ePub 版


(Born 1755, Died 1812.)

Tue author of the Columbiad” was born in collection of hymns, several of which were written the village of Reading, in Connecticut, in 1755. by himself.

He vis ele courages n'a family of tem, and his by

. The Vision of Columbus" was published in

father died while he was yet a child, leaving to 1787. It was dedicated to Louis XVI., with him property sufficient only to defray the costs of strong expressions of admiration and gratitude, bis education. On the completion of his prepara- and in the poem were corresponding passages of tory studies he was placed by his guardians at applause; but Banlov's feelings toward the Dartmouth College, but was soon induced to re amiable and unfortunate monarch appear to bare move to New Haven, where he was graduated, inchanged in after time, for in the Columbiad” he is 1778. Among his friends here were Dwight, coldly alluded to, and the adulatory lines are supthen a college tutor, Colonel HUMPHREYS, a re pressed. The “ · Vision of Columbus” was revolutionary bard of some reputation, and Trum- printed in London and Paris, and was generally BULL, the author of “ McFingal.” Barlow noticed favourably in the reviews. After its pubrecited an original poem, on taking his bachelor's lication the author relinquished his newspaper and degree, which is preserved in the “ American established a bookstore, principally to sell the Poems,” printed at Litchfield in 1793. It was poem and his edition of the Psalms, and as soon his first attempt of so ambitious a character, and as this end was attained, resumed the practice of possesses little merit. During the vacations of the the law. In this he was, however, unfortunate, for college he had on several occasions joined the his forensic abilities were not of the most popular army, in which four of his brothers were serving; description, and his mind was too much devoted and he participated in the conflict at White Plains, to political and literary subjects to admit of the and a number of minor engagements, in which he application to study and attention to business is said to have displayed much intrepidity.

necessary to secure success. He was engaged For a short time after completing his academic with Colonel HUMPHREYS, Joux TRUMBULL, and course, Barlow devoted his attention chiefly to Dr. LEMUEL Hopkins, a man of some wit, of the the law; but being urged by his friends to qualify coarser kind, in the " Anarchiad,” a satirical poem himself for the office of chaplain, he undertook the published at Hartford, which had considerable study of theology, and in six weeks became a political influence, and in some other works of licensed minister. He joined the army immediately, a similar description; but, obtaining slight peand remained with it until the establishment of cuniary advantage from his literary labours, he peace, cultivating the while his taste for poetry, by was induced to accept a foreign agency from writing patriotic songs and ballads, and composing, the “Sciota Land Company," and sailed for Euin part, his « Vision of Columbus,” afterward ex rope, with his family, in 1788. In France he panded into the “Columbiad.” When the army sold some of the lands held by this association, but was disbanded, in 1783, he removed to Hartford, deriving little or no personal benefit from the transto resume his legal studies; and to add to his actions, and becoming aware of the fraudulent revenue established « The Mercury,” a weekly character of the company, he relinquished his gazette, to which his writings gave reputation and agency and determined to rely on his pen for support. an immediate circulation. He had previously married at New Haven a daughter of the Honour

who aided in the preparation of the Connecticut edition able ABRAHAM Baldwix, and had lost his early

of WATTS, setlles the question in favour of Barlow

The following is the version to which we have alluded: patron and friend, the Honourable Titus Hosmer, on whom he wrote an elegant elegy. In 1785 he


Along the banks where Rabel's current flows, was adınitted to the bar, and in the same year, in

Our captive bands in derp despondence strayv; compliance with the request of an association of

Her friends, her children, wingled with the dead. Congregational ministers, he prepared and publish

The funeful hard that once with joy we strung, ed an enlarged and improved edition of Watts's

When prajne employd and mirth inspired the lay, version of the Psalms,* to which were appended a

And growing griel proloag'd the tedious day.
Our proud oppressors, to increase our wo,

With taunting smiles a song of Zion claim;

Bid sacred praise in strains melodious flow, of the psalms omitted by WATTS and included in

While they blaspheme the great Jehovah's name. this edition, only the eighty-eighth and one hundred and

But how, in heathen chains, and lands unknown, thirty-seventh were paraphrased by Barlow. His ver

Shall Israel's sons the sacred anthemna raise ? sion of the latter added much to his reputation, and has

O hapless Silem! God's terrestrial throne,

Thou land of glory, sacred mount of praise ! been considered the finest translation of the words of

If e'er my memory lose thy lovely name, David that has been written, though they have received

If my cold heart neglect my kindred race, a metrical dress from some of the best poets of England

Let dire destruction seize this guilty frame!

