Songs and Other Verse
by Eugene Field
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Vol. IX




"It is about impossible for a man to get rid of his Puritan grandfathers, and nobody who has ever had one has ever escaped his Puritan grandmother;" so said Eugene Field to me one sweet April day, when we talked together of the things of the spirit. It is one of his own confessions that he was fond of clergymen. Most preachers are supposed to be helplessly tied up with such a set of limitations that there are but a few jokes which they may tolerate, and a small number of delights into which they may enter. Doubtless many a cheerful soul likes to meet such of the clergy, in order that the worldling may feel the contrast of liberty with bondage, and demonstrate by bombardment of wit and humor, how intellectually thin are the walls against which certain forms of skepticism and fun offend. Eugene Field did not belong to these. He called them "a tribe which do unseemly beset the saints." Nobody has ever had a more numerous or loving clientage of friendship among the ministers of this city than the author of "The Holy Cross" and "The Little Yaller Baby." Those of this number who were closest to the full-hearted singer know that beneath and within all his exquisite wit and ludicrous raillery—so often directed against the shallow formalist, or the unctuous hypocrite—there were an aspiration toward the divine, and a desire for what is often slightingly called "religious conversation," as sincere as it was resistless within him. My own first remembrance of him brings back a conversation which ended in a prayer, and the last sight I had of him was when he said, only four days before his death, "Well, then, we will set the day soon and you will come out and baptize the children."

Some of the most humorous of his letters which have come under the observation of his clerical friends, were addressed to the secretary of one of them. Some little business matters with regard to his readings and the like had acquainted him with a better kind of handwriting than he had been accustomed to receive from his pastor, and, noting the finely appended signature, "per —— ——," Field wrote a most effusively complimentary letter to his ministerial friend, congratulating him upon the fact that emanations from his office, or parochial study, were "now readable as far West as Buena Park." At length, nothing having appeared in writing by which he might discover that —— —— was a lady of his own acquaintance, she whose valuable services he desired to recognize was made the recipient of a series of beautifully illuminated and daintily written letters, all of them quaintly begun, continued, and ended in ecclesiastical terminology, most of them having to do with affairs in which the two gentlemen only were primarily interested, the larger number of them addressed in English to "Brother ——," in care of the minister, and yet others directed in Latin:

Ad Fratrem —— —— In curam, Sanctissimi patris ——, doctoris divinitatis, Apud Institutionem Armouriensem, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS.

{Ab Eugenic Agro, peccatore misere}

Even the mail-carrier appeared to know what fragrant humor escaped from the envelope.

Here is a specimen inclosure:

BROTHER ——: I am to read some of my things before the senior class of the Chicago University next Monday evening. As there is undoubtedly more or less jealousy between the presidents of the two south side institutions of learning, I take it upon myself to invite the lord bishop of Armourville, our holy pere, to be present on that occasion in his pontifical robes and followed by all the dignitaries of his see, including yourself. The processional will occur at 8 o'clock sharp, and the recessional circa 9:30. Pax vobiscum. Salute the holy Father with a kiss, and believe me, dear brother,

Your fellow lamb in the old Adam, EUGENIO AGRO.

(A. Lamb) SEAL.

The First Wednesday after Pay day, September 11, 1895.

On an occasion of this lady's visit to the South-west, where Field's fancied association of cowboys and miners was formed, she was fortunate enough to obtain for the decoration of his library the rather extraordinary Indian blanket which often appears in the sketches of his loved workshop, and for the decoration of himself a very fine necktie made of the skin of a diamond-back rattlesnake. Some other friend had given his boys a "vociferant burro." After the presentation was made, though for two years he had met her socially and at the pastor's office, he wrote to the secretary, in acknowledgment, as follows:

DEAR BROTHER ——: I thank you most heartily for the handsome specimens of heathen manufacture which you brought with you for me out of the land of Nod. Mrs. Field is quite charmed—with the blanket, but I think I prefer the necktie; the Old Adam predominates in me, and this pelt of the serpent appeals with peculiar force to my appreciation of the vicious and the sinful. Nearly every morning I don that necktie and go out and twist the supersensitive tail of our intelligent imported burro until the profane beast burthens the air with his ribald protests. I shall ask the holy father—Pere —— to bring you with him when he comes again to pay a parochial visit to my house. I have a fair and gracious daughter into whose companionship I would fain bring so circumspect and diligent a young man as the holy father represents you to be. Therefore, without fear or trembling accompany that saintly man whensoever he says the word. Thereby you shall further make me your debtor. I send you every assurance of cordial regard, and I beg you to salute the holy father for me with a kiss, and may peace be unto his house and unto all that dwell therein.

Always faithfully yours,


CHICAGO, MAY 26, 1892.

He became acquainted with the leading ladies of the Aid Society of the Plymouth Church, and was thoroughly interested in their work. Partly in order to say "Goodbye" before his leaving for California in 1893, and partly, no doubt, that he might continue this humorous correspondence, as he did, he hunted up an old number of Peterson's Magazine, containing a very highly colored and elaborate pattern for knit slippers, such as clergymen received at Christmas thirty years ago, and, inclosing it with utmost care, he forwarded it to the aforesaid "Brother ——" with this note:

DEAR BROTHER ——: It has occurred to me that maybe the sisters of our congregation will want to make our dear pastor a handsome present this Christmas; so I inclose a lovely pattern for slippers, and I shall be glad to ante up my share of the expense, if the sisters decide to give our dear pastor this beautiful gift. I should like the pattern better if it had more red in it, but it will do very nicely. As I intend to go to California very soon, you'll have to let me know at once what the assessment per cap. is, or the rest of the sisters will be compelled to bear the full burthen of the expense. Brother, I salute you with an holy kiss, and I rejoice with you, humbly and meekly and without insolent vaunting, that some of us are not as other men are.

Your fellow-lamb,



This was only one phase of the life of this great-hearted man, as it came close to his friends in the ministry. Other clergymen who knew him well will not forget his overflowing kindness in times of sickness and weariness. At least one will not forget the last day of their meeting and the ardor of the poet's prayer. Religion, as the Christian life, was not less sacred to him because he knew how poorly men achieve the task of living always at the best level, nor did the reality of the soul's approach to God grow less noble or commanding to him because he knew that too seldom do we lift our voices heavenward. I am permitted to copy this one letter addressed to a clerical friend, at a time when Eugene Field responded to the call of that undying puritanism in his blood:

DEAR, DEAR FRIEND: I was greatly shocked to read in the Post last night of your dangerous illness. It is so seldom that I pray that when I do God knows I am in earnest. I do not pester Him with small matters. It is only when I am in real want that I get down on my wicked knees and pray. And I prayed for you last night, dear friend, for your friendship—the help that it is to me—is what I need, and I cannot be bereft of it. God has always been good to me, and He has said yes to my prayer, I am sure. Others, too—thousands of them—are praying for you, and for your restoration to health; none other has had in it more love and loyalty than my prayer had, and none other, dear friend, among the thousands whom you have blessed with your sweet friendship, loves you better than I do.


I am still sick abed and I find it hard to think out and write a letter. Read between the lines and the love there will comfort you more than my faulty words can.

I have often thought, as I saw him through his later years espousing the noblest causes with true-hearted zeal, of what he once said in the old "Saints' and Sinners' Corner" when a conversation sprang up on the death of Professor David Swing. His words go far to explain to me that somewhat reckless humor which oftentimes made it seem that he loved to imitate and hold in the pillory of his own inimitable powers of mimicry some of the least attractive forms of the genus parson he had seen and known. He said: "A good many things I do and say are things I have to employ to keep down the intention of those who wanted me to be a parson. I guess their desire got into my blood, too, for I have always to preach some little verses or I cannot get through Christmastide."

He had to get on with blood which was exquisitely harmonious with the heart of the Christ. He was not only a born member of the Society for the Prevention of Sorrow to Mankind, but he was by nature a champion of a working Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. This society was composed of himself. He wished to enlarge the membership of this latter association, but nobody was as orthodox in the faith as to the nobility of a balky horse, and he found none as intolerant of ill-treatment toward any and every brute, as was he. Professor Swing had written and read at the Parliament of Religions an essay on the Humane Treatment of the Brutes, which became a classic before the ink was dry, and one day Field proposed to him and another clergyman that they begin a practical crusade. On those cold days, drivers were demanding impossible things of smooth-shod horses on icy streets, and he saw many a noble beast on his knees, "begging me," as he said, "to get him a priest." Field's scheme was that the delicate and intelligent seer, David Swing, and his less refined and less gentle contemporary should go with him to the City Hall and be sworn in as special policemen and "do up these fellows." His clear blue eye was like a palpitating morning sky, and his whole thin and tall frame shook with passionate missionary zeal. "Ah," said he, as the beloved knight of the unorthodox explained that if he undertook the proposed task he would surely have to abandon all other work, "I never was satisfied that you were orthodox." His other friend had already fallen in his estimate as to fitness for such work. For, had not Eugene Field once started out to pay a bill of fifteen dollars, and had he not met a semblance of a man on the street who was beating a lengthily under-jawed and bad-eyed bull-dog of his own, for some misdemeanor? "Yea, verily," confessed the poet-humorist, who was then a reformer. "Why didn't you have him arrested, Eugene?" "Why, well, I was going jingling along with some new verses in my heart, and I knew I'd lose the tempo if I became militant. I said, 'What'll you take for him?' The pup was so homely that his face ached, but, as I was in a hurry to get to work, I gave him the fifteen dollars, and took the beast to the office." For a solitary remark uttered at the conclusion of this relation and fully confirmed as to its justness by an observation of the dog, his only other human prop for this enterprise was discarded. "Oh, you won't do," he said.

