Nathaniel Appleton Haven
Nathaniel Appleton Haven was born on January 14, 1790
in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He studied at Harvard College and
after receiving his degree took up theology but dropped the pursuit
for various reasons. Haven then became a lawyer, practicing in Portsmourth
for the remainder of his life. Haven was for some years the editor
of the Portsmouth Journal. [Source: Samuel
Kettell, 2 Specimens of American Poetry, with Critical and Biographical
Notices 335 (New York: Benjamin Blom, 1967)(1829)(3 vols.)].
Kettell notes that "After his death, a selection
from his works was published, with a biographical memoir by Professor
Ticknor of Harvard University." [Id.] In
July, 1828, editors of the North American Review used the
occasion of the publication of George Ticknor's The Remains of
Nathaniel Appleton Haven. With a Memoir of His Life in the previous
year to comment on Haven as follows:
Though not an enthusiast in anything, Mr Haven was very ardent
in the pursuit of his profession,—the law. But in his character
every part kept its just proportion. His delicate taste was not
suffered to disgust him with the practical details of his profession.
He knew that there was no real inconsistency between professional
eminence and literary taste; the former was not an object which
he permitted to swallow up every other; nor was it necessary for
him, as for the Ephesian sorcerers, to burn his books of enchantment;—for,
though strictly faithful to the interests confided to his care,
he kept up his acquaintance with classical studies and general
literature, without what the merest slave of the profession could
have called a waste of time. He found opportunity to suggest and
mature various plans of public improvement;—the moment his mind
was at liberty, it seemed to turn of itself to the general welfare.
His biographer speaks of Lord Mansfield as the model for a lawyer;
we think Mr Haven would have been more ambitious to resemble Sir
Matthew Hale, the Angel of the English law. For religion, deep,
sincere, and fervent, entered into all his pursuits and feelings.
It was not worn as a garment, but was a part of himself; it appeared,
because it could not help appearing in his words, deeds, and even
* * * *
The specimens of Mr Haven's poetry deserve notice,
not so much on account of its originality, as the beautiful tone
of its feeling. The world, just come to a sense of its own importance,
is too busy to attend to poetry, and there are certainly things
more important; but the sweet and thoughtful views of nature,
the lonely musings of a poetical imagination, are required to
believe this perpetual and often needless bustle; and a cultivated
mind will neither despise, nor be wholly without them. The lines
on Autumn, are the most poetical.
I love the dews of night
I love the howling of the wind
I love to hear the tempest sweep
O'er the billows of the deep!
For nature's saddest scenes delight
The melancholy mind.
Autumn ! I love thy bower
With faded garlands drest:
How sweet, alone to linger there
When tempests ride the midnight air,
To snatch from mirth a fleeting hour,
The sabbath of the breast.
Autumn ! I love thee well;
Though bleak thy breeze blow,
I love to see the vapors rise,
And clouds roll wildly round the skies,
Where from the plain the mountains swell
And foaming torrents flow.
Autumn ! thy fading flowers
Droop but to bloom again;
So man, though doomed to grief awhile,
To hand on fortune's fickle smile,
Shall glow in heaven with nobler powers,
Nor sigh for peace in vain.
[Commentary on the 1827 publication of George Ticknor's
The Remains of Nathaniel Appleton Haven. With Memoir of His Life
appeared a year after Haven's death. The commentary, no author
stated, appears in Vol. 27 (60) of The North American Review,
July, 1828, pp. 154-167, at 158, 166] [full-text
Nathaniel A. Haven, "Autumn," Charles James
Fox (ed.), The New Hampshire Book. Being Specimens of the Literature
of the Granite State 64 (Nashua, New Hampshire: David Marshall
& Boston: James Munroe and Company, 1842) [online
text] [The editor of The New Hampshire
Book, Charles James Fox was also a lawyer
and a poet.]
N.A. Haven, "Early Settlers of New Hampshire,"
in Charles James Fox (ed.), The New Hampshire Book. Being Specimens
of the Literature of the Granite State 13-20 (Nashua, New Hampshire:
David Marshall & Boston: James Munroe and Company, 1842)
George Ticknor, The Remains of Nathaniel Appleton
Haven. With a Memoir of His Life (Cambridge: Harvard University,