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                    Marc Cook (1854-1882)

                   THE WEATHER IN VERSE.

    THE undersigned desires, in a modest sort of way,
    To make the observation, which properly he may,
    To wit: That writing verses on the several solar seasons
    Is most uncertain business, and for these conclusive reasons :

    In the middle of the Autumn the subscriber did compose
    A sonnet on November, showing how the spirit grows
    Unhappy and despondent at the season of the year
    When the skies are dull and leaden, and the days are chill and drear.

    Perhaps you may recall to mind that, when November came,
    No leaden skies nor chilly days accompanied the same ;
    But the weather was as balmy as in Florida you'd find,
    And that sonnet on November was respectfully declined !

    With laudable ambition to prepare a worthy rhyme,
    The writer wrote a Christmas song three weeks ahead of time ;
    And there was frequent reference to the shap and piercing air,
    And likewise to the cold white snow that covered earth so fair.

    I scarcely need remind you that the Christmas did not bring
    The piercing air and cold white snow of which I chose to sing :
    'T was all ethereal mildness while for icicles I yearned,
    And of course my frigid verses were with cordial warmth returned.

    This very Spring I set to work — 't was on an April day,
    And warm as June — I set to work and wrote an ode on May ;
    The inspiration may have come in part from what I owed,
    But while I sang of gentle Spring I swear it up and snowed !

    And once, when dew inspired me a pastoral to spin,
    It happened, when the poem was done, a dreadful drought set in ;
    There was no moisture in the earth, which dry and dryer grew,
    And the piece on dew came back to me with six cents postage due !

    And for these conclusive reasons it is obviously plain
    That verses on the weather are precarious and vain ;
    And the undersigned would only add, so far as he can see,
    The trouble's not the metre, but the meteorology !


Many of Cook's poems were published in the New York Clipper under
the pseudonym Vandyke Brown. The above poem appears under
that name in:
  • Northrop, Henry Davenport. Beautiful Gems of Thought and
    . Boston, MA: The Collins-Patten Co., 1890.

    It can be found, with a brief autobiography of the author, in:

  • Cook, Marc. "Vandyke-Brown" Poems. Cambridge: University Press,