Sharps and Flats [excerpt]
A smart young marm, away down in southeastern Missouri, the front
elevation of whose name is Minerva, breaks forth in poetical warble,
Oh, say not that our chieftain dies, slain by a coward’s dastard
With aching hearts we strive to say, “All’s well, thy will be
we cry, “Is there no other way?”
Alas! too true, beyond recall a savior’s voice has whispered,
. . . . to mark the grief of this sad blow which robbed us of
a chief so true.
Now, it seems to me that Minerva
is a trifle mixed—that her poetic muse has slipped its trolley with
regard to harmony of conception. In short, she has allowed fair
fancy to confuse her facts. How does she reconcile “All’s well”
with “a coward’s dastard hand”? Does Minerva honestly believe that
God employed “a coward’s dastard hand” to execute “his will”? What
are hearts aching for if “all is well”? Why “the grief of this sad
blow,” when “a savior’s voice has whispered, Come home, my own”?
If God willed the assassination of President McKinley, what does
Minerva want to call his agent a cowardly dastard for? A lot of
people accused Czolgosz of being the tool of Emma Goldman. But Minerva
seems to think that God has gone into the propaganda-by-deed business—that
is, he is a terrorist. Go to, thou sweet singer of the Missouri
wildwood, or you will be getting your God, Jehovah, into trouble
with the Chicago police.