The Charlotte News

Wednesday, April 3, 1940


Site Ed. Note: So, for this date, we add:

I said--Then, dearest, since 'tis so,
Since now at length my fate I know,
Since nothing all my love avails,
Since all, my life seem'd meant for, fails,
Since this was written and needs must be--
My whole heart rises up to bless
Your name in pride and thankfulness!
Take back the hope you gave,--I claim
Only a memory of the same,
--And this beside, if you will not blame;
Your leave for one more last ride with me.

My mistress bent that brow of hers,
Those deep dark eyes where pride demurs
When pity would be softening through,
Fix'd me a breathing-while or two
With life or death in the balance: right!
The blood replenish'd me again;
My last thought was at least not vain:
I and my mistress, side by side
Shall be together, breathe and ride,
So, one day more am I deified.
Who knows but the world may end to-night?

Hush! if you saw some western cloud
All billowy-bosom'd, over-bow'd
By many benedictions--sun's
And moon's and evening-star's at once--
And so, you, looking and loving best,
Conscious grew, your passion drew
Cloud, sunset, moonrise, star-shine too,
Down on you, near and yet more near,
Till flesh must fade for heaven was here!--
Thus leant she and linger'd--joy and fear!
Thus lay she a moment on my breast.

Then we began to ride. My soul
Smooth'd itself out, a long-cramp'd scroll
Freshening and fluttering in the wind.
Past hopes already lay behind.
What need to strive with a life awry?
Had I said that, had I done this,
So might I gain, so might I miss.
Might she have loved me? just as well
She might have hated, who can tell!
Where had I been now if the worst befell?
And here we are riding, she and I.

Fail I alone, in words and deeds?
Why, all men strive and who succeeds?
We rode; it seem'd my spirit flew,
Saw other regions, cities new,
As the world rush'd by on either side.
I thought,--All labour, yet no less
Bear up beneath their unsuccess.
Look at the end of work, contrast
The petty done, the undone vast,
This present of theirs with the hopeful past!
I hoped she would love me; here we ride.

What hand and brain went ever pair'd?
What heart alike conceived and dared?
What act proved all its thought had been?
What will but felt the fleshly screen?
We ride and I see her bosom heave.
There's many a crown for who can reach.
Ten lines, a statesman's life in each!
The flag stuck on a heap of bones,
A soldier's doing! what atones?
They scratch his name on the Abbey-stones.
My riding is better, by their leave.

What does it all mean, poet? Well,
Your brains beat into rhythm, you tell
What we felt only; you express'd
You hold things beautiful the best,
And pace them in rhyme so, side by side.
'Tis something, nay 'tis much: but then,
Have you yourself what's best for men?
Are you--poor, sick, old ere your time--
Nearer one whit your own sublime
Than we who never have turn'd a rhyme?
Sing, riding's a joy! For me, I ride.

And you, great sculptor--so, you gave
A score of years to Art, her slave,
And that's your Venus, whence we turn
To yonder girl that fords the burn!
You acquiesce, and shall I repine?
What, man of music, you grown gray
With notes and nothing else to say,
Is this your sole praise from a friend?--
'Greatly his opera's strains intend,
But in music we know how fashions end!'
I gave my youth: but we ride, in fine.

Who knows what's fit for us? Had fate
Proposed bliss here should sublimate
My being--had I sign'd the bond--
Still one must lead some life beyond,
Have a bliss to die with, dim-descried.
This foot once planted on the goal,
This glory-garland round my soul,
Could I descry such? Try and test!
I sink back shuddering from the quest.
Earth being so good, would heaven seem best?
Now, heaven and she are beyond this ride.

And yet--she has not spoke so long!
What if heaven be that, fair and strong
At life's best, with our eyes upturn'd
Whither life's flower is first discern'd,
We, fix'd so, ever should so abide?
What if we still ride on, we two
With life for ever old yet new,
Changed not in kind but in degree,
The instant made eternity,--
And heaven just prove that I and she
Ride, ride together, for ever ride?

--Robert Browning


Probably Adolf Brags But He Plays By No Rules

The most obvious guess about the announcement of Goering--that Adolf Hitler plans to strike a decisive blow on the Western Front and soon--is that, like Dr. Ley’s similar deliverances the day before, it is merely standard Nazi brag, designed to whip up the German people and incidentally to frighten the Allies.

What makes that more probable is Dr. Ley's "German victory is self-evident--we do not discuss the possibility of victory--it already exists for us to grasp--it is here;" and Goering's promise to the German Youth that the Blitzkrieg against France will be as swift and crushing as that against Poland.

To say the least, such claims are, as Mark Twain remarked of the reports of his death, slightly exaggerated.

Nevertheless, it may also just possibly be an old poker and dice trick. Would Adolf Hitler really allow it to be announced if he were planning to strike in the West? Not by the accepted rules. But Adolf Hitler is no man for accepted rules. He might well figure that the announcement of his purpose would be calculated to make the Allies confident that he meant anything else than that, to lull them into a feeling of false security and enable him to take them off their guard.

