The New 'Ulalume'

The skies they were ashen and sober,
The leaves they were crisped and sere,
' ' ' withering ' '
It was night in the lonesome October
Of my most immemorial year;
It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,
' ' down ' ' dark tarn ' '
In the misty mid region of Weir,
' ' ghoul-haunted woodland ' '

A traveler observed one day
A loaded fruit-tree by the way.
And reining in his horse exclaimed:
'The man is greatly to be blamed
Who, careless of good morals, leaves
Temptation in the way of thieves.
Now lest some villain pass this way
And by this fruit be led astray
To bag it, I will kindly pack
It snugly in my saddle-sack.'
He did so; then that Salt o' the Earth
Rode on, rejoicing in his worth.

We heard a song-bird trilling
'T was but a night ago.
Such rapture he was rilling
As only we could know.

This morning he is flinging
His music from the tree,
But something in the singing
Is not the same to me.

His inspiration fails him,
Or he has lost his skill.
Nanine, Nanine, what ails him
That he should sing so ill?

Nanine is not replying
She hears no earthly song.
The sun and bird are lying
And the night is, O, so long!

Once I dipt into the future far as human eye could see,
And I saw the Chief Forecaster, dead as any one can be--
Dead and damned and shut in Hades as a liar from his birth,
With a record of unreason seldome paralleled on earth.
While I looked he reared him solemnly, that incandescent youth,
From the coals that he'd preferred to the advantages of truth.
He cast his eyes about him and above him; then he wrote
On a slab of thin asbestos what I venture here to quote--
For I read it in the rose-light of the everlasting glow:
'Cloudy; variable winds, with local showers; cooler; snow.'

Must you, Carnegie, evermore explain
Your worth, and all the reasons give again
Why black and red are similarly white,
And you and God identically right?
Still must our ears without redress submit
To hear you play the solemn hypocrite
Walking in spirit some high moral level,
Raising at once his eye-balls and the devil?
Great King of Cant! if Nature had but made
Your mouth without a tongue I ne'er had prayed
To have an earless head. Since she did not,
Bear me, ye whirlwinds, to some favored spot
Some mountain pinnacle that sleeps in air
So delicately, mercifully rare
That when the fellow climbs that giddy hill,
As, for my sins, I know at last he will,
To utter twaddle in that void inane
His soundless organ he will play in vain.

Over The Border

O, justice, you have fled, to dwell
In Mexico, unstrangled,
Lest you should hang as high as-well,
As Haman dangled.

(I know not if his cord he twanged,
Or the King proved forgiving.
'Tis hard to think of Haman hanged,
And Haymond living.)

Yes, as I said: in mortal fear
To Mexico you journeyed;
For you were on your trial here,
And ill attorneyed.

The Law had long regarded you
As an extreme offender.
Religion looked upon you, too,
With thoughts untender.

The Press to you was cold as snow,
For sin you'd always call so.
In Politics you were _de trop_,
In Morals also.

All this is accurately true
And, faith! there might be more said;
But-well, to save your thrapple you
Fled, as aforesaid.

You're down in Mexico-that's plain
As that the sun is risen;
For Daniel Burns, down there, his chain
Drags round in prison.

Off Santa Cruz the western wave
Was crimson as with blood:
The sun was sinking to his grave
Beneath that angry flood.

Sir Walter Turnbull, brave and stout,
Then shouted, 'Ho! lads; run-
The powder and the ball bring out
To fire the sunset gun.

'That punctual orb did ne'er omit
To keep, by land or sea,
Its every engagement; it
Shall never wait for me.'

Behold the black-mouthed cannon stand,
Ready with charge and prime,
The lanyard in the gunner's hand.
Sir Walter waits the time.

The glowing orb sinks in the sea,
And clouds of steam aspire,
Then fade, and the horizon's free.
Sir Walter thunders: 'Fire!'

The gunner pulls-the lanyard parts
And not a sound ensues.
The beating of ten thousand hearts
Was heard at Santa Cruz!

Off Santa Cruz the western wave
Was crimson as with blood;
The sun, with visage stern and grave,
Came back from out the flood.

Dear Bruner, once we had a little talk
(That is to say, 'twas I did all the talking)
About the manner of your moral walk:
How devious the trail you made in stalking,
On level ground, your law-protected game
'Another's Dollar' is, I think, its name.

Your crooked course more recently is not
So blamable; for, truly, you have stumbled
On evil days; and 'tis your luckless lot
To traverse spaces (with a spirit humbled,
Contrite, dejected and divinely sad)
Where, 'tis confessed, the walking's rather bad.

Jordan, the song says, is a road (I thought
It was a river) that is hard to travel;
And Dublin, if you'd find it, must be sought
Along a highway with more rocks than gravel.
In difficulty neither can compete
With that wherein you navigate your feet.

As once George Gorham said of Pixley, so
I say of you: 'The prison yawns before you,
The turnkey stalks behind!' Now will you go?
Or lag, and let that functionary floor you?
To change the metaphor-you seem to be
Between Judge Wallace and the deep, deep sea!

Mrs. Mehitable Marcia Moore
Was a dame of superior mind,
With a gown which, modestly fitting before,
Was greatly puffed up behind.

The bustle she wore was ingeniously planned
With an inspiration bright:
It magnified seven diameters and
Was remarkably nice and light.

It was made of rubber and edged with lace
And riveted all with brass,
And the whole immense interior space
Inflated with hydrogen gas.

The ladies all said when she hove in view
Like the round and rising moon:
'She's a stuck up thing!' which was partly true,
And men called her the Captive Balloon.

To Manhattan Beach for a bath one day
She went and she said: 'O dear!
If I leave off _this_ what will people say?
I shall look so uncommonly queer!'

So a costume she had accordingly made
To take it all nicely in,
And when she appeared in that suit arrayed,
She was greeted with many a grin.

Proudly and happily looking around,
She waded out into the wet,
But the water was very, very profound,
And her feet and her forehead met!

As her bubble drifted away from the shore,
On the glassy billows borne,
All cried: 'Why, where is Mehitable Moore?
I saw her go in, I'll be sworn!'

Then the bulb it swelled as the sun grew hot,
Till it burst with a sullen roar,
And the sea like oil closed over the spot
Farewell, O Mehitable Moore!

The Setting Sachem

'Twas an Injin chieftain, in feathers all fine,
Who stood on the ocean's rim;
There were numberless leagues of excellent brine
But there wasn't enough for him.
So he knuckled a thumb in his painted eye,
And added a tear to the scant supply.

The surges were breaking with thund'rous voice,
The winds were a-shrieking shrill;
This warrior thought that a trifle of noise
Was needed to fill the bill.
So he lifted the top of his head off and scowled
Exalted his voice, did this chieftain, and howled!

The sun was aflame in a field of gold
That hung o'er the Western Sea;
Bright banners of light were broadly unrolled,
As banners of light should be.
But no one was 'speaking a piece' to that sun,
And therefore this Medicine Man begun:

'O much heap of bright! O big ball of warm!
I've tracked you from sea to sea!
For the Paleface has been at some pains to inform
Me, _you_ are the emblem of _me_.
He says to me, cheerfully: 'Westward Ho!'
And westward I've hoed a most difficult row.

'Since you are the emblem of me, I presume
That I am the emblem of you,
And thus, as we're equals, 't is safe to assume,
That one great law governs us two.
So now if I set in the ocean with thee,
With thee I shall rise again out of the sea.'

His eloquence first, and his logic the last!
Such orators die!-and he died:
The trump was against him-his luck bad-he 'passed'
And so he 'passed out'-with the tide.
This Injin is rid of the world with a whim
The world it is rid of his speeches and him.

Enoch Arden was an able
Seaman; hear of his mishap
Not in wild mendacious fable,
As 't was told by t' other chap;

For I hold it is a youthful
Indiscretion to tell lies,
And the writer that is truthful
Has the reader that is wise.

Enoch Arden, able seaman,
On an isle was cast away,
And before he was a freeman
Time had touched him up with gray.

Long he searched the fair horizon,
Seated on a mountain top;
Vessel ne'er he set his eyes on
That would undertake to stop.

Seeing that his sight was growing
Dim and dimmer, day by day,
Enoch said he must be going.
So he rose and went away-

Went away and so continued
Till he lost his lonely isle:
Mr. Arden was so sinewed
He could row for many a mile.

Compass he had not, nor sextant,
To direct him o'er the sea:
Ere 't was known that he was extant,
At his widow's home was he.

When he saw the hills and hollows
And the streets he could but know,
He gave utterance as follows
To the sentiments below:

'Blast my tarry toplights! (shiver,
Too, my timbers!) but, I say,
W'at a larruk to diskiver,
I have lost me blessid way!

'W'at, alas, would be my bloomin'
Fate if Philip now I see,
Which I lammed?-or my old 'oman,
Which has frequent basted _me_?'

Scenes of childhood swam around him
At the thought of such a lot:
In a swoon his Annie found him
And conveyed him to her cot.

'T was the very house, the garden,
Where their honeymoon was passed:
'T was the place where Mrs. Arden
Would have mourned him to the last.

Ah, what grief she'd known without him!
Now what tears of joy she shed!
Enoch Arden looked about him:
'Shanghaied!'-that was all he said.

I dreamed I was dreaming one morn as I lay
In a garden with flowers teeming.
On an island I lay in a mystical bay,
In the dream that I dreamed I was dreaming.

The ghost of a scent-had it followed me there
From the place where I truly was resting?
It filled like an anthem the aisles of the air,
The presence of roses attesting.

Yet I thought in the dream that I dreamed I dreamed
That the place was all barren of roses-
That it only seemed; and the place, I deemed,
Was the Isle of Bewildered Noses.

Full many a seaman had testified
How all who sailed near were enchanted,
And landed to search (and in searching died)
For the roses the Sirens had planted.

For the Sirens were dead, and the billows boomed
In the stead of their singing forever;
But the roses bloomed on the graves of the doomed,
Though man had discovered them never.

I thought in my dream 'twas an idle tale,
A delusion that mariners cherished
That the fragrance loading the conscious gale
Was the ghost of a rose long perished.

I said, 'I will fly from this island of woes.'
And acting on that decision,
By that odor of rose I was led by the nose,
For 'twas truly, ah! truly, Elysian.

I ran, in my madness, to seek out the source
Of the redolent river-directed
By some supernatural, sinister force
To a forest, dark, haunted, infected.

And still as I threaded ('twas all in the dream
That I dreamed I was dreaming) each turning
There were many a scream and a sudden gleam
Of eyes all uncannily burning!

The leaves were all wet with a horrible dew
That mirrored the red moon's crescent,
And all shapes were fringed with a ghostly blue,
Dim, wavering, phosphorescent.

But the fragrance divine, coming strong and free,
Led me on, though my blood was clotting,
Till-ah, joy!-I could see, on the limbs of a tree,
Mine enemies hanging and rotting!

I dreamed I was dreaming one morn as I lay
In a garden with flowers teeming.
On an island I lay in a mystical bay,
In the dream I dreamed I was dreaming.

The ghost of a scent-had it followed me there
From the place where I truly was resting?
It filled like an anthem the aisles of the air,
The presence of roses attesting.

Yet I thought in the dream that I dreamed I dreamed
That the place was all barren of roses-
That it only seemed; and the place, I deemed,
Was the Isle of Bewildered Noses.

Full many a seaman had testified
How all who sailed near were enchanted,
And landed to search (and in searching died)
For the roses the Sirens had planted.

For the Sirens were dead, and the billows boomed
In the stead of their singing forever;
But the roses bloomed on the graves of the doomed,
Though man had discovered them never.

I though in my dream 'twas an idle tale,
A delusion that mariners cherished-
That the fragrance loading the conscious gale
Was a ghost of a rose long perished.

I said, 'I will fly from this island of woes.'
And acting on that decision,
By that odor of rose I was led by the nose,
For 'twas truly, ah! truly, Elysian.

I ran, in my madness, to seek out the source
Of the redolent river-directed
By some supernatural, sinister force
To a forest, dark, haunted, infected.

And still as I threaded ('twas all in the dream
That I dreamed I was dreaming) each turning
There were many a scream and a sudden gleam
Of eyes all uncannily burning!

The leaves were all wet with a horrible dew
That mirrored the red moon's crescent,
And all shapes were fringed with a ghostly blue,
Dim, wavering, phosphorescent.

But the fragrance divine, coming strong and free,
Led me on, though my blood was clotting,
Till-ah, joy!-I could see, on the limbs of a tree,
Mine enemies hanging and rotting!

A Morning Fancy

I drifted (or I seemed to) in a boat
Upon the surface of a shoreless sea
Whereon no ship nor anything did float,
Save only the frail bark supporting me;
And that-it was so shadowy-seemed to be
Almost from out the very vapors wrought
Of the great ocean underneath its keel;
And all that blue profound appeared as naught
But thicker sky, translucent to reveal,
Miles down, whatever through its spaces glided,
Or at the bottom traveled or abided.

Great cities there I saw-of rich and poor,
The palace and the hovel; mountains, vales,
Forest and field, the desert and the moor,
Tombs of the good and wise who'd lived in jails,
And seas of denser fluid, white with sails
Pushed at by currents moving here and there
And sensible to sight above the flat
Of that opaquer deep. Ah, strange and fair
The nether world that I was gazing at
With beating heart from that exalted level,
And-lest I founder-trembling like the devil!

The cities all were populous: men swarmed
In public places-chattered, laughed and wept;
And savages their shining bodies warmed
At fires in primal woods. The wild beast leapt
Upon its prey and slew it as it slept.
Armies went forth to battle on the plain
So far, far down in that unfathomed deep
The living seemed as silent as the slain,
Nor even the widows could be heard to weep.
One might have thought their shaking was but laughter;
And, truly, most were married shortly after.

Above the wreckage of that silent fray
Strange fishes swam in circles, round and round
Black, double-finned; and once a little way
A bubble rose and burst without a sound
And a man tumbled out upon the ground.
Lord! 'twas an eerie thing to drift apace
On that pellucid sea, beneath black skies
And o'er the heads of an undrowning race;
And when I woke I said-to her surprise
Who came with chocolate, for me to drink it:
'The atmosphere is deeper than you think it.'

