The Materialistic Maiden

Where I sip coffee and judge everyone.

Category: 19th Century Writers

“Weel, Fitz, I’m here”—On Joseph Rodman Drake’s Scottish epistle, written for Fitz-Greene Halleck

For the past several weeks I have had a single poem running over and over through my mind. Because these lines have haunted me relentlessly, night and day, I feel compelled to share them. However, before we read the piece, I must provide context for the poem and its author.

“A Poet’s Epistle,” written by Joseph Rodman Drake, stems from an epistle written by Drake to his very good friend, Fitz-Greene Halleck, while abroad in Scotland. Drake, a young poet who died at age 25, acquainted himself with Halleck during Autumn of 1812, and the two “became devoted friends” very quickly, according to James Grant Wilson in his book, Life and Letters of Fitz-Greene Halleck (163). Their friendship was further solidified during the year 1813, “when Halleck, in the course of a conversation on the delights of another world, fancifully remarked that it would be heaven to ‘lounge upon the rainbow and read Tom Campbell.’ Drake was delighted with the thought, and from that hour the two poets maintained a friendship only severed by death” (163). Their friendship is furthermore evinced by the deep-rooted, brotherly love they shared, as, upon Drake’s untimely death, Fitz-Greene stated, “There will be less sunshine for me hereafter” (163). This weighted statement, paired with a poem written by Halleck and dedicated to Drake, entitled “On the Death of Joseph Rodman Drake”, showcases the profound grief that Fitz-Greene felt over the loss of Drake and provides for the reader a mere glimpse of their tragic and unabiding friendship.

Regarding “A Poet’s Epistle,” the poem seems to have made its public debut in volume 6 of the American Monthly Magazine, preceded by the following statement, “Not the least attractive pieces in this volume are those which record the intercourse of this ‘Castor and Pollux of Quizzers,’ as they were dubbed in those days when Croaker & Co. kept the town continually upon a broad grin. The ease, humour, and occasional flashes of true poetry which characterise the following epistle to Mr. Halleck, remind us of some of the happiest sallies of the Croakers…” (74). Wilson’s Life and Letters of Fitz-Greene Halleck provides even more context for the poem, as he explains, “In the spring of 1818, Dr. and Mrs. Drake, with DeKay, visited Europe….During their foreign tour, Halleck received the following poetical epistles, written by his friend Joseph Rodman Drake. The one dated May first is certainly remarkable as being the production of an American who had not been ten days in Scotland” (197-198).

Although both Wilson and the American Monthly Magazine provide slightly differing transcriptions of the poem, the one I have transcribed is borrowed from The New-York Book of Poetry, edited by Charles Fenno Hoffman, pp. 37-39.

A Poet’s Epistle.
[Written in Scotland to Fitz-Greene Halleck, Esq.]
By J. R. Drake.

Weel, Fitz, I’m here; the mair’s the pity,
I’ll wad ye curse the vera city
From which I write a braid Scots ditty
Afore I learn it;
But gif ye canna mak it suit ye,
Ye ken ye’ll burn it.

My grunzie’s got a twist until it
Thae damn’d Scotch aighs sae stuff and fill it
I doubt, wi’ a’ my doctor skill, it
‘ll keep the gait,
Not e’en my pen can scratch a billet
And write it straight.

Ye’re aiblins thinking to forgather
Wi’ a hale sheet, of muir and heather
O’ burns, and braes, and sic like blether,
To you a feast;
But stop! ye will not light on either
This time at least.

Noo stir your bries a wee and ferlie,
Then drap your lip and glower surly;
Troth! gif ye do, I’ll tell ye fairly,
Ye’ll no be right;
We’ve made our jaunt a bit too early
For sic a sight.

What it may be when summer deeds
Muir shaw and brae, wi’ bonnie weeds
Sprinkling the gowan on the meads
And broomy knowes,
I dinna ken; but now the meads
Scarce keep the cows.

For trees, puir Scotia’s sadly scanted,
A few bit pines and larches planted,
And thae, wee, knurlie, blastic, stuntit
As e’er thou sawest;
Row but a sma’ turf fence anent it,
Hech! there’s a forest.

For streams, ye’ll find a puny puddle
That would na float a shull bairn’s coble,
A cripple stool might near hand hobble
Dry-baughted ever;
Some whinstone crags to mak’ it bubble,
And there’s a river.

And then their cauld and reekie skies,
They luke ower dull to Yankee eyes;
The sun ye’d ken na if he’s rise
Amaist the day;
Just a noon blink that hardly dries
The dewy brae.

