The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
VOLUME XV. Colonial and Revolutionary Literature; Early National Literature, Part I.

V. Bryant and the Minor Poets.

§ 21. Charles Fenno Hoffman.

Charles Fenno Hoffman (1806-1884), another Knicker-bocker editor 35  and a song-writer, who, says a recent critic, 36  “possessed a lyric note almost completely unknown in the America of his time,”—by which is meant a certain catchy musical lilt,—is, however, chiefly memorable for the fine ballad Monterey:
We were not many, we who stood
  Before the iron sleet that day:
Yet many a gallant spirit would
Give half his years if but he could
  Have been with us at Monterey.
This is, or should be, a classic in a genre rare in our literature, whose poets have seldom communicated with martial fire the rapture of the strife or celebrated worthily the achievements of our arms. Bryant wrote a critical sketch for the last edition of Hoffman’s poems.

Note 35. See Book II, Chaps. VII and XX. [ back ]
Note 36. Trent, W.P., in American Literature, p. 457. [ back ]