The whole story of life has been compressed into this dainty little poem
by Jean Ingelow:
Sweet is childhood - childhood's over,
Kiss and part.
Sweet is youth; but youth's a rover
So's my heart.
Sweet is rest; but all my showing
Toll is nigh.
We must go. Alas! the going -
- New North-West, Deer Lodge, Montana Terr., Sept 22, 1876.
WE COME AND GO.
If you or I
To-day should die,
The birds would sing as sweet to-morrow,
The vernal spring
Her flowers would bring
And few would think of us with sorrow.
Yes, he is dead
Would then be said:
The corn would floss, the grass yield hay,
The cattle low,
The Summer go,
And few would heed us pass away.
How soon we pass!
How few, alas!
Remember those who turn to mold!
Whose faces fade
With autumn's shade
Beneath the sodded church-yard cold.
Yet, it is so -
We come and go -
They hail our birth, they mourn us dead;
A day or more
The winter o'er
Another takes our place instead.
- Daily British Colonist, Victoria, B. C., Mar 29, 1876.
Wrong Side Up.
Promise me something ever so nice,
When your ship comes in, said she.
I would promise a dozen things in a trice,
Oh, little lass on my knee!
But ships of mine for many a year
Have been worse than an empty cup;
And the next to arrive, like the rest, I fear,
Will be washed in bottom up.
- The Coos Bay News, Marshfield, Ore., June 15, 1887.
THE GAME OF CHESS.
[The following extracts from a poem of Sir William Jones, entitled "Caissa,"
will be interesting to Chessplayers, and may afford some entertainment even
to those, who are unacquainted with that game. They form but a small part
of the poem, which contains besides an allegorical history of the origin
of the game, ascribing it to Mars, and several ingenious descriptive passages,
which our limits compel us to omit. The author informs us, that the first
idea of the piece was taken from a Latin poem of Vida, entitled Schaccia
Ludus, which was translated into Italian by Marino, and inserted in the
fifteenth canto of his Adonis.
A band of "youths and damsels" are asembled in a fragrant bower,
near the banks of a cool stream.-Two of the nymths, Delia and Serena, propose
a game at Chess. Daphnis, who taught them to play, is also present, and
approving the proposal,
"He rose, and on the cedar table plac'd
A polish'd board, with differing colors grac'd;
Squares eight times eight in equal order lie,
These bright as snow, those dark with sable dye;
Like the broad target by the tortoise born,
Or like the hide by spotted panthers worn.
Then from a chest, with harmless heroes stor'd,
O'er the smooth plain two well-wrought hosts he pour'd;
The champions burn'd their rivals to assail,
Twice eight in black, twice eight in milkwhite mail;
In shape and station different, as in name,
Their motions various, nor their pow'rs the same.
Say, Muse! (for Jove has nought from thee conceal'd)
Who form'd the legions on the level field?
High in the midst the reverend kings appear,
And o'er the rest their pearly sceptres rear;
One solemn step, majestically slow,
They gravely move, and shun the dangerous foe;
If e'er they call, the watchful subjects spring,
And die with rapture, if they save their king;
On him the glory of the day depends,
He once imprison'd all the conflict ends.
The queens exulting near their consorts stand;
Each bears a deadly falchion in her hand;
Now here, now there, they bound with furious pride,
And thin the trembling ranks from side to side;(a)
Swift as Camilla flying o'er the main,
Or lightly skimming o'er the dewy plain;
Fierce as they seem, some bold plebeian spear
May pierce their shield, or stop their full career.
The valiant guards,(b) their minds on havoc bent,
Fill the next squares, and watch the royal tent;
Tho' weak their spears, tho' dwarfish be their height,
Compact they move, the bulwark of the fight.
To right and left, the martial wings display
Their shining arms, and stand in close array.
Behold four archers,(c) eager to advance,
Send the light reed, and rush with sidelong glance;
Through angles ever they assault the foes,
True to the color, which at first they chose.
