Olde Love and Lavender
Olde Love and Lavender
By Roy L. McCardell
Godfrey A. S. Wieners
Copyright, 1900, by Godfrey A. S. Wieners
All rights reserved
D. B. Updike, The Merrymount Press, Boston
H. N. Marvin
/. Suppofedly Sentimental
Olde Love and Lavender
The Mermaid's Garden
In Darkest Eden 4
The Old Farm at the Mill 5
The Organ Man
The Captain's Daughter
Song to the Rose IO
The Naughty Echo I J
The Jolly Drover * 3
At Ellis Island J 5
Down Bedford Street l6
The Proud Rose l8
The Old Spite Lane 2O
The Little Old Store 2I
How it Developed 2 3
II. About Girls Moftly.
When Phyllis Drives 2 7
How it Happened z8
The Sailor Girl 2 9
While I Toil in the Torrid Town 3
The Legend of the Katydid 3 2
" Sally in our Alley " 34
A Plaint 35
Love's Logic 3 6
Her Vacation 37
[ vii ]
The High Art Tea 38
All Changed Save She 39
Mary Jane ! 40
Her Pifture 42
The Passing of Tennis 43
To an American Beauty 44
The Young Widow 45
She Stoops to Conquer 46
The Substitute Caddk 47
To a Fay re Ladye 48
The Cruel Toinette 49
The Averted Sacrifice 50
///. A Bunch of Bowery Ballads
The Lilac Ball, Walhalla Hall 55
The Belle of the Beanery 56
Before the Ball 57
Two Clowns 58
The Passing of the Wild West 60
Ground Hog Day 62
Ballade of the Goats 63
Aunt Hetty at the County Fair 67
The Time of the Ramadan 69
Aunt Ann"s Plum Pudding 70
The Kid 71
Anent the Fourteenth of February 72
Song of the Old Sky Blue 74
The Place called " Easy Street" 76
"Settled Down" 78
His Heroes 80
A Marsh Symphony 82
Ballade of Old Songs 8 3
When Mary Climbed the Tree 84
The Guileless Chinaman 86
Ye Foolish Old Bard and ye Wise Young Troubadour 87
Ye Artifice of Dame Allyce 90
NOTE. "Olde Love and Lavender" "The Passing of Tennis" "Mary
Jane" " The Old Spite Lane" " Down Bedford Street" " The Naughty
Echo" " Ye Artifice of Dame Allyce" " Mame" " The Captains Daughter^
" The Lilac Ball, Valhalla Hall" Song of the Old Sky Blue" " A Marsh
Symphony" " Ye foolish Old Bard and ye Wise Young Troubadour" and
most of the shorter verses in this volume are reprinted by permission of
Puck. "The Belle of the Beanery" "June Songs" "The Passing of the
Wild West" and afevj others are reprinted by permission of Truth.
/. Suppofedly Sentimental
Olde Love and Lavender
OLD love is like old lavender that scents this oaken press
And hides its fragrance in the folds of lace and silken dress,
The dress she wore with regal air at many a stately ball,
When dandies of the time declared she held the hearts of all.
She held my heart, she held it long $ ah, me ! she holds it yet j
Though that was in the long ago and sometimes I forget.
Old Love is like old lavender, forgotten clear, complete,
Till we disturb some mem'ry fond and raise its fragrance sweet.
Old Love is like old lavender, it keeps its sweetness ever,
'Though days glide into weeks and years, though hearts that love must sever.
And fate forbade. We parted, too j our fond farewells were spoken ;
And I forget, I said ? Ah, no ! Why, I have every token
That, san&ified by love, she gave with each one a caress.
I laid them all in lavender, as is this silken dress ;
The dress I loved to see her wear oh, quaint, old rich brocade !
No dress like you was ever worn, and by so sweet a maid !
" You '11 wear it on our wedding day ? " I often used exclaim ;
For such a fate 't was put apart and then our parting came.
Old Love is like old lavender, fragrant still the while j
Yes, Love is old, like lavender, old-fashioned, out of style !
WHY do I always sing of June ?
'T is the month when I was born ;
It hath days of sun and nights of moon,
And merry inse&s all in tune,
Fiddling in the corn.
The corn is young, the corn is green,
Its height is but a span j
Last year 't was just as high, I ween,
But they play as if there ne'er had been
Such corn since time began.
For them in June the world is new,
For me ""t is just the same ;
" As now so fair no flowers e'er grew,
The grass waves green a deeper hue,"
They sing with one acclaim.
In June the birds all sing by day,
The insefts sing by night ;
They chirrup high a roundelay,
And sing and fiddle ever gay
And with new-found delight.
" No grass like this ! Nor e'er such corn !
No nights like these ! " they swear.
So merry insefts sing till morn,
Praising the month when I was born,
June ever new and fair !
The Mermaid's Garden
THE mermaid's garden is always cool,
There shadows always keep ;
For the mermaid's garden is a pool,
On which pond-lilies sleep.
There is never the song of a tuneful throat
And never the buzz of a bee ;
Instead, in the mermaid's garden float
The fish all silently.
And if the mermaid would see the bloom
Of the lilies she plants to grow,
She must grasp the stalks in the watery gloom
And pull down the flower below.
Watch some day from the lily-pond bank }
A lily will disappear
Be sure a mermaid is where it sank,
A mermaid's garden 's here !
C 3 ]
In Darkest Eden
OOD-NIGHT," she said, and softly closed the door
Behind us to the drawing-room. The hall was dark,
The lamp upon the balustrade burned low. Upon the floor
Deep shadows fell j yet in the dimness I could mark
The smile upon her face.
We were alone, I fear we liked our loneliness ;
And it was dark I know we liked that, too.
" Good-night " she said again, but I could guess
She did not really mean it as adieu,
And so I kept my place.
For, in this whole wide world, I loved her best of all,
Her little hand in mine a trembling prisoner lay
And did I kiss her then ? Ah, like the hall,
We '11 keep it dark. How would you say
" Good-night " in such a case ?
The Old Farm at the Mill
A Ballad of the Field
THE moist brown soil in furrows lay,
Where the field sloped up the hill ;
Below, the meadows stretched away
To the farm-house at the mill.
A city lad, whose heart is glad,
A lassie country born ;
How the old hills ring to the song they sing !
They sing and drop the corn :
'Three in a hill, three in a hill;
Should the cut-worm and the crow
Each claim his share, a kernel there,
Yet one is left to grow.
Polly, Polly ! 't was thus we sang that day,
That the echoes soft repeated oft
So far, so far away !
The years have passed. Ah, time goes fast !
Yet my heart is constant still j
And thoughts go forth to the distant North,
To the farm-house at the mill.
1 see the old field slope away,
And feel the breeze of morn ;
The old refrain comes back again,
We sing and drop the corn :
[ 5 ]
Constant still, constant still,
To the love of long ago.
Thd" grief and care may claim their share,
Yet love is left, I know.
O Polly, Polly ! tho' youth may pass away,
And latter years bring Trouble's tears,
YET LOVE WILL LAST FOR AY!
The Organ Man
HE often comes when I 'm lone and sad
The organ man, with his tunes so old j
And his presence always makes me glad,
Although other surly folk may scold.
I 'm very fond of " popular airs,"
But best I like when the children troop
Out from alleys and tenement stairs,
And gather round him, a noisy group.
He makes them sing to the tunes he plays,
And these old, old children dance with glee j
Why, I know they'd forget their childish ways
Were it not for the organ man and me !
For a penny tossed brings a bow profound,
And a sunny smile to his sallow face ;
Then he turns the handle faster round,
While the music quivers through the place.
For here down town, where the faftories
Wall in the tenements dark and grim,
And shut out the light, the air, the breeze,
There would be no children but for him.
So he comes to see me every day,
Starting his tunes at my welcoming glance j
And I 'm but too glad to be able to pay
The little it costs, while the children dance !
C 7 ]
The Captain's Daughter
A Ballad of the Canal
OW slow the Summer days go by, at old Lock Number One,
The slow canal, the woods and sky, in the bright glare of the sun !
Then, oh ! what use to live, to live,
If this through life 's my lot
A human clod, through life to plod,
And then to die forgot ?
