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An Elegy on the Death of Montgomery Tappen

Major Henry Livingston Jr. 1748 (Poughkeepsie, Province of New York) – 1828 (Poughkeepsie, New York)



An elegy on the death of MONTGOMERY TAPPEN who dies at Poughkeepsie on the 20th of Nov. 1784 in the ninth year of his age.

The sweetest, gentlest, of the youthful train,
Here lies his clay cold upon the sable bier!
He scarce had started on life's varied plain,
For dreary death arrested his career.

His cheek might vie with the expanded rose,
And Genius sparkled in his azure eyes!
A victim so unblemish'd Heaven chose,
And bore the beauteous lambkin to the skies.

Adieu thou loveliest child! Adieu adieu!
Our wishes fain would follow thee on high.
What more can friendship - what more fondness do,
But drop the unbidden tear & heave the sigh?

Ye youths whose ardent bosoms virtue fires,
Who eager wish applause and pant for fame,
Press round MONTGOMERY'S hearse, the NAME inspires
And lights in kindred souls its native flame.

COLUMBIA grateful hails the tender sound
And when MONTGOMERY'S nam'd still drops a tear,
From shore to shore to earth's remotest bound
Where LIBERTY is known that NAME is dear.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Major Henry Livingston Jr.

Henry Beekman Livingston Jr. has been proposed as being the uncredited author of the poem A Visit from St. Nicholas, more popularly known (after its first line) as The Night Before Christmas. more…

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