Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Ventures Into Verse - Being various ballads, ballades, rondeaux, triolets, songs, - quatrains, odes and roundels, all rescued from the potters' - field of old files and her given decent burial
Author: Mencken, H. L. (Henry Louis)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Ventures Into Verse - Being various ballads, ballades, rondeaux, triolets, songs, - quatrains, odes and roundels, all rescued from the potters' - field of old files and her given decent burial" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)



                         Ventures _into_ Verse
 Being Various BALLADS, BALLADES, RONDEAUX, TRIOLETS, SONGS, QUATRAINS,
  ODES _and_ ROUNDELS ✿ All rescued from _the_ POTTERS' FIELD _of_ Old
    Files _and_ here Given DECENT BURIAL ✿ [Peace _to_ Their Ashes]


                                   BY

                          Henry Louis Mencken

                   WITH ILLUSTRATIONS & OTHER THINGS
                  _By_ CHARLES S. GORDON & JOHN SIEGEL

[Illustration]

                     MARSHALL, BEEK & GORDON :: NEW
                  YORK :: LONDON :: TORONTO :: SYDNEY
                 BALTIMORE ✿ FIRST (_and Last_) EDITION
                              M C M I I I



                  Copyright, 1903, by Henry L. Mencken



                                CONTENTS


                   VENTURES INTO VERSE
                       TO R. K.
                       THE SONG OF THE OLDEN TIME
                       THE SPANISH MAIN
                       THE TRANSPORT GEN'RAL FERGUSON
                       A WAR SONG
                       FAITH
                       THE BALLAD OF SHIPS IN HARBOR
                       THE ORF'CER BOY
                       THE FILIPINO MAIDEN
                       THE VIOLET
                       THE TIN-CLADS
                       SEPTEMBER
                       ARABESQUE
                   ESSAYS IN OLD FRENCH FORMS
                       A BALLADE OF PROTEST
                       A FRIVOLOUS RONDEAU
                       THE RHYMES OF MISTRESS DOROTHY
                       A FEW LINES
                       A RONDEAU OF TWO HOURS
                       AN ANTE-CHRISTMAS RONDEAU
                       ROUNDEL
                       IN VAUDEVILLE
                       THE RONDEAU OF RICHES
                       IN EATING SOUP
                       LOVE AND THE ROSE
                       A RONDEAU OF STATESMANSHIP
                   SONGS of THE CITY
                       SONGS OF THE CITY
                   OTHER VERSES
                       A MADRIGAL
                       A BALLAD OF LOOKING
                       WHEN THE PIPE GOES OUT
                       A PARADOX
                       THE SONG OF THE SLAPSTICK
                       IL PENSEROSO
                       FINIS



                               _WARNING_


Most of the verses that follow have been printed before and the author
wishes to acknowledge his thanks for permission to reproduce them, to
the editors and publishers of _The Bookman_, _Life_, _The New England
Magazine_, _The National Magazine_ and the _Baltimore Morning Herald_.
Some are imitations—necessarily weak—of the verse of several men in
whose writings he has found a good deal of innocent pleasure. The
others, he fears, are more or less original.



                           PRELIMINARY REBUKE


            _Don't shoot the pianist; he's doing his best._

                  Gesundheit! Knockers! have your Fling!
                Unto an Anvilfest you're bid;
                  It took a Lot of Hammering,
                To build Old Cheops' Pyramid!



                         Ventures _into_ Verse


                      ✿ ✿ BY HENRY L. MENCKEN ✿ ✿



                              TO R. K.[1]


          Prophet of brawn and bravery!
            Bard of the fighting man!
        You have made us kneel to a God of Steel,
            And to fear his church's ban;
        You have taught the song that the bullet sings—
        The knell and the crowning ode of kings;
            The ne'er denied appeal!

          Prophet of brain and handicraft!
            Bard of our grim machines!
        You have made us dream of a God of Steam,
            And have shown what his worship means
        In the clanking rod and the whirring wheel
        A life and a soul your songs reveal,
            And power and might supreme.

          Bard of the East and mystery!
            Singer of those who bow
        To the earthen clods that they call their gods
            And with god-like fees endow;
        You have shown that these heed not the suppliant's plea,
        Nor the prayers of the priest and devotee,
            Nor the vestal's futile vow.

          Singer, we ask what we cannot learn
            From our wise men and our schools;
        Will our offered slain from our gods obtain
            But the old reward of fools?
        Will our man-made gods be like their kind?
        If we bow to a clod of clay enshrined
            Will we pray our prayers in vain?

-----

Footnote 1:

  Copyright, 1899, by Dodd, Mead & Co.



