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Title: Poems
Author: Merrill, Clara A.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Poems" ***

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                           CLARA A. MERRILL

                 [Illustration: Colophon: pine tree.]

                       “Take me back to the home
                       Of my youth once again--
                     To the dear Pine Tree State--
                       The Old State of Maine.”

                           Copyrighted 1915
                           CLARA A. MERRILL

                   MERRILL & WEBBER CO. PRS., AUBURN


The Old State of Maine                                                 5

All Things Speak of God                                                7

Welcome to Summer                                                      9

Ode to the Northern Lights                                            11

The Songs My Mother Sung                                              13

In Memory of Appey M. Merrill                                         15

God is Love and We shall Know                                         18

A Winter Outing                                                       20

Home is Where the Heart Dwells                                        24

The Mystic River                                                      26

Loved Ones Passed Away                                                28

Adventure of a Lover                                                  30

As it Happened                                                        32

The Captive Butterfly                                                 34

What Would They Do?                                                   36

Courageousness                                                        39

Tales that were Told                                                  42

Bravery                                                               46

The Missing Link                                                      48

He Got Left                                                           50

The Jay and the Frog                                                  53

The Cottage by the River                                              56

The Poet to the Artist                                                59

The Tramp’s Story                                                     61

’Tis Easy to get Mistaken                                             65

Song of a Suffragette                                                 68

Rural Delight                                                         70

Look Up                                                               72

The Burning of the Turner Mill                                        74

Carpe Diem                                                            84

A Bachelor’s Comments on Women’s Rights                               85

Wealth vs Virtue                                                      88

Be Merciful                                                           91

Sunshine on the Hill                                                  93

Your Real Wealth                                                      95

Changeable                                                            97

Pleasure                                                              99

Time Brings Changes                                                  101

Mamma’s Story                                                        103

Every Cloud Hath Silver Lining                                       106

Dennis O’Neil’s Dream                                                108

A Lesson Well Taught                                                 110

Reminiscence                                                         114

Humorous                                                             116

Onward for Freedom and Right                                         118

A Mystery Explained                                                  120

A Birthday Greeting                                                  122

All’s Well That Endeth Well                                          123

A Tale from Mountain Grange                                          124

Song of the Grangers’                                                131

Uncle Joe’s Soliloquy                                                133

When Daddy Rocks the Kid                                             136

Stop Talkin’                                                         138

A Yule-Tide Missive                                                  140

The Hunter                                                           143

The Poetry Machine                                                   145

October                                                              147

To Mary                                                              148

The Winds do Blow                                                    149

Farewell to the San                                                  151

We Know Not Why                                                      153

                      To my Beloved Sister Appey

                This little book is lovingly dedicated

The memory of her beautiful life, and of her deep and unchanging love
for me,--together with the knowledge of the interest she felt in my
writings, fills me with a longing to do that which I know would be
pleasing to her.

For though the dear voice of her whom I so loved can no longer cheer and
guide me on, yet in spirit I hear her gently whisper bidding me resume
the work I had laid aside.

Thus from my writings I have selected a few poems which, though
submitted with diffidence, I hope may be kindly received by my many
friends; and accepted by them with such degree of generosity as will
enable them to throw the mantle of charity over the many short-comings,
and to see any good that may chance to exist.

And if from any of these poems there may perchance be found one little
ray of sunshine--though it beams ever so faintly--that may radiate and
give pleasure to even _one_ appreciating heart, then surely I may feel
that my labor will not have been wholly in vain.

                                          CLARA A. MERRILL
                                          THE AUTHOR

     The Old State of Maine

    Sail on gallant bark, bearing onward your freight,
      Ye breezes blow briskly! her sails to inflate,--
    See how her staunch prow the green billows will break,
      And the path of white foam that she leaves in her wake!
    Speed onward, ye courses of iron!--Swiftly steals
      Away the bright rails as they fly ’neath your wheels.
    Bear me onward, fleet charger, nor yet me detain,
      Oh take me back home to my Old State of Maine!

    When twilight’s dark shade o’er the valley impends,
      And the pale crescent moon its refulgence blends;
    Then fancy reverts to the long agone days,
      The sweet scenes of Childhood revisit our gaze;
    And hill, vale and woodland our minds will employ,
      Expanding the bosom with infinite joy.
    Peal on, memory sweet! Let me hear thy glad strain,
      Oh take me back home to my old Old State of Maine!

    Tho’ I traverse at will Old Neptune’s domain,
      Or by fair country-side bounding river and plain;
    In dreams I can see,--in their places once more
      Kind familiar faces, long since gone before,--
    And I dwell once again in the days that are past,
      Nor think, for the time, that naught earthly can last.
    Dream on, faithful muse, I have long sighed in vain,--
      Oh, take me back home to my Old State of Maine!

    From Katahdin’s proud crest, to Atlantic’s blue verge,
      New lights and new scenes in succession emerge;
    Silver lakes and green meads, in confusion arise
      In grand panorama to gladden our eyes.
    I love the old ingle, each nook, rock and knoll,
      And the country’s dear flag that waves over the whole;
    Take me back to the home of my youth once again,
      To the dear Pine Tree State,--the Old State of Maine.

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    The stars in their infinite beauty,
      And the moon in yon azure deep;
    All speak of some great Duty--
      Of some tireless Watch to keep.
    This beautiful, beautiful world so grand--
      The trees, the birds and the flowers;
    All point with a beckoning hand,
      To a wisdom more potent than ours.

    Hear ye the Ocean speaking--
      Hear ye the surges roar!
    As the wild-winged winds come shrieking
      From some far distant shore.
    Is there not something greater
      Than the power of Man alone?
    Aye, the power of the Creator
      Is far greater than our own.

    See ye the lightning flashing--
      Now, as in anger comes
    Booming, rolling, crashing
      Like a hundred beating drums
    Peals of terrific thunder--
      We stand in silence, awed;
    We can but pause and wonder
      At the infinite power of God!

    And thou, oh mighty torrent
      Flowing on, and on, through time--
    Tell us, who sends thy current
      O’er the cataract sublime?
    And thou, gigantic mountain--
      Canst tell us whence thy birth--
    Sprang thou from some living fountain--
      How into existence came this earth?

    Could we doubt for a single hour
      That these marvelous works were lent
    By the high and wondrous power
      Of One Omnipotent?
    Nay! tho’ we seek where man ne’er trod
      And traverse sea or land;
    It seems that _all_ things speak of God--
      And a Loving Father’s hand.


    The south wind returns, with a gentle caress
      And it kisses the lakelets’ bright waves;
    And softly it moans in low musical tones
      As it sighs through the mystical caves.
    Sweet Summer is waiting to welcome the rose,
      Who is queen of the flowery band--
    In regal robes new and jewels of dew
      She with majestic grace will command.

    Drowsy and low is the hum of the bees
      As the nectar they sip from the bloom;
    The rivulet courses, all nature rejoices,
      For Winter is laid in the tomb.
    Gaily among the green arches the birds
      Pour forth their thanksgiving in song;
    Their clear, mellow notes in pure cadence floats
      As the echoing gale sweeps along.

    The hillside with blushes lifts up its fair head
      In its verdurous beauty so proud;
    And the flower-faces gleam as a loving sunbeam
      Wafts down from the light fleecy cloud.
    The grand, lofty mountain where hangs the white mist
      Tells the brooklets of Summer’s warm glow;
    And they in turn hail each glen, woodland and vale
      Where the soft willow catkins bend low.

    The flowerets join the harmonious strain
      With the cricket, the bird and the bee;
    And the rippling rill the sweet chorus will trill
      On its clear winding way to the sea.
    ’Neath the gnarled oak tree by the silvery lake
      Are the fairies all robed in white;
    Awaiting their queen, for they dance at e’en
      By the fireflies magical light.

    Then come to the country so grand--
      O come to the old oaken tree
    Where mystical notes on the gentle breeze floats
      And the fays dance so gay on the lea.
    O come to the old oak tree
      Where the ivy so lovingly twines,
    And Zephyr’s warm kiss so freighted with bliss
      Is perfumed by the evergreen pines.


    Aurora-borealis:--Thy secret vast
      Hast ne’er by Man been found--
    As, through the Ages of the Past
      From Times remotest bound
    When Night her sable curtains fold
      O’er all the earth, then high
    ’Mid star-gemmed canopy--behold
      Thy rays illume the sky!

    Canst tell--ye ice-bergs of the North--
      Whence comes these waves of light
    Whose golden splendor shimmers forth
      To greet the Queen of Night--
    Dost power that welds thy icy chain
      And casts thy fetters strong
    Ere thus make radiant thy domain
      As the ages creep along?

    Ye wavering light!--Afar on high
      Shines forth, like chastening rod
    That Power, reflecting on the sky
      The mighty Hand of God!
    Then bow, ye mortal monarchs brave
      Before thy crumbling throne!
    Aurora’s beams shall deck thy grave
      When a hundred years are flown.

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


           (Dear Mother)

    Round the homestead old I wandered,
      Slowly, and with silent tread;
    And at last I turned my footsteps
      To the chamber overhead.
    There, among the broken rubbish,
      Where the cobwebs thickly hung;
    Something sent my thoughts far backward
      To the songs my mother sung.

    That old fashioned, wooden cradle
      Which I slept in when a child;
    As my mother sat beside me
      Singing ever low and mild.
    With her foot upon the rocker,
      To and fro the cradle swung;
    Peacefully I lay and listened
      To the songs my mother sung.

    Long ago was that old cradle
      Banished to the dust and gloom
    ’Neath the dark and musty rafters
      Of that unused lumber room.
    Long had it remained forgotten,--
      Yet fond memory quickly sprung
    As I view’d the dear old relic--
      To the songs my mother sung.

    Oft I’ve roamed in distant places,
      I have traveled far and wide;
    And I know the hours most care-free
      Were those spent by mother’s side.
    While the bell of Time is tolling
      With its harsh unfeeling tongue;
    In my memory I shall cherish
      All the songs my mother sung.

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


           Who Died Nov. 20th, 1903

    Softly, sweetly she is sleeping
      Where the slender grasses wave;
    Daisies bright, their vigil keeping
      O’er her calm and peaceful grave.
    Naught can e’er disturb her slumber--
      Passed all pain--from sorrow free;
    Gone from earth, to join the number
      O’er the silent, mystic sea.

    Sweetly sleep, dear, gentle sister,
      Tranquil ever be thy rest,--
    Yet, ah yet, how we have missed her--
      Gone from those she loved the best.
    Gone from the home--and o’er her pillow
      Strewn with flowers, so fair and white
    Fell tears, and grief like surging billow
      Touched the heart with withering blight.

    Time can ne’er efface our sadness--
      Still the heart’s filled with despair
    For the loved one, who in gladness
      Made the earth-home bright and fair.
    Sad the way seems now, and lonely,
      As we journey day by day
    Paths through which she wandered, only
      Scattering brightness o’er the way.

    Memory points with beckoning finger
      Through the mists of long ago
    To her songs, which sweetly linger
      In the hush of twilight’s glow--
    Points to words of comfort, spoken
      By those lips so good and true--
    Tells of her love, so true, unbroken,
      And we weep in grief anew.

    For the gentle hands lie folded,
      And the pure heart now is still;
    And the brow, in beauty molded
      By the Hand of Death, so chill
    Is now at rest.--Yet visions brightly
      Through the misty haze will bring
    A joy, like whispered promise, lightly
      Wafted as on Zephyr’s wing.

    Visions of that promised splendor
      Of a mansion fair, on high;
    Where, with welcome warm and tender
      She will greet us by and by.--
    By and by--sweet hope, elating--
      When the Voice that bid dear Appey sleep
    Shall call us forth, where she is waiting,
      Ne’er to part, no more to weep.

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    When the darkness seems to gather
      O’er the dawn of hope and peace;
    Like the storm-cloud towering upward
      Which the wild winds e’er increase,--
    And, like angry ocean billows
      Fainting soul is fraught with woe;
    And we’re longing for our loved ones--
      Does the Heavenly Father know?

    Though He notes the fallen sparrow--
      Does He heed the child who weeps--
    Does He see _my_ tears fast falling
      O’er the grave where Sister sleeps?
    When the bitter sob of anguish
      Mingles with the earnest prayer;
    Pleading for His love and comfort
      Does the Heavenly Father care?

