Tuesday, September 24, 2013

"On the Death of a Beloved Scholar" by E. Wilson, Jr. (1840)

The following lines were written by E. Wilson, jr., a Teacher, on hearing of the death of THOMAS A. SYMONDS, a promising youth and former pupil who died in this city on the 3d of May inst., after a protracted illness and read at his funeral.


Death is a sad & doleful scene.

        It changes prospects most serene;

His iron grasp no age sets free,

        But moves them to eternity.

The youth who now before us lies

        Has just passed thro' death's agonies.

The thoughts that cluster round his clay,

        No mortal tongue can e'er convey.

The parents' hearts the keenest throb,

        At the chastisement of their God;

Yet others feel and deep deplore,

        While they his face shall see no more.

His cheerful mind and willing feet

        Oft brought him round his master's seat;

Obedience marked his conduct fair

        While he his teacher's love did share.

Then let us all by this event.

        Which God in mercy thus has sent

Be urg'd to duty and to prayer

        That we may in his mercy share

Troy Daily Whig. May 13, 1840: 2 col 1.

"An Unmarked Home" by Jonathan E. Hoag (1926)

An Unmarked Home.


Unseen the ancient rocks repos’d

        And hidden waters darkly ran;

No sails or spires the sun disclos’d

        To mark the coming reign of man.

And here, in time, where piny steep

        O’erlooks the torrent’s rock-strewn bed.

There stole, to wake the scene from sleep,

        The copper brave with stealthy tread.

Beside the rainbow-crowned cascade

        Where gorges dark the spray o’er-hung

His prayer to Manitou he made

        Amidst a world unmarred and young.

No whirling wheel the music swelled,

        As the old Tiandawa rang,

But onward with the braid of old

        The flood of antique ocean rang.

Then to those murmuring vales of yore

        One came with vision clear and brave,

And planning what none saw before,

        A world of busy hearthsides gave.

Today his fame in bronze and stone

        Salutes the reverential eye,

Whilst fancy pictures, hov’ring lone,

        The vineclad cot that stood close by.

Here happy children long ago

        Gather’d the flowers of morning meads,

Or, led by bird-songs, sweet and low,

        Sought berries for their simple needs.

But all unmark’d the home-spot stays,

        Nor bows the traveler passing near;

O’erlook’d by recognition’s rays,

        To fading mem’ry only dear.

        Vista-Buena, Greenwich, N. Y.

Troy Times. August 13, 1926: 14 col 2.

"Hogmanay" by A.W. Loudon (1922)


The Scottish New Year's Eve Celebration Observed by the Troy Burns Club.

Come, Hieland lads, free oot the north,

And Lawland lassies, sally forth,

An' cantle callants frae Arbroath.

Come a' wha may,

Aye, a' wha honor Scottish birth

This Hogmanay.

Come, cled in claes that's aucht but braw,

Wi' clish-ma-claver, come awa',

Tae lowly cot an' lordly ha'.

We'll mak oor way,

And seek oer sup and bite frae a'

This Hogmanay.

The auld guid-wife will heed oor plea,

The auld guid-man join in oor glee,

As mem'ry turns tae monie a spree,

Noo far away,

When baith the auld guid-wife and he

Kept Hogmanay.

The nicht, awa' wi' aches an' pains.

May joy dispel a' grunts and grains,

Forget that we're but duddy weans

Cam oot tae play,

Let youthfu' daffin haud the reins

This Hogmanay.

Ye dure, douce cheils, fra lika pairt,

Let mirthful pleasure grip the hairt,

Love's genial glow its warmth impart,

As weel it may.

Join haun in haun, nor baud apart,

This Hogmanay.

Tae he wha feels himsel' aboon,

Tho' he misfit a kingly croon,

Mair worthy he a scornfu' froon

The least tae say,

But pity him, the senseless loon,

This Hogmanay.

                        —A. W. Loudon.

Troy Times. December 30, 1922: 5 col 3.

"To the Second Regiment ('Somewhere in New York State')" by Lena S. Thompson (1917)

To the Second Regiment.

("Somewhere in New York State.")


Written for The Troy Times.

Fight for America,

        Men, brave and true;

Fight for the little ones,

        Clinging to you;

Fight for your sweethearts,

        Your daughters, your wives;

Fight for their honor,

        If not for their lives.

Up then, with hands erect,

        Ready to go;

God will be with you there,

        Facing the foe;

Forward to battle!

        E'en though it be,

Living or dying,

        Over the sea.

Men, we are proud of you

        (Mothers and wives)

Proud, now the call has come,

        You give your lives;

Onward to victory!

        Brave men and true;

Knowing we mothers

        Are praying for you.

Troy Times. August 4, 1917: col 1.

"Hooverize!" by Rev. T.L. Drury (1917)



Written for The Troy Times.

To help the boys who go to France

And what we deem is no romance,

But something worthy to advance—


To make battalions feel secure,

To courage give that will endure,

To keep their bodies strong and pure—


To keep the Allied nations strong

In all their battle lines along,

Against the powers of hate and wrong—


For sake of children whom we know

Do suffer in this awful woe,

O'erwhelmed with anguish of the blow—


For sake of women shedding tears

For loss of former happy years,

Who victims are of awful fears—


To prove the soul of Freedom lives

In us by sympathy it gives

To faithful service that relieves—


To prove that we are in the fight

To stay with all our loyal might

For sake of freedom, god and right—


To show that we do not forget

The nation's older spirit yet,

But on its goal our hearts are set—


To show we still can sacrifice,

However dear, can pay the price

In loyal service as our choice—


Let ev'ry woman, child and man,

Now Hooverize the best they can,

So prove the value of the plan

                To all the world!

Troy Daily Times. November 21, 1917: col 1.

"Sad Hearts, Be Strong, Be Brave!" by Rev. T.L. Drury (1918)

Sad Hearts, Be Strong, Be Brave!

(Suggested by the death in battle of Henry S. Nims [d. September 25, 1918] of Troy.)


Written for The Troy Times.

Sad hearts, be strong, be brave.

In times that are so grave;

The boy you lost was true

To country and to you.

Each hero leaves behind

Remembrance, that is kind;

To serve is virtue great

For freedom and the state.

Not vain are souls that give

Their best while yet they live;

Nor vain their lot to die

For purpose that is high.

By such brave souls are we

The stronger men and free;

By such the nation seems

The grander in our dreams.

Then let us serve with love,

For those did worthy prove

When came the stern command

For flag and native land.

We therefore think of him

Who fell in battle grim

As hero free and brave,

Who noble service gave.

For you, dear Land, each son

Who had his armor on,

His deeds shall some new morn

Your pages white adorn.

Sad hearts, be strong, be brave,

The best you had you gave,

And loyal was the deed

To flag in Country's need.

Troy Times. October 31, 1918: 7 col 1.

Findagrave.com (linked above) indicates that Henry S. Nims is interred in the Somme American Cemetery and Memorial in Picardie, France.

"A World I'd Have" by Jonathan E. Hoag (1923)

A World I'd Have.


(Written for The Troy Times on his 93d birthday.)

A world I'd have, rock-ribb'd and old,

        With snowy peaks and azure sky,

Where from high nests in hidden gold

        The eagles teach their young to fly.

With shadowy canyons lone and deep,

        Where darkness hides the day o'erhead;

Where only bats a vigil keep

        Above the dust of tribes long dead.

With titan oceans blue and wide,

        Where sportive whales the waters cleave;

Where swelling sails surmount the tide,

        And steamers on each billow heave.

With fragrant woods and verdant hills,

        And grassy dells that breathe of spring.

Where music murmurs in the rills,

        And crystal founts of beauty sing.

Each mead I'd have with blossoms bright;

        Each arbor gay with many a rose;

Each grove responsive in delight

        To songs that feathered bards compose.

And thro' these scenes of loveliness

        I'd have the voice of youth at play;

Glad childish shouts to soothe and bless

        The moments of a happier day.

The world I'd have! How far, alas,

        From all that can today be ours!

When will the agelong hatreds pass,

        And Justice seek her ancient bowers?

Let pulsing hand touch pulsing hand,

        And threat'ning war-clouds cease to roll;

Let Creed, defeated, flee the land,

        And Kindness reign from pole to pole.

Let sturdy yeomen man the plough

        Till not a mouth for bread need crave;

Let all to Right and Reason bow,

        Great monarchs of the world I'd have!

