How the Great News Came to Miami.
(As Told By Miss Irene Bewley.)
The thrilling poem which follows, entitled, “How the Great News Came to Miami,” was written just after the greatest celebration the world has ever encountered, on the occasion of the signing of the armistice early on the morning of November 11. The enthusiastic lines were written by Will Allan Dromgoole, a Tennessean for the Nashville Banner and was published in that paper last week. The poem in that paper however was entitled, “How the Great News Came to Nashville” and was paraphrased by Miss Irene Bewley and read in Miss Bewley’s effective was at the Thanksgiving service under the auspices of the Neighborhood Bible Study classes. Miss Bewley’s version of the poem follows:
It crackled in flame down the aisles of the dark,
It flowed in a current of light.
It boomed in a trumpet-voice over the world,
It sang like a bird in the night.
The great, good news of the victory won,
The triumph of Freedom, the fall of the Hun,
And the heart of the tense world stood to hear,
And its great throat opened, to cheer and cheer.
Over the sea in a crackle of fire,
It leaped through the land like a flame;
It waved like a torch in the noon of the night,
It challenged in thunder to fame.
And the great North shouted the good news on,
The West caught the word in the fire-flash blown,
And down through the South, over river and brake,
It thrilled in a bugle, “Awake! Awake!”
The grey dawn broke on old Miami town,
Enrobed on her sturdy rock throne,
And the town that has mourned her own brave dead,
Made the great news all her own.
“Rejoice! Rejoice! We have settled the score,
The dead are avenged; the struggle is o’er.”
And the old church bell at the corner of Tenth,
Lifted its iron tongue,
And it rang, and rang, as only one bell,
Since God made the world, has rung;
“Won! WON!” pealed the old church bell,
“Great freedom has triumphed! All’s All’s Well! All’s well!”
Peace on the land. Peace on the sea.
A tyrant has fallen, the people are Free!
Over the seas where the ships keep watch,
The jubilant proud news sped;
In thundering joy from the living throat,
In the soundless voice of the dead.
And the old bell echoed the vibrant joy,
“We have settled the score for each absent boy.
Won! Won! From your far seas come;
America calls, Come home! Come home!”
On the grime-greyed walls of the dusty streets,
How the flags came rippling out –
Red, white and blue in a gladdened flow
To answer the glad-mad shout.
And the joy of a million souls was voiced,
For even the dead in their grave rejoiced.
“Rejoice! Rejoice!” O, the old bell knew
That the darling dead loved their country too.
The hurrying car and the scare-crow horse
Side by side in the mad ranks drew,
Bearing the flag of the country,
Helping the great news through.
And the great throngs jostled, and roared and sang,
And o’er the noise the church bell rang,
“WON! WON!” O, the mellow, sweet boom,
“Peace shall abound, the wilderness bloom.”
The startled children forsook their books,
The workmen his sturdy tools,
And nobody spoke of the task forgot,
Nor no thought of the broken rules;
While all through the town, tears, laughter and gun
All published the downfall of the Hun.
And ever the solemn old iron bell
Kept tolling and tolling — “God Lives! All’s well! All’s Well!”
And the shades of the great who had mustered there,
A phantom line, thronged the thoroughfare.
For each reveler swore as he marching along
The soul of Old Hickory fed the throng.
O, it flashed round the world in a circle of fire,
It swept in a river of song;
The voice of a God to a listening world –
How the Right had triumphed o’er Wrong.
Up from the half-tilled Southern fields,
The plowman came on the great news’ heels;
And the church bell boomed, a jubilant strain,
“Rejoice! The world shall blossom again.”
And I think that forever and ever will glow
In the heart of this Southern town
The glory of joy that was born that night
When Freedom proclaimed her own.
And that men will go with a softer tread,
Proud of their living, proud of their dead;
Nor forget the message — “God lives, all’s well,”
That the old bell sounded — “God’s bell, God’s bell.”