                       THE SONG OF THE OLDEN TIME


            Powder and shot now fight our fights
              And we meet our foes no more,
            As face to face our fathers fought
              In the brave old days of yore;
            To the thirteen inch and the needle gun,
              To the she-cat four-point-three
            We look for help when the war-dogs yelp
              And the foe comes o'er the sea!

            _Oho! for the days of the olden time,
              When a fight was a fight of men!
            When lance broke lance and arm met arm—
              There were no cowards then;
            Sing ho! for the fight of the olden time,
              When the muscles swelled in strain,
            As the steel found rest in a brave man's breast
              And the axe in a brave man's brain!_

            The lance-point broke on the armor's steel,
              And the pike crushed helmet through,
            And the blood of the vanquished, warm and red,
              Stained the victor's war-steed, too!
            A fight was a fight in the olden time—
              Sing ho, for the days bygone!—
            And a strong right arm was the luckiest charm,
              When the foe came marching on!

            _Oho! for the days of the olden time,
              When a fight was a fight of men!
            When lance broke lance and arm met arm—
              There were no cowards then!
            Sing ho! for the fight of the olden time,
              When the muscles swelled in strain,
            As the steel found rest in a brave man's breast
              And the axe in a brave man's brain!_



                            THE SPANISH MAIN


              Between the tangle of the palms,
                There gleaming, like a star-strewn plain,
              All smiling, lies the sea of calms,
                And calls to us to fare amain;
              And calls us, as with smile and gem,
                She called that bold, upstanding brood,
              Whose bones, when she had done with them,
                Upon her shores she strewed.

              Between the tangle of the palms,
                By day the gleam is on the swell,
              And drifting zephyrs, bearing balms,
                Her tales of joy and riches tell,
              And when the winds of night are free
                Long, glimmering ripples wander by
              As if the stars where in the sea,
                Instead of in the sky.

              And they went forth in ships of war
                Girt up in all foolhardiness,
              To take their toll from out her store,
                Beguiled and snared by her caress;
              And we go forth in cargo ships
                To wrest her treasures bloodlessly,
              And buy the nectar from her lips,
                Our fairy goddess, she!

              Where once their galleons blundered by
                Our cargo ships are on their way,
              And where their galleons rotting lie,
                Our cargo ships are wrecked today.
              For ever, 'till the world is done,
                And all good merchantmen go down,
              And dies the wind, as pales the sun,
                Her smile will mask her frown.

[Illustration]



                   THE TRANSPORT GEN'RAL FERGUSON[2]


   The transport Gen'ral Ferguson, she left the Golden Gate,
 With a thousand rookies sweatin' in her hold;
   An' the sergeants drove an' drilled them, an' the sun it nearly killed
      them,—
 Till they learned to do whatever they were told.

   The transport Gen'ral Ferguson, she lay at Honolu',
 An' the rookies went ashore an' roughed the town,
   So the sergeants they corralled them, and with butt and barrel quelled
      them,—
 An' they limped aboard an' set to fryin' brown.

   The transport Gen'ral Ferguson, she steamed to-ward the south,
 And the rookies sweated morning, noon and night;
   'Till the lookout sighted land, and they cheered each grain o' sand,—
 For their blood was boilin' over for a fight.

   The transport Gen'ral Ferguson, she tied up at the dock,
 An' each rookie lugged his gun an' kit ashore,
   An' a train it come and took 'em where the tropic sun could cook 'em,—
 An' the sergeants they could talk to them of war.

   The transport Gen'ral Ferguson, she had her bottom scraped,
 For the first part of her labor it was done,
   An' the rookies chased the Tagals and the Tagals they escaped,—
 An' the rookies set and sweated in the sun.


   The transport Gen'ral Ferguson, she loafed around awhile,
 An' the rookies they was soldier boys by now,
   For it don't take long to teach 'em—where the Tagal lead can reach
      'em—
 All about the which and why and when and how.

   The transport Gen'ral Ferguson, she headed home again,
 With a thousand heavy coffins in her hold;
   They were soldered up and stenciled, they were numbered and blue
      penciled,—
 And the rookies lay inside 'em stiff and cold.

   The transport Gen'ral Ferguson, she reached the Golden Gate,
 An' the derrick dumped her cargo on the shore;
   In a pyramid they piled it—and her manifest they filed it,
 In a pigeon-hole with half a hundred more.

   The transport Gen'ral Ferguson, she travels up and down,
 A-haulin' rookies to and from the war;
   Outward-bound they sweat in Kharki; homeward bound they come in lead
 And they wonder what they've got to do it for.

