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No friends stood sorrowing round his dying bed;
Nor, with decorous woe, sedately stepp'd
Behind his corpse, and tears by retail shed;—
The mighty river, as it onward swept,
In one great, wholesale sob, his body drown'd and kept.
Toll for Sam Patch! he scorn'd the common way
That leads to fame, up heights of rough ascent,
And having heard Pope and Longinus say,
That some great men had risen to falls, he went
And jump'd where wild Passaic's waves had rent
The antique rocks;–the air free passage gave, -
And graciously the liquid element
Uphore him, like some sea-god on its wave:
And all the people said that Sam was very brave.
Fame, the clear spirit that doth to heaven upraise,
Led Sam to dive into what Byron calls
The hell of waters. For the sake of praise,
He woo'd the bathos down great waterfalls;
The dizzy precipice, which the eye appalls
Of travellers for pleasure, Samuel found
Pleasant, as are to women lighted halls
Crammid full of fools and fiddles; to the sound
Of the eternal roar, he timed his desperate bound.
Sam was a fool. But the large world of such
Has thousands,—better taught, alike absurd,
And less sublime. Of fame he soon got much,
Where distant cataracts spout, of him men heard.
Alas for Sam | Had he aright preferr'd
The kindly element to which he gave
Himself so fearlessly, we had not heard
That it was now his winding-sheet and grave,
Nor sung, 'twixt tears and smiles, our requiem for the brave.
I say, the muse shall quite forget to sound
The chord whose music is undying, if
She do not strike it when Sam Patch is drown'd.
Leander dived for love. Leucadia's cliff
The Lesbian Sappho leap'd from in a miff,
To punish Phaon; Icarus went dead,
Because the wax did not continue stiff;
And, had he minded what his father said,
He had not given a name unto his watery bed.
And Helle's case was all an accident,
As everybody knows. Why sing of these ?
and from the Falls in the Genesee River, at Rochester. He did this, as he said, to show “that some things can be done as well as others;” and hence this, now, proverbial phrase. His last feat was in the summer of 1831, when, in the presence of many thousands, he jumped from above the highest rock over which the water falls in the Genesee, and was lost. He had drank too freely before going upon the scaffold, and lost his balance in descending. The above verses were written a few days after this event.
Nor would I rank with Sam that man who went
Down into AEtna's womb—Empedocles
I think he call’d himself. Themselves to please,
Or else unwillingly, they made their springs;
For glory in the abstract, Sam made his,
To prove to all men, commons, lords, and kings,
That “some things may be done as well as other things.”
And while Niagara prolongs its thunder,
Though still the rock primeval disappears,
And nations change their bounds—the theme of wonder
Shall Sam go down the cataract of long years;
And if there be sublimity in tears,
Those shall be precious which the adventurer shed
When his frail star gave way, and waked his fears
Lest by the ungenerous crowd it might be said
That he was all a hoax, or that his pluck had fled.
Who would compare the maudlin Alexander,
Blubbering, because he had no job in hand,
Acting the hypocrite, or else the gander,
With Sam, whose grief we all can understand 2
His crying was not womanish, nor plann'd
For exhibition; but his heart o'erswell’d
With its own agony, when he the grand
Natural arrangements for a jump beheld,
And, measuring the cascade, found not his courage quell'd
But, ere he leap'd, he begg'd of those who made
Money by his dread venture, that if he
Should perish, such collection should be paid
As might be pick’d up from the “company”
To his mother. This, his last request, shall be—
Though she who bore him ne'er his fate should know—
An iris, glittering o'er his memory,
When all the streams have worn their barriers low,
And, by the sea drunk up, forever cease to flow.
Therefore it is considered, that Sam Patch
Shall never be forgot in prose or rhyme;
His name shall be a portion in the batch
Of the heroic dough, which baking Time
Kneads for consuming ages—and the chime
Of Fame's old bells, long as they truly ring,
Shall tell of him : he dived for the sublime,
And found it. Thou, who with the eagle's wing,
Being a goose, wouldst fly,–dream not of such a thing!
George W.As HINGto.N. DoANE, D.D., LL.D., Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the Diocese of New Jersey, was born in Trenton, New Jersey, on the 27th of May, 1799. At the age of nineteen, he graduated at Union College, and soon after commenced the study of theology. He officiated, for four years, as assistant minister in Trinity Church, New York, and, in 1824, was appointed Professor of Belles-Lettres and Oratory in Washington College, Hartford, Connecticut. This chair he resigned in 1828, and accepted an invitation from Trinity Church, Boston, as an assistant minister. The next year, he was married to Mrs. Eliza Greene Perkins, and, in 1830, was elected the rector of the church in which for two years he had officiated as assistant. On the 31st of October, 1832, he was consecrated Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church of New Jersey, and the next year became rector of St. Mary's Church, Burlington.
Besides attending to the arduous duties of his official position, Bishop Doane has interested himself very much in the cause of education, and has labored assiduously to promote its best interests. In 1837, he founded St. Mary's Hall, Burlington, a school for young ladies; and, in 1846, Burlington College, both of which are highly flourishing.
Bishop Doane has published no large work upon any one subject; yet his publications have been numerous, consisting mostly of sermons, charges, and literary addresses. In 1824, he published a small volume of poetry, entitled Songs by the Way, chiefly Devotional; and, from time to time, occasional pieces of singular beauty. Indeed, throughout all his writings, both prose and poetry, there is seen a refined taste and a classic finish, that give him a rank among our purest writers. He died at Burlington, N. J. April 26th, 1859.
The Device.—Two hearts united.
The Morto.—Dear love of mine, my heart is thine.
I like that ring—that ancient ring,
Of massive form, and virgin gold,
As firm, as free from base alloy
As were the sterling hearts of old.
I like it—for it wafts me back,
Far, far along the stream of time,
To other men, and other days,
The men and days of deeds sublime.
But most I like it, as it tells
The tale of well-requited love;
How youthful fondness persevered,
And youthful faith disdain'd to rove—
How warmly he his suit preferr'd,
Though she, unpitying, long denied,
Till, soften’d and subdued, at last,
He won his “fair and blooming bride.”-
How, till the appointed day arrived,
They blamed the lazy-footed hours—
How, then, the white-robed maiden train
Strew'd their glad way with freshest flowers—
And how, before the holy man,
They stood, in all their youthful pride,
And spoke those words, and vow'd those vows,
Which bind the husband to his bride:
All this it tells; the plighted troth—
The gift of every earthly thing—
The hand in hand—the heart in heart—
For this I like that ancient ring.
I like its old and quaint device;
“Two blended hearts”—though time may wear them,
No mortal change, no mortal chance,
“Till death,” shall e'er in sunder tear them.
Year after year, 'neath sun and storm,
Their hope in heaven, their trust in God,
In changeless, heartfelt, holy, love,
These two the world's rough pathway trod.
Age might impair their youthful fires,
Their strength might fail, ‘mid life's bleak weather,
Still, hand in hand, they travell'd on—
Kind souls' they slumber now together.
I like its simple poesy, too:
“Mine own dear love, this heart is thine !”
Thine, when the dark storm howls along,
As when the cloudless sunbeams shine,
“This heart is thine, mine own dear love '''
Thine, and thine only, and forever:
Thine, till the springs of life shall fail;
Thine, till the cords of life shall sever.
Remnant of days departed long,
Emblem of plighted troth unbroken,
Pledge of devoted faithfulness,
Of heartfelt, holy love, the token :
What varied feelings round it cling !—
For these, I like that ancient ring.
That silent moon, that silent moon,
Careering now through cloudless sky,
Oh, who shall tell what varied scenes
Have pass'd beneath her placid eye,
Since first, to light this wayward earth,
She walk'd in tranquil beauty forth !
How oft has guilt's unhallow'd hand,
And superstition's senseless rite,
And loud, licentious revelry
Profaned her pure and holy light:
Small sympathy is hers, I ween,
With sights like these, that virgin queen!
But dear to her, in summer eve,
By rippling wave, or tufted grove,
When hand in hand is purely clasp'd,
And heart meets heart in holy love,
To smile in quiet loneliness,
And hear each whisper'd vow, and bless.
Dispersed along the world's wide way,
When friends are far, and fond ones rove,
How powerful she to wake the thought,
And start the tear for those we love,
Who watch with us at night's pale noon,
And gaze upon that silent moon :
How powerful, too, to hearts that mourn,
The magic of that moonlight sky,
To bring again the vanish'd scenes—
The happy eves of days gone by ;
Again to bring, 'mid bursting tears,
The loved, the lost, of other years!
And oft she looks, that silent moon,
On lonely eyes that wake to weep
In dungeon dark, or sacred cell,
Or couch, whence pain has banish’d sleep:
Oh, softly beams her gentle eye -
On those who mourn, and those who die!
But, beam on whomsoe'er she will,
And fall where'er her splendors may,
There's pureness in her chasten’d light,
There's comfort in her tranquil ray:
What power is hers to soothe the heart –
What power the trembling tear to start!
The dewy morn let others love,
Or bask them in the noontide ray;
There's not an hour but has its charm,
From dawning light to dying day:--
But, oh, be mine a fairer boon—
That silent moon, that silent moon |
GRENVILLE MELLEN, 1799–1841.
do exville MELLEN, son of the late Chief Justice Prentiss Mellen, LL.D., of Maine, was born in the town of Biddeford, in that State, on the 19th of June, 1799, and graduated at Harvard University in 1818. He entered the profession of the law, but, finding it not suited to his feelings, abandoned it for the more congenial attractions of poetry and general literature. He resided five or six years in Boston, and afterwards in New York. His health had always been rather deli