Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
Signior Squeak’s Dancing Advertisement
By Thomas Green Fessenden (1771–1837)
  A GENTLEMAN of vast agility,
Who teaches capers and civility,
And whose whole life consists of play days,
Informs the gentlemen and ladies
Of Bellows Falls, and other places,        5
That he ’s grand master of the graces—
Professor of the violin,
And hopes to suit them to a pin
In teaching arts, and fascinations,
Dancing and other recreations.        10
  Amphion, Orpheus, or Apollo,
In fiddling he can beat all hollow;
And all those wonder-working elves,
Who made huge houses build themselves,
And rocks responsive to their ditties,        15
Rise into palaces and cities,
Compared with him, are every one
Like fire-bugs liken’d to the sun.
  He steps a hornpipe so genteel,
You ’d think him dealing with the de’il.        20
  Can teach young ladies nineteen millions
Of spick and span new French cotillions,
With flourishes, and turns, and twists,
Of arms and elbows, toes and wrists,
And attitudes of fascination,        25
Enough to ravish all creation.
  He whirls, and bounds, and sinks and rises,
Makes figures of all sorts and sizes,
Flies nine times round the hall, before
He condescends to touch the floor,        30
And now and then like lightning springs
And borne aloft on pigeons’ wings,
Cuts capers wonderful and rare
Like fairy frolicking in the air.
  He waltzes in a style so smart        35
A lady’s adamantine heart
Will be inevitably melted,
Like ore that ’s in a furnace smelted.
  All these and fifty other capers
Not fit to print in public papers,        40
Which put the genteel polish on,
And fit a tippy for the ton,
Said Signior Squeak will teach his scholars;—
Terms, per quarter, twenty dollars.
Nota Bene—ladies grown,        45
Said Signior waits upon alone,
Teaching graces, arts, and airs,
And other delicate affairs;
How to look and act as prettily
As belles of England, France, or Italy.        50

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