Our Lungs begin to fail and soon we Cough,
And chilly Streaks play up our Backs, and off
Our fever’d Foreheads drips an icy Sweat
—We scoffered before, but now we may not scoff.
Some for the Bunions that afflict us prate
Of Plasters unsurpassable, and hate
To Cut a corn—ah cut, and let the Plaster go,
Nor murmur if the Solace come too late.
Some for the Honours of Old Age, and some
Long for its Respite from the Hum
And Clash of sordid Strife—O Fools,
The Past should teach them what’s to Come:
Lo, for the Honours, cold Neglect instead!
For Respite, disputatious Heirs a Bed
Of Thorns for them will furnish. Go,
Seek not Here for Peace—but Yonder—with the Dead.
For whether Zal and Rustam heed this Sign,
And even smitten thus, will not repine,
Let Zal and Rustam shuffle as they may,
The Fine once levied they must Cash the Fine.
O Voices of the Long Ago that were so dear!
Fall’n Silent, now, for many a Mould’ring Year,
O whither are ye flown? Come back,
And break my heart, but bless my grieving ear.
Some happy Day my Voice will Silent fall,
And answer not when some that love it call:
Be glad for Me when this you note—and think
I’ve found the Voices lost, beyond the Pall.
So let me grateful drain the Magic Bowl
That medicines hurt Minds and on the Soul
The Healing of its Peace doth lay—if then
Death claim me—Welcome be his Dole!
Sanna, Sweden, September 15th.
Private.—If you don’t know what Riggs’s
Disease of the Teeth is, the
dentist will tell you. I’ve had it—and it is more than interesting.
Fearing that there might be some mistake, we submitted a proof of this article to the (American) gentlemen named in it, and asked them to correct any errors of detail that might have crept in among the facts. They reply with some asperity that errors cannot creep in among facts where there are no facts for them to creep in among; and that none are discoverable in this article, but only baseless aberrations of a disordered mind. They have no recollection of any such night in Boston, nor elsewhere; and in their opinion there was never any such night. They have met Mr. Twain, but have had the prudence not to intrust any privacies to him—particularly under oath; and they think they now see that this prudence was justified, since he has been untrustworthy enough to even betray privacies which had no existence. Further, they think it a strange thing that Mr. Twain, who was never invited to meddle with anybody’s boyhood dreams but his own, has been so gratuitously anxious to see that other people’s are placed before the world that he has quite lost his head in his zeal and forgotten to make any mention of his own at all. Provided we insert this explanation, they are willing to let his article pass; otherwise they must require its suppression in the interest of truth.