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Title: Pipe and Pouch
       The Smoker's Own Book of Poetry

Author: Various

Release Date: February 3, 2005 [EBook #14887]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by David Newman, William Flis, and the PG Online Distributed
Proofreading Team.




Smoker's Own Book of Poetry






[pg iv]

Copyright, 1894,


University Press:


[pg v]




[pg vii]


This is an age of anthologies. Collections of poetry covering a wide range of subjects have appeared of late, and seem to have met with favor and approval. Not to the busy man only, but to the student of literature such compilations are of value. It is sometimes objected that they tend to discourage wide reading and original research; but the overwhelming flood of books would seem to make them a necessity. Unless one has the rare gift of being able to sprint through a book, as Andrew Lang says Mr. Gladstone does, it is surely well to make use of the labors of the industrious compiler. Such collections are often the result of wide reading and patient labor. Frequently the larger part is made up of single poems, the happy and perhaps only inspiration of the writer, gleaned from the poet's corner of the newspaper or the pages of a magazine. This is specially true of the present compilation, the first on the subject aiming at [pg viii] anything like completeness. Brief collections of prose and poetry combined have already been published; but so much of value has been omitted that there seemed to be room for a better book. A vast amount has been written in praise of tobacco, much of it commonplace or lacking in poetic quality. While some of the verse here gathered is an obvious echo, or passes into unmistakable parody, it has been the aim of the compiler to maintain, as far as possible, a high standard and include only the best. From the days of Raleigh to the present time, literature abounds in allusions to tobacco. The Elizabethan writers constantly refer to it, often in praise though sometimes in condemnation. The incoming of the "Indian weed" created a great furore, and scarcely any other of the New World discoveries was talked about so much. Ben Jonson, Marlowe, Fletcher, Spenser, Dekker, and many other of the poets and dramatists of the time, make frequent reference to it; and no doubt at the Mermaid tavern, pipes and tobacco found a place beside the sack and ale. Singular to say, Shakespeare makes no reference to it; and only once in his essay "Of Plantations," as far as the compiler has been able to discover, does Bacon speak of it. Shakespeare's silence has been explained on the [pg ix] theory that he could not introduce any reference to the newly discovered plant without anachronism; but he did not often let a little thing of this kind stand in his way. It has been suggested, on the other hand, that he avoided all reference to it out of deference to King James I., who wrote the famous "Counterblast." Whichever theory is correct, the fact remains, and it may be an interesting contribution to the Bacon-Shakespeare controversy. Queen Elizabeth never showed any hostility to tobacco; but her successors, James I. and the two Charleses, and Cromwell were its bitter opponents. Notwithstanding its enemies, who just as fiercely opposed the introduction of tea and coffee, its use spread over Europe and the world, and prince and peasant alike yielded to its mild but irresistible sway. Poets and philosophers drew solace and inspiration from the pipe. Milton, Addison, Fielding, Hobbes, and Newton were all smokers. It is said Newton was smoking under a tree in his garden when the historic apple fell. Scott, Campbell, Byron, Hood, and Lamb all smoked, and Carlyle and Tennyson were rarely without a pipe in their mouths. The great novelists, Thackeray, Dickens, and Bulwer were famous smokers; and so were the great soldiers, Napoleon, Blücher, and Grant. While [pg x] nearly all the poems here gathered together were written, and perhaps could only have been written, by smokers, several among the best are the work of authors who never use the weed,—one by a man, two or three by women. Among the more recent writers there has been no more devoted smoker than Mr. Lowell, as his recently published letters testify. Three of the most delightful poems in praise of smoking are his, and with Mr. Aldrich's charming "Latakia" are the gems of the collection. The compiler desires to express his grateful acknowledgments to friends who have permitted him to use their work and have otherwise aided him from time to time; and to the many unknown authors whose poems are here gathered, and whom it was quite impossible to reach; and to Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin, & Company, Harper & Brothers, The Bowen-Merrill Company, and the publishers of "Outlook," for their gracious permission to include copyrighted poems.


BOSTON, July, 1894.

[pg xi]




Acrostic J.H. 44

Ad Nicotina E.N.S. 118

Another Match Cope's Tobacco Plant 45

Ashes De Witt Sterry 47


Bachelor's Invocation, A Pall Mall Gazette 182

Bachelor's Views, A Tom Hall 177

Bachelor's Soliloquy Cigar and Tobacco World 95

Ballad of the Pipe, The Hermann Rave 69

Ballade of Tobacco, The Brander Matthews 54

Betrothed, The Rudyard Kipling 108

Brief Puff of Smoke, A Selim 19


Cannon Song H.P. Peck 85

Chibouque Francis S. Saltus 173

Choosing a wife by a Pipe of Tobacco Gentleman's Magazine 48

Cigar, The Thomas Hood 153

Cigarette Rings J. Ashby-Sterry 147

Cigars and Beer George Arnold 166

Clouds Bauernfeld 52

Confession of a Cigar Smoker Anon. 158

[pg xii]


Discovery of Tobacco Cigar and Tobacco World 64

Dreamer's Pipe, The New Orleans Times Democrat 96

Duet, The Ella Wheeler Wilcox 174


Edifying Reflections of a Tobacco Smoker Translated from the German 58

Effusion by a Cigar Smoker Horace Smith 167

Encomium on Tobacco, An Anon. 36

Epitaph Anon. 17


Farewell to Tobacco, A Charles Lamb 100

Farmer's Pipe, The George Cooper 7

Forsaken of all comforts Sir Robert Ayton 140

Free Puff, A Arthur Irving Gray 121

Friend of my youth Anon. 164


Geordie to his Tobacco Pipe George S. Phillips 25

Glass is Good, A John O'Keefe 94

Good Cigar, A Norris Bull 93


Happy Smoking Ground, The Richard Le Gallienne 145

Her Brother's Cigarette Anon. 79

He Respondeth Life 55

How it Once Was New York Sun 78


If I were King W.E. Henley 171

I like Cigars Ella Wheeler Wilcox 121

[pg xiii]

In Favor of Tobacco Samuel Rowlands 52

Ingin Summer Eva Wilder McGlasson 57

Inscription for a Tobacco Jar Cope's Tobacco Plant 12

In Rotten Row W.E. Henley 174

In the ol' Tobacker Patch S.Q. Lapius 80

In the smoke of my dear cigarito Camilla K. von K. 92

Invocation to Tobacco Henry James Mellen 31

In wreaths of Smoke Frank Newton Holman 46

It may be Weeds Anon. 23


"Keats took Snuff" The Globe 68

Knickerbocker Austin Dobson 63


Last Pipe, The London Spectator 12

Latakia T.B. Aldrich 142

Latest Comfort, The F.W. Littleton Hay 157

Loss, A Judy 128

Lost Lotus, The Anon. 60


Mæcenas Bids his Friend to Dine Anon. 81

Meerschaum Wrongfellow 119

Motto for a Tobacco Jar Anon. 12

My After-Dinner Cloud Henry S. Leigh 143

My Cigar Arthur W. Gundry 2

My Cigarette Richard Barnard 52

My Cigarette Charles F. Lummis 113

My Cigarette Tom Hall 176

My Friendly Pipe Detroit Tribune 94

My Little Brown Pipe Amelia E. Barr 138

My Meerschaum Pipe Johnson M. Mundy 123

My Meerschaums Charles F. Lummis 131

[pg xiv]

My Pipe German Smoking Song 7

My Pipe and I Elton J. Buckley 106

My Three Loves Henry S. Leigh 50


Ode of Thanks, A James Russell Lowell 33

Ode to My Pipe Andrew Wynter 14

Ode to Tobacco Daniel Webster 95

Ode to Tobacco C.S. Calverly 134

Old Clay Pipe, The A.B. Van Fleet 71

Old Pipe of Mine John J. Gormley 83

Old Sweetheart of Mine, An James Whitcomb Riley 165

On a Broken Pipe Anon. 112

On a Tobacco Jar Bernard Barker 38

On Receipt of a Rare Pipe W.H.B. 135


Patriotic Smoker's Lament St. James Gazette 41

Pernicious Weed William Cowper 73

Pipe and Tobacco German Folk Song 156

Pipe Critic, The Walter Littlefield 115

Pipe of Tobacco, A John Usher 15

Pipe of Tobacco, A Henry Fielding 163

Pipes and Beer Edgar Fawcett 178

Pipe you make Yourself, The Henry E. Brown 172

Poet's Pipe, The Charles Baudelaire 2

Pot and a Pipe of Tobacco, A Universal Songster 169


Scent of a good Cigar, The Kate A. Carrington 61

Seasonable Sweets C. 23

Sic Transit W.B. Anderson 108

Sir Walter Raleigh! name of worth Anon. 158

Smoke and Chess Samuel W. Duffield 10

[pg xv]

Smoke is the Food of Lovers Jacob Cats 51

Smoker's Reverie, The Anon. 17

Smoker's Calendar, The Anon. 159

Smoke Traveller, The Irving Browne #74

Smoking Away Francis Miles Finch 98

Smoking Song Anon. 77

Smoking Spiritualized Ralph Erskine 148

Song of the Smoke-Wreaths L.T.A. 9

Song without a Name, A W. Lloyd 117

Sublime Tobacco Lord Byron 97

Sweet Smoking Pipe Anon. 146

Symphony in Smoke, A Harper's Bazaar 22


Those Ashes R.K. Munkittrick 130

Titlepage Dedication Anon. 44

To an Old Pipe De Witt Sterry 43

To a Pipe of Tobacco Gentleman's Magazine 91

Tobacco George Wither 86

Tobacco Thomas Jones 151

Tobacco is an Indian Weed From "Pills to Purge Melancholy" 150

Tobacco, some say Anon. 164

To C.F. Bradford James Russell Lowell 5

To My Cigar Charles Sprague 62

To My Cigar Friedrich Marc 165

To My Meerschaum P.D.R. 82

Too Great a Sacrifice Anon. 90

To see her Pipe Awry C.F. 55

To the Rev. Mr. Newton William Cowper 126

To the Tobacco Pipe The Meteor, London 39

True Leucothoë, The Anon. 129

'Twas off the Blue Canaries Joseph Warren Fabens 140

Two other Hearts London Tobacco 73

[pg xvi]


Valentine, A Anon. 113

Virginia's kingly Plant Anon. 87

Virginia Tobacco Stanley Gregson 31


Warning, A Arthur Lovell 124

What I Like H.L. 131

Winter Evening Hymn to My Fire, A James Russell Lowell 105

With Pipe and Book Richard Le Gallienne 1

[pg 1]



With Pipe and Book at close of day,

Oh, what is sweeter, mortal, say?

It matters not what book on knee,

Old Izaak or the Odyssey,

It matters not meerschaum or clay.

And though one's eyes will dream astray,

And lips forget to sue or sway,

It is "enough to merely be,"

With Pipe and Book.

What though our modern skies be gray,

As bards aver, I will not pray

For "soothing Death" to succor me,

But ask this much, O Fate, of thee,

A little longer yet to stay

With Pipe and Book.


[pg 2]


From the French of Charles Baudelaire.

A poet's pipe am I,

And my Abyssinian tint

Is an unmistakable hint

That he lays me not often by.

When his soul is with grief o'erworn

I smoke like the cottage where

They are cooking the evening fare

For the laborer's return.

I enfold and cradle his soul

In the vapors moving and blue

That mount from my fiery mouth;

And there is power in my bowl

To charm his spirit and soothe,

And heal his weariness too.



In spite of my physician, who is, entre nous, a fogy,

And for every little pleasure has some pathologic bogy,

Who will bear with no small vices, and grows dismally prophetic

If I wander from the weary way of virtue dietetic;

[pg 3]

In spite of dire forewarnings that my brains will all be scattered,

My memory extinguished, and my nervous system shattered,

That my hand will take to trembling, and my heart begin to flutter,

My digestion turn a rebel to my very bread and butter;

As I puff this mild Havana, and its ashes slowly lengthen,

I feel my courage gather and my resolution strengthen:

I will smoke, and I will praise you, my cigar, and I will light you

With tobacco-phobic pamphlets by the learnéd prigs who fight you!

Let him who has a mistress to her eyebrow write a sonnet,

Let the lover of a lily pen a languid ode upon it;

In such sentimental subjects I'm a Philistine and cynic,

And prefer the inspiration drawn from sources nicotinic.

So I sing of you, dear product of (I trust you are) Havana,

And if there's any question as to how my verses scan, a

Reason is my shyness in the Muses' aid invoking,

As, like other ancient maidens, they perchance object to smoking.

[pg 4]

I have learnt with you the wisdom of contemplative quiescence,

While the world is in a ferment of unmeaning effervescence,

That its jar and rush and riot bring no good one-half so sterling

As your fleecy clouds of fragrance that are now about me curling.

So, let stocks go up or downward, and let politicians wrangle,

Let the parsons and philosophers grope in a wordy tangle,

Let those who want them scramble for their dignities or dollars,

Be millionnaires or magnates, or senators or scholars.

I will puff my mild Havana, and I quietly will query,

Whether, when the strife is over, and the combatants are weary,

Their gains will be more brilliant than its faint expiring flashes,

Or more solid than this panful of its dead and sober ashes.


[pg 5]


On the Gift of a Meerschaum Pipe.

The pipe came safe, and welcome, too,

As anything must be from you;

A meerschaum pure, 'twould float as light

As she the girls called Amphitrite.

Mixture divine of foam and clay,

From both it stole the best away:

Its foam is such as crowns the glow

Of beakers brimmed by Veuve Clicquot;

Its clay is but congested lymph

Jove chose to make some choicer nymph;

And here combined,—why, this must be

The birth of some enchanted sea,

Shaped to immortal form, the type

And very Venus of a pipe.

When high I heap it with the weed

From Lethe wharf, whose potent seed

Nicotia, big from Bacchus, bore

And cast upon Virginia's shore,

I'll think,—So fill the fairer bowl

And wise alembic of thy soul,

With herbs far-sought that shall distil,

Not fumes to slacken thought and will,

But bracing essences that nerve

To wait, to dare, to strive, to serve.

[pg 6]

When curls the smoke in eddies soft,

And hangs a shifting dream aloft,

That gives and takes, though chance-designed,

The impress of the dreamer's mind,

I'll think,—So let the vapors bred

By passion, in the heart or head,

Pass off and upward into space,

Waving farewells of tenderest grace,

Remembered in some happier time,

To blend their beauty with my rhyme.

While slowly o'er its candid bowl

The color deepens (as the soul

That burns in mortals leaves its trace

Of bale or beauty on the face),

I'll think,—So let the essence rare

Of years consuming make me fair;

So, 'gainst the ills of life profuse,

Steep me in some narcotic juice;

And if my soul must part with all

That whiteness which we greenness call,

Smooth back, O Fortune, half thy frown,

And make me beautifully brown!

Dream-forger, I refill thy cup

With reverie's wasteful pittance up,

And while the fire burns slow away,

Hiding itself in ashes gray,

I'll think,—As inward Youth retreats,

Compelled to spare his wasting heats,

[pg 7]

When Life's Ash-Wednesday comes about,

And my head's gray with fires burnt out,

While stays one spark to light the eye,

With the last flash of memory,

'Twill leap to welcome C.F.B.,

Who sent my favorite pipe to me.



When love grows cool, thy fire still warms me;

When friends are fled, thy presence charms me.

If thou art full, though purse be bare,

I smoke, and cast away all care!

German Smoking Song.


Make a picture, dreamy smoke,

In my still and cosey room;

From the fading past evoke

Forms that breathe of summer's bloom.

Bashful Will and rosy Nell—

Ah, I watch them now at play

By the mossy wayside well

As I did twelve years to-day.

[pg 8]

We were younger then, my pipe:

You are dingy now and worn;

And my fruit is more than ripe,

And my fields are brown and shorn.

Nell has merry eyes of blue,

And is timid, pure, and mild;

Will is fair and brave and true,

And a neighboring farmer's child.

Little maid is busy, too,

Making rare, fictitious pies,

Just as any wife would do,

Looking, meanwhile, wondrous wise.

Drawing water from the well,

Delving sand upon the hill,

Going here and there for Nell,—

That's her helpmate, willing Will.

Yonder, in the waning light,

Hand in hand the truants come,

Nell so fearful lest the night

Should fall around her far from home.

Fading, fading, skyward flies

This joy-picture you have limned;

Pipe of mine, the quiet skies

Of my life you leave undimmed.

[pg 9]

Nell and Will are lovers now;

There they stray in dying light.

That's a kiss! Ah, well, somehow

Nell's no more afraid at night!



Sung to the Smokers.

Not like clouds that cap the mountains,

Not like mists that mask the sea,

Not like vapors round the fountains,—

Soft and clear and warm are we.

Hear the tempest, how its minions

Tear the clouds and heap the snows!

No storm-rage is in our pinions;

Who knows us, 'tis peace he knows.

Soaring from the burning censers,

Stealing forth through all the air,

Hovering as the mild dispensers

Over you of blisses rare,

Softly float we, softly blend we,

Tinted from the deep blue sky,

Scented from the myrrh-lands, bend we

Downward to you ere we die.

[pg 10]

Ease we bring, and airy fancies,

Sober thoughts with visions gay,

Peace profound with daring glances

Through the clouds to endless day.

Not like clouds that cap the mountains,

Not like mists that mask the sea,

Not like vapors round the fountains,—

Soft and clear and warm are we.

L.T.A., in London Society.


We were sitting at chess as the sun went down;

And he, from his meerschaum's glossy brown,

With a ring of smoke made his king a crown.

The cherry stem, with its amber tip,

Thoughtfully rested on his lip,

As the goblet's rim from which heroes sip.

And, looking out through the early green,

He called on his patron saint, I ween,—

That misty maiden, Saint Nicotine,—

While ever rested that crown so fair,

Poised in the warm and pulseless air,

On the carven chessman's ivory hair.

[pg 11]

Dreamily wandered the game along,

Quietly moving at even-song,

While the striving kings stood firm and strong,

Until that one which of late was crowned

Flinched from a knight's determined bound,

And in sullen majesty left the ground,

Reeling back; and it came to pass

That, waiting to mutter no funeral mass,

A bishop had dealt him the coup de grace.

And so, as we sat, we reasoned still

Of fate and of fortune, of human will,

And what are the purposes men fulfil.

For we see at last, when the truth arrives,

The moves on the chess-board of our lives,—

That fields may be lost, though the king survives.

Not always he whom the world reveres

Merits its honor or wins its cheers,

Standing the best at the end of the years.

Not always he who has lost the fight

Rises again with the coming light,

Battles anew for his ancient right.


[pg 12]


Keep me at hand; and as my fumes arise,

You'll find a jar the gates of Paradise.

Copes Tobacco Plant.


Come! don't refuse sweet Nicotina's aid,

But woo the goddess through a yard of clay;

And soon you'll own she is the fairest maid

To stifle pain, and drive old Care away.

