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[138] with Norse subjects. Two months after he writes, ‘Meditating what I shall write next. Shall it be two volumes more of “Hyperion;” or a drama of Cotton Mather?’ Here we come again upon American ground, yet he soon quits it. He adds after an interruption, ‘Cotton Mather? or a drama on the old poetic legend of Der Armer Heinrich? The tale is exquisite. I have a heroine as sweet as Imogen, could I but paint her so. I think I must try this.’ Here we have indicated the theme of the ‘Golden Legend.’ Meantime he was having constant impulses to write special poems, which he often mentioned as Psalms. One of these was the ‘Midnight Mass for the Dying Year,’ which he first called an ‘Autumnal Chant.’ Soon after he says, ‘Wrote a new Psalm of Life. It is “ The Village Blacksmith.” ’ It is to be noticed that the ‘Prelude,’ probably written but a short time before the publication of ‘Voices of the Night,’ includes those allusions which called forth the criticism of Margaret Fuller to the ‘Pentecost’ and the ‘bishop's caps.’ Yet after all, the American Jews still observe Whitsunday under the name of Pentecost, and the flower mentioned may be the Mitella diphylla, a strictly North American species, though without any distinctly ‘golden ring.’ It has a faint pink suffusion, while the presence of a more

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Pentecost (2)
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