The Deserted Bride; and Other Poems.
New York: Adlard & Saunders:, 1835. 8vo, original embossed blue cloth, backstrip gilt-lettered, covers gilt-stamped with lyre-like ornament, in later blue cloth chemise and slipcase backed in gilt-lettered blue morocco. 80 pp. Slipcase lightly rubbed, staining of peach-coated endpapers from binder's glue; but a very good copy. First Edition, BAL's Binding A, of the first book by the New York editor and litterateur. Inscribed on front free endpaper: "His Excellency / Martin Van Buren / President of the United States of America / with the kindest regards / and most respectful compliments / of the Author / New York Mirror Office / March 28, 1838." George Pope Morris (1802-1864) was a successful journalist, editor, poet and playwright, but he would be forgotten today had he not penned a sentimental little verse that begins, "Woodman, spare that tree! / Touch not a single bough! In youth it sheltered me, / And I'll protect it now." Like most of Morris's poems it was originally composed as a song lyric. In his terminal "Notes" Morris describes at some length the incident that inspired this work; but it seems likely that this anecdote is intended to distract critics from Thomas Campbell's refrain of about 1805: "Spare, woodman, spare the beechen tree!" The young poet apparently dispatched a goodly number of inscribed presentation copies of his book, but this copy for the President seems to bear a particularly early date. BAL 14355. Johnson, You Know These Lines!, pp. 120-121. Wilson, Thirteen Author Collections..and Familiar Quotations, p. 410. For this copy, see Christie's Doheny Sale, February 22, 1989, item 2137 ($850)
(Item Id: 5999)