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HELEN HINSDALE RICH.
JUSTICE IN LEADVILLE.
THEN Helen Hinsdale was born into this
world, it was as the daughter of a first settler of a new and wild region of northern New York. The primeval forests were on every side of the log cabin where she saw the light, and not very far away in any direction, for it was something over sixty years ago, her father having migrated thither from Berkshire county in Massachusetts, where the family name still remains in the town of Hinsdale and in the possession of many citizens. There she grew up with little schooling, but read as many books as came her way; she married early, and afterward continued her self-culture by every means at her command, so that the great masterpieces of English literature became familiar to her, and her love of beauty was fostered by her husband, Moses Rich of Brasher Falls. She made everything serve an inextinguishable desire to benefit her kind, in the cause of temperance, patriotism and the rights of woman, and has been useful in many moral causes as writer and speaker. From early years Mrs. Rich wrote her verses for newspapers and later for magazines, and when her volume, “A Dream of the Adirondacks, and Other Poems,” was published, it gained instant recognition from the press of the whole country as a worthy part of the poetry of America. Indeed a first book of verse very seldom reaches any such common judgment of approval, and it was justified by the merits of the contents. This volume was published in 1884, and now there is ready for the press and will shortly be issued a new volume, which will sustain the standard of the other.
Mrs. Rich's verse is always fluent and graceful, and she expresses emotion with that impress of genuineness and honesty which carries a personal force into the verse. She is deeply engaged in moral motives, and these fill many of her best poems with an inspiring fervor. But she also has the feeling of pure beauty; no poet could so celebrate the clearness of Nature, the roses, the lilies, the autumn glory, without an ecstatic sense of their loveliness. Her heart throbs in unison with the beauty of earth as well as with the heart of humanity, and she deserves her place with Lucy Larcom, Mrs. Dorr, Mrs. Rollins and others, as a fortunate interpreter of Nature and humanity. Mrs. Rich is now a resident of Chicago; she retains her connection with many important social movements, her religious affiliations are liberal, and she enjoys the warm friendship of men and women known in reforms and in literature.
C. G. W.
Yes, law is a great thing, but justice comes in
ahead When a lie makes a fiend not guilty, and the neigh
bor he shot is dead. Leadville would follow the fashion,-have regular
courts of law,I take no stock in lawyers, don't gamble upon their
jaw; But the judge he said Gueldo undoubtedly did for
Blake, And we ought to give him a trial, just for appear
ance sake; That Texas chap can't clear him, the lead's too
rich to hide, And the black neck of the Spaniard on the air
line's bound to ride. So I tried to believe in the woman with the bandage
upon her eyes, Though one side's as likely as t'other to drop
from the beam or rise If a nugget should tip the balance or a false tongue
cry the weight; But I thought I'd see if a trial was “the regular
thing” for Kate. So I went to her pretty cottage; the widow's a tidy
thing, Great mournful eyes, and a head of hair as brown
as a heron's wing. Her husband's murder was cruel; Antonio, fierce
Had sworn revenge for a trifle when some of the
boys were nigh. She had tripped to her bed of pansies, for Blake
was going away; While he bent to embrace their baby she gathered
a love bokay. She heard a voice, -Gueldo's,-a shot, -and she
ran to Jim; But the baby's white dress was scarlet, and his
father's eyes were dim. You've heard the cry of a bittern ?-it was just that
sort of a noise; It brought us there in a hurry,—the women and
half the boys. She tried to tell us the story,-her white lips only
stirred; She seemed to slip quite out of life, and couldn't
utter a word. She told us at last in writing, only a name,-and
then Six derringers found his level, his guard was a
She didn't take on, seemed frozen,-but Lord!
what a ghastly face! With slow, sad steps, like the shade of joy, she
crept round the woful place, And when we lifted the coffin she knelt with her
little child, Just whispered to Jim and kissed him; we said she
was going wild.
