He Never Wrote Again

Parodied from Felicia Dorothea Hemans's "He Never Smiled Again"

by Phoebe Cary

HIS HOPE OF PUBLISHING WENT DOWN,
     The sweeping press rolled on;
But what was any other crown
     To him who hadn't one?
He lived, — for long may man bewail
     When thus he writes in vain:
Why comes not death to those who fail: —
     He never wrote again!

Books were put out, and "had a run,"
     Like coinage from the mint;
But which could fill the place of one.
     That one they wouldn't print?
Before him passed, in calf and sheep,
     The thoughts of many a brain;
His lay with the rejected heap: —
     He never wrote again I

He sat where men who wrote went round.
     And heard the rhymes they built;
He saw their works most richly bound,
     With portraits and in gilt.
Dreams of a volume all forgot -
     Were blent in every strain:
A thought of one they issued not: —
     He never wrote again!

Minds in that time closed o'er the trace
     Of books once fondly read,
And others came to fill their place,
     And were perused instead.
Tales which young girls had bathed in tears,
     Back on the shelves were lain:
Fresh ones came out for other years: —
     He never wrote again!

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