Clement Clark Moore's Poetry
Clement Clark Moore
Brought to you by the website of Henry Livingston, the author of A Visit From St. Nicholas


Accept, dear Doctor, my unfeigned thanks
For Paganini's skull and claws and shanks,
And all the wreathed string of bones, beside,
That seem to grate within his shrivelled hide.
One would have thought, while yet the mimic form
Lay snugly in its wrappers, soft and warm,
That 'twas the cast of some fat gouty fellow,
With food surcharg'd, with wine and wassail, mellow.
And, when the spectral figure was uprear'd,
It still, the prey of strong disease appear'd;
Like some sad victim, doom'd to writhe and twist
Beneath the gripe of fierce Podagra's fist.
Who would believe this skeleton possess'd
Of sov'reign empire o'er the human breast?
Of power to waken sorrow, fear, or rage;
And then, the bosom's tumult, to assuage?---
Ye deep phrenologists, say, can ye tell
Within what secret caves these wonders dwell?
What covert way, what faintly shadow'd line
Leads to the cell of Genius? spark divine!
Genius! that thing inexplicably strange,
That knows no measure to its boundless range;
That, in the lowest depth or giddiest height,
Still marks its path with beams of radiant light;
Whose touch can free ten thousand hidden springs,
And waken powers unknown, in humblest things;
Can give to each a portion of its fire;
And, with a fiddle, rapturous joys inspire.


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