Christianity was increasingly dear to him as the discovery of childhood and the unfolding of its revelations. Into what long disquisitions he delighted to go, estimating the probable value of the idea that all returning to righteousness must be a child's returning. He saw what an influence such a conception has upon the hard and fast lines of habit and destiny to melt them down. He had a still greater estimate of the importance of the fact that Jesus of Nazareth came and lived as a child; and the dream of the last year of his life was to write, in the mood of the Holy-Cross tale, a sketch of the early years of the Little Galilean Peasant-Boy. This vision drifted its light into all his pictures of children at the last. He knew the "Old Adam" in us all, especially as he reappeared in the little folk. "But I don't believe the depravity is total, do you?" he said, "else a child would not care to hear about Mary's Little One;"—and then he would go on, following the Carpenter's Son about the cottage and over the hill, and rejoicing that, in following Him thus, he came back to his own open-eyed childhood, "But, you know," said he, "my childhood was full of the absurdities and strenuosities" (this last was his word) "of my puritan surroundings. Why, I never knew how naturally and easily I can get back into the veins of an old puritan grandfather that one of my grandmothers must have had—and how hard it is for me to behave there, until I read Alice Morse Earle's 'The Sabbath in New England.' I read that book nearly all night, if haply I might subdue the confusion and sorrows that were wrought in me by eating a Christmas pie on that feast-day. The fact is, my immediate ecclesiastical belongings are Episcopalian. I am of the church of Archbishop Laud and King Charles of blessed memory. I like good, thick Christmas pie, 'reeking with sapid juices,' full-ripe and zealous for good or ill. But my 'Separatist' ancestors all mistook gastric difficulties for spiritual graces, and, living in me, they all revolt and want to sail in the Mayflower, or hold town-meetings inside of me after feast-day."

Then, as if he had it in his mind,—poor, pale, yellow-skinned sufferer,— to attract one to the book he delighted in, he related that he fell asleep with this delicious volume in his hand, and this is part of the dream he sketched afterward:

"I went alone to the meeting-house the which those who are sinfully inclined toward Rome would call a 'church,' and it was on the Sabbath day. I yearned and strove to repent me of the merry mood and full sorry humors of Christmastide. For did not Judge Sewall make public his confession of having an overwhelming sense of inward condemnation for having opposed the Almighty with the witches of Salem? I fancied that one William F. Poole of the Newberry Library went also to comfort me and strengthen, as he would fain have done for the Judge. Not one of us carried a cricket, though Friend Poole related that he had left behind a 'seemly brassen foot-stove' full of hot coals from his hearthstone. On the day before, Pelitiah Underwood, the wolf-killer, had destroyed a fierce beast; and now the head thereof was 'nayled to the meetinghouse with a notice thereof.' It grinned at me and spit forth fire such as I felt within me. I was glad to enter the house, which was 'lathed on the inside and so daubed and whitened over workmanlike.' I had not been there, as it bethought me, since the day of the raising, when Jonathan Strong did 'break his thy,' and when all made complaint that only L9 had been spent for liquor, punch, beere, and flip, for the raising, whereas, on the day of the ordination, even at supper-time, besides puddings of corn meal and 'sewet baked therein, pyes, tarts, beare-stake and deer-meat,' there were 'cyder, rum-bitters, sling, old Barbadoes spirit, and Josslyn's nectar, made of Maligo raisins, spices, and syrup of clove gillyflowers'—all these given out freely to the worshippers over a newly made bar at the church door— God be praised! As I mused on this merry ordination, the sounding-board above the pulpit appeared as if to fall upon the pulpit, whereon I read, after much effort: 'Holiness is the Lord's.' The tassels and carved pomegranates on the sounding-board became living creatures and changed themselves into grimaces, and I was woefully wrought upon by the red cushion on the pulpit, which did seem a bag of fire. As the minister was heard coming up the winding stairs unseen, and, yet more truly, as his head at length appeared through the open trap-doorway, I thought him Satan, and, but for friend Poole, I had cried out lustily in fear. Terror fled me when I considered that none might do any harm there. For was not the church militant now assembled? Besides, had they not obeyed the law of the General Court that each congregation should carry a 'competent number of pieces, fixed and complete with powder and shot and swords, every Lord's-day at the meeting-house?' And, right well equipped 'with psalm-book, shot and powder-horn' sat that doughty man, Shear Yashub Millard along with Hezekiah Bristol and four others whose issue I have known pleasantly in the flesh here; and those of us who had no pieces wore 'coats basted with cotton-wool, and thus made defensive against Indian arrows.' Yet it bethought me that there was no defence against what I had devoured on Christmas day. I had rather been the least of these,—even he who 'blew the Kunk'—than to be thus seated there and afeared that the brethren in the 'pitts' doubted I had true religion. That I had found a proper seat—even this I wot not; and I quaked, for had not two of my kin been fined near unto poverty for 'disorderly going and setting in seats not theirs by any means,' so great was their sin. It had not yet come upon the day when there was a 'dignifying of the meeting.' Did not even the pious Judge Sewall's second spouse once sit in the foreseat when he thought to have taken her into 'his own pue?' and, she having died in a few months, did not that godly man exclaim: 'God in his holy Sovereignity put my wife out of the Foreseat'? Was I not also in recollection by many as one who once 'prophaned the Lord's Day in ye meeting-house, in ye times of ye forenoone service, by my rude and Indecent acting in Laughing and other Doings by my face with Tabatha Morgus, against ye peace of our Sovereign Lord ye King, His crown and Dignity?'"

At this, it appears that I groaned in my sleep, for I was not only asleep here and now, but I was dreaming that I was asleep there and then, in the meeting-house. It was in this latter sleep that I groaned so heavily in spirit and in body that the tithing-man, or awakener, did approach me from behind, without stopping to brush me to awakening by the fox-taile which was fixed to the end of his long staffe, or even without painfully sticking into my body his sharp and pricking staffe which he did sometimes use. He led me out bodily to the noone-house, where I found myself fully awakened, but much broken in spirit. Then and there did I write these verses, which I send to you:

"Mother," says I, "is that a pie?" in tones akin to scorning; "It is, my son," quoth she, "and one full ripe for Christmas morning! It's fat with plums as big as your thumbs, reeking with sapid juices, And you'll find within all kinds of sin our grocery store produces!" "O, well," says I, "Seein' it's pie And is guaranteed to please, ma'am, By your advice, I'll take a slice, If you'll kindly pass the cheese, ma'am!"

But once a year comes Christmas cheer, and one should then be merry, But as for me, as you can see, I'm disconcerted, very; For that pesky pie sticks grimly by my organs of digestion, And that 't will stay by me till May or June I make no question. So unto you, Good friends and true, I'll tip this solemn warning: At every price, Eschew the vice Of eating pie in the morning.

FRANK W. GUNSAULUS. Chicago, March, 1896.













































































Out yonder in the moonlight, wherein God's Acre lies, Go angels walking to and fro, singing their lullabies. Their radiant wings are folded, and their eyes are bended low, As they sing among the beds whereon the flowers delight to grow,—

"Sleep, oh, sleep! The Shepherd guardeth His sheep. Fast speedeth the night away, Soon cometh the glorious day; Sleep, weary ones, while ye may, Sleep, oh, sleep!"

The flowers within God's Acre see that fair and wondrous sight, And hear the angels singing to the sleepers through the night; And, lo! throughout the hours of day those gentle flowers prolong The music of the angels in that tender slumber-song,—

"Sleep, oh, sleep! The Shepherd loveth His sheep. He that guardeth His flock the best Hath folded them to His loving breast; So sleep ye now, and take your rest,— Sleep, oh, sleep!"

From angel and from flower the years have learned that soothing song, And with its heavenly music speed the days and nights along; So through all time, whose flight the Shepherd's vigils glorify, God's Acre slumbereth in the grace of that sweet lullaby,—

"Sleep, oh, sleep! The Shepherd loveth His sheep. Fast speedeth the night away, Soon cometh the glorious day; Sleep, weary ones, while ye may,— Sleep, oh, sleep!"


When the world is fast asleep, Along the midnight skies— As though it were a wandering cloud— The ghostly dream-ship flies.

An angel stands at the dream-ship's helm, An angel stands at the prow, And an angel stands at the dream-ship's side With a rue-wreath on her brow.

The other angels, silver-crowned, Pilot and helmsman are, And the angel with the wreath of rue Tosseth the dreams afar.

The dreams they fall on rich and poor; They fall on young and old; And some are dreams of poverty, And some are dreams of gold.

And some are dreams that thrill with joy, And some that melt to tears; Some are dreams of the dawn of love, And some of the old dead years.

On rich and poor alike they fall, Alike on young and old, Bringing to slumbering earth their joys And sorrows manifold.

The friendless youth in them shall do The deeds of mighty men, And drooping age shall feel the grace Of buoyant youth again.

The king shall be a beggarman— The pauper be a king— In that revenge or recompense The dream-ship dreams do bring.

So ever downward float the dreams That are for all and me, And there is never mortal man Can solve that mystery.

