Good and Evil Blending

November 17, 2023

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Special Delivery
by James Branch Cabell

“Good and evil, blending”
Earnest persons say
“Obscurely work at sending
Rewards on Judgment Day”

“Good and evil, blending”
Elsewhere others say
“Take no thought of ending
Keep no ordered way
Eternally at play
Aim but at interplaying…”

thirdly, some offend
Ineffably by saying
Not without shrugs, “My friend
Good and evil blend”

James Branch Cabell was born April 14, 1879, in his grandmothers home in Richmond, Virginia – two years after the last federal troops withdrew from the South and Reconstruction ended. He passed away on May 5, 1958 — four years after the Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education ruled that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. He was 79 years old.

Cabell’s life spanned the economic depression and Panic of 1893, the disillusionment of the Great War, the establishment of woman suffrage, the Roaring ’20s, the moral sternness of Prohibition (and its repeal), the Great Depression, the rise of global totalitarianism and World War II and the beginnings of racial equality and the civil rights movement.

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His father, Robert Gamble Cabell, Jr., was a physician. His mother, Anne Harris, was the beautiful, headstrong daughter of Col. James Read and Martha Louise Patteson Branch. Cabell’s parents separated, then divorced in 1907.

In 1913, at 33, Cabell married widowed Rebecca Priscilla Bradley Shepherd (nicknamed “Percie”), who was four years his senior and had five children from her first marriage. They had one son, who was born with Down Syndrome.


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“No lady is ever a gentleman”
~ James Branch Cabell

books: (partial list)

~ Figures of Earth
~ The Silver Stallion
~ The Cream of the Jest
~ The High Place
~ Something about Eve
~ Beyond Life
source: Goodreads

The poem I featured is from a book I found on my shelf, titled ‘This Is My Best’ from the 1940’s. It features, short stories, poems, and short plays from several writers/authors. I’m not going to go into a whole lot of detail at the moment, as I have yet to read it. I have however, pulled it off the shelf and put it nearby – so I can read it when I get the chance.

I’m hoping next year to do a ‘decades of books’ challenge – or something like that. It’s a challenge where every month, you read a book from a different decade. You can start wherever you want, but I plan on starting in 1900. That’s my hope anyway, I may start somewhere else. It all depends on if I have or can find a book written between 1900 and 1909.

Once I get to that point, I will be sharing more details.

I am still reading Atlas Shrugged… about 400 pages in. I was hoping to be a little further along than I am, slowly but surely I will get there.

hope you have a great day!
thanks for stopping by!!

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