Charles Watson Boise.

Varsity verse : a selection of undergraduate poetry written at the University of North Dakota online

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Varsity verse
(University of North Dakota)







laratty Ifra?


IntuprsttH of Nortti iaknta







"So here's to us all. and the pink and the green,
And to fair Alma Mater, our radiant queen."



Blizzard. A— Fred Larson, '04, '05 18

Burns Study, A— Fred Duggan, '99 22

College Girl, The 6

Doris — Mary Brennan, '03 30

Dorothy Dee — E. Leigh Mudge 36

Enjoyment — .1. A. J 24

Envoy 17

Eternal Question, The — Mary Brennan, '03 27

Football Boy, The— Beatrice Helmer, '07 41

Hash— V. Stefansson 11

Her Father's Perplexity — William Ronald White, '11 . 43

Hidden 5

Home Sweet Home Waltz, The — Harold Pease 15

In Arcady — Mary Brennan, '03 29

In President's Class — Fred Duggan, '99 19

Man ^Vho Flunks, The— Henry G. Lykken, '05 31

My First Love — Henry Devaney, '04, '05 8

My Lot— Daniel V. Brennan, '08 45

Ode to the Meadov; Lark— Fred Duggan, '99 21

Paradise Lost — Robert H. Montgomery 34

Philosophy at Twenty — V. Stefansson 9

Point of View, The— E. Leigh Mudge 37

Sad Wooing, A 16

Song of the Mocking Bird, The — E. Leigh Mudge 39

Song, A— Charles W. Boise, '08 46

Sonnet 26

Stanza A, The Ocean— Fred Duggan, '99 23

Third Floor Man, The — Robert H. Montgomery 32

Thorns and Roses — Alphonso Karr 10

To a Brother — Mary Brennan, '03 30

To the University of North Dakota — E. Leigh Mudge 40

To R. S.— Mary Brennan, '03 ...^.j. 28

Triolets— "Sanna Kop" TN 25

Vice — Harold Pease 14

Was 1st Das?— Skuli Skulason, '01, '03 7

Whitman — V. Stefansson 13



This modest little collection of verses written by
students of the University of North Dakota, is pub-
lished with tAvo puiT)Oses in mind: first, to stimulate
interest in college verse at the University, and, second,
to preserve in convenient form the best of what has
already been written. Although most college verse
may hardly be classed as poetry, yet to one who has
had the fortune to have breathed the atmosphere from
which it springs, it is of great interest and may be
read with no small degree of pleasure. It is one of
the expressions of college life, — ^^a life filled with in-
spiration, promise and an abundant enthusiasm in
human interests, and as a real part of that life, with
all its traditions and associations, it should be encour-
aged and stimulated.

The task of collecting and judging all the verses
written since the opening of the institution has been
a work which, while of great interest, has its difficul-
ties; and it is not unlikely that some suitable material
remains undiscovered. But the editors hope that the
present collection, though small and perhaps incom-
plete, will pave the way for larger and costlier volumes
to be published from time to time as occasion warrants.
If this results, one important hope of the editors in
this publication Avill have been fulfilled.

We wish to make grateful acknowledgement for the
kindly interest shown in the work and especially for
the enthusiastic co-operation of many of the alumni.
We also feel especial indebtedness to Professor Squires
for many valual)le suggestions in regard to the material

C. W. B.
P. B. G.
University of North Dakota, May 5. 1008.

0»_> / jlOhJ


Over the prairie, far and wide

Stretches a mantle of glistening snow.

Who Avoiild dream, in the frost and chill,
Living things were concealed below?

"Winding along the river's side

With bare brown branches, the woods are seen.
Who would divine Spring's miracle,

Could clothe them all in garments green ?

Stiff and stark in its coffin bed.

Pulseless and white the river lies.
Again with life will its waters teem,

Its waves again flash back the skies.

What then is death and what is life?

And what are the mysteries they conceal?
We wait the Spring that will come ere long ;

Then all things hidden it will reveal.


She possessed a mind discerning.

That was stored and eramed with learning,
And her thoughts forever burning

She could suitably express.
All her sentences were rounded,

And her words imposing sounded;
I was really quite astounded

As I listened, I confess.

It was rather an infliction,

All this verbal unrestriction, —
But her eloquence of diction,

Each precise and polished phrase,
And the beautiful selection

Of the words, and their connection
And her most correct inflection, —

They were quite beyond all praise.

But I saw her very lately.

And she did not talk ornately;
All that language suave and stately

She no longer kept on tap.
She was saying "Bessums diddums!

