Chapter and Verse

Correspondence on not-so-famous lost words

More queries from the archive: 

A request for the text of a short story called “The Field of Purple Bloom,” originally read in serial form in a Midwestern farm journal.

And: “They are exiles when we invite them to dinner and refugees when we raise money for them.”

Also: “And by the way, whenever Cruelty is in town, they have him over for a sumptuous feast.”


“Stranger, go, tell the Spartans” (September-October 2010). Making use of the Index of American Periodical Verse, David Myatt has identified the poem “News from Thermopylae,” by Howard Lachtman, originally published in the 1972 winter issue of Poet Lore (67:4; 345).


“Lust is the lamp that lifts the gloom” (January-February). Both Dan Rosenberg and Wendie Howland suggested as the original of this misquoted couplet (first printed in the November-December 1995 issue) the lines “Love, which is lust, is the Lamp in the Tomb./ Love, which is lust, is the Call from the Gloom,” which begin section xxi of the title poem in William Ernest Henley’s collection Hawthorn and Lavender: Songs and Madrigals. 


“No longer able to listen to the music of Mozart” (January-February). Dan Rosenberg traced this query from the March-April 1996 issue back to a Saturday Review column (42:3; 1959) by Cleveland Amory ’39 that relates the story of an overzealous reporter querying Albert Einstein about the impact of nuclear war.


Send inquiries and answers to “Chapter and Verse,” Harvard Magazine, 7 Ware Street, Cambridge 02138, or via e-mail to [email protected].

You might also like

Steven Pinker on Apple’s Vision Pro

Professor of psychology on the science and history behind the Vision Pro.

The State of Black America

Harvard African American scholars take stock of a difficult moment. 

Threats Foreign and Domestic

Joseph Nye discusses geopolitics and Harvard’s challenges.

Most popular

Murphy Time

Harvard’s greatest football coach—and one of the best anywhere

Harvard Files Amicus Brief in Graduate Student Unionization Case

The University argues that the relationship between graduate students and universities should remain academic, not managerial, and student labor unions would “damage private sector graduate education.”

Labor Litigator

Attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan takes on the app economy.

More to explore

Photograph of Winthrop Bell 1910

Winthrop Bell

Brief life of a philosopher and spy: 1884-1965

Illustration of people talking to each other with colorful thought bubbles above their heads

Talking about Talking

Fostering healthy disagreement

Vacationing with a Purpose

New England “summer camps” for adults