Among Ware’s poems he had been especially impressed with the “Fables,” and with some verses entitled “Whist,” which, though rather more optimistic, conformed to his own philosophy. They have a distinctly “Western” feeling.
Hour after hour the cards were fairly shuffled,
And fairly dealt, and still I got no hand;
The morning came; but I, with mind unruffled,
Did simply say, “I do not understand.”
Life is a game of whist. From unseen sources
The cards are shuffled, and the hands are dealt.
Blind are our efforts to control the forces
That, though unseen, are no less strongly felt.
I do not like the way the cards are shuffled,
But still I like the game and want to play;
And through the long, long night will I, unruffled,
Play what I get, until the break of day.
MARK TWAIN, A BIOGRAPHY
By Albert Bigelow Paine
VOLUME III, Part 2: 1907-1910
HONORS FROM OXFORD
Clemens made a brief trip to Bermuda during the winter, taking Twichell along; their first return to the island since the trip when they had promised to come back so soon-nearly thirty years before. They had been comparatively young men then. They were old now, but they found the green island as fresh and full of bloom as ever. They did not find their old landlady; they could not even remember her name at first, and then Twichell recalled that it was the same as an author of certain schoolbooks in his youth, and Clemens promptly said, “Kirkham’s Grammar.” Kirkham was truly the name, and they went to find her; but she was dead, and the daughter, who had been a young girl in that earlier time, reigned in her stead and entertained the successors of her mother’s guests. They walked and drove about the island, and it was like taking up again a long-discontinued book and reading another chapter of the same tale. It gave Mark Twain a fresh interest in Bermuda, one which he did not allow to fade again.