A lazy lounge in the lock-house shade, for few boats pass to-day 5
Then the eyes half close in a dreamy doze, and the fancies idly stray
To her, the one I love, I love ;
And the soft June breezes blow,
While the bitter strife with work-day life
I seem no more to know.
So I dreamily lie asleep-awake, cool though the heat motes quiver,
Happy, though the sound the riffles make seem a moan from the distant river.
Then, oh ! if life were all Summer-time,
And Summer-time all June,
Would the wandering breeze, through the old oak trees,
Still hum with the same sweet tune ?
Hark ! the sound of bells, so low, so sweet, though their clear sound sadly
That weary feet, through dust and heat, plod on to the sound of the bells.
And, oh ! I know their sound, their sound j
And mule bells though they be,
Sweetly they ring, for I know they bring
The one I love to me.
Now, there is the boat itself in sight I knew it was the Fairy
And my heart beats light, all life seems bright, for there on the deck is
For her sweet voice I '11 hear, I '11 hear,
And her sweet face I '11 see ;
And eyes so bright with a soft love-light
Will lovingly gaze on me,
Will lovingly gaze on me.
Song to the Rose
IN summer a song to the rose,
Queen of the Flowers all ;
Fragrant she blooms and blows,
This is her festival.
Fit for the bride in her bower,
And meet for my true love's hair j
A song to the regent flower,
Where is there one so fair ?
Wooed by the wind at morn,
Gilt by the sun at noon j
Jewelled with dew when born,
Silvered at night by the moon.
Here with a lover's vow,
Sweet with your fragrant musk ;
You shall deck my lady's brow
When our tryst is kept in the dusk.
Passionate love that is true,
Symbol you are and the sign ;
Red rose it is you, it is you,
That I send as a message of mine.
Go, thou queen liest flower,
To the fairest of all the fair,
Thou art fit for the bride in her bower
And meet for my true love's hair !
[ 10 ]
The Naughty Echo
A Ballad of the Brook
DOWN by the brook where the sweet mint grew,
By the meadow's edge of clover j
Deep in the shade that the beeches threw
From their branches bending over,
A broad path wandered toward the mill,
Ever by the brook-side winding ;
And an Echo dwelt across by the hill,
Always an answer rinding.
Answering the murmur of the brook alway,
Answering the bee and cricket,
Repeating the notes that rang out gay,
As the birds sang in the thicket.
Adown the path one Summer day
Came blue-eyed Bessie, singing j
Singing an old, old love song gay
That set the wildwood ringing :
My lover's heart is w/iolly mine,
Although he is a rover j
/ '// love him ever, and believe them never
Who say " He V false, your lover."
Young Robin stood in the beech tree's shade,
'Mid the sweet mint and the clover ;
And he heard the song of the blithesome maid,
And the Echo's answer over.
His voice took up the olden air,
With its quaint old time and tune 5
And he sung it as oft he M sung it there,
In the rays of the harvest moon :
Tour lover's heart is wholly yours.
Although he be a rover j
He V/ love you ever, and naught can sever
Our hearts , for he^s true, your lover!
And the Echo listened to each word,
That came to the hillside over ;
And the listening lovers plainly heard
His answer : He" 1 * true, your lover!
And long they sat in the beechen shade,
Till the dew 'neath the night star glistened
But what they said was ne'er betrayed,
For the Echo, silent, listened.
The Jolly Drover
A Ballad of 1850
IN olden times before the war,
There came a Jolly Drover
Through the little, sleepy country town,
His cattle fording over.
For the river runs on the southern side
Of the little town of Dover,
And the children flock to watch the sight
When there *s cattle fording over.
The Black Horse Tavern, gabled, gray,
Is kept by old Tom Stover,
And the Tavern yard is big enough
For the herd of the Jolly Drover.
Oh, the Bound-Out-Girl was seventeen,
Sweet, rosy, dimpled Nancy !
She served the table modestly,
She took the Drover's fancy.
He said, " I Ve travelled far and wide
This whole great country over,
But none like you I yet have seen
You suit the Jolly Drover.
" Oh, the Drover he has goodly lands
With feeding flocks of cattle,
And money, too, besides the coins
That in his pockets rattle.
"Now, will you go with me, my dear ?
Just think the matter over ;
Join your heart and hand in mine
And go with the Jolly Drover.
"I '11 build a home in the far Southwest,
Where my herds eat prairie clover j
You shall have all your heart may wish
And the love of the Jolly Drover."
The Bound-Out-Girl gazed shyly down,
She thought the matter over ;
She cared not a whit for all his gold,
But she loved the Jolly Drover.
"Oh, yes, I '11 go ! " said the Bound-Out-Girl j
" I '11 believe you, though a rover.
For what is love, that hath not trust ? "
" Hurrah ! " cried the Jolly Drover.
So the Drover wed the Tavern girl j
The wedding soon was over.
When morning dawned away she rode
By the side of the Jolly Drover.
And gone forever is the Bound-Out-Girl,
And gone is the Jolly Drover j
But still they Ve maids who '11 love and trust,
In other towns than Dover.
At Ellis Island
SHE 'S left ould Ireland, ashtore,
She's sailed across the sea
This day I '11 see her step ashore,
Oh, happy day for me !
Small wonder, then, this Irish boy
Is thrimbling through his skin,
An' in a fever heat wid joy
To see his ship come in.
Heart of my heart, it 's far apart
For two long years we Ve been,
But the time is past, and now at last
You Ve come to me, Eileen.
Long have I toiled and striven
To see this blessed day,
When she to me 'd be given.
Cruel was the long delay ;
I made a home and sent for her,
My prayers 'tween her and harm
And, see ! she stands to greet me, sir,
Her bundle on her arm.
Life of my life, my darling wife,
Long has the parting been ;
But 'cross the sea you Ve come to me,
Mavourneen, my Eileen.
Down Bedford Street
DOWN Bedford Street, so quiet, staid,
Time seems to hardly lay his hand j
The maple trees 'neath which I played
Still flourish as they sturdy stand.
'T is true, at intervals between
The quaint, old dormer-windowed bricks,
Some ugly, modern house is seen
Whose builder 's played fantastic tricks
With iron and stone ; but these are few.
The most is old, the old I love ;
Old homes, old doorways leading through,
Dim lit with fan-lights high above.
Here, in the olden Summer-times,
Upon the pavements in the ring,
We children chanted out our rhymes
I wonder now if children sing
"King William was King James's Son,"
Or, "London Bridge is Breaking down" ?
Years gone such songs when day was done
Made echoes in this part of town.
But here at noon the place is still,
Mayhap a pigeon circles round,
Or some canary's silvery trill
Breaks on the silence with its sound.
Down Bedford Street the years roll on,
But still its dwellers seem to hold
Tenacious to a time that 's gone,
And antique beauties of the old.
[ 16 ]
Yet I, as one that seeks to find
A face he knew in other years,
Peer at each closed Venetian blind,
And grieve that none I know appears.
Old, old ! The very breath of June
Is lavender, so faint and sweet,
Abroad upon the languid noon,
Down Bedford Street, down Bedford Street.
The Proud Rose
IT was morning and the Rose awoke.
The dew begirt her in shimmering jewels.
Her hair was gold, her cheeks were pink.
Her gown was green, beautiful to behold.
And she was conscious of her youth and loveliness.
But she thought her Pride was Modesty.
A Traveller passed.
" Rose," he said, " Oh, fair young Rose,
I will wear you on my heart ! "
But the Rose shrank from him.
" Am I to be had for the asking ? " she said,
"The Wind wooes me tenderly, the Bee hums
To me, the sky is blue for me
And the birds sing for me.
Seek elsewhere for Rosebuds, Sir Traveller ! "
And the Traveller went his way.
The long summer day went by.
The Rose sighed when the shadows came.
The Wind had tired of her and had tossed her hair,
And went whistling o'er the hill.
The sky was gray, the Birds and Bees were gone.
She still wore the jewels of dew,
But in the dull tones of eventide they gleamed no more.
Again the Traveller passed.
She thought her Modesty was Pride
And she called to him :
" You forget you were to wear me on your Heart ! "
But the Traveller shook his head.
"Not now," he said, "it is too late."
" To-morrow I go where other fair buds bloom,
Good-night, Proud Rose ! "
And the Traveller went his way.
The Old Spite Lane
THE Spite Lane runs along the line 'twixt Slocum's farm and ours,
A narrow space between each fence where nothing grows but flowers.
