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Here rests a writer, great but not immense,
Born destitute of feeling and of sense.
No power he but o'er his brain desired--
How not to suffer it to be inspired.
Ideas unto him were all unknown,
Proud of the words which, only, were his own.
So unreflecting, so confused his mind,
Torpid in error, indolently blind,
A fever Heaven, to quicken him, applied,
But, rather than revive, the sluggard died.
Pause, stranger--whence you lightly tread
Bill Carr's immoral part has fled.
For him no heart of woman burned,
But all the rivers' heads he turned.
Alas! he now lifts up his eyes
In torment and for water cries,
Entreating that he may procure
One drop to cool his parched McClure!
Here's crowbait!--ravens, too, and daws
Flock hither to advance their caws,
And, with a sudden courage armed,
Devour the foe who once alarmed--
In life and death a fair deceit:
Nor strong to harm nor good to eat.
King bogey of the scarecrow host,
When known the least affrighting most,
Though light his hand (his mind was dark)
He left on earth a straw Berry mark.
THE REV. JOSEPH
He preached that sickness he could floor
By prayer and by commanding;
When sick himself he sent for four
Physicians in good standing.
He was struck dead despite their care,
For, fearing their dissension,
He secretly put up a prayer,
Thus drawing God's attention.
Cynic perforce from studying mankind
In the false volume of his single mind,
He damned his fellows for his own unworth,
And, bad himself, thought nothing good on earth.
Yet, still so judging and so erring still,
Observing well, but understanding ill,
His learning all was got by dint of sight,
And what he learned by day he lost by night.
When hired to flatter he would never cease
Till those who'd paid for praises paid for peace.
Not wholly miser and but half a knave,
He yearned to squander but he lived to save,
And did not, for he could not, cheat the grave.
Hic jacet Pixley, scribe and muleteer:
Step lightly, stranger, anywhere but here.
McAllister, of talents rich and rare,
Lies at this spot at finish of his race.
Alike to him if it is here or there:
The one spot that he cared for was the ace.
Here lies Joseph Redding, who gave us the catfish.
He dined upon every fish except that fish.
'Twas touching to hear him expounding his fad
With a heart full of zeal and a mouth full of shad.
The catfish miaowed with unspeakable woe
When Death, the lone fisherman, landed their Jo.
Judge Sawyer, whom in vain the people tried
To push from power, here is laid aside.
Death only from the bench could ever start
The sluggish load of his immortal part.
John Irish went, one luckless day,
To loaf and fish at San Jose.
He got no loaf, he got no fish:
They brained him with an empty dish!
They laid him in this place asleep--
O come, ye crocodiles, and weep.
In Sacramento City here
This wooden monument we rear
In memory of Dr. May,
Whose smile even Death could not allay.
He's buried, Heaven alone knows where,
And only the hyenas care;
This May-pole merely marks the spot
Where, ere the wretch began to rot,
Fame's trumpet, with its brazen bray,
Bawled; "Who (and why) was Dr. May?"
Dennis Spencer's mortal coil
Here is laid away to spoil--
Great riparian, who said
Not a stream should leave its bed.
Now his soul would like a river
Turned upon its parching liver.
For those this mausoleum is erected
Who Stanford to the Upper House elected.
Their luck is less or their promotion slower,
For, dead, they were elected to the Lower.
Beneath this stone lies Reuben Lloyd,
Of breath deprived, of sense devoid.
The Templars' Captain-General, he
So formidable seemed to be,
That had he not been on his back
Death ne'er had ventured to attack.
Here lies Barnes in all his glory--
Master he of oratOry.
When he died the people weeping,
(For they thought him only sleeping)
Cried: "Although he now is quiet
And his tongue is not a riot,
Soon, the spell that binds him breaking,
He a motion will be making.
Then, alas, he'll rise and speak
In support of it a week."
Rash mortal! stay thy feet and look around--
This vacant tomb as yet is holy ground;
But soon, alas! Jim Fair will occupy
These premises--then, holiness, good-bye!
Here Salomon's body reposes;
Bring roses, ye rebels, bring roses.
Set all of your drumsticks a-rolling,
Discretion and Valor extrolling:
Discretion--he always retreated--
And Valor--the dead he defeated.
Brings roses, ye loyal, bring roses:
As patriot here he re-poses.
When Waterman ended his bright career
He left his wet name to history here.
To carry it with him he did not care:
'Twould tantalize spirits of statesmen There.
Here lie the remains of Fred Emerson Brooks,
A poet, as every one knew by his looks
Who hadn't unluckily met with his books.
On civic occasions he sprang to the fore
With poems consisting of stanzas three score.
The men whom they deafened enjoyed them the more.
Of reason his fantasy knew not the check:
All forms of inharmony came at his beck.
The weight of his ignorance fractured his neck.
In this peaceful spot, so the grave-diggers say,
With pen, ink and paper they laid him away--
The Poet-elect of the Judgment Day.
George Perry here lies stiff and stark,
With stone at foot and stone at head.
His heart was dark, his mind was dark--
"Ignorant ass!" the people said.
Not ignorant but skilled, alas,
In all the secrets of his trade:
He knew more ways to be an ass
Than any ass that ever brayed.
Here lies the last of Deacon Fitch,
Whose business was to melt the pitch.
Convenient to this sacred spot
Lies Sammy, who applied it, hot.
'Tis hard--so much alike they smell--
One's grave from t'other's grave to tell,
But when his tomb the Deacon's burst
(Of two he'll always be the first)
He'll see by studying the stones
That he's obtained his proper bones,
Then, seeking Sammy's vault, unlock it,
And put that person in his pocket.
Beneath this stone O'Donnell's tongue's at rest--
Our noses by his spirit still addressed.
Living or dead, he's equally Satanic--
His noise a terror and his smell a panic.
When Gabriel blows a dreadful blast
And swears that Time's forever past,
Days, weeks, months, years all one at last,
Then Asa Fiske, laid here, distressed,
Will beat (and skin his hand) his breast:
There'll be no rate of interest!
Step lightly, stranger: here Jerome B. Cox
Is for the second time in a bad box.
He killed a man--the labor party rose
And showed him by its love how killing goes.
When Vrooman here lay down to sleep,
The other dead awoke to weep.
"Since he no longer lives," they said
"Small honor comes of being dead."
Here Porter Ashe is laid to rest
Green grows the grass upon his breast.
This patron of the turf, I vow,
Ne'er served it half so well as now.
Like a cold fish escaping from its tank,
Hence fled the soul of Joe Russel, crank.
He cried: "Cold water!" roaring like a beast.
'Twas thrown upon him and the music ceased.
Here Estee rests. He shook a basket,
When, like a jewel from its casket,
Fell Felton out. Said Estee, shouting
With mirth; "I've given you an outing."
Then told him to go back. He wouldn't.
Then tried to put him back. He couldn't.
So Estee died (his blood congealing
In Felton's growing shadow) squealing.
Mourn here for one Bruner, called Elwood.
He doesn't--he never did--smell good
To noses of critics and scholars.
If now he'd an office to sell could
He sell it? O, no--where (in Hell) could
He find a cool four hundred dollars?
Here Stanford lies, who thought it odd
That he should go to meet his God.
He looked, until his eyes grew dim,
For God to hasten to meet him.
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