Goldsmith, Oliver

Oliver Goldsmith, poet, civil servant (b at St Andrews, NB 6 July 1794; d at Liverpool, Eng 23 June 1861). The son of Loyalists and grandnephew of Irish poet Oliver Goldsmith, he was employed for most of his life in the commissariat of the British army at Halifax. His long poem, The Rising Village, originally published in England (1825) and later revised in Canada (1834), was the first book-length poem published by an English Canadian. In heroic couplets, Goldsmith depicts the progress of settlement and civilization in a Maritime community, but subtly cautions that the settlers must remain vigilant and loyal to Britain - lest the wilderness reassert its chaos and the lawless youth rebel in a (perhaps) American revolutionary spirit. The Autobiography of Oliver Goldsmith, discovered by W.E. Myatt, was published with his notes in 1943.