Mazelli, and Other Poems

Author: George W. Sands


Under this head, I desire to say a few words upon three subjects,
—my friends, my book, and myself.

My friends, though not legion in number, have been, in their efforts in my behalf, disinterested, sincere, and energetic.

My book: I lay it, as my first offering, at the shrine of my country’s fame. "Would it were worthier." While our soldiers are first in every field where they meet our enemies, and while the wisdom of our legislators is justified before all the world,
in the perfection of our beloved institutions, our literature languishes. This should not be so; for literature, with its kindred arts, makes the true glory of a nation. We bow in spirit when Greece is named, not alone because she was the mother of heroes and lawgivers, but because her hand rocked the cradle of a literature as enduring as it is beautiful and brilliant, and cherished in their infancy those arts which eventually repaid her nursing care in a rich harvest of immortal renown.

For myself I have little to say. I have not written for fame, and if my life had been a happy one I should never have written at all.
As it was, I early came to drink of the bitter cup; and sorrow,
whilst it cuts us off from the outer, drives us back upon the inner world;— and then the unquiet demon of ceaseless thought is roused,
and the brain becomes "a whirling gulf of phantasy and flame," and we rave and—write! Yes, write! And men read and talk about genius,
and, God help them! Often envy its unhappy possessors the fatal gift which lies upon heart and brain like molten lead! Of all who have gained eminence among men as poets, how few are there of whom it may not be justly said, "They have come up through much tribulation."

G. W. S.


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Chicago: George W. Sands, "Preface," Mazelli, and Other Poems, ed. Keil, Heinrich, 1822-1894 and trans. Seaton, R. C. in Mazelli, and Other Poems (New York: George E. Wood, 1850), Original Sources, accessed June 24, 2024,

MLA: Sands, George W. "Preface." Mazelli, and Other Poems, edited by Keil, Heinrich, 1822-1894, and translated by Seaton, R. C., in Mazelli, and Other Poems, New York, George E. Wood, 1850, Original Sources. 24 Jun. 2024.

Harvard: Sands, GW, 'Preface' in Mazelli, and Other Poems, ed. and trans. . cited in 1850, Mazelli, and Other Poems, George E. Wood, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 24 June 2024, from