Thursday, December 25, 2014

"A Winter Piece" from the Woodstock Northern Memento (1805)

[The following production is copied from the "Northern Memento,"published at Woodstock, (Vermont) in which it is published as original. It is no ordinary specimen of blank versification; and happily combines the sublime morality of Cowperwith the life-giving fancy ofThomson.]

A WINTER PIECE.

"Dread WINTER comes at last to close the scene."

—YES, Winter comes!

'Tis but a moment since the smiling Spring

On Zephyr's downy wing rejoicing came,

And op'd, and kiss'd the coyly-blushing rose.

Then Nature from her sleep awoke serene,

And dress'd herself anew.—At his approach,

Tall hills of snow ran down with gratitude;

The lofty mountains rais'd their melting heads,

And, in the face of heaven, wept for joy;

The little riv'lets ran to find the sea,

And join to swell the thankful song of praise.

But, ah! their joy was short! their songs have ceas'd,

All nature sleeps again:—dread Winter's here.

The Lapland Giant comes with pendant ice,

Chill horror shooting from his gelid chin;

Nor lakes, nor seas, can stop his rough career:—

He builds his bridge across old ocean's breast.

Affrighted, Sol retires with hasty strides,

And dares not but obliquely downward look,

On his once conquer'd, now his conquering foe.

The earth is all in weeds of mourning clad,

To wail the loss of her departed friend;

Th' unconquer'd evergreen is left alone,

And nods defiance to the northern blasts.

    This mirror paints the fate of changing man.

This moment youth, with all its op'ning charms,

In playful mood, sits laughing in his face:

His swelling heart now beats with sanguine hope

Of satisfying bliss, and full blown joy:

He hugs himself in this fantastic dream,

And thinks that nought can blast the vernal flow'r,

But, while anticipation gilds the wing of hope,

The frigid hand of Time with furrows deep,

His forehead ploughs; and blights the pleasing view.

"Then let fair virtue's seed in youth be sown;

"'Twill prove an evergreen in hoary age

"And flourish in the Winter of our years:—

"'Twill waft us to the realms of peace and love,

"To taste th' ecstatic bliss of saints on high;

"There happiness will spring without alloy,

"And seraphs chaunt their neverending strains."

Northern Budget. December 31, 1805: 4 col 1.

I'd helped deliver Revolutionary War veteran Abial Bugbee's new granite veteran's marker from Lansingburgh to Pomfret, Vermont earlier this year, which took us through Woodstock, a nice-looking place.

The poem was reprinted a couple times without attribution to the short-lived Northern Memento (it lasted from May 1805 to February 1806 http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84023397/ ).

The Spirit of the Public Journals; Or, Beauties of the American Newspapers For 1805. Baltimore, MD: Geo. Dobbin & Murphy, 1806. 298-299. https://books.google.com/books?id=1foqAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA298&lpg=PA298

The Churchman's Magazine 4(1). January 1807. 35-36. https://books.google.com/books?id=TFMQAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA35

"On the Nativity of Christ" (1815) [1734]

ON THE NATIVITY OF CHRIST.

What sounds harmonious strike the ears!

See! darkness flies, the light appears,

The sun a purer beam displays,

And shines with more distinguish'd rays.


Ev'n nature's self with cheerful grace,

In triumph shews her radiant face.

Odours diffuse, ye spicy beds;

Cedars, bow down your awful heads.


Soft streams, your joys in murmurs tell;

And boisterous waves, exulting swell.

Messiah comes ——in homage now,

Let universal nature bow.


Glory to God, who reigns above,

Fountain of universal love.

Good-will to men that dwell below,                ⎫

Let peace on earth eternal flow;                    ⎬

Thus heavenly breasta in friendship glow.        ⎭


Let men redeem'd their joys resound,

And angels pleas'd return the sound

Since wildly through th' abandon'd skies,

Th' arch rebel in confusion flies,

And a new heaven and earth take place,

Which Adam's sons restor'd shall grace.

Northern Budget December 26, 1815: 4 col 1.

The poem isn't original to Troy, and is much older than 1815 - apparently tastes had remained fairly stable?

The London Magazine December 1734. 660-661.

"Snow" (1824)

        In looking over our old files, we accidentally came across the following Impromptu; & having nothing in particular, to fill our poet's corner we thought it would not come a miss to republish it. We apprehend the Farmer<, Merchant, Tavern-keeper, and "folks in every rank and station," are ready to exclaim with the poet—"why the d—l don't it SNOW."

SNOW.

AN IMPROMPTU.

This is January twenty,

When we should have sleighing plenty;

I am tired, altogether,

Of such sour, unpleasant weather;

Easy 'tis to rein and blow—

Why is it so hard to snow?


See the Farmer, wet and weary,

Stalking o'er the plains so dreary;

Oft he upwards turns his peepers,

Blinking like a chimney sweeper's;

Oft he cries, enrag'd with woe,

"Why d—l don't it snow?"


See the Merchant, sorry fellow,

With a face as pale as tallow—

Sick with grief, and quite bed ridden—

All because there is no sleddin!

Hear him cry, in accents slow,

O! ye gods! why don't it snow?"


See the chop fall'd Tavern keeper,

Voluntarily a sweeper?

See his bar room, once so cheery,

Now forsake, cold and dreary?

Hear him cry, with spirits low,

"Curse the luck! why don't it snow?


Hear the sage Prognosticator,

Blame these slipp'ry tricks of nature;

She so oft his judgment bothers,

That he knows no more than others;

Hear him road, with wrinkled brow,

"Curse my stars! why don't it snow?


Folks in every rank and station,

Join in fretful exclamation—

Tailors, tinkers, parsons, pedlars,

Sawyers, teamsters, smiths and fiddlers,

Rich and poor, or high and low,

Hope and swear—for want of snow


For myself—though press'd with sorrow,

Still in hopes 'twill snow to morrow,

To be patient I endeavor;

Faith! such times can't last forever;

Hear the stormy south east blow—

May it waft us hills of snow.


O! ye gods, who rule the weather!

Neptune—Jove—or both together—

Lend, for once, an ear propitious,

Hear our prayers and grand our wishes:

Down your frosty blessings throw—

Cover—smother us—in snow.

Northern Budget. February 17 1824: 4 col 1.

December 25, 2014 in the Capital District area was a snowless one, and the first few hours of sun after what's seemed like a few weeks of overcast days.

There's an earlier appearance of "Snow" in The Port Folio but it credits the Northern Budget so it's possible that paper's reference to its "old files" is a reference to a prior publication by them, not of poems they may have clipped and kept from others or that they may have been sent by readers.


The Port Folio 3(12). March 21, 1807. 185-186. https://books.google.com/books?id=UIo4AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA185

Saturday, December 13, 2014

"A Christmas Ride" by Mrs. Le Grand Benedict (1870)

A Christmas Ride.

BY MRS. LE GRAND BENEDICT.

Oh, children, I've something to tell you

        About what has happened to me,

And I wish it had only been managed

        That you had been with me to see.


It was just on the night before Christmas,

        The streets were all carpeted white,

The man in the moon sat there laughing,

        And hurridly shaking down light.


Our stockings were hung in the chimney,

        So white and so pretty and neat,

One big one, one smaller, one wee one,

        All lank from the tops to the feet.


And mamma had pleasantly told us

        To hurry ourselves into bed,

But that she must sit up until midnight

        To hear what old Santa Claus said.


'Twas a very long while after this time,

        While Johnny and Lou were asleep,

I was sure that I heard a strange talking,

        And I went to the doorway to peep.


And whom should I see but St. Santa,

        A-laughing and muttering low,

And I knew by the lumps in the stockings,

        That he was just ready to go.


So I crept soft and still close beside him,

        "Well, well, well, little one," so he said,

"Come, I think that you'll have to go with me,

        Or you'll tell all my secrets in bed."


Oh, wasn't I terribly frightened

        When he put his strong arm round my waist,

And bounded up the dark, sooty chimney

        With me folded close to his breast!