        Greenwich, N. Y.

Troy Times. June 20, 1924: 17 col 3.

poetic excerpts on Ferris Wheels by Elmore, Loy, and Fiske (1893-1909)

The surname of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute graduate George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. might still be familiar worldwide through his Wheel for the Chicago Fair. It's thought, not unreasonably, that "there's a very good chance that the first Ferris Wheel was actually inspired by the mightiest water wheel of its day -- the one that powered the Burden factory. The designs are remarkably similar and inventor George Ferris, an RPI graduate, studied the wheel while there" (Pasko).

Pasko, Jessica. "The Burden Ironworks Museum." All Over Albany. July 13, 2009. http://www.alloveralbany.com/archive/2009/07/13/the-burden-ironworks-museum

"New Children's Book Focuses on the Ferris Wheel." Inside Rensselaer 2(6). April 4, 2008. http://www.rpi.edu/about/inside/issue/v2n6/ferris.html

Nerich, John. "Ferris Wheel inspired by Troy history." Rensselaer Polytechnic. December 2, 2009. http://poly.rpi.edu/2009/12/02/ferris-wheel-inspired-by-troy-history/

There stands the novel Ferris Wheel,

        A band of human freight;

'Tis propelled by sprocket wheels

        At a thirty-minute rate.

Elmore, James Buchanan. "What the Hoosier Sees in Chicago." Love Among the Mistletoe and Poems. Alamo, IN: James Buchanan Elmore, 1908. 200-202.

As I strolled up Midway I met a new deal;

A lady was watching the great Ferris wheel;

She said: "Mr. Bluecoat, I'm needing a guide,

If you try the big wheel, I'll pay for the ride."

When we reached the car like a happy surprise,

The wheel began lifting us up to the skies;

While I looked at the world with all of its charms,

The lady fainted and fell into my arms.

The lady's husband, standing down in the crowd,

Kept shouting: "Such conduct should not be allowed!"

And when the wheel stopped and we stepped on the ground,

That man and a pounded skull quickly I found.

Loy, Daniel Oscar. "The Columbian Guard." Poems of the White City. Chicago, IL: Daniel Oscar Loy, 1893. 93-94.

I strolled up Midway Plaisance

        And tried the big Ferris swing,

Which goes so near to heaven

        I could hear the angels sing.

Loy, Daniel Oscar. "The World's Fair in a Day." Poems of the White City. Chicago, IL: Daniel Oscar Loy, 1893. 83-86.

If you should sleep while standing,

        You're very sure to feel

Like you are in the Midway,

        Falling from the Ferris Wheel.

Loy, Daniel Oscar. "Returning from the Fair." Poems of the White City. Chicago, IL: Daniel Oscar Loy, 1893. 97-99.


(The Ferris Wheel as seen from the "Whaleback" at night)

OUT of the gloom and thick darkness,

        Down from the North swiftly bound,

Plowing the depths of black water

        That covers the graves of the drowned—

Homeward we're moving with music,

        Homeward, the happy of earth—

When suddenly breaks on our vision

        A circle of glorious birth.

Slowly it rolls through the blackness,

        Luminous, glittering, round—

A circle of sky-born splendor

        Untouched by the groveling ground;

Steady it glows like a cluster

        Of planets bound in a chain—

A new-found constellation

        For men upon the main.

The north-shore lights stand sentinel,

        Like a bivouac picket line;

And the lifted Temple's starry crown

        Shines high as the city's sign;

But greater, fairer, fuller,

        On the background of the night,

Like an emblem of perfection

        Shines the rolling wheel of light.

And the sailor sings to his heart,

        As he nears the harbor flash,

The song of his love and the lights

        And the song of the rhythmic plash;

And ever his eyes look out

        For the circle in the night, And his eager heart is nightly lit

        With the rolling wheel of light—

A sailor's song for Michigan

        A rolling full and strong;

A sailor's song for the heart at home

        That draws my ship along;

A sad sea-song for the boys below

        Who sleep on the rifted sand,

And a round, full song, and a ho! ho! ho!

        For the lights upon the land.

Fiske, Horace Spencer. "The Wheel of Light." Chicago in Picture and Poetry. Industrial Art League, 1903.

The Ferris Wheel met an ignoble end:

"It required 200 pounds of dynamite to put it out of business. The first charge... wrecked its foundation and the wheel dropped to the ground... as it settled it slowly turned, and then, after tottering a moment like a huge giant in distress, it collapsed slowly. It did not fall to one side, as the wreckers had planned... it merely crumpled up slowly. Within a few minutes it was a tangled mass of steel and iron thirty or forty feet high. The huge axle, weighing 45 tons, dropped slowly with the remnants of the wheel, crushing the smaller braces and steel framework. When the mass stopped settling it bore no resemblance to the wheel which was so familiar to Chicago and St. Louis and to 2,500,000 amusement seekers from all over the world, who, in the days when it was in operation, made the trip to the top of its height of 264 feet and then slowly around and down to the starting point.

"Following the blast that wrecked the wheel, but which failed to shatter its foundations, came another charge of 100 pounds of dynamite. The sticks were sunk in holes drilled in the concrete foundations that supported the pillars in the north side of the wheel."

Tarantola, Andrew. "The Life and Explosive Death of the World's First Ferris Wheel." Monster Machines. February 28, 2013. http://www.gizmodo.com/5987466/the-life-and-explosive-death-of-the-worlds-first-ferris-wheel

(quoting the Chicago Tribune)

"End of Great Ferris Wheel." Syracuse Journal. June 2, 1906: 10 cols 5-7. [Cropped from a scan at fultonhistory.com]

The Burden Wheel seems not to have fared much better:

"The Burden wheel sat quietly rusting away for years (and well documented in photographs) until it was dismantled and taken away for scrap during World War II, I am told. All that remains is the pit in which it sat."

Rittner, Don. "Troy's Ancient Wonders." 1999. http://www.donrittner.com/his35.html

A Ferris Wheel Museum/Amusement Park might be interesting and fun… not that there's any money for such things. A working full-size replica of Burden's Wheel, a rideable full-size replica of the Chicago Fair Ferris Wheel, rideable replicas of antique pleasure wheels, an entry in the "Battle to Build The World's Next Tallest Ferris Wheel" (see e.g. http://www.ibtimes.com/wheels-fortune-battle-build-worlds-next-tallest-ferris-wheel-1408680 and http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/09/10/220986155/worlds-largest-ferris-wheel-takes-shape-in-las-vegas ), etc.

Binghamton, to some extent, has capitalized on its six municipal carousels in public parks with a claim to being the "Carousel Capital of the world" and a small Carousel Museum near one of the six. They hadn't been invented there, the city just happened to receive an unusual donation from George F. Johnson. The price of admission: a piece of litter! See e.g. http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/939 and http://www.visitbinghamton.org/things-to-do/carousels/

"The Burden Water Wheel" by Ethan O. Smith (1918)

Dear Editor:

        Perhaps I may answer, thru your paper, some of the inquiries concerning the great Burden Water Wheel of this city. it stands within the city limits in the south end of Troy, N.Y., and was built by Henry Burden in 1838, to propel the machinery of his immense Iron Works. It is the greatest water wheel in the world, being larger and more powerful than any similar wheel that was ever built in this, or any other country. It is 60 feet in diameter, 22 feet wide, and has 30 buckets 22 feet long, and 6 feet deep. When running at a speed of only two revolutions per minute, more than 500 horse-power was developed. In traveling thru sixteen states I have not seen a more interesting ruin. Mr. Burden also put in a large turbine to use in emergencies in case the great wheel gave out; but it was never needed for a day. It is a great pity that it could not have been preserved for the admiration and inspiration of generations to come. Perhaps the inclosed verses which were written for "The Troy Record," would interest your readers.

        Ethan O. Smith.


The Burden Water Wheel

While traveling though many states and cities of the land,

Full many a wonder have I seen, wrought by some skillful hand.

But none of greater interest has ever met my gaze,

Than Burden's king of water wheels, the pride of other days.

Stupendous instrument of power! A master mind indeed,

That planned and built that wondrous wheel, to fill a pressing need.

Five hundred heavy horses with their sinews strained like steel,

Could not produce the power of this one gigantic wheel.

The Brooklyn bridge of New York, or Woolworth's mighty tower,

Inspire no greater interest, than this great Wheel of Power.

