64 MISSOURI HISTORICAL REVIEW
And as in mind you now recall
That knight, so doughty, though so small,
With all his faith in each great plan,
And then look on yourself the man,
'Tis likely you, if you're like me,
Are glad he cannot come to see
The hopes that never did come true,
The grown-up boy, whose name is You.
The phenomenal Missouri poet is Rose O'Neill of Kewpie
fame. She came with her parents from Pennsylvania as a
child and grew up in the Ozarks. In an autobiographic
mood she tells how, as a girl of eighteen, she sold the family
cow, packed the manuscript of a new novel and some of her
drawings into her pocket, and rode on horseback forty miles
through the Ozark hills, to go to New York and find a publisher. Later, publishers came across the hills to her. One
of her homes now is Bonnybrook near Branson. Who's Who
in America gives her address as Taney county, Missouri.
Rose O'Neill has long been known for her drawing of figures
of heroic proportions. She contributed drawings to Life,
Harpers, Truth, and was on the staff of Puck. In 1922 she
published her first volume of poems, The Master Mistress
(Knopf), illustrated with nine of her drawings. There is
much of strangeness and power in the pieces. "The Sullen
Son" is an example of her evolutionary outlook:
The maker said, "The work is done.
Stand up, my Clay, my sullen son.
Stand up till seventy years have passed,
And you are crumbled clay at last.
The sullen son he heaved a sigh
And heavily answered, "Let me lie."
The maker said, "You shall be knowing
Ten times seven years of going;
And seven hours of mortal bliss....
And death will be the end of this.
But sundry of my dead sons say
The price was not too much to pay:28
"The Master Mistress, p. 149.