Henry Jerome Stockard.

A study in southern poetry, for use in schools, colleges and library online

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Eevived/' "Friel in the Sun/' and "Jacob's Feast"
represent him best in art.

His writings are " The Sylphs of the Seasons, and
Other Poems''; "Monaldi, a Tale"; "Lectures on
Art, and Poems," etc. He was closely connected
with the beginnings of art and literature in America.


All hail I thou noble land.

Our fathers' native soil I
Oh, stretch thy mighty hand.
Gigantic grown by toil.
O'er the vast Atlantic wave to our shore I ^
For thou with magic might
Canst reach to where the light
Of Phoebus travels bright
The world o'er I

The genius of our clime, ^^

From his pine-embattled steep.

Shall hail Uie guest sublime.
While the Tritons of the deep

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With iheir conchee the kindred league shall
Then let the world combine, ^

O'er the main onr naval line
like the Milky-Way shall shine
Bright in fame I

Though ages long have passed

Since onr fathers left their home, ^
Their pilot in tiie blast.

O'er nntravelled seas to roam.
Yet lives the blood of England in our veins I
And shall we not proclaim
That blood of honest fame ^

Which no tyranny can tame
By its chains?

While the language free and bold

Which the bturd of Avon sung,
In which our Milton told ««

How the vault of Heaven rung
When Satan, blasted, fell with his host; —
While this, with reverence meet.
Ten thousand echoes greet.
From rock to rock repeat ^

Bound our coast; —

While the manners, while the arts^
That mould a nation's soul.
Still ding around our hearts, —

Between let Ocean roll, ^

Our joint communion breaking with the Sun:
Yet still from either beach
The voice of blood shall reach,
More audible than speech,

** We are one.'* ^


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A patriotic lyric. State its exact theme. What
prophetic touches in it seem to have been fulfilled
by recent events?

1. What figure? 8. Meaning of Phoebus? 8, 9.
Another way of saying, ''The sun never sets on
England's dominions." 10. Freedom is '^ the genius
of our dime.'* 13. The Tritons were fabled creatures
of the sea, heralding on their conch shells the ap-
proach of Neptune. 17. Is the simile forceful? 29.
Explain '* bard of Avon.'' 31, 32. Allusion to what
work of Milton? 40, 41. Give the thought


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Frauds Scott Key

The author of the lyric below, thus far the best
of our national songs, was bom in Maryland, but
spent most of his life in Washington, where he was
attorney for the District of Columbia.

The story of the poem is as follows : Mr. Key had
visited a British ship in Baltimore harbor to procure
, the release of a friend, held prisoner on board, and
was not permitted to leave until after the attack on
Port McHenry. The bombardment ceased during the
night, but he did not know the result until the next
morning, when he saw. the banner still floating on
the battlements. While aboard this vessel the now
notable lines were written, — ^first on the back of an
old envelope. When the author returned to Balti-
more he revised them, and gave them to Captain
Eades, who had participated in the battle of North
Point. Eades had them printed, and a copy fell
into the hands of an actor, who sang them for the
first time to the air, " Anacreon in Heaven/* They
were received with wild applause, and were immedi-
ately taken up and sung all over the country.

A collection of Key's poems was published in New
York, 1867, with an introduction by Eoger B. Taney.
Some years since James lick bequeathed $60,000
for a monument to the author of the song. This
memorial, executed by Story, in Bome, stands in
Golden Qate Park, San Francisco.


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Oh I say^ can yon see by the dawn's early light.
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last

Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the

clouds of the fight
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly

And the rockefs red glare, the bombs bursting in

air, *

Gave proof through the night that our flag was still

0, say, does that Star-Spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?

On that shore dimly seen through the mists of the
Where tiie foe's haughly host in dread silence re-
poses, 1®
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering
As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam.
In full glory refiected now shines on the stream;
'Tis the Star-Spangled banner; 0, long may it wave ^^
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave I

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion

A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps'
pollution. 20


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No refage could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave;
And the Star-Spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

Oh I thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand ^
Between their loved home and the war's desolation I
Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us
a nation !
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just.
And this be our motto — " In Ood is our Trust "— '^
And the Star-Spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

Compare the theme in this with that in Allston's,
pp. 22, 23. What type of lyric is this? What is the

6. ''Gave proof "-^how? 12. A good picture.
17. " That band "—the British. 20. A vigorous line.
21. Explain " hireling and slave." 27. Criticise the


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Richard Henry Wflde

The author of these well-known lines came from
Ireland. Poverty was his by inheritance^ but through
his own efforts he arose to a position of distinction
in law and in letters. He first lived in Gfeorgia,
when he became the Attorney-General of the State,
and, later, its representative in Congress. After-
wards he moved to New Orleans and occupied a
chair in the University of Louisiana. While hold-
ing this position he died of yellow fever.

