Davis Foute Eagleton.

Writers and writings of Texas online

. (page 24 of 27)
Online LibraryDavis Foute EagletonWriters and writings of Texas → online text (page 24 of 27)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


A FANTASY OF REINCARNATION.

When you were a princess and I was a slave,

Aeons and aeons ago;
When I knelt below as you swept up the nave,

The lights swinging to and fro
To blazon your conquering, imperial way

To the sacred, mystical shrine ;
Your mantle of ermine begemmed with bright stars,

Brushed the coarse texture of mine.

Then over my soul came the fullness of love,

Blooming again and again,
Your eyes looked on me from your soul far above,

Darkening and deepening with pain.
You met at the altar your Emperor, mate,

So cold in his majesty,
Your hands were united by reasons of state

No thought of felicfty.



MRS. JENNIE KENDRICK COLLINS 343

Oh, "Truth is a fixed star," and ever it reigns,

Yes, 'twas long aeons ago,
And Love, reincarnate, triumphant, regains

His throne, his realm and oh,
My soul that was wandering through ages agone,

Adrift on the sea of despair,
No longer a weathercock, battling alone,

To escaped the hazard and the snare,

Has found you, my Love, my queenly one, Sweet!

No royalty parts us now;
The crown of Love's splendor, my royal one, Sweet 1

Is shining upon your brow.

A DREAM OF THE WEST.

I love your blue waters

That ripple in sunshine,
I sigh for your hills and your calm sky so blue;

I love your broad prairies,

Fit: home of the fairies,
I wake in the morning from dreaming of you.

I dream of the sunrise,

When roses are blooming,
I cull them and twine them around a bright head.

I dream of the shadows

That fall o'er the meadows
Along a dim pathway that from the woods led.

I dream of the music

That floats o'er the waters
When the flag of our country comes slow-floating down ;

And the bugle sounds shrill

From the barracks-crowned hill,
Like a glamor of chivalry o'er the old town.



344 WRITERS AND WRITINGS OF TEXAS



MRS. SHARLIE F. AGREE

As a biographical sketch Mrs. Acree writes : "As to
the sketch of my humble self, there is very little to
tell. Although a native Texan, I was reared among
the green hills of Tennessee, in the picturesque village
in which our own David Crockett was born, Rogers-
ville, and educated in the Synodical College there.
That is all there is to say." Her present home is
Whitesboro, Texas.

AMONG THE BARLEY SHEAVES.

The breezes from the salty sea

Across the inland crept,
And fanned the brows of Bethlehem,

As on her slopes she slept.
Lay on the blue, Judean hills

The veil that distance weaves,
When Ruth, sweet Ruth, went forth to glean

Among the barley sheaves.

The sacred songs of Zion's land

The happy reapers sang;
And, flashing through the golden grain,

The shining sickles rang.

The lord of all those pleasant fields

Came striding up the glade,
And saw among the gleaners there,

The t : r- ; ri. e? - ririoro r maid.



MRS. SHARLTE F. AGREE 34S

The sunlight crowned her waving hair,

As brown as autumn leaves ;
And Cupid lurked, with bended bow,

Behind the barley sheaves,
And Cupid trained his arrow true,

Behind the barley sheaves.

Oh, trice a thousand years have passed,

Since that sweet tale was told
Beneath the dim Judean hills,

But still, it grows not old.
It lies a chaplet, fresh and green,

Upon the sacred leaves,
The story of that wooing brief,

Among the barley sheaves.

THE NEW YEAR.

Look forth ! Behold ! the daydawn gilds the east,

And in the west the silver crescent pales.
The rosy light is breaking on the everlasting hills,

And stealing o'er the dark and dewy vales ;
And yonder, through the golden gates of morn,

One cometh, with a brow serene and clear,
Lift up thy heavy eyelids and behold,

And give thy greeting to the newborn year.

Let us greet the coming New Year with a song
Glad and loud, to drown the undertone of woe,

Lo ! the grassy graves we heaped in yester year
They are covered by a wintry waste of snow,

And the wreathes of solemn cypress that we wound,
They are hidden 'neath the holly's crimson glow.

There are vain regrets that come to vex the soul,
There are bitter, unavailing tears that start,

There are ghosts of buried sorrows that arise
To walk the haunted chambers of the heart.



346 WRITERS AND WRITINGS OF TEXAS

Let us turn our faces forward for today,
Let us put away our hidden griefs awhile,

Let us check the burning teardrops as they fall,
Let us greet the coming New Year with a smile!

