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- The Sunday Poem : Erica Funkhouser
- The Sunday Poem : Erica Funkhouser - Gwarlingo
- One Address, Many Stories
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That hit surely put the Yankees into fame and proved that the Sox are really lame! They had a belief and that was in God. And on that hit everyone had to nod! Boy what a game, what a game! Little was said about a world series crown. They watched last night and frustration grew. Here come those damn boys in "pinstriped" blue. No dancing in the street, no waiving of the pennant flag.
And even though this is only game two. Last night, Beantown looked pretty much through. To New York this win came as no surprise. Oh but wait a minute, So I hope Wednesday night in Boston was grand. I hope you all could hardly stand. Even Beantown should taste a little bit of victory. And hope that the curse is just a piece of history. Saturday brings home one of your own. A face that Boston made very well known. But some how to Roger that means not a thing. Raise you glasses while you sit in your pubs. When the "Moose" took the ball and painted his zone, The curves guaranteed a Yank win, and the mound was his throne.
Zito was wasted by shock and by awe, Art Howe is still dreaming about what he had saw! It wasn't enough for the A's at the plate, as Jeter stepped forward and Giambi was late. Art Howe did you sleep? Determined to settle the score you have faced, you come to NY and land in last place, Art Howe do you sleep? The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Boston nine that day; the Yanks led four to two, with but one more inning to play.
A straggling few got up to go thinking, "this is the worst". Many more clung to their seats thinking, "we can beat the curse. With a thread of hope, but not much chance the Bosox fans all sat, it was not looking good for Manny getting to the bat. The noise rumbled off the monster, and wrapped around the pesky pole. Fore Manny, the mighty Manny, was advancing to the bat. All eyes were on him, as he rubbed his hands with dirt.
All the fans were shouting, as he wiped them on his shirt. Then while the aging Rocket ground the ball into his hip, defiance gleamed in Manny's eye, a sneer curled Manny's lip. Here comes Rogers fastball like a bullet from a gun, Manny stood there watching, and the umpire said "strike one! A stream of milk, at the knees, and the umpire said "strike two! He pounds with furious anger, his bat upon the plate. And now the Rocket holds the ball, and now he lets it go.
And now the air is shattered, by the force of Manny's blow. Somewhere Clemens' is winning rings, somewhere Boggs has one. And somewhere Buckner's thinking, if we just had one more run. Somewhere the Babe is laughing, while the Sox fans scream and shout. Fore there is no joy in Beantown, the mighty Manny has struck out On the way to the top, each is arguing about how loyal they are to their team and what they would do for that team.
As the climb gets higher, the wagers increase. Upon reaching the top, the Mets fan shouts, "This is for the Mets!!! Next the Braves fan yells, "I love Atlanta This is for you Braves!! Shortly before the end Of World War One. Soon after, the Sox sold to the Yankees Babe Ruth; It was so long ago that all of our great grandfathers, Were still in their youth.
Teddy Ballgame, Yaz, Fisk, Pedro and Nomar, None have sipped the sweet taste of champagne; Every year it's the same old thing, Sadness, heartache and pain. Two things are always certain they say; Death and Taxes; Well, there is one more guarantee: Then at the end of the order. They lost the first three games, But the manager Torre said, We will fix this up, We are not yet dead. Well they proceeded to win, A myriad of games to come, The best season ever, Only done by some.
None in the American League, Had ever won more, All the teams they faced, Could've walked right out the door. Then into the playoffs, And the Texas Rangers, They swept the five-game series, To no one were they strangers. Then came the Cleveland Indians, Who were the toughest challenge of all, Colon pitched a four-hitter, And the Yankees were about to fall.
It was another best of seven, First it was game one, And Tino hit one out, He hit it a ton. This time the Yanks were stuck, They trailed in the game by one, But Brosius hit one out, Now the Padres chances were none. But little did they know, That this began a dynasty, They won for two years after, And lived so famously. Written by Joe Pickering, Jr. C Joe Pickering, Jr. It was October 17, When the Yankees celebrated another victory,. The Red Sox were sure they would taste champagne.
