The Daguerreian Society

The following poem is from a daguerreian broadside (1850-1852) for the itinerant daguerreotypist "J. Dillistin." Dillistin operated in the region of Tioga county, Pennsylvania from 1849 to 1852.

The author of the poem is the notable poet Lydia Jane Peirson. (Although "Pierson" is printed on the broadside, the last named is usually spelled "Peirson.")

The broadside was printed by "Seely and Baker, Printers, Jersey Shore, Penn'a."

Collection of Gary W. Ewer


The following Lines were composed expressly for Mr. and Mrs. Dillistin by Mrs. Lydia Jane Pierson.

Love lives beyond the grave, and when its own
Grow weary, and by lifes way side lie down,
How doth it shudder with a deep despair
To leave the worship'd form—forever there.
How with beseeching agony it prays
For some resemblance of the buried face
So long it's sun of joy—to shed a ray
Of pensive moonlight, on it's darkened way.
Art—hear'd its wail with pity, and went forth
To seek a solace from the wealth of earth,
Dug deep for minerals,—cull'd the tinted flowers—
Preparing colors, with her nicest powers;
With which she learn'd with weary toil to trace,
And tinge, bright pictures of the human face,
Love hymn'd her pean—to the praise of Art—
And laid his costly portraits to her heat.
    But Genius—to whose radiant eyes are given
Bright glimpses of the mysteries of Heaven,
Grasped GOD'S own pencil—all pervading Light,
At once the soul of beauty, and of sight,
And on imperishable metal drew—
Herself awe struck and trembling as it grew
In tracery delicate, in shade, and line,
A perfect copy of a work divine;
The form, the face, the traits of age, or youth,
Fixed by the pencil of eternal Truth.
    The world stood by, with doubt and wonder fraught
A moment—and the mystery was wrought,
Love brought her holiest garlands, green and sweet,
And laid them dew'd with tears—at Genius's feet;
And every where, she weareth on her heart,
The precous gems of this divinest Art.—
    Oh short liv'd human Love! while yet thou may'st
Secure thy treasures,—swift the moments haste,
Bind to thy heart, e'er life's dear angels fly,
The fair resemblance, which can never die.

(End of text. Please refer to our textnote regarding this text.)

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