WILLIAM PETERFIELD TRENT
If we turn southward, we shall find that here also the rare lyric poets are essentially imitators, though with more real appreciation of their models, at least in the case of Evans and Godfrey. There are occa sional good lines in the verses of both, and the latter gives evidence of the possession of an imagination that might have made him, not a great poet, but a worthy rival of Freneau. And it must not be forgotten that with Godfrey the poetic drama practically begins in America. An unactable blank verse tragedy, to be sure, T63 Prime of Part/aid, must be pronounced to be thoroughly imitative and scarcely readable, unless one brings to it a considerable amount of patriotic good will and sympathy for youthful talents eclipsed by death. But it was creditable to have made the attempt, and that credit belongs to the Pennsylvanian school, which was more liberal, in its literary ideals, than New England had yet become, and was certainly more in touch with the eighteenth century philosophic spirit as it was then voicing itself in England and France.
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