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Title: Saint Abe snd His Seven Wives - A Tale of Salt Lake City, With A Bibliographical Note
Author: Buchanan, Robert W.
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.

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_A Tale of Salt Lake City_

With A Bibliographical Note

By Robert Buchanan

_First Cheap Edition_




                   Maypole dance and Whitsun ale,

                   Sports of peasants in the dale,

                   Harvest mirth and junketting,

                   Fireside play and kiss-in-ring,

                   Ancient fun and wit and ease, --

                   Gone are one and all of these;

                   All the pleasant pastime planned

                   In the green old Mother-land:

                   Gone are these and gone the time

                   Of the breezy English rhyme,

                   Sung to make men glad and wise

                   By great Bards with twinkling eyes:

                   Gone the tale and gone the song

                   Sound as nut-brown ale and strong,

                   Freshening the sultry sense

                   Out of idle impotence,

                   Sowing features dull or bright

                   With deep dimples of delight!

                   Thro' the Motherland I went

                   Seeking these, half indolent:

                   Up and down, saw them not:

                   Only found them, half forgot.

                   Buried in long-darken'd nooks

                   With thy barrels of old books,

                   Where the light and love and mirth

                   Of the morning days of earth

                   Sleeps, like light of sunken suns

                   Brooding deep in cob-webb'd tuns!

                   Everywhere I found instead,

                   Hanging her dejected head,

                   Barbing shafts of bitter wit,

                   The pale Modern Spirit sit--

                   While her shadow, great as Gog's

                   Cast upon the island fogs,

                   In the midst of all things dim

                   Loom'd, gigantically grim.

                   Honest Chaucer, thee I greet

                   In a verse with blithesomefeet.

                   And ino' modern bards may stare,

                   Crack a passing joke with Care!

                   Take a merry song and true

                   Fraught with inner meanings too!

                   Goodman Dull may croak and scowl:--

                   Leave him hooting to the owl!

                   Tight-laced Prudery may turn

                   Angry back with eyes that burn,

                   Reading on from page to page

                   Scrofulous novels of the age!

                   Fools may frown and humbugs rail,

                   Not for them I tell the Tale;

                   Not for them,, but souls like thee.

                   Wise old English Jollity!

                   Newport, October,  1872


               Art thou unto a helpmate bound?

               Then stick to her, my brother!

               But hast thou laid her in the ground?

               Don't go to seek another!

               Thou hast not sin'd, if thou hast wed,

               Like many of our number,

               But thou hast spread a thorny bed,

               And there alas! must slumber!

               St. Paul, Cor. I., 7, 27-28.

               O let thy fount of love be blest

               And let thy wife rejoice,

               Contented rest upon her breast

               And listen to her voice;

               Yea, be not ravish'd from her side

               Whom thou at first has chosen,

               Nor having tried one earthly bride

               Go sighing for a Dozen!

               Sol. Prov. V., 18-20.



               "Grrr!" shrieked the boss, with teeth clench'd


               Just as the lone ranche hove in sight,

               And with a face of ghastly hue

               He flogg'd the horses till they flew,

               As if the devil were at their back,

               Along the wild and stony track.

               From side to side the waggon swung,

               While to the quaking seat I clung.

               Dogs bark'd; on each side of the pass

               The cattle grazing on the grass

               Raised heads and stared; and with a cry

               Out the men rush'd as we roll'd by.

               "Grrr!" shriek'd the boss; and o'er and o'er

               He flogg'd the foaming steeds and swore;

               Harder and harder grew his face

               As by the rançhe we swept apace,

               And faced the hill, and past the pond,

               And gallop'd up the height beyond,

               Nor tighten'd rein till field and farm

               Were hidden by the mountain's arm

               A mile behind; when, hot and spent,

               The horses paused on the ascent,

               And mopping from his brow the sweat.

               The boy glanced round with teeth still set,

               And panting, with his eyes on me,

               Smil'd with a look of savage glee.

               Joe Wilson is the boss's name,

               A Western boy well known to fame.

               He goes about the dangerous land

               His life for ever in his hand;

               Has lost three fingers in a fray,

               Has scalp'd his Indian too they say;

               Between the white man and the red

               Four times he hath been left for dead;

               Can drink, and swear, and laugh, and brawl,

               And keeps his big heart thro' it all

               Tender for babes and women.


               Turned, smiled, and nodded savagely;

               Then, with a dark look in his eyes

               In answer to my dumb surprise,

               Pointed with jerk of the whip's heft

               Back to the place that we had left,

               And cried aloud,

                   "I guess you think

               I'm mad, or vicious, or in drink.

               But theer you're wrong. I never pass

               The ranche down theer and bit of grass,

               I never pass 'em, night nor day,

               But the fit takes me jest that way!

               The hosses know as well as me

               What's coming, miles afore we see

               The dem'd old corner of a place,

               And they git ready for the race!

               Lord! if I _didn't_ lash and sweer,

               And ease my rage out passing theer,

               Guess I should go clean mad, that's all.

               And thet's the reason why I call

               This turn of road where I am took

               Jest Old Nick's Gallop!"

                        Then his look

               Grew more subdued yet darker still;

               And as the horses up the hill

               With loosen'd rein toil'd slowly, he

               Went on in half soliloquy,

               Indifferent almost if I heard,

               And grimly grinding out each word.


               "There was a time, and no mistake,

               When thet same ranche down in the brake

               Was pleasanter a heap to me

               Than any sight on land or sea.

               The hosses knew it like their master,

               Smelt it miles orf, and spank'd the faster!

               Ay, bent to reach thet very spot,

               Flew till they halted steaming hot

               Sharp opposite the door, among

               The chicks and children old and young;

               And down I'd jump, and all the go

               Was 'Fortune, boss!' and 'Welcome, Joe!'

               And Cissy with her shining face,

               Tho' she was missus of the place,

               Stood larfing, hands upon her hips;

               And when upon her rosy lips

               I put my mouth and gave her one,

               She'd cuff me, and enjy the fun!

               She was a widow young and tight,

               Her chap had died in a free fight,

               And here she lived, and round her had

               Two chicks, three brothers, and her dad,

               All making money fast as hay,

               And doing better every day.

               Waal! guess tho' I was peart and swift,

               Spooning was never much my gift;

               But Cissy was a gal so sweet,

               So fresh, so spicy, and so neat,

               It put your wits all out o' place,

               Only to star' into her face.

               Skin whiter than a new-laid egg,

               Lips full of juice, and sech a leg!

               A smell about her, morn and e'en,

               Like fresh-bleach'd linen on a green;

               And from her hand when she took mine,

               The warmth ran up like sherry wine;

               And if in liquor I made free

               To pull her larfing on my knee,

               Why, there she'd sit, and feel so nice,

               Her heer all scent, her breath all spice!

               See! women hate, both young and old,

               A chap that's over shy and cold,

               And fire of all sorts kitches quick,

               And Cissy seem'd to feel full slick

               The same fond feelings, and at last

               Grew kinder every time I passed;

               And all her face, from eyes to chin,

               Said *'Bravo, Joe! You're safe to win!'

               And tho' we didn't fix, d'ye see,

               In downright _words_ that it should be,

               Ciss and her fam'ly understood

               That she and me would jine for good.

               Guess I was like a thirsty hoss

               Dead beat for days, who comes across

               A fresh clear beck, and on the brink

               Scoops out his shaky hand to drink;

               Or like a gal or boy of three,

               With eyes upon a pippin-tree;

               Or like some Injin cuss who sees

               A bottle of rum among the trees,

               And by the bit of smouldering log,

               Where squatters camp'd and took their grog

               The night afore. Waal!" (here he ground

               His teeth again with savage sound)

               "Waal, stranger, fancy, jest for fun,

               The feelings of the thirsty one,

               If, jest as he scoop'd out his hand,

               The water turn'd to dust and sand!

               Or fancy how the lad would scream

               To see thet fruit-tree jest a dream!

               Or guess how thet poor Injin cuss,

               Would dance and swear, and screech and fuss,

               If when he'd drawn the cork and tried

               To get a gulp of rum inside,

               'Twarn't anything in thet theer style,

               But physic stuff or stinking ile!

               Ah! you've a notion now, I guess,

               Of how all ended in a mess,

               And how when I was putting in

               My biggest card and thought to win,

               The Old One taught her how to cheat,

               And yer I found myself, clean beat!"


               Joe Wilson paused, and gazed straight down,

               With gritting teeth and bitter frown,

               And not till I entreated him

               Did he continue,--fierce and grim,

               With knitted brow and teeth clench'd tight.

               "Along this way one summer night,

               Jest as I meant to take the prize,

               Passed an _Apostle_--dern his eyes!

               On his old pony, gravel-eyed,

               His legs a-dangling down each side,

               With twinkling eyes and wheedling smile,

               Grinning beneath his broad-brimm'd tile,

               With heer all scent and shaven face.

               He came a-trotting to the place.

               My luck was bad, I wasn't near,

               But busy many a mile from yer;

               And what I tell was told to me

               By them as were at hand to see.

               'Twam't every day, I reckon, they

               Saw an Apostle pass their way!

               And Cissy, being kind o' soft,

               And empty in the upper loft,

               Was full of downright joy and pride

               To hev thet saint at her fireside--

               One of the seventy they call

               The holiest holy--dern 'em all!

               O he was 'cute and no mistake,

               Deep as Salt Lake, and wide awake!

               Theer at the ranche three days he stayed,

               And well he knew his lying trade.

               'Twarn't long afore he heard full free

               About her larks and thet with me,

               And how 'twas quite the fam'ly plan

               To hev me for her second man.

               At fust thet old Apostle said

               Little, but only shook his head;

               But you may bet he'd no intent

               To let things go as things had went.

               Three nights he stayed, and every night

               He squeezed her hand a bit more tight;

               And every night he didn't miss

               To give a loving kiss to Ciss;

               And tho' his fust was on her brow,

               He ended with her mouth, somehow.

               O, but he was a knowing one,

               The Apostle Hiram Higginson!

               Grey as a badger's was his heer,

               His age was over sixty year

               (Her grandfather was little older),

               So short, his head just touch'd her shoulder;

               His face all grease, his voice all puff,

               His eyes two currants stuck in duff;--

               Call thet a man!--then look at _me!_

               Thretty year old and six foot three,

               Afear'd o' nothing morn nor night,

               The man don't walk I wouldn't fight!

               Women is women! Thet's their style--

               Talk _reason_ to them and they'll bile;

               But baste'em soft as any pigeon,

               With lies and rubbish and religion;

               Don't talk of flesh and blood and feeling,

               But Holy Ghost and blessed healing;

               Don't name things in too plain a way.

               Look a heap warmer than you say,

               Make'em believe they're serving true

               The Holy Spirit and not you,

               Prove all the world but you's damnation,

               And call your kisses jest salvation;

               Do this, and press'em on the sly,

               You're safe to win'em. Jest you try!

               "Fust thing I heerd of all this game,

               One night when to the ranche I came,

               Jump'd down, ran in, saw Cissy theer,

               And thought her kind o' cool and queer;

               For when I caught her with a kiss,

               Twarn't that she took the thing amiss,

               But kept stone cool and gev a sigh,

               And wiped her mouth  upon the sly

               On her white milkin'-apron. 'Waal,'

               Says I, 'you're out o' sorts, my gel!'

               And with a squeamish smile for me,

               Like folks hev when they're sick at sea,

               Says she, 'O, Joseph, ere too late,

               I am awaken'd to my state--

               How pleasant and how sweet it is

               To be in sech a state of bliss!'

               I stared and gaped, and turned to Jim

               Her brother, and cried out to him,

               'Hullo, mate, what's the matter here?

               What's come to Cissy? Is she _queer?_'

               Jim gev a grin and answered 'Yes,

               A trifle out o' sorts, I guess.'

               But Cissy here spoke up and said,

               'It ain't my stomach, nor my head,

               It ain't my flesh, it ain't my skin,

               It's holy _spirits_ here within!'

               'Waal,' says I, meanin' to be kind,

               'I must be off, for I'm behind;

               But next time that I pass this way

               We'll fix ourselves without delay.

               I know what your complaint is, Ciss,

               I've seen the same in many a miss,

               Keep up your spirits, thet's your plan.

               You're lonely here without a man,

               And you shall hev as good a one

               As e'er druv hoss beneath the sun!'

               At that I buss'd her with a smack.

               Turn'd out, jump'd up, and took the track,

               And larfing druv along the pass.

               "Theer! Guess I was as green as grass!"


               "'Twas jest a week after thet day

               When down I druv again this way.

               My heart was light; and 'neath the box

               I'd got a shawl and two fine frocks

               For Cissy. On in spanking style

               The hosses went mile arter mile;

               The sun was blazing golden bright,

               The sunflowers burning in the light,

               The cattle in the golden gleer

               Wading for coolness everywheer

               Among the shinin' ponds, with flies

               As thick as pepper round their eyes

               And on their heads. See! as I went

               Whistling like mad and waal content,

               Altho' 'twas broad bright day all round,

               A cock crow'd, and I thought the sound

               Seem'd pleasant. Twice or thrice he


               And then up to the ranche I rode.

               Since then I've often heerd folk say

               When a cock crows in open day

               It's a _bad sign_, announcin' clear

               Black luck or death to those thet hear.

               "When I drew up, all things were still.

               I saw the boys far up the hill

               Tossin' the hay; but at the door

               No Cissy stood as oft afore.

               No, not a soul there, left nor right,

               Her very chicks were out o' sight.

               So down I jump'd, and 'Ciss!' I cried,

               But not a sign of her outside.

               With thet into the house I ran,

               But found no sight of gel or man--

               All empty. Thinks I, 'this is queer!'--

               Look'd in the dairy--no one theer;

               Then loiter'd round the kitchen' track

               Into the orchard at the back:

               Under the fruit-trees' shade I pass'd,...

               Thro' the green bushes,... and at last

               Found, as the furthest path I trode,

               The gel I wanted. Ye... s! by----!

               The gel I wanted--ay, I found

               More than I wanted, you'll be bound!

               Theer, seated on a wooden cheer,

               With bows and ribbons in her heer,

               Her hat a-swinging on a twig

               Close by, sat Ciss in her best rig,

               And at her feet that knowing one,

               The Apostle Hiram Higginson!

               They were too keen to notice me,

               So I held back behind a tree

               And watch'd'em. Never night nor day

               Did I see Cissy look so gay,

               Her eyes all sparkling blue and bright,

               Her face all sanctified delight.

               She hed her gown tuck'd up to show

               Embrider'd petticoat below,

               And jest a glimpse, below the white,

               Of dainty leg in stocking tight

               With crimson clocks; and on her knee

               She held an open book, which he,

               Thet dem'd Apostle at her feet,

               With her low milking stool for seat,

               Was reading out all clear and pat,

               Keeping the place with finger fat;

               Creeping more close to book and letter

               To feel the warmth of his text better,

               His crimson face like a cock's head

               With his emotion as he read,

               And now and then his eyes he'd close

               Jest like a cock does when he crows!

               Above the heads of thet strange two

               The shade was deep, the sky was blue,

               The place was full of warmth and smell,

               All round the fruit and fruit-leaves fell,

               And that Saint's voice, when all was


               Was like the groanin' of a mill.

               "At last he stops for lack of wind,

               And smiled with sarcy double-chinn'd

               Fat face at Cissy, while she cried,

               Rocking herself from side to side,

               'O Bishop, them are words of bliss!'

               And then he gev a long fat kiss

               On her warm hand, and edged his stool

               Still closer. Could a man keep cool

               And see it? Trembling thro' and thro'

               I walked right up to thet theer two,

               And caught the dem'd old lump of duff

               Jest by the breeches and the scruff.

               And chuck'd him off, and with one kick

               Sent his stool arter him right slick--

               While Cissy scream'd with frighten'd face,

               'Spare him! O spare that man of grace!'

               "'Spare him!' I cried, and gev a shout,

               'What's this yer shine you air about--

               What cuss is this that I jest see

               With that big book upon your knee,

               Cuddling up close and making sham

               To read a heap of holy flam?'

               Then Cissy clasp'd her hands, and said,

               While that dem'd Saint sat fierce and


               Mopping his brow with a black frown,

               And squatting where I chuck'd him down,

               'Joe Wilson, stay your hand so bold,

               Come not a wolf into the fold;

               Forbear to touch that holy one--

               The Apostle Hiram Higginson.'

               'Touch him,' said I, 'for half a pin

               I'd flay and quarter him and skin!

               Waal may he look so white and skeer'd

               For of his doings I have heerd;

               Five wives he hev already done,

               And him--not half the man for one!'

"And then I stoop'd and took a peep

               At what they'd studied at so deep,

               And read, for I can read a bit,

               'The Book of Mormon '--what was writ

               By the first Saint of all the lot,

               Mad Joseph, him the Yankees shot.

               'What's the contents of this yer book?'

               Says I, and fixed her with a look.

               O Joe,' she answered, 'read aright,

               It is a book of blessed light--

               Thet holy man expounds it clear \

               Edification great is theer!'

               Then, for my blood was up, I took

               One kick at thet infernal book,

               And tho' the Apostle guv a cry,

               Into the well I made it fly,

               And turning to the Apostle cried,

               Tho' thet theer Scriptur' is your guide,

               You'd best depart without delay,

               Afore you sink in the same way!

               And sure as fate you'll wet your skin

               If you come courting yer agin!'

               "At first he stared and puff'd and blew,--

               Git out!' I cried, and off he flew,

               And not till he was out o' reach

               Shook his fat fist and found his speech.

               I turned to Cissy. 'Cicely Dunn,'

               Ses I, 'is this a bit of fun

               Or eernest?' Reckon 'twas a sight

               To see the way she stood upright,

               Rolled her blue eyes up, tried to speak,

               Made fust a giggle, then a squeak,

               And said half crying, 'I despise

               Your wicked calumnies and lies,

               And what you would insinuate

               Won't move me from my blessed state.

               Now I perceive in time, thank hiven,

               You are a man to anger given,

               Jealous and vi'lent. Go away!

               And when you recollect this day,

               And those bad words you've said to me,

               Blush if you kin. Tehee! tehee!'

               And then she sobbed, and in her cheer

               Fell crying: so I felt quite queer,

               And stood like a dern'd fool, and star'd

               Watchin' the pump a going hard;

               And then at last, I couldn't stand

               The sight no more, but slipt my hand

               Sharp into hers, and said quite kind,

               Say no more, Cissy--never mind;

               I know how queer you women's ways is--

               Let the Apostle go to blazes!'

               Now thet was plain and fair. With this

               I would have put my arm round Ciss.

               But Lord! you should have seen her face,

               When I attempted to embrace;

               Sprang to her feet and gev a cry,

               Her back up like a cat's, her eye

               All blazing, and cried fierce and clear,

               You villain, touch me if you deer!'

               And jest then in the distance, fur

               From danger, a voice echoed her,--

               The dem'd Apostle's, from some place

               Where he had hid his ugly face,--

               Crying out faint and thick and clear,

               Yes, villain, touch her if you deer!'

               So riled I was, to be so beat,

               I could have Struck her to my feet

               I didn't tho', tho' sore beset--

               I never struck a woman yet.

               "But off I walked right up the pass,

               And found the men among the grass,

               And when I came in sight said flat,

               What's this yer game Cissy is at?

               She's thrown me off, and taken pity

               On an Apostle from the City.

               Five wives already, too, has he--

               Poor cussed things as e'er I see--

               Does she mean _mischief_ or a _lark?_'

               Waal, all the men at thet look'd dark,

               And scratch'd their heads and seem'd in


               At last her brother Jim spoke out--

               Joe, don't blame _us_--by George, it's true,

               We're chawed by this as much as you;

               We've done our best and tried and tried,

               But Ciss is off her head with pride,

               And all her thoughts, both night and day,

               Are with the Apostles fur away.

               "O that I were in bliss with them

               Theer in the new Jerusalem!"

               She says; and when we laugh and sneer,

               Ses we're jest raging wolves down here.

               She's a bit dull at home d'ye see,

               Allays liked heaps of company,

               And now the foolish critter paints

               A life of larks among the Saints.

               We've done our best, don't hev a doubt,

               To keep the old Apostle out:

               We've trained the dogs to seize and bite him,

               We've got up ghosts at night to fright him,

               Doctor'd his hoss and so upset him,

               Put tickle-grass in bed to fret him,

               Jalap'd his beer and snuffed his tea too,

               Gunpowder in his pipe put free too;

               A dozen times we've well-nigh kill'd him,

               We've skeer'd him, shaken him, and spiff'd


               In fact, done all we deer,' said Jim,

               Against a powerful man like him;

               But all in vain we've hed our sport;

               Jest like a cat that _can't_ be hurt,

               With nine good lives if he hev one.

               Is this same Hiram Higginson!'"


               Joe paused, for down the mountain's brow

               His hastening horses trotted now.

               Into a canyon green and light,

               Thro' which a beck was sparkling light,

               Quickly we wound. Joe Wilson lit

               His cutty pipe, and suck'd at it

               In silence grim; and when it drew,

               Puff after puff of smoke he blew,

               With blank eye fixed on vacancy.

               At last he turned again to me,

               And spoke with bitter indignation

               The epilogue of his narration.

               "Waal, stranger, guess my story's told,

               The Apostle beat and I was bowl'd.

               Reckon I might have won if I

               Had allays been at hand to _try_;

               But I was busy out of sight,

               And he was theer, morn, noon, and night,

               Playing his cards, and waal it weer

               For him I never caught him theer.

               To cut the story short, I guess

               He got the Prophet to say 'yes,'

               And Cissy without much ado

               Gev her consent to hev him too;

               And one fine morning off they druv

               To what he called the Abode of Love--

               A dem'd old place, it seems to me,

               Jest like a dove-box on a tree,

               Where every lonesome woman-soul

               Sits shivering in her own hole,

               And on the outside, free to choose,

               The old cock-pigeon struts and coos.

               I've heard from many a one that Ciss

               Has found her blunder out by this,

               And she'd prefer for company

               A brisk young chap, tho' poor, like me,

               Than the sixth part of him she's won--

               The holy Hiram Iligginson.

               I've got a peep at her since then,

               When she's crawl'd out of thet theer den,

               But she's so pale and thin and tame

               I shouldn't know her for the same,

               No flesh to pinch upon her cheek,

               Her legs gone thin, no voice to speak,

               Dabby and crush'd, and sad and flabby,

               Sucking a wretched squeaking baby;

               And all the fun and all the light

               Gone from her face, and left it white.

               Her cheek 'll take 'feeble flush,

               But hesn't blood enough to blush;

               Tries to seem modest, peart and sly,

               And brighten up if I go by,

               But from the corner of her eyes

               Peeps at me quietly, and sighs.

               Reckon her luck has been a stinger!

               She'd bolt if I held up my finger;

               But tho' I'm rough, and wild, and free,

               Take a _Saint's_ leavings--no not me!

               You've heerd of Vampires--them that rise

               At dead o' night with flaming eyes,

               And into women's beds'll creep

               To suck their blood when they're asleep.

               I guess these Saints are jest the same,

               Sucking the life out is their game;

               And tho' it ain't in the broad sun

               Or in the open streets it's done,

               There ain't a woman they clap eyes on

               Their teeth don't touch, their touch don't pison;

               Thet's their dem'd way in this yer spot--

               Grrr! git along, hoss! dem you, trot!"

               From pool to pool the wild beck sped

               Beside us, dwindled to a thread.

               With mellow verdure fringed around

               It sang along with summer sound:

               Here gliding into a green glade;

               Here darting from a nest of shade

               With sudden sparkle and quick cry,

               As glad again to meet the sky;

               Here whirling off with eager will

               And quickening tread to turn a mill;

               Then stealing from the busy place

               With duskier depths and wearier pace

               In the blue void above the beck

               Sailed with us, dwindled to a speck,

               The hen-hawk; and from pools below

               The blue-wing'd heron oft rose slow,

               And upward pass'd with measured beat

               Of wing to seek some new retreat.

               Blue was the heaven and darkly bright,

               Suffused with throbbing golden light,

               And in the burning Indian ray

               A million insects hummed at play.

               Soon, by the margin of the stream,

               We passed a driver with his team

               Bound for the City; then a hound

               Afar off made a dreamy sound;

               And suddenly the sultry track

               Left the green canyon at our back,

               And sweeping round a curve, behold!

               We came into the yellow gold

               Of perfect sunlight on the plain;

               And Joe, abruptly drawing rein,

               Said quick and sharp, shading his eyes

               With sunburnt hand, "See, theer it


               Theer's _Sodom!_"

                   And even as he cried,

               The mighty Valley we espied,

               Burning below us in one ray

               Of liquid light that summer day;

               And far away, 'mid peaceful gleams

               Of flocks and herds and glistering streams,

               Rose, fair as aught that fancy paints,

               The wondrous City of the Saints!


          _O Saints that shine around the heavenly Seat!

          What heaven is this that opens at my feet?

          What flocks are these that thro' the golden gleam

          Stray on by freckled fields and shining stream?

          What glittering roofs and white kiosks are these,

          Up-peeping from the shade of emerald trees?

          Whose City is this that rises on the sight

          Fair and fantastic as a city of light

          Seen in the sunset? What is yonder sea

          Opening beyond the City cool and free.

          Large, deep, and luminous, looming thro' the heat.

          And lying at the darkly shadowed feet

          Of the Sierrasy which with jagged line

          Burning to amber in the light divine,

          Close in the Valley of the happy land,

          With heights as barren as a dead man's hand?_

          _O pilgrim, halt! O wandering heart, give praise

          Behold the City of these Latter Days!

          Here may'st thou leave thy load and be forgiven,

          And in anticipation taste of Heaven!_




          Ah, things down here, as you observe, are getting

                   more pernicious,

          And Brigham's losing all his nerve, altho' the

                   fix is vicious.

          Jest as we've rear'd a prosperous place and fill'd

                   our holy quivers,

          The Yankee comes with dern'd long face to give

                   us all the shivers!

          And on his jaws a wicked grin prognosticates


          And, jest as sure as sin is sin, he means to be

                   the master.

               "Pack up your traps," I hear him cry, "for here

                   there's no remainin',"

          And winks with his malicious eye, and progues

                   us out of Canaan.


          It ain't the Yankee that _I_ fear, the neighbour

                   nor the stranger--

          No, no, it's closer home, it's _here_, that I perceive

                   the danger.

          The wheels of State has gather'd rust, the helm

                   wants hands to guide it,

               Tain't from without the tiler'll bust, but 'cause

                   of steam inside it;

          Yet if we went falootin' less, and made less

                   noise and flurry,

          It isn't Jonathan, I guess, would hurt us in a


          But there's sedition east and west, and secret


          There's canker in the social breast, rot in the


          And over half of us, at least, are plunged in mad


          Forgetting how our race increased, our very

                   creed's foundation.

          What's our religion's strength and force, its

                   substance, and its story?


          Polygamy, my friend, of course! the law of love

                   and glory!


          Stranger, I'm with you there, indeed:--it's been

                   the best of nusses;

          Polygamy is to our creed what meat and drink

                   to _us_ is.

          Destroy that notion any day, and all the rest is


          And Mormondom dies clean away like one in

                   want of vittle.

          It's meat and drink, it's life, it's power! to

                   heaven its breath doth win us!

          It warms our vitals every hour! it's Holy Ghost

                   within us!

          Jest lay that notion on the shelf, and all life's

                   springs are frozen!

          I've half-a-dozen wives myself, and wish I had a



          If all the Elders of the State like you were sound

                   and holy,

          P. Shufflebotham, guess our fate were far less


          You air a man of blessed toil, far-shining and


          A heavenly lamp well trimm'd with oil, upon the

                   altar burning.

          And yet for every one of us with equal resolu-


          There's twenty samples of the Cuss, as mean as

          Brother Clewson.


          St. Abe?


          Yes, _him_--the snivelling sneak--his very _name_

                   provokes me,--

          Altho' my temper's milky-meek, he sours me

                   and he chokes me.

          To see him going up and down with those meek

                   lips asunder,

          Jest like a man about to drown, with lead to sink

                   him under,

          His grey hair on his shoulders shed, one leg than

                   t'other shorter,

          No end of cuteness in his head, and him--as

                   weak as water!


          And yet how well I can recall the time when

          Abe was younger--

          Why not a chap among us all went for the

                   notion stronger.

          When to the mother-country he was sent to wake

                   the sinning,

          He shipp'd young lambs across the sea by _flocks_

--he was so winning;

          O but he had a lively style, describing saintly


          He made the spirit pant and smile, and seek

                   seraphic kisses!

          How the bright raptures of the Saint fresh lustre

                   seemed to borrow,

          While black and awful he did paint the one-wived

                   sinner's sorrow!

          Each woman longed to be his bride, and by his

                   side to slumber--

               "The more the blesseder!" he cried, still adding

                   to the number.


          How did the gentleman contrive to change his

                   skin so quickly?


          The holy Spirit couldn't thrive because the Flesh

                   was sickly!

          Tho' day by day he did increase his flock, his

                   soul was shallow,

          His brains were only candle-grease, and wasted

                   down like tallow.

          He stoop'd a mighty heap too much, and let his

                   household rule him,

          The weakness of the man was such that any face

                   could fool him.

          Ay! made his presence cheap, no doubt, and so

                   contempt grew quicker,--

          Not measuring his notice out in smallish drams,

                   like liquor.

          His house became a troublous house, with mis-

                   chief overbrimmin',

          And he went creeping like a mouse among the

                   cats of women.

          Ah, womenfolk are hard to rule, their tricks is

                   most surprising,

          It's only a dern'd spoony fool goes _sentimental-


          But give'em now and then a bit of notice and a


          And lor, they're just like doves, that sit on one

                   green branch, all pleasant!

          But Abe's love was a queer complaint, a sort of

                   tertian fever,

          Each case he cured of thought the Saint a

                   thorough-paced deceiver;

          And soon he found, he did indeed, with all their

                   whims to nourish,

          That Mormonism ain't a creed where fleshly

                   follies flourish.


          Ah, right you air! A creed it is demandin' iron


          A will that quells, as soon as riz, the biling of

                   the kettle!

          With wary eye, with manner deep, a spirit


          Like to a shepherd 'mong his sheep, the Saint is

'mong his women;

          And unto him they do uplift their eyes in awe

                   and wonder;

          His notice is a blessed gift, his anger is blue


          No n'ises vex the holy place where dwell those

                   blessed parties;

          Each missus shineth in her place, and blithe and

                   meek her heart is!

