The Materialistic Maiden

Where I sip coffee and tirelessly transcribe.

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Please vote: I’m a scholarship finalist!

Although atypical from what I post on my blog, I feel it is important to spread her voice and ask that you consider voting for her entry.


Hi everyone!

I hope you don’t mind me using my platform to reach out to you, please forgive me, buuuut…..
I’m a scholarship finalist for my essay on Crosslites! I’m a Top 20 finalist worldwide!! First prize is $4 000 for the best essay between 400-600 words.
The voting is a vital part of the process, and you’re able to every few hours, everyday. One vote on your phone data and one on your wifi connection are considered two separate votes!
My essay is about perseverance in times of adversity, and how I swear to be the face for women everywhere, to support each other, to be there for our mothers, and be our own role models in a time of gender inequality, regardless of country.
Voting takes one click–no sign up–at the bottom of the page that I have linked. No spam, no asking for emails. I promise…

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Blog Update!

Greetings, all! I have been posting inconsistently, so thank you for bearing with me.

I want to update you all on where I anticipate the content of this blog to be heading. I have been mostly transcribing 19th-century prose and poetry, which I plan to further focus on—my aim on this blog is to reintroduce many obscure, forgotten poets and poems. That being said, rather than transcribing and posting poems that have been posted elsewhere on the internet, you will receive content that has not been previously posted (or at least I hope). Any posted content already on the web will be implemented in literary review or analysis; otherwise, there may be less of the popular Victorian poets (Poe, Whittier, Emerson, Longfellow, etc.) and more of the 19th-century poets who are no longer well-known (Hoffman, Herbert, Oakes Smith, etc.).

Thank you for your support and understanding.

“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.


“Mid-Winter Day” by Mary Brotherton

Mid-Winter Day
Mary Brotherton
From Graham’s Magazine, March, 1854

Ah! dim this day, beloved, and dim thine eyes,
But perched in yon black fir
Bold redbreast blithely chirrups as he flies,
“Spring, Spring’s astir!”

Spring is astir—not in my sight, but thought,
This sunless twenty-first,
Because Despair its cry from Hope hath caught,
This is the worst!”

For every step adown the Alpine peak,
Leads to the laughing vale;
The snow itself yields flowers—beloved, thy cheek
Is but as pale.


Happy Birthday, Mr. Poe!

“New Year’s Eve, 1844” by James Russell Lowell

New Year’s Eve, 1844
James Russell Lowell

The night is calm and beautiful; the snow
Sparkles beneath the clear and frosty moon
And the cold stars, as if it took delight
In its own silent whiteness; the hushed earth
Sleeps in the soft arms of the embracing blue,
Secure as if angelic squadrons yet
Encamped about her, and each watching star
Gained double brightness from the flashing arms
Of winged and unsleeping sentinels.
Upward the calm of infinite silence deepens,
The sea that flows between high heaven and earth,
Musing by whose smooth brink we sometimes find
A stray leaf floated from those happier shores,
And hope, perchance not vainly, that some flower,
Which we had watered with our holiest tears,
Pale blooms, and yet our scanty garden’s best,
O’er the same ocean piloted by love,
May find a haven at the feet of God,
And be not wholly worthless in his sight.

O, high dependence on a higher Power,
Sole stay for all these restless faculties
That wander, Ishmael-like, the desert bare
Wherein our human knowledge hath its home,
Shifting their light-framed tents from day to day,
With each new-found oasis, wearied soon,
And only certain of uncertainty!
O, mighty humbleness that feels with awe,
Yet with a vast exulting feels, no less,
That this huge Minster of the Universe,
Whose smallest oratories are glorious worlds,
With painted oriels of dawn and sunset;
Whose carved ornaments are systems grand,
Orion kneeling in his starry niche,
The Lyre whose strings give music audible
To holy ears, and countless splendors more,
Crowned by the blazing Cross high-hung o’er all;
Whose organ music is the solemn stops
Of endless Change breathed through by endless Good;
Whose choristers are all the morning stars;
Whose altar is the sacred human heart
Whereon Love’s candles burn unquenchably,
Trimmed day and night by gentle-handed Peace;
With all its arches and its pinnacles
That stretch forever and forever up,
Is founded on the silent heart of God,
Silent, yet pulsing forth exhaustless life
Through the least veins of all created things.

