The Materialistic Maiden

Where I sip coffee and judge everyone.

On Edward L. Carey, publisher and partner of Carey & Hart

The other day, I was curiously perusing the internet for photographic/painted/engraved evidence of publishers from the nineteenth-century—consider Ticknor and Fields and Baker and Scribner, two publishing houses well known for publishing such authors as Nathaniel Hawthorne (the former) and Charles Fenno Hoffman (latter). However, one other publishing house has stuck out to me as of late, being Carey & Hart; thus, I took to finding out what I could about these two men. However, while delving into my research, I stumbled across a portrait of Edward L. Carey, of Carey & Hart, which immediately piqued my curiosity about the gentleman.

Sully-Edward Carey (switch color image for black and white).jpg

After feeling inspired by this portrait to find more information about this mysterious publisher, I took to the internet and books to find what I could about Mr. Carey. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a significant amount of information to flesh out a biography-the biography he deserves-but I will do my best to relay everything I was able to find, here.

Edward Carey was born circa 1804-5 to Bridget Flahaven Carey and Philadelphian publisher Mathew Carey of “Carey & Lea.” Although there is not a lot of information regarding Carey’s childhood or young adulthood, it is surmised that he was built in preparation for the publishing scene, as, “When, on the retirement of Mr. Carey [Mathew], in 1824, the firm of Carey & Lea was established, provision was made for the admission of Edward L. Carey, a younger son, when he should attain his majority” (The Publisher’s Weekly, No. 678, January 24, 1885, pg. 70). In 1829, Carey obtained his portion of the publishing house and combined it with Abraham Hart to form the publishing partnership known as Carey & Hart. Thereafter, the company thrived well, publishing works by authors and editors familiar to readers today, including William Cullen Bryant, Rufus Wilmot Griswold (Edgar Allan Poe’s literary executor), and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Although Hart and Carey thrived well amongst the Philadelphia literary scene, the two were struck by immense tragedy with the decline in health and ultimate death of Carey in 1845. A Maine newspaper, the Maine Cultivator and Hallowell Gazette of June 28, 1845, circulated a Philadelphia report on the death of Carey. According to the original Philadelphian article, Carey passed on June 16 at 11:00AM. Carey was only forty years of age, but he left behind a legacy that Hart would continue carrying on for several years thereafter.

Few news articles give brief, yet intriguing insight into Carey’s life and mind, which will now be discussed. For example, before his death, we learn from the Maine Cultivator that Carey had been elected President of the Academy of Fine Arts, although this was turned down due to ill health. We also learn from the Washington Reporter of June 28, 1845, that Carey was not only a lover of the fine arts, as presumed from my prior statement, but that he also collected art pieces:

…his encouraging voice has been an inspiration to our countrymen by whose creative genius life has been given to the marble and the canvas in foreign schools, and through whom Alleghania has been made one of the chosen homes of Art. Powers sent a few weeks ago his masterpiece from Rome…How much he will be grieved to learn that the very hour in which “Proserpine” reached Philadelphia witnessed the departure of his friend and patron to another world!

Of Carey, this same article continues, “For three years confined to his house by a local disease, Mr. Carey had lived among his paintings and his sculptures, in correspondence with men of genius, and in the society of friends who loved him as a brother.” Of his mind, “…[it] was cast in the finest mould of beauty. The atmosphere of beauty was his element.” Of his character, he is spoken in high regard, as the author of the article states, “When I remember how very warmly all who knew him loved him, I cannot doubt that many hearts will beat more slowly, like our own, at this public calamity.”

Although these insights are brief, they speak volumes of Carey’s character. Such keywords as “genius,” “beauty,” and “love” seem to surround this vague gentleman, giving us enough information to declare the type of man Edward Carey was, being a friend, a “brother,” and one simply too beautiful and endearing for this world.

I was perusing the pages of Charles Fenno Hoffman’s poetry this evening, when I suddenly felt the urge to share a few of his poems—pieces which have touched my heart. I share these with the hope that you may also enjoy these exquisite, nature-themed writings.

https-::books.google.com:books?id=NUdAAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA156&dq=encyclopedia+deer&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi2y9n4mKbVAhUHySYKHTdaDGoQ6AEIMTAC#v=onepage&q&f=false

From John Frost’s Grand Illustrated Encyclopedia of Animated Nature, pg. 154.

