This is a humorous poem
written by Bliss in February 1870
under his pseudonym,
Pro Phundo Basso.
As far as I know, it was not
actually set to music.
No doubt to me you've noticed oft
His is ye longest life,
And eke his head doth lie most soft
Who most doth please his wife.
So list, give ear, attend while I
My narrative unfold,
So shall my head reposeful lie
For doing as I'm told.
"Why I'm in music?" Oh, my eye
I can no clearlier see
Than I could guess ye reason why
Miranda married me!
Where? 'neath ye tuneful hemlocks dear
That roll their anthems grand
O'er Pennsylvania's northern tier -
Miranda's native land.
Elk Run first taught me melodie,
While angling through its dales;
Its sawmills gave my rhythm to me;
Its sunfish gave me scales.
Ye friskee fox staccato taught,
Ye screech owl tremolo,
Ye mill wheels mezzo forte brought,
Ye dam fortissimo.
Ye scythe when and ye cross cut's ring,
Ye ox cart's tenore creak,
Did to my heart a music sing
That words can never speak.
Thus all things music brought to me,
Which still to me doth cling;
Which same, I argue, easily,
Did me to music bring.
How into music I did go,
I'll lastlie say to thee,
And of my scantie ways I know
Thou'lt laugh right menilie.
In '59, resolv-ed I
To "go it," though so young,
So started out with purpose high,
"Old Fannie" and ye "pung."
O'er Bumptown hills and Litchfields heights
By Susquehanna's shore,
I taught, by tallow candle's light,
Myself, if noone more.
In schoolhouse, church, and tavern halle,
Ye "singing skule" was found,
But once a week on each I'd call,
And so I "boarded 'round."
Two dollars by a night received,
My every want supplied.
Miranda (may I be believed)
Was also satisfied.
Thorough snowdrift, mud and rain, I'd ride
By turnpike, gulf or ferrie;
Miranda mostly by my side,
And we were happy - verrie.
Such lots of friends and worlds of fun
Would more than fill this letter;
I'll stop and write another one -
Miranda says I'd better.