Изображения страниц

If you saw papa's picture, as taken
By Brady, and tinted at that,
You'd never suspect he sold bacon
And flour at Poverty Flat.

And yet, just this moment, when

sitting In the glare of the grand chandelier, In the bustle and glitter befitting The “finest soirée of the year," In the mists of a gaze de chambéry And the hum of the smallest of

talk, Somehow, Joe, I thought of “The

And the dance that we had on


But goodness! what nonsense I'm

writing! (Mamma says my taste still is low,) Instead of my triumphs reciting, I'm spooning on Joseph, -heigh-ho! And I'm to be “finished” by travel, Whatever's the meaning of that, O, why did papa strike pay gravel In drifting on Poverty Flat? Good-night, - here's the end of my

paper; Good-night, if the longitude

please, For maybe, while wasting my taper, Your sun's climbing over the trees. But know, if you haven't got riches, And are poor, dearest Joe, and all that, That my heart's somewhere there in

the ditches, And you've struck it, - on Poverty Flat.


« The

Of Harrison's barn, with its muster
Of flags festooned over the wall;
Of the candles that shed their soft

lustre And tallow on head-dress and shawl; Of the steps that we took to one fid

dle; Of the dress of my queer vis-a-vis; And how I once went down the

middle With the man that shot Sandy





Of the moon that was quietly sleep

ing On the hill, when the time came to

Of the few baby peaks that were

peeping From under their bed-clothes of

snow; Of that ride, - that to me was the

rarest; Of - the something you said at the

gate: Ah, Joe, then I wasn't an heiress To “the best-paying lead in the


[blocks in formation]

Well, well, it's all past; yet it's funny
To think, as I stood in the glare
Of fashion and beauty and money,
That I should be thinking, right

there, Of some one who breasted high water, And swam the North Fork, and

all that, Just to dance with old Folinsbee's

daughter, The Lily of Poverty Flat.

To the end, - and the end came

too soon. That a slight illness kept him your

debtor (Which for weeks he was wild as a

loon), That his spirits are buoyant as yours

is; That with you, Miss, he challen(Which the language that invalid uses

At times it were vain to relate).

ges Fate,

And he says that the mountains are

fairer For once being held in your

thought; That each rock holds a wealth that

is rarer Than ever by gold-seeker sought (Which are words he would put in

these pages, By a party not given to guile; Which ih, same not, at date, paying

wages, Might produce in the sinful a


He's asleep — which the same might

seem strange, Miss, Were it not that I scorn to deny That I raised his last dose for a

change, Miss, In view that his fever was high, But he lies there quite peaceful and

ensive; And, now, my respects, Miss, to

you; Which, my language, although com

prehensive, Might seem to be freedom — it's


He remembers the ball at the Ferry,

And the ride, and the gate, and

the vow,

And the rose that you gave him

that very

Which I have a small favor to ask

you, As concerns a bull-pup, which the

same If the duty would not overtask you You would please to procure for

me, game, And send per express to the Flat,

Miss, Which they say York is famed for

the breed, Which though words of deceit may

be that — Miss, I'll trust to your taste, Miss, in


Same rose he is treasuring now; (Which his blanket he's kicked on

his trunk, Miss, And insists on his legs being free; And his language to me from his

bunk, Miss, Is frequent and painful and free.) He hopes you are wearing no willows, But are happy and gay all the

while; That he knows — (which this dodg

ing of pillows Imparts but small ease to the style, And the same you will pardon) –

he knows, Miss, That, though parted by many a

mile, Yet, were he lying under the snows,

They'd melt into tears at your


P. s. Which this same interfering

In other folks' ways I despise Yet, if so be I was hearing That it's just empty pockets as

lies Betwixt you and Joseph — it follers

That, having no family claims, Here's

's my pile — which it's six hun

dred dollars,
As is, yours, with respects,



And you'll still think of him in your

pleasures, In your brief twilight-dreams of

the past, In this green laurel-spray that he

treasures. It was plucked where your parting

was last. In this specimen - but a small tri

fle It will do for a pin for your shawl; (Which the truth not to wickedly

stifle, Was his last week's “clean up”. and his all.)

