Author of
"By and Large," "In Other Words,"
"Tobogganing on Parnassus,"
"Weights and Measures,"









The author wishes to thank the New York Tribune, Life, Harper's Magazine, Collier's Weekly, and The Home Sector, for their kind permission to include in this volume material which has appeared in their pages.


Present Imperative
The Doughboy's Horace
From: Horace To: Phyllis
Advising Chloë
To an Aged Cut-up   I
His Monument
Glycera Rediviva!
On a Wine of Horace's
"What Flavour?"
The Stalling of Q. H. F.
On the Flight of Time
The Last Laugh
Again Endorsing the Lady    I
Propertius's Bid for Immortality
A Lament
Bon Voyage—and Vice Versa
On the Uses of Adversity
After Hearing "Robin Hood"
Maud Muller Mutatur
The Carlyles
If Amy Lowell Had Been James Whitcomb Riley
If the Advertising Man Had Been Gilbert
If the Advertising Man Had Been Praed, or Locker
Georgie Porgie
On First Looking into Bee Palmer's Shoulders
To a Vers Librist
How Do You Tackle Your Work?
On Tradition
Unshackled Thoughts on Chivalry, Romance, Adventure, Etc.
Results Ridiculous
Regarding (1) the U. S. and (2) New York
The Jazzy Bard
Lines on and from "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations"
Thoughts in a Far Country
When You Meet a Man from Your Own Home Town
The Shepherd's Resolution
"It Was a Famous Victory"
On Profiteering
The Return of the Soldier
"I Remember, I Remember"
The Higher Education
War and Peace
"So Shines a Good Deed in a Naughty World"
Vain Words
On the Importance of Being Earnest
It Happens in the B. R. Families
Abelard and Heloïse
Lines Written on the Sunny Side of Frankfort Street
To Myrtilla
A Psalm of Labouring Life
Ballade of Ancient Acts
To a Prospective Cook
Variation on a Theme
"Such Stuff as Dreams"
The Ballad of Justifiable Homicide
The Ballad of the Murdered Merchant
A Gotham Garden of Verses
Lines on Reading Frank J. Wilstach's "A Dictionary of Similes"
The Dictaphone Bard
The Comfort of Obscurity
Ballade of the Traffickers
To W. Hohenzollern, on Discontinuing The Conning Tower
To W. Hohenzollern, on Resuming The Conning Tower
Thoughts on the Cosmos
On Environment
The Ballad of the Thoughtless Waiter
Rus Vs. Urbs
"I'm Out of the Army Now"
"Oh Man!"
An Ode in Time of Inauguration
What the Copy Desk Might Have Done
Song of Synthetic Virility


Present Imperative

Horace: Book I, Ode 11

"Tu ne quaesieris—scire nefas—quem mihi; quem tibi——"


Nay, query not, Leuconoë, the finish of the fable;
Eliminate the worry as to what the years may hoard!
You only waste your time upon the Babylonian Table—
(Slang for the Ouija board).
And as to whether Jupiter, the final, unsurpassed one,
May add a lot of winters to our portion here below,
Or this impinging season is to be our very last one—
Really, I'd hate to know.
Apply yourself to wisdom! Sweep the floor and wash the dishes,
Nor dream about the things you'll do in 1928!
My counsel is to cease to sit and yearn about your wishes,
Cursing the throws of Fate.
My! how I have been chattering on matters sad and pleasant!
(Endure with me a moment while I polish off a rhyme).
If I were you, I think, I'd bother only with the present—
Now is the only time.

The Doughboy's Horace

Horace: Book III, Ode 9

"Donec eram gratus tibi——"

While I was fussing you at home
You put the notion in my dome
That I was the Molasses Kid.
I batted strong. I'll say I did.
While you were fussing me alone
To other boys my heart was stone.
When I was all that you could see
No girl had anything on me.
Well, say, I'm having some romance
With one Babette, of Northern France.
If that girl gave me the command
I'd dance a jig in No Man's Land.
I, too, have got a young affair
With Charley—say, that boy is there!
I'd just as soon go out and die
If I thought it'd please that guy.
Suppose I can this foreign wren
And start things up with you again?
Suppose I promise to be good?
I'd love you, Lyd. I'll say I would.
Though Charley's good and handsome—oh, boy!
And you're a stormy, fickle doughboy,
Go give the Hun his final whack,
And I'll marry you when you come back.

From: Horace
To: Phyllis
Subject: Invitation

Book IV, Ode 11

"Est mihi nonum superantis annum——"

Phyllis, I've a jar of wine,
(Alban, B. C. 49),
Parsley wreaths, and, for your tresses,
Ivy that your beauty blesses.
Shines my house with silverware;
Frondage decks the altar stair—
Sacred vervain, a device
For a lambkin's sacrifice.
Up and down the household stairs
What a festival prepares!
Everybody's superintending—
See the sooty smoke ascending!
What, you ask me, is the date
Of the day we celebrate?
13th April, month of Venus—
Birthday of my boss, Mæcenas.
Let me, Phyllis, say a word
Touching Telephus, a bird
Ranking far too high above you;
(And the loafer doesn't love you).
Lessons, Phyllie, may be learned
From Phaëton—how he was burned!
And recall Bellerophon was
One equestrian who thrown was.
Phyllis, of my loves the last,
My philandering days are past.
Sing you, in your clear contralto,
Songs I write for the rialto.

Advising Chloë

Horace: Book I, Ode 23

"Vitas hinnuleo me similis, Chloë——"

Why shun me, my Chloë? Nor pistol nor bowie
Is mine with intention to kill.
And yet like a llama you run to your mamma;
You tremble as though you were ill.
No lion to rend you, no tiger to end you,
I'm tame as a bird in a cage.
That counsel maternal can run for The Journal
You get me, I guess.... You're of age.

To An Aged Cut-up

Horace: Book III, Ode 15


"Uxor pauperis Ibyci,
Tandem nequitiæ fige modum tuæ——"


Dear Mrs. Ibycus, accept a little sound advice,
Your manners and your speech are over-bold;
To chase around the sporty way you do is far from nice;
Believe me, darling, you are growing old.
Now Pholoë may fool around (she dances like a doe!)
A débutante has got to think of men;
But you were twenty-seven over thirty years ago—
You ought to be asleep at half-past ten.
O Chloris, cut the ragging and the roses and the rum—
Delete the drink, or better, chop the booze!
Go buy a skein of yarn and make the knitting needles hum,
And imitate the art of Sister Suse.


Chloris, lay off the flapper stuff;
What's fit for Pholoë, a fluff,
Is not for Ibycus's wife—
A woman at your time of life!
Ignore, old dame, such pleasures as
The shimmy and "the Bacchus Jazz";
Your presence with the maidens jars—
You are the cloud that dims the stars.
Your daughter Pholoë may stay
Out nights upon the Appian Way;
Her love for Nothus, as you know,
Makes her as playful as a doe.
No jazz for you, no jars of wine,
No rose that blooms incarnadine.
For one thing only are you fit:
Buy some Lucerian wool—and knit!

His Monument

Horace: Book III, Ode 30

"Exegi monumentum aere perennius——"

The monument that I have built is durable as brass,
And loftier than the Pyramids which mock the years that pass.
Nor blizzard can destroy it, nor furious rain corrode—
Remember, I'm the bard that built the first Horatian ode.
I shall not altogether die; a part of me's immortal.
A part of me shall never pass the mortuary portal;
And when I die my fame shall stand the nitric test of time—
The fame of me of lowly birth, who built the lofty rhyme!
Ay, fame shall be my portion when no trace there is of me,
For I first made Æolian songs the songs of Italy.
Accept I pray, Melpomene, my modest meed of praise,
And crown my thinning, graying locks with wreaths of Delphic bays!

Glycera Rediviva!

Horace: Book I, Ode 19

"Mater sæva Cupidinum"

Venus, the cruel mother of
The Cupids (symbolising Love),
Bids me to muse upon and sigh
For things to which I've said "Good-bye!"
Believe me or believe me not,
I give this Glycera girl a lot:
Pure Parian marble are her arms—
And she has eighty other charms.
Venus has left her Cyprus home
And will not let me pull a pome
About the Parthians, fierce and rough,
The Scythian war, and all that stuff.
Set up, O slaves, a verdant shrine!
Uncork a quart of last year's wine!
Place incense here, and here verbenas,
And watch me while I jolly Venus!

On a Wine of Horace's

What time I read your mighty line,
O Mr. Q. Horatius Flaccus,
In praise of many an ancient wine—
You twanged a wicked lyre to Bacchus!—
I wondered, like a Yankee hick,
If that old stuff contained a kick.
So when upon a Paris card
I glimpsed Falernian, I said: "Waiter,
I'll emulate that ancient bard,
And pass upon his merits later."
Professor Mendell, quelque sport,
Suggested that we split a quart.
O Flaccus, ere I ceased to drink
Three glasses and a pair of highballs,
I could not talk; I could not think;
For I was pickled to the eyeballs.
If you sopped up Falernian wine
How did you ever write a line?

"What Flavour?"

