Richard Chenevix Trench
Biography of Richard Chenevix Trench
Richard Chenevix Trench was born on September 9, 1807, North Frederick Street, Dublin, Ireland. His father was Richard Trench, his mother Melesina, only grandchild and heiress of Richard Chenevix, Bishop of Waterford, and widow of Colonel St. George. Trench’s home in childhood was Elm Lodge, close to the village of Bursledon, not far from Southampton. In February, 1816 he attended Twyford School, and in 1819 Harrow, where he won great distinction. In October 1825 he entered Trinity College, Cambridge. His mother’s correspondence is full of references to a little periodical called "The Translator", begun in 1825, or immediately on his becoming an undergraduate. She was his ardent co-worker both as contributor and critic.
In 1826 he learned Spanish, and in that year applied himself to preparing and publishing a volume of Miscellanies, of which the “profits were to be sent to the committee formed for the relief of the exiled Spaniards.” On May 27th, 1827, his mother died at Malvern. The Letters and Memorials give vivid and exciting details of his continuous interest and daring personal service and sacrifices on behalf of Spain.
Until early manhood he was undecided as to his calling, Law rather than Divinity colouring his thoughts and plans. He left Cambridge on February 1st, 1829, and rejoined his widowed father at Elm Lodge, near Southampton. He married, at the Abbey Church, Bath, on May 31st, 1832, his own cousin, Frances Mary Trench, daughter of his uncle, Francis Trench. He was ordained priest early in July, 1835, by Bishop Sumner, of Winchester. In 1846 he was appointed Professor of Divinity at King’s College, London, later changed into “Professor of the Exegesis of the New Testament,” which he held until 1858. In 1856 he was appointed Dean of Westminster. On New Year’s Day, 1864, he was consecrated Archbishop of Dublin in Christ Church Cathedral. His final confirmation was in St. Bartholomew’s Church on May 16th, 1884. On November 28th, 1884, he resigned his Archbishopric. Few have left behind them a more stainless, a more loveable, a more enviable memory. He has been referred to as "sweetness and light embodied".
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Richard Chenevix Trench Poems
Now the third and fatal conflict for the Persian throne was done, And the Moslem's fiery valor had the crowning victory won. Harmosan, the last and boldest the invader to defy,
I stood beside a pool, from whence ascended, Mounting the cloudy platforms of the wind, A stately heron; its soaring I attended, Till it grew dim, and I with watching blind--
A garden so well watered before morn Is hotly up, that not the swart sun's blaze Down beating with unmitigated rays, Nor arid winds from scorching places borne,
When hearts are full of yearning tenderness, For the loved absent, whom we can not reach -- By deed or token, gesture or kind speech, The spirit's true affection to express;
In A Pass Of Bavaria
A sound of many waters!--now I know To what was likened the large utterance sent By Him who mid the golden lampads went: Innumerable streams, above, below,
Lord, what a change within us one short hour Spent in Thy presence will prevail to make -- What heavy burdens from our bosoms take, What parchèd grounds refresh, as with a shower!
The Onward Course
Our course is onward, onward into light: What though the darkness gathereth amain, Yet to return or tarry both are vain. How tarry, when around us is thick night?
ALL beautiful things bring sadness, nor alone Music, whereof that wisest poet spake; Because in us keen longings they awake After the good for which we pine and groan,
After The Battle
WE crown’d the hard-won heights at length, Baptiz’d in flame and fire; We saw the foeman’s sullen strength, That grimly made retire—
He might have reared a palace at a word, Who sometimes had not where to lay his head: Time was, and He who nourished crowds with bread Would not one meal unto Himself afford:
New Year's Eve
The strong in spiritual action need not look Upon the new-found year as on a scroll, The which their hands lack cunning to unroll, But in it read, as in an open book,
On Perseus and Medusa
In what fierce spasms upgathered, on the plain Medusa's headless corpse has quivering sunk, While all the limbs of that undying trunk
Peace, Freedom, Happiness, have loved to wait On the fair islands, fenced by circling seas; And ever of such favoured spots as these
To a Robin Redbreast
Oh light of heart and wing, Light-hearted and light-wingëd, that dost cheer With song of sprightliest note the waning year, Thou canst so blithely sing,
Lord, what a change within us one short hour
Spent in Thy presence will prevail to make --
What heavy burdens from our bosoms take,
What parchèd grounds refresh, as with a shower!
We kneel, and all around us seems to lower;
We rise, and all, the distant and the near,
Stands forth in sunny outline, brave and clear;
We kneel how weak, we rise how full of power!
Why, therefore, should we do ourselves this wrong,