be gone,
May blithely wed the Earlie's son."

"The swan," she said, "the lake's clear breast
May barter for the eagle's nest;
The Awe's fierce stream may backward turn,
Ben-Cruaichan fall, and crush Kilchurn;
Our kilted clans, when blood is high,
Before their foes may turn and fly;
But I, were all these marvels done,
Would never wed the Earlie's son."

Still in the water-lily's shade
Her wonted nest the wild swan made;
Ben-Cruaichan stands as fast as ever,
Still downward foams the Awe's fierce river;
To shun the clash of foeman's steel,
No Highland brogue has turn'd the heel;
But Nora's heart is lost and won,
—She's wedded to the Earlie's son!

Sir Walter Scott.


HUSBAND AND HEATHEN

O'er the men of Ethiopia she would pour her cornucopia,

And shower wealth and plenty on the people of Japan,

Send down jelly cake and candies to the Indians of the Andes,

And a cargo of plum pudding to the men of Hindoostan;

And she said she loved 'em so,

Bushman, Finn, and Eskimo.

If she had the wings of eagles to their succour she would fly

Loaded down with jam and jelly,

Succotash and vermicelli,

Prunes, pomegranates, plums and pudding, peaches, pineapples, and pie.

She would fly with speedy succour to the natives of Molucca

With whole loads of quail and salmon, and with tons of fricassee

[Pg 161]

And give cake in fullest measure

To the men of Australasia

And all the Archipelagoes that dot the southern sea;

And the Anthropophagi,

All their lives deprived of pie,

She would satiate and satisfy with custards, cream, and mince;

And those miserable Australians

And the Borrioboolighalians,

She would gorge with choicest jelly, raspberry, currant, grape, and quince.

But like old war-time hardtackers, her poor husband lived on crackers,

Bought at wholesale from a baker, eaten from the mantelshelf;

If the men of Madagascar,

And the natives of Alaska,

Had enough to sate their hunger, let him look out for himself.

And his coat had but one tail

And he used a shingle nail

To fasten up his galluses when he went out to his work;

And she used to spend his money

To buy sugar-plums and honey

For the Terra del Fuegian and the Turcoman and Turk.

Sam Walter Foss.


THE LOST PLEIAD

'Twas a pretty little maiden
In a garden gray and old,
Where the apple trees were laden
With the magic fruit of gold;
But she strayed beyond the portal
Of the garden of the Sun,
And she flirted with a mortal,
Which she oughtn't to have done!
[Pg 162]
For a giant was her father and a goddess was her mother,
She was Merope or Sterope—the one or else the other;
And the man was not the equal, though presentable and rich,
Of Merope or Sterope—I don't remember which!

Now the giant's daughters seven,
She among them, if you please,
Were translated to the heaven
As the starry Pleiades!
But amid their constellation
One alone was always dark,
For she shrank from observation
Or censorious remark.

She had yielded to a mortal when he came to flirt and flatter.
She was Merope or Sterope—the former or the latter;
So the planets all ignored her, and the comets wouldn't call
On Merope or Sterope—I am not sure at all!

But the Dog-star, brightly shining
In the hottest of July,
Saw the pretty Pleiad pining
In the shadow of the sky,
And he courted her and kissed her
Till she kindled into light;
And the Pleiads' erring sister
Was the lady of the night!

So her former indiscretion as a fault was never reckoned,
To Merope or Sterope—the first or else the second,
And you'll never see so rigidly respectable a dame
As Merope or Sterope—I can't recall her name!

Arthur Reed Ropes.


THE NEW CHURCH ORGAN

They've got a brand-new organ, Sue,
For all their fuss and search;
They've done just as they said they'd do,
And fetched it into church.
[Pg 163] They're bound the critter shall be seen,
And on the preacher's right
They've hoisted up their new machine
In everybody's sight.
They've got a chorister and choir,
Ag'in' my voice and vote;
For it was never my desire
To praise the Lord by note.

I've been a sister good an' true
For five-an'-thirty year;
I've done what seemed my part to do,
An' prayed my duty clear;
I've sung the hymns both slow and quick,
Just as the preacher read,
And twice, when Deacon Tubbs was sick,
I took the fork an' led;
And now, their bold, new-fangled ways
Is comin' all about;
And I, right in my latter days,
Am fairly crowded out!

To-day the preacher, good old dear,
With tears all in his eyes,
Read, "I can read my title clear
To mansions in the skies."
I al'ays liked that blessed hymn—
I s'pose I al'ays will—
It somehow gratifies my whim,
In good old Ortonville;
But when that choir got up to sing,
I couldn't catch a word;
They sung the most dog-gondest thing
A body ever heard!

Some worldly chaps was standin' near;
An' when I see them grin,
I bid farewell to every fear,
And boldly waded in.
I thought I'd chase their tune along,
An' tried with all my might;
[Pg 164] But though my voice was good an' strong,
I couldn't steer it right.
When they was high, then I was low,
An' also contrawise;
An' I too fast, or they too slow,
To "mansions in the skies."

An' after every verse, you know
They play a little tune;
I didn't understand, and so
I started in too soon.
I pitched it pretty middlin' high,
I fetched a lusty tone,
But oh, alas! I found that I
Was singin' there alone!
They laughed a little, I am told;
But I had done my best;
And not a wave of trouble rolled
Across my peaceful breast.

And Sister Brown—I could but look—
She sits right front of me;
She never was no singin'-book,
An' never went to be;
But then she al'ays tried to do
The best she could, she said;
She understood the time right through,
An' kep' it with her head;
But when she tried this mornin', oh,
I had to laugh, or cough!
It kep' her head a-bobbin' so,
It e'en a'most came off.

An' Deacon Tubbs—he all broke 'down,
As one might well suppose;
He took one look at Sister Brown,
And meekly scratched his nose.
He looked his hymn-book through and through,
And laid it on the seat,
And then a pensive sigh he drew,
And looked completely beat.
[Pg 165] And when they took another bout,
He didn't even rise;
But drawed his red bandanner out,
An' wiped his weepin' eyes.

I've been a sister, good an' true,
For five-an'-thirty year;
I've done what seemed my part to do,
An' prayed my duty clear;
But Death will stop my voice, I know,
For he is on my track;
And some day I to church will go,
And nevermore come back;
And when the folks gets up to sing—
Whene'er that time shall be—
I do not want no patent thing
A-squealin' over me!

Will Carteton.


LARRIE O'DEE

Now the Widow McGee,
And Larrie O'Dee,
Had two little cottages out on the green,
With just room enough for two pig-pens between.
The widow was young and the widow was fair,
With the brightest of eyes and the brownest of hair,
And it frequently chanced, when she came in the morn,
With the swill for her pig, Larrie came with the corn,
And some of the ears that he tossed from his hand
In the pen of the widow were certain to land.

One morning said he:
"Och! Misthress McGee,
It's a waste of good lumber, this runnin' two rigs,
Wid a fancy purtition betwane our two pigs!"
"Indade, sur, it is!" answered Widow McGee,
With the sweetest of smiles upon Larrie O'Dee.
"And thin, it looks kind o' hard-hearted and mane,
Kapin' two friendly pigs so exsaidenly near
That whiniver one grunts the other can hear,
And yit kape a cruel purtition betwane."

[Pg 166] "Shwate Widow McGee,"
Answered Larrie O'Dee,
"If ye fale in your heart we are mane to the pigs,
Ain't we mane to ourselves to be runnin' two rigs?
Och! it made me heart ache when I paped through the cracks
Of me shanty, lasht March, at yez shwingin' yer axe;
An' a-bobbin' yer head an' a-shtompin' yer fate,
Wid yer purty white hands jisht as red as a bate,
A-shplittin' yer kindlin'-wood out in the shtorm,
When one little shtove it would kape us both warm!"

"Now, piggy," says she,
"Larrie's courtin' o' me,
Wid his dilicate tinder allusions to you;
So now yez must tell me jisht what I must do:
For, if I'm to say yes, shtir the swill wid yer snout;
But if I'm to say no, ye must kape yer nose out.
Now Larrie, for shame! to be bribin' a pig
By a-tossin' a handful of corn in its shwig!"
"Me darlint, the piggy says yes," answered he.
And that was the courtship of Larrie O'Dee.

William W. Fink.


NO FAULT IN WOMEN

No fault in women, to refuse
The offer which they most would choose.
No fault in women to confess
How tedious they are in their dress;
No fault in women, to lay on
The tincture of vermilion,
And there to give the cheek a dye
Of white, where Nature doth deny.
No fault in women, to make show
Of largeness, when they've nothing so;
When, true it is, the outside swells
With inward buckram, little else.
No fault in women, though they be
But seldom from suspicion free;
No fault in womankind at all,
If they but slip, and never fall.

Robert Herrick.

[Pg 167]

A COSMOPOLITAN WOMAN

She went round and asked subscriptions
For the heathen black Egyptians
And the Terra del Fuegians,
She did;
For the tribes round Athabasca,
And the men of Madagascar,
And the poor souls of Alaska,
So she did;
She longed, she said, to buy
Jelly, cake, and jam, and pie,
For the Anthropophagi,
So she did.

Her heart ached for the Australians
And the Borriobooli-Ghalians,
And the poor dear Amahagger,
Yes, it did;
And she loved the black Numidian,
And the ebon Abyssinian,
And the charcoal-coloured Guinean,
Oh, she did!
And she said she'd cross the seas
With a ship of bread and cheese
For those starving Chimpanzees,
So she did.

How she loved the cold Norwegian
And the poor half-melted Feejeean,
And the dear Molucca Islander,
She did:
She sent tins of red tomato
To the tribes beyond the Equator,
But her husband ate potato,
So he did;
The poor helpless, homeless thing
(My voice falters as I sing)
Tied his clothes up with a string,
Yes, he did.

Unknown.

[Pg 168]

COURTING IN KENTUCKY

When Mary Ann Dollinger got the skule daown thar on Injun Bay,

I was glad, for I like ter see a gal makin' her honest way.

I heerd some talk in the village abaout her flyin' high,

Tew high for busy farmer folks with chores ter do ter fly;

But I paid no sorter attention ter all the talk ontell

She come in her reg'lar boardin' raound ter visit with us a spell.

My Jake an' her had been cronies ever since they could walk,

An' it tuk me aback to hear her kerrectin' him in his talk.

Jake ain't no hand at grammar, though he hain't his beat for work;

But I sez ter myself, "Look out, my gal, yer a-foolin' with a Turk!"

Jake bore it wonderful patient, an' said in a mournful way,

He p'sumed he was behindhand with the doin's at Injun Bay.

I remember once he was askin' for some o' my Injun buns,

An' she said he should allus say, "them air," stid o' "them is" the ones.

Wal, Mary Ann kep' at him stiddy mornin' an' evenin' long,

Tell he dassent open his mouth for fear o' talkin' wrong.

One day I was pickin' currants daown by the old quince-tree,

When I heerd Jake's voice a-saying', "Be yer willin' ter marry me?"

An' Mary Ann kerrectin', 'Air ye willin' yeou sh'd say";

Our Jake he put his foot daown in a plum, decided way,

"No wimmen-folks is a-goin' ter be rearrangin' me,

Hereafter I says 'craps,' 'them is,' 'I calk'late,' an' 'I be.'

Ef folks don't like my talk they needn't hark ter what I say:.

But I ain't a-goin' to take no sass from folks from Injun Bay.

I ask you free an' final, 'Be ye goin' ter marry me?'"

An' Mary Ann says, tremblin, yet anxious-like, "I be."

Florence E. Pratt.

[Pg 169]

ANY ONE WILL DO

A maiden once, of certain age,
To catch a husband did engage;
But, having passed the prime of life
In striving to become a wife
Without success, she thought it time
To mend the follies of her prime.

Departing from the usual course
Of paint and such like for resource,
With all her might this ancient maid
Beneath an oak-tree knelt and prayed;
Unconscious that a grave old owl
Was perched above—the mousing fowl!

"Oh, give! a husband give!" she cried,
"While yet I may become a bride;
Soon will my day of grace be o'er,
And then, like many maids before,
I'll die without an early Jove,
And none to meet me there above!

"Oh, 'tis a fate too hard to bear!
Then answer this my humble prayer,
And oh, a husband give to me!"
Just then the owl from out the tree,
In deep bass tones cried, "Who—who—who!"
"Who, Lord? And dost Thou ask me who?
Why, any one, good Lord, will do."

Unknown.

[Pg 170]

A BIRD IN THE HAND

There were three young maids of Lee;
They were fair as fair can be,
And they had lovers three times three,
For they were fair as fair can be,
These three young maids of Lee.
But these young maids they cannot find
A lover each to suit her mind;
The plain-spoke lad is far too rough,
The rich young lord is not rich enough,
The one is too poor, and one is too tall,
And one just an inch too short for them all.
"Others pick and choose, and why not we?
We can very well wait," said the maids of Lee.
There were three young maids of Lee;
They were fair as fair can be,
And they had lovers three times three
For they were fair as fair can be,
These three young maids of Lee.

There are three old maids of Lee,
And they are old as old can be,
And one is deaf, and one cannot see,
And they are all as cross as a gallows-tree,
These three old maids of Lee.
Now, if any one chanced—'tis a chance remote—
One single charm in these maids to note,
He need not a poet nor handsome be,
For one is deaf and one cannot see;
He need not woo on his bended knee,
For they all are willing as willing can be.
He may take the one, or the two, or the three,
If he'll only take them away from Lee.
There are three old maids at Lee;
They are cross as cross can be;
And there they are, and there they'll be
To the end of the chapter, one, two, three,
These three old maids of Lee.

Frederic E. Weatherly.

[Pg 171]

THE BELLE OF THE BALL

Years—years ago,—ere yet my dreams
Had been of being wise and witty,—
Ere I had done with writing themes,
Or yawn'd o'er this infernal Chitty;—
Years, years ago, while all my joy
Was in my fowling-piece and filly:
In short, while I was yet a boy,
I fell in love with Laura Lily.

I saw her at the county ball;
There, when the sounds of flute and fiddle
Gave signal sweet in that old hall
Of hands across and down the middle,
Hers was the subtlest spell by far
Of all that set young hearts romancing:
She was our queen, our rose, our star;
And when she danced—O Heaven, her dancing!

Dark was her hair, her hand was white;
Her voice was exquisitely tender,
Her eyes were full of liquid light;
I never saw a waist so slender;
Her every look, her every smile,
Shot right and left a score of arrows;
I thought 'twas Venus from her isle,
And wonder'd where she'd left her sparrows.

She talk'd,—of politics or prayers;
Of Southey's prose, or Wordsworth's sonnets;
Of daggers or of dancing bears,
Of battles, or the last new bonnets;
By candle-light, at twelve o'clock,
To me it matter'd not a tittle,
If those bright lips had quoted Locke,
I might have thought they murmur'd Little.
[Pg 172]
Through sunny May, through sultry June,
I loved her with a love eternal;
I spoke her praises to the moon,
I wrote them for the Sunday Journal.
My mother laugh'd; I soon found out
That ancient ladies have no feeling;
My father frown'd; but how should gout
See any happiness in kneeling?

She was the daughter of a Dean,
Rich, fat, and rather apoplectic;
She had one brother, just thirteen,
Whose color was extremely hectic;
Her grandmother for many a year
Had fed the parish with her bounty;
Her second cousin was a peer,
And lord lieutenant of the county.

But titles and the three per cents,
And mortgages, and great relations,
And India bonds, and tithes and rents,
Oh! what are they to love's sensations?
Black eyes, fair forehead, clustering locks,
Such wealth, such honors, Cupid chooses;
He cares as little for the stocks,
As Baron Rothschild for the Muses.

She sketch'd; the vale, the wood, the beach,
Grew lovelier from her pencil's shading;
She botanized; I envied each
Young blossom in her boudoir fading;
She warbled Handel; it was grand—
She made the Catalani jealous;
She touch'd the organ; I could stand
For hours and hours to blow the bellows.

She kept an album, too, at home,
Well fill'd with all an album's glories;
Paintings of butterflies, and Rome,
Patterns for trimming, Persian stories;
[Pg 173] Soft songs to Julia's cockatoo,
Fierce odes to Famine and to Slaughter;
And autographs of Prince Leboo,
And recipes for elder water.

And she was flatter'd, worshipp'd, bored;
Her steps were watch'd, her dress was noted;
Her poodle dog was quite adored,
Her sayings were extremely quoted.
She laugh'd, and every heart was glad,
As if the taxes were abolish'd;
She frown'd, and every look was sad,
As if the Opera were demolished.

She smil'd on many just for fun—
I knew that there was nothing in it;
I was the first—the only one
Her heart had thought of for a minute;
I knew it, for she told me so,
In phrase which was divinely moulded;
She wrote a charming hand,—and oh!
How sweetly all her notes were folded!

Our love was like most other loves—
A little glow, a little shiver;
A rosebud and a pair of gloves,
And "Fly Not Yet," upon the river;
Some jealousy of some one's heir,
Some hopes of dying broken-hearted,
A miniature, a lock of hair,
The usual vows—and then we parted.

We parted;—months and years roll'd by;
We met again four summers after;
Our parting was all sob and sigh—-
Our meeting was all mirth and laughter;
For in my heart's most secret cell,
There had been many other lodgers;
And she was not the ballroom belle,
But only—Mrs. Something Rogers.

Winthrop Mackworth Praed.

[Pg 174]

THE RETORT

Old Nick, who taught the village school,
Wedded a maid of homespun habit;
He was as stubborn as a mule,
She was as playful as a rabbit.

Poor Jane had scarce become a wife,
Before her husband sought to make her
The pink of country-polished life,
And prim and formal as a Quaker.

One day the tutor went abroad,
And simple Jenny sadly missed him;
When he returned, behind her lord
She slyly stole, and fondly kissed him!

The husband's anger rose!—and red
And white his face alternate grew!
"Less freedom, ma'am!" Jane sighed and said,
"Oh, dear! I didn't know 'twas you!"

George Pope Morris.


BEHAVE YOURSEL' BEFORE FOLK

Behave yoursel' before folk,
Behave yoursel' before folk,
And dinna be sae rude to me,
As kiss me sae before folk.

It wadna gi'e me meikle pain,
Gin we were seen and heard by nane,
To tak' a kiss, or grant you ane;
But guidsake! no before folk.
Behave yoursel' before folk,
Behave yoursel' before folk;
Whate'er ye do, when out o' view,
Be cautious aye before folk.
[Pg 175]
Consider, lad, how folk will crack,
And what a great affair they'll mak'
O' naething but a simple smack,
That's gi'en or ta'en before folk.
Behave yoursel' before folk,
Behave yoursel' before folk;
Nor gi'e the tongue o' auld or young
Occasion to come o'er folk.

It's no through hatred o' a kiss,
That I sae plainly tell you this;
But, losh! I tak' it sair amiss
To be sae teazed before folk.
Behave yoursel' before folk,
Behave yoursel' before folk;
When we're our lane ye may tak' ane,
But fient a ane before folk.

I'm sure wi' you I've been as free
As ony modest lass should be;
But yet it doesna do to see
Sic freedom used before folk.
Behave yoursel' before folk,
Behave yoursel' before folk;
I'll ne'er submit again to it—
So mind you that—before folk.

Ye tell me that my face is fair;
It may be sae—I dinna care—
But ne'er again gar't blush sae sair
As ye ha'e done before folk.
Behave yoursel' before folk,
Behave yoursel' before folk;
Nor heat my cheeks wi' your mad freaks,
But aye de douce before folk.

Ye tell me that my lips are sweet,
Sic tales, I doubt, are a' deceit;
At ony rate, it's hardly meet
To pree their sweets before folk.
[Pg 176] Behave yoursel' before folk,
Behave yoursel' before folk;
Gin that's the case, there's time, and place,
But surely no before folk.

But, gin you really do insist
That I should suffer to be kiss'd,
Gae, get a license frae the priest,
And mak' me yours before folk.
Behave yoursel' before folk,
Behave yoursel' before folk;
And when we're ane, baith flesh and bane,
Ye may tak' ten—before folk.

Alexander Rodger.


THE CHRONICLE: A BALLAD

Margarita first possess'd,
If I remember well, my breast,
Margarita, first of all;
But when a while the wanton maid
With my restless heart had play'd,
Martha took the flying ball.

Martha soon did it resign
To the beauteous Catharine.
Beauteous Catharine gave place
(Though loth and angry she to part
With the possession of my heart)
To Eliza's conquering face.

Eliza till this hour might reign,
Had she not evil counsel ta'en:
Fundamental laws she broke,
And still new favourites she chose,
Till up in arms my passions rose,
And cast away her yoke.
[Pg 177]
Mary then and gentle Anne,
Both to reign at once began,
Alternately they swayed:
And sometimes Mary was the fair,
And sometimes Anne the crown did wear,
And sometimes both I obey'd.

Another Mary then arose,
And did rigorous laws impose;
A mighty tyrant she!
Long, alas, should I have been
Under that iron-scepter'd queen,
Had not Rebecca set me free.

When fair Rebecca set me free,
'Twas then a golden time with me,
But soon those pleasures fled;
For the gracious princess died
In her youth and beauty's pride,
And Judith reigned in her stead.

One month, three days, and half an hour,
Judith held the sovereign power,
Wondrous beautiful her face;
But so weak and small her wit,
That she to govern was unfit,
And so Susanna took her place.

But when Isabella came,
Arm'd with a resistless flame,
And th' artillery of her eye;
Whilst she proudly march'd about
Greater conquests to find out:
She beat out Susan by the bye.

But in her place I then obey'd
Black-ey'd Bess, her viceroy maid,
To whom ensued a vacancy:
Thousand worse passions then possess'd
The interregnum of my breast;
Bless me from such an anarchy.
[Pg 178]
Gentle Henrietta then,
And a third Mary next began;
Then Joan, and Jane, and Andria:
And then a pretty Thomasine,
And then another Catharine,
And then a long et cætera.

But should I now to you relate
The strength and riches of their state,
The powder, patches, and the pins,
The ribbons, jewels, and the rings,
The lace, the paint, and warlike things,
That make up all their magazines:

If I should tell the politic arts
To take and keep men's hearts;
The letters, embassies, and spies,
The frowns, and smiles, and flatteries,
The quarrels, tears, and perjuries,
Numberless, nameless, mysteries!

And all the little lime-twigs laid
By Machiavel, the waiting maid;
I more voluminous should grow
(Chiefly if I, like them, should tell
All change of weather that befel)
Than Holinshed or Stow.

But I will briefer with them be,
Since few of them were long with me:
An higher and a nobler strain
My present empress does claim,
Eleonora, first o' th' name,
Whom God grant long to reign.

Abraham Cowley.

[Pg 179]

BUXOM JOAN

A soldier and a sailor,
A tinker and a tailor,
Had once a doubtful strife, sir,
To make a maid a wife, sir,
Whose name was Buxom Joan.
For now the time was ended,
When she no more intended
To lick her lips at men, sir,
And gnaw the sheets in vain, sir,
And lie o' nights alone.

The soldier swore like thunder,
He loved her more than plunder;
And showed her many a scar, sir,
That he had brought from far, sir,
With fighting for her sake.
The tailor thought to please her,
With offering her his measure.
The tinker too with mettle,
Said he could mend her kettle,
And stop up every leak.

But while these three were prating,
The sailor slily waiting,
Thought if it came about, sir,
That they should all fall out, sir,
He then might play his part.
And just e'en as he meant, sir,
To loggerheads they went, sir,
And then he let fly at her
A shot 'twixt wind and water,
That won this fair maid's heart.

William Congreve.

[Pg 180]

OH, MY GERALDINE

Oh, my Geraldine,
No flow'r was ever seen so toodle um.
You are my lum ti toodle lay,
Pretty, pretty queen,
Is rum ti Geraldine and something teen,
More sweet than tiddle lum in May.
Like the star so bright
That somethings all the night,
My Geraldine!
You're fair as the rum ti lum ti sheen,
Hark! there is what—ho!
From something—um, you know,
Dear, what I mean.
Oh I rum! tum!! tum!!! my Geraldine.

F. C. Burnand.


THE PARTERRE

I don't know any greatest treat
As sit him in a gay parterre,
And sniff one up the perfume sweet
Of every roses buttoning there.

It only want my charming miss
Who make to blush the self red rose;
Oh! I have envy of to kiss
The end's tip of her splendid nose.

Oh! I have envy of to be
What grass 'neath her pantoffle push,
And too much happy seemeth me
The margaret which her vestige crush.

But I will meet her nose at nose,
And take occasion for her hairs,
And indicate her all my woes,
That she in fine agree my prayers.
[Pg 181]

The Envoy

I don't know any greatest treat
As sit him in a gay parterre,
With Madame who is too more sweet
Than every roses buttoning there.

E. H. Palmer.


HOW TO ASK AND HAVE

"Oh, 'tis time I should talk to your mother,
Sweet Mary," says I;
"Oh, don't talk to my mother," says Mary,
Beginning to cry:
"For my mother says men are decaivers,
And never, I know, will consent;
She says girls in a hurry to marry,
At leisure repent."

"Then, suppose I should talk to your father,
Sweet Mary," says I;
"Oh, don't talk to my father," says Mary,
Beginning to cry:
"For my father he loves me so dearly,
He'll never consent I should go;—
If you talk to my father," says Mary,
"He'll surely say 'No.'"

"Then how shall I get you, my jewel,
Sweet Mary?" says I;
"If your father and mother's so cruel,
Most surely I'll die!"
"Oh, never say die, dear," says Mary;
"A way now to save you I see:
Since my parents are both so conthrairy,
You'd better ask me."

Samuel Lover.

[Pg 182]

SALLY IN OUR ALLEY

Of all the girls that are so smart,
There's none like Pretty Sally;
She is the darling of my heart,
And lives in our alley.
There's ne'er a lady in the land
That's half so sweet as Sally;
She is the darling of my heart,
And lives in our alley.

Her father he makes cabbage-nets,
And through the streets does cry them;
Her mother she sells laces long
To such as please to buy them:
But sure such folk can have no part
In such a girl as Sally;
She is the darling of my heart,
And lives in our alley.

When she is by, I leave my work,
I love her so sincerely;
My master comes, like any Turk,
And bangs me most severely:
But let him bang, long as he will,
I'll bear it all for Sally;
She is the darling of my heart,
And lives in our alley.

Of all the days are in the week,
I dearly love but one day,
And that's the day that comes betwixt
A Saturday and Monday;
For then I'm dressed, all in my best,
To walk abroad with Sally;
She is the darling of my heart,
And lives in our alley.
[Pg 183]
My master carries me to church,
And often am I blamed,
Because I leave him in the lurch,
Soon as the text is named:
I leave the church in sermon time,
And slink away to Sally;
She is the darling of my heart,
And lives in our alley.

When Christmas comes about again,
Oh, then I shall have money;
I'll hoard it up and, box and all,
I'll give it to my honey;
Oh, would it were ten thousand pounds,
I'd give it all to Sally;
For she's the darling of my heart,
And lives in our alley.

My master, and the neighbors all,
Make game of me and Sally,
And but for her I'd better be
A slave, and row a galley:
But when my seven long years are out,
Oh, then I'll marry Sally,
And then how happily we'll live—
But not in our alley.

Henry Carey.


FALSE LOVE AND TRUE LOGIC

THE DISCONSOLATE

My heart will break—I'm sure it will:
My lover, yes, my favorite—he
Who seemed my own through good and ill—
Has basely turned his back on me.

THE COMFORTER

Ah! silly sorrower, weep no more;
Your lover's turned his back, we see;
But you had turned his head before,
And now he's as he ought to be.

Laman Blanchard.

[Pg 184]

PET'S PUNISHMENT

O, if my love offended me,
And we had words together,
To show her I would master be,
I'd whip her with a feather!

If then she, like a naughty girl,
Would tyranny declare it,
I'd give my pet a cross of pearl,
And make her always bear it.

If still she tried to sulk and sigh,
And threw away my posies,
I'd catch my darling on the sly,
And smother her with roses.

But should she clench her dimpled fists,
Or contradict her betters,
I'd manacle her tiny wrists
With dainty jewelled fetters.

And if she dared her lips to pout,
Like many pert young misses,
I'd wind my arm her waist about,
And punish her—with kisses!

J. Ashby-Sterry.


AD CHLOEN, M.A.

FRESH FROM HER CAMBRIDGE EXAMINATION

Lady, very fair are you,
And your eyes are very blue,
And your hose;
And your brow is like the snow,
And the various things you know,
Goodness knows.
[Pg 185]
And the rose-flush on your cheek,
And your Algebra and Greek
Perfect are;
And that loving lustrous eye
Recognizes in the sky
Every star.

You have pouting piquant lips,
You can doubtless an eclipse
Calculate;
But for your cerulean hue,
I had certainly from you
Met my fate.

If by some arrangement dual
I were Adams mixed with Whewell,
Then some day
I, as wooer, perhaps might come
To so sweet an Artium
Magistra.

Mortimer Collins.


CHLOE, M.A.

AD AMANTEM SUAM

Careless rhymer, it is true,
That my favourite colour's blue:
But am I
To be made a victim, sir,
If to puddings I prefer
Cambridge [pi]?

If with giddier girls I play
Croquet through the summer day
On the turf,
Then at night ('tis no great boon)
Let me study how the moon
Sways the surf.
[Pg 186]
Tennyson's idyllic verse
Surely suits me none the worse
If I seek
Old Sicilian birds and bees—
Music of sweet Sophocles—
Golden Greek.

You have said my eyes are blue;
There may be a fairer hue,
Perhaps—and yet
It is surely not a sin
If I keep my secrets in
Violet.

Mortimer Collins.


THE FAIR MILLINGER

By the Watertown Horse-Car Conductor

It was a millinger most gay,
As sat within her shop;
A student came along that way,
And in he straight did pop.
Clean shaven he, of massive mould,
He thought his looks was killing her;
So lots of stuff to him she sold:
"Thanks!" says the millinger.

He loafed around and seemed to try
On all things to converse;
The millinger did mind her eye,
But also mound his purse.
He tried, then, with his flattering tongue,
With nonsense to be filling her;
But she was sharp, though she was young:
"Thanks," said the millinger.
[Pg 187]
He asked her to the theatre,
They got into my car;
Our steeds were tired, could hardly stir,
He thought the way not far.
A pretty pict-i-ure she made,
No doctors had been pilling her;
Fairly the fair one's fare he paid:
"Thanks!" said the millinger.

When we arrived in Bowdoin Square,
A female to them ran;
Then says that millinger so fair:
"O, thank you, Mary Ann!
She's going with us, she is," says she,
"She only is fulfilling her
Duty in looking after me:
Thanks!" said that millinger.

"Why," says that student chap to her,
"I've but two seats to hand."
"Too bad," replied that millinger,
"Then you will have to stand."
"I won't stand this," says he, "I own
The joke which you've been drilling her;
Here, take the seats and go alone!"
"Thanks!" says the millinger.

That ere much-taken-down young man
Stepped back into my car.
We got fresh horses, off they ran;
He thought the distance far.
And now she is my better half,
And oft, when coo-and-billing her,
I think about that chap and laugh:
"Thanks!" says my millinger.

Fred W. Loring.

[Pg 188]

TWO FISHERS

One morning when Spring was in her teens—
A morn to a poet's wishing,
All tinted in delicate pinks and greens—
Miss Bessie and I went fishing.

I in my rough and easy clothes,
With my face at the sun-tan's mercy;
She with her hat tipped down to her nose,
And her nose tipped—vice versa.

I with my rod, my reel, and my hooks,
And a hamper for lunching recesses;
She with the bait of her comely looks,
And the seine of her golden tresses.

So we sat us down on the sunny dike,
Where the white pond-lilies teeter,
And I went to fishing like quaint old Ike,
And she like Simon Peter.

All the noon I lay in the light of her eyes,
And dreamily watched and waited,
But the fish were cunning and would not rise,
And the baiter alone was baited.

And when the time of departure came,
My bag hung flat as a flounder;
But Bessie had neatly hooked her game—
A hundred-and-fifty-pounder.

Unknown.


MAUD

Nay, I cannot come into the garden just now,
Tho' it vexes me much to refuse:
But I must have the next set of waltzes, I vow,
With Lieutenant de Boots of the Blues.
[Pg 189]
I am sure you'll be heartily pleas'd when you hear
That our ball has been quite a success.
As for me—I've been looking a monster, my dear.
In that old-fashion'd guy of a dress.

You had better at once hurry home, dear, to bed;
It is getting so dreadfully late.
You may catch the bronchitis or cold in the head
If you linger so long at our gate.

Don't be obstinate, Alfy; come, take my advice—
For I know you're in want of repose:
Take a basin of gruel (you'll find it so nice),
And remember to tallow your nose.

No, I tell you I can't and I shan't get away,
For De Boots has implor'd me to sing.
As to you—if you like it, of course you can stay,
You were always an obstinate thing.

If you feel it a pleasure to talk to the flow'rs
About "babble and revel and wine,"
When you might have been snoring for two or three hours,
Why, it's not the least business of mine.

Henry S. Leigh.


ARE WOMEN FAIR?

"Are women fair?" Ay, wondrous fair to see, too.
"Are women sweet?" Yea, passing sweet they be, too.
Most fair and sweet to them that only love them;
Chaste and discreet to all save them that prove them.

"Are women wise?" Not wise, but they be witty;
"Are women witty?" Yea, the more the pity;
They are so witty, and in wit so wily,
Though ye be ne'er so wise, they will beguile ye.
[Pg 190]
"Are women fools?" Not fools, but fondlings many;
"Can women fond be faithful unto any?"
When snow-white swans do turn to colour sable,
Then women fond will be both firm and stable.

"Are women saints?" No saints, nor yet no devils;
"Are women good?" Not good, but needful evils.
So Angel-like, that devils I do not doubt them,
So needful evils that few can live without them.

"Are women proud?" Ay! passing proud, an praise them.
"Are women kind?" Ay! wondrous kind, an please them.
Or so imperious, no man can endure them,
Or so kind-hearted, any may procure them.

Francis Davison.


THE PLAIDIE

Upon ane stormy Sunday,
Coming adoon the lane,
Were a score of bonnie lassies—
And the sweetest I maintain
Was Caddie,
That I took unneath my plaidie,
To shield her from the rain.

She said that the daisies blushed
For the kiss that I had ta'en;
I wadna hae thought the lassie
Wad sae of a kiss complain:
"Now, laddie!
I winna stay under your plaidie,
If I gang hame in the rain!"

But, on an after Sunday,
When cloud there was not ane,
This selfsame winsome lassie
(We chanced to meet in the lane),
Said, "Laddie,
Why dinna ye wear your plaidie?
Wha kens but it may rain?"

Charles Sibley.

[Pg 191]

FEMININE ARITHMETIC

LAURA

On me he shall ne'er put a ring,
So, mamma, 'tis in vain to take trouble—
For I was but eighteen in spring
While his age exactly is double.

MAMMA

He's but in his thirty-sixth year,
Tall, handsome, good-natured and witty,
And should you refuse him, my dear,
May you die an old maid without pity!

LAURA

His figure, I grant you, will pass,
And at present he's young enough plenty;
But when I am sixty, alas!
Will not he be a hundred and twenty?

Charles Graham Halpine.


LORD GUY

When swallows Northward flew
Forth from his home did fare
Guy, Lord of Lanturlaire
And Lanturlu.

Swore he to cross the brine,
Pausing not, night nor day,
That he might Paynims slay
In Palestine.

Half a league on his way
Met he a shepherdess
Beaming with loveliness—
Fair as Young Day.
[Pg 192]
Gazed he in eyes of blue—
Saw love in hiding there
Guy, Lord of Lanturlaire
And Lanturlu.

"Let the foul Paynim wait!"
Plead Love, "and stay with me.
Cruel and cold the sea—
Here's brighter fate."

When swallows Southward flew
Back to his home did fare
Guy, Lord of Lanturlaire
And Lanturlu.

Led he his charger gay
Bearing a shepherdess
Beaming with happiness—
Fair as Young Day.

White lambs, be-ribboned blue—
Tends now with anxious care,
Guy, Lord of Lanturlaire
And Lanturlu.

George F. Warren.


SARY "FIXES UP" THINGS

Oh, yes, we've be'n fixin' up some sence we sold that piece o' groun'

Fer a place to put a golf-lynx to them crazy dudes from town.

(Anyway, they laughed like crazy when I had it specified,

Ef they put a golf-lynx on it, thet they'd haf to keep him tied.)

But they paid the price all reg'lar, an' then Sary says to me,

"Now we're goin' to fix the parlor up, an' settin'-room," says she.

[Pg 193]

Fer she 'lowed she'd been a-scrimpin' an' a-scrapin' all her life,

An' she meant fer once to have things good as Cousin Ed'ard's wife.

Well, we went down to the city, an' she bought the blamedest mess;

An' them clerks there must 'a' took her fer a' Astoroid, I guess;

Fer they showed her fancy bureaus which they said was shiffoneers,

An' some more they said was dressers, an' some curtains called porteers.

An' she looked at that there furnicher, an' felt them curtains' heft;

Then she sailed in like a cyclone an' she bought 'em right an' left;

An' she picked a Bress'ls carpet thet was flowered like Cousin Ed's,

But she drawed the line com-pletely when we got to foldin'-beds.

Course, she said, 't 'u'd make the parlor lots more roomier, she s'posed;

But she 'lowed she'd have a bedstid thet was shore to stay un-closed;

An' she stopped right there an' told us sev'ral tales of folks she'd read

Bein' overtook in slumber by the "fatal foldin'-bed."

"Not ef it wuz set in di'mon's! Nary foldin'-bed fer me!

I ain't goin' to start fer glory in a rabbit-trap!" says she.

"When the time comes I'll be ready an' a-waitin'; but ez yet,

I shan't go to sleep a-thinkin' that I've got the triggers set."

Well, sir, shore as yo''re a-livin', after all thet Sary said,

'Fore we started home that evenin' she hed bought a foldin'-bed;

An' she's put it in the parlor, where it adds a heap o' style;

An' we're sleepin' in the settin'-room at present fer a while.

[Pg 194]

Sary still maintains it's han'some, "an' them city folks'll see

That we're posted on the fashions when they visit us," says she;

But it plagues her some to tell her, ef it ain't no other use,

We can set it fer the golf-lynx ef he ever sh'u'd get loose.

Albert Bigelow Paine.


THE CONSTANT CANNIBAL MAIDEN

Far, oh, far is the Mango island,
Far, oh, far is the tropical sea—
Palms a-slant and the hills a-smile, and
A cannibal maiden a-waiting for me.

I've been deceived by a damsel Spanish,
And Indian maidens both red and brown,
A black-eyed Turk and a blue-eyed Danish,
And a Puritan lassie of Salem town.

For the Puritan Prue she sets in the offing,
A-castin' 'er eyes at a tall marine,
And the Spanish minx is the wust at scoffing
Of all of the wimming I ever seen.

But the cannibal maid is a simple creetur,
With a habit of gazin' over the sea,
A-hopin' in vain for the day I'll meet 'er,
And constant and faithful a-yearnin' for me.

Me Turkish sweetheart she played me double—
Eloped with the Sultan Harum In-Deed,
And the Danish damsel she made me trouble
When she ups and married an oblong Swede.
[Pg 195]
But there's truth in the heart of the maid o' Mango,
Though her cheeks is black like the kiln-baked cork,
As she sets in the shade o' the whingo-whango,
A-waitin' for me—with a knife and fork.

Wallace Irwin.


WIDOW BEDOTT TO ELDER SNIFFLES

O reverend sir, I do declare
It drives me most to frenzy,
To think of you a-lying there
Down sick with influenzy.

A body'd thought it was enough
To mourn your wife's departer,
Without sich trouble as this ere
To come a-follerin' arter.

But sickness and affliction
Are sent by a wise creation,
And always ought to be underwent
By patience and resignation.

O, I could to your bedside fly,
And wipe your weeping eyes,
And do my best to cure you up,
If 'twouldn't create surprise.

It's a world of trouble we tarry in,
But, Elder, don't despair;
That you may soon be movin' again
Is constantly my prayer.

Both sick and well, you may depend
You'll never be forgot
By your faithful and affectionate friend,
Priscilla Pool Bedott.

Frances Miriam Whitcher.

[Pg 196]

UNDER THE MISTLETOE

She stood beneath the mistletoe
That hung above the door,
Quite conscious of the sprig above,
Revered by maids of yore.
A timid longing filled her heart;
Her pulses throbbed with heat;
He sprang to where the fair girl stood.
"May I—just one—my sweet?"
He asked his love, who tossed her head,
"Just do it—if—you dare!" she said.

He sat before the fireplace
Down at the club that night.
"She loves me not," he hotly said,
"Therefore she did but right!"
She sat alone within her room,
And with her finger-tips
She held his picture to her heart,
Then pressed it to her lips.
"My loved one!" sobbed she, "if you—cared
You surely would have—would have—dared."

George Francis Shults.


THE BROKEN PITCHER

It was a Moorish maiden was sitting by a well,
And what the maiden thought of I cannot, cannot tell.
When by there rode a valiant knight from the town of Oviedo—
Alphonso Guzman was he hight, the Count of Desparedo.

"Oh, maiden, Moorish maiden! why sitt'st thou by the spring?
Say, dost thou seek a lover, or any other thing?
Why gazest thou upon me, with eyes so large and wide,
And wherefore doth the pitcher lie broken by thy side?"
[Pg 197]
"I do not seek a lover, thou Christian knight so gay,
Because an article like that hath never come my way;
And why I gaze upon you, I cannot, cannot tell,
Except that in your iron hose you look uncommon swell.

"My pitcher it is broken, and this the reason is,—
A shepherd came behind me, and tried to snatch a kiss;
I would not stand his nonsense, so ne'er a word I spoke,
But scored him on the costard, and so the jug was broke.

"My uncle, the Alcaydè, he waits for me at home,
And will not take his tumbler until Zorayda come.
I cannot bring him water—the pitcher is in pieces—
And so I'm sure to catch it, 'cos he wallops all his nieces."

"Oh, maiden, Moorish maiden! wilt thou be ruled by me!
So wipe thine eyes and rosy lips, and give me kisses three;
And I'll give thee my helmet, thou kind and courteous lady,
To carry home the water to thy uncle, the Alcaydè."

He lighted down from off his steed—he tied him to a tree—
He bowed him to the maiden, and took his kisses three:
"To wrong thee, sweet Zorayda, I swear would be a sin!"
He knelt him at the fountain, and he dipped his helmet in.

Up rose the Moorish maiden—behind the knight she steals,
And caught Alphonso Guzman up tightly by the heels;
She tipped him in, and held him down beneath the bubbling water,—
"Now, take thou that for venturing to kiss Al Hamet's daughter!"

A Christian maid is weeping in the town of Oviedo;
She waits the coming of her love, the Count of Desparedo.
I pray you all in charity, that you will never tell,
How he met the Moorish maiden beside the lonely well.

William E. Aytoun.

[Pg 198]

GIFTS RETURNED

"You must give back," her mother said,
To a poor sobbing little maid,
"All the young man has given you,
Hard as it now may seem to do."
"'Tis done already, mother dear!"
Said the sweet girl, "So never fear."
Mother. Are you quite certain? Come, recount
(There was not much) the whole amount.
Girl. The locket; the kid gloves.
Mother.Go on.
Girl. Of the kid gloves I found but one.
Mother. Never mind that. What else? Proceed.
You gave back all his trash?
Girl.Indeed.
Mother. And was there nothing you would save?
Girl. Everything I could give I gave.
Mother. To the last tittle?
Girl.Even to that.
Mother. Freely?
Girl.My heart went pit-a-pat
At giving up ... ah me! ah me!
I cry so I can hardly see ...
All the fond looks and words that past,
And all the kisses, to the last.

Walter Savage Landor.

[Pg 199]

III

LOVE AND COURTSHIP


NOUREDDIN, THE SON OF THE SHAH

There once was a Shah had a second son
Who was very unlike his elder one,
For he went about on his own affairs,
And scorned the mosque and the daily prayers;
When his sire frowned fierce, then he cried, "Ha, ha!"
Noureddin, the son of the Shah.

But worst of all of the pranks he played
Was to fall in love with a Christian maid,—
An Armenian maid who wore no veil,
Nor behind a lattice grew thin and pale;
At his sire's dark threats laughed the youth, "Ha, ha!"
Noureddin, the son of the Shah.

"I will shut him close in an iron cage,"
The monarch said, in a fuming rage;
But the prince slipped out by a postern door,
And away to the mountains his loved one bore;
Loud his glee rang back on the winds, "Ha, ha!"
Noureddin, the son of the Shah.

And still in the town of Teheran,
When a youth and a maid adopt this plan,—
All frowns and threats with a laugh defy,
And away from the mosques to the mountains fly,—
Folk meet and greet with a gay "Ha, ha!"
Noureddin, the son of the Shah.

Clinton Scollard.

[Pg 200]

THE USUAL WAY

There was once a little man, and his rod and line he took,
For he said, "I'll go a-fishing in the neighboring brook."
And it chanced a little maiden was walking out that day,
And they met—in the usual way.

Then he sat him down beside her, and an hour or two went by,
But still upon the grassy brink his rod and line did lie;
"I thought," she shyly whispered, "you'd be fishing all the day!"
And he was—in the usual way.

So he gravely took his rod in hand, and threw the line about,
But the fish perceived distinctly that he was not looking out;
And he said, "Sweetheart, I love you!" but she said she could not stay:
But she did—in the usual way.

Then the stars came out above them, and she gave a little sigh,
As they watched the silver ripples, like the moments, running by;
"We must say good-by," she whispered, by the alders old and gray,
And they did—in the usual way.

And day by day beside the stream they wandered to and fro,
And day by day the fishes swam securely down below;
Till this little story ended, as such little stories may,
Very much—in the usual way.
[Pg 201]
And now that they are married, do they always bill and coo?
Do they never fret and quarrel as other couples do?
Does he cherish her and love her? Does she honor and obey?
Well—they do—in the usual way.

Frederic E. Weatherly.


THE WAY TO ARCADY

Oh, what's the way to Arcady,
To Arcady, to Arcady;
Oh, what's the way to Arcady,
Where all the leaves are merry?

Oh, what's the way to Arcady?
The spring is rustling in the tree—
The tree the wind is blowing through—
It sets the blossoms flickering white.
I knew not skies could burn so blue
Nor any breezes blow so light.
They blow an old-time way for me,
Across the world to Arcady.

Oh, what's the way to Arcady?
Sir Poet, with the rusty coat,
Quit mocking of the song-bird's note.
How have you heart for any tune,
You with the wayworn russet shoon?
Your scrip, a-swinging by your side,
Gapes with a gaunt mouth hungry-wide.
I'll brim it well with pieces red,
If you will tell the way to tread.

Oh, I am bound for Arcady,
And if you but keep pace with me
You tread the way to Arcady.
[Pg 202]
And where away lies Arcady,
And how long yet may the journey be?

Ah, that (quoth he) I do not know
Across the clover and the snow
Across the frost, across the flowers
Through summer seconds and winter hours
I've trod the way my whole life long,
And know not now where it may be;
My guide is but the stir to song,
That tells me I cannot go wrong,
Or clear or dark the pathway be
Upon the road to Arcady.

But how shall I do who cannot sing?
I was wont to sing, once on a time—
There is never an echo now to ring
Remembrance back to the trick of rhyme.

'Tis strange you cannot sing (quoth he),
The folk all sing in Arcady.

But how may he find Arcady
Who hath not youth nor melody?

What, know you not, old man (quoth he)—
Your hair is white, your face is wise
That Love must kiss that Mortal's eyes
Who hopes to see fair Arcady?
No gold can buy you entrance there;
But beggared Love may go all bare
No wisdom won with weariness;
But Love goes in with Folly's dress
No fame that wit could ever win;
But only Love may lead Love in
To Arcady, to Arcady.

Ah, woe is me, through all my days
Wisdom and wealth I both have got,
And fame and name, and great men's praise;
But Love, ah, Love! I have it not.
[Pg 203]
There was a time, when life was new—
But far away, and half forgot—
I only know her eyes were blue;
But Love—I fear I knew it not.
We did not wed, for lack of gold,
And she is dead, and I am old.
All things have come since then to me,
Save Love, ah, Love! and Arcady.
Ah, then I fear we part (quoth he),
My way's for Love and Arcady.

But you, you fare alone, like me;
The gray is likewise in your hair.
What love have you to lead you there,
To Arcady, to Arcady?

Ah, no, not lonely do I fare;
My true companion's Memory.
With Love he fills the Spring-time air;
With Love he clothes the Winter tree.
Oh, past this poor horizon's bound
My song goes straight to one who stands—
Her face all gladdening at the sound—
To lead me to the Spring-green lands,
To wander with enlacing hands.
The songs within my breast that stir
Are all of her, are all of her.
My maid is dead long years (quoth he),
She waits for me in Arcady.

Oh, yon's the way to Arcady,
To Arcady, to Arcady;
Oh, yon's the way to Arcady,
Where all the leaves are merry.

H. C. Bunner.

[Pg 204]

MY LOVE AND MY HEART

Oh, the days were ever shiny
When I ran to meet my love;
When I press'd her hand so tiny
Through her tiny tiny glove.
Was I very deeply smitten?
Oh, I loved like anything!
But my love she is a kitten,
And my heart's a ball of string.

She was pleasingly poetic,
And she loved my little rhymes;
For our tastes were sympathetic,
In the old and happy times.
Oh, the ballads I have written,
And have taught my love to sing!
But my love she is a kitten,
And my heart's a ball of string.

Would she listen to my offer,
On my knees I would impart
A sincere and ready proffer
Of my hand and of my heart.
And below her dainty mitten
I would fix a wedding ring—
But my love she is a kitten,
And my heart's a ball of string.

Take a warning, happy lover,
From the moral that I show;
Or too late you may discover
What I learn'd a month ago.
We are scratch'd or we are bitten
By the pets to whom we cling.
Oh, my love she is a kitten,
And my heart's a ball of string.

Henry S. Leigh.

[Pg 205]

QUITE BY CHANCE

She flung the parlour window wide
One eve of mid-July,
And he, as fate would have it tide,
That moment sauntered by.
His eyes were blue and hers were brown,
With drooping fringe of jet;
And he looked up as she looked down,
And so their glances met.
Things as strange, I dare to say,
Happen somewhere every day.

A mile beyond the straggling street,
A quiet pathway goes;
And lovers here are wont to meet,
As all the country knows.
Now she one night at half-past eight
Had sought that lonely lane,
When he came up, by will of fate,
And so they met again.
Things as strange, I dare to say,
Happen somewhere every day.

The parish church, so old and gray,
Is quite a sight to see;
And he was there at ten one day,
And so, it chanced, was she.
And while they stood, with cheeks aflame,
And neighbours liked the fun,
In stole and hood the parson came,
And made the couple one.
Things as strange, I dare to say,
Happen somewhere every day.

Frederick Langbridge.

[Pg 206]

THE NUN

SUGGESTED BY PART OF THE ITALIAN SONG, BEGINNING "SE MONECA TI FAI."

I

If you become a nun, dear,
A friar I will be;
In any cell you run, dear,
Pray look behind for me.
The roses all turn pale, too;
The doves all take the veil, too;
The blind will see the show:
What! you become a nun, my dear!
I'll not believe it, no.

II

If you become a nun, dear,
The bishop Love will be;
The Cupids every one, dear,
Will chaunt "We trust in thee";
The incense will go sighing,
The candles fall a dying,
The water turn to wine:
What! you go take the vows, my dear!
You may—but they'll be mine.

Leigh Hunt.


THE CHEMIST TO HIS LOVE

I love thee, Mary, and thou lovest me—
Our mutual flame is like th' affinity
That doth exist between two simple bodies:
I am Potassium to thine Oxygen.
'Tis little that the holy marriage vow
Shall shortly make us one. That unity
Is, after all, but metaphysical.
Oh, would that I, my Mary, were an acid,
[Pg 207] A living acid; thou an alkali
Endow'd with human sense, that, brought together,
We both might coalesce into one salt,
One homogeneous crystal. Oh, that thou
Wert Carbon, and myself were Hydrogen;
We would unite to form olefiant gas,
Or common coal, or naphtha—would to heaven
That I were Phosphorus, and thou wert Lime!
And we of Lime composed a Phosphuret.
I'd be content to be Sulphuric Acid,
So that thou might be Soda. In that case
We should be Glauber's Salt. Wert thou Magnesia
Instead we'd form the salt that's named from Epsom.
Couldst thou Potassa be, I Aqua-fortis,
Our happy union should that compound form,
Nitrate of Potash—otherwise Saltpetre.
And thus our several natures sweetly blent,
We'd live and love together, until death
Should decompose the fleshly tertium quid,
Leaving our souls to all eternity
Amalgamated. Sweet, thy name is Briggs
And mine is Johnson. Wherefore should not we
Agree to form a Johnsonate of Briggs?

Unknown.


CATEGORICAL COURTSHIP

I sat one night beside a blue-eyed girl—
The fire was out, and so, too, was her mother;
A feeble flame around the lamp did curl,
Making faint shadows, blending in each other:
'Twas nearly twelve o'clock, too, in November;
She had a shawl on, also, I remember.

Well, I had been to see her every night
For thirteen days, and had a sneaking notion
To pop the question, thinking all was right,
And once or twice had make an awkward motion
To take her hand, and stammer'd, cough'd, and stutter'd,
But, somehow, nothing to the point had utter'd.
[Pg 208]
I thought this chance too good now to be lost;
I hitched my chair up pretty close beside her,
Drew a long breath, and then my legs I cross'd,
Bent over, sighed, and for five minutes eyed her:
She looked as if she knew what next was coming,
And with her feet upon the floor was drumming.

I didn't know how to begin, or where—
I couldn't speak—the words were always choking;
I scarce could move—I seem'd tied to the chair—
I hardly breathed—'twas awfully provoking!
The perspiration from each pore came oozing,
My heart, and brain, and limbs their power seem'd losing.

At length I saw a brindle tabby cat
Walk purring up, inviting me to pat her;
An idea came, electric-like at that—
My doubts, like summer clouds, began to scatter,
I seized on tabby, though a scratch she gave me,
And said, "Come, Puss, ask Mary if she'll have me."

'Twas done at once—the murder now was out;
The thing was all explain'd in half a minute.
She blush'd, and, turning pussy-cat about,
Said, "Pussy, tell him 'yes'"; her foot was in it!
The cat had thus saved me my category,
And here's the catastrophe of my story.

Unknown.


LANTY LEARY

Lanty was in love, you see,
With lovely, lively Rosie Carey;
But her father can't agree
To give the girl to Lanty Leary.
Up to fun, "Away we'll run,"
Says she, "my father's so contrary.
Won't you follow me? Won't you follow me?"
"Faith, I will!" says Lanty Leary.
[Pg 209]
But her father died one day
(I hear 'twas not by dhrinkin' wather);
House and land and cash, they say,
He left, by will, to Rose, his daughter;
House and land and cash to seize,
Away she cut so light and airy.
"Won't you follow me? Won't you follow me?"
"Faith, I will!" says Lanty Leary.

Rose, herself, was taken bad;
The fayver worse each day was growin';
"Lanty, dear," says she, "'tis sad,
To th' other world I'm surely goin'.
You can't survive my loss, I know,
Nor long remain in Tipperary.
Won't you follow me? Won't you follow me?"
"Faith, I won't!" says Lanty Leary.

Samuel Lover.


THE SECRET COMBINATION

Her heart she locked fast in her breast,
Away from molestation;
The lock was warranted the best—
A patent combination.
She knew no simple lock and key
Would serve to keep out Love and me.

But Love a clever cracksman is,
And cannot be resisted;
He likes such stubborn jobs as this,
Complex and hard and twisted,
And though we worked a many day,
At last we bore her heart away.

For Love has learned full many tricks
In his strange avocation;
He knew the figures were but six
In this, her combination;
Nor did we for a minute rest
Until we had unlocked her breast.
[Pg 210]
First, then, we turned the knob to "Sighs,"
Then back to "Words Sincerest,"
Then "Gazing Fondly in Her Eyes,"
Then "Softly Murmured 'Dearest;'"
Then, next, "A Warm Embrace" we tried,
And at "A Kiss" the door flew wide.

Ellis Parker Butler.


FORTY YEARS AFTER

We climbed to the top of Goat Point hill,
Sweet Kitty, my sweetheart, and I;
And watched the moon make stars on the waves,
And the dim white ships go by,
While a throne we made on a rough stone wall,
And the king and the queen were we;
And I sat with my arm about Kitty,
And she with her arm about me.

The water was mad in the moonlight,
And the sand like gold where it shone,
And our hearts kept time to its music,
As we sat in the splendour alone.
And Kitty's dear eyes twinkled brightly,
And Kitty's brown hair blew so free,
While I sat with my arm about Kitty,
And she with her arm about me.

Last night we drove in our carriage,
To the wall at the top of the hill;
And though we're forty years older,
We're children and sweethearts still.
And we talked again of that moonlight
That danced so mad on the sea,
When I sat with my arm about Kitty,
And she with her arm about me.
[Pg 211]
The throne on the wall was still standing,
But we sat in the carriage last night,
For a wall is too high for old people
Whose foreheads have linings of white.
And Kitty's waist measure is forty,
While mine is full fifty and three,
So I can't get my arm about Kitty,
Nor can she get both hers around me.

H. H. Porter.


CUPID

Beauties, have ye seen this toy,
Calléd love, a little boy
Almost naked, wanton, blind,
Cruel now, and then as kind?
If he be amongst ye, say!
He is Venus' runaway.

He hath of marks about him plenty;
Ye shall know him among twenty;
All his body is a fire,
And his breath a flame entire,
That, being shot like lightning in,
Wounds the heart, but not the skin.

He doth bear a golden bow,
And a quiver, hanging low,
Full of arrows, that outbrave
Dian's shafts, where, if he have
Any head more sharp than other,
With that first he strikes his mother.

Trust him not: his words, though sweet,
Seldom with his heart do meet;
All his practice is deceit,
Every gift is but a bait;
Not a kiss but poison bears,
And most treason in his tears.
[Pg 212]
If by these ye please to know him,
Beauties, be not nice, but show him,
Though ye had a will to hide him.
Now, we hope, ye'll not abide him,
Since ye hear his falser play,
And that he's Venus' runaway.

Ben Jonson.


PARING-TIME ANTICIPATED

I shall not ask Jean Jacques Rousseau
If birds confabulate or no;
'Tis clear that they were always able
To hold discourse, at least in fable;
And e'en the child who knows no better
Than to interpret, by the letter,
A story of a cock and bull,
Must have a most uncommon skull.
It chanced, then, on a winter's day,
But warm, and bright, and calm as May,
The birds, conceiving a design
To forestall sweet St. Valentine,
In many an orchard, copse, and grove,
Assembled on affairs of love,
And, with much twitter and much chatter,
Began to agitate the matter.
At length a bullfinch, who could boast
More years and wisdom than the most,
Entreated, opening wide his beak,
A moment's liberty to speak;
And, silence publicly enjoin'd,
Deliver'd briefly thus his mind:
"My friends, be cautious how ye treat
The subject upon which we meet;
I fear we shall have winter yet."
A finch, whose tongue knew no control,
With golden wing and satin poll,
A last year's bird, who ne'er had tried
What marriage means, thus pert replied:
[Pg 213] "Methinks the gentleman," quoth she,
"Opposite in the apple-tree,
By his good-will would keep us single
Till yonder heaven and earth shall mingle,
Or—which is likelier to befall—
'Til death exterminate us all.
I marry without more ado.
My dear Dick Redcap, what say you?"
Dick heard, and tweedling, ogling, bridling,
Turned short 'round, strutting, and sidling,
Attested, glad, his approbation
Of an immediate conjugation.
Their sentiments, so well express'd,
Influenced mightily the rest;
All pair'd, and each pair built a nest.
But, though the birds were thus in haste,
The leaves came on not quite so fast,
And destiny, that sometimes bears
An aspect stern on man's affairs,
Not altogether smiled on theirs.
The wind, of late breathed gently forth,
Now shifted east, and east by north;
Bare trees and shrubs but ill, you know,
Could shelter them from rain or snow.
Stepping into their nests, they paddled,
Themselves were chill'd, their eggs were addled.
Soon every father bird and mother
Grew quarrelsome, and peck'd each other,
Parted without the least regret,
Except that they had ever met,
And learn'd in future to be wiser
Than to neglect a good adviser.

MORAL

Misses, the tale that I relate
This lesson seems to carry:
Choose not alone a proper mate,
But proper time to marry.

William Cowper.

[Pg 214]

WHY

Do you know why the rabbits are caught in the snare
Or the tabby cat's shot on the tiles?
Why the tigers and lions creep out of their lair?
Why an ostrich will travel for miles?
Do you know why a sane man will whimper and cry
And weep o'er a ribbon or glove?
Why a cook will put sugar for salt in a pie?
Do you know? Well, I'll tell you—it's Love.

H. P. Stevens.


THE SABINE FARMER'S SERENADE

I

'Twas on a windy night,
At two o'clock in the morning,
An Irish lad so tight,
All wind and weather scorning,
At Judy Callaghan's door.
Sitting upon the palings,
His love-tale he did pour,
And this was part of his wailings:—
Only say
You'll be Mrs. Brallaghan;
Don't say nay,
Charming Judy Callaghan.

II

Oh! list to what I say,
Charms you've got like Venus;
Own your love you may,
There's but the wall between us.
You lie fast asleep
Snug in bed and snoring;
Round the house I creep,
Your hard heart imploring.
[Pg 215] Only say
You'll have Mr. Brallaghan;
Don't say nay,
Charming Judy Callaghan.

III

I've got a pig and a sow,
I've got a sty to sleep 'em
A calf and a brindled cow,
And a cabin too, to keep 'em;
Sunday hat and coat,
An old grey mare to ride on,
Saddle and bridle to boot,
Which you may ride astride on.
Only say
You'll be Mrs. Brallaghan;
Don't say nay,
Charming Judy Callaghan.

IV

I've got an acre of ground,
I've got it set with praties;
I've got of 'baccy a pound,
I've got some tea for the ladies;
I've got the ring to wed,
Some whisky to make us gaily;
I've got a feather bed
And a handsome new shillelagh.
Only say
You'll have Mr. Brallaghan;
Don't say nay,
Charming Judy Callaghan.

V

You've got a charming eye,
You've got some spelling and reading
You've got, and so have I,
A taste for genteel breeding;
You're rich, and fair, and young,
As everybody's knowing;
[Pg 216] You've got a decent tongue
Whene'er 'tis set a-going.
Only say
You'll be Mrs. Brallaghan;
Don't say nay,
Charming Judy Callaghan.

VI

For a wife till death
I am willing to take ye;
But, och! I waste my breath,
The devil himself can't wake ye.
'Tis just beginning to rain,
So I'll get under cover;
To-morrow I'll come again,
And be your constant lover.
Only say
You'll be Mrs. Brallaghan;
Don't say nay,
Charming Judy Callaghan.

Father Prout.


I HAE LAID A HERRING IN SAUT

I hae laid a herring in saut—
Lass, gin ye lo'e me, tell me now;
I hae brew'd a forpit o' maut,
And I canna come ilka day to woo:

I hae a calf that will soon be a cow—
Lass, gin ye lo'e me, tell me now;
I hae a stook, and I'll soon hae a mowe,
And I canna come ilka day to woo:

I hae a house upon yon moor—
Lass, gin ye lo'e me, tell me now;
Three sparrows may dance upon the floor,
And I canna come ilka day to woo:
I hae a but, and I hae a ben—
Lass, gin ye lo'e me, tell me now;
[Pg 217] A penny to keep, and a penny to spen',
And I canna come ilka day to woo:

I hae a hen wi' a happitie leg—
Lass, gin ye lo'e me, tell me now;
That ilka day lays me an egg,
And I canna come ilka day to woo:
I hae a cheese upon my skelf—
Lass, gin ye lo'e me, tell me now;
And soon wi' mites 'twill rin itself,
And I canna come ilka day to woo.

James Tytler.


THE CLOWN'S COURTSHIP

Quoth John to Joan, will thou have me;
I prithee now, wilt? and I'll marry thee,
My cow, my calf, my house, my rents,
And all my lands and tenements:
Oh, say, my Joan, will not that do?
I cannot come every day to woo.

I've corn and hay in the barn hardby,
And three fat hogs pent up in the sty,
I have a mare and she is coal black,
I ride on her tail to save my back.
Then say, etc.

I have a cheese upon the shelf,
And I cannot eat it all myself;
I've three good marks that lie in a rag,
In a nook of the chimney, instead of a bag.
Then say, etc.

To marry I would have thy consent,
But faith I never could compliment;
I can say nought but "Hoy, gee ho!"
Words that belong to the cart and the plough.
So say, my Joan, will not that do,
I cannot come every day to woo.

Unknown.

[Pg 218]

OUT UPON IT

Out upon it, I have loved
Three whole days together;
And am like to love three more,
If it prove fair weather.

Time shall moult away his wings,
Ere he shall discover
In the whole wide world again
Such a constant Lover.

But the spite on't is, no praise
Is due at all to me:
Love with me had made no stays,
Had it any been but she.

Had it any been but she,
And that very face,
There had been at least ere this
A dozen dozen in her place.

Sir John Suckling.


LOVE IS LIKE A DIZZINESS

I lately lived in quiet case,
An' ne'er wish'd to marry, O!
But when I saw my Peggy's face,
I felt a sad quandary, O!
Though wild as ony Athol deer,
She has trepann'd me fairly, O!
Her cherry cheeks an' een sae clear
Torment me late an' early O!
O, love, love, love!
Love is like a dizziness;
It winna let a poor body
Gang about his biziness!
[Pg 219]
To tell my feats this single week
Wad mak a daft-like diary, O!
I drave my cart out ow'r a dike,
My horses in a miry, O!
I wear my stockings white an' blue,
My love's sae fierce an' fiery, O!
I drill the land that I should pleugh,
An' pleugh the drills entirely, O!
O, love, love, love! etc.

Ae morning, by the dawn o' day,
I rase to theek the stable, O!
I keust my coat, and plied away
As fast as I was able, O!
I wrought that morning out an' out,
As I'd been redding fire, O!
When I had done an look'd about,
Gudefaith, it was the byre, O!
O, love, love, love! etc.

Her wily glance I'll ne'er forget,
The dear, the lovely blinkin o't
Has pierced me through an' through the heart,
An' plagues me wi' the prinking o't.
I tried to sing, I tried to pray,
I tried to drown't wi' drinkin' o't,
I tried with sport to drive't away,
But ne'er can sleep for thinkin' o't.
O, love, love, love! etc.

Nae man can tell what pains I prove,
Or how severe my pliskie, O!
I swear I'm sairer drunk wi' love
Than ever I was wi' whiskey, O!
For love has raked me fore an' aft,
I scarce can lift a leggie, O!
I first grew dizzy, then gaed daft,
An' soon I'll dee for Peggy, O!
O, love, love, love!
Love is like a dizziness;
It winna let a poor body
Gang about his biziness!

James Hogg.

[Pg 220]

THE KITCHEN CLOCK

Knitting is the maid o' the kitchen, Milly,
Doing nothing sits the chore boy, Billy:
"Seconds reckoned,
Seconds reckoned;
Every minute,
Sixty in it.
Milly, Billy,
Billy, Milly,
Tick-tock, tock-tick,
Nick-knock, knock-nick,
Knockety-nick, nickety-knock,"—
Goes the kitchen clock.

Closer to the fire is rosy Milly,
Every whit as close and cosy, Billy:
"Time's a-flying,
Worth your trying;
Pretty Milly—
Kiss her, Billy!
Milly, Billy,
Billy, Milly,
Tick-tock, tock-tick,
Now—now, quick—quick!
Knockety-nick, nickety-knock,"—
Goes the kitchen clock.

Something's happened, very red is Milly,
Billy boy is looking very silly;
"Pretty misses,
Plenty kisses;
Make it twenty,
Take a plenty.
Billy, Milly,
Milly, Billy,
Right—left, left—right,
That's right, all right,
Knockety-nick, nickety-knock,"—
Goes the kitchen clock.
[Pg 221]
Weeks gone, still they're sitting, Milly, Billy;
O, the winter winds are wondrous chilly!
"Winter weather,
Close together;
Wouldn't tarry,
Better marry.
Milly, Billy,
Billy, Milly,
Two—one, one—two,
Don't wait, 'twon't do,
Knockety-nick, nickety-knock,"—
Goes the kitchen clock.

Winters two have gone, and where is Milly?
Spring has come again, and where is Billy?
"Give me credit,
For I did it;
Treat me kindly,
Mind you wind me.
Mister Billy,
Mistress Milly,
My—O, O—my,
By-by, by-by,
Nickety-knock, cradle rock,"—
Goes the kitchen clock.

John Vance Cheney.


LADY MINE

Lady mine, most fair thou art
With youth's gold and white and red;
'Tis a pity that thy heart
Is so much harder than thy head.

This has stayed my kisses oft,
This from all thy charms debarr'd,
That thy head is strangely soft,
While thy heart is strangely hard.
[Pg 222]
Nothing had kept us apart—
I had loved thee, I had wed—
Hadst thou had a softer heart
Or a harder head.

But I think I'll bear Love's smart
Till the wound has healed and fled,
Or thy head is like thy heart,
Or thy heart is like thy head.

H. E. Clarke.


BALLADE OF THE GOLFER IN LOVE

In the "foursome" some would fain
Find nepenthe for their woe;
Following through shine or rain
Where the "greens" like satin show;
But I vote such sport as "slow"—
Find it rather glum and gruesome;
With a little maid I know
I would play a quiet "twosome"!

In the "threesome," some maintain,
Lies excitement's gayest glow—
Strife that mounts unto the brain
Like the sparkling Veuve Clicquot;
My opinion? Nay, not so!
Noon or eve or morning dewsome
With a little maid I know
I would play a quiet "twosome"!

Bays of glory some would gain
With grim "Bogey" for their foe;
(He's a bogey who's not slain
Save one smite with canny blow!)
Yet I hold this tame, and though
My refrain seems trite, 'tis truesome;
With a little maid I know
I would play a quiet "twosome"!
[Pg 223]

ENVOY

Comrades all who golfing go,
Happiness—if you would view some—
With a little maid you know,
Haste and play a quiet "twosome"!

Clinton Scollard.


BALLADE OF FORGOTTEN LOVES

Some poets sing of sweethearts dead,
Some sing of true loves far away;
Some sing of those that others wed,
And some of idols turned to clay.
I sing a pensive roundelay
To sweethearts of a doubtful lot,
The passions vanished in a day—
The little loves that I've forgot.

For, as the happy years have sped,
And golden dreams have changed to gray,
How oft the flame of love was fed
By glance, or smile, from Maud or May,
When wayward Cupid was at play;
Mere fancies, formed of who knows what,
But still my debt I ne'er can pay—
The little loves that I've forgot.

O joyous hours forever fled!
O sudden hopes that would not stay!
Held only by the slender thread
Of memory that's all astray.
Their very names I cannot say.
Time's will is done, I know them not;
But blessings on them all, I pray—
The little loves that I've forgot.

ENVOI

Sweetheart, why foolish fears betray?
Ours is the one true lovers' knot;
Note well the burden of my lay—
The little loves that I've forgot.

Arthur Grissom.

[Pg 224]

IV

SATIRE


A BALLADE OF SUICIDE

The gallows in my garden, people say,
Is new and neat and adequately tall.
I tie the noose on in a knowing way
As one that knots his necktie for a ball;
But just as all the neighbours—on the wall—
Are drawing a long breath to shout "Hurray!"
The strangest whim has seized me.... After all
I think I will not hang myself to-day.

To-morrow is the time I get my pay—
My uncle's sword is hanging in the hall—
I see a little cloud all pink and grey—
Perhaps the rector's mother will not call—
I fancy that I heard from Mr. Gall
That mushrooms could be cooked another way—
I never read the works of Juvenal—
I think I will not hang myself to-day.

The world will have another washing day;
The decadents decay; the pedants pall;
And H. G. Wells has found that children play,
And Bernard Shaw discovered that they squall;
Rationalists are growing rational—
And through thick woods one finds a stream astray,
So secret that the very sky seems small—
I think I will not hang myself to-day.
[Pg 225]

ENVOI

Prince, I can hear the trump of Germinal,
The tumbrils toiling up the terrible way;
Even to-day your royal head may fall—
I think I will not hang myself to-day.

G. K. Chesterton.


FINNIGIN TO FLANNIGAN

Superintendent wuz Flannigan;
Boss av the siction wuz Finnigin;
Whiniver the kyars got offen the thrack,
An' muddled up things t' th' divil an' back,
Finnigin writ it to Flannigan,
Afther the wrick wuz all on ag'in;
That is, this Finnigin
Repoorted to Flannigan.

Whin Finnigin furst writ to Flannigan,
He writed tin pages—did Finnigin,
An' he tould jist how the smash occurred;
Full minny a tajus, blunderin' wurrd
Did Finnigin write to Flannigan
Afther the cars had gone on ag'in.
That wuz how Finnigin
Repoorted to Flannigan.

Now Flannigan knowed more than Finnigin—
He'd more idjucation, had Flannigan;
An' it wore'm clane an' completely out
To tell what Finnigin writ about
In his writin' to Muster Flannigan.
So he writed back to Finnigin:
"Don't do sich a sin ag'in;
Make 'em brief, Finnigin!"
[Pg 226]
Whin Finnigin got this from Flannigan,
He blushed rosy rid, did Finnigin;
An' he said: "I'll gamble a whole month's pa-ay
That it will be minny an' minny a da-ay
Befoore Sup'rintindint—that's Flannigan—
Gits a whack at this very same sin ag'in.
From Finnigin to Flannigan
Repoorts won't be long ag'in."


Wan da-ay, on the siction av Finnigin,
On the road sup'rintinded by Flannigan,
A rail give way on a bit av a curve,
An' some kyars went off as they made the swerve.
"There's nobody hurted," sez Finnigin,
"But repoorts must be made to Flannigan."
An' he winked at McGorrigan,
As married a Finnigin.

He wuz shantyin' thin, wuz Finnigin,
As minny a railroader's been ag'in,
An' the shmoky ol' lamp wuz burnin' bright
In Finnigin's shanty all that night—
Bilin' down his repoort, was Finnigin!
An' he writed this here: "Muster Flannigan:
Off ag'in, on ag'in,
Gone ag'in—Finnigin."

S. W. Gillinan.


STUDY OF AN ELEVATION, IN INDIAN INK

Potiphar Gubbins, C. E.,
Stands at the top of the tree;
And I muse in my bed on the reasons that led
To the hoisting of Potiphar G.

Potiphar Gubbins, C. E.,
Is seven years junior to Me;
Each bridge that he makes either buckles or breaks,
And his work is as rough as he.
[Pg 227]
Potiphar Gubbins, C. E.,
Is coarse as a chimpanzee;
And I can't understand why you gave him your hand,
Lovely Mehitabel Lee.

Potiphar Gubbins, C. E.,
Is dear to the Powers that Be;
For they bow and They smile in an affable style
Which is seldom accorded to Me.

Potiphar Gubbins, C. E.,
Is certain as certain can be
Of a highly paid post which is claimed by a host
Of seniors—including Me.

Careless and lazy is he,
Greatly inferior to Me.
What is the spell that you manage so well,
Commonplace Potiphar G.?

Lovely Mehitabel Lee,
Let me inquire of thee,
Should I have riz to what Potiphar is,
Hadst thou been mated to Me?

Rudyard Kipling.


THE V-A-S-E

From the madding crowd they stand apart,
The maidens four and the Work of Art;

And none might tell from sight alone
In which had culture ripest grown,—

The Gotham Million fair to see,
The Philadelphia Pedigree,

The Boston Mind of azure hue,
Or the soulful Soul from Kalamazoo,—
[Pg 228]
For all loved Art in a seemly way,
With an earnest soul and a capital A.


Long they worshiped; but no one broke
The sacred stillness, until up spoke

The Western one from the nameless place,
Who blushing said, "What a lovely vace!"

Over three faces a sad smile flew,
And they edged away from Kalamazoo.

But Gotham's haughty soul was stirred
To crush the stranger with one small word.

Deftly hiding reproof in praise,
She cries, "'Tis, indeed, a lovely vaze!"

But brief her unworthy triumph when
The lofty one from the house of Penn,

With the consciousness of two grandpapas,
Exclaims, "It is quite a lovely vahs!"

And glances round with an anxious thrill,
Awaiting the word of Beacon Hill.

But the Boston maid smiles courteouslee,
And gently murmurs, "Oh, pardon me!

"I did not catch your remark, because
I was so entranced with that lovely vaws!"

Dies erit praegelida
Sinistra quum Bostonia.

James Jeffrey Roche.

[Pg 229]

MINIVER CHEEVY

Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,
Grew lean while he assailed the seasons;
He wept that he was ever born,
And he had reasons.

Miniver loved the days of old
When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;
The vision of a warrior bold
Would set him dancing.

Miniver sighed for what was not,
And dreamed and rested from his labors;
He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot
And Priam's neighbors.

Miniver mourned the ripe renown
That made so many a name so fragrant;
He mourned Romance, now on the town,
And Art, a vagrant.

Miniver loved the Medici,
Albeit he had never seen one;
He would have sinned incessantly
Could he have been one.

Miniver cursed the commonplace,
And eyed a khaki suit with loathing;
He missed the mediæval grace
Of iron clothing.

Miniver scorned the gold he sought,
But sore annoyed he was without it;
Miniver thought and thought and thought
And thought about it.
[Pg 230]
Miniver Cheevy, born too late,
Scratched his head and kept on thinking;
Miniver coughed, and called it fate,
And kept on drinking.

Edwin Arlington Robinson.


THE RECRUIT

Sez Corporal Madden to Private McFadden:
"Bedad, yer a bad un!
Now turn out yer toes!
Yer belt is unhookit,
Yer cap is on crookit,
Ye may not be dhrunk,
But, be jabers, ye look it!
Wan—two!
Wan—two!
Ye monkey-faced divil, I'll jolly ye through!
Wan—two!—
Time! Mark!
Ye march like the aigle in Cintheral Parrk!"

Sez Corporal Madden to Private McFadden:
"A saint it ud sadden
To dhrill such a mug!
Eyes front!—ye baboon, ye!—
Chin up!—ye gossoon, ye!
Ye've jaws like a goat—
Halt! ye leather-lipped loon, ye!
Wan—two!
Wan—two!
Ye whiskered orang-outang, I'll fix you!
Wan—two!—
Time! Mark!
Ye've eyes like a bat!—can ye see in the dark?"

Sez Corporal Madden to Private McFadden:
"Yer figger wants padd'n'—
Sure, man, ye've no shape!
Behind ye yer shoulders
Stick out like two boulders;
[Pg 231] Yer shins is as thin
As a pair of pen-holders!
Wan—two!
Wan—two!
Yer belly belongs on yer back, ye Jew!
Wan—two!—
Time! Mark!
I'm dhry as a dog—I can't shpake but I bark!"

Sez Corporal Madden to Private McFadden:
"Me heart it ud gladden
To blacken your eye.
Ye're gettin' too bold, ye
Compel me to scold ye,—
Tis halt! that I say,—
Will ye heed what I told ye?
Wan—two!
Wan—two!
Be jabers, I'm dhryer than Brian Boru!
Wan—two!—
Time! Mark!
What's wur-ruk for chickens is sport for the lark!"

Sez Corporal Madden to Private McFadden:
"I'll not stay a gaddin',
Wid dagoes like you!
I'll travel no farther,
I'm dyin' for—wather;—
Come on, if ye like,—
Can ye loan me a quather?
Ya-as, you—
What,—two?
And ye'll pay the potheen? Ye're a daisy! Whurroo!
You'll do!
Whist! Mark!
The Rigiment's flattered to own ye, me spark!"

Robert W. Chambers.

[Pg 232]

OFFICER BRADY

THE MODERN RECRUIT

I

Sez Alderman Grady
To Officer Brady:
"G'wan! Ye're no lady!
Luk here what ye've done:
Ye've run in Red Hogan,
Ye've pulled Paddy Grogan,
Ye've fanned Misther Brogan
An' called him a 'gun'!

"Way up in Tammany Hall
They's a gintleman layin' f'r you!
'An' what,' sez he, 't' 'ell,' sez he,
'Does the villyun mane to do?
Lock up the ass in his shtall!
He'll rue the day I rue,
F'r he's pulled the dive that kapes me alive,
An' he'll go to the goats! Whurroo!'"

II

Sez Alderman Grady
To Officer Brady:
"Ye pinched young Mullady
F'r crackin' a safe!
An' Sinitor Moran
An' Alderman Doran
Is inside, a-roarin'
F'r justice, ye thafe!

"'Way up in Tammany Hall
They's a gintleman layin' f'r you!
'What's this,' sez he, 'I hear?' sez he—
An' the air, bedad, grew blue!
[Pg 233] 'Well, I nivver did hear av such gall!
But if phwat ye say is thrue,
He's pulled a fri'nd av a fri'nd av me fri'nd,
An' he'll go to the goats! Whurroo!"

III

Sez Alderman Grady
To Officer Brady:
"Here's Sullivan's lady
Cavoortin' an' riled;
She lifted a locket
From Casey's coat pocket,
An' it goes to the docket,
An' Sullivan's wild!

"'Way up in Tammany Hall
They's a gintleman layin' f'r you!
''Tis a shame,' sez he, 'f'r to blame,' sez he,
'A lady so fair an' thrue,
An' so divinely tall'—
'Tis po'ms he talked, ye Jew!
An' ye've cooked yer goose, an' now ye're loose
F'r to folly the goats! Whurroo!"

IV

Sez Alderman Grady
To Officer Brady:
"Where's Katie Macready,
The Confidence Queen?
She's niece to O'Lafferty's
Cousins, the Caffertys—
Sinitor Rafferty's
Steady colleen!

"'Way up in Tammany Hall
They's a gintleman layin' f'r you!
'He's pinched,' sez he, 'an' cinched,' sez he,
'A lady tray comme eel foo!
[Pg 234] Go dangle th' tillyphone call,
An' gimme La Mulberry Roo,
F'r the town is too warrm f'r this gendarme,
An' he'll go to the goats, mon Dieu!'"

V

Sez Alderman Grady
To Officer Brady:
"McCabe is afraid he
Can't open to-night,
F'r throuble's a-brewin',
An' mischief's a-stewin',
Wid nothin' a-doin'
An' everything tight!
There's Register Ronnell,
Commissioner Donnell,
An' Congressman Connell
Preparin' f'r flight;
The Dhistrict Attorney
Told Magistrate Kearny
That Captain McBurney
Was dyin' o' fright!

"Oh!
'Way up in Tammany Hall
They's a gintleman lookin' f'r you!
'Bedad,' sez he, 'he's mad,' sez he.
'So turrn on the screw f'r Bellevue,
An' chain 'im ag'in' the wall,
An' lather 'im wan or two,
An' tether 'im out on the Bloomin'dale route
Like a loonytick goat! Whurroo!'"

Robert W. Chambers.

[Pg 235]

POST-IMPRESSIONISM

I cannot tell you how I love
The canvases of Mr. Dove,
Which Saturday I went to see
In Mr. Thurber's gallery.

At first you fancy they are built
As patterns for a crazy quilt,
But soon you see that they express
An ambient simultaneousness.

This thing which you would almost bet
Portrays a Spanish omelette,
Depicts instead, with wondrous skill,
A horse and cart upon a hill.

Now, Mr. Dove has too much art
To show the horse or show the cart;
Instead, he paints the creak and strain,
Get it? No pike is half as plain.

This thing which would appear to show
A fancy vest scenario,
Is really quite another thing,
A flock of pigeons on the wing.

But Mr. Dove is much too keen
To let a single bird be seen;
To show the pigeons would not do
And so he simply paints the coo.

It's all as simple as can be;
He paints the things you cannot see,
Just as composers please the ear
With "programme" things you cannot hear.

Dove is the cleverest of chaps;
And, gazing at his rhythmic maps,
I wondered (and I'm wondering yet)
Whether he did them on a bet.

Bert Leston Taylor.

[Pg 236]

TO THE PORTRAIT OF "A GENTLEMAN,"

IN THE ATHENÆUM GALLERY

It may be so—perhaps thou hast
A warm and loving heart;
I will not blame thee for thy face,
Poor devil as thou art.

That thing, thou fondly deem'st a nose,
Unsightly though it be,—
In spite of all the cold world's scorn,
It may be much to thee.

Those eyes,—among thine elder friends
Perhaps they pass for blue;—
No matter,—if a man can see,
What more have eyes to do?

Thy mouth—that fissure in thy face
By something like a chin,—
May be a very useful place
To put thy victual in.

I know thou hast a wife at home,
I know thou hast a child,
By that subdued, domestic smile
Upon thy features mild.

That wife sits fearless by thy side,
That cherub on thy knee;
They do not shudder at thy looks,
They do not shrink from thee.

Above thy mantel is a hook,—
A portrait once was there;
It was thine only ornament,—
Alas! that hook is bare.
[Pg 237]
She begged thee not to let it go,
She begged thee all in vain:
She wept,—and breathed a trembling prayer
To meet it safe again.

It was a bitter sight to see
That picture torn away;
It was a solemn thought to think
What all her friends would say!

And often in her calmer hours,
And in her happy dreams,
Upon its long-deserted hook
The absent portrait seems.

Thy wretched infant turns his head
In melancholy wise,
And looks to meet the placid stare
Of those unbending eyes.

I never saw thee, lovely one,—
Perchance I never may;
It is not often that we cross
Such people in our way;

But if we meet in distant years,
Or on some foreign shore,
Sure I can take my Bible oath
I've seen that face before.

Oliver Wendell Holmes.

[Pg 238]

CACOËTHES SCRIBENDI

If all the trees in all the woods were men,
And each and every blade of grass a pen;
If every leaf on every shrub and tree
Turned to a sheet of foolscap; every sea
Were changed to ink, and all earth's living tribes
Had nothing else to do but act as scribes,
And for ten thousand ages, day and night,
The human race should write, and write, and write,
Till all the pens and paper were used up,
And the huge inkstand was an empty cup,
Still would the scribblers clustered round its brink
Call for more pens, more paper, and more ink.

Oliver Wendell Holmes.


CONTENTMENT

"MAN WANTS BUT LITTLE HERE BELOW"

Little I ask; my wants are few;
I only wish a hut of stone
(A very plain brone stone will do)
That I may call my own;
And close at hand is such a one,
In yonder street that fronts the sun.

Plain food is quite enough for me;
Three courses are as good as ten;
If Nature can subsist on three,
Thank Heaven for three—Amen!
I always thought cold victual nice—
My choice would be vanilla-ice.

I care not much for gold or land;
Give me a mortgage here and there,
Some good bank-stock, some note of hand,
Or trifling railroad share.
I only ask that Fortune send
A little more than I shall spend.
[Pg 239]
Jewels are baubles; 'tis a sin
To care for such unfruitful things;
One good-sized diamond in a pin,
Some, not so large, in rings.
A ruby, and a pearl, or so,
Will do for me—I laugh at show.

My dame should dress in cheap attire
(Good, heavy silks are never dear);
I own perhaps I might desire
Some shawls of true Cashmere—
Some marrowy crapes of China silk,
Like wrinkled skins on scalded milk.

I would not have the horse I drive
So fast that folks must stop and stare;
An easy gait—two, forty-five—
Suits me; I do not care;
Perhaps, for just a single spurt,
Some seconds less would do no hurt.

Of pictures, I should like to own
Titians and Raphaels three or four—
I love so much their style and tone—
One Turner, and no more.
(A landscape, foreground golden dirt,
The sunshine painted with a squirt).

Of books but few—some fifty score
For daily use, and bound for wear;
The rest upon an upper floor;
Some little luxury there
Of red morocco's gilded gleam,
And vellum rich as country cream.

Busts, cameos, gems—such things as these,
Which others often show for pride,
I value for their power to please,
And selfish churls deride;
One Stradivarius, I confess,
Two Meerschaums, I would fain possess.
[Pg 240]
Wealth's wasteful tricks I will not learn,
Nor ape the glittering upstart fool;
Shall not carved tables serve my turn,
But all must be of buhl?
Give grasping pomp its double share—
I ask but one recumbent chair.

Thus humble let me live and die,
Nor long for Midas' golden touch;
If Heaven more generous gifts deny,
I shall not miss them much
Too grateful for the blessing lent
Of simple tastes and mind content!

Oliver Wendell Holmes.


A BOSTON LULLABY

Baby's brain is tired of thinking
On the Wherefore and the Whence;
Baby's precious eyes are blinking
With incipient somnolence.

Little hands are weary turning
Heavy leaves of lexicon;
Little nose is fretted learning
How to keep its glasses on.

Baby knows the laws of nature
Are beneficent and wise;
His medulla oblongata
Bids my darling close his eyes.

And his pneumogastrics tell him
Quietude is always best
When his little cerebellum
Needs recuperative rest.

Baby must have relaxation,
Let the world go wrong or right.
Sleep, my darling—leave Creation
To its chances for the night.

James Jeffrey Roche.

[Pg 241]

A GRAIN OF SALT

Of all the wimming doubly blest
The sailor's wife's the happiest,
For all she does is stay to home
And knit and darn—and let 'im roam.

Of all the husbands on the earth
The sailor has the finest berth,
For in 'is cabin he can sit
And sail and sail—and let 'er knit.

Wallace Irwin.


SONG

Why should you swear I am forsworn,
Since thine I vowed to be?
Lady, it is already morn,
And 'twas last night I swore to thee
That fond impossibility.

Have I not loved thee much and long,
A tedious twelve hours' space?
I must all other beauties wrong,
And rob thee of a new embrace,
Could I still dote upon thy face.

Not but all joy in thy brown hair
By others may be found;
But I must search the black and fair,
Like skilful mineralists that sound
For treasure in unploughed-up ground.

Then, if when I have loved my round,
Thou prov'st the pleasant she;
With spoils of meaner beauties crowned
I laden will return to thee,
Even sated with variety.

Richard Lovelace.

[Pg 242]

A PHILOSOPHER

Zack Bumstead useter flosserfize
About the ocean an' the skies;
An' gab an' gas f'um morn till noon
About the other side the moon;
An' 'bout the natur of the place
Ten miles beyend the end of space.
An' if his wife she'd ask the crank
Ef he wouldn't kinder try to yank
Hisself out-doors an' git some wood
To make her kitchen fire good,
So she c'd bake her beans an' pies,
He'd say, "I've gotter flosserfize."

An' then he'd set an' flosserfize
About the natur an' the size
Of angels' wings, an' think, and gawp,
An' wonder how they make 'em flop.
He'd calkerlate how long a skid
'Twould take to move the sun, he did;
An' if the skid was strong an' prime,
It couldn't be moved to supper-time.
An' w'en his wife 'd ask the lout
Ef he wouldn't kinder waltz about
An' take a rag an' shoo the flies,
He'd say, "I've gotter flosserfize."

An' then he'd set an' flosserfize
'Bout schemes for fencing in the skies,
Then lettin' out the lots to rent,
So's he could make an honest cent.
An' if he'd find it pooty tough
To borry cash fer fencin'-stuff;
An' if 'twere best to take his wealth
An' go to Europe for his health,
Or save his cash till he'd enough
To buy some more of fencin'-stuff;
Then, ef his wife she'd ask the gump
Ef he wouldn't kinder try to hump
[Pg 243] Hisself to t'other side the door,
So she c'd come an' sweep the floor,
He'd look at her with mournful eyes,
An' say, "I've gotter flosserfize."

An' so he'd set an' flosserfize
'Bout what it wuz held up the skies,
An' how God made this earthly ball
Jest simply out er nawthin' 'tall,
An' 'bout the natur, shape, an' form
Of nawthin' that he made it from.
Then, ef his wife sh'd ask the freak
Ef he wouldn't kinder try to sneak
Out to the barn an' find some aigs,
He'd never move, nor lift his laigs;
He'd never stir, nor try to rise,
But say, "I've gotter flosserfize."

An' so he'd set an' flosserfize
About the earth, an' sea, an' skies,
An' scratch his head, an' ask the cause
Of w'at there wuz before time wuz,
An' w'at the universe 'd do
Bimeby w'en time hed all got through;
An' jest how fur we'd have to climb
Ef we sh'd travel out er time;
An' ef we'd need, w'en we got there,
To keep our watches in repair.
Then, ef his wife she'd ask the gawk
Ef he wouldn't kinder try to walk
To where she had the table spread,
An' kinder git his stomach fed,
He'd leap for that ar kitchen door,
An' say, "W'y didn't you speak afore?"
An' when he'd got his supper et,
He'd set, an' set, an' set, an' set,
An' fold his arms, an' shet his eyes,
An' set, an' set, an' flosserfize.

Sam Walter Foss.

[Pg 244]

THE MEETING OF THE CLABBERHUSES

I

He was the Chairman of the Guild
Of Early Pleiocene Patriarchs;
He was chief Mentor of the Lodge
Of the Oracular Oligarchs;
He was the Lord High Autocrat
And Vizier of the Sons of Light,
And Sultan and Grand Mandarin
Of the Millennial Men of Might.

