Saturday, May 31, 2014

"Spring" by Mary Elizabeth Holmes McLean (1868)



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

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

To the First Birds of Spring.


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.


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.


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)



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)



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!


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

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

A Tribute.


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 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)


'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)


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.


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)



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

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

Spring Fever.


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

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


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)


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)


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)


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)


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.

Monday, May 26, 2014

“To-Day” by Annie M. Toohey (1915)



Not only a flag and a flower,

Not only a pean of praise,

Where ashes of heroes are gathered,

'Mid silent and shadowy ways;

But the throbbing of hearts ever loyal

And mem'ries of deeds of the brave

Inspire us to scatter around them

Sweetest flowers for every grave.

Not only a prayer by the hillside,

Not only a glancing afar

Through lattice of heavenly azure,

Oft lit by a sunbeam or star,

But the tributes of lips ever loyal

As banners their colors unfold,

And we bless the old comrades that linger

Again 'mid the earth's fading and mould.

Not only because they were heroes

And sank on the mead or the main,

Where never again we may trace them,

With cadence of battle refrain;

Yet we know that in ranks never broken

By conflict of life's cruel fray

They are marching to-day unto triumph,

'Mid the lilies of peace far away.

Troy Times. May 31, 1915

"Unforgotten" by Annie M. Toohey (1907)



Let their olden flags float in the sunshine,

        Treasures waved by the hands of the brave!

Strew the fairest of flowers around them,

        Aye, to garland their every grave!

Let the world proudly herald their valor,

        And their deeds on the field and the main,

As we linger anigh where they slumber,

        And kneel in their memory again!

Let the dim veil of Time be uplifted

        That enshrouded their glorious years,

Till again we may proudly behold them,

        Aye, but not thro' the falling of tears;

Let us fancy them gathered around us,

        As they used to in youth's happy day,

Ere the heart of our nation in sorrow

        Sadly bled o'er the Blue and the Gray!

Let us dream of the glow of the campfires,

        And the songs of old comrades again

That re-echoed ere death's cruel havoc

        Shadowed many a red battle plain;

Let us picture them only as living

        Where peacefully onward they tread,

Far away from the chill of the trenches,

        And the waves that surge over the dead!

Let us hearken for coming of angels,

        'Mid the rustle of wings as the night

Softly covers the flowers we scattered

        Ere the day hid its rapturous light;

Let us turn to the starry paths yonder

        Where the beautiful souls of the brave

Linger for us at threshold of glory,

        Far away from the gloom of the grave.

Troy Times. May 30, 1907: 3 col 1.

"They Follow the Flag" by Frances V. Hubbard (1911)

They Follow the Flag.


They followed the flag, soldiers gallant and gay,

Eyes sparkling with hope and with cheer,

        From home and from kindred they marched far away,

        Leaving all to the human heart dear.

They followed the flag, though oft weary and worn,

That banner, the red, white and blue,

        Though sullied by battle smoke—torn to a shred—

        Still rallied these soldiers so true.

They followed the flag, some to pain, some to death,

But the remnant closed up and marched on,

        And they followed Old Glory till treason was quenched

        And the merited victory won.

They follow the flag, halting, aged and worn,

When that banner is leading the way

        Every eye gleams with pride, all forgotten the years,

        They are soldiers still, gallant and gay.

They follow the flag. When 'neath grass-covered tents

All the Grand Army men rest at last,

        Place above them the banner, the flag that they love,

        Let them sleep till the morn's bugle-blast.

Troy Times. May 30, 1911: 7 col 3.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

"Flora Lingua (An Acrostic)" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1914)

Flora Lingua.

(An Acrostic.)


The flowers speak a language unto man;

Hark! Lady's-Slipper, "win me, wear me," says:

Esteem has Garden-Sage in Flora's plan.

Love is set forth by Myrtle and the Rose,

And lamentation by the Aspen tree;

Narcissus egotism doth propose;

Germanda Speedwell shows facility.

Use Yew for sorrow and for gladness Myrrh;

Acknowledgement, the Canterbury-bell;

Give prudence Mountain Ash and rudeness Burr:

Enchanter's Nightshade doth of witchcraft tell.

Ox-eye means patience; Nettle tree, conceit;

Forget-me-not, forget-me-not, how sweet!

French honeysuckle rustic beauty shows;

Linden or Lime tree is conjugal love;

Oats still the witching soul of music knows,

While Weeping-willow mourning doth approve.

Enwind, for happy love, the Bridal-rose;

Rosemary for remembrance; Snowdrop, hope;

Send, send sweet flowers to your friends and foes.

        Melrose, N.Y.

Troy Times. April 17, 1914: 19 col 1.

Troy Times Memorial Day poets

Troy Times Memorial Day poets:

Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1864-1942)

Elmwood Cemetery, Schaghticoke

Frances Mitchell Haswell Braman (1867-1945) (Mrs. Isaac Getty Braman) - Watervliet City Historian

Albany Rural Cemetery

Husband’s father was Waters Whipple Braman

Rev. Algernon Sidney Clark (1846-1928) - Civil War Veteran and Saratoga County Chaplain Civil War Veterans

Union Cemetery, Crescent

Rev. Timothy L. Drury (1859-1936)

Union Cemetery, Fort Edward

Frances Virginia Thomas Hubbard (1860-1943)

Oakwood Cemetery, Troy

Annie M. Toohey (1860-1933) - Watervliet City Historian

Saint Agnes Cemetery, Menands

Several more poems to be posted still, including:

“Unforgotten” by Annie M. Toohey (1907)

“They Follow the Flag” by Frances V. Hubbard (1911)

“Remembrance” by Annie M. Toohey (1913)

“Our Own” by Annie M. Toohey (1914)

“To-Day” by Annie M. Toohey (1915)

“The Loyal Brave” by Rev. T. L. Drury (1919)

“Our Own” by Annie M. Toohey (1920)

“Don’t Let Your Courage Fail!” by Laura Hunt (1923)

Don’t Let Your Courage Fail!