The Miami News – Dec 22, 1918
An interesting literary note comes from L.C. Page & Co., of Boston.
Will Allen Dromgoole, the brilliant Southern writer and poet, whose recent novel — “The Island of Beautiful Things” — is much in the public eye, has quite a time of it trying to keep her identity clear, for “people will insist upon thinking of me a ‘he’ you know,” Miss Dromgoole confides, “and it’s all on account of my name, of course.”
“You see William, a real man name, was the name bestowed on me. There had been several girls in our family and it was devoutly hoped that I should turn out a boy, but I came out a girl, and to relieve somewhat father’s disappointment a dear friend of the family’s suggested that I receive a boy’s name. and so I was called William Anne Dromgoole — William after the dear friend’s husband, and Anne after the dear friend herself. I did not much mind the name William so much in childhood days — in fact I rather liked it, for with a boy’s name to back me up, pranks which were, perhaps, ‘ungirlish’ seemed to be in the order of things. But that name Anne I did dislike!
“One day, coming from school — I was only a kiddie of seven or so — a beautiful gilt sign, bearing the name Allen above a shop door held me spellbound. What a beautiful name Allen is, I thought. Then, I concluded, I’ll have that for a name, too. I won’t have to change my initials and just think how pretty William Allen Dromgoole will sound! So boldly I wrote my new name in a brand new primer. Mother was not so pleased with the name as I had been, when she happened upon it in the book, and scolded me for my foolishness, but secretly I vowed that the name Allen should stay with me. Not long after, baptism took place at our church and without a word to anyone, I became baptized William Allen Dromgoole, and since that time the name has stuck. It was when I started my writing that I decided to cut William to Will, though popularly I am known as ‘Miss Willie.’”
Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Jan 12, 1913
SKETCH OF WILL ALLEN DROMGOOLE
One of Tennessee’s Fair Authors Who Is Winning Both Fame and Fortune.
BY MELL R. COLQUITT.
Miss Dromgoole, writer, lecturer, and reader, is a very interesting personality. Small, frail, full of fire and spirit, she impresses one as being a woman of unusual mental vitality and force; one who in the space of nine or ten years has earned a high and unique position in the ranks of popular writers. She draws her power and inspiration from many streams. Irish, French, Danish and English blood flow in her veins, and the fine traits of all these strong people can be traced in her writings. Mr. Flower, editor of The Coming Age, says of her:
“It is not strange that we find in her nature as well as her writings strong contrasts and great versatility.” Her first writing was for Tennessee papers, general correspondence, graphic reports of strikes, descriptive and character sketches. She taught for a year in a college at Sweetwater, Tenn., and was regarded as a teacher of marked ability. Her newspaper work soon won for her a wide circle of admiring readers. She counts as her first decided success in literature the winning of a prize for a story, offered by The Youth’s Companion. This achievement surprised and encouraged her. For a time she filled the position of engrossing clerk for the Tennessee senate. when she desired reappointment there were other women in the field. In her canvass for the place she received the following note from one of the rural members in answer to her application by letter:
“Dear Bill — No, sir, I don’t vote for any d–d man against a lot of women.”