He was Grand Totem and High Priest
Of the Independent Potentates;
Grand Mogul of the Galaxy
Of the Illustrious Stay-out-lates;
The President of the Dandydudes,
The Treasurer of the Sons of Glee;
The Leader of the Clubtown Band
And Architects of Melody.

II

She was Grand Worthy Prophetess
Of the Illustrious Maids of Mark;
Of Vestals of the Third Degree
She was Most Potent Matriarch;
She was High Priestess of the Shrine
Of Clubtown's Culture Coterie,
And First Vice-President of the League
Of the illustrious G. A. B.

She was the First Dame of the Club
For teaching Patagonians Greek;
She was Chief Clerk and Auditor
Of Clubtown's Anti-Bachelor Clique;
She was High Treasurer of the Fund
For Borrioboolighalians,
And the Fund for Sending Browning's Poems
To Native-born Australians.
[Pg 245]

III

Once to a crowded social fête
Both these much-titled people came,
And each perceived, when introduced,
They had the selfsame name.
Their hostess said, when first they met:
"Permit me now to introduce
My good friend Mr. Clabberhuse
To Mrs. Clabberhuse."

"'Tis very strange," said she to him,
"Such an unusual name!—
A name so very seldom heard,
That we should bear the same."
"Indeed, 'tis wonderful," said he,
"And I'm surprised the more,
Because I never heard the name
Outside my home before.

"But now I come to look at you,"
Said he, "upon my life,
If I am not indeed deceived,
You are—you are—my wife."
She gazed into his searching face
And seemed to look him through;
"Indeed," said she, "it seems to me
You are my husband, too.

"I've been so busy with my clubs
And in my various spheres
I have not seen you now," she said,
"For over fourteen years."
"That's just the way it's been with me,
These clubs demand a sight"—
And then they both politely bowed,
And sweetly said "Good night."

Sam Walter Foss.

[Pg 246]

THE IDEAL HUSBAND TO HIS WIFE

We've lived for forty years, dear wife,
And walked together side by side,
And you to-day are just as dear
As when you were my bride.
I've tried to make life glad for you,
One long, sweet honeymoon of joy,
A dream of marital content,
Without the least alloy.
I've smoothed all boulders from our path,
That we in peace might toil along,
By always hastening to admit
That I was right and you were wrong.

No mad diversity of creed
Has ever sundered me from thee;
For I permit you evermore
To borrow your ideas of me.
And thus it is, through weal or woe,
Our love forevermore endures;
For I permit that you should take
My views and creeds, and make them yours.
And thus I let you have my way,
And thus in peace we toil along,
For I am willing to admit
That I am right and you are wrong.

And when our matrimonial skiff
Strikes snags in love's meandering stream,
I lift our shallop from the rocks,
And float as in a placid dream.
And well I know our marriage bliss
While life shall last will never cease;
For I shall always let thee do,
In generous love, just what I please.
Peace comes, and discord flies away,
Love's bright day follows hatred's night;
For I am ready to admit
That you are wrong and I am right.

Sam Walter Foss.

[Pg 247]

DISTICHS

Wisely a woman prefers to a lover a man who neglects her.

This one may love her some day; some day the lover will not.

There are three species of creatures who when they seem coming are going,

When they seem going they come: Diplomats, women, and crabs.

As the meek beasts in the Garden came flocking for Adam to name them,

Men for a title to-day crawl to the feet of a king.

What is a first love worth except to prepare for a second?

What does the second love bring? Only regret for the first.

John Hay.


THE HEN-ROOST MAN

De Hen-roost Man he'll preach about Paul,
An' James an' John, an' Herod, an' all,
But nuver a word about Peter, oh, no!
He's afeard he'll hear dat rooster crow.
An' he ain't by 'isself in dat, in dat—
An' he ain't by 'isself in dat.

Ruth McEnery Stuart.


IF THEY MEANT ALL THEY SAID

Charm is a woman's strongest arm;
My charwoman is full of charm;
I chose her, not for strength of arm
But for her strange, elusive charm.

And how tears heighten woman's powers!
My typist weeps for hours and hours:
I took her for her weeping powers—
They so delight my business hours.
[Pg 248]
A woman lives by intuition.
Though my accountant shuns addition
She has the rarest intuition.
(And I myself can do addition.)

Timidity in girls is nice.
My cook is so afraid of mice.
Now you'll admit it's very nice
To feel your cook's afraid of mice.

Alice Duer Miller.


THE MAN

A man said to the universe,
"Sir, I exist!"
"However," replied the universe,
"The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation."

Stephen Crane.


A THOUGHT

If all the harm that women have done
Were put in a bundle and rolled into one,
Earth would not hold it,
The sky could not enfold it,
It could not be lighted nor warmed by the sun;
Such masses of evil
Would puzzle the devil,
And keep him in fuel while Time's wheels run.

But if all the harm that's been done by men
Were doubled, and doubled, and doubled again,
And melted and fused into vapour, and then
Were squared and raised to the power of ten,
There wouldn't be nearly enough, not near,
To keep a small girl for the tenth of a year.
To keep a small girl for the tenth of a year.

James Kenneth Stephen.
[Pg 249]

THE MUSICAL ASS

The fable which I now present,
Occurred to me by accident:
And whether bad or excellent,
Is merely so by accident.

A stupid ass this morning went
Into a field by accident:
And cropped his food, and was content,
Until he spied by accident
A flute, which some oblivious gent
Had left behind by accident;
When, sniffling it with eager scent,
He breathed on it by accident,
And made the hollow instrument
Emit a sound by accident.
"Hurrah, hurrah!" exclaimed the brute,
"How cleverly I play the flute!"

A fool, in spite of nature's bent,
May shine for once,—by accident.

Tomaso de Yriarte.


THE KNIFE-GRINDER

Friend of Humanity

"Needy Knife-grinder! whither are you going?
Rough is the road—your wheel is out of order—
Bleak blows the blast; your hat has got a hole in't,
So have your breeches!

"Weary Knife-grinder! little think the proud ones,
Who in their coaches roll along the turnpike-
Road, what hard work 'tis crying all day' Knives and
Scissors to grind O!'

"Tell me, Knife-grinder, how you came to grind knives?
Did some rich man tyrannically use you?
Was it the squire? or parson of the parish?
Or the attorney?
[Pg 250]
"Was it the squire, for killing of his game? or
Covetous parson, for his tithes distraining?
Or roguish lawyer, made you lose your little
All in a law-suit?

"(Have you not read the Rights of Man, by Tom Paine?)
Drops of compassion tremble on my eyelids,
Ready to fall, as soon as you have told your
Pitiful story."

Knife-grinder

"Story! God bless you! I have none to tell, sir,
Only last night, a-drinking at the Chequers,
This poor old hat and breeches, as you see, were
Tom in a scuffle.

"Constables came up for to take me into
Custody; they took me before the justice;
Justice Oldmixon put me in the parish-
Stocks for a vagrant.

"I should be glad to drink your Honour's health in
A pot of beer, if you will give me sixpence;
But for my part, I never love to meddle
With politics, sir."

Friend of Humanity

"I give thee sixpence! I will see thee damn'd first—
Wretch! whom no sense of wrongs can rouse to vengeance—
Sordid, unfeeling, reprobate, degraded,
Spiritless outcast!"

[Kicks the Knife-grinder, overturns his wheel, and exit in a transport of Republican enthusiasm and universal philanthropy.]

George Canning.

[Pg 251]


ST. ANTHONY'S SERMON TO THE FISHES

Saint Anthony at church
Was left in the lurch,
So he went to the ditches
And preached to the fishes.
They wriggled their tails,
In the sun glanced their scales.

The carps, with their spawn,
Are all thither drawn;
Have opened their jaws,
Eager for each clause.
No sermon beside
Had the carps so edified.

Sharp-snouted pikes,
Who keep fighting like tikes,
Now swam up harmonious
To hear Saint Antonius.
No sermon beside
Had the pikes so edified.

And that very odd fish,
Who loves fast-days, the cod-fish,—
The stock-fish, I mean—
At the sermon was seen.
No sermon beside
Had the cods so edified.

Good eels and sturgeon,
Which aldermen gorge on,
Went out of their way
To hear preaching that day.
No sermon beside
Had the eels so edified.
[Pg 252]
Crabs and turtles also,
Who always move low,
Made haste from the bottom
As if the devil had got 'em.
No sermon beside
The crabs so edified.

Fish great and fish small,
Lords, lackeys, and all,
Each looked at the preacher
Like a reasonable creature.
At God's word,
They Anthony heard.

The sermon now ended,
Each turned and descended;
The pikes went on stealing,
The eels went on eeling.
Much delighted were they,
But preferred the old way.

The crabs are backsliders,
The stock-fish thick-siders,
The carps are sharp-set—
All the sermon forget.
Much delighted were they,
But preferred the old way.

Abraham á Sancta-Clara.


THE BATTLE OF BLENHEIM

It was a summer's evening;
Old Casper's work was done,
And he before his cottage-door
Was sitting in the sun;
And by him sported on the green
His little grandchild Wilhelmine.
[Pg 253]
She saw her brother Peterkin
Roll something large and round,
That he beside the rivulet
In playing there had found.
He came to ask what he had found,
That was so large, and smooth, and round.

Old Casper took it from the boy,
Who stood expectant by;
And then the old man shook his head,
And with a natural sigh,
"'Tis some poor fellow's skull," said he,
"Who fell in the great victory.

"I find them in the garden, for
There's many here about;
And often, when I go to plough,
The ploughshare turns them out;
For many thousand men," said he,
"Were slain in the great victory."

"Now tell us what 'twas all about,"
Young Peterkin he cries;
And little Wilhelmine looks up,
With wonder-waiting eyes:
"Now tell us all about the war,
And what they kill'd each other for."

"It was the English," Casper cried,
"That put the French to rout;
But what they kill'd each other for,
I could not well make out;
But everybody said," quoth he,
"That 'twas a famous victory.

"My father lived at Blenheim then,
Yon little stream hard by;
They burnt his dwelling to the ground,
And he was forced to fly;
So with his wife and child he fled,
Nor had he where to rest his head.
[Pg 254]
"With fire and sword the country round,
Was wasted far and wide,
And many a childing mother then
And new-born infant died.
But things like that, you know, must be
At every famous victory.

"They say it was a shocking sight,
After the field was won,
For many a thousand bodies here
Lay rotting in the sun.
But things like that, you know, must be
After a famous victory.

"Great praise the Duke of Marlbro' won,
And our good Prince Eugene."
"Why, 'twas a very wicked thing!"
Said little Wilhelmine.
"Nay, nay, my little girl," quoth he,
"It was a famous victory;

"And everybody praised the duke,
Who such a fight did win."
"But what good came of it at last?"
Quoth little Peterkin.
"Why, that I cannot tell," said he;
"But 'twas a famous victory."

Robert Southey.


THE THREE BLACK CROWS

Two honest tradesmen meeting in the Strand,
One took the other briskly by the hand;
"Hark-ye," said he, "'tis an odd story, this,
About the crows!" "I don't know what it is,"
Replied his friend. "No! I'm surprised at that;
Where I came from it is the common chat;
But you shall hear—an odd affair indeed!
And that it happened, they are all agreed.
[Pg 255] Not to detain you from a thing so strange,
A gentleman, that lives not far from 'Change,
This week, in short, as all the alley knows,
Taking a puke, has thrown up three black crows."
"Impossible!" "Nay, but it's really true;
I have it from good hands, and so may you."
"From whose, I pray?" So, having named the man,
Straight to inquire his curious comrade ran.
"Sir, did you tell"—relating the affair.
"Yes, sir, I did; and, if it's worth your care,
Ask Mr. Such-a-one, he told it me.
But, by the bye, 'twas two black crows—not three."
Resolved to trace so wondrous an event,
Whip, to the third, the virtuoso went;
"Sir"—and so forth. "Why, yes; the thing is fact,
Though, in regard to number, not exact;
It was not two black crows—'twas only one;
The truth of that you may depend upon;
The gentleman himself told me the case."
"Where may I find him?" "Why, in such a place."
Away goes he, and, having found him out,
"Sir, be so good as to resolve a doubt."
Then to his last informant he referred,
And begged to know if true what he had heard.
"Did you, sir, throw up a black crow?" "Not I."
"Bless me! how people propagate a lie!
Black crows have been thrown up, three, two, and one;
And here, I find, all comes, at last, to none.
Did you say nothing of a crow at all?"
"Crow—crow—perhaps I might, now I recall
The matter over." "And pray, sir, what was't?"
"Why, I was horrid sick, and, at the last,
I did throw up, and told my neighbor so,
Something that was—as black, sir, as a crow."

John Byrom.

[Pg 256]

TO THE TERRESTRIAL GLOBE

BY A MISERABLE WRETCH

Roll on, thou ball, roll on!
Through pathless realms of space
Roll on!
What though I'm in a sorry case?
What though I cannot meet my bills?
What though I suffer toothache's ills?
What though I swallow countless pills?
Never you mind!
Roll on!

Roll on, thou ball, roll on!
Through seas of inky air
Roll on!
It's true I've got no shirts to wear;
It's true my butcher's bill is due;
It's true my prospects all look blue;
But don't let that unsettle you.
Never you mind!
Roll on!
(It rolls on.)

W. S. Gilbert.


ETIQUETTE

The Ballyshannon foundered off the coast of Cariboo,
And down in fathoms many went the captain and the crew;
Down went the owners—greedy men whom hope of gain allured:
Oh, dry the starting tear, for they were heavily insured.

Besides the captain and the mate, the owners and the crew,
The passengers were also drowned excepting only two:
Young Peter Gray, who tasted teas for Baker, Croop, and Co.,
And Somers, who from Eastern shores imported indigo.
[Pg 257]
These passengers, by reason of their clinging to a mast,
Upon a desert island were eventually cast.
They hunted for their meals, as Alexander Selkirk used,
But they couldn't chat together—they had not been introduced.

For Peter Gray, and Somers, too, though certainly in trade,
Were properly particular about the friends they made;
And somehow thus they settled it, without a word of mouth,
That Gray should take the northern half, while Somers took the south.

On Peter's portion oysters grew—a delicacy rare,
But oysters were a delicacy Peter couldn't bear.
On Somer's side was turtle, on the shingle lying thick,
Which Somers couldn't eat, because it always made him sick.

Gray gnashed his teeth with envy as he saw a mighty store
Of turtle unmolested on his fellow-creature's shore.
The oysters at his feet aside impatiently he shoved,
For turtle and his mother were the only things he loved.

And Somers sighed in sorrow as he settled in the south,
For the thought of Peter's oysters brought the water to his mouth.
He longed to lay him down upon the shelly bed, and stuff:
He had often eaten oysters, but had never had enough.

How they wished an introduction to each other they had had
When on board the Ballyshannon! And it drove them nearly mad
To think how very friendly with each other they might get,
If it wasn't for the arbitrary rule of etiquette!

One day, when out a-hunting for the mus ridiculus,
Gray overheard his fellow-man soliloquising thus:
"I wonder how the playmates of my youth are getting on,
M'Connell, S. B. Walters, Paddy Byles, and Robinson?"
[Pg 258]
These simple words made Peter as delighted as could be;
Old chummies at the Charterhouse were Robinson and he.
He walked straight up to Somers, then he turned extremely red,
Hesitated, hummed and hawed a bit, then cleared his throat, and said:

"I beg your pardon—pray forgive me if I seem too bold,
But you have breathed a name I knew familiarly of old.
You spoke aloud of Robinson—I happened to be by.
You know him?" "Yes, extremely well." "Allow me, so do I."

It was enough: they felt they could more pleasantly get on,
For (ah, the magic of the fact!) they each knew Robinson!
And Mr. Somers' turtle was at Peter's service quite,
And Mr. Somers punished Peter's oyster-beds all night.

They soon became like brothers from community of wrongs;
They wrote each other little odes and sang each other songs;
They told each other anecdotes disparaging their wives;
On several occasions, too, they saved each other's lives.

They felt quite melancholy when they parted for the night,
And got up in the morning soon as ever it was light;
Each other's pleasant company they reckoned so upon,
And all because it happened that they both knew Robinson!

They lived for many years on that inhospitable shore,
And day by day they learned to love each other more and more.
At last, to their astonishment, on getting up one day,
They saw a frigate anchored in the offing of the bay.

To Peter an idea occurred. "Suppose we cross the main?
So good an opportunity may not be found again."
And Somers thought a minute, then ejaculated, "Done!
I wonder how my business in the City's getting on?"
[Pg 259]
"But stay," said Mr. Peter; "when in England, as you know,
I earned a living tasting teas for Baker, Croop, and Co.,
I may be superseded—my employers think me dead!"
"Then come with me," said Somers, "and taste indigo instead."

But all their plans were scattered in a moment when they found
The vessel was a convict ship from Portland outward bound;
When a boat came off to fetch them, though they felt it very kind,
To go on board they firmly but respectfully declined.

As both the happy settlers roared with laughter at the joke,
They recognized a gentlemanly fellow pulling stroke:
'Twas Robinson—a convict, in an unbecoming frock!
Condemned to seven years for misappropriating stock!!!

They laughed no more, for Somers thought he had been rather rash
In knowing one whose friend had misappropriated cash;
And Peter thought a foolish tack he must have gone upon
In making the acquaintance of a friend of Robinson.

At first they didn't quarrel very openly, I've heard;
They nodded when they met, and now and then exchanged a word:
The word grew rare, and rarer still the nodding of the head.
And when they meet each other now, they cut each other dead.

To allocate the island they agreed by word of mouth,
And Peter takes the north again, and Somers takes the south;
And Peter has the oysters, which he hates, in layers thick,
And Somers has the turtle—turtle always makes him sick.

W. S. Gilbert.

[Pg 260]

A MODEST WIT

A supercilious nabob of the East—
Haughty, being great—purse-proud, being rich—
A governor, or general, at the least,
I have forgotten which—
Had in his family a humble youth,
Who went from England in his patron's suite,
An unassuming boy, in truth
A lad of decent parts, and good repute.

This youth had sense and spirit;
But yet with all his sense,
Excessive diffidence
Obscured his merit.

One day, at table, flushed with pride and wine,
His honor, proudly free, severely merry,
Conceived it would be vastly fine
To crack a joke upon his secretary.

"Young man," he said, "by what art, craft, or trade
Did your good father gain a livelihood?"
"He was a saddler, sir," Modestus said,
"And in his time was reckoned good."

"A saddler, eh? and taught you Greek,
Instead of teaching you to sew!
Pray, why did not your father make
A saddler, sir, of you?"

Each parasite, then, as in duty bound,
The joke applauded, and the laugh went round.
At length Modestus, bowing low,
Said (craving pardon, if too free he made),
"Sir, by your leave, I fain would know
Your father's trade!"
[Pg 261]
"My father's trade! by Heaven, that's too bad!
My father's trade? Why, blockhead, are you mad?
My father, sir, did never stoop so low—
He was a gentleman, I'd have you know."

"Excuse the liberty I take,"
Modestus said, with archness on his brow,
"Pray, why did not your father make
A gentleman of you?"

Selleck Osborn.


THE LATEST DECALOGUE

Thou shalt have one God only, who
Would be at the expense of two?
No graven images may be
Worshipped, except the currency:
Swear not at all; for, for thy curse
Thine enemy is none the worse:
At Church on Sunday to attend
Will serve to keep the world thy friend:
Honour thy parents; that is, all
From whom advancement may befall:
Thou shalt not kill; but need'st not strive
Officiously to keep alive:
Do not adultery commit;
Advantage rarely comes of it:
Thou shalt not steal; an empty feat,
When it's so lucrative to cheat:
Bear not false witness; let the lie
Have time on its own wings to fly:
Thou shalt not covet, but tradition
Approves all forms of competition.

Arthur Hugh Clough.

[Pg 262]

A SIMILE

Dear Thomas, didst thou never pop
Thy head into a tin-man's shop?
There, Thomas, didst thou never see
('Tis but by way of simile)
A squirrel spend his little rage,
In jumping round a rolling cage?
The cage, as either side turn'd up,
Striking a ring of bells a-top?—
Mov'd in the orb, pleas'd with the chimes,
The foolish creature thinks he climbs:
But here or there, turn wood or wire,
He never gets two inches higher.
So fares it with those merry blades,
That frisk it under Pindus' shades.
In noble songs, and lofty odes,
They tread on stars, and talk with gods;
Still dancing in an airy round,
Still pleas'd with their own verses' sound;
Brought back, how fast soe'er they go,
Always aspiring, always low.

Matthew Prior.


BY PARCELS POST

A DOMESTIC IDYLL

I sent my love a parcel
In the days when we were young,
Or e'er by care and trouble
Our heart-strings had been wrung.
By parcels post I sent it—
What 'twas I do not know—
In the days when we were courting,
A long time ago.

The spring-time waxed to summer,
Then autumn leaves grew red,
And in the sweet September
My love and I were wed.
[Pg 263] But though the Church had blessed us,
My little wife looked glum;
I'd posted her a parcel,
And the parcel hadn't come.

Ah, many moons came after,
And then there was a voice,
A little voice whose music
Would make our hearts rejoice.
And, singing to her baby,
My dear one oft would say,
"I wonder, baby darling,
Will that parcel come to-day?"

The gold had changed to silver
Upon her matron brow;
The years were eight-and-twenty
Since we breathed our marriage vow,
And our grandchildren were playing
Hunt-the-slipper on the floor,
When they saw the postman standing
By our open cottage door.

Then they ran with joy to greet him,
For they knew he'd come at last;
They had heard me tell the story
Very often in the past.
He handed them a parcel,
And they brought it in to show—
'Twas the parcel I had posted
Eight-and-twenty years ago.

George R. Sims.

[Pg 264]

ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL

A friend of mine was married to a scold,
To me he came, and all his troubles told.
Said he, "She's like a woman raving mad."
"Alas! my friend," said I, "that's very bad!"
"No, not so bad," said he; "for, with her, true
I had both house and land, and money too."
"That was well," said I;
"No, not so well," said he;
"For I and her own brother
Went to law with one another;
I was cast, the suit was lost,
And every penny went to pay the cost."—
"That was bad," said I;
"No, not so bad," said he:
"For we agreed that he the house should keep,
And give to me four score of Yorkshire sheep
All fat, and fair, and fine, they were to be."
"Well, then," said I, "sure that was well for thee?"
"No, not so well," said he;
"For, when the sheep I got,
They every one died of the rot."
"That was bad," said I;
"No, not so bad," said he;
"For I had thought to scrape the fat,
And keep it in an oaken vat;
Then into tallow melt for winter store."
"Well, then," said I, "that's better than before?"
"'Twas not so well," said he;
"For having got a clumsy fellow
To scrape the fat and melt the tallow;
Into the melting fat the fire catches,
And, like brimstone matches,
Burnt my house to ashes."
"That was bad," said I;
"No! not so bad," said he; "for, what is best,
My scolding wife has gone among the rest."

Unknown.

[Pg 265]

THE CONTRAST

In London I never know what I'd be at,
Enraptured with this, and enchanted with that;
I'm wild with the sweets of variety's plan,
And life seems a blessing too happy for man.

But the country, Lord help me! sets all matters right,
So calm and composing from morning to night;
Oh, it settles the spirits when nothing is seen
But an ass on a common, a goose on a green!

In town, if it rain, why it damps not our hope,
The eye has her choice, and the fancy her scope;
What harm though it pour whole nights or whole days?
It spoils not our prospects, or stops not our ways.

In the country, what bliss, when it rains in the fields,
To live on the transports that shuttlecock yields;
Or go crawling from window to window, to see
A pig on a dunghill or crow on a tree.

In town, we've no use for the skies overhead,
For when the sun rises then we go to bed;
And as to that old-fashioned virgin the moon,
She shines out of season, like satin in June.

In the country, these planets delightfully glare,
Just to show us the object we want isn't there;
Oh, how cheering and gay, when their beauties arise,
To sit and gaze round with the tears in one's eyes!

But 'tis in the country alone we can find
That happy resource, the relief of the mind,
When, drove to despair, our last efforts we make,
And drag the old fish-pond, for novelty's sake:

Indeed I must own, 'tis a pleasure complete
To see ladies well-draggled and wet in their feet;
But what is all that to the transport we feel
When we capture, in triumph, two toads and an eel?
[Pg 266]
I have heard though, that love in a cottage is sweet,
When two hearts in one link of soft sympathy meet;
That's to come—for as yet I, alas! am a swain,
Who require, I own it, more links to my chain.

In the country, if Cupid should find a man out,
The poor tortured victim mopes hopeless about;
But in London, thank Heaven! our peace is secure,
Where for one eye to kill, there's a thousand to cure.

In town let me live then, in town let me die,
For in truth I can't relish the country, not I.
If one must have a villa in summer to dwell,
Oh, give me the sweet shady side of Pall Mall!

Captain C. Morris.


THE DEVONSHIRE LANE

In a Devonshire lane as I trotted along
T'other day, much in want of a subject for song;
Thinks I to myself, I have hit on a strain—
Sure marriage is much like a Devonshire lane.

In the first place, 'tis long, and when once you are in it,
It holds you as fast as the cage holds a linnet;
For howe'er rough and dirty the road may be found,
Drive forward you must, since there's no turning round.

But though 'tis so long, it is not very wide,
For two are the most that together can ride;
And e'en there 'tis a chance but they get in a pother,
And jostle and cross, and run foul of each other.

Old Poverty greets them with mendicant looks,
And Care pushes by them o'erladen with crooks,
And Strife's grating wheels try between them to pass,
Or Stubbornness blocks up the way on her ass.
[Pg 267]
Then the banks are so high, both to left hand and right,
That they shut up the beauties around from the sight;
And hence, you'll allow, 'tis an inference plain
That marriage is just like a Devonshire lane.

But, thinks I, too, these banks within which we are pent,
With bud, blossom, and berry are richly besprent;
And the conjugal fence which forbids us to roam
Looks lovely when deck'd with the comforts of home.

In the rock's gloomy crevice the bright holly grows,
The ivy waves fresh o'er the withering rose;
And the evergreen love of a virtuous wife
Smooths the roughness of care—cheers the winter of life.

Then long be the journey and narrow the way;
I'll rejoice that I've seldom a turnpike to pay;
And, whate'er others think, be the last to complain,
Though marriage is just like a Devonshire lane.

John Marriott.


A SPLENDID FELLOW

Delmonico's is where he dines
On quail on toast, washed down with wines;
Then lights a twenty-cent cigar
With quite a flourish at the bar.

He throws his money down so proud,
And "sets 'em up" for all the crowd;
A dozen games of billiards, too,
He gaily loses ere he's through.

Oh, he's a splendid fellow, quite;
He pays his debts with such delight,
And often boasts of—to his clan—
His honour as a gentleman.
[Pg 268]
But when this splendid fellow's wife,
Who leads at home a frugal life
Begs for a little change to buy
A dress, he looks at her so wry,

That she, alarmed at his distress,
Gives him a kiss and sweet caress,
And says, "Don't worry so, my dear,
I'll turn the dress I made last year."

H. C. Dodge.


IF

If a man could live a thousand years,
When half his life had passed,
He might, by strict economy,
A fortune have amassed.

Then having gained some common-sense,
And knowledge, too, of life,
He could select the woman who
Would make him a true wife.

But as it is, man hasn't time
To even pay his debts,
And weds to be acquainted with
The woman whom he gets.

H. C. Dodge.


ACCEPTED AND WILL APPEAR

One evening while reclining
In my easy-chair, repining
O'er the lack of true religion, and the dearth of common sense,
A solemn visaged lady,
Who was surely on the shady
Side of thirty, entered proudly, and to crush me did commence:
[Pg 269]
"I sent a poem here, sir,"
Said the lady, growing fiercer,
"And the subject which I'd chosen, you remember, sir, was 'Spring';
But, although I've scanned your paper,
Sir, by sunlight, gas, and taper,
I've discovered of that poem not a solitary thing."

She was muscular and wiry,
And her temper sure was fiery,
And I knew to pacify her I would have to—fib like fun.
So I told her ere her verses,
Which were great, had come to—bless us,
We'd received just sixty-one on "Spring," of which we'd printed one.

And I added, "We've decided
That they'd better be divided
Among the years that follow—one to each succeeding Spring.
So your work, I'm pleased to mention,
Will receive our best attention
In the year of nineteen-forty, when the birds begin to sing."

Parmenas Mix.


THE LITTLE VAGABOND

Dear mother, dear mother, the Church is cold;
But the Alehouse is healthy, and pleasant, and warm.
Besides, I can tell where I am used well;
The poor parsons with wind like a blown bladder swell.

But, if at the Church they would give us some ale,
And a pleasant fire our souls to regale,
We'd sing and we'd pray all the livelong day,
Nor ever once wish from the Church to stray.

Then the Parson might preach, and drink, and sing,
And we'd be as happy as birds in the spring;
[Pg 270] And modest Dame Lurch, who is always at Church,
Would not have bandy children, nor fasting, nor birch.

And God, like a father, rejoicing to see
His children as pleasant and happy as He,
Would have no more quarrel with the Devil or the barrel,
But kiss him, and give him both drink and apparel.

William Blake.


SYMPATHY

A knight and a lady once met in a grove
While each was in quest of a fugitive love;
A river ran mournfully murmuring by,
And they wept in its waters for sympathy.

"Oh, never was knight such a sorrow that bore!"
"Oh, never was maid so deserted before!"
"From life and its woes let us instantly fly,
And jump in together for company!"

They searched for an eddy that suited the deed,
But here was a bramble and there was a weed;
"How tiresome it is!" said the fair, with a sigh;
So they sat down to rest them in company.

They gazed at each other, the maid and the knight;
How fair was her form, and how goodly his height!
"One mournful embrace," sobbed the youth, "ere we die!"
So kissing and crying kept company.

"Oh, had I but loved such an angel as you!"
"Oh, had but my swain been a quarter as true!"
"To miss such perfection how blinded was I!"
Sure now they were excellent company!

At length spoke the lass, 'twixt a smile and a tear,
"The weather is cold for a watery bier;
When summer returns we may easily die,
Till then let us sorrow in company."

Reginald Heber.

[Pg 271]

THE RELIGION OF HUDIBRAS

For his religion it was fit
To match his learning and his wit:
'Twas Presbyterian true blue;
For he was of that stubborn crew
Of errant saints, whom all men grant
To be the true church militant;
Such as do build their faith upon
The holy text of pike and gun;
Decide all controversies by
Infallible artillery;
And prove their doctrine orthodox,
By apostolic blows and knocks;
Call fire, and sword, and desolation,
A godly, thorough reformation,
Which always must be carried on,
And still be doing, never done;
As if religion were intended
For nothing else but to be mended:
A sect whose chief devotion lies
In odd perverse antipathies;
In falling out with that or this,
And finding somewhat still amiss;
More peevish, cross, and splenetic,
Than dog distract, or monkey sick;
That with more care keep holy-day
The wrong, than others the right way,
Compound for sins they are inclin'd to,
By damning those they have no mind to:
Still so perverse and opposite,
As if they worshipped God for spite:
The self-same thing they will abhor
One way, and long another for:
Free-will they one way disavow,
Another, nothing else allow:
All piety consists therein
In them, in other men all sin:
Rather than fail, they will defy
That which they love most tenderly;
[Pg 272] Quarrel with minc'd pies and disparage
Their best and dearest friend, plum porridge,
Fat pig and goose itself oppose,
And blaspheme custard through the nose.

Samuel Butler.


HOLY WILLIE'S PRAYER

O thou wha in the heavens dost dwell,
Wha, as it pleases best Thysel,
Sends ane to Heaven, an' ten to Hell,
A' for Thy glory,
And no for onie guid or ill
They've done before Thee!

I bless and praise Thy matchless might,
When thousands Thou hast left in night,
That I am here, before Thy sight,
For gifts an' grace,
A burnin' an' a shinin' light
To a' this place.

What was I, or my generation,
That I should get sic exaltation!
I, wha deserv'd most just damnation,
For broken laws
Sax thousand years ere my creation,
Thro' Adam's cause.

When frae my mither's womb I fell,
Thou might hae plung'd me deep in Hell,
To gnash my gooms, to weep and wail
In burnin' lakes,
Whare damnèd devils roar and yell,
Chain'd to their stakes.

Yet I am here, a chosen sample,
To show Thy grace is great and ample;
I'm here a pillar o' Thy temple,
Strong as a rock,
A guide, a buckler, an example
To a' Thy flock!
[Pg 273]
But yet, O Lord! confess I must,
At times I'm fash'd wi' fleshly lust;
An' sometimes, too, in warldly trust,
Vile self gets in;
But Thou remembers we are dust,
Defil'd wi' sin.

May be Thou lets this fleshly thorn
Beset Thy servant e'en and morn,
Lest he owre proud and high should turn
That he's sae gifted:
If sae, Thy han' maun e'en be borne
Until Thou lift it.

Lord, bless Thy chosen in this place,
For here Thou has a chosen race:
But God confound their stubborn face,
An' blast their name,
Wha bring Thy elders to disgrace
An' open shame!

Lord, mind Gawn Hamilton's deserts,
He drinks, an' swears, an' plays at cartes,
Yet has sae monie takin' arts,
Wi' great and sma',
Frae God's ain priest the people's hearts
He steals awa.

An' when we chasten'd him therefore,
Thou kens how he bred sic a splore,
As set the warld in a roar
O' laughin' at us;—
Curse Thou his basket and his store,
Kail an' potatoes!

Lord, hear my earnest cry and pray'r
Against the Presbyt'ry of Ayr!
Thy strong right hand, Lord, mak it bare
Upo' their heads!
Lord, visit them, an' dinna spare,
For their misdeeds!
[Pg 274]
O Lord, my God! that glib-tongu'd Aiken,
My vera heart and saul are quakin'
To think how we stood sweatin', shakin',
An' pish'd wi' dread,
While he wi' hingin' lip an' snakin',
Held up his head.

Lord, in Thy day o' vengeance try him!
Lord, visit them wha did employ him,
And pass not in Thy mercy by them,
Nor hear their pray'r;
But for Thy people's sake destroy them,
An' dinna spare!

But, Lord, remember me and mine,
Wi' mercies temp'ral and divine,
That I for grace and gear may shine,
Excell'd by nane,
An' a' the glory shall be Thine,
Amen, Amen!

Robert Burns.


THE LEARNED NEGRO

There was a negro preacher, I have heard,
In Southern parts before rebellion stirred,
Who did not spend his strength in empty sound;
His was a mind deep-reaching and profound.
Others might beat the air, and make a noise,
And help to amuse the silly girls and boys;
But as for him, he was a man of thought,
Deep in theology, although untaught.
He could not read or write, but he was wise,
And knew right smart how to extemporize.
One Sunday morn, when hymns and prayers were said,
The preacher rose and rubbing up his head,
"Bredren and sisterin, and companions dear,
Our preachment for to-day, as you shall hear,
Will be ob de creation,—ob de plan
On which God fashioned Adam, de fust man.
[Pg 275] When God made Adam, in de ancient day,
He made his body out ob earth and clay,
He shape him all out right, den by and by,
He set him up again de fence to dry."
"Stop," said a voice; and straightway there arose
An ancient negro in his master's clothes.
"Tell me," said he, "before you farder go,
One little thing which I should like to know.
It does not quite get through dis niggar's har,
How came dat fence so nice and handy dar?"
Like one who in the mud is tightly stuck,
Or one nonplussed, astonished, thunderstruck,
The preacher looked severely on the pews,
And rubbed his hair to know what words to use:
"Bredren," said he, "dis word I hab to say;
De preacher can't be bothered in dis way;
For, if he is, it's jest as like as not,
Our whole theology will be upsot."

Unknown.


TRUE TO POLL

I'll sing you a song, not very long,
But the story somewhat new,
Of William Kidd, who, whatever he did,
To his Poll was always true.
He sailed away in a galliant ship
From the port of old Bristol,
And the last words he uttered,
As his hankercher he fluttered,
Were, "My heart is true to Poll."

His heart was true to Poll,
His heart was true to Poll,
It's no matter what you do
If your heart be only true:
And his heart was true to Poll.
[Pg 276]
'Twas a wreck. William, on shore he swam,
And looked about for an inn;
When a noble savage lady, of a color rather shady,
Came up with a kind of grin:
"Oh, marry me, and a king you'll be,
And in a palace loll;
Or we'll eat you willy-nilly."
So he gave his hand, did Billy,
But his heart was true to Poll.

Away a twelvemonth sped, and a happy life he led
As the King of the Kikeryboos;
His paint was red and yellar, and he used a big umbrella,
And he wore a pair of over-shoes;
He'd corals and knives, and twenty-six wives,
Whose beauties I cannot here extol;
One day they all revolted,
So he back to Bristol bolted,
For his heart was true to Poll.

His heart was true to Poll,
His heart was true to Poll,
It's no matter what you do
If your heart be only true:
And his heart was true to Poll.

F. C. Burnand.


TRUST IN WOMEN

When these things following be done to our intent,
Then put women in trust and confident.

When nettles in winter bring forth roses red,
And all manner of thorn trees bear figs naturally,
And geese bear pearls in every mead,
And laurel bear cherries abundantly,
And oaks bear dates very plenteously,
And kisks give of honey superfluence,
Then put women in trust and confidence.
[Pg 277]
When box bear paper in every land and town,
And thistles bear berries in every place,
And pikes have naturally feathers in their crown,
And bulls of the sea sing a good bass,
And men be the ships fishes trace,
And in women be found no insipience,
Then put them in trust and confidence.

When whitings do walk forests to chase harts,
And herrings their horns in forests boldly blow,
And marmsets mourn in moors and lakes,
And gurnards shoot rooks out of a crossbow,
And goslings hunt the wolf to overthrow,
And sprats bear spears in armès of defence,
Then put women in trust and confidence.

When swine be cunning in all points of music,
And asses be doctors of every science,
And cats do heal men by practising of physic,
And buzzards to scripture give any credence,
And merchants buy with horn, instead of groats and pence,
And pyes be made poets for their eloquence,
Then put women in trust and confidence.

When sparrows build churches on a height,
And wrens carry sacks unto the mill,
And curlews carry timber houses to dight,
And fomalls bear butter to market to sell,
And woodcocks bear woodknives cranes to kill,
And greenfinches to goslings do obedience,
Then put women in trust and confidence.

When crows take salmon in woods and parks,
And be take with swifts and snails,
And camels in the air take swallows and larks,
And mice move mountains by wagging of their tails,
And shipmen take a ride instead of sails,
And when wives to their husbands do no offence,
Then put women in trust and confidence.
[Pg 278]
When antelopes surmount eagles in flight,
And swans be swifter than hawks of the tower,
And wrens set gos-hawks by force and might,
And muskets make verjuice of crabbes sour,
And ships sail on dry land, silt give flower,
And apes in Westminster give judgment and sentence,
Then put women in trust and confidence.

Unknown.


THE LITERARY LADY

What motley cares Corilla's mind perplex,
Whom maids and metaphors conspire to vex!
In studious dishabille behold her sit,
A lettered gossip and a household wit;
At once invoking, though for different views,
Her gods, her cook, her milliner and muse.
Round her strewed room a frippery chaos lies,
A checkered wreck of notable and wise,
Bills, books, caps, couplets, combs, a varied mass,
Oppress the toilet and obscure the glass;
Unfinished here an epigram is laid,
And there a mantua-maker's bill unpaid.
There new-born plays foretaste the town's applause,
There dormant patterns pine for future gauze.
A moral essay now is all her care,
A satire next, and then a bill of fare.
A scene she now projects, and now a dish;
Here Act the First, and here, Remove with Fish.
Now, while this eye in a fine frenzy rolls,
That soberly casts up a bill for coals;
Black pins and daggers in one leaf she sticks,
And tears, and threads, and bowls, and thimbles mix.

Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

[Pg 279]

TWELVE ARTICLES

I

Lest it may more quarrels breed,
I will never hear you read.

II

By disputing, I will never,
To convince you once endeavor.

III

When a paradox you stick to,
I will never contradict you.

IV

When I talk and you are heedless,
I will show no anger needless.

V

When your speeches are absurd,
I will ne'er object a word.

VI

When you furious argue wrong,
I will grieve and hold my tongue.

VII

Not a jest or humorous story
Will I ever tell before ye:
To be chidden for explaining,
When you quite mistake the meaning.

VIII

Never more will I suppose,
You can taste my verse or prose.

IX

You no more at me shall fret,
While I teach and you forget.

X

You shall never hear me thunder,
When you blunder on, and blunder.
[Pg 280]

XI

Show your poverty of spirit,
And in dress place all your merit;
Give yourself ten thousand airs:
That with me shall break no squares.

XII

Never will I give advice,
Till you please to ask me thrice:
Which if you in scorn reject,
'T will be just as I expect.

Thus we both shall have our ends
And continue special friends.

Dean Swift.


ALL-SAINTS

In a church which is furnish'd with mullion and gable,
With altar and reredos, with gargoyle and groin,
The penitents' dresses are sealskin and sable,
The odour of sanctity's eau-de-Cologne.

But only could Lucifer, flying from Hades,
Gaze down on this crowd with its panniers and paints,
He would say, as he look'd at the lords and the ladies,
"Oh, where is All-Sinners', if this is All-Saints'?"

Edmund Yates.


HOW TO MAKE A MAN OF CONSEQUENCE

A brow austere, a circumspective eye.
A frequent shrug of the os humeri;
A nod significant, a stately gait,
A blustering manner, and a tone of weight,
A smile sarcastic, an expressive stare:
Adopt all these, as time and place will bear;
Then rest assur'd that those of little sense
Will deem you sure a man of consequence.

Mark Lemon.

[Pg 281]

ON A MAGAZINE SONNET

"Scorn not the sonnet," though its strength be sapped,
Nor say malignant its inventor blundered;
The corpse that here in fourteen lines is wrapped
Had otherwise been covered with a hundred.

Russell Hilliard Loines.


PARADISE

A HINDOO LEGEND

A Hindoo died—a happy thing to do
When twenty years united to a shrew.
Released, he hopefully for entrance cries
Before the gates of Brahma's Paradise.
"Hast been through Purgatory?" Brahma said.
"I have been married," and he hung his head.
"Come in, come in, and welcome, too, my son!
Marriage and Purgatory are as one."
In bliss extreme he entered heaven's door,
And knew the peace he ne'er had known before.

He scarce had entered in the Garden fair,
Another Hindoo asked admission there.
The self-same question Brahma asked again:
"Hast been through Purgatory?" "No; what then?"
"Thou canst not enter!" did the god reply.
"He that went in was no more there than I."
"Yes, that is true, but he has married been,
And so on earth has suffered for all sin."
"Married? 'Tis well; for I've been married twice!"
"Begone! We'll have no fools in Paradise!"

George Birdseye.

[Pg 282]

THE FRIAR OF ORDERS GRAY

I am a friar of orders gray,
And down in the valleys I take my way;
I pull not blackberry, haw, or hip;
Good store of venison fills my scrip;
My long bead-roll I merrily chant;
Where'er I walk no money I want;
And why I'm so plump the reason I tell:
Who leads a good life is sure to live well.
What baron or squire,
Or knight of the shire,
Lives half so well as a holy friar?

After supper, of heaven I dream,
But that is a pullet and clouted cream;
Myself by denial I mortify—
With a dainty bit of a warden-pie;
I'm clothed in sackcloth for my sin—
With old sack wine I'm lined within;
A chirping cup is my matin song,
And the vesper's bell is my bowl, ding-dong.
What baron or squire,
Or knight of the shire,
Lives half so well as a holy friar?

John O'Keefe.


OF A CERTAIN MAN

There was (not certain when) a certain preacher
That never learned, and yet became a teacher,
Who, having read in Latin thus a text
Of erat quidam homo, much perplexed,
He seemed the same with study great to scan,
In English thus, There was a certain man.
"But now," quoth he, "good people, note you this,
He said there was: he doth not say there is;
For in these days of ours it is most plain
Of promise, oath, word, deed, no man's certain;
Yet by my text you see it comes to pass
That surely once a certain man there was;
But yet, I think, in all your Bible no man
Can find this text, There was a certain woman."

Sir John Harrington.

[Pg 283]

CLEAN CLARA

What! not know our Clean Clara?
Why, the hot folks in Sahara,
And the cold Esquimaux,
Our little Clara knows!
Clean Clara, the Poet sings!
Cleaned a hundred thousand things!

She cleaned the keys of the harpsichord,
She cleaned the hilt of the family sword,
She cleaned my lady, she cleaned my lord,
All the pictures in their frames,
Knights with daggers and stomachered dames—
Cecils, Godfreys, Montforts, Graemes,
Winifreds—all those nice old names!

She cleaned the works of the eight-day clock,
She cleaned the spring of a secret lock,
She cleaned the mirror, she cleaned the cupboard,
All the books she India-rubbered!
She cleaned the Dutch tiles in the place,
She cleaned some very old-fashioned lace;
The Countess of Miniver came to her,
"Pray, my dear, will you clean my fur?"
All her cleanings are admirable.
To count your teeth you will be able,
If you look in the walnut table.

She cleaned the tent-stitch and the sampler,
She cleaned the tapestry, which was ampler;
Joseph going down into the pit,
And the Shunammite woman with the boy in a fit.

You saw the reapers, not in the distance.
And Elisha, coming to the child's assistance,
With the house on the wall that was built for the prophet,
The chair, the bed and the bolster of it.
The eyebrows all had a twirl reflective,
Just like an eel: to spare invective
There was plenty of color but no perspective.
[Pg 284] However, Clara cleaned it all,
With a curious lamp, that hangs in the hall;
She cleaned the drops of the chandeliers,
Madam, in mittens, was moved to tears.

She cleaned the cage of the cockatoo,
The oldest bird that ever grew;
I should say a thousand years old would do.
I'm sure he looked it, but nobody knew;
She cleaned the china, she cleaned the delf,
She cleaned the baby, she cleaned herself!

Tomorrow morning, she means to try
To clean the cobwebs from the sky;
Some people say the girl will rue it,
But my belief is she will do it.

So I've made up my mind to be there to see
There's a beautiful place in the walnut tree;
The bough is as firm as a solid rock;
She brings out her broom at six o'clock.

W. B. Rands.


CHRISTMAS CHIMES

Little Penelope Socrates,
A Boston maid of four,
Wide opened her eyes on Christmas morn,
And looked the landscape o'er.
"What is it inflates my bas de bleu?"
She asked with dignity;
"'Tis Ibsen in the original!
Oh, joy beyond degree!"

Miss Mary Cadwallader Rittenhouse
Of Philadelphia town,
Awoke as much as they ever do there
And watched the snow come down.
"I'm glad that it is Christmas,"
You might have heard her say,
"For my family is one year older now
Than it was last Christmas day."
[Pg 285]
'Twas Christmas in giddy Gotham.
And Miss Irene de Jones
Awoke at noon and yawned and yawned,
And stretched her languid bones.
"I'm sorry it is Christmas,
Papa at home will stay,
For 'Change is closed and he won't make
A single cent to-day."