The relic of a silly feud that smouldered many years,
That caused harsh words between the men and roused our mothers 1 fears j
A country quarrel long ago, a quarrel firm and set,
Here where lives are narrow and people wont forget.
We children keep the quarrel not although its mark is plain,
For there between our meadows green still runs the old Spite Lane.
Sometimes when father sits about at peace with all the world,
The country paper on his knee, the smoke wreaths 'bout him curled,
I drop a hint on foolish spites that run to cruel ends,
And how much nicer it would be if neighbors all were friends.
He '11 snap out " No ! I '11 fight it out ! Them Slocums can't beat me ! "
But he ain't as hearty in it now as what he used to be j
When 'cross the line he 'd shake his fist and fairly almost swear,
While ol' man Slocum with his men would holler "Jest you dare ! "
But then those times I think are gone ; they '11 never come again
And some bright day we '11 tear away the silly old Spite Lane.
For often in the eventide when at the pasture bars
The cow-bells tinkle in the dusk beneath the summer stars,
Sweet Laura Slocum steals away to meet me once again
No angry word can then be heard across the old Spite Lane.
Old feuds, old hates, old quarrels harsh, young hearts can end them thus,
The fences mark a lover's lane just wide enough for us.
The Spite Lane runs along the line 'twixt Slocum's farm and ours j
It marks a path of sullen wrath but naught grows there save flowers !
The Little Old Store
OH, the little old store with the bell on the door,
That rang, as you went out or in,
With a ting-a-ling-ling, as it swung on the spring
And deafened your ears with a din !
Oh, the little old store gave measure and more,
And everything smelled sweet of spice j
Though 't was dark, to say true, and nothing was new,
Yet everything sold there was nice.
For a quaint little maid, in muslin arrayed,
Would answer each ring from the door,
And smiles sweet and simple played tag with the dimple
In the cheeks of the maid of the store.
I used often to stop in the little old shop,
And sometimes for nothing at all,
But to just shake the spring and to hear the bell ring
For Nelly to answer its call.
Ah ! those times are all o'er, the little old store
Has vanished with old-fashioned ways j
Till sometimes it seems as but one of the dreams,
That we have of our boyhood days.
Though a faint, vague regret comes over me yet
As I think of those days now no more,
In my heart I would fain be a glad lad again
And with Nell in the little old store.
THEN, oh, to lie through drowsy noons,
On greenswards daisy garnished ;
To dream down time through endless Junes,
By ne'er a sorrow tarnished.
By brinks of brooks where sweet mint grows,
And meadows gay with clover j
Where the silver beech its shadow throws
The mirrored surface over.
With ever the cooling bower of shade,
Where come the breezes straying,
Bringing the scent from glen and glade
Of blossoms and the haying.
Far off the furrowed fields of brown
That tell of rural toiling,
And farther yet the pent-in town
Where immured men are moiling.
Not here a breath of carking care
To spoil the golden weather,
But only fancies light and fair
As clouds of fleecy feather.
Where woodland songsters pipe their tunes,
Where summer airs caress,
We dream down time through endless Junes
How it Developed
1 PROPOSED when Dolly posed
To be photographed ;
Earnestly my love disclosed,
Dolly only laughed.
Dolly mocked my love and art
With coquetry malicious,
Spoiled my plates and spumed my heart
With baffling smiles capricious.
Still attempting, I essayed,
Still she posed, unheeding,
"Give an answer, cruel maid,
To my earnest pleading."
Then she did and while I live,
To make me melancholy,
I cherish one sharp negative
That I got of Dolly.
//. About Girls Moftly
When Phyllis Drives
WHEN Phyllis in her dog-cart drives
She sets the people staring,
For 't is for swagger style she strives
That borders on the daring.
Her groom behind sits straight, ereft,
And on the little fellow
Is London liv'ry great effeft
Of startling black and yellow !
For Phyllis drives where fashion goes,
No other place would suit her j
And all the howling swells she knows
Bow low down and salute her.
And vow that never yet,, between
The Hudson and the Niger,
Was there so fine an instance seen
Of Lady or the Tiger.
How it Happened
HE tempted me. What could I do ?
We talked of this and that j
But I could see his purpose through
As he held out his hat.
Not e'en a chaperon was by,
Or gossip idling round j
No living soul save he and I
Was there in sight or sound.
It was not in the good-night said
What challenged me to that,
But 't was his daring glance I read
And he held out his hat.
So, with the skill he wondered at,
I deftly made the kick,
And then he just put on his hat,
And said, " Bess, you >e a brick ! "
The Sailor Girl
AJ, since this latter craze has come
Of yachting on the briny deep,
My saddened heart is pained and numb
And I can neither rest nor sleep.
For her I love, queen of my soul !
Has caught the fever at its height j
She loves the waves that toss and roll $
And yachting is her heart's delight.
And I, alas, and woe is me !
If left to take my choice and pick,
Would never choose the tossing sea,
The slightest roll will make me sick.
But she, her eyes will brighten up
When e'er you speak of sails or breeze j
She knows the hist'ry of the cup
That we have held for years with ease.
I turn the talk, 't is all in vain,
I speak of golf, football or tennis,
She veers it round to yachts again
And much I fear my name is Dennis.
While I Toil in the Torrid Town
WHILE I toil in this torrid town,
You, whom I love, are far away,
And on your pretty face a frown
Because still from your side I stay.
As if 't were choice that keeps me here
So far from you I love the best !
'Tis duty, and it costs me dear
To be with you ! Ah, that were blest !
But we must keep such fond hopes down
While I toil in this torrid town.
While I toil in this torrid town,
You pass the day in shady nooks j
And vainly strive your thoughts to drown
In shallow depths of Summer books.
Sometimes across the fields you stray
Where sweet wild flowers at you smile,
Their beauty tempting you to stay . . .
Sometimes you pause upon the stile
No one is there to help you down,
While I toil in this torrid town.
While I toil in this torrid town
The Summer long, and you are free
To stray till Autumn's fields are brown
Through country lanes, and without me$
Take care ! 'Mid flowers that you pull
There lurks the poison oak and such j
[ 30 ]
Forget not that the farmer's bull
Objefts to red umbrellas much ;
And other men ! Oh, at them frown
While I toil in this torrid town !
The Legend of the Katydid
As told by a Summer Girl
THERE was a girl named Katy once ft is thus the story goes),
A Summer Girl so passing fair she captured all the beaux.
The other girls, in jealous rage, consulted an old witch,
And crossed her palm with silver coins enough to make her rich.
"Oh ! cast some spell on Katy by that we mean a charm
To end her taking all our beaux, and yet do her no harm."
For Katy takes our sweethearts, she V mean as she can be,
She will not spare a single one for either you or me.
She V got them all beneath her thumb they ''lido just as she V/ bid;
She turned her nose up at us, too $ yes, that V f what Katy did.
" My children," said the old dame then, " I '11 conjure up a spell,
That chirping inserts in the trees shall on Miss Katy tell.
Her different beaux will soon perceive she 's but a sly coquette,
And you will get your sweethearts back and laugh at Katy yet.
Go back contented in your minds, and leave it all to me j
Soon she '11 be dreadful talked about from every bush and tree."
Then Katy wont have all the beaux she took from you and me.
And she V/ be sorry that she e was as mean as mean could be j
For everywhere, on moonlight nights, the little insecJs, hid,
Will chatter to each other and tell what Katy did.
When Katy sought the old witch out she brought her silver, too.
The old dame said : " Alas ! my dear, that charm I can't undo."
" Then can't you fix it," Katy said, " that they can only call
That Katy did ! she did ! she did ! on nights more in the Fall ?
And ne<ver in the Summer-time ; and I won't hear it then j
For I '11 be gone. in August and so will all the men ! "
And Katy takes our sweethearts still, she V mean as she can be
She ^will not share a single one with either you or me.
Does Katy flirt? Ah I those that know forever are forbid
To tell a soul till Summer V gone that Katy did, she did!
"Sally in our Alley"
A Late Version
OF all the girls that are so smart,
There 's none can equal Sally,
When in the game she takes a frame,
And bowls down in our alley.
Of all the days that I have seen,
There "s none to me like one day,
And that 's the day that comes between
Each Friday and each Sunday.
