McDonald Clarke

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Tis vain for present fame to wish--
Our persons first must be forgotten;
For poets are like stinking fish--
They never shine until they're rotten.

McDonald Clarke (1798–1842) was a poet of some fame in New York in the early part of the 19th century.

Sourced[edit]

  • Whilst twilight's curtain spreading far,
    Was pinned with a single star.
    • Death in Disguise (Boston edition, 1833), line 227. A number of variants are reported:
    • While twilight's curtain gathering far
      Is pinned with a single diamond star.
    • Now twilight lets her curtain down,
      And pins it with a star.
    • Compare: "And drew my midnight curtain with fingers bloody red", Thomas Hood, Dream of Eugene Aram; "The moon is a silver pinhead vast, That holds the heavens tent-hangings fast", William R. Alger, "The Use of the Moon", Poetry of the Orient (1865), p. 178.
  • Tis vain for present fame to wish--
    Our persons first must be forgotten;
    For poets are like stinking fish--
    They never shine until they're rotten.
    • The Elixir of Moonshine (1820).
  • Ha! see where the wild-blazing Grog-shop appears,
    As the red waves of wretchedness swell;
    How it burns on the edge of tempestuous years—
    The horrible Light-house of Hell!
    • The Rum-hole, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).

External links[edit]

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