Let us greet the coming New Year with a song,
Glad and loud, to drown the undertone of woe,

Lo ! the grassy graves we heaped in yester year,
They are covered by a wintry waste of snow,

And the wreathes of solemn cypress that we wound,
They are hidden 'neath the holly's crimson glowl



POSSESSION.

(This poem was awarded the prize in the literary contest
of the literature committee of the second district, Texas
Federation of Woman's Clubs, of which Mrs. Charles Tid-
wel'l Phelan of Dallas is chairman. It appeared in the Dallas
News of April 14, 1913.)

They gave to earth your lifeless form
And o'er you heaped the churchyard clay;
And brought to deck your resting place
The fairest blossoms of the May.
But through the sound of solemn hymn
And mournful dirge and wailing sore,
My heart sang out triumphantly,
"Now he is mine forevermore!
For evermore for evermore!"

And they forgot. Before the sod
Upon your narrow bed was green
The living ceased to speak your name
You were as one who had not been.
But I remember happily.
For, since the others care no more,
My heart has ceased to ache and throb
With jealous pain it felt before.



MRS. SHARLIE F. AGREE 347

The world shut out, alone with night,
I dream, and in a vision sweet,
I see you in the mellow light
Sit in your old place at my feet.
I feel your hand close over mine,
Your loving arms about me pressed,
Your clinging lips against my throat,
Your shining head upon my breast.

Oh, death is kind! In olden days
New comrades called you, and you went;
They do not need or want you now,
And you are mine I rest content!
Without, the careless throng goes by,
And changes come and tempests roar;
But naught can mar my perfect peace,
For you are mine for evermore!
For evermore for evermore!



348 WRITERS AND WRITINGS OF TEXAS

ACCEPTANCE OF STATUES OF

AUSTIN AND HOUSTON
TRIBUTES TO AUSTIN AND HOUSTON.

On January 20, 1905, the House of Representatives
of the National Congress passed the following reso-
lution :

"That the exercises appropriate to the reception and accept-
ance from the State of Texas of the statues of Sam Houston
and Stephen F. Austin, erected in Statuary Hall, in the
Capitol, be made the special order for Saturday, the 25th of
February, at 3 o'clock p.m."

At that time speeches were made by a number of
prominent Texas members. The following are ex-
tracts from speeches delivered on that occasion.

ADDRESS OF HON. S. B. COOPER.
MR. SPEAKER:

All civilized and semi-civilized peoples have made the
effort to perpetuate in some tangible form the memory of
their great and noble dead. This memorial sometimes as-
sumes the form of a tomb, or temple, or a pyramid, or a
relief upon the walls of a palace, temple, or tomb. Often,
however, it takes the form of a statue chiseled from stone
or hammered from metal. . . .

The government of the United States, appreciating the
historical value to future generations of the collection of
the statues of those who were prominent in our earliest his-
tory, has invited each State in the Federal Union to erect
in Statuary Hall two statues in honor of those two of her
citizens whom she might deem most worthy of that dis-
tinguished honor.



TRIBUTES TO AUSTIN AND HOUSTON 349

In hearty compliance with this invitation, the State of
Texas has placed in that hall the statues of Sam Houston
and Stephen F. Austin. . . .

The two distinguished men whose statues have been pre-
sented here were born in the same State (Virginia) in the
same year, 1793. Though thus of the same age, yet Austin's
connection with Texas history began many years before the
arrival of his great colleague, and death removed him from
the scene of their common labors more than a quarter of a
century before the career of Houston was ended. Yet in the
forty-three years of his life, he earned as sound a title as
that of any man of his generation to the grateful remem-
brance of the people of Texas.

A popular historian, in contemplating the work of this
famous pioneer, said :

"If he who, by conquest, wins an empire, receives the
world's applause, how much more is due to those who, by
unceasing toil, lay in the wilderness the foundations for an
iniant colony, and build thereon a vigorous and happy State!
Surely there is not among men a more honorable destiny
than to be the peaceful founder and builder of a new Com-
monwealth. Such was the destiny of Stephen F. Austin."

