Leonard Bacon.

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CHAUNCEY WETMORE WELLS

1872-1933




&



This book belonged to Chauncey Wetmore Wells. He taught in
Yale College, of which he was a graduate, from 1897 to 1901, and
from 1901 to 1933 at this University.

Chauncey Wells was, essentially, a scholar. The range of his read-
ing was wide, the breadth of his literary sympathy as uncommon
as the breadth, of his human sympathy. He was less concerned
with the collection of facts than with meditation upon their sig-
nificance. His distinctive power lay in his ability to give to his
students a subtle perception of the inner implications of form,
of manners, of taste, of the really disciplined and discriminating
mind. And this perception appeared not only in his thinking and
teaching but also in all his relations with books and with men.




University of California Berkeley



THE SCRANNEL PIPE
A BOOK OF VERSE
BY LEONARD BACON





University of California Berkeley



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A



THE SCRANNEL PIPE
A BOOK OF VERSE

BY LEONARD BACON

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And, when they list, their If an and flashy songs
Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw.



PRIVATELY PRINTED

NEW HAVEN

1909



IN MEMORIAL



There were three men on Golgotha

Nailed on the gallozvs tree,
And Mary the Lady of Life came there,

Weeping before the three.

And Christ that was Dead spake from the tree:

"Mother, what care thee grieves?"
And Mary the Mother answered him:

"Dear Son, I weep for the thieves."

And a thief that was dead looked down on her

From the tree whereon he hung,
And his bloody hair blew out on the wind,

And he spake with a living tongue:

"They have split my palms with the piercing nails,
"They have broken me with spears,

"But they cannot slay the spirit in me,
"Nor the triumph in my ears.

"I was a King in the North Country,

"A man and a maker of men,
"And I wrought great evil in sorrow and shame,

"But my heart is born again.

"Men shall die in torment and fear

"Reaping the bitter sheaves.
"This they remember when they die,

"Mary wept for the thieves"



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CONTENTS.



PAGE

INTERPLANETARY i

A BALLADE OF NEW ORLEANS 4

THE MARCHING 5

THE DEAD MUSE 7

THE LAST RIDING OF THE ROMANS g

THE BALLAD OF THE BOATMAN n

THE BYZANTINE CAESARS I4

BALLAD OF THE MERCENARIES 15

FREE BALLADE OF THE GOLDEN HORN 20

BALLADE OF COUNT STILICHO THE CONSUL 22

BALLADE OF CAESAR'S GATE 24

BALLADE OF HERACLIUS THE GREAT 26

BALLADE OF LEO THE ISAURIAN 28

BALLADE OF NICEPHORUS 1 30

BALLADE OF THE WAIL OF THE WOMEN OF BYZANT 32

BALLADE OF CvESAR'S HOUR 34

BALLADE OF THE CARDINAL BESSARION 36

THE BUDGET 39

THE LEE SHORE 4 r

NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 2 sth, 1909 42

BALLADE OF QUEEN HORTENSE 43

BALLADE OF THE MARSHAL RADETZKY 45

THE BALLADE OF HICKS PASHA 47

FREE BALLADE OF KING FERDINAND 49

THE BALLAD OF THE TWO RIDERS 51

FURTHER AMPLIFICATION OF THE SENSATIONS OF A CELE-
BRATED MEDIAEVAL POET WHO WAS TO BE HANGED WITH

HIS COMPANIONS FOR THIEVERY 54

TO THE DISTANT PRINCESS 57

FREE BALLADE OF MYSELF AND MONSIEUR RABELAIS 58

PROEM 60

DRAWN BATTLE 61

NEW HOPE 62

RISING TIDE 63

VICTORY 6 4

THE WITS OF LONDON 65

ENVOY... - 66



INTERPLANETARY.

