Anarchiad. A New England Poem

An Electronic Edition · Joel Barlow (1754-1812)

Original Source: . Ed. LUTHER G. RIGGS. New Haven: Printed by THOMAS H. PEASE, 828 CHAPEL STREET, 1861.

Copyright 2003. This text is freely available provided the text is distributed with the header information provided.

Full Colophon Information

THE ANARCHIAD: A New England Poem.



[From “The New Haven Gazette and Connecticut Magazine” of October 26th, 1786.]


MESSRS. MEIGS AND DANA:–I have the felicity to belong to a society of critics and antiquarians, who have made it their business and delight, for some years past, to investigate the ancient as well as natural history of America. The success of their researches, in such an unlimited field, pregnant with such wonderful and inexhaustible materials, has been equal to their most sanguine expectations. One of our worthy associates has favored the public with a minute and accurate description of the monstrous new-invented animal which had, till his elaborate lucubration, escaped the notice of every zoologist. Another has regaled his readers with a most notable catfish. A third has brought them acquainted with a hermit who surpasses all other hermits in longevity, as much as his biographer does all other historians in point of veracity. Others have spared no pains to feast the public curiosity with an ample supply of great bones from the Wabash, and, at the same time, to quench the thirst for novelty from the burning spring on the Ohio. It has happily fallen to my lot to communicate, through the medium of your paper, a recent discovery still more valuable to the republic of letters. I need scarcely premise the ruins of fortifications yet visible, and other vestiges of art, in the Western country, had sufficiently demonstrated that this delightful region had once been occupied by a civilized people. Had not this hypothesis been previously established, the fact I am about to relate would have placed it beyond the possibility of doubt. For upon digging into the ruins of one of the most considerable of these fortifications, the laborers were surprised to find a casement, a magazine, and a cistern, almost entire. Pursuing their subterranean progress, near the northeast corner of the bastion, in a room that had evidently been occupied by the commandant, they found a great number of utensils, more curious and elegant than those of Palmyra or Herculaneum. But what rendered their good fortune complete, was the discovery of a great number of papers, ma dna dna, whose preservation through such a long lapse of years, amid such marks of hostility and devastation, must be deemed marvelous indeed, perhaps little short of miraculous. This affords a reflection, that such extraordinary circumstances could scarcely have taken place to answer only vulgar purposes. 16.

Happening myself to come upon the spot immediately after this treasure had been discovered, I was permitted to take possession of it, in the name and for the use of our society. Amongst these relics of antiquity I was overjoyed to find a folio manuscript which appeared to contain an epic poem, complete; and, as I am passionately fond of poetry, ancient as
well as modern, I set myself instantly to cleanse it from the extraneous concretions with which it was in some parts enveloped, defaced and rendered illegible. By means of a chemic preparation, which is made use of for restoring oil paintings, I soon accomplished the desirable object. It was then I found it was called THE ANARCHIAD, a Poem on the restoration of Chaos and substantial Night, in twenty-four books. 17.

As it would swell this paper beyond the limits I had prescribed, to give a critical analysis of this inimitable work, I must content myself with observing, that the excellency of its fable, the novelty and dignity of its characters, the sublimity of sentiments, and the harmony of numbers, give it the first rank in merit amongst the productions of human genius. I might also add, that it appears, from incontestible proofs, that this work was well known to the ancients, and that, as it is the most perfect, it has undoubtedly been the model for all subsequent epic productions. Perhaps, in a future essay, I shall attempt to prove that Homer, Virgil, and Milton, have borrowed many of their capital beauties from it. At present, to show that the matter is not fabulous, as well as to give a specimen of the author’s forcible style, and happy manner of expressing himself, I shall cite a few lines from the eighth book, which is denominated the Book of Vision. So lively are the descriptions following the images, so familiar and present is every object placed to our view, that the reader will, I dare say, be as much astonished as I have been myself, to find that a poet who lived so many centuries ago should have described with such amazing precision events that happened in our own times. The prophetic bard seems to have taken for the point of vision one of the lofty mountains of America, and to have caused, by his magic invocations, the years of futurity to pass before him. He begins with unfolding the beautifying scenes when those plagues to society, law and justice, shall be done away; when every one shall be independent of his neighbor; and when every rogue shall literally do what is right in his own eyes. Let us now hear the poet speak for himself, in his own words: 18.

IN visions fair the scenes of fate unroll, 
And Massachusetts opens on my soul; 
There Chaos, Anarch old, asserts his sway, 
And mobs in myriads blacken all the way: 
See Day’s stern port–behold the martial frame5.
Of Shays’ and Shattuck’s mob-compelling name: 
See the bold Hampshirites on Springfield pour, 
The fierce Tauntonians crowd the alewife shore. 
O’er Concord fields the bands of discord spread, 
And Wor’ster trembles at their thundering tread:10.
See from proud Egremont the woodchuck train, 
Sweep their dark files, and shade with rags the plain. 
Lo, THE COURT FALLS; th’ affrighted judges run, 
Clerks, Lawyers, Sheriffs, every mother’s son. 
The stocks, the gallows lose th’ expected prize,15.
See the jails open, and the thieves arise. 
Thy constitution, Chaos, is restor’d; 
Law sinks before thy uncreating word; 
Thy hand unbars th’ unfathom’d gulf of fate, 
And deep in darkness ‘whelms the new-born state.20.

I know not whether it is necessary to remark, in this place, what the critical reader will probably have already observed, that the celebrated English poet, Mr. Pope, has proven himself a noted plagiarist, by copying the preceding ideas, and even couplets almost entire, into his famous poem called “The Dunciad.” 21.

I will conclude, by entreating that the public may be acquainted that several other extracts from these curious manuscripts will be published, should the preceding specimen meet with the applause which I am confident it merits. The blessings of paper money and confusion, as now experienced in Rhode Island, are predicted in the most awful and beautiful manner. The vision then extends to Connecticut, where we shall leave it, unless a future opportunity of resuming the subject should render a further disclosure expedient.22.

I am & c.,–


October 23, 1786.P. S.– The several printers in Massachusetts are requested to republish this, for the benefit of their kind customers.

[From “The New Haven Gazette and Connecticut Magazine” of November 2d, 1786.]


MESSRS. MEIGS AND DANA:–In a late address, I gave you an account of the recent discoveries in the Western country, and engaged to furnish some further extracts from the epic poem called THE ANARCHIAD, if the specimen then exhibited should meet with merited applause. I am happy to find, as a proof of the good taste of the times, that it has been read with the greatest avidity. Though I have not been able to decipher all the lines of the Vision which evidently alluded to the beautiful scenes of paper money and confusion, now so gloriously displayed in Rhode Island; yet I thought I ought not to delay to gratify the Connecticut readers with a fragment of the speech which the old Anarch makes to Beelzebub, for the purpose of persuading him to come over and help his faithful friends in our Macedonia, since his affairs were in so thriving a posture in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, that his zealous and indefatigable substitutes and apostles might carry them to perfection without any further assistance from him. After describing, in a very pathetic manner, the necessity of his presence and personal influence, he encourages him to hope for every reasonable countenance from his faithful adherents and allies in this State. He gives as long and significant a list of their names and characters as Homer does of the troops that went to the siege of Troy. I can only have room to select a few of the most remarkable, which are sufficiently designated in the following lines: 25.

SURVEY the State, behold the flame that draws 
Chiefs, mobs, conventions, to support thy cause. 
See where the frogs’ loquacious realms extend, 
Instructions on their deputies attend, 
O’er all the east new fangled magi rise,5.
Join croaking choirs and boast the name of wise. 

The north by myriads pours her mighty sons, 
Great nurse of mobs, of bankrupts, and of duns: 
There Froth, the sep’rate, glows with pop’lar rage, 
And G–n, type of dotards in old age. 

Where lard and brimstone gild the itch-vat shore, 
The soil that trays and wooden dishes bore, 
His full-globed paunch the brainless Bubo draws, 
And solid ignorance threats the feeble laws. 

Near Hartford stream, where groves perpetual bloom, 
And onion gardens breathe a glad perfume, 
Though sunk in dust, to his own stench a prey, 
Again our Laz’rus shall ascend to day; 

Thy potent voice shall burst the deathful chain, 
And raise him active in thy toils again. 
Where purslain harvests charm th’ extended sight, 
Clothe the fair fields and feed thy sons for fight; 
In act to speak, his eyes a smoky fire,5.
His face of shadow, and his shins of wire, 
See Copper graceful ride, and, o’er his cane, 
Look like a pale moon sick’ning in its wane. 

Why sleep’st thou, Blacklegs, child of knavery, why ? 
Seest thou, blest Wronghead, helpless how we lie ? 
And where is Wimble, earliest squib of fame ! 
Your tongues and pens must wake the factious flame ! 
And thou, poor Quack, behold thy efforts fail;5.
Could one address thy o’erstrain’d wits exhale ? 
Wake, scribble, print; arouse thee from thy den, 
And raise conventions with thy blust’ring pen! 

No more the Boatman’s call alarms the shore, 
Old Ben, exhausted, wields the quill no more; 
The Chairman‘s snuff expir’d as erst was sung, 
And gouts have quelled the Irish Blunderer‘s tongue. 

Yet, can a faction cease in craft to thrive, 
Where such high talents, such strong brains survive ? 
These, and a thousand yet unnam’d we find– 
Fame waits the thousand yet unnam’d behind.


The poetic seer has then the address, by a happy transition, to group his principal characters in solemn conclave, and to display their abilities in high debate. I am sorry I have not been able to cleanse that part of the manuscript, which contains their speeches, from filth and obscurity, so as to make it entirely legible. I do not yet despair of success; and the courteous reader is only requested to suspend the gratification of his curiosity to a future occasion. In the interim, I have found, by that part of the manuscript which is still legible, that the poet progresses, agreeably to the rules of his art, in unfolding the catastrophe, by predicting that a majority should be persuaded, by the power of intrigues and sophistry, to refuse a compliance with the requixitions of Congress–that a determination should be formed, and announced to the world, that we will not pay the interest on our foreign or domestic debts–that we should furnish nothing for the support of the federal government–that we should withdraw ourselves from the Union–that all government should be prostrated in the dust–that mobs, conventions, and anarchy, should prevail for a limited time, and then– . . . . But I draw the curtain; the picture is too melancholy to be viewed by a patriot eye without prompting the tear of sensibility, and forcing the sigh of sorrow, that THE GLORIOUS TEMPLE OF LIBERTY and happiness which had been erected in these ends of the earth, for an asylum to suffering humanity, should so soon be dissolved, and,.

