Thursday, February 20, 2014

"The Carrier's Address to His Customers" (1790)


WHAT shall we say, or how begin,

The present time to usher in;

Make something clever to appear,

To please your taste on this new year.

Shall we rehearse, in broken rhyme,

Tell of a state sunk in delusion,

While others rear'd the constitution;

Or panegeric chant upon

"Our patriot, hero, WASHINGTON."

We have their actions to be sung

By bards unborn and lyres unstrung;

These shall, in true poetic lays,

The glorious constitution praise,

Witness, in ages yet to come,

What heroes, patriots now have done.

In our own proper sphere we'll place us,

Nor soar so high upon Parnassus,

But stick to our own dull Pegasus.

Past pains remember'd make life sweeter,

These we'll rehearse in hobbling metre,

While telling what we've labor'd under,

To serve you thro' rain, hail and thunder;—

In summer thus, thro' mud in fall,

And winter now proves worse than all.

While thus thro each extreme we go,

Or pant with heat, or fingers blow,

Since diligent we've brought you NEWS,

Yourselves and all your friends t' amuse,

Your approbation give,--and spare

Some small reward on this New Year---

We'll drink your healths, go singing home,

And wish you happy years to come.

        January 1, 1790.

Federal Herald [Lansingburgh, NY]. January 4, 1790

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