   The transport Gen'ral Ferguson, she's owned by Uncle Sam,
 An' maybe Uncle Sam could tell 'em why,
   But he don't—and so he takes 'em out to fight, and sweat, and swear,
 An' brings them home for plantin' when they die.

-----

Footnote 2:

  Copyright, 1902, by the _Life_ Publishing Company.



                               A WAR SONG


           The wounded bird to its blasted nest,
             (Sing ho! for the joys of war!)
           When the sun of its life veers o'er to the West,
             (Sing ho! for the war, for the war!)
           The wounded fox to its cave in the hill,
           And the blood-dyed wolf to the snow-waste chill,
           And the mangled elk to the wild-wood rill,
             (Sing ho! for the price of war!)

           The nest-queen harks to her master's hurts,
             (Sing ho! for the wounds of war!)
           And the she-fox busies with woodland worts,
             (Sing ho! for the end of war!)
           The she-wolf staunches the warm red flood,
           And the doe is besmeared with the spurting blood,
           For 'tis ever the weak that must help the strong,
           Though they have no part in the triumph song,
           And their glory is brief as their work is long—
             (Sing ho! for the saints of war!)

[Illustration]



                                 FAITH


                  The Gawd that guided Moses
                Acrost the desert sand,
                  The Gawd that unter Joner
                Put out a helping hand,
                  The Gawd that saved these famous men
                    From death on land an' sea,
                  Can spare a minute now an' then
                    To take a peep at you an' me.

                The Gawd of Ol' Man Adam
                An' Father Abraham,
                  Of Joshua an' Isaiah,
                Of lion an' of lamb,
                  Of kings, an' queens, an' potentates,
                    An' chaps of pedigree,
                  Wont put a bar acrost the Gate
                    When Gabr'el toots fer you an' me.

                  The Gawd that made the ocean
                An' painted up the sky,
                  The Gawd that sets us livin'
                An' takes us when we die,
                  Is just the same to ev'ry man,
                    Of high or low degree,
                  An' no one's better treated than
                    Poor little you and little me.



                     THE BALLAD OF SHIPS IN HARBOR


               _Clatter of shears and derrick,
                 Rattle of box and bale,
               The ships of the earth are at their docks,
                 Back from the world-round trail—
               Back from the wild waste northward,
                 Back from the wind and the lea,
               Back from the ports of East and West,
                 Back from the under sea._

               Here is a bark from Rio,
                 Back—and away she steals!
               Here, from her trip, is a clipper ship
                 That showed the sea her heels—
               South to the Gallapagos,
                 Down, due south, to the Horn,
               And up, by the Windward Passage way,
                 On the breath of the balm-wind borne.

               There, standing down the channel,
                 With a smoke wake o'er her rail,
               Is a ship that goes to Zanzibar
                 Along the world-round trail,
               'Ere seven suns have kissed her
                 She may pound on Quoddy Head—
               A surf-tossed speck of melting wreck,
                 Deep-freighted with her dead.

               And see that gaunt Norwegian,
                 Greasy, grimy and black—
               She sails today for Yeddo Bay;
                 Who knows but she comes not back?
               And there is a low decked Briton,
                 And yonder a white-winged Dane—
               Oh, a song for the ships that put to sea
                 And come not back again!

               _Clatter of shears and derrick,
                 Rattle of box and bale,
               The ships of the earth are home today,
                 Tomorrow they shall sail;
               Cleared for the dawn and the sunset,
                 Cleared for the wind and the lea;
               World-round and back, by the olden track—
                 Playthings of the sea._

[Illustration]



                            THE ORF'CER BOY


                   “He was a gran' bhoy!”—_Mulvaney._

  Now 'e aren't got no whiskers
    An' 'e's only five foot 'igh,
  (All the same 'e is a' orf'cer hof the Queen!)
    Oh, 'is voice is like a loidy's
    An' 'e's so polite an' shy!
  (All the same 'e serves 'Er Majesty the Queen!)
    It is only 'bout a year ago 'e left 'is mother's knee,
    It is only 'bout a month ago 'e come acrost the sea,
    It is only 'bout a week that 'e 'as been aleadin' me.
  (That's the way 'e serves 'Er Majesty the Queen!)

  'E is such a little chappie,
    Bein' only five foot 'igh,
  That you'd wonder how 'is likes could serve the Queen;
  You would think that when 'e 'eard the guns
    'E'd just set down an' cry—
  A-forgettin' ev'rythink about the Queen;
    But by all that's good an' holy, you'd be extraord'ny wrong,
    'Cos 'e doesn't like no singin' 'arf as good 's the Gatlin's song,
    An' 'e fights as though 'e'd been a-fightin' twenty times as long
  As any other man that serves the Queen!

  If you'd seen him when we got to where
    The Modder's deep an' wet,
  You'd a-knowed 'e was a' orf'cer hof the Queen!
  There's a dozen of the enemy
    That ain't forgot 'im yet—
  For 'e run 'is sword clean through 'em for the Queen!
    Oh, 'e aren't much on whiskers an' 'e aren't much on 'eight,
    An' a year or two ago 'e was a-learnin' for to write,
    But you bet your soldier's shillin' 'e's the devil in a fight—
  An' 'ed die to serve 'Er Majesty the Queen!



                          THE FILIPINO MAIDEN


       Her father we've chased in the jungle,
       And her brother is full of our lead;
         Her uncles and cousins
         In yellow half-dozens
       We've tried to induce to be dead;
         And while we have shot at their shadows,
       They've done the same favor for us—
         But, by George, she's so sweet
         That we'd rather be beat
       Than to have her mixed up in the fuss.

       Oh! isn't her blush like the roses?
       And aren't her eyes like the stars?
         And whenever she smiles
         Don't you think you are miles
       From the rattle and roar of the wars?
         Would you take the three stars of a general
       If she'd say “Leave the stars and take me?”
         Oh! we've stolen sweet kisses from thousands of misses,
       But hers are the sweetest that be.

       Her name may be Ahlo or Nina,
       Or Zanez or Lalamaloo;
         She may smoke the cigars
         Of the chino bazars,
       And prefer black maduros to you;
         She may speak a wild six-cornered lingo,
       And say that your Spanish is queer,
         But you'll never mind this
         When she gives you a kiss
       And calls you her “zolshier poy dear.”

       Oh! isn't her blush like the roses?
       And aren't her eyes like the stars?
         And whenever she smiles
         Don't you think you are miles
       From the rattle and roar of the wars?
         Would you take the three stars of a general
       If she'd say “Leave the stars and take me?”
         Oh! I've stolen sweet kisses from thousands of misses,
       But her's are the sweetest for me!

[Illustration]



                               THE VIOLET


                As in the first pale flush of coming dawn
              We see a promise of the glorious sun,
                So in the violet's misty blue is drawn
              A shadowy likeness of the days to be,
                The days of cloudless skies and poesie,
                    When Winter's done.



                            THE TIN-CLADS[3]


  The small gunboats captured from the Spaniards and facetiously
  called “tin-clads” by the men of the land forces, are of great value
  in the offensive operations against the insurgents along the
  coast.—[MANILLA DISPATCH]

 _Their draft is a foot and a half,
 And a knot and a half is their speed,
   Their bows are as blunt as the stern of a punt
 And their boilers are wonders of greed;
   Their rudders are always on strike,
   Their displacement is thirty-two tons,
 They are armored with tin—to the dishpan they're kin—
 But their Maxims are A number ones,
                     (Ask Aggie!)
 Their Maxims are murderous guns!_

 When from out the towns and villages, and out the jungle, too,
   We have chased the Filipinos on the run,
 Toward the river swamps they foot it—towards the swamps we can't go
    through—
   And we're doubtful if we've lost the fight or won;
 Then when all are safe in hiding in the slimy mud and reeds,
   From the river 'cross the swamp we hear a sound;
 It's the sputter and the rattle of the automatic feeds
   On the tin-protected cruisers—how they pound—
                     (Sweet sound!)
 They that save us being losers—Rah! the tin-protected cruisers!
   Hear their rattling Maxims pound, pound, pound!


 When the guns have done their work, and the Tagals come our way,
   (I admit they much prefer us to the guns,)
 Why, we finish up what's left—ten in every dozen lay
   Dead as Noah, in the swampy pools and runs;
 Then the Maxims stop their rattle and we know that midst the reeds,
   Half a hundred Filipinos on the ground
 Are a-looking at the sky, with a glassy, sightless eye,
   And the other half—or most of them—are drowned.
 'Twas the tin-protected cruisers—How they pound!
                       (Sweet sound!)
 They that saved us being losers—Rah! the tin-protected cruisers!
   How their rattling Maxims pound, pound, pound!

 _Their draft is a foot and a half
 And a knot and a half is their speed,
   Their bows are as blunt as the stern of a punt,
 And their engines are wonders, indeed.
   Their rudders are always on strike,
   Their bunkers hold two or three tons,
 They are armored with tin—to the meat-can they're kin—
 'But their Maxims are A number ones,
                       (Ask Aggie!)
 Their Maxims are murderous guns;
                       (Go ask him!)
 Their Maxims are Death's younger sons._

-----

Footnote 3:

  Copyright, 1900, by the W. W. Potter Co.



