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rus” and “The Skeleton in Armor," which spirited ballads displayed quite another phase of his genius, and one to find frequent expression later; and containing also in “The Children of the Lord's Supper," his first effort at the use of the unrimed hexameter A thin volume of “Poems on Slavery,” in “Poems on
Slavery," 1842, indicated where his sympathies lay on that
1842. subject, but did not specially add to his reputation; and in 1843 “ The Spanish Student” appeared, his first essay at dramatic verse. “The Belfry of Bruges” and other poems, 1845, contained a number of lyrics, such as “The Old Clock on the Stairs ” and “The Arrow and the Song," which have been great favorites. Then, in 1847, appeared the work which carried the name and fame of Longfellow into thousands of homes all over the English-speaking world. One of the pleasantest incidents in the history of literary friendships is told in connection with this poem, “Evangeline.” Hawthorne had thought of the “Evangel
ine," 1847. -story of the expulsion of the Acadians, as suitable for a romance; but as he turned it over in his mind felt convinced that it was really better fitted to poetic treatment. So he suggested it to Longfellow; and when the poem appeared, no one welcomed it more heartily or rejoiced more in the fame it brought its author than did Hawthorne.
Kavanagh,” a story in poetical prose, was published in 1849; and in 1850 another volume of miscellaneous poems, called “The Seaside and the Fireside." It contained “The Building of the Ship” and “Resignation.”
"The Golden "The Golden Legend,” published in 1851, was his Legend," 1851.
second effort in dramatic verse, and showed a distinct advance upon the first. With “The New Eng. land Tragedies,” 1868, and “The Divine Tragedy,"
1871, this was republished in 1872, forming the "Christus," trilogy, or threefold drama, “Christus.” The thought 1872.
of the trilogy seems to have been to portray the popular misconception or rejection of the Christ in three epochs of history. "The Divine Tragedy” is a versified dramatic rendering of the story of the Gospels, often reproducing the words of the evangelists with scarcely any change. “ The Golden Legend” represents the Christianity of mediæval times, the superstition and the faith of the period being contrasted in the two leading characters. “The New England Tragedies " represents the same general thought, the scene being laid in the period of Puritanism, and especially the time of the witch
craft delusion. Hiawatha," In 1855 appeared “Hiawatha,” a narrative poem, 1855.
based on legends of the American Indians. It was instantly and widely popular. At the same time it was bitterly criticised, ridiculed, and frequently parodied. It is in many respects the most entirely American and original of Longfellow's works; and yet in connection with it he has been most frequently accused of plagiarism. There can be no doubt that for his materials he was largely indebted to Schoolcraft, and for the general form in which he cast them to his studies in Finnish poetry; but the poem is full of the spirit and the style of Longfellow. While the stealing of literary work, the publishing of another's composition as our own, is one of the meanest of crimes, the use of materials, the reproduction of scenes and incidents from older writers, has been the constant practice of the best authors, and always will be. Chaucer's “Tales” and Shakespeare's dramas are all developed from older tales or plays, and the fact does not in the least detract from their originality. No one need hesitate to tell the tale of Hiawatha again, if he does not pretend that he invented it; and if he tells it in his own way, putting something of himself into it, it is his, as truly as it is Longfellow's. “Hiawatha" is written in a peculiar metre, an unrimed trochaic tetrameter. It is easy to imitate, but not easy to imitate well. Almost any one can string lines together which shall have the four accents; but to do it and avoid monotonous sing-song, to do it and keep a continuous musical movement in accordance with the thought, is a very different matter. That is what Longfellow did, and the parodies illustrate the beauty of the original, as counterfeit coin proves the value of the genuine. “The Courtship of Miles Standish,” 1858, uses again “The Court
ship of Miles the hexameter employed in “Evangeline,” and has, Standish," what is very unusual in Longfellow, a delicate vein 1858. of humor mingling with the poetic beauty of its pictures.
Five years later “The Tales of a Wayside Inn " " Tales of a appeared. This is the last experiment in style, so Inn," 1863. to speak, and perhaps the most successful of all. It was not a new idea, but one older than Chaucer,
the grouping of a number of narrative poems by putting them in the mouths of persons who by some device are brought together and made to tell the stories to one another, one story thus forming a “frame,” in which the others are set. The “Canterbury Tales” of Chaucer occurs to us at once as the most famous example of the method. Longfellow's use of it is as different from that of Chaucer as Chaucer's is from that of Boccaccio, who used a similar device in the “Decameron.” A company of six friends are at a wayside inn in Sudbury, Massachusetts, and each of the six, with the landlord of the inn, tells a tale. The characters of The Landlord, The Student, The Spanish Jew, The Sicilian, The Musician, The Theologian, and The Poet are individualized, and each tells a tale suited to his character. A second and third series of the “Tales” appeared in “Three Books of Song," 1871, and “Aftermath,” 1872. “Flower de Luce,” 1866, was a thin volume of lyrics. The translation of Dante's “Divina Commedia” was issued in 1867, the “Inferno" having been separately published two years before. The volume called “The Masque of Pandora,” 1875, contained also “The Hanging of the Crane," a much more popular poem, and "Morituri Salutamus," one of Longfellow's very few “occasional” poems. It was written for the fiftieth anniversary of his graduation from Bowdoin. “Keramos,” 1878, “Ultima Thule,'
" 1880, “In the Harbor," 1882, and “Michael Angelo," 1883, complete the list, the last two being published after his death.
Longfellow's work illustrates the three main divisions of verse: the Epic — or Narrative, the Dramatic, and the Lyric. We will study something of each style; and first a passage from the second Part of “ Evangeline.”
Thus ere another noon they emerged from the shades;
and before them Lay, in the golden sun, the lakes of the Atchafalaya. Water-lilies in myriads rocked on the slight undulations
Made by the passing oars, and, resplendent in beauty, the lotus 5 Lifted her golden crown above the heads of the boatmen. Faint was the air with the odorous breath of magnolia blos
soms, And with the heat of noon; and numberless sylvan islands, Fragrant and thickly embowered with blossoming hedges of
roses, Near to whose shores they glided along, invited to slumber. 10 Soon by the fairest of these their weary oars were suspended.
Under the boughs of Wachita willows, that grew by the margin, Safely their boat was moored; and scattered about on the
greensward, Tired with their midnight toil, the weary travellers slumbered.
Over them vast and high extended the cope of a cedar. 15 Swinging from its great arms, the trumpet-flower and the
grape-vine Hung their ladder of ropes aloft like the ladder of Jacob, On whose pendulous stairs the angels ascending, descending, Were the swift humming-birds, that fitted from blossom to
blossom. Such was the vision Evangeline saw as she slumbered be
neath it. 20 Filled was her heart with love, and the dawn of an opening
heaven Lighted her soul in sleep with the glory of regions celestial.
Nearer and ever nearer, among the numberless islands, Darted a light, swift boat, that sped away o'er the water,