Publication information
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Source: Free Society
Source type: magazine
Document type: article
Document title: “Sharps and Flats”
Author(s): Winn, Ross
Date of publication: 2 February 1902
Volume number: 9
Issue number: 5
Pagination: 3

Winn, Ross. “Sharps and Flats.” Free Society 2 Feb. 1902 v9n5: p. 3.
McKinley assassination (poetry); McKinley assassination (poetry: criticism).
Named persons
Leon Czolgosz; Emma Goldman; William McKinley.
The identity of Minerva (below) cannot be determined.


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, as follows:


Oh, say not that our chieftain dies, slain by a coward’s dastard hand.
With aching hearts we strive to say, “All’s well, thy will be done!” But
          weeping we cry, “Is there no other way?”
Alas! too true, beyond recall a savior’s voice has whispered, Come home,
          my own!
. . . . 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.



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