Archive for March 1st, 2012

The Wants of Man

March 1, 2012

“The Wants of Man.”

Editor Constitution — Will you publish the poem entitled “The Wants of Men,” written by President John Quincy Adams”
R.M.B.
Chattanooga, Tenn.

“Man wants but little here below,
Nor wants that little long.”
‘Tis not with me exactly so;
But ’tis so in the song.
My wants are many and, if told,
Would muster many a score;
And were each wish a mint of gold,
I still should long for more.

What first I want is daily bread –
And canvas-backs – and wine –
And all the realms of nature spread
Before me, where I dine.
Four courses scarcely can provide
My appetite to quell;
With four choice cooks from France, beside,
To dress my dinner well.

I want (who does not want?) a wife –
Affectionate and fair;
To solace all the woes of life,
And all its joys to share;
Of temper sweet, of yielding will,
Of firm, yet placid mind –
With all my faults to love me still
With sentiments refined.

And as Time’s car incessant runs,
And Fortune fills my store,
I want of daughters and of sons
From eight to half a score.
I want (alas! can mortal dare
Such bliss on earth to crave?)
That all the girls be chaste and fair –
The boys all wise and brave.

I want a warm and faithful friend,
To cheer the adverse hour;
Who ne’er to flatter will descend,
Nor bend the knee to power –
A friend to chide me when I’m wrong,
My inmost soul to see;
And that my friendship prove as strong
To him as his to me.

I want the seals of power and place,
The ensigns of command;
Charged by the people’s unbought grace
To rule my native land.
Nor crown nor sceptre would I ask,
But from my country’s will,
By day, by night, to ply the task
Her cup of bliss to fill.

I want the voice of honest praise
To follow me behind,
And to be thought in future days
The friend of human kind,
That after ages, as they rise,
Exulting, may proclaim,
In choral union to the skies,
Their blessings on my name.

These are the wants of mortal man –
I cannot want them long,
For life itself is but a span,
And earthly bliss a song.
My last great want, absorbing all –
Is, when beneath the sod,
And summoned to my final call,
The Mercy of my God.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Aug 8, 1899

Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012)

Rest in Peace

O, March!

March 1, 2012

MARCH WINDS

O, fickle winds of March, blow warm, blow cold!
Your ever-changing temper matches mine.
Today my mood in love is fearless, bold.
O, fickle winds of March, blow warm, blow cold!

What tender passions may tomorrow hold,
If winds blow warm and thus my thoughts incline?
Or, fickle winds of March, blow warm, blow cold!
Your ever-changing temper matches mine!

— Susan Doudican

The Oshkosh Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Mar 14, 1936


MARCH

Slayer of winter, are thou here again?
O welcome, thou that bring’st the summer nigh!
The bitter wind makes not thy victory vain,
Nor will we mock thee for thy faint blue sky.
Welcome O March! whose kindly days and dry
Make April ready for the throstle’s song,
Thou first redresser of the winter’s wrong!

Yea, welcome, March! and though I die ere June,
Yet for the hope of life I give thee praise,
Striving to swell the burden of the tune
That even now I hear thy brown birds raise,
Unmindful of the past or coming days;
Who sing, “O joy! a new year is begun!
What happiness to look upon the sun!”

O, what begetteth all this storm of bliss,
But Death himself, who, crying solemnly,
Even from the heart of sweet Forgetfulness,
Bids us, “Rejoice! lest pleasure less ye die
Within a little time must ye go by.
Stretch forth your open hands, and while ye live,
Take all the gifts that Death and Life may give.”

— William Morris

The Oshkosh Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Mar 26, 1936


WRITTEN IN MARCH

The Cock is crowing,
The stream is flowing,
The small birds twitter,
The lake doth glitter,
The green field sleeps in the sun;
The oldest and the youngest
Are at work with the strongest;
The cattle are grazing,
Their heads never raising;
There are forty feeding like one!

Like an army defeated
The snow hath retreated,
And now doth fare ill
On the top of the bare hill;
The plowboy is whooping-anon-anon,
There’s joy in the mountains;
There’s life in the fountains,
Small clouds are sailing,
Blue sky prevailing;
The rain is over and gone!

— William Wordsworth

The Oshkosh Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Mar 12, 1937

SONG IN MARCH

Now are the winds about us in their glee,
Tossing the slender tree;
Whirling the sands about his furious car,
March cometh from afar;
Breaks the sealed magic of old Winter’s dreams,
And rends his glassy streams;
Chafing with potent airs, he fiercely takes
Their fetters from the lakes,
And, with a power by queenly Spring supplied,
Wakens the slumbering tide.

With a wild love he seeks young Summer’s charms
And clasps her to his arms;
Lifting his shield between, he drives away
Old Winter from his prey —
The ancient tyrant whom he boldly braves,
Goes howling to his caves;
And, to his northern realm compelled to fly,
Yields up the victory;
Melted are all his banks, o’er-thrown his towers,
And March comes bringing flowers.

— William Gilmore Simms.

The Oshkosh Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Feb 25, 1938

THE PASSING OF MARCH

The braggart March stood in the season’s door
With his broad shoulders blocking up the way,
Shaking the snow-flakes from the cloak he wore,
And from the fringes of his kirtle gray;
Near by him April stood with tearful face,
With violets in her hands, and in her hair
Pale, wild anemones; the fragrant lace
Half-parted from her breast which seemed like fair,
Dawn-tinted mountain snow, smooth-drifted there.

She on the blusterer’s arm laid one white hand,
But he would none of her soft blandishment,
Yet did she plead with tears none might withstand,
For even the fiercest hearts at last relent.
And he, at last, in ruffian tenderness,
With one swift, crushing kiss her lips did greet.
Ah, poor starved heart! — for that one rude caress,
She cast her violets underneath his feet.

— Robert Burns Wilson

The Oshkosh Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Apr 1, 1938