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Some habits and customs of the working classes online

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Author of

""By and Urge:* **In Other Worisi*

** Tobogganing on Parnassus"

'*fFeighis and Measures/'






- • . , ••...•.

• •• • • •^ m ,

• ,• • • • •*• • • •


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The author wishes to thank the New York Tribune,
Life, Hofper^ 5 Magazine, Collier' sWeekly, and The Home
Sector, for their kind permission to Include, in this
volume material which has appeared in their pages.

j Digitized by VjOOQIC


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Present Imperative 3

The Doxighboy's Horace 5

From: Horace To: Phyllis 7

Advising Chlog 8

\To an Aged Cut-up I 9

^ n 10

His Monument ix

Gl3rcera Redivival . 12

On a Wine of Horace's ...... 13

"What Flavour?'* 14

The Stalling of Q.H.F 15

On the Flight of Time x6

^ — ^e Last Laugh 17

Again Endorsing the Lady I 19

n 20

Propertius's Bid for Immortality ... 21

A Lament 23

Bon Voyage — and Vice Versa .... 24

Fragment 25

On the Uses of Adversity 26

After Hearing ''Robin Hood" .... 27

Maud Muller Mutatur 28



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TheCarlyles 31

If Amy Lowell Had Been James Whitcomb

Riley 35

If the Advertising Man Had Been Gilbert 37
If the Advertising Man Had Been Praed, or

Locker 39

Georgie Porgie 40

- On First Looking into Bee Palmer's Shoul-
ders 41

To a Vers Librist 43

How Do You Tackle Your Work ? ... 45

Recuerdo 48

On Tradition 51

Unshackled Thoughts on Chivalry, Romance,

Adventure, Etc 52

Results Ridiculous 53

Regarding (i) the U. S. and (2) New York 54

Broadmindedness 5.^^

The Jazzy Bard 56

Lines on and from "Bartlett's Familiar Quo-
tations" 57

Thoughts in a Far G)untry 58

When You Meet a Man from Your Own

Home Town 59

The Shepherd's Resolution 6z

"It Was a Famous Victory" 62

On Profiteering 63

Despite 64



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The Return of the Soldier 65

"I Remember, I Remember" .... 66

The Higher Education 68

War and Peace 69

Fifty-Fifty 70

•*So Shines a Good Deed in a Naughty

World" 71

Vain Words 72

On the Importance of Being Earnest . . 73

It Happens in the B. R. Families ... 74

Abelard and Heloise 77

lines Written on the Sunny Side of Frankfort

Street 79

Rfty-Fifty 80

ToMyrtilla 81

A Psalm of Laboiuing Lif e 82

Ballade of Ancient Acts 84

To a Prospective Cook 8$

Variation on a Theme 86

"Such Stuff as Dreams" 88

The Ballad of Justifiable Homicide ... 89

The Ballad of the Murdered Merchant . . 90

A Gotham Garden of Verses 92

lines on Reading Frank J. Wilstach's "A

Dictionary of Similes" 94

The Dictaphone Bard 9S

The Comfort of Obscurity 97



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Ballade of the Traffickers 98

• To W. Hohenzollem, on Discontinuing The

Conning Tower 100

To W. Hohenzollem, on Resinning The Con-
ning Tower 103

• Thoughts on the Cosmos 105

On Environment 106

The Ballad of the Thoughtless Waiter . . 107

RusVs.Urbs 109

'Tm Out of the Army Now" . .... no

"Oh Man!" 112

> An Ode in Time of Inauguration . . . 1x3

What the Copy Desk Might Have Done . 124

Song of Synthetic Virility 133



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Present Imperative ' '

• • • •• • • •* - r ••• • ••

Xorao^i Booiri; INU*lt

"Tu ne quaesieris — scire Hefas — quern mihi;
quern tibi '*


NAY, query not, Lcuconoe, the finish of
the fable;
Eliminate the worry as to what the years may

hoard I
You only waste your time upon the Babylonian

(Slang for the Ouija board).

And as to whether Jupiter, the final, unsur-
passed one.

May add a lot of winters to our portion here

Or this impinging season is to be our very
last one —

Really, I'd hate to know.

