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Archive for the ‘O-R’ Category

I buried my first womern
In the spring; and in the fall
I was married to my second,
And hain’t settled yit at all! –
Fer I’m allus thinkin’ – thinkin’
Of the first one’s peaceful ways,
A-bilin’ soap and singin’
Of the Lord’s amazin’ grace.

And I’m thinkin’ of her, constant,
Dyin’ carpet-chain and stuff,
And a-makin’ up rag carpets,
When the floor was good enough!
And I mind her he’p a-feedin’
And I riccollect her now
A-drappin’ corn, and keepin’
Clos’t behind me and the plow!

And I’m allus thinkin’ of her
Reddin’ up around the house;
Er cookin’ fer the farm-hands;
Er a-drivin’ up the cows, –
And there she lays out yander
By the lower medder fence,
Where the cows was barely grazin’,
And they’re usin’ ever sence.

And when I look acrost there –
Say it’s when the clover’s ripe,
And I’m settin’, in the evenin’,
On the porch here, with my pipe,
And the other’n hollers “Henry!” –
W’y they ain’t no sadder thing
Than to think of my first womern
And her funeral last spring
Was a year ago –

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(Written as a joke and ascribed to a very
practical business man, Amos J. Walker)
 

Master of masters in the days of yore,
When art met insult, with no law’s redress;
When Law itself insulted Righteousness,
And ignorance thine own scholastic lore,
And thou thine own judicial office more, –
What master living now canst love thee less,
Seeing thou didst thy greatest art repress
And leave the years in riches to restore
To us, thy long neglectors. Yield us grace
To make becoming recompense, and dawn
On us thy poet-smile; nor let us trace,
In fancy, where the old-world myths have gone,
The shade of Shakespeare, with averted face,
Withdrawn to uttermost oblivion.

 

 

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To be a wholly worthy man,
As you, my boy, would like to be, –
This is to show you how you can –
This simple recipe: –

Be honest – both in word and act,
Be strictly truthful through and through:
Fact can not fail, – You stick to fact,
And fact will stick to you.

Be clean – outside and in, and sweep
Both hearth and heart and hold them bright;
Wear snowy linen – aye, and keep
Your conscience snowy-white.

Do right, your utmost – good must come
To you who do your level-best –
Your very hopes will help you some,
And work will do the rest.

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“What is the real good?”
I ask in musing mood.

“Order,” said the law court;
“Knowledge,” said the school;
“Truth,” said the wise man;
“Pleasure,” said the fool;
“Love,” said the maiden;
“Beauty,” said the page;
“Freedom,” said the dreamer;
“Home,” said the sage;
“Fame,” said the soldier;
“Equity,” said the seer.
Spake my heart fully sad:
“The answer is not here.”
 

Then within my bosom
Softly this I heard:
“Each heart holds the secret:
‘Kindness’ is the word.”

 

 

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benjamin-harrison-2

(on the unveiling of his monument at Indianapolis –
October 27, 1908)

As tangible a form in History
The Spirit of this man stands forth as here
He towers in deathless sculpture, high and clear
Against the bright sky of his destiny.
Sprung of our oldest, noblest ancestry,
His pride of birth, a lofty as sincere,
Held kith and kin, as Country, ever dear –
Such was his sacred faith in you and me.
Thus, natively, from youth his work was one
Unselfish service in behalf of all –
Home, friends and sharers of his toil and stress;
Ay, loving all men and despising none,
And swift to answer every righteous call,
His life was one long deed of worthiness. 

The voice of Duty’s faintest whisper found
Him as alert as at her battle-cry –
When awful War’s battalions thundered by,
High o’er the havoc still he heard the sound
Of mothers’ prayers and pleadings all around;
And ever the despairing sob and sigh
Of stricken wives and orphan children’s cry
Made all our Land thrice consecrated ground.
So rang his “forward!” and so swept his sword –
On! – on! – till from the fire-and-cloud once more
Our proud Flag lifted in the glad sunlight
As though the very Ensign of the Lord
Unfurled in token that the strife was o’er,
And victory – as ever – with the right.

