Page images


In the crease of each finger, the dirty nails small, The sun-god hath left his fond kiss on them all.

[ocr errors]

Go ask the bee, whence the charm and the pow
Mayhap he may know, from the honey-sweet flower,
Which by the sun-god is fondled and kiss't,
What spell he has given that "little brown fist.”

Nay, the bee is too busy. Well! open the hand;
The laddie's deep fortune we'll understand.
The life-line extends cross the palm to the wrist,
But it baffles our reading-the “naughty brown


Ah! there we must leave the riddle untold,
The sun-god hath kissed it and left it the gold,
And the power we ne'er fathom, yet may not resist,
Of loving so dearly that “little brown fist.”



1859 in Glendale, Ohio, a suburban village near Cincinnati. She is the seventh child of Oliver S. and Sarah J. (Russell) Lovell. Her father was a distinguished lawyer, an intimate friend of Chief Justice Chase, and the late Justice Stanley Mathews, whose residence was close to the Lovell homestead. For many years Mr. Lovell was chief of an important bureau in the United States Treasury. Delicate health in early years prevented Olivia attending a public school and necessitated a home education. She commenced writing at an early age, and when eleven years old published two short stories in a New-Church paper. She soon became the center of a select literary coterie, and, under the pseudonym of Tobias Tickeltoe, conducted an amateur journal called Saturday Gossip, aided by a sister who, because of her physique, was styled the “Slim Reporter.” Under her editorial nomenclature she produced several humorous short stories, and often now writes under this nom-de-plume. The young lady soon developed considerable dramatic talent, which found opportunity for display upon the stage of a home theater conducted by herself, who, in connection with a sister, was the sole representative of the histrionic art. The pieces performed were generally written by her. Miss Lovell about this time dramatized a translation of T. B. Aldrich's “ Mere Michel et Son Chat." The piece was called “Mere Michel and Her Cat," and was published by the Harpers in Young People, with elaborate illustrations. It was a very successful play. Many other plays and stories of the author have appeared from time to time in that journal for jueveniles. In 1882 Miss Lovel was united in marriage to Henry Neill Wilson, an architect. They removed to Minneapolis, where Mr. Wilson followed his profession for several years.

In consequence of ill-health Mr. and Mrs. Wilson removed from the West, and, after a brief sojourn in the old homestead, they removed permanently to Pittsfield, Mass., where they now reside in a beautiful home called "Ingleside."

L. A.

In and out, out and in,

Threading swift and nimble; Gliding thither bright and slim,

Coquetting with the thimble. Shining with a kindly gleam

Across the wide dimensions Of every hole, or gaping rent,

With sharp and keen attention.

Out and in; here's baby's sock!

Can baby's tender flesh Have wrought a hole so wide depraved

To need a worldly mesh? In and out, out and in;

Catch each thread and part, The holy work that baby does

Is woven in mother's heart.

In and out; here's Johnie's hose!

What boy's ambitions are, Is told in that prodigious rent

Across the knee-a star. Out and in, in and out,

To do this work of thine, While mother forecasts other stars

That on his life shall shine.


So plump, dimple-dented, covered with tan,
So brown and so hardy, for such a wee man,
Oh! what is the charm, we none can resist,
In the slightest caress of that "little brown fist.”

And here are Nell's hose, Nan's and Sam's!

Ah! such weary days Mother and I alone can spend

Mending the family ways. But in and out, out and in,

With patience, and the thread, We weave the mesh across the way

Where ruthless footsteps tread.

The sun-god hath kissed the dear hand on each side, All down the knuckles, where wee dimples hide,

[blocks in formation]

My dear wee lad, my own dear lad,

The lad I love sae well! Did ye learn in sooth your secret deep Ere the spirit of Elfland fell asleep?

May I never learn the mystic spell,

But be content to love thee well, Knowing none ere loved sae true, My wee bit land, as I love you.


But, my lad, my wee bit lad,

My bonniest lad of all,
Trust me, dear, such love as mine

Outlives the dreariest wintry snows,

That blight the violet, blast the rose; Abiding midst, like sweet sunshine.

Golden on the garden wall,
It makes life's moments glad.
This is the love, my bonny lad,
My wee bit lad, I bear for you,
And none in life ere loved sae true!