And there on the roof were the reindeer

        And the sleigh about which I'd been told;

Down he sat me in that, in my night gown,

        And I never once thought of the cold.


The cushions were snow and the lap-robes,

        Though as warm as an eider-down quilt,

And the sleigh and the reins and the trappings,

        Were a-blaze with bright scarlet and gilt.


The little sleigh-bells commenced tinkling

        When merry old Santa sat down;

He laughed at and petted and cheered me

        While we drove on our trip about town.


And when to the edge of the house-top

        We came along frightfully near,

Old Santa chirped up to the reindeer,

        And said I had nothing to fear;


The fleet-footed, dear little creatures

        Gave a toss to their heads and a jump,

And down we came safely and soundly

        On the opposite side, with a bump.


Old Santa had oceans of business

        To tend to between this and light,

And mountains of toys to distribute

        To many good children that night.


And when he went down in the chimneys,

        He carried me with him to see,

And once he went in a church window

        And trimmed up a green Christmas tree.


And all of the while on our journey

        The angels sang time and again,

"Give glory to God up in Heaven,

        On earth peace and good will unto men."


And once in a while poor old Santa

        Would wipe a great tear from his eye;

And I said, "Why, I think it is funny

        That Santa Claus ever should cry!"


He answered, "My dear little daughter,

        There are many good children who live

To whom,—why, you'll understand later,—

        I am never permitted to give.


Do you think you can spare, on to-morrow,

        A book, or a sweetmeat, or toy,

From out of your large stock of treasures,

        To give some poor little one joy?"


Sometimes we would come to a house-roof

        Where a wind from the fireplace would cry,

"Bad boys, naughty girls; do not come here!"

        And Santa would heave a deep sigh.


And when all the cows, and the horses,

        And trumpets, and dollies, and skates,

Were safe in the stockings of Jimmies,

        And Lizzies, and Tommis, and Kates,


The man in the moon looked quite sleepy,

        And so did the stars in the sky,

And so did the reindeer and Santa,

        And really, I think, so did I.


The next thing I knew it was daylight,

        And Johnny and baby were round;

They yelled in my ears "Merry Christmas

        See what in our stockings we've found!"


Every word I have said is true gospel,

        Though papa and mamma do smile,

They say that they think I've been dreaming,

        But I know more than that all the while.

Troy Times. January 1, 1870: 4.

The author of the poem might have been Emma Frances Gardner, born in Troy, who married Le Grand Benedict in 1863. They lived in Lansingburgh and later moved to Brooklyn.

One of several different origin stories for the dish Eggs Benedict involves Mr. and Mrs. Le Grand Benedict:

"To the Editor: I am writing to correct the statement by Edward P. Montgomery concerning the origin of Eggs Benedict, as reported recently by Craig Claiborne. The true story, well known to the relations of Mrs. LeGrand Benedict, of whom I am one, is as follows. Mr. and Mrs. Benedict, when they lived in New York around the turn of the century, lunched every Saturday at Delmonico's. One day Mrs. Benedict said to the maitre d'hotel, 'Haven't you anything new or different to suggest?' On his reply that he would like to hear something new from her, she suggested poached eggs on toasted English muffins with a thin slice of ham, hollandaise sauce and a truffle on top. This recipe has gone around the world. Commodore E. C. Benedict, who was given the credit, was a cousin and undoubtedly enjoyed these eggs, but it would have been unlike him to have called them his inventions. The name is occasionally given, erroneously, as 'Eggs Benedictine.'--Mabel C. Butler, Vineyard Haven, Mass."

---Letters to the Editor, New York Times, November 26, 1967 (p. SM 40)

http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodeggs.html

Saturday, December 6, 2014

authorship of "A Visit from St. Nicholas"

        The contention was raised this Yuletide that a Major Henry Livingston, not Clement Clarke Moore, wrote "A Visit from St. Nicholas." And on what evidence? On the fact that the late Mr. Livingston once used the very same meter in these lines left by him:

        To my dear Brother Beekman I sit down to write,

        Ten minutes past eight, and a very cold night.

*        *        *

        Nonsense! The real author of the verse was a man named Elmer Twitchell 1st, a famous fighter in the Indian wars. This is proved conclusively by these lines found in an old powder horn:

To my darling Aunt Minnie who keeps a stuffed parrot;

It's quarter of seven, with rats in my garret.

Phillips, H. I. "The Sun Dial." The Sun [NY]. December 28, 1944: 13 col 2.

"While Bethlehem Slept" by Frances V. Hubbard (1918)

While Bethlehem Slept.

BY FRANCES V. HUBBARD.

The city slept, some saw the star

        That led the Wise Men on their way,

Nor yet the wondrous light that shone

        On Bethlehem's plain, more bright than day.


None heard the angel's voice that spoke—

        Not one in Bethlehem's ancient town—

Nor saw the white-robed shining host

        From heaven to earth come floating down.

Yet, none the less, the star, the voice,

        Were there, upon that Christmas morn,

And clear rang thro' the chilly air

        The song, "The Prince of Peace is born."


To-day we hear no voice, no star

        Shines thro' the gloom, we hear no song,

The tumult and the strife of war

        Call me to arms in deadly throng.


Yet, as of old, beyond our sight,

        Perchance more near than we can dream,

The Star, that star, is shining bright

        And o'er the earth in peace may beam.


Again, thrilling the world with joy,

        The angel song may ring some morn,

With meaning glad for all mankind,

        "Rejoice forever! Peace is born!"

Troy Times. January 9, 1918: 15 col 1.

"The God-Led Magi" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1925)

The God-Led Magi.

BY (REV.) JOSEPH C. BOOTH.

The God-led Magi came from far,

Attracted by the signal star,

        That woke the slumbering earth;

When Christ, the Son of God, was born,

On that auspicious Christmas morn,

        When Angels sang His birth!


Now, when they reached Jerusalem

King Herod was alarmed by them

        And troubled in his mind;

Directing them to march with vim,

To bring the tiding back to him,

        If they the Child should find.


Behold! the star is shining still

And hovering over Bethlehem's hill,

        Whose light their spirits stir;

There, there they find the Promised King.

To Him their grateful offerings bring:

        Gold, frankincense and myrrh!


Being warned of God, the Scriptures say:

The Wise Men went another way,

        Back to their native clime;

Ignoring Herod's vain command,

Because they found, as God had planned,

        The King of Kings sublime!

        Branden, Vt.

Troy Times. December 26, 1925: 16 col 6.

"Christmas Comfort" by Annie S. Wallis (1925)

Christmas Comfort.

Luke II, 11.

BY ANNIE S. WALLIS.

Unto us a Savior born,

        Unto us the Friend Divine;

He that loved us, He that bore

        All the grief of yours and mine;

Holy Love to dry each tear,

        Keep us safe, 'mid shadows dim;

Merry Christmas! Glad New Year!

        "More than conquerors through Him!"

Troy Times. December 26, 1925: 16 col 6.

"An Old Newspaper" by William Lyle (1886)

AN OLD NEWSPAPER.

BY WILLIAM LYLE.

Yes, there it lies, faded, crisp and yellow,

        And what a world of wondrous things it tells.

It is well the editor, poor fellow,

        Is far beyond the reach of chestnut bells,

The jokes were fewer then, and not so bold,

But, to my thinking, they were quite as old.


Births, deaths and marriages, half a column—

        Some neatly terse, and some elaborate,

Ah! the shortest might have filled a volume,

        Had it set forth the freaks men have with fate.

Poor, frail humanity, so far away,

Is just like poor humanity to-day.


Let's see the other page—is it better?

        Alas! why should it—'tis the same old world.

Here's the very crank who writes a letter

        To prove that time is just about unfurled.

And here's the idiot who thinks he knows

Much better than the paper "how things goes."


There are many ads., all quaintly written,

        But then they tell their plain, unvarnished tales,

And here were some ventures, where some were bitten,

        And some to riches sailed with spreading sails.

While here and there an item pokes its head,

With the rank fumes of politics o'erspread.