Nor deem it waste; what though to ash she burns,

If for your outlay you get good returns!


When head is sick and brain doth swim,

And heavy hangs each unstrung limb,

'Tis sweet through smoke-puffs, wreathing slow,

To watch the firelight flash or glow.

As each soft cloud floats up on high,

Some worry takes its wings to fly;

And Fancy dances with the flame,

Who lay so labor-crammed and lame;

While the spent Will, the slack Desire,

Re-kindle at the dying fire,

And burn to meet the morrow's sun

With all its day's work to be done.

[pg 13]

The tedious tangle of the Law,

Your work ne'er done without some flaw;

Those ghastly streets that drive one mad,

With children joyless, elders sad,

Young men unmanly, girls going by

Bold-voiced, with eyes unmaidenly;

Christ dead two thousand years agone,

And kingdom come still all unwon;

Your own slack self that will not rise

Whole-hearted for the great emprise,—

Well, all these dark thoughts of the day

As thin smoke's shadow drift away.

And all those magic mists unclose,

And a girl's face amid them grows,—

The very look she's wont to wear,

The wild rose blossoms in her hair,

The wondrous depths of her pure eyes,

The maiden soul that 'neath them lies,

That fears to meet, yet will not fly,

Your stranger spirit drawing nigh.

What if our times seem sliding down?

She lives, creation's flower and crown.

What if your way seems dull and long?

Each tiny triumph over wrong,

Each effort up through sloth and fear,

And she and you are brought more near.

So rapping out these ashes light,—

"My pipe, you've served me well to-night."

London Spectator.

[pg 14]


O Blessed pipe,

That now I clutch within my gripe,

What joy is in thy smooth, round bowl,

As black as coal!

So sweetly wed

To thy blanched, gradual thread,

Like Desdemona to the Moor,

Thou pleasure's core.

What woman's lip

Could ever give, like thy red tip,

Such unremitting store of bliss,

Or such a kiss?

Oh, let me toy,

Ixion-like, with cloudy joy;

Thy stem with a most gentle slant

I eye askant!

Unseen, unheard,

Thy dreamy nectar is transferred,

The while serenity astride

Thy neck doth ride.

A burly cloud

Doth now thy outward beauties shroud:

And now a film doth upward creep,

Cuddling the cheek.

[pg 15]

And now a ring,

A mimic silver quoit, takes wing;

Another and another mount on high,

Then spread and die.

They say in story

That good men have a crown of glory;

O beautiful and good, behold

The crowns unfold!

How did they live?

What pleasure could the Old World give

That ancient miserable lot

When thou wert not?

Oh, woe betide!

My oldest, dearest friend hath died,—

Died in my hand quite unaware,

Oh, Baccy rare!



Let the toper regale in his tankard of ale,

Or with alcohol moisten his thrapple,

Only give me, I pray, a good pipe of soft clay,

Nicely tapered and thin in the stapple;

And I shall puff, puff, let who will say, "Enough!"

No luxury else I'm in lack o',

No malice I hoard 'gainst queen, prince, duke, or lord,

While I pull at my pipe of tobacco.

[pg 16]

When I feel the hot strife of the battle of life,

And the prospect is aught but enticin',

Mayhap some real ill, like a protested bill,

Dims the sunshine that tinged the horizon:

Only let me puff, puff,—be they ever so rough,

All the sorrows of life I lose track o',

The mists disappear, and the vista is clear,

With a soothing mild pipe of tobacco.

And when joy after pain, like the sun after rain,

Stills the waters, long turbid and troubled,

That life's current may flow with a ruddier glow,

And the sense of enjoyment be doubled,—

Oh! let me puff, puff, till I feel quantum suff.,

Such luxury still I'm in lack o';

Be joy ever so sweet, it would be incomplete,

Without a good pipe of tobacco.

Should my recreant muse—sometimes apt to refuse

The guidance of bit and of bridle—

Still blankly demur, spite of whip and spur,

Unimpassioned, inconstant, or idle;

Only let me puff, puff, till the brain cries, "Enough!"

Such excitement is all I'm in lack o',

And the poetic vein soon to fancy gives rein,

Inspired by a pipe of tobacco.

And when, with one accord, round the jovial board,

In friendship our bosoms are glowing,

While with toast and with song we the evening prolong,

And with nectar the goblets are flowing;

[pg 17]

Still let us puff, puff,—be life smooth, be it rough,

Such enjoyment we're ever in lack o';

The more peace and good-will will abound as we fill

A jolly good pipe of tobacco.



On a Young Lady who Desired that Tobacco Might be Planted Over her Grave.

Let no cold marble o'er my body rise—

But only earth above, and sunny skies.

Thus would I lowly lie in peaceful rest,

Nursing the Herb Divine from out my breast.

Green let it grow above this clay of mine,

Deriving strength from strength that I resign.

So in the days to come, when I'm beyond

This fickle life, will come my lovers fond,

And gazing on the plant, their grief restrain

In whispering, "Lo! dear Anna blooms again!"



I'm sitting at dusk 'neath the old beechen tree,

With its leaves by the autumn made ripe;

While they cling to the stems like old age unto life,

I dream of the days when I'll rest from this strife,

And in peace smoke my brierwood pipe.

[pg 18]

O my brierwood pipe!—of bright fancy the twin,

What a medley of forms you create;

Every puff of white smoke seems a vision as fair

As the poet's bright dream, and like dreams fades in air,

While the dreamer dreams on of his fate.

The fleecy white clouds that now float in the sky,

Form the visions I love most to see;

Fairy shapes that I saw in my boyhood's first dreams

Seem to beckon me on, while beyond them there gleams

A bright future, in waiting for me.

O my brierwood pipe! I ne'er loved thee as now,

As that fair form and face steal above;

See, she beckons me on to where roses are spread,

And she points to my fancy the bright land ahead,

Where the winds whisper nothing but love.

Oh, answer, my pipe, shall my dream be as fair

When it changes to dreams of the past?

When autumn's chill winds make this leaf look as sere

As the leaves on the beech-tree that shelters me here,

Will the tree's heart be chilled by the blast?

While musing, around me has gathered a heap

Of the leaflets, all dying and dead;

And I see in my reverie plainly revealed

The slope of life's hill, in my boyhood concealed

By the forms that fair fancy had bred.

[pg 19]

While I sit on the banks of the beautiful stream,

Picking roses that bloom by its side,

I know that the shallop will certainly come,

When the roses are withered, to carry me home,

And that life will go out with the tide.

O my brierwood pipe! may the heart be as light

When memory supplanteth the dream;

When the sun has gone down may the sunbeam remain,

And life's roses, though dead, all their fragrance retain,

Till they catch at Eternity's gleam.



Great Doctor Parr, the learned Whig,

Ne'er deemed the smoke-cloud infra dig.,

In which you could not see his wig,

Involved in clouds of smoke.

Quaint Lamb his wit would oft enshroud

In smoke-igniting laughter loud,

Like summer thunder in the cloud,—

The lightning in the smoke.

Dean Swift "died at the top;" his head

Had drifting clouds when wit had fled:

Dull care lurked in his brain, instead

Of blowing out in smoke.

[pg 20]

And Cowper mild—no smoker he,

Bard of the sofa and bohea—

Complained his "dear friend Bull" not free

From lowering Stygian smoke.

Clouds in his non-inebriate nob

Were doomed the tea tables to rob,

Inflicting many a painful throb

On one who could not smoke!

Smoke on! it is the steam of life,

The smoother of the waves of strife;

Where chimneys smoke, or scolds the wife,

The counteraction—smoke.

We ride and work and weave by steam,

Till ages past seem like a dream

In a new world whose dawning beam

Is redolent of smoke.

We travel like a comet wild

On which some distant sun had smiled,

And from his orbit thus beguiled

With a long tail of smoke.

The clouds arise from smoking seas,

And give, with each conveying breeze,

Life to the "weed," and herbs, and trees,

Which turn again to smoke.

[pg 21]

All nations smoke! Havana's pother

Smokes friendly with its Broseley brother:

The world's one end puffs to the other,

In amicable smoke.

When plague and pestilence go forth,

And to diseases dire give birth,

Which walk in darkness through the earth,

I clothe myself in smoke.

I smoke through desolating years,

Tabooed from fever, void of fears,

And when some dreaded pest appears,

I call in Doctor Smoke.

Go, reader! perfume ladies' hair

And scent the ringlets of the fair

With eau Cologne and odors rare

Aloof from healthy smoke.

Go babble at the ball and rout,

And smirk with high-born dames who doubt:

Thy flames are quenched, thy fires are out,

And sinking into smoke.

"Better," said Johnson, great in name,

"It were, when poets droop in fame,

To see smoke brighten into flame,

Than flames sink into smoke."

SELIM: Eclectic Magazine.

[pg 22]


A pretty, piquant, pouting pet,

Who likes to muse and take her ease,

She loves to smoke a cigarette;

To dream in silken hammockette,

And sing and swing beneath the trees,

A pretty, piquant, pouting pet.

Her Christian name is Violet;

Her eyes are blue as summer skies;

She loves to smoke a cigarette.

As calm as babe in bassinette,

She swingeth in the summer breeze,

A pretty, piquant, pouting pet.

She ponders o'er a novelette;

Her parasol is Japanese;

She loves to smoke a cigarette.

She loves a fume without a fret;

Her frills are white, her frock cérise,—

A pretty, pouting, piquant pet.

She almost goes to sleep, and yet,

Half-lulled by booming honey-bees,

She loves to smoke a cigarette.

[pg 23]

A winsome, clever, cool coquette,

Who flouts all Grundian decrees,—

pretty, pouting, piquant pet,

That loves to smoke a cigarette.

Harper's Bazaar.


It may be weeds

I've gathered too;

But even weeds may be

As fragrant as

The fairest flower

With some sweet memory.



"Don't be flowery, Jacob."—CHARLES DICKENS.

When the year is young, what sweets are flung

By the violets, hiding, dim,

And the lilac that sways her censers high,

Whilst the skylark chants a hymn!

How sweet is the scent of the daffodil bloom,

When blithe spring decks each spray,

And the flowering thorn sheds rare perfume

Through the beautiful month of May!

What a dainty pet is the mignonette,

Whose sweets wide scattered are!

But sweeter to me than all these yet

Is the scent of a prime cigar!

[pg 24]

Delicious airs waft the fields of June,

When the beans are all in flower;

The woodruff is fragrant in the hedge,

And the woodbine in the bower.

Sweet eglantine doth her garlands twine

For the blithe hours as they run,

And balmily sighs the meadow-sweet,

That is all in love with the sun,

Whilst new-mown hay o'er the hedgerows gay

Flings odorous airs afar;

Yet sweeter than these on the passing breeze

Is the scent of a prime cigar.

When all the beauties of Flora's court

Smile on the gay parterre,

What glorious color, what exquisite form,

And dainty scents are there!

They bask in the beam, and bend by the stream,

Like beautiful nymphs at play,

Holding dew-pearls up in each nectar cup

To the glorious God of Day.

Oh, their lives are sweet, but all too brief,

And death doth their sweetness mar;

But fragrance fine is forever thine,

My well-beloved cigar!


[pg 25]


Good pipe, old friend, old black and colored friend,

Whom I have smoked these fourteen years and more,

My best companion, faithful to the end,

Faithful to death through all thy fiery core,

How shall I sing thy praises, or proclaim

The generous virtues which I've found in thee?

I know thou carest not a whit for fame,

And hast no thought but how to comfort me,

And serve my needs, and humor every mood;

But love and friendship do my heart constrain

To give thee all I can for much of good

Which thou hast rendered me in joy and pain.

Say, then, old honest meerschaum! shall I weave

Thy history together with my own?

Of late I never see thee but I grieve

For him whose gift thou wert—forever gone!

Gone to his grave amidst the vines of France,

He, all so good, so beautiful, and wise;

And this dear giver doth thyself enhance,

And makes thee doubly precious in mine eyes.

For he was one of Nature's rarest men,—

Poet and preacher, lover of his kind,

True-hearted man of God, whose like again

In this world's journey I may never find.

[pg 26]

I know not if the shadow of his soul,

Or the divine effulgence of his heart,

Has through thy veins in mystic silence stole;

But thou to me dost seem of him a part.

His hands have touched thee, and his lips have drawn,

As mine, full many an inspiring cloud

From thy great burning heart, at night and morn;

And thou art here, whilst he lies in his shroud!

And here am I, his friend and thine, old pipe!

And he has often sat my chair beside,

As he was wont to sit in living type,

Of many companies the flower and pride,—

Sat by my side, and talked to me the while,

Invisible to every eye save mine,

And smiled upon me as he used to smile

When we three sat o'er our good cups of wine.

Ah, happy days, when the old Chapel House,

Of the old Forest Chapel, rang with mirth,

And the great joy of our divine carouse,

As we hobnobbed it by the blazing hearth!

We never more, old pipe, shall see those days,

Whose memories lie like pictures in my mind;

But thou and I will go the self-same ways,

E'en though we leave all other friends behind.

[pg 27]

And for thy sake, and for my own, and his,

We will be one, as we have ever been,

Thou dear old friend, with thy most honest phiz,

And no new faces come our loves between.


Thou hast thy separate virtues, honest pipe!

Apart from all the memory of friends:

For thou art mellow, old, and black, and ripe;

And the good weed that in its smoke ascends

From thy rare bowl doth scent the liberal air

With incense richer than the woods of Ind.

E'en to the barren palate of despair

(Inhaled through cedar tubes from glorious Scinde!)

It hath a charm would quicken into life,

And make the heart gush out in streams of love,

And the earth, dead before, with beauty rife,

And full of flowers as heaven of stars above.

It is thy virtue and peculiar gift,

Thou sooty wizard of the potent weed;

No other pipe can thus the soul uplift,

Or such rare fancies and high musings breed.

I've tried full many of thy kith and kind,

Dug from thy native Asiatic clay,

Fashioned by cunning hand and curious mind

Into all shapes and features, grave and gay,—

[pg 28]

Black niggers' heads with their white-livered eyes

Glaring in fiery horror through the smoke,

And monstrous dragons stained with bloody dyes,

And comelier forms; but all save thee I broke.

For though, like thee, each pipe was black and old,

They were not wiser for their many years,

Nor knew thy sorcery though set in gold,

Nor had thy tropic taste,—these proud compeers!

Like great John Paul, who would have loved thee well,

Thou art the "only one" of all thy race;

Nor shall another comrade near thee dwell,

Old King of pipes! my study's pride and grace!


Thus have I made "assurance doubly sure,"

And sealed it twice, that thou shalt reign alone!

And as the dainty bee doth search for pure,

Sweet honey till his laden thighs do groan

With their sweet burden, tasting nothing foul,

So thou of best tobacco shalt be filled;

And when the starry midnight wakes the owl,

And the lorn nightingale her song has trilled,

I, with my lamp and books, as is my wont,

Will give thee of the choicest of all climes,—

Black Cavendish, full-flavored, full of juice,

Pale Turkish, famed through all the Osman times,

[pg 29]

Dark Latakia, Syrian, Persia's pride,

And sweet Virginian, sweeter than them all!

Oh, rich bouquet of plants! fit for a bride

Who, blushing, waits the happy bridegroom's call!

And these shall be thy food, thy dainty food,

And we together will their luxury share,

Voluptuous tumults stealing through the blood,

Voluptuous visions filling all the air!

I will not thee profane with impious shag,

Nor poison thee with nigger-head and twist,

Nor with Kentucky, though the planters brag

That it hath virtues all the rest have missed.

These are for porters, loafers, and the scum,

Who have no sense for the diviner weeds,

Who drink their muddy beer and muddier rum,

Insatiate, like dogs in all their greeds.

But not for thee nor me these things obscene;

We have a higher pleasure, purer taste.

My draughts have been with thee of hippocrene,

And our delights intelligent and chaste.


Intelligent and chaste since we have held

Commune together on the world's highway;

No Falstaff failings have my mind impelled

To do misdeeds of sack by night or day;

[pg 30]

But we have ever erred on virtue's side—

At least we should have done—but woe is me!

I fear in this my statement I have lied,

For ghosts, like moonlight shadows on the sea,

Crowd thick around me from the shadowy past,—

Ghosts of old memories reeling drunk with wine!

And boon companions, Lysius-like, and vast

In their proportions as the god divine.

I do confess my sins, and here implore

The aid of "Rare Old Ben" and other ghosts

That I may sin again, but rarely more,

Responsive only unto royal toasts.

For, save these sins, I am a saintly man,

And live like other saints on prayer and praise,

My long face longer, if life be a span,

Than any two lives in these saintly days.

So let me smoke and drink and do good deeds,

And boast the doing like a Pharisee;

Am I not holy if I love the creeds,

Even though my drinking sins choke up the sea?

The Gypsies of the Dane's Dike.

[pg 31]


Weed of the strange flower, weed of the earth,

Killer of dulness, parent of mirth,

Come in the sad hour, come in the gay,

Appear in the night, or in the day,—

Still thou art welcome as June's blooming rose,

Joy of the palate, delight of the nose.

Weed of the green field, weed of the wild,

Fostered in freedom, America's child,

Come in Virginia, come in Havana,

Friend of the universe, sweeter than manna,—

Still thou art welcome, rich, fragrant, and ripe,

Pride of the tube-case, delight of the pipe.

Weed of the savage, weed of each pole,

Comforting, soothing, philosophy's soul,

Come in the snuff-box, come in cigar,

In Strasburgh and King's, come from afar,—

Still thou art welcome, the purest, the best,

Joy of earth's millions, forever carest.



Two maiden dames of sixty-two

Together long had dwelt;

Neither, alas! of love so true

The bitter pang had felt.

[pg 32]

But age comes on, they say, apace,

To warn us of our death,

And wrinkles mar the fairest face,—

At last it stops our breath.

One of these dames tormented sore

With that curst pang, toothache,

Was at a loss for such a bore

What remedy to take.

"I've heard," thought she, "this ill to cure,

A pipe is good, they say.

Well then, tobacco I'll endure,

And smoke the pain away."

The pipe was lit, the tooth soon well,

And she retired to rest,

When then the other ancient belle

Her spinster maid addressed,—

"Let me request a favor, pray"—

"I'll do it if I can"—

"Oh! well, then, love, smoke every day,

You smell so like a man!"


[pg 33]


To Charles Eliot Norton.

Luck, my dear Norton, still makes shifts,

To mix a mortal with her gifts,

Which he may find who duly sifts.

Sweets to the sweet,—behold the clue!

Why not, then, new things to the gnu,

And trews to Highland clansmen true?

'Twas thus your kindly thought decreed

These weeds to one who is indeed,

And feels himself, a very weed,—

A weed from which, when bruised and shent,

Though some faint perfume may be rent,

Yet oftener much without a cent.

But imp, O Muse, a stronger wing

Mount, leaving self below, and sing

What thoughts these Cuban exiles bring!

