The Complete Poems of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,299 pages of information about The Complete Poems of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

“There lived we many years;
Time dried the maiden’s tears
She had forgot her fears,
  She was a mother. 
Death closed her mild blue eyes,
Under that tower she lies;
Ne’er shall the sun arise
  On such another!

“Still grew my bosom then. 
Still as a stagnant fen! 
Hateful to me were men,
  The sunlight hateful! 
In the vast forest here,
Clad in my warlike gear,
Fell I upon my spear,
  O, death was grateful!

“Thus, seamed with many scars,
Bursting these prison bars,
Up to its native stars
  My soul ascended! 
There from the flowing bowl
Deep drinks the warrior’s soul,
Skoal! to the Northland! skoal!”
  Thus the tale ended.

THE WRECK OF THE HESPERUS

It was the schooner Hesperus,
   That sailed the wintry sea;
And the skipper had taken his little daughter,
   To bear him company.

Blue were her eyes as the fairy-flax,
   Her cheeks like the dawn of day,
And her bosom white as the hawthorn buds,
   That ope in the month of May.

The skipper he stood beside the helm,
   His pipe was in his month,
And he watched how the veering flaw did blow
   The smoke now West, now South.

Then up and spake an old Sailor,
   Had sailed to the Spanish Main,
“I pray thee, put into yonder port,
   For I fear a hurricane.

“Last night, the moon had a golden ring,
   And to-night no moon we see!”
The skipper, he blew a whiff from his pipe,
   And a scornful laugh laughed he.

Colder and louder blew the wind,
   A gale from the Northeast. 
The snow fell hissing in the brine,
   And the billows frothed like yeast.

Down came the storm, and smote amain
   The vessel in its strength;
She shuddered and paused, like a frighted steed,
   Then leaped her cable’s length.

“Come hither! come hither! my little daughter,
   And do not tremble so;
For I can weather the roughest gale
   That ever wind did blow.”

He wrapped her warm in his seaman’s coat
   Against the stinging blast;
He cut a rope from a broken spar,
   And bound her to the mast.

“O father!  I hear the church-bells ring,
   O say, what may it be?”
 “’Tis a fog-bell on a rock-bound coast!”—­
   And he steered for the open sea.

“O father!  I hear the sound of guns,
   O say, what may it be?”
“Some ship in distress, that cannot live
   In such an angry sea!”

“O father!  I see a gleaming light
   O say, what may it be?”
But the father answered never a word,
   A frozen corpse was he.

Lashed to the helm, all stiff and stark,
   With his face turned to the skies,
The lantern gleamed through the gleaming snow
   On his fixed and glassy eyes.

Then the maiden clasped her hands and prayed
   That saved she might be;
And she thought of Christ, who stilled the wave,
   On the Lake of Galilee.

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The Complete Poems of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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