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The cataract-throb of her mill-hearts I hear,
The swift strokes of trip-hammers weary my ear,
Sledges ring upon anvils, through logs the saw screams,
Blocks swing to their place, beetles drive home the beams :-
It is songs such as these that she croons to the din
Of her fast-flying shuttles, year out and year in,
While from earth's farthest corner there comes not a breeze
But wafts her the buzz of her gold-gleaning bees:
What though those horn hands have as yet found small time
For painting and sculpture and music and rhyme ?
These will come in due order, the need that pressed sorest
Was to vanquish the seasons, the ocean, the forest,
To bridle and harness the rivers, the steam,
Making that whirl her mill-wheels, this tug in her team,
To vassalise old tyrant Winter, and make
Him delve surlily for her on river and lake;-
When this New World was parted, she strove not to shirk
Her lot in the heirloom, the tough, silent Work,
The hero-share ever, from Herakles down
To Odin, the Earth’s iron sceptre and crown;
Yes, thou dear, noble Mother! if ever men's praise
Could be claimed for creating heroical lays,
Thou hast won it; if ever the laurel divine
Crowned the Maker and Builder, that glory is thine !
Thy songs are right epic, they tell how this rude
Rock-rib of our earth here was tamed and subdued;
Thou hast written them plain on the face of the planet
In brave, deathless letters of iron and granite;
Thou hast printed them deep for all time; they are set
From the same runic type-fount and alphabet
With thy stout Berkshire hills and the arms of thy Bay-
They are staves from the burly old Mayflower lay.
If the drones of the Old World, in querulous ease,
Ask thy Art and thy Letters, point proudly to these,
Or, if they deny these are Letters and Art,
Toil on with the same old invincible heart;
Thou art rearing the pedestal broad-based and grand
Whereon the fair shapes of the Artist shall stand,
And creating, through labours undaunted and long,
The theme for all Sculpture and Painting and Song!

• But my good mother Baystate wants no praise of mine, She learned from her mother a precept divine About something that butters no parsnips, her forte In another direction lies, work is her sport (Though she'll curtsey and set her cap straight, that sho will, If you talk about Plymouth and one Bunker's hill).

Dear, notable goodwife ! by this time of night,
Her hearth is swept clean, and her fire burning bright,
And she sits in a chair (of home plan and make) rocking,
Musing much, all the while, as she darns on a stocking,
Whether turkeys will come pretty high next Thanksgiving,
Whether flour'll be so dear, for, as sure as she's living,
She will use rye-and-injun then, whether the pig
By this time ain't got pretty tolerable big,
And whether to sell it outright will be best,
Or to smoke hams and shoulders and salt down the rest-
At this minute, she'd swop all my verses, ah, cruel !
For the last patent stove that is saving of fuel ;
So I'll just let Apollo go on, for his phiz
Shows I've kept him awaiting too long as it is.'

'If our friend, there, who seems a reporter, is done
With his burst of emotion, why, I will go on,'
Said Apollo; some smiled, and, indeed, I must own
There was something sarcastic, perhaps, in his tone :-

• There's Holmes, who is matchless among you for wit,
A Leyden-jar always full-charged, from which flit
The electrical tingles of hit after hit;
In long poems 'tis painful sometimes and invites
A thought of the way the new Telegraph writes,
Which pricks down its little sharp sentences spitefully
As if you got more than you'd title to rightfully,
And you find yourself hoping its wild father Lightning
Would flame in for a second and give you a fright’ning.
He has perfect sway of what I call a sham metre,
But many admire it, the English pentameter,
And Campbell, I think, wrote most commonly worse,
With less nerve, swing, and fire in the same kind of verse,
Nor e'er achieved aught in't so worthy of praise
As the tribute of Holmes to the Grand Marseillaise.
You went crazy last year over Bulwer's New Timon ;-
Why, if B., to the day of his dying, should rhyme on,
Heaping verses on verses and tomes upon tomes,
He could ne'er reach the best point and vigour of Holmes.
His are just the fine hands, too, to weave you a lyric
Full of fancy, fun, feeling, or spiced with satiric
In a measure so kindly, you doubt if the toes
That are trodden upon are your own or your foes.'

* There's Lowell, who's striving Parnassus to climb With a whole bale of isms tied together with rhyme, He might get on alone, spite of brambles and boulders, But he can't with that bundle he has on his shoulders,

The top of the hill he will ne'er come nigh reaching
Till he learns the distinction 'twixt singing and preaching;
Ilis lyre has some chords that would ring pretty well,
But he'd rather by half make a drum of the shell,
And rattle away till he's old as Methusalem,
At the head of a march to the last new Jerusalem.

• There goes Halleck, whose Fanny's a pseudo Don Juan,
With the wickedness out that gave salt to the true one,
He's a wit, though, I hear, of the very first order,
And once made a pun on the words soft Recorder;
More than this, he's a very great poet, I'm told,
And has had his works published in crimson and gold,
With something they call “ Illustrations,” to wit,
Like those with which Chapman obscured Holy Writ, *
Which are said to illustrate, because, as I view it,
Like lucus a non, they precisely don't do it;
Let a man who can write what himself understands
Keep clear, if he can, of designing men's hands,
Who bury the sense, if there's any worth having,
And then very honestly call it engraving.
But, to quit badinage, which there isn't much wit in,
Halleck's better, J doubt not, than all he has written ;
In his verse a clear glimpse you will frequently find,
If not of a great, of a fortunate mind,
Which contrives to be true to its natural loves
In a world of back-offices, ledgers, and stoves.
When his heart breaks away from the brokers and banks,
And kneels in its own private shrine to give thanks,
There's a genial manliness in him that earns
Our sincerest respect (read, for instance, his “Burns "),
And we can't but regret (seek excuse where we may)
That so much of a man has been peddled away.

