Text: Burton R. Pollin, “Poe as Author of the ‘Outis’ Letter and ‘The Bird of the Dream’ ”
Source: Poe Studies / Dark Romanticism, June 1987, Vol. XX, No. 1, 20:10-15


[page 10:]

Poe as Author of the “Otis” Letter and
“The Bird of the Dream”

City University of New York, Emeritus

[column 1:]

I. Evidence for Regarding Poe as “Outis”

Every student of Edgar Allan Poe knows about his 1845 series of attacks on Longfellow for lack of poetic originality, which he himself termed “A Large Account of a Small Matter” and “A Voluminous History of the Little Longfellow war.”(1) In my annotations to the five “Longfellow war” installments in the Broadway Journal Writings (Vols. III and IV), I argued the thesis that Poe was “Outis,” the putative writer of an epistolary defense of Longfellow in the New York Mirror which Poe at once reprinted, quoted in full, and then attacked in the first of the Broadway Journal series. My annotations present a variety of reasons for considering the Outis defense a hoax.(2) This hypothesis had been first propounded in 1926 by Mary E. Phillips through a parallel with the content and method of Poe’s incomplete manuscript essay, “A Reviewer Reviewed”; it was a theory accepted, with reservations, by Thomas Ollive Mabbott and, as a probability, by G. R. Thompson.(3) The case for Poe’s authorship is summarized below, in order to incorporate a new and I think convincing argument based on the author’s own autograph for identifying Poe with Outis. An important implication of this conclusion, which could not be sufficiently stressed in the annotations to my edition, is developed in Part II of this paper, namely, the addition to the canon of Poe’s poetry of a twelve-line poem, plus a separate, detached one-line fragment.

The case for Poe’s authorship of the Longfellow defense begins with discountenancing the notion that any real friend of Longfellow, in particular Cornelius Conway Felton, the Eliot Professor of Greek and eventual President of Harvard, could be responsible, as Killis Campbell proposed, for the anonymous letter from “Outis” (“nobodyn in the Greek of the Odyssey). It was initially published by Nathaniel Willis under the heading of “Plagiarism” in both the Evening Mirror and the Weekly Mirror just when Poe was ending his employment [column 2:] as a “subeditor.”(4) Almost one half the text of Poe’s opening volley of “The War” in the March 8 Broadway Journal consisted of the “third” printing of this so-called “letter.” One must question Poe’s reasons for so promptly and completely publishing a long and effective attack on himself and then reprinting it in large part in a later reply to Outis. On March 13, J. Hunt, Jr., editor of the short-lived National Archives of Ithaca, raised such questions regarding Poe’s first reply, and Poe responded by personal letter on March 17. Casuistically Poe explains his reprint Of “the letter of Outis itself, to which I wish to give all the publicity in my power. . . [for] the more thorough refutation . . . . There will be four chapters in all” of reply — justifying the word “voluminous” of the title of the first installment.(5) Such a campaign sounds preplanned, with a well set up strawman as target for separate essay-refutations. Poe reveled in the notoriety that the series produced and never evinced any embarrassment, as one commentator claims.(6)

Arthur Hobson Quinn, who does not accept Poe as author of the Longfellow defense, so states the case as to make it seem preposterous that any friend of Longfellow could be Outis: “This counter attack was written in a clever imitation of Poe’s manner . . . . Poe seized upon this letter of Outis as an opportunity to stage a discussion that would be good publicity for the Broadway Journal. ”(7) But one must wonder why any of Longfellow’s Boston friends should “cleverly” imitate Poe’s manner, misspell the name of Edward Pinkney, the well-known author of “A Health,” just as Poe always did (Writings, II, 348-350), praise the “uncommon merit of that remarkable poem” “The Raven,” and introduce (Writings, III, 23-24, 31) a very flattering pun on Poe’s name: a. . . Mr. Edgar A. Poe (Write it rather Edgar, a Poet, and then it is right to a T.)” — this silently taken from the Philadelphia journal Alexander’s Weekly Messenger of December 18, 1839, to which Poe had originally contributed it as a “conundrum” five years earlier.8 Furthermore, the Outis letter is indulgent toward Poe and entirely light-hearted in its parade of absurd [page 11:] parallels. More likely, as the numerous hints pointing toward the full set of installments which rapidly appeared in the journal suggest, Poe had planned it.

To this indirect case for the identity of Outis, I can now add concrete evidence of Poe’s authorship, based on notes in Poe’s own handwriting. These notes lie in the Stephen H. Wakeman Collection of American manuscripts, purchased by the Pierpont Morgan Library in 1909.(9) To understand their full role in the unraveling of the “Outis” mystery requires the following data. In 1846, during the final stages of the publication in magazine installments of “The Literati of New York City,”(10) Poe considered expanding the “Literati” to include the remaining three-fourths of America’s contemporary authors — his estimate in the last paragraph of the printed text of his May 1846 Introduction to the “Literati” series.(11) The more comprehensive title of the projected book was to be “The Living Writers of America,” as he inscribed it at the head of the first page of foolscap bearing his rough notes or summary of topics. As might be expected, he planned to attack imitativeness and the throttling grasp of New England “conservatism,” “transcendentalism,” and “cliquism.” Longfellow’s name was specified for full treatment, with fragmentary notes, keyed to the material on the few, closely written pages, furnishing data on him; one item in these Longfellow notes refers specially to the set of “Outis” papers on plagiarism. Two years later, in 1848, the project was renamed “Literary America.” By then the Longfellow section was apparently to be borrowed verbatim from the Broadway Journal material and from Poe’s reviews of Longfellow works; its final deprecatory title — formulated by Poe, of course, not by editor Griswold, for the exchange as published in Volume III of the Collected Works (1850) — was “Mr. Longfellow and Other Plagiarists / A Discussion with ‘Outis.‘n12

The exchange reprinted by Griswold incorporated none of the following material that Poe’s manuscript note suggested for use in the “Longfellow” sketch of his projected “Living Writers of America”:

As a critic. Germanic. Flowery — trite. See Arc. 3.153. Add to Plagiarism in Reply to Outis from Yankee p. 3272. 378 [plus several references to Longfellow poems or books previously assailed for imitation in reviews].

I overlooked this item before annotating the Broadway Journal columns. Only later was the name of “Outis” caught by the observant eye of Professor [column 2:] Kenneth Silverman.(18) In these notes, Poe was apparently reminding himself that the full article on Longfellow required confirmation of a few of the seemingly debatable or invented allegations made in the “letter” from “Outis” before it could be finally printed as planned in “The Living Writers of America.” As will be seen, various references to contemporary writers in the Outis letter, hitherto unexplained, become clear from clues these notes provide.

The Yankee was John Neal’s weekly journal, begun in Portland in January 1828, and transferred after one year to Boston as The Yankee; and Boston Literary Gazette, to last through 1829. Poe certainly knew it well. Neal’s varied imaginative writings, his numerous articles on American politics and “American Writers” in Blackwood’s Magazine during his three-year stay in England (1824-1827), and his notoriously independent judgment — all probably led Poe to send him pages of Al Aarcafjust before publication. In the September and December 1829 issues, Neal printed long excerpts for Poe’s text with sardonic but not unsympathetic comments; highly flattered by this first printed attention, Poe inserted the following in the “Tamerlane” section of the book: “TO JOHN NEAL THIS POEM IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED” (p. 41). Neal also reviewed the book for the Boston Ladies ’ Magazine in January 1830 (3:47) and became a sympathetic, although coolly objective supporter of Poe’s literary efforts, as we observe from his long defense of Poe against Griswold’s canards in his Portland Daily Advertiser of April 26, 1850.14

Other evidence of Poe’s long-standing acquaintance with the Yankee lies in Neal’s frequent attacks on “plagiarism” and his manner of “showing up such resemblances” as Outis says. In fact, a close study of Neal’s many charges of “borrowing” would reveal a possible prototype for the later methodology of Poe.16 Certainly Poe directly adapts one such charge. Neal prints in the Yankee of October 1, 1828 (1:316), a “Letter to the Editor” about the theft of material from William Ellery Channing’s review of Scott’s Life of Buonaparte. The writer complains that a sizable paragraph has been “lifted” by the New Monthly Magazine (London) of August 1828. Poe used this very item for “Marginalia” 198.16 The letter from Outis similarly drew upon old issues of the Yankee for references to Neal’s accusations of plagiarism, as will be seen below. It is my contention that Poe’s close knowledge of the Yankee, which he pointedly linked to Outis in his manuscript notes, makes his [page 12:] authorship of the letter in question a near certainty.

What follows is the paragraph in the Outis letter which uses details from various issues of the Yankee. Outis, it will be recalled, is addressing N

Pray did you ever think the worse of Dana because your friend, John Neal, charged him with pirating upon Paul Allen, and Bryant, too, in his poem of “THE DYING RAVEN?” or of yourself, because the same friend thought he had detected you in the very act of stealing from Pinckneyi“icl, and Miss Francis, now Mrs. Child? Surely not. Every body knows that John Neal wishes to be supposed to have read every thing that was ever written, and never have forgotten any thing. He delights, therefore, in showing up such resemblances. (Writings, III, 31)

Paul Allen had been an intimate of John Neal during his early sojourn in Baltimore (1815-1823). Neal, in a large portion of his Yankee article “Ourself,” tells how he and Tobias Watkins wrote the History of the American Revolution for which the dilatory Allen was named and paid as author, solely because the latter had edited, years before, the popular Lewis and Clark History of the Expedition.(17) Neal avows his familiarity with Allen’s poetry, that is, his 1801 Original Poems and his five-canto Noah, a poem (Baltimore, 1821), edited and pruned by Neal himself. More to the point is Neal’s review of Richard Henry Dana’s Poems in the August 13, 1828, Yankee (1:260-262). First he speaks of Dana’s debt to “The Ancient Mariner” in “The Buccaneer,” a powerful ballad of a ghost-horse which returns for the wicked pirate, whom he rides to his death. The review’s reprint of the long poem may have furnished Poe with “his paramount source” for the tale “Metzengerstein.”(18) Second, Neal insists that “The Dying Raven” of Dana borrows a “passage” from “the Book of Paul Allen,” which I have found to be Noah (p. 49) — a most unlikely source and a fantastically remote parallel. This reference to Bryant, the obvious source of the information in the Outis letter, follows that to Paul Allen in the Dana review: “The . . . Dying Raven, is but a piece of Bryant, with a new title-page” (1:262) — a statement alluding to “Thanatopsis,” of course, and utterly without warrant.

Earlier in the Yankee, Neal had reviewed Willis’ Poems,(19) complaining about the lack of “individuality” and “originality” in American poetry, just as he had done in the previous week’s issue about Longfellow (1:32). Willis derived much from Leigh Hunt, Mrs. Hemans, Scott, and [column 2:] Wordsworth; even worse, Neal avers, is the instance of a cited line which closely parallels one by Edward C. Pinkney of Baltimore.20 Later, Neal reviewed Willis’ “April” poem among those in the gift-book The Atlantic Souvenir of 1829 (in the Yankee of November 19, 1828). The locus of the article (1:370) probably represents Poe’s hasty ap. 378” in the Morgan Manuscript. Rather inappositely Neal tries to derive a line from one by Miss Francis (i.e., Lydia Child, married in 1828), the prolific author of poems, journalistic articles, and novels. In the Southern Literary Messenger and also in the Broadway Journal, Poe lengthily reviewed her novel Philothea.

Surely there can be little question that Poe is the “Outis” who searched through Neal’s Yankee of 1828-1829 in order to single out these points in the letter to Willis. He may have checked them off in a file of the journals long retained or newly acquired in 1845. His intended reprint of the Outis series in “The Living Writers of America” with its section on Longfellow could hardly justify such a detailed search for someone else’s allusions. Similarly, it seems highly improbable that a friend of Longfellow would have been so particular in his references to Neal; who else but Poe would ironically refer to Neal as Willis’ “friend,” an obvious allusion to Neal’s unfriendly, even derisive treatment of Willis in the Yankee? In my opinion, Poe alone could be “Outis,” as his knowledge of the Yankee and its relevance for the Outis letter in his 1846 manuscript notes confirms.

II. Rationale for Adding “The Bird of the Dream” to the Canon

The ventriloquistic “voice” of Outis reproduced two verse fragments in his letter. The first — a mere phrase, “The trees, like crystal chandeliersm — was alleged to be by Whittier, from aa beautiful poem” in one of “the splendid annuals” (Broadway Journal, 1:148, or Writings, III, 30). This description has no known source in the total corpus of Whittier’s verse, nor is there a trace of such a keepsake in the annals of the poet.(21) Equally questionable is the statement by Outis that this “fragment” was praised by “every reviewer in the land“ — a commendation mentioned by no writer on Whittier. Outis compares the wintry image to a passage in a new England “letter” of the preceding year,“laid away . . . in a private drawer” and only “published . . . very reluctantly.” Nothing about the dates, places, or persons involved is given. The function [page 13:] and fate of the letter were curiously like those of the “original diary” of Julius Rodman, narrating the “extraordinary [trans-Rocky Mountain] tour” antedating that of Lewis and Clark but left hidden “in a secret drawer of a bureau” until 1840, when Poe was the first to publish it, in Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine (see Writings, I, 523, 587-588). Most likely, Poe is the author of both the whole context and the “Whittier fragment,” which therefore ought to be added to his Poems.(22)

Similarly, there is no definite provenance for “The Bird of the Dream” in the Outis letter, although a sentimental contribution in verse by “T. S. P.” to the Yankee may have offered hints.(23) The poem about “The Bird” is, I contend, Poe’s creation. Outis cites this “anonymous poem” because it just happens to contain over a dozen cues for what he calls “identities” with “The Raven.” Is it likely that a friend of Longfellow would search out a poem fit for such a purpose and then engage in the painstaking analytic procedures required for a letter to Willis that he could have little reason to think the editor would insert into the Mirror? It was Poe, after all, who, earlier in January, had launched a campaign of criticism through his adverse review of Longfellow’s anthology called The Waif.(24) From that date to the end of his life, Poe was unremitting in his disparagement of Longfellow for plagiarism (or “imitation”), cliches, slack metrics, didacticism, and the lack of unity and sound composition, although he sometimes lauded specific passages.(25)

Next, I turn to the three stanzas of the poem that Outis used to prove that Longfellow, like most poets, is not culpable when coincidental similarities occur between his work and that of other poets. Outis’ introduction and the subsequent short passage before the list of “identities” in “The Raven” are also given, along with my caveat that it seems improbable that any of Longfellow’s Cambridge cronies would write in this style:(26)

I have before me an anonymous poem, which I first saw some five years ago, entitled “The Bird of the Dream.” I should like to transcribe the whole — but it is too long. The author was awaked from sleep by the song of a beautiful bird, sitting on the sill of his window — the sweet notes had mingled with his dreams, and brought to his remembrance, the sweeter voice of his lost “CLARE.” He says —

“And thou wert in my dream — a spirit thou didst seem —

The spirit of a friend long since departed;

Oh! she was fair and bright, but she left me one dark night — [column 2:]

She left me all alone, and broken-hearted.

* * * * * * *

My dream went on, and thou went a warbling too,

Mingling the harmonies of earth and heaven;

Till away — away — away — beyond the realms of day —

My angel CLARK to my embrace was given.

* * * * * * *

Sweet bird from realms of light, oh! come again to-night,

Come to my window — perch upon my chair —

Come give me back again that deep impassioned strain

That tells me thou hast seen and loved my CLARE.”

Now I shall not charge Mr. Poe with Plagiarism — for, as I have said, such charges are perfectly absurd. Ten to one, he never saw this before. But let us look at the “identities” that may be made out between this and “THE RAVEN.” (Broadway Journal, 1:149)

Of course, the lists, indices, bibliographies, etc. of poems of the period of 1840 (“some five years ago”) have yielded no verses called “The Bird of the Dream,” so full of ineptitudes as to resemble a parody of the sentimental magazine verse of the day. Although none of Longfellow’s friends was a likely parodist, Poe certainly was qualified.(27) Moreover, there are hoax elements in Outis’ surrounding remarks that recall Poe’s manner. For example, Outis claims, “It is too long” to transcribe, but all the needed elements for his analysis and analogy are available in the three stanzas given. Furthermore, the material of the verses is suspiciously apt for Poe’s purposes, and it even employs three lines from his own poetry, only slightly modified: line 1 savors of “Thou wert my dream” of the 1831 Introduction to “Al Aaraaf” (Works, I, 159, line 2); and line 4 sounds much like “A Dream” written for Mrs. Jane Stanard’s death in 1827: “But a waking dream of life and light / Hath left me broken-hearted” (Works, I, 79). Line 7 echoes “Al Aaraaf”: “Away — away — ‘mid seas of rays that roll” (p. 100), and it echoes also “The Valley Nis” with its five repetitions Of afar away” (p. 191). In addition, hints and traces from some of Poe’s favorite works provide echoes. The first stanza and the general title and theme are reminiscent of Shelley’s “To a Skylark” (see Works, I, 159-160; notes to lines 20-21). Other phrases in the “canto-like” composition of the verses recall Shakespeare’s “Unto the sweet bird’s throat” (As You Like It, 2.5.4) and “give me excess of it . . . That strain again!” (Twelfth-Night, 1.1.2, 4), and Milton’s “Sweet bird” in Il Penseroso (line [page 14:] 61). The name “Clare” would readily spring into the mind of an idolator of Tennyson, whose poem “Lady Clara Vere de Vere” (1832) probably entered into Poe’s “Lenore” of February 1843.(29)

All told, these factors and numerous others make this sentimental parody eligible for entrance into the canon of Poe’s poetry. Naturally he could never acknowledge it, even later, when it would have been a betrayal of the confidence of his consistently loyal friend Nathaniel Willis, whose editorial stratagem it served, nor would it add any lustre to his own poetic crown. The entire context thus enables us, as students of his work and career, to identify aoutisn and fill out a significant portion of Poe’s creative and critical writings.


[page 9, continued:]


1 - See the Broadway Journal, 1 (March 8, 1845), 147. The full series is available without notes in Complete Works, XII, 41-106, and in Edgar Allan Poe: Essays and Reviews, ed. G. R. Thompson (New York: Library of America, 1984), pp. 705-759, virtually unannotated.

2 - See Writings, IV, 25-33; for the text of the series, see Writings, III, 28-33, 37-41, 45-53, 58-65.

3 - See Mary E. Phillips, Edgar Allan Poc — Thc Man (Philadelphia: Winston, 1926), pp. 968-973; Work0, III, 1378-1379, and 1387, notes; and Thompson, Eesays and ReTJiew‘, p. 1501 (see 2 supra).

4 - It was Poe who arranged for the printing of the “Letter” in the Mirror of March 1 and 8 as well as in the Broadway Journal of March 8, i.e., three times. Campbell objected that Phillips supported her thesis with incomplete evidence in “Who Was ‘Outis‘?” in Texas Studies in Literature and Language, No. 7 (1927), 107109.

5 - Also see, in Poe’s next paragraph:“If ever man had cause to be in good humor with Outis and all the world, it is precisely myself, at this moment — as hereafter you shall see” (Letters, I, 283).

6 - See Sidney P. Moss, Poe’s Literary Battles (Durham: Duke Univ. Press, 1963), p. 169, n. 70.

7 - See Quinn, Edgar Allan Poe (New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1941), p. 454.

8 - This is Number 25, the last, in Poe’s article “Enigmatical and Conundrum-ical,” q.v. in the reprint by C. S. Brigham, Edgar Allan Poe’s Contributions to Alexander’s Weekly Messenger (Worcester: American [column 2:] Antiquarian Society, 1943), p. 16: “Why ought the author of the ‘Grotesque and Arabesque’ to be a good writer of verses? / Because he is a poet to a T. Add t to Poe makes it a Poet [sic].”

9 - The eight manuscript leaves, by gracious permission of the Pierpont Morgan Library, will be published in 1988 as a monograph, with photographic reproductions, an expanded and clarified text, and full annotations.

10 - The six installments, covering thirty-eight literary figures, were in Godey’s Lady’s Book, May through October 1846; they may be seen with interesting editorial comments from Godey’s. in Complete Works, XV, 1-137. Harrison makes the prevalent error of assuming that the variants in Griswold’s 1850 “Literati” volume were somehow devised by Griswold, when, in reality, they were truly by Poe (see Harrison’s Introduction and Appendix to Volume XV).

11 - Complete Works, XV, 5: “New York . . . is the focus of American letters. Its authors include, perhaps, one-fourth of all in America . . . . ”

12 - This title furnishes another reason for ascribing the basic editorial preparation of the so-called “Griswold edition” of The Works to Poe via his “literary effects.” See also Writings, II, xxviii-xxx and xxxviii-xxxix, for other evidences of Poe’s major role in the posthumous edition.

13 - My gratitude is hereby expressed to Professor Silverman of New York University, who has been conducting a commendably sedulous search for and through Poe materials for his projected biography of Poe.

14 - For these four important articles see the convenient reprint by Ian Walker in Edgar Allan Poe: The Critical Heritage (London and New York: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1986), pp. B6-69, 385-393. See also various notes on Neal in Works, I, listed in the Index. The “Outis” material serves further to prove Poe’s high regard for Neal’s editorial opinions.

15 - Neal introduces the subject into the following pages of his first volume: 32, 37-39, 60-62, 63, 6970, 72, 189, 260-262, 316 (the first six being subsumed in Poe’s note — “p. 32-72n ) On p. 72, he discusses Longfellow’s borrowings in terms that Poe later used to exculpate sensitive poetic genius: “He would not borrow or steal,” he says, but he “is imbued with the spirit of another man’s poetry.”

16 - Writings, II, 327-330. Significantly, Poe begins “Marginalia” 198 by quoting a statement about “willful plagiarists” from the penultimate sentence of this very Outis article. Also, note that the preceding article (“Marginalia” 197) mentions “the philosophical and self-dependent spirit” of John Neal (II, 326). When I annotated this item in The Brevities, I was unaware of Poe’s source, here first revealed. Poe has merely slightly expanded the material for his comment — a procedure which Neal would have found excusable for the purpose served.

17 - The Yankee, 1:44-46. See also Near’s Wandering Recollections . . . (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1869), pp. 202-204. [page 15:]

18 - See Works, II, 16. Poe certainly had other sources for the text of this widely popular poem.

19 - The Yankee, 1 (January 30, 1828),37-39.

20 - See “Marginalia” 208 for Poe’s considerable awareness of this Baltimore poet’s work, and n. 17, above, for Neal’s irascible feelings about him, q.v. also in Yankee, 1:50. Poe also knew about the exchange of derogations, late in 1829, between Neal and Willis, then editor of the American Monthly, over a frivolous novel by Lady Morgan, as Alexander Hammond notes, Poe Studies, 5 (1972),30.

21 - See, for example, T. F. Currier, A Bibliography of Whittier (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1937). Only his poem “The Pageant” of 1871 furnishes a text at all like Poe’s fragment: Utree-bolls, ice-embossed, / Hold up their chandeliers of frost”; but this can be traced to no early poem by Whittier that could serve as a pristine text.

22 - This belongs in Mabbott’s Poems (Works, I, 378) in his assembly of collected scraps and impromptus. Mabbott’s oversight stems, I think, from his failure to address the importance of “A Reviewer Reviewed” until years later (see Works, III, 1377-1390).

23 - The untitled poem by “T.S.P.” is in the March 19, 1829, issue, 2:96. In twenty-four lines the author addresses a mateless bird, moping over her lonely, joyless state, like the poet’s. He says that the bird will find another companion, while he anticipates only the peaceful grave. The “story” outline has common elements, but more strikingly close are: “Sweet Bird! . . . . Thou seemest to be, like me, alone, . . . And how canst thou so sweetly sing . . . . So sweetly cost thou tell thy grief . . . . Away, away, to the sunny clime!” See the Outis poem, in my text, below.

24 - The obvious relationship between this long review in the Evening Mirror of January 13 and 14 and [column 2:] the Weekly Mirror of January 25 regarding the Outis articles has been overlooked through its omission from Harrison’s edition. It helpfully appears in Thompson’s Essays and Reviews, pp. 696-701.

25 - The fullest treatment is in Moss, in n. 5, ch. v, pp. 132-189. See also Pollin, “Longfellow and Poe,” Mississippi Quarterly, 38 (1984),475-482.

26 - Compare, for example, the style, tone, and content of the defense sent by “H” (George Hillard), which Willis printed in the Mirror of January 25. Note that this is dated January 15 and addressed from “Boston,” totally unlike the provenance of “Outis.” For the text, see Thompson, pp. 702-703.

27 - For Poe as a parodist and light-versifier, see Works, I, 9-12, 151, 328, 339, 378, 425, 485-490. Longfellow’s associates in the “Five of Clubs” group at Cambridge were Hillard, Felton, Henry R. Cleveland, and Charles Sumner. He names, as his dearest friends, in his five sonnets to “The noble three” in “A Book of Sonnets,” Felton, Agassiz, and Sumner. For Felton’s style and high, moral tone, see Lawrance Thompson, Young Longfellow (New York: Macmillan, 1938), pp. 278-279, and related notes on p. 411; also see Edward Wagenknecht, Longfellow (New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1955), p. 254. His aid to Longfellow for the biographies in the 1845 Poets and Poetry of Europe was unquestionable, but, like all his addresses and works on classical languages, it does not sound like the tone or style of Outis. His assiduity and exertions as President of Harvard led to his death in 1862. The other close friends of Longfellow were all disqualified by their temperaments and professions.

28 - In this matter, I took issue with Mabbott’s disclaimer (Works, I, 338) in my article, “Poe’s Use of the Name ‘De Vere’ in ‘Lenore,‘” in Names, 23 (Fall 1974), 1-5.


Associated Article(s) and Related Material:

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[S:0 - PSDR, 1980]