They then quickly realized that the Yankees remained to reign. Pedro thought he still had good stuff,. Each Yankee that scored, the crowd grew louder,. As Pedro left the hill that night,. The Red Sox knew of their impending plight,. The Bridesmaids dugout was without a sound.january 3 horoscope sign taurus or taurus
The Sunday Poem : Erica Funkhouser
Aaron Boone stepped up to the plate,. Even though the inning was late,. One pitch, one swing, the walk off home run,. As usual the Yankees proved to be the best,. Shutting down the Red Sox to lay them to rest,. Beantown was shocked that this happened again,. Pedro thought he would get the win,. All the Sox fans were hanging on every report, And praying the A-Rod deal wouldn't abort.
The Beaners weren't happy, their plan was in shreds, With visions of championships dashed from their heads. They couldn't imagine how things got so bad, Why weren't they happy? Why weren't they glad? But in baseball reports there arose such a clatter, They sprang to the web to see what was the matter. The news on the web to these suffering souls, Was that A-Rod's trade status got shot full of holes. It turns out the union, which governs all things, Doesn't care about Boston and A-Rod and rings. Protecting the rights of these players ain't funny, They care about contracts, they care about money.
So now with the Beaner's plans cut to the quick, One look at that line-up, and Boston got sick. Mike Mussinah, He got lit up last night sometime after dinnah. Torre fired, Ask Enrique Hello Muddah, Yankee fans can't A-Rod's hittin', Jeter homered, Sheffield's fittin' in and things are Hey Muddah Faddah disregard this lettah.
In the Bronx where they play. Yankee stadium is were they dwell. I like to say they play real swell. Derek jester is the captain. A-Rod will hit them out the park. Giambi hits the ball real hard. Gary Sheffield goes up hacking. Intro of Behind Enemy Lines: Part One of Behind Enemy Lines: Part Two of Behind Enemy Lines: Part Three of Behind Enemy Lines: Yankees-2; Red Sox 0 Game 3 was a record breaking night for New York, and a heart breaking night for the Sox and their fans. Yankees-3; Red Sox-1 So, Game 5 rolled around.
Yankees-3; Red Sox-2 Game 6. Yankees-3; Red Sox-3 And so, the final game rolled around. Then the season was over for the men who were winners, With what Boston had done, they must've felt like sinners. Louis had no hopes. Cashman doesn't sit back on the off-season, he goes to it with a bang, So he went on a signing and a trading spree, and got back the old gang.
But who could really know how Opening Day would be, Results from what they'd call Game 8, they'd have to wait and see. A recipe that would feed the Yankees another Series champs was cooking, The season is just one big formality, it's the fall where the Yanks are looking. New York Yankees, time World Champions, is a comfortable fit. But if it is true and done, it will also have a nice ring to it. So good luck and congrats on a good start, A team well blended and talented, each player will play a part. But me and Sweet Lou wish you well, though Yankees fans of yesterday We'll give you hell all nine innings, cause we root for Tampa Bay.
For the New York Yankees there's a coach of much respect, He has so much talent, the players he must infect, He must infect them with his old ability and skill, So that when the bat meets the ball, the bat will make a kill! To the fans he's known simply as Donnie Baseball, To the players, he's one of the best players of all. So when he became hitting coach, a post he couldn't refuse, He assured a highly talented team that they couldn't lose!
He coaches the pinstriped hitters so well good 'ol twenty-three, Through the following examples, I'm sure that you'll agree. Alex Rodriguez, he sure does blow a ball away! Only trouble was if he wasn't doing that, he was producing a K. So Donnie got him in the clubhouse and they had a talk, A few lessons later, and A-Rod learned how to work a walk. A student, yes, he learned all from the great man, Boost his B. Yes, yes he can.
And most epically the slugger Jason Giambi, For his lack of swing, a juicer he used to be. But he came clean and wanted to win the right way, So Donny said to him, "I'll improve the way you play. So when Yanks are in a slump they know right where to go, A few batting sessions with him, he'll make your swing flow. He put Giambi's bat in a renaissance, teaches Yankees not to strikeout, So in the case of good 'ol number twenty-three, the Yanks just cannot do without! Jonathan Carlson, New Jersey fmr. Have I got news for you. You sold out to Houston.
