Vol 3 Section 0251

1898                                                                          203

Among the verses sent:


Sleep! for the Sun that scores another Day

Against the Tale allotted you to stay,

Reminding You, is Risen, & now

Serves Notice—ah, ignore it while You may!


The chill Wind blew, & those who stood before

The Tavern murmured, “Having drunk his Score,

Why tarries He with Empty Cup? Behold,

The Wine of Youth once poured, is poured no more—


Myself when Young did eagerly frequent

Some shady Houses, & heard Argument

About It & about: but evermore

I liked it well, & in I went.


Into this Bawdy House, & Why, well knowing,

But Whence, for Wisdom’s sake not showing,

And out of it, the Wine exalting me,

I knew not Whither, windy went, a-blowing.


Our Sphincters growing lax in their dear Art,

Their Grip relinquishing, in Whole or Part,

We fall a Prey to confidence misplaced,

And fart in place where we should not fart.


Behold—The Penis mightier than the Sword,

(The rest of this quatrain is indelicate) [MTP].

Note: it is doubtful these passed Livy’s inspection, and understandable why Sam wanted these burned. He had adopted Victorian sensibilities about sex and such, but clearly had conflict about it. For an interesting and mostly lucid treatment of these issues, including whether or not Sam was a virgin when he married Livy, see “Mark Twain and Sexuality,” by Alexander E. Jones, PLMA, Vol. 71 No. 4 (Sept. 1956) p. 595-616. F. Kaplan calls these “cynical, semi-obscene quatrains” [571]. Welland points out that McClure’s of Jan. 1900 , and in “My Boyhood Dreams,” under the title “To the Above Old people,” published a 20-stanza version of “Omar’s Old Age.” Welland writes:

The nine ‘Chatto’ stanzas omitted from the McClure’s text explain his urgent instruction to Chatto to destroy the manuscript, though no rugby club would be in the least troubled by them. One comprises the single line ‘Behold—The Penis mightier than the Sword’ followed by the parenthesis ‘(The rest of this quatrain is indelicate’. It suggests that the whole thing was intended as a joke, especially as a completed version of that quatrain in a manuscript now at Yale is milder than several others. Even if it was a ‘leg-pull’, of course, Clemens must have been very sure that the recipient would not take umbrage at this sort of humor…[195-6].

November 14 MondayTranslation of the article “Mark Twain als Gratulant” from Neue Freie Presse,

Vienna, 15 Nov 1898, p. 6, reveals the celebration the entire Clemens family attended this day:

Joseph and Marianne Krantz, who were, for many years, the owners of the Spatenbräu restaurant and who now own “Hotel Krantz” on “Neuer Markt,” celebrated their silver wedding anniversary yesterday [Nov. 14]. It was a very warm and personal festivity. Led by hotel director Wander and by Herr Moritz Willich, son-in-law of the silver anniversary couple and an important presence in the hotel management, the entire hotel staff of 150 people brought numerous magnificent gifts. Director Wander gave a speech in which he particularly emphasized the harmonious cooperation of all employees in the hotel. Among the party guests were also

SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.