Longfellow, Poe’s near contemporary, was almost as well known at the other during their lifetimes, but he is now not taken very seriously. If he is thought of at all, it is as the author of Hiawatha, which was supposed to be the American epic – which I suppose it in fact is, which makes it all the more sad that the Indians were so thoroughly exterminated by the workmanlike and precise Puritans who dominated the country and its literary ethos for so long.
Longfellow was very much an exception for, like the greatest American writers, Henry James and T S Eliot, he escaped to Europe when he could. He did not however settle in England and become naturalized as those two did, rather preferring the continent on the pattern of the romantic poets he admired.
His most memorable poetry is escapist in nature, and celebrates what was for him the magic of Europe. Carillon is about the bells of the Belgian town of Bruges, and creates both their music and the wistful thoughts of those who hear this in the watches of the night –