                               SEPTEMBER


             A dash of scarlet in the dark'ning green,
           A minor echo in the night-wind's wail,
             And faint and low, the swirling boughs between,
           The last, sad carol of the nightingale.

[Illustration]



                               ARABESQUE


            (_An English Version of an old Turkish Lyric._)

            The tinkling sound of the camel's bell
              Comes softly across the sand,
            And the nightingale by the garden well
              Still warbles his saraband,
            But the night goes by and the dawn-winds blow
            From the glimmering East and the Hills of Snow,
              And I wait, sweetheart, I wait alone,
              For a smile from thee, my own!

            Awake! e'er the gong of the muezzin
              Peals forth for another day;
            E'er its loveless, barren toil begin
              But a smile from you I pray!
            But a smile from your soul-enslaving eyes,—
            As brightly dark as the midnight skies,—
              But a smile, I pray! Awake! sweetheart,
              Awake! my own, my own!



                       ESSAYS IN OLD FRENCH FORMS


[Illustration]



                        A BALLADE OF PROTEST[4]


        (_To the address of Master Rudyard Kipling, Poetaster_)

               For long, unjoyed, we've heard you sing
                 Of politics and army bills,
               Of money-lust and cricketing,
                 Of clothes and fear and other things;
                 Meanwhile the palm-trees and the hills
               Have lacked a bard to voice their lay;
                 Poet, ere time your lyre string stills,
               Sing us again of Mandalay!

               Unsung the East lies glimmering,
                 Unsung the palm trees toss their frills,
               Unsung the seas their splendors fling,
                 The while you prate of laws and tills.
                 Each man his destiny fulfills;
               Can it be yours to loose and stray;
                 In sophist garb to waste your quills?—
               Sing us again of Mandalay!

               Sing us again in rhymes that ring,
                 In Master-Voice that lives and thrills.
               Sing us again of wind and wing,
                 Of temple bells and jungle thrills;
                 And if your Pegasus e'er wills
               To lead you down some other way,
                 Go bind him in his olden thills—
               Sing us again of Mandalay!

               Master, regard the plaint we bring,
                 And hearken to the prayer we pray.
               Lay down your law and sermoning—
                 Sing us again of Mandalay!

-----

Footnote 4:

  Copyright, 1902, by Dodd, Mead & Co.



                          A FRIVOLOUS RONDEAU


                   “I co'd reherse
                   A lyric verse.”—_The Hesperides._

               A lyric verse I'll make for you,
               Fair damsel that the many woo,
                 'Twill be a sonnet on your fan—
                 That aid to love from quaint Japan—
               And “true” will rhyme with “eyes of blue.”

               Ah! me, if you but only knew
               The toil of setting out to hew
                 From words—as I shall try to do—
                               A lyric verse.

               Fleet metric ghosts I must pursue,
               And dim rhyme apparitions, too—
                 But yet, 'tis joyfully I scan,
                 And reckon rhymes and think and plan
               For there's no cheaper present than
                               A lyric verse.



                     THE RHYMES OF MISTRESS DOROTHY


                               _Roundel_—

                  Bemauled by ev'ry hurrying churl
                And deafened by the city's brawl,
                  A helm-less craft I helpless swirl
                            Adown the street.

                With battered hat I trip and sprawl
                  And like a toy tee-to-tum swirl,
                To end my strugglings with a fall—

                  But what care I for knock and whirl?—
                Egad! I heed them not at all;
                  For here comes Dolly—sweetheart girl!—
                            Adown the street!


                               _Triolet_—

                  The light that lies in Dolly's eyes
                    Is sun and moon and stars to me;
                  It dims the splendor of the skies—
                  The light that lies in Dolly's eyes—
                  And me-ward shining, testifies
                    That Dolly's mine, fore'er to be—
                  The light that lies in Dolly's eyes
                    Is sun and moon and stars to me!


                              _Roundelay_—

                Oh, Dolly is my treasury—
                  What more of wealth could I desire?
                Her lips are rubies set for me,
                And there between (sweet property!)
                  A string of pearls to smiles conspire;
                With Dolly as my treasury,
                  What more of wealth could I desire?

                And when have men of alchemy
                Yet dreamed of gems like those I see
                  In Dolly's eyes, as flashing fire,
                  They bid the envious world admire?—
                Oh, Dolly is my treasury!
                  What more of wealth could I desire?