Apply yourself to wisdom! Sweep the floor

and wash the dishes,
Nor dream about the things you'll do in 1928 1
My counsel is to cease to sit and yearn about

your wishes,
Cursing the throws of Fate.


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■ '■' • ''SroinOfifHnff Else Again

!•'•*••••• • •• I

•TiyVhoV-f have \}fe^ chattering on matters

sad and pleasant!
(Endure with me a moment while I polish oflF

a rhyme).
If I were you, I think, Td bother only with

the present —
Now is the only time.


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The Doughboy's Horace

"Donee eram gratus tihi "



WHILE I was fussing you at home
You put the notion in my dome
That I was the Molasses Kid.
I batted strong. I'll say I did.


While you were fussing me alone
To other boys my heart was stone.
When I was all that you could see
No girl had anything on me.


Well, say, I'm having some romance
With one Babette, of Northern France.
If that girl gave me the command
rd dance a jig in No Man's Land.


I, too, have got a young affair
With Charley — say, that boy is there!
rd just as soon go out and die
If I thought it'd please that guy.


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Something Else Again


Suppose I can this foreign wren
And start things up with you again?
Suppose I promise to be good?
I'd love you, Lyd. Fll say I would.


Though Charley's good and handsome — ch,

boy I
And you're a stormy, fickle doughboy.
Go give the Hun his final whack,
And I'll marry you when you come back.


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From: Horace
To: Phyllis
Subject: Invitation

Book XV, Odo 11

^'Est tnihi nonum superantis annum '*

PHYLLIS, I've a jar of wine,
(Alban, B. C. 49),
Parsley wreaths, and, for your tresses,
Ivy that your beauty blesses.

Shines my house with silverware;
Frondage decks the altar stair —
Sacred vervain, a device
For a lambkin's sacrifice.

Up and down the household stairs
What a festival prepares!
Everybody's superintending —
Sec the sooty smoke ascending!

What, you ask me, is the date
Of the day we celebrate?
13th April, month of Venus —
Birthday of my boss, Maecenas.

Let me, Phyllis, say a word
Touching Tclephus, a bird
Ranking far too high above you;
(And the loafer doesn't love you).


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Something Else Again

Lessons, Phyllie, may be learned
From Phaeton — ^how he was burned!
And recall Bellerophon was
One equestrian who thrown was.

Phyllis, of my loves the last,
My philandering days are past.
Sing you, in your clear contralto,
Songs I write for the rialto.

Advising Chloe

BonuM! Book Z, Odo 23

''Vitas hinnuleo me sitmlis, Chloe "

WHY shun me, my Chloe? Nor pistol
nor bowie
Is mine with intention to kill.
And yet like a llama you run to your mamma ;
You tremble as though you were ill.

No lion to rend you, no tiger to end you,

Tm tame as a bird in a cage.
That counsel maternal can run for The Jour-
nal —
You get me, I guess. . . . You're of age.


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To An Aged Cut-up

Borso^l Book ZIZ» Odo 15


"Uxor pauperis Ihyci,

Tandem nequitue Age modum tuce "


DEAR Mrs. Ibycus, accept a little sound
Your manners and your speech are over-
To chase around the sporty way you do is far
from nice;
Believe me, darling, you are growing old.

Now Pholoe may fool around (she dances like
a doe!)
A debutante has got to think of men;
But you were twenty-seven over thirty years
You ought to be asleep at half-past ten.

O Chloris, cut the ragging and the roses and
the rum —
Delete the drink, or better, chop the booze !
Go buy a skein of yarn and make the knitting
needles hum.
And imitate the art of Sister Suse.


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Something Else Again


CHLORIS, lay off the flapper stuff;
What's fit for Pholoe, a fluff,
Is not for Ibycus's wife —
A woman at your time of life!

Ignore, old dame, such pleasures as
The shimmy and "the Bacchus Jazz";
Your presence with the maidens jars —
You are the cloud that dims the stars.

Your daughter Pholoe may stay
Out nights upon the Appian Way;
Her love for Nothus, as you know,
Makes her as playful as a doe.

