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Moving Pictures

From the Omaha Daily Bee, May 3, 1915. By David.

On Farnam Street, where Sixteenth joins, one day
I idly watched the masses on their way,
And as one waking, slowly comprehends,
I knew these for my life-long, well-tried friends,
Who, from the world of fiction strayed away,
Escaping from the printed page, that they
Might taunt me with resemblances unique
Of face and form. I did not dare to speak,
And scarce believed so many years had flown,
For Dickens, Scott and Hawthorne must have known
These self-same folk. They were all here, and more:
Mark Tapleys, yes, and Pickwicks by the score;
Good Don Quixote, without lance or shield.
Rough Robert Burns and gentle Eugene Field
With all their characters. Then Tiny Tim
And Jenny Wren came by with Sunny Jim;
Then Scrooge and David Harum with a Priest;
Then Mr. Opp and Beauty and the Beast;
Perlmutter and Abe Potash, come to life;
And then poor Mr. Caudle with his wife;
And Jean Val Jean with Cossette by his side;
Then Edwin dear, and Angeline, his bride;
And Sary Gamp and Betsy Prigg in tears;
And Marys, Marthas, Clara Vere de Veres;
Shy Minnehaha, too, and Susan Clegg,
And surely that was Amy, Joe and Meg;
Gay Wallingford and Blackie Daw, his pard;
And Eloise without her Abelard.
Here were they all, our friends, the saints and crooks,
To make the characters of future books.
From every walk of life they came to meet
On equalizing plane, the public street,
Where each, engrossed in his own selfish lot,
To jostling stranger gave no second thought,
Though ‘twould bring smiles and tears if they had seen
These self-same pictures on a movie screen.

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