The Materialistic Maiden

Where I sip coffee and judge everyone.

Month: February, 2015

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.

Advertisements

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.)

Oaken Reed

Wander with me awhile. Ponder with me awhile.

Camellia's Cottage

Alabama Lifestyle Blog

Beyond Atlas

Diary of an Outworld Artificer