Copyright, 1893, by
A. B. PAINE AND W. A. WHITE.
A NUMBER of the poems in this collection have
been printed and praised by newspapers and
magazines East, West, North, South. So many
people have shown an interest in them that the
authors are encouraged to hope that selections
of their work between book-covers will afford
some degree of satisfaction to the public. They
have not re-strung the lute of Mr. Apollo, or in
terrupted the corn-planting of Mrs. Ceres ; they
have in no way offended the Kansans ideas of
poesy for the best poetry made in Kansas is not
that of the Study. It does not smell of the mid
night oil. There is no Greek or Latin flavor to
it. Time-worn Mythological figures have no
place in its construction. Even songs of Ruins,
of Moonlight, of Babbling Brooks have given
way to living fancies. One sees and feels all
that is here written.
The " Rhymes of Two Friends" recall mem
ories we love the sound of a voice, the smile of
a face, the touch of a hand. They appeal to the
heart and soften the hard places in the struggle
for life. Surrendering to their charms one be
comes a Boy Innocent, a Young Man Eloquent,
an Old Man Reminiscent. We shall be the bet
ter for reading these Rhymes again and again.
HIAWATHA, KANS., Aug. 75, 1893.
ALBERT BIGELOW PAINE.
The Organist 2
A Dream of the Sea 10
First Bright Days 12
The Lives of Men 13
The Gates Ajar 14
Miss Smith 16
The Island of Literature 18
The Waking 20
The Fisherman 21
The Wave and the Star 22
The Dancing Bear ,.. 23
My Three Friends 25
The Method In It 28
The Boatswain s Story 30
Lines in a Dictionary 33
ALBERT BIGELOW PAINE.
At Galveston 34
In Louisiana 35
A Fatal Reform 37
On the Greenbriar 38
The North Side 40
The Planet Mars 41
Writin Jim 42
An Oasis ... 44
The Swallow and the Soul 47
Kansas Then and Now 49
O er Turf and Clod 50
When the Sunflowers Bloom 54
The Touch of Art 58
The End of a Dream 59
The Mirror 61
His Poem 62
My Two Poets 63
After the Storm 64
From Afar 65
The Woodman s Dream 68
A Worn Out Woman Rests 72
The Angler 74
The Collarless Dog 76
Concernin Some Folks 78
The Book-Keeper 82
A Weary Philosopher 86
ALBERT BIGELOW PAINE.
An Answer to Little Boy Blue 88
Le Roi Est Mort 90
What the Winds Said 92
That Red Haired Girl 93
A Christmas Waif 94
The First Christmas Eve 97
The Mystical Sea 99
The Three Caravels 101
Two of Us 105
To a Mountain Summit 106
Fate s Alchemy no
Weevily Wheat 112
A Ghost 114
A Genius 116
Parish School 1 18
The Wild Sunflower 120
Wishing for Stars 122
That Mystery 124
Deacon Peter s Jasper 126
First Snow-Fall 130
The Rhyme of the Spanish Needle 131
It Happened Thus 134
WILLIAN ALLEN WHITE.
A Wilier Crick Incident 153
A Little Dreamboy 156
Some Secular Queries 158
WILLIAM ALLEN WHITE.
The Gradgeratun o Joe 161
That Ye be not Judged 164
A Rhyme of the Dream-Maker Man 166
Where "A Lovely Time W T as Had" 169
Jes Like Him 172
To Chloe at Springtide 175
The Music which hath Charms 178
A Print Shop Incident 181
Some Shop Talk 184
Kings Ex 186
A Wail in B Minor 188
A Group of Humble Cradle Songs 190
A Wilier Crick Lullaby.
A Jim Street Lullaby.
Sister Mary s Lullaby.
Their Poor Daddy 195
A Rickety Rhyme, &c 197
The Formal Announcement 200
The New Wrinkle on Mr. Bill 202
Mr. Bill s Insomnia 203
Bud and the Hatchet Myth 204
Father s Little Joke 206
The Maiden and the Prince 209
How it Happened 211
Comfort Scorned of Devils 213
After While 214
A Valentine 215
A Song for Mistress Sylvia 217
The Exodus of Elder Twiggs 219
Terpsicore on \Viller Creek 223
If you go Away 225
Out in the Dark 227
THE NUMBER OF BOOKS IN THIS
EDITION is LIMITED TO FIVE HUNDRED
OF WHICH THIS IS
Acknowledgements are due Messrs. Harper & Bros., editors of
Ladies Home Journal, Worthington s Magazine, Truth, Kansas
City Star and others for reprint here of a number of these rhymes.