But ever onward in its course Along the haunted skies— As though it were a cloud astray— The ghostly dream-ship flies.

Two angels with their silver crowns Pilot and helmsman are, And an angel with a wreath of rue Tosseth the dreams afar.


Cinna, the great Venusian told In songs that will not die How in Augustan days of old Your love did glorify His life and all his being seemed Thrilled by that rare incense Till, grudging him the dreams he dreamed, The gods did call you hence.

Cinna, I've looked into your eyes, And held your hands in mine, And seen your cheeks in sweet surprise Blush red as Massic wine; Now let the songs in Cinna's praise Be chanted once again, For, oh! alone I walk the ways We walked together then!

Perhaps upon some star to-night, So far away in space I cannot see that beacon light Nor feel its soothing grace— Perhaps from that far-distant sphere Her quickened vision seeks For this poor heart of mine that here To its lost Cinna speaks.

Then search this heart, beloved eyes, And find it still as true As when in all my boyhood skies My guiding stars were you! Cinna, you know the mystery That is denied to men— Mine is the lot to feel that we Shall elsewhere love again!


Prudence Mears hath an old blue plate Hid away in an oaken chest, And a Franklin platter of ancient date Beareth Amandy Baker's crest; What times soever I've been their guest, Says I to myself in an undertone: "Of womenfolk, it must be confessed, These do I love, and these alone."

Well, again, in the Nutmeg State, Dorothy Pratt is richly blest With a relic of art and a land effete— A pitcher of glass that's cut, not pressed. And a Washington teapot is possessed Down in Pelham by Marthy Stone— Think ye now that I say in jest "These do I love, and these alone?"

Were Hepsy Higgins inclined to mate, Or Dorcas Eastman prone to invest In Cupid's bonds, they could find their fate In the bootless bard of Crockery Quest. For they've heaps of trumpery—so have the rest Of those spinsters whose ware I'd like to own; You can see why I say with such certain zest, "These do I love, and these alone."


Prince, show me the quickest way and best To gain the subject of my moan; We've neither spinsters nor relics out West— These do I love, and these alone.


Suppose, my dear, that you were I And by your side your sweetheart sate; Suppose you noticed by and by The distance 'twixt you were too great; Now tell me, dear, what would you do? I know—and so do you.

And when (so comfortably placed) Suppose you only grew aware That that dear, dainty little waist Of hers looked very lonely there; Pray tell me sooth—what would you do? I know, and so do you.

When, having done what I just did With not a frown to check or chill, Suppose her red lips seemed to bid Defiance to your lordly will; Oh, tell me, sweet, what would you do? I know, and so do you.


As once I rambled in the woods I chanced to spy amid the brake A huntsman ride his way beside A fair and passing tranquil lake; Though velvet bucks sped here and there, He let them scamper through the green— Not one smote he, but lustily He blew his horn—what could it mean?

As on I strolled beside that lake, A pretty maid I chanced to see Fishing away for finny prey, Yet not a single one caught she; All round her boat the fishes leapt And gambolled to their hearts' content, Yet never a thing did the maid but sing— I wonder what on earth it meant.

As later yet I roamed my way, A lovely steed neighed loud and long, And an empty boat sped all afloat Where sang a fishermaid her song; All underneath the prudent shade, Which yonder kindly willows threw, Together strayed a youth and maid— I can't explain it all, can you?


How trifling shall these gifts appear Among the splendid many That loving friends now send to cheer Harvey and Ellen Jenney.

And yet these baubles symbolize A certain fond relation That well beseems, as I surmise, This festive celebration.

Sweet friends of mine, be spoons once more, And with your tender cooing Renew the keen delights of yore— The rapturous bliss of wooing.

What though that silver in your hair Tells of the years aflying? 'T is yours to mock at Time and Care With love that is undying.

In memory of this Day, dear friends, Accept the modest token From one who with the bauble sends A love that can't be spoken.


Away down East where I was reared amongst my Yankee kith, There used to live a pretty girl whose name was Mary Smith; And though it's many years since last I saw that pretty girl, And though I feel I'm sadly worn by Western strife and whirl; Still, oftentimes, I think about the old familiar place, Which, someway, seemed the brighter for Miss Mary's pretty face, And in my heart I feel once more revivified the glow I used to feel in those old times when I was Mary's beau.

I saw her home from singing school—she warbled like a bird. A sweeter voice than hers for song or speech I never heard. She was soprano in the choir, and I a solemn bass, And when we unisoned our voices filled that holy place; The tenor and the alto never had the slightest chance, For Mary's upper register made every heart-string dance; And, as for me, I shall not brag, and yet I'd have you know I sung a very likely bass when I was Mary's beau.

On Friday nights I'd drop around to make my weekly call, And though I came to visit her, I'd have to see 'em all. With Mary's mother sitting here and Mary's father there, The conversation never flagged so far as I'm aware; Sometimes I'd hold her worsted, sometimes we'd play at games, Sometimes dissect the apples which we'd named each other's names. Oh how I loathed the shrill-toned clock that told me when to go— 'Twas ten o'clock at half-past eight when I was Mary's beau.

Now there was Luther Baker—because he'd come of age And thought himself some pumpkins because he drove the stage— He fancied he could cut me out; but Mary was my friend— Elsewise I'm sure the issue had had a tragic end. For Luther Baker was a man I never could abide, And, when it came to Mary, either he or I had died. I merely cite this instance incidentally to show That I was quite in earnest when I was Mary's beau.

How often now those sights, those pleasant sights, recur again: The little township that was all the world I knew of then— The meeting-house upon the hill, the tavern just beyond, Old deacon Packard's general store, the sawmill by the pond, The village elms I vainly sought to conquer in my quest Of that surpassing trophy, the golden oriole's nest. And, last of all those visions that come back from long ago, The pretty face that thrilled my soul when I was Mary's beau.

Hush, gentle wife, there is no need a pang should vex your heart— 'T is many years since fate ordained that she and I should part; To each a true, maturer love came in good time, and yet It brought not with its nobler grace the power to forget. And would you fain begrudge me now the sentimental joy That comes of recollections of my sparkings when a boy? I warrant me that, were your heart put to the rack, 't would show That it had predilections when I was Mary's beau.

And, Mary, should these lines of mine seek out your biding place, God grant they bring the old sweet smile back to your pretty face— God grant they bring you thoughts of me, not as I am to-day, With faltering step and brimming eyes and aspect grimly gray; But thoughts that picture me as fair and full of life and glee As we were in the olden times—as you shall always be. Think of me ever, Mary, as the boy you used to know When time was fleet, and life was sweet, and I was Mary's beau.

Dear hills of old New England, look down with tender eyes Upon one little lonely grave that in your bosom lies; For in that cradle sleeps a child who was so fair to see God yearned to have unto Himself the joy she brought to me; And bid your winds sing soft and low the song of other days, When, hand in hand and heart to heart, we went our pleasant ways— Ah me! but could I sing again that song of long ago, Instead of this poor idle song of being Mary's beau.


When I remark her golden hair Swoon on her glorious shoulders, I marvel not that sight so rare Doth ravish all beholders; For summon hence all pretty girls Renowned for beauteous tresses, And you shall find among their curls There's none so fair as Jessie's.

And Jessie's eyes are, oh, so blue And full of sweet revealings— They seem to look you through and through And read your inmost feelings; Nor black emits such ardent fires, Nor brown such truth expresses— Admit it, all ye gallant squires— There are no eyes like Jessie's.

Her voice (like liquid beams that roll From moonland to the river) Steals subtly to the raptured soul, Therein to lie and quiver; Or falls upon the grateful ear With chaste and warm caresses— Ah, all concede the truth (who hear): There's no such voice as Jessie's.

Of other charms she hath such store All rivalry excelling, Though I used adjectives galore, They'd fail me in the telling; But now discretion stays my hand— Adieu, eyes, voice, and tresses. Of all the husbands in the land There's none so fierce as Jessie's.


There—let thy hands be folded Awhile in sleep's repose; The patient hands that wearied not, But earnestly and nobly wrought In charity and faith; And let thy dear eyes close— The eyes that looked alway to God, Nor quailed beneath the chastening rod Of sorrow; Fold thou thy hands and eyes For just a little while, And with a smile Dream of the morrow.

And, O white voiceless flower, The dream which thou shalt dream Should be a glimpse of heavenly things, For yonder like a seraph sings The sweetness of a life With faith alway its theme; While speedeth from those realms above The messenger of that dear love That healeth sorrow. So sleep a little while, For thou shalt wake and sing Before thy King When cometh the morrow.


Good editor Dana—God bless him, we say— Will soon be afloat on the main, Will be steaming away Through the mist and the spray To the sensuous climate of Spain.

Strange sights shall he see in that beautiful land Which is famed for its soap and its Moor, For, as we understand, The scenery is grand Though the system of railways is poor.

For moonlight of silver and sunlight of gold Glint the orchards of lemons and mangoes, And the ladies, we're told, Are a joy to behold As they twine in their lissome fandangoes.

What though our friend Dana shall twang a guitar And murmur a passionate strain; Oh, fairer by far Than those ravishments are The castles abounding in Spain.

These castles are built as the builder may list— They are sometimes of marble or stone, But they mostly consist Of east wind and mist With an ivy of froth overgrown.

A beautiful castle our Dana shall raise On a futile foundation of hope, And its glories shall blaze In the somnolent haze Of the mythical lake del y Soap.

