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Title: Poems
Author: Macy, Arthur
Language: English
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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.

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  [Illustration: _Photo. by A. Marshall_
  Arthur Macy.]



  POEMS

  BY ARTHUR MACY

  _With an Introduction by
  WILLIAM ALFRED HOVEY_

  W. B. CLARKE CO.
  BOSTON
  1905


  COPYRIGHT 1905 BY MARY T. MACY

  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED



The Editors of _The Youth's Companion_, _St. Nicholas_, and _The Smart
Set_, The H. B. Stevens Company, The Oliver Ditson Company, and Messrs.
G. Schirmer & Company, have kindly permitted the republication of
several poems in this collection.



INTRODUCTION


Arthur Macy was a Nantucket boy of Quaker extraction. His name alone is
evidence of this, for it is safe to say that a Macy, wherever found in
the United States, is descended from that sturdy old Quaker who was one
of those who bought Nantucket from the Indians, paid them fairly for it,
treated them with justice, and lived on friendly terms with them. In
many ways Arthur Macy showed that he was a Nantucketer and, at least by
descent, a Quaker. He often used phrases peculiar to our island in the
sea, and was given, in conversation at least, to similes which smacked
of salt water. Almost the last time I saw him he said, "I'm coming round
soon for a good long gam."

He was a many-sided man. In his intercourse with a friend like myself he
would show the side which he thought would interest me, and that only.
He was above all things cheery, and, to his praise be it said, he hated
a bore. I remember that a mutual friend was talking baseball to me by
the yard. Arthur was sitting by, listening. It was a subject in which he
was much interested. Nevertheless, turning to our mutual friend, he
said, "Don't talk baseball to _him_. He don't care anything about it, he
don't know anything about it, and he don't want to." On the other hand,
although little given to telling of his war experiences, he was always
ready to talk over the old days with me. Of what he did himself, he
modestly said but little, but of the services of others, more especially
of the men in the ranks, he was generous in his praise.

Early in the war Macy enlisted in Company B, 24th Michigan Volunteer
Infantry. He was twice wounded on the first day at Gettysburg, and
managed to crawl into the town and get as far as the steps of the Court
House, which was fast filling with wounded from both sides. His sense of
humor was in evidence even at such a time. A Confederate officer rode up
and asked, "Have those men in there got arms?" Quick as a flash Macy
answered: "Some of them have and some of them haven't." He remained in
this Court-House hospital, a prisoner within the Confederate lines,
until the battle was over and Lee's army retreated. All wounded
prisoners who could walk were forced to go with them, but Macy's wound
was in the foot, and, fortunately for him, he was spared the horrors of
a Southern prison.

He was on duty later at the Naval Academy Hospital in Annapolis,
presided over by Dr. Vanderkieft, perhaps as efficient a general
hospital administrator as the army had. I knew Dr. Vanderkieft very
well, and was on duty at his hospital when the exchanged prisoners came
back from Andersonville. Although Macy and I never met there, it came
out in our talk that we were there at the same time. He served his full
three years, and was honorably discharged about the close of the war.

It is given to but few to have the keen sense of humor which he
possessed. Quick and keen at repartee, he never practised it save when
worth while. He never said the clearly obvious thing. Failing something
better than that, he held his peace.

Had it not been for his disinclination to publish his verses, he long
ago would have had a national reputation. His reason for this
disinclination, as I gathered from many talks with him, was that he did
not consider his work of sufficiently high _poetic_ standard. Every one
praised his choice of words, his wonderful facility in rhyme, the
perfection of his metre, and the daintiness and delicacy of his verse.
"All right," he would say, "but that is not Poetry with a big P, and
that is the only kind that should be published. And there is mighty
little of it." It is fortunate that this severe judgment, creditable as
it was to him, is not to prevail. Lovers of the beautiful are not to be
robbed of "Sit Closer, Friends," nor of "A Poet's Lesson," and many who
never heard of that remarkable Spanish pachyderm will take delight in
the story of "The Rollicking Mastodon," whose home was "in the trunk of
a Tranquil Tree." The greater part of his verses with which I am
familiar I heard at Papyrus Club dinners. He was an early member, and
one of the most esteemed. He was fairly sure to have something in his
pocket, and the presiding officer never called upon him in vain.

It was so at the Saint Botolph Club, of which he was long a member.
Whenever there was an "occasion" when the need of verse seemed
indicated, Arthur Macy could be counted on. His "Saint Botolph," which
has become the Club song, and will be sung as long as the Club endures,
was written for a Twelfth Night revel at my request. It has a peculiarly
old English flavor. He makes of the Saint, not the jolly friar nor yet
the severe recluse, but just a good, kind old man who "was loved by the
sinners and loved by the good," one who was certain that there must be
sin so long as

  "A few get the loaves and many get the crumbs,
  And some are born fingers and some are born thumbs."

And here we get a glimpse of Arthur Macy's view of life, which was
certainly broad and generous, with a philosophic flavor.

Arthur Macy had a business side of which his Club intimates had but
slight knowledge. He represented, in New England, one of the great
commercial agencies of the country. His knowledge of business men, of
their standing, commercially and financially, was extended and intimate,
and was relied upon by our merchants and others as a basis for giving
credit. His office work required the closest attention to details and
the exercise of the most careful judgment. The whole success of such a
company as that which he represented depends upon the reliability of the
information which it gives. Without this it has no reason for existence.
It was to Arthur Macy that the merchants of Boston largely turned for
information concerning their customers scattered throughout New England,
and it was because of his success in obtaining such information and his
thorough knowledge of the business in all its details that the superior
officers of the company placed such implicit confidence in his judgment
and so high a value upon his advice. And in the conduct of this business
he showed his Quaker straightforwardness. His work was not at all of the
"detective" sort. If information was wanted concerning a man's business
by those who had dealings with him, Macy went directly to the man
himself, and told him that it was for his own best interest to show just
where he stood, and, above all things, to tell the exact truth. Honest
men had the truth told about them, and profited by it. Dishonest men and
secretive men were passed over in severe silence, and their credit
suffered accordingly. Few of those who sought Arthur Macy for business
information ever suspected that they were talking to a poet and man of
letters.

I have not sought to tell Arthur Macy's life story. Neither have I
entered upon any detailed consideration of his verse. It is for the
reader to peruse the pages that follow and draw his own conclusion. I
have merely tried to give a glimpse of the characteristics of one of the
most charming personalities I ever knew.

                                                   WILLIAM ALFRED HOVEY.

  ST. BOTOLPH CLUB,
    _Boston, June 7, 1905_.



CONTENTS


  FRONTISPIECE                                 _Portrait of Arthur Macy_

  INTRODUCTION                                                         v


POEMS

  In Remembrance                                                       1

  The Old Café                                                         4

  At Marliave's                                                        8

  The Passing of the Rose                                              9

  A Valentine                                                         10

  Disenchantment                                                      12

  Constancy                                                           15

  A Poet's Lesson                                                     17

  "Place aux Dames"                                                   19

  All on a Golden Summer Day                                          20

  Prismatic Boston                                                    21

  The Book Hunter                                                     25

  The Three Voices                                                    27

  Easy Knowledge                                                      28

  Susan Scuppernong                                                   29

  The Hatband                                                         30

  The Oyster                                                          31

  Wind and Rain                                                       32

  The Flag                                                            34

  My Masterpiece                                                      36

  A Ballade of Montaigne                                              40

  The Criminal                                                        42

  A Bit of Color                                                      45

  Dinner Favors                                                       48

  The Moper                                                           51

  Various Valentines                                                  54

  Were all the World like You                                         59

  Here and There                                                      60

  Uncle Jogalong                                                      62

  The Indifferent Mariner                                             64

  On a Library Wall                                                   66

  Mrs. Mulligatawny                                                   67

  Euthanasia                                                          70

  Dainty Little Love                                                  71

  To M.                                                               72

  The Song                                                            73

  At Twilight Time                                                    76

  Céleste                                                             78

  Thistle-Down                                                        80

  The Slumber Song                                                    81

  Thou art to Me                                                      82

  Love                                                                83

  The Stranger-Man                                                    84

  The Honeysuckle Vine                                                86

  Saint Botolph                                                       87

  The Gurgling Imps                                                   90

  The Worm will Turn                                                  91

  The Boston Cats                                                     94

  The Jonquil Maid                                                    96

  The Rollicking Mastodon                                             99

  The Five Senses                                                    102

  Economy                                                            103

  Idylettes of the Queen                                             105

  To M. E.                                                           110

  Bon Voyage                                                         111

  The Book of Life                                                   112



POEMS



IN REMEMBRANCE

[W. L. C.]


