Tick-tock Goes the Clock

THE OLD CLOCK.

GUY CARLTON.

I.

The old clock croons on the sun-kissed wall —
Tick, tock! tick tock!
The merry seconds to minutes call:
Tick, tock! ‘Tis morn.

A maiden sits at the mirror there,
And smiles as she combs her golden hair;
O, in the light but her face is fair!
Tick, tock! tick, tock!

Far over the sea the good ship brings
The lover of whom the maiden sings;
From the orange tree the first leaf springs:
Tick, tock! tick, tock!

II.

The old clock laughs on the flower-decked wall —
Tick, tock! tick, tock!
The rose-winged hours elude their thrall:
Tick, tock! ‘Tis noon!

The lover’s pride and his love are blest;
The maiden is folded to his breast;
On her brow the holy blossoms rest;
Tick, tock! tick, tock!

O thrice, thrice long may the sweet bells chime,
As echoing this thro’ future time!
Still to my heart beats that measured rhyme —
Tick tock! tick, tock!

III.

The old clock moans on the crumbling wall
Tick, tock! tick, tock!
The drear years into eternity fall;
Tick, tock! ‘Tis night!

The thread that yon spider draws with care
Across the gleam of the mirror there,
Seems like the ghost of a golden hair;
Tick, tock! tick, tock!

The sweet bells chime for those that may wed;
The neroll-snow crowns many a head —
But tree and maiden and lover are dead,
Tick, tock! tick, tock!
— Life.

The Oshkosh Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) May 16, 1883


THE KITCHEN CLOCK.

(John Vance Cheney in The Century.)

Knitting is the maid ‘o the kitchen, Milly,
Doing nothing, sits the chore-boy, Billy:
“Seconds reckoned,
Seconds reckoned;
Every minute,
Sixty in it.
Milly, Billy,
Billy, Milly,
Tick-tock, tock-tick,
Nick-knock, knock-nick,
Knockety-nick, nickety-knock: —
Goes the kitchen clock.

Closer to the fire is rosy Milly,
Every whit as close and cozy, Billy:
“Time’s a-flying,
Worth your trying!
Pretty Milly —
Kiss her, Billy!
Milly, Billy,
Billy, Milly,
Tick-tock, tock-tick,
Now — now, quick — quick!
Knockety-nick, nickety-knock” —
Goes the kitchen clock.

Something’s happened; very red is Milly,
Billy boy is looking very silly:
“Pretty misses,
Plenty kisses;
Make it twenty,
Take a plenty.
Billy, Milly,
Milly, Billy,
Right-left, left-right,
That’s right, all right,
Skippety-nick, rippety-knock” —
Jumps the kitchen clock.

Night to night they’re sitting, Milly, Billy’
Oh, the winter winds are wondrous chilly!
“Winter weather,
Close together;
Wouldn’t tarry,
Better marry.
Milly, Billy,
Billy, Milly,
Two-one, one-two,
Don’t wait, ‘twont do,
Knockety-nick, nickety-knock” —
Goes the kitchen clock.

Winters two have gone, and where is Milly?
Spring has come again, and where is Billy?
“Give me credit,
For I did it;
Treat me kindly,
Mind you wind me.
Mr. Billy,
Mistress Milly,
My — Oh, Oh — my,
By-by, by-by,
Nickety-knock, cradle rock” —
Goes the kitchen clock.

The Bismarck Tribune (Bismarck, North Dakota) Sep 19, 1884

My Little Bo-Peep

By S.B. M’Manus

MY Little Bo-Peep is fast asleep,
And her head on my heart is lying;
I gently rock, and the old hall clock
Strikes a knell of the day that’s dying.
But what care I how the hours go by,
Whether swiftly they go or creeping?
Not an hour could be but dear to me,
When my babe on my arm is sleeping.

Her little bare feet, with dimples sweet,
From the folds of her gown are peeping,
And each wee toe like a daisy in blow,
I caress as she lies a-sleeping;
Her golden hair falls over the chair,
Its treasures of beauty unfolding;
I press my lips to her finger tips

That my hands are so tightly holding.
Tick, tock, tick, tock! You may wait, old clock,
It was foolish what I was saying;
Let your seconds stay and your minutes play,
And bid your days go all a-Maying.
O, Time — stand still — let me drink my fill
Of content while my babe is sleeping;
As I smooth her hair m life looks fair,
And to-morrow — I may be weeping.

The Wellsboro Agitator (Weillsboro, Pennsylvania) Jun 28, 1887

CHILDREN’S COLUMN.

TIC-TOCK.

Tick-tock, tick-tock,
Such a busy, busy clock,
All the year you go just so
Never fast and never slow.

Tick-tock, pretty clock,
And this is what you say:
“Never till tomorrow leave
What should be done today.”

