Win Scott and Jo Labadie

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RACK TO NATURE. ^^ £3 ACK to nature," we smiling said, we two I J Who lazed and loitered all that autumn day-

Iii full content along the river's edge, Whose waters rippled silver'neath the boughs, With just the faintest murmur in their flow.

We plucked the purple lobes from wreathing vines,

In tangles wild the regal asters grew, And o'er the marsh the mallows spilled their gold.

A calm, still day, with softest veiling haze, The toilers busy midst the rustling corn, That gleamed like wigwams along the rounded hills,

Where chirped the lazy crickcts in the sun.

The silent leaf that left the crimson thorn,

The traces still of blooms we dearly loved, With miles on miles in banks of yellowing ferns

In woodland glades, where soft sun harmonies Made all that care-free day most beautiful.

So slipped the rosary of joyous hours

Till sunset spread a cloth of shining gold Across the shoulders of the drowsy hills

And touched the placid stream with level rays.

Soft-purple shadows trod the heels of day; Night settled down and showed the steadfast stars.

We then the drift-wood heaped and lit the flame, And feasted then on maize and luscious fruits, A frugal meal partaken of with zest

Then laid us down upon the soft, warm earth;

The night made vocal with the insects' call; And thru it all anon came tinkles faint Of far-off bells to us at peace beneath the stars. Winfield L. Scott.

October, 1906.


HE mellow wail of the wild wood whim

For absent souls was tuned in our ears, And the music lured like a siren's song. Friend Scott and I, with anxious hearts And ears like Indians', close to the sounding ground,

To catch the mossy-cushioned tread of the

unrestrained, Heard freedom's far-off hallooing, And so one golden day in autum's glow We left the dust and noise of the reckless town, Where life and limb become the daily prey Of modern Juggernauts, whose rubber wheels, Silent as a panther's tread and hungry eyes agleam,

Creep cruelly a-swift upon their unsuspecting

victims with honk and screech And crunch their brittle bones and scatter sacred

flesh along the painful pave; Where ignorant poverty bows its fawning face

To ignorant power; where business makes

believe that plunder-profit wisdom proves; And toil, with aching, breaking back, loaded With parasites, groans in the noisome shadows Of its own foolish folly of living in piled-up

boxes, small and mean, When the beckoning land cries full-throated for fellowship,

Where helping hands may yield a worthy life, Tho the law has usurious hands about its struggling neck.

Ere long we leave the scooting car, With its clang and clatter, its roar and racket, Its twang and tintinnabulations, Like an orchestra of hell, and its fetid fumes And noisome smells, we come into a peaceful vale,

Its sides aslope with variegated reds and greens

and browns, nature's kaleidoscope, Frank autumn hues put on with natures stintless brush,

Where sylvan silence softly soothes contentment in embrace.

In a shady nook, close to the rippling water's glint, we sit

Within an ell a serpent slyly slides

Into the stream and sends a shuddering chill

Adown my spinal nerves, for never yet

Have I o'ercome the childish dread that Satan's

Form is serpentine, and mortal enmity to man

his never-ending mission; And a sassy chipmunk spouts his brazen protest At intrusion unintentional.

Along the Rouge's sinuous banks Our faithful feet cross fallow fields, And fields replete with foods for man and beast; Lactiferous lowlands purveying munching cows; Saintly-visaged ewes and lambs with lovely eyes That look like candid moons in full, So tender, good and free from guile, Almost to prompt the kindly wish to plant anew Their lusterous kindliness 'neath human brows

- we wot well of; And stern-eyed rams, whose threatening horns And stamping hoofs give evidence of fight potential;

And a gentle mother horse with generations three,

Who follow close for friendship's sake;

And rugged ridges bristling with brambles thick,

Whose prickly points resent the ruthless ways

Of urbanites on idle pleasures bent, If joy-producing things can useless be. Ah! what relief from narrow walls That hem within the city's heat and grime And irk with work unnatural and vain, And shut without the godly good of sun and air and liberty!

