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Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth

· THE DAY IS DONE BY HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW · Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: The owl · Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: The Arrow and The Song · Hans Hermans NATUURDAGBOEK Oktober 2010 · Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Twilight · Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: The Old Clock on The Stairs · Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: The Secret of The Sea · Photos & poetry: Ton van Kempen, Autumn 2 · Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Curfew · Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Afternoon in February · Ton van Kempen: Winter

THE DAY IS DONE BY HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW

The Day is Done

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.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: The owl

fleursdumal 506

 

The owl

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

The owl, —

    Au

The owl

    Au

The great black

Owl

    Au

Hi! a! haa!

 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, letter to Ferdinand Freiligrath, January 11, 1856; adapted from Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, Information Respecting the History, Condition, and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States, vol. I, 1851. (Source: UbuWeb)

fleursdumal.nl magazine

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: The Arrow and The Song

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(1807-1882)

 

The Arrow and The Song


I shot an arrow into the air,

It fell to earth, I knew not where;

For, so swiftly it flew, the sight

Could not follow it in its flight.

 

I breathed a song into the air,

It fell to earth, I knew not where;

For who has sight so keen and strong,

That it can follow the flight of song?

 

Long, long afterward, in an oak

I found the arrow, still unbroke;

And the song, from beginning to end,

I found again in the heart of a friend.

 

H.W. Longfellow poetry

kempis.nl  poetry magazine

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Hans Hermans NATUURDAGBOEK Oktober 2010

Aftermath
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(1807 – 1882)

When the summer fields are mown,
When the birds are fledged and flown,
      And the dry leaves strew the path;
With the falling of the snow,
With the cawing of the crow,
Once again the fields we mow
      And gather in the aftermath.

Not the sweet, new grass with flowers
Is this harvesting of ours;
      Not the upland clover bloom;
But the rowen mixed with weeds,
Tangled tufts from marsh and meads,
Where the poppy drops its seeds
      In the silence and the gloom.

Hans Hermans Natuurdagboek Oktober 2010

Poem: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

► Website Hans Hermans

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Twilight

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(1807-1882)

 

Twilight

 

The twilight is sad and cloudy,

The wind blows wild and free,

And like the wings of sea-birds

Flash the white caps of the sea.

 

But in the fisherman’s cottage

There shines a ruddier light,

And a little face at the window

Peers out into the night.

 

Close, close it is pressed to the window,

As if those childish eyes

Were looking into the darkness,

To see some form arise.

 

And a woman’s waving shadow

Is passing to and fro,

Now rising to the ceiling,

Now bowing and bending low.

 

What tale do the roaring ocean,

And the night-wind, bleak and wild,

As they beat at the crazy casement,

Tell to that little child?

 

And why do the roaring ocean,

And the night-wind, wild and bleak,

As they beat at the heart of the mother,

Drive the color from her cheek?


H.W. Longfellow poetry

kempis poetry magazine

More in: Archive K-L, Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: The Old Clock on The Stairs

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(1807-1882)


 

The Old Clock on The Stairs

L’eternite est une pendule, dont le balancier dit et redit sans

cesse ces deux mots seulement dans le silence des tombeaux:

"Toujours! jamais! Jamais! toujours!"–JACQUES BRIDAINE.

 

Somewhat back from the village street

Stands the old-fashioned country-seat.

Across its antique portico

Tall poplar-trees their shadows throw;

And from its station in the hall

An ancient timepiece says to all,–

"Forever–never!

Never–forever!"

 

Half-way up the stairs it stands,

And points and beckons with its hands

From its case of massive oak,

Like a monk, who, under his cloak,

Crosses himself, and sighs, alas!

With sorrowful voice to all who pass,–

"Forever–never!

Never–forever!"

 

By day its voice is low and light;

But in the silent dead of night,

Distinct as a passing footstep’s fall,

It echoes along the vacant hall,

Along the ceiling, along the floor,

And seems to say, at each chamber-door,–

"Forever–never!

Never–forever!"

 

Through days of sorrow and of mirth,

Through days of death and days of birth,

Through every swift vicissitude

Of changeful time, unchanged it has stood,

And as if, like God, it all things saw,

It calmly repeats those words of awe,–

"Forever–never!

Never–forever!"

 

In that mansion used to be

Free-hearted Hospitality;

His great fires up the chimney roared;

The stranger feasted at his board;

But, like the skeleton at the feast,

That warning timepiece never ceased,–

"Forever–never!

Never–forever!"

 

There groups of merry children played,

There youths and maidens dreaming strayed;

O precious hours! O golden prime,

And affluence of love and time!

Even as a Miser counts his gold,

Those hours the ancient timepiece told,–

"Forever–never!

Never–forever!"

