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Short poem

Selected Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

from Representative Poetry On-line
Prepared by members of the Department of English at the University of Toronto
from 1912 to the present and published by the University of Toronto Press from 1912 to 1967.
RPO Edited by Ian Lancashire
A UTEL (University of Toronto English Library) Edition
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries
© 2004, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto

Index to poems

This is the poem of the air,
Slowly in silent syllables recorded;
This is the secret of despair,
Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,
Now whispered and revealed
To wood and field.
        (Snow-flakes, 13-18)
  1. Aftermath
  2. The Arrow and the Song
  3. The Arsenal at Springfield
  4. The Building of the Ship
  5. Chaucer
  6. The Children's Hour
  7. The Cross of Snow
  8. The Day is Done
  9. Divina Commedia
  10. The Evening Star
  11. Excelsior
  12. The Fire of Drift-wood
  13. Hymn to the Night
  14. The Jewish Cemetery at Newport
  15. Keats
  16. The Ladder of St. Augustine
  17. The Landlord's Tale. Paul Revere's Ride
  18. Mezzo Cammin
  19. Milton
  20. Morituri Salutamus: Poem for the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Class of 1825 in Bowdoin College
  21. My Lost Youth
  22. Nature
  23. Nuremberg
  24. The Old Clock on the Stairs
  25. A Psalm of Life
  26. Seaweed
  27. Shakespeare
  28. Sir Humphrey Gilbert
  29. The Skeleton in Armor
  30. Snow-flakes
  31. There was a little girl
  32. The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls
  33. Ultima Thule: Dedication to G. W. G.
  34. The Witnesses
  35. The Wreck of the Hesperus

Notes on Life and Works

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine, on February 27, 1807, and was educated at Portland Academy and alongside Nathaniel Hawthorne at Bowdoin College and then at Harvard University. He taught at Bowdoin from 1829 to 1835 as a professor of foreign languages after travelling widely in Europe 1826-29, and he joined Harvard as Smith Professor of French and Spanish in 1836 (replacing George Ticknor) and taught there until 1854, when the professorship went to James Russell Lowell. He was married twice, his first wife dying in Holland in 1835, and his second, Frances Appleton (whom he married in 1843), dying in a burning accident at home in 1861 when Longfellow himself was injured. While at Harvard, the Longfellows lived at Craigie House, a gift of his father-in-law. He had three daughters and two sons. Longfellow's first book of poems, Voices of the Night, was published in 1839, and his last, In the Harbor, in 1882. Between those two dates, Longfellow published more than 20 books:

In 1842 Longfellow visited Dickens in London, and his 1868-69 tour of Europe included honorary degrees at Oxford and Cambridge, by which time he had become as universally popular a poet as Tennyson. A bust was placed in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey after his death, the only American to be afforded this honour. For two good lives, see Newton Arvin's Longfellow: His Life and Work (1963) and Edward Wagenknecht's Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Portrait of an American Humanist (New York: Oxford University Press, 1966; PS 2281 W34 Robarts Library).

Biographical information

Given name: Henry Wadsworth
Family name: Longfellow
Birth date: 1807
Death date: 1882