Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
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James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
 
April 6
Fitz James O’Brien
By Andrew E. Watrous (d. 1902)
 
          Fitz James O’Brien was born in Ireland, but spent the latter part of his life in this country. He wrote stories something after the manner of Edgar Poe. He enlisted in the army, was wounded in battle, and died on April 6, 1862.

THIS was our poet—one who strode
  These streets in ante-bellum ages,
And smoked on street-car steps, and rode
  Down Broadway on the tops of stages.
 
A Dublin gownsman, London rake,        5
  For grim romance, pathetic ditty;
No color from ’cross seas he’d take,
  But loved, and learned, and wrote our city.
 
’Twas here he sowed each splendid crop
  Of fecund wind—here did he reap        10
Fine whirlwinds. From the base or top
  His path was lighter, being steep.
 
He swayed the sceptre, felt the lash,
  Wrought starving nights—by sated days
Petted his trooper’s brown moustache,        15
  And sought and strolled life’s sunny ways.
 
From here he sallied forth to crown
  A flaring life with flaming death.
God rest him! There outside the town
  He waits the Doomsday trumpet’s breath.        20
 
Poor Fitz! they say—yet when I’m dead
  I’ll ask no pity, if a line
Of all I’ve writ in some one’s head
  Shall run as some of his in mine.
 
 
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