Certainly, it has been his habit to do just that before. He announced that he was going into Austria, into Czechoslovakia, and into Poland--and nobody, save old Mr. Chamberlain in the case of the Czechs, believed him until he did it. Moreover, such explicit promises create an almost irresistible necessity for carrying them out, if the ultimate reaction on the Germans' blind faith in Der Furious is not to be unfavorable.


The Bumstead Family In An Exercise In Satire

The country owes a debt of gratitude to Mr. Chic Young, Mr. Chic Young is the man who draws "Blondie." "Blondie" is one of the few truly comic strips extant.

Not that we would disparage the transformation of comic strips into dramatic and adventure serials, except to say that some of them have gone too far in gruesomeness and violence. These are bound to have an insidious effect on the mind of young America and the immature adults who are most wrapped up in them, and they need to be toned down. That is a job for the newspapers, the which they probably won't undertake.

But for the main part, these serials are a wholesome, crude form of dramatic art, to the United States somewhat as the short and brooding play form is to the Irish, with educational and entertainment possibilities that have only begun to be realized. In contrast to their fumbling for expression, the heaviness of their characters and situations and the ripe sentimentality in which they deal, "Blondie" is like--well, it is like what it is, a gentle satire on the "dominant" male, his sweetly tyrannical helpmeet and the minor vexations of behavior in a devoted young family.

Verily, "Blondie" is almost any household in its comic moods. And as amusing as good humor itself.


The Hon. Tobey Gets Some Facts, Plus An Offer

The Hon. Vergil D. Reed, Acting Director of the United States Bureau of the Census, is evidently a man with a pretty sense of sardonic humor, as well as a devastating opponent in argument.

The Hon. Charles W. Tobey, Republican Senator from New Hampshire, who has been busily trying to spread the impression that the current census is a menace to the liberties of the Republic, had loudly written Mr. Reed a letter, inspired he said, by a deluge of mail which came to him from frightened citizens, and setting forth "four apprehensions."

These "apprehensions" were that Paragraphs 17, 19, 20, 21, and 372, in the bureau's instructions to the census-takers all violated the "search and seizures" clause of the Bill of Rights; (2) allowed the use of "threats"; (3) violated the respondents rights by instructing the enumerator not to accept "false answers" and not to let the respondent see what he had written down about him; and (4) encouraged "inconceivable snooping" by instructing the enumerator to get information from the neighbors under certain circumstances.

But down sat Mr. Reed to reply. Paragraphs 17, 18, 19, 20, and 372 in the 1940 instructions were identical (he quoted them) with paragraphs 16, 18, 19, 20 and 56 in the 1930 instructions, save for a single phrase in 21 which had nothing to do with Tobey's charges.

"So you see," wrote Mr. Reed, "the only difference between 1930 and 1940 on these matters arousing your apprehensions is that the 1930 instructions were executed by a field force selected by your own political party.

"You ask me how you may answer these inquirers. A very proper answer would be to write them and tell them honestly that the instructions on all these points are the same in 1940 as they were in 1930... If sending them correct information places too much of a burden on the clerical force of your office, I propose that you permit us to mail them copies of this letter..."

And perhaps the cream of this jest lies in the fact, probably known to the Census Director, that Senator Tobey's office force is headed by Tobey Jr.


Dewey Push May React On The Third Term Question

The returns from the Democratic delegate primaries in Wisconsin and New York prove only that a lot of people have been indulging in wish-thinking.

There's never been much doubt that the President could have the nomination if he wanted it, and without a real fight. Nor is it very probable that his taking it would result in an open split of any great proportions in the party. Both his chief opponents, Garner and Farley, have a life-time of organization politics behind them, and such men do not often bolt.

Moreover, it is not likely that they could count on taking many other politicians with them; for politicians live by patronage from the men already in power. And even if they could carry other politicians along, only Jim, whose personal loyalty makes a bolt doubly unlikely, could do much damage. Garner's strength lies in territory which is inevitably Democratic, bolt or no bolt.

Whether or not Mr. Roosevelt could be re-elected is a horse of another color. In 1936 the Roosevelt forces piled up twice as many delegate votes in Wisconsin as the Republicans. This year Republicans have an edge of ten to nine. That suggests that many Republicans who voted for the New Deal in 1932 and 1936 are swinging back to their old allegiance.

On the other hand, it is to be remembered that people who vote in delegate primaries are usually active party workers. And it is to be observed also that it is Mr. Dewey who is the overwhelming favorite of the Wisconsin Republicans over Vandenberg. That is calculated greatly to increase the Dewey chances for securing the Republican nomination. And if the young, inexperienced, and definitely rash Mr. Dewey should turn out to be the Republican nominee, it would afford a perfect set-up for what is certain to be the principal Roosevelt argument if he runs: that the long experience of the New Deal chieftain is the only safe bet in time of peril at home and abroad.

Indeed, the nomination of Mr. Dewey at the Republican convention, which precedes the Democratic convention this year, might well be the decisive factor in making the President choose to run for a third term instead of merely using the demonstration of his continued power with the Democratic masses to name the candidate of his choice.

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