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Must still believe, for still we hope
My child, we still must think, when we
WHAT Voice did on my spirit fall,
The tricolor-a trampled rag
Lies, dirt and dust; the lines I track By sentry-boxes yellow-black, Lead up to no Italian flag.
I see the Croat soldier stand
Upon the grass of your redoubts; The eagle with his black wings flouts The breath and beauty of your land.
Yet not in vain, although in vain,
You say, "Since so it is,-good bye
"And if our children must obey, They must; but thinking on this day 'T will less debase them to submit."
You said (Oh, not in vain you said),
Ah, not for idle hatred, not
For honor, fame, nor self-applause, But for the glory of the cause, You did, what will not be forgot.
And though the stranger stand, 't is true,
WILLIAM HENRY VENABLE.
WILLIAM HENRY VENABLE, of Cincinnati,
was born in Warren County, Ohio, April 29, 1836. His father, of whom the son says,
"He was both meek and brave,
Not haughty and yet proud,"
was a character exceptional in his time and place: he was a man of books and fine tastes in the country while it was yet new, on a small farm that he tilled with his own hands. In the longer season he worked on his farm, and in that shorter, cold one in which the farmers' boys and girls got their learning he taught the district-school. He was a scholar of considerable attainments and wide reading, and the purity, and sincerity, and simple dignity of his life illustrated the primitive meaning of the word gentleman: he was a gentle man. In short, with his friendship for nature and his love of literature, he was such a man as his son well might cite for proof that he is a poet born. And on the mother's side, too, Dr. Venable comes from a brainy stock of farmers with literary tastes and tendencies. In a home full of books, with such a father's keen appreciation of them for a constant inspiration, young Venable very naturally and very early became an enthusiastic reader and ardent student.
He soon outgrew the limits of learning in the country school, and went to town for the advantages of higher institutions. His circumstances did not permit him to take a course at college; but, with his academic privileges and his industry and ardor in availing himself of them, he was not slow in coming into notice as an educated man and an educator. His intellectual curiosity had taken him into Latin, Greek and German, but much more into science, history and literature; which latter-notably the last-are his specialties. To the promotion of liberal education in these, by teaching, and speaking, and writing, he has given himself with an energy that, but for his strong will and cheerful temperament, would long ago have wrecked the delicate physical organization which he has inherited.
Notwithstanding his nature is underlaid with a stratum of intense melancholy, and in spite of his apparently slight hold on existence, he is an optimist, a resolute and indefatigable worker, and a successful man of affairs. His labor has gained him a delightful home on a romantic hill at Tusculum (a suburb of Cincinnati), where dwells a charming family-a wife, as he truly characterizes her in the dedication of one of his books of verse, "wise, noble, loved and loving," and half a dozen admirable children.
His quick eye for character, his delicious humor and swift imagination, and his dramatic instinct of scene and situation make him an interesting storyteller whether in speaking or in writing; as witness his "Thomas Tadmore," a narrative lecture of the "humor and pathos of boy-life," with which he has delighted so many audiences-not to mention the various short stories of like character which he has contributed to periodicals and newspapers.
But such work as this-and measurably, too, the same may be said of his poetic utterance-has been but the byplay of a career of earnest, toilsome (often irksome) endeavor. His life has been devoted to the higher interests of his time, especially the furtherance of liberal education and literary culture. With tongue and pen he has wrought incessantly for the diffusion of "sweetness and light." He has written innumerable articles for the periodical press, and has lectured on elevating subjects hundreds of times to audiences in all parts of the Ohio Valley and elsewhere. He has done a great deal of periodical and newspaper work in the line of editorial writing, and has made extensive original research in local history and biography. In the yet obscure annals of the settlement and early growth of the Northwest Territory -north of the Ohio and west of the Alleghanies-he is an authority. He is a member of numerous societies for the advancement of knowledge and civilization, and has been complimented with the collegiate degrees of A.M. and LL.D.
Among Dr. Venable's first publications was a line of books for use in schools-a "History of the United States," "The School Stage," "The Amateur Actor," and "Dramatic Scenes." Following these, "Chronicles of the Great Rebellion,' 'PrizeEssay on the Use of the Dictionary," "Facts and Experiments in Chemistry," "Sketches of Cincinnati Libraries," "A Series of Studies of the Literature of the West," "Footprints of the Pioneers in the Ohio Valley," "Sketch of the Life of Wm. D. Gallagher," "Down South Before the War," etc.
His first volume of poems, "June on the Miami," appeared in 1871; "The Teacher's Dream," a giftbook, in 1880; "Melodies of the Heart, Songs of Freedom, and Other Poems," in 1884, and "Songs of School-days," in 1889.
Of Venable as a man, the distinguished artist C. T. Webber, of Cincinnati, writes: "I know a great many things about Venable which it will not do to tell here; but he will be taken off one of these days, and then those who remain can speak out, and they will love to speak it, and the world will be the better for the hearing of it;"-and adds that he is
"as keenly alive to the moral beauty, to the intellectual and artistic harmony of his peers as he is to the music of the Miami's soft waters, that flow, one must think, in the more contented melody for his praise."
Another friend, in writing of him as a poet, says: "Mr. Venable is a poet born and a poet by culture. He has the fine poetical physique, and lives and breathes in the melody of nature. All his tastes, all his aspirations, all his belongings, are colored through and through with the ethereal blood of song." C. K.
THE TEACHER'S DREAM.
THE weary teacher sat alone
While twilight gathered on;
The weary teacher sat alone,
"Another round, another round
Of labor thrown away,Another chain of toil and pain Dragged through a tedious day.
"Of no avail is constant zeal,
Love's sacrifice is loss,
"I squander on a barren field
My strength, my life, my all:
He sighed, and low upon his hands
And then he lifted up his face,
But started back aghast,—
It seemed a senate hall, and one
The 'wildered teacher thought he knew