A Wail uttered in the Woman's Club

God bless you, merry ladies,
May nothing you dismay,
As you sit here at ease and hark
Unto my dismal lay.
Get out your pocket-handkerchiefs,
Give o'er your jokes and songs,
Forget awhile your Woman's Rights,
And pity author's wrongs.

There is a town of high repute,
Where saints and sages dwell,
Who in these latter days are forced
To bid sweet peace farewell;
For all their men are demigods, —
So rumor doth declare, —
And all the women are De Staels,
And genius fills the air.

So eager pilgrims penetrate
To their most private nooks,
Storm their back doors in search of news
And interview their cooks,
Worship at every victim's shrine,
See haloes round their hats,
Embalm the chickweed from their yards
And photograph their cats.

There's Emerson, the poet wise,
This much-enduring man,
Sees Jenkinses from every clime,
But dodges when he can.
Chaos and Cosmos down below
Their waves of trouble roll,
While safely in his attic locked,
He woos the Oversoul.

And Hawthorne, shy as any maid,
From these invaders fled
Out of the window like a wraith,
Or to his tower sped —
Till vanishing from this rude world,
He left behind no clue,
Except along the hillside path
The violet's tender blue.

Channing scarce dares at eventide
To leave his lonely lair;
Reporters lurk on every side
And hunt him like a bear.
Quaint Thoreau sought the wilderness,
But callers by the score
Scared the poor hermit from his cell,
The woodchuck from his door.

There's Alcott, the philosopher,
Who labored long and well
Plato's Republic to restore,
Now keeps a free hotel;
Whole boarding-schools of gushing girls
The hapless mansion throng,
And Young Men's Christian U-ni-ons,
Full five-and-seventy strong.

Alas! what can the poor souls do?
Their homes are homes no more;
No washing-day is sacred now;
Spring cleaning's never o'er.
Their doorsteps are the stranger's camp,
Their trees bear many a name,
Artists their very nightcaps sketch;
And this — and this, is fame!

Deluded world! your Mecca is
A sand-bank glorified;
The river that you seek and sing
Has " skeeters, " but no tide.
The gods raise " garden-sarse " and milk,
And in these classic shades
Dwell nineteen chronic invalids
And forty-two old maids.

Some April shall the world behold
Embattled authors stand,
With steel-pens of the sharpest tip
In every inky hand.
Their bridge shall be a bridge of sighs,
Their motto, " Privacy " ;
Their bullets like that Luther flung
When bidding Satan flee.

Their monuments of ruined books,
Of precious wasted days,
Of tempers tried, distracted brains,
That might have won fresh bays.
And round this sad memorial,
Oh, chant for requiem:
Here lie our murdered geniuses;
Concord has conquered them.
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