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himself for the chair at Bowdoin wanderings. It was during his second College, the second, five years later, visit to Germany that his first wife to ground himself more thoroughly in died ; five and twenty years later a the German and other northern lan

yet more tragic fate deprived him of guages.

In the first he saw France, his second wife. She died from injuries Spain, Italy, and Germany; and if he received by her dress catching fire, never attained to the extraordinary while she was sealing up, with her mastery over tongues claimed for Sir two little girls, some small packages of William Jones, at least he became their curls which she had just cut off.

very tolerable proficient in the But, save for these two sorrows, and languages and literatures of those the loss of a little daughter, the countries. In the second he paid a seventy-five years

of his life were short visit to England, studied for singularly serene and happy ones; his some months at Stockholm and Copen- college duties, his books—those he hagen, passed the winter and spring read and those he wrote—and his in Heidelberg, saw Switzerland and friends made up the sum of his tranthe Tyrol, and so home again. His quil and blameless existence. The letters during this first period fill nearly student in “The Tales of a Wayside a hundred pages of the first volume. Inn' might stand well for the author's Very interesting they must have been own portrait, though it was, we are to the home circle, but perhaps a little told, designed for one of his friends less so now to the general reader. Mr. Henry Ware Wales :Full of good temper they are, and a

A youth was there of quiet ways, wish to be pleased with everything A student of old books and days, and everybody. But they are curiously To whom all tongues and lands are known, impersonal. One takes from them so And yet a lover of his own; little idea either of the young travel

With many a social virtue graced,

And yet a friend of solitude ; ler, or of the countries and people A man of such a genial mood

The chief impression we, for The heart of all things he embraced, our part, have got from them is a

And yet of such fastidious taste, pleasant little sketch of Washington

He never found the best too good. Irving working at his Life of Colum- We question whether the tale of bus' in the early summer mornings at

such a man's life was to be best told Madrid—and that was drawn many as Mr. Longfellow has thought. He years after from memory! This, and was hardly the man to be his own the poetical gondolier at Venice who biographer. One of that group of had served Byron, and remembered

friends, of whom only such meagre a little pale man, but full of and tantalising glimpses are vouchsafed vivacity and talent,” are the only im- us in these journals, would have pressions that have stayed with us drawn, we suspect, a better portrait. from this part of the book. Perhaps

One there was- -is, we can happily it was with this time, too, as his bio- say—who would have drawn it well; grapher says it was with the later one whom all English men of letters time,-he put the best of himself into are even now preparing to welcome his books; and the best of his travels more among them.

What a is to be got from the pages of Hype- picture might not Mr. Lowell have rion' and ' Outre-Mer,' the former of given us of his friend ! For he could which must always keep its place

have said, in the beautiful words in among autobiographies, as well for its which Callimachus mourned for the graceful, tender personality, as for its dead Heraclitus, rcmantic and literary charm. Thirty

εμνήσθην δ' δσσάκις αμφότεροι years later he was in England once ήλιον εν λέσχη κατεδύσαμεν: 1

1 more, and, with several members of his

1 And I reinembered how often we two family, retracing the track of his early had talked the sun to rest.”


him as


What pictures, too, could he not have "• Athwart the swinging branches cast, given us of the men who went in those

Soft rays of sunshine pour ;

Then comes the fearful wintry blast; years to Craigie House, that pleasant

Our hopes, like withered leaves, fall fast; home, so rich in memories of Wash

Pallid lips say, “ It is past ! ington and “the brave days of old,” We can return no more ! so rich now in memories of a gentler

"Look then into thine own heart, and write ! time and fame. Pictures of Emerson

Yes, into Life's deep stream ! and Hawthorne, of Charles Sumner All forms of sorrow and delight, and Prescott and Motley, of Agassiz

All solemn Voices of the Night,

That can soothe thee, or affright,and Felton, “ heartiest of Greek Pro

Be these henceforth thy theme.'” fessors," as Charles Dickens used to call him; and of the Englishmen who So he wrote in this thirty-second came there to visit one whom England

year, by way of prelude to his first loved not less than America, of volume of poems,

Voices of the Dickens himself, and Thackeray, and

Night.' And he did look into his own Clough. What stories might he not

heart, and wrote what he found there. have told of the suppers given in their But he found there soft rays of sunhonour, noctes conceque deum ; of the

shine, and holy thoughts like stars, famous dinners of the Saturday Club;

rather than withered leaves, and heavens and that earlier society, which called

black with sin; the forms that came itself “ The Five of Clubs,” but by

to him were those of delight rather some wicked wags who were beyond than sorrow; the voices he heard had the pale was called 6. The Mutual

more power to soothe than affright. Admiration Society.” Had Mr. Lowell

Such sorrow as his verse expresses is done for Longfellow, what Dr. Holmes

of that kind that softens and refines has done for Emerson, what a book

the heart, not wrings or crushes it. we might have had !

