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[49] Bound and The Tent on the Beach. The latter and less important of these two works is a cycle of narratives in verse, linked together in the fashion of Longfellow's Tales of a Wayside inn. The company are three in number, ‘Fields the lettered magnate and Taylor the free cosmopolite’ being foregathered on Salisbury Beach with Whittier, who thus describes himself:
And one there was, a dreamer born,
Who, with a mission to fulfil,
Had left the Muses' haunts to turn
The crank of an opinion-mill,
Making his rustic reed of song
A weapon in the war with wrong.

The poems which make up the cycle fall into the general class of Whittier's narrative verse; the thousand lines of octosyllabic rhyme which are entitled Snow-Bound are almost in a class by themselves. This idyllic description of the Whittier household shut in for a week by

The chill embargo of the snow,
which bids us
pause to view
These Flemish pictures of old days,

is not only a poem but a social document of the highest value. In the words of T. W. Higginson,
Here we have absolutely photographed the Puritan Colonial interior, as it existed till within the memory of old men still living. No other book, no other picture preserves it to us; all other books, all other pictures combined, leave us still ignorant of the atmosphere which this one page re-creates for us; it is more imperishable than any interior painted by Gerard Douw.

It has been said of Whittier that he could never be concise—and a diffuse style is undoubtedly one of the greatest artistic defects of the body of his verse—but the criticism falls flat

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Joseph Whittier (3)
Bayard Taylor (1)
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1)
T. W. Higginson (1)
Gerard Douw (1)
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