To him in whom the love of Nature has
Imperfectly supplanted the desire
And dread necessity of food, your shore,
Fair Oakland, is a terror. Over all
Your sunny level, from Tamaletown
To where the Pestuary's fragrant slime,
With dead dogs studded, bears its ailing fleet,
Broods the still menace of starvation. Bones
Of men and women bleach along the ways
And pampered vultures sleep upon the trees.
It is a land of death, and Famine there
Holds sovereignty; though some there be her sway
Who challenge, and intrenched in larders live,
Drawing their sustentation from abroad.
But woe to him, the stranger! He shall die
As die the early righteous in the bud
And promise of their prime. He, venturesome
To penetrate the wilds rectangular
Of grass-grown ways luxuriant of blooms,
Frequented of the bee and of the blithe,
Bold squirrel, strays with heedless feet afar
From human habitation and is lost
In mid-Broadway. There hunger seizes him,
And (careless man! deeming God's providence
Extends so far) he has not wherewithal
To bate its urgency. Then, lo! appears
A mealery-a restaurant-a place
Where poison battles famine, and the two,
Like fish-hawks warring in the upper sky
For that which one has taken from the deep,
Manage between them to dispatch the prey.
He enters and leaves hope behind. There ends
His history. Anon his bones, clean-picked
By buzzards (with the bones himself had picked,
Incautious) line the highway. O, my friends,
Of all felonious and deadlywise
Devices of the Enemy of Souls,
Planted along the ways of life to snare
Man's mortal and immortal part alike,
The Oakland restaurant is chief. It lives
That man may die. It flourishes that life
May wither. Its foundation stones repose
On human hearts and hopes. I've seen in it
Crabs stewed in milk and salad offered up
With dressing so unholily compound
That it included flour and sugar! Yea,
I've eaten dog there!-dog, as I'm a man,
Dog seethed in sewage of the town! No more
Thy hand, Dyspepsia, assumes the pen
And scrawls a tortured 'Finis' on the page.

The Lost Colonel

''Tis a woeful yarn,' said the sailor man bold
Who had sailed the northern-lakes
'No woefuler one has ever been told
Exceptin' them called 'fakes.''

'Go on, thou son of the wind and fog,
For I burn to know the worst!'
But his silent lip in a glass of grog
Was dreamily immersed.

Then he wiped it on his sleeve and said:
'It's never like that I drinks
But what of the gallant gent that's dead
I truly mournful thinks.

'He was a soldier chap-leastways
As 'Colonel' he was knew;
An' he hailed from some'rs where they raise
A grass that's heavenly blue.

'He sailed as a passenger aboard
The schooner 'Henery Jo.'
O wild the waves and galeses roared,
Like taggers in a show!

'But he sat at table that calm an' mild
As if he never had let
His sperit know that the waves was wild
An' everlastin' wet!-

'Jest set with a bottle afore his nose,
As was labeled 'Total Eclipse'
(The bottle was) an' he frequent rose
A glass o' the same to his lips.

'An' he says to me (for the steward slick
Of the 'Henery Jo' was I):
'This sailor life's the very old Nick
On the lakes it's powerful dry!'

'I says: 'Aye, aye, sir, it beats the Dutch.
I hopes you'll outlast the trip.'
But if I'd been him-an' I said as much
I'd 'a' took a faster ship.

'His laughture, loud an' long an' free,
Rang out o'er the tempest's roar.
'You're an elegant reasoner,' says he,
'But it's powerful dry ashore!''

'O mariner man, why pause and don
A look of so deep concern?
Have another glass-go on, go on,
For to know the worst I burn.'

'One day he was leanin' over the rail,
When his footing some way slipped,
An' (this is the woefulest part o' my tale),
He was accidental unshipped!

'The empty boats was overboard hove,
As he swum in the 'Henery's wake';
But 'fore we had 'bouted ship he had drove
From sight on the ragin' lake!'

'And so the poor gentleman was drowned
And now I'm apprised of the worst.'
'What! him? 'Twas an hour afore he was found
In the yawl-stone dead o' thirst!'

A Vision Of Resurrection

I had a dream. The habitable earth
Its continents and islands, all were bare
Of cities and of forests. Naught remained
Of its old aspect, and I only knew
(As men know things in dreams, unknowing how)
That this was earth and that all men were dead.
On every side I saw the barren land,
Even to the distant sky's inclosing blue,
Thick-pitted all with graves; and all the graves
Save one were open-not as newly dug,
But rather as by some internal force
Riven for egress. Tombs of stone were split
And wide agape, and in their iron decay
The massive mausoleums stood in halves.
With mildewed linen all the ground was white.
Discarded shrouds upon memorial stones
Hung without motion in the soulless air.
While greatly marveling how this should be
I heard, or fancied that I heard, a voice,
Low like an angel's, delicately strong,
And sweet as music.

-'Spirit,' it said, 'behold
The burial place of universal Man!
A million years have rolled away since here
His sheeted multitudes (save only some
Whose dark misdeeds required a separate
And individual arraignment) rose
To judgment at the trumpet's summoning
And passed into the sky for their award,
Leaving behind these perishable things
Which yet, preserved by miracle, endure
Till all are up. Then they and all of earth,
Rock-hearted mountain and storm-breasted sea,
River and wilderness and sites of dead
And vanished capitals of men, shall spring
To flame, and naught shall be for evermore!
When all are risen that wonder will occur.
'Twas but ten centuries ago the last
But one came forth-a soul so black with sin,
Against whose name so many crimes were set
That only now his trial is at end.
But one remains.'

Straight, as the voice was stilled
That single rounded mound cracked lengthliwise
And one came forth in grave-clothes. For a space
He stood and gazed about him with a smile
Superior; then laying off his shroud
Disclosed his two attenuated legs
Which, like parentheses, bent outwardly
As by the weight of saintliness above,
And so sprang upward and was lost to view
Noting his headstone overthrown, I read:
'Sacred to memory of George K. Fitch,
Deacon and Editor-a holy man
Who fell asleep in Jesus, full of years
And blessedness. The dead in Christ rise first.'

A Vision Of Climate

I dreamed that I was poor and sick and sad,
Broken in hope and weary of my life;
My ventures all miscarrying-naught had
For all my labor in the heat and strife.
And in my heart some certain thoughts were rife
Of an unsummoned exit. As I lay
Considering my bitter state, I cried:
'Alas! that hither I did ever stray.
Better in some fair country to have died
Than live in such a land, where Fortune never
(Unless he be successful) crowns Endeavor.'

Then, even as I lamented, lo! there came
A troop of Presences-I knew not whence
Nor what they were: thought cannot rightly name
What's known through spiritual evidence,
Reported not by gross material sense.
'Why come ye here?' I seemed to cry (though naught
My sleeping tongue did utter) to the first
'What are ye?-with what woful message fraught?
Ye have a ghastly look, as ye had burst
Some sepulcher in memory. Weird creatures,
I'm sure I'd know you if ye had but features.'

Some subtle organ noted the reply
(Inaudible to ear of flesh the tone):
'The Finest Climate in the World am I,
From Siskiyou to San Diego known
From the Sierra to the sea. The zone
Called semi-tropical I've pulled about
And placed it where it does most good, I trust.
I shake my never-failing bounty out
Alike upon the just and the unjust.'
'That's very true,' said I, 'but when 'tis shaken
My share by the unjust is ever taken.'

'Permit me,' it resumed, 'now to present
My eldest son, the Champagne Atmosphere,
And others to rebuke your discontent
The Mammoth Squash, Strawberry All the Year,
The fair No Lightning-flashing only here
The Wholesome Earthquake and Italian Sky,
With its Unstriking Sun; and last, not least,
The Compos Mentis Dog. Now, ingrate, try
To bring a better stomach to the feast:
When Nature makes a dance and pays the piper,
To be unhappy is to be a viper!'

'Why, yet,' said I, 'with all your blessings fine
(And Heaven forbid that I should speak them ill)
I yet am poor and sick and sad. Ye shine
With more of splendor than of heat: for still,
Although my will is warm, my bones are chill.'
'Then warm you with enthusiasm's blaze
Fortune waits not on toil,' they cried; 'O then
Join the wild chorus clamoring our praise
Throw up your beaver and throw down you pen!'
'Begone!' I shouted. They bewent, a-smirking,
And I, awakening, fell straight a-working.

Finis Aeternitatis

Strolling at sunset in my native land,
With fruits and flowers thick on either hand,
I crossed a Shadow flung athwart my way,
Emerging on a waste of rock and sand.

'The apples all are gone from here,' I said,
'The roses perished and their spirits fled.
I will go back.' A voice cried out: 'The man
Is risen who eternally was dead!'

I turned and saw an angel standing there,
Newly descended from the heights of air.
Sweet-eyed compassion filled his face, his hands
A naked sword and golden trumpet bare.

'Nay, 'twas not death, the shadow that I crossed,'
I said. 'Its chill was but a touch of frost.
It made me gasp, but quickly I came through,
With breath recovered ere it scarce was lost.'

'Twas the same land! Remembered mountains thrust
Grayed heads asky, and every dragging gust,
In ashen valleys where my sons had reaped,
Stirred in familiar river-beds the dust.

Some heights, where once the traveler was shown
The youngest and the proudest city known,
Lifted smooth ridges in the steely light
Bleak, desolate acclivities of stone.

Where I had worshiped at my father's tomb,
Within a massive temple's awful gloom,
A jackal slunk along the naked rock,
Affrighted by some prescience of doom.

Man's vestiges were nowhere to be found,
Save one brass mausoleum on a mound
(I knew it well) spared by the artist Time
To emphasize the desolation round.

Into the stagnant sea the sullen sun
Sank behind bars of crimson, one by one.
'Eternity's at hand!' I cried aloud.
'Eternity,' the angel said, 'is done.

For man is ages dead in every zone;
The angels all are dead but I alone;
The devils, too, are cold enough at last,
And God lies dead before the great white throne!

'Tis foreordained that I bestride the shore
When all are gone (as Gabriel did before,
When I had throttled the last man alive)
And swear Eternity shall be no more.'

'O Azrael-O Prince of Death, declare
Why conquered I the grave?' I cried. 'What rare,
Conspicuous virtues won this boon for me?'
'You've been revived,' he said, 'to hear me swear.'

'Then let me creep again beneath the grass,
And knock thou at yon pompous tomb of brass.
If ears are what you want, Charles Crocker's there
Betwixt the greatest ears, the greatest ass.'

He rapped, and while the hollow echoes rang,
Out at the door a curst hyena sprang
And fled! Said Azrael: 'His soul's escaped,'
And closed the brazen portal with a bang.

To E.S. Salomon

What! Salomon! such words from you,
Who call yourself a soldier? Well,
The Southern brother where he fell
Slept all your base oration through.

Alike to him-he cannot know
Your praise or blame: as little harm
Your tongue can do him as your arm
A quarter-century ago.

The brave respect the brave. The brave
Respect the dead; but _you_-you draw
That ancient blade, the ass's jaw,
And shake it o'er a hero's grave.

Are you not he who makes to-day
A merchandise of old renown
Which he persuades this easy town
He won in battle far away?

Nay, those the fallen who revile
Have ne'er before the living stood
And stoutly made their battle good
And greeted danger with a smile.

What if the dead whom still you hate
Were wrong? Are you so surely right?
We know the issue of the fight
The sword is but an advocate.

Men live and die, and other men
Arise with knowledges diverse:
What seemed a blessing seems a curse,
And Now is still at odds with Then.

The years go on, the old comes back
To mock the new-beneath the sun.
Is _nothing_ new; ideas run
Recurrent in an endless track.

What most we censure, men as wise
Have reverently practiced; nor
Will future wisdom fail to war
On principles we dearly prize.

We do not know-we can but deem,
And he is loyalest and best
Who takes the light full on his breast
And follows it throughout the dream.

The broken light, the shadows wide
Behold the battle-field displayed!
God save the vanquished from the blade,
The victor from the victor's pride!

If, Salomon, the blessed dew
That falls upon the Blue and Gray
Is powerless to wash away
The sin of differing from you.

Remember how the flood of years
Has rolled across the erring slain;
Remember, too, the cleansing rain
Of widows' and of orphans' tears.

The dead are dead-let that atone:
And though with equal hand we strew
The blooms on saint and sinner too,
Yet God will know to choose his own.

The wretch, whate'er his life and lot,
Who does not love the harmless dead
With all his heart and all his head-
May God forgive him-_I_ shall not.

When, Salomon, you come to quaff
The Darker Cup with meeker face,
I, loving you at last, shall trace
Upon your tomb this epitaph:

'Draw near, ye generous and brave
Kneel round this monument and weep:
It covers one who tried to keep
A flower from a dead man's grave.'

To E.S. Salomon

What! Salomon! such words from you,
Who call yourself a soldier? Well,
The Southern brother where he fell
Slept all your base oration through.

Alike to him - he cannot know
Your praise or blame: as little harm
Your tongue can do him as your arm
A quarter-century ago.

The brave respect the brave. The brave
Respect the dead; but you - you draw
That ancient blade, the ass's jaw,
And shake it o'er a hero's grave.

Are you not he who makes to-day
A merchandise of old reknown
Which he persuades this easy town
He won in battle far away?

Nay, those the fallen who revile
Have ne'er before the living stood
And stoutly made their battle good
And greeted danger with a smile.

What if the dead whom still you hate
Were wrong? Are you so surely right?
We know the issues of the fight -
The sword is but an advocate.

Men live and die, and other men
Arise with knowledges diverse:
What seemed a blessing seems a curse,
And Now is still at odds with Then.

The years go on, the old comes back
To mock the new - beneath the sun
Is nothing new; ideas run
Recurrent in an endless track.

What most we censure, men as wise
Have reverently practiced; nor
Will future wisdom fail to war
On principles we dearly prize.

We do not know - we can but deem,
And he is loyalest and best
Who takes the light full on his breast
And follows it throughout the dream.

The broken light, the shadows wide -
Behold the battle-field displayed!
God save the vanquished from the blade,
The victor from the victor's pride.

If, Salomon, the blessed dew
That falls upon the Blue and Gray
Is powerless to wash away
The sin of differing from you,

Remember how the flood of years
Has rolled across the erring slain;
Remember, too, the cleansing rain
Of widows' and of orphans' tears.

The dead are dead - let that atone:
And though with equal hand we strew
The blooms on saint and sinner too,
Yet God will know to choose his own.

The wretch, whate'er his life and lot,
Who does not love the harmless dead
With all his heart and all his head -
May God forgive him, I shall not.

When, Salomon, you come to quaff
The Darker Cup with meeker face,
I, loving you at last, shall trace
Upon your tomb this epitaph:

'Draw near, ye generous and brave -
Kneel round this monument and weep
For one who tried in vain to keep
A flower from a soldier's grave.'

A Ballad Of Pikeville

Down in Southern Arizona where the Gila monster thrives,
And the 'Mescalero,' gifted with a hundred thousand lives,
Every hour renounces one of them by drinking liquid flame
The assassinating wassail that has given him his name;
Where the enterprising dealer in Caucasian hair is seen
To hold his harvest festival upon his village-green,
While the late lamented tenderfoot upon the plain is spread
With a sanguinary circle on the summit of his head;
Where the cactuses (or cacti) lift their lances in the sun,
And incautious jackass-rabbits come to sorrow as they run,
Lived a colony of settlers-old Missouri was the State
Where they formerly resided at a prehistoric date.

Now, the spot that had been chosen for this colonizing scheme
Was as waterless, believe me, as an Arizona stream.

