1844–1909

Introduction

portrait

Born: Feb­ru­a­ry 8, 1844, Bor­den­town, New Jer­sey.

Died: No­vem­ber 18, 1909, New York Ci­ty.

Buried: Bor­den­town Ce­me­te­ry, Bor­den­town, New Jer­sey.

portrait

Biography

Richard was the son of Me­thod­ist min­is­ter Will­iam Hen­ry Gil­der, and hus­band of He­le­na De Kay.

He at­tend­ed his fa­ther’s sem­in­ary in Flush­ing, New York, and lat­er stu­died Greek and He­brew un­der Dr. James Strong. He even­tu­al­ly re­ceived hon­or­a­ry Doc­tor of Law de­grees from sev­er­al un­i­ver­si­ties.

He was a pri­vate in the Am­er­i­can ci­vil war, and worked on the rail­road (1864–65). He lat­er worked for news­pa­pers in New­ark, New Jer­sey, and on the New York month­ly ma­ga­zine Hours at Home. He be­came as­so­ci­ate ed­it­or of Scrib­ner’s Month­ly in 1870, and ed­it­or-in-chief in 1881.

Publications

Poem

Richard Watson Gilder

In Memoriam

Soul of a soldier in a poet’s frame,
Heart of a hero in a body frail;
Thine was the courage clear that did not quail
Before the giant champions of shame
Who wrought dishonor to the city’s name;
And thine the vision of the Holy Grail
Of Love, revealed through Music’s lucid veil,
Filling thy life with heavenly song and flame.

Pure was the light that lit thy glowing eye,
And strong the faith that held thy simple creed.
Ah, poet, patriot, friend, to serve our need
Thou leavest two great gifts that will not die:
Above the city’s noise, thy lyric cry—
Amid the city’s strife, thy noble deed.

Henry Jackson Van Dyke
November 1909

Sources

Lyrics