Life at Laurel Town in Anglo Saxon Kansas by Kate Stephens




Half-west, half-east; half-north, half-south;
As in Grecian Delphi in lays of old,
The centre of the world as men then told;
The winds blow ever, end through a god's mouth.
O the snow-footed, ice-armored winds of the prairie,
Rushing out mightily
From cosmic caves of the north,

From glacial forces of earth and air,
The winter winds of the prairie!
They drive dark clouds from morn to morn;
They shake the light o'er stubbles of corn;
They whistle through woods of leaves all shorn,
With never a hint of the spring to be born;
The flesh-freezing winds of the prairie!

Half-north, half-south; half-east, half-west;
The airs pour ever; the winds never rest;

O the sun-lifted, cotton-soft winds of the prairie,
Cheering right merrily
From tillage lands of the south,

From warmth of breeding southern seas,
The June-sweet winds of the prairie!
They drive silver clouds all day to its close,
And shake glowing light on young corn in rows;
They rock the trees till the small birds drowse;
They swirl the fragrance of wild-grape and rose;
The seminal winds of the prairie!

Half-south, half-north; half-west, half-east;
A people intoxicate; and winds do not cease;


O the free-state, Puritan-spirited winds of the prairie,
Singing right heartily
That gods were but folk who were free,
That folk who are free are as gods;
The human-voiced winds of the prairie!
They call Brown of bloody-blare from Osawatomie;
They smite swift the shackle -- the slave is free;
To all the world they say in their humanity
"Come here and build a home loyal to me;"
The primal-soured winds of the prairie!

Half-east, half-west; half-south, half north;
All forces here meet, but the free alone are worth;

O the self-reliant, right-seeking winds of the prairie,
Blowing out lustily
From the race-brood of New England
In this western New England;
The altruistic, rainbow-future winds of the prairie!
They strive ever after the ideal -- Better! Better!
Till to-day they sing "Melior! Brook no fetter!
Of freedom the spirit seek ye; not the letter!
Melior! Melior! Better! Better!"
The cloud-dispelling, star-climbing winds of the prairie!
So, prophetic in zeal, through hot winds and cold;
As in Grecian Delphi in days of old;
The centre of the world as men then told;
Half-west, half-east; half-north, half-south;
The Spirit speaks ever, and through a god's mouth.



As moon-drawn waters rise to heights
From deep, far places in the sea;
So shall thy people seek the Right
Led by a steadfast strength in thee.

What Light thy folk shall have is thine;
Their darkness did not aspire
To reach toward thy gleaming shrine,
And seize thy all-illuming fire.


"Thou shalt not bear false witness", spoke the God
Of Israel on Horeb's barren height.

"Unto the truth bear witness", speaks the Voice
Of every folk who strengthens in the Right:
To men of Athens in vast jury courts
Judging their brother Greek by law and fact;
To Romans in their order and reports
Of the Twelve Tables and juridic act;
To Paul, the evangel, who flamed his faith
For Jew and Gentile round the Midland shore;
To Mahomet, the Arab, him who saith
"Thy justice knoweth God for evermore".

"Unto the truth bear witness", urge with awe
All codes and ethics of our School of Law.



To be razed, first fane of the state's pure learning!
Thou, North College!

After twenty thousand suns thy walk have watched rising
beyond the river!

Now, by ice-freighted storms of winter thou hast withstood;
by winds of March thou hast buffeted; by cloud-embattled
thunder-bolt June rains thou hast braved:

Yea, more
By the unconquerable spirit of man!

By all civic loyalties since Demosthenes lifted the heart of the
people of Athens;

By all sincerities and pieties since the singing of Homer and Virgil;

By Anglo-Saxon state-makers, from whose flaming ardor for
freedom thou didst spring; By craftsmen who set thy brick
on brick, puncheon over puncheon, that wisdom might
house within their inchoate commonwealth;

Thou shalt not perish.

Whatever generations Kansas folk stand fast fixed in loyalty to
their state-founders' ideals -- loyalty to truth, to justice
and exalting teachings;

Whatever generations Kansas folk abide sensible of the mightiest
of gifts;

Thou shalt live on.

"He that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life

Through all generations, seeder of wisdom of the ages, thou
shalt endure.



A purple wonder, dark and deep,
Majestic, star-sown sky,
Whose untranslated beauties lie
Beyond our sun in sleep:

How then did work The Guiding Will?

Did Fire-tipped Fingers form no earth,
Aeons agone, like ours in birth?
Ah, could we the insistence still
If round some star an earth may roll,
And if perchance its people fare
Through scenes like ours; and such bright air;
And feel, and think, as our own souls

If days they live, like days of ours,
If, stricken low by their earth's fate,
And battling with greed and hate,
They yearn and seek for super-powers

If mortals, dwelling there this night,
Look out through space to our hot sun,
And say, "In all the circles run
Fare any like us round that mite?"

We peer, and wonder. But God's gold
Though countless men to stay their fears
And hearten hopes have pled in tears,
Speaks not through ages manifold.

O mighty riddle! Baffling skies!
Sovran enigma, dark and deep,
In your energic, teeming sleep,
Dreaming of worlds you make and keep,

What hide you from our wondering eyes?



After Sixty Years

June, 1875 - June, 1935

The University sends us bidding
To Commencement graces:

We look into the glass
And see our withered faces;
"Go to Commencement?
No. Not with these time-traces".

And yet we come.
Not for the sports,
To our eager longings dumb;
Not for fellowship,
Of excellences the sum.

Then for what?
Why do we come?

Obedient to a law at all times rife:
Wherever the spirit of man
Has lived its higher life,
To that place
A friendly band is always beckoning;
There speaks ever
A voice augustly reckoning

"Ideas we gave you in your need,
What have you done with them?
Broadcast them?
Sown them as seed ?"

"Aye," say we,
"Ideas beyond price you gave
With open band for our meed:
To these we have been loyal;
Nobly have they served --
Nobly served our need".

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