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A non-resistant by conviction,
But with a bump in contradiction,
So that whene'er it gets a chance
His pen delights to play the lance,
And—you may doubt it or believe it—
Full at the head of Joshua Leavitt
The very calumet he'd launch,
And scourge him with the olive-branch.
A master with the foils of wit,
'T is natural he should love a hit;
A gentleman, withal, and scholar,
Only base things excite his choler,
And then his satire's keen and thin
As the lithe blade of Saladin.
Good letters are a gift apart,
And his are gems of Flemish art,
True offspring of the fireside Muse,
Not a chip-gathering of news
Like a new hopfield which is all poles,
But of one blood with Horace Walpole's.

There, with one hand behind his back,
Stands Phillips buttoned in a sack,1
Our Attic orator, our Chatham;
Old fogies, when he lightens at 'em,
Shrivel like leaves; to him 't is granted
Always to say the word that's wanted,
So that he seems but speaking clearer
The tiptoe thought of every hearer;
Each flash his brooding heart lets fall
Fires what's combustible in all,
And sends the applauses bursting in
Like an exploded magazine.
His eloquence no frothy show,
The gutter's street-polluted flow,
No Mississippi's yellow flood
Whose shoalness can't be seen for mud;—
So simply clear, serenely deep,
So silent-strong its graceful sweep,
None measures its unrippling force
Who has not striven to stem its course;
How fare their barques who think to play
With smooth Niagara's mane of spray,

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Niagara County (New York, United States) (1)
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Wendell Phillips (2)
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