Horace: Book III, Ode 13

"O fons Bandusiæ, splendidior vitro——"

Worthy of flowers and syrups sweet,
O fountain of Bandusian onyx,
To-morrow shall a goatling's bleat
Mix with the sizz of thy carbonics.
A kid whose budding horns portend
A life of love and war—but vainly!
For thee his sanguine life shall end—
He'll spill his blood, to put it plainly.
And never shalt thou feel the heat
That blazes in the days of Sirius,
But men shall quaff thy soda sweet,
And girls imbibe thy drinks delirious.
Fountain whose dulcet cool I sing,
Be thou immortal by this Ode (a
Not wholly meretricious thing),
Bandusian fount of ice-cream soda!

The Stalling of Q. H. F.

Horace: Epode 14

"Mollis inertia cur tantam diffuderit imis"

Mæcenas, you fret me, you worry me
Demanding I turn out a rhyme;
Insisting on reasons, you hurry me;
You want my iambics on time.
You say my ambition's diminishing;
You ask why my poem's not done.
The god it is keeps me from finishing
The stuff I've begun.
Be not so persistent, so clamorous.
Anacreon burned with a flame
Candescently, crescently amorous.
You rascal, you're doing the same!
Was no fairer the flame that burned Ilium.
Cheer up, you're a fortunate scamp,
... Consider avuncular William
And Phryne, the vamp.

On the Flight of Time

Horace: Book I, Ode 2

"Tu ne quæsieris, scire nefas, quem mihi, quem tibi"


Look not, Leuconoë, into the future;
Seek not to find what the Answer may be;
Let no Chaldean clairvoyant compute your
Time of existence.... It irritates me!
Better to bear what may happen soever
Patiently, playing it through like a sport,
Whether the end of your breathing is Never,
Or, as is likely, your time will be short.
This is the angle, the true situation;
Get me, I pray, for I'm putting you hep:
While I've been fooling with versification
Time has been flying.... Both gates!
Watch your step!

The Last Laugh

Horace: Epode 15

"Nox erat et cælo fulgebat Luna sereno——"

"How sweet the moonlight sleeps," I quoted,
"Upon this bank!" that starry night—
The night you vowed you'd be devoted—
I'll tell the world you held me tight.
The night you said until Orion
Should cease to whip the wintry sea,
Until the lamb should love the lion,
You would, you swore, be all for me.
Some day, Neæra, you'll be sorry.
No mollycoddle swain am I.
I shall not sit and pine, by gorry!
Because you're with some other guy!
No, I shall turn my predilection
Upon some truer, fairer Jane;
And all your prayer and genuflexion
For my return shall be in vain.
And as for you, who choose to sneer, O,
Though deals in lands and stocks you swing,
Though handsome as a movie hero,
Though wise you are—and everything;
Yet, when the loss of her you're mourning,
How I shall laugh at all your woe!
How I'll remind you of this warning,
And laugh, "Ha! ha! I told you so!"

Again Endorsing the Lady

Book II, Elegy 2

"Liber eram et vacuo meditabar vivere lecto——"


I was free. I thought that I had entered Love's Antarctic Zone.
"A truce to sentiment," I said. "My nights shall be my own."
But Love has double-crossed me. How can Beauty be so fair?
The grace of her, the face of her—and oh, her yellow hair!
And oh, the wondrous walk of her! So doth a goddess glide.
Jove's sister—ay, or Pallas—hath no statelier a stride.
Fair as Ischomache herself, the Lapithanian maid;
Or Brimo when at Mercury's side her virgin form she laid.
Surrender now, ye goddesses whom erst the shepherd spied!
Upon the heights of Ida lay your vestitures aside!
 And though she reach the countless years of the Cumæan Sibyl,
May never, never Age at those delightful features nibble!


I thought that I was wholly free,
That I had Love upon the shelf;
"Hereafter," I declared in glee,
"I'll have my evenings to myself."
How can such mortal beauty live?
(Ah, Jove, thine errings I forgive!)
Her tresses pale the sunlight's gold;
Her hands are featly formed, and taper;
Her—well, the rest ought not be told
In any modest family paper.
Fair as Ischomache, and bright
As Brimo. Quæque queen is right.
O goddesses of long ago,
A shepherd called ye sweet and slender.
He saw ye, so he ought to know;
But sooth, to her ye must surrender.
O may a million years not trace
A single line upon that face!

Propertius's Bid for Immortality

Book III, Ode 3

"Carminis interea nostri redæmus in orbem——"

Let us return, then, for a time,
To our accustomed round of rhyme;
And let my songs' familiar art
Not fail to move my lady's heart.
They say that Orpheus with his lute
Had power to tame the wildest brute;
That "Variations on a Theme"
Of his would stay the swiftest stream.
They say that by the minstrel's song
Cithæron's rocks were moved along
To Thebes, where, as you may recall,
They formed themselves to frame a wall.
And Galatea, lovely maid,
Beneath wild Etna's fastness stayed
Her horses, dripping with the mere,
Those Polypheman songs to hear.
What marvel, then, since Bacchus and
Apollo grasp me by the hand,
That all the maidens you have heard
Should hang upon my slightest word?
Tænerian columns in my home
Are not; nor any golden dome;
No parks have I, nor Marcian spring,
Nor orchards—nay, nor anything.
The Muses, though, are friends of mine;
Some readers love my lyric line;
And never is Calliope
Awearied by my poetry.
O happy she whose meed of praise
Hath fallen upon my sheaf of lays!
And every song of mine is sent
To be thy beauty's monument.
The Pyramids that point the sky,
The House of Jove that soars so high,
Mausolus' tomb—they are not free
From Death his final penalty.
For fire or rain shall steal away
The crumbling glory of their day;
But fame for wit can never die,
And gosh! I was a gay old guy!

A Lament

Propertius: Book II, Elegy 8

"Eripitur nobis iam pridem cara puella——"

While she I loved is being torn
From arms that held her many years,
Dost thou regard me, friend, with scorn,
Or seek to check my tears?
Bitter the hatred for a jilt,
And hot the hates of Eros are;
My hatred, slay me an thou wilt,
For thee'd be gentler far.
Can I endure that she recline
Upon another's arm? Shall they
No longer call that lady "mine"
Who "mine" was yesterday?
For Love is fleeting as the hours.
The town of Thebes is draped with moss,
And Ilium's well-known topless towers
Are now a total loss.
Fell Thebes and Troy; and in the grave
Have fallen lords of high degree.
What songs I sang! What gifts I gave!
... She never fell for me.

Bon Voyage—and Vice Versa

Propertius: Elegy VIII, Part 1

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

O Cynthia, hast thou lost thy mind?
Have I no claim on thine affection?
Dost love the chill Illyrian wind
With something passing predilection?
And is thy friend—whoe'er he be—
The kind to take the place of me?
Ah, canst thou bear the surging deep?
Canst thou endure the hard ship's-mattress?
For scant will be thy hours of sleep
From Staten Island to Cape Hatt'ras;
And won't thy fairy feet be froze
With treading on the foreign snows?
I hope that doubly blows the gale,
With billows twice as high as ever,
So that the captain, fain to sail,
May not achieve his mad endeavour!
The winds, when that they cease to roar,
Shall find me wailing on the shore.
Yet merit thou my love or wrath,
O False, I pray that Galatea
May smile upon thy watery path!
A pleasant trip,—that's the idea.
Light of my life, there never shall
For me be any other gal.
And sailors, as they hasten past,
Will always have to hear my query:
"Where have you seen my Cynthia last?
Has anybody seen my dearie?"
I'll shout: "In Malden or Marquette
Where'er she be, I'll have her yet!"


"Militis in galea nidum fecere columbæ."PETRONIUS

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

On the Uses of Adversity

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

Nothing there is that mortal man may utterly despise;
What in our wealth we treasured, in our poverty we prize.
The gold upon a sinking ship has often wrecked the boat,
While on a simple oar a shipwrecked man may keep afloat.
The burglar seeks the plutocrat, attracted by his dress—
The poor man finds his poverty the true preparedness.

After Hearing "Robin Hood"

The songs of Sherwood Forest
Are lilac-sweet and clear;
The virile rhymes of merrier times
Sound fair upon mine ear.
Sweet is their sylvan cadence
And sweet their simple art.
The balladry of the greenwood tree
Stirs memories in my heart.
O braver days and elder
With mickle valour dight,
How ye bring back the time, alack!
When Harry Smith could write!

