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Mighty in prayer, his hands uplifted reach'd
He travers'd oft the fierce Atlantic sea,
* The line is thus explained by Mather. Ward, the simple cobler of Agawam, as he called himself,“ observing ihe great hospitality of Mr Wilson, in conjunction with his meta-grammarizing temper, said that the anagram of John Wilson was, I pray come in, you are heartily welcome.
On the bright and the dark side of that American pillar, the
But may a rural pen try to set forth
When he forsook first his Oxonian cell,
Why he from Europe's pleasant garden fled,
When reverend Knowles and he sail'd hand in hand,
Gookins was one of these; by Thompson's pains,
With a rare skill in hearts, this doctor could
Apollyon owing him a cursed spleen Who an Apollos in the church had been, Dreading his traffic here would be undone By num’rous proselytes he daily won, Accus'd him of imaginary faults, And push'd him down so into dismal vaults: Vaults, where he kept long ember-weeks of grief, Till heaven alarmed sent him a relief. Then was a Daniel in the lion's den, A man, oh, how belov'd of God and men! By his bed side an Hebrew sword there lay, With which at last he drove the devil away. Quakers too durst not bear his keen replies, But fearing it half drawn the trembler flies, Like Lazarus, new rais’d from death, appears The saint that had been dead for many years. Our Nehemiah said, “ shall such as I Desert my flock, and like a coward fly! Long had the churches begg'd the saint's release ; Releas'd at last, he dies in glorious peace. The night is not so long, but Phosphor's ray Approaching glories doth on high display. Faith's eye in him discern'd the morning star, His heart leap'd; sure the sun cannot be far. In extacies of joy, he ravish'd cries, “Love, love the Lamb, the Lamb!” In whom he dies.
Sta viator; thesaurus hic jacet,
Si es Nov-Anglus.
Roger Wolcott was the son of a farmer, and was born in Windsor, Connecticut, in 1679. During his childhood, schools were unknown in the neighborhood of his birthplace, for the constant irruptions of the Indian tribes rendered it necessary for every mother to retain her infant charge, literally, within her own reach. The vigilance requisite for self-preservation checked the growth of social intercourse between the scattered families of the same town, and it was found incompatible with the general safety, to maintain places set apart for the instruction of youth, and of convenient access to all. The early education of Wolcott,—if that may be called education, which was but an initiation into the rudiments of the English language,—was derived from his father, (himself an untaught man) before he had arrived at the age of twelve years. At this period he was bound apprentice to a mechanic. Hard labor and confirmed habits of frugality enabled him, while yet a young man, to establish himself on the banks of his native river, with bright prospects of future success; and his exertions were finally rewarded by a competency of worldly possessions, the fruits of his honest industry. With strong native talents,—the rich though unwrought ore of the mind,and a judgment matured by the reading and reflection of his leisure hours, he soon became an object of regard among his fellow citizens, who conferred on him such civil and military honors as were at their disposal. In 1711 he held a commission in the unsuccessful expedition against Canada, and was second in command, with the rank of Major General, at the capture of Louisburg, in 1745.*
*It was considered no slight degree of honor to have been concerned in this Louisburg affair. The French, after the peace of Utrecht, built this town to secure their navigation and fisheries, and the advantages it gave their privateers over the English were very great. It was surrounded with a rampart of stone, thirtyfive feet high, mounting 150 cannon, a ditch eighty feet wide, and was protected on the sea side by two batteries of 30 guns each. The entrance, on the land side, was by a drawbridge overlooked by a semicircle of 16 cannon. Twentyfive years and thirty millions of livres had been expended in the erection of the city, and its capture by the New England militia, under Governor Shirley of Massachusetts, was one of the most daring exploits on the records of American history. Shirley disclosed his scheme to the General Court of Massachusetts, after they had bound themselves by an oath of secrecy, and carried the resolutions he had offered by a majority of one voice only. Circular letters were then addressed to the other colonies, requesting their assistance. All declined except Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, and the total amount of troops furnished by them was less than 4000, which, with twelve or thirteen small vessels, completed the armament against the Dunkirk of America. The town was attacked, the French driven from their external batteries, and for fourteen nights successively, the fortytwo pounders of the enemy were dragged through a morass by the soldiers with straps over their shoulders,--and Wolcott was with them,—they sinking to their knees in mud at every step. In six or seven weeks the city yielded, though it was fully furnished for a siege of as many months. The money, afterwards granted by Parliament to defray the cost of this wild undertaking, was brought to Boston and paraded through the streets. There were seventeen cart loads of silver, and ten of copper, amounting to £200,000.
Roger Wolcott's life is interspersed with few remarkable events. After having been installed as a member of the Legislative Council, Judge of the County Court, Deputy Governor, Chief Judge of the Superior Court, and Governor of the Colony of Connecticut,—which last office he held during three successive years,—he retired to private life in 1755, and died in May 1767, in the eightyninth year of his age.
By a careful economy and improvement of time, Wolcott gained some distinction as a literary man. His writings, it must be acknowledged, are of that homely and unpolished kind which was the fashion in his day, and display as little delicacy in the selection of images, and as slight a degree of fastidiousness in the introduction of figures and language, as the most earthly minded mortal could desire. Yet his poems give evidence of accurate observation, and his powers of description are certainly far superior to those of his contemporaries. A small volume of his poetry was published at New London in 1725, preceded by a long and pedantic preface, written by a friend.* Our extracts are from a “ Brief Account,” as it is
* The poems are, oddly enough, followed by a clothier's advertisement, which is introduced in this manner. "I the subscriber having these many years, (even