But what's that? a mass-meeting? No, there come in lots
The American Disraelis, Bulwers, and Scotts,
And in short the American everything-elses,
Each charging the others with envies and jealousies ;-
By the way, 'tis a fact that displays what profusions
Of all kinds of greatness bless free institutions,
That while the Old World has produced barely eight
Of such poets as all men agree to call great,
And of other great characters hardly a score
(One might safely say less than that rather than more),
With you every year a whole crop is begotten,
They'ro as much of a staple as corn is, or cotton ;

• (Cuts rightly called wooden, as all must admit.)

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Why, there's scarcely a huddle of log huts and shanties
That has not brought forth its own Miltons and Dantes;
I myself know ten Byrons, one Coleridge, three Shelleys,
Two Raphaels, six Titians (I think), one Apelles,
Leonardos and Rubenses plenty as lichens,
One (but that one is plenty) American Dickens,
A whole flock of Lambs, any number of Tennysons-
In short, if a man has the luck to have any sons,
He may feel pretty certain that one out of twain
Will be some very great person over again.
There is one inconvenience in all this which lies
In the fact that by contrast we estimate size, *
And, where there are none except Titans, great staturo
Is only a simple proceeding of nature,
What puff the strained sails of your praise shall you furl at, il
The calmest degree that you know is superlative?
At Rome, all whom Charon took into his wherry must,
As a matter of course, be well issimused and errimused,
A Greek, too, could feel, while in that famous boat he tost,
That his friends would take care he was lotosed and

And formerly we, as through graveyards we past,
Thought the world went from bad to worse fearfully fast;
Let us glance for a moment, 'tis well worth the pains,
And note what an average graveyard contains;
There lie levellers levelled, duns done up themselves,
There are booksellers finally laid on their shelves,
Horizontally there lie upright politicians,
Dose-a-dose with their patients sleep faultless physicians,
There are slave-drivers quietly whipt underground,
There bookbinders, done up in boards, are fast bound,
There card-players wait till the last trump be played,
There all the choice spirits get finally laid,
There the babe that's unborn is supplied with a berth,
There men without legs get their six feet of earth,
There lawyers repose, each wrapt up in his case,
There seekers of office are sure of a place,
There defendant and plaintiff get equally cast,
There shoemakers quietly stick to the last,
There brokers at length become silent as stocks,
There stage-drivers sleep without quitting their box,
And so forth and so forth and so forth and so on,
With this kind of stuff one might endlessly go on;

* That is in most cases we do, but not all,

Past a doubt, there are men who are innately small, Such as Blank, who, without being 'minished a tittle Might stand for a type of the Absolute Little.


To come to the point, I may safely assert you
Will find in each yard every cardinal virtue;
Each has six truest patriots: four discoverers of ether,
Who nerer had thought on't nor mentioned it either:

Ten poets, the greatest who ever wrote rhyme:
. Two hundred and forty first men of their time:

One person, whose portrait just gave the least hint
Its original had a most horrible squint:
One critic, most (what do they call it?) reflective,
Who never had used the phrase ob- or subjective:
Forty fathers of Freedom, of whom twenty bred
Their sons for the rice-swamps, at so much a head,
And their daughters for-faugh! thirty mothers of Gracehi:
Non-resistants who gave many a spiritual black-eye :
Eight true friends of their kind, one of whom was a jailer:
Four captains almost as astounding as Taylor:
Two dozen of Italy's exiles who shoot us his
Kaisership daily, stern pen-and-ink Brutuses,
Who, in Yankee back-parlours, with crucified smile,
Mount serenely their country's funereal pile:
Ninety-nine Irish heroes, ferocious rebellers
'Gainst the Saxon in cis-marine garrets and cellars,
Who shake their dread fists o'er the sea and all that-
As lorg as a copper drops into the hat:
Nine hundred Teutonic republicans stark
From Vaterland's battles just won—in the Park,
Who the happy profession of martyrdom take
Whenerer it gires them a chance at a steak:
Sixty-two second Washingtons: two or three Jacksons :
And so many everythings else that it racks one's
Poor memory too much to continue the list,
Especially now they no longer exist-
I would merely observe that you're taken to giving
The puffs that belong to the dead to the living,
And that somehow your trump-of-contemporary-doom's tones,
Is tuned after old dedications and tombstones.

Here the critic came in and a thistle presented iFrom a frown to a smile the god's features relented, As he stared at his enroy, who, swelling with pride, To the god's asking look, nothing daunted, replied,

(And at this just conclusion will surely arrive,
That the goodness of earth is more dead than alive)
+ Not forgetting their tea and their toast, though, the while

Turn back now to page-goodness only knows what-
And take a fresh hold on the thread of my plot.

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