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GUVENER B. is a sensible man;
He stays to his home an' looks arter his folks ; He draws his furrer ez straight ez he can, An' into nobody's tater-patch pokes ;
But John P.
My! aint it terrible? Wut shall we du ?
We can't never choose him o' course,
Guess we shall hev to come round, (don't you ?)
Fer John P.
Gineral C. is a dreffle smart man :
He's ben on all sides thet give places or pelf; But consistency still wuz a part of his plan,
He's ben true to one party, - an' thet is him
So John P.
Gineral C. he goes in fer the war ;
He don't vally princerple more ’n an old cud; Wut did God make us raytional creeturs fer,
But glory an' gunpowder, plunder an' blood ?
So John P.
We were gittin' on nicely up here to our village,
With good old idees o’wut's right an’ wut aint, We kind o' thought Christ went agin war an' pil
lage, An' thet eppyletts worn't the best mark of a saint;
But John P.
The side of our country must ollers be took,
try. An' the angel thet writes all our sins in a book Puts the debit to him, an' to us the per contry;
An' John P.
Parson Wilbur he calls all these argimunts lies; Sez they're nothin' on airth but jest fee, faw,
fum; An' thet all this big talk of our destinies Is half on it ign'ance, an' t' other half rum;
But John P.
coats, An' marched round in front of a drum an' a fife, To git some on 'em office, an' some on 'em votes ;
But John P.
Wal, it's a marcy we've gut folks to tell us
Fer John P.
[The attentive reader will doubtless have perceived in the foregoing poem an allusion to that pernicious sentiment, “Our country, right or wrong." It is an abuse of language to call a certain portion of land, much more, certain personages, elevated for the time being to high station, our country. I would not sever nor loosen a single one of those ties by which we are united to the spot of our birth, nor minish by a tittle the respect due to the Magistrate. I love our own Bay State too well to do the one, and as for the other, I have myself for nigh forty years exercised, however unworthily, the function of Justice of the Peace, having been called thereto by the unsolicited kindness of that most excellent man and upright patriot, Caleb Strong. Patriæ fumus igne alieno luculentior is best qualified with this, - Ubi libertas, ibi patria. We are inhabitants of two worlds, and owe a double, but not a divided, allegiance. In virtue of our clay, this little ball of earth exacts a certain loyalty of us, while, in our capacity as spirits, we are admitted citizens of an invisible and holier fatherland. There is a patriotism of the soul whose claim absolves us from our other and terrene fealty. Our true country is that ideal realm which we represent to ourselves under the names of religion, duty, and the like. Our terrestrial organizations are but far-off approaches to so fair a model, and all they are verily traitors who resist not any attempt to divert them from this their original intendment. When, therefore, one would have us to fling up our caps and shout with the multitude, “ Our country, however bounded !” he demands of us that we sacrifice the larger to the less, the higher to the lower, and that we yield to the imaginary claims of a few acres of soil our duty and privilege as liegemen of Truth. Our true country is bounded on the north and the south, on the east and the west, by Justice, and when she oversteps that invisible boundary-line by so much as a hair's-breadth, she ceases to be our mother, and chooses rather to be looked upon quasi noverca.
That is a hard choice when our earthly love of country calls upon us to tread one path and our duty points us to another. We must make as noble and becoming an election as did Penelope between Icarius and Ulysses. Veiling our faces, we must take silently the hand of Duty to follow her.
Shortly after the publication of the foregoing poem, there appeared some comments upon it in one of the public prints which seemed to call for animadversion. I accordingly addressed to Mr. Buckingham, of the Boston Courier, the following letter.
“JAALAM, November 4, 1847. “ To the Editor of the Courier :
“ RESPECTED SIR, - Calling at the post-office this morning, our worthy and efficient postmaster offered for my perusal a paragraph in the Boston Morning Post of the 3d instant, wherein certain effusions of the pastoral muse are attributed to the pen of Mr. James Russell Lowell. For aught I know or can affirm to the contrary, this Mr. Lowell may be a very deserving person and a youth of parts (though I have seen verses of his which I could never rightly understand); and if he be such, he, I am certain, as well as I, would be free from any proclivity to appropriate to himself whatever of credit (or discredit) may honestly belong to another. I am confident that, in penning these few lines, I am only forestalling a disclaimer from that young gentleman, whose silence hitherto, when rumor pointed to himward, has excited in my bosom mingled emotions of sorrow and surprise. Well may my young parishioner, Mr. Biglow, exclaim with the poet,
• Sic vos non vobis,' &c.; though, in saying this, I would not convey the impression that he is a proficient in the Latin tongue, — the tongue, I might add, of a Horace and a Tully. “Mr. B. does not employ his pen,
I can safely say, for any lucre of worldly gain, or to be exalted by the carnal plaudits of men, digito monstrari, &c. He does not wait upon Providence for mercies, and in his heart mean merces. But I should esteem myself as verily deficient in my duty (who am his friend and in some unworthy sort his spiritual fidus Achates, &c.), if I did not step forward to claim for him whatever measure of applause might be assigned to him by the judicious.
“If this were a fitting occasion, I might venture here a brief dissertation touching the manner and kind of my young friend's poetry. But I dubitate whether this abstruser sort of speculation (though enlivened by some apposite instances from Aristophanes) would sufficiently interest your oppidan readers. As regards their satirical tone, and their plainness of speech, I will only say, that, in my pastoral experience, I have found that the Arch-Enemy loves nothing better than to be treated as a religious, moral, and intellectual being, and that there is no apage Sathanas ! so potent as ridicule. But it is a kind of weapon that must have a button of good-nature on the point of it.
“The productions of Mr. B. have been stigmatized in some quarters as unpatriotic ; but I can vouch that he loves his native soil with that hearty, though discriminating, attachment which springs from an intimate social intercourse of