He that knows aught of mythic lore

Knows how god Bacchus wandered o'er

The earth, and what strange names he bore.

The Bishop of Avranches supposes

That all these large and varying doses

Of fable mean naught else than Moses;

[pg 34]

But waiving doubts, we surely know

He taught mankind to plough and sow,

And from the Tigris to the Po

Planted the vine; but of his visit

To this our hemisphere, why is it

We have no statement more explicit?

He gave to us a leaf divine

More grateful to the serious Nine

Than fierce inspirings of the vine.

And that he loved it more, this proved,—

He gave his name to what he loved,

Distorted now, but not removed.

Tobacco, sacred herb, though lowly,

Baffles old Time, the tyrant, wholly,

And makes him turn his hour-glass slowly;

Nay, makes as 'twere of every glass six,

Whereby we beat the heathen classics

With their weak Chians and their Massics.

These gave his glass a quicker twist,

And flew the hours like driving mist,

While Horace drank and Lesbia kissed.

How are we gainers when all's done,

If Life's swift clepsydra have run

With wine for water? 'Tis all one.

[pg 35]

But this rare plant delays the stream

(At least if things are what they seem)

Through long eternities of dream.

What notes the antique Muse had known

Had she, instead of oat-straws, blown

Our wiser pipes of clay or stone!

Rash song, forbear! Thou canst not hope,

Untutored as thou art, to cope

With themes of such an epic scope.

Enough if thou give thanks to him

Who sent these leaves (forgive the whim)

Plucked from the dream-tree's sunniest limb.

My gratitude feels no eclipse,

For I, whate'er my other slips,

Shall have his kindness on my lips.

The prayers of Christian, Turk, and Jew

Have one sound up there in the blue,

And one smell all their incense, too.

Perhaps that smoke with incense ranks

Which curls from 'mid life's jars and clanks,

Graceful with happiness and thanks.

I pledge him, therefore, in a puff,—

rather frailish kind of stuff,

But still professional enough.

[pg 36]

Hock-cups breed hiccups; let us feel

The god along our senses steel

More nobly and without his reel.

Each temperately 'baccy plenus,

May no grim fate of doubtful genus

E'er blow the smallest cloud between us.

And as his gift I shall devote

To fire, and o'er their ashes gloat,—

Let him do likewise with this note.


[From "The Letters of James Russell Lowell." Copyright, 1893, by Harper & Brothers.]


Thrice happy isles that stole the world's delight,

And thus produce so rich a Margarite!

It is the fountain whence all pleasure springs,

A potion for imperial and mighty kings.

He that is master of so rich a store

May laugh at Croesus and esteem him poor;

And with his smoky sceptre in his fist,

Securely flout the toiling alchemist,

Who daily labors with a vain expense

In distillations of the quintessence,

Not knowing that this golden herb alone

Is the philosopher's admired stone.

[pg 37]

It is a favor which the gods doth please,

If they do feed on smoke, as Lucian says.

Therefore the cause that the bright sun doth rest

At the low point of the declining west—

When his oft-wearied horses breathless pant—

Is to refresh himself with this sweet plant,

Which wanton Thetis from the west doth bring,

To joy her love after his toilsome ring:

For 'tis a cordial for an inward smart,

As is dictamnum to the wounded hart.

It is the sponge that wipes out all our woe;

'Tis like the thorn that doth on Pelion grow,

With which whoe'er his frosty limbs anoints,

Shall feel no cold in fat or flesh or joints.

'Tis like the river, which whoe'er doth taste

Forgets his present griefs and sorrows past.

Music, which makes grim thoughts retire,

And for a while cease their tormenting fire,—

Music, which forces beasts to stand and gaze,

And fills their senseless spirits with amaze,—

Compared to this is like delicious strings,

Which sound but harshly while Apollo sings.

The train with this infumed, all quarrel ends,

And fiercest foemen turn to faithful friends;

The man that shall this smoky magic prove,

Will need no philtres to obtain his love.

Yet the sweet simple, by misordered use,

Death or some dangerous sickness may produce.

Should we not for our sustentation eat

Because a surfeit comes from too much meat?

[pg 38]

So our fair plant—that doth as needful stand

As heaven, or fire, or air, or sea, or land;

As moon, or stars that rule the gloomy night,

Or sacred friendship, or the sunny light—

Her treasured virtue in herself enrolls,

And leaves the evil to vainglorious souls.

And yet, who dies with this celestial breath

Shall live immortal in a joyful death.

All goods, all pleasures it in one can link—

'Tis physic, clothing, music, meat, and drink.

Gods would have revell'd at their feasts of mirth

With this pure distillation of the earth;

The marrow of the world, star of the West,

The pearl whereby this lower orb is blest;

The joy of mortals, umpire of all strife,

Delight of nature, mithridate of life;

The daintiest dish of a delicious feast,

By taking which man differs from a beast.

ANONYMOUS: Time, James I.


Three hundred years ago or soe,

One worthy knight and gentlemanne

Did bring me here, to charm and chere,

To physical and mental manne.

God bless his soule who filled ye bowle,

And may our blessings find him;

That he not miss some share of blisse

Who left soe much behind him.


[pg 39]


Dear piece of fascinating clay!

'Tis thine to smooth life's rugged way,

To give a happiness unknown

To those—who let a pipe alone;

Thy tube can best the vapors chase,

By raising—others in their place;

Can give the face staid Wisdom's air,

And teach the lips—to ope with care;

'Tis hence thou art the truest friend

(Where least is said there's least to mend),

And he who ventures many a joke

Had better oft be still and smoke.

Whatever giddy foplings think,

Thou giv'st the highest zest to drink.

When fragrant clouds thy fumes exhale,

And hover round the nut-brown ale,

Who thinks of claret or champagne?

E'en burgundy were pour'd in vain.

'Tis not in city smoke alone,

Midst fogs and glooms thy charms are known.

With thee, at morn, the rustic swain

Tracks o'er the snow-besprinkled plain,

To seek some neighb'ring copse's side,

And rob the woodlands of their pride:

[pg 40]

With thee, companion of his toil,

His active spirits ne'er recoil;

Though hard his daily task assign'd,

He bears it with an equal mind.

The fisher 'board some little bark,

When all around is drear and dark,

With shortened pipe beguiles the hour,

Though bleak the wind and cold the show'r,

Nor thinks the morn's approach too slow,

Regardless of what tempests blow.

Midst hills of sand, midst ditches, dikes,

Midst cannons, muskets, halberts, pikes;

With thee, as still, Mynheer can stay,

As Neddy 'twixt two wisps of hay;

Heedless of Britain and of France,

Smokes on—and looks to the main chance.

And sure the solace thou canst give

Must make thy fame unrivalled live,

So long as men can temper clay

(For as thou art, e'en so are they),

The sun mature the Indian weed,

And rolling years fresh sorrows breed.

From The Meteors, London.

[pg 41]


Tell me, shade of Walter Raleigh,

Briton of the truest type,

When that too devoted valet

Quenched your first-recorded pipe,

Were you pondering the opinion,

As you watched the airy coil,

That the virtue of Virginia

Might be bred in British soil?

You transplanted the potato,

'Twas a more enduring gift

Than the wisdom of a Plato

To our poverty and thrift.

That respected root has flourished

Nobly for a nation's need,

But our brightest dreams are nourished

Ever on a foreign weed.

From the deepest meditation

Of the philosophic scribe,

From the poet's inspiration,

For the cynic's polished gibe,

We invoke narcotic nurses

In their jargon from afar,

I indite these modest verses

On a polyglot cigar.

[pg 42]

Leaf that lulls a Turkish Aga

May a scholar's soul renew,

Fancy spring from Larranaga,

History from honey-dew.

When the teacher and the tyro

Spirit-manna fondly seek,

'Tis the cigarette from Cairo,

Or a compound from the Greek.

But no British-born aroma

Is fit incense to the Queen,

Nature gives her best diploma

To the alien nicotine.

We are doomed to her ill-favor,

For the plant that's native grown

Has a patriotic flavor

Too exclusively our own.

O my country, could your smoker

Boast your "shag," or even "twist,"

Every man were mediocre

Save the blest tobacconist!

He will point immortal morals,

Make all common praises mute,

Who shall win our grateful laurels

With a national cheroot.

The St. James Gazette.

[pg 43]


Once your smoothly polished face

Nestled lightly in a case;

'Twas a jolly cosy place,

I surmise;

And a zealous subject blew

On your cheeks, until they grew

To the fascinating hue

Of her eyes.

Near a rusty-hilted sword,

Now upon my mantel-board,

Where my curios are stored,

You recline.

You were pleasant company when

By the scribbling of her pen

I was sent the ways of men

To repine.

Tell me truly (you were there

When she ceased that debonair

Correspondence and affair)

I suppose

That she laughed and smiled all day;

Or did gentle tear-drops stray

Down her charming retroussée

Little nose?

[pg 44]

Where the sunbeams, coyly still,

Fall upon the mantel-sill,

You perpetually will

Silence woo;

And I fear that she herself,

By the little chubby elf.

Will be laid upon the shelf

Just as you.



"Let those smoke now who never smoked before,

And those who always smoked—now smoke the more."


To thee, blest weed, whose sovereign wiles,

O'er cankered care bring radiant smiles,

Best gift of Love to mortals given!

At once the bud and bliss of Heaven!

Crownless are kings uncrowned by thee;

Content the serf in thy sweet liberty,

O charm of life! O foe to misery!


[pg 45]


After A.C. Swinburne.

If love were dhudeen olden,

And I were like the weed,

Oh! we would live together

And love the jolly weather,

And bask in sunshine golden,

Rare pals of choicest breed;

If love were dhudeen olden,

And I were like the weed.

If you were oil essential,

And I were nicotine,

We'd hatch up wicked treason,

And spoil each smoker's reason,

Till he grew penitential,

And turned a bilious green;

If you were oil essential,

And I were nicotine.

If you were snuff, my darling,

And I, your love, the box.

We'd live and sneeze together,

Shut out from all the weather,

And anti-snuffers snarling,

In neckties orthodox;

If you were snuff, my darling,

And I, your love, the box.

[pg 46]

If you were the aroma,

And I were simply smoke,

We'd skyward fly together,

As light as any feather;

And flying high as Homer,

His gray old ghost we'd choke;

If you were the aroma,

And I were simply smoke.

From Cope's Tobacco Plant.


In wreaths of smoke, blown waywardwise,

Faces of olden days uprise,

And in his dreamers revery

They haunt the smoker's brain, and he

Breathes for the past regretful sighs.

Mem'ries of maids, with azure eyes,

In dewy dells, 'neath June's soft skies,

Faces that more he'll only see

In wreaths of smoke.

Eheu, eheu! how fast Time flies,—

How youth-time passion droops and dies,

And all the countless visions flee!

How worn would all those faces be,

Were they not swathed in soft disguise

In wreaths of smoke!


[pg 47]


Wrapped in a sadly tattered gown,

Alone I puff my brier brown,

And watch the ashes settle down

In lambent flashes;

While thro' the blue, thick, curling haze,

I strive with feeble eyes to gaze,

Upon the half-forgotten days

That left but ashes.

Again we wander through the lane,

Beneath the elms and out again,

Across the rippling fields of grain,

Where softly flashes

A slender brook 'mid banks of fern,

At every sigh my pulses burn,

At every thought I slowly turn

And find but ashes.

What made my fingers tremble so,

As you wrapped skeins of worsted snow,

Around them, now with movements slow

And now with dashes?

Maybe 'tis smoke that blinds my eyes,

Maybe a tear within them lies;

But as I puff my pipe there flies

A cloud of ashes.

[pg 48]

Perhaps you did not understand,

How lightly flames of love were fanned.

Ah, every thought and wish I've planned

With something clashes!

And yet within my lonely den

Over a pipe, away from men,

I love to throw aside my pen

And stir the ashes.



Tube, I love thee as my life;

By thee I mean to choose a wife.

Tube, thy color let me find,

In her skin, and in her mind.

Let her have a shape as fine;

Let her breath be sweet as thine;

Let her, when her lips I kiss,

Burn like thee, to give me bliss;

Let her, in some smoke or other,

All my failings kindly smother.

Often when my thoughts are low,

Send them where they ought to go;

When to study I incline,

Let her aid be such as thine;

Such as thine the charming power

In the vacant social hour.

[pg 49]

Let her live to give delight,

Ever warm and ever bright;

Let her deeds, whene'er she dies,

Mount as incense to the skies.

Gentleman's Magazine.


When Life was all a summer day,

And I was under twenty,

Three loves were scattered in my way—

And three at once are plenty.

Three hearts, if offered with a grace,

One thinks not of refusing;

The task in this especial case

Was only that of choosing.

I knew not which to make my pet,—

My pipe, cigar, or cigarette.

To cheer my night or glad my day

My pipe was ever willing;

The meerschaum or the lowly clay

Alike repaid the filling.

Grown men delight in blowing clouds,

As boys in blowing bubbles,

Our cares to puff away in crowds

And vanish all our troubles.

My pipe I nearly made my pet,

Above cigar or cigarette.

[pg 50]

A tiny paper, tightly rolled

About some Latakia,

Contains within its magic fold

A mighty panacea.

Some thought of sorrow or of strife

At ev'ry whiff will vanish;

And all the scenery of life

Turn picturesquely Spanish.

But still I could not quite forget

Cigar and pipe for cigarette.

To yield an after-dinner puff

O'er demi-tasse and brandy,

No cigarettes are strong enough,

No pipes are ever handy.

However fine may be the feed,

It only moves my laughter

Unless a dry delicious weed

Appears a little after.

A prime cigar I firmly set

Above a pipe or cigarette.

But after all I try in vain

To fetter my opinion;

Since each upon my giddy brain

Has boasted a dominion.

Comparisons I'll not provoke,

Lest all should be offended.

[pg 51]

Let this discussion end in smoke

As many more have ended.

And each I'll make a special pet;

My pipe, cigar, and cigarette.



When Cupid open'd shop, the trade he chose

Was just the very one you might suppose.

Love keep a shop?—his trade, oh! quickly name!

A dealer in tobacco—fie, for shame!

No less than true, and set aside all joke,

From oldest time he ever dealt in smoke;

Than smoke, no other thing he sold, or made;

Smoke all the substance of his stock in trade;

His capital all smoke, smoke all his store,

'Twas nothing else; but lovers ask no more—

And thousands enter daily at his door!

Hence it was ever, and it e'er will be

The trade most suited to his faculty:

Fed by the vapors of their heart's desire,

No other food his votaries require;

For that they seek—the favor of the fair—

Is unsubstantial as the smoke and air.

JACOB CATS: Moral Emblems.

[pg 52]


Mortals say their heart is light

When the clouds around disperse;

Clouds to gather, thick as night,

Is the smoker's universe.

From the German of Bauernfeld.


Much victuals serves for gluttony

To fatten men like swine;

But he's a frugal man indeed

That with a leaf can dine,

And needs no napkin for his hands,

His fingers' ends to wipe,

But keeps his kitchen in a box,

And roast meat in a pipe.

SAMUEL ROWLANDS: Knave of Clubs (1611).


Words and music by Richard Barnard.

To my sweet cigarette I am singing

This joyous and bright bacca-role;

Just now to my lips she was clinging,

Her spirit was soothing my soul.

[pg 53]

With figure so slender and dapper

I feel the soft touch of it yet,

Adorned in her dainty white wrapper,

How fair is my own cigarette!

'Twere better, perhaps, that we part, love;

'Twere better, if never we'd met.

Alas, you are part of my heart, love,

Destructive but sweet cigarette!

Though matchless, by matches she's fired,

And glows both with pleasure and pride;

By her soft, balmy breath I'm inspired,

And kiss and caress my new bride.

E'en the clouds of her nature are joyous,

Though other clouds cause us regret;

From worry and care they decoy us,

The clouds of a sweet cigarette.

'Twere better, etc.

The houris in paradise living

Dissolve in the first love embrace,

Their life to their love freely giving,—

And so with my love 'tis the case;

For when her life's last spark is flying,

Still sweet to the end is my pet,

Who helps me, although she is dying,

To light up a fresh cigarette!

'Twere better, etc.

[pg 54]


When verdant youth sees life afar,

And first sets out wild oats to sow,

He puffs a stiff and stark cigar,

And quaffs champagne of Mumm & Co.

He likes not smoking yet; but though

Tobacco makes him sick indeed,

Cigars and wine he can't forego,—

A slave is each man to the weed.

In time his tastes more dainty are

And delicate. Become a beau,

From out the country of the czar

He brings his cigarettes, and lo!

He sips the vintage of Bordeaux.

Thus keener relish shall succeed

The baser liking we outgrow,—

A slave is each man to the weed

When age and his own lucky star

To him perfected wisdom show,

The schooner glides across the bar,

And beer for him shall freely flow;

A pipe with genial warmth shall glow,

To which he turns in direst need,

To seek in smoke surcease of woe,—

A slave is each man to the weed.

[pg 55]


Smokers, who doubt or con or pro,

And ye who dare to drink, take heed!

And see in smoke a friendly foe,—

A slave is each man to the weed.




You still persist in using,

I observe with great regret,

The needlessly expensive



You should set a good example;

But you seem to quite forget

That you use a thirty-dollar




Betty bouncer kept a stall

At the corner of a street,

And she had a smile for all.

Many were the friends she'd greet

With kindly nod on passing by,

Who, smiling, saw her pipe awry.

[pg 56]

Poor old lass! she loved her pipe,

A constant friend it seemed to be;

As she sold her apples ripe,

With an apple on each knee,

How she'd make the smoke-wreaths fly,

As I've watched her pipe awry!

Seasons came and seasons went,

Only changing Betty's store;

Youngsters with her always spent

Their little all and wished they'd more:

Timidly with upturned eye

Staring at her pipe awry.

Bet was always at her post

Early morn or even late;

Ginger beer or chestnut roast,

Served she as she sat in state,

On two bushel-baskets high;

You should have seen her pipe awry!

Little care old Betty had,

She quietly jogged on her way;

Never did her face look sad.

Although she fumed the livelong day.

Guiltless seemed she of a sigh.

I never saw her pipe her eye!


[pg 57]


Jest about the time when Fall

Gits to rattlin' in the trees,

An' the man thet knows it all,

'Spicions frost in every breeze,

When a person tells hisse'f

Thet the leaves look mighty thin,

Then thar blows a meller breaf!

Ingin summer's hyere agin.

Kind-uh smoky-lookin' blues

Spins acrost the mountain-side,

An' the heavy mornin' dews

Greens the grass up far an' wide,

Natur' raly 'pears as ef

She wuz layin' off a day,—

Sort-uh drorin in her breaf

'Fore she freezes up to stay.

Nary lick o' work I strike,

'Long about this time of year!

I'm a sort-uh slowly like,

Right when Ingin summer's here.

