Archive for May, 2012

The Beggar Boy

May 31, 2012

The Beggar Boy.


I saw a boy, wasted and sad,
With eyes all red and crying;
Three pence was all the tin he had, —
Or else the boy was lying.

His cheeks were pale and ghostly thin,
His breeches they were thinner;
He looked death’s own, when he stept in,
Or else he was a sinner.

HE said his mother long was dead,
His father in the prison pent —
And yet he cooly raised his head
And asked a penny for their rent.

“O ho!” I said, “you want a cent
Upon pretenses frail;
Why pay your buried mother’s rent?
Or father’s locked in jail?”

He sadly bit his pale thin lip,
A tear stole out his eye;
I thought I had him on the hip —
I thought he’d told a lie.

At length he spoke, in quivering tone,
And midst the words he wept; —
“My father soon is coming home,
He’s most worked out his debt.

“And mother, while she starved and died,
On our cold cellar floor,
Would often call us to her side,
And tell us Christ was poor.

“She said that He would give us bread,
That He would take her trust;
When our sick mother should be dead,
And mouldered into dust.

“She said her spirit would not die,
But often with us be,
And often too, we’d feel her nigh,
Though in eternity.

“And since she died,” the pale boy said,
“We’ve found her words were true;
At night we see her by our bed,
Her face of brilliant hue.

“All round our little room she’ll tread,
And stay sometimes till light;
Oh, no! her spirit is not dead,
She’s with us all the night.

“And often when we sob and sigh,
And think we’ll never sleep,
A soft hand wipes the tearful eye —
We feel we must not weep.

“And so dear James and little May,
And I live on alone;
From door to door I beg all day
For bread to carry home.

“And when at times I bring some meat
We save it all the night,
That mother when she comes may eat
Or gladden at the sight.

“And so, kind sir, I asked a cent,”
The faltering boy kept on,
“To help make out our weekly rent,
Till father can come home.

And so the tatter’d boy was right,
The rent was for the dead!
His mother lived with him at night,
Close by her children’s bed.

*   *   *   *   *
Turn not away the stricken poor,
With harsh and chilling air;
Think when they hover round your door,
‘Tis Christ who sends them there.

The Mountain Democrat (Placerville, California) Aug 26, 1854

Man is Like a Snow-Ball

May 31, 2012

Man is like a snow-ball:

Leave him lying in idleness against the sunny face of prosperity, and all the good that is in him melts like fresh butter in the dog-days; but kick him round, and he gathers strength at every revolution.

To make a figure in the world, you much keep moving.

The Mountain Democrat (Placerville, California) Jul 29, 1854

Low-Down Thieves

May 30, 2012

Image from CANTIGNY

Low-Down Thieves.

Worried Editor: “Good morning! I presume you are the detective sent to help us catch the miserable thieves who steal papers from front doors. The low-down rascals! I don’t see how anything in human form can descend to such petty –”

Stranger: “You mistake, sir. I am not a detective. I am the paragrapher of the Bungtown Bugle, and I dropped in to ask why in thunder you steal all my jokes and print ’em as original.”

— N.Y. Weekly

Chillicothe Morning Constitution (Chillicothe, Missouri) Mar 3, 1892

Hard to Believe

May 30, 2012

Image from Appin of Yesteryear

Hard to Believe.

A station master requested an increase of salary and threatened to leave if he didn’t get it.

The superintendent replied to his request by relating a story.

“When I was a young man,” said he, “I once did as you are doing — I told the superintendent of the line I was then working on what you have told me. He refused my demand and I left, and would you believe it — that railway line is running yet?”

— London Tit-Bits.

Chillicothe Morning Constitution (Chillicothe, Missouri) Mar 2, 1892

A Chiller

May 30, 2012

Northwest Arkansas Times (Fayetteville, Arkansas) Oct 1, 1963


May 29, 2012



Hail Wisconsin! lovely State!
Thou art young, but thou art great;
Mighty waters have thy shore;
Mighty rivers through thee pour;
Rich, exhaustless are thy mines;
Priceless are thy noble pines.

