That cut or burn or fly;

And corn that seems upon the earth

Is made in the hot sky.

The gravel of the roadbed,

The metal of the gun,

The engine of the airship

Trace somehow from the sun.

And so your soul, my lady --

(Mere sunshine, nothing more) --

Prepares me the contraptions

I work with or adore.

Within me cornfields rustle,

Niagaras roar their way,

Vast thunderstorms and rainbows

Are in my thought to-day.

Ten thousand anvils sound there

By forges flaming white,

And many books I read there,

And many books I write;

And freedom's bells are ringing,

And bird-choirs chant and fly --

The whole world works in me to-day

And all the shining sky,

Because of one small lady

Whose smile is my chief sun.

She gives not any gift to me

Yet all gifts, giving one. . . .


An Apology for the Bottle Volcanic

Sometimes I dip my pen and find the bottle full of fire,

The salamanders flying forth I cannot but admire.

It's Etna, or Vesuvius, if those big things were small,

And then 'tis but itself again, and does not smoke at all.

And so my blood grows cold. I say, "The bottle held but ink,

And, if you thought it otherwise, the worser for your think."

And then, just as I throw my scribbled paper on the floor,

The bottle says, "Fe, fi, fo, fum," and steams and shouts some more.

O sad deceiving ink, as bad as liquor in its way --

All demons of a bottle size have pranced from you to-day,

And seized my pen for hobby-horse as witches ride a broom,

And left a trail of brimstone words and blots and gobs of gloom.

And yet when I am extra good and say my prayers at night,

And mind my ma, and do the chores, and speak to folks polite,

My bottle spreads a rainbow-mist, and from the vapor fine

Ten thousand troops from fairyland come riding in a line.

I've seen them on their chargers race around my study chair,

They opened wide the window and rode forth upon the air.

The army widened as it went, and into myriads grew,

O how the lances shimmered, how the silvery trumpets blew!

When Gassy Thompson Struck it Rich

He paid a Swede twelve bits an hour

Just to invent a fancy style

To spread the celebration paint

So it would show at least a mile.

Some things they did I will not tell.

They're not quite proper for a rhyme.

But I WILL say Yim Yonson Swede

Did sure invent a sunflower time.

One thing they did that I can tell

And not offend the ladies here: --

They took a goat to Simp's Saloon

And made it take a bath in beer.

That ENTERprise took MANagement.

They broke a wash-tub in the fray.

But mister goat was bathed all right

And bar-keep Simp was, too, they say.

They wore girls' pink straw hats to church

And clucked like hens. They surely did.

They bought two HOtel frying pans

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