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Smoking Poems

The Cigar.
Some sigh for this and that, My wishes don't go far;...

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

Ingin Summer.
Jest about the time when Fall Gits to rattlin' in th...

The Ballade Of Tobacco.
When verdant youth sees life afar, And first sets ou...

Ode To My Pipe.
O Blessed pipe, That now I clutch within my gripe, ...

Too Great A Sacrifice.
The maid, as by the papers doth appear, Whom fifty tho...

In Favor Of Tobacco.
Much victuals serves for gluttony To fatten men like s...

To The Rev. Mr. Newton.
Says the Pipe to the Snuff-box, "I can't understand ...

A Winter Evening Hymn To My Fire.
Nicotia, dearer to the Muse Than all the grape's bewil...

Song Of The Smoke-wreaths.
_SUNG TO THE SMOKERS._ Not like clouds that cap the mo...

Those Ashes.
Up to the frescoed ceiling The smoke of my cigarette...

"keats Took Snuff."
"Keats took snuff.... It has been established by the ...

Henry Fielding.
Friend of my youth, companion of my later days. Wh...

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

Acrostic.
To thee, blest weed, whose sovereign wiles, O'er cankere...

To My Meerschaum.
There's a charm in the sun-crested hills, In the qui...

To My Cigar.
The warmth of thy glow, Well-lighted cigar, Makes h...

A Pipe Of Tobacco.
Let the learned talk of books, The glutton...

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

A Poet's Pipe.
_FROM THE FRENCH OF CHARLES BAUDELAIRE._ A poet's pipe...



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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