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Mr. O'Malley first attracted attention as a contributor to The Current. Step by step he gained footing, his poems appearing in high-grade periodicals. Some of his poems have been widely copied, -" Worthiness" especially.

Mr. O'Malley has a comfortable living from his farm, the old homestead, and is content in a modest frame house, over the porches of which vines love to clamber, and around which lilacs and altheas cluster. A stately line of cedars stretches along the roadside in front of the house, and from them the place derives its name, having long been known as “ The Cedars." Here surrounded by his family (he has several children) Mr. O'Malley leads the quiet life of a farmer, finding in close communion with Nature the inspiration of his songs. That he is a true singer, all who listen attentively to his songs will admit. That he is a true man all who know him can tes. tify.

I. C.


humble log-cabin in Union County, Kentucky, February 9, 1857. His father was a hardworking Irish farmer, a man of strong mind, and closely related to the poet-priest Father Ryan. His mother, who is still living, is of Spanish descent. During his childhood young O'Malley was much alone. When eight years old he could read well, and for want of other associates he pored over such books as his home afforded. These were principally works on ecclesiastical history, together with Chapman's translation of Homer, and a translation of “Telemaque." Between the ages of eight and twelve he had finished his reading of ecclesiastical history, had made himself familiar with Plutarch's “ Lives" and Grimshaw's “Greece,” and had wandered through many pages of the Bible. He had also read some poetry at this time. At the age of twelve O'Malley was snatched out of his land of dreams and sent to a public school. Here the first real trial of his life began. He was shy, sensitive, and while learned in things far beyond his years, he was painfully conscious of his lack of rudimentary knowledge, especially in arithmetic. He had been at school but a short time when his father lost heavily by security debts. The family left the state, and spent about two years in wandering from place to place. Nothing was gained financially by this move, and they returned to the old life again. Young O'Malley was weak-lunged but he took hold of the plow with the sturdy determination of one bound by ties of affection and duty to help his father. They began to prosper once more, and about this time he employed his leisure moments in hard study. He became proficient in Latin under a competent teacher. He also made some progress in French and German. Probably the turning point in the young poet's life hinged upon his father's desire to have him enter the priesthood. He was nominated for St. Thomas Theological Seminary by Bishop, now Cardinal McCloskey. From there he was to have gone to Lourain, and thence, if he showed very unusual talent, to the Propaganda at Rome. For some reason best known to himself he turned his back upon the priesthood, and went resolutely forth to grapple with life outside the walls. He says that all this while the habit of writing verses still clung to me." He was encouraged in this habit by a veteran Kentucky editor, Ben Harrison. His father died in 1861. In October, 1882, he was married to Miss Sallie M. Hill, of Calhoun, Missouri, herself a poet, and a lady of great firmness of will, with a clear, spiritual mind. She has encouraged her husband by her devotion to, and belief in him.

THE IDEALIST. Let him alone. He would make pure the world, And ye try not; therefore he wars with you. His faith is but a staff wherewith he beats The hungry shadows from before his face. What is he but a poet void of words, A high-preast of white spaces and thin clouds? The concourse of the ages pass by him And, where he sits, dawns break about his head, Limitless noons, and splendors of far suns; And he hears music sung of days To Be, Which ye hear not, and he would have ye hear.

Let him alone. He only sits and shapes
Serener Mornings for the race of men;
We only dream. He, from the topmost cliffs,
Shoots downward Dawnward with his clanging

And then runs on. Sometime when we advance
Unto the light, we shall find, here and there,
White arrows sticking all along the path
By him shot Eastward from the heights above
Ages ago, to guide the feet to come.
Then shall we hear his clanging bow far on,
And bless him for the arrows shot for us.

WORTHINESS. WHATEVER lacks purpose is evil: a pool without

pebbles breeds slime; Not any one step hath chance fashioned on the

infinite stairway of Time: Nor ever came good without labor, in Toil, or in

Science or Art; It must be wrought out thro' the muscles--born

out of the soul and the heart,

Why plow in the stubble with plowshares?—why

winnow the chaff from the grain? Ah, since all of His gifts must be toiled for, since

Truth is not born without Pain! He giveth not to the unworthy, the weak, or the

foolish in deeds: Who soweth but chaff at the seed-time shall reap

but a harvest of weeds.

As the pyramid builded of vapor is blown by his

whirlwinds to naught So the Song without Truth is forgotten: His poem

to Man is man's thought. Whatever is strong with a purpose in humbleness

wrought and soul-pure Is known to the Master of Singers: He toucheth

it saying, Endure !


The yellow flags that grow beside the road,
Covered with dust and bowed in the wide heat,
Gasp the hot air in breathless misery;
Scarce doth the butterfly his slow wings beat
On the pale rose, and mournfully the bee
Homeward returns without his fragrant load;
The pilgrim ant goes forth with weary feet
Seeking and finds not, and the homeless toad
Pants in the waterless brook most piteously;
Dead is the grasshopper and, white and bleak,
Loiter the clouds on heaven's windless peak.
God hath a furnace built to the blue sky,
Walled to the brim, whence blocks of flame o'erfly,
And all but Shadrach and his kind must die.

How doth He shelter them, His birds?

Lo, now it is the night!
The woods are spongy white; ·

The twilight crofts are still;
Frozen the little stream below the hill,
That sang thro' summer all His poet-words;

Stark-stiff the marsh-pool lies

Gazing with icy eyes
Up to the hurrying clouds that ride in troops;

Lost in the blinding snow

The shelterless cattle low
Over the bleak, bare fields in shivering groups;
Nature her gates hath shut on Day's vast brim,
And the great Night sits perched on Dusk's blue
Where doth He shelter them?

As one who from a lighted chamber goes

Suddenly out, seeth nought but darkness quite, Later beholds across the lifting snows,

All things take shape in a serener light:
So when the heart walks outward from base

Into a purer air
Shot is the arrowy Soul thro' planes of vaster height,
And things before unseen themselves to us disclose.
How doth He shelter them? Behold,
Housed 'neath its roof the brook with life sings

Under its ice, shut from the whirling storm;
The timid rabbit, trembling with the cold,
At twilight creeps into his nest of weeds;

Under his thatch of reeds
And warm marsh-grasses steals the shivering hare;
The sleek, brown field-mouse silent doth repair
Under the grass-tufts and the hillocks bare;
Yule-nuts the squirrel cracks within his oak,
Like a rough yeoman with his jest and joke
By the last embers of the smouldering year
Sitting a-gossip with his nuts and beer,

Drunk with the music of the dripping eaves.
Nothing of His doth He leave shelterless,
None whom His pity seeks not and relieves;

Out of the storm and cold,

The warm-fleeced sheep are gathered in a fold
Under His beechen boughs; in quietness
The patient kine lie sheltered in a croft,

While the thick snows aloft Are whirled in gusts to the adjacent hill, Where now the garments of the dusk hang chill And dim in the pale splendor of a day Poured from the peaks of morn on twilight's vest

ments gray.


How doth He shelter them, His birds

That call among the brakes and fens
At twilight when snowy herds

Stray down within the hollow glens?

Ah, whither do they rest

When, from the stormy west,
Fierce-blown the flakes are hurled

Like ashes across the world,
Covering the earth and every helpless thing?
Do they cower with piteous wing

Under the leaves that rattle in the sleet?

Or grasp, with cold, bare feet,
The swaying branches of the forest trees
That all night moan regretful threnodies ?-
Snowy and bent is every leaf and stem:

Where doth He shelter them?

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