Early Writing in Canada
11th Sep 2021Posted in: Early Writing in Canada, Joseph Hart Clinch 0
Epistola Poetica Ad Familiarem

[handwritten: 3 Epistola Poetica, [illegible word] by 7. Bowman, [illegible word] C. D. Mackinson, Corry, Frangie, New South Wales, Australia

read, he believes, at Encænia, King’s College, Windsor, in 1864.


from letter September 22, 1932] [inside front cover]















[unnumbered page]



[handwritten: March 7, 1949]

[unnumbered page]












D. D. D.


VINDESOR. E, N. S. [unnumbered page]


Reverend Joseph Hart Clinch, A. M.




DEAR Præses, when your kind request I read,

Once more in Alma Mater’s shades to tread,

To mingle with the great, the good, the wise,

At her Encænia’s hospitalities;

And bid my Muse, long absent, strike the string,

In those old Halls where first she plumed her wing;

What visions rose before my mental eyes!

How leaped to life long buried memories!

Backward in thought, I crossed the gulf of years,

Once more I stood among my young compeers;

Once more in thought rushed down the well-worn stairs

When chimed the bell for Lectures, Commons, Prayers:

Once more I sat where classic Porter’s tone

Gave e’en to Greek, a charm beyond its own:

Or marked his toils, not always crowned with fruits,

In aiding dunces dig for Hebrew roots.

Sage Cochran, too, in thought appeared once more,

Grown weak with years, but strong in learned lore;

Again I seemed his reverend form to see,

And heard his jokes, “for many a joke had he.”

Nor failed my faithful memory back to bring,

The form, the look, the voice of studious King.

Exact the labyrinths of verse to thread,

And quick to ward the blows from Priscian’s head.

Then, too, those “Polar Regions rose to sight,

Where Science shed her cold, yet brilliant light:

Where Fancy dared no flight sublime and free,

Dragged back to earth and fact by Q. E. D. [unnumbered page]


Virum Reverendum Georgium McCawley, S. T. Y.



Primium Anglice a V. R. JOSEPHO H. CLINCH, A. M. eleganter et facete scripta,

deinde a V. R. COROLO PORTER, S. T. P. Musis arridentibus Latine versa,

jam tandem cadem corrigente manu. versibus pancis adjectis,

aliquantulum emendatior.

NIL magis optarem credas, carissime Præses,

Quam juveni dilecta mihi loca visere rursus,

Dumque Almæ celebrant Encænia Matris alumni,

Hospes adesse tuo ad festum solenne rogatu;

Atque novum ut tentet Musam instigare volatum,

Qua timidas nisa est alas expandere primum.

Qualia perstringunt oculos spectacula mentis!

Otia quam longo post tempore grata recordor!

Pene iterum consisto έϱίηϱας inter έταίϱονς,

Campanaque ruo ad stadium resonante vel aulam.

Ausculto prope Porterum qua voce solebat

Delectare docens, docuit quæ Græcia quondam:

Quanta radices cura effodiebat Hebræas,

Verique ad fontes sacros ducebat inertes.

Ceruere Cochranum videor, qualem ante videbam,

Canitie niveum lustrorum quinque decemque

Doctrina qui dives, et indole natus acuta

Seria gaudebat dictis miscere jocosis.

Ad formam Regis, faciem vocemque recurro,

Dum metri labyrinthum investigare laborat

Grammaticique caput defendit ab ictibus acer.

Est etiam locus alter, ubi in regione polari

Fundebat gelidam claramque scientia lucem

Sed nihil oblectans penetrale subibat in altum

Nil nisi cui sit certa fides, signumque Q. E. D. [page 5]

   O happy years! that can no more return,

Eheu fugaces anni! from the urn

Of buried hopes and memoires they rise

To flush the lips with smiles, with tears the eyes;

For Joy and Pain on Memory still attend,

The lights and shadows in her pictures blend.

The joys of College life—the lights which cast

Their radiance o’er the picture of the past—

All Students know; and yet not all who bear

The Students name those pleasures can declare:

The Students are the studious—they who make

Labour of pleasure due precedence take;

Who to each duty faithfully attend,

And then, discreetly wise, the bow unbend.

They can look back with no regretful sighs,

When thoughts of vanished days before them rise;

Feel that those golden hours sped not in vain,

And live their College pleasures o’er again.

   But ah! unmingled bliss to none belongs:

Some jarring discord mars our sweetest songs,

Some cloud across our brightest sunshine steals,

Some envious thorn our fairest rose conceals.

Though pleasant be the memory of the days

When those Halls I sought scholastic praise;

Yet thoughts of sadness o’er my spirit fall,

As well-known forms and faces I recall.

