Do you bear that simple music, that rippling melody? 'Tis the mind of a little child growing. Music is crude, the harmony is not complete; occasionally there is a discord. The air is simple, very simple. But as his horizon widens instruments are added and it becomes a symphony, simple yet, but growing musical. Thoughts are added, experience comes, and the player becomes more skillful.
As a child emerges into youth, the chords strike fuller tones, the harmony is richer, sweeter; he hears the sweet alluring melodies of love. The tinkling notes of laughter; above and louder, the martial notes of ambition cause him to step quicker and his face to flush with honest hopes; behind it, pervading all, are the harmonious undertones of hope and mother's love. This grows fainter as the clash of louder instruments break on the vibrating air.
The boy is a man, the whole orchestra is playing its loudest, fullest notes. There is the clash of the business world, the shrieks of the pipes and flutes as the struggle for rights and existence goes on; the groans of the bassoon as they rise and fall with success or reverse. At first this is all that the ear catches. As you draw nearer you hear the fuller cadence of friendship and morality. "Love took up the harp of life and smote on all the chords with might." A fine ear may hear still sweeter and sadder notes. "If singing breath and echoing chord to every human pang were given, what endless melodies were poured - as sad as earth, as sweet as heaven." The music is now sweeter, softer; no clashing of cymbals, but an even, full tone. But soon one instrument after another grows harsh, makes a discord and is silent; the others play on a sweeter cadence, seemingly trying to recall the melodies of early life, but succeeding only in a peculiarly sad music of their own, growing fainter and fainter, but sweeter still - then all is silent. As sounds of nature are caused by vibrations of the air, which widen out until they are beyond the scope of the human ear, being too high or too low, they are still vibrations, and travel on from universe to universe; so the music of life, though extinct to our ears, is still vibrating its influence on and on in an ever widening circle. Perhaps it is heard in heaven.
As I was editing the Oracle once, I came to the "poet's corner," but the Ionian poetry machine had for some time past been sadly in need of repairs because of almost constant use by previous editors. So, when I took hold of the ever faithful crank, confident of hearing some sweetly melodious rhyme, I was horrified and astonished to hear only,
"Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these, 'It might have been.'"
With a sneeze and a choke, followed by a low, sad sob, it sank to silence - "silence kept forevermore." All was darkness; the future was all a blank to me. I sat upon the floor and shrieked and moaned and tore my hair, but all to no avail. The same oppressive silence was unbroken save by the loud beats of my heart. Suddenly I heard a step upon the stairs; some one was coming. I hastily stuffed the poor grinder under my apron, and assumed a sweet, winning smile. An idea, a bright idea, had taken possession of my soul. I would borrow the Hamilton's grinder. I poured my woful story into the marshall's sympathizing ears, and by using a few briny tears as a clinching argument, I gained the, grinder. O! now I was happy; and with profuse thanks, I hurried home, faithfully promising to care well for the precious object. The kind marshal had given me a list of the subjects on which the machine would work, so I sat down and joyfully chose, "Who was it?" turned the crank, and out came,
"Who was it rang the college bell?
Who was it made its music swell?
Who was it bound us in its spell?
You tell! You tell!"
How provoking! I had certainly expected to hear who it was that had so disturbed our slumbers. I started again, "The Junior."
How dear to my heart are the thoughts of the junior,
When fond recollections recall him to mind.
The junior, the junior, the huge pompous junior,
The dear little junior who - who - who."
Then a dead stop. Well! Well! Perhaps the grinder had turned that out too often already. Surely the Hamiltons haven't used the "I want to be an angel" tune much; but I am mistaken, for out comes,
I want to be - - a Hamp (cough)
I want to be - - a Hamp (try again and see if you can't get a little further).
I want - - to be a Ham - -ilton,
And with - - their lord - - ships sit;
A real - - idea - - within - - my brain,
A song - - upon - - my lip."
This is terrible - sit and lip. I haven't any decent poetry yet. "Spring."
"The balmy days of spring have come,
The sweetest of the year.