My hands shall perish and my voice shall cease! and America. Recently the origin of this paraphrase

Yet shall the Lord wbo hear when Zion calls, has been a subject of controversy, but a memorandum

O'ertake her foes with terror and diamay;

His arm avenge her desolated walls, found among the papers of the late Judge TRUMBULL,

And raise ber cbildren to eternal day. 52

W bere Zion's fall in sad remembrance rose,

In mournful silence on the willows hung,

of his poems.

In 1791, BanLow published in London « Advice there the remainder of his life. In 1806, he pubto the Privileged Orders," a work directed against lished a prospectus of a National Institution, at the distinguishing features of kingly and aristo Washington, to combine a university with a naval cratic governments; and in the early part of the and military school, academy of fine arts, and succeeding year, « The Conspiracy of Kings," a learned society. A bill to carry his plan into poem of about four hundred lines, educed by the effect was introduced into Congress, but never befirst coalition of the continental sovereigns against came a law. republican France. In the autumn of 1792, he In the summer of 1808, appeared the « Columwrote a letter to the French National Conven-biad,” in a splendid quarto volume, surpassing in the tion, recommending the abolition of the union be- beauty of its typography and embellishments any tween the church and the state, and other reforms; work before that time printed in America. From and was soon after chosen by the London Con- his earliest years Barlow had been ambitious to stitutional Society," of which he was a member, raise the epic song of his nation. The « Vision to present in person an address to that body. of Columbus,” in which the most brilliant events On his arrival in Paris he was complimented with in American history had been described, occupied the rights of citizenship, an “honour” which had his leisure hours when in college, and afterward, been previously conferred on WASHINGTON and when, as a chaplain, he followed the standard Hamilton. From this time he made France his of the liberating army. That work was executed home. In the summer of 1793, a deputation, of too hastily and imperfectly, and for twenty years which his friend GREGORIE, who before the Revo after its appearance, through every variety of forlution had been Bishop of Blois, was a member, tune, its enlargement and improvement engaged was sent into Savoy, to organize it as a department his attention. of the republic. He accompanied it to Chamberry,

The events of the Revolution were so recent and the capital, where, at the request of its president, so universally known, as to be inflexible to the he wrote an address to the inhabitants of Piedmont, hand of fiction; and the poem could not therefore inciting them to throw off allegiance to the man be modelled after the regular epic form, which of Turin who called himself their king.” Here

would otherwise have been chosen.

It is a too he wrote « Hasty Pudding," the most popular series of visions, presented by Hesper, the genius

of the western continent, to COLUMBUS, while in On his return to Paris, Barlow's time was the prison at Valladolid, where he is introduced to principally devoted to commercial pursuits, by the reader uttering a monologue on his ill-requited which, in a few years, he obtained a considerable services to Spain. These visions embrace a vast fortune. The atrocities which marked the pro- variety of scenes, circumstances, and characters : gress of the Revolution prevented his active parti- Europe in the middle ages, with her political and cipation in political controversies, though he con religious reformers; Mexico and the South Ameri

tinued under all circumstances an ardent republican. can nations, and their imagined history; the pro| Toward the close of 1795, he visited the North of gress of discovery; the settlement of the states