You are always in your place
With your hands before your face;
Run and run, and never stop —
Tick-tock, tick-tock.

–[New York World.

Indana Progress (Indiana, Pennsylvania) Dec 2, 1891

The White Brigade.

The old hall clock goes hurrying on:
Tick, tock. ‘Tis getting late!
Tick, tock, tick, tock, hark! one, two, three,
Four, five, six, seven, eight.

The white brigade is marching now,
In every town and street
You hear the patter, patter soft
Of little naked feet.

The girls and boys have left their toys,
And now with sleepy head
Each joins the throng (ten thousand strong,)
Going up stairs to bed.

Sandusky Regiser (Sandusky, Ohio) Feb 23, 1895

The Washington Post – Feb 21, 1913

MY CLOCK.

In the silence of the night,
If I waken with affright
From a dream that’s full of terror and annoy,
There’s a sound that fills my heart
With a melody of art
Fully of beauty, full of pleasure, full of joy.

‘Tis the steady “tick, tick, tock,”
Of my sturdy little clock,
As it sits across the room upon a shelf,
And it says: “Don’t be afraid,
For I’ve closely by you staid
While you were off in the land of dreams yourself.

“With a steady ‘tick, tick, tick,’
I am never tired or sick,
And I count the minutes ever as they fly.
I’m the truest friend you’ve got,
And share your ev’ry lot,
And I’m ready to stand by you till you die.”

It’s a common sort of clock,
But I like its lusty “tock,”
And it fills my soul with courage by its song.
In the storm or cold or rain
I hear its bright refrain
As it faithfully pursue its path along.

For it tells me to be true
To each thing I have to do,
And no matter if the world applaud or scorn;
That full soon must pass the night
And the sweet and precious light
Be unfolded with the coming of the morn.
— Hamilton Jay in Florida Times-Union.

Sandusky Register (Sandusky, Ohio) Jun 1, 1895

THE TALKING CLOCK.

Up in my room, when comes the dark,
My door with care I lock,
And sit down, all my company
My little talking clock.

With round, bright open face it stands
Upon my mantel shelf,
And “tick, tick, tick” — how sweet and low!
Keeps talking to itself;

While loud and clear, that I may hear
When I am out of sight,
It calls to me twelve times each day,
And twelve times every night.

I always listen for its voice —
‘Tis like a silver bell —
And just the thing I need to know
It will be sure to tell:

“Wake up! wake up! ’tis morning light!”
“To bed! the hour is late!”
“The minutes fly! make haste! make haste!”
“Have patience; you must wait!”

My faithful little talking clock!
O If I only knew
Exactly when I ought to speak
And what to say to you,

And could, when I had said enough,
Just stop, without delay,
I might, almost as calm as you,
Be happy all the day!

— Marion Douglass in “Our Little Men and Women.”

The Daily Northwesterm (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Nov 20, 1897

THE FAMILY CLOCK.

Old clock
So tall,
In your niche in the wall,
What is it you say,
As you tick all day,
With your smiling face,
And your polished case?
Tell me, I pray,
Is this what you say?

“Tick, tock,
I’m the family clock,
A hundred years old,
Of good old stock!
Tick, tock,
Good old stock,
A hundred years old,
The family clock!”

Old clock
So tall,
In your niche in the wall,
Have you memories faint
Of dear ladies quaint,
With high powdered hair,
Who tripped up this stair?
Tell me, I pray,
Is this what you say?

“Tick, tock,
I’ve seen many a frock,
And the witchery fair
Of a gleaming lock!
Tick, tock,
Many a frock,
And the witchery fair
Of a gleaming lock!”

Old clock
So tall,
In your niche in the wall,
Do you never feel affright
In the dead of the night
When the winds howl drear,
And strange noises you hear?
Or ell me, I pray,
Is this what you say?

“Tick, tock,
I’m a doughty old clock;
I know no fear;
Let them rage and knock;
Tick, tock,
Rage and knock;
I know no fear —
A doughty old clock.”

Old clock
So tall,
In your niche in the wall,
Will you still tick away,
A hundred years from today,
With your smiling face
And your polished case?
And then, I pray,
Is this what you’ll say?

“Tick, tock,
I’m the family clock,
Two hundred years old,
Of good old stock!
Tick, tock,
Good old stock,
Two hundred years old,
The family clock!”

— Jane D?msfield, in the St. Nicholas

San Antonio Light (San Antonio, Texas) Apr 8, 1900

The Clock.

He stands in a corner from morning till night,
A patient old thing with no feet
His face is as solemn and round as a moon
And oh so exceedingly neat
From breakfast to supper,
Bright on through the day,
“Tick-tock, tick-tock, I am only the clock,
Tick-tock, tick-tock,” he’ll say.