Yet leeze auld Scotland on her women,
Ilk sonzie lass and noble yeoman,
For luver’s heart or blade of foeman
O’er baith victorious;
E’en common sense, that plant uncommon,
Grows bright and glorious.

Fecks but my pen has skelp’d alang,
I’ve whistled out an unco sang
‘Bout folk I ha’ na been amang
Twa days as yet;
But, faith, the farther that I gang
The mair ye’ll get.

Sae sharpen up your lugs, for soon
I’ll tread the hazelly braes o’ Doon,
See Mungo’s well, and set my shoon
Where i’ the dark
Bauld Tammie keek’d, the drunken loon,
At cutty sark.

And I shall tread the hallowed bourne
Where Wallace blew his bugle-horn
O’er Edward’s banner, stained and torn.
What Yankee bluid
But feels its free pulse leap and burn
Where Wallace stood!

But pouk my pen! I find I’m droppin
My braw Scots style to English loppin;
I fear amaist that ye’ll be hoppin
I’d quit it quite:
If so, I e’en must think o’ stopping,
And sae, gude night.

*Note: Line one of stanza one states, “The mair’s the pity,” which may reference Sir Walter Scott’s The Black Dwarf, as the line is found verbatim here.

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.

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.

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.)

Happy Birthday, Thomas Lovell Beddoes!

tlb_portrait_branwhite2This strange, eccentric, dark poet, dramatist and physician of the nineteenth century was quite the odd fellow of his day. Beddoes, born July 20, 1803,* at Rodney Place, Clifton, was born to parents Anna and Thomas Beddoes (show below). Thomas Beddoes, who passed when Lovell Beddoes was only five years old, was a prestigious physician, and his mother was related to acclaimed novelist, Maria Edgeworth.

thomas_beddoes anna_beddoes

Beddoes’ earliest writing, written at just fourteen or fifteen years old, was “Cynthio and Bugboo,” written somewhere between 1817-1819. His next big piece, written in 1819, was the “Bride’s Tragedy,” which is one of his more famous and known works today. He was known to be mischievous in school, but was greatly interested in Elizabethan drama and continued to write into college. Attending Oxford, just his freshman year he released a pamphlet called the “Improvisatore,” however he made great attempts, later on in college, to rid of all evidence of these pieces. In 1822, he published the “Bride’s Tragedy,” which then took onto great praise by critics, and he was deemed a budding writer.

According to the Phantom Wooer online, “In an unpublished letter in 1824 Procter describes Beddoes as ‘innocently gay, with a gibe always on his tongue, a mischievous eye, and locks curling like the hyacinth…'” Just a little later, his mother passed away, and Beddoes was unable to see her for she had passed before he reached her. This put a hold on his career, however he graduated in 1825 with a bachelor’s and then took off to working on new pieces including “Torrismond,” one of his other very well known works today. He also began his great work, “Death’s Jest-Book.”

In July 1836, he went back to college at the university of Göttingen, where he remained for four years studying physiology, surgery, and chemistry. During this time, he finished his great piece, in its earliest form, “Death’s Jest-Book,” went back to Oxford in 1829 to obtain his M.A. degree, and obtained a degree of doctor of medicine in 1832.

It is said, “He had, however, by the open expression of democratic opinions, made himself obnoxious to the government, and before the diploma was actually conferred upon him he was obliged to fly out of the Bavarian dominions, and to take refuge at Strassburg. In 1833 he visited Zurich, and was so much pleased with it that, when his political intrigues had again made it impossible for him to remain in Germany, he settled down at Zurich in June 1835. He brought with him a considerable reputation as a physiologist, for Blumenbach, in a testimonial which exists, calls him the best pupil he ever had; and he now assumed his degree of M.D. The surgeon Schoelieu proposed him to the university as a professor, and he was elected, although the syndic, for a political reason, refused to ratify the election. Beddoes, however, continued to reside in Zurich for several years, and amassed there a scientific library of 600 volumes” (Phantom Wooer Online).

During this time, he witnessed the assassination of the minister, Hegetschweiber, a close friend of his, and this sparked great political fire in his heart. In August of 1842, he was in England, and went back and forth between England and Zurich before settling in England once more in 1846. According to Phantom Wooer, “his friends found him very much changed, and most eccentric in manner. He complained of neuralgia, and shut himself up for six months in his bedroom, reading and smoking. In June 1847 he finally quitted England, and settled for twelve months at Frankfort in the house of an actor named Degen, practising a little as a physician. Here in the early part of 1848 his blood became poisoned from the virus of a dead body entering a slight wound in his hand. This was overcome, but seriously affected his health and spirits. His republican friends had deserted him, and he felt disgusted with life.”