Alas! that rust, and slow decay, those gnawing teeth of Time,

Should be so evident today, in this old wheel sublime.

'Tis well its builder is not here, that he may not behold

The product of his wondrous skill in rust, decay, and mould.

'Tis well that he may never know just how his wonder great,

In after years, should come to be neglected to its fate.

'Tis now a falling ruin, leaning hard against the hill,

And all its wheels of industry, are now forever still.

Alas, that it should ever pass! It seems almost a crime,

To leave this matchless wonder to the ravages of Time.

—Ethan O. Smith.

"The Burden Water Wheel: One of the Wonders of the Age in Which It Was Built." Wyoming County Times. September 12, 1918: 4 col 5.

Troy being Troy, the wheel was not preserved. A giant water wheel was preserved in Wales, however:

Another giant water wheel, even larger than the Welsh one, was preserved on the Isle of Man:

Sadly many sites in the Capital District have been destroyed by neglect, arson, the wrecking ball, e.g.:

Crowley, Cathleen F. "Demolition begins at ironworks; Plant that was to be part of Troy's riverfront revival smoldered as the work began." Albany Times Union. May 27, 2008: D1. http://albarchive.merlinone.net/mweb/wmsql.wm.request?oneimage&imageid=6572296

"Troy's Fashion Show" by L.P.F. (1914)

Troy's Fashion Show.

Written for The Troy Times.

Come from the North by trolley or steam,

Walk here or drive here as best it may seem.

Come from the East, get up with the sun,

Bring all the family and plenty of mon'.

Come from the South, by water or land,

See the attractions the Trojans have planned.

Come from the West, we would have you to know

That welcome awaits you at Troy's Fashion Show.

L. P. F.

Troy Times. September 22, 1915: 6 col 2.

"Serfdom" by William Howe (1925)


Lines inspired by the reading of Mary Johnston's "Slave Ship."


Written for The Troy Times.

Much has been written, sung or said

        Of Slavery in times gone by;

Of human beings bought and sold,

The motive merely lust for gold,

        Oblivious to the victims' cry...

Thank Heaven those evil times are dead.

But even so—with mankind free

Where civilized—e'en yet we see

Man still in bonds! In slavery!

Not physical—but yet not free.

There's bondage that's man's master now.

        A bondage quite as old as time—

A slave to self—and I'll allow

        To throw that off is most sublime.

Man's freedom is not wholly gained

'Til mastery of self's attained.

Troy Times. February 2, 1925: 14 col 2.

"Blueberry Time in Petersburgh" by Melancthon Fairchild (1919)

Blueberry Time in Petersburgh


Written for The Troy Times.

Lydia's slender waist or Chloe's flashing eyes,

Too oft, I will confess, are objects of my sighs;

But Maud, in beauty equal, I more highly prize,

Because she beats them both in making berry pies.

With Lydia I will glide in measures of the dance,

And look with fondest hope for Chloe's tender glance;

But when again at last the dinner hour arrived,

I think of dearest Maudie and her juicy pies.

Troy Times. August 9, 1919: 11 col 1.

"Official Neglect" by Andrew W. Loudon (1926)

Official Neglect.


Written for The Troy Times.

At the wading pool in Frear Park

I heard from a mother this remark:

"Just think of kiddie going in there:

When they come out they'll need scrubbing for fair."

Look at the bottom, coated with slime,

In point of neglect lacks nothing of crime;

Under the guise of a healthful bath,

Conditions provoking resentment and wrath.

Is there a soul, or must we despair,

Vested with power this wrong to repair?

Is there a conscience so heedless of right

As to leave our children in such sad plight?

A feature suffusing with scarlet the cheek—

On leaving the pool they're forced then to seek

A shelter of weed, to robe and disrobe,

Conditions demanding a swift, searching probe.

Troy Times. July 28, 1926: 16 col 2.

Doggerel: that'll more than work!

Yellow journals abound today

Lurid, worthless things to say.

Investigative? Nowhere in sight

Those journalists bound up in fright

Of publishers who are billionaires

(The First Amendment needs repairs)

"Newsmen" who are corporate tools;

The public: undiscerning fools?

Where's the real news today?

Seen only by the N.S.A?

E'en *neglect* neglected now

Bought politicians: sacred cow

That corporations won't offend

Lest more cash they'd have to spend

To cover up their ev'ry crime

Gatekeeping news in ev'ry clime

Report on scandals? Well, if there's sex

"Ripped from the headlines," multi-plex

film adaptations in the works

Of jerks, by jerks, for the jerks

"The Hudson in October" by Grace Louise Robinson (1914)

The Hudson in October.


Written for The Troy Times.

Two lanes of blue, above, below;

The tender sky, the eager flow

        Of Hudson, ocean-bound.

And pulsing ships that go and come

Amid October's gentle hum,

        In orange sunshine steeped.

The eastern hills, a scarlet row,

Where sumac and thorn-apples glow,

        Above the soft marsh-grass;

While, on the west, the Catskills gleam,

The age-long guardians of the stream,

        Fair mountain citadels.

While ever between is the siren sheen

Of the river alluring in golden green,

        Shot through with autumn light.

The blackbird brushes the river edge

As he stoops to drink from the brimming edge,

        Then lilts a gorgeous song.

And bird and hills and mountains, all three,

Are notes in the autumn symphony,

        The Hudson glorified,

        With October beautified,

        Rich with the gold of fall,

        Warm with the life of all.

        Rensselaer, N.Y.

"The Old Bridge 1804-1909" by Lucy H. Batt (1929)



(On the 20th anniversary of the burning of the old Troy-Waterford bridge)


Written for The Troy Time.

Many will recollect, I think

Standing one day on fair Hudson's brink,

Watching tongues of remorseless flame

Destroy our bridge of early fame,

Which had stood for a century and more

In fact since eighteen hundred four

As public servant true and sincere

Linking Saratoga to Rensselaer

While o'er the portals at either end

In terms of most explicit trend

Appeared a crudely-lettered sign

Stating price of fare and cause for fine

Throughout the years it spanned the tide,

The counties' boast, our village pride,

Beneath a governance divine

Had been preserved both bridge and sign.

While some among the many may

Remember twenty years today:

A cry rang over plain and ridge,

A frantic cry—"The Bridge! The Bridge!"

Time from memory can ne'er erase

That picture of heroic grace,

No power of art can portray clear

The imprint deepening year by year;

The fiery flame, the bridge so strong

Seemed adamant in its dying song,

And from its height and breadth and length

Vainly it sought to gather strength

An ancient warrior never stood

More stoic than this bridge of wood,

Refusing to dissolve one link,

A seething mass from brink to brink

Of solid embers all aglow,

Hissing at the opposing foe,

The roll of smoke, the scarlet gleam,

Reflected on the gliding stream;

The welcoming river with all its charms

Beckoned assurance with motherly arms,

Each conquered link though loath to yield,

A blaze of splendor here revealed,

Till urged by confidence and love

The weakened unit began to move

Whole as the sun when it sinks to rest,

It sank beneath the river's crest

There where the silvery current sweeps

Our famous bridge forever sleeps.

        Waterford, July 10, 1929.

Troy Times. July 10, 1929: 6 col 1.

Monday, September 23, 2013

"To the Memory of Gen. Wool" by J.L. Young (1869)

To the Memory of Gen. Wool [(d. November 10, 1869)].


Full orb'd, excelling every hope

That shone within his horoscope,

Stretching the limit of his days

Through sunny and o'er darkened ways,

Till far a-down the grooves of time

He passed the outmost picket line

That glooms along the vast abyss,

And veils the other world from this.

        Full orb'd amid a nation's gloom,

        The hero passeth to the tomb.

Full orb'd upon the scroll of fame

We write at last his deathless name

Among the chosen gems that set

A grateful nation's coronet.

Let muffled drum and cannon's boom

Sound requiem o'er the veteran's tomb,

And here let buds their toilet make

More lavish for the hero's sake.

        Full orb'd amid a nation's gloom,

        The veteran passeth to the tomb.

Full orb'd, the hero after toil

Rests calmly in his native soil;

The soil he fought and bled to save,

Yields him at last an honored grave.

Nor bugle note nor battle cheer,

Nor envy's darts assail him here;

But memory on her spotless page

Embalms the hero and the sage.

        Full orb'd amid a nation's gloom,

        The veteran passeth to the tomb.

Young, J.L. "To the Memory of Gen. Wool." Troy Daily Times. December 4, 1869: col 4.

"Requiescat in Pace" by K.D.S. (1912)

Requiescat in Pace


Written For The Troy Times.

These lines were suggested by the myrtle covered graves, protected with boughs of evergreen from the cold of winter,

To-day as I wandered through Oakwood,

        Where we lay our loved ones to rest,

The graves that were evergreen covered

        Were the ones that to me were the best.

They seemed so like dear little children

        Tucked warm in their trundle bed,

And all of them His little children,

        This host of the blessed dead.

His child! What a sense of protection

        Descends to us from above

As He covers us o'er with His mercy

        And binds us down with His love.

Just as the myrtle is covered

        By the bough of the evergreen,

So we are held close and protected

        In our sleep that comes between.

        Waterford, November 16.

S, K.D. "Requiescat in Pace." Troy Times. November 28, 1912: 13 col 1.

"Chief Byron" by Capt. William J. Cunningham (1918)

Chief Byron

(In dedication to the memory of the beloved and dauntless Fire Chief Patrick Byron, by Capt. William J. Cunningham of Truck No. 2.)

Written for the Troy Times.

Farewell, good Chief, farewell, farewell, thy praise 'til now unsung

Like firebells ringing o'er the town is heard from every tongue:

Thou hast been in thy days of life a wonder to us all,

And deeply we now mourn our loss since answered thou death's call.

No soldier on the battlefield could fight as thou hast fought

Great fires that would our city grand have soon reduced to nought,

And ever wert thou foremost with all thy will and might,

Regardless of all dangers, those flaming fires to fight.

Farewell, good Chief, farewell, thy labors now are done

And thy rewards, 'way up above (and well earned every one)

Will be bright joys beyond compare to thee, good Chief, to thee,

Among the angels up on high for all eternity.

Cunningham, William J. "Chief Byron." Troy Times. April 27, 1918: 2 col 1.

Monday, September 16, 2013

“The Battle of ‘Ida Hill’” by John B. Green (1869)

Written for the Troy DAILY PRESS.


A Parody on the “Execution of Montrose.”


        [Suggested to the author by the circumstance, which are as follows: The boys of “Ida Hill” and of various other parts of the city, were in the habit of meeting in the fields back of the Old Mount Ida Cemetery nearly every afternoon after school and indulging in pitch-battles with slings and stones. The subject for the following lines was the occasion of a party of them being arrested by the police and brought before his Honor Justice Neary.]

Come hither, “Ida Hillers,” and stand beside my knee—

        I hear the Poestenkill roaring down the South Troy lea;

There’s shouting in the burying ground, the boys are rushing past,

        The fences groan beneath their weight, the stones are flying fast;

I hear the slingshot whizzing, and oh! most glorious sight—

        Mount Ida’s rushing onward, like a demon in the fight.

‘T was I that led Mount Ida’s hosts, as everybody knows—

        What time the Albia clans came down, to battle in the snows,

I’ve told you how all South Troy fled upon our opening road,

        And how we thrashed the Up-Town clan, by the College pond’s green shore;

I’ve told you how we swept down hill and tamed old Fifth Street’s pride—

        But never have I told you yet how the “Spirit of Chivalry” died.

Oh, Hiller recollection! A coward sold us in the storm!

        I charge you, Boys, if e’er you meet with a Blue-coat’s hated form—

Be it upon our own sweet Mount, or South Troy’s darksome glen;

        Stand he upon his beat alone, or backed by “C.P.” men—

Face him as you would face the fiend who wrong your bright renown;

        Remember from what clan you sprang, and stone the villain down.

They brought us to the Station House, guarded by war-like men,

        As though they held an army there, and not young boys of ten;

They took us to the Court House, to hear and read our doom,

        And marshalled us all forward in the middle of the room.

There was mud from felons’ feet upon that Court House floor,

        And Justice Neary filled the place where Flagg has sat before.

With savage glee came the “C.P., to lead us off to jail,

        But he dropped us, and looked up with a kind of plaintiff wail

As the Justice said: “Though the crime is grave, I think it much enlarged,

        And considering your youth, you are ‘lectured and discharged.’”

So, with light and happy hearts, we homeward took our way,

        But long rued all valiant “C.P.’s” the trial of that day.

Green, John B. “The Battle of ‘Ida Hill.’” Troy Daily Press. December 17, 1869: 1 col 4.

The "circumstance" of the poem's composition does seem true to life, sadly:

        Captain Quigley, after reading the article in the WHIG on Saturday, in regard to the contests between Ida Hill and South Troy boys in the Mt. Ida Cemetery, took patrolmen Duffy, Brodie, Carrol, Grimes and Sullivan, and with them visited the battle ground. The boys recognized the approach of the policemen and made a hasty retreat, but Officers Sullivan and Duffy succeeded in capturing two of the crowd, named Bruce Steward and Harry Witts, who were brought before Justice Donohue on Saturday afternoon. As they were very young they were sent to jail for only one day.

        Sergeant Burke with a posse of men made a raid near the same place Saturday afternoon and captured John Lyons, Patrick and Michael Fisher, and Philip Prenty, who were bailed to appear this morning.

“Raid on the Cemetery Stone Throwers.” Troy Daily Whig. April 13, 1873: 4 col 1.

        The Utica Herald says the boys who break tomb stones and fences in the Mt. Ida Cemetery, should be given a permanent home there.

“Local Briefs.” Troy Daily Whig. April 15, 1873: 3 col 1.

        Several boys spent an hour or so yesterday afternoon throwing stones at a memorial in the old Mount Ida burying ground. The tombstone, which the boys partially mutilated, contains the following words: “Sacred to the memory of Elias Badeau. Born July 18, 1756. He served his country as a faithful soldier in her struggle for independence, and died August 30, 1830. A faithful soldier of the cross of Christ. Aged 75 years, 1 month and — days.” It is hoped that when the soldiers decorate graves on Memorial day they will not overlook the last resting place of the Revolutionary soldier.

“City Notes.” Troy Daily Times. May 12, 1896: 3 col 1.

        Summer weather is again calling the boys of the neighborhood out into the fields for baseball and a good time, and again come reports of boys damaging property in their rush for freedom. In former years complaint after complaint has been registered relative to the depredations of boys that have despoiled the Old Mount Ida Cemetery, situated next to Prospect Park at the foot of Walnut Street. The boys have again started their destruction. An old cemetery seems to be a romantic spot for the playing of pirate chief and highwayman, and despite the warnings given in the past the boys are lured to the spot to play. The few remaining markers and grave stones make admirable targets for stone throwing or forts for “rallying.” The cemetery is the oldest in Troy. The city authorities will be asked to place a park policeman where he can protect the cemetery from further damage. At the City Hall this afternoon it was stated that action in the matter had already been taken. The park lines are to be extended to include the old burying ground, and just as soon as the full force of workmen is placed at work, the cleanup and restoring of the cemetery will be commenced. It was said that further damage would be prevented.

"Old Cemetery and Its Cleanup." Troy Times. April 26, 1913: 2 col 3.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

"Dirk Vanderheyden's Dream" by William E. Hagan (1890)

Dirk Vanderheyden's Dream.


William E. Hagan read the following original poem, "Dirk Vanderheyden's Dream:"

There stood in Albany, in old colonial days,

        Two hundred years ago, or more, as tells tradition,

A stately inn that towered above the buildings of the place

        With all the seeming pride of its condition.

'T was built of brick and fronted with its gable on the street;

        Its dormer-window roof in gambrel tapered down.

While port-holes and Dutch windows made the front and sides complete

        In the quaint elements of its Holland finish shown.

Right opposite the inn, and at its tapering front, uprose

        A leaning inn-post, from whose inclination

The passing traveler fairly might suppose,

        It advertised, or hinted of, inebriation

Before and right beside the door were sundry resting places,

        Seats that were worn quite smooth, on which suggestive fancy

Hinted that leather breeches there had left their traces,

        In the glossed polish shown by the hard work of occupancy.

There was a generous and cheerful measure seen within the door,

        In the quite large and easy chairs, with arms extended,

Which seemed to welcome such as entered on the sanded floor,

        And told of rest and creature comfort blended.

Within the public room upon a shelf were sundry empty flagons,

        Of bright and shining pewter, that were quite suggestive,

So were the fire-dogs on the hearth, whose brazen dragons

        Hinted of toddy, flip, and other fluids just as festive.

