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art students, which New York "bo In the summer of 1914, he went hemians” try desperately to imitate to London for the purpose of finding without coming within a million a publisher for a first volume of miles of the reality. He loved poems. The gathering storm-clouds lightly sometimes—but never crude overtook him there. When it became ly. He was too fastidious to toler certain that war was going to break, ate the view point of his average com he at once returned to Paris and ofpatriot, who regards a succession of fered his services to the French Govdreary “affairs” as being the prin- ernment. He was told to wait until cipal reason for visiting Paris. the mobilisation of the regular forces
On the whole, Seeger was more at was ended and enlistments could be home in the Latin Quarter than he taken for the Foreign Legion. could have been in an American city. I did not see him until the Corps He was often desperately hard up, of the rue de Valois rallied on Augbut he knew how to wrap his tat ust 25th. Nor, after that day of tered poet's cloak about him and go high romance, did I ever meet him down the road without sacrificing again in the flesh. On the occasions either his dignity or his happiness. when he got leave from the front, I One can do that in Paris, where happened to be away from Paris. money is not the main consideration But I talked with many of the men in life.
who had fought beside him in the It was a matter of stubborn pride Champagne and the battle of the with him not to offer his poems for Somme, where he was killed. sale to magazine editors. One day, The admirers of Seeger who did however, he came up to me in the not know him personally may be Café de la Rotonde and asked me shocked to learn that at first he was just how. I made my living. I told unpopular in the Legion. Yet nothhim that I was working for an ing could have been more certain American newspaper and obtained than that this would be the case. He most of the material for my articles was among men radically different from the French daily press.
from himself, and he was a poor He considered this for a moment, mixer. Naturally, he was misunderthen coolly remarked:
stood. “It is disgusting to have to do Bert Hall, who enlisted at the that kind of thing; but, after all, it same time, and who was later an is journalism and no standards ap aviator in the Lafayette Escadrille, ply. I believe I could stomach a lit told me that when Seeger was questle of it."
tioned about his calling in civil life, “Why risk the shock to your sen
he replied: sibilities?" I asked politely.
“I am a poet.” “I have been broke for several It may have been absurd of the weeks,” he replied. “It is getting to legionnaires to consider this snobbe a nuisance. If you hear of any- bish, but most of them did. They thing, please let me know.” And he furthermore resented Seeger's habit stalked off.
of sitting apart and writing, then reNeedless to say, with his fierce hos- fusing nonchalantly to show anyone tility toward the work, Seeger did what he had written. not succeed in earning very much Before the training period was from newspapers.
over, the feeling toward him had
grown so bitter that at a mass meet pale he was! His tall silhouette ing of the volunteers it was voted to stood out on the green of the cornask him to get himself transferred field. He was the tallest man in his to another company. A close friend section. His head was erect, and of mine, who was also friendly to pride was in his eye. I saw him runSeeger, was delegated to notify him ning forward, with bayonet fixed. of his comrades' wishes. I suppress Soon he disappeared and that was this soldier's name at his own re the last time I saw my friend.” quest, though I may say that he has Alan Seeger's two posthumous since been discharged for wounds books prove his growth as a poet, beand is living in New York.
sides revealing a lofty idealism, an He approached Seeger and ex immeasurable belief in and devotion plained the situation, adding that it to France. And France is grateful was to the poet's advantage to go. to him. She has inscribed his name The legionnaires were not the most first on the roll of honour of forlaw-abiding of persons and might eigners who have died in this war maltreat him if their request were that she might live. As I have said, ignored. The reply was in charac- she will raise a statue in Paris to his ter. Seeger flung up his head and
memory. If, beyond the divide, it is said scornfully :
possible for him to know of this beau “I never alter my course because geste, I am sure that he will regard I am threatened or disliked. My his sacrifice as having been amply reason for being here is to serve rewarded. Remember, he loved France. For me, the men who sent Paris. That a niche should be set you simply do not exist."