    Will He in His loving wisdom
      Send that sweet peace bye and bye--
    When the eye can gaze far upward
      To the brighter realms on high?
    As the way-worn, weary pilgrim
      Turns his footsteps toward the grave;
    And ’neath load of sin he falleth--
      Will the Heavenly Father save?

    In that home where friends await us
      Shall we know them when we meet--
    Will they seem the same dear loved ones
      That on earth we used to greet?--
    Mystic thoughts--Ah! who can tell us
      All that Fancy fain would know?
    “God is Love” and “We shall know then”
      _Faith_ responds in answer low.

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    Get up Sam, ’n’ harness Nancy,
      Shake the hayseed from yer head;
    We are goin’ on a ’s’cursion,
      Goin’ on the old bob-sled;
    Won’t the folks think we are handsome,
      As we pass the village street;
    With the old horse-blanket round us,
      And a bed-quilt at our feet!

    Won’t they stare with mouths wide open,
      When they see our fine turn-out?
    Stare away, ye duck-leg’d dandy--
      Guess we know what we’re about!
    Won’t they think that Sam’s a daisy,
      Settin’ there so grand ’n’ straight--
    Wonder what they’ll think of Phoebe
      With her sleepy-lookin’ pate?

    Have yer got the harness mended?
      Well, go tie it with a string!
    Fix it so’s ’twill hold together;
      Take a rope, or anything!
    Drive a nail into the fender!
      It won’t wobble then, I hope,--
    The thill is broken in two places?
      Here--come get this other rope!

    Then go brush old Nancy’s foretop,
      From her mane pick off the hay;
    In a knot then tie her tail up
      So it won’t be in the way.
    Tie a greased rag round her spavin!
      To let ’er hurt it won’t be right,--
    Say! d’ye spose we’ll want the larntern,
      When we’re comin’ home tonight?

    Wish we had a nigger driver,
      Then I guess we’d go in style;
    We’d make the people gaze before
      We’d been a half a mile!
    Come now, hurry, Jake and Lydia,--
      Have ye washed yer? where’s the comb?
    Come now, hurry,--let’s start early,
      So we’ll find the folks at home.

    Hope Aunt Hulda’ll bile some ’taters;
      Won’t we ply the knife and fork?
    Hope she’ll have a Injun pudd’n!
      Hope she’ll have a hunk of pork!
    Marm, bring out that bag o’ apples!
      See them youngsters fight ’n’ scratch!
    Shut the door ’n’ crawl out o’ the winder!
      Stick the scissors in the latch!

    Now we’re off, as sure as preachin’
      Sun is in the eastern sky,--
    Nancy! Nancy! don’t git frisky!
      My! but aint the critter high!
    Phoebe, tuck that blanket round yer,
      Have ye got yer gaiters on?
    Gosh--I’ve left my pipe ’n’ barker,
      Clean forgot ’em sure’s yer born!

    Sam, set over side of Lydia--
      Marm ’n’ me will set in front,--
    Thought I’d get a jug o’ ’lasses,
      But I swan, I guess I won’t.
    Got to stop ’n’ buy some barker--
      Can’t git through the day without.
    Double up yer long legs, Sammy--
      Stop yer sprawlin’ like a lout!

    Hold on Bill! ye’ll git a tumble--
      Ye’ll be slidin’ on yer head!
    Jake, SET DOWN! or I shall send ye
      To the other end o’ the sled!
    There, now see if ye’ll keep quiet--
      Billy, Sh! shut up yer beak!
    Mustn’t holler by the houses,--
      Bad enough to look ’n peek.

    Without a squallin’ like a ’n Injun!
      Guess yer mammy was a squaw,--
    What! he keeps his chin a goin’
      Just the image of his Pa?
    Get up Nancy! Show yer sperit!
      Whoop-along thar, Nancy--climb!
    Durn ye, git a wiggle on ye--
      We sha’n’t be back ’fore milkin’ time.


    Would I leave my home--my native hills
      For the city by the sea--
    Or leave the lane where the woodbine swings
      And all is dear to me?
    Would I leave my birds for the stately ships
      That sail in the harbor blue--
    Leave the flowers, fresh from the hand of God
      And kissed by the morning dew?

    Would I leave my cot for a mansion grand
      In the city by the sea,--
    Or leave the friends whom I long have loved
      Who are so dear to me?
    Would I leave my bower mid the roses sweet
      Where the sun shines bright and fair--
    Leave my pleasant strolls in the forest glade
      In the country’s fragrant air?

    Nay, I’d not leave my peaceful hill
      For the city by the sea--
    Here earliest recollection clings
      And all is dear to me.--
    I’d not leave my cot where the willows wave
      For the city’s proudest dome!
    Where e’er the heart in fondness dwells
      To me is “Home Sweet Home.”

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    We are sailing down Life’s river--
      Sailing onward day by day,
    Onward, through the misty shadows
      That, so dark, obscure the way.
    Soon we shall be beckoned homeward,
      There to meet with those we know
    In that grand and glorious city
      Where no sorrows ever go.

    We are drifting with the ripples,--
      As they bear our barque along
    We can catch in fitful accents
      Echoes from the angels song.--
    And we see the dim reflection
      Of that bright celestial strand;
    Where the bowers are ever blooming
      In that peaceful, happy land.

    We know not how soon we’ll anchor
      Where bright gems adorn the shore--
    Where the living waters murmur,
      And the breakers moan no more.--
    But we’ll reach the pearly portal
      And we’ll lay our armor down;
    Casting all our burdens from us
      ’Neath the shelter of a crown.

    Near the Throne of Love e’er dwelling,
      Sheltered safe from every woe;
    No more sorrow, no more weeping,
      Naught but glory shall we know.
    There we shall be ever happy
      In the mansion of the blest;
    Blessed be the peace eternal--
      Blessed is the sweet word--Rest.

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    Within our home so cheerful
      Where all is warm and bright;
    Sometimes our hearts grow tearful,
      And to darkness turns the light.
    We see not the joys that surround us--
      We heed not our friends bright and gay;
    For memories, come crowding around us
      Of loved ones passed away.

    Without, the old home is the same,
      Yet within, there is a change;
    And feelings which we cannot name
      Steal o’er us, sad and strange.
    We see the dear forms of long ago,
      Illume the twilight gray,--
    Yet the darksome silence whispers low
      Of loved ones passed away.

    We see them as we did of yore
      In the dear old days long past;
    Ere they were called to the other shore,--
      But those fancies cannot last.
    And though the heart in fondness seeks
      To bid them longer stay--
    Yonder grim churchyard mutely speaks
      Of loved ones passed away.

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    ’Twas Saturday eve.--The love-lorn swain
      Was hastening toward Jennie’s house;
    His mien indicative of fear
      For neither man nor mouse.

    But ere he reached the farmhouse gate
      An object he chanced to spy.--
    ’Twas only a table-cloth Jennie had washed
      And hung on the line to dry.

    But he knew it not, so there he stood
      Deciding what to do,--
    He dare not venture _too near_ the spook,--
      Yet the gate he _must_ go through!--

    The white cloth flapped in the gentle breeze--
      ’Twas too much for Jennie’s beau;
    He turned and ran off down the hill
      As fast as he could go!

    He imagined that footsteps were following fast,--
      So away like a gale ran he;
    Nor did he stop, till he reached the top
      Of Squire Pettigrew’s crab-apple tree!

        *       *       *       *       *

    Just then the moon, with a bright smiling face,
      Came out from behind a black cloud,--
    Little Nell, at the window, stood watching the moon,
      And she uttered a cry long and loud.--

    “Oh! Mamma!--come look at this queer looking _bird_--
      An _owl_ is perched up in our tree!--
    Or is it a night-hawk just taking a rest--
      What kind of a bird can it be?”

    Miss Jennie came tripping along down the street,
      In the hope of meeting her lover;--
    Then he quietly let himself down from the tree
      Before she had time to discover.

    Then arm in arm they returned to the gate,--
      And he blushed, as in silence stood he
    And saw the white spectre, which drove him in fright
      To the top of the crab-apple tree!


    As the circus train passed through the street
      An Elephant caught the eye
    Of a “rural duffer,” who remarked
      As the creature lumbered by,--
    While a wondering look stole o’er his phiz--
      (No artist’s hand could paint it;)
    “Wa-al neow, Maria,--I swan to man
      _That’s quite an insect, aint it?_”

    A city swell heard the remark,
      And quickly turned his nose
    Up, with an air that plainly said:
      “Such horrid folks as those
    May go their way--for they’ll pollute
      The very atmosphere
    With their uncouth ways and ignorance--
      We can’t endure them here!”

        *       *       *       *       *

    The time rolled on,--and the city swell
      Was brought to account one day
    For the many bills and debts he owed--
      He had not a cent to pay.
    His creditors gobbled all his goods
      And set them up for sale;
    But the cash they brought did not suffice
      So they marched him off to jail.--

        *       *       *       *       *

    The “duffer” shook his jolly sides
      With a hearty, merry laugh;
    And recalled the time when he “so shocked
      The insipid city calf.”
    “I pay my bills as I go along--
      I _owe no man_,” said he;
    “There’s no _insect_ born that can compete
      With a _biped such as he_!”

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


           (A true tale)

    One morn as I walked in the meadow
      Where flooded the sun’s golden light
    Athwart tree and shrub--mid the grasses
      A butterfly gorgeous and bright

    Was caught in a web which a spider
      Had deftly and craftily wrought;
    Aloft as a snare she had placed it
      And the unwary butterfly caught.

    Vainly the poor insect fluttered
      To be freed from the web’s fleecy fold;
    But its wings were caught fast in its meshes
      And its fate could be plainly foretold.

    It appealed to my heart so pathetic
      Ne’er thought I to ignore its strife
    It was one of God’s own little creatures
      And it had a good right to its life.

    So I knelt there beside the small captive
      And gently the fine web I tore;
    Then away on glad wings it bounded,
      Rejoicing in freedom once more.

    It was only a poor lowly insect,
      Yet perchance, does the Good Father see
    _Small deeds_ that are wrought in the spirit of love
      He would say “_Ye did this unto Me_.”

    In the Book where all works are recorded--
      In that Haven up yonder so fair;
    Who knows but _one_ mark bright and shining
      Now illumines my name “over there.”

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    ’Tis true that the city is pleasant,
      With its scenes ever varied and new;
    But if it were not for the country
      Oh, what would the city folks do?
    Soon plenty would be superseded
      By dearth with its train of distress;
    The gaunt wolf would roam by the once happy home
      Though riches untold you possess.

    True, this may seem strangely in error,
      But doubtless, if you will take heed
    You’ll find that the sources are rural
      Of that which supplies every need,
    You say there are great mills and factories
      By whose process rich fabrics are made;
    But pause for a moment and ponder
      How the material first came into trade.

    Of Fashion’s apparel so dainty,
      Of which our great stores are so full;
    Whence comes that from which they were made--
      The cotton, the silk and the wool?
    ’Tis not from the city--no, never!
      But from the free sunshine and air
    On the broad, verdant acres extending
      O’er the glorious country so fair.

    Tis true that the city has pleasures,
      And aspirants to fashion and fame,--
    But yet, should you search the world over
      You’ll find it is ever the same.
    ’Tis the toil-harden’d hand of the farmer
      By which are the multitude fed,--
    Yea, the farmer--the _“hard-handed” duffer_,
      Who supplies the vast cities with bread.

    ’Tis the farmer who toils on, unheeding
      The mid-summer sun and the rain,
    Who with diligence plucks the tares from the wheat
      And garners the golden grain.
    From the forests afar down the valley
      Or up over mountainous height
    Is sent timber for use in the city,
      And fuel to make the hearths bright.

    The orchards, the fields and the mead lands
      Fraught with richness from West to the East
    Send forth to the homes in the city
      Rich viands and fruits for the feast.
    True, the brilliant paved streets are abounding
      With wonders and charms ever new--
    But, if from the country excluded
      Oh! what would the city folks do?

