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The Elms - Stephen Longfellow's Gorham Farm

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Longfellow Farm

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Longfellow Farm / Maine Historical Society

The significance of the Gorham farm in the lives of the Longfellow family was immortalized by the Reverend Samuel Longfellow, youngest brother of the poet, at the age of twenty in his work entitled "The Homestead."

The Homestead
Home of my fathers! Once again
I stand beneath the shade

Of those ancestral trees where once
A dreamy child I played.
Those ancient elms still o'er thy roof
Their sheltering branches spread;
But they who loved their pleasant shade
In heavenly places tread.

No longer at the window now
Their friendly glance I catch,
No longer hear, as I approach,
The sound of lifted latch;
The ready hand which once threw wide
The hospitable door,
I know its warm and hearty grasp
Still answers mine no more.

The red rose by the window still
Blooms brightly as of old;
The woodbines still around the door
Their shining leaves unfold.
The pale syringa scents the air
Through the long summer hours;
But ah! The old beloved hands
No longer pluck their flowers.

I wander where the little brook
Still keeps it tranquil flow,
Where blooms the crimson cardinal,
And golden lilies glow,
Or, crossing o'er the wooden bridge,
I loiter on my way,
To watch where, in the sunny depths,
The darting minnows play.

That little bridge, the vine-clad elms
That guarded either end,
Oh, with that spot how many dreams,
How many memories blend!
When summer suns at morning kissed
The dew from grass and flower,
I've wandered there; and lingered long
At evening's holy hour.

Still, as each spring returns, those trees
Put on their garments green;
And still in summer hues arrayed
Those blooming flowers are seen;
And when the autumn winds come down
To wrestle with the wood,
The gold and crimson leaves are shed
To float along the flood.

Thus seasons pass, and year on year
Follows with ceaseless pace;
Though all things human change or die,
Unchanged is Nature's face.
Yet, when these well-remembered scenes
Before my vision glide,
I feel that they who made them fair
No more are by my side.

And one there was-now distant far,
Who shared my childish plays,
With who I roamed in deeper joy
In boyhood's thoughtful days.
Dear cousin, round thine early home
When truant memory
Lingers in dreams of fond regret,
Dost thou e'er think of me.


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