  Sit closer, friends, around the board!
    Death grants us yet a little time.
  Now let the cheering cup be poured,
    And welcome song and jest and rhyme.
  Enjoy the gifts that fortune sends.
            Sit closer, friends!

  And yet, we pause. With trembling lip
    We strive the fitting phrase to make;
  Remembering our fellowship,
    Lamenting Destiny's mistake.
  We marvel much when Fate offends,
            And claims our friends.

  Companion of our nights of mirth,
    Where all were merry who were wise;
  Does Death quite understand your worth,
    And know the value of his prize?
  I doubt me if he comprehends--
            He knows no friends.

  And in that realm is there no joy
    Of comrades and the jocund sense?
  Can Death so utterly destroy--
    For gladness grant no recompense?
  And can it be that laughter ends
            With absent friends?

  Oh, scholars whom we wisest call,
    Who solve great questions at your ease,
  We ask the simplest of them all,
    And yet you cannot answer these!
  And is it thus your knowledge ends,
            To comfort friends?

  Dear Omar! should You chance to meet
    Our Brother Somewhere in the Gloom,
  Pray give to Him a Message sweet,
    From Brothers in the Tavern Room.
  He will not ask who 'tis that sends,
            For We were Friends.

  Again a parting sail we see;
    Another boat has left the shore.
  A kinder soul on board has she
    Than ever left the land before.
  And as her outward course she bends,
            Sit closer, friends!



THE OLD CAFÉ


  You know,
  Don't you, Joe,
  Those merry evenings long ago?
  You know the room, the narrow stair,
  The wreaths of smoke that circled there,
  The corner table where we sat
  For hours in after-dinner chat,
  And magnified
  Our little world inside.
  You know,
  Don't you, Joe?

  Ah, those nights divine!
  The simple, frugal wine,
  The airs on crude Italian strings,
  The joyous, harmless revelings,
  Just fit for us--or kings!
  At times a quaint and wickered flask
  Of rare Chianti, or from the homelier cask
  Of modest Pilsener a stein or so,
  Amid the merry talk would flow;
  Or red Bordeaux
  From vines that grew where dear Montaigne
  Held his domain.
  And you remember that dark eye,
  None too shy;
  In fact, she seemed a bit too free
  For you and me.
  You know,
  Don't you, Joe?

  Then Pegasus I knew,
  And then I read to you
  My callow rhymes
  So many, many times;
  And something in the place
  Lent them a certain grace,
  Until I scarce believed them mine,
  Under the magic of the wine;
  But now I read them o'er,
  And see grave faults I had not seen before,
  And wonder how
  You could have listened with such placid brow,
  And somehow apprehend
  You sank the critic in the friend.
  You know,
  Don't you, Joe?

  And when we talked of books,
  How learned were our looks!
  And few the bards we could not quote,
  From gay Catullus' lines to Milton's purer note.
  Mayhap we now are wiser men,
  But we knew more than all the scholars then;
  And our conceit
  Was grand, ineffable, complete!
  We know,
  Don't we, Joe?

  Gone are those golden nights
  Of innocent Bohemian delights,
  And we are getting on;
  And anon,
  Years sad and tremulous
  May be in store for us;
  But should we ever meet
  Upon some quiet street,
  And you discover in an old man's eye
  Some transient sparkle of the days gone by,
  Then you will guess, perchance,
  The meaning of the glance;
  You'll know,
  Won't you, Joe?



AT MARLIAVE'S


  At Marliave's when eventide
  Finds rare companions at my side,
    The laughter of each merry guest
    At quaint conceit, or kindly jest,
  Makes golden moments swiftly glide.
  No voice unkind our faults to chide,
  Our smallest virtue magnified;
    And friendly hand to hand is pressed
                          At Marliave's.

  I lay my years and cares aside
  Accepting what the gods provide,
    I ask not for a lot more blest,
    Nor do I crave a sweeter rest
  Than that which comes with eventide
                          At Marliave's.



THE PASSING OF THE ROSE


  A White Rose said, "How fair am I.
  Behold a flower that cannot die!"

  A lover brushed the dew aside,
  And fondly plucked it for his bride.
  "A fitting choice!" the White Rose cried.

  The maiden wore it in her hair;
  The Rose, contented to be there,
  Still proudly boasted, "None so fair!"

  Then close she pressed it to her lips,
  But, weary of companionships,
  The flower within her bosom slips.

  O'ercome by all the beauty there,
  It straight confessed, "Dear maid, I swear
  'Tis you, and you alone, are fair!"

  Turning its humbled head aside,
  The envious Rose, lamenting, died.



A VALENTINE

[FROM A VERY LITTLE BOY TO A VERY LITTLE GIRL]


  This is a valentine for you.
    Mother made it. She's real smart,
  I told her that I loved you true
    And you were my sweetheart.

  And then she smiled, and then she winked,
    And then she said to father,
  "Beginning young!" and then he thinked,
    And then he said, "Well, rather."

  Then mother's eyes began to shine,
  And then she made this valentine:
  "If you love me as I love you,
  No knife shall cut our love in two,"
  And father laughed and said, "How new!"
  And then he said, "It's time for bed."

  So, when I'd said my prayers,
  Mother came running up the stairs
  And told me I might send the rhymes,
  And then she kissed me lots of times.
  Then I turned over to the wall
  And cried about you, and--that's all.



DISENCHANTMENT


  Time and I have fallen out;
  We, who were such steadfast friends.
  So slowly has it come about
  That none may tell when it began;
  Yet sure am I a cunning plan
  Runs through it all;
  And now, beyond recall,
  Our friendship ends,
  And ending, there remains to me
  The memory of disloyalty.

  Long years ago Time tripping came
  With promise grand,
  And sweet assurances of fame;
  And hand in hand
  Through fairy-land
  Went he and I together
  In bright and golden weather.
  Then, then I had not learned to doubt,
  For friends were gods, and faith was sure,
  And words were truth, and deeds were pure,
  Before we had our falling out;
  And life, all hope, was fair to see,
  When Time made promise sweet to me.

  When first my faithless friend grew cold
  I sought to knit a closer bond,
  But he, less fond,
  Sad days and years upon me rolled,
  Pressed me with care,
  With envy tinged the boyhood hair,
  And ploughed unwelcome furrows in
  Where none had been.
  In vain I begged with trembling lip
  For our old sweet companionship,
  And saw, 'mid prayers and tears devout,
  The presage of our falling out.

  And now I know Time has no friends,
  Nor pity lends,
  But touches all
  With heavy finger soon or late;
  And as we wait
  The Reaper's call,
  The sickle's fatal sweep,
  We strive in vain to keep
  One truth inviolate,
  One cherished fancy free from doubt.
  It was not so
  Long years ago,
  Before we had our falling out.

  If Time would come again to me,
  And once more take me by the hand
  For golden walks through fairy-land,
  I could forgive the treachery
  That stole my youth
  And what of truth
  Was mine to know;
  Nor would I more his love misdoubt;
  And I would throw
  My arms around him so,
  That he'd forgive the falling out!



CONSTANCY


  I first saw Phebe when the show'rs
  Had just made brighter all the flow'rs;
          Yet she was fair
          As any there,
  And so I loved her hours and hours.

  Then I met Helen, and her ways
  Set my untutored heart ablaze.
          I loved at sight
          And deemed it right
  To worship her for days and days.

  Yet when I gazed on Clara's cheeks
  And spoke the language Cupid speaks,
          O'er all the rest
          She seemed the best,
  And so I loved her weeks and weeks.

  But last of Love's sweet souvenirs
  Was Delia with her sighs and tears.
          Of her it seemed
          I'd always dreamed,
  And so I loved her years and years.

