Newspaper History presents media sourced from a United States newspaper dating back 108 years.

  • His Emancipation

    From the Rock Island Argus, June 6, 1914. By Henry Howland.

    “I’ve traveled till I’m sick of traveling;
        I’ve looked at everything there is to see.
    It’s come to pass that nothing seems to bring
        A new sensation or a thrill to me.

    “My taste is dulled, my thirst, alas, no more
        Brings anxious, eager longings to my soul
    Since all I have to do is turn and pour
        Myself another glassful from the bowl.

    “I’ve broken sporting records and I’ve played
        At working corners up in stocks and wheat;
    Such things have lost their charms for me; I’ve made
        The whole great round, the circle is complete.

    “Women, wine and song—bah! Not for me;
        There’s nothing left to long for any more,
    There’s nothing left to do or taste or see,
        The world has not another thrill in store.”

    But fate was kind to him who thus complained;
        It came to pass by happy chance, one day
    That, all alone and with his pockets drained,
        He on a far-off shore was cast away.

    There, where his voice could reach no friendly ear
        And where remittances could not be had,
    Hard masters made him toil from year to year
        And every time he ate his soul was glad.

    He longed for things that he could not obtain;
        The prospect of a day or two of rest,
    The chance to save a little extra gain,
        Sent new thrills trooping gladly through his breast.

    He sat him down no more with listless sighs,
        But with the hope of winning liberty
    He worked and looked ahead with eager eyes,
        Till Death was kind enough to set him free.