Home  »  A Library of American Literature  »  Receipt to Make a Magazine

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

Receipt to Make a Magazine

By William Biglow (1773–1844)

[Born in Natick, Mass., 1773. Died in Boston, Mass., 1844. Buckingham’s “Specimens of Newspaper Literature.” 1850.]

A PLATE, of art and meaning void,

To explain it a whole page employed:

Two tales prolonged of maids deluded;

Two more begun, and one concluded;

Life of a fool to fortune risen;

The death of a starved bard in prison;

On woman, beauty-spot of nature,

A panegyric and a satire;

Cook’s voyages, in continuation;

On taste a tasteless dissertation;

Description of two fowls aquatic;

A list of ladies, enigmatic;

A story true from French translated,

Which, with a lie, might well be mated;

A mangled slice of English history;

Essays on miracles and mystery;

An unknown character attacked,

In story founded upon fact;

Advice to jilts, coquets, and prudes:

And thus the pompous Prose concludes.

For Poetry—a birth-day ode;

A fable of the mouse and toad;

A modest wish for a kind wife,

And all the other joys of life;

A song, descriptive of the season;

A poem, free from rhyme and reason;

A drunken song, to banish care;

A simple sonnet to despair;

Some stanzas on a bridal bed;

An epitaph on Shock, just dead;

A pointless epigram on censure;

An imitation of old Spenser;

A dull acrostic and a rebus;

A blustering monody to Phœbus;

The country ’gainst the town defended;

And thus the Poetry is ended.

Next, from the public prints, display

The news and lyings of the day;

Paint bloody Mars & Co. surrounded

By thousands slain, ten thousand wounded:

Steer your sly politics between

The Aristocrat and Jacobin;

Then end the whole, both prose and rhyme, in

The ravages of Death and Hymen.