Puslapio vaizdai
[blocks in formation]

properly and with effect be employed in the practical, philanthropic, and often necessary, work of exposing social shams, correcting abuses and unmasking the evils of the Pecksniffs whose detestable hypocrisies here and there fester upon the body politic. That Dr. McCourt is impressed with this view is evidenced by more than one of his poems. He cultivates the satiric muse to good purpose, and, although every conceivable vein of metrical composition receives attention at his hands, his favorite literary pastime is the puncturing of society's frivolities and the ridiculing of moral foibles in inspiring, caustic verse. His humor is always rich, bright and healthful.

David William McCourt was born in the town of Waukesha, Wisconsin, October 4, 1859. Both his parents are Scotch, and from them he inherits many of the sterling qualities of the Scottish race. At the age of sixteen he entered a denominational college at Battle Creek, Michigan, where he qualified himself for the profession of teaching. After spending three years as instructor in various Wisconsin and Nebraska schools, however, he became dissatisfied with teaching and studied dentistry with gratifying results. In 1884 he removed to St. Paul, Minn., where he is in the enjoyment of a lucrative practice. In 1880 he married an estimable young lady, and his is a sunny home. Dr. McCourt is the very embodiment of good nature and contented cheerfulness. Dark haired, tall and of elegant figure, he would attract attention even in a company of notables, and as one looks into his soft, honest, blue-gray eyes, one can forget for a moment that such things as duplicity and selfishness exist in this world. Dr. McCourt is soon to bring out a volume of poems whose popularity is assured in advance.

J. T.


'Tis the hour when dews, descending,
Fall to sleep on flower and tree,
And bright Hesperus is lending
Rays to light my steps to thee;
While the far cathedral bell

Softly chimes the close of day,
Keeping love's dear promise well,
To renewed delights I stray.

In the shadows of the vines,
Sweet the welcome that discloses
Where expectant love reclines,
Hidden in her bower of roses;

Leafy vine and shadow, screen us
From unfriendly prying eyes!
Guard us well love's mother, Venus,
In the dusk of evening skies!
Softly pause here, fleeting Time,

'Mid the fragrance of these flowers,
Lovers deem it quite a crime
When you steal their precious hours.
All too soon you bid us part,

Hour of bliss so quickly over; Morn may cheer the sorrowing heart, But the twilight brings the lover.


DANCING on, through shade and sun,
Comes the rippling laughing river,
Leaps the boulders one by one,

Makes the hanging branches quiver;
Whirls its eddies in the pool,
Lingers in the shadows cool,

On the pebbly shallows chattering, Banks of nodding flowers bespattering, Breaks the silence with her ah, ha, Laughing, singing Minnehaha!

Now she nears the rocky ledge,

Hastens from her leafy cover,
Trembles on the boulder's edge,

Then goes leaping wildly over;
Gleaming in the summer air
Like a maiden's golden hair;
Chatters on the rocks beneath,
Weaves a rainbow for a wreath,
Wakes the echoes with her ha, ha!
Noisy, mirthful Minnehaha!

From the foamy pool emerging,
Singing, on again she rushes,
Through the narrow channel surging,
Gleaming through the clustered bushes,
Till she hears the waters falling,
Hears the Mississippi calling;

Hastens on her way to meet him,
Sends a rippling laugh to greet him,
Falls upon his bosom sighing,

And the echoes, still replying,

Whisper faint her smothered ha, ha!
Wild, coquettish Minnehaha!


WE live too much by line and rule;
Too much by cold and studied art,
And narrow down the generous heart
By lessons in self's sordid school.

Through selfish hopes our faith grows strong;
We worship where we think we gain
A thornless pathway free from pain—
A road to heaven built on song.

Our hearts are steeled with hate and pride
Against life's purer sympathies;

In vain some nobler impulse cries
To feelings self stands forth to chide.

We deem our lives are broad and good;
We show no love for meaner things;
We plainer hear when church bell rings
Than when the beggar asks for food.
We see afar some purpose grand,
Yet overlook life's duties near;
We cannot see the heathen here,
But only in a foreign land.

We bow before the shrine of pelf;

The light of the celestial shore
We catch a glimpse of-nothing more-
Over the growing mountain, self.

Oh! could we learn our lives to school

In noble, charitable arts;

Put self and pride from out our hearts, And let the good within us rule!

THE WOMAN IN THE CASE. WHEN erring man from Eden fell,

And plunged in sin the human race,
He laid the blame, as you know well,
Upon the woman in the case.

