Monday, December 30, 2013

"Facing the New Year" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1924)

Facing the New Year.


        1. Man's Need of Guidance.

        "Show me Thy ways, O Lord, teach me Thy paths."—Ps. xxv., 4. "Lead me, O Lord, in Thy righteousness, make Thy ways straight before my Face"—Ps. v., 8.

        God's Attitude.

        "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go. I will guide thee with Mine Eye."—Ps. xxxii, 8.

        3. The Outcome.

        "So He bringeth them unto their desired haven."—Ps. cvii, 30.

        As Nineteen-twenty-four fades from our view,

        With confidence we face the bright New Year;

        The Pilot's at the wheel, the air is clear;

The Chart's infallible, the compass true:

"All's well!"—the sea is calm, the sky is blue!

        With God at hand, no piracy we fear,

        Nor fogs, nor rocks, nor storms that may appear—

Assured of reaching Port when we are due.

With such a Faith, God's hosts from exile came,

        The martyrs bled, our Fathers crossed the sea;

And we, their offspring, steadfastly proclaim

        Our faith in God for guidance yet to me;

This is our hope for Nineteen-twenty-five,

And Faith the flame that keeps that Hope alive!

Troy Times. December 31, 1924: 16 col 2.

"Jesus-Great Emmanuel A Hymn for the New Year" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1923)

Jesus—Great Emmanuel.

A Hymn for the New Year.


Jesus, Great Emmanuel, hear us

        As in prayer we come to Thee;

Pardon all our sins that sear us,

        Break our bonds and set us free.

Jesus, Great Emmanuel, lead us,

        Shepherd-like, o'er moor and plain;

In Thy green oases feed us,

        With Thy life our souls sustain.

Jesus, Great Emmanuel, teach us

        How to labor, watch and pray:

With Thine arms of mercy reach us,

        When we fall or go astray.

Jesus, Great Emmanuel, cheer us

        When the clouds of darkness form,

May we feel Thy presence near us,

        Like the rainbow in the storm.

Jesus, Great Emmanuel, shield us

        When the battle rages strong;

Give us strength, endurance yield us

        And the victory of song.

Jesus, Great Emmanuel, keep us

        Faithful till we reach the tomb,

Then, like sheaves of autumn, reap us,

        With the shout of "Harvest Home."

Troy Times. December 31, 1923: 13 col 2.

"1907-1908" by Annie M. Toohey (1907)



Looking back o'er the days that have vanished,

        Yet again we in tenderness may

Often turn but in vain to retrace them,

        O'er the paths where we once loved to stray;

They are gone, or have changed in the passing

        Of time with its roses and rue,

As we turn from the door of the Old year

        To lift up the latch of the New.

There were blossoms of Hope that we gathered

        For the crown of ambition some day,

There were flowers of Mercy we scattered,

        Aye to cheer and to brighten the way;

There were beacons of Faith that still linger

        To guide us afar o'er the blue,

As we turn from the door of the Old year

        To lift up the latch of the New.

There were altars of friendship whose tapers

        Faded out in the fleeting of Time,

There were whispers of Love's tender rapture,

        Only now like a faraway chime;

There are fragments of past cups of pleasure

        Yet wistfully scattered in view,

As we turn from the door of the Old year

        To lift up the latch of the New.

There were hands that in silence we folded

        'Neath the tears that in sorrow must flow,

There are graves on the hillside beyond us,

        Hidden deep in the cold winter snow;

There are mem'ries that never can leave us,

        Because we are loyal and true,

As we turn from the door of the Old year

        To lift up the latch of the New.

There are loved ones we still fondly cherish

        And held like a balm to the heart,

There are treasures yet clinging unto us,

        From whom, oh, we never can part;

There are moments of joy and of gladness

        Awaiting our rapturous view,

As we turn from the door of the Old year

        To lift up the latch of the New.

Troy Times. December 31, 1907.

"The Old Year and the New" by Clementina Jones (1872)

The Old Year and the New.


The following lines, as will plainly appear,

Were meant to be published the last of the year,

But, perhaps 'tis well to take a review

Of seventy-one, during seventy-two;

And however we've spent, or misspent the past,

The present improve, as if 'twere our last.

The year is fast waving and passing away,

For, like all that is earthly, 'twas born to decay.

'Twill be well for us then, ere we bid it adieu,

To pause, for awhile, and the past to review.

We all have been trav'ling—what path have we trod?

The broad way to ruin, or the narrow to God?

Our steps have been rapid, oh! whence did they tend!

Have we, in our haste, never thought of the end?

Have justice and mercy, as time passed away,

Been leading us onward, and guiding our way,

Or has self been our idol, upon our hearts throne,

A monarch unrivaled, ruling alone?

Have lonely hearts, burdened with anguish and care,

Been cheered by our kindness, or saved from despair.

Or have these sorely wounded by want or disdain,

Been probed by us deeply, to add to their pain?

Have the naked been clothed, and the hungry been fed—

The sinful and erring to Jesus been led?

Or have we wronged others to gratify self,

Or lured them to ruin, to add to our pelf?

How many there were, when the year first begun,

Who ne'er thought that their work, ere its close, would be done,

Whose bodies are sleeping beneath the cold ground,

No more to awake, till the trumpet shall sound.

But we have been spared—oh! why! for what end!

Some to finish our work—some our lives to amend,

And some, from the dross, the Savior Divine,

With suff'ring and sorrow, the gold would refine.

But whatever we've been—whatever we've done

Can never be altered, never undone,

But, though polluted our hearts still remain,

The blood of the Lamb can remove ev'ry stain.

To that precious fountain, then let us apply—

There none are excluded—none suffered to die;

The remedy's certain, for suff'ring and grief—

None ever approached it, but soon found relief.

O! cleanse us, dear Savior, in thine own precious blood,

That we may be heirs, and the children of God,

And joint heirs with thee, our brother and friend,

To a kingdom of glory that never will end.

Troy Daily Whig. March 20, 1872: 1 col 6.

        Lansingburgh, N.Y., has the latest haunted schoolhouse, though it appears to be a dwelling house where Miss Clementina Jones receives pupils. Miss Jones told a reporter of the unearthly yells heard and the rocking of the whole house. Mysterious noises, light footfalls and heavy, have been bravely followed from cellar to attic, and still were heard, yet there were no visible boots or bodies. Falling bodies, the emptying of vessels, and other interesting phenomena, are heard; also strange voices. Miss Jones does not believe in ghosts or hobgoblins, and says she is not superstitious, yet she feels as if surrounded by evil spirits.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle. February 5, 1873: 2 col 5.

St. Lawrence Republican. February 11, 1873: 2 col 4.

Clementina Jones (1814-1900)

Trinity Episcopal Church Cemetery, Lansingburgh, NY

"1911-1912" by Annie M. Toohey (1911)



Lo, the old craft must soon drift adown the gray stream

Of Time's mystic currents, 'neath starlets agleam,

As oft 'mid its shivering passage away

Steals the voice of sweet Memory, luring its stay.

As we trace its swift course o'er the mystical stream

Strains of Spring and of Summer and Autumn yet seem

To thrill us betimes, though anon a chill blast

Strives to wreck the old craft ere its voyage be past.

And though its dim masts are all rent by the wind,

A lingering garland around them entwined

Of Christmastide blossoms yet sweetly we trace,

Ere the new craft shall launch in its beauty and grace.

Though treasures sank mute 'mid its drifting away,

As lonely lips pleaded them longer to stay,

To-night o'er the shadowy wreck of the old

We send them love-greetings in yonder blest fold.

Farewell, fading craft! At thy moorings beyond

May thy nearing be greeted by ecstasies fond,

That never shall cease at the harbor of Time,

Whose shoreland of glory re-echoes with chime.

