The 
Daguerreian Society


Although the content regarding the daguerreotype is not significant in 
this poem, I would like to share it, nevertheless, as today's DagNews.

From "Poetry of the Pacific:  Selections and Original Poems from the 
Poets of the Pacific States." May Wentworth, Edit. (San Francisco: 
Pacific Publishing Company, 1867) pp. 69-72.
- - - - - - -


           LABOR.

       BY FRANK SOULE.


Despise not labor!  God did not despise
The handicraft which wrought this gorgeous
     globe,
That crowned its glories with yon jeweled
     skies,
And clad the earth in nature's queenly robe.
He dug the first canal--the river's bed,
Built the first fountain in the gushing spring,
Wove the first carpet for man's haughty tread,
The warp and woof of his first covering.
He made the pictures painters imitate,
The statuary's first grand model made,
Taught human intellect to recreate,
And human ingenuity its trade.
Ere great Daguerre had harnessed up the sun,
Apprenticeship at his new art to serve,
A greater artist greater things had done,
The wondrous pictures of the optic nerve.
There is no deed of honest labor born,
That is not Godlike;  in the toiling limbs
Howe'er the lazy scoff, the brainless scorn,
God labored first;  toil likens us to him.
Ashamed of work!  mechanic, with thy tools,
The tree thy axe cut from its native sod,
And turns to useful things--ago tell to fools,
Was fashioned in the factory of God.
Go build your ships, go build your lofty dome,
Your granite temple, that through time en-
     dures, 
Your humble cot, or that proud, pile of
     Rome, 
His arm has toiled there in advance of yours.
He made the flowers your learned florists scan,
And crystalized the atoms of each gem,
Ennobled labor in great nature's plan,
And made it virtue's brightest diadem.
Whatever thing is worthy to be had,
Is worthy of the toil by which 'tis won,
Just as the grain by which the field is clad
Pays back the warming labor of the sun.
'Tis not profession that ennobles men,
'Tis not the calling that can e'er degrade,
The trowel is as worthy as the pen,
The pen more mighty than the hero's blade.
The merchant, with his ledger and his wares,
The lawyer with his cases and his books,
The toiling farmer, with his wheat and tares,
The poet by the shaded streams and nooks,
The man, whate'er his work, wherever done,
If intellect and honor guide his hand,
Is peer to him who greatest state has won,
And rich as any Rothschild of the land.
All mere distinctions based upon pretense,
Are merely laughing themes for manly hearts,
The miner's cradle claims from men of sense
More honor than the youngling Bonaparte's.
Let fops and fools the sons of toil deride,
On false pretensions brainless dunces live;
Let carpet heroes strut with parlor pride,
Supreme in all that indolence can give,
But be not like them, and pray envy not
These fancy tom--tit burlesques of mankind,
The witless snobs in idleness who rot,
Hermaphrodite 'twixt vanity and mind.
Oh son of toil, be proud, look up, arise,
And disregard opinion's hollow test,
A false society's decrees despise,
He is most worthy who has labored best.
The sceptre is less royal than the hoe,
The sword, beneath whose rule whole nations
     writhe,
And curse the wearer, while they fear the
     blow,
Is far less noble than the plough and scythe.
There's more true honor on one tan-browned
     hand,
Rough with the honest work of busy men,
Than all the soft-skinned punies of the land,
The nice, white-kiddery of upper ten.
Blow bright the forge--the sturdy anvil ring,
It sings the anthem of king labor's courts,
And sweeter sounds the clattering hammers
     bring,
Than half a thousand thumped piano-fortes.
Fair are the ribbons from the rabbet-plane,
As those which grace my lady's hat or cape,
Nor does the joiner's honor blush or wane
Beside the lawyer, with his brief and tape.
Pride thee, mechanic, on thine honest trade,
'Tis nobler than the snob's much vaunted
     pelf.
Man's soulless pride his test of worth has
     made,
But thine is based on that of God himself.


* * * * *

I am also including the preface to the volume as and aid for 
understanding the nature of this title:

           PREFACE.

IN presenting this volume, but little need be said,
except that the compiler has earnestly endeavored to
make it as complete as possible, and to render it a
pleasant book for reference in after years, as belong-
ing to the early days of literature in California.
   It must be remembered that California is still an
infant state, a Hercules in the cradle.
   The toiling gold seekers have had but little time
or encouragement to cultivate belle lettres, and to the
future we look to develop the rich mines of intellect,
as well as those of gold and silver.
   One or two writers, whose names are familiar to
the public, are not represented, their poems having
been omitted in deference to their wishes. Others
may have been overlooked, but in no case through
intentional neglect. The compilation of this vol-
ume has been attended with much care and difficul-
ty, and it is to be hoped that enough of beauty and
merit may be found in its pages, to commend it to
the acceptance of a generous public.
                           MAY WENTWORTH.


--------------------------------------------------------------
Posted for your enjoyment.     Gary W. Ewer     
--------------------------------------------------------------
04-04-00


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