More chivalric than polished, her masculine-sounding name has been the cause of many amusing mistakes. A society of literary men in New York recently elected her to membership and the secretary sent her a badge of the association with the request that it be worn on the left lapel of his coat. she once received a very cordial invitation from Mr. Hesekiah Butterworth, of Boston, to visit him in his bohemian bachelor quarters. Miss Dromgoole’s successes are on many lines — novels, short stories, descriptive work, juvenile stories and verse, in addition to her spririted and delightful readings from her own works. Her principal books are: “The Valley Path,” “Cinch,” “Rare Old Chums,” “Hero Chums,” “The Farrier’s Dog and His Fellow,” “Adventures of the Fellow,” “Harum Scarum Joe,” “A Boy’s Battle,” “The Moonshiner’s Son,” “The Heart of Old Hickory,” “The Three Little Crackers from Down in Dixie;” and she has now in press “A Notch on the Stick” and “The Battle of Stone’s River.” She excels in negro dialect and in rendering the speech of the southern mountaineer; she has also done some very clever things in Irish dialect and that of the street gamin. In her conception of the mountaineer she is discerning and sympathetic. She says:
“The mountaineer, in the rough as I care chiefly to discuss him, is a jewel. He has some strong and splendid characteristics. He is honest, he is the soul of hospitality, he hates a lie, he will pay back an injury if it takes to the day of his death to do it. He takes every man at his word, grants every man honest, until he proves himself unworthy of trust; then he takes him at his true value and treats him accordingly.” She loves the mountains and makes one of her characters say: “A body can’t content his’ef to love the levels when he has once knowed the heights.” She has known the heights and their spell is over all she writes. Her pictures are framed in the blue and emerald of the Cumberland mountains, with their embroideries of shining streams and limitless reaches of the rhododendron or mountain laurel, that matchless flower that blooms in prodigal profusion in every tint from shell pink to gory wine color. Small wonder is it that her aims are high, her sympathies tender, her types noble. She has breathed “the repose that lies on every height;” her brain has been vitalized by the strength of the everlasting hills, and her imagination nourished by their supernal beauty. During the summer months she lives in her little cottage, the “Yellow Hammer’s Nest,” near the Elk river in Tennessee. In winter Boston, New York or Washington city is her abiding place. In these centers she is the recipient of many social honors and is the valued companion of the foremost men and women of letters. She frequently gives public readings from her books. Of these it has been written:
“She is one of the few modern writers who can interpret her creations in such a manner as to delight the most fastidious, possessing the rare power of throwing life into her renditions without at any time over reaching or straining after effect.” *** “Her voice, sweet, flexible and strong, sways her audience at will to laughter or tears.”
Miss Dromgoole has won a place beside “Charles Egbert Craddock,” (Miss Murfee) and Ruth McEnery Stuart. Like Miss Murfree, she is a native of Murfreesboro, Tenn. Had I more space I should like to touch upon the strength of “The Heart of Old Hickory,” the tragic pathos of “In the Heart of the Woods,” then tenderness of “Rare Old Chums,” and the wholesome humor of her negro sketches. To those unfamiliar with the work of this gifted young woman, I will say: Read her books and then you will understand why the south is so proud of her and the north delights to do her honor.
The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Mar 25, 1900
SHE BEARS A MASCULINE NAME.
A Girl of the Tennessee Mountains Who Writes Entertaining Fiction.
The pretty town of Murfreesboro, the ancient capital of Tennessee, pops up in history occasionally as if it would not be denied a claim to the remembrance of future generations, but it is doubtful if even the fact that it was near the scene of one of the great battles of the civil war will do so much to preserve its memory as the other fact that within a decade two of its daughters have made fame for themselves as writers under masculine names. Will Allen Dromgoole is the latest of these; but, unlike that of Charles Egbert Craddock, whose near neighbor and friend she is, the masculinity of her name is not a mere ruse of the pen, but was the deliberate choice of her parents at her birth.
Miss Dromgoole was the sixth daughter in her family. When she was born, her parents gave up the hope of ever having a son and listened to the half humorous suggestion of a neighbor that the baby should have a boy’s name. As she grew older she developed traits in keeping with her masculine appellation. Her father was a persistent hunter and fisher, and she became his constant companion. She is an expert with the rod and gun and does not know what “fear” means. Her hunting costume is of gray corduroy, such as the mountaineers wear, and the short skirt reaches just to the top of the boy’s boots with which she covers her little feet.