"Christ keep the Hollow Land'' William Morris.




the forgotten silences of sleep
I canje there, upward through a quiet space
Of absolute death of being; then awoke.
My feet were firm on that abiding star,
Treading strong steps down a far swerving slope
Of sown magnificence, made beautiful
With amaranth, and hyacinth, and spears
Of rosy hardback spiring over fern.
Down underneath, terrace by terrace down
Went the charmed land. Its burden of still towers
Grew iridescent as Pompeian glass,
And the white walls of unimagined cities
Failed on the far horizon, as I looked,
Half lost between the distance and the haze.
I heard a song below me in the vale
Chorus of many voices. Melodies
Greeted the dawn, and splendid might of song
Noble and old, and sounding like the sea
Surging along some purple southern coast,
Whose islands are phantasms of the gods.
Then through a most high music of deep sound,
Concord of sweetness came she forth to me,
And, failing at the top of its desire,
My spirit knew the darkness once again.



Waking came on me rushing splendidly,

White waves .of life surging across a sea

Of the, .'de^rl; spirit's dumb forgetfulness.

The < violet cities -of the sun's decline,

Ramparted soV'rtwi holiness of flame,

Reared on a Western strength unspeakable.

And like a sea bird at the cliffs of song

She hovered on wings of music beside me there.

Threnos of nations overpassed and gone,

Desire of lovelier creatures yet to be,

Beat through the chords in splendor half unheard,

Till somewhere through a mystery of sound

Came richest surges of Parnassian song.

The veils of silence that encompassed me

With shadowy violet darkness fell away

As haze before the sea wind. As the sea

Comes forth beneath the splendor, and the curve

Of breakers storming shoreward without halt

Grows marvelous to the eye, even so in me

The vivid sea arose in answering waves

Of wonderful music-begotten speech.

The ecstasy of ecstasies I knew,

The birth of an unspeakable hope made great,

Triumph that took me and lifted like a fire

Wonderfully onward to my victories.

And I remember after many years

Her lips on mine, and then a written scroll

Of stranger letters yet intelligible.

Thereafter was that troublous keen delight

Preluding all the song's magnificence,

And deep-hid splendor took the strength of life.



Wherefore I had all that a man might have.
Then without sorrow, facing the far dawn,
Glad of our magic sacrifice we died,
She on her golden planet, I on mine
Amid my smoky cities of desire.
And all of the undying heart of me
Blazes like fire through a forgotten song.



A BALLADE OF NEW ORLEANS.

Sun like liquor, and wind like light,

And every puddle a diamond stain
On streets of silver and blazing white,

Banked in colors that change and remain.
Orange and scarlet wax and wane

In curtains of shadow, and sun aglance,
And sweet in the spirit flower again

The Spanish vision, the dream of France.

Where the riven sunset burns in the height

Over the bosom of Pontchartrain ;
And far on the edge of the fire line, night

Binds the day in his brilliant chain;
And outstretched water and low brown plain

Marry and meet in one dark expanse,
The West's red ramparts a space retain

The Spanish vision,, the dream of France.

Rusty balconies flight on flight

Calico laden, where Lady Disdain
Drowsed with her novel, or breathed delight

In the soft wind in from the Spanish main.
The silence whispered : "France" and "Spain."

And the spirit knew, in her fragrant trance
Like odor of lilacs after rain,

The Spanish vision, the dream of France.

Fierce-eyed Commerce mid strife and strain
Unweaves it all in her strong advance.

Shall her labor and travail yet attain

The Spanish vision, the dream of France?



THE MARCHING.

Poem read at the Class Day Exercises of the Class of 1909,
Yale University.

Past the house of the dear, dear mother
The sons of her splendid strength went by,
Singing and calling one to another,
And glad their song and the sound of their cry.

They sang : The East and the West shall know us,
The tower in the city, the hut on the hill ;
And the four free winds of God shall blow us
Over the world, as they work their will.

We seek, in the greatness thy spirit taught us,
The city of men, where the men are gods,
The Vision of Visions our fathers brought us,
To dream a blossoming out of the clods.

Their hope ariseth alive and vernal ;
Thee it bore, it is borne of thee;
And the youth in us tastes of its sempiternal
Savor of things that have been and shall be.