For Saturdays are "ladies' nights,"
And then you hear the rally j
She makes ten-strikes whene'er she likes,
Our lady-champion, Sally.
Oh, some day when with courage stout
I shall propose to Sally,
Oh, pray she shall not bowl me out
As she does down in our alley !
THE End of the Century Maid ! The End of the Century Maid !
She 's tall and she 's slim, she belongs to a " gym,"
And she 's learning to box, I 'm afraid.
The End of the Century Maid ! The people of nothing else prate ;
How she reads and she talks, how she rides and she walks,
Oft in bloomers, I 'm sorry to state.
The End of the Century Maid ! The gush of the weird "Woman's Page, 1
The twaddle of "teas," talks on chalk and on cheese,
Her importance in art, on the stage.
The End of the Century Maid ! She has put all the men in the shade,
Till sometimes, I fear, we wish we could hear
The end of the Century Maid !
WHEN we were boy and girl we played
At happy games, and to their rhymes
I kissed you often, dearest maid,
And that 's not counting other times.
You silly boy ! That 's long ago,
We were but children, and you '11 own
A precedent established so
Does not now hold for you have grown.
Dear one, the words you say are true j
That I have grown I '11 not deny,
Which evens things between us two,
For you have grown as well as I !
Love has a logic all its own j
It may not stand analysis,
But then, you see, they were alone
And she, she let him have the kiss.
THE breeze comes scented with the pinks
That blossom in the garden fair ;
But at her casement still she prinks
O'er lawn and lace and ribbons there.
" Come out ! " " Come out ! " the chorus goes,
From trees and sky and birds a-wing j
Yet still she sits and sews and sews,
Nor hears nor heeds the song they sing.
But after lamplight comes the maid,
In dainty organdies bedight }
In all her panoply arrayed,
Tricked up by day to shine at night.
And then a smile upon her face,
She '11 say with girlish artlessness :
" It 's so nice here, you know, a place
Where one need not fix up and dress ! "
[ 37 ]
The High Art Tea
THEY sip their tea. 'T is black,
Real Russian Caravan, with just a squeeze
Of lemon. All real Russian teas
Are served up thus, and do not lack
A dash of rum ; while, as for cream
" They 'd laugh at you in Russia," says the host,
An Artist (his atelier 's a dream,
With raw silk drapery hung with much eclat).
He never paints, 't is true ; but that 's a part
That only stands for what 's mechanical in Art.
Real Art is tea that comes in small bricks from Herat,
And pretty girls to worship as their Tsar
The Studio-tea Artist with his Samovar !
All Changed Save She
A Rondeau of 1780
WHEN Mistress Peggy shopping goes,
No bower e'er held so fair a rose,
Much less a sedan chair j
She smiles and bows to all she knows,
And breaks the hearts of all the beaux,
Who hold there 's none so fair.
And though the damsel is no weight,
By both her bearers, sad to state,
I fear she 's not admired.
For oft she bids them mend their gait
To ask them is her hat on straight
And that 's what makes them tired.
[ 39 ]
MARY JANE !
I knew a little girl by that name long ago,
And I used to be her beau, ain't that so
Mary Jane ?
It 's a fa<5l that many know
Mary Jane !
Mary Jane !
We parted then for years, you and I,
Yet I often sit and sigh as I think of days gone by
Mary Jane !
Indeed, I sometimes cry
Mary Jane !
Mary Jane !
Oh, the quaint, old-fashioned sweetness 'bout that name,
I like it just the same, and I think you are to blame,
Mary Jane !
For you changed it what a shame,
Mary Jane !
Mary Jane !
Perhaps you thought the whole thing old and plain,
But when you dropped the "Jane" I can't say 'twas a gain,
Mary Jane !
Oh, you marred it all in vain,
Mary Jane !
Mary Jane !
You may stylish sign your letters now " Marie,"
[ 40 ]
But, your own heart will agree, you would rather always be
Mary Jane !
Just the same old girl to me,
Mary Jane I
YOUR pifture is winsome and stately,
Your pifture is pretty, ah, me !
Shall I call you " My Lady," sedately,
Or write to you hearty and free ?
Shall I hint of our first blissful meeting,
How I held your small hand, quite dismayed ?
Shall I send you gay verses in greeting,
Like Dobson or Locker or Praed ?
Shall I tell of our troth that is plighted ?
Shall I call you " my own dainty maid " ?
Or shall I confess I Ve been slighted,
And speak of you as " a jade " ?
You Ve sent it and lines you Ve requested,
And the writer knows not what to do
For I Ve married that girl you " detested "
Since we last met and you never knew.
The Passing of Tennis
NO more the cry of "Thirty, All ! "
Reechoes from the lawn j
We've laid aside the tennis ball,
The net and court are gone.
Across the links we whack the earth
With clubs of gruesome shape j
No sound of joyousness or mirth
From us we let escape.
In Scottish hose and Scottish breeks
We dawdle o'er the green 5
We talk of "brassies" and of "cleeks"
And know not what we mean.
We "put" and "drive," it seems an age
Since last we played at tennis $
Whose name, in sooth, since golf's the rage,
Seems rather to be Dennis.
But, still I like the good old sport,
By far all golf above ;
For, oft we courted in the court,
When we were " Twenty, Love ! "
To an American Beauty
THE lass I love 's fair as a rose,
One of this season's debutantes j
She wins all hearts where'er she goes j
Impartially her smiles she grants,
She is a bud.
She 's everything that 's fair and good,
Her presence lightens up the room j
She 's blos'ming into womanhood,
I think she 's just about to bloom j
She is a bud.
What will she answer when I pray
That she will deign to smile on me?
What will she do, what will she say ?
Will all my dearest hopes then be
Nipped in the bud ?
The Young Widow
A I, me ! What can a widow do ?
I cry just fit to kill,
And keep my crepe all black and new,
And don't think of the will.
The heartless world is cruel and bad,
Which ever way you take it j
I can't be glad, I can't be sad
But what it must mistake it.
For if I let ten minutes pass
In which I have not sighed,
Or steal a glance toward my glass,
They say " She 's glad he died."
Or, if by chance I mope all day,
And sigh with grief unending j
I have some dearest friends that say
That I am but pretending.
And all around are gay, save me j
Why should n't it be right
If t'ward the general gayety
I 'd add a widow's mite ?
She Stoops to Conquer
THE doaor said, "She must go out
And take some exercise ;
You must not let her mope about
As she does in this wise."
In vain I coaxed and begged and plead,
Cajoled her and abused ;
" I feel too tired," was all she said }
And still she sat and mused.
And then I had a brilliant thought,
And seized at once upon it ;
That day a stunning dress I bought,
Also a cunning bonnet.
And now she goeth forth arrayed
In all her panoply
To see if there is wife or maid
Who is well-dressed as she.
Her health and color have returned
Her interest in life ;
But, to this day, I Ve not discern'd
Who V fooled /, or my 'wife!
The Substitute Caddie
OH, I hardly know the game yet, tho' I Ve often seen them play it,
But Winnie likes to play it, and that 's enough for me j
" For goff is such a nice game " thus I often hear her say it,
And she 's the lady champion and plays it to a tee.
It lets her wear bright plaiding, and cute Tarn O'Shanter caps,
And she makes a stunning figure as she moves across the links j
And I like to see her play it so do the other chaps
Tho 1 she really does n't play it quite as finely as she thinks.
And when this dainty lassie uses "lofter," "cleek" or "brassie,"
(Here I 'm doubling up in metre, which is simply waste of rhyme,)
I oft say to her, " Dear Winnie, we used to call it shinny,
Except the way you play it takes from dawn till supper-time."
She answers back my scoffing, "I 'm sure it's different goffing
Is a very old Scotch pastime ; not what you say at all ! "
And I acquiesce quite weakly and follow after meekly
As her caddie, toting golf sticks and hunting for the ball.
To a Fay re Ladye
OH, love, gaze not in your looking-glass,
You make my heart despair j
Your mirror is truthful, and, alas !
It tells you you are fair.
Turn from your mirror, for in mine eyes
Is your semblance fair refle&ed,
Framed with the love that behind it lies
Far more than you suspefted.
And I '11 have no fear of your glass again,
Impassive, shining there,
For the love in my eyes will show you plain
Your beauty doubly fair !