Friends of my youth! where are they? Some I know

Are loved and honoured. May they long be so!

Some I have met and questioned, eye to eye,

Longo sermone, of the days gone by;

Some I yet hope to see, for still they stand

Among the living on Time’s narrow strand;

But some there are, from human sound and sight,

Removed forever, by the veil of night;

Some sleep in quiet graves, where friends may come

And weep beside their mouldering dust; and some

Repose on distant shores; o’er some the main

Shall murmur till it yields its dead again. [page 6]

   O! qui non redeant lapsi feliciter anni,

Quos animus revocare volens e temporis urna,

Offundit lacrymas oculis, risumque vicissim.

Gaudia qui gustant, quæ sunt Academica, norunt,

Non omnes vero norunt sua munia quæ sunt.

Qui studio incumbent Studiosi nomen adepti,

Et perfuncti opera nervos arcumque relaxant,

Perdita non retrospectant ad tempora tristes,

Sed læti memorare solent juveniliter acta,

Quot sint impensæ libris, quot lusibus horæ.

   Accidit humano nulli sincera voluptas:

Non raro dulces turbat discordia cantus,

Sol tegit interdum densa sa splendidus umbra,

Et rosa sub foliis spinam pulcherrima celat.

Me juvat istorum quanquam meminisse dierum,

Quando inter socios extolli laudibus ardens

Præripere et palman studui: tamen opprimit angor,

Me, quoties cari vultus, ut spectra revisunt.

O! juvenes et amici quonam abiere? Fruuntur

Sunt qui fama et honore dinque fruantur amati.

Longo præsentes alios sermone rogavi

De rebus jamdudum, meque absente, peractis.

Spes mihi spectandi est alios, modo vita sepersit.

Nonnulli in tumulis defuncti morte quiescunt,

Ad quorum cineres veniunt plorantque propinqui.

Convictu quidam simul aspectuque remoti

Eheu! a patria procul invenere sepulcra.

Aut maris immersi jactantur fluctibus imis. [page 7]

   Friend, almost brother! As these lines I trace,

How clearly thought recalls thy manly face

Lost Trimmingham! I seem thy voice to hear,

Almost to feel thy presence hovering near,

Classmates and Chums within the College gate,

Beyond it brothers in things consecrate—

Our cures conterminous—it seemed our way

Would hold united till life’s closing day.

Brief hope! Bound homeward o’er the treacherous tide,

To meet and wed thy long affianced bride

Thy home in sight—thy heart with hope elate—

The tempest burst, and hurled thee to thy fate.

   And thou, brave Welsford! When the battle’s van

Rolled its red surges on the firm Redan,

Thou with the first upon the rampart stood,

And bathed its stones with thy devoted blood.

Well I recall thee in thy youthful bloom,

Ere cap and gown were changed for sword and plume

Nor thought I then, ere lustra five, to see

The Poet’s verse applied with truth to thee:

Dulce et decorum est, runs the glowing line,

Pro patria mori.” Such a death was thine.

   I fear, dear friend, that I too long detain,

Your wearied sense with this protracted strain,

My verse grows sad,—the chords of memory

Oft lure the Muse to strike the minor key;

One pleasant word, then, though it serve to fill

My too prolix epistle fuller still,

Must yet be spoken, and that word shall be

CONGRATULATIONS—Macte virtute! [page 8]

   Frater (quod nomen mecum tibi convenit apte)

Trimmingham infelix scribe dum flebile fatum,

Ut prius aspicio formam, faciemque virilem.

Vox toties audita mihi quoque percutit aures!

Nos studium conjunxit idem, nos cultus iisdem

Publicus officiis, region contermina ruris

Arctius astrictis vinclis nos vinxit amoris,

O! utinam non me vivo disrupta fuissent.

Ille revertebat properans ές πατϱίδα γάιαν

Navigio infausto, sponsam ducturus ad aram,

Insula, quam petit, oceano jam surgere cœpit,

Ingruit obscura subito de nube procella,

Obruit atque omnes cum nave voragine ponti,

Spes quam vana fuit! periit sic νόζιμον ήμυϱ.

   Quonam Musa modo lugens, fortissime Welsford,

Res a te gestas dicet? Quando ignifer imber

Faucibus evomitus ferri provolvit in auram

Flammas, flammarumque globos, tu scandere primus

Redani aggrederis muros; tu, sanguine sparso,

Inter saxa cadis lethali vulnere cæsus.

Te multi ætatis meminerunt flore vigentem

Tempore quo magis apta toga est quam pluma vel ensis.

