Friday, September 5, 2008



In the silence of the night,
If I waken with affright
From a dream that's full of terror and annoy,
There's a sound that fills my heart
With a melody of art
Full of beauty, full of pleasure, full of joy.

'Tis the steady "tick, tick, tock,"
Of my sturdy little clock,
As it sits across the room upon a shelf,
And it says: "Don't be afraid,
For I've closely by you staid
While you were off in the land of dreams your self.

"With a steady 'tick, tick, tick,'
I am never tired or sick,
And I count the minutes over as they fly.
I'm the truest friend you've got,
And share your ev'ry lot,
And I'm ready to stand by you till you die."

It's a common sort of clock,
But I like its lusty "tock,"
And it fills my soul with courage by its song
In the storm or cold or rain
I hear its bright refrain
As it faithfully pursues its path along.

For it tells me to be true
To each thing I have to do,
And no matter if the world applaud or scorn;
That full soon must pass the night
And the sweet and precious light
Be unfolded with the coming of the morn.

— Hamilton Jay in Florida Times-Union.



My dear little sweetheart, fond and true,
Thinking of laddie so far away,
For laddie is all this world to you—
Your dream by night and your hope by day.
What though your swain be of humble birth;
The love in your heart his praise will sing.
Dear little brown eyes, you know his worth;
Affection enthrones him as your king.

Brave little lassie, whose soft words cheer
When the world is dark and skins o'ercast,
Making the future seem bright and clear—
The heaven of joy looms up at last.
Laddie, fold close to your loyal breast
This dear little woman, fond and true.
Her creed is simple and soon confest
In a sweet and tender "I love you!"

—J. T. B. in Boston Traveller.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Lady's Violin


If I were but her violin,
Pressed lovingly beneath her chin,
Ah, what ecstatic bliss!
To feel the throbbing of each vein
As from sweet music's tangled skein
Come sounds as soft as summer's rain
When storm clouds gently kiss!
If I were but her violin,
Her wooing, cooing violin!

If I were but her violin,
With envied place beneath her chin,
How sweet would be the note
I'd yield to her caressing hands—
The treasure which her skill demands,
Or servile be, as slave who stands
To kiss the hand which smote,
If I were but her violin,
Her heart subduing violin!

If I were but her violin,
To rest no more beneath her chin,
How sad would be the day
When music's daughter was brought low,
And when, with trembling hands and slow,
She'd lay me with the useless bow,
Forever from her touch away!
An old, neglected violin,
A silent, soundless violin!

— T. Hussey in Midland Monthly.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Old Trundle Bed


Oh, the old trundle bed where I slept when a boy!
What canopied king might not covet the joy!
The glory and peace of that slumber of mine,
Like a long, gracious rest in the bosom divine;
The quaint, homely couch, hidden close from the light,
But daintily drawn from its hiding place at night.
Oh, a nest of delight, from the foot to the head,
Was the queer little, dear little old trundle bed!

Oh, the old trundle bed where I wondering saw
The stars through the window and listened with awe
To the sigh of the winds as they tremblingly crept
Through the trees where the robins so restlessly slept;
Where I heard the low, murmurous chirp of the wren
And the katydid listlessly chirrup again
Till my fancies grew faint and were drowsily led
Through the maze of the dreams of the old trundle bed.

Oh, the old trundle bed! Oh, the old trundle bed!
With its plump little pillow and old fashioned spread,
Its snowy white sheets and the blankets above,
Smoothed down and tucked round with the touches of love;
The voice of my mother to lull me to sleep
With the old fairy stories may memories keep
Still fresh as the lilies that bloom o'er the head
Once bowed o'er my own in the old trundle bed!

— James Whitcomb Riley in "Armazindy."

Friday, July 25, 2008

She Sold Her Diary


How a Girl Turned the Edge of a Joke to the Benefit of the Poor.

There seems to be no limit to a woman's self sacrifice when she once takes a charitable object to heart. This is the story of a girl who sold her diary, and you have to be a woman to realize all that that means.