"Ma, why were the soldiers marching,

        And the poppies everywhere,

And why were you weeping, mother,

        As the bugle notes fell on the air?"

Thus spoke a chubby lad of nine

        As he clamber'd on her knee,

His mother gave a little sigh,

        But not a word spoke she.

Then mustering all her courage

        She whispered in his ear,

"The questions I'll answer later,

        My story first you'll hear."

President Wilson sat at his desk,

        Faithful and true, but tried;

Neutral treaties were vainly signed,

        But he could not stem the tide.

Nineteen hundred and seventeen,

        What sorrow thou didst bring,

For the word soon reached, both far and near,

        War had come with the Spring!

The draft ensued, the numbers were drawn,

        Your daddy's was forty-three.

My heart was sad, for well I knew

        He'd soon go over the sea.

A few fleeting weeks, 't was quickly done,

        The troops were ready to sail.

These were your dadd's parting words,

        "Don't let your courage fail!"

With tear-dimmed eyes I watched them go,

        America's choicest men.

I held you high above the crowd;

        You were an infant then.

Your daddy wrote whene'er he could.

        How I watched for his mail.

"The Allies are gaining," he'd write me,

        "So don't let your courage fail!"

The Hindenburg line was just ahead,

        A bitter fight to come,

Gener'l O'Ryan gave his orders,

        "This battle must be won!"

"'Democracy safe' is our slogan,

        Press on with all your might;

'Over the top' at midnight, boys,

        May God defend the right!"

And staunch beneath that deadly fire,

        "Over the top" they went.

The flanks were thinning on every side,

        Hills and valleys were rent.

The gunners were coming forward,

        Your dad among them all,

Bravely he stood, right at his post,

        'Till your uncle saw him fall.

They laid him away in Flanders,

        With all our heroes brave,

Who sacrificed their lives

        Democracy to save.

And this is Memorial Day,

        One day in all the year,

When homage and praise are given

        To all our heroes dear.

And though sometimes I am lonely,

        And my spirit oft may quell,

I seem to hear your daddy say,

        "Don't let your courage fail!"

Troy Times. May 29, 1923: 7 col 3.

“The Soldier’s Monument (Brandon, Vt.)” by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1926)

The Soldier’s Monument.

(Brandon, Vt.)


Hon'ring gallant men who went

        To the war from Brandon Town,

Stands the stately monument,

        With a soldier for its crown.

What was once a sculptor's dream,

        Hiding in a block of stone,

Now becomes the poet's theme,

        With the soldier on his throne!

There the Union here stands,

        Filled with patriotic pride;

With his musket in his hands

        And his scabbard by his side.

Like a sentinel on guard,

        At his post, supremely fair;

Looking not for earth's reward,

        But to do his duty there.

What a credit to the Town,

        Such a monument appears,

To the men we claim our own—

        Brandon's sturdy Mountaineers!

How impressive is the sight,

        To behold the passerby,

Whether it be day or night,

        On the soldier cast his eye.

Oft I wonder what men think,

        As I watched them read the roll

Of the names—in fadeless ink—

        Chiseled on the granite scroll.

Patriotism cannot fade

        Where such influences flow;

What impressions it has made

        None but God will ever know!

Let us guard with loving care

        Such a splendid work of art;

May no hand its worth impair;

        May no fame from it depart!

'Neath the monument so grand

        Floral tributes gently lay;

In its glory let it stand,

        Wreath-crowned each Memorial Day!

        Brandon, Vt.

Troy Times. May 29, 1926: 20 col 2.

Gruber, Samuel. "Brandon Vermont Civil War Monument: Solitary Soldier Stands Guard." Public Art and Memory. June 8, 2013.

“Memorial Poem, 1922” by Rev. A. S. Clark (1922)

Memorial Poem, 1922.


Once more from springtime's wealth of bloom

        We bear rare gems of flowery May,

And on each martial hero's tomb

        A garland fair and sweet we lay.

Those sons who went at duty's call

        Must not by us forgotten be,

Sleep they where homeland's shadows fall,

        Or far from friends across the sea.

Beneath those silent tents of green

        Rest men to-day of valor rare,

No nobler sons hath earth e'er seen—

        The good, the young, the loved are there.

In times when Freedom was assailed

        By foes of strong, relentless hand,

With loyalty that never failed

        They heard Columbia's command.

That flag so cherished near and far,

        Blest emblem ever of the right—

The flag that never lost a star,

        Was borne to honor by their might.

As we recount their deeds sublime,

        Oh! may not freemen e'er forget

That triumphs noblest of all time

        Await hearts true and valiant yet.

Not on the field of martial strife

        Where crimson tides make red the sod,

But in the battles grand of life

        Fought for men's uplift and for God.

No hour so grand to be and do

        Since He whom King and Lord we own

Came on love's wondrous mission new—

        Earth's Daysman from the Father's throne.

Faint not, for truth must win the day!

        Those principles of righteousness

Worldwide shall have the right of way,

        And nations yet unborn shall bless.

