Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SNUFF, by ROBERT SOUTHEY



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SNUFF, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A delicate pinch! Oh how it tingles up
Last Line: And jokes that must be laugh'd at shall proceed.
Subject(s): Columbus, Christopher (1451-1506); Explorers; Noses; Pleasure; Snuff (Tobacco); Exploring; Discovery; Discoverers


A DELICATE pinch! oh how it tingles up
The titillated nose, and fills the eyes
And breast, till in one comfortable sneeze
The full collected pleasure bursts at last!
Most rare Columbus! thou shalt be for this
The only Christopher in my kalendar.
Why, but for thee, the uses of the nose
Were half unknown, and its capacity
Of joy. The summer gale that from the heath,
At midnoon glittering with the golden furze,
Bears its balsamic odours, but provokes,
Not satisfies the sense; and all the flowers,
That with their unsubstantial fragrance tempt
And disappoint, bloom for so short a space,
That half the year the nostrils would keep lent,
But that the kind tobacconist admits
No winter in his work; when nature sleeps
His wheels roll on, and still administer
A plenitude of joy, a tangible smell.

What is Peru and those Brazilian mines
To thee, Virginia? miserable realms,
They furnish gold for knaves and gems for fools
But thine are common comforts! to omit
Pipe-panegyric and tobacco praise,
Think what the general joy the snuff-box gives,
Europe, and far above Pizarro's name
Write Raleigh in thy records of renown!
Him let the school-boy bless if he behold
His master's box produced, for when he sees
The thumb and finger of authority
Stuff'd up the nostrils, when hat, head, and wig
Shake all; when on the waistcoat black the dust
Or drop falls brown, soon shall the brow severe
Relax, and from vituperative lips
Words that of birch remind not, sounds of praise,
And jokes that must be laugh'd at shall proceed.





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