Luscious nepenthe of the soul

Francis Saltus Saltus was born in 1849 and seems to have had an interesting although short life; he was born in New York but spent a seemingly exciting time in Paris where he became addicted to Absinthe. He was a writer and musician and wrote comic operas as well as a critic, poet and contributor to literary magazines, and wrote in several languages other than English including French and Italian. He occasionally adopted the rather exotic nom de plume of Cupid Jones, and died at the age of forty and was buried in the famous Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.

Nepenthe, by the way is an antidepressant, preadamite literally means ‘before Adam’…

From what enchanted Eden came thy leaves
That hide such subtle spirits of perfume?
Did eyes preadamite first see the bloom,
Luscious nepenthe of the soul that grieves?
By thee the tired and torpid mind conceives
Fairer than roses brightening life’s gloom,
Thy protean charm can every form assume
And turn December nights to April eves.
Thy amber-tinted drops bring back to me
Fantastic shapes of great Mongolian towers,
Emblazoned banners, and the booming gong;
I hear the sound of feast and revelry,
And smell, far sweeter than the sweetest flowers,
The kiosks of Pekin, fragrant of Oolong

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