Tag Archives: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


At the Edge of the Brook. William-Adolphe Bouguereau. 1875.



Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Maiden! with the meek, brown eyes,

In whose orb a shadow lies

Like the dusk in evening skies!


Thou whose locks outshine the sun,

Golden tresses, wreathed in one,

As the braided streamlets run!


Standing, with reluctant feet.,

Where the brook and river meet,

Womanhood and childhood fleet!


Gazing with a timid glance,

On the brooklet’s swift advance,

On the river’s broad expanse!


Deep and still, that gliding stream

Beautiful to thee must seem,

As the river of a dream.


Then why pause with indecision,

When bright angels in thy vision

Beckon thee to fields Elysian?


Seest thou shadows sailing by,

As the dove, with startled eye

Sees the falcon’s shadow fly?


Hearest thou voices on the shore,

That our ears perceive no more,

Deafened by the cataract’s roar?


O, thou child of many prayers!

Life hath quicksands, Life hath snares!

Care and age come unawares!


Like the swell of some sweet tune

Morning rises into noon,

May glides onward into June.


Childhood is the bough where slumbered

Birds and blossoms many numbered;—

Age, that bough with snows encumbered.


Gather then, each flower that grows,

When the young heart overflows,

To embalm that tent of snows.


Bear a lily in thy hand;

Gates of brass cannot withstand

One touch of that magic wand.


Bear through sorrow, wrong, and ruth

In the heart the dew of youth,

On thy lips the smile of truth.


O, that dew, like balm, shall steal

Into wounds that cannot heal,

Even as sleep our eyes doth seal;


And that smile, like sunshine dart

Into many a sunless heart,

For a smile of God thou art.

Prologue from Evangeline

Dark Forest. Ivan Shishkin. 1890.



from Evangeline, 1847

Henry Wordsworth Longfellow


This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,

Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,

Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic,

Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms.

Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean

Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.


This is the forest primeval; but where are the hearts that beneath it

Leaped like the roe, when he hears in the woodland the voice of the huntsman?

Where is the thatch-roofed village, the home of Acadian farmers,—

Men whose lives glided on like rivers that water the woodlands,

Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflecting an image of heaven?

Waste are those pleasant farms, and the farmers forever departed!

Scattered like dust and leaves when the mighty blasts of October

Seize them, and whirl them aloft, and sprinkle them far o’er the ocean.

Naught but tradition remains of the beautiful village of Grand-Pré.


Ye who believe in affection that hopes, and endures, and is patient,

Ye who believe in the beauty and strength of woman’s devotion,

List to the mournful tradition still sung by the pines of the forest;

List to a Tale of Love in Acadie, home of the happy.


The Nest. John Everett Millais. 1887.



Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1858


Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest;

Home-keeping hearts are happiest,

For those that wander they know not where

Are full of trouble and full of care;

To stay at home is best.


Weary and homesick and distressed,

They wander east, they wander west,

And are baffled and beaten and blown about

By the winds of the wilderness of doubt;

To stay at home is best.


Then stay at home, my heart, and rest;

The bird is safest in its nest;

O’er all that flutter their wings and fly

A hawk is hovering in the sky;

To stay at home is best.


‘As a bird wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place.’ Proverbs 27:8