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Edwin Booth Wrote to His Dead
netskyIam

Father,
 1
 
Although you are
 2
not here to read
 3
I write to think
 4
to tell afresh
 5
when we rejoin some day.
 6
 
I have achieved
 7
a partial
 8
ascent toward heaven
 9
from the Battery below Wall Street in
 10
Thaddeus Lowe's silk rope enmeshed balloon.
 11
 
For ten dollars of gold a flight aloft
 12
a full one thousand feet
 13
 
albeit tethered to the Earth.
 14
A capstan
 15
reeling let us rise. Horseflesh
 16
 
winched us down again.
 17
 
But, Father, oh, Father! What a height!
 18
As like half-way there to you it seemed
 19
 
if I imagine rightly.
 20
 
Myself and Mr. Lowe—such grins. The sounds
 21
of life below—clarion and well
 22
heard: "Say halloo to God for us"
 23
 
some waggish man—his hollow
 24
 
thought   aroused my soul to plea
 25
to beg of Charity for Brother
 26
for your son.  I near resounded
 27
 
"Willst thou forgive?"
 28
 
Alas, I checked myself—I choked.
 29
For dear Father I knew not
 30
which way to shout
 31
 
 
 
May 22, 1866.
 32

02/18/07

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