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7 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Poems

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A collection of poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He was a famous and extremely popular American poet, was born on February 27, 1807. His birthplace was in the New England city of Portland; he refers to the city in one of his poems as "the beautiful town that is seated by the sea." After he grew up, he lived at Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he was a professor at Harvard University.

He died on March 24, 1882. During his life of seventy-five years, Longfellow was loved by everybody, especially the children. Many of his poems are about them.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow



Popular Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Poems:

  1. The Builders
    Poet: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


    All are architects of Fate,
    Working in these walls of Time;
    Some with massive deeds and great,
    Some with ornaments of rhyme.

    Nothing useless is, or low;
    Each thing in its place is best;
    And what seems but idle show
    Strengthens and supports the rest.

    For the structure that we raise,
    Time is with materials filled;
    Our to-days and yesterdays
    Are the blocks with which we build.

    Truly shape and fashion these;
    Leave no yawning gaps between;
    Think not, because no man sees,
    Such things will remain unseen.

    In the elder days of Art,
    Builders wrought with greatest care
    Each minute and unseen part;
    For the gods see everywhere.

    Let us do our work as well,
    Both the unseen and the seen;
    Make the house, where gods may dwell,
    Beautiful, entire, and clean.

    Else our lives are incomplete,
    Standing in these walls of Time,
    Broken stairways, where the feet
    Stumble as they seek to climb.

    Build to-day, then, strong and sure,
    With a firm and ample base;
    And ascending and secure
    Shall to-morrow find its place.

    Thus alone can we attain
    To those turrets, where the eye
    Sees the world as one vast plain,
    And one boundless reach of sky.

    More Poems Of Encouragement



  2. The Song Of The Potter
    Poet: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


    Turn, turn, my wheel! Turn round and round,
    Without a pause, without a sound:
    So spins the flying world away!
    This clay, well mixed with marl and sand,
    Follows the motion of my hand;
    For some must follow, and some command,
    Though all are made of clay!

    Turn, turn, my wheel! All things must change
    To something new, to something strange;
    Nothing that is can pause or stay;
    The moon will wax, the moon will wane,
    The mist and cloud will turn to rain,
    The rain to mist and cloud again,
    To-morrow be to-day.

    Turn, turn, my wheel! All life is brief;
    What now is bud will soon be leaf,
    What now is leaf will soon decay;
    The wind blows east, the wind blows west;
    The blue eggs in the robin's nest
    Will soon have wings and beak and breast,
    And flutter and fly away.

    Turn, turn, my wheel! This earthen jar
    A touch can make, a touch can mar;
    And shall it to the Potter say,
    What makest thou? Thou hast no hand?
    As men who think to understand
    A world by their Creator planned,
    Who wiser is than they.

    Turn, turn, my wheel! 'Tis nature's plan
    The child should grow into the man,
    The man grow wrinkled, old, and gray;
    In youth the heart exults and sings,
    The pulses leap, the feet have wings;
    In age the cricket chirps, and brings
    The harvest home of day.

    Turn, turn, my wheel! The human race,
    Of every tongue, of every place,
    Caucasian, Coptic, or Malay,
    All that inhabit this great earth,
    Whatever be their rank or worth,
    Are kindred and allied by birth,
    And made of the same clay.

    Turn, turn, my wheel! What is begun
    At daybreak must at dark be done,
    To-morrow will be another day;
    To-morrow the hot furnace flame
    Will search the heart and try the frame,
    And stamp with honor or with shame
    These vessels made of clay.

    Stop, stop, my wheel! Too soon, too soon
    The noon will be the afternoon,
    Too soon to-day be yesterday;
    Behind us in our path we cast
    The broken potsherds of the past,
    And all are ground to dust at last,
    And trodden into clay.

    More Poems About Life



  3. Children
    Poet: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


    Come to me, O ye children!
    For I hear you at your play,
    And the questions that perplexed me
    Have vanished quite away.

    Ye open the eastern windows,
    That look towards the sun,
    Where thoughts are singing swallows
    And the brooks of morning run.

    In your hearts are the birds and the sunshine,
    In your thoughts the brooklet's flow;
    But in mine is the wind of Autumn
    And the first fall of the snow.