Nec tunc viginti ante annis et quinque putabant

Vera tui exemplo fati fore verba poetæ:

     “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori,”

   Si te detineam sermone diutius, oro

Accipias animo dicta et dicenda benigno,

Care mihi Præses. Plura esse addenda videntur. [page 9]

Hail to our nursing Mother! old, yet fair,

Her sons rise up and bless her for her care,

And feel, wherever scattered far and wide,

In her success a solace and a pride.

Joy fills my heart to hear that no decay

Palsies her limbs, or saps her strength away;

To know “age does not wither her” who taught

Her sons to drink from Classic founts of thought;

To know that still her means for good expand,

Her children bless her with a liberal hand,

And that, mid open hate and friendship feigned,

She holds her course unchecked and unrestrained.

Long live our Alma Mater! at her gate

May anxious hundreds for admittance wait!

Still may she shine, and stand for countless days,

To crowds unborn a blessing and a praise!


   And Inglis! shall there not be tribute paid

To thee, so lately numbered with the dead,

In death enriching with a generous wealth

The halls thou loved’st in thy days of health,

By which, though dead, thou speakest yet, to greet

And honour Science in her ancient seat?

Moved by thy name, by thy example won,

Others shall learn to do what thou hast done.

   Scarce dried the tears thy fate had caused to flow,

When death relentless laid they brother low,

And snatched the hero, resting from the strife,

From home and friends, from children and from wife.

Of winning manners and engaging air,

His youthful friendship many sought to share;

And when from peaceful shades he passed, in arms

To meet war’s dangers, labours and alarms,

In hard-pressed Lucknow many a deed of fame

He nobly wrought, and won a deathless name;

That name to future ages shall go down

With praises wreathed, with honours for a crown. [page 10]

Alma, vale, Mater, studii juvenilis amica.

Sit tibi cura docere artes præceptaque morum.

Lumina diffundat Divina Scientia, donec

Complures intra muros tua munera quærunt,

Et vitium spernatur ibi, virtusque colatur.

Ad fontem quicunque tuum libavit alumnus

Haustus jucundi memor est ubicunque superstes,

Auditisque tuis lætatus rebus opimis.


   Nec quisquam dubitet quanti Te fecerit Inglis

Qui modo decessit vita deflendus alumnus,

Atque tuum ex opibus partem donavit ad usum,

Qua duce Te juvenum, florere scientia possit.

Hoe debes ævo venienti tradere nomen

Ducat ut exemplum plures ad tale sequendum.

   Illum desierant vixdum plorare sodales,

Quum pede mors rigido pulsavit ad ostia fratris

Abripiens subito natis et conjuge cara.

Ingenio placido vultuque et more benigno

Præditus, hic facile sibi conciliavit amicos

Dum juvenis, gremioque tuo nutritus in almo.

Miles cum subiit longinqua pericula belli

Urbis et obsidione diu vexatus ab hoste

Multa tulit fecitque ævo memoranda futuro;

Laudibus a patria et magno est cumulatus honore. [page 11]

   And fame records how bravely and how well,

In that fierce siege where thousands fought and fell,

His noble wife the hero’s labours shared,

All pains encountered and all danger dared,

Proving how much one gentle heart can do

Upheld by virtue and devotion true.

   And others from these Classic shades have gone

Who copious draughts from Wisdom’s fount have drawn,

And have repaid the boon, by honours meet

Earned, and laid down at Alma Mater’s feet.

   One let me name, who knows so well to blend

The “dulce” with the “utile,” and lend

A charm to Truth from playful Humour caught:—

Not vainly shall that well known name be sought,

Windsor, upon thine annals, but among

Thine honoured sons (a large and goodly throng

Now spread through every clime, o’er every land)

Proudly enrolled shall Haliburton stand.

   The Muse is kind, and I must give to fame

Barclay and Ingles, Binney, honoured name,

And Cochran; Parker, almost without peer,

Stands dear to Themis, and to friendship dear,

Of equal rank the brothers Bliss succeed,

Lights of the Law; and Wilkins claims the meed

Of rank and honour which his talent gains,

And Parker (Neville) like high praise attains.

Hill, Stewart, Ritchie, Cochran, Jarvis, filled

With legal lore, with long experience skilled,

Have gained the ermine. Wright, by righteous aims,

A kindred name and a like honour claims. [page 12]

   Et non fama silet quam se sua fortiter uxor

Gessit, opemque viro dedit in certamine [illegible word],

Quum Mars horrendus graderetur ubique per urbem

Igne, furore, cruore, et cæde loca omnia complens.

   Omnibus ex aliis, quorum tibi nomina famam

Auxerunt, et qui didicere fideliter artes

Ingenuas, unus celebrem se reddidit auctor,

Plurima qui scripsit, commiscens utile dulci.

In fastis hunc læta tuis Academia ponat

Illustres numerans Haliburton inter Alumnos.

