Hard Cover. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Hilliard & Metcalf, 1821. First Edition. Good.
First edition, first printing, one of 750 copies. Finely bound in contemporary red straight grain morocco, elaborately decorated in gilt and blind with blue marbled endpapers. A good copy, variously worn to extremities and with front hinge cracked and fragile but holding, a few abrasions to rear board, foxing throughout and toning to page edges, paper repair to upper 1" of title page, slight text loss to pp. 27-32 where the lower right corners of the leaves have been roughly torn off, contemporary ownership inscription to title page. Overall, a delicate but presentable copy. BAL 1587. Published early in Bryant's career, Poems is widely considered to be the first major work of post-colonial American poetry. It includes the author's most famous poem, "Thanatopsis," named for a Greek phrase meaning "meditation on death". Though the poem was published four years earlier in the North American Review, Bryant included some important revisions for this later publication, adding several lines at the beginning and end, which established the poem as it is remembered today.