Wife and boys kin do the work;

But a man with natchel wit,

Like I got, kin 'ford to shirk,

Ef he has a turn for it.

[pg 58]

Time when grapes set in to ripe,

All I ast off any man

Is a common co'n-cob pipe

With terbacker to my han';

Then jest loose me whar the air

Simmers 'crost me, wahm an' free!

Promised lands ull find me thar;

Wings ull fahly sprout on me!

I'm a loungin' 'round on thrones,

Bossin' worlds f'om shore to shore,

When I stretch my marrer-bones

Jest outside the cabin door!

An' the sunshine peepin' down

On my old head, bald an' gray,

'Pears right like the gilted crown,

I expect to w'ar some day.



Set to music by Johann Sebastian Bach. Author unknown. Translated by Edward Breck.

As oft I fill my faithful pipe,

To while away the moments glad,

With fragrant leaves, so rich and ripe,

My mind perceives an image sad,

So that I can but clearly see

How very like it is to me.

[pg 59]

My pipe is made of earth and clay,

From which my mortal part is wrought;

I, too, must turn to earth some day.

It often falls, as quick as thought,

And breaks in two,—puts out its flame;

My fate, alas! is but the same!

My pipe I color not, nor paint;

White it remains, and hence 'tis true

That, when in Death's cold arms I faint,

My lips shall wear the ashen hue;

And as it blackens day by day,

So black the grave shall turn my clay!

And when the pipe is put alight

The smoke ascends, then trembles, wanes,

And soon dissolves in sunshine bright,

And but the whitened ash remains.

'Tis so man's glory crumble must,

E'en as his body, into dust!

How oft the filler is mislaid;

And, rather than to seek in vain,

I use my finger in its stead,

And fancy as I feel the pain,

If coals can burn to such degree,

How hot, O Lord, must Hades be!

[pg 60]

So in tobacco oft I find,

Lessons of such instructive type;

And hence with calm, contented mind

I live, and smoke my faithful pipe

In reverence where'er I roam,—

On land, on water, and at home.


'Tis said that in the sun-embroidered East,

There dwelt a race whose softly flowing hours

Passed like the vision of a royal feast,

By Nero given in the Baian bowers;

Thanks to the lotus-blossom spell,

Their lives were one long miracle.

In after years the passing sons of men

Looked for those lotus blossoms all in vain,

Through every hillside, glade, and glen

And e'en the isles of many a main;

Yet through the centuries some doom,

Forbade them see the lotus bloom.

The Old World wearied of the long pursuit,

And called the sacred leaf a poet's theme,

When lo! the New World, rich in flower and fruit,

Revealed the lotus, lovelier than the dream

That races of the long past days did haunt,—

The green-leaved, amber-tipped tobacco plant.


[pg 61]


What is it comes through the deepening dusk,—

Something sweeter than jasmine scent,

Sweeter than rose and violet blent,

More potent in power than orange or musk?

The scent of a good cigar.

I am all alone in my quiet room,

And the windows are open wide and free

To let in the south wind's kiss for me,

While I rock in the softly gathering gloom,

And that subtle fragrance steals.

Just as a loving, tender hand

Will sometimes steal in yours,

It softly comes through the open doors,

And memory wakes at its command,—

The scent of that good cigar.

And what does it say? Ah! that's for me

And my heart alone to know;

But that heart thrills with a sudden glow,

Tears fill my eyes till I cannot see,—

From the scent of that good cigar.


[pg 62]


Yes, social friend, I love thee well,

In learned doctor's spite;

Thy clouds all other clouds dispel,

And lap me in delight.

What though they tell, with phizzes long,

My years are sooner past!

I would reply with reason strong,

They're sweeter while they last.

When in the lonely evening hour,

Attended but by thee,

O'er history's varied page I pore,

Man's fate in thine I see.

Oft as the snowy column grows,

Then breaks and falls away,

I trace how mighty realms thus rose,

Thus tumbled to decay.

Awhile like thee earth's masters burn

And smoke and fume around;

And then, like thee, to ashes turn,

And mingle with the ground.

Life's but a leaf adroitly rolled,

And Time's the wasting breath

That, late or early, we behold

Gives all to dusty death.

[pg 63]

From beggar's frieze to monarch's robe,

One common doom is passed;

Sweet Nature's works, the swelling globe,

Must all burn out at last.

And what is he who smokes thee now?

A little moving heap,

That soon, like thee, to fate must bow,

With thee in dust must sleep.

But though thy ashes downward go,

Thy essence rolls on high;

Thus, when my body lieth low,

My soul shall cleave the sky.



Shade of Herrick, Muse of Locker,

Help me sing of Knickerbocker!

Boughton, had you bid me chant

Hymns to Peter Stuyvesant,

Had you bid me sing of Wouter,

He, the onion head, the doubter!

But to rhyme of this one—Mocker!

Who shall rhyme to Knickerbocker?

Nay, but where my hand must fail,

There the more shall yours avail;

You shall take your brush and paint

All that ring of figures quaint,—

[pg 64]

All those Rip Van Winkle jokers,

All those solid-looking smokers,

Pulling at their pipes of amber,

In the dark-beamed Council Chamber.

Only art like yours can touch

Shapes so dignified—and Dutch;

Only art like yours can show

How the pine logs gleam and glow,

Till the firelight laughs and passes

'Twixt the tankards and the glasses,

Touching with responsive graces

All those grave Batavian faces,

Making bland and beatific

All that session soporific.

Then I come and write beneath:

Boughton, he deserves the wreath;

He can give us form and hue—

This the Muse can never do!



A Sailor's Version.

They were three jolly sailors bold,

Who sailed across the sea;

They'd braved the storm, and stood the gale,

And got to Virgin-ee.

[pg 65]


'Twas in the days of good Queen Bess,—

Or p'raps a bit before,—

And now these here three sailors bold

Went cruising on the shore.

A lurch to starboard, one to port,

Now forrard, boys, go we,

With a haul and a "Ho!" and a "That's your sort!"

To find out Tobac-kee.

Says Jack, "This here's a rummy land."

Says Tom, "Well, shiver me!

The sun shines out as precious hot

As ever I did see."

Says Dick, "Messmates, since here we be,"—

And gave his eye a wink,—

"We've come to find out Tobac-kee,

Which means a drop to drink."

Says Jack, says he, "The Injins think—"

Says Tom, "I'll swear as they

Don't think at all." Says Dick, "You're right;

It ain't their nat'ral way.

But I want to find out, my lads,

This stuff of which they tell;

For if as it ain't meant to drink,

Why, it must be meant to smell."

Says Tom, says he, "To drink or smell,

I don't think this here's meant."

Says Jack, says he, "Blame my old eyes,

If I'll believe it's scent."

[pg 66]

"Well, then," says Dick, "if that ain't square,

It must be meant for meat;

So come along, my jovial mates,

To find what's good to eat."

They came across a great big plant,

A-growing tall and true.

Says Jack, says he, "I'm precious dry,"

And picked a leaf to chew.

While Tom takes up a sun-dried bit,

A-lying by the trees;

He rubs it in his hands to dust

And then begins to sneeze.

Another leaf picks nimble Dick,

And dries it in the sun,

And rolls it up all neat and tight.

"My lads," says he, in fun,

"I mean to cook this precious weed."

And then from out his poke

With burning-glass he lights the end,

And quick blows up the smoke.

Says Jack, says he, "Of Paradise

I've heerd some people tell."

Says Tom, says he, "This here will do;

Let's have another smell."

Says Dick, his face all pleasant smiles,

A-looking through a cloud,

"It strikes me here's the cap'en bold,

And now we'll all be rowed."

[pg 67]

Up comes brave Hawkins on the beach;

"Shiver my hull!" he cries,

"What's these here games, my merry men?"

And then, "Why, blame my eyes!

Here's one as chaws, and one as snuffs,

And t' other of the three

Is smoking like a chimbley-pot—

They've found out Tobac-kee!"

So if ever you should hear

Of Raleigh, and them lies

About his sarvant and his pipe

And him as "Fire!" cries,

You say as 'twas three sailors bold

As sailed to Virgin-ee

In brave old Hawkins' gallant ship

Who found out Tobac-kee.

A lurch to starboard, one to port,

Now forrard, boys, go we,

With a haul and a "Ho!" and a "That's your sort!"

To find out Tobac-kee.

Cigar and Tobacco World, London.

[pg 68]


"Keats took snuff.... It has been established by the praise-worthy editorial research of Mr. Burton Forman."

So "Keats took snuff?" A few more years,

When we are dead and famous—eh?

Will they record our pipes and beers,

And if we smoked cigars or clay?

Or will the world cry "Quantum suff"

To tattle such as "Keats took snuff"?

Perhaps some chronicler would wish

To know what whiskey we preferred,

And if we ever dined on fish,

Or only took the joint and bird.

Such facts are quite as worthy stuff,

Good chronicler, as "Keats took snuff."

You answer: "But, if you were Keats—"

Tut! never mind your buts and ifs,

Of little men record their meats,

Their drinks, their troubles, and their tiffs,

Of the great dead there's gold enough

To spare us such as "Keats took snuff."

[pg 69]

Well, go your ways, you little folk,

Who polish up the great folk's lives;

Record the follies that they spoke,

And paint their squabbles with their wives.

Somewhere, if ever ghosts be gruff,

I trust some Keats will "give you snuff."

The Globe, London.


Oh, give me but Virginia's weed,

An earthen bowl, a stem of reed,

What care I for the weather?

Though winter freeze and summer broil

We rest us from our days of toil

My Pipe and I together!

Like to a priest of sacred fane,

I nightly light the glow again

With reverence and pleasure;

For through this plain and modest bowl

I coax sweet mem'ry to my soul

And many trippings measure!

There's comfort in each puff of smoke,

Defiance to ill-fortune's stroke

And happiness forever!

There grows a volume full of thought

And humor, than the book you bought

Holds nothing half so clever!

[pg 70]

The summer fragrance, all pent up

Among the leaves, is here sent up

In dreams of summer glory;

And these blue clouds that slowly rise

Were colored by the summer skies,

And tell a summer story.

And oh! the happiest, sweetest times

Come ringing all their silver chimes

Of merry songs and laughter;

And all that may be well and worth

For Mother Future to bring forth

I do imagine after.

What care I if my poor means

Clad not my walls with splendid scenes

And pictures by the masters;

Here in the curling smoke-wreath glow

Bold hills and lovely vales below,

And brooks with nodding asters.

All that on earth is fair and fine,

This fragrant magic makes it mine,

And gives me sole dominion;

And if you call me fanciful,

I only take a stronger pull,

And laugh at your opinion.

Let others fret and fume with care,

'Tis easy finding everywhere,

But happiness is rarer;

[pg 71]

And if I find it sweet and ripe,

In this tobacco and my pipe,

I'll count it all the fairer.

Then give me but Virginia's weed,

An earthen bowl, a stem of reed,

What care I for the weather?

Though winter freeze, or summer broil

We rest us from the days of toil,

My Pipe and I together.



There's a lot of solid comfort

In an old clay pipe, I find,

If you're kind of out of humor

Or in trouble in your mind.

When you're feeling awful lonesome

And don't know just what to do,

There's a heap of satisfaction

If you smoke a pipe or two.

The ten thousand pleasant memories

That are buried in your soul

Are playing hide and seek with you

Around that smoking bowl.

These are mighty restful moments:

You're at peace with all the world,

And the panorama changes

As the thin blue smoke is curled.

[pg 72]

Now you cross the bridge of sorrows,

Now you enter pleasant lands,

And before an open doorway,

You will linger to shake hands

With a lithe and girlish figure

That is coming through the door;

Ah! you recognize the features:

You have seen that face before.

You are at the dear old homestead

Where you spent those happy years;

You are romping with the children;

You are smiling through your tears;

You have fought and whipped the bully

You are eight and he is ten.

Oh! how rapidly we travel,—

You are now a boy again.

You approach the open doorway,

And before the old armchair

You will stop and kiss the grandma,

You will smooth the thin white hair;

You will read the open Bible,

For the lamp is lit, you see.

It is now your hour for bed-time

And you kneel at mother's knee.

Still you linger at the hearthstone;

You are loath to leave the place.

When an apple cut's in progress:

You must wait and dance with Grace.

[pg 73]

What's the matter with the music?

Only this: The pipe is broke,

And a thousand pleasant fancies

Vanish promptly with the smoke.



The pipe, with solemn interposing puff,

Makes half a sentence at a time enough;

The dozing sages drop the drowsy strain,

Then pause and puff, and speak, and pause again.

Such often, like the tube they so admire,

Important triflers! have more smoke than fire.

Pernicious weed! whose scent the fair annoys,

Unfriendly to society's chief joys,

Thy worst effect is banishing for hours

The sex whose presence civilizes ours.



Full tender beamed the light of love down from his manly face,

As he pressed her to his bosom in a fervent, fond embrace.

No cost of others' happiness found place within his thought;

The weakness of life's brittle thread no dim forebodings brought.

[pg 74]

But tenderer than the light of love, more brittle than life's thread,

The shrouds that wrapped two other hearts gave up their withered dead;

For, crumbling in his waistcoat, their glowing future dashed,

Two excellent Havanas were very badly smashed.

London Tobacco.


When I puff my cigarette,

Straight I see a Spanish girl,—

Mantilla, fan, coquettish curl,

Languid airs and dimpled face,

Calculating, fatal grace;

Hear a twittering serenade

Under lofty balcony played;

Queen at bull-fight, naught she cares

What her agile lover dares;

She can love and quick forget.

Let me but my meerschaum light,

I behold a bearded man,

Built upon capacious plan,

Sabre-slashed in war or duel,

Gruff of aspect, but not cruel,

Metaphysically muddled,

[pg 75]

With strong beer a little fuddled,

Slow in love, and deep in books,

More sentimental than he looks,

Swears new friendships every night.

Let me my chibouk enkindle,—

In a tent I'm quick set down

With a Bedouin, lean and brown,

Plotting gain of merchandise,

Or perchance of robber prize;

Clumsy camel load upheaving,

Woman deftly carpet-weaving,

Meal of dates and bread and salt,

While in azure heavenly vault

Throbbing stars begin to dwindle.

Glowing coal in clay dudheen

Carries me to sweet Killarney,

Full of hypocritic blarney,—

Huts with babies, pigs, and hens

Mixed together, bogs and fens,

Shillalahs, praties, usquebaugh,

Tenants defying hated law,

Fair blue eyes with lashes black,

Eyes black and blue from cudgel-thwack,—

So fair, so foul, is Erin green.

My nargileh once inflamed,

Quick appears a Turk with turban,

Girt with guards in palace urban,

Or in house by summer sea

[pg 76]

Slave-girls dancing languidly,

Bow-string, sack, and bastinado,

Black boats darting in the shadow;

Let things happen as they please,

Whether well or ill at ease,

Fate alone is blessed or blamed.

With my ancient calumet

I can raise a wigwam's smoke,

And the copper tribe invoke,—

Scalps and wampum, bows and knives,

Slender maidens, greasy wives,

Papoose hanging on a tree,

Chieftains squatting silently,

Feathers, beads, and hideous paint,

Medicine-man and wooden-saint,—

Forest-framed the vision set.

My cigar breeds many forms,—

Planter of the rich Havana

Mopping brow with sheer bandanna,

Russian prince in fur arrayed,

Paris fop on dress parade,

London swell just after dinner,

Wall Street broker—gambling sinner!

Delver in Nevada mine,

Scotch laird bawling "Auld Lang Syne."

Thus Raleigh's weed my fancy warms.

Life's review in smoke goes past,—

Fickle fortune, stubborn fate,

Right discovered all too late,

[pg 77]

Beings loved and gone before,

Beings loved but friends no more,

Self-reproach and futile sighs,

Vanity in birth that dies,

Longing, heart-break, adoration,—

Nothing sure in expectation

Save ash-receiver at the last.



With grateful twirl our smoke-wreaths curl,

As mist from the waterfall given,

Or the locks that float round beauty's throat

In the whispering air of even.

Chorus. Then drown the fears of the coming years,

And the dread of change before us;

The way is sweet to our willing feet,

With the smoke-wreaths twining o'er us.

As the light beams through the ringlets blue,

Will hope beam through our sorrow,

While the gathering wreath of the smoke we breathe

Shuts out the fear of to-morrow.

A magic charm in the evening calm

Calls thought from mem'ry's treasure;

But clear and bright in the liquid light

Are the smoke-called dreams of pleasure.

[pg 78]

Then who shall chide, with boasting pride,

Delights they ne'er have tasted?

Oh, let them smile while we beguile

The hour with joys they've wasted.

College Song.


Right stout and strong the worthy burghers stood,

Or rather, sat,

Drank beer in plenty, ate abundant food;

For they to ancient customs still were true,

And smoked, and smoked, because they surely knew

What they were at.

William the Testy ruled New Amsterdam,—

A tall man he,—

Whose rule was meant by him to be no sham,

But rather like the stern paternal style

That sways the city now. He made the while

A rough decree.

He ordered that the pipes should cease to smoke,

From that day on.

The people took the order as a joke;

They did not think, who smoked from childhood up,

That one man such delight would seek to stop,

Even in fun.

[pg 79]

But when at last it dawned upon their minds

That this was meant,

They closed their houses, shut their window blinds,

Brought forth tobacco from their ample hoard,

And to the governor's house with one accord

The burghers went.

They carried chairs, and sat without a word

Before his porch,

And smoked, and smoked, and not a sound was heard,

Till Kieft came forth to take the morning air,

With speech that would have burned them then and there

If words could scorch.

But they, however savagely he spoke,

Made no reply.

Higher and thicker rose the clouds of smoke,

And Kieft, perceiving that they would be free

Tried not to put in force his harsh decree,

But let it die.

New York Sun.


Like raven's wings her locks of jet,

Her soft eyes touched with fond regret,

Doubt and desire her mind beset,

Fondling her brother's cigarette.

[pg 80]

Roses with dewy diamonds set,

Drooped o'er the window's parapet;

With grace she turned a match to get,

And lit her brother's cigarette.

Her puffs of smoky violet

Twined in fantastic silhouette;

She blushed, laughed, coughed a little, yet,

She smoked her brother's cigarette.

Her eyes with briny tears were wet,

Her bang grew limp beneath its net,

Her brow was gemmed with beaded sweat,

And to her bed she went, you bet.



I jess kind o' feel so lonesome that I don't know what to do,

When I think about them days we used to spend

A hoein' out tobacker in th' clearin'—me an' you—

An' a wishin' that the day was at an end.

For the dewdrops was a sparklin' on the beeches' tender leaves

As we started out a workin' in the morn;

An' th' noonday sun was sendin' down a shower of burnin' sheaves

When we heard the welcome-soundin' dinner-horn.

[pg 81]

An' th' shadders round us gathered in a sort of ghostly batch,

'Fore we started home from workin' in that ol' tobacker patch.