          They sow, they spin, they darn, they hem, their

                   blessed babes they handle,

          The Devil never comes to _them_, lit by that holy


          When in their midst serenely walks their

          Master and their Mentor,

          They're hush'd, as when the Prophet stalks down

                   holy church's centre!

          They touch his robe, they do not move, those

                   blessed wives and mothers,

          And, when on one he shineth love, no envy fills

                   the others;

          They know his perfect saintliness, and honour

                   his affection--

          And, if they did object, I guess he'd settle that



          It ain't a passionate flat like Abe can manage

                   things in _your_ way!

          They teased that most etarnal babe, till things

                   were in a poor way.

          I used to watch his thorny bed, and bust my

                   sides with laughter,

     _Once_ give a female hoss her head you'll never

                   stop her after.

          It's one thing getting seal'd, and he was mighty

                   fond of Sealing,

          He'd all the human heat, d'ye see, without the

                   saintly feeling.

          His were the wildest set of gals that ever drove

                   man silly,

          Each full of freaks and fal-de-lals, as frisky as a


          One pull'd this way, and t'other that, and made

                   his life a mockery,

          They'd all the feelings of a cat scampaging

'mong the crockery.

          I saw Abe growing pale and thin, and well I

                   knew what ail'd him--

          The skunk went stealing out and in, and all his

                   spirit failed him;

          And tho' the tanning-yard paid well, and he

                   was money-making,

          His saintly home was hot as Hell, and, ah!

                   how he was baking!

          Why, now and then at evening-time, when his

                   day's work was over,

          Up this here hill he used to climb and squat

                   among the clover,

          And with his fishy eye he'd glare across the

          Rocky Mountains,

          And wish he was away up there, among the

                   heavenly fountains!

          I had an aunt, Tabitha Brooks, a virgin under


          She warn't so much for pretty looks, but she

                   was wise and thrifty;

          She'd seen the vanities of life, was good at

'counts and brewin'--

          Thinks I, "Here's just the sort of Wife to save

                   poor Abe from ruin."

          So, after fooling many a week, and showing

                   him she loved him,

          And seeing he was shy to _speak_, whatever

                   feelings moved him,

          At last I took her by the hand, and led her to

                   him straightway,

          One day when we could see him stand jest close

                   unto the gateway.

          My words were to the p'int and brief: says I,

               "My brother Clewson,

          There'll be an end to all your grief, if you've got


          Where shall you find a house that thrives without

                   a head that's ruling?

          Here is the paragon of wives to teach those

                   others schooling!

          She'll be to you not only wife, but careful as a


          A little property for life is hers; you'll share it,


          I've seen the question morn and eve within your

                   eyes unspoken,

          You're slow and nervous I perceive, but now--the

                   ice is broken.

          Here is a guardian and a guide to bless a man

                   and grace him;"

          And then I to Tabitha cried, "Go in, old gal-

                   embrace him!"


          Why, that was acting fresh and fair;--but Abe,

                   was he as hearty?


          We...ll! Abe was never anywhere against a

_female_ party!

          At first he seemed about to run, and then we

                   might have missed him;

          But Tabby was a tender one, she collar'd him

                   and kissed him.

          And round his neck she blushing hung, part

                   holding, part caressing,

          And murmur'd, with a faltering tongue, "O, Abe,

          I'll be a blessing."

          And home they walk'd one morning, he just

                   reaching to her shoulders,

          And sneaking at her skirt, while she stared

                   straight at all beholders.

          Swinging her bonnet by the strings, and setting

                   her lips tighter,

          In at his door the old gal springs, her grim eyes

                   growing brighter;

          And, Lord! there was the devil to pay, and

                   lightning and blue thunder,

          For she was going to have her way, and hold

                   the vixens under;

          They would have torn old Abe to bits, they

                   were so anger-bitten,

          But Tabby saved him from their fits, as a cat

                   saves her kitten.


          It seems your patriarchal life has got its


          And leads to much domestic strife and infinite


          But when the ladies couldn't lodge in peace one

                   house-roof under,

          I thought that 'twas the saintly dodge to give

                   them homes asunder?


          And you thought right; it is a plan by many

                   here affected--

          Never by _me_--I ain't the man--I'll have my will



          If all the women of _my_ house can't fondly pull


          And each as meek as any mouse, look out for

                   stormy weather!--

          No, no, I don't approve at all of humouring my


          And building lots of boxes small for each one

                   to grow grim in.

          I teach them jealousy's a _sin_, and solitude's just


          They nuss each other lying-in, each other's babes

                   they cherish;

          It is a family jubilee, and not a selfish plea-


          Whenever one presents to me another infant


          All ekal, all respected, each with tokens of


          They dwell together, soft of speech, beneath their

                   lord's protection;

          And if by any chance I mark a spark of shindy


          I set my heel upon that spark,--before the house

                   gets blazing!

          Now that's what Clewson should have done, but

                   couldn't, thro' his folly,

          For even when Tabby's help was won, he wasn't

                   much more jolly.

          Altho' she stopt the household fuss, and husht

                   the awful riot,

          The old contrairy stupid Cuss could not enj'y

                   the quiet.

          His house was peaceful as a church, all solemn,

                   still, and saintly;

          And yet he'd tremble at the porch, and look

                   about him faintly;

          And tho' the place was all his own, with hat in

                   hand he'd enter,

          Like one thro' public buildings shown, soft

                   treading down the centre.

          Still, things were better than before, though

                   somewhat trouble-laden,.

          When one fine day unto his door there came a

          Yankee maiden.

               "Is Brother Clewson in?" she says; and when

                   she saw and knew him,

          The stranger gal to his amaze scream'd out and

                   clung unto him.

          Then in a voice all thick and wild, exclaim'd that

                   gal unlucky,

               "O Sir, I'm Jason Jones's child--he's _dead_--

                   stabb'd in Kentucky!

          And father's gone, and O I've come to _you_

                   across the mountains."

          And then the little one was dumb, and Abe's

                   eyes gushed like fountains....

          He took that gal into his place, and kept her as

                   his daughter--

          Ah, mischief to her wheedling face and the bad

                   wind that brought her!


          I knew that Jones;--used to faloot about Emanci-


          It made your very toe-nails shoot to hear his


          And when he'd made all bosoms swell with

                   wonder at his vigour,

          He'd get so drunk he couldn't tell a white man

                   from a nigger!

          Was six foot high, thin, grim, and pale,--his

                   troubles can't be spoken--

          Tarred, feathered, ridden on a rail, left beaten,

                   bruised, and broken;

          But nothing made his tongue keep still, or stopt

                   his games improper,

          Till, after many an awkward spill, he came the

                   final cropper.


... That gal was fourteen years of age, and sly

                   with all her meekness;

          It put the fam'ly in a rage, for well they knew

          Abe's weakness.

          But Abe (a cuss, as I have said, that any fool

                   might sit on)

          Was stubborn as an ass's head, when once he

                   took the fit on!

          And, once he fixed the gal to take, in spite of

                   their vexation,

          Not all the rows on earth would break his firm


          He took the naggings as they came, he bowed

                   his head quite quiet,

          Still mild he was and sad and tame, and ate the

                   peppery diet;

          But tho' he seemed so crush'd to be, when this

                   or that one blew up,

          He stuck to Jones's Legacy and school'd her till

                   she grew up.

          Well! there! the thing was said and done, and

                   so far who could blame him?

          But O he was a crafty one, and sorrow couldn't

                   shame him!

          That gal grew up, and at eighteen was prettier

                   far and neater--

          There were not many to be seen about these

                   parts to beat her;

          Peart, brisk, bright-eyed, all trim and tight, like

                   kittens fond of playing,

          A most uncommon pleasant sight at pic-nic or

                   at praying.

          Then it became, as you'll infer, a simple public


          To cherish and look after her, considering her


          And several Saints most great and blest now

                   offer'd their protection,

          And I myself among the rest felt something of


          But O the selfishness of Abe, all things it beats

                   and passes!

          As greedy as a two-year babe a-grasping at


          When once those Shepherds of the flock began

                   to smile and beckon,

          He screamed like any lighting cock, and raised

                   his comb, I reckon!

          First one was floor'd, then number two, she

                   wouldn't look at any;

          Then _my_ turn came, although I knew the

                   maiden's faults were many.

               "My brother Abe," says I, "I come untoe your

                   house at present

          To offer sister Anne a home which she will find

                   most pleasant.

          You know I am a saintly man, and all my ways

                   are lawful"--

          And in a minute he began abusing me most


               "Begone," he said, "you're like the rest,--

                   wolves, Wolves with greedy clutches!

          Poor little lamb; but in my breast I'll shield her

                   from your touches!"

               "Come, come," says I, "a gal can't stay a child

                   like that for ever,

          You'll _hev_ to seal the gal some day; " but Abe

                   cried fiercely, "Never!"

          Says I, "Perhaps it's in your view _yourself_ this

                   lamb to gather?"

          And "If it is, what's that to _you?_" he cried;

"but I'm her father!

          You get along, I know your line, it's crushing,

                   bullying, wearing,

          You'll never seal a child of mine, so go, and

                   don't stand staring!"

          This was the man once mild in phiz as any

                   farthing candle--

          A hedgehog now, his quills all riz, whom no

                   one dared to handle!

          But O I little guessed his deal, nor tried to

                   circumvent it,

          I never thought he'd dare to _seal_ another; but

                   he meant it!

          Yes, managed Brigham on the sly, for fear his

                   plans miscarried,

          And long before we'd time to cry, the two were

                   sealed and married.


          Well, you've your consolation now--he's pun-

                   ished clean, I'm thinking,

          He's ten times deeper in the slough, up to his

                   neck and sinking.

          There's vinegar in Abe's pale face enough to

                   sour a barrel,

          Goes crawling up and down the place, neglect-

                   ing his apparel,

          Seems to have lost all heart and soul, has fits of

                   absence shocking--

          His home is like a rabbit's hole when weasels

                   come a-knocking.

          And now and then, to put it plain, while falling

                   daily sicker,

          I think he tries to float his pain by copious goes

                   of liquor.


          Yes, that's the end of selfishness, it leads to

                   long vexation--

          No man can pity Abe, I guess, who knows his


          And, Stranger, if this man you meet, don't take

_him_ for a sample,

          Although he speaks you fair and sweet, he's set

                   a vile example.

          Because you see him ill at ease, at home, and

                   never hearty,

          Don't think these air the tokens, please, of a

                   real saintly party!

          No, he's a failure, he's a sham, a scandal to our


          Not fit to lead a single lamb, unworthy of his


          No! if you want a Saint to see, who rules lambs

                   when he's got 'em,

          Just cock your weather-eye at _me_, or Brother


_We_ don't go croaking east and west, afraid of

                   women's faces,

          We bless and we air truly blest in our domestic


          We air religious, holy men, happy our folds to


          Each is a loyal citizen, also a husband--rather.

          But now with talk you're dry and hot, and

                   weary with your ride here.

          Jest come and see _my_ fam'ly lot,--they're waiting

                   tea inside here.


          Sister Tabitha, thirty odd,

          Rising up with a stare and a nod;

          Sister Amelia, sleepy and mild,

          Freckled, Duduish, suckling a child;

          Sister Fanny, pert and keen,

          Sister Emily, solemn and lean,

          Sister Mary, given to tears,

          Sister Sarah, with wool in her ears;--

          All appearing like tapers wan

          In the mellow sunlight of Sister Anne.

          With a tremulous wave of his hand, the Saint

          Introduces the household quaint,

          And sinks on a chair and looks around,

          As the dresses rustle with snakish sound,

          As curtsies are bobb'd, and eyes cast down

          Some with a simper, some with a frown,

          And Sister Anne, with a fluttering breast,

          Stands trembling and peeping behind the rest

          Every face but one has been

          Pretty, perchance, at the age of eighteen,

          Pert and pretty, and plump and bright;

          But now their fairness is faded quite,

          And every feature is fashion'd here

          To a flabby smile, or a snappish sneer.

          Before the stranger they each assume

          A false fine flutter and feeble bloom,

          And a little colour comes into the cheek

          When the eyes meet mine, as I sit and speak;

          But there they sit and look at me,

          Almost withering visibly,

          And languidly tremble and try to blow--

          Six pale roses all in a row!

          Six? ah, yes; but at hand sits one,

          The seventh, still full of the light of the sun.

          Though her colour terribly comes and goes,

          Now white as a lily, now red as a rose,

          So sweet she is, and so full of light,

          That the rose seems soft, and the lily bright.

          Her large blue eyes, with a tender care,

          Steal to her husband unaware,

          And whenever he feels them he flushes red,

          And the trembling hand goes up to his head!

          Around those dove-like eyes appears

          A redness as of recent tears.

          Alone she sits in her youth's fresh bloom

          In a dark corner of the room,

          And folds her hands, and does not stir,

                   and the others scarcely look at her,

          But crowding together, as if by plan,

          Draw further and further from Sister Anne.

          I try to rattle along in chat,

          Talking freely of this and that--

          The crops, the weather, the mother-land,

          Talk a baby could understand;

          And the faded roses, faint and meek,

          Open their languid lips to speak,

          But in various sharps and flats, all low,

          Give a lazy "yes" or a sleepy "no."

          Yet now and then Tabitha speaks,

          Snapping her answer with yellow cheeks,

          And fixing the Saint who is sitting by

          With the fish-like glare of her glittering eye,

          Whenever the looks of the weary man

          Stray to the corner of Sister Anne.

          Like a fountain in a shady place

          Is the gleam of the sadly shining face--

          A fresh spring whither the soul might turn,

          When the road is rough, and the hot sands


          Like a fount, or a bird, or a blooming tree,

          To a weary spirit is such as she!

          And Brother Abe, from his easy chair,

          Looks thither by stealth with an aching care,

          And in spite of the dragons that guard the


          Would stoop to the edge of the fount, I think,

          And drink! and drink!

               "Drink? Stuff and fiddlesticks," you cry,

          Matron reader with flashing eye:

               "Isn't the thing completely _his_,

          His wife, his mistress, whatever you please?

          Look at her! Dragons and fountains! Absurd!"

          Madam, I bow to every word;

          But truth is truth, and cannot fail,

          And this is quite a veracious tale.

          More like a couple of lovers shy,

          Who flush and flutter when folk are by,

          Were man and wife, or (in another

          And holier parlance) sister and brother.

          As a man of the world I noticed it,

          And it made me speculate a bit,

          For the situation was to my mind

          A phenomenon of a curious kind--

          A person in love with his _wife_, 'twas clear,

          But afraid, when another soul was near,

          Of showing his feelings in any way

          Because--there would be the Devil to pay!

          The Saint has been a handsome fellow,

          Clear-eyed, fresh-skinn'd, if a trifle yellow,

          And his face though somewhat soft and plain

          Ends in a towering mass of brain.

          His locks, though still an abundant crop,

          Are thinning a little at the top,

          But you only notice here and there

          The straggling gleam of a silver hair.

          A man by nature rolled round and short,

          Meant for the Merry Andrew's sport,

          But sober'd down by the wear and tear

          Of business troubles and household care:

          Quiet, reticent, gentle, kind,

          Of amorous heart and extensive mind,

          A Saint devoid of saintly sham,

          Is little Brother Abraham.