Maud Muller Mutatur

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

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

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

Maud Muller, on a summer's day,
Powdered her nose with Bon Sachet.
Beneath her lingerie hat appeared
Eyebrows and cheeks that were well veneered.
Singing she rocked on the front piazz,
To the tune of "The Land of the Sky Blue Jazz."
But the song expired on the summer air,
And she said "This won't get me anywhere."
The judge in his car looked up at her
And signalled "Stop!" to his brave chauffeur.
He smiled a smile that is known as broad,
And he said to Miss Muller, "Hello, how's Maud?"
"What sultry weather this is? Gee whiz!"
Said Maud. Said the judge, "I'll say it is."
"Your coat is heavy. Why don't you shed it?
Have a drink?" said Maud. Said the judge, "You said it."
And Maud, with the joy of bucolic youth,
Blended some gin and some French vermouth.
Maud Muller sighed, as she poured the gin,
"I've got something on Whittier's heroine."
"Thanks," said the judge, "a peppier brew
From a fairer hand was never knew."
And when the judge had had number 7,
Maud seemed an angel direct from Heaven.
And the judge declared, "You're a lovely girl,
An' I'm for you, Maudie, I'll tell the worl'."
And the judge said, "Marry me, Maudie dearie?"
And Maud said yes to the well known query.
And she often thinks, in her rustic way,
As she powders her nose with Bon Sachet,
"I never'n the world would 'a got that guy,
If I'd waited till after the First o' July."
And of all glad words of prose or rhyme,
The gladdest are, "Act while there yet is time."

The Carlyles

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

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

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

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


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


Lady Leffingwell (coldly).—A full teacup! What a waste! So many good women and so little good tea.

[Exit Lady Leffingwell]


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


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

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


Fortunate is Mrs. Jane Welsh Carlyle to have escaped with her life, though if she had not, no American worthy of the traditions of Washington could simulate acute sorrow. Mr. Carlyle, wearied of the dilatory methods of the Bakerian War Department, properly took the law into his own strong hands.

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


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

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

If Amy Lowell Had Been James Whitcomb Riley


When you came you were like red wine and honey,
And the taste of you burnt my mouth with its sweetness.
Now you are like morning bread—
Smooth and pleasant,
I hardly taste you at all, for I know your savour,
But I am completely nourished.
Amy Lowell, in The Chimæra.
When I wuz courtin' Annie, she wuz honey an' red wine,
She made me feel all jumpy, did that ol' sweetheart o' mine;
Wunst w'en I went to Crawfordsville, on one o' them there trips,
I kissed her—an' the burnin' taste wuz sizzlin' on my lips.
An' now I've married Annie, an' I see her all the time,
I do not feel the daily need o' bustin' into rhyme.
An' now the wine-y taste is gone, fer Annie's always there,
 An' I take her fer granted now, the same ez sun an' air.
But though the honey taste wuz sweet, an' though the wine wuz strong,
Yet ef I lost the sun an' air, I couldn't git along.

If the Advertising Man Had Been Gilbert

Never mind that slippery wet street—
The tire with a thousand claws will hold you.
Stop as quickly as you will—
Those thousand claws grip the road like a vise.
Turn as sharply as you will—
Those thousand claws take a steel-prong grip on the road to prevent a side skid.
You're safe—safer than anything else will make you—
Safe as you would be on a perfectly dry street.
And those thousand claws are mileage insurance, too.
From the Lancaster Tire and Rubber Company's
advertisement in the Satevepost.
Never mind it if you find it wet upon the street and slippery;
Never bother if the street is full of ooze;
Do not fret that you'll upset, that you will spoil your summer frippery,
You may turn about as sharply as you choose.
For those myriad claws will grip the road and keep the car from skidding,
 And your steering gear will hold it fast and true;
Every atom of the car will be responsive to your bidding,
AND those thousand claws are mileage insurance, too—
Oh, indubitably,
Those thousand claws are mileage insurance, too.

If the Advertising Man Had Been Praed, or Locker

"C'est distingue," says Madame La Mode,
'Tis a fabric of subtle distinction.
For street wear it is superb.
The chic of the Rue de la Paix—
The style of Fifth Avenue—
The character of Regent Street—
All are expressed in this new fabric creation.
Leather-like but feather-light—
It drapes and folds and distends to perfection.
And it may be had in dull or glazed,
Plain or grained, basket weave or moiréd surfaces!
—Advertisement of Pontine, in Vanity Fair.
"C'est distingue," says Madame La Mode.
Subtly distinctive as a fabric fair;
Nor Keats nor Shelley in his loftiest ode
Could thrum the line to tell how it will wear.
The flair, the chic that is Rue de la Paix,
The style that is Fifth Avenue, New York.
The character of Regent Street in May—
As leather strong, yet light as any cork.
All these for her in this fair fabric clad.
(Light of my life, O thou my Genevieve!)
In surface dull or glazed it may be had—
In plain or grained, moiréd or basket weave.

Georgie Porgie

By Mother Goose and Our Own Sara Teasdale

Bennie's kisses left me cold,
Eddie's made me yearn to die,
Jimmie's made me laugh aloud,—
But Georgie's made me cry.
Bennie sees me every night,
Eddie sees me every day,
Jimmie sees me all the time,—
But Georgie stays away.

On First Looking into Bee Palmer's Shoulders


["The World's Most Famous Shoulders"]

"Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken,
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He stared at the Pacific—and all his men
Looked at each other with a wild surmise—
Silent upon a peak in Darien."
"Bee" Palmer has taken the raw, human—all too human—stuff of the underworld, with its sighs of sadness and regret, its mad merriment, its swift blaze of passion, its turbulent dances, its outlaw music, its songs of the social bandit, and made a new art product of the theatre. She is to the sources of jazz and the blues what François Villon was to the wild life of Paris. Both have found exquisite blossoms of art in the sector of life most removed from the concert room and the boudoir, and their harvest has the vigour, the resolute life, the stimulating quality, the indelible impress of daredevil, care-free, do-as-you-please lives of the picturesque men and women who defy convention.—From Keith's Press Agent.
Much have I travell'd in the realms of jazz,
And many goodly arms and shoulders seen
Quiver and quake—if you know what I mean;
I've seen a lot, as everybody has.
Some plaudits got, while others got the razz.
But when I saw Bee Palmer, shimmy queen,
I shook—in sympathy—my troubled bean,
And said, "This is the utter razmataz."
Then felt I like some patient with a pain
When a new surgeon swims into his ken,
Or like stout Brodie, when, with reeling brain,
He jumped into the river. There and then
I subwayed up and took the morning train
To Norwalk, Naugatuck, and Darien.

To a Vers Librist

"Oh bard," I said, "your verse is free;
The shackles that encumber me,
The fetters that are my obsession,
Are never gyves to your expression.
"The fear of falsities in rhyme,
In metre, quantity, or time,
Is never yours; you sing along
Your unpremeditated song."
"Correct," the young vers librist said.
"Whatever pops into my head
I write, and have but one small fetter:
I start each line with a capital letter.
"But rhyme and metre—Ishkebibble!—
Are actually negligible.
I go ahead, like all my school,
Without a single silly rule."
Of rhyme I am so reverential
He made me feel inconsequential.
I shed some strongly saline tears
For bards I loved in younger years.
"If Keats had fallen for your fluff,"
I said, "he might have done good stuff.
If Burns had thrown his rhymes away,
His songs might still be sung to-day."
O bards of rhyme and metre free,
My gratitude goes out to ye
For all your deathless lines—ahem!
Let's see, now.... What is one of them?

How Do You Tackle Your Work?

How do you tackle your work each day?
Are you scared of the job you find?
Do you grapple the task that comes your way
With a confident, easy mind?
Do you stand right up to the work ahead
Or fearfully pause to view it?
Do you start to toil with a sense of dread?
Or feel that you're going to do it?
You can do as much as you think you can,
But you'll never accomplish more;
If you're afraid of yourself, young man,
There's little for you in store.
For failure comes from the inside first,
It's there if we only knew it,
And you can win, though you face the worst,
If you feel that you're going to do it.
Success! It's found in the soul of you,
And not in the realm of luck!
The world will furnish the work to do,
But you must provide the pluck.
You can do whatever you think you can,
It's all in the way you view it.
It's all in the start that you make, young man:
You must feel that you're going to do it.
How do you tackle your work each day?
With confidence clear, or dread?
What to yourself do you stop and say
When a new task lies ahead?
What is the thought that is in your mind?
Is fear ever running through it?
If so, just tackle the next you find
By thinking you're going to do it.
—From "A Heap o' Livin'," by Edgar A. Guest
I tackle my terrible job each day
With a fear that is well defined;
And I grapple the task that comes my way
With no confidence in my mind.
I try to evade the work ahead,
As I fearfully pause to view it,
And I start to toil with a sense of dread,
And doubt that I'm going to do it.
I can't do as much as I think I can,
And I never accomplish more.
I am scared to death of myself, old man,
As I may have observed before.
I've read the proverbs of Charley Schwab,
Carnegie, and Marvin Hughitt;
But whenever I tackle a difficult job,
O gosh! how I hate to do it!
I try to believe in my vaunted power
With that confident kind of bluff,
But somebody tells me The Conning Tower
Is nothing but awful stuff.
And I take up my impotent pen that night,
And idly and sadly chew it,
As I try to write something merry and bright,
And I know that I shall not do it.
And that's how I tackle my work each day—
With terror and fear and dread—
And all I can see is a long array
Of empty columns ahead.
And those are the thoughts that are in my mind,
And that's about all there's to it.
As long as it's work, of whatever kind,
I'm certain I cannot do it.