No truer estimate than this can be made of the work of
Austin. While he was yet a young man, the dying request of
his father, Moses Austin, led him to come to Texas to com-
plete a scheme of colonization into which his father had en-
tered. Soon after his arrival in Texas, in the summer of
1821, changes in the organic form of the Mexican govern-
ment made it necessary for him to go in person, by the most
primitive modes of travel, to the city of Mexico, more than
one thousand miles distant, to secure a confirmation of the
contract made with his father. Successive revolutions brought
on several forms of government, each of which invalidated
the acts of his predecessor; and Austin was thus compelled
to remain at the Mexican capitol more than two years. Such,
however, was his diplomatic ability that he succeeded in
securing from each dominant faction, in due succession, a



350 WRITERS AND WRITINGS OF TEXAS

full ratification of the contract originally made with his
father by the Mexican government.

Returning to Texas he found his colony rapidly disinte-
grating through the influence of a lawless element that had
entered Texas during his absence. His contract with Mexico
had conferred upon him judicial and military powers which
rendered him almost independent of the local government.
This fortunate circumstance not only gave free scope for the
exercise of his great administrative abilities, but he brought
order, peace and prosperity to the colonies. Violence and
lawlessness disappeared under his rigid but just rule. In-
dustry was encouraged, providence and thrift were inculcated,
trade was fostered, public spirit awakened, civic pride de-
veloped by his precept and example. He neglected marriage.
He built no home for himself, but lived among his colonists
as a common guest of the community, heartily welcome at
every fireside. He lived among them as father and friend,
a trusted counselor in every trouble, a faithful nurse in sick-
ness, a provider in the time of need, a guard in the hour of
danger, an umpire whose ever- just and ever-satisfactory
award settled disputes, a judge whose decision ever found
unquestioned acceptance among the litigants, a patriarch
whose paternal influence bound together his widely scattered
people in the bonds of a common brotherhood. . . .

His life was indeed that "simple life" of which we have
heard so much in praise, and yet it was one of ceaseless toil,
varied duties, great responsibilities, arduous privation, dan-
gerous adventure, and frequent disappointment. It called for
great industry, unlimited patience, high diplomatic talent, un-
wearied persistence, a broad sympathy for his fellow men,
and a sublime effacement of self and self interest that he
might the more thoroughly consecrate himself to his noble
mission. How well he succeeded the world knows.

He left no wife and children to perpetuate his name and
race; but a nation wept at the news of the death of their
gentle, patient, sympathetic self-denying friend and counselor;
end today, after the lapse of threescore years and ten, no



TRIBUTES TO AUSTIN AND HOUSTON 351

name is more fragrant with pleasant memories in Texan
hearts, or evokes a more ardent sense of gratitude and regret
than that of Stephen F. Austin. . . .

The time and place of Houston's early life concurred to fit
him for the career which subsequently opened up to him.
During his early youth and young manhood there raged about
him and throughout the entire country a storm of discussion
of the meaning and interpretation of the provisions of the
lately adopted Federal Constitution. . . . He was the
pupil, if not the protege of Jackson and his lifelong friend,
personally and politically; and from Jackson, to some extent,
was gathered that spirit of independence and firmness which
strongly marked his whole official life. . . . The closing
act of his official life was in strict keeping with the character
of the man. Being required to take the oath of allegiance to
the new Confederacy into which Texas had entered, he could
not stultify himself by casting lightly aside the fruits of that
union for which he had long and successfully labored. He
declined to take the oath, resigned his position as Governor
of Texas, and retired to the shades of private life, carrying
with him the unstinted respect, the high admiration, and the
profound gratitude of all his fellow citizens.

In 1863, amid the fierce clamor of that great civil war,
which perhaps forms the most memorable landmark in the
march of the Anglo-Saxon people up the centuries of political
progress, Houston passed into the calm and peace of that
world peopled by the spirits of "the just made perfect." In
a simple grave, devoid of show, lie the remains of the plain
man, who in life shunned all pretense and display. Around
him spread out in the golden glory of the Southern sun,
stretches out in boundless reaches of plain and prairie and
plateau the magnificent State he helped into being, protected
in its infancy, and ably represented in these halls in its early
maturity.

Mr. Speaker, the generation that knew these men and loved
them and honored them has nearly passed away, and a swarm-



352 WRITERS AND WRITINGS OF TEXAS

: ng population is now building the superstructure of a mighty
State on the foundation so solidly laid by Austin and Hous-
ton. Two beautiful cities and two populous counties preserve
on Texas soil the names of her two noble sons; and their
statues, chiseled in marble, perpetuate their memories here.
But if, as has been said, the most enduring monuments are
those we build in the hearts of men, then the fame of Austin
and Houston is indeed secure, for as long as the great Com-
monwealth of the Southern sea stands as a bulwark of free-
dom and a monument of heroic achievement, so long will the
names of these two men endure.