Hail Wisconsin! young and fair!
O! how grand they landscapes are!
Modest plains and groves of trees
Intermixed, the eye to please;
Silver lakes lie ‘mong thy hills;
Through thy vales leap laughing rills.

Hail Wisconsin! who would not
Share the happy Badger’s lot?
Cultivate the fertile soil;
On the fair prairie’s toil;
Sure a hundred fold to reap;
Sure in plenty’s lap to sleep.

Hail Wisconsin! thou hast health;
Hail Wisconsin! thou hast wealth;
Hail Wisconsin! thou hast laws
To protect the poor man’s cause;
Schools to make they children wise —
Who does not Wisconsin prize?

Richland County Observer (Richland Center, Wisconsin) Nov 27, 1855


 Title: A political History of Wisconsin
Author: Alexander McDonald Thomson
Publisher: E.C. Williams, 1900
Page 57 (Google book link)

The Dutchman Loseth his Dog and Singeth

May 29, 2012

Image from TEXANS UNITED Presents TEXAS

The Dutchman’s Song.


Oh, Vare! and oh, vare!
Has ter leetle toggy gone?
Oh, vare! and oh, vare!
Can ter raschal tog pe gone?
He’s gone unto ter tivel,
He’s gone mit him I fear;
He may be one pig sausage —
Mine tog — oh, tear! oh, tear!

Oh, vare, and oh, vare!
Can te yaller tog pe gone?
Oh, vare! and oh, vare!
Hash ter schoundrel tog pe gone?
I vood give you von goot tollar
To him ash tells to me
Vare I can find ter toggy,
Or shows me vere he pe.

His bark was full of musick,
It goes just like ting tong;
His ears vere cut off short,
His tail vas cut off long;
He ush’d ter drive ter schickens,
And say to tem pow-wow;
But he’sh gone unto the dickens —
Vy! here comes Schnapps now!

Oh, vare! and oh, vare!
Hash ter good-for-nothin’ peen?
Oh, vare! and oh, vare!
Can ter rascheal toggy peen?
I tink he’sh peen koon hunting —
I tink he’sh goot for koons,
Cause tere’s nothing else he’sh goot for
Under the stars and moons.

Come here, you tam vagabond! — vere you been, eh? O mine noshe! you smells vorse ash one schunk; I vips now mit ter proom, for having to do mit so pad people as schunks. If you runs away agin, I puts you in ter papers, and you ish ruined forever.

The Mountain Democrat (Placerville, California) Sep 9, 1854


From Wikipedia’s entry for Septimus Winner:

Another of his successes, and still familiar, is “Der Deitcher’s Dog”, or “Oh Where, oh Where Ish Mine Little Dog Gone”, a text that Winner set to the German folk tune “Im Lauterbach hab’ich mein’ Strumpf verlorn” in 1864, which recorded massive sales during Winner’s lifetime.

The first verse of “Der Deitcher’s Dog” is particularly noteworthy as its first verse has become a popular nursery rhyme:

Oh where, oh where has my little dog gone?

Oh where, oh where can he be?

With his ears cut short, and his tail cut long,

Oh where, oh where is he?

Modern versions occasionally change “cut” to “so”.

The original song is written in German dialect, and subsequent verses praise lager but lament the fact that “mit no money” it is not possible to drink, and praise sausages and thence to speculate on the fate of the missing dog:

Dey makes un mit dog und dey makes em mit horse,

I guess dey makes em mit he

The Heart’s Idol – A Civil War Memory

May 28, 2012



[To Mrs. Ida Mathers, my friend and companion, around the cots of our country’s wounded and dying.]

She came, a quiet messenger
To those who needed care;
A gentle friend, a faithful nurse.
Like some saddened spirit
She would come and go
So noiselessly that echoes dared not haunt her footsteps.
Those dark eyes, so large and sad,
Like summer seas, pure, fathomless and deep,
Told her sad history.

