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The Path to Home There's the mother at the doorway, and the children at the gate,And the little parlor windows with the curtains white and straight.There are shaggy asters blooming in the bed that lines the fence,And the simplest of the blossoms seems of mighty consequence.Oh, there isn't any mansion underneath God's starry domeThat can rest a weary pilgrim like the little place called home. Men have sought for gold and silver; men have... more...

I.SUCCESS.[Published in "A Masque of Poets"at the request of "H.H.," the author'sfellow-townswoman and friend.]Success is counted sweetestBy those who ne'er succeed.To comprehend a nectarRequires sorest need.Not one of all the purple hostWho took the flag to-dayCan tell the definition,So clear, of victory,As he, defeated, dying,On whose forbidden earThe distant strains of triumphBreak, agonized and clear! II.Our share of night to bear,Our... more...

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;   Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same,   And both that morning... more...

INTRODUCTION. "Norman's Woe" is the picturesque name of a rocky headland, reef, and islet on the coast of Massachusetts, between Gloucester and Magnolia. The special disaster in which the name originated had long been lost from memory when the poet Longfellow chose the spot as a background for his description of the "Wreck of the Hesperus," and gave it an association that it will scarcely lose while the English language endures. Nor does it... more...

INTRODUCTION.   Should you ask me, whence these stories?Whence these legends and traditions,With the odors of the forest,With the dew and damp of meadows,5With the curling smoke of wigwams,With the rushing of great rivers,With their frequent repetitions,And their wild reverberations,As of thunder in the mountains?10I should answer, I should tell you,"From the forests and the prairies,From the great lakes of the Northland,From the land of... more...


The Deacon’s Masterpiece Have you heard of the wonderful one-hoss shay,That was built in such a logical wayIt ran a hundred years to a day,And then, of a sudden, it—ah, but stay,I’ll tell you what happened without delay,Scaring the parson into fits,Frightening people out of their wits,—Have you ever heard of that, I say? Seventeen hundred and fifty-five,Georgius Secundus was then alive,—Snuffy old drone from the... more...

INTRODUCTION If we define poetry as the heart of man expressed in beautiful language, we shall not say that we have no national poetry. True, America has produced no Shakespeare and no Milton, but we have an inheritance in all English literature; and many poets in America have followed in the footsteps of their literary British forefathers. Puritan life was severe. It was warfare, and manual labor of a most exhausting type, and loneliness, and... more...

To M AE C E N A S.   MAECENAS, you, beneath the myrtle shade,  Read o'er what poets sung, and shepherds play'd.  What felt those poets but you feel the same?  Does not your soul possess the sacred flame?  Their noble strains your equal genius shares  In softer language, and diviner airs.    While Homer paints, lo! circumfus'd in air,  Celestial Gods in... more...

The Pasture I'M going out to clean the pasture spring;I'll only stop to rake the leaves away(And wait to watch the water clear, I may):I sha'n't be gone long.—You come too.I'm going out to fetch the little calfThat's standing by the mother. It's so young,It totters when she licks it with her tongue.I sha'n't be gone long.—You come too. Mending Wall SOMETHING there is that doesn't love a wall,That sends the frozen-ground-swell... more...

AN OLD HEART How young I am!  Ah! heaven, this curse of youth   Doth mock me from my mirror with great eyes,And pulsing veins repeat the unwelcome truth,   That I must live, though hope within me dies. So young, and yet I have had all of life.   Why, men have lived to see a hundred years,Who have not known the rapture, joy, and strife   Of my brief youth, its passion and its tears. Oh! what are... more...