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HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW: 1807-. Longfellow, Professor of Modern Languages in Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, is one of the most popular of the American poets. His chief poems are, Voices of the Night, Evangeline, The Golden Legend, Hiawatha, and The Courtship of Miles Standish.



There, in the midst of its farms, reposed the Acadian village. Strongly built were the houses, with frames of oak and of chestnut, Such as the peasants of Normandy built in the reign of the Henries.

Thatched were the roofs with dormer-windows; and gables pro


Over the basement below, protected and shaded the doorway.

There, in the tranquil evenings of summer, when brightly the


Lighted the village street, and gilded the vanes on the chimneys,
Matrons and maidens sat in snow-white caps, and in kirtles
Scarlet and blue and green, with distaffs spinning the golden
Flax for the gossiping looms, whose noisy shuttles within doors
Mingled their sound with the whir of the wheels and the songs of
the maidens.

Solemnly down the street came the parish priest; and the children
Pause in their play to kiss the hand he extended to bless them.
Reverend walked he among them; and up rose matrons and


Hailing his slow approach with words of affectionate welcome.
Then came the labourers home from the field, and serenely the sun


Down to his rest, and twilight prevailed. Anon from the belfry
Softly the Angelus sounded, and over the roofs of the village
Columns of pale-blue smoke, like clouds of incense ascending,
Rose from a hundred hearths, the homes of peace and contentment.
Thus dwelt together in love these simple Acadian farmers—
Dwelt in the love of God and of man. Alike were they free from
Fear, that reigns with the tyrant, and envy, the vice of republics.
Neither locks had they to their doors, nor bars to their windows,


But their dwellings were open as day and the hearts of the owners;
There the richest was poor, and the poorest lived in abundance.
Somewhat apart from the village, and nearer the Basin of Minas,
Benedict Bellefontaine, the wealthiest farmer of Grand-Pré,
Dwelt on his goodly acres; and with him, directing his household,
Gentle Evangeline lived, his child, and the pride of the village.
Stalwart and stately in form was the man of seventy winters.
Hearty and hale was he, an oak that is covered with snow-flakes;
White as the snow were his locks, and his cheeks as brown as the
oak leaves.

Fair was she to behold, that maiden of seventeen summers.

Black were her eyes as the berry that grows on the thorn by the


Black, yet how softly they gleamed beneath the brown shade of her tresses!

Sweet was her breath as the breath of kine that feed in the


When in the harvest heat she bore to the reapers at noontide
Flagons of home-brewed ale, ah! fair in sooth was the maiden.
Fairer was she when, on Sunday morn, while the bell from its turret
Sprinkled with holy sounds the air, as the priest with his hyssop
Sprinkles the congregation, and scatters blessings upon them,
Down the long street she passed, with her chaplet of beads and her

Wearing her Norman-cap, and her kirtle of blue, and the ear-rings
Brought in the olden time from France, and since, as an heirloom,
Handed down from mother to child through long generations.
But a celestial brightness-a more ethereal beauty-
Shone on her face and encircled her form, when, after confession,
Homeward serenely she walked with God's benediction upon her.
When she had passed, it seemed like the ceasing of exquisite music.
Firmly builded with rafters of oak, the house of the farmer
Stood on the side of a hill commanding the sea; and a shady
Sycamore grew by the door, with a woodbine wreathing around it.
Rudely carved was the porch, with seats beneath; and a footpath
Led through an orchard wide, and disappeared in the meadow.
Under the sycamore-tree were hives overhung by a penthouse
Such as the traveller sees in regions remote by the roadside,
Built o'er a box for the poor, or the blessed image of Mary.
Further down, on the slope of the hill, was the well with its moss-


Bucket, fastened with iron, and near it a trough for the horses. Shielding the house from storms, on the north, were the barns and

the farmyard.

There stood the broad-wheeled wains and the antique ploughs and the harrows;

There were the folds for the sheep; and there, in his feathered seraglio,

Strutted the lordly turkey, and crowed the cock, with the selfsame
Voice that in ages of old had startled the penitent Peter.

Bursting with hay were the barns, themselves a village. In each one
Far o'er the gable projected a roof of thatch; and a staircase,
Under the sheltering eaves, led up to the odorous corn-loft.
There, too, the dovecot stood, with its meek and innocent inmates
Murmuring ever of love; while above, in the variant breezes,
Numberless noisy weathercocks rattled and sang of mutation.
Thus, at peace with God and the world, the farmer of Grand-Pré
Lived on his sunny farm, and Evangeline governed his household.


Saint Augustine! well hast thou said,
That of our vices we can frame

A ladder, if we will but tread

Beneath our feet each deed of shame!

All common things-each day's events,
That with the hour begin and end;

Our pleasures and our discontents,
Are rounds by which we may ascend.

The low desire, the base design,

That makes another's virtues less;

The revel of the giddy wine,

And all occasions of excess.

The longing for ignoble things,

The strife for triumph more than truth,
The hardening of the heart, that brings
Irreverence for the dreams of youth!

All thoughts of ill-all evil deeds,
That have their root in thoughts of ill,
Whatever hinders or impedes

The action of the nobler will!

All these must first be trampled down
Beneath our feet, if we would gain
In the bright field of fair renown
The right of eminent domain !

We have not wings, we cannot soar,
But we have feet to scale and climb
By slow degrees-by more and more—
The cloudy summits of our time.

The mighty pyramids of stone

That wedge-like cleave the desert airs, When nearer seen and better known, Are but gigantic flights of stairs.

The distant mountains that uprear

Their frowning foreheads to the skies,
Are crossed by pathways that appear
As we to higher levels rise.

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.

Standing on what too long we bore,
With shoulders bent and downcast eyes,
We may discern, unseen before,
A path to higher destinies.

Nor deem the irrevocable past
As wholly wasted, wholly vain,
If rising on its wrecks at last,
To something nobler we attain.


Lowell, a popular American poet, is a native of Boston. He was educated at Harvard College, and devoted himself to legal studies, but does not seem ever to have practised. He afterwards became one of the editors of The North American Review. His works consist of three volumes of miscellaneous poems and The Biglow Papers, a series of satirical political poems, racy with Yankee humour and dialect.



Oh! what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,
And over it softly her warm ear lays :
Whether we look, or whether we listen,
We hear life murmur, or see it glisten;
Every clod feels a stir of might,

An instinct within it that reaches and towers,
And, grasping blindly above it for light,
Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers;

The flush of life may well be seen

Thrilling back over hills and valleys;
The cowslip startles in meadows green,

The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice,
And there's never a leaf or blade too mean
To be some happy creature's palace.

The little bird sits at his door in the sun,
Atilt like a blossom among the leaves,

And lets his illumined being o'errun

With the deluge of summer it receives;
His mate feels the egg beneath her wings,

And the heart in her dumb breast flutters and sings;
He sings to the wide world, and she to her nest-
In the nice ear of Nature which song is the best?

Now is the high-tide of the year,

And whatever of life hath ebbed away
Comes flooding back, with a ripply cheer,
Into every bare inlet and creek and bay;

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