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and its pictured memories are recorded by the poet in some of his best lyrics, My Lost Youth, The Rope-Walk, and Kéramos. In 1822 he left home for Bowdoin College, Brunswick, where he distinguished himself as a poet and as a student. A translation of his from Horace so favorably impressed the trustees of the College that he was called to the chair of Modern Languages, and given permission to make all due preparation at his own expense abroad. This preparation he made by residence and travel in France, Spain, and Italy, and in September, 1827, returned to America a wellequipped professor of modern languages.
He taught with interest and enthusiasm, diffusing a precious literary charm throughout his class-work that raised instruction into culture. In 1834, when Mr. Ticknor resigned his professorship in Harvard College, Mr. Longfellow was called to his chair, and was again offered the privilege of European travel in further preparation for his position.
Up to this time, Longfellow's only published works, other than poems in magazines, were school-books, a translation of Coplas de Manrique, and Outre-Mer. In this last work, published in its complete form in 1835, many of the characteristics of his genius are clearly manifested,-his love of the older lands rich in literary and historical associations, a generous optimism that falls like sunlight upon whatever objects be sees or persons he encounters. In Outre-Mer he definitely entered upon what perhaps was the great mission of his life, the interpretation of the Old World to the New.
In April of 1835 Longfellow and his wife — he had married happily four years before — set out beyond seas. They visited London, Sweden, and were in the midst of their experiences in Holland when Mrs. Longfellow died,
a gentle, beautiful nature whose memory will live in the lines of The Footsteps of Angels,
All my fears are laid aside
Such as these have lived and died.
The professor continued his labours in Heidelberg, in the Tyrol, and in Switzerland, where his heavy heart was lightened by association with Miss Frances Appleton. In December, 1836, he entered on his work in Harvard.
Longfellow's life in Cambridge had about it something of ideal perfection. Craigie House, which was first his lodging, and after his marriage to Miss Appleton in 1843, his home, stands amid elms and hedges, a roomy, manywindowed house from which you see the salt marshes and winding stream of the Charles. The professors among whom Longfellow found himself were genial able men, bound together by lofty sympathies and hearty love and respect for each other and each other's work. Felton, Sumner, Hillard, Cleveland, and Longfellow were especially drawn together by the delightful dining and talking association of the “ Five of Clubs.” If one wrote anything, the others admired it. When Felton reviewed Evangeline in the North American Review, some one underscored the poet's name in a copy of the article, Insured in the Mutual.' Good-health, a happy marriage, worldly prosperity, friends, congenial work,Longfellow might have feared the fate of Polycrates.
Almost immediately with his entry into Craigie House begins the long series of poems that made his name everywhere honoured and beloved. The Psalm of Life, Footsteps of Angels, The Reaper and the Flowers, Midnight
Mass, The Beleaguered City, etc., all appear in Longfellow's first volume of verse, Voices of the Night, 1839. Two years later followed Ballads and Other Poems, containing other of the poet's best known pieces—The Wreck of the Hesperus, The Village Blacksmith, Maidenhood, Excelsior. How familiar these names are to everybody, every child even ! What better proof could be of the universal charm he has exercised over this age. Then came Evangeline and Miles Standish, and the various collections of poems in Seaside and Fireside, Birds of Passage, and Tales of a Wayside Inn, Hiawatha, the epic of the Indian, and The Golden Legend, the epic of medievalism, which finally formed with Christus and the New England Tragedies a Divine Tragedy portraying three aspects of Christianity. There are also two more volumes of prose, Hyperion and Kavenagh, which by no means equal Longfellow's poetry.
One great sorrow overcast the poet's later life. The sonnet,
In the long sleepless watches of the night, depicts at once the martyrdom of fire by which his wife died and the cross of snow that her death laid upon his breast. In 1880, Ultima Thule announced that the poet was reaching the goal of all human steps. On March 24th, 1882, he died, with these words fresh from his pen:
Out of the shadow of night
It is daybreak everywhere. It is this spirit of light that pervades all Longfellow's work. He was essentially an interpretative genius, the apostle of old-world culture preaching in the midst of a new, vigorous, but on the whole unlettered community. Yet his translations, exquisite as they are, his
books of travel, sunny as the lands they depict, are only the most evident part of his mission. More than any other poet he has made the thoughts and feelings born of a wide acquaintance with literature the daily possession of most English readers. The people found in Longfellow one who reached their hearts by appeals to a common elemental nature. For these Longfellow has written poems which inspire and console, and through the power of tender sympathy help to refine and elevate and temper. Most readers have found a peculiar charm in those poems of Longfellow's that take hold of the commonplace and raise it, idealize it, and with a fancy skyborn yet shining about them, present it in a light, beautiful with a beauty not too fine for simple and good hearts. To diffuse and popularize the truths of poetry, to bring strength, sunshine, and the stirrings of a better life to multitudes of men and women, this is Longfellow's mission. His honoured place among lyric poets is incontestable, and by at least one extensive poem he has found a place among our best descriptive poets. The succession of lovely pictures, the peaceful village, the primeval forest, the autumnal landscape, the silent aisles of Southern bayous, the limitless prairies, the inaccessible mountains where sing the silver cords of mighty torrents, the ocean moaning hoarsely among its rocky caverns,—these will be held in loving memory while Time with unfading laurel crowns the idyll of Evangeline.