You're a traitor without a clue. You say you signed for friendship. I believe Pettitte is his name. Well if Andy jumped off a bridge. Would you then do the same? You never planned to retire. Just didn't have the backbone to say. You wanted out of New York. So you did it in the most cowardly way. You took our loving send off. And got a Hummer to top it off. Then I see you on Sports Center. Wearing the colors of Astro cloth. I heard you are disturbed. By the way New Yorkers feel.
Did you really ever think. We would embrace your 1 year 5 mill deal? Pitching ten minutes from your mansion. When the hall of fame comes calling. I hope I never see. Because you don't deserve to be!!! When The Season Ends. I became a Yankee before I even knew what being a Yankee really meant.
My dad had one eye on my birth, and the other on the Yankees game. My family has loved baseball, played baseball, coached baseball, had screaming fits of rage while watching baseball on TV, and gone to baseball games at the greatest stadium in the world- The House That Ruth Built.
I sat in those stands, cheered for my team, ate hotdogs, and watched some of the greatest players do what they do best. It's been almost twenty-one years now, and nothing has changed. Although I am forced to watch the games on television in Florida I am still a Yankee. I'll always be a Yankee. Out of all those baseball teams I found a home with the Yankees, and that's never been a bad place to be. My cousins, David and Steven decided to take me along with them on a trip to the baseball card store.
It was a long walk for my little five year old legs, but I knew I could make it. I had to make it. We were halfway there when I tripped and fell. My knee burst open from its impact with the concrete. After a few minutes I even stood up and started to walk again. He was the older of the two, but it was David who spoke of what seemed to be my only option.
Want a piggy back ride? Of course I want a piggy back ride! I quickly clung to his neck as he stood into his natural height. The boys then picked out a few packs of their own before we paid and left the store. We walked slowly down the street as the boys inspected each card, each player, and each statistic. I quickly unwrapped my first pack and shoved the cardboard gum into my tiny mouth. I shrugged and handed him my first pack, and he searched through them. I pretended to search through my second pack as if I knew what to look for.
I realized that a baseball player with my favorite fruit for a last name was rare, and so it seemed to be fate. What do you want me to do with these baseball cards? You still have those? Now…what do you want me to do with them? A mother always knows. She closed the lid and sighed. What if he regrets this?
In that box sat legends. He had nearly succeeded. How was he to know? There was no way for him to know. Baseball is never too old for you. He shook his head lightly as if to rid himself of a faded memory, "Yeah? That's a photograph of Mickey Mantle. I knew nothing of Mickey Mantle though. My mom then came around the corner followed by my two younger sisters. He sighed, "I told mom to throw them away years ago. I pried my gaze away from the photo, "What old cards? He was my favorite. How could he just let her throw them out? How do you throw away your team?
I had no way of knowing. You yelled at them just the other night! He nodded his head, "I know, Case. Tell me about Mickey Mantle. My mom, Kellie, and I sat in the living room watching television when Stefanie rushed out of the master bedroom in a fit of laughter. Mom and I exchanged a concerned look as Stefanie fell to the floor. The tears rolled down her rosy cheeks.
Mom and I looked at one another again. Suddenly from around the corner he appeared. He was still red in the face as he sat down in his green leather recliner. In she published "Alide," a romance in prose drawn from Goethe's autobiography. I feel very proud of the approbation you give to my works, and of the influence you kindly attribute to them on your own talent; an author who writes as you do is not a pupil in art any more; he is not far from being himself a master. About this time occurred the death of her mother, the first break in the home and family circle.
In August of she made a visit to Concord, at the Emersons', memorable enough for her to keep a journal and note down every incident and detail. Very touching to read now, in its almost childlike simplicity is this record of "persons that pass and shadows that remain. Emerson himself meets her at the station, and drives with her in his little one-horse wagon to his home, the gray square house, with dark green blinds, set amidst noble trees. A glimpse of the family, — "the stately, white-haired Mrs. Emerson, and the beautiful, faithful Ellen, whose figure seems always to stand by the side of her august father.