The accompanying lyric, first entitled "The La-
ment of the Captive,*' is a fragment of an epic which
the author planned on the life and the experiences
of his brother, James Wilde, in the Seminole war.
It was suggested by the story of Juan Ortez, the
last survivor of the ill-fated expedition of Narvaez.
Anthony Barclay translated the lines into Qreek,
and the North American Review surmised that they
were from a Greek ode by AIcsbus. Mr. Barclay
subsequently wrote "An Authentic Account of
Wilde's Alleged Plagiarism,'* which was published by
the Georgia Historical Society in 1871.

Mr. Wilde was a student in Italian literature, his
main work being " Conjectures and Researches Con-
cerning the Love, Madness, and Imprisonment of
Torquato Tasso." This contains graceful translations
from that Italian poet. He wrote original poems
for the magazines, and left an unfinished Life of
Dante, together with translations of Italian lyrics.


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These have not been published^ but a completed poem,
'^ Hesperia,'' edited by his son, appeared in Boston
in 1867.


My life is like the summer rose.

That opens to the morning sky.
And ere the shades of evening dose.
Is scattered on the ground to die;
Yet on that rose's humble bed *

The sweetest dews of night are shed
As though she wept such waste to see;
But none shall weep a tear for mel

My life is like the autumn leaf

Which trembles in the moon's pale ray, ^^
Its hold is frail, its date is brief.

Restless, and soon to pass away;
Yet when that leaf shall fall and fade.
The parent tree will mourn its shade.
The wind bewail the leafless tree; ^

But none shall breathe a sigh for me I

My life is like the prints which feet
Have left on Tampa's desert strapd^

Soon as the rising tide shall beat
Their trace will vanish from the sand; *•

Yet still, as grieving to efface

All vestige of the human race.

On that lone shore loud moans the sea;

But none, alas I shall mourn for me I

Classify this lyric. What is its stanza structure?

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Its meter and kind of feet? Its rhyme order? Notice
the felicity of the simile in each stanza, and the turn
at '^ yet ^ in the middle. Discuss the unity of the

11. Observe the fine use of ''date.'' 18. What
fine musical phrase?


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Greorge Denison Prentice

Mr. Prentice was bom in Connecticut, and taught
school at an early age. He was graduated at Brown
and, completing his course in law^ was admitted to
the bar. He never practiced his profession, however,
his inclination being toward journalism. He edited
the Connecticut Mirror and, afterwards, the New
England Weehly Review. Moving to Louisville,
Ey., he became editor of the Louisville Journal,
and made that paper a powerful advocate of the
Whig party. He resigned as editor, but continued
contributions to the paper until it was consoli-
dated with the Courier, forming the Courier-Joumal
of to-day.

He furnished a column of wit and humor to the
New York Ledger for several years, and wrote
many poems, which have been collected and pub-
lished, with a biography, by John James Piatt.
** Prenticeana " is the title of a volume made up
of his pithy sayings. He did more, possibly, than
any one else to encourage authorship in the South.
A life-size marble statue of him stands above the
e9trance to the Courier-Journal building in Louis-


'Tis midnight^s holy hour — and silence now
Is brooding, like a gentle spirit, o'er
The still and pulseless world. Hark! on the winds.
The bell's deep-notes are swelling. 'Tis the kndl
Of the departed year. *


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No funeral train
Is sweeping past; yet on the stream and wood^
With melancholy Hght^ the moonbeams rest^
Like a pale, spotless shroud; the air is stirred.
As by a mourner's sigh ; and on yon cloudy ^®

That floats so still and placidly through heaven.
The spirits of the seasons seem to stand —
Young Springs bright Summer, Autumn's solemn

And Winter, with his aged locks — and breathe
In mournful cadences, that come abroad ^'

Like the far wind harp's wild and touching wail,
A melancholy dirge o'er the dead Year,
Gone from the earth forever.