Troy Times. December 30, 1911: 10 col 1.

"1918-1919" by Annie M. Toohey (1918)


Adieu, old year, may ling'ring petals of earth's roses sweet,

That crept across the Christmastide to grace thy parting feet,

Bring mem'ries sacred unto all from every battle fane,

Where heroes fought—and yet where sleep our boys on field and main.

Adieu, old year, may angels trace them—living, maimed or dead—

As fadeless gold and silv'ry orbs of heaven gleam o'erhead,

And loyal incense waft from shrines of homelands—near and far—

'Mid chimes of Victory that tell of noblest aims of war.

Adieu, old year, may never fade the lily—flower of Peace,

Thy hand uplifts to hallow earth with truths that never cease!

May it live on to blossom with a tender solace true

O'er every human pathway of the yet untrodden New!

                    ANNIE M. TOOHEY.

Troy Times. December 31, 1918: 4 col 3.

"What Shall the Year Bring Forth?" by Rev. T.L. Drury (1918)

What Shall the Year Bring Forth?


This nineteen hundred-eighteenth year,

        What will it bring to world and me?

It comes with pain of doubt and fear,

        With omens fierce we dread to see,

With gloom so great we stand in awe,

And ask ourselves, "Is there no law?"

We ask ourselves, "Is love o'erthrown?

        Is faith in man to be no more?

Is hope cast down from its bright throne?

        Has heaven naught for us in store?

Is God not here to rule the day

And shape things in his own good way?"

What shall the year in all its round

        Bring forth, O man, to you and me?

Shall better state than this be found

        When we its final record see?

When full account is rendered then,

What shall it mean to sons of men?

The answer comes to fearless soul

        Who knows the heart of things is right,

Who knows the universe is whole,

        Who knows that truth and love are might,

Who sees thro' faith the end must be

A better race of man and free!

These evil things we loathe to see

        Are simply like the ocean wave;

Beneath it is the silent sea

        That onward bears the ships that brave

The storms severe, until at last

They are within the harbor fast!

I deem the end is always right,

        The soul of things doth upward move,

And God is more than human might,

        And greater than the sword is love,

And faith sublime shall clear the way

For man and earth to better day.

Troy Times. January 12, 1918

"The Old and New Year" by Sister Ruth (1892)

The Old and New Year.


Slowly the old year is dying,

        Drawing his last sad breath,

Carrying with him in flying

        Memories of life and death.

'Mid wintry days and sunny hours,

        He takes his journey brief;

Autumn fruits and summer flowers

        He binds in his withered sheaf.

Sunshine and shadow, joy and pain,

        He leaves, and goes his way;

But youth, alas! ne'er comes again,

        Though we greet each New Year's day.

Yet we hail with joy the coming year,

        Forgetting sorrows past;

And the world seems bright—we have no fear,

As we welcome the birth of the glad New Year,

        With hopes that may not last.








A Happy New Year! the wide world over,

'Cross land and sea, the greeting flies,

From friend to friend, from maid to lover,

The same refrain the whole world over.

                                A Happy New Year to you!

A Bright New Year! O, joyous maiden,

With love-lit eyes and golden hair;

The future is yours; with sweetness laden

The hours seem blest—most winsome maiden,

                                A Bright New Year to you!

A Glad New Year! to the loving one

Who giveth his riches with willing hand;

Thrice blessed is he, and like God's Son,

Who, while on earth, good works begun;

                                A Glad New Year to you!

A Peaceful Year! to the sick and weary,

Waiting tho the Master's message, "Come;"

A Blessed Year! tho' life seem dreary.

There's rest above, for the worn and weary;

                                A Peaceful Year to you!

Troy Daily Times. December 31, 1892.

"A New Year's Greeting" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1914)

A New Year's Greeting.


My wish to every friend:

        "A Happy, Bright New Year!"

For you my prayers ascend

        To God, whom I revere.

O may this message cheer

        The throbbing heart that's sad!

And drive away all fear—

        Believe my true Ballade.

Heaven's richest joys descend,

        And may your skies be clear,

That you may apprehend

        Your faithful Pioneer.

Behold Him at your rear,

        Omnipotently clad;

In front doth He appear—

        Believe my true Ballade.

To God your lives command,

        With all that you hold dear;

He will your cause defend,

        For he hath no compeer.

Trust Him with heart sincere;

        Praise Him for what you've had,

Your praises He will hear—

        Believe my true Ballade.


Friends! to these truths adhere,

        They'll make you faithful, glad

And strong through life's career—

        Believe my true Ballade.

Troy Times. December 31, 1914

"To the Passing Year" by Eva E. Ames (1922)

To the Passing Year.


Shake hands, old year! and call it square.

        We'll bear no malice, you or I.

Each meant to play the other fair

        And true, I hope, as time flew by.

My failures and mistakes you knew,

        But judged me kindly just the same,

And if the victories were few

        My motives you could rightly name.

You may have thought I missed my way

        Sometimes, and failed to wisely choose

Twixt this or that, as, day by day,

        We played the game of gain or lose;

I may have flet you owed me more

        Of this world's goods than I received:

A fuller measure of Earth's store,

        Or friends, in whom I had believed.

You gave me time to do my best;

        I tried and failed—the common fate.

We do not realize the rest of life

        Until the hour is late,

And if achievements small are mine—

        All through the days so lately gone,

True sentinels adown the line

        Signal—"'T is better — further on."

Farewell! and shall we meet no more?

        Our ways so different lie—old friend,

Adrift—in touch with memories' shore,

        You fade from sight around the bend.

New years may come—as yet unborn,

        And take their places at your side,

Before Eternity's fair morn

        For me shall fling the portals wide.

And though I wait, and vainly grieve,

        For loved ones whom no more I see,

And blessings flown, they—I believe—

        In greater measure wait for me.

I'll keep your memory fair and green,

        Would I could bury, at your brink,

Misunderstandings, cold and keen,

        That bid the heart in anguish shrink.

And does there beat a heart so cold

        It feels no need of love—or heaven?

So proud and perfect in its mold

        It can't forgive—and be forgiven?

Good-bye! We'll not regret the past:

        The way to both was all untried,

Our labor was before the mast

        Of discipline, and high the tide.

A harbor opens—wide and fair,

        The new year glides into the sea.

With snowwhite sail, and beauty rare,

        She enters on her voyage free.

The storms will sweep across her bow,

        And clouds obscure her joyous sky.

For life means that—this life of now—

        Old year! old friend! good-bye! Good-bye!

        South Wallingford, Vt.

Troy Times. December 30, 1922: 3 col 3.

"A Glad New Year" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1927)

A Glad New Year.


Ring in, ye merry bells, the glad New Year,

With hope inspired and all its wealth of cheer;

With noble resolutions men have made

And plans progressive they have wisely laid.

What, though the future be untried, unseen?

Our faith in God is steadfast and serene.

Past, present, future are alike to Him,

Creation vast, from center to the rim,

Is His domain and shall forever be—

The Lord inhabiteth eternity!

With such a God to guide us through the year,

Why should we yield to doubt or slavish fear?

Our times are in His hands—our refuge strong,

We, therefore, face the glad New Year with song,

Believing that the best is yet to be,

As makers of our future destiny.

Man's talent is God's providential gift

To be developed by untiring thrift.

Progression is to life its vital breath,

Stagnation is the vestibule of death;

Nature's established laws we must obey,

Or fall to retribution's hands a prey.

With such clear knowledge of God's truth revealed,

Let not our talents rust be being concealed;

Up, be alert, life's stream is flowing fast,

Our opportunities will soon be past;

Work while 'tis day—the night provides long rest,

Be this our motto for the year: "Our Best!"

        Melrose, N.Y.

Troy Times. December 31, 1927: 20 col 1.

