Text: Daniel Bryan to Edgar Allan Poe — May 13, 1842


My dear Sir

The favourable opinions which you have expressed of the productions of my humble Muse, and the kind feeling which you have invariably manifested towards me, will, I trust, be a satisfactory apology for this communication. —

Aware of your connexion with Graham’s Magazine, and flattering myself with a belief that you will not be wanting either in the disposition, or the power, to render acceptable to its proprietor the effusions herewith transmitted, I confide them to your disposal with a view to their publication in that work at such time, and in such manner, as you may deem advisable. —

At the hazard of incurring from you the imputation of indelicacy if not of vanity, I venture here to offer the suggestion that the “Crowning of the May Queen” — would, in my estimation, form a most excellent subject for an embellishment for your deservedly popular Journal. — It appears to me that to the fancy of an Artist  of  genius  and fine taste, — such as the exquisite engravings for Graham’s Magazine prove can readily be enlisted in its service, the whole coronation scene of the May Queen constitutes a rich field for successful selection and felicitous execution. — The Queen — the royal robes — the crown — the Goddesses, the Maids of Honour — the Floras — the garlands of Flowers — the Spectators, all present, I think, a profusion of materials for the exercise of the finest powers of an Artist. To give variety to the picture, the gratified father and mother of the Queen might be exhibited in striking positions — and to afford a sufficient contrast of characters there might be shown among the youthful female spectators the sneer of Envy, and the mischievous pranks of the Romp, while in the back ground the eager stare & good natured gratification and surprise of the representatives of humble life, might be made to diversify and heighten the contrast of the scene. —

A strong feature of interest in such a picture, I venture to suggest, might be derived from the sportive raillery conveyed in a corresponding archness of expression of the younger sister of the Queen, who, as one of the 1st Goddesses, tenders a Sprig of Rue as her offering. —

I have thrown out these hasty intimations for your consideration without indulging any thing like a confident expectation that you will regard my verses as worthy of the compliment which the association there with of a picture, corresponding with my suggestions, would bestow upon them; and more because I fully believe the subject is one eminently adapted to the appropriate embellishment of your Magazine, than from any hope that my poetry is entitled to the honour which such a picture wd confer upon it. — But if you should deem my views worthy of being carried into effect — there wd [[would]] be time enough in the course of the summer to have the engraving executed, & the publication of the verse cd [[could]] be kept back to accompany the illustration. —

Whatever may be your decision on the subject, and however chimerical you may regard my notions in connexion with it, I feel assured that my sensibilities are safe in your hands, and that you will estimate my motives and feelings in the matter in a generous and a friendly spirit. —

Although I have not the happiness to be personally acquainted with you, yet my intimate acquaintance with your lamented Brother, the occasional correspondence which has taken place between us, and the favourable sentiments which you have expressed towards my poetical pretensions, embolden me to regard you in a very different light from that of a stranger. — Hence I write to you with freedom and frankness, and I desire you to deal with me in the same spirit. — If you believe my verses to be unsuitable to your Journal, I beg you to return them to me. Indeed I do not wish you to extend to them the slightest countenance beyond your conviction of their merits. At the same time I have strong special reasons which, when leisure permits, I may hereafter take occasion to communicate to you, — or desiring that whatever merits my productions possess, may be properly brought into view, and receive the justice to wh[[ich]] they are entitled. — More than this I do not expect, or wish for. — I have received applications for contributions “either in prose or verse” from several editors recently, — but I prefer putting under your auspices any thing which I have to offer for publication adapted to the character of yr. Mag. to giving it any other destination. — As, however, you may have others to consult previous to the acceptance of an article, and as my May-Day Rhymes may not, in your own judgement, seem sufficiently imbued with the inspirations of Poesy to justify their appearance in your beautiful Journal I repeat my request that if you feel the slightest hesitation about their publication therein, you will enclose them back to me. I tender you my most respectful salutations & am very cordially

Your friend
Danl Bryan





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Misc - Letters - D. Bryan to Poe (RCL363)