Men say the city our hands are building,
The solemn city of our desire,
Is naught but the sun of a dead day gilding
The somnolent ramparts of night with fire.

But that city is strengthened with blood of the spirit,
The blood of the spirit of God, and we,



Even as angels of God, inherit
Its might and steadfast eternity.

And we shall know thee splendid and tender,
When we live and die for thee all day long,
When we give our souls in the deep surrender
Of labor to labor and song to song.

When the doors of to-morrow shut before us,
And all the gates of the future close ;
When the victory comes not that shall restore us ;
We will be strong in our overthrows.

Dreaming of thee and thy ways that master,
The ear that heareth, the eyes that see,
The courage outliving the time's disaster,
The virginal spirit of splendor in thee.

What we have seen shall the years hereafter
Anew discover, anew forget,
And our sons' sons will remember our laughter,
And know the passion of our regret.

Mother, we go from the kiss of our weaning,
Lift our lips from thy breast and go,
Though as yet we know not thy perfect meaning,
Thy love shall teach us at last to know.

Therefore bless us beneath thy portal,
The brightness and beautiful pride of thy gate,
For mortal, thy blessings shall make us immortal,
And out of thy strength shall our hearts create.



THE DEAD MUSE.

The daughter of dead dawning lay alone,

White and outstretched upon an ill-made bier,

Her living glory seemingly all gone ;

Her place was full of blackness, none drew near ;

No faithful one for her would shed a tear

Save ancient baffled seekers of the bay ;

So lone she was at the drear end of day.

When she was living, ah but it was sweet
To see her coming at the first of morn,
To mark the tripping of her silver feet,
To hear her sing amid the standing corn,
To catch the scent from far-off lilies borne,
And with her, in the long, sweet, meadow grass,
Dream out the day, and let the sorrow pass.

The glory of the summer sunset West
Was on her brow, and splendor in her eyes ;
And in her glance the weary one found rest,
And in her voice were lingering rhapsodies,
That seemed to sing of golden Paradise,
Beyond the thunder and the whirl of things,
Beyond the tears and dreary sorrowings.

The clear, God-prompted music of her lips
Was like the glorious melody we hear
When the great singing star of morning slips
Into the breast of some majestic mere,



A murmur of the greater gods anear,
A song of morning, peace and quietness
And crowning love, and utter loveliness.

And now is she gone from us, and we hear
No quiet music, and no melting song,
No voice that ringeth in the morning clear,
When the rapt hills are lost in echoings long,
Deep sounding thunder, rolling sweet and strong
For she that wrought it is long past and dead,
And all our light with her fair spirit fled.

But joyfully she whispered, e'er she died,
That she would move among us yet once more,
Strong and unconquerable as the tide,
That, singing, rushes up the whitening shore,
Fairer and lovelier than she was before
A glorious being, splendid to aspire,
Reborn amid the thunder and the fire.



THE LAST RIDING OF THE ROMANS.

Legions of locked disorder, columns of disarray,
Into the town the Romans rode, at the ending of the day,
In from the purple heather, in from the splendid down,
No Caesar or pride with them did ride, when the Romans

came to town.
I went to the foremost horseman, a word in the ear I

spoke ;
What did they care for a Gorgio, the wonderful Gypsy

folk?
I gave them the city's freedom, I made them free of the

town;
But what did they care for the city, the lords of the open

down?

I called to Jerry and Jasper, Isopel, Sinfi, and all,
They would not hearken my summons, they would not

come at my call.
This was never their custom, they should have answered

me fair,
The lads with the eyes of sea-hawks, the girls with the

long black hair.
So I saw that something was over, that something was

wicked and wrong,
And I said, "Is it ill with the sheriff, for robbery, stiff

and strong?
"Have you set a charm on a woman, have you poisoned

cattle or swine?"
Then they said, "Is the business of Egypt the business of

thee or of thine?