Hunt is Up, The. A Meditation

A MEDITATION .

The hunt is up —

The merry woodland shout,

That rung these echoing glades about

An hour agone,

Hath swept beyond the eastern hills,

Where, pale and lone,

The moon her mystic circle fills;

Awhile across her slowly reddening disk

The dusky larch,

As if to pierce the blue o’erhanging arch,

Lifts its tall obelisk.

And now from thicket dark,

And now from mist-wreathed river

The fire-fly’s spark

Will fitful quiver,

And bubbles round the lily’s cup

From lurking trout come coursing up,

Where stoops the wading fawn to drink:

While scared by step so near,

Uprising from the sedgy brink

The clanging bittern’s cry will sink

Upon the hunter’s ear;

Who, startled from his early sleep,

Lists for some sound approaching nigher —

Half-dreaming, lists — then turns to heap

Another fagot on his fire,

And then again, in dreams renewed,

Pursues his quarry through the wood.

And thus upon my dreaming youth,

When boyhood’s gambols pleased no more,

And young Romance, in guise of Truth,

Usurped the heart all theirs before;

Thus broke Ambition’s trumpet-note

On visions wild,

Yet blithesome as this river

On which the smiling moonbeams float

That thus have there for ages smiled,

And will thus smile for ever.

And now no more the fresh green-wood,

The forest’s fretted aisles,

And leafy domes above them bent,

And solitude

So eloquent!

Mocking the varied skill y’-blent

In Art’s most gorgeous piles —

No more can soothe my soul to sleep

Than they can awe the sounds that sweep

To hunter’s horn and merriment

Their verdant passes through,

When fresh the dun-deer leaves his scent

Upon the morning dew.

The game’s afoot! — and let the chase

Lead on, whate’er my destiny —

Though Fate her funeral drum may brace

Full soon for me!

And wave death’s pageant o’er me —

Yet now the new and untried world

Like maiden banner first unfurled,

Is glancing bright before me!

The quarry soars! and mine is now the sky,

Where, ” at what bird I please, my hawk shall fly! ”

Yet something whispers through the wood —

A voice like that perchance

Which taught the hunter of Egeria’s grove

To tame the Roman’s dominating mood,

And lower, for awhile, his conquering lance

Before the images of Law and Love —

Some mystic voice that ever since hath dwelt

Along with Echo in her dim retreat,

A voice whose influence all, at times, have felt

By wood or glen, or where on silver strand

The clasping waves of Ocean’s belt

Will clashing meet

Around the land:

It whispers me that soon — too soon

The pulses which now beat so high,

Impatient with the world to cope,

Will, like the hues of autumn sky,

Be changed and fallen ere life’s noon

Should tame its morning hope.

Yet why,

While Hope so jocund singeth

And with her plumes the gray beard’s arrow wingeth,

Should I

Think only of the barb it bringeth?

Though every dream deceive

That to my youth is dearest,

Until my heart they leave

Like forest leaf when searest —

Yet still, mid forest leaves

Where now

Its tissue thus my idle fancy weaves,

Still with heart new-blossoming

While leaves, and buds, and wild flowers spring,

At Nature’s shrine I’ll bow;

Nor seek in vain that truth in her

She keeps for her idolater.

content

From forestry; a journal of forest and estate management, pg. 521.

What is Solitude?

Not in the shadowy wood,

Not in the crag-hung glen,

Not where the echoes brood

In caves untrod by men;

Not by the black seashore,

Where barren surges break,

Not on the mountain hoar,

Not by the breezeless lake;

Not on the desert plain

Where man hath never stood,

Whether on isle or main —

Not there is solitude.

Birds are in woodland bowers;

Voices in lonely dells:

Streams to the listening hours

Talk in earth’s secret cells;

Over the gray-ribbed sand

Breathe Ocean’s frothy lips;

Over the still lake’s strand

The wild flower toward it dips;

Pluming the mountain’s crest

Life tosses in its pines,

Coursing the desert’s breast

Life in the steed’s mane shines.