The fragrance of sunflowers shall swoon on the air And the visions of Dreamland obtain, And the song of "World's Fair" Shall be heard everywhere Through that beautiful castle in Spain.


Many a beauteous flower doth spring From the tears that flood my eyes, And the nightingale doth sing In the burthen of my sighs.

If, O child, thou lovest me, Take these flowerets fair and frail, And my soul shall waft to thee Love songs of the nightingale.


When I am in New York, I like to drop around at night, To visit with my honest, genial friends, the Stoddards hight; Their home in Fifteenth street is all so snug, and furnished so, That, when I once get planted there, I don't know when to go; A cosy cheerful refuge for the weary homesick guest, Combining Yankee comforts with the freedom of the west.

The first thing you discover, as you maunder through the hall, Is a curious little clock upon a bracket on the wall; 'T was made by Stoddard's father, and it's very, very old— The connoisseurs assure me it is worth its weight in gold; And I, who've bought all kinds of clocks, 'twixt Denver and the Rhine, Cast envious eyes upon that clock, and wish that it were mine.

But in the parlor. Oh, the gems on tables, walls, and floor— Rare first editions, etchings, and old crockery galore. Why, talk about the Indies and the wealth of Orient things— They couldn't hold a candle to these quaint and sumptuous things; In such profusion, too—Ah me! how dearly I recall How I have sat and watched 'em and wished I had 'em all.

Now, Mr. Stoddard's study is on the second floor, A wee blind dog barks at me as I enter through the door; The Cerberus would fain begrudge what sights it cannot see, The rapture of that visual feast it cannot share with me; A miniature edition this—this most absurd of hounds— A genuine unique, I'm sure, and one unknown to Lowndes.

Books—always books—are piled around; some musty, and all old; Tall, solemn folios such as Lamb declared he loved to hold; Large paper copies with their virgin margins white and wide, And presentation volumes with the author's comps. inside; I break the tenth commandment with a wild impassioned cry: Oh, how came Stoddard by these things? Why Stoddard, and not I?

From yonder wall looks Thackeray upon his poet friend, And underneath the genial face appear the lines he penned; And here, gadzooks, ben honge ye prynte of marvaillous renowne Yt shameth Chaucers gallaunt knyghtes in Canterbury towne; And still more books and pictures. I'm dazed, bewildered, vexed; Since I've broke the tenth commandment, why not break the eighth one next?

And, furthermore, in confidence inviolate be it said Friend Stoddard owns a lock of hair that grew on Milton's head; Now I have Gladstone axes and a lot of curious things, Such as pimply Dresden teacups and old German wedding-rings; But nothing like that saintly lock have I on wall or shelf, And, being somewhat short of hair, I should like that lock myself.

But Stoddard has a soothing way, as though he grieved to see Invidious torments prey upon a nice young chap like me. He waves me to an easy chair and hands me out a weed And pumps me full of that advice he seems to know I need; So sweet the tap of his philosophy and knowledge flows That I can't help wishing that I knew a half what Stoddard knows.

And so we sit for hours and hours, praising without restraint The people who are thoroughbreds, and roasting the ones that ain't; Happy, thrice happy, is the man we happen to admire, But wretched, oh, how wretched he that hath provoked our ire; For I speak emphatic English when I once get fairly r'iled, And Stoddard's wrath's an Ossa upon a Pelion piled.

Out yonder, in the alcove, a lady sits and darns, And interjects remarks that always serve to spice our yarns; She's Mrs. Stoddard; there's a dame that's truly to my heart: A tiny little woman, but so quaint, and good, and smart That, if you asked me to suggest which one I should prefer Of all the Stoddard treasures, I should promptly mention her.

O dear old man, how I should like to be with you this night, Down in your home in Fifteenth street, where all is snug and bright; Where the shaggy little Cerberus dreams in its cushioned place, And the books and pictures all around smile in their old friend's face; Where the dainty little sweetheart, whom you still were proud to woo, Charms back the tender memories so dear to her and you.


I shall tell you in rhyme how, once on a time, Three tailors tramped up to the inn Ingleheim, On the Rhine, lovely Rhine; They were broke, but the worst of it all, they were curst With that malady common to tailors—a thirst For wine, lots of wine.

"Sweet host," quoth the three, "we're hard up as can be, Yet skilled in the practice of cunning are we, On the Rhine, genial Rhine; And we pledge you we will impart you that skill Right quickly and fully, providing you'll fill Us with wine, cooling wine."

But that host shook his head, and he warily said: "Though cunning be good, we take money instead, On the Rhine, thrifty Rhine; If ye fancy ye may without pelf have your way You'll find that there's both host and the devil to pay For your wine, costly wine."

Then the first knavish wight took his needle so bright And threaded its eye with a wee ray of light From the Rhine, sunny Rhine; And, in such a deft way, patched a mirror that day That where it was mended no expert could say— Done so fine 't was for wine.

The second thereat spied a poor little gnat Go toiling along on his nose broad and flat Towards the Rhine, pleasant Rhine; "Aha, tiny friend, I should hate to offend, But your stockings need darning"—which same did he mend, All for wine, soothing wine.

And next there occurred what you'll deem quite absurd— His needle a space in the wall thrust the third, By the Rhine, wondrous Rhine; And then all so spry, he leapt through the eye Of that thin cambric needle—nay, think you I'd lie About wine—not for wine.

The landlord allowed (with a smile) he was proud To do the fair thing by that talented crowd On the Rhine, generous Rhine. So a thimble filled he as full as could be— "Drink long and drink hearty, my jolly friends three, Of my wine, filling wine."


A tortuous double iron track; a station here, a station there; A locomotive, tender, tanks; a coach with stiff reclining chair; Some postal cars, and baggage, too; a vestibule of patent make; With buffers, duffers, switches, and the soughing automatic brake— This is the Orient's novel pride, and Syria's gaudiest modern gem: The railway scheme that is to ply 'twixt Jaffa and Jerusalem.

Beware, O sacred Mooley cow, the engine when you hear its bell; Beware, O camel, when resounds the whistle's shrill, unholy swell; And, native of that guileless land, unused to modern travel's snare, Beware the fiend that peddles books—the awful peanut-boy beware. Else, trusting in their specious arts, you may have reason to condemn The traffic which the knavish ply 'twixt Jaffa and Jerusalem.

And when, ah, when the bonds fall due, how passing wroth will wax the state From Nebo's mount to Nazareth will spread the cry "Repudiate"! From Hebron to Tiberius, from Jordan's banks unto the sea, Will rise profuse anathemas against "that —— monopoly!" And F.M.B.A. shepherd-folk, with Sockless Jerry leading them, Will swamp that corporation line 'twixt Jaffa and Jerusalem.


How calm, how beauteous and how cool— How like a sister to the skies, Appears the broad, transparent pool That in this quiet forest lies. The sunshine ripples on its face, And from the world around, above, It hath caught down the nameless grace Of such reflections as we love.

But deep below its surface crawl The reptile horrors of the night— The dragons, lizards, serpents—all The hideous brood that hate the light; Through poison fern and slimy weed And under ragged, jagged stones They scuttle, or, in ghoulish greed, They lap a dead man's bleaching bones.

And as, O pool, thou dost cajole With seemings that beguile us well, So doeth many a human soul That teemeth with the lusts of hell.


If our own life is the life of a flower (And that's what some sages are thinking), We should moisten the bud with a health-giving flood And 'twill bloom all the sweeter— Yes, life's the completer For drinking, and drinking, and drinking.

If it be that our life is a journey (As many wise folk are opining), We should sprinkle the way with the rain while we may; Though dusty and dreary, 'Tis made cool and cheery With wining, and wining, and wining.

If this life that we live be a dreaming (As pessimist people are thinking), To induce pleasant dreams there is nothing, meseems, Like this sweet prescription, That baffles description— This drinking, and drinking, and drinking.


How cool and fair this cellar where My throne a dusky cask is; To do no thing but just to sing And drown the time my task is. The cooper he's Resolved to please, And, answering to my winking, He fills me up Cup after cup For drinking, drinking, drinking.

Begrudge me not This cosy spot In which I am reclining— Why, who would burst With envious thirst, When he can live by wining. A roseate hue seems to imbue The world on which I'm blinking; My fellow-men—I love them when I'm drinking, drinking, drinking.

And yet I think, the more I drink, It's more and more I pine for— Oh, such as I (forever dry) God made this land of Rhine for; And there is bliss In knowing this, As to the floor I'm sinking: I've wronged no man And never can While drinking, drinking, drinking.



Once a fowler, young and artless, To the quiet greenwood came; Full of skill was he and heartless In pursuit of feathered game. And betimes he chanced to see Eros perching in a tree.

"What strange bird is that, I wonder?" Thought the youth, and spread his snare; Eros, chuckling at the blunder, Gayly scampered here and there. Do his best, the simple clod Could not snare the agile god!

Blubbering, to his aged master Went the fowler in dismay, And confided his disaster With that curious bird that day; "Master, hast thou ever heard Of so ill-disposed a bird?"

"Heard of him? Aha, most truly!" Quoth the master with a smile; "And thou too, shall know him duly— Thou art young, but bide awhile, And old Eros will not fly From thy presence by and by!

"For when thou art somewhat older That same Eros thou didst see, More familiar grown and bolder, Shall become acquaint with thee; And when Eros comes thy way Mark my word, he comes to stay!"


