For the Love of Longfellow

“The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, And all the sweet serenity of books. “
hwlon
Born today in 1807:
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(February 27 – March 24, 1882)
An American poet and educator whose works include “Paul Revere’s Ride”, The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline. He was also the first American to translate Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, and was one of the five Fireside Poets.

“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times
we call a man cold when he is only sad.”

 

As the most widely known and best-loved American poet of his lifetime, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow achieved a level of national and international prominence previously unequaled in the literary history of the United States.

 

I adore Longfellow. I fell in love with his poignant yet beautiful poetry early on, and he has remained a favorite of mine. He has a way of mournfully telling you how wonderful life and love are, and someone it makes the meaning stick with a realness that is more lasting. A Psalm of Life was the first poem I ever committed to memory, every line enchanted me.

Afternoon in February

The day is ending,
The night is descending;
The marsh is frozen,
The river dead. 

Through clouds like ashes
The red sun flashes
On village windows
That glimmer red. 

The snow recommences;
The buried fences
Mark no longer
The road o'er the plain; 

While through the meadows,
Like fearful shadows,
Slowly passes
A funeral train. 

The bell is pealing,
And every feeling
Within me responds
To the dismal knell; 

Shadows are trailing,
My heart is bewailing
And tolling within
Like a funeral bell.

I end with a quote from my all time favorite:
“Let us, then, be up and doing, with a heart for any fate; still achieving,
still pursuing, learn to labor and to wait.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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