Then let us make those triumphs sure;

        Each give the best in Truth's great fight;

Stand firm that Freedom may endure,

        And our land be earth's beacon light.

        Round Lake, May 27, 1922.

Troy Times. May 29, 1922: 7 col 2.

“Our Memorial Day” by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1921)

Our Memorial Day.


The war-scarred veterans sleep,

        In death's cold citadel,

Unmoved by those who weep,

        For whom they fought and fell:

They faced the thundering cannonade,

Life's sacrifice supreme they made.

That awful sacrifice

        Was made for you and me;

Their life's blood was the price,

        Our blessing—Liberty!

Let gratitude for such a gift

With praise the sun-lit welkin rift!

If aliens wonder why

        We hail the month of May,

We'll give them our reply

        On Decoration day:


A record-breaker may it prove—

A great Memorial Day of love!

Then close the mart and store,

        Your pleasures cast aside;

Be loyal to the core

        In patriotic pride:

Hail, hail the imposing cavalcade

And help to swell the grand parade!

The music of the band

        Fills every soul with awe,

While by the graves we stand

        And 'round the speakers draw,

To hear of deeds heroic done,

How strongholds fell and fields were won!

With kindly hands the graves

        Are marked and strewn with flowers;

The little ensign waves

        Beneath the maple bowers,

And nature, robed in living green,

Adds glory to the sacred scene.

The crowd, impressed, departs

        And homeward wends its way;

Thousands of tender hearts

        Thank God for such a day:

A day when patriots may prove

Their heartfelt comradeship and love.

In God is still our trust,

        His mercies never fail;

His laws are pure and just,

        Through Him we shall prevail:

America, hang up thy sword,

Have faith in God, entrust His word!

        Waterford, N.Y.

Troy Times. May 28, 1921: 12 col 2.

“These Were the Boys” by Rev. A. S. Clark (1925)

Those Were the Boys


Saratoga County Chaplain Civil War Veterans.

These were the boys who went forth to the conflict

        In the days of their country's sore need;

These were the men who bore back our loved banner,

        Of whose valor with pride we e'er read.

These were the boys, shall we ever forget them?

        Or their deeds as the years shall go by?

Not while it floats, our dear flag, in the breezes,

        O! so grandly, 'neath Liberty's sky.

These were the boys, O how sad they must leave us!

        But we'll guard well their graves down the years,

And will pray unto God in His wisdom to save us

        From stern war's desolation and tears.

These were the boys, make bright all with fair garlands

        Each dear spot where these soldier boys sleep.

May no grave of our heroes be passed by unhonored

        As this day of blest memory we keep.

        Round Lake, N. Y.

Troy Times. May 29, 1925: 16 col 2.

“No Braver Men Than Those in Blue” by Rev. T. L. Drury (1918)

No Braver Men Than Those in Blue


No braver men have marhed in line

        Than men who wore the blue,

Whose loyal purpose and design

        They nobly carried through.

No fiercer battles were there fought,

        No greater deeds were done,

No greater service ever sought

        Than that by which they won.

No love was more sincere and true,

        No faith was more sublime

In what they did and had in view,

        Than marked their service time.

No greater sacrifice was made,

        Unselfish spirit shown,

Than that the men in blue displayed,

        By which their deeds are known.

Now what their service means we know;

        The grand result we see;

It's then for us to bravely show

        Them honor pure and free.

And those were days of awful gloom,

        That held the nation bound;

But now above each battle tomb

        The joys of hope abound.

Our tribute then is gratitude,

        Sincerely deep and free—

A spirit now with love imbued

        For home and liberty.

For not a single star was lost

        From this dear flag we love;

The awful sacrifice and cost

        Did greater blessing prove.

We honor you who did so well,

        Whose loyalty was grand;

May long your praise in anthems swell

        Throughout our native land.

Again, to-day the bugle's call

        Is heard afar and near,

To which the loyal, once and all,

        Respond for duty here.

O men in blue! your spirit still

        Is strong as it is free;

For see them bravely go at will,

        Our youth across the sea!

The cause for which you fought, they fight

        With courage great, sublime—

For freedom and for human right

        For world and future time.

Troy Times. May 29, 1918

"Our Hallowed Ground" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1918)

Our Hallowed Ground.


Let not the huge demands, entailed by war,

Upon your tested labor, purse and time,

The rights of Decoration Day debar—

Our cherished custom—beautiful!—sublime!

Take time to visit every soldier's tomb;

With flags and flow'rs enwreathe each honored grave,

That, 'neath the arch of Heaven's Cathedral Dome,

Securely lies in Nature's silent Nave!

Though far away, in sepulchres unknown,

The bones of many a soldier may repose,

To them our sweet forget-me-nots are blown—

Love's gratitude—more fragrant than the rose;

Where'er our soldiers sleep, the world around,

That spot's America—Our Hallowed Ground!

Troy Times. May 29, 1918

"At Rest" by Annie M. Toohey (1926)

At Rest.


Rest, heroes, rest! of youth and age our nation's noblest pride;

Thy valiant deeds hath history's blest pages glorified;

Thy memories as sweet and pre as ling'ring flowers of May,

Entwined by fervent hands above thy graves today.

Rest, heroes, rest! no longer bitter pangs of cruel war

Shall crush again thy noble forms 'neath bleeding wound or scar;

Nor dim the fadeless luster of thy consecrated name,

Where loyal lips the story of thy sacred past proclaim.

