Field, Eugene The Poems of Eugene Field Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1910, Cloth, , First Edition, Very Good /No Jacket
553 pp. P.O. signature dated 1910 ffep. TEG. Green cloth, gilt decoration on front board, gilt lettering on spine. Gilt is bright cloth is fairly clean. Top and bottom of spine and corners have slight rubbing. Pages are clean and bright save for the TP, where a 2X4 newspaper clipping about Field, 'Birthday Bio Briefs' as been laid in causing the inevitable shadow.
The Lucile project is an attempt to recover the publishing history of a single 19th century book. Owen Meredith's Lucile was first published in 1860, by Chapman & Hall in England and as a Ticknor & Fields "Blue & Gold" in the United States. It was reviewed in the New York Times, as well as other newspapers and magazines. In England, it saw only a handful of editions over the next 40 years. In the United States, however, it remained in print until 1938, last offered as a surviving title in Burt's Home Library remaindered to Blue Ribbon Books in 1936. It went out of print in 1938.
The Center for Book Arts, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1974, offers over 100 classes and workshops in bookbinding, letterpress printing, paper marbling, typography, and related fields. The Center has mounted over 140 exhibitions during the last 25 years.
This site is dedicated to reprinting the works of Annie Adams Fields in accessible annotated editions. It was begun as a "spin-off" from the Sarah Orne Jewett Text Project.—by Terry Heller
I looked upon the fields so beautifully green,
I looked upon the hills and vale between,
By shade and sunshine flecked with day and night;
And then I heard the mountain breezes tread
Their wooded sides, like leafy steps that led
Down to the broad and blue bright river’s bed,
Dwindling in distance to a line of light.
I gazed, and gazed,—till all my senses caught
The earthy charm. Then waked the fevered thought:
“Drink, O my spirit, of thy cup of bliss,
That ne’er can fail thee in a world like this!”
The charm is gone! Ah, wherefore was it sent,
To leave this vague and haunting discontent?
I saw it rise, like moving meadow mists,
Before my path, as ’t were a thing of sight;
E’en as that vapory sea, drinking the light
Fresh from the sun, and showering rubies bright
Where’er it breaks, and purple amethysts.
Ay, so it seemed. And then I saw it paled,
Till, like that mimic sea, ’t was all exhaled.
Then from her plumbless depth,—to mock the whole,—
Dark in her mystery, came forth the Soul.
And now,—O, what to me this marvellous Earth
But one vast show of misery and mirth,
In fearful alternation wheeled through space;
Where life is death; where the dead dust doth grow,
And push to air, and drink the dew, and blow
In fragrant flowers, that in their turn re-sow
Their parent soil for some new living race;
Where crumbled sepulchres uprise in thrones,
And gorgeous palaces from dead men’s bones;
Where, like the worm, the proudest lips are fed,
The delicate, the dainty, on the dead.
Ah, glorious vanity! Ah, worse than vain
To him who counts its whole possession gain,
Or fondly seeks on Earth one point of rest,—
E’en though it be the imperial house of Fame,
That still ’mid falling empires stands the same:
Alas! that house of breath but stays his name,—
His restless spirit passes like a guest.
No,—there ’s a spark that in the dullest lives;
That once to all its light spiritual gives,
Revealing to the soul a void so vast
Not all in time may fill,—not all the past!
And yet there are, who, ever doubting, deem
This inward light the fiction of a dream,
Contemptuous turning to the reasoning day:
While some with outward things e’en hope to close
The too-obtruding gulf, and buy repose
From ear and eye; or with fantastic shows
In pride of intellect around it play.
Vain toil of unbelief! For who may flee
This fearful warrant of his destiny,
That tracks the royal skeptic to his throne,
Marking his fealty to a world unknown?
O, rather let me, in the void I feel,
With no misgiving seek my lasting weal:
Things blank and imageless in human speech
Have oft a truth imperative in might;
And so that stream, unnamed, unknown of sight,
Unheard of ear, that thence doth day and night
Flow on the Soul; and she doth feel it reach
Her deepest seat of life, and knows her home
Is whence that dim, mysterious stream doth come;
Where all without is peace, all peace within,—
A home closed only to the rebel, Sin.
Then be not in me quenched that inward ray,
Shed on my spirit when this moving clay
First took the wondrous gift, its life. O, never
May things of sense beguile me to the brink
Of that dark fount of Pride, of which to drink
Is but to swallow madness,—when to think
Will only be to doubt, till darkness ever
Wall up the soul. But let Humility,
Born of the obedient will, my guide still be
Through this fair world,—though changing, yet how fair!—
Till all shall be to me as things that were.