Daguerreian Society

For today (December 29,) I will close this year with a daguerreian
poem. My source is a photocopy of a clipping found pinned to the
velvet pad opposite a daguerreotype; I unfortunately do not know
the date or the publication of the item.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


"Hold it in this position, dear,
  And stand just in this spot;
'Tis always hit or miss with me
  If I can see or not.
E'en when my eyes were young and strong,
  There always came a blur
When I was trying to make out
  The likeness there of her!
You say 'tis age? Well, yes--and tears--
  That make it dazzle so;
Sometimes it almost seems to me
  The sweet face tries to go;
It plays a kind of hide and seek;
  Exactly as did she
When I would sing the old time song,
  'Come, gang alang wi' me.'
I'd sing in my old, earnest way,
  And then I'd look around;
But, bless my soul, my sweetheart there
  Was nowhere to be found.
She was as shy as any deer;
  So it's familiar like
To see her picture vanishing
  Whene'er the light doth strike.
Just see! The buds pinned near her heart
  Are still as red as blood--
In left hand of the garden, there,
  The sweet old rose bush stood.
The very year she died, it died!
  It seemed as if it said:
I used to blossom just for you;
  I'll stop now you are dead.
That belt with bright embroidery
  And silver buckle, broad,
that if I ever tried to touch
  She'd call her 'silver sword.'--
Why, I can see the filigree
  Upon the chatelaine,
and nearly half a century
  In darkness it hath lain
The beaded guard chain 'round her neck--
  That dress of purple lawn--
What! must you go so early, dear?
  How soon now night comes on!
This satin lining is now frayed;
  Morocco case is worn;
but, only think! 'twas bought, my dear,
  Ere ever you were born!
There, I have got it hooked at last!
  The catch is worn out, too;
But is it any wonder when
  'Tis twice as old as you?
Worn out? Oh, everything on earth
  Wears out--except the past;
It lasts a lifetime, dear, you know,
  Nor is worn out at last!
I've, too, a gold framed miniature;
  Its lips are red and ripe,
But it has not the saucy smile
  Of old Daguerreotype;
The smile that plays at hide and seek,
  The same sweet smile, I'd see
When I'd begin to sing to her
  'Come, gang alang wi' me.'
She seems to sing it now it me!
  I'm going by and by!
Put by the case, my dear, 'twill last,
  I guess, as long as I."

Posted for your enjoyment.      Gary W. Ewer       

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