Poems of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Houghton, Mifflin, 1880 - 417 pages
 

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Page xviii - Tell me not, in mournful numbers, Life is but an empty dream! — For the soul is dead that slumbers, And things are not what they seem. Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal; Dust thou art, to dust returnest, Was not spoken of the soul. Not enjoyment, and not sorrow, Is our destined end or way; But to act, that each to-morrow Find us farther than to-day. Art is long, and Time is fleeting, And our hearts, though stout and brave, Still, like muffled drums, are beating Funeral...
Page 77 - Were half the power, that fills the world with terror, Were half the wealth bestowed on camps and courts, Given to redeem the human mind from error, There were no need of arsenals or forts: The warrior's name would be a name abhorred!
Page 38 - EXCELSIOR. THE shades of night were falling fast, As through an Alpine village passed A youth, who bore, 'mid snow and ice, A banner with the strange device, Excelsior ! His brow was sad ; his eye beneath, Flashed like a falchion from its sheath, And like a silver clarion rung The accents of that unknown tongue, Excelsior...
Page 87 - And tonight 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...
Page 36 - Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend, For the lesson thou hast taught ! Thus at the flaming forge of life Our fortunes must be wrought ; Thus on its sounding anvil shaped Each burning deed and thought.
Page 236 - Blowing over the meadows brown. And one was safe and asleep in his bed Who at the bridge would be first to fall, Who that day would be lying dead, Pierced by a British musket-ball. 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 farm-yard wall, Chasing the red-coats down the lane, Then crossing the fields to emerge again Under the trees at the turn of the road, And only pausing to fire...
Page 126 - UNION, strong and great! Humanity with all its fears, With all the hopes of future years, Is hanging breathless on thy fate! We know what Master laid thy keel, What Workmen wrought thy ribs of steel, Who made each mast, and sail, and rope, What anvils rang, what hammers beat, In what a forge and what a heat Were shaped the anchors of thy hope!
Page 212 - The heights by great men reached and kept Were not. attained by sudden flight, But they, while their companions slept, Were toiling upward in the night.
Page xxiii - The Reaper and the Flowers There is a Reaper whose name is Death, And, with his sickle keen, He reaps the bearded grain at a breath, And the flowers that grow between. "Shall I have nought that is fair?" saith he; "Have nought but the bearded grain? Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me, I will give them all back again.
Page 38 - Try not the Pass !" the old man said ; " Dark lowers the tempest overhead, The roaring torrent is deep and wide !" And loud that clarion voice replied Excelsior ! " 0 stay," the maiden said, "and rest Thy weary head upon this breast...

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