Once came Venus to me, bringing Eros where my cattle fed— "Teach this little boy your singing, Gentle herdsman," Venus said. I was young—I did not know Whom it was that Venus led— That was many years ago!

In a lusty voice but mellow— Callow pedant! I began To instruct the little fellow In the mysteries known to man; Sung the noble cithern's praise, And the flute of dear old Pan, And the lyre that Hermes plays.

But he paid no heed unto me— Nay, that graceless little boy Coolly plotted to undo me— With his songs of tender joy; And my pedantry o'erthrown, Eager was I to employ His sweet ritual for mine own!

Ah, these years of ours are fleeting! Yet I have not vainly wrought, Since to-day I am repeating What dear lessons Eros taught; Love, and always love, and then— Counting all things else for naught— Love and always love again!



The Northland reared his hoary head And spied the Southland leagues away— "Fairest of all fair brides," he said, "Be thou my bride, I pray!"

Whereat the Southland laughed and cried: "I'll bide beside my native sea, And I shall never be thy bride Till thou com'st wooing me!"

The Northland's heart was a heart of ice, A diamond glacier, mountain high— Oh, love is sweet at any price, As well know you and I!

So gayly the Northland took his heart And cast it in the wailing sea— "Go, thou, with all thy cunning art, And woo my bride for me!"

For many a night and for many a day, And over the leagues that rolled between, The true-heart messenger sped away To woo the Southland queen.

But the sea wailed loud, and the sea wailed long, While ever the Northland cried in glee: "Oh, thou shalt sing us our bridal song, When comes my bride, O sea!"

At the foot of the Southland's golden throne The heart of the Northland ever throbs— For that true-heart speaks in the waves that moan, The songs that it sings are sobs.

Ever the Southland spurns the cries Of the messenger pleading the Northland's part; The summer shines in the Southland's eyes— The winter bides in her heart!

And ever unto that far-off place Which love doth render a hallowed spot, The Northland turneth his honest face And wonders she cometh not.

The sea wails loud, and the sea wails long, As the ages of waiting drift slowly by, But the sea shall sing no bridal song— As well know you and I!



O heart of mine! lift up thine eyes And see who in yon manger lies! Of perfect form, of face divine— It is the Christ-child, heart of mine!

O dearest, holiest Christ-child, spread Within this heart of mine thy bed; Then shall my breast forever be A chamber consecrate to thee!

Beat high to-day, O heart of mine, And tell, O lips, what joys are thine; For with your help shall I prolong Old Bethlehem's sweetest cradle-song.

Glory to God, whom this dear Child Hath by His coming reconciled, And whose redeeming love again Brings peace on earth, good will to men!


Star of the East, that long ago Brought wise men on their way Where, angels singing to and fro, The Child of Bethlehem lay— Above that Syrian hill afar Thou shinest out to-night, O Star!

Star of the East, the night were drear But for the tender grace That with thy glory comes to cheer Earth's loneliest, darkest place; For by that charity we see Where there is hope for all and me.

Star of the East! show us the way In wisdom undefiled To seek that manger out and lay Our gifts before the child— To bring our hearts and offer them Unto our King in Bethlehem!


There are two phrases, you must know, So potent (yet so small) That wheresoe'er a man may go He needs none else at all; No servile guide to lead the way Nor lackey at his heel, If he be learned enough to say "Comme bien" and "Wie viel."

The sleek, pomaded Parleyvoo Will air his sweetest airs And quote the highest rates when you "Comme bien" for his wares; And, though the German stolid be, His so-called heart of steel Becomes as soft as wax when he Detects the words "Wie viel."

Go, search the boulevards and rues From Havre to Marseilles— You'll find all eloquence you use Except "Comme bien" fails; Or in the country auf der Rhine Essay a business deal And all your art is good fuhr nein Beyond the point—"Wie viel."

It matters not what game or prey Attracts your greedy eyes— You must pursue the good old way If you would win the prize; It is to get a titled mate All run down at the heel, If you inquire of stock effete, "Comme bien" or "Wie viel."

So he is wise who envieth not A wealth of foreign speech, Since with two phrases may be got Whatever's in his reach; For Europe is a soulless shrine In which all classes kneel Before twin idols, deemed divine— "Comme bien" and "Wie viel."



There were three cavaliers, all handsome and true, On Valentine's day came a maiden to woo, And quoth to your mother: "Good-morrow, my dear, We came with some songs for your daughter to hear!"

Your mother replied: "I'll be pleased to convey To my daughter what things you may sing or may say!"

Then the first cavalier sung: "My pretty red rose, I'll love you and court you some day, I suppose!"

And the next cavalier sung, with make-believe tears: "I've loved you! I've loved you these many long years!"

But the third cavalier (with the brown, bushy head And the pretty blue jacket and necktie of red) He drew himself up with a resolute air, And he warbled: "O maiden, surpassingly fair! I've loved you long years, and I love you to-day, And, if you will let me, I'll love you for aye!"

I (the third cavalier) sang this ditty to you, In my necktie of red and my jacket of blue; I'm sure you'll prefer the song that was mine And smile your approval on your valentine.


Who I am I shall not say, But I send you this bouquet With this query, baby mine: "Will you be my valentine?"

See these roses blushing blue, Very like your eyes of hue; While these violets are the red Of your cheeks. It can be said Ne'er before was babe like you.

And I think it is quite true No one e'er before to-day Sent so wondrous a bouquet As these posies aforesaid— Roses blue and violets red!

Sweet, repay me sweets for sweets— 'Tis your lover who entreats! Smile upon me, baby mine— Be my little valentine!



Grim is the face that looks into the night Over the stretch of sands; A sullen rock in a sea of white— A ghostly shadow in ghostly light, Peering and moaning it stands. "Oh, is it the king that rides this way— Oh, is it the king that rides so free? I have looked for the king this many a day, But the years that mock me will not say Why tarrieth he!"

'T is not your king that shall ride to-night, But a child that is fast asleep; And the horse he shall ride is the Dream-horse white— Aha, he shall speed through the ghostly light Where the ghostly shadows creep! "My eyes are dull and my face is sere, Yet unto the word he gave I cling, For he was a Pharaoh that set me here— And, lo! I have waited this many a year For him—my king!"

Oh, past thy face my darling shall ride Swift as the burning winds that bear The sand clouds over the desert wide— Swift to the verdure and palms beside The wells off there! "And is it the mighty king I shall see Come riding into the night? Oh, is it the king come back to me— Proudly and fiercely rideth he, With centuries dight!"

I know no king but my dark-eyed dear That shall ride the Dream-Horse white; But see! he wakes at my bosom here, While the Dream-Horse frettingly lingers near To speed with my babe to-night! And out of the desert darkness peers A ghostly, ghastly, shadowy thing Like a spirit come out of the mouldering years, And ever that waiting spectre hears The coming king!


One asketh: "Tell me, Myrson, tell me true: What's the season pleaseth you? Is it summer suits you best, When from harvest toil we rest? Is it autumn with its glory Of all surfeited desires? Is it winter, when with story And with song we hug our fires? Or is spring most fair to you— Come, good Myrson, tell me true!"

Another answereth: "What the gods in wisdom send We should question not, my friend; Yet, since you entreat of me, I will answer reverently: Me the summertime displeases, For its sun is scorching hot; Autumn brings such dire diseases That perforce I like it not; As for biting winter, oh! How I hate its ice and snow!

"But, thrice welcome, kindly spring, With the myriad gifts you bring! Not too hot nor yet too cold, Graciously your charms unfold— Oh, your days are like the dreaming Of those nights which love beseems, And your nights have all the seeming Of those days of golden dreams! Heaven smiles down on earth, and then Earth smiles up to heaven again!"


Still serve me in my age, I pray, As in my youth, O faithful one; For years I've brushed thee every day— Could Socrates have better done? What though the fates would wreak on thee The fulness of their evil art? Use thou philosophy, like me— And we, old friend, shall never part!

I think—I often think of it— The day we twain first faced the crowd; My roistering friends impeached your fit, But you and I were very proud! Those jovial friends no more make free With us (no longer new and smart), But rather welcome you and me As loving friends that should not part.

The patch? Oh, yes—one happy night— "Lisette," says I, "it's time to go"— She clutched this sleeve to stay my flight, Shrieking: "What! leave so early? No!" To mend the ghastly rent she'd made, Three days she toiled, dear patient heart! And I—right willingly I staid— Lisette decreed we should not part!

No incense ever yet profaned This honest, shiny warp of thine, Nor hath a courtier's eye disdained Thy faded hue and quaint design; Let servile flattery be the price Of ribbons in the royal mart— A roadside posie shall suffice For us two friends that must not part!

Fear not the recklessness of yore Shall re-occur to vex thee now; Alas, I am a youth no more— I'm old and sere, and so art thou! So bide with me unto the last And with thy warmth caress this heart That pleads, by memories of the Past, That two such friends should never part!


There was a certain gentleman, Ben Apfelgarten called, Who lived way off in Germany a many years ago, And he was very fortunate in being very bald And so was very happy he was so. He warbled all the day Such songs as only they Who are very, very circumspect and very happy may; The people wondered why, As the years went gliding by, They never heard him once complain or even heave a sigh!

The women of the province fell in love with genial Ben, Till (may be you can fancy it) the dickens was to pay Among the callow students and the sober-minded men— With the women-folk a-cuttin' up that way! Why, they gave him turbans red To adorn his hairless head, And knitted jaunty nightcaps to protect him when abed! In vain the rest demurred— Not a single chiding word Those ladies deigned to tolerate—remonstrance was absurd!