    Then have praise and respect for the farmer--
      Be cordial to him when you meet--
    Ne’er pass him with countenance scornful
      Or gaze at the “old codger’s” feet,
    Though he has not the costly apparel
      Which you wear with such elegant grace--
    Remember, you can’t live without him
      Nor can aught in the world fill his place.

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    The house-wife came with smiling face,
      Bearing in her hand a broom;
    With thoughts intent, and purpose bent
      On clearing up the room.
    She spied an object on the floor,
      Ne’er dreaming what it was;
    But close inspection soon revealed
      Its tail and head and claws!

    What was the sound that pierced the air--
      Was it an Indian’s yell?
    Or a wandering note from some demon throat
      From amidst the depths of--somewhere?
    Oh, no! of a different origin
      Were the tones that smote the air,--
    ’Twas only a frightened woman’s scream
      As she mounted on a chair.

    Oh dear! Oh dear! she had seen a mouse!
      And it entered not her head
    It would never, never do more harm
      For the poor little thing was dead.
    It seems the cat, in hunting, had
      Caught more than she could master;
    Of course old pussy never guessed
      That it would cause disaster.

    The mouse was in mischief, so old Puss
      Had caught him in the night;
    But the lady never paused to think
      Whether it was wrong or right.
    She knew ’twas a mouse--a horrid mouse,
      And there she stood, dismayed;
    What could she do, with no one near
      To whom to appeal for aid?

    She stood for what seemed hours to her,--
      (Her weapon was the broom;)
    Waiting in vain for some one to come
      And take her from the room.
    At last she thought of a beautiful plan,
      And making good her aim;
    Jumped, and landed two yards the other side
      Of the animal’s prostrate frame!

        *       *       *       *       *

    A short time thence her hubby came.--
      He saw the signs of storm;
    And to his brawny bosom close
      He drew her fainting form.
    When he had searched, and found the cause--
      So motionless and stark;
    Then to himself in undertone
      He ventured this remark:--

    “Women may talk about their rights
      And wish for a chance to vote;
    Put on the airs of a gentleman
      And don the vest and coat,--
    They’d better be content to wait
      Until it can be said
    That they are brave enough to fight
      A mouse when it is dead!”

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    A decanter and a crystal cup
      Met in a banquet hall;
    The rosy light of the sparkling wine
      Shed radiance over all.
    Ah, ha! old friend--and how is this--
      What is your mission here?
    “A pure, sweet spirit bid me come,”
      Replied the water clear.

    “So we have met,” said the ruby wine,
      “Now let us social be,--
    Let’s see who holds the greater power
      O’er the nation, you or me.”
    “_I can boast_” said he, “of mighty deeds--
      I can tell you many a tale
    Of woe, and folly, sin and crime,--
      Can you, my friend so frail?

    I have caused Old Age to droop and die--
      I have caused fair Youth to fade;
    I have blighted lives, and hopes destroyed,--
      When _I_ strike there is no aid.
    I have hurled men down from their high estate--
      Remorseful I’m not in the least,--
    I have dragged them down, and down, until
      They were level with the beast.

    I have happy homes made desolate
      Ha, ha! I laugh with glee
    As I see the babes every comfort denied,
      While the money is wasted on me!
    Tell me, my friend, Oh tell me I pray,
      Of a power that is greater than mine--
    Not _yours_--No! you are but water weak,
      While _I_ am the fiery wine!

    And though I am classed in the bar-room
      Under many a different name,--
    No matter what liquor they call me,
      My spirit is always the same.
    I have sunk big ships--Yes, sank them down
      In the depths of the briny deep;
    And for the loved who perished there
      Their kindred e’er may weep.

    I have wrecked the train--I have mansions burned
    --’Neath my power _man’s senses_ flee--
    I have cast proud monarchs from their throne,--
      Behold! _this wrought by Me!_
    And this I say is not the half
      Of the great success I win--
    But I’ll no longer take the time
      So you, pale friend, begin.”

        *       *       *       *       *

    “I do not boast” the water said,
      Though my power is as potent as yours;
    For to all who freely drink of me
      It health and strength insures.
    I gently sooth the sick and the faint,
      I new life in the weary imbue;
    And even the roses smile sweetly and bright
      As I touch them with kisses of dew.

    I turn the mill which grinds the grain--
      I strengthen, I cleanse, I heal;
    All things rejoice with grateful breath
      When my cool hand they feel.
    I send the brooklet on its way--
      I lift the drooping vine,--
    I make all vegetation grow--
      Can _you_ do that, Sir Wine?

    Of our might and power we’ll not dispute--
      (The result of our deeds will show;)
    For the worth of _me_ and the curse of _you_
      All noble minded know.
    No, no! Sir Wine, _Your_ path is death,
      While _mine_ is safely trod;
    _You_ are cursed by a demon’s hand--
      _I_, blessed by the hand of God.

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    A youth once went to a party
      Whose sweetheart was there with the rest;
    The moments that flew on swift pinions
      Were enjoyed with great fervor and zest.
    ’Til at length came the time for dispersing,
      When each went their various ways--
    This fond youth escorting his sweetheart--
      His heart with emotion ablaze.

    On his sleeve her hand trustingly rested
      As they wended their way through the wood,--
    When lo! a white spectre before them
      Appeared.--In their pathway it stood
    Like a Goblin, with long arms extended
      It swayed, while a wild, weird note
    Like the wail of a disparing spirit
      Came issuing from the Ghost’s throat.

    ’Twas too much for our hero--and turning
      He ran in the wildest alarm;
    And left his companion in terror--
      But a word from Sir Ghost made her calm.
    The echoing footsteps grew fainter
      ’Til at last in the distance they fade--
    The rival then threw off the mystic
      _And boldly walked home with the maid_!

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    The theory of _Darwin_
      With evidence was bound;
    But when the chain was broken
      One link could not be found
    Connecting Man and Monkey,--
      Yet Modern Science shows
    Advancement which may nearly
      That missing link disclose.

    The “Telephonic System”
      Has spread near and afar;
    Until the Way-Back County
      And Town connected are.
    Thus, sturdy “country Jamie,”
      With hands and cheeks so brown
    And heart so true and loyal,
      Can call up Reg. in town--

    “_Dude Reggie_” with the eyeglass,
      And hair in “_done up_” curls;
    With brain so weak he scarcely
      Can think of aught but “Girls,”--
    As at the ’phone they linger,
      The line does _then_, I think;
    Connect the _Man_ and _Monkey_
      And forms The Missing Link!

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]

     _HE GOT LEFT_

    “I swan!” said farmer Joe one morn,--
    “Them pesky crows shan’t have my corn!”
    So he went to work, and soon he found
    Two stakes, which he drove into the ground.
    Then he brought to light some ragged pants
    And a tattered coat soon found a chance;
    While an old felt hat was perched for show
    Upon the head of the old scare-crow.

    One arm reached out while the other one
    Held to his breast a rusty gun.
    “There it is done, and now,” quoth he--
    “See which will beat--_them crows or me_!”
    So in the house the whole day he spent,
    Feeling at ease and well content,--
    While a broad grin o’er his features strayed
    As he tho’t of the trick on the crows he’d played.

    Meanwhile, two crows sat on a tree--
    The young said to the old one:--“See
    That horrid thing that’s standing yonder--
    What is he doing here I wonder?
    If he stays here what’s to be done?
    For Mother, look, he’s got a gun!
    Here in this tree all day I’ve stayed--
    Oh, Mother! are you not afraid?

    What _shall we_ do? it takes my breath--
    Must we stay here and starve to death--
    Do you s’pose that old thing will hurt me?
    I’m just as hungry as I can be!
    But to get my grub I don’t know how--
    For see, he’s looking at us now!
    And what oh earth are we to do--
    Oh, Mother! I’m afraid, aren’t you?”

    “You foolish child,” the old crow said,
    “Fret not your silly little head--
    That is our _Corn King_ good and true,
    He came and stayed here last year, too.--
    He has come to us, armed with a gun;
    To tell us when the planting’s done.
    He tells us that we need not fear,
    He’ll protect us as long as he is here.

    He tells us--as he did before:--
    ‘Fear not the _farmer_ any more!’
    Our honest _Corn-King_ tells us right,--
    Come, let us go and have a bite!
    Let’s pay our respects to the Corn-King true”--
    Then to the field of corn they flew.
    And the rest of the crows they did invite--
    _Not a hill of corn was left in sight!_

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    A blue-jay sat on a hickory limb,
      And a bullfrog sat below
    On a tuft of grass, where rushes green
      Were waving to and fro.
    While near him lay the glassy pool
      Where the tad-poles leap’d in play;
    But the old frog’s face wore a troubled frown
      As he thus addressed the jay:--

    “Did I wear your dress of brilliant hue
      Instead of this coat of green;
    I could have the best the world affords,
      And always live serene.
    You fly away to the fields of grain
      Or feast on the cherries high;
    While I sit here ’neath the rushes cool,
      And snap at a wary fly.”

    “Then why,” said the jay, “If you wish to rise
      Do you not ascend this limb?”
    “I will! I will!” cried the silly frog,
      I’m tired of folks that swim!”
    So he hopped from the tuft of grass to the tree,
      Then up where the branches divide;
    Then with a grin he crawled along
      And perched by the blue-jay’s side.

    “I’m big as you, I’m big as you,”
      Cried the frog in greatest glee;
    “I wish my friends could see me now--
      In this high society!”--
    But his joy waned.--As a flock of jays
      With one accord did rise
    And, swooping down, they pecked at him
      With harsh and jeering cries.

    ’Till he was forced to quick retreat.--
      As the rushes green he seeks
    He said, as he leaped in the quiet pool
      And escaped their cruel beaks:--
    If _this_ is the way the ‘high class’ treats
      The lowly ones, ’tis clear
    ’Tis best that we should be content
      To stay in our native sphere!


    When proud _Ambition_ seeks to rise
      From its accustomed ways;
    Oft jealousies will jeer and peck,
      As did the haughty jays.

        *       *       *       *       *

    To all who chance to read this tale,
      Its simple warning speaks,--
    “Ye who aspire to sphere’s aloft--
      Beware of vicious beaks!”

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


(Lines on a very old house situated on the west shore of the Nezinscot
river, and some distance from any other dwelling.)

    On the bank of Old Nezinscot,
      Where the sparkling waters flow
    Down this sea-ward course, as freely
      As the roving winds that blow,
    Stands a cottage by the river--
      (Built upon the side-hill plan;--
    Think it was a blacksmith built it
      Else it was a crazy man!

    Must have been an awful ship wreck
      Once, upon Nezinscot’s waves;
    When a score or more of sailors
      Went down to their watery graves--
    All except old Robinson Crusoe,
      Guess _he_ landed on a scow;
    And this fact seems most emphatic
      For man “Friday” lives there now!

    Probably, from out the wreckage
      They contrived to save their goods,--
    Then, with jack-knife and a hatchet
      Built this cottage in the woods--
    _Must_ have been some ship-wreck’d sailor
      By the angry tempest tossed--
    Or an aeronaut that landed
      Who with his balloon was lost.

    Doubtless, then, this lonely exile
      Fought the wild-cat and the bear--
    Else he’d not have pitched his cabin
      Forty miles from any where--
    Far away from habitation--
      Neither do we often find
    Houses that are built like this one
      With the front door on behind!)

    Though in this salubrious climate
      Often lurks the river fogs;--
    Yet the sweet, halcyon chorus
      Of the whip-poor-wills and frogs
    When the twilight shadows gather
      And the sun sinks in the west--
    Calms and sooths the fever’d pillow,
      Lulls the weary into rest.

    Then all hail--all hail to Crusoe
      (Or what ever was his name)
    Who discovered this fair haven,
      And in reverence we’ll proclaim
    That to him who built this cottage
      We should ever give our thanks
    For the hours we’ve spent in pleasure
      On Nezinscot’s mossy banks!

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


           (To E. A. M.)

    You painted a beautiful picture
    And sent it a gift to me;
    So I will write you a poem,--
    But what shall the poem be?
            Your picture, like beautiful sunset
            So brilliant, will ever be praised,--
            But my poem will be like a cipher
            That some rude, reckless hand has erased!