Then four bold knights, for courage fam'd and speed,
Each knight exalted on a prancing steed;
Their arching course no vulgar limit knows,
Transverse they leap, and aim insidious blows;
No friends, nor foes, their rapid force restrain,
By one quick bound two changing squares they gain;
Form varying hues renew the fierce attack,
And rush from black to white, from white to black.
Four solemn elephants(d) the sides defend;
Beneath the load of ponderous towers they bend;
In one unalter'd line they tempt the fight;
Now crush the left, and now o'erwhelm the right.
Bright in the front the dauntless soldiers(e) raise
Their polish'd spears; their steely helmets blaze,
Prepar'd they stand the daring foe to strike,
Direct their progress, but their wounds oblique."
"Who first, O Muse, began the bold attack;
The white refulgent, or the mournful black?
Fair Delia first, as favouring lots ordain,
Moves her pale legions tow'rd the sable train;
From thought to thought her lively fancy flies,
Whilst o'er the board she darts her sparkling eyes.
At length the warrior(f) moves with haughty strides,
Who from the plain the snowy king divides;
With equal haste his swarthy rival bounds;
His quiver rattles, and his buckler sounds;
Ah! hapless youths, with fatal warmth you burn;
Laws ever fix'd forbid you to return,
Then from the wing a short-liv'd spearman(g) flies,
Unsafely bold, and see, he dies, he dies;
The dark-brow'd hero with one vengeful blow
Of life and place deprives his ivory foe.
Now rush both armies o'er the burnished field,
Hurl the swift dart, and rend the bursting shield.
Here furious knights on fiery courses prance,
Here archers spring, and lofty towers advance,
But see the white-rob'd Amazon beholds
Where the dark host its opening van unfolds;
Soon as her eye discerns the hostile maid,
By ebon shield, and ebon helm betray'd
Seven squares she passes, with majestic mien,
And stands triumphant o'er the falling queen.
Perplex'd and sorrowing at his consorts fate,
The monarch burn'd with rage, despair and hate;
Swift from his zone th' avenging blade he drew,
And mad with ire, the proud virago slew.
Meanwhile sweet-smiling Delia's wary king
Retir'd(h) from fight behind his circling wing.
Long time the war in equal balance hung,
Till unforeseen an ivory courser sprung,
And, wildly prancing in an evil hour,
Attack'd at once the monarch, and the tower;
Serena blushed, for as the rules requir'd,
Her injured sovereign to his tent retir'd;
Whilst her lost castle leaves his threatening height,
And adds new glory to th' exulting knight."
* * * * *
[We have not room to inset the other operations of the game. The promotion
of a pawn to queen, and the giving of check-mate are thus happily described:]
[Note: This was a notice from the newspaper's editor, not from me. - JL]
"Th' invader wav'd his silver lance in air,
And flew like lightning to the fatal square;
His limbs dilated in a moment grew
To stately height, and widen'd to the view;
More fierce his look, more lien-like his mien,
Sublime he mov'd, and seem'd a warrior queen.
* * * * *
The sword, which arm'd the snow-white maid before,
He now assumes, and hurls the spear no more;
Then springs indignant on the dark-rob'd band,
And knights and archers feel his deadly hand.
Now flies the monarch of the sable shield,
His legions vanquish'd, o'er the lonely field;
So when the morn, by rosy coursers drawn,
With pearls and rubies sows the verdant lawn,
Whilst each pale star from heav'ns blue vault retires,
Still Venus gleams, and last of all expires.
He hears, where'er he moves, the dreadful sound;
No place remains; he sees the certain fate,
And yields his throne to ruin, and Checkmate."
(a)-The queens move in any direction and to any distance, if unobstructed.
(b)-The king's and queen's pawns, on the skilful management of which, and
supplying their places when lost, the success of the game chiefly depends.
(c)-Bishops, moving diagonally, but confined to the color, on which they
are first place.
(d)-Castles or rooks, moving directly forward, or laterally, to any distance,
if no piece intervens. These are often made to represent elephants, bearing
(e)-Pawns, which can only capture by an oblique motion.