Upon the Rouge's balmy banks, Where once the red man, unsullied by the white

man's guile and civil plunderings, Lit his wigwam fires and wooed his wild wood bride,

We lay our listless lengths along, Flat on our backs, and thru the leafy tracery Against the lucid sky we gaze and dream. We watch the wooly clouds move mopingly, Like tired sheep upon a sultry day, And when the jading journey's sweat runs rivulets

Adown the heated spine we plunge

Into the tinted flood that gives the stream its

reddish name And fresh the thews for further jaunt. The while I lie upon my naked back in sunny sand,

Like infant innocence on mother's breast,

My jocund friend in artless fun

Shoots shots of shadows of my Apollo form

Upon tell-tale films, from which to ornament his

wicked den, As with grim trophies of the chase, And shock the Grundys into feinting faints.

At Duboisville, a drowsy hamlet near the streamlet's side, We while a word with Farrington, A rugged habitant of this hoarv-headed town, A cross-roads sage full of cornstalk filosofy,

Who smooths the way with unctious words. And then we lounge upon a modern bridge

below the crooning mill That sings its madrigals in plaintive tones, As an aged bard of ancient days, Bewailing the dizzyness of modem ways; And village maidens pass with smiles and greetings filled with rural fellowship. Tho new to us, no strangers they, As strangers have no welcome in their souls And pass one by as floating icebergs in northern seas.

The moistening mouth, nature's unerring . regulator, Tells us 'tis time to break our hungry fast, 7

And so beneath a friendly willow's languid limbs We sit upon the sod and jaw our frugal fare. And then again we jog along, in God's own freedom,

O'er bog and hummocked fields, thru brake, Amid the crackling corn that wage the workers well

And wave their yellow flags at us, And in the dusty road that winds and weaves Along the most inviting ways with serpent sinuosity,

And guides our feet to where a feeder of the

nation whiles his life in humble toil And simple motherhood breeds a moilsome race. We here enjoy the wheezy pumps refreshing tin, And rural hospitality fills full our bags with fruit. We leave a pleasing word for family and dog And follow whimsey's random way. Up the tiring hill we go, and down the pushing

summit's side, And in atween the wire fences' stabbing barbs, And over fences green with age and weak with

weather-wasted stamina, Whose builders long ago have paid in productive

mold, pound for pound, The debt which nature laid upon their lives.

A lonely lane, as silently as Chirnborazo's topmost peak, Leads up to Boden's well-kept yard, Where, in social nearness, chum abodes for

man and beast— An old brick home, cozy, low and rambling,

neatly care in every nook, And bursting barns, and stables trim and clean. Here kingly cocks aplume their sway, And swine and kine commune in peaceful comradeship,

A lesson learning the human crowd, Who grab and hoard in greediness, when

plenty's hands. In drunken generosity, keep doling out with never-ending stintlessness.

Across the rolling stubble field we gain the wood.

With admiration nigh unto cupidity we gaze With artist eves at fairy landscapes toil and

nature wrought. Low in the teeming vale winds like a wriggling worm

The pregnant stream we left a meager while ago, Where lazy kine knee deep into its limpid luxury -9

Demonstrate wisdom over man by Fletcherize-

ing long their noonday meal, Busy hurry being stranger to their polity. Dotting the hillside sward lie cozy cottages in restful ease,

Like Easter lilies fair upon a leisure-billowed sea, And round about big-bellied barns of red, With forked rods to keep the lightning off, Tell the story of willing work and skilful management.

The fleecy flocks with fearless feet here frisk, Great orchards burdened joyously with succulent abundance. Undulating fields full of golden promises, And blotchy foliage of colors bold and masterful Fringe the horizon along the purpling sky.

Awhile we swim entranced this sea of sensual luxury,

And leave reluctantly these servants of our joy. We stumble thru like drunken men The jungle's undergrowth in sweet pursuit of tales to tell the credulous in coming days.

