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    The Marvelous Munchausen

      The snug little room with its brazier fire aglow,
      And Piet and Sachs and Vroom -- all in the long ago, --
      Oh, the very long ago! -- o'er their pipes and hollands seen;
      And on the wall the man-o'-war, and firelight on the screen!

      Their flowered, bulging waistcoats that wrinkle when they chuckle;
      The baron, much-mustachioed, and gay with star and buckle,
      And bristling in a uniform as scarlet as his cheeks,
      With choker lace beneath his chin, and splendid, yellow breeks!

      The smoke drifts blue, and bluer through that window, all abreeze,
      Are glinting sky and glistening sea beyond the Holland quays.
      Blue tiles, red bricks, the bustling wharves, with color's oriflamme;
      Starched caps and rosy-posy cheeks -- the girls of Amsterdam!

      The snug little room with its brazier fire aglow!
      Oh, listen, will he tell them, as he told them long ago, --
      Oh, very long ago, a-laughing in his sleeve! --
      The marvelous Munchausen, with the fables I believe?

      .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

      "When I had sown the Turkey beans that reachéd to the moon,
      And lifted all Westminster in the sling from my balloon
      (Swung over the Atlantic,
      They peered from windows, franctic),
      When, eagle-back, I'd scanned the pole in broad, eternal noon,

      "In Queen Mab's chariot I ventured on the sea.
      'Twas like a mammoth hazelnut, with matchless orrery
      A-sparkle on its ceiling,
      With planet systems wheeling
      And giddy comets sizzling all about the head o' me.

      "The nine bulls drew it, as stout as those of Crete,
      And all were shod with horrid skulls that clattered on their feet.
      Rich banners waved behind 'em
      While on their backs, to mind 'em,
      Postilion crickets chirruped them, all chirping loud and sweet.

      "Ghost of the Cape I warn you of, for he is bottle-blue.
      We split his Table Mountain. He gibbered and he flew.
      The bulls straight showed disfeature
      With gazing on the creature,
      Stampeding in their harness when I gave the view-halloo.

      "Though, wrecked on Egypt's obelisks, disaster I defied,
      And harnessed Sphinx, the emperor's gift, to tow an ark as wide
      As great Westminster;
      With beau and bell and spinster,
      And cleric, clerk, and coronet all tête-à-tête inside.

      "'Good folk, we sail for Africa,' said I to all my train.
      'When bold Munchausen leads you forth, what laggard dares remain
      In slippered ease, uncaring
      To share my deeds of daring?'
      Their cheers amazed my modesty, and more had made me vain.

      "'The sultan's bees I've shepherded. I've hornpiped at Marseilles,
      Where gulped me down, well nigh to drown, the liveliest of whales.
      I'm riskiest of riskers,
      But, blow my grizzled whiskers!'
      I cried, 'May jackals gnaw my bones if now Munchausen fails!'

      "By night the lions roared at us. By day the simoons came
      And swept across our caravan in sandy clouds of flame;
      But naught dismayed our temper, or
      The genial Afric emperor
      Had missed my handsome greeting, to his long-abiding shame.

      "The people of the Mountains of the Moon I wined and dined.
      I reigned at Gristariska when His Majesty declined.
      Reforms I wrought untiring,
      With Gog and Magog squiring,
      And Frosticos, my bosom friend, who lent a legal mind.

      "For last superb achievement, -- bright tears may Envy shed! --
      I built a bridge, from Africa to distant England spread.
      No edifice of fable,
      Nay, not the Tower of Babel,
      Surpassed it mammoth glory in the heavens overhead.

      "So back across its noble arch my retinue and I
      Advanced with blaring trumpets through the regions of the sky.
      Clouds lingered to enwreathe us,
      Earth's kingdoms far beneath us,
      And martial music cheered our march from all the birds that fly."

      .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

      The snug little room with its brazier fire aglow,
      And Piet and Sachs and Vroom all sleeping long ago, --
      Oh, so very long ago! -- and, chuckling in his sleeve,
      Still o'er the slumbering table,
      Drone-droning on his fable,
      The marvelous Munchausen, with the stories I believe!

