Willis Gaylord Clark

Lewis Gaylord Clark, "Memoir" in Literary Remains of Willis Gaylord Clark (1844) 5-16

It was my purpose, in introducing the ensuing pages to the public, to have accompanied them with a more elaborate Memoir of the life of their author than had hitherto appeared; the chief additional attraction of which, however, I had hoped to present in extracts from his familiar correspondence. I say "chief attraction," because in the able Memoir from the pen of his eminent friend, Hon. Judge CONRAD, of Philadelphia, published in GRAHAM'S Magazine for 1840, and in the excellent and authentic sketch which prefaces the selections from his verse in Mr. GRISWOLD'S Poets and Poetry of America — of the former of which the Departed often expressed his approbation — all that is essential for the information of the reader was felicitously and succinctly embodied. But, as I have said, something more than this I had contemplated; something which, under his own hand, and in the easy play of unstudied correspondence with his most intimate friend on earth, should be an exponent of his "inner life," his every-day thoughts, impulses, and affections. Why I have not been able to do this, I shall now briefly explain.

For many many months previous to the death of my twin-brother, that event was constantly in my mind, and tinged the whole current of my thoughts. Each sun that rose and set upon us, I "counted toward his last resting-place;" and the slow-swinging pendulum of a clock, accidentally encountered, appeared to me to have but one purpose; it was notching his resistless progress to an early grave. When the last bitter hour came; when all that was mortal of my "severed half" had ceased to live; nothing it seemed could add to the poignant sense of present bereavement. I was told indeed that Time, the great Healer, would soften the bitterness of my regret; that even the memory of a past sorrow might yet become "pleasant, though mournful to the soul." Among many letters which I received soon after WILLIS'S death, was one which I can not resist the inclination to quote here:

"Sunnyside Collage, July 8, 1841.


I have not sooner replied to your letter of the eighteenth of June, communicating the intelligence of the untimely death of your brother, because in fact I was at a loss how to reply. It is one of those cases in which all ordinary attempts at consolation are apt to appear trite and cold, and can never reach the deep-seated affliction. In such cases, it always appears to me better to leave the heart to struggle with its own sorrows, and medicine its own ills; and indeed, in healthful minds, as in healthful bodies, Providence has beneficently implanted self-healing qualities, that in time close up and almost obliterate the deepest wounds.

"I do not recollect to have met your brother more than once, but our interview left a most favorable impression, which was confirmed and strengthened by all I afterward knew of him. His career, though brief, has been useful, honorable, popular, and I trust generally happy; and he has left behind him writings which will make men love his memory and lament his loss. Under such circumstances, a man has not lived in vain; and though his death be premature, there is consolation to his survivors springing from his very grave.

Believe me, my dear sir,

Yours very truly,



Replete with characteristic feeling and beauty as is this most kind note, which is cited as one of many kindred letters of condolence that reached me at this period, I can not let it pass to the reader without saying, even at the risk of exposing a mind bereft of self-healing qualities, and unhealthful, that the deep wound which I have received only yawns the wider with the lapse of time. Although "it is only dust that descends to dust;" although it was "not the brother, the friend, the cherished being," that went down into the grave, to sleep in cold obstruction; yet it is to that grave that Memory still points the unmoving finger. There every phase of nature is earliest marked. There springs the first tender green of the early spring-time; there upon the long grass shimmers down the sun-light through the heavy foliage of thick-leaved June; there wails the November wind; there rustle the withered leaves and fall the "sorrowing rains" of melancholy autumn; and there, in the howling midnight storm, over the walls of St. Peter's church-yard, Winter "weaves his frolic architecture of snow." There, features once radiant with intellectual light have faded into indistinctness; there the eye that loved t look upon all the glorious works of GOD, is closed to color, and the ear to sound; there the warm hand, whose cordial grasp of fraternal affection can never be forgotten, moulders at the crumbling side. And upon the correspondence traced through many years by that now wasted hand, I can not yet look. Since the announcement, by the publishers, of the immediate issue of the present work, I have tried repeatedly to overcome this reluctance, but I can not. It may be a morbid feeling-doubtless it is; but it is not less certain that with me it is irresistible. "There is some latent, some mysterious yet undeniable connection" (says an eloquent writer, in allusion to the correspondence of departed friends) "between those lifeless manuscripts and the beings whose affections seem even yet to haunt and hover round them; and the pulse beats, and the blood gushes through the loyal heart, as it vibrates again to the well-remembered words, and half listens for the voice that might have uttered them." It is this ordeal which I can not yet brave.

Let me hope, therefore, that the reader will receive my apology for omitting what I had hoped to be able to present; and accept the following brief Memoir, as embracing all the essential facts in the history of its subject. We quote from the article in GRAHAM'S Magazine to which we have alluded:

"Of the several excellent writers whose names we have placed upon our catalogue as worthy of the honor we intend to do them (a series of portraits of popular Philadelphia authors, accompanied by suitable notices of their lives and works,) the first we select is that of WILLIS GAYLORD CLARK, whose rare abilities as a poet, and whose qualities as a man, justify this distinction. The life of a student is usually, almost necessarily, indeed, uneventful. Disinclined by habit and association, and generally unfitted by temperament, to mingle in the ruder scenes, the shocks and conflicts that mark the periods of sterner existence, his biography furnishes but few salient points upon which an inquirer can take hold. In the little circle which his affections have gathered around him, he finds abundant sources of enjoyment and interest; and though the world without may ring with his name, he pursues his quiet and peaceful way, undisturbed by, if not insensible to, its praises. Such has been eminently the case with the subject of this notice. With feelings peculiarly fitted for social and domestic intercourse, and a heart overflowing with the warmest and most generous impulses, and a shrinking sensitiveness to obtrusive public regard, Mr. CLARK has always sought those scenes in which, while his talents found free scope, his native modesty was unwounded, and he could exercise without restraint the loftier charities of his nature.

"Mr. CLARK was born in Otisco, a rich agricultural town in the county of Onondaga, in the State of New York. His father was a soldier in the days of the revolution, whose valor and services won for him tributes of acknowledgment from the delegates of a grateful nation. He was, moreover, a man of reading and talent, fond of collecting and studying useful books, and much given to philosophical pursuits and inquiries, in his son WILLIS he found an apt and anxious pupil; and the judicious teachings of the father, aided by the classic inculcations of the Rev. GEORGE COLTON, a maternal relative, laid a broad and solid foundation for those acquirements which have since added grace and vigor to the outpourings of genius. At a very early age, Mr. CLARK manifested poetic inclinations. Amid the glorious scenery that was outspread on every side of him, he soon began to feel the yearnings of his Divine nature. The spirit that was within him, stimulated by the magnificence of these external objects, could not be repressed; and he painted the beauties of plain and mountain; of the flower-clad valley and the forest-crowned hill; of the gorgeous going down of the sun amid a profusion of dazzling tints and hues such as nowhere else accompanied his setting; of the rich and vari-colored autumnal foliage that shone in melancholy brightness; of the clear lake, whose unruffled bosom was placid as the soul of peace; in terms so glowing, and with a distinctness and force, that showed an eye so quick to perceive, and a mind so capable to appreciate, the loveliness of creation, that it at once secured to him praise and admiration. As he grew older, there was mingled with this exquisite power of description a tone of gentle solemnity, a delicate sadness of thought; a strain of seriousness such as showed a paramount desire to gather from the scenes and images reflected through his poetical faculties, useful lessons of morality. We remember very well when our attention was first drawn to his productions, and he was then but a boy, that we were impressed with the fact just mentioned; and we admired that one so young, should thus address himself directly to the hearts of his readers, and stir up within them founts of tenderness and piety.

"After completing his scholastic course, Mr. CLARK repaired to Philadelphia, whither his reputation as a poet of much skill and a high degree of promise, had already preceded him. Soon after his arrival, under the auspices of the Rev. Dr. ELY, his patron and friend, he started a literary journal, similar in its design and character to the 'Mirror' of New York. Young, inexperienced, and therefore incapable of managing the business details of this undertaking with the necessary regard to its economy, he found that the profits were disproportioned to the labor, and was soon induced to abandon it. He conducted it, however, long enough to show that his powers of writing were not confined to poetry alone, but that in various departments of prose literature, previously unattempted by him, he possessed great aptitude; and his criticisms on book and the arts indicated a vigorous and well-disciplined taste, considerable power of analysis, just discrimination, and above all, a generous forbearance toward all who were the subjects of his commentaries. About the time this project failed, the Rev. Dr. BRANTLEY, a Baptist clergyman of great eminence, then in the pastoral charge of a church in this city, and now President of the College of South Carolina, assumed the care of the Columbian Star, a religious and literary periodical, and associated Mr. CLARK with him in its conduct. From this connection Mr. CLARK derived many advantages. To an intellect of the very highest order; a copious. supply of various and rare learning; an eloquence which illuminated whatever it was applied to; a remarkable purity and clearness of style, and the most vigorous habits of thought, Dr. BRANTLEY united a spirit touched with the finest impulses of humanity, and an affability of demeanor, which, while it imparted grace to his manner, made him in all circumstances, easy and accessible. Upon his young friend and associate, these qualities acting with a sympathetic influence, produced a lasting and most salutary impression. The counsels of the divine pointed him to the path in which he ought to tread; the example of the scholar inspired him with a generous emulation; and the mild benevolence of the Christian gentleman taught him the importance of cultivating benignity of temper, and of subduing all untoward passions. While he was connected with the Columbian Star, Mr. CLARK published numerous fugitive pieces of a high grade of merit. Most of these he suffered to remain uncollected, though many of them were stamped with all the marks of genius. A few were afterward published in a duodecimo volume, along with a poem of considerable length, called the 'Spirit of Life,' originally prepared as an exercise for a collegiate exhibition.

"Mr. CLARK, after an agreeable and instructive association with the reverend editor of the Columbian Star, was solicited to take charge of the Philadelphia Gazette, the oldest and one of the most respectable daily journals published in this city. With this solicitation he saw proper to comply, and from the grateful cultivation of polite literature, he turned to the dry and fatiguing duty of superintending the multifarious concerns of a political, commercial, and advertising newspaper. In his new vocation, he acquitted himself with credit and honor, and ultimately, became the proprietor of the establishment, which he continued to manage and direct until within a few days of his death. Though avowedly partisan in his predilections, and doing battle in good earnest for the cause which he espoused, Mr. CLARK never sacrificed his own opinions to any question or suggestion of expediency. Never slavish, never even submissive to the dictates of self-assumed authority, he upon all occasions preserved a fair, free, and upright policy, which deservedly placed him high in the estimation of all honest and independent men.

"In 1836, Mr. CLARK was married to ANNE POYNTELL CALDCLEUGH, the daughter of one of our most wealthy and respectable citizens. In this lady great personal beauty and varied accomplishments were joined to a most tender and affectionate disposition, a meekness and serenity of mind, that nothing could disturb. With such qualities in his bride, qualities that found an answering echo in his own bosom, the married career of Mr. CLARK was for a time one of unclouded sunshine. Unhappily, his wife, whose constitution was naturally delicate, was seized with that most terrible disease of our climate, consumption, and after a long period of protracted suffering, which she bore with a meekness and gentleness that endeared her infinitely to her friends, she was taken away in the very prime of her youth and happiness. A blow like this fell with a crushing weight upon the hopes and enjoyments of her surviving partner; and in various tributes to her memory, he evinced the deep grief of his afflicted spirit.

"Of Mr. CLARK'S general merits as a poet but one opinion can be entertained. In the sweetness of his numbers, the elegance of his diction, the propriety of his sentiments, and the chasteness of his imagery, he is scarcely surpassed by any living writer. His earlier productions, as we have already said, are all tinged by a hue of sadness, but it is a sadness without gloom; and while they vividly portray the chances and changes of life, and the shifting aspects of nature, they inculcate the important truth that there is a higher and a better world, for which our affections are chastened, and our desires made perfect by suffering. In an extended notice of Mr. CLARK'S writings, published in the American Quarterly Review, we find a concise and forcible delineation of his peculiarities and style. After some general remarks, the reviewer says:

"'With the exception of a small volume published some years since, we believe that Mr. CLARK'S effusions have not been collected. They have appeared at irregular and often remote intervals; and though their beauty and pathos have won the applause of the first writers of this country and England, they have not made that impression which if united they could not fail to produce. Mr. CLARK'S distinguishing traits are tenderness, pathos, and melody. In style and sentiment he is wholly original, but if he resemble any writer, it is Mr. BRYANT. The same lofty tone of sentiment, the same touches of melting pathos, the same refined sympathies with the beauties and harmonies of nature, and the same melody of style, characterise, in an almost equal degree, these delightful poets. The ordinary tone of Mr. CLARK'S poetry is gentle, solemn, and tender. His effusions flow in melody from a heart full of the sweetest affections, and upon their surface is mirrored all that is gentle and beautiful in nature, rendered more beautiful by the light of a lofty and religious imagination. He is one of the few writers who have succeeded in making the poetry of religion attractive. Young is sad, and austere, Cowper is at times constrained, and Wordsworth is much too dreamy for the mass but with CLARK religion is unaffectedly blended with the simplest and sweetest affections of the heart. His poetry glitters with the dew, not of Castaly, but of heaven. No man, however cold, can resist the winning and natural sweetness and melody of the tone of piety that pervades his poems. All the voices of nature speak to him of religion; he

Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.

"'There is not an effusion, and scarce a line in his poetical writings that is not replete with this spirit. The entire absence of affectation or artifice in Mr. CLARK'S poetry also deserves the highest commendation. Though always poetical he is always natural; he sacrifices nothing for effect, and does not seek his subjects or his figures from the startling or the extravagant. There is an uniform and uninterrupted propriety in his writings. His taste is not merely cultivated and refined, but sensitively fastidious and shrinks, with instinctive delicacy, from anything that could distort the tranquil and tender beauty of his lines. His diction is neither quaint nor common-place, bloated nor tame, but is natural, classic, and expressive. In the art of versification heap. pears to be nearly perfect; we know no poet in the language who is more regular, animated, and euphonious.

"'The Spirit of Life is one of the most labored, though certainly not the most successful of Mr. CLARK'S Poems. It occupies the larger portion of the only volume which he has given to the public. The dedication, though we confess it is not precisely to our taste, is enthusiastic and fervid. It is excused, however, by the general admiration at that time manifested for the author of Pelham, and was perhaps due as a grateful tribute to a distinguished author, who had previously spoken of his poems in high terms, and of himself as a gentlemen, 'who has an enviable genius, to be excited in a new and unexhausted country, and a glorious career before him, where, in manners, scenery, and morals, hitherto undescribed and unexhausted, he can find wells where he himself may be the first to drink.'

"'As a prose writer, Mr. CLARK possesses a rare combination of dissimilar qualities. At times eloquent, vehement, and impassioned, pouring out his thoughts in a fervent tide of strong and stirring language, he sweeps the feelings of his readers along with him; and at others playful, jocular, and buoyant, he dallies with his subject, and mingles mirth and argument, drollery and gravity, so oddly, yet so aptly, that the effect is irresistible. Few men have a more acute perception of the ludicrous; few understand better how to move the strings of laughter, and when he chooses to indulge in strains of humor, his good-natured jests, and 'quips and cranks and wanton wiles,' show the fullness of his powers, and the benevolent strain of his feelings. In kindness and pathos, when such is the bent of his inclination, his prose essays are not inferior to his poetical compositions.'

"Mr. CLARK was for many years a liberal contributor to the periodical and annual literature of this country. He was also a frequent correspondent of the leading English magazines. 'The tales and essays,' says the author of The Poets and Poetry of America, 'which he found leisure to write for the New York KNICKERBOCKER Magazine, and especially a series of amusing papers under the quaint title of 'Ollapodiana,' will long be remembered for their heart-moving and mirth-provoking qualities.'"

A portrait accompanied the sketch to which we have referred; but it failed to present a faithful representation of the features of its subject. In person Mr. CLARK was of the middle height; his form was erect and manly, and his countenance pleasing and expressive. In ordinary intercourse he was cheerful and animated, and he was studious to conform to the conventional usages of society. Warm-hearted, confiding, and generous, he was a true friend; and by those who knew him intimately, he was much beloved.

The following account of the last hours of the subject of this Memoir was written by the undersigned for the 'Editor's Table' of the KNICKERBOCKER Magazine for July, 1841:

"'Our brother is no more!' DEATH, the pale messenger, has beckoned him silently away; and the spirit which kindled with so many elevated thoughts; which explored the chambers of human affection, and awakened so many warm sympathies; which rejoiced with the glad, and grieved with the sorrowing, has ascended to mansions of eternal repose. And there is one, reader, who above all others feels how much gentleness of soul, how much fraternal affection and sincere friendship; how much joyous hilarity, goodness, poetry, have gone out of the world; and he will be pardoned for dwelling in these pages, so often enriched by the genius of the Departed, upon the closing scenes of his earthly career. Since nearly a twelve-month the deceased has 'died daily' in the eyes of the writer of this feeble tribute. He saw that Disease sat at his heart, and was gnawing at its cruel leisure; that in the maturity of every power, in the earthly perfection of every faculty; 'when experience had given facility to action and success to endeavor,' he was fast going down to darkness and the worm. Thenceforth were treasured up every soul-fraught epistle and the recollection of each recurring interview, growing more and more frequent, until at length Life like a spent steed 'panted to its goal,' and Death sealed up the glazing eye and stilled the faltering tongue. Leaving these, however, with many other treasured remains and biographical facts for future reference and preservation in this Magazine, we pass to the following passages of a letter recently received from a late but true friend of the lamented deceased, Rev. Dr. DUCACHET, Rector of St. Stephen's Church, Philadelphia; premising merely, that the reverend gentleman had previously called upon him at his special instance, in the last note he ever penned; that 'his religious faith was manifested in a manner so solemn, so frank, and so cordial,' as to convince the affectionate pastor that the failing invalid, aware that he must die of the illness under Which he was suffering, had long been seeking divine assistance to prepare him for the issue so near at hand:

"'At four o'clock on Friday P.M. the day before his death, I saw him again, he himself having selected the time, thinking that he was strongest in the afternoon. But there was an evident change for the worse; and he was laboring under fever. His religious feelings were however even more satisfactory, and his views more clear, than the day before. He assured me that he enjoyed a sweet peace in his mind, and that he had no apprehension about death. He was 'ready to depart' at any moment. I was unwilling to disturb him by much talking, or a very long visit, and made several attempts to leave him; but in the most affectionate and pressing manner, not to be resisted, he urged me to remain. His heart seemed full of joy and peace; overflowing with gratitude to GOD for his goodness, and with kindness to me. Leaving him, after an hour's interview, I promised to return on Saturday A.M., at ten o'clock, and to administer baptism to him then. This was done accordingly, in the presence of his father-in-law, and three or four other friends and connexions, whom he had summoned to his bed, as he told me, for the express purpose of letting them see his determination to profess the faith of the gospel which in life he had so long neglected. It was a solemn, moving sight; one of the most interesting and affecting I ever saw. More devotion, humility, and placid confidence in GOD, I never saw in any sick man. I mentioned to him that as his strength was evidently declining, it would be well for him to say every thing he desired to say to me then, as his voice and his faculties might fail. He then affectionately placed his arms around my neck; gently drew my ear near to his lips, that I might hear his whispers; and after thanking me over and over again for my small attentions to him, which his gratitude magnified into very high services, he proceeded to tell me what he wished done with his 'poor body.' He expressed very great anxiety to see you, and he very much feared that he should die before your expected arrival at midnight. But he said he left that matter and every other to Gon's disposal. As I was leaving him, he said, 'Call again to-day,' which I promised to do in the evening. He told me he felt a happy persuasion that when he passed from this miserable world and that enfeebled body, he should enter upon 'the inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away.' He asked: 'Do you observe how these words labor to convey the idea of Heaven's blessedness to our feeble minds 'The inheritance incorruptible!' Beautiful thought! 'Undefiled' — more beautiful still! 'That fadeth not away' — most beautiful of all! I think I understand something of the peace and glory these redoubled words were designed to express.' And then, raising his wasted hand, with great emphasis he said, 'I shall soon know all about it, I trust!'

"'In the evening, about seven o'clock, I received a message from him to come immediately to him. I was there by eight. I was surprised to find that he had rallied so much. There was a strength I had not seen before; and his fine open features were lighted up with unusual brilliancy. In every way he seemed better; and I flattered myself that he would live to see you, and even hold out for a day or two more. I had much charming conversation with him about his state of feeling, his views of himself as a sinner, and of GOD, and of JESUS CHRIST as a precious Saviour, and of heaven, etc. He then handed me a prayer-book, adding, 'That was my ANNE'S,' meaning his wife's. 'Now read me the office for the sick in this book. I want the whole of it. I have read it myself over and over, since you pointed it out to me, and it is delightful.' He then repeated the sentence, 'I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand in the latter day upon the earth,' and asked if that was not a part of it. I told him that that belonged to the burial service. 'Then,' said he, 'it is quite suitable for me, for it will soon be read by you over my grave.' I sat by his bed, and found the place. Waiting in silence to receive his signal to begin, I thought he was engaged in secret prayer, and was unwilling to interrupt him. But he remained silent so long, seeming to take no notice of me, that I spoke to him. I found that his mind was wandering, and that speech had failed. He muttered indistinctly only. From that moment, he sank gradually away. His emaciated limbs were retracted and cold; his pulse failed; the shadow of death gathered fast and dark upon his countenance; his respiration became feebler and feebler; and at last, at precisely five minutes past ten, he died. So imperceptibly and gently did his happy spirit flee away, that it was some time before we could ascertain that he had gone. I never saw a gentler death. There was no pain, no distress, no shuddering, no violent disruption of the ties of life. Both as to the mind's peace and the body's composure, it was a beautiful instance of [Greek characters; euthanasia]. The change which indicated the approach of his last moment, took place about half an hour only before he died. Such, my dear Sir, are all the chief particulars I can remember, and which I have thought you would desire to know.'"

A few summary "Reflections" upon the character of the lamented deceased succeed, which although intended, as was the foregoing, only for a brother's eye, we cannot resist the desire to cite in this connexion:

"He was, so far as his character revealed itself to me, a man of a most noble, frank, and generous nature. He was as humble as a little child. He exhibited throughout most remarkable patience. He never complained. But once, while I was on bended knees, praying with him for patience to be given him, and acknowledging that all he had suffered was for the best, he clasped his hands together, and exclaimed, 'Yes! right, right — all right!' ... He was one of the most affectionate-hearted men I ever saw. Every moment I spent with him, he was doing or saying something to express to me his attachment. He would take my hand, or put his arm around my neck, or say something tender, to tell me that he loved me. He showed the same kind feeling to his attendants, his faithful nurse, REBECCA, and to the humblest of the servants. He was of course, with such a heart, grateful for the smallest attentions. He received the most trifling office with thanks. I observed this most remarkably on the evening of his death. I had taken my son with me, that he might sit up with him on Saturday night, if occasion should require. When I mentioned that the youth was in the room, he called for him; welcomed him most kindly, thanked him over and over for his friendly intentions; and in fact, broke out into the warmest expressions of gratitude for what his sensitive and generous heart took to be a high act of favor. All this was within an hour and a half of his death. Finally, I believe he was a truly religious man. I have no doubt that he was fully prepared for his end; and that through the sacrifice of the cross, and the Saviour who died there for sinners, he was pardoned and accepted. He has gone, I feel persuaded, to the abodes of peace, where the souls of those who sleep in the LORD JESUS enjoy perpetual felicity and rest."

Surely all who peruse the foregoing affecting record, may exclaim with the poet whom we lament:

It were not sad to feel the heart
Grow passionless and told—
To feel those longings to depart,
That cheered the saints of old;
To clasp the faith which looks on high,
Which fires the Christian's dying eye,
And makes the curtain-fold
That falls upon his wasting breast
The door that leads to endless rest.

It were not lonely, thus to lie
On that triumphant bed,
Till the free spirit mounts on high,
By white-winged seraphs led;
Where glories earth may never know,
O'er "many mansions" lingering, glow,
In peerless lustre shed;
It were not lonely thus to soar
Where sin and grief can sting no more!

One of the Philadelphia journals, in announcing his demise observes: "Mr. CLARK was a scholar, a poet, and a gentleman. 'None knew him but to love him.' His health had for along time been failing. The death of his accomplished and lovely wife, a few years ago, upon whom he doated with a passionate and rapturous fondness, had shaken his constitution, and eaten his strength. None but intimate friends knew the influence of that sad affliction upon his physical frame. To the last his heart yearned over the dust of that lovely woman. In his death-chamber, her portrait stood always before him on his table, and his loving eye turned to it even in extremest pain, as though it were his living and only friend." This is literally true. Beyond question, moreover, the seeds of the disease which finally removed him from the world, were 'sown in sorrow' for the death of the cherished companion of his bosom. His letters, his gradually-declining health, his daily life, his published writings, all evince this. The rose on the cheek and the canker at the heart do not flourish at the same time. The MS. of the "Dirge in Autumn" came to us literally sprinkled with spreading tear-drops; and the familiar correspondence of the writer is replete with kindred emotion. To the last moment of his life, he kept a collection the letters of "his Anne" under his pillow, which he as regularly perused every morning as his Bible and prayer-book. Her portrait, draped in black, crossed the angle of the apartment, above his table, where it might gaze ever upon him with its "large, bright, spiritual eyes." Never shall we forget his apostrophe to that beautiful picture, when his "flesh and his heart failed him," and he knew that he must soon go hence, to be here no more: "Sleep on, my love!" said he, in the beautiful and touching words of the Bishop of Chichester's "Exequy on the Death of a Beloved Wife," and in a voice scarcely audible through his frequent sobs:

Sleep on, my love, in thy cold bed,
Never to be disquieted:
My last "good night"! — thou wilt not wake
Till I thy fate shall overtake;
Till age, or grief, or sickness, must
Marry my body to that dust
It so much loves; and fill the room
My heart keeps vacant in thy tomb.

Stay for me there; I will not fail
To meet thee in that hollow vale;
And think not much of my delay,
I am already on the way;
And follow the with all the speed
Desire can make, or sorrows breed.
Each minute is a short degree,
And every hour a step toward thee;
At night, when I betake to rest,
Next morn I rise nearer my West
Of life, almost by eight hours' sail,
Than when Sleep breathed his drowsy gale.

Most just the tribute we have seen paid to the affection and patience and grateful spirit of the deceased. To the last, his heart was full-fraught with all tender reminiscences and associations. In the first stages of his illness, when as yet it was scarcely known to affect his general routine of life, he thus replies to a remonstrance from the writer against the growing infrequency of his familiar letters: "In these spring days, LEWIS, all my old feelings come freshly up, and assure me that I am unchanged. I shall be the same always; so do you be. 'Twinn'd, both at a birth,' the only pledges of our parents' union, we should be all the world to each other:

We are but two — a little band—
Be faithful till we die;
Shoulder to shoulder let us stand,
Till side by side we lie!"

As he gradually grew weaker and weaker, the "childhood of the soul" seemed to be renewed; the intellectual light to burn brighter and brighter, and the chastened fancy to become more vivid and refined. He was for some months aware that he had not long to live. "I shall die," said he, a few weeks since, "in the leafy month of June; beautiful season!" And turning his head to gaze upon the trees in the adjoining cemetery-grove, whose heavy foliage was swaying in the summer wind, he murmured to himself the touching lines of BRYANT:

I know, I know I shall not see
The season's glorious show,
Nor will its brightness shine for me,
Nor its wild music flow;
But if around my place of sleep
The friends I love shall come to weep,
They may not haste to go:
Soft airs, and song, and light, and bloom,
Will keep them lingering by my tomb:
These to their softened hearts will bear
The thought of what has been,
And speak of one who cannot share
The gladness of the scene.

How forcibly were the recollections of this scene borne in upon the mind, as the long procession, following the friend for whom they mourned, defiled into the gates of St. Peter's, on that brightest morning of the month of his heart; the officiating divine from whom we have quoted chaunting eloquently the while the touching and beautiful service for the dead! But he has gone! leaving behind him a name to live, as we trust, in the heart of the nation. As a moral poet, we know not a line which dying he could have wished to blot. He was an AMERICAN, in all his heart, and loved to dwell upon the future destiny of his beloved country. He was a sincere, unvarying, unflinching FRIEND; and although in his long career as editor of an influential daily journal, and in his enlarged intercourse in society, it were not strange were it otherwise, yet it has been truly remarked by one of his contemporaries — all of whom, let us gratefully add, have borne the warmest testimony to his genius and his worth — that "it may be said Mr. CLARK had no enemy, and only encountered attacks from one or two coarse and unworthy sources, against which no character, however gentle and deserving, could have immunity." Another observes, that "it was in the character of an editor that he won upon the feelings and affections of so many, and entitled himself to the regard of his brethren of the press, toward whom he always acted with courtesy; positive, when invited by kindred propriety; negative, when he believed unkindness or inability to appreciate courtesy existed." So to live among his fellow men as did the deceased, and at last, with heart-felt confidence in GOD, and the sacramental seal almost fresh upon his brow, gently to fall asleep in JESUS, looking with a Christian's hope for a Christian's reward, surely thus "to die is gain!" And in view of such a hope and such an end, well may we who, left behind to drag a maimed life, exclaim with the poet:

O Death! thy freezing kiss
Emancipates — the rest is bliss—
I would I were away!

It may not be amiss to explain, in closing, that "Ollapodiana" is intended to designate the familiar chat or gossip, of a personage like Dr. OLLAP0D in the play, upon all such themes as may chance to enlist the fancy or touch the heart. The different chapters, although originally separated by intervals of a month, and sometimes by a longer period, it is believed will be found to lose none of their interest from being presented in consecutive order. The great variety of style and theme by which they are characterized will save them from any charge of monotony. As many of the author's best poems were introduced into this series of prose papers, I have not thought it advisable to separate them from their original connection. In one word, I have made the best arrangement of the materials I possessed which I could, with the leisure left me from the cares of a never-ending still-beginning literary avocation; and I leave the result with the public, anxious mainly to be acquitted of doing injustice to one whose ear is "deaf forever to the voice of praise," but whose memory I would fain hope his country will not "willingly let die."


New York, April, 1844.