Buttermilk is scarce in these suburban latitudes,

As unpoetic enterprise lias robbed the milkmaid of her job, And senseless wheels and cranks in urban factories

Now do the work she used to do and ape the

songs she used to sing. The golden butter made within the sound of

bossy's moo No longer spreads the noonday lunch. But once along the joyous route do we appease Our thirst with buttermilk, and then the drink Is sweeter than the acrid face that serves our wish so grudgingly.

And now the shadows towards the east fast longer grow. The reins upon our feet we gently draw And cast about for where to mend our waning strength—

Some inviting stack of straw or fragrant hay, A shock of yellow corn or mow anear an ample roof, where pattering rain may sing our eyes asleep, Or mayhap a farmer's homespun hospitality.

But Fate is stingy of her weal, and so we Ramble on, as eveningtide, mother of night, 11

Leads further from our hope. With golden Snuffers the light of day's put out and we are

in a blackened maze. My early woodman ways come handy to me now. Soon a crackling fire blazes cheerily And roasts the milky corn that Winfield L. llad borrowed from a wavy field with firm intent Of bringing back some rectifying day. Experiences in early youth with Indian tribes, When Potowattomies had simpler ways Of satisfying simple needs than with utensil Artfulness—ere Michigan was robbed of nature's Ample store for natures nearest relatives— Help in emergencies like this, and so we fare As guileless children of the wooded wilds, Squatting on the sands beside the gabbling brook.

Weariness soon lays us down upon the clean, Warm bank, and sleep unwooed comes with Its tools to deftly mend our elemental wastes. No coverlets besides the spangled blue, No mattresses besides the plastic sand, No pillows save some flotsam blocks of maple soft Make our welcome bed or soothe us to our rest.

We early rise, in company of a manly day—

Red-haired, broad-shouldered, narrow-hipped, Smiling-faced and supple-limbec!—and make our way

To Woodward Avenue, whence we swiftly home-ward glide

In a modern car pulled and pushed by God's

electric hands, Baggaged with pleasant memories of a Delightful jaunt along the River Rouge!


Saturday evening., November 26, /go.f, with Mr. and Airs. IV. IV. Cat/in and Air. and Dr. Yarros, / attended a concert by the Theodore Thomas Orchestra, composed of go instruments, at the Auditorium, Chicago. The Alight of Music is a result. The program is followed somewhat closelv in its construction.



Molded sound to suit my woodman whims And with harmonious glamor soothed my soul. I sat entranced, my spell bound spirit steeped in mellow moods,

While tears of joy were banked by fear Lest fellow listeners might merry make Were my welled emotions suffered flow As my simple nature moved.

Theodore Thomas, mighty master of melodious tones, Weird Wizard of musical witcheries, Sultan of Sound and Lord of Orchestra, Charmed the muses with his wonderful wand And levied lyric toll as they passed him by, Disbursing its luxurious worth to willing ears. They came in my reverie with fiddle and flagelot, flute and fife;

With accordion and bugle and bagpipe; With lyre, lute, viol, psaltery; With clarion, cymbal, cornet, castinet, clarinet; With mandolin, monochord, harmonicon, harp;

^r? SAT one welcome, well-remembered eve blfi With cherished friends where music makers

With trombone, tuning-fork, triangle, trumpet; With pipe and drum and gong and bones and oboe; With tomtom and trombone and tabor and timbrel; With guitar and gittern and rebeck and banjo; With whistle and rattle and piano and dulcimer ami hurdy-gurdy,

And the myriad tools with which sound makes music.

As close to the sky as we could climb We sat and saw the starry silver of song and story, And reveled in rhythm wilh jeweled joy.

My feelings ran the gamut of sensation,

From the base note of woe to the high C of bliss. ♦

The roar of Niagara grandly swelled

And rippling rills so softly sang.