          Brigham's right hand he used to be--

          Mild though he seems, and simple, and free;

          Sound in the ways of the world, and great

          In planning potent affairs of state;

          Not bright, nor bumptious, you must know,

          Too retiring for popular show,

          But known to conceive on a startling scale

          Gigantic plans that never fail;

          To hold with a certain secret sense

          The Prophet under his influence,

          To be, I am led to understand,

          The Brain, while the Prophet is the Hand,

          And to see his intellectual way

          Thro' moral dilemmas of every day,

          By which the wisest are led astray.

          Here's the Philosopher!--here he sits,

          Here, with his vaguely wandering wits,

          Among the dragons, as I have said,

          Smiling, and holding his hand to his head.

          What mighty thoughts are gathering now

          Behind that marble mass of brow?

          What daring schemes of polity

          To set the popular conscience free,

          And bless humanity, planneth he?

          His talk is idle, a surface-gleam,

          The ripple on the rest of the stream,

          But his thoughts--ah, his _thoughts_--where do

                   they fly,

          While the wretched roses under his eye

          Flutter and peep? and in what doth his plan

          Turn to the counsel of Sister Anne?

          For his eyes give ever a questioning look,

          And the little one in her quiet nook

          Flashes an answer, and back again

          The question runs to the Brother's brain,

          And the lights of speculation flit

          Over his face and trouble it.

          Follow his eyes once more, and scan

          The fair young features of Sister Anne:

          Frank and innocent, and in sooth

          Full of the first fair flush of youth.

          Quite a child--nineteen years old;

          Not gushing, and self-possessed, and bold,

          Like our Yankee women at nineteen,

          But low of voice, and mild of mien--

          More like the fresh young fruit you see

          In the mother-land across the sea--

          More like that rosiest flower on earth,

          A blooming maiden of English birth.

          Such as we find them yet awhile

          Scatter'd about the homely Isle,

          Not yet entirely eaten away

          By the canker-novel of the day,

          Or curling up and losing their scent

          In a poisonous dew from the Continent.

          There she sits, in her quiet nook,

          Still bright tho' sadden'd; and while I look,

          My heart is filled and my eyes are dim,

          And I hate the Saint when I turn to him!

          Ogre! Blue Beard! Oily and sly!

          His meekness a cheat, his quiet a lie!

          A roaring lion he'll walk the house

          Tho' now he crouches like any mouse!

          Had not he pluck'd enough and to spare

          Of roses like these set fading there,

          But he must seek to cajole and kiss

          Another yet, and a child like this?

          A maid on the stalk, just panting to prove

          The honest joy of a virgin love;

          A girl, a baby, an innocent child,

          To be caught by the first man's face that smiled!

          Scarce able the difference to fix

          Of polygamy and politics!

          Led to the altar like a lamb,

          And sacrificed to the great god _Sham!_

          Deluded, martyr'd, given to woe,

          Last of seven who have perish'd so;

          For who can say but the flowers I see

          Were once as rosy and ripe as she?

          Already the household worm has begun

          To feed on the cheeks of the little one;

          Already her spirit, fever-fraught,

          Droops to the weight of its own thought;

          Already she saddens and sinks and sighs,

          Watched by the jealous dragonish eyes.

          Even Amelia, sleepy and wan,

          Sharpens her orbs as she looks at Anne;

          While Sister Tabby, when she can spare

          Her gaze from the Saint in his easy-chair,

          Fixes her with a gorgon glare.

          All is still and calm and polite,

          The Sisters bolster themselves upright,

          And try to smile, but the atmosphere

          Is charged with thunder and lightning here.

          Heavy it seems, and close and warm,

          Like the air before a summer storm;

          And at times,--as in that drowsy dream

          Preluding thunder, all sounds will seem

          Distinct and ominously clear,

          And the far-off cocks seem crowing near

          Ev'n so in the pauses of talk, each breast

          Is strangely conscious of the rest,

          And the tick of the watch of Abe the Saint

          Breaks on the air, distinct though faint,

          Like the ticking of his heart!

                        I rise

          To depart, still glancing with piteous eyes

          On Sister Anne; and I find her face

          Turn'd questioning still to the same old place--

          The face of the Saint. I stand and bow,

          Curtsies again are bobbing now,

          Dresses rustling... I know no more

          Till the Saint has led me to the door,

          And I find myself in a day-dream dim,

          Just after shaking hands with him.

          Standing and watching him sad and slow

          Into the dainty dwelling go,

          With a heavy sigh, and his hand to his head.

... Hark, _distant thunder!_--'tis as I said:

          The air was far too close;--at length

          The Storm is breaking in all its strength.



          Along the streets they're thronging, walking,

          Clad gaily in their best and talking,

          Women and children quite a crowd;

          The bright sun overhead is blazing,

          The people sweat, the dust they're raising

          Arises like a golden cloud.

          Still out of every door they scatter,

          Laughing and light. Pray what's the matter.

          That such a flock of folks I see?


          They're off to hear the Prophet patter,

          This yer's a day of jubilee.


          Come along, we're late I reckon...

          There's our Matt, I see him beckon...

          How d'ye do, marm? glad to meet you.

          Silence, Hiram, or I'll beat you...

          Emm, there's brother Jones a-looking...

          Here's warm weather, how I'm cooking!


          Afar the hills arise with cone and column

          Into a sky of brass serene and solemn;

          And underneath their shadow in one haze

          Of limpid heat the great salt waters blaze,

          While faint and filmy through the sultry veil

          The purple islands on their bosom sail

          Like floating clouds of dark fantastic air.

          How strangely sounds (while 'mid the Indian


          Moves the gay crowd of people old and young)

          The bird-like chirp of the old Saxon tongue!

          The women seem half weary and half gay,

          Their eyes droop in a melancholy way,--

          I have not seen a merry face to-day.


          Ther's a smart hoss you're riding, brother!

                   How are things looking, down with you?


          Not over bright with one nor 'tother,

                   Taters are bad, tomatoes blue.

          You've heer'd of Brother Simpson's losses?--

                   Buried his wife and spiled his hay.

          And the three best of Hornby's hosses

                   Some Injin cuss has stol'n away.


          Zoë, jest fix up my gown...

          There's my hair a-coming down...

          Drat the babby, he's so crusty--

          It's the heat as makes him thusty...

          Come along, I'm almost sinking...

          There's a stranger, and he's winking.


          That was a fine girl with the grey-hair'd lady,

          How shining were her eyes, how true and


          Not drooping down in guilty Mormon fashion,

          But shooting at the soul their power and passion.

          That's a big fellow, six foot two, not under,

          But how he struts, and looks as black as thunder,

          Half glancing round at his poor sheep to scare


          Six, seven, eight, nine,--O Abraham, what a


          All berry brown, but looking scared as may be,

          And each one but the oldest with a baby.


          A Girl?


          Yes, Grace!


                   Don't seem to notice, dear,

          That Yankee from the camp again is here,

          Making such eyes, and following on the sly,

          And coughing now and then to show he's nigh.


          Who's that along with him--the little scamp

          Shaking his hair and nodding with a smile?


          Guess he's some new one just come down to


          Isn't he handsome?


          No; the first's my style!


          If my good friends, the Saints, could get then


          These Yankee officers would fare but ill;

          Wherever they approach the folk retire,

          As if from veritable coals of fire;

          With distant bow, set lips, and half-hid frown,

          The Bishops pass them in the blessed town;

          The women come behind like trembling sheep,

          Some freeze to ice, some blush and steal a peep.

          And often, as a band of maidens gay

          Comes up, each maid ceases to talk and play,

          Droops down her eyes, and does not look their


          But after passing where the youngsters pine,

          All giggle as at one concerted sign,

          And tripping on with half-hush'd merry cries,

          Look boldly back with laughter in their eyes!


          Here we are, how folk are pushing...

          Mind the babby in the crushing...

          Pheemy!.. Yes, John!.. Don't go staring

          At that Yankee--it's past bearing.

          Draw your veil down while he passes,

          Reckon you're as bold as brass is.


_[Passing with his hand to his head, attended by his


          Head in a whirl, and heart in a flutter,

          Guess I don't know the half that I utter.

          Too much of this life is beginning to try me,

          I'm like a dem'd miller the grind always nigh


          Praying don't sooth me nor comfort me any,

          My house is too full and my blessings too


          The ways o' the wilderness puzzle me greatly.


          Do walk like a Christian, and keep kind o'


          And jest keep an eye on those persons behind


          You call 'em your Wives, but they tease you and

                        blind you;

          Sister Anne's a disgrace, tho' you think her a


          And she's tuck'd up her petticoat nigh to her



          What group is this, begrim'd with dust and


          Staring like strangers in the open street?

          The women, ragged, wretched, and half dead,

          Sit on the kerbstone hot and hang the head,

          And clustering at their side stand children


          Weary, with wondering eyes on the fair town.

          Close by in knots beside the unhorsed team

          The sunburn'd men stand talking in a dream,

          For the vast tracts of country left behind

          Seem now a haunting mirage in the mind.

          Gaunt miners folding hands upon their breasts,

          Big-jointed labourers looking ox-like down,

          And sickly artizans with narrow chests

          Still pallid from the smoke of English town.

          Hard by to these a group of Teutons stand,

          Light-hair'd, blue-eyed, still full of Fatherland,

          With water-loving Northmen, who grow gay

          To see the mimic sea gleam far away.

          Now to this group, with a sharp questioning


          Cometh a holy magnate of the place

          In decent black; shakes hands with some;

                        and then

          Begins an eager converse with the men:

          All brighten; even the children hush their cries,

          And the pale women smile with sparkling eyes.


          The Prophet welcomes you, and sends

          His message by my mouth, my friends;

          He'll see you snug, for on this shore

          There's heaps of room for millions more!..

          Scotchman, I take it?.. Ah, I know

          Glasgow--was there a year or so...

          And if _you_ don't from Yorkshire hail,

          I'll--ah, I thought so; seldom fail.

          Make yourselves snug and rest a spell,

          There's liquor coming--meat as well.

          All welcome! We keep open door--

          Ah, _we_ don't push away the poor;

          Tho' he's a fool, you understand,

          Who keeps poor long in this here land.

          The land of honey you behold--

          Honey and milk--silver and gold!


          Ah, that's the style--Bess, just you hear it;

          Come, come, old gal, keep up your spirit:

          Silver and gold, and milk and honey,

          This is the country for our money!


          Es lebe die Stadt! es lebe dran!

          Das heilige Leben steht mir an!


          Taler du norske


_[Shaking his head. and turning with a wink to the


                        No, not me!

          _Saxon's_ the language of the free:

          The language of the great Evangels!

          The language of the Saints and Angels!

          The only speech that Joseph knew!

          The speech of him and Brigham too!

          Only the speech by which we've thriven

          Is comprehended up in Heaven!..

          Poor heathens! but we'll make'em spry,

          They'll talk like Christians by and by.


          _[Strolling out of the streets.]_

          From east, from west, from every worn-out land,

          Yearly they stream to swell this busy band.

          Out of the fever'd famine of the slums,

          From sickness, shame, and sorrow, Lazarus comes,

          Drags his sore limbs o'er half the world and sea,

          Seeking for freedom and felicity.

          The sewer of ignorance and shame and loss,

          Draining old Europe of its dirt and dross,

          Grows the great City by the will of God;

          While wondrously out of the desert sod,

          Nourished with lives unclean and weary hearts

          The new faith like a splendid weed upstarts.

          A splendid weed! rather a fair wild-flower,

          Strange to the eye in its first birth of power,

          But bearing surely in its breast the seeds

          Of higher issues and diviner deeds.

          Changed from Sahara to a fruitful vale

          Fairer than ever grew in fairy tale,

          Transmuted into plenteous field and glade

          By the slow magic of the white man's spade,

          Grows Deseret, filling its mighty nest

          Between the eastern mountains and the west,

          While--who goes there? What shape antique

                        looks down

          From this green mound upon the festive town,

          With tall majestic figure darkly set

          Against the sky in dusky silhouette?

          Strange his attire: a blanket edged with red

          Wrapt royally around him; on his head

          A battered hat of the strange modem sort

          Which men have christened "chimney pots" in


          Mocassins on his feet, fur-fringed and grand,

          And a large green umbrella in his hand.

          Pensive he stands with deep-lined dreamy face,

          Last living remnant of the mighty race

          Who on these hunting-fields for many a year

          Chased the wild buffalo, and elk, and deer.

          Heaven help him! In his mien grief and despair

          Seem to contend, as he stands musing there;

          Until he notices that I am nigh,

          And lo! with outstretched hands and glistening


          Swift he descends--Does he mean mischief?


          He smiles and beckons as I turn to go.


          Me Medicine Crow. White man gib drink to me.

          Great chief; much squaw; papoose, sah, one,

                   two, three!


          With what a leer, half wheedling and half winking,

          The lost one imitates the act of drinking;

          His nose already, to his woe and shame,

          Carbuncled with the white man's liquid flame!

          Well, I pull out my flask, and fill a cup

          Of burning rum--how quick he gulps it up;

          And in a moment in his trembling grip

          Thrusts out the cup for more with thirsty lip.

          But no!--already drunken past a doubt,

          Degenerate nomad of the plains, get out!

          _[A railway whistle sounds in the far distance.]_

          Fire-hearted Demon tamed to human hand,

          Rushing with smoky breath from land to land,

          Screaming aloud to scare with rage and wrath

          Primaeval ignorance before his path,

          Dragging behind him as he runs along

          His lilliputian masters, pale and strong,

          With melancholy sound for plain and hill

          Man's last Familiar Spirit whistles shrill.

          Poor devil of the plains, now spent and frail,

          Hovering wildly on the fatal trail,

          Pass on!--there lies thy way and thine abode,

          Get out of Jonathan thy master's road.

          Where? anywhere!--he's not particular where,

          So that you clear the road, he does not care;

          Off, quick! clear out! ay, drink your fill and die;

          And, since the Earth rejects you, try the Sky!

          And see if He, who sent your white-faced


          To hound and drive you from this world you


          Can find a comer for you in another!


          Sisters and brothers who love the right,

                   Saints whose hearts are divinely beating,

          Children rejoicing in the light,

                   I reckon this is a pleasant meeting.

          Where's the face with a look of grief?--

                   Jehovah's with us and leads the battle;

          We've had a harvest beyond belief,

                   And the signs of fever have left the cattle;

          All still blesses the holy life

                   Here in the land of milk and honey.


          Brother Shuttleworth's seventeenth wife,..

          Her with the heer brushed up so funny!


          Out of Egypt hither we flew,

                   Through the desert and rocky places;

          The people murmur'd, and all look'd blue,

                   The bones of the martyr'd filled our traces.

          Mountain and valley we crawl'd along,

                   And every morning our hearts beat quicker.

          Our flesh was weak, but our souls were strong.

                   And we'd managed to carry some kegs of


          At last we halted on yonder height,

                   Just as the sun in the west was blinking.


          Isn't Jedge Hawkins's last a fright?...

          I'm suttin that Brother Abe's been drinking!


          That night, my lambs, in a wondrous dream,

                   I saw the gushing of many fountains;

          Soon as the morning began to beam,

                   Down we went from yonder mountains,

          Found the water just where I thought,

                   Fresh and good, though a trifle gritty,

          Pitch'd our tents in the plain, and wrought

                   The site and plan of the Holy City.