(h)-The operation of castling.
- The Weekly Messenger, Boston, Friday, January 13, 1815
From the Muskingum Messenger.
Says Thomas, our neighbors have wrote to the Printer,
To stop sending news-papers during the winter;
For living is hard and provisions are dear,
And there's seldom much news at this time of the year;
But in summer the papers more news will be contain,
And then or in spring, we may take them again.
Says John, neighbor Thomas, your schemes make me smile;
And how is the Printer to live the mean while?
If times are so hard as you do not deny,
The Printer, unless he's supported must die-
The summer or spring he can never survive,
Unless through the winter you keep him alive.
And if you once starve him, it will be in vain
To expect that he ever will serve you again.-
Says, Thomas, indeed we did none of us think,
That Printers could feel, or could want meat or drink,
Or, like other people, would clothing require,
Or wood for the warming themselves with fire.
And if none of these wants any trouble could cause,
They might live as the bears do, by sucking their paws.
- Independent Chronicle, Boston, June 13, 1816.
"He who will thrive must rise at five." So says the proverb, thought
there is more rhyme than reason in it; for if
He who would thrive must rise at five, it must follow, a fortiori,
He who'd thrive more must rise at four;
and it will insure a fortissimo that
He who'd still more thriving be
Must leave his bed at turn of three;
And who this latter would undo
Will rouse him at the stroke of two;
and, by way of climax to the whole, it should hold good that
Who would never be outdone
Must ever rise as soon as one.
But the best illustration would be thus:
He who'd flourish best of all
Should never go to bed at all.
- Harper's Weekly, Jan 16, 1875.
AH! poor intoxicated little knave,
TO A FLY, TAKEN OUT OF A BOWL OF PUNCH.
Now, senseless, floating on the fragrant wave---
Why not content the cakes alone to munch?
Dearly thou pay'st for buzzing round the bowl---
Lost to the world, thou busy, sweet lipp'd soul:
Thus death, as well as pleasure, dwells with Punch.
Now let me take thee out, and moralize.
Thus 'tis with Mortals as it is with Flies---
Forever hank'ring after Pleasures cup:
Though Fate, with all his legions, be at hand,
The beasts the draught of Circe can't withstand,
But in goes ev'ry nose, they must, will sup.
Mad are the Passions as a colt untam'd!
When Prudence mounts their backs, to ride them mild
They fling, they snort, they foam, they rise inflam'd,
Insisting on their own soul will so wild!
Gadsbud! my buzzing friend, thou art not dead---
The Fates, so kind, have not yet snapp'd thy thread;
But now thou mov'st a leg, and now its brother,
And, kicking, lo! thou mov'st another.
And now thy little drunken eyes unclose,
And now thou feelest for thy little nose;
And, finding it, thou rubbest thy two hands,
Much as to say, "I'm glad I'm here again!"
And well thou may'st rejoice---'tis very plain
That near wert thou to Death's unsocial lands.
And now thou rollest on thy back about,
Happy to find thyself alive, no doubt;
Now turnest, on the table making rings;
Now crawling, forming a new track;
Now shaking the rich liquor from thy back;
Now flutt'ring nectar from thy silken wings!
Now standing on thy head, thy strength to find,
And poking out thy small, long legs behind;
And now thy pinions dost thou quickly ply,
Preparing soon to leave me--,Farewell, Fly!
Go, join thy brothers on yon sunny board,
And rapture to thy family afford;
There wilt thou find a mistress, or a wife,
That saw thee, drunk, drop senseless in the stream---
Who gave, perhaps, the wide-resounding scream,
And now sits groaning for thy precious life;
Yes, go, and carry comfort to thy friends,
And wisely tell them thy imprudence ends.
Let buns and sugar, for the future, charm;
These will delight, and feed, and work no harm;
While Punch, the grinning, merry imp of sin,
Invites th' unwary wand'rer to a kiss---
Smiles in his face, as tho he meant him bliss---
Then, like an aligator, drags him in!
-Weekly Museum, N. Y., May 1, 1802.