Now turn once more, that's the poets' corner—

        What, there were no poets in those old days—

Men were wiser then—go to, thou scorner!

        Time never saw a year without their lays,

And never will, while this old earth's afloat,

Despite what saucy Stedman ever wrote.


Just here we may do some moralizing:

        Poor old sheet, where are all the moving heads

That framed your squibs and blest your advertising,

        And spaced you out so nice with double leads?

They ache no more—they've passed across the tide,

Peace be their portion on the other side.


My saffron friend, I own to your failings,

        But you had virtues I would not ignore—

You printed no portraits, all your ailings

        May be condoned upon that worthy score.

Of course, you can't expect to vie in dress

With this here dandy of the modern press.


You had no phones, and you had no cable,

        To tell you things that never come to pass;

You had no telegraph near your table,

        Yet after all you were not quite an ass.

You worked great wonders with the tools you had,

And need not blush, my lemon-visaged lad.


Now I shall bid farewell, just like others,

        I must make up with new things as they come.

Still I shall regard you all as brothers,

        Although, of course, you have been long from home.

Among such company you may seem rude,

But, never mind, they shall not call you dude.


Well, yes, they're beauties, sure ink and paper

        Well, yes, they're beauties, sure ink and paper

        Can never go beyond this perfect line.

With due allowance for pride and caper,

        You'll own yourself that they are very fine.

I lay you part, just now, my friend, but when

I would compare, I'll bring you out again.

Weekly Detroit Free Press. October 2, 1886: 1 col 6.

"A Christmas Poem" by Dr. B. F. Leggett (1890)

A Christmas Poem

BY DR. B. F. LEGGETT.

Many and many a year ago,

        In the land beyond the sea,

The shepherds hailed the wondrous star

        That arose for you and me.


Endless the light of its kindled flame

        As it shone in beauty there.

And fair was the light that drifted down

        To earth from the startled air.


Rising, they wondered, and lo! a song

        Came down from the skies afar,

And sages came from the morning land,

        Led on by the gleaming star.


Ringing to-day is the chorus still—

        The beautiful song we know,

The "Peace on earth and good will to men,"

        That came from the long ago.


Yearning and weary, they waited long

        Till banners of strife were furled—

Till the darkness waned and morning came

        With sunrise-hope for the world.


Cheering the earth with a strain sublime,

        On hovering wings they came,

And the waiting world was glad to hear

        The sound of the wondrous name!


Heavy and sad had the nations bowed

        While waiting the years to bring

The Hope of the world foretold so long—

        Messiah, the royal King!


Rising, they went where the bright star led,

        With a glory as of morn,

Till it stood above the far white walls

        Where the infant Christ was born.


Into the streets of the dreaming town

        The kings and the sages filed,

With treasures of frankincense and gold

        For the manger-cradled child.


Slowly they tuned from the lowly stall

        Where the babe in beauty lay,

But the angel strain rings on and on

        In the Christmas song to-day,


Telling of peace by the couch of pain—

        Or of a love that lingers here,

Eternal hope of a breaking dawn

        That filleth the world with cheer.


Mellow and sweet as the angels' song

        On the star-lit hills of old.

The hope that sings in the loyal heart

        By faith in the long foretold.


Alas for us, if our love shall fail,

        Or the wondrous star grow dim,

If one can grow dull and hear no more

        The strains of the angels' hymn!


Sweetly, O song of the eastern hills,

        Ring on through the world for aye,

Till peace on earth and good will shall reign

        For an endless Christmas day!

        WARD, Penn.

Troy Weekly Times. December 25, 1890: 6 col 1.

"The Star of Bethlehem" by Myra Maude Hayden (1889)

The Star of Bethlehem

BY MYRA MAUDE HAYDEN

Across the Arabian desert the wind blew keen and strong.

Smiting the lonely palm trees into a strange, sweet song;

Scooping sand from the level, rolling billows of sand,

Thundering down the distance a volley of music grand.


The wind blew keen in the faces of three camels, strong and white,

Moving like vapor shadows through the opalescent light—

And the wise men had grown weary with watching for the star—

Three kings—Melchoir and Gaspar and the Egyptian Balthasar.


Into the West they journeyed: the palm trees sang no more:

The space grew long between them and the sand sea's barren shore.

The eyes of the watchers, moving soft as shadows fly,

Were fixed in steadfast longing on the dark'ning, desert sky.


A desolate, wind-swept silence came down on the frosty plain,

By earthly sounds unbroken, save the shake of a bridle chain.

As the sacred Syrian camels with quick trot forward swung,

Over the river Jordan the moon like a gold globe hung.


From the farthest reach of vision, from the outer edge of space,

Stars jeweled the heaven, tinting the night's glad face.

The weary wise men watching, marked with no surprise

A lambent flame like glory afar in the east arise.


With thrilling souls and breathless, they saw the shimmering flood

Narrow, contract and lessen—with awe it stirred their blood,

And with trumped voice they shouted and the cry rang clear and far.

"We thank the God of our fathers! the Star of our faith, the Star!"


Thro' the streets of the Holy City gladly the wise men came,

The starlight's frosty glitter grew warm by the brazier's flame,

Where, at the gate of the palace, spikenard and aloes burned.

Cleaving the smoke of the incense, into the court of Herod they turned.


There the wise men halted at the mouth of frescoed room

Where jeweled disk and column shot into the deep rich gloom

Of the outer court or chamber a shower of colors rare.

A guard to the radiance pointing, said: "Enter, The king is there."


A censer of gold exhaling rare perfumes of sandalwood

Swung from a chain of crystal, a mellow moon-like flood;

Of wondrous light down streaming in an eddying, golden ring

Fell on the face of Herod, on the face of Herod the King.


Into this ruin and riot of color which warmed the king's slow blood

Entered the wise men slowly, each in a thoughtful mood.

"Who are you, sirs? Whence came you?" haughtily Herod asked.

And with many questions he straightway the wise men tasked.


"We give thee peace, O Herod. We are couriers of glad news.

In the land of Judea is born the Christ, King of the Jews.

And king of the world, O Ruler—" Ashen the face of Herod the Great.

While deep in their hoary sockets glowed his eyes with a terrible hate.


Then, as a cloud's deep shadow rolls over a rugged plain,

Letting the sun of summer in splendor fall again,

So the cloud of his anger rolled from Herod the King,

On his face the light down streaming fell in a golden ring.


Forth at his eager summons attendants quickly sped,

From a splendid inner chamber rich stuffs o gold and red,

And royal, pulsing purple, jewels and perfumes sweet

With lowly, glad obeisance they laid at the wise men's feet.


"Take these gifts of purple, and these robes lined warm and deep,

Go, follow the morning star—loiter not, nor sleep;

Search for the child and find him, then tidings quickly bring,

That I may go and worship this Christ, Judea's King."


Forth from the royal chamber gladly the wise men came,

Joy in their hearts upspringing at sight of the moving flame,

Straight thro' the gate of Joppa they followed, paused and turned—

Over the manger lowly the Star of Redemption burned.


With prayer and glad ovations they worshipped the new-born child,

While God from his heavenly distance looked down on them and smiled.

And being warned in a vision, the tidings they should not bring,

They came no more to the city in the days of Herod the King.

Troy Weekly Times. December 25, 1889: 3 col 6.

"December 26, 1862" by Castella Esperanza Eddy Sherwin (1891)

December 26, 1862.

BY MRS. W. F. SHERWIN.

"Her sun went down while yet 't was day,"

And shadows fell across her way.

Her timid heart beat wild with fears,

Her dark blue eyes were filled with tears,

Her long brown hair was damp with dew,

Her feet were bruised with many a stone,

For she had wandered far from home.

It was so dark for her to roam

"The valley of death"—my child alone.

Then a "still small voice" to her did say:

"O weary child thou canst not see,

But 'my rod and staff shall comfort thee.'"

Her path grows light—from miles afar

Shines forth the blessed Christmas star;

While distant bells their sweet chimes ring,

She hears the herald angels sing,

"Peace on earth, good will toward men."