  But now again with Phebe met,
  I love the first one of the set.
          "Fickle," you say?
          I answer, "Nay,
  My heart is true to one quartette."



A POET'S LESSON


  Poet, my master, come, tell me true,
    And how are your verses made?
  Ah! that is the easiest thing to do:--
  You take a cloud of a silvern hue,
  A tender smile or a sprig of rue,
    With plenty of light and shade,

  And weave them round in syllables rare,
    With a grace and skill divine;
  With the earnest words of a pleading prayer,
  With a cadence caught from a dulcet air,
  A tale of love and a lock of hair,
    Or a bit of a trailing vine.

  Or, delving deep in a mine unwrought,
    You find in the teeming earth
  The golden vein of a noble thought;
  The soul of a statesman still unbought,
  Or a patriot's cry with anguish fraught
    For the land that gave him birth.

  A brilliant youth who has lost his way
    On the winding road of life;
  A sculptor's dream of the plastic clay;
  A painter's soul in a sunset ray;
  The sweetest thing a woman can say,
    Or a struggling nation's strife.

  A boy's ambition; a maiden's star,
    Unrisen, but yet to be;
  A glimmering light that shines afar
  For a sinking ship on a moaning bar;
    An empty sleeve; a veteran's scar;
  Or a land where men are free.

  And if the poet's hand be strong
  To weave the web of a deathless song,
  And if a master guide the pen
  To words that reach the hearts of men,
  And if the ear and the touch be true,
  It's the easiest thing in the world to do!



"PLACE AUX DAMES"

[To M.]


  With brilliant friends surrounding me,
    So cosy at the Club I'm sitting;
  While you at home I seem to see,
    Attending strictly to your knitting.

  When women have their rights, my dear,
    We'll hear no more of wrongs so shocking:--
  You with your friends shall gather here;
    I'll stay at home and darn the stocking!



ALL ON A GOLDEN SUMMER DAY


  All on a golden summer day,
  As through the leaves a single ray
  Of yellow sunshine finds its way
              So bright, so bright;
  The wakened birds that blithely sing
  Seem welcoming another spring;
  While all the woods are murmuring
              So light, so light.

  All on a golden summer day,
  When to my heart a single ray
  Of tender kindness finds its way,
              So bright, so bright;
  Then comes sweet hope and bravely dares
  To break the chain that sorrow wears--
  And all my burdens, all my cares
              Are light, so light!



PRISMATIC BOSTON


  Fair city by the famed Batrachian Pool,
  Wise in the teachings of the Concord School;
  Home of the Eurus, paradise of cranks,
  Stronghold of thrift, proud in your hundred banks;
  Land of the mind-cure and the abstruse book,
  The Monday lecture and the shrinking Cook;
  Where twin-lensed maidens, careless of their shoes,
  In phrase Johnsonian oft express their views;
  Where realistic pens invite the throng
  To mention "spades," lest "shovels" should be wrong;
  Where gaping strangers read the thrilling ode
  To Pilgrim Trousers on the West-End road;
  Where strange sartorial questions as to pants
  Offend our "sisters, cousins, and our aunts;"
  Where men expect by simple faith and prayer
  To lift a lid and find a dollar there;
  Where labyrinthine lanes that sinuous creep
  Make Theseus sigh and Ariadne weep;
  Where clubs gregarious take commercial risks
  'Mid fluctuations of alluring disks;
  Where Beacon Hill is ever proud to show
  Her reeking veins of liquid indigo;
  To thee, fair land, I dedicate my song,
  And tell how simple, artless minds go wrong.

  A Common Councilman, with lordly air,
  One day went strolling down through Copley Square.
  Within his breast there beat a spotless heart;
  His taste was pure, his soul was steeped in art.
  For he had worshiped oft at Cass's shrine,
  Had daily knelt at Cogswell's fount divine,
  And chaste surroundings of the City Hall
  Had taught him much, and so he knew it all.
  Proud, in a sack coat and a high silk hat,
  Content in knowing just "where he was at,"
  He wandered on, till gazing toward the skies,
  A nameless horror met his modest eyes;
  For where the artist's chisel had engrossed
  An emblem fit on Boston's proudest boast,
  There stood aloft, with graceful equipoise,
  Two very small, unexpurgated boys.
  Filled with solicitude for city youth,
  Whose morals suffer when they're told the truth,
  Whose ethic standards high and higher rise,
  When taught that God and nature are but lies,
  In haste he to the council chamber hied,
  His startled fellow-members called aside,
  His fearful secret whispering disclosed,
  Till all their separate joints were ankylosed.
  Appalling was the silence at his tale;
  Democrats turned red, Republicans turned pale.
  What mugwumps turned 'tis difficult to think,
  But probably they compromised on pink.

  When these stern moralists had their breaths regained,
  And told how deeply they were shocked and pained,
  They then resolved how wrong our children are,
  Said, "Boys should be contented with a scar,"
  Rebuked Dame Nature for her deadly sins,
  And damned trustees who foster "Heavenly Twins."

  O Councilmen, if it were left for you
  To say what art is false and what is true,
  What strange anomalies would the world behold!
  Dolls would be angels, dross would count for gold;
  Vice would be virtue, virtues would be taints;
  Gods would be devils, Councilmen be saints;
  And this sage law by your wise minds be built:
  "No boy shall live if born without a kilt."
  Then you'd resolve, to soothe all moral aches,
  "We're always right, but God has made mistakes."



THE BOOK HUNTER


  I've spent all my money in chasing
    For books that are costly and rare;
  I've made myself bankrupt in tracing
    Each prize to its ultimate lair.
  And now I'm a ruined collector,
    Impoverished, ragged, and thin,
  Reduced to a vanishing spectre,
    Because of my prodigal sin.

  How often I've called upon Foley,
    The man who's a friend of the cranks;
  Knows books that are witty or holy,
    And whether they're prizes or blanks.
  For volumes on paper or vellum
    He has a most accurate eye,
  And always is willing to sell 'em
    To dreamers like me who will buy.

  My purse requires fences and hedges,
    Alas! it will never stay shut;
  My coat-sleeves now have deckle edges,
    My hair is unkempt and "uncut."
  My coat is a true first edition,
    And rusty from shoulder to waist;
  My trousers are out of condition,
    Their "colophon" worn and defaced.

  My shoes have been long out of fashion,
    "Crushed leather" they both seem to be;
  My hat is a thing for compassion,
    The kind that is labelled "n. d."
  My vest from its binding is broken,
    It's what the French call a _relique_;
  What I think of it cannot be spoken,
    Its catalogue mark is "unique."

  I'm a book that is thumbed and untidy,
    The only one left of the set;
  I'm sure I was issued on Friday,
    For fate is unkind to me yet.
  My text has been cruelly garbled
    By a destiny harder than flint;
  But I wait for my grave to be "marbled,"
    And then I shall be out of print.



THE THREE VOICES


  There once was a man who asked for pie,
  In a piping voice up high, up high;
  And when he asked for a salmon roe,
  He spoke in a voice down low, down low;
  But when he said he had no choice,
  He always spoke in a medium voice.

  I cannot tell the reason why
  He sometimes spoke up high, up high;
  And why he sometimes spoke down low,
  I do not know, I do not know;
  And why he spoke in the medium way,
  Don't ask me, for I cannot say.



EASY KNOWLEDGE


  How nice 'twould be if knowledge grew
  On bushes, as the berries do!
  Then we could plant our spelling seed,
  And gather all the words we need.
  The sums from off our slates we'd wipe,
  And wait for figures to be ripe,
  And go into the fields, and pick
  Whole bushels of arithmetic;
  Or if we wished to learn Chinese,
  We'd just go out and shake the trees;
  And grammar then, in all the towns,
  Would grow with proper verbs and nouns;
  And in the gardens there would be
  Great bunches of geography;
  And all the passers-by would stop,
  And marvel at the knowledge crop;
  And I my pen would cease to push,
  And pluck my verses from a bush!



SUSAN SCUPPERNONG


  Silly Susan Scuppernong
  Cried so hard and cried so long,
  People asked her what was wrong.

  She replied, "I do not know
  Any reason for my woe--
  I just feel like feeling so."