On meeting a Friend who had the Tooth-Ache
Whence this dejected mean, those sombre airs,
Thou son of thoughtfulness? say, do lost friends,
Or unregarded love, or ruin'd fortune,
Distract thy mind, or is thy body rack'd
By gout, or stone, or dire tormenting gravel?
Mayhap thou hast - but Heaven forbid, and save
Thy tender nerves from what my heart forebodes!
Mayhap thou hast the TOOTH-ACHE! - Yes, thy visage
Tells me thy pains are of no vulgar cast!
Didst thou ne'er taste this bitter cup before?
Then thank thy stars, thy troubles have been few.
But now, tho' Fortune do thy well pleased vision
Holds up her myriads of delightful sweets,
In which thou'rt certain thou wilt shortly revel;
Tho' a clear conscience, and a purse well cramm'd
With rluno, be thy lot, and at thy gate
No rude imperious sheriff, whose demands
Would null thy large possessions, and transplant
Thy well-fed self on board the dreary 'brig,'
Receptacle of thousands! Or, with claims,
Tho' less enormous, yet inflexible
No brazen constable appears, no dun,
Still humbler, to perplex thee; yet I know
This fair perspective yields thee now no joy!
Now naught avails metallic tractoration,
The electric shock, the sudorific herb,
The feet immersed, the tincture anodyne,
The acrid gargle, the huge cataplasm,
The aqua fortis or the red hot wire;
Not touching on the endless catalogue
Of strange prescriptions, born of supersitition,
Cradled by ignorance, and still sustain'd
By wonderful credulity; sad modes,
But to prolong thy sorrows. Now thy soul,
Half tired of its tenement, looks round,
Depondent, sicken'd, weary, comfortless;
The tears of anguish and unceasing pain
Roll down thy checks alternate! Oh! my friend,
For now I'd call thee so, e'en tho' thy tongue,
Erst like a serpent, wounded my good name,
And held me to the world a laughing-stock:
Such as, in common times, thy precious blood
Alone could endure! now I'd forgive thee all.
Then mark, my friend, and be thy heart prepar'd
To bear the excess of joy which now awaits thee:
There is a temp'ral balm in Gilead,
And a physician there, for pains like thine!
Then quick dismiss all rude invading fears,
And hie thee down to Richard:* deeply skill'd
Or to extract, or to insert, is he;
For as a science he has studied it,
And well he knows the shape of all thy bones,
From the large grinder, to the tender eye-tooth.
Can I but sympathize? Thrice was I rack'd
Beneath the gripe of quack's, and German keys,
With splintered jaws, and sadly mangled gums,
Not so with him; he leaves no mangled gums,
Nor splintered jaw, nor yet a rifted tooth,
(Except whose prongs like nippers of a crab,
Or brace of lawyers, hold fast what's between them.)
Twice came I laughing from his gentle hand,
To lose my old teeth, and to show my new,
And with least risk and anguish possible,
(No play at best!) he'll soon thy troubles end:
And where thou now complain'st of all thy pain,
Thou'lt chew thy rations and thy cud again.
*Next door to Webb & Co. Druggist, Pennsylvania Avenue.
- National Intelligencer, Washington, Saturday, January 18, 1823
The Way of It.
John and Ida married lived
In Idaho, forlorn,
'cause John hung round the tavern
And let Idaho the corn.
- The Coos Bay News, Marshfield, Ore., June 8, 1887.
A DEAD SUBSCRIBER.
A subscriber for years being sad in arrears,
Still neglecting his bill for to pay,
To the editor said-"Unless I am dead,
I shall pay you on Christmas day."
The time flew by and the debtor was shy,
But the editor thought what he said;
In his paper next week the truth he did speak,
And announced his subscriber as dead!
- The Odd Fellow, Boston, Sept 1, 1847.
HOW TO MANAGE HIM
"How shall I manage my husband?"
I will tell you my dear, if I can;
He is really a wonderful creature,
That troublesome animal Man--
Yes! really a wonderful creature--
So strange, inconsistent and queer;
But you'll soon know the secret by learning
The modus operandi, my dear!
