VIRGINIA JACKSON American portrait painter who invented the electric telegraph), William Cullen Bryant began by speaking "in behalf of the press" as a New York City newspaper editor and ended by giving a bravura performance of the transatlantic imaginary he had become famous for as a poet. "My imagination goes down to the chambers of the middle sea," Bryant mused, to those vast depths where repose the mystic wire on beds of coral, among forests of tangle, or on the bottom of the dim blue gulfs strewn with the bones of whales and sharks, skeletons of drowned men, and ribs and masts of foundered barks, laden with wedges of gold never to be coined, and pipes of the choicest vintages of earth never to be tasted. Through these watery solitudes, among the fountains of the great deep, the abode of perpetual silence, never visited by living human presence and beyond the sight of human eye, there are gliding to and fro, by night and by day, in light and in darkness, in calm and in tempest, currents of human thought borne by the electric pulse which obeys the bidding of man. That slender wire thrills with the hopes
Victorian Poetry – West Virginia University Press
Published: Jan 8, 2005
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