ALBERT BIGELOW PAINE.
HE was born in cultured Boston, in
that fair and famous town,
J&, And her father was a financier of
i venture and renown ;
She acquired an education of the old New Eng
Hoarding stores of classic wisdom in a compre
hensive mind ;
But her music, Oh, her music, twas her soul s
transcendent glory !
And she finished with a flourish in the big con
Finished with a theme from Mozart mid the
plaudits of the throng
That arose and filled her being like a symphony
Ah, these earthly joys are transient and depart
on noiseless wings,
And our wealth s the most uncertain of all insub
stantial things :
Thus one morning when the market stumbled
down a steep incline
All the father s fortune crumbled in a Colorado
And although he tried to rally on a little deal in
Still the luck kept hard against him till it cleaned
him out complete.
Gone their fortune, friends and fireside gone
the grand piano, too
They must seek some humble shelter and begin
the world anew ;
And the old man, full of sorrow, said
he could nt bear to stay
In the place that saw his ruin, so
they sadly crept away ;
But they left behind the mother,
she the happiest of all,
She had died amid their plenty just
a year before the fall.
THE ORGANIST. 5
And they came out to the prairies and they hum
bly settled down
On a little stony forty bout a mile or so from town ;
Where the father, half discouraged, struggled
hard to make a stand,
But they only grew the poorer on that stony bit
of land ;
While the daughter, spirit-broken, plodding hope
Half forgot her classic learning and the sym
phony of song ;
Half forgot her Latin verses, learning how
to cook and
C-_ themes of Mozart
r~ in the music of the
Only, now and then at eve
ning, when the sun was going down,
And the green upon the meadow faded softly
6 THE ORGANIST.
She would slip across the upland to a lonely
clump of birch
Where she knew there was an organ in a little
There amid the shades of evening she would sit
alone and play,
While her soul from earthly travail seemed to
lift and soar away.
Twas the single hour of triumph in the weary
round she trod ;
Twas the resonant outpouring of the spirit to
THE ORGANIST. 7
By and by the old man tottered and was helpless
in his chair ;
And the heart-sick daughter married in a sort of
wild despair ;
Took a man who owned a section and a half of
And for this she swore to love him, and to honor,
and obey ;
Took a man whose education was confined to
cows and corn ;
Took a man whose sweetest music was the rasp
ing dinner horn ;
Who on Sunday sang Old Hundred in an ancient
Knowing less of time than turnips -less of har
mony than hay.
One more night she crossed the upland and pour
ed out her heart to God,
Then forever barred its portals and was mated
with a clod.
But the neighbors called him "dea
con," for he led the hymn
And on Sunday walked to " meetin " with
a self-complacent air ;
And the woman walked beside him, humbly
heeding his command,
He the owner of a section and a half of fer
tile land ;
And she hearkened to the preacher, cringing at
his nasal twang,
And she played the little organ when the
But she came no more at evening to pour
out her soul alone ;
She had bartered soul for substance, and
her heart was turned to stone.
Thus the years went creeping onward, and
the babies came along,
Each with voice attuned to mingle in a
swelling choric song ;
While the mother, bowed and broken,
toiling early, toiling late,
Long ago has ceased from troubling and resigned
herself to fate ;
Long ago has she forgotten all her
precious classic lore
And the magic themes of Mozart wake her spirit
never more ;
Long ago has ceased from sighing at the father s
And the old man, neath the clover, slumbers on
and does not care.
Still she hearkens to the deacon heeding all he
has to say ;
Still performs her wifely duties in an uncom
plaining way ;
Still each Sunday plays the organ, down amid the
clump of birch,
For the singing of Old Hundred in that little
IO A DREAM OF THE SEA.
A DREAM OF THE SEA.
1-, FARMER lad in his prairie home
Lay dreaming of the sea !
He ne er had seen it, but well he knew
Its pictured image and heavenly hue ;
And he dreamed he swept o er its waters blue,
With the winds a-blowing free,
With the winds so fresh and free.
He woke ! and he said "The day will come
When that shall be truth to me ;"
But as years swept by him he always found
That his feet were clogged and his hands were
Till at last he lay in a narrow mound,
Afar from the sobbing sea,
The sorrowing, sobbing sea.
A DREAM OF THE SEA. II
Oh, many there are on the plains to-night,
That dream of a voyage to be ;
And have said in their souls "The day will come
When my bark shall sweep through the drifts
of foam !"