Can a Gorgio wot of our riding, where the roof tree

shelters his head ?
He knows not the wind in the nostril, nor the roar of

the stallion's tread.
We go from the happy wayside, from the camp on the

edge of the road ;
We have reaped the terrible harvest that never a crop

have sowed
This is the endmost riding, ere the last free horseshoe

fails,
Of them that were lords of the highway, in Edom, and

Ind, and Wales,

Anvil-emperors of Russia, Istria, Carthage, and Spain,
We ride on the Roman riding, and we never shall ride

again.

Never again the dingle, the kettle set on the fire,
And Rhona frying a herring, the best the heart could

desire,

Never the Gypsy quiet, never the Roman Peace,
The chaffinch deep in the hawthorn, and the greeting in

Rommanese ;

The tidings of the Romans, of horse fairs near and far,
The breaking of mares and stallions, with never a bit nor

a bar.

Romans that ruled the empire, the riders of the steed,
This is the last great riding, put up and better the speed."
The stallions started together, the mares went free with

a bound,
The Romans whistled the oncall, they never turned them

around.

Out on the white macadam, pressing the heel to goad,
Away for ever and ever, the last of the Romans rode.



THE BALLAD OF THE BOATMAN.

We were three boatmen beside the river,
John the Singer and Richard and I.
We were three boatmen beside the river
In the splendid dawn of the days gone by.

And John could sing like the warbler yellow,
And Richard played on the pleasant pipe,
But I was only an idle fellow
That knew when strawberry shoots were ripe.

And one morn a maid came down to the water,
To our merry hut beside the shore,
Crying : "Carry me over the water.
Boatmen! Boatmen! Ferry me o'er."

And up rose John all wild with singing,
With a laugh on his lips as he left the door ;
"Oh Maiden, Maiden! Oh Flower Upspringing!
'Tis I will merrily ferry thee o'er."

And the silver mist hovered over the river,
And hid from our sight the path of the boat,
Yet his singing went on with a golden quiver,
Like the morning song of the speckle-throat.

But he came not back, and the mist never parted,
Though it drew at last to the falling of night,
And we waited sad and sorrowful-hearted,
And morning wept for our lost delight.

ii



Oh weary it was beside the river

For Richard would not play on the pipe

And the white mist drifted over the river,

And the strawberries rotted ere they were ripe.

And one eve a Maid came down by the water,
To our dreary hut upon the shore,
Crying : "Carry me over the water.
Boatmen! Boatmen! Ferry me o'er."

Up Richard rose, where he lay a-sighing,
And laughed aloud as he left the door ;
"Oh, marvelous Maiden, cease thy crying,
'Tis I will merrily carry thee o'er."

And away they went on the misty river,
And were gone from sight like a stone in the sea;
And the winds arose and winnowed the river
But Richard never came back to me.

Yet a maiden came unto me thereafter,
About the midst of the summering year,
When the little wave lifted aloft in laughter,
To the wind in heaven a-calling clear.

For she came adown to the wondrous water
And the lonely hut beside the shore,
Crying: "Ferry me over the water.
Boatman! Boatman! Carry me o'er."

And out we went on the winding river,
While Summer was singing along the shore
And we were alone on the winding river
And just at sunset I brought her o'er.

12



And she smiled upon me solemn and splendid
And my eyes were opened as darkness fell,
And I saw that the first of my life was ended,
And dreamed in my heart that all was well.

But she looked upon me with wondrous pity,
And her eyes were even as fire afar,
As she said : "You must search for the silver city
And the lovely land where your comrades are."

"For still they are seeking who long have sought me,
And the time is nearing when they shall find,
And the splendor, wherewith the Gods have fraught me,
Shall open the seeing eyes that were blind."

E'en so she spoke, and speaking departed ;
And I heard her sing as she crossed the plain,
And her singing made me gentle-hearted,
And sorrow lifted and lifeless pain.

And I know that she dwells in her place of splendor,
Garlanded, glorious, girt with wings;
And I know that her eyes are splendid and tender,
And the air is magical as she sings,

Arbutus and Hyacinth all around her,

Not so sweet as the sound of her song,

And I know that Richard and John have found her,

And I know that sorrow is not for long.



