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Smoking Poems

Knickerbocker.
Shade of Herrick, Muse of Locker, Help me sing of Knic...

The Duet.
I was smoking a cigarette; Maud, my wife, and the te...

Cigarette Rings.
How it blows! How it rains! I'll not turn out to-night; ...

Maecenas Bids His Friend To Dine.
I beg you come to-night and dine. A welcome waits you, a...

Smoking Song.
With grateful twirl our smoke-wreaths curl, As mist ...

Pipes And Beer.
Before I was famous I used to sit In a dull old unde...

An Encomium On Tobacco.
Thrice happy isles that stole the world's delight, And...

Ode To Tobacco.
Come then, Tobacco, new-found friend, Come, and thy ...

'twas Off The Blue Canaries.
'Twas off the blue Canary isles, A glorious summer d...

Seasonable Sweets.
"_DON'T BE FLOWERY, JACOB._"--CHARLES DICKENS. When th...

Wrongfellow.
I like cigars Beneath the stars, Upon the water...

An Old Sweetheart Of Mine.
As one who cons at evening o'er an album all alone, An...

With Pipe And Book.
With Pipe and Book at close of day, Oh, what is sweete...

My After-dinner Cloud.
Some sombre evening, when I sit And feed in solitude...

The Old Clay Pipe.
There's a lot of solid comfort In an old clay pipe, ...

Smoke Is The Food Of Lovers.
When Cupid open'd shop, the trade he chose Was just th...

Cannon Song.
Come, seniors, come, and fill your pipes, Your richest...

My Pipe And I.
There may be comrades in this world, As stanch and t...

Meerschaum.
Come to me, O my meerschaum, For the vile street organ...

A Bachelor's Soliloquy.
I sit all alone with my pipe by the fire, I ne'er kn...



AN ODE OF THANKS FOR CERTAIN CIGARS.








_TO CHARLES ELIOT NORTON._


Luck, my dear Norton, still makes shifts,
To mix a mortal with her gifts,
Which he may find who duly sifts.

Sweets to the sweet,--behold the clue!
Why not, then, new things to the gnu,
And trews to Highland clansmen true?

'Twas thus your kindly thought decreed
These weeds to one who is indeed,
And feels himself, a very weed,--

A weed from which, when bruised and shent,
Though some faint perfume may be rent,
Yet oftener much without a cent.

But imp, O Muse, a stronger wing
Mount, leaving self below, and sing
What thoughts these Cuban exiles bring!

He that knows aught of mythic lore
Knows how god Bacchus wandered o'er
The earth, and what strange names he bore.

The Bishop of Avranches supposes
That all these large and varying doses
Of fable mean naught else than Moses;

But waiving doubts, we surely know
He taught mankind to plough and sow,
And from the Tigris to the Po

Planted the vine; but of his visit
To this our hemisphere, why is it
We have no statement more explicit?

He gave to us a leaf divine
More grateful to the serious Nine
Than fierce inspirings of the vine.

And that _he_ loved it more, this proved,--
He gave his name to what he loved,
Distorted now, but not removed.

Tobacco, sacred herb, though lowly,
Baffles old Time, the tyrant, wholly,
And makes him turn his hour-glass slowly;

Nay, makes as 'twere of every glass six,
Whereby we beat the heathen classics
With their weak Chians and their Massics.

These gave his glass a quicker twist,
And flew the hours like driving mist,
While Horace drank and Lesbia kissed.

How are we gainers when all's done,
If Life's swift clepsydra have run
With wine for water? 'Tis all one.

But this rare plant delays the stream
(At least if things are what they seem)
Through long eternities of dream.

What notes the antique Muse had known
Had she, instead of oat-straws, blown
Our wiser pipes of clay or stone!

Rash song, forbear! Thou canst not hope,
Untutored as thou art, to cope
With themes of such an epic scope.

Enough if thou give thanks to him
Who sent these leaves (forgive the whim)
Plucked from the dream-tree's sunniest limb.

My gratitude feels no eclipse,
For I, whate'er my other slips,
Shall have his kindness on my lips.

The prayers of Christian, Turk, and Jew
Have one sound up there in the blue,
And one smell all their incense, too.

Perhaps that smoke with incense ranks
Which curls from 'mid life's jars and clanks,
Graceful with happiness and thanks.

I pledge him, therefore, in a puff,--
rather frailish kind of stuff,
But still professional enough.

Hock-cups breed hiccups; let us feel
The god along our senses steel
More nobly and without his reel.

Each temperately 'baccy _plenus_,
May no grim fate of doubtful genus
E'er blow the smallest cloud between us.

And as his gift I shall devote
To fire, and o'er their ashes gloat,--
Let him do likewise with this note.

JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL.


Harper & Brothers.]





Next: AN ENCOMIUM ON TOBACCO.

Previous: VIRGINIA TOBACCO.



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