I'm a feelin' mighty lonesome, as I look aroun' to-day,

For I see th' change that's taken place since then.

All th' hills is brown and faded, for th' woods is cleared away;

You an' me has changed from ragged boys to men;

You are livin' in th' city that we ust to dream about;

I am still a dwellin' here upon the place,

But my form is bent an' feeble, which was once so straight and stout,

An' there's most a thousand wrinkles on my face.

You have made a mint of money; I, perhaps have been your match,

But we both enjoyed life better in that ol' tobacker patch.



I beg you come to-night and dine.

A welcome waits you, and sound wine,—

The Roederer chilly to a charm,

As Juno's breath the claret warm,

The sherry of an ancient brand.

[pg 82]

No Persian pomp, you understand,—

A soup, a fish, two meats, and then

A salad fit for aldermen

(When aldermen, alas the days!

Were really worth their mayonnaise);

A dish of grapes whose clusters won

Their bronze in Carolinian sun;

Next, cheese—for you the Neufchâtel,

A bit of Cheshire likes me well;

Café au lait or coffee black,

With Kirsch or Kümmel or cognac

(The German band in Irving Place

By this time purple in the face);

Cigars and pipes. These being through,

Friends shall drop in, a very few—

Shakespeare and Milton, and no more.

When these are guests I bolt the door,

With "Not at home" to any one

Excepting Alfred Tennyson.



There's a charm in the sun-crested hills,

In the quivering light of a star,

In the flash of a silvery rill,

Yet to me thou art lovelier far,

My Meerschaum!

[pg 83]

There's a love in her witching dark eye,

There's a love in her tresses at play,

Yet her love would be worth not a sigh,

If from thee she could lure me away,

My Meerschaum!

Let revellers sing of their wine,

As they toss it in ecstasy down,

But the bowl I call for is thine,

With its deepening amber and brown,

My Meerschaum!

For when trouble would bid me despair,

I call for a flagon of beer,

And puff a defiance to care,

Till sorrows in smoke disappear,

My Meerschaum!

Though mid pleasures unnumbered I whirl,

Though I traverse the billowy sea,

Yet the waving and beautiful curl

Of thy smoke's ever dearer to me,

My Meerschaum!



Companion of my lonely hours,

Full many a time 'twixt night and morn

Thy muse hath roamed through poesy's bowers

Upon thy fragrant pinions borne.

[pg 84]

Let others seek the bliss that reigns

In homage paid at beauty's shrine,

We envy not such foolish gains,

In sweet content, old pipe of mine.

Ah! you have been a travelled pipe;

But now, of course, you're getting stale,

Just like myself, and rather ripe;

You've had your fill of cakes and ale,

And half-forgotten memories, too.

And all the pensive thoughts that twine

Around a past that, entre nous,

Has pleasant been, old pipe of mine.

Old pipe of mine, for many a year

What boon companions we have been!

With here a smile and there a tear,

How many changes we have seen!

How many hearts have ceased to beat,

How many eyes have ceased to shine,

How many friends will never meet,

Since first we met, old pipe of mine!

Though here and there the road was deep,

And now and then the rain would fall;

We managed every time to keep

A sturdy forehead to them all!

And even when she left my side,

We didn't wait to fret or pine,

Oh, no; we said the world was wide,

And luck would turn, old pipe of mine!

[pg 85]


And it has turned since you and I

Set out to face the world alone;

And, in a garret near the sky,

Had scarce a crust to call our own,

But many a banquet, Barmecide;

And many a dream of hope divine,

Lie buried in the moaning tide,

That drowns the past, old pipe of mine!

But prosing isn't quite the thing,

And so, I guess, I'll give it up:

Just wait a moment while I sing;

We'll have another parting cup,

And then to bed. The stars are low;

Yon sickly moon has ceased to shine;

So here she goes, and off we go

To Slumberland, old pipe of mine!



Come, seniors, come, and fill your pipes,

Your richest incense raise;

Let's take a smoke, a parting smoke,

For good old by-gone days!

Chorus. For good old by-gone days,

We'll smoke for good old by-gone days!

We'll take a smoke, a parting smoke,

For good old by-gone days!

[pg 86]

We'll crown the cannon with a cloud,

We'll celebrate its praise;

Recalling its old parting smoke,

For good old by-gone days!

We'll smoke to these we leave behind

In devious college ways;

We'll smoke to songs we've sung before,

In good old by-gone days.

We'll smoke to Alma Mater's name;

She loves the cloud we raise!

For well she knows the "biggest guns"

Are in the coming days!

We'll smoke the times, the good old times,

When we were called fire!

Their light shall blaze in memory,

Till the lamp of life expire!

Then let each smoking pipe be broke,—

Hurrah for coming days!

We'll take a march, a merry march,

To meet the coming days!



The Indian weed, withered quite,

Green at noon, cut down at night,

Shows thy decay; all flesh is hay,

Thus thinke, then drinke tobacco.

[pg 87]

The pipe that is so lily-white,

Shows thee to be a mortal wight;

And even such, gone with a touch,

Thus thinke, then drinke tobacco.

And when the smoke ascends on high,

Thinke thou beholdst the vanity

Of worldly stuffe, gone with a puffe,

Thus thinke, then drinke tobacco.

And when the pipe grows foul within,

Think on thy soule defil'd with sin,

And then the fire it doth require.

Thus thinke, then drinke tobacco.

The ashes that are left behind,

May serve to put thee still in mind,

That unto dust return thou must.

Thus thinke, then drinke tobacco.



By an "Old Salt."

Oh, muse! grant me the power

(I have the will) to sing

How oft in lonely hour,

When storms would round me lower,

Tobacco's proved a king!

[pg 88]

Philanthropists, no doubt

With good intentions ripe,

Their dogmas may put out,

And arrogantly shout

The evils of the pipe.

Kind moralists, with tracts,

Opinions fine may show;

Produce a thousand facts,—

How ill tobacco acts

Man's system to o'erthrow.

Learn'd doctors have employed

Much patience, time, and skill,

To prove tobacco cloyed

With acrid alkaloid,

With power the nerves to kill.

E'en popes have curst the plant;

Kings bade its use to cease;

But all the pontiff's rant

And royal James's cant

Ne'er made its use decrease.

Teetotalers may stamp

And roar at pipes and beer;

But place them in a swamp,

When nights are dark and damp,—

Their tunes would change, I fear.

[pg 89]

No advocate am I

Of excess in one or t'other,

And ne'er essayed to try

In wine to drown a sigh,

Or a single care to smother.

Yet, in moderation pure,

A glass is well enough;

But a troubled heart to cure,

Kind feelings to insure,

Give me a cheerful puff.

How oft a learn'd divine

His sermons will prepare,

Not by imbibing wine,

But 'neath th' influence fine

Of a pipe of "baccy" rare!

How many a pleasing scene,

How many a happy joke,

How many a satire keen,

Or problem sharp, has been

Evolved or born of smoke!

How oft amidst the jar,

Of storms on ruin bent,

On shipboard, near or far,

To the drenched and shiv'ring tar,

Tobacco's solace lent!

[pg 90]

Oh, tell me not 'tis bad,

Or that it shortens life!

Its charms can soothe the sad,

And make the wretched glad,

In trouble and in strife.

'Tis used in every clime,

By all men, high and low;

It is praised in prose and rhyme,

And can but end with time;

So let the kind herb grow!

'Tis a friend to the distress'd;

'Tis a comforter in need;

It is social, soothing, blest;

It has fragrance, force, and zest;

Then hail the kingly weed!



The maid, as by the papers doth appear,

Whom fifty thousand dollars made so dear,

To test Lothario's passion, simply said,

"Forego the weed before we go to wed.

For smoke, take flame; I'll be that flame's bright fanner.

To have your Anna, give up your Havana."

But he, when thus she brought him to the scratch,

Lit his cigar, and threw away his match.


[pg 91]


Come, lovely tube, by friendship blest,

Belov'd and honored by the wise,

Come filled with honest "Weekly's best,"

And kindled from the lofty skies.

While round me clouds of incense roll,

With guiltless joys you charm the sense,

And nobler pleasure to the soul

In hints of moral truth dispense.

Soon as you feel th' enliv'ning ray,

To dust you hasten to return,

And teach me that my earliest day

Began to give me to the urn.

But though thy grosser substance sink

To dust, thy purer part aspires;

This when I see, I joy to think

That earth but half of me requires.

Like thee, myself am born to die,

Made half to rise, and half to fall.

Oh, could I, while my moments fly,

The bliss you give me give to all!

Gentleman's Magazine, July, 1745.

[pg 92]

In the smoke of my dear cigarito

Cloud castles rise gorgeous and tall;

And Eros, divine muchachito,

With smiles hovers over it all.

But dreaming, forgetting to cherish

The fire at my lips as it dies,

The dream and the rapture must perish,

And Eros descend from the skies.

O wicked and false muchachito,

Your rapture I yet may recall;

But, like my re-lit cigarito,

A bitterness tinges it all.



Oh, 'tis well and enough,

A whiff or a puff

From the heart of a pipe to get;

And a dainty maid

Or a budding blade

May toy with the cigarette;

But a man, when the time

Of a glorious prime

Dawns forth like a morning star,

Wants the dark-brown bloom

And the sweet perfume

That go with a good cigar.

[pg 93]

To lazily float

In a painted boat

On a shimmering morning sea,

Or to flirt with a maid

In the afternoon shade

Seems good enough sport to be;

But the evening hour,

With its subtle power,

Is sweeter and better far,

If joined to the joy,

Devoid of alloy,

That lurks in a good cigar.

When a blanket wet

Is solidly set

O'er hopes prematurely grown;

When ambition is tame,

And energy lame,

And the bloom from the fruit is blown;

When to dance and to dine

With women and wine

Past poverty pleasures are,—

A man's not bereft

Of all peace, if there's left

The joy of a good cigar.


[pg 94]

A glass is good, and a lass is good,

And a pipe to smoke in cold weather;

The world is good, and the people are good,

And we're all good fellows together.

JOHN O'KEEFE: Sprigs of Laurel,
Act ii. sc. i.


Let sybarites still dream delights

While smoking cigarettes,

Whose opiates get in their pates

Till waking brings regrets;

Oh, let them doze, devoid of woes,

Of troubles, and of frets.

And let the chap who loves to nap

With his cigar in hand

Pursue his way, and live his day,

As runs time's changing sand;

Let him delight by day and night

In his peculiar brand.

But as for me, I love to be

Provided with a pipe,—

A rare old bowl to warm my soul,

A meerschaum brown and ripe,—

With good plug cut, no stump or butt,

Nor filthy gutter-snipe.

[pg 95]

My joys increase! It brings me peace

As nothing else can do;

From all the strife of daily life

Here my relief is true.

I watch its rings; it purrs and sings—

And then it's cheaper, too!

Detroit Tribune.


Come then, Tobacco, new-found friend,

Come, and thy suppliant attend

In each dull, lonely hour;

And though misfortunes lie around,

Thicker than hailstones on the ground,

I'll rest upon thy power.

Then while the coxcomb, pert and proud,

The politician, learned and loud,

Keep one eternal clack,

I'll tread where silent Nature smiles,

Where Solitude our woe beguiles,

And chew thee, dear Tobac.



I sit all alone with my pipe by the fire,

I ne'er knew the Benedict's yoke;

I worship a fairy-like, fanciful form,

That goes up the chimney in smoke.

[pg 96]

I sit in my dressing-gowned slipperful ease,

Without wife or bairns to provoke,

And puff at my pipe, while my hopes and my fears

All go up the chimney in smoke.

I sit with my pipe, and my heart's lonesome care

I try, but all vainly, to choke.

Ah, me! but I find that the flame that Love lights

Won't go up the chimney in smoke.

Cigar and Tobacco World, London.


Meerschaum, thing with amber tip,

Clutched between the dreamer's lip,

Fragrant odors from thy bowl

Mingling with the dreamer's soul;

Curling wreaths of smoke ascending,

Comfort sweet with incense blending.

Joy and peace and solace sending

To the dreamer's heart.

Fashioned like a satyr's head,

Crowned with fire, glowing red,

Quaintly carved and softly sleek

As Afric maiden's downy cheek.

Comrade of each idle hour

In forest shade or leafy bower;

Lotus-eaters from thy power

Ne'er can break apart.

[pg 97]

Darkly colored from long use

With tobacco's balmy juice

From snowy white to ebon turned

By the incense daily burned.

Laid at night within thy case

Of velvet soft—thy resting place—

Whence with leering, stained face

Daily thou must start,—

To soothe the dreamer's every care,

To glow and burn and fill the air

With thy curling perfume rare:

As thou charmest gloom away,

With the dreamer rest for aye

Friend of youth, and manhood ripe

All hail to thee, thou meerschaum pipe!

New Orleans Times Democrat.


But here the herald of the self-same mouth

Came breathing o'er the aromatic South,

Not like a "bed of violets" on the gale,

But such as wafts its cloud o'er grog or ale,

Borne from a short, frail pipe, which yet had blown

Its gentle odors over either zone,

And, puff'd where'er minds rise or waters roll,

Had wafted smoke from Portsmouth to the Pole,

Opposed its vapor as the lightning flash'd,

And reek'd, 'midst mountain billows unabashed,

[pg 98]

To Æolus a constant sacrifice,

Through every change of all the varying skies.

And what was he who bore it? I may err,

But deem him sailor or philosopher.

Sublime tobacco! which from east to west

Cheers the tar's labor or the Turkman's rest;

Which on the Moslem's ottoman divides

His hours, and rivals opiums and his brides;

Magnificent in Stamboul, but less grand,

Though not less loved, in Wapping on the Strand;

Divine in hookas, glorious in a pipe,

When tipp'd with amber, mellow, rich, and ripe;

Like other charmers, wooing the caress

More dazzlingly when daring in full dress;

Yet thy true lovers more admire by far

Thy naked beauties,—give me a cigar!


The Island, Canto ii., Stanza 19.


Floating away like the fountains' spray,

Or the snow-white plume of a maiden,

The smoke-wreaths rise to the starlit skies

With blissful fragrance laden.

Chorus. Then smoke away till a golden ray

Lights up the dawn of the morrow,

For a cheerful cigar, like a shield, will bar,

The blows of care and sorrow.

[pg 99]

The leaf burns bright, like the gems of light

That flash in the braids of Beauty;

It nerves each heart for the hero's part

On the battle-plain of duty.

In the thoughtful gloom of his darkened room,

Sits the child of song and story,

But his heart is light, for his pipe burns bright,

And his dreams are all of glory.

By the blazing fire sits the gray-haired sire,

And infant arras surround him;

And he smiles on all in that quaint old hall,

While the smoke-curls float around him.

In the forest grand of our native land,

When the savage conflict ended,

The "pipe of peace" brought a sweet release

From toil and terror blended.

The dark-eyed train of the maids of Spain

'Neath their arbor shades trip lightly,

And a gleaming cigar, like a new-born star,

In the clasp of their lips burns brightly

It warms the soul like the blushing bowl,

With its rose-red burden streaming,

And drowns it in bliss, like the first warm kiss

From the lips with love-buds teeming.


[pg 100]


May the Babylonish curse

Straight confound my stammering verse

If I can a passage see

In this word-perplexity,

Or a fit expression find,

Or a language to my mind

(Still the phrase is wide or scant),

To take leave of thee, GREAT PLANT!

Or in any terms relate

Half my love, or half my hate:

For I hate, yet love, thee so,

That, whichever thing I show,

The plain truth will seem to be

A constrain'd hyperbole,

And the passion to proceed

More from a mistress than a weed.

Sooty retainer to the vine,

Bacchus' black servant, negro fine;

Sorcerer, that mak'st us dote upon

Thy begrimed complexion,

And, for thy pernicious sake,

More and greater oaths to break

Than reclaimed lovers take

'Gainst women: thou thy siege dost lay

Much too in the female way,

While thou suck'st the lab'ring breath

Faster than kisses or than death.

[pg 101]

Thou in such a cloud dost bind us,

That our worst foes cannot find us,

And ill-fortune, that would thwart us,

Shoots at rovers, shooting at us;

While each man, through thy height'ning steam

Does like a smoking Etna seem,

And all about us does express

(Fancy and wit in richest dress)

A Sicilian fruitfulness.

Thou through such a mist dost show us,

That our best friends do not know us,

And, for those allowèd features,

Due to reasonable creatures,

Liken'st us to fell Chimeras,

Monsters that, who see us, fear us;

Worse than Cerberus or Geryon,

Or, who first loved a cloud, Ixion.

Bacchus we know, and we allow

His tipsy rites. But what art thou,

That but by reflex canst show

What his deity can do,

As the false Egyptian spell

Aped the true Hebrew miracle,

Some few vapors thou mayst raise

The weak brain may serve to amaze,

But to the reins and nobler heart

Canst nor life nor heat impart.

[pg 102]

Brother of Bacchus, later born,

The Old World was sure forlorn

Wanting thee, that aidest more

The god's victories than before

All his panthers, and the brawls

Of his piping Bacchanals.

These, as stale, we disallow,

Or judge of thee meant; only thou

His true Indian conquest art;

And for ivy round his dart

The reformed god now weaves

A finer thyrsus of thy leaves.

Scent to match thy rich perfume

Chemic art did ne'er presume,

Through her quaint alembic strain,

None so sov'reign to the brain.

Nature, that did in thee excel,

Framed again no second smell.

Roses, violets, but toys

For the smaller sort of boys,

Or for greener damsels meant;

Thou art the only manly scent.

Stinking'st of the stinking kind,

Filth of the mouth and fog of the mind,

Africa, that brags her foison,

Breeds no such prodigious poison,

Henbane, nightshade, both together,

Hemlock, aconite—

[pg 103]

Nay, rather,

Plant divine, of rarest virtue;

Blisters on the tongue would hurt you.

'Twas but in a sort I blamed thee;

None e'er prosper'd who defamed thee;

Irony all, and feign'd abuse,

Such as perplex'd lovers use

At a need when, in despair

To paint forth their fairest fair,

Or in part but to express

That exceeding comeliness

Which their fancies doth so strike,

They borrow language of dislike;

And, instead of Dearest Miss,

Jewel, Honey, Sweetheart, Bliss,

And those forms of old admiring,

Call her Cockatrice and Siren,

Basilisk, and all that's evil,

Witch, Hyena, Mermaid, Devil,

Ethiop, Wench, and Blackamore,

Monkey, Ape, and twenty more,

Friendly Trait'ress, loving Foe,—

Not that she is truly so,

But no other way they know

A contentment to express,

Borders so upon excess

That they do not rightly wot

Whether it be pain or not.

Or as men, constrain'd to part

With what's nearest to their heart.

[pg 104]

While their sorrow's at the height

Lose discrimination quite,

And their hasty wrath let fall,

To appease their frantic gall,

On the darling thing whatever

Whence they feel it death to sever,

Though it be, as they, perforce,

Guiltless of the sad divorce.

