Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (18071882). Complete Poetical Works. 1893.
Ballads and Other Poems
Written November 3, 1841. Mr. Longfellow writes under that date to Mr. Ward: I was reading this morning, just after breakfast, the tenth chapter of Mark, in Greek, the last seven verses of which contain the story of blind Bartimeus, and always seemed to me remarkable for their beauty. At once the whole scene presented itself to my mind in lively colors,the walls of Jericho, the cold wind through the gateway, the ragged, blind beggar, his shrill cry, the tumultuous crowd, the serene Christ, the miracle; and these things took the form I have given them above, where, perforce, I have retained the striking Greek expressions of entreaty, comfort, and healing; though I am well aware that Greek was not spoken at Jericho. I think I shall add to the title, supposed to be written by a monk of the Middle Ages, as it is in the legend style.