THE HATBAND


  My hatband goes around my hat,
  And while there's nothing strange in that,
  It seems just like a lazy man
  Who leaves off where he first began.

  But then this fact is always true,
  The band does what it ought to do,
  And is more useful than the man,
  Because it does the best it can.



THE OYSTER


  Two halves of an oyster shell, each a shallow cup;
  Here once lived an oyster before they ate him up.
  Oyster shells are smooth inside; outside very rough;
  Very little room to spare, but he had enough.
  Bedroom, parlor, kitchen, or cellar there was none;
  Just one room in all the house--oysters need but one.
  And he was never troubled by wind or rain or snow,
  For he had a roof above, another one below.
  I wonder if they fried him, or cooked him in a stew,
  And sold him at a fair, and passed him off for two.
  I wonder if the oysters all have names like us,
  And did he have a name like "John" or "Romulus"?
  I wonder if his parents wept to see him go;
  I wonder who can tell; perhaps the mermaids know.
  I wonder if our sleep the most of us would dread,
  If we slept like oysters, a million in a bed!



WIND AND RAIN


  The rain came down on Boston Town,
      And the people said, "Oh, dear!
  It's early yet for our annual wet,--
      'Twas dry this time last year."

  In heavy suits and rubber boots
      They went to the weather man,
  And said, "Dear friend, do you intend
      To change your present plan?"

  In tones of scorn, he said, "Begone!
      I've ordered a week of rain.
  Away! disperse! or I'll do worse,
      And order a hurricane!"

  They sneered, "Oh, oh!" and they laughed, "Ho, ho!"
      And they said, "You surely jest.
  Your threats are vain, for a hurricane
      Is the thing that we like best.

  "Our throats are tinned, and a sharp east wind
      We really couldn't do without;
  But we complain of too much rain,
      And we think we'd like a drought."

  So the weather man took a palm-leaf fan
      And he waved it up on high,
  And he swept away the clouds so gray,
      And the sun shone out in the sky.

  And the sun shines down on Boston Town,
      And the weather still is clear;
  And they set their clocks by the equinox,
      And never the east wind fear.



THE FLAG


  Here comes The Flag!
  Hail it!
  Who dares to drag
  Or trail it?
  Give it hurrahs,--
  Three for the stars,
  Three for the bars.
  Uncover your head to it!
  The soldiers who tread to it
  Shout at the sight of it,
  The justice and right of it,
  The unsullied white of it,
  The blue and red of it,
  And tyranny's dread of it!

  Here comes The Flag!
  Cheer it!
  Valley and crag
  Shall hear it.
  Fathers shall bless it,
  Children caress it.
  All shall maintain it.
  No one shall stain it,
  Cheers for the sailors that fought on the wave for it,
  Cheers for the soldiers that always were brave for it,
  Tears for the men that went down to the grave for it!
  Here comes The Flag!



MY MASTERPIECE


  I wrote the truest, tend'rest song
      The world had ever heard;
  And clear, melodious, and strong,
      And sweet was every word.
  The flowing numbers came to me
      Unbidden from the heart;
  So pure the strain, that poesy
      Seemed something more than art.

  No doubtful cadence marred a line,
      So tunefully it flowed,
  And through the measure, all divine
      The fire of genius glowed.
  So deftly were the verses wrought,
      So fair the legend told,
  That every word revealed a thought,
      And every thought was gold.

  Mine was the charm, the power, the skill,
      The wisdom of the years;
  'Twas mine to move the world at will
      To laughter or to tears.
  For subtile pleasantry was there,
      And brilliant flash of wit;
  Now, pleading eyes were raised in prayer,
      And now with smiles were lit.

  I sang of hours when youth was king,
      And of one happy spot
  Where life and love were everything,
      And time was half forgot.
  Of gracious days in woodland ways,
      When every flower and tree
  Seemed echoing the sweetest phrase
      From lips in Arcadie.

  Of sagas old and Norseman bands
      That sailed o'er northern seas;
  Enchanting tales of fairy lands
      And strange philosophies.
  I sang of Egypt's fairest queen,
      With passion's fatal curse;
  Of that pale, sad-faced Florentine,
      As deathless as his verse.

  Of time of the Arcadian Pan,
      When dryads thronged the trees--
  When Atalanta swiftly ran
      With fleet Hippomenes.
  Brave stories, too, did I relate
      Of battle-flags unfurled;
  Of glorious days when Greece was great--
      When Rome was all the world!

  Of noble deeds for noble creeds,
      Of woman's sacrifice--
  The mother's stricken heart that bleeds
      For souls in Paradise.
  Anon I told a tale of shame,
      And while in tears I slept,
  Behold! a white-robed angel came
      And read the words and wept!

  And so I wrote my perfect song,
      In such a wondrous key,
  I heard the plaudits of the throng,
      And fame awaited me.
  Alas! the sullen morning broke,
      And came the tempest's roar:
  'Mid discord trembling I awoke,
      And lo! my dream was o'er!

  Yet often in the quiet night
      My song returns to me;
  I seize the pen, and fain would write
      My long lost melody.
  But dreaming o'er the words, ere long
      Comes vague remembering,
  And fades away the sweetest song
      That man can ever sing!



A BALLADE OF MONTAIGNE


  I sit before the firelight's glow
    With all the world in apogee,
  And con good Master Florio
    With pipe a-light; and as I see
    Queen Bess herself with book a-knee,
  Reading it o'er and o'er again,
    Here, 'neath my cosy mantel-tree,
  I smoke my pipe and read Montaigne.

  Now howls the wind and drives the snow;
    The traveler shivers on the lea;
  While, with my precious folio,
    Behold a happy devotee
    To book and warmth and reverie!
  The blast upon the window-pane
    Disturbs me not, as trouble-free,
  I smoke my pipe and read Montaigne.

  I am content, and thus I know
    A mind as calm as summer sea,--
  A heart that stranger is to woe.
    To happiness I hold the key
    In this rare, sweet philosophy;
  And while the Fates so fair ordain,
    Well pleased with Destiny's decree,
  I smoke my pipe and read Montaigne.


ENVOY

  Dear Prince! aye, more than prince to me,
    Thou monarch of immortal reign!
  Always thy subject I would be,
    And smoke my pipe and read Montaigne!



THE CRIMINAL


  Crime flourishes throughout the land,
    And bids defiance to the law,
  And wicked deeds on every hand
    O'erwhelm our souls with awe!

  I know one hardened criminal
    Whose maidenhood with crime begins;
  Who, safe behind a prison wall,
    Should expiate her sins.

  She is a thief whene'er she smiles,
    For then she steals my heart from me,
  And keeps it with a maiden's wiles,
    And never sets it free.

  She plunders sighs from humankind,
    She pilfers tears I would not weep,
  She robs me of my peace of mind,
    And she purloins my sleep.

  Of lawless ways she stands confessed,
    And is a burglar bold whene'er
  She finds a weakness in my breast,
    And slyly enters there.

  A gambler she, whose arts entrance,
    Whose victims yield without demur;
  Content to play Love's game of chance
    And lose their hearts to her.

  A graver crime is hers; for, when
    Her matchless beauty I admire,
  Of arson she is guilty then,
    And sets my heart on fire.

  A bandit, preying on mankind,
    Her captives by the score increase;
  No hand can e'er their chains unbind,
    No ransom bring release.

  She is a cruel murderess
    Whene'er her eyes send forth a dart,
  And as she holds me in duress
    It stabs me to the heart.

  Crime flourishes throughout the land,
    And bids defiance to the law,
  And wicked deeds on every hand
    O'erwhelm our souls with awe!



A BIT OF COLOR

[PARIS, 1896]


  Oh, damsel fair at the Porte Maillot,
  With the soft blue eyes that haunt me so,
        Pray what should I do
        When a girl like you
  Bestows her smile, her glance, and her sigh
  On the first fond fool that is passing by,
  Who listens and longs as the sweet words flow
  From her pretty red lips at the Porte Maillot?

  There were lips as red ere you were born,
  Now wreathed in smiles, now curled in scorn,
        And other bright eyes
        With their truth and lies,
  That broke the heart and turned the brain
  Of many a tender, lovelorn swain;
  But never, I ween, brought half the woe
  That comes from the lips at the Porte Maillot.

