Bibliographical References: See Adkins, Fitz-Greene Halleck, An Early Knickerbocker Poet and Wit, pages 180, 182, 203, etc.
Condition: In fine condition.
Book ID: 26560
DescriptionTwo large folio sheets folded to make eight 32 x 20 cm pages. The poem is written in ink in 38 quatrains on seven pages. There are corrections to four words and changes in punctuation from the later published version.
Comments¶ A substantial poem about Scottish poet Robert Burns by Knickerbocker poet Fitz-Greene Halleck, written just after Halleck’s return to the States from his 1822 European tour. “Burns” was not published until January 1827 in William Cullen Bryant's United States Review and Literary Gazette. Later that year it was collected in Halleck's Alnwick Castle, with Other Poems. The version in the United States Review was signed, as is this manuscript, with initials and the date April 1823. In Alnwick Castle, both the date and initials are not present. ¶ “Burns” was highly regarded among Halleck’s peers: Poe wrote that its “peculiar grace and terseness of expression” was “remarkable;” James Kirke Paulding considered it Halleck’s “noblest;” and James Lawson wrote that in “Burns we have the very man standing before us, in moral and mental grandeur.” Halleck manuscripts of such importance and length are rarely offered for sale. Since 1941, American Book Prices Current only records similar examples at auction in 1945 (2), 1958, 1959, 1968 & 1979.