Leave — if thou wouldst be lonely —

Leave Nature for the crowd;

Seek there for one — one only

With kindred mind endowed!

There — as with Nature erst

Closely thou wouldst commune —

The deep soul-music nursed

In either heart, attune!

Heart-wearied thou wilt own,

Vainly that phantom wooed,

That thou at last hast known

What is true Solitude!

content

A Peep at the Birds: With Twenty Engravings, Francis Channing Woodworth, pg. 16.

The Bob-O-Linkum

Thou vocal sprite — thou feather’d troubadour!

In pilgrim weeds through many a clime a ranger,

Com’st thou to doff thy russet suit once more

And play in foppish trim the masquing stranger?

Philosophers may teach thy whereabouts and nature;

But wise, as all of us, perforce, must think ’em,

The school-boy best hath fixed thy nomenclature,

And poets, too, must call thee Bob-O-Linkum.

Say! art thou, long ‘mid forest glooms benighted,

So glad to skim our laughing meadows over —

With our gay orchards here so much delighted,

It makes thee musical, thou airy rover?

Or are those buoyant notes the pilfer’d treasure

Of fairy isles, which thou hast learn’d to ravish

Of all their sweetest minstrelsy at pleasure,

And, Ariel-like, again on men to lavish?

They tell sad stories of thy mad-cap freaks

Wherever o’er the land thy pathway ranges;

And even in a brace of wandering weeks,

They say, alike thy song and plumage changes;

Here both are gay; and when the buds put forth,

And leafy June is shading rock and river,

Thou art unmatch’d, blithe warbler of the North,

While through the balmy air thy clear notes quiver.

Joyous, yet tender — was that gush of song

Caught from the brooks, where ‘mid its wild flowers smiling

The silent prairie listens all day long,

The only captive to such sweet beguiling;

Or didst thou, flitting through the verdurous halls

And column’d isles of western groves symphonious,

Learn from the tuneful woods, rare madrigals,

To make our flowering pastures here harmonious?

Caught’st thou thy carol from Ottawa maid,

Where, through the liquid fields of wild-rice plashing,

Brushing the ears from off the burdened blade,

Her birch canoe o’er some lone lake is flashing?

Or did the reeds of some savannah south

Detain thee while thy northern flight pursuing,

To place those melodies in thy sweet mouth,

The spice-fed winds had taught them in their wooing?

Unthrifty prodigal! — is no thought of ill

Thy ceaseless roundelay disturbing ever?

Or doth each pulse in choiring cadence still

Throb on in music till at rest for ever?

Yet now in wilder’d maze of concord floating,

‘Twould seem that glorious hymning to prolong,

Old Time in hearing thee might fall a-doting,

And pause to listen to thy rapturous song!

19th century engraving of the New Forest, UK

New Forest, UK: Link.

Primeval Woods

I.

Yes ! even here, not less than in the crowd,

Here, where yon vault in formal sweep seems piled

Upon the pines, monotonously proud,

Fit dome for fane, within whose hoary veil

No ribald voice an echo hath defiled —

Where Silence seems articulate; up-stealing

Like a low anthem’s heavenward wail: —

Oppressive on my bosom weighs the feeling

Of thoughts that language cannot shape aloud;

For song too solemn, and for prayer too wild, —

Thoughts, which beneath no human power could quail,

For lack of utterance, in abasement bow’d —

The cavern’d waves that struggle for revealing,

Upon whose idle foam alone God’s light hath smiled.

II.

Ere long thine every stream shall find a tongue,

Land of the Many Waters! But the sound

Of human music, these wild hills among,

Hath no one save the Indian mother flung

Its spell of tenderness? Oh, o’er this ground,

So redolent of Beauty , hath there play’d no breath

Of human poesy — none beside the word

Of Love, as, murmur’d these old boughs beneath,

Some fierce and savage suitor it hath bound

To gentle pleadings? Have but these been heard?

No mind, no soul here kindled but my own?