  A charming picture, there you stand,
  A perfect work from a master's hand!
        With your face so fair
        And your wondrous hair,
  Your glorious color, your light and shade,
  And your classic head that the gods have made,
  Your cheeks with crimson all aglow,
  As you wait for a lover at the Porte Maillot.

  There are gorgeous tints in the jeweled crown,
  There are brilliant shades when the sun goes down;
        But your lips vie
        With the western sky,
  And give to the world so rare a hue
  That the painter must learn his art anew,
  And the sunset borrow a brighter glow
  From the lips of the girl at the Porte Maillot.

  Come, tell me truly, fair-haired youth,
  Do her eyes flash love, her lips speak truth?
        Or does she beguile
        With her glance and smile,
  And burn you, spurn you all day long
  With a Circe's art and a Siren's song?
  Ah! would that your foolish heart might know
  The lie in the heart at the Porte Maillot!



DINNER FAVORS


  TO S.

  I fill my goblet to the brim
  And clink the glasses rim to rim.
  Across the board I waft a kiss
  With thanks for such an hour as this,
  And clasping joy, bid sorrow flee,
  And welcome you my vis-à-vis.


  TO A. R. C.

  Of all the joys on earth that be
  There is no sweeter one to me
  Than sitting with a merry lass
  From consommé to demi-tasse.

  And yet a golden hour I'd steal,
  Reverse the order of the meal,
  And countermarching, backward stray
  From demi-tasse to consommé.


  TO S. B. F.

  Give me but a bit to eat,
      And an hour or two,
  Just a salad and a sweet,
      And a chat with you.
  Give me table full or bare,
      Crust or rich ragout;
  But whatever be the fare,
      Always give me you.


  THE HOST

  Between the two perplexed I go,
  A shuttlecock, tossed to and fro.
  I gaze on one, and know that she
  Is all that womankind can be;
  I seek the other, and she seems
  The perfect idol of my dreams;
  And so between the charming pair
  My heart is ever in the air.
  And yet, although it be my fate
  To hover indeterminate,
  I rest content, nor ask for more
  Than this sweet game of battledore.



THE MOPER


  The Moper mopeth all the day;
      He mopeth eke at night;
  And never is the Moper gay,
  But, grim and serious alway,
      He is a sorry sight.

  He liketh not the merry quip;
      He hateth other men;
  Escheweth he companionship,
  Nor doth he e'er essay to trip
      The light fantastic ten.

  He seeketh not where murm'ring brooks
      With rippling music flow.
  He seeth naught in woman's looks,
  And never readeth he in books
      Except they tell of woe.

  He e'en forgetteth that the sun,
      Likewise God's balmy air,
  Were made to gladden every one;
  But he preferreth both to shun,
      And taketh not his share.

  He careth not for merry wights
      Who drink Château Yquem,
  But he would set the world to rights
  By peopling it with eremites--
      And very few of them.

  When children sport with merry glee,
      He thinketh they are wild,
  And with them doth so disagree
  It seemeth verily that he
      Hath never been a child.

  He thinketh that it is not right
      Rare dishes to discuss,
  And knoweth not the keen delight
  Of one that hath an appetite
      Yclepèd ravenous.

  Of goodly raiment he hath none,
      He calleth it "display;"
  Wherefore the urchin poketh fun,
  Because he looketh like that one
      Unholy men call "jay."

  And so we see this foolish man
      All pleasant things doth scorn.
  Good folk, pray God to change his plan,
  And cheer the Moper if He can,
      Or let no more be born!



VARIOUS VALENTINES


  I

  FROM A BIBLIOPHILE

  Lyke some choise booke thou arte toe mee,
  Bound all so daintilie;
  And 'neath the covers faire
  Are contents true and rare.
  Ne wolde I looke
  Ne reade inne any other booke
  If I belyke could find therein the charte
  And indice to thy hearte.
  The Great Wise Authour made but one
  Of this edition, then was don;
  And were this onlie copie mine,
  Then wolde I write therein, "My Valentyne."


  II

  FROM AN INCONSTANT-CONSTANT

  (_After Henri Murger_)

  Though I love many maidens fair
  As fondly as a heart may dare,
  Yet still are you the only one
  True goddess of my pantheon.

  And though my life is like a song,
  Each maid a stanza, clear and strong,
  Yet always I return again
  To you who are the sweet refrain.


  III

  FROM A COMMERCIAL LOVER

  If I were but a syndicate,
      And love were merchandise,
  I'd buy it at the market rate,
      And hold it for a rise.

  And should the price of all this love
      Bound upward like a ball,
  And reach 1000 or above,
      Still you should have it all.


  IV

  FROM AN UNCERTAIN MARKSMAN

  I send you two kisses
      Wrapped up in a rhyme;
  From Love's warm abysses
  I send you two kisses;
  If one of them misses
      Please wait till next time,
  And I'll send you _three_ kisses
      Wrapped up in a rhyme.


  V

  FROM A CONCHOLOGIST

  Were I a murm'ring ocean shell
      Pressed close against your ear,
  My constant whisperings would tell
      A story sweet to hear.
  I'd make the message from the sea
      Love's tidings on the shore,
  And I would woo with words so true
      That you could ask no more.

  So if some silvern nautilus
      Lay close beside your cheek,
  And you should hear a language dear
      Unto the heart I seek,
  You'll know within the simple shell
      That murmurs o'er and o'er
  I send to you a love more true
      Than e'er was breathed before.


  VI

  FROM A HYPERBOLIST

  Take all the love that e'er was told
      Since first the world began,
  Increase it twenty thousand-fold
      (If mathematics can),
  Add all the love the world shall see
      Till Gabriel's final call,
  And when compared with mine 'twill be
      Infinitesimal.



WERE ALL THE WORLD LIKE YOU


  Were all the world like you, my dear,
      Were all the world like you,
  Oh, there'd be darts in all our hearts
      From sunset to the dew.
  For life would be Love's jubilee
      Where all were two and two,
  And lovers' rhyme the only crime,
      Were all the world like you, my dear,
      Were all the world like you.

  Were all the world like you, my dear,
      Were all the world like you,
  There'd be no pain nor clouds nor rain,
      No kisses overdue;
  But sweetest sighs and pleading eyes,
      Where Cupid's arrow flew,
  And lovers' rhyme the only crime,
      Were all the world like you, my dear,
      Were all the world like you.



HERE AND THERE


  Sweet Phyllis went a-rambling here and there,
              Here and there.
  Her eyes were blue and golden was her hair.
      She said, "Oh, life is strange;
      I'm sure I need a change;
  'Tis sad for _one_ to ramble here and there,
              Here and there."

  Young Strephon went a-rambling here and there,
              Here and there.
  He sighed, "It needs but two to make a pair.
      If I should meet a maid
      Not in the least afraid,
  How happy we'd go rambling here and there,
              Here and there."

  As youth and maid went rambling here and there,
              Here and there,
  They met, and loved at sight, for both were fair;
      And neither youth nor maid
      Was in the least afraid,
  And hand in hand they ramble here and there,
              Here and there.



UNCLE JOGALONG


  My dear old Uncle Jogalong
      Was very slow, was very slow,
  And said he thought that folks were wrong
      To hurry so, to hurry so.

  When he walked out upon the street
      To take the air, to take the air,
  It seemed almost as if his feet
      Were fastened there, were fastened there.

  He thought that traveling by rail
      Was hurrying and scurrying,
  But said the slow and creeping snail
      Was just the thing, was just the thing.

  He thought a hasty appetite
      An awful crime, an awful crime,
  So never finished breakfast, quite,
      Till dinner time, till dinner time.

  He said the world turned round so fast
      He could not stay, he could not stay,
  And so he said "Good-by" at last,
      And went away, and went away.



THE INDIFFERENT MARINER


  I'm a tough old salt, and it's never I care
    A penny which way the wind is,
  Or whether I sight Cape Finisterre,
    Or make a port at the Indies.

  Some folks steer for a port to trade,
    And some steer north for the whaling;
  Yet never I care a damn just where
    I sail, so long's I'm sailing.

