The blushing dawn the easy illumes,
The birds their merry matins sing,
The buds breath forth their sweet perfumes,
And butterflies are on the wing.
I pause beneath the window high,
The door is locked, the house is quiet;
'Tis there, abed, she sure must lie, -
To Wake her, - ah! I'll try it.
And pebbles hurtling through the air,
Strike full upon the window-pane,
Awakening her who slumbers there
With their insistent hurricane.
Ye gods! in my imagination,
The wondrous scene do I behold -
A nymph's bewildered consternation
At summons thus so fierce and bold.
A moment passes, then I see
The gauzy curtains drawn aside,
And sweet eyes beaming down on me,
And then a window upward glide.
Fair as the morn, with rosy light,
She blushes with a faint surprise,
Then thinking of the previous night,
In dulcet tones she softly cries:
"It should have been put out by Nan,
But I'll be down within a minute -
No, never mind, leave your own can,
And put two quarts, please, in it."
Published in August 1901 issue of National Magazine.
Who has not laughed with the skylark,
And bid his heart rejoice?
Laughed till the mirth-loving heavens
Echoed his laughter back?
Joyed in the sheer joy of living,
And sung with gladsome voice,
Lays that were cheerful and merry,
And bid his heart rejoice?
Who has not frowned in the gloaming,
And felt the skies grow black;
While o'er him spread the dark mantle
Of sullen, solemn Gloom,
Whose mutterings broke the silence
Like echoes from the tomb -
Like echoes of lost endeavors -
Reproaches from the tomb?
Who has not cursed in his passion,
As Anger's stinging lash,
Biting and smarting and racking,
Fell on his naked back?
Felt in his veins feverish tumult,
The strife, the savage clash,
As when hot steel, leaped from the scabbard,
Meets steel with crash on crash?
Who has not wept in his sorrow,
And looked in vain for morn;
Waiting with hopeless yearning,
The sun from out the bourn?
Heard from the world the sad sobbing
Of Faith and Hope forlorn?
Known that the sun had forever
Gone down into the bourn?
Submitted to Overland Monthly in 1899, but not accepted.
The Way of War
Man primeval hurled a rock,
Torn with angry passions, he;
To escape the which rude shock.
Foeman ducked behind a tree.
Man primeval made a spear,
Swift of death on battle field;
Foeman fashioned other gear,
Fought behind his hidebound shield.
Man mediaeval built a wall,
Said he didn't give a dam;
Foeman not put out at all,
Smashed it with a battering ram.
Man mediaeval, just for fun,
Made himself a coat of mail;
Foeman laughed and forged a gun,
Peppered him with iron hail.
Modern man bethought a change,
Cast most massive armor-plate;
Foeman just increased his range,
Tipped his ball to penetrate.
Modern man, with toil untold,
Deftly built torpedo boats;
Foeman launched "destroyer" bold,
Swept the sea of all that floats.
Future man - ah! who can say? -
May blow to smithereens our earth;
In the course of warrior play
Fling death across the heavens' girth.
Future man may hurl the stars,
Leash the comets, o'er-ride space,
Sear the universe with scars,
In the fight 'twixt race and race.
Yet foeman will be just as cute -
Amid the rain falling suns,
Leave the world by parachute,
And build ethereal forts and guns.
And when the skies begin to fall
The foeman still will new invent -
Into a star-proof world he'll crawl,
Heaven insured from accident.
Written in 1899; published in Once a Week in Oakland, October 27, 1906
When He Came In
When he came in
Why, I was out.
To borrow some tin
Was why he came in,
And I had to grin,
For he went without;
So I was in
And he was out.
Published in Town Topics, April 26, 1899.