2 Responses to Quotes Suitable for Framing: James Russell Lowell

  • Mr. McClarey.

    Thank you from my heart.
    I’m taking a day off to nurse a flu and this timely truth from JRL has reached its target.

    Like rich cuisine I must taste the entree with reasonable amounts and cherish the flavors slowly and carefully.

    Going back for another bite.Thanks.

  • Hope you get better Philip. TR.

Memoriae Positum

Monday, January 19, AD 2015

(Reposted from 2013.)

 He leads for aye the advance,

 Hope’s forlorn-hopes that plant the desperate good

For nobler Earths and days of manlier mood;

James Russell Lowell

Memoriae Positum, memory laid down.  The Latin phrase is a good short hand description of  what History accomplishes.  In 1864 the poet James Russell Lowell wrote a poem entitled Memoriae Positum in tribute to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw who died heroically at age 25  leading the unsuccessful assault of the 54th Massachusetts, one of the first black Union regiments, on the Confederate stronghold of Fort Wagner at Charleston, South Carolina on July 18th, 1863.  The poem predicts that Shaw’s memory will live forever and feels sorrow only for those, unlike Shaw, who are unwilling or unable to risk all for their beliefs.  It is a poem completely out of step with the predominant sentiments of our day which seem to value physical survival and enjoyment above everything else.  Here is the text of the poem:

Continue reading...

4 Responses to Memoriae Positum

  • I re-watched that movie Glory last night. I lack the bravery of those men who knew that on the day of battle against that fort by the ocean, they would surely die and yet they would have it no other way.

  • Paul Primavera. We have Glory in our small inventory of movies. The scene you mention brings the soul to weep.
    The movie portrayal is something to behold however Mr. McClarey might be able to define fact from Hollywood.

    The first wave, the 54th assault on the Fort, seemed to pierce the defenses and I pondered the timing of subsequent waves. It seemed that if the second assault was on the heels of the 54th that possibility a victory could of transpired.

    This is ONLY from viewing the movie, however it has crossed my mind.
    Could you or Mr. McClarey give a historical reason why this didn’t happen, or if it did happen why the advance was unsuccessful.

    I will not be disappointed if you ask me to research this inquiry, as I do appreciate your expense in time and money for your education, however the Civil War history is definitely a passion of Mr. McClarey’s, and I hope it’s not insulting to either of you for my question.

  • Philip, the post below has an account by a New York Times correspondent who was present for the assault:

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2013/07/18/july-18-1863-assault-on-fort-wagner/

  • Thank you for the courtesy. The eye witness report was quite detailed.
    What a sacrifice. I appreciate the link Mr. McClarey.

Memoriae Positum

Thursday, July 18, AD 2013

(Reposted from 2012.)

 He leads for aye the advance,

 Hope’s forlorn-hopes that plant the desperate good

For nobler Earths and days of manlier mood;

James Russell Lowell

Memoriae Positum, memory laid down.  The Latin phrase is a good short hand description of  what History accomplishes.  In 1864 the poet James Russell Lowell wrote a poem entitled Memoriae Positum in tribute to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw who died heroically at age 25  leading the unsuccessful assault of the 54th Massachusetts, one of the first black Union regiments, on the Confederate stronghold of Fort Wagner at Charleston, South Carolina on July 18th, 1863.  The poem predicts that Shaw’s memory will live forever and feels sorrow only for those, unlike Shaw, who are unwilling or unable to risk all for their beliefs.  It is a poem completely out of step with the predominant sentiments of our day which seem to value physical survival and enjoyment above everything else.  Here is the text of the poem:

Continue reading...

One Response to Memoriae Positum

Memoriae Positum

Sunday, March 11, AD 2012

He leads for aye the advance,

Hope’s forlorn-hopes that plant the desperate good

For nobler Earths and days of manlier mood;

James Russell Lowell

Memoriae Positum, memory laid down.  The Latin phrase is a good short hand description of  what History accomplishes.  In 1864 the poet James Russell Lowell wrote a poem entitled Memoriae Positum in tribute to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw who died heroically at age 25  leading the unsuccessful assault of the 54th Massachusetts, one of the first black Union regiments, on the Confederate stronghold of Fort Wagner at Charleston, South Carolina on July 18th, 1863.  The poem predicts that Shaw’s memory will live forever and feels sorrow only for those, unlike Shaw, who are unwilling or unable to risk all for their beliefs.  It is a poem completely out of step with the pre-dominant sentiments of our day which seem to value physical survival and enjoyment above everything else.  Here is the text of the poem:

Continue reading...

3 Responses to Memoriae Positum

  • Good post. We owe men like Shaw a debt we can hardly understand, much less repay. Ideals higher than one’s personal appetite are foreign to many modern minds. I had a discussion recently about how different the characters from the movies “Casa Blanca” and “The English Patient” placed their personal passions in relation to the sacrifice required for higher ideals. Worth pointing out.

  • Lisa couldn’t have said, God Bless you, to Rick if she didn’t get on the plane.
    Both the Hunters of Kentucky standing up with Jackson for New Orleans and the determination to help free fellow man seen in Shaw’s 54th are reminders of what noble means – from history and art as opposed to from deeds forming the history of 2012.
    Hoping for some as yet unknowns, probably never to be known in the same way, to stand in the unnamed war with present day evil. The field is open to us all.