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Richard Henry Stoddard

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

Richard Henry Stoddard is a connecting link between the early New York period and the present. He was born at Hingham, Massachusetts, in 1825. His father, a sea captain, was lost at sea while the poet was a child. Removing afterward to New York, Stoddard worked for some years in an iron foundry. But the iron did not enter into his soul to the exclusion of poetry. In 1849 he brought out a volume called "Footprints," but he afterward destroyed the edition, and issued a riper volume in 1852. For many years he was employed in the Custom House in New York, and in the Dock Department. Yet he did not abandon writing, nor did the Muse forsake him. His "Songs of Summer" (1857) abounded in a tropical luxuriance of feeling and delicate fancy. For ten years Mr. Stoddard was literary editor of the "New York World," and has since held the same position with "The Mail and Express," though partly disabled by impaired sight. He is a just and discerning critic. Among his best poems is "Abraham Lincoln : a Horatian Ode," a noble tribute to the martyred President. His fancy has been attracted by Persian poetry, and he published in 1871 "The Book of the East." He has also written some tales for the young, and edited various collections of English and American poetry. While he has written much prose, his poetry represents his best literary efforts. He excels in lyrics, showing delicate feeling and wide sympathy.

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