Austin and Houston ! The founder and the liberator !
Fellow citizens of the United States, admit these statues to
their rightful place in this Hall of Fame. Texas offers them
as her proud contribution to this impressive symposium of
American greatness. As the countless hosts of visitors from
every land pass through this Hall, these memorials will im-
press upon them the fact that, despite all our commercialism
and love of wealth and show, the American people still meas-
ure men by their merit, and that they honor, without respect
to birth or class, those who have served their country well
And if an evil day ever come in some far-off century, if at
all, we hope when our ideals shall have changed and our
free Republic shall be replaced by the rule of a man or class
may these statues still look down from their pedestals intf
the upturned faces below and tell in speechless eloquence o'
that happy long ago when this circle of heroes and statesmei
and sages lived upon earth and each gave his life's best wor;
to found and perpe f uate a government which, ruled by righ
and justice, will reflect the glory of God and promote tl
good of man.

ADDRESS OF HON. GEO. F. BURGESS.
MR. SPEAKER:

. . . Perhaps no Commonwealth owes a deeper or wider
debt of gratitude to other States or other lands for the gift
of splendid sons and daughters to uplift and adorn her citi-



TRIBUTES TO AUSTIN AND HOUSTON 353

zenship than does the State which, in part, I have the honor
to represent. Almost every State in the Union, and almost
every civilized country in Europe, has contributed to the best
of the citizenship of Texas, and we have, doubtless, the most
commingled blood on the face of the earth. The deepest debt
of gratitude, perhaps, she owes for such gifts is to those two
splendid Commonwealths, Tennessee and Missouri : for the
first gave her Sam Houston and the second Stephen F. Aus-
tin. . . .

These two great men are gone. If they could return now
to the scene of their heroic action and behold the State which
they founded and for which they fought, what joy would
animate them! Now they would behold a great State of the
Union, inhabited by more than 3,000,000 people, cultivating
more acres of land than any other State of the American
Union; the greatest agricultural and stock raising State in
this Union; a State annually bringing into the channels of
American commerce more gold from Europe than any other
State; a State whose population is more happily distributed
than any other territory in the world; a State whose internal
government, whose low taxation, whose educational funds and
institutions, whose administration of justice, are second to
none. And, standing in the proud present, thinking of the
glorious past the contemplation of the future would stagger
even those far-seeing intellects. For no human vision can
foretell what the resistless sweep of civilization and progress
shall accomplish in the coming years in the State of the
Lone Star, with a territory comprising so much fertile soil,
of such various adaptability to all the forms of agriculture
possible on the Western continent; with a great gulf trade
upon which mouths to the open sea are calling for the com-
merce of so vast an area to pour it out into the markets of
the world, and which invite in return so much of imports to
so large a section. When the Gulf of Mexico becomes, as it
surely will, the Mediterranean of the Western continent, and
factories mingle with agriculture, a progress and a power
will be ours far beyond our ken. Those of us who live there



354 WRITERS AND WITINGS OF TEXAS

pray that our patriotism and that of our posterity may be
equal to the discharge of all the great tasks that our great
future will hold for us. May the spirit of our fathers fall
with tender benediction and inspiring purpose upon us and
our children forever.

Texas has not only a glorious but a unique history. She
comprises the only territory upon the surface of the globe
which has a history that parallels in patriotic purpose, struggle
and achievement that of the thirteen colonies of America.
. . . The same love of liberty, the same reckless devotion
to human rights, throbbed in the bosoms of these colonists
that had been potent among those of the thirteen colonies.
Revolution came here as the result. These colonists met in
the open and they wrote a declaration of independence, and
achieved it by a short, desperate, but decisive war. They or-
dained a Constitution, they selected a flag typical of the
Republic which they had founded. This flag had a blue field,
wherein gleamed a lone star, which stood for the sovereignty
of the Republic for which they had sacrificed so much. They
had their Gonzales, where the first shot was fired in resist-
ance to tyranny and lit a fire of freedom that could not be
quenched : their Alamo and Goliad. The desperate valor of
the one and the merciless butchery of the other made the
glory of their San Jacinto possible, for they gave that battle
cry, "Remember the Alamo and Goliad" to Sam Houston's
army the most stirring, vengeful, animating war cry that
ever fell from patriot warriors' lips since the dawn of his-
tory.

