I was thewed like an Auroch bull and tusked like the great cave bear; And you, my sweet, from head to feet were gowned in your glorious hair.
Then I hid me close to the reedy tarn, where the mammoth came to drink; Through brawn and bone I drave the stone and slew him upon the brink.
God wrought our souls from the Tremadoc beds and furnished them wings to fly; we sowed our spawn in the world's dim dawn, and I know that it shall not die...
...Though cities have sprung above the graves where the crook–bone men made war and the ox–wain creaks o'er the buried caves where the mummied mammoths are.
When you were a tadpole and I was a fish In the Paleozoic time, And side by side on the ebbing tide We sprawled through the ooze and slime, Or skittered with many a caudal flip Through the depths of the Cambrianfen, My heart was rife with the joy of life, For I loved you even then.
Mindless we lived and mindless we loved And mindless at last we died; And deep in the rift of the Caradoc drift We slumbered side by side. The world turned on in the lathe of time, The hot lands heaved amain, Till we caught our breath from the womb of death And crept into light again.
Croaking and blind, with our three-clawed feet Writing a language dumb, With never a spark in the empty dark To hint at a life to come.
Yet happy we lived and happy we loved, And happy we died once more; Our forms were rolled in the clinging mold Of a Neocomian shore. The eons came and the eons fled And the sleep that wrapped us fast Was riven away in a newer day And the night of death was past.
And, oh! what beautiful years were these When our hearts clung each to each; When life was filled and our senses thrilled In the first faint dawn of speech.
Thus life by life and love by love We passed through the cycles strange, And breath by breath and death by death We followed the chain of change. Till there came a time in the law of life When o’er the nursing sod, The shadows broke and soul awoke In a strange, dim dream of God.
I was thewed like an Auroch bull And tusked like the great cave bear; And you, my sweet, from head to feet Were gowned in your glorious hair.
I flaked a flint to a cutting edge And shaped it with brutish craft; I broke a shank from the woodland lank And fitted it, head and haft.
Then I hid me close to the reedy tarn, Where the mammoth came to drink; Through brawn and bone I drave the stone And slew him upon the brink.
Loud I howled through the moonlit wastes, Loud answered our kith and kin; From west and east to the crimson feast The clan came tramping in.
I carved that fight on a reindeer bone With rude and hairy hand; I pictured his fall on the cavern wall That men might understand. For we lived by blood and the right of might Ere human laws were drawn, And the age of sin did not begin Till our brutal tusks were gone.
And that was a million years ago In a time that no man knows; Yet here tonight in the mellow light We sit at Delmonico's. Your eyes are deep as the Devon springs, Your hair is dark as jet, Your years are few, your life is new, Your soul untried, and yet —
Our love is old, our lives are old, And death shall come amain; Should it come today, what man may say We shall not live again?
God wrought our souls from the Tremadoc beds And furnished them wings to fly; We sowed our spawn in the world's dim dawn, And I know that it shall not die, Though cities have sprung above the graves Where the crook–bone men made war And the ox–wain creaks o'er the buried caves Where the mummied mammoths are.
For we know the clod, by the grace of God Will quicken with voice and breath; And we know that Love, with gentle hand Will beckon from death to death.
These lines just before the final four do not appear in most published versions, but were included in the version published in The Book of Poetry (1927) edited by Edwin Markham. It is not known whether they existed in the second newspaper publication, of which no copies are known to survive, or derived from manuscript variants.
Then as we linger at luncheon here O'er many a dainty dish, Let us drink anew to the time when you Were a tadpole and I was a fish.
To weld the theory of soul-transmigration to the reality of evolution was an inspiration that, coming to Langdon Smith in the midst of a busy life, nevertheless sung itself into his heart with a wealth of poetic meaning and suggestion that found its ultimate expression in verses which so securely link his name with those whom no passing moment can plunge into obscurity. … The crowning glory of "Evolution" is, perhaps, the manner in which he interwove throughout his masterpiece of imagination a golden thread of romance that becomes more and more lustrous as the story unfolds. He linked inseparably physical life and spiritual life, the so-called vital and eternal sparks, as, into the web of the lives that evolve, he wove the woof of love and brought them down through the ages as one.
Lewis Allen Browne, in the foreword to Evolution : A Fantasy (1909).
Ten seconds into the century, the first issue of the New York Journal of 1 January 1901 fell from the newspaper’s complex of fourteen high-speed presses. The first issue was rushed by automobile across pavements slippery with mud and rain to a waiting express train, reserved especially for the occasion. The newspaper was folded into an engraved silver case and carried aboard by Langdon Smith, a young reporter known for his vivid prose style. At speeds that reached eighty miles an hour, the special train raced through the darkness to Washington, D.C., and Smith’s rendezvous with the president, William McKinley. … the Journal exulted: A banner headline spilled across the front page of the 2 January 1901 issue, asserting the Journal's distinction of having published "the first Twentieth Century newspaper. . . in this country," and that the first issue had been delivered at considerable expense and effort directly to McKinley.