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PARK BENJAMIN SR. - AUTOGRAPH POEM SIGNED 03/25/1848 - HFSID 169476

Handwritten copy of his well-known poem "The Departed", signed in black ink. Extremely rare! Autograph poem signed: "Park Benjamin/ Norwich, March 25, 1848" in black ink. 1 page, front and verso, 7½x9¼. March 25, 1848. Norwich, New York. In full: "The departed!…"

Sale Price $306.00

Reg. $360.00

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PARK BENJAMIN SR.
Handwritten copy of his well-known poem "The Departed", signed in black ink. Extremely rare!
Autograph poem signed: "Park Benjamin/ Norwich, March 25, 1848" in black ink. 1 page, front and verso, 7½x9¼. March 25, 1848. Norwich, New York. In full: "The departed! The departed!/ They visit us in dreams,/ And they glide about our memories/ Like shadows over streams,/ But where the cheerful lights of home/ In constant lustre burn,/ The departed, the departed,/ Can never more return./ The good, the brave, the beautiful,/ How dreamless is their sleep,/ Where rolls the dirge-like music/ Of the ever-tossing deep!/ Or where the hurrying night winds/ Pal winter's robes have spread/ Above their narrow palaces,/ In the cities of the dead./ I look around and feel the awe/ Of one who walks alone/ Among the wrecks of former days,/ In mournful ruin strown -/ I start to hear the weird-like sounds/ Know the leaves of withered trees,/ For the voice of the departed/ Seems borne upon the breeze./ That solemn voice! It mingles with/ Each gay and careless strain -/ I do not think Earth's minstrelsy/ Will cheer my heart again./ The glad shout of the summer waves/ The thrilling notes of birds/ Can never be so dear to me/ As their remembered words./ I sometimes dream their pleasant smiles/ Still on me sweetly fall,/ Their tones of love I faintly hear/ My name in sadness call -/ I know that they are happy,/ With their angel plumage on,/ But my hear, my heart is desolate/ To feel that they are gone!". Park Benjamin, Sr. (1809-1864) was an American poet, journalist, editor and founder of several newspapers. Born in British Guiana in South America, Benjamin was sent at an early age to study in New England, eventually graduating from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut; initially he studied law in Boston, but later moved to New York to begin a career in editorial work. In 1839 he partnered with Rufus Wilmot Griswold to produce The Evening Tattler, a journal which published fiction, poetry, foreign news, local gossip, jokes and New York police reports; Benjamin later founded The New World and other editorial ventures before focusing as a lecturer, public reader and periodical writer, and became close friends with writers such as Oliver Wendell Holmes, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe. He died very young at the age of 55 just after the birth of his son Park Benjamin Jr.; despite his widespread fame during his lifetime, Park Benjamin Sr. was virtually forgotten, known only through his sonnets such as "The Old Sexton" which is often anthologized. His son went on to become a writer, patent lawyer and physician in his own right. Normal mailing folds. Toned. Light surface creases. Slightly frayed along left edge. Otherwise, fine condition.

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