Things finally got into such a very dreadful way That the others (oh, how artful) formed the politic design To send him to the reichstag; so, one dull November day, They elected him a member from the Rhine! Then the other members said: "Gott im Himmel! what a head!" But they marvelled when his speeches they listened to or read; And presently they cried: "There must be heaps inside Of the smooth and shiny cranium his constituents deride!"

Well, when at last he up 'nd died—long past his ninetieth year— The strangest and the most lugubrious funeral he had, For women came in multitudes to weep upon his bier— The men all wond'ring why on earth the women had gone mad! And this wonderment increased Till the sympathetic priest Inquired of those same ladies: "Why this fuss about deceased?" Whereupon were they appalled, For, as one, those women squalled: "We doted on deceased for being bald—bald—bald!"

He was bald because his genius burnt that shock of hair away Which, elsewise, clogs one's keenness and activity of mind; And (barring present company, of course) I'm free to say That, after all, it's intellect that captures womankind. At any rate, since then (With a precedent in Ben), The women-folk have been in love with us bald-headed men!


The image of the moon at night All trembling in the ocean lies, But she, with calm and steadfast light, Moves proudly through the radiant skies,

How like the tranquil moon thou art— Thou fairest flower of womankind! And, look, within my fluttering heart Thy image trembling is enshrined!


Yonder stands the hillside chapel Mid the evergreens and rocks, All day long it hears the song Of the shepherd to his flocks.

Then the chapel bell goes tolling— Knelling for a soul that's sped; Silent and sad the shepherd lad Hears the requiem for the dead.

Shepherd, singers of the valley, Voiceless now, speed on before; Soon shall knell that chapel bell For the songs you'll sing no more.


Two dreams came down to earth one night From the realm of mist and dew; One was a dream of the old, old days, And one was a dream of the new.

One was a dream of a shady lane That led to the pickerel pond Where the willows and rushes bowed themselves To the brown old hills beyond.

And the people that peopled the old-time dream Were pleasant and fair to see, And the dreamer he walked with them again As often of old walked he.

Oh, cool was the wind in the shady lane That tangled his curly hair! Oh, sweet was the music the robins made To the springtime everywhere!

Was it the dew the dream had brought From yonder midnight skies, Or was it tears from the dear, dead years That lay in the dreamer's eyes?

The other dream ran fast and free, As the moon benignly shed Her golden grace on the smiling face In the little trundle-bed.

For 't was a dream of times to come— Of the glorious noon of day— Of the summer that follows the careless spring When the child is done with play.

And 't was a dream of the busy world Where valorous deeds are done; Of battles fought in the cause of right, And of victories nobly won.

It breathed no breath of the dear old home And the quiet joys of youth; It gave no glimpse of the good old friends Or the old-time faith and truth.

But 't was a dream of youthful hopes, And fast and free it ran, And it told to a little sleeping child Of a boy become a man!

These were the dreams that came one night To earth from yonder sky; These were the dreams two dreamers dreamed— My little boy and I.

And in our hearts my boy and I Were glad that it was so; He loved to dream of days to come, And I of long ago.

So from our dreams my boy and I Unwillingly awoke, But neither of his precious dream Unto the other spoke.

Yet of the love we bore those dreams Gave each his tender sign; For there was triumph in his eyes— And there were tears in mine!


'Twas in the Crescent City not long ago befell The tear-compelling incident I now propose to tell; So come, my sweet collector friends, and listen while I sing Unto your delectation this brief, pathetic thing— No lyric pitched in vaunting key, but just a requiem Of blowing twenty dollars in by nine o'clock a.m.

Let critic folk the poet's use of vulgar slang upbraid, But, when I'm speaking by the card, I call a spade a spade; And I, who have been touched of that same mania, myself, Am well aware that, when it comes to parting with his pelf, The curio collector is so blindly lost in sin That he doesn't spend his money—he simply blows it in!

In Royal street (near Conti) there's a lovely curio-shop, And there, one balmy, fateful morn, it was my chance to stop; To stop was hesitation—in a moment I was lost— That kind of hesitation does not hesitate at cost! I spied a pewter tankard there, and, my! it was a gem— And the clock in old St. Louis told the hour of eight a.m.!

Three quaint Bohemian bottles, too, of yellow and of green, Cut in archaic fashion that I ne'er before had seen; A lovely, hideous platter wreathed about with pink and rose, With its curious depression into which the gravy flows; Two dainty silver salts—oh, there was no resisting them— And I'd blown in twenty dollars by nine o'clock a.m.

With twenty dollars, one who is a prudent man, indeed, Can buy the wealth of useful things his wife and children need; Shoes, stockings, knickerbockers, gloves, bibs, nursing-bottles, caps, A gown—the gown for which his spouse too long has pined, perhaps! These and ten thousand other spectres harrow and condemn The man who's blown in twenty by nine o'clock a.m.

Oh, mean advantage conscience takes (and one that I abhor!) In asking one this question: "What did you buy it for?" Why doesn't conscience ply its blessed trade before the act, Before one's cussedness becomes a bald, accomplished fact— Before one's fallen victim to the Tempter's stratagem And blown in twenty dollars by nine o'clock a.m.?

Ah me! now that the deed is done, how penitent I am! I was a roaring lion—behold a bleating lamb! I've packed and shipped those precious things to that more precious wife Who shares with our sweet babes the strange vicissitudes of life, While he who, in his folly, gave up his store of wealth Is far away, and means to keep his distance—for his health!


The wind comes whispering to me of the country green and cool— Of redwing blackbirds chattering beside a reedy pool; It brings me soothing fancies of the homestead on the hill, And I hear the thrush's evening song and the robin's morning trill; So I fall to thinking tenderly of those I used to know Where the sassafras and snakeroot and checkerberries grow.

What has become of Ezra Marsh, who lived on Baker's hill? And what's become of Noble Pratt, whose father kept the mill? And what's become of Lizzie Crum and Anastasia Snell, And of Roxie Root, who 'tended school in Boston for a spell? They were the boys and they the girls who shared my youthful play— They do not answer to my call! My playmates—where are they?

What has become of Levi and his little brother Joe, Who lived next door to where we lived some forty years ago? I'd like to see the Newton boys and Quincy Adams Brown, And Hepsy Hall and Ella Cowles, who spelled the whole school down! And Gracie Smith, the Cutler boys, Leander Snow, and all Who I am sure would answer could they only hear my call!

I'd like to see Bill Warner and the Conkey boys again And talk about the times we used to wish that we were men! And one—I shall not name her—could I see her gentle face And hear her girlish treble in this distant, lonely place! The flowers and hopes of springtime—they perished long ago, And the garden where they blossomed is white with winter snow.

O cottage 'neath the maples, have you seen those girls and boys That but a little while ago made, oh! such pleasant noise? O trees, and hills, and brooks, and lanes, and meadows, do you know Where I shall find my little friends of forty years ago? You see I'm old and weary, and I've traveled long and far; I am looking for my playmates—I wonder where they are!


Prate, ye who will, of so-called charms you find across the sea— The land of stoves and sunshine is good enough for me! I've done the grand for fourteen months in every foreign clime, And I've learned a heap of learning, but I've shivered all the time; And the biggest bit of wisdom I've acquired—as I can see— Is that which teaches that this land's the land of lands for me.

Now, I am of opinion that a person should get some Warmth in this present life of ours, not all in that to come; So when Boreas blows his blast, through country and through town, Or when upon the muddy streets the stifling fog rolls down, Go, guzzle in a pub, or plod some bleak malarious grove, But let me toast my shrunken shanks beside some Yankee stove.

The British people say they "don't believe in stoves, y' know;" Perchance because we warmed 'em so completely years ago! They talk of "drahfts" and "stuffiness" and "ill effects of heat," As they chatter in their barny rooms or shiver 'round the street; With sunshine such a rarity, and stoves esteemed a sin, What wonder they are wedded to their fads—catarrh and gin?

In Germany are stoves galore, and yet you seldom find A fire within the stoves, for German stoves are not that kind; The Germans say that fires make dirt, and dirt's an odious thing, But the truth is that the pfennig is the average Teuton's king, And since the fire costs pfennigs, why, the thrifty soul denies Himself all heat except what comes with beer and exercise.

The Frenchman builds a fire of cones, the Irishman of peat; The frugal Dutchman buys a fire when he has need of heat— That is to say, he pays so much each day to one who brings The necessary living coals to warm his soup and things; In Italy and Spain they have no need to heat the house— 'Neath balmy skies the native picks the mandolin and louse.

Now, we've no mouldy catacombs, no feudal castles grim, No ruined monasteries, no abbeys ghostly dim; Our ancient history is new, our future's all ahead, And we've got a tariff bill that's made all Europe sick abed— But what is best, though short on tombs and academic groves, We double discount Christendom on sunshine and on stoves.

Dear land of mine! I come to you from months of chill and storm, Blessing the honest people whose hearts and hearths are warm; A fairer, sweeter song than this I mean to weave to you When I've reached my lakeside 'dobe and once get heated through; But, even then, the burthen of that fairer song shall be That the land of stoves and sunshine is good enough for me.


