By William Cullen Bryant, Thomas G. Voss
On April 26, 1865, as Abraham Lincoln's funeral cortege paused in Union sq., big apple, ahead of being taken via rail to Springfield, Illinois, William Cullen Bryant listened as his personal verse elegy for the slain president was once learn to a good concourse of mourners by means of the Reverend Samuel Osgood. merely 5 years past and some blocks downtown, at Cooper Union, Bryant had brought the prairie candidate to his first jap viewers. There his masterful entice the sense of right and wrong of the state ready the way in which for his election to the presidency at the verge of the Civil warfare. Now, Bryant stood lower than Henry Kirke Brown's equestrian statue of George Washington, impressing Osgood as though he have been the 19tth Century itself pondering over the kingdom and the age in that presence.Bryant's staunch help of the Union reason in the course of the warfare, and of Lincoln's conflict efforts, a minimum of his identified impression with the president, led a number of well known 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 job will be a noble crown to a noble literary life.But Bryant declined, stating his lack of ability to list impartially serious occasions within which he had taken so primary a component. in addition, whereas preoccupied with the editorial course of the hot York night publish, he was once simply then repossessing and enlarging his family's home at Cummington, Massachusetts, the place he was hoping his ill spouse could, 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 forged out of Paradise.After France's loss of life Bryant traveled along with his daughter Julia for almost a yr 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 family members of the younger French journalist Georges Clemenceau, in addition to the graves of prior friends 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 discovered aid after his wife's tragic loss of life by means of rendering into English Dante's Divine Comedy. domestic back in big apple, Bryant received and settled in a home at 24 West sixteenth highway 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 track, and extra to released tributes to prior buddies, comparable to Thomas Cole, Fenimore Cooper, and Washington Irving, memorial discourses on Fitz-Greene Halleck and Gulian Verplanck. as well as his endured course of the recent York Homeopathic clinical collage and the yankee unfastened alternate League, he was once elected to the presidency of the Williams collage Alumni organization, the overseas Copyright organization, and the Century organization, the membership of artists and writers of which, two decades past, he have been a critical founder and which he might direct for the decade of his existence.