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1919 - Milwaukee, WI - DB's earliest published verse?

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  • Cadia
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 2 6:28 PM
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      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 . . .

      ~~Cadia
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