Hey, look what I found!
Benjamin Franklin King (1857-1894)
If I should die
1 If I should die to-night
2 And you should come to my cold corpse and say,
3 Weeping and heartsick o'er my lifeless clay --
4 If I should die to-night,
5 And you should come in deepest grief and woe --
6 And say: "Here's that ten dollars that I owe,"
7 I might arise in my large white cravat
8 And say, "What's that?"
9 If I should die to-night
10 And you should come to my cold corpse and kneel,
11 Clasping my bier to show the grief you feel,
12 I say, if I should die to-night
13 And you should come to me, and there and then
14 Just even hint 'bout payin' me that ten,
15 I might arise the while,
16 But I'd drop dead again.
so 'random' I couldn't even spell it.
I wish you would post some of your poetry.
Looks like Percy French (Abdul Abulbul Amir) stole the little ditty:
I remember first reading King's in Carolyn Wells' Book of Humorous Verse. I think there was also another similar title, about someone coming into an editor's office on the same kind of errand. I will look it up later, when I get the chance.
I'm a poetry reader, not writer. There are a few postings of mine under the 'Cat Haiku' thread on the USP, (I CAN count to seventeen) and a limerick or two somewhere in the depths.
this is quoted in Chance hits - 1915
( page 73 )
( it is by Ben King all right )
as 'tonight", not "to-night"
Just even hint 'bout payin' me that ten
Just even hint of paying me that ten
Here is the one King's brought to mind:
He Came To Pay
The editor sat with his head in his hands
And his elbows at rest on his knees;
He was tired of the ever-increasing demands
On his, and he panted for ease.
The clamor for copy was scorned with a sneer,
And he sighed in the lowest of tones:
"Won't somebody come with a dollar to cheer
The heart of Emanuel Jones?"
Just then on the stairway a footstep was heard
And a rap-a-tap loud at the door,
And the flickering hope that had been long deferred
Blazed up like a beacon once more;
And there entered a man with a cynical smile
That was fringed with a stubble of red,
Who remarked, as he tilted a sorry old tile
To the back of an average head:
"I have come here to pay" -- Here the editor cried:
"You're as welcome as flowers in spring!
Sit down in this easy armchair by my side,
And excuse me awhile till I bring
A lemonade dashed with a little old wine
And a dozen cigars of the best ...
Ah! Here we are! This, I assure you, is fine;
Help yourself, most desirable guest."
The visitor drank with a relish, and smoked
Till his face wore a satisfied glow,
And the editor, beaming with merriment, joked
In a joyous, spontaneous flow;
And then, when the stock of refreshments was gone,
His guest took occasion to say,
In accents distorted somewhat by a yawn,
"My errand up here is to pay --"
But the generous scribe, with a wave of his hand,
Put a stop to the speech of his guest,
And brought in a melon, the finest the land
Ever bore on its generous breast;
And the visitor, wearing a singular grin,
Seized the heaviest half of the fruit,
And the juice, as it ran in a stream from his chin,
Washed the mud of the pike from his boot.
Then, mopping his face on a favorite sheet
Which the scribe had laid carefully by,
The visitor lazily rose to his feet
With the dreariest kind of a sigh,
And he said, as the editor sought his address,
In his books to discover his due:
"I came her to pay -- my respects to the press,
And to borrow a dollar of you!"
-- Parmenas Mix
I have only seen one other poem by Parmenas Mix, which is below. I feel sure the name is a pseudonym. My guess of the real author's name is at the bottom.
Accepted And Will Appear
One evening while reclining
In my easy-chair, repining
O'er the lack of true religion, and the dearth of common sense,
A solemn visaged lady,
Who was surely on the shady
Side of thirty, entered proudly, and to crush me did commence:
"I sent a poem here, sir,"
Said the lady, growing fiercer,
"And the subject which I'd chosen, you remember, sir, was 'Spring':
But, although I've scanned your paper,
Sir, by sunlight, gas, and taper,
I've discovered of that poem not a solitary thing."
She was muscular and wiry,
And her temper sure was fiery,
And I knew to pacify her I would have to -- fib like fun.
So I told her ere her verses,
Which were great, had come to -- bless us,
We'd received just sixty-one on "Spring," of which we'd printed one.
And I added, "We've decided
That they'd better be divided
Among the years that follow -- one to each succeeding Spring.
So your work, I'm pleased to mention,
Will receive our best attention
In the year of nineteen-forty, when the birds begin to sing."
(Sounds like Newman Levy, no?)
Interesting. Doesn't sound like the same person to me even. Never occurred to me to search for Mix, Parmenas!
How on earth did you get that 'picture' file to show as plain text, btw?
Yeah, I began wondering if this was some sort of 'common' name- like the one directors use as the official pseudonym.
To view as text or pdf, click on the 'View as' drop down. It not only allows size changes, but type changes as well.
For those looking for time to waste, this site is of great help. [cdl.library.cornell.edu] />
Ah, most kind. I saw the view as but did not click the drop-down arrow, having seen 50% as the default, and thought it would only provide more or less resolution. Nice work they have done with the OCR stuff! Much fewer errors than I have been able to get with my admittedly infrequent experiments.
As you say, one could lose a lot of time browsing their pages. The boolean search for Parmenas Mix turned up 16 entries, mostly duplicates with the ones you found.
Hey, lookie what comes up on page 797 [cdl.library.cornell.edu] />
A. W. Kelly (“Parmenas Mix”)
Now lemme go chase around and see who A.W. Kelly was!
The thrill of the chase!
Nope. Agony of defeat. Can't find any more about him, not even what the initials stand for.