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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 160

              [handwritten by Gunn] 
Tribune�s critique

[two newspaper clippings]
BELL, MARY MEL, &c.�A little volume of poetical
pieces, most of which have already appeared under
the above noms de plume of the authoress, M. E. B.
With slender  claims upon the public attention, they
have been reproduced in the present form, at
the request of �a large circle of kind friends,� to
�whose tastes� they are probably �better adapted
than like productions intrinsically much superior.�
The author is right in supposing that out of the charm-
ed circle, they will �appear as very crude and inferior
productions,� although there is no doubt of the �xceel-
lence and purity of the feelings and sentiments they
embody.�  The very first stanza in the volume gives
little encouragement to proceed.

     I MET a lady very fair,
       Decked out in fashion gay,
     All beautiful she seemed to be,
       Light tripping through Broadway;
     Her face, all radiant with smiles,
       Won my enraptured gaze�
     But very soon I was decharmed,
       And stood as in amaze,
  But it does not improve on further acquaintance.
Here is an effusion to an �Absent Love,� a kind of
composition in which the author often indulges, the
lover in the case, however, being the husband of the
lady poetess.
     DEAR FRED, I cannot fix my mind
     On anything of humankind
     Beside yourself.  I try to read,
     The pages swim, and there indeed
     Your image stands with beaming smile,
     Before my lone heart all the while!
     To other friends I try to write,
     The sheets are spoiled, and I indite
     To thee! and should from morn �till night.

[handwritten by Gunn]
To the George

[newspaper clippings continued]
  There are several prose tales in this volume, which
are shade better than the poetry.  (12mo. pp. 160-
T. W. Strong.)
Not that the sweetness of thy holy kiss
Fills my fond bosom with ecstatic bliss;
Nor thy bright smile that wakes within my
The joy I cannot�would not now control.

Not that because my head has oft been pressed
Upon thy proud and manful throbbing breast;
Nor that I feel I live warm in thy heart,
Loved by thy soul, and of that soul a part.

I love, because I honor thee as one
Who, true to Nature, is her proudest son.
Who whilst he bears a lofty, conscious part,
Feels the blood gushing thro� his loving heart.

Who carries in his bosom�s native bower
His sunshine, olive-branch, and fearless power
To stem the torrent, brave the surging tide�
And if for weal or wo, life�s calls abide.

I love, because thy tongue the truth defends,
And on thy mind thy course of life depends;
Because thou are the master of thyself,
And honorest worth, not stores of worldly pelf.

I love thee�ay, with all the clinging trust,
That worships�not the idol of the dust�
But intellect, and honest, manly pride�
The strength that makes thee woman�[rest cut off]
     and guide.
New York, April, 1850.               
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