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THE MAGAZINE OF POETRY.
THOMAS BUCHANAN READ.
and Rome, studying and practicing art. Although
he after spent some time in Philadelphia and CinTHAT more fitting illustration of the possibili- cinnati, Rome was his preferred residence. He ties of the American boy than is given in
was born in Chester county, Pa., March 12th, 1822, the history of Thomas Buchanan Read. The tra
and died in New York, May 11th, 1872, while on a ditional 'silver spoon' was lacking in this case. In
visit to this country.
Mr. Read also possessed place of it was given genius, though I doubt if the some dramatic talent. During the Civil War he possessor of it ever guessed at his own abilities. gave public readings in aid of the soldiers, and Certainly his mother could not have foreseen any
many times recited his war-songs in camp. As a thing in the future for her son beyond the acquiring painter, Mr. Read cannot be considered so great a of a comfortable business through the agency of a
success as a writer. His pictures are graceful and desirable trade; or, being a widow, perhaps her own poetic, but they lack fine technique. No doubt, had necessities were the task-master. However it may he received training in early life, he could have been be, he was apprenticed, at an early age, to a tailor, classed with some of the great artists of the century. but the work evidently was uncongenial, as he ran As it is, he has left some pleasing conceits in “The away to Philadelphia and took up the trade of cigar- Spirit of the Waterfall,” “The Lost Pleiad,” “The making, and when fourteen years of age made his Star of Bethlehem," “Undine,” Cleopatra and way to Cincinnati, where he found a home with Her Barge” and “Sheridan's Ride.” Some of Shobal V. Clevenger, the sculptor. His biog- his best portraits are those of George M. Dallas, raphers do not state upon what terms the home was the ex-queen of Naples, Elizabeth Barrett Brownsecured, and one can only conjecture that Mr. ing and Henry W. Longfellow, while his group of Clevenger must have taken an interest in the boy Longfellow's daughters was exceedingly popular, and given him the aid which should finally redound His literary productions include “Poems” (Philawith such credit to both donator and donatee. delphia, 1847); “Lays and Ballads ” (Phildelphia, While living with Mr. Clevenger, young Read 1848); “Female Poets of America ” (1848); “The learned the trade of sign-painter, attending school Pilgrims of the Great St. Bernard,” prose, pubat intervals. He had also learned something of the lished as serial,” “The New Pastoral” (Philadelart of painting and sculpture from Mr. Clevenger. phia, 1854); “The House by the Sea" (1856); Upon that gentleman's departure to Europe, Mr. ‘Sylvia, or the Lost Shepherd and Other Poems,” Read went to Dayton, where he secured an engage- (1857); “A Voyage to Iceland” (1857); “The ment in a theater. He returned to Cincinnati a Wagoner of the Alleghanies” (1862); “A Summer year later, and, with the assistance of Nicholas Story” (1865), and “The Good Samaritan” (CinLongworth, opened a studio for portrait painting. cinnati, 1867). His complete poetical works were He remained but a short time in Cincinnati, and published in three volumes in Philadelphia (1865 from then on until 1841, when he finally located in and 1867). Some of his poems have been issued in Boston, he lived a migratory existence, going from England.
N. L. M. one town to another, painting portraits or signs, giving public entertainments, and, as a last resort,
THE PILGRIM TO THE LAND OF SONG. cigarmaking. It was in 1843 Mr. Read's poetical talent blossomed forth, and he published in the The dews are dry upon my sandal-shoon Boston “Courier" several lyric poems. In 1846 Which bathed them on the foreign hills of song, he removed to Philadelphia. In 1850 he visited And now beneath the white and sultry noon Europe, and from 1853 to 1858 he lived in Florence They print the dust which they may wear too long.