For I must (nor let it grieve thee,

Friendliest of plants, that I must) leave thee.

For thy sake, TOBACCO, I

Would do anything but die,

And but seek to extend my days

Long enough to sing thy praise.

But as she who once hath been

A king's consort is a queen

Ever after, nor will bate

Any tittle of her state,

Though a widow or divorced,

So I, from thy converse forced,

The old name and style retain,

A right Katherine of Spain;

And a seat, too, 'mongst the joys

Of the blest Tobacco Boys,

Where, though I by sour physician

Am debarr'd the full fruition

Of thy favors, I may catch

Some collateral sweets, and snatch

Sidelong odors, that give life

Like glances from a neighbor's wife,

[pg 105]

And still live in the by-places

And the suburbs of thy graces,

And in thy borders take delight,

An unconquer'd Canaanite.



Nicotia, dearer to the Muse

Than all the grape's bewildering juice,

We worship, unforbid of thee;

And as her incense floats and curls

In airy spires and wayward whirls,

Or poises on its tremulous stalk

A flower of frailest reverie,

So winds and loiters, idly free,

The current of unguided talk,

Now laughter-rippled, and now caught

In smooth dark pools of deeper thought

Meanwhile thou mellowest every word,

A sweetly unobtrusive third;

For thou hast magic beyond wine

To unlock natures each to each;

The unspoken thought thou canst divine;

Thou fill'st the pauses of the speech

With whispers that to dreamland reach,

And frozen fancy-springs unchain

In Arctic outskirts of the brain.

Sun of all inmost confidences,

[pg 106]

To thy rays doth the heart unclose

Its formal calyx of pretences,

That close against rude day's offences,

And open its shy midnight rose!



There may be comrades in this world,

As stanch and true as steel.

There are: and by their friendships firm

Is life made only real.

But, after all, of all these hearts

That close with mine entwine,

None lie so near, nor seem so dear

As this old pipe of mine.

My silent friend—whose voice is held

Fast for my ear alone—

Stays with me always, well content,

With Darby to be Joan.

No fickleness disturbs our lot;

No jars its peace to smother;

Ah, no; my faithful pipe and I

Have wooed and won—each other.

On clouds of curling incense sweet,

We go—my pipe and I—

To lands far off, where skies stay blue

Through all the years that fly.

[pg 107]

And nights and days, with rosy dreams

Teems bright—an endless throng

That passing leave, in echoing wake,

Soft murmurings of song.

Does this dream fade? Another comes

To fill its place and more.

In castles silvern roam we now,

They're ours! All! All are ours!

What'er the wreathing rings enfold

Drops shimmering golden showers!

No sordid cost our steps can stay,

We travel free as air.

Our wings are fancies, incense-borne,

That feather-light upbear.

Begone! ye powers of steam and flood.

Thy roads creep far too slow;

We need thee not. My pipe and I

Swifter than Time must go.

Why, what is this? The pipe gone out?

Well, well, the fire's out, too!

The dreams are gone—we're poor once more;

Life's pain begins anew.

'Tis time for sleep, my faithful pipe,

But may thy dreamings be,

Through slumbering hours hued as bright

As those thou gav'st to me!


[pg 108]


Just a note that I found on my table,

By the bills of a year buried o'er,

In a feminine hand and requesting

My presence for tennis at four.

Half remorseful for leaving it lying

In surroundings unworthy as those,

I carefully dusted and smoothed it,

And mutely begged pardon of Rose.

But I thought with a smile of the proverb

Which says you may treat as you will

The vase which has once contained roses,

Their fragrance will cling to it still.

For the writer I scarcely remember,

The occasion has vanished afar,

And the fragrance that clings to the letter

Recalls—an Havana cigar.



"You must choose between me and your cigar."

Open the old cigar-box, get me a Cuba stout,

For things are running crossways, and Maggie and I are out.

[pg 109]

We quarrelled about Havanas—we fought o'er a good cheroot,

And I know she is exacting, and she says I am a brute.

Open the old cigar-box—let me consider a space;

In the soft blue veil of the vapor, musing on Maggie's face.

Maggie is pretty to look at,—Maggie's a loving lass,

But the prettiest cheeks must wrinkle, the truest of loves must pass.

There's peace in a Laranaga, there's calm in a Henry Clay,

But the best cigar in an hour is finished and thrown away,—

Thrown away for another as perfect and ripe and brown,—

But I could not throw away Maggie for fear o' the talk o' the town!

Maggie my wife at fifty,—gray and dour and old,—

With never another Maggie to purchase for love or gold!

And the light of Days that have Been the dark of the Days that Are,

And Love's torch stinking and stale, like the butt of a dead cigar,—

[pg 110]

The butt of a dead cigar you are bound to keep in your pocket,—

With never a new one to light tho' it's charred and black to the socket.

Open the old cigar-box,—let me consider a while,—

Here is a mild Manilla,—there is a wifely smile.

Which is the better portion,—bondage bought with a ring,

Or a harem of dusky beauties, fifty tied in a string?

Counsellors cunning and silent—comforters true and tried,

And never a one of the fifty to sneer at a rival bride.

Thought in the early morning, solace in time of woes,

Peace in the hush of the twilight, balm ere my eyelids close.

This will the fifty give me, asking nought in return,

With only a Suttee's passion,—to do their duty and burn.

This will the fifty give me. When they are spent and dead,

Five times other fifties shall be my servants instead.

The furrows of far-off Java, the isles of the Spanish Main,

When they hear my harem is empty, will send me my brides again.

[pg 111]

I will take no heed to their raiment, nor food for their mouths withal,

So long as the gulls are nesting, so long as the showers fall.

I will scent 'em with best vanilla, with tea will I temper their hides,

And the Moor and the Mormon shall envy, who read of the tale of my brides.

For Maggie has written a letter to give me my choice between

The wee little whimpering Love and the great god Nick o' Teen.

And I have been servant of Love for barely a twelve-month clear.

But I have been Priest of Partagas a matter of seven year;

And the gloom of my bachelor days is flecked with the cheery light

Of stumps that I burned to Friendship and Pleasure and Work and Fight.

And I turn my eyes to the future that Maggie and I must prove,

But the only light on the marshes is the Will-o'-the-Wisp of Love.

[pg 112]

Will it see me safe through my journey, or leave me bogged in the mire?

Since a puff of tobacco can cloud it, shall I follow the fitful fire?

Open the old cigar-box,—let me consider anew,—

Old friends, and who is Maggie that I should abandon you?

A million surplus Maggies are willing to bear the yoke;

And a woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a Smoke.

Light me another Cuba: I hold to my first-sworn vows,

If Maggie will have no rival, I'll have no Maggie for spouse!



Neglected now it lies, a cold clay form,

So late with living inspirations warm;

Type of all other creatures formed of clay—

What more than it for epitaph have they?

[pg 113]


What's my love's name? Guess her name.

Nina? No.

Alina? No.

It does end with "ina," though.

Guess again. Christina? No;

Guess again. Wilhelmina? No.

She reciprocates my flame,

Cheers me wheresoe'er I go,

Never forward, never coy,

She is evermore my joy.

Oh, the rapture! oh, the bliss!

When I met my darling's kiss.

Oh, I love her form to greet!

Oh, her breath is passing sweet!

Who could help but love her so?

Nicotina, mistress mine,

Thou shall be my Valentine.



My cigarette! The amulet

That charms afar unrest and sorrow,

The magic wand that, far beyond

To-day, can conjure up to-morrow.

[pg 114]

Like love's desire, thy crown of fire

So softly with the twilight blending;

And ah, meseems a poet's dreams

Are in thy wreaths of smoke ascending.

My cigarette! Can I forget

How Kate and I, in sunny weather,

Sat in the shade the elm-tree made

And rolled the fragrant weed together?

I at her side, beatified

To hold and guide her fingers willing;

She rolling slow the papers snow,

Putting my heart in with the filling.

My cigarette! I see her yet,

The white smoke from her red lips curling,

Her dreaming eyes, her soft replies,

Her gentle sighs, her laughter purling!

Ah, dainty roll, whose parting soul

Ebbs out in many a snowy billow,

I too would burn, if I could earn

Upon her lips so soft a pillow.

Ah, cigarette! The gay coquette

Has long forgot the flame she lighted;

And you and I unthinking by

Alike are thrown, alike are slighted.

The darkness gathers fast without,

A raindrop on my window plashes;

My cigarette and heart are out,

And naught is left me but the ashes.


[pg 115]


Say, pipe, let's talk of love;

Canst aid me? By my life,

I'll ask not gods above

To help me choose a wife;

But to thy gentle self I'll give the puzzling strife.

Thy color let me find,

And blue like smoke her eyes;

A healthy store her mind

As that which in thee lies,—

An evanescent draft, whose incense mounts the skies.

And, pipe, a breath like thine;

Her hair an amber gold,

And wrought in shapes as fine

As that which now I hold;

A grace in every limb, her form thy slender mould.

And when her lips I kiss,

Oh, may she burn like thee,

And strive to give me bliss!

A comforter to be

When friends wax cold, time fades, and all departs from me.

[pg 116]

And may she hide in smoke,

As you, my friend, have done,

The failings that would choke

My virtues every one,

Turn grief to laughing jest, or painful thought to fun.

Her aid be such as thine

To stir my brain a bit.

When 'round this hearth of mine

Friends sit and banter wit,

She'll shape a well-turned phrase, a subtle jest to hit.

In short, my sole delight

(Why, pipe, you sputter so!),

Whose angel visage bright

(And at me ashes throw!)

Shall never rival fear. You're jealous now, I know.

Nay, pipe, I'll not leave thee;

For of thy gifts there's one

That's passing dear to me

Whose equal she'd have none,—

The gift of peace serene; she'd have, alas, a tongue!


[pg 117]


AIR: "The Vicar of Bray."

'Twas in Queen Bess's golden days

That smoking came in fashion;

And from the court it quickly spread

Throughout the English nation.

The courtiers first the lesson learnt,

And burn'd the fragrant treasure;

And e'en the queen herself, 'tis said,

Would sometimes share the pleasure.

But this is true, I will maintain,—

And I am far from joking,—

Of all the pleasures men have found

There's none to equal smoking.

Then learned men and lawyers wise

And grave divines and doctors

Found smoking help'd to clear the brain,

And puff'd away in flocks, sirs;

Then business men and humble clerks

And laborer and peasant

By smoking care would drive away,

And make this life more pleasant.

For this is true. I will maintain,—

And I am far from joking,—

Of all the pleasures men have found

There's none to equal smoking.

[pg 118]

And from these times we modern men

Great glory do inherit,

And wealth and learning and the strength

Which makes the English spirit.

We have no care, we fear no foe,

We pass our lifetime gayly,

But little think how much we owe

To great Sir Walter Raleigh.

For this is true, I will maintain,—

And I am far from joking,—

Of all the pleasures men have found

There's none to equal smoking.



"A Constrained Hyperbole."

Let others sing the praise of wine;

I'll tolerate no queen

But one fair nymph of spotless line,

The gentle Nicotine.

Her breath's as sweet as any flower's,

No matter where it blows,

And makes this dull old world of ours

The color of the rose.

There's not a pang but she can soothe,

Nor spell but she can break,

And e'en the hardest lot can smooth,

And bid us courage take.

[pg 119]

Fair Nicotine! thou dost atone

For many an aching heart;

And I for one will gladly own

The magic of thine art.

Ah, "friendly traitress," "loving foe,"

Forgive this loving lay;

For I, thy worshipper, would show

The sweetness of thy sway.

"Sublime tobacco!" may thy reign

Ne'er for one moment cease;

For thou, Great Plant, art kin to brain,

And synonym for peace.



Come to me, O my meerschaum,

For the vile street organs play;

And the torture they're inflicting

Will vanish quite away.

I open my study window

And into the twilight peer,

And my anxious eyes are watching

For the man with my evening beer.

In one hand is the shining pewter,

All amber the ale doth glow;

In t'other are long "churchwardens,"

As spotless and pure as snow.

[pg 120]

Ah! what would the world be to us

Tobaccoless?—Fearful bore!

We should dread the day after to-morrow

Worse than the day before.

As the elephant's trunk to the creature,

Is the pipe to the man, I trow;

Useful and meditative

As the cud to the peaceful cow.

So to the world is smoking;

Through that we feel, with bliss

That, whatever worlds come after,

A jolly old world is this.

Come to me, O my meerschaum,

And whisper to me here,

If you like me better than coffee,

Than grog, or the bitter beer.

Oh! what are our biggest winnings,

If peaceful content we miss?

Though fortune may give us an innings

She seldom conveys us bliss.

You're better than all the fortunes

That ever were made or broke;

For a penny will always fill

And buy me content with a smoke.


[pg 121]

I like cigars

Beneath the stars,

Upon the waters blue.

To laugh and float

While rocks the boat

Upon the waves,—Don't you?

To rest the oar

And float to shore,—

While soft the moonbeams shine,—

To laugh and joke,

And idly smoke;

I think is quite divine.



Do you remember when first we met?

I was turning twenty—well! I don't forget

How I walked along,

Humming a song

Across the fields and down the lane

By the country road, and back again

To the dear old farm—three miles or more—

And brought you home from the village store.

[pg 122]

Summer was passing—don't you recall

The splendid harvest we had that Fall,

And how when the Autumn died,—sober and brown,—

We trudged down the turnpike, and on to the town?

Sweet black brierwood pipe of mine!

If you were human you'd be half divine,

For when I've looked beyond the smoke, into your burning bowl

In times of need

You've been, indeed,

The only comfort, sweetest solace, of my overflowing soul.

We've been together nearly thirty years, old fellow!

And now, you must admit, we're both a trifle mellow.

We have had our share of joys and a deal of sorrows,

And while we're only waiting for a few more to-morrows,

Others will come, and others will go,

And Time will gather what Youth will sow;

But we together will go down the rough

Road to the end, and to the end—puff.


[pg 123]


Old meerschaum pipe, I'll fondly wipe

Thy scarred and blackened form,

For thou to me wilt ever be—

Whate'er betides the storm—

A casket filled with memories

Of life's Auroral morn.

Thou once wert fair like ivory rare;

Spotless as lily white;

Thy curving lines, like tendril'd vines,

Were pleasing to the sight,

And in thine ample bowl there lurked

A promise of delight.

Like incense flung from censer swung

Before some sculptured shrine,

To float along with prayer and song

To realms of bliss divine,—

Ascend thy fragrant wreaths of smoke

And with my thoughts entwine.

Old pipe, old friend, o'er thee doth bend

The rainbow hues of life,

While sorrows roll across my soul,

And peace is turned to strife,

And Faith drifts o'er a sea of doubt

With desolation rife.

[pg 124]

Alas, that man or pipe e'er can

Wax old or know decay;

Alas, that heart from heart must part,

Or Love can lose its sway.

And death in life should cast its pall

Athwart the troubled way.

Tho' love be cross'd, and friends are lost,

And severed every tie;

Tho' hopes are dead and joys have fled,

And darkened is the sky;

We yet can warm each other's hearts,

Old meerschaum pipe and I.




I loathe all books. I hate to see

The world and men through others' eyes;

My own are good enough for me.

These scribbling fellows I despise;

They bore me.

I used to try to read a bit,

But, when I did, a sleepy fit

Came o'er me.

[pg 125]

Yet here I sit with pensive look,

Filling my pipe with fragrant loads,

Gazing in rapture at a book!—

A free translation of the Odes

Of Horace.

'Tis owned by sweet Elizabeth,

And breathes a subtle, fragrant breath

Of orris.

I longed for something that was hers

To cheer me when I'm feeling low;

I saw this book of paltry verse,

And asked to take it home—and so

She lent it.

I love her deep and tenderly,

Yet dare not tell my love, lest she

Resent it.

I'll learn to quote a stanza here,

A couplet there. I'm very sure

'Twould aid my suit could I appear

Au fait in books and literature.

I'll do it!

This jingle I can quickly learn;

Then, hid in roses, I'll return

Her poet!

[pg 126]


The hateful man! 'Twould vex a saint!

Around my pretty, cherished book,

The odor vile, the noisome taint

Of horrid, stale tobacco-smoke

Yet lingers!

The hateful man, my book to spoil!

Patrick, the tongs—lest I should soil

My fingers!

This lovely rose, these lilies frail,

These violets he has sent to me

The odor of his pipe exhale!

Am I to blame that I should be


Tell Mr. Simpson every time

He calls upon me, Patrick, I'm




Says the Pipe to the Snuff-box, "I can't understand

What the ladies and gentlemen see in your face,

That you are in fashion all over the land,

And I am so much fallen into disgrace.

[pg 127]

"Do but see what a pretty contemplative air

I give to the company,—pray do but note 'em,—

You would think that the wise men of Greece were all there,

Or, at least, would suppose them the wise men of Gotham.

"My breath is as sweet as the breath of blown roses,

While you are a nuisance where'er you appear;

There is nothing but snivelling and blowing of noses,

Such a noise as turns any man's stomach to hear."

Then, lifting his lid in a delicate way,

And opening his mouth with a smile quite engaging.

The Box in reply was heard plainly to say,

"What a silly dispute is this we are Waging!

"If you have a little of merit to claim,

You may thank the sweet-smelling Virginian weed;

And I, if I seem to deserve any blame,

The before-mentioned drug in apology plead.

"Thus neither the praise nor the blame is our own,

No room for a sneer, much less a cachinnus;

We are vehicles, not of tobacco alone,

But of anything else they may choose to put in us."


[pg 128]


How hard a thing it is to part

From those we love and cherish;

How deeply does it pain one's heart

To know all things must perish!

And when a friend and comrade dear

Is lost to us forever,

We feel how frail are all things here,

Since e'en best friends must sever.

I, too, have lost a friend, who broke

Its power when care was near me;

And troubles disappeared in smoke

When he was by to cheer me.

But as friends fall when valued most,

Like fruit that over-ripe is.

My loved companion I have lost,—

That friend my meerschaum pipe is!

Judy (1873).

[pg 129]


Let others praise the god of wine,

Or Venus, love, and beauty's smile;

I choose a theme not less divine,—

The plant that grows in Cuba's Isle.

The old Greeks err'd who bound with bays

Apollo's brow; the verdant crown

He wore, when measuring their days,

Grew in the West, where he went down.

An idle tale they also told;

They said he gave them frankincense,

Borne by some tree he loved of old;

If so, he gave a mere pretence.

For the true offspring of his love—

Tobacco—grew far o'er the sea,

Where Leucothoë from above

Led him as honey leads the bee,

Till on that plant he paus'd to gaze

Some moments ere he held his way,

And cheer her with his warmest rays,

Heedless of time or length of day.

[pg 130]

Then with a sigh his brows he wreath'd

With leaves that care and toil beguile,

And bless'd, as their perfume he breath'd,

The plant that grows in Cuba's Isle.



