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[46] was a delegate. In taking this momentous decision, he builded better than he knew, for the poet in him was aroused, and the Voices of freedom which from that time flowed from his pen were the utterances of a deeply-stirred soul, as different as possible from the imitative exercises which had hitherto engaged him.

The incidents of Whittier's life during the following few years may be briefly summarized. In 1835 he served a term in the Massachusetts Legislature. In 1836, the Haverhill homestead was sold, and he bought in Amesbury, a few miles down the Merrimac, the cottage which was to be his home for the rest of his life. He occupied various editorial positions, which, together with activities in connection with the abolitionist agitation, kept him moving about until 1840, when he found his health badly broken and returned to Amesbury, there to remain for the greater part of the half-century that was still vouchsafed to him. In his abolitionist activities he proved his mettle, often suffering indignities at the hands of mobs and being on several occasions in no small physical peril. His shrewd and persuasive political activities made him a force to be reckoned with, and he kept in close touch with the leaders and movements of the time, allying himself with the Liberty Party of 1840, which, like the scriptural mustard seed, was destined to wax into so great a tree.

In 1836, Whittier published Mogg Megone, and, in the following year, a collection of his miscellaneous poems. In 1849, a comprehensive collection of his poems appeared, followed a year later by Songs of Labor and other poems. The first English edition of his collected poems also appeared in 1850. These volumes included all that he thought worth preserving of the work of twenty years. In 1857, the ‘blue and gold’ collected edition of the poems was published in Boston. From this time onward small volumes of new poems appeared at intervals of about two years down to the year of the author's death, At Sundown, the last of the series, bearing the date of that very year (1892). Of special significance are the idyl entitled Snow-Bound (1866) and the cycle called The Tent on the Beach (1867). These two volumes marked a broadening of Whittier's fame, a higher recognition of his standing as an artist, and a noticeable measure of release from the financial difficulties

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