Poets of Cambridge, U.S.A.
Other Poets
Henry Adams
John Quincy Adams
James Agee
Conrad Aiken
Bronson Alcott
Thomas Bailey Aldrich
William Alfred
Washington Allston
Katherine Lee Bates
Elizabeth Bishop
Anne Bradstreet
John Malcom Brinnin
Witter Bynner
William Ellery Channing II
John Ciardi
Robert Creeley
Countee Cullen
E.E. Cummings
John Dos Passos
W.E.B Dubois
Richard Eberhart
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Robert Fitzgerald
Robert Frost
Angelina Weld Grimke
Robert Hillyer
John Holmes
O.W. Holmes
Julia Ward Howe
Sarah Orne Jewett
X. J. Kennedy
Maxine Kumin
Stanley Kunitz
H.W. Longfellow
Amy Lowell
Robert Lowell
Archibald Macleish
Herman Melville
Howard Nemerov
Urian Oakes
Charles Olson
John Reed
George Santayana
May Sarton
Delmore Schwartz
Alan Seeger
Anne Sexton
L.E. Sissman
Wallace Stevens
Edward Taylor
Henry David Thoreau
Frederick Tuckerman
John Updike
Jones Very



Amazon Note:
You will help our service to grow when you order anything from Amazon via our non-profit website: HarvardSquareLibrary.org Click Here to visit Amazon now

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

1807 - 1882

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This long-beloved poet was a descendant of Pilgrims John and Priscilla Adams. He taught modern European languages at Bowdoin College and then at Harvard. While he and his young wife were visiting Europe, she died in Rotterdam. After he returned to Cambridge, he rented lodging at Craigie House, which had been General George Washington's headquarters during the Revolutionary War. Later, Longfellow married Fanny Appleton. Six children were born to them in the Craigie House given to them by Fanny's father, a wealthy Bostonian. Fanny died a tragic death when she burned to death after hot sealing wax ignited her dress.

Resigning his Harvard chair in 1854, Longfellow devoted his life to writing. His literary legacy includes The Song of Hiawatha and The Courtship of Miles Standish, Tales of a Wayside Inn, and Evangeline. He also translated Dante's Divine Comedy into English.

This American poet was honored by Queen Victoria, Oxford University, Cambridge University, the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Spanish Academy. His brother Samuel, a Unitarian minister, wrote the authorized biography of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in two volumes. Many generations of schoolchildren loved to recite the poet's tales.

PAUL REVERE'S RIDE
Listen, my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town tonight,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light-
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm."

Then he said "Good-night!" and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.

You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled-
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.
So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm-
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo forevermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoofbeats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.
< Previous     Index     Next >
 
Herbert F. Vetter - Director
hfvetter@post.harvard.edu
  Andrew Drane - Webmaster
andrew@andrewdrane.com