Vassar College Digital Library

Tilden, Mary (Mayo) | to Grandmother, circa 11 June 1914

VC 1914
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: VCL_Letters_Eldridge-Muriel-Tilden_1914-01_1914-06_050_004_001
[June 1914]

Thurs - eve- 

Dear Mother - 
    I will start a letter to you I am sitting on the porch in the twilight waiting for Steve to come and take me to the depot to meet Muriel - the Graduation was beautiful - The doings lasted five days - from Sat-till Wed- I did not like to leave Bert so long alone with his neck still needing attention so I went up for Monday morning - The girls came up Monday afternoon so as not to miss so


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much school. So I got there in time for the Glee Club concert at 11 o’clock - it was hot, I had to stand awhile - then found a seat - There were many hundred people there - Muriel stood up in a little lavender and white dress I made - with a big bunch of roses at her belt and led the Glee Club - beat time for them you know same as Georgia Perry does. It was fine - at the close some man stood up and proposed


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three cheers for the Glee Club and Miss Tilden - when she found me I gave her the chain and pendant her father sent by me - set with small diamonds and sapphires. Then I took her to the Inn a Hotel there to lunch. Then she went with me to the Cottage where we had engaged rooms for the occasion, Then we went over to the College and she was going with me to met the train


: VCL_Letters_Eldridge-Muriel-Tilden_1914-01_1914-06_050_004_004
the girls were on when the most terrific shower came regular a cloud burst - so we just had to wait a while. When we got to the Station the girls were waiting in the depot all right. So we soon all went to early supper to the Inn - then Muriel had to dress for the May Dance given at 6.30 It was most beautiful - Outdoors in the big green Hockey Field


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and huge Evergreen trees entirely surrounding it. There was the big may Pole with many bright colored ribbons streaming down and girls in bright costumes at every ribbon dancing and wearing the ribbons as they danced - There was a ring of litle children in gay dresses (children of the Faculty) who danced and crowned


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Muriel’s Class President  Queen of the May - I can’t begin to tell you all the dances - there was Winter dressed like an Old man in White and all the Spirits of Winter - Girls in white dresses that looked like icicles - There was the Harvest Dance - Girls dressed like German Peasants - and


: VCL_Letters_Eldridge-Muriel-Tilden_1914-01_1914-06_050_004_007
danced with motions illustrating the reaping [and c], Of course I think the prettiest was the one Muriel was in - Summer - There were fawns and nymphs - Muriel was a nymph dressed in light green with hair down - the fawns were browned up and had a plush drapery that looked like an animal skin - They scattered roses


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In the dance - it was all beautiful -
(Sat-eve) This is the first chance I have seen to add to my letter, Monday evening we spent in the Senior Parlor at the College - had music etc - Tuesday morn. I tried to pack some for Muriel but guess I didn’t help much - After lunch I set the girls to getting dressed for the Class Day


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Exercises while I went to the Depot to meet Bert and Cousin Annie - The Flowers I bought in N.Y. for Muriel had not come so I got a taxicab from the Depot and raced to a florist and got a big beautiful bunch of pink roses with streamers of wide pink satin ribbon and roses pinned down on the ribbon


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And then raced to the college just in time to meet her in the hall going out to the procession. There were 248 graduates Each in a lovely dress and carrying a big arm bouquet - there was white cloth tacked over the grass from The college to the place where the “Bleachers” they call it


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were built - five tiers of seats each row holding 50 girls - then the orchestra hidden in a clump of trees at the end - 24 of the prettiest girls in the second year class carried a chain of daisie 248 ft long - bigger around than your arm and weighing about 400 lbs. They made an aisle


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Down which the graduate came - and took their seats on the Bleachers the prettiest sight you can imagine - their flowers alone must have cost a thousand dollars. After their exercises songs etc - they marched back and had a banquet - In the evening we all put on our good clothes - Muriel kept on her


: VCL_Letters_Eldridge-Muriel-Tilden_1914-01_1914-06_050_004_013
Class Day dress yellow brocade with white shadow lace over it - I had white satin with black lace over it - and red carnations at the belt - and rhine stone trimming on neck and sleeves - Evelyn had her rose silk - Margery a fine white dress with blue sash - Bert a new dress suit - and we


: VCL_Letters_Eldridge-Muriel-Tilden_1914-01_1914-06_050_004_014
went to the Reception shook hands with the President of the College and other dignitaries - had ice-cream and the young folks danced - Wed-a.m. at 10-30 was the Commencement - in the Chapel - the girls marched in with their black caps and gowns - there were some exercises and diplomas