Tis a time
For memory and for tears. Within the deep, *^

Still chambers of the heart a spectre dim.
Whose tones are like the wizard voice of Time,
Heard from the tomb of ages, pointc its cold
And solemn finger to the beautiful
And holy visions that have passed away ^

And left no shadow of their loveliness
On the dead waste of life. That spectre lifts
The coffin-lid of hope, and joy, and love
And, bending mournfully above the pale.
Sweet forms that slumber there, scatters dead
flowers *^

O'er what has passed to nothingness.

The year
Has gone, and, with it, many a glorious throng
Of happy dreams. Its mark is on each brow.
Its shadow on each heart. In its svift course ^
It waved its sceptre o'er the beautiful,


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And tbey are not. It laid its pallid hand

Upon the strong man^ and the haughty f onn

Is fallen^ and the flashing eye is dim.

It trod the hall of revelry, where thronged ^

The bright and joyous^ and the tearful wail

Of stricken ones is heard^ where erst the song

And reckless shout resounded. It passed o^er

The battle plain, where sword, and spear, and shield

Flashed in the light of midday— and the strength ^

Of serried hosts is shivered, and the grass,

Oreen from the soil of carnage, waves above

The crushed and mouldering skeleton. It came

And faded like a wreath of mist at eve;

Yet, ere it melted in the viewless air, ^

It heralded its millions to their home

In the dim land of dreams.

Remorseless Time! —
Fierce spirit of the glass and scythe I what power
Can stay him in his silent course, or melt ^

His iron heart to pity? On, still on
He presses and forever. The proud bird.
The condor of the Andes, that can soar
Through heaven's unfathomable depths, or brave
The fury of the Northern hurricane ^

And bathe his plumage in the thunder's home.
Furls his broad wings at nightfall and sinks down
To rest upon his mountain crag — ^but Time
Knows not the weight of sleep or weariness.
And nighfs deep darkness has no chain to bind ^
His rushing pinion. Revolutions sweep
O'er earth, like troubled visions o^er ihe breast
Of dreaming sorrow; cities rise and sink.
Like bubbles on the water; fiery isles
Spring, blazing, from the ocean, and go back ^^


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To their mysterioQs caverns ; monntaiiiB rear

To heaven their bald and blackened cliffs^ and bow

Their tall heads to the plain; new empires rise.

Gathering the strength of hoary centuries.

And rush down like the Alpine avalanche, ''

Startling the nations; and the very stars.

Yon bright and burning blazonry of God,

Glitter a while in their eternal depths,

And, like the Pleiad, loveliest of their train.

Shoot from their glorious spheres, and pass away, *^

To darkle in the trackless void; yet Time,

Time, the tomb-builder, holds his fierce career.

Dark, stem, all pitiless, and pauses not

Amid the mighty wrecks that strew his path.

To sit and muse, like other conquerors, ^

Upon the fearful ruin he has wrought.

A reflective poem in blank verse. Read it aloud
and note the majestic movement of the lines. In
this respect it is to be compared with Bryant^s
" Thanatopsis." What figure abounds? Is it used
ineffectively at any point?

46. Explain *' serried hosts.*' 56. ''Iron heart''
is what figure? 69. "Fiery isle": in volcanic belts
islands sometimes heave suddenly above the surface
of the sea; and, owing to their loose foundation,
almost as suddenly disappear. 71, 72. The slow
process of mountain formation and disintegration
here is in strong contrast to the foregoing; but both
alike, together with "new empires" and "the very
stars," are one when measured with Time. 73. Any
criticism on the position of " new empires " in this
fine climax? 79. See note to "The Lost Pleiad,"
by Simms, in this volume, pp. 43, 44.


