1919 - Milwaukee, WI - DB's earliest published verse?
- GHOSTS OF YESTERDAY
Adown a road where memory
Has cast its golden glow
The smiles and tears of yesteryears
Come dancing to and fro;
A tryst beneath a blossomed bough,
A kiss, a half forgotten vow;
They gather near to haunt me now
These ghosts of long ago.
Oft times within the night I wake
And lo; I find them there;
They come it seems to fill my dreams
With fancies sweet and rare
Of winding lanes and starry skies,
Of honey tones and tender sighs.
With lips of love and laughing eyes
And wisps of raven hair.
I cannot tell from whence they come
Or why they taunt me so;
Awhile they ply their witchery
And then away they blow;
These roguish elfs who mock and then
Elude alike my brush and pen
Are only things that might have been
And ghosts of long ago.
Don Blanding in the Milwaukee Journal
I found this poem in a column labeled "Social" by Grace Thorpe Bear in the Roswell Daily Record, Roswell, NM, August 11, 1919,
Page 3, Column 3.
Could this be a DB first-published verse? After all, he was in Rockford, IL, in 1919 and might easily have submitted material to Midwest or Upper Midwest newspapers. To have it picked up by the Roswell paper is certainly a coup!
The cadence sounds like our DB, and the reference to "brush and pen" suggests an artist-writer. The subject? An early love . . . Majel perhaps or Dorothy or someone from his Hawaii sojourn? I am somehow reminded of "the girl who loved too well" from the later Vagabond's House.
The only thing that bugs me is that prior to 1923, DB was generally known as "Donald," not "Don." Still . . .