The soil was naught but ashes, by the breezes driven free,
And an acre and a quarter were required to sprout a pea.
So agriculture languished, for the land would not produce,
And for lack of water, whisky was the beverage in use-
Costly whisky, hauled in wagons many a weary, weary day,
Mostly needed by the drivers to sustain them on their way.
Wicked whisky! King of Evils! Why, O, why did God create
Such a curse and thrust it on us in our inoffensive state?

Once a parson came among them, and a holy man was he;
With his ailing stomach whisky wouldn't anywise agree;
So he knelt upon the _mesa_ and he prayed with all his chin
That the Lord would send them water or incline their hearts to gin.

Scarcely was the prayer concluded ere an earthquake shook the land,
And with copious effusion springs burst out on every hand!
Merrily the waters gurgled, and the shock which gave them birth
Fitly was by some declared a temperance movement of the earth.
Astounded by the miracle, the people met that night
To celebrate it properly by some religious rite;
And 'tis truthfully recorded that before the moon had sunk
Every man and every woman was devotionally drunk.
A half a standard gallon (says history) per head
Of the best Kentucky prime was at that ceremony shed.
O, the glory of that country! O, the happy, happy folk.
By the might of prayer delivered from Nature's broken yoke!
Lo! the plains to the horizon all are yellowing with rye,
And the corn upon the hill-top lifts its banners to the sky!
Gone the wagons, gone the drivers, and the road is grown to grass,
Over which the incalescent Bourbon did aforetime pass.
Pikeville (that's the name they've given, in their wild, romantic way,
To that irrigation district) now distills, statistics say,
Something like a hundred gallons, out of each recurrent crop,
To the head of population-and consumes it, every drop!

A Commuted Sentence

Boruck and Waterman upon their grills
In Hades lay, with many a sigh and groan,
Hotly disputing, for each swore his own
Were clearly keener than the other's ills.
And, truly, each had much to boast of-bone
And sinew, muscle, tallow, nerve and skin,
Blood in the vein and marrow in the shin,
Teeth, eyes and other organs (for the soul
Has all of these and even a wagging chin)
Blazing and coruscating like a coal!
For Lower Sacramento, you remember,
Has trying weather, even in mid-December.

Now this occurred in the far future. All
Mankind had been a million ages dead,
And each to her reward above had sped,
Each to his punishment below,-I call
That quite a just arrangement. As I said,
Boruck and Waterman in warmest pain
Crackled and sizzed with all their might and main.
For, when on earth, they'd freed a scurvy host
Of crooks from the State prison, who again
Had robbed and ravaged the Pacific Coast
And (such the felon's predatory nature)
Even got themselves into the Legislature.

So Waterman and Boruck lay and roared
In Hades. It is true all other males
Felt the like flames and uttered equal wails,
But did not suffer _them_; whereas _they_ bored
Each one the other. But indeed my tale's
Not getting on at all. They lay and browned
Till Boruck (who long since his teeth had ground
Away and spoke Gum Arabic and made
Stump speeches even in praying) looked around
And said to Bob's incinerated shade:
'Your Excellency, this is mighty hard on
The inventors of the unpardonable pardon.'

The other soul-his right hand all aflame,
For 'twas with that he'd chiefly sinned, although
His tongue, too, like a wick was working woe
To the reserve of tallow in his frame-
Said, with a sputtering, uncertain flow,
And with a gesture like a shaken torch:
'Yes, but I'm sure we'll not much longer scorch.
Although this climate is not good for Hope,
Whose joyous wing 'twould singe, I think the porch
Of Hell we'll quit with a pacific slope.
Last century I signified repentance
And asked for commutation of our sentence.'

Even as he spoke, the form of Satan loomed
In sight, all crimson with reflections's fire,
Like some tall tower or cathedral spire
Touched by the dawn while all the earth is gloomed
In mists and shadows of the night time. 'Sire,'
Said Waterman, his agitable wick
Still sputtering, 'what calls you back so quick?
It scarcely was a century ago
You left us.' 'I have come to bring,' said Nick,
'St. Peter's answer (he is never slow
In correspondence) to your application
For pardon-pardon me!-for commutation.

'He says that he's instructed to reply
(And he has so instructed me) that sin
Like yours-and this poor gentleman's who's in
For bad advice to you-comes rather high;
But since, apparently, you both begin
To feel some pious promptings to the right,
And fain would turn your faces to the light,
Eternity seems all too long a term.
So 'tis commuted to one-half. I'm quite
Prepared, when that expires, to free the worm
And quench the fire.' And, civilly retreating,
He left them holding their protracted meeting.

The Day Of Wrath / Dies Iræ

Day of Satan's painful duty! Dies iræ! dies illa!
Earth shall vanish, hot and sooty; Solvet sæclum in favilla
So says Virtue, so says Beauty. Teste David cum Sibylla.
Ah! what terror shall be shaping Quantus tremor est futurus,
When the Judge the truth's undraping- Quando Judex est venturus.
Cats from every bag escaping! Cuncta stricte discussurus.
Now the trumpet's invocation Tuba mirum spargens sonum
Calls the dead to condemnation; Per sepulchra regionem,
All receive an invitation. Coget omnes ante thronum
Death and Nature now are quaking, Mors stupebit, et Natura,
And the late lamented, waking, Quum resurget creatura
In their breezy shrouds are shaking. Judicanti responsura.
Lo! the Ledger's leaves are stirring, Liber scriptus proferetur,
And the Clerk, to them referring, In quo totum continetur,
Makes it awkward for the erring. Unde mundus judicetur.
When the Judge appears in session, Judex ergo quum sedebit,
We shall all attend confession, Quicquid latet apparebit,
Loudly preaching non-suppression. Nil inultum remanebit.
How shall I then make romances Quid sum miser tunc dicturus,
Mitigating circumstances? Quem patronem rogaturus,
Even the just must take their chances. Quum vix justus sit securus?
King whose majesty amazes, Rex tremendæ majestatis,
Save thou him who sings thy praises; Qui salvandos salvas gratis;
Fountain, quench my private blazes. Salva me, Fons pietatis.
Pray remember, sacred Saviour, Recordare, Jesu pie,
Mine the playful hand that gave your Quod sum causa tuæ viæ;
Death-blow. Pardon such behavior. Ne me perdas illa die.
Seeking me, fatigue assailed thee, Quærens me sedisti lassus
Calvary's outlook naught availed thee; Redemisti crucem passus,
Now 'twere cruel if I failed thee. Tantus labor non sit cassus.
Righteous judge and learnèd brother, Juste Judex ultionis,
Pray thy prejudices smother Donum fac remissionis
Ere we meet to try each other. Ante diem rationis.
Sighs of guilt my conscience gushes, Ingemisco tanquam reus,
And my face vermilion flushes; Culpa rubet vultus meus;
Spare me for my pretty blushes. Supplicanti parce, Deus.
Thief and harlot, when repenting, Qui Mariam absolvisti,
Thou forgavest-complimenting Et latronem exaudisti,
Me with sign of like relenting. Mihi quoque spem dedisti.
If too bold is my petition Preces meæ non sunt dignæ,
I'll receive with due submission Sed to bonus fac benigne
My dismissal-from perdition. Ne perenni cremer igne.
When thy sheep thou hast selected Inter oves locum præsta.
From the goats, may I, respected, Et ab hædis me sequestra,
Stand amongst them undetected. Statuens in parte dextra.
When offenders are indited, Confutatis maledictis,
And with trial-flames ignited, Flammis acribus addictis,
Elsewhere I'll attend if cited. Voca me cum benedictis.
Ashen-hearted, prone and prayerful, Oro supplex et acclinis,
When of death I see the air full, Cor contritum quasi cinis;
Lest I perish too be careful. Gere curam mei finis.
On that day of lamentation, Lacrymosa dies illa
When, to enjoy the conflagration, Qua resurget et favilla,
Men come forth, O be not cruel: Judicandus homo reus,
Spare me, Lord-make them thy fuel. Huic ergo parce, Deus!

The Passing Show

I know not if it was a dream. I viewed
A city where the restless multitude,
Between the eastern and the western deep
Had reared gigantic fabrics, strong and rude.

Colossal palaces crowned every height;
Towers from valleys climbed into the light;
O'er dwellings at their feet, great golden domes
Hung in the blue, barbarically bright.

But now, new-glimmering to-east, the day
Touched the black masses with a grace of gray,
Dim spires of temples to the nation's God
Studding high spaces of the wide survey.

Well did the roofs their solemn secret keep
Of life and death stayed by the truce of sleep,
Yet whispered of an hour when sleepers wake,
The fool to hope afresh, the wise to weep.

The gardens greened upon the builded hills
Above the tethered thunders of the mills
With sleeping wheels unstirred to service yet
By the tamed torrents and the quickened rills.

A hewn acclivity, reprieved a space,
Looked on the builder's blocks about his base
And bared his wounded breast in sign to say:
'Strike! 'tis my destiny to lodge your race.

''Twas but a breath ago the mammoth browsed
Upon my slopes, and in my caves I housed
Your shaggy fathers in their nakedness,
While on their foemen's offal they caroused.'

Ships from afar afforested the bay.
Within their huge and chambered bodies lay
The wealth of continents; and merrily sailed
The hardy argosies to far Cathay.

Beside the city of the living spread-
Strange fellowship!-the city of the dead;
And much I wondered what its humble folk,
To see how bravely they were housed, had said.

Noting how firm their habitations stood,
Broad-based and free of perishable wood-
How deep in granite and how high in brass
The names were wrought of eminent and good,

I said: 'When gold or power is their aim,
The smile of beauty or the wage of shame,
Men dwell in cities; to this place they fare
When they would conquer an abiding fame.'

From the red East the sun-a solemn rite-
Crowned with a flame the cross upon a height
Above the dead; and then with all his strength
Struck the great city all aroar with light!


I know not if it was a dream. I came
Unto a land where something seemed the same
That I had known as 'twere but yesterday,
But what it was I could not rightly name.

It was a strange and melancholy land,
Silent and desolate. On either hand
Lay waters of a sea that seemed as dead,
And dead above it seemed the hills to stand.

Grayed all with age, those lonely hills-ah me,
How worn and weary they appeared to be!
Between their feet long dusty fissures clove
The plain in aimless windings to the sea.

One hill there was which, parted from the rest,
Stood where the eastern water curved a-west.
Silent and passionless it stood. I thought
I saw a scar upon its giant breast.

The sun with sullen and portentous gleam
Hung like a menace on the sea's extreme;
Nor the dead waters, nor the far, bleak bars
Of cloud were conscious of his failing beam.

It was a dismal and a dreadful sight,
That desert in its cold, uncanny light;
No soul but I alone to mark the fear
And imminence of everlasting night!

All presages and prophecies of doom
Glimmered and babbled in the ghastly gloom,
And in the midst of that accursèd scene
A wolf sat howling on a broken tomb.

The Weather Wight

The way was long, the hill was steep,
My footing scarcely I could keep.

The night enshrouded me in gloom,
I heard the ocean's distant boom

The trampling of the surges vast
Was borne upon the rising blast.

'God help the mariner,' I cried,
'Whose ship to-morrow braves the tide!'

Then from the impenetrable dark
A solemn voice made this remark:

'For this locality-warm, bright;
Barometer unchanged; breeze light.'

'Unseen consoler-man,' I cried,
'Whoe'er you are, where'er abide,

'Thanks-but my care is somewhat less
For Jack's, than for my own, distress.

'Could I but find a friendly roof,
Small odds what weather were aloof.

'For he whose comfort is secure
Another's woes can well endure.'

'The latch-string's out,' the voice replied,
'And so's the door-jes' step inside.'

Then through the darkness I discerned
A hovel, into which I turned.

Groping about beneath its thatch,
I struck my head and then a match.

A candle by that gleam betrayed
Soon lent paraffinaceous aid.

A pallid, bald and thin old man
I saw, who this complaint began:

'Through summer suns and winter snows
I sets observin' of my toes.

'I rambles with increasin' pain
The path of duty, but in vain.

'Rewards and honors pass me by
No Congress hears this raven cry!'

Filled with astonishment, I spoke:
'Thou ancient raven, why this croak?

'With observation of your toes
What Congress has to do, Heaven knows!

'And swallow me if e'er I knew
That one could sit and ramble too!'

To answer me that ancient swain
Took up his parable again:

'Through winter snows and summer suns
A Weather Bureau here I runs.

'I calls the turn, and can declare
Jes' when she'll storm and when she'll fair.

'Three times a day I sings out clear
The probs to all which wants to hear.

'Some weather stations run with light
Frivolity is seldom right.

'A scientist from times remote,
In Scienceville my birth is wrote.

'And when I h'ist the 'rainy' sign
Jes' take your clo'es in off the line.'

'Not mine, O marvelous old man,
The methods of your art to scan,

'Yet here no instruments there be-
Nor 'ometer nor 'scope I see.

'Did you (if questions you permit)
At the asylum leave your kit?'

That strange old man with motion rude
Grew to surprising altitude.

'Tools (and sarcazzems too) I scorns-
I tells the weather by my corns.

'No doors and windows here you see-
The wind and m'isture enters free.

'No fires nor lights, no wool nor fur
Here falsifies the tempercher.

'My corns unleathered I expose
To feel the rain's foretellin' throes.

'No stockin' from their ears keeps out
The comin' tempest's warnin' shout.

'Sich delicacy some has got
They know next summer's to be hot.

'This here one says (for that he's best):
'Storm center passin' to the west.'

'This feller's vitals is transfixed
With frost for Janawary sixt'.

'One chap jes' now is occy'pied
In fig'rin on next Fridy's tide.

'I've shaved this cuss so thin and true
He'll spot a fog in South Peru.

'Sech are my tools, which ne'er a swell
Observatory can excel.

'By long a-studyin' their throbs
I catches onto all the probs.'

Much more, no doubt, he would have said,
But suddenly he turned and fled;

For in mine eye's indignant green
Lay storms that he had not foreseen,

Till all at once, with silent squeals,
His toes 'caught on' and told his heels.

