1836 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Fitz-Greene Halleck

Washington Irving to Samuel Rogers, 3 February 1836; P. W. Clayden, Rogers and his Contemporaries (1889) 2:143.



My dear Sir,—

You will receive herewith a small volume containing poems by Mr. Fitz Greene Halleck, an American author, whose name is probably already known to you, and some of whose writings you may have seen in collections of American poetry published in England. I send the volume to you at the request of the author, in testimony of that admiration of your poetry, and high esteem for your private worth, which he feels in common with his countrymen.

Mr. H. has published in this volume merely a selection from his various poems which have appeared from time to time in our periodical works. He might have extended the selection with advantage, as he has omitted several of great merit, possessing much terseness of language and epigrammatic point; but which he may have thought too local, temporary, and satirical in their nature for republication. Some of them lashed the follies of the day and of his countrymen with much spirit and wit, but without harshness, and produced a great sensation at the time.

The specimens he has furnished, however, will be sufficient to give you an idea of his talents, and as I think, to satisfy you that the reputation he enjoys among his countrymen is not unmerited.

I am building a little cottage on the banks of the Hudson, and hope, in the course of the spring, to have, for the first time in my life, a roof of my own over my head. It stands in the midst of the "fairy haunts of long lost hours," in a neighbourhood endeared to me by boyish recollections, and commands one of our magnificent river prospects. I only wish I could have you there as a guest, and shew my sense of that kind and long-continued hospitality enjoyed in your classic little mansion in St. James's Place.

Ever, my dear Sir,

Most truly and affectionately your friend,

Washington Irving.