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generally regarded as the greatest artistic achievement of a literary nature of any age-namely, his Translation of Dante's Divina Commedia. The entire poem, numbering fourteen thousand two hundred and seventy-eight lines, has been rendered into English, answering line for line and word for word to the original Italian; and this, it is claiined, without detracting from the native vigor, sense, and grace of the poem. In this triumph of translation Longfellow stands alone, though Dryden, Pope, Cowper, Sotheby, Coleridge, Fairfax and Rose, and Cary have all been competitors.

In 1868, The New England Tragedies appeared. They are two in number, and constitute a romantic setting off of early Quaker history in New England, executed in a style whose clearness and severe plainness are strikingly germain to the incidents. The Poets and Poetry of Europe, and a volume recently issued, entitled The Divine Tragedy, close the long and worthy list of Longfellow's labors. “They are the work of a scholar, of a man of taste, of a fertile fancy, and of a loving heart.”* /Longfellow's eminence as a poet consists not so much in originality or boldness of conception, or in ingenuity of plot, as in the exuberance and beauty of his language, the harmonious flow of his verse, and the striking appositeness of his imagery.

“It is at once his aid and his merit that he can produce the choice pictures of the past and of other minds with new accessories of his own; so that the quaint old poets of Germany, the singers of the past centuries, the poetical vision and earnest teachings of Goethe, and the every-day humors of ean Paul, as it were, come to live among us in A:nerican homes and landscapes.”+

A healthful, hopeful, solacing, ennobling, religious air pervades his every utterance. He is the poet of the heart and hoine; and his writings, now so widely and pleasurably read, will continue to savor of beauty, purity, and pathog

* Duyckinck's Cyclopædia of American Literature.

† Ibid.

with the people so long as the affections of the human heart and the interests of home shall remain dear. / How almost like a divine message does the following poem from By the Fireside address itself to the bereaved and desolate heart most tenderly chiding its anguish, and pouring into its darkness rays of comfort and eternal promisel


THERE is no flock, however watched and tended,

But one dead lamb is there!
There is no fireside, howsoe'er defended,

But has one vacant chair!

The air is full of farewells to the dying,

And mournings for the dead;
The heart of Rachel, for her children crying,

Will not be comforted!
Let us be patient! These severe afflictions

Not from the ground arise,
But oftentimes celestial benedictions

Assume this dark disguise.
We see but dimly through the mists and vapors;

Amid these earthly damps
What seem to us but sad, funereal tapers

May be heaven's distant lamps.
There is no death! What seems so is transition;

This life of mortal breath
Is but à suburb of the life elysian,

Whose portal we call Death.
She is not dead,--the child of our affection,-

But gone unto that school
Where she no longer needs our poor protection,

And Christ himself doth rule.

In that great cloister's stillness and seclusion,

By guardian angels led,
Bafe from temptation, safe from sin's pollution,

She lives, whom we call dead.

Day after day we think what she is doing

In those bright realins of air;
Year after year, her tender steps pursuing,

Behold her grown more fair.

Thus do we walk with her, and keep unbroken

The bond which nature gives,
Thinking that our remembrance, though unspoken,

May reach her where she lives.

Not as a child shall we again behold her;

For when with raptures wild
In our embraces we again enfold her,

She will not be a child;

But a fair maiden, in her Father's mansion,

Clothed with celestial grace;
And beautiful with all the soul's expansion,

Shall we behold her face.

And though at times impetuous with emotion

And anguish long suppressed,
The swelling heart heaves moaning like the ocean,

That cannot be at rest,

We will be patient, and assuage the feeling

We may not wholly stay;
By silence sanctifying, not concealing,

The grief that must have way.

The leading peculiarity of Longfellow's style is its musicalness-a musicalness, ioo, that is not so far removed as that only a practiced ear may catch it, but is simple and unequivocal and spontaneous.

“His artistic sense is so exquisite that each of his poems is a valuable study. In this he has now reacned a perfection quite unrivaled among living poets, except sometimes by Tennyson. ... . His literary scholarship, also, his delightful familiarity with the pure literature of all languages and times, must rank Longfellow among the learned poets." (See Supplement E.)


WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT was born at Cummington, Hampshire county, Massachusetts, November 3, 1794.

Bryant early displayed the poetical faculty, and fastened upon the genial influences of Nature about him. Ho began to write verses at nine, and at the age of fourteen he prepared a collection of poems which was published at Boston in 1809.”*

Leaving Williams College without graduating—thc yh honorably-he began the study, and subsequently the practice, of law, which he prosecuted some ten years.

Thanatopsis was written in his nineteenth year, and, when published in 1816, was for some time, attributed by critics to his father. Of this poem it has been remarked by one of the most scrupulous and able of reviewers, † “ It alone would establish the author's claim to the honors of genius.”


To him who in the love of Nature holds
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language; for his gayer hours
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
And eloquence of beauty, and she glides
Into his darker musings with a mild
And healing sympathy, that steals away
Their sharpness ere he is aware.

When thoughts
Of the last bitter hour come like a blight
Over thy spirit, and sad images
Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall,
And breathless darkness, and the narrow house,
Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart;-

Duyckinck's Cyclopædia of American Literature.
† Christopher North.

Go forth, under the open sky, and list
To Nature's teachings, while from all around, -
Earth and her waters, and the depths of air,-
Comes a still voice-

Yet a few days, and thee
The all-beholding sun shall see no more
In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground,
Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears,
Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist
Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim
Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again,
And, lost each human trace, surrendering up
Thine individual being, shalt thou go
To mix for ever with the elements,
To be a brother to the insensible rock
And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain
Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak
Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould.

Yet not to thine eternal resting-place
Shalt thou retire alone,

,-nor couldst thou wish
Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down
With patriarchs of the infant world—with kings,
The powerful of the earth—the wise, the good,
Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,
All in one mighty sepulchre.

The hills
Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun; the vales
Stretching in pensive quietness between;
The venerable woods; rivers that move
In majesty, and the complaining brooks
That make the meadows green; and, poured round all,
Old Ocean's gray and melancholy waste,-
Are but the solenın decorations all
Of the great tomb of man.

The golden sun,
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
Are shining on the sad abodes of death,
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom. Take the wings
Of morning, traverse Barca's desert sands,

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