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Knowest its fulness, as thou dost the dew
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW.
Henry WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW is the son of Hon. Stephen Longfellow, of Portland, Maine, and was born in that city on the 27th of February, 1807. At the age of fourteen, he entered Bowdoin College, Brunswick, and was graduated there in 1825. Soon after, being offered a professorship of modern languages in his own college, he resolved to prepare himself thoroughly for his new duties, and accordingly left home for Europe, and passed three years and a half in travelling or residing in France, Spain, Ituly, Germany, Holland, and England. He returned in 1829, and entered upon the duties of his office. In 1835, on the resignation of Mr. George Ticknor, he was elected Professor of Modern Languages and Belles-Lettres in Harvard College. Again he went abroad, and passed more than twelve months in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and Switzerland. On his return to resume the duties of his chair, he took up his residence in the old Cragie House, near Mount Auburn, Cambridge, renowned as having been the headquarters of Washington when he assumed the command of the American army. Here he has ever since resided, though he resigned his professorship in 1854.
Mr. Longfellow's literary career began very early. Before leaving college, he wrote a few carefully-finished poems for the “United States Literary Gazette," and while professor at Bowdoin, he contributed some valuable criticisms to the “North American Review." In 1835 appeared his Outre-Mer, a collection of travelling sketches and miscellaneous essays; in 1839, Hyperion, a Romance, and Voices of the Night, his first collection of poems; in 1841, Ballads, and other Poems; in 1842, Poems on Slavery; in 1813, The Spanish Student, a play; in 1845, the “Poets and Poetry of Europe," and the Belfry of Bruges; in 1847, Ecangeline; in 1848, Kavanagh, a Tale; in 1819, The Seaside and the Fireside; in 1951, The Golden Legend; in 1855, The Song of Hiawatha; and in 1858, The Courtship of Miles Standish,' of which his publishers2 sold twenty-five thousand copies in a month from its publication. But it is in hexameter verse, and, though popular for the time from its novelty, it can never obtain a permanent hold of the hearts of the people.
1 “A charming story, which will do more to throw an attractive, familiar light upon the bleak shores of Plymouth, and the grim-visaged Puritan colonists who landed upon them, than all the New-England Society orations and labored historical eulogies that were ever uttered or printed.”- New York Evening Post.
2 Messrs. Ticknor & Fields have published all of Longfellow's works in various beautiful styles, characteristic of their house.
It will thus be seen that Mr. Longfellow is a most prolific writer; and the numerous editions of bis works that are called for, show that he is also a very popular one. His genius is as heartily recognised in England as in this country; for every thing from his pen is eagerly caught up and republished there. And his popularity he richly deserves; for his poetry, as well as his prose, is marked by great tenderness of feeling, purity of sentiment, elevation of thought, and deep human interest. His genius is versatile, for he has trodden almost every path of polite literature, and gathered flowers from them all; and if his strength has failed to carry him to the topmost eminence, he has the satisfaction of knowing that many of his writings have become, as they deserve,“ household words," and have so touched the heart, that posterity will not willingly let them die.
A PSALM OF LIFE.
What the heart of the young man said to the Psalmist.
Life is but an empty dream!
And things are not what they seem.
And the grave is not its goal;
Was not spoken of the soul.
Is our destined end or way;
Find us farther than to-day.
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the bivouac of Life,
Be a hero in the strife!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Heart within, and God o'erhead !
We can make our lives sublime,
Footprints on the sands of time.
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwreck'd brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
With a heart for any fate;
Learn to labor and to wait.
THE REAPER AND THE FLOWERS.
There is a Reaper, whose name is Death,
And, with his sickle keen,
And the flowers that grow between.
“ Have nanght but the bearded grain ? Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me,
I will give them all back again."
He kiss'd their drooping leaves;
He bound them in his sheaves. “My Lord has need of these flowerets gay,”
The Reaper said, and smiled ; “Dear tokens of the earth are they,
Where he once was a child.
Transplanted by my care,
These sacred blossoms wear.”
The flowers she most did love;
In the fields of light above.
The Reaper came that day;
And took the flowers away.
FOOTSTEPS OF ANGELS.
When the hours of Day are number'd,
And the voices of the Night
To a holy, calm delight;
And, like phantoms grim and tall,
Dance upon the parlor-wall;