Eyes shaded grey, wistful, tender,

Drooping lashes, dark and long; A rosebud mouth, that doth render

The roguish dimple free of wrong. Graceful with the art of winning

From life and living love's sweet part; Earnest with the power of giving,

A child's faith, but a woman's heart. With mirth in gladness, tears for sorrow,

Trusting God in tender wise, For the great unfathomed future,

Which unrevealed. before her lies. Jnst a woman, trusting, faithful,

Gladdening where her glances fall; Wise by reason of her loving,

Just a woman—that is all.



There's a song in my heart, dear love,

That I dare not sing to-night, For my thoughts, like storm-driven birds,

To thee would take their flight; And the bitterness of my longing,

Would wearily beat and throb Through the night wind to thee, love,

Like a hopeless, pitiful sob.

Only the hum of the distant bees

Seeking their sweets from the clover; The wind in the top of the apple trees;

Heaven's blue arching over. Only the song of the joyous birds

Afloat on the sunshine's glory, Returning their thanks--grace for foodIn the same, never-old sweet story.


For out of the lowering darkness

That bends with the summer rain, I can sing but one song to-night, love,

Hear but one tender refrain;



“Heart to heart," you said, we shall meet again,

The parting lie all behind us,
And only the rapture of meeting then

Shall of these days remind us."
Our lips in a lingering pressure met,

And our tears, rebellious, started; With one last look in eyes dim and wet,

With a kiss and a prayer we parted. One to wander the wide world o'er,

Nor peace nor contentment gaining;
One to dream of the days no more,

In sorrow behind remaining.
And never on earth, in the ways of men,

While the bonds of life shall bind us,
Shall we meet, lost love, heart to heart again,

And the parting lie all behind us.


IN GLANCING over the columns of the press a

poem sometimes catches the eye which touches a chord long silent in the heart; a verse which remains in the memory and we wonder idly who is the writer. One perhaps unknown to fame, but singing on with as sweet and pure a note as that which ripples from the throat of some bird which warbles near our window and charms us with its melody. Among the floating poems of the press for several years past, have appeared from time to time verses from the pen of Mrs. Farrand.

May Spencer was born in Philadelphia in 1868. Her early life was passed in Chicago, where she attended school until she was eleven years of age, when she had almost finished the grammar school course. At this period her eyes became affected by study and she left school, never to return. Her mother's ill health rendered a journey to Colorado necessary, and after the mother's death the child became her father's constant companion; more of a woman than a child. At the age of fourteen years we find her in Pueblo, Colo., even then a contribu. tor to some of the leading papers of the State. Though having little school education, Mrs. Farrand's natural ability and acquisitiveness, together with her fondness for reading, have endowed her with a knowledge which many graduates of high schools do not possess. As a child her leisure was rather devoted to the perusal of books and crude attempts at verse, than to the usual pursuits of childhood. The first paper to which May Spencer was a contributor was the Denver Inter-Ocean, then owned and edited by the late Henry L. Feldwisch, who first noted and encouraged the aspirant to literary fame. From that time on her poems were printed in the Colorado and Chicago press; not always of special merit, but containing the germ of a vivid fancy, and often ascending to the plane of true poetic genius.

In 1888 Miss Spencer was married to Capt. P. E. Farrand of Denver, and is now a resident of that city.

S. W.

FLAUNTING the tinsel of shame in your face,

Heeding no warning;
Living and trading upon her disgrace,
When has she seen in the look of a face

Pity, not scorning ?
Matron, with children who flee to your breast

When griefs assail them,
What if your hands were crossed dumbly in rest,
If you could guard not the birds in your nest,

If you should fail them!

Has she had ever to cheer her, and guide,

Mother's affection ?
Holding her back when she faltered aside,
Softly to praise her, or gently to chide,

For her protection?
Looking in scorn npon all that she hath,

Her degradation;
Spurning the sinner, astray from the path,
Judge not, ye know not, ye righteous in wrath,

What her temptation.
What wiles have lured her to falter and fall,

Poor sister woman;
Is there between you so mighty a wall,
Barrier iron, impassable, tall ?

