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John S. Hittell, whose sovereign genius wields
The quill his tributary body yields;
The author of an opera--that is,
All but the music and libretto's his:
A work renowned, whose formidable name,
Linked with his own, repels the assault of fame
From the high vantage of a dusty shelf,
Secure from all the world except himself;--
Who told the tale of "Culture" in a screed
That all might understand if some would read;--
Master of poesy and lord of prose,
Dowered, like a setter, with a double nose;
That one for Erato, for Clio this;
He flushes both--not his fault if we miss;--
Judge of the painter's art, who'll straight proclaim
The hue of any color you can name,
And knows a painting with a canvas back
Distinguished from a duck by the duck's quack;--
This thinker and philosopher, whose work
Is famous from Commercial street to Turk,
Has got a fortune now, his talent's meed.
A woman left it him who could not read,
And so went down to death's eternal night
Sweetly unconscious that the wretch could write.
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