No jazz for you, no jars of wine.
No rose that blooms incarnadine.
For one thing only are you fit:
Buy some Lucerian wool — ^and knit!



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His Monument

Boraoti Book ZE^ Odo 90
"Exegi monumentum aere perennius "

THE monument that I have built is dur-
able as brass,
And loftier than the Pyramids which mock

the years that pass.
Nor blizzard can destroy it, nor furious rain

corrode —
Remember, I'm the bard that built the first
Horatian ode.

I shall not altogether die; a part of me's im-

A part of me shall never pass the mortuary

And when I die my fame shall stand the nitric
test of time —

The fame of me of lowly birth, who built the
lofty rhyme!

Ay, fame shall be my portion when no trace

there is of me,
For I first made .^olian songs the songs of

Accept I pray, Melpomene, my modest meed

of praise,
And crown my thinning, graying locks with

wreaths of Delphic bays !


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Glyccra Rediviva!

Mormomt Book Z> Odo 19

"Mater sava Cupidinum"

VENUS, the cruel mother of
The Cupids (symbolising Love),
Bids me to muse upon and sigh
For things to which I've said **Good-byc !*'

Believe me or believe me not,
I give this Glycera girl a lot:
Pure Parian marble are her arms —
And she has eighty other charms.

Venus has left her Cyprus home
And will not let me pull a pome
About the Parthians, fierce and rough.
The Scythian war, and all that stuflF.

Set up, O slaves, a verdant shrine!
Uncork a quart of last year's wine!
Place incense here, and here verbenas,
And watch me while I jolly Venus!



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On a Wine of Horacc^s

WHAT time I read your mighty line,
O Mr. Q. Horatius Flaccus,
In praise of many an ancient wine —

You twanged a wicked lyre to Bacchus!-
I wondered, like a Yankee hick,
If that old stuff contained a kick.

So when upon a Paris card

I glimpsed Falernian, I said: "Waiter,
111 emulate that ancient bard.

And pass upon his merits later."
Professor Mendell, quelque sport.
Suggested that we split a quart.

Flaccus, ere I ceased to drink
Three glasses and a pair of highballs,

1 could not talk; I could not think;
For I was pickled to the eyeballs.

If you sopped up Falernian wine
How did you ever write a line?



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"What Flavour?"

XomMS Book ZE^ Odo IS

"O fons Bandusi(B, splendidior vitro ■ "

WORTHY of flowers and syrups sweet,
O fountain of Bandusian onyx,
To-morrow shall a goatling's bleat
Mix with the sizz of thy carbonics.

A kid whose budding horns portend
A life of love and war — ^but vainly I

For thee his sanguine life shall end —
He'll spill his blood, to put it plainly.

And never shalt thou feel the heat
That blazes in the days of Sirius,

But men shall quaff thy soda sweet,
And girls imbibe thy drinks delirious.

Fountain whose dulcet cool I sing.
Be thou immortal by this Ode (a

Not wholly meretricious thing),
Bandusian fount of ice-cream soda!



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The Stalling of Q. H. F.

Mmnyo9t BpoAt 14
"Mollis inertia cur tantam diffuderif imi/'

MiECENAS, you fret me, you worry mc
Demanding I turn out a rhyme;
Insisting on reasons, you hurry me;

You want my iambics on time.
You say my ambition's diminishing;
You ask why my poem's not done.
The god it is keeps me from finishing
The stuff I've begun.

Be not so persistent, so clamorous.

Anacreon burned with a flame
Candescently, crescently amorous.

You rascal, you're doing the same!
Was no fairer the flame that burned Ilium.

Cheer up, you're a fortunate scamp,
. . . Consider avuncular William
And Phryne, the vamp.



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On the Flight of Time

Womomi Book i; Odo a

"Tu ne qu<Bsieris, scire nefas, quern mikif
quern Hbi"


LOOK not, Leuconoe, into the future;
Seek not to find what the Answer may
Let no Chaldean clairvoyant compute your
Time of existence. ... It irritates me !

Better to bear what may happen soever
Patiently, playing it through like a sport,

Whether the end of your breathing is Never,
Or, as is likely, your time will be short.

