Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
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Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
 
Tabitha Towzer
By Thomas Green Fessenden (1771–1837)
 
MISS TABITHA TOWZER is fair,
  No guinea pig ever was neater,
Like a hakmatak slender and spare,
  And sweet as a mush-squash, or sweeter.
 
Miss Tabitha Towzer is sleek,        5
  When dress’d in her pretty new tucker,
Like an otter that paddles the creek,
  In quest of a mud-pout, or sucker.
 
Her forehead is smooth as a tray,
  Ah! smoother than that, on my soul,        10
And turn’d, as a body may say,
  Like a delicate neat wooden-bowl.
 
To what shall I liken her hair,
  As straight as a carpenter’s line,
For similes sure must be rare,        15
  When we speak of a nymph so divine.
 
Not the head of a Nazarite seer,
  That never was shaven or shorn.
Nought equals the locks of my dear,
  But the silk of an ear of green corn.        20
 
My dear has a beautiful nose,
  With a sled-runner crook in the middle,
Which one would be led to suppose
  Was meant for the head of a fiddle.
 
Miss Tabby has two pretty eyes,        25
  Glass buttons shone never so bright,
Their love-lighted lustre outvies
  The lightning-bug’s twinkle by night.
 
And oft with a magical glance,
  She makes in my bosom a pother,        30
When leering politely askance,
  She shuts one, and winks with the other.
 
The lips of my charmer are sweet,
  As a hogshead of maple molasses,
And the ruby-red tint of her cheek,        35
  The gill of a salmon surpasses.
 
No teeth like her’s ever were seen,
  Nor ever described in a novel,
Of a beautiful kind of pea-green,
  And shaped like a wooden-shod-shovel.        40
 
Her fine little ears, you would judge,
  Were wings of a bat in perfection;
A dollar I never should grudge
  To put them in Peale’s grand collection.
 
Description must fail in her chin,        45
  At least till our language is richer;
Much fairer than ladle of tin,
  Or beautiful brown earthern pitcher.
 
So pretty a neck, I ’ll be bound,
  Never join’d head and body together,        50
Like nice crook’d-neck’d squash on the ground,
  Long whiten’d by winter-like weather.
 
Should I set forth the rest of her charms,
  I might by some phrase that’s improper,
Give modesty’s bosom alarms,        55
  Which I would n’t do for a copper.
 
Should I mention her gait or her air,
  You might think I intended to banter;
She moves with more grace you would swear,
  Than a founder’d horse forced to a canter.        60
 
She sang with a beautiful voice,
  Which ravish’d you out of your senses;
A pig will make just such a noise
  When his hind leg stuck fast in the fence is.
 
 
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