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A Ballade Of Montaigne

Arthur Macy 1842 – 1904



I sit before the firelight's glow
With all the world in apogee,
And con good Master Florio
With pipe a-light; and as I see
Queen Bess herself with book a-knee,
Reading it o'er and o'er again,
Here, 'neath my cosy mantel-tree,
I smoke my pipe and read Montaigne.

Now howls the wind and drives the snow;
The traveler shivers on the lea;
While, with my precious folio,
Behold a happy devotee
To book and warmth and reverie!
The blast upon the window-pane
Disturbs me not, as trouble-free,
I smoke my pipe and read Montaigne.

I am content, and thus I know
A mind as calm as summer sea, -
A heart that stranger is to woe.
To happiness I hold the key
In this rare, sweet philosophy;
And while the Fates so fair ordain,
Well pleased with Destiny's decree,
I smoke my pipe and read Montaigne.


ENVOY

Dear Prince! aye, more than prince to me,
Thou monarch of immortal reign!
Always thy subject I would be,
And smoke my pipe and read Montaigne!
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Submitted on August 03, 2020

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Arthur Macy

Arthur Macy was a Nantucket boy of Quaker extraction. His name alone is evidence of this, for it is safe to say that a Macy, wherever found in the United States, is descended from that sturdy old Quaker who was one of those who bought Nantucket from the Indians, paid them fairly for it, treated them with justice, and lived on friendly terms with them. Early in the war Macy enlisted in Company B, 24th Michigan Volunteer Infantry. He was twice wounded on the first day at Gettysburg, and managed to crawl into the town and get as far as the steps of the Court House, which was fast filling with wounded from both sides. He was on duty later at the Naval Academy Hospital in Annapolis.Few of those who sought Arthur Macy for business information ever suspected that they were talking to a poet and man of letters. more…

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