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To the Editor of the Pennsylvania Magazine, 1775. SIR

I have given your very modest "Snow Drop" what, I think, Shakspeare calls "a local habitation and a name;" that is, I have made a poet of him, and have sent him to take possession of a page in your next Magazine: here he comes, disputing with a critic about the propriety of a prologue.



Prologues to magazines!-the man is mad,
No magazine a prologue ever had;

But let us hear what new and mighty things
Your wonder working magic fancy brings.


Bit by the muse in an unlucky hour,

I've left myself at home, and turn'd a flower,
And thus disguised came forth to tell my tale,

A plain white Snow Drop gathered from the vale:

I come to sing that summer is at hand,

The summer time of wit, you'll understand;
And that this garden of our Magazine,
Will soon exhibit such a pleasing scene,
That even critics shall admire the show,

If their good grace will give us time to grow;
Beneath the surface of the parent earth,

We've various seeds just struggling into birth;

Introduction to Magazine, No. 1.-See p. 18, Miscellaneous Letters and Essays.

Plants, fruits, and flowers, and all the smiling race,
That can the orchard or the garden grace;

Our numbers, Sir, so vast and endless are,
That when in full complexion we appear,

Each eye, each hand, shall pluck what suits its taste,
And every palate shall enjoy a feast;

The Rose and Lily shall address the fair,

And whisper sweetly out, "My dears, take care;
With sterling worth, the Plant of Sense shall rise,
And teach the curious to philosophize;

The keen eyed wit shall claim the Scented Briar,
And sober cits the Solid Grain admire ;
While generous juices sparkling from the Vine,
Shall warm the audience till they cry-divine!
And when the scenes of one gay month are o'er,
Shall clap their hands, and shout-encore! encore.


All this is mighty fine! but prithee, when
The frost returns, how fight you then your men?


I'll tell you, sir! we'll garnish out the scenes

With stately rows of hardy Evergreens,

Trees that will bear the frost, and deck their tops

With everlasting flowers, like diamond drops,

We'll draw, and paint, and carve, with so much skill, That wondering wits shall cry, diviner still!


Better, and better, yet! but now suppose,

Some critic wight, in mighty verse or prose,

Should draw his gray goose weapon, dipt in gall, And mow ye down, Plants, Flowers, Trees, and all.


Why, then we'll die like Flowers of sweet Perfume, And yield a fragrance even in the tomb!

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At the time the following lines were written, Lord Howe was command. er in chief of the British forces in the American revolutionary war. Paine also addressed to him the second number of "The Crisis," dated at Philadelphia, Jan. 13, 1777; in which he remarks, "Your avowed object here, is to kill, conquer, plunder, pardon, and enslave; and the ravages of your army through the Jerseys, have been marked with as much barbarism as if you had openly professed yourself the prince of ruffians; not even the appearance of humanity has been preserved, either on the march or on the retreat of your troops. In a folio general order book, belonging to colonel Rhol's battalion, taken at Trenton, and now in possession of the council of safety of this state, the following barbarous order is frequently repeated, His Excellency, the Commander in Chief, orders, that all inhabitants who shall be found in arms, not having an officer with them, shall be immediately taken and hung up'! How many you may thus have privately sacrificed we know not, and the account can only be settled in another world."

The rain pours down, the city looks forlorn,
And gloomy subjects suit the howling morn;
Close by my fire, with door and window fast,
And safely shelter'd from the driving blast,
To gayer thoughts I bid a day's adieu,
To spend a scene of solitude with you.

So oft has black revenge engross'd the care
Of all the leisure hours man finds to spare;
So oft has guilt, in all her thousand dens,
Call'd for the vengeance of chastising pens;
That while I fain would ease my heart on you,
No thought is left untold, no passion new.

From flight to flight the mental path appears,
Worn with the steps of near six thousand years,
And fill'd throughout with every scene of pain,
From George the murderer down to murderous Cain.
Alike in cruelty, alike in hate,

In guilt alike, but more alike in fate,

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Cursed supremely for the blood they drew,
Each from the rising world, while each was new.

Go, man of blood! true likeness of the first,
And strew your blasted head with homely dust:
In ashes sit-in wretched sackcloth weep,
And with unpitied sorrows cease to sleep.
Go haunt the tombs, and single out the place
Where earth itself shall suffer a disgrace.
Go spell the letters on some mouldering urn,
And ask if he who sleeps there can return.
Go count the numbers that in silence lie,
And learn by study what it is to die;
For sure your heart, if any heart you own,
Conceits that man expires without a groan;
That he who lives receives from you a grace,
Or death is nothing but a change of place:
That peace is dull, that joy from sorrow springs,
And war the most desirable of things.

Else why these scenes that wound the feeling mind,
This spot of death-this cockpit of mankind!
Why sobs the widow in perpetual pain?

Why cries the orphan ?-"Oh! my father's slain !
Why hangs the sire his paralytic head,

And nods with manly grief?" My son is dead!"
Why drops the tear from off the sister's cheek,
And sweetly tells the misery she would speak?
Or why, in sorrow sunk, does pensive John
To all the neighbors tell, "Poor master's gone!"

Oh! could I paint the passion that I feel,
Or point a horror that would wound like steel,
To thy unfeeling, unrelenting mind,

I'd send destruction and relieve mankind.
You that are husbands, fathers, brothers, all
The tender names which kindred learn to call;
Yet like an image carved in massy stone,
You bear the shape, but sentiment have none;
Allied by dust and figure, not with mind,
You only herd, but live not with mankind.


Since then no hopes to civilize remain,
And mild Philosophy has preached in vain,
One prayer is left, which dreads no proud reply,
That he who made you breathe will make you die.


Paris, 1800.

As I will not attempt to rival your witty description of Love, (in which you say, "Love is like paper, with a fool it is wit, with a wit it is folly," &c.) I will retreat to sentiment, and try if I can match you there: and that I may start with a fair chance, I will begin with your own question,


'Tis that delightful transport we can feel,
Which painters cannot paint, nor words reveal,
Nor any art we know of-can conceal.
Canst thou describe the sunbeams to the blind,
Or make him feel a shadow with his mind?
So neither can we by description show
This first of all felicities below.

When happy Love pours magic o'er the soul,
And all our thoughts in sweet delirium roll;
When Contemplation spreads her rainbow wings,
And every flutter some new rapture brings;
How sweetly then our moments glide away,
And dreams repeat the raptures of the day:
We live in ecstacy, to all things kind,
For Love can teach a moral to the mind.
But are there not some other marks that prove,
What is this wonder of the soul, call'd Love?

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