A Vision Of Doom

I stood upon a hill. The setting sun
Was crimson with a curse and a portent,
And scarce his angry ray lit up the land
That lay below, whose lurid gloom appeared
Freaked with a moving mist, which, reeking up
From dim tarns hateful with some horrid ban,
Took shapes forbidden and without a name.
Gigantic night-birds, rising from the reeds
With cries discordant, startled all the air,
And bodiless voices babbled in the gloom-
The ghosts of blasphemies long ages stilled,
And shrieks of women, and men's curses. All
These visible shapes, and sounds no mortal ear
Had ever heard, some spiritual sense
Interpreted, though brokenly; for I
Was haunted by a consciousness of crime,
Some giant guilt, but whose I knew not. All
These things malign, by sight and sound revealed,
Were sin-begotten; that I knew-no more
And that but dimly, as in dreadful dreams
The sleepy senses babble to the brain
Imperfect witness. As I stood a voice,
But whence it came I knew not, cried aloud
Some words to me in a forgotten tongue,
Yet straight I knew me for a ghost forlorn,
Returned from the illimited inane.
Again, but in a language that I knew,
As in reply to something which in me
Had shaped itself a thought, but found no words,
It spake from the dread mystery about:
'Immortal shadow of a mortal soul
That perished with eternity, attend.
What thou beholdest is as void as thou:
The shadow of a poet's dream-himself
As thou, his soul as thine, long dead,
But not like thine outlasted by its shade.
His dreams alone survive eternity
As pictures in the unsubstantial void.
Excepting thee and me (and we because
The poet wove us in his thought) remains
Of nature and the universe no part
Or vestige but the poet's dreams. This dread,
Unspeakable land about thy feet, with all
Its desolation and its terrors-lo!
'T is but a phantom world. So long ago
That God and all the angels since have died
That poet lived-yourself long dead-his mind
Filled with the light of a prophetic fire,
And standing by the Western sea, above
The youngest, fairest city in the world,
Named in another tongue than his for one
Ensainted, saw its populous domain
Plague-smitten with a nameless shame. For there
Red-handed murder rioted; and there
The people gathered gold, nor cared to loose
The assassin's fingers from the victim's throat,
But said, each in his vile pursuit engrossed:
'Am I my brother's keeper? Let the Law
Look to the matter.' But the Law did not.
And there, O pitiful! the babe was slain
Within its mother's breast and the same grave
Held babe and mother; and the people smiled,
Still gathering gold, and said: 'The Law, the Law,'
Then the great poet, touched upon the lips
With a live coal from Truth's high altar, raised
His arms to heaven and sang a song of doom
Sang of the time to be, when God should lean
Indignant from the Throne and lift his hand,
And that foul city be no more!-a tale,
A dream, a desolation and a curse!
No vestige of its glory should survive
In fact or memory: its people dead,
Its site forgotten, and its very name

'Was the prophecy fulfilled?'
The sullen disc of the declining sun
Was crimson with a curse and a portent,
And scarce his angry ray lit up the land
That lay below, whose lurid gloom appeared
Freaked with a moving mist, which, reeking up
From dim tarns hateful with a horrid ban,
Took shapes forbidden and without a name.
Gigantic night-birds, rising from the reeds
With cries discordant, startled all the air,
And bodiless voices babbled in the gloom.
But not to me came any voice again;
And, covering my face with thin, dead hands,
I wept, and woke, and cried aloud to God!

Mackay's hot wrath to Bonynge, direful spring
Of blows unnumbered, heavenly goddess, sing
That wrath which hurled to Hellman's office floor
Two heroes, mutually smeared with gore,
Whose hair in handfuls marked the dire debate,
And riven coat-tails testified their hate.
Sing, muse, what first their indignation fired,
What words augmented it, by whom inspired.

First, the great Bonynge comes upon the scene
And asks the favor of the British Queen.
Suppliant he stands and urges all his claim:
His wealth, his portly person and his name,
His habitation in the setting sun,
As child of nature; and his suit he won.
No more the Sovereign, wearied with his plea,
From slumber's chain her faculties can free.
Low and more low the royal eyelids creep,
She gives the assenting nod and falls asleep.
Straightway the Bonynges all invade the Court
And telegraph the news to every port.
Beneath the seas, red-hot, the tidings fly,
The cables crinkle and the fishes fry!
The world, awaking like a startled bat,
Exclaims: 'A Bonynge? What the devil's that?'
Mackay, meanwhile, to envy all attent,
Untaught to spare, unable to relent,
Walks in our town on needles and on pins,
And in a mean, revengeful spirit-grins!

Sing, muse, what next to break the peace occurred
What act uncivil, what unfriendly word?
The god of Bosh ascending from his pool,
Where since creation he has played the fool,
Clove the blue slush, as other gods the sky,
And, waiting but a moment's space to dry,
Touched Bonynge with his finger-tip. 'O son,'
He said, 'alike of nature and a gun,
Knowest not Mackay's insufferable sin?
Hast thou not heard that he doth stand and grin?
Arise! assert thy manhood, and attest
The uncommercial spirit in thy breast.
Avenge thine honor, for by Jove I swear
Thou shalt not else be my peculiar care!'
He spake, and ere his worshiper could kneel
Had dived into his slush pool, head and heel.
Full of the god and to revenges nerved,
And conscious of a will that never swerved,
Bonynge set sail: the world beyond the wave
As gladly took him as the other gave.
New York received him, but a shudder ran
Through all the western coast, which knew the man;
And science said that the seismic action
Was owing to an asteroid's impaction.

O goddess, sing what Bonynge next essayed.
Did he unscabbard the avenging blade,
The long spear brandish and porrect the shield,
Havoc the town and devastate the field?
His sacred thirst for blood did he allay
By halving the unfortunate Mackay?
Small were the profit and the joy to him
To hew a base-born person, limb from limb.
Let vulgar souls to low revenge incline,
That of diviner spirits is divine.
Bonynge at noonday stood in public places
And (with regard to the Mackays) made faces!
Before those formidable frowns and scowls
The dogs fled, tail-tucked, with affrighted howls,
And horses, terrified, with flying feet
O'erthrew the apple-stands along the street,
Involving the metropolis in vast
Financial ruin! Man himself, aghast,
Retreated east and west and north and south
Before the menace of that twisted mouth,
Till Jove, in answer to their prayers, sent Night
To veil the dreadful visage from their sight!

Such were the causes of the horrid strife
The mother-wrongs which nourished it to life.
O, for a quill from an archangel's wing!
O, for a voice that's adequate to sing
The splendor and the terror of the fray,
The scattered hair, the coat-tails all astray,
The parted collars and the gouts of gore
Reeking and smoking on the banker's floor,
The interlocking limbs, embraces dire,
Revolving bodies and deranged attire!

Vain, vain the trial: 'tis vouchsafed to none
To sing two millionaires rolled into one!
My hand and pen their offices refuse,
And hoarse and hoarser grows the weary muse.
Alone remains, to tell of the event,
Abandoned, lost and variously rent,
The Bonynge nethermost habiliment.

Goddess of Liberty! O thou
Whose tearless eyes behold the chain,
And look unmoved upon the slain,
Eternal peace upon thy brow,-

Before thy shrine the races press,
Thy perfect favor to implore-
The proudest tyrant asks no more,
The ironed anarchist no less.

Thine altar-coals that touch the lips
Of prophets kindle, too, the brand
By Discord flung with wanton hand
Among the houses and the ships.

Upon thy tranquil front the star
Burns bleak and passionless and white,
Its cold inclemency of light
More dreadful than the shadows are.

Thy name we do not here invoke
Our civic rites to sanctify:
Enthroned in thy remoter sky,
Thou heedest not our broken yoke.

Thou carest not for such as we:
Our millions die to serve the still
And secret purpose of thy will.
They perish-what is that to thee?

The light that fills the patriot's tomb
Is not of thee. The shining crown
Compassionately offered down
To those who falter in the gloom,

And fall, and call upon thy name,
And die desiring-'tis the sign
Of a diviner love than thine,
Rewarding with a richer fame.

To him alone let freemen cry
Who hears alike the victor's shout,
The song of faith, the moan of doubt,
And bends him from his nearer sky.

God of my country and my race!
So greater than the gods of old-
So fairer than the prophets told
Who dimly saw and feared thy face,-

Who didst but half reveal thy will
And gracious ends to their desire,
Behind the dawn's advancing fire
Thy tender day-beam veiling still,-

To whom the unceasing suns belong,
And cause is one with consequence,-
To whose divine, inclusive sense
The moan is blended with the song,-

Whose laws, imperfect and unjust,
Thy just and perfect purpose serve:
The needle, howsoe'er it swerve,
Still warranting the sailor's trust,-

God, lift thy hand and make us free
To crown the work thou hast designed.
O, strike away the chains that bind
Our souls to one idolatry!

The liberty thy love hath given
We thank thee for. We thank thee for
Our great dead fathers' holy war
Wherein our manacles were riven.

We thank thee for the stronger stroke
Ourselves delivered and incurred
When-thine incitement half unheard-
The chains we riveted we broke.

We thank thee that beyond the sea
Thy people, growing ever wise,
Turn to the west their serious eyes
And dumbly strive to be as we.

As when the sun's returning flame
Upon the Nileside statue shone,
And struck from the enchanted stone
The music of a mighty fame,

Let Man salute the rising day
Of Liberty, but not adore.
'Tis Opportunity-no more-
A useful, not a sacred, ray.

It bringeth good, it bringeth ill,
As he possessing shall elect.
He maketh it of none effect
Who walketh not within thy will.

Give thou more or less, as we
Shall serve the right or serve the wrong.
Confirm our freedom but so long
As we are worthy to be free.

But when (O, distant be the time!)
Majorities in passion draw
Insurgent swords to murder Law,
And all the land is red with crime;

Or-nearer menace!-when the band
Of feeble spirits cringe and plead
To the gigantic strength of Greed,
And fawn upon his iron hand;-

Nay, when the steps to state are worn
In hollows by the feet of thieves,
And Mammon sits among the sheaves
And chuckles while the reapers mourn:

Then stay thy miracle!-replace
The broken throne, repair the chain,
Restore the interrupted reign
And veil again thy patient face.

Lo! here upon the world's extreme
We stand with lifted arms and dare
By thine eternal name to swear
Our country, which so fair we deem-

Upon whose hills, a bannered throng,
The spirits of the sun display
Their flashing lances day by day
And hear the sea's pacific song-

Shall be so ruled in right and grace
That men shall say: 'O, drive afield
The lawless eagle from the shield,
And call an angel to the place!'

Three Kinds Of A Rogue

Sharon, ambitious of immortal shame,
Fame's dead-wall daubed with his illustrious name
Served in the Senate, for our sins, his time,
Each word a folly and each vote a crime;
Law for our governance well skilled to make
By knowledge gained in study how to break;
Yet still by the presiding eye ignored,
Which only sought him when too loud he snored.
Auspicious thunder!-when he woke to vote
He stilled his own to cut his country's throat;
That rite performed, fell off again to sleep,
While statesmen ages dead awoke to weep!
For sedentary service all unfit,
By lying long disqualified to sit,
Wasting below as he decayed aloft,
His seat grown harder as his brain grew soft,
He left the hall he could not bring away,
And grateful millions blessed the happy day!
Whate'er contention in that hall is heard,
His sovereign State has still the final word:
For disputatious statesmen when they roar
Startle the ancient echoes of his snore,
Which from their dusty nooks expostulate
And close with stormy clamor the debate.
To low melodious thunders then they fade;
Their murmuring lullabies all ears invade;
Peace takes the Chair; the portal Silence keeps;
No motion stirs the dark Lethean deeps
Washoe has spoken and the Senate sleeps.

Lo! the new Sharon with a new intent,
Making no laws, but keen to circumvent
The laws of Nature (since he can't repeal)
That break his failing body on the wheel.
As Tantalus again and yet again
The elusive wave endeavors to restrain
To slake his awful thirst, so Sharon tries
To purchase happiness that age denies;
Obtains the shadow, but the substance goes,
And hugs the thorn, but cannot keep the rose;
For Dead Sea fruits bids prodigally, eats,
And then, with tardy reformation-cheats.
Alert his faculties as three score years
And four score vices will permit, he nears
Dicing with Death-the finish of the game,
And curses still his candle's wasting flame,
The narrow circle of whose feeble glow
Dims and diminishes at every throw.
Moments his losses, pleasures are his gains,
Which even in his grasp revert to pains.
The joy of grasping them alone remains.

Ring up the curtain and the play protract!
Behold our Sharon in his last mad act.
With man long warring, quarreling with God,
He crouches now beneath a woman's rod
Predestined for his back while yet it lay
Closed in an acorn which, one luckless day,
He stole, unconscious of its foetal twig,
From the scant garner of a sightless pig.
With bleeding shoulders pitilessly scored,
He bawls more lustily than once he snored.
The sympathetic Comstocks droop to hear,
And Carson river sheds a viscous tear,
Which sturdy tumble-bugs assail amain,
With ready thrift, and urge along the plain.
The jackass rabbit sorrows as he lopes;
The sage-brush glooms along the mountain slopes;
In rising clouds the poignant alkali,
Tearless itself, makes everybody cry.
Washoe canaries on the Geiger Grade
Subdue the singing of their cavalcade,
And, wiping with their ears the tears unshed,
Grieve for their family's unlucky head.
Virginia City intermits her trade
And well-clad strangers walk her streets unflayed.
Nay, all Nevada ceases work to weep
And the recording angel goes to sleep.
But in his dreams his goose-quill's creaking fount
Augments the debits in the long account.
And still the continents and oceans ring
With royal torments of the Silver King!
Incessant bellowings fill all the earth,
Mingled with inextinguishable mirth.
He roars, men laugh, Nevadans weep, beasts howl,
Plash the affrighted fish, and shriek the fowl!
With monstrous din their blended thunders rise,
Peal upon peal, and brawl along the skies,
Startle in hell the Sharons as they groan,
And shake the splendors of the great white throne!
Still roaring outward through the vast profound,
The spreading circles of receding sound
Pursue each other in a failing race
To the cold confines of eternal space;
There break and die along that awful shore
Which God's own eyes have never dared explore
Dark, fearful, formless, nameless evermore!

Look to the west! Against yon steely sky
Lone Mountain rears its holy cross on high.
About its base the meek-faced dead are laid
To share the benediction of its shade.
With crossed white hands, shut eyes and formal feet,
Their nights are innocent, their days discreet.
Sharon, some years, perchance, remain of life
Of vice and greed, vulgarity and strife;
And then-God speed the day if such His will
You'll lie among the dead you helped to kill,
And be in good society at last,
Your purse unsilvered and your face unbrassed.

The Town Of Dae

Swains and maidens, young and old,
You to me this tale have told.

Where the squalid town of Dae
Irks the comfortable sea,
Spreading webs to gather fish,
As for wealth we set a wish,
Dwelt a king by right divine,
Sprung from Adam's royal line,
Town of Dae by the sea,
Divers kinds of kings there be.

Name nor fame had Picklepip:
Ne'er a soldier nor a ship
Bore his banners in the sun;
Naught knew he of kingly sport,
And he held his royal court
Under an inverted tun.
Love and roses, ages through,
Bloom where cot and trellis stand;
Never yet these blossoms grew
Never yet was room for two
In a cask upon the strand.

So it happened, as it ought,
That his simple schemes he wrought
Through the lagging summer's day
In a solitary way.
So it happened, as was best,
That he took his nightly rest
With no dreadful incubus
This way eyed and that way tressed,
Featured thus, and thus, and thus,
Lying lead-like on a breast
By cares of State enough oppressed.
Yet in dreams his fancies rude
Claimed a lordly latitude.
Town of Dae by the sea,
Dreamers mate above their state
And waken back to their degree.