With sunken sound and deep old ocean's liquid sigh

The hearing sought with soothing strains;

And I heard wedding bells, and Christmas belts, and

fire bells, and funeral bells; And sirens sang seductive songs and becked with fairy

fingers fondly crooked; And happy Negro melodies floated in the air; While birdlings twittered here and yon,

And sharp, shrill notes, with dulcet airs infused, were «

wafted far and high. Close to my heart shy, lovelorn doves amorously cooed and wooed,

And discordantly the caw of crow gave stress to harmony.

1 heard the horses' neigh afield;

The long, low m-o-o of homeward winding herds;

The shepherd's horn across the evening hills,

The bark of his dog, the m-a-a-h of his fold.

The tuneful air brought to my ear the peaceful vesper bell,

And with the incense came the choir's lulling chants

And the trembling organ's solemn symphony.

The cackle, bleat and grunt of farmyard in bucolic

rhythm came to me; And the hoot of the horned owl; And the grind of the hungry mill; And the buzz of the brazen bee; And the yelp of the wary wolf; And the sigh of the sorrowing pine; And the prattling babe with its clattering rattle; And the loving mother's lullaby; And the marching ranks of raiding troops, With the rapid rattle of murderous musketry; And the cannon's calamitous boom; And the blighting sweep of cruel swords; And the shocking curses of angry foes; And the wail of the wounded warrior; And above all this terrible tumult I heard the martial

music of murdering hordes, And then I understood why the ruthless rulers of the world

Mix heavenly melody with their wanton wars, For I could then have fought to death for any cause, good or bad,

As the mighty power of measured sound moved me at

its capricious will. How it nerved my brawn to brutal blows; How it crammed my conscience with crufcl possibilities! I low gorged with rage at social wrongs the poor endure!

I low fire and sword and revolution surged thru my soul like angry seas!

How it filled my heart with amatory zeal—

IIow fervently my love I'd lay at my lady's dainty feet!

And then the woodland echoes soothed my harrowed nerves,

And the crickets, and the treetoads, and the frogs, and the cicadas

Sang their strident songs of social service to me

And made me feel the whole world one helpful household.

I saw fickle fairies flit from leaf to flower in terpsichorean fancies, keeping time with tunes the zephyrs hummed on silken webs.

I saw stolid Russian peasant folk reel in rhythm in rustic dances.

I saw supple Arabs whirl in a wilderness of gyrations.

I saw stalwart red men dance gr.otesquely and heard their savage songs.

I saw Chinese men and maMens ebb and flow, curvet, wabble, shake and swing.

I saw Parisian automatons wheel - and waggle, bow and bob, in concord with machine-made music.

I saw Vulcan and heard his anvil ring.

I saw Pan and listed to his pulsing pipe.

I saw Jupiter hurl the thunder along resounding skies,

And felt the lightning's thrill in every nerve.

Apollo passed before my grateful gaze and sang his song of victory.

And the winds whistled.

And the caverns groaned.

And volcanoes cracked the air with sulphuric force.

And the earth itself rocked as a cradle with rhythmic rhyme, luring to dreamland, where death is dread less.

And the songs of Confucius and of Buddha and of Christ

Of peace on earth to men of good will

Echoed over the undulating years and thru the vales of

my heart, And the regretted finale awakened me And made me mark the magic might of music.

December, 1904.


WEET music's strains unbind the chains Of passions in my breast, O'erpower me with ecstasy, From wildest zeal to rest.

They make me mad, they make me glad,

They make me weep with woe, Cry out aloud, with joy enshroud, And all my senses glow.

As a mating dove they make me love,

My fond affections swell; Now reverie posseses me, Then hate as hot as hell.

With amorous bliss the savage kis3

Comes billowed to my lips; I then could kill with demon will, Could flay my loves with whips.

They bring to me in memory

My savage ancestors, And like a flood my savage blood In savage torrent pours.

With languor deep they soothe to sleep

Like liquors of a dream,— An undertow of sunset glow, A joyousness supreme.

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You mortal weakness who slighted me for spineless cause.

