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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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6686. POETRY, Judging.—[continued].
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6686. POETRY, Judging.—[continued].

To my own mortification,
* * * of all men living, I am the last who
should undertake to decide as to the merits of
poetry. In earlier life I was fond of it, and
easily pleased. But as age and cares advanced,
the powers of fancy have declined. Every year
seems to have plucked a feather from her wings,
till she can no longer waft one to those sublime
heights to which it is necessary to accompany
the poet. So much has my relish for poetry
deserted me that, at present, I cannot read
even Virgil with pleasure. I am consequently
utterly incapable to decide on the merits of
poetry. The very feelings to which it is addressed
are among those I have lost. So that the
blind man might as well undertake to [faded in
MS.] a painting, or the deaf a musical composition.
To John D. Burke. Ford ed., viii, 65.
(W. 1801)


Mr. Burke had sent Jefferson a copy of the Columbiad.—Editor.