Up in the Cumberland foothills Miss Dromgoole has a pleasant cottage where she and her father, as chummy as ever, spend their time from April to November every year. The father is now 88 years of age, but is still an expert angler, and many a day the pair of them walk 10 miles in pursuit of their outdoor pastime. Miss Dromgoole christened her cottage “The Den,” but her neighbors call it “The Yellow Hammer’s Nest.” Her study there is decorated with the skins of animals which she and her father have shot, and the floor is carpeted with similar spoils of the chase. The walls are decorated with pipes and walking sticks, gifts from admiring mountaineers. Each of the sticks commemorates a story, and some of them are handsomely carved, for carving is a natural gift of those strange shy people whom Miss Dromgoole has actually as well as artistically “made her own.”
Miss Dromgoole is a prolific writer and finds a ready market for the product of her pen. She studies her characters from the life and knows whereof she writes. Method she says she has none, but depends upon the inspiration of the moment. She recently made an extended visit to the north and was much petted by the literary people of New York and Boston.
Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Mar 12, 1894
The watercolor of Will Allen Dromgoole was found on the blog, Amy’s Art. She has some other wonderful watercolors posted.
Her Hobby Is Tramping.
The Tennessee authoress, Will Allen Dromgoole, has a hobby. It is walking — “tramping,” she calls it. Nine or ten miles of mountain walking is her daily constitutional when at her country home. A short, ordinary skirt, a blouse waist and a soft, gray felt hat with a history form her walking costume. The history part comes in with the only ornament of the hat — a bullet hole of goodly size. Miss Drumgoole has made a study of the coal mines of the Tennessee mountains. When the war with the miners began on Coal creek, she hurried up there to see all she could of it. “Every one of the state authorities was very nice to me,” she adds in telling the story, “but if I wanted to see things for myself I could not be sheltered any more than they were. I messed with them, and one evening at supper a bullet went through the hat on my head.”
Daily Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) May 1, 1894
Tampering With a Bill.
NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 30. — Both houses of the general assembly of the legislature adjourned sine die yesterday at noon. Considerable of a stir was created in the senate in the morning when Miss Will Allen Dromgoole, engrossing clerk, stated that the bill known as the natural gas bill “giving cities the right to convey exclusive privileges,” had been tampered with by someone who had erased the word “natural.” It was evidently in the interest of the companines manufacturing gas. She discovered the erasure in time to replace it. Numerous attempts had been made from time to time to secure ths bill by gentlemen of standing, as is charged, for fraudulent purposes.
Newark Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Mar 31, 1887
OLE MAMMY’S SLUMBER SONG.
(Will Allen Dromgoole in the Nashville Banner.)
Hush-abye baby, de winter winds croon.
Hush-a-bye, summer will come along soon,
De wind’s in de meader, the rain’s in de brake,
But mammy gwine sing a li’l song for yo’ sake,
Hush-a-bye, baby, to slumber and sleep,
Under de snow-sheet de violets creep.
Hush-a-bye, baby, de change in de moon
Tell ’bout de roses dat comin’ wid June;
De wind will lay low, de rain gwine ter stop,
De sun wahm de furrer for daddy’s cawn crop;
Den hush-a-bye, baby, to sleep till de mawn,
Dar’s hawg an’ dar’s hominy bofe in dat cawn.
Hush-a-bye, baby, de fire on de h’a'th
Paints on de floor ob de cabin a path,
Down through de orchard, out to de sheep fol’,
Draws it, and paints it in shimmery gol’;
Den hush-a-bye, baby, no use fer ter fret,
Mammy gwine make you a fine lady yet.
Mammy gwine dress you in wahm rabbit skin,
Down fum yo’ foots ter de tip ob yo’ chin,
Daddy gwine git out de plow, by and by,
So hush-a-bye, baby, ’tain’t no use ter cry,
De wind at de winder will crackle an’ croon,
But I hear de Night laffin’ an’ talkin’ of June!
Fitchburg Daily Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) Apr 26, 1913
The Heart of Old Hickory and Other Stories of Tennessee – by Will Allen Dromgoole (google book LINK)