(Reprinted by request from the Automobile of June 1901. The owner of the picturesque and historic old windmill at Lawrence, Kas., declared a purpose of tearing it down. Prof. Carruth tried to raise money by subscription for the preservation of the old land mark, and this poem was written accordingly. Sufficient money was not raised to purchase the property, but the owner has refrained from demolishing it.)
Yes, tear the ancient windmill down,|
Rip out the moss-grown beams
That long have stood above the town,
A tale of vanished dreams.
Around its base the storm winds tossed,
Where rolled the border war.
It knows of battles won and lost,
And what men battled for.
Across the seas from Sweden's shore
Its hearty builders came;
They found a country drenched with gore
And lit by midnight flame.
Where Brown of Osawatomie
On Oread's heights unfurled
The flag of human liberty
And braved the sneering world,
There built the humble sons of toil
This long-armed friend of peace;
It reared its head on freedom's soil
And saw the tumult cease.
Through all the generations|
Have the children of K.U.
Looked up to see the windmill's form
Athwart the vaulted blue.
The worms of forty years have gnawed
Its weather-beaten crest;
The storms of forty years have beat
Against its dauntless breast.
But storm, nor wind, nor hail, nor rain
Its structure could subdue,
For truth beheld its timbers hewn,
And true men built it true.
Survivor of a worthy age,
Its day has long since passed;
It mocks our weakness and our shame --
Let's hew it down at last.
This is the cherished age of gain,
The mill can grind no more;
Heap up the fagots, bring the torch,
And let the bonfire roar!
What tho' we love its battered form,
And yet shall love it still;
What tho' we plighted love within
The shadow of the mill.
What tho' a few memories draw
And bind it to my heart,
We cannot cash these memories;
Old friend, we'll have to part.
But I had hoped that when you passed
I might not need to know;
That strangers' feet might tread the hill
And strangers see you go.
But no, the doom is spoken now,
And O! it grieves me sore
That I must linger where you stood
And never see you more.
|-- C.L. Edson|
|[the preceding]...was recently found in my grandmother's (Josephine Parrish)
notebook, which she kept for her English literature class at KU in the
spring of 1904.
Monday, May 19, 1997