Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Feb. 27, 1807 - Mar. 24, 1882


Bayard Taylor

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Dead he lay among his books!
The peace of God was in his looks.

As the statues in the gloom
Watch over Maximilian's tomb,

So those volumes from their shelves
Watched him silent as themselves.

Ah! his hand will never more
Turn their storied pages o'er.

Never more his lips repeat
Songs of theirs, however sweet.

Let the lifeless body rest!
He is gone who was its guest;

Gone, as travellers haste to leave
An inn, nor tarry until eve.

Traveller! in what realms afar,
In what planets, in what star,

In what vast, aërial space
Shines the light upon thy face?

In what gardens of delight
Rest thy weary feet to-night?

Poet! thou whose latest verse
Was a garland on thy hearse;

Thou hast sung, with organ tone,
In Deukalion's life thine own;

On the ruins of the past
Blooms the perfect flower at last.

Friend! but yesterday the bells
Rang for thee their loud farewells;

And to-day they toll for thee,
Lying dead beyond the sea;

Lying dead among thy books,
The peace of God in all thy looks!


Longfellow's Poetical Works
Copyright 1893
Henry Frowde, London