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Joseph Rodman Drake

Joseph Rodman Drake books and biography

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The Culprit Fay And Other Poems


By Joseph Rodman Drake
Poetry

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Joseph Rodman Drake

  

Joseph Rodman Drake (August 17, 1795–September 21, 1820) was an early American poet.

Born in New York City, he was orphaned when young and entered a mercantile house. While still a child, he showed a talent for writing poems. He was educated at Columbia. In 1813 he began studying in a physician's office. In 1816 he began to practice medicine and in the same year was married to Sarah, daughter of Henry Eckford, the naval architect.

In 1819, together with his friend and fellow poet Fitz-Greene Halleck, he wrote a series of satirical verses for the New York Evening Post, which were published under the penname "The Croakers." Drake died a year later, of consumption, at the age of twenty-five.

A collection, The Culprit Fay and Other Poems, was published posthumously by his daughter in 1835. His best-known poems are the long title-poem of that collection, and the patriotic "The American Flag."

Fitz-Greene Halleck's poem "Green be the turf above thee" was written as a memorial to Drake.

Poetry sample

The American Flag

When Freedom from her mountain height
Unfurled her standard to the air
She tore the azure robe of night
And set the stars of glory there!
She mingled with its gorgeous dyes
The milky baldric of the skies,
And striped its pure celestial white
With streakings of the morning light;
Then, from his mansion in the sun,
She called her eagle-bearer down,
And gave into his mighty hand,
The symbol of her chosen land.
Flag of the brave! thy folds shall fly
The sign of hope and triumph high!
When speaks the signal-trumpet tone
And the long line comes gleaming on.
Ere yet the life-blood, warm and wet,
Has dimmed the glistening bayonet
Each soldier eye shall brightly turn
To where thy sky-born glories burn,
And as his springing steps advance,
Catch war and vengeance from the glance;
And when the cannon-mouthings loud
Heaven in wild wreaths the battle-shroud
And gory sabers rise and fall,
Like shoots of flame on midnight's pall;
Then shall thy meteor-glances glow,
And cowering foes shall sink beneath
Each gallant arm that strikes below
That lovely messenger of death.
Flag of the seas! on ocean wave
Thy stars shall glitter o'er the brave;
When death. careening on the gale,
Sweeps darkly round the bellied sail,
And frighted waves rush wildly back
Before the broadside's reeling rack,
Each dying wanderer of the sea
Shall look at once to heaven and thee.
And smile to see thy splendors fly
In triumph o'er his closing eye.
Flag of the free heart's hope and home,
By angel hands to valor given!
Thy stars have lit the welkin dome,
And all thy hues were born in heaven.
And fixed as yonder orb divine.
That saw thy bannered blaze unfurled,
Shall thy proud stars resplendent shine,
The guard and glory of the world.[1]


This article might use material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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