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Mazelli, and Other Poems   By: (ca. 1824-1874)

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By George W. Sands


Under this head, I desire to say a few words upon three subjects, my friends, my book, and myself.

My friends, though not legion in number, have been, in their efforts in my behalf, disinterested, sincere, and energetic.

My book: I lay it, as my first offering, at the shrine of my country's fame. "Would it were worthier." While our soldiers are first in every field where they meet our enemies, and while the wisdom of our legislators is justified before all the world, in the perfection of our beloved institutions, our literature languishes. This should not be so; for literature, with its kindred arts, makes the true glory of a nation. We bow in spirit when Greece is named, not alone because she was the mother of heroes and lawgivers, but because her hand rocked the cradle of a literature as enduring as it is beautiful and brilliant, and cherished in their infancy those arts which eventually repaid her nursing care in a rich harvest of immortal renown.

For myself I have little to say. I have not written for fame, and if my life had been a happy one I should never have written at all. As it was, I early came to drink of the bitter cup; and sorrow, whilst it cuts us off from the outer, drives us back upon the inner world; and then the unquiet demon of ceaseless thought is roused, and the brain becomes "a whirling gulf of phantasy and flame," and we rave and write! Yes, write! And men read and talk about genius, and, God help them! Often envy its unhappy possessors the fatal gift which lies upon heart and brain like molten lead! Of all who have gained eminence among men as poets, how few are there of whom it may not be justly said, "They have come up through much tribulation."

G. W. S.


Mazelli, Canto I., Canto II., Canto III.,

The Misanthrope Reclaimed, Act I., Act II., Act III., Act IV.,

Miscellaneous Poems,


Frederick City, September 7th, 1849.

Dear Sir,

In humble testimony of my gratitude for your services as a friend, and my admiration and respect for your character and worth as an author and a man, permit me to dedicate to you the poem of "Mazelli."

Your obedient servant,

George W. Sands.

To Samuel Tyler, Esq.,

Of the Maryland Bar.


Canto I.


"Stay, traveller, stay thy weary steed, The sultry hour of noon is near, Of rest thy way worn limbs have need, Stay, then, and, taste its sweetness here. The mountain path which thou hast sped Is steep, and difficult to tread, And many a farther step 'twill cost, Ere thou wilt find another host; But if thou scorn'st not humble fare, Such as the pilgrim loves to share, Not luxury's enfeebling spoil, But bread secured by patient toil Then lend thine ear to my request, And be the old man's welcome guest. Thou seest yon aged willow tree, In all its summer pomp arrayed, 'Tis near, wend thither, then, with me, My cot is built beneath its shade; And from its roots clear waters burst To cool thy lip, and quench thy thirst: I love it, and if harm should, come To it, I think that I should weep; 'Tis as a guardian of my home, So faithfully it seems to keep Its watch above the spot where I Have lived so long, and mean to die. Come, pardon me for prating thus, But age, you know, is garrulous; And in life's dim decline, we hold Thrice dear whate'er we loved of old, The stream upon whose banks we played, The forest through whose shades we strayed, The spot to which from sober truth We stole to dream the dreams of youth, The single star of all Night's zone, Which we have chosen as our own, Each has its haunting memory Of things which never more may be."


Thus spake an aged man to one Who manhood's race had just begun... Continue reading book >>

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