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presented - then another banquet followed - All of us but Muriel came home in the afternoon - there was a Class Supper that night - and she finished her packing the next day and came home in the evening - Thur - Yesterday one of her Class friends, Gladys Lyall came here and is still 


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Here - the girls went over to see 30 of their class off for Europe today. This evening we rode to Coney island - now Muriel is playing the piano - Bert is on the porch - Tomorrow we are going to Washington in the Auto - Coming back Monday night. Bert is


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Going to Detroit next week - Sent your dress today - my roses are beautiful now. Muriel's trunk came today and she has 5 boxes to come I don’t know where I am going to put all her stuff - she left all her furniture, hoping to sell it to next year’s


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girls. I have trouble now with a front tooth the nerve has died like the other - and yesterday I had the tooth drilled into and the nerve taken out for it was sore way up in my nose. It is still sore but guess it will get well now. The dentist told me to


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take two raw eggs a day to supply my system with strength to keep my other teeth from dying - I laughed and told him I was dying by the inches - I am feeling very well so I guess there is no need for worry - I have no girl yet for I don’t stay home long enough to get one - Thursday a colored


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woman came and mashed and ironed - Friday she cleaned the porsches and silver etc - I must go to bed so Good night Hope you don’t get to sleep reading all this


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[typed program]


[Each one of]
[numbers was encored.]





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c - “BRANGAENE’S WARNING” from “Tristan and
    Isolde” - - - - Richard Wagner

Lonely watch I here to-night;
Ye that dream of love delight,
Let your ears my call requite,
Call that should your slumber shake,
Warning you to fear to wake!
Have a care! have a care!
Daylight comes! Beware!

D - SHEPHERD SONG (“Tannhaeuser”)
            Richard Wagner

Dame Holda stepp’d from the mountain’s heart,
To roam thro’ wood and thro’ meadow
Sweet sound and low around me did start,
I longed I might follow her shadow,
And there dreamt I a golden dream,
And when again the day did gleam,
The spell was gone that bound me,
“Twas May, sweet May around me.
Now songs of joy attune my lay:
For May hat come, the balmy May!


Prologue to “Pagliacci” - - - Leoncavallo

I may?
So please you,
My Ladies and Gentleman!
And pardon me if alone I present me:
I am the Prologue!

Once again the author brings the classic mask before you;
So partly to revive for you the antique usage, 
He bids me once more address you!
    But not to tell you, as of old,
“The tears we shall shed for you here are false ones!
And the sighs we heave, and our martyrdom here,
Must not be ta’en to heart!”

No! No!
Your author intends far rather to draw you a bit of life 
true to nature!
‘Tis his conviction, the artist is first a man,
And that for men what he writes should be written.
And the truth he has giv’n to you!

A throng of recollections within his inmost soul one day
    was stirring,
And these with sincerest tears has he written,
While his sobbing and sighing beat the time for him.
So then, you’ll see love shown
As human beings do love each other;
You’ll see, too, of hatred the direful ending,
Witness woe’s sharp agony!
Howling of rage will reach you,
And scornful laughter!

And you must consider,
Not so much our poor flimsy costumery of actors,
Rather let our hearts speak to you for us.
Aye! for we’re men as well,
Of flesh and of blood, too,
And, like, you yourselves,
We are breathing the air of this world forlorn and lonely!

    NowI’ve giv’n you the notion!
    Watch you the plot unfolding before you.
Come on!
Let us begin then!


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A- TRAUME  - - - - - - Wagner
Say, oh, say, what wondrous dreamings
Keep my inmost soul revolving,
That they not like empty gleamings 
Into nothing are dissolving?

Dreamings that with every hour.
Every day, in brightness grow.
And with their celestial power
Sweetly through the bosom flow?

Dreamings that like rays of splendor
Fill the bosom, never waning,
Lasting image there to render:
All forgetting, one retaining!

Dreamings like the sun that kisses
From the snow the buds new born,
That to strange and unknown blisses
They are greeted by the morn.

That expand they may and blossom,
Dreaming spend their odors suave,
Gently die upon they bosom,
And then vanish in the grave.

B - LIEBESBOTSCHAFT - - - Fr. Schubert
Dear prattling brooklet so silvery bright,
Haste to my fair one with eager delight;
Messenger trusty, when near her you are,
Take her the greetings of love from afar.

All the sweet flow’rs she has nurs’d and caress’d,
Proud to be worn on her beauteous breast,
Roses that bloom in the purple’s rich glow,
Moisten and freshen as onward you flow.
When on the green bank, to slumber resign’d,
My love recalling, her head’s declined,
Comfort the darling with friendly regard,
He who adores her will not retard.

When the sun sets in bright ruby and pearl,
Soothe with low music the sleeping girl,
Murmuring lull her to sweet repose,
Whisp’ring love’s dream as her eyelids close.

