Poem: To J--- K--- by D. L.


O Jamie, lad, ye should think shame,
Your yet unsullied name to stain,
By pilfering the works of others,
To prove you are poetic brothers.

'Tis hard to climb Parnassus height
By those who have not genius bright ;
But harder far to keep that road
Inspired by neither man nor God.

Many have tried its height to scale,
Who wished they ne'er had left the vale,
But been content, quite free from strife,
In the abode of humble life.

But should you still incline to scribble,
And at the muse desire to nibble :
Just try to weave it from your head,
Which will yield dross, tho' twere but lead.

But when you other media take,
To raise your fame, 'tis sad mistake;
You'd better in oblivion hide
Your unknown and ignoble head.

So, Jamie, don't neglect advice,
For you can have it at your price;
But should it make you rather pensive,
Be sure it was not meant offensive.

First published in The Argus, 8 January 1850


A poem for our times, eh?
Do you know who the poet and Jamie are?

No idea who these people might be. I undertook a search of the Austlit database before publishing but couldn't find anything about either name that seemed to fit. There is a "Jamie K." who had a poem published in the Bulletin in 1894, but that's 40 years after this piece.

The problem we face here is that a lot of the early Australian newspapers have yet to be catalogued onto Austlit. ("The Argus" ran from 1846-1957 and the literary contents of only 181 issues can be found on Austlit.) If either of these - the poet or the subject of the poem - only or mainly published in the newspapers of the time it will be a while before their work surfaces again.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on July 18, 2009 10:47 AM.

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