"Old and New" by Annie M. Toohey (1914)


O'er the mystical chasm,

        Hiding passage of Time,

Soon shall wistfully vanish—

        'Mid cadence of chime—

The Old Year with remnants

        Of roses and rue,

Ere we turn to the sunbeams

        A-crowning the New.

We have joys to remember,

        And pangs to regret,

We have bruises that linger,

        Deep heart-scars, and yet,

O'er the vista unfolding

        Of dawn's tender blue,

Hope is weaving a solace

        For paths of the New.

                                ANNIE M. TOOHEY.

Troy Times. December 31, 1914: 4 col 5.

"1913-1914" by Annie M. Toohey (1913)


We have come to the turn of the road, old year.

        Where at last we are fated to part,

Aye, you with a crown of silvery stars,

        And a Christmas rose at your heart.

As the gaze of the world bends tenderly

        O'er the trail of thy vanishing feet,

And even thy broken harp-strings waft

        A lingering cadence sweet.

We have come to the turn of the road, old year,

        Where at last we are fated to say

Farewell, as the chalice of dawn steals forth

        Through yon deepening clouds of gray.

Yet the rose leaves linger and tenderly fall

        O'er thy hands as they wave adieu,

And the sweet young face of a newborn day

        Smileth down from its cradle of blue.

                                ANNIE M. TOOHEY.

Troy Times. December 31, 1913: 4 col 4.

"A Message" by Annie M. Toohey (1912)

A Message


Through the old year's ashen fingers

        Creeps a tender Christmas rose,

Full of mystic grace and sweetness,

        Born amid the drifting snows,

With its tender leaves unfolding

        Unto all a message true,

From the throbbing heart of nature,

        Crown'd by wintry skies of blue.

And it bears us all a message,

        Unto heart and unto soul,

Lifting us beyond the shadows

        Life must bring ere cometh goal

Of another Christmas dawning,

        In a garden far away,

Where but thornless flowers linger

        Through an endless summer day.

Troy Times. December 24, 1912.

"America's New Year Opportunities" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1918)

America's New Year Opportunities.


Greetings: To all a Peaceful, Happy Year!

The war is over, victory is won;

The work of reconstruction has begun—

Benevolence pervades the atmosphere.

Colossal movements in the world appear;

Gigantic tasks are waiting to be done:

Then, David-like, towards the challenge run,

And answer, as the Prophets: "We are here!"

The cries of Asia, Europe, Africa;

The groping South Republics and the Isles

Of distant seas, appeal for speedy aid!

America is God's great messenger,

Whose face upon each crippled nation smiles,

Assuring them of our Relief-Crusade!

Troy Times. December 31, 1918: 6 col 2.

"The Old Year's Death" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1915)

The Old Year's Death.


With arrow-swiftness, lo! the fleeting year,

With rapid wing, hath like a vapor flown

Into eternity—the deep unknown!

Or, like the widening river, that draws near

The sea, until we see it disappear

In ocean's wide expanse. The left has grown

And faded, herbage withered, flowers blown;

Our dreams and visions gone—the end is here!

Man's vapor-life the rolling years declare,

As Prophet-sages, God-directed men,

Have told, to stir the laggard up, that he,

Awaking from his stupor, might, with care,

Perform life's "God-imparted" tasks and then,

In triumph, mount his king-crowned destiny!

Troy Times. December 30, 1915: 13 col 1.

"Friendships New" by Rev. T. L. Drury (1915)

Friendships New.


(The new pastor of the First Universalist Church of Troy.)

The old acquaintance for the new

We leave, however good or true,

But this is called the preacher's lot,

Whether he wills it so or not.

Though there is sadness in the change

From old to new, yet not so strange

Are ties that we may newly form,

They too, may have for us a charm.

For friendship is a soul divine

That doth in nobler natures shine,

And love, her great companion sweet,

Doth make that soul in us complete.

So friendships old or friendships new

Do nobly mold our lives anew,

And give us each a larger scope

To exercise our faith and hope.

And this, I trust, doth here apply

To tie we form, for you and I

Whose pathway should be always bright,

Must walk together in the light.

Then let our friendship new be true,

Believe in me and I in you,

So serve the cause we love so well,

Thus make for good our service tell.

For Christian love it changeth not,

No matter where we cast our lot;

The truth is one in you and me,

To make us one as well as free.

Then, friends, for such indeed we are,

Together let us do and dare,

And nobly rise to ever meet

The task we wish to see complete.

Troy Times. January 9, 1915

Thursday, December 26, 2013

"A Century Dead" by Frances V. Hubbard (1900)

A Century Dead.


A century dead! The midnight bells

        Ring in the new, ring out the old.

The music rises, dies and swells,

Of distant years the tale it tells

        And doth the past unfold.

A century dead! Lo, at its birth,

        Feeble and weak Columbia stood;

Of wealth and arms a woeful dearth,

But conqueror known throughout the earth,

        Though drenched her soil with blood.

A hundred years of war and peace,

        Of victories on land and sea,

Of deeds that made Oppression cease

And gave the bondman glad release,—

        From slavery set him free.

A hundred years, now proud and strong

        A power on earth Columbia stands.

And lo, to her the gifts belong

To aid the Right, to crush the Wrong,

        To be the land of lands.

A hundred years! Ring out the old,—

        Ring in the century to our view

That shall a grander tale unfold

Than ere Columbia proud has told

        Since first her flag was new.

        Cohoes, N.Y.

Troy Daily Times. December 31, 1900

"The Song of the Books" by Isabella R. Hess (1902)


With eyes that were weary and red,

        And a mind that was far from bright,

A man he sat by his study fire

        In the lonesome hours of night.

                Read! Read! Read!

So jaded and worn he looks

        That I almost shrank as I heard him sing

This mournful "Song of the Books.

                Books, books, books!

On the table, shelf, and floor!

                And books! books! books!

You can't even count them more!

        And the presses work night and day,

And pour them out like a flood,

        And they crash on us weary readers

With a great and awful thud.

                Read! Read! Read!

You haven't got time to wink!

                Read! Read! Read!

You can't even stop to think!

        For the books they pour right on

In a strong, resistless stream,

        Till they fill the blessed hours of day,

And they color the nightly dream.

And you dream of the ladies and lords

        With a stiff, uncommon way

That you learned to know in the novel

        That you read but yesterday;

And you knew, as you turned the pages,

        If they could come back to life

They'd finish that daring author

        If they had to use a knife.

And the days of the dear old colonies!

        You dream of them, every one!

For the quaint colonial novels

        Are sold in the bulk by the ton!

And you blush as you dream about them,

        For you never knew before

That Washington died at Gettysburg

        In the French and Indian war.

And Benjamin Franklin, respected,

        So dreadfully was he love-lorn

That he loved a historical lady

        Twenty years before she was born.

And your dream is of crimson color,

        For the pages with blood were dim,

And the hero had lives so many

        That a cat wasn't in it with him.

O Thackeray, Dickens, and Eliot,

        In bindings unfingered and prime,

Don't fancy that you are forgotten;

        We'll read you whenever there's time!

                Oh, books, books, books!

We can't read the best amongst you,

        For we've got to be up to date!

And there are books of poetry, too,

        Of their manifold wonders we've heard,

And we've got to wade through them all,

        Tho' we don't understand a word!

O William the Great, of Avon!

        Up there so calm on the shelf!

Why can't you be reincarnated

        And teach them a thing yourself?

And the wondrous books with a purpose,

        A full dozen score, or more,

That make you pore over questions

        That ne'er troubled man before!

Has the spinster the right to marry?

        Is Wagner good for the soul?

And if women are given the ballot

        Should the babies go to the poll?

                Oh, books! books! books!

        It ends with a doleful wail!

                Oh, books! books! books!

        What an awful grewsome tale!

How the writers, they write! write! write!

        And the printers, they print! print! print!

And the readers, they read! read! read!

        And add to the publishers' mint.

O writer, with restless pen,

        Have ye no heart in your breast?

And printer, with hungry press,

        Don't you fancy that you need a rest?

Just give us a chance to breathe

        Before you go at it again!

Do you think we are reading machines,

        Or just plain, every-day men?

                Oh, books! books! books!

        What don't they do in your name?

                Oh, books! books! books!

        Who can it be that is to blame?

With brain that was all worn out,

        And with wan and weary looks,

That man collapsed by his study fire

        While singing the "Song of the Books."

                ISABELLA R. HESS.

Read before Troy Literary Association in May, 1902.

The Jewish Messenger. August 8, 1902: 1 cols 1-2.

"The Library Committee reported that 35 books had been purchased and added to the East Side Branch of the Troy Public Library as a memorial to Miss Isabella R. Hess and Miss Agnes C. Sims.

"East Side Group Lists Winners in Poster Contest." Times Record. May 25, 1940: 3 col 5.

"The Sisterhood of the Third Street Temple opened the year with a meeting in the vestry rooms last night conducted by Mrs. John K. Newell. Miss Frances Joseph read a tribute to Miss Isabella R. Hess and the group discussed a memorial plaque to be presented during the coming holidays."

"Sisterhood Opens Season at Meeting." Times Record. September 7, 1939: 18 col 4.

        Miss Isabella R. Hess, teacher of English in the Troy public schools for forty years, most of the time at the East Side's School 16, died at her late home, 39 Pinewoods Avenue, yesterday afternoon following a long illness.

        Born in Troy, she had been a resident of the city all her life. She retired from the teaching profession in October, 1935.

Active in P.-T. A. Work.

        The Parent-Teacher movement spread to Troy early in her career as a teacher, and she took an active part in helping interested parents and other teachers to establish the young organization on a sound basis. She took a particular interest in the Parent-Teacher Association of School 16. She was once vice president of the association, which honored her several years ago with a life membership.

        Miss Hess also was one of the founders of the Elementary Teachers' Association.

        Interested in civic affairs, Miss Hess was an active member of the East Side Community Association and at the time of her death was a member of the board of directors and library committee of the association.

Was Intensely Religious.

        Intensely religious, she was the author of several hymns that now appear in the hymnal of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. She also edited and was one of the founders of "Young Israel," a publication for young Jewish children. She was a member of the Third Street Temple and, for a long time, was a member of the board of directors of the Temple Sisterhood. For many years she was superintendent and teacher of the Sunday school.

        Survivors are a sister, Miss Cora Hess of Troy; four nieces, Mrs. Myron W. Jacobs, Miss Rosa H. Jacobs and Miss Jeanette I. Jacobs of Troy, and Mrs. Harold A. Gordon of Schenectady, and a nephew, Milton A. Wertheim of Schenectady.

        The funeral will be held tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. with Rabbi Alan S. Green, D.D. of the Third Street Temple, officiating.

"Isabella R. Hess, Long in Schools, Dies at Residence; Funeral of Retired Teacher Will Be Held at 2:30 P.M. Tomorrow; Ill Long Time." Times Record. August 3, 1939: 10 col 1.

The Ark, like Young Israel, was published in Cincinnati by Simon Bacharach. When Bacharach died in 1923, one writer testified that he had been the Ark’s guide and inspiration. For its entire existence, the Ark was under the managing editorship of Isabella R. Hess (Hess as a young child had been a reader of the Sabbath Visitor). She was a frequent contributor to the magazine — almost every issue carried at least one story or poem she had written — and besides other original contributions, she drew material from printed books, journals, and newspapers.

Cohen, Naomi W. "The Ark: An Early Twentieth-Century Periodical." American Jewish Archives Journal 56(1-2). 3-4.

Isabella R. Hess (1872-1939)

Berith Sholom Cemetery, Troy, NY

“New Year’s Eve” by John Baker (1891)

New Year's Eve.


Oh Sun! Ere sinks thy radiant crown,

Wilt thou not stay thy going down,

And wait with me a moment here

For farewell to the passing year.

Once thou didst stand on Gibeon

And viewed the battle lost and won,

And lengthened out the dying day—

Pause in thy flight—a moment stay.

        For throb, throb, tick, tick, ebb and flow,

        The old year's pulse beats low and slow,

        And the midnight bell will toll his knell,

        Farewell, farewell, old year, farewell.

Hark! a weird voice grating harsh and grim:

        "He's fast escaping.

            His grave stands gaping.

                The dead past's waiting

                    To gather him in."

Thou, too, O Moon! Thou too once stayed

O'er Ajalon, when Joshua bade

Thee "wait, and light the battle's fray."

Alas! with me thou wilt not stay—

Then Night, weave westward thy dark shroud,

O'er ocean's rim and mountain proud,

For wide world round extends the bier

And pall and grave which waits the year.

        Farewell, old year; throb, throb, so low,

        Thy numbered pulse doth ebb and flow,

        And the midnight bell will toll thy knell,

        Farewell, farewell, old year, farewell.

And again the weird voice, harsh and grim:

        "He's fast escaping,

            His grave stands gaping.

                The dead past's waiting

                    To gather him in."

On, on! Old Time! No more I pray

Thy waiting—bring the coming day—

The glad new year with promise bright,

Speed on! The old year dies to-night.

E'en on the dreary restless sea

The sailor-boy is waiting thee:

Be his watch below or above, to-night

He wakes and waits, till eight bells strike.

        And counts, elate, the old year's fate,

        One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight!

        And the old year's lorn, and the new year's born,

        God grant it happy night and morn.

Yet the harsh voice grumbles weird and grim:

        "He's past escaping,

            A new grave's gaping.

                The dead year's waiting

                    To gather him in."

        LANSINGBURGH, 1891.

Troy Daily Times. December 31, 1891: 2 col 5.

John Baker's poem was reprinted in 1900, though with a number of changes to it.

John Baker (abt. 1834-1922) was a friend and relative of painter Alban Jasper Conant, the latter living in Troy from the mid 1840s to the late 1850s.

“It was in 1852 when I first knew A. J. Conant. He was interested then in the music at the Third Street Baptist Church, then under the pastorate of Rev. George C. Baldwin, and he was also reputed as a painter. He lived then midway in the block on Third Street, north of where is now The Troy Times office, and in his family was a young lady who, six years thereafter, became the wife of the writer of this article”

Baker, John. “Reminiscences of a Great Artist.” Troy Times. February 6, 1915: 7 cols 3-4.

“There he married, in 1858, Gertrude M. Hogel, of a very old Dutch family in that community. Mrs. Baker died in 1896”

“Obituary.” Troy Times. February, 4, 1922: 3 col 1.

“FINE ARTS.—M. A.J. CONANT, a fine artist, well known to our citizens, will be happy to receive calls from his friends and patrons, at his studio, to-day where specimens of his paintings will be exhibited. Mr. C’s card will be found in another column.”

Troy Daily Whig. June 5, 1850: 2 col 5.

“A CARD.—Mr. A. J. CONANT, having refitted his Painting Room, and having collected a few of his Pictures, consisting of Portraits, Landscapes, etc., would respectfully invite his patrons and the public generally to inspect the same, at 3 1/2 Albany street, during either of the afternoons of the present week.

“N. B. Mr. C., grateful for past favors, trusts that his increased experience in and facilities for painting, will ensure him an increase of public patronage.”

Troy Daily Whig. June 5, 1850: 2 col 7.

