A superb volume of largely unpublished poetry by John Stow [1776-1864] of Crooms Hill, Greenwich. In it, he records, perhaps for publication or just to consolidate stray works into a single volume, dozens of works, many of a personal or historical nature, not published elsewhere. Even the works extant in other forms here often have corrections or historical notes not present in the final productions.
Stow began published as early as 1796, and continued to do so throughout his life. He published a Version of the Psalms of David [1809; Often Reprinted]; A Biblical Catechism ; Thoughts on the Gospel ; Reflections on the Writings of Paul ; Thoughts on the Continuation of the Book of Common Prayer ; and finally, his collected works, A Hermit's Narrative of Opinions, Many and Weighty - at Home and Abroad - of His Solitary Meditations, Spread Over more than Half a Century of a Life Now Entered on its 85th Year, on Divine Revelation and Christianity, as its Crowning Point, Under the Supplicated Guidance of the Holy Spirit .
Of special interest are his unpublished thoughts on The Spirit of London ; on a Cherokee Indian's Death Song; on Shakespeare; and extensive on the death of Captain Cooke [to whom he was related].
Title Page. Containing inscription of ownership in the hand of John Stow, reading, "The Album of John Stown of Crooms Hill Greenwich, begun in June 1830."
Obverse of the title contains a toned silhouette of John Stow in top hat with cane with his dog immediately behind. Likely from a silhouette stored in the pages and now long gone. It does not appear to have ever been bound in though; in the manner of August Edouart.
Page 1. Sketches of Scenery in Greenwich Park taken about Sun-rise in 1818. Four stanzas. Not published, but recorded in a letter to Rev. Philander Chase of Ohio from John Stow, 1826.
Page 2. Sketches of Greenwich Park Summer, Moving Scenery - Continued. Five more stanzas.
Page 3. Final stanza of "Sketches of Greenwich Park" Then, a new poem begun, Sketches of Evening Scenery after Sunset in Greenwich Park, 1820. Four stanzas. Also included in the letter to Philander Chase, but not published.
Page 4. Sketches of Evening Scenery in Greenwich Park, Cont'd in six stanzas.
Page 5. Reflections on the Foregoing Morning and Evening Scenery. Two stanzas, unpublished,
To the God of the Evening, the God of the morning,
The Fountain from whence all this [our] Blessedness flows.
Who the paths of this life thus [whilst] so richly adorning,
Still reserves to the hope all salvation bestows.
May glory and honour, thanksging and praises,
All that thought can conceive, or that words can convey
Round the altar of incense, that gratitude raises
Through the remnant be offer'd of life's fleeting day!
Page 6. A Paraphrase of Luther's Hymn - & Adapted to its Celebrated Music. Three stanzas, published in 1844 and in 1856 by Stow.
Page 7. A Paraphrase of Luther's Hymn Continued. Three stanzas.
Page 8. On the Seasons of Nature and the Seasons of Grace. Being a Slight Imitation of the Quaker Poets, Bernard Barton's Address to the Ivy. Unpublished. Three stanzas.
Page 9. On the Seasons of Nature and the Seasons of Grace, cont'd. Four stanzas.
Page 10. On the Seasons of Nature and the Seasons of Grace, cont'd. Two stanzas.
Page 11. On the Death of My Eldest Sister in January 1808 at her age of 44 years. Five stanzas. Unpublished.
Page 12. On the Death of My Eldest Sister, cont'd. Five stanzas.
Page 13. On the Death of My Brother in 1811 at the Age of 38 Years. 22 lines. Unpublished.
Page 14. On the Death of My Brother, cont'd. 8 lines.
Page 15. On the Death of My Youngest sister, Harriett, in 1820 at the Age of 45 Years. An Address Delivered, as the Chief Mourner, the Morning of the Funeral to Fellow Mourners. 24 lines.
Page 16. My Own Epitaph, Written in 1802 at the age of 26. 22 lines. Published in 1861.
Page 17. Continuation of My Own Epitaph. 24 lines.
Page 18. Continuation of My Own Epitaph. 4 lines. A Note on the Sensations of Different Individuals at the Resurrection, Unpublished. The Objects Aimed at by the Epitaph, Unpublished.
Page 18b [Unpaginated]. "Why breathes thy sweet lyre" in 16 lines. Published 1861.
Page 19. Concluding Note on My Own Epitaph, Unpublished. Also, Lines Published Upon a Night I thought I would Die, 1830. Unpublished.
Page 20. On the Death of Captain John Cooke, Who was killed by a grape shot thro the heart on the deck of the Bellerophon, which he commanded under the Great Nelson in the memorable & decisive Victory of Trafalgar (My brother married the youngest sister of Captain Cooke). One of Stow's earliest published poems, published in the Naval Chronicle for 1807. Here with unpublished historical notes. Four stanzas.
Page 21. On the Death of Captain John Cooke, cont'd. Five stanzas.
Page 22. On the Death of Captain John Cooke, cont'd. One stanza. Followed by Lines Written Originally on the Rumour of an Officer known Intimately to Me with the Sloop of War he Commanded Wrecked off the Coast of Ireland, but which Proved Untrue, Also Applicable to Captain Cooke's Character and Fate. Three stanzas. Unpublished.
Page 23. Lines Applied to Captain Cooke, cont'd. Three stanzas.
Page 24. On the General Apprehension Entertained in 1803 by the Government and the People Regarding the [Impending] Invasion by an Immense Army of the French . . . which I had circulated as a placard in the most frequented parts of London . . . Also published 1861. Four stanzas.
