The Materialistic Maiden

Where I sip coffee and tirelessly transcribe.

Category: 19th century

“Dithyrambic” by James Gates Percival

From his 1823 volume of Poems, Percival’s “Dithyrambic” proves to be an excellent ode to Dionysus, Greek god of wine.

James Gates Percival

FILL the cup for me,
Fill the cup of pleasure;
Wake the fairy lyre
To its wildest measure.
Melancholy’s gloom
Now is stealing on me.
But the cup and lyre
Can chase the demon from me.

Fill the cup for me,
Fill the cup of pleasure;
Wake the fairy lyre
To its wildest measure.

In the shades of night,
When every eye is closing,
On the moonlight bank
All in peace reposing,
There is nought so sweet,
As the cup of pleasure,
And the lyre that breathes
In its wildest measure.

Fill the cup, &c.

This is the smiling star,
That guides me o’er life’s ocean,
This the heavenly light,
That wakes my heart’s devotion:
‘T is when Beauty’s smile
Gives the cup of pleasure,
And awakes the lyre
To its wildest measure.

Fill the cup, &c.

If the fiend of sorrow
With his gloom affright thee,
There may come to-morrow
One who will delight thee:
‘Tis the fair, whose smile
Beams with sweetest pleasure,
And whose hand awakes
The lyre’s delightful measure.

Fill the cup, &c.

Form of Beauty! bind
Pleasure’s wreath of roses
Round this brow of mine,
Where every joy reposes:
Yes—my heart can bound
To mirth’s enlivening measure,
When the lyre is tuned,
And smiles the cup of Pleasure.

Fill the cup, &c.

Drive dull Care away—
Why should gloom depress thee?
Life may frown to-day,
But Joy will soon caress thee.
While there’s time, my friend,
Drink the cup of Pleasure,
And awake the lyre
To its wildest measure.

Fill the cup for me,
Fill the cup of Pleasure,
Wake the fairy lyre
To its wildest measure.


“The Poet’s Home” by John Sterling

The Poet’s Home
John Sterling
From The Poetical Works of John Sterling, 1842

IN the cavern’s lonely hall,
By the mighty waterfall,
Lives a spirit shy and still,
Whom the soften’d murmurs thrill,
Heard within the twilight nook,
Like the music of a brook.

Poet ! thus sequester’d dwell,
In they fancy’s haunted cell,
That the floods abroad may be
Like a voice of peace to thee,
While thou giv’st to nature’s tone
Soul and sweetness all thy own.

Hear, but, ah ! intrust thee not
To the waves beyond thy grot,
Lest thy low and wizard strain
Warble through the storm in vain,
And thy dying songs deplore
Thou must see thy cave no more.

“‘Far Away'” by Charles Fenno Hoffman

This poem has touched my heart for some years now. Whether Hoffman’s song was merely in imitation of the original 1833 piece published by Tom Rice, or inspired by George P. Morris’ own version, composed by Charles Edward Horn and published in 1839,* he has set his version apart in such a lyrically refreshing, original way that it stands on its own exceptionally well.

If you would like to hear this beautiful poem come to life, pair the lyrics with these outstanding covers I have found of the original and feel free to follow along,

Link One
Link Two

*Note: The title of the reworked version by Morris and Horn is “Near the Lake where drooped the Willow.” You can view the sheet music for their version here.

“Far Away”
Air—”Long time ago.”
Charles Fenno Hoffman

THE song—the song that once could move me
In life’s glad day—
The song of her who used to love me
Far—far away—
It makes my sad heart, fonder—fonder—
Wildly obey
The spell that wins each thought to wander
Far—far away !

Once more upon my native river
The moonbeams play,
Once more the ripples shine as ever
Far—far away—
But ah, the friends who smiled around me,
Where—where are they !
Where the sweet spell, that early bound me,
Far—far way ?

I think of all that hope once taught me—
Too bright to stay—
Of all that music fain had brought me,
Far—far away !
And weep to feel there’s no returning
Of that glad day,
Ere all that brightened life’s fresh morning
Was far—far away.


“Chansonnette” by Charles Fenno Hoffman

(From The Poems of Charles Fenno Hoffman, 1873.)

