Wednesday, March 4, 2009

At Home in Staten Island

"Ah, well!" my true love said and smiled,
"There's shade to every glory ;
There's no true paradise on earth
Except in song or story.

The place is fair, and while thou'rt here,
Thy land shall still be my land,
And all the Eden earth affords
Be ours in Staten Island."

There isn't a whole lot of poetry that surrounds Staten Island. The above is an excerpt from Charles McKay's poem, At Home in Staten Island, which you can read in full at the New york Public Library's post.

The poem, published in the weekly London periodical All The Year Round in April 11, 1869, still describes the Staten Island's natural beauty wonderfully. Also interesting is that the publication was edited by Charles Dickens (yes, THAT Charles Dickens, above) whose family has had more than a glancing relationship to our fair isle, all of which is described in the NYPL post above.

McKay was a Civil War correspondent for the London Times that lived in Staten Island and was a Southern sympathizer, though he opposed slavery. It appears that McKay chose to live on Staten Island during that time because of the community of Southerners centered around the Pavilion Hotel in New Brighton, Staten Island.

Many of this community were Southerners were stranded for the duration of the War and included former First Lady Julia Gardiner Tyler, the widow of President John Tyler.

Digg It!
Buzz Up!
Add to Stumble
Add to Delicious
Twit This
Add to Facebook
Google Bookmarks
Sphere: Related Content