While flowers bloom so bright and gay,
We'll dry up every tear."
That's riot my style of spring poetry. It won't do. Try again. Sorrow."
"When apple trees bloom and mocking birds sing,
My old sorrow wakes and moans,
For I know the green apples those flowers will bring,
And bring from my lips most heart-rending groans."
'Tis too affecting. Try "The Serenaders."
"The serenaders came one night
And waked me from my slumber,
But when I threw the boot-jack out,
They saw they'd made a blunder."
Then it started off on
but its voice failed. Regaining its composure, it began
"I cannot sing the old songs,
They are too old for me;
The Hamiltons have ground them out,
'Till chestnuts they must be."
Just here I would fain give up, but my chum pleaded for one more trial, and this is what we heard:
"Ohl could I go to have some fun,
Perchance the P. M. ball,
I'm sure I'd see the faculty
A-staring at us all.
This last effort proved too great a strain on the grinder, and with one final squeak it gave up the ghost.
Now it came to pass, that when the lonians had been thirty months in the land, they conceived the idea of sending messengers to some wise speaker to come among them and to teach the people in the synagogue; but a ruling had lately been made in the land that this could not be, for all the tribes about could have but one man to come and talk to them at the time set for the people to assemble.
Now to the south of the Ionians dwelt a mighty race of men, known in the land as the Websters. These people were exceedingly great and had waxed fat in the land many years, and among them were men that had grown old in war. Now these people said among themselves "We are great and our numbers are exceeding; nowhere in the land can be found such valiant young men, ay, nowhere." And one tall, fair haired youth arose to address the people, saying, "To the north dwell a puny race known as the Ionians. They are all girls and know not what they do. It is not mete that they join us in this thing." And the king was well pleased, and said, "It is well. We and the tribes about us will unite, and the Ionians will not be with us." And they strutted exceedingly, and thought themselves "some pumpkins," and they were right.
But verily, verily, I say unto you, that he who planteth his pumpkin seed hastily and covereth them over exceedingly deep, will have no vines, and his field will be as the stubble that beareth no fruit, and he shall be like unto the Websters. But they will be like unto the Ionians who put their seed in good soil, few in number and covered them so light that the sunshine of generosity could shine through, and they grew, and behold the fruit yielded in its season.
So the Websters rejoiced in their iniquity, and the day drew near when the selection should be made, who should come and speak to the people; when the voice of the most high ruler was heard, saying, "Hearken ye, my children, unto my voice, for I say unto you this thing cannot be, for unless you have the Ionians with you your speaker must not come at the time the people assemble."
Now the Websters were exceedingly wroth and knew not what to do, for they would not let the tribe be with them, and they held much high debate and stood back some weeks or more. But they knew it must be, so their chief ruler George the Infant, the gayest and prettiest young man of all the tribe, went forth with three others of his most tried and truest followers; One tall, warm-tinted youth, and the man who had made speeches to the people bringing them into trouble, he was there, and they went forth to the land of the Ionians with much trembling and trepidation, but the lonians said, "We will treat these men as strangers, for they now bring and offer us the meat that is ours by right, and we will take and eat, but offer them no recompense." And it was even so, for the maidens went about their work and heeded not the mighty Websters in their midst, and they at length rose in much anger, departed the way they came. Now when they were gone the Ionians rose as one man to consider the question and to decide what they best do, for they were a wise and a forgiving people, and they hated this thing that had caused their neighbors trouble. And it came to pass that they sent messengers running in great haste to all the tribes saying: "We send greeting to our brethren and wish peace among the people, and we would that they be not troubled concerning us." And the tribes said, "It is well."
|"OH! YES, HE'S DEAD."|
The cat is dead; that good old cat
We never shall see more.
The third-year girls dissected him,
His furry coat they tore.
His heart they opened to the day,
Then out they gouged both of his eyes,
Kind looks he ever had for them,
He lived at peace with all mankind,
But now he's dead. Oh! yes, he's dead;
Tom & Carolyn Ward
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