“YOUNG LADIES PAINTING ACADEMY.—Having lately received several applications to give young ladies instructions in Oil Painting, I have been induced to engage rooms adjoining my studio, and to devote a portion of my time especially to the tuition of young ladies in landscape and figures, and all the branches of art usually taught in such schools, I would therefore respectfully give notice, that the first quarter will commence about the middle of April, should a sufficient number apply. For further particulars enquire at No. 3 1/2 Albany street, of the subscriber.

“A. J. CONANT.” Troy Daily Times. April 6, 1852: 3 col 1.


“Portrait Painter, Mutual Bank Buildings, corner of First and State streets, (3d story,) over Mutual Bank.”

Troy Daily Times. May 31, 1854: 1 col 1.

“He was also organist and teacher at the Emma Willard Seminary at Troy, N. Y.”

"Conant, Poet-Artist, Dies at Age of 94.” Standard Union [Brooklyn, NY]. February 3, 1915: 1 col 5.

"The Dying Year" by Iva May Terry (1912)

The Dying Year.

BY IVA MAY TERRY, who is blind.

The old year is dying,

        How sad is the thought,

For many a blessing

        To us it has brought.

We think of the past

        And a tear dims our eye,

To this year forever

        We must say good-bye.

The old year is dying,

        But soon with delight

We will welcome the New Year

        With prospects so bright.

We know not the future,

        But hope and pray still

That our lives with its blessings

        The New Year will fill.

Green Island, N.Y.

Troy Times. December 31, 1912: 2 col 1.

"An Old Year Reverie" by Iva May Terry (1921)

An Old Year Reverie.


In a little while this year must die,

        And another year will dawn;

But in looking back we breathe a sigh

        For the one now almost gone.

Just a year ago we remember well

        How we listened with delight

To the joyful pealing of the bell

        When the old year took its flight.

It is thus the years pass swiftly by

        And each marks the end of time,

Till we reach our Heavenly home on high,

        There to live a life sublime.

So we give a thought to the passing year,

        For we feel a little blue;

But may every heart be filled with cheer

        With the coming of the new.

        Green Island, N.Y.

Troy Times. December 31, 1921: 14 col 2.

"Joy May Come With the Morrow" by Mrs. Harriet E. Benedict

Joy May Come With the Morrow.


Oh, the New Year bringeth joy!

        And the New Year bringeth cheer!

But sorrow and woe and tears that flow

        Are brought by the same New Year.

Joy and cheer to the young and gay,

        Pain and sorrow to the hearts that weep,

And in spite of the cheer of this closing year,

        How many their sad vigils keep!

But the light that shines from afar

        Is the light that leads us on,

For love is the light that illumines our night,

        And hope is never quite gone.

So we'll welcome the glad New Year,

        And we'll think no more of sorrow;

Though it's dark to-day, one can never say

        What joy will come with to-morrow.

Troy Daily Times. January 2, 1895: 2 col 2.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

"Old and New" by Benjamin F. Leggett (1914)


Tears on the face of the wan old year,

        The light in his dim eyes failing,

The last lone watch of the night so near,

        And winds in the woodlands wailing.

The gray-robed earth and the sky are met,

        Held fast in a mist of sorrow,

While the year lies low in sad regret.

        But a new hope dawns to-morrow.

Leggett, Benjamin F. The Cruise of the Half-Moon and Other Poems. Philadelphia, PA: Biddle Press, 1914. 38.

"The New Year-What Shall We Write?" by Rev. A. S. Clark (1919)

The New Year—What Shall We Write?


A year all new, without one stain

        Upon its pages white and fair,

Is opened to us all again

        And each must write a record there.

What it shall be each must decide;

        Each holds the pencil, each must say;

In thoughts or deeds that shall abide

        Must be the records of each day.

Will it be dark with selfishness,

        Or glow with helpfulness and love

The fruits of which here hearts shall bless,

        And live in treasures rare above?

How pure and white each page appears,

        Pure as the snowflake from the sky,

Fresh with the dews of new-born years,

        Before both old and young they lie!

Ah! let no heart that would be true

        Despair because of failures sore,

In strength Divine we all may go,

        And each new day rich triumphs score.

Then let us write in things that live,

        Each page shine forth in golden deed.

Our best is what we all may give;

        How shall the New Year's record read?

        Round Lake, N.Y., Dec. 31, 1919

Troy Times. December 31, 1919.

"True Happiness" by Iva May Terry (1913)

True Happiness.

By IVA MAY TERRY (A Blind Poetess.)

There is but one thing we desire,

        And that is a heart free from care,

Each one of us wants to be happy,

        Alas! Yet is happiness rare.

And what does it mean to be happy?

        Much silver and gold to possess?

Ah! No, though they add to our comfort,

        They do not give true happiness.

To those who are starting their life work,

        To those in their labors grown old,

A smile, a kind word or an action

        Is worth more than silver or gold.

And so in the last fleeting moments

        Still left to us of the old year,

Resolve that one action of yours

        Some heart will encourage and cheer.

Green Island.

Troy Times. December 31, 1913: 3 col 1.

"The New Year" by Robert Hoosick Washburne (1912)

The New Year


As draws near the hour of midnight

        Of the coming New Year's eve,

Thoughts of former days possess us,

        Some of pleasure, some that grieve.

In the solemn hour of midnight

        We review the months gone by,

Mercies fresh and never ceasing,

        Daily sent from God on high.

At the dawning of the New Year

        We with courage look ahead,

Knowing God, so wise and faithful,

        Will supply his children bread.

May for us this Happy New Year

        Rich in Heaven's blessings be,

And our hearts full of thanksgiving

        Speak our praise, O God, to Thee!

Troy Times. December 31, 1912: 2 col 1.

"A New Year Welcome" by Iva May Terry (1919)

A New Year Welcome.


The old year is passing from us away,

        With its blessings and sorrows too;

We feel just a pang of regret to-day,

        As we hopefully face the New.

We think of the friends and loved ones dear

        Who were once at our fireside,

Whose voices we never again shall hear

        Till we meet on the other side.

But we should look forward with joy to-night

        To the days that are just ahead

And welcome the New Year with prospects bright

        While some kindness we try to shed.

        Green Island, N.Y.

Troy Times. December 31, 1919

"The Dawning" by Eva. E. Ames (1923)

The Dawning.


A new year dawns, we fain would see

Beyond its folds futurity,

Impatiently we strive to know

The easiest, fairest way to go,

And fret at thorns beside the way

That prick us undeserved, we say.

We would elude the rock-strewn road

We would cast off each weary load,

Forgetting that the mountain's crest

Is only reached through trial's test.

Unmindful that Earth's sunset fair

Could e'er with Heaven's dawn compare,

Ah! poor the courage, weak the power,

That fails us in the crucial hour,

When, in the distance, faint and sweet,

We almost hear their hurrying feet

To welcome us. Dost understand?

Oh! heart of mine, the toil is grand.

        South Wallingford, Vt.

Troy Times. January 6, 1923

"Nineteen-Twenty-three" by Carolyn W. Pember (1922)



We stand upon the threshold

        Of nineteen-twenty-three;

What lies beyond its portals

        Not one of us may see.

And yet we enter boldly,

        (We cannot now delay),

We pray for strength and wisdom

        To guide us on our way.

We know not what invention

        The future may unfold;

Science and education

        Have each a wealth untold.

All those who live for pleasure,

        Live "to themselves alone,"

And soon will be forgotten

        When all their years have flown.

War's aftermath is waning,

        Give Love the right of way,

Abolish Hate and Passion,

        Bring in a better day!

God-fearing, law-abiding,

        Soon may our nation be,

That she "may be exalted"

        In nineteen-twenty-three!

Granville, N. Y.

Troy Times. December 30, 1922: 16 col 2.

"A New Year Sonnet" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1917)

A New Year Sonnet.