The Cruel Toinette
FAIR Toinette with Alphonse met,
Alphonse loved her dearly ;
Fair Toinette had eyes of jet,
She could see it clearly.
"Take, adored one, this small flower,"
Alphonse said with trembling,
"That I plucked within this bower"
In this he was dissembling.
Then said Toinette, the sad coquette,
" See, it 's frosty autumn
You could not get such flowers yet
""Less it was that you bought 'em ! "
" What matters it from whence it came ? "
Said Alphonse, nearly crazy ;
" Bought or found, 't is all the same,
Like you, it is a daisy."
And then Toinette, cruel coquette,
Proceeded on the spot
To make each leaf add to his grief
By spelling, " Love him not ! "
The Averted Sacrifice
back with my heart ! " the maiden cried,
" For you have no right to take it ! "
"It is safer with me," young Love replied,
" You were only trying to break it ?
What is another's wealth to you ?
When a heart 's broke who can splice it ?
" Go back to the lover who loves you true,
You shall not sacrifice it !
Go greet your lover and give him a kiss
And a truce to your tears and sighing ;
Your heart's in pawn until you do this"
And the maiden ceased her crying.
///. *A Bunch of Bowery Ballads
A Ballad of Cherry Hill
A' dark, at dark on Cherry Hill,
With der gas jets flarin" bright,
An' der singin' sailors never still,
An' de dancin' all the night
But I ain't got nuthin' a' tall ter say,
An' nuthin' a' tall I see ;
Thinkin' o' Mame, as I do all day,
An' de gang is on ter me.
Alone, alone, dey Ve shook me dead,
Though dey 're all afeard to chaff j
An' never a guy one word has said,
But I know I gits der laugh.
O Mame ! O Mame ! it 's all fer you
I 'm t'rown-down like dis, see ?
But all der same I loves yer true
An' de gang is on ter me.
A mont', a mont', since we first met
On a 'scursion down the bay,
Of der Michael Feeny Social Set }
Oh, der fun we had dat day !
An' comin' back der big bright moon
Shone silver on de sea ;
[ 53 ]
We spieled at ev'ry chowder tune,
Till de gang got on ter me.
All day, all day, I 'm workin' hard
As I never worked before,
A-jugglm' stone in Clancy's Yard
Till both me hands is sore.
So have me fer yer steady fel',
An' say you 're stuck on me.
As fer de rest aw, wot t' 'ell,
If de gang is on ter me !
The Lilac Ball, Walhalla Hall
A Ballad of the Bowery
WALHALLA HALL, Walhalla Hall, jest off der Bowery,
Night of der Mask and Civic Ball of der Lilac Coterie.
An' I wuz dere an' she wuz dere, wit 1 ninety couples more j
But, say ! No one was anywhere when Gertie took der floor
Wit 1 me, wit 1 me ter repersent a jockey from der track,
An 1 her as "Night," wit 1 big gilt stars all spangled on her black.
We did der pivot out o 1 sight, der chain waltz dat wuz grand !
While keepin 1 perfec 1 time an 1 step to Ikey Goldstein's Band.
Walhalla Hall, Walhalla Hall, jest off der Bowery,
Wit' swell mugs standin' 'gainst der wall an 1 lookin' on ter see
Wot down-town social life wuz like, an 1 holler out "oncore !"
We copped 'em all, dat 's right, sure, Mike ! When Gertie took der floor
Wit' me, wit' me wot 's won four times der prize at Jones's Wood,
An' her, me loidy fren', each time, wot waltzes jest as good j
The cal'sum light jest follered us j we made de odders stand
An 1 watch us do der Boston Dip to Ikey Goldstein's Band.
Walhalla Hall, Walhalla Hall, some fresh mugs gettin' gay,
One geezer givin' Gert a stall an' me not far away ;
Sez he, " Come, kiss yer honey boy ! " I waited fer no more,
But give me coat to Mickey Foy an' Gertie took der floor
Wit' me, wit 1 me ter back her up j an' can I scrap ? Well, some!
One gent I hit went troo 1 der band and busted in der drum.
Fer Gertie is a loidy, respec 1 she must command,
D'ough it busts up a Lilac Ball and Ikey Goldstein's Band.
[ 55 1
The Belle of the Beanery
OH, Kitty ! I am poor indeed,
Yet while your smiles you grant
I 'd rather come here fer my feed
Den der Jim Fisk resterant.
Fer when a feller 's lost his heart,
Wot matter where he eats ?
So ev'ry day I dine la cart
Where you call " Brown th' Wheats ! "
An' so I allus come to dine
Here at this drum of Kinney's ;
You "re here, that 's better than the wine
And tabble dotes of Ginney's.
I wish I was a millionaire,
An' not a workin' porter $
I 'd make a play fer you fer fair
An' speak up as I orter.
But as I ain't, I just come here
Most ev'ry day an' eats,
Just satisfied to have you near
An' calling " Brown th' Wheats ! "
Before the Ball
WE 'VE orginized a social club, we 're goin' ter give a ball
T'anksgivin' night, a maskerade in old Pythogras Hall.
Der orchester ? Why, Foley's you ought ter hear 'em play.
A crowd '11 come ter make der place about four times too small ;
De odder balls dere '11 be dat night dey won't be near at all.
Kitty will be dere ! She '11 twirl wit' none but me ;
De odder duffs dat try to win her won't be in it. See ?
I 'm on der floor committee, but I '11 shake dat graft fer Kitty,
I 'm goin' to wear a dress suit dat '11 cost me t'ree !
Dere '11 be a prize awarded fer de best-dressed lady dere,
A fourteen carat super dat ticks de time fer fair ;
I'm on der prize committee, also a little bit,
De goils are crazy fer dat watch, and so what they kin spare
Goes fer a fancy costoom der award is on de square.
Fer Kitty will be dere, she kin depend on me,
De odder fellers' lady fren's dey won't be in it. See ?
I 'm on der prize committee, so der super goes ter Kitty,
Or dere 's trouble fer de odders if my way dey don't agree.
[ 57 ]
HIS motley garb was red and yellow,
Gay as the merry jests he told ;
Such a very funny fellow,
But his jokes were very old.
Danced he round the stern ring-master
Cracking many a quirk and quip ;
Ran and laughed and tumbled faster,
Dodging nimbly from the whip.
Paid he court, and that most knightly,
To the fair equestrienne,
Bowed and scraped he most politely ;
Ne'er such homage giv'n of men !
Hoop-la ! 'mid the sawdust flying
Still he jests in boisterous mirth,
Thousands laugh until they're crying
'T is the greatest show on earth !
Though I wear no red and yellow.
Still most every day I 'm told
I 'm an awfully funny fellow,
But I fear my jests are old.
[ 58 ]
Fate, stern Fate, is my ring-master,
Cracks he sternly with the whip j
Still must I grind faster, faster,
Merry jests and quirk and quip.
Pay I court, and that most knightly,
To the Editor so cold,
Bow and scrape I most politely,
(Does he think my jokes are old ?)
Hoop-la ! mummer-like, contriving
Living scant to earn by mirth,
Day by day, still vainly striving,
But I have no show on earth !
The Passing of the Wild West
NO more the wild fire fiercely leaps
Across the trackless plains,
The Eastern Pie Belt wider creeps
And holds its sodden gains.
Through wilds, where once in salted mines
Delved tenderfeet elate,
The hobo waits by two-track lines
To catch the east-bound freight.
The unshod mustang, lithe and thin,
That bore the savage chief,
Is corralled, slaughtered, put in tin
And sold as canned corn-beef.
Now in the haunts of buffalo
The traftion engine raves ;
All kinds of garden sass they grow
Above old Injun graves.
The horse thief of another day,
Who, unhung, plied his trade,
Now swipes, and scorches swift away,
The bikes of highest grade.
The rough saloons, where not to drink
Invoked the bullet's whizz,
Are marbled drug stores where the wink
Precedes the soda's fizz.
[ 60 ]
No more the "prairie schooners" drift
Across the alkali,
For now the horseless carriage swift
Goes whishing, swishing by ;
No old tar bucket at its stern,
Or yaller dorg is seen,
Instead, a motor's cog-wheels turn,
Mid smells of gasoline.
Where once the redskin, to the death,
Fought pioneer and scout,
The Swede, with alcoholic breath,
Sets rows of cabbage out.