Is she not human ?
When has a hand been outstretched her to save,

Not to degrade her.
Erring as human she took what ye gave,
And she will go to her rest in the grave

What man hath made her.
Turn then and scoff at the wreck if you will,

(Sin-hardened features)
Turn, but while scorn doth your scrutiny fill,
Know that for all of her faults she is still

One of God's creatures!


The time drew near that our ling'ring feet

Apart must their way be taking; Two hearts in passionate protest beat,

Two hearts that were nigh to breaking. The star-gemmed heavens above us shone,

We saw not the bright June weather, We only knew we must walk alone

The ways we had known together.

And in the day when all things shall be known,

By our temptation, Not by our failures and erring alone, When we stand up face to face at God's throne,

Be our salvation.

A silence deep and vast and never ending,

A mighty ocean and a waveless beach, Where even darkness pauses ere descending,

And all unknown the blessedness of speech. The waters stretch out ever into distance,

Unchanging, quiet, as beneath a spell, Of no avail were pleading or resistance,

The waves grew silent at the word “Farewell.”



Silent and mute the harp of love is waiting,

Thy touch alone canst wake the tender strain, Set every chord by master hand vibrating;

Unto its music let me list again. Love is but sleeping, wake him from his slumbers,

Robing the present in garments of the past, Change life's low psalm to quick and happy num

bers, Over the future love's illusion cast.

Then lift the cloud that o'er that future darkens;

Let the sun shine once more upon life's slope, Bring words of love unto the ear that hearkens,

Wake in my heart the olden trust and hope; From winter snows recall fair summer weather, From dark’ning shadows summon light once

more, Bring back the love that bound us once together,

Bring back the days, the happy days of yore. Tune then, with fingers strong, the tender lyre; Breathe from its strings love's sweetest dulcet

tone; Let dreams of old its melody inspire,

Wafting thy spirit back to days agone. Save by one charm the stillness is unshaken,

Thou in thy hand dost hold the magic spell; Ah, then, dear love, to sweetest music waken

All the long silence of our sad farewell.

Help to a soul in need, forgiveness, love,
These things are my religion, and my church
On any spot beneath the arching skies
Or in my own heart. Not between four walls
Man consecrates to God and then defiles
By bringing there a heart the world doth rule,
And in brief respite turns from mammon's shrine
To bring voice-worship to the throne of God.
Nay! standing on some massive mountain peak,
Where untold ages have preserved their sway,
Nature's own church, her altars hewn by time,
My heart doth know the strange and wondrous

That tells how grand and beautiful is life.
Or on the mighty ocean, whose vast waves
Sweep as for prehistoric centuries
They have intoned their mighty, wordless hymn,
And calmed unquiet, weary, restless hearts;
Or when at night the moon's white radiance

glows, And bright her twinkling satellites appear, Looking above at that blue, mystic vault, How small a thing the petty aim of life, The greed of gold, the form, the rule doth seem, And the free soul, aspiring above, Would turn from these to thoughts of better things. Then come out from your shackles, mighty world; Leave your dry histories of ages past, And learn to know the present. It is fair. Leave your set praise of One, who, if He is, Is too grand, tender, great to need that praise, And prove it in your lives, not on one day, Set out apart by rule. Come out, come out, With ready hands, with love-filled, willing hearts; Scorn no poor wanderer whom faith hath scarred, For, world, your bitter thrust makes oft to bleed Some heart sojourning briefly in your paths; Come out and heal them! Not for a reward Or hope of heaven's payment, but for love Of all things human. Rise and tear them downThe stone walls that environ your religion And bind it round with iron bands of formAnd 'neath pure stars, fair skies, and angels' smiles, Dedicate your souls to truth and love.


The solem sea of silence is unbroken,

No wave of speech or whisper meets the ear, No message sent from you or me, no token

That I was ever loved or you were dear; No ripple on the surface of the ocean

That stretches 'twixt our hearts, so deep and wide, No sound of breakers and no sight of motion,

No slightest murmur on the quiet tide.
Oh! sea, across thy vast expanse some message

Send o'er thy waters as the sea-gull Aies;
Some winged traveler, some bird of passage,

To break the strange solemnity that lies Above a shore where waters are unmoving,

And never sound to break the stillness heard, To say that I was loved or you were loving,

To mar the reigning calmness by a word.

« PreviousContinue »