The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21). rn VOLUME XVII. Later National Literature, Part II.

X. Later Poets

§ 4. Minor Figures

In the Transcendental period, it was said that one could not throw a stone in Boston without hitting a poet; in the latter half of the century one’s chances would have been little better. Representative, perhaps, of the countless lesser poets of New England in this period are Thomas William Parsons (1819–92), a Boston dentist who translated the Inferno admirably in terza rima and wrote poems of small merit save On a Bust of Dante, which, through its Dantesque elevation and purity of form, deserves to rank with the best American lyrics; William Wetmore Story (1819–95), of Salem, lawyer, later sculptor in Italy, his adopted home, a poet influenced by Tennyson and Browning, whose passionate Cleopatra and lofty Praxiteles and Phryne are among his most successful work; Lucy Larcom (1826–93), who spent her girlhood in the Lowell cotton mills, and whose lyrics, too often sentimental, show the influence of Whittier; Celia Thaxter (1836–94), whose father was lighthouse keeper on the Isles of Shoals, where the blended beauties and austerities of sea and rocks evoked many poems of nature in her sympathetic temperament; and J. G. Holland (1819–81), who lived in Massachusetts till 1870, when he founded Scribner’s Monthly (now The Century Magazine) in New York, a versatile author whose poems, such as the long Bitter Sweet and Kathrina, little read now, were widely popular in their day.