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 pansDownload<<BackPagesMainNext>>