We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
It was bare and bright, and smelled like a stable—
But we looked into a fire, we leaned across a table,
We lay on the hill-top underneath the moon;
And the whistles kept blowing, and the dawn came soon.
We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry;
And you ate an apple, and I ate a pear,
From a dozen of each we had bought somewhere;
And the sky went wan, and the wind came cold,
And the sun rose dripping, a bucketful of gold.
We were very tired, we were very merry,
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
We hailed, "Good morrow, mother!" to a shawl-covered head,
 And bought a morning paper, which neither of us read;
And she wept, "God bless you!" for the apples and pears,
And we gave her all our money but our subway fares.
Edna St. Vincent Millay, in Poetry.
I was very sad, I was very solemn—
I had worked all day grinding out a column.
I came back from dinner at half-past seven,
And I couldn't think of anything till quarter to eleven;
And then I read "Recuerdo," by Miss Millay,
And I said, "I'll bet a nickel I can write that way."
I was very sad, I was very solemn—
I had worked all day whittling out a column.
I said, "I'll bet a nickel I can chirp such a chant,"
And Mr. Geoffrey Parsons said, "I'll bet you can't."
I bit a chunk of chocolate and found it sweet,
And I listened to the trucking on Frankfort Street.
I was very sad, I was very solemn—
I had worked all day fooling with a column.
I got as far as this and took my verses in
To Mr. Geoffrey Parsons, who said, "Kid, you win."
And—not that I imagine that any one'll care—
I blew that jitney on a subway fare.

On Tradition


No carmine radical in Art,
I worship at the shrine of Form;
Yet open are my mind and heart
To each departure from the norm.
When Post-Impressionism emerged,
I hesitated but a minute
Before I saw, though it diverged,
That there was something healthy in it.
And eke when Music, heavenly maid,
Undid the chains that chafed her feet,
I grew to like discordant shade—
Unharmony I thought was sweet.
When verse divorced herself from sound,
I wept at first. Now I say: "Oh, well,
I see some sense in Ezra Pound,
And nearly some in Amy Lowell."
Yet, though I storm at every change,
And each mutation makes me wince,
I am not shut to all things strange—
I'm rather easy to convince.
But hereunto I set my seal,
My nerves awry, askew, abristling:
I'll never change the way I feel
Upon the question of Free Whistling.

Unshackled Thoughts on Chivalry, Romance, Adventure, Etc.

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

Results Ridiculous

("Humourists have amused themselves by translating famous sonnets into free verse. A result no less ridiculous would have been obtained if somebody had rewritten a passage from 'Paradise Lost' as a rondeau."—George Soule in the New Republic.)


Sing, Heavenly Muse, in lines that flow
More smoothly than the wandering Po,
Of man's descending from the height
Of Heaven itself, the blue, the bright,
To Hell's unutterable throe.
Of sin original and the woe
That fell upon us here below
From man's pomonic primal bite—
Sing, Heavenly Muse!
Of summer sun, of winter snow,
Of future days, of long ago,
Of morning and "the shades of night,"
Of woman, "my ever new delight,"
Go to it, Muse, and put us joe—
Sing, Heavenly Muse!
*       *       *       *       *


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

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

Before I was a travelled bird,
I scoffed, in my provincial way,
At other lands; I deemed absurd
All nations but these U. S. A.
And—although Middle-Western born—
Before I was a travelled guy,
I laughed at, with unhidden scorn,
All cities but New York, N. Y.
But now I've been about a bit—
How travel broadens! How it does!
And I have found out this, to wit:
How right I was! How right I was!


How narrow his vision, how cribbed and confined!
How prejudiced all of his views!
How hard is the shell of his bigoted mind!
How difficult he to excuse!
His face should be slapped and his head should be banged;
A person like that ought to die!
I want to be fair, but a man should be hanged
Who's any less liberal than I.

The Jazzy Bard

Labor is a thing I do not like;
Workin's makes me want to go on strike;
Sittin' in an office on a sunny afternoon,
Thinkin' o' nothin' but a ragtime tune.
'Cause I got the blues, I said I got the blues,
I got the paragraphic blues.
Been a-sittin' here since ha' pas' ten,
Bitin' a hole in my fountain pen;
Brain's all stiff in the creakin' joints,
Can't make up no wheezes on the Fourteen Points;
Can't think o' nothin' 'bout the end o' booze,
'Cause I got the para—, I said the paragraphic, I mean the column conductin' blues.

Lines on and from "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations"

("Sir: For the first time in twenty-three years 'Bartlett's Familiar Quotations' has been revised and enlarged, and under separate cover we are sending you a copy of the new edition. We would appreciate an expression of opinion from you of the value of this work after you have had an ample opportunity of examining it."—The Publishers.)
Of making many books there is no end—
So Sancho Panza said, and so say I.
Thou wert my guide, philosopher and friend
When only one is shining in the sky.
Books cannot always please, however good;
The good is oft interred with their bones.
To be great is to be misunderstood,
The anointed sovereign of sighs and groans.
The Moving Finger writes, and, having writ,
I never write as funny as I can.
Remote, unfriended, studious let me sit
And say to all the world, "This was a man!"
Go, lovely Rose that lives its little hour!
Go, little booke! and let who will be clever!
Roll on! From yonder ivy-mantled tower
The moon and I could keep this up forever.

Thoughts in a Far Country

I rise and applaud, in the patriot manner,
Whenever (as often) I hear
The palpitant strains of "The Star Spangled Banner,"—
I shout and cheer.
And also, to show my unbounded devotion,
I jump to me feet with a "Whee!"
Whenever "Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean"
Is played near me.
My fervour's so hot and my ardour so searing—
I'm hoarse for a couple of days—
You've heard me, I'm positive, joyously cheering
"The Marseillaise."
I holler for "Dixie." I go off my noodle,
I whistle, I pound, and I stamp
Whenever an orchestra plays "Yankee Doodle,"
Or "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp."
But if you would enter my confidence, Reader,
Know that I'd go clean off my dome,
And madly embrace any orchestra leader
For "Home, Sweet Home."

When You Meet a Man from Your Own Home Town

Sing, O Muse, in the treble clef,
A little song of the A. E. F.,
And pardon me, please, if I give vent
To something akin to sentiment.
But we have our moments Over Here
When we want to cry and we want to cheer;
And the hurrah feeling will not down
When you meet a man from your own home town.
It's many a lonesome, longsome day
Since you embarked from the U. S. A.,
And you met some men—it's a great big war—
From towns that you never had known before;
And you landed here, and your rest camp mate
Was a man from some strange and distant state.
Liked him? Yes; but you wanted to see
A man from the town where you used to be.
And then you went, by design or chance,
All over the well-known map of France;
And you yearned with a yearn that grew and grew
To talk with a man from the burg you knew.
And some lugubrious morning when
 Your morale is batting about .110,
"Where are you from?" and you make reply,
And the O. D. warrior says, "So am I."
The universe wears a smiling face
As you spill your talk of the old home place;
You talk of the streets, and the home town jokes,
And you find that you know each other's folks;
And you haven't any more woes at all
As you both decide that the world is small—
A statement adding to its renown
When you meet a man from your own home town.
You may be among the enlisted men,
You may be a Lieut. or a Major-Gen.;
Your home may be up in the Chilkoot Pass,
In Denver, Col., or in Pittsfield, Mass.;
You may have come from Chicago, Ill.,
Buffalo, Portland, or Louisville—
But there's nothing, I'm gambling, can keep you down,
When you meet a man from your own home town.
*       *       *       *       *
If you want to know why I wrote this pome,
Well ... I've just had a talk with a guy from home.

The Shepherd's Resolution

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


I don't care if a girl is fair
If she doesn't seem beautiful to me,
I won't waste away if she's fair as day,
Or prettier than meadows in the month of May;
As long as you are there for me to see,
I don't care and you don't care
How many others are beyond compare—
You're the only one I like to have around.
I won't mind if she's everything combined,
If she doesn't seem wonderful to me,
I won't fret if she's everybody's pet,
Or considered by all as the one best bet;
As long as you and I are only we,
I don't care and you don't care
How many others are beyond compare,
You're the only one I like to have around.

"It Was a Famous Victory"


It was a summer evening;
Old Kaspar was at home,
Sitting before his cottage door—
Like in the Southey pome—
And near him, with a magazine,
Idled his grandchild, Geraldine.
"Why don't you ask me," Kaspar said
To the child upon the floor,
"Why don't you ask me what I did
When I was in the war?
They told me that each little kid
Would surely ask me what I did.
"I've had my story ready
For thirty years or more."
"Don't bother, Grandpa," said the child;
"I find such things a bore.
Pray leave me to my magazine,"
Asserted little Geraldine.
Then entered little Peterkin,
To whom his gaffer said:
"You'd like to hear about the war?
How I was left for dead?"
"No. And, besides," declared the youth,
"How do I know you speak the truth?"
Arose that wan, embittered man,
The hero of this pome,
And walked, with not unsprightly step,
Down to the Soldiers' Home,
Where he, with seven other men,
Sat swapping lies till half-past ten.

On Profiteering

Although I hate
A profiteer
With unabat-
Ed loathing;
Though I detest
The price they smear
On pants and vest
And clothing;
Yet I admit
My meed of crime,
Nor do one whit
Regret it;
I'd triple my
Price for a rhyme,
If I thought I
Could get it.


