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 writing patriotic songs for the soldiers. In 1783 he became pastor of the church at Greenfield, Connecticut, and in 1795 was made president of Yale. He was the first of our great college presidents, and as theologian, scholar, patriot, and writer was one of the eminent personalities of his time. As a poet he belongs to a group of writers who during the last two decades of the eighteenth century formed a literary centre at New Haven and Hartford. The chief “Hartford Wits” were Timothy Dwight, John Trumbull, Joel Barlow, David Humphreys, Richard Alsop, Lemuel Hopkins, and Theodore Dwight, a brother of Timothy, all either graduates of Yale or associated with that college. Their contemporary reputation was immense. Dwight, Barlow, and Humphreys, indeed, were practical men of affairs, and all were more or less versatile. But the reading public looked upon them as geniuses; and Freneau was the only poet aside from the Hartford group who was ever mentioned in connection with them. Yet even as they were issuing their declaration of literary independence, they were in every line betraying their dependence upon English poetic style, ideas, and imagery. Their more ambitious and laboured poems, including almost all those by Dwight, Barlow, and Humphreys, are to the modern reader the least successful. Their best work, which they themselves and the public took less seriously, is in the form of satire, and was mainly written, singly or in collaboration, by Trumbull, Theodore Dwight, Alsop, and Hopkins. Yet the work of the “Hartford Wits” in fostering poetry in a period of political and social struggle and change deserves grateful recognition from the student of American literature. Timothy Dwight's Greenfield Hill is a medley of echoes. The poet stands upon a hill in his Connecticut parish, and, like his English predecessors, describes the view, paints the social conditions of the country, recounts its history, and prophesies its future. The 4300 lines of the poem are divided into seven parts, written variously in heroic couplet, Spenserian stanza, blank verse, and octosyllabics. The poet's desire “to contribute to the innocent amusement of his countrymen and to their improvement in manners and in economic, political, and moral sentiments” results in a history, guide-book, and treatise on manners, morals, and government, but not in a poem. To
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