Where de bad old pin got hiddums
In his muzzer's p'ecious kiddums,"

To the baby on her lap.


In my room I sat and pondered

O'er my German exercise,
And my troubled fancy wandered

For my room was very heisz.
When a strange word I encountered

I would murmur, ' ' Was ist das ? ' '
But I didn't stop to find it

And unknown I'd let it pass.
Couldn't read a bit next morning.

Couldn 't answer, ' ' Was ist das ? ' '
And Professor sadly murmured :

''I don't think that you will pass."
Shall I always be in trouble?

Be forever green as grass?
Can I ever make an answer

When they ask me, "Was ist das?"
Shall I dying end my troubles?

Will St. Peter let me pass?
Will he ask me German riddles?

Will he ask me, "Was ist das?"

Skuli Skulason. '01, '03.


"When first upon her face I gazed

My soul Avas filled with bliss supreme;

I, dazzled, stood as one amazed,
Just wakened from a wondrous dream.

She would be mine ! Ah, blessed thought !

Nor end nor bound my raptures knew ;
My eyes her face each instant sought,

She was so lovely and so true.

Her form was fair, each slender hand

A marvel was to me, I pressed
Her face to mine in rapture, and

Full oft and fondly her caressed.

But love, unburied, soon grows cold,
And mine was like the love of men;

Yet oft my thoughts turn to that old
Cheap Waterbury watch again.

Hftnry Devaney, '04, '05.


A feeling comes to my heart tonight
That has filled, since the world began,
The centuries; and been the light
Of the life of the common man.
For love is the law, the master force,
That makes the world akin ;
That throws a glow over all without
And mellows the soul within.

'Tis glorious, on a world-wide stage,

To wear a hero's crown

That shines with the gems of mighty deeds.

With the gold of a fair renown.

But every prize this earth holds out.

Or has held since the world began,

I would renounce, and live, for a woman's love

The life of a common man.

For what care I that the world go wild

At the whisper of my name ?

The love of a woman my song has sung

Is not priced in terms of fame !

There is no boon this earth holds out.

Or has held since the world began.

That can fill the place of a woman's love

In the life of any man.

But if the prize of a woman's love

Falls not on me or you,

Let us hide the blight of a ruined life

In a work that is strong and true.

For those who have builded earth 's fairest shrines,

And have wrought, since the world began,

Are those denied a woman's love

And the life of a common man.

V. Stefansson.


E'er seek in things the aspect fair.

The rose has thorns, you dare complain ;
To render thanks would be more sane,

That even thorns may roses bear.

Alphonso Karr.




I can refrain no longer ! Lofty Muse,

Descend to me on alban wings ; infuse

Into my sluggish veins the liquid flame

Of poetry, that I may sing the fame

Of Onions and Hash ! Hast thou, Muse,

Not smelt them in my breadth ? And canst refuse

Thy aid to one "who for six months has dined

On such ambrosial viands 1 Lift my mind,

Goddess, that my spirit wings may soar

To heights of sublime song such as of yore

.Were dreamt by Milton. Let the sweeping swell

Of sound, deluging every dale and dell

Be echoed to us from high heaven's vaults

Back through the .azure deep. it exalts

The little mind of man to feel that he

Is hand-in-glove with mysteries that be

Inscrutable to all but him whose soul

Is rapt with inspiration and sees roll

The clouds of darkness off on every hand.

Cast your eyes hither and behold where stand

Milton and I, the present and the past

Masters of lofty song, conjoined at last!

His theme was God, the Universe, and Man,

But mine is Hash ; and doubt whoever can


That I — the later and the greater bard —

Choose me a theme by far, yea doubly, hard

To grasp and to digest and understand.

Where e 'er we look are proofs on every hand

The world was made for man ; but who dare stand

In idiotic boldness and declare

What Hash was made for? Earth and sea and air

Yield to us traces of their origin.

But not the oldest nor the wisest men

Know aught what hash is made of. Sometimes trace

Is found, indeed, of garlic and of maise,

Of sweet and sour potatoes, greasy pork

That erst was baked with beans ; again the fork

Turns up a bit of cabbage, or a crumb

Of bread well rounded by a Chinese* thumb,

A piece of beef that's twice been through a stew,

And e'en some older hashes with the new

In deft proportions blended; chemistry

Stands baffled at this depthless mystery.

The same, the endless, the eternal round

It sweepeth day by day. With it are found

Stepping the march of monotone a few

Inseparable comrades — doomed, 'tis true.

To dissolution and to merge at last

Into the boundless, the unmeasured vast

Of Hash.

