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Poem by Henry Livingston
Letter to my Brother Beekman, who then lived with Mr. Schenk at New Lebanon - 1786 To my dear brother Beekman I sit down to write Ten minutes past eight & a very cold night. Not far from me sits with a baullancy cap on Our very good couzin, Elizabeth Tappen, A tighter young seamstress you'd ne'er wish to see And she (blessings on her) is sewing for me. New shirts and new cravats this morning cut out Are tumbled in heaps and lye huddled about. My wardrobe (a wonder) will soon be enriched With ruffles new hemmed & wristbands new stitched. Believe me dear brother tho women may be Compared to us of inferiour degree, Yet still they are useful I vow with a (fegs) When our shirts are in tatters & jackets in rags. Now for news my sweet fellow - first learn with a sigh That matters are carried here gloriously high, Such gadding - such ambling - such jaunting about, To tea with Miss Nancy - to sweet Willy's rout, New parties at coffee - then parties at wine, Next day all the world with the Major must dine Then bounce all hands to Fishkill must go in a clutter To guzzle bohea and destroy bread and butter While you at New Lebanon stand all forlorn Behind the cold counter from ev'ning to morn The old tenor merchants push nigher & nigher Till fairly they shut out poor Baze from the fire. Out, out, my dear brother, Aunt Amy's just come With a flask for molasses & a bottle for rum Run! Help the poor creature to light from her jade You see the dear lady's a power afraid. Souse into your arms she leaps like an otter And smears your new coat with her piggin of butter. Next an army of Shakers your quarters beleager With optics distorted & visages meagre To fill their black runlets with brandy & gin Two blessed exorcists to drive away sin. But laugh away sorrow nor mind it a daisy Since it matters but little my dear brother Bazee Whether here you are rolling in pastime and pleasure Or up at New Lebanon taffety measure. If the sweetest of lasses, Contentment, you find And the banquet enjoy of an undisturb'd mind Of friendship & love let who will make a pother Believe me, dear Baze, your affectionate brother Will never forget the fifth son of his mother. P.S. If it suits your convenience remit of you please To my good brother Paul an embrace and a squeeze.
Henry Livingston's other poems:
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