James Brown Kendall.

Poems online

. (page 2 of 4)
Online LibraryJames Brown KendallPoems → online text (page 2 of 4)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

The time approaches, when those friends must

Who've woven Friendships closest round the


Must part perchance to meet no more again,
In the new paths of life they tread as men.

One wild hurrahing round the old elm tree
One song from leaping hearts and voices free,
That still the touch of memory's wand may twine
Around the happy days of "Auld Land Syne"
A crowded thronging on "Commencement Day,"


Once more with classmates in a full array
One hearty grasp one parting word at last
And " College Life " lives only in the past.

Classmates, the Seasons thrice have dressed the

College yard,

Since first we wandered o'er these scenes alone,
And prayed the kindly genius of the place to

Our barks across the sea untried unknown.

Time, with his never resting, ever wasting waves,
Has borne us on along his silent tide ;

Three joy-fraught years are sleeping in their

hallowed graves ;
One year is left that will not long abide.

We've known the new-born pleasures of a gladden-
ing Spring

The cloudless glories of a Summer-morn
We've plucked the golden fruits that Autumn's

harvests bring
And Autumn, Summer, Spring, all now are gone.

Twelve fleeting months and Winter last to
die is o'er,

"Fair Harvard" has no other joys to give
The Ocean-waters bear us from the fading shore,

Another life, in the great world, to live.


But when this brightly-colored, brief existence


Our parting song shall, sadly lingering, swell,
And tremblingly the tongue to cherished scenes

and friends
Shall speak the heart-grief in its last farewell.


The tree that we planted so tenderly here,

When its weakness entreated our aid,
Which fondly we cherished while danger was near,

And lovingly nursed thro' the shade
Has opened its arms to the nourishing showers

And grown in the generous light,
Till its branches have blossomed all over with

We're breathing their fragrance to-night.

The perfume that floats from the blossomings fair

To the wantoning breezes is flung,
But, at last, when the flow'rs shall have faded in

The boughs with the fruit shall be hung.


And the wreaths to be woven of gold and of green
That the fays in the branches entwine,

As they blend with the sunlight that dances

Shall be laid on our brotherly shrine.

Oh, green be the tree that waves over us now
When we rest in its shadows no more,

And sweet be the voice of the murmuring bough
As it whispers of days that are o'er,

For we cannot forget that our parting is near,
That to-night we must tremblingly tell
o the joys and the friends we have counted so

The words of our solemn farewell.


Darting from a fairy fountain,

Quivering in the silver jet,
All adown the silent mountain,

Came the new-born rivulet.

Flowed the water, tripping, leaping,
To the music of its song ;


Like the rustling grain at reaping,
Swept the dancing waves along.

Overhead the branches twining,

Shadows on the brooklet made;
Thro' the leaves the sunlight shining,

Mingled kindly with the shade.

And the pearly pebbles glistened

That aneath the waves did lie,
Silently as if they listened,

To the ripples floating by

While the mossy banks that greenly
Watched the foaming wavelets glide,

In the stillness smiled serenely,
At the beauty of the tide.

And the branches stayed their playing,

Mirrored in the wave to look ;
But the secrets it was saying,

Told them not the laughing brook.

Onward thro' the forests flowing,

Onward toward the rushing sea,
Broader, deeper, fairer growing,

Shadowing what it was to be,

With a song of mirth and sweetness,
That its lonely way beguiled,


Onward to a fair completeness,
Sped away the river-child.

As girlhood sees its golden dawn

Maturing into riper day,
When, softly o'er life's pictured lawn,

The light of maidenhood doth play ;

So, winding thro' the meadows green
That there the cooling waters wet,

A silver brook illumed the scene,
No more the bounding rivulet.

Its waves rolled on with calmer beat,
Than in the early mountain-time ;

And seemed the merry elves to greet,
In words it sang in sweeter rhyme.

And as it laved its banks the while
And bathed their verdure in the spray,

They gave the streamlet back a smile,
That cheered it on its seaward way.

It flowed by fields of waving grain,
Where laughs to life the yellow corn ;

And gladdened is the silken train,
For, lo ! it waits the harvest morn.

And where along the sunny glade,

The grass doth woo the wind's caress ;


The farmer knows the generous aid,
That shall his barns with plenty bless.

It flowed thro' pastures wide and fair;

While standing on the shelving brink,
And snuffing in the freshened air

The buxom cattle come to drink.

By hills that blossomed with the vine,
The stream, in careless measure, ran ;

And soon shall come the welcome wine,
"That maketh glad the heart of man."

