Many of the verses in this book are republished, with considerable alterations, from various newspapers. The collection includes few not relating to persons and events more or less familiar to the people of the Pacific Coast— to whom the volume may be considered as especially addressed, though, not without a hope that some part of the contents may be found to have sufficient intrinsic interest to commend it to others. In that case, doubtless, commentators will be 'raised up' to make exposition of its full meaning, with possibly an added meaning read into it by themselves.

Of my motives in writing, and in now republishing, I do not care to make either defense or explanation, except with reference to those persons who since my first censure of them have passed away. To one having only a reader's interest in the matter it may easily seem that the verses relating to those might more properly have been omitted from this collection. But if these pieces, or, indeed, if any considerable part of my work in literature, have the intrinsic worth which by this attempt to preserve some of it I have assumed, their permanent suppression is impossible, and it is only a question of when and by whom they shall be republished. Some one will surely search them out and put them in circulation.

I conceive it the right of an author to have his fugitive work collected in his lifetime; and this seems to me especially true of one whose work, necessarily engendering animosities, is peculiarly exposed to challenge as unjust. That is a charge that can be best examined before time has effaced the evidence. For the death of a man of whom I may have written what I venture to think worthy to live I am no way responsible; and, however sincerely I may regret it, I can hardly be expected to consent that it shall affect my fortunes. If the satirist who does not accept the remarkable doctrine that while condemning the sin he should spare the sinner were bound to let the life of his work be coterminous with that of his subject his were a lot of peculiar hardship.

Persuaded of the validity of all this, I have not hesitated to reprint even certain 'epitaphs' which, once of the living, are now of the dead, as all the others must eventually be. The objection inheres in all forms of applied satire—my understanding of whose laws and liberties is at least derived from reverent study of the masters. That in respect of matters herein mentioned I have but followed their practice can be shown by abundant instance and example.



I dreamed I was dreaming one morn as I lay   In a garden with flowers teeming. On an island I lay in a mystical bay,   In the dream that I dreamed I was dreaming. The ghost of a scent—had it followed me there   From the place where I truly was resting? It filled like an anthem the aisles of the air,   The presence of roses attesting. Yet I thought in the dream that I dreamed I dreamed   That the place was all barren of roses— That it only seemed; and the place, I deemed,   Was the Isle of Bewildered Noses. Full many a seaman had testified   How all who sailed near were enchanted, And landed to search (and in searching died)   For the roses the Sirens had planted. For the Sirens were dead, and the billows boomed   In the stead of their singing forever; But the roses bloomed on the graves of the doomed,   Though man had discovered them never. I thought in my dream 'twas an idle tale,   A delusion that mariners cherished— That the fragrance loading the conscious gale   Was the ghost of a rose long perished. I said, 'I will fly from this island of woes.'   And acting on that decision, By that odor of rose I was led by the nose,   For 'twas truly, ah! truly, Elysian. I ran, in my madness, to seek out the source   Of the redolent river—directed By some supernatural, sinister force   To a forest, dark, haunted, infected. And still as I threaded ('twas all in the dream   That I dreamed I was dreaming) each turning There were many a scream and a sudden gleam   Of eyes all uncannily burning! The leaves were all wet with a horrible dew   That mirrored the red moon's crescent, And all shapes were fringed with a ghostly blue,   Dim, wavering, phosphorescent. But the fragrance divine, coming strong and free,   Led me on, though my blood was clotting, Till—ah, joy!—I could see, on the limbs of a tree,   Mine enemies hanging and rotting!


Lord, shed thy light upon his desert path,   And gild his branded brow, that no man spill   His forfeit life to balk thy holy will That spares him for the ripening of wrath.
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