Friday, September 13, 2013

"To Mr. Irving on his beautiful Daguerreotype Portraits" by Joseph H. Butler (1851)

To Mr. Irving on his beautiful Daguerreotype Portraits

Ingenious art! that bids the memory trace

The features of some loved, but absent face—

The honored parent snatched by Death away,

In nature's semblance meets the eye of day.

A lovely daughter finds an early tomb,

By the Destroyer blighted in her bloom;

Tho' full and frequent fall affection's shower,

No tears can ere revive that perished flower.

O then how vainly comes the deep regret,

That so parental fondness could forget

To have her picture, ere her beauty past

And all we loved had faded in the blast!

Immortal art! that can restore to sight

The lip of loveliness—the eye of light—

The silken tresses—and the life-like smile

Of those we prize our sorrow to beguile;

And spoil the grave of half its victory,

Restoring much again which cannot die!

Pictured in memory's glass we fondly see

Departed worth revive again by thee,

Our absent ones are present to our eyes,

'Tho' 'twixt us billows roll and mountains rise;

Oh think that Time, with ever-wasting power,

Unnerves youth's arm and blights sweet beauty's flower.

Irving! 'tis thine with magic skill to lend

Life's vivid hues to the departed friend;

And fix in undecaying beauty here

Each fleeting grace affection held so dear.

True to the life thy pleasing pictures stand,

Justly attesting thy ingenious hand,

That to the sons of fame can truly give

The hues of life and bid their semblance live.

From Time's strong grasp, and the devouring grave,

Artist! thy skill our fading forms can save!

                        JOSEPH H. BUTLER,

Troy, N.Y., June 5, 1851.

Troy Daily Whig. August 9, 1851: 3 col 1..

An ad-poem that repeatedly ran in the paper. "how vainly comes the deep regret/That so parental fondness could forget/To have her picture, ere her beauty past/And all we loved had faded in the blast!" is a rather emotionally-charged persuasive technique in favor of having a picture taken!

"To Mr. Humphrey and his beautiful Daguerrotype Portraits" by "Daguerre, Jr." appeared in The Geneva Gazette. September 22, 1854: 3 col 1. The first column and part of the second all have various items concerning Daguerreotypes, including recommendations on facial expression, clothing to wear, etc.

Also in the first column: "Worth Seeing—A speaking Daguerreotype, such an one as was recently taken by HUMPHREY." Perhaps a photo of someone with a caption? A magic lantern slide? Elsewhere, "speaking Daguerreotype" was occasionally used to refer to writing that captures life as well as a picture.

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