The portal opens! Lo, the bright New Year

Is born, jeweled with opportunity:

Alluring, hopeful; fraught with mystery.

Come, let us face the tasks of life with cheer;

The Eye that never sleeps, without compeer,

Will guide us on. Then let us trustful be.

In health or sickness, wealth or poverty—

We cannot sink with our Great Pilot near!

Hear, hear His promise: "I will be thy guide:"

Jehovah is His name! He changeth not—

Unlimited in wisdom, love and power.

Go forward! make the year, whate'er betide,

Progressive, peaceful, glad; without a blot—

That change can ne'er deface, nor time deflower!

Troy Times. January 2, 1917: 6 col 2.

"Waiting at the New Year's Door" by Annie S. Wallis (1925)

Waiting at the New Year's Door.


I know not what you have in store,

New Year, while waiting at your door;

But, oh, 'tis best I cannot see

What's wisely hidden now from me;

Enough to daily walk with Him,

Who safely keeps 'mid shadows dim!

So come, New Year's, ope wide your door;

For Love Divine shall shine yet more,

And carols, as at Christmastide,

Sing of His Peace, whate'er betide.

Troy Times. December 31, 1925: 9 col 3.

"January First" by Robert Hoosick Washburne (1911)

January First.


The old year now is past

        With all its cares

        And answered prayers,

        Its loss and gain,

        Sunshine and rain,

The year has gone at last.

The new year is begun,

        So full of cheer,

        Of friendship dear,

        Of hopes for good,

        Of plans that should

Foretell its tasks well done.

Troy Times. December 30, 1911: 7 col 1.

"A New Year Motto" by Iva May Terry (1934)

A New Year Motto.


Step by step in steady rhythm,

        With a military tread

And a grim determination,

        We are forging on ahead.

With a tender recollection

        We must bid this year adieu,

But be happy and courageous

        As we march into the new.

We will hope it may be brighter

        That the year which now is past

And that just around the corner

        We shall see the darn at last.

For our New Year resolution

        Let our motto ever be

That o'er all our difficulties

        We will gain the victory.

Troy Times. December 31, 1934: 7 col 1.

"1920-1921" by Annie M. Toohey (1920)


Farewell, Old Year!

        Yet Christmas roses rest

Amid the snowdrifts white,

        Upon thy throbless breast.

Farewell, Old Year!

        Yet memory lingers true

Unto thy treasured reign,

        E’en though we hail the New.

        —ANNIE M. TOOHEY

Troy Times. December 31, 1920: 4 col 4.

"The Advent of the Christ" by Rev. T. L. Drury (1915)

The Advent of the Christ.


When ancient Rome grown up to power

Had risen monarch of the hour,

In little town then far away

There first did dawn our Christmas day.

But few there were who saw the light

That flashed with splendor on their sight;

And fewer still knew meaning then

Of it for all the sons of men!

And fewer yet heard angels sing

The glory due earth's new born King,

Nor could the shepherds understand

The meaning of a scene so grand!

But ancient Rome still in the gloom

Of Pagan thought could not commune

With simple folks whose vision bold

Meant Pagan Rome would lose her hold.

From places still where cattle feed

May princely men be born to lead;

In humble things there may be might

That yet may strength of nations smite.

He came the Prince of Peace to earth,

So humble was his noble birth,

But wisdom of the far off East

Had deemed him more than sage or priest.

Now centuries have passed away

Since first the dawn of Christmas day;

But where is Rome with all her might

Since Christ rose up with all his light?

As perished Rome, so kingdoms go,

The best that men have made below;

No kingdom stands that rests alone

On what the world may deem its own.

Hence Christ is growing up to might,

Flooding the world with truth and light;

His cheer of love is ev'rywhere,

With joys of hope for all to share.

Then shout with cheer this Christmas day,

For millions love his truth and way;

He is our Prince in whom we see

The peace on earth that is to be!

Troy Times. December 24, 1915: 6 col 2.

"Joybells on the Christmas Way" by H. C. Hearman (1924)

Joybells on the Christmas Way


Kris Kringle shakes his reindeer reins,

        That make the joybells jingle,

And old Jack Frost rides from the North,

        To set our nerves a tingle.

An artist from the Great White Way

        Writes on our window glass,

And when we pull the curtains up

        A million snowflakes pass.

The streets are filled with happy folk,

        Who call a joyous greeting,

And people bandy pleasant words

        With all whom they are meeting.

The firelight gleams, the flames leap high,

        The children romp and shout,

We never thought how it would feel

        Should that old fire go out.

We never thought how it would seem

        If Santa passed us by

And hungry children clothed in rags

        Began to sob and cry.

And do you know we owe all this

        To the birthday of a stranger,

Who, many years ago was laid

        In a lowly Bethlehem manger?

He said that we should feed his lambs,

        Those that were poor and weak,

And for His sake should hunt them out,

        The lost sheep we should seek.

My friends, whene'er you feed a lamb

        You feed not one but three,

The Lord who bids you do the act,

        The hungry one and thee.

So do not let this season pass,

        Without some act of love,

And angels in the record book

        Will write your name above.

Troy Times. December 24, 1924: 10 col 1.

"Thoughts for the Season (Christmas)" by Rev. T.L. Drury (1919)

Thoughts for the Season.



Oh, there is music in the air,

And all the bells do seem to share

The charm of all its harmonies,

And cheer of all the centuries.

And many are the voices clear,

That if we listen we may hear

Above the turmoil of the times,

And in the gladness of the chimes.

For God is speaking to us still

Thro' longing hearts that sing goodwill,

And in the very sky above

Behold the light of peace and love.

The earth is His, do not forget,

And hope and faith are with us yet,

Nor evil can o'erthrow the good

That leads us on to brotherhood.

The light that made the manger bright

So far off in that ancient night,

Oh, it is shining for us still,

Lo, in the Christ of God's "Goodwill."

So kingdoms false but rise to fall

Before His light, for God is all;

The gentle Christ with smiling face

Looks down with hope on all the race.

Then let the bells of peace be rung,

And let the songs of love be sung,

That all the world may pause to hear

The voices glad sing to us here!

Hence nothing fails that is divine,

For God is in the whole design,

And Christ is ours with voices sweet

To make our Christmas cheer complete!

        St. Albans, Vt.

Troy Times. December 24, 1919: 12 col 2.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

"Old December" by Benjamin F. Leggett (1897)


With snowy locks December stands

'Mid sleet and storm; his wasted hands

A frosty scepter grasp and hold;

His frame is bent, his limbs are old;

His bearded lips are iced and pale;

He shivers in the winter gale.

Come then, O day of warm heart-cheer,

Make glad the waste and waning year,

While old December shivering goes

To rest beneath the drifted snows!

        — Benj. F. Leggett.

Kellogg, Alice M. Christmas Entertainment. NY: E.L. Kellogg & Co., 1897. 88.

"The Olden Song" by Benjamin F. Leggett (1891)

"To Friends in the City and Country" by James C. Clark (1852)



        The attention of the public is respectfully called to the large and elegant assortment of RICH FANCY GOODS and TOYS, just received from the importers and manufacturers, and now ready for sale by the subscriber.

To Dealers in Fancy Goods and Confectionary.

        Having taken great pains to procure all articles direct from the importers and manufacturers, and being willing to dispose of them at a very small profit to dealers, you will find it for your interest to call and purchase your stock for the Holidays. The Confectionary is all made at home, and from the best of sugars, and can and will be sold as low for the same quality as can be purchased elsewhere. Pedlars and wholesale dealers supplied on reasonable terms.

For Fairs, Societies, Balls and Parties.

        Persons desirous of procuring Fancy Goods, Troys or Confectionary for Fairs, Social Gatherings, Balls, Parties, or Donation Parties, will be supplied at the regular wholesale rates.



