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One hundred years ago a famous American poet of the day dedicated an ode to Harvard on her Bicentennial; and the fame of the poet, the Reverend Samuel Gilman, has remained very much alive because of that poem, "Fair Harvard."
What will the twenty-first century say of John Masefield?
The first poet laureate to participate in an American celebration, Mr. Masefield will mount the platform at the Tercentenary exercises Friday morning to deliver his "Ode to Harvard."
Came Here Before
This is not the first time that the "King's Canary" has visited Harvard. In 1918 the distinguished poet and author was the guest of the University at its commencement exercises and received an honorary degree.
That was in the period of the poet's early fame, after the publication of "The Everlasting Mercy" and "The Widow in Bye Street." President Lowell's citation to him then read, "poet and dramatist who tells with simple native force stories of sea and land, of sin and death, of peace and war."
On Friday Dr. Lowell, who first bestowed Harvard's honor on Masefield, will again be on the platform when Mr. Masefield returns in the second period of his fame to bestow honor upon Harvard.
During their week at Harvard Mr. and Mrs. Masefield will be guests of Mr. and Mrs. Eliot Wadsworth, of Boston.
Hagedorn and Hillyer Replace Frost
In addition to that by the poet laureate, two other poems by two other well-known poets are being eagerly awaited by Crimson audiences.
Herman Hagedorn '07 will deliver an Ode to Harvard at the meeting of the Associated Harvard Clubs tomorrow morning, while Robert Hillyer '17, associate professor of English, follows suit at the Phi Beta Kappa exercises in the evening.
Both of these roles were originally scheduled to be filled by Robert Frost '01, until the celebrated New Englander, who was here much of last winter, was forced by illness to forego the occasion.
Mr. Hagedorn also read a poem during the sesquicentennial exercises of the Harvard Phi Beta Kappa Chapter in June, 1917. He bases his chief fame on his biographical works, notably on Theodore Roosevelt, Leonard Wood, and William Boyce Thompson; while he is also the author of numerous novels and narrative poems in addition to his shorter verse.
Harvard's most distinguished contemporary poet, Professor Hillyer has the distinction of being one of the few speakers at the Tercentenary whose address will not receive advance publication by the University News Office. At present the poet is under contract to the Atlantic Monthly, which also plans to print his Phi Beta Kappa work.
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