Text: Edgar Allan Poe, Notice of the 8th number of the Southern Literary Messenger, The Baltimore Republican and Commercial Advertiser, May 14, 1835.



The eighth number of this Magazine will make its appearance immediately. We have seen a copy of it in sheets, and have no hesitation in pronouncing it equal, at all events, to any thing of this kind in the country. Its character is now established upon a basis sufficiently sure, and we have no longer any doubts of its entire success. It is indeed a subject of general congratulation that the South has at length aroused herself from her lethargy in these matters, and ventured to erect a periodical literature of her own.

The eighth number, like the seventh, is a manifest improvement upon its predecessors. The volume, too, is almost entirely made up of original matter, there being only two very short selections. These things speak well for the energy of its conductor. We are sorry that an extended notice of the various articles in the Magazine would be out of place in a daily paper — but there are some which, from their high character, we cannot pass over in silence. Among these, Professor Tucker's Discourse on the Progress of Philosophy will elicit much attention. It is, in every respect, an able and valuable paper. The Essay on English Poetry, Chapter 1., is not only well written, but evinces a thorough knowledge of the subject, and altogether an erudition of no common order. We shall look for the ensuing chapters with eagerness. The fifth Letter from N. England is excellent: and the Tale of a Nose is well told, to say no more, and exceedingly ludicrous.

A striking feature in this Magazine, and one which cannot be too highly recommended, is the variety of critical notices of New Works: embracing nearly all of any consequence which have appeared in this country since the publication of the last number.

Of the Poetry we cannot speak altogether so favourably. Some of the pieces are exceedingly insipid; but the greater part are far above mediocrity. A few are admirable. Such lines as the Apostrophe of the Æolian Harp would alone give a character to any Magazine. They are beautiful indeed, and yet simplicity is their greatest charm. There is no clue to detect the author, but we verily believe they were written by the same hand which composed Rosalie Lee. Although the two poems are widely different, the same almost imperceptible quaintness runs throughout them both. Some passages in the Last Indian are fine — but as a whole we do not like it. Its great fault is obscurity. We will conclude this notice (in which we have already exceeded our limits) by transcribing some lines by Mrs. Buckler of this city, for which we are sure of being pardoned by all who can appreciate the delicate and beautiful. They are in reply to the popular lines of Mr. Wilde.


To “My Life is Like a Summer Rose.”

The dews of night may fall from Heaven

Upon the withered rose's bed,

And tears of fond regret be given,

To mourn the virtues of the dead:

Yet morning's sun the dews will dry,

And tears will fade from sorrow's eye,

Affection's pangs be lull’d to sleep,

And even love forget to weep.

The tree may mourn its fallen leaf,

And autumn winds bewail its bloom,

And friends may heave the sigh of grief,

O’er those who sleep within the tomb:

Yet soon will spring renew the flowers;

And time will bring more smiling hours;

In friendship's heart all grief will die,

And even love forget to sigh.

The sea may on the desert shore

Lament each trace it bears away;

The lonely heart its grief may pour

O’er cherish’d friendship's fast decay:

Yet when all trace is lost and gone,

The waves dance bright and gaily on;

Thus soon affection's bonds are torn,

And even love forgets to mourn.



This text is taken from a photocopy of the original article. This photocopy is from the T. O. Mabbott collection at the University of Iowa. (The page and column number are, unfortunately, not recorded, although it appears that the article occupies a single half-column.) It was first attributed to Poe by Killis Campbell, “Gleanings in the Bibliography of Poe,” Modern Language Notes, XXXII, 1917, p 269 (item 3a). The text was first printed by David K. Jackson, “Four of Poe's Critiques in the Baltimore Newspapers,”  Modern Language Notes, April 1935, pp. 253-254. Jackson's transcription is extremely faithful, omitting only the quoted poem. The authorship of the article is certain since Poe wrote to T. W. White, “My notice of your Messenger in the Republican was I am afraid too brief for your views. But I could command no greater space in its editorial columns. I have often wondered at your preferring to insert such notices in the Republican. It is a paper by no means in the hands of the first people here. Would not the American suit as well? Its columns are equally at your service” (Poe to White, May 30, 1835).

The collection of Mabbott's research materials held by the University of Iowa include a page with the following notes for this item:

1) The eighth number is dated April 1835

2) The essay on English Poetry is by Philip Pendleton Cooke

The letter from New England is by Lucian Minor

The Tale of a Nose is by Pertinaz Placid (Edward Vernon Sparhakw)

4) The Apostrophe is by George Tucker

Young Rosalie Lee, by Philip Pendleton Cooke had appeared in the Messenger for March 1835

“THe Last Indian” is by Larry Lyle (P. P. Cooke)

Richard Henry Wilde's famous poem, first published in 1817, was reprinted with firm ascription to the real author in the first number of the Southern Literary Messenger, August 1834.


[S:1 - BRP, 1835] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Criticism - Notice of the Southern Literary Messenger (1835)