It will tower to the zenith; the ice-covered sea
And Darien shall bound-mark the Land of the Free.
Behold how the landless, the poor and oppressed,
Flock in on our shores from the East and the West!
Let them come—bid them come—we have plenty of room;
Our forests shall echo, our prairies shall bloom;
The iron horse, puffing his cloud-breath of steam,
Shall course every valley and leap every stream;
New cities shall rise with a magic untold,
While our mines yield their treasures of silver and gold,
And prosperous, united and happy, we’ll climb
Up the mountain of Fame till the end of Old Time—
Which, as I figure up, is a century hence:
Then we’ll all go abroad without any expense;
We’ll capture a comet—the smart Yankee race
Will ride on his tail through the kingdom of Space,
Tack their telegraph wires to Uranus and Mars;
Yea, carry their arts to the ultimate stars,
And flaunt the Old Flag at the suns as they pass,
And astonish the Devil himself with—their brass.
And now, “Gentle Readers,” I’ll
bid you farewell;
I hope this fine poem will please you—and sell.
You’ll ne’er lack a friend if you ne’er lack a dime;
May you never grow old till the end of Old Time;
May you never be cursed with an itching for rhyme;
For in spite of your physic, in spite of your plaster,
The rash will break out till you go to disaster—
Which you plainly can see is the case with my Muse,
For she scratches away though she’s said her adieus.
Dear Ladies, though last to receive my oblation,
And last in the list of Mosaic creation,
The last is the best, and the last shall be first.
Through Eve, sayeth Moses, old Adam was cursed;
But I cannot agree with you, Moses, that Adam
Sinned and fell through the gentle persuasion of madam.
The victim, no doubt, of Egyptian flirtation,
You mistook your chagrin for divine inspiration,
And condemned all the sex without proof or probation,
As we rhymsters mistake the moonbeams that elate us
For flashes of wit or the holy afflatus,
And imagine we hear the applause of a nation,—
But all honest men who are married and blest
Will agree that the last work of God is the best.
And now to you all—whether married or single—
Whether sheltered by slate, or by “shake,” or by shingle—
God bless you with peace and with bountiful cheer,
Happy houses, happy hearts—and a happy New Year!
P.S.—If you wish all these blessings, ’tis
You should send in your “stamps” for the old Pioneer.
* * * * *
[From the German of Theodor Korner.]
Where is the minstrel’s Father-land?
Where the sparks of noble spirits flew,
Where flowery wreaths for beauty grew,
Where strong hearts glowed so glad and true
For all things sacred, good and grand:
There was my Father-land.