Imágenes de páginas
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors]









[blocks in formation]




HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW was born on some passages in his own life; and this work, the 27th of February, 1807, at the city of Port which found high favour with refined and intelland, in Maine, and entered, when fourteen ligent readers, was followed by " Voices of the years of age, at Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Night," the earliest collection of his poems. In where, at the end of four years, he took his de 1841, appeared "Ballads and other Poems;" in gree, with high honours. While yet an under 1842, Poems on Slavery ;" in 1843, the play engraduate, he had written many tasteful and titled, “The Spanish Student ;" and in 1845, carefully finished poems for the United States “The Poets and Poetry of Europe," and the Literary Gazette;" yet, notwithstanding his evi- "Belfry of Bruges." Prior to this, in 1842, he dent predilection for an anthor's career, Long had again visited Europe, fellow was destined to the legal profession. For Having for years cultivated his natural poetic some months during the year 1825, he was occi- power, and made himself one of the most skilful pied as a student of law in his father's office. vesifiers of the time, Mr. Longfellow, in 1847, The embryo poet, however, appears to have published his “Evangeline,"--a inelancholy story found the study of law uncongenial to his taste written in hexametiers-an experiment which, and aspirations; and having been offered the though it was, in the opinion of critics, someProfessorship of Modern Languages at Bowdoin what hazardous for a poet of reputation to College, he prepared for the discharge of his venture upon, he tried with no slight success. new duties by a long visit to Europe.

In 1848, appeared " Kavanagh, a Tale;" in 1849, Before returning to America, Longfellow "The Seaside," and "The Fireside;" followed visited France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Hol in 1851, by "The Golden Legend,"--a work whose land, and England, studying with the utmost exquisite passages fully maintain its author's zeal the language and literature of each coun reputation for genius, and elicited no small meatry. After an absence of nearly four years, he sure of praise. wended his way back to Bowdoin College, and Although continuing to send forth small took possession of his professorship. This was poems, and other literary works, it was not in the year 1829, being then but a young man of until 1855 that his “ Song of Hiawatha" was twenty-two.

published-a poem worthy of his fine taste and While occupying his position of Professor at talent, in which is displayed the delicacy of the college, he continued to follow his literary sentiment, the literary art, the elegance of career with indefatigable vigilance. Besides style, and the exquisite simplicity of expression contributing some valuable criticisms for the which had characterised his other works, and "North American Review," he published, in which made his name widely known as one of 1833, his translation from the Spanish of the the great poets of the age. Of this poem, the celebrated poem of "Don Jorge Manrique on Spectator observed, that " for playful and tender the Death of his Father," together with an in interpretations of the way in which child-like troductory essay on " Spanish Poetry;" and, in tribes, living in the midst of Nature's mightiest 1835, his Outre Mer; or, Sketches from Beyond life and marvels, allegorize the transformations Sea,"-a series of prose descriptions and reflec they see, and measure themselves against the tions, somewhat in the style of Washington powers and the creatures by whom they are surIrving

rounded-there is not, nor, as far as we know, In the same year of his publishing the latter has there ever been-anything like it in any lanwork, having already, at the age of twenty

guage." eight, been recognised as a man of mark, he was Another collection of poems, called “Birds of appointed to the Professorship of modern lan- Passage," appeared in 1858: followed by “Miles guages and belles-lettres in Harvard College, Standish," in 1859. In 1861, a heavy bereaveCambridge. Mr. Longfellow again left his na- / ment fell upon Longfellow. In that year, his tive land, and sailed for Northern Europe, in wife was unfortunately burnt to death. "Tales order to make himself thoroughly acquainted of a Wayside Inn" appeared in 1863; and, in with the languages and literature of Denmark | 1867, " The Translation of Dante." and Sweden. He also visited Germany and On the 27th of May, 1868, Mr. Longfellow took Turkey, and was absent from America upwards his departure from America, on another visit to of twelve months.

England and the South of England. Prior to Pursuing his success, Longfellow published, leaving, a farewell dinner was given to him at in 1839, Hyperion," a romance, the scenes of New York, on which occasion, a poetic tribute which are supposed to have been drawn from by Dr. Oliver Wendell, was read. On his arrival

« AnteriorContinuar »