SOMETHING ELSE AGAIN|
FRANKLIN P. ADAMS
(March 4, 1913)
- THINE aid, O Muse, I consciously beseech;
- I crave thy succour, ask for thine assistance
- That men may cry: "Some little ode! A peach!"
- O Muse, grant me the strength to go the distance!
- For odes, I learn, are dithyrambs, and long;
- Exalted feeling, dignity of theme
- And complicated structure guide the song.
- (All this from Webster's book of high esteem.)
- Let complicated structures not becloud
- My lucid lines, nor weight with overloading.
- To Shelley, Keats, and Wordsworth and that crowd
- I yield the bays for grand and lofty oding.
- Mine but the task to trace a country's growth,
- As evidenced by each innauguration
- From Washington's to Wilson's primal oath--
- In these U.S., the celebrated nation.
- But stay! or ever that I start to sing,
- Or e'er I loose my fine poetic forces,
- I ought, I think, to do the decent thing,
- Ti Wit: give credit to my many sources:
- Barnes's "Brief History of the U.S.A.,"
- Bryce, Ridpath, Scudder, Fiske, J.B. McMaster,
- A book of odes, a Webster, a Roget--
- The bibliography of this poetaster.
- Flow, flow, my pen, as gently as sweet Afton ever flowed!
- An thou dost ill, shall this be a poor thing, but mine ode.
- G.W., initial prex,
- Right down in Wall Street, New York City,
- Took his first oath. Oh, multiplex
- The whimsies quaint, the comments witty
- One might evolve from that! I scorn
- To mock the spot where he was sworn.
- On next Inauguration Day
- He took the avouchment sempiternal
- Way down in Phil-a-delph-i-a,
- Where rises now the L.H. Journal.
- His farewell speech in '96
- Said: "'Ware the Trusts and all their tricks!"
- John Adams fell on darksome days:
- March fourth was blustery and sleety;
- The French behaved in horrid ways
- Until John Jay drew up a treaty.
- Came the Eleventh Amendment, too,
- Providing that--but why tell you?
- T. Jefferson, one history showed,
- Held all display was vain and idle;
- Alone, unpanoplied he rode;
- Alone he hitched his horse's bridle.
- No ball that night, no carouse,
- But back to Conrad's boarding house.
- He tied that bridle to the fence
- The morning of inauguration;
- John Davis saw him do it; whence
- Arose his "simple" reputation.
- The White House, though, with Thomas J.,
- Had chefs--and parties every day.
- THE MUSE INTERRUPTS THE ODIST
- If I were you I think I'd change my medium;
- I'm weary of your meter and your style.
- The sameness of it sickens me to tedium;
- I'll quit unless you switch it for a while.
- THE ODIST REPLIES
- I bow to thee, my Muse, most eloquent of pleaders;
- But why embarras me in front of all these readers?
- Madison's inauguration
- Was a lovely celebration.
- In a suit of wool domestic
- Rode he, stately and majestic,
- Making it be manifest
- Clothes American are best.
- This has thundered through the ages.
- (See our advertising pages.)
- Lightly I pass along, and so
- Come to the terms of James Monroe
- Who framed the doctrine far too well
- Known for the odist to retell.
- His period of friendly dealing
- Began The Era of Good Feeling.
- John Quincy Adams followed him in Eighteen Twenty-Four;
- Election was exciting--the details I shall ignore.
- But his inauguration as our country's President
- Was, take it from McMaster, some considerable event.
- It was a brilliant function, and I think I ought to add
- The Philadelphia "ledger" said a gorgeous time was had.
- Old Andrew Jackson's pair of terms were terribly exciting;
- That stern, intrepid warrior had little else than fighting.
- A time of strife and turbulence, of politics and flurry.
- But deadly dull for poem themes, so, Mawruss, I should worry!
- In Washington did Martin Van
- A stately custom then decree;
- Old Hickory, the vetran,
- Must ride with him, the people's man,
- For all the world to see.
- A pleasant custom, in a way,
- And yet I should have laughed
- To see the Sage of Oyster Bay
- On Tuesday ride with Taft.
- (Pardon me this
- Parenthetical halt:
- That sight you'll miss,
- But it isn't my fault.)
