Sunday, June 29, 2014

authors and critics

With fame in just proportion envy grows;
The man that makes a character makes foes,
 Slight peevish insects round a genius rise,
As bright day awakes the world of flies;
With hearty malice, but with feeble wing,
To show they live, they flutter and they sting;
 But as by depredations wasps proclaim
 The fairest fruit, so these the fairest fame.

Edward Young

when the sun is low

The song that is old, but that once he loved
 Somewhere in the long ago,
Means more to the singer than newer songs
 With all of their fire and glow.
The valueless gift in the attic trunk,
 Though romance and youth be lost,
Means more to the person who put it there
 Than treasures of higher cost.
The love that has lasted through years of pain,
 Though wounded and worn and old,
Contains more of heaven than younger loves,
 Without the stern test, can hold.
The song and the gift that are cherished so,
 And love that through time endures
Mean more in the end, when the sun is low,
 Than all of life's bright new lures.

 -Mary Frances Edwards

homes and houses

The men of the earth build houses;
 Build turrets, roofs and domes;
 But the women of the earth--God knows;
 The women build the homes.


There is a little hollow in my heart,
 Like that found in a charming soft old chair
 When someone nestled comfortably there
 Has chosen, of a sudden, to depart.
I didn't sense that I was losing you.
 I kept on hoping hard and making plans,
 Imagining there'd soon be wedding bands
 For us-but you had something else in view.
I gave you everything I had to give,
 And yet it didn't bind you to my side.
You went from me like champagne through a sieve:
 Tomorrow you'll be someone else's bride.
And now, what makes my lot no bed of clover,
 Is that I have to up and start all over!

-Ted To'ttme

wit in the wedding announcement

Married, at Bridgewater, December 16, 1778, Captain Thomas Baxter, of Quincy, aged sixty-six,
to Miss Whitman, of the former place, aged fifty-seven,
after a long and tedious courtship of forty-eight years,
Which they both sustained with uncommon fortitude.

 Married, Solomon Payne, Esq., of Canterbury, Connecticut, to Miss Sarah Barker, of Concord, in 1825: Some females fall in love with wealth,
Some with a lovely swain;
But Sarah, in the bloom of health
Takes to her bosom Payne.

Eight sittings

Eight sittings, all in all, she had,
 From different angles, too,
Before the maid was satisfied,
 And felt the job was through.
 Perhaps you think a photograph
 Was what she had in mind,
Or, better still, a portrait new
 Some artist had designed.
But that is not the proper thought,
 Events now indicate,
Because the sittings all were made
 In learning how to skate.

 -Harry Brokaw

the flapper's petition, and the lawyer's reply

I want the lights that brightly shine,
 I want the men, I want the wine,
 I want the fun without the price,
I want to be naughty and still be nice.
 I want the thrill of the first long kiss,
 I want the things the good girls miss,
 I want the arms and heart of a man,
 And still stay single if I can.
So, as a lawyer, give me advice,
 On how to be naughty and still be nice.
 I want to do what other girls do,
 Tease 'em, cuddle, and bill and coo.
Blacken my brows and powder my nose,
 Rouge my cheeks to rival the rose,
 Pencil my eyelashes, redden my lip,
 Carry a flask upon my hip.
Tango a bit and Charleston a lot,
 Park my corsets when the weather's hot,
 Ride and swim, golf and skate,
Take the fence instead of the gate.
Break all rules, yes, all but one,
And be good and true when the game is done;
 I don't like pepper, but I do like spice,
I want to be naughty and still be nice.



