Isaac McLellan

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

Isaac McLellan

Portland native Isaac McLellan (1806-1899), whom I have written about previously, celebrated our Pine Tree beauty, with wondrously enunciated place names in a minor masterpiece, The Shores of Maine; amidst the frigid long nights of January, one can hope that spring-pleasant temperatures arrive quickly and on time March 21:

“Far in the sunset’s mellow glory,
Far in the daybreak’s pearly bloom-
Fring’d by ocean’s foamy surges,
Belted in by woods of gloom,
Stretch thy soft luxuriant borders,
Smile thy shores, in hill and plain,
Flower-enamelled, ocean-girdled,
Green bright shores of Maine,

“Rivers of surpassing beauty
From thy hemlock woodlands flow,-
Androscoggin and Penobscot,
Saco, chill’d by northern snow,
These from many a lowly ravine
Thick by pine-trees shadow’d o’er,
Sparkling from their ice-cold tributes
To the surges of thy shore.

“Bays resplendent as the heaven,
Starr’d and gemm’d by thousand isles,
Gird thee, Casco, with its islets,
Quoddy with its dimpled smiles:
O’er them the fisher’s shallop,
And tall ships their wings expand,
While the smoke-flag of the steamer,
Flaunteth out its cloudy streamer,
Bound to foreign strand.

“Bright from many a rocky headland
Fring’d by sands that shine like gold,
Gleams the light-house white and lonely,
Grim as some barronial hold.
Bright by many an ocean valley
Shaded hut and village shine;
Roof and steeple, weather-beaten,
Stain’d by ocean’s breath of brine.”

After years residing in Massachusetts, Europe, New York City, Virginia and North Carolina, McLellan, a bachelor, lived out his last years at Greenport on Long Island.


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