Windily dawned the Christmas
On the city by the lake,
And Miss Arabel Wabash Breezy
Was instantly awake.
"What's that thing in my stocking?
Well, in two jiffs I'll know!"
And she drew a grand piano forth
From 'way down in the toe.

Unknown.


THE RULING PASSION

From "Moral Essays," Epistle I

The frugal crone, whom praying priests attend,
Still tries to save the hallowed taper's end,
Collects her breath, as ebbing life retires,
For one puff more, and in that puff expires.
"Odious! in woollen! 'twould a saint provoke,"
Were the last words that poor Narcissa spoke;
"No, let a charming chintz and Brussels lace
Wrap my cold limbs, and shade my lifeless face:
One would not, sure, be frightful when one's dead,—
And—Betty—give this cheek a little red."
The courtier smooth, who forty years had shined
An humble servant to all humankind.
Just brought out this, when scarce his tongue could stir,
"If—where I'm going—I could serve you, sir?"
"I give and I devise" (old Euclio said,
And sighed) "my lands and tenements to Ned."
[Pg 286] Your money, sir? "My money, sir! What, all?
Why—if I must" (then wept)—"I give it Paul."
The manor, sir? "The manor, hold!" he cried,
"Not that,—I cannot part with that,"—and died.

Alexander Pope.


THE POPE AND THE NET

What, he on whom our voices unanimously ran,
Made Pope at our last Conclave? Full low his life began:
His father earned the daily bread as just a fisherman.

So much the more his boy minds book, gives proof of mother-wit,
Becomes first Deacon, and then Priest, then Bishop: see him sit
No less than Cardinal ere long, while no one cries "Unfit!"

But some one smirks, some other smiles, jogs elbow and nods head;
Each wings at each: "I' faith, a rise! Saint Peter's net, instead
Of sword and keys, is come in vogue!" You think he blushes red?

Not he, of humble holy heart! "Unworthy me!" he sighs:
"From fisher's drudge to Church's prince—it is indeed a rise:
So, here's my way to keep the fact forever in my eyes!"

And straightway in his palace-hall, where commonly is set
Some coat-of-arms, some portraiture ancestral, lo, we met
His mean estate's reminder in his fisher-father's net!

Which step conciliates all and some, stops cavil in a trice:
"The humble holy heart that holds of new-born pride no spice!
He's just the saint to choose for Pope!" Each adds, "'Tis my advice."
[Pg 287]
So Pope he was: and when we flocked—its sacred slipper on—
To kiss his foot, we lifted eyes, alack, the thing was gone—
That guarantee of lowlihead,—eclipsed that star which shone!

Each eyed his fellow, one and all kept silence. I cried "Pish!
I'll make me spokesman for the rest, express the common wish.
Why, Father, is the net removed?" "Son, it hath caught the fish."

Robert Browning.


AN ACTOR

A shabby fellow chanced one day to meet
The British Roscius in the street,
Garrick, of whom our nation justly brags;
The fellow hugged him with a kind embrace;—
"Good sir, I do not recollect your face,"
Quoth Garrick. "No?" replied the man of rags;
"The boards of Drury you and I have trod
Full many a time together, I am sure."
"When?" with an oath, cried Garrick, "for, by G—d,
I never saw that face of yours before!
What characters, I pray,
Did you and I together play?"
"Lord!" quoth the fellow, "think not that I mock—
When you played Hamlet, sir, I played the cock!"

John Wolcot.


THE LOST SPECTACLES

A country curate, visiting his flock,
At old Rebecca's cottage gave a knock.
"Good morrow, dame, I mean not any libel,
But in your dwelling have you got a Bible?"
[Pg 288] "A Bible, sir?" exclaimed she in a rage,
"D'ye think I've turned a Pagan in my age?
Here, Judith, and run upstairs, my dear,
'Tis in the drawer, be quick and bring it here."
The girl return'd with Bible in a minute,
Not dreaming for a moment what was in it;
When lo! on opening it at parlor door,
Down fell her spectacles upon the floor.
Amaz'd she stared, was for a moment dumb,
But quick exclaim'd, "Dear sir, I'm glad you're come.
'Tis six years since these glasses first were lost,
And I have miss'd 'em to my poor eyes' cost!"
Then as the glasses to her nose she raised,
She closed the Bible—saying, "God be praised!"

Unknown.


THAT TEXAN CATTLE MAN

We rode the tawny Texan hills,
A bearded cattle man and I;
Below us laughed the blossomed rills,
Above the dappled clouds blew by.
We talked. The topic? Guess. Why, sir,
Three-fourths of man's whole time he keeps
To talk, to think, to be of HER;
The other fourth he sleeps.

To learn what he might know of love,
I laughed all constancy to scorn.
"Behold yon happy, changeful dove!
Behold this day, all storm at morn,
Yet now 't is changed to cloud and sun.
Yea, all things change—the heart, the head,
Behold on earth there is not one
That changeth not," I said.

He drew a glass as if to scan
The plain for steers; raised it and sighed.
He craned his neck, this cattle man,
Then drove the cork home and replied:
[Pg 289] "For twenty years (forgive these tears)—
For twenty years no word of strife—
I have not known for twenty years
One folly from my wife."

I looked that Texan in the face—
That dark-browed, bearded cattle man,
He pulled his beard, then dropped in place
A broad right hand, all scarred and tan,
And toyed with something shining there
From out his holster, keen and small.
I was convinced. I did not care
To argue it at all.

But rest I could not. Know I must
The story of my Texan guide;
His dauntless love, enduring trust;
His blessed, immortal bride.
I wondered, marvelled, marvelled much.
Was she of Texan growth? Was she
Of Saxon blood, that boasted such
Eternal constancy?

I could not rest until I knew—
"Now twenty years, my man," said I,
"Is a long time." He turned and drew
A pistol forth, also a sigh.
"'Tis twenty years or more," said he,
"Nay, nay, my honest man, I vow
I do not doubt that this may be;
But tell, oh! tell me how.

"'Twould make a poem true and grand;
All time should note it near and far;
And thy fair, virgin Texan land
Should stand out like a Winter star.
[Pg 290] America should heed. And then
The doubtful French beyond the sea—
'T would make them truer, nobler men.
To know how this may be."

"It's twenty years or more," urged he,
"Nay, that I know, good guide of mine;
But lead me where this wife may be,
And I a pilgrim at a shrine.
And kneeling, as a pilgrim true"—
He, scowling, shouted in my ear;
"I cannot show my wife to you;
She's dead this twenty year."

Joaquin Miller.


FABLE

The mountain and the squirrel
Had a quarrel,
And the former called the latter "Little Prig";
Bun replied,
"You are doubtless very big;
But all sorts of things and weather
Must be taken in together,
To make up a year
And a sphere,
And I think it no disgrace
To occupy my place.
If I'm not so large as you,
You are not so small as I,
And not half so spry.
I'll not deny you make
A very pretty squirrel track;
Talents differ; all is well and wisely put;
If I cannot carry forests on my back,
Neither can you crack a nut."

Ralph Waldo Emerson.

[Pg 291]

HOCH! DER KAISER

Der Kaiser of dis Faterland
Und Gott on high all dings command,
Ve two—ach! Don't you understand?
Myself—und Gott.

Vile some men sing der power divine,
Mine soldiers sing, "Der Wacht am Rhine,"
Und drink der health in Rhenish wine
Of Me—und Gott.

Dere's France, she swaggers all aroundt;
She's ausgespield, of no account,
To much we think she don't amount;
Myself—und Gott.

She vill not dare to fight again,
But if she shouldt, I'll show her blain
Dot Elsass und (in French) Lorraine
Are mein—by Gott!

Dere's grandma dinks she's nicht small beer,
Mit Boers und such she interfere;
She'll learn none owns dis hemisphere
But me—und Gott!

She dinks, good frau, fine ships she's got
And soldiers mit der scarlet goat.
Ach! We could knock them! Pouf! Like dot,
Myself—mit Gott!

In dimes of peace, brebare for wars,
I bear the spear and helm of Mars,
Und care not for a thousand Czars,
Myself—mit Gott!

In fact, I humor efery whim,
With aspect dark and visage grim;
Gott pulls mit Me, and I mit him,
Myself—und Gott!

Rodney Blake.

[Pg 292]

WHAT MR. ROBINSON THINKS

Gineral B. is a sensible man;
He stays to his home an' looks arter his folks;
He draws his furrer ez straight ez he can,
An' into nobody's tater-patch pokes;
But John P.
Robinson, he
Sez he wunt vote for Gineral B.

My! ain't it terrible? Wut shall we do?
We can't never choose him, o' course—that's flat:
Guess we shall hev to come round (don't you?),
An' go in for thunder an' guns, an' all that;
Fer John P.
Robinson, he
Sez he wunt vote for Gineral B.

Gineral C. is a dreffle smart man:
He's been on all sides that give places or pelf;
But consistency still was a part of his plan—
He's been true to' one party, and that is himself;
So John P.
Robinson, he
Sez he shall vote fer Gineral C.

Gineral C. goes in for the war;
He don't vally principle mor'n an old cud;
What did God make us raytional creeturs fer,
But glory an' gunpowder, plunder an' blood?
So John P.
Robinson, he
Sez he shall vote fer Gineral C.

We're gettin' on nicely up here to our village,
With good old idees o' wut's right an' wut ain't;
We o' thought Christ went against war and pillage,
[Pg 293] An' that eppyletts worn't the best mark of a saint;
But John P.
Robinson, he
Sez this kind o' thing's an exploded idee.

The side of our country must ollers be took,
An' President Pulk, you know, he is our country;
An' the angel that writes all our sins in a book,
Puts the debit to him, an' to us the per contry;
An' John P.
Robinson, he
Sez this is his view o' the thing to a T.

Parson Wilbur he calls all these arguments lies;
Sez they're nothin' on airth but jest fee, faw, fum;
An' that all this big talk of our destinies
Is half on it ignorance, an' t'other half rum;
But John P.
Robinson, he
Sez it ain't no such thing; an', of course, so must we.

Parson Wilbur sez he never heered in his life
Thet the Apostles rigg'd out in their swallow-tail coats,
An' marched round in front of a drum an' a fife,
To git some on 'em office, an' some on 'em votes;
But John P.
Robinson, he
Sez they didn't know everythin' down in Judee.

Wal, it's a marcy we're gut folks to tell us
The rights an' the wrongs o' these matters, I vow—
God sends country lawyers an' other wise fellers
To drive the world's team wen it gits in a slough;
For John P.
Robinson, he
Sez the world'll go right, ef he hollers out Gee!

James Russell Lowell.

[Pg 294]

THE CANDIDATE'S CREED

BIGLOW PAPERS

I du believe in Freedom's cause,
Ez fur away ez Paris is;
I love to see her stick her claws
In them infarnal Pharisees;
It's wal enough agin a king
To dror resolves and triggers,—
But libbaty's a kind o' thing
Thet don't agree with niggers.

I du believe the people want
A tax on teas and coffees,
Thet nothin' ain't extravygunt,—
Purvidin' I'm in office;
For I hev loved my country sence
My eye-teeth filled their sockets,
An' Uncle Sam I reverence,
Partic'larly his pockets.

I du believe in any plan
O' levyin' the taxes,
Ez long ez, like a lumberman,
I git jest wut I axes:
I go free-trade thru thick an' thin,
Because it kind o' rouses
The folks to vote—and keep us in
Our quiet custom-houses.

I du believe it's wise an' good
To sen' out furrin missions,
Thet is, on sartin understood
An' orthydox conditions;—
I mean nine thousan' dolls, per ann.,
Nine thousan' more fer outfit,
An' me to recommend a man
The place 'ould jest about fit.
[Pg 295]
I du believe in special ways
O' prayin' an' convartin';
The bread comes back in many days,
An' buttered, tu, fer sartin;—
I mean in preyin' till one busts
On wut the party chooses,
An' in convartin' public trusts
To very privit uses.

I do believe hard coin the stuff
Fer 'lectioneers to spout on;
The people's ollers soft enough
To make hard money out on;
Dear Uncle Sam pervides fer his,
An' gives a good-sized junk to all—
I don't care how hard money is,
Ez long ez mine's paid punctooal.

I du believe with all my soul
In the gret Press's freedom,
To pint the people to the goal
An' in the traces lead 'em:
Palsied the arm thet forges yokes
At my fat contracts squintin',
An' withered be the nose thet pokes
Inter the gov'ment printin'!

I du believe thet I should give
Wut's his'n unto Cæsar,
Fer it's by him I move an' live,
From him my bread an' cheese air.
I du believe thet all o' me
Doth bear his souperscription,—
Will, conscience, honor, honesty,
An' things o' thet description.

I du believe in prayer an' praise
To him thet hez the grantin'
O' jobs—in every thin' thet pays,
But most of all in Cantin';
[Pg 296] This doth my cup with marcies fill,
This lays all thought o' sin to rest—
I don't believe in princerple,
But, O, I du in interest.

I du believe in bein' this
Or thet, ez it may happen
One way, or t' other hendiest is
To ketch the people nappin';
It ain't by princerples nor men
My preudent course is steadied—
I scent wich pays the best, an' then
Go into it baldheaded.

I du believe thet holdin' slaves
Comes nat'ral tu a President,
Let 'lone the rowdedow it saves
To have a wal-broke precedunt;
Fer any office, small or gret,
I couldn't ax with no face,
Without I'd been, thru dry an' wet,
The unrizziest kind o' doughface.

I du believe wutever trash
'll keep the people in blindness,—
Thet we the Mexicans can thrash
Right inter brotherly kindness—
Thet bombshells, grape, an' powder 'n' ball
Air good-will's strongest magnets—
Thet peace, to make it stick at all,
Must be druv in with bagnets.

In short, I firmly du believe
In Humbug generally,
Fer it's a thing thet I perceive
To hev a solid vally;
This heth my faithful shepherd ben,
In pastures sweet heth led me,
An' this'll keep the people green
To feed ez they have fed me.

James Russell Lowell.

[Pg 297]

THE RAZOR SELLER

A fellow in a market town,
Most musical, cried razors up and down,
And offered twelve for eighteen-pence;
Which certainly seemed wondrous cheap,
And for the money quite a heap,
As every man would buy, with cash and sense.

A country bumpkin the great offer heard:
Poor Hodge, who suffered by a broad black beard,
That seemed a shoe-brush stuck beneath his nose
With cheerfulness the eighteen-pence he paid,
And proudly to himself, in whispers, said,
"This rascal stole the razors, I suppose.

"No matter if the fellow be a knave,
Provided that the razors shave;
It certainly will be a monstrous prize."
So home the clown, with his good fortune, went,
Smiling in heart and soul, content,
And quickly soaped himself to ears and eyes.

Being well lathered from a dish or tub,
Hodge now began with grinning pain to grub,
Just like a hedger cutting furze:
'Twas a vile razor!—then the rest he tried—
All were imposters—"Ah," Hodge sighed!
"I wish my eighteen-pence within my purse."

In vain to chase his beard, and bring the graces,
He cut, and dug, and winced, and stamped, and swore,
Brought blood, and danced, blasphemed, and made wry faces,
And cursed each razor's body o'er and o'er:

His muzzle, formed of opposition stuff,
Firm as a Foxite, would not lose its ruff!
So kept it—laughing at the steel and suds:
Hodge, in a passion, stretched his angry jaws,
[Pg 298] Vowing the direst vengeance, with clenched claws,
On the vile cheat that sold the goods.
"Razors; a damned, confounded dog,
Not fit to scrape a hog!"

Hodge sought the fellow—found him—and begun:
"P'rhaps, Master Razor rogue, to you 'tis fun,
That people flay themselves out of their lives:
You rascal! for an hour have I been grubbing,
Giving my crying whiskers here a scrubbing,
With razors just like oyster knives.
Sirrah! I tell you, you're a knave,
To cry up razors that can't shave."
"Friend," quoth the razor-man, "I'm not a knave.
As for the razors you have bought,
Upon my soul I never thought
That they would shave."
"Not think they'd shave!" quoth Hodge, with wond'ring eyes,
And voice not much unlike an Indian yell;
"What were they made for then, you dog?" he cries:
"Made!" quoth the fellow, with a smile—"to sell."

John Wolcot.


THE DEVIL'S WALK ON EARTH

From his brimstone bed at break of day
A walking the Devil is gone,
To look at his snug little farm of the World,
And see how his stock went on.

Over the hill and over the dale,
And he went over the plain;
And backward and forward he swish'd his tail
As a gentleman swishes a cane.

How then was the Devil drest?
Oh, he was in his Sunday's best
His coat was red and his breeches were blue,
And there was a hole where his tail came through.
[Pg 299] A lady drove by in her pride,
In whose face an expression he spied
For which he could have kiss'd her;
Such a flourishing, fine, clever woman was she,
With an eye as wicked as wicked can be,
I should take her for my Aunt, thought he,
If my dam had had a sister.

He met a lord of high degree,
No matter what was his name;
Whose face with his own when he came to compare
The expression, the look, and the air,
And the character, too, as it seem'd to a hair—
Such a twin-likeness there was in the pair
That it made the Devil start and stare
For he thought there was surely a looking-glass there,
But he could not see the frame.

He saw a Lawyer killing a viper,
On a dung-hill beside his stable;
Ha! quoth he, thou put'st me in mind
Of the story of Cain and Abel.

An Apothecary on a white horse
Rode by on his vocation;
And the Devil thought of his old friend
Death in the Revelation.

He pass'd a cottage with a double coach-house,
A cottage of gentility,
And he own'd with a grin
That his favorite sin,
Is pride that apes humility.

He saw a pig rapidly
Down a river float;
The pig swam well, but every stroke
Was cutting his own throat;
[Pg 300]
And Satan gave thereat his tail
A twirl of admiration;
For he thought of his daughter War,
And her suckling babe Taxation.

Well enough, in sooth, he liked that truth
And nothing the worse for the jest;
But this was only a first thought
And in this he did not rest:
Another came presently into his head,
And here it proved, as has often been said
That second thoughts are best.

For as Piggy plied with wind and tide,
His way with such celerity,
And at every stroke the water dyed
With his own red blood, the Devil cried,
Behold a swinish nation's pride
In cotton-spun prosperity.

He walk'd into London leisurely,
The streets were dirty and dim:
But there he saw Brothers the Prophet,
And Brothers the Prophet saw him.

He entered a thriving bookseller's shop;
Quoth he, we are both of one college,
For I myself sate like a Cormorant once
Upon the Tree of Knowledge.

As he passed through Cold-Bath Fields he look'd
At a solitary cell;
And he was well-pleased, for it gave him a hint
For improving the prisons of Hell.

He saw a turnkey tie a thief's hands
With a cordial tug and jerk;
Nimbly, quoth he, a man's fingers move
When his heart is in his work.
[Pg 301]
He saw the same turnkey unfettering a man
With little expedition;
And he chuckled to think of his dear slave-trade,
And the long debates and delays that were made,
Concerning its abolition.

He met one of his favorite daughters
By an Evangelical Meeting:
And forgetting himself for joy at her sight,
He would have accosted her outright,
And given her a fatherly greeting.

But she tipt him the wink, drew back, and cried,
Avaunt! my name's Religion!
And then she turn'd to the preacher
And leer'd like a love-sick pigeon.

A fine man and a famous Professor was he,
As the great Alexander now may be,
Whose fame not yet o'erpast is:
Or that new Scotch performer
Who is fiercer and warmer,
The great Sir Arch-Bombastes.

With throbs and throes, and ah's and oh's.
Far famed his flock for frightning;
And thundering with his voice, the while
His eyes zigzag like lightning.

This Scotch phenomenon, I trow,
Beats Alexander hollow;
Even when most tame
He breathes more flame
Then ten Fire-Kings could swallow.

Another daughter he presently met;
With music of fife and drum,
And a consecrated flag,
And shout of tag and rag,
And march of rank and file,
Which had fill'd the crowded aisle
Of the venerable pile,
From church he saw her come.
[Pg 302]
He call'd her aside, and began to chide,
For what dost thou here? said he,
My city of Rome is thy proper home,
And there's work enough there for thee.

Thou hast confessions to listen,
And bells to christen,
And altars and dolls to dress;
And fools to coax,
And sinners to hoax,
And beads and bones to bless;
And great pardons to sell
For those who pay well,
And small ones for those who pay less.

Nay, Father, I boast, that this is my post,
She answered; and thou wilt allow,
That the great Harlot,
Who is clothed in scarlet,
Can very well spare me now.

Upon her business I am come here,
That we may extend our powers:
Whatever lets down this church that we hate,
Is something in favor of ours.

You will not think, great Cosmocrat!
That I spend my time in fooling;
Many irons, my sire, have we in the fire,
And I must leave none of them cooling;
For you must know state-councils here,
Are held which I bear rule in.
When my liberal notions,
Produce mischievous motions,
There's many a man of good intent,
In either house of Parliament,
Whom I shall find a tool in;
And I have hopeful pupils too
Who all this while are schooling.
[Pg 303]
Fine progress they make in our liberal opinions,
My Utilitarians,
My all sorts of—inians
And all sorts of—arians;
My all sorts of—ists,
And my Prigs and my Whigs
Who have all sorts of twists
Train'd in the very way, I know,
Father, you would have them go;
High and low,
Wise and foolish, great and small,
March-of-Intellect-Boys all.

Well pleased wilt thou be at no very far day
When the caldron of mischief boils,
And I bring them forth in battle array
And bid them suspend their broils,
That they may unite and fall on the prey,
For which we are spreading our toils.
How the nice boys all will give mouth at the call,
Hark away! hark away to the spoils!
My Macs and my Quacks and my lawless-Jacks,
My Shiels and O'Connells, my pious Mac-Donnells,
My joke-smith Sydney, and all of his kidney,
My Humes and my Broughams,
My merry old Jerry,
My Lord Kings, and my Doctor Doyles!

At this good news, so great
The Devil's pleasure grew,
That with a joyful swish he rent
The hole where his tail came through.

His countenance fell for a moment
When he felt the stitches go;
Ah! thought he, there's a job now
That I've made for my tailor below.

Great news! bloody news! cried a newsman;
The Devil said, Stop, let me see!
Great news? bloody news? thought the Devil,
The bloodier the better for me.
[Pg 304]
So he bought the newspaper, and no news
At all for his money he had.
Lying varlet, thought he, thus to take in old Nick!
But it's some satisfaction, my lad,
To know thou art paid beforehand for the trick,
For the sixpence I gave thee is bad.

And then it came into his head
By oracular inspiration,
That what he had seen and what he had said
In the course of this visitation,
Would be published in the Morning Post
For all this reading nation.

Therewith in second sight he saw
The place and the manner and time,
In which this mortal story
Would be put in immortal rhyme.

That it would happen when two poets
Should on a time be met,
In the town of Nether Stowey,
In the shire of Somerset.

There while the one was shaving
Would he the song begin;
And the other when he heard it at breakfast,
In ready accord join in.

So each would help the other,
Two heads being better than one;
And the phrase and conceit
Would in unison meet,
And so with glee the verse flow free,
In ding-dong chime of sing-song rhyme,
Till the whole were merrily done.

And because it was set to the razor,
Not to the lute or harp,
Therefore it was that the fancy
Should be bright, and the wit be sharp.
[Pg 305]
But, then, said Satan to himself,
As for that said beginner,
Against my infernal Majesty,
There is no greater sinner.

He hath put me in ugly ballads
With libelous pictures for sale;
He hath scoff'd at my hoofs and my horns,
And has made very free with my tail.

But this Mister Poet shall find
I am not a safe subject for whim;
For I'll set up a School of my own,
And my Poets shall set upon him.

He went to a coffee-house to dine,
And there he had soy in his dish;
Having ordered some soles for his dinner,
Because he was fond of flat fish.

They are much to my palate, thought he,
And now guess the reason who can,
Why no bait should be better than place,
When I fish for a Parliament-man.

But the soles in the bill were ten shillings;
Tell your master, quoth he, what I say;
If he charges at this rate for all things,
He must be in a pretty good way.

But mark ye, said he to the waiter,
I'm a dealer myself in this line,
And his business, between you and me,
Nothing like so extensive as mine.

Now soles are exceedingly cheap,
Which he will not attempt to deny,
When I see him at my fish-market,
I warrant him, by-and-by.
[Pg 306]
As he went along the Strand
Between three in the morning and four
He observed a queer-looking person
Who staggered from Perry's door.

And he thought that all the world over
In vain for a man you might seek,
Who could drink more like a Trojan
Or talk more like a Greek.

The Devil then he prophesied
It would one day he matter of talk,
That with wine when smitten,
And with wit moreover being happily bitten,
The erudite bibber was he who had written
The story of this walk.

A pretty mistake, quoth the Devil;
A pretty mistake I opine!
I have put many ill thoughts in his mouth,
He will never put good ones in mine.

And whoever shall say that to Porson
These best of all verses belong,
He is an untruth-telling whore-son,
And so shall be call'd in the song.

And if seeking an illicit connection with fame,
Any one else should put in a claim,
In this comical competition;
That excellent poem will prove
A man-trap for such foolish ambition,
Where the silly rogue shall be caught by the leg,
And exposed in a second edition.

Now the morning air was cold for him
Who was used to a warm abode;
And yet he did not immediately wish,
To set out on his homeward road.
[Pg 307]
For he had some morning calls to make
Before he went back to Hell;
So thought he I'll step into a gaming-house,
And that will do as well;
But just before he could get to the door
A wonderful chance befell.

For all on a sudden, in a dark place,
He came upon General ——'s burning face;
And it struck him with such consternation,
That home in a hurry his way did he take,
Because he thought, by a slight mistake
'Twas the general conflagration.

Robert Southey.


FATHER MOLLOY

OR, THE CONFESSION

Paddy McCabe was dying one day,
And Father Molloy he came to confess him;
Paddy pray'd hard he would make no delay,
But forgive him his sins and make haste for to bless him.
"First tell me your sins," says Father Molloy,
"For I'm thinking you've not been a very good boy."
"Oh," says Paddy, "so late in the evenin', I fear,
'Twould throuble you such a long story to hear,
For you've ten long miles o'er the mountains to go,
While the road I've to travel's much longer, you know.
So give us your blessin' and get in the saddle,
To tell all my sins my poor brain it would addle;
And the docther gave ordhers to keep me so quiet—
'Twould disturb me to tell all my sins, if I'd thry it,
And your Reverence has towld us, unless we tell all,
'Tis worse than not makin' confession at all.
So I'll say in a word I'm no very good boy—
And, therefore, your blessin', sweet Father Molloy."
[Pg 308]
"Well, I'll read from a book," says Father Molloy,
"The manifold sins that humanity's heir to;
And when you hear those that your conscience annoy,
You'll just squeeze my hand, as acknowledging thereto."
Then the father began the dark roll of iniquity,
And Paddy, thereat, felt his conscience grow rickety,
And he gave such a squeeze that the priest gave a roar—
"Oh, murdher," says Paddy, "don't read any more,
For, if you keep readin', by all that is thrue,
Your Reverence's fist will be soon black and blue;
Besides, to be throubled my conscience begins,
That your Reverence should have any hand in my sins,
So you'd betther suppose I committed them all,
For whether they're great ones, or whether they're small,
Or if they're a dozen, or if they're fourscore,
'Tis your Reverence knows how to absolve them, asthore;
So I'll say in a word, I'm no very good boy—
And, therefore, your blessin', sweet Father Molloy."

"Well," says Father Molloy, "if your sins I forgive,
So you must forgive all your enemies truly;
And promise me also that, if you should live,
You'll leave off your old tricks, and begin to live newly."
"I forgive ev'rybody," says Pat, with a groan,
"Except that big vagabone Micky Malone;
And him I will murdher if ever I can—"
"Tut, tut," says the priest, "you're a very bad man;
For without your forgiveness, and also repentance,
You'll ne'er go to Heaven, and that is my sentence."
"Poo!" says Paddy McCabe, "that's a very hard case—
With your Reverence and Heaven I'm content to make pace;
But with Heaven and your Reverence I wondher—Och hone
You would think of comparin' that blackguard Malone—
But since I'm hard press'd and that I must forgive,
I forgive—if I die—but as sure as I live
That ugly blackguard I will surely desthroy!—
So, now for your blessin', sweet Father Molloy!"

Samuel Lover.

[Pg 309]

THE OWL-CRITIC

"Who stuffed that white owl?" No one spoke in the shop,
The barber was busy, and he couldn't stop;
The customers, waiting their turns, were all reading
The "Daily," the "Herald," the "Post," little heeding
The young man who blurted out such a blunt question;
Not one raised a head, or even made a suggestion;
And the barber kept on shaving.

"Don't you see, Mr. Brown,"
Cried the youth, with a frown,
"How wrong the whole thing is,
How preposterous each wing is
How flattened the head is, how jammed down the neck is—
In short, the whole owl, what an ignorant wreck 't is!
I make no apology;
I've learned owl-eology.

I've passed days and nights in a hundred collections,
And cannot be blinded to any deflections
Arising from unskilful fingers that fail
To stuff a bird right, from his beak to his tail.
Mister Brown! Mister Brown!
Do take that bird down,
Or you'll soon be the laughing-stock all over town!"
And the barber kept on shaving.

"I've studied owls,
And other night-fowls,
And I tell you
What I know to be true;
An owl cannot roost
With his limbs so unloosed;
No owl in this world
Ever had his claws curled,
Ever had his legs slanted,
Ever had his bill canted,
Ever had his neck screwed
Into that attitude.
He can't do it, because
'Tis against all bird-laws.
[Pg 310]
Anatomy teaches,
Ornithology preaches,
An owl has a toe
That can't turn out so!
I've made the white owl my study for years,
And to see such a job almost moves me to tears!
Mr. Brown, I'm amazed
You should be so gone crazed
As to put up a bird
In that posture absurd!
To look at that owl really brings on a dizziness;
The man who stuffed him don't half know his business!"
And the barber kept on shaving.

"Examine those eyes.
I'm filled with surprise
Taxidermists should pass
Off on you such poor glass;
So unnatural they seem
They'd make Audubon scream,
And John Burroughs laugh
To encounter such chaff.
Do take that bird down;
Have him stuffed again, Brown!"
And the barber kept on shaving.

"With some sawdust and bark
I could stuff in the dark
An owl better than that.
I could make an old hat
Look more like an owl
Than that horrid fowl,
Stuck up there so stiff like a side of coarse leather.
In fact, about him there's not one natural feather."

Just then, with a wink and a sly normal lurch,
The owl, very gravely, got down from his perch,
Walked round, and regarded his fault-finding critic
(Who thought he was stuffed) with a glance analytic,
And then fairly hooted, as if he should say:
"Your learning's at fault this time, anyway;
[Pg 311] Don't waste it again on a live bird, I pray.
I'm an owl; you're another. Sir Critic, good day!"
And the barber kept on shaving.

James Thomas Fields.


WHAT WILL WE DO?

What will we do when the good days come—
When the prima donna's lips are dumb,
And the man who reads us his "little things"
Has lost his voice like the girl who sings;
When stilled is the breath of the cornet-man,
And the shrilling chords of the quartette clan;
When our neighbours' children have lost their drums—
Oh, what will we do when the good time comes?
Oh, what will we do in that good, blithe time,
When the tramp will work—oh, thing sublime!
And the scornful dame who stands on your feet
Will "Thank you, sir," for the proffered seat;
And the man you hire to work by the day,
Will allow you to do his work your way;
And the cook who trieth your appetite
Will steal no more than she thinks is right;
When the boy you hire will call you "Sir,"
Instead of "Say" and "Guverner";
When the funny man is humorsome—
How can we stand the millennium?

Robert J. Burdette.


LIFE IN LACONICS

Given a roof, and a taste for rations,
And you have the key to the "wealth of nations."

Given a boy, a tree, and a hatchet,
And virtue strives in vain to match it.

Given a pair, a snake, and an apple,
You make the whole world need a chapel.
[Pg 312]
Given "no cards," broad views, and a hovel,
You have a realistic novel.

Given symptoms and doctors with potion and pill,
And your heirs will ere long be contesting your will.

That good leads to evil there's no denying:
If it were not for truth there would be no lying.

"I'm nobody!" should have a hearse;
But then, "I'm somebody!" is worse.

"Folks say," et cetera! Well, they shouldn't,
And if they knew you well, they wouldn't.

When you coddle your life, all its vigor and grace
Shrink away with the whisper, "We're in the wrong place."

Mary Mapes Dodge.


ON KNOWING WHEN TO STOP

The woodchuck told it all about.
"I'm going to build a dwelling
Six stories high, up to the sky!"
He never tired of telling.

He dug the cellar smooth and well
But made no more advances;
That lovely hole so pleased his soul
And satisfied his fancies.

L. J. Bridgman.


REV. GABE TUCKER'S REMARKS

You may notch it on de palin's as a mighty resky plan
To make your judgment by de clo'es dat kivers up a man;
For I hardly needs to tell you how you often come across
A fifty-dollar saddle on a twenty-dollar hoss;
An', wukin' in de low-groun's, you diskiver, as you go,
Dat de fines' shuck may hide de meanes' nubbin in a row.
[Pg 313]
I think a man has got a mighty slender chance for heben
Dat holds on to his piety but one day out o' seben;
Dat talks about de sinners wid a heap o' solemn chat,
And nebber draps a nickel in de missionary hat;
Dat's foremost in de meetin'-house for raisin' all de chunes,
But lays aside his 'ligion wid his Sunday pantaloons.

I nebber judge o' people dat I meets along de way
By de places whar dey come fum an' de houses whar dey stay;
For de bantam chicken's awful fond o' roostin' pretty high,
An' de turkey buzzard sails above de eagle in de sky;
Dey ketches little minners in de middle ob de sea,
An' you finds de smalles' possum up de bigges' kind o' tree!

Unknown.


THURSDAY

The sun was setting, and vespers done;
From chapel the monks came one by one,
And down they went thro' the garden trim,
In cassock and cowl, to the river's brim.
Ev'ry brother his rod he took;
Ev'ry rod had a line and a hook;
Ev'ry hook had a bait so fine,
And thus they sang in the even shine:
"Oh, to-morrow will be Friday, so we'll fish the stream to-day!
Oh, to-morrow will be Friday, so we'll fish the stream to-day!
Benedicite!"

So down they sate by the river's brim,
And fish'd till the light was growing dim;
They fish'd the stream till the moon was high,
But never a fish came wand'ring by.
They fish'd the stream in the bright moonshine,
But not one fish would he come to dine.
And the Abbot said, "It seems to me
These rascally fish are all gone to sea.
[Pg 314] And to-morrow will be Friday, but we've caught no fish to-day;
Oh, to-morrow will be Friday, but we've caught no fish to-day!
Maledicite!"

So back they went to the convent gate,
Abbot and monks disconsolate;
For they thought of the morrow with faces white,
Saying, "Oh, we must curb our appetite!
But down in the depths of the vault below
There's Malvoisie for a world of woe!"
So they quaff their wine, and all declare
That fish, after all, is but gruesome fare.
"Oh, to-morrow will be Friday, so we'll warm our souls to-day!
Oh, to-morrow will be Friday, so we'll warm our souls to-day!
Benedicite!"

Frederick E. Weatherly.


SKY-MAKING

TO PROFESSOR TYNDALL

Just take a trifling handful, O philosopher,
Of magic matter, give it a slight toss over
The ambient ether, and I don't see why
You shouldn't make a sky.

O hours Utopian which we may anticipate!
Thick London fog how easy 'tis to dissipate,
And make the most pea-soupy day as clear
As Bass's brightest beer!

Poet-professor! now my brain thou kindlest;
I am become a most determined Tyndallist.
If it is known a fellow can make skies,
Why not make bright blue eyes?

This to deny, the folly of a dunce it is;
Surely a girl as easy as a sunset is.
If you can make a halo or eclipse,
Why not two laughing lips?
[Pg 315]
The creed of Archimedes, erst of Sicily,
And of D'Israeli ... forti nil difficile,
Is likewise mine. Pygmalion was a fool
Who should have gone to school.

Why should an author scribble rhymes or articles?
Bring me a dozen tiny Tyndall particles;
Therefrom I'll coin a dinner, Nash's wine,
And a nice girl to dine.

Mortimer Collins.


THE POSITIVISTS

Life and the Universe show spontaneity:
Down with ridiculous notions of Deity!
Churches and creeds are all lost in the mists;
Truth must be sought with the Positivists.

Wise are their teachers beyond all comparison,
Comte, Huxley, Tyndall, Mill, Morley, and Harrison;
Who will adventure to enter the lists
With such a squadron of Positivists?

Social arrangements are awful miscarriages;
Cause of all crime is our system of marriages.
Poets with sonnets, and lovers with trysts,
Kindle the ire of the Positivists.

Husbands and wives should be all one community,
Exquisite freedom with absolute unity.
Wedding-rings worse are than manacled wrists—
Such is the creed of the Positivists.

There was an ape in the days that were earlier;
Centuries passed, and his hair became curlier;
Centuries more gave a thumb to his wrist—
Then he was Man, and a Positivist.
[Pg 316]
If you are pious (mild form of insanity)
Bow down and worship the mass of humanity.
Other religions are buried in mists;
We're our own Gods, say the Positivists.

Mortimer Collins.


MARTIAL IN LONDON

Exquisite wines and comestibles,
From Slater, and Fortnum and Mason;
Billiard, écarté, and chess tables;
Water in vast marble basin;
Luminous books (not voluminous)
To read under beech-trees cacuminous;
One friend, who is fond of a distich,
And doesn't get too syllogistic;
A valet, who knows the complete art
Of service—a maiden, his sweetheart:
Give me these, in some rural pavilion,
And I'll envy no Rothschild his million.

Mortimer Collins.


THE SPLENDID SHILLING

"... Sing, heavenly Muse!
Things unattempted yet, in prose or rhyme,"
A shilling, breeches, and chimeras dire.

Happy the man, who, void of cares and strife,
In silken or in leather purse retains
A Splendid Shilling: he nor hears with pain
New oysters cried, nor sighs for cheerful ale;
But with his friends, when nightly mists arise,
To Juniper's Magpie, or Town-hall repairs:
Where, mindful of the nymph, whose wanton eye
Transfix'd his soul, and kindled amorous flames,
Chloe, or Phillis, he each circling glass
Wisheth her health, and joy, and equal love.
Meanwhile, he smokes, and laughs at merry tale,
[Pg 317] Or pun ambiguous, or conundrum quaint.
But I, whom griping penury surrounds,
And Hunger, sure attendant upon Want,
With scanty offals, and small acid tiff,
(Wretched repast!) my meagre corpse sustain:
Then solitary walk, or doze at home
In garret vile, and with a warming puff
Regale chill'd fingers: or from tube as black
As winter-chimney, or well-polish'd jet,
Exhale mundungus, ill-perfuming scent:
Not blacker tube, nor of a shorter size,
Smokes Cambro-Briton (vers'd in pedigree,
Sprung from Cadwallador and Arthur, kings
Full famous in romantic tale) when he,
O'er many a craggy hill and barren cliff,
Upon a cargo of fam'd Cestrian cheese,
High over-shadowing rides, with a design
To vend his wares, or at th' Avonian mart,
Or Maridunum, or the ancient town
Yelep'd Brechinia, or where Vaga's stream
Encircles Ariconium, fruitful soil!
Whence flow nectareous wines, that well may vie
With Massic, Setin, or renown'd Falern.
Thus while my joyless minutes tedious flow,
With looks demure, and silent pace, a Dun,
Horrible monster! hated by gods and men,
To my aërial citadel ascends,
With vocal heel thrice thundering at my gate,
With hideous accent thrice he calls; I know
The voice ill-boding, and the solemn sound.
What should I do? or whither turn? Amaz'd,
Confounded, to the dark recess I fly
Of wood-hole; straight my bristling hairs erect
Through sudden fear; a chilly sweat bedews
My shuddering limbs, and (wonderful to tell!)
My tongue forgets her faculty of speech;
So horrible he seems! His faded brow,
Intrench'd with many a frown, and conic beard,
And spreading band, admir'd by modern saints,
Disastrous acts forbode; in his right hand
Long scrolls of paper solemnly he waves,
[Pg 318] With characters and figures dire inscrib'd,
Grievous to mortal eyes; (ye gods, avert
Such plagues from righteous men!) Behind him stalks
Another monster, not unlike himself,
Sullen of aspect, by the vulgar call'd
A catchpole, whose polluted hands the gods,
With force incredible, and magic charms,
First have endued: if he his ample palm
Should haply on ill-fated shoulder lay
Of debtor, straight his body, to the touch
Obsequious (as whilom knights were wont,)
To some enchanted castle is convey'd,
Where gates impregnable, and coercive chains,
In durance strict detain him, till, in form
Of money, Pallas sets the captive free.
Beware, ye debtors! when ye walk, beware,
Be circumspect; oft with insidious ken
The caitiff eyes your steps aloof, and oft
Lies perdu in a nook or gloomy cave,
Prompt to enchant some inadvertent wretch
With his unhallowed touch. So, (poets sing)
Grimalkin, to domestic vermin sworn
An everlasting foe, with watchful eye
Lies nightly brooding o'er a chinky gap,
Portending her fell claws, to thoughtless mice
Sure ruin. So her disembowell'd web
Arachne, in a hall or kitchen, spreads
Obvious to vagrant flies: she secret stands
Within her woven cell: the humming prey,
Regardless of their fate, rush on the toils
Inextricable, nor will aught avail
Their arts, or arms, or shapes of lovely hue;
The wasp insidious, and the buzzing drone,
And butterfly, proud of expanded wings
Distinct with gold, entangled in her snares,
Useless resistance make; with eager strides,
She towering flies to her expected spoils;
Then, with envenomed jaws, the vital blood
Drinks of reluctant foes, and to her cave
Their bulky carcasses triumphant drags.
So pass my days. But when nocturnal shades
[Pg 319] This world envelop, and th' inclement air
Persuades men to repel benumbing frosts
With pleasant wines, and crackling blaze of wood;
Me, lonely sitting, nor the glimmering light
Of make-weight candle, nor the joyous talk
Of loving friend, delights: distress'd, forlorn,
Amidst the horrors of the tedious night,
Darkling I sigh, and feed with dismal thoughts
My anxious mind: or sometimes mournful verse
Indite, and sing of groves and myrtle shades,
Or desperate lady near a purling stream,
Or lover pendent on a willow tree.
Meanwhile I labor with eternal drought,
And restless wish, and rave; my parched throat
Finds no relief, nor heavy eyes repose:
But if a slumber haply does invade
My weary limbs, my fancy's still awake,
Thoughtful of drink, and eager, in a dream,
Tipples imaginary pots of ale,
In vain; awake I find the settled thirst
Still gnawing, and the pleasant phantom curse.
Thus do I live, from pleasure quite debarred,
Nor taste the fruits that the sun's genial rays
Mature, john-apple, nor the downy peach,
Nor walnut in rough-furrow'd coat secure,
Nor medlar, fruit delicious in decay;
Afflictions great! yet greater still remain:
My galligaskins, that have long withstood
The winter's fury, and encroaching frosts,
By time subdued (what will not time subdue!)
An horrid chasm disclos'd with orifice
Wide, discontinuous; at which the winds
Eurus and Auster, and the dreadful force
Of Boreas, that congeals the Cronian waves,
Tumultuous enter with dire chilling blasts,
Portending agues. Thus a well-fraught ship,
Long sail'd secure, or through th' Ægean deep,
Or the Ionian, till cruising near
The Lilybean shore, with hideous crush
On Scylla, or Charybdis (dangerous rocks!)
She strikes rebounding; whence the shatter'd oak,
[Pg 320] So fierce a shock unable to withstand,
Admits the sea: in at the gaping side
The crowding waves gush with impetuous rage
Resistless, overwhelming; horrors seize
The mariners; Death in their eyes appears,
They stare, they lave, they pump, they swear, they pray
(Vain efforts!) still the battering waves rush in,
Implacable, till, delug'd by the foam,
The ship sinks foundering in the vast abyss.

John Philips.


AFTER HORACE

What asks the Bard? He prays for nought
But what the truly virtuous crave:
That is, the things he plainly ought
To have.

'Tis not for wealth, with all the shocks
That vex distracted millionaires,
Plagued by their fluctuating stocks
And shares:

While plutocrats their millions new
Expend upon each costly whim,
A great deal less than theirs will do
For him:

The simple incomes of the poor
His meek poetic soul content:
Say, £30,000 at four
Per cent.!

His taste in residence is plain:
No palaces his heart rejoice:
A cottage in a lane (Park Lane
For choice)—
[Pg 321]
Here be his days in quiet spent:
Here let him meditate the Muse:
Baronial Halls were only meant
For Jews,

And lands that stretch with endless span
From east to west, from south to north,
Are often much more trouble than
They're worth!

Let epicures who eat too much
Become uncomfortably stout:
Let gourmets feel th' approaching touch
Of gout,—

The Bard subsists on simpler food:
A dinner, not severely plain,
A pint or so of really good
Champagne—

Grant him but these, no care he'll take
Though Laureates bask in Fortune's smile,
Though Kiplings and Corellis make
Their pile:

Contented with a scantier dole
His humble Muse serenely jogs,
Remote from scenes where authors roll
Their logs:

Far from the madding crowd she lurks,
And really cares no single jot
Whether the public read her works
Or not!

A. D. Godley.

[Pg 322]

OF A PRECISE TAILOR

A tailor, a man of an upright dealing,
True but for lying, honest but for stealing,
Did fall one day extremely sick by chance,
And on the sudden was in wondrous trance.
The Fiends of hell, mustering in fearful manner,
Of sundry-coloured silks displayed a banner,
Which he had stol'n; and wished, as they did tell,
That one day he might find it all in hell.
The man, affrighted at this apparition,
Upon recovery grew a great precisian.
He bought a Bible of the new translation,
And in his life he showed great reformation.
He walkèd mannerly and talkèd meekly;
He heard three lectures and two sermons weekly;
He vowed to shun all companies unruly,
And in his speech he used no oath but "truly":
And, zealously to keep the Sabbath's rest,
His meat for that day on the even was dressed.
And, lest the custom that he had to steal
Might cause him sometime to forget his zeal,
He gives his journeyman a special charge
That, if the stuff allowed fell out too large,
And that to filch his fingers were inclined,
He then should put the Banner in his mind.
This done, I scant the rest can tell for laughter.
A Captain of a ship came three days after,
And bought three yards of velvet and three quarters,
To make Venetians down below the garters.
He, that precisely knew what was enough,
Soon slipped away three quarters of the stuff.
His man, espying it, said in derision,
"Remember, Master, how you saw the vision!"
"Peace, knave," quoth he; "I did not see one rag
Of such-a-coloured silk in all the flag."