  You never can stop the wind when it blows,
    And you can't stop the rain from raining;
  Then why, oh, why, go a-piping of your eye
    When there's no sort o' use in complaining?

  My face is browned and my lungs are sound,
    And my hands they are big and calloused.
  I've a little brown jug I sometimes hug,
    And a little bread and meat for ballast.

  But I keep no log of my daily grog,
    For what's the use o' being bothered?
  I drink a little more when the wind's offshore,
    And most when the wind's from the no'th'ard.

  Of course with a chill if I'm took quite ill,
    And my legs get weak and toddly,
  At the jug I pull, and turn in full,
    And sleep the sleep of the godly.

  But whether I do or whether I don't,
    Or whether the jug's my failing,
  It's never I care a damn just where
    I sail, so long's I'm sailing.



ON A LIBRARY WALL


  When faltering fingers bid me cease to write,
  And, laying down the pen, I seek the Night,
  May those, to whom the Daylight still is sweet,
  With loving lips my name ofttimes repeat.
  And should Belshazzar's spirit hither stray,
  And linger o'er the lines I write to-day,
  May he, who wept for Babylonia's fall,
  Look kindly at _this_ "writing on the wall"!



MRS. MULLIGATAWNY


  Mrs. Mulligatawny said, "I'm sure it's going to rain."
  Mr. Mulligatawny said, "To me it's very plain."
  William Mulligatawny said, "It must rain, anyhow."
  Mary Mulligatawny said, "I feel it raining now."
    And yet there were no clouds in sight, and 'twas a pleasant day,
    But Mrs. Mulligatawny always liked to have her way.
    With Mrs. Mulligatawny the family all agreed,
    For all the Mulligatawnys feared her very much indeed,
          And did, whenever they were bid,
          As Mrs. Mulligatawny did,
          And tried to think, as they were taught,
          As Mrs. Mulligatawny thought.

  Mrs. Mulligatawny said, "Now two and two are three."
  Mr. Mulligatawny said, "I'm sure they ought to be."
  William Mulligatawny said, "Arithmetic is wrong."
  Mary Mulligatawny said, "It's been so all along."
    Now two and two do not make three, and three they never were;
    But Mrs. Mulligatawny said 'twas near enough for her.
    With Mrs. Mulligatawny the family all agreed,
    For all the Mulligatawnys feared her very much indeed,
          And did, whenever they were bid,
          As Mrs. Mulligatawny did,
          And tried to think, as they were taught,
          As Mrs. Mulligatawny thought.

  Mrs. Mulligatawny fell out of the world one day.
  Mr. Mulligatawny said, "I don't know what to say."
  William Mulligatawny said, "I don't know what to do."
  Mary Mulligatawny said, "I feel the same as you."
    Mrs. Mulligatawny left the family sitting there.
    They couldn't think, they couldn't move, because they didn't dare;
    For Mrs. Mulligatawny had always thought for them,
    And all the Mulligatawnys thought the same as Mrs. M.,
              And did, whenever they were bid,
              As Mrs. Mulligatawny did,
              And tried to think, as they were taught,
              As Mrs. Mulligatawny thought.



EUTHANASIA

[To E. C.]


  Oh, drop your eyelids down, my lady;
    Oh, drop your eyelids down.
  'Twere well to keep your bright eyes shady
    For pity of the town!
  But should there any glances be,
  I pray you give them all to me;
  For though my life be lost thereby,
  It were the sweetest death to die!



DAINTY LITTLE LOVE


  Dainty little Love came tripping
      Down the hill,
  Smiling as he thought of sipping
      Sweets at will.
        SHE said, "No,
        Love must go."
  Dainty little Love came tripping
      Down the hill.

  Dainty little Love went sighing
      Up the hill,
  All his little hopes were dying--
      Love was ill.
        Vain he tried
        Tears to hide.
  Dainty little Love went sighing
      Up the hill.



TO M.


  Sweet visions came to me in sleep,
      Ah! wondrous fair to see;
  And in my mind I strove to keep
      The dream to tell to thee.

  But morning broke with golden gleam,
      And shone upon thy face,
  And life was lovelier than a dream,
      And dreams had lost their grace.



THE SONG


  I heard an old, familiar air
      Strummed idly by a careless hand,
  Yet in the melody were rare,
      Sweet echoings from childhood land.

  The well-remembered mother touch,
      The wise denials and consents,
  The trivial sorrows that were much,
      Small pleasures that were large events;

  The fancies, dreams, strange wonderings,
      The daily problems unexplained,
  Momentous as the cares of kings
      That on unhappy thrones have reigned,

  Came back with each unstudied tone;
      And came that song remembered best,
  Which, with a sweetness all its own,
      Once lulled the play-worn child to rest.

  And there, secure as Tarik's height,
      He slumbered, shielded from alarms,
  Safe from the mystery of night,
      Close folded in the mother's arms.

  Then Israel's mighty songs of old,
      And all the modern masters' art,
  Were less than simple lays that told
      The secret of the mother's heart.

  The sweetest melody that flows
      From lips that win the world's applause
  Charms not like that which childhood knows,
      Unfettered by the curb of laws.

  For though we rise to nobler themes,
      To grander harmonies attain,
  Their lives not in the academes
      The magic of the simpler strain.

  And we may spurn the cruder song,
      Or name it anything we will,
  Denounce the artifice as wrong,
      Yet to the child 'tis music still.

  Thus, list'ning to an idle air,
      Struck lightly by a careless hand,
  I heard, amid the cadence there,
      The sweetest song of childhood land.



AT TWILIGHT TIME


  At twilight time when tolls the chime,
      And saddest notes are falling,
  A lonely bird with plaintive word
      Across the dusk is calling.
  Vain doth it wait for one dear mate,
      That ne'er shall know the morrow;
  Then sinks to rest with drooping crest
      In one long dream of sorrow.

  Dearest, when night is here,
      To thee I'm calling,
  Sadly as tear on tear
      Is slowly falling,
  Oh, fold me near, more near--
      In love enthralling!
  Here on thy breast,
      While life shall last,
  With thee I stay.
      Here will I rest
  Till night is past,
      And comes the day!



CÉLESTE


  Of sweethearts I have had a score,
    And time may bring as many more;
  Tho' I remember all the rest,
    Just now I worship dear Céleste;
  Hers may not be the greatest love,
    But ah! it is the latest love.

        For little Cupid's never stupid,
          As I've found out;
        And love is truest when 'tis newest,
          Beyond a doubt, beyond a doubt.

  Of sweethearts I have had a score,
    Céleste says I deserve no more;
  I take revenge on dear Céleste,
    By telling her I love her best;
  Hers may not be the greatest love,
    But ah! it is the latest love.

        For little Cupid's never stupid,
          As I've found out;
        And love is truest when 'tis newest,
          Beyond a doubt, beyond a doubt.



THISTLE-DOWN


  The thistle-down floats on the air, the air,
    Whenever the soft wind blows,
  And the wind can tell just where, just where
    The feathery thistle-down goes.
  And it tells the bird in a single word,
    Who whispers it low to the bee;
  And they try to keep the mystery deep,
    And none of them tell it to me.
  But I know well, though they never will tell,
  Where the thistle-down goes when it says "Farewell,"
  It floats and floats away on the air,
  And goes where the wind goes--everywhere!



SLUMBER SONG


  Gently fall the shadows gray,
    Daylight softly veiling;
  Now to Dreamland we'll away,
    Sailing, sailing, sailing.

  Little eyes were made for sleeping,
    Little heads were made for rest,
  Golden locks were made for keeping
    Close to mother's breast;
  Little hands were made for folding,
    Little lips should never sigh;
  What dear mother's arms are holding,
    Love alone can buy.

  Gently fall the shadows gray,
    Daylight softly veiling;
  Now to Dreamland we'll away,
    Sailing, sailing, sailing.



THOU ART TO ME


      Thou art to me
  As are soft breezes to a summer sea;
    As stars unto the night;
    Or when the day is born,
    As sunrise to the morn;
  As peace unto the fading of the light.