apart for him in some old street or The result of this courageous quaint mediæval square, will seem to stand was to create a new respect for his proud ego the supreme honour. Alan Seeger in the Foreign Legion. He has written his own epitaph in Sergeant Ed. Morlae, a harsh disci
the following lines from the Ode in plinarian, who trained him, used to
Memory of the American Volunteers sing his praises as a soldier. But
Fallen for France: the one big friendship he appears to have formed was with an Egyptian, Be they remembered here with each revirRif Baer. In his letters he often ing spring, mentioned the Rif. The latter was
Not only that in May, when life is loveliest,
Around Neuville-Saint-Vaast and the diswith him in the last charge at Bel
puted crest loy-en-Santerre, and thus described Of Vimy, they, superb, unfaltering, it:
In that fine onslaught that no fire could “After the first bound forward, we
Parted impetuous to their first assault; lay flat on the ground, and I saw the
But that they brought fresh hearts and first section advancing beyond us springlike too and making toward the extreme To that high mission, and 'tis meet to strew right of the village of Belloy-en
With twigs of lilac and spring's earliest
rose Santerre. I caught sight of Seeger
The cenotaph of those and called to him, making a sign Who in the cause that history most endears with my hand.
Fell in the sunny morn and flower of their "He answered with a smile. How young years.
MY CHILDHOOD DAYS IN RUSSIA
BY ROSE COHEN
and the green fields, filled my soul
with unspeakable happiness. At I was born in a small Russian vil such moments I would run away lage. Our home was a log house, from my little sister, hide myself in covered with a straw roof. The a favourite bush and sit for a while front part of the house overlooked listening to the singing of the birds a large clear lake, and the back, and the rustling of the leaves. Then
I would jump up and skip about like The first time I became aware of a young pony and shout out of pure my existence was on a cold winter joy. night. My father and I were sitting In the winter we cut and made on top of our red brick oven. The doll's clothing. Father was a tailor, wind, whistling through the chimney and as soon as we were able to hold and rattling the ice-covered windows, a needle we were taught to sew. frightened me, and so I pressed close Mother taught us how to spin, to my father and held his hand grandfather made toys out of wood tightly. He was looking across the for us, and grandmother told us room where mother's bed stood cur stories. tained off with white sheets. Every These were the pleasant days durnow and then I heard a moan com ing the winter. But there were ing from the bed, and each time I others, days that were cold and dark felt father's hand tremble.
and dreary, when we children had to Appearing and disappearing be stay a great part of the time on top hind the bed curtains, I saw my little of the oven, and no one came, not old great-aunt, in a red quilted petti even a beggar. But when a beggar coat and white, close-fitting cap. did come, our joy was boundless. Whenever she appeared and caught I remember that grandfather father's eye, she smiled to him, a would hasten to meet the poor man, sweet, crooked smile. Finally, I re as we called him, at the door with a call hearing a few sound slaps, fol hearty handshake and a welcoming lowed by a baby's cry and aunt call smile, saying, “Peace be with you, ing out loudly, “It's a girl again." brother. Take off your knapsack
About three years passed. With and stay over night.” my little sister as companion, I re
Mother would put on call many happy days we spent to apron and begin to prepare somegether. In the summer we picked thing extra for supper. And grandfield mushrooms at the back of the mother, who was blind, and always house or played near the lake and sat in bed knitting a stocking, would watched the women bleaching their stop for a moment at the sound of linens. I was happiest in the morn the stranger's voice to smooth the ing when I first went out of doors. comforter on her bed. Her pale face, To see the sunshine, the blue sky, so indifferent a minute before, would
light up as if with new life, while we pale. He had an agreeable voice, children, fearing if seen idle to be and when he sang it was pleasant to rebuked and sent into a distant cor hear him. When we did our lessons ner, from where we could neither see well, his eyes brightened and his nor hear the stranger, would sud- tightly closed lips would relax a litdenly find a dozen things to do. tle. But when we did poorly, he was
On such a night after supper there angry and would scold us. was something of the holiday spirit As soon as I learned how to read I in our home. We would light the would sit for hours and read to my lamp instead of a candle and place grandmother. Besides the Bible, we it on a milk jug in the centre of the had a few religious books. I read table. Then we all sat around it, these again and again, and became grandmother with her knitting, very devout. I read the morning, mother with her sewing, all of us lis noon and evening prayers, and sometening eagerly to the stories the times I fasted for half a day. Then stranger told. But more surprised I became less stubborn and the quareven than any of us children about rels between sister and myself became the wonderful things going on in the less frequent. world, was grandfather. He would One day father left home on a sit listening with his lips partly open three days' journey. When he reand his eyes large with wonder. turned he did not look like himself. Every now and then he would call His face was pale and he seemed to out, “Ach, brother, I never would be restless. During the three days have even dreamed such things pos that followed, father went out only sible!"
