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AMES, CHARLES GORDON
25 Waumbeck St Roxbury, Mass. Feb 10/90
My dear Mrs. Sewall --
Woe is me that I am not the man you took me for! I cannot go to Washington, I have never said or thought that I could go. If only wishes were horses, how swiftly I would ride; but my feet are fast in the stocks. Please forgive whoever has deceived you in this matter & congratulate yourself that the long programme will still be too short for all who will want to speak. The "toasts" you offer me are toothsome: I am greedy enough to take both; and am therefore sure you will suffer from a plethora of talk.
I have just been making the enclosed copy of some lines which my wife wants me to send you for the banquet; she,
meanwhile, lying limp with tonsilitis. Should you care to use her "pome", I trust you will be the reader of it. You will observe that she insists on pronouncing the Greek "Tau" after the German standard. Or, if you choose, you can call "brow" as if it were "braugh!" Ms. Ames's love for Susan must have affected her like an inspiration; for I do not remember her dropping into rhyme till now since our wedding journey (1863) when we were en route between Albany & Lake Champlain. Then she broke out ---
"The Hudson rests her happy head Away the northern hills, And draws into her emerald bed The little snickering rills."
This you are not to use at Washington, though it may appear in Fanny's "collected works."
Do you know how happily your fellow-church folk at Spring Garden are getting on with Mr. Nichols, their new minister. I trust our non-resident member is doing us credit. Please come this way & report yourself now & then.
Yours, habitually, Chas. Gordon Ames
The Modern St. Anthony
By Fanny B. Ames
"Who loses home and friends for my name's sake Finds life that neither foe not time can take!" So spake the ancient Voice.
By spirit-ear the spirit-sense is heard: And souls that caught but half that mystic word Fled far from homes of new, ---
To list in cell, or cave, or desert wild, The whisper sweet, "Well done: thou art my child!" That bids the heart rejoice.
Fair legend tells how one who bore the name Of Antony left all and wandered till he came Where wild beasts make their den.
Alone he fought the fiends that ever would Beguile the souls that follow after Good, And kept his faith intact.
And sacred Art has told, in pictures quaint, What hideous forms & foul beset the saint, In horrid, grewsome strife.
By victory o'er these ugly shapes of wrong, What purity & power he gained, ere long! Nor higher skill he lacked ---
To cheer sad souls, heal hearts, charm feuds to peace, To bid injustice & unkindness cease: And thus he won the Life.
Tau, And now he bears the sacred (Tau) with those Who keep the chosen way, despite of foes, -Way of the Crucified.
And thou, Saint Anthony of modern days, Hast thou not also trod the desert ways? The fiends, that mock and rage,
Thou hast confronted in the halls of state, In labor's market, and at college gate; Yet none could make afraid.
3 Foul Slander and Abuse have crossed thy path, And Fashion amd Convention mocked in wrath Thy noble youth and age
"Go forth," the Spirit said, "for my name's sake: Give all thou art; all ease & gain forsake" That call thou hast obeyed.
How sweet were home and quiet hearth to thee! But sweeter righteousness enthroned to see: To thee nought else was gain.
And thou for Womanhood, by night and day, Hast cried with prophet voice, "Prepare the way!" Thy life became a light.
To widow's wrongs and childhood's menaced years Thou gavest pleadings, strivings, prayers & tears, And gavest not in vain.
What though the State, entrenched in wont & use, Withholds, with shifting voice & vain excude, The seal of civic right?
The heavy burden has been rolled away; No growing girl but sees a gladder day, Through thee, & those like thee.