Come, brothers, share the fellowship We celebrate to-night; There's grace of song on every lip And every heart is light! But first, before our mentor chimes The hour of jubilee, Let's drink a health to good old times, And good times yet to be! Clink, clink, clink! Merrily let us drink! There's store of wealth And more of health In every glass, we think. Clink, clink, clink! To fellowship we drink! And from the bowl No genial soul In such an hour can shrink.

And you, oh, friends from west and east And other foreign parts, Come share the rapture of our feast, The love of loyal hearts; And in the wassail that suspends All matters burthensome, We'll drink a health to good old friends And good friends yet to come. Clink, clink, clink! To fellowship we drink! And from the bowl No genial soul In such an hour will shrink. Clink, clink, clink! Merrily let us drink! There's fellowship In every sip Of friendship's brew, we think.


I'd like to be a cowboy an' ride a fiery hoss Way out into the big an' boundless west; I'd kill the bears an' catamounts an' wolves I come across, An' I'd pluck the bal' head eagle from his nest! With my pistols at my side, I would roam the prarers wide, An' to scalp the savage Injun in his wigwam would I ride— If I darst; but I darsen't!

I'd like to go to Afriky an' hunt the lions there, An' the biggest ollyfunts you ever saw! I would track the fierce gorilla to his equatorial lair, An' beard the cannybull that eats folks raw! I'd chase the pizen snakes An' the 'pottimus that makes His nest down at the bottom of unfathomable lakes— If I darst; but I darsen't!

I would I were a pirut to sail the ocean blue, With a big black flag aflyin' overhead; I would scour the billowy main with my gallant pirut crew An' dye the sea a gouty, gory red! With my cutlass in my hand On the quarterdeck I'd stand And to deeds of heroism I'd incite my pirut band— If I darst; but I darsen't!

And, if I darst, I'd lick my pa for the times that he's licked me! I'd lick my brother an' my teacher, too! I'd lick the fellers that call round on sister after tea, An' I'd keep on lickin' folks till I got through! You bet! I'd run away From my lessons to my play, An' I'd shoo the hens, an' tease the cat, an' kiss the girls all day— If I darst; but I darsen't!


Who should come up the road one day But the doctor-man in his two-wheel shay! And he whoaed his horse and he cried "Ahoy! I have brought you folks a bow-leg boy! Such a cute little boy! Such a funny little boy! Such a dear little bow-leg boy!"

He took out his box and he opened it wide, And there was the bow-leg boy inside! And when they saw that cunning little mite, They cried in a chorus expressive of delight: "What a cute little boy! What a funny little boy! What a dear little bow-leg boy!"

Observing a strict geometrical law, They cut out his panties with a circular saw; Which gave such a stress to his oval stride That the people he met invariably cried: "What a cute little boy! What a funny little boy! What a dear little bow-leg boy!"

They gave him a wheel and away he went Speeding along to his heart's content; And he sits so straight and he pedals so strong That the folks all say as he bowls along: "What a cute little boy! What a funny little boy! What a dear little bow-leg boy!"

With his eyes aflame and his cheeks aglow, He laughs "aha" and he laughs "oho"; And the world is filled and thrilled with the joy Of that jolly little human, the bow-leg boy— The cute little boy! The funny little boy! The dear little bow-leg boy!

If ever the doctor-man comes my way With his wonderful box in his two-wheel shay, I'll ask for the treasure I'd fain possess— Now, honest Injun! can't you guess? Why, a cute little boy— A funny little boy— A dear little bow-leg boy!


Way up at the top of a big stack of straw Was the cunningest parlor that ever you saw! And there could you lie when aweary of play And gossip or laze in the coziest way; No matter how careworn or sorry one's mood No worldly distraction presumed to intrude. As a refuge from onerous mundane ado I think I approve of straw parlors, don't you?

A swallow with jewels aflame on her breast On that straw parlor's ceiling had builded her nest; And she flew in and out all the happy day long, And twittered the soothingest lullaby song. Now some might suppose that that beautiful bird Performed for her babies the music they heard; I reckon she twittered her repertoire through For the folk in the little straw parlor, don't you?

And down from a rafter a spider had hung Some swings upon which he incessantly swung. He cut up such didoes—such antics he played Way up in the air, and was never afraid! He never made use of his horrid old sting, But was just upon earth for the fun of the thing! I deeply regret to observe that so few Of these good-natured insects are met with, don't you?

And, down in the strawstack, a wee little mite Of a cricket went chirping by day and by night; And further down, still, a cunning blue mouse In a snug little nook of that strawstack kept house! When the cricket went "chirp," Miss Mousie would squeak "Come in," and a blush would enkindle her cheek! She thought—silly girl! 't was a beau come to woo, But I guess it was only the cricket, don't you?

So the cricket, the mouse, and the motherly bird Made as soothingsome music as ever you heard And, meanwhile, that spider by means of his swings Achieved most astounding gyrations and things! No wonder the little folk liked what they saw And loved what they heard in that parlor of straw! With the mercury up to 102 In the shade, I opine they just sizzled, don't you?

But once there invaded that Eden of straw The evilest Feline that ever you saw! She pounced on that cricket with rare promptitude And she tucked him away where he'd do the most good; And then, reaching down to the nethermost house, She deftly expiscated little Miss Mouse! And, as for the Swallow, she shrieked and withdrew— I rather admire her discretion, don't you?

Now listen: That evening a cyclone obtained, And the mortgage was all on that farm that remained! Barn, strawstack and spider—they all blew away, And nobody knows where they're at to this day! And, as for the little straw parlor, I fear It was wafted clean off this sublunary sphere! I really incline to a hearty "boo-hoo" When I think of this tragical ending, don't you?


I cannot eat my porridge, I weary of my play; No longer can I sleep at night, No longer romp by day! Though forty pounds was once my weight, I'm shy of thirty now; I pine, I wither and I fade Through love of Martha Clow.

As she rolled by this morning I heard the nurse girl say: "She weighs just twenty-seven pounds And she's one year old to-day." I threw a kiss that nestled In the curls upon her brow, But she never turned to thank me— That bouncing Martha Clow!

She ought to know I love her, For I've told her that I do; And I've brought her nuts and apples, And sometimes candy, too! I'd drag her in my little cart If her mother would allow That delicate attention To her daughter, Martha Clow.

O Martha! pretty Martha! Will you always be so cold? Will you always be as cruel As you are at one-year-old? Must your two-year-old admirer Pine as hopelessly as now For a fond reciprocation Of his love for Martha Clow?

You smile on Bernard Rogers And on little Harry Knott; You play with them at peek-a-boo All in the Waller Lot! Wildly I gnash my new-cut teeth And beat my throbbing brow, When I behold the coquetry Of heartless Martha Clow!

I cannot eat my porridge, Nor for my play care I; Upon the floor and porch and lawn My toys neglected lie; But on the air of Halsted street I breathe this solemn vow: "Though she be false, I will be true To pretty Martha Clow!"


Down south there is a curio-shop Unknown to many men; Thereat do I intend to stop When I am south again; The narrow street through which to go— Aha! I know it well! And may be you would like to know— But no—I will not tell!

'T is there to find the loveliest plates (The bluest of the blue!) At such surprisingly low rates You'd not believe it true! And there is one Napoleon vase Of dainty Sevres to sell— I'm sure you'd like to know that place— But no—I will not tell!

Then, too, I know another shop Has old, old beds for sale, With lovely testers up on top Carved in ornate detail; And there are sideboards rich and rare, With fronts that proudly swell— Oh, there are bargains waiting there, But where I will not tell!

And hark! I know a bottle-man Smiling and debonair, And he has promised me I can Choose of his precious ware! In age and shape and color, too, His dainty goods excel— Aha, my friends, if you but knew— But no! I will not tell!

A thousand other shops I know Where bargains can be got— Where other folk would like to go Who have what I have not. I let them hunt; I hold my mouth— Yes, though I know full well Where lie the treasures of the south, I'm not a going to tell!


Your gran'ma, in her youth, was quite As blithe a little maid as you. And, though her hair is snowy white, Her eyes still have their maiden blue, And on her cheeks, as fair as thine, Methinks a girlish blush would glow If she recalled the valentine She got, ah! many years ago.

A valorous youth loved gran'ma then, And wooed her in that auld lang syne; And first he told his secret when He sent the maid that valentine. No perfumed page nor sheet of gold Was that first hint of love he sent, But with the secret gran'pa told— "I love you"—gran'ma was content.

Go, ask your gran'ma, if you will, If—though her head be bowed and gray— If—though her feeble pulse be chill— True love abideth not for aye; By that quaint portrait on the wall, That smiles upon her from above, Methinks your gran'ma can recall The sweet divinity of love.

Dear Elsie, here's no page of gold— No sheet embossed with cunning art— But here's a solemn pledge of old: "I love you, love, with all my heart." And if in what I send you here You read not all of love expressed, Go—go to gran'ma, Elsie dear, And she will tell you all the rest!



Cometh the Wind from the garden, fragrant and full of sweet singing— Under my tree where I sit cometh the Wind to confession.

"Out in the garden abides the Queen of the beautiful Roses— Her do I love and to-night wooed her with passionate singing; Told I my love in those songs, and answer she gave in her blushes— She shall be bride of the Wind, and she is the Queen of the Roses!"

"Wind, there is spice in thy breath; thy rapture hath fragrance Sabaean!"

"Straight from my wooing I come—my lips are bedewed with her kisses— My lips and my song and my heart are drunk with the rapture of loving!"