It is said he fell off a horse and shattered his leg in 1848, was hospitalized, and due to gang-green, his leg was amputated. He seemed in good spirits, and talked freely and happily about literature to his friends, however he mysteriously passed at 10:00pm January 26, 1849. On his bed was found a note stating to give a man named Kelsall, a good acquaintance of his and biographer and anthologist of Beddoes’ works, his manuscripts and works, as well as the following statement: “I ought to have been among other things a good poet.” He was buried in the cemetery of the hospital in Basel, Switzerland.

(All information taken from this webpage.) I suggest you take a look around their website, as it is full of a lot of information about Beddoes not stated here.

You can find Beddoes’ works, specifically his dramatical pieces, here and here; his letters here; and his poetry here and here.

*According to another source, on Wikipedia: “Although older sources give 20 July 1803 as Beddoes’ birthdate, recent ones favor 30 June. Compare Moulton’s Library of Literary Criticism (1966) against The New Moulton’s Library of Literary Criticism (1988) and subsequent sources. Ewulp (talk) 05:20, 28 May 2011 (UTC)” However, Kelsall, Thomas Lovell Beddoes’ very good friend and biographer, stated in his memoir written for Beddoes that he was born July 20th. I believe he was born July 20th.

A Fragment-By William Henry Leonard Poe

[ORIGINAL]
A FRAGMENT.

Well! I have determined–lightly it may be–but when there is nothing to live for–nothing that the heart craves anxiously and devotedly, life is but a kind of prison house from which we would be freed.

I feel even at this moment a something of impatience to know what death is–and although I am now writing the very last words this band will ever trace–yet even the outward show–the trifles of the world beguile me–

The ink is not good–I have stirred it–’tis better now, and I have mended my pen–’tis disagreeable, even if it is our very last letter, to write with a band pen–a blot!–I must erase it–this when an hour will finish my existence!–an existence of wretchedness–one of weary, bitter disappointment.

I feel as if hungry, and suddenly a sumptuous feast before me–surfeiting myself–revelling in my thoughts–indulging in what I have been afraid to think of–I have but a short hour to live, and the ticking of the clock before me, seems a laughing spectator of my death–I wish it had life–it would not then be so gay–nay, it might be a partner of my melancholy.

Pshaw! this pen–surely my hand must have trembled when I made it–I have held it up to the light–Heavens’ my hand does tremble–No! tis only the flickering of the lamp.

It will–at least it may be asked, why I have done this–they ay say I was insane–the body which is earthed cannot feel their taunts, and the soul cares not.

I have a strange wish even at this time–it is that some maiden would plant flowers on my grave–which my mortality would add life to.

When there is no hope–no cheering prospect to brighten, no land to mark the bewildered scaman’s way–why not try death?

“And come it slow or come it fast,
It is but death that comes at last.”

There are many who would rather linger in a life of wretchedness, disappointment–and other causes which blight many a youthful heart, and make ruin and desolation in the warmest feelings–yes! even the lip must smile and the eye be gay–although whne night brings us to our couch we unconsciously wish it was for the last time.

Such is man–such is mankind!–I have still one half hour to live–one half hour!–yet I look around me as if it was the journey of a day, and not an eternal adieu!–Why should I live? Delighting in one object, and she

“The fairest flow’r that glittered on a stem
To wither at my grasp.”

No more–the pistol–I have loaded it–the balls are new–quite bright–they will soon be in my heart–Incomprehensible death–what art thou?

I have put the pistol to my bosom–it snapped–I had forgotten to prime it–I must do it–

In the act of doing so it went off, and I awoke and found myself rolling on the floor, having fallen from my bed in the agitation of a most strange and singular dream.

W. H. P.

(*Transcribed while watching Plain Jane. Thought you all might like to know. This was posted, as requested, for a dear friend of mine. I quite liked this piece.)

Monte Video-By William Henry Leonard Poe

(As per requested by a friend, here is a piece by dearest Henry. Please enjoy.) 

FOREIGN SCENES AND CUSTOMS.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE NORTH AMERICAN.
MONTE VIDEO.

