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How often to this treasure-box,
Tears in her eyes' soft fringes,
And on its brazen hinges
And raised a sandal cover,
This message from her lover.
The old man sat his cabin's sill,
Then lifting it as 't were a child,
Her hand awhile caressed it Ere to the lips that sadly smiled
Time and again she pressed it; Then drew the small inclosure out
And smoothed the wrinkled paper, Lest any line should leave a doubt
Or any word escape her.
Still held the olden charm its place
Amid the tender phrases — Time seemed unwilling to efface
The love-pervaded praises;
In child's Chinese and grown folks' Greek, my
tables oft I said. The higher mathematics — they seem very low
Now do I know that Love is blind, for I
Can see no beauty on this beauteous earth,
No life, no light, no hopefulness, no mirth, Pleasure nor purpose, when thou art not nigh. Thy absence exiles sunshine from the sky,
Seres Spring's maturity, checks Summer's birth, Leaves linnet's pipe as sad as plover's cry,
And makes me in abundance find but dearth. But when thy feet flutter the dark, and thou
With orient eyes dawnest on my distress, Suddenly sings a bird on every bough, The heavens expand, the earth grows less and
less, The ground is buoyant as the ether now,
And all looks lovely in thy loveliness. - National Review.
I know in Heidelberg's Great Tun how many gills
might be. The thousand answers in my Book will tell you
things like those, But what you ask I cannot tell; and so, there's no
one knows." The Great Wise Man went on his way, as great and
wise men will; I fear me much that foolish child is small and
foolish still. - Wide Awake, April, 1889. ADELINE V. POND.
THE STONES OF MANHATTAN.
| TREAD the stones of Manhattan; I, who have
journeyed far From the meadow-sward and the moss-bank, and
the streamlet's pebbly bar; I, who have wandered hither, allured by the tales
they told Of how the stones of Manhattan were reeking with
In the dear old mountain woodland, where maple
and birch and pine Were linked with the swaying reaches of purple
clustered vine, Where violets blue and yellow, and crimson lilies
grew, And the hawthorn's bloom in spring-time was
studded with starry dew. Over the shelving ledges, over the granite floor, Over the bowlders and pebbles, chanting its dryad
WHAT THE GREAT WISE MAN SAID. It was a small and foolish child who met the Great
Wise Man, And opening wide his Question-Bag, 'twas thus the
child began: “O, Great Wise Man, I've questions here that long
have puzzled me, And if you've answers that will fit, I'll buy me two
or three. First, can I make a new pig's ear out of my old
silk purse ? Is killing time like eating dates, or is it really
worse? Next, what do little fishes do, to keep their stockings
dry ? And, since the water is so wet, how do they ever
cry? Pray what's the fish that gives us scales where
with we weigh our words ? Could people really kill a stone, if they should use
two birds ? Then, last of all, please tell me, sir- and this is
question seven Is't raining up or raining down, when they have
rain in heaven?” The Great Wise Man thought hard and fast; his
finger-ends he bit; He searched in vain his Answer-Book for answers
that would fit. At lası he said, “I know great things; when I was
very young, In nine-and-ninety languages I learned to hold
my tongue. And backwards, even when asleep, or standing
on my head,
Over its stony pathway, sang a brook with silver
tones God! what a stranger stream is roaring over Man
Dazzled by phantom fortune, I followed that brook
adown, Where its turbid waters tarried a space by the
teeming town, And on through the dreary lowland, with deeper
and darker flow, Till its dusky waves were lighted with the city's
lurid glow, Till the crystal stream was swallowed in a slug
gish, polluted tide, Till the echoing forest voices in the babel clamor
Till swept like a leaf on the torrent I was whelmed
where the breakers beat, Where the seething, surging human tide flows
over Manhattan's street.
I tread the stones of Manhattan, the stones that
are hard to my feet As hard as the hearts around me, as hard as the
faces I meet. Hot is their breath in summer, with fever of selfish
greed, Cold is their touch in winter, as hearts to the hand
of need. My heel strikes fire from the flint, but the spark is
dead ere it burns Strikes fire in my angry striding, but is bruised by
the stone it spurns And echo scorns with a stony voice the cry of a
soul's despair Breathed out on the thunderous throbbings of the
city's desert air..
Oh! faithless stones of Manhattan, that tempted
my boyish feet Away from the clover-meadow, from the wind
woven waves of wheat! I thought ye a golden highway; I find ye the path
of shame, Where souls are sold for silver, and gold is the
price of fame! But my weary feet must tread ye, as slaves on the
quarry floor, And my aching brain must suffer your pitiless
uproar, Till the raving tide shall sweep above, and careless
feet shall tread On the fatal stones of Manhattan, over my dream
less bed! - The Open Court. Willis FLETCHER Johnson.
brought me a subject. Her mother, during the morning, had called her attention to an item in a newspaper, in these words: “A very aged man in an alms-house, being asked what he was doing now, replied, 'Only waiting'.” She requested me to write upon this theme and after a little further talk left me and I went to my little study, and in a short time had written the stanzas. I remember that I carried them down stairs and read them to my mother. The young lady who made the suggestion is now the wife of Prof. Marden of Colorado Springs College. Soon afterward I sent the verses to the Waterville Mail for publication and they first appeared in print in that paper, Sept. 7, 1854. It was immediately and widely copied, and for twenty years as a nameless waif found its way into numerous collections of poetry and music. Its fure ther history has not been always a peaceful one. Its authorship was elicited by the inquiries of Dr. James Martineau, of London, England. It was claimed not only by myself but by another lady, a resident of Iowa. Dr. Martineau was sufficiently interested to make a thorough investigation of the double claim. At his request I gave all the circumstances of the original writing, with the address of Mrs. Marden, who gave me the subject, also that of Mrs. Goodwin, of Boston, now a trustee of Wellesley College, who, as the friend of my girl. hood, heard the poem read before its publication. I sent a small manuscript book of verses written between the ages of twelve and twenty, in which “Only Waiting was copied at the time of its composition. The editor of the Waterville Mail furnished the date of its first publication. The other lady was sufficiently generous in furnishing statements, but failed to bring forward dates and addresses. Soon after examining all the testimony, Dr. Martineau wrote me a kind letter of thanks for the poem and expressed his entire confidence in my claim. Several other would be authors of the little hymn have appeared at intervals, the latest appearing within a few months in Pasadena, California. But there are none who attempt to prove any such ownership. The New York Independent of Jan. 24, 1874, published a history of the hymn written by the well-known hymnologist, Prof. Bird, of Lehigh University. The American Bookseller of March, 1886, published the same history with fuller details. All the later collections of poetry credit the poem to me, and it has place in my own volume,“ Legends, Lyrics and Sonnets,” published in 1883. The little hymn was written without a thought of its possible popularity but has not ceased in all these years to claim from me frequent attention.
F. L. M.
NOTES. TODHUNTER. The edition of Mr. Todhunter's poems consulted in the preparation of this study contains many MS. corrections by the author.
Ibid. The “Shan Van Vocht," or Poor Old Woman, is a popular type of Ireland. The Bodachglass (gray goblin) is a phantom appearing to the dooined.
MACE. The poem “Only Waiting" was written by me under these circumstances: In the summer of 1854 a friend and fellow contributor to the Waterville Mail, called on me one afternoon at my father's house in Bangor, Maine. Poetry, as usual, was our theme, and she remarked that she