It was on shipboard, and it happened on the way over from Liverpool. The girl was a millionaire's daughter, and in addition to devoting her pocket money to the East Side mission, of which she was a patroness, she spent most of her leisure time crocheting wonderful and altogether useless nothings, which she persuaded her rich admirers to buy at fabulous prices for the benefit of the poor. She had devoted the entire trip to this pretty work, except for an hour a day, which she spent in filling her diary with such sentimental observations as misses of 20 or thereabout are apt to find expression for on the innocent white pages of their diaries.

The friends she had victimized on the way over by luring dollars from their pockets in exchange for her crocheted things made much sport of her diary and at last conspired against her peace of mind.

"Now, say, Miss Blank," said one them in pursuance of the plot, "we have decided to strike. We are not going to help your tenement house heathen a cent's worth more unless you sell us your diary. How much will you take for it?"

"How much will you give?" asked the girl after a little thought.

Five dollars was then bid and refused. Miss Blank then playfully put the precious volume up at auction, and the men in the party, never dreaming that she could be in earnest, piled bid upon bid until the price stood at $65.

"The diary is yours, Mr. Jones," said the girl to the successful bidder, "but remember my terms are spot cash, with the further condition that you leave it with me until I can make a copy for myself."

The laugh was on Jones, and his companions forced him to pay down the money on the spot. Miss Blank delivered the diary, and of course all that the unlucky joker could do was to return it unopened with his compliments. — New York Herald.

To the Robin


Sweet singer of the sweet sad days,
Thy requiem for the summer dead
Rings clearly through the golden haze,
While o'er thy head
The sere leaves, with a gentle sigh,
Float softly down to earth to die —
Gold, brown and red.

And is thy song all sadness? Nay,
Thy little heart full well doth know
That where the sere leaf breaks away
The bud doth show
Sure promise of another spring,
When thy glad song with love will ring,
Sweet, clear and low.

—Arthur Wright in Chambers' Journal.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Part and Counterpart


The infant soul made up of images
Is like a lake, itself almost unseen,
But holding pictured in its "pure serene"
The sky above and the surrounding trees,
Till o'er the surface creeps a rising breeze
And slowly ruffles into silver sheen
Those depths of azure fringed with branching green,
A flame that follows on a form that flees.

As intermingled with the flow of being
It loses sight in gaining sympathy,
So action quenches all our primal seeing.
We cannot be both part and counterpart
Of outward things, and that passivity
A poet praised is half the poet's art.

— Alfred W. Benn in Academy.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Bird's Flight


From some bright cloudlet dropping,
From branch to blossom hopping,
Then drinking from a small brown stone
That stood alone
Amid the brook; then singing,
It soared. My bird had flown.

A glimpse of beauty only
That left the glen more lonely?
Nay, truly, for its song and flight
Made earth more bright.
If men were less regretful,
And fretful,
Would life yield less delight?

— William Cantor.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008



Because I hold it sinful to despond
And will not let the bitterness of life
Blind me with burning tears, but look beyond
Its tumults and its strife;

Because I lift my head above the mist,
Where the sun shines and the broad breezes blow,
By every ray and every raindrop kissed
That God's love cloth bestow,

Think you I find no bitterness at all?
No burden to be borne like Christian's pack?
Think you there are no tears ready to fall
Because I keep them back?

Why should I hug life's ills with cold reserve,
To curse myself and all who love me? Nay,
A thousand times more good than I deserve
God gives me every day!

And in each one of these rebellious tears
Kept bravely back he makes a rainbow shine.
Grateful I take his slightest gift. No fears
Nor any doubts are mine.

Dark skies must clear, and when the clouds are past
One golden day redeems a weary year.
Patient I listen, sure that sweet at last
Will sound his voice of cheer.

—Celia Thaxter in New York Weekly.

Monday, June 23, 2008



Since she went home
Longer the evening shadows linger here,
The winter days fill so much of the year,
And even summer winds are chill and drear
Since she went home.

Since she went home
The robin's note has touched a minor strain.
The old glad songs breathe a sad refrain,
And laughter sobs with hidden, bitter pain
Since she went home.

Since she went home
How still the empty rooms her presence blessed!
Untouched the pillow that her dear head pressed.
My lonely heart hath nowhere for its rest
Since she went home.

Since she went home
The long, long days have crept away like years,
The sunlight has been dimmed with doubts and fears,
And the dark nights have rained in lonely tears
Since she went home.