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When he tunnelled with Bates; And right on the top of his trouble kem his wife and five kids from the States.
It was rough,— mighty rough;
But the boys they stood by, And they brought him the stuff For a house, on the sly; And the old woman, — well, she did washing, and took on when no one was nigh.
But this yer luck of Dow's
Was so powerful mean
Then the bar petered out,
And the boys wouldn't stay;
And his wife fell away;
One day, — it was June, —
And a year ago, jest, — This Dow kem at noon To his work like the rest, With a shovel and pick on his shoulder, and a derringer hid in his breast.
He goes to the well,
And he stands on the brink, And stops for a spell Jest to listen and think: For the sun in his eyes (jest like this, sir l), you see, kinder made the cuss blink
His two ragged gals
In the gulch were at play, And a gownd that was Sal's Kinder flapped on a bay: Not much for a man to be leavin', but his all,— as I've heer'd the folks say.
And — that's a peart boss
Tbet you've got — ain't it now?
Eh ? Oh!— Well then, Dow —
For a blow of his pick
Sorter caved in the side, And he looked and turned sick, Then he trembled and cried; For you see the dern cuss had struck — "Water?" — Beg your parding, young man, there you lied 1
It was gold, — in the quartz,
And it ran all alike; And I reckon five oughts Was the worth of that strike; And that house with the coopilow's his'n, — which the same isn't bad for a Pike.
Thet's why it'sDow's Flat;
And the thing of it is That he kinder got that Through sheer contrairiness: For 'twas water the derned cuss was seekin', and his luck made him certain to miss.
Thet's so. Thar'8 your way
To the left of yon tree; But — a — look h'yur, say, Won't you come up to tea? No? Well, then the next time you're passin; and ask after Dow, — and that's me.
PLAIN LANGUAGE FROM TRUTH-
POPULARLY KNOWN A8 THE "HEATHEN
Which I wish to remark —
That for ways that are dark
The heathen Chinee is peculiar:
Ah Sin was his name;
And I shall not deny In regard to the same
What that name might imply; But his smile it was pensive and childlike.
As I frequent remarked to Bill Nye.
It was August the third,
Which it might be inferred
Yet he played it that day upon Wil-
And me in a way I despise.
Which we had a small game,
And Ah Sin took a hand: It was euchre. The same
He did not understand,
But he smiled as he sat by the table, With the smile that was childlike and bland.
Yet the cards they were stocked
In a way that I grieve,
At the state of Nye's sleeve,
And the same with intent to deceive.
But the hands that were played
By that heathen Chinee,
Were quite frightful to see,—
Which the same Nye had dealt
Then I looked up at Nye,
And said, "Can this be?
In the scene that ensued
But the floor it was strewed,
Like the leaves on the strand, With the cards that Ah Sin had been hiding
In the game "he did not understand."
In his sleeves, which were long,
Which was coming it strong.
And we found on his nails which were taper,— [wax. What is frequent in tapers, — that's
Which is why I remark,
That for ways that are dark,
The heathen Chinee is peculiar,— Which the same I am free to maintain.
I Don't go much on religion,
But I've gotamiddlin' tight grip, sir,
I don't pan out on the prophets And free-will, and that sort of thing, —
But I believe in God and the angels, Ever sence one night last spring.
I come into town with some turnips, And my little Gabe came along, —
No four-year-old in the county Could beat him for pretty and strong,
Peart and chipper and sassy,
Always ready to swear and fight, —
And I'd larnt him to chaw terbacker Jest to keep his milk-teeth white.
The snow come down like a blanket
I went in for a jug of molasses
They scared at something and started, —
I heard one little squall. And hell-to-split over the prairie, Went team, Little Breeches and all.
Hell-to-sp'.it over the prairie!
I was almost froze with skeer; But we rousted up some torches,
And searched for 'em far and near.
At last we struck bosses and wagon, Snowed under a soft white mound,
Upsot, dead beat, — but of little Gabe No hide nor hair was found.
And here all hope soured on me,
Of my fellow-critter's aid. — I jest flopped down on my marrowbones,
Crotch-deep in the snow, and prayed.
By this, the torches was played out,
And me and Isrul Parr Went off for some wood to a sheepfold
That he said was somewhat thar.
