Sunday, September 18, 2016

William Cullen Bryant to R. H. Dana, Esq., December 3, 1862

new York, December 3, 1862

I thank you for the translations you have sent me of three of my poems, and the kind letter with which they were accompanied. My verses have gained in the dress you have given them — a grace which I could not give them in English. They are more faithful in rendering the meaning of the original than French translations of English poetry generally are; and yet, so far as a foreigner may be allowed to judge, they are as spirited and easy as if written without that constraint to which a faithful translator is obliged to submit. . . .

For your good wishes concerning my country I also thank you. This cruel war is a frightful state of things, but from it I hope will result good to our country and to mankind — the extinction of the accursed institution of slavery, and the restoration of our Union on the basis of universal liberty — a result which I look for with confidence.

In the hope that the freedom of your country may not cost so dear, I am, dear sir, yours, very truly.


SOURCE: Parke Godwin, A Biography of William Cullen Bryant, Volume 1, p. 187

No comments: