When a Puritan died his friends conspired in mournful concert, or labored individually and painfully, to bring forth as tributes of grief and respect, rhymed elegies, anagrams, epitaphs, acrostics, epicediums, and threnodies; and singularly enough, seemed to reserve for these gloomy tributes their sole attempt at facetiousness.

Poetry, indeed, was still to be preserved; because Poetry was a useful thing: men needed amusement, and loved to amuse themselves with Poetry: the playhouse was a pretty lounge of an evening; then there were so many precepts, satirical, didactic, so much more impressive for the rhyme; to say nothing of your occasional verses, birthday odes, epithalamiums, epicediums, by which 'the dream of existence may be so highly sweetened and embellished. Nay, does not Poetry, acting on the imaginations of men, excite them to daring purposes; sometimes, as in the case of Tyrtaeus, to fight better; in which wise may it not rank as a useful stimulant to man, along with Opium and Scotch Whisky, the manufacture of which is allowed by law?

Warm eulogies did many a staid New Englander write of his loving consort, eulogies in rhyme, and epitaphs, elegies, threnodies, epicediums, anagrams, acrostics, and pindarics, all speaking loudly of loving, "painful" care, if not of a spirit of poesy.