The terrible things that the Governor
Of Kansas says alarm me;
And yet somehow we won the war
In spite of the Regular Army.
The things they say of the old N. G.
Are bitter and cruel and hard;
And yet we walloped the enemy
In spite of the National Guard.
Too late, too late, was our work begun;
Too late were our forces sent;
And yet we smeared the horrible Hun
In spite of the President.
"What a frightful flivver this Baker is!"
Cried many a Senator;
And yet we handed the Kaiser his
In spite of the Sec. of War.
A sadly incompetent, sinful crew
Is that of the recent fight;
And yet we put it across, we do,
In spite of a lot of spite.

The Return of the Soldier

Lady, when I left you
Ere I sailed the sea,
Bitterly bereft you
Told me you would be.
Frequently and often
When I fought the foe,
How my heart would soften,
Pitying your woe!
Still, throughout my yearning,
It was my belief
That my mere returning
Would annul your grief.
Arguing ex parte,
Maybe you can tell
Why I find your heart A.
W. O. L.

"I Remember, I Remember"

I remember, I remember
The house where I was born;
The rent was thirty-two a month,
Which made my father mourn.
He said he could remember when
His father paid the rent;
And when a man's expenses did
Not take his every cent.
I remember, I remember—
My mother telling my cousin
That eggs had gone to twenty-six
Or seven cents a dozen;
And how she told my father that
She didn't like to speak
Of things like that, but Bridget now
Demanded four a week.
I remember, I remember—
And with a mirthless laugh—
My weekly board at college took
A jump to three and a half.
I bought an eighteen-dollar suit,
And father told me, "Sonny,
I'll pay the bill this time, but, Oh,
I am not made of money!"
I remember, I remember,
When I was young and brave
And I declared, "Well, Birdie, we
Shall now begin to save."
It was a childish ignorance,
But now 'tis little joy
To know I'm farther off from wealth
Than when I was a boy.

The Higher Education

(Harvard's prestige in football is a leading factor. The best players in the big preparatory schools prefer to study at Cambridge, where they can earn fame on the gridiron. They do not care to be identified with Yale and Princeton.—Joe Vila in the Evening Sun.)
"Father," began the growing youth,
"Your pleading finds me deaf;
Although I know you speak the truth
About the course at Shef.
But think you that I have no pride,
To follow such a trail?
I cannot be identified
With Princeton or with Yale."
"Father," began another lad,
Emerging from his prep;
"I know you are a Princeton grad,
But the coaches have no pep.
But though the Princeton profs provide
Fine courses to inhale;
I cannot be identified
With Princeton or with Yale."
"I know," he said, "that Learning helps
A lot of growing chaps;
That Yale has William Lyon Phelps,
And Princeton Edward Capps.
But while, within the Football Guide,
The Haughton hosts prevail,
I cannot be identified
With Princeton or with Yale."

War and Peace

"This war is a terrible thing," he said,
"With its countless numbers of needless dead;
A futile warfare it seems to me,
Fought for no principle I can see.
Alas, that thousands of hearts should bleed
For naught but a tyrant's boundless greed!"
*       *       *       *       *
Said the wholesale grocer, in righteous mood,
As he went to adulterate salable food.
Spake as follows the merchant king:
"Isn't this war a disgraceful thing?
Heartless, cruel, and useless, too;
It doesn't seem that it can be true.
Think of the misery, want, and fear!
We ought to be grateful we've no war here.
*       *       *       *       *
"Six a week"—to a girl—"That's flat!
I can get a thousand to work for that."


For something like eleven summers
I've written things that aimed to teach
Our careless mealy-mouthéd mummers
To be more sedulous of speech.
So sloppy of articulation
So limping and so careless they
About distinct enunciation,
Often I don't know what they say.
The other night an able actor,
Declaiming of some lines I heard,
I hailed a public benefactor,
As I distinguished every word.
But, oh! the subtle disappointment!
Thorn on the celebrated rose
And fly within the well-known ointment!
(Allusions everybody knows.)
Came forth the words exact and snappy.
And as I sat there, that P.M.,
I mused, "Was I not just as happy
When I could not distinguish them?"

"So Shines a Good Deed in a Naughty World"

There was a man in our town, and he was wondrous rich;
He gave away his millions to the colleges and sich;
And people cried: "The hypocrite! He ought to understand
The ones who really need him are the children of this land."
When Andrew Crœsus built a home for children who were sick,
The people said they rather thought he did it as a trick,
And writers said: "He thinks about the drooping girls and boys,
But what about conditions with the men whom he employs?"
There was a man in our town who said that he would share
His profits with his laborers, for that was only fair,
And people said: "Oh, isn't he the shrewd and foxy gent?
It cost him next to nothing for that free advertisement."
There was a man in our town who had the perfect plan
To do away with poverty and other ills of man,
But he feared the public jeering, and the folks who would defame him,
So he never told the plan he had, and I can hardly blame him.

Vain Words

Humble, surely, mine ambition;
It is merely to construct
Some occasion or condition
When I may say "usufruct."
Earnest am I and assiduous;
Yet I'm certain that I shan't amount
To a lot till I use "viduous,"
"Indiscerptible," and "tantamount."

On the Importance of Being Earnest

"Gentle Jane was as good as gold,"
To borrow a line from Mr. Gilbert;
She hated War with a hate untold,
She was a pacifistic filbert.
If you said "Perhaps"—she'd leave the hall.
You couldn't argue with her at all.
"Teasing Tom was a very bad boy,"
(Pardon my love for a good quotation).
To talk of war was his only joy,
And his single purpose was Preparation.
*       *       *       *       *
And what both of these children had to say
I never knew, for I ran away.

It Happens in the B. R. Families


'Twas on the shores that round our coast
From Deal to Newport lie
That I roused from sleep in a huddled heap
An elderly wealthy guy.
His hair was graying, his hair was long,
And graying and long was he;
And I heard this grouch on the shore avouch,
In a singular jazzless key:
"Oh, I am a cook and a waitress trim
And the maid of the second floor,
And a strong chauffeur and a housekeeper.
And the man who tends the door!"
And he shook his fists and he tore his hair,
And he started to frisk and play,
Till I couldn't help thinking the man had been drinking,
So I said (in the Gilbert way):
"Oh, elderly man, I don't know much
Of the ways of societee,
But I'll eat my friend if I comprehend
However you can be
"At once a cook and a waitress trim
And the maid of the second floor,
And a strong chauffeur and a housekeeper,
And the man who tends the door."
Then he smooths his hair with a nervous air,
And a gulp in his throat he swallows,
And that elderly guy he then lets fly
Substantially as follows:
"We had a house down Newport way,
And we led a simple life;
There was only I," said the elderly guy,
"And my daughter and my wife.
"And of course the cook and the waitress trim
And the maid of the second floor,
And a strong chauffeur and a housekeeper,
And the man who tends the door.
"One day the cook she up and left,
She up and left us flat.
She was getting a hundred and ten a mon-
Th, but she couldn't work for that.
"And the waitress trim was her bosom friend,
And she wouldn't stay no more;
And our strong chauffeur eloped with her
Who was maid of the second floor.
"And we couldn't get no other help,
So I had to cook and wait.
It was quite absurd," wept the elderly bird.
"I deserve a better fate.
"And I drove the car and I made the beds
Till the housekeeper up and quit;
And the man at the door found that a bore,
Which is why I am, to wit:
"At once a cook and a waitress trim
And the maid of the second floor,
And a strong chauffeur and a housekeeper,
And the man who tends the door."

Abelard and Heloïse

["There are so many things I want to talk to you about." Abelard probably said to Heloïse, "but how can I when I can only think about kissing you?"—Katharine Lane in the Evening Mail.]
Said Abelard to Heloïse:
"Your tresses blowing in the breeze
Enchant my soul; your cheek allures;
I never knew such lips as yours."
Said Heloïse to Abelard:
"I know that it is cruel, hard,
To make you fold your yearning arms
And think of things besides my charms."
Said Abelard to Heloïse:
"Pray let's discuss the Portuguese;
Their status in the League of Nations.
... Come, slip me seven osculations."
"The Fourteen Points," said Heloïse,
"Are pure Woodrovian fallacies."
Said Abelard: "Ten times fourteen
The points you have, O beaucoup queen!"
"Lay off," said Heloïse, "all that stuff.
I've heard the same old thing enough."
"But," answered Abelard, "your lips
Put all my thoughts into eclipse."
"O Abelard," said Heloïse,
"Don't take so many liberties."
"O Heloïse," said Abelard,
"I do it but to show regard."
And Heloïse told her chum that night
That Abelard was Awful Bright;
And—thus is drawn the cosmic plan—
She loved an Intellectual Man.

Lines Written on the Sunny Side of Frankfort Street

Sporting with Amaryllis in the shade,
(I credit Milton in parenthesis),
Among the speculations that she made
Was this:
"When"—these her very words—"when you return,
A slave to duty's harsh commanding call,
Will you, I wonder, ever sigh and yearn
At all?"
Doubt, honest doubt, sat then upon my brow.
(Emotion is a thing I do not plan.)
I could not fairly answer then, but now
I can.
Yes, Amaryllis, I can tell you this,
Can answer publicly and unafraid:
You haven't any notion how I miss
The shade.


