1856 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Bingham Tappan

George and Evert Duyckinck, in Cyclopedia of American Literature (1856) 2:380-81.



WILLIAM BINGHAM TAPPAN, the author of several volumes of pleasing occasional poems, was born in Beverley, Massachusetts, October 29, 1794. He published a volume of poems in Philadelphia in 1819, a portion of which he included in a larger collection in 1822. Another followed in 1834, and an additional volume, The Poems of William B. Tappan, not contained in a former volume, in 1836. A complete collection was formed in 1848, in four volumes, entitled, Poetry of the Heart; Sacred and Miscellaneous Poems; Poetry of Life; The Sunday School, and other Poems.

These productions are all brief, and on topics suggested in many instances by the clerical profession of their author. One of the longest is on the Sunday School, and amongst the most spirited, A Sapphic for Thanksgiving [quotation omitted]. The author is a resolute advocate of total abstinence, and opponent of slavery. The picturesque incidents of the missionary career, the hazards of a sailor's life ashore as well as afloat, the joys and sorrows of the fireside, and the inspiriting themes of Christian faith, are also frequently and variously dwelt upon. The verses are uniformly smooth, musical, and in excellent taste [quotation omitted].