Fugitive Verses
Popular Reprinted Poetry from Nineteenth Century Newspapers

The Inquiry

  • Tell me, ye winged winds,
  • That rounds my pathway roar,
  • Do ye know some spot
  • Where mortals weep no more?
  • Some lone and pleasant dell,
  • Some valley in the west,
  • Where, free from toil and pain,
  • The weary soul may rest?
  • The loud wind dwindled to a whisper low,
  • And sighed for pity as it answered “No!”

  • Tell me, thou mighty deep,
  • Whose billows round me play,
  • Know’st thou some favored spot,
  • Some island far away,
  • Where weary man may find
  • The bliss for which he sighs,
  • Where sorrow never lives,
  • And friendship never dies?
  • The loud waves rolled in perpetual flow,
  • Stopped for a while, and sighed, to answer “No!”

  • And thou, serenest moon,
  • That with such holy face,
  • Dost look upon the earth
  • Asleep in night’s embrace,
  • Tell me, in all thy round,
  • Has thou not seen some spot,
  • Where miserable man,
  • Might find a happier lot.
  • Behind a cloud the moon withdrew in wo,
  • And a voice sweet, but sad, responded “No!”

  • Tell me my secret soul,
  • Oh! tell me, Hope and Faith,
  • Is there no resting place
  • From sorrow sin and death;
  • Is there no happy spot
  • Where mortals may be bless’d,
  • Where grief may find a balm,
  • And weariness a rest?
  • Faith, Hope, and love, best boons to mortals given,
  • Wav’d their bright wings, and whispered, “Yes in Heaven.”

“A Parody” by An Old Bachelor from The Grand River Times (Grand Haven, Michigan), 4 March 1857

  • Tell me, ye winged winds,
  • That rounds my pathway roar,
  • Do ye not know some spot
  • Where women fret no more?
  • Some lone and pleasant dell,
  • Some “holler in the ground,”
  • Where babies never yell,
  • And cradles are not found?
  • The loud wind blew the snow into my face,
  • And snickered as it answered—”Nary place.”

  • Tell me, thou misty deep,
  • Whose billows round me play,
  • Know’st thou some favored spot,
  • Some Island far away,
  • Where weary men may find
  • A place to smoke in peace,
  • Were crinoline is not,
  • And hoops are out of place!
  • The loud waves, sounding a perpetual shout,
  • Stopt for a while, and spluttered, “Yeou git eout.”

  • And thou serenest moon,
  • That, with such holy face,
  • Dost look upon the girls
  • With their beaux embrace,
  • Tell me, in all thy round,
  • Hast thou not seen some spot
  • Where muslin is not known,
  • And calico is not?
  • Behind a cloud the moon withdrew in woe,
  • And a voice sweet but sad responded, “Pooh!”

  • Tell me, my secret soul—
  • Oh! tell me, Hope and Faith,
  • Is there no resting place
  • From women, girls and death?
  • Is there no happy spot
  • Where bachelors are blessed,
  • Where females never go,
  • And may dwell in peace?
  • Faith, Hope and Truth—best boons to mortals given—
  • Waved their bright wings, and answered, “Yes, in Heaven!

“A Parody Parodied” from The Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 23 June 1857

Some fair writer thus retaliates on the parodist whose production we published some days since. Both sides must be heard, and we give the lady a chance: - {:.indent-3}Tell me, ye winged winds - {:.indent-3}The round my pathway roar, - {:.indent-3}Do ye not know some spot - {:.indent-3}Where bachelors come no more— - {:.indent-3}Some lone and pleasant dell - {:.indent-3}Where no moustache is seen— - {:.indent-3}Where long eared dandies never come - {:.indent-3}Ourselves and fun between? - There came a murmur from the distant lee— - A low, sad tone, which whispered 'No-sir-ee.' - {:.indent-3}Tell me, thou misty deep, - {:.indent-3}Whose billows round me play, - {:.indent-3}Know'st thou some favored spot, - {:.indent-3}Some island far away, - {:.indent-3}Where weary girls may find - {:.indent-3}A rest from soft dough faces, - {:.indent-3}And hear themselves called women, - {:.indent-3}Nor likened to the graces? - Soon did the misty deep its answer give, - By murmuring, "Not while brandy smashes live." - {:.indent-3}And thou, serenest moon, - {:.indent-3}What language dost thou utter - {:.indent-3}While gazing on the GENTLEMAN, - {:.indent-3}Whose head is in the gutter? - {:.indent-3}Say, hast thou in thy round - {:.indent-3}Gazed on some favored spot, - {:.indent-3}Where hats know not the weight of bricks, - {:.indent-3}And where cigars are not? - Behind a cloud the moon withdrew in woe, - But in italics answered, "No, no, no!" - {:.indent-3}Tell me, my secret soul— - {:.indent-3}Oh! tell me, Hope and Faith, - {:.indent-3}Is there no resting place - {:.indent-3}From fops and beaux and death? - {:.indent-3}Is there no happy spot, - {:.indent-3}Where womankind are blest— - {:.indent-3}Where man may never come, - {:.indent-3}And where the girls may rest? - Faith, Truth, and Hope—best boons to mortals iven, - Waved their bright wings and answered "Yes, in Heaven."