Once to cask himself away
He prepared at close of day.
As he tugged with swelling throat
At a most unkingly coat
Not to get it off, but on,
For the serving sun was gone
Passed a silk-appareled sprite
Toward her castle on the height,
Seized and set the garment right.
Turned the startled Picklepip
Splendid crimson cheek and lip!
Turned again to sneak away,

But she bade the villain stay,
Bade him thank her, which he did
With a speech that slipped and slid,
Sprawled and stumbled in its gait
As a dancer tries to skate.
Town of Dae by the sea,
In the face of silk and lace
Rags too bold should never be.

Lady Minnow cocked her head:
'Mister Picklepip,' she said,
'Do you ever think to wed?'
Town of Dae by the sea,
No fair lady ever made a
Wicked speech like that to me!

Wretched little Picklepip
Said he hadn't any ship,
Any flocks at his command,
Nor to feed them any land;
Said he never in his life
Owned a mine to keep a wife.
But the guilty stammer so
That his meaning wouldn't flow;
So he thought his aim to reach
By some figurative speech:
Said his Fate had been unkind
Had pursued him from behind
(How the mischief could it else?)

Came upon him unaware,
Caught him by the collar-there
Gushed the little lady's glee
Like a gush of golden bells:
'Picklepip, why, that is _me_!'
Town of Dae by the sea,
Grammar's for great scholars-she
Loved the summer and the lea.

Stupid little Picklepip
Allowed the subtle hint to slip
Maundered on about the ship
That he did not chance to own;
Told this grievance o'er and o'er,
Knowing that she knew before;
Told her how he dwelt alone.
Lady Minnow, for reply,
Cut him off with 'So do I!'
But she reddened at the fib;
Servitors had she, _ad lib.
Town of Dae by the sea,
In her youth who speaks no truth
Ne'er shall young and honest be.

Witless little Picklepip
Manned again his mental ship
And veered her with a sudden shift.
Painted to the lady's thought
How he wrestled and he wrought

Stoutly with the swimming drift
By the kindly river brought
From the mountain to the sea,
Fuel for the town of Dae.
Tedious tale for lady's ear:
From her castle on the height,
She had watched her water-knight
Through the seasons of a year,
Challenge more than met his view
And conquer better than he knew.
Now she shook her pretty pate
And stamped her foot-'t was growing late:
'Mister Picklepip, when I
Drifting seaward pass you by;
When the waves my forehead kiss
And my tresses float above-
Dead and drowned for lack of love-
You'll be sorry, sir, for this!'
And the silly creature cried
Feared, perchance, the rising tide.
Town of Dae by the sea,
Madam Adam, when she had 'em,
May have been as bad as she.

_Fiat lux!_ Love's lumination
Fell in floods of revelation!
Blinded brain by world aglare,
Sense of pulses in the air,

Sense of swooning and the beating
Of a voice somewhere repeating
Something indistinctly heard!
And the soul of Picklepip
Sprang upon his trembling lip,
But he spake no further word
Of the wealth he did not own;
In that moment had outgrown
Ship and mine and flock and land
Even his cask upon the strand.
Dropped a stricken star to earth,
Type of wealth and worldly worth.
Clomb the moon into the sky,
Type of love's immensity!
Shaking silver seemed the sea,
Throne of God the town of Dae!
Town of Dae by the sea,
From above there cometh love,
Blessing all good souls that be.


HAYSEED _a Granger_
NOZZLE _a Miner_
RINGDIVVY _a Statesman_
FEEGOBBLE _a Lawyer_
JUNKET _a Committee_

_Scene_-Yuba Dam.

_Feegobble, Ringdivvy, Nozzle_.


My friends, since '51 I have pursued
The evil tenor of my watery way,
Removing hills as by an act of faith


Just so; the steadfast faith of those who hold,
In foreign lands beyond the Eastern sea,
The shares in your concern-a simple, blind,
Unreasoning belief in dividends,
Still stimulated by assessments which,
When the skies fall, ensnaring all the larks,
Will bring, no doubt, a very great return.

ALL (_singing_):

O the beautiful assessment,
The exquisite assessment,
The regular assessment,
That makes the water flow.


The rascally-assessment!


The murderous assessment!


The glorious assessment
That makes my mare to go!


But, Nozzle, you, I think, were on the point
Of making a remark about some rights-
Some certain vested rights you have acquired
By long immunity; for still the law
Holds that if one do evil undisturbed
His right to do so ripens with the years;
And one may be a villain long enough
To make himself an honest gentleman.

ALL (_singing_):

Hail, holy law,
The soul with awe
Bows to thy dispensation.


It breaks my jaw!


It qualms my maw!


It feeds my jaw,
It crams my maw,
It is my soul's salvation!


Why, yes, I've floated mountains to the sea
For lo! these many years; though some, they say,
Do strand themselves along the bottom lands
And cover up a village here and there,
And here and there a ranch. 'Tis said, indeed,
The granger with his female and his young
Do not infrequently go to the dickens
By premature burial in slickens.

ALL (_singing_):

Could slickens forever
Choke up the river,
And slime's endeavor
Be tried on grain,
How small the measure
Of granger's treasure,
How keen his pain!


'A consummation devoutly to be wished!'
These rascal grangers would long since have been
Submerged in slimes, to the last man of them,
But for the fact that all their wicked tribes
Affect our legislation with their bribes.

ALL (_singing_):

O bribery's great-
'Tis a pillar of State,
And the people they are free.


It smashes my slate!


It is thievery straight!


But it's been the making of me!


I judge by certain shrewd sensations here
In these callosities I call my thumbs
thrilling sense as of ten thousand pins,
Red-hot and penetrant, transpiercing all
The cuticle and tickling through the nerves
That some malign and awful thing draws near.

(_Enter Hayseed._)

Good Lord! here are the ghosts and spooks of all
The grangers I have decently interred,
Rolled into one!


Plead, phantom.


You've the floor.


From the margin of the river
(Bitter Creek, they sometimes call it)
Where I cherished once the pumpkin,
And the summer squash promoted,
Harvested the sweet potato,
Dallied with the fatal melon
And subdued the fierce cucumber,
I've been driven by the slickens,
Driven by the slimes and tailings!
All my family-my Polly
Ann and all my sons and daughters,
Dog and baby both included
All were swamped in seas of slickens,
Buried fifty fathoms under,
Where they lie, prepared to play their
Gentle prank on geologic
Gents that shall exhume them later,
In the dim and distant future,
Taking them for melancholy
Relics antedating Adam.
I alone got up and dusted.


Avaunt! you horrid and infernal cuss!
What dire distress have you prepared for us?


Were I a buzzard stooping from the sky
My craw with filth to fill,
Into your honorable body I
Would introduce a bill.


Defendant, hence, or, by the gods, I'll brain thee!-
Unless you saved some turneps to retain me.


As I was saying, I got up and dusted,
My ranch a graveyard and my business busted!
But hearing that a fellow from the City,
Who calls himself a Citizens' Committee,
Was coming up to play the very dickens,
With those who cover up our farms with slickens,
And make himself-unless I am in error
To all such miscreants a holy terror,
I thought if I would join the dialogue
I maybe might get payment for my dog.

ALL (_Singing_):

O the dog is the head of Creation,
Prime work of the Master's hand;
He hasn't a known occupation,
Yet lives on the fat of the land.
Adipose, indolent, sleek and orbicular,
Sun-soaken, door matted, cross and particular,
Men, women, children, all coddle and wait on him,
Then, accidentally shutting the gate on him,
Miss from their calves, ever after, the rifted out
Mouthful of tendons that doggy has lifted out!
(_Enter Junket_.)


Well met, my hearties! I must trouble you
Jointly and severally to provide
A comfortable carriage, with relays
Of hardy horses. This Committee means
To move in state about the country here.
I shall expect at every place I stop
Good beds, of course, and everything that's nice,
With bountiful repast of meat and wine.
For this Committee comes to sea and mark
And inwardly digest.


Digest my dog!


First square my claim for damages: the gold
Escaping with the slickens keeps me poor!


I merely would remark that if you'd grease
My itching palm it would more glibly glide
Into the public pocket.


Sir, the wheels
Of justice move but slowly till they're oiled.
I have some certain writs and warrants here,
Prepared against your advent. You recall
The tale of Zaccheus, who did climb a tree,
And Jesus said: 'Come down'?


Why, bless your souls!
I've got no money; I but came to see
What all this noisy babble is about,
Make a report and file the same away.


How'll that help _us_? Reports are not our style
Of provender!


Well, you can gnaw the file.



FITCH _a Pelter of Railrogues_
PICKERING _his Partner, an Enemy to Sin_
OLD NICK _a General Blackwasher_
DEAD CAT _a Missile_
RAILROGUES, DUMP-CARTERS. NAVVIES and Unassorted SHOVELRY in the Lower Distance

_Scene_-The Brink of a Railway Cut, a Mile Deep.


Gods! what a steep declivity! Below
I see the lazy dump-carts come and go,
Creeping like beetles and about as big.
The delving Paddies-


Case of _infra dig._


Loring, light-minded and unmeaning quips
Come with but scant propriety from lips
Fringed with the blue-black evidence of age.
'Twere well to cultivate a style more sage,
For men will fancy, hearing how you pun,
Our foulest missiles are but thrown in fun.

(_Enter Dead Cat._)

Here's one that thoughtfully has come to hand;
Slant your fine eye below and see it land.
(_Seizes Dead Cat by the tail and swings it in act to throw._)

DEAD CAT (_singing_):

Merrily, merrily, round I go-
Over and under and at.
Swing wide and free, swing high and low
The anti-monopoly cat!

O, who wouldn't be in the place of me,
The anti-monopoly cat?
Designed to admonish,
Persuade and astonish
The capitalist and-

FITCH _(letting go):_

_(Exit Dead Cat.)_


Huzza! good Deacon, well and truly flung!
Pat Stanford it has grassed, and Mike de Young.
Mike drives a dump-cart for the villains, though
'Twere fitter that he pull it. Well, we owe
The traitor one for leaving us!-some day
We'll get, if not his place, his cart away.
Meantime fling missiles-any kind will do.
_(Enter Antique Egg.)_
Ha! we can give them an _ovation_, too!


In the valley of the Nile,
Where the Holy Crocodile
Of immeasurable smile
Blossoms like the early rose,
And the Sacred Onion grows
When the Pyramids were new
And the Sphinx possessed a nose,
By a storkess I was laid
In the cool papyrus shade,
Where the rushes later grew,
That concealed the little Jew,
Baby Mose.

Straining very hard to hatch,
I disrupted there my yolk;
And I felt my yellow streaming
Through my white;
And the dream that I was dreaming
Of posterity was broke
In a night.
Then from the papyrus-patch
By the rising waters rolled,
Passing many a temple old,
I proceeded to the sea.
Memnon sang, one morn, to me,
And I heard Cambyses sass
The tomb of Ozymandias!


O, venerablest orb of all the earth,
God rest the lady fowl that gave thee birth!
Fit missile for the vilest hand to throw
I freely tender thee mine own. Although
As a bad egg I am myself no slouch,
Thy riper years thy ranker worth avouch.
Now, Pickering, please expose your eye and say
_(Exit egg.)_
I've got the range.

Hooray! hooray!
A grand good shot, and Teddy Colton's down:
It burst in thunderbolts upon his crown!
Larry O'Crocker drops his pick and flies,
And deafening odors scream along the skies!
Pelt 'em some more.


There's nothing left but tar-
wish I were a Yahoo.


Well, you are.
But keep the tar. How well I recollect,
When Mike was in with us-proud, strong, erect
_Mens conscia recti_-flinging mud, he stood,
Austerely brave, incomparably good,
Ere yet for filthy lucre he began
To drive a cart as Stanford's hired man,
That pitch-pot bearing in his hand, Old Nick
Appeared and tarred us all with the same stick.
_(Enter Old Nick)_.
I hope he won't return and use his arts
To make us part with our immortal parts.


Make yourself easy on that score my lamb;
For both your souls I wouldn't give a damn!
I want my tar-pot-hello! where's the stick?


Don't look at _me_ that fashion!-look at Pick.


Forgive me, father-pity my remorse!
Truth is-Mike took that stick to spank his horse.
It fills my pericardium with grief
That I kept company with such a thief.

(_Endeavoring to get his handkerchief, he opens his coat and
the tar-stick falls out. Nick picks it up, looks at the culprit
reproachfully and withdraws in tears._)

FITCH (_excitedly_):

O Pickering, come hither to the brink-
There's something going on down there, I think!
With many an upward smile and meaning wink
The navvies all are running from the cut
Like lunatics, to right and left-

Tut, tut-
'Tis only some poor sport or boisterous joke.
Let us sit down and have a quiet smoke.
(_They sit and light cigars._)

FITCH (_singing_):

When first I met Miss Toughie
I smoked a fine cigyar,
An' I was on de dummy
And she was in de cyar.

BOTH (_singing_):

An' I was on de dummy
And she was in de cyar.

FITCH (_singing_):

I couldn't go to her,
An' she wouldn't come to me;
An' I was as oneasy
As a gander on a tree.

BOTH (_singing_):

An' I was as oneasy
As a gander on a tree.

FITCH (_singing_):

But purty soon I weakened
An' lef' de dummy's bench,
An' frew away a ten-cent weed
To win a five-cent wench!

BOTH (_singing_)

An' frew away a ten-cent weed
To win a five-cent wench!


Is there not now a certain substance sold
Under the name of fulminate of gold,
A high explosive, popular for blasting,
Producing an effect immense and lasting?


Nay, that's mere superstition. Rocks are rent
And excavations made by argument.
Explosives all have had their day and season;
The modern engineer relies on reason.
He'll talk a tunnel through a mountain's flank
And by fair speech cave down the tallest bank.

(_The earth trembles, a deep subterranean explosion is heard and a section of the bank as big as El Capitan starts away and plunges thunderously into the cut. A part of it strikes De Young's dumpcart abaft the axletree and flings him, hurtling, skyward, a thing of legs and arms, to descend on the distant mountains, where it is cold. Fitch and Pickering pull themselves out of the debris and stand ungraveling their eyes and noses._)


Well, since I'm down here I will help to grade,
And do dirt-throwing henceforth with a spade.


God bless my soul! it gave me quit a start.
Well, fate is fate-I guess I'll drive this cart.


ST. JOHN _a Presidential Candidate_
MCDONALD _a Defeated Aspirant_
MRS. HAYES _an Ex-President_
PITTS-STEVENS _a Water Nymph_

_Scene_-A Small Lake in the Alleghany Mountains.


Hours I've immersed my muzzle in this tarn
And, quaffing copious potations, tried
To suck it dry; but ever as I pumped
Its waters into my distended skin
The labor of my zeal extruded them
In perspiration from my pores; and so,
Rilling the marginal declivity,
They fell again into their source. Ah, me!
Could I but find within these ancient hills
Some long extinct volcano, by the rains
Of countless ages in its crater brimmed
Like a full goblet, I would lay me down
Prone on the outer slope, and o'er its edge
Arching my neck, I'd siphon out its store
And flood the valleys with my sweat for aye.
So should I be accounted as a god,
Even as Father Nilus is. What's that?
Methought I heard some sawyer draw his file
With jarring, stridulous cacophany
Across his notchy blade, to set its teeth
And mine on edge. Ha! there it goes again!