Sir John Harrington.

[Pg 323]

MONEY

Who money has, well wages the campaign;
Who money has, becomes of gentle strain;
Who money has, to honor all accord:
He is my lord.
Who money has, the ladies ne'er disdain;
Who money has, loud praises will attain;
Who money has, in the world's heart is stored,
The flower adored.
O'er all mankind he holds his conquering track—
They only are condemned who money lack.

Who money has, will wisdom's credit gain;
Who money has, all earth is his domain;
Who money has, praise is his sure reward,
Which all afford.
Who money has, from nothing need refrain;.
Who money has, on him is favor poured;
And, in a word,
Who money has, need never fear attack—
They only are condemned who money lack.

Who money has, in every heart does reign;
Who money has, all to approach are fain;
Who money has, of him no fault is told,
Nor harm can hold.
Who money has, none does his right restrain;
Who money has, can whom he will maintain;
Who money has, clerk, prior, by his gold,
Is straight enrolled.
Who money has, all raise, none hold him back—
They only are condemned who money lack.

Jehan du Pontalais.

[Pg 324]

BOSTON NURSERY RHYMES

RHYME FOR A GEOLOGICAL BABY

Trilobite, Grapholite, Nautilus pie;
Seas were calcareous, oceans were dry.
Eocene, miocene, pliocene Tuff,
Lias and Trias and that is enough.

RHYME FOR ASTRONOMICAL BABY

Bye Baby Bunting,
Father's gone star-hunting;
Mother's at the telescope
Casting baby's horoscope.
Bye Baby Buntoid,
Father's found an asteroid;
Mother takes by calculation
The angle of its inclination.

RHYME FOR BOTANICAL BABY

Little bo-peepals
Has lost her sepals,
And can't tell-where to find them;
In the involucre
By hook or by crook or
She'll make up her mind not to mind them.

RHYME FOR A CHEMICAL BABY

Oh, sing a song of phosphates,
Fibrine in a line,
Four-and-twenty follicles
In the van of time.

When the phosphorescence
Evoluted brain,
Superstition ended,
Men began to reign.

Rev. Joseph Cook.

[Pg 325]

KENTUCKY PHILOSOPHY

You Wi'yum, cum 'ere, suh, dis minute. Wut dat you got under dat box?

I don't want no foolin'—you hear me? Wut you say? Ain't nu'h'n but rocks?

'Peahs ter me you's owdashus perticler. S'posin' dey's uv a new kine.

I'll des take a look at dem rocks. Hi yi! der you think dat I's bline?

I calls dat a plain water-million, you scamp, en I knows whah it growed;

It come fum de Jimmerson cawn fiel', dah on ter side er de road.

You stole it, you rascal—you stole it! I watched you fum down in de lot.

En time I gits th'ough wid you, nigger, you won't eb'n be a grease spot!

I'll fix you. Mirandy! Mirandy! go cut me a hick'ry—make 'ase!

En cut me de toughes' en keenes' you c'n fine anywhah on de place.

I'll larn you, Mr. Wi'yum Joe Vetters, ter steal en ter lie, you young sinner,

Disgracin' yo' ole Christian mammy, en makin' her leave cookin' dinner!

Now ain't you ashamed er yo'se'f, suh? I is. I's 'shamed you's my son!

En de holy accorjun angel he's 'shamed er wut you has done;

En he's tuk it down up yander in coal-black, blood-red letters—

"One water-million stoled by Wi'yum Josephus Vetters."

En wut you s'posin' Brer Bascom, yo' teacher at Sunday school,

'Ud say ef he knowed how you's broke de good Lawd's Gol'n Rule?

[Pg 326]

Boy, whah's de raisin' I give you? Is you boun' fuh ter be a black villiun?

I's s'prised dat a chile er yo' mammy 'ud steal any man's water-million.

En I's now gwiner cut it right open, en you shain't have narry bite,

Fuh a boy who'll steal water-millions—en dat in de day's broad light—

Ain't—Lawdy! it's GREEN! Mirandy; Mi-ran-dy! come on wi' dat switch!

Well, stealin' a g-r-e-e-n water-million! who ever heered tell er des sich?

Cain't tell w'en dey's ripe? W'y, you thump 'um, en w'en dey go pank dey is green;

But when dey go punk, now you mine me, dey's ripe—en dat's des wut I mean.

En nex' time you hook water-millions—you heered me, you ign'ant young hunk,

Ef you don't want a lickin' all over, be sho dat dey allers go "punk"!

Harrison Robertson.


JOHN GRUMLIE

John Grumlie swore by the light o' the moon
And the green leaves on the tree,
That he could do more work in a day
Than his wife could do in three.
His wife rose up in the morning
Wi' cares and troubles enow—
John Grumlie bide at hame, John,
And I'll go haud the plow.

First ye maun dress your children fair,
And put them a' in their gear;
And ye maun turn the malt, John,
Or else ye'll spoil the beer;
[Pg 327] And ye maun reel the tweel, John,
That I span yesterday;
And ye maun ca' in the hens, John,
Else they'll all lay away.

O he did dress his children fair,
And put them a' in their gear;
But he forgot to turn the malt,
And so he spoil'd the beer:
And he sang loud as he reeled the tweel
That his wife span yesterday;
But he forgot to put up the hens,
And the hens all layed away.

The hawket crummie loot down nae milk;
He kirned, nor butter gat;
And a' gade wrang, and nought gade right;
He danced with rage, and grat;
Then up he ran to the head o' the knowe
Wi' mony a wave and shout—
She heard him as she heard him not,
And steered the stots about.

John Grumlie's wife cam hame at e'en,
A weary wife and sad,
And burst into a laughter loud,
And laughed as she'd been mad:
While John Grumlie swore by the light o' the moon
And the green leaves on the tree,
If my wife should na win a penny a day
She's aye have her will for me.

Allan Cunningham.


A SONG OF IMPOSSIBILITIES

Lady, I loved you all last year,
How honestly and well—
Alas! would weary you to hear,
And torture me to tell;
I raved beneath the midnight sky,
I sang beneath the limes—
[Pg 328] Orlando in my lunacy,
And Petrarch in my rhymes.
But all is over! When the sun
Dries up the boundless main,
When black is white, false-hearted one,
I may be yours again!

When passion's early hopes and fears
Are not derided things;
When truth is found in falling tears,
Or faith in golden rings;
When the dark Fates that rule our way
Instruct me where they hide
One woman that would ne'er betray,
One friend that never lied;
When summer shines without a cloud,
And bliss without a pain;
When worth is noticed in a crowd,
I may be yours again!

When science pours the light of day
Upon the lords of lands;
When Huskisson is heard to say
That Lethbridge understands;
When wrinkles work their way in youth,
Or Eldon's in a hurry;
When lawyers represent the truth,
Or Mr. Sumner Surrey;
When aldermen taste eloquence
Or bricklayers champagne;
When common law is common sense,
I may be yours again!

When learned judges play the beau,
Or learned pigs the tabor;
When traveller Bankes beats Cicero,
Or Mr. Bishop Weber;
When sinking funds discharge a debt,
Or female hands a bomb;
When bankrupts study the Gazette,
Or colleges Tom Thumb;
[Pg 329] When little fishes learn to speak,
Or poets not to feign;
When Dr. Geldart construes Greek,
I may be yours again!

When Pole and Thornton honour cheques,
Or Mr. Const a rogue;
When Jericho's in Middlesex,
Or minuets in vogue;
When Highgate goes to Devonport,
Or fashion to Guildhall;
When argument is heard at Court,
Or Mr. Wynn at all;
When Sydney Smith forgets to jest,
Or farmers to complain;
When kings that are are not the best,
I may be yours again!

When peers from telling money shrink,
Or monks from telling lies;
When hydrogen begins to sink,
Or Grecian scrip to rise;
When German poets cease to dream,
Americans to guess;
When Freedom sheds her holy beam
On Negroes, and the Press;
When there is any fear of Rome,
Or any hope of Spain;
When Ireland is a happy home,
I may be yours again!

When you can cancel what has been,
Or alter what must be,
Or bring once more that vanished scene,
Those withered joys to me;
When you can tune the broken lute,
Or deck the blighted wreath,
Or rear the garden's richest fruit,
Upon a blasted heath;
When you can lure the wolf at bay
Back to his shattered chain,
To-day may then be yesterday—
I may be yours again!

Winthrop Mackworth Praed.

[Pg 330]

SONG

Go and catch a falling star,
Get with child a mandrake root;
Tell me where all past years are,
Or who cleft the Devil's foot;
Teach me to hear Mermaids singing,—
Or to keep off envy's stinging,
And find
What wind
Serves to advance an honest mind.

If thou beest born to strange sights,
Things invisible to see,
Ride ten thousand days and nights,
Till age snow white hairs on thee;
Thou, when thou return'st, wilt tell me
All strange wonders that befell thee,
And swear
Nowhere
Lives a woman true and fair.

If thou find'st one, let me know;
Such a pilgrimage were sweet.
Yet do not; I would not go,
Though at next door we might meet.
Though she were true when you met her,
And last till you write your letter,
Yet she
Will be
False, ere I come, to two or three.

John Donne.


THE OUBIT

It was an hairy oubit, sae proud he crept alang;
A feckless hairy oubit, and merrily he sang:
"My Minnie bade me bide at home until I won my wings,
I shew her soon my soul's aboon the warks o' creeping things."
[Pg 331]
This feckless hairy oubit cam' hirpling by the linn,
A swirl o' wind cam' doun the glen, and blew that oubit in.
Oh, when he took the water, the saumon fry they rose,
And tigg'd him a' to pieces sma', by head and tail and toes.

Tak' warning then, young poets a', by this poor oubit's shame;
Though Pegasus may nicher loud, keep Pegasus at hame.
O haud your hands frae inkhorns, though a' the Muses woo;
For critics lie, like saumon fry, to mak' their meals o' you.

Charles Kingsley.


DOUBLE BALLADE OF PRIMITIVE MAN

He lived in a cave by the seas,
He lived upon oysters and foes,
But his list of forbidden degrees
An extensive morality shows;
Geological evidence goes
To prove he had never a pan,
But he shaved with a shell when he chose,—
'Twas the manner of Primitive Man.

He worshipp'd the rain and the breeze,
He worshipp'd the river that flows,
And the Dawn, and the Moon, and the trees
And bogies, and serpents, and crows;
He buried his dead with their toes
Tucked-up, an original plan,
Till their knees came right under their nose,—
'Twas the manner of Primitive Man.

His communal wives, at his ease,
He would curb with occasional blows
Or his State had a queen, like the bees
(As another philosopher trows):
When he spoke, it was never in prose,
But he sang in a strain that would scan,
For (to doubt it, perchance, were morose)
'Twas the manner of Primitive Man!
[Pg 332]
On the coasts that incessantly freeze,
With his stones, and his bones, and his bows,
On luxuriant tropical leas,
Where the summer eternally glows,
He is found, and his habits disclose
(Let theology say what she can)
That he lived in the long, long agos,
Twas the manner of Primitive Man!

From a status like that of the Crees
Our society's fabric arose,—
Develop'd, evolved, if you please,
But deluded chronologists chose,
In a fancied accordance with Mos
es, 4000 B.C. for the span
When he rushed on the world and its woes,—
'Twas the manner of Primitive Man.

But the mild anthropologist—he's
Not recent inclined to suppose
Flints Palæolithic like these,
Quaternary bones such as those!
In Rhinoceros, Mammoth and Co.'s
First epoch the Human began
Theologians all to expose,—
'Tis the mission of Primitive Man.

ENVOY

Max, proudly your Aryans pose,
But their rigs they undoubtedly ran,
For, as every Darwinian knows,
'Twas the manner of Primitive Man!

Andrew Lang.


PHILLIS'S AGE

How old may Phillis be, you ask,
Whose beauty thus all hearts engages?
To answer is no easy task:
For she has really two ages.
[Pg 333]
Stiff in brocade, and pinch'd in stays,
Her patches, paint, and jewels on;
All day let envy view her face,
And Phillis is but twenty-one.

Paint, patches, jewels laid aside,
At night astronomers agree,
The evening has the day belied;
And Phillis is some forty-three.

Matthew Prior.

[Pg 334]

V

CYNICISM


GOOD AND BAD LUCK

Good Luck is the gayest of all gay girls;
Long in one place she will not stay:
Back from your brow she strokes the curls,
Kisses you quick and flies away.

But Madame Bad Luck soberly comes
And stays—no fancy has she for flitting;
Snatches of true-love songs she hums,
And sits by your bed, and brings her knitting.

John Hay.


BANGKOLIDYE

"Gimme my scarlet tie,"
Says I.
"Gimme my brownest boots and hat,
Gimme a vest with a pattern fancy,
Gimme a gel with some style, like Nancy,
And then—well, it's gimes as I'll be at,
Seein' as its bangkolidye,"
Says I.

"May miss it, but we'll try,"
Says I.
Nancy ran like a frightened 'en
Hup the steps of the bloomin' styeshun.
Bookin'-orfus at last! Salvyeshun!
[Pg 335] An' the two returns was five-and-ten.
"An' travellin' mikes your money fly,"
Says I.

"This atmosphere is 'igh,"
Says I.
Twelve in a carriage is pretty thick,
When 'ite of the twelve is a sittin', smokin';
Nancy started 'er lawkin, and jokin',
Syin' she 'oped as we shouldn't be sick;
"Don't go on, or you'll mike me die!"
Says I.

"Three styeshuns we've porst by,"
Says I.
"So hout we get at the next, my gel."
When we got hout, she wer pale and saint-like,
White in the gills, and sorter faint-like,
An' said my cigaw 'ad a powerful smell,
"Well, it's the sime as I always buy,"
Says I.

"'Ites them clouds in the sky,"
Says I.
"Don't like 'em at all," I says, "that's flat—
Black as your boots and sorter thick'nin'."
"If it's wet," says she, "it will be sick'nin'.
I wish as I'd brought my other 'at."
"You thinks too much of your finery,"
Says I.

"Keep them sanwidjus dry,"
Says I.
When the rine came down in a reggiler sheet.
But what can yo do with one umbrella,
And a damp gel strung on the arm of a fella?
"Well, rined-on 'am ain't pleasant to eat,
If yer don't believe it, just go an try,"
Says I.
[Pg 336]
"There is some gels whort cry,"
Says I.
"And there is some don't shed a tear,
But just get tempers, and when they has'em
Reaches a pint in their sarcasem,
As on'y a dorg could bear to 'ear."
This unto Nancy by-and-by,
Says I.

All's hover now. And why,
Says I.
But why did I wear them boots, that vest?
The bloom is off 'em; they're sad to see;
And hev'rythin's off twixt Nancy and me;
And my trousers is off and gone to be pressed—
And ain't this a blimed bangkolidye?
Says I.

Barry Pain.


PENSÉES DE NOËL

When the landlord wants the rent
Of your humble tenement;
When the Christmas bills begin
Daily, hourly pouring in;
When you pay your gas and poor rate
Tip the rector, fee the curate,
Let this thought your spirit cheer—
Christmas comes but once a year.

When the man who brings the coal
Claims his customary dole:
When the postman rings and knocks
For his usual Christmas-box:
When you're dunned by half the town
With demands for half-a-crown,—
Think, although they cost you dear,
Christmas comes but once a year.
[Pg 337]
When you roam from shop to shop,
Seeking, till you nearly drop,
Christmas cards and small donations
For the maw of your relations,
Questing vainly 'mid the heap
For a thing that's nice, and cheap:
Think, and check the rising tear,
Christmas comes but once a year.

Though for three successive days
Business quits her usual ways;
Though the milkman's voice be dumb;
Though the paper doesn't come;
Though you want tobacco, but
Find that all the shops are shut:
Bravely still your sorrows bear—
Christmas comes but once a year.

When mince-pies you can't digest
Join with waits to break your rest:
When, oh when, to crown your woe,
Persons who might better know
Think it needful that you should
Don a gay convivial mood:—
Bear with fortitude and patience
These afflicting dispensations:
Man was born to suffer here:
Christmas comes but once a year.

A. D. Godley.


A BALLADE OF AN ANTI-PURITAN

They spoke of Progress spiring round,
Of Light and Mrs. Humphry Ward—
It is not true to say I frowned,
Or ran about the room and roared;
I might have simply sat and snored—
I rose politely in the club
And said, "I feel a little bored;
Will someone take me to a pub?"
[Pg 338]
The new world's wisest did surround
Me; and it pains me to record
I did not think their views profound,
Or their conclusions well assured;
The simple life I can't afford,
Besides, I do not like the grub—
I want a mash and sausage, "scored"—
Will someone take me to a pub?

I know where Men can still be found,
Anger and clamorous accord,
And virtues growing from the ground,
And fellowship of beer and board,
And song, that is a sturdy cord,
And hope, that is a hardy shrub,
And goodness, that is God's last word—
Will someone take me to a pub?

ENVOI

Prince, Bayard would have smashed his sword
To see the sort of knights you dub—
Is that the last of them—O Lord!
Will someone take me to a pub?

G. K. Chesterton.


PESSIMISM

In the age that was golden, the halcyon time,
All the billows were balmy and breezes were bland.
Then the poet was never hard up for a rhyme,
Then the milk and the honey flew free and were prime,
And the voice of the turtle was heard in the land.

In the times that are guilty the winds are perverse,
Blowing fair for the sharper and foul for the dupe.
Now the poet's condition could scarcely be worse,
Now the milk and the honey are strained through the purse,
And the voice of the turtle is dead in the soup.

Newton Mackintosh.

[Pg 339]

CYNICAL ODE TO AN ULTRA-CYNICAL PUBLIC

You prefer a buffoon to a scholar,
A harlequin to a teacher,
A jester to a statesman,
An Anonyma flaring on horseback
To a modest and spotless woman—
Brute of a public!

You think that to sneer shows wisdom,
That a gibe outvalues a reason,
That slang, such as thieves delight in,
Is fit for the lips of the gentle,
And rather a grace than a blemish,
Thick-headed public!

You think that if merit's exalted
'Tis excellent sport to decry it,
And trail its good name in the gutter;
And that cynics, white-gloved and cravatted,
Are the cream and quintessence of all things,
Ass of a public!

You think that success must be merit,
That honour and virtue and courage
Are all very well in their places,
But that money's a thousand times better;
Detestable, stupid, degraded
Pig of a public!

Charles Mackay.


YOUTH AND ART

It once might have been, once only:
We lodged in a street together.
You, a sparrow on the house-top lonely,
I, a lone she-bird of his feather.
[Pg 340]
Your trade was with sticks and clay,
You thumbed, thrust, patted and polished,
Then laughed, "They will see some day
Smith made, and Gibson demolished."

My business was song, song, song;
I chirped, cheeped, trilled and twittered,
"Kate Brown's on the boards ere long,
And Grisi's existence embittered!"

I earned no more by a warble
Than you by a sketch in plaster;
You wanted a piece of marble,
I needed a music-master.

We studied hard in our styles,
Chipped each at a crust like Hindoos,
For air, looked out on the tiles,
For fun watched each other's windows.

You lounged, like a boy of the South,
Cap and blouse—nay, a bit of beard too;
Or you got it rubbing your mouth
With fingers the clay adhered to.

And I—soon managed to find
Weak points in the flower-fence facing,
Was forced to put up a blind
And be safe in my corset-lacing.

No harm! It was not my fault
If you never turned your eyes' tail up,
As I shook upon E in alt.,
Or ran the chromatic scale up:

For spring bade the sparrows pair,
And the boys and girls gave guesses,
And stalls in our streets looked rare
With bulrush and watercresses.
[Pg 341]
Why did not you pinch a flower
In a pellet of clay and fling it?
Why did I not put a power
Of thanks in a look, or sing it?

I did look, sharp as a lynx,
(And yet the memory rankles,)
When models arrived, some minx
Tripped up-stairs, she and her ankles.

But I think I gave you as good!
"That foreign fellow—who can know
How she pays, in a playful mood,
For his tuning her that piano?"

Could you say so, and never say,
"Suppose we join hands and fortunes,
And I fetch her from over the way,
Her, piano, and long tunes and short tunes?"

No, no; you would not be rash,
Nor I rasher and something over:
You've to settle yet Gibson's hash,
And Grisi yet lives in clover.

But you meet the Prince at the Board,
I'm queen myself at bals-paré,
I've married a rich old lord,
And you're dubbed knight and an R. A.

Each life's unfulfilled, you see;
It hangs still, patchy and scrappy:
We have not sighed deep, laughed free,
Starved, feasted, despaired—been happy.

And nobody calls you a dunce,
And people suppose me clever:
This could but have happened once,
And we missed it, lost it forever.

Robert Browning.

[Pg 342]

THE BACHELOR'S DREAM

My pipe is lit, my grog is mixed,
My curtains drawn and all is snug;
Old Puss is in her elbow-chair,
And Tray is sitting on the rug.
Last night I had a curious dream,
Miss Susan Bates was Mistress Mogg—
What d'ye think of that, my cat?
What d'ye think of that, my dog?

She looked so fair, she sang so well,
I could but woo and she was won;
Myself in blue, the bride in white,
The ring was placed, the deed was done!
Away we went in chaise-and-four.
As fast as grinning boys could flog—
What d'ye think of that, my cat?
What d'ye think of that, my dog?

At times we had a spar, and then
Mamma must mingle in the song—
The sister took a sister's part—
The maid declared her master wrong—
The parrot learned to call me "Fool!"
My life was like a London fog—
What d'ye think of that, my cat?
What d'ye think of that, my dog?

My Susan's taste was superfine,
As proved by bills that had no end;
I never had a decent coat—
I never had a coin to spend!
She forced me to resign my club,
Lay down my pipe, retrench my grog—
What d'ye think of that, my cat?
What d'ye think of that, my dog?
[Pg 343]
Each Sunday night we gave a rout
To fops and flirts, a pretty list;
And when I tried to steal away,
I found my study full of whist!
Then, first to come, and last to go,
There always was a Captain Hogg—
What d'ye think of that, my cat?
What d'ye think of that, my dog?

Now was not that an awful dream
For one who single is and snug—
With Pussy in the elbow chair,
And Tray reposing on the rug?—
If I must totter down the hill,
'Tis safest done without a clog—
What d'ye think of that, my cat?
What d'ye think of that, my dog?

Thomas Hood.


ALL THINGS EXCEPT MYSELF I KNOW

I know when milk does flies contain;
I know men by their bravery;
I know fair days from storm and rain;
And what fruit apple-trees supply;
And from their gums the trees descry;
I know when all things smoothly flow;
I know who toil or idle lie;
All things except myself I know.

I know the doublet by the grain;
The monk beneath the hood can spy;
Master from man can ascertain;
I know the nun's veiled modesty;
I know when sportsmen fables ply;
Know fools who creams and dainties stow;
Wine from the butt I certify;
All things except myself I know.
[Pg 344]
Know horse from mule by tail and mane;
I know their worth or high or low;
Bell, Beatrice, I know the twain;
I know each chance of cards and dice;
I know what visions prophesy,
Bohemian heresies, I trow;
I know men of each quality;
All things except myself I know.

ENVOY

Prince, I know all things 'neath the sky,
Pale cheeks from those of rosy glow;
I know death whence can no man fly;
All things except myself I know.

François Villon.


THE JOYS OF MARRIAGE

How uneasy is his life,
Who is troubled with a wife!
Be she ne'er so fair or comely,
Be she ne'er so foul or homely,
Be she ne'er so young and toward,
Be she ne'er so old and froward,
Be she kind, with arms enfolding,
Be she cross, and always scolding,
Be she blithe or melancholy,
Have she wit, or have she folly,
Be she wary, be she squandering,
Be she staid, or be she wandering,
Be she constant, be she fickle,
Be she fire, or be she ickle;
Be she pious or ungodly,
Be she chaste, or what sounds oddly:
Lastly, be she good or evil,
Be she saint, or be she devil,—
Yet, uneasy is his life
Who is married to a wife.

Charles Cotton.

[Pg 345]

THE THIRD PROPOSITION

If I were thine, I'd fail not of endeavour
The loftiest,
To make thy daily life, now and forever,
Supremely blest—
I'd watch thy moods, I'd toil and wait, with yearning,
Incessant incense at thy dear shrine burning,
If I were thine.

If thou wert mine, quite changed would be these features.
Then, I suspect,
Thou wouldst the humblest prove of loving creatures,
And not object
To do the very things I am declaring
I'd undertake for thee, with selfless daring,
If thou wert mine.

If we were ours? And now, here comes the riddle!
How would that work?
I'm sure you'd never stoop to second fiddle,
And—I might shirk
The part of serf. And, likewise, each might neither
Be willing slave or servitor of either,
If we were ours!

Madeline Bridges.


THE BALLAD OF CASSANDRA BROWN

Though I met her in the summer, when one's heart lies round at ease,

As it were in tennis costume, and a man's not hard to please,

Yet I think that any season to have met her was to love,

While her tones, unspoiled, unstudied, had the softness of the dove.

At request she read us poems in a nook among the pines,

And her artless voice lent music to the least melodious lines;

[Pg 346]

Though she lowered her shadowing lashes, in an earnest reader's wise,

Yet we caught blue, gracious glimpses of the heavens which were her eyes.

As in paradise I listened—ah, I did not understand

That a little cloud, no larger than the average human hand,

Might, as stated oft in fiction, spread into a sable pall,

When she said that she should study Elocution in the fall!

I admit her earliest efforts were not in the Ercles vein;

She began with "Little Maaybel, with her faayce against the payne

And the beacon-light a-t-r-r-remble"—which, although it made me wince,

Is a thing of cheerful nature to the things she's rendered since.

Having heard the Soulful Quiver, she acquired the Melting Mo-o-an,

And the way she gave "Young Grayhead" would have liquefied a stone.

Then the Sanguinary Tragic did her energies employ,

And she tore my taste to tatters when she slew "The Polish Boy."

It's not pleasant for a fellow when the jewel of his soul

Wades through slaughter on the carpet, while her orbs in frenzy roll;

What was I that I should murmur? Yet it gave me grievous pain

That she rose in social gatherings, and Searched among the Slain.

I was forced to look upon her in my desperation dumb,

Knowing well that when her awful opportunity was come

She would give us battle, murder, sudden death at very least,

As a skeleton of warning, and a blight upon the feast.

[Pg 347]

Once, ah! once I fell a-dreaming; some one played a polonaise

I associated strongly with those happier August days;

And I mused, "I'll speak this evening," recent pangs forgotten quite—

Sudden shrilled a scream of anguish: "Curfew shall not ring to-night!"

Ah, that sound was as a curfew, quenching rosy, warm romance—

Were it safe to wed a woman one so oft would wish in France?

Oh, as she "cul-limbed" that ladder, swift my mounting hope came down,

I am still a single cynic; she is still Cassandra Brown!

Helen Gray Cone.


WHAT'S IN A NAME?

In letters large upon the frame,
That visitors might see,
The painter placed his humble name:
O'Callaghan McGee.

And from Beersheba unto Dan,
The critics with a nod
Exclaimed: "This painting Irishman
Adores his native sod.

"His stout heart's patriotic flame
There's naught on earth can quell;
He takes no wild romantic name
To make his pictures sell!"

Then poets praise in sonnets neat
His stroke so bold and free;
No parlour wall was thought complete
That hadn't a McGee.
[Pg 348]
All patriots before McGee
Threw lavishly their gold;
His works in the Academy
Were very quickly sold.

His "Digging Clams at Barnegat,"
His "When the Morning smiled,"
His "Seven Miles from Ararat,"
His "Portrait of a Child,"

Were purchased in a single day
And lauded as divine.—


That night as in his atelier
The artist sipped his wine,

And looked upon his gilded frames,
He grinned from ear to ear:—
"They little think my real name's
V. Stuyvesant De Vere!"

R. K. Munkittrick.


TOO LATE

"Ah! si la jeunesse savait,—si la vieillesse pouvait!"

There sat an old man on a rock,
And unceasing bewailed him of Fate,—
That concern where we all must take stock,
Though our vote has no hearing or weight;
And the old man sang him an old, old song,—
Never sang voice so clear and strong
That it could drown the old man's for long,
For he sang the song "Too late! too late!"

When we want, we have for our pains
The promise that if we but wait
Till the want has burned out of our brains,
Every means shall be present to state;
[Pg 349] While we send for the napkin the soup gets cold,
While the bonnet is trimming the face grows old,
When we've matched our buttons the pattern is sold
And everything comes too late,—too late!

"When strawberries seemed like red heavens,—
Terrapin stew a wild dream,—
When my brain was at sixes and sevens,
If my mother had 'folks' and ice cream,
Then I gazed with a lickerish hunger
At the restaurant man and fruit-monger,—
But oh! how I wished I were younger
When the goodies all came in a stream! in a stream!

"I've a splendid blood horse, and—a liver
That it jars into torture to trot;
My row-boat's the gem of the river,—
Gout makes every knuckle a knot!
I can buy boundless credits on Paris and Rome,
But no palate for ménus,—no eyes for a dome,—
Those belonged to the youth who must tarry at home,
When no home but an attic he'd got,—he'd got!

"How I longed, in that lonest of garrets,
Where the tiles baked my brains all July,
For ground to grow two pecks of carrots,
Two pigs of my own in a sty,
A rosebush,—a little thatched cottage,—
Two spoons—love—a basin of pottage!—
Now in freestone I sit,—and my dotage,—
With a woman's chair empty close by, close by!

"Ah! now, though I sit on a rock,
I have shared one seat with the great;
I have sat—knowing naught of the clock—
On love's high throne of state;
But the lips that kissed, and the arms that caressed,
To a mouth grown stern with delay were pressed,
And circled a breast that their clasp had blessed,
Had they only not come too late,—too late!"

Fitz Hugh Ludlow.

[Pg 350]

THE ANNUITY

I gaed to spend a week in Fife—
An unco week it proved to be—
For there I met a waesome wife
Lamentin' her viduity.
Her grief brak out sae fierce and fell,
I thought her heart wad burst the shell;
And,—I was sae left to mysel',—
I sell't her an annuity.

The bargain lookit fair eneugh—
She just was turned o' saxty-three—
I couldna guessed she'd prove sae teugh,
By human ingenuity.
But years have come, and years have gane,
And there she's yet as stieve as stane—
The limmer's growin' young again,
Since she got her annuity.

She's crined' awa' to bane and skin,
But that, it seems, is nought to me;
She's like to live—although she's in
The last stage o' tenuity.
She munches wi' her wizen'd gums,
An' stumps about on legs o' thrums;
But comes, as sure as Christmas comes,
To ca' for her annuity.

I read the tables drawn wi' care
For an insurance company;
Her chance o' life was stated there,
Wi' perfect perspicuity.
But tables here or tables there,
She's lived ten years beyond her share,
An' 's like to live a dozen mair,
To ca' for her annuity.
[Pg 351]
Last Yule she had a fearfu' host,
I thought a kink might set me free—
I led her out, 'mang snaw and frost,
Wi' constant assiduity.
But deil ma' care—the blast gaed by,
And miss'd the auld anatomy—
It just cost me a tooth, for bye
Discharging her annuity.

If there's a' sough o' cholera,
Or typhus,—wha sae gleg as she?
She buys up baths, an' drugs, an' a',
In siccan superfluity!
She doesna need—she's fever proof—
The pest walked o'er her very roof—
She tauld me sae—an' then her loof
Held out for her annuity.

Ae day she fell, her arm she brak—
A compound fracture as could be—
Nae leech the cure wad undertake,
Whate'er was the gratuity.
It's cured! She handles 't like a flail—
It does as weel in bits as hale—
But I'm a broken man mysel'
Wi' her and her annuity.

Her broozled flesh and broken banes
Are weel as flesh and banes can be.
She beats the taeds that live in stanes,
An' fatten in vacuity!
They die when they're exposed to air—
They canna thole the atmosphere;
But her!—expose her onywhere—
She lives for her annuity.

If mortal means could nick her thread,
Sma' crime it wad appear to me;
Ca't murder, or ca't homicide,
I'd justify 't—an' do it tae.
[Pg 352] But how to fell a withered wife
That's carved out o' the tree o' life—
The timmer limmer daurs the knife
To settle her annuity.

I'd try a shot: but whar's the mark?—
Her vital parts are hid frae me;
Her backbane wanders through her sark
In an unkenn'd corkscrewity.
She's palsified—an shakes her head
Sae fast about, ye scarce can see;
It's past the power o' steel or lead
To settle her annuity.

She might be drowned—but go she'll not
Within a mile o' loch or sea;
Or hanged—if cord could grip a throat
O' siccan exiguity.
It's fitter far to hang the rope—
It draws out like a telescope;
'Twad tak a dreadfu' length o' drop
To settle her annuity.

Will puzion do't?—It has been tried;
But, be't in hash or fricassee,
That's just the dish she can't abide,
Whatever kind o' gout it hae.
It's needless to assail her doubts,
She gangs by instinct, like the brutes,
An' only eats an' drinks what suits
Hersel' and her annuity.

The Bible says the age o' man
Threescore and ten, perchance, may be;
She's ninety-four. Let them who can,
Explain the incongruity.
She should hae lived afore the flood—
She's come o' patriarchal blood,
She's some auld Pagan mummified
Alive for her annuity.
[Pg 353]
She's been embalmed inside and oot—
She's sauted to the last degree—
There's pickle in her very snoot
Sae caper-like an' cruety.
Lot's wife was fresh compared to her—
They've kyanized the useless knir,
She canna decompose—nae mair
Than her accursed annuity.

The water-drop wears out the rock,
As this eternal jaud wears me;
I could withstand the single shock,
But not the continuity.
It's pay me here, an' pay me there,
An' pay me, pay me, evermair—
I'll gang demented wi' despair—
I'm charged for her annuity.

George Outram.


K. K.—CAN'T CALCULATE

What poor short-sighted worms we be;
For we can't calculate,
With any sort of sartintee,
What is to be our fate.

These words Prissilla's heart did reach,
And caused her tears to flow,
When first she heard the Elder preach,
About six months ago.

How true it is what he did state,
And thus affected her,
That nobody can't calculate
What is a-gwine to occur.

When we retire, can't calculate
But what afore the morn
Our housen will conflaggerate,
And we be left forlorn.
[Pg 354]
Can't calculate when we come in
From any neighborin' place,
Whether we'll ever go out agin
To look on natur's face.

Can't calculate upon the weather,
It always changes so;
Hain't got no means of telling whether
It's gwine to rain or snow.

Can't calculate with no precision
On naught beneath the sky;
And so I've come to the decision
That't ain't worth while to try.

Frances M. Whitcher.


NORTHERN FARMER

NEW STYLE

Dosn't thou 'ear my 'erse's legs, as they canters awaäy?
Proputty, proputty, proputty—that's what I 'ears 'em saäy.
Proputty, proputty, proputty—Sam, thou's an ass for thy paaïns:
Theer's moor sense i' one o' 'is legs nor in all thy braaïns.

Woä—theer's a craw to pluck wi' tha, Sam: yon's parson's 'ouse—
Dosn't thou knaw that a man mun be eäther a man or a mouse?
Time to think on it, then; for thou'll be twenty to weeäk.
Proputty, proputty—woä then, woä—let ma 'ear mysén speäk.

Me an' thy muther, Sammy, 'as beän a-talkin' o' thee;
Thou's been talkin' to muther, an' she beän a-tellin' it me.
Thou'll not marry for munny—thou's sweet upo' parson's lass—
Noä—thou'll marry for luvv—an' we boäth of us thinks tha an ass.
[Pg 355]
Seeä'd her to-daäy goä by—Saäint's-daäy—they was ringing the bells.
She's a beauty, thou thinks—an' soä is scoors o' gells.
Them as 'as munny an' all—wot's a beauty?—the flower as blaws.
But proputty, proputty sticks, an' proputty, proputty graws.

Do'ant be stunt: taäke time: I knaws what maäkes tha sa mad.
Warn't I craäzed fur the lasses mysén when I wur a lad?
But I knaw'd a Quaäker feller as often 'as towd ma this:
"Do'ant thou marry for munny, but goä wheer munny is!"

An' I went wheer munny war: an' thy mother coom to 'and,
Wi' lots o' munny laaïd by, an' a nicetish hit o' land.
Maäybe she warn't a beauty: I niver giv it a thowt—
But warn't she as good to cuddle an' kiss as a lass as 'ant nowt?

Parson's lass 'ant nowt, an' she weänt 'a nowt when 'e's deäd,
Mun be a guvness, lad, or summut, and addle her breäd:
Why? fur 'e's nobbut a curate, an' weänt niver git naw 'igher;
An' 'e's maäde the bed as 'e ligs on afoor 'e coom'd to the shire.

An' thin 'e coom'd to the parish wi' lots o' 'Varsity debt,
Stook to his taäil they did, an' 'e 'ant got shut on 'em yet.
An' 'e ligs on 'is back i' the grip, wi noän to lend 'im a shove,
Woorse nor a far-welter'd yowe: fur, Sammy, 'e married fur luvv.

Luvv? what's luvv? thou can luvv thy lass an' 'er munny too,
Maäkin' 'em goä togither, as they've good right to do.
Couldn't I luvv thy muther by cause o' 'er munny laaïd by?
Naäy—for I luvv'd her a vast sight moor fur it: reäson why.
[Pg 356]
Ay, an' thy muther says thou wants to marry the lass,
Cooms of a gentleman burn; an' we boäth on us thinks tha an ass.
Woä then, proputty, wiltha?—an ass as near as mays nowt—
Woä then, wiltha? dangtha!—the bees is as fell as owt.

Breäk me a bit o' the esh for his 'eäd, lad, out o' the fence!
Gentleman burn! What's gentleman burn? Is it shillins an' pence?
Proputty, proputty's ivrything 'ere, an', Sammy, I'm blest
If it isn't the saäme oop yonder, fur them as 'as it's the best.

'Tisn' them as 'as munny as breäks into 'ouses an' steäls,
Them as 'as coöts to their backs an 'taäkes their regular meäls.
Noä, but it's them as niver knaws wheer a meäl's to be 'ad.
Taäke my word for it, Sammy, the poor in a loomp is bad.

Them or thir feythers, tha sees, mun 'a beän a laäzy lot.
Fur work mun 'a gone to the gittin' whiniver munny was got.
Feyther 'ad ammost nowt; leästways 'is munny was 'id.
But 's tued an' moil'd 'issén deäd, an' 'e died a good un, 'e did.

Looök thou theer wheer Wrigglesby beck cooms out by the 'ill!
Feyther run oop to the farm, an' I runs oop to the mill;
An' I'll run oop to the brig, an' that thou'll live to see;
And if thou marries a good un I'll leäve the land to thee.

Thim's my noätions, Sammy, wheerby I meäns to stick;
But if 'thou marries a bad un, I'll leäve the land to Dick.—
Coom oop, proputty, proputty—that's what I 'ears 'im saäy—
Proputty, proputty, proputty—canter an' canter awaäy.

Lord Tennyson.

[Pg 357]

FIN DE SIÉCLE

Life is a gift that most of us hold dear:
I never asked the spiteful gods to grant it;
Held it a bore—in short; and now it's here,
I do not want it.

Thrust into life, I eat, smoke, drink, and sleep,
My mind's a blank I seldom care to question;
The only faculty I active keep
Is my digestion.

Like oyster on his rock, I sit and jest
At others' dreams of love or fame or pelf,
Discovering but a languid interest
Even in myself.

An oyster: ah! beneath the quiet sea
To know no care, no change, no joy, no pain,
The warm salt water gurgling into me
And out again.

While some in life's old roadside inns at ease
Sit careless, all unthinking of the score
Mine host chalks up in swift unseen increase
Behind the door;

Bound like Ixion on life's torture-wheel,
I whirl inert in pitiless gyration,
Loathing it all; the one desire I feel,
Annihilation!

Unknown.


THEN AG'IN

Jim Bowker, he said, ef he'd had a fair show,
And a big enough town for his talents to grow,
And the least bit assistance in hoein' his row,
Jim Bowker, he said,
He'd filled the world full of the sound of his name,
An' clim the top round in the ladder of fame.
[Pg 358] It may have been so;
I dunno;
Jest so, it might been,
Then ag'in—

But he had tarnal luck—eyerythin' went ag'in him,
The arrers of fortune they allus' 'ud pin him;
So he didn't get no chance to show off what was in him.
Jim Bowker, he said,
Ef he'd had a fair show, you couldn't tell where he'd come,
An' the feats he'd a-done, an' the heights he'd a-clum—
It may have been so;
I dunno;
Jest so, it might been,
Then ag'in—

But we're all like Jim Bowker, thinks I, more or less—
Charge fate for our bad luck, ourselves for success,
An' give fortune the blame for all our distress,
As Jim Bowker, he said,
Ef it hadn't been for luck an' misfortune an' sich,
We might a-been famous, an' might a-been rich.
It might be jest so;
I dunno;
Jest so, it might been,
Then ag'in—

Sam Walter Foss.


THE PESSIMIST

Nothing to do but work,
Nothing to eat but food,
Nothing to wear but clothes,
To keep one from going nude.

Nothing to breathe but air,
Quick as a flash 't is gone;
Nowhere to fall but off,
Nowhere to stand but on.
[Pg 359]
Nothing to comb but hair,
Nowhere to sleep but in bed,
Nothing to weep but tears,
Nothing to bury but dead.

Nothing to sing but songs,
Ah, well, alas! alack!
Nowhere to go but out,
Nowhere to come but back.

Nothing to see but sights,
Nothing to quench but thirst,
Nothing to have but what we've got
Thus through life we are cursed.

Nothing to strike but a gait;
Everything moves that goes.
Nothing at all but common sense
Can ever withstand these woes.

Ben King.


WITHOUT AND WITHIN

My coachman, in the moonlight there,
Looks through the side-light of the door;
I hear him with his brethren swear,
As I could do,—but only more.

Flattening his nose against the pane,
He envies me my brilliant lot,
Breathes on his aching fist in vain,
And dooms me to a place more hot.

He sees me in to supper go,
A silken wonder by my side,
Bare arms, bare shoulders, and a row
Of flounces, for the door too wide.

He thinks how happy is my arm,
'Neath its white-gloved and jewelled load;
And wishes me some dreadful harm,
Hearing the merry corks explode.
[Pg 360]
Meanwhile I inly curse the bore
Of hunting still the same old coon,
And envy him, outside the door,
The golden quiet of the moon.

The winter wind is not so cold
As the bright smile he sees me win,
Nor the host's oldest wine so old
As our poor gabble, sour and thin.

I envy him the rugged prance
By which his freezing feet he warms,
And drag my lady's chains, and dance,
The galley-slave of dreary forms.

Oh, could he have my share of din,
And I his quiet—past a doubt
'Twould still be one man bored within,
And just another bored without.

James Russell Lowell.


SAME OLD STORY

History, and nature, too, repeat themselves, they say;
Men are only habit's slaves; we see it every day.
Life has done its best for me—I find it tiresome still;
For nothing's everything at all, and everything is nil.
Same old get-up, dress, and tub;
Same old breakfast; same old club;
Same old feeling; same old blue;
Same old story—nothing new!

Life consists of paying bills as long as you have health;
Woman? She'll be true to you—as long as you have wealth;
Think sometimes of marriage, if the right girl I could strike;
But the more I see of girls, the more they are alike.
Same old giggles, smiles, and eyes;
Same old kisses; same old sighs;
Same old chaff you; same adieu;
Same old story—nothing new!
[Pg 361]
Go to theatres sometimes to see the latest plays;
Same old plots I played with in my happy childhood's days;
Hero, same; same villain; and same heroine in tears,
Starving, homeless, in the snow—with diamonds in her ears.
Same stern father making "bluffs";
Leading man all teeth and cuffs;
Same soubrettes, still twenty-two;
Same old story—nothing new!

Friend of mine got married; in a year or so, a boy!
Father really foolish in his fond paternal joy;
Talked about that "kiddy," and became a dreadful bore—
Just as if a baby never had been born before.
Same old crying, only more;
Same old business, walking floor;
Same old "kitchy—coochy—coo!"
Same old baby—nothing new!

Harry B. Smith.

[Pg 362]

VI

EPIGRAMS


WOMAN'S WILL

Men, dying, make their wills, but wives
Escape a work so sad;
Why should they make what all their lives
The gentle dames have had?

John G. Saxe.


CYNICUS TO W. SHAKESPEARE

You wrote a line too much, my sage,
Of seers the first, and first of sayers;
For only half the world's a stage,
And only all the women players.

James Kenneth Stephen.


SENEX TO MATT. PRIOR

Ah! Matt, old age has brought to me
Thy wisdom, less thy certainty;
The world's a jest, and joy's a trinket;
I knew that once,—but now I think it.

James Kenneth Stephen.


TO A BLOCKHEAD

You beat your pate, and fancy wit will come:
Knock as you please, there's nobody at home.

Alexander Pope.

[Pg 363]

THE FOOL AND THE POET

Sir, I admit your general rule,
That every poet is a fool,
But you yourself may serve to show it,
That every fool is not a poet.

Alexander Pope.


A RHYMESTER

Jem writes his verses with more speed
Than the printer's boy can set 'em;
Quite as fast as we can read,
And only not so fast as we forget 'em.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge.


GILES'S HOPE

What? rise again with all one's bones,
Quoth Giles, I hope you fib:
I trusted, when I went to Heaven,
To go without my rib.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge.


COLOGNE

In Köln, a town of monks and bones,
And pavements fanged with murderous stones,
And rags, and hags, and hideous wenches,
I counted two-and-seventy stenches,
All well defined, and separate stinks!
Ye nymphs that reign o'er sewers and sinks,
The river Rhine, it is well known,
Doth wash your city of Cologne;
But tell me, nymphs, what power divine
Shall henceforth wash the river Rhine?

Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

[Pg 364]

AN ETERNAL POEM

Your poem must eternal be,
Dear sir, it can not fail,
For 'tis incomprehensible,
And wants both head and tail.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge.


ON A BAD SINGER

Swans sing before they die:—'twere no bad thing,
Should certain persons die before they sing.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge.


JOB

Sly Beelzebub took all occasions
To try Job's constancy and patience.
He took his honor, took his health;
He took his children, took his wealth,
His servants, horses, oxen, cows,—
But cunning Satan did not take his spouse.

But Heaven, that brings out good from evil,
And loves to disappoint the devil,
Had predetermined to restore
Twofold all he had before;
His servants, horses, oxen, cows—
Short-sighted devil, not to take his spouse!

Samuel Taylor Coleridge.


REASONS FOR DRINKING

If all be true that I do think,
There are five reasons we should drink;
Good wine—a friend—or being dry—
Or lest we should be by and by—
Or any other reason why.

Dr. Henry Aldrich.