Page 25. Placard on the threatened Invasion of us by the French, cont'd. Five stanzas.
Page 26. Placard on the threatened Invasion of us by the French, cont'd. Five stanzas.
Page 27. Words Adapted to the Air of "Home! Sweet Home!" Four stanzas. Unpublished.
Page 28. Epitaph on the Tomestone of Mr. George Stowe of Besthorpe in the Parish of South Scarle in Nottinghamshire, who died in 1800 in his 86 year - He was a kind of Benefactor to Me [with misc. notes] 38 lines. Unpublished.
Page 29. Mr. George Stow's Epitaph cont'd. Six lines.
Page 30. Lines on the Death of Revd John Kemble, Record of Lullingstone in Kent [with personal, family and historical notes; apparently Kemble was a dear family friend]. 36 lines. Unpublished.
Page 31. On the Death of the Revd J. Kemble, cont'd. 16 lines. Unpublished.
Page 32. An Address Written to the Spirit of London - Written at an Inn in Reading in October 1796, I being then 20 years old & in the 4th year of my clerkship to an Attorney. On Departing the City. 24 lines.
Page 33. Address to London, cont'd. 26 lines. Unpublished.
Page 34. In a Letter to my Sister Howard, Written in September 1796. 14 lines. Unpublished.
Page 35. ON the Marriage of a Female Relative, to whom I was tenderly attached - but to whom I never told my love - for I was then (1798) but 22 & had only 100 a year. 20 lines. Unpublished.
Page 36. Translation of Lain Lines Selected by the Late Abraham Caldecott Esq of Rugby Lodge - Directed by Him on His Death Bed in 1829 to be Inscribed on His Family Monument. The Widow was my Second Cousin. 30 lines. Unpublished.
Page 37. Lines for the Name Book Kept in the House at Stratford upon Avon in which Tradition Represents the Great Shakspear [ Shakespeare ] to have been born. Unpublished.
Here Shakspear drew that breath, which fancy's fire
Fanned into flame of brightest, loveliest hue:
And here with full charg'd heart on humbly lyre
I touch one note to sound a praise so due;
And chant one strain to grateful feeling true. [11 Sept. 1826]
Page 38. Opinions of the Aristrocracy & Peasantry of our Country in 1797, a period when Democratical principles were seeking to subvert the former and to corrupt the latter - in a letter to a schoolfellow who disclosed a slight taint in himself of those . . . principles.
Page 39. On Modestly in Feale Manner & Apparel [to the daughter of a clergyman]. 24 lines. Unpublished.
Page 40. On extravagance of fashion, cont'd. 24 lines. Unpublished.
Page 41. On Modesty in Female Manner & Apparel, cont'd. One stanza. Also, Lines to my Four Nieces on Leaving their Paternal Roof. [Unpublished]
"The less the bosom's wealth you bare
to gratify the Idler's eyes,
The more the loveliness that's there
Will they admire, whose love you prize."
Page 42. For My Two Youngest Nieces. A Fragment. Four stanzas. Unpublished.
Page 43 "Reserved for other Addresses"
Page 44. Propose tribute offering of thankfulness for the enjoyment and refreshment of a sheltered seat in the garden at Yattendon. 12 lines. Unpublished.
Page 45. Lines Written for My Wife's Orphan Niece, Caroline Ann Naomi Hurdis, the Only Child of Captain James C. Hurdis of the East India Company's Native Infantry, whose Widow, who Marrying Again, the Child was sent over to her Aunts when she was scarcely 3 years old. Five stanzas. Unpublished. Fascinatingly, written in the first person through the voice of 4 year old Caroline.
Page 46. Caroline Ann, cont'd. Four stanzas. Unpublished.
Page 47. To the same Niece of my wife on some salutary chastisement having been applied to her by one of her Aunts. Ten lines. Unpublished.
Page 48. Narration of the Cherokee Indian's Death Song. 22 lines. Unpublished.
I remember the arrows that pierc'd from my bow,
I remember the Chiefs by my hatchet laid low,
And the slaughter, that mark'd the fell sweep of my train;
Nor now shall the Son of Alenomon complain.
I remember the Woods, where in ambush I lay,
And the scalps that I bore in my triumphs away,
And the shouts that my Tribe pour'd in Victory's strain;
Then why should the son of Alenomon complain? etc.
Page 49. Written for the Album at the Inn at the Land's End in Cornwall, 1819. Five stanzas. Unpublished.
Page 50. Inn at Land's End in Cornwall, cont'd. Six stanzas. Unpublished.
Page 51. In at Land's End in Cornwall, cont'd. Three stanzas. Unpublished.
Page 52. Lines to my Cousin Dorothy Ann Davis when she was very young on her presenting me with a Wife, which she had cut out in white paper. 1820. 20 lines. Unpublished.
Page 53. On presenting Malton and his Bride with Jeremy Taylor's Holy Living, 1820. Unpublished.
Page 54. Translation of Virgil's Memorable Complaint to Augustus Caesar. 30 lines. Unpublished.
Page 55. Virgil, cont'd. 4 lines. Also, On a Lady of Unsettled Mind Intimating a Wish to go to America to Find Happiness. Unpublished.
They, who in distant regions seek repose
From fancied troubles and ideal woes,
Will to their cost, and deeper sorrow find
That change of climate brings not change of Mind.
A five-page funeral address, dated to January, 1864. The original sermon MSs from the funeral of John Stow.
A three-page eulogy dated to January, 1864, on the death of John Stow.
Original large 4to album, quite shaken and worn; apparently all original contents present with nothing pilfered save perhaps a silhouette as noted above.