      Thou art to me
  As one sweet flower upon a barren lea;
    As rest to toiling hands;
  As one clear spring amid the desert sands;
    As smiles to maidens' lips;
  As hope to friends that wait for absent ships;
    As happiness to youth;
    As purity to truth;
    As sweetest dreams to sleep;
  As balm to wounded hearts that weep.
  All, all that I would have thee be
      Thou art to me.



LOVE

[TRIO]


  Oh, love hits all humanity, humanity, my dear;
  But after all it's vanity, a vanity, I fear;
  And sometimes 'tis insanity, insanity, so queer;
    Humanity, yes, a vanity, yes, insanity so queer.
  And love is often curious, so curious to see,
  And oftentimes is spurious, so spurious, ah, me!
  And surely 'tis injurious, injurious when free,
    So curious, yes, and spurious, yes, injurious when free.

  Oh, love brings much anxiety, anxiety and grief,
  But seasoned with propriety, propriety, relief,
  It's mixed with joy and piety, but piety is brief;
    Anxiety, yes, propriety, yes, but piety is brief.
  Oh, young love's all timidity, timidity, I'm told,
  Gains courage with rapidity, rapidity, so bold,
  With traces of acidity, acidity, when old;
    Timidity, yes, rapidity, yes, acidity, when old.



THE STRANGER-MAN


  "Now what is that, my daughter dear, upon thy cheek so fair?"
  "'Tis but a kiss, my mother dear--kind fortune sent it there.
  It was a courteous stranger-man that gave it unto me,
  And it is passing red because it was the last of three."

  "A kiss indeed! my daughter dear; I marvel in surprise!
  Such conduct with a stranger-man I fear me was not wise."
  "Methought the same, my mother dear, and so at three forbore,
  Although the courteous stranger-man vowed he had many more."

  "Now prithee, daughter, quickly go, and bring the stranger here,
  And bid him hie and bid him fly to me, my daughter dear;
  For times be very, very hard, and blessings eke so rare,
  I fain would meet a stranger-man that hath a kiss to spare."



THE HONEYSUCKLE VINE


  'Twas a tender little honeysuckle vine
  That smiled and danced in the warm sunshine,
  And spied a maid as fair as all maids be,
  Who said, "Little honeysuckle, come up to me."
  So it climbed and climbed in the sun and the shade,
  And all summer long at her window stayed;
  For that is the way that honeysuckles go,
  And that is the way that true loves grow.

  Then the loving little honeysuckle vine
  Kissed the little maid in the warm sunshine;
  But the winter came with an angry frown,
  And the false little maid shut the window down;
  And the sorrowing vine on the wintry side
  Mourned and mourned for the love that died,
  And faded away in the wind and snow,--
  And that is the way that some loves go.



SAINT BOTOLPH


  Saint Botolph flourished in the olden time,
  In the days when the saints were in their prime.
  Oh, his feet were bare and bruised and cold,
  But his heart was warm and as pure as gold.
  And the kind old saint with his gown and his hood
  Was loved by the sinners and loved by the good,
  For he made the sinners as pure as the snow,
  And the good men needed him to keep them so.

  CHORUS

    Then drink, brave gentlemen, drink with me
    To the Lincolnshire saint by the old North Sea.
    A glass and a toast and a song and a rhyme
    To the barefooted saint of the olden time.


  He loved a friend and a flagon of wine,
  When the friend was true and the bottle was fine.
  He would raise his glass with a knowing wink,
  And this was the toast he would always drink:--

  "Oh, here's to the good and the bad men too,
  For without them saints would have nothing to do.
  Oh, I love them both and I love them well,
  But which I love better, I never can tell."

  CHORUS

    Then drink, brave gentlemen, drink with me
    To the Lincolnshire saint by the old North Sea.
    A glass and a toast and a song and a rhyme
    To the barefooted saint of the olden time.


  As he journeyed along on the king's highway
  He gave all the boys and the girls "Good-day,"
  And never a child saw the hood and gown
  But ran to the father of Botolph's Town.
  He'd a word for the wicked, and he called them kin,
  And he said, "I am certain that there must be sin
  While a few get the loaves and many get the crumbs,
  And some are born fingers and some born thumbs."

  CHORUS

    Then drink, brave gentlemen, drink with me
    To the Lincolnshire saint by the old North Sea.
    A glass and a toast and a song and a rhyme
    To the barefooted saint of the olden time.

  But the saint grew old, and sorry the day
  When his life went out with the tide in the bay;
  But he left a name and he left a creed
  Of the cheerful life and the kindly deed.
  Then remember the man of the days of old
  Whose heart was warm and as pure as gold,
  And remember the tears and the prayers he gave
  For any poor devil with a soul to save.

  CHORUS

    Then drink, brave gentlemen, drink with me
    To the Lincolnshire saint by the old North Sea.
    A glass and a toast and a song and a rhyme
    To the barefooted saint of the olden time.



THE GURGLING IMPS


  The Gurgling Imps of Mummery Mum
  Lived in the Land of the Crimson Plum,
  And a language very strange had they,
  'Twas merely a chattering ricochet.

  The Gurgling Imps of Mummery Mum
  Caught hummingbirds for the sake of the hum,
  Their cheeks were flushed with a sable tinge,
  Their eyelids hung on a silver hinge.

  The Gurgling Imps of Mummery Mum
  Called each other "My charming chum,"
  And floated in tears of joy to see
  Their relatives hung in a cranberry tree.

  The Gurgling Imps of Mummery Mum
  Stole the whole of a half of a crumb,
  And a wind arose and blew the Imps
  Way off to the Land of the Lazy Limps.



THE WORM WILL TURN


  I'm a gentle, meek, and patient human worm;
                  Unattractive,
                  Rather active,
  With a sense of right, original but firm.
              I was taught to be forgiving,
                For my enemies to pray;
              But what's the use of living
                If you never can repay
  All the little animosities that in your bosom burn--
  Oh, it's pleasant to remember that "the worm will turn."

  I'm so gentle and so patient and so meek,
                  Unpretending,
                  Unoffending.
  But if, perchance, you smite me on the cheek,
              I will never turn the other,
                As I was taught to do
              By a puritanic mother,
                Whose theology was blue.
  Your experience will widen when explicitly you learn
  How a modest, mild, submissive little worm will turn.

  I'm so subtle and so crafty and so sly.
                  I am humble,
                  But I "tumble"
  To the slightest oscillation of the eye.
              When others think they're winning
                A fabulous amount,
              Then I do a little sinning
                On my personal account,
  And in my quiet, simple way a modest stipend earn
  As they slowly grasp the bitter fact that worms will turn.

  Oh, human worms are curious little things;
                  Inoffensive,
                  Rather pensive
  Till it comes to using little human stings.
              Oh, then avoid intrusion
                If you would be discreet,
              And cultivate seclusion
                In an underground retreat.
  And whenever you are tempted the lowly worm to spurn,
  Just bear in mind that little line, "The worm will turn."



THE BOSTON CATS


  A Little Cat played on a silver flute,
    And a Big Cat sat and listened;
  The Little Cat's strains gave the Big Cat pains,
    And a tear on his eyelid glistened.

  Then the Big Cat said, "Oh, rest awhile;"
    But the Little Cat said, "No, no;
  For I get pay for the tunes I play;"
    And the Big Cat answered, "Oh!

  If you get pay for the tunes you play,
    I'm afraid you'll play till you drop;
  You'll spoil your health in the race for wealth,
    So I'll give you more to stop."

  Said the Little Cat, "Hush! you make me blush;
    Your offer is unusually kind;
  Though it's very, very hard to leave the back yard,
    I'll accept if you don't mind."

  So the Big Cat gave him a thousand pounds
    And a silver brush and a comb,
  And a country seat on Beacon Street,
    Right under the State House dome.

  And the Little Cat sits with other little kits,
    And watches the bright sun rise;
  And the voice of the flute is long since mute,
    And the Big Cat dries his eyes.



THE JONQUIL MAID


  A little Maid sat in a Jonquil Tree,
              Singing alone,
              In a low love-tone,
  And the wind swept by with a wistful moan;
          For he longed to stay
          With the Maid all day;
              But he knew
              As he blew
              It was true
              That the dew
          Would never, never dry
          If the wind should die;
  So he hurried away where the rosebuds grew.
  And while to the Land of the Rose went he,
              Singing alone,
              In a low love-tone,
  A Little Maid sat in a Jonquil Tree.