Doth not one hollow trunk about resound

With the faint echoes of a song long flown,

By shadows like itself now haply heard alone?

III.

And Ye, with all this primal growth must go!

And loiterers beneath some lowly spreading shade,

Where pasture-kissing breezes shall, ere then, have play’d,

A century hence, will doubt that there could grow

From that meek land such Titans of the glade!

Yet wherefore primal? when beneath my tread

Are roots whose thrifty growth, perchance, hath arm’d.

The Anak spearman when his trump alarm’d;

Roots that the Deluge wave hath plunged below;

Seeds that the Deluge wind hath scattered;

Berries that Eden’s warblers may have fed;

In slime of earlier worlds preserved unharmed,

Again to quicken, germinate, and blow,

Again to charm the land as erst the land they charm’d.

The Tragic Case of Henry William Herbert, America’s Unruly “Forester”-Part One

Frank Forester was not an uncommon name during the mid nineteenth-century. Forester, a dignified sportsman, known to his friends as being full of vitality and exuberance, published several accomplished volumes of literature, including manuals about Horsemanship and guides about the Warwick woodlands and field sports. Behind this steadily growing literary star, however, was the primary source of the Forester character-nay, pseudonym-an ambivert with a penchant for sorrow and cynicism—Henry William Herbert.

By the time Herbert’s Forester alter-ego began to emerge, Henry had faced several hardships, which had forced him, albeit slowly, into a sedentary life in New Jersey, eventually nearly being confined to the tranquil, morose solitude of his home, The Cedars. Life had been vastly different for the Englishman just two years before, especially more than a decade before; and although this turbulent figure had a temper to be unsurpassed, our sympathies lie with Henry—fate’s unscrupulous, demanding hold confined him to a prison of the mind and soul from which he never escaped.

Born in London, United Kingdom, April 7, 1807, young Henry found himself swathed and nurtured in the wealth of his aristocratic lineage, being the grandson of Henry Herbert, the 1st Earl of Carnarvon. According to Luke White, Jr., author of Henry William Herbert and the American Publishing Scene, Herbert, during his early years, “acquired that twin enthusiasm for books and the out-of-doors…” (5). Henry commenced with receiving a classical education, was enrolled at Caius college, Cambridge, and graduated with honors in 1830 (5). Upon graduation, he carried with him proper knowledge of the classical languages-which he would put to use while completing an eleven-year professorship as a teacher of Greek and Latin at the Reverend R. Townsend Huddart’s Classical Institute-as well as several debts due to gambling and spending lavishly, a habit that would follow him to the grave (5, 20). These overwhelming debts may have caused concern for his family, for between just 1830 and 1831 it is recorded that Henry left his home in London. It is also recorded, according to White, that “in answer to an inquiry, ‘the Herbert family, the late Earl of Carnarvon speaking through his secretary, said they were not aware of any Henry William Herbert in their family'” (6). This statement alone seems to lend credence and severity to the notion that Henry had brought shame to the family due to his erratic indulgences, and may have affected an implied estrangement from the family—let it be noted that Henry never returned to England, nor did he seem to remain close with his family, as far as lack of correspondences prove.

After his departure from London, he stayed briefly in France, either to take in the culture and language, as exaggeratedly evinced by Henry, or to (most likely) escape the debtors on his tail. France did not seem to provide either the security or needs that Henry needed however, and he set sail for America in 1831, carrying at his side money and letters of introduction for a gentleman in Canada. Thus began the beginning of Henry’s hopeful new life, and climb to literary fame—thus also began the downfall to his unforeseen and tragic demise.

I’m Not Dead

It has been well over a year since my last post, a Birthday article for the beloved Charles Fenno Hoffman. Since then, I have continued my Poeana studies, but regret to say I have not had the time to properly sit down and dedicate more time to writing pieces for this blog. I will try to remedy this soon and hope to present more articles regarding literary figures and tales from Poe’s era (just as a heads up for where the content of my blog is going).

I’m wishing you all the best and will (hopefully) see you all again soon.

-Ann

Happy Birthday, Charles Fenno Hoffman!