Rest, heroes, rest! in shrines upon the tender, verdant sod,

Afar from ranks wherein ye fell and onward fearless trod,

Aye-sire and son and kindred brave—where banners proudly raise,

Yet not a foe to face today along our peaceful ways.

Rest, heroes, rest! where homeland blossoms 'round ye softly creep,

And waft their fragrance o'er the once encrimsoned surging deep;

Or far away, where cherished fallen comrades evermore

Shall unforgotten sleep upon some hallowed alien shore.

Troy Times. May 29, 1926

"A Prayer for the Veterans" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1928)

A Prayer for the Veterans.


O God, our Father, hear our prayer

        For our aged veterans, living still;

Protect them by Thy watchful care,

        With life divine their spirits fill.

Remember, Lord, the sacrifice

        They nobly made to keep us free,

And what a costly, staggering price

        They paid to save democracy.

When they were active, young and strong,

        Unselfishly they gave their all

To overthrow the cause of wrong—

        Responsive to their country's call.

And now, in age and feebleness,

        As they the hill of life descend,

May they Thy saving grace possess

        And find in Thee their changeless Friend.

O God, may each Memorial Day

        Stir up our patriotic fires,

That we may be as true as they—

        Our loyal, patriotic sires!

        Melrose, N. Y.

Troy Times. May 29, 1918: 16 col 2.

"Sweetest Flowers" by Annie M. Toohey (1928)

Sweetest Flowers.


The sweetest flowers born today

O'er consecrated shrines of clay

Are those around our braves entwine,

Loved soldier boys—are, yours and mine.

The sweetest flowers born today

Are strewn o'er once-encrimsoned spray,

Amid where battle waters flow

And heroes sank long, long ago.

The sweetest flowers born today

Are where old loyal comrades stray

Once more in feeble martial pace

Those hallow'd graves to proudly trace.

The sweetest flowers born today

Are those abloom in tend'rest way,

In mother hands, uplifted where

The voice of Peace resounds in prayer.

Troy Times. May 31, 1928: 20 col 1.

"The Veterans' Thinning Ranks" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1917)

The Veterans' Thinning Ranks.

(A Memorial Day Sonnet.)


Their ranks are thinning, with the passing years,

And soon the bugle call will rouse no more

The men who fought for us in fields of gore!

The remnant of the brave, without compeers,

Are worthy of our patriotic cheers

And floral crowns. Let us, as ne'er before,

Bestow our honors on the men who bore

Our burdens and destroyed our brooding fears.

Upon the silent graves, with veteran hands,

The flowers of comradeship are gently laid;

While "Glory" its entrancing folds display.

This heaven-born custom, in my judgment, stands

Uniquely grand! May it the world pervade,

Till every nation holds "Memorial Day!"

Troy Times. May 29, 1917

"A Tribute" by Annie M. Toohey (1902)

A Tribute


Some one shall find them wherever they lie,

        Some one shall trace them wherever they sleep,

Under the blue of the sheltering sky,

        Shaded by willow or down in the deep!

Time cannot hide them away in its maze—

        Loved ones we lost in the long, long ago,

Heroes who sank in the blood crimsoned days,

        Wounded and scarred in the battles of woe.

Some one shall over them scatter sweet flowers,

        Some one shall 'round them a banner enfold,

Where they are resting on earth's sunny bowers,

        Where the deep waters their ashes still hold.

Comrades who marched with them once, side by side,

        Wrinkled and bent, cannot kneel o'er their dust;

Still shall their dim eyes with teardrops of pride

        Smile upon sabres that bleam thro' their rust.

Some one shall weep o'er a soldier-cap blue;

        Some one shall grieve o'er a uniform gray,

Worn by a hero so noble and true,

        Left by some mother's boy fell'd in the fray.

Remnants of glory! tho' faded they be

        Still they are treasures we tenderly hold,

Never, oh! never, may loyal eyes see

        Gathered around them oblivion's sad mold!

Some one shall linger in voicing a prayer;

        Some one shall hearken at fading of day

For the rapt strains that awake over there—

        Rustle of angel-wings nearing earth's way,

Coming to waft all the flowers so sweet

        Tender hands scattered o'er hillside and wave,

Unto yon ranks and the beautiful fleet

        Gleaming in triumph with souls of the brave!

        Watervliet, N. Y.

Troy Daily Times May 31, 1902

"Memorial Day, 1917" by Frances V. Hubbard (1917)

Memorial Day, 1917


Memorial Day. Green-tented mounds, flower covered,

        Attest the honor shown the patriot braves;

-To-day, above the graves where sleep our heroes,

        The Flag, the Flag they loved, now proudly waves.

Those of the far, far years who formed our nation,

        Those who in civil strife fought, bled and died,

Those who from haughty Spain wrenched her dominions

        And fell in battle, sleep, oft, side by side.

To-day, when gathering, gathering to the colors,

        Our youth, the glory of our nation, come,

When, day by day, we see them pass before us,

        Stepping, all proudly, to the beating drum.

To-day, from heav'n above a mighty army

        Looks down upon the land it died to save

And, with fond benedictions, guards our heroes

        Who will defend the Banner of the Brave.

Troy Times. May 29, 1917

Friday, May 23, 2014

"Our Heroes" by Annie M. Toohey (1925)

Our Heroes.


Chime the bells sweetly in flower-songs today,

Over the hillsides where loyal feet stray,

Or nigh the once-crimson'd depths of the seas,

Banners they cherished afloat on the breeze.

