Stephen Foster youth's golden gleam - online book

His Life And Background In Cincinnati 1846 - 1850 by Raymond Walters

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Poet, Musician and Man            99
Red Rose Live Alway." Here is the first stanza of the latter song:
STEPHEN FOSTER
Ah! may the red rose live alway, To smile upon earth and sky! Why should the beautiful ever weep? Why should the beautiful die? Lending a charm to ev'ry ray That falls on her cheeks of light. Giving the zephyr kiss for kiss, And nursing the dew drop bright. Ah! may the red rose live alway, To smile upon earth and sky! Why should the beautiful ever weep? Why should the beautiful die?
These are exquisite lines, with the quality of true poetry, worthy of the music that went with them—or they with it. A youth who could produce such lines may be called a poet, though a minor one.
2.
Stephen had a poor sense of the way to spell words and a keen sense of their poetic use. He once humorously referred to "this blind bridle orthography."5 As to his literary judgment we have an instance in his naming of the river of "Old Folks at Home." His manuscript book6 discloses that it was originally Pedee River. As his brother Morrison related, Ste-
t Harold Vincent Milligan (in Stephen Collins Foster, a Biog­raphy, 1920, p. 56) compares this song with the words of Omar: Alas that spring should vanish with the rose, That youth's sweet-scented manuscript should close.







E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III