[...] ing post

        Roughly portrayed a bunch of grapes in purple color laden,

And told the traveler in Dutch letters that within "Mine Host"

        Bore the cognomen of Dirk Van Der Hey Den.

This inn was popular, and in old colonial measure,

        Furnished a pleasant rendezvous, or place of meeting.

Where the Dutch burghers, when in search of news or pleasure,

        Could o'er a mug or glass exchange their daily greeting.

Some years before, as history tells, the good ship "Spotted Cow,"

        To cross the Atlantic, had sailed forth from Leyden,

And 'mongst her passengers, the old records show,

        Was a tall, stalwart youth, yclept Dirk Van Der Heyden.

By a patient industry and steady, slow, accumulation,

        Dirk had become a wealthy publican, and sold at pleasure

Beer, schnapps and rum, without restraint or legal reservation,

        And, as it suited him, in any kind of way or measure.

Money was not abundant then, and in colonial days

        Trade was a kind of barter to a large extent,

Where then, as now, the unlucky debtor always pays

        The pressing creditor a largess, at each settlement.

Now there were certain worthy burghers of this ancient town

        Whom Dirk would trust for drink, and in his credit round

Would with a piece of chalk or charcoal mark it down,

        Until each festive patron's credit reached one pound.

Each money credit of a pound was duly represented,

        By marking a stone of a certain color and dimensions;

A way of keeping books Dirk's genius had invented

        To aid him in his hoarding, saving-up intentions.

In liquidation of accounts, so many stones would buy a debtor's cow;

        So many more his horse, or chance his negro slave;

But in each settlement, which ever way 't was made, some how,

        Dirk in the deal would always the advantage have.

Amongst the many lovers of the inn's conviviality,

        And who patronized it with a constant thirsty measure,

Was Peter Van Woggelum, who came to know in a reality

        How fast a debt may grow indeed, when made for drink or pleasure.

For several years he had been running up a steady score,

        Even without a question as to its accumulation;

Dirk never dunned or importuned him, as he more and more

        Kept adding to its growth by constant aggregation.

One day, however, Peter, quite astonished, found himself confronted

        With the large debt of quite two hundred pounds;

There were the stones, Dirk said; were they not fairly counted

        and he was told the means of payment must be found

Dirk strongly hinted unto Peter, startled with alarm,

        When face to face with the strange presentation,

There was upon the Hudson Peter's well known farm,

        The "Posten Bowerie," that could apply in liquidation

Peter demurred at first, but finally, when pressed, consented,

        And for the drink he'd swallowed gave the lands

In Dutch history called "Parfraets Dael," or lateness contended

        Where modern Troy in all its present vigor stands

Amongst the old Dutch families and then direct succession

        'T was an oft-told story how to Dirk there came

The very day the deed was signed, that gave to him possession

        A strange and fearful warning in a dream.

The time was summer, and the month of June;

'T was a warm day, and in the afternoon,

When in a room from off the public one

Dirk Van Der Hey Den sat, and all alone,

Spread out before him was the title real

To his great farm at Parfraets Dael;

This day it had been signed and sealed,

And as he [?] it over its words revealed

That Peter Van Woggelum had that day conveyed

To him all right and title that he had

Unto the lands twixt Hudson's river and the [?]

South of the Piscawan and north of the Poesten kill,

And as the deed did together on express

Of land so many morgens, be it more or less.

Dirk now indeed was really a patroon,

And happy was he on that afternoon,

When in the contemplative measure of his joys,

He of his children though, his three small boys,

And how he would, should they to manhood come,

By fair allotment give to each a farm and home;

So through the measure of his new estate

He would in time his name perpetuate.

On all Dirk's thoughts a genial pleasure beamed,

And thinking thus he fell asleep and dreamed.

Wrapped in his dreamy mood he did not hear

The mutterings of a thunder storm draw near;

But he slept on, while fancy lent him wings

To fly away in thought with fair conditionings

In mid-air poised the dream saw below,

Rich in its summer green and beauteous glow,

The fairest part of favored "lubbered land,"

That now was all his own, at his command.

Bright was the prospect to the dreamer's view

And fair the picture that his fancy drew,

But while the dreamer gazed upon the scene

A vale of mist spread out to intervene

Between the dreamer and the panoramic sight,

That served to hide, and to obscure it quite;

But ere a moment waned the mist had passed away,

And right in sight below the dreamer lay

A city, with its miles of streets and noisy strife,

Teeming with humming industry and busy life,

The dreamer was entranced; was this to be,

He thought, his little children's legacy

Long did he feast his eyes on the enchanting scene,

When, lo, another cloud comes up to intervene

No thin and mist-drawn veil this time appears,

But a cloud-goblin, that slowly as it nears,

Opens its monstrous hjaws, and swallows down,

At one great mouthful, both the farm and town

And then as if to finish up its horrid work,

It rises upward toward the dreaming Dirk;

Transfixed by fright, the dreamer cannot fly,

As nearer, nearer, comes the demon of the sky;

And when it opens wide its mouth to gulp him down,

As it before had swallowed up the farm and town

By a strong effort made, Dirk breaks the spell,

And he awakens, with a frightened yell.

Bewildered, startled, trembling and amazed,

He stands and stares as one with senses dazed.

When reason comes, he finds a thunder storm

Has filled his household with a wild alarm,

As flash and crash in quick succession come

To shake the strong foundations of the [?] home,

While standing thus bewildered in his sense,

There came a sudden glare and then a [?] intense,

And Dirk went down his length upon the floor,

Stunned by the shock, which in his descending tore

The inn-post into splinteres, are, and more,

It put its mark upon his children, too,

As if to keep the measure of its wrath in view

In a real welt upon the face that like a birthmark stayed,

Until they each of them within their graves were laid.

The inn-post thus torn down was not again restored;

        Dutch sentiments toward Dirk grew hostile and aggressive,

It treated the Van Woggelum trade as fraudulent,

        And Dirk's demand against him as dishonest and excessive.

The inn soon lost the measure of its popularity

        And rival publicans took all its trade away,

But for a hundred years or more the building stood,

        As a strange and quaint reminder of that early day.

Fair "Pafraets Dael" Dirk never visited again

        He died, deserted, neglected and almost alone,

In Albany beside the old Dutch church, of him what does remain,

        Lies in a grave marked by a time-worn crumbling stone.

The farm was parcelled out as Dirk had dreamed,

        And his descendants, some of whom were worthy men,

Strove for the right but fate determined seemed,

        To on his name bestow no kindly benison.

Years passed away, a city came to grow apace,

        And occupy the lands Dirk has devised as stated,

But of Dirk's own male line direct there is not trace

        That bears his name, it is, in fact, obliterated.

[missing lines and words to be transcribed hopefully soon]

Troy Daily Times. January 5, 1890: 2 cols 6-7.

Hagan is also said to have written a similarly lengthy poem titled "The Avenging Avalanche" (Mount Ida?) in which "names of many of the early settlers [of Troy] are interwoven with some of the epochal events of those days poetically expressed. The Poestenkill, Jans Coeymans, Jans Barrensten, Dirk Vanderheyden, 'Old Foretop Hans' and other celebrities of early Troy are resurrected and given leading roles in the drama" ("Looking Backward; Trojan's Collection of Scrapbooks of Historic Interest—Valuable in Research Work—Clippings of Early Period." Troy Times December 27, 1921: 7).

William E. Hagan, one of Troy's best known citizens, died at about 4 o'clock this morning at his home, 93 Fourth Street, after an illness dating back to last April. [...]

It was as a handwriting expert that Mr. Hagan was best known. He was engaged in some of the most celebrated cases in this country in which the identity of handwriting was in question, and his opinions on that subject were widely sought and greatly valued. [...] the Molay letter case, involving the forgery of President Garfield's name, and many others of national importance.

        A few years ago Mr. Hagan published a book, "Hagan on Disputed Handwriting," and the book [see A Treatise on Disputed Handwriting and the Determination of Genuine from Forged Signatures at the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners] is considered an authority on the subject. [...]

        Mr. Hagan was a close student of local history, and was familiar with many incidents contemporary with his early days in this city. He had a very retentive memory and could recall dates and occurrences after a moment's retrospection. He wrote many articles on various subjects, which were published in leading newspapers and periodicals, and was a frequent contributor to the columns of The Troy Times. [...]

