THE RE-ECHO CLUB
DIVERSIONS OF THE RE-ECHO CLUB
A recent discovery has brought to light the long-hidden papers of the Re-Echo Club. This is a great find, and all lovers of masterpieces of the world's best literature will rejoice with us that we are enabled to publish herewith a few of these gems of great minds. Little is known of the locale or clientèle of this club, but it was doubtless a successor of the famous Echo Club of Boston memory, for, like that erudite body, it takes pleasure in trying to better what is done. On the occasion of the meeting of which the following gems of poesy are the result, the several members of the club engaged to write up the well-known tradition of the Purple Cow in more elaborate form than the quatrain made famous by Mr. Gelett Burgess:
"I never saw a Purple Cow,I never hope to see one;But I can tell you, anyhow,I'd rather see than be one."
The first attempt here cited is the production of Mr. John Milton:
Hence, vain, deluding cows.The herd of folly, without color bright,How little you delight,Or fill the Poet's mind, or songs arouse!But, hail! thou goddess gay of feature!Hail! divinest purple creature!Oh, Cow, thy visage is too brightTo hit the sense of human sight.And though I'd like, just once, to see thee,I never, never, never'd be thee!
Hail to thee, blithe spirit!Cow thou never wert;But in life to cheer itPlayest thy full partIn purple lines of unpremeditated art.The pale purple colorMelts around thy sightLike a star, but duller,In the broad daylight.I'd see thee, but I would not be thee if I might.We look before and afterAt cattle as they browse;Our most hearty laughterSomething sad must rouse.Our sweetest songs are those that tell of Purple Cows.
She dwelt among the untrodden waysBeside the springs of Dee;A Cow whom there were few to praiseAnd very few to see.A violet by a mossy stoneGreeting the smiling EastIs not so purple, I must own,As that erratic beast.She lived unknown, that Cow, and soI never chanced to see;But if I had to be one, oh,The difference to me!
The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea;I watched them slowly wend their weary way,But, ah, a Purple Cow I did not see.Full many a cow of purplest ray sereneIs haply grazing where I may not see;Full many a donkey writes of her, I ween,But neither of these creatures would I be.
There, little Cow, don't cry!You are brindle and brown, I know.And with wild, glad huesOf reds and blues,You never will gleam and glow.But though not pleasing to the eye,There, little Cow, don't cry, don't cry.
Ask me no more. A cow I fain would seeOf purple tint, like to a sun-soaked grape—Of purple tint, like royal velvet cape—But such a creature I would never be—Ask me no more.
All that I knowOf a certain CowIs it can throw,Somewhere, somehow,Now a dart of red,Now a dart of blue(That makes purple, 'tis said)....