Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
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Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
 
To My Cigar
By Charles Sprague (1791–1875)
 
YES, social friend, I love thee well,
  In learned doctors’ spite;
I love thy fragrant, misty spell,
  I love thy calm delight.
 
What though they tell, with phizzes long,        5
  My years are sooner past;
I would reply, with reason strong,
  They ’re sweeter while they last.
 
And oft, mild friend, to me thou art
  A monitor, though still;        10
Thou speak’st a lesson to my heart,
  Beyond the preacher’s skill.
 
Thou ’rt like the man of worth, who gives
  To goodness every day,
The odor of whose virtues lives,        15
  When he has pass’d away.
 
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.        20
 
Oft as thy 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,        25
  And smoke and fume around,
And then like thee to ashes turn,
  And mingle with the ground.
 
Life ’s but a leaf adroitly roll’d,
  And time ’s the wasting breath,        30
That late or early, we behold,
  Gives all to dusty death.
 
From beggar’s frieze to monarch’s robe,
  One common doom is pass’d,
Sweet nature’s works, the swelling globe,        35
  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.        40
 
But though thy ashes downward go,
  Thy essence rolls on high;
Thus when my body must lie low,
  My soul shall cleave the sky.
 
 
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