      Century                                            William Rose Benét


    Train-Mates

      Outside hove Shasta, snowy height on height,
      A glory; but a negligible sight,
      For you had often seen a mountain-peak
      But not my paper. So we came to speak.
      A smoke, a smile, -- a good way to commence
      The comfortable exchange of difference! --
      You a young engineer, five feet eleven,
      Forty-five chest, with football in your heaven,
      Liking a road-bed newly built and clean,
      Your fingers hot to cut away the green
      Of brush and flowers that bring beside a track
      The kind of beauty steel lines ought to lack, --
      And I a poet, wistful of my betters,
      Reading George Meredith's high-hearted Letters,
      Joining betweenwhile in the mingled speech
      Of a drummer, circus-man, and parson, each
      Absorbing to himself -- as I to me
      And you to you -- a glad identity!
      After a while when the others went away
      A curious kinship made us want to stay,
      Which I could tell you now; but at the time
      You thought of baseball teams and I of rhyme,
      Until we found that we were college men
      And smoked more easily and smiled again;
      And I from Cambridge cried, the poet still:
      "I know your fine Greek Theatre on the hill
      At Berkeley!" With your happy Grecian head
      Upraised, "I never saw the place," you said.
      "Once I was free of class, I always went
      Out to the field."
                                Young engineer
      You meant as fair a tribute to the better part
      As ever I did. Beauty of the heart
      Is evident in temples. But it breathes
      Alive where athletes quicken airy wreaths,
      Which are the lovelier because they die.
      You are a poet quite as much as I,
      Though differences appear in what we do,
      And I an athlete quite as much as you.
      Because you half-surmised my quarter-mile
      And I your quatrain, we could greet and smile.
      Who knows but we shall look again and find
      The circus-man and drummer, not behind
      But leading in our visible estate,
      As discus-thrower and as laureate?

      Yale Review                                 Witter Bynner


    The Kallyope Yell

    [Loudly and rapidly with a leader, College yell fashion]

      I
      Proud men
      Eternally
      Go about,
      Slander me,
      Call me the "Calliope."
      Sizz . . . . .
      Fizz . . . . .

      II
      I am the Gutter Dream,
      Tune-maker, born of steam,
      Tooting joy, tooting hope.
      I am the Kallyope,
      Car called the Kallyope.
      Willy willy willy wah hoo!
      See the flags: snow-white tent,
      See the bear and elephant,
      See the monkey jump the rope,
      Listen to the Kallyope, Kallyope, Kallyope!
      Soul of the rhinoceros
      And the hippopotamus
      (Listen to the lion roar!)
      Jaguar, cockatoot,
      Loons, owls,
      Hoot, Hoot.
      Listen to the lion roar,
      Listen to the lion roar,
      Listen to the lion R-O-A-R!
      Hear the leopard cry for gore,
      Willy willy willy wah hoo!
      Hail the bloody Indian band,
      Hail, all hail the popcorn stand,
      Hail to Barnum's picture there,
      People's idol everywhere,
      Whoop, whoop, whoop, whoop!
      Music of the mob am I,
      Circus day's tremendous cry: --
      I am the Kallyope, Kallyope, Kallyope!
      Hoot toot, hoot toot, hoot toot, hoot toot,
      Willy willy willy wah hoo!
      Sizz, fixx . . . . .

      III
      Born of mobs, born of steam,
      Listen to my golden dream,
      Listen to my golden dream,
      Listen to my G-O-L-D-E-N D-R-E-A-M!
      Whoop whoop whoop whoop >b?whoop!
      I will blow the proud folk low,
      Humanize the dour and slow,
      I will shake the proud folk down,
      (Listen to the lion roar!)
      Popcorn crowds shall rule the town --
      Willy willy willy wah hoo!
      Steam shall work melodiously,
      Brotherhood increase.
      You'll see the world and all it holds
      For fifty cents apiece.
      Willy willy willy wah hoo!
      Every day a circus day.

      What?