Chime the bells sweetly as comrade and kin,

Far from the discord of battle-wrought din,

Blend their glad voices, inspiring and true,

As mem'ry's proud pages unfold into view.

Chime the bells sweetly 'mid strains of the blest,

Heaven seems closer wherever they rest,

Sacred their ashes on earth's hallowed fane,

Heroes whose valor we honor again!

Troy Times. May 29, 1925

"This Little Bronze Button" by A.W.L. (1929)

This Little Bronze Button.

BY A. W. L.

This dear little button, I love it so well—

        From the breast of my grandfather's coat!

He gave it to me when he bade us farewell

        On that day that is now far remote:

This dear little button, this little bronze button,

This time-honored button that I love so well!

I'll treasure it, aye, with a passion sincere—

        With devotion that, aye, will endure

For grandpa, whose mem'ry I'll ever revere:

        He asked me to keep it secure—

This dear little button, this little bronze button,

This time-honored button that I love so well!

This dear little button will ever abide

        Mid the treasures that I hold most dear—

Recalling my grief when my grandfather died

        And left me disconsolate here:

This dear little button, this little bronze button,

This time-honored button that I love so well!

I'm wearing it now as they pass on their way,

        These comrades he ever held dear,

To the hillcrest where yearly their tribute they pay,

        Tho' feeble and worn they appear:

This dear little button, this little bronze button,

This time-honored button that I love so well!

To those who are gone, or must soon pass away

        To the vast bivouac of the dead,

Pay homage, I pray, henceforth and for aye,

        Till the glory of valor hath fled!

This dear little button, this little bronze button,

This time-honored button that I love so well!

        Troy, N.Y.

Troy Times. May 29, 1929: 20 col 2.

"Our Soldier" by Rev. T. L. Drury (1918)

Our Soldier.

(Sergeant H. G. Weir.)


Rest sweetly, oh, our soldier, rest,

For you have done your very best—

A volunteer at duty's call

To serve his country; that is all.

And what a noble service this,

And what an honor now is his,

To simply serve, in serving die

A hero 'neath his country's sky.

When any man will do his mite

For love of country and the right,

For love of freedom now and here,

He leaves a record that is clear.

And such a record that is true

Our soldier left us to review,

And so we proudly place his name

Upon his country's roll of fame.

And we shall place above his grave

The flag for which his life he gave,

And mark the spot, that men may pay

Him tribute on Memorial Day.

Then sweetly rest, our soldier true;

We kindly shall remember you

As one among the noble breed

Who served their country well indeed!

        Sergeant Weir came from New York in September last and was pharmacist at the Post Hospital at the Arsenal, Watervliet. He died of meningitis Sunday at the Troy Hospital.

Troy Times. April 3, 1918: 10 col 1.

"Only Flowers" by Annie M. Toohey (1923)

Only Flowers.


Only flowers—yet they wreathe the paths we love to trace today,

Where the ashes of our heroes rest a-near and far away,

And the chimes of glory proudly waft above each sacred mound,

Where the loyal feet of kind and comrades softly tread around.

Only flowers—yet above them lifts the veil of memory,

And again we see them marching unto goals of victory—

Bravest of the brave that ever fought and fell on battle plain

Or sank 'neath crimsoned waters of some distant surging main!

Only flowers-yet the sweetest is the lily fair of Peace,

Whose glad message of enduring solace nevermore shall cease;

Every petal it unfoldeth wafts a fragrance of pure love,

Redolent of breath of angels, of unbroken ranks above.

Only flowers—consecrating earth's responsive tender breast,

Where the braves we loved have gathered unto everlasting rest;

Where the banners that they cherish wave above them all to-day,

Radiant in golden sunshine of the waning hours of May.

Troy Times. May 29, 1923: 15 col 1.

"A Memorial Day Sonnet" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1929)

A Memorial Day Sonnet.


Our Nation's heart is filled with tenderness

        As we approach our great Memorial Day

        That adds such luster to the month of may.

Though fruits of war are bitter in excess

And leave behind a trail of sad distress

        For generations, how much worse were they,

        Who, for our Union, held the foe at bay

And gave their lives rebellion to suppress!

In recognition of that awful price

        The Veterans, for our Nation's welfare paid,

And grateful for their "supreme sacrifice,"

        Memorial Day, for them, shall never fade;

Them, while "Old Glory" now above them waves,

Bring forth the choicest flowers and deck their graves!

        Melrose, N.Y.

Troy Times. May 29, 1929: 6 col 3.

"Memorial Day" by Mrs. I. G. Braman (1910)

Memorial Day.


Memorial Day! It does not mean to me

        A soldier marching by with martial tread,

Nor yet a grave marked by a waving flag

        Amid the quiet bivouac of the dead.

To me it means a head of yellow curls,

        A pair of sweet brown eyes uplift to mine;

Two dear red lips, two little dirty hands,

        A sturdy step—my soldier boy of nine.

It means a little, broken, silent drum,

        A dusty soldier-cap of red and gold;

A little flower-strewn mound—ah me, how short!

        Where sleeps my soldier boy just nine years old.

        Watervliet, N. Y.

Troy Times. May 28, 1910

"A Memorial Day Ode" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1915)

A Memorial Day Ode.


Hark! Martial music fills the air,

        The muddled drum doth beat;

The huge procession banners bear

        Along the village street,

Into the city of the dead,

Where, in his lowly, narrow bed,

        The honored veteran-soldier sleeps;

The man who shed his blood for us,

Who went through fire and flood for us—

        For him his country weeps.

