seen, the two who—in the English-speaking world, at least—hold their own best; the line between them being drawn only where foreign languages are in question, and there Longfellow
has of course the advantage.
In neither case, it is to be observed, was this Americanism trivial, boastful, or ignoble in its tone.
It would be idle to say that this alone constitutes, for an American, the basis of fame; for the high imaginative powers of Poe
, with his especial gift of melody, though absolutely without national flavor, have achieved for him European
fame, at least in France
, this being due, however, mainly to his prose rather than to his poetry, and perhaps also the result, more largely than we recognize, of the assiduous discipleship of a single Frenchman, just as Carlyle
's influence in America
was due largely to Emerson
Be this as it may, it is certain that the hold of both Longfellow
is a thing absolutely due, first, to the elevated tone of their works, and secondly, that they have made themselves the poets of the people.
No one can attend popular meetings in England
without being struck with the readiness with which quotations from these two poets are heard from the lips of speakers, and this, while not affording the highest test of poetic art, still yields the highest secondary test, and one on which both these authors would doubtless have