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Vain dreams !– vain passion of our idle youth !
Beauty (whatever fools surmise) is truth.
Beauty, in reason's view, doth most prevail
In the long snout the curled and slender tail ;
In ham and sausages is beauty found,
When pork sells free at twenty cents per pound.
Why should we laugh at swine? - the race appear,
In all their manners, perfectly sincere.
They never run where interest leads the way,
To fawn on men in power, and then betray:
Hogs are no flatterers ; never look polite,
While malice prompts them to devour and bite ;
They never wear the mask of holy guile –
Pray while they cheat, or murder while they smile ;
To the last hour, from that which gave them birth,
They are the plainest creatures on the earth;
They pass their narrow round of pleasure o’er,
Just shew what nature is, and shew no more.
And, though they eat too much, and greedily-
Yet, who on earth from every fault is free?
No— let the man appear, from pole to line,
Without a folly, he shall laugh at swine:
Still, then, my muse this useful theme shall teach,
That none should scorn the worth he cannot reach.
Poor pigs ! exposed, for years, to censure's storm,
Because unshapely in your outward form;
Because, confined in pens and seldom ripe,
Your body seems your spirit's outward type:
But, why on form alone should judgement dwell?
Why of the soul take sample from the shell ?
Should every creature, by strict truth undressed,
Assume the face and form that suit him best;
Should Heaven, in justice, delve us to the root,
And, by true merit, judge of man and brute ;
What changes, in all bodies, should we know !
And, on whose backs would soon the bristles grow?
"Tis said that, founded in these western skies,
Thy noble temple, Liberty, shall rise ;
Man, the last blessing of his lot attain,
And burst away from every snare and chain ;
Columbia's glory kindling Europe's fire,
Slaves catch the sparks of life, and kings admire.
But, be my country Paradise or pen,
'Tis not a Paradise for modest men.
A modest man ! we crush him in the dust;
We never honor such ; we never trust :-
But, let some rascal, loud in self-applause,
Defy the laws of God, and all our laws;
Let him wind round, wherever factions be,
Like some black serpent winding up a tree ; * In Boston, there was a beautiful hill, rising, like a cone, behind the State-house, cast up, as if on purpose, by the hand of beauty, for the grateful citizens to view the prospect. But, interest prevailed; and it was dug away by the genius of dollars and cents, though Taste and Imagination wept the while. And see now what they are doing at the head of Court street! I would humbly propose, that the whole Common should be turned into a hog-pasture. Perhaps it might pay the interest of the city debt, and increase the fragrance of the western breeze. - AUTHOR.
See how perfectly American this comparison is. To tree a snake, is still a current phrase in New Hampshire.)
We send the wretch to Congress, for his slang,
And let him make our laws, whom laws should hang.
How are our bargains made? — With accents sweet,
Long lies are told — we only talk to cheat.
How are our honors gained ? — By blowing loud
A brazen trumpet o’er a gaping crowd.
Doth not each ballot-box our shame declare?
And is not JACKson in the highest chair ? *
In myrtle shades, where Venus loves to rove,
And weaves her bower for happiness and love ;
Where virgins rest and hear the wild bees hum,
There, spirits sing, and hogs can never come:
Man may be coarse as earth and vile as swine,
But woman, lovely woman, is divine.
So dreams the novice, smit by some fair eye,
When, moved by love, he breathes his first-born sigh ;
Some shadow of perfection charms his sight,
And his waked bosom trembles with delight :
The blushing surface, credulous, he views ;
He speaks — she frowns; she flies him -- he pursues.
He begs his marble idol to relent;
He takes her hand — she blushes her consent ;
O, how young passion animates her charms;
A blessing, more than human, greets his arms !
But, ere one rapid moon its tale has told,
He finds his prize — a cat — a slut — a scold.
She tries his temper, cheats him, drains his purse
Bad, for the present hour, and growing worse.
Where is the goddess of perfection now?
