The life and works of William Cullen Bryant
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A FLING AT JEFFERSON.
And when our cash her empty bags supply d,
Didst meanly strive the foul disgrace to hide ;
Go, wretch, resign the presidential chair,
Disclose thy secret measures, foul or fair.
Go, search with curious eye for horned frogs,
Mid the wild wastes of Louisianian bogs ;
Or, where Ohio rolls his turbid stream,
Dig for huge bones, thy glory and thy theme.
Go, scan, Philosophist, thy Sally s charms,
And sink supinely in her sable arms ;
But quit to abler hands the helm of state. & quot;
The doctor encouraged the boy to prosecute his invective,
which he did to the extent of five hundred lines and more, all
pretty much in the same strain. These the father carried to
Boston with him, where he had them printed in a pamphlet
under the title of & quot; The Embargo, or Sketches of the Times ;
a Satire, by a youth of thirteen ; Boston ; Printed for the Pur
chasers, 1808. & quot; Flattering the prejudices of the dominant fac
tion, this philippic attracted a good deal of attention and was
speedily sold. The & quot; Monthly Anthology & quot; the great critical
authority of the period spoke in complimentary terms of the
effort, saying :
& quot; If this poem be really written by a youth of thirteen, it must be
acknowledged an extraordinary performance. We have never met
with a boy of that age who had attained to such a command of lan
guage and to so much poetic phraseology. Though the poem is un
equal, and there are some flat and prosaic passages, yet there is no
small portion of fire and some excellent lines. & quot;
It then quotes the following passage :
& quot; Look where we will, and in whatever land,
Europe s rich soil, or Afric s barren sand,
Where the wild savage hunts his wilder prey,
Or art and science pour their brightest day.
The monster, Vice, appears before our eyes,
In naked impudence, or gay disguise.
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