               "Pioneers of the blest," I cried,

                   "Dig, and the Lord will bless each spade-



          Brigham's sealed to another Bride...

                   How worn he's gittin'! he's aging dread-



          This is a tale so often told,

                   The theme of every eventful meeting;

          Yes! you may smile and think it old;

                   But yet it's a tale that will bear repeating.

          That's how the City of Light began,

                   That's how we founded the saintly nation,

          All by the spade and the arm of man,

                   And the aid of a special dispensation.

               "Work" was the word when we begun,

                   "Work" is the word now we have plenty.


          Heard about Sister Euphemia's son?..

                   Sealing already, though only twenty!


          I say just now what I used to say,

                   Though it moves the heathens to mock and


          From work to prayer is the proper way--

                   Labour first, and Religion after.

          Let a big man, strong in body and limb,

                   Come here inquiring about his Maker,

          This is the question I put to him,

                   "Can you grow a cabbage, or reap an


          What's the soul but a flower sublime,

                   Grown in the earth and upspringing surely!


          O yes! she's hed a most dreadful time!

                   Twins, both thriving, though she's so



          Beauty, my friends, is the crown of life,

                   To the young and foolish seldom granted;

          After a youth of honest strife

                   Comes the reward for which you've panted.

          O blessed sight beyond compare,

                   When life with its halo of light is rounded,

          To see a Saint with reverend hair

                   Sitting like Solomon love-surrounded!

          One at his feet and one on his knee,

                   Others around him, blue-eyed and dreamy!


          All very well, but as for me,

                   My man had better!--I'd pison him,



          There in the gate of Paradise

                   The Saint is sitting serene and hoary,

          Tendrils of euros, and blossoms of eyes,

                   Festoon him round in his place of glory;

          Little cherubs float thick as bees

                   Round about him, and murmur "father!"

          The sun shines bright and he sits at-ease,

                   Fruit all round for his hand to gather.

          Blessed is he and for ever gay,

                   Floating to Heaven and adding to it!


          Thought I should have gone mad that day

                   He brought a second; I made him rue it!


          Sisters and Brothers by love made wise.

                   Remember, when Satan attempts to quel]


          If this here Earth isn't Paradise

                   You'll never see it, and so I tell you.

          Dig and drain, and harrow and sow,

                   God will bless you beyond all measure;

          Labour, and meet with reward below,

                   For what is the end of all labour? Plea-


          Labour's the vine, and pleasure's the grape;

                   The one delighting, the other bearing.


          Higginson's third is losing her shape.

                   She hes too many--it's dreadful wearing.


          But I hear some awakening spirit cry,

                   "Labour is labour, and all men know it;

          But what is pleasure?" and I reply,

                   Grace abounding and Wives to show it!

          Holy is he beyond compare

                   Who tills his acres and takes his blessing,

          Who sees around him everywhere

                   Sisters soothing and babes caressing.

          And his delight is Heaven's as well,

                   For swells he not the ranks of the chosen?


          Martha is growing a handsome gel...

                   Three at a birth?--that makes the dozen.


          Learning's a shadow, and books a jest,

                   One Book's a Light, but the rest are human.

          The kind of study that I think best

                   Is the use of a spade and the love of a


          Here and yonder, in heaven and earth,

                   By big Salt Lake and by Eden river,

          The finest sight is a man of worth,

                   Never tired of increasing his quiver.

          He sits in the light of perfect grace

                   With a dozen cradles going together!


          The babby's growing black in the face!

                   Carry him out--it's the heat of the weather!


          A faithful vine at the door of the Lord,

                        A shining flower in the garden of spirits,

          A lute whose strings are of sweet accord,

                        Such is the person of saintly merits.

          Sisters and brothers, behold and strive

                        Up to the level of his perfection;

          Sow, and harrow, and dig, and thrive,

                        Increase according to God's direction.

          This is the Happy Land, no doubt,

                        Where each may flourish in his vocation.

          Brother Bantam will now give out

                        The hymn of love and of jubilation.


          Deep and wise beyond expression

          Sat the Prophet holding session,

          And his Elders, round him sitting

          With a gravity befitting,

          Never rash and never fiery,

          Chew'd the cud of each inquiry,

          Weigh'd each question and discussed it.

          Sought to settle and adjust it,

          Till, with sudden indication

          Of a gush of inspiration,

          The grave Prophet from their middle

          Gave the answer to their riddle,

          And the lesser lights all holy,

          Round the Lamp revolving slowly,

          Thought, with eyes and lips asunder,

"_Right_, we reckon, he's a wonder!"

          Whether Boyes, that blessed brother,

          Should be sealed unto another,

          Having, tho' a Saint most steady,

          Very many wives already?

          Whether it was held improper,

          If a woman drank, to drop her?

          Whether unto Brother Fleming

          Formal praise would be beseeming,

          Since from three or four potatoes

(Not much bigger than his great toes)

          He'd extracted, to their wonder,

          Four stone six and nothing under?

          Whether Bigg be reprimanded

          For his conduct underhanded.

          Since he'd packed his prettiest daughter

          To a heathen o'er the water?

          How, now Thompson had departed,

          His poor widows, broken-hearted,

          Should be settled? They were seven,

          Sweet as cherubs up in heaven;

          Three were handsome, young, and pleasant,

          And had offers on at present--

          Must they take them?.. These and other

          Questions proffer'd by each brother,

          The great Prophet ever gracious,

          Free and easy, and sagacious,

          Answer'd after meditation

          With sublime deliberation;

          And his answers were so clever

          Each one whisper'd, "Well I never!"

          And the lesser lights all holy,

          Round the Prophet turning slowly,

          Raised their reverend heads and hoary,

          Thinking, "To the Prophet, glory!

          Hallelujah, veneration,

          Reckon that he licks creation!"

          Suddenly as they sat gleaming,

          On them came an unbeseeming

          Murmur, tumult, and commotion,

          Like the breaking of the ocean;

          And before a word was utter'd,

          In rush'd one with voice that fluttered

          Arms uplifted, face the colour

          Of a bran-new Yankee dollar,

          Like a man whose wits are addled.

          Crying--"_Brother Abe's skedaddled!_"

          Then those Elders fearful-hearted

          Raised a loud cry and upstarted,

          But the Prophet, never rising,

          Said, "Be calm! this row's surprising!"

          And as each Saint sank unsinew'd

          In his arm-chair he continued:

               "Goodman Jones, your cheeks are yellow,

          Tell thy tale, and do not bellow!

          What's the reason of your crying--

          Is our brother _dead!_--or _dying?_"

          As the Prophet spake, supremely

          Hushing all the strife unseemly,

          Sudden in the room there entered

          Shapes on whom all eyes were centred--

          Six sad female figures moaning,

          Trembling, weeping, and intoning,

               "We are widows broken-hearted--

          Abraham Clewson has departed!"

          While the Saints again upleaping

          Joined their voices to the weeping,

          For a moment the great Prophet

          Trembled, and look'd dark as Tophet.

          But the cloud pass'd over lightly.

               "Cease!" he cried, but sniffled slightly,

               "Cease this murmur and be quiet--

          Dead men won't awake with riot.

               Tis indeed a loss stupendous--

          When will Heaven his equal send us?

          Speak, then, of our brother cherish'd,

          Was it _fits_ by which he perish'd?

          Or did Death come even quicker,

          Thro' a bolting horse or kicker?"

          At the Prophet's question scowling,

          All the Wives stood moaning, howling,

          Crying wildly in a fever,

               "O the villain! the deceiver!"

          But the oldest stepping boldly,

          Curtseying to the Session coldly,

          Cried in voice like cracking thunder,

               "Prophet, don't you make a blunder?

          Abraham Clewson isn't dying--

          Hasn't died, as you're implying

          No! he's not the man, my brothers,

          To die decently like others!

          Worse! he's from your cause revolted--

          Run away! ske-daddled! bolted!"

          Bolted! run away! skedaddled!

          Like to men whose wits are addled,

          Echoed all those Lights so holy,

          Round the Prophet shining slowly

          And the Prophet, undissembling,

          Underneath the blow sat trembling,

          While the perspiration hovered

          On his forehead, and he covered

          With one trembling hand his features

          From the gaze of smaller creatures.

          Then at last the high and gifted

          Cough'd and craved, with hands uplifted,

          Silence. When 'twas given duly,

               "This," said he, "'s a crusher truly!

          Brother Clewson fall'n from glory!

          I can scarce believe your story,

          O my Saints, each in his station,

          Join in prayer and meditation!"

          Covering up each eyelid saintly

          With a finger tip, prayed faintly,

          Shining in the church's centre,

          Their great Prophet, Lamp, and Mentor;

          And the lesser Lights all holy,

          Round the Lamp revolving slowly,

          Each upon his seat there sitting,

          With a gravity befitting,

          Bowed their reverend heads and hoary,

          Saying, "To the Prophet glory!

          Hallelujah, veneration!

          Reckon that he licks creation!"

          Lastly, when the trance was ended.

          And, with face where sorrow blended

          Into pity and compassion,

          Shone the Light in common fashion;

          Forth the Brother stept who brought them

          First the news which had distraught them,

          And, while stood the Widows weeping,

          Gave into the Prophet's keeping

          A seal'd paper, which the latter

          Read, as if 'twere solemn matter--

          Gravely pursing lips and nodding,

          While they watch'd in dark foreboding,

          Till at last, with voice that quivered,

          He these woeful words delivered:--

               "Sisters, calm your hearts unruly,

               Tis an awful business truly;

          Weeping now will save him never,

          He's as good as lost for ever;

          Yes, I say with grief unspoken,

          Jest a pane crack'd, smash'd, and broken

          In the windows of the Temple--

          Crack'd's the word--so take example!

          Had he left ye one and all here

          On our holy help to call here,

          Fled alone from _every_ fetter,

          I could comprehend it better!

          Flying, not with some strange lady,

          But with her he had already,

          With his own seal'd Wife eloping--

          It's a case of craze past hoping!

          List, O Saints, each in his station.

          To the idiot's explanation!"

          Then, while now and then the holy

          Broke the tale of melancholy

          With a grunt contempt expressing,

          And the widows made distressing

          Murmurs of recrimination

          Here and there in the narration,

          The great Prophet in affliction

          Read this awful Valediction!


          O Brother, Prophet of the Light!--don't let my

                   state distress you,

          While from the depths of darkest night I cry,

                   "Farewell! God bless you!"

          I don't deserve a parting tear, nor even a male-


          Too weak to fill a saintly sphere, I yield to my


          Down like a cataract I shoot into the depths

                   below you,

          While you stand wondering and mute, my last

                   adieu I throw you;

          Commending to your blessed care my well-be-

                        loved spouses,

          My debts (there's plenty and to spare to pay

                   them), lands, and houses,

          My sheep, my cattle, farm and fold, yea, all by

                   which I've thriven:

          These to be at the auction sold, and to my

                   widows given.

          Bless them! to prize them at their worth was

                   far beyond my merit,

          Just make them think me in the earth, a poor

                   departed spirit.

          I couldn't bear to say good-bye, and see their

                   tears up-starting;

          I thought it best to pack and fly without the

                   pain of parting!

          O tell Amelia, if she can, by careful educa-


          To make her boy grow up a man of strength

                   and saintly station!

          Tell Fanny to beware of men, and say I'm still

                   her debtor--

          Tho' she cut sharpish now and then, I think it

                   made me better!

          Let Emily still her spirit fill with holy consola-


          Seraphic soul, I hear her still a-reading "Reve-


          Bid Mary now to dry her tears--she's free of her

                   chief bother;

          And comfort Sarah--I've my fears she's going to

                   be a mother;

          And to Tabitha give for me a tender kiss of


          Guilt wrings my soul--I seem to see that well-

                   known face appealing!

          And now,--before my figure fades for ever from

                   your vision,

          Before I mingle with the shades beyond your

                   light Elysian,

_Now_, while your faces all turn pale, and you

                   raise eyes and shiver,

          Let me a round unvarnish'd tale (as Shakspere

                   says) deliver;

          And let there be a warning text in my most

                   shameful story,

          When some poor sheep, perplext and vext, goes

                   seeking too much glory.

          O Brigham, think of my poor fate, a scandal to


          And don't again put too much weight before

                   you've tried the shoulders!

          Though I'd the intellectual gift, and knew the

                   rights and reasons;

          Though I could trade, and save, and shift,

                   according to the seasons;

          Though I was thought a clever man, and was at

                   spouting splendid,--

          Just think how finely I began, and see how all

                   has ended!

          In _principle_ unto this hour I'm still a holy


          But oh, how poorly is my power proportion'd to

                   my seeing!

          You've all the logic on your side, you're right in

                   each conclusion,

          And yet how vainly have I tried, with eager


          My will was good, I felt the call, although my

                   strength was meagre,

          There wasn't one among you all to serve the

                   Lord more eager!

          I never tired in younger days of drawing lambs

                   unto me,

          My lot was one to bless and praise, the fire of

                   faith thrill'd through me.

          And _you_, believing I was strong, smiled on me

                   like a father,--

          Said, "Blessëd be this man, though young, who

                   the sweet lambs doth gather! "

          At first it was a time full blest, and all my

                   earthy pleasure

          Was gathering lambs unto my breast to cherish

                   and to treasure;

          Ay, one by one, for heaven's sake, my female

                   flock I found me,

          Until one day I did awake and heard them

                   bleating round me,

          And there was sorrow in their eyes, and mute

                   reproach and wonder,

          For they perceived to their surprise their Shep-

                   herd was a blunder.

          O Brigham, think of it and weep, my firm and

                   saintly Master--

_The Pastor trembled at his Sheep, the Sheep despised

                   the Pastor!_

          O listen to the tale of dread, thou Light that

                   shines so brightly--

          Virtue's a horse that drops down dead if over-

                   loaded slightly!

          She's all the _will_, she wants to go, she'd carry

                   every tittle;

          But when you see her flag and blow, just ease

                   her of a little!

_One_ wife for me was near enough, _two_ might

                   have fixed me neatly,

_Three_ made me shake, _four_ made me puff, _five_

                   settled me completely,--

          But when the _sixth_ came, though I still was

                   glad and never grumbled,

          I took the staggers, kick'd, went ill, and in the

                   traces tumbled!

          Ah, well may I compare my state unto a beast's


          Unfit to bear a saintly weight, I sank and lost


          I lack'd the moral nerve and thew, to fill so fine

                   a station--

          Ah, if I'd had a head like you, and your deter-


          Instead of going in and out, like a superior


          I was too soft of heart, no doubt, too open, and

                   too hearty.

          When I _began_ with each young sheep I was too

                   free and loving,

          Not being strong and wise and deep, I set her

_feelings_ moving;

          And so, instead of noticing the gentle flock in


          I waken'd up that mighty thing--the Spirit of a


          Each got to think me, don't you see,--so foolish

                   was the feeling,--

          Her own especial property, which all the rest

                   were stealing!

          And, since I could not give to each the whole of

                   my attention,

          All came to grief, and parts of speech too deli-

                   cate to mention!

          Bless them! they loved me far too much, they

                   erred in their devotion,

          I lack'd the proper saintly touch, subduing mere


          The solemn air sent from the skies, so cold, so

                   tranquillising,	.

