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From the volumes of the most recent edition of Freneau's poems, aggregating 1200 pages, the reader gains the impression that had this poet written half as much he might have written twice as well. That he was something of the artist is shown by the care with which he revised his poems for five successive editions; but his revisions are sometimes actually for the worse. Yet Freneau surpassed all his contemporaries not only in quality but also in sheer quantity and in variety of subject and form. Furthermore, his work presents an almost unique combination of satiric power, romantic imagination, and feeling for nature. At one extreme is the bitter invective of his satires; at the other, the delicate fancy of his best lyrics. His early poems show the influence of Milton, as in The power of fancy; of Gray, as in The monument of Phaon and The Deserted Farm House; and of Goldsmith, as in The American village-all of which contain lines of original power and beauty; but in his Pictures of Columbus, he reaches complete originality. When the poet has Columbus exclaim in the face of death,

The winds blow high; one other world remains;
Once more without a guide I find the way,

he shows that at last the new world has produced a poet.

In his voyages Freneau found the tropical scenery of his descriptive poems. The beauties of Santa Cruz, though unequal and crude, has a definiteness of imagery and a simplicity of diction that set it apart from the conventional school of Thomson. The House of Alight, which combines description and narrative, is the most remarkable poem written in America up to its time. In the use of “romantic” scenery and of death as a theme, Freneau was not a pioneer; but in his supernaturalism and in the strange and haunting music of his lines, he stood alone, and, as has often been remarked, anticipated Coleridge and Poe. Although Freneau was known in England, it may be doubted whether he influenced the English romantic poets. More probably, both he and they were influenced by the same general tendencies; for the romantic movement was already well under way when he wrote the The House of night. The poem is overlong, lacks unity of tone and matter, and altogether is disappointingly crude; but it contains such lines as

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