” Like the baseless fabric of a vision,
Leave not a wreck behind.” 

I am & c.,

–.P. S.–The printers in the State of Connecticut are desired to republish the preceding account of AMERICAN ANTIQUITIES, for the benefit of their kind customers, who are also informed that the men who are to be considered as the authors of any future Revolution, are most clearly pointed out in another part of the before-mentioned Vision.

[From “The New Haven Gazette and Connecticut Magazine” of December 28th, 1786.]



MESSRS. MEIGS AND DANA :– The readers of newspapers through the several States in which the two first numbers of AMERICAN ANTIQUITIES have been published, will doubtless remember that the subject of Paper Money was more than once mentioned. That subject forms so beautiful an episode in THE ANARCHIAD, that it would be unpardonable not to make extracts from it. All the episodes ought to have some reference to the promotion of the principal action, as the underplots in a regular drama should conspire to the the development of the main plot. Such is the superlative advantages of this very poetical digression. For it will scarcely be denied, in any part of the United States, that paper money, in an unfunded and depreciating condition, is happily calculated to introduce the long expected scenes of misrule, dishonesty, and perdition. On this point the citizens of the Union must be considered as competent judges, because they are inhabitants of the only country under heaven, where paper (of that predicament) is, by compulsory laws, made of equal value with gold and silver.29.

The society of critics and antiquarians, who have spared neither expense nor trouble, in recovering those valuable remains of antiquity from oblivion, cannot help flattering themselves that their disinterested labors will continue to be rewarded with the plaudits of a grateful public. They are conscious that the manuscripts from which they have already given specimens, as well as many others in their possession, contain performances in poetry and prose of a very different complexion from those which commonly appear in American newspapers. While they publicly disclaim all title to any merit in these productions, except that of assiduity in deciphering and preparing them for publication, they would advise the several printers on the continent to peruse them attentively, and to publish at least such pieces as may be applicable to their particular States. The society who are, will henceforward prosecute their research with redoubled diligence, only thinking it necessary to engage, on their part, that nothing shall appear sanctioned by them, unfavorable to freedom, literature, or morality.30.

It is to be remarked that the following speech is addressed, by the old Anarch, to a council of war, consisting of his compeers, his general officers, and counselors of state:31.

HAIL! fav’rite State, whose nursing fathers prove 
Their fairest claim to my paternal love! 
Call’d from the deck with pop’lar votes elate, 
The mighty Jacktar guides the helm of state; 
Nurs’d on the waves, in blust’ring tempests bred,5.
His heart of marble, and his brain of lead, 
My foes subdued while knavery wins the day, 
He rules the senate with inglorious sway; 
Proud, for one year, my orders to perform, 
Sails in the whirlwind, and enjoys the storm.10.

Yet not alone the per’lous watch he keeps, 
His mate, great O–n, bustles while he sleeps; 
There G–n stands, his head with quibbles fill’d, 
His tongue in lies, his hand in forg’ry skill’d; 
To him, my darling knave, my lore I teach,5.
Which he to C –s lends in many a pompous speech. 

Oh, roguery! their being’s end and aim, 
Fraud, tendry, paper bills, whate’er thy name; 
That medium still, which prompts th’ eternal sigh, 
By which great villains flourish, small ones die. 
Plant of infernal seed, without hell’s heat,5.
Say in what mortal soil thou deign’st to cheat? 
Fair from time Gen’ral Court’s unpardon’d sin, 
Ap’st thou the gold Peruvian mines within ? 
Wak’d to new life, by my creative power, 
The press thy mint, and dunghill rags thy ore.10.
Where grow’st thou not ? If vain the villain’s toil, 
We ought to blame the culture, not the soil; 
Fix’d to that isle, it nowhere passes free, 
But fled from Congress, C– s dwells with thee. 

Hail! realm of rogues, renown’d for fraud and guile, 
All hail ! ye knav’ries of yon little isle. 
There prowls the rascal, cloth’d with legal pow’r, 
To snare the orphan, and the poor devour; 
The crafty knave his creditor besets,5.
And advertising paper pays his debts; 
Bankrupts their creditors with rage pursue, 
No stop, no mercy from the debtor crew. 
Arm’d with new tests, the licens’d villain bold, 
Presents his bills, and robs them of their gold;10.
Their ears, though rogues and counterfeiters lose, 
No legal robber fears the gallows noose. 

Look through the State, the unhallow’d ground appears 
A pen of dragons, and a cave for bears; 
A nest of vipers, mix’d with adders foul; 
The screeching night-bird, and the greater owl: 
For now, unrighteousness, a deluge wide,5.
Pours round the land an overwhelming tide; 
And dark injustice, wrapp’d in paper sheets, 
Rolls a dread torrent through the wasted streets; 
While net of law th’ unwary fry draw in 
To damning deeds, and scarce they know they sin.10.
New paper struck, new tests, new tenders made, 
Insult mankind, and help the thriving trade. 
Each weekly print new lists of cheats proclaims, 
Proud to enroll their knav’ries and their names; 
The wiser race, the snares of law to shun,15.
Like lot from Sodom, from Rhode Island run. 

As it is vain to expect that a whole epic poem, containing twenty-four books, should be republished in a newspaper: as it is equally impracticable to insert all the names of the worthies who were principal actors in it: and as it is the wish of the society to avoid the imputation of partiality, they direct me, as far as it may be done, to eternize those subaltern heroes here on earth, by informing the public that honorable mention is made of Mr. G–I– , as well as of most of the horse jockies and bankrupts in the State; and particularly, that not a single name is omitted of all those persons who have given due notice in the public gazettes, of their having lodged, agreeably to law, with some justice of the peace, paper bills, for the payment of certain honest debts. These good people are specified individually, in proportion to the Sums deposited, as proper to be captains over tens, over fifties, over hundreds, and over thousands, whenever the army shall be raised for the support of anarchy, or whenever that new state, (whereof the rumor runs so rife on earth,) the State of Confusion, shall be properly organized, and admitted into the confederacy. The characters of the Judges of the Supreme Court, of the Governors, Green and Bowen, the Generals, Varnum and .Miller, President Manning, Dr. Hitchcock, the Colonels Sherburne and Olney, the officers of the late army, with a long catalogue of names, (comprising all the honest men in the State,) are represented as the antipodes of the preceding. These are the thousands who have never bowed the knee to Baal, and who have never sacrificed their honor or their honesty at the shrine of Paper Money.32.

[From “The New Haven Gazette and Connecticut Magazine” of January 11th, 1787.]



Bow low, ye heavens, and all ye lands, draw near, 
The voice prophetic of great Anarch hear ! 
From Eastern climes, by light and order driven, 
To me, by fate, this Western world was giv’n; 
My standard rear’d, the realm imperial rules,5.
The last asylum for my knaves and fools. 
Here shall my best and brightest empire rise, 
Wild riot reign, and discord greet the skies. 
Awake, my chosen sons, in folly brave, 
Stab Independence! dance o’er Freedom’s grave!10.
Sing choral songs, while conq’ring mobs advance, 
And blot the debts to Holland, Spain, and France– 
Till ruin come, with fire, and sword, and blood, 
And men shall ask where your republic stood. 

Thrice happy race! how blest are discord’s heirs! 
Blest while they know what anarchy is theirs; 
Blest while they feel to them alone ‘t is given 
To know no sovereign, neither law nor Heaven. 
From all mankind by traits peculiar known,5.
By frauds and lies distinguish’d for mine own, 
Wonder of worlds! like whom, to mortal eyes, 
None e’er have risen, and none e’er shall rise! 

Lo, the poor Briton, who, corrupted, sold, 
Sees God in courts, or hears him chink in gold: 
Whose soul, proud empire oft has taught to stray 
Far as the Western world, and gates of day; 
Though plagu’d with debts, with rage of conquest curst,5.
In rags and tender-acts he puts no trust; 
But in the public weal his own forgets, 
Finds heaven for him who pays the nation’s debts; 
A heaven like London, his fond fancy makes, 
Of nectar’d porter and ambrosial steaks.10.

Not so, Columbia, shall thy sons be known 
To prize the public weal above their own; 
In faith and justice least, as last in birth, 
Their race shall grow, a by-word through the earth. 
Long skill’d to act the hypocritic part,5.
Grace on the brow, and knav’ry at the heart, 
Perform their frauds with sanctimonious air, 
Despise good works, and balance sins by pray’r– 

Forswear the public debt, the public cause; 
Cheat heaven with forms, and earth with tender- laws, 
And leave the empire, at its latest groan, 
To work salvation out by faith alone. 

Behold the reign of anarchy, begun, 
And half the business of confusion done. 
From hell’s dark caverns discord sounds alarms, 
Blows her loud trump, and calls my Shays to arms, 
O’er half the land the desperate riot runs,5.
And maddening mobs assume their rusty guns. 
From councils feeble, bolder faction grows, 
The daring corsairs, and the savage foes; 
O’er Western wilds, the tawny bands allied, 
Insult the States of weakness and of pride;10.
Once friendly realms, unpaid each generous loan, 
Wait to divide and share them for their own. 

Now sinks the public mind; a death-like sleep 
O’er all the torpid limbs begins to creep; 
By dull degrees decays the vital heat, 
The blood forgets to flow, the pulse to beat; 
The powers of life, in mimic death withdrawn,5.
Closed the fixed eyes with one expiring yawn; 
Exposed in state, to wait the funeral hour, 
Lie the pale relics of departed power; 
While conscience, harrowing up their souls, with dread, 
Their ghost of empire stalks without a head.10.