In the heat of battle he was stricken down;
Brave, strong and true, his men
Where  fiercest raged the conflict;
Nor left them when the serried ranks
Poured forth from mutilated forms,
And formed in line of march
For lands immortal.
“For Liberty and God,” he cried,
As, through the battle smoke and dust,
He caught the glimmer of the flag.
Now rising, falling, but at last upright
Is planted firmly; the field is won —
I’m ready now, my men! One message home
And I’ll be with you —

“Dear wife, I’m dying! Oh, my best beloved,
My precious Ida, we have loved too well!
Kiss Maud for me our only darling
Meet me in Heaven — dear one, farewell!”
What wonder that the tears would start
With ever gush of music, every voice of mirth?
What wonder that she moved so still,
Tenderly and gently as a sister might
Among the wounded sufferers?
Her heart was sore, she too had suffered;
Her idol slept and earth had lost its light.

The Hillsdale Standard (Hillsdale, Michigan) May 29, 1866

1860 Census – Gilcad, Branch Co., Michigan: Ida, her husband, Zelotes and daughter Maud are living with his parents.

Zelotes fought for the Union (he was a sergeant,) was wounded and died.

This book states Zelotes died from disease.

The Blue and the Gray

May 28, 2012

The Blue and the Gray.

(On the Unveiling, on Monument Day, of the Monument to the Confederate Dead at Chicago.)

The conflict’s o’er, the banner’s furled,
A cause is lost and won,
And martyred heroes sweetly rest
‘Neath stars or glowing sun.
Some calmly lie where gleaming shafts
Rise proudly toward the sky;
Some sleep in the hush of wooded nooks
Where light winds softly sigh.

Some rest where once the battle raged
In tempest of shot and shell,
Where deeds of valor were grandly wrought
And brave men fought and fell —
Fell ‘mid gleam of musket and sword,
And glory of battle array,
And their names and valiant deeds are sung
In the poet’s grandest lay.

But those whose graves are decked today
By friends and erstwhile foes,
Are those whose life-tide ebbed away
‘Mid prison’s gloom and woes.
Far from their sunny homes they sleep —
The homes they loved so well,
The homes for which they sternly faced
The foe and a prison hell.

But garlands fair their graves adorn,
Blest covenants of peace;
And hand meets hand in clasp which tells
That hate and strife must cease.

Tread softly now, ’tis hallowed ground
Where “blue” and “gray” clasp hands,
And mingled tears above the dust
Where sleep these patriot bands.
And they who once were bitter foes
But now are brothers true,
Sing equal praises to the brave,
Wore they the gray or blue.

And this majestic monument,
Unwelled with love and pride,
A tribute is from the living brave
To the brave and true who died.


May 30, 1895.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) May 30, 1895

Images from Wikipedia

Fallen Heros – Old Soldiers Day

May 28, 2012

The Daily Northwester (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) May 30, 1890


The speaker closed with the following poem of his own composition:

Brave, Generous Boys
Who shouldered quick their guns
And to the front they pressed,
Giving a life to save a life,
Dying that we might bless.

And the mother with heart un-speakable
Thinks of the blessful past,
And the image of her loving boy
Her noblest and her last.

But death came sternly with a touch
No mother’s love could shield;
Soon mouldering were those laughing eyes
On a southern battle field.

And the lonely mother left
Of sorrow has her share,
Deeming her country’s sacrifice
Is greater than she can bear.

But she thinks of Spartan mothers
In those cruel days gone by,
While firmer grows her trembling lip
And drier grows her eye.

And peace comes stealing o’er her soul
And mixing with tints her tears,
Paints immortal her boy
To shine undimmed by coming years.

There he is safe, serene and blessed,
The mother needs our care.
Her sorrows be divided up —
Let’s each one take a share.

To scared trust we’ll all prove true and guard it well with care,
And on the thirtieth of May,
With songs and blossoms rare,
We’ll gather round the brave boys’ tombs
In gratitude and prayer.

W.W. Kimball, orator of the day.

The Daily Northwester (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) May 30, 1891

Under the sod and the dew,

Waiting the judgment day,

Love and tears for the Blue,

Tears and Love for the Gray.

The Daily Northwester (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) May 30, 1893