Beware the awful avalanche! Although he is shown as brave and steadfast in his vision, the successive warnings issued to him by an old man, a maiden and then the peasant convince us that the errand is way too much. Determination and perseverance are essential, but a wise person knows where to draw the line; the ending quatrain is just like the consolation we may have to ourselves.
However, the poet decides to render it a twist i.
The greatest quality of this poem lies in its deeper layers of allegory. One often wonders how Longfellow comes up with such a merry, simple poem which he not only manages to write well, but also immortalises his three daughters by including them in it. This piece brings forth a welcome relief to readers and to the poet himself, as more serious poetry was what he was used to penning then.
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Seen as bit grave for most of the time, Longfellow lets the sweet and lovely father figure of himself take centerstage — unusual yet genuine in expressing his love. When Alice, Allegra and Edith hatch a plot to surprise him, he is aware of their footsteps but pretends otherwise.
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But put you down into the dungeon In the round-tower of my heart. And there will I keep you forever, Yes, forever and a day, Till the walls shall crumble to ruin, And moulder in dust away!
The only way out from this depressing setting may come from listening to poetry. A tremendous flow, that is seldom interrupted, elevates this work to the second spot. Life is real! Life is earnest! Act,—act in the living Present! Such is its evocative eloquence, such is its superior effect on every person regardless of class, religion and nationality that it transcends the boundaries of a mere song, and in the right sense, transforms into a psalm — a path to be followed for glorified and righteous life. Recited at Senate meetings, public gatherings and even at churches, this poem is sometimes speculated to have inspired Longfellow after he had come across a board in a German graveyard.
These first two lines provide the impetus to how the rest of the poem is to proceed. And indeed, he is percent true in conveying that instead of blaming life, one must work towards improving it by making judicious utilisation of our short lives. Let the dead Past bury its dead!
I can faintly remember people around me quoting the above lines to lend support to one another while in distress. Although the literary stardom of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow has dwindled ever since the advent of 20th century, his legacy is as grand as his rise to fame. He also loves electrical machines and renewable energy sources.
Currently, he resides in Odisha, India. Longfellow is one of the most influential poets.
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You not only picked one of the best but you picked the best of one of the best. This top 10 is not to be topped. Unlike many of my contemporary young poets, I have always been drawn to poetry of the 19th century — the age of Romanticism fascinates and lifts my spirit. Having said this, I must confess that Longfellow has been one of the primary influences on me since the day I began penning poetry. And in return, it is a privilege that I wrote this essay — my first ever about his works.
Warm greetings Mr Satyananda. I completely agree with you. It was extremely soul stiring. Thank you Satyananda. I shot an arrow into the air, It fell to earth, I knew not where; For, so swiftly it flew, the sight Could not follow it in its flight. I breathed a song into the air, It fell to earth, I knew not where; For who has sight so keen and strong, That it can follow the flight of song? Long, long afterward, in an oak I found the arrow, still unbroke; And the song, from beginning to end, I found again in the heart of a friend.
That is so kind of you to mention this poem — one of the best indeed. The question is : can we do justice to a heavyweight like H. Longfellow by coming up with an all time top ten poems? However, I have to agree that the above poem is a beautiful piece. All are architects of Fate, Working in these walls of Time; Some with massive deeds and great, Some with ornaments of rhyme.
101 Funeral Poems
Nothing useless is, or low; Each thing in its place is best; And what seems but idle show Strengthens and supports the rest. For the structure that we raise, Time is with materials filled; Our to-days and yesterdays Are the blocks with which we build. Truly shape and fashion these; Leave no yawning gaps between; Think not, because no man sees, Such things will remain unseen. In the elder days of Art, Builders wrought with greatest care Each minute and unseen part; For the Gods see everywhere.
