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

XII. Longfellow.

§ 11. Translations.

Longfellow was more fortunately employed when he put himself in the company of Cowper and Bryant, and sought solace for his private woes in an extensive piece of poetical translation. Perhaps his true genius as a translator, seen early in the Coplas de Manrique (1833), is better exemplified in his numerous renderings of lyrics, particularly, as in Uhland’s The Castle by the Sea, from the German, than in the faithful, meritorious version of The Divine Comedy, which appeared in three volumes between 1867 and 1870; but, despite a certain lack of metrical charm resulting from the facile character of the rhymeless lines printed in threes, the version of the masterpiece to which Longfellow gave so many years of love and study seems worthy of his pains and of the praise it has received from other admirers of Dante.   15