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[161] Original and translated, which contains among other pieces paraphrases from the Bible, translations from Horace, and half a dozen elegies, including one on Cotton Mather and one on Jane Turell. All these are written in the heroic couplet but in a diction more natural than Pope's. That Adams knew Milton's poems is apparent in his Address to the Supreme being. Indeed these poems, though pervaded by the Puritan spirit, yet reveal a more purely aesthetic purpose and a more careful style than can generally be found before the later years of the century.

The almanacs of Nathaniel Ames, father and son, of Dedham, Massachusetts, had their part in disseminating throughout New England a knowledge of the English poets and perhaps also in fostering a taste for humorous poetry. The brief passages from Dryden, Pope, and James Thomson (yes, and Blackmore!), prefixed to the astronomical data, and the unpretentious humorous verses scattered through the other matter, were far more widely read than the laboured and ambitious poems of the literary group in Boston. An Essay upon the Microscope is an elaborate poem, by the elder Ames, which, if not poetic, is interesting as perhaps our first ode in irregular verse.

Boston was not the only literary centre of this transition period. Franklin tells us in his Autobiography that when he first entered the printing office of Samuel Keimer in Philadelphia in 1723, he found the printer laboriously composing in type an elegy on Aquila Rose, a young poet who had just died in that city-perhaps the worst elegy ever written. The poet elegized died in 1723 at the age of twenty-eight. Within the few years preceding his death he wrote the slight occasional poems in heroic couplets that were in 1740 published in a volume by his son. Probably at no time would Aquila Rose have been a poet, but his verses were quite the best that Philadelphia had yet produced, and were to remain so until Thomas Godfrey surpassed them a generation later. Furthermore, they show that the new influences from England had reached Philadelphia as well as Boston. George Webb, a member of Franklin's “Junto,” wrote Batchelors' Hall in defence of the life led by himself and other young bachelors at their club near the city. Unconventional as that life may have been, Webb's heroic

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