The advice I give is sure and true,
You can't eat your pie and have it, too.
If you want the men and want the wine,
You must pay the price while you love and dine.
 If at first one yields to a moment's bliss,
 Why the next must be a longer kiss;
If you want the arms of a man of heart,
 It is his to give that certain part.
If you want the things the good girls miss,
 Then you've got to be wiser than most girls, sis;
 So watch your step, is my advice, I
f you want to be naughty and still be nice.
 Go to it, kid, with your grease and paint,
To make you look just what you ain't;
Shimmy and drink to your heart's content,
And be hugged and squeezed till your ribs are bent.
Park your clothes on a hickory limb,
But never, my dear, go in to swim;
Stay, if you will, on the dewy green,
But you can't use mud and come out clean.
 The game you play is a man's long suit,
 Since first he nibbled forbidden fruit,
 Whatever you get, you pay the price,
You can't be naughty and still be nice


model husbands

Men who are called model husbands needn't get all puffed up over it; according to the dictionary, "model" is "a small imitation of the real thing."

-Fred Clifford

I saw this today

He stood-anxious nose pressed against the frosted glass of the closed door.
His master was inside there somewhere and though the biting wind pierced his shaggy coat he would not seek shelter.
Master might emerge at any minute and to miss him would be tragedy too grim to conceive.
A hopeful wagging of downcast tail greeted each swing of the door.
Time sped by and anxiety overcoming caution, he paced a few troubled steps to a window which might afford a better view.
Evidently no hope there.

 Returning to the door he took up his solitary watch once more, seemingly oblivious to the icy gale.
When anxiety had become almost too hard to bear, a shabby form pushed the swinging door.
 Joy of joys, it was his master! Tail erect, he followed gaily down the snowy street, caressing with adoring tongue the mittened hand extended for his satisfaction.
Happy, proud, undemanding friend.
Would that human kind could equal you!

-Margaret Nickerson Martin

the sun

 I'd like to see the sun come up,
 All radiant and pearly; I think I'll see it every day- .
But the darn thing comes too early.

-Chesta H QU Fulmer

John Sullen

Here lies John Sullen, and it is God's will
 He that was Sullen should be sullen still,
 He still is Sullen, if the truth ye seek,
 Knock until doomsday, Sullen will not speak.

you must pay for the title "Benevolent One."

If you would do good to your fellow-men do not expect gratitude.
 Your kindness will often be repaid with abuse.
 That is the price you must pay for the title "Benevolent One."
That is your sacrifice.

Interiors, boys vs girls rooms

A Little Girl's Room

High heels for "pretending"; a pile of red leaves;
 A doll slightly rumpled and mussed;
A stack of used sketch books; a dress with puffed sleeves;
Some notes and some scraps where she's fussed
 At sewing a doll dress; her birthday perfume;
 A shelf of old stories-a little girl's room

 A Little Boy's Room

 A gun and a rope and a square of thick wool
 To sew into holsters; a bat;
His torn "Treasure Island"; a dresser too full;
A pen and a sheepskin-lined hat;
 Some plans for a "clubhouse"; a handful of seed;
 A smuggled-in-puppy-what more does he need?

 -llevah S~tner89U2

A boy speaks

Dear God: He was an old-man dog. . . .
 Here is his bowl and his pillow.
We buried him this morning
 Beneath the garden willow. . . .
If terriers go to Heaven
It's raining so tonight,
 Please whistle, God, and pet him
 Until he seems all right. . . .
 God, if he will not eat,
But maybe just stands still
Please pick him up a little
 And talk to him until
 He wags his tail against you,
 Then let him lick your chin.
He was my dog. . . (Old Buddy)
 Please, God. . . please take him in.

 -Queene B. Lister

IF I WERE GOD (Inspired by a very young mother)

I saw her hanging clothes upon a line
 A mother, slim and graceful, but too young.
Her eyes were wistful as she looked away
 From where her baby's sheer white dresses hung.
 She was so much the little girl herself,
 How could she know, so young, the worth of it;
How realize her baby's pricelessness?
 If I were God, I'd wait a little bit.
I'd wait until she learned the emptiness
 Of life, and had more years to play and smile
 And yearn for what she thinks binds her too fast.,
 If I were God, I'd wait a little while.

 -Revah Summersgill


Say not you know another entirely until you have divided an inheritance with him.

the 26

a-s-d-f-g-h-j -k-l
 Here they sit, so still, serene,
On my little type-machine.
What they think of who can say,
 As they wait here, day by day? 
But what service have they seen
 Letters on my type machine!