          That on the female waters lies, and keeps the

                   same from rising,

          But holds them down all smooth and bright,

                   and, if some wild wind storms 'em,

          Comes like a cold frost in the night, and into ice

                   transforms 'em!

          And there, between ourselves, I see the diffi-

                   culty growing,

          Since most men are as meek as me, too pas-

                   sionate and glowing;

          They cannot in _your_ royal way dwell like a

                   guest from Heaven

          Within this tenement of clay, which for the Soul

                   is given;

          They cannot like a blessed guest come calm and

                   strong into it,

          Eating and drinking of its best, and calmly

                   gazing thro' it.

          No, every mortal's not a Saint, and truly very

                   few are,

          So weak they are, they cannot paint what holy

                   men like you are.

          Instead of keeping well apart the Flesh and

          Spirit, brother,

          And making one with cunning art the nigger of

                   the other,

          They muddle and confuse the two, they mix and

                   twist and mingle,

          So that it takes a cunning view to make out

                   either single.

          The Soul gets mingled with the Flesh beyond all


          The Body holds it in a mesh of animal sensa-


          The poor bewilder'd Being, grown a thing in

                   nature double,

          Half light and soul, half flesh and bone, is given

                   up to trouble.

          He thinks the instinct of the clay, the glowings

                   of the Spirit,

          And when the Spirit has her say, inclines the

          Flesh to hear it.

          The slave of every passing whim, the dupe of

                   every devil,

          Inspired by every female limb to love, and light,

                   and revel,

          Impulsive, timid, weak, or strong, as Flesh or

          Spirit makes him,

          The lost one wildly moans along till mischief

                   overtakes him;

          And when the Soul has fed upon the Flesh till

                   life's spring passes,

          Finds strength and health and comfort gone--

                   the way of last year's grasses,

          And the poor Soul is doom'd to bow, in deep


          Within a place that isn't now a decent habitation.

          No! keep the Soul and Flesh apart in pious


          Don't let weak flutterings of the heart lead you

                   to _my_ confusion!

          But let the Flesh be as the _horse_, the Spirit as

                   the _rider_,

          And use the snaffle first of course, and ease her

                   up and guide her;

          And if she's going to resist, and won't let none

                   go past her,

          Just take the _curb_ and give a twist, and show

                   her you're the Master.

          The Flesh is but a temporal thing, and Satan's

                   strength is in it,

          Use it, but conquer it, and bring its vice dowN

                   every minute!

          Into a woman's arms don't fall, as if you meant

                   to _stay_ there,

_Just come as if you'd made a call\ and idly found

                   your way there_;

          Don't praise her too much to her face, but keep

                   her calm and quiet,--

          Most female illnesses take place thro' far too

                   warm a diet;

          Unto her give your fleshly kiss, calm, kind, and


          Then--soar to your own sphere of bliss, before

                   her heart gets rising!

          Don't fail to let her see full clear, how in your

                   saintly station

          The Flesh is but your nigger here obeying your


          And tho' the Flesh be e'er so warm, your Soul

                   the weakness smothers

          Of loving any female form much better than the


          O Brigham, I can see you smile to hear the

          Devil preaching;--

          Well, I can praise your perfect style, tho' far

                   beyond my reaching.

          Forgive me, if in shame and grief I vex you with


          And let me come again in brief to my own dark


          The world of men divided is into _two portions_,


          The first are Saints, so high in bliss that they the

          Flesh can smother;

          God meant them from fair flower to flower to

                   flutter, smiles bestowing,

          Tasting the sweet, leaving the sour, just hover-

                   ing,--and going.

          The second are a different set, just _halves_ of

                   perfect spirits,

          Going about in bitter fret, of uncompleted


          Till they discover, here or there, their _other half_

(or woman),

          Then these two join, and make a Pair, and so

                   increase the human.

          The second Souls inferior are, a lower spirit-


          Born 'neath a less auspicious star, and taken by

                   soft sawder;--

          And if they do not happen here to find their fair


          They come to grief and doubt and fear, and end

                   in asininity;

          And if they try the blessed game of those

                   superior to them,

          They're very quickly brought to shame,--their

                   passions so undo them.

          In some diviner sphere, perhaps, they'll look and

                   grow more holy,--

          Meantime they're vessels Sorrow taps and grim

          Remorse sucks slowly.

          Now, Brigham, _I_ was made, you see, one of

                   those _lower_ creatures,

          Polygamy was not for me, altho' I joined its


          Instead of, with a wary eye, seeking the one

                   who waited,

          And sticking to her, wet or dry, because the

                   thing was fated,

          I snatch'd the first whose beauty stirred my soul

                   with tender feeling!

          And then another! then a third! and so con-

                   tinued Sealing!

          And duly, after many a smart, discovered,

                   sighing faintly,

          I _hadn't found my missing part, and _wasn't_

                   strong and saintly!

          O they were far too good for me, altho' their

                   zeal betrayed them;--

          Unfortunately, don't you see, heaven for some

                   other made them:

          Each would a downright blessing be, and Peace

                   would pitch the tent for her,

          If "she" could only find the "he" originally

                   meant for her!

          Well, Brother, after many years of bad domestic


          One morning I woke up in tears, still weary and


          And (speaking figuratively) lo! beside my bed

                   stood smiling

_The Woman_, young and virgin snow, but beckon-

                   ing and beguiling.

          I started up, my wild eyes rolled, I knew her,

                   and stood sighing,

          My thoughts throng'd up like bees of gold out of

                   the smithy flying.

          And as she stood in brightness there, familiar,

                   tho' a stranger,

          I looked at her in dumb despair, and trembled

                   at the danger.

          But, Brother Brigham, don't you think the

          Devil could so undo me,

          That straight I rushed the cup to drink too late

                   extended to me.

          No, for I hesitated long, ev'n when I found she

                   loved me,

          And didn't seem to think it wrong when love

                   and passion moved me.

          O Brigham, you're a Saint above, and know not

                   the sensation

          The ecstasy, the maddening love, the rapturous


          That fills a man of lower race with wonder past

                   all speaking,

          When first he finds in one sweet face the Soul he

                   has been seeking!

          When two immortal beings glow in the first

                   fond revealing,

          And their inferior natures know the luxury of


          But ah, I had already got a quiver-full of bless-


          Had blundered, tho' I knew it not, six times

                   beyond redressing,

          And surely it was time to stop, tho' still my lot

                   was lonely:

          My house was like a cobbler's shop, full, tho'

                   with "misfits" only.

          And so I _should_ have stopt, I swear, the

                   wretchedest of creatures,

          Rather than put one mark of care on her

                   belovéd features:

          But that it happen'd Sister Anne (ah, now the

                   secret's flitted!)

          Was left in this great world of man unto my

                   care committed.

          Her father, Jason Jones, was dead, a man whose

                   faults were many,

               "O, be a father, Abe," he said, "to my poor

                   daughter, Annie!"

          And so I promised, so she came an Orphan to

                   this city,

          And set my foolish heart in flame with mingled

                   love and pity;

          And as she prettier grew each day, and throve

'neath my protection,

_I saw the Saints did cast her way some tokens of


          O, Brigham, pray forgive me now;--envy and

                   love combining,

          I hated every saintly brow, benignantly in-


          Sneered at their motives, mocked the cause,

                   went wild and sorrow-laden,

          And saw Polygamy's vast jaws a-yawning for

                   the maiden.

          Why _not_, you say? Ah, yes, why not, from

                   your high point of vision;

          But I'm of an inferior lot, beyond the light


          I tore my hair, whined like a whelp, I loved her

                   to distraction,

          I saw the danger, knew the help, yet trembled

                   at the action.

          At last I came to you, my friend, and told my

                   tender feeling;

          You said, "Your grief shall have an end--this is

                   a case for Sealing;

          And since you have deserved so well, and made

                   no heinous blunder,

          Why, brother Abraham, _take_ the gel, but mind

                   you keep her under."

          Well! then I went to Sister Anne, my inmost

                   heart unclothing,

          Told her my feelings like a man, concealing

                   next to nothing,

          Explain'd the various characters of those I had


          The various tricks and freaks and stirs peculiar

                   to each lady,

          And, finally, when all was clear, and hope

                   seem'd to forsake me,

               "There! it's a wretched chance, my dear--you

                   leave me, or you take me."

          Well, Sister Annie look'd at me, _her_ inmost

                   heart revealing

(Women are very weak, you see, inferior, full of


          Then, thro' her tears outshining bright, "I'll

                   never never leave you!

               "O Abe," she said, "my love, my light, why

                   should I pain or grieve you?

          I do not love the way of life you have so sadly


          I'd rather be a single wife than one in half a


          But now you cannot change your plan, tho'

                   health and spirit perish,

          And I shall never see a man but you to love and


          Take me, I'm yours, and O, my dear, don't

                   think I miss your merit,

          I'll try to help a little here your true and loving


               "Reflect, my love," I said, "once more," with

                   bursting heart, half crying,

               "Two of the girls cut very sore, and most of

                   them are trying!"

          And then that' gentle-hearted maid kissed me

                   and bent above me,

               "O Abe," she said, "don't be afraid,--I'll try to

                   make them _love_ me!"

          Ah well! I scarcely stopt to ask myself, till all

                   was over,

          How precious tough would be her task who

                   made those dear souls love her!

          But I was seal'd to Sister Anne, and straight-

                   way to my wonder

          A series of events began which showed me all

                   my blunder.

          Brother, don't blame the souls who erred thro'

                   their excess of feeling--

          So angrily their hearts were stirred by my last

                   act of sealing;

          But in a moment they forgot the quarrels they'd

                   been wrapt in,

          And leagued together in one lot, with Tabby for

                   the Captain.

          Their little tiffs were laid aside, and all com-

                   bined together,

          Preparing for the gentle Bride the blackest sort

                   of weather.

          It wasn't _feeling_ made them flout poor Annie in

                   that fashion,

          It wasn't love turn'd inside out, it wasn't jealous


          It wasn't that they cared for _me_, or any other


          Their hearts and sentiments were free, their ap-

                   petites were hearty.

          But when the pretty smiling face came blossom-

                   ing and blooming,

          Like sunshine in a shady place the fam'ly Vault


          It naturally made them grim to see its sunny


          While like a row of tapers dim by daylight, they

                   grew duller.

          She tried her best to make them kind, she

                   coaxed and served them dumbly,

          She watch'd them with a willing mind, deferred

                   to them most humbly;

          Tried hard to pick herself a friend, but found her

                   arts rejected,

          And fail'd entirely in her end, as one might

                   have expected.

          But, Brother, tho' I'm loathe to add one word to

                   criminate them,

          I think their conduct was too bad,--it almost

                   made me hate them.

          Ah me, the many nagging ways of women are


          Their cleverness solicits praise, their cruelty is


          And Sister Annie hadn't been a single day their


          Before a baby could have seen her life would be

                   a labour.

          But bless her little loving heart, it kept its

                   sorrow hidden,

          And if the tears began to start, suppressed the

                   same unbidden.

          She tried to smile, and smiled her best, till I

                   thought sorrow silly,

          And kept in her own garden nest, and lit it like

                   a lily.

          O I should waste your time for days with talk

                   like this at present,

          If I described her thousand ways of making

                   things look pleasant!

          But, bless you, 'twere as well to try, when

                   thunder's at its dire work,

          To clear the air, and light the sky, by penny-

                   worths of firework.

          These gentle ways to hide her woe and make

                   my life a blessing,

          Just made the after darkness grow more gloomy

                   and depressing.

          Taunts, mocks, and jeers, coldness and sneers,

                   insult and trouble daily,

          A thousand stabs that brought the tears, all

                   these she cover'd gaily;

          But when her fond eyes fell on _me_, the light of

                   love to borrow,

          And Sister Anne began to see _I knew_ her secret


          All of a sudden like a mask the loving cheat

                   forsook her,

          And reckon I had all my task, for _illness_ over-

                   took her.

          She took to bed, grew sad and thin, seem'd like

                   a spirit flying,

          Smiled thro' her tears when I went in, but when

          I left fell crying;

          And as she languish'd in her bed, as weak and

                   wan as water,

          I thought of what her father said, "Take care of

                   my dear daughter!"

          Then I look'd round with secret eye upon her

                   many Sisters,

          And close at hand I saw them lie, ready for use

--like blisters;

          They seemed with secret looks of glee, to keep

                   their wifely station;

          They set their lips and sneer'd at me, and

                   watch'd the situation.

          O	Brother, I can scarce express the agony of

                   those moments,

1	fear your perfect saintliness, and dread your

                   cutting comments!

          I prayed, I wept, I moan'd, I cried, I anguish'd

                   night and morrow,

          I watch'd and waited, sleepless-eyed, beside

                   that bed of sorrow.

          At last I knew, in those dark days of sorrow

                   and disaster,

          Mine wasn't soil where you could raise a Saint

                   up, or a Pastor;

          In spite of careful watering, and tilling night

                   and morning,

          The weeds of vanity would spring without a

                   word of warning.

          I was and ever must subsist, labell'd on every


          A wretched poor _Monogamist_, a most inferior


          Just half a soul, and half a mind, a blunder and


          Not finish'd half till I could find the other

                   missing portion!

          And gazing on that missing part which I at last

                   had found out,

          I murmur'd with a burning heart, scarce strong

                   to get the sound out,

               "If from the greedy clutch of Fate I save this

                   chief of treasures,

          I will no longer hesitate, but take decided mea-


          A poor monogamist like me can _not_ love half a


          Better by far, then, set them free! and take the

          Wife I've chosen!

          Their love for me, of course, is small, a very

                   shadowy tittle,

          They will not miss my face at all, or miss it very


          I can't undo what I have done, by my forlorn


          And call the brightness of the sun again into

                   their faces;

          But I _can_ save one spirit true, confiding and


          From slowly curdling to a shrew or into swine-

                   dom sinking."

          These were my bitter words of woe, my fears

                   were so distressing,

          Not that I would reflect--O no!--on any living


          Thus, Brother, I resolved, and when she rose,

                   still frail and sighing,

          I kept my word like better men, and bolted,--

                   and I'm flying.

          Into oblivion I haste, and leave the world be-

                   hind me,

          Afar unto the starless waste, where not a soul

                   shall find me.

          I send my love, and Sister Anne joins cordially,


          I never was the sort of man for your high state

                   of being;

          Such as I am, she takes me, though; and after

                   years of trying,

          From Eden hand in hand we go, like our first

                   parents flying;

          And like the bright sword that did chase the

                   first of sires and mothers,

          Shines dear Tabitha's flaming face, surrounded

                   by the others:

          Shining it threatens there on high, above the

                   gates of heaven,

          And faster at the sight we fly, in naked shame,


          Nothing of all my worldly store I take, 'twould

                   be improper,

          I go a pilgrim, strong and poor, without a single


          Unto my Widows I outreach my property com-


          There's modest competence for each, if it is

                   managed neatly.

          That, Brother, is a labour left to your sagacious


          Comfort them, comfort the bereft! I'm good as

                   dead and sleeping!

          A fallen star, a shooting light, a portent and an


          A moment passing on the sight, thereafter seen

                   by no men!

          I go, with backward-looking face, and spirit

                   rent asunder.