She meets the little set of Concord people: Alcott, for whom she does not share Mr. I do not know whether I was most touched by the thought of the unique, lofty character that had inspired this depth and fervor of friendship, or by the pathetic constancy and pure affection of the poor, desolate old man before me, who tried to conceal his tenderness and sense of irremediable loss by a show of gruffness and philosophy. He never speaks of Thoreau's death," she says, " but always 'Thoreau's loss,' or 'when I lost Mr. Thoreau,' or 'when Mr.
Thoreau went away from Concord;' nor would he confess that he missed him, for there was not a day, an hour, a moment, when he did not feel that his friend was still with him and had never left him. And yet a day or two after," she goes on to say, "when I sat with him in the sunlit wood, looking at the gorgeous blue and silver summer sky, he turned to me and said: None of it looks the same as when I looked at it with him.
Where the hut stood is a little pile of stones, and a sign, 'Site of Thoreau's Hut,' and a few steps beyond is the pond with thickly-wooded shores, — everything exquisitely peaceful and beautiful in the afternoon light, and not a sound to be heard except the crickets or the 'z-ing' of the locusts which Thoreau has described.
Farther on he pointed out to me, in the distant landscape, a low roof, the only one visible, which was the roof of Thoreau's birthplace. He had been over there many times, he said, since he lost Mr. Thoreau, but had never gone in, — he was afraid it might look lonely! But he had often sat on a rock in front of the house and looked at it.
Channing gave her a package, which proved to be a copy of his own book on Thoreau, and the pocket compass which Thoreau carried to the Maine woods and on all his excursions. Before leaving the Emersons she received the proofsheets of her drama of "The Spagnoletto," which was being printed for private circulation.
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- The Sunday Poem : Erica Funkhouser?
She showed them to Mr. Emerson, who had expressed a wish to see them, and, after reading them, he gave them back to her with the comment that they were "good. Every word and line told of richness in the poetry, he said, and as far as he could judge the play had great dramatic opportunities. Early in the autumn "The Spagnoletto" appeared, — a tragedy in five acts, the scene laid in Italy, Without a doubt, every one in these days will take up with misgiving, and like Mr.
Moreover, great names at once appear; great shades arise to rebuke the presumptuous new-comer in this highest realm of expression. The wretched, tiger-like father stabs himself in the presence of his crushed and erring daughter, so that she may forever be haunted by the horror and the retribution of his death. We are left suspended, as it were, over an abyss, our moral judgment thwarted, our humanity outraged. Heretofore we have only had quiet, reflective, passive emotion: Ribera's character is charged like a thunder-cloud with dramatic elements. Maria Rosa is the child of her father, fired at a flash, "deaf, dumb, and blind" at the touch of passion.
This awful joy in mine own heart is love. Exquisitely tender and refined are the love scenes — at the ball and in the garden — between the dashing prince-lover in search of his pleasure and the devoted girl with her heart in her eyes, on her lips, in her hand. Behind them, always like a tragic fate, the sombre figure of the Spagnoletto, and over all the glow and color and soul of Italy.
Very curious is the link between that bitter, mocking, cynic spirit and the refined, gentle spirit of Emma Lazarus. Charmed by the magic of his verse, the iridescent play of his fancy, and the sudden cry of the heart piercing through it all, she is as yet unaware or only vaguely conscious of the real bond between them: Already, in , the storm was gathering.
Province after province took it up. In Bulgaria, Servia, and, above all, Roumania, where, we were told, the sword of the Czar had been drawn to protect the oppressed, Christian atrocities took the place of Moslem atrocities, and history turned a page backward into the dark annals of violence and crime. And not alone in despotic Russia, but in Germany, the seat of modern philosophic thought and culture, the rage of Anti-Semitism broke out and spread with fatal ease and potency.
In Berlin itself tumults and riots were threatened. It was in England that the voice was first raised in behalf of justice and humanity. In January, , there appeared in the "London Times" a series of articles, carefully compiled on the testimony of eye-witnesses, and confirmed by official documents, records, etc. We do not need to recall the sickening details.
The headings will suffice: Nor need we recall the generous outburst of sympathy and indignation from America. Evarts in the meeting at Chickering Hall Wednesday evening, February 4; "it is that it is the oppression of men and women by men and women, and we are men and women. Hitherto Judaism had been a dead letter to her. Of Portuguese descent, her family had always been members of the oldest and most orthodox congregation of New York, where strict adherence to custom and ceremonial was the watchword of faith; but it was only during her childhood and earliest years that she attended the synagogue, and conformed to the prescribed rites and usages which she had now long since abandoned as obsolete and having no bearing on modern life.