[Pg 365]

SMATTERERS

All smatterers are more brisk and pert
Than those that understand an art;
As little sparkles shine more bright
Than glowing coals, that give them light.

Samuel Butler.


HYPOCRISY

Hypocrisy will serve as well
To propagate a church, as zeal;
As persecution and promotion
Do equally advance devotion:
So round white stones will serve, they say,
As well as eggs to make hens lay.

Samuel Butler.


TO DOCTOR EMPIRIC

When men a dangerous disease did 'scape,
Of old, they gave a cock to Æsculape;
Let me give two, that doubly am got free;
From my disease's danger, and from thee.

Ben Jonson.


A REMEDY WORSE THAN THE DISEASE

I sent for Ratcliffe; was so ill,
That other doctors gave me over:
He felt my pulse, prescribed his pill,
And I was likely to recover.

But when the wit began to wheeze,
And wine had warm'd the politician,
Cured yesterday of my disease,
I died last night of my physician.

Matthew Prior.

[Pg 366]

A WIFE

Lord Erskine, at women presuming to rail,
Calls a wife "a tin canister tied to one's tail";
And fair Lady Anne, while the subject he carries on,
Seems hurt at his Lordship's degrading comparison.
But wherefore degrading? consider'd aright,
A canister's useful, and polish'd, and bright:
And should dirt its original purity hide,
That's the fault of the puppy to whom it is tied.

Richard Brinsley Sheridan.


THE HONEY-MOON

The honey-moon is very strange.
Unlike all other moons the change
She regularly undergoes.
She rises at the full; then loses
Much of her brightness; then reposes
Faintly; and then ... has naught to lose.

Walter Savage Landor.


DIDO

IMPROMPTU EPIGRAM ON THE LATIN GERUNDS

When Dido found Æneas would not come,
She mourn'd in silence, and was Di-do-dum(b).

Richard Parson.


AN EPITAPH

A lovely young lady I mourn in my rhymes:
She was pleasant, good-natured, and civil sometimes.
Her figure was good: she had very fine eyes,
And her talk was a mixture of foolish and wise.
Her adorers were many, and one of them said,
"She waltzed rather well! It's a pity she's dead!"

George John Cayley.

[Pg 367]

ON TAKING A WIFE

"Come, come," said Tom's father, "at your time of life,
There's no longer excuse for thus playing the rake.—
It is time you should think, boy, of taking a wife."—
"Why, so it is, father,—whose wife shall I take?"

Thomas Moore.


UPON BEING OBLIGED TO LEAVE A PLEASANT PARTY FROM THE WANT OF A PAIR OF BREECHES TO DRESS FOR DINNER IN

Between Adam and me the great difference is,
Though a paradise each has been forced to resign,
That he never wore breeches till turn'd out of his,
While, for want of my breeches, I'm banish'd from mine.

Thomas Moore.


SOME LADIES

Some ladies now make pretty songs,
And some make pretty nurses;
Some men are great at righting wrongs
And some at writing verses.

Frederick Locker-Lampson.


ON A SENSE OF HUMOUR

He cannot be complete in aught
Who is not humorously prone;
A man without a merry thought
Can hardly have a funny-bone.

Frederick Locker-Lampson.

[Pg 368]

ON HEARING A LADY PRAISE A CERTAIN REV. DOCTOR'S EYES

I cannot praise the Doctor's eyes;
I never saw his glance divine;
He always shuts them when he prays,
And when he preaches he shuts mine.

George Outram.


EPITAPH INTENDED FOR HIS WIFE

Here lies my wife: here let her lie!
Now she's at rest, and so am I.

John Dryden.


TO A CAPRICIOUS FRIEND

IMITATED FROM MARTIAL

In all thy humors, whether grave or mellow,
Thou 'rt such a touchy, testy, pleasant fellow;
Hast so much wit, and mirth, and spleen about thee,
There is no living with thee, nor without thee.

Joseph Addison.


WHICH IS WHICH

"God bless the King! God bless the faith's defender!
God bless—no harm in blessing—the Pretender.
But who pretender is, and who is king,
God bless us all, that's quite another thing."

John Byrom.

[Pg 369]

ON A FULL-LENGTH PORTRAIT OF BEAU MARSH PLACED BETWEEN THE BUSTS OF NEWTON AND POPE

"Immortal Newton never spoke
More truth than here you'll find;
Nor Pope himself e'er penn'd a joke
More cruel on mankind.

"The picture placed the busts between,
Gives satire all its strength;
Wisdom and Wit are little seen—
But Folly at full length."

Lord Chesterfield.


ON SCOTLAND

"Had Cain been Scot, God would have changed his doom;
Nor forced him wander, but confined him home."

Cleveland.


MENDAX

See yonder goes old Mendax, telling lies
To that good easy man with whom he's walking;
How know I that? you ask, with some surprise;
Why, don't you see, my friend, the fellow's talking.

Lessing.


TO A SLOW WALKER AND QUICK EATER

So slowly you walk, and so quickly you eat,
You should march with your mouth, and devour with your feet.

Lessing.

[Pg 370]

WHAT'S MY THOUGHT LIKE?

Quest.—Why is a Pump like Viscount Castlereagh?
Answ.—Because it is a slender thing of wood,
That up and down its awkward arm doth sway,
And coolly spout, and spout, and spout away,
In one weak, washy, everlasting flood!

Thomas Moore.


OF ALL THE MEN

Of all the men one meets about,
There's none like Jack—he's everywhere:
At church—park—auction—dinner—rout—
Go when and where you will, he's there.
Try the West End, he's at your back—
Meets you, like Eurus, in the East—
You're call'd upon for "How do, Jack?"
One hundred times a day, at least.
A friend of his one evening said,
As home he took his pensive way,
"Upon my soul, I fear Jack's dead—
I've seen him but three times to-day!"

Thomas Moore.


ON BUTLER'S MONUMENT

While Butler, needy wretch, was yet alive,
No generous patron would a dinner give.
See him, when starved to death and turn'd to dust,
Presented with a monumental bust.
The poet's fate is here in emblem shown—
He ask'd for bread, and he received a stone.

Rev. Samuel Wesley.

[Pg 371]

A CONJUGAL CONUNDRUM

Which is of greater value, prythee, say,
The Bride or Bridegroom?—must the truth be told?
Alas, it must! The Bride is given away—
The Bridegroom's often regularly sold.

Unknown.

[Pg 372]

VII

BURLESQUE


LOVERS AND A REFLECTION

In moss-prankt dells which the sunbeams flatter
(And heaven it knoweth what that may mean;
Meaning, however, is no great matter)
Where woods are a-tremble with words a-tween;

Thro' God's own heather we wonned together,
I and my Willie (O love my love):
I need hardly remark it was glorious weather,
And flitter-bats wavered alow, above:

Boats were curtseying, rising, bowing,
(Boats in that climate are so polite,)
And sands were a ribbon of green endowing,
And O the sun-dazzle on bark and bight!

Thro' the rare red heather we danced together
(O love my Willie,) and smelt for flowers:
I must mention again it was glorious weather,
Rhymes are so scarce in this world of ours:

By rises that flushed with their purple favors,
Thro' becks that brattled o'er grasses sheen,
We walked or waded, we two young shavers,
Thanking our stars we were both so green.

We journeyed in parallels, I and Willie,
In fortunate parallels! Butterflies,
Hid in weltering shadows of daffodilly
Or Marjoram, kept making peacock eyes:
[Pg 373]
Song-birds darted about, some inky
As coal, some snowy (I ween) as curds;
Or rosy as pinks, or as roses pinky—
They reck of no eerie To-come, those birds!

But they skim over bents which the mill-stream washes,
Or hang in the lift 'neath a white cloud's hem;
They need no parasols, no goloshes;
And good Mrs. Trimmer she feedeth them.

Then we thrid God's cowslips (as erst his heather),
That endowed the wan grass with their golden blooms;
And snapt—(it was perfectly charming weather)—
Our fingers at Fate and her goddess-glooms:

And Willie 'gan sing—(Oh, his notes were fluty;
Wafts fluttered them out to the white-winged sea)—
Something made up of rhymes that have done much duty,
Rhymes (better to put it) of "ancientry":

Bowers of flowers encountered showers
In William's carol—(O love my Willie!)
Then he bade sorrow borrow from blithe to-morrow
I quite forget what—say a daffodilly.

A nest in a hollow, "with buds to follow,"
I think occurred next in his nimble strain;
And clay that was "kneaden" of course in Eden—
A rhyme most novel I do maintain:

Mists, bones, the singer himself, love-stories,
And all least furlable things got furled;
Not with any design to conceal their glories,
But simply and solely to rhyme with world.

O if billows and pillows and hours and flowers,
And all the brave rhymes of an elder day,
Could be furled together, this genial weather,
And carted or carried on wafts away,
Nor ever again trotted out—ah me!
How much fewer volumes of verse there'd be.

Charles Stuart Calverley.

[Pg 374]

OUR HYMN

At morning's call
The small-voiced pug dog welcomes in the sun,
And flea-bit mongrels wakening one by one,
Give answer all.

When evening dim
Draws rounds us, then the lovely caterwaul,
Tart solo, sour duet and general squall,
These are our hymn.

Oliver Wendell Holmes.


"SOLDIER, REST!"

A Russian sailed over the blue Black Sea
Just when the war was growing hot,
And he shouted, "I'm Tjalikavakeree—
Karindabrolikanavandorot—
Schipkadirova—
Ivandiszstova—
Sanilik—
Danilik—
Varagobhot!"

A Turk was standing upon the shore
Right where the terrible Russian crossed;
And he cried, "Bismillah! I'm Abd el Kor—
Bazaroukilgonautoskobrosk—
Getzinpravadi—
Kilgekosladji—
Grivido—
Blivido—
Jenikodosk!"
[Pg 375]
So they stood like brave men, long and well,
And they called each other their proper names,
Till the lockjaw seized them, and where they fell
They buried them both by the Irdosholames—
Kalatalustchuk—
Mischaribustchup—
Bulgari—
Dulgari—
Sagharimainz.

Robert J. Burdette.


IMITATION

Calm and implacable,
Eying disdainfully the world beneath,
Sat Humpty-Dumpty on his mural eminence
In solemn state:
And I relate his story
In verse unfettered by the bothering restrictions of rhyme or metre,
In verse (or "rhythm," as I prefer to call it)
Which, consequently, is far from difficult to write.

He sat. And at his feet
The world passed on—the surging crowd
Of men and women, passionate, turgid, dense,
Keenly alert, lethargic, or obese.
(Those two lines scan!)

Among the rest
He noted Jones; Jones with his Roman nose,
His eyebrows—the left one streaked with a dash of gray—
And yellow boots.
Not that Jones
Has anything in particular to do with the story;
But a descriptive phrase
Like the above shows that the writer is
A Master of Realism.

Let us proceed. Suddenly from his seat
Did Humpty-Dumpty slip. Vainly he clutched
The impalpable air. Down and down,
Right to the foot of the wall,
[Pg 376] Right on to the horribly hard pavement that ran beneath it,
Humpty-Dumpty, the unfortunate Humpty-Dumpty,
Fell.

And him, alas! no equine agency,
Him no power of regal battalions—
Resourceful, eager, strenuous—
Could ever restore to the lofty eminence
Which once was his.
Still he lies on the very identical
Spot where he fell—lies, as I said on the ground,
Shamefully and conspicuously abased!

Anthony C. Deane.


THE MIGHTY MUST

Come mighty Must!
Inevitable Shall!
In thee I trust.
Time weaves my coronal!
Go mocking Is!
Go disappointing Was!
That I am this
Ye are the cursed cause!
Yet humble second shall be first,
I ween;
And dead and buried be the curst
Has Been!

Oh weak Might Be!
Oh, May, Might, Could, Would, Should!
How powerless ye
For evil or for good!
In every sense
Your moods I cheerless call,
Whate'er your tense
Ye are imperfect, all!
Ye have deceived the trust I've shown
In ye!
Away! The Mighty Must alone
Shall be!

W. S. Gilbert.

[Pg 377]

MIDSUMMER MADNESS

A SOLILOQUY

I am a hearthrug—
Yes, a rug—
Though I cannot describe myself as snug;
Yet I know that for me they paid a price
For a Turkey carpet that would suffice
(But we live in an age of rascal vice).
Why was I ever woven,
For a clumsy lout, with a wooden leg,
To come with his endless Peg! Peg!
Peg! Peg!
With a wooden leg,
Till countless holes I'm drove in.
("Drove," I have said, and it should be "driven";
A hearthrug's blunders should be forgiven,
For wretched scribblers have exercised
Such endless bosh and clamour,
So improvidently have improvised,
That they've utterly ungrammaticised
Our ungrammatical grammar).
And the coals
Burn holes,
Or make spots like moles,
And my lily-white tints, as black as your hat turn,
And the housemaid (a matricide, will-forging slattern),
Rolls
The rolls
From the plate, in shoals,
When they're put to warm in front of the coals;
And no one with me condoles,
For the butter stains on my beautiful pattern.
But the coals and rolls, and sometimes soles,
Dropp'd from the frying-pan out of the fire.
Are nothing to raise my indignant ire,
Like the Peg! Peg!
Of that horrible man with the wooden leg.
[Pg 378] This moral spread from me,
Sing it, ring it, yelp it—
Never a hearthrug be,
That is if you can help it.

Unknown.


MAVRONE

ONE OF THOSE SAD IRISH POEMS, WITH NOTES

From Arranmore the weary miles I've come;
An' all the way I've heard
A Shrawn[1] that's kep' me silent, speechless, dumb,
Not sayin' any word.
An' was it then the Shrawn of Eire,[2] you'll say,
For him that died the death on Carrisbool?
It was not that; nor was it, by the way,
The Sons of Garnim[3] blitherin' their drool;
Nor was it any Crowdie of the Shee,[4]
Or Itt, or Himm, nor wail of Barryhoo[5]
For Barrywhich that stilled the tongue of me.
[Pg 379] 'Twas but my own heart cryin' out for you
Magraw![6] Bulleen, shinnanigan, Boru,
Aroon, Machree, Aboo![7]

Arthur Guiterman.

[1] A Shrawn is a pure Gaelic noise, something like a groan, more like a shriek, and most like a sigh of longing.

[2] Eire was daughter of Carne, King of Connaught. Her lover, Murdh of the Open Hand, was captured by Greatcoat Mackintosh, King of Ulster, on the plain of Carrisbool, and made into soup. Eire's grief on this sad occasion has become proverbial.

[3] Garnim was second cousin to Manannan MacLir. His sons were always sad about something. There were twenty-two of them, and they were all unfortunate in love at the same time, just like a chorus at the opera. "Blitherin' their drool" is about the same as "dreeing their weird."

[4] The Shee (or "Sidhe," as I should properly spell it if you were not so ignorant) were, as everybody knows, the regular, stand-pat, organization fairies of Erin. The Crowdie was their annual convention, at which they made melancholy sounds. The Itt and Himm were the irregular, or insurgent, fairies. They never got any offices or patronage. See MacAlester, Polity of the Sidhe of West Meath, page 985.

[5] The Barryhoo is an ancient Celtic bird about the size of a Mavis, with lavender eyes and a black-crape tail. It continually mourns its mate (Barrywhich, feminine form), which has an hereditary predisposition to an early and tragic demise and invariably dies first.

[6] Magraw, a Gaelic term of endearment, often heard on the baseball fields of Donnybrook.

[7] These last six words are all that tradition has preserved of the original incantation by means of which Irish rats were rhymed to death. Thereby hangs a good Celtic tale, which I should be glad to tell you in this note; but the publishers say that being prosed to death is as bad as being rhymed to death, and that the readers won't stand for any more.


LILIES

Lilies, lilies, white lilies and yellow—

Lilies, lilies, purple lilies and golden—

Calla lilies, tiger lilies, lilies of the valley—

Lilies, lilies, lilies—

Bulb, bud and blossom—

What made them lilies?

If they were not lilies they would have to be something else, would they not?

What was it that made them lilies instead of making them violets or roses or geraniums or petunias?

What was it that made you yourself and me myself? What?

Alas! I do not know!

Don Marquis.


FOR I AM SAD

No usual words can bear the woe I feel,
No tralatitions trite give me relief!
O Webster! lend me words to voice my grief
Bitter as quassia, quass or kumquat peel!
For I am sad ... bound on the cosmic wheel,
What mad chthonophagy bids slave and chief
Through endless cycles bite the earth like beef,
By turns each cannibal and each the meal?
Turn we to nature Webster, and we see
Your whidah bird refuse all strobile fruit,
[Pg 380] Your tragacanth in tears ooze from the tree ...
We hear your flammulated owlets hoot!
Turn we to nature, Webster, and we find
Few creatures have a quite contented mind.
Your koulan there, with dyslogistic snort,
Will leave his phacoid food on worts to browse,
While glactophorous Himalayan cows
The knurled kohl-rabi spurn in uncouth sport;
No margay climbs margosa trees; the short
Gray mullet drink no mulse, nor house
In pibcorns when the youth of Wales carouse ...
No tournure doth the toucan's tail contort ...
So I am sad! ... and yet, on Summer eves,
When xebecs search the whishing scree for whelk,
And the sharp sorrel lifts obcordate leaves,
And cryptogamous plants fulfil the elk,
I see the octopus play with his feet,
And find within this sadness something sweet.

The thing we like about that poem is its recognition of all the sorrow there is in the universe ... its unflinching recognition, we might say, if we were not afraid of praising our own work too highly ... combined with its happy ending.

One feels, upon reading it, that, although everything everywhere is very sad, and all wrong, one has only to have patience and after a while everything everywhere will be quite right and very sweet.

No matter how interested one may be in these literary problems, one must cease discussing them at times or one will be late to one's meals.

Don Marquis.


A LITTLE SWIRL OF VERS LIBRE

NOT COVERED, STRANGE TO SAY, BY THE PENAL CODE

I am numb from world-pain—

I sway most violently as the thoughts course through me,

And athwart me,

And up and down me—

Thoughts of cosmic matters,

Of the mergings of worlds within worlds,

[Pg 381]

And unutterabilities

And room-rent,

And other tremendously alarming phenomena,

Which stab me,

Rip me most outrageously;

(Without a semblance, mind you, of respect for the Hague Convention's rules governing soul-slitting.)

Aye, as with the poniard of the Finite pricking the rainbow-bubble of the Infinite!

(Some figure, that!)

(Some little rush of syllables, that!)—

And make me—(are you still whirling at my coat-tails, reader?)

Make me—ahem, where was I?—oh, yes—make me,

In a sudden, overwhelming gust of soul-shattering rebellion,

Fall flat on my face!

Thomas R. Ybarra.


YOUNG LOCHINVAR

THE TRUE STORY IN BLANK VERSE

Oh! young Lochinvar has come out of the West,
Thro' all the wide border his horse has no equal,
Having cost him forty-five dollars at the market,
Where good nags, fresh from the country,
With burrs still in their tails are selling
For a song; and save his good broad sword
He weapon had none, except a seven-shooter
Or two, a pair of brass knuckles, and an Arkansaw

Toothpick in his boot, so, comparatively speaking,
He rode all unarmed, and he rode all alone,
Because there was no one going his way.
He stayed not for brake, and he stopped not for
Toll-gates; he swam the Eske River where ford
There was none, and saved fifteen cents
In ferriage, but lost his pocket-book, containing
Seventeen dollars and a half, by the operation.
[Pg 382] Ere he alighted at the Netherby mansion
He stopped to borrow a dry suit of clothes,
And this delayed him considerably, so when
He arrived the bride had consented—the gallant
Came late—for a laggard in love and a dastard in war
Was to wed the fair Ellen, and the guests had assembled.

So, boldly he entered the Netherby Hall
Among bridesmen and kinsmen and brothers and
Brothers-in-law and forty or fifty cousins;
Then spake the bride's father, his hand on his sword
(For the poor craven bridegroom ne'er opened his head)

"Oh, come ye in peace here, or come ye in anger,
Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar?"
"I long wooed your daughter, and she will tell you
I have the inside track in the free-for-all
For her affections! my suit you denied; but let
That pass, while I tell you, old fellow, that love
Swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide,
And now I am come with this lost love of mine
To lead but one measure, drink one glass of beer;
There are maidens in Scotland more lovely by far
That would gladly be bride to yours very truly."

The bride kissed the goblet, the knight took it up,
He quaffed off the nectar and threw down the mug,
Smashing it into a million pieces, while
He remarked that he was the son of a gun
From Seven-up and run the Number Nine.
She looked down to blush, but she looked up again
For she well understood the wink in his eye;
He took her soft hand ere her mother could
Interfere, "Now tread we a measure; first four
Half right and left; swing," cried young Lochinvar.
[Pg 383]
One touch to her hand and one word in her ear,
When they reached the hall door and the charger
Stood near on three legs eating post hay;
So light to the croup the fair lady he swung,
Then leaped to the saddle before her.
"She is won! we are gone! over bank, bush, and spar,
They'll have swift steeds that follow"—but in the

Excitement of the moment he had forgotten
To untie the horse, and the poor brute could
Only gallop in a little circus around the
Hitching-post; so the old gent collared
The youth and gave him the awfullest lambasting
That was ever heard of on Canobie Lee;
So dauntless in war and so daring in love,
Have ye e'er heard of gallant like young Lochinvar?

Unknown.


IMAGISTE LOVE LINES

I love my lady with a deep purple love;
She fascinates me like a fly
Struggling in a pot of glue.
Her eyes are grey, like twin ash-cans,
Just emptied, about which still hovers
A dainty mist.
Her disposition is as bright as a ten-cent shine,
Yet her kisses are tender and goulashy.
I love my lady with a deep purple love.

Unknown.


BYGONES

Or ever a lick of Art was done,
Or ever a one to care,
I was a Purple Polygon,
And you were a Sky-Blue Square.
[Pg 384]
You yearned for me across a void,
For I lay in a different plane,
I'd set my heart on a Red Rhomboid,
And your sighing was in vain.

You pined for me as well I knew,
And you faded day by day,
Until the Square that was heavenly Blue,
Had paled to an ashen grey.

A myriad years or less or more,
Have softly fluttered by,
Matters are much as they were before,
Except 'tis I that sigh.

I yearn for you, but I have no chance,
You lie in a different plane,
I break my heart for a single glance,
And I break said heart in vain.

And ever I grow more pale and wan,
And taste your old despair,
When I was a Purple Polygon,
And you were a Sky-Blue Square.

Bert Leston Taylor.


JUSTICE TO SCOTLAND

AN UNPUBLISHED POEM BY BURNS

O mickle yeuks the keckle doup,
An' a' unsicker girns the graith,
For wae and wae! the crowdies loup
O'er jouk an' hallan, braw an' baith
Where ance the coggie hirpled fair,
And blithesome poortith toomed the loof,
There's nae a burnie giglet rare
But blaws in ilka jinking coof.
[Pg 385]
The routhie bield that gars the gear
Is gone where glint the pawky een.
And aye the stound is birkin lear
Where sconnered yowies wheeped yestreen,
The creeshie rax wi' skelpin' kaes
Nae mair the howdie bicker whangs,
Nor weanies in their wee bit claes
Glour light as lammies wi' their sangs.

Yet leeze me on my bonny byke!
My drappie aiblins blinks the noo,
An' leesome luve has lapt the dyke
Forgatherin' just a wee bit fou.
And Scotia! while thy rantin' lunt
Is mirk and moop with gowans fine,
I'll stowlins pit my unco brunt,
An' cleek my duds for auld lang syne.

Unknown.


LAMENT OF THE SCOTCH-IRISH EXILE

Oh, I want to win me hame
To my ain countrie,
The land frae whence I came
Far away across the sea;
Bit I canna find it there, on the atlas anywhere,
And I greet and wonder sair
Where the deil it can be?

I hae never met a man,
In a' the warld wide,
Who has trod my native lan'
Or its distant shores espied;
But they tell me there's a place where my hypothetic race
Its dim origin can trace—
Tipperary-on-the-Clyde.
[Pg 386]
But anither answers: "Nae,
Ye are varra far frae richt;
Glasgow town in Dublin Bay
Is the spot we saw the licht."
But I dinna find the maps bearing out these pawkie chaps,
And I sometimes think perhaps
It has vanished out o' sight.

Oh, I fain wad win me hame
To that undiscovered lan'
That has neither place nor name
Where the Scoto-Irishman
May behold the castles fair by his fathers builded there
Many, many ages ere
Ancient history began.

James Jeffrey Roche.


A SONG OF SORROW

A LULLABYLET FOR A MAGAZINELET

Wan from the wild and woful West—
Sleep, little babe, sleep on!
Mother will sing to—you know the rest—
Sleep, little babe, sleep on!
Softly the sand steals slowly by,
Cursed be the curlew's chittering cry;
By-a-by, oh, by-a-by!
Sleep, little babe, sleep on!

Rosy and sweet come the hush of night—
Sleep, little babe, sleep on!
(Twig to the lilt, I have got it all right)
Sleep, little babe, sleep on!
Dark are the dark and darkling days
Winding the webbed and winsome ways,
Homeward she creeps in dim amaze—
Sleep, little babe, sleep on!
(But it waked up, drat it!)

Charles Battell Loomis.

[Pg 387]

THE REJECTED "NATIONAL HYMNS"

I

BY H—-Y W. L-NGF——W

Back in the years when Phlagstaff, the Dane, was monarch
Over the sea-ribb'd land of the fleet-footed Norsemen,
Once there went forth young Ursa to gaze at the heavens—
Ursa—the noblest of all the Vikings and horsemen.

Musing, he sat in his stirrups and viewed the horizon,
Where the Aurora lapt stars in a North-polar manner,
Wildly he started,—for there in the heavens before him
Flutter'd and flam'd the original Star Spangled Banner.

II

BY J-HN GR—NL—F WH—T—R

My Native Land, thy Puritanic stock
Still finds its roots firm-bound in Plymouth Rock,
And all thy sons unite in one grand wish—
To keep the virtues of Preservèd Fish.

Preservèd Fish, the Deacon stern and true,
Told our New England what her sons should do,
And if they swerve from loyalty and right,
Then the whole land is lost indeed in night.

III

BY DR. OL-V-R W-ND-L H-LMES

A diagnosis of our hist'ry proves
Our native land a land its native loves;
Its birth a deed obstetric without peer,
Its growth a source of wonder far and near.

To love it more behold how foreign shores
Sink into nothingness beside its stores;
Hyde Park at best—though counted ultra-grand—
The "Boston Common" of Victoria's land.
[Pg 388]

IV

BY R-LPH W-LDO EM-R—N

Source immaterial of material naught,
Focus of light infinitesimal,
Sum of all things by sleepless Nature wrought,
Of which the normal man is decimal.

Refract, in prism immortal, from thy stars
To the stars bent incipient on our flag,
The beam translucent, neutrifying death,
And raise to immortality the rag.

V

BY W-LL—M C-LL-N B-Y-NT

The sun sinks softly to his Ev'ning Post,
The sun swells grandly to his morning crown;
Yet not a star our Flag of Heav'n has lost,
And not a sunset stripe with him goes down.

So thrones may fall, and from the dust of those
New thrones may rise, to totter like the last;
But still our Country's nobler planet glows
While the eternal stars of Heaven are fast.

VI

BY N. P. W-LL-IS

One hue of our Flag is taken
From the cheeks of my blushing Pet,
And its stars beat time and sparkle
Like the studs on her chemisette.

Its blue is the ocean shadow
That hides in her dreamy eyes,
It conquers all men, like her,
And still for a Union flies.
[Pg 389]

VII

BY TH-M—S B-IL-Y ALD—CH

The little brown squirrel hops in the corn,
The cricket quaintly sings,
The emerald pigeon nods his head,
And the shad in the river springs,
The dainty sunflow'r hangs its head
On the shore of the summer sea;
And better far that I were dead,
If Maud did not love me.

I love the squirrel that hops in the corn,
And the cricket that quaintly sings;
And the emerald pigeon that nods his head,
And the shad that gaily springs.
I love the dainty sunflow'r, too,
And Maud with her snowy breast;
I love them all;—but I love—I love—
I love my country best.

Robert H. Newell.


THE EDITOR'S WOOING

We love thee, Ann Maria Smith,
And in thy condescension
We see a future full of joys
Too numerous to mention.

There's Cupid's arrow in thy glance,
That by thy love's coercion
Has reached our melting heart of hearts,
And asked for one insertion.

With joy we feel the blissful smart;
And ere our passion ranges,
We freely place thy love upon
The list of our exchanges.
[Pg 390]
There's music in thy lowest tone,
And silver in thy laughter:
And truth—but we will give the full
Particulars hereafter.

Oh, we could tell thee of our plans
All obstacles to scatter;
But we are full just now, and have
A press of other matter.

Then let us marry, Queen of Smiths,
Without more hesitation:
The very thought doth give our blood
A larger circulation.

Robert H. Newell.


THE BABY'S DÉBUT[1]

A BURLESQUE IMITATION OF WORDSWORTH—REJECTED ADDRESSES

[Spoken in the character of Nancy Lake, a girl eight years of age, who is drawn upon the stage in a child's chaise by Samuel Hughes, her uncle's porter.]

My brother Jack was nine in May,
And I was eight on New-year's-day;
So in Kate Wilson's shop
Papa (he's my papa and Jack's)
Bought me, last week, a doll of wax,
And brother Jack a top.
Jack's in the pouts, and this it is—
He thinks mine came to more than his;
[Pg 391]
So to my drawer he goes,
Takes out the doll, and, O, my stars!
He pokes her head between the bars,
And melts off half her nose!

Quite cross, a bit of string I beg,
And tie it to his peg-top's peg,
And bang, with might and main,
Its head against the parlor-door:
Off flies the head, and hits the floor,
And breaks a window-pane.

This made him cry with rage and spite:
Well, let him cry, it serves him right.
A pretty thing, forsooth!
If he's to melt, all scalding hot,
Half my doll's nose, and I am not
To draw his peg-top's tooth!

Aunt Hannah heard the window break,
And cried, "O naughty Nancy Lake,
Thus to distress your aunt:
No Drury Lane for you to-day!"
And while papa said, "Pooh, she may!"
Mamma said, "No, she sha'n't!"

Well, after many a sad reproach,
They got into a hackney-coach,
And trotted down the street.
I saw them go: one horse was blind,
The tails of both hung down behind,
Their shoes were on their feet.

The chaise in which poor brother Bill
Used to be drawn to Pentonville,
Stood in the lumber-room:
I wiped the dust from off the top,
While Molly mopped it with a mop,
And brushed it with a broom.
[Pg 392]
My uncle's porter, Samuel Hughes,
Came in at six to black the shoes,
(I always talk to Sam:)
So what does he, but takes, and drags
Me in the chaise along the flags,
And leaves me where I am.

My father's walls are made of brick,
But not so tall and not so thick
As these; and, goodness me!
My father's beams are made of wood,
But never, never half so good
As those that now I see.

What a large floor! 'tis like a town!
The carpet, when they lay it down,
Won't hide it, I'll be bound;
And there's a row of lamps!—my eye!
How they do blaze! I wonder why
They keep them on the ground.

At first I caught hold of the wing,
And kept away; but Mr. Thing-
umbob, the prompter man,
Gave with his hand my chaise a shove,
And said, "Go on, my pretty love;
Speak to 'em little Nan.

"You've only got to curtsy, whisp-
er, hold your chin up, laugh and lisp,
And then you're sure to take:
I've known the day when brats, not quite
Thirteen, got fifty pounds a night;
Then why not Nancy Lake?"

But while I'm speaking, where's papa?
And where's my aunt? and where's mamma?
Where's Jack? O there they sit!
They smile, they nod; I'll go my ways,
And order round poor Billy's chaise,
To join them in the pit.
[Pg 393]
And now, good gentlefolks, I go
To join mamma, and see the show;
So, bidding you adieu,
I curtsy like a pretty miss,
And if you'll blow to me a kiss,
I'll blow a kiss to you.
[Blows a kiss, and exit.]

James Smith.

[1] "The author does not, in this instance, attempt to copy any of the higher attributes of Mr. Wordsworth's poetry; but has succeeded perfectly in the imitation of his mawkish affectations of childish simplicity and nursery stammering. We hope it will make him ashamed of his Alice Fell, and the greater part of his last volumes—of which it is by no means a parody, but a very fair, and indeed we think a flattering, imitation."—Edinburg Review.


THE CANTELOPE

Side by side in the crowded streets,
Amid its ebb and flow,
We walked together one autumn morn;
('Twas many years ago!)
The markets blushed with fruits and flowers;
(Both Memory and Hope!)
You stopped and bought me at the stall,
A spicy cantelope.
We drained together its honeyed wine,
We cast the seeds away;
I slipped and fell on the moony rinds,
And you took me home on a dray!
The honeyed wine of your love is drained;
I limp from the fall I had;
The snow-flakes muffle the empty stall,
And everything is sad.
The sky is an inkstand, upside down,
It splashes the world with gloom;
The earth is full of skeleton bones,
And the sea is a wobbling tomb!

Bayard Taylor.

[Pg 394]

POPULAR BALLAD: "NEVER FORGET YOUR PARENTS"

A young man once was sitting
Within a swell café,
The music it was playing sweet—
The people was quite gay.
But he alone was silent,
A tear was in his eye—
A waitress she stepped up to him, and
Asked him gently why.

(Change to Minor)

He turned to her in sorrow and
At first he spoke no word,
But soon he spoke unto her, for
She was an honest girl.
He rose up from the table
In that elegant café,
And in a voice replete with tears
To her he then did say:

CHORUS

Never forget your father,
Think all he done for you;
A mother is a boy's best friend,
So loving, kind, and true,
If it were not for them, I'm sure
I might be quite forlorn;
And if your parents had not have lived
You would not have been born.

A hush fell on the laughing throng,
It made them feel quite bad,
For most of them was people, and
Some parents they had had.
Both men and ladies did shed tears.
The music it did cease,
For all knew he had spoke the truth
By looking at his face.
[Pg 395]

(Change to Minor)

The waitress she wept bitterly
And others was in tears
It made them think of the old home
They had not saw in years.
And while their hearts was heavy and
Their eyes they was quite red.
This brave and honest boy again
To them these words he said:

CHORUS

Never forget your father,
Think all he done for you;
A mother is a boy's best friend,
So loving, kind, and true,
If it were not for them, I'm sure
I might be quite forlorn;
And if your parents had not have lived
You would not have been born.

Franklin P. Adams.


HOW A GIRL WAS TOO RECKLESS OF GRAMMAR

Matilda Maud Mackenzie frankly hadn't any chin,
Her hands were rough, her feet she turned invariably in;
Her general form was German,
By which I mean that you
Her waist could not determine
Within a foot or two.
And not only did she stammer,
But she used the kind of grammar
That is called, for sake of euphony, askew.

From what I say about her, don't imagine I desire
A prejudice against this worthy creature to inspire.
She was willing, she was active,
She was sober, she was kind,
But she never looked attractive
And she hadn't any mind.
[Pg 396] I knew her more than slightly,
And I treated her politely
When I met her, but of course I wasn't blind!

Matilda Maud Mackenzie had a habit that was droll,
She spent her morning seated on a rock or on a knoll,
And threw with, much, composure
A smallish rubber ball
At an inoffensive osier
By a little waterfall;
But Matilda's way of throwing
Was like other people's mowing,
And she never hit the willow-tree at all!

One day as Miss Mackenzie with uncommon ardour tried
To hit the mark, the missile flew exceptionally wide.
And, before her eyes astounded,
On a fallen maple's trunk
Ricochetted and rebounded
In the rivulet, and sunk!
Matilda, greatly frightened,
In her grammar unenlightened,
Remarked, "Well now I ast yer, who'd 'er thunk?"

But what a marvel followed! From the pool at once there rose
A frog, the sphere of rubber balanced deftly on his nose.
He beheld her fright and frenzy
And, her panic to dispel,
On his knee by Miss Mackenzie
He obsequiously fell.
With quite as much decorum
As a speaker in a forum
He started in his history to tell.

"Fair maid," he said, "I beg you do not hesitate or wince,
If you'll promise that you'll wed me, I'll at once become a prince;
For a fairy, old and vicious,
An enchantment round me spun!"
Then he looked up, unsuspicious,
And he saw what he had won,
[Pg 397] And in terms of sad reproach, he
Made some comments, sotto voce,
(Which the publishers have bidden me to shun!)

Matilda Maud Mackenzie said, as if she meant to scold;
"I never! Why, you forward thing! Now, ain't you awful bold!"
Just a glance he paused to give her,
And his head was seen to clutch,
Then he darted to the river,
And he dived to beat the Dutch!
While the wrathful maiden panted
"I don't think he was enchanted!"
(And he really didn't look it overmuch!)

THE MORAL

In one's language one conservative should be;
Speech is silver and it never should be free!

Guy Wetmore Carryl.


BEHOLD THE DEEDS!

CHANT ROYAL

(Being the Plaint of Adolphe Culpepper Ferguson, Salesman of Fancy Notions, held in durance of his Landlady for a failure to connect on Saturday night.)

I

I would that all men my hard case might know;
How grievously I suffer for no sin:
I, Adolphe Culpepper Ferguson, for lo!
I, of my landlady am lockèd in.
For being short on this sad Saturday,
Nor having shekels of silver wherewith to pay,
She has turned and is departed with my key;
Wherefore, not even as other boarders free,
I sing (as prisoners to their dungeon stones
When for ten days they expiate a spree):
Behold the deeds that are done of Mrs. Jones!
[Pg 398]

II

One night and one day have I wept my woe;
Nor wot I when the morrow doth begin,
If I shall have to write to Briggs & Co.,
To pray them to advance the requisite tin
For ransom of their salesman, that he may
Go forth as other boarders go alway—
As those I hear now flocking from their tea,
Led by the daughter of my landlady
Pianoward. This day for all my moans,
Dry bread and water have been servèd me.
Behold the deeds that are done of Mrs. Jones!

III

Miss Amabel Jones is musical, and so
The heart of the young he-boarder doth win,
Playing "The Maiden's Prayer," adagio—
That fetcheth him, as fetcheth the banco skin
The innocent rustic. For my part, I pray:
That Badarjewska maid may wait for aye
Ere sits she with a lover, as did we
Once sit together, Amabel! Can it be
That all of that arduous wooing not atones
For Saturday shortness of trade dollars three?
Behold the deeds that are done of Mrs. Jones!

IV

Yea! she forgets the arm was wont to go
Around her waist. She wears a buckle whose pin
Galleth the crook of the young man's elbow;
I forget not, for I that youth have been.
Smith was aforetime the Lothario gay.
Yet once, I mind me, Smith was forced to stay
Close in his room. Not calm, as I, was he;
But his noise brought no pleasaunce, verily.
Small ease he gat of playing on the bones,
Or hammering on his stove-pipe, that I see.
Behold the deeds that are done of Mrs. Jones!
[Pg 399]

V

Thou, for whose fear the figurative crow
I eat, accursed be thou and all thy kin!
Thee will I show up—yea, up will I show
Thy too thick buckwheats, and thy tea too thin.
Ay! here I dare thee, ready for the fray!
Thou dost not keep a first-class house, I say!
It does not with the advertisements agree.
Thou lodgest a Briton with a pugaree,
And thou hast harbored Jacobses and Cohns,
Also a Mulligan. Thus denounce I thee!
Behold the deeds that are done of Mrs. Jones!

ENVOY

Boarders! the worst I have not told to ye:
She hath stole my trousers, that I may not flee
Privily by the window. Hence these groans,
There is no fleeing in a robe de nuit.
Behold the deeds that are done of Mrs. Jones!

H. C. Bunner.


VILLON'S STRAIGHT TIP TO ALL CROSS COVES

"Tout aux tavernes et aux fiells"

Suppose you screeve? or go cheap-jack?
Or fake the broads? or fig a nag?
Or thimble-rig? or knap a yack?
Or pitch a snide? or smash a rag?
Suppose you duff? or nose and lag?
Or get the straight, and land your pot?
How do you melt the multy swag?
Booze and the blowens cop the lot.

Fiddle, or fence, or mace, or mack;
Or moskeneer, or flash the drag;
Dead-lurk a crib, or do a crack;
Pad with a slang, or chuck a fag;
[Pg 400] Bonnet, or tout, or mump and gag;
Rattle the tats, or mark the spot;
You cannot bag a single stag;
Booze and the blowens cop the lot.

Suppose you try a different tack,
And on the square you flash your flag?
At penny-a-lining make your whack,
Or with the mummers mug and gag?
For nix, for nix the dibbs you bag!
At any graft, no matter what,
Your merry goblins soon stravag:
Booze and the blowens cop the lot.

THE MORAL

It's up the spout and Charley Wag
With wipes and tickers and what not
Until the squeezer nips your scrag,
Booze and the blowens cop the lot.

William Ernest Henley.


CULTURE IN THE SLUMS

Inscribed to an Intense Poet

I. RONDEAU

"O crikey, Bill!" she ses to me, she ses.
"Look sharp," ses she, "with them there sossiges.
Yea! sharp with them there bags of mysteree!
For lo!" she ses, "for lo! old pal," ses she,
"I'm blooming peckish, neither more nor less."

Was it not prime—I leave you all to guess
How prime!—to have a Jude in love's distress
Come spooning round, and murmuring balmilee,
"O crikey, Bill!"
[Pg 401]
For in such rorty wise doth Love express
His blooming views, and asks for your address,
And makes it right, and does the gay and free.
I kissed her—I did so! And her and me
Was pals. And if that ain't good business,
"O crikey, Bill!"

II. VILLANELLE

Now ain't they utterly too-too
(She ses, my Missus mine, ses she),
Them flymy little bits of Blue.

Joe, just you kool 'em—nice and skew
Upon our old meogginee,
Now ain't they utterly too-too?

They're better than a pot'n' a screw,
They're equal to a Sunday spree,
Them flymy little bits of Blue!

Suppose I put 'em up the flue,
And booze the profits, Joe? Not me.
Now ain't they utterly too-too?

I do the 'Igh Art fake, I do.
Joe, I'm consummate; and I see
Them flymy little bits of Blue.

Which Joe, is why I ses ter you—
Æsthetic-like, and limp, and free—
Now ain't they utterly too-too,
Them flymy little bits of Blue?

III. BALLADE

I often does a quiet read
At Booty Shelly's poetry;
I thinks that Swinburne at a screed
Is really almost too too fly;
[Pg 402] At Signor Vagna's harmony
I likes a merry little flutter;
I've had at Pater many a shy;
In fact, my form's the Bloomin' Utter.

My mark's a tidy little feed,
And 'Enery Irving's gallery,
To see old 'Amlick do a bleed,
And Ellen Terry on the die,
Or Frankey's ghostes at hi-spy,
And parties carried on a shutter.
Them vulgar Coupeaus is my eye!
In fact my form's the Bloomin' Utter.

The Grosvenor's nuts—it is, indeed!
I goes for 'Olman 'Unt like pie.
It's equal to a friendly lead
To see B. Jones's judes go by.
Stanhope he make me fit to cry.
Whistler he makes me melt like butter.
Strudwick he makes me flash my cly—
In fact, my form's the Bloomin' Utter.

ENVOY

I'm on for any Art that's 'Igh;
I talks as quiet as I can splutter;
I keeps a Dado on the sly;
In fact, my form's the Bloomin' Utter.

William Ernest Henley.


THE LAWYER'S INVOCATION TO SPRING

Whereas, on certain boughs and sprays
Now divers birds are heard to sing,
And sundry flowers their heads upraise,
Hail to the coming on of Spring!

The songs of those said birds arouse
The memory of our youthful hours,
[Pg 403] As green as those said sprays and boughs,
As fresh and sweet as those said flowers.

The birds aforesaid—happy pairs—
Love, 'mid the aforesaid boughs, inshrines
In freehold nests; themselves their heirs,
Administrators, and assigns.

O busiest term of Cupid's Court,
Where tender plaintiffs actions bring,—
Season of frolic and of sport,
Hail, as aforesaid, coming Spring!

Henry Howard Brownell.


NORTH, EAST, SOUTH, AND WEST

AFTER R. K.

Oh! I have been North, and I have been South, and the East hath seen me pass,

And the West hath cradled me on her breast, that is circled round with brass,

And the world hath laugh'd at me, and I have laugh'd at the world alone,

With a loud hee-haw till my hard-work'd jaw is stiff as a dead man's bone!

Oh! I have been up and I have been down and over the sounding sea,

And the sea-birds cried as they dropp'd and died at the terrible sight of me,

For my head was bound with a star, and crown'd with the fire of utmost hell,

And I made this song with a brazen tongue and a more than fiendish yell:

"Oh! curse you all, for the sake of men who have liv'd and died for spite,

And be doubly curst for the dark ye make where there ought to be but light,

[Pg 404]

And be trebly curst by the deadly spell of a woman's lasting hate,—

And drop ye down to the mouth of hell who would climb to the Golden Gate!"

Then the world grew green, and grim and grey at the horrible noise I made,

And held up its hands in a pious way when I call'd a spade a spade;

But I cared no whit for the blame of it, and nothing at all for its praise,

And the whole consign'd with a tranquil mind to a sempiternal blaze!

All this have I sped, and have brought me back to work at the set of sun,

And I set my seal to the thoughts I feel in the twilight one by one,

For I speak but sooth in the name of Truth when I write such things as these;

And the whole I send to a critical friend who is learnèd in Kiplingese!

Unknown.


MARTIN LUTHER AT POTSDAM

What lightning shall light it? What thunder shall tell it?
In the height of the height, in the depth of the deep?
Shall the sea-storm declare it, or paint it, or smell it?
Shall the price of a slave be its treasure to keep?
When the night has grown near with the gems on her bosom,
When the white of mine eyes is the whiteness of snow,
When the cabman—in liquor—drives a blue roan, a kicker,
Into the land of the dear long ago.

Ah!—Ah, again!—You will come to me, fall on me—
You are so heavy, and I am so flat.
And I? I shall not be at home when you call on me,
But stray down the wind like a gentleman's hat:
[Pg 405] I shall list to the stars when the music is purple,
Be drawn through a pipe, and exhaled into rings;
Turn to sparks, and then straightway get stuck in the gateway
That stands between speech and unspeakable things.

As I mentioned before, by what light is it lighted?
Oh! Is it fourpence, or piebald, or gray?
Is it a mayor that a mother has knighted
Or is it a horse of the sun and the day?
Is it a pony? If so, who will change it?
O golfer, be quiet, and mark where it scuds,
And think of its paces—of owners and races—
Relinquish the links for the study of studs.

Not understood? Take me hence! Take me yonder!
Take me away to the land of my rest—
There where the Ganges and other gees wander,
And uncles and antelopes act for the best,
And all things are mixed and run into each other
In a violet twilight of virtues and sins,
With the church-spires below you and no one to show you
Where the curate leaves off and the pew-rent begins!