As I believe, in the providence of God, the time came when
the people of the United States and the people of the Re-
public of Texas agreed to unite under one flag of the United
States and the Republic of Texas took its lone star from the
flag of ks republic and pinned it in the blue field with the
stars of the States of the Union, to mingle with them in the
same flag and under the same Constitution, in a common,
Morious destiny. May the radiance of these stars light the
Mberty for which they stand, to the remotest corners of the



TRIBUTES TO AUSTIN AND HOUSTON 355

earth. May the sweet lilies of peace, rooted in the blood of
revolution shed for freedom's sake, exhale their fragrance
in the hearts of men, till the nations of the world shall catch
step to that sacred song which in the long ago echoed over
Judea's hills, "On earth, peace, good will toward men."

ADDRESS OF HON. SCOTT FIELD.
MR. SPEAKER:

In the Memorial Hall of the Republic, in the silent assem-
blage of the world's great ones, in sculptured marble, wearing
the garb of the pioneers of the wilderness, typical of the age
and time in which they lived, stand Stephen F. Austin, the
father of Texas, and Sam Houston, the right arm of the
Republic, placed there by the wishes of 3,000,000 of happy,
prosperous people, their beneficiaries, as evidence of their
admiration and devotion, and as a declaration to all the world
that these are the greatest of all Texas' mighty dead. Their
brave hearts no longer beat, their strong arms are rigid, their
lips forever sealed; and yet, eloquent in marble, they bring
back to memory the most luminous and glorious pages in
American history. But for the courage, the statesmanship
and self-sacrificing devotion of Stephen F. Austin to the early
colonists of Texas, they would have been driven from the
fair land to which he had led them, and Texas, like her sister
Coahuila, would now be a state of the Mexican Republic;
and but for the wise counsel, the strong arm, and bright
blade of Sam Houston at San Jacinto, the lone star of the
infant Republic, dazzling in beauty as it was, would have
faded from the galaxy of nations before it added new lustre
to the flag of our great Republic.

These statues of Texas' greatest heroes, however, were not
placed in the nation's Pantheon as reminders of their heroic
acts and deeds alone, but as the grandest types of the age
and scenes in which they lived and moved and the most per-
fect exponents of the glory ef the past the heroic days of
Texas. Far back in the remote ages of romance and chivalry



356 WRITERS AND WRITINGS OF TEXAS

the Spanish conqueror with bloody sword, rifled the treasures
of the Montezumas, and in his eager march and search for
gold, faced the rising sun and crossed the great river of the
north far into the plains of Texas, where since creation's
dawn silence and peace had reigned; and following close in
the soldier's wake came the devout, mysterious wake, to heal
the wounds of war, to bear the Messiah's message and teach
the arts of speech, whose monuments remain in those quaint
mission castles from the Rio Grande to the Salado, and
"whose dismantled ruins still keep the memory of those
adventurous days." . . .

Did time permit me, I should like to speak at length of
the battles and the heroes of the revolution; how old Ben
Milam, to settle controversy, cut the Gordlan knot by draw-
ing a line upon the ground, stepping across, and calling,
"Who will follow old Ben Milam?" and three hundred
more, as brave as he, stepped across, and the storming of
Bexar commenced. Five days and nights the assault went
on, from house to house, through narrow streets and plazas
broad. Old Milam fell, but Johnson onward led the charge
until the victory was won, and five hundred Mexicans
marched out with banners trailing, across the Rio Grande,
and there remained no hostile foe in Texas.

At the Alamo, liberty's purest shrine, the fruitful theme
of eloquence, poetry, and song; how Travis and his immor-
tals, conscious of their doom, sent the last message back that
{.hey would never surrender nor retreat, and when surrender
was demanded answered back with a cannon shot ; how the
''stillness of that Sabbath dawn was broken by the trumpet's
blast and every band broke forth in the shrill and terrible
strains of the dcguello, the music of merciless murder;"
and ten thousand Mexicans rushed on; at last broke down
the southern ga^e, and like a stream long pent up, the mur-
derous tide poured in. Brave Travis fell near the outer wall
by his cannon, no longer useful ; Bowie though sick, piled
many a ghastly corpse around him ere he died; and where
the dead lay thickest old Davy Crockett fell. In thirty min-



TRIBUTE TO AUSTIN AND HOUSTON 357

utes 182 Texans fell, with gun in hand; none escaped, and


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 24 26 27

Online LibraryDavis Foute EagletonWriters and writings of Texas → online text (page 24 of 27)