After a passage in which we had the usual quantity of good and bad weather, we arrived at the entrance of the Giver Plate, where we saw a large Brazilian fleet at anchor–Not caring to be overhauled, and feeling a little proud of our vessel, we determined to shew them it was in our power, and not in theirs, whether we would submit to it or not–and so it proved, for the vessel they had sent in chase of us, whether from fear, as we looked “rakish,” or from dull sailing, was soon far behind, and ere night we had lost sight of her entirely. As we were now near the place of destination, Monte Video, we anchored until the coming day–our captain, with that caution so natural to a yankee, would not risk his vessel at the very port, after having successfully passed the dangers of “The dark and stormy ocean.”

It was almost sun-down when we arrived at the harbor, and there was something sombre and gloomy in the place which I did not like–perhaps the number of vessels which had seen their best days, and have by accident or design drifted on shore: or the gloomy towers of their large cathedral,–the low long dark buildings designed for barracks and hospitals–to which you may add a dark evening,–caused the feeling, but certain it is, the place made an unfavorable impression on me, although during my stay there I found it the very reverse of what I at first anticipated. Yet when I think of it, the impressions of my mind on first beholding the city, still forcibly revert back, notwithstanding the subsequent proof of the incorrectness with which they were formed:–so firmly does first ideas cling to the remembrance.

Monte Video is at present in possession of the Brazilians–but the Patriots were almost at the very gates, and it was a common occurrence to observe a skirmish between parties of the contending armies;–but whether it was the effusion of some hot-headed young officer, who thought it a pleasant way of ending the day, or was dictated by the more experienced head of age, I cannot determine; but the former opinion seems the most probable, as not benefit could be expected by either party from their occurrence, and they generally ended with the loss of two or three killed or wounded on either side.

I had the good fortune to be there during the Carnival–I say good fortune, but I think I am rather wrong, as I received some not very agreeable effects of their frolic–however, as I witnessed something novel, and as we must generally contribute in some manner for the indulgence of our curiosity, I must fain be satisfied. The officers of the French Corvette Zelé, then in port, with the gaiety peculiar to their nation, appeared to be in their proper element. On the morning of the first day, their largest boat, manned with sixteen oars and the white pennon of France flying, was seen approaching the town. In her bows, leaning on a staff and dressed only in a pair of tarry trowsers and tarpaulin hat, was a person whom I had taken for a negro, and it was therefore with no small surprise that I learnt he was the captain of the corvette–In the stern were seven or eight other officers, all in masquerade dresses. As this was the first scene of the kind which I had ever beheld, you may be assured it afforded me considerable amusement.

In strolling through the streets gazing at the strange figures before me, I received a blow, which gave me,–not the appendage of a gentleman,–in the appearance of an essential member of my physiognomy. Surprised at this unlooked for compliment, I turned round as hastily as the effects of my mishap would permit, and discovered that the persons who had thus cavalierly treated me, were some young ladies, stationed on a neighboring terrace, who immediately began to pelt me with eggs filled with cologne water, and from one of which well-aimed missiles I received the mark, which, in my own country, would have caused a suspension of my perambulations for some time–I was afterwards informed that iw as a great compliment to be noticed in so striking a manner by the fair ones of the city–but notwithstanding this intimation, I felt no anxiety to receive any more of them, if they were to be conferred in a similar coin.

The commerce of Monte Video is not very great. Its imports are beef, pork, soap, wines, brandy, gin, &c. Its exports are principally hides and horns, but vessels generally return from thence in ballast, as hides are frequently shipped at a great loss. It can never be a place of much trade–the harbour is gradually filling up, and vessels drawing more than sixteen feet water cannot come within some miles of the town–and lying in the open roads is very dangerous, as the anchorage is not good, and the heavy gales which are so frequent, have driven many a gallant ship from its proper element to the land. The Macedonian dragged her anchors to within an hundred yards of a reef–and our commodore after that, at the least appearance of a blow, had every thing safe and snug.

The inhabitants of Monte Video are principally Portuguese–but there are many Americans and Englishmen in the place, all intent on making money,–no matter how. It is an actual fact, that most of the vessels which have forced the blockade and arrived at Buenos Ayres, were first purchased at Monte Video–and I have many reasons to believe that the principal authorities wink at the procedure. The inhabitants are generally believed to be in favor  of the Patriots, but if so, they do not and dare not openly avow it.