No more stands forth to check the rising feud, 
Their great DEFENDER of the public good; 
Retired, in vain his sighs their fate deplore, 
He hears, unmoved, the distant tempest roar; 
No more to save a realm, dread GREENE 5.
Their second hope, prime object of my fears; 
Far in the south, from his pale body riven, 
The deathful angel wings his soul to heaven. 

Here shall I reign, unbounded and alone, 
Nor men, nor demons, shake my baseless throne; 
Till comes the day–but late, oh, may it spring– 
When their tumultuous mobs shall ask a king; 
A king, in wrath, shall heaven, vindictive send,5.
And my confusion and my empire end. 

With arms, where bickering fires innumerous shine, 
Like the torn surface of the midnight brine; 
In sun-bright robes, that dazzles as he trod, 
The stature, motion, armor of a god, 
Great HESPER rose; the guardian of the clime–5.
O’er shadowy cliffs he stretch’d his arm sublime, 
And check’d the Anarch old: “Malicious fiend, 
Eternal curses on thy head descend! 
Heaven’s darling purpose can thy madness mar, 
To glut thy eyes with ruin, death, and war !10.
I know thee, Anarch, in thy cheerless plight, 
Thou eldest son of Erebus and Night! 
Yes, bend on me thy brows of hideous scowl; 
Roll thy wild eyeballs like the day-struck owl; 
In Zion blow the trump, resound it far;15.
Fire the red beacons of intestine war; 
The jealous breasts inflame; set hell at work, 
And crown the labors of E –s B – e; 
Yet, know for this, thyself to penance called, 
Thy troops in terrors, their proud hearts appall’d,20.
E’en Shays, that moment when eternal night 
Rolls dark’ning shadows o’er his closing sight, 
Shall feel, ‘t were better on a plank to lie, 
Where surging billows kiss the angry sky; 
‘T were better, through a furnace, fiery red,25.
With naked feet, on burning coals, to tread– 
Than point his sword, with parricidious hand, 
Against the bosom of his native land. 

“Where is the spirit of bold freedom fled ? 
Dead are my warriors; all my sages dead? 
Is there, Columbia, bending o’er her grave, 
No eye to pity, and no arm to save ? 

“Sister of Freedom! heaven’s imperial child! 
Serenely stern, beneficently mild, 
Blest Independence! rouse my sons to fame, 
Inspire their bosoms with thy sacred flame! 
Teach, ere too late, their blood-bought rights to prize,5.
Bid other GREENES and WASHINGTONS arise! 
Teach those who suffer’d for their country’s good, 
Who strove for freedom, and who toil’d in blood, 
Once more, in arms, to make the glorious stand, 
And bravely die, or save their natal land.10.

“Yes, they shall rise, terrific in their rage, 
And crush the factions of the faithless age; 
Bid laws again exalt th’ imperial scale, 
And public justice o’er her foes prevail; 
Restore the reign of order and of right,5.
And drive thee, howling, to the shades of night.” 

They ended parley, and both for fight address’d, 
On Anarch’s helm a comet blaz’d his crest; 
Infernal arms the shadowy demon steel’d, 
And half the Andes form’d his ample shield; 
Through parting clouds, high gleam’d his dreadful spear,5.
And shuddering earth proclaim’d the onset near; 
Unmov’d, great HESPER drew th’ immortal sword, 
And rush’d in vengeance, – 

–The society of critics and antiquarians cannot sufficiently express their regrets, upon finding the sequel of this description so much defaced that they are not able to decide the issue of this astonishing conflict. The fragments still legible are truly sublime. And we have reason to conjecture that the combat ended with some disadvantage to the old Anarch.33.

From “The New Haven Gazette and Connecticut Magazine” of January 25th, 1787.]



SONGS on love, conviviality, martial achievements, and imperial glory, are common to all nations. The composition of such songs as tend to excite the feelings of patriotism, has been deemed an object of no small importance. It has even been supposed that this species of poetry, accompanied with music calculated for and understood by the multitude, may have as much influence on their manners, as the civil institutions of legislation. Indeed, a political writer, of eminence, has gone so far as to assert that it did not matter so much who had the power of making laws, as who had that of making songs for the people. The British seem to have sung themselves into a belief that their naval prowess is invincible. And this belief has contributed not a little to establish their empire on the main. If Americans could be taught to revere themselves; if they could be made to realize their consequence, in the scale of existence, so far from being desperate in their situation, the inhabitants of such a country, under such circumstances for happiness, might be considered as the peculiar favorites of heaven, and actors on the most conspicuous theater that ever was allotted to mankind. Such is the fact. And so the GENIUS OF AMERICA is represented to have sung, in mystical numbers, at the moment when the New World was discovered. The society of critics and antiquarians are pleased to find that this Ode is preserved, entire. They make no doubt that the wildness and grandeur of scenery, the sublimity of description, the beauty of imagery, the boldness of transition, the melody of versification, and the predictive solemnity of diction, which give sufficient demonstration of its originality, will recommend it to the amateurs of poetry and music. Should the taste of their countrymen, in general, be uncorrupted, as they flatter themselves it is, they expect this song will be introduced into most of the polite circles in the United States. The literati have often lamented that America could boast of but few original songs, worthy its imperial dignity. It is expected, if the success of the following should be in proportion to its merits, other compositions of a similar nature may yet be discovered. In the meantime, until the public mind shall be known, no further gratification of the same kind will be offered. 34.


“The watery god, great Neptune, lay 
In dalliance soft, and amorous play, 
On Amphytrite’s breast,” & c.5.


WHERE spirits dwell, and shadowy forms, 
On Andes’ cliffs, ‘mid black’ning storms, 
With livid lightnings curl’d; 
The awful Genius of our clime,5.
In thunder rais’d his voice sublime, 
And hush’d the list’ning world. 


In lonely waves, and wastes of earth, 
A mighty empire claims its birth, 
And Heaven asserts the claim; 
The sails that hang in your dim sky,5.
Proclaim the promis’d era nigh, 
Which wakes a world to fame. 


Hail! ye first bounding ships that roam 
Blue tumbling billows topp’d with foam, 
That keel ne’er plowed before ! 
Here suns perform their useless round,5.
Here rove the naked tribes embrown’d, 
Who feed on living gore. 


To midnight orgies, off’rings dire, 
The human sacrifice in fire, 
A heavenly light succeeds: 
But, lo! what horrors intervene,5.
The toils severe, the carnage scene, 
And more than mortal deeds ! 


Ye FATHERS! spread your fame afar! 
‘T is yours to still the sounds of war, 
And bid the slaughter cease; 
The peopling hamlets wide extend,5.
The harvests spring, the spires ascend, 
‘Mid grateful songs of peace! 


Shall steed to steed, and man to man, 
With discord thundering in the van, 
Again destroy the bliss! 
Enough my mystic words reveal;5.
The rest the shades of night conceal, 
In fate’s profound abyss ! 

From “The New Haven Gazette and Connecticut Magazine” of February 22d, 1787.]



The soliloquy and invocation of WRONGHEAD, with the appearance and consolatory speech of the ANARCH.36.

NOW marshal’d hosts assembling from afar, 
Prelude the onset of approaching war 
In Wronghead’s jealous soul; while thus, in sighs, 
He breathes hoarse accents to the nether skies: 

“O thou dark world, where chance eternal reigns, 
And wide misrule, the Anarch, old, maintains; 
Orcus, and Hades! hear my fervent prayer, 
And aid, if Wrongheads still deserve your care: 
If you receiv’d me dark’ning from the womb,5.
And nurs’d the hope of mischiefs yet to come; 
If busied, daily, planning pop’lar schemes, 
And nightly rapt in democratic dreams, 
Fair discord as a goddess I revere, 
And in her vineyards toil from year to year;10.

Still active, as the princely power of air, 
To sow each jealousy, arid till with care; 
If I each long-face in the land assail, 
At Congress, Courts, and legal powers to rail; 
If I at trade, great men and lawyers’ fees,5.
Have so harangu’d as vulgar ears to please; 
If cant pretense of Liberty, the while, 
Has been the universal burden of my style; 
If this has gain’d me all the posts I hold, 
With numerous salaries heap’d my chest with gold,10.
And fed my hopes that fed’ral ties no more 
Shall bind the nations of the western shore; 
That local schemes shall lift their narrow scale, 
And our own statesmen through the land prevail; 
Then, hear again, ye powers that stretch the sway,15.
Through the wide vast, beneath the solar day, 
Hear, and dispel my anxious doubts and fears, 
To me more dread than certain loss of ears. 

“Since the Convention fell, no more to rise, 
And grey’d these locks, and dimm’d these tearful eyes, 
This more minute, less blust’ring plan, I tried, 
Till wish’d success began to feed my pride: 
But now, alas! stern justice rears her head,5.
And crowds my days with fears, my nights with dread; 

Those congregated sages, who, ere now, 
Had I my wish, were doom’d to guide the plow, 
Are planning, still, to build a fed’ral name, 
And blast lay laurels with eternal shame; 
The pride of courts still brightens in their eyes,5.
And scorning still to pay our debt with lies, 
Have rais’d these martial bands to aid their cause, 
To awe each mob, and execute the laws. 
Shall these succeed? and shall my labor’d schemes, 
Ye sov’reign powers! disperse in empty dreams?”10.
He spoke, and breath’d a care-corroding sigh, 
Then, through a dark, deep vale, bent down his eye; 
When, lo! a lurid fog began to move, 
And mount in solemn grandeur o’er the grove, 
Convolving mists enroll’d a demon’s form,15.
But headless, monstrous, shapeless as a storm; 
While Wronghead gaz’d, the fiend sublimer grew, 
Known for the Anarch, to his raptur’d view; 
Sudden, as rumbling thunder heard remote, 
These stunning sounds rose, grating, through his throat:20.

“Beloved sage, the powers of Chaos know 
Your every fear, and number every woe; 
Their ken sweeps broader than the bounds of day, 
And thrice ten lengths of hell, their nether sway; 

Where now your world has gain’d that little hight, 
Just o’er the precincts of chaotic night, 
We held, of old, the reign; nor yet despair 
To hold a wilder mental chaos there. 