Up to the frescoed ceiling

The smoke of my cigarette

In a sinuous spray is reeling,

Forming flower and minaret.

What delicious landscape floating

On perfumed wings I see;

Pale swans I am idly noting,

And queens robed in filagree.

I see such delicious faces

As ne'er man saw before,

And my fancy fondly chases

Sweet maids on a fairy shore.

Now to bits my air-castle crashes,

And those pictures I see no more;

My grandmother yells: "Them ashes—

Don't drop them on the floor!"


[pg 131]


To lie with half-closed eyes, as in a dream,

Upon the grassy bank of some calm stream—

And smoke.

To climb with daring feet some rugged rock,

And sit aloft where gulls and curlews flock—

And smoke.

To wander lonely on the ocean's brink,

And of the good old times to muse and think—

And smoke.

To hide me in some deep and woody glen,

Far from unhealthy haunts of sordid men—

And smoke.

To linger in some fairy haunted vale,

While all about me falls the moonlight pale—

And smoke.



Long pipes and short ones, straight and curved,

High carved and plain, dark-hued and creamy,

Slim tubes for cigarettes reserved,

And stout ones for Havanas dreamy.

[pg 132]

This cricket, on an amber spear

Impaled, recalls that golden weather

When love and I, too young to fear

Heartburn, smoked cigarettes together.

And even now—too old to take

The little papered shams for flavor—

I light it oft for her sweet sake

Who gave it, with her girlish favor.

And here's the mighty student bowl

Whose tutoring in and after college

Has led me nearer wisdom's goal

Than all I learned of text-book knowledge.

"It taught me?" Ay, to hold my tongue,

To keep a-light, and yet burn slowly,

To break ill spells around me flung

As with the enchanted whiff of Moly.

This nargileh, whose hue betrays

Perique from soft Louisiana,

In Egypt once beguiled the days

Of Tewfik's dreamy-eyed Sultana.

Speaking of color,—do you know

A maid with eyes as darkly splendid

As are the hues that, rich and slow,

On this Hungarian bowl have blended?

[pg 133]

Can artist paint the fiery glints

Of this quaint finger here beside it,

With amber nail,—the lustrous tints,

A thousand Partagas have dyed it?

"And this old silver patched affair?"

Well, sir, that meerschaum has its reasons

For showing marks of time and wear;

For in its smoke through fifty seasons

My grandsire blew his cares away!

And then, when done with life's sojourning,

At seventy-five dropped dead one day,

That pipe between his set teeth burning!

"Killed him?" No doubt! it's apt to kill

In fifty year's incessant using—

Some twenty pipes a day. And still,

On that ripe, well-filled, lifetime musing,

I envy oft so bright a part,—

To live as long as life's a treasure;

To die of—not an aching heart,

But—half a century of pleasure!

Well, well! I'm boring you, no doubt;

How these old memories will undo one—

I see you've let your weed go out;

That's wrong! Here, light yourself a new one!


[pg 134]


Thou, who when fears attack

Bidst them avaunt, and Black

Care, at the horseman's back

Perching, unseatest;

Sweet when the morn is gray;

Sweet when they've cleared away

Lunch; and at close of day

Possibly sweetest!

I have a liking old

For thee, though manifold

Stories, I know, are told

Not to thy credit:

How one (or two at most)

Drops make a cat a ghost,—

Useless, except to roast—

Doctors have said it;

How they who use fusees

All grow by slow degrees

Brainless as chimpanzees,

Meagre as lizards,

Go mad, and beat their wives,

Plunge (after shocking lives)

Razors and carving-knives

Into their gizzards.

[pg 135]

Confound such knavish tricks!

Yet know I five or six

Smokers who freely mix

Still with their neighbors,—

Jones, who, I'm glad to say,

Asked leave of Mrs. J.,

Daily absorbs a clay

After his labors.

Cats may have had their goose

Cooked by tobacco juice;

Still, why deny its use

Thoughtfully taken?

We're not as tabbies are;

Smith, take a fresh cigar!

Jones, the tobacco jar!

Here's to thee, Bacon!



I lifted off the lid with anxious care,

Removed the wrappages, stripe after stripe,

And when the hidden contents were laid bare,

My first remark was: "Mercy, what a pipe!"

[pg 136]

A pipe of symmetry that matched its size,

Mounted with metal bright,—a sight to see;

With the rich amber hue that smokers prize,

Attesting both its age and pedigree.

A pipe to make the royal Friedrich jealous,

Or the great Teufelsdröckh with envy gripe!

A man should hold some rank above his fellows

To justify his smoking such a pipe!

What country gave it birth? What blest of cities

Saw it first kindle at the glowing coal?

What happy artist murmured, "Nunc dimittis,"

When he had fashioned this transcendent bowl?

Has it been hoarded in a monarch's treasures?

Was it a gift of peace, or prize of war?

Did the great Khalif in his "House of Pleasures"

Wager and lose it to the good Zaafar?

It may have soothed mild Spenser's melancholy,

While musing o'er traditions of the past,

Or graced the lips of brave Sir Walter Raleigh,

Ere sage King Jamie blew his "Counterblast."

Did it, safe hidden in some secret cavern,

Escape that monarch's pipoclastic ken?

Has Shakespeare smoked it at the Mermaid Tavern,

Quaffing a cup of sack with rare old Ben?

[pg 137]

Ay, Shakespeare might have watched his vast creations

Loom through its smoke,—the spectre-haunted Thane,

The Sisters at their ghostly invocations,

The jealous Moor, and melancholy Dane.

Round its orbed haze and through its mazy ringlets,

Titania may have led her elfin rout,

Or Ariel fanned it with his gauzy winglets,

Or Puck danced in the bowl to put it out.

Vain are all fancies,—questions bring no answer;

The smokers vanish, but the pipe remains;

He were indeed a subtle necromancer,

Could read their records in its cloudy stains.

Nor this alone. Its destiny may doom it

To outlive e'en its use and history;

Some ploughman of the future may exhume it

From soil now deep beneath the Eastern sea.

And, treasured by soma antiquarian Stultus,

It may to gaping visitors be shown

Labelled: "The symbol of some ancient cultus

Conjecturally Phallic, but unknown."

Why do I thus recall the ancient quarrel

Twixt Man and Time, that marks all earthly things?

Why labor to re-word the hackneyed moral

'Ως φυλλων γενεη, as Homer sings?

[pg 138]

For this: Some links we forge are never broken;

Some feelings claim exemption from decay;

And Love, of which this pipe is but the token,

Shall last, though pipes and smokers pass away.



I have a little comforter,

I carry in my pocket:

It is not any woman's face

Set in a golden locket;

It is not any kind of purse;

It is not book or letter,

But yet at times I really think

That it is something better.

Oh, my pipe, my little brown pipe!

How oft, at morning early,

When vexed with thoughts of coming toil,

And just a little surly,

I sit with thee till things get clear,

And all my plans grow steady,

And I can face the strife of life

With all my senses steady.

[pg 139]

No matter if my temper stands

At stormy, fair, or clearing,

My pipe has not for any mood

A word of angry sneering.

I always find it just the same,

In care, or joy, or sorrow,

And what it is to-day I know

It's sure to be to-morrow.

It helps me through the stress of life;

It balances my losses;

It adds a charm to all my joys,

And lightens all my crosses.

For through the wreathing, misty veil

Joy has a softer splendor,

And life grows sweetly possible,

And love more truly tender.

Oh, I have many richer joys!

I do not underrate them,

And every man knows what I mean,

I do not need to state them.

But this I say,—I'd rather miss

A deal of what's called pleasure,

Than lose my little comforter,

My little smoky treasure.


[pg 140]

Forsaken of all comforts but these two,—

My fagot and my pipe—I sit to muse

On all my crosses, and almost excuse

The heavens for dealing with me as they do.

When Hope steps in, and, with a smiling brow,

Such cheerful expectations doth infuse

As makes me think ere long I cannot choose

But be some grandee, whatsoe'er I'm now.

But having spent my pipe, I then perceive

That hopes and dreams are cousins,—both deceive.

Then mark I this conclusion in my mind,

It's all one thing,—both tend into one scope,—

To live upon Tobacco and on Hope:

The one's but smoke, the other is but wind.



'Twas off the blue Canary isles,

A glorious summer day,

I sat upon the quarter deck,

And whiffed my cares away;

And as the volumed smoke arose,

Like incense in the air,

I breathed a sigh to think, in sooth,

It was my last cigar.

[pg 141]

I leaned upon the quarter rail,

And looked down in the sea;

E'en there the purple wreath of smoke,

Was curling gracefully;

Oh! what had I at such a time

To do with wasting care?

Alas! the trembling tear proclaimed

It was my last cigar.

I watched the ashes as it came

Fast drawing toward the end;

I watched it as a friend would watch

Beside a dying friend;

But still the flame swept slowly on;

It vanished into air;

I threw it from me,—spare the tale,—

It was my last cigar.

I've seen the land of all I love

Fade in the distance dim;

I've watched above the blighted heart,

Where once proud hope hath been;

But I've never known a sorrow

That could with that compare,

When off the blue Canaries

I smoked my last cigar.


[pg 142]



When all the panes are hung with frost,

Wild wizard-work of silver lace,

I draw my sofa on the rug,

Before the ancient chimney-place.

Upon the painted tiles are mosques

And minarets, and here and there

A blind muezzin lifts his hands,

And calls the faithful unto prayer.

Folded in idle, twilight dreams,

I hear the hemlock chirp and sing,

As if within its ruddy core

It held the happy heart of Spring.

Ferdousi never sang like that,

Nor Saadi grave, nor Hafiz gay;

I lounge, and blow white rings of smoke,

And watch them rise and float away.


The curling wreaths like turbans seem

Of silent slaves that come and go,—

Or Viziers, packed with craft and crime,

Whom I behead from time to time,

With pipe-stem, at a single blow.

[pg 143]

And now and then a lingering cloud

Takes gracious form at my desire,

And at my side my lady stands,

Unwinds her veil with snowy hands,—

A shadowy shape, a breath of fire!

O Love, if you were only here

Beside me in this mellow light,

Though all the bitter winds should blow,

And all the ways be choked with snow,

'Twould be a true Arabian night!



Some sombre evening, when I sit

And feed in solitude at home,

Perchance an ultra-bilious fit

Paints all the world an orange chrome.

When Fear and Care and grim Despair

Flock round me in a ghostly crowd,

One charm dispels them all in air,—

I blow my after-dinner cloud.

'Tis melancholy to devour

The gentle chop in loneliness.

I look on six—my prandial hour—

With dread not easy to express.

[pg 144]

And yet for every penance done,

Due compensation seems allow'd.

My penance o'er, its price is won,—

I blow my after-dinner cloud.

My clay is not a Henry Clay,—

I like it better on the whole;

And when I fill it, I can say,

I drown my sorrows in the bowl.

For most I love my lowly pipe

When weary, sad, and leaden-brow'd;

At such a time behold me ripe

To blow my after-dinner cloud.

As gracefully the smoke ascends

In columns from the weed beneath,

My friendly wizard, Fancy, lends

A vivid shape to every wreath.

Strange memories of life or death

Up from the cradle to the shroud,

Come forth as, with enchanter's breath,

I blow my after-dinner cloud.

What wonder if it stills my care

To quit the present for the past,

And summon back the things that were,

Which only thus in vapor last?

[pg 145]

What wonder if I envy not

The rich, the giddy, and the proud,

Contented in this quiet spot

To blow my after-dinner cloud?



When that last pipe is smoked at last

And pouch and pipe put by,

And Smoked and Smoker both alike

In dust and ashes lie,

What of the Smoker? Whither passed?

Ah, will he smoke no more?

And will there be no golden cloud

Upon the golden shore?

Ah! who shall say we cry in vain

To Fate upon his hill,

For, howsoe'er we ask and ask,

He goes on smoking still.

But, surely, 'twere a bitter thing

If other men pursue

Their various earthly joys again

Beyond that distant blue,

If the poor Smoker might not ply

His peaceful passion too.

[pg 146]

If Indian braves may still up there

On merry scalpings go,

And buried Britons rise again

With arrow and with bow,

May not the Smoker hope to take

His "cutty" from below?

So let us trust; and when at length

You lay me 'neath the yew,

Forget not, O my friends, I pray,

Pipes and tobacco too!



Sweet smoking pipe; bright glowing stove,

Companion still of my retreat,

Thou dost my gloomy thoughts remove,

And purge my brain with gentle heat.

Tobacco, charmer of my mind,

When, like the meteor's transient gleam.

Thy substance gone to air I find,

I think, alas, my life's the same!

What else but lighted dust am I?

Then shew'st me what my fate will be;

And when thy sinking ashes die,

I learn that I must end like thee.


[pg 147]


How it blows! How it rains! I'll not turn out to-night;

I'm too sleepy to read and too lazy to write;

So I'll watch the blue rings, as they eddy and twirl,

And in gossamer wreathings coquettishly curl.

In the stillness of night and the sparseness of chimes

There's a fleetness in fancy, a frolic in rhymes;

There's a world of romance that persistently clings

To the azurine curving of Cigarette Rings!

What a picture comes back from the passed-away times!

They are lounging once more 'neath the sweet-scented limes;

See how closely he watches the Queen of Coquettes,

As her white hands roll deftly those small cigarettes!

He believes in her smiles and puts faith in her sighs

While he's dazzled by light from her fathomless eyes.

Ah, the dearest of voices delightfully sings

Through the wind intertwining of Cigarette Rings!

How sweet was her song in the bright summer-time,

When winds whispered low 'neath the tremulous lime!

How sweet, too, that bunch of forget-me-nots blue—

The love he thought lasting, the words he thought true!

Ah, the words of a woman concerning such things

Are weak and unstable as Cigarette Rings!


[pg 148]


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."


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.

[pg 149]

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.


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.

[pg 150]

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.


Tobacco's but an Indian weed,

Grows green at morn, cut down at eve;

It shows decay; we are but clay;

Think of this when you smoke tobacco.

[pg 151]

The pipe that is so lily white,

Wherein so many take delight,

Is broke with a touch,—man's life is such;

Think of this when you smoke tobacco.

The pipe that is so foul within

Shows how man's soul is stained with sin,

And then the fire it doth require;

Think of this when you smoke tobacco.

The ashes that are left behind

Do serve to put us all in mind

That unto dust return we must;

Think of this when you smoke tobacco.

The smoke that does so high ascend

Shews us man's life must have an end;

The vapor's gone,—man's life is done;

Think of this when you smoke tobacco.

From "Pills to Purge Melancholy."


Let poets rhyme of what they will,

Youth, Beauty, Love, or Glory, still

My theme shall be Tobacco!

Hail, weed, eclipsing every flow'r,

Of thee I fain would make my bow'r,

When fortune frowns, or tempests low'r,

Mild comforter of woe!

[pg 152]

They say in truth an angel's foot

First brought to life thy precious root,

The source of every pleasure!

Descending from the skies he press'd

With hallowed touch Earth's yielding breast;

Forth sprang the plant, and then was bless'd,

As man's chief treasure!

Throughout the world who knows thee not?

Of palace and of lowly cot

The universal guest,—

The friend of Gentile, Turk, and Jew,

To all a stay, to none untrue,

The balm that can our ills subdue,

And soothe us into rest!

With thee the poor man can abide

Oppression, want, the scorn of pride,

The curse of penury.

Companion of his lonely state,

He is no longer desolate,

And still can brave an adverse fate

With honest worth and thee!

All honor to the patriot bold

Who brought, instead of promised gold,

Thy leaf to Britain's shore.

It cost him life; but thou shalt raise

A cloud of fragrance to his praise,

And bards shall hail in deathless lays

The valiant knight of yore.

[pg 153]

Ay, Raleigh! thou wilt live till Time

Shall ring his last oblivious chime,

The fruitful theme of story;

And man in ages hence shall tell

How greatness, virtue, wisdom, fell,

When England sounded out thy knell,

And dimmed her ancient glory.

And thou, O plant! shalt keep his name

Unwithered in the scroll of fame,

And teach us to remember;

He gave with thee content and peace,

Bestow'd on life a longer lease,

And bidding every trouble cease,

Made summer of December.



Some sigh for this and that,

My wishes don't go far;

The world may wag at will,

So I have my cigar.

Some fret themselves to death

With Whig and Tory jar;

I don't care which is in,

So I have my cigar.

[pg 154]

Sir John requests my vote,

And so does Mr. Marr;

I don't care how it goes,

So I have my cigar.

Some want a German row,

Some wish a Russian war;

I care not. I'm at peace

So I have my cigar.

I never see the "Post,"

I seldom read the "Star;"

The "Globe" I scarcely heed,

So I have my cigar.

Honors have come to men

My juniors at the Bar;

No matter—I can wait,

So I have my cigar.

Ambition frets me not;

A cab or glory's car

Are just the same to me,

So I have my cigar.

I worship no vain gods,

But serve the household Lar;

I'm sure to be at home,

So I have my cigar.

[pg 155]

I do not seek for fame,

A general with a scar;

A private let me be,

So I have my cigar.

To have my choice among

The toys of life's bazaar,

The deuce may take them all

So I have my cigar.

Some minds are often tost

By tempests like a tar;

I always seem in port,

So I have my cigar.

The ardent flame of love,

My bosom cannot char,

I smoke but do not burn,

So I have my cigar.

They tell me Nancy Low

Has married Mr. R.;

The jilt! but I can live,

So I have my cigar.


[pg 156]


When my pipe burns bright and clear,

The gods I need not envy here;

And as the smoke fades in the wind,

Our fleeting life it brings to mind.

Noble weed! that comforts life,

And art with calmest pleasures rife;

Heaven grant thee sunshine and warm rain,

And to thy planter health and gain.

Through thee, friend of my solitude,

With hope and patience I'm endued,

Deep sinks thy power within my heart,

And cares and sorrows all depart.

Then let non-smokers rail forever;

Shall their hard words true friends dissever?

Pleasure's too rare to cast away

My pipe, for what the railers say!

When love grows cool, thy fire still warms me,

When friends are fled, thy presence charms me;

If thou art full, though purse be bare,

I smoke, and cast away all care!

German Folk Song.

[pg 157]


I've been in love some scores of times,

With Amy, Nellie, Katie, Mary—

To name them all would stretch my rhymes

From here as far as Demerary.

But each has wed some other man,—

Girls always do, I find, in real life,—

And I am left alone to scan

The horizon of my own ideal life.

I still survive. I was, I think,

Not born to run in double harness;

I did not shirk my food and drink

When Nellie married Harry Carnice.

But I am wedded to my pipe!

That faithful friend, nought can provoke it;

Should it grow cold, I gently wipe

Its mouth, then fill it, light, and smoke it.

But it is sweet to kiss; and I

Should love to kiss a wife and pet her—

She scolds? Straight to my pipe I fly;

Her scowls through fragrant smoke look better.

