Monday, August 25, 2014

A Poem by Toby Trinculo (That's me!)

It seems I have been in luck this year. Because of the great efforts put forth by Ann Neilson of the Materialistic Maiden, we have discovered yet another of my poems. This little gem was stumbled upon accidentally when she and I had purchased a two volume set of the Ladies' Companion. This esteemed literary magazine published two other poems of mine, if you will recall, and the poem I soon will present was discovered only thanks to the purchase Ann and I had made. Unfortunately, the volume and issue this poem is in is no where to be found online, being Volume VIII, November 1837 issue.

Note that my name, Rufus W. Griswold, is listed by the poem in the Table of Contents, however I sign my poem with "Trinculo." It is quite peculiar; I am not sure what was going through my mind when I did this. Also, I have not the foggiest idea whether this poem was written for my dearest wife, Caroline, or a young miss I was seeking out. I digress.

Without further ado, I present my newly rediscovered poem.




While by thy chair I gazing stand,
To learn to win a vole,
Thy eyes, thy lips, thy form, thy hand
From cards distract my soul.
Yet what avails those lips to praise,
And not their sweets to prove?
Or fondly on those eyes to gaze,
And meet no look of love?

Thus doth the beggar view with sighs
The lofty gilded dome;
Yet hopes not, as he shivering lies,
Within its walls to come.
If thou must needs instructress turn,
Oh, teach a nobler art,--
Teach me to make thy bosom burn,
And melt thy frozen heart.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Another Possible Griswold Poem?

This poem, published anonymously in “The Ladies Companion”for April, 1840, was recently discovered and brought to my attention by AnnNeilson of the Materialistic Maiden blog, for whose tireless efforts and unparalleled charms we are eternally grateful.  The mists of death and time have fogged my memory but it seems to me that I may have written this poem for my own beloved Caroline.  I will let my readers be the judge, but it most definitely resembles my work in both versification and in theme.  I have searched in vain for some confirmation as to the author’s identity.



YEARS have rolled onwards, gentle Caroline,
Since the last time beneath the old oak tree,
I gazed with love on beauty, and on thee,
And dared to worship at so fair a shrine!
Dost recollect the scene?  The silver moon
Rode, proud and peerless, in the spangled sky;
The air was music, and its low sweet tune,
Breathed but of peace, of love and melody.
Yes! all was smiling, and fond memory brings,
That sweetest parting, days of gloom to cheer,
O’er sorrow’s darkness bright effulgence flings,
And by its magic smoothes my brow of care.
But ah! ‘tis hard to muse on vanish’d hours,
And see the thorns remain, while fade the flowers!

It sure smells of my work, do you not think?

Yet Another of My Forgotten Poems

For those who thought the deluge of rarely seen poetry from the pen of the great and powerful Griswold had dried up, fear not!, for our dear friend, the intrepid Ann Neilson of the Materialistic Maiden blog has unearthed this beautiful gem, written shortly after the death of my first and one true love, Caroline.

It was published in 1844's "The Cypress Wreath: A Book of Consolation for Those Who Mourn", edited by yours truly.  In my modesty I did not credit myself for the poem in my own volume, but it was later attributed to me when republished in an 1865 anthology entitled "Leaves of Consolation For the Afflicted, or Voices From the Silent Land".


WEEP not for the past; ‘tis a dream that is fled;
Its sunshine has vanished, its garlands are dead;
Deep, deep in its shadows bright hopes are laid low;
O, call them not back to the land whence they go.
They came as the light that may gleam from on high,
From the wing of some spirit that passes us by,
So gently, we deemed that the fetters of earth
Had fallen away for a holier birth;
And they passed—but a voice lingers yet on the ear
In accents that fall from some sunnier sphere,
Weep not, child of sorrow, for hopes that were thine;
Unblest are the gifts of an UNHALLOWED shrine.
Thy idol was earthly—thy life star has set;
Bright stars are in HEAVEN, that beam for thee yet!
Weep not for the past, though it hold in its gloom
Loved forms that have sunk to their rest in the tomb,
Fond voices that rang in the laugh of the song,
And faces that smiled as they flitted along;
O, call them not back! for they went in their mirth,
Ere their hearts had been chilled by one frost of this earth;
And ‘tis sweet to lie down with the song yet unsung,
And wake its first notes in a heavenly tongue!
Then yield not to sorrow; life has not a day
That gives not some sunbeam to lighten our way;
But cull from the past, from each blessing that dies,
A gem to illumine the crown for the skies.
The future is o’er us; the present is ours,
To shroud it in sadness, or gild it with flowers;
To sink on life’s ocean, or find on its wave
A halo that wakes e’en the gloom of the grave.

Ah...They don't write them like that anymore, folks.