Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


October 22, 1838.

Neglected record of a mind neglected,
Unto what "lets and stops" art thou subjected!
The day with all its toils and occupations,
The night with its reflections and sensations,
The future, and the present, and the past,--
All I remember, feel, and hope at last,
All shapes of joy and sorrow, as they pass,--
Find but a dusty image in this glass.

August 18, 1847.

O faithful, indefatigable tides,
That evermore upon God's errands go,--
Now seaward bearing tidings of the land,--
Now landward bearing tidings of the sea,--
And filling every frith and estuary,
Each arm of the great sea, each little creek,
Each thread and filament of water-courses,
Full with your ministration of delight!
Under the rafters of this wooden bridge
I see you come and go; sometimes in haste
To reach your journey's end, which being done
With feet unrested ye return again
And recommence the never-ending task;
Patient, whatever burdens ye may bear,
And fretted only by the impeding rocks.

December 18, 1847.

Soft through the silent air descend the feathery snow-flakes;
White are the distant hills, white are the neighboring fields;
Only the marshes are brown, and the river rolling among them
Weareth the leaden hue seen in the eyes of the blind.

August 4, 1856.

A lovely morning, without the glare of the sun, the sea in great
commotion, chafing and foaming.

So from the bosom of darkness our days come roaring and gleaming,
  Chafe and break into foam, sink into darkness again.
But on the shores of Time each leaves some trace of its passage,
  Though the succeeding wave washes it out from the sand.