“Those warlike bands, whose music grates thine ear, 
Are ills, at best, but not the worst we hear; 
(Though they our much-lov’d mobs may sorely awe, 
Give Union aid, and tone to fed’ral law,)– 
More dang’rous foes arise, in learning’s dress,5.
Arm’d with the pen, and ambush’d in the press. 
The laughing youth, as lessons, learn their page, 
And age, approving smiles, while dullards rage; 
Their shafts all poison’d in Pierian springs, 
Seem now impatient, on the bending strings,10.
To pierce their foes;–their arrows drink the fame 
Of each unfederal politician’s name. 
See our best heroes, stagg’ring from the plain, 
With eyes aghast, in curses vent their pain. 
But give your toils not o’er–the human soul15.
Sinks, by strong instinct, far beneath her goal; 
Fierce, bickering tribes, acknowledg’d once my sway, 
From rising morning to the setting day; 
Low bow’d the north, and all the spacious south 
Receiv’d the precepts warm from Anarch’s mouth;20.

And when, o’er eastern climes, proud science shone, 
And millions bow’d before her splendid throne, 
My storm of Goths quench’d her meridian light, 
And whelm’d her sons in anarchy and night: 
There had she mourn’d her everlasting doom,5.
But the curs’d press dispell’d the midnight gloom. 
Hence, learn, my seer, we shadowy powers who dwell 
Far in the wilds of space, ‘twixt this and hell, 
Thron’d on unnumber’d whirlwinds, through the void, 
Nor yet by distance, time, or place, annoy’d,10.
Save where our envious foe, with swift surprise, 
Snatch’d that small spot where now creation lies: 
Learn, though strict order guides His world on high, 
Where suns emblaze, and systems vault the sky; 
Yet there, we oft, in wayward whirls, control15.
The mystic, mad’ning mazes of the soul: 
But chief, where science sheds her taintless beams, 
And men are haunted worst with waking dreams; 
Where prejudice is headstrong, reason blind, 
The soul unpolish’d, all its views confin’d;20.
Where self is all-in-all; and stubborn will 
Shuts out each good, through jealousy of ill. 
Though in thy soul these choicest gifts preside, 
With an unbounded share of humble pride;  

Though all the lesser virtues we can give, 
Instinctive, in thy mind, immortal live; 
Though all thy friends, late nicknam’d by our foes, 
Each one his duty, task, and drudgery knows, 
As plann’d by thee; yet know, my faithful seer,5.
These plans alone can scarce survive the year: 
The lamp of science must be quench’d in night, 
Till none, or next to none, can read or write; 
The press, anon, in brazen chains must groan, 
First watch’d and guarded by our saints alone;10.
The numerous schools that live along the shore, 
Must fall, successive, and must rise no more; 
The wits be hang’d; the Congress forc’d to flee 
To western wilds, or headlong to the sea. 

“Then shall ten thousand whirlwinds lead the way, 
And he, true Anarch, here exalt his sway; 
Before his face a flood of darkness roll, 
Blot the dim day, and whelm the sinking pole; 
Confusion, chaos, chance, his course attend,5.
Hoarse rumor rave, and hell’s own mobs ascend; 
His sons, on fierce tornadoes, hail from far 
The black effulgence of his wasting car, 
And throng his courts; old Night’s dark eye shall glow, 
Like seas of boiling tar, or hills of lampblack snow.”10.

From “The New Haven Gazette and Connecticut Magazine” of March 15th, 1787.]



IN this Book the Anarch, on the first success of his mobs in demolishing the courts of justice, institutes heroic games, after the ancient epic manner. Among other extraordinary contests, a prize is proposed to those of his heroes who would see farthest into total darkness, and shut their eyes longest to the clear light of day. Wronghead is the sole conqueror in this game, and is, thereupon, rewarded by the Anarch with a pair of spectacles, which showed every object inverted and wrapped in a mist of darkness. On this occasion, Tweedle, a poet, reared under the patronage of Copper, and now principal bard of his chaotic majesty, filled with the poetic flatus, bursts forth with an eulogium on the victor:37.

OH, thou! whatever title please thine ear, 
Judge, General, Delegate, or Registrar, 
Whether thou choose the high Comptroller’s air, 
Or frown more grimly in thy Council chair; 

Catch some new salary from each opening job, 
At Congress rail or vindicate the mob; 
Thou millpede of office, hear my lays, 
And aid the bard that sings thy welcome praise ! 

Oh for a muse of fire! sublime to draw 
The Judge unfetter’d by the rules of law; 
The self-taught General, valiant to control 
The dangerous passions of the daring soul; 
In Compo’s scene, whose Christian spirit shone,5.
Spar’d the foes’ lives, and gladly screen’d his own, 
Or sing in strains unus’d to mortal ear, 
Th’ unletter’d Statesman and Anarchian seer. 
Thine the dread task, on thy immortal plan, 
From federal ties to guard the rights of man;10.
At power’s deep root to lay the patriot ax, 
Oppose the impost and prevent the tax; 
Bid depreciation pay the public debt, 
And teach the noblest art, the art to cheat; 
Thro’ all the States thy dark’ning mists to spread,15.
And shroud their scenes in chaotic shade; 
O’er their true interest close the curtain draw, 
Hide them from light and cover them from law; 
With jealous arts misguide the wayward throng, 
Supremely blind, and obstinately wrong!20.
With insect ken to local views confin’d, 
Display thy pigmy penury of mind; 

To other shores bid wealthy commerce pass, 
The State surrounding with thy wall of brass;” 
Bid insurrection claim thy noblest praise, 
O’er WASHINGTON exalt thy darling Shay  
With thy contagion, embryo mobs inspire,5.
And blow to tenfold rage the kindling fire; 
Till the wide realm of discord bow the knee, 
And hold true faith in Anarch and in thee. 

Still may’st thou thus support th’ unfederal cause, 
The scourge of Congress, and the dread of laws; 
May never age, pain, sickness, or despair 
Attack thy life with unsuccessful war; 
Or late, when all thy race of fame is run,5.
All parts accomplish’d, and all duties done– 
Proud rulers crush’d by thy supreme decree– 
Our Governor, Council, Judges, men like thee; 
Our debts all cancel’d in one fav’ring hour, 
And Congress bared of every plume of power;10.
Their requisitions, by thy bold attack, 
Sunk in the whirlpool of the gen’ral wreck; 
From dreadful arts of Cincinnati

Foiled by the breath of Wimble and of thee; 
All souls reduc’d, that e’er presum’d to shine, 
To one just level, and the rank of thine; 
This world forsaking, fairly may’st thou rise 
Above the earth, and pointing to the skies;5.
While the great finisher of mortal strife, 
Shall close thy glories with the line of life; 
Where seraphs, then, in brighter regions burn, 
Go thou, a glowing seraph, in thy turn; 
With souls congenial, in those realms that dwell,10.
Receive the meed you long deserv’d so well; 
Then draw thy comrades, in the closing string, 
And glad those regions with the sons you bring; 
And in thy patriot bosom yield a room 
For all the race of Wrongheads yet to come.15.

From “The New Haven Gazette and Connecticut Magazine” of March 22d, 1787.]


A Brief Account of the Death of that celebrated Personage,WILLIAM WIMBLE, and of his Last Words and Dying Speech. Extracted from The Huron Gazette and the Superiopolis Advertiser, Number 11,560.38.

ON Friday last, agreeably to his sentence, WILLIAM WIMBLE was conveyed, by the Sheriff, to the place of execution. He appeared very penitent. He expressed to the clergyman who attended him a proper resignation to his fate, and conviction of the justice of his sentence. A vast concourse of people, as is usual, attended on the melancholy occasion, in expectation of being entertained by the eloquence of so great an orator. Nor were they disappointed. In the course of his oration, after giving a beautiful narrative of his life and conversation, and offering much good advice to the spectators, he broke out into the following pathetic exclamation: “Oh ! I have ventured like little wanton boys who swim on bladders, these many summers, on a sea of glory, but far beyond my depth. At length my high-blown pride broke under me, and left me–” [Here the tears flowed in torrents, and stifled sighs had well-nigh choaked articulation; when, looking round on the crowd, he espied the Sachem of Muskingum,and Joseph Copper. This sight rekindled the lightning of his dreadful eye, and bade the big bolts of eloquence to roll:] “Accursed day! hateful sight! What do my eyes behold! There walk, unchained, unmanacled, unhanged, the men who have betrayed me to this shameful fate–the men who will, ere long, effect their country’s ruin. Yes, Copper, with bitterness of soul I have seen the error of my ways. I could not die in peace without divulging our common crimes. Oh, thou tempter of unwary innocence! What cause have I, poor simple soul, to curse thee with my latest breath! My papers are in the judges’ hands–my time is short. Remember ! thou knowest thy aggravated guilt.” 39.

This declaration corresponding with official information, a party of the sheriff’s men arrested the Sachem and Copper,who are confined in irons, for trial.40.

At half past eleven o’clock, A. M., WIMBLEM pulled the handkerchief over his eyes, and was launched from the tail of a cart, on his voyage towards that country from whose bourne no traveler returns. His friend, Tweedle, the poet laureate, has composed an Elegy in his praise. A .correspondent has favored us with a genuine copy of it, which we offer, with unfeigned pleasure, for the gratification of our kind readers:41.


Occasioned by the awful and untimely Death of the Honorable WILLIAM WIMBLE, who, by the coroner’s inquest, was found to have come to his end by suffocation.42.

“Hic cinis, ubique fama.”43.


IN yonder dark and narrow lodging, 
There rests a patriot’s body, 
Which, after many a slip and dodging, 
Death took in safe custody.5.


What though to earth his corse consign’d 
Must moulder and be rotten; 
His name, while it is kept in mind, 
Will never be forgotten.5.


O’er him the muse a tomb shall raise, 
(Or she’s an idle strumpet,) 
And fame (if she wo ‘nt sound his praise) 
May throw away her trumpet.5.


Mine be the task to celebrate 
This hero sly and nimble; 
Whose praise shall last, in spite of fate– 
Who knows not WILLIAM WIMBLE?5.


To fellow creatures he was kind, 
To brethren, staunch and hearty; 
He help’d the weak, and led the blind, 
Whene’er he led his party.5.