                And then her hair!—there cannot be
                Such gold beyond the Purple Sea
                As this of mine—unpriced and free!
                Oh, Dolly is my treasury,
                  My sweetheart and my heart's desire!

[Illustration]



                              A FEW LINES


                 Few roses like your cheeks are red,
                   Few lilies like your brow are fair;
                 Few vassals like your slave are led,
                 Few roses like your cheeks are red,
                 Few dangers like your frown I dread;
                   Few rubies to your lips compare,
                 Few roses like your cheeks are red,
                   Few lilies like your brow are fair.



                         A RONDEAU OF TWO HOURS


                        “It's a cinch.”—_Plato._

                From four to six milady fair
                Is chic and sweet and debonair,
                  For then it is, with smiles and tea,
                  She fills the chappy mob with glee
                (The jays but come to drink and stare).

                  A rose is nestled in her hair,
                  Like Cupid lurking in his lair—
                Few of the jays remain heart free
                        From four to six.

                  Oh let them come—I would not care
                  If all the men on earth were there;
                For when they go she smiles on me,
                And, just because she loves me, she
                  Makes all the ringers take their share
                        From four to six.



                       AN ANTE-CHRISTMAS RONDEAU


              “'Tis a sad story, mates.”—_Marie Corelli._

               It's up to me—the winds are chill
               And snow clouds drift from o'er the hill,
                 At dawn the rime is on the grass,
                 At five o'clock we light the gas,
               And long gone is the daffodil.

               Jack Frost draws flowers upon the glass
                 And blasts the growing ones—alas!
               Whene'er he comes to scar and kill,
                           It's up to me.

                 I run not in the croaker class,
               But when I see the autumn pass,
               Of crushing woes I have my fill—
               To buy a Christmas gift for Jill
                 A horde of gold I must amass—
                           It's up to me.

[Illustration]



                                ROUNDEL


                  If love were all and we could cheat
                All gods but Cupid of their due,
                  Our joy in life would be complete.

                  We'd only live that we might woo,
                (Instead, as now, that we might eat,)
                  And ev'ry lover would be true,—
                            If love were all.

                  Yet, if we found our bread and meat
                In kisses it would please but few,
                  Soon life would grow a cloying sweet,
                            If love were all.



                             IN VAUDEVILLE


                 In vaudeville the elder jest
                 Remains the one that's loved the best;
                   For 'tis the custom of the stage
                   To venerate and honor age
                 And look upon the old as blest.

                 Originality's a pest
                 That artist's labor hard to best—
                   Conservatism is the rage
                           In vaudeville.

                 The artist's arms are here expressed:
                 A slapstick argent as a crest
                   (It is an ancient heritage),
                 A seltzer siphon gules—the wage
                 Of newness is a lengthy rest
                           In vaudeville.



                         THE RONDEAU OF RICHES


                 If I were rich and had a store
                 Of gold doubloons and louis d'or—
                   A treasure for a pirate crew—
                   Then I would spend it all for you—
                 My heart's delight and conqueror!

                 About your feet upon the floor,
                 Ten thousand rubies I would pour—
                   Regardless of expense, I'd woo
                           If I were rich.

                 But as I'm not, I can but soar
                 Mid fancy's heights and ponder o'er
                   The things that I would like to do;
                   And as I pass them in review
                 It strikes me that you'd love me more
                           If I were rich.



                             IN EATING SOUP


                In eating soup, it's always well
                To make an effort to excel
                  The unregenerate who sop
                  With bread the last surviving drop
                As if to them but one befell.

                And if it burn you do not yell,
                Or stamp or storm or say “Oh!——well!”—
                  From social grandeur you may flop
                          In eating soup.

                And if the appetizing smell
                Upon you cast a witch's spell,
                  To drain your plate pray do not stop,
                  And please, I pray you, do not slop!
                A gurgling sound's a social knell
                          In eating soup.

[Illustration]



                           LOVE AND THE ROSE


               The thorn lives but to shield the rose;
                 Coquetry may but shelter love!
               (This consolation Hope bestows).
               The thorn lives but to shield the rose;
               Though blood from many a thorn wound flows
                 I'll pluck the rose that blows above—
               The thorn lives but to shield the rose,
                 Coquetry may but shelter love!

               Love me more or not at all,
                 Half a rose is less than none;
               Hear the wretch you hold in thrall!
               Love me more or not at all!
               Dilletante love will pall,
                 I would have you wholly won;—
               Love me more or not at all;
                 Half a rose is less than none!



                       A RONDEAU OF STATESMANSHIP


                  In politics it's funny how
                  A man may tell you one thing now
                    And say tomorrow that he meant
                    To voice a different sentiment
                  And vow a very different vow.

