« PreviousContinue »
GEORGE DENISON PRENTICE.
GEORGE DENISON PRENTICE was born in Preston, Connecticut, and was a teacher and lawyer in early life. In 1830 he went to Kentucky, and a year afterward became editor of the Louisville " Journal,” which position he held and made illustrious during the remainder of his life. His wit and humor gave him great influence, and his paper, afterwards consolidated with the “ Courier" and known as the "Courier-Journal," became a power in politics, commerce, and society. A fine statue of him adorns the CourierJournal building in Louisville, and his fame is by no means forgotten. « Prenticeana” is a collection of his witty and pungent paragraphs. See Memorial address by his successor, Henry Watterson.
Life of Henry Ciay.
Prenticeana, (with life-sketch. ] Poems,
edited by John James Piatt. Mr. Prentice's best known poem is the “Closing Year,” which elocutionists have kept before the public and which has often inspired young poets to sad verses on the passing of time.
THE CLOSING YEAR.
* By permission of Robert Clarke & Co., Cincinnati,
No funeral train Is sweeping past; yet on the stream and wood, With melancholy light, the moonbeams rest, Like a pale, spotless shroud; the air is stirred, As by a mourner's sigh; and on yon cloud, That floats so still and placidly through heaven, The spirits of the seasons seem to standYoung Spring, bright Summer, Autumn's solemn form, And Winter, with his aged locks--and breathe In mournful cadences, that come abroad Like the far wind harp's wild and touching wail, A melancholy dirge o'er the dead Year, Gone from the earth forever.
'Tis a time For memory and for tears. Within the deep, Still chambers of the heart a spectre dim, Whose tones are like the wizard voice of Time, Heard from the tomb of ages, points its cold And solemn finger to the beautiful And holy visions that have passed away And left no shadow of their loveliness On the dead waste of life. That spectre lifts The coffin lid of hope, and joy, and love, And, bending mournfully above the pale, Sweet forms that slumber there, scatters dead flowers O‘er what has passed to nothingness.
Has gone, and, with it, many a glorious throng
Flashed in the light of midday—and the strength
Remorseless Time!Fierce spirit of the glass and scythe! what power Can stay him in his silent course, or melt His iron heart to pity? On, still on He presses and forever. The proud bird, The condor of the Andes, that can soar Through heaven's unfathomable depths, or brave The fury of the Northern hurricane And bathe his plumage in the thunder's home, Furls his broad wings at nightfall and sinks down To rest upon his mountain crag—but Time Knows not the weight of slecp or weariness, And night's deep darkness has no chain to bind His rushing pinion. Revolutions sweep O’er earth, like troubled visions o'er the breast Of dreaming sorrow; cities rise and sink, Like bubbles on the water; fiery isles Spring, blazing, from the ocean, and go back To their mysterious caverns; mountains rear To heaven their bald and blackened cliffs, and bow Their tall heads to the plain; new empires rise, Gathering the strength of hoary centuries, And rush down like the Alpine avalanche, Startling the nations; and the very stars, Yon bright and burning blazonry of God, Glitter awhile in their eternal depths, And, like the Pleiad, loveliest of their train, Shoot from their glorious spheres, and pass away, To darkle in the trackless void; yet Time, Time, the tomb-builder, holds his fierce career, Dark, stern, all pitiless, and pauses not
Amid the mighty wrecks that strew his path,
(From Prenticeana.) A pin has as much head as a good many authors, and a good deal more point.
The Turkish men hold that women have no souls, and prove by their treatment of them that they have none themselves.
A writer in the "American Agriculturist” insists that farmers ought to learn to make better fences. Why not establish a fencing-school for their benefit?
The thumb is a useful member, but, because you have one, you needn't necessarily try to keep your neighbors under it.
The greatest truths are the simplest; the greatest man and women are sometimes so, too.
A New Orleans poet calls the Mississippi the most eloquent of rivers. It ought to be eloquent; it has a dozen mouths.
EDWARD COATE PINKNEY.
EDWARD COATE* PINKNEY was the son of the distinguished orator and statesman, William Pinkney, of Mary. land, and was born in London while his father was minister to England. After attending the College of Baltimore, he entered the Navy at fourteen years
age and spent much of his time of service in the Mediterranean. On his father's death, 1822, he returned to Baltimore and engaged in the practice of law, at the same time making some reputation
*Mr Charles Weathers Bump Ph. D. (Johns-Hopkins), says this name should be Coote, as it so stands in the register of Pinkney's baptism, which he has seen,
by his poems.
“A Health” and “ Picture Song” are considered his best—their beauty makes us mourn his early death. At the time he was numbered one of the “five greatest poets of the country.” On his return from a journey to Mexico, taken for his health, he was elected, in 1826, professor of Belles-lettres in the University of Maryland, formerly called the College of Baltimore.
Poems: Rodolph, a Fragment, and other Poems.
I fill this cup to one made up
Of loveliness alone ;
The seeming paragon;
And kindly stars have given
'Tis less of earth than heaven.
Her every tone is music's own,
Like those of morning birds,
Dwells ever in her words;
And from her lips each flows
Forth issue from the rose.
Affections are as thoughts to her,
The measures of her hours ;
The freshness of young flowers;
So fill her, she appears
The idol of past years.