In the black night through the rank grass the snakes peer—
The cobs and the cobras are partial to grass—
And a boy wanders out with a knowledge of Shakespeare
That's not often found in a boy of his class,
And a girl wanders out without any knowledge,
And a bird wanders out, and a cow wanders out,
Likewise one wether, and they wander together—
There's a good deal of wandering lying about.

But its all for the best; I've been told by my friends, Sir,
That in verses I'd written the meaning was slight;
I've tried with no meaning—to make 'em amends, Sir—
And find that this kind's still more easy to write.
The title has nothing to do with the verses,
[Pg 406] But think of the millions—the laborers who
In busy employment find deepest enjoyment,
And yet, like my title, have nothing to do!

Barry Pain.


AN IDYLL OF PHATTE AND LEENE

The hale John Sprat—oft called for shortness, Jack—
Had married—had, in fact, a wife—and she
Did worship him with wifely reverence.
He, who had loved her when she was a girl,
Compass'd her too, with sweet observances;
E'en at the dinner table did it shine.
For he—liking no fat himself—he never did,
With jealous care piled up her plate with lean,
Not knowing that all lean was hateful to her.
And day by day she thought to tell him o't,
And watched the fat go out with envious eye,
But could not speak for bashful delicacy.

At last it chanced that on a winter day,
The beef—a prize joint!—little was but fat;
So fat, that John had all his work cut out,
To snip out lean fragments for his wife,
Leaving, in very sooth, none for himself;
Which seeing, she spoke courage to her soul,
Took up her fork, and, pointing to the joint
Where 'twas the fattest, piteously she said;
"Oh, husband! full of love and tenderness!
What is the cause that you so jealously
Pick out the lean for me. I like it not!
Nay, loathe it—'tis on the fat that I would feast;
O me, I fear you do not like my taste!"

Then he, dropping his horny-handled carving knife,
Sprinkling therewith the gravy o'er her gown,
Answer'd, amazed: "What! you like fat, my wife!
And never told me. Oh, this is not kind!
Think what your reticence has wrought for us;
How all the fat sent down unto the maid—
[Pg 407] Who likes not fat—for such maids never do—
Has been put in the waste-tub, sold for grease,
And pocketed as servant's perquisite!
Oh, wife! this news is good; for since, perforce,
A joint must be not fat nor lean, but both;
Our different tastes will serve our purpose well;
For, while you eat the fat—the lean to me
Falls as my cherished portion. Lo! 'tis good!"
So henceforth—he that tells the tale relates—
In John Sprat's household waste was quite unknown;
For he the lean did eat, and she the fat,
And thus the dinner-platter was all cleared.

Unknown.


THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT

And this reft house is that the which he built,
Lamented Jack! and here his malt he piled.
Cautious in vain! these rats that squeak so wild,
Squeak not unconscious of their father's guilt.
Did he not see her gleaming through the glade!
Belike 'twas she, the maiden all forlorn.
What though she milked no cow with crumpled horn,
Yet, aye she haunts the dale where erst she strayed:
And aye before her stalks her amorous knight!
Still on his thighs their wonted brogues are worn,
And through those brogues, still tattered and betorn,
His hindward charms gleam an unearthly white.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge.


PALABRAS GRANDIOSAS

AFTER T—— B—— A——

I lay i' the bosom of the sun,
Under the roses dappled and dun.
I thought of the Sultan Gingerbeer,
In his palace beside the Bendemeer,
With his Afghan guards and his eunuchs blind,
And the harem that stretched for a league behind.
[Pg 408]
The tulips bent i' the summer breeze,
Under the broad chrysanthemum-trees,
And the minstrel, playing his culverin,
Made for mine ears a merry din,
If I were the Sultan, and he were I,
Here i' the grass he should loafing lie,
And I should bestride my zebra steed,
And ride to the hunt of the centipede:
While the pet of the harem, Dandeline,
Should fill me a crystal bucket of wine,
And the kislar aga, Up-to-Snuff,
Should wipe my mouth when I sighed, "Enough!"
And the gay court poet, Fearfulbore,
Should sit in the hall when the hunt was o'er,
And chant me songs of silvery tone,
Not from Hafiz, but—mine own!

Ah, wee sweet love, beside me here,
I am not the Sultan Gingerbeer,
Nor you the odalisque Dandeline,
Yet I am yourn, and you are mine!

Bayard Taylor.


A LOVE PLAYNT—1370

To yow, my Purse, and to noon other wighte,
Complayne I, for ye be my lady dere!
I am so sorry now that ye been lyghte,
For, certes, yf ye make me hevy chere,
Me were as leef be layde upon my beere.
For whiche unto your mercie thus I crye,
Beethe hevy ageyne, or elles mote I die!

Now voucheth sauf this day, or hyt be nighte,
That I of yow the blissful soun may here,
Or see your colour lyke the sunnè brighte,
That of yellòwnesse haddè never pere.
Ye be my lyf! ye be myn herty's stere!
Quenè of comfort and good companye!
Beethe hevy ageyne, or elles mote I die!
[Pg 409]
Now, Purse! that ben to me my lyve's lyghte,
And surety as doune in this world here,
Out of this toune helpè me through your myghte,
Syn that you wole not bene my tresorere;
For I am shave as nigh as is a frere.
But I pray unto your curtesye,
Beethe hevy ageyne, or elles mote I die!

Godfrey Turner.


DARWINITY

Power to thine elbow, thou newest of sciences,
All the old landmarks are ripe for decay;
Wars are but shadows, and so are alliances,
Darwin the great is the man of the day.

All other 'ologies want an apology;
Bread's a mistake—Science offers a stone;
Nothing is true but Anthropobiology—
Darwin the great understands it alone.

Mighty the great evolutionist teacher is
Licking Morphology clean into shape;
Lord! what an ape the Professor or Preacher is
Ever to doubt his descent from an ape.

Man's an Anthropoid—he cannot help that, you know—
First evoluted from Pongos of old;
He's but a branch of the catarrhine cat, you know—
Monkey I mean—that's an ape with a cold.

Fast dying out are man's later Appearances,
Cataclysmitic Geologies gone;
Now of Creation completed the clearance is,
Darwin alone you must anchor upon.

Primitive Life—Organisms were chemical,
Busting spontaneous under the sea;
Purely subaqueous, panaquademical,
Was the original Crystal of Me.
[Pg 410]
I'm the Apostle of mighty Darwinity,
Stands for Divinity—sounds much the same—
Apo-theistico-Pan-Asininity
Only can doubt whence the lot of us came.

Down on your knees, Superstition and Flunkeydom!
Won't you accept such plain doctrines instead?
What is so simple as primitive Monkeydom
Born in the sea with a cold in its head?

Herman C. Merivale.


SELECT PASSAGES FROM A COMING PORT

DISENCHANTMENT

My Love has sicklied unto Loath,
And foul seems all that fair I fancied—
The lily's sheen's a leprous growth,
The very buttercups are rancid.

ABASEMENT

With matted head a-dabble in the dust,
And eyes tear-sealèd in a saline crust
I lie all loathly in my rags and rust—
Yet learn that strange delight may lurk in self-disgust.

STANZA WRITTEN IN DEPRESSION NEAR DULWICH

The lark soars up in the air;
The toad sits tight in his hole;
And I would I were certain which of the pair
Were the truer type of my soul!

TO MY LADY

Twine, lanken fingers, lily-lithe,
Gleam, slanted eyes, all beryl-green,
Pout, blood-red lips that burst a-writhe,
Then—kiss me, Lady Grisoline!
[Pg 411]

THE MONSTER

Uprears the monster now his slobberous head,
Its filamentous chaps her ankles brushing;
Her twice-five roseal toes are cramped in dread,
Each maidly instep mauven-pink is flushing.

A TRUMPET BLAST

Pale Patricians, sunk in self-indulgence,
Blink your blearèd eyes. Behold the Sun—
Burst proclaim in purpurate effulgence,
Demos dawning, and the Darkness done!

F. Anstey.


THE ROMAUNT OF HUMPTY DUMPTY

'Tis midnight, and the moonbeam sleeps
Upon the garden sward;
My lady in yon turret keeps
Her tearful watch and ward.
"Beshrew me!" mutters, turning pale,
The stalwart seneschal;
"What's he, that sitteth, clad in mail
Upon our castle wall?"

"Arouse thee, friar of orders grey;
What ho! bring book and bell!
Ban yonder ghastly thing, I say;
And, look ye, ban it well!
By cock and pye, the Humpty's face!"
The form turned quickly round;
Then totter'd from its resting-place—


That night the corse was found.

The king, with hosts of fighting men
Rode forth at break of day;
Ah! never gleamed the sun till then
On such a proud array.
[Pg 412]
But all that army, horse and foot,
Attempted, quite in vain,
Upon the castle wall to put
The Humpty up again.

Henry S. Leigh.


THE WEDDING

Lady Clara Vere de Vere!
I hardly know what I must say,
But I'm to be Queen of the May, mother,
I'm to be Queen of the May!
I am half-crazed; I don't feel grave,
Let me rave!

Whole weeks and months, early and late,
To win his love I lay in wait.
Oh, the Earl was fair to see,
As fair as any man could be;—
The wind is howling in turret and tree!

We two shall be wed tomorrow morn,
And I shall be the Lady Clare,
And when my marriage morn shall fall,
I hardly know what I shall wear.
But I shan't say "my life is dreary,"
And sadly hang my head,
With the remark, "I'm very weary,
And wish that I were dead."

But on my husband's arm I'll lean,
And roundly waste his plenteous gold,
Passing the honeymoon serene
In that new world which is the old.
For down we'll go and take the boat
Beside St. Katherine's docks afloat,
Which round about its prow has wrote—
"The Lady of Shalotter"
(Mondays and Thursdays,—Captain Foat),
Bound for the Dam of Rotter.

Thomas Hood, Jr.

[Pg 413]

IN MEMORIAM TECHNICAM

I count it true which sages teach—
That passion sways not with repose,
That love, confounding these with those,
Is ever welding each with each.

And so when time has ebbed away,
Like childish wreaths too lightly held,
The song of immemorial eld
Shall moan about the belted bay.

Where slant Orion slopes his star,
To swelter in the rolling seas,
Till slowly widening by degrees
The grey climbs upward from afar.

And golden youth and passion stray
Along the ridges of the strand,—
Not far apart, but hand in hand,—
With all the darkness danced away!

Thomas Hood, Jr.


"SONGS WITHOUT WORDS"

I cannot sing the old songs,
Though well I know the tune,
Familiar as a cradle-song
With sleep-compelling croon;
Yet though I'm filled with music
As choirs of summer birds
"I cannot sing the old songs"—
I do not know the words.

I start on "Hail Columbia,"
And get to "heav'n-born band,"
And there I strike an up-grade
With neither steam nor sand;
[Pg 414]
"Star Spangled Banner" downs me
Right in my wildest screaming,
I start all right, but dumbly come
To voiceless wreck at "streaming."

So, when I sing the old songs,
Don't murmur or complain
If "Ti, diddy ah da, tum dum,"
Should fill the sweetest strain.
I love "Tolly um dum di do,"
And the "trilla-la yeep da" birds,
But "I cannot sing the old songs"—
I do not know the words.

Robert J. Burdette.


AT THE SIGN OF THE COCK

FRENCH STYLE, 1898

Being an Ode in further "Contribution to the Song of French History," dedicated, without malice or permission to Mr. George Meredith.

I

Rooster her sign,
Rooster her pugnant note, she struts
Evocative, amazon spurs aprick at heel;
Nid-nod the authentic stump
Of the once ensanguined comb vermeil as wine;
With conspuent doodle-doo
Hails breach o' the hectic dawn of yon New Year,
Last issue up to date
Of quiverful Fate
Evolved spontaneous; hails with tenant trump
The spiriting prime o' the clashed carillon-peal;
Ruffling her caudal plumes derisive of scuts;
Inconscient how she stalks an immarcessibly absurd
Bird.
[Pg 415]

II

Mark where her Equatorial Pioneer
Delirant on the tramp goes littoralwise.
His Flag at furl, portmanteaued; drains to the dregs
The penultimate brandy-bottle, coal-on-the-head-piece gift
Of who avenged the Old Sea-Rover's smirch.
Marchant he treads the all-along of inarable drift
On dubiously connivent legs,
The facile prey of predatory flies;
Panting for further; sworn to lurch
Empirical on to the Menelik-buffered, enhavened blue,
Rhyming—see Cantique I.—with doodle-doo.

III

Infuriate she kicked against Imperial fact;
Vulnant she felt
What pin-stab should have stained Another's pelt
Puncture her own Colonial lung-balloon,
Volant to nigh meridian. Whence rebuffed,
The perjured Scythian she lacked
At need's pinch, sick with spleen of the rudely cuffed
Below her breath she cursed; she cursed the hour
When on her spring for him the young Tyrannical broke
Amid the unhallowed wedlock's vodka-shower,
She passionate, he dispassionate; tricked
Her wits to eye-blind; borrowed the ready as for dower;
Till from the trance of that Hymettus-moon
She woke,
A nuptial-knotted derelict;
Pensioned with Rescripts other aid declined
By the plumped leech saturate urging Peace
In guise of heavy-armed Gospeller to men,
Tyrannical unto fraternal equal liberal, her. Not she;
Not till Alsace her consanguineous find
What red deteutonising artillery
Shall shatter her beer-reek alien police
The just-now pluripollent; not till then.
[Pg 416]

IV

More pungent yet the esoteric pain
Squeezing her pliable vitals nourishes feud
Insanely grumous, grumously insane.
For lo!
Past common balmly on the Bordereau,
Churns she the skim o' the gutter's crust
With Anti-Judaic various carmagnole,
Whooped praise of the Anti-just;
Her boulevard brood
Gyratory in convolvements militant-mad;
Theatrical of faith in the Belliform,
Her Og,
Her Monstrous. Fled what force she had
To buckle the jaw-gape, wide agog
For the Preconcerted One,
The Anticipated, ripe to clinch the whole;
Queen-bee to hive the hither and thither volant swarm.

Bides she his coming; adumbrates the new
Expurgatorial Divine,
Her final effulgent Avatar,
Postured outside a trampling mastodon
Black as her Baker's charger; towering; visibly gorged
With blood of traitors. Knee-grip stiff,
Spine straightened, on he rides;
Embossed the Patriot's brow with hieroglyph
Of martial dossiers, nothing forged
About him save his armour. So she bides
Voicing his advent indeterminably far,
Rooster her sign,
Rooster her conspuent doodle-doo.

V

Behold her, pranked with spurs for bloody sport,
How she acclaims,
A crapulous chanticleer,
Breach of the hectic dawn of yon New Year.
Not yet her fill of rumours sucked;
[Pg 417] Inebriate of honour; blushfully wroth;
Tireless to play her old primeval games;
Her plumage preened the yet unplucked
Like sails of a galleon, rudder hard amort
With crepitant mast
Fronting the hazard to dare of a dual blast
The intern and the extern, blizzards both.

Owen Seaman.


PRESTO FURIOSO

AFTER WALT WHITMAN

Spontaneous Us!

O my Camarados! I have no delicatesse as a diplomat, but I go blind on Libertad!

Give me the flap-flap of the soaring Eagle's pinions!

Give me the tail of the British lion tied in a knot inextricable, not to be solved anyhow!

Give me a standing army (I say "give me," because just at present we want one badly, armies being often useful in time of war).

I see our superb fleet (I take it that we are to have a superb fleet built almost immediately);

I observe the crews prospectively; they are constituted of various nationalities, not necessarily American;

I see them sling the slug and chew the plug;

I hear the drum begin to hum;

Both the above rhymes are purely accidental, and contrary to my principles.

We shall wipe the floor of the mill-pond with the scalps of able-bodied British tars!

I see Professor Edison about to arrange for us a torpedo-hose on wheels, likewise an infernal electro-semaphore;

I see Henry Irving dead sick and declining to play Corporal Brewster;

Cornell, I yell! I yell Cornell!


[Pg 418]

I note the Manhattan boss leaving his dry-goods store and investing in a small Gatling-gun and a ten-cent banner;

I further note the Identity evolved out of forty-four spacious and thoughtful States;

I note Canada as shortly to be merged in that Identity; similarly Van Diemen's Land, Gibraltar, and Stratford-on-Avon;

Briefly, I see creation whipped!

O ye Colonels! I am with you (I too am a Colonel and on the pension-list);

I drink to the lot of you; to Colonels Cleveland, Hitt, Vanderbilt, Chauncey M. Depew, O'Donovan Rossa, and the late Colonel Monroe;

I drink an egg-flip, a morning-caress, an eye-opener, a maiden-bosom, a vermuth-cocktail, three sherry-cobblers, and a gin-sling!

Good old Eagle!

Owen Seaman.


TO JULIA IN SHOOTING TOGS AND A HERRICKOSE VEIN

When as to shoot my Julia goes,
Then, then (methinks), how bravely shows
That rare arrangement of her clothes!

So shod as when the Huntress Maid
With thumping buskin bruised the glade,
She moveth, making earth afraid.

Against the sting of random chaff
Her leathern gaiters circle half
The arduous crescent of her calf.

Unto th' occasion timely fit,
My love's attire doth show her wit,
And of her legs a little bit.
[Pg 419]
Sorely it sticketh in my throat,
She having nowhere to bestow't
To name the absent petticoat.

In lieu whereof a wanton pair
Of knickerbockers she doth wear,
Full windy and with space to spare.

Enlargèd by the bellying breeze,
Lord! how they playfully do ease
The urgent knocking of her knees!

Lengthways curtailèd to her taste
A tunic circumvents her waist,
And soothly it is passing chaste.

Upon her head she hath a gear
Even such as wights of ruddy cheer
Do use in stalking of the deer.

Haply her truant tresses mock
Some coronal of shapelier block,
To wit, the bounding billy-cock.

Withal she hath a loaded gun,
Whereat the pheasants, as they run,
Do make a fair diversiòn.

For very awe, if so she shoots,
My hair upriseth from the roots,
And lo! I tremble in my boots!

Owen Seaman.


FAREWELL

PROVOKED BY CALVERLEY'S "FOREVER"

"Farewell!" Another gloomy word
As ever into language crept.
'Tis often written, never heard,
Except
[Pg 420]
In playhouse. Ere the hero flits—
In handcuffs—from our pitying view.
"Farewell!" he murmurs, then exits
R. U.

"Farewell" is much too sighful for
An age that has not time to sigh.
We say, "I'll see you later," or
"Good by!"

When, warned by chanticleer, you go
From her to whom you owe devoir,
"Say not 'good by,'" she laughs, "but
'Au Revoir!'"

Thus from the garden are you sped;
And Juliet were the first to tell
You, you were silly if you said
"Farewell!"

"Farewell," meant long ago, before
It crept, tear-spattered, into song,
"Safe voyage!" "Pleasant journey!" or
"So long!"

But gone its cheery, old-time ring;
The poets made it rhyme with knell—
Joined it became a dismal thing—
"Farewell!"

"Farewell!" into the lover's soul
You see Fate plunge the fatal iron.
All poets use it. It's the whole
Of Byron.

"I only feel—farewell!" said he;
And always fearful was the telling—
Lord Byron was eternally
Farewelling.
[Pg 421]
"Farewell!" A dismal word, 'tis true
(And why not tell the truth about it!);
But what on earth would poets do
Without it?

Bert Leston Taylor.


HERE IS THE TALE

AFTER RUDYARD KIPLING

Here is the tale—and you must make the most of it!
Here is the rhyme—ah, listen and attend!
Backwards—forwards—read it all and boast of it
If you are anything the wiser at the end!

Now Jack looked up—it was time to sup, and the bucket was yet to fill,

And Jack looked round for a space and frowned, then beckoned his sister Jill,

And twice he pulled his sister's hair, and thrice he smote her side;

"Ha' done, ha' done with your impudent fun—ha' done with your games!" she cried;

"You have made mud-pies of a marvellous size—finger and face are black,

You have trodden the Way of the Mire and Clay—now up and wash you, Jack!

Or else, or ever we reach our home, there waiteth an angry dame—

Well you know the weight of her blow—the supperless open shame!

Wash, if you will, on yonder hill—wash, if you will, at the spring,—

Or keep your dirt, to your certain hurt, and an imminent walloping!"

"You must wash—you must scrub—you must scrape!" growled Jack, "you must traffic with cans and pails,

Nor keep the spoil of the good brown soil in the rim of your finger-nails!

[Pg 422]

The morning path you must tread to your bath—you must wash ere the night descends,

And all for the cause of conventional laws and the soap-makers' dividends!

But if 'tis sooth that our meal in truth depends on our washing, Jill,

By the sacred right of our appetite—haste—haste to the top of the hill!"

They have trodden the Way of the Mire and Clay, they have toiled and travelled far,

They have climbed to the brow of the hill-top now, where the bubbling fountains are,

They have taken the bucket and filled it up—yea, filled it up to the brim;

But Jack he sneered at his sister Jill, and Jill she jeered at him:

"What, blown already!" Jack cried out (and his was a biting mirth!)

"You boast indeed of your wonderful speed—but what is the boasting worth?

Now, if you can run as the antelope runs and if you can turn like a hare,

Come, race me, Jill, to the foot of the hill—and prove your boasting fair!"

"Race? What is a race" (and a mocking face had Jill as she spake the word)

"Unless for a prize the runner tries? The truth indeed ye heard,

For I can run as the antelope runs, and I can turn like a hare:—

The first one down wins half-a-crown—and I will race you there!"

"Yea, if for the lesson that you will learn (the lesson of humbled pride)

The price you fix at two-and-six, it shall not be denied;

Come, take your stand at my right hand, for here is the mark we toe:

Now, are you ready, and are you steady? Gird up your petticoats! Go!"

[Pg 423]

And Jill she ran like a winging bolt, a bolt from the bow released,

But Jack like a stream of the lightning gleam, with its pathway duly greased;

He ran down hill in front of Jill like a summer-lightning flash—

Till he suddenly tripped on a stone, or slipped, and fell to the earth with a crash.

Then straight did rise on his wondering eyes the constellations fair,

Arcturus and the Pleiades, the Greater and Lesser Bear,

The swirling rain of a comet's train he saw, as he swiftly fell—

And Jill came tumbling after him with a loud triumphant yell:

"You have won, you have won, the race is done! And as for the wager laid—

You have fallen down with a broken crown—the half-crown debt is paid!"

They have taken Jack to the room at the back where the family medicines are,

And he lies in bed with a broken head in a halo of vinegar;

While, in that Jill had laughed her fill as her brother fell to earth,

She had felt the sting of a walloping—she hath paid the price of her mirth!

Here is the taleand now you have the whole of it,

Here is the storywell and wisely planned,

BeautyDutythese make up the soul of it

But, ah, my little readers, will you mark and understand?

Anthony C. Deane.


THE WILLOWS

The skies they were ashen and sober,
The streets they were dirty and drear;
It was night in the month of October,
Of my most immemorial year;
[Pg 424] Like the skies I was perfectly sober,
As I stopped at the mansion of Shear,—
At the "Nightingale,"—perfectly sober,
And the willowy woodland, down here.

Here once in an alley Titanic
Of Ten-pins,—I roamed with my soul,—
Of Ten-pins,—with Mary, my soul;
They were days when my heart was volcanic,
And impelled me to frequently roll,
And made me resistlessly roll,
Till my ten-strikes created a panic
In the realms of the Boreal pole,
Till my ten-strikes created a panic
With the monkey atop of his pole.

I repeat, I was perfectly sober,
But my thoughts they were palsied and sear,—
My thoughts were decidedly queer;
For I knew not the month was October,
And I marked not the night of the year;
I forgot that sweet morçeau of Auber
That the band oft performèd down here;
And I mixed the sweet music of Auber
With the Nightingale's music by Shear.

And now as the night was senescent,
And star-dials pointed to morn,
And car-drivers hinted of morn,
At the end of the path a liquescent
And bibulous lustre was born:
'Twas made by the bar-keeper present,
Who mixèd a duplicate horn,—
His two hands describing a crescent
Distinct with a duplicate horn.

And I said: "This looks perfectly regal;
For it's warm, and I know I feel dry,—
I am confident that I feel dry.
We have come past the emeu and eagle,
And watched the gay monkey on high;
[Pg 425]
Let us drink to the emeu and eagle,—
To the swan and the monkey on high—
To the eagle and monkey on high;
For this bar-keeper will not inveigle,—
Bully boy with the vitreous eye;
He surely would never inveigle,—
Sweet youth with the crystalline eye."

But Mary, uplifting her finger,
Said, "Sadly this bar I mistrust,—
I fear that this bar does not trust.
Oh, hasten! oh, let us not linger!
Oh, fly!—let us fly—ere we must!"
In terror she cried, letting sink her
Parasol till it trailed in the dust,—
In agony sobbed, letting sink her
Parasol till it trailed in the dust,—
Till it sorrowfully trailed in the dust.

Then I pacified Mary, and kissed her,
And tempted her into the room,
And conquer'd her scruples and gloom;
And we passed to the end of the vista,
But were stopped by the warning of doom—
By some words that were warning of doom.
And I said, "What is written, sweet sister,
At the opposite end of the room?"
She sobbed, as she answered, "All liquors
Must be paid for ere leaving the room."

Then my heart it grew ashen and sober,
As the streets were deserted and drear—
For my pockets were empty and drear;
And I cried, "It was surely October,
On this very night of last year,
That I journeyed—I journeyed down here—
That I brought a fair maiden down here,
On this night of all nights in the year.
Ah! to me that inscription is clear:
[Pg 426]
Well I know now I'm perfectly sober,
Why no longer they credit me here,—
Well I know now that music of Auber,
And this Nightingale, kept by one Shear."

Bret Harte.


A BALLAD

IN THE MANNER OF R-DY-RD K-PL-NG

As I was walkin' the jungle round, a-killin' of tigers an' time;

I seed a kind of an author man a writin' a rousin' rhyme;

'E was writin' a mile a minute an' more, an' I sez to 'im, "'Oo are you?"

Sez 'e, "I'm a poet—'er majesty's poet—soldier an' sailor, too!"

An 'is poem began in Ispahan an' ended in Kalamazoo,

It 'ad army in it, an' navy in it, an' jungle sprinkled through,

For 'e was a poet—'er majesty's poet—soldier an' sailor, too!

An' after, I met 'im all over the world, a doin' of things a host;

'E 'ad one foot planted in Burmah, an' one on the Gloucester coast;

'Es 'alf a sailor an' 'alf a whaler, 'e's captain, cook and crew,

But most a poet—'er majesty's poet—soldier an' sailor too!

'E's often Scot an' 'e's often not, but 'is work is never through

For 'e laughs at blame, an' 'e writes for fame, an' a bit for revenoo,—

Bein' a poet—'er majesty's poet—soldier an' sailor too!

'E'll take you up to the Artic zone, 'e'll take you down to the Nile,

'E'll give you a barrack ballad in the Tommy Atkins style,

Or 'e'll sing you a Dipsy Chantey, as the bloomin' bo'suns do,

For 'e is a poet—'er majesty's poet—soldier an' sailor too.

An' there isn't no room for others, an' there's nothin' left to do;

[Pg 427]

'E 'as sailed the main from the 'Orn to Spain, 'e 'as tramped the jungle through,

An' written up all there is to write—soldier an' sailor, too!

There are manners an' manners of writin', but 'is is the proper way,

An' it ain't so hard to be a bard if you'll imitate Rudyard K.;

But sea an' shore an' peace an' war, an' everything else in view—

'E 'as gobbled the lot!—'er majesty's poet—soldier an' sailor, too.

'E's not content with 'is Indian 'ome, 'e's looking for regions new,

In another year 'e'll ave swept 'em clear, an' what'll the rest of us do?

'E's crowdin' us out!—'er majesty's poet—soldier an' sailor too!

Guy Wetmore Carryl.


THE TRANSLATED WAY

Being a lyric translation of Heine's "Du bist wie eine Blume," as it is usually done.

Thou art like unto a Flower,
So pure and clean thou art;
I view thee and much sadness
Steals to me in the heart.

To me it seems my Hands I
Should now impose on your
Head, praying God to keep you
So fine and clean and pure.

Franklin P. Adams.


COMMONPLACES

Rain on the face of the sea,
Rain on the sodden land,
And the window-pane is blurred with rain
As I watch it, pen in hand.
[Pg 428]
Mist on the face of the sea,
Mist on the sodden land,
Filling the vales as daylight fails,
And blotting the desolate sand.

Voices from out of the mist,
Calling to one another:
"Hath love an end, thou more than friend,
Thou dearer than ever brother?"

Voices from out of the mist,
Calling and passing away;
But I cannot speak, for my voice is weak,
And ... this is the end of my lay.

Rudyard Kipling.


ANGELO ORDERS HIS DINNER

I, Angelo, obese, black-garmented,
Respectable, much in demand, well fed
With mine own larder's dainties, where, indeed,
Such cakes of myrrh or fine alyssum seed,
Thin as a mallow-leaf, embrowned o' the top.
Which, cracking, lets the ropy, trickling drop
Of sweetness touch your tongue, or potted nests
Which my recondite recipe invests
With cold conglomerate tidbits—ah, the bill!
(You say), but given it were mine to fill
My chests, the case so put were yours, we'll say
(This counter, here, your post, as mine to-day),
And you've an eye to luxuries, what harm
In smoothing down your palate with the charm
Yourself concocted? There we issue take;
And see! as thus across the rim I break
This puffy paunch of glazed embroidered cake,
So breaks, through use, the lust of watering chaps
And craveth plainness: do I so? Perhaps;
But that's my secret. Find me such a man
As Lippo yonder, built upon the plan
[Pg 429] Of heavy storage, double-navelled, fat
From his own giblet's oils, an Ararat
Uplift o'er water, sucking rosy draughts
From Noah's vineyard,—crisp, enticing wafts
Yon kitchen now emits, which to your sense
Somewhat abate the fear of old events,
Qualms to the stomach,—I, you see, am slow
Unnecessary duties to forego,—
You understand? A venison haunch, haul gout.
Ducks that in Cimbrian olives mildly stew.
And sprigs of anise, might one's teeth provoke
To taste, and so we wear the complex yoke
Just as it suits,—my liking, I confess,
More to receive, and to partake no less,
Still more obese, while through thick adipose
Sensation shoots, from testing tongue to toes
Far off, dim-conscious, at the body's verge,
Where the froth-whispers of its waves emerge
On the untasting sand. Stay, now! a seat
Is bare: I, Angelo, will sit and eat.

Bayard Taylor.


THE PROMISSORY NOTE

In the lonesome latter years
(Fatal years!)
To the dropping of my tears
Danced the mad and mystic spheres
In a rounded, reeling rune,
'Neath the moon,
To the dripping and the dropping of my tears.

Ah, my soul is swathed in gloom,
(Ulalume!)
In a dim Titanic tomb,
For my gaunt and gloomy soul
Ponders o'er the penal scroll,
O'er the parchment (not a rhyme),
Out of place,—out of time,—
I am shredded, shorn, unshifty,
(Oh, the fifty!)
[Pg 430] And the days have passed, the three,
Over me!
And the debit and the credit are as one to him and me!

'Twas the random runes I wrote
At the bottom of the note,
(Wrote and freely
Gave to Greeley)
In the middle of the night,
In the mellow, moonless night,
When the stars were out of sight,
When my pulses, like a knell,
(Israfel!)
Danced with dim and dying fays
O'er the ruins of my days,
O'er the dimeless, timeless days,
When the fifty, drawn at thirty,
Seeming thrifty, yet the dirty
Lucre of the market, was the most that I could raise!

Fiends controlled it,
(Let him hold it!)
Devils held for me the inkstand and the pen;
Now the days of grace are o'er,
(Ah, Lenore!)
I am but as other men;
What is time, time, time,
To my rare and runic rhyme,
To my random, reeling rhyme,
By the sands along the shore,
Where the tempest whispers, "Pay him!" and I answer, "Nevermore!"

Bayard Taylor.


CAMERADOS

Everywhere, everywhere, following me;

Taking me by the buttonhole, pulling off my boots, hustling me with the elbows;

Sitting down with me to clams and the chowder-kettle;

[Pg 431]

Plunging naked at my side into the sleek, irascible surges;

Soothing me with the strain that I neither permit nor prohibit;

Flocking this way and that, reverent, eager, orotund, irrepressible;

Denser than sycamore leaves when the north-winds are scouring Paumanok;

What can I do to restrain them? Nothing, verily nothing,

Everywhere, everywhere, crying aloud for me;

Crying, I hear; and I satisfy them out of my nature;

And he that comes at the end of the feast shall find something over.

Whatever they want I give; though it be something else, they shall have it.

Drunkard, leper, Tammanyite, small-pox and cholera patient, shoddy and codfish millionnaire,

And the beautiful young men, and the beautiful young women, all the same,

Crowding, hundreds of thousands, cosmical multitudes,

Buss me and hang on my hips and lean up to my shoulders,

Everywhere listening to my yawp and glad whenever they hear it;

Everywhere saying, say it, Walt, we believe it:

Everywhere, everywhere.

Bayard Taylor.


THE LAST RIDE TOGETHER

FROM HER POINT OF VIEW

When I had firmly answered "No,"
And he allowed that that was so,
I really thought I should be free
For good and all from Mr. B.,
And that he would soberly acquiesce.
I said that it would be discreet
That for awhile we should not meet;
I promised that I would always feel
A kindly interest in his weal;
I thanked him for his amorous zeal;
In short, I said all I could but "yes."
[Pg 432]
I said what I'm accustomed to;
I acted as I always do.
I promised he should find in me
A friend,—a sister, if that might be;
But he was still dissatisfied.
He certainly was most polite;
He said exactly what was right,
He acted very properly,
Except indeed for this, that he
Insisted on inviting me
To come with him for "one more last ride."

A little while in doubt I stood:
A ride, no doubt, would do me good;
I had a habit and a hat
Extremely well worth looking at;
The weather was distinctly fine.
My horse, too, wanted exercise,
And time, when one is riding, flies;
Besides, it really seemed, you see,
The only way of ridding me
Of pertinacious Mr. B.;
So my head I graciously incline.

I won't say much of what happened next;
I own I was extremely vexed.
Indeed I should have been aghast
If any one had seen what passed;
But nobody need ever know
That, as I leaned forward to stir the fire,
He advanced before I could well retire;
And I suddenly felt, to my great alarm,
The grasp of a warm, unlicensed arm,
An embrace in which I found no charm;
I was awfully glad when he let me go.

Then we began to ride; my steed
Was rather fresh, too fresh indeed,
[Pg 433] And at first I thought of little, save
The way to escape an early grave,
As the dust rose up on either side.
My stern companion jogged along
On a brown old cob both broad and strong.
He looked as he does when he's writing verse,
Or endeavoring not to swear and curse,
Or wondering Where he has left his purse;
Indeed it was a sombre ride.

I spoke of the weather to Mr. B.,
But he neither listened nor spoke to me.
I praised his horse, and I smiled the smile
Which was wont to move him once in a while.
I said I was wearing his favorite flowers,
But I wasted my words on the desert air,
For he rode with a fixed and gloomy stare.
I wonder what he was thinking about.
As I don't read verse, I shan't find out.
It was something subtle and deep, no doubt,
A theme to detain a man for hours.

Ah! there was the corner where Mr. S.
So nearly induced me to whisper "yes";
And here it was that the next but one
Proposed on horseback, or would have done,
Had his horse not most opportunely shied;
Which perhaps was due to the unseen flick
He received from my whip; 'twas a scurvy trick,
But I never could do with that young man,—
I hope his present young woman can.
Well, I must say, never, since time began,
Did I go for a duller or longer ride.

He never smiles and he never speaks;
He might go on like this for weeks;
He rolls a slightly frenzied eye
Towards the blue and burning sky,
And the cob bounds on with tireless stride.
[Pg 434] If we aren't home for lunch at two
I don't know what papa will do;
But I know full well he will say to me,
"I never approved of Mr. B.;
It's the very devil that you and he
Ride, ride together, forever ride."

James Kenneth Stephen.


IMITATION OF WALT WHITMAN

Who am I?

I have been reading Walt Whitman, and know not whether he be me, or me he;—

Or otherwise!

Oh, blue skies! oh, rugged mountains! oh, mighty, rolling Niagara!

O, chaos and everlasting bosh!

I am a poet; I swear it! If you do not believe it you are a dolt, a fool, an idiot!

Milton, Shakespere, Dante, Tommy Moore, Pope, never, but Byron, too, perhaps, and last, not least, Me, and the Poet Close.

We send our resonance echoing down the adamantine cañons of the future!

We live forever! The worms who criticise us (asses!) laugh, scoff, jeer, and babble—die!

Serve them right.

What is the difference between Judy, the pride of Fleet Street, the glory of Shoe Lane, and Walt Whitman?

Start not! 'Tis no end of a minstrel show who perpends this query;

'Tis no brain-racking puzzle from an inner page of the Family Herald,

No charade, acrostic (double or single), conundrum, riddle, rebus, anagram, or other guess-work.

I answer thus: We both write truths—great, stern, solemn, unquenchable truths—couched in more or less ridiculous language.

[Pg 435]

I, as a rule use rhyme, he does not; therefore, I am his Superior (which is also a lake in his great and glorious country).

I scorn, with the unutterable scorn of the despiser of pettiness, to take a mean advantage of him.

He writes, he sells, he is read (more or less); why then should I rack my brains and my rhyming dictionary? I will see the public hanged first!

I sing of America, of the United States, of the stars and stripes of Oskhosh, of Kalamazoo, and of Salt Lake City.

I sing of the railroad cars, of the hotels, of the breakfasts, the lunches, the dinners, and the suppers;

Of the soup, the fish, the entrées, the joints, the game, the puddings and the ice-cream.

I sing all—I eat all—I sing in turn of Dr. Bluffem's Anti-bilious Pills.

No subject is too small, too insignificant, for Nature's poet.

I sing of the cocktail, a new song for every cocktail, hundreds of songs, hundreds of cocktails.

It is a great and a glorious land! The Mississippi, the Missouri, and a million other torrents roll their waters to the ocean.

It is a great and glorious land! The Alleghanies, the Catskills, the Rockies (see atlas for other mountain ranges too numerous to mention) pierce the clouds!

And the greatest and most glorious product of this great and glorious land is Walt Whitman;

This must be so, for he says it himself.

There is but one greater than he between the rising and the setting sun.

There is but one before whom he meekly bows his humbled head.

Oh, great and glorious land, teeming producer of all things, creator of Niagara, and inventor of Walt Whitman,

Erase your national advertisements of liver pads and cures for rheumatism from your public monuments, and inscribe thereon in letters of gold the name Judy.

Unknown.

[Pg 436]

SALAD

O cool in the summer is salad,
And warm in the winter is love;
And a poet shall sing you a ballad
Delicious thereon and thereof.
A singer am I, if no sinner,
My muse has a marvellous wing,
And I willingly worship at dinner
The Sirens of Spring.

Take endive—like love it is bitter,
Take beet—for like love it is red;
Crisp leaf of the lettuce shall glitter,
And cress from the rivulet's bed;
Anchovies, foam-born, like the lady
Whose beauty has maddened this bard;
And olives, from groves that are shady;
And eggs—boil 'em hard.

Mortimer Collins.


IF

If life were never bitter,
And love were always sweet,
Then who would care to borrow
A moral from to-morrow—
If Thames would always glitter,
And joy would ne'er retreat,
If life were never bitter,
And love were always sweet!

If care were not the waiter
Behind a fellow's chair,
When easy-going sinners
Sit down to Richmond dinners,
And life's swift stream flows straighter,
By Jove, it would be rare,
If care were not the waiter
Behind a fellow's chair.
[Pg 437]
If wit were always radiant,
And wine were always iced,
And bores were kicked out straightway
Through a convenient gateway;
Then down the year's long gradient
'Twere sad to be enticed,
If wit were always radiant,
And wine were always iced.

Mortimer Collins.


THE JABBERWOCKY OF AUTHORS

'Twas gilbert. The kchesterton
Did locke and bennett in the reed.
All meredith was the nicholson,
And harrison outqueed.

Beware the see-enn-william, son,
The londonjack with call that's wild.
Beware the gertroo datherton
And richardwashburnchild.

He took his brady blade in hand;
Long time the partridge foe he sought.
Then stood a time by the oppenheim
In deep mcnaughton thought.

In warwick deeping thought he stood—
He poised on edithwharton brink;
He cried, "Ohbernardshaw! I could
If basilking would kink."

Rexbeach! rexbeach!—and each on each
O. Henry's mantles ferber fell.
It was the same'sif henryjames
Had wally eaton well.
[Pg 438]
"And hast thou writ the greatest book?
Come to thy birmingham, my boy!
Oh, beresford way! Oh, holman day!"
He kiplinged in his joy.

'Twas gilbert. The kchesterton
Did locke and bennett in the reed.
All meredith was the nicholson,
And harrison outqueed.

Harry Persons Taber.


THE TOWN OF NICE

MAY, 1874

The town of Nice! the town of Nice!
Where once mosquitoes buzzed and stung,
And never gave me any peace,
The whole year round when I was young!
Eternal winter chills it yet,
It's always cold, and mostly wet.

Lord Brougham sate on the rocky brow,
Which looks on sea-girt Cannes, I wis,
But wouldn't like to sit there now,
Unless 'twere warmer than it is;
I went to Cannes the other day,
But found it much too damp to stay.

The mountains look on Monaco,
And Monaco looks on the sea;
And, playing there some hours ago,
I meant to win enormously;
But, tho' my need of coin was bad
I lost the little that I had.

Ye have the southern charges yet—
Where is the southern climate gone?
Of two such blessings, why forget
The cheaper and the seemlier one?
My weekly bill my wrath inspires;
Think ye I meant to pay for fires?
[Pg 439]
Why should I stay? No worse art thou,
My country! on thy genial shore
The local east-winds whistle now,
The local fogs spread more and more;
But in the sunny south, the weather
Beats all you know of put together.

I cannot eat—I cannot sleep—
The waves are not so blue as I;
Indeed, the waters of the deep
Are dirty-brown, and so's the sky:
I get dyspepsia when I dine—
Oh, dash that pint of country-wine!

Herman C. Merivale.


THE WILLOW-TREE

ANOTHER VERSION

Long by the willow-trees
Vainly they sought her,
Wild rang the mother's screams
O'er the gray water:
Where is my lovely one?
Where is my daughter?

"Rouse thee, Sir Constable—
Rouse thee and look;
Fisherman, bring your net,
Boatman, your hook.
Beat in the lily-beds,
Dive in the brook!"

Vainly the constable
Shouted and called her;
Vainly the fisherman
Beat the green alder;
Vainly he flung the net,
Never it hauled her!
[Pg 440]
Mother beside the fire
Sat, her nightcap in;
Father, in easy chair,
Gloomily napping,
When at the window-sill
Came a light tapping!

And a pale countenance
Looked through the casement,
Loud beat the mother's heart,
Sick with amazement,
And at the vision which
Came to surprise her,
Shrieked in an agony—
"Lor'! it's Elizar!"

Yes, 'twas Elizabeth—
Yes, 'twas their girl;
Pale was her cheek, and her
Hair out of curl.
"Mother," the loving one,
Blushing exclaimed,
"Let not your innocent
Lizzy be blamed.

"Yesterday, going to Aunt
Jones's to tea,
Mother, dear mother, I
Forgot the door-key!
And as the night was cold
And the way steep,
Mrs. Jones kept me to
Breakfast and sleep."

Whether her Pa and Ma
Fully believed her,
That we shall never know,
Stern they received her;
And for the work of that
Cruel, though short, night
Sent her to bed without
Tea for a fortnight.

[Pg 441]
MORAL

Hey diddle diddlety,
Cat and the fiddlety,
Maidens of England, take caution by she!
Let love and suicide
Never tempt you aside,
And always remember to take the door-key.

W. M. Thackeray.


A BALLADE OF BALLADE-MONGERS

AFTER THE MANNER OF MASTER FRANÇOIS VILLON OF PARIS

In Ballades things always contrive to get lost,
And Echo is constantly asking where
Are last year's roses and last year's frost?
And where are the fashions we used to wear?
And what is a "gentleman," and what is a "player"?
Irrelevant questions I like to ask:
Can you reap the tret as well as the tare?
And who was the Man in the Iron Mask?

What has become of the ring I tossed
In the lap of my mistress false and fair?
Her grave is green and her tombstone mossed;
But who is to be the next Lord Mayor?
And where is King William, of Leicester Square?
And who has emptied my hunting flask?
And who is possessed of Stella's hair?
And who was the Man in the Iron Mask?

And what became of the knee I crossed,
And the rod and the child they would not spare?
And what will a dozen herring cost
When herring are sold at three halfpence a pair?
And what in the world is the Golden Stair?
Did Diogenes die in a tub or cask,
Like Clarence, for love of liquor there?
And who was the Man in the Iron Mask?

[Pg 442]

ENVOY

Poets, your readers have much to bear,
For Ballade-making is no great task,
If you do not remember, I don't much care
Who was the man in the Iron Mask.

Augustus M. Moore.

[Pg 443]

VIII

BATHOS


THE CONFESSION

There's somewhat on my breast, father,
There's somewhat on my breast!
The livelong day I sigh, father,
And at night I cannot rest.
I cannot take my rest, father,
Though I would fain do so;
A weary weight oppresseth me—
This weary weight of woe!

'Tis not the lack of gold, father,
Nor want of worldly gear;
My lands are broad, and fair to see,
My friends are kind and dear.
My kin are leal and true, father,
They mourn to see my grief;
But, oh! 'tis not a kinsman's hand
Can give my heart relief!

'Tis not that Janet's false, father,
'Tis not that she's unkind;
Though busy flatterers swarm around,
I know her constant mind.
'Tis not her coldness, father,
That chills my laboring breast;
It's that confounded cucumber
I ate, and can't digest.

Richard Harris Barham.

[Pg 444]

IF YOU HAVE SEEN

Good reader! if you e'er have seen,
When Phœbus hastens to his pillow,
The mermaids, with their tresses green,
Dancing upon the western billow:
If you have seen, at twilight dim,
When the lone spirit's vesper hymn
Floats wild along the winding shore:
If you have seen, through mist of eve,
The fairy train their ringlets weave,
Glancing along the spangled green;—
If you have seen all this and more,
God bless me! what a deal you've seen!

Thomas Moore.


CIRCUMSTANCE

THE ORANGE

It ripen'd by the river banks,
Where, mask and moonlight aiding,
Dons Blas and Juan play their pranks,
Dark Donnas serenading.

By Moorish damsel it was pluck'd,
Beneath the golden day there;
By swain 'twas then in London suck'd—
Who flung the peel away there.

