Sunday, March 22, 2009

Albert Pinkham Ryder -- His Brother's Hotel and One of His Poems

The Hotel Albert, named after our man Albert Pinkham Ryder, is shown here in a Life Magazine photo taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt in 1951 . This was, in fact, where Ryder lived for some time thanks to William Ryder, one of his brothers. Albert had three brothers, two of whom served in the Civil War, one in the artillery and one in the infantry.  Albert wrote this poem about the war with Halpine in mind but probably also his two brothers. Ryder wrote any number of poems, some about his paintings, others about life.

Roll the muffled drum
Wail the shrieking fife
Halpine's in his home
Only his remains come...

And we hold the breath
In the presence of death
And we hold the breath
For the men who faced death
Veterans every one.

Now bursts the awful chime
As they pass in line
Shoulder to shoulder
As they sway together
As they vibrate together.

With music weird and strange
As sounds that range
Along the billowy shore
When storm rules the hour
Alas! Alas!
As they pass
As they pass.

Wakes within the brain
Ah so dull a pain
Wake within the frame
Both a chill and pain
Ah so dull a pain

The Hotel Albert is now an apartment building, the buildings around it having changed since Ryder's day and 1951 when the photo was taken. In its day though it not only was home to Ryder but also housed Robert Louis Stevenson's artist studio. In addition, Leo Tolstoy and Thomas Wolfe reportedly stayed at the Hotel.

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