Title: The Poetical Works of Longfellow
Author: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Publisher: Griffith, Farran, Okeden & Welsh. No date, inscription dated 1892.
Condition: Decorative cloth, gilt to spine. Name inscription dated 1892. Some foxing to edges and text (see photos), but the majority of pages are clean.
About Longfellow (from Wikipedia)
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882) was an American poet and educator whose works include “Paul Revere’s Ride”, 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, which was then a part of Massachusetts. He 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). Longfellow retired from teaching in 1854 to focus on his writing, living the remainder of his life in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in a former headquarters of George Washington. His first wife Mary Potter died in 1835 after a miscarriage. His second wife Frances Appleton died in 1861 after sustaining burns when her dress caught fire. After her death, Longfellow had difficulty writing poetry for a time and focused on his translation. He died in 1882.
Longfellow wrote predominantly lyric poems, known for their musicality and often presenting stories of mythology and legend. He became the most popular American poet of his day and also had success overseas. He has been criticized, however, for imitating European styles and writing specifically for the masses.
The Song of Hiawatha
The Song of Hiawatha is an 1855 epic poem, in trochaic tetrameter, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, featuring an Indian hero. Longfellow’s sources for the legends and ethnography found in his poem were the Ojibwe Chief Kahge-ga-gah-bowh during their visits at Longfellow’s home; Black Hawk and other Sac and Fox Indians Longfellow encountered on Boston Common; Algic Researches (1839) and additional writings by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, an ethnographer and United States Indian agent; and Heckewelder’s Narratives.
“O my children! my poor children!
Listen to the words of wisdom,
Listen to the words of warning,
From the lips of the Great Spirit,
From the Master of Life, who made you!
“I have given you lands to hunt in,
I have given you streams to fish in,
I have given you bear and bison,
I have given you roe and reindeer,
I have given you brant and beaver,
Filled the marshes full of wild-fowl,
Filled the rivers full of fishes:
Why then are you not contented?
Why then will you hunt each other?
“I am weary of your quarrels,
Weary of your wars and bloodshed,
Weary of your prayers for vengeance,
Of your wranglings and dissensions;
All your strength is in your union,
All your danger is in discord;
Therefore be at peace henceforward,
And as brothers live together.
To William E. Channin (Poems on Slavery 1842)
The pages of thy book I read,
And as I closed each one,
My heart, responding, ever said,
“Servant of God! well done!”
Well done! Thy words are great and bold;
At times they seem to me,
Like Luther’s, in the days of old,
Half-battles for the free.
Go on, until this land revokes
The old and chartered Lie,
The feudal curse, whose whips and yokes
A voice is ever at thy side
Speaking in tones of might,
Like the prophetic voice, that cried
To John in Patmos, “Write!”
Write! and tell out this bloody tale;
Record this dire eclipse,
This Day of Wrath, this Endless Wail,
This dread Apocalypse!