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About this poet

Eugene Field was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on September 2, 1850. His father was Roswell Martin Field, an attorney who once represented Dred Scott, an African American man known for the 1857 U. S. Supreme Court case in which he sued for his freedom. Many believe the denial of Scott's bid by the court prompted the U. S. Civil War. After Field's mother, Frances, died in 1856, he and his brother, Roswell, were sent to Amherst, Massachusetts, to live with Mary Field, their aunt. 

Field attended Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts; Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois; and the University of Missouri in Columbia, but left without graduating. In 1873 he began working at the St. Louis Journal. His humorous column "Funny Fancies" gained popularity among readers and in 1880, he moved to Denver, Colorado, where he worked as managing editor of the Denver Tribune and continued to pen a column. According to the Denver Public Library, "Eugene was known throughout Denver for his practical jokes. His office at the Denver Tribune included a chair with a false bottom. An unsuspecting person would attempt to sit in the chair and fall to the floor instead."

In 1883, Field moved to Chicago, Illinois, to write a column for the Chicago Daily News. Throughout his career, his columns would occasionally feature his light verse for children, and he became known as the "Poet of Childhood." His poems were published in collections including The Tribune Primer (Henry A. Dickerman & Son, 1900) and A Little Book of Western Verse (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1903). 

Field died on November 4, 1895, in Chicago, Illinois. 

The Advertiser

I am an advertiser great!
In letters boldThe praises of my wares I sound,Prosperity is my estate;The people come,The people goIn one continuous,Surging flow.They buy my goods and come againAnd I'm the happiest of men;And this the reason I relate,I'm an advertiser great!
There is a shop across the wayWhere ne'er is heard a human tread,Where trade is paralyzed and dead,With ne'er a customer a day.The people come,The people go,But never there.They do not knowThere's such a shop beneath the skies,Because he does not advertise!While I with pleasure contemplateThat I'm an advertiser great.[Pg 1102]
The secret of my fortune liesIn one small fact, which I may state,Too many tradesmen learn too late,If I have goods, I advertise.Then people comeAnd people goIn constant streams,For people knowThat he who has good wares to sellWill surely advertise them well;And proudly I reiterate,I am an advertiser great!

 

This poem is in the public domain. 

This poem is in the public domain. 

Eugene Field

Eugene Field

Eugene Field was born in St. Louis, Missouri on September 2, 1850. Known for his humorous newspaper columns, he also wrote light verse for children. 

by this poet

poem
Have you ever heard of the Sugar-Plum Tree?
'Tis a marvel of great renown!
It blooms on the shore of the Lollypop sea
In the garden of Shut-Eye Town;
The fruit that it bears is so wondrously sweet
(As those who have tasted it say)
That good little children have only to eat
Of that fruit to be happy next day.
poem

Keep me, I pray, in wisdom's way
  That I may truths eternal seek;
I need protecting care to-day,—
  My purse is light, my flesh is weak.
So banish from my erring heart
  All baleful appetites and hints
Of Satan's fascinating art,
  Of first

poem
I thought myself indeed secure,
  So fast the door, so firm the lock;
But, lo! he toddling comes to lure
  My parent ear with timorous knock.
My heart were stone could it withstand
  The sweetness of my baby's plea,—
That timorous, baby knocking and