But when the night has drawn her veil,

And moonlight merry moonlight comes,

When man bids sleep and dreaming hail,
And nothing but the stillness hums;

Another beauty shrouds the brook,
And, till the hours of night are o'er,

The pages of a fairer book

Are shining with the rhythmic lore.

Beneath the moon the waters glide

And watch the witching spell it weaves,

The ripples dance adown the tide
'Tis like the play of silver sheaves.

They wind along the haunted dell,
Below the ruined castle-wall ;


And lightly doth the streamlet tell,
The legends that enshrine them all.

The fairies raise a laughing shout
From underneath their trysting-tree ;

' Tis strange, when such bright things are out
Mortals are never there to see !

But moonlight fair, nor sunlight sheen
Howe'er they charm the glancing track,

Tho' "bonny banks" it flow between
Can keep the hopeful current back.

Flow on ! ye shall not miss the goal

That lies beyond you and afar ;
Ye waves, that to the ocean roll,

Behold yon guiding Ocean- Star !

Behind are the waters that sprang from the foun-

And dashed in the wildness of life down the moun-

Behind is the brook that was peacefully laving
The banks where the flowers and the branches

were waving.

Farewell to you all, and farewell to you ever,
Before lie serenely the waves of the river,
How calm and majestic the murmurless tide !
How softly it runneth the green banks beside !


\Yith a power all exultant that knows it is free,
Thro' sunlight and shadow it moves to the sea.
It rolls through the wood by the side of the hill,
Where the silence is cheered by the busy old mill :
The harvest is in and the river again
Shall welcome the corn that illumined the plain ;
It had watched the long leaves in the summer


It had watched on the stalk the full corn in the ear.
And would it reveal the weird things it has seen,
It could tell how the corn turns to gold from the


And, now, when the farmer comes down to the mill,
The red corn the water remembereth still ;
By the hand of the miller the strong tide is led,
And, lo on the table is shining the bread.
But the silvery waves never stop in their play,
The star that is leading calls ever away ;
Tho' no longer they roll as the bright ripples ran,
For the rivulet-child is the proud river-man.
Still on, and they hear the live world in its song,
And cities are smiling their borders along :
Still on and tall ships on the fair waters ride,
And go down to the sea with the flow of the tide ;
Now nearer and clearer, soft whisperings come
Which welcome the river like voices of home.
Still silently on till it reaches the goal,


Where before the glad waters "great Ocean" doth


The tired river falls on his fatherly breast,
And, clasped in his arms, sinketh sweetly to rest.
While above the bright guide it had followed so

Still shines o'er the Ocean that beautiful Star.



Should you ask me, why this letter ?
With a Portsmouth odor on it
Why this note of tribulation
Writ with little skill of scribe-craft ?

I should answer, I should tell you,
\ Very briefly I should tell you,
/Very quickly I should answer,
Why I write this note of sorrow,
Why this note of love and sorrow,
As the painting of the Ojibways,
So this note of love and sorrow.

If you still should further ask me,
Why, each line of this my letter


Hath a letter to begin with,
Larger than the other letters,
Ten times larger than the largest ?

I should answer, I should tell you -
Very much provoked, tell you
'Tis a Poem, O benighted,
Poem very much benighted,
In trochaic verse indited
And the very shortest sighted
Ought to see, that in a Poem
Every line begins with letters
Larger far than all the others,
Ten times larger than the largest,
Large as is a great Puk Wudgie !
Hiawatha's peace-pipe large as !

If you still should further ask me,
Any further questions, ask me,
I should answer, I should tell you
Mildly, and yet firmly tell you,
Listen, hearken to my answer;
Like the Ajidanmo chatting
Are the tongues of teasing woman !

Yester morning very sadly
Puffywuffy, steam-king, bore me
To the regions of the Northwest,
Of the Northwest wind Kaberjim,
Sadly, for they were not with me
Those I love and some who loved me.



Like the flying Pawpukkiewis
When he fled from Hiawatha,
From the avenging Hiawatha,
Fled the steam-king, Puffywuffy,
With his moccasins of fire made !
With his mittens of the pine wood
And his pantaloons of water !
Puffywuffy did not scare me,
Though he groaned a horrid groaning,
Tho' he puffed a peaceful puffing
And he smoked the peace-pipe, did he ;
And the sun shone fiercely, saying
" Life is hard and man is heartless,
Life is cold and man is cruel,
Money rules, the bank-bill, gold-dust
Make much money, Jimmie Kendall."
And the moon took off her night-cap
Popped her venerable head up
Smiled benignantly and growled out
" Life's the sunniest thing I know of,
Only find out how to live it,
Man's the j oiliest air-consumer,
Learn to keep him always jolly
Money rules not, rule thou money
Bank-bill, gold-dust best thing going,
Spend much money, Jimmie Kendall."