Is she a woman, or
Is man no hog? — To yonder tavern run ;
See the poor victim tempted and undone ;
See reason buried in the fatal bowl,
His body pampered to imbrute his soul ;
See him retire to his alarmed abode,
Bedaubed in mire and reeling on the road ;
No children bless his kind return, or share
His love, his soft protection, or his care ;
A tyrant to his wife, to vice a slave,
He only lives to eat, drink, swear, and rave ;
See this — and own, instructed by the curse,
That man escapes the hog, by being worse.
But, guiltier they, and worthy sharper blame,
Who feed and fatten on the culprit's shame:
The great, alas !-- are they so little nice?
Does wealth grow high, manured and dressed by vice?
Is yonder chariot, though adorned so fine,
And drawn by horses, propt by stolen swine?
Yes ; many a mansion, though it towers so high,
Stands bordering near and reeking from a sty;
And wealth, which draws the curtain close, between
Old Vice and Conscience, rests on hands unclean.
[ * Włat! is there no virtue extant ? no molesty, no reverence for Roman virtue, and in a republican station! Must the author spit his venom on a venerable head? The Old Roman' is in the highest chair, and may he keep it until he has paid his brcath to time and mortal cristom.]
0. Public Sentiment!' – that noise which stuns
That headlong stream, still foaming as it runs ;
Excitement, passion, madness, folly, crime;
The pride and the delusion of our time;
Which sets us on a race, and bids us show
Who, in extravagance, can farthest go ;
Which fills the pulpit — caucus — -parlor — press
And gives religion even her wildest dress;
Whether thy hated voice, excited, screams
Its anti-mason — anti-slavery dreams ;
(For, well we know, whatever be thy plan,
Thou art the anti-friend of God and man) +
When wilt thou cease, mad jade, through life to sweep,
And leave the world to wisdom and to sleep?
The humble Christian from the world recedes,
And proves his piety by silent deeds ;
He values not the meed of noisy fame,
And little cares if fools applaud or blame;
Rebuking vice, the sinner wounds him sore,
And hypocrites, when censured, wound him more ;
With modest light, he shoots his beams afar,
Yet shines, scarce noticed, like some midnight star;
He gives his substance to the poor, and sheds
The dews of Mercy over dying beds ;
And dies himself, in Faith's calm warfare brave,
With scarce a tear to wet his unknown grave.
Not so the hypocrite, who, day and night,
Displays his meekness in some oly fight ;
For points obscure, he sets the world on flame,
Pleading for God, he gets himself — a name.
What has he done, that thus the clouds are reached ?
The faith he never followed he has preached.
In every cause of real goodness mute,
He taught his one-eyed followers to DISPUTE :#
Blow all your trumpets, Fame ; let crowds adore ;
Sound, sound the wrangler's name from shore to shore.
* Sec Herodotus, somewhere - I hardly know where ; for I may truly say that, that author, in his own tongue, is all Greek to me. — AUTHOR.
+ The word anti is a charming word; I have always admired it; and I would recommend it to the special attention of all those who wish to establish a newspaper, or to kick up a dust. I intend soon to set up an anti-frog.pond society, whose principles I shall explain in sixteen pamphlets and forty-seven handbills, duly posted up wherever i can find a church or a whipping-post. - Author.
1 I may be thought, in this place, to sneer at the Unitarians ; for, one eye means Unitarian eye ; and a man who has a Unitarian eye must be a Unitarian; because, as to the heart, everybody knows it has nothing to do with religion nowadays. Men's religion lies wholly in their eyes. — AUTHOR.
'Tis a strange world — 't is passing strange ; the worst
Succeed the best ; the wisest walk the dust.
Have you a tender heart? a conscience clear?
A generous mind? -expect no market here.
But if, in youth, to please your narrow soul,
You made a box, and in that box a hole-
A hole three inches long, but deep and thin,
Just wide enough to drop a copper in ;
Just wide enough, without a single doubt,
To let it in but not to let it out ;
If thither all your youthful earnings sped,
But never went for books or gingerbread;
If tears from beggars, rides, and love-knots true,
Could never win a sigh or cent from you
Then, roll in wealth, and buy the world's regard,
And die as rich and good as old GIRARD.