THE BYZANTINE C^SARS.

Oh rulers of a slain eternity
Of battle and disaster! You that hold
My spirit with your iron and bloody gold,
Why has your greatness gripped and girdled me?
So that my dreams behold your anciently,
And visions of the night your strength untold,
Till I am drunk with mysteries manifold
And un forget fulness of empery.

But your dead mastery rules a wider range
Than walled Amorium, or Armeniac bounds.
And all your cycles old shall be reborn,
When Balkan Europe roars beneath the strange
Clamor of armament, that shakes and sounds
Against the gateways of the Golden Horn.



BALLAD OF THE MERCENARIES.

Circa 1150 A. D.

Captains mighty together, gallant children of kings,
We are apart from your joyance, share not your pon-
der ings ;
Know not the sweet of your triumph, nor the bitter of

your defeat,
Yet desire your height of desire, and entreat what you

would entreat.
Brown arms of the world-wide conqueror, swift hands

of the stars control,

Lifted aloft in your service, yoked to draw at your pole;
We are kingless before you, yet bitter well we know
The sorrow of the Caesars and the Palseologian woe.
Do we wot of the horror of failure, of the province fallen

astray,

Lying allies that leave us, cities that die and decay ;
Redemption of death and dishonor wrenched from a

feeble foe;
Bought victories, poisonous treaties, deadly, eating, and

slow^
Fear in the phalanx forsaken, betrayed and slaughtered

for gold;

Defense of disastrous cities, no devil in Hell could hold.
Ah God, the horrible frontier! The shaken terror that

burns
The face the color of ashes! Ah, strength that never

returns !

15



No trust in ourselves forever, deep scorn of the loath-
some shame

That stamps us cowards or heroes, marshals of evil fame.
Slaves of an alien power, bought in the sale of the

swords,
Bound to down-wheeling fortunes with bonds that are

keener than cords.
Our wounds do they wrinkle and fester, do the throats

of our suffering strain,
And vomit the blood of our sorrow, we must plough in

the field again.

Doth the Boukellarion murmur, Nicsea shake and rebel,
We must control and cajole them, and betray, and

destroy, and expel.
The Caliph conceiveth a battle, the Slovack passeth the

bound,
We must divide and defeat, and suborn, and subdue, and

surround.
Do we come back with a triumph, you know us for what

we are,
Your daughters withdraw them from us, your sons

denounce and debar,
Our captains despise and revile us, our servants complain

of our pride;
Our cowardice gaineth no champion, our courage is

doubted, denied.
No nation to own or bewail us, no woman to love or

embrace,
No man to befriend and support us, we stand in an evil

place.
Oh whips of the street smite harshly! chariots hard

on the rein!

16



Praetorian Varangs together, out to the wars of your

pain;

Fail ! Fail fiercely in battle, the fear hath fallen afar.
Shout! Keen sons of disaster, the War, the Wolves of

the War.



BALLADES OF THE LOWER EMPIRE



There was never in all the world empire like unto this empire.
For her walls are iron and her gates wrought silver. She has over-
come great kings and their armies ; and the hand of her might lies
heavy on the necks of nations. Yet there cometh a day when she
shall stagger as a tree that feeleth the whirlwind in his branches.
Her gates shall be as the gates of Babylon, and her greatness as the
greatness of Sodom. For the heart of her people is wholly given
unto evil. The Golden Book of John of Adrianople, A. D. 1160.



PROEM.
FREE BALLADE OF THE GOLDEN HORN.

We were mariners long agone,

Or ever the ages termagant
Had torn the gold from the gonfalon,

That flew at our forepeak arrogant.
And whenever the winds were hesitant,

And the sail fell slack in the silent morn,
The bent oar swung to "Byzant ! Byzant !

Hark away for the Golden Horn."