His hands are quite tidy, they grow on his face
When I grow to be big I shall know
Why one is so long and the other so short
And one he moves fast, and one slow,
From breakfast to supper,
Right on through the day.
Tick-tock, tick-tock, I am only the clock,
Tick-tock, tick-tock,” he’ll say.

At night when I’m sleeping he keeps wide awake
To see what the little mice do,
He watches the brownie creep in through the blind
His little red shoes wet with dew
From night-time to daytime,
Right on through the day
“Tick-tock, tick-tock, I am only the clock,
Tick-tock, tick-tock,” he’ll say.

And when it comes morning I wish he would tell,
I ask him but never a trace
Of the wonderful things which he saw in the night
Does he show in his sober old face,
From breakfast to supper
Right on through the day
“Tick-tock, tick-tock, I am only the clock,
Tick-tock, tick-tock,” he’ll say.

Trenton Evening Times (Trenton, New Jersey) Mar 30, 1909

The Old Hall Clock.

What a store of information
You must have in stock,
Not a word of revelation
In your staid “tick-tock.”
You have watched the decades passing as the ships upon the sea,
Stores of knowledge e’er amassing as the generations flee.
Can’t you tell some of your secrets to a little boy like me
But the old hall clock
Answered just:
“Tick-tock,
Tick-tock,
Tick-tock,
Tick-tock.”

Never changing the expression
Of your placid face.
Never making a confession
Any time or place.
Can’t you tell me of the courting you have seen upon the stairs?
Of he stately wedding marches, of the ministers and prayers?
Of he good old squires and damsels who have come and gone in pairs
But the old hall clock
Answered Just:
“Tick-tock,
Tick-tock,
Tick-tock,
Tick-tock.”

It’s for history I’m seeking
And you’ve got to tell.
It’s of father I am speaking
And you might as well.
When a youngster, was he always doing just exactly right?
Did he have to have a licking almost every single night?
Now, you needn’t fear to trust me, for I’ll keep it secret, quite,
But the old hall clock
Answered just:
“Tick-tock,
Tick-tock,
Tick-tock,
Tick-tock.”

Bland recorder of the ages,
If you’ll be so kind,
Turn ahead among Life’s pages,
Tell us what you find.
When you look into the future, tell me what it is you see.
What in just another decade, is this old world going to be?
Tell me, what is going to come of just a little boy like me?
But the old hall clock
Answered just:
“Tick-tock,
Tick-tock,
Tick-tock,
Tick-tock.”

Eau Claire Leader (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) Dec 19, 1912

Image from flickr – vera 1955

Jens Galtheen/Galthen was born about 1839 in Denmark, and immigrated to America about 1865. On June 24, 1879 he married Helen Lager. His was listed as a jeweler on the 1880 and 1900 census records and his shop was at 415 Water St. in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

THE SILENT CLOCKS.

(By Violet Leigh.)
(In memory of Jeweler Galthen of Water St.)

Silent they stand in a row on the shelf,
Not one moves a hand alone by itself.
Not long ago the ormelu clock
Was merrily saying, “tick-tock, tick-tock”;
And its dainty hands in a charming way
Pointed out the time of day.

The beautiful clock of porcelain
Was also ticking with might and main;
And all the other clocks in the row
Showed one another how to go.
But they’re silent now as death itself
Standing there in a row on the shelf.

Where is the one who made them go?
Jeweler Galthen is lying low.
The pale clock-faces are not more white
Than the face of that aged man tonight.
And the hands of the clocks are not more still
Than his nerveless hands in the grave on the hill.

— Eau Claire, Wis., Nov. 22, 1913.

Eau Claire Leader (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) Nov 26, 1913

UPDATE: I found an obituary for Mr. Galthen:

OBITUARY

Aged Jeweler Summoned

Jens Galthen, an aged jeweler, who has been carrying on a small business at 415 Water St., died very suddenly yesterday morning, some time between 8:30 and 11 o’clock.

Death is said to have been due to a stroke of appoplexy, the aged man surffering a like stroke some time ago. Mr. Galthen was seen at 8:30 o’clock in the morning at which time he appeared to be in his usual health and spirits. At 11 o’clock, the store was entered by Sidney Robillard, who found the body of the victim of the stroke of appoplexy lying on the floor face down.

The deceased was about 70 years of age. He was a widower and lived alone in the store, a screen separating his living apartment from the store. No known relatives reside in this country. It is learned that relatives live in Copenhagen, Denmark, and County Coroner R.H. Stokes will endeavor to get in communication with them to ascertain what disposition they wish to make of the body.

Eau Claire Leader (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) Nov 2, 1913

THE CORRUPTED CLOCK.

By EDMUND VANCE COOKE

Some one has made the clock go wrong,
Not in its time, but in its song.
At twelve at night!
Its face is bright
And the sound of its stroke is a soft delight; —

“Tick! tock!
Oh, what a flock!
Flock of long hours that are left in the clock!
Time is unending,
Life is for spending;
What though I strike,
Do as you like!
Tick! tock!
Oh, what a flock!
Do what you will, but don’t look at the clock.”
Oh, kindly clock! had you a robe, I’d surely kiss its him;
Let us be friends forever, clock; aye, even at six A.M.!

But oh! at morning when I yawn
And much desire to slumber on,
Its white face stares,
Its eye-hole glares
And its lean hands point me down the stairs; —

“Tick! tock!
Knickety Knock!
Oh, but such laziness gives me a shock!
Time is for working;
Why are you shirking?
Now, as I strike,
Get up and hike!
Tick! tock!
Oh, what a shock!
Look at me! Look at me! Look at the clock!”
Oh, cursed clock! such two-faced talk I must, and do condemn;
You are so suave at twelve at night, so harsh at six A.M.!

(Copyright, 1919, N.E.A.)

Decatur Review (Decatur, Illinois) Aug 17, 1919

Gettysburg Times (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Jan 27, 1921

***

I sing of clocks that I have known,
In other years, now long since flown,
When I but just a little child,
For many hours was beguiled,
In listening to the tick, tick, tock,
Of one, to me, most wondrous clock.

My father bought that fine old clock
To quite complete our household stock,
When I was but one short year old,
It should be mine, I then was told;
When it wore out, its lovely case,
My little toys, in it to place.
The brilliant peacock on the door,
No bird like it since or before.
It’s good strong tick and ringing strike,
No other clock can sound the like.

Sometimes quaint old clock tinkers came,
To see if it was sick or lame;
They’d shine it up and set it back,
To tick and strike, as strong as ever,
Itinerant tinker were clever,
I would look on and sigh, alack,
“I’ll get my playhouse never, never.”

The years rolled on and strangely on,
Parents, brothers and sisters gone,
Still that old clock with calm, clear face,
Ticks for the remnant of our race;
Has struck the hours of death and birth,
For those dearest to me on earth.
Has through my four score years and one,
And still with undiminished strength,
Bids fair to wear me out at length.

Dear old home clock tick on and on
All my playhouses no ware gone;
I love to see your dear old face,
But no more now covet your case,
You’re worth to us, your weight in gold,
Tick on until your centurys old;
My playhouse I relinquish still,
So beat me to it, if you will.

One old clock with a friendly face,
Greeted me in my new home place;
Through many changing years it told,
Vicissitudes most lives unfold;
Reunions and each glad event,
That marked the way on which we went,
High hopes, and dreams that disappear,
And still that old bronze clock is here.

Another clock so plain and small,
It would not be valued at all;
Yet once it ticked the hours away,
For one who is no longer here,
It has been silent since that day,
A clock may hurt as well as cheer.

A welcome gift, a clock late come,
To wake it’s echoes in our home;
Welcome it is our home within,
It’s muffled strike to slumbers win.
Old clocks are like dear human friends,
They cheer life’s way until it ends.

The clock on old Northwesterns tower,
When chasing trains it marked the hour,
Warned us we would be all too late
Just as we reached the closing gate.
Old station clock of you I sing,
You were a kind and friendly thing.

Our bank clock, how we love its chimes,
Recalling other happy times;
And that one to so many dear,
Who made it possible to hear,
All over this old Arlington,
The echoes of its carrillion,
A treasure is that grand old clock,
May it abide firm as a rock.

There hangs a cheery little clock,
Here on the stairs, with quick tick tock;
It was a gift at Christmas time,
From one now gone to kinder clime
A bright, a cherry little thing
That through the passing hours will bring,
Sweet memories into the mind,
Of the dear giver, every kind.

There’s something odd and whimsical,
About old clocks that thrills us all
Yet no clock in our lives can come,
Like the clock in our childhood home.

— Elinore Crisler Haynes

The Daily Herald (Chicago, Illinois) Aug 10, 1928

A Football (player) Clock

The Times Recorder (Zanesville, Ohio) Nov 13, 1925

Good-Night Stories

By MAX  TRELL

Tick-tock,
Wind the clock.
Tick-tock,
Snap the lock.
Tick-tock,
Shut your eyes.
Tick-tock,
How time flies!

— Shadow Sayings.

The Athen Messenger (Athen, Ohio) Sep 19, 1930

Good-Night Stories

By MAX  TRELL

Tick-tock
Wind the clock
Knock-knock
Snap the lock,
Clack-clack
I won’t be back,
I’m taking the train
On the railroad track.

— Shadow Song.

Van Wert Daily Bulletin (Van Wert, Ohio) Aug 10, 1932

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