‘Tis did—my braggin’ days is o’er,
I’ll brag of old SALT* now no more.
The look of pride which once I wore
Is gone, alas! my heart are tore ;
The proud, firm footstep, mine of yore
Are gone now, too, gone ; my eyes is sore,
And little scaldin’ tears does pour,
When I does think that old SALT’S roar,
Was made “considerable” lower,
Even at this very door.
I’VE seen them come, I’ve seen them go, ‡‡Too numerous to mention,
And I put on a mighty show ‡‡To capture their attention.
I hurl me boldly down the cliff ‡‡And thrash myself to spray,
Yet none of them would notice if ‡‡I ran the other way.
I think it’s very rude to me ‡‡That any groom and bride
Should come this distance just to be ‡‡So darned preoccupied !
Source: Saturday Evening Post, May 22, 1948
Biographical sketch of Norman R. Jaffray. Saturday Evening Post, March 28, 1942:
Jaffray, Just Jaffray
NORMAN JAFFRAY first appeared in Post Scripts sixteen years ago and he’s been appearing there with regularity ever since. You’ll even find him there this week, with WHODUNIT? Acceding to a deluge of requests from four readers (Hansel, Ole, Sergi and Tong Lee Jaffray), we are this week shaking down the fruit of Mr. Jaffray’s persistence.
Here he is:
“Yes, here I am—but guess which? Not the one in uniform—no-o. Not the one in the middle — no-o, but you’re getting warmer. . . . The scene is Santa Barbara, where I live, the friends. Flying Officer Robert French, RAF, and Mrs. Shreve Ballard, and the background is the blue Pacific (advt.).
“Where to start? Born? Yes. In Brooklyn, N. Y., and came to this country as a small boy.That was in 1904. Roosevelt was President—he still is; horse and buggy were the popular mode of transportation—nothing has changed.
” I went to Yale and then to Trinity College, Cambridge, and in 1926 I came out West. The country was filling up, and men sought new lands where they could start life afresh. I picked on Los Angeles, and it was there that Ted Cook, of the Examiner, printed my first piece in Cook-Coos. I’ve been freelancing ever since. I’m not even married.
” The other day I went to Los Angeles again, this time for a rendezvous with some fellow contributors to Post Scripts. Local No. 138 of the Curtis chain gang, comprising Ethel Jacobson, Kay Hosking and your correspondent, met and passed several resolutions, which were quickly tabled. Just to give you an idea of what shop talk among writers is like:
ETHEL: I liked that Christmas poem of yours—the one with the bad scansion.
KAY: Done anything lately, yourself?
ETHEL: Yes, something for Easter.
NORMAN (apprehensively): Nothing long, I hope?
ETHEL: Whole column.
KAY: Don’t you ever get sick or anything?
ETHEL; Do you like Y?
KAY AND NORMAN; Like that. (Gesture of cutting throat)
KAY: How about Z?
ETHEL AND NORMAN: Well, Z’s stuff is pretty good. Of course, it doesn’t rhyme and . . .
NORMAN; Well, I’ve got to drive back to Santa Barbara. (Goes to door, feeling for knife in shoulder blades.) And please . . . please don’t talk about me when I’m gone! (He goes. They do.)”
Lines suggested by a glance at the visitor’s Album, kept at the Museum, Niagara Falls.
Give up, ye would-be bards, your rhymes to tag here so,
In vain you rack your brains to paint Niagara.
A theme which even Milton’s muse might beggar, you
Had better let alone when at Niagara.
About Lodore right well could Southey swagger, tho’
‘Twould take ten thousand such to match Niagara.
To all who can stand boasting fit to stagger me,
I’d recommend a visit to Niagara.
Hear yon sleek slaver—not a bit in waggery—
Toasting the “Flag of Freedom” at Niagara!
“You Canucks,” quoth he, “need the starry flag o’er you
To make you worth your salt benorth Niagara!
You can’t too quickly have that British rag o’er you
To disappear entirely from Niagara!
He calculates some day to blast a crag or two
And drain Lake Erie all up from Niagara.
He speculates, just as myself I drag away,
How Ætna’s throat would like to gulp Niagara!
Oh, cousins, cousins! what a set for brag are you!
When will you learn mere froth is not Niagara?
But I must cease, lest they should lynch or dagger me;
Already they have fleeced me at Niagara.
Source: Evan MacColl. The English Poetical Works of Evan MacColl. 2nd Canadian edition. Toronto: Hunter, Rose & Co., 1885