   Non renuit Musa atque mihi libet addere plures

Quos inter Barclay primum est dicendus, et Ingles

Et Binney Cochranque: loco stat Parker in alto

Dilectus Themidi, et sociis non carior ullus

Stantque gradu simili fratres Bliss lumina legis.

Nevill ad talem est evectus Parker honorem.

Ordine ob ingenium Wilkins est dingus eodem.

Hill, Stewart, Ritchie, Cochran, Jarvisque tenentes

Judicis officium functi sunt jure periti.

Wright aptum fecit nomen sibi recta sequendo

Atque alta merito sede est dignatus eadem. [page 13]

Nor let me fail to mention learned Gray,

Truth’s fearless champion, quick to turn away

From God’s own word the shafts by Error thrown.

McCawley follows, well and widely known

For skill in Hebrew lore; and now he rules

O’er Alma Mater, Præses in her Schools.

Next Suther’s form in pleasant thought I greet,

Whom Scotland’s Church assigns the highest seat.

Three Uniackes follow;—one alas! shall warm

No more with eloquence, with wit shall charm;

In him men seemed again his Sire to see,

Genial and pleasant, hospitable, free,

Whose wayside mansion courteously received

Each passing guest, and all his wants relieved.

   Two Kings appear, the crown of study theirs;

The Twinings next, they also come in pairs,

Twin but in name, while Griffith moves alone,

As well for talent as for goodness known.

Clinch, constant woer of the sacred nine,

Pleasant of speech, of countenance benign,

Pattern of morals and of love divine.

Let Claiborne too be praised, whose numbers flowed

Sweet in the rhythm of the Latin ode.

   Two brothers Gilpin, Arnolds likewise stand,

As many Jeffreys swell the Classic band.

Two Porters also, Lawson only one,

The Crawleys three, the Cogswells brightly shone,

For talent eminent. Of three who bore

The name of Morris, one is now no more,

For, with a self-devotion nobly brave,

He died for others whom he sought to save. [page 14]

Impavidum veri patronum excludere nolim

Gray, qui Scripturas defendit ab arte doloque.

Macauley sequitur lingua bene notus Hebræa.

Munere defungens Matris nunc Præsidis Almæ.

Ante oculos surgit mihi Suther episcopus absens

Cui sacrum hoc tribuit Scotorum Ecclesia munus.

E tribus est Uniacke paucis jam mortuus annis,

Eloquio miriabilis insignisque lepore,

Læta festivaque simillimus indole patri

Ός πάντας ϕιλέεσκεν όδϖ έπι οίκία ναίων.

Sunt Reges duo qui studii meruere coronam.

Non gemini natu, solo sed nomine Twining

Exemplum ingenii Griffith morumque reliquit.

Clinch fere est solus Musarum cultor amænus:

Quod præstat, morum est exemplar mentis et æquæ,

Ingenuusque vultu comis verbisque benignus.

Laudetur Claiborne ob carmina scripta Latine.

Gilpin par fratrum addantur numeroque tot Arnold.

Jeffery sunt totidem, Porter quoque Lawson at unus.

Tres etiam Crawley, docili tres indole Cogswell.

E tribus est uni Morris plorabile fatum

Qui periit morbo afflictis dum sacra ministrans. [page 15]

   Maynard, Barss, Despard, warm with sacred flame,

Hudson, two Pryors, Cunningham I name.

Millidge and Fairbanks, Owen, White, I mark,

And Almon, Fraser, Campbell, Shannon, Clarke,

Harris, and Hartshorne, Robinson and Dunn;—

Peters, Monk, Paddcok, Scovil, Hazen, run

Across my mental sight, and Wallace famed

For Classic lore, and Murray must be named,

Of equal rank, the Shreves and Moodie too;

And Bliss (George Pigeon) claims an honour due.

   Others besides the Muse desires to name,

Since each some meed of praise may justly claim,

But wearied from the task she shrinks away

To sing again, perchance, some future day.


 [page 16]

Maynard, Barss, Despard, Hudson, binique Priores

Cunningham, Millidge, Ritchie, Monk, Fraser et Owen.

Est alter Cochran, Fairbanks, White, Freeman et Almon,

Clarke, Wiggins, Campbell, Shannon, Boggs, Harris et Hartshorne,

Robinson, Peters, Paddock, Dunn, Scovil et Hazen,

Miles, Wallace, Murray, Moodie, Jarvisque secundus.

Bliss alii nomen tribuit mansueta columba.

Insuper et multi percurrere nomina quorum

Singula tæderet, quanquam dignissima laude.

Dicendum est iterum Valeatis Tuque Tuique.


 [page 17]



[unnumbered page]

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