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.

XXIII. Writers of Familiar Verse

§ 14. Lighter Verse of Serious Poets

Yet it is possible also to select specimens of this special type from the major poets, the sport of their frolicsome moods, and no adequate anthology would fail to include Bryant’s Robert of Lincoln, Emerson’s Humble-Bee, Whittier’s In School Days and Longfellow’s Catawba Wine. From Lowell the examples would be half a dozen at least, with Auf Wiedersehn and Without and Within as the first flowers to be picked. Indeed, Lowell is Holmes’s only chief rival among American poets in the limited field of familiar verse, but he is less meticulous in finish and polish and more likely to charge his lines with a meaning too large for the lyric which aims above all else at lightness and brightness.

Three other American poets of high ambition, Stedman, Aldrich, and Bret Harte, gave a more abundant share of their attention to the poetry which is blithe and buoyant; and in any selection of the best in this kind, it would be inexcusable to omit Stedman’s Pan in Wall Street, Aldrich’s In an Atelier, or Bret Harte’s Her Letter. Nor would any competent editor exclude from such a collection Weir Mitchell’s Decanter of Madeira, George Arnold’s Jolly Old Pedagogue, or Charles Henry Webb’s Dum Vivimus Vivamus. Nor would it be difficult largely to increase this list of examples chosen from the verse of men whose reputation has been won mainly in other fields.