*At the time there was a Chinese cook in Davis Hall.

V. Stefansson.



Whitman, thy rolling rj'thms surge

With maddened fury through the shoreless seas
Of human life's eternal tragedies,
Sinking their tone — now to a moaning dirge
Of sorrow, and now raising it to scourge

The self-dwarf littleness that shrinks and flees
Before thee. Th' impassioned mysteries
Of life hrood in thy heart and wildly urge
Thy fingers o'er the sounding harp that thrills
With all thy knowledge of the heart of man
And all thy love of nature and mankind;
And tells the firmness of the rock-ribbed hills,
The depths of space, and of the eyes that scan
Those depths, and dream of that which lies behind.

V. Stefansson,



My name is Vice, and with my tightening grasp
I'll conquer thee. "With this dread hand I'll dole
Out poison, drop by drop, into the bowl

Of life, which thou must drink to thy last gasp ;

And in thy dying hand at length thou 'It clasp
The record of thy shame. I'll have thy soul
As now I have thy heart; and thou shall 't toll

Thine own death bell, and fasten close the hasp

Of thine own tomb. I have thee now. Thou 'rt mine.
All mine. Thou canst not break the grip my hand
Hath fastened on thy struggling form. A whine

From thee but gives me joy; I draw the band

But closer round thy soul ; thy fevered breath,
Grown faint, but shows the near approach of death.

Harold Pease.



(Apropos of the Junior Prom.)

The musical waltz with its wonderful rythm
Flies to the head like the fumes of old wine.

This subtle intoxicant, who can resist it?

In effect like the juice of the fruit of the vine.

Enticing alike to the swing of its meter

The young and the aged, the youth and the maid,

Till drunk with its nectar, — and none could be sweeter,
All reel in an ecstacy till it is staj'^ed.

The music moves faster, then quicken the motion;

Drink yet of this cup of ambrosial wine,
Drown all your cares in this subtle decoction,

And follow the rythm, nor stop to repine.

But listen ! Now softly the strains of the music,

From the Past to the Present though far we may

Come memory laden from palace or cottage —

"Be it ever so humble there is no place like home."

Harold Pease.



Let me picture to your fancy
A fair mairlen aged nineteen
With blue eyes and golden tresses,-
Sad to say — a Freshman green.
But I have hopes.

'Tis her second year in college ;
Many fellows have gone daft
O'er this pretty, winsome co-ed,
But at them she only laughed.
So I grow bold.

In her third year now we find her
Queen of all the Junior Class;
Even dignified professors
Smile upon her as they pass.
My courage droops.

"When at last a haughty Senior
She becomes ; Alas I Alack !
A bold and verdant Fresh ie
Wins her hand out on the track.



Life is a curious mixture,

Full of work and full of fun;

There are hours of care-free pleasure,
There are hard tasks to be done.

In the world or in the college
The same principle we find,

Shade and shine are intermingled.
Plums and prickles, games and grind.

In life's pudding gentle reader,
Whersoe'er you thrust your thumbs,

May Dame Fortune smile upon you.
Helping you to find the plums.



The snow falls fast on the Red tonight,

And from far o'er the western ranges

Comes the roar of the winds and the hiss of snows,

While the air is chilled .and the darkness grows,

And the face of nature changes.

The wind rushes on o'er the boundless plains
With fury it shrieks and rages;
There's a howl of triumph and savage glee,
As it heaps up the snow like the foam of the sea,
And covers the scars of ages.

Fred Larson, '04, '05.



Free trade, or protection?
A series question.
And full of perplexion

For minds young and free.
Why has not the nation
Removed this vexation
Of youth's recreation

By law or decree?

Our moments of leisure

Are robbed of their pleasure ;

They seem not the treasure

We loved so before.
We are doomed to debating,
Grand themes contemplating,
Wise thoughts excavating

From mountains of lore.

Whose lot is the harder.
The first lucky soldier
Who, leading the column,

Gains glory and power.
Or he who is losing
His way in confusion
Half blinded by dust from

The thousands before?

Ricardo was lucky
In living so early.
And likewise was Adam Smith,
Malthus and Mill.


Their work but reflecting,
While ours is disecting
Thoir man economic
Eternally ill.

Their tasks were quite simple,

The science was little

And they had no text books

Or authors to fear.
While we have the sages,
Of all bygone ages
Yelling forth from their pages

Their theories drear.

We are the victims

Of time's cruel dictums,

Our labors are far more

Perplexing than theirs.
The dust from their stumbling
Is blinding and numbing,
Their shrieks are bedumbing;

We scarce hear our prayers.