- William Henry Harrison came
- Riding a horse of alabaster,
- But the weather that day was a sin and a shame,
- Take it from me and John McMaster.
- Only a month--and Harrison died,
- And V.P. Tyler began preside.
- A far from popular prex was he,
- And the next one was Polk from Tennessee.
- There were two inaugural balls for him
- But the rest of his record is rather dim.
- Had I the pen of a Pope or a Thackeray,
- Had I the wisdom of Hegel or Kant,
- Then might I sing as I'd like to of Zachary,
- Then might I sing a Taylorian chant.
- Oh, for the lyrical art of a Tennyson!
- Oh, for the skill of Macaulay or Burke!
- None of these mine; so I give him my benison,
- Turning reluctantly back to my work.
- O Millard Fillmore! when a man refers
- To thee, what direful, awful thing occurs?
- Though in name itself thy name have nought of wit,
- Yet--and this doth confound me to admit
- When I do hear it, I do smile; nay, more--
- I laugh, I scream, I cachinnate, I roar
- As Wearied Business Men do shake with glee
- At mimes that say "Dubuque" or "Kankakee";
- As basement-brows that laugh at New Rochelle;
- As lackwits laugh when actors mention Hell.
- Perhaps--it may be so--I am not sure--
- Perhaps it is that thou wast so obscure,
- And that one seldom hears a single word of thee;
- I know a lot of girls that never heard of thee.
- Hence did I smile, perhaps. . . . How very near
- The careless laughing to the thoughtful tear!
- O Fillmore, let me sheathe my mocking pen.
- God rest thee! I'll not laugh at thee again!
- I heard it remarked that to Pierce's election
- There wasn't a soul had the slightest objection.
- I have also been told, by some caustical wit,
- That no one said 'nay' when he wanted to quit.
- Yet Franklin Pierce, forgotten man,
- I celebrate your fame.
- I'm doing just the best I can
- To keep alive your name,
- Though as President, F.P.,
- You didn't do as much for me.
- Of James Buchanan things a score
- I might recite. I'll say that he was
- The only White House bachelor--
- The only one, that's what J.B. was.
- For he was a bachelor--
- For he might have been a bigamist,
- A Mormon, A polygamist,
- And had thirty wives or more;
- But this be his memorial:
- He was ever unuxorial,
- And he remained a bachelor--
- He re-mai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ained a bachelor .
- Lincoln! I falter, feeling it to be
- As if all words of mine in praise of him
- Were as the veriest dolt that saw the sun;
- And God had spoken him and said to him:
- "I bid you tell me what you think of it."
- And he should answer: "Oh, the sun is very nice."
- So sadly fitted I to speak in praise
- Of Lincoln.
- Now during Andrew Johnson's term the currency grew stable;
- We bought Alaska and we laid the great Atlantic cable;
- And then there came eight years of Grant; thereafter four of Hayes;
- And in his time the parties fell on fierce and parlous days;
- And Garfield came, and Arthur too, And Congress shoes were worn,
- And Brooklyn Bridge was built and I, your gifted bard, was born.
- Cleveland and Harrison came along then;
- Followed an era of Cleveland again.
- Came then McKinley and--light me a pipe--
- Hey there, composing room, get some new type!
- I sing him now as I shall sing him again;
- I sing him now as I have sung before.
- How fluently his name comes off my pen!
- O Theodore!
- Bless you and keep you, T.R.!
- Energy tireless,eternal,
- Fixed and particular star,
- Theodore, Teddy, the Colonel.
- Energy tireless, eternal;
- Hater of grafters and crooks!
- Theodore, Teddy, the Colonel,
- Writer and lover of books.
- Hater of grafters and crooks,
- Forceful, adroit, and expressive,
- Writer and lover of books,
- Nevertheless a progressive.
- Forceful, adroit, and expressive,
- Often asserting the trite;
- Nevertheless a progressive;
- Errant, but generally right.
- Often asserting the trite;
- Stubborn, and no one can force you.
- Errant, but generally right--
- Yet, on the whole, I indorse you.
- Stubborn, and no one can force you,
- Fixed and particular star,
- Yet, on the whole, I indorse you,
- Bless you and keep you T.R.!
- It blew, it rained, it snowed, it stormed, it froze, it hailed, it sleeted
- The day that William Howard Taft upon the chair was seated.
