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Page 400

GREAT AMERICAN AUTHORS
JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER

You have seen that Longfellow wrote poems that have made him a household poet-his stories in verse, his poems of simple faith and noble ambition, and the poems in which he brought something of the culture of old Europe to this new country in such a way as to appeal to all the people-even those who care little for books and learning.
In the same year as that which is memorable for Longfellow's birth, another great American poet was born. John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) knew hardship in his youth. The Massachusetts farm near Haverhill, where Whittier lived, supplied a living only to people who were sturdy enough to contend with stony soil. He had little schooling; Longfellow's training at Bowdoin College, his call to a professorship there while he was ,y-et a mere boy, and the period of travel in Europe by which he completed his preparation for teaching, were helps to culture that Whittier never knew. Whittier had a year in Haverhill Academy; he had about thirty books; he acquired his first copy of Shakespeare and one of Scott's novels when he made a memorable trip to Boston-all these together making a preparation for life very different from that enjoyed by Longfellow.

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