Nor is it true, what some have said, 
His kindness did not stop here– 
The mean in spirit, oft he fed, 
To wit, himself and Copper.5.


Though he was lib’ral, wise, and gallant, 
As warmest friends could wish one; 
‘Twas own’d by all, his chiefest talent 
Lay most in composition.5.


No one could equal him for style, 
For art and elocution; 
For dismal periods of a mile, 
The genius of confusion.5.


His race of ancestors was long– 
Indeed, it was pretended 
His race was young–but that was wrong; 
From Gimblet he descended.5.


The heralds prov’d his ancient blood, 
By race of sire and madam, 
Had crept through scoundrels from the flood, 
And reach’d almost to Adam.5.


Two pillars rampant were his arms 
A beam, with slender cable, 
(I think I’ve got the herald’s terms,) 
A cart and coffin sable.5.


Should man from ills be free, t’ were strange, 
‘Twould be on earth a rarity; 
So our good hero had the mange, 
The itch of popularity.5.


He was so courteous and so bland, 
Throughout the whole dominion; 
He shook each lubber by the hand, 
And stole his good opinion.5.


He shone in many an office fair, 
By honorable seeking; 
The Army, Church, and State, his care,– 
A Delegate and Deacon.5.


Adman, of Congress, asked, thus: 
“How comes it, Poet Timbrel! 
“Your State doth send a fool to us, 
“Whose name is WILLIAM WIMBLE?”5.


The poet did this speech relate– 
“From honest views, we sent him; 
“The fools are many in our State– 
“He goes to represent ’em.”5.


And yet, though wicked wits kept sneering, 
‘Tis plain as nose in face is; 
‘Twas only by electioneering, 
He got and held his places.5.


So once, upon the Ides of May, 
When great men quit their spouses, 
To Hartford come, in best array, 
And sit in both the Houses:5.


To take a seat, then, WIMBLE came, 
As every man supposes; 
But soon ‘t was found he’d lost the same, 
When they had counted noses.5.


How strangely does dame fortune frown, 
How strangely do times alter! 
What long ago would buy a crown, 
Will purchase now a halter.5.


Then straightway evils came apace: 
By sheriff being cited, 
And judges taking each his place, 
He stood of crimes indicted:5.


Then he, among the goose-cap tribes, 
With one Joe Copper, leaguing 
Bought votes, and sold the geese for bribes, 
With other vile intriguing.5.


Then, forc’d against his will, to stand 
Before twelve sturdy fellows; 
And only holding up his hand, 
They all turn’d fortune tellers.5.


Who said, (ah, wonderful to tell!) 
By what they could discover, 
Though now the man was sound and well, 
His days would soon be over.5.


And so it did this wight betide, 
Just like to Tyburn’s fashion, 
Sublime, on two-wheel’d car, to ride, 
And make a fine oration.5.


But sad and mournful was his part; 
He scarce had made an end on ‘t, 
When off they drove the two-wheel’d cart, 
And left the speaker pendent.5.


Still, as great men to death draw higher, 
They rise, and prove they’re true wits; 
So his last day he mounted higher, 
Like Haman, fifty cubits.5.


Ye statesmen all, so blithe and gay, 
In life’s delusive morning, 
Here learn each dog must have his day, 
And from this fate take warning:5.


No further seek his faults to learn, 
No further search his glory– 
Our fame, how short! and, mortal man, 
Good lack! how transitory!5.


Yet shall the foolish folks, for aye, 
Whose brains would fill a thimble, 
Striking their pensive bosoms, say, 
“Here lies poor WILLIAM WIMBLE.”5.

N. B.–A few copies of the last words of WILLIAM WIMBLE, accurately compiled, and now first printed in a handbill at large, may be had at the Huron Printing Office. Price, one Copper.

[From “The New Haven Gazette and Connecticut Magazine” of April 5th, 1787.]



THE situation and soliloquy of Anarch, after having been vanquished, in single combat, by Hesper.–His mother, Night, appears to him.–Her speech, in which she comforts her son by enumerating the unexpected and powerful friends who have espoused his cause, terminates with an obscure prophecy.45.

IN fight sore foil’d by Hesper’s vengeful sword, 
His shield to havoc hewn, his armor gor’d, 
His bulk immense by wounds unseemly marr’d, 
His helmless front by furrowing thunders scarr’d, 
Clotted with dark red gore, his horrent hair,5.
Like meteors streaming on the troubled air, 
As heaves to heaven the huge volcano’s smoke, 
From his long trance immortal Anarch broke; 
Nor less appear’d, escap’d from deadly fight, 
Than the dread son of Erebus and Night;10.
Around in wrath his baleful eyes he throws, 
And vents loud curses o’er his hopeless woes. 

Oh, rage! oh, torture! limbs and armor riven, 
On earth an exile, and the scorn of heaven! 
Robb’d of a world, by lying fates bestow’d, 
Hesper victorious! I a vanquish’d god ! 
Gape wide, profoundest hell! in Stygian flame5.
Hide your lost Anarch from undying shame ! 

He spoke! Astonish’d from the central bound 
Heav’d the dark gulf and ope’d the rocking ground; 
From all the extremes of chaos, wild and waste, 
With hollow murmur swell’d the roaring blast; 
Ting’d with sulphureous flames, obscurely curl’d,5.
Black clouds, expanding, swept the nether world; 
Thron’d on the ascending pyramid of storm, 
Rose, wrapp’d in vapors, Night’s majestic form; 
O’er her lov’d son she hung with pitying air, 
And sooth’d his sadness with maternal care.10.

Oh, blind to fate, to happier visions blind, 
While past disasters rankle in thy mind! 
While future woe thy boding bosom rends, 
Lo, Oreus wakes a new-form’d host of friends; 
To nobler champions change thy fiercest foes,5.
And splendid triumph on thy ruin grows. 

Where yonder isle the meeting tides embrace, 
And commerce smiles on Belgia’s thrifty race– 
Once bowry isle, whose woodless summits far 
Now lift the relics of barbarian war; 
Whose laurel vales with bleaching bones abound,5.
Where slaughter drench’d the saturated ground; 
When a few heroes, wedg’d in firm array, 
Held Hessian hosts and British bands at bay; 
Till wider carnage round the empire spread, 
For nine long years, while sad Columbia bled,10.
To save one central region, and restore 
Each glorious exile to his natal shore. 
But now, while victory greets their glad return, 
The Power that sav’d, th’ ungrateful miscreants spurn; 
I see, through Hellgate, where the whirlpool pours,15.
How the day darkens, how confusion lowers; 
Where Congress dwells, I see portentous signs– 
Of total nature, there th’ eclipse begins. 
Hail ! sacred spot, imperial city, hail! 
Here shall our reign commence, our throne prevail;20.
Whence hate and discord, erst by ******** hurl’d, 
Clung to the British prow, and fought the elder world. 

Oh ! lost to virtue’s heaven-descended flame, 
Lost to those realms that boast his early fame, 
I see his friends, (but now his friends no more,) 
And Vernon’s sage his fated lapse deplore; 
Columbia’s self the tear of anguish shed,5.
And mourns the glories of her ******* fled! 
‘Tis he, my son, shall stretch thy dark domain, 
By me inspir’d with dreams of boundless gain; 
‘T is he, illustrious changeling, shall control 
Each generous thought that swell’d his active soul;10.
Court the low crowd, his free-born spirit brav’d, 
And blot the realms his former valor saved. 

Lo! at his side, and guardian of his way, 
Our fav’rite ****** directs his steps astray; 
In that vile shape, predictive fate assign’d 
A frame well suited to so base a mind; 
To him no form, no grace, nor genius given,5.
But mark’d for mischief by the hand of heaven; 
Him plodding patience taught to con the laws, 
And knavery sold to serve the British cause, 
To wealth and power in courts marine to rise, 
And glut his avarice on each rebel prize;10.
Then foil’d, he chang’d, at our superior call, 
To lure his cringing pupil to his fall; 
With steady aim, his former toils to crown, 
Subvert the Congress, and exalt thy throne. 

Fair to thine eyes, and number’d with thy friends, 
The train of selfish jealousy ascends; 
Blind Belisarius leads the mighty round, 
And gropes in darkness o’er the mystic ground; 
Rous’d at his call, advance an airy group,5.
Thin, shadowy shapes, and ghastly phantoms troop; 
In fancy dress, the hands fantastic join’d, 
Revel to madness on his moody mind; 
He sees cadets in pigmy armies rise, 
And Boston fifers swarm like Hessian flies,10.
Creative frenzy painting on his brain, 
By Congress rais’d, and paid the innumerous train, 
Himself neglected, needy, blind, and old, 
The R– B–balanced by the – – 
In wild profusion spent each liberal grant,15.
While war alone can rescue him from want. 

The blunt Rough-hewer, from his savage den, 
With learned dullness loads his lab’ring pen; 
In muddy streams his rumbling wits combine 
Big words convolving on the turbid line. 
Yet spare thy scorn; for, lo! by friendly hands,5.
In Congress rear’d, the reptile Scarecrow stands; 
Strange to himself, for now, no more the prig, 
Swells in the powder’d majesty of wig, 
But gay, like snake from wintry garb releas’d, 
Shines the stiff coxcomb in his courtly vest;10.

From side to side there struts, and smiles, and prates, 
And seems to wonder what’ s become of – 

To check their force, our desperate foes in vain 
Attempt thy ruin and oppose thy reign; 
Ardent and bold, the sinking land to save, 
In council sapient as in action brave, 
I fear’d young HAMILTON’S unshaken soul,5.
And saw his arm our wayward host control; 
Yet, while the Senate with his accents rung, 
Fire in his eye, and thunder on his tongue, 
My band of mutes in dumb confusion throng, 
Convinc’d of right, yet obstinate in wrong,10.
With stupid reverence lift the guided hand, 
And yield an empire to thy wild command. 

Rise, then, my son! the frowns of fate to dare; 
Blest with such aid, shall Anarch’s soul despair? 
Hark ! how my heroes to the field invite, 
Go, more victorious in thy mother’s might; 
Still one last conflict waits; one gleam of day5.
Shall pierce thine empire with expiring ray, 
Ere light and order from their seats be hurl’d, 
And shade and silence veil thy vanquish’d world. 

