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Very, Jones (28 August 1813–08 May 1880), poet and preacher, was the oldest of six children born in Salem, Massachusetts, to Jones Very, a ship captain, and Lydia Very. No record of marriage exists for the poet’s parents, who were first cousins (with the same surname), though they lived as husband and wife until the elder Jones Very’s death in 1824. Despite financial hardships imposed by his father’s death, the younger Jones Very was able to enter Harvard University as a sophomore in 1833; he finished second in his class in 1836 and then served as tutor in Greek at the college while studying at the divinity school. But in September 1838 his affiliation with Harvard came to an end when he, under the influence of a mystical religious experience, came into disfavor with the college authorities, was relieved of his duties, and was sent for a month to the McLean Asylum in nearby Charlestown....