all sad words ...

Drama queens must check their tiaras at the door.
ed
Posts: 42238
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 11:52 pm
Title: G_D

all sad words ...

Post by ed »

One of the most famous line in poetry is:
For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: 'It might have been!'
<sniff>

The poem it is from (philistines) is Maud Miller by Wittier (American!!!)
76. Maud Muller

MAUD Muller, on a summer's day,
Raked the meadow sweet with hay.

Beneath her torn hat glowed the wealth
Of simple beauty and rustic health.

Singing, she wrought, and her merry glee 5
The mock-bird echoed from his tree.

But when she glanced to the far-off town,
White from its hill-slope looking down,

The sweet song died, and a vague unrest
And a nameless longing filled her breast,— 10

A wish that she hardly dared to own,
For something better than she had known.

The Judge rode slowly down the lane,
Smoothing his horse's chestnut mane.

He drew his bridle in the shade 15
Of the apple-trees to greet the maid,

And ask a draught from the spring that flowed
Through the meadow across the road.

She stooped where the cool spring bubbled up,
And filled for him her small tin cup, 20

And blushed as she gave it, looking down
On her feet so bare, and her tattered gown.

"Thanks!" said the Judge; "a sweeter draught
From a fairer hand was never quaffed."

He spoke of the grass and flowers and trees, 25
Of the singing birds and the humming bees;

Then talked of the haying, and wondered whether
The cloud in the west would bring foul weather.

And Maud forgot her brier-torn gown
And her graceful ankles bare and brown; 30

And listened, while a pleased surprise
Looked from her long-lashed hazel eyes.

At last, like one who for delay
Seeks a vain excuse, he rode away.

Maud Muller looked and sighed: "Ah me! 35
That I the Judge's bride might be!

"He would dress me up in silks so fine,
And praise and toast me at his wine.

"My father should wear a broadcloth coat;
My brother should sail a painted boat. 40

"I'd dress my mother so grand and gay,
And the baby should have a new toy each day.

"And I'd feed the hungry and clothe the poor,
And all should bless me who left our door."

The Judge looked back as he climbed the hill, 45
And saw Maud Muller standing still.

"A form more fair, a face more sweet,
Ne'er hath it been my lot to meet.

"And her modest answer and graceful air
Show her wise and good as she is fair. 50

"Would she were mine, and I to-day,
Like her, a harvester of hay:

"No doubtful balance of rights and wrongs,
Nor weary lawyers with endless tongues,

"But low of cattle and song of birds, 55
And health and quiet and loving words."

But he thought of his sisters proud and cold,
And his mother vain of her rank and gold.

So, closing his heart, the Judge rode on,
And Maud was left in the field alone. 60

But the lawyers smiled that afternoon,
When he hummed in court an old love-tune;

And the young girl mused beside the well,
Till the rain on the unraked clover fell.

He wedded a wife of richest dower, 65
Who lived for fashion, as he for power.

Yet oft, in his marble hearth's bright glow,
He watched a picture come and go;

And sweet Maud Muller's hazel eyes
Looked out in their innocent surprise. 70

Oft, when the wine in his glass was red,
He longed for the wayside well instead;

And closed his eyes on his garnished rooms
To dream of meadows and clover-blooms.

And the proud man sighed, with a secret pain, 75
"Ah, that I were free again!

"Free as when I rode that day,
Where the barefoot maiden raked her hay."

She wedded a man unlearned and poor,
And many children played round her door. 80

But care and sorrow, and childbirth pain,
Left their traces on heart and brain.

And oft, when the summer sun shone hot
On the new-mown hay in the meadow lot,

And she heard the little spring brook fall 85
Over the roadside, through the wall,

In the shade of the apple-tree again
She saw a rider draw his rein.

And, gazing down with timid grace,
She felt his pleased eyes read her face. 90

Sometimes her narrow kitchen walls
Stretched away into stately halls;

The weary wheel to a spinet turned,
The tallow candle an astral burned,

And for him who sat by the chimney lug, 95
Dozing and grumbling o'er pipe and mug,

A manly form at her side she saw,
And joy was duty and love was law.

Then she took up her burden of life again,
Saying only, "It might have been." 100

Alas for maiden, alas for Judge,
For rich repiner and household drudge!

God pity them both! and pity us all,
Who vainly the dreams of youth recall.

For of all sad words of tongue or pen, 105
The saddest are these: "It might have been!"

Ah, well! for us all some sweet hope lies
Deeply buried from human eyes;

And, in the hereafter, angels may
Roll the stone from its grave away!
The purpose of this thread is not to provide the poem above, rather it is the parody by Bret Harte which is in the next post.

Enjoy.
ed
Posts: 42238
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 11:52 pm
Title: G_D

Re: all sad words ...