He could not know in Pimlico,
As little she in Seville,
That I should reel upon that peel,
And—wish them at the devil!

Frederick Locker-Lampson.

[Pg 445]

ELEGY

The jackals prowl, the serpents hiss
In what was once Persepolis.
Proud Babylon is but a trace
Upon the desert's dusty face.
The topless towers of Ilium
Are ashes. Judah's harp is dumb.
The fleets of Nineveh and Tyre
Are down with Davy Jones, Esquire
And all the oligarchies, kings,
And potentates that ruled these things
Are gone! But cheer up; don't be sad;
Think what a lovely time they had!

Arthur Guiterman.


OUR TRAVELLER

If thou would'st stand on Etna's burning brow,
With smoke above, and roaring flame below;
And gaze adown that molten gulf reveal'd,
Till thy soul shudder'd and thy senses reel'd:
If thou wouldst beard Niag'ra in his pride,
Or stem the billows of Propontic tide;
Scale all alone some dizzy Alpine haut,
And shriek "Excelsior!" among the snow:
Would'st tempt all deaths, all dangers that may be—
Perils by land, and perils on the sea;
This vast round world, I say, if thou wouldst view it—
Then, why the dickens don't you go and do it?

Henry Cholmondeley-Pennell.


OPTIMISM

Be brave, faint heart,
The dough shall yet be cake;
Be strong, weak heart,
The butter is to come.
Some cheerful chance will right the apple-cart,
[Pg 446] The devious pig will gain the lucky mart,
Loquacity be dumb,—
Collapsed the fake.
Be brave, faint heart!

Be strong, weak heart,
The path will be made plain;
Be brave, faint heart,
The bore will crawl away.
The upside down will turn to right side up,
The stiffened lip compel that slipping cup,
The doldrums of the day
Be not in vain.
Be strong, weak heart!

Be brave, faint heart,
The jelly means to jell;
Be strong, weak heart,
The hopes are in the malt.
The wrong side in will yet turn right side out,
The long-time lost come down yon cormorant spout.
Life still is worth her salt:
What ends well's well.
Be brave, faint heart!

Newton Mackintosh.


THE DECLARATION

Twas late, and the gay company was gone,
And light lay soft on the deserted room
From alabaster vases, and a scent
Of orange-leaves, and sweet verbena came
Through the unshutter'd window on the air.
And the rich pictures with their dark old tints
Hung like a twilight landscape, and all things
Seem'd hush'd into a slumber. Isabel,
The dark-eyed, spiritual Isabel
Was leaning on her harp, and I had stay'd
To whisper what I could not when the crowd
Hung on her look like worshipers. I knelt,
[Pg 447]
And with the fervor of a lip unused
To the cool breath of reason, told my love.
There was no answer, and I took the hand
That rested on the strings, and press'd a kiss
Upon it unforbidden—and again
Besought her, that this silent evidence
That I was not indifferent to her heart,
Might have the seal of one sweet syllable.
I kiss'd the small white fingers as I spoke,
And she withdrew them gently, and upraised
Her forehead from its resting-place, and look'd
Earnestly on me—She had been asleep!

N. P. Willis.


HE CAME TO PAY

The editor sat with his head in his hands
And his elbows at rest on his knees;
He was tired of the ever-increasing demands
On his time, and he panted for ease.
The clamor for copy was scorned with a sneer,
And he sighed in the lowest of tones:
"Won't somebody come with a dollar to cheer
The heart of Emanuel Jones?"

Just then on the stairway a footstep was heard
And a rap-a-tap loud at the door,
And the flickering hope that had been long deferred
Blazed up like a beacon once more;
And there entered a man with a cynical smile
That was fringed with a stubble of red,
Who remarked, as he tilted a sorry old tile
To the back of an average head:

"I have come here to pay"—Here the editor cried:
"You're as welcome as flowers in spring!
Sit down in this easy armchair by my side,
And excuse me awhile till I bring
[Pg 448] A lemonade dashed with a little old wine
And a dozen cigars of the best....
Ah! Here we are! This, I assure you, is fine;
Help yourself, most desirable guest."

The visitor drank with a relish, and smoked
Till his face wore a satisfied glow,
And the editor, beaming with merriment, joked
In a joyous, spontaneous flow;
And then, when the stock of refreshments was gone,
His guest took occasion to say,
In accents distorted somewhat by a yawn,
"My errand up here is to pay—"

But the generous scribe, with a wave of his hand,
Put a stop to the speech of his guest,
And brought in a melon, the finest the land
Ever bore on its generous breast;
And the visitor, wearing a singular grin,
Seized the heaviest half of the fruit,
And the juice, as it ran in a stream from his chin,
Washed the mud of the pike from his boot.

Then, mopping his face on a favorite sheet
Which the scribe had laid carefully by,
The visitor lazily rose to his feet
With the dreariest kind of a sigh,
And he said, as the editor sought his address,
In his books to discover his due:
"I came here to pay—my respects to the press,
And to borrow a dollar of you!"

Parmenas Mix.

[Pg 449]

THE FORLORN ONE

Ah! why those piteous sounds of woe,
Lone wanderer of the dreary night?
Thy gushing tears in torrents flow,
Thy bosom pants in wild affright!

And thou, within whose iron breast
Those frowns austere too truly tell,
Mild pity, heaven-descended guest,
Hath never, never deign'd to dwell.

"That rude, uncivil touch forego,"
Stern despot of a fleeting hour!
Nor "make the angels weep" to know
The fond "fantastic tricks" of power!

Know'st thou not "mercy is not strain'd,
But droppeth as the gentle dew,"
And while it blesseth him who gain'd,
It blesseth him who gave it, too?

Say, what art thou? and what is he,
Pale victim of despair and pain,
Whose streaming eyes and bended knee
Sue to thee thus—and sue in vain?

Cold callous man!—he scorns to yield,
Or aught relax his felon gripe,
But answers, "I'm Inspector Field
And this here warment's prigg'd your wipe."

Richard Harris Barham.

[Pg 450]

RURAL RAPTURES

'Tis sweet at dewy eve to rove
When softly sighs the western breeze,
And wandering 'mid the starlit grove
To take a pinch of snuff and sneeze.

'Tis sweet to see in daisied field
The flocks and herds their pleasure take;
But sweeter are the joys they yield
In tender chop and juicy steak.

'Tis sweet to hear the murmurous sound
That from the vocal woods doth rise,
To mark the pigeons wheeling round,
And think how nice they'd be in pies.

When nightingales pour from their throats
Their gushing melody, 'tis sweet;
Yet sweeter 'tis to catch the notes
That issue from Threadneedle Street.

Unknown.


A FRAGMENT

His eye was stern and wild—his cheek was pale and cold as clay;
Upon his tightened lip a smile of fearful meaning lay.
He mused awhile—but not in doubt—no trace of doubt was there;
It was the steady solemn pause of resolute despair.
Once more he looked upon the scroll—once more its words he read—
Then calmly, with unflinching hand, its folds before him spread.
I saw him bare his throat, and seize the blue-cold gleaming steel,
And grimly try the tempered edge he was so soon to feel!
A sickness crept upon my heart, and dizzy swam my head—
[Pg 451] I could not stir—I could not cry—I felt benumbed and dead;
Black icy horrors struck me dumb, and froze my senses o'er;
I closed my eyes in utter fear, and strove to think no more.

Again I looked: a fearful change across his face had passed—
He seemed to rave—on cheek and lip a flaky foam was cast;
He raised on high the glittering blade—then first I found a tongue—
"Hold, madman! stay thy frantic deed!" I cried, and forth I sprung;
He heard me, but he heeded not; one glance around he gave,
And ere I could arrest his hands, he had—begun to shave!

Unknown.


THE BITER BIT

The sun is in the sky, mother, the flowers are springing fair,
And the melody of woodland birds is stirring in the air;
The river, smiling to the sky, glides onward to the sea,
And happiness is everywhere, oh, mother, but with me!

They are going to the church, mother—I hear the marriage bell
It booms along the upland—oh! it haunts me like a knell;
He leads her on his arm, mother, he cheers her faltering step,
And closely to his side she clings—she does, the demirep!

They are crossing by the stile, mother, where we so oft have stood,
The stile beside the shady thorn, at the corner of the wood;
[Pg 452] And the boughs, that wont to murmur back the words that won my ear,
Wave their silver branches o'er him, as he leads his bridal fere.

He will pass beside the stream, mother, where first my hand he pressed,
By the meadow where, with quivering lip, his passion he confessed;
And down the hedgerows where we've strayed again and yet again;
But he will not think of me, mother, his broken-hearted Jane!

He said that I was proud, mother, that I looked for rank and gold,
He said I did not love him—he said my words were cold;
He said I kept him off and on, in hopes of higher game—
And it may be that I did, mother; but who hasn't done the same.

I did not know my heart, mother—I know it now too late;
I thought that I without a pang could wed some nobler mate;
But no nobler suitor sought me—and he has taken wing,
And my heart is gone, and I am left a lone and blighted thing.

You may lay me in my bed, mother—my head is throbbing sore;
And, mother, prithee, let the sheets be duly aired before;
And, if you'd please, my mother dear, your poor desponding child,
Draw me a pot of beer, mother, and, mother, draw it mild!

William E. Aytoun.

[Pg 453]

COMFORT IN AFFLICTION

"Wherefore starts my bosom's lord?
Why this anguish in thine eye?
Oh, it seems as thy heart's chord
Had broken with that sigh!

"Rest thee, my dear lord, I pray,
Rest thee on my bosom now!
And let me wipe the dews away,
Are gathering on thy brow.

"There, again! that fevered start!
What, love! husband! is thy pain?
There is a sorrow in thy heart,
A weight upon thy brain!

"Nay, nay, that sickly smile can ne'er
Deceive affection's searching eye;
'Tis a wife's duty, love, to share
Her husband's agony.

"Since the dawn began to peep,
Have I lain with stifled breath;
Heard thee moaning in thy sleep,
As thou wert at grips with death.

"Oh, what joy it was to see
My gentle lord once more awake!
Tell me, what is amiss with thee?
Speak, or my heart will break!"

"Mary, thou angel of my life,
Thou ever good and kind;
'Tis not, believe me, my dear wife,
The anguish of the mind!

"It is not in my bosom, dear,
No, nor in my brain, in sooth;
But, Mary, oh, I feel it here,
Here in my wisdom tooth!
[Pg 454]
"Then give,—oh, first, best antidote,—
Sweet partner of my bed!
Give me thy flannel petticoat
To wrap around my head!"

William E. Aytoun.


THE HUSBAND'S PETITION

Come hither, my heart's darling,
Come, sit upon my knee,
And listen, while I whisper,
A boon I ask of thee.
You need not pull my whiskers
So amorously, my dove;
'Tis something quite apart from
The gentle cares of love.

I feel a bitter craving—
A dark and deep desire,
That glows beneath my bosom
Like coals of kindled fire.
The passion of the nightingale,
When singing to the rose,
Is feebler than the agony
That murders my repose!

Nay, dearest! do not doubt me,
Though madly thus I speak—
I feel thy arms about me,
Thy tresses on my cheek:
I know the sweet devotion
That links thy heart with mine—
I know my soul's emotion
Is doubly felt by thine:
[Pg 455]
And deem not that a shadow
Hath fallen across my love:
No, sweet, my love is shadowless,
As yonder heaven above.
These little taper fingers—
Ah! Jane, how white they be!—
Can well supply the cruel want
That almost maddens me.

Thou wilt not sure deny me
My first and fond request;
I pray thee, by the memory
Of all we cherish best—
By all the dear remembrance
Of those delicious days,
When, hand in hand, we wandered
Along the summer braes:

By all we felt, unspoken,
When 'neath the early moon,
We sat beside the rivulet,
In the leafy month of June;
And by the broken whisper,
That fell upon my ear,
More sweet than angel-music,
When first I woo'd thee, dear!

By that great vow which bound thee
Forever to my side,
And by the ring that made thee
My darling and my bride!
Thou wilt not fail nor falter,
But bend thee to the task—
A boiled sheep's head on Sunday
Is all the boon I ask.

William E. Aytoun.

[Pg 456]

LINES WRITTEN AFTER A BATTLE

BY AN ASSISTANT SURGEON OF THE NINETEENTH NANKEENS

Stiff are the warrior's muscles,
Congeal'd, alas! his chyle;
No more in hostile tussles
Will he excite his bile.
Dry is the epidermis,
A vein no longer bleeds—
And the communis vermis
Upon the warrior feeds.

Compress'd, alas! the thorax,
That throbbed with joy or pain;
Not e'en a dose of borax
Could make it throb again.
Dried up the warrior's throat is,
All shatter'd too, his head:
Still is the epiglottis—
The warrior is dead.

Unknown.


LINES

ADDRESSED TO ** **** ***** ON THE 29TH OF SEPTEMBER, WHEN WE PARTED FOR THE LAST TIME

I have watch'd thee with rapture, and dwelt on thy charms,
As link'd in Love's fetters we wander'd each day;
And each night I have sought a new life in thy arms,
And sigh'd that our union could last not for aye.

But thy life now depends on a frail silken thread,
Which I even by kindness may cruelly sever,
And I look to the moment of parting with dread,
For I feel that in parting I lose thee forever.
[Pg 457]
Sole being that cherish'd my poor troubled heart!
Thou know'st all its secrets—each joy and each grief;
And in sharing them all thou did'st ever impart
To its sorrows a gentle and soothing relief.

The last of a long and affectionate race,
As thy days are declining I love thee the more,
For I feel that thy loss I can never replace—
That thy death will but leave me to weep and deplore.

Unchanged, thou shalt live in the mem'ry of years,
I cannot—I will not—forget what thou wert!
While the thoughts of thy love as they call forth my tears,
In fancy will wash thee once more—MY LAST SHIRT.

Unknown.


THE IMAGINATIVE CRISIS

Oh, solitude! thou wonder-working fay,
Come nurse my feeble fancy in your arms,
Though I, and thee, and fancy town-pent lay,
Come, call around, a world of country charms.
Let all this room, these walls dissolve away,
And bring me Surrey's fields to take their place:
This floor be grass, and draughts as breezes play;
Yon curtains trees, to wave in summer's face;
My ceiling, sky; my water-jug a stream;
My bed, a bank, on which to muse and dream.
The spell is wrought: imagination swells
My sleeping-room to hills, and woods, and dells!
I walk abroad, for naught my footsteps hinder,
And fling my arms. Oh! mi! I've broke the winder!

Unknown.

[Pg 458]

IX

PARODY


THE HIGHER PANTHEISM IN A NUTSHELL

One, who is not, we see; but one, whom we see not, is;
Surely, this is not that; but that is assuredly this.

What, and wherefore, and whence: for under is over and under;
If thunder could be without lightning, lightning could be without thunder.

Doubt is faith in the main; but faith, on the whole, is doubt;
We cannot believe by proof; but could we believe without?

Why, and whither, and how? for barley and rye are not clover;
Neither are straight lines curves; yet over is under and over.

One and two are not one; but one and nothing is two;
Truth can hardly be false, if falsehood cannot be true.

Parallels all things are; yet many of these are askew;
You are certainly I; but certainly I am not you.

One, whom we see not, is; and one, who is not, we see;
Fiddle, we know, is diddle; and diddle, we take it, is dee.

Algernon Charles Swinburne.

[Pg 459]

NEPHELIDIA

From the depth of the dreamy decline of the dawn through a notable nimbus of nebulous moonshine,

Pallid and pink as the palm of the flag-flower that flickers with fear of the flies as they float,

Are they looks of our lovers that lustrously lean from a marvel of mystic miraculous moonshine,

These that we feel in the blood of our blushes that thicken and threaten with throbs through the throat?

Thicken and thrill as a theatre thronged at appeal of an actor's appalled agitation,

Fainter with fear of the fires of the future than pale with the promise of pride in the past;

Flushed with the famishing fulness of fever that reddens with radiance of rathe recreation,

Gaunt as the ghastliest of glimpses that gleam through the gloom of the gloaming when ghosts go aghast?

Nay, for the nick of the tick of the time is a tremulous touch on the temples of terror,

Strained as the sinews yet strenuous with strife of the dead who is dumb as the dust-heaps of death;

Surely no soul is it, sweet as the spasm of erotic emotional exquisite error,

Bathed in the balms of beatified bliss, beatific itself by beatitude's breath.

Surely no spirit or sense of a soul that was soft to the spirit and soul of our senses

Sweetens the stress of surprising suspicion that sobs in the semblance and sound of a sigh;

Only this oracle opens Olympian, in mystical moods and triangular tenses,—

"Life is the lust of a lamp for the light that is dark till the dawn of the day when we die."

Mild is the mirk and monotonous music of memory, melodiously mute as it may be,

While the hope in the heart of a hero is bruised by the breach of men's rapiers, resigned to the rod;

Made meek as a mother whose bosom-beats bound with the bliss-bringing bulk of a balm-breathing baby,

[Pg 460]

As they grope through the grave-yard of creeds, under skies growing green at a groan for the grimness of God.

Blank is the book of his bounty beholden of old, and its binding is blacker than bluer:

Out of blue into black is the scheme of the skies, and their dews are the wine of the bloodshed of things:

Till the darkling desire of delight shall be free as a fawn that is freed from the fangs that pursue her,

Till the heart-beats of hell shall be hushed by a hymn from the hunt that has harried the kennel of kings.

Algernon Charles Swinburne.


UP THE SPOUT

I

Hi! Just you drop that! Stop, I say!
Shirk work, think slink off, twist friend's wrist?
Where that spined sand's lined band's the bay—
Lined blind with true sea's blue, as due—
Promising—not to pay?

II

For the sea's debt leaves wet the sand;
Burst worst fate's weight's in one burst gun?
A man's own yacht, blown—What? off land?
Tack back, or veer round here, then—queer!
Reef points, though—understand?

III

I'm blest if I do. Sigh? be blowed!
Love's doves make break life's ropes, eh? Tropes!
Faith's brig, baulked, sides caulked, rides at road;
Hope's gropes befogged, storm-dogged and bogged—
Clogged, water-logged, her load!
[Pg 461]

IV

Stowed, by Jove, right and tight, away.
No show now how best plough sea's brow,
Wrinkling—breeze quick, tease thick, ere day,
Clear sheer wave's sheen of green, I mean,
With twinkling wrinkles—eh?

V

Sea sprinkles wrinkles, tinkles light
Shells' bells—boy's joys that hap to snap!
It's just sea's fun, breeze done, to spite
God's rods that scourge her surge, I'd urge—
Not proper, is it—quite?

VI

See, fore and aft, life's craft undone!
Crank plank, split spritsail—mark, sea's lark!
That gray cold sea's old sprees, begun
When men lay dark i' the ark, no spark,
All water—just God's fun!

VII

Not bright, at best, his jest to these
Seemed—screamed, shrieked, wreaked on kin for sin!
When for mirth's yell earth's knell seemed please
Some dumb new grim great whim in him
Made Jews take chalk for cheese.

VIII

Could God's rods bruise God's Jews? Their jowls
Bobbed, sobbed, gaped, aped, the plaice in face!
None heard, 'tis odds, his—God's—folk's howls.
Now, how must I apply, to try
This hookiest-beaked of owls?
[Pg 462]

IX

Well, I suppose God knows—I don't.
Time's crimes mark dark men's types, in stripes
Broad as fen's lands men's hands were wont
Leave grieve unploughed, though proud and loud
With birds' words—No! he won't!

X

One never should think good impossible.
Eh? say I'd hide this Jew's oil's cruse—
His shop might hold bright gold, engrossible
By spy—spring's air takes there no care
To wave the heath-flower's glossy bell!

XI

But gold bells chime in time there, coined—
Gold! Old Sphinx winks there—"Read my screed!"
Doctrine Jews learn, use, burn for, joined
(Through new craft's stealth) with health and wealth—
At once all three purloined!

XII

I rose with dawn, to pawn, no doubt,
(Miss this chance, glance untried aside?)
John's shirt, my—no! Ay, so—the lout!
Let yet the door gape, store on floor
And not a soul about?

XIII

Such men lay traps, perhaps—and I'm
Weak—meek—mild—child of woe, you know!
But theft, I doubt, my lout calls crime.
Shrink? Think! Love's dawn in pawn—you spawn
Of Jewry! Just in time!

Algernon Charles Swinburne.

[Pg 463]

IN IMMEMORIAM

We seek to know, and knowing seek;
We seek, we know, and every sense
Is trembling with the great Intense
And vibrating to what we speak.

We ask too much, we seek too oft,
We know enough, and should no more;
And yet we skim through Fancy's lore
And look to earth and not aloft.

A something comes from out the gloom;
I know it not, nor seek to know;
I only see it swell and grow,
And more than this world would presume.

Meseems, a circling void I fill,
And I, unchanged where all is changed;
It seems unreal; I own it strange,
Yet nurse the thoughts I cannot kill.

I hear the ocean's surging tide,
Raise quiring on its carol-tune;
I watch the golden-sickled moon,
And clearer voices call beside.

O Sea! whose ancient ripples lie
On red-ribbed sands where seaweeds shone;
O Moon! whose golden sickle's gone;
O Voices all! like ye I die!

Cuthbert Bede.


LUCY LAKE

Poor Lucy Lake was overgrown,
But somewhat underbrained.
She did not know enough, I own,
To go in when it rained.
[Pg 464]
Yet Lucy was constrained to go;
Green bedding,—you infer.
Few people knew she died, but oh,
The difference to her!

Newton Mackintosh.


THE COCK AND THE BULL

You see this pebble-stone? It's a thing I bought
Of a bit of a chit of a boy i' the mid o' the day—
I like to dock the smaller parts-o'-speech,
As we curtail the already cur-tailed cur
(You catch the paronomasia, play 'po' words?)
Did, rather, i' the pre-Landseerian days.
Well, to my muttons. I purchased the concern,
And clapt it i' my poke, having given for same
By way o' chop, swop, barter or exchange—
"Chop" was my snickering dandiprat's own term—
One shilling and fourpence, current coin o' the realm.
O-n-e one and f-o-u-r four
Pence, one and fourpence—you are with me, sir?—
What hour it skills not: ten or eleven o' the clock,
One day (and what a roaring day it was
Go shop or sight-see—bar a spit o' rain!)
In February, eighteen sixty nine,
Alexandrina Victoria, Fidei,
Hm—hm—how runs the jargon? being on the throne.

Such, sir, are all the facts, succinctly put,
The basis or substratum—what you will—
Of the impending eighty thousand lines.
"Not much in 'em either," quoth perhaps simple Hodge.
But there's a superstructure. Wait a bit.

Mark first the rationale of the thing:
Hear logic rivel and levigate the deed.
That shilling—and for matter o' that, the pence—
I had o' course upo' me—wi' me say—
(Mecum's the Latin, make a note o' that)
When I popp'd pen i' stand, scratched ear, wiped snout,
[Pg 465]
(Let everybody wipe his own himself)
Sniff'd—tch!—at snuffbox; tumbled up, he-heed,
Haw-haw'd (not he-haw'd, that's another guess thing):
Then fumbled at, and stumbled out of, door,
I shoved the timber ope wi' my omoplat;
And in vestibulo, i' the lobby to-wit,
(Iacobi Facciolati's rendering, sir,)
Donned galligaskins, antigropeloes,
And so forth; and, complete with hat and gloves,
One on and one a-dangle i' in my hand,
And ombrifuge (Lord love you!) cas o' rain,
I flopped forth, 'sbuddikins! on my own ten toes,
(I do assure you there be ten of them)
And went clump-clumping up hill and down dale
To find myself o' the sudden i' front o' the boy.
Put case I hadn't 'em on me, could I ha' bought
This sort-o'-kind-o'-what-you-might-call-toy,
This pebble-thing, o' the boy-thing? Q. E. D.
That's proven without aid for mumping Pope,
Sleek porporate or bloated cardinal.
(Isn't it, old Fatchops? You're in Euclid now.)
So, having the shilling—having i' fact a lot—
And pence and halfpence, ever so many o' them,
I purchased, as I think I said before,
The pebble (lapis, lapidis, di, dem, de
What nouns 'crease short i' the genitive, Fatchops, eh?)
O, the boy, a bare-legg'd beggarly son of a gun,
For one-and-fourpence. Here we are again.
Now Law steps in, bewigged, voluminous-jaw'd;
Investigates and re-investigates.
Was the transaction illegal? Law shakes head.
Perpend, sir, all the bearings of the case.

At first the coin was mine, the chattel his.
But now (by virtue of the said exchange
And barter) vice versa all the coin,
Rer juris operationem, vests
I' the boy and his assigns till ding o' doom;
In sæcula sæculo-o-orum;
(I think I hear the Abate mouth out that.)
To have and hold the same to him and them ...
[Pg 466] Confer some idiot on Conveyancing.
Whereas the pebble and every part thereof,
And all that appertaineth thereunto,
Quodcunque pertinet ad em rem,
(I fancy, sir, my Latin's rather pat)
Or shall, will, may, might, can, could, would, or should,
Subaudi cætera—clap we to the close—
For what's the good of law in such a case o' the kind
Is mine to all intents and purposes.
This settled, I resume the thread o' the tale.

Now for a touch o' the vendor's quality.
He says a gen'lman bought a pebble of him,
(This pebble i' sooth, sir, which I hold i' my hand)—
And paid for 't, like a gen'lman, on the nail.
"Did I o'ercharge him a ha'penny? Devil a bit.
Fiddlepin's end! Get out, you blazing ass!
Gabble o' the goose. Don't bugaboo-baby me!
Go double or quits? Yah! tittup! what's the odds?"
—There's the transaction viewed in the vendor's light.

Next ask that dumpled hag, stood snuffling by,
With her three frowsy blowsy brats o' babes,
The scum o' the Kennel, cream o' the filth-heap—Faugh!
Aie, aie, aie, aie! [Greek: otototototoi],
('Stead which we blurt out, Hoighty toighty now)—
And the baker and candlestick maker, and Jack and Gill.
Blear'd Goody this and queasy Gaffer that,
Ask the Schoolmaster, Take Schoolmaster first.
He saw a gentleman purchase of a lad
A stone, and pay for it rite on the square,
And carry it off per saltum, jauntily
Propria quæ maribus, gentleman's property now
(Agreeable to the law explained above).
In proprium usum, for his private ends,
The boy he chucked a brown i' the air, and bit
I' the face the shilling; heaved a thumping stone
At a lean hen that ran cluck-clucking by,
(And hit her, dead as nail i' post o' door,)
Then abiit—What's the Ciceronian phrase?
Excessit, evasit, erupit—off slogs boy;
[Pg 467]
Off like bird, avi similis—(you observed
The dative? Pretty i' the Mantuan!)—Anglice
Off in three flea skips. Hactenus, so far,
So good, tam bene. Bene, satis, male,—
Where was I with my trope 'bout one in a quag?
I did once hitch the Syntax into verse
Verbum personale, a verb personal,
Concordat—ay, "agrees," old Fatchops—cum
Nominativo, with its nominative,
Genere, i' point of gender, numero,
O' number, et persona, and person. Ut,
Instance: Sol ruit, down flops sun, et and,
Montes umbrantur, out flounce mountains. Pah!
Excuse me, sir, I think I'm going mad.

You see the trick on't, though, and can yourself
Continue the discourse ad libitum.
It takes up about eighty thousand lines,
A thing imagination boggles at;
And might, odds-bobs, sir! in judicious hands
Extend from here to Mesopotamy.

Charles Stuart Calverley.


BALLAD

The auld wife sat at her ivied door,
(Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese)
A thing she had frequently done before;
And her spectacles lay on her apron'd knees.

The piper he piped on the hilltop high,
(Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese)
Till the cow said "I die," and the goose asked "Why?"
And the dog said nothing, but search'd for fleas.

The farmer he strode through the square farmyard;
(Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese)
His last brew of ale was a trifle hard—
The connection of which the plot one sees.
[Pg 468]
The farmer's daughter hath frank blue eyes;
(Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese)
She hears the rooks caw in the windy skies,
As she sits at her lattice and shells her peas.

The farmer's daughter hath ripe red lips;
(Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese)
If you try to approach her, away she skips
Over tables and chairs with apparent ease.

The farmer's daughter hath soft brown hair;
(Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese)
And I met with a ballad, I can't say where,
Which wholly consisted of lines like these.

PART II

She sat with her hands 'neath her dimpled cheeks,
(Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese)
And spake not a word. While a lady speaks
There is hope, but she didn't even sneeze.

She sat, with her hands 'neath her crimson cheeks;
(Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese)
She gave up mending her father's breeks,
And let the cat roll in her new chemise.

She sat with her hands 'neath her burning cheeks,
(Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese)
And gazed at the piper for thirteen weeks;
Then she follow'd him o'er the misty leas.

Her sheep follow'd her, as their tails did them,
(Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese)
And this song is consider'd a perfect gem,
And as to the meaning, it's what you please.

Charles Stuart Calverley.

[Pg 469]

DISASTER

'Twas ever thus from childhood's hour!
My fondest hopes would not decay;
I never loved a tree or flower
Which was the first to fade away!
The garden, where I used to delve
Short-frock'd, still yields me pinks in plenty;
The pear-tree that I climbed at twelve
I see still blossoming, at twenty.

I never nursed a dear gazelle;
But I was given a parroquet—
(How I did nurse him if unwell!)
He's imbecile, but lingers yet.
He's green, with an enchanting tuft;
He melts me with his small black eye;
He'd look inimitable stuffed,
And knows it—but he will not die!

I had a kitten—I was rich
In pets—but all too soon my kitten
Became a full-sized cat, by which
I've more than once been scratched and bitten
And when for sleep her limbs she curl'd
One day beside her untouch'd plateful,
And glided calmly from the world,
I freely own that I was grateful.

And then I bought a dog—a queen!
Ah, Tiny, dear departing pug!
She lives, but she is past sixteen
And scarce can crawl across the rug.
I loved her beautiful and kind;
Delighted in her pert bow-wow;
But now she snaps if you don't mind;
'Twere lunacy to love her now.
[Pg 470]
I used to think, should e'er mishap
Betide my crumple-visaged Ti,
In shape of prowling thief, or trap,
Or coarse bull-terrier—I should die.
But ah! disasters have their use,
And life might e'en be too sunshiny;
Nor would I make myself a goose,
If some big dog should swallow Tiny.

Charles Stuart Calverley.


WORDSWORTHIAN REMINISCENCE

I walked and came upon a picket fence,
And every picket went straight up and down,
And all at even intervals were placed,
All painted green, all pointed at the top,
And every one inextricably nailed
Unto two several cross-beams, which did go,
Not as the pickets, but quite otherwise,
And they two crossed, but back of all were posts.

O beauteous picket fence, can I not draw
Instruction from thee? Yea, for thou dost teach,
That even as the pickets are made fast
To that which seems all at cross purposes,
So are our human lives, to the Divine,
But, oh! not purposeless, for even as they
Do keep stray cows from trespass, we, no doubt,
Together guard some plan of Deity.

Thus did I moralise. And from the beams
And pickets drew a lesson to myself,—
But where the posts came in, I could not tell.

Unknown.

[Pg 471]

INSPECT US

Out of the clothes that cover me
Tight as the skin is on the grape,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable shape.

In the fell clutch of bone and steel
I have not whined nor cried aloud;
Whatever else I may conceal,
I show my thoughts unshamed and proud.

The forms of other actorines
I put away into the shade;
All of them flossy near-blondines
Find and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how straight the tape,
How cold the weather is, or warm—
I am the mistress of my shape—
I am the captain of my form.

Edith Daniell.


THE MESSED DAMOZEL

AT THE CUBIST EXHIBITION

The Messed Damozel leaned out
From the gold cube of Heav'n;
There were three cubes within her hands,
And the cubes in her hair were seven;
I looked, and looked, and looked, and looked—
I could not see her, even.

Her robe, a cube from clasp to hem,
Was moderately clear;
Methought I saw two cubic eyes,
When I had looked a year;
But when I turned to tell the world,
Those eyes did disappear!
[Pg 472]
It was the rampart of some house
That she was standing on;
That much, at least, was plain to me
As her I gazed upon;
But even as I gazed, alas!
The rampart, too, was gone!

(I saw her smile!) Oh, no, I didn't,
Though long mine eyes did stare;
The cubes closed down and shut her out;
I wept in deep despair;
But this I know, and know full well—
She simply wasn't there!

Charles Hanson Towne.


A MELTON MOWBRAY PORK-PIE

Strange pie that is almost a passion,
O passion immoral for pie!
Unknown are the ways that they fashion,
Unknown and unseen of the eye.
The pie that is marbled and mottled,
The pie that digests with a sigh:
For all is not Bass that is bottled,
And all is not pork that is pie.

Richard Le Gallienne.


ISRAFIDDLESTRINGS

In heaven a Spirit doth dwell
Whose heart strings are a fiddle,
(The reason he sings so well—
This fiddler Israfel),
And the giddy stars (will any one tell
Why giddy?) to attend his spell
Cease their hymns in the middle.
[Pg 473]
On the height of her go
Totters the Moon, and blushes
As the song of that fiddle rushes
Across her bow.
The red Lightning stands to listen,
And the eyes of the Pleiads glisten
As each of the seven puts its fist in
Its eye, for the mist in.

And they say—it's a riddle—
That all these listening things,
That stop in the middle
For the heart-strung fiddle
With such the Spirit sings,
Are held as on the griddle
By these unusual strings.

Wherefore thou art not wrong,
Israfel! in that thou boastest
Fiddlestrings uncommon strong;
To thee the fiddlestrings belong
With which thou toastest
Other hearts as on a prong.

Yes! heaven is thine, but this
Is a world of sours and sweets,
Where cold meats are cold meats,
And the eater's most perfect bliss
Is the shadow of him who treats.

If I could griddle
As Israfiddle
Has griddled—he fiddle as I,—
He might not fiddle so wild a riddle
As this mad melody,
While the Pleiads all would leave off in the middle
Hearing my griddle-cry.

Unknown.

[Pg 474]

AFTER DILETTANTE CONCETTI

"Why do you wear your hair like a man,
Sister Helen?
This week is the third since you began."
"I'm writing a ballad; be still if you can,
Little brother.
(O Mother Carey, mother!
What chickens are these between sea and heaven?)"

"But why does your figure appear so lean,
Sister Helen?
And why do you dress in sage, sage green?"
"Children should never be heard, if seen,
Little brother?
(O Mother Carey, mother!
What fowls are a-wing in the stormy heaven!)"

"But why is your face so yellowy white,
Sister Helen?
And why are your skirts so funnily tight?"
"Be quiet, you torment, or how can I write,
Little brother?
(O Mother Carey, mother!
How gathers thy train to the sea from the heaven!)"

"And who's Mother Carey, and what is her train,
Sister Helen?
And why do you call her again and again?"
"You troublesome boy, why that's the refrain,
Little brother.
(O Mother Carey, mother!
What work is toward in the startled heaven?)"

"And what's a refrain? What a curious word,
Sister Helen!
Is the ballad you're writing about a sea-bird?"
"Not at all; why should it be? Don't be absurd,
Little brother.
(O Mother Carey, mother!
Thy brood flies lower as lowers the heaven.)"
[Pg 475]
(A big brother speaketh:)
"The refrain you've studied a meaning had,
Sister Helen!
It gave strange force to a weird ballad.
But refrains have become a ridiculous 'fad,'
Little brother.
And Mother Carey, mother,
Has a bearing on nothing in earth or heaven.

"But the finical fashion has had its day,
Sister Helen.
And let's try in the style of a different lay
To bid it adieu in poetical way,
Little brother.
So, Mother Carey, mother!
Collect your chickens and go to—heaven."

(A pause. Then the big brother singeth, accompanying himself in a plaintive wise on the triangle.)

"Look in my face. My name is Used-to-was;
I am also called Played-out, and Done to Death,
And It-will-wash-no-more. Awakeneth
Slowly but sure awakening it has,
The common-sense of man; and I, alas!
The ballad-burden trick, now known too well,
And turned to scorn, and grown contemptible—
A too transparent artifice to pass.

"What a cheap dodge I am! The cats who dart
Tin-kettled through the streets in wild surprise
Assail judicious ears not otherwise;
And yet no critics praise the urchin's 'art,'
Who to the wretched creature's caudal part
Its foolish empty-jingling 'burden' ties."

H. D. Traill.

[Pg 476]

WHENCENESS OF THE WHICH

SOME DISTANCE AFTER TENNYSON

Come into the Whenceness Which,
For the fierce Because has flown:
Come into the Whenceness Which,
I am here by the Where alone;
And the Whereas odors are wafted abroad
Till I hold my nose and groan.

Queen Which of the Whichbud garden of What's
Come hither the jig is done.
In gloss of Isness and shimmer of Was,
Queen Thisness and Which in one;
Shine out, little Which, sunning over the bangs,
To the Nowness, and be its sun.

There has fallen a splendid tear
From the Is flower at the fence;
She is coming, my Which, my dear,
And as she Whistles a song of the Whence,
The Nowness cries, "She is near, she is near."
And the Thingness howls, "Alas!"
The Whoness murmurs, "Well, I should smile,"
And the Whatlet sobs, "I pass."

Unknown.


THE LITTLE STAR

Scintillate, scintillate, globule orific,
Fain would I fathom thy nature's specific.
Loftily poised in ether capacious,
Strongly resembling a gem carbonaceous.

When torrid Phœbus refuses his presence
And ceases to lamp with fierce incandescence,
Then you illumine the regions supernal,
Scintillate, scintillate, semper nocturnal.
[Pg 477]
Then the victim of hospiceless peregrination
Gratefully hails your minute coruscation.
He could not determine his journey's direction
But for your bright scintillating protection.

Unknown.


THE ORIGINAL LAMB

Oh, Mary had a little Lamb, regarding whose cuticular
The fluff exterior was white and kinked in each particular.
On each occasion when the lass was seen perambulating,
The little quadruped likewise was there a gallivating.

One day it did accompany her to the knowledge dispensary,
Which to every rule and precedent was recklessly contrary.
Immediately whereupon the pedagogue superior,
Exasperated, did eject the lamb from the interior.

Then Mary, on beholding such performance arbitrary,
Suffused her eyes with saline drops from glands called lachrymary,
And all the pupils grew thereat tumultuously hilarious,
And speculated on the case with wild conjectures various.

"What makes the lamb love Mary so?" the scholars asked the teacher.
He paused a moment, then he tried to diagnose the creature.
"Oh pecus amorem Mary habit omnia temporum."
"Thanks, teacher dear," the scholars cried, and awe crept darkly o'er 'em.

Unknown.


SAINTE MARGÉRIE

Slim feet than lilies tenderer,—
Margérie!
That scarce upbore the body of her,
Naked upon the stones they were;—
C'est ça Sainte Margérie!
[Pg 478]
White as a shroud the silken gown,—
Margérie!
That flowed from shoulder to ankle down,
With clear blue shadows along it thrown;
C'est ça Sainte Margérie!

On back and bosom withouten braid,—
Margérie!
In crispèd glory of darkling red,
Round creamy temples her hair was shed;—
C'est ça Sainte Margérie!

Eyes, like a dim sea, viewed from far,—
Margérie!
Lips that no earthly love shall mar,
More sweet that lips of mortals are;—
C'est ça Sainte Margérie!

The chamber walls are cracked and bare;—
Margérie!
Without the gossips stood astare
At men her bed away that bare;—
C'est ça Sainte Margérie!

Five pennies lay her hand within,—
Margérie!
So she her fair soul's weal might win,
Little she reck'd of dule or teen;—
C'est ça Sainte Margérie!

Dank straw from dunghill gathered,—
Margérie!
Where fragrant swine have made their bed,
Thereon her body shall be laid;—
C'est ça Sainte Margérie!

Three pennies to the poor in dole,—
Margérie!
One to the clerk her knell shall toll,
And one to masses for her soul;—
C'est ça Sainte Margérie!

Unknown.

[Pg 479]

ROBERT FROST

RELATES THE DEATH OF THE TIRED MAN

There were two of us left in the berry-patch;
Bryan O'Lin and Jack had gone to Norwich.—
They called him Jack a' Nory, half in fun
And half because it seemed to anger him.—
So there we stood and let the berries go,
Talking of men we knew and had forgotten.
A sprawling, humpbacked mountain frowned on us
And blotted out a smouldering sunset cloud
That broke in fiery ashes. "Well," he said,
"Old Adam Brown is dead and gone; you'll never
See him any more. He used to wear
A long, brown coat that buttoned down before.
That's all I ever knew of him; I guess that's all
That anyone remembers. Eh?" he said,
And then, without a pause to let me answer,
He went right on.
"How about Dr. Foster?"
"Well, how about him?" I managed to reply.
He glared at me for having interrupted.
And stopped to pick his words before he spoke;
Like one who turns all personal remarks
Into a general survey of the world.
Choosing his phrases with a finicky care
So they might fit some vague opinions,
Taken, third-hand, from last year's New York Times
And jumbled all together into a thing
He thought was his philosophy.
"Never mind;
There's more in Foster than you'd understand.
But," he continued, darkly as before,
"What do you make of Solomon Grundy's case?
You know the gossip when he first came here.
Folks said he'd gone to smash in Lunenburg,
And four years in the State Asylum here
Had almost finished him. It was Sanders' job
That put new life in him. A clear, cool day;
The second Monday in July it was.
[Pg 480] 'Born on a Monday,' that is what they said.
Remember the next few days? I guess you don't;
That was before your time. Well, Tuesday night
He said he'd go to church; and just before the prayer
He blurts right out, 'I've come here to get christened.
If I am going to have a brand new life
I'll have a new name, too.' Well, sure enough
They christened him, though I've forgotten what;
And Etta Stark, (you know, the pastor's girl)
Her head upset by what she called romance,
She went and married him on Wednesday noon.
Thursday the sun or something in the air
Got in his blood and right off he took sick.
Friday the thing got worse, and so did he;
And Saturday at four o'clock he died.
Buried on Sunday with the town decked out
As if it was a circus-day. And not a soul
Knew why they went or what he meant to them
Or what he died of. What would be your guess?"
"Well," I replied, "it seems to me that he,
Just coming from a sedentary life,
Felt a great wave of energy released,
And tried to crowd too much in one short week.
The laws of physics teach—"
"No, not at all.
He never knew 'em. He was just tired," he said.

Louis Untermeyer.


OWEN SEAMAN

ESTABLISHES THE "ENTENTE CORDIALE" BY RECITING "THE SINGULAR STUPIDITY OF J. SPRATT, ESQ.," IN THE MANNER OF GUY WETMORE CARRYL.

Of all the mismated pairs ever created
The worst of the lot were the Spratts.
Their life was a series of quibbles and queries
And quarrels and squabbles and spats.
They argued at breakfast, they argued at tea,
And they argued from midnight to quarter past three.
[Pg 481]
The family Spratt-head was rather a fat-head,
And a bellicose body to boot.
He was selfish and priggish and worse, he was piggish—
A regular beast of a brute.
At table his acts were incredibly mean;
He gave his wife fat—and he gobbled the lean!

What's more, she was censured whenever she ventured
To dare to object to her fare;
He said "It ain't tasteful, but we can't be wasteful;
And someone must eat what is there!"
But his coarseness exceeded all bounds of control
When he laughed at her Art and the State of her Soul.

So what with his jeering and fleering and sneering,
He plagued her from dawn until dark.
He bellowed "I'll teach ye to read Shaw and Nietzsche"—
And he was as bad as his bark.
"The place for a woman——" he'd start, very glib....
And so on, for two or three hours ad lib.

So very malignant became his indignant
Remarks about "Culture" and "Cranks,"
That at last she revolted. She up and she bolted
And entered the militant ranks....
When she died, after breaking nine-tenths of the laws,
She left all her money and jewels to the Cause!

And THE MORAL is this (though a bit abstruse):
What's sauce for a more or less proper goose,
When it rouses the violent, feminine dander,
Is apt to be sauce for the propaganda.

Louis Untermeyer.

[Pg 482]

THE MODERN HIAWATHA

He killed the noble Mudjokivis.
Of the skin he made him mittens,
Made them with the fur side inside
Made them with the skin side outside.
He, to get the warm side inside,
Put the inside skin side outside;
He, to get the cold side outside,
Put the warm side fur side inside.
That's why he put the fur side inside,
Why he put the skin side outside.
Why he turned them inside outside.

Unknown.


SOMEWHERE-IN-EUROPE-WOCKY

'Twas brussels, and the loos liège
Did meuse and arras in latour;
All vimy were the metz maubege,
And the tsing-tau namur.

"Beware the petrograd, my son—
The jaws that bite, the claws that plough!
Beware the posen, and verdun
The soldan mons glogau!"

He took his dixmude sword in hand;
Long time his altkirch foe he sought;
Then rested he 'neath the warsaw tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in danzig thought he stood
The petrograd, with eyes of flame,
Came ypring through the cracow wood,
And longwied as it came.
[Pg 483]
One two! One two! and through and through
The dixmude blade went snicker-snack;
He left it dead, and with its head
He gallipolied back.

"And hast thou slain the petrograd?
Come to my arms, my krithnia boy!
O chanak day! Artois! Grenay!"
He woevred in his joy.

'Twas brussels, and the loos liège
Did meuse and arras in latour;
All vimy were the metz maubege,
And the tsing-tau namur.

F. G. Hartswick.


RIGID BODY SINGS

Gin a body meet a body
Flyin' through the air,
Gin a body hit a body,
Will it fly? and where?
Ilka impact has its measure,
Ne'er a' ane hae I,
Yet a' the lads they measure me,
Or, at least, they try.

Gin a body meet a body
Altogether free,
How they travel afterwards
We do not always see.
Ilka problem has its method
By analytics high;
For me, I ken na ane o' them,
But what the waur am I?

J. C. Maxwell.

[Pg 484]

A BALLAD OF HIGH ENDEAVOR

Ah Night! blind germ of days to be,
Ah, me! ah me!
(Sweet Venus, mother!)
What wail of smitten strings hear we?
(Ah me! ah me!
Hey diddle dee!)

Ravished by clouds our Lady Moon,
Ah me! ah me!
(Sweet Venus, mother!)
Sinks swooning in a lady-swoon
(Ah me! ah me!
Dum diddle dee!)

What profits it to rise i' the dark?
Ah me! ah me!
(Sweet Venus, mother!)
If love but over-soar its mark
(Ah me! ah me!
Hey diddle dee!)

What boots to fall again forlorn?
Ah me! ah me!
(Sweet Venus, mother!)
Scorned by the grinning hound of scorn,
(Ah me! ah me!
Dum diddle dee!)

Art thou not greater who art less?
Ah me! ah me!
(Sweet Venus, mother!)
Low love fulfilled of low success?
(Ah me! ah me!
Hey diddle dee!)

Unknown.

[Pg 485]

FATHER WILLIAM

"You are old, Father William," the young man said,