air"? 4 Can it be true that all these fair ones are still the votresses of the coy and sullen Diana "chaunting cold hymns to the pale fruitless moon"? 5 and have none deserted to the seducing rites of Hymen? --If two years have gone by without an instance of this sort--build a cloister in your parish and whisper in the ears of these obdurate nymphs--"Get thee to a nunnery, Ophelia, go." 6
MANUSCRIPT: NYPL-GR (draft) PUBLISHED (in Part): Life, 1, 148.
G[reat] Barrington 10 Jan. 1818
I suppose that probably I am not honoured with a place in your list of very punctual correspondents if you have any such--but when one has nothing to write that he thinks his friends will care to read it seems to me that he has a pretty tolerable reason for letting his pen lie idle in the inkstand. I have now however so fair and convenient an opportunity for writing you, that I should deem it no very trivial sin of omission to let it pass without making use of it.
I have nothing to tell you about myself except that since my return from Cummington I have by no means enjoyed the perfection of high rude health--but the lancet has relieved me 1 --and that business is dull enough with me.
We have subscribed for the North American Review here. I wrote to Mr. Phillips for it and received an answer from him in which he gives you the credit--if it can be called by that name--of the writing [of] Thanatopsis. 2? I have sent you inclosed a correct copy of my version of the fragment of Simonides together with a little poem which I wrote while at Bridgewater which you may get inserted if you please in that work. 3 I would contribute something in prose if I knew on what subject to write. I must likewise request of you the favour to pay Mr. Phillips for me $2.50, for the Review.
You may perhaps ascribe it to a discontented and uneasy disposition --but for my part I regret that I was not able to go to Boston in the first