Still, there are bright exceptions : ARMSTRONG rose,
In spite of birth and sullen friends and foes ;
Should EVERETT be elected, all allow
The statesman's wreath will bind the scholar's brow; t
And WEBSTER, equal to his great renown,
May yet be up, perhaps, and Jackson down.
Hark!-- on yon battle-field of seeming strife,
How the drum rattles, and how squeaks the fife!
See how their banners in the breezes play!
Our great militia hold a muster-day.
It makes my blood run cold, my veins between,
To see the amazing grandeur of the scene ;
See how thick clouds of smoke obstruct the sight !
'Tis a pitched battle - a downright sham fight!
What noise! what tumult! how much dust and dirt !
The very powder soils each ruffle-shirt.
-some, already, midst the slain are sunk!
On the cold ground they lie, as dead - dead drunk !
While the proud Colonel, whom no wads can kill,
Marches his conquering band and takes the hill.
Huzza ! huzza ! -
0, my dear country !- sweeter to my eye
Than, to my taste, thy pigs or pumpkin-pie ;
How zealous for thy glory would I be,
Would Jackson give some little post to me!
Columbia ! - Hail, Columbia ! happy land ;
Hail ! all thy heroes - an immortal band;
Hail ! all thy shops, that deal by quart or gill ;
Hail! Washington and Green and Bunker-hill ; $
Hail, Liberty ! - sole queen, whom mobs adore -
The Patriot's fickle bride - the moral whore !
[ * By birth, the author means Mr. A.'s original poverty : i. e. he is a self-made man. In spite of sullen friends,' alludes to an opposition made to his nomination, at Worcester, by some of his own party. But then, the opposition came from Salem -- the city of peace — where they hang witches and flog clergy men.)
Mr. Everett, I hope, never will be Governor ; he has too much lumber in his head; besides, he is something of a gentleman. - AUTHOR.
[ 1 So the author wishes our militia all to go to ruin ; and that the whole country might knuckle to France!]
Sø No! the sacred name of Washington is not spared. Though the author may try to creep off, by saying he only imitates the rant of a fourth of July oration, yet, be it remembered that Washingion is put in the same line with Bunker-hill, where there is a half-built monument. There is a meaning in that.)
Thy poets, too-sublimely dark and good –
How little are their raptures understood !
The mawkish, riddling strain, that charms the herd !
A thing of feathers ! - ah! they mean a bird.
A thing of danger! is a pit profound ;
A modern bard, I own, a thing of sound.
How they describe, in all the pomp of dress,
(Words piled on words) the ghost of nothingness ;
The groans of Byron — though he groaned too long
Himself - have filled with pathos many a song.
Fog follows fog — to shadows shades succeed :
Do they, who nonsense write, such nonsense read?
Yet, there are some, whose brilliant names shall last,
When all our trash and all our dreams are past.
The ivory lyre by gentle hands is ruled,
When struck by SIGOURNEY and Hannah Gould;
BRYANT has borrowed all Apollo's aid,
And PERCIVAL is Byron's darker shade ;
And who is he, who wisely strung, I ween,
The SHELLS AND SEA-WEEDS,' for our Magazine -
Who sung the Land-Bird,' o'er the ocean hurled,
Like a poor spirit passing through our world :-
Burst from thy cloud, thou nameless one, and claim –
What all allow thy right a poet's name !*
Then, dost thou nothing love ? Dost smile at all
The joys and sorrows of our rolling ball ?
No- I am sober; and I love to see
True virtue, wisdom, true consistency.
I love the ocean when its billows roar ;
I love the sun ; I love the planets more ;
I love the moonlight-walk, from town retired,
Where Envy sleeps, and Fancy seems inspired ;
I love the birds, who build a faithful nest;
I love all kinds of cattle - hogs the best ;
I love the fish, that in the sea are hooked,
I love a cod and haddock, nicely cooked ;
I love whatever moves the world around ;
An honest man I love, whenever found.
* Let me say one word of the author of certain quatorzains, in the July number of the NewEngland Magazine. They are really beautiful; and if he is not known, (for I suspect he may be some old acquaintance, in disguise) he certainly soon will be. As Pope said of Johnson, he will soon be deterre. - AUTHOR.