_Song, within_.

Cold water's the milk of the mountains,
And Nature's our wet-nurse. O then,
Glue thou thy blue lips to her fountains
Forever and ever, amen!


Why surely there's congenial company
Aloof-the spirit, I suppose, that guards
This sacred spot; perchance some water-nymph
Who laving in the crystal flood her limbs
Has taken cold, and so, with raucous voice
Afflicts the sensitive membrane of mine ear
The while she sings my sentiments.
_(Enter Pitts-Stevens.)_
What fiend is this?


'Tis I, be not afraid.


And who, thou antiquated crone, art thou?
I ne'er forget a face, but names I can't
So well remember. I have seen thee oft.
When in the middle season of the night,
Curved with a cucumber, or knotted hard
With an eclectic pie, I've striven to keep
My head and heels asunder, thou has come,
With sociable familiarity,
Into my dream, but not, alas, to bless.


My name's Pitts-Stevens, age just seventeen years;
Talking teetotaler, professional


What dost them here?


I'm come, fair sir,
With paint and brush to blazon on these rocks
The merits of my master's nostrum-so:
_(Paints rapidly.)_
'McDonald's Vinegar Bitters!'


What are they?


A woman suffering from widowhood
Took a full bottle and was cured. A man
There was-a murderer; the doctors all
Had given him up-he'd but an hour to live.
He swallowed half a glassful. He is dead,
But not of Vinegar Bitters. A wee babe
Lay sick and cried for it. The mother gave
That innocent a spoonful and it smoothed
Its pathway to the tomb. 'Tis warranted
To cause a boy to strike his father, make
A pig squeal, start the hair upon a stone,
Or play the fiddle for a country dance.
_(Enter McDonald, reading a Sunday-school book.)_
Good morrow, sir; I trust you're well.


H'lo, Pitts!
Observe, good friends, I have a volume here
Myself am author of-a noble book
To train the infant mind (delightful task!)
It tells how one Samantha Brown, age, six,
A gutter-bunking slave to rum, was saved
By Vinegar Bitters, went to church and now
Has an account at the Pacific Bank.
I'll read the whole work to you.

Heaven forbid!
I've elsewhere an engagement.

I am deaf.

MCDONALD _(reading regardless):_

'Once on a time there lived'--

_(Enter Mrs. Hayes.)_
Behold our queen!


Her eyes upon the ground
Before her feet she low'rs,
Walking, in thought profound,
As 'twere, upon all fours.
Her visage is austere,
Her gait a high parade;
At every step you hear
The sloshing lemonade!

MRS. HAYES _(to herself):_

Once, sitting in the White House, hard at work
Signing State papers (Rutherford was there,
Knitting some hose) a sudden glory fell
Upon my paper. I looked up and saw
An angel, holding in his hand a rod
Wherewith he struck me. Smarting with the blow
I rose and (cuffing Rutherford) inquired:
'Wherefore this chastisement?' The angel said:
'Four years you have been President, and still
There's rum!'-then flew to Heaven. Contrite, I swore
Such oath as lady Methodist might take,
My second term should medicine my first.
The people would not have it that way; so
I seek some candidate who'll take my soul-
My spirit of reform, fresh from my breast,
And give me his instead; and thus equipped
With my imperious and fiery essence,
Drive the Drink-Demon from the land and fill
The people up with water till their teeth
Are all afloat.

(_St. John discovers himself_.)
What, _you_?


Aye, Madam, I'll
Swap souls with you and lead the cold sea-green
Amphibians of Prohibition on,
Pallid of nose and webbed of foot, swim-bladdered,
Gifted with gills, invincible!


Stand forth and consummate the interchange.

(_While McDonald and Pitts-Stevens modestly turn their
backs, the latter blushing a delicate shrimp-pink, St. John and
Mrs. Hayes effect an exchange of immortal parts. When the
transfer is complete McDonald turns and advances, uncorking
a bottle of Vinegar Bitters_.)

MCDONALD (_chanting_):

Nectar compounded of simples
Cocted in Stygian shades-
Acids of wrinkles and pimples
From faces of ancient maids-
Acrid precipitates sunken
From tempers of scolding wives
Whose husbands, uncommonly drunken,
Are commonly found in dives,-
With this I baptize and appoint thee
(_to St. John_.)
To marshal the vinophobe ranks.
In the name of Dambosh I anoint thee
(_pours the liquid down St. John's back_.)
As King of aquatical cranks!

(_The liquid blisters the royal back, and His Majesty starts
on a dead run, energetically exclaiming. Exit St. John_.)


My soul! My soul! I'll never get it back
Unless I follow nimbly on his track.
(_Exit Mrs. Hayes_.)


O my! he's such a beautiful young man!
I'll follow, too, and catch him if I can.
(_Exit Pitts-Stevens_.)


He scarce is visible, his dust so great!
Methinks for so obscure a candidate
He runs quite well. But as for Prohibition-
I mean myself to hold the first position.

(_Produces a pocket flask, topes a cruel quantity of double-distilled
thunder-and-lightning out of it, smiles so grimly as to
darken all the stage and sings_):

Though fortunes vary let all be merry,
And then if e'er a disaster befall,
At Styx's ferry is Charon's wherry
In easy call.

Upon a ripple of golden tipple
That tipsy ship'll convey you best.
To king and cripple, the bottle's the nipple
Of Nature's breast!

The Cynic's Bequest

In that fair city, Ispahan,
There dwelt a problematic man,
Whose angel never was released,
Who never once let out his beast,
But kept, through all the seasons' round,
Silence unbroken and profound.
No Prophecy, with ear applied
To key-hole of the future, tried
Successfully to catch a hint
Of what he'd do nor when begin 't;
As sternly did his past defy
Mild Retrospection's backward eye.
Though all admired his silent ways,
The women loudest were in praise:
For ladies love those men the most
Who never, never, never boast-
Who ne'er disclose their aims and ends
To naughty, naughty, naughty friends.

Yet, sooth to say, the fame outran
The merit of this doubtful man,
For taciturnity in him,
Though not a mere caprice or whim,
Was not a virtue, such as truth,
High birth, or beauty, wealth or youth.

'Twas known, indeed, throughout the span
Of Ispahan, of Gulistan
These utmost limits of the earth
Knew that the man was dumb from birth.

Unto the Sun with deep salaams
The Parsee spreads his morning palms
(A beacon blazing on a height
Warms o'er his piety by night.)
The Moslem deprecates the deed,
Cuts off the head that holds the creed,
Then reverently goes to grass,
Muttering thanks to Balaam's Ass
For faith and learning to refute
Idolatry so dissolute!
But should a maniac dash past,
With straws in beard and hands upcast,
To him (through whom, whene'er inclined
To preach a bit to Madmankind,
The Holy Prophet speaks his mind)
Our True Believer lifts his eyes
Devoutly and his prayer applies;
But next to Solyman the Great
Reveres the idiot's sacred state.
Small wonder then, our worthy mute
Was held in popular repute.
Had he been blind as well as mum,
Been lame as well as blind and dumb,
No bard that ever sang or soared
Could say how he had been adored.
More meagerly endowed, he drew
An homage less prodigious. True,
No soul his praises but did utter
All plied him with devotion's butter,
But none had out-'t was to their credit
The proselyting sword to spread it.
I state these truths, exactly why
The reader knows as well as I;
They've nothing in the world to do
With what I hope we're coming to
If Pegasus be good enough
To move when he has stood enough.
Egad! his ribs I would examine
Had I a sharper spur than famine,
Or even with that if 'twould incline
To examine his instead of mine.
Where was I? Ah, that silent man
Who dwelt one time in Ispahan-
He had a name-was known to all
As Meerza Solyman Zingall.

There lived afar in Astrabad,
A man the world agreed was mad,
So wickedly he broke his joke
Upon the heads of duller folk,
So miserly, from day to day,
He gathered up and hid away
In vaults obscure and cellars haunted
What many worthy people wanted,
A stingy man!-the tradesmen's palms
Were spread in vain: 'I give no alms
Without inquiry'-so he'd say,
And beat the needy duns away.
The bastinado did, 'tis true,
Persuade him, now and then, a few
Odd tens of thousands to disburse
To glut the taxman's hungry purse,
But still, so rich he grew, his fear
Was constant that the Shah might hear.
(The Shah had heard it long ago,
And asked the taxman if 'twere so,
Who promptly answered, rather airish,
The man had long been on the parish.)
The more he feared, the more he grew
A cynic and a miser, too,
Until his bitterness and pelf
Made him a terror to himself;
Then, with a razor's neckwise stroke,
He tartly cut his final joke.
So perished, not an hour too soon,
The wicked Muley Ben Maroon.

From Astrabad to Ispahan
At camel speed the rumor ran
That, breaking through tradition hoar,
And throwing all his kinsmen o'er,
The miser'd left his mighty store
Of gold-his palaces and lands-
To needy and deserving hands
(Except a penny here and there
To pay the dervishes for prayer.)
'Twas known indeed throughout the span
Of earth, and into Hindostan,
That our beloved mute was the
Residuary legatee.
The people said 'twas very well,
And each man had a tale to tell
Of how he'd had a finger in 't
By dropping many a friendly hint
At Astrabad, you see. But ah,
They feared the news might reach the Shah!
To prove the will the lawyers bore 't
Before the Kadi's awful court,
Who nodded, when he heard it read,
Confirmingly his drowsy head,
Nor thought, his sleepiness so great,
Himself to gobble the estate.
'I give,' the dead had writ, 'my all
To Meerza Solyman Zingall
Of Ispahan. With this estate
I might quite easily create
Ten thousand ingrates, but I shun
Temptation and create but one,
In whom the whole unthankful crew
The rich man's air that ever drew
To fat their pauper lungs I fire
Vicarious with vain desire!
From foul Ingratitude's base rout
I pick this hapless devil out,
Bestowing on him all my lands,
My treasures, camels, slaves and bands
Of wives-I give him all this loot,
And throw my blessing in to boot.
Behold, O man, in this bequest
Philanthropy's long wrongs redressed:
To speak me ill that man I dower
With fiercest will who lacks the power.
Allah il Allah! now let him bloat
With rancor till his heart's afloat,
Unable to discharge the wave
Upon his benefactor's grave!'

Forth in their wrath the people came
And swore it was a sin and shame
To trick their blessed mute; and each
Protested, serious of speech,
That though _he'd_ long foreseen the worst
He'd been against it from the first.
By various means they vainly tried
The testament to set aside,
Each ready with his empty purse
To take upon himself the curse;
For _they_ had powers of invective
Enough to make it ineffective.
The ingrates mustered, every man,
And marched in force to Ispahan
(Which had not quite accommodation)
And held a camp of indignation.

The man, this while, who never spoke-
On whom had fallen this thunder-stroke
Of fortune, gave no feeling vent
Nor dropped a clue to his intent.
Whereas no power to him came
His benefactor to defame,
Some (such a length had slander gone to)
Even whispered that he didn't want to!
But none his secret could divine;
If suffering he made no sign,
Until one night as winter neared
From all his haunts he disappeared
Evanished in a doubtful blank
Like little crayfish in a bank,
Their heads retracting for a spell,
And pulling in their holes as well.

All through the land of Gul, the stout
Young Spring is kicking Winter out.
The grass sneaks in upon the scene,
Defacing it with bottle-green.

The stumbling lamb arrives to ply
His restless tail in every eye,
Eats nasty mint to spoil his meat
And make himself unfit to eat.
Madly his throat the bulbul tears
In every grove blasphemes and swears
As the immodest rose displays
Her shameless charms a dozen ways.
Lo! now, throughout the utmost span
Of Ispahan-of Gulistan-
A big new book's displayed in all
The shops and cumbers every stall.
The price is low-the dealers say 'tis-
And the rich are treated to it gratis.
Engraven on its foremost page
These title-words the eye engage:
'The Life of Muley Ben Maroon,
Of Astrabad-Rogue, Thief, Buffoon
And Miser-Liver by the Sweat
Of Better Men: A Lamponette
Composed in Rhyme and Written all
By Meerza Solyman Zingall!'


NEEDLESON _a Sidniduc_
SMILER _a Scheister_
KI-YI _a Trader_
GRIMGHAST _a Spader_
SARALTHIA _a Love-lorn Nymph_
NELLIBRAC _a Sweetun_


_Scene_-a Cemetery in San Francisco.

_Saralthia, Nellibrac, Grimghast._


The red half-moon is dipping to the west,
And the cold fog invades the sleeping land.
Lo! how the grinning skulls in the level light
Litter the place! Methinks that every skull
Is a most lifelike portrait of my Sen,
Drawn by the hand of Death; each fleshless pate,
Cursed with a ghastly grin to eyes unrubbed
With love's magnetic ointment, seems to mine
To smile an amiable smile like his
Whose amiable smile I-I alone
Am able to distinguish from his leer!
See how the gathering coyotes flit
Through the lit spaces, or with burning eyes
Star the black shadows with a steadfast gaze!
About my feet the poddy toads at play,
Bulbously comfortable, try to hop,
And tumble clumsily with all their warts;
While pranking lizards, sliding up and down
My limbs, as they were public roads, impart
A singularly interesting chill.
The circumstance and passion of the time,
The cast and manner of the place-the spirit
Of this confederate environment,
Command the rights we come to celebrate
Obedient to the Inspired Hag-
The seventh daughter of the seventh daughter,
Who rules all destinies from Minna street,
A dollar a destiny. Here at this grave,
Which for my purposes thou, Jack of Spades-
_(To Grimghast_)
Corrupter than the thing that reeks below-
Hast opened secretly, we'll work the charm.
Now what's the hour?
_(Distant clock strikes thirteen_.)
Enough-hale forth the stiff!

_(Grimghast by means of a boat-hook stands the coffin on end
in the excavation; the lid crumbles, exposing the remains of a

Ha! Master Mouldybones, how fare you, sir?


Poorly, I thank your ladyship; I miss
Some certain fingers and an ear or two.
There's something, too, gone wrong with my inside,
And my periphery's not what it was.
How can we serve each other, you and I?


O what a personable man!

_(Blushes bashfully, drops her eyes and twists the corner of
her apron_.)


Yes, dear,
A very proper and alluring male,
And quite superior to Lubin Rroyd,
Who has, however, this distinct advantage-
He is alive.


Missus, these yer remains
Was the boss singer back in '72,
And used to allers git invites to go
Down to Swellmont and sing at every feed.
In t'other Villiam's time, that was, afore
The gent that you've hooked onto bought the place.

THE BODY _(singing):_

Down among the sainted dead
Many years I lay;
Beetles occupied my head,
Moles explored my clay.

There we feasted day and night-
I and bug and beast;
They provided appetite
And I supplied the feast.