Thus it was we went to Boston


With our baggage, went to Boston.
Slowly went we up to Whipple's
Famous artist's, Mr. Whipple's,
Man who makes another of you,
Man who makes the sun his pencil;
Said I, " Mr. Whipple, can you
From a picture you have taken
Take another just as good as
That was ? " Answered Mr. Whipple,
"They will- be but slightly unlike
Very like to one another,
I will take the copy for you,
You shall choose if you will have it."
Said I " Thank you, Mr. Whipple."
" You are welcome, Jimmie Kendall,"
And amid the bustling many,
Many rushing o'er the pavement,
Many going, men and women,
Going for the sake of going,
Many coming, men and women,
Coming, tired to death of going.

Next we entered this the doorway,
Swelling out to fill the doorway
Of a building where great books were,
Filled with books from top to bottom !
Said I, " I have come a wooing
For a picture, come a wooing,


'Tis the 'Starlight and the sunbeam,'
That I've come to woo and buy too ;
For the wigwam of my Auntie,
Wants the starlight for the darkness,
Wants the sunbeam when the clouds come.
" You shall have it," said the shopboy,
" Have the ' starlight and the sunbeam.' "

Then I roamed until a maiden,
Blue-eyed, bright-haired JPojtsmouth maiden,
Met me in the angry tumult,
Asked me to take dinner with her,
Smiled I then, for love I dinner.
And I asked the damsel gently
If she would not like to go up
To the (Athenaeum with me,
Pretty pictures look at with me,
So we went to see the pictures,
And we stayed the pictures seeing
Till the hour had come for dinner
Till the hour had gone for dinner,
Left the maiden at her door stone,
In her house I left my dinner !

Ran I then and got my picture,
Wrote the note and took the picture,
To the Express, I took the picture,
But the Express had gone before,
Very early did the Express go !


What to do was quite a puzzle ;
Soon the Portsmouth train must take me
To the land of Shining Wabun,
So I could not to the depot,
Plymouth depot, take the bundle,
And to Rich the Expressman it give,
As he stood there in the Depot !
What to do was quite a puzzle,
Just then, up a Classmate sauntered,
Said that he would take the picture,
Send it to the Plymouth depot.
Did it reach you in your wigwam ?
Did it stop not ere it reached you ?
Much I feared it might not reach you,
Sad I shall be if it did not.

This is why I write this letter
With the Portsmouth odor on it,
Like the painting of the Ojibways,
Only not so easy found out,
Love to all who love to be loved,
Those who love me and that I love,
Fare thee well, I may not linger ;
I am called, I must not linger,
To the Isle of Nodding Night-cap,
To the " Kingdom of the Sleep-God,"
To the land of dreams and shadows !


NOTE IST. Having had no Hiawatha (tKe latest work on
Indian nomenclature) at hand, I cannot answer for the ortho-

NOTE 2ND. The allusion to fire, wood and water, as the
elements of motion in the Engine, we regard as painfully grand.




Maiden with the mossy tresses,
Wavy tresses, bright and golden,
Shining in the air of Summer,
Floating on the pleasant South-wind,
Hear my sad and touching story,
Listen to my plaintive story !

I was very much in love with
Mary Ann just round the corner;
Mary Ann of eyes so dancing,
Dancing to the wicked music
Of her hard and frozen bosom ;
And I thought, she thought a little
Tender, of the sad subscriber
Always sitting at the window,
When I went just round the corner,
Always smiling at the window


As she spied me round the corner.

(O that corner! O my heart strings
Pulled around that fatal corner !
If you ever feel like loving
Never love around a corner.)
Oftentimes she threw a kiss out,
Threw a kiss, my Mary Ann did ;
Oftentimes she said "Come in John,"
Oftentimes said John came in.

Oh ! the little parlor in there,
With its winking, wicked carpet,
And its flirting, flashing fire-light
And M. A. down on a cricket !
Goodness ! sitting on a cricket ;
Pa and Ma, and all the children
Gone to bed and left us there.
Oh ! the witching nights of winter !
Oh ! that parlor in the winter !
Oh ! that female on the cricket !
(If you ever feel like loving
Don't love what sits on a cricket.)