And now the " Norther's " icy squall
Howls loud but vainly storms ;
The blanket mortgage over all
With treble thickness warms.
Ah, brave, wild West, that we in youth
Used with romance to link,
Alas, 't is truth, you Ye now, in sooth,
Completely on the dink !
Ground Hog Day
GRANTAP argifies he did. He 's shore as shore can be ;
I never seed so obstinit ol' feller such as he.
An* Maw an' me we watched out sharp, an" 1 we say thut he didn't,
Fer all day long the sun behind a cloudy sky was hiddent.
But Gran'pap argifies his way an' keeps on gitten madder,
An' says fer once the sun kem out, the groun' hawg saw his shadder.
" An airly Spring," sez Maw an' me, but Gran'pap 's obstinit j
" The groun' hawg saw his shadder, we '11 git more Winter yit."
An' there he sets so confident, an' says " he did, he did,"
Though all the while e we know the sun behind the clouds was hid.
But, like as not, no signs '11 count, we '11 get more storm an' snow,
While Gran'pap by the chimbley sits an' says, " I told yer so ! "
Ballade of the Goats
Imitation of Villon
TELL me where, in what land of shade,
Bides fair Nanny of Harlem j where
Is Buckbilly, who lightly played
From the vacant lots to his rocky lair,
And Gilligan's goat that was scalded bare ?
The pride of the squatter no more we know,
And the Rosedale Flats tower high in air
But the goats ? Oh ! ask me of last year's snow.
For the tarriers long have drilled the rock,
Have drilled and blasted and fired away j
And the flats have risen, block on block,
Where the gentle goat has leaped in play.
No more doth the Celt in his shanty stay,
Or in Kerry Patch his cabbages grow,
Or sport his regalia on Patrick's Day
And the goat ? Oh ! ask me of last year's snow.
Oh ! where is the goat of the A. O. H.,
Ridden by Casey and Kelly and Dwyer ?
Where is the billy who thought he could tache
Some sinse to the goat of the Widow Maguire ? -
The goat that foolishly dared to aspire
To lay the champion of Shantytown low j
And where are the goats of Mike Mclntyre ?
Ask me j oh ! ask me of last year's snow.
[ 63 ]
Prince > you may question where the goats are,
While northward, still northward, the city doth grow
For the rocks and the shanties no longer are there,
And the goats ? Oh ! ask me of last year's snow.
IV. Various Verfes
Aunt Hetty at the County Fair
" 1 ^ ZR A likes the cattle best,
H Wants to spend the hull time there j
* <4 Sees the prize stock and the rest,
Sez, * That makes a County Fair ! '
" Likes the trotters, and he '11 shout,
* Bet yer Perkins's colt '11 beat ! '
Makes me stand and watch it out,
Till they trot the final heat.
" And me jest dying fer to see
The temp'rence stand the wimmen built
Where Mis' Ann Beasley 's waitin' me,
To show me her prize crazy quilt.
" Five thousand pieces, arid it took
Two years to make it, Mis' Ann said 5
I got no chance to have a look,
Fer Ez takes me elsewhere instead.
" He 's sick of fancy work, is Ez,
Fer cakes and jellies does n't care 5
' Let 's see some novelties,' he sez,
4 They 've got *em this year at the Fair.'
[ 67 ]
"And so we saw a Cairo Street,
The man said 't was a moral show ;
It may have bin, but I 'm clean beat
If I could ever think it so.
"According to the man's remarks,
In Bible days they danced as there ;
If so of them old patriarchs
I 'm dubious since the County Fair !
The Time of the Ramadan
And its Difference Here and There
BY Bagdad's shrines of fretted gold, by the Tigris's yellow flow,
Where the palace-lights on Ramadan nights gleam with a mellow
Then the days are times of solemn fasts and prayers toward the East,
But at set of sun the fast is done and the Mussulman can feast.
,Oh ! it must be grand to live in that land, a Caliph or a Cadi,
With no worry in life and to have as a wife some dark-eyed Persian lady.
One could have more say three or four and be a full-fledged Turk,
And take one's measure of languid leisure and never have to work.
Where attared fountains cast their spray in showers of gleaming pearls
To soft recline while slaves serve wine, till the time of the dancing girls ;
Who come when the jewelled hookahs burn and the scented smoke-clouds
And whose motions tell what Houris dwell in Mahomed's paradise.
Oh ! a Ramadan night is out of sight (I could stand the fasting day) ;
For after dark it 's a regular lark in' a high old Turkish way.
But here it 's Lent ; I have n't a cent, and my chances to get to Turkey
For a Ramadan feast, to say the least, are somewhat dark and murky.
Aunt Ann's Plum Pudding
NOWADAYS your plum puddin'
Comes out of a can j
Nuthin' like the real old thing
Made by our Aunt Ann.
Full of raisins and sech things,
Boiled it in a bag ;
Tell you what, Aunt Ann's plum puddin' 's
'Nuff to make you brag.
Allus had 'em fer dessert
Christmus an' Thanksgivin' j
The very sauce that went with 'em
Made life worth the livin'.
No vaniller there, I guess,
But the real old brandy ;
Case if any one got sick
Aunt Ann kep' it handy.
An' though the folks 'at eat it were
All ardent prohibition,
They ust' take plenty of the sauce
Without the least suspicion.
And many a bitter family fuss
Aunt Ann was cause of healin',
Fer after sauce and puddin' came
An ery of good feelin'.
OUR kid has jest begun to walk,
He toddles round the floor ;
He 's sorter backward yet to talk,
But hokey ! he kin roar.
He wants a thing, he wants it quick,
Yer got to git it, too,
Or he '11 lay down and yell an' kick,
'T would split yer head in two.
He breaks his plate, he breaks his cup,
He scratches up the walls ;
He tears the books and piftures up,
He 's allers gettin' falls.
He 's got poor Towser almost mad,
The old cat dreads his clutch ;
I guess it 's jest because he 's bad
We love that kid so much !
Anent the Fourteenth of February
WHEN my short summers numbered nine,
My heart still aching yet because
I 'd learned there was no Santa Claus,
I turned then to that saint benign,
Love's patron, good Saint Valentine,
And on the Fourteenth of February
I bought a Valentine for Mary.
Smith was her other name. It had
Some verses written " To My Love ! "
Borne by a pretty snow-white dove.
'T was lace and gilt, such was the fad
In Valentines when I, a lad,
Bought one and thought to send it with
A three-cent stamp to Mary Smith.
I 'd picked her out of all the crowd
When first we met ; 't was at a party j
But she, she sniffed and called me "smarty,"
Turned up her nose, in faft was proud,
Nor in the kiss games once allowed
My near approach ; in faft, did spurn
All forfeits when it came my turn.
Her father kept a butcher store }
I longed to be a butcher man
In jacket knit of cardigan,
For this he in all seasons wore,
And weighed three hundred pounds or more.
Her brother in his teens was callow ;
He greased his boots with mutton tallow.
Ah, me ! by some mischance I sent
That Valentine, with fond love freighted,
Unto the schoolma'am, whom I hated.
The "comic" for the teacher meant
Unto the lass I well loved went.
Both knew from whom their missives came.
The teacher smiled j but, just the same,
That brother big caught me and whopped
Me black and blue, straightway, forthwith j
While cruel, scoffing Mary Smith
Stood by and laughed, nor stayed nor stopped
Her brother, till his tired arm dropped.
He ate beefsteak three times a day,
And whopping me for him was play.
Old Smith these many years is dead.
His son, who harshly used me so,
Now runs the beefsteak studio.
And Mary ? she long since has wed
Her brother's Dutch assistant, Fred.
Thus dainty cards by Tuck and Prang
Rouse up old mem'ries with a pang.
Song of the Old Sky Blue
THE old Sky Blue, the old Sky Blue,
She 's now but a battered hulk ;
But years ago, when she was new
An' carried coal in bulk,
No boat along the whole canal
Had such a team or crew
Singing " Hi ! I love a yaller gal ! "
The old Sky Blue, Sky Blue.
The old Sky Blue, the old Sky Blue,
Oh, she only ran by day ;
We used to dance the whole night through
And on the banjo play.
Tied to the berm, to laugh and shout
At night-boats passing through
Singing " Hi ! does yer mother know yer out ? "
The old Sky Blue, Sky Blue.