Would be urged for the wolf defendant; the judge,
-well, he looked ashamed, When ten of the hardest rascals, the cruellest,
meanest lot, Swore, black and blue, Gueldo was four miles from
With them, a-hunting the grizzly; then the Texan
pled his case, Till the judge turned pale as ashes,-couldn't look
in an honest face. “ Your verdict, my men of the jury, must be
grounded, I suppose, On the weight of the testimony; if you have any
faith in those Reliable fellows from Gouger, the prisoner was not
thar." And his honor growled upon him like a vexed and
Ah! deep things yield no token, and she wa’n't sur
face gold; 'T was a gloomy job prospecting round the claim
Jim couldn't hold. But I found her rocking the baby, her chin in the
dainty palm, White as the shaver's pillow, tearless, and dreadful
calm. I told her about the trial; she shuddered, her
great black eyes Flashed out such a danger signal, -or may be it
was surprise. "They never can clear Gueldo,-he cannot escape,
for I Can swear to his hissing Spanish, -that I saw him
turn and fly!" “No, never," I said; “his ticket is good for the
underground; He's due this time to-morrow where he won't find
I've noticed the newest convert prays loudest of all
Gueldo and his attorney found seats on a coil of
rope. Then Kate came, with her baby like a rosebud in
the snow, Its pink cheek against the mother's pallid and
pinched with woe. Jim's blue eyes, as I live, sir! there were his very
curls; They set us miners to sobbing like a corral of silly
girls. She looked so thankful on us, colored, and when
she met The snake eyes of Gueldo, the braids on her brow
were wet, And if the hell of the preachers had yawned on our
gentle Kate, She couldn't have glared such horror or woman's
deadly hate. Well, they went on with the trial; an alibi, it was
And that mutton-headed jury declared for the
cussèd scamp For spite of Kate's truthful story, the evidence
went, you see, To disprove the facts; Gueldo by the law was
acquitted, free. “You can go,” said the judge; “but likely the
climate won't suit you here." Antonio rose defiant.
Then Kate spoke, low and clear, (Clasping her babe, and rising,) "Are you done
with the prisoner, sir?" As a marble statue might ask it. His honor
bowed to her,“Heaven knows I'm sorry I am, child.” “Be
cause," she replied, “I am not.” A flash from her eyes and pistol,—the Mexican
devil was shot. The smoke made a little halo round the laughing
baby's head. Then I knew the terrible promise she whispered
her husband dead. Gueldo staggered, falling, his swart face scared
and grim,"Dead, gentlemen of the jury! Decision reversed
for him! And justice!” we heard her mutter, though she
wasn't the talking kind, And she hadn't the least allusion to that female
pictured blind. Trembling she turned upon us the eyes of a
wounded doe; "Amen!" from the weeping neighbors; “God
help you!” the judge said, “Go!"
DEATH AND ROSES.
DIE, SWEET JUNE.
When I am dead, strew roses o'er me, Sweet-
Ring all thy lily bells, thy royal colors fly,
Sweet June, and die!
Till heart could bear no more
Of all the dear, dead Junes. The phantom rose-leaves drifting faint and wan,
Slow fading in the sun, Remembered kisses by the pansy bed,
Vows that were said, Soft dreaming eyes of loved ones passed away
Haunt the still day.
In death's far lands.
On thee, fair child.
Too fierce the fire
Too strong the chains
Peace, June, at last!
Let me see! It was May, for an oriole came,
With its crest of vermillion and jet,
In a song I shall never forget;
Half sorrow, half passion, and pain.
With a child's holy rapture again.
That I crushed in my palms in my glee,
Found pity and refuge with thee;
And you kissed me, you know, by the birch
Where the robins come always to perch.
In imperial purple (all sovereigns may wear);
Thy face lighting up all the beautiful there; It was May! It was May! for you said with a sigh
“I love you; remember it ages to come; It will never be May to me more, if you fly,
Then hasten to tell me you pine for your home.”
Never alone again, since I have found
LET not the drifted snow of lilies white
Press my dead heart, but roses red as flame; It will be morning then; the stormy night
Gone like the discords of some martial strain Heard all too near-in the dim distance sweet.
O rose of life! that struggled to the light, At last unfolding, beautiful, complete,
To bud and bloom forever in His sight!