        The assortment of Fancy Goods and Troys [sic] is now full and complete, and persons will find it to their advantage to make their selections as early as possible, before the assortment becomes broken, and before there is so great a rush as to render it difficult to wait upon all the customers. It is impossible to enumerate the different styles of goods, but please call and examine for yourselves. This stock is all new, having all been purchased quite recently.


        Heretofore many have been disappointed in not being able to procure all the Sugar Toys and Confectionary they wanted for Christmas; the reasons was, that orders came too late. Hand in your orders as soon as possible, and you shall not be disappointed again, if we work night and day to fill them.

                JAS. C. CLARK, Agent, 172 River street.

To Friends in the City and County.

Come one, and come all,

        Come with little delay,

Old and young, large and small,

        And your kind respects pay

To old Santa Claus here;

        Where he joyously brings

With his good Christmas cheer,

        Many rare and sweet things;

Come with gay laughing faces,

        With hearty good will,

Full purses to empty,

        Large pockets to fill;

Then, when stormy December

        Shall bring Christmas near,

You will kindly remember

        It is but once in a year—

And out thanks to our friends

        Shall be rightfully due,

At River street, 172.

Troy Daily Times. December 9, 1852: 2 col 5.

"A Christmas Hymn" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1934)



        Tune: "Ascalon" or "Crusader's Hymn."

(Written for The Troy Times and dedicated to Melrose Methodist Church choir, which will sing this hymn for the first time Sunday morning.)

Emmanuel—Prince of Peace

Was born to bring release

To burdened souls, o'er all the earth;

The Angels sang His praise

In loud, triumphant lays

And Shepherds hailed Messiah's birth.

The Magi—from afar,

Beheld his natal star,—

The star that decked His diadem;

Their costly gifts they bring

To God's appointed King

And worship Him in Bethlehem.

Let Angels sing again

And earth roll back the strain,

Till we, like Shepherds, find our King;

In steps of Magi tread,

By star—to manger bed

And to our Lord our offerings bring.

Lord Jesus! Prince of Peace!

Thy greatness shall increase,

Till all the nations own Thy sway;

Then universal love

Shall human actions move

And flourish in "Millennial Day!"

        Melrose, N.Y.

Troy Times. December 22, 1934: 8 col 1.

"A Christmas Hymn" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1923)

A Christmas Hymn.


Hail! hail! thou joyful, joyful Christmas morn,

On thee the world's triumphant King was born;

The Angel's Song, with gladness we repeat,

And worship, like the Magi at his feet!

Hail! hail! thou happy, happy Christmas Day

On thee the Savior entered human clay;

The Shepherds, in the manger, saw their King

And we this day, like them, His praises sing!

Hail! hail! thou glorious, glorious Christmas night,

On thee the starlit heavens were filled with light,

So may our hearts with Christmas glory shine—

Reflecting as the star, God's Light Divine!

Troy Times. December 24, 1923: 14 col 2.

"Christmas Greetings" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1929)

Christmas Greetings.


The same old wish, from friend to friend, once more:

"A Happy Christmas and a Glad New Year,

With all the season's joyfulness and cheer,—

The festive board with song and storied lore:

The coming of the angels to adore

The infant King, foretold by guided seer;

The seraph's message that the shepherds hear;

The star that led the three wise men of yore.

Let not indulgence mar our Christmastide,

Nor lawlessness disgrace the Savior's birth,

By revels, murders, thefts and suicide,

But scatter peace and God's goodwill on earth:

The world from strife is yearning for release,

The remedy's at hand—the Prince of Peace!

        Melrose, N.Y.

Troy Times. December 24, 1929: 4 col 5.

"Ring Out, Glad Bells of Christmas" by Arthur E. Smith (1919)

"Ring Out, Glad Bells of Christmas."


O'er wild Judea's hilltops a star of beauty shone,

And rested ere the midnight o'er Bethl'em's lowly town,

Where in a manger lying was Mary's little child,

The Lord of earth and Heaven, the Pure and Undefiled!

And in the fields were shepherds, watching their flocks by night,

Who saw, and greatly wondered at the prophetic sight,

The heavens were filled with angels who sang with one accord:

"Peace and good-will to all men, for Christ is born, our Lord!"

And there were men of wisdom out on the lonely way,

Who followed on, star-led, to where Christ, the young child, lay;

And there was joy in Heaven, and there was song and light,

When He was born of Mary on that first Christmas night!

Ring out, ye bells of Christmas! Ring loud across the snow!

Ring out the wrongs unrighted of centuries ago;

Ring out all caste distinctions, all darkness of the mind;

Ring in the newer practice Christ taught for all mankind!

Arise, ye happy peoples, and from all tumults cease!

Ring out dark years of hatred; ring in long years of peace;

Ring out the proud heart-idols, the lust for pow'r and gold;

Ring in an age of kindness, and faith unknown of old!

Ring out all superstitions, all doubts that mar and stain;

Ring in that fuller manhood the pure of heart attain!

Ring out all want and sorrow, all envy born of pride;

Ring in the promised morning, the Bridegroom and the Bride!

        Hartford, N. Y.

Troy Times. December 24, 1919

"To Him We're Looking Yet (A Christmas Thought)" by Rev. T.L. Drury (1917)

To Him We're Looking Yet.

(A Christmas Thought.)


The Prince of Peace to whom we sing,

        Whose star has never set,

For whom the bells of Christmas ring,

        To him we're looking yet.

We look to him because we see

        The light we so much need,

There find the truth to make us free

        From the errors in our creed.

We look to him this day of gloom,

        As star of faith divine,

Whose face of love will earth illume

        There it's allowed to shine.

Tho' more than nineteen hundred years

        Now since this Prince was born,

He's still our Guide mid doubts and fears,

        The hope of earth's new morn!

Then let us look aloft and sing

        As his disciples strong,

And have our bells of Christmas ring

        Out sin of ages long.

Ring, gladsome bells, ring in the cheer,

        Ring in the peace of love,

Ring in the friendship that is dear

        In which to live and move!

And let the sadness of the times

        Go with the dying year,

And let the gladness of the chimes

        Among us all appear!

May lights be bright in ev'ry home

        To cheer the world abroad,

And bid the Prince of Peace to come,

        And show our faith in God.

Sing in the joys of Christmas day,

        Let ev'ry voice resound;

As angels in their sacred lay,

        Oh! let goodwill abound!

As once unto the manger came

        The men of Eastern lore,

Oh! would the world now praise his name

With gladness evermore!

Troy Times. December 24, 1917

"Does Santa Claus Now Truly Live?" by Reverend T.L. Drury (1917)

Does Santa Claus Now Truly Live?


A little child did question ask

An editor (a pleasant task

To answer in affirmative),

"Does Santa Claus now truly live?"

Of course he lives, my little friend,

In gifts that love and friendship send

To you to give you hope and cheer,

And make you feel your life is dear,

You may not see his form around,

But then his kindness you have found,

And still may find it ev'rywhere

Among the joys you love to share.

Because you do not see him here

Nor see him there, oh, do not fear

He will not come to do his part

To gladsome make your youthful heart.

No Santa Claus! Oh, skeptic thought,

That would destroy what love has wrought,

Nor would replace the sentiment

The young believe is heaven sent!

No Santa Claus! It is not true;

He's here in greetings sweet for you,

Here in the gath'rings that are gay,

That happy make the winter play!

The dearest things in life to me

Are things I feel but do not see,

Are thoughts that come as if on wings,

And each new found pleasure brings.

Then why destroy the visions clear,

Or fancies sweet to children dear,

That make us feel unselfish, kind,

And give us all a nobler mind?

Yes, Santa Claus a spirit is,

Whose charm is love and so much bliss,

And he himself romantic, strange,

For faith in him will gifts exchange!