        Mr. Hagan was one of the early members of the Troy Fire Department and did much to bring it to a state of efficiency. he was a member of the old Washington Volunteer Company and was one of the charter members of the Arba Read Steamer Company, which he helped to organize. With John A. Griswold, Arba Read and Habbibal Green, he discussed the advisability of purchasing a steam fire engine for Troy. Contributions were made by each and by other citizens and Mr. Hagan was deputized to go to Cincinnati to inspect those in use there. The report was favorable to the acquirement of such an aid to fire fighting by Troy, and the steamer was bought.

        At the time of the Civil War Mr. Hagan assisted in forming regiments to go to the front from this vicinity, and his efforts in that direction figured in the organization of the Second Regiment, the One Hundred and Twenty-fifth and the One Hundred and Sicty-ninth Regiments.

        Mr. Hagan never held any political office, but was thoroughly in touch with events tending to high citizenship and was always ready to respond in aid of any deserving cause. He served for a time as honorary directory of the State Sanitary Commission, and was a member of the Troy Club and the Ionic Club. Mr. Hagan was married in 1855 to Lydia R. Covell, daughter of the late Stephen Covell of this city.

        Mr. Hagan was a lifelong member of St. Paul's Church, and was born on the site of the church, at the corner of State and Third Streets, where his father's residence was located.

        He is survived by his wife and three children, Mrs. W.B. M. Miller of Providence, R.I., and Mrs. Frederick F. Buell and Mrs. Rebecca Hagan DuBarry, of this city.

                The Funeral.

        The funeral will be held from Holy Cross Church, as repairs are being made at St. Paul's Church, Sunday afternoon at 3:30 o'clock. Rev. Dr. E.A. Enos, who is out of the city on his vacation, will return to officiate. The interment will be in Oakwood Cemetery.

"Death of William E. Hagan—Prominent as a Handwriting Expert—Engaged in Many Noted Cases—Wrote a Book on the Subject—Incidents of a Long and Honorable Career." Troy Daily Times. August 29, 1902: 3 col 3.

Mayfield Sunsets by Rev. Booth (1915-1917)

A Sunset in Mayfield.


Written for the Troy Times.

Behind the foothills, purpled by the glow

Of the departing sun, celestial fire

Set earth and heaven ablaze with God's attire.

Like rainbow gleams, reflected in the snow,

The glittering landscape seemed to overflow

With glory. Lo! the cloudlets swept the lyre

Of vaulted blue, and earth's antiphonal choir

Sent back the grains to heaven, from depths below!

Clouds are Jehovah's prophet-messengers,

The sun His coronated King of Day;

The pivot of creation is His Throne,

And earth the Sphere where He administers

His grace and truth; Sunsets His love display,

And nightly love's reflected by the moon!

Troy Times. March 16, 1917: 15 col 1.

(Also appeared in Morning Herald [Gloversville, NY]. March 15, 1917: 7 col 1.)


        An appeal to the voters in the towns of Mayfield, Broadalbin, Perth and Northville, by Rev. Joseph C. Booth. The license question's up again,

My plea is simple, wise and plain;

When to the polling-booth you go,

For the sake of right, vote No!

Your child is innocent and pure,

Make its environment secure;

When to the polling-booth you go,

For the sake of your child, vote No!

The boy, on whom your hopes depend,

From booze-entanglements defend;

When to the polling-booth you go,

For the sake of your boy, vote No!

That girl, with spotless character,

Depends on you protecting her;

When to the polling-booth you go,

For the sake of your girl, vote No!

Your wife can't vote: "No-License," she

Can only plead your sympathy;

When to the polling-booth you go,

For the sake of your wife, vote No!

Protect your home, where'er you be,

Against all foes of liberty;

When to the polling-booth you go,

For the sake of your home, vote No!

Behold this truth, before your eyes:

"Where drink is sold the taxes rise!"

When to the polling-booth you go,

For the sake of your tax, vote No!

We'll keep the town of Mayfield dry,

Let Perth, Broadalbin, Northville try;

When to the polling-booth you go

For the sake of your town, vote No!

Remove temptation from your way,

Like David, Drink's Goliath slay;

When to the polling-booth you go,

For the sake of yourself, vote No!

The church inviteth every man

To push her Gospel-Temperance plan;

When to the polling-booth you go,

For the sake of the Church, vote No!

"The Battle is Jehovah's," He

Will give His cohorts victory!

When to the polling-booth you go,

For the sake of your God, vote No!

                —Rev. Joseph C. Booth,

                            Mayfield, N.Y.

Morning Herald. October 28, 1915: 7 col 4.



        A temperance sonnet to the voters of Mayfield, Northville and Broadalbin; also to the voters of all surrounding villages and hamlets:

        Rum! generator of debauch and crime!

        Well named by Wesley: "Liquid fire of hell.—

        Distilled damnation!" Hear me! Who can tell

        Rum's devastations? Long before his prime

        The sot reels to his grave; from heights sublime

        Genius is dragged; hope sighs her and farewell:

        The promise-bud dies in its calyx-shell

        And withers like the grass in torrid clime!

        How long, how long shall brewers spoil the land,

        Or drink destroys minds, bodies, souls of men?

        Rise fathers! every voter take his stand

        And Prove himself a worthy citizen!

        The ballot is your choice for weal or woe;

        'Gainst license thunder out your answer: "No ! ! !"

                REV. JOSEPH C. BOOTH,

        Mayfield, N.Y., Nov. 1, 1917.

Morning Herald [Gloversville, NY]. November 2, 1917: 6 col 3.

(In the spirit of forgiveness and in appreciation for his love of poetry, may we all forgive Rev. Booth's trespasses against rum as hopefully all may forgive H.C. Dodge trespasses as well:

A man who drinks rum

                Will think it’s yum-yum,

For may be, an hour or so,

                ‘Till, poisoned his blood

                And brains turned to mud,

He dies in sad spasms of woe.

Certainly the abuse of alcohol is devastating (so, too, the abuse of poetry, religion, the public trust, etc.).

Rev. Booth's Psonnet Psalms (1918)


How blessed is the man who walketh not

In counsel of ungodly men, nor stands

With sinners, in their way, nor casts his lot

With scorners, in their seat. The Lord's demands

Are his delight and in His Law, by night

And day, he meditates. A fruitful tree

Shall he be like, whose leafage knows no blight,

Fed by the stream, blest with prosperity.

The wicked flee, like chaff before the wind,

And, therefore, in the judgment shall not stand;

Nor sinners, in the congregation, find

A place with righteous men—at God's right hand;

Jehovah knoweth well the righteous way—

Ungodliness shall perish in that Day!

                    —REV. JOSEPH C. BOOTH.

Morning Herald [Gloversville, NY]. September 4, 1918: 3 cols 1-2.


Jehovah is my Shepherd; therefore I

Shall never want. In pastures green He makes

Me lie and by the silent waters takes

Me there to rest; my soul restores and by

His Name He guideth me in paths that lie

In righteousness. Yes in the valley wakes

My soul, assured my Shepherd ne'er forsakes

His sheep. Thy rod and staff bring comfort nigh!

A table spread before my foes appears;

My head with oil Thou hast anointed, Lord!

My cup of Joy with blessings runneth o'er.

Thy goodness, loving kindness, all my years

Shall follow me—according to Thy Word.

And in Thy House I'll dwell forever—more!

                        Rev. Joseph C. Booth.

    Mayfield, N.Y.

Morning Herald. November 11, 1918: 7 col 3.

Friday, September 13, 2013

"A Rondeau on the Rondeau" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1914)

A Rondeau on the Rondeau.


Written for The Troy Times.


A Rondeau is a pleasing thing

To write. Come Muse, teach me to sing,

As thou didst teach the bards of yore:

Write thirteen lines, two rhymes, no more;

Add a refrain, twice let it ring,

Proceed and to thy thoughts give wing;

Let thy imagination swing.—

That which has now begun to soar

                A Rondeau is.

My thoughts, now downward, I must fling

And put them back into the sling;

My task, I see, is nearly o'er,

I'm drawing closely to the shore;

Behold, the poem that I bring

                A Rondeau is.



(A Rondeau.)

Troy is the place I like to see

As well as far-famed Albany,

And when I've wandered to and fro

To Troy I always like to go.

The people, there, are kind to me;

Their hearts are full of sympathy;

From ostentation they are free

Come, go with me, you'll find it so.

                Troy is the place!

Troy is a city that will be

More famous, in our history,

Than classic Troy, of years ago

With all her grandeur and her woe.

Read and digest my prophecy.

                Troy is the place!

Troy Times. July 10, 1914: 13 col 1.

The Villanelle.


Written for The Troy Times.

A villanelle has nineteen lines,

        One verse of four and five of three;

Two rhymes in it the Muse entwines.

Two glad refrains within it shines

        Repeated, each, four times you'll see;

A villanelle has nineteen lines.

Grandeur with beauty it combines

        Sublime in its simplicity;

Two rhymes in it the Muse entwines

The encircling Muse the poem designs

        And throws around it this decree:

"A villanelle has nineteen lines."

With graceful charm, the Muse enshrines

        The villanelle's nativity;

Two rhymes in it the Muse entwines.

Sing! thou poetic devotee,

Thy gladsome villanelle to me;

A villanelle has nineteen lines,

Two rhymes in it the Muse entwines.

Troy Times. October 26, 1914: 7 col 1.

A Monosyllabic Sonnet.


Written for The Troy Times.

Please make a verse or two of rhyme for me.

Of bright, short words, the pride of our own tongue;

More sweet than all the long, big words that's sung;

Such words the boy, the man that is to be,

Can spell with ease and then, as if set free

From fear, he reads, though slow, with "lots of lung;"

These are the words that stir the old and young—

The keen, short words, for which I make my plea.

Don't say: "A hymn cannot be made of short,

Small words, or that a bard must use in song,

Or ode, the big ones, if he wants to climb;"

Such thoughts have long been ruled out of the court.

Ah! sing to me sweet words, short words and strong

They are the best you'll find in prose or ryme.

        Mayfield, N.Y.

Troy Times. August 1, 1914: 6 col 2.


(Dedicated to the High school students)

A sonnet complex is in its design,

With one idea or emotion free;

Offspring of Petrarch, and great Dante, see

Unfolding to the last, the fourteenth line.

To make a perfect whole its parts combine;

Unequally divided, though it be

The quatrains in the octave must agree,

The tercets in the sextet intertwine.

Two rhymes within the octave only are

Allowed: A, b,—b, a; a, b,—b, a;

The sextet doubles c, and d, and c.

Three rhymes each tercet has, without a jar

These rigid laws the sonnet must obey;

The sonnet that was born in Italy.

        —Rev. Joseph C. Booth

    Mayfield, N.Y.

Morning Herald. January 18, 1917: 6 col 2.

An Acrostic Sonnet.


A sonnet, in acrostic style, although

Complex in form, is beautiful and fair;

Robed in its mystic garb, extremely rare.

Observe it keep its strict Iambic law;

See its Heroic Measure strike, with awe,

The bard's enraptured soul; it is an heir

Immortal, nurtured by the Muse's care,

Cast in the mould the Olympic gods foresaw

Sing thy Acrostic Sonnet, sweet and clear.

O bard! let its full-charged enchantment flow!

Nature is swayed by its Iambic roll;

Naiads and Muses from their haunts appear;

Echo responds; Parnassus bendeth low,

The heart of nature swings in its control.

Troy Times. August 21, 1914: 2 col 1.

Rev. Booth wrote poems for Easter; Christmas; Thanksgiving; Independence Day; Memorial Day; Decoration Day; Armistice Day; Flag Day; Valentine's Day; Halloween, Children's Day; birthdays; wedding anniversaries; graduations; to honor specific people he knew or groups of people like nurses, veterans, the fire brigade; to honor Tennyson, Longfellow, Shakespeare, Washington, Lincoln, Admiral Dewey, Billy Sunday; for the Red Cross Fund; for the Liberty Loan; for Soldiers' monuments; the flight of the Graf Zeppelin; to answer theological queries; etc.!

"Imitation, House, Sign and Ornamental Painting" by Leach & Merritt (1837)

"Encourage Painting, an art which few attain,

        In color, model, brush and plan

And even these are but in vain,

        Without the genius of the man.

In vain the easel may be framed,

        In vain the pallet yield its store,

'Tis genius and taste alone are named

        To develop their wond'rous power.

'Tis mine intuitive to give

        The wood or flower, its native dye,

And bid the innate beauties live,

        Of grassy field or azure sky.

To shade in tints, or words that burn,

        Aught that adorns this earthly stage;

All that I ask, a slight return,

        Is good prompt pay and patronage."

    THE subscribers having acquired the art of painting marble and wood, such as oak, maple, mahogany, rose, satin, and other woods, on doors, mantes, panels, counters &c., respectfully inform the inhavitants of Troy and its vicinity, that they have formed a copartnership in business, under the firm of LEACH & MERRITT, 291 River street, where they respectfully solicit that share of patronage, which their workmanship merits, they would also inform the public that they will go to any part of the state, to paint country seats, churches or any other elegant buildings that may require the aid of a skillful brush to beautify and adorn them.

    N.B. They will be pleased to show specimens of their work to all who will please to call.

                        LEACH & MERRITT.

"Imitation, House, Sign and Ornamental Painting" Troy Daily Whig. August 18, 1837: 1 col 6.

"Yellow Metal, and Its Effect" by the obituary editor of the Daily Leader (1898)

It was stated this morning that gold bearing ore had been discovered at the Jackson Summit mine and the obituary editor attempted to write the item with the following result:

'Twas in the Adirondacks, cold and bleak,

Where the frost covered pines topped every peak

That I found one man with shovel and spade,

Had to all appearance a deep grave made.

"Whose grave diggest thou?" I said.

"Who in this wilderness must lay his head?"

And like some sentinel on a solitary keep,

Be equally lonely, though in eternal sleep?"

"Whose grave diggest thou?" again I cried,

"So near to Mortimer's, on the Bleecker side;

And where the cars of electricity will soon go by

Must this mortal always uneasy lie?"

And then I feared my inquisitive way

Was causing trouble to the digger so gray,

Until resting his spade on a slight incline,

He said, "Hist! we're digging a gold mine."

Daily Leader [Gloversville, NY]. January 29, 1898: 7 col 2.

For more about the Jackson Summit mine and gold mining in Fulton County, see http://tinyurl.com/fulton-county-nuggets

“Perrine & Voorhees.” Johnston Daily Republican. March 9, 1898: 3 col 4.

"Amid Inspiring Scenes" by H.P. Lovecraft (1917)


        (Near Greenwich, N.Y.)

Written for The Troy Times.


            BY H. P. L.


The western sun, whose warm, rubescent rays

Touch the green slope at close of summer days,

A thoughtful bard reveals, whose polish'd flights

Spring from the scene on Dillon's pleasant heights.

An ancient boulder is the poet's seat,

A verdant vista fronts the blest retreat;

From distant banks there comes th' elusive gleam

That speaks the Hudson's silent, stately stream.

Here, ere the birth of man, a granite train

In speechless splendor rul'd the rising main;

In later days an Indian horde decreed

The varying fortunes of the fragrant mead.

Here Dutchmen trod, till Albion's stronger sway

Carv'd out the nation that we know to-day;

'T was here th' insurgent swain his King defied,

And rural rebels broke Burgoyne's bold pride.

Such is the scene, with shades historic rife,

That Hoag, in numbers, gives eternal life.

Lovecraft, H. P. "Amid Inspiring Scenes (Near Greenwich, N.Y.)." Troy Times. October 11, 1917: 10 col 3.

The second line was altered for 1923's The Poetical Works of Jonathan E. Hoag, where it reads "Touch the green slope with soul-awak'ning blaze,"

The image of the poem is cropped from a scan by http://www.fultonhistory.com

"The flowers in the meadow" (ca. 1832)

The flowers in the meadow,

The leaves on the tree,

The rushes by the river,

Are pictures of me.

In freshness and beauty,

This flower had its day,

It bloom'd for a season,

Then wither'd away.

[In Troy's Mount Ida Catholic Cemetery]

Many poems on old headstones have become illegible due to the small, cursive inscriptions having likewise wither'd away. Acid raid certainly hasn't helped.

The poems are not infrequently standards of some kind: by famous poets, so old as to be "traditional," or from published collections of such poems — they can nonetheless be moving.

The flower of the meadow,

The leaf on the tree,

The rush in the river,

Are emblems of me.

In freshness and beauty

They flourish a day;

I bloom'd for a season

Then wither'd away.

