Tucker, Mary E.
Loew's Bridge A Broadway Idle
Is not as pure as Southern cotton field;
With flakes of soon bursting from boils of
Like some imprisoned genius scorning to be
Confined by laws, which bind society,
And breaking bonds is wafted on the breeze
Of public favor, or gathered by the slaves
Of Fashion, whose vile hands
Pollute its purity.
True, fragments now and then
Are gently taken to the hearts of men--
White flowers of fancy oftimes sink to rest
Deep in the wells of some fair maiden's breast:
32Pure in themselves, they yet become more fair
By contact with the holy thoughts in there.
Cotton oriel slaves, 'twas thus we counted
The slaves are free, the free in bondage sold;
And now some man with is are prolific brains,
Genius inventive, by the name of Gaines,
Has made a bitters of the cotton plant;
Polluting thus the hitherto white name
By clothing it the vile badge of shame.
White, glaring white, is all the earth
And Broadway seems a "universe of snow."
33Or like the Ocean's silver-crested waves,
Upon whose breasts thousands of barks are,
Some brave the storm,--by cautious pilots
Some strike on breakers, ere they reach the
And are forever lost.
E'er yet the sun his quarter's course had run,
Buyers and sellers their day's work begun.
Behind the counter patiently they toil,
Nor mingle with the busy passing throng;
34Save here and there, an eager care-faced man,
Who wiping cold dew from his tortured brow,
Seeks "Wall," to borrow wherewithal to pay
The rude, insulting, taunting, clamorous crew,
Who all-importunate demand their due.
Teachers of truth, now with the throng pass
Some hypocrites, with sanctimonious air,
Sin in their hearts, upon their faces prayer.
Preaching the truth, and living but a lie,
Make me repeat this maxim ever good--
"I am more afraid of Error in the guise of
35Than Truth in garb of Error."(
Brave was the man, his heart was pure and
Who, from the pulpit, said the world was wrong
To clothe the Prodigal in direst shame,
And bless the brother with a stainless name.
'Tis to the dying that the doctors give
The healing potion, that will make them live.
No, not the righteous did Christ come to save,
The weak need courage, not the strong and
He passes now, upon his face a smile
36That faces wear, when hearts are free from
"Church of the strangers,"(
) I have watched
Have seen thee from a mustard seed spring
And in thy towering majesty arise,
Until thy spreading branches touched the skies,
All honor be to him whose tender care
Has raised the sapling to a tree so fair.
And "Norwood's" author, whose great study's,
37Seems seeking on this thoroughfare to find
Some subject for his mighty mind
To dwell upon--
With which to charm the senses of the millions
Who throng to hear him, for he's Fashion's
As one will be, who makes his church a theatre,
His pulpit but a stage.
Religion in this wise, enlightened day,
Is free to all, that is, if all have gold;
The vilest sinner is absolved for pay,
And to him wide the grand church-doors unfold,
38But woe to him who fain would enter in
The gilded fold, whose poverty's his sin.
Now is the Hall clock on the stroke of One ;
The Sultans of the journalistic art,
Some without brains, and many without heart,
Come forth to lord it, and in one short hour
The City'll quake beneath its ruling power.
The daily press,
Whose influence is almighty,
Then it should
Feed greedy masses, with the pure and good,
Not gather like the great Jove-headed Wood
39The daily slander, or the last sensation,
Showing our shame to every foreign nation.
He's for the South! what care I if he is,
Good can be found here, we have evil South.
I honor for his love of right
And justice, but my truthful muse
Can give no merit to the "Evening News."
The "Evening Mail" I grant an honored place
In the home circle, for its columns bear
Naught save the pure, no badge of our disgrace,
Nothing that Age of Youth would blush to see,
40The Poet editor,(
) whose graceful rhyme
Touches the heart like the soft, sweet chime
Of memory bells, approaches now.
His hair is silvered by the hand of Time,
But his eyes still beam with the youth sublime
That wells from the heart; the poetic fire
That lives, and lives, through years and years,
Whose brightness is dimmed not by joys nor
Ah! now I see in the passing throng
A "prophet and poet," our "king of song,"(
The bard of Erin, as brave and true
41A "Private," as ever wore the blue,
Whose bright lights of genius most brilliantly
When kindled on altar of love and-- wine.
Now comes a white-haired man with mild and
Kind, gentle eyes, who bears an honored name,
Beloved by friend, revered by even foe,
Wields the pen-sceptre with majestic grace, (
Who, by example, soothed a people's hate,
And saved a nation from the cursing woe
And bitter shame of striking conquered foe--
42Was once a farmer's lad in the old "Granite
The hardy sons of stern New England's soil,
Taught from their birth to fear not want, nor
Bear not the marks of the most dire disease
That Southerners inherit,-- love of ease
Well, times have changed, the galling chain
That made the black man bow
Subservient to a master's mighty will,
Is broken for Eternity;
And with that chain the cord that bound
43Our Southern souls in idleness to earth,
Wealth earned by others, strown with lavish
With but one power, the power to command,
And on Ambition's wings our eager soul
Can reach the mount, Ambition's much-prized
And grasping to our hearts the specter Fame,
We faint to find the goddess but a name.
Dreaming again! Ah, how the memory clings,
To the dead past; a touch but opes the door
Of the dim vista of departed years,
And phantoms of our hopes and fears,
In dreamy indistinct array,
Seem flitting up and down this snowy way.
A loaded wagon now, has ope'd the door--
"Wilcox and Gibbs'" machine -- and nothing
Now, I am in the sunny land of flowers,
And smell the perfume from the jasmine bowers;
By opened window sit I half my days,
Sewing the while, but stopping oft to gaze
At two bright fairies, who with sable friends