On the Completion of the Pacific Telegraph

Jones Very (1813 - 1880)


Swift to the western bounds of this wide land,
Swifter than light, the Electric Message flies;
The continent is in a moment spanned,
And furthest West to furthest East replies.
While War asunder drives the nearest States,
And doth to them all intercourse deny;
Since new bonds of Union still creates,
And the most distant brings forever nigh!
I hail this omen for our Country's cause;
For it the stars do in their courses fight!
In vain men strive against the eternal laws
Of Peace, and Liberty, and social Right,
Rebel again the light, and hope to stay
The dawn on earth of Freedom's perfect day.

"Prophet, poet and madman, Jones Very was, to say the very least, unique among the men of his time. His childhood was unconventional, his college career exemplary, and his religious enthusiasm literate and profound. He in essence went where others feared to tread."

Source on the Internet: http://www.vcu.edu/engweb/transcendentalism/authors/very/

The month poems are at hand on The shelf


When  I had forwarded Jones Very's poem on the Internet via here on the shelf, I asked some netfriends in USA: "How will USAers react to this poem today?"

Alan Sondheim replied: "with fascination... reading Dracula and a lot of work from mid 19th-century on, its amazing how much technology re/configures the world - Cruikshank's engravings for example"

After some joint efforts Alan and I focussed on this site on Cruikshank:


cruik.jpg (65222 bytes)

And Alan added: "That's the one, George, look at all the images! - absolutely great. There's a whole family there. Wonderful reproductions - I think the way a resource site should be built."

(02/12-04 - E.K.)