Well, one night, oh dear, it's dreadful
For to tell, or even think it !
I had stepped just round the corner
Seen my Mary through the window,
Walked within the little parlor,
And there on the usual cricket


Sat the lonely spider waiting

For- the foolish fly to come in

To the parlor, pretty parlor

By and by the old folks started

And we sat there, we two sat there.

Pretty soon I sat up closer,

Kinder took her hand and whispered

" Mary Ann, dear Mary Ann, I "

Here I choked, it was'nt in nature
To get thro' without some trouble;
"Mary Ann, my thoughts have settled
Pretty much about this corner,
I like you the best of all the
Girls I know ; now will you have me ? "
I looked up, her face was purple,
Purple with a fit of laughing,
Laughing as if it would kill her,
"John" says she, "I guess 'twill kill me."

Off she went a laughing, harder
Than she laughed before I racked my
Brains to find out what in goodness
Made a Christian woman laugh so,
'Cause a man had spoke up to her.
Says she, "John I can't help laughing,
Laughing as if it would kill me,
For last night I said I'd marry
'Bijah, round the other corner."

TO A. E. H. 47

Wildly rushed I out the parlor,
Leaving Mary laughing at me;
Wildly rushed I through the entry
Right against a man there, rushed I
Who but 'Bijah, he was laughing,
He'd been harking at the key-hole !
Seized I 'Bijah by the collar,
Dragged I 'Bijah thro' the front door,
And amid the shrieks of Mary,
Swung I 'Bijah round that corner!

So to-day I go to Egypt,
Maiden, you have heard my story :
Drop a tear upon my story ;
Story of a true love smothered
By a Mary Ann and 'Bijah. \_Exit in fears.]

TO A, E, H.


I watch the snow-flakes drawing down
A white veil over field and town,
And my unresting spirit longs
For birds and flowers and Summer songs.


In rosy clouds and glancing leaves
I see the spell the Summer weaves ;
But now I think, forgetting her,
How beautiful the snow-flakes were.

Teach me, beneath whatever skies,
To find the beauty ere it flies ;
So will a blessing come to mine
From out that sunny soul of thine,
CAMBRIDGE, Jan. 12, 1859.



BOSTON, Jan. i, 1859.
Nephew living down in Boston,
Wearing spectacles and white hair,
To his uncle in the country
(Large man living in the country,
With the blue coat and brass buttons,
Bright blue coat and shiny buttons),
To his uncle sendeth greeting.
First the nephew sends his uncle
And his uncle's wife and children


(Charming wife young lady cousins)
Wishes for a happy new-year
Happy new-year, full of sunshine,
Full of flowers and birds and blue skies
Pocket money very plenty
Good fat eating all the year round,
Christmas dinners every noon time,
When it aint Thanksgiving dinners.
Then the nephew takes his uncle
By the right hand of his uncle,
(Not his real hand flesh and blood hand,
But a kind of pen and ink hand),
And he shakes it very warmly
Squeezes it and shakes it warmly,
Winking at the same time strongly,
Smiling at the same time mildly,
Smiling, winking, looking, beaming
Pointing, too, outside the window,
With his left hand out the window
At a line of moving urchins,
Moving slowly from the precincts.
Big and little coats and jackets,
Moving all from bed and board off,
And the nephew says good riddance,
And the uncle says good riddance,
And the Aunt, she says good riddance,
And the cousins, say good riddance,

50 LETTER TO J. W. . B.

All the household in a chorus,
Singing in a household chorus,
Bid the boys good bye, and also
Bid the boys good riddance also,
" No more walking says the uncle
Walking up and down the school room
Teaching little boys their letters,
Bothering my brains with school boys,
Bothering their brains with letters.
No more mending ragged boys up,
Says the aunt, and smiling says it,
No more stockings very ragged
More of holes in them than stockings.
No more jackets torn and dirty
Pantaloons just like the jackets,
No more rompings thro' the entries,
No more animals to fodder."
(I mean in the house to fodder)
Little animals whose stomachs
Are unbounded always hungry,
Seem like made of India Rubber,
Stretch the more the more you put in.

" No more rude boys," say the children,
" Plaguing us as boys all like to :
Treating us as if young ladies
Were a pack of rude boys also."


So the family in chorus,

Sing good bye to all the urchins.

