without its portraits of the minor figures in the literary life of New York up to the time of the Civil War
. But the scope of the present volume does not permit sketches of Paulding
, of Halleck
and his friend Drake
, of N. P. Willis
Some of these are today only “single-poem” men, like Payne
, the author of Home sweet home
, just as Key, the author of The star-spangled banner
, is today a “single-poem” man of an earlier generation.
Their names will be found in such limbos of the dead as Griswold
's Poets and poetry of America
They knew “the town” in their day, and pleased its very easily pleased taste.
The short-lived literary magazines of the eighteen-forties gave them their hour of glory.
As representatives of passing phases of the literary history of New York their careers are not without sentimental interest, but few of them spoke to or for the country as a whole.
Two figures, indeed, stand out in sharp contrast with those habitual strollers on Broadway
and frequenters of literary gatherings, though each of them was for a while a part of Knickerbocker New York.
To all appearances they were only two more Bohemians like the rest, but the curiosity of the twentieth