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Ah, how bright
And gave an added holiness to life,The jewel of motherhood that God had set Within my royal diadem of wife!
- Ibid. DEATH. Till one day, as in quest of Paradise,
The sun rolled down the west, all gold and red, An angel put the light out in her eyes, And I was sitting silent with my dead.
- Ibid. ACCOMPLISHMENT. I see no harm; if done, 'twere well done so; And if the end failed in accomplishment, 'Twere well done still.
- The Princess Elizabeth.
When the devil failed To tempt Saint Barnabas, he whispered “Fail!" And lo! the Saint turned villain. Speak no word Which gives a failure breath of life; 'tis fraught With half its own fruition.
LADDIN selling the dishes of the genii's ban
quet while the wonderful lamp rested unused in his closet, may stand as a prophetic image of a poet put to business. Imagination, however, does not disqualify a man for practical work, and the subject of this study, Mr. Henry Abbey, has probably been as successful in business as if the gods had not made him poetical. He is at present a flour and grain dealer at Rondout, New York, is vice-president of a bank at Kingston, and a mem. ber of the Produce Exchange, of New York City.
Mr. Abbey was born at Rondout, New York, July 11, 1842. He is the eldest son of Stephen Abbey and Caroline Vail. His great-grandmother was Lucy Knox, for whom is claimed a lineal descent from John Knox the great Scotch Reformer. Mr. Abbey's grandfather came when a boy into New York state from Connecticut. Caroline Vail was a descendant of one of three brother Vails who came over in the Mayflower and whose names are engraved in the monument at Plymouth. It is said that one of the brothers married a daughter of Massasoit and a geneological tree shows that Caroline Vail was a descendant of this marriage.
Mr. Abbey received his education at several institutes in Kingston and the neighborhood. While preparing for college the panic of 1857 brought financial embarrassment to his father and he was compelled to forego his studies. Probably his training was more an affair of libraries than of schools, his determination towards letters being strong enough to survive the deprivation of college. His first book of verse was published in 1862. This and other early work he regards merely as evidence of an intuitive groping for expression. Soon after the publication of his first work, Mr. Abbey became assistant editor of the Rondout Courier. He did not serve many months in that capacity, however, as he left Rondout and went to New York. Here he wrote verses for the New York Leader and enjoyed the acquaintance of Henry Clapp, Jr., George Arnold, Fitzhugh Ludlow and other literary people of the time. From New York he went to Orange, New Jersey, and started the Orange Spectator, which paper, however, was soon discontinued. In 1864 Mr. Abbey returned to Rondout. He was married in 1865 to Mary Louise du Bois daughter of Mr. Elijah du Bois a member of the Holland Society.
In 1872 was published Mr. Abbey's “Ballads of Good Deeds.” Most of the poems in this collection had previously appeared in various periodicalsHarper's Magazine, Appleton's Journal, The Galaxy, Chambers' Journal, and others. This volume, under the same name, but somewhat enlarged, was published in London in 1876 and attracted some
THE pale day died in the rain to-night,
And its hurrying ghost, the wind, goes by: The mountains loom in their silent might,
And darkly frown at the sea and sky.
But when at night he came upon the stage,
The curtain of the light is drawn aside,
And I behold the stars in all their wide
Round which innumerable worlds revolve,
solve, And death, that dread annulment which life shuns, Or fain would shun, becomes to life the way,
The thoroughfare to greater worlds on high, The bridge from star to star. Seek how we may,
There is no other road across the sky; And, looking up, I hear star-voices say:
“ You could not reach us if you did not die."
THE SINGER'S ALMS.
In Lyons, in the mart of that French town,
His guardian angel warned him not to lose
The sky was blue above, and all the lane
POETRY, And once I knew a meditative rose That never raised its head from bowing down, Yet drew its inspiration from the stars. It bloomed and faded here beside the road, And, being a poet, wrote on empty air With fragrance all the beauty of its soul.
- A Morning Pastoral.
- Along the Nile.
Of joy that was only dreamed,
By sad waves tossed, She was a spray of coral fair to see,
The singer stood between the beggars there,
The hat of its stamped brood was emptied soon