The Courtship of Miles Standish

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General Books, 2013 - 24 страници
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1886 edition. Excerpt: ... THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH. Thi8 poem, lite Evangeline, written in hexameters, has a lighter movement, due to the more playful character of the narrative. A slight change of accent in the first line prepares one for this livelier pace, and the reader will find that the lights and shades of the story use whatever elasticity there is in the hexameter, crisp, varying lines alternating with the steady pulse of the dactyl. The poet has built upon a slight tradition which has come down to us from the days of the Plymouth settlement, a story which depicts in a succession of scenes the life of the Old Colony. In doing this he has not cared to follow explicitly the succession of events, but has been true to the general history of the time, and has in each picture copied faithfully the essential characteristics of the original. He has taken the somewhat dry and unimaginative chronicles of the time, and touched them with a poetic light and warmth, and the reader of this poem who resumes such a book as Dr. Young's Chronicles of the Pilgrims will find the simple story of the early settlers to have gained in beauty. L MILES STANDISH. In the Old Colony days, in Plymouth the land of the Pilgrims, To and fro in a room of his simple and primitive dwelling, 1. The Old Colony is the name which has long been applied to that part of Massachusetts which was occupied by the Plymouth colonists whose first settlement was in 1620. Massachusetts Bay was the name by which was known the later collection of settlements made about Boston and Salem. 2. The first houses of the Pilgrims were of logs filled in with mortar and covered with thatch. Clad in doublet and hose, and boots of Cordovan leather, Strode, with a martial air, Miles Standish the Puritan Captain....

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During his lifetime, Longfellow enjoyed a popularity that few poets have ever known. This has made a purely literary assessment of his achievement difficult, since his verse has had an effect on so many levels of American culture and society. Certainly, some of his most popular poems are, when considered merely as artistic compositions, found wanting in serious ways: the confused imagery and sentimentality of "A Psalm of Life" (1839), the excessive didacticism of "Excelsior" (1841), the sentimentality of "The Village Blacksmith" (1839). Yet, when judged in terms of popular culture, these works are probably no worse and, in some respects, much better than their counterparts in our time. Longfellow was very successful in responding to the need felt by Americans of his time for a literature of their own, a retelling in verse of the stories and legends of these United States, especially New England. His three most popular narrative poems are thoroughly rooted in American soil. "Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie" (1847), an American idyll; "The Song of Hiawatha" (1855), the first genuinely native epic in American poetry; and "The Courtship of Miles Standish" (1858), a Puritan romance of Longfellow's own ancestors, John Alden and Priscilla Mullens. "Paul Revere's Ride," the best known of the "Tales of a Wayside Inn"(1863), is also intensely national. Then, there is a handful of intensely personal, melancholy poems that deal in very successful ways with those themes not commonly thought of as Longfellow's: sorrow, death, frustration, the pathetic drift of humanity's existence. Chief among these are "My Lost Youth" (1855), "Mezzo Cammin" (1842), "The Ropewalk" (1854), "The Jewish Cemetery at Newport" (1852), and, most remarkable in its artistic success, "The Cross of Snow," a heartfelt sonnet so personal in its expression of the poet's grief for his dead wife that it remained unpublished until after Longfellow's death. A professor of modern literature at Harvard College, Longfellow did much to educate the general reading public in the literatures of Europe by means of his many anthologies and translations, the most important of which was his masterful rendition in English of Dante's Divine Comedy (1865-67).

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