Is not his spirit likest God,

To raise us up from dust and sod?

Is he not more than all we see

In books of cold philosophy?

Yes, Santa Claus is joy of earth,

So full of faith and hope and mirth;

Before him flees the gloom away,

And where he smiles the children play!

Troy Times. December 14, 1917: 17 col 1.

"True Christmas Spirit" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1919)

The True Christmas Spirit.


A Happy Christmas to my many friends

And all who read these Yuletide sonnet rhymes!

May every heart ring out the gladsome chimes,

As 'round the festive board you meet, that bends

With Nature's gifts, Jehovah comprehends

Man's varied needs, and in His hands our times

Are held: His gifts of grace to distant climes

Are spread—to all mankind His love extends.

Let hearts of love respond to Love Divine!

Yield not to customs of barbaric birth;

In Christian service with your Lord combine

And scatter Christmas tidings o'er the earth:

Instead of Santa Claus, let Jesus reign—

Let no usurper challenge His domain!

        Waterford, N.Y.

Troy Times. December 24, 1919

"Christmas Greetings (To Friends in Troy)" by Reverend T. L. Drury (1920)

Christmas Greetings.

(To Friends in Troy.)


Here is my greeting for each friend,

Which I with cheer and gladness send:

Oh, may the light of Christmas night

Be in each home to make it bright.

May Christmas love that God inspires

Be felt around your bright hearth-fires.

May Heaven give each home the charm

It needs to keep it true and warm.

May things that are in life divine

Make in each home a holy shrine.

May all its members sitting there

Those graces rich forever share.

Forget the ills the year hath brought,

But substitute a service-thought

That other souls along the way

May to your love a tribute pay.

And may the songs did angels sing

In long ago still sweetly bring

To you good news and tidings glad

With light and joy the shepherds had.

These simple greetings oh, my friends,

Are such my heart sincerely sends

To all of you with peace and cheer

To greet you in the glad new year.

        St. Albans, Vt.

Troy Times. December 24, 1920: 6 col 2.

"A Star—A Song" by Frances V. Hubbard (1911)

A Star—A Song.


Long years ago, in the eastern skies,

        Sudden one night there blazed a star,

And the Magi, beholding it, cried "Arise!

        Le us go though it leads afar."

Night after night they followed the gleam,

        Mystic the star and strange the spell

That led them forward—almost a dream—

        But they knew its portent well.

They followed the star, their dream by night,

        Their thought by day, in their journeying;

When the star stood still its rays fell bright

        On their quest—they had found the King.

                A SONG.

A song rang out in the night,

        And the shepherds on Bethlehem's plains,

Watching their flocks, saw the heralds bright

        And heard the angelic strains.

A Star and a Song—one gleams bright

        Through all years, as it did one morn;

The song still rings, for the whole world sings

        "Lo, the Prince of Peace is born!"

Troy Times. December 23, 1911: 7 col 1.

"Ring in the New" by Frances V. Hubbard (1920)

Ring in the New.


The Christmas bells ring "Peace on earth,"

        And far and wide the tale is told,

The story of the Savior's birth,

        The story ever new, though old.

The bells they ring and glad hearts sing,

        "Ring in the new, ring out the old."

Ring in the day when war shall cease,

        Ring in the time when nations all,

Bound by a tie of Right and Peace,

        Shall place War's creed beyond recall,

And, as they swing, those bells shall ring,

        "The Prince of Peace reigns over all."

Ring in the Right, ring out the Wrong,

        That, on this happy Christmas morn,

More true than e'er before this song,

        "To-day the Prince of Peace is born."

Bells, ring and swing and glad hearts sing,

        "To-day the Prince of Peace is born."

Troy Times. December 24, 1920: 7 col 1.

Friday, December 13, 2013

"In Memoriam—Hon. John M. Francis" by Annie M. Toohey (1897)

In Memoriam—Hon. John M. Francis


I found a tiny flower

        Beside his precious bier

That still was softly moist

        With tender, fallen tear

Shed by a saddened eye

        Of one who ever knew

A father’s loyal love,

        And daily guidance true.

And I have pressed that flower

        With trembling, rev’rent hands

Between two sacred leaves

        That faith of mine expands

The promise of a life

        Beyond the shadowed tomb,

Where soul of him we mourn

        Is wreathed in fadeless bloom.

Watervliet, N. Y.

Troy Daily Times. June 23, 1897: 2 col 2.

John Morgan Francis, proprietor and editor of the Troy Times, is buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Troy.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

"The 'Ferris' Delicious Meats" (1893)

Do you know

Where to go

        For a first-class ham,

When your wife

(Bless her life!)

        Says she'll cook no sham?

Easy task

If you ask

        For "Our Trade Mark" brand.

Because all—

Nearly all—

        Merchants keep on hand


Troy Daily Times. February 14, 1893: 2 col 6.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

“Christmas at Old St. Paul’s” by Walter M. Crandall (1917)

Christmas at Old St. Paul’s.


To many passers-by at Christmas tide

This gray old church brings back the years long fled,

Turns for the moment other thoughts aside—

Transforming living days to days since dead.

        On many in the throng it casts a spell—

Stirring their hearts to look upon its walls,

And looking, hear the clangor of its bell,

        The bell of old St. Paul’s.

Remembrances of Christmas days lang syne

Arise like mists and hide the common street;

In mind, one sees again, at Christmas time,

The church decked out, in greenwood fragrance sweet,

The pale old priest, the waxen tapers’ glow,

The pulpit high, the reverential throng,

Great ropes of evergreen and mistletoe—

        And then one hears—a song!


        “We three Kings of Orient are,

        Bearing gifts we traverse afar,

                Field and fountain,

                Moor and mountain,

        Following yonder star.”

Grandly the organ plays, clear voices sing,

And now in tones profound chants the first king.

Gaspard—“Born a King on bethlehem plain,

        Gold I bring to crown him again.

                King forever,

                Ceasing never

        Over us all to reign.”

The vaulted reaches echo back the song,

And then we hear the second king ere long.

Melchior—“Frankincense to offer have I,

        Incense owns a Deity nigh,

                Prayer and praising,

                All men raising,

        Worship Him, God on High.”

Deep, solemn chords from the great organ bring

A mournful prelude forth for the last great king.

Balthasar—“Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume

        Breathes a life of gathering gloom,

                Sorrowing, sighing,

                Bleeding, dying,

        Sealed in the stone cold tomb.”

        “Glorious now behold Him arise!

        King and God and sacrifice!”

        *        *        *        *        *

Ended the song—but now at Christmas tide,

It swells again in hearts no longer young.

Tho’ singers die, song, church and faith abide—

Stirring remembrances too deep for tongue,

And so at Christmas time is cast a spell

On many passers-by who see the walls,

Or chance to hear the ringing of the bell,

        The bell of old St. Paul’s.

Troy Times. December 12, 1917

By including verses from "We Three" Kings" by Rev. John Henry Hopkins, Jr., the poem might constitute a kind of cento.

                                                                                                Christopher K. Philippo

“A Christmas Hymn” by R. B. Woodin (1914)

A Christmas Hymn.


Softly to the listening ear

        Sounds of angel voices

Came from Heaven one midnight clear,

        All the earth rejoices.

“Peace on earth—Good will to men”

        Floated through the air;

To shepherds seated on the ground

        Came that message rare.

“Unto you is born this day,”

        They sang in sweet accord—;

“Unto you is born this day

        A Savior, Christ the Lord.”

“Alleluia! Alleluia!”

        Sang the angel voices.

Glory be to God on high

        Heaven, and earth, rejoices.

Troy Times. December 24, 1914: 11 col 1.

                                                                                                Christopher K. Philippo