By William Cullen Bryant, Thomas G. Voss
On April 26, 1865, as Abraham Lincoln's funeral cortege paused in Union sq., long island, ahead of being taken by way of rail to Springfield, Illinois, William Cullen Bryant listened as his personal verse elegy for the slain president was once learn to an excellent concourse of mourners through the Reverend Samuel Osgood. purely 5 years previous and some blocks downtown, at Cooper Union, Bryant had brought the prairie candidate to his first japanese viewers. There his masterful entice the moral sense of the country ready the way in which for his election to the presidency at the verge of the Civil struggle. Now, Bryant stood less than Henry Kirke Brown's equestrian statue of George Washington, impressing Osgood as though he have been the 19tth Century itself pondering over the country and the age in that presence.Bryant's staunch help of the Union reason during the warfare, and of Lincoln's struggle efforts, a minimum of his identified effect with the president, led numerous sought after public figures to induce that he write Lincoln's biography. Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote him, No guy combines the traits for his biographer so thoroughly as your self and the completed activity will be a noble crown to a noble literary life.But Bryant declined, stating his lack of ability to list impartially severe occasions during which he had taken so significant an element. additionally, whereas preoccupied with the editorial course of the hot York night publish, he used to be simply then repossessing and enlarging his family's abode at Cummington, Massachusetts, the place he was hoping his ill spouse may, in the course of lengthy summers in mountain air, regain her wellbeing and fitness. yet in July 1866, Frances died of recurrent rheumatic fever, and, Bryant confessed to Richard Dana, he felt as one solid out of Paradise.After France's dying Bryant traveled along with his daughter Julia for almost a 12 months via nice Britain and the Continent, the place he met British statesman and novelist Edward Bulwer Lytton and French literary critic Hyppolyte Taine, renewed his friendship with Spanish poet Carolina Coronado, Italian liberator Giuseppe Garibaldi, and British and American artists, and visited the kin of the younger French journalist Georges Clemenceau, in addition to the graves of prior pals Francis Lord Jeffrey and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. In his spare moments Bryant sought solace by way of starting the interpretation of Homer, and Longfellow had stumbled on aid after his wife's tragic dying through rendering into English Dante's Divine Comedy. domestic back in big apple, Bryant received and settled in a home at 24 West sixteenth road which might be his urban domestic for the remainder of his existence. right here he accomplished significant courses, together with the Iliad and Odyssey of Homer and an exhaustive Library of Poetry and music, and extra to released tributes to previous buddies, similar to Thomas Cole, Fenimore Cooper, and Washington Irving, memorial discourses on Fitz-Greene Halleck and Gulian Verplanck. as well as his persisted course of the recent York Homeopathic scientific university and the yank unfastened exchange League, he was once elected to the presidency of the Williams university Alumni organization, the foreign Copyright organization, and the Century organization, the membership of artists and writers of which, two decades prior, he were a valuable founder and which he might direct for the decade of his lifestyles.