Page:Sonnetsfromcrime00mick.djvu/26

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A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Mickiewicz was offered a government position which attached him to the person of the powerful Prince Galitzin, in Moscow. It was in Rome, and singularly enough it was when he wrote the "Ode to Youth" that he began to devote himself to mystical studies which had such an injurious effect upon his mind. For some time after he had lost his fluent power as a poet, he retained his conversational gifts which were remarkable and brought him almost as much fame as his poetry. His life ended in a period as dramatic as that in which it began. He entered the Turkish wars in 1855 and died in Stamboul in that same year. It is somewhat peculiar and at the same time no little to his credit that he should have chosen the sonnet as the instrument of his quick sketching of Crimea on the trip of exile, because the sonnet has never been a frequently chosen means of expression of the Slav races, despite the numerous sonnets written later by Vrchlicky, Preseren and others. The sonnet has belonged more to the Latin races, and to the English race. The Crimean Sonnets, however, rank among the famous sequences.

Edna Worthley Underwood.

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