Mogridge, G[eorge]. The Churchyard Lyrist; consisting of Five Hundred Original Inscriptions to commemorate the Dead; with a suitable Selection of appropriate Texts of Scripture. London: Houlston and Son, 1832. 111,

"In memory of Lieut. E.S.P. Clapp" (1864)

In Memoriam.

(Written for the Troy Daily Times)

        In memory of Lieut. E.S.P. [Elam Smalley Phaedon] Clapp, who died from wounds received in the battle of the Wilderness, May 12, 1864.

Weep not for him who, nobly dying,

        Has left a name unstained and bright;

Quick to his country’s call replying,

        He girded on the sword for right.

He quailed not at the battle’s thunder—

        His noble heart no fear could tell;

They burst bold Treason’s ranks asunder,

        He in the flush of victory fell.

But, ah! amid such joyous feeling,

        There mingles a sad sense of woe!

And tears, the inward grief revealing,

        Will to our eyes unbidden flow.

O! many friends are vainly striving

        To view again that well known form;

        Alas! he is not with the living—

        He’s safe from every battle’s storm!

Bravely he fought while death was flying

        Around him on that hard-fought day;

And from the field of glory, signing,

        They bore that bleeding form away.

He’s passed from this dark world of sorrow,

        Wherein his steps in honor trod;

There’s now for him no gloomy morrow,

        His spirit is at rest with God.

Often shall future aged, telling

        How the brave patriot fought and bled—

On all his deeds of valor dwelling,

        Pay tribute to the noble dead.

Proudly for freedom’s cause he perished,

Still shall that glorious name he cherished,

        Shrined to his country’s grateful breast.

Troy Daily Times. July 2, 1864: 4 col 1.

"Thomas' Electric Oil" (1883)

(image cropped from a scan of a microfilm of the Troy Daily Times at the amazing http://fultonhistory.com)

My mission is to cure the ills

that flesh is heir to, save the bills

which go to make up doctors' fees,

to give the wretched sufferer ease.

All aches and pains I quickly cure,

and all the anguish men endure,

and all Rheumatic pain I quell,

the old Asthmatic I make well.

When with green apples boys will frolic,

most speedily I cure the colic;

a cough or cold I drive away,

the cripple I make blithe and gay;

I do not burden with expense,

I only cost you fifty cents;

within the reach of sons of toil


I am well known throughout the world,

my fame there's none can throttle.

My merits are not all in this puff—

but they are in the BOTTLE.

Troy Daily Times. October 24, 1883: 1 col 1.

"Boots and Shoes" by M.W. Dodge's Boot and Shoe Store (1864)

                        Boots and Shoes.

               A STORY OF MODERN TIMES.

        The shades of night were falling fast,

        As through our Trojan city passed

        A youth who bore, mid snow and ice,

        A banner with this strange device—

                Boots, Boots and Shoes!

        In his sojourning, this young man had heard that M.W. DODGE kept the best stock of boots and shoes in the city; thitherward he bent his steps.

        His toes were peeping with the blues

        From without a pair of defunct shoes,

        And like a fish-horn clearly rang

        The accents of that unknown tongue—

                Boots, Boots and Shoes!

    Nothing daunted by the present dilapidated condition of his understanding, he presses vigorously on, cheered by the hope of better days:

        He passed where stands the Boot o'erhead,

        "No further go," an old man said,

        You'll find no better far nor wide,"

        And loud that sax-horn voice replied,—

                Boots, Boots and Shoes!"

    For the benefit of the uninitiated, I will here mention that "Boot o'erhead" is in front of M.W. DODGE'S Boot and Shoe Store, 366 River street, Troy, N.Y.

        And now he stands within the store

        Where boots are seen from wall to floor,

        And, with a smile and a wink of his eye,

        He calls in accents clear and high,—

                Boots, Boots and Shoes!

    Nor did he forget to inquire the prices, which were found to be cheaper than he ever dreamed of. He pitched in to a marvelous extent, the result of which was—

        At break of day, towards the brook

        His way the thirsty farmer took;

        He heard a voice of wild despair

        Ring clearly through the startled air,—"

                Boots, Boots and Shoes!

    A most unaccountable mystery which shall be cleared up soon.

        A traveler, by the faithful hound,

        All buried in boots and shoes was found:

        Still in his hand as in a vice,

        The banner with that strange device,—

                Boots, Boots and Shoes!

    The fact is, (as is always the case at DODGE'S,) he got too many boots and shoes for his money.

        I fear the youth who bravely bore

        The Excelsior flag in days of yore,

        Of DODGE'S boots had nary a pair,

        Or he might now this motto bear,—

                Boots, Boots and Shoes!

    The Monks of Saint Bernard have since ordered one hundred cases of DODGE'S boots, which are to be distributed among the ambitious youths who aspire to high positions, at extremely low prices.

        Our hero lived, and lives this day;

        If you'd like to know I'll tell you the way:

        His boots were tight and his feet were warm,

        And he was only singing amid the storm—

                Boots, Boots and Shoes!

    He was immediately rescued from his perilous position and soon he gladdened the hearts of his neighbors and friends by a plentiful supply of boots, shoes, gaiters, &c.

        And now with boots in his arms and hands,

        Boots on his back, and in boots he stands!

        In his pocket shots with "copper tips"—

        The well-known sound comes forth from his lips—

                Boots, Boots and Shoes!

    It has been intimated that this worthy young man, of so enterprising a nature, had been hired to "blow" for DODGE; but it is a bootless assertion, as he will tell you, when from motives of sure generosity he informs you that he can buy anything in the line of Boots, Shoes, Gaiters, Salmorals or Cacks of a better quality and at lower prices at DODGE's than at any other place in the world. DODGE'S Custom Departmeat is under the direction of Messrs Sawyer and Courtney, who understand how to fit to a charm.


The ad-poem plays off of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "Excelsior." To give but the first stanza:

The shades of night were falling fast,

As through an Alpine village passed

A youth, who bore, 'mid snow and ice,

A banner with the strange device,


"One Flag" by Jonathan E. Hoag (1925)

                            One Flag

                        BY J. E. HOAG

Yes, from youth’s fall dream have I lov’d the Flag,

        As it proudly floats on the morning breeze,

Rais’d high o’er the vale and the fortress crag,

        And rich in its dauntless memories.

Long hast thou stood for what men most prize;

        Long hath a grateful world been proud

To do thee homage with ardent eyes,

        And carol thy praises, clear and loud.

And today, Old Flag, as I give salute

        To the starry folds floating o’er my head,

I halt for a moment, aw’d and mute,

        At the valor of those whom thou hast led.

Tho’ colors may fall from the pulseless hand,

        There are always others to bear them on,

And the thinning smoke of the night’s last stand

        Shows the Old Flag floating high at dawn.

So now as I hail thee with reverent mien

        I feel the love that I felt of yore;

As one since our youth, Old Flag, we’ve been,

        Thou and I who am now turn’d ninetyfour!

Vista Buena, Greenwich, July 14, 1925.

Troy Times. August 19, 1925: 14 col 2.

Jonathan E. Hoag was, among other things, a "[p]oet living in and around Troy, N.Y., who entered amateur journalism late in life. [H.P. Lovecraft] wrote birthday poems to him from 1918 to 1927 [published in the Troy Times and elsewhere]; they presumably corresponded, but no letters have surfaced. Hoag's descriptions of the Catskill Mountains may have contributed to the topographical atmosphere of [Lovecraft's] 'Beyond the Wall of Sleep' and 'The Lurking Fear,' set there. HPL compiled and wrote an introduction to Hoag's Poetical Works (privately printed, 1923); it constituted the first appearance of a work by HPL in hardcover."

Joshi, S.T. and David E. Schultz, eds. "Hoag, Jonathan E[than] [sic] (1831-1927)." An H.P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2001. 112.

Jonathan Elihu Hoag is interred at Greenwich Cemetery, Greenwich NY

"A Poppy Day Plea" by Iva May Terry (1929)

            A Poppy Day Plea.


        (Blind Poetess.)

Written for The Troy Times.

It is but little we can do,

        In honoring our soldiers brave,

To purchase poppies, one or two;

        Each represents a life they gave.

The proceeds of these poppies go

        To aid the helpless and distressed;

A kindly interest let us show,

        By wearing one upon our breast.

Perhaps we too will need some day

        The kindness of our fellowman;

Then let us make this Poppy Day

        Just as successful as we can.

        Cohoes, N.Y.

Troy Times. May 24, 1929: 24 col 2.