John Greenleaf Whittier

This Document is on The Quaker Writings Home Page.

Written to the chairman of the committee of arrangements for unveiling the bust of Longfellow at Portland, Maine, on the poet's birthday, February 27, 1885.

I am sorry it is not in my power to accept the invitation of the committee to be present at the unveiling of the bust of Longfellow on the 27th instant, or to write anything worthy of the occasion in metrical form.

The gift of the Westminster Abbey committee cannot fail to add another strong tie of sympathy between two great English- speaking peoples. And never was gift more fitly bestowed. The city of Portland --- the poet's birthplace, "beautiful for situation," looking from its hills on the scenery he loved so well, Deering's Oaks, the many -islanded bay and far inland mountains, delectable in sunset --- needed this sculptured representation of her illustrious son, and may well testify her joy and gratitude at its reception, and repeat in so doing the words of the Hebrew prophet: "O man, greatly beloved! thou shalt stand in thy place."