      Well, almost every day.
      Nevermore the sweater's den,
      Nevermore the prison pen.
      Gone the war on land and sea
      That aforetime troubled men.
      Nations all in amity,
      Happy in their plumes arrayed
      In the long bright street parade.
      Bands a-playing every day.

      What?

      Well, almost every day.
      I am the Kallyope, Kallyope, Kallyope!
      Willy willy willy wah hoo!
      Hoot, toot, hoot, toot,
      Whoop whoop whoop whoop,
      Willy willy willy wah hoo!
      Sizz, fizz . . . . .

      IV
      Every soul
      Resident
      In the earth's one circus tent!
      Every man a trapeze king
      Then a pleased spectator there.
      On the benches! In the ring!
      While the neighbours gawk and stare
      And the cheering rolls along.
      Almost every day a race
      When the merry starting gong
      Rings, each chariot on the line,
      Every driver fit and fine
      With the steel-spring Roman grace.
      Almost every day a dream,
      Almost every day a dream.
      Every girl,
      Maid or wife,
      Wild with music,
      Eyes a-gleam
      With that marvel called desire:
      Actress, princess, fit for life,
      Armed with honor like a knife,
      Jumping thro' the hoops of fire.
      (Listen to the lion roar!)
      Making all the children shout
      Clowns shall tumble all about,
      Painted high and full of song
      While the cheering rolls along,
      Tho' they scream,
      Tho' they rage,
      Every beast
      In his cage,
      Every beast
      In his den
      That aforetime troubled men.

      V
      I am the Kallyope, Kallyope, Kallyope,
      Tooting hope, tooting hope, tooting hope, tooting hope;
      Shaking window-pane and door
      With a crashing cosmic tune,
      With the war-cry of the spheres,
      Rhythm of the roar of noon,
      Rhythm of Niagara's roar,
      Voicing planet, star and moon,
      Shrieking of the better years.
      Prophet-singers will arise,
      Prophets coming after me,
      Sing my song in softer guise
      With more delicate surprise;
      I am but the pioneer
      Voice of the Democracy;
      I am the gutter-dream,
      I am the golden dream,
      Singing science, singing steam.
      I will blow the proud folk down,
      (Listen to the lion roar!)
      I am the Kallyope, Kallyope, Kallyope,
      Tooting hope, tooting hope, tooting hope, tooting hope,
      Willy willy willy wah hoo!
      Hoot toot, hoot toot, hoot toot, hoot toot,
      Whoop whoop, whoop whoop,
      Whoop whoop, whoop whoop,
      Willy willy willy wah hoo!
      Sizz . . . . .
      Fizz . . . . .

      The Forum            Nicholas Vachel Lindsay


    Thanksgiving for Our Task

      The sickle is dulled of the reaping and the threshing-floor is bare;
      The dust of night's in the air;
      The peace of the weary is ours:
      All day we have taken the fruit and the grain and the seeds of the flowers.

      The ev'ning is chill,
      It is good now to gather in peace by the flames of the fire.
      We have done now the deed that we did for your need and desire:
      We have wrought our will.

      And now for the boon of abundance and golden increase,
      And immurèd peace,
      Shall we thank our God?
      Bethink us, amid His indulgence, His terrible rod?

      Shall we be as the maple and oak,
      Strew the earth with our gold, giving only bare boughs to the sky?
      Nay, the pine stayeth green while the Winter growls sullenly by,
      And doth not revoke

      For soft days or stern days the pledge of its constancy.
      Shall we not be
      Also the same through all days,
      Giving thanks when the batle breaks on us, in toil giving praise?

      O Father who saw at the dawn,
      That the folly of Pride would be the lush weed of our sin,
      There is better than that in our hearts, O enter therein,
      A light burneth, though wan

      And weak be the flame, yet it floweth, our Humilty!
      Ah, how can it be
      Trimmed o' the wick,
      And replenished with oil to burn brightly and golden and quick?

