Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

John Godfrey Saxe


[Carte de Visite Photograph, Photographer-Rockwood, 1875]


"John G. Saxe was born at Highgate, Franklin County, Vermont, June 2, 1816. He was graduated at Middlebury College in 1839, studied law, was admitted to the bar, and has since been engaged in the practice of the profession in his native State.

"In 1849 Mr. Saxe published a volume of Poems including Progress, a Satire, originally delivered at a college commencement, and a number of shorter pieces, many of which had previously appeared in the Knickerbocker Magazine.

"In the same year Mr. Saxe delivered a poem on The Times before the Boston Mercantile Library Association. This production is included in the enlarged edition of his volume, in 1852. He has since frequently appeared before the public on college and other anniversaries, as the poet of the occasion, well armed with the light artillery of jest and epigram."

[Evert A. & George L. Duyckinck, The Cyclopedia of American Literature 563 (Philadelphia: William Rutter & Co., 1880)(Vol. 2)]

John Godfrey Saxe

John Godfrey Saxe
The National Magazine [May, 1853]

"The Vermont Bard"
Mary Sollace Saxe

The Vermonter, vol.7 (December, 1901), p. 422

Highgate, Vermont

[attribution: original print engraved from a Masury & Silsbee photograh
by Charles A Barry] [offered for sale along with a biography on ebay, 07.27.04]


Saxe at age thirty-two

Evert A. & George L. Duyckinck, The Cyclopedia of American Literature 563
(Philadelphia: William Rutter & Co., 1880)(Vol. 2)
M. A. DeWolfe Howe, American Bookmen: Sketches, Chiefly Biographical, of Certain Writers of the Nineteenth Century
(New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1898)


John G. Saxe, The Money-King and Other Poems
(Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1860)



[Parable of the Blind Men and the Elephant] [Orpheus and Eurydice ] [Polyphemus and Ulysses] [Sonnet to a Clam] [Bereavement] [Early Rising] [Love Crowned] ["With my body I thee worship"] [How Cyrus Laid the Cable] [Rhyme of the Rail ] [The Proud Miss MacBride, a Legend of Gotham]

The Masquerade & Other Poems


John G. Saxe, Progress: A Satirical Poem (New York: J. Allen, 1846)(New York: J. Allen; Boston: Jordan & Wiley, 2nd ed., 1847)

__________, Poems (Boston: Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, 1850)(Boston: Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, new ed., 1852) [online text] (5th ed., 1854)(8th ed., 1855)(11th ed., 1860)(29th ed., 1864)(31st ed., 1866)(Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 32nd ed., 1866) [online text] (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1868) [online text] (Boston: Fields, Osgood, Highgate ed., 35th ed., 1871)

__________, The Money-King, and Other Poems (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1859)(Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1860) [online text] [online text]

__________, The Fly-ing Dutchman; or, the Wrath of Herr Vonstoppelnoze (New York: Carleton, 1862)

__________, Clever Stories of Many Nations (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1865)(1864)(W. L. Champney illustrations)

__________, The Masquerade and Other Poems (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1866) [online text] [online text] [online text]

__________, Poems (Boston: J.R. Osgood & Co., 1868)(Fields, Osgood, & Co., 1869)(Highgate ed., 1871)(Complete ed., 1873)(Highgate ed., 1873)(Highgate ed., 1876)(Boston: Houghton, Osgood, and Company, 57th ed., 1879)

__________, Fables and Legends of Many Countries (Boston: J. R. Osgood, 1872)

__________, The Proud Miss MacBride. A Legend of Gotham (Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1874)(Augustus Hoppin illustrations) [online text] [online text] [online text]

__________, Leisure-Day Rhymes (Boston: J. R. Osgood, 1875)

__________, The Poems of John Godfrey Saxe (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1880)(Houghton, Mifflin and Company, Complete ed., 1882)

__________, The Poetical Works of John Godfrey Saxe (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, Household ed., 1882)(Household ed., 1892)

__________, The Poetical Works (Cambridge: The Riverside Press, 1889)

Law Poetry Anthologies

John Godfrey Saxe, "The Briefless Barrister," "How the Lawyers got a Patron Saint," "The Lawyer's Valentine," and "On an Ill-read Lawyer," in Ina Russelle Warren (ed.), The Lawyer's Alcove: Poems by the Lawyer, for the Lawyer and about the Lawyer 127-129, 168-169, 231-232, 249 (New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1900)(Buffalo, New York: William S. Hein & Co., 1990)

Law Related Poems

"On an Ill-Read Lawyer," in John G. Saxe, Poems 87 (Boston: Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, New ed., 1853)(an epigram)

"How the Lawyers Got a Patron Saint," in John G. Saxe, The Money-King and Other Poems 91-93 (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1860)

"Love and Law," in John G. Saxe, The Poetical Works of John Godfre Saxe 17-19 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company/The Riverside Press Cambridge, Household ed., 1892)

"The Briefless Barrister," in id., at 20.

"The Lawyer's Valentine," in id., at 85.


John Godfrey Saxe, A Treatise on the New York Laws Relating to Elections (New York: Baker, Voorhis & Co., 1913)(Albany: J.B. Lyon Co., final ed., 1918) [online text]


Russell W. Taft, John Godfrey Saxe: A Biographical Sketch of Vermont's Lawyer, Journalist, Lecturer and Rhymster (Burlington, Vermont: privately printed, 1900)


John Godfrey Saxe Papers
Bailey-Howe Memorial Library
University of Vermont
Burlington, Vermont