[From “The New Haven Gazette and Connecticut Magazine” of May 24th, 1787.]




AT the opening of this Book, and previous to the great and final conflict, which, by what is legible at the close of the poem, appears to establish the Anarch in his dominion of the new world, Hesper, with a solicitude and energy becoming his high station and the importance of the subject, makes his last solemn address to his principal counselors and sages, whom he had convened at Philadelphia.46.

YE fires of nations, call’d in high debate 
From kindred realms, to save the sinking State, 
A boundless sway on one broad base to rear– 
My voice paternal claims your listening ear; 
O’er the wide clime my fostering cares extend,5.
Your guardian genius, and your deathless friend. 

When splendid victory, on her trophy’d car 
Swept from these shores the last remains of war– 
Bade each glad State that boasts Columbia’s name, 
Exult in freedom and ascend to fame; 
To bliss unbounded stretch their ardent eyes,5.
And wealth and empire from their labor rise– 
My raptur’d sons beheld the discord cease, 
And sooth’d their sorrows in the songs of peace. 

Shall these bright scenes, with happiest omens born, 
Fade like the fleeting visions of the morn? 
Shall this fair fabric from its base be hurl’d, 
And whelm in dust the glories of the world? 
Will ye, who saw the heavens tempestuous lower–5.
Who felt the arm of irritated power– 
Whose souls, descending with the wasting flood, 
Prepar’d the firm foundations, built in blood; 
By discord seiz’d, will ye desert the plan– 
Th’ unfinish’d Babel of the bliss of man ?10.

Go search the field of death, where heroes lost, 
In graves obscure, can tell what freedom cost, 
Tho’ conquest smil’d; there slain amid the crowd, 
And plunged, promiscuous, with no winding shroud, 
No friendly hand their gory wounds to lave,5.
The thousands moulder in a common grave. 
Not so thy son, oh LAURENS! gasping lies, 
Too daring youth, war’s latest sacrifice; 

His snow-white bosom heaves with writhing pain, 
The purple drops his snow-white bosom stain; 
His cheek of rose is wan; a deadly hue 
Sits on his face, that chills with lucid dew. 
There WARREN5.
A comely corse, that smiles in ghastly death: 
‘Mid heaps of slain, see great MONTGOMERY 

Behold those veterans, worn with want and care, 
Their sinews stiffen’d, silver’d o’er their hair; 
Weak in their steps of age, they move forlorn, 
Their toils forgotten by the sons of scorn; 
This hateful truth still aggravates their pain,5.
In vain they conquer’d! and they bled in vain! 
Go, then, ye remnants of inglorious wars, 
Disown your marks of merit, hide your scars, 
Of lust, of power, of titled pride accurs’d; 
Steal to your graves, dishonored, and abus’d.10.

For, see! proud Faction waves her flaming brand, 
And discord riots o’er the ungrateful land; 
Lo! to the north, a wild, adventurous crew, 
In desperate mobs, the savage state renew; 
Each felon chief his maddening thousands draws,5.
And claims bold license from the bond of laws; 
In other States the chosen fires of shame 
Stamp their vile knaveries with a legal name ; 
In honor’s seat, the sons of meanness swarm, 
And Senates base the work which mobs perform;10.
To wealth, to power, the foes of union rise, 
While foes deride you, and while friends despise. 

Stand forth, ye traitors! at your country’s bar, 
Inglorious authors of intestine war; 
What countless mischiefs from their labors rise! 
Pens dipp’d in gall, and lips inspir’d with lies! 
Ye fires of ruin, prime detested cause5.
Of bankrupt faith, annihilated laws– 
Of selfish systems, jealous, local schemes, 
And union’d empire lost in empty dreams; 
Your names, expanding with your growing crime, 
Shall float, disgustful, down the stream of time;10.
Each future age applaud th’ avenging song, 
And outraged nature vindicate the wrong. 

Yes, there are men, who, touch’d with heavenly fire, 
Beyond the confines of these climes aspire– 
Beyond the praise of a transient age, 
To live, immortal, in the patriot page; 
Who greatly dare, though warring worlds oppose,5.
To pour just vengeance on their country’s foes. 

And, lo! th’ ethereal worlds assert your cause; 
Celestial aid, the voice of virtue draws; 
The curtains blue, of yon expansion, rend 
– From opening skies heroic shades descend. 
See, rob’d in light, the forms of heaven appear;5.
The warrior spirits of your friends are near– 
Each on his steed of fire, (his quiver stor’d 
With shafts of vengeance,) grasps his flaming sword: 
The burning blade waves high, and, dipt in blood, 
Hurls plagues and death on discord’s faithless brood.10.

Yet, what the hope? The dreams of Congress fade, 
The federal UNION sinks in endless shade; 
Each feeble call, that warns the realms around, 
Seems the faint echo of a dying sound; 
Each requisition wastes in fleeting air,5.
And not one State regards the powerless prayer. 

Ye wanton States, by heaven’s best blessings curst, 
Long on the lap of softening luxury nurst, 
What fickle frenzy raves! what visions strange 
Inspire your bosoms with the lust of change, 
And flames the wish to fly from fancy’s ill,5.
And yield your freedom to a monarch’s will? 

Go, view the lands to lawless power a prey, 
Where tyrants govern with unbounded sway; 
See the long pomp, in gorgeous state display’d– 
The tinsel’s guards, the squadron’s horse parade; 
See heralds gay, with emblems on their vest–5.
In tissue’d robes, tall, beauteous pages, drest; 
Where moves the pageant throng, unnumber’d slaves, 
Lords, Dukes, and Princes, titulary knaves, 
Confus’dly thine, the purple gemm’d with stars, 
Sceptres, and globes, and crowns, and ruby’d cars,10.
On gilded orbs the thundering chariots roll’d, 
Steeds snorting fire, and champing bits of gold, 
Prance to the trumpet’s voice–while each assumes 
A loftier gait, and lifts his neck of plumes. 
High on the moving throne, and near the van,15.
The tyrant rides, the chosen scourge of man: 
Clarions, and flutes, and drums, his way prepare, 
And shouting millions rend the conscious air– 
Millions, whose ceaseless toils the pomp sustain, 
Whose hour of stupid joy repays an age of pain.20.

From years of darkness springs the regal line– 
Hereditary kings, by right divine; 
‘T is theirs to riot on all nature’s spoils– 
For them, with pangs unblest, the peasant toils; 
For them, the earth prolific teems with grain;5.
Their’s the dread labors of the devious main; 
Annual, for them, the wasted land renews 
The gifts oppressive, and extorted dues; 
For them, when slaughter spreads the gory plains, 
The life-blood gushes from a thousand veins–10.
While the dull herd, of earth-born pomp afraid, 
Adore the power that coward meanness made. 

Let Poland tell what woe returning springs, 
Where right elective yields the crown to kings! 
War guides the choice–each candidate, abhorr’d, 
Founds his firm title on the wasting sword; 
Wades to the throne, amid the sanguine flood,5.
And dips his purple in a nation’s blood. 

Behold, where Venice rears her sea-girt towers, 
O’er the vile crowd proud oligarchy lowers; 
While each aristocrat affects a throne– 
Beneath a thousand kings, the poor plebeians groan. 

Nor less abhor’d, the certain woe that waits 
The giddy rage of democratic States, 
Whose pop’lar breath, high-blown in restless tide, 
No laws can temper, and no reason guide: 
An equal sway, their mind indignant spurns,5.
To wanton change, the bliss of freedom turns; 
Led by wild demagogues, the factious crowd, 
Mean, fierce, imperious, insolent and loud, 
Nor fame, nor wealth, nor power, nor system draws– 
They see no object, and perceive no cause;10.
But feel, by turns, in one disastrous hour, 
Th’ extremes of license, and th’ extremes of power. 

What madness prompts, or what ill-omen’d fears, 
Your realm to parcel into petty States? 
Shall lordly Hudson part contending powers, 
And broad Potomac lave two hostile shores? 
Must Alleghany’s sacred summits bear5.
The impious bulwarks of perpetual war? 
His hundred streams receive your heroes slain, 
And bear your sons inglorious to the main? 
Will States cement, by feebler bonds allied, 
Or join more closely, as they more divide?10.
Will this vain scheme bid restless factions cease, 
Check foreign wars, or fix internal peace? 
Call public credit from her grave to rise, 
Or gain in grandeur what they lose in size? 
In this weak realm, can countless kingdoms start,15.
Strong with new force, in each divided part– 
While empire’s head, dissected into four, 
Gains life by severance of diminish’d power? 
So, when the philosophic hand divides 
The full-grown polypus, in genial tides,20.
Each severed part, infused with latent life, 
Acquires new vigor from the friendly knife; 
O’er peopled sands the puny insects creep, 
Till the next wave absorbs them in the deep. 

What then, remains? Must pilgrim FREEDOM fly 
From these lov’d regions, to her native sky? 
When the fair fugitive the orient chased,  
She fixed her feet beyond the watery waste;  
Her docile sons (enough of power resign’d, 5.
And natural rights in social leagues combin’d) 
In virtue firm, though jealous in her cause,  
Gave Senates force, and energy to laws;  
From ancient habit, local powers obey,  
Yet feel no reverence for one general sway; 10.
For breach of faith, no keen compulsion feel,  
And find no interest in the federal weal.  
But know, ye favor’d race, one potent head  
Must rule your States, and strike your foes with dread,  
The finance regulate, the trade control,15.
Live through the empire, and accord the whole. 

Ere death invades, and night’s deep curtain falls, 
Through ruined realms the voice of UNION calls; 
Loud as the trump of heaven through darkness roars, 
When gyral gusts entomb Caribbean towers– 
When nature trembles, through the deeps convuls’d,5.
And ocean foams, from craggy cliffs repuls’d; 
On you she calls! attend the warning cry: 

From “The New Haven Gazette and Connecticut Magazine” of August 16th, 1787.]




