Richard Bingham Davis had a tragically short life; born in New York, he went to Columbia College when he was only fourteen. At seventeen he was apprenticed to his father as a woodcarver, but then became the editor of a New York newspaper. He left journalism to become a business man and sadly died of yellow fever when he was only twenty-eight.
We have a long while to go until ‘the long dreary reign of Winter’ is past, but here is a spring poem –
When, through the dark damp mists of tedious night,
Sweet lucid tints announce the cheerful day,
Gay beats the enthusiast heart that hails the ray
Illuminating scenes of new delight.
When, the long dreary reign of Winter past,
The landscape brightens, and the wild flowers bloom;
When every gale wafts music and perfume,
Rich is the fancy’s treasure, sweet the soul’s repast.
Such, in the circle where Felicia shines,
Are Friendship’s feelings on her blest return;
Friendship–who for her loss no more repines,
But bids each anxious bosom cease to mourn.
To hail Felicia is our sweet employ,
And every sense and every heart is joy.
Richard Bingham Davis, 1771-1799