If he stayed out too late in the evening,
Partaking of dinner and wine,
Don't prove him a false fabricator,
When he comes home, by asking the time;
For he surely will tell you the town clock
But the moment before rang out one--
When it struck he had counted it over
Just three times before it had done!
And then if his hat in the morning,
Is smaller by far than his head,
Don't hint by the merest allusion
That his lordship went tipsy to bed;
But rather regard the occurrence
A phenomenon--puzzling and queer--
With a strange look of mystification
In your eyes if he's watching, my dear.
And don't fail to sew on his buttons,
And likewise his clothes mend with care;
Don't tease him for money for shopping;
Don't frown when he acts like a bear;
Don't tell him too often, my deary,
That your poor head is aching with pain,
Least he whisper way down in his bosom;
"O! I wish I were single again!"
Don't tell him that Mary the housemaid,
And Ann the obstreperous cook,
Refuse to receive your suggestions
By even as much as a look;
Don't tell him how very annoying
You often have found it to be
To be told to "Get out of the kitchen,
And don't come a-bothering me!"
But always seem cheerful and happy,
And always look pleasant and gay;
Than a frown there is nothing more potent
In driving one's husband away.
And thus you must ever keep striving,
You'll find it an excellent plan;
But whatever you do, dear, remember,
That your husband is only a man.
- North San Juan (Cal.) Times, 1878
He clapped his hands and he laughed and crowed
With a cock-a-doodle-doo;
He joked and chuckled and kicked his heels,
And a summersault he threw.
He sang the funniest comic songs,
And then this hilarious young grig,
He took his fiddle and rosined the bow,
And struck up a lively jig.
He waltzed and he polka'd - he jumped over chairs;
He stood upon his head;
And he treated the boys to beer and things,
'Cos his mother-in-law was dead.
- The Montanian, Virginia City, Montana Territory, Feb 10, 1876
THE PATCH WORK QUILT.
In sheen of silken splendor,
With glittering threads of gold,
I've seen the waving marvels
That hung in walls of old;
When fair hands wrought the lily,
And brave hands held the lance,
And stately lords and ladies
Stepped through the courtly dance.
I've looked on rarer fabrics,
The wonders of the loom,
That caught the flowers of Summer,
And captive held their bloom;
But not their wreathing beauty,
Though fit for queens to wear,
Can with one household treasure,
That's all my own compare.
It has no golden value,
The simple patchwork spread;
Its squares in homely fashion,
Set in with green and red;
But in those faded pieces
For me are shining bright,
Ah! many a Summer morning;
And many a Winter night.
The dewy breath of clover,
The leaping light of flame,
Like spells my heart came over,
As one by one I name
These bits of old-time dresses--
Chintz, cambric, calico--
That looked so fresh and dainty
On my darling long ago.
This violet was my mother's,
I seem to see her face,
That ever like sunshine
Lit up the shadiest place.
This buff belongs to Susan,
That scarlet spot was mine;
And Fanny wore this pearly-white,
Where purple pansies shine.
I turn my patchwork over--
A book with pictured leaves--
And I feel the lilac fragrance,
And the snow-fall on the eaves,
Of all my heart's possessions,
I think I least could spare
The quilt we children pieced at home,
When mother dear was there.
- The Weekly Standard, Portland, Oregon, October 28, 1881
Only from day to day
The life of a wise man runs;
What matter if seasons far away
Have gloom or have double suns?
To climb the unreal path,
We lose the roadway here;
We swim the rivers of wrath,
And tunnel the hills of fear.
Our feet on the torrent's brink,
Our eyes on the clouds afar,
We fear the things we think,
Instead of the things that are.
Like a tide our work should rise.
Each later wave the best;
To-morrow for ever flies,
To-day is the special test.
Like a sawyer's work is life,
And the present makes the flaw;
And the only field for strife
Is the inch before the saw.
- The Montanian, Virginia City, Montana Territory, Feb 10, 1876