« PreviousContinue »
That somewhere in this world of guile,
There's some one's life needs your correcting.
Methinks 'tis time you learned this art,
Which makes the world's wide page read better; For love needs proving, heart with heart, As well as type with written letter.
C. H. CRANDALL.
Now Winter is fighing his battles
With many an icy lance, But I'm writing a gentle spring" poem
Which the editors wish in advance."
It is full, as is usual, of “violets,"
It alludes to the “robin's first peep," Though a blizzard's a daily occurrence
And the snow-drifts are seven feet deep.
But the editors — singular creatures,
To whom I am bound hand and foot Grasp at Father Time's typical forelock,
Till it's nearly pulled out by the root.
For they get 'way ahead of the season,
In a manner most wily and arch; So that while you are reading December.
They finish the number for March.
And he who would hope for acceptance
Must strike up betimes with his tune, And sing Harvest Home in Mid-Winter
And jingle his sleigh-bells in June.
So when my spring poem is finished,
No rest does my weary pen get; I must write a review of a novel Which isn't itself written yet!
Who would hamper me down as with iron bands,
There are sorrows that ever unwept shall sleep,
I have quickened the pace of the waning years,
Oh, I day after day at my labor sing,
ALPHONSO A. HOPKINS.
THE FAIR COPY-HOLDER. Yox window frames her like a saint
Within some old cathedral rare; Perhaps she is not quite so quaint,
And yet I think her full as fair! All day she scans the written lines,
Until the last dull proof is ended, Calling the various words and signs
By which each error may be mended. An interceding angel, she,
'Twixt printing-press and author's pen-Perhaps she'd find some faults in me!
Say, maiden, can you not read men?
RUNNING THE WEEKLY.
with fancies dim, And he thought of Quill, his “e. c.," and contrived
a pit for him.
Then he stopped right in a leader on the European
war, While he wrote a puff for Barleycorn's new family
Forgive me, gentle girl, but while
You bravely work I've been reflecting
And just as he got started on the "Outlook of To
day,” The foreman came to say the “comps." had struck
for higher pay.
Then he started on a funny sketch, a fancy bright
and glad, When Slabs, the undertaker, came to order out his
"ad."; He smiled and wrote the title, “ The Reflections of
a Sage,” When the panting devil broke in with —" They've
pied the second page!”.
He sighed, and took his scissors when the ever
funny bore Said, “Ah, writing editoria—" then he weltered in
his gore. And as the scribe was feeling happy, writing up
the fray, His landlord came to know if he “could pay his
I sent it then to all the rest, to see how they would
find it, But they with their durned printed slips“ respect.
fully declined " it. W'en I got up that poem, in a wild, divine afflatus, My whole brain was runnin' over like a heaped up
hill er taters; An' I rushed aroun' permis'cus like, an' not at all
partic'lar, With my coat-tails horizontal, an' my hair perpen
dic'lar! An' I tore aroun' in frenzy, like a dog that's taken
pizen; I was 'feared I'd knock the stars out, an' collide
with the horizon; For all out-door warn't big enough for old Sebastian
Morey, For I could shin a rainbow, right into the streets
of glory! W'y! all space was stuffed with rainbows, hung
with pots of gold to capture, An' all the everlastin' hills were bustin' into rap
ture; The birds, the frogs, the grasshoppers, all sung
their loud hazanner, An' every single forest tree turned into a pianner? If there was ever a poem foun' I had a chance to
git it; An' heaven was blin'in in my soul, w'en I sot down
an' writ it. The angels told it to me, sir, an' it would make me
famous, If every tarnel editor warn't such an ignoramus! Wal, let 'em print their sappy stuff; but I can do
without it. I've shet off my subscription, an' now let 'em
squirm about it; The 'Lantic, an' the Century, an' Lippincott's, an'
Harper's, Scribner's, and all the rest of 'em, is all a set er sharpers.
S. W. Foss.
In deep abstraction then he plunged the paste brush
in the ink, And stammered, Thank you, since you will in
sist on it, I think When from the business office came the cashier,
“ Here's a mess! Composish & Roller's put a big attachment on the
Then broke the editorial heart; he sobbed and
said, “ Good-by!” And forth he went, to some far land, from all his
woes to fly. But ere the second mile was flown, he sank in wild
despairThe Wabash line took up his pass and made him pay his fare.
ROBERT J. BURDETTE.
SEBASTIAN MOREY'S POEM. THE 'Lantic an' the Century, an' Lippincott's, an'
Harper's, Scribner's, an' all the rest of 'em, is all a set er
sharpers, W'en they fin' a son er genius, an' a reg'lar ten
stroke poet, An' a close chum er the Muses, they don't know
enough to know it! I writ a roarin' poem, and I sent it to the 'Lantic, An' then, w'en it come back nex' mail, it nearly
driv' me frantic.
A PRINTER and his proof this thought suggest:
That, though at first unblemished it appears, Subjected to the keen-eyed reader's test,
The proof full soon a different aspect wears. With errors marred and marked, the unskilled eye
Looks on despairing, seeing no avail; But, mark the change, when, printed, by and by,
The blotched offenses into order pale. So may some life, we, superficial, scan,
Seem pure and true; but, changing as we look,
We read the uncorrected proof of man,
And mark the margin as a page of book: Some more, some less; but, 'neath correction wise, 'Twill all read rightly in the last revise.