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Edwaxd Coate Pinkney

James Pinkney, the father of Edward Coate Pink-
ney, was Minister to the Conrt of St. James. In
London, during his parents' stay there, the subject
of this sketch was bom. The first nine years of his
life were spent in the British metropoUs. On his
father's return to Baltimore, the family home, the
boy was placed in college, but before he had com-
pleted his course he entered the United States navy.
Here he remained six years, resigning at last on
account of a quarrel between himself and a superior
officer. After this episode he studied law and was
admitted to the bar; but, as has often been the case
with spirits of like temperament, he grew tired of
this profession. After essaying the navy again,
with the patriots of Mexico, he returned to Balti-
more, and soon after was appointed professor of
rhetoric and belles-lettres in the University of
Maryland — a position that yielded no salary. After
a short while he was chosen editor of the Mary*
lander, a political newspaper; but failing health soon
resulted in death*

A thin volume of poems, published in 1825, em-
bodies his contribution to literature; but it contains
exquisite work. As a proof of this it is sufficient to
state that, when it was proposed to publish biograph-
ical sketdies of five of America's greatest poets, he
was chosen as one of the number.


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I fill this cnp to one made up

Of lovelineBs alone;
A woman, of her gentle eex

The Beeming paragon;
To whom the better elements *

And kindly stars have given
A form so fair, that, like the air,

'Tis less of earth than heaven.

Her every tone is mnsic's own,

Like those of morning birds, ^^

And something more than melody

Dwells ever in her words;
The coinage of her heart are they.

And from her lips each flows
As one may see the burdened bee ^'

Forth issue from the rose.

Affections are as thoughts to her.

The measures of her hours;
Her feelings have the fragrancy.

The freshness of young flowers, ^

And lovely passions, changing oft,

So fill her, she appears
The image of themselves by turns, —

The idol of past years.

Of her bright face, one glance will trace ^

A picture on the brain.
And of her voice in echoing hearts

A sound must long remain;

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But memory each as mine of her

So very much endears, ••

When death is nigh my latest sigh

WUl not he lif e's, bnt hers.

I fill this cap to one made up

Of loveliness alone,
A woman, of her gentle sex ^

The seeming paragon —
Her health I and would on earth there stood

Some more of such a frame.
That life might be all poetry.

And weariness a name. ^


We break the glass, whose sacred wine

To some beloved health we drain.
Lest future pledges, less divine.

Should e'er the hallowed toy profane:
And thus I broke a heart that poured ^

Its tide of feelings out for thee.
In draughts, by after times deplored,

Tet dear to memory.

But still the old empassioned ways

And habits of my mind remain, ^^

And still unhappy light displays

Thine image chambered in my brain;
And still it looks as when the hours

Went by like flights of living birds.
Or that soft chain of spoken flowers ^

And aixy gems, thy words.


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A Health. A convivial lyric. What is the
rhyme scheme? lines one and seven in each stanza
have an internal rhyme.

17. Is the rhyme perfect? '

SoN(S(. Is this of the foregoing type? What is
its metre? Its rhyme order? 5. ^^And thus I
broke/' etc.: is this the ooncluaion of a simile?


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William Gilmore Simms


Mr. Simms early manifested a love for letters.
His scholastic training was received in his native city,
Charleston, S. C. He first thought of taking up
medicine as a life work, but turned his attention to
the law. This he never practiced, however.

Simms is better known as a novelist than as a poet.
He wrote voluminously, — ^poems, novels, dramas, his-
tories, book reviews, editorials, etc. His best known
poem is "Atalantis*'; "Yemassee*' is one of his
best novels. He published ^'Lyrical and Other
Poems'' in 1826; and twenly years later another
book of verse, ^ ktejto^, or Songs and Ballads of the
South.^ He edited various journals, and did much
to foster a literary spirit in his section of the Union.
Other books of verse by him are: '' Southern Pas-
sages and Pictures/* " Grouped Thoughts and Scat-
tered Fancies,'* " liys of the Palmetto," etc. Hayne,
Timrod and others found in him a sympathetic
friend. His last years were spent in a heroic fight
against want, — ^a common experience throughout the
Southland in his day. A fine bust of him adorns the
Battery, in his native dty.


Fpon the Poef s soul they flash forever.
In evening shades, these glimpses strange and sweet;
They fill his heart betimes, — ^they leave him never.
And haunt his steps with sounds of falling feet;


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He walks beside a mTsteiy night and day; *

Still wanders where the sacred spring is hidden;
Yety wonld he take the seal from the forbidden.
Then mnst he work and watch as well as pray!
How work? How watch? Beside him — in his

Springs without check the flow'r by whose choice

speU,— !•

More potent than " herb moly/' — ^he can tell
Where the stream rises, and the waters play! —
Ah! spirits calPd avail not I On his eyes.
Sealed up with stubborn day, the darkness lies.