 

From that chamber, clothed in white,

The bride came forth on her wedding night;

There, in that silent room below,

The dead lay in his shroud of snow;

And in the hush that followed the prayer,

Was heard the old clock on the stair,–

"Forever–never!

Never–forever!"

 

All are scattered now and fled,

Some are married, some are dead;

And when I ask, with throbs of pain.

"Ah! when shall they all meet again?"

As in the days long since gone by,

The ancient timepiece makes reply,–

"Forever–never!

Never–forever!"

 

Never here, forever there,

Where all parting, pain, and care,

And death, and time shall disappear,–

Forever there, but never here!

The horologe of Eternity

Sayeth this incessantly,–

"Forever–never!

Never–forever!"

 

H. W. Longfellow poetry

kempis poetry magazine

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: The Secret of The Sea

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(1807-1882)

 

The Secret of The Sea

 

Ah! what pleasant visions haunt me

As I gaze upon the sea!

All the old romantic legends,

All my dreams, come back to me.

 

Sails of silk and ropes of sandal,

Such as gleam in ancient lore;

And the singing of the sailors,

And the answer from the shore!

 

Most of all, the Spanish ballad

Haunts me oft, and tarries long,

Of the noble Count Arnaldos

And the sailor’s mystic song.

 

Like the long waves on a sea-beach,

Where the sand as silver shines,

With a soft, monotonous cadence,

Flow its unrhymed lyric lines:–

 

Telling how the Count Arnaldos,

With his hawk upon his hand,

Saw a fair and stately galley,

Steering onward to the land;–

 

How he heard the ancient helmsman

Chant a song so wild and clear,

That the sailing sea-bird slowly

Poised upon the mast to hear,

 

Till his soul was full of longing,

And he cried, with impulse strong,–

"Helmsman! for the love of heaven,

Teach me, too, that wondrous song!"

 

"Wouldst thou,"–so the helmsman answered,

"Learn the secret of the sea?

Only those who brave its dangers

Comprehend its mystery!"

 

In each sail that skims the horizon,

In each landward-blowing breeze,

I behold that stately galley,

Hear those mournful melodies;

 

Till my soul is full of longing

For the secret of the sea,

And the heart of the great ocean

Sends a thrilling pulse through me.


H.W. Longfellow poetry

kempis poetry magazine

More in: Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth


Photos & poetry: Ton van Kempen, Autumn 2

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(1807-1882) 

Autumn

Thou comest, Autumn, heralded by the rain,
With banners, by great gales incessant fanned,
Brighter than brightest silks of Samarcand,
And stately oxen harnessed to thy wain!
Thou standest, like imperial Charlemagne,
Upon thy bridge of gold; thy royal hand
Outstretched with benedictions o’er the land,
Blessing the farms through all thy vast domain!
Thy shield is the red harvest moon, suspended
So long beneath the heaven’s o’er-hanging eaves;
Thy steps are by the farmer’s prayers attended;
Like flames upon an altar shine the sheaves;
And, following thee, in thy ovation splendid,
Thine almoner, the wind, scatters the golden leaves!

 

Ton van Kempen photos: Autumn 2

H. W. Longfellow poetry

kempis poetry magazine

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Curfew

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(1807-1882)


Curfew

I
Solemnly, mournfully,

Dealing its dole,

The Curfew Bell

Is beginning to toll.

 

Cover the embers,

And put out the light;

Toil comes with the morning,

And rest with the night.

 

Dark grow the windows,

And quenched is the fire;

Sound fades into silence,–

All footsteps retire.

 

No voice in the chambers,

No sound in the hall!

Sleep and oblivion

Reign over all!

 

II

The book is completed,

And closed, like the day;

And the hand that has written it

Lays it away.

 

Dim grow its fancies;

Forgotten they lie;

Like coals in the ashes,

They darken and die.

 

Song sinks into silence,

The story is told,

The windows are darkened,

The hearth-stone is cold.

 

Darker and darker

The black shadows fall;

Sleep and oblivion

Reign over all.

 

H. W. Longfellow poetry

kempis poetry magazine

More in: Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Afternoon in February

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(1807-1882)


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.

 


 

kempis poetry magazine

More in: Archive K-L, Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth


Ton van Kempen: Winter

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(1807-1882)

 

The Cross of Snow

IIn the long, sleepless watches of the night,
A gentle face — the face of one long dead —
Looks at me from the wall, where round its head
The night-lamp casts a halo of pale light.
Here in this room she died; and soul more white
Never through martyrdom of fire was led
To its repose; nor can in books be read
The legend of a life more benedight.
There is a mountain in the distant West
That, sun-defying, in its deep ravines
Displays a cross of snow upon its side.
Such is the cross I wear upon my breast
These eighteen years, through all the changingscenes

And seasons, changeless since the day she died.

 

Winter 2010

Photos: Ton van kempen

Poem: H.W. Longfellow

kempis poetry magazine

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