                  The writ and spoken laws allow
                  Each individual to endow
                    His words with underground intent
                            In politics.

                  Thus he who leads in verbal prow-
                  Ness sports the laurel on his brow—
                  So if you wish to represent
                    The acme of the eminent,
                  Learning lying ere you make your bow
                            In politics.



                          SONGS _of_ THE CITY


[Illustration]



                           SONGS OF THE CITY


                             I—_Auroral_[5]

              Another day comes journeying with the sun,
            The east grows ghastly with the dawning's gleam,
              And e'er the dark has flown and night is done
            The alley pavements with their many teem.

              Another day of toil and grief and pain;
            Life surely seems not sweet to such as these!
              Yet they live toiling that they may but gain
            The right to life and all life's miseries.


                             II—_Madrigal_

                  Ah! what were all the running brooks
                From ocean-side to ocean-side,
                  And what were all the chattering wrens
                That wake the wood with song,
                  And what were all the roses red
                In all the flowery meadows wide,
                  And what were all the fairy clouds
                That 'cross the heavens throng—
                  And what were all the joys that bide
                    In meadow, wood and down,
                  To me, if I were at your side
                    Within the joyless town?


                      III—_Within the City Gates_

                   We can but dream of murmuring rills
                   Mad racing down the wooded hills,
                 Of meadow flowers and balmy days
                 When robin sings his amorous lays;
                   And lost among the city's ways,
                   To us it is not given to gaze
                 In wonder as the morning haze
                   Lifts from the sea of daffodils,—
                   Of all but those on window-sills
                             We can but dream.


                               IV—_April_

         At dawn a gay gallant comes to the eaves
           And trills a song unto his lady fair,
         And then, above the reach of boyish thieves,
           A building nest sways in the balmy air;
         One day a flower upon a window sill
           Puts forth a bud, and as its beauty grows
           The sun—gay prodigal!—with life-light glows,
           The while he reads the doom of storms and snows;
         And then—and then—there comes the springtime's thrill!


                        V—_The Coming of Winter_

          A chill, damp west wind and a heavy sky,
            With clouds that merge in one gray, darkling sea,
          The last red leaves of autumn flutter by,
            Wrest from the dead twigs of the street-side tree;
          And then there comes an eddying cloud of white,
            First dim, then blotting everything below;
          Up to the eaves the sparrows haste in flight—
            And thus upon the town descends the snow.


                             VI—_The Snow_

           A song of birds adown a mine's dark galleries,
             A scent of roses 'mid a waste of moor and fen,
           A gush of sparkling waters from the desert sands,—
             So comes the snow upon the town, an alien.


                             VII—_Nocturne_

            How like a warrior on the battlefield
              The city sleeps, with brain awake, and eyes
              That know no closing. Ere the first star dies
            It rises from its slumber, and with shield
              In hand, full ready for the fray,
              Goes forth to meet the day.

-----

Footnote 5:

  Copyright, 1899, by Warren F. Kellogg.



                              OTHER VERSES


[Illustration]



                               A MADRIGAL


         How can I choose but love you,
           Maid of the witching smile?
         Your eyes are as blue as the skies above you;
         How can I choose but love you, love you,
           You and your witching smile?
         For the red of your lips is the red of the rose,
         And the white of your brows is the white of the snows,
         And the gold of your hair is the splendor that glows
           When the sun gilds the east at morn.
         And the blue of your eyes
         Is the blue of the skies
           Of an orient day new-born;
         And your smile has a charm that is balm to the soul,
         And your pa has a bar'l and a many-plunk roll,
           So how can I choose but love you, love you,
         Love you, love you, love you?



                          A BALLAD OF LOOKING


           He looked into her eyes, and there he saw
             No trace of that bright gleam which poets say
             Comes from the faery orb of love's sweet day,
           No blushing coyness causes her to withdraw
           Her gaze from his. He looked and yet he knew
             No joy, no whirling numbness of the brain,
             No quickening heart-beat. Then he looked again,
           And once again, unblushing, she looked too.

           He looked into her eyes—with interest he
             Stared at them through a magnifying prism.
             For he was but an oculist, and she
           Was being treated for astigmatism.

[Illustration]



                         WHEN THE PIPE GOES OUT


                         A maiden's heart,
                           And sighs profuse,
                         A father's foot,
                           And—what's the use?



                               A PARADOX


               Dan Cupyd drewe hys lyttle bowe,
                 And strayght ye arrowe from it flewe,
               Although its course was rather lowe,
                 I thought 'twould pass above my heade—
               In stature I am shorte, you knowe.