Nor had she any great enthusiasm for her own people. As late as April, , she published in "The Century Magazine" an article written probably some months before, entitled "Was the Earl of Beaconsfield a Representative Jew? In view of subsequent, or rather contemporaneous events, the closing paragraph of the article in question is worthy of being cited: The next hundred years will, in our opinion, be the test of their vitality as a people; the phase of toleration upon which they are only now entering will prove whether or not they are capable of growth.
By a curious, almost fateful juxtaposition, in the same number of the magazine appeared Madame Ragozin's defense of Russian barbarity, and in the following May number Emma Lazarus's impassioned appeal and reply, "Russian Christianity versus Modern Judaism. Her verse rang out as it had never rung before, — a clarion note, calling a people to heroic action and unity, to the consciousness and fulfillment of a grand destiny. Mourners in tattered black were there With ashes sprinkled on their hair. Then from the stony peak there rang A blast to ope the graves; down poured The Maccabean clan, who sang Their battle anthem to the Lord.
Five heroes lead, and following, see Ten thousand rush to victory! Oh for Jerusalem's trumpet now, To blow a blast of shattering power, To wake the sleepers high and low, And rouse them to the urgent hour! No hand for vengeance, but to save, A million naked swords should wave. Oh, deem not dead that martial fire, Say not the mystic flame is spent!
With Moses' law and David's lyre, Your ancient strength remains unbent. Let but an Ezra rise anew, To lift the Banner of the Jew! A rag, a mock at first, — erelong, When men have bled and women wept, To guard its precious folds from wrong, Even they who shrunk, even they who slept, Shall leap to bless it and to save. Clash, Israel, the cymbals, touch the lyre, Blow the brass trumpet and the harsh-tongued horn; Chant psalms of victory till the heart take fire, The Maccabean spirit leap new-born.
And "The New Ezekiel: Is this the House of Israel whose pride Is as a tale that's told, an ancient song? Are these ignoble relics all that live Of psalmist, priest, and prophet? Can the breath Of very heaven bid these bones revive, Open the graves, and clothe the ribs of death? Yea, Prophesy, the Lord hath said again: Say to the wind, Come forth and breathe afresh, Even that they may live, upon these slain, And bone to bone shall leap, and flesh to flesh. The spirit is not dead, proclaim the word. Where lay dead bones a host of armed men stand! I ope your graves, my people, saith the Lord, And I shall place you living in your land.
Her whole being renewed and refreshed itself at its very source. She threw herself into the study of her race, its language, literature, and history. Breaking the outward crust, she pierced to the heart of the faith and "the miracle" of its survival.
What was it other than the ever-present, ever-vivifying spirit itself, which cannot die, — the religious and ethical zeal which fires the whole history of the people, and of which she herself felt the living glow within her own soul? She had come upon the secret and the genius of Judaism, — that absolute interpenetration and transfusion of spirit with body and substance which, taken literally, often reduces itself to a question of food and drink, a dietary regulation, and again, in proper splendor, incarnates itself and shines out before humanity in the prophets, teachers, and saviors of mankind.
Those were busy, fruitful years for Emma Lazarus, who worked, not with the pen alone, but in the field of practical and beneficent activity. For there was an immense task to accomplish.
The Sunday Poem : Erica Funkhouser - Gwarlingo
The tide of immigration had set in, and ship after ship came laden with hunted human beings flying from their fellow-men, while all the time, like a tocsin, rang the terrible story of cruelty and persecution, — horrors that the pen refuses to dwell upon. By hundreds and thousands they flocked upon our shores, — helpless, innocent victims of injustice and oppression, panic-stricken in the midst of strange and utterly new surroundings. While under the influence of all the emotions aroused by this great crisis in the history of her race, she wrote the "Dance to Death," a drama of persecution of the twelfth century, founded upon authentic records, — unquestionably her finest work in grasp and scope, and, above all, in moral elevation and purport.
