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July 13.

. . . I do not think it essential that the first poets of an age should write war odes. Our period has a higher calling, and it is Longfellow's chief virtue to have apprehended it. His poetry does not rally to battle; but it affords succor and strength to bear the ills of life. There are six or seven pieces of his far superior, as it seems to me, to any thing I know of Uhland or Korner calculated to do more good, to touch the soul to finer issues; pieces that will live to be worn near the hearts of men when the thrilling war-notes of Campbell and Korner will be forgotten. You and I admire the poetry of Gray. There are few things in any language which give me more pleasure than the ‘Elegy in a Country Churchyard,’ the ‘Progress of Poesy,’ and the ‘Bard.’ On these his reputation rears itself, and will stand for ever. But I had rather be the author of ‘A Psalm of Life,’ ‘The Light of Stars,’ ‘The Reaper and the Flowers,’ and ‘Excelsior,’ than those rich pieces of Gray. I think Longfellow without rival near his throne in America. I might go further: I doubt if there is any poet now alive, and not older than he, who has written so much and so well. . . . Longfellow is to be happy for a fortnight in the shades of Cambridge; then to visit his wife's friends in Berkshire; then his own in Portland. I am all alone,—alone. My friends fall away from me.

Ever and ever yours,

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