Text: John Tomlin to Edgar Allan Poe — October 29, 1841


Jackson, Tennessee,
October 29th 1841.

My dear Mr. Poe,

Seargeant N. Talfourd Esq. of London, says to me in his letter of August the 11th 1841 — “I transcribe my last effusion — on an occasion very dear to me.” The following Sonnet, composed in view of Eton College after leaving his eldest son there for the first time, is the Effusion he alludes to.

I feel proud of having it in my power, of sending to you for publication in “Graham’s Magazine” an original article from the pen of this high minded and gifted individual. Powerful as his intellect is, it is not more powerful, than his heart is tender, and warmed by a parents’ [[sic]] feeling! From the buried treasures of his heart gushes sentiments full of tenderness and love — and with a father’s feeling he is carried to that distant day when his son takes his place in the toiling struggles of life. Thus he leaves him with a prayer to heaven, that he may pass its threshold without a blush — and with a confiding hope in its mercy. (Yet he speaks it not) he looks “thro [[through]] the vista of long years” to his son’s greatness.

With the sincere wish that this effusion may prove as acceptable to your numerous readers, as it will be gratifying to you in receiving it, I am dear Sir, with remembrances,

faithfully yours
Jno. Tomlin.

How often have I fix’d a stranger’s gaze,

On yonder turrets clad in light as fair

As this soft sunset lends, pleas’d to drink air

Of learning that from calm of ancient days

Breathes round them ever; — now to me they wear

There ting’d of dearer thought; the radient haze,

That crowns them thickens as with fonder care

And, by its flickering sparkles, sense conveys

Of youth’s first triumphs, — for amid their seats

One little student’s heart impatient beats

With blood of mine; — O God vouchsafe him power

When I am dust, to stand on this sweet place

And, through the vista of long years, embrace,

Without a blush, this first Etonian hour!

London, August 11th 1841.





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Misc - Letters - J. Tomlin to Poe (RCL335)