The scene is laid in Nordhausen, a free city of Thuringia, where the Jews, living, as they deemed, in absolute security and peace, were caught up in the wave of persecution that swept over Europe at that time. Accused of poisoning the wells and causing the pestilence, or black death, as it was called, they were condemned to be burned.
We do not here intend to enter upon a critical or literary analysis of the play, or to point out dramatic merits or defects, but we should like to make its readers feel with us the holy ardor and impulse of the writer and the spiritual import of the work. The action is without surprise, the doom fixed from the first; but so glowing is the canvas with local and historic color, so vital and intense the movement, so resistless the "internal evidence," if we may call it thus, penetrating its very substance and form, that we are swept along as by a wave of human sympathy and grief. In place of the personal we have the drama of the universal.
Love is only a flash now, — a dream caught sight of and at once renounced at a higher claim. Why should you tremble? Prince, I am afraid! Afraid of my own heart, my unfathomed joy, A blasphemy against my father's grief, My people's agony! How shall I pray for strength to love him less Than mine own soul! No more of that, I am all Israel's now.
Till this cloud pass, I have no thought, no passion, no desire, Save for my people. Individuals perish, but great ideas survive, — fortitude and courage, and that exalted loyalty and devotion to principle which alone are worth living and dying for. The crowd hoot and jeer at them. Within thy portals, O Jerusalem! The music ceases, a sound of crashing boards is heard and a great cry, — "Hallelujah!
Where shall we find a more triumphant vindication and supreme victory of spirit over matter? We die a thousand deaths, — drown, bleed, and burn. Our ashes are dispersed unto the winds. Yet the wild winds cherish the sacred seed, The waters guard it in their crystal heart, The fire refuseth to consume. For this was the idea that had caught the imagination of Emma Lazarus, — a restored and independent nationality and repatriation in Palestine. The idea formulated by George Eliot has already sunk into the minds of many Jewish enthusiasts, and it germinates with miraculous rapidity.
That is a task which presents itself to me as a duty I am resolved to devote my life to it. At the least, I may awaken a movement in other minds such as has been awakened in my own. In November of appeared her first "Epistle to the Hebrews," — one of a series of articles written for the "American Hebrew," published weekly through several months. Addressing herself now to a Jewish audience, she sets forth without reserve her views and hopes for Judaism, now passionately urging its claims and its high ideals, and again dispassionately holding up the mirror for the shortcomings and peculiarities of her race.
A similar significance seems to attach to the Jews themselves in connection with the people among whom they dwell. They are the intensive form of any nationality whose language and customs they adopt Influenced by the same causes, they represent the same results; but the deeper lights and shadows of their Oriental temperament throw their failings, as well as their virtues, into more prominent relief.
In drawing the epistles to a close, February 24, , she thus summarizes the special objects she has had in view: First , in a return to the varied pursuits and broad system of physical and intellectual education adopted by our ancestors; Second , in a more fraternal and practical movement towards alleviating the sufferings of oppressed Jews in countries less favored than our own; Third , in a closer and wider study of Hebrew literature and history; and finally, in a truer recognition of the large principles of religion, liberty, and law upon which Judaism is founded, and which should draw into harmonious unity Jews of every shade of opinion.
Her interest in Jewish affairs was at its height when she planned a visit abroad, which had been a long-cherished dream, and May 15, , she sailed for England, accompanied by a younger sister. We have difficulty in recognizing the tragic priestess we have been portraying in the enthusiastic child of travel who seems new-born into a new world. From the very outset she is in a maze of wonder and delight. At sea she writes: In the afternoon we passed a ship in full sail, near enough to exchange salutes and cheers. After tossing about for six days without seeing a human being, except those on our vessel, even this was a sensation.
Then an hour or two before sunset came the great sensation of — land! At first, nothing but a shadow on the far horizon, like the ghost of a ship; two or three widely scattered rocks which were the promontories of Ireland, and sooner than we expected we were steaming along low-lying purple hills. Then Chester, with its quaint, picturesque streets, "like the scene of a Walter Scott novel, the cathedral planted in greenness, and the clear, gray river where a boatful of scarlet dragoons goes gliding by.
