Thursday, October 2, 2008

Poetry: Good-by, Lobster

by Holman F. Day
from UP IN MAINE (Published 1907, Pages 109-111)

We've gazed with resignation on the passing of the auk,
Nor care a continental for the legendary rok;
And the dodo and the bison and the ornith-o-rhyn-chus
May go and yet their passing brings no shade of woe to us.
We entertain no sorrow that the megatherium
Forever and Forever is departed, dead and dumb:
But a woe that hovers o'er us brings a keen and bitter pain
As we weep to see the lobster banish off the coast of Maine.

Oh, dear crustacean dainty of the dodge-holes of the sea,
I tune my lute in minor in a threnody for thee.
You've been the nation's martyr and 'twas wrong to treat you so,
And you may not think we love you; yet we hate to see you go.
We've given you the blazes and hot-potted you, and yet
We've loved you better martyred than when living, now you bet.
You have no ears to listen, so, alas, we can't explain
The sorrow that you bring us as you leave the coast of Maine.

Do you fail to mark our feeling as we bitterly deplore
The passing of the hero of the dinner at the shore?
Ah, what's the use of living if you also can't survive
Until you die to furnish us the joy of one "broiled live"?
And what can e'er supplant you as a cold dish on the side?
Or what assuage our longings when to salads you're denied?
Or what can furnish thunder to the legislative brain
When ruthless Fate has swept you from the rocky coast of Maine?

I see and sigh in seeing, in some distant, future age
Your varnished shell reposing under glass upon a stage,
The while some pundit lectures on the curios of the past,
And dainty ladies shudder as they gaze on you aghast.
And all the folks that listen will wonder vaguely at
The fact that once lived heathen who could eat a Thing like that.
Ah, that's the fate you're facing -- but laments are all in vain
-- Tell the dodo that you saw us when you lived down here in Maine.

auk (
rok (unknown)
ornithorhynchus (;
megatherium (
threnody (

Saturday, August 30, 2008

HFD References

Here are some websites referencing Holman F. Day for anybody interested in other works.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Poetry: The True Story of a Kicker

by Holman F. Day
from UP IN MAINE (Published 1907, Pages 87-88)

There lived two frogs, so I’ve been told,
In a quiet wayside pool;
And one of these frogs was a blamed bright frog,
But the other frog was a fool.

Now a farmer man with a big milk can
Was a wont to pass that way;
And he used to stop and add a drop
Of the aqua pure, they say.

And it chanced one more in the early dawn,
When the farmer’s sight was dim,
He scooped those frogs in the water he dipped,
-- Which same was a joke on him.

The fool frog sank in the swashing tank
As the farmer bumped to town.
But the smart frog flew like a tug-boat screw,
And he swore he’d not go down.

So he kicked and splashed and he slammed and thrashed,
And he kept on top through all;
And he churned that milk in first-class shape
In a great big butter ball.

Now when the milkman got to town,
And opened the can, there lay
The fool frog drowned; but, hale and sound,
The kicker he hopped away.

Don’t fret your life with needless strife,
Yet let this teaching stick:
You’ll find, old man, in the world’s big can
It sometimes pays to kick.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Poetry: Aunt Shaw's Pet Jug

by Holman F. Day
from UP IN MAINE (Published 1907, Pages 3-5)

Now there was Uncle Elnathan Shaw,
– Most regular man you ever saw !
Just half-past four in the afternoon
He’d start and whistle that old jig tune,
Take the big blue jug from the but’ry shelf
And trot down cellar, to draw himself
Old cider enough to last him through
The winter ev’nin’. Two quarts would do.
– Just as regular as half-past four
Come round, he’d tackle that cellar door,
As he had for thutty years or more.
And as regular, too, as he took that jug
Aunt Shaw would yap through her old cross mug,
“Now, Nathan, for goodness’ sake take care !
You allus trip on the second stair ;
It seems as though you were just possessed
To break that jug. It’s the very best
There is in town and you know it, too.
And ’twas left to me by my great-aunt Sue.
For goodness’ sake, why don’t yer lug
A tin dish down, for ye’ll break that jug ?”
Allus the same, suh, for thirty years,
Allus the same old twits and jeers
Slammed for the nineteenth thousand time
And still we wonder, my friend, at crime.
But Nathan took it meek’s a pup
And the worst he said was “Please shut up.”
You know what the Good Book says befell
The pitcher that went to the old-time well;
Wal, whether ’twas that or his time had come,
Or his stiff old limbs got weak and numb
Or whether his nerves at last giv’ in
To Aunt Shaw’s everlasting chin –
One day he slipped on that second stair,
Whirled round and grabbed at the empty air
And clean to the foot of them stairs, ker-smack,
He bumped on the bulge of his humped old back
And he’d hardly finished the final bump
When old Aunt Shaw she giv’ a jump
And screamed downstairs as mad’s a bug
“Dod-rot your hide, did ye break my jug?”
Poor Uncle Nathan lay there flat
Knocked in the shape of an old cocked hat,
But he rubbed his legs, brushed off the dirt
And found after all that he warn’t much hurt.
And he’d saved the jug, for his last wild thought
Had been of that; he might have caught
At the cellar shelves and saved his fall,
But he kept his hands on the jug through all.
And now as he loosed his jealous hug
His wife just screamed, “Did ye break my jug?”
Not a single word for his poor old bones
Nor a word when she heard his awful groans,
But the blamed old hard-shelled turkle just
Wanted to know if that jug was bust.
Old Uncle Nathan he let one roar
And he shook his fist at the cellar door;
“Did ye break my jug?” she was yellin’ still.
“No, durn yer pelt, but I swow I will.”
And you’d thought that the house was a-going to fall
When the old jug smashed on the cellar wall.

Biography: Holman F. Day

Holman F. Day is a Maine poet and author near and dear to the hearts of my mother's mother's side of the family. She and her siblings grew up listening to his poetry, amongst others, read aloud and recited.

This site is dedicated to Nana (Kathleen Grant Watts) and Uncle Mort & Aunt Millie... Uncle Mort and Nana being siblings... And Aunt Millie being dear to us all.

This first entry is simply about the author.

Holman Francis Day (1865-1935) was an American author, born at Vassalboro, Me., and a graduate of Colby College (class of 1887). In 1889-90 he was managing editor of the publications of the Union Publishing Company, Bangor, Me. He was also editor and proprietor of the Dexter, (Me.) Gazette, a special writer for the Lewiston, (Me.) Journal, Maine representative of the Boston Herald , and managing editor of the Lewiston Daily Sun. In 1901-04 he was military secretary to Gov. John F. Hill of Maine. His writings include:

• Up in Maine (1901), verse
• Pine Tree Ballads (1902)
• Kin O'Ktaadn (1904)
• Squire Phin (1905; 1913), a novel dramatized as The Circus Man and produced in Chicago in 1909
• Rainy Day Railroad War (1906; 1913)
• The Eagle Badge (1908)
• King Spruce (1908)
• The Ramrodders (1910)
• The Skipper and the Skipped (1911)
• The Red Lane: A Romance of the Border (1912)
• The Landloper (1915)
• Along Came Ruth (play produced in New York, 1914)
• Blow the Man Down (1916)
• Where Your Treasure Is (1917)
• Kavanagh's Clare (1917)
• The Rider of the King Log (1919)
• When Egypt Went Broke (1920)
• All Wool Morrison (1921)