The Wind he loveth the red, red Rose, And he wooeth his love to wed: Sweet is his song The Summer long As he kisseth her lips so red; And he recketh naught of the ruin wrought When the Summer of love is sped!


Cometh the Wind from the garden, bitter with sorrow of winter.

"Wind, is thy love-song forgot? Wherefore thy dread lamentations?"

Sigheth and moaneth the Wind: "Out of the desolate garden Come I from vigils with ghosts over the grave of the Summer!"

"Thy breath that was fragrant anon with rapture of music and loving, It grieveth all things with its sting and the frost of its wailing displeasure."

The Wind maketh ever more moan and ever it giveth this answer: "My heart it is numb with the cold of the love that was born of the Summer— I come from the garden all white with the wrath and the sorrow of Winter; I have kissed the low, desolate tomb where my bride in her loveliness lieth And the voice of the ghost in my heart is the voice that forever outcrieth!"


The Wind he waileth the red, red Rose When the Summer of love is sped— He waileth above His lifeless love With her shroud of snow o'erspread— Crieth such things as a true heart brings To the grave of its precious dead.


Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, in Heaven the same; Give us this day our daily bread, and may our debts to heaven— As we our earthly debts forgive—by Thee be all forgiven; When tempted or by evil vexed, restore Thou us again, And Thine be the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory, forever and ever; amen.


Of all the opry-houses then obtaining in the West The one which Milton Tootle owned was, by all odds, the best; Milt, being rich, was much too proud to run the thing alone, So he hired an "acting manager," a gruff old man named Krone— A stern, commanding man with piercing eyes and flowing beard, And his voice assumed a thunderous tone when Jack and I appeared; He said that Julius Caesar had been billed a week or so, And would have to have some armies by the time he reached St. Jo!

O happy days, when Tragedy still winged an upward flight, When actors wore tin helmets and cambric robes at night! O happy days, when sounded in the public's rapturous ears The creak of pasteboard armor and the clash of wooden spears! O happy times for Jack and me and that one other supe That then and there did constitute the noblest Roman's troop! With togas, battle axes, shields, we made a dazzling show, When we were Roman soldiers with Brutus in St. Jo!

We wheeled and filed and double-quicked wherever Brutus led, The folks applauding what we did as much as what he said; 'T was work, indeed; yet Jack and I were willing to allow 'T was easier following Brutus than following father's plough; And at each burst of cheering, our valor would increase— We tramped a thousand miles that night, at fifty cents apiece! For love of Art—not lust for gold—consumed us years ago, When we were Roman soldiers with Brutus in St. Jo!

To-day, while walking in the Square, Jack Langrish says to me: "My friend, the drama nowadays ain't what it used to be! These farces and these comedies—how feebly they compare With that mantle of the tragic art which Forrest used to wear! My soul is warped with bitterness to think that you and I— Co-heirs to immortality in seasons long gone by— Now draw a paltry stipend from a Boston comic show, We, who were Roman soldiers with Brutus in St. Jo!"

And so we talked and so we mused upon the whims of Fate That had degraded Tragedy from its old, supreme estate; And duly, at the Morton bar, we stigmatized the age As sinfully subversive of the interests of the Stage! For Jack and I were actors in the halcyon, palmy days Long, long before the Hoyt school of farce became the craze; Yet, as I now recall it, it was twenty years ago That we were Roman soldiers with Brutus in St. Jo!

We were by birth descended from a race of farmer kings Who had done eternal battle with grasshoppers and things; But the Kansas farms grew tedious—we pined for that delight We read of in the Clipper in the barber's shop by night! We would be actors—Jack and I—and so we stole away From our native spot, Wathena, one dull September day, And started for Missouri—ah, little did we know We were going to train as soldiers with Brutus in St. Jo!

Our army numbered three in all—Marc Antony's was four; Our army hankered after fame, but Marc's was after gore! And when we reached Philippi, at the outset we were met With an inartistic gusto I can never quite forget. For Antony's overwhelming force of thumpers seemed to be Resolved to do "them Kansas jays"—and that meant Jack and me! My lips were sealed but that it seems quite proper you should know That Rome was nowhere in it at Philippi in St. Jo!

I've known the slow-consuming grief and ostentatious pain Accruing from McKean Buchanan's melancholy Dane; Away out West I've witnessed Bandmann's peerless hardihood, With Arthur Cambridge have I wrought where walking was not good; In every phase of horror have I bravely borne my part, And even on my uppers have I proudly stood for Art! And, after all my suffering, it were not hard to show That I got my allopathic dose with Brutus at St. Jo!

That army fell upon me in a most bewildering rage And scattered me and mine upon that histrionic stage; My toga rent, my helmet gone and smashed to smithereens, They picked me up and hove me through whole centuries of scenes! I sailed through Christian eras and mediaeval gloom And fell from Arden forest into Juliet's painted tomb! Oh, yes, I travelled far and fast that night, and I can show The scars of honest wounds I got with Brutus in St. Jo!

Ah me, old Davenport is gone, of fickle fame forgot, And Barrett sleeps forever in a much neglected spot; Fred Warde, the papers tell me, in far woolly western lands Still flaunts the banner of high Tragic Art at one-night stands; And Jack and I, in Charley Hoyt's Bostonian dramas wreak Our vengeance on creation at some eensty dolls per week. By which you see that public taste has fallen mighty low Since we fought as Roman soldiers with Brutus in St. Jo!


There were two little skeezucks who lived in the isle Of Boo in a southern sea; They clambered and rollicked in heathenish style In the boughs of their cocoanut tree. They didn't fret much about clothing and such And they recked not a whit of the ills That sometimes accrue From having to do With tailor and laundry bills.

The two little skeezucks once heard of a Fair Far off from their native isle, And they asked of King Fan if they mightn't go there To take in the sights for awhile. Now old King Fan Was a good-natured man (As good-natured monarchs go), And howbeit he swore that all Fairs were a bore, He hadn't the heart to say "No."

So the two little skeezucks sailed off to the Fair In a great big gum canoe, And I fancy they had a good time there, For they tarried a year or two. And old King Fan at last began To reckon they'd come to grief, When glory! one day They sailed into the bay To the tune of "Hail to the Chief!"

The two little skeezucks fell down on the sand, Embracing his majesty's toes, Till his majesty graciously bade them stand And salute him nose to nose. And then quoth he: "Divulge unto me What happenings have hapt to you; And how did they dare to indulge in a Fair So far from the island of Boo?"

The two little skeezucks assured their king That what he surmised was true; That the Fair would have been a different thing Had it only been held in Boo! "The folk over there in no wise compare With the folk of the southern seas; Why, they comb out their heads And they sleep in beds Instead of in caverns and trees!"

The two little skeezucks went on to say That children (so far as they knew) Had a much harder time in that land far away Than here in the island of Boo! They have to wear clo'es Which (as every one knows) Are irksome to primitive laddies, While, with forks and with spoons, they're denied the sweet boons That accrue from free use of one's paddies!

"And now that you're speaking of things to eat," Interrupted the monarch of Boo, "We beg to inquire if you happened to meet With a nice missionary or two?" "No, that we did not; in that curious spot Where were gathered the fruits of the earth, Of that special kind Which Your Nibs has in mind There appeared a deplorable dearth!"

Then loud laughed that monarch in heathenish mirth And loud laughed his courtiers, too, And they cried: "There is elsewhere no land upon earth So good as our island of Boo!" And the skeezucks, tho' glad Of the journey they'd had, Climbed up in their cocoanut trees, Where they still may be seen with no shirts to keep clean Or trousers that bag at the knees.


They told me once that Pan was dead, And so, in sooth, I thought him; For vainly where the streamlets led Through flowery meads I sought him— Nor in his dewy pasture bed Nor in the grove I caught him. "Tell me," 'twas so my clamor ran— "Tell me, oh, where is Pan?"

But, once, as on my pipe I played A requiem sad and tender, Lo, thither came a shepherd-maid— Full comely she and slender! I were indeed a churlish blade With wailings to offend 'er— For, surely, wooing's sweeter than A mourning over Pan!

So, presently, whiles I did scan That shepherd-maiden pretty, And heard her accents, I began To pipe a cheerful ditty; And so, betimes, forgot old Pan Whose death had waked my pity; So—so did Love undo the man Who sought and pined for Pan!

He was not dead! I found him there— The Pan that I was after! Caught in that maiden's tangling hair, Drunk with her song and laughter! I doubt if there be otherwhere A merrier god or dafter— Nay, nor a mortal kindlier than Is this same dear old Pan!

Beside me, as my pipe I play, My shepherdess is lying, While here and there her lambkins stray As sunny hours go flying; They look like me—those lambs—they say, And that I'm not denying! And for that sturdy, romping clan, All glory be to Pan!

Pan is not dead, O sweetheart mine! It is to hear his voices In every note and every line Wherein the heart rejoices! He liveth in that sacred shrine That Love's first, holiest choice is! So pipe, my pipe, while still you can, Sweet songs in praise of Pan!



Down in the old French quarter, Just out of Rampart street, I wend my way At close of day Unto the quaint retreat Where lives the Voodoo Doctor By some esteemed a sham, Yet I'll declare there's none elsewhere So skilled as Doctor Sam With the claws of a deviled crawfish, The juice of the prickly prune, And the quivering dew From a yarb that grew In the light of a midnight moon!

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