HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW
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The Writer's Hour: Footprints on the Sands of Time

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Portrait of Papa, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Portrait of Papa, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow / Longfellow National Historic Site

Before Charley or Erny were born, or even before Henry was married, he wrote a poem that spoke to people's hearts at a time when many labored in the mills and factories of America. A Psalm of Life made him famous. You can imagine people sitting in their parlors, perhaps not as elegant as this one, reading the poem by candlelight after a long work day.

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

 

Item 16 of 26