The Chinese Nightingale
America Watching the War, August, 1914, to April, 1917
Where Is the Real Non-resistant? Here's to the Mice! When Bryan Speaks To Jane Addams at the Hague I. Speak Now for Peace II. Tolstoi Is Plowing Yet The Tale of the Tiger Tree The Merciful Hand
America at War with Germany, Beginning April, 1917
Our Mother Pocahontas Concerning Emperors Niagara Mark Twain and Joan of Arc The Bankrupt Peace Maker "This, My Song, is made for Kerensky"
Tragedies, Comedies, and Dreams
Our Guardian Angels and Their Children Epitaphs for Two Players I. Edwin Booth II. John Bunny, Motion Picture Comedian Mae Marsh, Motion Picture Actress Two Old Crows The Drunkard's Funeral The Raft The Ghosts of the Buffaloes The Broncho that Would Not Be Broken The Prairie Battlements The Flower of Mending Alone in the Wind, on the Prairie To Lady Jane How I Walked Alone in the Jungles of Heaven
The Poem Games
An Account of the Poem Games The King of Yellow Butterflies The Potatoes' Dance The Booker Washington Trilogy I. Simon Legree II. John Brown III. King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba How Samson Bore Away the Gates of Gaza
The Chinese Nightingale and Other Poems
The Chinese Nightingale
A Song in Chinese Tapestries
"How, how," he said. "Friend Chang," I said, "San Francisco sleeps as the dead— Ended license, lust and play: Why do you iron the night away? Your big clock speaks with a deadly sound, With a tick and a wail till dawn comes round. While the monster shadows glower and creep, What can be better for man than sleep?"
"I will tell you a secret," Chang replied; "My breast with vision is satisfied, And I see green trees and fluttering wings, And my deathless bird from Shanghai sings." Then he lit five fire-crackers in a pan. "Pop, pop," said the fire-crackers, "cra-cra-crack." He lit a joss stick long and black. Then the proud gray joss in the corner stirred; On his wrist appeared a gray small bird, And this was the song of the gray small bird: "Where is the princess, loved forever, Who made Chang first of the kings of men?"
And the joss in the corner stirred again; And the carved dog, curled in his arms, awoke, Barked forth a smoke-cloud that whirled and broke. It piled in a maze round the ironing-place, And there on the snowy table wide Stood a Chinese lady of high degree, With a scornful, witching, tea-rose face…. Yet she put away all form and pride, And laid her glimmering veil aside With a childlike smile for Chang and for me.
The walls fell back, night was aflower, The table gleamed in a moonlit bower, While Chang, with a countenance carved of stone, Ironed and ironed, all alone....