Upon his grave are garlands laid

        And posy-wreaths are strewn,

Fresh from the woodland's leafy shade

        And gardens of the town;

But, more impressive e'en than flowers

And blossoms from the orchard bowers,

        A starry ensign, planted there,

Doth wave: "What is it?" List to me:

It is the flag of victory—

        The flag "without compare!"

Around the monument they meet,

        Their praises to bequeathe;

Their panegyrics they repeat,

        The grave unknown they wreaths.

Stirred by his patriotic theme

The orator pours forth a stream

        Of heartfelt eloquence sublime!

A grateful song of praise doth rise,

Like incense-cloud into the skies,

        As it doth heavenward climb.

Their guns the Sons of Veterans fire;

        The bugler blows his "taps;"

Lo! glory's halo doth attire

        The scene that fame enwraps!

The huge procession forms again;

The band strikes up a lively strain,

        As from the graves of fame they go,

Back to the shop, the store, the farm,

To dwell in peace, without alarm—

        Awed by no outward foe!

"A Tribute For Memorial Day" by Annie M. Toohey (1922)

A Tribute For Memorial Day:

The sweetest flowers strewn to-day

        Are those that mother-hands again

Place o'er the sacred sod or spray

        Of once-deep-crimson'd battle main!

The sweetest peans chimed to-day

        Were those of comrades gathered 'round

Where fallen heroes' ashes lay

        In many a flag-covered mound.

                                ANNIE M. TOOHEY.

Troy Times. May 29, 1922: 4 col 4.

"Our Annual Tribute" by Rev. A.S. Clark (1919)

Our Annual Tribute.


Once more from nature's lavish store

        We bear choice gems of May,

And on each martial hero's grave

        A garland fair we lay

Those sons who went at duty's call

        Must not forgotten be,

Sleep they at home by hill or vale

        Or far across the sea

In days when Freedom was assailed

        By stern and hostile hand

They hurried forth like saviors true

        At Liberty's command,

Beneath those silent tents of green

        Sleep men of valor rare;

A nation's best, the pride of home—

        The brave, the good, the fair.

That flag so honored far and wide,

        Blest emblem of the right,

Floats by their service, pain and blood

        Somewhere in Freedom's fight.

As sons and daughters of the free

        Let us love's tribute pay,

And on each martial hero's grave

        Spring's brightest garland lay.

        Round Lake.

Troy Times. May 29, 1919: 7 col 1.

"1861-1918" by Annie M. Toohey (1918)


Oh, where shall we scatter our flowers to-day,

The lingering treasures of beautiful May.

That creep thro' the verdure of earth's tender breast

To garland again where our loved heroes rest?

Shall we strew them once more o'er the graves of our old,

Loyal braves whose blest ashes are crumbling in mold,

Or beside the swift waters where proudly they sank,

Long ago to gain Freedom in glorious rank?

Or shall we enwreathe them by trenches afar,

Or cast them o'er red waves—'mid many a scar—

Where pride of our nation on soil and the deep

Have sunk unto silence of hallowed sleep?

Ah, let us bestow them—aye, everywhere

The gleam of our banners a solace doth bear,

In memory sweet of the old braves and new

Who fought and yet battle for victories true.

                                ANNIE M. TOOHEY.

Troy Times. May 29, 1918

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

"Silver Brook" by Mrs. E. H. McLean (1867)

Silver Brook.

Near the residence of Mrs. H. R. McL—, Jackson, N. Y.


Gally dancing through the meadow,

        Singing sweet a silver song,

Now in sunshine, now in shadow,

        Ever hastes the brook along.

Sister to its rippling waters,

        Knowest thou what tale it tells,

As upon the wind of summer,

        Joyously its music swells?

Sings it of its youth undying

        Halcyon hours—whose golden prime

Fades not, though the years are flying,

        Fails not with the lapse of time.

Sings it of its joyous wanderings,

        When the spring in beauty wakes,

And the earth from death-like slumber,

        Into life and glory breaks?—

Sings it with such gleeful pleasure,

        Of the birth of bud and flower,

Wakens it its gayest measure,

        For sweet Nature's frolic hour?

Is there naught save joy and gladness,

        In the streamlet's gentle strain,

Does no undertone of sadness

        Mingle with a soft refrain?

Yes; it asks of days long vanished,

        Forms which visit it no more,

Bounding steps of rosy childhood

        Sporting on its pebbly shore.

Dost thou miss them, little brooklet,

        Dost thou mourn them? Nevermore—

Will the future hastening onward

        All those vanished forms restore.

O'er the bridge which spans thy bosom,

        Some have slowly, sadly passed

Gathered to the quiet church yard,

        There they calmly sleep at last.

'Mid the rush and roar of battle,

        Some have yielded up their breath,

Where the death shots gleam and rattle,

        Many a brave heart doomed to death.

Nevermore will life's sweet morning,

        To the absent ones return,

Time's swift flight—a silent warning—

        Scarcely heeding they will learn.

Yet when life's dull cares are pressing

        Wearily on heart and brain,

Sometimes like a gentle blessing

        Dreams of youth will come again.

And the brooklet and the meadow,

        Smiling 'neath the summer sky,

Fairer, then, than gleams Elysian

        Bathed in memory's light will lie.

Fare-thee-well then, little streamlet,

        Years will bring no change to thee,

Just as bright will be thy waters,

        Just as sweet thy melody.

Ripple on to meet the river,

        It will haste to meet the sea,

Buried in its depths forever,

        Both will find their destiny.

Troy Times. August 24, 1867: 4 col 1.

"May and Youth's a Heartsome Time" by Arthur E. Smith (1901)

"May and Youth's a Heartsome Time."



Close yet a little while thine eyes,

        O, pretty woodland stream!

A little longer 'neath the skies

        My crocus, sleep and dream!


Still are the winds both loud and keen

        Upon the open plain.

Beware, O, lilacs, op'ning green,

        Of frost and sleet and rain!


And dare you join, ye sylvan sprites,

        In dance and minstrelsy

In these long frosty moonlit nights

        Beneath the hawthorn tree?


How closely now your buds are rolled,

        O, bonny briar rose!

Yet smiles of May will them unfold

        And young Love lingers close!


I do not love the winter time,

        Nor yet the early spring!

My ears would hear the fountain's chime,

        And songs the throstles sing!


O, May and youth's a heartsome time!

        Young hearts, when it is day,

Go pluck the daisy in its prime

        Before it dares decay!


Be sure and do not lose your grip

        (While you are young) of Joy!

The happiness of heart and lip

        Is for the country boy!

Slateville, N. Y.

Troy Times. May 7, 1901: 4 col 6.

Monday, May 12, 2014

"My Anarchist Boarder" by Sam Walter Foss (1890)

My Anarchist Boarder.

Would I consort with anarchists,

        And mix, and drink, and dine?

Oh, yes, I board an anarchist—

        He is a chum of mine.

A ruthless enemy to law,

        This boarder that I mention,

A friend to lawless unconstraint,

        A foe to all convention.

And though I diligently try

        To keep my home in trim,

I harbor this wild anarchist

        And grow attached to him.

His incoherent creed by day

        He blusters and he babbles;

By night he howls it in our ears,

        Or garrulously gabbles.

The right to private ownership

        He strenuously denies;

He rends and tears my property

        Before my very eyes;

And in his fierce and lawless moods

        He'll pound us and belay us;

Oh, he's confusion's champion,

        A hierarch of Chaos!

There are no rights that he respects,

        No sanctity reveres;

Regards not customs, creeds nor texts,

        Experience nor years.

No laws nor constitutions bind

        This anarchist of ours,

Nor popes, nor principalities,

        Nor potencies, nor powers.

He is a hopeless radical,

        A sworn iconoclast—

No plan or purpose for to-day,

        No reverence for the past.

You ask me why I keep him, then;

        Well, I can answer, may be

Because—because he calls me "Dad!"

        And I—I call him "Baby."

                        —S. W. Foss in the Courier.

Troy Times. August 28, 1890: 6 col 1.

Fort Worth Daily Gazette. August 3, 1890: 4 col 6.

Victoria Daily Colonist. August 17, 1890: 3 col 3.

Switchmen's Journal 5(11). March, 1891. 742.

Union Pacific Employes' Magazine 6(3). April 1891. 89.

Foss, Sam Walter. Back Country Poems. Boston, MA: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1894. 76-77.

Samuel Walter Foss (1858-1911)

"What's the News?" by Jeduthan Jones (1873)

"What's the News?"


"What's the news?"—Wal, ain't you heard—

    Most o'people hear the wind;

Can't you hear that singin' bird?

    Are you deaf an' dumb an' blind?

Wal, now, neighbor, don't you hear

    What these gentle zephyrs say?

Why, they pipe it shrill an' clear—

    Spring's a-comin' up this way!

Can't you hear the crow's sweet song?

    Don't you hear the partridge drummin'?

Why, they say it, loud an' long

    An' both together, Spring's a-comin'!

Where's your never failin' sign

    That all the wealth of Summer brings?

Ain't the great sun crossed the line?—

    You don't git the drift o' things.

Spring is comin'—there's a show

    Of somethin' warmer in the sky,

Somewhat we take by faith below—

    We shall know it by an' by.

Troy Times. May 10, 1874: 4 col 1.

"The Old Churchyard" (1853)


When the urns shone on the belfry,

        O'er the sighing churchyard trees,

And the melancholy music

        Floated faintly down the breeze,

Did there flit across your spirit

        Any reveries like these?—

In the shadow of the spire,

        How the human tide waves roll—

Endless toil by endless quiet!

        And the bells more often toll

At the passing of life's sorrows

        Than the passing of the soul.

Who can tell what hope and passion

        In these churchyard spaces rest?

Swells the green grave now as gently

        As once swelled their heaving breast;

Deep as love burned in their bosom,

        Burns the sunset in the west.

Are the bells of twilight ringing

        Marriage music as of old?

Does the bride glide to the altar

        O'er the moonlight's gleam of gold?

Or is it for ghostly funerals

        That a solemn knell is tolled?

Ah, how vain our deepest longings

        To behold those spirits are!

Vain to strain our aching vision

        To the orb which shines afar;

We can only catch the outline

        And the brightness of the star.

In my heart are gravestones lying,

        That will ope their portals soon;

For the ghosts rise in that churchyard

        With the rising of the moon—

And as mournful is the music

        In December as in June.

Albany Evening Journal. December 17, 1853: 2 col 7.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

"Lines Suggested by Reading the Report of the Committee for the New Cemetery" (1842)




Tis a beautiful thought that we bury the dead,

Where the forest tree waves its green boughs overhead;

Where the lengthening dell, and the shadowy grove,

Seem made for pure spirits to mingle in love.