at night. I also noticed that mother At bedtime grandfather would collected all of father's clothes, and, give up his favourite bed, the bench as she sat mending them, I often saw near the oven, to the stranger. her tears fall on her work. On the Mother would give him the largest third night I awoke and saw father and softest of her pillows. And
And bending over me. He wore his heavy grandmother would give him a clean overcoat, his hat was pulled well pair of socks to put on in the morn over his forehead and a knapsack ing
was strapped across his shoulders. The next day after he was gone Before I had time to say a word he we felt as after a pleasant holiday, kissed me and went to grandmother's when we had to put on our old bed and woke her up. “I am going clothes and turn in to do the every- away, mother.” She sat up and day things.
rubbed her eyes and asked in a sleepy
voice, “Where?” “To America,” II
father whispered hoarsely.
For a moment there was silence; When I was about eleven years old, then grandmother uttered a cry that there were five of us children. One chilled my blood. My mother, who day father went to town and came sat in a corner weeping, went to her back with a stranger, who, we were and tried to quiet her. The noise told, would teach us to read and woke grandfather and the children. write. Our teacher was a young We all gathered around grandman of middle height, thin, dark and mother's bed, and I heard father ex
plaining the reason for his going. father away on a visit. He was not He said that he could not get a pass a person to have around in case of port (for a reason I could not un trouble, for the very sight of brass derstand at the time). And as no buttons put him into such fright one may live in Russia even a week and confusion, that he would forget without a passport, he had to leave his own name.
After he was gone immediately. His explanation did mother went to town to see her not comfort grandmother; she still brother and arrange for the escape. sat crying and wringing her hands. Then there was nothing left to do After embracing us all, father ran but wait for father's home-coming. out of the house, and grandfather I remember that I used to run out on ran after him into the snow with his the road many times a day to see if bare feet. When he returned, he sat he were coming. down and cried like a little child. I One afternoon, mother put on a spent the rest of the night in prayer cheerful face and busied herself layfor a safe journey for my father. ing the cloth and setting food on the
table, and grandmother put on her III
best apron, father's last gift, and
sat down near the table with her As father's departure to America hands folded in her lap, waiting. had to be kept secret until he was We children stood at the window safe out of Russia, we had to bury looking out. Soon we saw father our sorrow deep in our own hearts, open our gate. He was closely foland go about our work as if nothing lowed by Yonko, the sheriff, in his unusual had happened.
which he wore summer One morning mother went to the and winter, and his grey coat tied post-office, and when she came back with a red girdle. she looked as if she had suddenly Father was limping and when he aged. She took a postal card from came nearer I saw how greatly he her pocket and we all bent our heads had changed. His face was thin and over it and read: “I have been ar weatherbeaten, and his eyes had sunk rested while crossing the border and deep into his head. At sight of us I am on my way home, walking the near the window his lips twitched, greater part of the way. If we pass but the next moment we saw. his own through our village, I will ask the old smile light up his whole face. officer to let me stop home for a few Our greeting and our conversation minutes. Be brave and trust in were quiet and restrained. God.” At the news more tears were When father sat down at the table shed in our house than on the Day of he said that he was very hungry, but Atonement.
after taking a few mouthfuls he fell That night the doors were barred asleep. The peasant, who sat near and the windows darkened, grand- the stove resting his elbows on his mother, grandfather, and mother, knees and turning his cap between with a three weeks' old baby in her his hands, rose and wanted to wake arms, sat in the niche of our chim- father. "Oh, let him sleep a little ney, making plans to defeat the Czar while,” mother entreated. “Imposof Russia.
sible," said Yonko, “the roads are The next day mother sent grand- bad and we have to be in the next