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Smoking Poems

A Valentine.
What's my love's name? Guess her name. Nina? No....

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

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

How It Once Was.
Right stout and strong the worthy burghers stood, ...

If I Were King.
If I were king, my pipe should be premier. The skies o...

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

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

My Three Loves.
When Life was all a summer day, And I was under twenty...

The Patriotic Smoker's Lament.
Tell me, shade of Walter Raleigh, Briton of the true...

A Farewell To Tobacco.
May the Babylonish curse Straight confound my stammeri...

My Cigar.
In spite of my physician, who is, _entre nous_, a fogy, ...

A Good Cigar.
Oh, 'tis well and enough, A whiff or a puff From th...

Tobacco Is An Indian Weed.
Tobacco's but an Indian weed, Grows green at morn, cut...

Her Brother's Cigarette.
Like raven's wings her locks of jet, Her soft eyes tou...

The Scent Of A Good Cigar.
What is it comes through the deepening dusk,-- Somethi...

Pernicious Weed!
The pipe, with solemn interposing puff, Makes half a s...

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

On Receipt Of A Rare Pipe.
I lifted off the lid with anxious care, Removed the ...

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

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



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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