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  The research archive of Gary W. Ewer regarding the history of the daguerreotype

Two items today. . . On this day (November 16) in the year 1849, the following notice appeared in "The Daily Chronotype" (Boston, Vol. 8, No. 26): - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - A NEW USE FOR THE DAGUERREOTYPE.--A Mr. Laroche succeeded in taking daguerreotypes of the Mannings, with a camera concealed in his hat, during their trial for murder, at the Southwark (Eng) Police Court. * * * * * * (more...) The following poem appeared in the November 1860 issue of "Godey's Lady's Book and Magazine (Philadelphia, page 426) M Y D A G U E R R E O T Y P E. BY L. J. CIST. LET poets sing of glory's charms, Of battle-fields and war's alarms, Of all the varied feats of arms, Whate'er their name, By which, in wild and reckless strife, 'Mid scenes with blood and carnage rife, Men madly peril limb and life In search of fame. Let others, with the lover's vow, Before the shrine of woman bow, Pen sonnets to the eye or brow Of beauty bright; With wild extravagance declare Her love their life, her smiles their air, That only where she dwells 'tis fair, And all else night! Let others yet to loftier themes Attune their high poetic dreams-- In the far future, golden beams Of promise see; And tell us, with prophetic ken, Of yet "a good time coming," when The whole united race of men Shall brothers be! While others still see little worth In thoughts like these, and in their birth; "Of the earth earthy," upon earth Grovel for pelf. None of these now my theme I make, To none of these the lyre I wake; But for my lowly strain I take My humble self! Before me lies--oh, art of arts, By which a breath a moment starts To being perfect counterparts Of form and face! The painter high, yon glorious sun, Of artist-tribe the only one Who proudly stoops to flatter none Of mortal race!-- Before me lies a likeness-true, The face and features there I view Are not exactly those I knew Some years ago; Yet is it, those around me say, With whom I meet from day to day, Of my appearance every way An image true. In sooth, I see no wanting grace Of form or features of the face; In the expression , too, I trace Resemblance just; For beauty there is quantum suff-- Or, in plain English, quite enough-- For food for worms--the warp and woof Of future dust. Nothing I see should make me vain, Nor aught of which I may complain; And if to me a shade of pain The picture give, "Tis that, as with reflective mind I gaze upon it, traced I find How much of life I've left behind, How brief to live. Three score and ten man looks to roam, At thirty-five, then, half way home; One-half my journey have I come. And what my gain? Awake, O dreamer! What! Dost know That half thy life is done below? Improve the rest, nor let it show All spent in vain! True, that the still unwrinkled brow And cheek not yet the furrows show Which, soon or late, to all below By age are brought. But in th' expression which they bear Methinks I trace e'en now the wear Of passions high, corroding care, And anxious thought. No more the imprint there I see Of youth's exuberant buoyancy, When the gay spirit, wild and free, Leaped forth in mirth, E'en as the bird or wildwood flower Springs up when passed the April shower, Nor dreams that clouds again will lower Upon the earth. The forehead high and temples bare Show less the mark of time than care; A thinness of the glossy hair Still far from gray-- A proof to all who tread life's stage, Alike the simple and the sage, That not alone is writ on age, "Passing away!" Well, be it so! When all is done, When here our race is fully run, When those we love before are gone, Why should we stay? Why should we longer wish to roam, When our kind Father calls us home? To all the summons soon must come, Up and away! Soon will "the evil days draw near," "The eye shall see not," and the ear The charmer's voice, though sweet, shall hear On earth no more; Stilled every motion of this hand, "Loosened the cord of silken strand," "The golden bowl be broken," and Life's conflict o'er! I know that soon this body must Be laid to mingle with the dust; But yet I have a joyful trust It shall arise; That in the last great "day of days" My God this earthly frame will raise, To form a temple to his praise Beyond the skies! ----------------------------------------------------------------- 11-16-96

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