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Chapter 13: third visit to Europe

The year 1841 was on the whole a rather dazzling period for the young poet. His first volume had been received with enthusiasm. His second volume was under way. He had a circle of friends always ready to criticise any new poem or to propose themes for other works; chief among the latter being his friend Samuel Ward, in New York, who suggested the ‘Phantom Ship,’ on the basis of a legend in Mather's ‘Magnalia,’ and urged the translation of Uhland's ‘Das Gluck von Edenhall’ and Pfizer's ‘Junggesell.’ A scrap of newspaper, bearing the seal of the State of New York with the motto ‘Excelsior,’ suggested the poem of that name. ‘The Skeleton in Armor’ was included within the book and was originally to have given the title to it. Prescott, the historian, said that this poem and the ‘Hesperus’ were the best imaginative poems since Coleridge's ‘Ancient Mariner.’ Reading the tenth chapter of Mark in Greek, Longfellow thought of ‘Blind Bartimeus.’ He wrote to his father

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