“THERE is no God," the wicked

saith, “And truly it's a blessing, For what he might have done with us It's better only guessing.” “There is no God," a youngster

thinks, “ Or really if there may be, He surely didn't mean a man Always to be a baby.”

[blocks in formation]

GRANDMOTHER's mother; her age,

I guess, Thirteen summers, or something

less; Girlish bust, but womanly air, Smooth, square forehead, with up

rolled hair, Lips that lover has never kissed, Taper fingers and slender wrist, Hanging sleeves of stiff brocade – So they painted the little maid. On her land a parrot green Sits ummoving and broods serene; Hold up the canvas full in view Look! there's a rent the light shines

through, Dark with a century's fringe of

dust, That was a Red-Coat's rapier-thrust! Such is the tale the lady old, Dorothy's daughter's daughter, told.

What if a hundred years ago
Those close-shut lips had answered,

When forth the tremulous question

came That cost the maiden her Norman

name; And under the folds that look so still The bodice swelled with the bosom's

thrill? Should I be I, or would it be One-tenth another to nine-tenths


Soft is the breath of a maiden's Yes: Not the light gossamer stirs with

less; But never a cable that holds so fast Through all the battles of wave and

blast, And never an echo of speech or song That lives in the babbling air so


[blocks in formation]

Wealth's wasteful tricks I will not

learn, Nor ape the glittering upstart

fool; Shall not carved tables serve my


But all must be of buhl? Give grasping pomp its double

share, I ask but one recumbent chair.

Thus humble let me live and die,

Nor long for Midas' golden touch, If Heaven more generous gifts deny,

I shall not miss them inuch, Too grateful for the blessing lent Of simple tastes and mind content!


Mott came mild as new milk, with

gray hairs under his broad

brim, Leaving the first chop location and

water privilege near it, Held by his fathers of old on the

willow-fringed banks of Ohio. Wrathy Covode, too, I saw, and

Montgomery ready for mis

chief. Who against these to the floor led on

the Lecomptonite legions ? Keitt of South Carolina, the clear

grit, the tall, the ondaunted Keitt, and Reuben Davis, the ra'al

hoss of wild Mississippi; Barksdale, wearer of wigs, and

Craige from North Carolina; Craige and scorny McQueen, and

Owen, and Lovejoy, and La

mar, These Mississippi sent to the war,

"tres juncti in uno." Long had raged the warfare of

words; it was four in the

morning: Whittling and expectoration and

liquorin' all were exhausted, When Keitt, tired of talk, bespake

Reu. Davis, “O Reuben, Grow's a tarnation blackguard, and

I've concluded to clinch him." This said, up to his feet he sprang,

and loos'ning his choker, Straighted himself for a grip, as a

bar-hunter down in Arkan



A fragment from the great American epic,

the Washingtoniad.


SING, O goddess, the wrath, the on

taniable dander of KeittKeitt of South Carolina, the clear

grit, the tall, the ondaunted Him that hath wopped his own nig.

gers till Northerners all unto

Keitt Seem but as niggers to wop, and hills

of the smallest potatoes. Late and long was the fight on the

Constitution of Kansas; Daylight passed into dusk, and dusk

into lighting of gas-lainps;Still on the floor of the house the

heroes unwearied were fight

ing. Dry grew palates and tongues with

excitement and expectoration, Plugs were becoining exhausted, and

Representatives also. Who led on to the war the anti

Lecomptonite phalanx ? Grow, hitting straight from the

shoulder, the Pennsylvania

Slasher; Him followed Hickman, and Potter

the wiry, from woody Wiscon

sin; Washburne stood with his brother,

Cadwallader stood with Elihu; Broad Illinois sent the one, and

woody Wisconsin the other.

Squares to go in at the bar, when

the dangerous varmint is cor

nered. “Come out, Grow," he cried, “ you

Black Republican puppy, Come on the floor, like a man, and

darn my eyes, but I'll show


Him answered straight-hitting Grow,

“ Waal now, I calkilate, Keitt, No nigger-driver shall leave his plan

tation in South Carolina, Here to crack his cow-hide round

this child's ears, if he knows


Scarce had he spoke when the hand,

the chivalrous five fingers of

Keitt, Clutched at his throat, - had they

closed, the speeches of Grow had been ended,

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »