The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
VOLUME XV. Colonial and Revolutionary Literature; Early National Literature, Part I.

V. Bryant and the Minor Poets

§ 17. Richard Henry Dana the elder

When Bryant, pioneer and patriarch, was laid away on that bright June afternoon of 1878 in the cemetery at Roslyn, Long Island, his oldest and dearest friend was still alive. Richard Henry Dana (1787–1879), one of the founders of The North American Review and of the serious tradition in our literary criticism, is remembered, if at all, as verse-writer mainly through Bryant’s praise, as Mason is remembered through Gray’s. How remote the short jerky stanzas of The Buccaneer (1827), an ambitious tale of pirate and spectre, were from the talents and temper of the Bostonian descendant of the Puritan Anne Bradstreet, one may realize who reflects what Coleridge would have done with the spell and the uncanny, and what Byron with the crime and the movement—the two poets whom Dana was obviously emulating. But there are some good lines on the sea in The Buccaneer, and Dana’s lyric, The Little Beach Bird, gets a traditional honourable mention in the manuals.