    Your picture seemed “Tidings of Gladness,”
    --As the beautiful rainbow will cast
    Its bright, glowing tints on the billows
    Of clouds when the tempest is past.
            Like the unbounded depth of the Ocean
            Is the gratitude felt.--for your gift
            Was like rending dark storm-clouds asunder
            When a sunbeam shines bright thro’ the rift.

    Your picture was eagerly welcomed,
    --As the first rosy tints of the dawn
    Are welcomed by vigilant watchers
    When the curtains of Night are withdrawn.
         --As the rose hails the dew of the evening
            When parched by the heat of the sun;
         --As the hand, that with toil has grown weary
            Welcomes rest when the day’s work is done--

    --So thus, for your picture a welcome
    Most fervent will e’er be secure
    But my poem--Ah! what of my poem?
    --There can scarcely be aught to endure.
            Tho’ your picture’s like beauteous landscape
            That by Artists will ever be praised;
         --Yet my poem will be like a cipher
            That some rude, reckless hand has erased!

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    Any work for me? No? I am sorry--
      For I’m weary, and hungry and cold;
    You’re wishing to hear my life’s story?
      ’Tis the first time it ever was told.
    Yes, friend, I will tell you. A sorrow
      Extinguished the flame from life’s lamp;
    Which made me a wanderer--an outcast--
      And why I am now called--a _tramp_.

    Well friend, I once was as happy
      As that little boy over there,--
    My cheeks were as rosy and chubby,
      And my soft, golden curls just as fair.
    But I then knew the care of a mother--
      A mother as noble and good
    As God ever gave to a fellow,
      And she did just the best that she could,

    To show me the path straight and narrow,
      And I never once wanted to stray
    Away from her side, where she taught me
      Each morning, and evening, to pray.
    At length, when I attained manhood,
      The crowning joy came to my life;
    And never was husband more happy
      Than I, with my sweet little wife.

    And she loved me so fondly and truly,
      It made all my toil seem like play;
    I was working for her, and for baby--
      _Baby Charlie_ I call him alway.
    Well, I got a snug home for my loved ones.
      And a good sum of money to spare;
    ’Twould have been like the Garden of Eden
      Had the Serpent not gained entrance there.

    But I had a dear friend--Jim Daley,
      The chum of my boyhood and youth;
    And true, like a brother I loved him--
      For I thought him the ideal of Truth.
    At school we were always together,
      E’er shared with each other our joy;
    And only God knows how I loved him--
      This handsome, and proud, winsome boy.

    And I trusted him, friend, I trusted him
      With all that was sacred and dear
    To my heart, Yes, I trusted him fully--
      Nor dreamed I could have aught to fear.
    But one day he complained of reverses--
      Said his money just then was not free--
    There were bills he must pay on the morrow--
      And he wanted to borrow of me.

    So I loaned him all of the money
      I had saved for some chance rainy day,--
    And in less than a month I was homeless--
      My family were kidnapped away!
    What inducement he tendered, I know not,
      Or whether ’twas mesmeric power
    Which lured my poor, true-hearted girlie
      From me and our beautiful bower.

    Were he here now, ah, could I forgive him--
      Would duty, and right, say I must?
    Could I extend the hand-grasp of friendship
      To him who has broken that trust?
    I can only _pray God_ to forgive him--
      And me. For with memory’s stamp
    Comes the knowledge of why I am needy--
      And why people call me--a tramp.

    I sold our dear cot mid the roses,
      And stealthily set out to trace
    The whereabouts of my dear loved ones,
      And I wandered from place to place
    At last came the sorrowful tidings
      Of a ship going down in a gale,--
    Their names, on the list of the lost ones!
      And this is the end of the tale.

    From my great sorrow then I sought refuge,
      And I drifted from east to the west;
    In my young days I worked hard and steady,
      In every place doing my best.
    But now there ’s no work,--I’m heart broken.--
      Alone, in the cold and the damp,--
    To my poor heart it seems--save in Heaven
      There’s no room for the poor, aged tramp.

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    In a cozy cot, mid bloom and leaf,
    There dwelt a woman very deaf,--
    If anything _special_ she wished to hear
    She’d put a trumpet to her ear.
    _Without_ the instrument, she could at best
    But hear _some_--and _guess_ the _rest_.

    One day she laid it on a chair--
    Got up, and left it lying there--
    And went to work sweeping the floor
    Just as a peddler reached the door.
    And to the man it did occur
    That he might sell some goods to her.

    “Good morning Marm, fine day,” quoth he--
    “I thought I’d just call, and see”--
    “Just come from sea! is that what ye say?
    Well, and who are ye any way?”
    “Oh, pray excuse me marm! I said--
    I simply called to sell some thread”--

    “Swell on the head? well there I vow--
    What you been up to any how?”
    “Beg pardon marm!”--at her he stared,
    “But is your hearing not impared?”
    “My herrings pared? Yes, scraped off the scales
    And then cut off the heads and tails!”

    The peddler’s voice grew loud and louder:--
    “Say marm! don’t you want to buy some powder?
    Here is one dozen shell hair pins”--
    “What! want to sell a pair of twins?
    Why man, you make a body laugh,
    I’d rather buy a Jersey calf--

    Me! buy them twins!”--“Madam, your wrong!
    Have been mistaken all along!”--
    “Didn’t take ’em along? it’s just as well,
    For twins ain’t very good to sell.”
    “Excuse me marm--but my belief
    Is that you must be a little deaf!”

    “A little beef?--for dinner--hey?
    Beef and herrings did you say?”
    “I didn’t say so!” he loudly roar’d--
    But his voice took wing and upward soar’d.
    “Don’t worry--you won’t have to wait,
    I’ll get your dinner before ’tis late.”

    “Don’t want no dinner!” he yelled in her ear,--
    “Gal darn ye! can’t I make ye hear?”
    “_Hain’t got no beer_ for you,” said she,
    “You needn’t get mad and swear at me!”
    “Beg pardon!” he yelled with voice immense,
    “But I certainly mean’t you no offence”--

    “Fence? you’ll find out if there’s a fence or not
    If you don’t get out--now! on the spot!
    All you know is to make comments--
    Great pile you know about _our_ fence!”
    “To sell you something was my plan--
    Here Madam! don’t you want a fan?”

    “Me want a man! how could you guess?
    Of course my answer must be yes.
    Me! want a man! what’s that I hear?”
    And she put the trumpet to her ear.
    “Don’t shoot! don’t shoot!” the peddler said,
    And instantly turned on his heel and fled.


      With apologies to A. P. S.

    This world would be happy, and lovely indeed,
    If the men were banished, of them there’s no need;
    Now the ambitious women must fight for their due--
    With the pesky men-folks we’ll have no more to do!

    They don’t like to work, Oh no!
    (Men and work don’t agree you know.)

    With mouth full of Tobacco, at ease near the grate.
    They’ll sit and vehemently expectorate;
    And the women are lucky if they can keep out
    Of the streaks of tobacco-juice flying about!


    And tobacco-smoke fragrant will flow
    In beautiful wreaths, you know!

    The women, poor things, must wash, mend and bake,
    And should there occur the slightest mistake
    The men-folks will growl, and help things along
    And emphasize things with language strong!


    Their masculine nature they show--
    (Rather _growl_ than _work_, you know!)

    ’Tis predicted the time is not far away
    When the men-folks, cast down, let the women hold sway;
    The men will be piled in one gigantic heap,
    Then _Perfection’s_ sweet presence the women will keep!


    For the women will work, and so
    They’ll manage things nicely, you know!

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    The farmer in the early spring
      Plants fields of yellow corn--
    How cheerily we hear him sing
      While out in the dews of morn!
    All thro’ the long, bright Summer
      He works among the grain;
    And sees the tender corn blades grow
      Strengthen’d by sun and rain.

    He sees with pride the yellow silk
      Around the corn-cob curled,--
    Oh, the jolly, jolly farmer
      Is the happiest chap in the world.
    How the cows do love, at supper time
      To eat the sweet corn meal!
    How eager are they for their share
      As the farmers dip and deal.

    The dairy maid with honest pride
      Beams, as with joy she sees
    The shelves that she with skill has piled
      With butter and with cheese.
    When Autumn comes and big tall stalks
      With golden ears are laden;
    In order comes the “husking bee,”
      For merry Youth and Maiden.

    And when the ripe “red ear” is found
      By some pretty winsome miss
    The swain, “Old Customs” will observe
      And steal the wonted kiss.
    The music and the laughter soars
      To the rafters overhead;
    As they trip the “light fantastic toe”
      With an airy, fairy tread.

    Then the Pumpkin Pie and Doughnuts come.--
      At the close of the mazy dance
    Each swain escorts his sweetheart home
      (If he can get the chance!)
    Thus joy and love will enter in
      The lot with honest toil;
    As the farmer reaps his rich reward
      From tilling of the soil.

     _LOOK UP_

(Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.)

    ’Tis dreary now, a snowy shroud
      Lies white upon the ground;
    While fierce and wild the piercing blast
      With chilling notes resound.

    No songs of birds--No crickets chirp.
      No busy hum of bees
    Ere floats aloft.--The Wood-nymphs sleep
      Within the leafless trees.

    All Nature’s works now dormant lie
      ’Neath pure, white cover lid;
    The violets nestle snug and warm
      From harm securely hid.

    List! Spring has sent her harbinger--
      And laden with garlands, she brings
    Perfumes that are sweet as the breath of the dawn
      On the sheen of her beautiful wings.

    Soft winds will follow in her wake
      And put to flight the snow--
    The bird-songs sweet will soon be heard
      In cadence soft and low.

    Then do not e’er grieve for adverse
      Conditions that exist,--
    The sun will show its sovereign power
      And drive away the mist!

    Why reck we then tho’ storms assail
      And winds hold wild career?
    Look up! and feel within your heart
      That Summer _now_ is here.

    Dispel the morbid sense of gloom!
      The bleak earth soon anew
    Shall bloom again, like flowerets fair
      Kissed by the summer dew.


    Calmly dawned the Sabbath morning
      O’er Turner’s hills and moors;
    And peaceful lay the village--
      By fair Nezinscot’s shores.

    Rich and abundant blessings
      Seemed showering o’er the land
    Like dews of Heaven, diffusing
      As by some unseen Hand.

    A verdant, fertile valley
      That spread afar was seen;
    With anon interspersing
      The river’s azure sheen.

    And on the green banks, winding
      In gentle, graceful curve;
    Where rank, tenebrous foliage
      The feather’d nestlings serve.

    Stood giant oaks primeval,
      Which thrust their branches wide
    Where dancing ripples sparkled
      Upon the eddying tide.

    Bright spires, ever gleaming
      From tall majestic domes
    Like sentinels seemed guarding
      The scores of happy homes.

    A picture fair and lovely
      The landscape lay that morn,--
    As tho’ by seraph painted
      Upon the wings of dawn.

        *       *       *       *       *

    The first chimes from the steeples
      Rang out in accents clear;
    And like accordant music
      Fell on the listening ear.--

    As yet no note of sorrow
      Was mingled in their tone;
    They seemed like benedictions
      Descending from the Throne.

    No thought had the good people
      Of shadows hovering near--
    No thought that ere the noon-tide
      Full many a bitter tear
    Would fall.--(Oh! all-wise Father--
      By thy supernal power
    Revert the pending danger
      Ere falls the fatal hour!

    Ah! why?--our hearts may question,--
      Ye mortals!--none can tell!
    ’Tis meet, on Him relying
      Who doeth all things well.)--

    Once more the bells’ sweet music
      From all the belfrys rang;
    Bidding the folk to gather
      For worship.--Praise they sang.

    And as they turned their footsteps--
      Each toward his wonted church;
    All was serene and peaceful
      As far as eye could search.

    But hark! What meant the tumult
      Arising in yon street--
    And why disperse those people
      With swiftly hurrying feet?--

    And why that shrill voice shouting
      As if in dire alarm--
    Did’st know ’twas misdemeanor
      To break the Sabbath calm?--

    As onward sped the herald,
      With face the hue of death
    And wild-bright eyes, an instant
      He paused to regain breath,--

    Then quick, in tones reverberant
      That pealed from spire to spire
    Rang out the cry of terror:--
      “The mill! The mill’s on fire!”

    (Thro’ the surrounding valley,
      And o’er adjacent hill;
    The echoes oft repeated:--
      “There’s fire in the mill!”)