C- DIE JUNGE’NONNE - - - Fr. Schubert
Now roars thro' the tree-tops the low howling storm!
The rafters are creaking, and shivers the house!
The thunder peals loudly, the red lightnings flash
And dark is the night, and dark is the night as the grave!
Well and good, well and good, so raged once the tempest in me;
The frenzy of living waxed fierce as the storm,
My limbs were all trembling as quivers this house,
My heart flamed with love, e’en as yon lightnings flash,
And dark was my soul, and dark was my soul as the grave.

Now rage on thy way, O though mighty storm,
My bosom is tranquil, my heart is at rest;
The Bride for the Bridegroom will patiently wait,
Her spirit is tried in cleansing fires,
She trusts to his infinite, infinite love,
I wait for Thy coming with longing full score,
O Bridegroom of Heaven, come for Thy Bride,
My spirit set free from its spirit of clay,

Hark! peacefully sounds now the bell from yon tow’r.
It calls to my soul in sweetest tone,
To seek Heav’n’s eternal throne.
Allelujah! Allelujah!


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D - DIE FORELLE - - - - Fr. Schubert

A streamlet clear and sunny
    With ripples all about,
Was once the bath for Bonny, 
For gentle little trout.
On shore I stood observing, 
With exquisite delight.
The happy little creature; 
It was a pretty sight.
A fisher with his angle
Stood also on the shore
Hard trying to entangle 
The fishes more and more.
I thought if clear the water 
Continued round about,
The wretch would never capture 
My Bonnie little trout;
Thoul't never catch, thou varlet, 
My Bonny little trout.

What did the busy body,
Afraid to lose his prey?
He made the water muddy 
And without long delay,
His skilful line outreeling, 
He caught the fish, the fish so sweet:
I saw with sadden’d feeling 
The cheated and the cheat.

[Handwritten in right margin]
A dainty little song with which she put a world of meaning

E - MONDACHT - - - - R. Schumann
It seem’d that earth, while sleeping,
Receiv’d from Heav’n a kiss,
Her soul in rapture steeping,
And raising dreams of bliss.

The stars ere shining brightly,
And gently rov’d the breeze,
Through cornfields waving lightly,
And softly rustling trees.

On this my soul long ponder’d,
At last her wings she spread,
All through the air she wander’d,
As though she homeward sped.

F - SPINNERLIEDCHEN. (Old German Folson)
    H. Reimann Collection, 17th Century
“Spin, spin, my little daughter,
I'll buy thee a hat!”
“Nay, nay, my dearest mother,
    I care not for that.
        I cannot spin longer,
        For see, my poor finer,
        It gives me such pain!”

“Spin, spin, my little daughter,
    Red ribbons shall be thine!”
“Nay, nay, my dearest mother,
    For me they’re too fine.
        I cannot spin longer,
        For see, my poor finger,
        It gives me such pain!”

“Spin, spin, my little daughter,
    New shoes shalt thou have!”
“Nay, nay, my dearest mother,
    No shoes do I crave.”


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“Spin, spin, my little daughter,
    Shalt choose thee a gown!”
“Nay, nay, my dearest mother,
    I’ll none in this town.”

“Spin, spin, my little daughter,
    A husband shalt find!”
“Yes, Yes, my dearest mother,
    That’s more to my mind!
        Now, now to be spinning
        All day I am willing,
        My finger is healing,
        And gone is my pain.”

A - RED,RED ROSE - - - - Hastings
O my Luve is like a red, red rose
   That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve is like the melody
   That’s sweetly played in tune.

So fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
   So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
   Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
   And the rocks melt in the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
   While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee well, my only luve,
   And fare thee well a’while;
And I will come again, my luve,
   Tho’  ‘twere ten thousand mile.

B- THE OULD PLAID SHAWL - Battison Haynes
Not far from old Kinvara in the merry month of May
When birds were singing cheerily, there came across my way,
As if from out the sky above an angel chanced to fall,
A little Irish colleen in an ould plaid shawl.
She tripped along right joyously, a basket on her arm;
And oh! her face and oh! her grace, the soul of saint would 
Her brown hair rippled o’er her brow, her greatest charm 
of all,
Was modest blue eyes beaming ‘neath the ould plaid 

I courteously saluted her ‘God save you, miss’ says I;
‘God save you, kindly sir’ says she, and shyly passed me 
Off went my heart along with her, a captive in her thrall,
Imprisoned in the corner of her ould plaid shawl.
Enchanted with her beauty rare, I gazed in pure delight,
Till round an angle of the road, she vanished from my sight,
But ever since I sighing say as I that scene recall,
“The grace of God about you and your ould plaid shawl.”

