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Title: Something Else Again
Author: Adams, Franklin P. (Franklin Pierce), 1881-1960
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Something Else Again" ***

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SOMETHING
ELSE AGAIN

_By_

FRANKLIN P. ADAMS

_Author of_
"_By and Large_," "_In Other Words_,"
"_Tobogganing on Parnassus_,"
"_Weights and Measures_,"
_Etc._

[Illustration]

DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY
GARDEN CITY   NEW YORK   LONDON
1920



COPYRIGHT, 1920.

DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, INCLUDING THAT OF
TRANSLATION INTO FOREIGN LANGUAGES,
INCLUDING THE SCANDINAVIAN



To MONTAGUE GLASS



ACKNOWLEDGMENT


The author wishes to thank the _New York Tribune_,
_Life_, _Harper's Magazine_, _Collier's Weekly_, and _The Home
Sector_, for their kind permission to include in this
volume material which has appeared in their pages.



CONTENTS


                                                                  PAGE

Present Imperative                                                   3

The Doughboy's Horace                                                5

From: Horace To: Phyllis                                             7

Advising Chloë                                                       8

To an Aged Cut-up I                                                  9

                  II                                                10

His Monument                                                        11

Glycera Rediviva!                                                   12

On a Wine of Horace's                                               13

"What Flavour?"                                                     14

The Stalling of Q. H. F.                                            15

On the Flight of Time                                               16

The Last Laugh                                                      17

Again Endorsing the Lady I                                          19

                         II                                         20

Propertius's Bid for Immortality                                    21

A Lament                                                            23

Bon Voyage--and Vice Versa                                          24

Fragment                                                            25

On the Uses of Adversity                                            26

After Hearing "Robin Hood"                                          27

Maud Muller Mutatur                                                 28

The Carlyles                                                        31

If Amy Lowell Had Been James Whitcomb Riley                         35

If the Advertising Man Had Been Gilbert                             37

If the Advertising Man Had Been Praed, or Locker                    39

Georgie Porgie                                                      40

On First Looking into Bee Palmer's Shoulders                        41

To a Vers Librist                                                   43

How Do You Tackle Your Work?                                        45

Recuerdo                                                            48

On Tradition                                                        51

Unshackled Thoughts on Chivalry, Romance, Adventure, Etc.           52

Results Ridiculous                                                  53

Regarding (1) the U. S. and (2) New York                            54

Broadmindedness                                                     55

The Jazzy Bard                                                      56

Lines on and from "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations"                  57

Thoughts in a Far Country                                           58

When You Meet a Man from Your Own Home Town                         59

The Shepherd's Resolution                                           61

"It Was a Famous Victory"                                           62

On Profiteering                                                     63

Despite                                                             64

The Return of the Soldier                                           65

"I Remember, I Remember"                                            66

The Higher Education                                                68

War and Peace                                                       69

Fifty-Fifty                                                         70

"So Shines a Good Deed in a Naughty World"                          71

Vain Words                                                          72

On the Importance of Being Earnest                                  73

It Happens in the B. R. Families                                    74

Abelard and Heloïse                                                 77

Lines Written on the Sunny Side of Frankfort Street                 79

Fifty-Fifty                                                         80

To Myrtilla                                                         81

A Psalm of Labouring Life                                           82

Ballade of Ancient Acts                                             84

To a Prospective Cook                                               85

Variation on a Theme                                                86

"Such Stuff as Dreams"                                              88

The Ballad of Justifiable Homicide                                  89

The Ballad of the Murdered Merchant                                 90

A Gotham Garden of Verses                                           92

Lines on Reading Frank J. Wilstach's "A Dictionary of Similes"      94

The Dictaphone Bard                                                 95

The Comfort of Obscurity                                            97

Ballade of the Traffickers                                          98

To W. Hohenzollern, on Discontinuing The Conning Tower             100

To W. Hohenzollern, on Resuming The Conning Tower                  103

Thoughts on the Cosmos                                             105

On Environment                                                     106

The Ballad of the Thoughtless Waiter                               107

Rus Vs. Urbs                                                       109

"I'm Out of the Army Now"                                          110

"Oh Man!"                                                          112

An Ode in Time of Inauguration                                     113

What the Copy Desk Might Have Done                                 124

Song of Synthetic Virility                                         133



SOMETHING ELSE AGAIN



Present Imperative

Horace: Book I, Ode 11

_"Tu ne quaesieris--scire nefas--quem mihi; quem tibi----"_

AD LEUCONOEN


Nay, query not, Leuconoë, the finish of the fable;
Eliminate the worry as to what the years may hoard!
You only waste your time upon the Babylonian Table--
(Slang for the Ouija board).

And as to whether Jupiter, the final, unsurpassed one,
May add a lot of winters to our portion here below,
Or this impinging season is to be our very last one--
Really, I'd hate to know.

Apply yourself to wisdom! Sweep the floor and wash the dishes,
Nor dream about the things you'll do in 1928!
My counsel is to cease to sit and yearn about your wishes,
Cursing the throws of Fate.

My! how I have been chattering on matters sad and pleasant!
(Endure with me a moment while I polish off a rhyme).
If I were you, I think, I'd bother only with the present--
Now is the only time.



The Doughboy's Horace

Horace: Book III, Ode 9

"Donec eram gratus tibi----"

HORACE, PVT. ----TH INFANTRY, A. E. F., WRITES:


While I was fussing you at home
You put the notion in my dome
That I was the Molasses Kid.
I batted strong. I'll say I did.


LYDIA, ANYBURG, U. S. A., WRITES:

While you were fussing me alone
To other boys my heart was stone.
When I was all that you could see
No girl had anything on me.


HORACE:

Well, say, I'm having some romance
With one Babette, of Northern France.
If that girl gave me the command
I'd dance a jig in No Man's Land.


LYDIA:

I, too, have got a young affair
With Charley--say, that boy is _there_!
I'd just as soon go out and die
If I thought it'd please that guy.


HORACE:

Suppose I can this foreign wren
And start things up with you again?
Suppose I promise to be good?
I'd love you, Lyd. I'll say I would.


LYDIA:

Though Charley's good and handsome--_oh_, boy!
And you're a stormy, fickle doughboy,
Go give the Hun his final whack,
And I'll marry you when you come back.



From: Horace
To: Phyllis
Subject: Invitation

Book IV, Ode 11

"_Est mihi nonum superantis annum----_"


Phyllis, I've a jar of wine,
(Alban, B. C. 49),
Parsley wreaths, and, for your tresses,
Ivy that your beauty blesses.

Shines my house with silverware;
Frondage decks the altar stair--
Sacred vervain, a device
For a lambkin's sacrifice.

Up and down the household stairs
What a festival prepares!
Everybody's superintending--
See the sooty smoke ascending!

What, you ask me, is the date
Of the day we celebrate?
13th April, month of Venus--
Birthday of my boss, Mæcenas.

Let me, Phyllis, say a word
Touching Telephus, a bird
Ranking far too high above you;
(And the loafer doesn't love you).

Lessons, Phyllie, may be learned
From Phaëton--how he was burned!
And recall Bellerophon was
One equestrian who thrown was.

Phyllis, of my loves the last,
My philandering days are past.
Sing you, in your clear contralto,
Songs I write for the rialto.



Advising Chloë

Horace: Book I, Ode 23

_"Vitas hinnuleo me similis, Chloë----"_


Why shun me, my Chloë? Nor pistol nor bowie
  Is mine with intention to kill.
And yet like a llama you run to your mamma;
  You tremble as though you were ill.

No lion to rend you, no tiger to end you,
  I'm tame as a bird in a cage.
That counsel maternal can run for _The Journal_--
  You get me, I guess.... You're of age.



To An Aged Cut-up

Horace: Book III, Ode 15


I

"_Uxor pauperis Ibyci,
    Tandem nequitiæ fige modum tuæ----_"

IN CHLORIN

Dear Mrs. Ibycus, accept a little sound advice,
  Your manners and your speech are over-bold;
To chase around the sporty way you do is far from nice;
  Believe me, darling, you are growing old.

Now Pholoë may fool around (she dances like a doe!)
  A débutante has got to think of men;
But you were twenty-seven over thirty years ago--
  You ought to be asleep at half-past ten.

O Chloris, cut the ragging and the roses and the rum--
  Delete the drink, or better, chop the booze!
Go buy a skein of yarn and make the knitting needles hum,
  And imitate the art of Sister Suse.


II

Chloris, lay off the flapper stuff;
What's fit for Pholoë, a fluff,
Is not for Ibycus's wife--
A woman at your time of life!

Ignore, old dame, such pleasures as
The shimmy and "the Bacchus Jazz";
Your presence with the maidens jars--
You are the cloud that dims the stars.

Your daughter Pholoë may stay
Out nights upon the Appian Way;
Her love for Nothus, as you know,
Makes her as playful as a doe.

No jazz for you, no jars of wine,
No rose that blooms incarnadine.
For one thing only are you fit:
Buy some Lucerian wool--and knit!



His Monument

Horace: Book III, Ode 30

"_Exegi monumentum aere perennius----_"


The monument that I have built is durable as brass,
And loftier than the Pyramids which mock the years that pass.
Nor blizzard can destroy it, nor furious rain corrode--
Remember, I'm the bard that built the first Horatian ode.

I shall not altogether die; a part of me's immortal.
A part of me shall never pass the mortuary portal;
And when I die my fame shall stand the nitric test of time--
The fame of me of lowly birth, who built the lofty rhyme!

Ay, fame shall be my portion when no trace there is of me,
For I first made Æolian songs the songs of Italy.
Accept I pray, Melpomene, my modest meed of praise,
And crown my thinning, graying locks with wreaths of Delphic bays!



Glycera Rediviva!

Horace: Book I, Ode 19

"_Mater sæva Cupidinum_"


Venus, the cruel mother of
The Cupids (symbolising Love),
Bids me to muse upon and sigh
For things to which I've said "Good-bye!"

Believe me or believe me not,
I give this Glycera girl a lot:
Pure Parian marble are her arms--
And she has eighty other charms.

Venus has left her Cyprus home
And will not let me pull a pome
About the Parthians, fierce and rough,
The Scythian war, and all that stuff.

Set up, O slaves, a verdant shrine!
Uncork a quart of last year's wine!
Place incense here, and here verbenas,
And watch me while I jolly Venus!



On a Wine of Horace's


What time I read your mighty line,
  O Mr. Q. Horatius Flaccus,
In praise of many an ancient wine--
  You twanged a wicked lyre to Bacchus!--
I wondered, like a Yankee hick,
If that old stuff contained a kick.

So when upon a Paris card
  I glimpsed Falernian, I said: "Waiter,
I'll emulate that ancient bard,
  And pass upon his merits later."
Professor Mendell, _quelque_ sport,
Suggested that we split a quart.

O Flaccus, ere I ceased to drink
  Three glasses and a pair of highballs,
I could not talk; I could not think;
  For I was pickled to the eyeballs.
If you sopped up Falernian wine
How did you ever write a line?



"What Flavour?"

Horace: Book III, Ode 13

_"O fons Bandusiæ, splendidior vitro----"_


Worthy of flowers and syrups sweet,
  O fountain of Bandusian onyx,
To-morrow shall a goatling's bleat
  Mix with the sizz of thy carbonics.

A kid whose budding horns portend
  A life of love and war--but vainly!
For thee his sanguine life shall end--
  He'll spill his blood, to put it plainly.

And never shalt thou feel the heat
  That blazes in the days of Sirius,
But men shall quaff thy soda sweet,
  And girls imbibe thy drinks delirious.

Fountain whose dulcet cool I sing,
  Be thou immortal by this Ode (a
Not wholly meretricious thing),
  Bandusian fount of ice-cream soda!



The Stalling of Q. H. F.

Horace: Epode 14

_"Mollis inertia cur tantam diffuderit imis"_


Mæcenas, you fret me, you worry me
  Demanding I turn out a rhyme;
Insisting on reasons, you hurry me;
  You want my iambics on time.
You say my ambition's diminishing;
  You ask why my poem's not done.
The god it is keeps me from finishing
        The stuff I've begun.

Be not so persistent, so clamorous.
  Anacreon burned with a flame
Candescently, crescently amorous.
  You rascal, you're doing the same!
Was no fairer the flame that burned Ilium.
  Cheer up, you're a fortunate scamp,
... Consider avuncular William
        And Phryne, the vamp.



On the Flight of Time

Horace: Book I, Ode 2

"_Tu ne quæsieris, scire nefas, quem mihi,
quem tibi_"

AD LEUCONOEN


Look not, Leuconoë, into the future;
  Seek not to find what the Answer may be;
Let no Chaldean clairvoyant compute your
  Time of existence.... It irritates me!

Better to bear what may happen soever
  Patiently, playing it through like a sport,
Whether the end of your breathing is Never,
  Or, as is likely, your time will be short.

This is the angle, the true situation;
  Get me, I pray, for I'm putting you hep:
While I've been fooling with versification
  Time has been flying.... Both gates!
    Watch your step!



The Last Laugh

Horace: Epode 15

_"Nox erat et cælo fulgebat Luna sereno----"_


"How sweet the moonlight sleeps," I quoted,
  "Upon this bank!" that starry night--
The night you vowed you'd be devoted--
  I'll tell the world you held me tight.

The night you said until Orion
  Should cease to whip the wintry sea,
Until the lamb should love the lion,
  You would, you swore, be all for me.

Some day, Neæra, you'll be sorry.
  No mollycoddle swain am I.
I shall not sit and pine, by gorry!
  Because you're with some other guy!

No, I shall turn my predilection
  Upon some truer, fairer Jane;
And all your prayer and genuflexion
  For my return shall be in vain.

And as for _you_, who choose to sneer, O,
  Though deals in lands and stocks you swing,
Though handsome as a movie hero,
  Though wise you are--and everything;

Yet, when the loss of her you're mourning,
  How I shall laugh at all your woe!
How I'll remind you of this warning,
  And laugh, "Ha! ha! I told you so!"



Again Endorsing the Lady

Book II, Elegy 2

_"Liber eram et vacuo meditabar vivere
lecto----"_


I

I was free. I thought that I had entered Love's Antarctic Zone.
"A truce to sentiment," I said. "My nights shall be my own."
But Love has double-crossed me. How can Beauty be so fair?
The grace of her, the face of her--and oh, her yellow hair!

And oh, the wondrous walk of her! So doth a goddess glide.
Jove's sister--ay, or Pallas--hath no statelier a stride.
Fair as Ischomache herself, the Lapithanian maid;
Or Brimo when at Mercury's side her virgin form she laid.

Surrender now, ye goddesses whom erst the shepherd spied!
Upon the heights of Ida lay your vestitures aside!
And though she reach the countless years of the Cumæan Sibyl,
May never, never Age at those delightful features nibble!


II

I thought that I was wholly free,
  That I had Love upon the shelf;
"Hereafter," I declared in glee,
  "I'll have my evenings to myself."
How can such mortal beauty live?
(Ah, Jove, thine errings I forgive!)

Her tresses pale the sunlight's gold;
  Her hands are featly formed, and taper;
Her--well, the rest ought not be told
  In any modest family paper.
Fair as Ischomache, and bright
As Brimo. _Quæque_ queen is right.

O goddesses of long ago,
  A shepherd called ye sweet and slender.
He saw ye, so he ought to know;
  But sooth, to her ye must surrender.
O may a million years not trace
A single line upon that face!



Propertius's Bid for Immortality

Book III, Ode 3

_"Carminis interea nostri redæmus in
orbem----"_


Let us return, then, for a time,
To our accustomed round of rhyme;
And let my songs' familiar art
Not fail to move my lady's heart.

They say that Orpheus with his lute
Had power to tame the wildest brute;
That "Variations on a Theme"
Of his would stay the swiftest stream.

They say that by the minstrel's song
Cithæron's rocks were moved along
To Thebes, where, as you may recall,
They formed themselves to frame a wall.

And Galatea, lovely maid,
Beneath wild Etna's fastness stayed
Her horses, dripping with the mere,
Those Polypheman songs to hear.

What marvel, then, since Bacchus and
Apollo grasp me by the hand,
That all the maidens you have heard
Should hang upon my slightest word?

Tænerian columns in my home
Are not; nor any golden dome;
No parks have I, nor Marcian spring,
Nor orchards--nay, nor anything.

The Muses, though, are friends of mine;
Some readers love my lyric line;
And never is Calliope
Awearied by my poetry.

O happy she whose meed of praise
Hath fallen upon my sheaf of lays!
And every song of mine is sent
To be thy beauty's monument.

The Pyramids that point the sky,
The House of Jove that soars so high,
Mausolus' tomb--they are not free
From Death his final penalty.

For fire or rain shall steal away
The crumbling glory of their day;
But fame for wit can never die,
And gosh! I was a gay old guy!



A Lament

Propertius: Book II, Elegy 8

_"Eripitur nobis iam pridem cara puella----"_


While she I loved is being torn
  From arms that held her many years,
Dost thou regard me, friend, with scorn,
  Or seek to check my tears?

Bitter the hatred for a jilt,
  And hot the hates of Eros are;
My hatred, slay me an thou wilt,
  For thee'd be gentler far.

Can I endure that she recline
  Upon another's arm? Shall they
No longer call that lady "mine"
  Who "mine" was yesterday?

For Love is fleeting as the hours.
  The town of Thebes is draped with moss,
And Ilium's well-known topless towers
  Are now a total loss.

Fell Thebes and Troy; and in the grave
  Have fallen lords of high degree.
What songs I sang! What gifts I gave!
  ... _She_ never fell for me.



Bon Voyage--and Vice Versa

Propertius: Elegy VIII, Part 1

_"Tune igitur demens, nec te mea cura
moratur?"_


O Cynthia, hast thou lost thy mind?
  Have I no claim on thine affection?
Dost love the chill Illyrian wind
  With something passing predilection?
And is thy friend--whoe'er he be--
The kind to take the place of _me_?

Ah, canst thou bear the surging deep?
  Canst thou endure the hard ship's-mattress?
For scant will be thy hours of sleep
  From Staten Island to Cape Hatt'ras;
And won't thy fairy feet be froze
With treading on the foreign snows?

I hope that doubly blows the gale,
  With billows twice as high as ever,
So that the captain, fain to sail,
  May not achieve his mad endeavour!
The winds, when that they cease to roar,
Shall find me wailing on the shore.

Yet merit thou my love or wrath,
  O False, I pray that Galatea
May smile upon thy watery path!
  A pleasant trip,--that's the idea.
Light of my life, there never shall
For me be any other gal.

And sailors, as they hasten past,
  Will always have to hear my query:
"Where have you seen my Cynthia last?
  Has anybody seen my dearie?"
I'll shout: "In Malden or Marquette
Where'er she be, I'll have her yet!"



Fragment

_"Militis in galea nidum fecere columbæ."_--PETRONIUS


Within the soldier's helmet see
  The nesting dove;
Venus and Mars, it seems to me,
  In love.



On the Uses of Adversity

_"Nam nihil est, quod non mortalibus afferat
usum."_--PETRONIUS


Nothing there is that mortal man may utterly despise;
What in our wealth we treasured, in our poverty we prize.

The gold upon a sinking ship has often wrecked the boat,
While on a simple oar a shipwrecked man may keep afloat.

The burglar seeks the plutocrat, attracted by his dress--
The poor man finds his poverty the true preparedness.



After Hearing "Robin Hood"


The songs of Sherwood Forest
  Are lilac-sweet and clear;
The virile rhymes of merrier times
  Sound fair upon mine ear.

Sweet is their sylvan cadence
  And sweet their simple art.
The balladry of the greenwood tree
  Stirs memories in my heart.

O braver days and elder
  With mickle valour dight,
How ye bring back the time, alack!
  When Harry Smith could write!



Maud Muller Mutatur

    In 1909 toilet goods were not considered a serious matter and
    no special department of the catalogs was devoted to it. A
    few perfumes and creams were scattered here and there among
    bargain goods.

    In 1919 an assortment of perfumes that would rival any city
    department store is shown, along with six pages of other
    toilet articles, including rouge and eyebrow pencils.

    _--From "How the Farmer Has Changed in a Decade: Toilet
    Goods," in Farm and Fireside's advertisement._


Maud Muller, on a summer's day,
Powdered her nose with _Bon Sachet_.

Beneath her lingerie hat appeared
Eyebrows and cheeks that were well veneered.

Singing she rocked on the front piazz,
To the tune of "The Land of the Sky Blue Jazz."

But the song expired on the summer air,
And she said "This won't get me anywhere."

The judge in his car looked up at her
And signalled "Stop!" to his brave chauffeur.

He smiled a smile that is known as broad,
And he said to Miss Muller, "Hello, how's Maud?"

"What sultry weather this is? Gee whiz!"
Said Maud. Said the judge, "I'll say it is."

"Your coat is heavy. Why don't you shed it?
Have a drink?" said Maud. Said the judge, "You said it."

And Maud, with the joy of bucolic youth,
Blended some gin and some French vermouth.

Maud Muller sighed, as she poured the gin,
"I've got something on Whittier's heroine."

"Thanks," said the judge, "a peppier brew
From a fairer hand was never knew."

And when the judge had had number 7,
Maud seemed an angel direct from Heaven.

And the judge declared, "You're a lovely girl,
An' I'm for you, Maudie, I'll tell the worl'."

And the judge said, "Marry me, Maudie dearie?"
And Maud said yes to the well known query.

And she often thinks, in her rustic way,
As she powders her nose with _Bon Sachet_,

"I never'n the world would 'a got that guy,
If I'd waited till after the First o' July."

And of all glad words of prose or rhyme,
The gladdest are, "Act while there yet is time."



The Carlyles

    [I was talking with a newspaper man the other day who seemed
    to think that the fact that Mrs. Carlyle threw a teacup at
    Mr. Carlyle should be given to the public merely as a fact.

    But a fact presented to people without the proper--or even,
    if necessary, without the improper--human being to go with it
    does not mean anything and does not really become alive or
    caper about in people's minds.

    But what I want and what I believe most people want when a
    fact is being presented is one or two touches that will make
    natural and human questions rise in and play about like this:

    "Did a servant see Mrs. Carlyle throw the teacup? Was the
    servant an English servant with an English imagination or an
    Irish servant with an Irish imagination? What would the fact
    have been like if Mr. Browning had been listening at the
    keyhole? Or Oscar Wilde, or Punch, or the Missionary Herald,
    or The New York Sun, or the Christian Science Monitor?"
    --GERALD STANLEY LEE in the Satevepost.]


BY OUR OWN ROBERT BROWNING

As a poet heart- and fancy-free--whole,
I listened at the Carlyles' keyhole;
And I saw, I, Robert Browning, saw,
Tom hurl a teacup at Jane's jaw.
She silent sat, nor tried to speak up
When came the wallop with the teacup--
A cup not filled with Beaune or Clicquot,
But one that brimmed with Orange Pekoe.
"Jane Welsh Carlyle," said Thomas, bold,
"The tea you brewed for m' breakfast's cold!
I'm feeling low i' my mind; a thing
You know b' this time. Have at you!"... Bing!
And hurled, threw he at her the teacup;
And I wrote it, deeming it unique, up.

       *       *       *       *       *


BY OUR OWN OSCAR WILDE

LADY LEFFINGWELL (_coldly_).--A full teacup!
What a waste! So many good women
and so little good tea.

          [_Exit Lady Leffingwell_]

       *       *       *       *       *


FROM OUR OWN "PUNCH"

A MANCHESTER autograph collector, we are
informed, has just offered £50 for the signature
of Tea Carlyle.

       *       *       *       *       *


FROM OUR OWN "MISSIONARY HERALD"

From what clouds cannot sunshine be distilled!
When, in a fit of godless rage, Mr.
Carlyle threw a teacup at the good woman he
had vowed at the altar to love, honour, and
obey, she smiled and the thought of China
entered her head.

Yesterday Mrs. Carlyle enrolled as a missionary,
and will sail for the benighted land
of the heathen to-morrow.

       *       *       *       *       *


FROM OUR OWN "NEW YORK SUN"

Fortunate is MRS. JANE WELSH CARLYLE
to have escaped with her life, though if she
had not, no American worthy of the traditions
of Washington could simulate acute
sorrow. MR. CARLYLE, wearied of the dilatory
methods of the BAKERIAN War Department,
properly took the law into his own
strong hands.

The argument that resulted in the teacup's
leaving MR. CARLYLE'S hands was common in
most households. It transpires that MRS.
CARLYLE, with a Bolshevistic tendency that
makes patriots wonder what the Department
of Justice--to borrow a phrase from a newspaper
cartoonist--thinks about, had been
championing the British-Wilson League of
Nations, that league which will make ironically
true our "E Pluribus Unum"--one of
many. Repeated efforts by MR. CARLYLE, in
appeals to the Department of Justice, the
Military Intelligence Division, and the City
Government, were of no avail. And so MR.
CARLYLE, like the red-blooded American he
is, did what the authorities should have saved
him the embarrassing trouble of doing.

       *       *       *       *       *


FROM OUR OWN "CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR"

It is reported that Mr. Thomas Carlyle has
thrown a teacup at Mrs. Carlyle, and much
exaggerated and acrid comment has been
made on this incident.

If it had been a whiskey glass, or a cocktail
glass, the results might have been fatal.
In Oregon, which went dry in 1916, the number
of women hit by crockery has decreased
4.2 per cent in three years. Of 1,844 women
in Oregon hit by crockery in 1915, 1,802 were
hit by glasses containing, or destined to contain,
alcoholic stimulants. More than 94 per
cent of these accidents resulted fatally. The
remaining 22 women, hit by tea or coffee
cups, are now happy, useful members of
society.



If Amy Lowell Had Been James
Whitcomb Riley


A DECADE

When you came you were like red wine and honey,
And the taste of you burnt my mouth with its sweetness.
Now you are like morning bread--
Smooth and pleasant,
I hardly taste you at all, for I know your savour,
But I am completely nourished.
        --AMY LOWELL, in _The Chimæra_.

When I wuz courtin' Annie, she wuz honey an' red wine,
She made me feel all jumpy, did that ol' sweetheart o' mine;
Wunst w'en I went to Crawfordsville, on one o' them there trips,
I kissed her--an' the burnin' taste wuz sizzlin' on my lips.
An' now I've married Annie, an' I see her all the time,
I do not feel the daily need o' bustin' into rhyme.
An' now the wine-y taste is gone, fer Annie's always there,
An' I take her fer granted now, the same ez sun an' air.
But though the honey taste wuz sweet, an' though the wine wuz strong,
Yet ef I lost the sun an' air, I couldn't git along.



If the Advertising Man Had
Been Gilbert


Never mind that slippery wet street--
The tire with a thousand claws will hold you.
Stop as quickly as you will--
Those thousand claws grip the road like a vise.
Turn as sharply as you will--
Those thousand claws take a steel-prong grip on the road to prevent a
  side skid.
You're safe--safer than anything else will make you--
Safe as you would be on a perfectly dry street.
And those thousand claws are mileage insurance, too.

--_From the Lancaster Tire and Rubber Company's
advertisement in the Satevepost._


Never mind it if you find it wet upon the street and slippery;
  Never bother if the street is full of ooze;
Do not fret that you'll upset, that you will spoil your summer frippery,
  You may turn about as sharply as you choose.
For those myriad claws will grip the road and keep the car from skidding,
  And your steering gear will hold it fast and true;
Every atom of the car will be responsive to your bidding,
  AND those thousand claws are mileage insurance, too--
        Oh, indubitably,
  Those thousand claws are mileage insurance, too.



If the Advertising Man Had
Been Praed, or Locker


"C'est distingue," says Madame La Mode,
  'Tis a fabric of subtle distinction.
For street wear it is superb.
  The chic of the Rue de la Paix--
The style of Fifth Avenue--
  The character of Regent Street--
All are expressed in this new fabric creation.
  Leather-like but feather-light--
It drapes and folds and distends to perfection.
  And it may be had in dull or glazed,
Plain or grained, basket weave or moiréd surfaces!

--Advertisement of Pontine, in _Vanity Fair_.


"C'est distingue," says Madame La Mode.
  Subtly distinctive as a fabric fair;
Nor Keats nor Shelley in his loftiest ode
  Could thrum the line to tell how it will wear.

The flair, the chic that is Rue de la Paix,
  The style that is Fifth Avenue, New York.
The character of Regent Street in May--
  As leather strong, yet light as any cork.

All these for her in this fair fabric clad.
  (Light of my life, O thou my Genevieve!)
In surface dull or glazed it may be had--
  In plain or grained, moiréd or basket weave.



Georgie Porgie

BY MOTHER GOOSE AND OUR OWN SARA TEASDALE


Bennie's kisses left me cold,
  Eddie's made me yearn to die,
Jimmie's made me laugh aloud,--
  But Georgie's made me cry.

Bennie sees me every night,
  Eddie sees me every day,
Jimmie sees me all the time,--
  But Georgie stays away.



On First Looking into Bee
Palmer's Shoulders

WITH BOWS TO KEATS AND KEITH'S

["The World's Most Famous Shoulders"]

_"Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
  When a new planet swims into his ken,
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
  He stared at the Pacific--and all his men
Looked at each other with a wild surmise--
  Silent upon a peak in Darien."_

    "Bee" Palmer has taken the raw, human--all too human--stuff
    of the underworld, with its sighs of sadness and regret, its
    mad merriment, its swift blaze of passion, its turbulent
    dances, its outlaw music, its songs of the social bandit, and
    made a new art product of the theatre. She is to the sources
    of jazz and the blues what François Villon was to the wild
    life of Paris. Both have found exquisite blossoms of art in
    the sector of life most removed from the concert room and the
    boudoir, and their harvest has the vigour, the resolute life,
    the stimulating quality, the indelible impress of daredevil,
    care-free, do-as-you-please lives of the picturesque men and
    women who defy convention.--From Keith's Press Agent.


Much have I travell'd in the realms of jazz,
And many goodly arms and shoulders seen
Quiver and quake--if you know what I mean;
I've seen a lot, as everybody has.
Some plaudits got, while others got the razz.
But when I saw Bee Palmer, shimmy queen,
I shook--in sympathy--my troubled bean,
And said, "This is the utter razmataz."

Then felt I like some patient with a pain
When a new surgeon swims into his ken,
Or like stout Brodie, when, with reeling brain,
He jumped into the river. There and then
I subwayed up and took the morning train
To Norwalk, Naugatuck, and Darien.



To a Vers Librist


"Oh bard," I said, "your verse is free;
The shackles that encumber me,
The fetters that are my obsession,
Are never gyves to your expression.

"The fear of falsities in rhyme,
In metre, quantity, or time,
Is never yours; you sing along
Your unpremeditated song."

"Correct," the young vers librist said.
"Whatever pops into my head
I write, and have but one small fetter:
I start each line with a capital letter.

"But rhyme and metre--Ishkebibble!--
Are actually neglig_ib_le.
I go ahead, like all my school,
Without a single silly rule."

Of rhyme I am so reverential
He made me feel inconsequential.
I shed some strongly saline tears
For bards I loved in younger years.

"If Keats had fallen for your fluff,"
I said, "he might have done good stuff.
If Burns had thrown his rhymes away,
His songs might still be sung to-day."

O bards of rhyme and metre free,
My gratitude goes out to ye
For all your deathless lines--ahem!
Let's see, now.... What _is_ one of them?



How Do You Tackle Your Work?


How do you tackle your work each day?
  Are you scared of the job you find?
Do you grapple the task that comes your way
  With a confident, easy mind?
Do you stand right up to the work ahead
  Or fearfully pause to view it?
Do you start to toil with a sense of dread?
  Or feel that you're going to do it?

You can do as much as you think you can,
  But you'll never accomplish more;
If you're afraid of yourself, young man,
  There's little for you in store.
For failure comes from the inside first,
  It's there if we only knew it,
And you can win, though you face the worst,
  If you feel that you're going to do it.

Success! It's found in the soul of you,
  And not in the realm of luck!
The world will furnish the work to do,
  But you must provide the pluck.
You can do whatever you think you can,
  It's all in the way you view it.
It's all in the start that you make, young man:
  You must feel that you're going to do it.

How do you tackle your work each day?
  With confidence clear, or dread?
What to yourself do you stop and say
  When a new task lies ahead?
What is the thought that is in your mind?
  Is fear ever running through it?
If so, just tackle the next you find
  By thinking you're going to do it.

--From "A Heap o' Livin'," by Edgar A. Guest


I tackle my terrible job each day
  With a fear that is well defined;
And I grapple the task that comes my way
  With no confidence in my mind.
I try to evade the work ahead,
  As I fearfully pause to view it,
And I start to toil with a sense of dread,
  And doubt that I'm going to do it.

I can't do as much as I think I can,
  And I never accomplish more.
I am scared to death of myself, old man,
  As I may have observed before.
I've read the proverbs of Charley Schwab,
  Carnegie, and Marvin Hughitt;
But whenever I tackle a difficult job,
  O gosh! how I hate to do it!

I try to believe in my vaunted power
  With that confident kind of bluff,
But somebody tells me The Conning Tower
  Is nothing but awful stuff.
And I take up my impotent pen that night,
  And idly and sadly chew it,
As I try to write something merry and bright,
  And I know that I shall not do it.

And that's how I tackle my work each day--
  With terror and fear and dread--
And all I can see is a long array
  Of empty columns ahead.
And those are the thoughts that are in my mind,
  And that's about all there's to it.
As long as it's work, of whatever kind,
  I'm certain I cannot do it.



Recuerdo


We were very tired, we were very merry--
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
It was bare and bright, and smelled like a stable--
But we looked into a fire, we leaned across a table,
We lay on the hill-top underneath the moon;
And the whistles kept blowing, and the dawn came soon.

We were very tired, we were very merry--
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry;
And you ate an apple, and I ate a pear,
From a dozen of each we had bought somewhere;
And the sky went wan, and the wind came cold,
And the sun rose dripping, a bucketful of gold.

We were very tired, we were very merry,
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
We hailed, "Good morrow, mother!" to a shawl-covered head,
And bought a morning paper, which neither of us read;
And she wept, "God bless you!" for the apples and pears,
And we gave her all our money but our subway fares.

--EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY, _in Poetry_.


I was very sad, I was very solemn--
I had worked all day grinding out a column.
I came back from dinner at half-past seven,
And I couldn't think of anything till quarter to eleven;
And then I read "Recuerdo," by Miss Millay,
And I said, "I'll bet a nickel I can write that way."

I was very sad, I was very solemn--
I had worked all day whittling out a column.
I said, "I'll bet a nickel I can chirp such a chant,"
And Mr. Geoffrey Parsons said, "I'll bet you can't."
I bit a chunk of chocolate and found it sweet,
And I listened to the trucking on Frankfort Street.

I was very sad, I was very solemn--
I had worked all day fooling with a column.
I got as far as this and took my verses in
To Mr. Geoffrey Parsons, who said, "Kid, you win."
And--not that I imagine that any one'll care--
I blew that jitney on a subway fare.



On Tradition

LINES PROVOKED BY HEARING A YOUNG MAN
WHISTLING


No carmine radical in Art,
  I worship at the shrine of Form;
Yet open are my mind and heart
  To each departure from the norm.
When Post-Impressionism emerged,
  I hesitated but a minute
Before I saw, though it diverged,
  That there was something healthy in it.

And eke when Music, heavenly maid,
  Undid the chains that chafed her feet,
I grew to like discordant shade--
  Unharmony I thought was sweet.
When verse divorced herself from sound,
  I wept at first. Now I say: "Oh, well,
I see some sense in Ezra Pound,
  And nearly some in Amy Lowell."

Yet, though I storm at every change,
  And each mutation makes me wince,
I am not shut to all things strange--
  I'm rather easy to convince.
But hereunto I set my seal,
  My nerves awry, askew, abristling:
_I'll never change the way I feel_
  _Upon the question of Free Whistling._



Unshackled Thoughts on Chivalry,
Romance, Adventure, Etc.


Yesterday afternoon, while I was
walking on Worth Street,
A gust of wind blew my hat off.
I swore, petulantly, but somewhat noisily.
A young woman had been near, walking behind me;
She must have heard me, I thought.
And I was ashamed, and embarrassedly sorry.
So I said to her: "If you heard me, I beg your pardon."
But she gave me a frightened look
And ran across the street,
Seeking a policeman.
So I thought, Why waste five hours trying to versify the incident?
Vers libre would serve her right.



Results Ridiculous

    ("Humourists have amused themselves by translating famous
    sonnets into free verse. A result no less ridiculous would
    have been obtained if somebody had rewritten a passage from
    'Paradise Lost' as a rondeau."--GEORGE SOULE in the _New
    Republic_.)


"PARADISE LOST"

Sing, Heavenly Muse, in lines that flow
  More smoothly than the wandering Po,
  Of man's descending from the height
  Of Heaven itself, the blue, the bright,
To Hell's unutterable throe.

Of sin original and the woe
That fell upon us here below
    From man's pomonic primal bite--
            Sing, Heavenly Muse!

Of summer sun, of winter snow,
Of future days, of long ago,
  Of morning and "the shades of night,"
  Of woman, "my ever new delight,"
Go to it, Muse, and put us joe--
            Sing, Heavenly Muse!

       *       *       *       *       *


"THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER"

The wedding guest sat on a stone,
  He could not choose but hear
The mariner. They were there alone.
The wedding guest sat on a stone.
"I'll read you something of my own,"
  Declared that mariner.
The wedding guest sat on a stone--
  He could not choose but hear.



Regarding (1) the U. S. and (2)
New York


Before I was a travelled bird,
  I scoffed, in my provincial way,
At other lands; I deemed absurd
  All nations but these U. S. A.

And--although Middle-Western born--
  Before I was a travelled guy,
I laughed at, with unhidden scorn,
  All cities but New York, N. Y.

But now I've been about a bit--
  How travel broadens! How it does!
And I have found out this, to wit:
  How right I was! How right I was!



Broadmindedness


How narrow his vision, how cribbed and confined!
  How prejudiced all of his views!
How hard is the shell of his bigoted mind!
  How difficult he to excuse!

His face should be slapped and his head should be banged;
  A person like that ought to die!
I want to be fair, but a man should be hanged
  Who's any less liberal than I.



The Jazzy Bard


Labor is a thing I do not like;
Workin's makes me want to go on strike;
Sittin' in an office on a sunny afternoon,
Thinkin' o' nothin' but a ragtime tune.

'Cause I got the blues, I said I got the blues,
I got the paragraphic blues.
Been a-sittin' here since ha' pas' ten,
Bitin' a hole in my fountain pen;
Brain's all stiff in the creakin' joints,
Can't make up no wheezes on the Fourteen Points;
Can't think o' nothin' 'bout the end o' booze,
'Cause I got the para--, I said the paragraphic, I mean the column
  conductin' blues.



Lines on and from "Bartlett's
Familiar Quotations"

    ("Sir: For the first time in twenty-three years 'Bartlett's
    Familiar Quotations' has been revised and enlarged, and under
    separate cover we are sending you a copy of the new edition.
    We would appreciate an expression of opinion from you of the
    value of this work after you have had an ample opportunity of
    examining it."--THE PUBLISHERS.)


Of making many books there is no end--
  So Sancho Panza said, and so say I.
Thou wert my guide, philosopher and friend
  When only one is shining in the sky.

Books cannot always please, however good;
  The good is oft interred with their bones.
To be great is to be misunderstood,
  The anointed sovereign of sighs and groans.

The Moving Finger writes, and, having writ,
  I never write as funny as I can.
Remote, unfriended, studious let me sit
  And say to all the world, "This was a man!"

Go, lovely Rose that lives its little hour!
  Go, little booke! and let who will be clever!
Roll on! From yonder ivy-mantled tower
  The moon and I could keep this up forever.



Thoughts in a Far Country


I rise and applaud, in the patriot manner,
  Whenever (as often) I hear
The palpitant strains of "The Star Spangled Banner,"--
          I shout and cheer.

And also, to show my unbounded devotion,
  I jump to me feet with a "Whee!"
Whenever "Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean"
          Is played near me.

My fervour's so hot and my ardour so searing--
  I'm hoarse for a couple of days--
You've heard me, I'm positive, joyously cheering
          "The Marseillaise."

I holler for "Dixie." I go off my noodle,
  I whistle, I pound, and I stamp
Whenever an orchestra plays "Yankee Doodle,"
          Or "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp."

But if you would enter my confidence, Reader,
  Know that I'd go clean off my dome,
And madly embrace any orchestra leader
          For "Home, Sweet Home."



When You Meet a Man from Your
Own Home Town


Sing, O Muse, in the treble clef,
A little song of the A. E. F.,
And pardon me, please, if I give vent
To something akin to sentiment.
But we have our moments Over Here
When we want to cry and we want to cheer;
And the hurrah feeling will not down
When you meet a man from your own home town.

It's many a lonesome, longsome day
Since you embarked from the U. S. A.,
And you met some men--it's a great big war--
From towns that you never had known before;
And you landed here, and your rest camp mate
Was a man from some strange and distant state.
Liked him? Yes; but you wanted to see
A man from the town where you used to be.

And then you went, by design or chance,
All over the well-known map of France;
And you yearned with a yearn that grew and grew
To talk with a man from the burg you knew.
And some lugubrious morning when
Your morale is batting about .110,
"Where are you from?" and you make reply,
And the O. D. warrior says, "So am I."

The universe wears a smiling face
As you spill your talk of the old home place;
You talk of the streets, and the home town jokes,
And you find that you know each other's folks;
And you haven't any more woes at all
As you both decide that the world _is_ small--
A statement adding to its renown
When you meet a man from your own home town.

You may be among the enlisted men,
You may be a Lieut. or a Major-Gen.;
Your home may be up in the Chilkoot Pass,
In Denver, Col., or in Pittsfield, Mass.;
You may have come from Chicago, Ill.,
Buffalo, Portland, or Louisville--
But there's nothing, I'm gambling, can keep you down,
When you meet a man from your own home town.

       *       *       *       *       *

If you want to know why I wrote this pome,
Well ... I've just had a talk with a guy from home.



The Shepherd's Resolution

_If she be not so to me,
What care I how fair she be?_

                --WITHER.

BY OUR OWN JEROME D. KERN, AUTHOR OF
"YOU'RE HERE AND I'M HERE"


I don't care if a girl is fair
If she doesn't seem beautiful to me,
I won't waste away if she's fair as day,
Or prettier than meadows in the month of May;
As long as you are there for me to see,
I don't care and you don't care
How many others are beyond compare--
You're the only one I like to have around.

I won't mind if she's everything combined,
If she doesn't seem wonderful to me,
I won't fret if she's everybody's pet,
Or considered by all as the one best bet;
As long as you and I are only we,
I don't care and you don't care
How many others are beyond compare,
You're the only one I like to have around.



"It Was a Famous Victory"

(1944)


It was a summer evening;
  Old Kaspar was at home,
Sitting before his cottage door--
  Like in the Southey pome--
And near him, with a magazine,
Idled his grandchild, Geraldine.

"Why don't you ask me," Kaspar said
  To the child upon the floor,
"Why don't you ask me what I did
  When I was in the war?
They told me that each little kid
Would surely ask me what I did.

"I've had my story ready
  For thirty years or more."
"Don't bother, Grandpa," said the child;
  "I find such things a bore.
Pray leave me to my magazine,"
Asserted little Geraldine.

Then entered little Peterkin,
  To whom his gaffer said:
"You'd like to hear about the war?
  How I was left for dead?"
"No. And, besides," declared the youth,
"How do I know you speak the truth?"

Arose that wan, embittered man,
  The hero of this pome,
And walked, with not unsprightly step,
  Down to the Soldiers' Home,
Where he, with seven other men,
Sat swapping lies till half-past ten.



On Profiteering


Although I hate
  A profiteer
With unabat-
  Ed loathing;
Though I detest
  The price they smear
On pants and vest
  And clothing;

Yet I admit
  My meed of crime,
Nor do one whit
  Regret it;
I'd triple my
  Price for a rhyme,
If I thought I
  Could get it.



Despite


The terrible things that the Governor
  Of Kansas says alarm me;
And yet somehow we won the war
  In spite of the Regular Army.

The things they say of the old N. G.
  Are bitter and cruel and hard;
And yet we walloped the enemy
  In spite of the National Guard.

Too late, too late, was our work begun;
  Too late were our forces sent;
And yet we smeared the horrible Hun
  In spite of the President.

"What a frightful flivver this Baker is!"
  Cried many a Senator;
And yet we handed the Kaiser his
  In spite of the Sec. of War.

A sadly incompetent, sinful crew
  Is that of the recent fight;
And yet we put it across, we do,
  In spite of a lot of spite.



The Return of the Soldier


Lady, when I left you
  Ere I sailed the sea,
Bitterly bereft you
  Told me you would be.

Frequently and often
  When I fought the foe,
How my heart would soften,
  Pitying your woe!

Still, throughout my yearning,
  It was my belief
That my mere returning
  Would annul your grief.

Arguing _ex parte_,
  Maybe you can tell
Why I find your heart A.
  W. O. L.



"I Remember, I Remember"


I remember, I remember
The house where I was born;
The rent was thirty-two a month,
Which made my father mourn.
He said he could remember when
_His_ father paid the rent;
And when a man's expenses did
Not take his every cent.

I remember, I remember--
My mother telling my cousin
That eggs had gone to twenty-six
Or seven cents a dozen;
And how she told my father that
She didn't like to speak
Of things like that, but Bridget now
Demanded four a week.

I remember, I remember--
And with a mirthless laugh--
My weekly board at college took
A jump to three and a half.
I bought an eighteen-dollar suit,
And father told me, "Sonny,
I'll pay the bill this time, but, Oh,
I am not made of money!"

I remember, I remember,
When I was young and brave
And I declared, "Well, Birdie, we
Shall now begin to save."
It was a childish ignorance,
But now 'tis little joy
To know I'm farther off from wealth
Than when I was a boy.



The Higher Education

    (Harvard's prestige in football is a leading factor. The best
    players in the big preparatory schools prefer to study at
    Cambridge, where they can earn fame on the gridiron. They do
    not care to be identified with Yale and Princeton.--JOE VILA
    in the _Evening Sun_.)


"Father," began the growing youth,
  "Your pleading finds me deaf;
Although I know you speak the truth
  About the course at Shef.
But think you that I have no pride,
  To follow such a trail?
I cannot be identified
  With Princeton or with Yale."

"Father," began another lad,
  Emerging from his prep;
"I know you are a Princeton grad,
  But the coaches have no pep.
But though the Princeton profs provide
  Fine courses to inhale;
I cannot be identified
  With Princeton or with Yale."

"I know," he said, "that Learning helps
  A lot of growing chaps;
That Yale has William Lyon Phelps,
  And Princeton Edward Capps.
But while, within the Football Guide,
  The Haughton hosts prevail,
I cannot be identified
  With Princeton or with Yale."



War and Peace


"This war is a terrible thing," he said,
"With its countless numbers of needless dead;
A futile warfare it seems to me,
Fought for no principle I can see.
Alas, that thousands of hearts should bleed
For naught but a tyrant's boundless greed!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Said the wholesale grocer, in righteous mood,
As he went to adulterate salable food.

Spake as follows the merchant king:
"Isn't this war a disgraceful thing?
Heartless, cruel, and useless, too;
It doesn't seem that it _can_ be true.
Think of the misery, want, and fear!
We ought to be grateful we've no war here.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Six a week"--to a girl--"That's flat!
I can get a thousand to work for that."



Fifty-Fifty


For something like eleven summers
  I've written things that aimed to teach
Our careless mealy-mouthéd mummers
  To be more sedulous of speech.

So sloppy of articulation
  So limping and so careless they
About distinct enunciation,
  Often I don't know what they say.

The other night an able actor,
  Declaiming of some lines I heard,
I hailed a public benefactor,
  As I distinguished every word.

But, oh! the subtle disappointment!
  Thorn on the celebrated rose
And fly within the well-known ointment!
  (Allusions everybody knows.)

Came forth the words exact and snappy.
  And as I sat there, that P.M.,
I mused, "Was I not just as happy
  When I could not distinguish them?"



"So Shines a Good Deed in a
Naughty World"


There was a man in our town, and he was wondrous rich;
He gave away his millions to the colleges and sich;
And people cried: "The hypocrite! He ought to understand
The ones who really need him are the children of this land."

When Andrew Croesus built a home for children who were sick,
The people said they rather thought he did it as a trick,
And writers said: "He thinks about the drooping girls and boys,
But what about conditions with the men whom he employs?"

There was a man in our town who said that he would share
His profits with his laborers, for that was only fair,
And people said: "Oh, isn't he the shrewd and foxy gent?
It cost him next to nothing for that free advertisement."

There was a man in our town who had the perfect plan
To do away with poverty and other ills of man,
But he feared the public jeering, and the folks who would defame him,
So he never told the plan he had, and I can hardly blame him.



Vain Words


Humble, surely, mine ambition;
  It is merely to construct
Some occasion or condition
  When I may say "usufruct."

Earnest am I and assiduous;
  Yet I'm certain that I shan't amount
To a lot till I use "viduous,"
  "Indiscerptible," and "tantamount."



On the Importance of Being
Earnest


"Gentle Jane was as good as gold,"
  To borrow a line from Mr. Gilbert;
She hated War with a hate untold,
  She was a pacifistic filbert.
If you said "Perhaps"--she'd leave the hall.
You couldn't argue with her at all.

"Teasing Tom was a very bad boy,"
  (Pardon my love for a good quotation).
To talk of war was his only joy,
  And his single purpose was Preparation.

       *       *       *       *       *

And what both of these children had to say
I never knew, for I ran away.



It Happens in the B. R. Families

WITH THE CUSTOMARY OBEISANCES


'Twas on the shores that round our coast
  From Deal to Newport lie
That I roused from sleep in a huddled heap
  An elderly wealthy guy.

His hair was graying, his hair was long,
  And graying and long was he;
And I heard this grouch on the shore avouch,
  In a singular jazzless key:

"Oh, I am a cook and a waitress trim
  And the maid of the second floor,
And a strong chauffeur and a housekeep_er_.
  And the man who tends the door!"

And he shook his fists and he tore his hair,
  And he started to frisk and play,
Till I couldn't help thinking the man had been drinking,
  So I said (in the Gilbert way):

"Oh, elderly man, I don't know much
  Of the ways of societee,
But I'll eat my friend if I comprehend
  However you can be

"At once a cook and a waitress trim
  And the maid of the second floor,
And a strong chauffeur and a housekeep_er_,
  And the man who tends the door."

Then he smooths his hair with a nervous air,
  And a gulp in his throat he swallows,
And that elderly guy he then lets fly
  Substantially as follows:

"We had a house down Newport way,
  And we led a simple life;
There was only I," said the elderly guy,
  "And my daughter and my wife.

"And of course the cook and the waitress trim
  And the maid of the second floor,
And a strong chauffeur and a housekeep_er_,
  And the man who tends the door.

"One day the cook she up and left,
  She up and left us flat.
She was getting a hundred and ten a mon-
  Th, but she couldn't work for that.

"And the waitress trim was her bosom friend,
  And she wouldn't stay no more;
And our strong chauffeur eloped with her
  Who was maid of the second floor.

"And we couldn't get no other help,
  So I had to cook and wait.
It was quite absurd," wept the elderly bird.
  "I deserve a better fate.

"And I drove the car and I made the beds
  Till the housekeeper up and quit;
And the man at the door found that a bore,
  Which is why I am, to wit:

"At once a cook and a waitress trim
  And the maid of the second floor,
And a strong chauffeur and a housekeep_er_,
  And the man who tends the door."



Abelard and Heloïse

    ["There are so many things I want to talk to you about."
    Abelard probably said to Heloïse, "but how can I when I can
    only think about kissing you?"--KATHARINE LANE in the
    _Evening Mail_.]


Said Abelard to Heloïse:
"Your tresses blowing in the breeze
Enchant my soul; your cheek allures;
I never knew such lips as yours."

Said Heloïse to Abelard:
"I know that it is cruel, hard,
To make you fold your yearning arms
And think of things besides my charms."

Said Abelard to Heloïse:
"Pray let's discuss the Portuguese;
Their status in the League of Nations.
... Come, slip me seven osculations."

"The Fourteen Points," said Heloïse,
"Are pure Woodrovian fallacies."
Said Abelard: "Ten times fourteen
The points you have, O beaucoup queen!"

"Lay off," said Heloïse, "all that stuff.
I've heard the same old thing enough."
"But," answered Abelard, "your lips
Put all my thoughts into eclipse."

"O Abelard," said Heloïse,
"Don't take so many liberties."
"O Heloïse," said Abelard,
"I do it but to show regard."

And Heloïse told her chum that night
That Abelard was Awful Bright;
And--thus is drawn the cosmic plan--
She _loved_ an Intellectual Man.



Lines Written on the Sunny Side
of Frankfort Street


Sporting with Amaryllis in the shade,
  (I credit Milton in parenthesis),
Among the speculations that she made
            Was this:

"When"--these her very words--"when you return,
  A slave to duty's harsh commanding call,
Will you, I wonder, ever sigh and yearn
            At all?"

Doubt, honest doubt, sat then upon my brow.
  (Emotion is a thing I do not plan.)
I could not fairly answer then, but now
            I can.

Yes, Amaryllis, I can tell you this,
  Can answer publicly and unafraid:
You haven't any notion how I miss
            The shade.



Fifty-Fifty

    [We think about the feminine faces we meet in the streets,
    and experience a passing melancholy because we are
    unacquainted with some of the girls we see.--From "The Erotic
    Motive in Literature," by ALBERT MORDELL.]


Whene'er I take my walks abroad,
  How many girls I see
Whose form and features I applaud
  With well-concealéd glee!

I'd speak to many a sonsie maid,
  Or willowy or obese,
Were I not fearful, and afraid
  She'd yell for the police.

And Melancholy, bittersweet,
  Marks me then as her own,
Because I lack the nerve to greet
  The girls I might have known.

Yet though with sadness I am fraught,
  (As I remarked before),
There is one sweetly solemn thought
  Comes to me o'er and o'er:

For every shadow cloud of woe
  Hath argentine alloy;
I see some girls I do not know,
  And feel a passing joy.



To Myrtilla


Twelve fleeting years ago, my Myrt,
  (_Eheu fugaces!_ maybe more)
I wrote of the directoire skirt
            You wore.

Ten years ago, Myrtilla mine,
  The hobble skirt engaged my pen.
That was, I calculate, in Nine-
            Teen Ten.

The polo coat, the feathered lid,
  The phony furs of yesterfall,
The current shoe--I tried to kid
            Them all.

Vain every vitriolic bit,
  Silly all my sulphuric song.
Rube Goldberg said a bookful; it
            'S all wrong.

Bitter the words I used to fling,
  But you, despite my angriest Note,
Were never swayed by anything
            I wrote.

So I surrender. I am beat.
  And, though the admission rather girds,
In any garb you're just too sweet
            For words.



A Psalm of Labouring Life


Tell me not, in doctored numbers,
  Life is but a name for work!
For the labour that encumbers
  Me I wish that I could shirk.

Life is phony! Life is rotten!
  And the wealthy have no soul;
Why should you be picking cotton?
  Why should I be mining coal?

Not employment and not sorrow
  Is my destined end or way;
But to act that each to-morrow
  Finds me idler than to-day.

Work is long, and plutes are lunching;
  Money is the thing I crave;
But my heart continues punching
  Funeral time-clocks to the grave.

In the world's uneven battle,
  In the swindle known as life,
Be not like the stockyards cattle--
  Stick your partner with a knife!

Trust no Boss, however pleasant!
  Capital is but a curse!
Strike,--strike in the living present!
  Fill, oh fill, the bulging purse!

Lives of strikers all remind us
  We can make our lives a crime,
And, departing, leave behind us
  Bills for double overtime.

Charges that, perhaps another,
  Working for a stingy ten
Bucks a day, some mining brother
  Seeing, shall walk out again.

Let us, then, be up and striking,
  Discontent with all of it;
Still undoing, still disliking,
  Learn to labour--and to quit.



Ballade of Ancient Acts

AFTER HENLEY


Where are the wheezes they essayed
And where the smiles they made to flow?
Where's Caron's seltzer siphon laid,
A squirt from which laid Herbert low?
Where's Charlie Case's comic woe
And Georgie Cohan's nasal drawl?
The afterpiece? The olio?
Into the night go one and all.

Where are the japeries, fresh or frayed,
That Fields and Lewis used to throw?
Where is the horn that Shepherd played?
The slide trombone that Wood would blow?
Amelia Glover's l. f. toe?
The Rays and their domestic brawl?
Bert Williams with "Oh, _I_ Don't Know?"
Into the night go one and all.

Where's Lizzie Raymond, peppy jade?
The braggart Lew, the simple Joe?
And where the Irish servant maid
That Jimmie Russell used to show?
Charles Sweet, who tore the paper snow?
Ben Harney's where? And Artie Hall?
Nash Walker, Darktown's grandest beau?
Into the night go one and all.


L'ENVOI

Prince, though our children laugh "Ho! Ho!"
At us who gleefully would fall
For acts that played the Long Ago,
Into the night go one and all.



To a Prospective Cook


Curly Locks, Curly Locks, wilt thou be ours?
Thou shalt not wash dishes, nor yet weed the flowers,
But stand in the kitchen and cook a fine meal,
And ride every night in an automobile.

Curly Locks, Curly Locks, come to us soon!
Thou needst not to rise until mid-afternoon;
Thou mayst be Croatian, Armenian, or Greek;
Thy guerdon shall be what thou askest per week.

Curly Locks, Curly Locks, give us a chance!
Thou shalt not wash windows, nor iron my pants.
Oh, come to the cosiest of seven-room bowers,
Curly Locks, Curly Locks, wilt thou be ours?



Variation on a Theme

June 30, 1919.


Notably fond of music, I dote on a clearer tone
Than ever was blared by a bugle or zoomed by a saxophone;
And the sound that opens the gates for me of a Paradise revealed
Is something akin to the note revered by the blesséd Eugene Field,
Who sang in pellucid phrasing that I perfectly well recall
Of the clink of the ice in the pitcher that the boy brings up the hall.
But sweeter to me than the sparrow's song or the goose's autumn honks
Is the sound of the ice in the shaker as the barkeeper mixes a Bronx.

Between the dark and the daylight, when I'm worried about The Tower,
Comes a pause in the day's tribulations that is known as the cocktail
  hour;
And my soul is sad and jaded, and my heart is a thing forlorn,
And I view the things I have written with a sickening, scathing scorn.
Oh, it's then I fare with some other slave who is hired for the things
  he writes
To a Den of Sin where they mingle gin--such as Lipton's, Mouquin's, or
  Whyte's,
And my spirit thrills to a music sweeter than Sullivan or Puccini--
The swash of the ice in the shaker as he mixes a Dry Martini.

The drys will assert that metallic sound is the selfsame canon made
By the ice in the shaker that holds a drink like orange or lemonade;
But on the word of a travelled man and a bard who has been around,
The sound of tin on ice and gin is a snappier, happier sound.
And I mean to hymn, as soon as I have a moment of leisure time,
The chill susurrus of cocktail ice in an adequate piece of rhyme.
But I've just had an invitation to hark, at a beckoning bar,
To the sound of the ice in the shaker as the barkeeper mixes a Star.



"Such Stuff as Dreams"


Jenny kiss'd me in a dream;
  So did Elsie, Lucy, Cora,
Bessie, Gwendolyn, Eupheme,
  Alice, Adelaide, and Dora.
Say of honour I'm devoid,
  Say monogamy has miss'd me,
But don't say to Dr. Freud
        Jenny kiss'd me.



The Ballad of Justifiable Homicide


They brought to me his mangled corpse
  And I feared lest I should swing.
"O tell me, tell me,--and make it brief--
  Why hast thou done this thing?

"Had this man robbed the starving poor
  Or lived a gunman's life,
Had he set fire to cottages,
  Or run off with thy wife?"

"He hath not robbed the starving poor,
  Nor lived a gunman's life;
He hath set fire to no cottage,
  Nor run off with my wife.

"Ye ask me such a question that
  It now my lips unlocks:
I learned he was the man who planned
  The second balcony box."

The jury pondered never an hour,
  They thought not even a little,
But handed in unanimously
  A verdict of acquittal.



The Ballad of the Murdered
Merchant


All stark and cold the merchant lay,
  All cold and stark lay he.
And who hath killed this fair mer_chant_?
  Now tell the truth to me.

Oh, I have killed this fair mer_chant_
  Will never again draw breath;
Oh, I have made this fair mer_chant_
  To come unto his death.

Oh, why hast thou killed this fair mer_chant_
  Whose corse I now behold?
And why hast caused this man to lie
  In death all stark and cold?

Oh, I have killed this fair mer_chant_
  Whose kith and kin make moan,
For that he hath stolen my precious time
  When he useth the telephone.

The telephone bell rang full and clear;
  The receiver did I seize.
"Hello!" quoth I, and quoth a girl,
  "Hello!... One moment, please."

I waited moments ane and twa,
  And moments three and four,
And then I sought that fair mer_chant_
  And spilled his selfish gore.

That business man who scorneth to waste
  His moments sae rich and fine
In calling a man to the telephone
  Shall never again waste mine!

And every time a henchwom_an_
  Shall cause me a moment's loss,
I'll forthwith fare to that of_fice_
  And stab to death her boss.

Rise up! Rise up! thou blesséd knight!
  And off thy bended knees!
Go forth and slay all folk who make
  Us wait "One moment, please."



A Gotham Garden of Verses


I

In summer when the days are hot
The subway is delayed a lot;
In winter, quite the selfsame thing;
In autumn also, and in spring.

And does it not seem strange to you
That transportation is askew
In this--I pray, restrain your mirth!--
In this, the Greatest Town on Earth?


II

All night long and every night
The neighbours dance for my delight;
I hear the people dance and sing
Like practically anything.

Women and men and girls and boys,
All making curious kinds of noise
And dancing in so weird a way,
I never saw the like by day.

So loud a show was never heard
As that which yesternight occurred:
They danced and sang, as I have said,
As I lay wakeful on my bed.

They shout and cry and yell and laugh
And play upon the phonograph;
And endlessly I count the sheep,
Endeavouring to fall asleep.


III

It is very nice to think
This town is full of meat and drink;
That is, I'd think it very nice
If my papa but had the price.


IV

This town is so full of a number of folks,
I'm sure there will always be matter for jokes.



Lines on Reading Frank J. Wilstach's
"A Dictionary of Similes"


As neat as wax, as good as new,
As true as steel, as truth is true,
Good as a sermon, keen as hate,
Full as a tick, and fixed as fate--

Brief as a dream, long as the day,
Sweet as the rosy morn in May,
Chaste as the moon, as snow is white,
Broad as barn doors, and new as sight--

Useful as daylight, firm as stone,
Wet as a fish, dry as a bone,
Heavy as lead, light as a breeze--
Frank Wilstach's book of similes.



The Dictaphone Bard

    [And here is a suggestion: Did you ever try dictating your
    stories or articles to the dictaphone for the first draft? I
    would be glad to have you come down and make the
    experiment.--From a shorthand reporter's circular letter.]

(As "The Ballad of the Tempest" would have
to issue from the dictaphone to the stenographer)

_Begin each line with a capital. Indent alternate
lines. Double space after each fourth
line._


_We were crowded in the cabin comma
  Not a soul would dare to sleep dash comma
It was midnight on the waters comma
  And a storm was on the deep period_

_Apostrophe Tis a fearful thing in capital Winter
  To be shattered by the blast comma
And to hear the rattling trumpet
  Thunder colon quote capital Cut away the mast exclamation point
    close quote_

_So we shuddered there in silence comma dash
  For the stoutest held his breath comma
While the hungry sea was roaring comma
 And the breakers talked with capital Death period_

_As thus we sat in darkness comma
  Each one busy with his prayers comma
Quote We are lost exclamation point close quote the captain shouted comma
  As he staggered down the stairs period_

_But his little daughter whispered comma
  As she took his icy hand colon
Quote Isn't capital God upon the ocean comma
  Just the same as on the land interrogation point close quote_

_Then we kissed the little maiden comma
  And we spake in better cheer comma
And we anchored safe in harbor
  When the morn was shining clear period_



The Comfort of Obscurity

INSPIRED BY READING MR. KIPLING'S POEMS AS
PRINTED IN THE NEW YORK PAPERS


Though earnest and industrious,
I still am unillustrious;
    No papers empty purses
    Printing verses
        Such as mine.
No lack of fame is chronicker
Than that about my monicker;
    My verse is never cabled
    At a fabled
        Rate per line.

Still though the Halls
Of Literature are closed
To me a bard obscure I
Have a consolation The
Copyreaders crude and rough
Can't monkey with my
Humble stuff and change MY
Punctuation.



Ballade of the Traffickers


Up goes the price of our bread--
Up goes the cost of our caking!
People must ever be fed;
Bakers must ever be baking.
So, though our nerves may be quaking,
Dumbly, in arrant despair,
Pay we the crowd that is taking
All that the traffic will bear.

Costly to sleep in a bed!
Costlier yet to be waking!
Costly for one who is wed!
Ruinous for one who is raking!
Tradespeople, ducking and draking,
Charge you as much as they dare,
Asking, without any faking,
All that the traffic will bear.

Roof that goes over our head,
Thirst so expensive for slaking,
Paper, apparel, and lead--
Why are their prices at breaking?
Yet, though our purses be aching,
Little the traffickers care;
Getting, for chopping and steaking,
All that the traffic will bear.


L'ENVOI

Take thou my verses, I pray, King,
Letting my guerdon be fair.
Even a bard must be making
All that the traffic will bear.



To W. Hohenzollern, on Discontinuing
The Conning Tower


William, it was, I think, three years ago--
  As I recall, one cool October morning--
(You have _The Tribune_ files; I think they'll show
        I gave you warning).

I said, in well-selected words and terse,
  In phrases balanced, yet replete with power,
That I should cease to pen the prose and verse
        Known as The Tower.

That I should stop this Labyrinth of Light--
  Though stopping make the planet leaden-hearted--
Unless you stopped the well-known _Schrecklichkeit_
        Your nation started.

I printed it in type that you could read;
  My paragraphs were thewed, my rhymes were sinewed.
You paid, I judge from what ensued, no heed ...
        The war continued.

And though my lines with fortitude were fraught,
  Although my words were strong, and stripped of stuffing,
You, William, thought--oh, yes, you did--you thought
        That I was bluffing.

You thought that I would fail to see it through!
  You thought that, at the crux of things, I'd cower!
How little, how imperfectly you knew
        The Conning Tower!

You'll miss the column at the break of day.
  I have no fear that I shall be forgotten.
You'll miss the daily privilege to say:
        "That stuff is rotten!"

Or else--as sometimes has occurred--when I
  Have chanced upon a lucky line to blunder,
You'll miss the precious privilege to cry:
        "That bird's a wonder!"

Well, William, when your people cease to strafe,
  When you have put an end to all this war stuff,
When all the world is reasonably safe,
        I'll write some more stuff.

And when you miss the quip and wanton wile,
  And learn you can't endure the Towerless season,
O William, I shall not be petty ... I'll
        Listen to reason.

_October 5, 1917._



To W. Hohenzollern, on Resuming
The Conning Tower


Well, William, since I wrote you long ago--
  As I recall, one cool October morning--
(I have _The Tribune_ files. They clearly show
        I gave you warning.)

Since when I penned that consequential ode,
  The world has seen a vast amount of slaughter,
And under many a Gallic bridge has flowed
        A lot of water.

I said that when your people ceased to strafe,
  That when you'd put an end to all this war stuff,
And all the world was reasonably safe
        I'd write some more stuff;

That when you missed the quip and wanton wile
  And learned you couldn't bear a Towerless season,
I quote: "O, I shall not be petty.... I'll
        Listen to reason."

_Labuntur anni_, not to say _Eheu
  Fugaces_! William, by my shoulders glistening!
I have the final laugh, for it was you
        Who did the listening.

_January 15, 1919._



Thoughts on the Cosmos


I

I do not hold with him who thinks
The world is jonahed by a jinx;
That everything is sad and sour,
And life a withered hothouse flower.


II

I hate the Pollyanna pest
Who says that All Is for the Best,
And hold in high, unhidden scorn
Who sees the Rose, nor feels the Thorn.


III

I do not like extremists who
Are like the pair in (I) and (II);
But how I hate the wabbly gink,
Like me, who knows not what to think!



On Environment


I used to think that this environ-
  Ment talk was all a lot of guff;
Place mattered not with Keats and Byron
              Stuff.

If I have thoughts that need disclosing,
  Bright be the day or hung with gloom,
I'll write in Heaven or the composing-
              Room.

Times are when with my nerves a-tingle,
  Joyous and bright the songs I sing;
Though, gay, I can't dope out a single
              Thing.

And yet, by way of illustration,
  The gods my graying head anoint ...
I wrote _this_ piece at Inspiration
               Point.



The Ballad of the Thoughtless
Waiter


I saw him lying cold and dead
  Who yesterday was whole.
"Why," I inquired, "hath he expired?
  And why hath fled his soul?"

"But yesterday," his comrade said,
  "All health was his, and strength;
And this is why he came to die--
  If I may speak at length.

"But yesternight at dinnertime
  At a not unknown café,
He had a frugal meal as you
  Might purchase any day.

"The check for his so simple fare
  Was only eighty cents,
And a dollar bill with a right good will
  Came from his opulence.

"The waiter brought him twenty cents.
  'Twas only yesternight
That he softly said who now is dead
  'Oh, keep it. 'At's a' right.'

"And the waiter plainly uttered 'Thanks,'
  With no hint of scorn or pride;
And my comrade's heart gave a sudden start
  And my comrade up and died."

Now waiters overthwart this land,
  In tearooms and in dives,
Mute be your lips whatever the tips,
  And save your customers' lives.



Rus Vs. Urbs


Whene'er the penner of this pome
Regards a lovely country home,
He sighs, in words not insincere,
"I think I'd like to live out here."

And when the builder of this ditty
Returns to this pulsating city,
The perpetrator of this pome
Yearns for a lovely country home.



"I'm Out of the Army Now"


When first I doffed my olive drab,
I thought, delightedly though mutely,
"Henceforth I shall have pleasure ab-
              Solutely."

Dull with the drudgery of war,
Sick of the very name of fighting,
I yearned, I thought, for something more
              Exciting.

The rainbow be my guide, quoth I;
My suit shall be a brave and proud one
Gay-hued my socks; and oh, my tie
              A loud one!

For me the theatre and the dance;
Primrose the path I would be wending;
For me the roses of romance
              Unending.

Those were my inner thoughts that day
(And those of many another million)
When once again I should be a
              Civilian.

I would not miss the old o. d.;
(Monotony I didn't much like)
I would not miss the reveille,
              And such like.

I don't ... And do I now enjoy
My walks along the primrose way so?
Is civil life the life? Oh, boy,
              I'll say so.



"Oh Man!"


Man hath harnessed the lightning;
  Man hath soared to the skies;
  Mountain and hill are clay to his will;
Skilful he is, and wise.
Sea to sea hath he wedded,
  Canceled the chasm of space,
Given defeat to cold and heat;
  Splendour is his, and grace.

His are the topless turrets;
  His are the plumbless pits;
Earth is slave to his architrave,
  Heaven is thrall to his wits.
And so in the golden future,
  He who hath dulled the storm
(As said above) may make a glove
  That'll keep my fingers warm.



An Ode in Time of Inauguration

(March 4, 1913)


Thine aid, O Muse, I consciously beseech;
  I crave thy succour, ask for thine assistance
That men may cry: "Some little ode! A peach!"
  O Muse, grant me the strength to go the distance!
For odes, I learn, are dithyrambs, and long;
  Exalted feeling, dignity of theme
And complicated structure guide the song.
  (All this from Webster's book of high esteem.)

Let complicated structure not becloud
  My lucid lines, nor weight with overloading.
To Shelley, Keats, and Wordsworth and that crowd
  I yield the bays for ground and lofty oding.
Mine but the task to trace a country's growth,
  As evidenced by each inauguration
From Washington's to Wilson's primal oath--
  In these U. S., the celebrated nation.

But stay! or ever that I start to sing,
  Or e'er I loose my fine poetic forces,
I ought, I think, to do the decent thing,
  To wit: give credit to my many sources:
Barnes's "Brief History of the U. S. A.,"
  Bryce, Ridpath, Scudder, Fiske, J. B. McMaster,
A book of odes, a Webster, a Roget--
  The bibliography of this poetaster.

Flow, flow, my pen, as gently as sweet Afton ever flowed!
An thou dost ill, shall this be still a poor thing, but mine ode.

G. W., initial prex,
  Right down in Wall Street, New York City,
Took his first oath. Oh, multiplex
  The whimsies quaint, the comments witty
One might evolve from that! I scorn
To mock the spot where he was sworn.

On next Inauguration Day
  He took the avouchment sempiternal
Way down in Phil-a-delph-i-a,
  Where rises now the L. H. Journal.
His Farewell Speech in '96
Said: "'Ware the Trusts and all their tricks!"

John Adams fell on darksome days:
  March Fourth was blustery and sleety;
The French behaved in horrid ways
  Until John Jay drew up a treaty.
Came the Eleventh Amendment, too,
Providing that--but why tell _you_?

T. Jefferson, one history showed,
  Held all display was vain and idle;
Alone, unpanoplied, he rode;
  Alone he hitched his horse's bridle.
No ball that night, and no carouse,
But back to Conrad's boarding house.

He tied that bridle to the fence
  The morning of inauguration;
John Davis saw him do it; whence
  Arose his "simple" reputation.
The White House, though, with Thomas J.,
Had chefs--and parties every day.


THE MUSE INTERRUPTS THE ODIST

If I were you I think I'd change my medium;
  I weary of your meter and your style.
The sameness of it sickens me to tedium;
  I'll quit unless you switch it for a while.


THE ODIST REPLIES

I bow to thee, my Muse, most eloquent of pleaders;
But why embarrass me in front of all these readers?

Madison's inauguration
Was a lovely celebration.
In a suit of wool domestic
Rode he, stately and majestic,
Making it be manifest
Clothes American are best.
This has thundered through the ages.
(See our advertising pages.)

Lightly I pass along, and so
Come to the terms of James Monroe
Who framed the doctrine far too well
Known for an odist to retell.
His period of friendly dealing
Began The Era of Good Feeling.

John Quincy Adams followed him in Eighteen Twenty-four;
Election was exciting--the details I shall ignore.
But his inauguration as our country's President
Was, take it from McMaster, some considerable event.
It was a brilliant function, and I think I ought to add
The Philadelphia "Ledger" said a gorgeous time was had.

Old Andrew Jackson's pair of terms were terribly exciting;
That stern, intrepid warrior had little else than fighting.
A time of strife and turbulence, of politics and flurry.
But deadly dull for poem themes, so, Mawruss, I should worry!

In Washington did Martin Van
  A stately custom then decree:
Old Hickory, the veteran,
Must ride with him, the people's man,
  For all the world to see.
A pleasant custom, in a way,
  And yet I should have laughed
To see the Sage of Oyster Bay
  On Tuesday ride with Taft.
(Pardon me this
  Parenthetical halt:
That sight you'll miss,
  But it isn't my fault.)

William Henry Harrison came
  Riding a horse of alabaster,
But the weather that day was a sin and a shame,
  Take it from me and John McMaster.
Only a month--and Harrison died,
And V.-P. Tyler began preside.
A far from popular prex was he,
And the next one was Polk of Tennessee.
There were two inaugural balls for him,
But the rest of his record is rather dim.

Had I the pen of a Pope or a Thackeray,
  Had I the wisdom of Hegel or Kant,
Then might I sing as I'd like to of Zachary,
  Then might I sing a Taylorian chant.
Oh, for the lyrical art of a Tennyson!
  Oh, for the skill of Macaulay or Burke!
None of these mine; so I give him my benison,
  Turning reluctantly back to my work.

O Millard Fillmore! when a man refers
To thee, what direful, awful thing occurs?
Though in itself thy name hath nought of wit,
Yet--and this doth confound me to admit
When I do hear it, I do smile; nay, more--
I laugh, I scream, I cachinnate, I roar
As Wearied Business Men do shake with glee
At mimes that say "Dubuque" or "Kankakee";
As basement-brows that laugh at New Rochelle;
As lackwits laugh when actors mention Hell.
Perhaps--it may be so--I am not sure--
Perhaps it is that thou wast so obscure,
And that one seldom hears a single word of thee;
I know a lot of girls that never heard of thee.
Hence did I smile, perhaps.... How very near
The careless laughing to the thoughtful tear!
O Fillmore, let me sheathe my mocking pen.
God rest thee! I'll not laugh at thee again!

I have heard it remarked that to Pierce's election
There wasn't a soul had the slightest objection.
I have also been told, by some caustical wit,
That no one said nay when he wanted to quit.
    Yet Franklin Pierce, forgotten man,
      I celebrate your fame.
    I'm doing just the best I can
      To keep alive your name,
    Though as a President, F. P.,
    You didn't do as much for me.

Of James Buchanan things a score
  I might recite. I'll say that he was
The only White House bachelor--
  The only one, that's what J. B. was.
      For he was a bachelor--
    For he might have been a bigamist,
    A Mormon, a polygamist,
      And had thirty wives or more;
    But this be his memorial:
    He was ever unuxorial,
      And remained a bachelor--
      He re-mai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ained a bachelor.

Lincoln! I falter, feeling it to be
As if all words of mine in praise of him
Were as the veriest dolt that saw the sun;
And God had spoken him and said to him:
"I bid you tell me what you think of it."
And he should answer: "Oh, the sun is nice."
So sadly fitted I to speak in praise
Of Lincoln.

Now during Andrew Johnson's term the currency grew stable;
We bought Alaska and we laid the great Atlantic cable;
And then there came eight years of Grant; thereafter four of Hayes;
And in his time the parties fell on fierce and parlous days;
And Garfield came, and Arthur too, and Congress shoes were worn,
And Brooklyn Bridge was built, and I, your gifted bard, was born.

Cleveland and Harrison came along then;
Followed an era of Cleveland again.
Came then McKinley and--light me a pipe--
Hey, there, composing room, get some new type!

_I sing him now as I shall sing him again;
  I sing him now as I have sung before.
How fluently his name comes off my pen!
                O Theodore!_

_Bless you and keep you, T. R.!
  Energy tireless, eternal,
Fixed and particular star,
  Theodore, Teddy, the Colonel._

_Energy tireless, eternal;
  Hater of grafters and crooks!
Theodore, Teddy, the Colonel,
  Writer and lover of books,_

_Hater of grafters and crooks,
  Forceful, adroit, and expressive,
Writer and lover of books,
  Nevertheless a Progressive._

_Forceful, adroit, and expressive,
  Often asserting the trite;
Nevertheless a Progressive;
  Errant, but generally right._

_Often asserting the trite;
  Stubborn, and no one can force you.
Errant, but generally right--
  Yet, on the whole, I indorse you._

_Stubborn, and no one can force you,
  Fixed and particular star,
Yet, on the whole, I indorse you,
  Bless you and keep you, T. R.!_

It blew, it rained, it snowed, it stormed, it froze, it hailed, it
  sleeted
The day that William Howard Taft upon the chair was seated.
The four long years that followed--ah, that I should make a rime of it!
For Mr. Taft assures me that he had an awful time of it.
And yet meseems he did his best; and as we bid good-bye,
I'll add he did a better job than you'd have done--or I.

  Welcome to thee! I shake thy hand,
  New prexy of our well-known land.
  May what we merit, and no less,
  Descend to give us happiness!
  May what we merit, and no more,
  Descend on us in measured store!
  Give us but peace when we shall earn
  The right to such a rich return!
  Give us but plenty when we show
  That we deserve to have it so!

Mine ode is finished! Tut! It is a slight one,
  But blame me not; I do as I am bid.
The editor of COLLIER'S said to write one--
                And I did.



What the Copy Desk Might
Have Done to:

("Annabel Lee")

=SOUL BRIDE ODDLY DEAD
IN QUEER DEATH PACT=

=High-Born Kinsman Abducts
Girl from Poet-Lover--Flu
Said to Be Cause of Death--Grand
Jury to Probe=


Annabel L. Poe, of 1834-1/2 3rd
Av., the beautiful young fiancee
of Edmund Allyn Poe, a magazine
writer from the South, was found
dead early this morning on the beach
off E. 8th St.

Poe seemed prostrated and, questioned
by the police, said that one of her aristocratic
relatives had taken her to the
"seashore," but that the cold winds had
given her "flu," from which she never
"rallied."

Detectives at work on the case believe,
they say, that there was a suicide compact
between the Poes and that Poe
also intended to do away with himself.

He refused to leave the spot where the
woman's body had been found.



("Curfew Must Not Ring To-night")

=GIRL, HUMAN BELL-CLAPPER,
SAVES DOOMED LOVER'S LIFE=

=BRAVE ACT Of "BESSIE" SMITH
HALTS CURFEW FROM RINGING
AND MELTS CROMWELL'S
HEART=

(By Cable to _The Courier_)


HUDDERSFIELD, KENT, ENGLAND.--Jan.
15.--Swinging far out
above the city, "Bessie" Smith, the
young and beautiful fiancée of Basil
Underwood, a prisoner incarcerated in
the town jail, saved his life to-night.

The woman went to "Jack" Hemingway,
sexton of the First M. E. Church,
and asked him to refrain from ringing
the curfew bell last night, as Underwood's
execution had been set for the
hour when the bell was to ring. Hemingway
refused, alleging it to be his
duty to ring the bell.

With a quick step Miss Smith bounded
forward, sprang within the old church
door, left the old man threading slowly
paths which previously he had trodden,
and mounted up to the tower. Climbing
the dusty ladder in the dark, she is said
to have whispered:

"Curfew is not to ring this evening."

Seizing the heavy tongue of the bell,
as it was about to move, she swung far
out suspended in mid-air, oscillating,
thus preventing the bell from ringing.
Hemingway's deafness prevented him
from hearing the bell ring, but as he
had been deaf for 20 years, he attributed
no importance to the silence.

As Miss Smith descended, she met
Oliver Cromwell, the well-known lord
protector, who had condemned Underwood
to death. Hearing her story and
noting her hands, bruised and torn, he
said in part: "Go, your lover lives.
Curfew shall not ring this evening."



("The Ballad of the Tempest")

=TOT'S FEW WORDS
KEEP 117 SOULS
FROM DIRE PANIC=

=Babe's Query to Parent Saves Storm-Flayed
Ship's Passengers Crowded
in Cabin=

FEARFUL THING IN WINTER


BOSTON, MASS, Jan. 17--Cheered
by the faith of little
"Jennie" Carpenter, the 7-year-old
daughter of Capt. B. L. Carpenter,
of a steamer whose name could not be
learned, 117 passengers on board were
brought through panic early this morning
while the storm was at its height,
to shore.

George H. Nebich, one of the passengers,
told the following story to a
COURIER reporter:

"About midnight we were crowded in
the cabin, afraid to sleep on account of
the storm. All were praying, as Capt.
Carpenter, staggering down the stairs,
cried: 'We are lost!' It was then that
little 'Jennie,' his daughter, took him
by his hand and asked him whether he
did not believe in divine omnipresence.
All the passengers kissed the little
'girlie' whose faith had so inspirited
us."

The steamer, it was said at the office
of the company owning her, would leave
as usual to-night for Portland.



("Plain Language from Truthful James")

=AH SIN, FAMED TONG MAN,
BESTS BARD AT CARD TILT=

="Celestial" Gambler, Feigning Ignorance
of Euchre, Tricks Francis
Bret Harte and "Bill" Nye
into Heavy Losses--Solons
to Probe Ochre Peril=


SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 3.--Francis
B. Harte and E. W. Nye, a pair of local
magazine writers, lost what is believed
to be a large sum of money in a game
of euchre played near the Bar-M mine
this afternoon.

There had been, Harte alleged, a
three-handed game of euchre participated
in by Nye, a Chinaman named Ah
Sin and himself. The Chinaman, Harte
asserted, did not understand the game,
but, Harte declared, smiled as he sat by
the table with what Harte termed was
a "smile that was childlike and bland."

Harte said that his feelings were
shocked by the chicanery of Nye, but
that the hands held by Ah Sin were
unusual. Nye, maddened by the Chinaman's
trickery, rushed at him, 24 packs
of cards spilling from the tong-man's
long sleeves. On his taper nails was
found some wax.

The "Mongolian," Harte said, is peculiar.

Harte and Nye are thought to have
lost a vast sum of money, as they are
wealthy authors.

The legislature, it is said, will investigate
the question of the menace to
American card-players by the so-called
Yellow peril.



("Excelsior")

=DOG FINDS LAD
DEAD IN DRIFT=

=Unidentified Body of Young Traveler
Found by Faithful Hound Near
Small Alpine Village--White
Mantle His Snowy Shroud=


ST. BERNARD, Sept. 12.--Early
this morning a dog belonging to the St.
Bernard Monastery discovered the body
of a young man, half buried in the
snow.

In his hand was clutched a flag with
the word "Excelsior" printed on it.

It is thought that he passed through
the village last night, bearing the banner,
and that a young woman had offered
him shelter, which he refused,
having answered "Excelsior."

The police are working on the case.



("The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers")

=PILGRIM DADS
LAND ON MASS.
COAST TOWN=

=Intrepid Band of Britons, Seeking
Faith's Pure Shrine, Reach
Rock-Bound Coast, Singing
Amid Storm=


PROVINCETOWN, MASS,
Dec. 21--Poking her nose
through the fog, the ship _Mayflower_,
of Southampton, Jones, Master, limped
into port to-night.

On board were men with hoary hair
and women with fearless eyes, 109 in
all.

Asked why they had made the journey,
they alleged that religious freedom
was the goal they sought here.

The _Mayflower_ carried a cargo of antique
furniture.

Among those on board were William
Bradford, M. Standish, Jno. Alden,
Peregrine White, John Carver and
others.

Steps are being taken to organize a
society of Mayflower Descendants.



("The Bridge Of Sighs")

=KINLESS YOUNG
WOMAN, WEARY,
TAKES OWN LIFE=

=Body of Girl Found in River
Tells Pitiful Story of
Homelessness and Lack of
Charity=


LONDON, March 16.--The body of a
young woman, her garments clinging
like cerements, was found in the river
late this afternoon.

In the entire city she had no home.
There are, according to the police, no
relatives.

The woman was young and slender
and had auburn hair.

No cause has been assigned for the
act.



Song of Synthetic Virility


Oh, some may sing of the surging sea, or chant of the raging main;
Or tell of the taffrail blown away by the raging hurricane.
With an oh, for the feel of the salt sea spray as it stipples the
  guffy's cheek!
And oh, for the sob of the creaking mast and the halyard's aching
  squeak!
And some may sing of the galley-foist, and some of the quadrireme,
And some of the day the xebec came and hit us abaft the beam.
Oh, some may sing of the girl in Kew that died for a sailor's love,
And some may sing of the surging sea, as I may have observed above.

Oh, some may long for the Open Road, or crave for the prairie breeze,
And some, o'ersick of the city's strain, may yearn for the whispering
  trees.
With an oh, for the rain to cool my face, and the wind to blow my hair!
And oh, for the trail to Joyous Garde, where I may find my fair!
And some may love to lie in the field in the stark and silent night,
The glistering dew for a coverlet and the moon and stars for light.
Let others sing of the soughing pines and the winds that rustle and
  roar,
And others long for the Open Road, as I may have remarked before.

Ay, some may sing of the bursting bomb and the screech of a screaming
  shell,
Or tell the tale of the cruel trench on the other side of hell.
And some may talk of the ten-mile hike in the dead of a winter night,
And others chaunt of the doughtie Kyng with mickle valour dight.
And some may long for the song of a child and the lullaby's fairy charm,
And others yearn for the crack of the bat and the wind of the
  pitcher's arm.
Oh, some have longed for this and that, and others have craved and
  yearned;
And they all may sing of whatever they like, as far as I'm concerned.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE COUNTRY LIFE PRESS, GARDEN CITY, NEW YORK



       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes


Original variations in spelling, hyphenation, and punctuation have
been retained.

Bold text is surrounded by =.

Italic text is surrounded by _.

Page 71: The oe in Croesus was originally printed as a ligature.





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