The Tragedy

Quæque ipse miserrima vidi.-- VIRGIL.

Catherine of Cleves was a Lady of rank,
She had lands and fine houses, and cash in the Bank;
She had jewels and rings,
And a thousand smart things;
Was lovely and young,
With a rather sharp tongue,
And she wedded a Noble of high degree
With the star of the order of St. Esprit;
But the Duke de Guise
Was, by many degrees,
Her senior, and not very easy to please;
He'd a sneer on his lip, and a scowl with his eye,


The Town Down by the River

I

Said the Watcher by the Way
To the young and the unladen,
To the boy and to the maiden,
"God be with you both to-day.
First your song came ringing,
Now you come, you two--
Knowing naught of what you do,
Or of what your dreams are bringing.

"O you children who go singing
To the Town down the River,
Where the millions cringe and shiver,
Tell me what you know to-day;
Tell me how far you are going,
Tell me how you find your way.
O you children who are dreaming,


The Teacher's Monologue

THE room is quiet, thoughts alone
People its mute tranquillity;
The yoke put on, the long task done,­
I am, as it is bliss to be,
Still and untroubled. Now, I see,
For the first time, how soft the day
O'er waveless water, stirless tree,
Silent and sunny, wings its way.
Now, as I watch that distant hill,
So faint, so blue, so far removed,
Sweet dreams of home my heart may fill,
That home where I am known and loved:
It lies beyond; yon azure brow
Parts me from all Earth holds for me;


The Tale of the Tiger-Tree

A Fantasy, dedicated to the little poet Alice Oliver Henderson, ten years old.

The Fantasy shows how tiger-hearts are the cause of war in all ages. It shows how the mammoth forces may be either friends or enemies of the struggle for peace. It shows how the dream of peace is unconquerable and eternal.



I

Peace-of-the-Hea rt, my own for long,
Whose shining hair the May-winds fan,
Making it tangled as they can,
A mystery still, star-shining yet,
Through ancient ages known to me


The Spooniad

[The late Mr. Jonathan Swift Somers, laureate of Spoon River, planned The Spooniad as an epic in twenty-four books, but unfortunately did not live to complete even the first book. The fragment was found among his papers by William Marion Reedy and was for the first time published in Reedy's Mirror of December 18th, 1914.]


Of John Cabanis' wrath and of the strife
Of hostile parties, and his dire defeat
Who led the common people in the cause
Of freedom for Spoon River, and the fall
Of Rhodes' bank that brought unnumbered woes


The Stormy Petrel

A THOUSAND miles from land are we,
Tossing about on the roaring sea;
From billow to bounding billow cast,
Like fleecy snow on the stormy blast:
The sails are scatter’d abroad, like weeds,
The strong masts shake like quivering reeds,
The mighty cables, and iron chains,
The hull, which all earthly strength disdains,
They strain and they crack, and hearts like stone
Their natural hard, proud strength disown.

Up and down! Up and down!
From the base of the wave to the billow’s crown,


The Sergeant's Weddin

'E was warned agin' 'er --
That's what made 'im look;
She was warned agin' 'im --
That is why she took.
'Wouldn't 'ear no reason,
'Went an' done it blind;
We know all about 'em,
They've got all to find!

Cheer for the Sergeant's weddin' --
Give 'em one cheer more!
Grey gun-'orses in the lando,
An' a rogue is married to, etc.

What's the use o' tellin'
'Arf the lot she's been?
'E's a bloomin' robber,
~An'~ 'e keeps canteen.
'Ow did 'e get 'is buggy?


The Song of Hiawatha X

X. Hiawatha's Wooing

"As unto the bow the cord is,
So unto the man is woman,
Though she bends him, she obeys him,
Though she draws him, yet she follows,
Useless each without the other!"

Thus the youthful Hiawatha
Said within himself and pondered,
Much perplexed by various feelings,
Listless, longing, hoping, fearing,
Dreaming still of Minnehaha,
Of the lovely Laughing Water,
In the land of the Dacotahs.

"Wed a maiden of your people,"
Warning said the old Nokomis;


The Song of Quoodle

They haven't got no noses,
The fallen sons of Eve;
Even the smell of roses
Is not what they supposes;
But more than mind discloses
And more than men believe.

They haven't got no noses,
They cannot even tell
When door and darkness closes
The park a Jew encloses,
Where even the law of Moses
Will let you steal a smell.

The brilliant smell of water,
The brave smell of a stone,
The smell of dew and thunder,
The old bones buried under,
Are things in which they blunder


The shut-eye train

Come, my little one, with me!
There are wondrous sights to see
As the evening shadows fall;
In your pretty cap and gown,
Don't detain
The Shut-Eye train -
"Ting-a-ling!" the bell it goeth,
"Toot-toot!" the whistle bloweth,
And we hear the warning call:
"All aboard for Shut-Eye Town!"

Over hill and over plain
Soon will speed the Shut-Eye train!
Through the blue where bloom the stars
And the Mother Moon looks down
We'll away
To land of Fay -
Oh, the sights that we shall see there!


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