No one, indeed, could better describe An ideal life, we have said, an ideal

the charm of his verse than he himself temperament, for the man of letters;

has. but perhaps something less so for the poet.

" Come read to me some poem,

Some simple and heartfelt lay, “ Visions of childhood ! stay, oh stay!

That shall soothe this restless feeling,
Ye were so sweet and wild !

And banish the thoughts of day.
And distant voices seemed to say,
It cannot be! They pass away!

“ Not from the grand old masters, Other themes demand thy lay ;

Not from the bards sublime,
Thou art no more a child !

Whose distant footsteps echo

Through the corridors of Time. “ The land of Song within thee lies, Watered by living springs ;

“ For, like strains of martial music, The lids of Fancy's sleepless eyes

Their mighty thoughts suggest Are gates unto that Paradise,

Life's endless toil and endeavour ;
Holy thoughts, like stars, arise,

And to-night I long for rest.
Its clouds are angels' wings.

“Read from some humbler poet, 'Learn, that henceforth thy song shall be,

Whose songs gushed from his heart, Not mountains capped with snow,

As showers from the clouds of summer Nor forests sounding like the sea,

As tears from the eyelids start ;
Nor rivers flowing ceaselessly,
Where the woodlands bend to see

Who, through long days of labour,
The bending heavens below.

And nights devoid of ease,

Still heard in his soul the music " . There is a forest where the din

Of wonderful melodies.
Of iron branches sounds!
A mighty river roars between,

“ Such songs have power to quiet And whosoever looks therein,

The restless pulse of care,
Sees the heavens all black with sin,-

And come like the benediction
Sees not its depths, nor bounds.

That follows after prayer.”


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It is this tender restful charm which " And the Poet's song again

Passed like music through my brain ; gave Longfellow his great, his uni

Night interpreted to me versal popularity, a popularity which

All its grace and mystery." only Lord Tennyson has matched since Byron died. And it will always And again in that passage where insure him a certain vogue among Evangeline wanders out into the night the young, and, with a particular order from the new home of Basil the of minds, not only among the young. blacksmith, on the banks of the In the highest moment of bis fame we Têche, crying on her lover who should doubt if it ever occurred to

seemed still to fly her as she followed :any one to call him a great poet, even

“ Loud and sudden and near the note of a among his own countrymen, anxious

whippoorwill sounded, as they were for one. That he Like a flute in the woods; and anon, through assuredly was not. It is unnecessary

the neighbouring thickets, to compare him with Poe, if for no

Farther and farther away it floated and

dropped into silence. other reason than this, that Poe's

'Patience !' whispered the oaks from oracuvolume of verse is so scanty, and

lar caverns of darkness; much of it such mere verbiage. But And from the moonlit meadow, a sigh assuredly Longfellow at his very best responded, “To-morrow!' never reached such a height as Poe for And the closing lines of the poem, one moment stood on when he con- where the lovers come together at last, ceived the lines beginning, “Helen, will always keep their place among thy beauty is to me. Sometimes, but the favourite and familiar passages of rarely, he strikes a note that suggests English verse for the infinite pity of something beyond the words, as in the scene, and the tender, melancholy the close of this stanza from the poem

grace of the words.

And passages called · My Lost Youth':

touched with those qualities are fre

quent enough in his work. Pity he “ I remember the black wharves and the ships, could command ; but the other passions And the sea-tides tossing free ;

he could not touch, His style is And Spanish sailors with bearded lips, And the beauty and mystery of the ships, generally very level ; he rarely either And the magic of the sea.”

rises or sinks. He never reaches, nor

tries to reach, the grand manner: that And in the shorter piece, Daylight was not at all his way : but he never, and Moonlight'-so short that it may or hardly ever, falls into mere baldbe quoted entirely—there is a sense of ness or verbiage. And he sometimes something behind the veil, which is has singular felicities both of thought not common to him :

and expression: as in this stanza from

• The Discoverer of the North Cape':“In broad daylight, and at noon, Yesterday I saw the moon

Hearty and hale was Othere,
Sailing high, but faint and white,

His cheek had the colour of oak;
As a schoolboy's paper kite.

With a kind of laugh in his speech,

Like the sea-tide on a beach, “ In broad daylight, yesterday,

As unto the King he spoke."
I read a Poet's mystic lay ;
And it seemed to me at most

And in this, from The Wind over the
As a phantom or a ghost.

Chimney': “But at length the feverish day

“ Sings the blackened log a tune
Like a passion died

Learned in some forgotten June
And the night, serene and still,

From a schoolboy at his play,
Fell on village, vale, and hill.

When they both were young together,

Heart of youth and summer weather “ Then the moon, in all her pride,

Making all their holiday.”
Like a spirit glorified,
Filled and overflowed the night

When this has been said, and the
With revelations of her light.

almost unvarying ease, fluidity, and sweetness of his lines acknowledged lude that we may, perhaps, be par--for there is never any sense of doned for a rather long quotation : strain or effort in his verse; so far as

“ Ye who love the haunts of Nature, it goes it may, indeed, be styled in

Love the sunshine of the meadow, evitable enough-when all this has Love the shadow of the forest, been granted, it seems to us that the Love the wind among the branches, sum of Longfellow's poetic gifts has

And the rain-shower and the snow-storm, been told. His translations, indeed,

And the rushing of great rivers

Through their palisades of pine-trees, will always count to his credit, for And the thunder in the mountains, the dexterity and truth which all who Whose innumerable echoes know have allowed to them. And, of Flap like eagles in their eyries ;course, had it not been for his sense

Listen to these wild traditions,

To this Song of Hiawatha ! and faculty of poetry he could not “ Ye who love a nation's legends, have done what he did that way. Love the ballads of a people, But they cannot be justly brought

That like voices from afar off into the balance with his creative

Call to us to pause and listen, work.

Speak in tones so plain and childlike,

Scarcely can the ear distinguish After all, his real title to fame as Whether they are sung or spoken ;an American poet rests on 'Hia

Listen to this Indian legend, watha. It is a national poem, just

To this Song of Hiawatha !

“ Ye whose hearts are fresh and simple, as Cooper's Indian novels, The Last

Who have faith in God and Nature, of the Mohicans' and the rest of that Who believe, that in all ages series, are national novels. •Evange

Every human heart is human, line' and · Miles Standish' have both

That in even savage bosoms

There are longings, yearnings, strivings, something of the same merit ; but in

For the good they comprehend not, spite of the national setting and That the feeble hands and helpless, colour the sentiment of both poems is Groping blindly in the darkness, really, as one may say, universal. The Touch God's right hand in that darkness

And are lifted up and strengthened ;lovers might have been parted, to be Listen to this simple story, "joined at evening of their days To this Song of Hiawatha ! again”; John Alden might have “ Ye, who sometimes, in your rambles played his friend unwittingly false, in

Through the green lanes of the country,

Where the tangled barberry-bushes any country in the world. And then

Hang their tufts of crimson berries the slovenliness of so much of the Over stone-walls gray with mosses, verse, and a certain fatness and Pause by some neglected graveyard, triviality of execution make Evange

For a while to muse and ponder

On a half-effaced inscription, line,' at any rate, sometimes very

Written with little skill of song-craft, hard to read, for all the charm and

Homely phrases, but each letter pity of its design. But in ‘Hiawatha' Full of hope and yet of heart-break, Longfellow has really broken new

Full of all the tender pathos

Of the Here and the Hereafter ;ground ; and he moves along it with

Stay and read this rude inscription, the bold firm step of a master of the Read this Song of Hiawatha!' soil. It is a real epic, the Indian Edda, as Emerson called it, adding Though we think the plan of Mr. that it was “sweet and wholesome as Longfellow's book a mistaken one, yet maize." It is that, and more than we may own to have read it with great that; it has a strength, a movement interest and pleasure. It has been and vitality, a breath of open air and inexpressibly refreshing in these broad sunlight about it, which are bustling, angry, many-sided times to not general elements of Longfellow's read the story of this simple tranquil writings. And it has his own charm life, devoted to one aim, one business, too, the charm of simplicity, grace, one desire ; of this good, sincere, gentle tenderness. He has so admirably de- soul, who, as he was unstirred by any scribed its characteristics in the pre- high imaginings, so was unvexed by

any dark distractions, doubts, or fears. “ A Poet, too, was there, whose verse And as we have compared him for his

Was tender, musical, and terse;

The inspiration, the delight, personal popularity to Sir Walter

The gleam, the glory, the swift flight Scott, so in another way did he re- Of thoughts so sudden, that they seem semble him : he resembled him in his The revelations of a dream, utter freedom from all the little

All these were his; but with them came jealousies and meannesses, the ignoble

No envy of another's fame ;

He did not find his sleep less sweet cares and humours which are so sadly For music in some neighbouring street, apt to taint and hinder the literary life. Nor rustling hear in every breeze He envied no man; he disparaged no

The laurels of Miltiades. man; if others spoke ill of him he never

Honour and blessings on his head

While living, good report when dead, answered them. If he was destined

Who, not too eager for renown, to no great mastery in his art, at Accepts, but does not clutch the crown!" least none who ever practised it loved it with a more sincere, simple, dis- If all the gifts of song this Poet interested love. Once more we may owned were not Longfellow's, the go back to his own verse to find a fit moral gifts were pre-eminently his tribute to this fine side of his character. among all Poets. And as they brought We may go back, as we have gone him honour and blessings while he before, to his “Tales of a Wayside lived, so shall they bring him good Inn,' where the Poet is thus praised :- report now that he is dead.

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