Page:Letters of Life.djvu/176

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Prose, besides what a daily journal comprised, I occasionally wrote in early life, but seldom impulsively. It was a kind of job-work. The melody of rhyme, like sugar coating the pill, being absent, left the labor too palpable. The ear having been elevated as a sort of chief judge, sometimes took the latitude of making sense subsidiary to sound. It was offended when its stewardship was taken away. It did what it could to make the mind sullen at the toil of providing more material, as if murmuringly it said, "I cannot dig, and to beg am ashamed."

Passing events furnished themes for my verses. They were literally extemporaneous, and if copied a second time, seldom altered. A poem entitled "Edgar and Ann," extending to several hundred lines, was my longest effusion. It was a love narrative in the heroic measure, plentifully interlarded with pathos.

Among the few remaining specimens of prose of that