      For deep in our hearts
      We wish to be thankful through lean years and fat without change,
      Knowing that here Thou hast set for the spirit a range:
      We would play well our parts,

      Making American throb with the building of souls and the glory of good;
      Yea, and we would,
      And before the last Autumn we will
      Build a temple from ocean to ocean where deeds never still

      Melodiously shall proclaim
      Thanksgiving forever that Thou hast set here to our hand
      So wondrous a mystical harvest, that Thou dost demand
      Sheaves bound in Thy name,

      Yea, supersubstantial sheaves of strong souls that have grown
      Fain to be known
      As the corn of Thine occident field:
      O Yielder of All, can Amierca worthily thank Thee till such be her yield?

      In the mellowing light
      Of the goldenest days that precede the gray days of the year,
      We sing Thee our harvesting song and we pray Thee to hear,
      In the mist of Thy might:

      Labor is given to us,
           Let us give thanks,
      Power worketh through us,
           Let us give thanks!
      Not for what we have
      (So might speak a slave),
      Not for the garnering,
      Gratefully we sing,
      But for the mighty thing
      We must do, travailing!
      For our task and for our strength;
      For the journey and its length;
      For our dauntless eagerness;
      For our humbling weariness;
      For these, for these, O Father,
           Let us give thanks!
      For these, O Mighty Father,
           Take Thou our thanks!

      The Forum                                                                   Shaemas OSheel


    A Likeness

    Portrait Bust of an Unknown, Capitol, Rome

      In every line a supple beauty --
      The restless head a little bent --
      Disgust of pleasure, scorn of duty,
      The unseeing eyes of discontent.
      I often come to sit beside him,
      This youth who passed and left no trace
      Of good or ill that did betide him,
      Save the disdain upon his face.

      The hope of all his House, the brother
      Adored, the golden-hearted son,
      Whom Fortune pampered like a mother;
      And then, -- a shadow on the sun.
      Whether he followed Cæsar's trumpet,
      Or chanced the riskier game at home
      To find how favor played the stumpet
      In fickle politics at Rome;

      Whether he dreamed a dream in Asia
      He never could forget by day,
      Or gave his youth to some Aspasia,
      Or gamed his heritage away;
      Once lost, across the Empire's border
      This man would seek his peace in vain;
      His look arraigns a social order
      Somehow entrammelled with his pain.

      "The dice of gods are always loaded";
      One gambler, arrogant as they,
      Fierce, and by fierce injustice goaded,
      Left both his hazard and the play.
      Incapable of compromises,
      Unable to forgive or spare,
      The strange awarding of the prizes
      He had not fortitude to bear.

      Tricked by the forms of things material --
      The solid-seeming arch and stone,
      The noise of war, the pomp imperial,
      The heights and depths about a throne --
      He missed, among the shapes diurnal,
      The old, deep-travelled road from pain,
      The thoughts of men which are eternal,
      In which, eternal, men remain.

      Ritratto d'ignoto; defying
      Things unsubstantial as a dream --
      An Empire, long in ashes lying --
      His face still set against the stream.
      Yes, so he looked, that gifted brother
      I loved, who passed and left no trace,
      Not even -- luckier than this other --
      His sorrow in a marble face.

      Scribner's                      Willa Sibert Cather


    The Field of Glory

      War shook the land where Levi dwelt,
      And fired the dismal wrath he felt,
      That such a doom was ever wrought
      As his, to toil while others fought;
      To toil, to dream -- and still to dream,
      With one day barren as another;
      To consummate, as it would seem
      The dry despair of his old mother.

      Far off one afternoon began
      The sound of man destroying man;
      And Levi. sick with nameless rage,
      Condemned again his heritage,
      And sighed for scars that might have come,
      And would, if once he could have sundered
      Those harsh, inhering claims of home
      That held him while he cursed and wondered.

      Another day, and then there came,
      Rough, bloody, ribald, hungry, lame,
      But yet themselves, to Levi's door,
      Two remnants of the day before.
      They laughed at him and what he sought;
      They jeered him, and his painful acre;
      But Levi knew that they had fought,
      And left their manners to their Maker.

      That night, for the grim widow's ears,
      With hopes that hid themselves in fears,
      He told of arms, and featly deeds,
      Whereat one leaps the while he reads,
      And said he'd be no more a clown,
      While others drew the breath of battle.
      The mother looked him up and down,
      And laughed -- a scant laught with a rattle.