This is the angle, the true situation;

Get me, I pray, for Fm putting you hep :
While I've been fooling with versification

Time has been flying. . . . Both gates!
Watch your step!



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The Last Laugh

SonuMi Epod* X5
"Nox erat et cclo fulgebat Luna sereno-

HOW sweet the moonlight sleeps," I
"Upon this bank!" that starry night —
The night you vowed you'd be devoted —
1*11 tell the world you held me tight.

The night you said until Orion

Should cease to whip the wintry sea.

Until the lamb should love the lion.
You would, you swore, be all for me.

Some day, Neaera, you'll be sorry.

No mollycoddle swain am I.
I shall not sit and pine, by gorry!

Because you're with some other guy!

No, I shall turn my predilection

Upon some truer, fairer Jane;
And all your prayer and genuflexion

For my return shall be in vain.

And as for you, who choose to sneer, O,
Though deals in lands and stocks you swing.

Though handsome as a movie hero.
Though wise you are — and everything;


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Something Else Again

Yet, when the loss of her you're mourning,
How I shall laugh at all your woe !

How Til remind you of this warning,
And laugh, "Ha! ha! I told you so!"



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Again Endorsing the Lady

Book H, BUffr ft

"Liber eram ef vacua meditabar vivere
lecta '*

1WAS free. I thought that I had entered
Love's Antarctic Zone.
"A truce to sentiment/' I said. "My nights

shall be my own."
But Love has double-crossed me. How can

Beauty be so fair?
The grace of her, the face of her — ^and oh,
her yellow hair!

And oh, the wondrous walk of her ! So doth

a goddess glide.
Jove's sister — ^ay, or Pallas — ^hath no statelier

a stride.
Fair as Ischomache herself, the Lapithanian

Or Brimo when at Mercury's side her virgin

form she laid.

Surrender now, ye goddesses whom erst the

shepherd spied!
Upon the heights of Ida lay your vestitures

aside !



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Something Else Again

And though she reach the countless years pf

the Cumaean Sibyl,
May never, never Age at those delightful

features nibble!


I THOUGHT that I was wholly free.
That I had Love upon the shelf;
"Hereafter," I declared in glee,

"I'll have my evenings to myself."
How can such mortal beauty live?
(Ah, Jove, thine errings I forgive!)

Her tresses pale the sunlight's gold;

Her hands are featly formed, and taper;
Her — ^well, the rest ought not be told

In any modest family paper.
Fair as Ischomache, and bright
As Brimo. Qucpque queen is right.

O goddesses of long ago,

A shepherd called yc sweet and slender.
He saw ye, so he ought to know;

But sooth, to her ye must surrender.
O may a million years not trace
A single line upon that face!



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Propertius's Bid for Immortality

Book m, Odo 8

"Carminis interea nostri redannus in
orbem "

LET us return, then, for a time,
To our accustomed round of rhyme;
And let my songs' familiar art
Not fail to move my lady's heart.

They say that Orpheus with his lute
Had power to tame the wildest brute ;
That "Variations on a Theme"
Of his would stay the swiftest stream.

They say that by the minstreFs song
Cithaeron's rocks were moved along
To Thebes, where, as you may recall,
They formed themselves to frame a wall.

And Galatea, lovely maid.
Beneath wild Etna's fastness stayed
Her horses, dripping with the mere.
Those Polypheman songs to hear.

What marvel, then, since Bacchus and
Apollo grasp me by the hand.
That all the maidens you have heard
Should hang upon my slightest word?


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Something Else Again

Taenerian columns in my home
Are not; nor any golden dome;
No parks have I, nor Marcian spring,
Nor orchards — ^nay, nor anything.

The Muses, though, are friends of mine;
Some readers love my lyric line;
And never is Calliope
Awearied by my poetry.

O happy she whose meed of praise
Hath fallen upon my sheaf of lays!
And every song of mine is sent
To be thy beauty's monument.

The Pyramids that point the sky.
The House of Jove that soars so high,
Mausolus' tomb— they are not free
From Death his final penalty.