 See! they're really just a few;
Ah, but think what they can do!
 Think of all the magic hid
If my fingers do not skid.
Think of all the clever tricks
Done with just these twenty-six!

 Shakespeare had no more than these,
 Nor did Milton, if you please.
 Sonnets, ballads, books, may troup
From this silent little group.
 Aye, the Bible-think of it
In these twenty-six is writ.

 Just to think what they can do
Comedies and dramas too.
Ah, but 'tis a magic power
I'm endowed with in this hour.
 Guide, ye gods, my hand and sight!
 May I strike the keys aright!

-Miriam Teichner

A WOMAN'S QUESTION, and a Man's reply

Do you know you have asked for the costliest thing
 Ever made by the Hand above?
A woman's heart and a woman's life,
 And a woman's wonderful love?

 Do you know you have asked for this priceless thing
 As a child might ask for a toy?
Demanding what others have died to win,
 With the reckless dash of a boy?

 You have written my lesson of duty out,
 Manlike, you have questioned me;
Now stand at the bar of my woman's soul
 Until I shall question thee.

 You require your mutton shall always be hot,
 Your socks and your shirt shall be whole;
 I require your heart shall be true as God's stars,
 As pure as heaven your soul.

 You require a cook for your mutton and beef;
 I require a far better thing;
A seamstress you're wanting for stockings and shirt
 I look for a man and a king.

 A king for a beautiful realm called Home,
 And a man that the maker, God,
Shall look upon as He did the first,
 And say: "It is very good."

 I am fair and young, but the roses will fade
 From my soft young cheek one day;
Will you love me then, 'mid the falling leaves,
 As you did 'mid the bloom of May?

 Is your heart an ocean so wide and deep
 I may launch my all on its tide?
 A loving woman finds heaven or hell
 On the day' she is made a bride.

 I require all things that are grand and true,
 All things that a man should be;
 If you give this all, I would stake my life
 To be all you demand of me.

 If you cannot do this, a laundress and cook
 You may hire with little pay;
 But a woman's heart and a woman's life
 Are not to be won that way.

Mary T. Lathrop

 Yes, I have asked for a priceless thing,
 For a gem beyond all compare,
With which all the richest mountains of earth
 Nor the ocean can compare.

 But have I come with empty hands?
 In return have I offered aught?
Can a man bring more to the woman he loves
 Than I unto you have brought?

 No seamstress or cook have I sought, 
For they can be hired, I ween;
Naught have I said of mutton or shirt,
 I want and must have a Queen.

 You say that you want a man and a King
 A very Prince of the race;
 I look for a kind and generous heart,
 And not a queenly face.

 You require all things that are good and true,
 All things that a man should be;
I ask for a woman, with all that implies,
 And that is sufficient for me.

 You ask for a man without a fault,
 To live with here on earth;
 I ask for a woman, faults and all,
 For by faults, I may judge of worth.

 I ask for a woman, made as of old,
 A higher form of man;
His comforter, helper, adviser and friend,
 As in the original plan.

 A woman who has an aim in life,
 Who finds life worth the living;
Who makes the world better for being here,
 And for others her life is giving

 To be all that a man should be
 Shall be my aim in life;
To love but me and only me,
 Is all that I ask of my wife.

 For your heart and life and wonderful love
 Are sacred things to me,
And I'll stake my life to be to you
 Whatever I ought to be.

 Thus, at the bar of your woman's soul
 I have stood and answered thee;
And again, I ask for that priceless thing
 Say, what shall the answer be?


rejection slip

The Chinese editor, with the unfailing courtesy of his race, has endeavored to take the sting out of the rejection slip in the following manner:

 "To Those Whose Divine Manuscripts We Have Rejected:
We have read your manuscript with infinite delight.
By the sacred ashes of our ancestors, we must swear that we have never read such a splendid piece of writing.
But if we printed it, His Majesty the Emperor, our most high and mighty ruler, would order us to take this as a model, and never print anything inferior.
And this would not be I possible in less than a thousand years.
We regret to return your divine manuscript, and ask one thousand pardons."

