October 22nd, 2008

fleur

(no subject)

a coroner's inquest... interesting to me how he calls the poetry crackbrained...


PICAYUNE - TUESDAY MORNING, MAY 12, 1863, PAGE 2

CRUSHED BY THE CARS - Yesterday morning a shocking sight presented itself
to those who reside in the neighborhood of St. Charles and Philip streets,
in the Fourth District. There were, lying on the Carrollton Railroad track,
the terribly mangled remains of a human being who had evidently been
crushed to death when the train made its last trip on Sunday night. All the
facts and circumstances of the case lead directly to the supposition that
the act was intentional. One of the legs of the deceased was crushed both
above and below the knee, and the head and other parts of the body were
contused and mutilated. Deceased was evidently a German, and between 30 and
35 years of age. From registry papers found in the pocket, it is supposed
that his name was William Fidler (sic), and that he had never abjured his
original nationality. A Masonic chart and a memorandum book were also found
about his person, the first of which was inscribed with the name of Robert
Saunders, and the other was helf filled with scraps of German poetry, some
original and some selected. The original poetry was peculiarly of a
crackbrained order, being evidently the offspring of "a mind diseased."
Among the last lines there were direct allusions to his fate, which may be
translated thus:

"I am now upon the rail.
The spirits of earth and air invite me.
I come. My back is turned upon my fatherland.
Shaking off mortality, I become immortal.
The thirsty earth will drink my blood,
And flowers will spring into fragrance
Where I fester. Spirits of my fathers, welcome me.
I hear the whistle of the iron horse:
The catastrophe approaches."


A verdict was returned, setting forth the manner in which deceased came to
his death, though it could not be definitely ascertained by the jury
whether the occurrence was intentional or accidental. The above
translation, however, seems to leave no doubt upon that subject.