Friday, February 10, 2012

Today's poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

     Travels by the Fireside

The ceaseless rain is falling fast,
And yonder gilded vane,
Immovable for three days past,
Points to the misty main,

It drives me in upon myself
And to the fireside gleams,
To pleasant books that crowd my shelf,
And still more pleasant dreams,

I read whatever bards have sung
Of lands beyond the sea,
And the bright days when I was young
Come thronging back to me.

In fancy I can hear again
The Alpine torrent's roar,
The mule-bells on the hills of Spain,
The sea at Elsinore.

I see the convent's gleaming wall
Rise from its groves of pine,
And towers of old cathedrals tall,
And castles by the Rhine.

I journey on by park and spire,
Beneath centennial trees,
Through fields with poppies all on fire,
And gleams of distant seas.

I fear no more the dust and heat,
No more I feel fatigue,
While journeying with another's feet
O'er many a lengthening league.

Let others traverse sea and land,
And toil through various climes,
I turn the world round with my hand
Reading these poets' rhymes.

From them I learn whatever lies
Beneath each changing zone,
And see, when looking with their eyes,
Better than with mine own.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)


  1. What a wonderful, perfect choice for a grey winter's day! I think we often forget what truly great poets these Victorians were, and it's nice to be reminded. Thanks for sharing.

  2. What a lovely poem - I haven't come across this one before.

  3. Canadian Chickadee and Rowan, I'm so pleased you liked the poem. I am quite fond of Longfellow. He had a big heart and a lot of sadness in his life. There are a few more by him under the 'poems' tab. He has something to say about almost any mood or emotion.

    Not grey here, CC. Bright February sunshine, though it is supposed to snow a bit later and tomorrow.

  4. I like the atmosphere of the poem. I can smell the pines, and taste the Alpine air.

  5. "Better than with mine own"...lovely poem, thank you!

    Oh and I must say your cat photo is so good!

  6. This is new to me and I loved it and the sentiments expressed. Nice one for a winter's day.

  7. HKatz, I think Longfellow is particularly good at that. Have you ever read the children's poem Hiawatha? I'm planning to write about it soon. We performed it when I was a little girl, and I still remember whole sections, and the feeling of the woods.

    Kay, Miss Raya says, thank you!

    Cait, Longfellow is a wonderful poet, I think.

  8. Haven't read much of his other work, but I love Hiawatha - it's one of the many things my mother used to read to me when I was a child, and it's still as magical with that wonderful rhythm drawing mr into another world.

  9. Henry always knows how to entertain oneself, as long as me.
    I hope you are staying warm with your kitty in your lap by the fire as you read. Have a great weekend.

  10. ChrisCross, I do so love Hiawatha, and hope to read it again this year and write about it.
    His other work is wonderful as well.

    And to you, Lisa.

  11. Poetry that evokes atmosphere - and still rhymes - how lovely! Thanks for sharing this, Nan.

  12. Debbie, isn't that what it used to be all about - rhythm and rhyme? Not that I don't love all kinds of poetry but one like this is such a joy to read aloud.

  13. I so loved that...I need to read more of Longfellow.

  14. When I wrote earlier, I forgot to mention how much I love the photo of the kitty. What a great picture -- perfect highlights in the eyes, can see every single hair of the fur. Really well done, Nan!

  15. Staci, he's very understandable.

    Canadian chickadee - pure luck! The light was so beautiful. But out of several photos this was the only one that looked like this.

  16. I also haven't come across this poem before and it is quite wonderful. I have always loved Vcitorian prose and fiction and realise I must read more poetry now.

    Thank you for visiting my blog recently which is much appreciated. I am so glad that I have found yours.


  17. Johnson, I'm really quite fond of Longfellow's work.

  18. Nan, on these grey, rainy and cold days - this is a perfect poem
    Had never read it before.
    Love the new header :)

  19. Ernestine, our days are cold, sunny, and snowless this month, so far.
    Raya thanks you!


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