Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Quotations

Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

The Rainy Day (1842)

And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

The Arrow and the Song (1845)

Time has laid his hand
Upon my heart, gently, not smiting it,
But as a harper lays his open palm
Upon his harp, to deaden its vibrations.

The Golden Legend (1872)

A boy’s will is the wind’s will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.

My Lost Youth (1858)

The warriors that fought for their country, and bled,
Have sunk to their rest; the damp earth is their bed;
No stone tells the place where their ashes repose,
Nor points out the spot from the graves of their foes.

They died in their glory, surrounded by fame,
And Victory’s loud trump their death did proclaim;
They are dead; but they live in each Patriot’s breast,
And their names are engraven on honor’s bright crest.

"The Battle of Lovell's Pond" (November 17, 1820)

God sent his Singers upon earth
With songs of sadness and of mirth,
That they might touch the hearts of men,
And bring them back to heaven again.

The Singers (1849)

Nothing useless is, or low;
Each thing in its place is best;
And what seems but idle show
Strengthens and supports the rest.

The Builders (1849)

I hear in the chamber above me
The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
And voices soft and sweet.

The Children's Hour (1860)

But the great Master said, “I see
No best in kind, but in degree;
I gave a various gift to each,
To charm, to strengthen, and to teach.

The Singers (1849)

Look not mournfully into the Past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the Present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy Future, without fear, and with a manly heart.

Hyperion (1839)

Look, then, into thine heart, and write!

Voices of the Night (1839)

Music is the universal language of mankind — poetry their universal pastime and delight.

Outre-Mer

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where.

The Arrow and the Song (1845)

The grave itself is but a covered bridge,
Leading from light to light, through a brief darkness!

The Golden Legend (1872)

There is a Reaper, whose name is Death,
And, with his sickle keen,
He reaps the bearded grain at a breath,
And the flowers that grow between.

The Reaper and the Flowers (1839)

The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.

The Ladder of St. Augustine (1858)

Ye are better than all the ballads
That ever were sung or said;
For ye are living poems,
And all the rest are dead.

Children (1858)

Never here, forever there,
Where all parting, pain, and care,
And death, and time shall disappear,—
Forever there, but never here!
The horologe of Eternity
Sayeth this incessantly,—
“Forever — never!
Never — forever!”

The Old Clock on the Stairs (1845)

Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day’s occupation,
That is known as the Children’s Hour.

The Children's Hour (1860)

If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.

Driftwood (1857)

No man is so poor as to have nothing worth giving. Give what you have. To someone it may be better than you dare to think.

Kavanagh: A Tale (1849)