Reely's Poetry Blog
by ERNEST McGAFFEY (1861-?)
Beside that tent and under guard
In majesty alone he stands,
As some chained eagle, broken-winged,
With eyes that gleam like smouldering brands,—
A savage face, streaked o'er with paint,
And coal-black hair in unkempt mane,
Thin, cruel lips, set rigidly—
A red Apache Tamerlane.
As restless as the desert winds,
Yet here he stands like carven stone,
His raven locks by breezes moved
And backward o'er his shoulders blown;
Silent, yet watchful as he waits
Robed in his strange, barbaric guise,
While here and there go searchingly
The cat-like wanderings of his eyes.
by ELIZA COOK (1818-1889)
A mouse found a beautiful piece of plum cake,
The richest and sweetest that mortal could make;
'Twas heavy with citron and fragrant with spice,
and covered with sugar all sparkling as ice.
"My Stars!" cried the mouse, while his eye beamed with glee,
"Here’s a treasure I’ve found; what a feast it will be;
But hark! there’a noise, ’tis my brothers at play;
So I’ll hide with the cake, lest they wander this way.
"Not a bit shall they have, for I know I can eat,
Every morsel myself, and I’ll have such a treat;"
So off went the mouse as he held the cake fast,
While his hungry young brothers went scampering past.
by CLARENCE LEONARD HAY (1884-1969)
So, you've come to the tropics, heard all you had to do
Was sit in the shade of a coconut glade while the dollars roll in to you.
They told you that at the bureau? Did you get the statistics all straight?
Well, hear what it did to another kid, before you decide your fate.
You don't go down with a hard, short fall--you just sort of shuffle along
And loosen your load of the moral code, till you can't tell the right from the wrong.
I started out to be honest, with everything on the square,
But a man can't fool with the Golden Rule in a crowd that won't play fair!
'Twas a case of riding a dirty race, or of being an also-ran;
My only hope was to steal and dope the horse of another man.
I pulled a deal at Guayaquil in an Inca silver mine,
But before they found out it was salted ground I was safe in the Argentine.
I made short weight on the River Plate, when running a freighter there;
And I cracked a crib on a rich estate without even turning a hair.
"The Course of True Love Never Did Run Smooth" - William Shakespeare
Much attention is focused upon the love stories of Edgar Allan and Virginia Poe and Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning when discussing great love stories of the 19th century, while the love story of Anglo-French writer, Hilaire Belloc and his Irish-American wife, Elodie Hogan, is often overlooked. It is, however, a touching and romantic tale and the Bellocs actually faced more obstacles than the Poes and the Brownings. For one thing, they lived on two different continents when they met.
Hilaire Belloc was born in 1870 as Joseph Hilaire Pierre Belloc in France, the son of English writer, Elizabeth "Bessie" Parkes and French attorney, Louis Swanton Belloc. On his mother's side, Hilaire was descended from English scientist, Joseph Priestly. His paternal grandparents were French painter, Jean-Hilaire Belloc and Irish/French writer, Louise Swanton Belloc, who translated many authors into French. After the death of their father while they were very young, Hilaire and his older sister, Marie, grew up primarily in England.
Elodie Agnes Hogan was born in 1868 in Napa, California, the child of Irish parents. At the time she met Hilaire Belloc, her mother, Ellen, was already a widow. Mrs. Hogan and her daughters had previously befriended Hilaire's sister and mother. Hilaire encountered the beautiful American girl on her second visit with the Belloc women in 1890, and fell in love at first sight. He squired the young woman around London during her visit and she reciprocated his attentions.