    Ah! what would the world be to us
    If the children were no more?
    We should dread the desert behind us
    Worse than the dark before.

    What the leaves are to the forest,
    With light and air for food,
    Ere their sweet and tender juices
    Have been hardened into wood, -

    That to the world are children;
    Through them it feels the glow
    Of a brighter and sunnier climate
    Than reaches the trunks below.

    Come to me, O ye children!
    And whisper in my ear
    What the birds and the winds are singing
    In your sunny atmosphere.

    For what are all our contrivings.
    And the wisdom of our books.
    When compared with your caresses.
    And the gladness of your looks?

    Ye are better than all the ballads
    That ever were sung or said;
    For ye are living poems.
    And all the rest are dead.

    More Inspirational Poems



  4. Santa Filomenia
    Poet: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


    Whene'er a noble deed is wrought,
    Whene'er is spoken a noble thought,
    Our hearts in glad surprise
    To higher levels rise.

    The tidal-wave of deeper souls
    Into our inmost being rolls,
    And lifts us unawares
    Out of all meaner cares.

    Honor to those whose words or deeds
    Thus help us in our daily needs,
    And by their overflow
    Raise us from what is low!

    More Kindness Poems



  5. How Beautiful is the Rain
    Poet: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


    How beautiful is the rain!
    After the dust and heat,
    In the broad and fiery street,
    In the narrow lane,
    How beautiful is the rain!

    How it clatters along the roofs,
    Like the tramp of hoofs
    How it gushes and struggles out
    From the throat of the overflowing spout!

    Across the window-pane
    It pours and pours;
    And swift and wide,
    With a muddy tide,
    Like a river down the gutter roars
    The rain, the welcome rain!

    The sick man from his chamber looks
    At the twisted brooks;
    He can feel the cool
    Breath of each little pool;
    His fevered brain
    Grows calm again,
    And he breathes a blessing on the rain.

    From the neighboring school
    Come the boys,
    With more than their wonted noise
    And commotion;
    And down the wet streets
    Sail their mimic fleets,
    Till the treacherous pool
    Engulfs them in its whirling
    And turbulent ocean.

    In the country, on every side,
    Where far and wide,
    Like a leopard’s tawny and spotted hide,
    Stretches the plain,
    To the dry grass and the drier grain
    How welcome is the rain!

    In the furrowed land
    The toilsome and patient oxen stand;
    Lifting the yoke encumbered head,
    With their dilated nostrils spread,
    They silently inhale
    The clover-scented gale,
    And the vapors that arise
    From the well watered and smoking soil.
    For this rest in the furrow after toil
    Their large and lustrous eyes
    Seem to thank the Lord,
    More than man’s spoken word.

    Near at hand,
    From under the sheltering trees,
    The farmer sees
    His pastures, and his fields of grain,
    As they bend their tops
    To the numberless beating drops
    Of the incessant rain.
    He counts it as no sin
    That he sees therein
    Only his own thrift and gain.

    These, and far more than these,
    The Poet sees!
    He can behold
    Aquarius old
    Walking the fenceless fields of air;
    And from each ample fold
    Of the clouds about him rolled
    Scattering everywhere
    The showery rain,
    As the farmer scatters his grain.

    He can behold
    Things manifold
    That have not yet been wholly told,-
    Have not been wholly sung nor said.
    For his thought, that never stops,
    Follows the water drops
    Down to the graves of the dead,
    Down through chasms and gulfs profound,
    To the dreary fountainhead
    Of lakes and rivers under ground;
    And sees them, when the rain is done,
    On the bridge of colors seven
    Climbing up once more to heaven,
    Opposite the setting sun.

    Thus the Seer,
    With vision clear,
    Sees forms appear and disappear,
    In the perpetual round of strange,
    Mysterious change
    From birth to death, from death to birth,
    From earth to heaven, from heaven to earth;
    Till glimpses more sublime
    Of things, unseen before,
    Unto his wondering eyes reveal
    The Universe, as an immeasurable wheel
    Turning forevermore
    In the rapid and rushing river of Time.

    More Nature Poems



  6. The Day is Done
    Poet: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


    The day is done, and the darkness
    Falls from the wings of Night,
    As a feather is wafted downward
    From an eagle in his flight.

