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Poet, Musician and Man 97
libraries as well as concert halls, bookstores as well as music stores. Here, in the city newspapers and weekly journals, he had a wealth of current literature, essays, fiction and poetry. Interspersed with quotations from the British and New Englandf poets of the day, he would find poems by local authors, especially Alice and Phoebe Cary and the head of the literary coterie in Cincinnati, W. D. Gallagher.
So StephenJ had every incentive to write his own verses for his songs. Imitative, as are most young geniuses, he took the themes then most favored, Love and Death, and he followed the current poetical style in his treatment of them.
Interesting comparisons are afforded. Under the heading New Music, the Gazette of October 29, 1847 reviewed recent songs for which the words were poems by the British statesman Disraeli, "My Heart is Like a Silent Lute," and by the local editor Gallagher, "Oh Think Not Less I Love Thee.'3 The first stanza of each follows:
My heart is like a silent lute,
Some faithless hand hath thrown aside;
Whose cords are dumb, whose tones are mute, That once sent forth a voice of pride;
t Longfellow, Whit tier, and William Cullen Bryant were most frequently quoted.
% He was especially fond of Tennyson3 and Poe.4