A New York Reader On Virginia Dare And Stephen Vincent Benet
08/22/2012
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Re: James Fulford's article  On Virginia Dare’s Birthday: Will Her Fate Be The Fate Of America? 

From: Thomas McCarthy (e-mail him)

Maybe I've missed its appearance, but I can't recall ever seeing the Benéts' once famous poem about Virginia Dare and her Pilgrim counterpart, Peregrine White, reproduced on your site.

Back in the early fifties, the poem was used both as an introduction to poetry and as a tool for teaching American colonial history to me and my fellow second-, third-, or fourth-grade students (memory fails me which, alas) at Saint Angela Merici School, in the Bronx.

Doubtless it was taught at many, many other schools as well—perhaps even some public schools, though as is now pretty well known, the groundwork of subversion of Americanism and indoctrination in self-loathing in the New York City school system had been put in place by 1945 and very likely much earlier.

Whether the poem is great art or indeed art of any sort is beside the point. The collection of which it is a part, A Book of Americans, was written as children's verse, after all. T

he poem embodies, as it was meant to, a naturalness, a taken-for-grantedness, of the Americanization—equatable with transformation by settlement of the New World into a home for white people of European origin, most all of them Christians—of a land whose only inhabitants were, to speak plainly, painted savages.

Could the poem be read nowadays in public, either by a politician or a member of some fraternal association, without comment or consequence?

The question answers itself, of course. Sadly, the Benéts' poetry is precisely the sort of writing that hate crime laws were created to deep-six forever. Indeed, I wonder whether my mere mentioning of the poem might not get me an honored place in the next $PLC hate-watch memo. (Oh happy day!)

P.S. Be it noted, in the interest of tolerance and other really swell Establishment virtues, that Stephen Vincent Benét was famously the descendant of a family of Minorcan origin. Perhaps he should be a candidate for one of Steve Sailer's occasional blog posts on diversity avant la lettre.

James Fulford writes: The poem, suitable for young people, begins:

Peregrine White

And Virginia Dare

Were the first real Americans

Anywhere.

And that's enough to damn it in the minds of the multiculturalists right there, since they consider the Indians the "first real Americans." But it's worth remembering that all the old politically incorrect patriotism, that won't be in any public school's curriculum, is still available on the internet.

Here's the whole poem: 

Peregrine White [1620] and Virginia Dare [1587] by Rosemary and Stephen Vincent Benet

Peregrine White
And Virginia Dare
Were the first real Americans
Anywhere.

Others might find it
Strange to come
Over the ocean
To make a home.

England and memory
Left behind - -
But Virginia and Peregrine
Didn't mind.

One of them born
On Roanoke,
And the other cradled
In Pilgrim oak.

Rogues might bicker
And good men pray.
Did they pay attention?
No, not they.

Men might grumble
And women weep
But Virginia and Peregrine
Went to sleep.

They had their dinner
And napped and then
When they woke up
It was dinner again.

They didn't worry,
They didn't wish,
They didn't farm
And they didn't fish.

There was lots of work
But they didn't do it.
They were pioneers
But they never knew it.

Wolves in the forest
And Indian drums!
Virginia and Peregrine
Sucked their thumbs.

They were only babies.
They didn't care.
Peregrine White
And Virginia Dare.


 

 

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