See also:


You know, it seems to me the world is growing better, more sane. When, as a boy, I worked in a factory I remember almost every evening after work there would be a fight outside the shop. A couple of fellows with bare fists would go to it, while the crowd of workmen egged them on.

Often these fights lasted an hour or more, and sometimes they were continued like the old-time serial movie picture. If they could not finish the argument in one night, they would go out to the vacant lot the next and start all over. Now that seemed to be the method they had of finding out who was right in an argument.

Nations still use this method. They have a war, and the one that kills most men and starves most women and children wins- and that one is supposed to be right- the other one, wrong.

 I heard a very interesting story about a couple of Chinese. A traveler in Shanghai one day saw two coolies engaged in a heated argument. A big crowd was gathered about, just like the crowds that used to watch the fist fights out in the vacant lot back of the shop. The two Chinese were waving their arms, shaking their fists and stamping their feet, all the time apparently hurling at each other the bitterest epithets their Mongolian brains could devise. But not a blow was struck.

The traveler was surprised at their actions and when he inquired what the trouble was, he was told by one of the bystanders that the two coolies were "fighting." "Fighting?" he asked in astonishment. "What kind of a fight do you call that? They prance around and talk fast and make faces, but not a blow is struck." "That is right," replied the bystander, "the man who strikes first is beaten, because thereby he confesses he has run out of ideas."

And that seems to me to be one of the reasons for men and nations fighting- they run out of ideas.

30 seconds

In the thirty seconds you will give to these lines you might hear
eight bars of Beethoven's Eroica,
 or read Shelley's Ozymandiaz
or cut three hyacinths,
or watch a brown bee among the tulips,
 or breathe the new rain from the grass,
or write something better than this banality ­why didn't you?
 -C1uJ.rlu Ballard


The Christian Golden Rule is an "unwritten" law the world over.

 It bears a varied interpretation, but the principle has never been compromised. Here are a few variations:

 Do as you would be done by.-PeTlian
Do not do that to a neighbor which you would take ill from him.-Grecian
What you would not wish done to yourself, do not do unto others.-Chinese
One should seek for others the happiness one desires for oneself.-Buddhiat
 He sought for others the good he desired for himself. Let him pass on.-Egyptian
Let none of you treat his brother in a way he himself would dislike to be treated.-Mohammedan
The true rule of life is to guard and do by the things of others as they do by their own.-Hindu
The law imprinted on the hearts of all men is to love the members of society as themselves.-Roman
All things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them.-Christian


He: Do you like Kipling?
She: I dunno, how do ya kipple?


Something tells me that when we get to Heaven we are going to find the front seats filled with people we never I heard so much about down here.

 -COl.8m.a". Co4:


Pictures, fancied by my eye,
 Memories, treasured by my heart,
 Grope in vain for words
Their meaning to impart.
I can only borrow
Words of other men
To put in form and measure
 The impotence of my pen.


A beggar of Shiraz once had a looking-glass
That by its magic power all others did surpass­
Which many dames would wish their mirrors too could I share-­
To show an ugly face as if it were most fair!
 The beggar held this glass in front of everyone
From whom he begged; and copious guerdons thus he won.
 For each with gladness gave who saw himself so fair:
The gay young lord, the foul old hag, both looking there.
At last the beggar, lying sick, gave to his son the glass,
 and said, "Make use of it as I have done."
But with the glass at night all empty came he back,
 For he had made a different use of it, alack!
 He held not up the glass before each passing wight,
 But saw his own face there and lingered on the sight.
The father said, "The foolish fruits of idle pride,
My son, no human heart has ever satisfied.
Who shows the world in Flattery's glass is one shrewd elf;
He is a fool who looks therein to see himself." (Translation of an Oriental Poem)