The old Sky Blue, the old Sky Blue,
She was my pride and joy ;
One time I worked my passage through
On her as a driver boy.
If I tried to ride, the mules 'd balk,
Then up comes the chaffin 1 crew
Singing " Hi ! don't you think you 'd better walk ? '
The old Sky Blue, Sky Blue.
The old Sky Blue, the old Sky Blue,
I 'm glad your days are done ;
For mules were good enough for you
In them old times 'at 's gone.
They 'd put a motor in you now,
You 'd be a night-boat, too
Singing "Hi ! for the trolley on your bow !
The old Sky Blue, Sky Blue.
[ 75 1
The Place called "Easy Street"
OH ! what is the way to Easy Street which turning shall I go ?
For many a day I Ve sought the way that no one seems to know.
How do you turn ? do you keep straight on, and get there just by pluck,
Or is it the case that you find the place by chance and happy luck ?
Some say this and some say that, for every one I meet,
Going it blind or searching to find, is looking for Easy Street.
Easy Street! Easy Street! The street so hard to find!
No sign-boards show the route to go save the ways that lie behind.
But Fortune's smile is worth the while, so never know defeat,
When the very next turn for you may earn the way to Easy Street.
From little Queer Street through Hard Times Court to the Highway of
Is the nearest way, I Ve heard some say, and it is true, I guess.
So through Poverty Place my way I trace (with Queer Street left behind),
But in Hard Times Court the way 's cut short it ends in an alley blind.
In the Lane of Chance I sometimes glance, but the risk seems all too great,
To turn and stray down its winding way and blindly follow fate.
So, with courage high, I strive and try, seeking with weary feet,
My way to grope, nerved still with hope, the way to Easy Street !
Easy Street! Easy Street! Where happy mortals dwell,
Out of the strife of work-day life and the battles of buy and sell.
Wearing good clothes, having no foes, with lifers good things replete,
Oh, happy fate ! to dwell in state, at last, on Easy Street!
We will all of us live on Easy Street when things have gone our way,
When fortune and fame shall attend our name and leisure comes to stay,
C 76 ]
Through the deed achieved we Ve had in our minds the long last year or
Giving us zest to finish the rest of the things-we-are-going-to-do.
With the toil of these struggling days forgot, and our happiness all com-
No trouble or care will bother us there when we live on Easy Street !
Easy Street! Easy Street! Where the skies are always blue,
And all of the schemes of our well-loved dreams are e<ver coming true.
We V/ li<ve at our ease and do as we please and find that life is sweet
When through toll and pain at last we gain our way to Easy Street!
[ 77 ]
" Settled Down"
A rude and simple Lay, concerning one Brown,
which concealeth a Moral
EB. BROWN he was a steady lad
Who worked from dawn till dark j
He never knew of boyish fun,
Or had a boyish lark.
And all the neighbors praised him up
"That son of Farmer Brown,
Who seems so kind of sensible,
So old and settled down."
And as he grew in size and age
His habits were the same j
He worked and worked, and still he held
For steadiness his name.
He never went out with the boys,
Or painted red the town ;
He married a good and quiet girl,
" And went and settled down."
The other boys whom he had known,
Ambitious, sought for fame j
One died the Gov'nor of the State,
One gained a hero's name.
But still Eb.'s course had steady been,
He sought no praise, renown
" Let others roam, I '11 stay at home,"
Said he, "and settle down."
[ 78 ]
A few days since I passed the place
Where he is laid to rest j
(For long the church-yard grass has grown
Above that tired breast.)
And even here it is the same
For Ebenezer Brown
The very grave wherein he lies,
Like him, has settled down.
GOLLY ! My mother does n't know
What good times I have, you bet !
Or where o' Saturdays I go,
'N' I ain't goin' tell her yet.
For, what does mothers know 'bout boys ?
Think they ought to look like girls,
An' fix 'em up like Fauntleroys
Want to see 'em wearin' curls.
The "Injun Killers" that"** my crowd !
Hang out round the tan-yard shed
Buck Brown an' Double-jointed Dowd,
Wot kin kick things off his head.
An' Chalkey White, a nigger boy,
Yet he 's a member, just the same,
Like Scotty Smith an' Mickey Foy,
Or crippled Dick Malone, 'at 's lame.
An' Buck Brown 's got a pistol Phew !
He 's 'le&ed capt'in jest fer that ;
It 's seven-shooter, twenty-two
One time I seen him shoot a cat !
Buck Brown 's a feller awful nice,
You ought to see him a-doin' stunts }
He licked Yeller Hammer Rice
Fer givin' me Injun turnip once.
[ 80 ]
Gee-whizz ! He 's smart ; he 's got a stack
Of Nickel Lib'ries he 's read through,
'Bout Denver Dan an' Pinto Jack j
He 's goin' to let me read 'em, too.
An' once I tumbled in the vat 5
But he, he wouldn't let me drown
Say, if my mother knew of that,
Would she be kind to poor Buck Brown ?
A Marsh Symphony
THE little frog sits on the bank by the pool
When the stars are beginning to peep j
The night wind comes sighing by softly and cool,
And he 's plaintively singing " Knee Deep ! "
Knee Deep! Knee Deep ! And it "sfar to the kg
Where waits the frog maiden he lo<ves in the bog j
And his clothes are all new, so what can he do ?
" Knee T>eep! " wails the poor little frog.
Far o'er by the innermost depths of the marsh,
From his lair by the calamus roots,
The big bull-frog's voice rings dismal and harsh
As he answers him back, " RUBBER BOOTS ! "
RUBBER BOOTS ! RUBBER BOOTS ! to wade to the log
Where 'waits the frog maiden you love in the bog
If your clothes are all new that V the best thing to do.
" RUBBER BOOTS ! " says the big bull-frog.
But such foot gear is scarce, or he finds none that suits,
For still will that little frog weep j
And all night the bull-frog cries back "RUBBER BOOTS
When he hears him calling "Knee Deep!'"'
"Knee Deep!" "RUBBER BOOTS ! " a duet in the bog^
'The frog maid forlorn is alone on her kg.
What can her kve do 'when his clothes are all new?
"RUBBER BOOTS ! " cries the big bull-frog.
Ballade of Old Songs
TELL me where, in what land of shade,
Echo the strains of the songs once sung
By young and old, by man and maid,
In childish treble, by lisping tongue,
By singers great, where spellbound hung
The throng. The tunes that once were played
By organ men both far and near,
Nor stayed nor stopped till coin they'd wrung -
Where are the songs of yester year ?
Where is "Emma" we sung with "Whoa ! "
That stirring tune, "The Golden Stairs,"
Or " Annie Rooney," loved by Joe,
"Sweet Violets" and kindred airs ?
No one remembers now nor cares j
"Marguerite" they no longer know,
" Peek-a-Boo " is forgot, I fear,
"White Wings," too. It is better so
Where are the songs of yester year ?
Prince, they are gone. Yet still allow
One hope is left us full of cheer :
Songs as bad we are singing now
Will soon be the songs of yester year.
When Mary Climbed the Tree
N ev'ry bough ripe cherries hung,
At ev'ry breeze they swayed and swung,
The feeding robins flew away
As Mary climbed that summer day
Watching her feat in wild surprise,
Watching her feet with open eyes
" Go 'way ! " she shrieked, and held her gown,
But he said, " I '11 stay till you come down,
Bet ! "
Sing hey ! for the yokel who laughed in glee
At the weeping maid in the cherry tree
The Guileless Chinaman
IT is the guileless Chinaman,
Upon his way he goes,
With merry smile and cheek of tan
And basketful of clothes.
Of mocking jibes and taunting cries
He neither heeds nor cares j
But still upon his way he hies
And minds his own affairs.
He never swears, he never fights,
He never loafs nor drinks,
He never " stands up for his rights,"
Nor tells you what he thinks.
His terms are striftly C. O. D.,
He asks but what 's his due ;
Don't bother him at all and he
Will never bother you.
And oft beneath his hat you '11 see
His plaited hair close rolled :
He goes his way but yet could he
A curious tail unfold.
Ye Foolish Old Bard and Ye Wise
YE mightie King sat in his halle, his nobles at his syde,
But bored, in sooth, to say the truth, for all his haughtie pride.