We found it at last, and a little shed Where they shut up the lambs at night.
We locked in and seen them hud-
How did he git thar? Angels,
that storm; They jest scooped down and toted
| To whar it was safe and warm.
And I think that saving a little child,
Is a darned sight better business
JIM BLUDSO, OF THE PRAIRIE BELLE.
Wall, no! I can't tell whar he lives.
Because he don't live, you see; Leastways, he's got out of the habit
Of livin' like you and me, Whar have you been for the last three year That you have'nt heard folks tell How Jimmy Bludso passed in his cheeks
The night of the Prairie Belle?
He weren't no saint,—them engineers
Is all pretty much alike,— One wife in Natchez-uiuler-the-Hill
And another one here, in Pike; A keerless man in his talk was Jim,
And an awkward hand in a row, but he never flunked, and he never lied,—
I reckon he never knowed how.
And this was all the religion he
To mind the pilot's bell; And if ever the Prairie Belle took fire. —
A thousand times he swore, He'd hold her nozzle agin the bank Till the last soul got ashore.
All boats has their day on the Mississip,
And her day come at last. —
The Movastar was a better boat, But the Belle she wouldn't be passed.
And so she came tearin' along that night — The oldest craft on the line —
With a nigger squat on her safetyvalve,
And her furnace crammed, rosin and pine.
The fire burst out as she cleared the bar,
And burnt a hole in the night, And quick as a flash she turned, and made
For that wilier-bank on the right. There was runnin' and cursin', but Jim yelled out,
Over all the infernal roar, "I'll hold her nozzle agin the bank
Till the last galoot's ashore."
Through the hot, black breath of the
And knowed he would keep his word.
And sure's you're born, they all got off
Afore the smokestacks fell, — And Bludso's ghost went up alone In the smoke of the Prairie Belle.
He weren't no saint,—but at judge- ment
I'd run my chance with Jim, 'Longside of some pious gentlemen That wouldn't shook hands with him.
He seen his duty, a dead-sure thing,—
And went for it thar and then; And Christ ain't a going to be too hard
On a man that died for men.
Oliver Wendell Holmes.
A FAMILIAR LETTER TO SEVERAL CORRESPONDENTS.
Yes, write, if you want to, there's
nothing like trying; Who knows what a treasure your
casket may hold ? I'll show you that rhyming's as easy
If you'll listen to me while the art I unfold.
Here's a book full of words: one can choose as he fancies, Asa painter his tint, as a workman his tool;
Just think! all the poems and plays and romances Were drawn out of this, like the fish from a pool!
You can wander at will through its syllabled mazes, And take all you want, — not a copper they cost, — What is there to hinder your picking out phrases For an epic as clever as " Paradise Lost"?
Don't mind if the index of sense is at zero.
Use words that run smoothly,
whatever they mean; Leander and Lilian and Lillibullero Are much the same thing in the
There are words so delicious their sweetness will smother That boarding-school flavor of which we're afraid, — There is "lush" is a good one, and "swirl" is another,— Put both in one stanza, its fortune is made.
With musical murmurs and rhythmical closes You can cheat us of smiles when you've nothing to tell;
You hand us a nosegay of milliner's roses.
And we cry with delight, "O, how sweet they do smell!"
Perhaps you will answer all needful conditions For winning the laurels to which you aspire,
By docking the tails of the two prepositions
I' the style o' the bards you so greatly admire.
As for subjects of verse, they are only too plenty For ringing the changes on metrical chimes:
A maiden, a moonbeam, a lover of twenty,
Have filled that great basket with bushels of rhymes.
Let me show you a picture — 'tis far from irrelevant — By a famous old hand in the arts of design; 'Tis only a photographed sketch of an elephant, — The name of the draughtsman was Rembrandt of Rhine.
How easy! no troublesome colors to lay on,
It can't have fatigued him, — no, not in the least, — A dash here and there with a haphazard crayon, And there stands the wrinkledskinned, baggy-limbed beast.
Just so with your verse, — 'tis as easy as sketching, — You can reel off a song without knitting your brow, As lightly as Bembrandt a drawing or etching; It is nothing at all, if you only know how.