Oh, some men sigh for riches, and some men live for fame,
And some on history’s pages hope to win a glorious name:
My aims are not ambitious, and my wishes are but small,
You might wrap them all together in an ould plain shawl.
I’ll seek her all through Galway, and I’ll seek her all through 
I’ll search for tale or tiding of my traveller everywhere,
For peace of mind, I’ll never find until my own I call,
That little Irish colleen in her ould plaid shawl.


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C - THE TWO GRENADIERS - - R. Schumann

To France were returning two grenadiers,
    Their Russian captivity leaving;
And when they came to the German frontiers,
    Their heads were bow’d down with grieving.
‘Twas there that they both heard the sorrowful tale,
Disaster their country had shaken,
Defeated and scatter’d the valient host,
And the Emp’ror been taken.

Then sorrow’d together the grenadiers,
    Such doleful news to be learning;
And one spoke out amid his tears,
“Once more my old wounds are burning.”
The other said: “My song is done;
    I would that I were dying;
But I’ve a wife and child at home
    On me for bread relying.”

“Nor wife nor child give care to me!
What matter if they are forsaken?
Let them beg their bread if hungry be;
My Emp’ror, my Emp’ror is taken!
Oh, grant me, brother, but one prayer,
If my hours must number,
Take with thee my corpse to my native land;
In France let me calmly slumber.

My cross of honor with its band
Leave on my bosom lying;
My musket place within my hand,
My sword around me tying.
Thus will I listen within the tomb,
A dentry still and unstirring,
Till the roar of cannon resounds thro’ the gloom,
And tramp of horsemen spurring.

Then over my grave will my Emperor ride,
While swords with clash are descending;
Then, armed to the teeth, will I rise from my grave,
My Emp’ror, my Emp’ror defending!”


A -  MOTHER O’MINE - - - Chas. F. Edson
If I were hanged on the highest hill,
I know whose feet would follow me still,
O Mother mine.
If I were drowned in the deepest seas,
I know whose love would come down to me,
O mother mine.
If I were damned of body and soul,
I know whose prayer would make me whole,
O mother mine.     - Rudyard Kipling

B - WHEN THE ROSES BLOOM - Louise Reichardt 17th Century

In the time of roses,
Hope, thou weary heart,
Spring a balm discloses
For the keenest smart.

Tho’ thy grief o’ercome thee
    Thro’ the winter’s gloom,
Thou shalt trust it from thee,
When the roses bloom.


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In the time of roses,
Weary heart, rejoice!
Ere the summer closes
    Comes the longed-for Voice.

Let not death appal thee,
For, beyond the tomb,
God himself shall call thee
When the roses bloom.

C - CRY OF RACHEL - - - - M.A. Salter

[written in right margin of page]
This is beyond words - a triumph of dramatic singing in my mind.

I stand in the dark, I beat on the door:
Death, let me in!
Through storm am I come, I find you before;
Death, let me in!
For him that is sweet, for him that is small,
I beat on the door, I cry and I call,
Death, let me in!

He was bough of the almond-tree fair,
Death, let me in!
You break it; it whitens no more by the stair,
Death, let me in!
He was my lamp in the house of the Lord;
You quenched it, and left me this dark and the sword;
Death, let me in!

I, that was ridh, do ask you for alms;
Death, let me in!
I, that was full, uplift empty palms;
Death, let me in!
Back to me now give the child that I had,
Give to my arms my sweet little lad.
Death, let me in!

Are you grown so deaf that you cannot hear?
Death, let me in!
Unclose the dim eye, unstop the dull ear;
Death, let me in!
I will call so lourd, I will cry so sore,
You must in pity come open the door;
Death, let me in!

D - Kerry Dance - - - - J.L. Molloy

O the days of the Kerry dancing,
O the ring of the piper's tune!
O for one of those hours of gladness,
Gone, alas! like our youth, too soon;
When the boys began to gather
In the glen of a summer's night
And the Kerry piper's tuning
Made us long with wild delight:
Oh, to think of it, Oh, to dream of it,
Fills my heart with tears!
O the days of the Kerry dancing,
O the ring of the piper's tune!
O for one of those hours of gladness,
Gone, alas! like our youth, too soon.

Time goes on, and the happy years are dead,
And one by one the merry hearts are fled.
Silent now is the wild and lonely glen
Where the bright glad laugh will echo ne'er again.
Only dreaming of days gone by 
In my heart I hear
Loving voices of old companions
Stealing out of the past once more
And the sound of the dear old music
Soft and sweet as in days of yore:
When the boys began to gather, etc., etc.


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Mrs. M.S. Wor

Cape Cod
P.O. Box 206