Ye murderers, unawed by fear,
Who bend at Herod’s crimson shrine! –
Turn once a scaleless vision here,
And view this lifeless bird of mine:
Then in your hell-born purpose pause!
Forsake the path so reckless trod;
Lest, while ye scoff at Nature's laws,
Ye feel the withering curse of God!
Elliott began deluging Twain with verse and song, trying to get some manner of praise. As Twain detailed in letters to Olivia Langdon, his soon-to-be wife, this was not about to happen.
21 August 1869
That thief that wrote about the dead canary & sends me so much execrable music has found me out & is publishing extravagant puffs of me & mailing the papers to me, duly marked, as usual. I shall offer a bounty for his scalp, yet. He is one of the most persistent & exasperating acquaintances I was ever afflicted with.
To Olivia L. Langdon
6 and 7 September 1869 • Buffalo, N.Y.
In Bed, Monday Night
Livy darling, I got your letter this evening, though I looked for it this morning – I had forgotten that you told me to expect the letters in the evening hereafter. Yes, dearie, I will leave this letter unsealed until I get a Salutatory to send to you in the morning.