Charles Fenno Hoffman

IT haunts me yet ! that early dream
Of first fond Love ;
Like the ice that floats in a summer stream
From frozen fount above,
Through my river of life ’twill drifting gleam,
Wherever its waves may flow ;
Flashing athwart each sunny hour
With a strangely bright but chilling power,
Ever and ever to mock their tide
With its illusive glow ;
A fragment of hopes that were petrified
Long—long ago !


“Cupid and the Rose” from the New-York Mirror

Cupid and the Rose
April 21, 1838
New-York Mirror

WHITHER, lonely boy of love,
Art thou wandering like a dove,
Seeking in each grove and dell
Some fair form on which to dwell?
Hither his and fondly sip
A parting dew-drop from my lip,
Lingering in my morning cup,
Ere saucy Phoebus drink it up.

Too thirsty me!—this dew of thine,
Sweet rose, is most delicious wine;
So sparkling ripe, so freely given,
Vintage of morning’s rosy heaven.
Ah, me! would such but flow for ever,
I’d leave thee—Leave thee, love? Oh, never!
As it is, the vessel’s empty—
I’m off—good-by—I’ve had a plenty.*

*Also published in Bentley’s Miscellany, Volumes 1 and 3, signed with an “F” in Volume 3.


“The Invitation” from The New-York Mirror 1837, 1841

I happened upon this pretty verse today while looking through literature and news of yonder-year in The New-York Mirror. You’ll find two versions of the same poem. I decided to include the second one as it shows improvement and proves to be quite different from the first. I can’t find any evidence of the author, although, as far as I’m able to see, the “W.” initial changes to a more indicative “M. W. M.”[?]. If you have ideas of who the author might be, please do comment, I’m very curious.

The Invitation
October 14, 1837

Come to me ere the sad leaves fall,
And the shrill winds whistle by ;
Ere Autumn’s gorgeous coronal
Changes its ruby dye.

Ere the sunset glories waste away—
Of violet, gold, and pearl—
Ere the streamlet stills its murm’ring lay,
And sweet waves cease to curl.

Ere the song-birds wend their certain flight,
Far through the silent sky,
To where more genial climes requite
Their thrilling melody.

Come, oh, come, to my cottage-home !
Thou’ll find thy Ellen’s heart
Spell-binding as a spirit-gnome—
Nor shalt thou ere depart !

The Invitation
M. W. M.[?]
Dedicated to Mrs. Royal R. Porter, of Boston.
April 10, 1841

Come to me ere the sad leaves fall
And the shrill winds whistle by ;
Ere autumn’s gorgeous coronal
Changes its ruby dye.
Ere the sunset glories fade away
And but in mem’ry glow,
Or th’ streamlet stills its murm’ring lay
And free waves cease to flow !

Ere th’ song-birds wend their social flight
Far through the distant sky,
To where more genial climes invite
Their thrilling melody.
Come, then, through tinted groves we’ll roam,
Where the rainbow’s spirit dwell—
Presiding o’er my peaceful home,
Glad hills, and dreamy dells.


“Spring-Time Is Coming” by Sarah Johnson Cogswell Whittlesey

Spring-Time Is Coming
From Graham’s Magazine, June, 1853
Sarah Johnson Cogswell Whittlesey

SPRING-TIME is coming, I hear its low humming,
Oft where the blue waters sweep;
Sandaled with gold, it breaks the brown mold,
Waking the blossoms asleep.

Down in the bed, where the little bud’s head’
Sunk when its mission was done,
A tiny green sprout, peeping sly out,
Opens its heart to the sun.

Low in the vale, where the winter’s loud wail
Frighted the summer’s soft breeze,
Maiden Spring weaves, of miniature leaves,
Robes for the bare old trees.

‘Neath the white snows, the sorrowing rose,
Through the chill moments hath lain;
Soon its bright face, from out its green case,
Will be uplifted again.

Thus in dark hours, the heart’s buds and flowers
Fade in the winter of sorrow;
Let us not sigh, the little shut eye
Will drink the warm sunshine to-morrow!

So shall it be when the spirit is free
From its close prison of clay;
Life’s withered bud must hide in the sod,
But oh! there is Spring-time away!

resisting the intelligence

almost successfully

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The Materialistic Maiden

Where I sip coffee and tirelessly transcribe.

Short Prose

short prose, fiction, poetry