Fit musings these for the departing year;
And God be thanked for such a crystal night
As fills the spirit with good store of thoughts,
That, like a cheering fire of walnut, crackle
Upon the hearthstone of the heart, and cast
A mild home-glow o’er all Humanity!
Yes, though the poisoned shafts of evil doubts
Assail the skyey panoply of Faith,
Though the great hopes which we have had for man,
Foes in disguise, because they based belief
On man’s endeavor, not on God’s decree–
Though these proud-visaged hopes, once turned to fly,
Hurl backward many a deadly Parthian dart
That rankles in the soul and makes it sick
With vain regret, nigh verging on despair–
Yet, in such calm and earnest hours as this,
We well can feel how every living heart
That sleeps to-night in palace or in cot,
Or unroofed hovel, or which need hath known
Of other homestead than the arching sky,
Is circled watchfully with seraph fires;
How our own erring will it is that hangs
The flaming sword o’er Eden’s unclosed gate,
Which gives free entrance to the pure in heart,
And with its guarding walls doth fence the meek.

Sleep then, O Earth, in thy blue-vaulted cradle,
Bent over always by thy mother Heaven!
We all are tall enough to reach God’s hand,
And angels are no taller: looking back
Upon the smooth wake of a year o’erpast,
We see the black clouds furling, one by one,
From the advancing majesty of Truth,
And something won for Freedom, whose least gain
Is as a firm and rock-built citadel
Wherefrom to launch fresh battle on her foes;
Or, leaning from the time’s extremest prow,
If we gaze forward through the blinding spray,
And dimly see how much of ill remains,
How many fetters to be sawn asunder
By the slow toil of individual zeal,
Or haply rusted by salt tears in twain,
We feel, with something of a sadder heart,
Yet bracing up our bruised mail the while,
And fronting the old foe with fresher spirit,
How great it is to breathe with human breath,
To be but poor foot-soldiers in the ranks
Of our old exiled king, Humanity;
Encamping after every hard-won field
Nearer and nearer Heaven’s happy plains.

Many great souls have gone to rest, and sleep
Under this armor, free and full of peace:
If these have left the earth, yet Truth remains,
Endurance, too, the crowning faculty
Of noble minds, and Love, invincible
By any weapons; and these hem us round
With silence such that all the groaning clank
Of this mad engine men have made of earth
Dulls not some ears for catching purer tones,
That wander from the dim surrounding vast,
Or far more clear melodious prophecies,
The natural music of the heart of man,
Which by kind Sorrow’s ministry hath learned
That the true sceptre of all power is love
And humbleness the palace-gate of truth.
What man with soul so blind as sees not here
The first faint tremble of Hope’s morning-star,
Foretelling how the God-forged shafts of dawn,
Fitted already on their golden string,
Shall soon leap earthward with exulting flight
To thrid the dark heart of that evil faith
Whose trust is in the clumsy arms of Force,
The ozier hauberk of a ruder age?
Freedom! thou other name for happy Truth,
Thou warrior-maid, whose steel-clad feet were never
Out of the stirrup, nor thy lance uncouched,
Nor thy fierce eye enticed from its watch,
Thou hast learned now, by hero-blood in vain
Poured to enrich the soil which tyrants reap;
By wasted lives of prophets, and of those
Who, by the promise in their souls upheld,
Into the red arms of a fiery death
Went blithely as the golden-girdled bee
Sinks in the sleepy poppy’s cup of flame;
By the long woes of nations set at war,
That so the swollen torrent of their wrath
May find a vent, else sweeping off like straws
The thousand cobweb threads, grown cable-huge
By time’s long-gathered dust, but cobwebs still,
Which bind the Many that the Few may gain
Leisure to wither by the drought of ease
What heavenly germs in their own souls were sown;–
By all these searching lessons thou hast learned
To throw aside thy blood-stained helm and spear
And with thy bare brow daunt the enemy’s front,
Knowing that God will make the lily stalk,
In the soft grasp of naked Gentleness,
Stronger than iron spear to shatter through
The sevenfold toughness of Wrong’s idle shield.

In the case that I don’t transcribe a work, I source my borrowings. This transcription is borrowed from the following incredible source, and credit goes to their transcribers.

resisting the intelligence

almost successfully

The Bellezza Corner

A little happy place for your mind, body, and soul.

The Materialistic Maiden

Where I sip coffee and tirelessly transcribe.

Short Prose

short prose, fiction, poetry