    Amazed were all the people--
      No word their lips could frame
    As on the breeze’s soft pinions
      Again the wild cries came:--

    “The mill! The mill is burning!”
      At last, as if from sleep
    They wakened to the danger,--
      Beheld a bright flame leap!--

    Ascending and expanding,
      Columns of smoke arose
    As from volcanic crater
      Where molten lava flows.--

    Again the cry resounded:--
      “The mill is all on fire!”--
    And catching up the tidings
      The bells ’neath every spire

    Tolled franticly the warning.--
      With clanging, vibrant tongue
    They sent abroad the message
      The village folk among!

    Lo! Turner’s happy village--
      That peaceful, pleasant scene
    Transformed in one brief moment
      To one of sorrow keen.--

    The smoke grew darker, denser,
      Fierce flames leaped high and higher,--
    “Oh for Niagarian torrent
      To quench the cruel fire!”

    Red tongues from every window
      Shot forth.--As fortress gray
    Shoots flame from belching cannon
      In battle’s grim array.--

    As pillar after pillar
      Of smoke arose, which claimed
    The attention of the people
      As high the rafters flamed--

    As stood they mute, and helpless,
      While cinders rose and fell
    ’Mid the crackling and roaring
      No mortal power could quell

    A cry to Heaven ascended--
      (Thro’ bravest hearts a thrill
    Of horror crept:)--The _proprietor
      Is in the burning mill_!”

    Then stood aghast the people,
      Astounded, stricken, dazed.--
    While in that glowing furnace
      The timbers cracked and blazed.

    And, as the smoke ascended
      In black, dense, billowy waves;
    Each heart cried out in anguish:--
      “Oh Father, God who saves

    Look down in thy compassion!”--
      The mad flames dart and sway
    Like ruddy, fork-tongued dragons
      That swift devour their prey.--

    The winds sang a requiem,
      And many a silent prayer
    Arose. As smoke and flame illumined
      The sky with lurid glare.--

    Oh! friends and loving kindred--
      Your hearts in grief must bow;
    The proprietor of the factory
      Needs not your pity now!

    An Angel came and bore him
      To that celestial shore
    Where all from earthly trials
      Shall triumph evermore.

        *       *       *       *       *

    Once more the scene is pleasant
      O’er Turner’s hills and moors;
    And peaceful lies the village
      By fair Nezinscot’s shores.

    Green meadows ever rolling
      The pine-clad hills between
    With anon interspersing
      The river’s azure sheen.

    And on its pebbly beaches,
      Where winds the glistening curve,
    Still soft, pendulous verdure
      The feathered nestlings serve.

    The lofty oaks primeval
      Still thrust their branches wide;
    Where silvery wavelets sparkle
      Upon the bounding tide.

    Yet by the rushing waters
      That sweep adown the strand;
    A silent, rugged spectre
      The grim old ruins stand.

    The bleak walls, rent and jagged,--
      As mountain walls might frown
    That thro’ convulsive earthquake
      Its crest had swallowed down.

    The winds, thro’ crevice wailing
      In sweetly plaintive air,
    A perpetual dirge descanteth
      For him, who perished there.

    Thro’ all the years now vanished,
      Neglected and forlorn;
    It stands alone, and mutely
      Bespeaks of days agone.

    No loom or wheel is busy--
      Revolving band ne’er whirrs--
    No “Factory bell” each morning
      The village folk bestirs.

    No structure supersedeth
      Where flow these waters free;--
    Tho’ none can e’er determine
      What may in future be.

    Yet now, as rubious sunset
      In splendor gilds the waves;
    And sweet, naiadic music
      Is wafting from the caves--

    Oft in disconsolation
      The zephyrs whisper still
    This tragic tale:--relating
      The burning of the mill.

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    Pray, never search for hidden woes,
      Or grievous troubles borrow;
    Nor cloud the sun today--in fear
      Lest it may rain tomorrow.
    God makes the sunshine and the rain--
      Then, if today is pleasant
    Why worry o’er tomorrow’s storm--
      Why not enjoy the present?

    It will not make the verdant hills
      Put on a brighter hue;
    Nor will the canopy above
      Ere be a lesser blue
    If all our hours are spent in tears,--
      Then let us strive alway
    To see our many blessings, and
      Enjoy the _present_ day.


    ’Tis said the time is close at hand
      Which earnest thought invites--
    We’ll take up this expansive theme
      And speak on “Women’s Rights.”
    Methinks there’s many a questions, now,
      Which worthy seems of note;
    What say we, then: Will all things change
      When the women have power to vote?

    Will they exchange places with the men--
      Tread where have trod their feet--
    And dig and delve all day, to get
      Things for the men to eat?
    Will the men folks stay in the house all day
      Dressed in their silks and laces--
    Their soft white hands bedecked with rings,
      And powder on their faces?

    Will they play the piano, with no thought
      To the morrow ever giving--
    While the woman goes, and tries to find
      Some way to get a living?
    Will she be a carpenter,
      And build houses tall and grand;
    And scale with might the dizzy height
      With hammer and saw in hand?

    Will she be a soldier true
      And fight in uniform--
    Or will she be a sailor bold
      And brave the tempestuous storm?
    Will she like to make the mines
      Down underneath the ground
    And bring to light the precious gems
      In those dark and deep caves found?

    Will she like to dig for ore
      Where the hidden metals are?
    Will she take her place on a railway train
      Or drive an electric car?
    How many will learn the _dentist’s_ trade?
      For they must learn it when
    The good new time comes--and the ladies
      Change places with the men.

    Can she build the massive bridges
      That the rushing waters span--
    Can she smoke and chew tobacco
      And do it like a man?
    Can she even be a _farmer_--
      Hold plow and drive the horse?
    Should she change places with the men
      Why, then she can of course!

    Then the liege lords will realize
      As darksome fears encroach;
    Why the once fair sex in timidity
      Shrank from a mouse’s approach
    Yes, the time is drawing nearer,--
      Yet one question still remains
    Will the world be any better
      When the women hold the reins?

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    By devious ways and endeavors, afar
      I sought, ascertaining if Gold
    And _Virtue_--that fairest of gems--were at par
      And in the same rank were enrolled.

    And, viewed with zest keen and undaunting,
      Often Gold has been found to out-weigh;
    And the measure of Virtue? Found wanting!
      For gold hath power mighty to sway.

    For instance: Go mingle with people of style
      In church--you can easily note
    The smile and the shrug, as you pass down the aisle
      With frayed hat and a patch on your coat.

    Tho’ your heart may be kindest of any,
      Time has flown since your clothing was new;
    You are lacking in Wealth--ah! how many
      Will bid you to enter their pew?

    While precedes you a lady,--so haughty and grand,
      Gaily trips she along down the aisle;
    Her rosy lips wreathed in smiles sweet and bland--
      She is clad in the most approved style.

    You gaze on her features. Deceiver--
      Is stamped plainly there on her face,--
    Yet how eager are all to receive her--
      How quick to share with her their place!

    Go e’en on the street in your sorrow--
      The wealthy and grand pass you by
    In comfort, No trouble they borrow,
      They see not the tear in your eye.

    Were you dressed in fine raiment so neatly,
      Your friendship would surely be theirs;
    But now you are ignored completely,
      They heed not your pleadings or prayers.

    Often Riches will seek only Wealth’s favored lot
      While Virtue _seeks_ Virtue, abroad--
    Or in humble seclusion--In palace or cot,
      Knowing _all_ are the children of God.

    Down the turbulent River of Life, ever move
      Misfortunes sad waifs, far from shore;
    Whose struggles avail not.--Then doth it behoove
      Us to cast the Life Line to the poor.

    If, as it may, circumstances reverse,
      And we find ourselves level with men
    Who have seen, thro’ affliction, their riches disperse,--
      Would we wish _them_ to turn from _us_ then?

    Jesus the Saviour has taught us the way,
      We will err not by following thus:
    “Do unto others” as near as we may
      “As we wish them to do unto us.”

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    Have mercy for the poor aged horse
      That has served you so faithful and true;
    Be to him gentle, and treat him with care,
      He can feel just as keenly as you.
    Don’t try to get speed when your horse is half starved,
      But let the poor creature alone;
    He is patient, submissive, a slave to your will,
      And obeys you with never a moan.

    So eager, and willing, yet feeble and lame,
      Mayhap is worn out with disease;
    He is toiling along, his breath nearly gone,
      He is dreadfully weak in the knees.
    The harness, replete with prominent knots
      E’er galls him on shoulder and breast;
    His bright mournful eyes ask in vain for relief,
      His anguish is mutely expressed.

    You ignore his pleadings, you heed not his pain,
      Nor endeavor to lighten the load
    By using your own locomotion to take
      Yourself up the steep rocky road.
    Oh! would that the spirit of pitying love
      Into these thoughtless hearts might instill,--
    There’s many a man _can dance all night--
      But ’twould harm him to walk up a hill_!

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    In the low-land where the shadows
      Gather at the close of day;
    When the sky in all its beauty
      Turns from blue to sombre grey,--
    Voices of the day are ceasing,
      Plaintively the night-birds trill,--
    In the distance, like a halo--
      Lo! the sun shines on the hill!

    When, like Wings of Night unfolded
      Sorrow casts its chilling shade;
    Causing all our joy to vanish
      And our cherished hopes to fade--
    When _Oppression’s_ hand shall smite us
      With a wrath that bodeth ill--
    Look beyond the vale’s dark shadows
      To the sunshine on the hill!

    Like a whispered benediction
      From the Realm of Light, so blest;
    Steals those sacred words, in accents
      Sweet: “And I will give thee rest.”--
    Would we feel that peace and comfort
      In our drooping hearts instill,--
    Look beyond Life’s fitful shadows
      To the _Sunshine_ on the _Hill_.

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    Brethren, as you down life’s pathway
      Pass with firm and stately tread
    When success shall crown your efforts
      And its glories round you shed--
    There’s a truth that e’er existeth,--
      Though of high or lowly birth--
    When death’s Angel for you calleth
      You’ll own just “six feet of earth.”

    Though you’re rich in lands and mansions,--
      Though you’ve gold and jewels rare--
    Though your life is bright and sunny
      Never knows a want or care.--
    Though a brother’s life of sorrow
      Different is from yours of mirth;
    Yet _some day_ he’ll be your equal--
      Both will own “six feet of earth.”

    Turn your gaze to scenes Immortal--
      Is your chance of Heaven more sure
    Than the lowly one, possessing
      Naught of fame, but heart most pure?
    Nay, your riches ne’er can save you,
      _Virtue_ is the Gem of Worth;
    You your wealth can not take with you
      To the last “six feet of earth.”

    Jesus once was poor and lowly,
      And His crown held many a thorn;
    Yet His heavenly Father loved Him
      As He suffered grief and scorn.--
    If your _soul_ is pure and stainless
      You have _Wealth_,--there’ll ne’er be dearth;
    When at last the clay is sleeping
      In your own “six feet of earth.”

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    Beneath an apple tree she sat
      Amid bright leaf and flower,
    Telling of what she would do,
      Were it within her power:
    She’d civilize the heathen poor,--
      She’d meet the wary foe,
    And drive them till their trackless paths
      Were through eternal snow.

    With strong nerve she would care for those
      Who are stricken down in war
    And cheer the sick and suffering ones
      Without a bit of awe.
    She’d soothe the fevered ones to rest
      And bathe each aching head,--
    And never would she shrink from pain,
      But bravely work, instead.

    But ah! what caused her cheek to pale
      Ere she had ceased to speak--
    What made her start, with fingers clenched,
      And give that awful shriek?
    Where is the maiden, once so brave?
      Ah! nothing now can still her,--
    For lo! upon her sleeve there lay
      A _little caterpillar_!

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    ’Twas a calm, still night and the big full moon
      Looked down with smile serene;
    And his watchful eye observed all things,
      And he called it a curious scene.
    All agreed ’twas a fine night for the dance,--
      We all were so light-hearted;
    Light-headed? No! but we wished to go
      And dance, so off we started.

    The night was fair and the watchful moon
      Shone almost bright as day;
    So Jack, he harnessed the old white mare
      And hitched her to the sleigh.
    The old horse clipped a lively time
      Over the snow so cold,
    Like a frisky colt,--though the old horse
      Was twenty-five years old.

