Source of witness transcribed: The New Orleans Crescent (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Date of witness transcribed: 8 March 1868
Notes about this poem: "A Literary Curiosity" was printed in at least 224 newspapers during the nineteenth century. It can be found using ID 589905 in this table of most widely-reprinted poems.
The following remarkable little poem is a contribution to the San Francisco Times, from the pen of Mrs. H. A. Deming. The reader will notice that each line is a quotation from some one of the standard authors of England and America. This is the result of a year's laborious search among the voluminous writings of thirty-eight leading poets of the past and present. The number of each line refers to the author below:
2—Life’s a short summer, man a flower;
4—The cradle and the tomb, alas, so nigh.
6—Though all man’s life may seem a tragedy;
8—The bottom is but shallow when they come.
10—Unmingled joys, here, to no man befall,
12—Fortune makes folly her peculiar care;
14—And throw a cruel sunshine on a fool.
16—They who forgive most, shall be most forgiven.
18—Vile intercourse where virtue has no place;
20—Thou pendulum, betwixt a smile and tear;
22—With craft and skill, to ruin and betray;
24—We masters grow of all that we despise.
26—Riches have, wings, and grandeur is a dream.
28—The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
30—Only destructive to the brave and great.
32—The way to bliss lies not on beds of down.
34—That man lives twice who lives the first life well.
36—Whom Christians worship, yet not comprehend.
1, Young; 2, Dr. Johnson; 3, Pope; 4, Prior; 5, Sewel; 6, Spenser; 7, Daniel; 8, Sir Walter Raleigh; 9, Longfellow; 10, Southwell; 11, Congreve; 12, Churchill; 13, Rochester; 14, Armstrong; 15, Milton; 16, Baily; 17, Trench; 18, Somerville; 19, Thompson; 20, Byron; 21, Smollett; 22, Crabbe; 23, Massinger; 24, Cowley; 25, Beattie; 26, Cowper; 27, Sir Walter Davenant; 28, Grey; 29, Willis; 30, Addison; 31, Dryden; 32, Francis/Quarles; 33, Watkins; 34, Herrick; 35, William Mason; 36, Hill; 37, Dana; 38, Shakspeare.