At this time he published his first poetry, in the Literary Garland, followed by publication of his only 2 volumes, The St Lawrence and the Saguenay and Other Poems (1856) and Hesperus and Other Poems and Lyrics (1860).
With his appointment to the Ottawa Post Office (1868) Sangster's life became characterized by overwork, ill health and scant literary output. He published 16 poems during the 1870s, most of which display a distraught, melancholy introspection. Between his 1886 retirement and his death he laboured on revised editions of his 2 volumes and prepared 2 others, Norland Echoes and Other Strains and Lyrics and The Angel Guest.
Sangster's poetry distinguishes him as a lover and keen observer of the natural world. He displays overwhelming passion in some poems and equally extreme melancholy in others. Whatever his mood he is consistently and intensely serious and deeply religious.
Author MARLENE ALT