And then her path grows strangely bright—

For her the day has dawned; no night

Of pain, nor sorrow evermore;

Her feet have reached the blessed shore.

A boatman pale with muffled oars

Stands ready with his boat to sail afar

And guide her safely to "the gates ajar."

The ministering angels meet her there,

And for His courts her soul prepare.

Her feet they dress in pink and white,

To match her robes of heavenly light.

Flowers they give her—roses rare,

And on her head of dark brown hair

They place the Christmas star;

For all who enter in at Christmas-tide

Must wear the emblems of the King,

Whose birth to-might the herald angels sing.

Upon her breast the angels place,

In gems of fadeless lilies, the child-Christ's face.

Her form they veil in airy white,

And then, amid translucent light,

The pearly gates are opened wide.

My child, whom I called dead, did rise

A soul redeemed from Paradise.

Beyond the gates the palace stands,

Built strong and stately, without hands.

The regal splendor of this mansion fair

Is only known to those who dwell within—

"The Prince of Peace" and those redeemed from sin.

Archangels led my child up to the throne,

And Christ, her Saviour, said in mildest tone:

"No more art thou a child of earth.

Thy soul redeemed hath found its birth

In the eternal sunshine of my smile.

Thou art a princess child to those who wait below awhile;

Thou hast my star upon thy forehead fair,

And on thy breast, in lilies, rests my child-face there.

Upon thy finger now I place my signet ring;

Forever more thou art a daughter of the King."

        ELMIRA, N. Y., Dec. 26, 1890.

Troy Daily Times. January 3, 1891: 5 col 4.

Florence Eddy Sherwin died December 26, 1862 in Elmira, NY at the age of one year and two months. She's buried in Waterford Rural Cemetery, though her twin sister who also died in infancy might be buried elsewhere. Information per the listing for Eddy, Florence [sic] at the Saratoga NYGenWeb at http://www.saratoganygenweb.com/WATE.htm . The poem, as it appeared in the newspaper, seems to have the title "December 26, 1882," but is somewhat unclear .

Castella Esperanza Eddy Sherwin was a daughter of Isaac Eddy (1777-1847), a prominent citizen of Waterford and father of a number of notable inventors including George Washington Eddy, the founder of the Eddy Valve Company. His home has a RiverSpark historical marker in front of it: https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Ez8L-blkoGg/UiyAnEkJExI/AAAAAAAAESk/sFnjxj3vM08/s640/blogger-image--1401715076.jpg

Thursday, November 27, 2014

"The Thanksgiving Turkey" by H.C. Dodge (1886)

The above shape poem, possibly first published in the Detroit Free Press of November 26, 1886, was syndicated or reprinted in a number of newspapers, including the Buffalo Express. November 28, 1889 3 cols 2-3. It varied somewhat in appearance from paper to paper; the image above is cleaned up a little from another edition.

See also "The Thanksgiving Turkey" by H.C. Dodge (1888), another of several of his Thanksgiving poems.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

"Just Advertise" by J. Evelyn (1907)

Just Advertise

By J. EVELYN.

Oh, have you heard of the best modern way

To make the whole nation know in a day

You've lost your poodle, or want a new place—

One that you know you are fitted to grace?

        Now if you don't know, I'll tell you the way;

        Advertise your wants, and do it to-day—

        ('T is a very small charge you'll have to pay,)

And you'll be downhearted and blue no more,

For what you're wanting will stop at your door.


Whate'er it may be, from wife to a cat,

Or a good-snap job where you may grow fat,

A pet poll parrot, or a deal in wheat,

Advertise right and 't will drop at your feet.

        If you are ambitious (this is no hoax,

        For good luck don't often back up to folks;

        The public's not coming your way to coax.)

Remember good fortune forever lies

On the routes of those who advertise.


If to your surprise some day you should find

Your mother-in-law gone and you left behind,

Don't pine all away and lose relish for food

Because she has left and your sky is gray hued,

        But just advertise, and then sure as fate

        You've only with patience and calmness to wait,

When "click" you will hear the snap of the gate,

And whole you're catching your tears in a bowl

Home she will come to the joy of your soul.

Troy Times. August 28, 1907: 7 col 1.

“Where the Snow-Bird Flies" by E.C.H. (1893)

Where the Snow-Bird Flies.

BY E. C. H.

Old Boreas puffs—the snow comes down—

The snow spreads over Grafton town;

The farmer feeds his stock in the stall,

The skater hangs his skates on the wall—

But ducks will quack and roosters crow,

Though deeper and deeper falls the snow,

                In Grafton.


The people go in merry mood—

Good times bring coal and stores of food—

Ring out and jingle Grafton bells,

There's joy where sweet contentment dwells,

But ducks will quack and roosters crow,

Though deep and deeper falls the snow,

                In Grafton.


Long years ago, in a storm like this,

Dear grandma took her bridal kiss;

And grandpa 'lows his weddin' train

Got stall'd in a thaw and soakin' rain!

But ducks will quack and roosters crow,

Though deep and deeper falls the snow,

                In Grafton.


Now, some there be who rant and roar

Because they feel the cold wave sore,

Here's grandpa, too, with mem'ry clear;

"It wasn't so cold in forty year!"

But ducks will quack and roosters crow,

Though deep and deeper falls the snow,

                In Grafton.


But, bless you, man, and woman, too,

The weather's worked by a hand that's true.

And scold or laugh, or say as we may,

The winter's here and has come to stay,

But ducks will quack and roosters crow,

Though deep and deeper falls the snow,

                In Grafton.

Troy Daily Times. March 11, 1893: 6 col 1.

Monday, July 7, 2014

"The Old Guard's Prayer" by Edward Sims Van Zile (1885)

The Old Guard's Prayer.

On Mount MacGregor's summit

        The moonbeams shed their light,

Where the great warrior lies

        Sleeping so still to-night.


Down in the misty valley

        The tramp of men is heard,

The muffled drum is beating,

        "Grant" is the whispered word.


Far in the dreamy distance

        The battalions still advance,

The moonbeams show the pathway

        And from the bayonet's glance.


The shadowy army marches

        Up the steep mountain height;

Stern are their white, sad faces,

        Scarred with the wounds of fight.


Thousands of brave old veterans,

        Who fought through years of strife,

March in that midnight army

        To sounds of drum and fife.


Men who were brave at Shiloh,

        Men who fought against Lee,

Men from the James and Potomac,

        Men from the Tennessee.


Crippled are some and aged,

        Their hair is white with years,

Their heads are bowed in sadness,

        Their eyes are filled with tears.


With arms reversed, the warriors

        Silently march along,

Hushed is the martial music,

        Hushed is the soldier song.


With the quiet of the day-dawn,

        Unbroken by a sound,

Where Grant lies sleeping sweetly,

        They stand on sacred ground.


Their chaplain prays to heaven—

        Bared are the gray heads then;

He prays for the soul of the hero,

        And the soldiers day "Amen."


The sun comes up in splendor,

        And the mountain-top is bright,

But the band of faithful warriors

        Passed with the shades of night.

                                E. S. V. Z.

Troy Daily Times. July 25, 1885: 1 col 2.


The author reused the poem in a story, putting it in the mouth of a character who was dismissive of it (yet able to recite it from memory).

        "I think Grant was a greater hero on Mt. McGregor than at Donelson or Appomatox. It was wonderful how much the nation loved him."

        "And it is strange how soon our people forgot him," returned the poet bitterly. "Monuments arise to Lee and Jackson. Where is Grant's?"

        "In the womb of Time, be sure. By the way, every poet in the land laid a flower of verse on the grave of the dead hero. Surely, your patriotic muse was not silent."

        The little man blushed. "What I wrote was of no moment. But you shall hear it if you wish. I called it 'The Old Guard's Prayer:'"

Van Zile, Edward S. "Stories of New-York Life; A Phonographic Tragedy-The Dude-A Snubbed Husband-The Poet." The Illustrated Buffalo Express. June 22, 1890: 3.

Edward Sims Van Zile later republished the poem in a collection of his verse, though editing some lines.

Van Zile, Edward S. The Dreamers and Other Poems. NY: F. Tennyson Neely, 1897. 30-33.


Edward Sims Van Zile (1863-1931)

Cedar Hill Cemetery, Hartford, Connecticut

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=79288857

Sunday, July 6, 2014

"Schoonmaker's Sun Painting" (1864)

SCHOONMAKER'S SUN PAINTING.—

                Who'er, in short, seeks life and truth

                    In health or sickness, age or youth,

                And need not beg "some power to gie 'em,"

                    To see themselves as others see 'em,

                Will to Schoonmaker's galleries repair,

                    And start to find their shadow there.

                If you wish to see yourselves looking better than others see you, repair to Schoonmaker's, 282 River street, and get a dozen of photographs at the low price of $1.50.

Troy Daily Times. June 16, 1864

Friday, July 4, 2014

Ten Little Fingers (1880s)

From the 1880s, might have originally appeared in the Detroit Free Press:

Ten Little Fingers


Ten little fingers toying with a mine—

Bang! went the powder, and then there were nine.


Nine little fingers fixing rockets straight—

Zip! a kick backward, and then there were eight.


Eight little fingers pointing up to heaven—

Roman candle "busted," and then there were seven.


Seven little fingers, punk and powder mix—

Punk was ignited, and then there were six.


Six little fingers for a "sizzer" strive—

One went off with it, and then there were five.


Five little fingers loading for a roar—

Boom! went the cannon, and then there were four.


Four little fingers with a pack made free—

Crash! went a cracker, and then there were three.


Three little fingers found the fuse burned blur—

Bombshell too previous, and then there were two.


Two little fingers having lots of fun—

Pistol exploded, and then was one.


One little finger, fooling with a gun—

Didn't know 'twas loaded, and then there was none.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

"The American Flag" by Jonathan E. Hoag (1920)

The American Flag.

BY J. E. HOAG.

Starry folds, whose matchless splendor

        Long hath blessed our grateful eyes;

Gleaming with a light more tender

        Than e'er shone in yonder skies!

Wave as always, in a glory

        None may tarnish or excel;

Keep upon our lips the story

        That our fathers lov'd to tell!

May your grandeur be unceasing,

        Proud reminder of the past,

As in noble rank increasing,

        Each new ray outshines the last.

Troy Times. November 16, 1920: 7 col 2.

The poem was reprinted in 1923 with some lines altered and more lines added. In the book's margin the poem was dated 1918.

To the American Flag.

Starry folds, whose matchless splendor

        Long hath blessed our grateful eyes;

Gleaming with a light more tender

        Than your rivals in the skies;

Wave as always, in a glory

        None may tarnish or excel;

Keep upon our lips the story

        That our fathers loved to tell!


May your grandeur be unceasing,

        Proud reminder of the past;

As in noble rank increasing,

        Each new ray outshines the last.

Yesterday for one young nation

        You in valor were unfurled;

But today your constellation

        Beams aloft for all the world!

Hoag, Jonathan E. The Poetical Works of Jonathan E. Hoag. NY: n.p., 1923.

Somewhat peculiarly, "To the American Flag" was attributed to H. P. Lovecraft in Arkham House's 1949 book Something About Cats and Other Pieces. For a little more about Lovecraft and Hoag, see an earlier post here, "One Flag" by Jonathan E. Hoag (1925).

"Flag of the Free" by Rev. Algernon S. Clark (1925)

Flag of the Free.

BY REV. ALGERNON S. CLARK.

Flag of the Free! Your flag and mine;

What memories 'round its folds entwine!

Its stars all tell of union dear;

Its bars of Freedom's Birthplace here,

Flag of the Free! Flag of the Free!

So glorious on land or sea!


Flag of the Free! Your flag and mine;

Its mission sealed in God's design—

To lead in march of truths sublime

Adorn these wondrous years of Time.

Flag of the Free! Flag of the Free!

So glorious on land or sea!


Flag of the Free! Your flag and mine;

May e'er its folds in beauty shine,

To sheer, to bless, to point the way,

As God shall guide, to Peace's sweet day.

Flag of the Free! Flag of the Free!

So glorious on land or sea.

        Round Lake.

Troy Times. June 13, 1925: 14 col 2.

"Oh, Thou Flag!" by Annie S. Wallis (1925)

Oh, Thou Flag!

BY ANNIE S. WALLIS.

Oh thou Flag, brave and fair,

        Ensign dear to the Free,

Lo, we lift thee on high,

        O'er the land, and the sea!


But we press to the heart

        E'er we raise thee o'er head;

Thine the Living to bless,

        Thine to honor our Dead!


Loved Emblem of Freedom,

        With thy white stripes for Peace;

For the Blessing of God;

        For our Land's true increase.


With red stripes for Valor,

        Firm to do and to dare,

When the Right calls for men

        Its great Truths to declare.


With thy stars for our States,

        Firm in Unity, true,

As they rest, one and all,

        In the Heaven's deepest blue.


With what pride do we greet

        Thy fair glory above;

As a Nation, prepared

        To defend thee in Love!

Troy Times. June 13, 1925: 11 col 4.

"The Old Flag" by Frances V. Hubbard (1913)

The Old Flag.

BY FRANCES V. HUBBARD.

Grand Army Men, with faded coats of blue,

Faltering and weak, your journey almost through,

On memory's days our thoughts are all for you,

And the Old Flag, and the Old Flag!


Grand Army Men, you marched, long years ago,

Forth to the fray, youthful and bold, we know,

Bearing the banner that we worship so,

T'was the Old Flag, t'was the Old Flag!


Grand Army Men, homeward you came at last,

Leaving behind an ever-glorious past,

What you had saved the standard bearer clasp't,

T'was the Old Flag, t'was the Old Flag!


Grand Army Men, forever green each grave

The nation keeps, where sleep our mighty brave,

And o'er the tented mounds each year shall wave

Just the Old Flag, just the Old Flag!

Troy Times. July 11, 1913: 12 col 2.

"Raise, Raise the Flag!" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1915)

Raise, Raise the Flag!

BY (REV.) JOSEPH C. BOOTH.

Unfurl the flag and throw it to the breeze;

See how its colors blend, red, white and blue;

Its thirteen stripes stand out before our view,

Illumined by the stars—salute it please!

As people bow, the aged veterans sees

Through patriarchal eyes the flag imbue

Three generations, in the grand review,

With flaming love—the nation's devotees!


The starry flag is waving over me;

I feel the entrancing magic of its spell,

As I recall its famous history

From Betsy Ross—without a parallel.

Salute the flag! the nation's standard greet!

The ensign that has never met defeat!

Troy Times. June 14, 1915.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

"Lines in memory of Mamie Smith of Berlin" (1882)

Lines

        In memory of Mamie Smith of Berlin, who died March 16, 1882. Mamie tenderly cared for a blind mother many years.

        The twilight is failing around me,

                Though its glory I cannot see,

        And I sit in the silence thinking

                Of the past that is gone from me.


        I can almost hear the footstep

                And the touch of the loving hand,

        That the golden harp is striking

                In the fair Immanuel land.


        Ah! I miss the hand that caressed me,

                I miss the tender care,

        And the gentle words that soothed me,

                And the face that I knew was fair.


        For the light step grew heavy and weary,

                And the voice had a sadder tone,

        And a fear chilled my heart's low beating

                And the light of my life was gone.


        But I hoped in Him who careth

                For the sparrow in its fall,

        And I prayed that His will should spare her,

                And knew that He heard my call.


        And hope grew stronger and sweeter,

                With my burden at His feet,

        Knowing that He would help me

                In the trials I had to meet.


        But death drew silently nearer,

                She shrank with the loving cry,

        "My poor blind mother I cannot leave,

                I must live, for I cannot die."


        But vain was her prayer and pleading,

                God called her to lands most fair;

        Though the grave is lying between us,

                I know she is lying there.


        In my grief I murmured and chided

                The Hand that was wont to cheer.

        But I know God's love remaineth,

                When He deigned to enter here.


        And I say in my heart, "God took her,"

                And, by faith, I look up and see,

        A face in the throng of the ransomed,

                Which is lovingly turne to me.


        And I dream of a day that is nearing,

                When I shall stand by the shore,

        And see, with the eyes now darkened,

                The one who has gone before.


        My treasure is laid in heaven,

                By mote nor rust defiled;

        But safe in the loving presence

                Of Him who was once a child.


        In my dreams I may hear a chorus,

                I shall hear her voice as they sing,

        And will know that Mamie is kneeling

                At the feet of my Lord and King.

Troy Times. June 1, 1882: 3.


Mamie J. Smith (1857-1882)

Center Berlin Baptist Cemetery

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=111654023

"Lula's Welcome" (1882)

Lula's Welcome

        [Suggested by the death, at East Nassau, Rensselaer county, N.Y., on the 7th of May, 1882, of her beloved teacher on earth, Mrs. L. E. Palmer.]

        One sweet, glad voice will greet thee,

        Two feet will run to meet thee,

        Two arms around thy neck be thrown,

        Two lips will kiss thine own.


        Two little ears will listen,

        Two clear, soft eyes will glisten,

        To See thee, bear thee, make thee known,

        And show thee round the throne.


        And bells in heaven are ringing,

        While angels bands are singing:

        "What God has joined forever,

        "Nor death, nor time can sever;


        "No more to know life's anguish.

        "No more on earth to languish—

        "Live on, with life eternal;

        "Love on, with love supernal!"

RIDER'S MILLS, N.Y., May 17, 1882. T.B.R.

Troy Times. May 25, 1882: 3.

More, Strange and Wright (1797)

        At a tavern one night,

        Messrs. More, Strange and Wright,

Met to drink, and good thoughts to exchange;

        Says More, "Of us three,

        The whole town will agree,

There is only one knave, & that's Strange."

        "Yes," says Strange (rather sore)

        "I am sure there's one More,

A most terrible knave and a bite,

        Who cheated his mother,

        His sister and brother."—

"O yes," replied More, "that is Wright."

American Spy [Troy, NY]. April 18, 1797: 2 col 2.

The above doesn't seem to be the earliest newspaper appearance of the poem, but it might be among the earliest. Some prior appearances include the City Gazette [Charleston, SC] of February 19, 1796 and the Weekly Oracle [New London, CT] of March 25, 1797. A still earlier one is in The Sporting Magazine of December 1795 on page 166, there titled "The Punsters: A Little Tale."

Monday, June 2, 2014

"Nature in the Month of June" by Rev. T. L. Drury (1917)

Nature in the Month of June.

BY (REV.) T. L. DRURY.

Out where nature is so smiling,

        Oh, there, I love to be;

There her ways are so beguiling,

        And comforting to me.


So in this lovely month of June,

        When nature fairest seems,

I love to watch the summer moon

        Reflect its silver beams.


The scenes are all so pleasure giving

        In virgin fields of green,

They teach that life is worth our living

        Where nature is serene.


Who would not love to stroll these days

        With nature to commune,

For beautiful are all her ways

        Now in the month of June.


To me she is an open book,

        Whose thoughts uplifting are;

Each flowery field and silver brook

        Speak forth her glories far.


Hence God and life and nature seem

        To here in splendor shine;

It all may be to me a dream

        But then it's so divine.


So in the spirit do I sing,

        And nature gives the tune,

For heaven blesses ev'rything

        Here in the month of June!


And, oh, were men but closer drawn

        To nature's living way,

There then would be a glad new morn,

        And love would rule the day.

Troy Times. June 6, 1917

Saturday, May 31, 2014

"Spring" by Mary Elizabeth Holmes McLean (1868)

Spring.

BY M. E. H. M'LEAN.

Welcome, welcome, gentle Spring,

Life, and joy, and beauty bring;

Melt the dreary snows away,

Wake the South-wind's gentle play,

Swell the streamlet's joyous shout,

Hang thy leafy banners out.

Bud and blossom, bird and bee,

Mirth and music bring with thee.


Long the frost-kings dreary reign,

Chilled the life on hill and plain,

Buried deep beneath the snow,

Blue-eyed grasses slumbered low,

Sweet wild-roses hid their heads,

Flaunting pinksters, "kept their beds,"

And within the lonely wood,

Where was deepest solitude,

E'en the trailing arbutus,

Hid amid the faded moss.


Cold, and white, the sunshine lay,—

Where the bleak hills stretched away,

Morning woke no song of birds,

Evening brought no low of herds,

Sunset wove no gorgeous dyes,

In the pale gold of the skies;

Ghostly white, the moonlight fell,

Upon leafless grave and dell.


Drearily, the North wind blew,

Drearily the falling snow

Drifted lay in dark ravine,

Drifted lay in lonely glen.

White the river's pulseless breast,

White the mountain's frozen crest,

Meadow, moor-land, vale, and steep,

Palsied lay in death-like sleep.


But how changed!—thy gentle brow,

Beams with light and beauty now,—

In the radiance of the skies,

Shines the azure of thine eyes;

Floating loose, thine amber hair,

Golden glory lends the air,—

Trailing o'er the valleys green,

Bright thy garments, lustrous sheen.

Like a bride thou com'st sweet Spring,

Thine our warmest welcoming.


Sweet thy smile when morning breaks,

And from slumber earth awakes,

Bursting into joyous song,

Myriad voices roll along.

Sweet the breath of new-born flowers

Opening in the woodland bowers,

Scarcely fairer this bright earth

Ere had sin and sorrow birth.


Sin and sorrow—shadows they

Which we may not roll away;

Else thy joyous light and bloom,

Sunny smiles and sweet perfume,

Ne'er had lingered 'round a tomb.

Else, when loveliness and light

'Round our pathway shine so bright,

We, with saddened heart and brow,

Turning from thy beauty's glow,

Ne'er had mourned the loved and lost

Mouldering now in silent dust.


On their graves, O, gentle Spring,

Lay thy purest offering,

Earliest verdure, fairest flowers,

Dewy tears in night's lone hours.

They too loved thee, and when last

O'er the earth thy fleet step passed,

Some, with smiling lip and brow,

Welcomed thee, who slumber now.


Slumber till a brighter Spring

Round them shall its glory fling;

Slumber till a fairer scene

Greets them with its light serene;

Slumber till, in purer day,

Sin and sorrow pass away.

Greenwich, N. Y., May 6th.

Troy Daily Times. May 16, 1868: 4 col 1.


Mary Elizabeth Holmes McLean (1824-1872)

Greenwich Cemetery, Greenwich, Washington County, New York

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=122639098

"To the First Birds of Spring" by Rev. A. S. Clark (1921)

To the First Birds of Spring.

BY REV. A. S. CLARK.

Happy birds! happy birds, from the Southland once more

With your carols that tell us that winter is o'er;

We have thought of you much through the long frigid hours,

O thrice welcome again to our woodlands and bowers.

        You have come with blest cheer,

        So we welcome you here.


Happy birds! happy birds, dearest warblers of spring,

While the bleak winds were blowing O where did you sing?

Over mountains and valleys have you hastened your flight;

On the wing with the gleam of morn's earliest light.

        We have wished for you long,

        For there's joy in your song.


Happy birds! happy birds, you'll be missed while away;

Loving hearts will be thinking of you every day.

Why is it you're loved so, little birds of fair wing?

Ah! the answer is plain, there is joy where you sing.

        There'll be gladness each day,

        Happy birds, while you stay.


Happy birds! happy birds, ever heralds of spring,

You repeat a life maxim wherever you sing;

You will always be welcome, young or old, you may know,

If you bear a sweet song wheresoever you go.

        Do you go with a song,

        'T is come often, stay long.

        Round Lake.

Troy Times. March 14, 1921: 11 col 2.

"As Nature Seems in May" by Rev. T. L. Drury (1921)

As Nature Seems in May.

BY REV. T. L. DRURY.

Within my garden fair and clean,

There God at any time is seen;

In flower and plant, in climbing vine

His glory doth serenely shine.


In blossoms sweet on every tree

His beauty there we all may see;

And every scene this morn in May

Doth charmingly his light display.


And all the birds on trees around

In chorus join; how sweet the sound

Of nature's music to the ear

Of him who loves this choir to hear.


This morn in May, when o'er the hills

The rising sun so grandly fills

All nature round with silver beams

Of light till here like heaven seems.


How true the thought, that earth is full

Of things that are so beautiful;

And they are there to give delight

To all who love their aspect bright.


So God is in his garden fair,

Which nature is, whose beauties rare

Reflect the wisdom, light and love,

And symbols are of things above.


Hence all depends on you and me

How much of glory we may see,

In works of God around us here,

And also learn that God is near.


Who then would not enjoy each day

Here in this lovely month of May,

And walk mid scenes that do impart

A joy serene to cheer each heart?

        St. Albans, Vt.

Troy Times. May 19, 1921: 7 col 4.

"The Coming of the May" by Rev. T. L. Drury (1917)

The Coming of the May.

BY (REV.) T. L. DRURY.

How sweet is coming of the May,

        'T is beautiful to me;

All nature is at dawn of day

        So full of melody.


The orchards all around are white,

        And blooms the lilac tree;

And nature sings with pure delight

        Its summer's prophecy.


The fields are all so fresh and green

        Beneath the skies of blue,

And all the trees make bright the scene

        Now budding forth anew.


The living streams are rushing down

        The hills, then o'er the leas,

While warbling birds in country, town,

        Hold concerts in the trees.


The flowers upspringing to the light

        Shed glory all their own;

They make the heart of nature bright

        Where seeds of hope are sown.


The children, too, in merry glee,

        Oh! how they shout and play;

Their pleasures are so full and free

        With spirit of the May!


The only shadow I can see

        In coming of the May

Is gloom of war that saddens me,

        And drives the cheer away.


And yet the world is beautiful,

        And altruistic, too;

For it has voices that will rule

        Thro' love and right anew.


Hence sweet is coming of the May,

        With life abundant, free;

It drives the gloom of things away,

        And world is young with me.

Troy Times. May 11, 1917: 11 col 3.

"May" by Sister Ruth (1893)

May.

BY SISTER RUTH.

As o'er the hillside I roamed to-day,

Whom should I meet but laughing May!

May—with hands full of blossoms rare;

May—with never a thought nor care;

May—with her skies so blue and fair;

Beautiful, blossoming May!


After the clouds of the April skies,

Velvety moss 'neath my footstep lies;

Petals of flow'rets shine pure and white,

Under the rays of the sun so bright;

Bathed in the warmth of the mellow light,

Shed from the azure skies.


Welcome, thrice welcome, beautiful May!

Birds are singing a roundelay;

Bearing a burden of flowers so sweet,

Ever thy presence we lovingly greet,

Hillside and meadow thy beauty repeat,

Beautiful, beautiful May.

Troy Daily Times. May 6, 1893: 2 col 2.

Friday, May 30, 2014

“Unforgotten” by Annie M. Toohey (1891)

Unforgotten

BY ANNIE M. TOOHEY.

Softly o'er the fragrant breezes

        Waft those strains of joy again

That triumphantly resounded

        O'er the battlefield and main,

And we reverently listen

        To their treasured tones once more,

Ling'ring nigh those fallen heroes

        'Neath the willows, as of yore.


Ever faithful, olden comrades,

        Whose brave eyes are dimmed by years,

Still around those clay-shrines gather,

        Shedding forth their fervent tears;

Vanished hours again recalling,

        When but war-clouds' cruel shade

Darkly fell o'er scenes of carnage—

        Human discord sadly made.


Not an echo of dissension

        Mars their peaceful strain to-day;

Be they voiced by lips e'er loyal

        Unto ranks of Blue or Gray,

For they know the flowers cover

        And the silv'ry waters flow

O'er the precious scars of martyrs—

        Bitter stride made long ago.


Some 'mid tangled weeds are hidden

        Far away in nameless graves;

Others lie 'neath surging currents

        Of the restless, flowing waves.

Yet the rays of yonder heaven

        With their lustre pure and bright

Softly shade a fadeless glory

        E'er above them day and night.


Would again we might behold them

        Mounted on their gallant steeds!

Marching on to battle-glory!—

        Sailing where our banner leads!

Radiant in gleaming armor,

        Swords aglow on ev'ry breast,

All our own beloved soldiers!

        Bravest, noblest and the best!


Tho' our footsteps back must wander

        From their flag-strewn graves again,

Where in nature's tender bosom

        'Neath the flowers they are lain,

Yet our hearts shall never leave them

        Tho' eternities elapse,

Nor fond Mem'ry o'er their ashes

        Ever cease to sound the taps!

WEST TROY, N. Y.

Troy Daily Times. May 30, 1891: 4 col 2.

"A Tribute" by Annie M. Toohey (1904)

A Tribute.

BY ANNIE M. TOOHEY.

Let us cover their rusty old sabres

        'Neath the radiant flowers of May,

And hide all the stains of the banners

        That wave o'er their ashes to-day;

As the angel of rest spreads her pinions

        Softly over wherever they sleep,

On the beautiful shrines of the hillside

        Or under the waves of the deep.


Far beyond the red fields of the battle,

        And the chill of the trenches afar,

Peace hath hidden their death-wounds forever

        And glorified every scar.

Where the tablets of Heaven recorded

        Not alone the brave deeds of a fray,

But the crowing of souls undivided

        From the ranks of our lost Blue and Gray.

Troy Times. May 30, 1904: 7 col 2.

"Somewhere" by Anna M. Toohey (1927)

Somewhere.

BY ANNA M. TOOHEY.

Somewhere the May flowers cluster,

        Tender and sweetly today,

Tracing the graves of beloved ones

        Under the sod and the spray;

Blossoms of northland and southland

        Strewn over heroes at rest,

Wafting their hallowed fragrance

        Wherever lie fallen the blest.


Somewhere the voices of mothers,

        Blending with comrades' today,

Murmur in fond benedictions

        O'er every banner-strewn way,

Proudly acclaiming the valor

        Of bravest of braves, long ago

Ere proud scars were hid 'neath the cypress

        Or the chill of red battle waves' flow.


Somewhere they linger to greet us,

        As in many a happier day,

Afar from the shadows of warfare

        On crimson-stained valleys or way,

Amid the blest ranks over yonder,

        Where the laurels of Peace never fade

And the souls of true victors forever

        Gleam in glory that Heaven hath made.

Troy Times. May 28, 1927: 7 col 1.

"Twilight" by Annie M. Toohey (1924)

TWILIGHT

'Tis twilight adown the Potomac,

        And over the San Juan plain,

And afar where the dusk stars are gleaming

        On Belleau's dense woodlands again.

And wherever our braves reunited

        March onward in treasured array,

Or sleep on the hallowed hillsides

        Or under the deep oceans' spray.


'Tis twilight across the dim Argonne,

        And again by old Hindenburg Line,

Where under the barbed shafts of conflict

        In ambush hid many a mine,

And where from the stillness of trenches,

        Oft arose a voice pleadingly low,

Calling "Mother," that only the angels

        Could answer then truly we know.


'Tis twilight along the blue Hudson,

        Flowing past our own homelands beside,

As the petals of virgin-white lilies

        Of Peace scattered o'er the May tide

Grace the proud craft of Memory mooring

        Anigh our proud banner-strewn shore--

Inspiring our hearts to remember

        Our heroes are blest evermore.

                        ANNIE M. TOOHEY.

Troy Times. May 29, 1924: 4 col 4.

"Memories" by Annie M. Toohey (1921)

MEMORIES:

Truly all the world a sanctuary blessed is to-day,

And every soldier grave a shrine enwreathed in flowers of May,

And each soft breeze a Psalmist wafting forth a dulcet strain,

In homage unto braves who fell on crimsoned wave and plain.


