Authors, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

LongfellowIn my collection of old books, I have one called “The Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow”  with a publication date of 1882.

Sometimes I just flip through it and read several passages, like this one tonight:

Solemnly, mournfully,  Dealing its dole, The Curfew Bell Is beginning to toll. Cover the embers, And put out the light; Toil comes with the morning, And rest with the night. Dark grow the windows And quenched is the fire; Sound fades into silence, –All footsteps retire. No voice in the chambers, No sound in the hall!  Sleep and oblivion Reign over all!
The book is completed,  And closed, like the day; And the hand that has written it, Lays it away.  Dim grow its fancies;  Forgotten they lie; Like coals in the ashes, They darken and die.  Song sinks into silence, The story is told, The windows are darkened,  The hearth-stone is cold. Darker and darker  The black shadows fall;  Sleep and oblivion reign over all.
__ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Page 98 Curfew by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow copy

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was a commanding figure in the cultural life of nineteenth-century America. Born in Portland, Maine, in 1807, he became a national literary figure by the 1850s, and a world- famous personality by the time of his death in 1882. He was a traveler, a linguist, and a romantic who identified with the great traditions of European literature and thought. At the same time, he was rooted in American life and history, which charged his imagination with untried themes and made him ambitious for success.” Source:

The Poetic Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Written and Photographed by Mary Gilmartin, December 5, 2012, 6:15 pm


Filed under Authors

4 responses to “Authors, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  1. If the cover could whisper I wonder what we would hear. Gorgeous and intriguing 🙂

  2. Very interesting Mary – it prompted me to look at a UK edition which has been on my bookshelf, unopened, for years. It was published by William P Nimmo, London: 14 King William Street, Strand and Edinburgh and is dated 1877. It is a shame I can’t attach a picture to this comment. Thanks for sparking an interest.

    • Glad to hear it sparked an interest. By reading a passage on aged paper from an old book, I can visually see and hear it being read by the author who wrote it. “You never know what you will find when you open a book sometime.”

  3. It’s gorgeous. I’m jealous.

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