Chicago Weather

To-day, fair Thisbe, winsome girl!
Strays o'er the meads where daisies blow,
Or, ling'ring where the brooklets purl,
Laves in the cool, refreshing flow.
To-morrow, Thisbe, with a host
Of amorous suitors in her train,
Comes like a goddess forth to coast
Or skate upon the frozen main.
To-day, sweet posies mark her track,
While birds sing gayly in the trees;
To-morrow morn, her sealskin sack
Defies the piping polar breeze.
So Doris is to-day enthused
By Thisbe's soft, responsive sighs,
And on the morrow is confused
By Thisbe's cold, repellent eyes.

by Eugene Field.

Hymn For The Fair At Chicago

O GOD! in danger's darkest hour,
In battle's deadliest field,
Thy name has been our Nation's tower,
Thy truth her help and shield.

Our lips should fill the air with praise,
Nor pay the debt we owe,
So high above the songs we raise
The floods of mercy flow.

Yet Thou wilt hear the prayer we speak,
The song of praise we sing,--
Thy children, who thine altar seek
Their grateful gifts to bring.

Thine altar is the sufferer's bed,
The home of woe and pain,
The soldier's turfy pillow, red
With battle's crimson rain.

No smoke of burning stains the air,
No incense-clouds arise;
Thy peaceful servants, Lord, prepare
A bloodless sacrifice.

Lo! for our wounded brothers' need,
We bear the wine and oil;
For us they faint, for us they bleed,
For them our gracious toil!

O Father, bless the gifts we bring!
Cause Thou thy face to shine,
Till every nation owns her King,
And all the earth is thine.

by Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Men said at vespers: 'All is well!'
In one wild night the city fell;
Fell shrines of prayer and marts of gain
Before the fiery hurricane.

On threescore spires had sunset shone,
Where ghastly sunrise looked on none.
Men clasped each other's hands, and said
'The City of the West is dead!'

Brave hearts who fought, in slow retreat,
The fiends of fire from street to street,
Turned, powerless, to the blinding glare,
The dumb defiance of despair.

A sudden impulse thrilled each wire
That signalled round that sea of fire;
Swift words of cheer, warm heart-throbs came;
In tears of pity died the flame!

From East, from West, from South and North,
The messages of hope shot forth,
And, underneath the severing wave,
The world, full-handed, reached to save.

Fair seemed the old; but fairer still
The new, the dreary void shall fill
With dearer homes than those o'erthrown,
For love shall lay each corner-stone.

Rise, stricken city! from thee throw
The ashen sackcloth of thy woe;
And build, as to Amphion's strain,
To songs of cheer thy walls again!

How shrivelled in thy hot distress
The primal sin of selfishness!
How instant rose, to take thy part,
The angel in the human heart!

Ah! not in vain the flames that tossed
Above thy dreadful holocaust;
The Christ again has preached through thee
The Gospel of Humanity!

Then lift once more thy towers on high,
And fret with spires the western sky,
To tell that God is yet with us,
And love is still miraculous!

by John Greenleaf Whittier.

Welcome To The Chicago Commercial Club

January 14, 1880

CHICAGO sounds rough to the maker of verse;
One comfort we have--Cincinnati sounds worse;
If we only were licensed to say Chicago!
But Worcester and Webster won't let us, you know.

No matter, we songsters must sing as we can;
We can make some nice couplets with Lake Michigan,
And what more resembles a nightingale's voice,
Than the oily trisyllable, sweet Illinois?

Your waters are fresh, while our harbor is salt,
But we know you can't help it--it is n't your fault;
Our city is old and your city is new,
But the railroad men tell us we're greener than you.

You have seen our gilt dome, and no doubt you've been told
That the orbs of the universe round it are rolled;
But I'll own it to you, and I ought to know best,
That this is n't quite true of all stars of the West.

You'll go to Mount Auburn,--we'll show you the track,--
And can stay there,--unless you prefer to come back;
And Bunker's tall shaft you can climb if you will,
But you'll puff like a paragraph praising a pill.

You must see--but you have seen--our old Faneuil Hall,
Our churches, our school-rooms, our sample-rooms, all;
And, perhaps, though the idiots must have their jokes,
You have found our good people much like other folks.

There are cities by rivers, by lakes, and by seas,
Each as full of itself as a cheese-mite of cheese;
And a city will brag as a game-cock will crow
Don't your cockerels at home--just a little, you know?

But we'll crow for you now--here's a health to the boys,
Men, maidens, and matrons of fair Illinois,
And the rainbow of friendship that arches its span
From the green of the sea to the blue Michigan!

by Oliver Wendell Holmes.

The Great Chicago Fire

The great Chicago Fire, friends,
Will never be forgot;
In the history of Chicago
It will remain a darken spot.
It was a dreadful horrid sight
To see that City in flames;
But no human aid could save it,
For all skill was tried in vain.

In the year of 1871,
In October on the 8th,
The people in that City, then
Was full of life, and great.
Less than four days it lay in ruins,
That garden City, so great
Lay smouldering in ashes,
In a sad and pitiful state.

It was a sad, sad scene indeed,
To see the fire arise,
And hear the crackling of the flames
As it almost reached the skies,
And sadder still, to hear the moans,
Of people in the flames
Cry for help, and none could get,
Ah, die where they remained.

To see the people run for life;
Up and down the blazing streets,
To find then, their escape cut off
By the fiery flaming sheets,
And others hunting for some friend
That perhaps they never found,
Such weeping, wailing, never was known,
For a thousands miles around.

Some people were very wealthy
On the morning of the 10th.
But at the close of the evening,
Was poor, but felt content,
Glad to escape from harm with life
With friends they loved so well,
Some will try to gain more wisdom,
By the sad sight they beheld.

Five thousand people were homeless,
Sad wanderers in the streets,
With no shelter to cover them,
And no food had they to eat.
They wandered down by the lake side,
Lay down on the cold damp ground,
So tired and weary and homeless,
So the rich, the poor, was found.

Mothers with dear little infants,
Some clinging to the breast.
People of every description
All laid down there to rest,
With the sky as their covering,
Ah, pillows they had none.
Sad, oh sad, it must have been,
For those poor homeless ones.

Neighboring Cities sent comfort,
To the poor lone helpless ones,
And God will not forget them
In all the years to come.
Now the City of Chicago
Is built up anew once more,
And may it never be visited
With such a great fire no more.

by Julia Ann Moore.

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