**The SwAicp Fox**

{From the Parti8a»)

We follow where the Swamp Fox guides^

His friends and merry men are we;
And when the troop of Tarleton rides,

We burrow in the cypress trea
The turfy hammock is our bed, ^

Our home is in the red deer's dan^
Our roof, the tree-top overhead.

For we are wild and hunted men.

We fly by day, and shun its light.

But, prompt to strike the sudden blow, ^®
We mount and start with early night.

And through the forest track our foe.
And soon he hears our chargers leap.

The flashing sabre blinds his eyes,
And, ere he drives away his sleep, ^

And rushes from his camp, he dies.

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Free bridle-bit, good gallant steed.

That will not ask a kind caress.
To swim the Santee at our need,

When on his heels the foemen press, — *•
The true heart and the ready hand.

The spirit stubborn to be free.
The twisted bore, the smiting brand, —

And we are Marion's men, you see.

Now light the fire, and cook the meal, ^

The last perhaps that we shall taste;
I hear the Swamp Fox round ns steal.

And thaf s a sign we move in haste.
He whistles to the scouts, and hark I

You hear his order calm and low — ^

Come, wave your torch across the dark.

And let us see the boys that go.

We may not see their forms again,

God help 'em, should they find the strife!
For they are strong and fearless men, ^

And make no coward terms for life;
They'll fight as long as Marion bids.

And when he spetJcs the word to shy.
Then — ^not till then — ^they turn their steeds.

Through thickening shade and swamp to
fly. *o

Now stir the fire, and lie at ease.

The scouts are gone, and on the brush
I see the colonel bend his knees.

To take his slumbers too— but hush I
He's praying, comrades; 'tis not strange; ^^

The man thafs fighting day by day.
May well, when night comes, take a change.

And down upon his knees to pray.

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Break up that hoe-eake, boys, and hand

The sly and silent jug that's there; ^^

I love not it should idly stand, .

When Marion's men have need of cheer.
'Tis seldom that our luck affords

A stuff like this we just have quaffed.
And dry potatoes on our boards ^^

May always call for such a draught

Now pile the brush and roll the log ;

Hard pillow, but a soldier's head
Thafs half the time in brake and bog

Must never think of softer bed. ^

The owl is hooting to the night,

The cooter crawling o'er the bank^
And in that pond the flashing light

Tells where the alligator sank.

What! 'tis the signal I start so soon, ^^

And through the Santee swamp so deep.
Without the aid of friendly moon.

And we. Heaven help us I half asleep !
But courage, comrades! Marion leads.

The Swamp Fox takes us out to-night; '^
So clear your swords, and spur your steeds.

There's goodly chance, I think, of fight.

We follow where the Swamp Pox guides.

We leave the swamp and cypress tree.
Our spurs are in our coursers' sides, ^^

And ready for the strife are we, —
The Tory camp is now in sight.

And there he cowers within his den, —
He hears our shouts, he dreads the fight.

He fears, and fiies from Marion's men. ^^

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Not in the fiky.

Where it was seen

So long in eminence of light serene, —

Nor on the white tops of the glistening wave,

Nor down in mansions of the hidden deep, ^

Though beautiful in green

And crystal, its great caves of mystery, —

Shall the bright watcher have

Her place, and, as o^ old, high station keep I

Gone I gone I ^^

Oh I nevermore, to cheer
The mariner, who holds his course alone
On the Atlantic, through the weaiy night.
When the stars turn to watchers, and do sleep.
Shall it again appear, ^

With the sweet-loving certainty of light,
Down shining on the shut eyes of the deep !

The upward-looking shepherd on the hills

Of Chaldea, night-returning with his flocks.

He wonders why her beauty doth not blaze, ^

Gladding his gaze, —

And, from his dreary watch along the rocks.

Guiding him homeward o'er the perilous ways !

How stands he waiting still, in a sad maze.

Much wondering, while the drowsy silence Ms ^^

The sorrowful vault I — ^how lingers, in the hope that

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Online LibraryHenry Jerome StockardA study in southern poetry, for use in schools, colleges and library → online text (page 2 of 17)