And when the last of the isles were gone,

And the low wind singing and odorant,
Through the silver channels bore us on,

Stirring in mainsail and top-gallant,
High on ratline and spar aslant

We sang, where the splendid flags were borne,
And oh ! but our hearts were jubilant,

There in the bight of the Golden Horn.

The Soldan of Antioch hath won

The city of silver and adamant;
And our high venturing galleon

Was burned with a fire excoriant,
There by the sea gates resonant.

And we are wounded and wretched and worn,
And know the whips of the flagellant

Beyond the curve of the Golden Horn.

20



Princes ! ye whom the years enchant,
Ye too will drink of the dregs of scorn,

Ye will sell your souls for a new Byzant,
And die for a glimpse of the Golden Horn.



I.

BALLADE OF COUNT STILICHO THE CONSUL.

V Century.
Loquitur pro Stilichone Claudianus Poeta.

Baltic traitor, vainglorious,

Are there any proofs of your prophecy ?
Is there no fruit of the laborious

Planting of such a victory ?
You won no diadems from me

Save a crown of swords that overcome,
And a failure past recovery.

These be the ransomings of Rome.

What do you know, Honorius,

Of the winning of this empery?
Was not Ravenna the inglorious

City of your security?
You triumphed there most splendidly,

Safe in the wide-coursed hippodrome,
Forgetful of my chivalry.

These be the ransomings of Rome.

You are drunken legions uproarious

With Gothic plunder and mastery.
What then of your wreaths victorious,

And your slaughter, and your revelry ?
Did you win my battle with bravery?

Did your splendor of courage bring you home?

22



Think of my guile and my constancy ;
These be the ransomings of Rome.

Pollentia, your name shall be

Drowned in the tumult of time to come.
Death, and Terror, and Treachery,

These be the ransomings of Rome.



23



II.

BALLADE OF CAESAR'S GATE.

VI Century.

On with the guards in purple and steel,

Stepping together they march along,
Shoulder close to the chariot wheel,

Hands lashed tight with the rawhide throng,
Hearts that are weary, hearts that are strong,

Hark to their chorus desolate,
As they set their souls in the burdened song :

"We are come unto Caesar's Gate."

Rent and tattered, with welt and weal,

The halt and the blind, the withered and young,
Feet that stagger, and heads that reel,

Dead that stand in the crushing throng.
The roads were desert they went among,

Their eyes are frantic with fear and fate,
But hark the bitter word on their tongue :

"We are come unto Caesar's Gate."

Up on the gallows, under the heel.

Passionate dead whose bodies are wrung

With living anguish, living that feel
Pain, whose passions to death belong.

Never they pray, whose hands have clung
To the knees of Chance inviolate,



Only their voice like a broken gong :
"We are come unto Caesar's Gate."

Will he deliver us unto the prong,

Or the whirling wheel and fire of his hate ?

Will he avenge us or will he wrong ?
We are come unto Caesar's Gate.



III.

BALLADE OF HERACLIUS THE GREAT.

Circa 628 A. D.

I was a god on the splendid seas,

When I sailed from Carchedon long ago
To chasten a coward's cruelties,,

Whence every evil on earth did flow.
We dealt him a bitter blow for a blow.

Wherewith did my emperorship begin ;
But I said, as his evil corpse fell low :

"My battle of battles is yet to win."

The Persians harried the provinces,

Leagued and bound with an ancient foe.
I fed them the venom of victories,

Till they were drunken with overthrow.
Irak's ridges of iron, I trow,

Saw them fall in the driven din.
But I said, as their flight began to grow :

"My battle of battles is yet to win."

You of Damascus, be at ease,

For I am coming, and even so
Will I slaughter this speaker of prophecies,

And shortly his stricken side shall glow
With imposition of stripes arow.

There is no salve that shall heal his skin,



26



But I dread that a victory will show
My battle of battles is yet to win.

Farewell, Syria, ere I go

Hellward to deal with my soul for sin.
Heaven, and hell, and the empire know

My battle of battles is yet to win.



27



IV.
BALLADE OF LEO THE ISAURIAN.


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