Reading my way through a rather heavy anthology, I come across the one below. The first stanza seems particularly familiar, so I suspect it is a parody. Any guesses as to which one I suspect it mimics?
Samuel Brown - Phoebe Cary (1824-1871)
It was many and many a year ago,
In a dwelling down in town,
That a fellow there lived whom you may know,
By the name of Samuel Brown;
And this fellow he lived with no other thought
Than to our house to come down.
I was a child, and he was a child,
In that dwelling down in town,
But we loved with a love that was more than love,
I and my Samuel Brown,
With a love that the ladies coveted,
Me and Samuel Brown.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
To that dwelling down in town,
A girl came out of her carriage, courting
My beautiful Samuel Brown;
So that her high-bred kinsman came
And bore away Samuel Brown,
And shut him up in a dwelling-house,
In a street quite up in town.
The ladies not half so happy up there,
Went envying me and Brown;
Yes! that was the reason (as all men know,
In this dwelling down in town),
That the girl came out of the carriage by night,
Coquetting and getting my Samuel Brown.
But our love is more artful by far than the love
Of those who are older than we,
Of many far wiser than we, -
And neither the girls that are living above,
Nor the girls that are down in town,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Samuel Brown.
For the morn never shines without bringing me lines
From my beautiful Samuel Brown;
And the night's never dark, but I sit in the park
With my beautiful Samuel Brown.
And often by day, I walk down in Broadway,
With my darling, my darling, my life and my stay,
To our dwelling down in town,
To our house in the street down town.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/18/2006 11:32AM by Hugh Clary.
Annabelle Lee by EA Poe
That'd be my guess, as well.
My mind immediately leaps to alternate meanings as to what 'Samuel Brown' may be.
In the uniforms we wore as military cadets at school, the shiny leather shoulder strap worn by an officer, which was diagonally connected to an equally shiny leather belt, was called a 'Sam Brown'.
weird, I swore I posted this, but ehre it is again:
I see what I did, i hit preview, then closed the window !
the time period is right but theres the extra "e" tacked on
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/18/2006 12:59AM by JohnnySansCulo.
Annabelle Lee by Edgar Allan Poe
Phoebe Cary published a book of poems in 1849, co-authored with her sister Alice. Phoebe then went on to publish 3 more books on her own. She survived Alice by a few months. This is one from the 1849 book - it isn't certain which sister wrote it, or if it was a collaboration:
Suppose, my little lady,
Your doll should break her head,
Could you make it whole by crying
Till your eyes and nose are red?
And would n't it be pleasanter
To treat it as a joke;
And say you're glad "'T was Dolly's
And not your head that broke?"
Suppose you're dressed for walking,
And the rain comes pouring down,
Will it clear off any sooner
Because you scold and frown?
And wouldn't it be nicer
For you to smile than pout,
And so make sunshine in the house
When there is none without?
Suppose your task, my little man,
Is very hard to get,
Will it make it any easier
For you to sit and fret?
And would n't it be wiser
Than waiting like a dunce,
To go to work in earnest
And learn the thing at once?
Suppose that some boys have a horse,
And some a coach and pair,
Will it tire you less while walking
To say, "It is n't fair?"
And would n't it be nobler
To keep your temper sweet,
And in your heart be thankful
You can walk upon your feet?
And suppose the world don't please you,
Nor the way some people do,
Do you think the whole creation
Will be altered just for you?
And is n't it, my boy or girl,
The wisest, bravest plan,
Whatever comes, or does n't come,
To do the best you can?
A nice morality poem!
And linguistically interesting for the consistent use of n't as a word on its own, instead of being attached to the end of the negated verb. I wonder whether that was the way it was generally done in 1849 or just a quirk of the Cary sisters.
Interesting question. Looking at other online collections, this poem seems to be the only one with such a phenomenon.
Perusing their pictures, one infers they both probably died childless:
Another oddity is that they were born four years apart, but both passed away in the same year, 1871.
Who were considered the good-looking women of the time?
If there's no ugly mothers, how do you explain the many ugly men walking this earth? ;-)
But the bio does not mention any men or children, so you're probably right.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/23/2006 01:50PM by Desi.
The Bronte sisters weren't exactly raving beauties, but the Cary girls make the Brontes look like babes.
Here's Lillian Russell from 1895, a little later than the period in question
(incidentally, she was once a houseguest where I am living now)