Peaches, apples, melons, &c. are now (February,) in great plenty; and, whist I am complaining of the warmth, you are no doubt blowing your fingers, and wishing for a residence in a milder clime. But with all the novelties and all the attractions which a foreign country possesses, still in the midst of pleasure the heart will turn to its home, and long to be there. There is something in tis very name, which crowds the mind with such pleasurable sensations that it is impossible to describe them.

As an instance of the kindly feeling with which our countrymen greet each other in a foreign land, I will state a little circumstance that transpired whilst at Monte Video. One Sunday a friend and myself had strayed a short distance out of the gates, when we perceived two persons approaching us; I do not know if it was instinct, but I immediately fancied they were my countrymen–and I thought they were yankees-“You’ve guessed right,” says one; and in fifteen minutes we were almost as well acquainted as if we had been brothers–and I verily believe I never passed a more pleasant afternoon.

But I had nearly forgotten the ladies, who of course are entitled to some notice in my attempt to describe their city. They are generally rather handsome, with somewhat of the Spanish cast–and so far from being disinclined to intimacy with foreigners, as most of their countrymen are, many have intermarried with the English and Americans resident here, and are gradually losing that restraint imposed on their sex in Catholic countries. I am. &c.

W.H.P.

(*I apologize if there were any mistakes when transcribing this piece. Please let me know if this is the case, and I will fix it.)

Rufus Griswold’s “Five Days”

I figured that, rather than writing a long post discussing this man now, I would share a snippet of information and poem and call it quits for the day.

For starters, Griswold was Edgar Poe’s rival and enemy–don’t worry, the feelings were mutual. In fact, Griswold went on to destroy Edgar’s reputation after Poe’s death, and said rumors stated in the infamous obituary written by Sir Griswold continue on to this day. I digress, as this isn’t about their feud.

Despite the fact that this gentleman was sometimes cruel, Griswold had redeeming qualities; specifically being that after his wife Caroline’s death, Rufus stayed faithfully by her casket as it was being delivered by train, and neither slept nor left her side for thirty hours. There was another occurrence, thirty days after her burial, in which he stayed by her side, once again weeping profusely for a second go of thirty hours. At this point, a friend had to seize the man and urge him away from her corpse.

Thus, with this meager bit of information above, written to provide some vague context, I present, below, a poem written by Griswold after Caroline’s death. I hope you all enjoy. It is long, however it is worth the read.

FIVE DAYS.

We parted as the day drew near its end.
The rose of health was on her beauteous cheeks.
Her quenchless love beamed sadly from her eyes,
And when I prayed that Heaven would preserve us,
She joined, with tears, as if some dreadful signal
Had gleamed upon her from another world.
“My love—my wife!” “Dear husband, may God bless you!”
And then we kissed each other fervently,
And I commended her to Him again
Who is the Friend of all who are in sorrow,
And promised quickly to come back to her.
A new embrace—oh God! how ardent was it!—
And then I tore myself from her dear arms,
With passionate kisses, and hot, streaming tears.
I looked back from the window of my carriage.
Her heavenly eyes were watching my departure,
With such unutterably deep affection
That when the winding street did hide her from me,
It seemed as if the stars were blotted out.
As if the holy angels veiled their faces,
As if God had withdrawn His high support.

The third day came, and I, afar from her,
Sat with my gay companions at the board.
The jest went round, the merry laugh rung out.
No thought of sorrow made a bright eye dim—
It was the end of human life to me;
My other days are but a lingering death.

The bell sounds quick—my name is in the hall—
A messenger is there to summon me
From festive scenes unto the charnel-house!
His errand is not spoken, nor do eyes
Import the dreadful sentence to my mind.
But the air changes, and my sight grows dim,
While some invisible being brands the tidings
Deep on my heart, Henceforth thou art alone!

As the dawn broke into her silent chamber,
Around her bed were gathered a few friends,
Waiting the moment of her soul’s departure.
She looked about her for one far away.
In her delirium she had cried for him,–
The partner of her young and happy years!
But now the seal of death was on her lips,
And she still sought him with her tender eyes,
Which shone with dazzling and supernal brightness.
What tongue can tell the agony she felt
When other forms approached her dying bed,
And he came not—the chosen of her soul!

The iron steeds that night flew swiftly onward.
The stars were veiled, the moon refused to shine,
A black eclipse was on the face of nature.
The outer and the inner world were darkened.
Before the midnight we had met again!
The living and the dead were locked together,
Not in the cruel Tuscan’s loathed embrace,
But with love stronger than Mezentius’ steel.

I knelt beside you all the long drear night.
I kissed with agony your marble brow.
And though your old companions turned away
Oh, dearest, from your cold and faded form,
Death could not make it terrible to me.
Although the blackness of too quick decay
Began to overspread your beauteous cheeks,
And your sweet lips were colorless and cold,
And the dull lustre of your straining eyes
Did fall like mildew on my anguished heart,
Could I forget that roses here had bloomed?
That these to mine had been so often pressed?
That these had beamed such tender love on me?
Oh, those mild eyes! their lids were still half-parted.
And you seem’d, dear one, striving to unclose them,
To give assurance by their gentle glances
That e’en in death I still was loved by you.

When my head rested on your icy temples
Their very coldness warmed my brain to phrenzy.
I called upon you, dearest, in my madness,
To break the fetters in which death had bound you,
To look into my eyes, to glad my ears
With the sweet melody of your dear voice,
Saying you loved me and forgave my errors.
I cried, oh heart, unto whose quick pulsations
I’d listened in so many a sorrowing hour
Until your turbulent motion brought me peace,
“Awake! beat on! the river of my tears
Again doth wet the drapery about thee!”
But cold, all cold, and silent as the statue
That has reclined o’er death a thousand years!

Then I would gaze on you, and round your coffin,
Oh, dear one, clasp my arms, in wretchedness,
And kiss you with hot lips, and cry to God
To let you come, in mercy, back to me.
And seeing tears upon your cheeks and eyes,
I deemed my prayer was heard, and laughed aloud,
And shouted, in my joy, my thanks to Heaven.
But when my reason was once more in action,
And I perceived those waters had but fallen
From the hot fountain struggling in my brain,–
Oh, then, in utterness of woe, I died,
And fell beside you in death’s helplessness.
To me came back the life invoked for you.
I had not drained the dregs of suffering
The dread compound of misery and life
Was so commingled in cup for for me.
I could not drink from one without the other,–
And He permits them not to pass from me.

You had no equal in your loving kindness
When you were with me in this cheerless world;
And can it be that your immortal spirit
Feels less of that exalted, deep affection,
That gave your voice on earth its seraph sweetness,
That made your eyes beam with celestial brightness,
The gentle twining of your arms around me
To seem like the embrace of holy angels,
Than while you lingered here on earth among us?
Oh, loved one! in your more exalted virtue
Is there such change made in your very nature
That you can feel no pity for your husband,
Left here alone to die, and not see death?
If a cold word in life did veil my feelings,
And I seemed harsh, or any way unkind,
You now can read my heart’s most secret pages,
And know my love was changeless as’t was fervent.
Have I not drank sufficiently of woe,
Has not my punishment been deep enough,
To win your pardon and your sympathy?
The true, who die in Christ, my faith has taught me
Become the ministers of God to us
Who linger with frail hearts and unchaste passions
In this dark valley of the shade of death.
To whom, Oh holy and immortal being,
Would you return more quickly than to me?
For two long nights have I my vigils kept,
Thinking the living and the dead might meet
Beside the form your mortal life made sacred;
Still praying God that you might visit me,
And you, to manifest your spirit’s presence,
And strained my glazed eyes to see your form
In the cold vacancy that was about me.
You saw my agony, yet would not heal it;
You knew my brain was turned to molten lava,
And would not lay your finger on my brow;
You who once lived but to fulfil my wishes,
And gave fruition ere my hopes were uttered,
Now heard my prayer for one brief word of pardon,
Knowing it would give peace unto my soul,
And yet were silent as the clay before me!

Then I went out to look upon the stars
In hopes to hear their ancient music waken
The holy harmonies that gave to man
Assurance of a more sublime existence,
Where pain and death and mourning could not come.
But they shone coldly on me from their places,
In the far ether, and were still as death.
So I came back, in hopeless agony, 
To cling again unto your senseless clay,
With prayers that as you would not come to me,
I might, without self-murder, fly to thee.

It was the evening of a day in spring
When first I met her in her quiet home;
Within the street were raging rain and wind,
And the kind shelter that I found beside her,
By some mysterious agency expanded
Over my life and soul, which in the world
Had known no haven from its strifes and storms.
A year passed on, and as the early flowers
Were budding in their beauty, we were wedded.
Strange was the history of our love till then—
I let it linger with her in the tomb,
Where, in my life-time, I am chained to death.
Five winters and six summers have gone by,
Made all one summer by her love and virtue,
And when once more the chill November blasts
Shriek in the skies, God takes her to himself.

I heard the night with solemn pace depart—
A day of gloom, with withered garlands crowned,
Tread on her garments as she moved away.
I gather’d a few autumn flowers for her,
Flowers she had reared with gentlest hand for me,
And placed the parting gift upon her bier.
Her scarce-closed eye still seemed to look at me,
Thanking me kindly for the recollection;
But now no tears gushed out to answer her,
The fountain was dried up, at length, for Hope—
The false wild hope she would come back to me—
Stole in the darkness from my side, and left
But utter hopelessness and desolation.

My children—my poor children!—knelt beside me,
I sever’d from her glossy auburn tresses,
For them and me, a frail memorial,
To wear upon our hearts as a rich treasure,
Until our own times come to leave the world.
They who had known her in her early years,
And kept their feelings fresh in after time,
And some who only knew her as the one
Who was the object of my earthly worship,
Approached to look a last and sad farewell.
Then all kneeled down and heard God’s minister
Rehearse the solemn service for the dead.
And then, oh, dearest, you were veiled forever
From those who loved you and from those you loved.
I gazed with desperate calmness on the scene,
Exhausted was the fountain of my tears.
My heart was crushed by its dread weight of woe.

Out of the city, in a quiet vault,
Where her dead mother had before her gone,
My wife and only son were laid together—
A son of prayers, who looked upon the world,
Raised for a moment to his lips the cup
Which held life’s bitter waters, sat it down,
And unto Heaven returned, pure as he came.
The drapery of death is now about them;
The strifes and tumults of this changing world
Cannot disturb the quiet of their rest.
My heart is with its idol in the coffin,
The darkness of her silent place of sleeping
Pervades for me all time and space herafter.

O God! oh God! I know that Thou art just.
That all Thy judgements are with mercy tempered.
That Thou afflictest not with willingness,
And dost design all sorrows for our good.
But I knew not Thy law in perfectness,
I deemed that she who was but loaned to me,
Was a full gift, and to be mine forever.
I never thought that my sweet guardian angel,
Was here but on a mission to save my soul.
“Thou Lord didst give, and Thou hast ta’en away!”
I strive to add the blessing to Thy name
And from my lips, indeed, the high words fall,
But oh, Thou knowest my human heart
Has not submitted to Thy chastening, Lord!
That I have yet failed in my weak endeavors
To bow in humbleness unto Thy will.
I do beseech Thee who wert man Thyself,
And felt the passions of our mortal nature,
Thou who hast tasted death and all our sorrows
To open for us the barred gates of Heaven,
To show me pity. I would fain deliver
Myself and all I have into Thy hand,
To be dealt with as seemeth good to Thee;
But, Lord, how can I meetly yield so much—
Far more than mine own mortal life to me—
Without the aid of Thy most gracious spirit!
Midnight, Nov. 11, 1842

(Poem taken from this source.)

The Pirate by Henry Poe-Part Two

This is my second and final installment of Henry Poe’s The Pirate. (I apologize that this had been put off so long until now.) You can read the first part here.

“The events of my boyhood I pass over–suffice it to say, I lost my parents at an early age, and was left to the care of a relation. I received a good education, and knew sorrow but by name until I had attained my eighteenth year. I then began a new existence–I was in love–Yes! if ever a man loved passionately–intensely,–I did. I was singular, romantic in my ideas, and Rosalie was equally so. I will pass over the few happy hours of our affection–they would be tedious, and I would not wish to bring them to my mind too foreibly–she promised me her hand, and declared that none but myself should ever possess it–Oh! my friend, you are young–but beware how you entrust your heart and happiness into the keeping of a woman!–it is this that has brought me to what I am–a wretched outcast–a murderer!–a broken-hearted, desperate being!”–The perspiration stood in large drops on his forehead–after a pause of a moment he continued:

“I was too much restricted by poverty to marry–but I believed that I possessed talents which would place me beyond the reach of its effects–I accordingly embraced an offer from a friend to engage in a trading voyage to the West Indies, and as my health was delicate, my friends considered the climate would restore my frame to its usual vigour. I bade a farewell to home and to Rosalie–that kiss!–that farewell kiss, was our last.

We were detained nearly a year trading to different ports, and altho’ I had written home every opportunity, had never received an answer. It was with such feelings of rapturous joy which language is incapable of defining, that I saw our vessel fast approaching my native land–a thousand endearing recollections rushed on my mind–the thought that my Rosalie was false, had never entered my brain–I would have blushed if it had done so.

It was night when our boast landed me at the wharf, and I flew with a beating heart towards her dwelling.

I forgot to mention the dagger–I purchased it with some other trinkets on account of its beauty, and had that day carelessly put it in my waistcoat pocket.

There were lights in the front of the house and I heard music–I wished to see her alone, and went to the garden gate–every thing reminded me of the blissful hours I had passed–I walked towards the servants’ houses, intending to get one of them to carry a message to Rose. The first one I met had often carried letters bewteen us–but she did not recognize me, until I spoke, when she exclaimed, “Oh Lord! Master Edgar is it you!–Miss Rose is to be married in half an hour!” and burst into tears. I have often since been surprised at my own firmness, for I listened calmly to her tale!–’twas short–a wealthy suitor had been proposed and was accepted. I asked if she could not procure me an interview–that, she said was impossible, but I would stand in the passage I might see her as she passed to the room. Thither I went, and as there was only a small lamp burning, I could not easily be discovered–I heard her laughing and talking gaily in her dressing room–strange feelings came over me–a thousand lights seemed to dance before my eyes–a difficulty of breathing, and a confused sensation of pain oppressed me–when I came to myself I was leaning against the wall and my hand convulsively grasping the dagger.

The door opened, and Rosalie with several others, came into the passage–I waited until she was nearly opposite to me, when I let fall the cloak with which I had concealed my face, and exclaimed “do you know me!–I am Edgar Leonard!”–She shrieked at the mention, and I buried my dagger in her bosom!”—-

He paused-his countenance was livid, and he bit his lip till the blood spouted on the table before him.–After a few moments he became more composed, and hastily swallowing a glass of wine, proceeded-

“I remember nothing afterwards until I found myself in the street–my hand felt stiff, and when I held it up in the moonlight, I discovered that it was blood–the truth flashed across my bewildered mind–’twas Rosalie’s life-blood! the dagger, too, looked dim–that too was stained with the blood of her, for whom, but one short hour previous to the fatal disclosure of her inconsistency, every drop in my own veins should have freely flowed!–I knew not how I got there, but I was in the boat, and I remember telling the men to land me on the opposite shore. I wished to fly, if possible, from thought, and embarked under a feigned name in a vessel for Colombia, intending to join the Patriots. On our passage we were captured by this vessel, and as I was now an outcast from society, I gladly joined them, and at the death of their captain I(?)* was chosen the commander.

I am weary of life, yet, although a murderer, I cannot commit suicide. I have courted death, but it shuns me–so true it is, that

“Life’s strange principle will longest lie
Deepest in those who wish the most die.”

You have now heard the history of my ill-fated life–but I have something more with you”–with this, he opened a chest and drew thence a bag of gold–“Take this,” said he,–“it may benefit you–me it never can–and yet,” he bitterly added, that at one time, perhaps, would have made me the happiest of mortals in the possession of my”–He stopped short–and suddenly clasping his hands to his forehead, he reeled and sunk senseless on the floor, ere I could recover from the bewildering maze which had seized upon my faculties.–He slowly recovered, and, when he seemed somewhat composed, I endeavored to persuade him to renounced his present mode of life, and again return to the bosom of civilized society–“Never!” exclaimed he, with a vehemence which made me shrink back with terror–“Never shall my outlawed foot pollute the soil of my much injured country–some speedy vengeance may here close my hated existence–but to bear in retirement those stings of remorse which which my guilt-stricken conscience is afflicted, would be worse than a thousand deaths on the ocean, where every nerve would be firmly strung in the conflict.” His firmness awed me into silence, and I felt no inclination to renew my endeavors to avert him from his purpose.

In a few days we fell in with a vessel bound to Charleston, in which I obtained a passage, and, after bidding an affectionate farewell to the youthful commander of the pirate, to whose attention and kindness I was mainly indebted for my restoration to health, we kept on our course homeward, and his little barque was soon beyond the reach of our observance. When the last glimpse was extinct, (and until then I stood motionless on the deck,) I retired to the cabin, where I found that not only my baggage had been safely and carefully delivered through his orders, but that the gold which I had intentionally left in the cabin of the corsair, was also placed in the hands of the captain, to be delivered to me.

After a pleasant run of five days we reached our destined port, and it being the sabbath day on which we landed, my first duty was fulfilled in repairing to the church and offering up my grateful acknowledgements for the signal display of the finger of providence in my behalf,–and in which a prayer for the unfortunate pirate was not forgotten.”

*I am unsure what this word is.

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