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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Paul Hamilton Hayne (1830–1886)
Critical and Biographical Introduction
 
OF Revolutionary ancestry, and the only son of an officer in the United States naval service, Paul Hamilton Hayne was born in Charleston, South Carolina, January 1st, 1830. Few American poets have grown up with outward circumstances more kindly toward a literary career and its practical risks. A name of high local distinction, wealth, and associations with men of letters, were part of Hayne’s environment from the beginning. The literary gatherings in the Hayne household, in which William Gilmore Simms, John C. Calhoun, and Hugh S. Legaré were prominent, drew all Charleston’s intellectual life at the time to a common center.  1
  Hayne was a graduate in 1850 of the college of his native city. For a time he studied law. With the outbreak of the Civil War he took service, and was on the staff of General Pickens. Broken health induced him unwillingly to resign. With the bombardment of Charleston and the advance of the Federal army he suffered severe losses; his costly house, his library, and pretty much all his belongings being swept away by fire or pillage. A ruined man pecuniarily, he betook himself to the Pine Barrens of Georgia. There he built himself a cottage at Copse Hill. There he gardened, wrote verses, kept up his correspondence with the outer world, corrected his proofs, and it is said “was perfectly happy” during more than fifteen years, until his death in 1886. He was much of an invalid by constitution; and with his frail vitality, his accomplishing so much is a striking example of the will to live and to do what we wish to do.  2
  Mr. Hayne’s early literary work was connected with the Southern Literary Messenger, to which so many of the South’s poets were contributors at one time or another. Later he became editor of the Charleston Literary Gazette, and held a post on the Charleston Evening News. In 1872 appeared his ‘Legends and Lyrics,’ one collection of his poems; in 1873 his edition of the literary remains of his friend Timrod, with a sympathetic biography; in 1875 he published ‘The Mountain of the Lovers,’—like ‘The Wife of Brittany,’ one of his long poems,—and in later succession we have other titles; with his poems in a complete edition in 1882.  3
  Mr. Hayne’s verse largely reflects aspects of nature in the Southern United States. There is a strong influence of Wordsworth in much of his writing. In other descriptive poetry, and in that of a reflective or dramatic spirit, he won a measurable success, occasionally coming into obvious poetical touch with Robert Browning. His sonnets are a large element of his writing; a species of verse in which he delighted, his meditative humor finding it, over and over again, a vehicle at once suitable and congenial.  4
 
 
CONTENTS · GENERAL INDEX · SONGS & LYRICS · BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY
READER’S DIGEST · STUDENT’S COURSE · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
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