A mentor to Walt Whitman, Bryant is a writer whose own poetry is little read today, except by academics. Thanatopsis is perhaps his most famous work, appearing as it does in most anthologies of American verse; though one contemporary American critic, Thomas Holley Chivers, claimed that, line for line, it was plagiarised from the Spanish. To be fair, the same gentleman was even prepared to accuse one of his own friends, Edgar Allan Poe, of having stolen lines from Chivers' own compositions, so any charge of plagiarism needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. There is a melancholy sweetness to much of Bryant's writing, though little if anything that is truly memorable. Some authorities reckon that he is due for re-assessment. Good luck to them. However no library of American literature should be without his poetry, and this pleasant little Oxford volume does him proud. One owner's name neatly inscribed in ink on the inner front endpaper. Some faint pencilled marginalia, easily rubbed out.