  The Little Maid's eyes had a rainbow hue,
          And her sunset hair
          Was woven with care
  In a knot that was fit for a Psyche to wear;
          And she pressed her lips
          With her finger tips,
              Threw a sly
              Kiss to try
              If he'd sigh
              In reply,
          And said with a laugh,
          "Oh, it's not one half
  As sweet as I give when there's Some One nigh."
  And while to the Rosebud Land went he,
              Singing alone,
              In a low love-tone,
  A Little Maid sat in a Jonquil Tree.

  The wind swept back to the Jonquil Tree
          At the close of day,
          In the twilight gray;
  But the sweet Little Maid had stolen away;
          And whither she's flown
          Will never be known
              Till the Rose
              As it blows
              Shall disclose
              All it knows
          Of the Maid so fair
          With the sunset hair.
  And the sad wind comes and sighs and goes,
  And dreams of the day when he blew so free,
          When singing alone,
          In a low love-tone,
  A Little Maid sat in a Jonquil Tree.



THE ROLLICKING MASTODON


  A Rollicking Mastodon lived in Spain,
      In the trunk of a Tranquil Tree.
  His face was plain, but his jocular vein
      Was a burst of the wildest glee.
  His voice was strong and his laugh so long
      That people came many a mile,
  And offered to pay a guinea a day
      For the fractional part of a smile.
          The Rollicking Mastodon's laugh was wide--
          Indeed, 'twas a matter of family pride;
          And oh! so proud of his jocular vein
          Was the Rollicking Mastodon over in Spain.

  The Rollicking Mastodon said one day,
      "I feel that I need some air,
  For a little ozone's a tonic for bones,
      As well as a gloss for the hair."
  So he skipped along and warbled a song
      In his own triumphulant way.
  His smile was bright and his skip was light
      As he chirruped his roundelay.
          The Rollicking Mastodon tripped along,
          And sang what Mastodons call a song;
          But every note of it seemed to pain
          The Rollicking Mastodon over in Spain.

  A Little Peetookle came over the hill,
      Dressed up in a bollitant coat;
  And he said, "You need some harroway seed,
      And a little advice for your throat."
  The Mastodon smiled and said, "My child,
      There's a chance for your taste to grow.
  If you polish your mind, you'll certainly find
      How little, how little you know."
          The Little Peetookle, his teeth he ground
          At the Mastodon's singular sense of sound;
          For he felt it a sort of musical stain
          On the Rollicking Mastodon over in Spain.

  "Alas! and alas! has it come to this pass?"
      Said the Little Peetookle: "Dear me!
  It certainly seems your horrible screams
      Intended for music must be."
  The Mastodon stopped; his ditty he dropped,
      And murmured, "Good-morning, my dear!
  I never will sing to a sensitive thing
      That shatters a song with a sneer!"
          The Rollicking Mastodon bade him "adieu."
          Of course, 'twas a sensible thing to do;
          For Little Peetookle is spared the strain
          Of the Rollicking Mastodon over in Spain.



THE FIVE SENSES


  Oh, why do men their glasses clink
  When good old honest wine they drink?

  Wine is so excellent a thing
  To lowest subject, or to highest king,
  That every sense alike should share
  The pleasure that can banish care.
  Thus may each merry eye _behold_
  The sparkle of the red or gold.
  Our lips may _feel_ the goblet's edge
  And _taste_ the loving cup we pledge.
  While from each foaming glass escape
  The precious _perfumes_ of the grape.
  But ah, we _hear_ it not, and so
  We give the _touch_ that all men know.
  And thus do all the senses share
  The pleasure that can banish care.

  And that is why the glasses clink
  When good old honest wine we drink.



ECONOMY

[A VALENTINE]


  I send,
  O sweetest friend,
  A kiss;
  Such as fair ladies gave
  Of old, when knights were brave,
  And smiles were won
  Through foes undone.
  And this will be
  For you to give again to me;
  And then, its present errand o'er,
  I'll give it unto you once more,
  Ere briefest time elapse,
  With interest, perhaps.
  Its mission spent,
  Again to me it may be lent.
  And thus, day after day,
  As we a simple law obey,
  Forever, to and fro,
  The selfsame kiss will go;
  A busy shuttle that shall weave
  A web of love, to soften and relieve
  Our daily care.
  And so,
  As thus we share,
  With lip to lip,
  Our frugal partnership,
  One kiss will always do
  For two.
  And, oh, how easy it will be
  To practice this economy!



IDYLETTES OF THE QUEEN


  I.--SHE

  I fain would write on pleasant themes;
      So let me prate
      Awhile of Kate;
  And if my rhyming effort seems
      Uncouth or rough,
        At any rate,
        She's Kate,
      And that's enough.


  II.--HER EYES

  Her eyes are bright--
    I cannot say "like stars at night,"
      Nor can I say
    "Like the Orb of Day,"
  Because such phrases are archaic.
    And if I swear
    That they compare
    With diamonds rare,
  That's too prosaic.

  I've hunted my thesaurus through,
  "The Century" and "Webster," too,
    But all in vain;
    'Tis therefore plain
  That they who made these books so wise
  Had never seen her eyes!


  III.--HER GOWN

  When Kate puts on her Sunday gown
    And goes to church all in her best,
  The watchful gargoyles looking down
  Relax their most forbidding frown,
    And smile with kindly interest.

  Discerning gargoyles! could I be
    One of your number looking down,
  With you I surely would agree
  And share your amiability
    At sight of Kate and Sunday gown.


  IV.--HER KNOWLEDGE

  How much she knows no one can tell;
  But she can read and write and spell,
    Divide and multiply and add,
    And name the apples Thomas had
  When John enticed him five to sell.

  For "jelly" she does not say "jell,"
  Nor horrify us with "umbrell,"
    For all of which we're very glad--
      How much she knows!

  She knows the oyster by his shell,
  Detects the newsboy by his yell,
    Enumerates the bones in shad,
    And thinks my poetry is bad.
  Well! well! well! well! well! well! well! well!
      How much she knows!


  V.--HER SIGH

  When she utters a sigh
    'Tis a breath from the roses,
  And a-hovering nigh,
  When she utters a sigh,
  The bees wonder why
    No garden discloses.
  When she utters a sigh
   'Tis a breath from the roses.


  VI.--HER RING

  Her ring goes round her finger.
    Oh, foolish thing!
    Were I a ring,
  I'd not "go round"--I'd linger!


  VII.--HER FAULTS

  Of faults she has but one,
  And that is, she has none.


  VIII.--HER VOICE

  Sweet and soothing, rhythmic, tuneful,
  Dulcet, mellow, _un_bassoonful,
        Zither, 'cello, lute, guitar,
        And there you are!


  IX.--HER LOVE

  Do you love me?
  R. S. V. P.



TO M. E.


  We keep in step as years roll by;
    You march behind and I before:--
  The path is new to you; but I
    Have passed the ground you're walking o'er.
  Yet I march on with measured tread,
    And looking back, I smile and greet you:--
  I fear the order, "Halt!" Instead,
    Would I might countermarch and meet you.



BON VOYAGE

[TO O. R.]


  Out from the Land of the Future, into the Land of the Past
  A comrade sails to the East, the sport of the wave and the blast.
  Oh, billow and breeze, be kind, and temper your strength to your guest,
  Kind for the sake of the friend,--for the sake of the hands he pressed.

  Oh, tenderest billow and breeze, welcome him even as we
  Would welcome if you were the friend and we were the wind and the sea!
  Welcome, protect him, and waft him westward and homeward at last
  Into the Land of the Future, out from the Land of the Past!



THE BOOK OF LIFE


  Whoso his book of life doth con
  From title-leaf to colophon
  May read, if he but wrongly look,
  Some sorry pages in his book.

  But if he read aright each line,
  Interpreting the scheme divine,
  'Twill be most fair to look upon
  From title-leaf to colophon.



  The Riverside Press

  _Electrotyped and printed by H. O. Houghton & Co._
  _Cambridge, Mass., U. S. A._



TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES:

  Text in italics is surrounded with underscores: _italics_.





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