Dial Essays (1843)
America -- an Ode; and other Poems. By N. W. COFFIN. Boston: S. G. SIMPKINS.
Our Maecenas shakes his head very doubtfully at this well-printed Ode, and only says, "An ode nowadays needs to be admirable to carry sail at all. Mr. Sprague's Centennial Ode, and Ode at the Shakspeare Jubilee, are the only American lyrics that we have prospered in reading, — if we dare still remember them." Yet he adds mercifully, "The good verses run like golden brooks through the dark forests of toil, rippling and musical, and undermine the heavy banks till they fall in and are borne away. Thirty-five pieces follow the Ode, of which everything is neat, pretty, harmonious, tasteful, the sentiment pleasing, manful, if not inspired. If the poet have nothing else, he has a good ear."