    Oh, the pure delight of that moon-lit drive
      As we dashed the plains across,--
    And chung, chung, chung, went the merry bells,
      The while the old white horse
    Kept merry time to the tuneful bells
      As over the snow we sped;
    And the soft and gentle zephyrs blew,
      And the moon its radiance shed.

    The time flew by on rapid wings,
      As it does when on pleasure bent;
    And it was in the “wee small hours”
      Before we homeward went.
    ’Twas a beautiful, beautiful, evening,
      And the moon looked down so kind;
    The world seemed full of music
      And poetry combined.

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    She sat down by the kitchen fire,
    While munching bread and cheese;
    With now and then a pancake hot,
    Her hunger to appease.

    “Ah me! how good this is,” she sighed
    As a cookie she stowed away;
    “I would that I a lunch could have
    Like this one _every day_!”--

    Next day her beau on her did call
    To take her for a ride;
    ’Twas getting late--’twas nearly noon
    When the mother her espied.

    And, anxious as all mammas are,
    As to how her daughter fared;
    Cried, “Just you wait a moment dear--
    I’ve dinner all prepared.”

    “Oh! mercy! no,”--it was no use,
    She could not eat a mite
    She hardly ever cared for much--
    She had no appetite!--

    Strange, wasn’t it? that one day she
    Could eat a slice of steak,
    Potatoes, and a ham sandwich,
    With coffee, pie and cake,--

    Yet the _next_ day, when her beau was nigh
    What changes it did bring!
    She was _so_ dainty and _so_ frail
    She could not eat a thing!

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    Come hither my children, Sue, Archie, and Nell
    And listen to me as a story I tell
    How “once on a time,” in the mist and the fog
    Was a poor ragged boy, and a little brown dog.
    The dog, while at play, fell from a high bank
    Into a dark pool--and down, down it sank.
    To escape it endeavor’d, but slow was its speed,
    For the treacherous mud did its progress impede.

    But the folks passing by took no heed of him
    Excepting to say--“Just see the pup swim!”
    Or, regardless of all save their own worldly pelf--
    “It is only a dog--Let it care for itself.”
    ’Till a poor ragged urchin with pitying eye
    In passing that way the poor dog chanced to spy.--
    Quickly thrusting a stick within reach of its jaws
    It clung to it, and, with the aid of its paws

    Reached the top of the bank, with a loud joyous yelp--
    Ah! none but this boy had offered it help!
    Then he took it up kindly, ’neath his jacket to hold
    To protect the poor creature, now shivering with cold.
    As snugly it nestled ’neath the boy’s ragged frock
    It said (as plainly as a poor dog can talk)
    I love you, dear friend--I’ll help _you_ if I can;
    For in all this vast throng there’s but _you_ that’s a _man_!

    Then came the dog’s master, who found it so wet,
    And he sought now to fondle his dearly loved pet
    In a loving embrace.--but it clung to the boy
    With many plain manifestations of joy.
    While its glance towards its master said plain as it could:--
    “I’ll stay with this laddie because he is good.”
    “Oh! my little pet knows you are honest and true;
    The dog ’s name is Gipsy, and well he loves you.

    But say, little man, how came you to save
    ‘A poor little cur’ from a watery grave?”
    “I know what it is to be friendless,” he said,--
    “I’ve no friends, or home, now since Mother is dead--
    I know what it is to be hungry--forlorn--
    I’ve not tasted food, sir, since yesterday morn.
    And at night I must sleep where I happen to be--
    And I thought this poor doggie was friendless like me.

    The gentleman’s head was bowed low.--And he thought
    Of his sister, who married a poor drunken sot,--
    Ten years it had been since he last saw her face--
    And five it had been since of her he lost trace.
    For a moment he prayed--with heart beating wild:
    “Have mercy on _her_, as I pity this child!”
    Then aloud he said--as they moved through the throng--
    “My dog will not come unless I take _you_ along.

    So come home with me, ’Tis not good you should roam”--
    And he treated him kindly, and gave him a home.
    Then he sought the boy’s kindred--here fate on him smiled,--
    _The lad was his nephew,--his lost sister’s child!_
    And now in his prayers he forgets not his joy--
    He thanks the kind Father for sending the boy.
    Now children, who think you ’twas, out in the fog?
    My dears, ’twas _your Grandpa_ who saved the brown dog!

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


(In response to “Pennies In The Box” by R. F. D. carrier No. 1,

    It is said that there are sunbeams
      Shining in the distant blue;
    Tho’ the dark and angry storm-clouds
      May obscure them from our view,
    Thus, mayhaps, the seeming hardships
      Of the rural carrier’s lot
    Are but shadows, merely flitting
      Lest the sunbeams get too hot.

    Though at times, the mailman’s fingers
      Are half frozen, and he talks
    Language of his own invention,--
      Cursing “pennies in the box.”--
    Though obliged to doff his mittens
      In the zero wind, intent
    On opening an icy mail-box--
      Struggling with a wayward “cent.”

    He should ne’er let angry passions
      Vex his spirit--cloud his brow,--
    For, beyond the sombre cloudlet
      There are sunbeams shining now!
    He can breathe “health-giving ozone”
      With no doctor’s fees to pay--
    All distructive germs dispelling
      By “Fresh-air-cure” every day!

    He should count the many blessings
      That around his pathway creep--
    No matter if the path’s blockaded
      By a snow drift hard and deep,--
    He should cultivate his patience
      With a fortitude most rare;
    Ne’er should frown beset his features--
      Never even wish to swear!

    These R. F. D. chaps should be happy,
      But, alas, contentment damps
    When they worry that “we patrons”
      Don’t lay in a stock of stamps,--
    If they’d gather up our pennies
      And not grumble, they would see
    Each and every patron murmur
      Blessings on the R. F. D.!”


    Dennis O’Neil fell asleep one day
    And he dreamed from this life he had passed away
    And went to Heaven, where, at the Gate
    ’Mong other pilgrims, he had to wait
    ’Till came his turn to ask for grace
    To pass through the gates of that Holy place.
    At length the vast throng ceased to flow--
    A few entered the gate--the rest went below--
    And he found himself waiting where others had been
    ’Till St. Peter should come and usher him in.
    Soon he heard the sound of hurrying feet
    Echoing out from the pearly street;
    And, looking up, his eyes behold
    Not the Saint--but a friend of the days of old.
    With joyful smile they meet, embrace,
    And tenderly gaze in each others face.
    “Why Pat, old friend, so it appears
    You, too, have left the ‘Vale of Tears’
    No more to dwell mid scenes of woe
    And the din and strife of the World below.
    How is it, then, do you think that I
    Can gain admittance if I try?
    A plea for me of course you’ll make
    In my behalf for friendship’s sake.
    What must I do--if there should be
    A vacant place in there for me--
    Tell me now, I ask of you
    What is the _first_ thing I must do?”
    “First,” then said Pat, “Inside the gates
    A pure and spotless Book awaits
    Where _you_--like each and every one
    Must write your name, What you have done,
    Your faults, your sins, every time you have lied,
    That you can recall till the day that you died.--
    Every dishonest act write out plainly and bold--
    For your chances are lost if _one thing_ you withhold!
    “And how long is it, I’d like to know
    Pat, since _you_ left the world below?”--
    “If I mistake not, it is ten
    Years I’ve with patience held the pen.”--
    “What errand calls you forth this morn?”
    “More ink,” said Pat, “I must hasten on.”
    “Ten years since you’ve been in this clime--
    And you’ve been writing all the time!
    Begorry then, its more than ’tis worth--
    And I think, on the whole, I’ll go back to the Earth.
    --For really, you see, ’tis not worthy the strife--
    _Sure, ’twould kape me at work all the days of me life!_”


    Along down the street walked a dandy
      Who sported more beauty than brain;
    He was dressed in an elegant fashion
      And carried a gold headed cane.
    With nothing to do, he was strolling--
      Just seeking amusement and fun.--
    But his practical joke caused him sorrow,
      And _this_ is the way it was done.

    “Bah jove! here comes an old crone--
      Now excitement I anticipate!”
    And his vest was pulsative with laughter
      Thus causing his cheeks to inflate.
    With a jug in her hand, and a basket,
      She was wending her way from the store,--
    A powerful woman from Erin’s fair isle
      Weighing _two hundred and ninety_--or more.

    As she with quick footsteps approaches
      This _intrigue_ he hastily planned:--
    To jostle against her, in passing,
      And knock the things out of her hand.
    And alas for the basket she cherished--
      He had planned but too wisely, and well,--
    The jug for an instant went whizzing--
      Then, broken to atoms, it fell.

    But she had him fast by the collar--
      She shook him, then flung him down flat;
    His legs broad-cast on the pavement
      Were thrown, and down on them she sat!
    He writhed like a fish out of water--
      But in vain, for she held him down tight,--
    “Ah, me honey, I have the advantage
      An’ I’m thinkin’ ye’ll stay here tonight!

    What ye doin’, ye black-hearted black-guard
      That ye can’t let an ould leddy alone?
    Are ye meddlin’ wid business of others
      Because ye have none of yer own?
    Ye have broken me jug--an’ molasses
      Is spattered all over me dress--
    But, begorra! ’fore wid ye I’m done
      Ye’ll be lookin’ like me I guess!”

    She arose--and both his feet seizing
      Walked on, while he struggled and yelled;
    But the more he struggled and shouted--
      So much the more firmly she held!
    Through the pool of molasses she dragged him
      Until his immaculate shirt,
    His trousers, and coat of fine broad-cloth
      Was a mixture of molasses and dirt.

    “Ye blear-eyed spalpeen! A lesson
      I’ll larn ye afore I’m content--
    Ye’ll not trouble agin an ould leddy
      Because she’s of Irish descent!!!
    Arrah--but ye don’t get away aisy!
      Will ye be done wid yer pratin’, yer jokes?
    Shure there’s no more honor about yer
      Than to any ould bullfrog that croaks!

    An’ a right sorry figure I’m thinkin’
      Ye look fer a “swate bloomin’ youth!”
    Will ye show yerself to the fellers?
      Will ye tell yer ould Mither the truth?
    Will ye tell her ye spilled me molasses--
      If ye do, will she say it was right
    To deprive an ould woman of somethin’
      To eat on her cold bread to night?

    An’ now, me molasses-cheeked dandy--
      Ye may let _this_ yer feelin’s console:--
    If ye ever agin let me ketch ye
      I’ll thrash ye! I will, by me soul!!!
    My advise ye had better be takin’
      If ye’ve got a shmall mind of yer own,--
    When ye meet an ould woman that’s _Irish_
      Her ye’d better be lettin’ alone!”

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    Tonight, of the Past I am thinking--
      Of one of the Autumn’s bright days
    When the beautiful hills of old Hartford
      Were covered with October haze,--
    When the leaves, all russet and golden
      Came rustling down, and the breeze
    Seemed bent upon mischief, dispelling
      The radiant garb of the trees.

    Where the Oak and the Elm stand, defying
      The wrath of the tempest’s fierce blast--
    Through the thicket, where warble the wild-birds
      And the chipmunk goes scurrying past.--
    To the brilliant-hued, picturesque landscape
      No color could artist e’er lend
    On this day, when o’er hill and thro’ valley
      I wandered in search of a friend.

    In search of a dear loved one, dwelling
      In a quiet, suburban retreat--
    The friend whose kind manner e’er charmed me--
      Whom I long had been hoping to greet.
    And I found her at last, my friend Emma!
      As at last thro’ the garden I walk.
    She was sitting quite close by the window--
      And I found her there--_mending a sock!_

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


        “Oh!” said the chick
        To the white hen, “Run, quick!”
    (They stood in the garden patch;)
        “Here’s a woman coming
        Who will send us ahumming--
    She’s determined she’ll not let us scratch!”

        “Now if ’twere a _man_
        That yonder I scan”
    And her eyes she opened wide,--
        “And a rock he should throw
        We’d know where ’twould go
    And could easily dodge it one side,--

        But _this_ is a _Woman_--
        A terror uncommon,
    What to do I’m sure I can’t see;
        If a missile _she_ throws
        It will veer, and, who knows?
    May by accident hit you or me!”

