1902 CLASS REUNION
(Lines read at the third annual reunion of the class of 1902, U. of N., held June 14, 1905,— 2304 Washington street.)
Stranger, kindly take a cheer.
Hevn’t see ye fur a year,.—
Seems to me thet we hev met.
I cayn’t quite that face ferget
Beard’s a little stiffer grown
Where the stubble hez been mown,—
Little longer, sharper, jaw,—
Cheeks not quite so round and—raw;
Forehead little bulgier shows,—
Mebbe little redder nose—
(These here western winds, y’ know,
Sorter TANS a feller so.)—
An’ yer manners,—now, fur fair.—
Seem more quiet,—yes I swear
Wouldn't b’lieve the tales they tell :—
How ye’d raise the football yell—
Git out an’ parade the town—
Nothin’ on but yer nightgown,—
Red hot class scrap in the Hall
Till Doc Andrews had to call
The police—he ‘lowed that fight,—
Put his’n at Gettysburg out o’ sight,—
Is it raly, shorely, true
You’re the Boy of Nineteen Two?
Sister, welcome, glad you've come,
Try to make yourself to hum;
(Things is not yet put to right
Round the Ranch to suit me quite)
— Children—well?—Er-EX-cuse me. Say,
That’s jest my old—fashioned way;
In my August afternoon
Never thinkin’ May er June,—
Blunderin’ on as bold as Sin—
See a Man-trap,—stumble in—
What I meant fur to EN-quire—
"How’s the singin’ in the choir?"
An how young an’—fresh,—you look,
Fit to have yer pictur’ took ;—
Older? Not a blessed week
Sence you went on Senior Sneak,—
Marched in on Professor Wyer—
Whooped the class yell octave higher ;—
From the Grandstand gave acclaim
To our football heroes’ fame;—
While dark flashes of yer eyes
Meted out Fame’s fairest prize;
Darin’,—yet with girlish art
Holding hid yer woman’s heart ;—
Any one would know twas YOU-
Grand old Girl of Nineteen Two."
Welcome, girls an’ boys, fur I
‘M glad to with ye classify,—
Feel thet in these middle years.
Growin’ young about my ears,—
Hitched up with the Colts in team
Life will longer,—sweeter,—seem ;—
It’s a secret,—spose ye know ?-
I was allays dumb an’ slow ;—
Took to git my first A. B.
Nigh on nineteen years, y’ see,—
Wuz so long a scufflin’ thro,—
Eighty Three till Nineteen Two, —
Thet I allays will AF-feck
This here country dialeck:—
Got in follerin’ the plow,
Ridin’ range and punchin’ cow,—
Talkin’ Sioux an’ sometimes mix-
In’ printin’ in with politics :—
Sticks upon my tongue an’ lip—
Sandbur on a hoss’s hip—
But I’m mighty glad, aint you ?—
Couldn’t pass till Nineteen Two?
College lore an’ days—now there !—
That’s a subjeck fur a prayer!
Remember, brother, while I speak.—
How hard we tried to rope an’ ride that Greek?
Old Homer and Thucydides
‘D bring a broncho-buster to his knees ;—
Menin aeide Thea,"—long, long ago,—
THAT was my favorite, y' know ?
An’ then the Latin,—any of you tell
How the old farmer, Virgil, found the trail to Hell?—
"Facilis descensus."—some of us young men
Larned that before—perhaps we may agen.
But of them Romans, likeliest of the lot,—
Jest hand me Horace fur long-distance shot;
Read him—it seemed like old frontierin’ days.—
There wuz the Mount Soracte, the cabin, the
He named the winds, an’ called ‘em by their name,
An’ said he’d built a monument better than brass fur fame;
An’ studyin Horace evenins late an’ damp,—
First time I felt Old Rome a homelike place to camp.
An’ then, these modern kind of furrin’ talk,—
Fur me, jest plain old Deutsch wins in a walk;
Them deep an’ chesty "nochs" an’ "dochs" an’
Und alles sonst von Lesen und von Sprach’—
I’d like to spend another Lebenzeit
Post-Germanizing, süsse Seligkeit,—
Schiller and Heine fur my mornin’ meal,—
Lessing and Goethe when the shadows steal,—
Singin' at night that song of Lauterbach.—
The place, you know, I lost my heart an’ sock :—
That was my ambition while I yet was young,—
I’ll turn it over to Annetta Sprung.
Science! how long an’ faithfully we tried
To climb together up yer rugged side;—
The Old Chem. Lab.—to some of us how dear,—
The glass retorts, the corks an’ tubing queer,—
The Bunsen fire—the acid-tested floor
With HC1, HNO2 and H2SO4;
Methyl an’ Ethyl an’ the swarm
We stew together makin’ chloroform;
Sweet your perfumes. Old Lab., but why these sad remarks ?—
Your odors linger still round Classmate Mildred Parks.
How many hours intense with searchin’ hopes
We bent above high power microscopes.
Saw a new world inside a rain-drop space
Swarmin’ with critters of an unknown race:
Desmids an’ diatoms drew with pencil point an’ eye
While protozoan craft went cruisin’ by.
The nostocs log chain fur a model set,
An’ fished with Hydrodictyon's water net,
Or thro cell tissue marked from chasm to chasm
Stream the primeval pulse of protoplasm.
Unshaken friendship from this world’s rude shock
Datin’ from days together breakin' rock,—
Dear geologic jail—where we first got right
With bryozoa an’ with trilobite,
Or saw the rockdust write its name
With brilliant colors in the blowpipe’s flame.
Oh, English Lit.—this surely, this was tough,—
On Sherman’s March to feed us Shedds and
To step to Piper’s music with a sigh.—
And while we’re Browning,—turn us o’er to
How oft with Milton hev we cried with groans;
"What needs my Shakespeare fur his honored
With Hamlet, dread that dreams come after death,
While washin' hands from murdering Macbeth ;—
One rainbow gleam breaks thro’ these dismal days—
Upon it read; "Professor Mabel Hays."
Then some of us went into Poly Con,—
Met Mills an’ Marshall, Ricardo and Jevons ;—
An’ still a few who thought that easy work
Tuk in the Austrian school with Böhm-Bawerk,—
The Wages Fund an’ Theory of Rent
Got well thrashed out,—er I’m not worth a
Yit there’s one thing I never understand,—
None of ‘em satisfied my theory of Land :—
Explain it,—no, I think, like Henry George
I’ll write a Poly Con about so large.
Then there’s American History,—3 and 4,—
Professor Caldwell, will you close the door?
We'll have explained the famous diagram
Of Broad and Strict Construction,—you gave us in Exam.,—
We'll tell the tale of tariff, high and low,—
We'll name the Compromises an’ tell what made
To distant springs our civic stream we’ll trace,—
An’ look the future fearlessly in face ;—
We’d history to learn with you not long ago.—
We’ve history to make; let’s make it best we
Ah, Comrades, classmates, like the Wandering Jew,—
I’ve rambled fur, let me come back to you;
How often in the future shall we meet
To clasp the hand,—to hold communion sweet ;—
Some of us wander now in distant lands,—
In Philippines, in China, in Japan,—
Wherever Duty calls our steps shall turn,—
Grip hard the New yet for the Old shall
For college classmates form no narrow clan,—
We gladly own the Brotherhood of Man ;—
Our password "Love,"—our aim "Democracy,"—
To know the Truth an’ feel it makes us free.