The Daguerreian Society



The following item was published in the recently-released 1995
Daguerreian Annual.  It has been a great year for the daguerreotype;
the mysteries of the art still keep us spellbound.  It seemed
appropriate for the year's end; so I offer it today.  (Please note
the full citation given here which was unavailable at press time for
the Annual; you may wish to annotate the reprint of this poem
[page 119] in your Annual with the citation information.)
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This poem appeared in the December 1849 issue of "The Ladies'
Repository, devoted to Literature and Religion" (Cincinnati,
New York; Vol.IX, No. XII; pg 366):
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         THE DAGUERREOTYPE.
               ____

        by Mrs. H. C. Gardiner.
               ____

      Tell me, magician, tell,
What is the mighty secret of thy art?
      What is the hidden spell,
Or charm mysterious, that thou dost impart?

      Who taught thee how to bind
The sun's bright rays to do thy bidding here?
      What witchery canst thou find
In the transparent, cloudless atmosphere?

      Hast thou a demon sprite
Behind the curtain's dark, portentous fold?
      The pure, cerulean light
Dost thou by mystic arts and magic hold?

      A patient underling
The portrait painter toileth day by day;
      Thy unseen penciling
Can in a moment every look portray.

      Tell me, magician, tell,
What is the mighty secret of thy art?
      What is the hidden spell,
Or charm mysterious, which thou dost impart?


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Posted for your enjoyment.      Gary W. Ewer       
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(12-30-95)


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