1827 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. Benjamin Church

Anonymous, in "Early American Poetry" American Quarterly Review [Philadelphia] 2 (December 1827) 506.



Of all the poets of New-England, Dr. Benjamin Church was perhaps the most celebrated at this period. His elegy on the Times was printed in 1765. The elegy on Dr. Mayhew, printed in 1766, is a very sensible, though not a powerful, performance. Of an earlier production we have given a specimen above. On the death of Whitefield, his muse was again employed in 1770. This man, who stood thus elevated above others in literary talents and taste, was, at the opening of the war, in 1775, made Physician-general of the army, having, in 1773, delivered an excellent oration on the fifth of March. But soon falling under suspicions, which, on examination, seemed well founded, he sailed, the next year, for the West Indies; and no intelligence has ever been received of the vessel in which he sailed.