", The Song of Hiawatha
, and Evangeline
. He was also the first American to translate Dante Alighieri's
The Divine Comedy
and was one of the five Fireside Poets
Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine
, then part of Massachusetts, and studied at Bowdoin College
. After spending time in Europe he became a professor at Bowdoin and, later, at Harvard College
. His first major poetry collections were Voices of the Night (1839) and Ballads and Other Poems (1841).
I heard the trailing garments of the NightSweep through her marble halls!I saw her sable skirts all fringed with lightFrom the celestial walls!
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.
Thus, seamed with many scarsBursting these prison bars,Up to its native starsMy soul ascended!There from the flowing bowlDeep drinks the warrior's soul,Skoal! to the Northland! skoal!—Thus the tale ended.
No one is so accursed by fate,No one so utterly desolate,But some heart, though unknown,Responds unto his own.
I like that ancient Saxon phrase, which callsThe burial-ground God's-Acre! It is just;It consecrates each grave within its walls,And breathes a benison o'er the sleeping dust.
The shades of night were falling fast,As through an Alpine village passedA youth, who bore, 'mid snow and ice,A banner with the strange device,Excelsior!