      She told him what she found to tell,
      And Levi listened, and heard well
      Some admonitions of a voice
      That left him no cause to rejoice.
      He sought a friend, and found the stars,
      And prayed aloud that they should aid him;
      But they said not a word of wars,
      Or of reason why God made him.

      And who's of this or that estate
      We do not wholly calculate,
      When baffling shades that shift and cling
      Are not without their glimmering;
      When even Levi, tired of faith,
      Beloved of none, forgot by many,
      Dismissed as an inferior wraith,
      Reborn may be as great as any.

      The Outlook        Edward Arlington Robinson


    Rich Man, Poor Man --

      Oh, joy that burns in Denver tavern!
      The lights, the drink, the ceaseless play!
      A kingdom, dull within a cavern,
      Across the boards he flings away.

      Then night that falls on either mountain
      (Ah, bitter black it falls between);
      But he, like water to its fountain,
      Is come again where life runs clean.

      So Death shall find him, delving, peering.
      Still silver rock, still golden sand.
      He weeps to hear the magpies' jeering,
      But he is back in his own land.

      Lippincott's                       Francis Hill


    The Sin Eater

          I
      Hark ye! Hush ye! Margot's dead!
      Hush! Have done wi' your brawling tune!
      Danced she did, till the stars grew pale;
      Mother o' God, an' she's gone at noon!
      Sh-h . . . d'ye hear me? -- Margot's dead!
      Sickened an' drooped an' died in an hour!
      (Bring me th' milk an' th' meat an' bread.)
      Drooped, she did, like a wilted flower.
      Come an' look at her, how she lies,
      Little an' lone, and like she's scared . . . .
      (She lost her beads last Friday week,
      Tore her Book, an' she never cared.) . . .
      Eh, my lass, but it's winter, now --
      You that ever was meant for June,
      Your laughing mouth an' your dancing feet --
      An' now you're done, like an ended tune.
      Where's that woman? Ah, give it me quick,
      Food at her head an' her poor, still feet. . . .
      There's plenty, fool! D'ye think the wench
      Had so many sins for himself to eat?
      Take up your cloak an' hand me mine. . . .
      Are we fetchin' him? Eh, for sure!
      An' you'll come with me for all your quakes,
      Clear to his cave across the moor!
      -- Margot, dearie, don't look so scared,
      It's no long while till your peace begins!
      What if you tore your Book, poor lamb?
      I'm bringin' you one will eat your sins!

          II
      It's a blood-red sun that's sinkin'. . . .
      Ohooo, but the marshland's drear!
      Woman, for why will you be shrinkin'?
      I'm tellin' you there's nought to fear.
      What if the twilight's gloomish
      An' th' shadows creep an' crawl?
      Woman, woman, here'll be th' cave!
      Stand by me close till I call!
          "Sin Eater! Devil Cheater!"
          (Eh, it echoes hollowly!)
      "Margot's dead at Willow Farm!
      Shroud your face and follow me!"

          III
      One o' th' clock . . . two o' th' clock. . . .
      This night's a week in span!
      Still he crouches by her side. . . .
      Devil . . . ghost . . . or man? . . .

          IV
      Woman, never cock's crow sounded sweet before!
      Set the casement wide ajar, fasten back the door!
      Eh, but I be cold an' stiff, waiting for th' dawn;
      Fetch me flowers -- jessamine -- see, the food is gone. . . .
      Light enough to see her now. . . . Mary! How her face
      Shines on us like altar fires, now she's sure o' grace!
      Never mind your Book, my lamb, never mind your beads,
      There's th' Gleam before you now, follow where it leads.

          V
      Tearful peace and gentle grief
      Brood on Willow Farm:
      Margot, sleeping in her flowers,
      Smiles, secure from harm:
      In a cave across the moor,
      Dank and dark within,
      Moans the trafficker in souls,
      Freshly bowed with sin.

      Smart Set                       Ruth Comfort Mitchell


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