[We think about the feminine faces we meet in the streets, and experience a passing melancholy because we are unacquainted with some of the girls we see.—From "The Erotic Motive in Literature," by Albert Mordell.]
Whene'er I take my walks abroad,
How many girls I see
Whose form and features I applaud
With well-concealéd glee!
I'd speak to many a sonsie maid,
Or willowy or obese,
Were I not fearful, and afraid
She'd yell for the police.
And Melancholy, bittersweet,
Marks me then as her own,
Because I lack the nerve to greet
The girls I might have known.
Yet though with sadness I am fraught,
(As I remarked before),
There is one sweetly solemn thought
Comes to me o'er and o'er:
For every shadow cloud of woe
Hath argentine alloy;
I see some girls I do not know,
And feel a passing joy.

To Myrtilla

Twelve fleeting years ago, my Myrt,
(Eheu fugaces! maybe more)
I wrote of the directoire skirt
You wore.
Ten years ago, Myrtilla mine,
The hobble skirt engaged my pen.
That was, I calculate, in Nine-
Teen Ten.
The polo coat, the feathered lid,
The phony furs of yesterfall,
The current shoe—I tried to kid
Them all.
Vain every vitriolic bit,
Silly all my sulphuric song.
Rube Goldberg said a bookful; it
'S all wrong.
Bitter the words I used to fling,
But you, despite my angriest Note,
Were never swayed by anything
I wrote.
So I surrender. I am beat.
And, though the admission rather girds,
In any garb you're just too sweet
For words.

A Psalm of Labouring Life

Tell me not, in doctored numbers,
Life is but a name for work!
For the labour that encumbers
Me I wish that I could shirk.
Life is phony! Life is rotten!
And the wealthy have no soul;
Why should you be picking cotton?
Why should I be mining coal?
Not employment and not sorrow
Is my destined end or way;
But to act that each to-morrow
Finds me idler than to-day.
Work is long, and plutes are lunching;
Money is the thing I crave;
But my heart continues punching
Funeral time-clocks to the grave.
In the world's uneven battle,
In the swindle known as life,
Be not like the stockyards cattle—
Stick your partner with a knife!
Trust no Boss, however pleasant!
Capital is but a curse!
Strike,—strike in the living present!
Fill, oh fill, the bulging purse!
Lives of strikers all remind us
We can make our lives a crime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Bills for double overtime.
Charges that, perhaps another,
Working for a stingy ten
Bucks a day, some mining brother
Seeing, shall walk out again.
Let us, then, be up and striking,
Discontent with all of it;
Still undoing, still disliking,
Learn to labour—and to quit.

Ballade of Ancient Acts


Where are the wheezes they essayed
And where the smiles they made to flow?
Where's Caron's seltzer siphon laid,
A squirt from which laid Herbert low?
Where's Charlie Case's comic woe
And Georgie Cohan's nasal drawl?
The afterpiece? The olio?
Into the night go one and all.
Where are the japeries, fresh or frayed,
That Fields and Lewis used to throw?
Where is the horn that Shepherd played?
The slide trombone that Wood would blow?
Amelia Glover's l. f. toe?
The Rays and their domestic brawl?
Bert Williams with "Oh, I Don't Know?"
Into the night go one and all.
Where's Lizzie Raymond, peppy jade?
The braggart Lew, the simple Joe?
And where the Irish servant maid
That Jimmie Russell used to show?
Charles Sweet, who tore the paper snow?
Ben Harney's where? And Artie Hall?
Nash Walker, Darktown's grandest beau?
Into the night go one and all.


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

To a Prospective Cook

Curly Locks, Curly Locks, wilt thou be ours?
Thou shalt not wash dishes, nor yet weed the flowers,
But stand in the kitchen and cook a fine meal,
And ride every night in an automobile.
Curly Locks, Curly Locks, come to us soon!
Thou needst not to rise until mid-afternoon;
Thou mayst be Croatian, Armenian, or Greek;
Thy guerdon shall be what thou askest per week.
Curly Locks, Curly Locks, give us a chance!
Thou shalt not wash windows, nor iron my pants.
Oh, come to the cosiest of seven-room bowers,
Curly Locks, Curly Locks, wilt thou be ours?

Variation on a Theme

June 30, 1919.

Notably fond of music, I dote on a clearer tone
Than ever was blared by a bugle or zoomed by a saxophone;
And the sound that opens the gates for me of a Paradise revealed
Is something akin to the note revered by the blesséd Eugene Field,
Who sang in pellucid phrasing that I perfectly well recall
Of the clink of the ice in the pitcher that the boy brings up the hall.
But sweeter to me than the sparrow's song or the goose's autumn honks
Is the sound of the ice in the shaker as the barkeeper mixes a Bronx.
Between the dark and the daylight, when I'm worried about The Tower,
Comes a pause in the day's tribulations that is known as the cocktail hour;
And my soul is sad and jaded, and my heart is a thing forlorn,
And I view the things I have written with a sickening, scathing scorn.
Oh, it's then I fare with some other slave who is hired for the things he writes
 To a Den of Sin where they mingle gin—such as Lipton's, Mouquin's, or Whyte's,
And my spirit thrills to a music sweeter than Sullivan or Puccini—
The swash of the ice in the shaker as he mixes a Dry Martini.
The drys will assert that metallic sound is the selfsame canon made
By the ice in the shaker that holds a drink like orange or lemonade;
But on the word of a travelled man and a bard who has been around,
The sound of tin on ice and gin is a snappier, happier sound.
And I mean to hymn, as soon as I have a moment of leisure time,
The chill susurrus of cocktail ice in an adequate piece of rhyme.
But I've just had an invitation to hark, at a beckoning bar,
To the sound of the ice in the shaker as the barkeeper mixes a Star.

"Such Stuff as Dreams"

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

The Ballad of Justifiable Homicide

They brought to me his mangled corpse
And I feared lest I should swing.
"O tell me, tell me,—and make it brief—
Why hast thou done this thing?
"Had this man robbed the starving poor
Or lived a gunman's life,
Had he set fire to cottages,
Or run off with thy wife?"
"He hath not robbed the starving poor,
Nor lived a gunman's life;
He hath set fire to no cottage,
Nor run off with my wife.
"Ye ask me such a question that
It now my lips unlocks:
I learned he was the man who planned
The second balcony box."
The jury pondered never an hour,
They thought not even a little,
But handed in unanimously
A verdict of acquittal.

The Ballad of the Murdered Merchant

All stark and cold the merchant lay,
All cold and stark lay he.
And who hath killed this fair merchant?
Now tell the truth to me.
Oh, I have killed this fair merchant
Will never again draw breath;
Oh, I have made this fair merchant
To come unto his death.
Oh, why hast thou killed this fair merchant
Whose corse I now behold?
And why hast caused this man to lie
In death all stark and cold?
Oh, I have killed this fair merchant
Whose kith and kin make moan,
For that he hath stolen my precious time
When he useth the telephone.
The telephone bell rang full and clear;
The receiver did I seize.
"Hello!" quoth I, and quoth a girl,
"Hello!... One moment, please."
I waited moments ane and twa,
And moments three and four,
And then I sought that fair merchant
And spilled his selfish gore.
That business man who scorneth to waste
His moments sae rich and fine
In calling a man to the telephone
Shall never again waste mine!
And every time a henchwoman
Shall cause me a moment's loss,
I'll forthwith fare to that office
And stab to death her boss.
Rise up! Rise up! thou blesséd knight!
And off thy bended knees!
Go forth and slay all folk who make
Us wait "One moment, please."

A Gotham Garden of Verses

In summer when the days are hot
The subway is delayed a lot;
In winter, quite the selfsame thing;
In autumn also, and in spring.
And does it not seem strange to you
That transportation is askew
In this—I pray, restrain your mirth!—
In this, the Greatest Town on Earth?
All night long and every night
The neighbours dance for my delight;
I hear the people dance and sing
Like practically anything.
Women and men and girls and boys,
All making curious kinds of noise
And dancing in so weird a way,
I never saw the like by day.
So loud a show was never heard
As that which yesternight occurred:
They danced and sang, as I have said,
As I lay wakeful on my bed.
They shout and cry and yell and laugh
And play upon the phonograph;
And endlessly I count the sheep,
Endeavouring to fall asleep.
It is very nice to think
This town is full of meat and drink;
That is, I'd think it very nice
If my papa but had the price.
This town is so full of a number of folks,
I'm sure there will always be matter for jokes.

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

As neat as wax, as good as new,
As true as steel, as truth is true,
Good as a sermon, keen as hate,
Full as a tick, and fixed as fate—
Brief as a dream, long as the day,
Sweet as the rosy morn in May,
Chaste as the moon, as snow is white,
Broad as barn doors, and new as sight—
Useful as daylight, firm as stone,
Wet as a fish, dry as a bone,
Heavy as lead, light as a breeze—
Frank Wilstach's book of similes.