Where the summer-bird's song, and the murmuring rill

Are the [?] that rise over valley and hill;

Where [?] are sighing in evergreen bowers,

And hill-side and valley are fragrant with flowers.

Where the dew-drops are pure as the tears that are shed,

By the angels that weep o'er the penitent's head;

And the water that mirrors the blue arch above,

Is an emblem of Heaven's unchangeable love.

Who would that afar on some desolate spot,

A loved one should moulder alone and forgot?

Where the grass by the footprint of love is unstirred,

And the voices of kindred may never be heard.

Who would that the form which had been to his eye,

As the well in the desert, the bow in the sky,

Should sleep where the wild beast had made him his lair,

Or the night raven flaps his broad wing on the air?

The grace is the portal to regions of day,

Where the spirit may cast off its cumbering clay;

And soar all unfettered, and free as the wind;

And leave this dark world and its sorrows behind.

Then why should we shroud it in sadness and gloom?

Why plant the lone cypress, where roses should bloom?

Why must anguish and misery shadow it round;

And fear, with wild fancy and darkness, be found?

Oh no! let it bloom like the valley of rest,

That in Hebron's far land was by Abraham blest:

Where apart from the noise and the tumult of earth,

He buried the form that had gladdened his hearth.

Like the garden of Eden, so lovely it stood,

With hill-side and valley, with fountain and wood;

Where Art strove with Nature in beauty to vie,

And Earth borrowed the hues that were meant for the Sky.

Here slept the good Abraham, and oft on the sight

Of Jacob it came like a vision of light,

When an exile in Egypt be yielded to death

And sighed one fond wish with his faltering breath:

"Oh! bury me only with those dear on earth,

Who living have shared in my sorrow and mirth,

For the clods of the valley more gently shall rest,

If the hand that I love place them light on my breast."

Whence come those warm wishes that cling round the soul,

That reason, proud reason, could never controul?

From our Maker they came, and will only depart,

When the life-blood shall circle no more round the heart.

        Albany Female Academy, April 6, 1842.

Albany Argus. April 22, 1842: 1 col 7.

"Our Burial Ground" by V. V. V. (1827)


Ye frivolous, ye reckless and ye gay,

Whose only thought is how to speed time on,

To sport life's summer hours away

And take no heed of moments lost or gone.

Come to our burial ground, that dread abode,

The dark, the silent, and the gloomy house for all,

Where, while the spirit stands before its God,

The mortal part awaits his judgment call.

Look on those graves, wherein are peaceful laid

Honor and beauty, youth and worth and fame—

Look on those graves, and let your mirth be stayed—

This was their fate, and yours must be the same.

Beneath yon humble monument lies one

Whom talents, wit and fancy could not save—

His heart beat high beneath last summer's sun—

The winter snows fell coldly on his grave.

His memory still lives—his friends retain

The dear remembrance of his former worth—

Theirs was the loss, but his the lasting gain—

His spirit was too pure to stay on earth.

He rests not there alone: the young, the old

The curls of youth and the time-whitened head,

Silent repose beneath the earthy mould

That covers this still City of the Dead.

Albany, April 8th, 1827.                V. V. V.

Albany Argus. April 17, 1827: 3 col 3.

"A Plea for the Dead" by B. D. Romaine (1845)



Move not the dead—Oh! let their resting place

Be holy, and no finger touch the earth

That fell, all mingled thro' with tears, perhaps,

Upon their coffin homes. Breathe not removal,

For it wrongs the dead, but wrongs the living more.

I saw an aged man stand up, and plead

With all the moving eloquence of years—

Yet must not sell a place that to the dead

Was given; ye must not barter for a lump

Of shining gold, the last repose of friends,—

Then paused, unable to proceed; his heart

Was full of love, and burning tears coursed down

His face, as his deep eyes seemed searching out

The little spot of ground that held his friend.

A touching sight enough to draw warm tears

From every eye.

        And would you throw a pall

Of sadness over thousand hearts?—move their dead.

Throw back the gates—tear up the flowering shrubs

Planted out there by love, and wet with tears,

That bloom and spread their fragrance o'er some graves—

Cut down the grass—throw off the sod and earth,

And raise above the ground the coffined ones.

You cannot! No—for if their dust could speak

'Twould say, disturb us not, our brother dust,

But ask thyself if thou couldst calmly die,

And know thy form would be removed as oft

As fancy, avarice or pride might will?

Bear off the dead, and when some wanderer come

To cast himself and weep upon the grave

'Neath which his mother lies, he'll find it not.

He'll come to talk with her again, and there

Recall his childhood's hours, all the pure love

His mother bore him—the prayers she offered

For her darling boy; and the last embrace,

When weeping much, she bade him serve her God,

And meet her in the upper hand. But, no—

His mother is not there, her grave is gone.

None will remove our city of the dead:

Perhaps 'tis meet that it should be so near,

To tell the living where they soon must lie,

Then let it not to cold neglect be left;

Have we no wish to see its gloom removed?

To see its grounds laid out with taste, adorned

And beautified? Oh! shall the stranger come

From Eastern lands that own the Moslem's rule,

And tell us we are far behind the Turks,

Who clothe with beauty every burial spot?

We will not be behind our age; e'en now

The hand of enterprise and taste is seen,

In many winding walks, in trees and plants;

And to complete the work so well begun,

Let all united, and give a tribute thus

To our loved Dead, and to our Capital.

        ALBANY, July, 1845.

Albany Argus. September 2, 1845: 1 col 2.