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consists in the power with which each word and line is made to work toward this final impression.
The second member of the Cambridge group, Henry Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, was born in Portland, Wadsworth Longfellow,
Maine. His father was a leading lawyer there, and born in Port- his choice library was one of the strong influences in land, Maine, 1807; died
the poet's early training. The first book which bridge, Mas- greatly interested and so influenced him was Irving's sachusetts, “Sketch Book,” which he read with keen delight
when a boy of twelve. His college education was at Bowdoin, in Brunswick, Maine, where Nathaniel Hawthorne was one of his classmates. On his graduation in 1825, he was chosen professor of modern languages in his Alma Mater, with the suggestion that he spend some years abroad in special preparation for the duties of the chair. From May, 1826, until August, 1829, he was engaged in study and travel in Europe, and for the following five years he discharged the duties of the professorship at Bowdoin. In December, 1834, he was invited to a similar position at Harvard, and in preparation for this new work he went again to Europe. During this visit he suffered his first great sorrow
a sorrow reflected in the tender poem “The Footsteps of Angels"in the death of his wife. In December, 1836, began his residence in Cambridge, which was his home for the remainder of his life. For eighteen years he was actively engaged in the duties of his professorship; but in 1854 he resigned this position, and devoted his whole time and strength to literary pursuits. From the year 1837 his home was in the historical“ Craigie
House,” which had been the headquarters of General Washington during the siege of Boston, and which has thus become doubly memorable as the residence for forty-five years of the well-beloved poet. In July, 1861, a terrible domestic sorrow came to him in the death by fire of his second wife, with whom he had lived an ideally happy life since 1843. It was by means of the close and unremitting labor of his translation of Dante's “Divina Commedia " that he brought himself out of the overwhelming shadow of this calamity, a fact which adds a peculiar interest to that work, and to the series of sonnets which were written in connection with it. He died on the 24th of March, 1882, his mental faculties having been perfectly preserved to the end. “The Bells of San Blas," one of the most perfect of his lyrics, was completed on the 15th of the same month; and closes with words which seem beautifully appropriate as the last message of such a man and such a poet.
Like Holmes, Longfellow made his first appearance in print in connection with other writers. First on the list of his publications we find "Miscellaneous Poems from the United States Literary Gazette,” 1826. During his residence at Bowdoin, he published “Elements of French Grammar”; “Coplas de Manrique," a translation from the Spanish; and “Outre-Mer,” a collection of sketches, the gleanings of his years in Europe. After his return from his second journey abroad, he published, in the “Knickerbocker Magazine,” his "Psalm of Life,” “Psalm of which made him instantly one of the most popular Life," 1837.
" Voices of
poets of the world's history. Very few critics would give this poem a very high place, artistically. It has been criticised as commonplace in thought and confused in its figures of speech. Nevertheless the people read it; and boys and girls learned it by heart; and women were moved by it to bear trouble more patiently, to work harder, and keep a brighter outlook toward the future. For it too had “that music to whose tone the common pulse of man keeps time." Still Longfellow was not sure whether his special power would be found in verse or in prose;
and the next volume he gave to the public was “ Hyperion.” “Hyperion," a book, half romance and half "glori
fied guide-book” of the Rhine and Switzerland. This
was in 1839; and the same year appeared “Voices of the Night,"
the Night,” his first volume of poems. This volume 1839.
contained, besides the “Psalm of Life,” the “Hymn to the Night,” “The Reaper and the Flowers,” “The Footsteps of Angels,” and “The Beleaguered City”; lyrics which riveted his hold upon the hearts of his readers, and which display some of his most striking characteristics: a liquid fluency of versification, an art so perfect that it seems artless, a flavor of bookishness or evident familiarity with the writings of many lands and of all times, a transparent clearness of expression, a deep sense of the brooding presence of nature in our human lives, a serene faith in the
best things, and perhaps too strong a tendency to “Ballads press the lesson of his song upon the mind and
heart of his reader. “Ballads and Other Poems” Poems," 1841. appeared in 1841, with “ The Wreck of the Hespe