For fire or .rain shall steal away
The crumbling glory of their day;
But fame for wit can never die.
And gosh ! I was a gay old guy I



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A Lament

Wop«rttwii Book 1^ aUfT B
"Eripitur nobis iam pridem cava puella "

WHILE she I loved is being torn
From arms that held her many years,
Dost thou regard me, friend, with scorn,
Or seek to check my tears?

Bitter the hatred for a jilt,
And hot the hates of Eros are;

My hatred, slay me an thou wilt,
For thee'd be gentler far.

Can I endure that she recline
Upon another's arm? Shall they

No longer call that lady "mine"
Who "mine" was yesterday?

For Love is fleeting as the hours.

The town of Thebes is draped with moss,
And Ilium's well-known topless towers

Are now a total loss.

Fell Thebes and Troy; and in the grave
Have fallen lords of high degree.

What songs I sang! What gifts I gavel
. . . She never fell for mc.


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Bon Voyage — and Vice Versa

IPVOp«VlilUil Bl«f7 TZZi; VMTt 1

"Tune igitur demens, nee te mea cura

O CYNTHIA, hast thou lost thy mind?
Have I no claim on thine affection?
Dost love the chill Illyrian wind

With something passing predilection?
And is thy friend — ^whoe'er he be —
The kind to take the place of mef

Ah, canst thou bear the surging deep?

Canst thou endure the hard ship's-mattress ?
For scant will be thy hours of sleep

From Staten Island to Cape Hatt'ras;
And won't thy fairy feet be froze
With treading on the foreign snows?

I hope that doubly blows the gale,
With billows twice as high as ever.

So that the captain, fain to sail.
May not achieve his mad endeavour I

The winds, when that they cease to roar,

Shall find me wailing on the shore.


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Yet merit thou my love or wrath,
O False, I pray that Galatea

May smile upon thy watery path !
A pleasant trip, — ^that's the idea.

Light of my life, there never shall

For me be any other gal.

And sailors, as they hasten past.
Will always have to hear my query:

"Where have you seen my Cynthia last?
Has anybody seen my dearie?"

rU shout: ''In Maiden or Marquette

Where'er she be, I'll have her yet!"


"MUitis in galea nidum fecere columha/''


WITHIN the soldier's helmet see
The nesting dove;
Venus and Mars, it seems to me,
In love.


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On the Uses of Adversity

"Nam nihil est, quod non fnortdLibus alferat


NOTHING there is that mortal man may
utterly despise;
What in our wealth we treasured, in our
poverty we prize.

The gold upon a sinking ship has often

wrecked the boat.
While on a simple oar a shipwrecked man

may keep afloat.

The burglar seeks the plutocrat, attracted by
his dress —

The poor man finds his poverty the true pre-


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After Hearing "Robin Hood"

THE songs of Sherwood Forest
Are lilac-sweet and clear;
The virile rhymes of merrier times
Sowid fair upon mine ear.

Sweet is their sylvan cadence
And sweet their simple art

The balladry of the greenwood tree
Stirs memories in my heart.

O braver days and elder
With mickle valour dight.

How ye bring back the time, alack!
When Harry Smith could write!



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Maud Muller Mutatur

In 1909 toilet goods were In 1919 an assortment of

not considered a serious perfumes that would rival

matter and no special de- any city department store

partment of the catalogs is shown, along with six

was devoted to it. A few pages of other toilet ar*

perfumes and creams were ticTes, including rouge and

scattered here and there eyebrow pencils,
among bargain goods.

-^From "How the Farmer Has Changed in a Decade:
Toilet Goods/* in Farm and Fireside's advertise'


AUD MULLER, on a summer's day,
Powdered her nose with Bon Sachet

Beneath her lingerie hat appeared
Eyebrows and cheeks that were well

Singing she rocked on the front piazz,
To the tune of "The Land of the Sky Blue

But the song expired on the summer air,
And she said "This won't get me anywhere."

The judge in his car looked up at her

And signalled "Stop !" to his brave chauffeur.

He smiled a smile that is known as broad,
And he said to Miss Muller, "Hello, how's



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Online LibraryThomas WrightSome habits and customs of the working classes → online text (page 1 of 5)