Let us do our work as well, Both the unseen and the seen; Make the house, where Gods may dwell, Beautiful, entire, and clean. Else our lives are incomplete, Standing in these walls of Time, Broken stairways, where the feet Stumble as they seek to climb. Build to-day, then, strong and sure, With a firm and ample base; And ascending and secure Shall to-morrow find its place. Thus alone can we attain To those turrets, where the eye Sees the world as one vast plain, And one boundless reach of sky.
I am always in awe of Longfellow — his poems highly romantic in essence have something new to reveal every time. Evidently, this poem has striking imagery — all in nature and life that ordinary eyes may not see. When the summer fields are mown, When the birds are fledged and flown, And the dry leaves strew the path; With the falling of the snow, With the cawing of the crow, Once again the fields we mow And gather in the aftermath. Not the sweet, new grass with flowers Is this harvesting of ours; Not the upland clover bloom; But the rowen mixed with weeds, Tangled tufts from marsh and meads, Where the poppy drops its seeds In the silence and the gloom.
From the outskirts of the town Where of old the mile-stone stood, Now a stranger, looking down I behold the shadowy crown Of the dark and haunted wood. Is it changed, or am I changed? Bright as ever flows the sea, Bright as ever shines the sun, But alas! I heard the bells on Christmas Day Their old, familiar carols play, And wild and sweet The words repeat Of peace on earth, good-will to men! And thought how, as the day had come, The belfries of all Christendom Had rolled along The unbroken song Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Till, ringing, singing on its way, The world revolved from night to day, A voice, a chime, A chant sublime Of peace on earth, good-will to men! Then from each black, accursed mouth The cannon thundered in the South, And with the sound The carols drowned Of peace on earth, good-will to men! It was as if an earthquake rent The hearth-stones of a continent, And made forlorn The households born Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
The Wrong shall fail, The Right prevail, With peace on earth, good-will to men! Janus am I; oldest of potentates; Forward I look, and backward, and below I count, as god of avenues and gates, The years that through my portals come and go. I block the roads, and drift the fields with snow; I chase the wild-fowl from the frozen fen; My frosts congeal the rivers in their flow, My fires light up the hearths and hearts of men.
I am lustration, and the sea is mine!
Funeral Poems and Readings - retirednessra.gq
I wash the sands and headlands with my tide; My brow is crowned with branches of the pine; Before my chariot-wheels the fishes glide. I Martius am! Once first, and now the third! To lead the Year was my appointed place; A mortal dispossessed me by a word, And set there Janus with the double face. Hence I make war on all the human race; I shake the cities with my hurricanes; I flood the rivers and their banks efface, And drown the farms and hamlets with my rains. I open wide the portals of the Spring To welcome the procession of the flowers, With their gay banners, and the birds that sing Their song of songs from their aerial towers.
I soften with my sunshine and my showers The heart of earth; with thoughts of love I glide Into the hearts of men; and with the Hours Upon the Bull with wreathed horns I ride. The sea-faring wild-fowl loud proclaim My coming, and the swarming of the bees. These are my heralds, and behold!
I am Maia. I am May. All pleasant sights And scents, the fragrance of the blossoming vine, The foliage of the valleys and the heights. The lakes and rivers shrink at my command, And there is thirst and fever in the air; The sky is changed to brass, the earth to sand; I am the Emperor whose name I bear.
The Emperor Octavian, called the August, I being his favorite, bestowed his name Upon me, and I hold it still in trust, In memory of him and of his fame. Though on the frigid Scorpion I ride, The dreamy air is full, and overflows With tender memories of the summer-tide, And mingled voices of the doves and crows. Sharp winds the arrows are with which I chase The leaves, half dead already with affright; I shroud myself in gloom; and to the race Of mortals bring nor comfort nor delight. Riding upon the Goat, with snow-white hair, I come, the last of all.
This crown of mine Is of the holly; in my hand I bear The thyrsus, tipped with fragrant cones of pine. I celebrate the birth of the Divine, And the return of the Saturnian reign;— My songs are carols sung at every shrine.