And since that first misfortune came
Our wrongs and evil luck we trace,
And like the first man, lay the blame
Upon the woman in the case.

When wise men err or good men stray,
'Tis the old tale-a pretty face;
And no one slips but people say:
"There was a woman in the case."

In social quarrel, or family jar,

The cause the gossips quick place; For Helen still engenders war

The modern woman in the case.

When bankers' clerks aspire to shine,
And live at quite a rapid pace,

We learn, when they have crossed the line,
There was a woman in the case.

Our friends, the Mormons, break our laws-
'Tis sad religion is so base-
While juries find the stumbling cause
Is still the woman in the case.

If there's a saint without a stain The devil hopes to win from grace, He seldom tempts by power or gain, But puts a woman in the case.

For murder, duel, suicide,

The daily papers find much space, And other news must stand aside To show the woman in the case.

Thus it would seem the subtle charm
Of pretty form in silk and lace

Is held the cause of all our harm,

And named, "The woman in the case."

Life, though with blessings it abounds, Would still be like an empty vase Were man compelled to plod its rounds Without a woman in the case.


PROUD is his step as one who knows
The noble purpose of his life,
The justice of his cause in strife,
The hate and weakness of his foes.
His flashing eye with pride surveys
The hills where liberty was born,
And will return in after days,
With mightier arms her standards raise,
And for her fallen heroes mourn;
Then turns with noble hate and scorn

His glance upon his foes, who stand
With sword at side and gun in hand
To execute the base command
Of tyrants who his land had torn.
Oh! could the hero's blood atone
For what the tyrant's sword had done!
If from the blood-bought soil would rise,
Engendered by the sanguine stream,
The tree of liberty, the dreamn
Of sages realms might realize.
If to the luckless warrior's son
The birthright of a freeman fell,
Then had the sacrifice been well,
Although the meed were dearly won;
Then might his life-blood wash away
The curses of the tyrant's sway,
And hallow to his name the sod
By future freemen proudly trod;
Nor shall the darkness of the tomb
Obscure the ray that will illume
The name of him who gave his hand,
His heart, his life to save his land.
But valor all too oft has won,
Its portion at the block or gun.


EMELIE TRACY Y. SWETT was born in San

Francisco, March 9, 1863. Her father, the Hon. John Swett, is known as "the father of Pacific Coast education," and he is also the author of many excellent works in that field. His books are not only used in every normal school in the United States, but have been translated into other languages, and are in use in England, France, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Australia. From both father and mother Miss Swett-now Mrs. John W. Parkhurst has inherited her literary talent, and her grandfather, Frederick Palmer Tracy, was well known during Lincoln's administration as a writer and an orator of marked repute. Miss Swett's education was partly received in the public schools, and partly at home with various tutors in modern and ancient languages, literature, music and mathematics. Her first published story, written when she was sixteen, won the first prize of a gold watch, offered by the San Francisco Chronicle for the best short story contributed by boys and girls.

Miss Swett was at one time a successful and loved teacher in the kindergarten schools of San Francisco. She afterwards taught vocal and instrumental music, Greek, French and German in a young ladies' college. She left there to go abroad in search of health, and while away acted as correspondent to several eastern and western papers. The first earnest literary work done by her consisted of translations of French and German scientific works and historical novels for a New York firm which has now passed out of existence. Later, at the urgent request of the editor of The Overland Monthly, then Charles Howard Shinn, she wrote a number of short stories, which were very favorably received.

Verse writing, which so often comes first to a writer, came as a later gift to Miss Swett. She says she owes what success she may have gained to the kind encouragement of James T. White, the New York publisher; to Charles H. Shinn, at one time editor of The Overland; to George R. Cathcart, of New York, and to W. C. Bartlett, of the San Francisco Bulletin.

During the past two years Miss Swett's work has embraced the editing of a large book on the mineral springs of California for one of the leading physicians of that state; the dramatization for opera of "Ramona," Helen Hunt Jackson's great novel; a biography in both French and English of Charles Edouard De Villers, to be brought out simultaneously in London and Paris; a work embracing short, chatty biographical sketches of and selec

tions from the works of the women writers of the Pacific Coast; and, lastly, a series of portfolio sketches, for the use of botanists and artists, of the wild flowers of the Pacific Coast.

Miss Swett is the manager of a literary bureau which she established last year, and which now handles the work of more than six hundred writers. The principal work of the bureau is to write, or have written, finely illustrated out-door articles for the eastern and London magazines. Miss Swett is a constant contributor to The Overland Monthly, the American Home Journal, the San Francisco Call, San Francisco Bulletin, Philadelphia Times, Outing, Popular Science News, Golden State Catholic, Pacific States, and is an occasional contributor to other periodicals.

Miss Swett has lived in many of the large cities in America and Europe, and has met and entertained many of the prominent men and women of the day. She was married in 1889 to Mr. John W. Parkhurst, of the Bank of California, a cultivated and agreeable gentleman, who fully sympathizes with the literary attainments of his gifted young wife. Miss Swett-she retains her maiden name in writing is of medium height, slender, and with a sweet womanly face, lovely in the soul that shines through sad eyes of changing hues; a woman who lives for something higher than the mere conventional forms and empty aims, a true friend and an C. B. M. enthusiastic and sympathetic helper.


THERE stands the Mission Dolores, but the reverent hands of its builders

Lie buried beneath the adobe; buried, but never forgotten.

Somber and bare seems the chapel, to one who is luxury-sated;

Beautiful then it appeared to the eyes by the wilderness wearied.

Tolling and chiming to-day, the Mission bells tell us a story

Of the fathers from Spain who came hither, allured by the legends of plenty

Enduring privations and hardships, in making the wearisome journey

Over the grim Cordilleras, till the goal burst upon

them in beauty.

Still stands the Mission Dolores; what a change to

the massive cathedral

That the sun of to-day illumines in a golden and crimson-hued glory.

Rude was the first low adobe; to-day there are fairy-like mansions

Crowding the one on the other, like bees in a prosperous bee-hive.

Perilous then were the pathways, with red men and beasts of the forests;

To-day there are broad winding roadways, shad

owed by tall eucalypti.

Song birds and brooklets then; in place of the woods of sequoia

Cities and towns and homesteads throb in their

once virgin bosom.

The Mission bells still keep a-chiming a heartiest

holiday greeting

To all the poor wandering souls from every land under the heavens.

"Welcome, thrice welcome," they ring, "to this country of freedom unfettered

A cordial December salute to this land of abundance unstinted!"

Still stands the old Mission Dolores, its rusty bells pealing forth sweetly

Of Charity, Love and Compassion, the first song their infant lips uttered.

Ay, Charity, Love and Compassion! Let them sing on forever unhindered,

Till God in his wisdom shall hush them with the seal of a silence unending.


THE crisp and fragrant shavings fall from 'neath the singing plane;

The sawdust to the ground descends in ceaseless, noiseless rain;

A swallow beats the air with steady wing, as through the door

It swerves and curves its nest to find beneath the hay-loft floor.

Bees hum without, and on the window-ledge the sleepy flies

Lie in a sluggish drowse, while in the murmuring woods the cries

Of quail and thrush and mourning-dove the song of life complete.

A full content the world imbues, in action, in retreat;

The men who work, the men who rest, the birds, and e'en the flowers,

All breathe the spirit of that peace that sanctifies the hours

Of country life, where Time rebels against the rushing pace

Of crowded towns-the home of vice and sorrowand the race

Of passions that corrode. Here in the workshop's quiet realm

The buzzing saws caress the ear; the odorous planks of elm

And pine and cedar fill the air with dreams of wood and glen,

Where hearts are pure, and men become in truth life's noblemen.


A NARROW strip of green between two city walls; A beam of morning sun one hour therein that glows;

An English sparrow hopping 'round, who soitly calls

Unto his timid mate; while through the garden


A gale of dust and dirt; old papers flit and flirtThe thirsty leaflets droop for one wee drop of


Yet to a sweet, young girl, through accident once hurt,

So that of all the world naught scarcely doth


Save this one strip of green between two city walls, This seems a paradise; she sees not dirt and


Nor dreams of lovelier flowers, nor sweeter birds recalls.

She greets her flowers each day, and O, our God

is just!

No bloom to her like hers; no birds with tenderer voice;

No sun so bright and gay; no nest so warm as hers

Between two city walls. How few would thus rejoice

At such a home as this-yet thankfulness is hers.


ACROSS the shadowed valleys of the night

Your spirit reaches forth in greetings tender; Your eyes' sad depths with fond regret grow bright, And strengthen me with comfort they engender.

I fain would blind my weeping eyes to dreams
That oft, like guests, unbidden come to haunt


For when my yearning arms reach out, it seems As if the spirits only come to flaunt me.

Can spirit reach to spirit over space?

Are dreams a solemn surety of the real? And every dream that shows your loving face,

Tell me, dear heart, is not this faith's ideal?

« AnkstesnisTęsti »