Presidential Poetics

from by Abraham Lincoln

/

about

Presidential Poetics I

Abraham Lincoln Is My Name
My Childhood Home I See Again: I. Reflection
My Childhood Home I See Again: II. The Maniac
The Bear Hunt
To Linnie

Presidential Poetics II

His Hand and His Pen
The Chronicles of Reuben
On Seduction
Verse on Lee's Invasion of the North
To Rosa
The Suicide's Soliloquy (unverified)
Time

lyrics

"Abraham Lincoln Is My Name"

Abraham Lincoln is my name
And with my pen I wrote the same
I wrote in both hast and speed
and left it here for fools to read


"My Childhood Home I See Again: I. Reflection"

My child-hood home I see again,
And gladden with the view;
And still as mem'ries crowd my brain,
There's sadness in it too--

O memory! thou mid-way world
'Twixt Earth and Paradise;
Where things decayed, and loved ones lost
In dreamy shadows rise--

And freed from all that's gross or vile,
Seem hallowed, pure, and bright,
Like scenes in some enchanted isle,
All bathed in liquid light--

As distant mountains please the eye,
When twilight chases day --
As bugle-tones, that, passing by,
In distance die away --

As leaving some grand water-fall
We ling'ring list it's roar,
So memory will hallow all
We've known, but know no more--

Now twenty years have passed away,
Since here I bid farewell
To woods, and fields, and scenes of play
And school-mates loved so well--

Where many were, how few remain
Of old familiar things!
But seeing these to mind again
The lost and absent brings--

The friends I left that parting day --
How changed as time has sped!
Young child hood grown, strong manhood grey,
And half of all are dead--

I hear the lone survivors tell
How nought from death could save,
Till every sound appears a knell
And every spot a grave--

I range the fields with pensive tread,
I pace the hollow rooms;
And feel (companion of the dead)
I'm living in the tombs


"My Childhood Home I See Again: II. The Maniac"

But here's an object more of dread,
Than ought the grave contains--
A human-form, with reason fled
While wretched life remains--

Poor Matthew! Once of genius bright,--
A fortune-favored child--
Now locked for age, in mental night,
A haggard mad-man wild--

Poor Matthew! I have ne'er forgot
When first with maddened will,
Yourself you maimed, your father fought,
And mother strove to kill;

And terror spread, and neighbours ran,
Your dang'rous strength to bind;
And soon a howling crazy man,
Your limbs were fast confined--

How then you writhed and shrieked aloud,
Your bones and sinnews bared;
And fiendish on the gaping crowd,
With burning eye-balls glared--

And begged, and swore, and wept, and prayed,
With maniac laughter joined--
How fearful are the signs displayed,
By pangs that kill the mind!

And when at length, tho, dreer and long,
Time soothed your fiercer woes --
How plantively your mournful song,
Upon the still night rose--

I've heard it oft, as if I dreamed,
Far-distant, sweet, and lone;
The funeral dirge, it ever seemed
Of reason dead and gone--

To drink it's strains I've stole away,
All silently and still,
Ere yet the rising god of day
Had streaked the Eastern hill--

Air held his breath, the trees all still
Seemed sorr'wing angels round:
Their swelling tears in dew-drops fell
Upon the list'ning ground--

But this is past, and nought remains
That raised you o'er the brute--
Your mad'ning shrieks and soothing strains
Are like forever mute--

Now fare thee well: more thou the cause
Than subject now of woe.
All mental pangs, by time's kind laws,
Hast lost the power to know--

And now away to seek some scene
Less painful than the last --
With less of horror mingled in
The present and the past--

The very spot where grew the bread,
That formed my bones, I see
How strange, old field, on thee to tread
And feel I'm part of thee!


"The Bear Hunt"

A wild-bear chace, didst never see?
Then hast thou lived in vain.
Thy richest bump of glorious glee,
Lies desert in thy brain.

When first my father settled here,
'Twas then the frontier line:
The panther's scream, filled night with fear
And bears preyed on the swine.

But wo for Bruin's short lived fun,
When rose the squealing cry;
Now man and horse, with dog and gun,
For vengeance, at him fly.

A sound of danger strikes his ear;
He gives the breeze a snuff;
Away he bounds, with little fear,
And seeks the tangled rough.

On press his foes, and reach the ground,
Where's left his half munched meal;
The dogs, in circles, scent around,
And find his fresh made trail.

With instant cry, away they dash,
And men as fast pursue;
O'er logs they leap, through water splash,
And shout the brisk halloo.

Now to elude the eager pack,
Bear shuns the open ground;
Th[r]ough matted vines, he shapes his track
And runs it, round and round.

The tall fleet cur, with deep-mouthed voice,
Now speeds him, as the wind;
While half-grown pup, and short-legged fice,
Are yelping far behind.

And fresh recruits are dropping in
To join the merry corps:
With yelp and yell,--a mingled din--
The woods are in a roar.

