Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sidney Lanier

The other day we were driving through a quaint little town about 25 min. from our home.It is a beautiful "little" town located in the foothills of the blue ridge mountains. The name of the town is Lynn,NC.We started seeing these historical landmark signs and of course we had to stop and check them out! We passed by a few of them which were pointing to different landmarks of the civil war. We ran across one in front of an older looking house that seemed interesting.It was stating that the "older looking house" was the place in which the poet Sidney Lanier died in the year of 1881. I had remembered seeing his name on something I had read in my American Literature book while scanning upcoming chapters.And sure enough... there his name was on page 372! Here is some info I learned on Sidney Lanier. Sidney Clopton Lanier was born February 3, 1842, in Macon, Georgia, to parents Robert Sampson Lanier and Mary Jane Anderson. He began playing the flute at an early age, and his love of that musical instrument continued throughout his life. He attended Oglethorpe University near Milledgeville, Georgia, graduating first in his class shortly before the outbreak of the American Civil War. He fought in the Civil War, primarily in the tidewater region of Virginia, where he served in the Confederate signal corps. Later, he and his brother Clifford served as pilots aboard English blockade runners. On one of these voyages, his ship was boarded. Refusing to take the advice of the British officers on board to don one of their uniforms and pretend to be one of them, he was captured. He was incarcerated in a military prison in Maryland, where he contracted tuberculosis (generally known as "consumption" at the time). He suffered greatly from this affliction for the rest of his life. Lanier finally succumbed to complications caused by his tuberculosis on September 7, 1881, while convalescing with his family near Lynn, North Carolina. He was only 39. He is buried in Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore. Baltimore also honored him with a large and elaborate bronze and granite sculptural monument, created by Hans K. Schuler and located on the campus of the Johns Hopkins University. Sidney Lanier is considered to be the best southern poet of the late nineteenth century. A little FYI Lake Lanier (the largest lake in Georgia) was named for Sidney Lanier. Here is one of many of Lanier's poems. This brief poem,one of Lanier's last,portrays the Saviour being fortified for His experience in the judgement hall and on Calvary by His time in the Garden of Gethsemane. A Ballad Of The Trees And The Master Into the woods my Master went,Clean forspent, forspent.Into the woods my Master came,Forspent with love and shame.But the olives they were not blind to Him,The little gray leaves were kind to Him:The thorn-tree had a mind to HimWhen into the woods He came.Out of the woods my Master went,And He was well content.Out of the woods my Master came,Content with death and shame.When Death and Shame would woo Him last,From under the trees they drew Him last:'Twas on a tree they slew Him -- lastWhen out of the woods He came. ~Sidney Lanier


Lisa said...

I love this poem Holly Thank you for sharing it. Hugs Mom

Mississippi Songbird said...

Thanks for posting this poem and the information..
I hope you have a wonderful week..

Happymama said...

Hey, thanks for the History lesson!

~Mrs. Kristi

Autumn said...

I learn something new every day! Thanks for sharing the history and poem!