- The four long years that followed--ah, that I should make a rhyme of it!
- For Mr. taft assures me that he had an awful time of it.
- And yet meseems he did his best; and as we bid good-bye,
- I'll add he did a better job than you'd have done--or I.
- Welcome to thee! I shake thy hand,
- New prexy of our well-known land.
- May what we merit, and no less,
- Descend to give us happiness!
- May what we merit, and no more,
- Descend on us in measured store!
- Give us but peace when we shall earn
- The right to such a rich return!
- Give us but plenty when we show
- That we deserve to have it so!
- Mine ode is finished! Tut! It is a slight one,
- But blame me not; I do as I am bid.
- The editors of COLLIER'S said to write one,
- And I did.
SOUL BRIDE ODDLY DEAD IN QUEER DEATH PACT
High-Born Kinsman Abducts
Girl from Poet-Lover--Flu
Said to Be Cause of Death--
Grand Jury to Probe
Annabel L. Poe of 1834½ 3rd Ave., the beautiful young fiancee of Edmund Allyn Poe, a magazine writer from the South, was found dead early this morning on the beach off E. 8th Street.
Poe seemed prostrated and, questioned by the police, said that one of her aristocratic relatives had taken her to the "seashore," but that the cold winds had given her "flu," from which she never "rallied."
Detectives at work on the case believe, they say, that there was a suicide compact between the Poes and that Poe also intended to do away with himself.
He refused to leave the spot where the woman's body had been found.
GIRL, HUMAN BELL-CLAPPER, SAVES DOOMED LOVER'S LIFE|
BRAVE ACT OF "BESSIE" SMITH HALTS CURFEW FROM RINGING AND MELTS CROMWELL'S HEART
(By Cable to The Courier)
HUDDERSFIELD, KENT, ENGLAND.--Jan, 15.-- Swinging far out above the city, "Bessie" Smith, the young and beautiful fiancée of Basil Underwood, a prisoner incarcerated in the town jail, saved his life to-night.
The woman went to "Jack" Hemingway, sexton of the First M.E. Church, and asked him to refrain from ringing the curfew bell last night, as Underwood's execution had been set for the hour when the bell was to ring. Hemingway refused, alleging it to be his duty to ring the bell.
With a quick step Miss Smith bounded forward, sprang within the old church door, left the old man threading slowly paths which previously he had trodden, and mounted to the tower. Climbing the dusty ladder in the dark, she is said to have whispered:
"Curfew is not to ring this evening."
Seizing the heavy tongue of the bell, as it was about to move, she swung far out suspended in mid-air, oscillating, this preventing the bell from ringing. Hemingway's deafness prevented him from hearing the bell ring, but as he had been deaf for 29 years, he attributed no importance to the silence.
As Miss Smith descended, she met Oliver Cromwell, the well-known lord protector, who had condemned Underwood to his death. Hearing her story and noting her hands bruised and torn, he said in part: "Go, your lover lives. Curfew shall not ring this evening."
TOT'S FEW WORDS KEEP 117 SOULS FROM PANIC
Babe's Query to Parent Saves Storm-Flayed Ship's Passengers Crowded in Cabin
FEARFUL THING IN WINTER
BOSTON, MASS, Jan. 17--Cheered by the faith of little "Jennie" Carpenter, the 7-year-old daughter of Capt. B.L. Carpenter, of a steamer whose name could not be learned, 117 passengers were brought through panic early this morning while the storm was at its height, to shore.
George H. Nebich, one of the passengers, told the following story to a COURIER reporter:
"About midnight we were crowded in the cabin, afraid to sleep on account of the storm. All were praying, as Capt. Carpenter, staggering down the stairs, cried 'We are lost!' It was then that little 'Jennie,' his daughter, took him by his hand and asked him whether he did not believe in divine omnipresence. All the passengers kissed the little 'girlie' whose faith had so inspirited us."
The steamer, it was said at the office of the company owning her, would leave as usual to-night for Portland.
AH SIN, FAMED TONG MAN, BESTS BARD AT CARD TILT|
"Celestial" Gambler, Feigning Ignorance of Euchre, Tricks Francis Bret Hart and "Bill" Nye into Heavy Losses---Solons to Probe Ochre Peril
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 3.--Francis B. Harte and E.W. Nye, a pair of local magazine writers, lost what is believed to be a large sum of money in a game of euchre played near the Bar-M Mine this afternoon.