THE critics are agreed that the intervention of gods, demons, and other supernatural agents, is absolutely necessary in epic poetry. The works of Homer, Virgil, and Milton, are indebted to this machinery for their brightest ornaments. But the Pagan system has been long explored; imitation has become trite and servile, and truth and reality, on such a subject, afford little assistance to poetic invention. Hence many eminent writers have recommended to the moderns to introduce some new kind of machinery, or to embellish their heroic poems by the agency of superior beings; borrowing from the mythology of India, or the wilder visions of the Goths.47.

The ideas of rude nations and enlightened ages concerning the future state and the inhabitants of another world, however erroneous in truth and theory, are replete with sublimity and horror. The hell of the Gothic bards is peopled with aerial beings, conceived by the boldest efforts of a terrified imagination; nor is there less sublimity in the extravagant inventions of the Shastah. Pictures of this kind, drawn by the THE ANARCHIAD. 65 pen of genius, most forcibly awaken our curiosity, and interest our attention. The reader who slumbers over historical narration, finds himself animated by the gods of Homer, the enchantments of Tasso, and the ghosts of Ossian. A poem so sublime, regular and complete, as THE ANARCHIAD, could not be deficient in this necessary ornament: nor can anything be more curious and entertaining than the ideas of the early inhabit, ants of this land, concerning the wonders of the invisible world: ideas equally just, but far more elevated than all the witchcraft and possessions of our immediate ancestors.48.

The society of critics and antiquarians have successfully deciphered the Seventeenth Book of THE ANARCHIAD, in which the poet makes a descent into the infernal regions. It is curious to observe how closely he has been followed (as, in- deed, might naturally be expected) by Homer, Virgil, and their successors in modern ages. The philosophical cause which has led all poets into those regions, we shall not at- tempt to investigate. The following extract is more excellent in its plan, and has suffered less from the hands of imitators. THE LAND OF ANNIHILATION, described in so picturesque a manner, is a valuable addition to the subterranean geography; but the theory of a race of beings, properly the denizens of that country, who, after having mixed, undistinguished, with mankind, and performed all human functions, then returned to their primitive nihility, might pass for a burlesque, if it wets not found in so serious a performance.49.

[[BEYOND the realms where stygian horrors dwell,] 
BEYOND the realms where stygian horrors dwell, 
And floods sulphureous whelm the vales of hell; 
Where Naiad furies, yelling as they lave, 
In fiery eddies roll the turbid wave:5.

Beyond the verge of chaos’ utmost clime, 
The dubious bounds of nature, space, and time; 
A realm extends its unessential gloom, 
The vast creation’s universal tomb! 
There no fair suns emblaze the courts on high,5.
Nor moon, nor starry fires, the evening sky; 
No matin clouds in ether hang their sails, 
Nor moving spirit wakes the vernal gales; 
But endless twilight, with a feeble ray, 
Browns the dim horrors of the dusky day;10.
And silence, sameness, and eternal shade, 
Th’ unbounded wild inanity pervade. 

In night, pavilion’d o’er the shadowy plains, 
The peerless power, ANNIHILATION, reigns! 
Eldest of fiends! whose uncreating breath 
Peoples the shores of darkness and of death; 
Down the deep gulf’s absorbing vortex whirl’d,5.
Sink the vain splendors of each upper world; 
Ambition’s toils, the statesman’s gloried name, 
The hero’s triumph, and the poet’s fame; 
Insatiate throngs, who, fired with the lust of gain, 
Rive the firm earth, and force the faithless main;10.
Here, lulled to rest, eternal stillness keep, 
And curtain’d close in dead oblivion, sleep. 

Beneath his scepter, in imperial state, 
His stern commands ten thousand demons wait; 
Prompt, like their prince, in elemental wars 
To tread out empires, and to quench the stars; 
Extinguish’d worlds in delug’d fires to lave–5.
Sweep ruin’d systems to a common grave; 
Exterminate existence, and restore 
The vanquish’d vacuum to the tyrant’s power. 

These the great hierarchs, whose prowess leads 
The vassal throng to desolating deeds; 
But far beneath them spreads a junior fry– 
The pigmy populace of the nether sky; 
With feeble powers, for petty toils design’d,5.
Their humble province is to plague mankind, 
Pervade the world, excite all mortal strife, 
Inspire the wrongs, and blast the joys, of life. 

Matured for birth, at times on earth they rise, 
Incarnate imps, and veiled in human guise; 
Like man appear in stature, shape, and face– 
Mix, undistinguished, with the common race; 
Fill every rank, in each profession blend,5.
Power all their aim, and ruin all their end. 

Of these, the least, in medicine’s garb arrayed, 
With deadly art pursues the healing trade– 
The lancet wield, prescribe the poisonous pill, 
Invent the nostrum, and, unlicensed, kill; 
O’erload the stygian bark with frequent freight,5.
And crowd with angry ghosts the ream of fate. 

In sable robes, and stiff with reverend air, 
Some vent their dogmas in the house of prayer; 
With pious cant, or persecution’s flame, 
To vilest ends abuse each sacred name; 
On rites and forms, with zeal eternal dwell,5.
Ope heaven for self, and doom the rest to hell: 
To banish blest religion, all agree, 
A work, O, Murray! fate reserves for thee ! 

Oft at the wrangling bar, in loud renown, 
The demon lurks beneath the lawyer’s gown; 
Confounds all right, and, arrogant in lies, 
Spreads a dark mist before the judge’s eyes; 
Less dangerous thief, who, limited by fate,5.
Leave soul and body free, and ruin but th’ estate. 

But chief the race allured by fleeting fame, 
Who seek on earth the politician’s name; 
Auspicious race! whom folly joys to bless, 
And wealth and honor crown with glad success; 
Formed, like balloons, by emptiness to rise5.
On pop’lar gales, to waft them through the skies, 
In wond’ring air the fog-born meteors stand, 
And shine the Wimbles of th’ applauding land. 
And, lo ! th’ expected scene advances near– 
The promised age, the fiends’ millennial year!10.
At that famed era, raised by angry fates, 

What countless imps shall throng the new-born States ! 
See, from the shades, on tiny pinions swell 
And rise, the young DEMOCRACY of hell! 
Before their face the powers of Congress fade, 
And public credit sinks, an empty shade;5.
Wild severance rages, wars intestine spread, 
Their boasted UNION hides her dying head; 
The forms of government in ruin hurled, 
Reluctant empire quits the western world. 

O, glorious throng! beyond all wisdom wise! 
Expert to act, eccentric to devise! 
In retrogressive march, what schemes advance! 
What vast resources, and what strange finance! 
Chimeras sage, with plans commercial fraught,5.
Sublime abortions of projecting thought! 
To paper coin, how copper mints succeed– 
How Indian wars in brains prolific breed! 
What strength, what firmness, guide the public helm! 
How troops disbanded guard the threaten’d realm!10.
How treaties thrive ! and, ‘mid the sons of Ham, 
The LYBIAN LION shrinks before the LAMB! 
New modes of taxing spring from Woglog’s hands, 
And peerless Wimble sells the western lands! 
Their task performed; again, by sovereign doom,15.
The fiend compels them to their native home. 

Where Lethe’s streams through glooms tartarean roll, 
And seeks th’ expansion of th’ oblivious pool– 
From all the clime th’ innumerable crowd 
Float, half-embosom’d in the genial flood; 
Down the dark deep, in friendly union, flows5.
Tweedle’s soft verse, and Copper’s sounding prose; 
Light Commutation, dancing on the wave 
With federal Impost, finds the eternal grave; 
Like bubble bright, the nation’s glory rides, 
And Acts of Congress load the downward tides;10.
By Collins steered, Rhode Island joins the train, 
With all things else as transient, vile, and vain. 

There mansions wait, prepared in pomp, to grace 
The coming heroes of the illustrious race; 
When Wrongheads’ steps shall seek their natal shore, 
And Night her Blacklegs to his fire restore. 
Thither, again, they tend; and there, at last,5.
Their projects, changes, and elections past, 
Wimble shall turn to froth, to Bubo Zack ; 
Ben change to Copper ; Woglog end in Quack : 
From shade to shade, from sought to sought, decoyed, 
All center whence they sprang–in one eternal void. 10.

From “The New Haven Gazette and Connecticut Magazine” of September 13th, 1787.]




THE flattering attention of the public has engaged the society of critics
and antiquarians to give some further extracts from the same Book which concludes with
the description of “The Land of Annihilation.” In his progress through the shades, the
Bard is attended by an ancient seer, the MERLIN of the West, who explains to him the
nature of the country, and the character of its inhabitants. The history of their
travels is very entertaining. The account of the various regions and circles into which
the Subterranean World is divided, has in many parts been copied by the famous ltalian
poet, Dante, in his “Inferno.” The American bard seems to have been the first who
entered the REGION OF PREEXISTENT SPIRITS, which has since been explored by the
celebrated voyager, Ænas, whose observations may be found in the
Sixth Book of Virgil; and notwithstanding our author made his visit at a much
earlier period,
his relation appears to be equally curious and authentic. That part of the Book which
we shall now transcribe, contains the description of many illustrious personages who
were to make their appearance on earth, both in Europe and America, in the eighteenth
century from the Christian era.
From the same amor patriæwhich has animated poets in all ages, the seer
and the bard have dwelt with peculiar pleasure on those great writers who were destined
to spend their lives and lucubrations, and to invent so many curious theories, both in
philosophy and history, for demonstrating the debility and diminution of nature in the
western hemisphere, and for belittling the great objects on which they were to treat,
to the level of European comprehension. He beholds, with admiration, the souls of those
learned sages to whom we are since indebted for the discovery that in this part of the
globe the animal and vegetable creation are far inferior to the productions of the
eastern continent; that man has wonderfully degenerated in courage, activity, and
other marks of virility; and that “America has never produced one good Poet, one able
Mathematician, or one man of Genius in one single Art, or one single Science,”
as the sagacious Abbe Raynal has wisely
observed. These he finds grouped in the same circle with those inventive historians
and essayists who have lately indulged that ungovernable propensity to the
marvelous, with which they seem to have been inspired from all eternity.
He describes his entrance into the circle, in the following sublime
and awful manner: 50.

