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This work is rescued from the class of mere translation by its literary art and imaginative interpretation, and it possesses for us an additional interest because of its nativity amid such surroundings.
Two lines telling how Philemon "Took down a flitch of bacon with a prung, That long had in the smoky chimney hung," show that his environment aided him somewhat in the translation. He himself says of this version that it was "bred in the new world, whereof it cannot but participate, especially having wars and tumults to bring it to light, instead of the muses.
The only original poem which merits our attention in the early Virginian colony was found soon after the Revolutionary War in a collection of manuscripts, known as the Burwell Papers. This poem is an elegy on the death of Nathaniel Bacona young Virginian patriot and military hero, who resisted the despotic governor, Sir William Berkeley.
It was popularly believed that Bacon's mysterious death was due to poison.
An unknown friend wrote the elegy in defense of Bacon and his rebellion. These lines from that elegy show a strength unusual in colonial poetry: Our arms, though ne'er so strong, Will want the aid of his commanding tongue, Which conquered more than Caesar. This is today a readable account of the colony and its people in the first part of the eighteenth century.
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This selection shows that in those early days Virginians were noted for what has come to be known as southern hospitality: A stranger has no more to do, but to inquire upon the road where any gentleman or good housekeeper lives, and there he may depend upon being received with hospitality.
This good nature is so general among their people, that the gentry, when they go abroad, order their principal servant to entertain all visitors with everything the plantation affords. And the poor planters who have but one bed, will very often sit up, or lie upon a form or couch all night, to make room for a weary traveller to repose himself after his journey.
He then wrote a History of the Dividing Line run in the Year This book is a record of personal experiences, and is as interesting as its title is forbidding. This selection describes the Dismal Swamp, through which the line ran: Doubtless the eternal shade that broods over this mighty bog and hinders the sunbeams from blessing the ground, makes it an uncomfortable habitation for anything that has life.
Not so much as a Zealand frog could endure so aguish a situation. It had one beauty, however, that delighted the eye, though at the expense of all the other senses: Not even a turkey buzzard will venture to fly over it, no more than the Italian vultures will fly over the filthy lake Avernus or the birds in the Holy Land over the salt sea where Sodom and Gomorrah formerly stood.
Our chaplain for his part did his office and rubbed us up with a seasonable sermon. This was quite a new thing to our brethren of North Carolina, who live in a climate where no clergyman can breathe, and when they fock, they fock hard.
No critic could say that they might as well have been written in London as in Virginia. They also show how much eighteenth-century prose had improved in form. Even in England, modern prose may almost be said to begin with John Dryden, who died at the beginning of the eighteenth century.The Great Awakening of the 's and 's that took place in the English Colonies in America changed the face of American religion and at the same time led the way for improvement of the educational and political systems of Colonial America.5/5(1).
HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF THE PERIOD  Genres of the Period . American Literature, defined here as it traditionally has been to be the literature of the United States, or as written on land that would one day become the United States, has as its beginning date , the year the earliest English writing explorers started to write about the new continent.
The sixth edition of Colonial America is the best resource on the market to give students a feel for the newest themes in colonial history, and to leave them with a sense of the conversation shared among early American historians.
In , the first permanent British colony was established in Jamestown in the Chesapeake Bay region by the Virginia Company, a joint stock company that received a charter from King James I and sold shares to raise funds.
The political, economic, cultural, and social impact of the European settlements in North America were enormous. From the early 17th Century when English pilgrims arrived in modern-day. By the end of the colonial period, 30, people, representing many languages, creeds, and trades, lived there.
The Quakers, with their grave, deliberate ways, their philanthropy, and their talent for successful business enterprise made the city, by the middle of the eighteenth century, the thriving metropolis of colonial America.