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[137]

Chapter 12: voices of the night

There was never any want of promptness or of industry about Longfellow, though his time was apt to be at the mercy of friends or strangers. ‘Hyperion’ appeared in the summer of 1839, and on September 12, 1839, he writes the title of his volume, ‘Voices of the Night;’ five days later he writes, still referring to it:—

First, I shall publish a collection of poems. Then,—History of English Poetry.

Studies in the Manner of Claude Lorraine; a series of Sketches.

Count Cagliostro; a novel.

The Saga of Hakon Jarl; a poem.

It is to be noticed that neither of these four projects, except it be the second, seems to imply that national character of which he dreamed when the paper in ‘The North American Review’ was written. It is also to be noticed that, as often happens with early plans of authors, none of these works ever appeared, and perhaps not even the beginning was made. The title of ‘The Saga’ shows that his mind was still engaged

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