DARKLING they plied o’er many a burning heath, 
Down the low shores of Erebus and Death– 
When, through th’ obscure they saw the glim’ring glades 
‘Twixt Orcus central, and th’ Elysian shades: 
As hov’ring dreams the slumb’ring eye assail,5.
Unnumber’d phantoms flit among the vale; 
And sounds as vague and hollow meet the ear, 
As startled fancy hears, or seems to hear, 
What time the mourner, through the midnight gloom, 
Sees shadowy spectres issuing from the tomb:10.
The unreal forms the bard, astonish’d, eyed, 
And ask’d the wonder from the friendly guide. 

Behold, the seer replies, on those dark coasts 
The vagrant hordes of preexistent ghosts– 
Elect for earth, and destined to be born 
When time’s slow course shall wake the natal morn: 
Approach and view, in this, their embryo home,5.
Wits, poets, chiefs, and sages yet to come. 

See yonder group, that scorn the vulgar crowd, 
Absorb’d in thought, of conscious learning proud, 
Who, rapt with foretaste of their glorious day, 
Now seiz’d the pen, impatient of delay: 
These shades shall late in Europe’s clime arise,5.
And scan new worlds with philosophic eyes: 
Immured at home, in rambling fancy brave, 
Explore all lands beyond th’ Atlantic wave; 
Of laws for unknown realms invent new codes, 
Write natural histories for their antipodes;10.
Tell how th’ enfeebled powers of life decay, 
Where filling suns defraud the western day; 
Paint the dank, steril globe, accurst by fate, 
Created, lost, or stolen from ocean late; 
See vegetation, man, and bird, and beast,15.
Just by the distance squares in size decreased; 
See mountain pines to dwarfish reeds descend, 
Aspiring oaks in pigmy shrub oaks end ;– 
The heaven-topp’d Andes sink a humble hill– 
Sea-like Potomac run a tinkling rill;–20.

Huge mammoth dwindle to a mouse’s size– 
Columbian turkeys turn European flies ;– 
Exotic birds, and foreign beasts, grow small, 
And man, the lordliest, shrink to least of all: 
While each vain whim their loaded skulls conceive5.
Whole realms shall reverence, and all fools believe. 

In passing farther, the seer points out the father of this system, in the soul of the famous Abbe du Pau, who was then busied in prying into futurity, by the aid of a philosophic telescope, calculated to diminish all objects, according to the squares of the distances, as has been hinted. And thus continues the prediction:51.

There, with sure ken, th’ inverted optics show 
All nature lessening to the sage De Pau; 
E’en now his head the cleric tonsures grace, 
And all the abbe blossoms in his face; 
His peerless pen shall raise, with magic lore,5.
The long-lost pigmies on th’ Atlantic shore; 
Make niggard nature’s noblest gifts decline 
Th’ indicial marks of bodies masculine; 
Nor seek the proof of those who best can tell 
The well-taught duchess, and Parisian belle.10.

He then points out the Compte de Buffon, the Abbe Raynal, Dr. Robertson, and the whole train of imitators, attendant on their master, imbibing learning and wisdom from his lips, and preparing, in the future world, even, to excel their instructor. He appears to have exactly foreseen Dr. Robertson’s “History of America,” and his observation that the soil of America is prolific in nothing but reptiles and insects. The allusion to Moses, in the following lines, seems to confirm the opinion of some learned writers, that the natives of this country were descended from the Jews, or the Jews from them:52.

See Scotland’s livy in historic pride, 
Rush, with blind fury, o’er th’ Atlantic tide; 
He lifts, in wrath, his plague-compelling wand, 
And deadly murrain blasts the fated land: 
His parent call awakes the insect train–5.
Gnats cloud the skies, and ants devour the plain; 
Thick swarming frogs attend his magic voice– 
Rods change to serpents, and the dust to lice. 

Here the seer took occasion to inform the bard how remarkable some of his
own countrymen would become, for being the humble copyists and echoes of these
transatlantic imitators; and particularly, that n great [MORRIS] should arise
in process of time, who, never having enjoyed, the superior advantage of perusing
that astonishing work of genius, THE ANARCHIAD, or any other American poem, should
dogmatically decide, in his capacity of
Senator, that America never had produced a good poet. He designates him by the subsequent
characteristics: 53.

That plodding shade, who, ere he starts from hence, 
By mammon taught, in shillings, pounds, and pence 
In Philadelphia’s happy soil, shall claim 
Gold for His GOD, and [MORRIS] for his name; 
With purse-proud wit, and Senatorial rank,5.
His critic talents glowing from the bank; 
From famed Raynal’s wise labors, shall declare, 
That not one poet breathes Columbian air! 

Yet not all wits who there to fame advance, 
Shall take their cue from dictatorial France; 
But, like sincere allies, each needy friend 
Shall sometimes borrow lies, and sometimes lend. 
Scared at the shape of CINCINNATUS’ name,5.
The envious Burke denied that road to fame; 
Stars, ribbands, mantles, crowding on his brain, 
“Blows the loud trump!” and calls the jealous train; 
Fills gaping herds with visionary fears 
Of landless nobles, and of penceless peers;10.
From social rites, and charity, debars 
The unpaid veterans of successful wars– 
Proscribes all worth, by ostracising doom, 
To death or exile, as in Greece or Rome; 
While safe himself, he boasts a strong defense,15.
Clear from the crime of merit or of sense. 

From him shall Gallic scribblers learn their lore, 
And write, like him, as man ne’er wrote before; 
Grave Demeunier, with borrowed tales, and weak, 
Th’ encyclopedias’ endless tomes shall eke– 
Assert with falsehood, and with froth disclaim,5.
Forebode the issues, and foresee the aim; 
Through time’s dark vale, the plans of fate explore, 
By ign’rance aided in prophetic power; 
As old Tiresias, favor’d of the skies, 
Gain’d gifts oracular by the loss of eyes.10.

From these worthies he makes an easy transition to the shade of the redoubtable Comte Mirabeau, who, having lately emerged from the Bastile, has employed his tremendous pen on “the Cincinnati,” “the Navigation of the Scheldt,” “the Waterworks of Paris,” “the projected Bank of St. Charles, in Spain” and innumerable other knotty points; in some of which he has been seconded, and in others, opposed, by his brother in scribbling and the Bastile, the perjured Linguet. It appears that the family of the Mirabeaus were predestined to be infamous for unnatural vices. The father of the present comte was distinguished, in Paris, by the title of ami des hommes, (the lover of mankind.) The seer points out these characters, and relates the result of a council concerning their future destiny, in the following manner:54.

When souls select, near Jordan rose to dwell, 
And people Sodom with the dregs of hell, 
Great was the doubt, and great the learn’d debates, 
Through the grand conclave of th’ infernal States, 
With that vile crew, if these should rise to earth,5.
Or future Europe better claim’d their birth; 
The latter vote prevail’d; on this dark stage 
Each incubus awaits the destined age; 
Then shall their souls to human forms advance, 
And spring to light the Mirabeaus of France. 10.

Yet not alone to carnal views confined; 
The younger shades, for mental toils designed, 
Profuse of lies, and obstinate in ill, 
On every theme shall try his gall-dipt quill: 
In Burke’s proud steps shall equal honors claim,5.
A learn’d associate of Demeunier’s fame. 

The next group of souls who pass in review, consists of those wise civilians who have generously wasted such fountains of ink in endeavoring to instruct poor America in her own history and politics. The Abby Mably is mentioned with particular respect. Nor is a just tribute of praise denied to the modest Target, who, supposing that no laws existed in the United States, and that the people were incapable of devising any system, humanely proposed to Congress to supply that deficiency, and furnish a code for the use of the empire. The seer, on beholding his shade, thus apostrophizes:55.

Inflated pride! all-feeling ignorance! 
Ye grand inspirers of the wits of France! 
On blest Target exhaust your utmost power; 
Shower all your gifts, and lavish all your store! 
I see him, tow’ring ‘mid th’ applauding throng,5.
Pomp in his air, and bluster on his tongue; 
Wave-dangling far, his wig-official curl’d– 
A sign of sapience, to the western world. 

Throned ‘mid the forty wise,by partial fates, 
A self-made Solon for the rising States. 

In the next department appear the souls of those European historians and biographers who have amused their readers with many fairy tales, the scenes of which they have had the complaisance to lay in America. We are sorry the length of this number prevents our enlarging upon this part of the Book. The seer enters into a detail of their falsehoods, with great accuracy and minuteness; and even condescends to notice the history of Connecticut, invented by Parson Peters, the fag-end man of M’Fingal. But he pays particular attention to the great genius of D’Auberteul, who has so ably displayed his creative talents in embellishing the late American revolution; describing the manner of cutting up the crown into thirteen pieces, and sending it to the several States; and giving the interesting novel of the amours of General WASHINGTON; with a great variety of particulars, equally true and instructive. He concludes with the following sublime address to his shade, which has been closely copied by Pope, in one of his smaller poems:56.

Swift fly the years, and rise the expected morn! 
Oh spring to light! auspicious sage, be born! 
The new-found world shall all your cares engage; 
The promised lyre of the future age. 
No more shall glory gild the hero’s name,5.
Nor envy sicken at the deeds of fame; 

Virtue no more the generous breast shall fire, 
Nor radiant truth the historic page inspire; 
But lost, dissolved in thy superior shade, 
One tide of falsehood o’er the world be spread; 
In wit’s light robe shall gaudy fiction shine,5.
And all be lies, as in a work of thine. 

Full Colophon Information

Genre: Poetry
Subjects: Early National Society and Life
Period: 1750-1800
Location: New England
Format: verse

The text was originally published in Connecticut in 1786-1787.

The text of the present edition was prepared from and proofed against The Anarchiad. A New England Poem. Ed. LUTHER G. RIGGS. New Haven: Printed by THOMAS H. PEASE, 828 CHAPEL STREET, 1861.All preliminaries have been omitted except those for which the author is responsible and those in which editorial notes indicate significant textual variations. Line and paragraph numbers contained in the source text have been retained. In cases where the source text displays no numbers, numbers are automatically generated. In the header, personal names have been regularized according to the Library of Congress authority files as "Last Name, First Name" for the REG attribute and "First Name Last Name" for the element value. Names have not been regularized in the body of the text.