The life and works of William Cullen Bryant
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CRITICISMS CONTINUED. 301
original, it had better be left as it was, judging from your expressing
yourself, rather doubtingly, that, as the public had already seen it, it
might run once more. For another edition you may perhaps alter it
to your mind, or conclude to let it stand. The word o erbrows, in
your alteration, sounded affectedly to me. I know well that it was
with you * a forced put at a change. What you say about making
alterations * in cold blood is true enough. If you feel it, who are so
much master of the art, you may rely upon it, it has made my head
and heart ache in trying to give harmony to my rough metre, or to
change an expression to my mind.
& quot; My objection to disappeared, in * The Past, was not what you
suppose, and I like your remarks upon the distinctive meaning of it.
My objection was, that, although merely an elliptical expression, it
affected me like a participle passive, and this impression was probably
deepened by the rhyming word. The alterations in the * Forest
Hymn have been made according to your directions. In the sec
ond, as you left a choice, I took, without hesitation, the first proposed
change :
Yea, seats himself
Upon the tyrant s throne the sepulchre.
& quot; The change in * The Prairies introduced as you directed. In
* The Lapse of Time, fourth stanza, besides the rhyming words glow
and go, you have Could I forego the hopes, etc. I had no time to
Firm is his hand and sure his aim ;
But, ere the flash is given,
Its eddies, filled with woods uptorn,
And spray from torrents driven,
The whirlwind sweeps the crashing wood,
The giant firs are riven.
& quot; Pviven and rent from splintering cliffs,
That rise like down in air.
At once the forest s rocky floor
Lies to the tempest bare.
Rider and steed and robber whirled
O er precipices vast,
Mong trunks and boughs and shattered crags,
Mangled and crushed, are cast.
The catamount and eagle made
That morn a grim repast ! & quot; & quot; New York Mirror, & quot; 1833.
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