          O may you prosper in your place, for you're a

                   shining wonder!

          So strong, so sweet, so mild, so good!--by

          Heaven's dispensation,

          Made Husband to a _multitude_ and Father to a


          May all the saintly life ensures increase and

                   make you stronger!

          Humbly and penitently yours,

                        A. Clewson (_Saint no longer_).


                   Still the saintly City stands,

                   Wondrous work oF busy hands;

                   Still the lonely City thrives,

                   Rich in worldly goods and wives,

                   And with thrust-out jaw and set

                   Teeth, the Yankee threatens yet--

                   Half admiring and half riled,

                   Oft by bigger schemes beguiled,

                   Turning off his curious stare

                   To communities elsewhere.

                   Always with unquiet eye

                   Watching Utah on the sly.

                   Long the City of the Plain

                   Left its image on my brain:

                   White kiosks and gardens bright

                   Rising in a golden light;

                   Busy figures everywhere

                   Bustling bee-like in the glare;

                   And from dovecots in green places,

                   Peep'd out weary women's faces,

                   Flushing faint to a thin cry

                   From the nursery hard by.

                   And the City in my thought

                   Slept fantastically wrought,

                   Till the whole began to seem

                   Like a curious Eastern dream,

                   Like the pictures strange we scan

                   In the tales Arabian:

                   Tales of magic art and sleight,

                   Cities rising in a night,

                   And of women richly clad,

                   Dark-eyed, melancholy, sad,

                   Ever with a glance uncertain,

                   Trembling at the purple curtain,

                   Lest behind the black slave stand

                   With the bowstring in his hand

                   Happy tales, within whose heart

                   Founts of weeping eyes upstart,

                   Told, to save her pretty head,

                   By Scheherazad in bed!

                   All had faded and grown faint,

                   Save the figure of the Saint

                   Who that memorable night

                   Left the Children of the Light,

                   Flying o'er the lonely plain

                   From his lofty sphere of pain

                   Oft his gentle face would flit

                   O'er my mind and puzzle it,

                   Ever waking up meanwhile

                   Something of a merry smile,

                   Whose quick light illumined me

                   During many a reverie,

                   When I puffed my weed alone.

                   Faint and strange the face had grown,

                   Tho' for five long years or so

                   I had watched it come and go,

                   When, on busy thoughts intent,

                   I into New England went,

                   And one evening, riding slow

                   By a River that I know,

                   (Gentle stream! I hide thy name,

                   Far too modest thou for fame!)

                   I beheld the landscape swim

                   In the autumn hazes dim,

                   And from out the neighbouring dales

                   Heard the thumping of the flails.

                   All was hush'd; afar away

                   (As a novelist would say)


                   Sank the mighty orb of day,

                   Staring with a hazy glow

                   On the purple plain below,

                   Where (like burning embers shed

                   From the sunset's glowing bed,

                   Dying out or burning bright,

                   Every leaf a blaze of light)

                   Ran the maple swamps ablaze;

                   Everywhere amid the haze,

                   Floating strangely in the air,

                   Farms and homesteads gather'd fair;

                   And the River rippled slow

                   Thro' the marshes green and low,

                   Spreading oft as smooth as glass

                   As it fringed the meadow grass,

                   Making 'mong the misty fields

                   Pools like golden gleaming shields.

                   Thus I walked my steed along,

                   Humming a low scrap of song,

                   Watching with an idle eye

                   White clouds in the dreamy sky

                   Sailing with me in slow pomp.

                   In the bright flush of the swamp,

                   While his dogs bark'd in the wood,

                   Gun in hand the sportsman stood;

                   And beside me, wading deep,

                   Stood the angler half asleep,

                   Figure black against the gleam

                   Of the bright pools of the stream;

                   Now and then a wherry brown

                   With the current drifted down

                   Sunset-ward, and as it went

                   Made an oar-splash indolent;

                   While with solitary sound,

                   Deepening the silence round,

                   In a voice of mystery

                   Faintly cried the chickadee-

                   Suddenly the River's arm

                   Rounded, and a lonely Farm

                   Stood before me blazing red

                   To the bright blaze overhead;

                   In the homesteads at its side,

                   Cattle lowed and voices cried,

                   And from out the shadows dark

                   Came a mastiff's measured bark.

                   Fair and fat stood the abode

                   On the path by which I rode,

                   And a mighty orchard, strown

                   Still with apple-leaves wind-blown,

                   Raised its branches gnarl'd and bare

                   Black against the sunset air,

                   And with greensward deep and dim,

                   Wander'd to the River's brim.

                   Close beside the orchard walk

                   Linger'd one in quiet talk

                   With a man in workman's gear.

                   As my horse's feet drew near,

                   The labourer nodded rough "good-day,"

                   Turned his back and loung'd away.

                   Then the first, a plump and fat

                   Yeoman in a broad straw hat,

                   Stood alone in thought intent,

                   Watching while the other went,

                   And amid the sunlight red

                   Paused, with hand held to his head.

                   In a moment, like a word

                   Long forgotten until heard,

                   Like a buried sentiment

                   Born again to some stray scent,

                   Like a sound to which the brain

                   Gives familiar refrain,

                   Something in the gesture brought

                   Things forgotten to my thought;

                   Memory, as I watched the sight.

                   Flashed from eager light to light

                   Remember'd and remember'd not,

                   Half familiar, half forgot.

                   Stood the figure, till at last,

                   Bending eyes on his, I passed,

                   Gazed again, as loth to go,

                   Drew the rein, stopt short, and so

                   Rested, looking back; when he,

                   The object of my scrutiny,

                   Smiled and nodded, saying, "Yes!

                   Stare your fill, young man! I guess

                   You'll know me if we meet again!"

                   In a moment all my brain

                   Was illumined at the tone,

                   All was vivid that had grown

                   Faint and dim, and straight I knew; him,

                   Holding out my hand unto him,

                   Smiled, and called him by his name.

                   Wondering, hearing me exclaim.

                   Abraham Clewson (for'twas he)

                   Came more close and gazed at me,

                   As he gazed, a merry grin

                   Brighten'd down from eyes to chin:

                   In a moment he, too, knew me,

                   Reaching out his hand unto me,

                   Crying "Track'd, by all that's blue

                   Who'd have thought of seeing _you?_

                   Then, in double quicker time

                   Than it takes to make the rhyme,

                   Abe, with face of welcome bright,

                   Made me from my steed alight;

                   Call'd a boy, and bade him lead

                   The beast away to bed and feed;

                   And, with hand upon my arm,

                   Led me off into the Farm,

                   Where, amid a dwelling-place

                   Fresh and bright as her own face,

                   With a gleam of shining ware

                   For a background everywhere,

                   Free as any summer breeze,

                   With a bunch of huswife's keys

                   At her girdle, sweet and mild

                   Sister Annie blush'd and smiled,--

                   While two tiny laughing girls,

                   Peeping at me through their curls,

                   Hid their sweet shamefacëdness

                   In the skirts of Annie's dress.


                   That same night the Saint and I

                   Sat and talked of times gone by,

                   Smoked our pipes and drank our grog

                   By the slowly smouldering log,

                   While the clock's hand slowly crept

                   To midnight, and the household slept

               "Happy?" Abe said with a smile,

               "Yes, in my _inferior_ style,

                   Meek and humble, not like them

                   In the New Jerusalem."

                   Here his hand, as if astray,

                   For a moment found its way

                   To his forehead, as he said,

               "Reckon they believe I'm dead?

                   Ah, that life of sanctity

                   Never was the life for me.

                   Couldn't stand it wet nor dry,

                   Hated to see women cry;

                   Couldn't bear to be the cause

                   Of tiffs and squalls and endless jaws

                   Always felt amid the stir

                   Jest a whited sepulchre;

                   And I did the best I could

                   When I ran away for good.

                   Yet, for many a night, you know

                   (Annie, too, would tell you so),

                   Couldn't sleep a single wink,

                   Couldn't eat, and couldn't drink,

                   Being kind of conscience-cleft

                   For those poor creatures I had left,

                   Not till I got news from there,

                   And I found their fate was fair,

                   Could I set to work, or find

                   Any comfort in my mind.

                   Well (here Abe smiled quietly),

                   Guess they didn't groan for me!

                   Fanny and Amelia got

                   Sealed to Brigham on the spot;

                   Emmy soon consoled herself

                   In the arms of Brother Delf;

                   And poor Mary one fine day

                   Packed her traps and tript away

                   Down to Fresco with Fred Bates,

                   A young player from the States:

                   While Sarah,'twas the wisest plan,

                   Pick'd herself a single man--

                   A young joiner fresh come down

                   Out of Texas to the town--

                   And he took her with her baby,

                   And they're doing well as maybe.'"

                   Here the Saint with quiet smile,

                   Sipping at his grog the while,

                   Paused as if his tale was o'er,

                   Held his tongue and said no more.

               "Good," I said, "but have you done?

                   You have spoke of all save one--

                   All your Widows, so bereft,

                   Are most comfortably left,

                   But of one alone you said

                   Nothing. Is the lady _dead?"

                   Then the good man's features broke

                   Into brightness as I spoke,

                   And with loud guffaw cried he,

               "What, Tabitha? Dead! Not she.

                   All alone and doing splendid--

                   Jest you guess, now, how she's ended!

                   Give it up? This very week

                   I heard she's at Oneida Creek,

                   All alone and doing hearty,

                   Down with Brother Noyes's party.

                   Tried the Shakers first, they say,

                   Tired of them and went away,

                   Testing with a deal of bother

                   This community and t'other,

                   Till she to Oneida flitted,

                   And with trouble got admitted.

                   Bless you, she's a shining lamp,

                   Tho' I used her like a scamp,

                   And she's great in exposition

                   Of the Free Love folk's condition,

                   Vowing, tho' she found it late,

               Tis the only happy state....

               "As for me," added the speaker,

               "I'm lower in the scale, and weaker;

                   Polygamy's beyond my merits,

                   Shakerism wears the spirits,

                   And as for Free Love, why you see

                   (Here the Saint wink'd wickedly)

                   With my whim it might have hung

                   Once, when I was spry and young;

                   But poor Annie's love alone

                   Keeps my mind in proper tone,

                   And tho' my spirit mayn't be strong,

                   I'm lively--as the day is long."

                   As he spoke with half a yawn,

                   Half a smile, I saw the dawn

                   Creeping faint into the gloom

                   Of the quickly-chilling room.

                   On the hearth the wood-log lay,

                   With one last expiring ray;

                   Draining off his glass of grog,

                   Clewson rose and kick'd the log;

                   As it crumbled into ashes,

                   Watched the last expiring flashes,

                   Gave another yawn and said,

               "Well! I guess it's time for bed!"



St. Abe and his Seven Wives was written in 1870, at a time when all the
Cockney bastions of criticism were swarming with sharp-shooters on
the look-out for "the d------d Scotchman" who had dared to denounce
Logrolling. It was published anonymously, and simultaneously _The Drama
of Kings_ appeared with the author's name. The _Drama_ was torn to
shreds in every newspaper; the Satire, because no one suspected who had
written it, was at once hailed as a masterpiece. Even the _Athenaum_
cried "all hail" to the illustrious Unknown. The _Pall Mall Gazette_
avowed in one breath that Robert Buchanan was utterly devoid of dramatic
power, while the author of _St. Abe_ was a man of dramatic genius. The
secret was well kept, and the bewildered Cocknies did not cease braying
their hosannahs even when another anonymous work, _White Rose and
Red_, was issued by the same publisher. _St. Abe_ went through numerous
editions in a very short space of time.

To one familiar with the process of book-reviewing, and aware of the
curious futility of even honest literary judgments, there is nothing
extraordinary in the facts which I have just stated. Printed cackle
about books will always be about as valuable as spoken cackle about
them, and the history of literature is one long record of the march of
genius through regions of mountainous stupidity. But there were some
points about the treatment of _St. Abe_ which are worth noting,
as illustrating the way in which reviewing "is done" for leading
newspapers. Example. The publisher sent out "early sheets" to the
great dailies, several of which printed eulogistic reviews. The _Daily
Telegraph_, however, was cautious. After receiving the sheets, the
acting or sub-editor sent a message round to the publisher saying that
a cordial review had been written and was in type, but that "the
Chief" wanted to be assured, before committing himself to such an
advertisement, about the authorship of the work. "_Is_ it by _Lowell?_"
queried the jack-in-office; "only inform us in confidence, and the
review shall appear." Mr. Strahan either did not reply, or refused to
answer the question. Result--the cordial review never appeared at all!

The general impression, however, was that the poem was written by James
Russell Lowell. One or two kind critics suggested Bret Harte, but these
were in a minority. No one suspected for one moment that the work was
written by a Scotchman who, up to that date, had never even visited
America. The _Spectator_ (A Daniel come to judgment!) devoted a long
leading article to proving that humour of this particular kind could
have been produced only in the Far West, while a leading magazine
bewailed the fact that we had no such humourists in England, since "with
Thackeray our last writer of humour left us."

In America itself, the success of the book was less remarkable, and the
explanation was given to me in a letter from a publisher in the States,
who asserted that public feeling against the Mormons was so fierce and
bitter that even a joke at their expense could not be appreciated. "The
very subject of Mormondom," wrote my friend, "is regarded as indecent,
unsavoury, and offensive." In spite of all, the satire was appreciated,
even in America.

Already, however, its subject has ceased to be contemporary and become
historical. Mormonism, as I depicted it, is as dead as Slavery, for the
Yankee--as I foreshadowed he would do, in this very book--has put down
Polygamy. Future generations, therefore, may turn to this book as they
will turn to _Uncle Tom's Cabin_, for a record of a system which once
flourished, and which, when all is said and done, did quite as much good
as harm. I confess, indeed, that I am sorry for the Mormons; for I think
that they are more sinned against than sinning. Polygamy is abolished in
America, but a far fouler evil, Prostitution, flourishes, in both public
and private life. The Mormons crushed this evil and obliterated it
altogether, and if they substituted Polygamy, they only did openly and
politically what is done, and must be done, clandestinely, in every
country, under the present conditions of our civilisation.

The present is the first cheap edition of the book, and the first which
bears the author's name on the title page. It will be followed by a
cheap edition of _White Rose and Red_. I shall be quite prepared to hear
now, on the authority of the newspapers, that the eulogy given to _St.
Abe_ on its first appearance was all a mistake, and that the writer
possesses no humour whatsoever. I was informed, indeed, the other day,
by a critic in the _Daily News_, that most of my aberrations proceeded
from "a fatal want of humour." The critic was reviewing the _Devil's
Case_, and his suggestion was, I presume, that I ought to have perceived
the joke of the Nonconformist Conscience and latterday Christianity. I
thought that I had done so, but it appears that I had not been funny at
all, or not funny enough. But my real misfortune was, that my name was
printed on the title page of the work then under review.

I cannot conclude this bibliographical note without a word concerning
the remarkable artist who furnished _St. Abe and his Seven Wives_ with
its original frontispiece. The genius of the late A. B. Houghton is
at last receiving some kind of tardy recognition, chiefly through the
efforts of Mr. Pennell, whose criticisms on art have done so much to
free the air of lingering folly and superstition. When I sought out Mr.
Houghton, and persuaded him to put pencil to paper on my behalf, he was
in the midst of his life-long struggle against the powers of darkness.
He died not long afterwards, prematurely worn out with the hopeless
fight. One of the last of the true Bohemians, a man of undoubted
genius, he never learned the trick of wearing fine linen and touting
for popularity; but those who value good work hold him in grateful
remembrance, and I am proud to think that so great a master in black and
white honoured me by associating himself with a book of mine.