        “You silly chick,”
        Said the white hen quick--
    “Much wiser I hope you’ll soon be,--
        Just stand in your track
        When she makes an attack
    And your safety I will guarantee!”

        When, as it chanced,
        She firmly advanced,
    Hen and chicken with diligence scratched;
        No verbal command
        Availed, so her hand
    A stone from the dusty loam snatched.

        To _Southward_ she aimed--
        And hostilely proclaimed!
    (’Twas just as the white hen said--)
        The pebble flew forth,
        And, sailing due _North,
    It struck her old man on the head_!


(Written at the time of the Spanish-American War.)

    “All that there is in Cuba’s lands
      Is ours, and we shall reign;
    Or we will fight them till they die!”
      Thus comes the cry from Spain.
    “They never shall their freedom have--
      We will rule with iron hand;
    They shall bow to us, they shall heed our laws
      Or we’ll drive them from the land!”

    “Ye cruel tyrants! Are ye men?”
      (’Twas ‘Uncle Sam’ who spoke.)
    “Desist, or ye shall see this end
      In cannon roar, and fire, and smoke
    Ye worse than tyrants! what have ye done?
      Ye have pillaged, burned and destroyed--
    Ye have starved helpless men and women to death
      And the wailing of children enjoyed.

    Ye have tortured them with fiendish delight,
      And hundreds of people have slain;
    Ye caused the death of our brave, noble men,
      Who went down in the wreck of the “Maine.”
    Ye can come to me if ye want to fight,--
      Ye can come with your jeer and taunt;
    And ye can fight to your hearts’ content.
      If fighting is what ye want.

    Our boys so brave, when duty calls,
      Will all their strength unite;
    And fight as long as there is need
      For freedom and for right.
    May the curse forever be wiped out
      That now the country mars;
    And peace restored in this fair land
      Where float the stripes and stars.”

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    Hi Sambo--don’ yo’ talk dat way--
      Aint yo’ a silly coon!
    A talkin’ ’bout de mystery
      Ob de man dats in de moon!
    _I_ tell yo’ ’taint no mystery
      ’Bout de moon, or how it acts,
    I reckon ef yo’d like to know
      _I_ kin tell yo’ all de facts.

    ’Tis dis:--Yo’ see when de world was new
      De moon was roun’ an’ clear;
    An’ kep’ a shinin’ ebery night
      Jus’ so, year arter year.--
    ’Till dis man he done some drefful t’ing--
      He ran, but dey cotched him soon
    An’ widout no odds dey banished him
      An’ sent him to de moon.

    Dey see’d him lookin’ down to earth
      Whar dey wouldn’t let him stay;
    Den solemn like, an’ bery slow
      He turn he face away.--
    An’ arter dat de moon was new--
      Den half a moon dar’ll be;
    Den de moon am roun’, an’ de man looks down
      On de lan’ an’ on de sea.

    An’ he gazes ober all de earth
      ’Til he wants to see no more--
    Den he slowly turn he face away
      Jus’ as he did before.
    Dese am de facts ob what yo’ call
      De “Mystery profound”--
    When de moon keeps changing as yo’ see
      _’Tis de man a turnin’ round_!

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    Your natal anniversary
      Once more around has crept;
    And, as a token of respect
      Will you these flowers accept

    From all your friends? And we do hope
      That they may bring delight;
    And shed abundant cheer and joy
      From every petal bright.

    And as another year speeds on
      To swell the list of Time;
    We truly wish that each day may
      Be filled with Peace sublime.

    And may the Heavenly Father’s grace
      Be with you on your way;
    And keep you safely ’till returns
      Another glad Birth-day.


    The robins and the blue-birds sing
      In tones so sweet and clear;
    “Cheer up dear, Annie dear, ’tis spring
      And Summer time is near.”

    The crocus soon will wake from sleep
      And lift its dainty head;
    The trailing arbutus will peep
      Out from its leafy bed.

    Dame Nature soon will deck the hills
      And vales in verdant clothes;
    While ’neath the oak the brooklet trills
      Where blooms the blushing rose.

    Fair daisy sweet and buttercup
      The breeze will softly kiss;
    Then do not pine, dear friend, cheer up
      And share with them their bliss.

    Let not your heart be troubled dear,
      The birds this message tell,--
    Ye faint at heart, be of good cheer,
      “All’s well that endeth well.”


[This poem was written for, and read at the first meeting held after the
completion of the new grange hall at North Buckfield, Nov. 1st, 1904.
The poem was founded on facts, but in order to be more amusing for the
occasion the incidents were, of course, somewhat exaggerated by the
author, who was also a member of Mountain Grange.]

Patrons and Friends:

    Within the annals of this Grange
      A circumstance occurred--
    And, be it true--Or otherwise,
      I’ll give it as ’twas heard.
    When last winter’s icy breezes
      Brought the welcome news, so strange
    That the ever staunch, and loyal
      Patrons of this Mountain Grange

    Decided to erect their temple
      Ere the coming of the Fall
    In the village of North Buckfield,--
      There to locate their new hall.--
    Ere the last glad trump had sounded
      Thro’ the vales, and o’er the plain--
    Ere the zephyrs bore the echo
      To the rugged hills of Maine--

    Ere the last faint notes were wafted
      To “Old Shack’s” most distant peak--
    There a brave, and loyal patron
      Thus to himself did speak:--
    “I, Lucius Record, patron, member
      Of this Grange, a vow do make
    That _I_ the very first will be
      The foundation ground to break.

    For I have read of honors great
      To “lay the corner stone,”
    _I’ll_ be the first to break the ground
      And do it _all alone_!
    And so, for months, this patron brave
      Did cherish in his breast
    A longing for the time to come
      Which gave him much unrest.

    “Old Father Time” moved slowly on--
      The snow began to melt--
    The bleak earth showed in tiny spots
      Where _Lucius Record_ dwelt.
    For aught else in the world, just then
      He neither cared nor feared;
    But watched those patches grow, until
      The snow had disappeared.

    To all who anxiously await
      Time slowly wears away;
    But at last--at last there came the eve
      Ere the eventful day.
    That night no sweet dreams came to him,
      No sleep his pillow sought;
    But listened he to every sound
      With nerves most tensely wrought.

    And ere the sun’s first rays arose
      To gild yon distant domes;
    And shed their radiance upon
      These fair North Buckfield homes
    Arose he from his downy couch--
      And with his gleaming spade
    Proceeded he to carry out
      The plans which he had made.

    In silence marched he by Fred Heald’s,
      Slow, stealthy as a mouse;
    With bated breath, on tiptoe went
      Past Celia Dunham’s house
    Lest she or Fred should be awake
      And chance to hear his step,--
    And thus--with soft, and cat-like tread
      He past the school house crept
    And reached the spot where stands this hall
      When lo! in yonder field
    He spied a form approaching near,
      And found ’twas Brother Heald
    And on the self same purpose bent!
      Lute straightway feared the worst;
    It but remained now to be seen
      Which one would get there first!

    Lucius quickened up his pace
      Nor stopped for rocks or planks,
    ’Tis said his record equaled then
      The far-famed Nancy Hanks!
    He nearly now his courage lost,
      The way seemed not so clear
    To be the first to break the ground
      With _tother feller_ near.

    So in the road the spade he dropped
      And scooped it full of earth
    Then sprang with all his wondrous might
      And ran for all he’s worth
    And dumped that sand upon the spot,
      And made a little mound--
    “Ah, ha!” quoth he, “_I am_ the first
      To break the Grange Hall ground!”

    Then with a sigh both turned away--
      They felt somewhat--perhaps
    One like the ‘Russians’ at bay--
      The other like the ‘Japs.’--
    The morning dawned with azure skies,
      And then the workmen came;
    Brad Damon and another man
      Sir William Brown by name.

    They saw the sand, and then one spoke--
      (The other followed suit,)
    “What tarnal fool done this, d’ye spose?
      I vum, I’ll bet ’twas Lute!”
    The other answered, “I’ve no doubt
      ’Twas him, but see these tracks--
    Now you don’t spose dew ye, they
      Resemble Danville Jack’s?”

    “Oh, no, taint Dan--I know ’tis Lute--
      To reason _this_ appeals:--
    These tracks look like an Elephant
      While _Dan’s_ got _Nigger heels_!”
    Then exclamations volleyed forth,
      With laughter long and loud;
    Just then Geo. Record’s silvery voice
      Came ringing through the crowd:

    “I say there, _Bill_! Tim Jones’n me
      Will give fifty cents in change
    To whom will write this story up
      And read it in the Grange!”
    Five poetic pencils glibly glide--
      Low bends each thoughtful head--
    Presented for inspections, thus
      Brad Damon’s poem read:--

            Lucius Record
              Sat up late,--
            Broke the ground--
              Honor great.

            Road to fame--
              Show’s us how,--
            Pile of dirt--
              Big’s a cow.

            Danville Jack--
              Gloomy feels--
            Awfully fat--
              Nigger heels.

            Awfully solemn--
              Awfully mute--
            Sadly feels--
              Beat by Lute!

            Walls of fame--
              Got Lute’s name on--
            Poem complete--
              Bradbury Damon.

    “By Gum! he’s beaten us all!” they cried
      Between their tight--shut teeth;
    Then brushed away that pile of sand
      And saw what lay beneath!
    They cried “Let’s give three cheers for Lute!
      Of him we have learned this day
    If we can’t succeed _just as we wish_
      We’ll do it _as we may_.”


    Should aught arise within this Grange
      Which we don’t understand;
    Let’s look beneath the surface _then_,
      Let’s clear away the sand.


   (Written for Mountain Grange)

    Away o’er the hills, or thro’ valleys,
    Wherever I happen to be;
    ’Tis wafted along by the breezes,
    And comes like sweet music to me,
    As on, by the wayside I wander
    A Brother I happen to meet,--
    The hand-grasp is ever most cordial
    And _this_ is the way that we greet,--
                  Goin ’t the Grange?

    I stroll mid the tall waving grasses
    Where the laurel and sweet brier springs--
    Thence on, to the deep-shadow’d woodland
    Where the brooklet so merrilly sings--
    How lulling the chirp of the cricket--
    How drowsy the hum of the bees.--
    I start.--for a voice speaking near me
    In deep tones utters words such as these--
                  Goin ’t the Grange?

    Oh! the tables so loaded with dainties
    We hail with the keenest delight;
    The fruit, pies, and cake, we all welcome
    With faces so happy and bright.
    There’s naught like the rich, amber coffee
    Great fervor and zest to impart--
    While the savory baked beans and brown bread
    E’er touch a deep chord in the heart--
                  Goin ’t the Grange?

    _Grange!_---- name so laden with beauty
    I hail with the greatest of glee;
    I love it, our dear banded Order--
    And ever a Granger _I’ll_ be!
    Oft I long as the season approaches
    The time for a “meeting” again
    To hear from the tumult of voices
    Re-echo this gladsome refrain:--
                  Goin ’t the Grange?

    And may the bright _Star_ of the _Heavens_
    Ever guard and guide us aright--
    May we all many times be permitted
    To meet here in ardent delight.
    May we ever be true to our Master--
    Prove faithful and honest in all;
    And be ready to answer the summons
    When the One great Master shall call
                  To a higher and nobler Grange.


    Talk about your new inventions
      And the wonders of the age;
    _I_ think the pesky foolishness
      Has reached the topmost stage!
    The news that this here world is round
      Comes from some great man’s mouth--
    And that ’tis hung onto a pole
      That goes from North to South.

    And I suppose that this here way
      Is the way to solve the riddle--
    Just take an apple up, and thrust
      A needle through the middle.
    And what is it they won’t do next?
      For now, Why, ’pon my soul
    They say that larn’ed folks have tried
      To find the great North Pole!

    _I’d_ rather stay upon the land
      Than sail upon the sea;
    Why can’t _them_ folks just stay at home
      And let the North Pole be?
    Now I am kind of worried like
      For fear some of those men
    That’s sailing round and round the airth
      Will _find_ the pole and then

    Some of them chaps who thoughtlessly
      At common sense will scoff
    Will take it into their wise heads
      To cut the North Pole off!
    And then what would become of us?
      I’m sure I haint no notion--
    I spose that _we_, the world and all
      Would fall into the Ocean!

