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Smoking Poems

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

The Discovery Of Tobacco.
_A SAILOR'S VERSION_. They were three jolly sailors bo...

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

The Smoker's Reverie.
(_OCTOBER._) I'm sitting at dusk 'neath the old beeche...

Cannon Song.
And it has turned since you and I Set out to face th...

The Pipe You Make Yourself.
There's clay pipes an' briar pipes an' meerschaum pipes a...

To An Old Pipe.
Once your smoothly polished face Nestled lightly in a ...

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

My Pipe.
When love grows cool, thy fire still warms me; When fr...

Epitaph
_ON A YOUNG LADY WHO DESIRED THAT TOBACCO MIGHT BE PLANTED OV...

An Ode Of Thanks For Certain Cigars.
_TO CHARLES ELIOT NORTON._ Luck, my dear Norton, still...

The Dreamer's Pipe.
Meerschaum, thing with amber tip, Clutched between the...

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

The Smoker's Calendar.
When January's cold appears, A glowing pipe my spirit ...

My Meerschaum Pipe.
Old meerschaum pipe, I'll fondly wipe Thy scarred an...

Ad Nicotina.
"_A CONSTRAINED HYPERBOLE._" Let others sing the prais...

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

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

The Farmer's Pipe.
Make a picture, dreamy smoke, In my still and cosey ...

The Pipe Critic.
Say, pipe, let's talk of love; Canst aid me?...



SMOKING SPIRITUALIZED.








The following old poem was long ascribed, on apparently
sufficient grounds, to the Rev. Ralph Erskine, or, as he
designated himself, "Ralph Erskine, V.D.M." The peasantry
throughout the North of England always called it "Erskine
Song;" and not only is his name given as the author in
numerous chap-books, but in his own volume of "Gospel
Sonnets," from an early copy of which this version is
transcribed. The discovery, however, by Mr. Collier of the
First Part in a MSS. temp. James I., with the initials "G.W."
affixed to it, has disposed of Erskine's claim to the honor of
the entire authorship. G.W. is supposed to be George
Wither; but this is purely conjectural, and it is not at
all improbable that G.W. really stands for W.G., as it was
a common practice among anonymous writers to reverse their
initials.

The history, then, of the poem seems to be this: that the
First Part, as it is now printed, originally constituted the
whole production, being complete in itself; that the Second
Part was afterwards added by the Rev. Ralph Erskine, and that
both parts came subsequently to be ascribed to him, as his
was the only name published in connection with the song. See
"Ballads of the Peasantry," Bell's edition. Variants of
this song will be found on pages 86 and 150 of the present
collection; the first is ascribed to George Wither, and
the other is taken from the first volume of "Pills to purge
Melancholy."


PART I.

This Indian weed, now withered quite.
Tho' green at noon, cut down at night,
Shows thy decay,
All flesh is hay:
Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

The pipe, so lily-like and weak,
Does thus thy mortal state bespeak;
Thou art e'en such--
Gone with a touch:
Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

And when the smoke ascends on high,
Then thou behold'st the vanity
Of worldly stuff--
Gone with a puff:
Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

And when the pipe grows foul within,
Think on thy soul defiled with sin;
For then the fire
It doth require:
Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

And seest the ashes cast away,
Then to thyself thou mayest say,
That to the dust
Return thou must:
Thus think, and smoke tobacco.


PART II.

Was this small plant for thee cut down?
So was the Plant of Great Renown,
Which Mercy sends
For nobler ends:
Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

Does juice medicinal proceed
From such a naughty foreign weed?
Then what's the power
Of Jesse's Flower?
Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

The promise, like the pipe, inlays,
And by the mouth of faith conveys
What virtue flows
From Sharon's Rose:
Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

In vain the unlighted pipe you blow;
Your pains in outward means are so,
'Till heavenly fire
Your heart inspire:
Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

The smoke, like burning incense, towers:
So should a praying heart of yours,
With ardent cries,
Surmount the skies:
Thus think, and smoke tobacco.





Next: TOBACCO IS AN INDIAN WEED.

Previous: CIGARETTE RINGS.



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