previous next
[153] of his young wife, the sudden impulse to write poetry, and he produced, “softly excited, I know not why,” The Reaper and the Flowers, a Psalm of death. From that December morning in 1838 until his death in 1882 he was Longfellow the Poet.

His outward life, like Hawthorne's, was barren of dramatic incident, save the one tragic accident by which his second wife, the mother of his children, perished before his eyes in 1861. He bore the calamity with the quiet courage of his race and breeding. But otherwise his days ran softly and gently, enriched with books and friendships, sheltered from the storms of circumstance. He had leisure to grow ripe, to remember, and to dream. But he never secluded himself, like Tennyson, from normal contacts with his fellowmen. The owner of the Craigie House was a good neighbor, approachable and deferential. He was even interested in local Cambridge politics. On the larger political issues of his day his Americanism was sound and loyal. “It is disheartening,” he wrote in his Cambridge journal for 1851, “to see how little sympathy there is in the hearts of the young men here for freedom and great ideas.” But his own sympathy never wavered.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Tennyson (1)
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1)
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1882 AD (1)
1861 AD (1)
1851 AD (1)
1838 AD (1)
December (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: