1824
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

On the Death of Mr. Woodward, at Edinburgh.

Connecticut Mirror (9 February 1824).

John G. C. Brainard


Three Spenserians, not signed. Rufus Woodward (1793-1824?) was (like Brainard) a Yale scholar; he died abroad: "The sea has one, and Palestine has one, | And Scotland has the last: The snooded maid | Shall gaze in wonder on the stranger's stone, | And wipe the dust off with her tartan plaid— | And from the lonely tomb where thou art laid, | Turn to some other monument." There is a memoir of him in the Christian Observer 7 (March 1825) 113-26.

United States Literary Gazette [Boston]: "We are satisfied, that had the author's labour in their composition been commensurate with his energy of conception, his volume might have placed him, at once, on a level with Bryant and Percival. There are always two distinct and independent essentials of poetry, well expressed. Mr. Brainard thinks well; he is a bold, vigorous, and original thinker; and we are not afraid to give him advice, that to a poet of an inferior order might be dangerous, that he should study to express clearly, and vividly, and attractively to others, what he has distinctly and strongly thought. We have no fear that he will ever 'lose a thought in snapping at a rhyme.' But he has evidently been too easily satisfied with his own performance" Review of Brainard, Occasional Pieces; 2 (1 June 1825) 167-68.

Charles F. Richardson: "Another crude Connecticut poet, J. C. G. Brainard, was writing hasty lines similarly lacking in greatness but similarly marked by occasional genuineness. Now the sea-bird was his theme.... Again, he wrote of some local stream, or of the autumn woods he well knew.... Less true and more bombastic was Brainard's once famous extemporization on Niagara, which he never saw" American Literature 1607-1885 (1888) 31, 32.



Another! 'tis a sad word to the heart,
That one by one has lost its hold on life,
From all it lov'd or valued, forc'd to part
In detail. Feeling dies not by the knife
That cuts at once and kills — its tortur'd strife
Is with distilled affliction, drop by drop
Oozing its bitterness. Our world is rife
With grief and sorrow; all that we would prop,
Or would be propp'd with, falls — when shall the ruin stop!

The sea has one, and Palestine has one,
And Scotland has the last: The snooded maid
Shall gaze in wonder on the stranger's stone,
And wipe the dust off with her tartan plaid—
And from the lonely tomb where thou art laid,
Turn to some other monument — nor know
Whose grave she passes, or whose name she read—
Whose lov'd and honoured relics lie below;
Whose is immortal joy, and whose is mortal woe.

There is a world of bliss hereafter — else
Why are the bad above — the good beneath
The green grass of the grave. The Mower fells
Flowers and briers alike. But man shall breathe
(When he his desolating blade shall sheathe
And rest him from his work,) in a pure sky,
Above the smoke of burning worlds; — and Death
On scorched pinions with the dead shall lie,
When time, with all his years and centuries, has passed by.

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