Henry Livingston, Jr.
Henry Livingston's Poetry

An elegy on the death of MONTGOMERY TAPPEN
who dies at Poughkeepsie on the 20th of Nov. 1784
in the ninth year of his age

The sweetest, gentlest, of the youthful train,
Here lies his clay cold upon the sable bier!
He scarce had started on life's varied plain,
For dreary death, arrested his career.

His cheek might vie with the expanded rose,
And Genius sparkled in his azure eyes!
A victim so unblemish'd Heaven chose;
And bore the beauteous lambkin to the skies.

Adieu thou loveliest child! adieu adieu!
Our wishes fain would follow thee on high.
What more can friendship - what more fondness do,
But drop 'th unbidden tear & heave the sigh?

Ye youths, whose ardent bosoms virtue fires:
Who eager wish applause & pant for fame;
Press round MONTGOMERY'S hearse
- the NAME inspires.
And lights in kindred souls its native flame.

COLUMBIA grateful hails the tender sound
And when MONTGOMERY'S nam'd still drops a tear.
From shore to shore to earth's remotest bound,
Where LIBERTY is known that NAME is dear.

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Historical Background
Montgomery Tappen was the son of Dr. Peter Tappen and Elizabeth Crannell, the sister of Catharine Crannell, who was married to Henry's brother Gilbert. Peter and Elizabeth's daughter Caty married Henry's other brother Robert Henry.

Dr. Tappen was a friend and customer of Henry's farm, as well as Henry's family doctor. Henry paid 7 bushels of wheat to Tappen for innoculating 2 of his children 3rd Jul 1779. Tappen named his son for General Montgomery, who was killed in front of Quebec City.


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