He would not to ye green woode goe, nor hunting of ye hart or doe,
What once he much admired.
And when Sir Bertram Bevis spake of hawking heron by ye lake,
Ye King with glance did make him quake.
Saith he : " You make me tired ! "
Then up and stood his seneschal and craved his liege's grace j
He saith : " There stands without ye halle two wand'ring minstrels at
And strangers to ye place.
A Harper one, a man of eld, a bard such as in Scotia dwelled
In other times gone by.
He wakes his wild harp's martial strains with sturdy, strong, and bold
Which make men fight and die.
Ye other 's but a Troubadour, such as without ye postern door
At midnight serenades.
And tho' ye archers at him shoot, yet still ye maundering galoot,
Will yowl his ballads to his lute to please ye love-sicke maides."
"We '11 see him later," said ye King ; " but first we '11 have ye Harper sing.
These lutists give me pains !
But wand'ring minstrels bowed with age are taught by time to be more
And come in when it rains."
[ 87 ]
Ye Harper 's seated in ye halle, across ye strings his fingers falle,
And he could play, I wis ;
He bowed with reverence to ye King, and with crack *d voice essayed to sing,
A strain that ran like this :
" O King ! ye sit within your halle, with knights and nobles at your call,
And never one has got the gall to ever say ye nay !
But all these vanities of thine, thy costly fare and raiment fine,
Some day must pass away.
Beware ! Beware ! your doleful doom, when you shall moulder in ye
He got no further, for ye King his sceptre then did at him fling,
Which, hap'ly, was not sharp.
The dogs were at ye croaker sic'd then one and all ye good knights kicked
Ye stuffing from his harp.
"Bring now ye other minstrel in !" then cried ye King, as mad as sin,
" And if he sings such doleful lays
As hath this mug we Ve lately heard, upon me royal oath and word
I '11 give him sixty days !"
Ye other minstrel, young was he, he touched his lute most daintilee
And said, " I '11 do me best ;
For I have played in many lands with Georgia Minstrels one-night
But out in Camelot we strands, an' I hoofs it from de West ! "
Then he touched his lute to a merry air, and did his best turn for them
In a way that caught ye gang.
He had no doleful tale to tell, but he gave them ye lay of " Daisie Belle,"
And this, likewise, he sang :
[ 88 ]
" Oh, never was there a king like you, or ever one half as great j
I tell ye truth as a regular thing and I give this to you straight !
You 've got a record out of sight, you always treat your people white,
And they to honor you delight, O King ! most wise and great ! "
At this ye monarch beamed with glee ; " I will not hear you more,"
" For my great holt is modesty and you have sung enough ! "
But, by request, " After ye Balle," and " Ye Bowerie," too, he sang for
Until the nobles in the halle cried, whooping, "That's ye stuff! "
Ye moral of this ancient lay still holdeth good until this day,
The which is simply this :
That he who for a guerdon sings must ne'er harp on unpleasant things
To peasants, nobles, knaves, or kings j and this is true, I wis.
Ye Artifice of Dame Allyce
A Goodlie Ballade of ye Olden Times
Wherein is Sette Forth Howe the Ingenuity of Hys Goode Ladye,
in an Adverse Hour, Didde Rouse ye Slothful Sir Bertram Bevis,
of the Lake, to Industrie and A6lion
Listen, Lordlings, nubile ye may.
Unto ye Bard <w ho sings a lay
Of happenings in an elder daye,
The <vuhich, in sooth, is this :
How, long ago, a sturdy knyghte
Who didde in reckless ways delyghte
Bye hys goode dame 'was sette aryghte,
And it is true, I nvis.
SIR BERTRAM BEVIS, of ye Lake,
Unto hymselfe to wife didde take
Ye goode Sir Cauline's daughter.
And Dame Allyce was fair to see j
Shee could embroider daintilee
And sampler work so fyne didde shee
For thus her mother taught her.
But, Bertram, tho' a stark goode knyghte,
I-faith, he was a reckless wight
Who onlie joyed in joust or fyghte,
Or onne adventures sallied.
[ 90 ]
Heedless he passed hys tyme away
Att cardes and dicing all ye daye
Or singing catches droll and gaye,
And o'er ye wine-cup dallied.
Yette think net in ye olden tymes,
When minstrels sang and made their rhymes.
It was all beere and skittles.
Beshrew me ! Times to some were tight
Andy eftsoons, many a goodlie knyghte
Must hustle for his <vifiuals !
Now all ye joustings they were done
Ye tournaments where fyghte and funne
Had raged both fast and furious.
And Winter fell in Camelot,
A Winter cold and drear, I wot.
No more yt ballad curious,
" Hot Tyme in ye Towne To-Nighte ! "
Was sung 'twas deemed injurious.
And still yt brave and parlous knyghte,
Sir Bertram Bevis, of ye Lake,
Had found it harde, indeed, to make
Bothe endes to meete, if we hear right.
He had laid bye a meagre store
Of sundries for ye Winter sore,
And of white monie he 'd no more
Than e'en ye poorest churl.
And thenne ye merchants didde hym dunne
For debts he owed, from sunne to sunne,
And hym a belted Earl !
Ye while hys gentil ladye fair
May fate send us her kind to share
Our days of joy and days of care
Kept up hys spirits daily.
"Soon will ye Winter cold pass bye,"
Quoth shee, " and Sprynge will glad your eye ;
We '11 all be happy yette, you bette !
So, keep in bounds of reason,"
She saith with other words of cheer
Yt pleased hym muche, indeed, to hear.
So passed the tyme till it grew near
Ye joyous Christmasse season.
But, ah ! they were far in arrear
In payments on their household gear
Until, withe many a threat and jeer,
That they myghte notte mistake them,
This word was sent : "No more delay
Your household goodes instalments paye
Or else we '11 come and take them."
In vain ye goode Sir Bertram strove,
They tooke both pannes and pottes and stove,
Until ye knyghte cried out, " By Jove !
As I 'm a living sinner,
How will we now have ought to eat,
How shalle we roast or frye our meat,
How shalle we cooke our dinner ?"
But still Dame Allyce gave hym cheer :
" What do we care for kitchen gear ?
We '11 make out well, so do notte fear
And do notte be repining.
[ 92 ]
Take off ye corselet yt you wear,
Your goode steel hawberk yt 's suche care
To keep all bryghte and shining."
Hys corselet 's set upon ye grounde,
Ye steel yt saved from scar and wounde
Sir Bertram oft j and it was founde
A splendid stove to make.
Ye iron sleeve, at ye elbow bend,
Ye dame turned uppe, yt it myghte send
Ye smoak aloft, he saw her trend
Saith he : " You take ye cake ! "
Then, in hys helmet, as a disshe,
Shee boyled for hym a goode salt fissche,
And colewort, too, beside.
Hys broad shield with its rounding curve
Shee made it as a platter serve
Sir Bertram gazed with pryde.
" Come weal or woe ! " he cryed amain,
" Thou art a dame worth while to gain,
And sore would be my grief and pain
To lose thee from my syde ! "
All is notte told : yt afternoon
Shee heated uppe hys spur-decked shoon,
And with it and its mate she soon
Had all her ironing donne.
"Then save you fair, my gracious dame !
Sir Bertram cryed ; "you putte to shame
Ye joustyngs I have wonne !
I, in yt suit of nickel-plate,
Have in ye tourneys tempted fate,
[ 93 ]
While here, in suche a goodlie state,
You cook ye dinner in it !
A better use for armor bryghte
Than to be worn by slothful knyghte,
Who onlie thought hym of ye fyghte,
And how to wage and win it.
" Belike, your ready wit is suche
Yt it, in sooth, doth shame me muche
To watch you stir and bustle.
Forthwith I'll sette no more and pine
That better fortune is notte mine,
But I "11 gette out and hustle ! "
He didde. And, Gentles, would you know ?
Ere Spryngtyme's flowers didde bloom and blow,
Or yette had fell ye last light snowe
So well and goode he strove
Hys spryghtly ladye hadde her meed j
No longer used shee in her need
His corselet for a stove.
For, by his efforts goode and bolde
He brought hym in a store of golde
They left their castle, damp and olde j
And, bye next Yuletide's comyng,
He reared a stately edifice,
All furnished uppe with gear of price
And sanitarie plumbyng !
D. B. Updike
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