Next, the nephew down in Boston,
Gently stirs his worthy uncle
Up a bit, and just reminds him
How next Wednesday he must enter
The great building down in Boston,
Building with the round top on it,
Many steps lead up unto it,
And the people that are sent there
Are the saving of the nation ;
Sent there by the votes of Freemen
Freemen of this mighty nation,
Nation of the ramping eagles ;
Any fine day you may see them
Sitting round there on the stone steps,
Munching on the sunny stone steps,
Gingerbread and other fixings,
Sold by various little peddlers
To the members who have eagle
Feathers in their beaver hat bands.

Last, the nephew hopes the uncle
Won't forget his white-haired nephew,
White hair tumbled by the uncle
At the Golden Wedding Pow Wow
At the farm house in the hollow.



'Tis pleasant to recall the past,

And on its scenes to dwell ;
To think of joys too bright to last,

Of friends once loved so well.

Oh, yes, 'tis sweet to call to mind
The thoughts of days gone by,

And in the heart's own chaplet bind
The flowers of memory.

So, too, 'twill be in future time,

As on life's waters flow;
Oft will the bells of memory chime

And tell of long ago ;

Of thoughtless childhood's merry hours,

Its mirth encircled brow;
No thorns are mingled with the flowers

That strew its pathway now ;

Of buoyant youth so wild and free,

Life's bright, ideal age
The fairest gift of memory

To scan its sunny page.

Perchance, amid these dreams so bright,
A tear may dim the eye ;


Perchance, the veil of sorrow's night
May cloud the memory.

As soft it whispers sad and low

Of early friends and true,
To whom so many years ago

We bade our last adieu.

And yet 'tis dear when all alone

To dream that they are nigh,
Again to hear the gentle tone

And see the beaming eye.

Yes, memory's gifts a brighter hue

O'er saddened feelings cast,
And clothe with beauty ever new

The pages of the past.

Pour me out a full cup,

For I swear I will drink

I am stronger than once,
You shall see if I shrink.

See how steady my hand
Takes the red beaker up ;


There is laugh in my soul,
So I laugh in the cup.

Yes, I hear what you say,
That she cares not for me ;

I would give heaven for her
That will do do you see ?

I suppose I may love,

Even her in her hate ;
She will love me at last

I am willing to wait.

Ah, you smile at the faith
That smiles so upon me;

I was wrong when I drank ?
Well, my friend, we shall see.


I drew my chair one evening before the glowing

And fell into a musing mood almost a dreaming

state ;
And things, like spirits, flitted in the weird and

ruddy light


That danced about my study-wall, as darker grew
the night.

I mused on what my life had been in all its lonely

And whether there would ever dawn a brighter day
than this ;

Whether another's smile would cheer the pilgrim-
age of life,

And shine my pathway over, a gentle, loving wife.

And thus I mused, as glimmered the firelight in
the gloom,

Till very strange it seemed to me, that quiet

I was walking in the moonlight but O, not now

My guarding arm was lovingly around a maiden

thrown :
All silently we moved along the silver-painted

Our hearts so full we could not speak we had

not what to say ;
But silence is most eloquent, when all the world is

Save the whispers in the branches and the music

of the rill.

For then in heavenly harmony the golden heart-
bells toll,


And then in sweet communion is blending soul

with soul.
O, 'tis a pure and holy thing the deep strong

love of youth
When life is like a pleasant dream, too beautiful for

And as I knelt that evening, at love's first, fairest

She spoke not, but an angel said " fear not, she will

be thine."
And still the moon was lighting the wondrous

world above;
And soft she seemed to whisper, " moonlight was

made for love."

But lo, a change came lightly o'er the spirit of my

A picture may not linger long, drawn in the moon's
pale beam.

That hour so fraught with hope and love may come
again no more ;

Floating on manhood's Ocean, the dream of youth
is o'er.

But how serene and beautiful each gently swelling

How full of joy the happy scenes the mirrored sur-
face gave !


'Twas evening, and the blazing hearth sent out a

pleasant light
That danced about the ample room and on a merry

And mirthful faces sparkled, and sitting on my

Were two sweet cherub-children, so winning in

their glee.
The arches of the old room rang with fun and

frolic wild;
And blessed angels looked from Heaven on the

fair ones and smiled.
Buoyant with life and beauty beaming with

laugh and song
They knew no thought of sadness, their life had

not been long.
And on their joyous frolic their free and careless

The mother gazed a loving smile illumining her

As true and faithful thro' the years, alike in weal

2 4

Online LibraryJames Brown KendallPoems → online text (page 2 of 4)