The raven is a dicky-bird,

SARALTHIA _(singing):_

The jackal is a daisy,

NELLIBRAC _(singing):_

The wall-mouse is a worthy third,

A SPOOK _(singing):_

But mortals all are crazy.


O mortals all are crazy,
Their intellects are hazy;
In the growing moon they shake their shoon
And trip it in the mazy.

But when the moon is waning,
Their senses they're regaining:
They fall to prayer and from their hair
Remove the straws remaining.


That's right, Rogues Gallery, pray keep it up:
Your song recalls my Villiam's 'Auld Lang Syne,'
What time he came and (like an amorous bird
That struts before the female of its kind,
Warbling to cave her down the bank) piped high
His cracked falsetto out of reach. Enough-
Now let's to business. Nellibrac, sweet child,
St. Cloacina's future devotee,
The time is ripe and rotten-gut the grip!

_(Nellibrac brings forward a valise and takes from it five
articles of clothing, which, one by one, she lays upon the points
of a magic pentagram that has thoughtfully inscribed itself in
lines of light on the wet grass. The Body holds its late lamented

NELLIBRAC _(singing):_

Fragrant socks, by Villiam's toes
Consecrated to the nose;

Shirt that shows the well worn track
Of the knuckles of his back,

Handkerchief with mottled stains,
Into which he blew his brains;

Collar crying out for soap-
Prophet of the future rope;

An unmentionable thing
It would sicken me to sing.


What! _I_ unmentionable? Just you wait!
In all the family journals of the State
You'll sometime see that I'm described at length,
With supereditorial grace and strength.

SARALTHIA _(singing):_

Throw them in the open tomb
They will cause his love to bloom
With an amatory boom!


Hoodoo, hoodoo, voudou-vet
Villiam struggles in the net!
By the power and intent
Of the charm his strength is spent!
By the virtue in each rag
Blessed by the Inspired Hag
He will be a willing victim
Limp as if a donkey kicked him!
By this awful incantation
We decree his animation-

By the magic of our art
Warm the cockles of his heart,
Villiam, if alive or dead,
Thou Saralthia shalt wed!

_(They cast the garments into the grave and push over the
coffin. Grimghast fills up the hole. Hoodoos gradually become
apparent in a phosphorescent light about the grave, holding one
another's back-hair and dancing in a circle.)_


O we're the larrikin hoodoos!
The chirruping, lirruping hoodoos!
We mix things up that the Fates ordain,
Bring back the past and the present detain,
Postpone the future and sometimes tether
The three and drive them abreast together-
We rollicking, frolicking hoodoos!

To us all things are the same as none
And nothing is that is under the sun.
Seven's a dozen and never is then,
Whether is what and what is when,
A man is a tree and a cuckoo a cow
For gold galore and silver enow
To magical, mystical hoodoos!


What monstrous shadow darkens all the place,

_(Enter Smyler.)_

Flung like a doom athwart-ha!-thou?
Portentous presence, art thou not the same
That stalks with aspect horrible among
Small youths and maidens, baring snaggy teeth,
Champing their tender limbs till crimson spume,
Flung from, thy lips in cursing God and man,
Incarnadines the land?


Thou dammid slut!

_(Exit Smyler.)_


O what a pretty man!


Now who is next?
Of tramps and casuals this graveyard seems
Prolific to a fault!

_(Enter Needleson, exhaling, prophetically, an odor of decayed
eggs and, actually, one of unlaundried linen. He darts an
intense regard at an adjacent marble angel and places his open
hand behind his ear.)_


_(Exit Needleson.)_


Sweet, sweet male!
I yearn to play at Copenhagen with him!

_(Blushes diligently and energetically.)_


Hoodoos, hoodoos, disappear-
Some dread deity draws near!

_(Exeunt Hoodos.)_

Smitten with a sense of doom,
The dead are cowering in the tomb,
Seas are calling, stars are falling
And appalling is the gloom!
Fragmentary flames are flung
Through the air the trees among!
Lo! each hill inclines its head-
Earth is bending 'neath his thread!

_(On the contrary, enter Villiam on a chip, navigating an
odor of mignonette. Saralthia springs forward to put him in
her pocket, but he is instantly retracted by an invisible string.
She falls headlong, breaking her heart. Reenter Villiam,
Needleson, Smyler. All gather about Saralthia, who loudly
laments her accident. The Spirit of Tar-and Feathers, rising
like a black smoke in their midst, executes a monstrous wink of
graphic and vivid significance, then contemplates them with an
obviously baptismal intention. The cross on Lone Mountain
takes fire, splendoring the Peninsula. Tableau. Curtain.)

A Wreath Of Immortelles


_(After Pope)_

Here rests a writer, great but not immense,
Born destitute of feeling and of sense.
No power he but o'er his brain desired
How not to suffer it to be inspired.
Ideas unto him were all unknown,
Proud of the words which, only, were his own.
So unreflecting, so confused his mind,
Torpid in error, indolently blind,
A fever Heaven, to quicken him, applied,
But, rather than revive, the sluggard died.

* * * * *


Pause, stranger-whence you lightly tread
Bill Carr's immoral part has fled.
For him no heart of woman burned,
But all the rivers' heads he turned.
Alas! he now lifts up his eyes
In torment and for water cries,
Entreating that he may procure
One dropp to cool his parched McClure!

* * * * *


Here's crowbait!-ravens, too, and daws
Flock hither to advance their caws,
And, with a sudden courage armed,
Devour the foe who once alarmed-
In life and death a fair deceit:
Nor strong to harm nor good to eat.
King bogey of the scarecrow host,
When known the least affrighting most,
Though light his hand (his mind was dark)
He left on earth a straw Berry mark.

* * * * *


He preached that sickness he could floor
By prayer and by commanding;
When sick himself he sent for four
Physicians in good standing.
He was struck dead despite their care,
For, fearing their dissension,
He secretly put up a prayer,
Thus drawing God's attention.

* * * * *

Cynic perforce from studying mankind
In the false volume of his single mind,
He damned his fellows for his own unworth,
And, bad himself, thought nothing good on earth.
Yet, still so judging and so erring still,
Observing well, but understanding ill,
His learning all was got by dint of sight,
And what he learned by day he lost by night.
When hired to flatter he would never cease
Till those who'd paid for praises paid for peace.
Not wholly miser and but half a knave,
He yearned to squander but he lived to save,
And did not, for he could not, cheat the grave.
_Hic jacet_ Pixley, scribe and muleteer:
Step lightly, stranger, anywhere but here.

* * * * *

McAllister, of talents rich and rare,
Lies at this spot at finish of his race.
Alike to him if it is here or there:
The one spot that he cared for was the ace.

* * * * *

Here lies Joseph Redding, who gave us the catfish.
He dined upon every fish except that fish.
'Twas touching to hear him expounding his fad
With a heart full of zeal and a mouth full of shad.
The catfish miaowed with unspeakable woe
When Death, the lone fisherman, landed their Jo.

* * * * *

Judge Sawyer, whom in vain the people tried
To push from power, here is laid aside.
Death only from the bench could ever start
The sluggish load of his immortal part.

* * * * *

John Irish went, one luckless day,
To loaf and fish at San Jose.
He got no loaf, he got no fish:
They brained him with an empty dish!
They laid him in this place asleep-
O come, ye crocodiles, and weep.

* * * * *

In Sacramento City here
This wooden monument we rear
In memory of Dr. May,
Whose smile even Death could not allay.
He's buried, Heaven alone knows where,
And only the hyenas care;
This May-pole merely marks the spot
Where, ere the wretch began to rot,
Fame's trumpet, with its brazen bray,
Bawled; 'Who (and why) was Dr. May?'

* * * * *

Dennis Spencer's mortal coil
Here is laid away to spoil-
Great riparian, who said
Not a stream should leave its bed.
Now his soul would like a river
Turned upon its parching liver.

* * * * *

For those this mausoleum is erected
Who Stanford to the Upper House elected.
Their luck is less or their promotion slower,
For, dead, they were elected to the Lower.

* * * * *

Beneath this stone lies Reuben Lloyd,
Of breath deprived, of sense devoid.
The Templars' Captain-General, he
So formidable seemed to be,
That had he not been on his back
Death ne'er had ventured to attack.

* * * * *

Here lies Barnes in all his glory-
Master he of oratOry.
When he died the people weeping,
(For they thought him only sleeping)
Cried: 'Although he now is quiet
And his tongue is not a riot,
Soon, the spell that binds him breaking,
He a motion will be making.
Then, alas, he'll rise and speak
In support of it a week.'

* * * * *

Rash mortal! stay thy feet and look around
This vacant tomb as yet is holy ground;
But soon, alas! Jim Fair will occupy
These premises-then, holiness, good-bye!

* * * * *

Here Salomon's body reposes;
Bring roses, ye rebels, bring roses.
Set all of your drumsticks a-rolling,
Discretion and Valor extrolling:
Discretion-he always retreated
And Valor-the dead he defeated.
Brings roses, ye loyal, bring roses:
As patriot here he re-poses.

* * * * *

When Waterman ended his bright career
He left his wet name to history here.
To carry it with him he did not care:
'Twould tantalize spirits of statesmen There.

* * * * *

Here lie the remains of Fred Emerson Brooks,
A poet, as every one knew by his looks
Who hadn't unluckily met with his books.

On civic occasions he sprang to the fore
With poems consisting of stanzas three score.
The men whom they deafened enjoyed them the more.

Of reason his fantasy knew not the check:
All forms of inharmony came at his beck.
The weight of his ignorance fractured his neck.

In this peaceful spot, so the grave-diggers say,
With pen, ink and paper they laid him away-
The Poet-elect of the Judgment Day.

* * * * *

George Perry here lies stiff and stark,
With stone at foot and stone at head.
His heart was dark, his mind was dark
'Ignorant ass!' the people said.

Not ignorant but skilled, alas,
In all the secrets of his trade:
He knew more ways to be an ass
Than any ass that ever brayed.

* * * * *

Here lies the last of Deacon Fitch,
Whose business was to melt the pitch.
Convenient to this sacred spot
Lies Sammy, who applied it, hot.
'Tis hard-so much alike they smell

One's grave from t'other's grave to tell,
But when his tomb the Deacon's burst
(Of two he'll always be the first)
He'll see by studying the stones
That he's obtained his proper bones,
Then, seeking Sammy's vault, unlock it,
And put that person in his pocket.

* * * * *

Beneath this stone O'Donnell's tongue's at rest
Our noses by his spirit still addressed.
Living or dead, he's equally Satanic
His noise a terror and his smell a panic.

* * * * *

When Gabriel blows a dreadful blast
And swears that Time's forever past,
Days, weeks, months, years all one at last,
Then Asa Fiske, laid here, distressed,
Will beat (and skin his hand) his breast:
There'll be no rate of interest!

* * * * *

Step lightly, stranger: here Jerome B. Cox
Is for the second time in a bad box.
He killed a man-the labor party rose
And showed him by its love how killing goes.

* * * * *

When Vrooman here lay down to sleep,
The other dead awoke to weep.
'Since he no longer lives,' they said
'Small honor comes of being dead.'

* * * * *

Here Porter Ashe is laid to rest
Green grows the grass upon his breast.
This patron of the turf, I vow,
Ne'er served it half so well as now.

* * * * *

Like a cold fish escaping from its tank,
Hence fled the soul of Joe Russel, crank.
He cried: 'Cold water!' roaring like a beast.
'Twas thrown upon him and the music ceased.

* * * * *

Here Estee rests. He shook a basket,
When, like a jewel from its casket,
Fell Felton out. Said Estee, shouting
With mirth; 'I've given you an outing.'
Then told him to go back. He wouldn't.
Then tried to _put_ him back. He couldn't.
So Estee died (his blood congealing
In Felton's growing shadow) squealing.

* * * * *

Mourn here for one Bruner, called Elwood.
He doesn't-he never did-smell good
To noses of critics and scholars.
If now he'd an office to sell could
He sell it? O, no-where (in Hell) could
He find a cool four hundred dollars?

* * * * *

Here Stanford lies, who thought it odd
That he should go to meet his God.
He looked, until his eyes grew dim,
For God to hasten to meet him.

Ye Idyll Of Ye Hippopopotamus

With a Methodist hymn in his musical throat,
The Sun was emitting his ultimate note;
His quivering larynx enwrinkled the sea
Like an Ichthyosaurian blowing his tea;
When sweetly and pensively rattled and rang
This plaint which an Hippopopotamus sang:

'O, Camomile, Calabash, Cartilage-pie,
Spread for my spirit a peppermint fry;
Crown me with doughnuts, and drape me with cheese,
Settle my soul with a codliver sneeze.
Lo, how I stand on my head and repine-
Lollipop Lumpkin can never be mine!'

Down sank the Sun with a kick and a plunge,
Up from the wave rose the head of a Sponge;
Ropes in his ringlets, eggs in his eyes,
Tip-tilted nose in a way to surprise.
These the conundrums he flung to the breeze,
The answers that Echo returned to him these:

'Cobblestone, Cobblestone, why do you sigh-
Why do you turn on the tears?'
'My mother is crazy on strawberry jam,
And my father has petrified ears.'

'Liverwort, Liverwort, why do you droop-
Why do you snuffle and scowl?'

'My brother has cockle-burs into his eyes,
And my sister has married an owl.'

'Simia, Simia, why do you laugh-
Why do you cackle and quake?'

'My son has a pollywog stuck in his throat,
And my daughter has bitten a snake.'