She "drinks in, at every sense, the sights, sounds, and smells, and the unimaginable beauty of it all. She was received with great distinction by the Jews, and many of the leading men among them warmly advocated her views. But it was not alone from her own people that she met with exceptional consideration. She had the privilege of seeing many of the most eminent personages of the day, all of whom honored her with special and personal regard.
There was, no doubt, something that strongly attracted and attached people to her at this time, — the force of her intellect at once made itself felt, while at the same time the unaltered simplicity and modesty of her character, and her readiness and freshness of enthusiasm, kept her still almost like a child. There are ruins on every side in Paris," she says; "ruins of the Commune, or the Siege, or the Revolution; it is terrible — it seems as if the city were seared with fire and blood.
Such was Paris to her then, and she hastens back to her beloved London, starting from there on the tour through England that has been mapped out for her. She drives through Kent, "where the fields, valleys, and slopes are garlanded with hops and ablaze with scarlet poppies. Back to London, and then north through York, Durham, and Edinburgh, and on the 15th of September she sails for home. Long after, in strange, dark hours of suffering, these pictures of travel arose before her, vivid and tragic even in their hold and spell upon her.
The winter of was not especially productive. She wrote a few reminiscences of her journey and occasional poems on Jewish themes, which appeared in the " American Hebrew;" but for the most part she gave herself up to quiet retrospect and enjoyment with her friends of the life she had had a glimpse of, and the experience she had stored, — a restful, happy period. In August of the same year she was stricken with a severe and dangerous malady, from which she slowly recovered, only to go through a terrible ordeal and affliction.
Her father's health, which had long been failing, now broke down completely, and the whole winter was one long strain of acute anxiety, which culminated in his death, in March, The blow was a crushing one for Emma. Truly, the silver cord was loosed, and the golden bowl was broken. Life lost its meaning and its charm.
Her father's sympathy and pride in her work had been her chief incentive and ambition, and had spurred her on when her own confidence and spirit failed. Never afterwards did she find complete and spontaneous expression. She spent the summer very quietly at Richmond, an ideally beautiful spot in Yorkshire, where she soon felt the beneficial influence of her peaceful surroundings. In the autumn she goes on the Continent, visiting the Hague, which "completely fascinates" her, and where she feels "stronger and more cheerful" than she has "for many a day.
All the ghosts of the Revolution are somehow laid," she writes, and she spends six weeks here enjoying to the full the gorgeous autumn weather, the sights, the picture galleries, the bookshops, the whole brilliant panorama of the life; and early in December she starts for Italy. The beauty of the world, — what a rapture and intoxication it is, and how it bursts upon her in the very land of beauty, "where Dante and where Petrarch trod! Then a month in Florence, which is still more entrancing with its inexhaustible treasures of beauty and art; and finally Rome, the climax of it all, — "wiping out all other places and impressions, and opening a whole new world of sensations.
I am wild with the excitement of this tremendous place. Peter's, besides the ruins on the streets and on the hills, and the graves of Shelley and Keats. I don't only mean those beautiful graves overgrown with acanthus and violets, but the mutilated arches and columns and dumb appealing fragments looming up in the glowing sunshine under the Roman blue sky. I am even out of humor with pictures; a bit of broken stone or of a bas-relief, or a Corinthian column standing out against this lapis-lazuli sky, or a tremendous arch, are the only things I can look at for the moment, — except the Sistine Chapel, which is as gigantic as the rest, and forces itself upon you with equal might.
Already, in February, spring is in the air; "the almond-trees are in bloom, violets cover the grass, and oh! Early in March she leaves Rome, consoled with the thought of returning the following winter. In June she was in England again, and spent the summer at Malvern. Disease was no doubt already beginning to prey upon her, for she was oppressed at times by a langour and heaviness amounting almost to lethargy. When she returned to London, however, in September, she felt quite well again, and started for another tour in Holland, which she enjoyed as much as before.
She then settled in Paris to await the time when she could leave for Italy. But she was attacked at once with grave and alarming symptoms, that betokened a fatal end to her malady. But the weeks passed and the months also; slowly and gradually the hope faded. The journey to Italy must be given up; she was not in condition to be brought home, and she reluctantly resigned herself to remain where she was and "convalesce," as she confidently believed, in the spring. Once again came the analogy, which she herself pointed out now, to Heine on his mattress-grave in Paris.