——————————————————

Benjamin Harris was the 23rd president of the United States.

 

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……When Age comes on! –
The deepening dusk is where the dawn
Once glittered splendid, and the dew,
In honey-drips from red rose-lips,
Was kissed away by me and you. –
And now across the frosty lawn
Black footprints trail, and Age comes on –
……And Age comes on!
And biting wild-winds whistle through
Our tattered hopes – and Age comes on!
……When Age comes on! –
O tide of raptures, long withdrawn,
Flow back in summer floods, and fling
Here at our feet our childhood sweet,
And all the songs we used to sing! …
Old loves, old friends – all dead and gone –
Our old faith lost – and Age comes on –
……And Age comes on!
Poor hearts! have we not anything
But longings left when Age comes on?

 

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Supinely we lie in the grove’s shady greenery,
Gazing, all dreamy-eyed, up through the trees, –
And as to the sight is the heavenly scenery,
So to the hearing the sigh of the breeze. 

We catch but vague rifts of the blue through the wavering
Boughs of the maples; and, alike undefined,
The whispers and lisps of the leaves, faint and quavering,
Meaningless falter and fall on the mind. 

The vine, with its beauty of blossom, goes rioting
Up by the casement, as sweet to the eye
As the trill of the robin is restful and quieting
Heard in a drowse with the dawn in the sky. 

And yet we yearn on to learn more of the mystery –
We see and we hear, but forever remain
Mute, blind and deaf to the ultimate history
Born of a rose or a patter of rain.

 

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Behold, one faith endureth still –
Let factions rail and creeds contend –
God’s mercy was, and is, and will
Be with us, foe and friend.

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‘Tis a lesson you should heed,
If at first you don’t succeed,
Try, try again;

Then your courage should appear,
For if you will persevere,
You will conquer, never fear
Try, try again;

Once or twice, though you should fail,
If you would at last prevail,
Try, try again;

If we strive, ’tis no disgrace
Though we do not win the race;
What should you do in the case?
Try, try again

If you find your task is hard,
Time will bring you your reward,
Try, try again

All that other folks can do,
Why, with patience, should not you?
Only keep this rule in view:
Try, try again.

 

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Confederate_Rebel_Flag

Furl that Banner, for ’tis weary;
Round its staff ’tis drooping dreary;
Furl it, fold it, it is best;
For there’s not a man to wave it,
And there’s not a sword to save it,
And there’s no one left to lave it
In the blood that heroes gave it;
And its foes now scorn and brave it;
Furl it, hide it–let it rest!

Take that banner down! ’tis tattered;
Broken is its shaft and shattered;
And the valiant hosts are scattered
Over whom it floated high.
Oh! ’tis hard for us to fold it;
Hard to think there’s none to hold it;
Hard that those who once unrolled it
Now must furl it with a sigh.

Furl that banner! furl it sadly!
Once ten thousands hailed it gladly.
And ten thousands wildly, madly,
Swore it should forever wave;
Swore that foeman’s sword should never
Hearts like theirs entwined dissever,
Till that flag should float forever
O’er their freedom or their grave!

Furl it! for the hands that grasped it,
And the hearts that fondly clasped it,
Cold and dead are lying low;
And that Banner–it is trailing!
While around it sounds the wailing
Of its people in their woe.

For, though conquered, they adore it!
Love the cold, dead hands that bore it!
Weep for those who fell before it!
Pardon those who trailed and tore it!
But, oh! wildly they deplored it!
Now who furl and fold it so.

Furl that Banner! True, ’tis gory,
Yet ’tis wreathed around with glory,
And ’twill live in song and story,
Though its folds are in the dust;
For its fame on brightest pages,
Penned by poets and by sages,
Shall go sounding down the ages–
Furl its folds though now we must.

Furl that banner, softly, slowly!
Treat it gently–it is holy–
For it droops above the dead.
Touch it not–unfold it never,
Let it droop there, furled forever,
For its people’s hopes are dead!

 

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