    I see the lights of the village
    Gleam through the rain and the mist,
    And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me
    That my soul cannot resist:

    A feeling of sadness and longing,
    That is not akin to pain,
    And resembles sorrow only
    As the mist resembles the rain.

    Come, read to me some poem,
    Some simple and heartfelt lay,
    That shall soothe this restless feeling,
    And banish the thoughts of day.

    Not from the grand old masters,
    Not from the bards sublime,
    Whose distant footsteps echo
    Through the corridors of Time.

    For, like strains of martial music,
    Their mighty thoughts suggest
    Life's endless toil and endeavor;
    And to-night I long for rest.

    Read from some humbler poet,
    Whose songs gushed from his heart,
    As showers from the clouds of summer,
    Or tears from the eyelids start;

    Who, through long days of labor,
    And nights devoid of ease,
    Still heard in his soul the music
    Of wonderful melodies.

    Such songs have power to quiet
    The restless pulse of care,
    And come like the benediction
    That follows after prayer.

    Then read from the treasured volume
    The poem of thy choice,
    And lend to the rhyme of the poet
    The beauty of thy voice.

    And the night shall be filled with music,
    And the cares, that infest the day,
    Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
    And as silently steal away.

    More Good Night Poems



  7. My Lost Youth
    Poet: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


    Often I think of the beautiful town
    That is seated by the sea;
    Often in thought go up and down
    The pleasant streets of that dear old town,
    And my youth comes back to me.
    And a verse of a Lapland song
    Is haunting my memory still:
    'A boy's will is the wind's will.
    And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.'

    I can see the shadowy lines of its trees.
    And catch, in sudden gleams.
    The sheen of the far-surrounding seas,
    And the islands that were the Hesperides
    Of all my boyish dreams.
    And the burden of that old song,
    It murmurs and whispers still:
    'A boy's will is the wind's will.
    And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.'

    I remember the black wharves and the slips
    And the sea-tides tossing free;
    And Spanish sailors with bearded lips
    And the beauty and mystery of the ships,
    And the magic of the sea.
    And the voice of that wayward song
    Is singing and saying still:
    'A boy's will is the wind's will.
    And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.'

    I remember the bulwarks by the shore.
    And the fort upon the hill;
    The sunrise gun, with its hollow roar.
    The drum-beat repeated o'er and o'er.
    And the bugle wild and shrill.
    And the music of that old song
    Throbs in my memory still:
    'A boy's will is the wind's win.
    And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.'

    I remember the sea-fight far away.
    How it thundered o'er the tide!
    And the dead captains, as they lay
    In their graves, o'erlooking the tranquil  bay
    Where they in battle died.
    And the sound of that mournful song
    Goes through me with a thrill:
    'A boy's will is the wind's will,
    And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.'

    I can see the breezy dome of groves
    The shadows of Deering's Woods;
    And the friendships old and the early loves
    Come back with a Sabbath sound, as of doves
    In quiet neighborhoods.
    And the voice of that sweet old song
    It flutters and murmurs still:
    'A boy's will is the wind's will.
    And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.'

    I remember the gleams and glooms that dart
    Across the school-boy's brain;
    The song and the silence in the heart.
    That in part are prophecies, and in part
    Are longings wild and vain.
    And the voice of that fitful song
    Sings on, and is never still:
    'A boy's will is the wind's will.
    And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.'

    There are things of which I may not speak;
    There are dreams that cannot die;
    There are thoughts that make the strong heart weak.
    And bring a pallor into the cheek.
    And a mist before the eye.
    And the words of that fatal song
    Come over me like a chill:
    'A boy's will is the wind's will.
    And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.'

    Strange to me now are the forms I meet
    When I visit the dear old town;
    But the native air is pure and sweet.
    And the trees that o'ershadow each well-known street.
    As they balance up and down,
    Are singing the beautiful song.
    Are sighing and whispering still:
    'A boy's will is the wind's will,
    And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.'

    And Deering's Woods are fresh and fair.
    And with joy that is almost pain
    My heart goes back to wander there.
    And among the dreams of the days that were,
    I find my lost youth again.
    And the strange and beautiful song.
    The groves are repeating it still:
    'A boy's will is the wind's will.
    And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.'

    More Poems On Aging


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