She, too, the last time she went out, dragged herself to the Louvre, to the feet of the Venus, "the goddess without arms, who could not help. She sunk to a very low ebb, but, as she herself expressed it, she "seemed to have always one little window looking out into life," and in the spring she rallied sufficiently to take a few drives and to sit on the balcony of her apartment.
She came back to life with a feverish sort of thirst and avidity. Many plans were made for leaving Paris, but it was finally decided to risk the ocean voyage and bring her home, and accordingly she sailed July 23d, arriving in New York on the last day of that month. She did not rally after this; and now began her long agony, full of every kind of suffering, mental and physical.
Only her intellect seemed kindled anew, and none but those who saw her during the last supreme ordeal can realize that wonderful flash and fire of the spirit before its extinction. Never did she appear so brilliant. Wasted to a shadow, and between acute attacks of pain, she talked about art, poetry, the scenes of travel, of which her brain was so full, and the phases of her own condition, with an eloquence for which even those who knew her best were quite unprepared.
Every faculty seemed sharpened and every sense quickened as the "strong deliveress" approached, and the ardent soul was released from the frame that could no longer contain it. We cannot restrain a feeling of suddenness and incompleteness and a natural pang of wonder and regret for a life so richly and so vitally endowed thus cut off in its prime. But for us it is not fitting to question or repine, but rather to rejoice in the rare possession that we hold. What is any life, even the most rounded and complete, but a fragment and a hint? What Emma Lazarus might have accomplished, had she been spared, it is idle and even ungrateful to speculate.
What she did accomplish has real and peculiar significance. To be born a Jewess was a distinction for Emma Lazarus, and she in turn conferred distinction upon her race. To be born a woman also lends a grace and a subtle magnetism to her influence. Nowhere is there contradiction or incongruity. Her works bear the imprint of her character, and her character of her works; the same directness and honesty, the same limpid purity of tone, and the same atmosphere of things refined and beautiful. The vulgar, the false, and the ignoble, — she scarcely comprehended them, while on every side she was open and ready to take in and respond to whatever can adorn and enrich life.
Literature was no mere "profession" for her, which shut out other possibilities; it was only a free, wide horizon and background for culture. She was passionately devoted to music, which inspired some of her best poems; and during the last years of her life, in hours of intense physical suffering, she found relief and consolation in listening to the strains of Bach and Beethoven.
When she went abroad, painting was revealed to her, and she threw herself with the same ardor and enthusiasm into the study of the great masters; her last work left unfinished was a critical analysis of the genius and personality of Rembrandt. Has that eager, passionate striving ceased, that hunger and thirst which we call life, and "is the rest silence? But would we break, if we could, that repose, that silence and mystery and peace everlasting? You have lost the richest feast in the world for hungry eyes.
Mine own hands wreathed the dropping pearls in her hair, and pearls again were clasped around her throat. But no, I might tell thee every ornament — her jeweled fan, her comb of pearls, her floating veil of gauze, and still the best of all would escape us. Thou knowest not woman truly, for all thy wit.
I speak most like a woman when I weigh the worth of beauty and rich apparel. I have felt the need of this. Thou, good Luca, who might have been my father, canst understand me? He was as poor as thou. Why shouldst thou be his lackey, his slave? My hand were as dainty as hers, if it could but be spared its daily labor.
One Address, Many Stories
Yes, poor child, I understand thee, and yet thou art wrong. He is more slave to pride than I am to him. I know him well, Fiametta, after so many years of service, and to-day I pity him more than I fear him. If my limbs be weary, I sleep; but I have seen him sit before his canvas with straining eyes and the big beads standing on his brow. When at last he gave o'er, and I have smoothed his pillow, and served and soothed him, what sleep could he snatch? His brain is haunted with evil visions, whereof some be merely of his own imagining, and others the phantoms of folk who are living or have lived, and who rouse his jealousy or mayhap his remorse, God only knows!
If that be genius — to be alive to pain at every pore, to be possessed of a devil that robs you of your sleep and grants no space between the hours of grinding toil — I thank the saints I am a simple man! I grant thee thou mayst be right concerning him; he hath indeed a strange, sour mien.