Readings from Forgotten Delights Tours

The tours usually cover 6 or 7 sculptures, with a 5-6 minute intro to each sculpture followed by a related poem or prose selection.

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4/6/14: Jagiello to Sherman

12/8/13: Sims to Straus

April 6, 2014: Jagiello to Sherman


"No Enemies," Charles Mackay

You have no enemies, you say?
Alas, my friend, the boast is poor.
He who has mingled in the fray
Of duty, that the brave endure,
*Must* have made foes. If you have none,
Small is the work that you have done.
You’ve hit no traitor on the hip,
You’ve dashed no cup from perjured lip,
You’ve never turned the wrong to right,
You’ve been a coward in the fight.

Mackay described his travels to the United States in Life and Liberty in America: or Sketches of a Tour of the United States and Canada in 1857-58, which includes a section on New York cab drivers.

Loeb Fountain

"Father William," Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland)

Alice in Wonderland

From Alice in Wonderland: "Jabberwocky," "Tweedledum & Tweedledee," "Mock Turtle's Song," "Speak Roughly to Your Little Boy," "They Told Me You Had Been to Her," and "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat"


"To Joseph Rodman Drake," Fitz-Greene Halleck

Green be the turf above thee,
Friend of my better days!
None knew thee but to love thee,
Nor named thee but to praise.

Tears fell, when thou wert dying,
From eyes unused to weep;
And long, where thou art lying,
Will tears the cold turf steep.

When hearts, whose truth was Heaven,
Like thine, are laid in earth,
There should a wreath be woven,
To tell the world their worth:

And I, who woke each morrow,
To clasp thy hand in mine,
Who shared thy joy and sorrow,
Whose weal and wo were thine;

It should be mine to braid it
Around thy faded brow:
But I've in vain essayed it,
And feel, I cannot now.

While memory bids we weep thee,
Nor thoughts nor words are free,—
The grief is fixed too deeply
That mourns a man like thee.


Sonnet 55, Shakespeare
Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone, besmear'd with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword, nor war's quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.
'Gainst death, and all oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
   So, till the judgment that yourself arise,
   You live in this, and dwell in lovers' eyes.

Pulitzer Fountain

"The Press," Rudyard Kipling

Why don't you write a play –
Why don't you cut your hair?
Do you trim your toe-nails round
Or do you trim them square?
Tell it to the papers,
Tell it every day.
But, en passant, may I ask
Why don't you write a play?

What's your last religion?
Have you got a creed?
Do you dress in Jaeger-wool
Sackcloth, silk or tweed?
Name the books that helped you
On the path you've trod.
Do you use a little g
When you write of God?

Do you hope to enter
Fame's immortal dome?
Do you put the washing out
Or have it done at home?
Have you any morals?
Does your genius burn?
Was you wife a what's its name?
How much did she earn?

Had your friend a secret
Sorrow, shame or vice –
Have you promised not to tell
What's your lowest price?
All the housemaid fancied
All the butler guessed
Tell it to the public press
And we will do the rest.
Why don't you write a play?


Excerpts from Sherman's letter to the Mayor of Atlanta, 9/12/1864

Closing poem

"God, Give Us Men," Josiah Gilbert Holland

God, give us Men! A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;
            Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;
            Men who possess opinions and a will;
Men who have honor; men who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagogue
            And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
            In public duty and in private thinking;
For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,
Their large professions and their little deeds,
Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps,
Wrong rules the land and waiting Justice sleeps.

Dec. 8, 2013: Sims to Straus

Dr. J. Marion Sims

Excerpt from Seale Harris, Woman's Surgeon (1950):

[Sims] "was the physician who brought new hope and new life to women, the surgeon who, more than any other, dispelled the age-old fatalistic belief that it was God's will for countless wives & mothers to go to an early grave or to suffer lifelong invalidism. ...
In the early 1880s it was a rare person indeed who had not heard of Sims. Not only was he one of America's most famous physicians: he was an international legend, a controversial cosmopolite whose ability to blaze new trails and to effect remarkable cures kept him almost constantly in the limelight and brought him hordes of friends, not a few enemies, and a fabulous income wherever he went--which was practically everywhere.

Burnett Fountain

Opening of The Secret Garden

Untermyer Fountain

"Barter," Sarah Teasdale

Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things;
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children's faces looking up,
Holding wonder like a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell;
Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And, for the Spirit's still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.

Give all you have for loveliness;
Buy it, and never count the cost!
For one white, singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost;
And for a breath of ecstasy,
Give all you have been, or could be.

Duke Ellington

"Sophisticated Lady," performed by Robert Begley

Frederick Douglass (110th St. at Central Park West)

Beginning of his speech from March 1860, “The Constitution of the United States: Is It Pro-Slavery or Anti-Slavery?”

Straus Memorial: Robert Burns

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June:
O my Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly played in tune.

As 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 wi’ the sun;
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only Luve!
            And fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my Luve,
            Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.

Closing poem

"Day Is Done," Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The day is done, and the darkness
Falls from the wings of Night,
As a feather is wafted downward
From an eagle in his flight.

I see the lights of the village
Gleam through the rain and the mist,
And a feeling of sadness comes o’er me
That my soul cannot resist:

A feeling of sadness and longing,
That is not akin to pain,
And that resembles sorrow only
As the mist resembles the rain.

Come, read to me some poem,
Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling,
And banish the thoughts of day.

Not from the grand old masters,
Not from the bards sublime,
Whose distant footsteps echo
Through the corridors of Time,

For, like strains of martial music,
Their mighty thoughts suggest
Life’s endless toil and endeavor;
And tonight I long for rest.

Read from some humbler poet,
Whose songs gushed from his heart,
As showers from the clouds of summer,
Or tears from the eyelids start;

Who, through long days of labor,
And nights devoid of ease,
Still heard in his soul the music
Of wonderful melodies.

Such songs have power to quiet
The restless pulse of care,
And come like the benediction
That follows after prayer.

Then read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
The beauty of thy voice.

And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.