a prosaic freedom of expression, exceedingly well adapted to a descriptive and narrative poem; yet we are constrained to think that the story of Evangeline
would have been quite as acceptable to the public taste had it been told in the poetic prose of the author's Hyperion
In reading it and admiring its strange melody we were not without fears that the success of Professor Longfellow
in this novel experiment might prove the occasion of calling out a host of awkward imitators, leading us over weary wastes of hexameters, enlivened neither by dew, rain, nor fields of offering.
Apart from its Americanism, the poem has merits of a higher and universal character.
It is not merely a work of art; the pulse of humanity throbs warmly through it. The portraits of Basil the blacksmith, the old notary, Benedict Bellefontaine, and good Father Felician
, fairly glow with life.
The beautiful Evangeline
, loving and faithful unto death, is a heroine worthy of any poet of the present century.
The editor of the Boston Chronotype
, in the course of an appreciative review of this poem, urges with some force a single objection, which we are induced to notice, as it is one not unlikely to present itself to the minds of other readers:—
We think Mr. Longfellow ought to have expressed a much deeper indignation at the base, knavish, and heartless conduct of the English and Colonial persecutors than he has done.
He should have put far bolder and deeper tints in the picture