But fate is too cruel;
She loves such a duel ;
Debate it we must,

The old question, alas !
From Walker and Hadley
We'll borrow the medley
And try to sing bravely

In President's class.

Fred S. Duggan, '99.



Thy song, most welcome harbinger of spring,
As thou dost call so cheerily to thy mate,

At evening's eve, hath a most joyous ring,
For it doth tell us hoary winter's fate.

happy bird! thou tell'st us by thy song
The advent of that time of happiness

When nature dons the cloak of her first choice
That hath been off so long.

Thou makest merry in the spring's caress
And bidst us all in happy tasks rejoice.

1 can not see the pleasure of the fields

Nor feel the full of summer's joyous time,
Yet all the ecstasies that spring reveals

Are come, for with thee naught but joy can rhyme.
Ah! Meadow Lark, thy clear melodious note,
A herald 's call as from the heavens sent,

Strikes joy unmeasured to my listening soul.
Might 'st thou thy life devote

To lightening hearts too much by sorrow bent!
May joy be of thy merry life the whole.

Fred S. Duggan, '99.



Ye walks and paths sae full o ' cheer,

Ye golden fields sae wavy,
Long may your beauties, now sae dear,

Grow sweeter for your Davy.

'Twas there I spent those happy days

I'll oft recall sae fondly.
And aye ! 'twas there I learned to love,

And there I first met Peggy.

How mony happy days we spent

Amang our joys sae kindly,
A'! Men that ca'ed ye bleak and bare,

How could they look sae blindly.

For when the evening's crimson sun

Sank to his bed sae grandly.
No sight in nature could compare

Wi' that for me and Peggy.

How oft we heard the meadow lark

Sing out his song sae clearly,
As o'er the fields or by the stream

We walked and talked sae gayly.

And if the cares of life e'er come.

That weigh on men sae heavy,
Then I'll return to your free fields

And happy days wi' Peggy.

Fred S. Duggan, '99.



Ye mighty mountains towering to the sky,
Proud, haughty peaks, whose grandeur can excite
In man the thrill of awe, your summits high
Could sink into the ocean's depths from sight
And leave no trace — Her vastness is sublime.
Her years are as the sands upon her shore ;
Her billows lash the surf in every clime ;
Below, vast continents her waves roll o'er,
Silent as death itself, save ocean's reigning roar,

Fred S. Duggan, '99.



What joy to wander by the stream
That doth so smoothly glide !

Thru many an eve I idly stroll
With Mary by my side.

Oh Cottage steps, what is your charm
That fills my soul with pride,

As in the even hours I sit
With Mary by my side?

Oh, let me wander down the track

In quiet-even tide.
And whisper tales of purest love

To Mary by my side.

J. A. J.



It makes me so tired,

This eternal flirtation!
They ought to be fired —
It makes me so tired.
I couldn't be hired,

(This with much perturbation) —
It makes me so tired,

To engage in flirtation.

It makes him so tired,

Their eternal flirtation,
That he almost expired —
It made him so tired.
For her face he admired,

(Though with much perturbation) —
It made him so tired

He broke up the flirtation.

Sanaa Kop.



As one who with his careful eyes intent
Upon the rock-strewn grronnd, goes slowly on
With weary, stumbling steps, and visage wan.
And spite of care strikes manj'' stones, till, spent
"With listless travel, shoulders stiffly bent
To ease their pain, he halts, and prone upon
The earth, he rests in sleep, and wakes anon
Upon a sun-kissed hill, in wonderment ;
So I, when many days of restless fret
Had passed, and sleepless, torture-laden nights
When even dreams did flee, and endless fears
Filled all the dragging moments, and regret
Did smother hope, awoke up on the heights
And laughed and dared to face the dreaded years.

Mary Brennan, '03.


"What is love? say the Freshies.

A net in whose cringing rose-meshes

All sensible mortals are caught.

What is love? says the Sophomore.
Trouble, and doubt, and a dollar more
To be spent for some trifle, than ought.

What is love? cries the Junior,
Rapture and bliss till youreloony or —
Somebody else cuts you out.

What is love? asks the graduate.

A sugar-plum which you are glad you ate ;

Meininisse Juvahit, no doubt.

Mary Brennan, '03.


TO R. S.

The lily-of-the-valley gave you all her drooping grace;

The rare, pure loveliness of mountain-blooms was in

your face ;
And in your eyes the quiet radiance of a spotless soul.