Robert Buchanan.



I. From P----------t G------t, U.S.

Smart. Polygamy is Greek for Secesh. Guess Brigham will have to make

II. From R. W. E------n, Boston, U.S.

Adequate expression is rare. I had fancied the oracles were dumb, and
had returned with a sigh to the enervating society of my friends in
Boston, when your book reached me. To think of it! In this very epoch,
at this very day, poetry has been secreting itself silently and surely,
and suddenly the whole ocean of human thought is illumined by the
accumulated phosphoresence of a subtle and startling poetic life.. . .
Your work is the story of Polygamy written in colossal cipher the study
of all forthcoming ages. Triflers will call you a caricaturist, empty
solemnities will deem you a jester. Fools! who miss the pathetic
symbolism of Falstaff, and deem the Rabelaisan epos fit food for
mirth.... I read it from first page to last with solemn thoughts too
deep for tears. I class you already with the creators, with Shakespere,
Dante, Whitman, Ellery Channing, and myself.

III. From W------t W----------n, Washington, U.S.


               Our own feuillage;

               A leaf from the sweating branches of these States;

               A fallen symbol, I guess, vegetable, living, human;

               A heart-beat from the hairy breast of a man.


               The Salon contents me not;

               The fine feathers of New England damsels content me not;

               The ways of snobs, the falsettos of the primo tenore, the legs

               of Lydia Thomson's troupe of blondes, content me not;

               Nor tea-drinking, nor the twaddle of Mr. Secretary Harlan,

               nor the loafers of the hotel bar, nor Sham, nor Long-

               fellow's Village Blacksmith.


               But the Prairies content me;

               And the Red Indian dragging along his squaw by the scruff of

               the neck;

               And the bones of mules and adventurous persons in Bitter


               And the oaths of pioneers, and the ways of the unwashed,

               large, undulating, majestic, virile, strong of scent, all

               these content me.


               Utah contents me;

               The City by the margin of the great Salt Lake contents me;

               And to have many wives contents me;

               Blessed is he who has a hundred wives, and peoples the

               solitudes of these States.


               Great is Brigham;

               Great is polygamy, great is monogamy, great is polyandry,

               great is license, great is right, and great is wrong;

               And I say again that wrong is every whit as good as right, and

               not one jot better;

               And I say further there is no such thing as wrong, nor any

               such thing as right, and that neither are accountable, and

               both exist only by allowance.


               O I am wonderful;

               And the world, and the sea, and joy and sorrow, and sense

               and nonsense, all content me;

               And this book contents me, with its feuillage from the City of

               many wives.

IV. From Elder F------k E----------s, of Mt. L------n, U.S.

An amusing attempt to show that polygamy is a social failure. None can
peruse it without perceiving at once that the author secretly inclines
to the ascetic tenets of Shakerism.

V. From Brother T. H. N------s, O----------a C--------k.

After perusing this subtle study, who can doubt that Free Love is the
natural human condition? The utter selfishness of the wretched
monogamist-hero repels and sickens us; nor can we look with anything but
disgust on the obtusity of the heroine, in whom the author vainly tries
to awaken interest. It is quite clear that the reconstruction of Utah on
O--------a C------k principles would yet save the State from the crash
which is impending.

VI. From E---------a F-------n H-------m, of S----------n Island.

If _Polygamy_ is to continue, then, I say, let _Polyandry_ flourish!
Woman is the sublimer Being, the subtler Type, the more delicate
Mechanism, and, strictly speaking, _needs_ many pendants of the
inferior or masculine Type to fulfil her mission in perfect comfort. Shall
Brigham Young, a mere Man, have sixteen wives; and shall one wretched
piece of humanity content _me_, that supreme Fact, _a perfect Woman_,
highest and truest of beings under God? No; if these things be
tolerated, I claim for each Woman, in the name of Light and Law, twenty
ministering attendants of the lower race; and the day is near when, if
this boon, or any other boon we like to ask, be denied us, it will be
_taken with a strong hand!_

VII. From T------s C--------e, Esq., Chelsea, England.

The titanic humour of the Conception does not blind me to the radical
falseness of the Teaching, wherein, as I shall show you presently, you
somewhat resemble the miserable Homunculi of our I own literary Wagners;
for, if I rightly conceive, you would tacitly and by inference urge that
it is expressly part of the Divine Thought that the _Ewigweibliche_, or
Woman-Soul, should be _happy_. Now Woman's _mundane_ unhappiness, as I
construe, comes of her inadequacy; it is the stirring within her of
the Infinite against the Finite, a struggle of the spark upward, of the
lower to the higher Symbol. Will Woman's Rights Agitators, and Monogamy,
and Political Tomfoolery, do what Millinery has failed to do, and waken
one Female to the sense of divine Function? It is not _happiness_ I
solicit for the Woman-Soul, but _Identity_; and the prerogative of
Identity is great work, Adequacy, pre-eminent fulfilment of the
Function; woman, in this country of rags and shams, being buried quick
under masses of Sophistication and Upholstery, oblivious of her divine
duty to increase the population and train the young masculine Idea
starward. I do not care if the wives of Deseret are pale, or faint, or
uncultured, or unhappy; it is enough for me to know that they have a
numerous progeny, and believe in Deity or the Divine Essence; and I will
not conclude this letter without recording my conviction that yonder
man, Brigham Young by name, is perhaps the clearest Intellect now
brooding on this planet; that Friedrich was royaller but not greater,
and that Bismarck is no more than his equal; and that he, this American,
few in words, mark you, but great in deeds, has decided a more
stupendous Question than ever puzzled the strength of either of those
others,--the Question of the Sphere and Function in modern life of the
ever-agitating _Feminine Principle_. If, furthermore, as I have ever
held, the test of clearness of intellect and greatness of soul be
_Success_, at any price and under any circumstances, none but a
transcendental Windbag or a pedantic Baccalaureus will doubt my
assertion that Young is a stupendous intellectual, ethical, and
political Force--a Master-Spirit--a Colossal Being, a moral Architect of
sublime cunning--as such to be reverenced by every right-thinking _Man_
under the Sun.

VIII. From J------n R------n, Esq., London.

I am not generally appreciated in my own country, because I frequently
change my views about religion, art, architecture, poetry, and things in
general. Most of my early writings are twaddle, but my present opinions
are all valuable. I think this poem, with its nervous Saxon Diction, its
subtle humour, its tender pathos and piteousness, the noblest specimen
of narrative verse of modern times; and, indeed, I know not where to
look, out of the pages of Chaucer, for an equally successful blending
of human laughter and ethereal mystery. At the same time, the writer
scarcely does justice to the subject on the aesthetic side. A City where
the streets are broad and clean and well-watered, the houses surrounded
by gardens full of fruit and flowers; where the children, with shining,
clean-washed faces, curtsey to the Philosophers in the public places;
where there are no brothels and no hells; where life runs fresh,
free, and unpolluted,--such a City, I say, can hardly be the symbol of
feminine degradation. More than once, tired of publishing my prophetic
warnings in the _Daily Telegraph_, I have thought of bending my
weary footsteps to the new Jerusalem; and I might have carried out
my intention long ago, if I had had a less profound sense of my own
unfitness for the duties of a Saint.

IX. From M--------w A--------d, Esq., England.

Your poem possesses a certain rough primitive humour, though it appears
to me deficient in the higher graces of _sweetness_ and _light._ St.
Paul would have entirely objected to the monogamical inference drawn in
your epilogue; and the fact that you draw any such inference at all is
to me a distressing proof that your tendency is to the Philistinism of
those authors who write for the British Matron. I fear you have not read


From the "GRAPHIC."

"Such vigorous, racy, determined satire has not been met with for many
a long day. It is at once fresh and salt as the sea.... The humour is
exquisite, and as regards literary execution, the work is masterly."


"Although in a striking address to Chaucer the author intimates an
expectation that Prudery may turn from his pages, and though his theme
is certainly a delicate one, there is nothing in the book that a modest
man may not read without blinking, and therefore, we suppose, no modest
woman. On the other hand, the whole poem is marked with so much natural
strength, so much of the inborn faculties of literature--(though they
are wielded in a light, easy, trifling way)--that they take possession
of our admiration as of right. The chief characteristics of the book
are mastery of verse, strong and simple diction, delicate, accurate
description of scenery, and that quick and forcible discrimination of
character which belongs to men of dramatic genius. This has the look
of exaggerated praise. We propose, therefore, to give one or two large
samples of the author's quality, leaving our readers to judge from them
whether we are not probably right. If they turn to the book and read it
through, we do not doubt that they will agree with us."


"The tale, however, is not to be read from reviews.... The variety of
interest, the versatility of fancy, the richness of description with
which the different lays and cantos are replete, will preclude the
possibility of tediousness. To open the book is to read it to the end.
It is like some Greek comedy in its shifting scenes, its vivid pictures,
its rapidly passing 'dramatis personae' and supernumeraries.. .. The
author of 'St. Abe,' who can write like this, may do more if he will,
and even found a new school of realistic and satirical poetry."

From the "DAILY NEWS."

"If the author of a 'Tale of Salt Lake City' be not a new poet, he is
certainly a writer of exceedingly clever and effective verses. They
have the ring of originality, and they indicate ability to produce
something still more remarkable than this very remarkable little
piece. It merits a place among works which every one reads with genuine
satisfaction. It is a piece which subserves one of the chief ends of
poetry, that of telling a tale in an unusually forcible and pleasant
way.... If it be the author's purpose to furnish a new argument against
polygamous Mormons, by showing the ridiculous side of their system,
he has perfectly succeeded. The extracts we have given show the varied,
fluent, and forcible character of his verse. None who read about Saint
Abe and his Seven Wives can fail to be amused and to be gratified alike
by the manner of the verse and the matter of the tale."

From the "SCOTSMAN."

"This book does not need much commendation, but it deserves a great
deal. The author of 'The Biglow Papers' might have written it, but there
are passages which are not unlike Bret Harte; and him we suspect. The
authorship, however, may be left out of notice. Men inquire who has
written a good book, that they may honour him; but if his name never be
heard, the book is none the less prized. In design and construction
this work has high merit. It is a good story and it is good poetry. The
author is a humourist and a satirist, and he has here displayed all his
qualities lavishly."


"Amazingly clever.... Besides its pure tone deserves warm recognition.
The humour is never coarse. There is a high delicacy, which is
sufficient to colour and sweeten the whole, as the open spring breeze
holds everything in good savour."

From the "SPECTATOR."

We believe that the new book which has just appeared, 'St. Abe and His
Seven Wives,' will paralyze Mormon resistance far more than any amount
of speeches in Congress or messages from President Grant, by bringing
home to the minds of the millions the ridiculous-diabolic side of the
peculiar institution. The canto called 'The Last Epistle of St. Abe to
the Polygamists,' with its humorous narrative of the way in which the
Saint, sealed to seven wives, fell in love with one, and thenceforward
could not abide the jealousy felt by the other six, will do more to
weaken the last defence of Mormonism--that after all, the women like
it--than a whole ream of narratives about the discontent in Utah.
Thousands on whom narrative and argument would make little or no impression,
will feel how it must be when many wives with burning hearts watch the
husband's growing love for one, when the favourite is sick unto
death, and how 'they set their lips and sneered at me and watched the
situation,' and will understand that the first price paid for polygamy
is the suppression of love, and the second, the slavery of women. The
letter in which the first point is proved is too long for quotation,
and would be spoiled by extracts; but the second could hardly be better
proved than in these humorous lines.

The descriptions of Saint Abe and his Seven Wives will be relished
by roughs in California as much as by the self-indulgent philosophers
of Boston.... Pope would have been proud, we fancy, of these terrible
lines, uttered by a driver whose _fiancée_ has just been beguiled away
by a Mormon saint.

From the "ATHENÆUM."

"'Saint Abe and his Seven Wives' has a freshness and an originality,
altogether wanting in Mr. Longfellow's new work, 'The Divine Tragedy.'
In quaint and forcible language--language admirably suited to the theme;
the author takes us to the wondrous city of the saints, and describes
its inhabitants in a series of graphic sketches. The hero of the story
is Saint Abe, or Abraham Clewson, and in giving us his history the
author has really given us the inner life of the Mormon settlement. In
his pages we see the origin of the movement, the reasons why it has
increased, the internal weakness of the system, and the effect it
produces on its adherents. We are introduced to the saints, whom we see
among their pastures, in their homes, in their promenades, and in their

From the "FREEMAN."

"A remarkable poem.... The production is anonymous, but whoever the
author may be there can be no question that he is a poet, and one of
vast and varied powers. The inner life of Mormondom is portrayed with a
caustic humour equal to anything in 'The Biglow Papers'; and were it not
for the exquisite elegance of the verse we should think that some parts
of the poem were written by Robert Browning. The hero of the poem is a
Mormon, who fares so badly as a polygamist that he elopes with one of
his seven wives--the one whom he really loves; and the story is a most
effective exposure of the evils which necessarily attach to polygamy."


"There can be no doubt that it is worthy of the author of 'The Biglow
Papers.' Since that work was published, we have received many humorous
volumes from across the Atlantic, but nothing equal to 'St. Abe.' As
to its form, it shows that Mr. Lowell has been making advances in the
poetic art; and the substance of it is as strong as anything in the
entire range of English satirical literature."


"The writer has an easy mastery over various kinds of metre, and a
felicity of easy rhyming which is not unworthy of our best writers
of satire..., The prevailing impression of the whole is of that easy
strength which does what it likes with language and rhythm. ....
The style is light and playful, with admirable touches of fine
discrimination and rich humour; but the purpose is earnest. .... The
book is a very clever and a very wholesome one. It is one of those
strong, crushing, dramatic satires, which do more execution than a
thousand arguments."


"It is said to be by Lowell. Truly, if America has more than one
writer who can write in such a rich vein of satire, humour, pathos,
and wit, as we have here, England must look to her laurels.... This
is poetry of a high order. Would that in England we had humourists who
could write as well. But with Thackeray our last writer of humour left


"'Saint Abe and his Seven Wives' may lay claim to many rare
qualities. The author possesses simplicity and directness. To this he
adds genuine humour and interposes dramatic power. Lastly, he has contrived
to give a local flavour, something of the salt of the Salt Lake to his
characters, which enables us to thoroughly realise them.... We will
not spoil the admirable canto 'Within the Synagogue' by any quotation,
which, however long, cannot possibly do it justice. We will merely say
that this one hit is worth the price of the whole book. In the author we
recognise a true poet, with an entirely original vein of humour."


"It is thoroughly American, now rising into a true imaginative
intensity, but oftener falling into a satirical vein, dealing plainly
enough with the plague-spots of Salt Lake society and its wily, false
prophets.... Like most men capable of humour, the author has command of
a sweeter and more harmonious manner. Indeed, the beautiful descriptive
and lyrical fragments stand in vivid and reflecting relief to the homely
staple of the poem."


"It is impossible to deny that the praises bestowed on 'St. Abe and
his Seven Wives' as a work of literary power are deserved."

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software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.