Europe, on some private business, and on his re now composing the federation; the war of the turn to Paris was appointed by WashingTON Revolution, and establishment of republicanism; consul to Algiers, with power to negotiate a com and the chief actors in the great dramas which he mercial treaty with the dey, and to ransom all the attempts to present. Americans held in slavery on the coast of Barbary. The poem, having no unity of fable, no regular He accepted and fulfilled the mission to the satis succession of incidents, no strong exhibition of faction of the American Government, concluding varied character, lacks the most powerful charms treaties with Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli, and of a narrative; and has, besides, many dull and liberating more than one hundred Americans, who spiritless passages, that would make unpopular a were in prisons or in slavery to the Mohammedans. work of much more faultless general design. The He then returned to Paris, where he purchased versification is generally harmonious, but mechanithe splendid hotel of the Count CLERMONT DE cal and passionless, the language sometimes in. TOXNERE, and lived several years in a fashionable correct, and the similes often inappropriate and and costly manner, pursuing still his fortunate inelegant. Yet there are in it many bursts of elomercantile speculations, revising his “great epic,” quence and patriotism, which should preserve it and writing occasionally for the political gazettes.

from oblivion. The descriptions of nature and of Finally, after an absence of nearly seventeen

personal character are frequently condensed and years, the poet, statesman, and philosopher re

forceful; and passages of invective, indignant and turned to his native country. He was received full of energy. In his narrative of the expedition with kindness by many old friends, who had cor against Quebec, under Arnold, the poet exclaims: responded with him while abroad or been remem Ah, gallant troop! deprived of half the praise hered in all his wanderings; and after spending a That deeds like yours in other tiines repays, few months in travel, marking, with patriotic pride,

Since your prime chief (the favourite erst of Fame,) the rapid progress which the nation had made in

Hath sunk so deep his hateful, hideous name,

That every honest muse with horror flings greatness, he fixed his home on the banks of the

It forth unsounded from her sacred strings; Potomac, near the city of Washington, where he Else what high tones of rapture must have told built the splendid mansion, known afterward as The first great actions of a chief so bold !

Kalorama,” and expressed an intention to spend | These lines are characteristic of his manner.


The Columbiad” was reprinted in Paris and and in the autumn of 1812 he was invited by the London, and noticed in the leading critical gazettes, Duke of Bassano to a conference with NAPOLEON but generally with little praise. The London at Wilna, in Poland. He started from Paris, and “ Monthly Magazine” attempted in an elaborate travelled without intermission until he reached article to prove its title to a place in the first class Zarnowitch, an obscure village near Cracow, of epics, and expressed a belief that it was sur where he died, from an inflammation of the lungs, pass only the “Illiad," the “ Æneid” and induced by fatigue and exposure in an inhospitable o Paradise Lost." In America, however, it was re country, in an inclement season, on the twenty-| garded by the judicious as a failure, and reviewed second day of December, in the fifty-fourth year with even more wit and severity than in England. of his age. In Paris, honours were paid to his Indeed, the poet did not in his own country receive memory as an important public functionary and a the praise which he really merited; and faults were man of letters ; his eulogy was written by DU PONT imputed to his work which it did not possess. Its DE NEMOurs, and an account of his life and sentiments were said to be hostile to Christianity,* writings was drawn up and published, accomand the author was declared an infidel; but there panied by a canto of the 6 Columbiad,” translated is no line in the “Columbiad" unfavourable to into French heroic verse. In America, too, his death the religion of New England, the Puritan faith was generally lamented, though without any pubwhich is the basis of the national greatness; and lic exhibition of mourning. there is no good reason for believing that Bar Barlow was much respected in private life for Low at the time of his death doubted the creed his many excellent social qualities. His manners of which in his early manhood he had been a were usually grave and dignified, though when minister.

with his intimate friends he was easy and familiar. After the publication of the « Columbiad,” Bar He was an honest and patient investigator, and Low made a collection of documents, with an in would doubtless have been much more successful tention to write a history of the United States ; but, as a metaphysical or historical writer than as a in 1811, he was unexpectedly appointed minister poet. As an author he belonged to the first class plenipotentiary to the French government, and of his time in America; and for his ardent paimmediately sailed for Europe. His attempts to triotism, his public services, and the purity of his negotiate a treaty of commerce and indemnifica life, he deserves a distinguished rank among the tion for spoliations were unsuccessful at Paris; men of our golden age.



I sing the sweets I know, the charms I feel,
My morning incense, and my evening meal,-
The sweets of Hasty Pudding. Come, dear bowl,

Glide o'er my palate, and inspire my soul.
YE Alps audacious, through the heavens that rise, The milk beside thee, smoking from the kine,
To cramp the day and hide me from the skies; Its substance mingled, married in with thine,
Ye Gallic flags, that, o'er their heights unfurld, Shall cool and temper thy superior heat,
Bear death to kings and freedom to the world, And save the pains of blowing while I eat.
I sing not you. A softer theme I choose,

0! could the smooth, the emblematic song A virgin theme, unconscious of the muse, Flow like thy genial juices o'er my tongue, But fruitful, rich, well suited to inspire

Could those mild morsels in my numbers chime, The purest frenzy of poetic fire.

And, as they roll in substance, roll in rhyme, Despise it not, ye bards to terror steeld, No more thy awkward, unpoetic name Who hurl your thunders round the epic field; Should shun the muse or prejudice thy fame; Nor ye who strain your midnight throats to sing But, rising grateful to the accustom'd ear, Joys that the vineyard and the stillhouse bring; All bards should catch it, and all realms revere! Or on some distant fair your notes employ,

Assist me first with pious toil to trace And speak of raptures that you ne'er enjoy. Through wrecks of time thy lineage and thy race;

* It is now generally believed that Barlow, while in France, abjured the Christian religion. The Reverend THOMAS ROBBINS, a venerable clergyman of Rochester, Massachusetts, in a letter written in 1810, remarks that “Barlow's deistical opinions were not suspected previous to the publication of his" Vision of Columbus,' in 1787 ;” and further, that “when at a later period he lost his character, and became an open and bitter reviler of Christianity, his psalm-book was laid aside ; but for that cause only, as competent judges still maintained that no revision of WATTS possesses as much poetic merit as BARLow's." I have seen two letters written by BARLOW during the last year of his life, in which he declares himself “a sincere believer of Christianity, divested of its

corruptions.” In a letter to M. GREGORIE, published
the second volume of DENNIE'S “Port Folio," pages 471
to 479, he says, “the scct of Puritans, in which I was
born and educated, and to which I still adhere, for the
same reason that you adhere to the Catholics, a conviction
that they are right," etc. The idea that Barlow dishelieved
in his later years the religion of his youth, was probably
first derived from an engraving in the “ Vision of Colum-
bus,'' in which the cross, by which he intended to repre-
sent monkish superstition, is placed among the “symbols
of prejudice.” He never "lost his character as a man of
honourable sentiments and blameless life; and I could pre-
sent numerous other evidences that he did not abandon
his religion, were not the above apparently conclusive.

Declare what lovely squaw,

in days of yore,

And while they argued in thy just defence (Ere great Columbus sought thy native shore,) With logic clear, they thus explained the sense: First gave thee to the world; her works of fame « In haste the boiling caldron, o'er the blaze, Have lived indeed, but lived without a name. Receives and cooks the ready powder'd maize; Some tawny Ceres, goddess of her days,

In haste 't is served, and then in equal haste, First learn'd with stones to crack the well-dried With cooling milk, we make the sweet repast. maize,

No carving to be done, no knife to grate Through the rough sieve to shake the golden The tender ear and wound the stony plate; shower,

But the smooth spoon, just fitted to the lip, In boiling water stir the yellow flour:

And taught with art the yielding mass to dip, The yellow flour, bestrew'd and stirrid with haste, By frequent journeys to the bowl well stored, Swells in the flood and thickens to a paste, Performs the hasty honours of the board.” Then putis and wallops, rises to the brim,

Such is thy name, significant and clear, Drinks the dry knobs that on the surface swim; A name, a sound to every Yankee dear, The knobs at last the busy ladle breaks,

But most to me, whose heart and palate chaste And the whole mass its true consistence takes. Preserve my pure, hereditary taste.

Could but her sacred name, unknown so long, There are who strive to stamp with disrepute Rise, like her labours, to the son of song,

The luscious food, because it feeds the brute ; To her, to them I'd consecrate my lays,

In tropes of high-strain'd wit, while gaudy prigs And blow her pudding with the breath of praise. Compare thy nursling man to pamper'd pigs; Not through the rich Peruvian realms alone With sovereign scorn I treat the vulgar jest, The fame of Sol's sweet daughter should be known, Nor fear to share thy bounties with the beast. But o'er the world's wide clime should live secure, What though the generous cow gives me to Far as his rays extend, as long as they endure.

quaff Dear Hasty Pudding, what unpromised joy The milk nutritious; am I then a calf? Expands my heart, to meet thee in Savoy! Or can the genius of the noisy swine, Doom'd o'er the world through devious paths to Though nursed on pudding, thence lay claim to roam,

mine? Each clime my country, and each house my home, Sure the sweet song I fashion to thy praise, My soul is soothed, my cares have found an end: Runs more melodious than the notes they raise. I greet my long-lost, unforgotten friend.

My song, resounding in its grateful glee, For thee through Paris, that corrupted town, No merit claims: I praise myself in thee. How long in vain I wander'd up and down, My father loved thee through his length of days! Where shameless Bacchus, with his drenching For thee his fields were shaded o'er with maize; hoard,

From thee what health, what vigour he possess'd, Cold from his cave usurps the morning board. Ten sturdy freemen from his loins attest; London is lost in smoke and steep'd in tea; Thy constellation ruled my natal morn, No Yankee there can lisp the name of thee; And all my bones were made of Indian corn. The uncouth word, a libel on the town,

Delicious grain! whatever form it take, Would call a proclamation from the crown. To roast or boil, to smother or to bake, For climes oblique, that fear the sun's full rays, In every dish 'tis welcome still to me, Chill'd in their fogs, exclude the generous maize: But most, my Hasty Pudding, most in thee. A grain whose rich, luxuriant growth requires Let the green succotash with thee contend; Short, gentle showers, and bright, ethereal fires. Let beans and corn their sweetest juices blend;

But here, though distant from our native shore, Let butter drench them in its yellow tide, With mutual glee, we meet and laugh once more. And a long slice of bacon grace their side; The same! I know thee by that yellow face, Not all the plate, how famed soe'er it be, That strong complexion of true Indian race, Can please my palate like a bowl of thee. Which time can never change, nor soil impair, Some talk of Hoe-Cake, fair Virginia's pride! Nor Alpine snows, nor Turkey's morbid air ; Rich Johnny-Cake this mouth hath often tried; For endless years, through every mild domain, Both please me well, their virtues much the same, Where grows the maize, there thou art sure to Alike their fabric, as allied their fame, reign.

Except in dear New England, where the last But mın, more fickle, the bold license claims, Receives a dash of pumpkin in the paste, In different realms to give thee diflerent names. To give it sweetness and improve the taste. Thee the soft nations round the warm Levant But place them all before me, smoking hot, Polata call; the French, of course, Polante. The big, round dumpling, rolling from the pot; E'en in thy native regions, how I blush

The pudding of the bag, whose quivering breast, To hear the Pennsylvanians call thee Mush! With suet lined, leads on the Yankee feast; On Hudson's banks, while men of Belgic spawn The Charlotte brown, within whose crusty sides Insult and eat thee by the name Suppawn. A belly soft the pulpy apple hides; All spurious appellations, void of truth;

The yellow bread, whose face like amber glows, I've better known thee from my earliest youth: And all of Indian that the bakepan knows,Thy name is Hasty Pudding! thus our sires You tempt me not; my favourite greets my eyes, Were wont to greet thee fuming from the fires; To that loved bowl my spoon by instinct flies.


The busy branches all the ridges fill,

Entwine their arms, and kiss from hill to hill. To mix the food by vicious rules of art,

Here cease to vex them; all your cares are done : To kill the stomach and to sink the heart,

Leave the last labours to the parent sun; To make mankind to social virtue sour,

Beneath his genial smiles, the well-dress'd field, Cram o'er each dish, and be what they devour;

When autumn calls, a plenteous crop sliall yield. For this the kitchen muse first framed her book,

Now the strong foliage bears the standards high, Commanding sweat to stream from every cook ;

And shoots the tall top-gallants to the sky; Children no more their antic gambols tried, The suckling cars the silken fringes bend, And friends to physic wonderd why they died. And, pregnant grown, their swelling coats distend; Not so the Yarkee: his abundant feast,

The loaded stalk, while still the burden grows, With simples furnish'd and with plainness dress'd, O’erhangs the space that runs between the rows; A numerous offspring gathers round the board, High as a hop-field waves the silent grove, And cheers alike the servant and the lord; [taste,

A safe retreat for little thefts of love, Whose well-bought hunger prompts the joyous

When the pledged roasting-ears invite the maid And health attends them from the short repast.

To meet her swain beneath the new-form'd shade; While the full pail rewards the milkmaid's toil,

His generous hand unloads the cumbrous hill, The mother sees the morning caldron boil; And the green spoils her ready basket fill; To stir the pudding next demands their care;

Small compensation for the twofold bliss, To spread the table and the bowls prepare:

The promised wedding, and the present kiss. To feed the children as their portions cool,

Slight depredations these; but now the moon And comb their heads, and send them off to school.

Calls from his hollow trees the sly raccoon; Yet may the simplest dish some rules impart,

And while by night he bears his prize away, For nature scorns not all the aids of art.

The bolder squirrel labours through the day. E'en Hasty Pudding, purest of all food,

Both thieves alike, but provident of time, May still be bad, indifferent, or good,

A virtue rare, that almost hides their crime. As sage experience the short process guides,

Then let them steal the little stores they can, Or want of skill, or want of care presides.

And fill their granaries from the toils of man; Whoe'er would form it on the surest plan, We've one advantage where they take no partTo rear the child and long sustain the man;

With all their wiles, they ne'er have found the art To shield the morals while it mends the size, To boil the Hasty Pudding; here we shine And all the powers of every food supplies,

Superior far to tenants of the pine; Attend the lesson that the muse shall bring;

This envied boon to man shall still belong, Suspend your spoons, and listen while I sing. Unshared by them in substance or in song.

But since, O man! thy life and health demand At last the closing season browns the plain, Not food alone, but labour from thy hand,

And ripe October gathers in the grain; First, in the field, beneath the sun's strong rays,

Deep-loaded carts the spacious cornhouse fill; Ask of thy mother earth the needful maize;

The sack distended marches to the mill; She loves the race that courts her yielding soil,

The labouring mill beneath the burden groans, And gives her bounties to the sons of toil.

And showers the future pudding from the stones; When now the ox, obedient to thy call,

Till the glad housewife greets the powder'd gold, Repays the loan that fill'd the winter stall, And the new crop exterininates the old. Pursue his traces o'er the furrow'd plain, And plant in measured hills the golden grain. But when the tender germ begins to shoot, And the green spire declares the sprouting root, The days grow short; but though the falling sun Then guard your nursling from each greedy foe, To the glad swain proclaims his day's work done, The insidious worm, the all-devouring crow. Night's pleasing shades his various tasks prolong, A little ashes sprinkled round the spire,

And yield new subjects to my various song. Soon steep'd in rain, will bid the worm retire; For now, the corn-house fill'd, the harvest home, The feather'd robber, with his hungry maw The invited neighbours to the husking come; Swift flies the field before your man of straw, A frolic scene, where work, and mirth, and play, A frightful image, such as schoolboys bring, Unite their charms to chase the hours away. When met to burn the pope or hang the king. Where the huge heap lies center'd in the hall,

Thrice in the season, through each verdant row, The lamp suspended from the cheerful wall, Wield the strong ploughshare and the faithful hoe; Brown, corn-fed nymphs, and strong, hard-handed The faithful hoe, a double task that takes,

Alternate ranged, extend in circling rows, [beaus, To till the summer corn and roast the winter cakes. Assume their seats, the solid mass attack; Slow springs the blade, while check’d by chilling | The dry husks rustle, and the corncobs crack; rains,

The song, the laugh, alternate notes resound, Ere yet the sun the seat of Cancer gains;

And the sweet cider trips in silence round. But when his fiercest fires emblaze the land,

The laws of husking every wight can tell, Then start the juices, then the roots expand; And sure no laws he ever keeps so well: Then, like a column of Corinthian mould,

For each red ear a general kiss he gains, The stalk struts upward and the leaves unfold; With each smut ear he smuts the luckless swains;


« 上一頁繼續 »