    And what a bad thing that would be--
      How dreadful is the sound--
    _To let the world fall in the sea
      And all the good folks drown’d!_
    I wish that them ere pesky folks
      Would let the pole alone;
    I think that they had better find
      Some business of their own!

    I wish some one would find them folks
      And try and make them see
    That they had better stay at home
      And let the North Pole be!
    If _I_ should ever see them men
      As sure’s my name is Joe
    They’ll find what _my_ opinion is
      And I shall tell them so!

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    Little daughter, fair and sweet
      With dainty baby charms;
    Making every joy complete
      As from mamma’s arms
                Very tenderly she’s laid;--
                  (Mamma’s smiles are hid--
                _Sees_ the queer maneuvers made
                  When daddy rocks the kid!)

    Darling, winsome as can be--
      Blossom sweet and rare;
    Hears the tuneful melody
      From the rocking chair.
                Never heard such songs before,--
                  (And guess _he_ never did--)
                Language new--and tunes galore,
                  When daddy rocks the kid!

    Though forty times, ere day is done,
      From work he homeward comes;
    To hold his precious little one
      And see it suck its thumbs--
                Mamma, e’er with loving glance
                  Sees new charms amid
                The beauties, Which the joys enhance
                  When daddy rocks the kid!

    When daddy rocks the kid to sleep
      He banishes all care;
    And o’er his visage smiles will creep--
      Contentment’s written there.
                No worldly sorrows cast their shade
                  But vanish as they’re bid.--
                A pleasing picture thus is made
                  When daddy rocks the kid!

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    When a feller gets his back up
      And his temper’s in a muss;
    If he keeps a peckin’ at ye--
      Tryin’ hard to pick a fuss.--
    Jest ye go about yer bis-ness.
      ‘Course its aggravatin’--but
    Half the row will be averted
      If ye’ll keep yer talker shut!

    Shut yer lips together firmly--
      Let the “other feller” groan,--
    Soon ye’ll find the ranch deserted,
      For he will not fight alone.
    Ferocious bully’ll prove a coward,--
      If ye swerve not from the rut
    Of yer staunch determination
      That ye’ll keep yer talker shut!

    Talkin’ makes a heap o’ trouble
      Out o’ nothin’, scandals great,--
    As one gossip, then another
      From the truth will deviate
    ’Till the color of the story
      Darker grows--I tell ye what,
    Wouldn’t be so many heartaches
      If they’d keep their talkers shut!

    Talkin’s right, if they would only
      Try to smooth the weary way
    Of some poor, lone, ship wrecked brother
      And a word of comfort say
    To the sick and weepin’ dweller
      Of the rude and lowly hut.--
    Then, yes, _then_, the time is for ye
      _Not_ to keep yer talker shut!

    If ye try to see the many
      Virtues of yer feller men--
    And yer kindly acts uplift him--
      Ye are doin’ nobler, then
    When to some heart yer words so cruel
      Gives a deep malicious cut.--
    If ye can’t speak words of _kindness_
      Better keep yer talker shut!


  To my dear friend:--E. L. F.

    As onward Old Time is e’er rolling,
      And Summer again has gone by;
    The sweet bells of Christmas are ringing,
      And wafting their music on high--
    Telling the same sweet old story,
      That ever emotion awakes;
    Of Him who was born in a manger
      And Who suffered and died for our sakes.

    My wish is, that this day may bring you
      Very rich and abundant good cheer;
    May yours be a bright happy Christmas,
      With friends that are ever sincere.
    It is willed that I cannot be with you--
      As you still linger “down by the sea;”
    But my wish is--and may it be granted--
      That one thought-wave may reach you from me,

    Ere the bells have ceased ringing the tidings
      Of Peace and Good Will to all men,
    Old Santa will wake from his slumbers
      And, hobbling forth from his den
    He will harness his fleet footed reindeer
      To the sleigh, and away he will flee,--
    And eagerly on, he will hasten
      To bring you this message from me!

    Though this has no value, excepting
      The love it contains in its fold,--
    Yet, love that is true and unfading
      To me is more precious than gold.
    So, when you shall weigh in Worth’s balance
      The gifts you receive on this day;
    Surely mine will not be found wanting,
      For Love will be sure to out-weigh.

    Were I sure, that, receiving this missive
      You should feel just one pang of regret
    That I cannot be with you this evening,
      It would fully repay me, and yet
    I know you’ll transmit _one_ thought message
      To me, from afar o’er the plain;
    While the sweet bells of Christmas are ringing
      And telling their story again.

    While the sweet bells of Christmas are ringing
      In accents of joy and of praise;
    For the Babe in the manger, so blessed,
      As they rang in the dear by-gone days,--
    May they ring as of yore,--And the blessing
      Of “Peace and Good Will” which they gave
    In the ringing descend o’er our Spirits,--
      Like music which wafts o’er the wave.

    Buckfield, Me., 1911.

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    Traditions of a hunter tells--
      A hardy man, and stout;
    Who ne’er used snow-shoes--for his feet
      Were large enough without!
    With dog and gun, across-lots, he
      Would roam ’mong bush and stump;
    Nor swerved he from the snow-drifts deep,--
      He’d very seldom slump!

    But once, ’tis said, he sank far down
      While crossing o’er a field;
    The damp snow caved upon his feet
      And there he stuck--and squealed!
    Then, standing like a statue
      Beneath the sun’s warm glow--
    His feet, like steamship’s anchor
      Fast pinioned under snow.

    He one mighty effort made--
      He gave a piercing yell,--
    The language wafted far and wide
      E’en Echo ne’er would tell!
    His pleading tones reached listening ears
      And help soon reached the spot.--
    And altho’ more we fain would know
      Tradition telleth not.

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


    Pray, have you ever heard about--
      Or have you ever seen
    That Pearl of Ingenuity--
      A Poetry Machine?
    The wonderous thing is fashioned
      With most exquisite skill;
    Designed precisely to obey
      The operator’s will.

    When touched by “Muse’s” magic wand
      The _thought-waves_ throb and spout;
    Then, by the turning of the crank
      It grinds the verses out.--
    The sweet, poetic stanzas
      Of equal length will be;
    Then, clipping off the ragged lines
     It makes a poem.--See?

    And ’tis an elegant thing to have
      When you’re “down in luck” you think--
    (And the only cost is a trivial sum
      Of some of your mental chink.)
    When e’er the world seems going wrong
      And you your courage lose;
    Get out your “Poetry Machine”
      And drive away the “blues.”

    Just turn the crank--Sad thoughts will flee
      As the cog-wheels whirr and buzz,--
    There’s naught can raise one’s spirits up
      Like the “Verse Mill” always does!
    Let the rippling, rollicking rhymes roll out
      With a clamor, a clash, and a clang;
    Then punctuate each line with a laugh--
      Be one of the “Jolly Gang!”

    There will steal a soothing sense supreme
      As we linger ’neath the spell,--
    As steal sweet strains from Seraphic Song
      Far o’er the Ocean’s swell
    Or like soft breezes whispering
      O’er the sun-kissed, mossy bank,--
    With sweet, poetic fancies rife
      If we but turn the crank!


    Down, the faded leaves are drifting,
      From grey branches overhead;
    All summer birds have taken flight,
      The grass is sere and dead.--
          The brown earth tells us Summer’s gone--
          The frost lies white at early morn.

    See! now is yon distant landscape
      Clothed in warm and purple haze;
    Redolent with ripen’d harvests
      Of the Indian Summer days.
          Bright--ye golden days--and glad,
          Beautiful, yet erstwhile sad

    Now the corn, no longer waving,
      Shocked, stands waiting for the bin;
    Choice fruit and garden products
      Soon will all be gathered in.
          Golden pumpkins, piled up high,--
          Indicative of luscious pie!

     _TO MARY_

    Dear Mary: The sweet bells of Christmas
      Are ringing out vibrant and true,--
    As I list to their music in gladness
      I am thinking of _Danville_ and _you_.

    So Sister, I’m sending this picture--
      You will see at the Ward at the right
    A little X marked o’er the window,
      Where a star peeps in at me at night.

    You know where my cot is, you fancy--
      Tho’ your vision of _me_ is not clear;
    Yet you know on that cot I am lying--
      You have _Faith_ to believe I am here!

    Then _now_, as the sweet chimes are pealing
      In accents so joyous and rare;
    Look, in _Faith_, towards the window of Heaven
      And _believe_ that our _Saviour_ is there!


     [Written while the author was a patient at the Maine State
     Sanatorium, Hebron, Me.]

    There’s danger that some of these gales
      Will lay this Cottage level--
    For every other day, at least,
      The wind blows like the---- deuce.
    Should it occur, the chances are
      That all the fields and lawns
    From here down to “West Minot” will
      Be scattered o’er with “Cons.”
    Then Dr. Garrison, Dr. Knowles
      And Dr. Nichols, too,
    Will have to search o’er hill and dale
      To find which way we blew!--
    And all the nurses, too, will run
      As fast as e’er they can
    And help to bring “us patients” back
      To this gale-stricken San!
    Sure, if the wind strikes “Greenwood Hill”
      With such an awful boom
    We shall go sailing through the air
      Like Witches on a broom!--
    Whiz-Zip-Crash-Bang-Oh, Ugh!--My face
      Is full of whirling snow!!--
    It’s blown the coverings off my bed!!!--
      Ah yes, “the winds do blow!”

    Jan. 1913.

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


           To Dr. N.:--

    My stay here has been quite extended,
      And many long months now are gone;
    But soon my sojourn must be ended,
      For now I’m not sick with the “Con.”
    My _heart_ may have an “affection”--
      Yet do not imagine I’m ill,--
    For I’m sure that, in case of detection
      It would baffle your medical skill.

    The “Microbe” lies hidden, tho closely you scan,
      Yet it _lives_! Now, sad to relate;
    One grievance exists which I owe to the _San_--
      Oh dear, I have gained so in weight!
    No more like a fairy am I.--Yet ’tis true
      It is lovely to come here and rest,--
    It’s a fine place to thrive--For see, even _you_
      Are not very _small_ round the vest!

    Oh no! and if ever I meet with a friend
      Who is built on the skeleton plan
    And wishes some fat on the ribs, I intend
      To tell him to come to the San!
    I’m sorry to leave Greenwood Mt. so fair
      And the scenes I’ve so long dwelt amid,--
    I know I have been an annoyance and care
      Like a naughty refractory kid.

    But vain are regrets.--So why let them tend
      Toward the past?--Let ill memories flee!
    Yet this will I say: Dr. Nichols--Kind friend
      I thank _you_ for your kindness to me.
    And I hope the Good Father who rules over all
      By an all-wise and infinite plan
    May guide and bless you, what e’re may befall--
      And rich blessings send down to the _San_.

                       _The San Poetess._

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]


          ’Tis true, to some
          Good luck will come
    As we go life’s path along;
          While to others here
          There’s naught of cheer,
    And every thing goes wrong.

          Yet we cannot know
          Why it is so--
    For a few there is peace complete;
          The while for some
          There is not a crumb
    From the loaf of comfort sweet.

          Some know not the turmoil
          Of struggle and toil--
    Yet there’s enough and to spare for those
          Who can live at their ease
          And do as they please--
    And their crown is entwined with the rose.

          While others there are
          From near and afar
    Who by “sweat of the brow” earn their bread;
          And ’tis very sweet
          To those who may eat
    Who by their own efforts are fed.

          As God made the rich
          And poor alike which
    Will be guarded and led not astray?
          And which, do you ween,
          Will wear the bright sheen
    When they get to the end of the way?

          To some he sends woe--
          We know not why ’tis so--
    But he chasteneth _all_ more or less;
          Where sorrow and strife
          And burdens are rife,
    _These_ will He especially bless.

          When o’er trials we sigh
          To Him we should fly
    Who doeth all things for the best;
          When comes the release
          There’ll be eternal peace
    In that beautiful Haven of Rest.

          Let the rich help the poor,--
          Drive the wolf from the door--
    In the sorrows of others take part;
          And He will receive
          All “ye who believe”
    And come with a pure sinless heart.

    [Illustration: decorative bar.]

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Poems" ***

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