But their eyes grow dim and their lips grow dumb,
Afar from the tossing sea,
The turbulent, tossing sea.
12 FIRST BRIGHT DAYS.
FIRST BRIGHT DAYS.
WHEN the skies are getting bluer and the fields
are getting green,
When the bud upon the maple is beginning to be
Where the willows sweep the water there s a flash
of silver light,
For the bud is on the maple and the fish begin
Then the world is getting ready for the blossom
of the spring ;
The sun is creeping northward and the wild duck
And every day is clipping off a piece from every
THE LIVES OF MEN. 13
When the bud is on the maple and the fish begin
Oh, days when first the sun breaks through and
warms the heart to peace !
Oh, days when men grow young again and half
their troubles cease !
Oh, days when every germ of hope is pushing to
And the bud is on the maple and the fish begin
to bite !
THE LIVES OF MEN.
Tis strange about the lives of men ;
They live, and love, and die, and then,
What then ? Ah, don t I wish I knew !
But really cannot tell, can you ?
14 THE GATES AJAR.
THE GATES AJAR.
I HAVE seen a Kansas sunset like a vision in a
When a halo was about me, and a glory on the
When the birds had ceased their music and the
summer day was done ;
And prismatic exhalations came adrifting from
the sun ;
And those gold and purple vapors, and the holy
Lay upon the peaceful valley like a silent, eve
ning prayer ;
And I ve gazed upon that atmospheric splendor
of the west
Till it seemed to me a gateway to the regions of
THE GATES AJAR. 15
I HAVE seen a Kansas sunrise like the waking of
When every dewy blade of grass caught up the
golden gleam ;
When every bird renewed the song it sang the
And all- the silent, slumbering world returned to
life once more ;
When every burst of radiance called up a throng
And all the living, waking world with melody
And, as the flood of light and song came floating
down the plain,
It seemed to me those golden gates were open
I 6 MIS SMITH.
ALL day she hurried to get through
The same as lots of wimmiri do ;
Sometimes at night her husban said,
" Ma, ain t you goin to come to bed?"
And then she d kinder give a hitch,
And pause half-way between a stitch,
And sorter sigh, and say that she
Was ready as she d ever be,
And so the years went one by one,
An somehow she was never done ;
An when the angel said, as how
" Mis Smith, its time you rested now,"
She sorter raised her eyes to look
A second, as a stitch she took ;
" All right, I m comin now," says she,
" I m ready as I ll ever be,
SOMETIMES I have dreams of a far-off time
When the busy world shall a moment cease
Its headlong rush, for some bit of rhyme,
Some newly awakened chord, or chime,
That I may touch in that far-off time
While groping among the keys.
Sometimes I think that I yet may sing
A song that never was sung before ;
That I yet may touch some quivering string
Till its slumbering soul shall awake and fling
A song into mine, that I shall sing
And men will echo forevermore.
I 8 THE ISLAND OF LITERATURE.
THE ISLAND OF LITERATURE.
HE who seeks immortal fame
Seeks to mummify his name
In the isle of literature,
Disappointment must endure
And abide :
Very hard that isle to enter
Harder still to reach the center
Gainst the tide.
From that magic isle of dreams
There are sundry crystal streams
Flowing outward to the sea
Whence a route, it seems to me,
Might be had :
But the dragons guarding each,
And the quick-sands of the beach,
Make it bad.
THE ISLAND OF LITERATURE. IQ
Budding genius dreams a dream
Of that island, and a stream
Flowing fast and flowing free,
From the center to the sea :
And he sails,
Thinking he will sail right in
Thinking he is sure to win,
But he fails.
Then he skims around the edges,
In the marshes and the sedges ;
But he finds no entrance fair
To that island lying there
All so calm ;
Still he watches and he waits,
Like a beggar at the gates,
For an aim.
But the days are bleak and dismal,
And the nights appear abysmal :
So, with unrequited yearning,
Sadly, sorrowfully turning,
Off he goes :
While the tear-drops gently trickle,
Till they form a big icicle
On his nose.
2O THE WAKING.
Some day he may come again
Some far distant day, and then,
When the best of life is gone.
And the night comes creeping on,
He may find,
In the island of his dream,
That fair and undiscovered stream
OH, love of life s morn, when the fresh dew of
And innocence lies on the tendrils of youth !
As fair as a snowflake untarnished by earth,
As pure as a babe on the day of its birth.
As fair as a lily just burst into bloom,
As sweet as a breath of that lily s perfume.
Bright star of the dawn ! Thou forever shalt be
The rarest of all my lost jewels, to me.
THE FISHERMAN. 21
HE left us one evening in late July,
When the sun was sinking to rest,
He stepped on board as he said "Good-by !"
And his boat sailed down to the west.
And we watched it slowly go out of sight,
Where the red was beginning to burn,
And somehow we felt in our hearts that night
That his boat would never return.
But no one spoke of the half-formed dread
That lay in each troubled breast ;
And we watched each day till the sky burned red
For the boat that sailed down to the west.
Day after day we paced the sand,
Still watching ; but all in vain ;
And I think he sailed to a better land,
For he never came back again.
22 THE WAVE AND THE STAR.
THE WAVE AND THE STAR.
FAR on the ocean a billow was born,
[& A waif of the wind and the sea.
A star up in heaven shone brightly
A spark of eternity.
And the beautiful star loved the wave, from afar,
And paled in its mute despair ;
But the wave on its bosom caught up. the star,
And died as it held it there.
THE DANCING BEAR. 23
THE DANCING BEAR.
OH, it s fiddle-de-dum and fiddle-de-dee,
The dancing bear ran away with me ;
For the organ grinder he came to town
With a jolly old bear in a coat of brown,
And the funny old chap joined hands with me,
While I cut a caper and so did he.
Then twas fiddle-de-dum and fiddle-de-dee,
I looked at him, and he winked at me,
And I whispered a word in his shaggy ear,
And I said, "I will go with you, my dear."
Then the dancing bear he smiled and said,
Well, he didn t say much, but he nodded his head,
As the organ-grinder began to play,
"Over the hills and far away."
With a fiddle-de-dum and a fiddle-de-dee ;
24 THE DANCING BEAR.
Oh, I looked at him and he winked at me,
And rny heart was light and the day was fair,
And away I went with the dancing bear.
Oh, it s fiddle-de-dum and fiddle-de-dee,
The dancing bear came back with me ;
For the sugar-plum trees were stripped and bare,
And we couldn t find cookies anywhere.
And the solemn old fellow he sighed and said,
Well, he didn t say much, but he shook his head,
While I looked at him and he blinked at me
Till I shed a tear and so did he;
And both of us thought of our supper that lay
Over the hills and far away.
Then the dancing bear he took my hand,
And we hurried away through the twilight land ;
And twas fiddle-de-dum and fiddle-de-dee
When the dancing bear came back with me.
MY THREE FRIENDS. 25
MY THREE FRIENDS.
ON the sunlit island of Long-ago
In the valley of Used-to-be,
There were three good friends that I used to know
Who have wandered away from me.
One was buried when life was young
His grave is far from me ;
And one I lost by a slandering tongue,
And one crossed over the sea.
And now as I sit in my room alone,
They live in my memory ;
And I wonder if any that I have known
Do ever remember me.
But one passed over the river of death,
And one crossed over the sea,
And one I lost by a venemous breath
And all have forgotten me.
ACROSS a waste of moorland, bleak and bare,
A lonely bird is flying, calling low
The last of all the feathered host to go,
And loth to leave still lingers, calling, there.
Within my silent garden-passes, where
The flowers are withered that in summer blow,
I walk with murmuring ghosts, that to and fro
Sway gently in the chill November air ;
When, lo ! I mark a little way apart
The sovereign glory of this waning year
That now, alone, unheralded hath come,
In gorgeous robes alas, my fickle heart
Forgets the dead, and laughs that she is here,
The royal queen of fall, Chrysanthemum.
THE year is waning fast, the biting wind
Is prating through the branches brown and
Complaining. echos voice that fall is here,
And drowsy summer dreaming far behind.
There s death on every hand, and yet I find
A mournful pomp along these darkened ways,
So prodigal of bloom in summer days,
When vine and flower in glory intertwined.
Dear wife, along these charnel paths we pass,
Two silent mourners for the dying year ;
Draw close thy cloak, the wind is chill ; Alas,
How fast the winter comes ; how reft of cheer
Will be those lagging days ; and yet we know
Our flowers will only sleep, beneath the snow.
28 THE METHOD IN IT.
THE METHOD IN IT.
WE were playin a quiet game of draw,
Muggins an me an Looney Ben ;
Queerest old chap you ever saw ;
(Accident once, an fits since then.)
Straight enough, though, when his head was right,
But skeery, you bet, when his spells come on ;
Though things were runnin on smooth that night,
As the hands were dealt and the cards were
Lucky old Muggins had won a lot;
I was easy the loss was Ben s.