And when you smiled, there gleamed the dim dream-
light of summer-dawn;

And when you spoke, it was as tho a gold mist-wand
were drawn

Across a harp, and all the echoes caught in one sweet

And when jou died the music of the wind sank to a

And all the fiowers fainted, and the glad sun-light grew

While Love's heart-moan of parting speed your spirit
to its goal.

Mary Brennan, '03.



The night mists are gone, love,

The sun 's on the dew ;
Come out in the dawn, love,

I'm waiting for you.

The wind's in the clover,

The lark's on the wing;
And music floats over

The hill from the spring.

Come while the breezes blow lightly, my love !
Come while the dew-drops glow brightly, my lovel
Hark ! How the music rings sweeter my love,
Come! than the lark's wings, still fleeter my love.

Come down to the meadow

"With violets pied;
Come dream in the shadow

Where violets hide.

I'll heap you a throne there

Of roses and rue ;
And all that has grown there

Shall blossom for you,

Mary Brennan, '03.



There is a love that has faith in you,

Let the world say what it will;
That hopes, and endures, and is strong, for you,

With a strength that no hurt can kill.

It is a love that asks little of you,

Only this — when your heart is sore.
Let the thought of it somehow comfort you.

Till you smile and are brave once more.

Mary Brennan, '03.


Are you sprite or maiden, Doris fair?

For your smiles are laden with the rare, elusive lighten-

Of a jonquil blossom brightening

'Neath the sudden, golden flashes

In the dusk-dimmed, summer air.

Mary Brennan, '03.



(Apologies to Dunbar.)

^e sit o'er our books with our nerves unstrung,

And work for the honor roll ;
And our odes are sung and our banner hung

For the names inscribed on the scroll.
For well we know, as the w^hole world knows,

That the man for his sheepskin's worth
Is the man who digs till his hair silvered grows

And reads from his very birth.

For it's fine to grow up, and the Prof's applause

Is sweet to the fickle ear.
And the man who flunks, in any cause,

Bears a name we seldom hear.

His laurel crown's like the ocean foam

That breaks by an unknown sea —
For many such heroes have oft gone home

With naught but an F. or E.


There are galant men in the losing race,

Hearts that are staunch and true ;
And many a man at a slower pace

May get there as soon as you.
For these I've a song of the selfsame kind,

A quaff of the selfsame ale —
An ode to the Aveaker heart and mind

Of the man who is made to fail.

Henry G. Lykken, '05.



I am a happy third floor man,

My life has lost its gloom;
I strut about the halls at night

And no one stacks my room.

The reason for this marvelous change,

And for this chesty air,
You'll find in this veracious tale

Of the battle of the stair.

It happened on a Friday night,

About the time of eight,
When the proctors were elected,

February eighteenth was the date.

And first the second floor came up

To stretch our proctor new.
They came, they saw, but conquered not,

And made a quick skidoo.

So anxious were they to go down,

They minded not the stair ;
But took the flight both swift and strong

Right through the balmy air.

But when they hit the hard, hard floor
They fought both fierce and long.

While shysters from first floor stood round
In crowds, a laughing throng.


"We gave them what they wanted,

With measure full and fair,
And hurled them headlong on the ground

Each time they hit the stair.

At last they gave the battle up

And said they'd have no more,
And offered up their places to

The scoffers from first floor.

And then the leader from the first

Led forth his score of men,
And rushed half way up the stairs.

And then rushed down again.

So back and forth they surged and fought,
And plunged and rushed and swore.

And every time they were thrown down
They came right back for more.

At length they saw it was in vain,

They saw that they must yield
So, one and all. with one accord,

They left the battle field.

Oh. now we're happy on third floor,

No more we live in gloom ;
We strut about the halls of Budge

And every one makes room,

Robert H. Montgomery, '10,


Or a Third Floor Man on First.

What fools they are who waste their time
In dreamy hunts for useless rhyme.

AVho cannot e'en their temper lose,
But what they must invoke the muse ;

And when their room is stacked, or worse,
They almost have to swear in verse.

A mortal such I used to he

And rhymed about each jamboree,

And when at night the water ran
I almost rivaled Koppa San.

But now how can I rhymes produce,
How can I lofty thoughts unloose.

Who on the first floor lay my head

Amidst a crowd quite three-fourths dead.

No more my room is stacked full high.
No artist's work delights my eye;

No water greets my sleepy head,
No pins make live my drowsy bed.

The plaster sticks upon my wall.

No rough house yet has made it fall;


Online LibraryCharles Watson BoiseVarsity verse : a selection of undergraduate poetry written at the University of North Dakota → online text (page 1 of 2)