Slow sank the head of the Sponge out of sight,
Soaken with sea-water-then it was night.
The Moon had now risen for dinner to dress,
When sweetly the Pachyderm sang from his nest;
He sang through a pestle of silvery shape,
Encrusted with custard-empurpled with crape;
And this was the burden he bore on his lips,
And blew to the listening Sturgeon that sips
From the fountain of opium under the lobes
Of the mountain whose summit in buffalo robes
The winter envelops, as Venus adorns
An elephant's trunk with a chaplet of thorns:

'Chasing mastodons through marshes upon stilts of light ratan,
Hunting spiders with a shotgun and mosquitoes with an axe,
Plucking peanuts ready roasted from the branches of the oak,
Waking echoes in the forest with our hymns of blessed bosh,
We roamed-my love and I.
By the margin of the fountain spouting thick with clabbered milk,
Under spreading boughs of bass-wood all alive with cooing toads,
Loafing listlessly on bowlders of octagonal design,
Standing gracefully inverted with our toes together knit,

We loved-my love and I.'
Hippopopotamus comforts his heart
Biting half-moons out of strawberry tart.
Epitaph on George Francis Train.
(Inscribed on a Pork-barrel.)
Beneath this casket rots unknown
A Thing that merits not a stone,
Save that by passing urchin cast;
Whose fame and virtues we express
By transient urn of emptiness,
With apt inscription (to its past
Relating-and to his): 'Prime Mess.'
No honour had this infidel,
That doth not appertain, as well,
To altered caitiff on the drop;
No wit that would not likewise pass
For wisdom in the famished ass
Who breaks his neck a weed to crop,
When tethered in the luscious grass.
And now, thank God, his hateful name
Shall never rescued be from shame,
Though seas of venal ink be shed;
No sophistry shall reconcile
With sympathy for Erin's Isle,
Or sorrow for her patriot dead,
The weeping of this crocodile.
Life's incongruity is past,
And dirt to dirt is seen at last,
The worm of worm afoul doth fall.
The sexton tolls his solemn bell
For scoundrel dead and gone to-well,
It matters not, it can't recall
This convict from his final cell.
Jerusalem, Old and New.
Didymus Dunkleton Doty Don John
Is a parson of high degree;
He holds forth of Sundays to marvelling crowds
Who wonder how vice can still be
When smitten so stoutly by Didymus Don-
Disciple of Calvin is he.
But sinners still laugh at his talk of the New
Jerusalem-ha-ha, te-he!
And biting their thumbs at the doughty Don-John
This parson of high degree-
They think of the streets of a village they know,
Where horses still sink to the knee,
Contrasting its muck with the pavement of gold
That's laid in the other citee.
They think of the sign that still swings, uneffaced
By winds from the salt, salt sea,
Which tells where he trafficked in tipple, of yore-
Don Dunkleton Johnny, D. D.
Didymus Dunkleton Doty Don John
Still plays on his fiddle-D. D.,
His lambkins still bleat in full psalmody sweet,
And the devil still pitches the key.
Communing with Nature.
One evening I sat on a heavenward hill,
The winds were asleep and all nature was still,
Wee children came round me to play at my knee,
As my mind floated rudderless over the sea.
I put out one hand to caress them, but held
With the other my nose, for these cherubim smelled.
I cast a few glances upon the old sun;
He was red in the face from the race he had run,
But he seemed to be doing, for aught I could see,
Quite well without any assistance from me.
And so I directed my wandering eye
Around to the opposite side of the sky,
And the rapture that ever with ecstasy thrills
Through the heart as the moon rises bright from the hills,
Would in this case have been most exceedingly rare,
Except for the fact that the moon was not there.
But the stars looked right lovingly down in the sea,
And, by Jupiter, Venus was winking at me!
The gas in the city was flaring up bright,
Montgomery Street was resplendent with light;
But I did not exactly appear to advance
A sentiment proper to that circumstance.
So it only remains to explain to the town
That a rainstorm came up before I could come down.
As the boots I had on were uncommonly thin
My fancy leaked out as the water leaked in.
Though dampened my ardour, though slackened my strain,
I'll 'strike the wild lyre' who sings the sweet rain!
Conservatism and Progress.
Old Zephyr, dawdling in the West,
Looked down upon the sea,
Which slept unfretted at his feet,
And balanced on its breast a fleet
That seemed almost to be
Suspended in the middle air,
As if a magnet held it there,
Eternally at rest.
Then, one by one, the ships released
Their folded sails, and strove
Against the empty calm to press
North, South, or West, or East,
In vain; the subtle nothingness
Was impotent to move.
Ten Zephyr laughed aloud to see:
'No vessel moves except by me,
And, heigh-ho! I shall sleep.'
But lo! from out the troubled North
A tempest strode impatient forth,
And trampled white the deep;
The sloping ships flew glad away,
Laving their heated sides in spray.
The West then turned him red with wrath,
And to the North he shouted:
'Hold there! How dare you cross my path,
As now you are about it?'
The North replied with laboured breath-
His speed no moment slowing:-
'My friend, you'll never have a path,
Unless you take to blowing.'
Inter Arma Silent Leges.
(An Election Incident.)
About the polls the freedmen drew,
To vote the freemen down;
And merrily their caps up-flew
As Grant rode through the town.
From votes to staves they next did turn,
And beat the freemen down;
Full bravely did their valour burn
As Grant rode through the town.
Then staves for muskets they forsook,
And shot the freemen down;
Right royally their banners shook
As Grant rode through the town.
Hail, final triumph of our cause!
Hail, chief of mute renown!
Grim Magistrate of Silent Laws,
A-riding freedom down!

'To produce these spicy paragraphs, which have been unsuccessfully imitated by every newspaper in the State, requires the combined efforts of five able-bodied persons associated on the editorial staff of this journal.'-New York Herald.

Sir Muscle speaks, and nations bend the ear:

'Hark ye these Notes-our wit quintuple hear;
Five able-bodied editors combine
Their strength prodigious in each laboured line!'
O wondrous vintner! hopeless seemed the task
To bung these drainings in a single cask;
The riddle's read-five leathern skins contain
The working juice, and scarcely feel the strain.
Saviours of Rome! will wonders never cease?
A ballad cackled by five tuneful geese!
Upon one Rosinante five stout knights
Ride fiercely into visionary fights!
A cap and bells five sturdy fools adorn,
Five porkers battle for a grain of corn,
Five donkeys squeeze into a narrow stall,
Five tumble-bugs propel a single ball!
Dawns dread and red the fateful morn
Lo, Resurrection's Day is born!
The striding sea no longer strides,
No longer knows the trick of tides;
The land is breathless, winds relent,
All nature waits the dread event.
From wassail rising rather late,
Awarding Jove arrives in state;
O'er yawning graves looks many a league,
Then yawns himself from sheer fatigue.
Lifting its finger to the sky,
A marble shaft arrests his eye
This epitaph, in pompous pride,
Engraven on its polished side:
'Perfection of Creation's plan,
Here resteth Universal Man,
Who virtues, segregated wide,
Collated, classed, and codified,
Reduced to practice, taught, explained,
And strict morality maintained.
Anticipating death, his pelf
He lavished on this monolith;
Because he leaves nor kin nor kith
He rears this tribute to himself,
That Virtue's fame may never cease.
Hic jacet-let him rest in peace!'
With sober eye Jove scanned the shaft,
Then turned away and lightly laughed
'Poor Man! since I have careless been
In keeping books to note thy sin,
And thou hast left upon the earth
This faithful record of thy worth,
Thy final prayer shall now be heard:
Of life I'll not renew thy lease,
But take thee at thy carven word,
And let thee rest in solemn peace!'

Aspirants Three


DE YOUNG _a Brother to Mushrooms_

SWIFT _an Heirloom_
ESTEE _a Relic_



_Scene_-The Political Graveyard at Bone Mountain.


This is the spot agreed upon. Here rest
The sainted statesman who upon the field
Of honor have at various times laid down
Their own, and ended, ignominious,
Their lives political. About me, lo!
Their silent headstones, gilded by the moon,
Half-full and near her setting-midnight. Hark!
Through the white mists of this portentous night
(Which throng in moving shapes about my way,
As they were ghosts of candidates I've slain,
To fray their murderer) my open ear,
Spacious to maw the noises of the world,
Engulfs a footstep.
(_Enter Estee from his tomb._)
Ah, 'tis he, my foe,
True to appointment; and so here we fight
Though truly 'twas my firm belief that he
Would send regrets, or I had not been here.


O moon that hast so oft surprised the deeds
Whereby I rose to greatness!-tricksy orb,
The type and symbol of my politics,
Now draw my ebbing fortunes to their flood,
As, by the magic of a poultice, boils
That burn ambitions with defeated fires
Are lifted into eminence.
(_Sees De Young._)
What? you!
Faith, if I had suspected you would come
From the fair world of politics wherein
So lately you were whelped, and which, alas,
I vainly to revisit strive, though still
Rapped on the rotting head and bidden sleep
Till Resurrection's morn,-if I had thought
You would accept the challenge that I flung
I would have seen you damned ere I came forth
In the night air, shroud-clad and shivering,
To fight so mean a thing! But since you're here,
Draw and defend yourself. By gad, we'll _see_
Who'll be Postmaster-General!


We will-
I'll fight (for I am lame) with any blue
And redolent remain that dares aspire
To wreck the Grand Old Grandson's cabinet.
Here's at you, nosegay!

(_They draw tongues and are about to fight, when from an
adjacent whited sepulcher, enter Swift._)


Hold! put up your tongues!
Within the confines of this sacred spot
Broods such a holy calm as none may break
By clash of weapons, without sacrilege.
(_Beats down their tongues with a bone._)
Madmen! what profits it? For though you fought
With such heroic skill that both survived,
Yet neither should achieve the prize, for I
Would wrest it from him. Let us not contend,
But friendliwise by stipulation fix
A slate for mutual advantage. Why,
Having the pick and choice of seats, should we
Forego them all but one? Nay, we'll take three,
And part them so among us that to each
Shall fall the fittest to his powers. In brief,
Let us establish a Portfolio Trust.




Aye, truly, 'tis a greed-and one
The offices imperfectly will sate,
But I'll stand in.


Well, so 'tis understood,
As you're the junior member of the Trust,
Politically younger and undead,
Speak, Michael: what portfolio do you choose?


I've thought the Postal service best would serve
My interest; but since I have my pick,
I'll take the War Department. It is known
Throughout the world, from Market street to Pine,
(For a Chicago journal told the tale)
How in this hand I lately took my life
And marched against great Buckley, thundering
My mandate that he count the ballots fair!
Earth heard and shrank to half her size! Yon moon,
Which rivaled then a liver's whiteness, paused
That night at Butchertown and daubed her face
With sheep's blood! Then my serried rank I drew
Back to my stronghold without loss. To mark
My care in saving human life and limb,
The Peace Society bestowed on me
Its leather medal and the title, too,
Of Colonel. Yes, my genius is for war. Good land!
I naturally dote on a brass band!


O, give me a life on the tented field,
Where the cannon roar and ring,
Where the flag floats free and the foemen yield
And bleed as the bullets sing.
But be it not mine to wage the fray
Where matters are ordered the other way,
For that is a different thing.

O, give me a life in the fierce campaign-
Let it be the life of my foe:
I'd rather fall upon him than the plain;
That service I'd fain forego.
O, a warrior's life is fine and free,
But a warrior's death-ah me! ah me!
That's a different thing, you know.


Some claim I might myself advance to that
Portfolio. When Rebellion raised its head,
And you, my friends, stayed meekly in your shirts,
I marched with banners to the party stump,
Spat on my hands, made faces fierce as death,
Shook my two fists at once and introduced
Brave resolutions terrible to read!
Nay, only recently, as you do know,
I conquered Treason by the word of mouth,
And slew, with Samson's weapon, the whole South!


You once fought Stanford, too.


Enough of that-
Give me the Interior and I'll devote
My mind to agriculture and improve
The breed of cabbages, especially
The _Brassica Celeritatis_, named
For _you_ because in days of long ago
You sold it at your market stall,-and, faith,
'Tis said you were an honest huckster then.
I'll be Attorney-General if you
Prefer; for know I am a lawyer too!


I never have heard that!-did you, De Young?


Never, so help me! And I swear I've heard
A score of Judges say that he is not.

SWIFT (_to Estee_):

You take the Interior. I might aspire
To military station too, for once
I led my party into Pixley's camp,
And he paroled me. I defended, too,
The State of Oregon against the sharp
And bloody tooth of the Australian sheep.
But I've an aptitude exceeding neat
For bloodless battles of diplomacy.
My cobweb treaty of Exclusion once,
Through which a hundred thousand coolies sailed,
Was much admired, but most by Colonel Bee.
Though born a tinker I'm a diplomat
From old Missouri, and I-ha! what's that?

(_Exit Moon. Enter Blue Lights on all the tombs, and a circle of Red Fire on the grass; in the center the Spirit of Broken Hopes, and round about, a Troupe of Coffins, dancing and singing._)


Two bodies dead and one alive-
Yo, ho, merrily all!
Now for boodle strain and strive-
Buzzards all a-warble, O!
Prophets three, agape for bread;
Raven with a stone instead-
Providential raven!
Judges two and Colonel one-
Run, run, rustics, run!
But it's O, the pig is shaven,
And oily, oily all!

(_Exeunt Coffins, dancing. The Spirit of Broken Hopes advances, solemnly pointing at each of the Three Worthies in turn._)


Governor, Governor, editor man,
Rusty, musty, spick-and-span,
Harlequin, harridan, dicky-dout,
Demagogue, charlatan-o, u, t, OUT!
(_De Young falls and sleeps._)

Antimonopoler, diplomat,
Railroad lackey, political rat,
One, two, three-SCAT!
(_Swift falls and sleeps._)

Boycotting chin-worker, working to woo
Fortune, the fickle, to smile upon _you_,
Jo-coated acrobat, shuttle-cock-SHOO!
(_Estee falls and sleeps._)

Now they lie in slumber sweet,
Now the charm is all complete,
Hasten I with flying feet
Where beyond the further sea
A babe upon its mother's knee
Is gazing into skies afar
And crying for a golden star.
I'll drag a cloud across the blue
And break that infant's heart in two!

(_Exeunt the Spirit of Broken Hopes and the Red and Blue Fires. Re-enter Moon._)

ESTEE (_waking_):

Why, this is strange! I dreamed I know not what,
It seemed that certain apparitions were,
Which sang uncanny words, significant
And yet ambiguous-half-understood
Portending evil; and an awful spook,
Even as I stood with my accomplices,
Counted me out, as children do in play.
Is that you, Mike?

DE YOUNG _(waking):_

It was.

SWIFT _(waking):_

Am I all that?
Then I'll reform my ways.
_(Reforms his ways.)_
Ah! had I known
How sweet it is to be an honest man
I never would have stooped to turn my coat
For public favor, as chameleons take
The hue (as near as they can judge) of that
Supporting them. Henceforth I'll buy
With money all the offices I need,
And know the pleasure of an honest life,
Or stay forever in this dismal place.
Now that I'm good, it will no longer do
To make a third with such, a wicked two.
_(Returns to his tomb.)_


Prophetic dream! by some good angel sent
To make me with a quiet life content.
The question shall no more my bosom irk,
To go to Washington or go to work.
From Fame's debasing struggle I'll withdraw,
And taking up the pen lay down the law.
I'll leave this rogue, lest my example make
An honest man of him-his heart would break.
_(Exit De Young.)_


Out of my company these converts flee,
But that advantage is denied to me:
My curst identity's confining skin
Nor lets me out nor tolerates me in.
Well, since my hopes eternally have fled,
And, dead before, I'm more than ever dead,
To find a grander tomb be now my task,
And pack my pork into a stolen cask.
_(Exit, searching. Loud calls for the Author, who appears, bowing and smiling_.)

AUTHOR _(singing):_

Jack Satan's the greatest of gods,
And Hell is the best of abodes.
'Tis reached, through the Valley of Clods,
By seventy different roads.
Hurrah for the Seventy Roads!
Hurrah for the clods that resound
With a hollow, thundering sound!
Hurrah for the Best of Abodes!

We'll serve him as long as we've breath
Jack Satan the greatest of gods.
To all of his enemies, death!
A home in the Valley of Clods.
Hurrah for the thunder of clods
That smother the soul of his foe!
Hurrah for the spirits that go
To dwell with the Greatest of Gods;

_(Curtain falls to faint odor of mortality. Exit the Gas_.)