Mug had jest opened a big jack-pot,
And I had filled on a pair of tens.
When all of a sudden Ben giv a yell
That lifted our hair and raised the sweat ;
Then just what happened I couldn t tell,
Per Ben had a fit, an we left, you bet !
Deserted like cowards, an left poor Ben-
Flew through the window an took the sash
I reckon Ben smiled for a minit , an then
Walked out through the door an took the cash.
A pale, little flaxen tress
Tied up with a bit of thread ;
Not much to admire, I guess,
Such a pale, little flaxen tress,
Yet I kiss it, and bless, and caress,
For twas clipped from my baby s head,
This pale, little flaxen tress
Tied up with a bit of thread.
30 THE BOATSWAIN S STORY.
THE BOATSWAIN S STORY.
"Can I swim? Oh, yes, and I swam right well
One night down here on this southern coast,
When the wind and the sea were a raging hell,
And the good ship Mary Lee was lost.
" I w r as on board that luckless ship
I, and about one hundred more.
She had just come in from a three years trip
To go down that night within sight of shore.
"We had beaten about with the wind all day,
Though the most of us knew twas a useless
And at last, when our rudder was swept away,
It carried hope with it and sank from sight.
"And we knew that the end was drawing nigh,
And we felt that the moment was close at hand,
When we d float away in the sea to die,
To be cast at morn on the yellow sand.
BOATSWAIN S STORY. 31
"Some were in tears and some in prayer,
And some were singing an old-time psalm ;
And a few of the faces that I saw there
Were filled with a look of a peaceful calm.
"The captain s daughter a fair young thing
Of sixteen summers shed never a tear ;
But I saw her lips press the golden ring
On her fair left hand as the end drew near.
" And the strongest men were giving way,
With curses and prayers in the selfsame breath ;
While the frailest forms that were there that day
W T ere calm and brave in the face of death.
"And I ve often noticed in times like that,
That the weak are strong and the strong are
And I think to my death I shall never forget
The look that night on the strong man s cheek.
" They were first to take to the boats when
And were swamped and lost in the first big sea.
I saw them a moment with faces blanched,
And then they drifted away from me.
32 THE BOATSWAIN S STORY.
" At last we struck, as we knew we must,
And we knew it was death when we felt the
Now each to their God and their strength must
The captain cried, She is on a rock !
"And a moment more I was in the sea,
Fighting my way through the boiling brine.
I thought that no one was near to me,
When all of a sudden a hand clasped mine.
"A small, slim hand, and I felt its clasp,
And knew that its owner was not yet dead.
I took it in mine with a firmer grasp ;
We will live or die together, I said.
"Gods ! how I fought that night with the sea !
But gaining the battle inch by inch ;
I thought each wave that swept over me
Must carry me down, but I did not flinch.
"And I held on tight to that little hand,
That now lay passive and still in mine,
Till at last, thank God, I could touch the sand,
And drew up my charge from the seething brine.
LINES IN A DICTIONARY. 33
" I drew it up high on the shelving beach,
But I could not speak for the breakers roar.
I staggered up out of the water s reach,
Then my brain grew numb and I knew no more.
"When life returned it was broad, bright day,
And the sun was shining above my head.
Close at my side my companion lay.
Twas the captain s daughter, and she was
LINES IN A DICTIONARY.
A FEAST of words collected here doth lie,
A wondrous feast of twenty-six rare courses ;
A modest taste of each is all that I
May hope to take, yet Nature s ardent forces,
With every morsel, hungrier than before,
Unsatisfied call lustily for more.
34 AT GALVESTON.
A LONG, low stretch of sandy beach,
Where foamy waves that hurry in,
Keep up a never ceasing din ;
And water far as eye can reach.
White sailboats that go flitting by,
And white winged sea-gulls, whose frail forms
Brave fearlessly the fiercest storms,
Go circling through the summer sky ;
Where fleecy clouds like drifts of snow
Float softly on a sea of blue,
Whose tender color, melting through,
Lends lustre to the sea below.
Such is the restful vision here
By this fair city in the sea,
On this low isle that seems to me
Must one day melt and disappear.
IN LOUISIANA. 35
THE long, gray moss that softly swings
In solemn grandeur from the trees,
Like mournful funeral draperies
A brown-winged bird that never sings.
A shallow, stagnant, inland sea,
Where rank swamp grasses wave, and where
A deadliness lurks in the air
A sere leaf falling silently.
The death-like calm on every hand,
That one might deem it sin to break,