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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

A Poet of Quality

By William Maxwell (1784–1857)

[Born in Norfolk, Va., 1784. Died at Richmond, Va., 1857. Poems by William Maxwell, Esq. 1816.]


GIVE me, give me here my tea;

Ladies’ nectar! give it me;

Sweet as what the Hummer sips,

Or the dew on Beauty’s lips.

Tea ’tis makes the spirits flow,

Tickles up the heart of Woe,

Sets the tongue, enlivens wit,

Gives the sweet poetic fit.

Tea ’tis makes the charming Fair

Sprightly, pleasing as they are.

What is more than all, ’twas Tea,

Tea, that set Columbia free.


FAIREST, mourn not for thy charms,

Circled by no lover’s arms,

While inferior belles you see

Pick up husbands merrily.

Sparrows, when they choose to pair,

Meet their matches anywhere;

But the Phœnix, sadly great,

Cannot find an equal mate.

Earth, tho’ dark, enjoys the honor

Of a Moon to wait upon her;

Venus, tho’ divinely bright,

Cannot boast a satellite.


HOW many kisses do I ask?

Now you set me to my task.

First, sweet Anne, will you tell me

How many waves are in the sea?

How many stars are in the sky?

How many lovers you make sigh?

How many sands are on the shore?

I shall want just one kiss more.