               But soone upon my breast a stayne
                 Of blood appeared, and showed ye marke
               Whereat ye boy god tooke hys aime;
                 I staggered, groaned and then—I smyled!
               Egad! it was a pleasante payne!

[Illustration]



                       THE SONG OF THE SLAPSTICK


               Why is a hen? (Kerflop!) Haw, haw!
                 Toot, goes the slide trombone;
               Why is a hen? (And a swat in the jaw!)
                 And the ushers laugh alone.
               Why is a—(Bang!)—is a—(Biff!) Ho, ho!
                 Boom! goes the sad French horn;
               Why is a hen? (Kerflop!) Do you know?—
                 And the paid admissions mourn!

               Vhy iss a hen? Yes? No? (Kerflop?)
                 Bang! goes the man at the drum;
               Vhy iss a hen? (And a knock at the top!)
                 And the press agent's stricken dumb;
               Vhy iss a—(Thud!)—iss a—(Flop!)—iss a hen?
                 Hark! how the supers laugh!
               Vhy iss a—(Bing! Bang! Boom!)—and then
                 The slapstick's bust in half!
                         (Curtain)



                              IL PENSEROSO


           Love's song is sung in ragtime now
           And kisses sweet are syncopated joys,
           The tender sign, the melancholy moan,
           The soft reproach and yearning up-turned gaze
           Have passed into the caves without the gates
           And in their place, to serve love's purposes,
           Bold profanations from the music halls
           Are working overtime.

           In days of old the amorous swain would sigh
           And say unto his lady love the while
           He pressed her to his heaving low-cut vest,
           “Dost love me, sweet?” And she, with many a blush,
           Would softly answer, “Yes, my cavalier!”
           Now to his girl the ragtime lover says,
           The while he strums his marked-down mandolin
           “Is you ma lady love?” and she, his girl,
           Makes answer thus: “Ah is!”

           Gadzooks! it makes me sad! I see the doom
           Of Cupid, and upon the battered air
           I hear a rumor floating. It is this:
           That when the boy god shuffles to the grave
           'Tis Syncopated Sambo that will get
           His job!

                  *       *       *       *       *

           Ah, me! What sadness resteth on my soul!



                                 FINIS


          There was a man that delved in the earth
            For glittering gems and gold,
          And whatever lay hidden that seemed of worth
            He carefully seized and sold;
          So his days were long and his store was great,
            And ever for more he sighed,
          'Till kings bowed down and he ruled in state—
            And after awhile he died.

              _Oh, blithesome and shrill the wails resound!
              Oh, gaily his children moan!
                And the end of it all was a hole in the ground
                And a scratch on a crumbling stone._

          There was a man that fought for the right,
            And never a friend had he,
          'Till after the dark there dawned the light
            And the world could know and see;
          Oh, long was the fight and comfortless,
            But great was the fighter's pride,
          And a victor he rose from the storm and stress—
            And after awhile he died.

              _Oh, great was the fame but newly found
              Of the man that fought alone!
                And the end of it all was a hole in the ground
                And a scratch on a crumbling stone._

          There was a man that dreamed a dream,
            And his pen it served his brain;
          And great was his art and great his theme
            And long was his laurelled reign;
          But after awhile the world forgot
            And his work was pushed aside,
          (For to serve and wait is the mortal lot)
            And then, in the end, he died.

              _Oh! brown on his brow were the bays that bound
              And far was his glory flown!
                And the end of it all was a hole in the ground
                And a scratch on a crumbling stone._

[Illustration]



DONE INTO TYPE AND PRINTED BY MARSHALL, BEEK & GORDON IN THE CITY OF
BALTIMORE AND ON THE THIRD FLOOR OF THE TELEGRAM BUILDING, NORTH AND
BALTIMORE STREET CROSSING ♣ ANNO DOMINI MCMIII

                                  250
                             Copies Of This
                          Facsimile Edition Of
                          Ventures Into Verse
                         Have Been Printed For
                           Smith's Book Store
                         Baltimore 1, Maryland
                            This Is Copy No.
                                 _247_



                          TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES


 1. Added Table of Contents on p. 3.
 2. Corrected Isaaih to Isaiah on p. 11.
 3. Silently corrected typographical errors.
 4. Retained anachronistic and non-standard spellings as printed.
 5. Substituted ✿ symbol for evergreen tree like symbol.
 6. Substituted ♣ symbol for fallen leaf like symbol.
 7. Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Ventures Into Verse - Being various ballads, ballades, rondeaux, triolets, songs, - quatrains, odes and roundels, all rescued from the potters' - field of old files and her given decent burial" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
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.



Home