« AnteriorContinuar »
"More stones!" cried the men. "More mortar!' But the answer came: "There is no more!" Then," cried the engineer, "take off your clothes and with them stop the holes in the wall."
And so, in the chill and darkness and surf, it was done, and with the workmen's apparel the openings in the wall were partially filled. But still the tide rose, and still the ocean reared itself for more awful strokes, and for the overwhelming of thousands of lives in the villages.
"Now we have done all we can," said the engineer; "down on your knees, my men, and pray to God for help.” And on the trembling and parting dykes they prayed till the wind changed and the sea subsided, and the villages below were gloriously saved.
Now, what we want in the work of walling back the oceans of poverty and drunkenness and impurity and sin is the help of more womanly and manly hands. Oh, how the tides come in! Atlantic surge of sorrow after Atlantic surge of sorrow, and the tempests of human hate and Satanic fury are in full cry. Oh, woman of many troubles, what are all the feasts of worldly delight, if they were offered you, compared with the opportunity of helping build and support barriers which sometimes seem giving way through man's treachery and the world's assault? Oh, woman, to the dykes! Bring prayer, bring tears, bring cheerful words! Help! Help! And having done all, kneel with us on the quaking wall until the God of the wind and the sea shall hush the one and silence the other. To the dykes! Sisters, mothers, wives, daughters of America, to the dykes!
CADWALADER FRY AND HIS THEORY.*
Cadwalader Fry had a mind to try
Every experiment foul or fair
Which might let him explore the wonders in store
In the realms of the upper air.
*Written expressly for this Collection.
Cadwalader Fry he had an eye
Suggestive of boiling thoughts within; He considered it frivolous to smile,
And idiotic to grin,
Although when he preached of the wonders within
Many would smile, if they failed to grin,
For Cadwalader had a theory new
He said past the ether we think is blue
Was a denser air, a solider base,
A mid-sphere where there certainly was
He said there were worlds to discover there,
Though his fight prove our Waterloo.
When asked why it was no aeronaut
Had ever reported these worlds, he'd scoff In superior fashion, and say he thought They'd never gone high enough.
He said, as the Northern voyager stops
The balloon from the solider air.
He had tried balloons and flying machines,
He said there must be a shock, a rush
The attraction of earth, and then we might push
He studied few books, he was wiser than they;
But he marveled and planned, and dreamed and thought:
And his eyes boiled more, and his face grew gray
He'd queer inventions that cleaved the air
At last, one night, a shriek was heard
In his little house. When they ran to see
He laughed and he laughed, he bellowed, he roared,
He said, at last a vision had come,-
In his mind he'd discovered a sudden stair That should take him to his longed-for home In the realms of the upper air.
That's all he said-he would say no more;
But he promised we all should come and see The last of him on this earth ere he tore
Up the laws of gravity.
For a week he slept not; he put up a stage
There he was, with a great stout pipe
Fixed in the stage and a funnel in that; He looked half napping, stooping to wipe The nap of his black high hat.
Said he, calling down, "My friends, farewell!
"Here in this pipe is an innocent mass―
I'll tell you no name for it, 'tis new here, But its power of propulsion is such, alas!
As to take me from you, I fear.
"But farewell! I go,-if I do not return
Think of me as onward and upward I fare From town to town in the world I'll be shown
In the realms of the upper air.
"Now deep in this funnel I seat me-so. This fuse I touch to this pipe-” At that Each of us on his head got a blow
That stretched every one of us flat.
The stage fell in fragments, the earth was ploughed deep, The roar in the air was awful to hear,
And then all was silence! We rose in a heap,
Thinking Cadwalader near,—
Thinking Cadwalader near, that we
Might explain a few things to him there and then, And teach him the laws of gravity
In the hands and the feet of us men.
But Cadwalader Fry was nowhere nigh,
We hunted and found not a hint, not a sound,
They must have gone up, for they hadn't come down,
And we had to confess it was only fair
To think of Cad going from town to town
ONLY A WOMAN.-TOM MASSON.
Her name was quite familiar to the Hottentots and Zulus, And the Comanches and Apaches and Sioux knew all about her;
She had furnished Chinese toddlers with the different kind
And the great unwashed of Java said they couldn't do without her.
She figured as the patron of a patent incubator,
And her name was spread out broadcast by the chickens as they speeded
From the frozen fields of Lapland to the lands of the equa
She supplied a waiting public with the very things it needed.
As a sewing-circle leader she achieved a reputation,
And her name was like a tocsin in the dry-goods stores around her;
She was known in every millinery art association,
And an army of dressmakers sent up thanks that they had found her.
But she was a total stranger to the art of domesticity, As all matters appertaining to the same were much below her;
She could write up tracts by thousands on the home and its felicity
For the heathen of all nations. But her husband didn't know her.
ON THE RAPPAHANNOCK.*-CHARLES H. TIFFANY. The unfinished love-song quoted here was found on the body of a young sol dier of the Army of the Potomac, who was killed in battle.
The calm Rappahannock flowed on to the sea,
By the armies that lay in the stillness of sleep;
And the silence of night reigned, majestic and deep.
At the front of the lines which the Federals held,
His love for his country, for freedom and right.
Yet there burned in his bosom, more tenderly dear,
Like a path to the heaven her sweet presence graced.
With sweetness and harmony, rhythmic and free,
And the calm Rappahannock flowed on to the sea.
"Art thou thinking of me in my absence, love!
Is there naught in the innocent joys of life
That can cheer thee, as when I'm at home?
"I would fain think my presence was needed, love,
Yet I'd not have thy heart know a sorrow or care
"Art thou thinking of me in my absence, love?
*From the "New England Magazine" by permission.