The Dictaphone Bard

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

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

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

We were crowded in the cabin comma
Not a soul would dare to sleep dash comma
It was midnight on the waters comma
And a storm was on the deep period
Apostrophe Tis a fearful thing in capital Winter
To be shattered by the blast comma
And to hear the rattling trumpet
Thunder colon quote capital Cut away the mast exclamation point close quote
So we shuddered there in silence comma dash
For the stoutest held his breath comma
While the hungry sea was roaring comma
And the breakers talked with capital Death period
As thus we sat in darkness comma
Each one busy with his prayers comma
Quote We are lost exclamation point close quote the captain shouted comma
As he staggered down the stairs period
But his little daughter whispered comma
As she took his icy hand colon
Quote Isn't capital God upon the ocean comma
Just the same as on the land interrogation point close quote
Then we kissed the little maiden comma
And we spake in better cheer comma
And we anchored safe in harbor
When the morn was shining clear period

The Comfort of Obscurity


Though earnest and industrious,
I still am unillustrious;
No papers empty purses
Printing verses
Such as mine.
No lack of fame is chronicker
Than that about my monicker;
My verse is never cabled
At a fabled
Rate per line.
Still though the Halls
Of Literature are closed
To me a bard obscure I
Have a consolation The
Copyreaders crude and rough
Can't monkey with my
Humble stuff and change MY

Ballade of the Traffickers

Up goes the price of our bread—
Up goes the cost of our caking!
People must ever be fed;
Bakers must ever be baking.
So, though our nerves may be quaking,
Dumbly, in arrant despair,
Pay we the crowd that is taking
All that the traffic will bear.
Costly to sleep in a bed!
Costlier yet to be waking!
Costly for one who is wed!
Ruinous for one who is raking!
Tradespeople, ducking and draking,
Charge you as much as they dare,
Asking, without any faking,
All that the traffic will bear.
Roof that goes over our head,
Thirst so expensive for slaking,
Paper, apparel, and lead—
Why are their prices at breaking?
Yet, though our purses be aching,
Little the traffickers care;
Getting, for chopping and steaking,
All that the traffic will bear.


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

To W. Hohenzollern, on Discontinuing The Conning Tower

William, it was, I think, three years ago—
As I recall, one cool October morning—
(You have The Tribune files; I think they'll show
I gave you warning).
I said, in well-selected words and terse,
In phrases balanced, yet replete with power,
That I should cease to pen the prose and verse
Known as The Tower.
That I should stop this Labyrinth of Light—
Though stopping make the planet leaden-hearted—
Unless you stopped the well-known Schrecklichkeit
Your nation started.
I printed it in type that you could read;
My paragraphs were thewed, my rhymes were sinewed.
You paid, I judge from what ensued, no heed ...
The war continued.
And though my lines with fortitude were fraught,
Although my words were strong, and stripped of stuffing,
You, William, thought—oh, yes, you did—you thought
That I was bluffing.
You thought that I would fail to see it through!
You thought that, at the crux of things, I'd cower!
How little, how imperfectly you knew
The Conning Tower!
You'll miss the column at the break of day.
I have no fear that I shall be forgotten.
You'll miss the daily privilege to say:
"That stuff is rotten!"
Or else—as sometimes has occurred—when I
Have chanced upon a lucky line to blunder,
You'll miss the precious privilege to cry:
"That bird's a wonder!"
Well, William, when your people cease to strafe,
When you have put an end to all this war stuff,
When all the world is reasonably safe,
I'll write some more stuff.
And when you miss the quip and wanton wile,
And learn you can't endure the Towerless season,
O William, I shall not be petty ... I'll
Listen to reason.
October 5, 1917.

To W. Hohenzollern, on Resuming The Conning Tower

Well, William, since I wrote you long ago—
As I recall, one cool October morning—
(I have The Tribune files. They clearly show
I gave you warning.)
Since when I penned that consequential ode,
The world has seen a vast amount of slaughter,
And under many a Gallic bridge has flowed
A lot of water.
I said that when your people ceased to strafe,
That when you'd put an end to all this war stuff,
And all the world was reasonably safe
I'd write some more stuff;
That when you missed the quip and wanton wile
And learned you couldn't bear a Towerless season,
I quote: "O, I shall not be petty.... I'll
Listen to reason."
Labuntur anni, not to say Eheu
Fugaces! William, by my shoulders glistening!
I have the final laugh, for it was you
Who did the listening.
January 15, 1919.

Thoughts on the Cosmos

I do not hold with him who thinks
The world is jonahed by a jinx;
That everything is sad and sour,
And life a withered hothouse flower.
I hate the Pollyanna pest
Who says that All Is for the Best,
And hold in high, unhidden scorn
Who sees the Rose, nor feels the Thorn.
I do not like extremists who
Are like the pair in (I) and (II);
But how I hate the wabbly gink,
Like me, who knows not what to think!

On Environment

I used to think that this environ-
Ment talk was all a lot of guff;
Place mattered not with Keats and Byron
If I have thoughts that need disclosing,
Bright be the day or hung with gloom,
I'll write in Heaven or the composing-
Times are when with my nerves a-tingle,
Joyous and bright the songs I sing;
Though, gay, I can't dope out a single
And yet, by way of illustration,
The gods my graying head anoint ...
I wrote this piece at Inspiration

The Ballad of the Thoughtless Waiter

I saw him lying cold and dead
Who yesterday was whole.
"Why," I inquired, "hath he expired?
And why hath fled his soul?"
"But yesterday," his comrade said,
"All health was his, and strength;
And this is why he came to die—
If I may speak at length.
"But yesternight at dinnertime
At a not unknown café,
He had a frugal meal as you
Might purchase any day.
"The check for his so simple fare
Was only eighty cents,
And a dollar bill with a right good will
Came from his opulence.
"The waiter brought him twenty cents.
'Twas only yesternight
That he softly said who now is dead
'Oh, keep it. 'At's a' right.'
"And the waiter plainly uttered 'Thanks,'
With no hint of scorn or pride;
And my comrade's heart gave a sudden start
And my comrade up and died."
Now waiters overthwart this land,
In tearooms and in dives,
Mute be your lips whatever the tips,
And save your customers' lives.

Rus Vs. Urbs

Whene'er the penner of this pome
Regards a lovely country home,
He sighs, in words not insincere,
"I think I'd like to live out here."
And when the builder of this ditty
Returns to this pulsating city,
The perpetrator of this pome
Yearns for a lovely country home.

"I'm Out of the Army Now"

When first I doffed my olive drab,
I thought, delightedly though mutely,
"Henceforth I shall have pleasure ab-
Dull with the drudgery of war,
Sick of the very name of fighting,
I yearned, I thought, for something more
The rainbow be my guide, quoth I;
My suit shall be a brave and proud one
Gay-hued my socks; and oh, my tie
A loud one!
For me the theatre and the dance;
Primrose the path I would be wending;
For me the roses of romance
Those were my inner thoughts that day
(And those of many another million)
When once again I should be a
I would not miss the old o. d.;
(Monotony I didn't much like)
I would not miss the reveille,
And such like.
I don't ... And do I now enjoy
My walks along the primrose way so?
Is civil life the life? Oh, boy,
I'll say so.

"Oh Man!"

Man hath harnessed the lightning;
Man hath soared to the skies;
Mountain and hill are clay to his will;
Skilful he is, and wise.
Sea to sea hath he wedded,
Canceled the chasm of space,
Given defeat to cold and heat;
Splendour is his, and grace.
His are the topless turrets;
His are the plumbless pits;
Earth is slave to his architrave,
Heaven is thrall to his wits.
And so in the golden future,
He who hath dulled the storm
(As said above) may make a glove
That'll keep my fingers warm.

An Ode in Time of Inauguration

(March 4, 1913)

Thine aid, O Muse, I consciously beseech;
I crave thy succour, ask for thine assistance
That men may cry: "Some little ode! A peach!"
O Muse, grant me the strength to go the distance!
For odes, I learn, are dithyrambs, and long;
Exalted feeling, dignity of theme
And complicated structure guide the song.
(All this from Webster's book of high esteem.)
Let complicated structure not becloud
My lucid lines, nor weight with overloading.
To Shelley, Keats, and Wordsworth and that crowd
I yield the bays for ground and lofty oding.
Mine but the task to trace a country's growth,
As evidenced by each inauguration
From Washington's to Wilson's primal oath—
In these U. S., the celebrated nation.
But stay! or ever that I start to sing,
Or e'er I loose my fine poetic forces,
I ought, I think, to do the decent thing,
To wit: give credit to my many sources:
Barnes's "Brief History of the U. S. A.,"
Bryce, Ridpath, Scudder, Fiske, J. B. McMaster,
A book of odes, a Webster, a Roget—
The bibliography of this poetaster.
Flow, flow, my pen, as gently as sweet Afton ever flowed!
An thou dost ill, shall this be still a poor thing, but mine ode.
G. W., initial prex,
Right down in Wall Street, New York City,
Took his first oath. Oh, multiplex
The whimsies quaint, the comments witty
One might evolve from that! I scorn
To mock the spot where he was sworn.
On next Inauguration Day
He took the avouchment sempiternal
Way down in Phil-a-delph-i-a,
Where rises now the L. H. Journal.
His Farewell Speech in '96
Said: "'Ware the Trusts and all their tricks!"
John Adams fell on darksome days:
March Fourth was blustery and sleety;
The French behaved in horrid ways
Until John Jay drew up a treaty.
Came the Eleventh Amendment, too,
Providing that—but why tell you?
T. Jefferson, one history showed,
Held all display was vain and idle;
Alone, unpanoplied, he rode;
Alone he hitched his horse's bridle.
No ball that night, and no carouse,
But back to Conrad's boarding house.
He tied that bridle to the fence
The morning of inauguration;
John Davis saw him do it; whence
Arose his "simple" reputation.
The White House, though, with Thomas J.,
Had chefs—and parties every day.