[pg 158]

There's merry Maud—with her I'd dare

To brave the matrimonial ocean;

She would not pout or fret, but wear

A constant smile of sweet devotion.

How know I that she will not change,

My wishes at defiance set? Oh!

(Pray this in smallest type arrange)

She smokes—at times—a cigareto.



I owe to smoking, more or less,

Through life the whole of my success;

With my cigar I'm sage and wise,—

Without, I'm dull as cloudy skies.

When smoking, all my ideas soar,

When not, they sink upon the floor.

The greatest men have all been smokers,

And so were all the greatest jokers.

Then ye who'd bid adieu to care,

Come here and smoke it into air.


Sir Walter Raleigh! name of worth,

How sweet for thee to know

King James, who never smoked on earth,

Is smoking down below.

[pg 159]


When January's cold appears,

A glowing pipe my spirit cheers;

And still it glads the length'ning day

'Neath February's milder sway.

When March's keener winds succeed,

What charms me like the burning weed

When April mounts the solar car,

I join him, puffing a cigar;

And May, so beautiful and bright,

Still finds the pleasing weed a-light.

To balmy zephyrs it gives zest

When June in gayest livery's drest.

Through July, Flora's offspring smile,

But still Nicotia's can beguile;

And August, when its fruits are ripe,

Matures my pleasure in a pipe.

September finds me in the garden,

Communing with a long churchwarden.

Even in the wane of dull October

I smoke my pipe and sip my "robar."

November's soaking show'rs require

The smoking pipe and blazing fire.

The darkest day in drear December's—

That's lighted by their glowing embers.


[pg 160]


As one who cons at evening o'er an album all alone,

And muses on the faces of the friends that he has known,

So I turn the leaves of Fancy, till in shadowy design

I find the smiling features of an old sweetheart of mine.

The lamplight seems to glimmer with a flicker of surprise,

As I turn it low, to rest me of the dazzle in my eyes,

And light my pipe in silence, save a sigh that seems to yoke

Its fate with my tobacco, and to vanish with the smoke.

'Tis a fragrant retrospection, for the loving thoughts that start

Into being are like perfumes from the blossom of the heart;

And to dream the old dreams over is a luxury divine—

When my truant fancies wander with that old sweetheart of mine.

[pg 161]

Though I hear, beneath my study, like a fluttering of wings,

The voices of my children and the mother as she sings,

I feel no twinge of conscience to deny me any theme

When Care has cast her anchor in the harbor of a dream.

In fact, to speak in earnest, I believe it adds a charm

To spice the good a trifle with a little dust of harm;

For I find an extra flavor in Memory's mellow wine

That makes me drink the deeper to that old sweetheart of mine.

A face of lily-beauty, with a form of airy grace,

Floats out of my tobacco as the genii from the vase;

And I thrill beneath the glances of a pair of azure eyes,

As glowing as the summer and as tender as the skies.

I can see the pink sunbonnet and the little checkered dress

She wore when first I kissed her, and she answered the caress

With the written declaration that, "as surely as the vine

Grew round the stump," she loved me,—that old sweetheart of mine!

[pg 162]

And again I feel the pressure of her slender little hand,

As we used to talk together of the future we had planned:

When I should be a poet, and with nothing else to do

But write the tender verses that she set the music to;

When we should live together in a cozy little cot,

Hid in a nest of roses, with a fairy garden-spot,

Where the vines were ever fruited, and the weather ever fine,

And the birds were ever singing for that old sweetheart of mine;

And I should be her lover forever and a day,

And she my faithful sweetheart till the golden hair was gray;

And we should be so happy that when either's lips were dumb

They would not smile in heaven till the other's kiss had come.

But ah! my dream is broken by a step upon the stair,

And the door is softly opened, and my wife is standing there!

Yet with eagerness and rapture all my visions I resign

To greet the living presence of that old sweetheart of mine.


[pg 163]


Let the learned talk of books,

The glutton of cooks,

The lover of Celia's soft smack—O!

No mortal can boast

So noble a toast

As a pipe of accepted tobacco.

Let the soldier for fame,

And a general's name,

In battle get many a thwack—O!

Let who will have most,

Who will rule the rooste,

Give me but a pipe of tobacco.

Tobacco gives wit

To the dullest old cit,

And makes him of politics crack—O!

The lawyers i' the hall

Were not able to bawl,

Were it not for a whiff of tobacco.

The man whose chief glory

Is telling a story,

Had never arrived at the smack—O!

Between ever heying,

And as I was saying,

Did he not take a whiff of tobacco.

[pg 164]

The doctor who places

Much skill in grimaces,

And feels your pulse running tic-tack—O!

Would you know his chief skill?

It is only to fill

And smoke a good pipe of tobacco.

The courtiers alone

To this weed are not prone;

Would you know what 'tis makes them so slack—O?

'Twas because it inclined

To be honest the mind,

And therefore they banished tobacco.


Friend of my youth, companion of my later days.

What needs my Muse to sing thy various praise?

In country or in town, on land or sea,

The weed is still delightful company.

In joy or sorrow, grief or racking pain,

We fly to thee for solace once again.

Delicious plant, by all the world consumed,

'Tis pity thou, like man, to ashes too art doom'd.


Tobacco, some say, is a potent narcotic,

That rules half the world in a way quite despotic;

So, to punish him well for his wicked and merry tricks,

We'll burn him forthwith, as they used to do heretics.

[pg 165]


The warmth of thy glow,

Well-lighted cigar,

Makes happy thoughts flow,

And drives sorrow afar.

The stronger the wind blows,

The brighter thou burnest!

The dreariest of life's woes,

Less gloomy thou turnest!

As I feel on my lip

Thy unselfish kiss,

Like thy flame-colored tip,

All is rosy-hued bliss.

No longer does sorrow

Lay weight on my heart;

And all fears of the morrow,

In joy-dreams depart.

Sweet cheerer of sadness!

Life's own happy star!

I greet thee with gladness,

My friendly cigar!


[pg 166]



With my beer

I sit,

While golden moments flit.


They pass

Unheeded by;

And, as they fly,


Being dry,

Sit idly sipping here

My beer.

Oh, finer far

Than fame or riches are

The graceful smoke-wreaths of this cigar!


Should I

Weep, wail, or sigh?

What if luck has passed me by?

What if my hopes are dead,

My pleasures fled?

Have I not still

My fill

Of right good cheer,—

Cigars and beer?

[pg 167]

Go, whining youth,


Go, weep and wail,

Sigh and grow pale,

Weave melancholy rhymes

On the old times,

Whose joys like shadowy ghosts appear,—

But leave me to my beer!

Gold is dross,

Love is loss;

So, if I gulp my sorrows down,

Or see them drown

In foamy draughts of old nut-brown,

Then do I wear the crown

Without a cross!



Warriors! who from the cannon's mouth blow fire,

Your fame to raise,

Upon its blaze,

Alas! ye do but light your funeral pyre!

Tempting Fate's stroke;

Ye fall, and all your glory ends in smoke.

Safe in my chair from wounds and woe,

My fire and smoke from mine own mouth I blow.

[pg 168]

Ye booksellers! who deal, like me, in puffs,

The public smokes,

You and your hoax,

And turns your empty vapor to rebuffs.

Ye through the nose

Pay for each puff; when mine the same way flows,

It does not run me into debt;

And thus, the more I fume, the less I fret.

Authors! created to be puff'd to death,

And fill the mouth

Of some uncouth

Bookselling wight, who sucks your brains and breath,

Your leaves thus far

(Without its fire) resemble my cigar;

But vapid, uninspired, and flat:

When, when, O Bards, will ye compose like that?

Since life and the anxieties that share

Our hopes and trust,

Are smoke and dust,

Give me the smoke and dust that banish care.

The roll'd leaf bring,

Which from its ashes, Phoenix-like, can spring;

The fragrant leaf whose magic balm

Can, like Nepenthe, all our sufferings charm.

Oh, what supreme beatitude is this!

What soft and sweet

Sensations greet

My soul, and wrap it in Elysian bliss!

[pg 169]

I soar above

Dull earth in these ambrosial clouds, like Jove,

And from my empyrean height

Look down upon the world with calm delight.



Some praise taking snuff;

And 'tis pleasant enough

To those who have got the right knack, O!

But give me, my boys,

Those exquisite joys,

A pot, and a pipe of tobacco.

When fume follows fume

To the top of the room,

In circles pursuing their track, O!

How sweet to inhale

The health-giving gale

Of a pipe of Virginia tobacco.

Let soldiers so bold

For fame or for gold

Their enemies cut, slash, and hack, O!

We have fire and smoke,

Though all but in joke,

In a peaceable pipe of tobacco.

[pg 170]

Should a mistress, unkind,

Be inconstant in mind,

And on your affections look black, O!

Let her wherrit and tiff,

'Twill blow off in a whiff,

If you take but a pipe of tobacco.

The miserly elf,

Who, in hoarding his pelf,

Keeps body and soul on the rack, O!

Would he bless and be blest,

He might open his chest

By taking a pipe of tobacco.

Politicians so wise,

All ears and all eyes

For news, till their addled pates crack, O!

After puzzling their brains,

Will not get for their pains

The worth of a pipe of tobacco

If your land in the claw

Of a limb of the law

You trust, or your health to a quack, O!

'Tis fifty to one

They're both as soon gone

As you'd puff out a pipe of tobacco.

[pg 171]

Life's short, 'tis agreed;

So we'll try from the weed,

Of man a brief emblem to tack, O!

When his spirit ascends,

Die he must,—and he ends

In dust, like a pipe of tobacco.

From "The Universal Songster, or Museum of Mirth."


If I were king, my pipe should be premier.

The skies of time and chance are seldom clear,

We would inform them all, with bland blue weather.

Delight alone would need to shed a tear,

For dream and deed should war no more together.

Art should aspire, yet ugliness be dear;

Beauty, the shaft, should speed with wit for feather;

And love, sweet love, should never fall to sere,

If I were king.

But politics should find no harbour near;

The Philistine should fear to slip his tether;

Tobacco should be duty free, and beer;

In fact, in room of this, the age of leather,

An age of gold all radiant should appear,

If I were king.


[pg 172]


There's clay pipes an' briar pipes an' meerschaum pipes as well,

There's plain pipes an' fancy pipes—things jes made to sell;

But any pipe that kin be bought fer marbles, chalk, or pelf,

Ain't ekal to the flaver of th' pipe you make yourself.

Jest take a common corn cob an' whittle out the middle,

Then plug up one end of it as tight as any fiddle;

Fit a stem into th' side an' lay her on th' shelf,

An' when she's dry you take her down, that pipe you made yourself.

Cram her full clar to th' brim with nachral leaf, you bet—

'T will smoke a trifle better for bein' somewhat wet—

Take your worms and fishin' pole, and a jug along for health,

An' you'll get a taste o' heaven from that pipe you made yourself.

[pg 173]

There's clay pipes an' briar pipes an' meerschaum pipes as well,

There's plain pipes an' fancy pipes—things jes made to sell;

But any pipe that kin be bought for marbles, chalk, or pelf,

Ain't ekal to th' flayer of the pipe you make yourself.



At Yeni-Djami, after Rhamadan,

The pacha in his palace lolls at ease;

Latakieh fumes his sensual palate please,

While round-limbed almées dance near his divan.

Slaves lure away ennui with flowers and fan;

And as his gem-tipped chibouque glows, he sees,

In dreamy trance, those marvellous mysteries

The prophet sings of in the Al-Korán!

Pale, dusk-eyed girls, with sequin-studded hair,

Dart through the opal clouds like agile deer,

With sensuous curves his fancy to provoke,—

Delicious houris, ravishing and fair,

Who to his vague and drowsy mind appear

Like fragrant phantoms arabesqued in smoke!


[pg 174]


In Rotten Row a cigarette

I sat and smoked, with no regret

For all the tumult that had been.

The distances were still and green,

And streaked with shadows cool and wet.

Two sweethearts on a bench were set,

Two birds among the boughs were met;

So love and song were heard and seen

In Rotten Row.

A horse or two there was to fret

The soundless sand; but work and debt,

Fair flowers and falling leaves between,

While clocks are chiming clear and keen,

A man may very well forget

In Rotten Row.



I was smoking a cigarette;

Maud, my wife, and the tenor, McKey,

Were singing together a blithe duet,

And days it were better I should forget

Came suddenly back to me,—

Days when life seemed a gay masque ball,

And to love and be loved was the sum of it all.

[pg 175]

As they sang together, the whole scene fled,

The room's rich hangings, the sweet home air,

Stately Maud, with her proud blond head,

And I seemed to see in her place instead

A wealth of blue-black hair,

And a face, ah! your face—yours, Lisette;

A face it were wiser I should forget.

We were back—well, no matter when or where;

But you remember, I know, Lisette.

I saw you, dainty and debonair,

With the very same look that you used to wear

In the days I should forget.

And your lips, as red as the vintage we quaffed,

Were pearl-edged bumpers of wine when you laughed.

Two small slippers with big rosettes

Peeped out under your kilt-skirt there,

While we sat smoking our cigarettes

(Oh, I shall be dust when my heart forgets!)

And singing that self-same air:

And between the verses, for interlude,

I kissed your throat and your shoulders nude.

You were so full of a subtle fire,

You were so warm and so sweet, Lisette;

You were everything men admire;

And there were no fetters to make us tire,

For you were—a pretty grisette.

But you loved as only such natures can,

With a love that makes heaven or hell for a man.

[pg 176]

They have ceased singing that old duet,

Stately Maud and the tenor, McKey.

"You are burning your coat with your cigarette,

And qu'avez vous, dearest, your lids are wet,"

Maud says, as she leans o'er me.

And I smile, and lie to her, husband-wise,

"Oh, it is nothing but smoke in my eyes."



Ma pauvre petite,

My little sweet,

Why do you cry?

Why this small tear,

So pure and clear,

In each blue eye?

"My cigarette—

I 'm smoking yet?"

(I'll be discreet.)

I toss it, see,

Away from me

Into the street.

You see I do

All things for you.

Come, let us sup.

(But, oh, what joy

To be that boy

Who picked it up.)


[pg 177]


A pipe, a book,

A cosy nook,

A fire,—at least its embers;

A dog, a glass:—

'Tis thus we pass

Such hours as one remembers.

Who'd wish to wed?

Poor Cupid's dead

These thousand years, I wager.

The modern maid

Is but a jade,

Not worth the time to cage her.

In silken gown

To "take" the town

Her first and last ambition.

What good is she

To you or me

Who have but a "position"?

So let us drink

To her,—but think

Of him who has to keep her;

And sans a wife

Let's spend our life

In bachelordom,—it's cheaper.


[pg 178]


Before I was famous I used to sit

In a dull old under-ground room I knew,

And sip cheap beer, and be glad for it,

With a wild Bohemian friend or two.

And oh, it was joy to loiter thus,

At peace in the heart of the city's stir,

Entombed, while life hurried over us,

In our lazy bacchanal sepulchre.

There was artist George, with the blond Greek head,

And the startling creeds, and the loose cravat;

There was splenetic journalistic Fred,

Of the sharp retort and the shabby hat;

There was dreamy Frank, of the lounging gait,

Who lived on nothing a year, or less,

And always meant to be something great,

But only meant, and smoked to excess;

And last myself, whom their funny sneers

Annoyed no whit as they laughed and said,

I listened to all their grand ideas

And wrote them out for my daily bread!

The Teuton beer-bibbers came and went,

Night after night, and stared, good folk,

At our table, noisy with argument,

And our chronic aureoles of smoke.

[pg 179]

And oh, my life! but we all loved well

The talk,—free, fearless, keen, profound,—

The rockets of wit that flashed and fell

In that dull old tavern under-ground!

But there came a change in my days at last,

And fortune forgot to starve and stint,

And the people chose to admire aghast

The book I had eaten dirt to print.

And new friends gathered about me then,

New voices summoned me there and here;

The world went down in my dingy den,

And drew me forth from the pipes and beer.

I took the stamp of my altered lot,

As the sands of the certain seasons ran,

And slowly, whether I would or not,

I felt myself growing a gentleman.

But now and then I would break the thrall,

I would yield to a pang of dumb regret,

And steal to join them, and find them all,

With the amber wassail near them yet,—

Find, and join them, and try to seem

A fourth for the old queer merry three,

With my fame as much of a yearning dream

As my morrow's dinner was wont to be.

[pg 180]

But the wit would lag, and the mirth would lack,

And the god of jollity hear no call,

And the prosperous broadcloth on my back

Hung over their spirits like a pall!

It was not that they failed, each one, to try

Their warmth of welcome to speak and show;

I should just have risen and said good-bye,

With a haughty look, had they served me so.

It was rather that each would seem, instead,

With not one vestige of spleen or pride,

Across a chasm of change to spread

His greeting hands to the further side.

And our gladdest words rang strange and cold,

Like the echoes of other long-lost words;

And the nights were no more the nights of old

Than spring would be spring without the birds!

So they waned and waned, these visits of mine,

'Till I married the heiress, ending here.

For if caste approves the cigars and wine,

She must frown perforce upon pipes and beer.

And now 'tis years since I saw these men,

Years since I knew them living yet.

And of this alone I am sure since then,—

That none has gained what he toiled to get.

[pg 181]

For I keep strict watch on the world of art,

And George, with his wide, rich-dowered brain!

His fervent fancy, his ardent heart,

Though he greatly toiled, has toiled in vain.

And Fred, for all he may sparkle bright

In caustic column, in clever quip,

Of a truth must still be hiding his light

Beneath the bushel of journalship.

And dreamy Frank must be dreaming still,

Lounging through life, if yet alive,

Smoking his vast preposterous fill,

Lounging, smoking, striving to strive.

And I, the fourth in that old queer throng,

Fourth and least, as my soul avows,—

I alone have been counted strong,

I alone have the laurelled brows!

Well, and what has it all been worth?

May not my soul to my soul confess

That "succeeding," here upon earth,

Does not alway assume success?

I would cast, and gladly, from this gray head

Its crown, to regain one sweet lost year

With artist George, with splenetic Fred,

With dreamy Frank, with the pipes and beer!


[pg 182]


When all my plans have come to grief,

And every bill is due,

And every faith that's worth belief

Has proved itself untrue;

And when, as now, I've jilted been

By every girl I've met,

Ah! then I flee for peace to thee,

My darling cigarette.

Hail, sorceress! whose cloudy spells

About my senses driven,

Alone can loose their prison cells

And waft my soul to heaven.

Above all earthly loves, I swear,

I hold thee best—and yet,

Would I could see a match for thee,

My darling cigarette.

With lips unstained to thee I bring

A lover's gentle kiss,

And woo thee, see, with this fair ring,

And this, and this, and this.

But ah, the rings no sooner cease

(Inconstant, vain coquette!)

Than, like the rest, thou vanishest

In smoke, my cigarette.

Pall Mall Gazette.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Pipe and Pouch, by Various


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