1763865
This marks the second birthday that I get to “spend” with this deceased literary figure (and thankfully, my boyfriend doesn’t mind Hoffy too much). So, in honor of Charlie’s birthday, I’m posting his second of two Birthday-related poems. You can visit my first blog post about him by going here.

Without further ado-

A Birthday Meditation

Another year! alas, how swift,
Alinda, do these years flit by,
Like shadows thrown by clouds that drift
In flakes along a wintry sky.
Another year! another leaf
Is turn’d within life’s volume brief,
And yet not one bright page appears
Of mine within that book of years.There are some moments when I feel
As if it should not yet be so;
As if the years that from me steal
Had not a right alike to go,
And lose themselves in Time’s dark sea,
Unbuoyed up by aught from me;
Aught that the future yet might claim
To rescue from their wreck a name.

But it was love that taught me rhyme,
And it was thou that taught me love;
And if I in this idle chime
Of words a useless sluggard prove,
It was thine eyes the habit nursed,
And in their light I learn’d it first,
It is thine eyes which, day by day,
Consume my time and heart away.

And often bitter thoughts arise
Of what I’ve lost in loving thee,
And in my breast my spirit dies,
The gloomy cloud around to see
Of baffled hopes and ruin’d powers
Of mind, and miserable hours —
Of self-upbraiding, and despair —
Of heart, too strong and fierce to bear.

“Why, what a peasant slave am I, ”
To bow my mind and bend my knee
To woman in idolatry,
Who takes no thought of mine or me.
O God! that I could breathe my life
On battle-plain in charging strife —
In one mad impulse pour my soul
Far beyond passion’s base control.

Thus do my jarring thoughts revolve
Their gather’d causes of offence,
Until I in my heart resolve
To dash thine angel image thence;
When some bright look, some accent kind,
Comes freshly in my heated mind,
And scares, like newly flushing day,
These brooding thoughts like owls away.

And then for hours and hours I muse
On things that might, yet will not be,
Till one by one my feelings lose
Their passionate intensity,
And steal away in visions soft,
Which on wild wing those feelings waft
Far, far beyond the drear domain
Of reason and her freezing reign.

And now again from their gay track
I call, as I despondent sit,
Once more these truant fancies back
Which round my brain so idly flit;
And some I treasure, some I blush
To own — and these I try to crush —
And some, too wild for reason’s rein,
I loose in idle rhyme again.

And even thus my moments fly,
And even thus my hours decay,
And even thus my years slip by,
My life itself is wiled away;
But distant still the mounting hope,
The burning wish with men to cope
In aught that minds of iron mould
May do or dare for fame or gold.

Another year! another year,
A LINDA , it shall not be so;
Both love and lays forswear I here,
As I’ve forsworn thee long ago.
That name, which thou wouldst never share,
Proudly shall fame emblazon where
On pumps and corners posters stick it,
The highest on the J ACKSON ticket.

Arboreal Whispers

(An original.)

Lonely forest, dim, deep, and dank,
With tarnished branches chaotically swaying,
Dance in your own denial, parading-
Let musky vapors ensue with haste.

Imbibing corpses jest and cheer,
The harvest moon beams with approbation
Lighting the shadowy hill in elation;
The time of death grows ever near.

Hands writhe and seize and penetrate
The ashen ground, and folly
Evaporates into misty melancholy
Stealing upon windowpane slates.

Beckon to the reaper’s call,
Slip into spirit and out of skin,
Should it fit, come, you’re invited in-
We’ll lay your gauzy funeral pall.

Artemas Wyman Sawyer

I discovered this gem of a gentleman yesterday evening and simply felt the necessity to write about him.

I like to describe him as a cross between Rufus Griswold and Charles Fenno Hoffman. If you take a look at his photo below, you’ll see why:
Artemas_Wyman_Sawyer

Anyway, let’s get down to who this guy was and his significance.

According to the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, he was born in Westhaven, Vermont, March 4, 1827 (924). He was the son of a Reverend, Reuben Sawyer, and Laura Wyman. He was educated at New London Academy and then Dartmouth College. He taught school in Windsor, Vermont for three years before attending a theological institute. According to this source, he decided on ministry as a career early on, most likely due to his being baptized when he was twelve. He was ordained a minister of the Baptist church in Lawrence, Massachusetts, in 1853.

Not only was he super successful at this point, but he continued on to be exceptionally successful. He became professor of classics at Acadia College in Wolfville, in 1855, which he held for five years. During this time, in 1858, he married Maria E. Chase, and the couple had five children overtime, including Everett Wyman Sawyer. Artemas returned to Acadia in 1869 as Acadia’s president and held this position for twenty-seven years.

According to a memorial article found on this website, “Though stern in appearance, Dr. Sawyer was a Christian scholar and gentleman, and in the classroom ‘a prince of teachers,’ clear in his presentation and with stimulating thoughts in his classes. He stressed the importance of Christian living. The period of Dr. Sawyer’s presidency was one of great change within university structures and curriculums. He endorsed the inclusion of science, history, languages and a system of electives. Female students were first admitted to degree courses in 1884. In 1891 Acadia College became Acadia University, and in the following year introduced a course to lead to a Bachelor of Theology.”

Basically, this guy did a lot of good for the school system. He opened doors, broke the traditional system, although reluctantly at first, and even promoted health and well-being with the opening of a gymnasium in 1890. Nice! However, in regard to the bachelor in theology, “During Sawyer’s presidency theology received very little attention because Maritime Baptists seemed unwilling to commit the funds necessary to establish a program” (source).

In 1896, Sawyer asked to be replaced, apparently, but remained professor of psychology and Christianity almost until his death in 1907. Over all, his life did not go unnoticed and he was a significant part in shaping modern Acadia University.

“He brought stability, leadership, learning, and tact to the position…” (source).

“He was described as a ‘ripe scholar, a profound thinker and a wise administrator who made Acadia richer through a devoted attention to her interests” (source).

Here you can find an example of his handwriting (source).

Here you can find one of his written works.

Here you can find another photo of the guy.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Dearest friends, today is Valentine’s Day (in case you couldn’t tell from the title). So, to celebrate, I thought I would post a poem from our very own Charles Fenno Hoffman, America’s sweetheart!

St. Valentine’s Day

The snow yet in the hollow lies;
But, where by shelvy hill ’tis seen,
In myriad rills it trickling flies
To lace the slope with threads of green;
Down in the meadow glancing wings
Flit in the sunshine round a tree,
Where still a frosted apple clings,
Regale for early Chickadee:

And chestnut buds begin to swell,
Where flying squirrels peep to know
If from the tree-top, yet, ’twere well
To sail on leathery wing below —
As gently shy and timorsome,
Still holds she back who should be mine;
Come, Spring, to her coy bosom, come,
And warm it toward her Valentine!

Come, Spring, and with the breeze that calls
The wind-flower by the hill-side rill,

The soft breeze that by orchard walls
First dallies with the daffodil —
Come lift the tresses from her cheek,
And let me see the blush divine,
That mantling there, those curls would seek
To hide from her true Valentine.

Come, Spring, and with the Red-breast’s note,
That tells of bridal tenderness,
Where on the breeze he’ll warbling float
Afar his nesting mate to bless —
Come, whisper, ’tis not always Spring!
When birds may mate on every spray —
That April boughs cease blossoming!
With love it is not always May!

Come, touch her heart with thy soft tale,
Of tears within the floweret’s cup,
Of fairest things that soonest fail,
Of hopes we vainly garner up —
And while, that gentle heart to melt,
Like mingled wreath, such tale you twine,
Whisper what lasting bliss were felt
In lot shared with her Valentine.

Now go and eat a lot of candy. Rot your teeth away.

Happy Birthday, Charles Fenno Hoffman!

Today is the Birthday of one of my favorite nineteenth century writers, Charles Fenno Hoffman.

Charles_Fenno_Hoffman

In honor of his Birthday today, I thought I’d add a quick blurb about him before sharing a couple of his poems.

Born in New York, February 7, 1806, he grew up in a “socially and politically prominent” household with parents Joseph Ogden and Maria Fenno Hoffman (Barnes 17).