BENJAMIN PENHALLOW SHILLABER.
Yes, 'mid unceasing worry and turmoil,
Men of the Press! to us is given, indeed,
WILL CARLETON, - From “ The Sanctum King."
LEONA, the hour draws nigh,
The hour we've awaited so long, For the angel to open a door through the sky, That my spirit may break from its prison and try
Its voice in an infinite song.
Just now as the slumbers of night
Came o'er nie with peace giving breath, The curtain half lifted, revealed to my sight Those windows which look on the kingdom of light
That borders the river of death.
And a vision fell solemn and sweet,
Bringing gleams of a morning-lit land; I saw the white shore which the pale waters beat, And I heard the low lull as they broke at their feet
Who walked on the beautiful strand.
And I wondered why spirits should cling
To their clay with a struggle and sigh, When life's purple autumn is better than spring And the soul flies away like a sparrow, to sing
In a climate where leaves never die.
Leona, come close to my bed,
And lay your dear hand on my brow, The same touch that thrilled me in days that are
fled, And raised the last roses of youth from the dead
Can brighten the brief moments now.
We have loved from the cold world apart,
And your trust was too generous and true For their hate to o'erthrow; when the slanderer's
dart Was rankling deep in my desolate heart,
I was dearer than ever to you.
I thank the Great Father for this,
That our love is not lavished in vain;
By the light of this faith am I taught
That death is but action begun: In the strength of this hope have I struggled and
fought With the legions of wrong, till my armor has
I have grown weary of dust and decay,-
Tired of the hollow, the base, the untrue,
Over my heart, in the days that are flown,
Come, let your brown hair, just lighted with gold,
Mother, dear mother, the years have been long
ELIZABETH AKERS ALLEN.
THE NAUTILUS AND THE AMMONITE. The nautilus and the ammonite
Were launched in friendly strife; Each sent to float, in its tiny boat,
On the wide wild sea of life.
For each would swim on the ocean's brim,
And when wearied its sail could furl; And sink to sleep in the great sea deep,
In its palace all of pearl!
Leona, look forth and behold
From headland, from hillside, and deep, The day king surrenders his banners of gold; The twilight advances through woodland and wold,
And the dews are beginning to weep.
The moon's silver hair lies uncurled,
Down the broad-breasted mountains away,
O! come not in tears to my tomb,
Nor plant with frail flowers the sod; There is rest among roses too sweet for its gloom, And life where the lilies eternally bloom
In the balm-breathing gardens of God.
Yet deeply those memories burn
Which bind me to you and to earth, And I sometimes have thought that my being would
yearn In the bowers of its beautiful home, to return
And visit the home of its birth.
'Twould even be pleasant to stay,
And walk by your side to the last, But the land-breeze of Heaven is beginning to
play Life's shadows are meeting Eternity's day,
And its tumult is hushed in the past.
Leona, good-bye; should the grief
That is gathering now, ever be
JAMES G. CLARK.
ROCK ME TO SLEEP.
BACKWARD, turn backward, O Time, in your flight,
Backward, flow backward, O tide of the years!
And theirs was bliss more fair than this,
Which we taste in our older clime;
For they were rife in a tropic life,
A brighter and better clime.
Lying here 'midst poppies and maize, tired of the
loss and the gain, Dreaming of rest, ah! fain Would I, like ye, transmute the terror of fate
They swam 'mid the isles whose summer smiles
Were dimmed by no alloy;
And life one only joy!
They sailed all day, through creek and bay,
And traversed the ocean deep;
In its fairy bowers to sleep!
And the monsters vast, of ages past,
They beheld in their ocean caves; They saw them ride in their power and pride,
And sink in their deep sea graves.
Yet thou, O earth, art a slave, orderly without care,
Perfect thou know'st not why, For He whose Word is thy life has spared thee
the gift of Will! We men are not so brave, our lives are not so fair,
Our law is an eye for an eye; And the light that shines for our good we use to
our ill. Fails boyhood's hope ere long, for the deed still
mocks the plan, And the knave is the honest man, And thus we grow weak in a world created to
make us strong.
And hand in hand, from strand to strand,
They sailed in mirth and glee; These fairy shells, with their crystal cells,
Twin sisters of the sea!
And they came at last, to a sea long past,
But as they reached its shore, The Almighty's breath spoke out in death,
And the ammonite lived no more!
But woe to the man who quails before that which
makes him man! Though heaven be sweet to win, One thing is sweeter yet — freedom to side with
hell! In man succeeds or fails this great creative plan;
Man's liberty to sin Makes worth God's winning the love even God
may not compel. Shall I then murmur and be wroth at Nature's
peace? Though I be ill at ease, I hold one link of the chain of his happiness in
So the nautilus now, in its shelly prow,
As over the deep it strays, Suill seems to seek, in bay and creek,
Its companion of other days.
And alike do we, on life's stormy sea,
As we roam from shore to shore, Thus, tempest-tost, seek the lov'd, the lost
But find them on earth no more!