The Muse Interrupts the Odist

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

The Odist Replies

I bow to thee, my Muse, most eloquent of pleaders;
But why embarrass me in front of all these readers?
Madison's inauguration
Was a lovely celebration.
In a suit of wool domestic
Rode he, stately and majestic,
Making it be manifest
Clothes American are best.
This has thundered through the ages.
(See our advertising pages.)
Lightly I pass along, and so
Come to the terms of James Monroe
Who framed the doctrine far too well
Known for an odist to retell.
His period of friendly dealing
Began The Era of Good Feeling.
John Quincy Adams followed him in Eighteen Twenty-four;
Election was exciting—the details I shall ignore.
But his inauguration as our country's President
 Was, take it from McMaster, some considerable event.
It was a brilliant function, and I think I ought to add
The Philadelphia "Ledger" said a gorgeous time was had.
Old Andrew Jackson's pair of terms were terribly exciting;
That stern, intrepid warrior had little else than fighting.
A time of strife and turbulence, of politics and flurry.
But deadly dull for poem themes, so, Mawruss, I should worry!
In Washington did Martin Van
A stately custom then decree:
Old Hickory, the veteran,
Must ride with him, the people's man,
For all the world to see.
A pleasant custom, in a way,
And yet I should have laughed
To see the Sage of Oyster Bay
On Tuesday ride with Taft.
(Pardon me this
Parenthetical halt:
That sight you'll miss,
But it isn't my fault.)
William Henry Harrison came
Riding a horse of alabaster,
But the weather that day was a sin and a shame,
Take it from me and John McMaster.
Only a month—and Harrison died,
And V.-P. Tyler began preside.
A far from popular prex was he,
And the next one was Polk of Tennessee.
There were two inaugural balls for him,
But the rest of his record is rather dim.
Had I the pen of a Pope or a Thackeray,
Had I the wisdom of Hegel or Kant,
Then might I sing as I'd like to of Zachary,
Then might I sing a Taylorian chant.
Oh, for the lyrical art of a Tennyson!
Oh, for the skill of Macaulay or Burke!
None of these mine; so I give him my benison,
Turning reluctantly back to my work.
O Millard Fillmore! when a man refers
To thee, what direful, awful thing occurs?
Though in itself thy name hath nought of wit,
Yet—and this doth confound me to admit
When I do hear it, I do smile; nay, more—
I laugh, I scream, I cachinnate, I roar
As Wearied Business Men do shake with glee
 At mimes that say "Dubuque" or "Kankakee";
As basement-brows that laugh at New Rochelle;
As lackwits laugh when actors mention Hell.
Perhaps—it may be so—I am not sure—
Perhaps it is that thou wast so obscure,
And that one seldom hears a single word of thee;
I know a lot of girls that never heard of thee.
Hence did I smile, perhaps.... How very near
The careless laughing to the thoughtful tear!
O Fillmore, let me sheathe my mocking pen.
God rest thee! I'll not laugh at thee again!
I have heard it remarked that to Pierce's election
There wasn't a soul had the slightest objection.
I have also been told, by some caustical wit,
That no one said nay when he wanted to quit.
Yet Franklin Pierce, forgotten man,
I celebrate your fame.
I'm doing just the best I can
To keep alive your name,
Though as a President, F. P.,
You didn't do as much for me.
Of James Buchanan things a score
I might recite. I'll say that he was
The only White House bachelor—
The only one, that's what J. B. was.
For he was a bachelor—
For he might have been a bigamist,
A Mormon, a polygamist,
And had thirty wives or more;
But this be his memorial:
He was ever unuxorial,
And remained a bachelor—
He re-mai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ained a bachelor.
Lincoln! I falter, feeling it to be
As if all words of mine in praise of him
Were as the veriest dolt that saw the sun;
And God had spoken him and said to him:
"I bid you tell me what you think of it."
And he should answer: "Oh, the sun is nice."
So sadly fitted I to speak in praise
Of Lincoln.
Now during Andrew Johnson's term the currency grew stable;
We bought Alaska and we laid the great Atlantic cable;
And then there came eight years of Grant; thereafter four of Hayes;
 And in his time the parties fell on fierce and parlous days;
And Garfield came, and Arthur too, and Congress shoes were worn,
And Brooklyn Bridge was built, and I, your gifted bard, was born.
Cleveland and Harrison came along then;
Followed an era of Cleveland again.
Came then McKinley and—light me a pipe—
Hey, there, composing room, get some new type!
I sing him now as I shall sing him again;
I sing him now as I have sung before.
How fluently his name comes off my pen!
O Theodore!
Bless you and keep you, T. R.!
Energy tireless, eternal,
Fixed and particular star,
Theodore, Teddy, the Colonel.
Energy tireless, eternal;
Hater of grafters and crooks!
Theodore, Teddy, the Colonel,
Writer and lover of books,
Hater of grafters and crooks,
Forceful, adroit, and expressive,
Writer and lover of books,
Nevertheless a Progressive.
Forceful, adroit, and expressive,
Often asserting the trite;
Nevertheless a Progressive;
Errant, but generally right.
Often asserting the trite;
Stubborn, and no one can force you.
Errant, but generally right—
Yet, on the whole, I indorse you.
Stubborn, and no one can force you,
Fixed and particular star,
Yet, on the whole, I indorse you,
Bless you and keep you, T. R.!
It blew, it rained, it snowed, it stormed, it froze, it hailed, it sleeted
The day that William Howard Taft upon the chair was seated.
The four long years that followed—ah, that I should make a rime of it!
For Mr. Taft assures me that he had an awful time of it.
 And yet meseems he did his best; and as we bid good-bye,
I'll add he did a better job than you'd have done—or I.
Welcome to thee! I shake thy hand,
New prexy of our well-known land.
May what we merit, and no less,
Descend to give us happiness!
May what we merit, and no more,
Descend on us in measured store!
Give us but peace when we shall earn
The right to such a rich return!
Give us but plenty when we show
That we deserve to have it so!
Mine ode is finished! Tut! It is a slight one,
But blame me not; I do as I am bid.
The editor of Collier's said to write one—
And I did.

What the Copy Desk Might Have Done to:

("Annabel Lee")


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

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

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

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

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

("Curfew Must Not Ring To-night")



(By Cable to The Courier)

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

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

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

"Curfew is not to ring this evening."

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

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

("The Ballad of the Tempest")


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


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

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

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

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

("Plain Language from Truthful James")


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

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

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

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

The "Mongolian," Harte said, is peculiar.

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

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



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

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

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

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

The police are working on the case.

("The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers")


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

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

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

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

The Mayflower carried a cargo of antique furniture.

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

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

("The Bridge Of Sighs")


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

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

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

The woman was young and slender and had auburn hair.

No cause has been assigned for the act.

Song of Synthetic Virility

Oh, some may sing of the surging sea, or chant of the raging main;
Or tell of the taffrail blown away by the raging hurricane.
With an oh, for the feel of the salt sea spray as it stipples the guffy's cheek!
And oh, for the sob of the creaking mast and the halyard's aching squeak!
And some may sing of the galley-foist, and some of the quadrireme,
And some of the day the xebec came and hit us abaft the beam.
Oh, some may sing of the girl in Kew that died for a sailor's love,
And some may sing of the surging sea, as I may have observed above.
Oh, some may long for the Open Road, or crave for the prairie breeze,
And some, o'ersick of the city's strain, may yearn for the whispering trees.
With an oh, for the rain to cool my face, and the wind to blow my hair!
And oh, for the trail to Joyous Garde, where I may find my fair!
And some may love to lie in the field in the stark and silent night,
The glistering dew for a coverlet and the moon and stars for light.
 Let others sing of the soughing pines and the winds that rustle and roar,
And others long for the Open Road, as I may have remarked before.
Ay, some may sing of the bursting bomb and the screech of a screaming shell,
Or tell the tale of the cruel trench on the other side of hell.
And some may talk of the ten-mile hike in the dead of a winter night,
And others chaunt of the doughtie Kyng with mickle valour dight.
And some may long for the song of a child and the lullaby's fairy charm,
And others yearn for the crack of the bat and the wind of the pitcher's arm.
Oh, some have longed for this and that, and others have craved and yearned;
And they all may sing of whatever they like, as far as I'm concerned.