happy and confident expectation, born of a sense of tremendous national vitality; his love of simple things in normal relations to world-wide interests of the mind; his courage in interpreting those deeper experiences which craftsmen who know art but who do not know life call commonplaces; the unaffected and beautiful democracy of his spirit-these are the delicate flowers of our new world, and as much a part of it as its stretches of wilderness and the continental roll of its rivers.”
's poetic service to his countrymen has thus become a national asset, and not merely because in his three best known narrative poems, Evangeline, Hiawatha
, and The Courtship of miles Standish
, he selected his themes from our own history.
The building of the ship
, written with full faith in the troubled year of 1849, is a national anthem.
“It is a wonderful gift,” said Lincoln
, as he listened to it, his eyes filled with tears, “to be able to stir men like that.”
The Skeleton in Armor, a ballad of the French Fleet, Paul Revere's Ride, the Wreck of the Hesperus
, are ballads that stir men still.
For all of his skill in story-telling in verse-witness the Tales of a Wayside Inn
was not by nature a dramatist, and his trilogy now published under the title of Christus