Archive for March 21st, 2012

Third Rail

March 21, 2012

Image from the Einhorn Press

“You rail at me?”

“Two times.”

“Why not three?”

“Because the third rail is dangerous.”

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) May 2, 1907

American Aristocracy

March 21, 2012


Of all the notable things on earth,
The queerest one is pride of birth
Among our ” fierce democracies!”
A bridge across a hundred years,
Without a prop to save from sneers,
Not even a couple of rotten peers;
A thing for laughter, fleers and jeers,
Is American aristocracy!

English and Irish, French and Spanish,
German, Italian, Dutch and Danish,
Crossing their veins until they vanish
In one conglomeration!
So subtle a tangle of blood, indeed,
No heraldry Harvey will ever succeed
In finding the circulation.

Depend upon it, my snobbish friend,
Your family thread you can’t ascend,
Without good reason to apprehend
You may find it waxed at the other end,
By some plebeian vocation!
Or, worse than that, your boasted line,
May end in a loop of stronger twine,
That choked some worthy relation.

Tioga Eagle (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania) Jul 4, 1849