And round, and round the chace now goes,
The world's alive with fun;
Nick Carter's horse, his rider throws,
And more, Hill drops his gun.

Now sorely pressed, bear glances back,
And lolls his tired tongue;
When as, to force him from his track,
An ambush on him sprung.

Across the glade he sweeps for flight,
And fully is in view.
The dogs, new-fired, by the sight,
Their cry, and speed, renew.

The foremost ones, now reach his rear,
He turns, they dash away;
And circling now, the wrathful bear,
They have him full at bay.

At top of speed, the horse-men come,
All screaming in a row,
"Whoop! Take him Tiger. Seize him Drum."
Bang,--bang--the rifles go.

And furious now, the dogs he tears,
And crushes in his ire,
Wheels right and left, and upward rears,
With eyes of burning fire.

But leaden death is at his heart,
Vain all the strength he plies.
And, spouting blood from every part,
He reels, and sinks, and dies.

And now a dinsome clamor rose,
'Bout who should have his skin;
Who first draws blood, each hunter knows,
This prize must always win.

But who did this, and how to trace
What's true from what's a lie,
Like lawyers, in a murder case
They stoutly argufy.

Aforesaid fice, of blustering mood,
Behind, and quite forgot,
Just now emerging from the wood,
Arrives upon the spot.

With grinning teeth, and up-turned hair--
Brim full of spunk and wrath,
He growls, and seizes on dead bear,
And shakes for life and death.

And swells as if his skin would tear,
And growls and shakes again;
And swears, as plain as dog can swear,
That he has won the skin.

Conceited whelp! we laugh at thee--
Nor mind, that now a few
Of pompous, two-legged dogs there be,
Conceited quite as you.


"To Linnie"

To Linne-
A sweet plaintive song did I hear,
And I fancied that she was the singer—
May emotions as pure, as that song set a-stir
Be the worst that the future shall bring her.


Presidential Poetics II


"His Hand And Pen"

Abraham Lincoln
his hand and pen
he will be good but
god knows When


"The Chronicles of Reuben"

I will tell you a Joke about Jewel and Mary
It is neither a Joke nor a Story
For Rubin and Charles has married two girls
But Billy has married a boy
The girlies he had tried on every Side
But none could he get to agree
All was in vain he went home again
And since that he's married to Natty

So Billy and Natty agreed very well
And mama's well pleased at the match
The egg it is laid but Natty's afraid
The Shell is So Soft that it never will hatch
But Betsy she said you Cursed bald head
My Suitor you never Can be
Beside your low crotch proclaims you a botch
And that never Can answer for me


"On Seduction"

Whatever Spiteful fools may Say —
Each jealous, ranting yelper —
No woman ever played the whore
Unless She had a man to help her.


"Verse on Lee's Invasion of the North"

Gen. Lees invasion of the North written by himself—

In eighteen sixty three, with pomp,

and mighty swell,

Me and Jeff's Confederacy,
wen tforth to sack Phil-del,


The Yankees they got arter us,
and giv us particular hell,

And we skedaddled back again,

And didn't sack Phil-del.

"To Rosa"

To Rosa—
You are young, and I am older;
You are hopeful, I am not—
Enjoy life, ere it grow colder—
Pluck the roses ere they rot.

Teach your beau to heed the lay—
That sunshine soon is lost in shade—
That now's as good as any day—
To take thee, Rose, ere she fade.


"The Suicide's Soliloquy"

Here, where the lonely hooting owl
Sends forth his midnight moans,
Fierce wolves shall o'er my carcase growl,
Or buzzards pick my bones.

No fellow-man shall learn my fate,
Or where my ashes lie;
Unless by beasts drawn round their bait,
Or by the ravens' cry.

Yes! I've resolved the deed to do,
And this the place to do it:
This heart I'll rush a dagger through,
Though I in hell should rue it!

Hell! What is hell to one like me
Who pleasures never know;
By friends consigned to misery,
By hope deserted too?

To ease me of this power to think,
That through my bosom raves,
I'll headlong leap from hell's high brink,
And wallow in its waves.

Though devils yell, and burning chains
May waken long regret;
Their frightful screams, and piercing pains,
Will help me to forget.

Yes! I'm prepared, through endless night,
To take that fiery berth!
Think not with tales of hell to fright
Me, who am damn'd on earth!

Sweet steel! come forth from out your sheath,
And glist'ning, speak your powers;
Rip up the organs of my breath,
And draw my blood in showers!

I strike! It quivers in that heart
Which drives me to this end;
I draw and kiss the bloody dart,
My last—my only friend!


"Time"

Time What an emty vaper
tis and days how swift
they are swift as an Indian arrow
fly on like a shooting star
the presant moment Just [is here]
then slide away in haste
that we can never say they're ours
but only say they're past

credits

from Presidential Poetics, released July 1, 2013

tags

license

all rights reserved

feeds

feeds for this album, this artist

about

Ghost Wars Pennsylvania

contact / help

Contact Ghost Wars

Streaming and
Download help