Some shed their sacred lifeblood in grim conflicts long ago,

Aye to sunder cruel fetters and to slavery overthrow;

Some crossed o'er surging billows unto far, far distant lands

To lend their treasured banners unto pleading alien hands.


Some homeward came unto us from the wreckage sad of war,

Yet enduring—aye, and hiding—oft a bleeding would or scar,

Some are sleeping 'neath the flowers—some we never more shall see

Until gleam before our vision soul-ranks of eternity.


Yet there are sad hearts that miss them and lone comrades that remain,

To retrace their sacred ashes gathered unto mound and main,

Heroes whose brave deeds of valor wrought in words of purest gold

Gleam to-day 'mid Memory's treasures for our proud eyes to behold.

                ANNIE M. TOOHEY.

Troy Times. May 28, 1921: 4 col 4.

"Our Own" by Annie M. Toohey (1920)

Our Own.

BY ANNIE M. TOOHEY.

Memory with tender fingers rifts again the mist of Time,

As resound the thrills of glory in triumphant chord and chime,

'Mid exultant tales of valor of our noble fallen dead,

'Round whose graves still loyal footsteps of old comrades love to tread.


Newer mounds rest on the hillsides, bearing names of later braves,

Newer shrines around to linger by the cypress and the waves;

Heroes of the trench and red plains, who in din of cruel fray

Fell beneath the flags they honored, aye, in lands far, far away.


Yet some flower may be scattered where they sank in silent sleep,

On hallowed soil or 'neath the silv'ry wavelets of the deep;

For the ashes of our heroes ne'er can linger long untraced,

Nor the memory of their glory in our true hearts be effaced.


In a homeland over yonder, where no battle scars are seen,

'Mid unbroken ranks where only blessed hands can ever glean,

Flowers of unfading laurels nigh unto a radiant throne,

Linger souls of bravest soldiers whom we bravely call our own.

Troy Times. May 29, 1920: 13 col 1.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

"Spring!" by Joyce O'Pray (1933)

Spring!

BY JOYCE O'PRAY.

There's a heartiness in the way

That blithesome children play;

In the gay song the robins sing

There's glad, welcome spring.


Suburbanites their gardens plan,

Trying to surpass the neighboring man;

From morn to night, an echo rings

Of the harboring of growing things.


Choking brooks and grassy sprouts

Leap and swell with joyous shouts;

All nature ope's her portals,

And spring's songs sway the hearts of mortals.


From your firesides break away!

Spend all the day in careless play!

Face the dawn with god-like cheer,

For a new springtime is here!

Troy Times. April 21, 1933: 20 col 1.


Joyce O'Pray Mohan Lower (1914-1991)

St. Peter's Cemetery, Stillwater, NY

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=130442773

"Spring Fever" by Dr. Sigel Roush (1926)

Spring Fever.

BY SIGEL ROUSH.

They say that this is Spring,

        Nor do I doubt it;

Of birds and flowers they sing—

        Well, what about it?


I've seen a Spring before—

        Is it surprising?

Not one but many more,

        And grass uprising.


I've planted garden sass,

        The morning glory,

I've seen them come and pass—

        The same old story.


And yet folks act as though

        'Twas something novel

To wield the spade and hoe,

        And push the shovel.


I know full well and sweat,

        The endless weeding,

The pests and bugs we get

        Soon after seeding.


So let them strut their stuff

        With plaint and poem;

For me I've had enough,

        By heck, I know 'em.

Troy Times May 3, 1926: 9 col 1.

Dr. Sigel Roush (1862-1952)

Barnes Cemetery, Hillboro, Ohio

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=23280150

"To-Day" by Annie M. Toohey (1919)

TO-DAY:

Let some mother tell the meaning

        Of the flags unfurled to-day,

As she clasps a treasured picture

        Of her boy who marched away,

In the glory of his valor,

        Unto crimsoned battle plain,

Or to call of ruthless waters,

        Never to return again.


Let some angel weld the fragments

        Of our banners—stained and torn—

Unto vestments fair of heaven,

        Where the souls of braves are borne;

Where no strain of joy is rifted,

        And the lily, flower of Peace,

Sheds its sweet enduring fragrance

        'Mid immortal ecstacies.

                                ANNIE M. TOOHEY.

Troy Times. May 29, 1919: 4 col 3.

"To-Day" by Annie M. Toohey (1911)

To-Day:

Not a vestige of blood stains the chalice,

        On freedom's blest altar to-day,

Shed in wage of a battle of sorrow

        'Mid the ranks of the Blue and the Gray;

                Nay, only the impress of lillies

                Sweet Peace hath so fervently twined

                Around with its tenderest fingers

                                Evermore can the eye truly find.


Not a note of harsh discord re-echoes

        Where shades of the willow droop low,

O'er the graves loyal footsteps are tracing

        'Mid measures of Freedom that flow.

                Nay, only sweet memory's music

                Attuned ev'ry bosom to thrill

                That bend once again over heroes

                                At rest 'neath the wave and the hill.

                                                                —ANNIE M. TOOHEY.

Troy Times. May 30, 1911: 4 col 3.

"Peace" by Annie M. Toohey (1901)

Peace:

When the crimson rose of triumph

        Deepens proudly o'er the way

Where our fallen braves are sleeping

        'Neath the waves or daisied clay,

Thro' the starlit aisles of even,

        Girt in clouds of azure fleece,

Shall in tenderness descending

        Steal the blessed form of Peace!


Let us ope our hearts in welcome

        As she hovers 'round our dead,

Swordless, yet with step unfearing,

        Sighing o'er their lifeblood shed.

Let us wave her stainless banners

        Joyfully around the way

Where the light of love and pity

        Rifts the clouds of battle-sway.

                                —ANNIE M. TOOHEY.

Troy Times. May 30, 1901: 2 col 3.

"Remembrance" by Annie M. Toohey (1913)

REMEMBRANCE:

Only a tear and a flower

        Can we lend unto mem'ries to-day

Of our braves under many a bower,

        In the mystical hush of the clay.

Where the lingering blossoms of spring-tide

        'Round their treasured graves tenderly creep,

And naught hath the wide world to murmur

        To mar the blest calm of their sleep.


Only a flag and a prayer

        Can we raise in their honor to-day,

As we fervently gather around them,

        Where comrades yet loyally stray.

Aye, many with faltering footsteps,

        That soon may all silently tread

Unto yonder bright ranks of the blessed,

        'Mid the souls of our loved martyr-dead.

                                ANNIE M. TOOHEY.

Troy Times. May 30, 1913: 4 col 3.

"Our Own" by Annie M. Toohey (1914)

OUR OWN:

If only a few sweet flowers

        Shall be scattered around them to-day,

If only a few old comrades

        Yet linger to fervently stray

On the shadowy trail of the cypress

        Or nigh to the murmuring waves,

Still our hearts are as loyal as ever

        Unto sacred remembrance of braves!


If only a few faint echoes

        Yet linger of old battle-songs,

If only a few rusty sabres

        Tell of valor that to them belongs,

Yet our nation shall ever remember

        Their deeds with a flower and a chime,

For the glorious name of soldier

        Only brightens through passing of time.

                                —ANNIE M. TOOHEY.

Troy Times. May 30, 1914: 2 col 4.

"O'er the May-Tide" by Annie M. Toohey (1900)

O'er the May-Tide:

Our upon the gleaming May-tide

        In its dulcet ebb to-day

Lo, a craft of sweetest flowers

        Drifts 'neath banner-masts away,

Ling'ring tenderly to scatter

        All its precious burdens where

Our beloved heroes slumber

        By the hillsides here and there!


Precious craft! unloose thy moorings

        When the embers of the day

Sink in crimson sunset glory

        O'er those treasured shrines of clay,

And to yonder shore of Heaven

        Bring our messages of love

Where no cruel swords are clashing

        In their bright soul-ranks above!

                                ANNIE M. TOOHEY.

        Watervliet, N. Y.

Troy Daily Times. May 30, 1900: 2 col 3.