Margaret Fuller, Critic: Writings from the New-York Tribune, 1844-1846

By Judith Mattson Bean; Joel Myerson | Go to book overview

Prince's Poems

By signs too numerous to be counted, yet some of them made fruitful by specification, the Spirit of the Age announces that she is slowly, toilsomely, but surely, working that revolution, whose mighty deluge rolling back, shall leave a new aspect smiling on earth to greet the “most ancient heavens.” The wave rolls forward slowly, and may be as long in retreating, but when it has retired into the eternal deep, it will leave behind it a refreshed world, in which there may still be many low and mean men, but no lower classes; for it will be understood that it is the glory of a man to labor, and that all kinds of Labor have their poetry, and that there is really no more a lower and higher among the world of men with their various spheres, than in the world of stars. All kinds of Labor are equally honorable, if the mind of the laborer be only open so to understand them. But as

“The glory 'tis of Man's estate, For this his dower did he receive, That he in mind should contemplate What with his hands he doth achieve.”

“Observe we sharply, then, what vantage From conflux of weak efforts springs; He turns his craft to small advantage Who knows not what to light it brings.”

It is this that has made the difference of high and low, that certain occupations were supposed to have a better influence in liberalizing and refining the higher faculties than others. Now, the tables are turning. The inferences and impressions to be gained from the pursuits that have ranked highest are, for the present, exhausted. They have been written about, prated about, till they have had their day, and need to lie in the shadow and recruit their energies through silence. The mind of the time has detected the truth that as there is

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