A Boquet for Our Maggie
A Boquet for Our Maggie.
The tragic and the comic Muses—incongruous in feeling,
In turn to sorrow and to mirth resistlessly appealing;
The one replete with sighs and tears, the other glad and smiling—
One summer’s eve had wandered forth, the passing hours beguiling.
By chance they met, and, having passed the usual salutation,
They sat them down beside the way, for friendly conversation.
Says Tragedy, “We’ve lived so long distinct and separated,
Suppose we, blended into one, assume a form created?”
“Agreed, agreed,” the other cries, and quickly there uprising,
Each folded each in close embrace—behold, a thing surprising.
The doubtful outline fades from view, the union is effected,
And Maggie Mitchell was the form the Muses had selected.
Anon she bids our tears to flow, anon she bids us stay them—
We recognize a Queen’s commands and cannot but obey them.
Anon she sweeps another chord, and peal on peal of laughter
Go surging up in waves of mirth, from footlight unto rafter.
She wears a double crown—the one bedecked with glistening tears;
The other, radiant with smiles. God grant far distant years
May find them still upon her brow, and that her part in life,
What e’er it be, if sister, friend, if daughter, or if wife,
Be acted well; then, when grim death shall drop his curtain down,
She’ll take her place among the stars and wear a nobler crown.
I do not hesitate to say that since the world’s creation,
If you should search through every clime, and ransack every nation;
Should learn the Hebrew, master Greek, decipher the Egyptian;
Should seek from Shakspere, Byron, Scott, an adequate description,
Of Maggie Mitchell—whose sweet face, whose pure and artless acting,
Is making old hearts young again and young men’s hearts distracting—
‘T would be in vain; for fancy’s wing, though sped by heavenly fire,
Cannot mount up to such a height—all useless is the lyre,
I honor her because she dare to ignore affectation,
But strives to raise the drama from its modern degradation,
And makes it what it ought to be—a blessing to the nation.
But, most of all, I honor her because no foul suspicion
Can ever taint her spotless fame or harm her glorious mission.
Unto the pure all things are pure; the lily’s still a lily,
Though close at hand grows noxious weeds, though winds blow damp and chilly,
So she, exposed to much that’s bad, moves calmly and serenely—
Pure as the lovely queen of night, and while as pure, as queenly.
“Sweet be her dreams—the fair, the young—
Grace, beauty, breath upon her;
Music haunt thou about her tongue,
Life crown her path with honor.
All golden thoughts, all wealth of days,
Plenty and peace surround her;
So may she live—deserving praise—
Till angel hands have crowned her.”