At eighteen, he had nearly completed studies at Columbia College and began studying law. At twenty-one, he was admitted to the bar. He abandoned law for writing, however, and wrote anonymously for the New York American (456). In 1835, he published his first book, A Winter in the West, a two-part book documenting his travels from New York to St. Louis. This was significant as it was one of the most complete works documenting travels this way, especially as far as St. Louis, Missouri. His second work, Wild Scenes in the Forest and Prairie, was published in 1837, which was followed by his most notable novel, Greyslaer, in 1840 (457). Hoffman was the founder of the Knickerbocker magazine, edited for the New York Mirror, and in 1843 published The Vigil of Faith, a book of poetry (457).

In 1849, he “went insane,” which was an oh-so very nice way of saying he was manic depressive. He was admitted permanently to the Harrisburg State Hospital in Pennsylvania, where he remained until his death on June 7, 1884.

Despite his condition, Hoffman was known to many friends for being genial and good-natured. According to an account by William Keese, he is described as follows:

He was a general favorite in society, and his wit, bright intelligence, and genial manners, made his companionship very attractive. He was loved by the young, for he sympathized with them in their sports and enthusiasms, and from his knowledge of nature and his own adventurous experience drew the stories that take children captive. He was a gallant and noble gentleman, and a wide circle of friends mourned the affliction that befell him (Lamb 152).

He was perseverant, compassionate, honorable, and loyal. He was close to the anthologist and Edgar Allan Poe’s defamer, Rufus Griswold, and was even deeply in love at one point in his life. His poetry documents the turmoils of love and rejection, the beauty of nature and afflictions of growing up. In one poem, which I am going to post below, written on his 25th Birthday, Hoffman recollects his life up until that point and bemoans himself for his lack of accomplishments:

Birthday Thoughts
by Charles Fenno Hoffman

At twenty-five — at twenty-five,
The heart should not be cold;
It still is young in deeds to strive,
Though half life’s tale be told;
And Fame should keep its youth alive,
If Love would make it old.

But mine is like that plant which grew
And wither’d in a night,
Which from the skies of midnight drew
Its ripening and its blight —
Matured in Heaven’s tears of dew,
And faded ere her light.

Its hues, in sorrow’s darkness born,
In tears were foster’d first;
Its powers, from passion’s frenzy drawn,
In passion’s gloom were nurs’d —
And perishing ere manhood’s dawn,
Did prematurely burst.

Yet all I’ve learnt from hours rife
With painful brooding here
Is that, amid this mortal strife,
The lapse of every year
But takes away a hope from life,
And adds to death a fear.

(Source.)

Was this man truly unaccomplished? I do not think so. He was strong-willed, intelligent, and is remembered by any and all who happen to stumble upon his writings. (So, basically, I pretty much love this guy, so I’m pretty biased with most of what was said in this post. Whoops.)

Punctuation Issues Aside, a New Poem

Whimpering Psithurism

Effervescently pace the foliage,
Lithe fairy footsteps careful to step untrodden ground-
The trees shift and tremble, projecting history into forbidden spaces,
Dark, unforgotten places revealing ghostly shadows, distant war heroes,
the selfish plight of war that ignited pain, continues imprinting bloody carbon marks within the roots.
We break the land below our pitter-pattering,
They stomped with chemical-laden boots-
Mother earth cries bitter tears frozen by this winter wind,
biting whispers blowing lies of freedom into her hopeful heart.
Her cracked soil and crisp limbs moan and creak.
Her heart has long ago since shattered,
Only to be replaced by manufactured glass shards shaped and molded by unpaid hands.
Ethereal memories and unpromising futures destroy-
Watch how the dim night struggles to throw her blanket upon our souls dutifully,
trying to entwine, envelope us to mother nature.
Watch how we ignore them.

Healing Crystals Love

The Love, Inspiration, & Motivation to Heal Yourself

For the Love of Poe

Many a quaint and curious post

Glittering Afterthoughts

All that glitters...

Pretty Books

Fiction, Young Adult and Children's Books & Reviews