There had been, Harte alleged, a three-handed game of euchre participated in by Nye, a Chinaman named Ah Sin and himself. The Chinaman, Harte asserted, did not understand the game, but, Harte declared, smiled as he sat by the table with what Harte termed a "smile that was childlike and bland."
Harte said that his feelings were hurt by the chicanery of Nye, but that the hands held by Ah Sin were unusual. Nye, maddened by the Chinaman's trickery, rushed at him, 24 packs of cards spilling from the tong-man's long sleeves. On his taper nails was found some wax.
The "Mongolian," Harte said, is peculiar.
Harte and Nye are thought to have lost a vast sum of money, as they are wealthy authors.
The legislature, it is said, will investigate the question of the menace to American card-players by the so-called Yellow peril.
DOG FINDS LAD DEAD IN DRIFT
Unidentified Body of Young Traveller Found by Faithful Hound Near Small Alpine Village--White Mantle His Snowy Shroud
ST. BERNARD, Sept. 12.--Early this morning a dog belonging to the St. Bernard Monastery discovered the body of a young man, half-buried in the snow.
In his hand was clutched a flag with the word "Excelsior" printed on it.
It is thought that he passed through the village last night, bearing the banner, and that a young woman had offered him shelter, which he refused, having answered "Excelsior."
The police are working on the case.
PILGRIM DADS LAND ON MASS. COAST TOWN
Intrepid Band of Britons, Seeking Faith's Pure Shrine, Reach Rock-Bound Coast, Singing Amid Storm
PROVINCETOWN, MASS, Dec. 21--Poking her nose through the fog, the ship Mayflower, of Southampton, Jones, Master, limped into port to-night.
On board were men with hoary hair and women with fearless eyes, 109 in all.
Asked why they had made the journey, they alleged that religious freedom was the goal they sought here.
The Mayflower carried a cargo of antique furniture.
Among those on board were William Bradford, M. Standish, Jno. Alden, Peregrine White, John Carver and others.
Steps are being taken to organize a socirty of Mayflower Descendants.
KINLESS YOUNG WOMAN, WEARY, TAKES OWN LIFE
Body of Girl Found in River Tells Pitiful Story of Homelessness and Lack of Charity
LONDON, March 16th.--The body of a young woman, her garments clinging like cerements, was found in the river late this afternoon.
In the entire city she had no home. There are, according to police, no relatives.
The woman was young and slender and had auburn hair.
No cause has been assigned for the act.
- OH, some may sing of the surging sea, or chant
- of the raging main;
- Or tell of the taffrail blown away by the raging
- With an oh, of the feel of the salt sea spray as
- it stippls the guffy's cheek!
- And oh, for the sob of the creaking mast and the
- halyard's aching squeak!
- And some may sing of the galley-foist, and some of
- the quadrireme,
- And some of the day when the xebec came and hit us
- abaft the beam.
- Oh, some may sing of the girl in Kew that died for
- a sailor's love,
- And some may sing of the surging sea, as I may have
- observed above.
- Oh, some may long for the Open Road, or crave for
- the prairie breeze,
- And some, o'er sick of the city's strain, may yearn
- for the whispering trees.
- With an oh, for the rain to cool my face, and the
- wind to blow my hair!
- And oh, for the trail to Joyous Garde, where I may
- find my fair!
- And some may love to lie in the field in the stark
- and silent night,
- The glistening dew for a coverlet and the moon and
- stars for light.
- Let others sing of the soughing pines and the winds
- that rustle and roar,
- And others long for the Open Roadm as I may have
- remarked before.
- Ay, some may sing of the bursting bomb and the
- screech of a screaming shell,
- Or tell the tale of the cruel trench on the other
- side of hell.
- And some may talk of the ten mile hike in the dead
- of a winter night,
- And others chaunt of the doughtie Kyng with mickle
- valour dight.
- And some may long for the song of a child and the
- lullaby's fairy charm,
- And others yearn for the crack of the bat and the
- wind of the pitcher's arm.
- Oh, some have longed for this and that, and others
- have craved and yearned;
- And they all may sing of whatever they like, as far
- as I'm concerned.
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