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Frank Preston Stearns, Cambridge Sketches, Longfellow (search)
low par. Everyone has his or her favorite poet or poets, and it is a common practice with young critics to disparage one in order to elevate another. Longfellow was the most popular American poet of his time, but there were others besides Edgar A. Poe who pretended to disdain him. I have met more such critics in Cambridge than in England, Germany, or Italy; and the reason was chiefly a political one. At a distance Longfellow's politics attracted little attention, but in Cambridge they couline this; but he was certainly one of the best poets of his time. Professor Hedge, one of our foremost literary critics, spoke of him as the one American poet whose verses sing themselves; and with the exception of Bryant's Robert of Lincoln, and Poe's Raven, and a few other pieces, this may be taken as a judicious statement. Longfellow's unconsciousness is charming, even when it seems childlike. As a master of verse he has no English rival since Spenser. The trochaic meter in which Hiawa