You who pretended friendship and hurt my heart with Insult;

You who loved me with a wealth of words and hated me in your heart;

You wbos* white words turned black as sloe in meaning:;

You who smiled as a sunny morning into my friendly face and scowled like a stormy night at my 'fenseless back;

You who fondled me with silken hands and cut my honor with venomed claws;

You who pleaded sweet forgiveness and aped vindictive Nemesis in vengoance;

You who were fanatical for freedom In fancy, but fierce for fetters In fact;

You who honeyed words for my ears and bitt^red them for listening ones;

You who promised me golden loyalty and gave me tarnished perfidy.

You who were brave as an ocean breeze in fondness for me In the calm of approval, and faint from fear in the storm of criticism;

You who counted me a Solomon to my face and addiepate to Inclining ears;

You who vote me honest to my friends and damn with doubt to those who know me not.

Think you I love you less In the large because of this?

Think you I clutter my heart with trashy hat* and gloat In it?

Think you the alchemy of your wretched baseness turns my red heart black?

Think you I cannot see your wicked weakness weakens yourielf most?

Think you 1 do not know that more than ever you need the good that I can do?

Think you I have on hand wherewith to pay you back in kind?

The Fates forbid!

And &o I wish with a whopping wish the warmth of wisdom will warm your heart.

I pray to prudence to prick your pride and keep you safe in the path of peace.

I long for the light that leads to joy to pierce the cloud that shades your soul.

I yearn for the time the spirit of love will lead you to ponder in candor's spell.

The sails of malice ne'er reach my port, nor resentment cargoes go from me.

Are the woes of the world not weighty enough without weighing them down with senseless spleen, and crook our backs with the rheum of wrath?

No festering pride prevents me praying forgiveness for fancied wrong or real harm I've done to you.

And gladly I give the key to my heart where seek you may for evil aim.

Who asks forgiveness absolves his guilt, and the unforgiving condemn themselves.

Unload yourselves, beloved ones!

Throw off resentment, spleen, animosity, revenge, bad thoughts, unkindness and frown and fume

And see how light your heart will grow;

How buoyant then will be your step;

How smiles will lace your brightening face and Joyness lift your grounded eyes;

How stiff your back will soon become and straight your shoulders set across;

How welcome hands will eagerly greet your welcome hand*;

How bHghter the sun will surely shine.

How more beautiful the moon will be;

How more bracing the salubrious air;

Kow more glorious the witching: world.

Resentment breeds tormenting bile, and gloomy offspring curse their guilty parentage.

I'm wistfully waiting word from you that all is well.


(Who lOd s sun si ruck to death white hauling water pipe for the Detroit Water Commission, Aug. 2j, jgob.)

1 le never did no one no harm, An* paid his debts as best he could;

lie done his work with simple charm, Ez eny simple feller would.

lie had small larnin out o' books, An' wa'n't ez wise ez Solon, see!

He wa'n't Adonis ez ter looks. But done his stunts in modesty.

He druv his team a-mcny year, Till George an' Jim were churns ter him,

An' none o' them didn't hev no fear Ter tackle jobs with harty vim.

lie cum an' went as did th' day— Jes jogged along without no noise;

An' when he got his skinny pay He guv it all fer fambly joy>.

lie tuck a lot o' needless wrongs Without no very nasty kick;

An' suckumstances sharped the prongs Thet kem his way so fast an' thick.

But, goodness! he wuz like th rest Thet thinks their wrongs is natural,

An' takes what cums cz tho 'iv/uz best, No matter how unrashunaf.

He didn't kno thet things on earth Is very much ez mortals make —

Thct sense don't giv ter toilers derth Uv homes an clothes an meat an cake.

Bob is gone! The slave is ded, Ez slave iz him who tugs away

In lace of soshul wrongs, insted Uv joinin in the rightin fray!

We past th' hat fer Mrs. Bob

Ter git th' vounguns things they need.

Ther wa'n't enuf in Hendrie's job: Tho wc purtend th' Christly creed!

But, eneywav, wc kuverd him With flowers alive he cudent have,

Ez in this way we tries ter trim Fer givin sores insted uv salve!

— Sept., 1906



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