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MYSTERY OF CARMEL The Mission floor was with weeds o'ergrown,And crumbling and shaky its walls of stone;Its roof of tiles, in tiers and tiers,Had stood the storms of a hundred years.An olden, weird, medieval styleClung to the mouldering, gloomy pile,And the rhythmic voice of the breaking wavesSang a lonesome dirge in its land of graves.As I walked in the Mission old and gray—The Mission Carmel... more...

MOTHER'S PRAYERFor this new day, our Father, we give thee thanks.Thou hast blessed us with rest for our bodies,The glories of a new day are upon us, a gift from above.Let the light from heaven penetrate our souls,and may this be the best of our lives, we pray.Remember those less fortunate, dear Father,May some messenger of thine bring joy to their hearts today.Forbid we should shirk any duty... more...

Drake's Drum Drake he's in his hammock an' a thousand miles away,  (Capten, art tha sleepin' there below?)Slung atween the round shot in Nombre Dios Bay,  An' dreamin' arl the time O' Plymouth Hoe.Yarnder lumes the Island, yarnder lie the ships,  Wi' sailor lads a-dancing' heel-an'-toe,An' the shore-lights flashin', an' the... more...

As Easy as A.B.C. (1912) The A.B.C., that semi-elected, semi-nominated body of a few score persons, controls the Planet. Transportation is Civilisation, our motto runs. Theoretically we do what we please, so long as we do not interfere with the trafficand all it implies.Practically, the A.B.C. confirms or annuls all international arrangements, and, to judge from its last report, finds our tolerant,... more...

I think I should scarcely trouble the reader with a special appeal in behalf of this book, if it had not specially appealed to me for reasons apart from the author's race, origin, and condition. The world is too old now, and I find myself too much of its mood, to care for the work of a poet because he is black, because his father and mother were slaves, because he was, before and after he began to... more...

THE NAME OF MY BOOK. The reader, perhaps, as he turns over the first pages of this volume, is puzzled, right at the outset, with the meaning of my title, The Diving Bell. It is plain enough to Uncle Frank, and possibly it is to you; but it may not be; so I will tell you what a diving bell is, and then, probably, you can guess the reason why I have given this name to the following pages. If you will... more...

THE DREAMERS The gypsies passed her little gate—She stopped her wheel to see,—A brown-faced pair who walked the road,Free as the wind is free;And suddenly her tidy roomA prison seemed to be. Her shining plates against the walls,Her sunlit, sanded floor,The brass-bound wedding chest that heldHer linen's snowy store,The very wheel whose humming died,—Seemed only chains she bore. She watched... more...

Nuts Crazy as a cashew.Unbelievably lucky, I keep my job,live alone,lead a lucky life. Always the same old job,17 years of it. Go nowhere.Be nobody.Do nothing. Sheer luxury. They got to me. They drove meoff the deep end. But I’m luckywith my label,and my safe job. Shame I’m nuts.Blissful,lucky,shame. Mind Stew Boil, boil, andon it stews,the broth that cooks,on the stovethat is my mind. Ideas bob... more...

EPISTLE TO THE REV. J--- B---, WHILST JOURNEYING FOR THE RECOVERY OF HIS HEALTH. When warm’d with zeal, my rustic MuseFeels fluttering fain to tell her news,And paint her simple, lowly views      With all her art,And, though in genius but obtuse,      May touch the heart. Of palaces and courts of kingsShe thinks but little, never sings,But wildly strikes her uncouth strings      In... more...

High Noon Time's finger on the dial of my lifePoints to high noon! and yet the half-spent dayLeaves less than half remaining, for the dark,Bleak shadows of the grave engulf the end. To those who burn the candle to the stick,The sputtering socket yields but little light.Long life is sadder than an early death.We cannot count on raveled threads of ageWhereof to weave a fabric. We must useThe warp... more...