Post by ed »

Mrs. Judge Jenkins
(Being the Only Genuine Sequel to “Maud Muller”)

Bret Harte

MAUD MULLER all that summer day
Raked the meadow sweet with hay;
Yet, looking down the distant lane,
She hoped the Judge would come again.

But when he came, with smile and bow,
Maud only blushed, and stammered, “Ha-ow?”

And spoke of her “pa,” and wondered whether
He’d give consent they should wed together.

Old Muller burst in tears, and then
Begged that the Judge would lend him “ten;”

For trade was dull, and wages low,
And the “craps,” this year, were somewhat slow.

And ere the languid summer died,
Sweet Maud became the Judge’s bride.

But on the day that they were mated,
Maud’s brother Bob was intoxicated;

And Maud’s relations, twelve in all,
Were very drunk at the Judge’s hall.

And when the summer came again,
The young bride bore him babies twain;

And the Judge was blest, but thought it strange
That bearing children made such a change;

For Maud grew broad and red and stout,
And the waist that his arm once clasped about

:doglaugh:

Was more than he now could span; and he
Sighed as he pondered, ruefully,

How that which in Maud was native grace
In Mrs. Jenkins was out of place;

And thought of the twins, and wished that they
Looked less like the men who raked the hay

:doglaugh:

On Muller’s farm, and dreamed with pain
Of the day he wandered down the lane.

And looking down that dreary track,
He half regretted that he came back;

For, had he waited, he might have wed
Some maiden fair and thoroughbred;

For there be women fair as she,
Whose verbs and nouns do more agree.

:doglaugh:

Alas for maiden! alas for judge!
And the sentimental,—that’s one-half “fudge;”

For Maud soon thought the Judge a bore,
With all his learning and all his lore;

And the Judge would have bartered Maud’s fair face
For more refinement and social grace.

If, of all words of tongue and pen,
The saddest are, “It might have been,”

More sad are these we daily see:
“It is, but hadn’t ought to be.”
Pyrrho
Posts: 33521
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2004 2:17 am
Title: Man in Black
Location: Division 6

Re: all sad words ...

Post by Pyrrho »

IIRC, Bret Harte was acquainted with Sam Clemens and other rascals of the pen, back in the day.
ed
Posts: 42238
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 11:52 pm
Title: G_D

Re: all sad words ...

Post by ed »

as Clemens wrote about Harte:
(he) is a liar, a thief, a swindler, a snob, a sot, a sponge, a coward, a Jeremy Diddler, he is brim full of treachery... To send this nasty creature to puke upon the American name in a foreign land is too much
How excellent.
Pyrrho
Posts: 33521
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2004 2:17 am
Title: Man in Black
Location: Division 6

Re: all sad words ...

Post by Pyrrho »

Clemens wrote about how his fellow journalists responded to his request for good character references for his future father-in-law. I wish I could find it, but their responses were similar to that. :)
ed
Posts: 42238
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 11:52 pm
Title: G_D

Re: all sad words ...

Post by ed »

This is when they knew how to do it:
Fillmore La November 25th, 1860

Old Abe Lincoln,

God damn you god damned old Hellfired god damned soul to hell god damn you and goddam your god damned family’s god damned hellfired god damned soul to hell and god damnation god damn them and god damn your god damn friends to hell god damn their god damned souls to damnation god damn them and god damn their god damn families to eternal god damnation god damn souls to hell god damn them and God Almighty God damn Old Hamlin to to hell God damn his God damned soul all over everywhere double damn his God damned soul to hell.

Now you God damned old Abolition son of a bitch God damn you I want you to send me God damn you about one dozen good offices Good God Almighty God damn your God damned soul and three or four pretty Gals God damn you.

And by doing God damn you you

Will Oblige

Pete Muggins
ed
Posts: 42238
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 11:52 pm
Title: G_D

Re: all sad words ...

Post by ed »

or
February 14th, 1861

Sir,

Mr Abe Lincoln if you don’t Resign we are going to put a spider in your dumpling and play the Devil with you you god or mighty god dam sunnde of a bith go to hell and buss my Ass suck my prick and call my Bolics your uncle Dick god dam a fool and goddam Abe Lincoln who would like you goddam you excuse me for using such hard words with you but you need it you are nothing but a goddam Black nigger

Yours, &c. Mr A. G. Frick,

[PS] Tennessee Missouri Kentucky Virginia N. Carolina and Arkansas is going to secede Glory be to god on high!
call my Bolics your uncle Dick
It don't get better than that.
robinson2
Posts: 934
Joined: Sun May 17, 2020 4:02 pm
Title: I can’t be worrying about that

Re: all sad words ...

Post by robinson2 »

I pray Robinson does not read this thread


That motherfucker lives for that shit